Tag Archives: Kera

What’s in a name?

30 Aug

As I sat minding my own business on Facebook, a friend of mine posted this video. What I watched next appalled me.

Disgusting thoughts and opinions from Katie Hopkins flooded out onto my screen. For those who do not know who Katie Hopkins, she is best known for her 2007 appearance on TV reality programme The Apprentice, in which contestants compete for a £100,000-a-year job working for British businessman Alan Sugar.

Many of you may have already seen this viral clip where Katie appeared on a TV show here in the UK called ‘This Morning’. The topic was about children names where Katie said she used children’s names as a shortcut to working out their social class and wouldn’t allow her children to play with Tylers or Chardonnays because she knew that they would be bad influence on her own children. Other names she picked out were Charmaine, Tyronne and anything geographical. She obviously briefly forgot that one when she named her own daughter India. Her other children are called Poppy and Maximilian.

Anna May, who actually has a brain and the knack for sarcastic humour, made my day when she put Katie in her place by stating that maybe someone of her character and class should have used the Latin version of Poppy and not the common one. From that comment more catty remarks were thrown back and forth. I also thought Phillip Schofield was going to explode from the rudeness of Katie Hopkins. Holly Willoughby made sure she didn’t back down with her own thoughts and views which lead Katie to say because Holly is a beautiful women her children must be as well and would be fine to mingle with her own.

I have to admit I do judge people on how they behave; and on their mannerisms and looks but doesn’t everyone? I wonder does anyone actually judge people on their name. How can you judge a child on the name they were given without consent as an infant?

I would love to know what anyone else thinks of Katie Hopkins ideals. Would you judge a child or person based on their name?

Body Shapes

19 Aug

I have not written much in a while, but this intrigued me on a slightly personal level, so here we go. While I was browsing the web I stumbled onto this online article on the topic of the ever stale area of women, our bodies, our weight and fashion: “Can sewing change your body image?”

So by the power of sewing we can love our bodies? – As a knitter, I think this lady might be onto something. Karen Ball who writes for the Guardian, goes on to talk about her body issues as a teenager shopping in Dorothy Perkins, and how by creating her own clothes she was able to become confident and comfortable.

“When did you first start judging yourself by your dress size? I acutely remember standing in Dorothy Perkins as a teenager and realising I could no longer fit into a size 14. I scrabbled through the hangers and quickly felt the thunderbolt of fashion strike me down. Dottie P didn’t do a size 16. I was 15 years old and the high street was telling me that I no longer had the right to engage with fashion.”

I think we all have and still go through this non-acceptance of fashion. I too am finding it hard to find clothing that fits and looks nice but I am also finding that I have started to notice clothing in stores smell slightly chemically *cough* Primark, Top Shop, H&M*cough*.  I am myself a loveable size 16, and yet most stores still do not cater for voluptuous bodies so to speak. Top Shop I found doesn’t think for all body shapes, Primark I will admit with open arms has lovely bargains, but I have to buy clothes 1-2 sizes bigger to fit…*cuts out size label*… I will not even start to mention H&M…

I would love to make my own dresses, tops, trousers, jackets, knitwear products – I mean I should, I have a degree within Knitwear…*sigh* But all this making is rather time consuming or is it that I am being lazy? I have thought that when I tried on suit jackets in New Look, certain areas didn’t fit correctly, now it’s not difficult to sew in some ease (ease is when you are sewing your arm pattern piece to the jacket pattern piece and create a slight gathered effect at the top where your shoulders start, this way you can then ease out the stitching once connected, this in turn allows for room when being worn), and I have even noticed in some clothes that clear elastic has been sewn into the seams of the garments. Obviously I have only noticed these HUGE little annoyances thanks from learning tricks of the trade so to speak from my course at uni; as well as experimenting on my own. I find it rather irritating that clothes today are not finished correctly and depending on the type of garment certain edges are falling apart when you pick them up, or have not been finished at all.

When looking around River Island they had these awful foam dresses… the edges had been left raw, after a couple of washes you will not have a clean cut looking dress but a tacky one…well maybe it will improve the look?

The point I am making splits into two:

First is that I think the standards of how clothing is made within factories need to change. Yes standards have changed within factories so that the workers are being paid correctly and children are not employed but obviously this is still an issue. Yet it is the way clothing is not cut correctly from source which causes further issues down the assembly line for example: these factories have huge cutters that just cut through a mass amount of fabric which in turn the workers just go and over lock everything together. They are not cutting out the correct sizes for each body size, in fact they are over locking off the excess amount of fabric not needed for different sizes or for us bigger girls not bothering at all to have correct measurements as I mentioned previously suit jackets in New Look.

Second; that the media has caused us women to feel inadequate with how we look and how our bodies develop and grow, we are constantly hounded by the Media throwing diets, weight plans, the gym and the correct volume of food at us daily. Why can we not just be any size we like or eat anything we fancy and not have to worry that this cube of cheese will give me a gazillion calories. I feel that change is light years away but maybe we can all try and start. Like myself; I keep putting off making myself something. I always moan about the way clothing is made yet I do not go and make something better. Perhaps when I gain motivation and a little inspiration I can actually get round to making something to prove my points…maybe.

About the writer: Kera-anne is currently in her final year at London College of Fashion studying Surface Textiles specialising in Knitwear who loves nothing more than baking, writing and playing the occasional Nintendo game. She wants to give something new to future artists who are yet to taste the confusing fruit that is the fashion industry! When working on a project she tends to go for the darker viewpoints as the work always leans toward the obscurer side of art.

Wool House

3 May

For any textile enthusiast the Wool House at the Somerset House, London was a must see; running from the 13th – 24th of March. A very big amazing factor was that it was FREE! The exhibition had some of the textile industries top artist and designers under one roof. Now saying all this, the exhibition could have been a lot better. Each room felt more like a show room house than a gallery even though it was funded by ‘The campaign for wool’ (a really good cause and idea!!)

Now my favourite piece was the life size grizzly bear, completely crochet, apart from the claws, eyes, nose and mouth.

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Crochetdermy brown bear by Shauna Richardson

I want to turn a lot of logs into knitted trees and bushes. A very quirky and sustainable idea especially if re-using yarns. Hmm Also a grand idea for a knit bomb…

Not sure if these are made from metal or wood but rather cute, life sized sheep and lamb.

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A lovely idea to brighten up a child’s room, in fact I think I need one, TO THE KNITTING MACHINE!

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Jumper chair? At least you wouldn’t lose the remotes now that your living room furniture comes with pockets.

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These pictures where hand weaved and I managed to watch the process of one of them being made. So clever, now seriously hate my work- look how good they are!

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One day I am going to buy a spinner and spin my own yarns, it is the way forward.

I think more exhibitions should have this openness of artists/ designers and the public. As a fellow student and designer/artist – I feel that this really helps you understand how things are made. Especially when watching the pictures being made, such detail of colour choices and the type of yarns used was actually rather inspirational. Even my fine art friend got a little bit excited about yarn ( I mean come on who wouldn’t :D)

The next exhibition I went too was the light show at the Hayward Gallery, London. This exhibition was running from 30th January – 28th April and I had seen that it had being getting some good reviews.

Now I love art as any one, art and fashion are basically the same thing- fashion is a branch from art and art the same from fashion etc., but some of the stuff in there was rubbish.

A light bulb hanging in a room…a light bulb…yeah.

There were some I enjoyed:

Leo Villareal cylinder 2 (2012) –  19,600 led lights, programed to created intricate patterns – very pretty to view.

Anthony Mccall you and I, horizontal (2005) – We got rather distracted by the light and mist in the room, and didn’t see what was being projected on the wall. But It did have an odd impact as you walked through the light beams, your shadow being thrown around you.

Jim Campbell exploded views – when walking pass these lights your shadow came up on the tiny light bulbs, really want these.

Conrad Shawcross – A simple hatched box with a moving light inside, the shadows reflected on the walls created the motion of moving up and down, just as if you were in an elevator.

Ivan Nanarro – a telephone box like shaped box. Once inside, you notice that you cannot see outside and that when looking up or down you could not find the end of the mirrors. Very clever, you felt as if you were in fact levitating.

Olafur Eliasson – water was spurting from a table, with strobe lights above creating the effect of the water moving in slow motion. I love strobe lights. My friend and I had to control our inner child from running over and splashing the water about, and from doing the robot in the strobe light.

A down side to this art is that…IT IS EVERYWHERE. Top shop has it all over its stores, boohoo.com has it all over its fashion adds…when I walked down oxford circus nearly every clothes store had over-sized lights dangling within its window display. Urgh can we not have something original for once world? Or is that now just too obvious?

About the writer: Kera-anne is currently in her final year at London College of Fashion studying Surface Textiles specialising in Knitwear who loves nothing more than baking, writing and playing the occasional Nintendo game. She wants to give something new to future artists who are yet to taste the confusing fruit that is the fashion industry! When working on a project she tends to go for the darker viewpoints as the work always leans toward the obscurer side of art.

Roadkill or Beauty?

27 Dec

I stumbled upon this article while reading the metro [Thursday 29th November 2012].  Fashion designer/ taxidermist, Jess Eaton has created Road kill Couture. This is something I haven’t seen before and I think everyone should take a gander at it; it was shown at Brighton graduate fashion show this year.

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All parts used are road kill – which when looking at a re-use/ recycling way is a good way of not wasting these animals’ skin as fur is still a problem. My favourite is the bird skull necklace/ shoulder piece, I really want one. According to that article in the metro Jess has even used a human rib cage.

From that I had to look at the website [http://www.eatonnott.co.uk/] the website showcases Jess works of art; and other items which look cute to me.  You can buy these items from the site, or have items commissioned for you; they also sell a lot of vintage/antique medical instruments.

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These 3 pieces I personally want. [2 above, 1 below.] I know this is all slightly creepy, not to everyone’s taste but all pieces have been re-worked into something wearable for the living to reuse and treasure. They are also completely unique and different which is hard to come by within this postmodern paradox.  The first and second images are hair fascinators; the third image is of Human bones placed onto a silver necklace.vintage human bone necklace

Going back onto the subject of using road kill for fur, feathers etc. I am personally ok with this if found already dead. I find this whole idea of using and reusing bones, skins of animals is fine just like how it is fine to have someone’s kidney to use. It wasn’t until I had a glance the other day on yahoo’s news section I noticed that faux fur is not just sometimes made from cats but also other animals and is actually just fur. This is appalling! The whole point of faux fur is that it is not real but synthetic.

[ http://voices.yahoo.com/the-truth-fur-industry-1878688.html ] Here I read that other poor animals are also used in such a way for real fur.

Another article I have read was this one http://www.urbanette.com/the-truth-about-faux-fur/

What’s scary is the source of the real fur. As if the mislabeling of real fur as fake weren’t bad enough, HSUS claims that the majority of real fur is actually raccoon dog, a canine (yes, dog!) species indigenous to Asia, where many American garments are produced. Although the raccoon dog bears a striking resemblance to the raccoon, make no mistake about it: it is in the canine—as in dog—family.’

I now feel rather ill about that piece of faux fur I had on my coat I bought from primark, I have never liked any sort of fur personally, and always take it off. But to now find out it isn’t fake at all but real is rather heart wrenching as I am a HUGE animal lover. I get upset if my dog has a cut or something, could never imagine wearing him.

I feel us and future generations need to stop this fur trade – how should I start? This brings into questions the fibre I use. Are the lambs wool I use been from a well looked after sheep? Are the alpacas, rabbits etc all roaming free? As a future design and hopefully teacher! I need to start thinking where my own items I use for my art comes from. How am I even affecting the environmental around me? How can we make a change? I think that should be where I shall start.

About the writer: Kera-anne is currently in her final year at London College of Fashion studying Surface Textiles specialising in Knitwear who loves nothing more than baking, writing and playing the occasional Nintendo game. She wants to give something new to future artists who are yet to taste the confusing fruit that is the fashion industry! When working on a project she tends to go for the darker viewpoints as the work always leans toward the obscurer side of art.

a post about inspiration

14 Dec

Inspiration is a beautiful and horrid feeling, it can give us the push to create master pieces OR in my case more often than actually wanted…leave you towards a brick wall of “knitters block”. When asked whom or what inspires me? I have to say on a personal level without a doubt it is Helena Bonham Carter [she is even married to my favourite director Tim Burton] what’s not to love about her? She is never afraid to wear something that society would deem to be completely bonkers.

image from here

image from here

Her style is always different and yet completely suits her, my favourite image if of her and her daughter Nell shopping around Notting Hill.

image from here

image from here

Tim Burton has as well actually inspired films, books, probably even the music I listen too as well; ever since my parents bought me his Nightmare before Christmas video; I have always loved the dark side of ‘art’. My love for Batman comes from this too as Tim Burton Directed Batman 1989 and Batman returns 1992 – such classics and let’s not forget Beetlejuice[ remember to say it three times or was it to not say it…]

Before getting too side tracked into the awesomeness of Burton!!!! Inspiration for my work comes from anything really [anything dark and quirky]. I always tend to obsess over a certain idea until I get bored of it. When thinking about who inspires me from the art side it has to be without a doubt H.R Giger. He has created amazing pieces such as Alien and now Prometheus.

“When he was quite young his father received a human skull as a professional promotion from a Pharmaceutical firm, and the young Hansruedi was taken spellbound. He fast developed a fascination with all things dark and strange, and later found inspiration from postcards and magazines photos featuring the works of Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau.”

image from here

image from here

Giger has become a leading airbrush artist; his work does have a very direct alienistic aesthetic; which over time has become his trade mark. I find that his creations are timeless. They have a very now and then appeal, which makes the viewer consider if it is a classic art piece of the postmodern or a new concept.

image from here

image from here

I just love the way he always hones on the female body, and the female sexuality juxtaposed against the machine; you can also make a clear connection to very early ideas such as the silent movie metropolis [which also has an anime version now]. If you have never seen this film WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? Both 1920’s and the anime version story line is about a female cyborg created in the image of [depending which one you watch] a young girl which is a computerised weapon or a young women being used in a political power struggle. These early concept of the human condition are also shown through the theories and concepts of Mamoru Oshii that are portrayed in his films Ghost in the shell and anime of the same name[ the main protagonist is a female cyborg called the major]; again these ideas and theories are trickled down into The Matrix. Obviously The Matrix is focused on the male, the part I find mirrors and well actually screams GIGER is the part where Neo wakes up within the human farm. I am in fact a little bit obsessed with these ideals and theories on reality and the merging of human and machine; which in turn leads me to my obsession with anything different, sci-fi, morose, disturbed, dark, gothic, dead…anything like that you name it I will most likely love it.

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[my own work]

Here for example is what I am currently doing for my 3rd / final year collection called ‘Biomechaniod paradox’. These two pages show how I have taken inspiration from the idea of conjoined twins and the process of cyborgs from Ghost in the shell 2: innocence opening sequence – and yes a uterus to the dismay of my brother who finds this all disgusting…*sigh* everyone’s a critic. My own work is rather chaotic and always messy and miss judged by an annoying teen. I cannot stand working clean or tidy (my teachers hate this), I think an artist can never work in a sterile room. My room is pretty messy as well to be honest as we need to let our arty juices flow and be free.

About the writer: Kera-anne is currently in her final year at London College of Fashion studying Surface Textiles specialising in Knitwear who loves nothing more than baking, writing and playing the occasional Nintendo game. She wants to give something new to future artists who are yet to taste the confusing fruit that is the fashion industry! When working on a project she tends to go for the darker viewpoints as the work always leans toward the obscurer side of art.