Monday, 31 October 2011

Words Samantha Elmes.
Picture Matt Ford. 

In amongst the contagious artistic buzz of Bold Street is a new Aladdin’s cave of treasure. 
Deliciously lavish, glamorous, show stopping statement pieces, with a twist of the Egyptian headdress too, Claudia Pink uses the new and the old to design some of the most eclectic costume jewellery around.

My brand is: exotic, decadent, affordable but very sort after. It's an eclectic collection of hand made and worldwide sourced jewellery.

        Her pieces have already attracted cliental such as Colleen and even Nicole Richie. Whether it be earrings for the brave, rings for the fashionably subtle, pendants for the seventies fad, or body chains that seem more off the Milan cat walk than tucked away in a cheeky corner of Liverpool; these designs are timeless, elegant, audacious and completely wearable.
        The boutique also houses Silver Birchs' clothing, quirky individual party dresses.
All the designs can be altered and fitted to each body shape, working simultaneously to create an atmosphere of the unique, of the different,for the individual. 

If you want something fabulous and unique or tailor made, visit Claudia Pink & Silver Birch on Bold Street or even buy-online 

Saturday, 29 October 2011

Liverpool One's- The Clothes Throw. Firecracker meets the designers.

Words Ryan Martin.
Photos Matt Ford. 
 Yesterday Liverpool saw the return of The Clothes Throwpop up shops, catwalk shows and clothing auctions with donated celebrity pieces, all to raise money for Alder Hey Hospital.
Fashion design graduates of John Moores University showcased their final collection at Palm Sugar Bar.

The Designers.

The Collections.
(click to enlarge)
Gemma Howarthspecializes in lingerie design, herEphemera collection uses fabrics such as lace and chiffon to give a very promiscuousyet vintage look to her work.

I found the inspiration for my collection in my grandfathers stamp collection which has a one of a kindfeel. So I think when designing I had a very bespoken mind. Then this linked me to researching into the Greek word Ephemera meaning things lasting no more than a day. Just like a stamp.  I found this fascinating. The way something which can be seen as rubbish maybe something amazing to others. Tonight was such a goodevent, everything went well backstage considering the amount of corsets in my collection that needed to be laced up. For the future I am hoping with the graduate scheme at John Moores to get a placement at Mark andSpencers in the lingerie department which is what I want to go into. Other than that am just working on my portfolio so its a very exciting time.

Jody Wood, used her collection a visual paradox to bring in her audience by letting them decide what they see with the use of her ink blot patterns.

My designs are all about what is personal to you. Ilooked at light shadows and ink blots which tap into the viewers mind. When people see my patterns on the dresses, one view maybe totally different to another, itsall about perception. Its the same way ink blots work when shown to someone on a card which was my primal research looking into such things as the Rorschach tests for inspiration. To see my pieces walk down the runway rather than dressing them in the back was fantastic. This is the 3rd time that my designs have been down the catwalk and this is the first time I have seen them in action. Also its good that this is all for charity as well. After the graduate fashion week in London I got offered a internship at DVF in New York so thats my next move, just need to save a bit before I go. 

Laura Wallaces elegant collection the chocolate boxgives off a feminine attitude with unusual textured fabrics in faded white tones.  

My collection was based a lot around everything vintage and looking at old photographs. I wanted to give across in my designs a very antiques vibe. Tonight went really good. Everything went smoothly and it was nice to be an audience member and actually see my collection go down the runway instead of all the running around backstage. At the moment I am working for a designs and event company but when it comes to the fashion side of my career, the buzz around my graduation collection is still happening which is amazing but I cant wait to start another interesting collection.

Louise Boarder has created her designs around the thoughts and feeling of never growing up. Using childrens story books for inspiration, her collectiontheir land of nod plays around with
Surrealism and the concept of dressing up. Over sized tartan coats and furs are all main features in these fairytale fashions.

Well my inspiration all started with the childrens bookWhere the Wild Things Are but then that moved me into looking at woodland animals. Then from there I looked into Peter Pan and that lead me to pyjamas. So the start was like a story in its self which is the best way of describing my collectiona reversed story. Tonight went really good and like a lot of the other designer felt, it was amazing to see it on the catwalk for once. I have spend a huge amount of time on my designs but this is the first time I have actually watched it in a fashion show. I think whats next for me is that am going to move to London because its the place to be, I have just done a placement with Amanda Wakeley but now my main aim it to have a full- time job in what I have trained 3 years for.

More about the Charity behind The Clothes Throw. 

Monday, 24 October 2011

The Art Show. A/W11. Post Show Round Up.

Matt Ford's second solo show was a resounding success.
Ford put aside fashion photography for this outing and concentrated on creating an explosive collection of fine art. 
The debut compilation of screen printed photographs has been inspired by love and sensuality. 
Each piece made with acrylic on watercolour paper is limited to 25 hand made originals.

For further sales enquiries of the framed artwork please contact 

(Full collection viewable by appointment)

"The beauty of the body"
"One in a million"
"'till death do us part"
Left- "He loves me". Right- "Voyeur."

Press Cuttings.

Featured in:

Review of the night by Samantha Elmes 

Parr Street's Studio 2 was transformed into an enthralling museum of misfits with Matt Ford’s artwork taking inspiration from love and sensuality, providing the background, focus and the subtlety for the whole show.

In short, not even the talents of Millie Dollar and her feather boa could detract from it. Surrounded by a mishmash of people from the cool, the artistic, the young, the old, the slick and the misplaced, this wasn't for the exclusive. This was for everyone.

A particular print He loves me, held all the sensitivity of the ‘He loves me, he loves me not’ schoolgirl daisychain rhyme it depicts, with distinguished adult elements.

Tease, Voyeur and Till Death do us part were visually exciting with the brashness of sex and everything intertwined. Every image there stood unique and simple, erotic and demanding. It was with an ease that Ford's imagery set the tone that the event undoubtedly followed.

In one room there was the sensation of hanging with the Mods and the Rockers and in the next I expected a ‘groovy baby’ accompanied by velvet flares. It became not just an art show but a journey of decades. 

The funny thing being those pictures never looked out of place once. Even when Millie Dollar and Cocabelle strutted into the mix it seemed oh so natural that Dollar should whirl around a few tassels and Cocabelle should belt out tunes that had all the attitude of rock and roll with soulful bluesy undertones.

With a slight reminder that we were, in actual fact, in the 21st century, her rendition of Emeli SandĂ©'s ‘Heaven’ echoed hauntingly, and even though she was perched on a stool with a broken leg she still managed to move everybody.

She followed with her own song Am I Falling? If anyone else was unsure, I know I certainly did. I fell for her bleached bombshell hairdo, Millie Dollar's seductive stance, for the electric fires, for the bongo drums in the corner, the red wine and the barman.

When the final Act of Millie Dollar arrived there was a collective fall backwards into the next era of stockings, garters and red lipstick, of cigar smoke and whiskey, of underground grit pre-existing a sexual revolution.

Although, Millie Dollar's feather boa and enticing emerald green corset is another expression of art now, it is still a testament to the boundaries pushed and experimentation mirrored within Ford's artwork.
So when the next Art Show comes around be sure to sneak your name on to the guest list and you’ll understand, quite simply that the title of my favourite piece described the whole evening in two words. Flat out.(see pic below)

Matt has started work on the new collection (including the image below). Private previews of both collections are available by appointment at the Firecracker Gallery Seel Street.
 To book email

'The eyes."

Ronnie Wood's Exhibition comes to Liverpool.

“When I get inspired I get almost possessed and I just have to paint.”

Ronnie Wood’s outstanding collection of published fine art burns up Wall to Wall, Liverpool

The creative fire still burns with Ronnie Wood, as the legendary guitarist with The Rolling Stones and accomplished artist for over 50 years, unveiled his debut collection of fine art for Washington Green at  Wall to Wall within The Home Quarter in Hanover Street, Liverpool.

His primal Canvasses translate the raw electric energy of a Stones Gig. The flames rip through the canvas and boldly strike out from their frames, images that demand  to be seen in the flesh.

The Famous Flames Suite displays a flamboyant synergy, as the orange wave-like flame sweeps dramatically across the painting, creating an exhilarating feeling of movement. Referencing photographs of each band member on stage, Wood first creates a dramatic black backdrop and paints his fellow Stones with a defined clarity. Effortlessly working in acrylics, then oils and robustly embellishing the art with oil pastels.

The artist and musician paints in his studio in London’s East End, but he is a prolific artist and both his homes in London and Ireland are filled with ‘work in progress’.  Wood is tirelessly dedicated to painting and is always on the hunt for more experimental ways of expressing himself artistically. He is also a consummate printmaker in his own right having developed the skills and techniques of etching, dry-point, screen-print and woodcut.

“There is no kind of therapy like the one you have from starting and seeing a picture through to the end," says Wood.

Ronnie Wood’s limited edition print collection, published by Washington Green Fine Art, will feature at Wall to Wall within The Home Quarter, 53-55 Hanover Street, Liverpool One, Liverpool L1 3DN from Saturday 22 October. Visit  for more information.

Halloween in Hollywood- Miss Francesca Couture charity fashion show.

'Halloween in Hollywood', a collaboration between celebrated designer Francesca Kearns and prominent Liverpool hairdresser Jane Fullerton will be taking place in Liverpool City Centre on Thursday 27 October 2011, from 8pm.

The high glamour fashion show – will showcase at The Isla Gladstone Conservatory, in Liverpool’s Stanley Park. This is the second time Francesca has taken her designs to the catwalk in aid of local charity, The Lily Centre- Breast Cancer support group. The previous show raised over £7000,
Francesca is one of Liverpool’s fresh and aspiring new talents; having already showcased her 2008 collection at Liverpool Graduate Fashion Week 2008 and The Clothes Show Live 2008, and has since been building her clothing label “Miss Francesca Couture”, dressing females across the region. Since the success of the last show in 2009, Francesca has opened a boutique which has become a honeypot location amongst celebs such as TOWIE'S Chloe Sims, Frankie Essex, Model Amanda Harrington and Sophie Anderson, fiancĂ© of Liverpool's Charlie Adams.
“I am really looking forward to this event, and excited to see how the collection is received. The theme we have gone for is fitting because of the date, but guests should not expect Halloween attire on the catwalk, the collection will be an ultra-glamorous display of pieces inspired from Hollywood sirens of the 50’s. Working closely with Jane, we aim to provide glamour of the highest order, and think our clients will love it!'

Tickets for the show cost just £20 with all proceeds going to ‘The Lily Centre Breast Cancer Support Group’.

To get your hand on a ticket for the Miss Francesca Couture charity fashion show, call the shop on 0151 207 5959

Tuesday, 4 October 2011

The Death by Glitter Vogue Ball 2011

Photos Matt Ford.
Words John Maguire.

All that Glitters is not gold.............
House of Suarez presents The Death by Glitter Vogue Ball

Saturday night at The Black –E, House of Suarez premiered a dance  piece, “Death By Glitter”, 
a craftfully choreographed work with hints of Butoh and Ballet, a sensory overload. Underground chi-chi ecstasy!
The pool of life is clearly a pool of talent and the ballsy attitude and sheer enjoyment of each performer was wonderful electric.
The Audience enthusiastically encouraged and  were as energised as the participants.

LJMU Fashion Students designed a couture dress in 48 hours for the House of Seen. The outfit was created completely from back issues of SEEN and modelled by Amy Faith. (see top pic)

The Vogue Ball   Contest was divided into Bizarre/Club Freak, Solo, Femme Butch Realness and Erotica. A raw fierce battle to bring the prizes home. The Aficionado’s of outrage worked the catwalk, in a contest of craft, damage and glamour meets puffed up peacock sexuality. All played out to booming thrusting live mixed tunes,  that resonated around the Black-E, pulsating through the performers. Creativity and the imaginative are the lifeblood of these evenings of trash decadence. So much more than merely striking a pose.

FIRECRACKER discussed next years ball with House of Suarez Founder, Darren Suarez backstage at the shoot for this years poster, he ensures that it will be less of this years camp and more about the battle.