afrow

Black Girl on the Front Row!

Tag: SUPPORT

“Seen”

“Seen”,

does not, hurt!

It shows,

that you are, heard.

It is not, mean.

Nor, median.

On the contrary.

As,

it confirms,

Intention,

beyond, medium,

has been expressed.

Absence,

of a “mention“,

affirms,

a, quiet,

mutual confidence.

So. Rest.

Should,

detailed interaction,

be subtracted,

makes you,

no less,

Blessed.

Therefore,

be, not, repressed.

Silence,

does not

have to notify,

that you

have not impressed

a mark of

Truth,

that, deeply,

resonates.

So,

do not

second-guess,

your Soul.

For,

you’ve professed

the Best,

the Great!

Did not control

your, Joy-filled, energy,

but, came…

… and,

though, they saw,

yet,

did not say,

that cannot,

ever,

conquer this

That,

you’ve fulfilled

your Destiny..

..Personified the message,

you were

meant, to Be.

Now,

walk ahead,

in Victory,

and,

neverending,

Bliss!

∗∗

©A_F_R_O_W2021.

All Rights Reserved.

‘SPOTLIGHT ON: THE SARTORIAL RISE OF MR HUDSON’

Dearest Afrow-Family, might I prevail upon you for a moment, in order to regale you with the very happy news that Mr Hudson has returned!

Yes, he’s back on-the-‘b’-of-the-bang, with his soulful new single, ‘Fred Astaire’ suitably-paired with a couture video-clip of exquisite elegance.

We catch him in collaborative mood, with photographer-extraordinaire, Rankin, his willing creative-accomplice, and what results is a snapshot of a man-in-love, making himself ready to meet the object-of-his-affections, herself, in preparation for his arrival. It is, indeed, a  romantic narrative, but don’t think for a minute that co-created visual-art would ever remain simple, in a Rankin-Hudson world!

What ensues is a glorious homage to the entire process of manifesting such a stunning end-result. With the objective of giving status-to-the-apparatus, we, the viewers, become an invited-audience of a site-specific, behind-the-scenes, movement sequence. Thus, in one shot, we are exposed to the make-up artist, putting the final swipes of non-reflective base onto Hudson’s gossamer-skin, whilst in another, a snake of crew-members process after him as, rose-in-hand, he winds his way to his date’s door. It is, in a word, stunning and witnessing the work-in-progress would be one thing, but the merging of the emotive element is a sight to behold. The crew seem to be a support-system to Hudson’s ‘Eynesford-Hill-style’ character, in parallel to the real-time support-group of professionals whom they form, in facilitating the succesful outcome of the project.

Stylistically, the video is an undeniable tour-de-force. From the trademark black vest, at the beginning of his dressing ritual, to the crisp, clean, lightning-white shirt, razor-sharp, Hardy Amies suiting, efficiently-cut, so as to accentuate Hudson’s compact frame, to the timepiece which tantalises at the wrist and the beautiful, old-faithful brogue, constituting the Astaire-footwear, the look hails to the top-to-toe glamour of the quintessential, reel-to-reel screen-star, with an anglo-edge!

Just as our protagonist takes to the look with a cool and quiet confidence, so too, has Mr Hudson stuck his stylistic-perspective above the parapet, along his journey to greater public visibility. At times the classic country-gent, in tweed flat-cap and waistcoat, at others the ‘Singing Detective’, in a dipped trilby-and-trench ensemble, he has always held an air of wit, to match the wisdom of his open-hearted lyrics. As his career has developed, so too has his foray into the realms of the fashion-cognoscenti deepened. Courting the extremes of the on-trend, has found him ahead-of-the-game when it comes to expressing his sartorial approach. He makes no bones about having a wardrobe, which incorporates either a T-shirt with a stark, geometric design, a vibrant, primary-red two-piece suit or super ankle-skimming, tapered trousers, seemingly tailored to within-an-inch of their perambulatory efficacy! He has an innate sense of freedom-of-fashion-speech, which promotes the continuation of his brand-conversations on many levels, whether high-end, via Jil Sander, Burberry or Dior, or high street, through the likes of Top Man, and the excitement rests in the fact that he is such a chameleon…ergo his model-status with the top-tier ‘Next’ Agency!

Of late, he has been off our radars, building his production-repertoire, thus any glimpses which we have seen of him, have showcased another of his ‘go-to’ looks, of striped, loose top, rolled-up, straight-legged pants and, more often than not, his beloved brogues…without socks, mind you! However, with the release of ‘Fred Astaire’, we get to see the a man who is a symposium-on-style… On this track, we hear just how gifted a vocalist he is, with a faultless falsetto, (better than I’ve ever heard him sing before), reminiscent of the scintillating skills of Daryl Hall, and the lyrical ability to verse the vulnerability of a type of man with a ‘stiff-upper-lip’, who is courageous enough to admit he hurts but still gets out there and loves, all the same.

Mr Hudson shines in the constellation of U.K and global artists and whilst he has named David Bowie as his style icon, I believe that this troubadour-for-our-times, is fulfilling his potential of being a top man and gentleman, for generations to come.

‘Fred Astaire’ video: http://youtu.be/ikvxrC2mI1g courtesy of HungerTV! Enjoy!

©AFROW 2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

‘AN EAST-END LOVE AFFAIR’….

So, yours truly has returned from swooping and dipping upon the mighty back of a modern-art and musical mistral! Just as this meteorological thermal is quickly-accompanied by clear and fresh weather, so too, has my mental after-party been partnered by crystallised, cognitive art-assimilation!

Utterly wooed have I been, by the dapper-gent of East London’s multi-disciplinary art-scene..and I have fallen for every magnificent manifestation, in both conscious and subconscious realms. Frankly, the area oozes creativity…. From urban to fine-art, street-style to avant-garde gear, old-skool to nu-skool, game-changing musical-movements, the E.C’s got it covered!

Invitational rose petals had already been fluttering my way, from ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show’… as described in my subsequent post ‘The Arts go OFF-the-BEAT-en Track’… However, the tokens of affection have continued to adorn my artistic pathways in the guise of such events as ‘The Other Art Fair’*, which was another world, the adjoining ‘Moniker Art Fair’ which was brain-crunchingly breath-taking.. and a one-off video-launch of the effortlessly vibrant ‘Alpha Romeo’, from one of electro-pop’s finest purveyors, M.T!

We begin the beguine, under the industrial roof of ‘The Old Truman Brewery’, where I was one amongst an intense, rush-hour-sequence of excited visitors, weaving their way along corridors, bearing the brilliance of a superlative spectrum of talent, expressed through exhibits of painstaking-perseverance and time-honoured, yet idiosyncratic, technique.

Like a theramin, my heart-strings were plucked by the invisible fingers of visual-art, as a domino of pieces from emerging and established portfolios, brimful of imagery, alike, fell into the open arms of my anticipation. The beauty of these East-London flora had me fluttering from genus-to-genus of urban, photographic, live, printed, filmic, painted, embroidered, collaged, stencilled and oh-so-fine art media! In fact, at every turn, so high a standard of work was on display, that I wondered just how the respective gallerists had chosen which of their artists to showcase. ‘Was this how it felt to choose a favourite amongst a brood of children?’ I wondered! Well, the joy for me, was that I didn’t have to select… I simply succumbed to this ever-more enticing visual fayre, in all of its beauteous glory and let my internal, creative-chorale decipher its own descant of mounted offerings!

Thus, the coloratura of crystallised global-landscapes of Jaykoe, gave way to semi-quavers of surreal photographic re-interpretations of water by Angelika Spranger, in turn, complemented by M.J. Forster’s sotto voce, watercolour wonder-world, followed by the crescendo of Matt Small’s multi-layered car-bonnet creations, Keira Rathbone’s staccato, type-writer-work, the ralentando of 3-D relief, by the outstanding Jo Peel, the harmonies of acute attention-to-detail, wielded by Mark Powell’s pen-art and a collaborative coda of riffs-on-black-and-white, as manifested by Zeus and T.L.P, in their transplantations of outdoor urban-landscapes to indoor art-scapes! A relentless downbeat of hip-hop sonically-booming through the space, often caused my senses to intensely focus-pull upon each moment and, as the days progressed, the revelation dawned that, in fact, each moment was a happening, waiting to unravel… It took a second visit, on a comparatively calm Sunday afternoon, for my own voice to add its bespoke grace-notes, the result of which, are wrapped within this written solo.

Gifts from East-London did not come in the shape of objets d’arts, alone! Oh no! Indeed, my promenade was to continue along the Ridley Road market, to a video-premiere party at a delightfully quirky Carmen-Miranda-esque establishment, by the name of ‘Wu’s’. At personal invitation of synth-pop supremos, ‘M.T’ (which stands for ‘Many Things’), and in defiance of the imminent arrival of Hurricane Jude, I accepted… Well, after all, it would have been Wu’d not to!!

At first glance, what with all of the stalls neatly-housed for the night, you would have been forgiven for wondering whether you had taken an errant turning but I had faith in my East-London chaperone and my faith was duly rewarded with an evening of all-consuming fun, in an intimate atmosphere of warmth and hearty welcomes, more akin to a close-knit family gathering than that of an inaugural video-preview of a critically-acclaimed musical outfit! From the outset, Michael, the lead singer, was the perfect host…A willowy figure, with shoulder-length, chestnut-brown hair and deep pools of super-friendly, yet intense, eyes, he cut a dash in a three-quarter camel mac, opened just enough, to reveal a loose, black, scoop-necked jumpsuit, with its long sleeves hinting at the overcoat’s cuffs. Affectionately-known to his friends as the ‘white, fluffy, cloud’ because of his love of wearing white on-stage, it was evident that his quiet humility had long-inspired many of whom made up the guests that night. As the venue became increasingly filled, I sensed that the overriding energy revolving around the room was of friendship, support and love. The video, was joyfully reflective of just such emotion, evolving from band close-ups, to an all-out party-scene, featuring many of the people in the amassed crowd.  As I left, amidst a flurry of hugs, I remember feeling as if I had been some long-lost member of the family, at a celebratory reunion!

I walked into a waiting evening of sullen storm-clouds, apt for precipitation, M.T’s ‘Alpha Romeo’ the more-than-welcome sonic invasion into my soul’s soundtrack and a heartfelt acknowledgment that, whilst the whirlwind-of-wooing was over, this was no fly-by-night notion of affection. On the contrary, yours truly had been veritably won-over by my dapper-gent that is East London and marks the renaissance of a relationship, the kind of which, I am certain, will last forever.

© AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

www.monikerartfair.com : www.theotherartfair.com : www.pagetpr.com : www.mtmanythings.com

: www.facebook.com/ridleyroad (Wu’s)

*Heartfelt thanks to Paget PR for organising my invite to the amazing event!

 

Creative Arts go OFF-the-BEAT-en track!

All roads led to ‘The Oval Space’, in Bethnal Green, last night, for one of the most anticipated of multi-media mash-ups on the Creative-Arts Calendar, namely, ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show 2013’! You might remember that I was more-than-a-tad excited at the prospect of attending the event, which was presented by ‘öffbeat’, the Arts lifestyle brand… Well, it was, indeed, an extraordinary display of, what I happen to believe, makes the power of creative-collaboration so undeniably potent.

The moment I entered into the behemoth of this, formerly-derelict, space, pregnant with potential, I immediately sensed a synchronicity between the throbbing baseline, which was disseminating through my central nervous system and the  contractions of imminent, fashion-brand-births! I also found myself marvelling at just how perfectly-balanced a venue it was, being, at once, expansive, with enough room in which to throw and catch shapes, a-plenty, whilst also intimate enough to accommodate the collective energy of a collaborative congregation.

The vibe was rich and distinct. People from all walks-of-life rubbed shoulders, as they shook to the dynamic DJ-grooves and pressed palms with artists and designers, alike, in congratulatory exuberance. However, just like the beats, the meet-and-greets didn’t stop, for these everday-people embraced one another, as well as opportunities to form newfound fashion-friendships.

Co-existing under this banner of ’emergent ambience’ were starkly-contrasting Art-forms. In one corner was housed a formidable frieze of stylised character-outlines, created by self-confessed Narnia-resident, Dom&Ink! These especially-conceived, ebullient images were oft-surrounded by admirers, yet, things took a definite turn, when the quiff-sporting illustrator, and author of ‘Map Of My Heart’, appeared, and encouraged the observers to colour them in! Around the corner, more exceptional Art took my breath away. Wandering guests were bathed in diffused, iridescent light, emitted from the impressive installations, at floor and eye-levels, of SunYin Xiaowen and Aphra Shezma. Others stood, face-to-face, with equally-stunning, Fine Art offerings from Linda Cieniawska, Charlotte Osbourne and Gwyneth Fugard. As I passed by the intermittent onlookers, it was as if their inner energies were mirrored by the pieces, in such a way as to become ‘human glowsticks’ and ‘living wallpaper’ and I recall feeling truly priveleged, not only to witness the effect of such private moments, being experienced in public, but to also be an integral part of appreciating the exquisite talent.

As time grew nearer to the presentation of fashion, which was so on-edge, it felt as if someone were scraping their fingernails down a blackboard, excitement was fuelled by singing sensation, Vince Kidd. All but prowling-the-platform, he delivered Otis-Redding-raw vocals, with a similarly-seasoned prowess, speaking-to-the-deeps with his soul-inspired spin, on life, love and all that lies between. After taking the audience upon a heartfelt journey, Kidd made his exit, stage left, to whoops of delight and enthusiastic applause, leaving the see-through screen to became the backdrop behind which each model would wait, before taking to the runway.

In a bid to further immerse myself into the experience, yours truly took to her second home (for which I didn’t need to find five percent!), the Frow! Suddenly, silhouettes of each collection were backlit-to-perfection, establishing the effect of a ‘fashion-fourth-wall’, as well as indicating that, tonight, something was coming, which was better than good! However, this separation was soon to be aurally removed by bespoke, live collaborations with up-and-coming musicians who, from the stature of their performances, are bound to make increasingly influential impacts in each of their respective genres. First-up, was the amazing singer, Lydia Baylis, who tore-away-the-veil, with a unique set of beautifully-accompanied, sultry, acoustic-folk. Hot-on-her-heels, and before anyone had time to settle into the still, harmonic haze, ‘Kill It Kid’ stepped up and totally smashed the divide, juxtaposing the, previously, gentle mood, with an awesome repertoire of sonic explosions! Both styles brilliantly served to complement the essence of each designer-aesthetic and we were treated to a creative-clash which would put the SS14 ‘print-clash’ trend of any well-known fashion-house to shame!

Models with raked-back, ‘just-got-out-of-bed’ Batiste-hair and fashion-forward, metallic make-up were bedecked in sublime, sheer pieces from the avant-garde world of Marcelo Yarussi, the deftest of twists on masterful, digitally-printed garments, designed by Nicolas Wirth and the cool creations of blank-canvas-white, high-end futurism of London College of Fashion Graduate, Isabell Yalda Hellysaz. The fêted, power-house-of-a design institution was also showcased via the stand-out, all-black, structural apparel from Maria Zhminko, the intriguing, open-weave, cage-like, riffs on body-con from design-duo, Rebecca Morter and Gemma Vanson and the decadent columns-of-kaftans, with concentrated print-formations, from the joint-genius-pairing of Christina Tiran and Victoria Rowley.

As the showlights faded, such superstar-DJ names as the irrepressible ‘Bill & Will’, ‘Shivas Regal’, the A&R-astute founder of Tigermilk Recordings, and idiosyncratic rhythm-maker, ‘Mculo’, were heralded to take-to-the-decks and storm-the soundsystem! With a two-step, here, and a head-nod, there, (but, sadly, before the anticipated arrival of the superb Rufio Summers), I was ready to bow-out gracefully and wind my way through a London-town which, once again, felt like a haven for burgeoning, undiscovered artistry. In fact, I can’t remember a night where so many apparent-strangers were apt-for-sharing, participating and co-creating such a ‘moment’ in time.. It just goes to show that there is a real fashion-fellowship, of sorts, doing-away with the out-dated image of an industry which is, supposedly, replete with back-biting, where only the strong survive, and is redefining it, as one filled with opportunities to go beyond disciplines or regions and traverse brand new terrain! Of course, no industry is perfect, but the ethos behind such events as ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show’, promotes the commercial as a facilitative route and supportsystem to creativity, whilst maintaining, without compromise, the core integrity of the energy-source from which successful collaboration grows.

So, my deepest gratitude goes out to öffbeat, for providing me with with the chance to be part of such a unique vibe. Further congratulations go out to all other sponsors/ affiliates, both front and back-of-house, involved in delivering this fantastic gathering. Last night was everything it promised to be, an interactive celebration of multi-media expression, par excellence, filled with extraordinary and inspiring examples of Creative-Arts-at-their-best and I cannot recommend ‘The Shoreditch Fashion Show’ to you, highly enough! Neither can I wait to see how öffbeat and partners focus-pull their combined-skills to shine new lights on rising-stars of parallel creative-platforms in 2014!

©AFROW2013-2019 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

***

TWITTER-TESTIMONIALS FROM ‘VIVID FASHION GROUP’ (@VIVIDFashionGrp)

‘One of the most descriptive and all together best blogs we have read!! @A_F_R_O_W please review all our events!’

‘…just re-read your blog on the show, it’s such an honour that what we created came across to you. Thank you for your words x’