Posted by Mimi on 18/09/12

On a recent road trip to San Francisco my big sister and I stopped off at a motel you should know about. The Madonna Inn is thee kitsch-est pitsop off highway 101. A Disney dream of Pepto-Bismol pink pseudo-Swiss architecture, waterfalls with multi coloured lights, flowers covering ceilings and adorning carpets, it is a western Barbie-esque monument to 1950s gaudy. Each room has a different theme, from ‘hearts and flowers’ and ‘cloud nine’ to ‘American beauty’ and jungle rock’. This is the ultimate in tacky charm. Be sure to check out the waterfall urinal designed by Hollywood set designer Harvey Allen Warren!

In direct contrast ‘Deetgen’s’ in Big Sur is also a must see, though a totally different aesthetic. This rustic inn was born when two stylish Danes Helmuth and Helen Deetjen began welcoming guests in the 1930’s. Situated on the edge of the redwood forest in Big Sur, log cabins on stilts protrude from steep forest walls and are surrounded by woodland. The décor is very homely and the landscape is awe-inspiringly beautiful. We only stopped off for a drink as no rooms were available but I really hope to return and spend a few nights. The cabins have guest logs full of the personal histories passing through for decades which make for a charming read and some have old record players and records inside the room in fully working order as well as cosy fireplaces. You literally feel as though you are in a tree house, truly magical and historic. It is unfortunate that the English language falls short of words to describe how very beautiful it is. I say go and see for yourself!



So following up my MAC Hit the Pavement blog I found myself scribbling Plan Bs lyrics with body paint on the beautiful Anouska Mond for the Deepest Shame music video with the help of Theresa Davies who’s too cool for school she’s stuck in the 90s even though Im pretty sure she was too young to even remember them, she’s the Robin to my Batman or the Salt to my Pepper. Any hooo, Anouska plays Michelle in Plan B’s debut film Ill Manors. At the tender age of 29 Ben Drew is a busy guy, he has released 2 albums, played roles in 3 films and written and directed the gritty Ill Manors.

Deepest shame was directed by the handsome Paul Caslin known for directing Ibiza Rocks and winning awards, he’s worked with Rihanna, Tine Tempah, Cheryl Cole and and the rest..

The music video is set within Michelle’s surreal- hyperreal subconscious interwoven with grisly mostly brutal footage from Ill Manors leading to her eventual redemption…phew.. probably the heaviest music video I have worked on after Chase and Status ‘Let me Go’ Directed by 32.



I recently carried out a project for TIGI Bed Head to redesign one of their iconic bottle designs. From this I was lucky enough to be asked to work on a promotional print for the entire project to be sent out as a gift. After the initial designs were signed off the image was sent to talented screen printer SAVWO who printed six layers at an edition of 85 bare in mind this is a fairly big task and was done during a VERY rare heat wave that almost never occurs in Manchester. The print really came to life after it was screen printed and was then framed and packaged to be sent off!



On Wednesday night I went to ‘HIT THE PAVEMENT’ a MAC event, it was held in the now redundant Shoreditch station off of Brick lane.  There was an abundance of street food and dangerously delicious margaritas, but most of all there was body painting.

When I was at art school I was into live installations, I wanted to paint naked people like Yayoi Kusama.  That’s how I ended up studying make up at LCF.  Body painting goes in and out of fashion, it might make you think of page 3 girls with England football kits painted on their breasts or the Goyte video for ‘Somebody that I used to know’.  The point is that body painting can look rather old fashioned and I am schooled in it, I love it.  I used to dance and parade about wonderful parties body painted as a turquoise cyber 60’s dolly bird with a UV butterfly on my chest and bubbles climbing my legs. When I left college Tatler painted my bottom in Andy Warhol colours for a diamond encrusted watch advertorial.

On Wed night MAC created a rather  wonderful instillation, street performer characters in situ wearing painted clothes which adds a twist to the last MAC body painting event I went too where models didn’t even have a cotton thong to hide their modesty and all sorts was on display.  Which was fun and full of surprises.

This show reminded me somewhat of the Sensation exhibition in parts, especially the 2 American tourists totally dipped in pink and the man catching rays.  There were greek statues leaning delicately against a giant urn and bronze statues on a bench.  A roller girl – you’ve gotta love a roller girl and last but not least a man painted white with his kegs down reading a book on the toilet. That man turned out to be a friend of mine Daniel Dewhirst which was quite  shock to both of us!

The body painting was beautiful I especially loved the pigmented highlights on the bronze bench men, a great concept, great atmosphere and we all thoroughly enjoyed it and quite possibly had one too many margaritas, well, margaritas have two shots of tequila in them…..who knew?



Dubbed as the hip and urban centre and where I am staying was todays slice of Copenhagen. First we went for a champagne reception hosted by Founder, silver fox and genius Thomas Fluerquin.
Expect the unexpected. I’ve got to keep slapping myself and remember I am at a 5 day street party and we are told to come to a champagne reception. They must think we are fools! Something smells like polish sausage.

Of course, after cautiously drinking champagne a good looking Danish boy whistles, the crowd is hurried into the main lobby, where 5 women in leotards and wigs are attempting a dance routine. A marching band is behind them on the stairs. It all happened so quickly, glasses were ripped out of hands, the guy carrying the bands flag was tackled to the floor in his hotpants (testicles very much on show) By the women, biting and scratching him. The band integrates into the audience; something crawling on the floor is attempting to bring me down with them. I clung onto a Colum for dear life.

Next the devil bus, the 666, driven by a Rasta and fuelled by Heineken not petrol. Half an hour out the city we arrive at an underground station with a massive amount of land. A 2 hour pop up party proceeds.

We get back on the bus, Felt like we were at the Circ Du Soleil. Tongues waggling, trombone player round my waist, dancers with their hips on turbo speed.

As we dismounted the bus Helle told me they had found out 2 years ago that the adorable Rasta who had driven us there and back, didn’t have a driving licence.

Hey, what happens on the bus, stays on the bus. (Ha!).


Ey yup cockers were back th’up north for another update of whats brill and top in Manchester. For this update im looking and the wonderful work produced for the The Disco Cave, Which was a three hour performance at Kraak galleries. The performance was devised and performed by the Volkov Commanders (plus a few friends).

Nine restricted costumes were made especially for the event which created 9 characters sent from the future to party like it was 2099.  The event was strectched over a three hour period where surreal minimal music was played as the characters danced almost in sync restricted by there costumes as if they were in a ritual. The audience was almost invited to join in but you were always kept at arms length by the un earthly characters materializing and changing infront of you. Over all this was an experience not to be missed by a set of very exciting and talented artists and I would recommend catching them at there informal and experimental performances.




It’s the same reason I play Billie Pipers “honey to the bee” full volume when I awake, why I went, and have been obsessing over, Hula Hooping classes. The same reason I drag my unwitting friends to pole dancing in activist’s and freedom fighter’s squats in Hackney Wick (you get a tangerine and a slap on the bottom at the end). It’s the quest to find and insure that my inner 90’s bea-stung breasted monster child is still in there. So, with the promise of a florescent pink Queen of Hearts cocktail and an assurance that this is NOT exercise, darling Mimi and I  ventured to the Biscuit Tin, Shoreditch, to find the 6 packs we had lost somewhere between puberty and McDonalds.

MARAWA the AMAZING. Phowaaoor.  Not only has she played at EVERY festival you’ve ever been to, The Amazing has  done it on every continent, she’s done it on a trapeze, TV shows, music videos. You name it Marawa has grinded on it. Pint sized Marawa is a delicious, Nutritious, heart racing and good for your health. Her current record, she told me, is 133 hoops at once.  She’s better than a light installation or a disco ball, its mesmerizing to watch.  So after an hour of Mimi boomeranging her hoop across the room several times, me playing a brown nosed teacher’s pet, we upped our game.

So imagine a torpedo hula hooping, okay? So your this torpedo, hula hooping pedo, your arms are in the air, your nipples have popped out and then taken shelter and Marawa starts throwing a heap of hula hoops at you, screaming, HARDER, KEEP IT UP, rhythm… cuuum OOOOORRRN, KEEP GOING FASTER!!

“Ok well it takes a lot of practice”.

I ended up being 130 away from Marawa’s record, three on the go, frizbeeing someone in the head only once.

Mimi at this point has a green bruise crawling up her hips and announced herself exercised out. I announced myself too sober and we left. But I am going back Sunday…

(Photos courtesy of Marawa the amazing)

Marawa website: http://marawatheamazing.tumblr.com/post/20002449886/circus-fest-is-getting-close