Coats & Jackets
It was after winning a prize at the annual ballet eisteddfod in Cape Town, where I grew up. This was the start of a year calling to become a ballet dancer. The notion of wanting to be a part of a large group in order to pick on a smaller group that was slightly different seemed ludicrous even then. My career as a principal ballet dancer was relatively short but rich, if not in earnings. I now work in advertising at Wavemaker UK where I create and direct ideas and content that work with media and technology to solve marketing problems for clients.
It seems a leap, but four habits that I learnt as a dancer still apply. And stamina. The hops and skips in between make the leap less dramatic. I like to bend them to my will; after all you should wear the clothes, not the other way around. Colour, line and clothes that move appeal to my senses. I have an archive of treasures that I rotate: I live in Fitzrovia now with my partner, a fashion photographer. David Newton is a hugely successful still life photographer based in Central London. Journal met up with the maestro over cocktails at newly-opened La Brasseria on Marylebone High Street.
One of the reasons I changed to photography was the fact that illustration is so subjective you are constantly being told by art directors that you got it wrong. But with photography you very rarely get it wrong: Though, like I say, I do try to put a little story into the pictures. Your work is ridiculously creative and consistently original; where do you get all your ideas from?
As if it can be ordered online or bought in a shop, or something. My response is that you have to constantly keep your brain on, and open, like a sponge. You have to not discount anything that you see or think. But with the rise of social media, Instagram has become my agent.
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I did a big ad campaign for a major Paris luxury cosmetics house earlier this year… they found me via Instagram. Has moving your studio from Shoreditch to your home in Marylebone changed the way you work? The literal distance between idea and execution can now be measured in feet, rather than miles! When my studio was in Shoreditch, I might have lost the idea overnight, or it got replaced by something else. It would often have to wait until the next day. I started Wylde in purely as a showcase for my work and the work of other photographers that I admired.
I got in just before the Marylebone boom happened. When I first moved here, it was a bit of a down-at-heel backwater. Charity shops, little old ladies; it was quiet, no tourists… or bankers. But it actually is — people do stop and talk.
Really good for parks. Much livelier than Mayfair. High-end candle shop Cire Trudon, also on Chiltern Street, is an occasional treat. It has to be Selfridges. I call it my corner shop; I believe in supporting local businesses! A couple: I recommend the saffron vodka. The late Felix Dennis was a legend in the publishing world. The same could be said of the publishing house he founded, which has outlived its creator and continues as an industry leader to this day. The story of Felix Dennis and Dennis Publishing is one that takes place almost entirely in Fitzrovia — the story of a golden age in publishing and of a Fitzrovia institution.
There are a number of well-known titles you may know from the Dennis empire: After brief stints at art college and as a rock and roll drummer, the start of his career in publishing was equally inauspicious: For Felix, the s began with a bang when Oz became embroiled in the longest conspiracy trial in British history.
And then came a fateful moment that proved instrumental in his career: Felix saw teenagers queuing for a Bruce Lee movie, and something in his mind clicked. First published under the auspices of H. It was the start of a highly profitable relationship that led to a decades-long partnership between the two men.
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Beginning with Which Bike? Again, Felix followed his keen commercial instincts; he spotted a good idea, thought about it, and presented it to his team, allowing them to develop it as a title with real market potential. It was a simple but effective formula that resulted in one successful product after another.
Through this period Dennis Publishing was based at 39 Goodge Street, but with continued success that showed little sign of stopping, they had finally outgrown their first Fitzrovia nest. By , amid the success of multiple new titles, the team had grown to 16 strong.
It was at this point that Felix struck gold once again. Dennis Publishing had come to establish itself as a major UK publishing house, but by the dawn of the new century, it was bursting at its seams and the business was spread across a number of sites. The location was the very beating heart of Fitzrovia, directly opposite the now demolished Middlesex Hospital. The publisher remained on the same site for 17 years until relocating to a new site a short distance away in Bloomsbury last year.
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During this time, Dennis Publishing cemented itself as a leader of the industry in the UK and beyond, with Felix becoming renowned as a publishing legend, famed for his maverick entrepreneurial style. Later in life, he developed a taste for writing poetry, a perhaps surprising new venture in which he enjoyed considerable success before he passed away in Alongside 40, square feet of new office space, the building will feature terraces on the upper floors with vistas which should prove suitably inspirational for visionaries from any walk of business.
John Stacey observes: Certainly, Felix Dennis will always be on any list of great Fitzrovia characters. Then, almost a year ago, it got even better. La Fromagerie first opened in Highbury Park 26 years ago, having evolved from a market stall in Camden Lock.
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Today, the three sites are thriving as their Bloomsbury showcase nears its first birthday. Founder Patricia Michelson discovered her love for cheese while skiing atop a mountain in Meribel, in the heart of Savoie, France. The May, June and July cheeses are quite different in flavour, so Patricia chooses some to sell at one year old and ask for others to be kept for a further year, giving the tasting style a real burst of herbaceous flavours. Going back to the origins of La Fromagerie, Patricia placed her first cheese in her garden shed and started the business from there before upgrading to a stall in Camden Lock market around a year later.
This became the motivation for the eventual opening of the first La Fromagerie outlet in Highbury Park in , which also encompassed a wholesaling business onsite in the basement of the shop.
We had already known each other for over five years and my recollection of our deciding to work together was that it happened after rather a lot of cocktails and the wish to do something new and exciting with La Fromagerie. Sarah has the same view as me when it comes to produce, producers, seasons and also visual impact. I have always trodden a path of authenticity and being respectful to the people and place as well as what is being made or grown, and Sarah embraces this too.
I wanted people to walk in and feel excited to find out more about the produce, and especially to walk into the Cheese Room, read the descriptive labels of the cheese, taste and then buy. It is labour intensive, but everyone who works with us has to be greedy for knowledge as well as wanting to talk about the produce. I tell our team that they are the PR for the business as their engagement is the link between the product and the customer. The site is different from the two others, with a focal point provided by the marble bar where you can sit and enjoy wine, cheese and charcuterie.
The wine list reflects its identity with the cheese to make perfect pairings, and the few tables on the ground floor are just sufficient to allow those who wish to linger a little longer to feel part of the surroundings too. Freshly baked items sit on ledges and counters ready for breakfast, lunch, dinner or brunch. This new opening is tailored to a more social setting as well as shopping.
Below ground, an extensive renovation and re-modelling has taken place; installing a glass roof and restoring the 18th century beams has produced a wonderful space for private events, tastings and workshops, as well as providing an area where the homewares and vintage items can be viewed. The La Fromagerie story feels destined to continue, with much, much more to come both in Bloomsbury and beyond.
I talked to chef Tom Kelleher, who tells me the story of The Lighterman and his role in commanding this fast-paced dining environment. Comprising a pub, a dining room and a bar, The Lighterman opened its doors in summer and has become a prominent fixture in the area. Its dining room is situated adjacent to the recently restored Fitzrovia Chapel, with views of the surrounding square.
Food is fresh and seasonal, with much of the menu sourced locally or from the very best of British suppliers: The Lighterman has continued to evolve its menus and extend its private hire opportunities. Tom first found his way into the kitchen as a youngster growing up in Portsmouth, and names his mother as his key inspiration.
She had a very nifty approach to it. Cooking was a part of my upbringing, and part of my family.kycehopul.cf
I definitely feel more comfortable in a kitchen environment than anywhere else! Rob and I ran into each other a couple of months back. Then, we talked a little about Journal, a little about his publishing venture New River Press and quite a lot about his art.