Pippa Choy ‘Pineapple’ 2015

Grand Magasin Deux: Your Early Christmas Present

08.12.2015 | Blog | BY:

Christmas shopping. Two words that strike fear into the hearts of even the most hardened of consumers. But turn that frown, upside down, as Nat Breitenstein’s Grand Magasin Deux (a continuation of 2013’s successful Grand Magasin) is back at Bethnal Green’s French Riviera for a festive take on the “experimental examination” of a shopping experience.

For just five days (from 16-20 December) customers can peruse a plethora of unexpected delights from various artists at this unique pop-up shop, in which every single thing on display is for sale as part of a “playful exploration of labour, value, art and commerce”.

From ceramic pots and painted plaster pineapples and pomegranates, to turned timber and pom-pom vases, cast glass receptacles, furniture, drawings, prints, houseplants, Victorian Stereoscopes and lingerie – there is no shortage of things promising to capture both the eye and the imagination.

With no defined limits, the creatives involved have imagined a series of collectibles with the loose theme of a “shopping show” – the only condition? That the pieces created are affordable.

Artists taking part this time around include: Daisy Addison, Fay Ballard, Nat Breitestein, Owen Bullett, Harry Burden, Stuart Carey, Pippa Choy, Dan Coopey, Will Cruickshank, Denise de Cordova, Marie D’Elbee, Thomas Dozol, Tom Ellis, Kris Emmerson, Jessie Flood-Paddock, Seana Gavin, Ludovica Gioscia, Lynn Hatzius, Holly Hayward, Joey Holder, Siân Hislop, Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowski, Bryan Mills, Nicholas Pankhurst, Berry Patten, Sonya Patel Ellis, Lyle Perkins, Marianne Spurr, Nicola Tassie, Jennifer Taylor, Cicely Travers, Bea Turner, Jeremy Willett and Lucy Woodhouse.

Grand Magasin Deux takes place from 16-20 December, 2015. Open daily, 12–7pm and by appointment.

You can find French Riviera at 309 Bethnal Green Road, London, E2 6AH.

frenchriviera1988.com

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Pamflet X Twin: New Season Reading

24.09.2014 | Literature | BY:

The new season starts with two nostalgic style-story anthologies from Sheila Heti, Emily Shivack and friends in Pamflet’s September reading roundup.

Women in Clothes by Sheila Heti, Heidi Julavits and Leanne Shapton (Particular Books, £24) includes contributions from 639 women and feels like a companion American volume to one of our favourite books of all time, Luella’s Guide to English Style. Like Luella’s book, it’s a beautiful object, which is apt given the subject matter. Naturally I skipped straight to the famous names’ contributions first – friend-of-Pamflet Tavi Gevinson and voice of her/a generation Lena Dunham.

Tavi gives her thoughts on colours and their meanings and confirms what I always said of navy blue “it’s the best color for a peacoat”, while Lena Dunham solemnly pronounces “I just won’t go there with a gaucho pant…it feels like a rejection of everything great about having lady legs.” Amen sister. Zosia Mamet recreates authentic fashion mag poses from every decade in a black unitard which is brilliant. And Kim Gordon talks about her stage style and modelling for Saint Laurent Paris – this book is basically like eavesdropping on the cool girls’ table at the world’s most awesome party.

Despite the plush paper and sharp finish, Women in Clothes has an endearingly zine-y feel. There are whimsical illustrations, photocopied hands wearing rings, beautiful photographs of deconstructed garments, changing room selfies, anecdotes, essays, poems and transcriptions from Skype chats.

There’s a sweet repeated feature throughout the book called ‘compliments’ which is just that – transcriptions of overheard conversations between women where one is paying the other a compliment!

It’s immediately inclusive, like being a part of a loud, drunken conversation among close friends where everyone’s shouting over each other but you all understand exactly what you’re talking about because it’s shared and true and good.

I LOVE how all the amazing intelligent stylish women in this book, plus the likes of Mindy Kaling are claiming fashion as their own and proudly defending it and celebrating it – refusing to be intimidated either by the dictatorial glossy mags who want to shame you into feeling you can’t participate in brittle beautiful Planet Fashion, or the puritan killjoys who seem to think we should just slouch around in sackcloth because anything more pleasurable or pretty is superficial and stupid.

If anyone ever bleats on at you about how fashion and clothes don’t matter (not that this tends to happen in real life, just in the Guardian comments section) just wordlessly hand them this book and walk away.

Worn Stories is the result of a four-year project by New Yorker Emily Spivack (Princeton Architectural Press, £15.99), a teacher and a blogger who’s been collecting first person accounts of clothes from their owners. From the starting point of a visit to a garment factory in her introduction, she contrasts the mass-production mechanisms behind contemporary clothing manufacture with our personal experiences of choosing outfits and the context we ourselves give our wearables.

We all have a favourite item with a ton of memories woven into its history like a pattern. Here some famous and not-so-famous personalities share their own stories alongside photographs of their items hanging lonely and unworn. These are objects invested with much special significance and whether they’ve been worn once or worn-out, patched together these mini sartorial memoirs make a fitting tribute to the contributors’ wardrobe favourites. Hearing about LCD Soundsystem’s Pat Mahoney’s stage costume, Simon Doonan’s cycling shorts, Piper Kerman’s court suit, Greta Gerwig’s crush’s old shirt will have you searching through your cupboards for your own worn stories.

Print: Fashion, Interiors, Art by Simon Clarke (Laurence King, £30) is our glossy book of the month. Lushly coated in a wraparound jacket of hazy florals, this is an up-to-date guide to current print trends and a cutting edge sourcebook for eye-catching and innovative design and digital patterns.

Anna-Marie Fitzgerald and Phoebe Frangoul are the co-editors and co-founders of the London grrrl-zine and literary salon Pamflet. Follow them on Twitter and Instagram @Pamflet. 

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