Tag Archives: childhood

Pierdom

Southend Pier by Simon RobertsSouthend-on-Sea, Essex

I’m very fond of the British seaside. Not so much in a twee “OMG, let’s take photos and eat candyfloss!” kind of way – although that can be fun – but because there is so much to genuinely love about these former tourist traps, with their juxtaposed tackiness and architectural charm. I spent a lot of my childhood holidaying in Britain, as opposed to going on package holidays to places like Tenerife or The Costa del Sol. I felt quite envious of my classmates, who got to travel on an aeroplane and were guaranteed sunshine but, looking back, I think that spending rainy days in a caravan in Scotland and having trips out to Morecambe, Southport and Blackpool has made me feel more connected to the place where I was born. As I got older, I began to romanticise the typical English seaside resort because of their mix of joy, despair and faded grandeur. Of course this is present in a lot of small towns, but with the harshness of winter and idyll of summer by the coast, these extremes seem…amplified. This isn’t just some abstract feeling I have either. Although there are exceptions to this trend in prosperous locations, such as Brighton and Poole, the traditional British seaside town has long been in decline – offering the kind of unfashionably kitsch holiday that belongs to your granny and granddad’s halcyon days. A recent report called ‘Turning The Tide‘ details the deprivation present in the UK’s coastal towns – including the ones which haven’t been totally deserted by tourists. In a lot of these towns, the grand old hotels have since been converted into bedsits that are full of transients. Although I will always have a soft spot for Blackpool in particular, the reality of life there is pretty grim. In the series ‘Pierdom’, Simon Roberts focuses on Britain’s iconic Victorian piers, and his lens captures my feelings about these places perfectly. From wind-bitten, rusting structures to sun-bathed promenades, his photographs evoke the curious charm and essence of the British seaside.Hastings Pier Simon RobertsHastings, East Sussex

Boscombe Pier Simon RobertsBoscombe, Hampshire

Teignmouth Grand Pier Simon RobertsTeignmouth, Devon

Blackpool South Pier Simon RobertsBlackpool, Lancashire

More of Simon Roberts’ brilliant photography is on his website – there are more photographs from the Pierdom series, and you should also have a look at another project he has done called ‘We English‘, which focuses on English tourism in a much broader context.

John Lewis: The Bear & The Hare

Angry BearThis grizzly bear is doing a pretty good job of aping my reaction to Christmas.

Everyone is going mental for the ‘touching’ John Lewis advert again, which is a blatant Animals of Farthing Hood rip off soundtracked by something no one needed to hear: Lily Allen covering Keane. It’s good, but obviously it doesn’t even come close to melting my ice cold heart or eliciting any kind of Christmas cheer from me. However, this touching tale of cartoon animals does carry an important lesson: if your BFF happens to be an apex predator, you might want to round up a few unwitting friends morsels in the hope that your carnivorous frienemy eats them first. Look how happy the bear is when he sees the meat feast he has woken up to…John Lewis Hare and BearAnyway, enough of my cynicism, here’s the actual advert, which was made by Adam & Eve/DDB and produced by Blinkink and Hornet. The animation really is lovely – and is the result of a lot of hard work – but I’d recommend muting it and playing something more appealing over the top.

Not So Warm & Fuzzy Now

Do you remember Fuzzy-Felts? Those fun craft toys that you used to play with, in simpler times – times when video games were still relatively new and the Internet was something you’d probably never even heard of? Well, prepare to see the medium of felt brought up to date, with new added relevance for your adult life.Jacopi Rosati Fuzzy FeltDo the feelings in this piece by Jacopo Rosati seem painfully familiar to you?Lebrie Felt TV DinnerGreat. How about this felted TV dinner for one by LeBrie Rich? Welcome to adulthood!

HAERTS – Wings

HAERTS BandHAERTS are female-fronted band of four guys and one girl, who hail from Brooklyn, New York. Their first single is a beautifully tender piece of lo-fi pop, set to a montage of home video-style clips. I’ve looked for other stuff by them, but this song is the only one I can find. I’m guessing that as it’s on Vevo, they are already on the brink of mainstream success. Judging by ‘Wings’, they sound pretty great and I hope the rest of their songs live up to expectations. Lead singer Nini Fabi’s vocals are sweet, but powerful – like a mixture of Gwen Stefani and Stevie Nicks.

This song is sort of what I was hoping for when I first listened to HAIM. Needless to say, I was pretty disappointed.

Present & Correct

Present & Correct stationeryFucking hell, I love stationery. I rarely even need stationery these days, but I’ve always loved it. I’ve always been really precious about the contents of my pencil case, too. When I was a kid I used to obsessively buy paper, notepads and sketchbooks. I also used to use my superior stationery inventory to leverage power over the other kids in my primary school – if you pissed me off, there was absolutely no way you’d be borrowing my felt tips anytime soon. Present & Correct sells the kind of stationery that I wouldn’t want to lend to anyone. I doubt I’d even allow my current closest friends to borrow it, let alone my primary school frienemies! Their stock is all so lovely that it’s like my inner brat just wants to have and hoard everything that they sell.Present & Correct vending machineThis classic vending machine is in their Islington shop – which hasn’t been open long – and you can get a surprise selection of office sundries for £2. Unfortunately for me, the shop is only open from Tuesday to Friday and occasionally on weekends, so it looks like I’ll have to make my selection from their website.
Present & Correct websiteEven their website is exquisite, though. Just look at that tasteful colour scheme and the meticulous art direction for each product! It’s like design porn.

Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

I’ve been getting rid of loads of magazines recently. Some are just too amazing to tear up or throw away, but where possible I’ve been trying to archive my favourite images, retain any interesting information, and then chuck the rest of the magazine out. Here’s a recently rediscovered shoot that I just adore – it featured in a 2010 issue of i-D, and was shot by Nick Knight.While a lot of the truly exquisite clothes in this editorial are vintage pieces by John Galliano Haute Couture, Vivienne Westwood or Versace, most of the fetish wear is by Atsuko Kudo and House of Harlot.I’ve always loved the aggressive sensuality of the bondage look – I even liked it when I was a kid! I blame The Spice Girls. Remember Geri and Victoria’s outfits in the video for ‘Say You’ll Be There’?Amazing. I guess that when I was a child I just thought they looked kind of cool – like superheroes. And while we’re on the subject of fetish wear and supereheroes, let’s not forget the undeniable queen of latex – Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman!Bad kitty.

Cartoon Network Turns 20!

Cartoon Network always felt like such a treat for me as a kid. We didn’t have a Sky subscription back then, so I’d never tire of watching endless cartoons whenever I got the chance. London design agency, I Love Dust, created this two minute video for Cartoon Network’s twentieth anniversary and – although I don’t recognise many of the characters now – it still makes me feel all happy and fuzzy inside.