Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal - Mori Art Museum Tokyo

Andy Warhol famously coined the phrase ‘everyone will be famous for 15 minutes’; so far Warhol’s 15 minutes of fame has lasted for over 25 years.


© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc./ARS,
NY and DACS,London 2009

Whilst in Tokyo, Japan, last month, I visited the world renowned Mori Art Museum to see the most comprehensive retrospective of Andy Warhol work ever presented in Japan. Located on the 52nd and 53rd floors of the Mori Tower, the museum itself offers spectacular views of Tokyo from the panoramic observation deck; that's before you even get to the exhibition space.



Image Credit: Mori Art Museum Tokyo

As a versatile multi-creator whose work includes commercial design, painting, filmmaking and sculpture, Warhol became a leading artist against the backdrop of American consumerist society and mass culture, and I have always been fascinated by his thought-provoking work. The ’15 Minutes Eternal’ exhibition uncovers archives from the very start of Warhol’s artistic career through to his final years as an artist, showing an extensive retrospective of almost 700 pieces from every major series Warhol has ever done. There are also a number of works, which are being shown in Japan for the very first time, bringing new discoveries for even the most dedicated Warhol fanatics!


© 2014 Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society
(ARS), New York

Image Credit: The Visual Arts / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York /
DACS, London 2011

A brilliant selection of Warhol’s signature masterpieces are on show; iconic pieces from his Celebrity Portrait series including Marilyn Monroe and Elizabeth Taylor, and of course that incredibly famous Campbell’s Soup tin. Some of my favourite Warhol pieces are silkscreen portraits of celebrities such as Mohammad Ali, Sakamoto Ryuichi and Madonna produced during his ‘business art’ period in the 1970s and 1980s, and perhaps his lesser known but equally inspiring work encompassing drawings for product advertisements and illustrations in top fashion magazines such as Vogue and Harpers Bazaar.



Image Credit: Vogue Paris 1983


Other highlights of the exhibition include iconic pop art sculptures, which shook the boundaries of art, and a dynamic multi-screen presentation showing around 25 of Warhol’s experiential films and videos shot throughout his career. Warhol began to collect Japanese-related items following a visit to Japan in 1974 and visitors can also see a number of Warhol’s personal ’Time-Capsules’; intriguing collections of personal letters, gifts, magazines and objects that captured his eye in everyday life.



Image: Warhol Time Capsules

Such is the enthusiasm for Andy Warhol in Tokyo, to celebrate the Museums 10th anniversary, a pop-up cafe is opening inside the museum today, with a menu inspired by Warhol’s work. Warhol- themed burger, anyone?



Image Credit: Freshnessmag.com


This is only a very small glimpse of ‘Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal’, the exhibition continues at the Mori Art Museum until May 6th 2014 and must be seen by anyone visiting Tokyo! The 30 ft Sculpture 'Maman' by Louis Bourgeois can also be seen at the base of the Mori Tower, just outside the museum.



Own image

All images sourced for this post online are credited in as much detail as possible.


The English Gentleman at The Cabinet War Rooms

Working on a project in which I have been living and breathing everything luxury, menswear and bespoke for the last six months, London Collections Men Autumn/Winter 2014/15 had been highlighted prominently on my calendar since the Spring/Summer 2014 event. The amazing biannual array of shows, events and parties at LC:M are always exciting, however, for A/W 14/15, The English Gentleman Presentation in collaboration with The Woolmark Company was my most eagerly anticipated invitation!


Own image

After a spectacular S/S14 presentation at Lords Cricket Ground in June, what was Savile Row going to do next? The top secret letter I received a few weeks before the event soon revealed all...


Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

Presenting the modern face of timeless British elegance, the presentation showcased a selection of the finest tailors of Savile Row alongside London’s best shirt, shoe and hat makers. However, set in the warren-like Cabinet War Rooms, 20 feet beneath Her Majesty’s Treasury, this was no ordinary presentation; models acted out live wartime scenes inside the museum exhibition rooms and corridors to create a truly one-off experience.


Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman
Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

Not only could the audience of international buyers and journalists admire the beautifully crafted creations from Savile Row tailors such as Anderson & Sheppard, Chester Barrie, Gieves & Hawkes, Henry Poole, Huntsman and Richard James Bespoke to name a few, guests were also immersed in the fascinating history of the War Rooms themselves.


Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

As the location where Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, sheltered during the Nazi bombing raids in London during the Second World War, the rooms have scarcely changed since late March 1945. Such was the authenticity of the presentation, I half expected to walk around a corner and see Winston Churchill himself plotting and planning among the immaculately dressed models...


Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman
Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

What is so wonderful about LC:M is the breath of talent on show; from the world’s most innovative emerging designers and global menswear brands to the traditional tailors of Savile Row, each celebrating and contributing to the rich cultural landscape that is fuelling the growing inspiration and success of the luxury menswear sector.


Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman
Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

Much of my recent work has explored how traditional tailoring brands can build on their heritage to find innovative ways of connecting with the younger generation and communicating tailoring to the modern world. By playing a key part in the LC:M schedule, Savile Row continues to assert its relevance in the contemporary menswear market, and the presentation acts as a strong reminder that London remains the world capital of masculine style, as it has done for over two hundred years. After such an engaging combination of classic fashion and vivid history, I cannot wait to see what Savile Row has in store for Spring 2015.

All images credited to photographer George Garnier. Here are a few from behind the scenes:


Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman

Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman
Image credit: George Garnier. The English Gentleman



Henry Herbert - Savile Row By Scooter

As customers value the experiential aspect of brands more than ever before, forward-thinking companies are reaching their customers in new and interesting ways. Recently I met a Savile Row tailoring company who are doing things a little bit differently to others...

On my recent visit to Henry Herbert (HH) tailors, I had the pleasure of meeting William, who kindly invited me to the Grays Inn Workshop to discuss the fascinating world of Henry Herbert tailoring over a cup of tea. Despite not meeting the founder of Henry Herbert Charlie Baker-Collingwood on this occasion, it is clear that he is very entrepreneurial with a lot of creative ideas to bring a fresh perspective to the traditional tailoring industry. Charlie set up Henry Herbert around seven years ago, and all HH bespoke suits, shirts and other garments are handcrafted in the workshop using only the finest fabrics sourced from mills in England and Scotland.


Image Credit: Henry Herbert

However, there is an interesting twist.

Customers are welcome to visit Charlie and William at either of their central London studios, but HH also have a very unique approach to visiting customers wherever and whenever is most convenient for them...Watch the short film below to see how HH tailors travel around London to meet clients on custom built Vespa scooters!


The Savile Row by Scooter Service offered by Henry Herbert is a lot of fun for customers (and for Charlie and William, too, I’m sure) and less stuffy than some people may expect Savile Row to be. With each of the Vespa's conveniently custom built to have fabric on board, William and Charlie have made their service more accessible to people without losing any of the traditional tailoring quality for which Savile Row is renowned. A well dressed man hops off a Vespa and appears at your door, you choose the fabric, cut, length and feel, then a few weeks later, a beautiful garment appears on your doorstep. Now that's what I call outstanding customer service!


Image Credit: The Holborn Magazine

The character of Henry Herbert himself was once master of the royal wardrobe to both King Charles I and King Charles II, and his name has been resurrected by Charlie in order to continue the tradition of fine English tailoring, in an affordable, personable and non-intimidating way. On visiting HH at Grays Inn Road, I couldn’t help but admire the wonderful illustrations of Henry Herbert, which were sketched on the walls of the workshop using approximately 30 marker pens. I also noticed one of artist Hormazd Narielwalla’s Dead Man’s Pattern skulls displayed in the workshop, and it is these quirky touches, along with the friendly and involving nature of the company, that ensure a visit to HH is always a welcoming and enjoyable experience.


Image Credit: Henry Herbert

Henry Herbert caters to a very broad range of clients, yet as a younger business with a youthful team, it is fantastic to see the company attracting a wealth of younger customers with their unique tailoring services. During my conversation with William, I met a very satisfied HH customer attending the final fitting of a new bespoke suit to celebrate his graduation, and he expressed his pleasure in being able to invest in an exquisitely crafted bespoke suit from a slightly more contemporary tailor.

So what next for Henry Herbert? Well, I read in Drapers that a HH tailor currently visits New York once a month to pick up orders, and with growing interest overseas, it looks as if HH Vespa's may become a familiar sight on the streets of New York...New York residents, keep your eyes peeled!

As a social media savvy company, you can connect with Henry Herbery on Facebook Twitter and Youtube, and you can also follow their work on the  blog  on their website.

Many thanks to William for inviting me to the workshop.

Hormazd Narielwalla - The Artist Revitalising Bespoke Tailoring Patterns

Last week I had the pleasure of visiting the studio of talented emerging artist Hormazd Narielwalla, to discuss the inspiration behind his fascinating work and to see a selection of his most recent series Le Petit Echo de la Moda, the focus of his exciting solo exhibition at the Indian Art Fair in new Deli beginning at the end of January 2014.

Having seen a selection of images from this particular series online I was particularly looking forward to admiring the work in real-life, and when I arrived at the studio, the vibrancy of the colours and textures were intensely more striking than I expected. Not surprisingly, Hormazd’s work is continuing to gain amazing responses worldwide, and identifying him as an artist of growing international acclaim, this year the Crafts Council selected him as one of only eleven artists to exhibit in the Project Space at Collect 2013 hosted by the Saatchi Gallery. The Saatchi Online magazine also declared him as “One to Watch” in October this year.


Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla
Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla


I was interested to find out how Hormazd’s fascination with tailoring patterns first began and I learned that, having earned the only International Rector’s Scholarship from London College of Fashion, it was at Dege & Skinner on Savile Row that he started to experiment with tailoring patterns. Here he wrote the tailoring biography of Master Tailor Michael Skinner, The Savile Row Cutter and, inspired by bespoke patterns of customers now deceased, he produced a beautiful limited edition art book named Dead Man’s Patterns, which has been acquired by several art collections around the world, including the Rare British Modern Collection at the British Library and the National Art Library.



Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla



On his first visit to Dege & Skinner, Hormazd was intrigued by the patterns concealed in brown paper envelopes that were destined to be shredded; he couldn’t believe that these beautiful drawings and paper blocks full of knowledge, history and personal details were going to be lost. Finally given set of patterns, Hormazd was never going to make suits out of them, but he started to view the patterns as objects in an aesthetic sense, and saw that he could revitalize them to create things other than clothes.

Hormazd has exhibited in London, Melbourne, Stockholm, Athens and the eminent Scope Art Fair in New York, however, his next showcase is a highly anticipated solo exhibition from 30th January to 2nd February for the Birla Academy of Art and Culture at the Indian Art Fair in new Deli. As India’s premier international art fair and a pioneering platform for contemporary art in the Asia region, the exhibition focuses on Hormazd’s most recent series Le Petit Echo de la Mode, in which he draws inspiration from the similarly named Parisian fashion and lifestyle magazine published between 1897 and 1983.  


Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla

Photo credit: Hormazd Narielwalla


What is particularly compelling about this body of work is the exploration of the blurring lines between fashion and art, and the tensions that lie between figuration and abstraction. In transforming the ‘do-it-yourself’ tailoring pattern guides into a cubist’s delight of abstracted two-dimensional shapes, Hormazd infuses his works with a sense of rejuvenation and revival. Re-using discarded materials, he reworks the tailoring templates into delicately faceted planes of colour, giving new life and meaning to these once forgotten and abandoned patterns.

Thank you to Hormazd for participating in such an in-depth discussion; I left his studio feeling extremely inspired! To find out more about him and his work please visit http://narielwalla.com/


The Art of Bespoke Tailoring - Henry Poole & Co. Exhibition at The Bowes Museum

London is the iconic ‘home of menswear’, however, travel north to the Bowes Museum in County Durham and you will find an exhibition celebrating the supremacy of men’s tailoring on Savile Row together with the finest cloth in the world. Lack of time following the preview event has delayed the writing of this post; but, as the exhibition is running until May 11th 2014, there is still plenty of time to visit!

As the subject of the Bowes Museum’s inaugural exhibition of tailoring, Henry Poole & Co. is currently showcasing its incredible 200-year old tailoring archive for the first time; exploring the history of high-end British tailoring and celebrating the art and craftsmanship of bespoke. The global phenomenon of luxury menswear has given British menswear a boost of momentum, and as young designers show alongside traditional tailoring brands at London Collections: Men, I am excited to observe that interest in bespoke tailoring has seen a bit of a renaissance in recent years.


Photo Credit: Fashion156, Presentation photography: Ama Samra

Photo Credit: Telegraph Fashion, London Collections: Men spring/summer 2014 live blog

Established in 1806, Henry Poole is steeped in heritage, and with a keen interest in contemporary menswear, I found it fascinating to delve into the history of the tailoring brand that launched the start of Savile Row. I learnt that it was Henry Poole who made the original dinner jacket, or Tuxedo as it has become known, for the Prince of Wales in 1865; creating a garment that transformed men’s approach to fashion and etiquette.






The wool fabrics displayed in the exhibition are all sourced from British mills and include the famous Churchill stripe fabric, which, as the name suggests, was especially created for Winston Churchill, one of Henry Poole’s many eminent clients. Emperor Napoleon III was another illustrious client of Henry Poole, and Jules Vignon’s 19th Century painting from The Bowes Museum’s permanent collection is displayed as part of the exhibition, depicting a dashing Napoleon in full ceremonial outfit. More recent recognisable clients of Henry Poole include David Gandy, who recently wore Henry Poole & Co’s renowned Tuxedo to attend GQ ‘Men of the Year’s Best-Dressed Men’ Event.



Photo Credit: davidjamesgandy.blogspot.co.uk

What is particularly interesting about the curation of the exhibition is the mix of Poole’s contemporary tailoring and historical ceremonial dress; from the tweed shooting jacket and the sports blazer to the collection of ceremonial outfits from Poole’s historical archive. It was brilliant to be able to talk briefly to Henry Poole’s Keith Levett, to discuss the past and future of tailoring, and how heritage tailoring brands are adapting with the changing times.






Over the next six months, a series of gallery talks and live demonstrations by tailors from Henry Poole are bringing the skill of tailoring to life at The Bowes Museum, enabling a wider audience to connect with the beauty of bespoke. It is wonderful to see the history and craftsmanship of Savile Row’s oldest tailor exhibited, as tradition will always remain at the core of the brands DNA. However, how to master a successful balance of heritage and innovation is important for the future, to ensure that Savile Row itself does not become a thing of the past.

Thank you to the Bowes Museum for allowing me to take a few photographs for my blog during the preview event only.


Louis Vuitton L'Aventure Pop-Up Store Paris

Whilst in Paris during September, my visit coincided with the the opening of Louis Vuitton's travel dedicated pop-up store 'L'Aventure' on Avenue Montaigne. Naturally, I had to pop in for a look!




Craftsmanship is at the heart of the Louis Vuitton philosophy, and it's monogrammed  luggage represents the epitome of quality and style for the discerning global traveler.  Designed in collaboration with Monocle magazine's editor Tyler Brûlé and his creative team, the pop-up store offers visitors a fascinating glimpse of the intricate behind-the-scenes craftsmanship that characterises Louis Vuitton's most covetable 'objets voyeurs'.







Whilst browsing the latest additions to the Louis Vuitton luggage collection, you can observe skillful artisans as they work; painting, stitching and personalising, it is the human touch which makes these products so exquisitely timeless and unique.Yet the store is as much about offering special personal services as it is about exclusive products, and highlights include 'the art of packing' demonstrations, repairs and bespoke monogramming options.






One of the most striking features of the store interior is a large wall painting by Dutch illustrator Letman, which is made up of multi-coloured monograms inspired by the Louis Vuitton archives. Leather hammocks and palm trees add a relaxed, exotic feel to the store, and I love that you are supposed to feel as if you have stepped into a glamorous age-old travel agency as you browse.






I couldn't resist helping myself to a small selection of the 26 collectors postcards, representing an A-Z of travel destinations with recommendations of restaurants, bars and hotels on the back of each one. I also treated myself to a Louis Vuitton Tokyo city guide ready for my trip in February...