A NOTE FROM THE ASSITANT EDITOR
Welcome to the second edition of Snippets Magazine! This month features some new - and incredibly talented - contributors, as well as some familiar faces. The support for the platform has been overwhelming, so thank you to everyone who has been a part of it so far. Enjoy this month’s edition!
THE DANCE MUSIC INDUSTRY AND ITS CRISIS OF CONTEXT
BY BERTIE PAGE
August 31, 2020
12 HOURS: this was the total running time for livestreams hosted by UK house record label, ‘Defected’, for its virtual festival. Taking place over five months ago in mid-March, the Defected Virtual Festival saw some of the worlds most famous DJs play live sets from the otherwise closed nightclub Ministry of Sound in south-east London.
A concept borne out of necessity, the label’s first ever ‘virtual’ festival aimed to fill the gap left by the cancellation of its ‘Defected Croatia’ event due to the coronavirus outbreak. Indeed, the current time of writing holds significance as the six-day period the festival was originally scheduled to go ahead — 6th-11th August. Ticket holders, who were no doubt originally ecstatic to attend one of Europe’s largest and most prestigious dance music festivals, were left with no other choice but to settle for streaming the same acts at home through YouTube.
The date of the festival itself, Friday 20th March, was also notable in the world of British politics as the weekend health secretary Matt Hancock announced to the House of Commons that all unnecessary social contact should cease, providing the impetus for the official announcement of lockdown in the UK by Boris Johnson just a week later.
So, at the time, in the absence of live events, or even the ability to leave the house for activities beyond exercise and shopping, many music fans, including myself, were left with little else to do but isolate at home and watch Defected’s Virtual Festival. The stream finished with almost half a million views on YouTube alone, as hundreds of thousands of fans tuned in to listen to sets from the likes of Denis Ferrer, Dan Shake, Sam Divine and many more.
Defected owner, Sam Dunmore, released a statement: ‘music and clubbing are an escape for many and, with social gatherings being rightfully restricted, we wanted to connect people online in the hope that they appreciate they are not alone’. Indeed, the role and value of technology throughout the crisis cannot be understated. For the industry, it has given artists a platform to continue sharing their work and has allowed music to bring people together digitally — as a next-best alternative to the large-scale social gatherings we are used to at bars, clubs and festivals during normal times.
Perhaps similarities could be drawn between changes in the dance music industry and those that have taken place in the world of football throughout the pandemic. Broadcasters such as Sky, BT and BBC have aimed to recreate the excitement and magic of the Premier League and other cup competitions in the nation’s living rooms with the use of technology. Most notably, artificial crowd noise was brought in to replicate the atmosphere of a full capacity stadium. EA Sports’s archive of 1,300 chants was utilised to reproduce for viewers at home the excitement and drama of a fully-attended match — cheers for last-minute winners, boos for decisions made against the home side and applause for substitutions. In much the same manner, Defected aimed to create the illusion of a packed dance floor with the use of computer-generated characters, simulating what Ministry of Sound would usually look like at full capacity. Apart from being obviously not real, and probably quite hard to crowd-read for the DJs, the intended effect of Defected’s ‘Glitterbox’ crew of dancers was to, once again, make viewers at home feel as if they were actually watching a standard night at Ministry of Sound — despite the obvious adverse circumstances.
It is clear that livestreams should be appreciated and viewed as a positive in an otherwise sea of negative reports emerging from the dance music industry in the current climate. Despite reluctance from many DJs to jump on the livestream ‘bandwagon’, it has to be said they are the best we can hope for given government policy on large-scale social gatherings for the foreseeable future.
It is clear that livestreams should be appreciated and viewed as a positive in an otherwise sea of negative reports emerging from the dance music industry in the current climate – closing venues and struggling labels are not hard to find. Despite reluctance from many DJs to jump on the livestream ‘bandwagon’, it has to be said they are the best we can hope for given government policy on large-scale social gatherings for the foreseeable future.
However, sat at my desk in lockdown enjoying Defected’s Virtual Festival, I couldn’t help but consider the limits of such a digital format. Despite efforts to make streams as close to the real thing as possible, they fall far short in entertainment-value in comparison to their physical counterparts. Why should a change in the context in which an art-form is consumed affect its enjoyability so much? Surely, if we can replicate an experience to as finer degree as possible to real-life in a virtual context, it should at least be almost as enjoyable? These may seem like glaringly obvious questions to answer; sitting inside at a desk on a Friday evening will obviously fall far short of a night out as an experience. Considering the answer in more detail, however, gives us an interesting insight into the nature of club music and how it has come to be how it is.
Let's take house music as a genre and consider its origins. The earliest house tracks can be traced back to 1980s Chicago, where producers such as Ron Trent, Larry Heard and Marshall Jefferson were taking influence from Euro-synth pop to create looping, percussive electronic tracks perfectly suited to the dance-floor. Take Jesse Saunders’ 1984 tune ‘On and On’, oft cited as a contender for the first house track ever made (see video at top of article). With a thumping bass-line and strong kick pattern set to a 4/4 rhythm, it contains many of the defining aspects of house music we enjoy to this day. In almost forty years, the format of house has barely changed. This is because it was originally designed to be enjoyed in a particular context, the nightclub, where strong bass-lines and repetitive rhythmic patterns are favoured to keep a dance floor moving. The very context the genre is intended to be enjoyed in sculpts its defining characteristics. House music is not alone in being subject to this phenomenon. Every music genre, and indeed virtually all art to an extent, is moulded by the venue in which it is received.
House music is not alone in being subject to this phenomenon. Every music genre, and indeed virtually all art to an extent, is moulded by the venue in which it is received.
This is a phenomenon described in detail by David Byrne, of Talking Heads fame, in his book, How Music Works. He dubs it ‘creation in reverse’, whereby ‘context largely determines what is written, sculpted or performed’. Artists work backwards, making music that fits the venue available to such an extent that these spaces become entirely synonymous with the music performed there. Symphonies are enjoyed in symphony halls, jazz music is enjoyed in jazz clubs, and, you guessed it, club music is enjoyed in nightclubs.
This brings us back to our virtual livestreams. It is no wonder that a format specifically designed for a certain physical space becomes hard to enjoy in the wrong context. Cheap £10 apple ear buds are no replacement for the immersive Funktion One sound systems found in nightclubs and, certainly in my opinion, there is something lost as a result. Byrne goes as far as to say it is ‘stupid’ to listen to club music at home where its intended context cannot be honoured. Although I would disagree, this idea brings us closer to the crux of why the dance music industry has suffered to the extent it has throughout the pandemic. Music designed to bring people together cannot survive in an age of social distancing.
Moving forward, it is hard to be hopeful for nightlife in the UK. In recent updates, the government have stated that they have not yet deemed the coronavirus situation in the UK safe enough for nightclubs to reopen —personally, I can’t see this changing in the foreseeable future. With no venue for it to realise its purpose, it could be said that dance music, and the industry that so relies upon it, is facing a ‘crisis of context’.
Street photography, for me at least, provides a platform and medium through which the commonalities of the human experience can be recognised. In this series, I have chosen to include photographs captured between Italy and Morocco. These are two very different places, yet when you take a step back and look at all the people around you, it can be very easy to identify with how someone may be feeling in any given moment, because the human experience, while so diverse, is what links us all. While writing this it is hard to ignore the treatment of desperate refugees trying to find safety in this country. Both the government and major news outlet responses to, and the demonisation of these people, is sickening. Across all cultures, nations and peoples, the protection of one’s family is a shared experience, yet we are seeing, and have seen continually, that this is not enough to justify granting access and inclusion into this country, let alone granting safe passage. We have to do better. We must do better. Because the only difference between ‘Us’ and ‘Them’ is luck.
THE POLITICS OF AUTISM DIAGNOSIS
BY CAT HILL
August 28, 2020
A global estimate of the epidemiology of autism diagnosis places it at around 62 cases per 10,000 people. It’s a tricky figure, suggesting a prevalence which means at some point in your lifetime, you will meet, or know a diagnosed autist. However, its nature as an estimate – and a rough one at that – presents a disorder, that is either stuck on too easily, or hidden from statistical view. Autism is amorphous by its very nature; originally defined as a form of ‘childhood schizophrenia’ in 1943, and later developed into a theory of detached maternalism (as Bruno Bettelheim succinctly referred to as ‘the refrigerator mother’.) It wasn’t until the 1994 edition of the DSM-IV that it was even referred to as a spectrum – which is now what categorises it so distinctly from other developmental disorders. By the nature of human discovery and scientific progression, knowledge of diseases, disorders, and human behaviour has transformed and evolved throughout history. However, Autism is unique in what has become its calling card, considering the condition initially held a different name entirely. This sets the tone for the disorder which has only just begun to enter a stage of social understanding. The reasons behind its lack of data reflect issues that extend beyond scientific limitation, as the factors associated with not receiving a diagnosis are based on race, income, and high functionality.
A study taken in the US between 1998-2009 assessed the prevalence of diagnosed autism between different ethnicities. The conclusion was a jarring gap between White US Born autists, diagnosed at a rate of 62.5 per 10,000 births, and Black and Hispanic US born autists, at only 42.6 and 43.5 per 10,000 births. The study highlighted that it is possible that autistic children did ‘not go to a regional centre and were missed during the study period’, but that in itself draws more attention to the disproportions found in the data. It is a loud and concerning revelation; that some autists weren’t aware they were required to show up. When the study was adjusted for well known risk factors, similar or even higher AD risks were estimated. This suggested that despite the reality that less autists were being diagnosed in minority groups, there was an equal to higher chance that they exist and therefore, are not in receipt of necessary information, services, and care.
The structure of autism diagnoses is layered and varies, referrals can be made via paediatricians, clinicians, schools and even self-referrals by parents. Most diagnoses are dependent on healthcare costs being met, appointments being attended, vigilant assessment or a level of parental education. With the majority of low-income families being either racial or ethnic minorities in both the US and the UK, the process of diagnoses becomes more complex. With less access to healthcare and in some cases a limited access to education, autists of minority parents are less likely to be in an environment where their condition is understood, let alone identified. This lack of diagnosis, due to the barriers presented by race and income, is a microcosmic example of the larger injustice that permeates society. As with most things in modern society, it is economic privilege, education, and race that seemingly play a substantial role in the obtaining of a diagnosis, and the trajectory then taken.
There are many questions to be raised, and questions that are not yet able to be answered due to the limits of our understanding of autism as a disorder. With the erasure of ethnic communities throughout human history, is it possible that autism has been reduced in BAME groups, purely via a result of genetic Darwinism? The natality rate of minority groups is underscored with the inequity incurred upon them; and as a result, there may be a possibility that autism rates have been lessened with lower survival rates and larger socio-political obstacles to surpass. There’s also the aspect of autistic culture being white-centric; Albert Einstein, Temple Grandin, and white celebrities such as Tim Burton who have self-diagnosed as a result of connection to some of the traits. With little diversity in its representation and the figureheads often retrieving their ‘diagnosis’ from a personal hunch, autism can seem as more of an eccentric personality type, that is applicable to technophiles and genius mathematicians; its image consequently reflects the whiteness and privilege of its most diagnosed. As a result, the most publicly broadcasted symptoms are bound up in cliché, misdirection, and assumption. No matter how good parental intention is, if they do not have access or are not privy to the correct information, or even any information at all, their child is likely to face their day to day living with the expectation to function without issue, and subsequently so much potential is lost.
It’s almost impossible to untangle healthcare from politics; from the issues of payment, privatisation, and government policies, which all alter the course of diagnosis, help and care. It’s easy to feel empowered by the celebrity autists, who, despite their condition have gone on to have meaningful relationships, run successful businesses, and create globally recognisable art. But, for the lesser privileged, the struggle is deeper than working against the hindrances of their condition; because without knowing the barriers they unconsciously face, how are they meant to work against them?
Twist & Turn – Popcaan, Drake (Single)
Feature from Drake brings back some old memories with his delivery on the song. His vocals in the song screams the summer of 2016 when ‘Controlla’, ‘Work’ and ‘One Dance’ were a staple in summer garden parties, clubs and the Notting Hill Carnival. This one is for the parties of today. (Socially distanced of course)
Jessie Ware – What’s Your Pleasure? (Album)
Timeless Record. Disco/Funk and similar genres seem to be making a comeback this year. Dua Lipa and her latest album ‘Future Nostalgia’ took the genre and reimagined them for the Pop charts of the 21st Century. Jessie Ware takes more of a throwback approach and uses vintage production to give the album an authentic feel while keeping it fresh. The first track of the album ‘Spotlight’ sets the tone for a nostalgic experience.
-Save a Kiss
- Mirage (Don’t Stop)
Jayda G – Both Of Us/Are You Down (Singles)
She has a Master’s degree in Resource and Environmental Management specialising in environmental toxicology, but it seems she has also managed to master the infectious energy Chicago House used to give once upon a time.
Her latest effort co-produced with Fred Again.. (Headie One,Burna Boy, Ed Sheeran) sees two up-tempo grooves shine complemented by beautiful vocals embedded in the mix. ‘Both Of Us’ has a mesmerising melody driving the track supported by crispy hi-hats and heart shuddering kick.
Darius x Wayne Snow – Equilibrium (Single)
The message behind the song is relevant in today’s world. As the world battles with a pandemic and political disharmony is on a high, Darius and Wayne Snow have come to remind us that united the world stands and equilibrium between all races, religions will form hope for a better world. The retro leaning French house track is backed by vintage sounding vocals from Snow creating for an atmospheric listening experience.
5 OF THE MOST EXCITING SEPTEMBER RELEASES - AND WHERE YOU CAN WATCH THEM
BY HARRY MEMBREY
As COVID-19 dismantled the concept of a cinema experience this Summer, streaming services were left to pick up the pieces. During the peak of lockdown adults began to spend around 7 hours a day streaming or watching TV, meaning services like Netflix, witnessed subscriber counts jump massively to 26 million for 2020. To put that into perspective it’s only 2 million shy of their figure for the entirety of 2019 (BBC). The closing of cinemas meant that Summer Blockbusters like TENET, Mulan and Wonder Woman 1984 had to delay indefinitely, with Disney going as far as moving Mulan straight onto Disney+ for a rental fee of $30 (£23). Since March, we’ve rapidly seen an unprecedented change in the way that audiences are watching narrative content. Granted, this shift has arguably been happening since Netflix first decided to shatter Blockbuster in 1997. However, lockdowns and furloughs have sped the process up tenfold, with many cinemas potentially becoming a thing of the past.
With audiences still spending more time than ever unwinding in front of the TV, the demand for content has gone through the roof. That means the demand to unpick the quality content from the possibly not-so-quality has also gone through the roof; so, I’m here to help and do that for you. During the past few months the amount of brand-new content hasn’t really been there as it was before; this is simply due to production companies postponing or pushing projects back. But as we move into September, a flurry of new and exciting releases both on streaming sites and in cinemas are going to be thrust upon us. So below I’ve outlined for you what I consider to be five of the most exciting film and television releases in September, why you might want to spend your valuable time watching them and where you can watch them as soon as they‘re available.
Eric Kripke and Garth Ennis’ series surrounding superhuman celebrities is looking to be a highly influential development within the superhero genre. If 2019’s Joker proved that audiences have an appetite for grittier films that blur the line between superhero and civilian, then season one of The Boys went above and beyond in delivering that trend in a serial format. To my mind, The Boys has single-handedly put Prime Video indefinitely on the map. Don’t get me wrong, the service has definitely had its fair share of admirable content, from The Grand Tour to a whole selection of excellent movies. It’s just never had anywhere near the kind of credibility that Netflix has had in terms of quality original content that manages to bring audiences back time and time again.
Yet, that’s where The Boys proves me wrong. Starring Karl Urban (Dredd) and Jack Quaid (The Hunger Games), series two will likely continue the story set up in the first as Butcher’s (Urban) team of vigilantes go around bringing self-serving celebrity superheroes down a notch. Having already been recommissioned for a third season and Jeffrey Dean Morgan (The Walking Dead) rumoured to be attached to the show, there’s never been a better time to tune in for the obscene, violent and often comedic The Boys.
After a 5-year hiatus, Charlie Kaufman is back! The eccentric existential surrealism that films such as Being John Malkovich and Anomalisa are praised for will hopefully rub off in this adaptation of Iain Reed’s psychological thriller, chronicling the aftermath of a doubtful young woman who travels with her boyfriend to meet his parents on a remote farm.
Kaufman’s film stars Jessie Buckley (Judy) as our protagonist Cindy. She’s “thinking of ending things” with Jake, played by the ever-present Jesse Plemons (El Camino: A Breaking Bad Story); now an exciting name in Hollywood thanks to roles from 2012’s The Master to the upcoming Judas and the Black Messiah. Alongside them is Toni Collette (Hereditary) as his off-centered mother. If anyone’s seen Unbelievable or Hereditary you’ll understand what I mean when I say that Collette has the rare ability to elevate anything she’s involved in, a quality that most actors would only ever dream of having. With David Thewlis (Harry Potter) portraying her equally abnormal husband, these two look to be the standouts here, as they send Cindy towards a spiralling descent into lunacy. With Buckley’s character lamenting on how “maybe this is how it was always going to end?” paired with some particularly striking visuals, it looks to be an interesting commentary on the squander of time, anxiety and reality. A good shout for film of the year? We’ll have to see.
It’s crucial for audiences to start going back to the cinema as soon as they can. In July, Unhinged starring Russell Crowe (Gladiator) grossed around £175,000 in its opening weekend (bfi). Considering the production’s $33 million budget (£25 million) it signposts a highly disruptive and unpredictable period for cinemas all over the world, pushing many smaller independent cinemas out indefinitely. The cinema experience needs audiences now more than ever before and if there’s a film that’s worth venturing outdoors for (and if for some reason you weren’t convinced by August’s TENET) it may well be The King’s Man.
Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass) has the difficult job of bringing back favour to the spy-satirising Kingsman series following a somewhat polarising second instalment. The first film put Taron Edgerton (Rocketman) on the map, with help from a supporting cast of Colin Firth (The King’s Speech), Samuel L. Jackson (Pulp Fiction), Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) and more. It was exceptional, you could even say iconic. Vaughn’s trilogy makes the point of ensuring the audience always knows they’re watching a film, thanks chiefly to his manipulation of framing and fight choreography paired with the kind of musical juxtaposition that only a Tarantino movie might achieve. It results in an unrelentingly violent but thrilling comedic experience. Vaughn knows how to create iconic visuals and characters, but he fell short in the second installment (Kingsman: The Golden Circle) thanks to questionable plot content and a flat cast including Channing Tatum (Logan Lucky) and Pedro Pascal (The Mandalorian).
But chances are you’ve seen those films and The King’s Man looks to be a highly refreshing change to The Golden Circle’sformula. A prequel to the first instalment, The King’s Man takes place during the early 1900s as Rasputin plots a war to wipe out millions, and it’s up to the Duke of Oxford (protégé in hand) to stop him. Taking up the seemingly titular role, Ralph Fiennes (Schindler’s List) simply looks epic. If you’ve seen Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel or 1998’s The Avengers you’ll likely agree that Fiennes will be extremely comfortable playing a suave, sophisticated but probably flawed duke whose faith derives mostly in manners. Joining him as protégé is young English actor Harris Dickinson (Maleficent: Mistress of Evil), the exciting Djimon Hounsou (Blood Diamond) as Shola and Gemma Arteton’s (Clash of the Titans) Polly, with an apparent return to the rebellious form of St-Trinians. Aside from Rhys Ifans’ (Notting Hill) somewhat questionable Russian accent as Rasputin, the film appears to be a lot of wartime-espionage fun as Vaughn’s signature Kingsman style apparently blossoms. Exactly the kind of escapism the British population need after a rather turbulent Summertime don’t you think?
Directed by Antonio Campos (The Sinner), The Devil All The Time takes on a cynical and complex multi-strand narrative set in Post-WWII America, exploring themes of PTSD, violence and faith. The main drawing point of The Devil All The Time appears to be the roster of young talent that’s involved. All one has to do is look to films like The Safdie Brothers’ Good Time (on Netflix) or Robert Eggers’ The Lighthouse to see that Robert Pattinson has come a long way since 2008’s Twilight (also on Netflix). He’s one of the best actors working right now and if I had to predict who might bag a socially distanced Oscar in the next ten years, it’s probably him. Pattinson picks his roles with a fine toothpick, so immediately there must be something worthwhile here and in The Devil All The Time he portrays corrupt preacher Preston Teagardin.
But there’s more to this film than gushing over Robert Pattinson. Tom Holland (Spiderman: Far From Home) appears in a film far removed from the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Arvin Russell, the violent son of a tormented WWII veteran doing whatever he must to save his wife, Arvin’s mother, from terminal cancer. The father is performed by none other than the ever-unnerving Bill Skarsgård (IT) and given the mere 5-year age gap between these two it looks like Skarsgård may be involved in a few unsettling flashback sequences. Joining them are husband-and-wife serial killers Sandy and Carl played by Riley Keough (Mad Max: Fury Road) and Jason Clarke (Pet Sematary), driving all over Southern Ohio looking to photograph and murder unsuspecting victims. Adding to that roster is Mia Wasikowska (Alice in Wonderland), Sebastian Stan (Avengers: Endgame) and, interestingly, Harry Melling (The Old Guard) as spider-nurturing Roy Laferty. Here’s hoping that Melling can produce something a little more profound than his nauseatingly corny villain of The Old Guard. Either way it probably won’t matter as the rest of this cast along with the disconcerted feeling I already have surrounding the plot are enough to be excited for the tormenting sacrificial carnage that may unfold.
For my final pick I’ve chosen Ratched, an opportunity that sees Sarah Paulson (Glass) and American Horror Story creator Ryan Murphy team up again to develop the origin story of arguably the most menacing healthcare worker in cinema history: One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest’s Nurse Ratched.
The grim anthological tone of American Horror Story that Ryan Murphy has not unwaveringly but remarkably consistently mustered after nine seasons would truly be a blessing when mixed with the unsettlingly pleasant characterisation of Nurse Ratched. Starring Paulson as the titular character, Ratched will chronicle the career of Nurse Ratched as she slowly descends into bitterness and villainy within a mental institution. Facing off with a different adversary every season, Murphy revealed there could be a four season long character arc for the infamous nurse, possibly culminating with the same narrative of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest.
Unnecessary or not it’s certainly an exciting venture, with the drowning red and green visuals of season one looking to melodramatically burst to life onscreen along with Sarah Paulson’s immaculate acting. Let’s hope that season one can successfully peak our interest across eight episodes though before we get too excited for the prospect of thirty-two. But it is a safe bet to expect good things from Ratched.
So, there you have it, five September releases both streaming and in cinemas that I believe are worth your attention. But in case you missed some of what August had to offer, I leave you with 5 honourable mentions that you can watch right now.
Hitmen - Sky One/NOW TV - August 6th
Featuring BAFTA-winner Sian Clifford (Fleabag), Mel and Sue ditch Bake Off for a face-off.
An American Pickle - Cinemas - August 7th
Seth Rogen (The Lion King) stars as a man who literally gets pickled in a pickle factory.
Project Power - Netflix - August 14th
Jamie Foxx (Django Unchained) and Joseph Gordon Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises) gain superpowers from a super pill.
Lovecraft Country - Sky Atlantic/NOW TV - August 17th
The highly influential Jordan Peele’s (Get Out) latest horror series set during 1950s Jim Crow America.
TENET - Cinemas - August 26th
Christopher Nolan’s (Dunkirk) highly anticipated blockbuster epic starring John David Washington (BlackKklansman) is, at the time of writing, finally released.
lip gloss shimmer
your lips on mine
a love gentle
a love slow
the sun reflected in your eyes and i suddenly understood icarus.
constellations in your eyes
i need not an astronaut suit;
i’ll take a breath of our Love
and it will fill me like air in my lungs,
and i’ll spacewalk your irises,
like two new planets,
daring to be survivable;
i’ll study every constellation
like a hopeful astronomer
gifted with a telescope,
for every second that i’m with you
is a new discovery for Love
space’s infinity is no match for our love.
Oh, the joys of enjoying pure play and seeing the world through your own unique lens! My work is often informed by nostalgia, dreams and idealistic childhood magic. Rose tinted and sentimental, I find the complexities of everyday life inspiring. As much as experience informs my work, as does the medium in which I toy with; ink, finger painting, clay, crayon, new media and bright colour palettes. I hope to remind the viewer that there is, and always will be, space for a dance with the abundance in your heart!
Based in Dublin, Ireland and currently studying in the National College of Art and Design. If you are interested in working together please get in contact via email, email@example.com or alternatively, check out further updates on Instagram, @glowing.hand.
YOUR ULTIMATE SUMMER TREND GUIDE 2020
BY ALYSHA CHUI
Casual basics have always been a thing, easy to style and go with everything, you can dress down or up. Simple plain tops, baggy or fitted can be paired with any- thing, baggy jeans is my go to as it is comfortable yet trendy.
@sarahhashcroft wears prettylittlething
Topshop jeans and sunglasses, Zara white top, Dr Martens, and Shein bag.
THE STATEMENT SLEEVE
The puffy sleeve has been around since Spring 2018, how- ever has continually returned every season. As one of the big- gest trends on the fashion scene, the statement sleeves sure do add some drama to your lock- down look. Styling dramatic sleeves can come in a spectrum of colours, from pastel pink to stone black, anything can work!
@styleidealist wears staudclothing
Topshop dress, Zara biker boots, and Shein bag
Oversized jumpers are becoming a must this year, stylish and comfort are the perfect combination to wear. They are certainly a trend that will transition into our wardrobes and remain there for the forseeable future. You can wear them all year round as they are a garment you can easily layer and wear differently.
@lefevrediary wears prettylittlething
Adidas black jumper, Maje shirt, Nike tennis skort and socks, Dr Martens and Shein Bag
MINIMALIST STRAPPY SANDALS
Minimalism has always been a chic style, and strappy heels are a great pairing to go with your that chic outfit. Sticking to neutral colours with the odd pop of colour this sandal trend can be worn with pretty much anything. You could go the dress up route and pair them with a statment dress or go comfy casual and pair with jeans. Both work and are still on-trend!
@slipintostyle wears @Gianvitorossi
Topshop heeled sandals, jeans and top, Gucci Belt, and Zara jacket
Jewellery always comes to the rescue when needing to add that extra something to your outfit. Gold and bold is always a way to go, this metal is gaining traction this year and many influencers are showing off their best bling. ALSO, don’t be afraid to mix your mentals, silver and gold always go stylish together!
Left arm: Tag Heuer watch, Cartier Gold bangle and ring, and gold vintage bracelets Right arm: Cartier bracelet, Links of London black brace- let, ChloBo gold bracelet and Thomas Sabo ring
Neck: The M Jewelers old eng- lish pendant and vintage gold necklace
Sustainable clothing over the past couple years has become increasingly popular. With concerns over the future of our planet becoming ever prevalent, we are ditching fast fashion and looking for alternative options. The fashion industry sits at the second biggest polluter, and with twenty-eight percent of consumers ready to ditch brands that aren’t committed to saving the planet, brands such as ‘The Grandad Company’ are the futures for our wardrobes.
Jessica Grech, founder and owner of @thegrandadcompany believes in “[Wearing] your grandads’ clothes!” The brand lays out their set values, ‘the 5 C’s’: Care, Conscious, Convert, Create, Current.
When did you create the Grandad Company and what was your inspiration behind it?
"Well, I have been making clothes since the age of twelve and even at that point I felt as though I wanted to break down boundaries and make a change with my work. After pursuing fashion college and graduating with a degree to match, I naturally begun working in the field I’d dreamt about for most of my life. However, the more I worked in larger and larger design companies the more I began to feel somewhat dethatched and powerless to make the real changes I wanted to. I removed myself from going down the route of traditional design and I began to pursue other avenues within fashion which would give me the freedom to truly express myself. I actively looked for competitions/opportunities to showcase my work ethically and came across R sustainable (a sustainable enterprise). R sustainable was advertising for designers for a fashion show in Edinburgh. My submitted portfolio and current manufactured garments were well received, and I was selected to take part! This incentivised me to develop this new collection which revolved around a topic that is very close to me, my Nannu (or Grandad).
"I had all these garments which all fitted together so well that I decided to turn this collection into a brand. One that is routed in my love and admiration for my Grandad’s core values and fascination with his clothes. My Grandad has always been the centre of everything I do and create. He’s everything I want to be as a person and an artist. He is a respected carpenter who invests in precise practices made to last and values all materials. His neighbour Lorraine had her bathroom transformed and still tells everyone “if you licked the floor you would not get a splinter…” and that was done Forty years ago! His quality of his work always inspired me to produce products that are made, re-enforced and finished in a way that it will last. When I ask myself, who I am and what The Grandad Company stands for, I try my upmost to base my reuse clothing brand on being a reflection of the person who is the biggest aspiration, my stylish Grandad."
Why sustainable clothing?
"When I was twelve, I enrolled myself onto an internship with Traid which lasted for three years. Traid is a charity that upcycles clothing and sell clothing which would otherwise end up in a landfill, they fund international development projects to improve conditions and working practices in the textile industry and educate people in how to be more sustainable. Through my experience with Traid, I was educated on sustainable fashion and only used sustainable practices within my work. I feel that if everyone was educated on fast fashion realising its effects on our planet, they would also be passionate about the topic."
What are your opinions on fast fashion? Do you think sustainable clothing is the way forward?
"I think every part of fast fashion is awful. From beginning to end it’s a polluter (second biggest polluter in fact!). The fabric is either synthesised plastics or grown with pesticides damaging the soil. A huge amount of water is consumed for the fabric growing process which in turn dries up seas like when the Aral Sea which got rid of wildlife, jobs (fisherman) and water supplies. The environment is affected through chemicals in the dying process which can leak into the main water stream of the town. And the employees of many fast fashion companies are exploited, un-safe and overworked.
"Fast fashion exploits everyone that is a part of the process through “corner-cutting” cheap bulk purchases to marking up product’s multiple times more than its cost price. It’s a complicated matter but do believe it’s wrong for any company to exploit less develop counties for cheap labour. Saying this more and more we are getting sustainable brands and small companies that are practicing ethical practice and respect partnership better. Although small businesses just cannot help but struggle to compete with the speed and quantities that bigger companies offer, which is why I want to create quality products made to last.
"I understand that fast fashion is convenient and cheap, so I understand why people shop that way. I myself shop sustainably as much as I can! If I do shop on the high street it is at stores that treat their workers well. Working within fashion and seeing the back end of it makes me for passionate about sustainability. I think the main problem is over consumption of everything. We buy constantly what we desire rather than what we need. My Grandad is the complete opposite of this, he still buys second hand fixing up that which is “broken” and even that he only does when he needs it as he takes such care of all his possessions, especially clothes. Most of which have lasted his lifetime due to its quality when purchased and his maintenance. I hope that my customers will do the same with everything I produce as I breath life, give love and care for all my items."
What are your favourite pieces to create?
"I don’t have a favourite piece to create as I just enjoy making clothes in general. Everything I make I put in a lot of time, passion and energy into. Seeing the end product is the most rewarding feeling."
If you could give one piece of advice to someone looking to rework old clothes, or go thrifting what would it be?
"My advice for re-working clothing is to pick fabric and items that have different textures and to be brave with colour. The beauty of re-working clothing is experimentation. My favourite part is my scraps, finding out how to use them. You would be surprised what goes together.
As for thrifting, the trick is to do it regularly and don’t give up, there is amazing stuff out there! The more you do it, the more likely you are to find somewhere vintage that is you got too. Personally, Depop is my favourite and the £10 bag pop ups- even beats the high street on value."
Rising Brighton Rock Outift Amongst Liars Unleash new video single 'Burn the Vision'
Amongst Liars’ latest single ‘Burn The Vision’ is available to stream and download now. For more information on the band, visit their website or follow them on social media.
AMONGST LIARS IS
Ian George - vocals, guitar
Leo Burdett - guitar, backing vocals
Ross Towner - bass, backing vocals
Adam Oarton - drums
AMONGST LIARS SOCIAL MEDIA
PHILOSOPHY TOP 10S
BY HENRY PARNELL
August 28, 2020
The popular perception of Philosophy is that of an abstract, confusing, and altogether pretty redundant academic field with no real-world applications. The fact that many of the famous names – Plato, Aristole, Socrates, Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, Cicero – lived and died thousands of years ago doesn’t really help the case for Philosophy being a completely relevant subject matter.
I could attempt to produce an exhaustive list of all the good that Philosophy does, and moreover, a list of all the contemporary philosophers currently churning out great ideas – but even I would be bored.
Instead, here is a list of the top 10 ideas from the OGs of ancient Philosophy. Some may seem pretentious, and others like generic motivational quotes, but none-the-less these ideas can provide timeless guidance and can be incredibly relevant to one’s personal life. Equally, they may help guide your views and actions on wider social issues that we are increasingly facing in society. Or, without any practical use, these ideas give an interesting insight into how many of the problems we find ourselves faced with today have in fact been plaguing mankind for thousands of years.
“I begin to speak only when I’m certain what I’ll say isn’t better left unsaid.” – Cato
“We are often more frightened than hurt; and we suffer more in imagination than in reality.” – Seneca
“No man is more unhappy than he who never faces adversity. For he is not permitted to prove himself.” – Seneca
“And you can also commit injustice by doing nothing.” - Marcus Aurelius
This very idea famously went viral during the height of BLM protests in 2020 - Desmond Tutu quoted the same idea: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
“Let no one rob me of a single day who is not going to make me an adequate return for such a loss.” – Seneca
“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Viktor Fankl
Although not an ancient Philosopher, Viktor Frankl was basically saying ‘We move’ way before 2020.
“Just that you do the right thing. The rest doesn’t matter.” – Marcus Aurelius
“Wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness.” - Seneca
“Even if I lack the talent, I will not abandon the effort on that account… We do not abandon any discipline for despair of never being the best at it.” – Epictetus
“Don’t explain your Philosophy. Embody it.” – Epictetus.
The ancient version of ‘actions speak louder than words’.
The practical use of these quotes aside, the ideas above give an interesting insight into how many of the problems we find ourselves faced with today have in fact been plaguing mankind for thousands of years.
After graduating from Milan’s Brera High School of the Arts I moved to England to study Illustration at the University of Brighton. Coming from Italy, it was quite a big change. Living in Brighton exposed me to such different realities compared to the ones I was familiar with and opened my mind to many diverse points of view. Regarding both life and art.
Since I moved to the UK, my work has evolved alongside me resulting in an embrace between the traditional and academic style of the Italian art school and the progressive out-of-the-box approach that characterises the Brighton art field. From a strictly traditional and analogue approach I started incorporating the advantages of softwares in my own practice in order to create digital collages.
I always had a fascination for black and white as I believe it possesses the ability to accentuate the strength of the subject represented. That’s why in my work I typically adopt greyscales or a palette limited to neutral tones. Though I tried exploring many mediums I seem to remain drawn to humble and common instruments: Indian ink, ball point pens and graphite pencils continue to be the main mediums with which I create my illustrations.
For the past five years, symbols have been playing a big part in inspiring and feeding visuals. Maybe it’s due to the mystery and vagueness generated from their multiple meanings, leaving constant room for interpretation. When making images my goal is to create a puzzling atmosphere where normal subjects are accompanied by a few surreal elements that contribute in creating a sense of disorientation. The Italian art movement ‘Metafisica’ is one of the main examples I keep in mind when creating a new piece. To quote from the Tate Modern Website: “Using a realist style [...] in the middle of empty squares objects and statues are brought together in strange juxtapositions. The artists thus created a visionary world of the mind, beyond physical reality.” An example of such influence can be seen in “ Misplaced”: a series of illustrations I am currently working on in which peculiar creatures and enigmatic elements inhabit empty backgrounds.
During the lockdown caused by the pandemic I began working with ceramics. Like most visual communicators I have a passion for telling stories, and so the experimentation with ceramics led to the creation of the picture book “Sponk and the Snails”: through a combination of illustration, ceramics, photography and music it tells the story of a wandering dog who encounters a string of peculiar and not-so-trustworthy characters.