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

SAMI – Matilda the Musical!

Last week, I has the pleasure of having family stay from abroad. I took them to see the new(ish) musical ‘Matilda’, with Music and Lyrics by Antipodean stand up comic Tim Minchin, and book by Dennis Kelly, based on the book by Roald Dahl of the same name.I’ve read so many wonderful things written about the show, and I had been looking forward to seeing it for some time, and it was truly wonderful. The whole of the Cambridge theatre has the air of the children’s section at your local library, even the ushers seem to be extra specially friendly for this production. The set was gloriously framed in blues, and giant scrabble letters spelling out some of the words one assumes Miss. Honey was teaching at school that day. 

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If you’ve seen the film, don’t expect a copycat. This production is much more loyal to the original Roald Dahl book. Produced by the RSC, I don’t think i’d have expected anything less. The cast were all magnificent, with special mention going to all the children, I found myself many times thinking, “Where on earth did they find these wonderful kids!” they really brought the whole show to life. Another special mention must go to David Leonard, who made every second on stage count in his portrayal of meanie Miss Trunchbull. Having to follow in the rather large, (and now broadway treading) footsteps of Bertie Carvel he really takes this role, and makes it his own, Or should I say her own. 

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The score for the show is astoundingly good, I’m an on/off fan of Tim Minchin’s standup, and really think a lot of his ‘ditties’ are hit or miss, but for this he’s really pulled out all the stops, and each song gets an A+ from me. So good in fact, as soon as I got home, I downloaded the soundtrack, to add to my burgeoning collection!I would recommend seeing this at any age, the jokes are appropriate and funny for old and young alike, and without sounding too cliché it really is a feel good show. Take your Mum, take your kids, or take your hard to please boyfriend, but please, take someone and go!

SAMI – Amelia Lily, Shut Up (and give me…) ‘How to’

With the release of the lovely Amelia Lily’s second single ‘Shut Up (and give me whatever you’ve got)’ I’ve decided to give you a special ‘How to’ treat for the hair in the music video.

For this video we had two looks, one that was a bit more wet look, and the second a little softer…also you may notice pinker!

So first the wet look;

I gave Amelia’s hair a really good wash and condition with the Urban Antidotes ‘Resurrection’ range, (the ones in the red bottles!) it’s really perfect if you colour your hair, or like to style it a lot, as it’s very nourishing.

I half dried her hair, and applied some Bedhead Sculpting Liquid from the mid lengths to the tips, and then added on top of this some Bedhead Foxy Curls mousse from the roots all the way through.

Using a wide toothed comb, I combed the products through and positioned her parting to one side. Next using my hairdryer, and diffuser I dried the hair, paying attention to the shape I was making. It’s quite a slow way to dry hair, as the air should be quite cool, but this means you’ve got plenty of time to shape your hair to exactly how you want it to look. Smooth the hair in your fingers as you go, and don’t worry that your hair separates into strands, that’s the wet look you’re after! I find swishing the hair about while drying, getting some air, and volume into it is a good tip also.

 

SAMI copy

For the second look, I wanted to take advantage of the product i’d already worked into Amelia’s hair, so I simply brushed it out with a soft bristle brush, starting at  the ends and working my way up. We added a small amount of colour here too using a spray in, wash out pink hair powder. You can find a similar pink (or any colour) hairspray at Boots, I find the best way to use it, is to spray it onto the bristles of your brush, and brush it onto the dry hair, instant colour flash, or allover mini colourchange!

I finished the look off using a wide barrelled tong, grabbing sections, and twisting them round to make it a bit more glam. Try and make all the sections go in different directions to create Amelia’s signature tousled look. Finish off with Bedhead Masterpiece hairspray to hold the style, and add a little shine…and don’t forget to buy a copy of Amelia’s new single!!!

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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!

IMG_1368 LOW RES

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.

TAME IMPALA

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