Last night we dressed up to the nines for our fashion-themed Nicer Tuesdays supported by Park Communications. Our four speakers boasted a significant sartorial pedigree and gave us four very different perspectives on the fashion world.
First up was Charlie Porter who bills himself as “kind of a fashion journalist.” Describing it as a “super alpha, super murky, super strange and really fascinating world,” Charlie explored what it means to be a fashion critic in 2014. With platforms like Instagram becoming increasingly prominent as a means to show off and talk about clothes, Charlie explained that his own interests are much more in “the way people wear clothes rather than how they’re made.” This approach leads him down some innovative editorial avenues such as what the men who come up on Tinder choose to wear.
After Charlie we heard from set designer Sarah Parker who gave us a great rule for life: “Once I got over the fear of making something that might look crap, I was ok.” She talked of her love for optical illusions and the creative buzz of creating uncertainty in a visual culture wherein we are exposed to images of objects almost incessantly.
Sarah also touched on the challenges of working with clients whose parameters (either budgetary or creative) pose problems. The best kind of project, she admitted, are those where she has “total control.”
After the break we welcomed Becky Smith, the editor and creative director of Twin magazine. She explained that Twin came into being because she wanted her own magazine, something that was “tomboyish, open-minded, feminist but not rammed down your throat.” Becky took us through the development of Twin over the years, revealing that it is her handwriting that adorns the cover and admitting that early experiments with not using photos on the front were a mistake – “I thought I was rebelling but it was a stupid idea.”
She also showed how imaginative creative treatments can elevate products into something much more interesting – whether that’s styling a Louis Vuitton shoot around a road accident or draping Tiffany jewellery over Gary Card’s plasticine sloths.
Rounding off the evening we were treated to a tour de force talk from designer Kit Neale. From the Vikings to the London 2012 Opening Ceremony, Kit celebrated the eccentricity and sense of humour on which our sense of national identity is built. Why does Guy Fawkes Day (a commemoration of a failed terrorist plot don’t forget) unleash such creativity and imagination? Why is dressing up such an integral part of stag parties and hen-dos, where usual rules of dress and gender can be transgressed with impunity?
All of this heritage tumbles into his vibrant prints but though rooted in so many ideas, he was refreshingly straightforward about his ultimate aim. “I am designing clothes for people to look fabulous in. That’s what it’s about.”
Many thanks to our speakers, to our sponsors Park Communications and to everyone who came along. Nicer Tuesdays will be back on May 27.
Nicer Tuesdays is supported by Park Communications
Founded in 1991, Park Communications is considered by many to be London’s preeminent printer. With a roster of both corporate and cultural clients, Park is a one-stop-shop to translate, artwork, print and bind literature of many different kinds, from the finest coffee table books and catalogues, through FTSE annual reports, to niche market magazines and brochures. Working closely with clients to develop bespoke creative solutions, Park’s reputation is built on the highest quality, reliability and flexibility.
They have brought their professionalism to both our Printed Pages magazine and the It’s Nice That Annual 2013, and we look forward to working with them in 2014 and beyond. To contact Park, email Alison at firstname.lastname@example.org or via the website www.parkcom.co.uk.