HARRIET – For Agua-ired taste

As mornings generally do, this one started with good intentions. I had intended to arrive on time to The Sanderson Hotel; I hadn’t intended to fall madly in love with my 84 year old cab driver (one of those proper East-End old boys who tell you their misses is the most important woman after their mum and raucous stories given in high doses). I get side-tracked easily, as I am now, and so did the cabbie.  Running straight to the lift, simultaneously Swarovski crystals off the floor that were raining from my shoes, I heard the PING! and walked in.

Fell in.

I fell through the lift doors like one would if the lift had no bottom to it. You know when you miss a step running down the stairs and for a split second you see your whole life in front of you, have a minor heart attack all the while thinking;  “how the fuck am I going to make this look like I did it on purpose”? All of those emotions and more sped through me when greeted by the holographic galaxy lift.

 I know it sounds like I’m over-reacting; Of course I am! It’s a lift! But that momentary feeling of elated madness followed me till the moment I lay down on the heated waterbed. Awe, I think one is supposed to call it.

SO the lift doors open, I’m greeted by blinding white. White silk and whispering voices. A labyrinth of 50 foot ivory silk curtains hang from the ceilings, creating a purified version of a clear mind. Heaven? No thanks.  Far more exciting, more like divine intervention. The interiors were of the “ I can definitely cross my legs and have my feet on the sofa” vibe, all the while you know your being submerged in sumptuousness by The Sanderson. The aesthetic, I’m told, has not been changed in 13 years since it’s opening, merely touched up and restored.

Introducing…

The Agua Spa At The Sanderson. “Brainchild of Norona Schrager and Leila Fazel” , both former dancers. It’s described by the hotel as an “urban spa” designed by long term collaborator of Ian Schrager, Mr Phillipe Starck. Phillipe being the  orchestrator of the marble mosaic floors and luminescent maze.

Agua Sanderson - Changing Room            Agua Sanderson - Waiting Area

There was even a point, after being shown where my dressing room was (art deco mirrored lockers, powder table , large armchair) , that my hat, yes my hat was offered it own room and taken away.

 Hats off to that.

 My facial begins with a consultation, after which hot paraffin liquid was brushed onto my skin, forming a kind of warm, waxy peel mask. After which, and I swear I slightly envied my therapist at this point, I was “extracted”. In crude terms that be spot picking. Can you imagine how satisfying that was?

 My skin was, and a week later, still is reflecting light (almost).  Tranquillity in the bustle of my darling, grey London does not come better than this…(and I haven’t even touched on the food!)

Harriet visited agua Spa at Sanderson for The Eve Lom Ultimate Cleanse.

agua Spa at Sanderson
1st Floor, 50 Berners Street
London W1T 3NG
PHONE: +44 0 20 7300 1417
http://www.sandersonlondon.com

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STEVIE:”Sagra” – Italian inspired restaurant and bar ‘pops up’ in Hackney

Often in January people suffer with blues and wade through doldrums of solitude, mourning the celebration and company offered prior to and over Christmas.

Sagra, in Italian means a joyful local feast, one which has seasonal ingredients at its heart. What better name then to give a Italian inspired pop-up restaurant and bar in Hackney Central which promises to bring joy and company during the bleak month of January.

Sagra, which opens for three nights from this Thursday (24th January) through to Saturday, is the brainchild of Rebecca Oliver (ex Moro), Tom Trubshaw (St John) and Nat Boon (ex Zucca), all of whom first met six years ago at Italian restaurant Acorn House in Kings Cross.

In the restaurant, an Italian inspired 4 course menu is also accompanied by a collaboration with Rebel Rebel florists from nearby Broadway Market who set the seasonal scene on candlelit feasting tables. Next door the bar is stocked by Johnson & Bell as well as a full bar menu on offer for those unable to obtain a table in the main restaurant. Booking is not required for the bar so arriving early is recommended. The bar is open to all from 6pm to midnight serving antipasti, bar food and a wide array of aperitivos, digestivos and classic cocktails.

Hosted by new food events company ’86’, SAGRA can be found at 18 Belsham Street, E9 6NG from 24th-26th January 2013. The restaurant menu will be announced on the day.

For more details, follow @SagraLondon on Twitter or visit hosts 86 website at http://www.eightysix.info/

Written by Stephen Kelly

Twitter – https://twitter.com/Stevie_Style”

LOUIE: A REFLECTION ON 2012

Having come out of the apocalypse unscathed I think its time for a reflection of my year and the highlights…

So the year started with a cover for SUPERSUPER featuring fellow Street Squadder Mimi Wade, with beautiful hair by Sami Knight, also from the Street Squad, this was a delight and a mighty add to my collection of Mimigraphs…
Additional team members where stylist Namalee Bolle and makeup artist Bea Sweet….

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And what a better way to celebrate than the very launch of the Street Squad, where I ‘dj’d’ and definitely drank my own body weight in alcohol with the rest of the squad… What a fab night!

Below is Harriet, Mimi, Sami, Nick Irwin, Stevie, Andy, Lucy & me!

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Then out came another cover for Ocean Sky’s on board magazine, styled by David Motta, and with Hair and Makeup by Street Squadders Lucy and Sami…

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Me on set, pretending my ride was here… One day!

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Then came February and Sami, Lucy and myself had the pleasure of shooting Gizzi Erskine, this was a really fun day and we all bonded with an accidental celebration at the Doodle Bar afterwards where the drinks kept flowing as did the doodles, oh and the story’s… most of which I doubt I could share online!

Gizzi is a dark horse and we love her!

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I moved to a warehouse Hackney Wick, where my life changed… I had a couple of amazing party’s. Heres a Polaroid from the moving in party… you can see fellow Bed Head pals Mimi, Lucy and Sami in there somewhere!

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And then there was my Galactic birthday party later in the year… thats me on the left as a Galactic Goddess!

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Lucy, Sami and myself shot a few more editorials, here are some snaps from a few…. The left was for Idol Magazine, styled by Celia Jane-Ukwenya and the right was styled by Sophie Gaten.

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 The Olympics came, and for a while there it felt like the apocalypse had come early, as I was so near to the stadium there where police an helicopters everywhere, day and night… but finally the opening ceremony came and I celebrated with my mum (below), my gorgeous friend and muse Georgie Hobday and her fella Moses manly, we started at this party you can see us at, with palm trees and WAG’s, then moved onto the roof of my new flat (I had moved from the warehouse) and celebrated Hackney Wick style! Georgie threw up but me and my mum partied till the wee hours… This was a fab night…

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 So, back to work stuff… I then had the pleasure of shooting three lovely ladies, and Icons at that, for Schon Magazine…. Princess Julia, who I have known since I moved to London (she’s hard to miss), Diane Pernet who was over from Paris, and one of my favourite women in the world… Zandra Rhodes… who I hit it off with and had the pleasure of feasting with afterwards… inspiring woman!

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I met lots of amazing people, one that of them that stood out was this special lady, Nova Dando, who I am now very fond of… expect lots of collaborations from us in the new year… This is us on her birhday, (Me on the left, the wonderful Charlie Le Mindu in the middle and Nova on the right)

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I walked for Roberto Piqueras show, in the BRITISH HISTORY MUSIUM… eek! Here we all are outside after the show…I went behind the camera a couple of times for my sweet friend Eleanor Hardwick, here is a preview of a music video she made with myself and some our mutual friends.

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And then a few months later, here I am for her Tarot inspired shoot for Rookie Mag, I was obviously judgement!

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 I shot some really fun stuff like this campaign below, which was for Strut.

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And another shoot with Ellie Goulding, with Sami and Lucy on beauty and Brett Bailey styling…

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 One of my biggest highlights of the year was my mums wedding, which took place with about 60 guests in Cornwall a few months ago, we spent almost a week there, in Watergate Bay, a beautiful hotel on the beach, where we dined on beautiful food every night, including at Jamie Olivers below the hotel, swam in the pool, drank cocktails in the hot tub overlooking the sea, and even went boogie boarding… then of course there was the beautiful wedding…

Here is me giving my mum away, to ‘Moon River’ sung by Audrey Hepburn in breakfast at Tiffany’s. It was all very moving!

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 Then to finish the year I did a few shoots I really enjoyed, including an editorial with Iggy Azalea, who I love, and a large collection of beautiful images with Rita Ora, who is fab and a delight to shoot, and really gives it her all.. These shoots will both be coming out in the new year…

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 Obviously there was a lot that filled these cracks, some really fun things, but theres only so much I can fit in a blog post… I had a really great year and can’t wait for 2013… Big love to everyone !

 

xx

 

For updates follow me on Twitter…

http://www.twitter.com/LouieBanks

HARRIET: CIRC DE SO-LAME

HARRIET: CIRC DE SO-LAME

In search of bacon filled, melted cheese foot-long fest accompanied by roller-coaster ride run by Scandinavian mice? Then look no further than the meat market Christmas experience that is Winter Wonderland. Every other wooden shack offers you a larger sausage than the last; a zip wire (famously strained by Boris Johnson) hangs limpless over head.

The lure of a big top beckons us through hoards of tourists. “Britain’s BEST circus” Zippo circus claims. A novelty pair of ears and a dodgy microphone starts the show, a 20 minute water spitting fight follows suit. I peer round the dumbstuck faces of the 100 or so children, they are as lost as I am. At one point the elf starts chocking, that warrants a sympathetic giggle. Another elf, meanwhile, attempts the zip wire (albeit one could be forgiven for thinking it must have been her first day on the job). Butter-feet, skirt tucked into knickers, juggling balls missing the point and a near fatal slip inhabit the first half of the performance.
NEXT!
A pair of second hand silk curtains are tied to a pulley, an elderly couple of elves in leotards cling on with dear life as they are flung around the tent like flying corpses. My friend next to me shudders “She shouldn’t be doing that, it looks like she has rigamortis.”. Nice.

A rickety mechanical object is then hung from the tent. Imagine two hamster wheels joined by a stainless steel climbing frame. Two Acrobats climb into the opposing wheels as its turns vertically 180 degrees. The acrobat’s sweat is glistening as his head is put in a black bag. Blindfolded he ascends the dangerous object. Clearly health and safety standards we are used to are put to shame in the big top, its quite overwhelming.

Overall it’s less Circ du Soleil and more Circ De So-Lame.

ANDY: TAME IMPALA

ANDY: TAME IMPALA REVIEWED

After a few singles and an EP creeping out back in 2008 and 2009, Tame Impala burst on to the dreamy psychedelic scene in 2010 with their debut album ‘Innerspeaker’. I was hooked. I mean, I don’t think I have ever listened to a record quite so much in two years, without getting bored, than ‘Innerspeaker’. They sound like The Beatles, in the good years on LSD, but born with Australian sun shining on their cheeks and where everything is hazy and warm forever.

The four-piece are actually from Perth on the West Coast of Australia, which explains a lot to me in my mind. It is the project of Kevin Parker, writing, singer and producer who has certainly created his own, distinctive style of sound. A hazy, reverbed, guitar heavy but melody focused pattern of song writing, in such a way that you can whistle along to all of their indi-psychedelic hits. And Parker’s voice is so distinctive and familiar that he can’t help being compared to John Lenon. He really does sound like the iconic Beatle, and Tame Impala do sound like a twenty-first century Beatles.

They released their sophomore LP ‘Lonerism’ in early October and that’s where, if you hadn’t heard of them before, you certainly will have now. The album cover was everywhere! On buses, tubes, magazines… They were featured in all the broadsheets and the played Later… With Jools Holland a couple of weeks back. So in late 2012, I was stoked to head down to Brixton Academy to catch them live on their European tour. I had never seen them live before. Coming from Australia, they haven’t spent much time in England. I guess it’s a pretty long way for them. And what made this show even more special for me, and all the other Impala fans that packed out the venue, was that their new album was maybe even better than their first. Strong words, I understand that, yet the “difficult second album” was effortless for Parker. Or so it seemed. What made ‘Innerspeaker’ so incredible was that any of those tracks could have been a single, it’s an album of singles, and they managed to do the same with ‘Lonerism’. Every song I have fallen in love with, instantly.

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They came out to rapturous applause and straight into ‘Be Above It’, the first from ‘Lonerism’, which merged into ‘Solitude is Bliss’, their hit single from ‘Innerspeaker’. It was an indicator to the crowd that, although they were here to play to us their new record, they were still going to pander to our needs with hits from their back catalogue. And we we’re not to be disappointed. They played for longer than an hour and half, with predominately new tracks, perfectly seasoned with others like ‘Lucidity’ and ‘It’s Not Meant To Be’. Their visuals were really trippy, with circles radiating out from a central dot on a large black canvas. It took me a couple of songs to realised that it was hooked up to Parker’s guitar, so when he wasn’t playing it looked a bit boring. At one point they paused, drowned in applause, and Parker uttered modestly “I think it’s safe to safe, we never dreamt of playing anywhere like this”. They then broke into ‘Elephant’, the first single from ‘Lonerism’, and the place erupted with the rhythmic thud of his guitar.

‘Lonerism’ is out now on Modular Records. http://www.modularpeople.com/releases/tame-impala-lonerism/3358.html

LUCY: ELLIE GOULDING..TIMELESS.. 1883 AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

LUCY: ELLIE GOULDING..TIMELESS.. 1883 AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

At the end of November we shot the lovely Ellie Goulding my favorite for the December cover of 1883 magazine.
There are 8 more beautiful pages of Ellie inside.

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READ ALL ABOUT IT>> View, download or buy the magazine here http://www.1883magazine.com
Shot by Photographer Alexander Jordan
Styling Filippo Giuliani
Make up by Me
Hair by Marcia Lee
How was your NYE? Did you see Ellie on Top of the Pops New Years Eve Special?

Heres what I used to get the look…

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-To get a nice smooth base I used Benefits ‘the POREfessional’ It’s a little pricy but you only need to use a tiny bit on your T zone or any Oily areas, it will last forever.. it minimises open
pores and provides a nice lasting base for your foundation.

-I prepped the under eye area with Cliniques ‘Even Better Eyes’ – Dark circle corrector, I always have this in my handbag for myself.

-The foundation was Laura Mercier Tinted Moisturiser Crème Compact, it’s nice and creamy and then sets with a powdery finish.

-For the mouth I used ‘Ceramic” lip liner by Top Shop and filled with ‘Celestial Kiss Creme Sheen Glass’ from MAC.

-‘Spot lit’ mineralise eyeshadow from MAC (a gold eyeshadow tempered with tiny particles of glitter) on the lid blended into the sockets and worked some taupe brown eyeshadow into the socket to deepen and elongate the eye.

-The eye liner was Maybeline ‘Eyestudio Lasting Drama’ gel eyeliner, its inexpensive, comes with a handy brush it makes it easy to apply your own and is really black. Always have a cotton bud dipped in Eye make up remover to make any alterations rather than scrubbing the whole lot off. The eyeliner is thin at the inner corner and thicker at the outer corner flicking up. If you look in the mirror and raise your chin the line should appear to be flat on top.

-False Lashes were Wispies from Ardell available in Boots and for mascara ‘high impact extreme Mascara’ from Clinique. It’s worth investing in a good mascara, if your beauty budget is tight I’d def blow it on the mascara. This one gives the thickest blackest lashes.

– Nails – I used ‘Hen Party’ from Butter London.

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CHECK OUT ELLIES TOUR DATES AND NEW ALBUM HALCYON HERE http://www.elliegoulding.com
I saw Ellie at Brixton Academy this week she totally rocked it!

STEVIE: BIG SKIES

Posted by Stevie on 10/12/12

STEVIE: BIG SKIES – LIVE AT MACBETH, LONDON

Berlin based Big Skies played their debut London gig to a packed out Macbeth, filled with musos, industry insiders and other bands, which always suggests someone knows something. From their opening track they impressed. Tight, energetic and defined, the four piece form a great unit.

90s inspired sound rolls out from the 4 piece. Front man Jim Cubitt sings from beneath a mass of hair with optimistic lyrics “We look to the future there’s a light at the end” sewn together with open melodies and soaring vocal harmonies.

The band are grateful for the turn out with Cubitt charming in his interaction and a cheeky glint in his eye, it’s very easy to warm to his personality as much as their sound.

Similar to Peace and Swim Deep, Big Skies champion a sound that’s been missing for a long time on the music scene, but playing it to a fan base who grew up on it and fondly remember those bands of the 90s who originally pioneered the sound.

The sound evokes nostalgia both in their tracks and the similarity to an adolescence filled with Pearl Jam. All alluded to in the title of their first release “Back To The One We Knew”.

Big Skies, having had marked success in Berlin could emulate the feat on their home shores as leaders in this popular new sound. Lets hope they return sooner rather than later and continue their progress in London to match their success in the German capital. Whether here or abroad be sure to keep your eyes on Big Skies.