afrow

Black Girl on the Front Row!

Tag: MUSIC

“Strings Attached…”

Legato-on-repeat.

Long-and-drawn-out love-on-gut,

cross-hatched by hairs which

bow to no-one,

bend to tempo…

comb through collective memory.

Intersect dissected moments,

motives,

driving through vibrato…

…sounding boards for wholeness.

Milliseconds moving mountains,

making annuals out of annals.

Sonically-compressed renewals,

now derived from hidden subs.

Tariffs torn from manuscript emotions.

Tactile tears can fall and land,

lithe and direct.

Minute waltz of wiped-away elation.

Instant appreciation…

… a tranquil composer has talked through the trill.

 

©A_F_R_O_W2018-2019. All Rights Reserved.

 

“Five Guys” party leaves you wanting “Moe”!

“I’ll never forget the excitement with which my musicals-mad Brother burst into the house, words spilling swiftly from him and filling the atmosphere with pure exuberance!

He had just returned from seeing the original presentation of a hit show, intriguingly entitled “5 Guys Named Moe”… and, for a moment, I truly believe that he, himself, had been dusted with dance-steps, as he couldn’t stop moving and enthusing about it…

The West End had been bowled over by an infectious party vibe, simply oozing the epitome of slick, combining hi-energy music, movement and accomplished acting!

I, meanwhile, was desperate to get a slice of the pie, which had my big Bro spinning like the proverbial top…. and, so began an affection for what the Arts could inspire, in just one evening!

Roll on a few decades and I find myself the one who has been swept up into the pre-show anticipation for, yours truly, would find herself in unique edifice of The Marble Arch Theatre, in-the-round… urging the artists to get the 2018 party started!

Yes, it was my turn to see the new 5 Guys!

Now, being so close to Mayfair, it was a thrill to take in a gentle sojourn within the eclectic environs of ‘Boisdale Restaurant’… How wonderful to be ensconced in this Scottish family-owned establishment, where the intimate atmosphere is one of front-room privacy, with an open-door policy to all-comers. How refreshing to be descending an LP-lined stairwell and shown the cavernous lower deck of “The Vinyl Bar and Groove Room”, where guests can while away the hours to shellac-soaked DJ sets, re-surface to live music and then, turn a corner, to encounter a splendid, split-level dining scenario. An amalgamation of secret worlds, hidden in plain sight, it is the perfect dessert island for a sweet-tooth, such as I! Were it not for the prospect of fulfilling a childhood dream, I would have reclined further into the arms of my comfy corner…yet, parting held less sorrow, due to the jazz, jazz, jazz that was jumping through the air… which would be quite the intro into my next musical milieu…

Matinée this may have been, but, as with the best of creative experiences, the time makes no difference, the audience number makes no difference (although, as far as the eye could see, it was a sell-out!)… when the lights go on, you’d better be ready to turn up for the business of show!

… And that, dear friends, is exactly what took place!

The one-and-only Clarke Peters, (he of the, seemingly, endless, stellar acting resume!) and former member of the original dazzling incarnation, which had so many in a spin, adds to his credits, by taking the directorial helm. The influence of his multi-disciplinary artistry is passport-stamped throughout the journey of the production. It is as if his soul were integrated with every fibre, of every number… his spirit inscribed in every dance routine!

The action was to take place in ‘The Marble Arch Theatre’, a location akin to a flat-pack, fold-out template, except of ‘Tardis’ proportions… But Ikea, this ain’t, honey! Oh nothis is the height of ‘purpose-built’, for a very definitive reason!

The deceptively-sparse, speakeasy set was amphitheatre perfection, in drawing the audience closer to the action. In order to accentuate the 360-degree effect, a great visual point-of-reference was a circular travellator-stage which rotated between inner and outer seating circles… meaning that, cleverly, the concept of ‘rows’ simply didn’t register. It was a superb mechanic with which to suspend reality, unite us all, and facilitate us swivelling in our seats, as if in trendy upmarket office chairs!

I relished the fact that, at no point, did I feel as though I were simply an observing part-of-the-furniture!

Quite the opposite, since, at this all-encompassing gem of a jamboree, we all felt part of the production, which upped-the-ante, where audience participation was concerned… From semi-skatting ”The Calypso BeBop”, to the collective conga, any nerves were assuaged by the excitement of lyrics literally falling, confetti-like, from the rafters accompanied by a rousing Caribbean rhythm, respectively.. and that was just Act One!

Notwithstanding the twenty-minute interval, this theatrical train rarely, if ever, decelerated.

As for the actors, they were swan-like… Hardly pausing for breath, they appeared to glide through proceedings, as smoothly as their dance sequences! Show-tunes were, at once, belted out with grit and gusto, whilst wistful with vocal reminiscence, so as to project pain and pathos, with tender poignancy. The clarity of narrative being served, par excellence by a company of players, both, front and back of house, at the apex of their collective game, optimising the entire arc of the engaging plot…

…which begins with our protagonist, “Nomax”, who is a washed-up, maxed-out drunk, becoming increasingly beholden to his vices. The worse for wear after yet another stint of night-life and libation, he is still intent upon continuing to party hard… Enter stage left, right and centre, five guys named ‘Moe’, with a short, sharp, shock of an introduction, determined to stop the downward spiral of women and wine, with song and dance… hopefully leading to redemption with Lorraine, the real love of Nomax’s life.

Edward Baruwa portrays the vexed, perplexed and dishevelled soak with distinct aplomb. The 5 Guys, “Little Moe”, “Know Moe”, “Big Moe”, “Four-Eyed Moe” and “Eat Moe” played by Idris Kargo, Dex Lee, Mykal Rand, Adrian Hansel and Emile Ruddock, sparkle like the best, vintage champagne, with soul-filled melodic recitations, as warming as a far-flung beach destination and as crystal-clear as the blue sea lapping upon the shores of their vocals.

Snazzily-dressed in the sharpest of threads, the Guys cut-a-cool-dash, in outfits, beautifully reflective and celebratory of the era, in a rainbow of coloured and textural references. For example, such bespoke stylistic touches as a punchy plaid for “Know Moe” and luminous lime-green circular spectacles on “Four-Eyed Moe” customized each quirky character trait with class and distinction. Synthesizing this attention-to-detail towards apparel with that of the choreography also made for impressive visual imagery. The finesse of Fosse under the spectrum spotlights gave way to full-on, Nicholas Brothers, at fever-pitch! The moves weren’t just slick, they were oil slick… and the more experimental they became, the better! Often weaving about the space with the ease of a shuttle through an antique loom, physical theatre was playfully explored, to powerful comedic effect. Yet, for all of the eye-catching clowning, moments of mimicry and mime, innovative transformation of props, the artistic intention was nailed, with every well-honed high-kick and picture-perfect pose, worthy of, undoubted, hours of relentless rehearsal!

Binding together this colossus of an ensemble endeavour, was the, simply stellar, jazz band… Silhouettes, but ever-present, behind intricate curtains in Act One, they dazzle during the overture in Act Two. No longer the exuberant, yet, enigmatic shadows, they become the main attraction, delighting us with samples of scintillating solo virtuosity, before receding, once more, into the ether of the energetic Louis Jordan-filled score… Out-of-sight, perhaps, but never out-of-earshot!

This put me in mind of another late, great Louis…namely, Armstrong, who once said “If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know!”* Well, forget what you think you know, because, mark my words, you will get right-royally schooled by the majesty of this five-star musical… Compact, yet languid, fresh and free, this was total, high-impact theatre, awash with innovative twists and turns…

Yes, believe the hype, friends, and get down to The Marble Arch Theatre because I love, love, LOVED the rip-roaring rollercoaster ride through the age, with the 5 superfly Guys Named Moe and a standing ovation of satisfied, fellow theatre-goers emphatically agreed!

©A_F_R_O_W2018-2019. All Rights Reserved.

~

Click through for booking information about the smash hit show “5 Guys Named Moe” !

Deepest A_F_R_O_W-thanks to:-

Boisdale Restaurants, Team @Bubblz_Gigglz, Chloe at G-Gee PR and The Marble Arch Theatre for organising this outstanding, interactive experience!

(*Quote taken from www.brainyquote.com).

 

 

 

“Finding My Way From Hopper To Hoppen…!”

It’s all in the timing.

The past three events have proven it… beyond a shadow..

Read on.

All will be revealed… as it was for me.

The first, set the scene at the Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington Gardens. Mayfair was glazed in honey-hued sunshine, as I made my way to a private viewing of ‘The Lost Album’, an exhibiton of work by the late, great, actor, filmmaker, artist and photgrapher, Dennis Hopper.

I approached the distinctive, weather-mottled structure, distinctly-etched into the cognitive history of Arts…its dappled-grey exterior punctuated by billowing banners, raised aloft in celebration of the creative wonders within. Somewhat awash with excitement, I entered. Gentle scents of artisanal treats from ‘Atelier’, the RA cafe, wafted invitingly, roundabout me. Monochromatic Hopper-themed images emblazoned the space and I was already lost in them.

Ascending the wealth-of-winding staircase to the ‘Senate Room’, was, I mused, somewhat akin to being Scarlett O’Hara, swept up into the strapping arms of Rhett Butler and being swung across the threshold with sheer, Southern swagger! The highly-decorative ceilings, expansive windows and caramel-coloured, well-walked, wooden flooring, momentarily served to fuel my imaginings, but passionately-delivered and hugely informative pre-exhibiton talks soon brought me back into the room, with an ever-more piqued desire to discover what lay behind a new door, to the next.

That which ensued was a rhythmic chorus of movement, of guests from all walks of life. From the designer-clad to the street-stylers, to the suited-and-booted and beyond…a contemporary collection of attendees quickly became the, unknown, precursor and parallel, to the breadth of Hopper’s subject matter. In genteel clusters, they transitioned through an antechamber, where an expressive quote from the man, himself, distils the life-giving inspiration which the photographs had given to him. Standing to read and re-read, in order to familiarise myself with his ‘voice’, the human satellites had dwindled, only to have reformed, face-to-face, with encased black-and-white stills, along three sides of the perimeter of Room 1, lunch-queue-like, as if to devour the prints whole! The counter-cultural undercurrent running through the exhibiton, also seemed to be running through my veins, to the extent that I bypassed the following space and the viewing gallery and began my journey in the final room! As others observed, I perched upon banquettes in the midst of the floor and copied more of Dennis Hopper’s words, echoed upon the walls… In so doing, I began to assimilate the sense of freedom with which Hopper captured everything he saw.

From the quiet intimacy of boudoir shots, taken in L.A., to the ebullient evangelist series, caught, mid-sermon, so that you could almost hear the preaching… From gowned hippies at flower-power festivals, to Hells Angels, at rest and play, to the effortless cool of the ‘Fab Four of Art’, Warhol, Geldzahler, Hockney and Goodman…From ‘Soul Brother Number 1’, Mr James Brown, being fêted outside his Lear jet, to the picture-perfect Paul Newman, a living canvas upon which are cast charcoal shadows of wire and foliage… From the most visceral bullfighting in Mexico, to the stark irony of a welcome which warns you to ‘Keep Out’, in race-hate ravaged Montgomery, Alabama… to the power and poignancy of Martin Luther King speaking at Selma, no stone seems left unturned, no issue too raw, through which to manifest the truth of life and times in Dennis Hopper’s 60’s. Even the narrative of such minutiae as blistering paint and torn gauze, seem to represent revelatory realities behind the glamour of Hollywood and an increasing intolerance, bleeding through the thin veil of society. All the while, the intensity and detail are juxtaposed by an expansive, audiovisual shangri-la, of a road-scene from the co-created classic, ‘Easy Rider’….the constant stream, of which, engulfs you and baits your curiosity, as to Hopper’s unique vista, developed on-screen.

No wonder, then, that when invited to the B.F.I Southbank, to attend a private showing of the seminal indie-archetype, as part of the ‘Icon of Oblivion’ season, I was only too pleased to rsvp, without hesitation, and appease my inquisitiveness!

Second scene set, it was lights, camera, action in a robustly, modern venue, with a Southbank wrap-around…Yet this was no ordinary cinema… This was a veritable palace, doused in ruby-red, velvet curtains, with plush, matching chairs (the pile of which somehow moulded, ergonomically to the body, like a warm, cinematic cuddle!)… unobtrusive air-con…spacious legroom, (fantastic for me, being 5’9″..old money for approx 1m 80cm!)… and at 20:45 precisely, an impressive demonstration of sound, vision and performance got underway.

Having heard of, but never seen ‘Easy Rider’, I chose not to delve into research, preferring to rely on my R.A experience for a creative template. However, from the opening moments of South American drawl, to a dashing Peter Fonda (‘Wyatt’) in leathers and a hippie Hopper (‘Billy’), strands of Mexico, motorbiking and marginalised members of society, started to emerge.

A stream of consciousness unfurled. From Downtown L.A., wide-angled highway scenes on Harley Davidsons, begat pacy cut-aways, themselves, spliced with extreme-close-ups of twigs, only to be followed by contrasting, mountainous backdrops, which, in turn, were artistically peppered with silhouetted figures of our protagonists and an enigmatic hitchhiker, whom they had picked up, en route to New Orleans’ Mardi Gras!

The spectre of automation, hovering over tradition, was also accutely parallelled in a scene which sees Wyatt and Billy ride into a farm and park their bikes in a barn in the background, whereupon they clean their tyres, with a farrier/ farmhand, in the foreground, tending to horseshoes. Modernity and the notion of progress, seem to be replacing heritage, as swiftly as the Harleys.

Multi-sensory statements including the changing faces of fashion, music and spirituality, are vividly presented. Nothing is contrived. The script is sparsely written, to allow for its multi-faceted, sociopolitical meanings to deeply penetrate the psyche. With an energy of unadulterated art-in-response, undaunted by popular opinion and a short-sharp-shock of an ending, ‘Easy Rider’ struck me with extreme profoundity and was brilliantly complemented by the truly incredible ‘Lost Album’ exhibition.

In fact, it is the final ‘view-from-above’ shot, which would resonate even further with me, at the closing scene of my event-trilogy, that the ‘Photographers v Prostate Cancer’ private viewing and silent auction, in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, held at ‘The Michael Hoppen Gallery’, in the heart of Chelsea.

The late Dennis Hopper lost his battle against prostate cancer in 2010, as did my Father and so, by way of honouring his memory, I sought the chance to cover the evening…and what a moving, optimistic, enjoyable night it was! Photography spanned such genres as portraiture, landscape and reportage…decades, with such names as Hendrix and Yehudi Menuhin encapsulated alongside Keira Knightley….and such amazing photgraphers as Thomas Stanworth, Clive Barda and Rankin.

Hearty addresses were given by Lord Archer, himself a survivor of the male form of cancer and leading prostate surgeon, Professor Roger Kirby, both, of whom, were unrelenting in encouragement of men to proactively pursue GP check-ups, at the first sign of a problem, rather than leave the situation, until it might be too late to treat. Enthusiastic rallying was also made, to bid as much as possible, in order to raise as much as possible, so as to continue the fight against this ruthless disease. Notwithstanding the seriousness of the cause, the bright, white gallery was filled with an air of joy and hope…and by the end of the 3-hour event, an outstanding £17,600 had been raised.

I exited with a sense of peace, joy and exhileration, safe in the knowledge that whilst some, dear, loved ones might have lost their valiant battles against prostate cancer, such cheerful giving-in-action, would help to win the war.

I was then brought, full-circle, to ‘Easy Rider’s’ end camera angle, which finished high up in the sky, as if looking down upon the world…

I somehow felt as if Dennis and my Father were smiling and doing the same…

*********

Many thanks to:-

Simone Stewart at the Royal Academy, Victoria Humphrys at the B.F.I Southbank, Michael Hoppen, Richard Dunkley, Leena Patel, Team Prostate Cancer UK for your kindess and hospitality!

For more information on the above events at the R.A and B.F.I Southbank, organisations and to bid on remaining pictures in aid of Prostate Cancer UK, click the links below!

www.royalacademy.org.uk ~( @royalacademy ~ www.facebook.com/royalacademy )

www.bfi.org.uk ~ ( @bfi ~ www.facebook.com/BritishFilmInstitute )

Photographers v Prostate Cancer

www.prostatecanceruk.org

www.michaelhoppengallery.com

©AFROW2014-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

***

EMAIL EXCHANGE FROM LEENA PATEL (PCUK)

‘Thank you so much for doing this, means a lot that we have your support.’

MUSIC PREVIEW: ‘HANGIN’ WITH MR COOPER!’

The “Kensington Roof Gardens” are akin to an urban Eden.

I had the distinct fortune of visiting the rooftop hideaway, many moons ago, to partake of the most scintillating spoken word… assimilating every ardently-annunciated utterance, as the flora and fauna absorbed the excitedly-expelled carbon dioxide. I recall the burning sun receding into a see-through veil of dusk, yielding, only, to a blanket of deep, blue-velvet night. I yet decipher shadowy fronds, as face-paints, dancing upon the animated musculature of smiles… At such altitude, with no visible separation from the sky, it seemed as though the celestial had reclaimed the earthen territory…

…in readiness to, one day, welcome a soul-sentinel, by the name of John Paul Cooper.

He is human, yet he houses a falsetto, that is unquestionably real…Mortal, yet in possession of a glissando which glitters through a vocal range, not disimilar to the aurora borealis. His, is an authenticity of melodic articulation which, when harmonised with a pure palette of heartfelt emotion, sees something of the divine settle upon a crowd. From polished renditions of such classics as “I Wish I Didn’t Miss You”*, by the legendary Angie Stone, with whom he has just completed a celebrated UK tour, to the melifluous fervour of “The Only Reason”**, J.P. Cooper is a troubadour-of-truth from beyond the harbour of the clouds.

Fitting, then, that this Friday 16th May, The Roof Gardens should be the home to cradle this wonderfully humble and uniquely- purposed talent… Oh to be a fly, on the leaf of a wall, near the stage, to witness this down-to-earth superstar, from the stars…

‘T’would be a beatific blessing, indeed!

*”I Wish I Didn’t Miss You”: http://youtu.be/mOtgEf_ggLg (via YouTube) ~ **”The Only Reason”: http://youtu.be/GadLKCzw670 (via YouTube :Kevin Thomas)

 www.roofgardensclub.com ~ www.facebook.com/jpcoopermusic ~https://twitter.com/JPCooperMusic ~ www.jpcooper.bandcamp.com

(Join every platform, ‘like’ every profile…because you’ll love J.P. Cooper forever!xx)

©AFROW2014-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

***

TWITTER-TESTIMONIAL FROM @JPCooperMusic!

‘Possibly the nicest thing anybody has ever said about me… Thankyou.. Beautifully written… xx’

LCM: THE HEAVENS OPEN AT TOPMAN’S AW2014 SHOW!

Dark. Dank. Devoid of sound.

Booooom!!!

The edgy power of John Cooper Clarke cuts through the ether…His weighty words, doused in a Lancashire accent, darting rhythmically about like vocal strobes.

The spoken word hits a crescendo, his last line held in the air, embraced by nothingness.

Within seconds, action ensues, as mist-for-lighting announces the dawn in Topman’s LCM showspace. An industrial location is revealed, with a concrete catwalk, dressed, intermittently, in pools of water and as deep, electronica replaces the solo, the first model, with already-drenched hair, turns the corner into this brick-clad world of ‘Wuthering Heights’, breaking the modern-day barrenness with an opening AW14 look.

Black literally set the tone, represented by substantial, single-breasted, over-sized, overcoats, such as the duffel, with a popular toggle-fastening and their double-breasted counterparts in waist-hitting jackets. PVC bonded to ‘notch’-lapels, patch-pockets and block-hems, added textural impact to the round-shouldered silhouettes, which skulked the pass. ‘Wet-look’ variations-on-the-theme would be presented in high-shine, lacquered-leather separates, impressively accentuating apparel in shape, form and line, whilst also defining details through such simple, yet effective, techniques as piping. Within this section, the colour propostions mirrored the autumnal palettes of moss-meadow green and mushroom, with red-based plaid shirts and tassled jackets (echoing the cowboy-themed SS14 motif), acting as the flash of sunlight, breaking free upon the moorland.  Knitwear was rugged. At times, no-nonsense, with exaggerated, chin-cupping roll-necks, in open, cable and honeycomb weaves, resembling stylised fishing-nets…At others, given lozenge-beading and bouclé, to revisit pops-of-colour and to add surface characteristics.

Yet stronger spectral statements flooded onto sumptuous, full-length coats, in blazing orange, with matching, ‘jazzed-up’, ‘zoot-suit-style’ pants, voluminous and billowing against the strength-of-momentum with which the models strode through the venue. The pieces were also to be reprised in baby-blue pastel, a further homage to the tonal story, which has played a starring role in the sartorial spring/summer repertoire of many a design-house. The next seasonal trend-transition to be encapsulated, was the see-through mac, of long and short dimensions. Layered alongside these key advents into eye-catching shades, they complemented the story, with a revealing twist. Signature tailoring, for which the brand has become so higly-recognised and revered, featured in juxtaposed fashion to the drop-shouldered, full-pant ensembles, instead shown as straight-lined, straight-legged, suiting, in shipyard-slate and charcoal-greys, ever-echoing the ‘working-men’ of the past.

With the last look of black roll-neck, oversized, three-quarter length, matt, PVC coat and glistening liquid-look trousers, the Topman AW14 Collection had brought us to the end of our tour-of-the moors….or so it seemed…The last hurrah was an indoor downpour of rain, which fell upon the models as they walked the finale! It was an other-worldly end to a show which was typical of a collaboration, headed by the ebullient Gordon Richardson, and backed by an amazing design-team who know exactly who their ‘man’ is. To me, he’s a powerful, passionate, hardworking, salt-of-the-earth, modern-day Heathcliff and he wants his clothing to express that!

In the inimitable words of John Cooper Clark, ‘There’s apparel, Jim, but not as we know it!’* and when this distinctive collection hits the stores, you’ll see exactly what he means!

  http://www.londoncollections.co.uk/ ~ http://www.topman.com/

*Excerpt from ‘TOP MAN’ by John Cooper Clark

©AFROW2014-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

IT’S ALL ABOUT ‘ME CLOTHING’!

There’s something relentlessly positive about urban streetwear label, ‘ME Clothing’!

Already on the fashion-forward radar of ‘Jones Bennett PR’, the leading-edge, boutique, public-relations agency, with an astute awareness of emerging creative talent, it was with great anticipation, that I awaited my chance to spread-the-word! Kindly passing the promotion-baton to yours truly, I inquisitively-embarked upon my dash-to-discover the origins of such boundless energy and ambition!

Maybe it was the series of ‘snapback’ caps, emblazoned with the sign of ‘Victory’, or perhaps, the signature-slogan of ‘I’m A Boss’, being announced via the visual loud-hailer of its upper-case, bold-type, upon primary-permeated sweatshirts… It could even have been the ladies’ ‘Varsity’ jackets, which yelled cheerleader-chic, in popping-candy-pink! To whichever garment my journey visited, I, most assuredly, called-off-the-search, once I’d found out more about Adam Benjamin, the entrepreneurial-brain and design-brawn, behind the brand!

Described by Jones Bennett PR as being motivated by manifesting a ‘feel-good factor’ of mutual creative appreciation, though the medium of fashion, and fuelled by the desire to offer a striking, urbanwear range, distinguishable by its dynamic design-presence, ‘ME Clothing’ was born. Impressive, for me, was the absolute clarity of vision with which Mr Benjamin pursued his objective, and, even moreso, that this has been directly reflected, in a brand-identity of cool, stealthy, simplicity. When added to the further artistic impact upon him of an ardent passion for music, the compounded outcome of highly-wearable, marketable, yet affordable, pieces was, and still is, entirely achieved.

A stand-out feature of the collection is its capsule nature, a perfect mirror to the succinct name. Substantially-quilted gilets, puff their chests proudly against practical silhouettes, available in both hooded and non-hooded options. Statement jumpers, are identifiable from-distance, with their glaring typography… tees, round-necked are efficiently-cut and, whether Christmas were nearly upon us, or not, I could sing a descant of praises over the ‘hero-piece’, varsity jackets, with their luxurious contrast-leather sleeves! Furthermore, as a stalwart for perpetuating the unique, I love the customisation-element, which acts as a ‘clothing-shuffle’, of sorts, facilitating creative ingenuity via upping-the-bandwidth of the easy, mix-match, neutral-toned palette! Such pleasing punctuations of personalized flair, worn in any combination, with one of the superb snapbacks and some boxfresh kicks, mean you’re good-to-go from pavement-to-première and back!

With the ability to span art-forms, it is no surprise, then, that over the three years since the launch in 2010, the label has attracted stars of the hip-hop/ r ‘n’ b genre, on both sides of ‘the pond’! The likes of U.K chart-toppers, such as ‘Chipmunk’ and ‘Wretch 32’ have been spotted sporting ME menswear, whilst heart-throb rapper, ‘Bow Wow’, has flown-the-flag for the brand, over in the U.S, in his one-off, customised jacket from the über-popular ‘Varsity’ collection. However, such household figures in sport as Florent Malouda, have also selected the brand as a ‘go-to’ designer-choice, and herein lies the tantalising twist-in-the-tale of ‘ME Clothing’. Not only is it amassing celebrity endorsement, but it is also capitalising upon a ‘mass-appeal’ momentum, which is quickly gathering pace within the scholastic-sport demographic! Once again, proving the less-is-more adage to be a design-winner, since bespoke jackets have been fabricated for the basketball and cheerleading teams of such esteemed institutions as Northampton and Westminster Universities, respectively.

Versatility, then, incorporated with a ‘warp-speed’ drive towards continued and discernable creative expression, are qualities which set, Adam Benjamin and his ‘ME Clothing’ label apart. He is a shining example of, both, enterprise and initiative, determinedly representing the head-turning vibrancy of the U.K’s urban-menswear scene. I found the brand replete with a stylistic spirit which is ‘100% ME‘ and after you’ve checked out the range, I think they’ll be a 100% ‘you’, too!

 www.iwearme.co.uk ~ www.store.iwearme.co.uk ~ @MECLOTHINGUK ~ SALE NOW ON WITH UP TO 50% OFF!

www.jonesbennettpublicrelations.com ~ @jonesbennettpr

©AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Welcome to the ‘Maison Bentley Style’ Blog Party!

BLOGGERS-OF-THE-WORRRRRRLD…UNITE!!!

‘Tis the season to show the social-media-cognoscenti how to get-the-pardy-starded!

I’m AFROW:BLACK GIRL ON THE FRONT ROW…a wiley-wordsmith and ardent-aficionado of all-things creative!

A trip to my blog will find you meandering through the streets of art, fashion, music, poetry and so much more

So don’t bother about a map, because, here, it’s all about getting lost-in-lucid-lines and navigating-in-narrative, via an eternally-open-heart and the images of the inner-mind!

Have a fanTAStic time…and remember, there’s always a seat for you at AFROW’s!

Pardy-hardy kids!

xAx

©AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

 

‘STYLE HAPPENS SOONER, ON ‘LATER’!’

We have a lot to thank Mr Jools Holland for! Not only does he bring us the most eclectic of live, global musical offerings, from established and emerging artists, alike, but with them, come a plethora of stand-out, sartorial selections, from the style-spectrum! For instance, you’re as likely to see and hear the hauntingly melodic, ‘Amadou and Mariam’, bedecked in bold, traditional Malian dress, playing in the-round, as you are the infectiously-anthemic synth-pop of ‘M.T’, in their eponymous multi-coloured, tie-dye-tees!

Case-in-point has to be a recent episode, featuring, Goldfrapp, James Blake, Franz Ferdinand and Kanye West!

 Backlit in a pure-gold aura and engulfed, full-length, in a column of black chiffon-drapery, the ever-ethereal, Alison Goldfrapp, held the audience, spell-bound with her melifluously reed-like, vocal perfomance of ‘Annabel’. The timeless gown, simultaneously, captured her effortless, idiosyncratic grace, whilst also paying homage to SS14 runways, with its pintuck-peephole bodice.

The unnervingly-talented James Blake delivered an equally-classy rendition of the stunning ‘Retrograde’. With hair, windswept, in defiance of the stillness generated by his unfolding-wall-of sound, he was an example of understated style, surrendering to sonic substance. In a ‘1-800 Dinosaur’ T-shirt-and-jeans ensemble, Blake also seamlessly combined product-placement of his new record label and a pinpoint performance, with ease and flair.

In stark juxtaposition, was the riff and quiff-friendly, Franz Ferdinand. Already well-known for their unique fashion statements including the sharpest of Savile Row-silhouettes, the band showed that they had lost none of their couture-creativity, teaming the gusto of, lyrically, ‘right words’ with the ‘right action’ of donning fashion-forward Hawaiian-prints with rock-a-billy attitude! Very D-Squared-2!

Kanye West’s performance of ‘Bound To’, with the outstanding ‘Uncle’ Charlie (Gap Band) Wilson, more-than-referenced the fact that he had graduated, magna-cum-laude, from the School-of-FROW! The ‘College Drop-Out’ star stamped his artistic authority on the programme, with all of the swagger for which we have come to love him. Punctuating the pitch-black studio with dramatic spotlighting, which served to accente his choice of a laid-back, layering trend, a play-on-neutrals of black ribbed-tee and low-slung, loose-fit, trousers, was complemented by a three-quarter length, khaki parka and desert boots in a pop-of-camel-colour. The entire look was topped-off by the trademark, heavy-gold, diamond-set, belcher-link chain, de rigueur for ushering in SS14’s metallic forecast! Uncle Charlie was certainly in-the-house, with his own, distinguished, take on double-denim, accessorizing with shades, as blacked-out as the windows on a one-off, customised Bugatti! It was, undoubtedly, a fitting backdrop to the soaring, silky-smooth, vocal-runs and devastating musical prowess of such a living-legend of U.S Funk/R&B!

So, the next time you tune into ‘Later… with Jools Holland’, keep an eye out for a new class of ‘artist-interpretations’… I think you’ll find that, on closer inspection, they are, in fact, rather more original!

©AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED