Photographer (pictured above): Dag Knudsen
Models: Johanne / Lea Petrine / Jeanett / Heartbreak Models
Makeup & hair: Lillian Aasebø
Design & Layout: Geir Lysbakken
Photographer (pictured above): Dag Knudsen
Models: Johanne / Lea Petrine / Jeanett / Heartbreak Models
Makeup & hair: Lillian Aasebø
Design & Layout: Geir Lysbakken
We’ve occasionally been accused of being too London-centric here at FAULT. But while it’s true that a lot of what we cover here in the UK happens in and around the capital, that doesn’t mean that we’re not interested in getting away from the big smoke every once in a while – or, more accurately, as often as we can! With Valentine’s Day just a few days away, we’re ready to jump at the chance to get out of town for a few days, and where better than one of the most naturally beautiful sites in the UK to do precisely that?
Although London on “V-Day” has its charms, anyone looking for the quintessential romantic retreat could do a lot worse than the rolling, rugged but simultaneously verdant backdrop of the Lake District. Cumbria’s Windermere cushions the famous lake of the same name and epitomises the idea of (hipsters look away now) quaint, English countryside in a way that few other destinations can manage.
Tempted? If you’re not yet then you soon will be: Windermere manages to combine its idyllic setting with a plethora of outdoors activities and some truly spectacular hosptirality options – many of them at totally unspectacular prices. Right up there on our FAULT Favourite retreats list is the Cranleigh Boutique, perfectly located a short walk away from Lake Windermere itself and the village centre of Bowness-on-Windermere. The 5 star hideaway hotel is listed as the number 1 hotel in the area on Trip Advisor and the second best in the whole region of Cumbria (out of 175 in total) – and they are currently offering a fantastic ‘2 Night Winter Warmer’ deal that will be sure to keep the heat in your Valentine’s Day celebrations. Details below:
2 Night Winter Warmer
January – March 31st
Enjoy a 2 Night Stay From £120 Per Night Including Champagne, Chocolates & Huggie
Treat yourself and your loved one to a fabulous offer of a 2 night luxury stay with a bottle of Champagne, Chocolates and a Huggie Bear waiting for you in one of our standard, superior or luxury rooms on arrival .
2 Nights in a Standard Room £240
2 Nights in a Superior Room £280
2 Nights in a Luxury Room £320
2 Nights in The Sanctuary £640
Includes all of the following:
A bottle of champagne in your room on arrival
A Huggie Bear to adopt and take home with you
Handmade Cranleigh Chocolates
2 nights in a standard,superior or luxury room of your choice
Free access to fantastic leisure facilities, 20m swimming pool, sauna and steam room (a two minute walk away)
Free access to our huge DVD library to fully relax in your room
Air spa baths with bathroom TV’s in all Luxury rooms
Enjoy our fantastic Cranleigh breakfast each morning
Located perfectly, only a two minute walk from dozens of fantastic places to eat and drink
Friendly genuine service that makes you feel cared for
This offer is valid from 1st January through to 31st March 2014. Excludes Bank Holidays, Christmas/ New Year & Valentines. Valid only Sunday – Friday. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or existing bookings and is subject to availability.
For more information, please visit:
FAULT: What would you say was your primary inspiration for starting Bambah?
Maha: Bambah started off as a one off high-end vintage boutique in Dubai. I’ve always had a passion for vintage – I’ve been a collector for almost 10 years now and I’m always traveling around the world and hunting for unique, one-off pieces.
I’ve noticed that as fashion tilts towards past generations for inspiration, the timeless, classy looks inspired by the likes of Audrey Hepburn, Jackie O, and Marilyn Monroe have become a modern day look once again. Contemporary styles are no longer the ultimate source of fashion satisfaction and ladies ‘in the know’ are looking for those one-off pieces that reflect a unique expression of who they really are. The red carpet is now a showcase of vintage glamour as well, with celebrities like Sienna Miller, Rachel Zoe, and Julia Roberts demonstrating how gorgeous second time fashion really is.
So it was my love of vintage that also triggered my motivation to start my own line. I must admit that interacting with my customers on a daily basis and understanding their needs and what they love about clothing has also helped feed this inspiration.
Bambah’s origins lie in its evolution from vintage boutique to full-fledged fashion label, but, beyond that, what/who are the main influences behind the label – if any?
This first RTW collection is inspired by my love for vintage and the elegant flair of the past. It focuses on the main trends of the ‘50s: feminine, flirty, elegant and effortlessly chic. I was looking at different silhouettes and trends that make women feel beautiful by accentuating their feminine figure.
Routing it back to the Bambah Boutique, and the mental journey through my own fantasy world of fashion, I wanted each piece to speak a different language and bring something unique to the table – with an emphasis on ruffles, bows, flowers and polka dots.
I learned from growing up with my grandmother that style comes from within and is a pure reflection of one’s inner beauty. My grandmother is my role model and I will always live by her precious advice: laugh a lot, move a lot, and always have fun being you! And that is the roadmap to my new collection and everything I do.
What are Bambah’s unique features, in your opinion?
Bambah’s ’50s-inspired debut collection draws on the concepts of time. The 1950s looks were born out of a need to break away from the previous decade of conservative and minimal fashion, offering new, life- bringing colour, volume, and decadence back.
The Orchid collection will always remain my hero collection. I worked so hard on customizing the print just for Bambah so it’s very dear to me. It was developed in-house from scratch and is inspired by my favourite flower – the Orchid. The flower was hand painted and seamlessly integrated into a pattern that was then printed onto a 100% pure silk organza.
The collection is all hand made in-house using highly qualified seamstresses that spend hours on just one piece; and, although this is fairly time consuming, I feel it adds to the charm of the collection.
There seems to be a strong element of Hollywood, particularly the so-called ‘Golden Age’, in your first RTW collection. The main styles of this collection all have a ‘title’, a ‘story’ – Orchid Daydream, Duchess Blossom, Midnight Noir and Vivid Grace – each of which seem to draw inspiration or in some way correspond to iconic filmic figures. What was the motivation behind that?
In general, Bambah focuses around creating feminine clothing with soft rounded shapes and full flowing skirts to ‘bring back beauty’. The individual styles pay homage to shapes of the ’50s using decadent fabrics and layering to give beautiful hourglass shapes that ooze opulence. The Bambah silhouette focuses on perpetuating the hourglass shape using icons such as Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner and Sophia Loren to inspire and influence the signature look. Nipped in waists and sweetheart necklines mixed with sumptuous jacquards and layers of tulle are showcased next to simpler styles which can be worn throughout the day.
On the topic of styles that can be worn throughout the day: your branding seems to promote the idea of simple, practical elegance underpinning the label – something which, many would argue, is at odds with the contemporary cultural reference points usually associated with the Gulf region. Specifically, the latter is often regarded as idealising the flamboyant and over-elaborate rather than the simple and sophisticated. Is that a fair point, in your opinion?
I have worked very closely with customers in my boutique for the past three years and this has given me a fresh outlook on Middle Eastern trends and tastes and what ladies in this part of the world love and lust over. I have noticed that my customers subconsciously look for obvious past trends while shopping, such as nipped in waists, exaggerated sleeves, princess skirts. I also noticed that there was a pull towards certain styles, particularly their love for oversized bows, pleated midi skirts, dramatic clothing including balloon sleeves, circle voluminous skirts, and big polka dots; which are all elements that I have tried to integrate it into my own designs in a way that allows me to bridge both worlds and create a timeless look for every woman.
Do you think that your initial success with Bambah – for which you recently won a prestigious Emirates Woman of the Year (2011) award – is indicative of a change in mindset in the region – perhaps a move towards the (slightly more) understated?
Ladies in the Middle East are very confident, have very fine taste, follow the best of trends, and appreciate good craftsmanship and high quality pieces. They are very stylish, very pretty and admire beauty like no other. They love to dress up, experiment with fashion and what they wear is a reflection of who they are. They love to laugh, have fun and enjoy life. This is the framework that I have kept in mind while designing these pieces.
Although the concept of ‘real vintage’ is relatively new in the UAE and the region as a whole, I’m glad to say that so far people have received my new ‘vintage inspired’ collection very well! There seems to be a strong need for speciality boutiques that offer personalized attention, one-off pieces, and a pleasant and fun shopping environment. My customers have repeatedly quoted Bambah to be “very refreshing”, which serves as a nice change from traditional malls. In addition, people are constantly on the look-out for unique and exclusive pieces that complement their style and personality with a guarantee that no one else will be wearing the same piece.
Do you have a favourite piece from your debut collection?
The bow tube top!
Who would be your dream client to design for/work with? Both in terms of your day to day ideal customer and a potential red carpet customer?
Grace Kelly! She was my main source of inspiration for this first collection. She creates fairy tales in my mind- I love how she moved, talked and carried herself. I find her very elegant, feminine, and extremely confident – which I believe are all traits that would make any outfit look beautiful.
What are your plans to expand the line? Where does Bambah go from here?
I am currently working on my FW ’15 collection. I would love to see Bambah reach new territories, such as Europe and Russia. It would be nice to see how different cultures interpret the brand and take a look at how each piece is worn differently.
What is your FAULT?
The first one that comes to mind would have to be my excessive attention to detail.
For more information on Maha or Bambah, visit Bambah.com
Charlie Simpson rose to fame as a member of multi-BRIT Award-winning boyband Busted, with sales of over 3 million records, and a win for Record of The Year in 2004. Prior to the band’s split in 2005, Charlie began as the lead vocalist, guitarist and co-lyricist of Fightstar, releasing 3 albums and an EP. His debut solo album Young Pilgrim was released in 2011, and followed up in Summer 2014 by Long Road Home, which entered the UK Independent Albums chart at number one. Charlie sat down with FAULT to discuss writer’s block, Warped Tour and life as a newly married man.
FAULT: You have spoken about the process of writing Long Road Home, in terms of going back to the drawing board and the obstacles that come along with that. Was the process of putting it together an enjoyable one?
Charlie: A bit of both- I always love working on a record but this was the first time I had experienced a bit of writer’s block. I just wasn’t in the right frame of mind and needed a break from writing. Luckily, it matched with me going off on the Vans Warped Tour in the US- I played 28 shows in a month and it was just a nice way to separate myself from the situation. I think I wrote some of the best stuff on the record after that happened. It feels like a record I had to fight for, which made it all the more sweet to finish working on. I’m really proud of it.
It’s interesting that you have referred to the ‘journey’ of writing Long Way Home, and it came out of your time on the road with the Vans Warped Tour. Do you find that being on tour helps the writing process?
Yeah definitely. When you’re writing at home the environment can become quite stale; being on the road adds fuel to your creativity. The album felt like a journey from one point to another where I sort of found myself again.
Since releasing the album this summer, are you now able to identify certain undercurrents and themes, or do you go into the process wanting to say something specific?
It’s strange because my last record was a lot more melancholy and I always find it easier to write sad songs, but when I started on Long Road Home I had just got engaged and so I was feeling pretty good about everything! I had to tailor the writing around that kind of mood, which was actually a great challenge as I’d never done it before. It was really good to express that kind of emotion on the record.
In terms of ‘tailoring the writing process’, what are the distinctions between writing as a solo artist and writing as a group?
As a solo artist I get complete creative freedom. In a band, it has to be majority rules; if you write something you really like and one other member doesn’t like it, it really makes you question things. With this album I was able to take it in any direction, which is why I think it took me longer to write. With that creative freedom comes more responsibility because it’s all resting on your shoulders.
When you are struggling with writer’s block, is it a case of producing a lot and then throwing a lot away, or is it just hard to produce anything?
It wasn’t so much that I couldn’t come up with anything, just that I wasn’t writing anything I loved! I’m my own worst critic and I have actually ended up with about 20 unfinished songs I didn’t use. It’s cool because maybe I will revisit them at another time, but it’s a really strange process.
Returning to your time on the Vans Warped Tour, how does the live experience and performing impact your songwriting?
When I’m songwriting in a solitary environment, the lyrics are a lot better. But musically, I can be anywhere- on the Warped Tour I had my guitar on me the whole time. I tend to write the music first, and then I go into my little hole and write the lyrics, but I’ve always been a melody man first.
Do you start with a vision for songs, or do they evolve with time?
Yeah sometimes I’ll literally have a vision of a song in my head, and I’ll go to my studio and just make it happen. I like for there to not be a formula to the songwriting- when it comes, it comes. I always equate it to fishing; sometimes you go and nothing comes, and sometimes you catch a big one!
You’ve worked with a lot of different set-ups and sounds. Are your influences quite varied?
It’s completely varied but it’s always been centred around heavier, Rock-ier sounds. I love Deftones and Metallica, but my Dad also put me onto artists like Jackson Brown and those West Coast bands from the 1970s like The Eagles and The Beach Boys. Whatever form of music it is, I have always just loved vocal harmonies and making big sounds with voices.
It’s interesting talking about your childhood influences and you mentioned music has been in your family for over 200 years, from composers and musicians to a former head of the Royal College of Music. Now you are married, is it fair to say family is an important focus for you?
It’s actually the most important! One of the themes of the record is how you can be in a dark place, and be unsure of what is going on, but the one constant is family. I’m really blessed to have a loving family, and that will never change. I’ll always have my family, my wife, and (hopefully) my kids.
Is that easily compatible with the music industry?
When I was younger I loved just getting out on the road, and I still do. I love making music, but I love getting out and playing it just as much. But that’s getting harder as I get older. Family life and being a musician aren’t that compatible, there has to be a balance.
You scored the British film Everyone Is Going To Die, which debuted at the SXSW Film Festival in March 2013, and you’ve mentioned this as something you’d like to pursue more extensively later in your career. Can you talk more about the relationship between the music and the visuals in your work?
It’s huge! I love film as much as I love music and the marriage of visuals and music is such a wonderful thing. With scoring a film, someone else tells a story and it’s your responsibility to bring out the emotion in it. When you’re writing your own music, you constantly feel that it’s not just music but somehow a representation of your entire make-up. It’s nice to take that pressure off a bit!
You’ve now been a touring musician for over 10 years. What changes have you seen in the music industry?
The industry is almost unrecognisable. Facebook, YouTube, Spotify – none of these things existed! The landscape of the industry has changed so much, you’ve just got to go with it. Whether streaming or downloading, as long as people are still consuming music (legally!) it’s a good thing.
What is your FAULT?
You should ask my wife! (laughs) I would say I’m pretty impatient, which can be a good thing. I get quite frantic and when you’re in the studio that can be a good thing, but in other situations it can be a nightmare.
Last week we made our way to Proud Camden for the launch of their collaboration with Sony on an exhibition called ‘Studio to Stereo’. This is a show that brings together iconic music photography and Sony’s innovative hi-res audio technology, to bring to life some pivotal moments of recording history. Curated by Alex Proud and presented by DJ Tom Ravenscroft (BBC 6 Music), each of Proud’s infamous stables plays host to a different music icon, from Coldplay and Bob Dylan, to The Doors and Tame Impala, by way of Paul McCartney, Black Sabbath and Pink Floyd.
Alongside intimate and unseen photos of each act in the studio, Sony has laid on various devices playing re-mastered tracks from the associated albums- music landmarks such as The Doors’ LA Woman and Coldplay’s X&Y. The idea is that the Hi-Res Audio technology allows for the music to sound as if it’s fresh from the studio, showcasing subtleties apparently missed the first time round (one label noted that when recordings are converted for CD, only 3% of the original sound quality remains.)
Recapturing this ‘lost magic’ is a bold ambition, and on some tracks it was definitely more successful than others. However, no-one can argue that this show isn’t an exciting sensory experience. Alex Proud writes that he wanted to showcase “the different and unique ways that artists set themselves up in the studio […] the rooms they choose, the way they set up the instruments and spread themselves across the space, the clothes they wear and the look they project while they’re recording, it all has an effect on the end sound”. Seeing these historic photos on display, with the songs playing full-blast and the moody red lighting of Proud Camden overhead (a venue with so much musical history of its own), the exhibition came together to brilliant effect, doing real justice to the legends on the gallery walls.
Here are FAULT‘s exclusive highlights from the show.
FAULT spoke to the Swedish quartet earlier this year at Way Out West, a local festival for the Gothenburg residents. We’re delighted to unveil our exclusive interview and photos from their inevitably effervescent performance on the eve of the latest single release. ‘Underbart’, the fourth single from the group’s fourth album Nabuma Rubberband, is out in the UK and internationally on 15th December:
It’s not often that I get excited about a festival. Long gone are the days where I want to spend a night in a tent, not seeing a proper hot shower in what feels like an age, and having to deal with tripping over mountains of mud face-first. By contrast, however, my invitation to Way Out West 2014 brought a breath of fresh air. A Swedish city festival in a league of its own, it prides itself in being fully vegetarian with a 30,000 strong crowd. Set in the ‘oh-so-pretty-it-hurts’ city of Gothenburg, the line up was one of the most exciting I have seen since the release of the Coachella lineup in 2012 (albeit post 2pac performing ‘live’ by hologram!). Le’s set the scene: Little Dragon, playing in their hometown, Neneh Cherry playing her first Swedish festival in over a decade. Not forgetting dynamic duo Icona Pop and electro heartbreak queen Robyn, performing with Röyksopp. It’s not hard to believe that so many of the incredible women who currently dominate the pop scene are Swedish, given Sweden has voted a feminist political party into European Parliament. And let’s not forget who gave us ABBA (for better or worse…).
Getting into the festival I rush to make sure that I don’t miss a thing . As I handed in my ID to get my pass sorted, I was greeted by a gigantic portal, beyond which lay the lair of Way Out West.
The first time we interviewed Little Dragon their second album had just been released, they had just toured with Gorillaz, and the world had not entered their Kaleidoscopic universe. This time we met them before they went on stage. Collaborations with SBTKT and Outkast’s Big Boi, who are also headlining the festival, have followed since that album, as well as everything from Boiler Room sets, to playing at a Givenchy Show in Paris. They count Drake and Damon Albarn as fans – after all, it was the latter who personally asked them to join Gorrilaz on tour after being introduced to them by his partner. Nabuma Rubberband, the group’s fourth studio album sees them collaborate with Dave from iconic hip-hop trio De la Soul.
There is something quite special about listening to Yukimi[ Nagano, lead singer]’s voice as it gently caresses the algorithms of synth-infused pop. A focused and unashamed parallel reality Little Dragon simply just make life all that much more fun, colorful and bouncy. It hard not to get dancing feet at the idea of seeing them play in front of a home crowd. But first there was the small matter of our interview to which to attend…
FAULT: This is your biggest home crowd, how do you feel?
Little Dragon: It’s our hardest crowd, we have all our friends and family, and they are always the hardest to impress. They’ve seen it all before! It’s like having the end of year school concert, like a Christmas gift to your parents.
You’ve managed to break out internationally, before breaking out in your home country, you’ve collaborated with some pretty big international names. Who’s been your favourite collaborator?
Håkan Wirenstrand: Hahaha! No favorite! I mean he is my favorite collaborator. (Hakan points at Erik) And that point about us breaking out internationally, we never really pushed it here in Sweden. And it was through this organic flow of distribution. It was actually Damons wife who first heard our record and then played it to him. Next thing we know we are being asked to collaborate and go on tour. That was a great collaboration. It was much more than just a song we did left on an MP3. It was a full tour, life long friendships.
How long have you guys known each other?
Erik Bodin: Oh! Quite some time! Hahaha!
How do Swedish people even make friends? They seem so much more reserved!
H.W: We are a little afraid of strangers. We are pretty closed up in the winter, and a little crazy in the summer. You know we talk to whoever on the bus stop!
Could you see yourself living outside of Sweden?
E.B: Or we could just dismantle the Swedish Border so that we are still in Sweden, but just not staying here anymore.
H.W: I wouldn’t mind a Mediterranean climate though.
Where do you go to unleash your creativity? How do you embrace your creativity?
E.B: In our brains somehow we carry the creavity inside us. We don’t really have to go anywhere specific to channel it out. It’s good to be very bored, and to stay away from it once in a while too. I like life here its simple, I have family I have here. You can make your creative lifestyle more of an everyday thing. You don’t need to travel to Hawaii or find yourself in India.
Who are you guys listening to right now?
E.B: I’m listening to Yung Lean. The rap and hip-hop thing seems to a good scene right now. I think its very healthy to break out and doing something different. Not just wear skinny jeans and do the whole indie rock thing.
H.W: We like Bob Hund.
Apparently Gothenberg is the Indie Rock capital of Sweden…
E.B: I thought that would be Linköping…
E.B: And you know down south in Malmo, they have a few freaks that really like to push boundaries. You know, that break all the rules.
Listening to the album feels like walking through a little dream, an emo electric pop dream. You all must so different to eachtother. You can hear so many influences
E.B: I think that it’s true we are all very different and have so many different influences. I think we like it that way too. We kind of started with just, you know, jamming. At a certain age we had a lot of time for jamming… For example, Hakan bought the whole synthy atmosphere into my life. You know? And it was very different for me. It was also very lucky that we were interesting in something that we didn’t already know.
H.W: I think it’s also a misunderstanding that I am the only one that plays the synth. It’s come to the point where all just explore eachothers instruments. And when we are trying to get an idea across. Sometimes we have to just head in and use whatever expresses the best. We end up influencing and inspiring each-other.
E.B: Everyone plays on his synths.
H.W: Maybe I have the biggest collection of synths. I’m building a little system, which I have been using on stage. That’s my most creative output. When you have to patch a synth. Its like opening your fridge, and trying to work out what you can put together and eat.
E.B: Like Kalles Caviar and keso [cottage cheese] on a banana…
Gosh, that sounds awful. I’m going to try and un-hear that now…
Little Dragon – full UK tour dates below:
Brighton – Corn Exchange – 17th November
Birmingham – The Institute – 18th November
Bristol – O2 Academy – 19th November
Leeds – Met – 21st November
Manchester – Albert Hall – 22nd November
Glasgow – O2 ABC – 23rd November
London – O2 Academy Brixton – 27th November
Oxford – O2 Academy – 29th November
General tickets available from:
‘Nabuma Rubberband’ available to download via iTunes: http://po.st/NabumaRubberband