Good Reads: Alexandra Shulman in the Observer

Finally managed to read the Observer – a day late – but hey ho. There was an excellent profile on the editor of British Vogue, Alexandra Shulman.

Descriptive but not overbearingly so, the conversation meandering to the unexpected with great quotes (I’d be far too intimidated to ask anyone about vajazzling), Elizabeth Day really captures her subject.

I’d like to write something like this one day.

Some choice quotes below, read the rest here.

Alexandra Shulman…

On Panic Attacks: “I’m sort of aware of a vulnerability to it. I have Xanax which I take everywhere with me in case it happens – it’s like my lucky charm.”

On Success: “Um, I’m very happy. Yes, I’m sure I’m a success.” Pause. “But it doesn’t feel that way to me.”

On Vajazzling: “I’m just so pleased I’m not a young woman now. I feel very grateful that, at the time I started having sex with men, I didn’t even have a bikini wax and men were lovely. Now I just think: how terrifying to be a 20-year-old and feel that you’ve got to be perfect and hairless and immaculate and that it’s really awful. I just – eurgh – I would never have got undressed.”

 

A Moment with the Cut Out Girls

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Libby Chilton and Carla Bromhead are knitters. Sure, they have fancy B.F.A.s from Newcastle University but now they knit day in and day out. But not scarves or sweaters or cute little bobble hats, they knit bags – out of rope and twine, and are also adding canvas to their line-up. They are the Cut Out Girls (a moniker stemming from their uni days), their flat is their studio and knitting is their current raison d’etre.

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I caught up with the girls at their latest outing at Backyard Market on Brick Lane to see why they do what they do and where they are going.

DW: You both have fine arts degrees, whereas your ethos for Cut Out Girls is much more craftsy – how did it begin?

LC: From doing really tedious – not meaningless jobs because they’re not – they’re just a good kick up the ass to make you realize you want to do more. It was just a hobby really, wasn’t it?

CB: It’s taken awhile since then to evolve to knitting bags, I think we both started off with this amazing energy and urge just to make. So we were making everything – knitting cup warmers, canvas bags, wooden rings – it was everything and anything.

DW: It started off as a hobby, did you ever think it would turn into a business?

CB: The novelty has worn off. It could have stayed as a hobby just because we flippin’ enjoy it, but because we like it so much we want it to stay viable. But you know when people say ‘let’s do this’ and half the time they don’t do it, it is amazing that we have done it. The novelty is gone, but now we are like ‘how much do we want this, and how can we make it happen.’ It’s already been a year of love.

DW:Right now you are selling at Backyard Market on Brick Lane and have an online webshop – where do you see the future of Cut Out Girls?

LC: The market has been great, market research and everything. But we need to make sure we are addressing the right audience, that we are making bespoke pieces, that people appreciate them as handmade. We want to keep selling there but also expand our online presence. We have a facebook page and a tumblr and are creating a new website.

CB: It is all we are. It’s quite sad. All our energies and references go into it.

LC: Yeah, I’m so happy for it, I really want it to work and for it to become something more than what it is now. I want it to keep growing.  05620014