Everything happening Freestyle...

Behind the Scenes @ Speedie's Shoot

speedies 1 Have a hankering to live in the 1970's? Look no further than Speedie's Vintage on Redchurch St, East London. He has everything you need to deck your home out in kitsch patterns, from sofa's to record players, kitchen utensils to lava lamps. The shop is laid out in a lounge / kitchen / dining room formation, like being in an amazing time warp and pretty much a ready made 1970's set. Which is why the FreeStyle Magazine fashion team braved the treacherous snowy conditions of January in London, to shoot six fabulous models as they indulged in a spot of retro wife swapping.....

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We also caught up with storeowner, Speedie for a little chat:

How did you get into buying and selling vintage? I started a weekend job in the Stables Market, Camden Town 10 years ago. I enjoyed it immensely and continued to work in various vintage retail positions for the next 7 years. I've always wanted to own and run a shop, I'm a hoarder and lover of all things vintage, retro and kitsch, so it seems fitting that I own a store and deal in these items on a daily basis. Believing that I was born in the wrong decade helps as I reject modern technology and styles in favour of the obsolete and dated but desirable design. I don't really know how to properly use a computer, unless it's an early 80’s Commodore. And I still make actual mix tapes with cassettes recorded from my vinyl collection. (Commodore and cassettes available in store!)

Where do you source your pieces and furniture? I hand select from many different sources from around the UK and mainland Europe.

Is this your first store? Yes, it’s been open for 18 months.

What are your favourite pieces in store at the moment? I have an early 1970’s black and red vinyl sofa; it’s the most comfortable sofa I have ever sat on!

Who is your style icon? I'm not sure if I have a style icon, as I usually make it up as I go along, I do appreciate 70s fashion, such as the band Mott the Hoople. I have many different styles that I embrace one day I could be an early 80s punk the next mid 70s newscaster with a bit of nerd thrown into both.

What are the origins of the store's and your name? The store was named after me and here's the story of my name. I was on a trial day at my first job in the Stables Market, this was also my first trip to Camden Town and it blew me away. So many vintage stores packed into a vibrant market environment were just too much! The owners of the store were all really nice and fun, so I was extremely keen to land the job. I did everything they asked of me really, really quickly. They liked what they saw and named me Speedie. I worked there for the next 7 years and got to be known by this name, it was when I dropped my real name to avoid confusion that the name had really taken...

What is your real name? That is a closely guarded secret.

Check out the full shoot in our Spring / Summer issue, out soon!

G-Shocked the World!

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Last Wednesday was the event we had all been waiting for, the G-shock Shock the World concert at Admiralspalast, Berlin. We were lucky enough to get the chance to interview the wonderful Amanda Blank before her performance at the show, so here's the scoop-

FSM: Amanda, it's great to have you here! Firstly we'll start with the obvious questions that you've probably heard a million times before and then move on to the more fun stuff! Have you been to Berlin before or are you a first timer?

AB: No I've actually been here four or five times so I'm quite the regular! I get to come here a lot but don't get to see a lot because it's mostly for work.

FSM: So whats the plan for your return to America?

AB: I'm supporting Peaches on tour, in two weeks! I love her she's really awesome and knows her shit. She's also really supportive which is important, she's helping "guide me along" in a way. Also a lot of touring in Australia which is great!

FSM: So what about your style, it changes a lot right? You look almost like a different person in every photograph I've seen of you! And you don't have the nails on today, that's kind of your trademark isn't it?

AB: Yeah I love my tacky nails!! But the only woman who can do them lives in Philly so I can only get them done when I'm at home and the last thing this girl would EVER do is go on stage with a broken nail!!

FSM: Any style icons? Someone you really admire and aspire to be like?

AB: One of my big inspirations, my Aunt Cindy! She was so fly back in the day! Such a babe, could definetly have been in like, a Motley Crew video. I love feminine dressing but weird shit. I'm a bit rock n roll, Karen O, she's another huge inspiration style-wise. I love tacky, tacky shit. I actually have really bad style haha!

FSM: Do you always dress so experimentaly or is it a kind of "stage persona"?

AB: No I usually just dress in something like jeans and a hoodie, but I get much more into the performance if I wear a sort of, costume. If I stood up on stage in say, what I'm wearing now, I wouldn't have the same kind of flair. It's all good jumping up at a party in your jeans but on stage, no. I believe a show should be a show!

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FSM: Our Freestyle motto is "For Creative People who Like to Play". We work really hard but are doing something that we love. Is this something that you can relate to? You always seem to be having so much fun when you are performing.

AB: Yeah definetly! The moment it stops being fun is the moment I'm gonna stop doing it. Luckily I'm surrounded by friends. Really fun, awesome people with an anything goes attitude. It's not all fun and games and there are times when you have to do things you don't really want to but I have a positive attitude and am surrounded by good people so that makes things a lot easier. I mean for instance my band, Sweatheart, we're not making money or recieving press but I'd still do it for free forever!

FSM: So now time for some Frisbee related questions, it was inevitable! When's the last time you played Frisbee?

AB: Actually 2 months ago! In a car park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. I was on tour with Matt and Kim and someone found a frisbee so we just drank beer and played frisbee, it was great fun!

FSM: What would your own personal frisbee look like?

AB: Probably really ugly! Tacky, black and sparkly. The goth-disco frisbee!!

FSM: And finally, can you give me one thing to do with a frisbee, but not the obvious!

AB: Ummmm.. eat a bowl of cereal out of it? That's a tough question! Probably use it as some sort of bowl.

Thanks to Amanda for being such a great interviewee, and also to everyone who took part in our competition. I hope the lucky winners had as good a time as we did!

Photos: Cooperative Music

Q&A with Lulu Guinness

I was lucky enough to be present at a V&A fashion talk between Dolly Jones (of Vogue online) and fashion icon Lulu Guinness.Lulu was very warm, witty and extremely passionate about fashion, she talked about her youth through to her illustrious career as one of the world’s leading handbag designers. After establishing the brand in 1989 Lulu was informed by her keen customer base that they wanted to buy bags that Lulu herself would carry, from this Lulu revolutionised her brand and says of her customers; “People who carry my accessories generally have a little tongue-in-cheek and want to show a bit of personality in the way they dress.”

Lulu Guinness Lulu Guinness handbags have gone from strength to strength and over the years have created several diffusion lines to include jewellery, perfumes, sunglasses, stationary and bed linen, and in 2006 Lulu was awarded an OBE for her great contribution to British fashion. To mark her 20th anniversary she has set up her own scholarship for MA Artefacts students studying at London College of Fashion, which will commence in 2010.

The highlight of the evening was Guinness presenting the spectacular ‘Birdcage’ handbag that she made to commemorate her career to date. For this project she set out to push boundaries and created a singing and dancing bag - the world’s first automated handbag. Made in collaboration with creative mechanical designer Adam Wright; “It took 10 weeks and a couple of grand to make the prototype.” Whilst the ‘Birdcage’ looked purely ornamental Lulu showed us inside (with lights, an all essential mirror, and a hidden drawer at the bottom perfect for fitting a lipstick) showing us what a uniquely magical and functional invention it is.

Do you believe that a woman can have it all? “On a good day you appear to have it all and be so perfect you’re in a magazine spread, but this is not the case all day every day. You can have it all if you have an incredible support system around you of friends, family and colleagues. The support is 90% of having it all.” Where do you feel that your designs are best received? “Definitely in Japan and China where I have launched many more products than in the UK as they adore the attention to detail, such as little things hidden on the back or inside on the lining.  I Love Chinese and Japanese culture... they have such a sense of humour and their great personality is their uniqueness. I’m actually planning a capsule ready-to-wear collection exclusively for the Japanese market.”

What advice do you have for people starting out in the fashion industry? “Get your foot in the door with work experience at the places you’d most like to work. Don’t give up if you get knocked back. When you do finally get a placement prove yourself invaluable so your employer will see that they cannot live without you. Everyone is aware that there are more fashion students and creative’s than there are jobs, but perseverance is key. If you really can’t get a job in fashion, do the next best thing and learn the values of working. If it’s meant to happen it will eventually.”

Do you produce or have any plans to produce your collections in the UK? “I produce my collectables collection ‘made in Britain’ here, but there is a lack of production facilities over here and it’s not cost-effective to produce everything in the UK, as much as I’d love to.”

Do you plan to commercialise or mass produce the birdcage bag? “Yes in a way, I’m planning to simplify it slightly and make it a collectible and perhaps do a run of 500.”

lulu birdcage What is your own handbag collection like? “I collect handbags, mostly vintage evening bags, but I definitely have under 100. I usually carry my own bags and have about two or three good bags on the go at any time. I find it hard to indulge in bags as we have every Lulu Guinness design at my office so I don’t really need many more.” How do you feel when high street and online retailers such as ASOS copy your ‘lips’ bag? “Pleased, it’s such a compliment. Granted theirs is of a lower quality but it’s so great for everyone to be able to own such an iconic accessory even if it isn’t the original.”

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Words and Images: creative-idle

Fantastic Firma!

Wednesday night saw the glitzy launch of Firma Men´s Skin Care hosted by L'estétic Cosmetic and of course Firma Berlin in the extremely swanky Quartier 206 / Departmentstore Berlin on Friedrichstrasse.The night was a huge success and saw the likes of Freestyle Magazine schmoozing with high flier's from all walks of life. Among the lucky people there were bloggers Frank from "iheartberlin" and also Paul from "bemyownstylist" who were both very impressed by the party and also the skincare range.

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While the champagne flowed there were Nars makeup counters overflowing with testers which were descended upon instantaneously. It was there that I met fellow testee Gabriella Buschmann who informed me that the shocking pink lipstick we had both just grabbed for was named Schiap, developed by fabulous 60's designer Elsa Schiaparelli.

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Another glass of champagne and then on to the next sample station! This time it was the turn of the perfume counter. Faced with an overwhelming sea of little glass bottles it was a difficult task to choose just a few favourates. Comme De Garcon's Odeaur 53 was described to me as "like a walk in the wood" although it was difficult to concentrate on just one scent, I left smelling of at least 10 different fragrances!

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Pictures by Al White

The Firma range comes highly recommended, if you are in the area why not go down and see for yourself what all the fuss was about!

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Cool Hunting!

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