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P’Trique C’est Chic! London Fashion Week!
Dive Down Under
Despite only two years on the fashion scene, Australian swimsuit brand We are Handsome has been making big waves. The brand’s iconic roaring prints and slinky silhouettes have appeared in the pages of Harper’s Bazaar and Australian Vogue, not to mention on dozens of A-list glamazons.
We Are Handsome has skyrocketed to become one of Australia’s brightest fashion stars, and has produced some of the most exciting luxury swimwear collections in recent years. Their bold and edgy designs have been spotted on the likes of Rihanna, Katy Perry, Tyra Banks and Jessica Biel.
Original, inspiring and Australian down to the last stitch, designers Jeremy Somers and Indhra Chagoury are the real deal. Each suit is produced with great attention to detail and creativity. Each of Somers and Chagoury’s limited edition, high quality suits are flattering while still playful, imaginative and cheeky.
Read the full article “Dive Down Under” at The Genteel.
Light it Up!
He’s known as the Neon Man, and with over 35 years in the biz owner of Gods Own Junkyard Chris Bracey has been the bright idea behind numerous iconic photo shoots, ad campaigns, window displays and cult films such as the original Batman, Eyes Wide Shut, Tomb Raider and Judge Dredd.
He’s created lights for some of the industries finest from David La Chapelle, Selfridges, Fortnum and Masons, Vogue, Alexander McQueen, to Tim Burton among others.
So it comes as no surprise that his original illuminated works of art and restored vintage pieces have created a cult following of buyers and collectors in LA and here at home in the UK!
The list of collaborations, appearances and demand for his work is lengthy and extremely impressive to say the least, but after meeting the man himself the fame I can tell you that the fame has certainly not gone to his head. Incredibly down to earth, he’s a real deal artist, who gives the impression that at the end of the day he is more into his passion for the craft than he is seeing his own name up in lights.
TK: How and when did you first decide to use Neon as your medium?
CB: I was 16, working in a commercial Art Studio in Soho. I had been to see a lot of bands, Hendrix, Zepplin, Floyd, Deep Purple and Sabbeth. I decided that commercial art was suffocating me, and I went AWOL! So I took off and went with my dad to learn the neon trade working on Fairground, Fun Fairs.
TK: What have been the most special pieces that you have saved or resurrected?
CB: I saved “Rainbow Fancy Dress” and “Sonatta Jazz” which I did for Kubrick ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. The hotel signs and liquor store signs from Batman are pretty special as well.
TK: You have said in the past that working with Lachapelle was one your career bench marks that shot you to fame, how did that first partnership come about?
CB: It was fabulous to work with La Chapelle, he was just the greatest, no ego, no competition, sheer imagination. I was introduced to him as an eminent neon artist who could bring his dreams to life and our partnership worked wonders!
TK: You also created a piece of work for Alexander McQueen, how was that experience?
CB: Working on the McQueen window was amazing! I did the installation, everything was good, then 1 month later he was dead. It was so final, I can’t explain the devastation.
TK: With the long list of amazing people you have worked with, what project or collaboration have you done that you have been most proud of?
CB: Working with La Chapelle it really raised the bar in visual shock and mind blowing glamour.
TK: What has been the most challenging?
CB: Building a 50’ Wonder Woman for MAC Cosmetics, New York.
TK: You put so much heart into your neons, are they often difficult to part with?
CB: I love all my neons, they are like my little neon family, but I can’t keep them all.
TK: Who do you find is your biggest following of customers?
CB: My biggest client base is Los Angeles and New York
TK: You have created a lot of neons for some very visually iconic films, who would be your dream director or film to work on or add your work too?
CB: I have worked with a lot of the greats for sure, but it would be cool to work with Ridley Scott.
TK: Are there any other artists, musicians or designers that have inspired your work or that you look up to?
CB: Andy Warhol, Alan Jones, Peter Blake, Christian Furr.
TK: Where do you go in London to get creative?
CB: I like wandering round the West End early morning weekends, it’s interesting.
TK: Over the years how have you seen Neon change? Do you think the future of Neon will see people going back to more of a Vintage look?
CB: I went on a crusade 5 years ago to revive neon art and I have succeeded! Neon is here to stay, its been used on every iconic show for the past 100 years!
TK: I grew up with my father doing sound and lights for bands, and I can tell you that our house is always full of the over the top lighting. Do you feel you take alot of your tricks of the trade home with you, do you have a lot of your artwork at your flat as well?
CB: My house is stacked out with wonder stuff of neon, I need a bigger house.
TK: Can people purchase bespoke pieces from you? What is your least expensive piece and most expensive?
CB: You can purchase bespoke art pieces by contacting through the website, average price for something reasonable around £900.
TK: Since seeing your neons in your pop up shop in Carnaby Street I have been fascinated with your work and hope to own one myself someday. Do you have any plans for other pop-ups or gallery shows?
CB: Currently I have a show in Shoreditch, on 28 Redchurch Street until the 18th March.
Also 10 pieces on the 4th floor of Liberty and some in the Bluebird Kings Road. I am thinking of doing a traveling neon show too.
TK: Lastly being a true Londoner what place would you recommend people to go that are visiting London?
CB: Columbia Road market on a Sunday morning is the bollocks, the back streets of Soho still kicks ass and if you want to get out of East End, go to Leigh on Sea to Cockle Row, my grandad used to take me there for cockles and whelks which are very old school British. I take me grandkids now to do the same.
TK: What will you be doing for the Olympics?
CB: I am working with Eddie Lock on artwork for the Olympic Village… but you know the weirdest thing is that the Olympics are real precious about the logo and I can’t use any of that stuff! So basically I am re-inventing the wheel!
Interview by Tracy Kawalik and Chris Bracey
Photos: Tracy Kawalik