Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge

Chief Solomon Osagie Alonge (1911-1994) was a Nigerian photographer who held the title of official photographer for the Royal Court of Benin in the mid 20th century. In 1942 he opened his own studio called The Ideal Studio where he did private commissions, documenting Nigeria’s social and cultural elite.

Those in the upper echelon of society who could afford to do so would come dressed in their best outfits to have their portraits taken. Staring straight into Alonge’s lens, each subject had the power to represent himself or herself in the manner of their own choosing, a significant statement at a time when photos of Africans were often filtered through the gaze of a non-African photographer or anthropologist.”

The Washington Post did an article on some of these amazing images, which I thought I would share with you today.

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To Watch: Deutschland 83

I’m not going to make any excuses about neglecting this blog because it’s always the same. Let’s just write it up as “life” and get on with things. With that said, it’s always nice to return to this little corner of the internet to share some things with those of you who still check this blog on occasion. For your patience and attention I thank you.

I wanted to revisit my “To Watch” feature where I share good television and/or movies that I have stumbled across while researching for work or in my free time. You can see previous posts here, here and here.

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My most recent discovery, thanks to my friend Sandra’s recommendation, is Deutschland 83 produced by Sundance TV and RTL Television. It is an 8-part German series set in East and West Germany during the Cold War – 1983 to be exact. The narrative follows a young solider called Martin Rauch (played by Jonas Nay) who is recruited by East German intelligence to infiltrate the West German army to collect information on their nuclear plans.


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Not only is the series masterfully structured to keep you gripped throughout, the art direction and cinematography is meticulously considered to create an authentic and visually striking final product. The soundtrack is packed with 1980’s synth pop hits that will have you singing or humming along for days after you watch it – you can find a Deutschland 83 YouTube playlist here. I’m really hoping they pick it up for another season.

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School Portraits

American documentary photographer Eliot Elisofon took these striking portraits of female students at a Protestant secondary school in Mbandaka, Congo, in 1972. I love the mix of hairstyles – these ladies had an amazing sense of style.









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Zeren Badar

The Accident Series is a multimedia art project by Turkish artist Zeren Badar that draws from the western art canon with a cheeky sense of humour.

“The idea is old masters meet with pop art and found objects. I create 3D collages and photograph them. I destroy classic paintings and I make them my own”












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Red Cap Cards

I don’t usually buy cards because I prefer to make them myself, but I would definitely break that rule for Red Cap Cards. Founded by Hal Mertz and Carrie Gifford, Red Cap Cards:

“creates a platform for emerging artists to reach a broad audience, fitting art into the every-day. Thoughtfully curated, each illustrator is hand-selected for their notable work and achievements in children’s book illustration, animation, design and modern art. Each illustrator offers a unique perspective, and is seen as a storyteller with a visual story to tell.”

Some notable illustrators who have contributed designs are Jon Klassen, Lizzy Stewart, Becca Stadtlander, Chris Sasaki and Yelena Bryksenkova.











They have recently released a foil collection that is luxurious and beautiful.




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Dark Packaging

A lot of packaging designers fall down the trap of using bright colours, loud typography and patterns to draw customers attention. Don’t get me wrong, bold designs when done well can work really beautifully, but today I wanted to showcase the dark and moody packaging design that I think draws attention without shouting it from the shelves.

Coco de Mer is a London-based company that specialises in high-end erotica products. Williams Murray Hamm was tasked with creating the packaging design for Coco De Mer’s range of toys, oils, lubricants and candles as well as shopping bags and brochures.

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Their ‘Pleasure Collection’ packaging draws from British history’s grand dames of seduction. The ladies: Nell Gwynne, Georgiana the Duchess of Devonshire and Catherine Howard, each known for different indiscretions of sexual nature.

“Williams Murray Hamm worked with the theme of ‘exploration & discovery’ when developing The Pleasure Collection – the idea of encountering the unexpected. The packaging is a rich amber brown, elegant in its simplicity and featuring only the company logo, name and a small, seductive die cut “peep-hole.” The peep-hole teases the viewer, showing a glimpse of a nude body or a flirtatious eye. The full reveal comes when the packaging is full opened to reveal an erotic print of one of the grand dames of seduction.”

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Stumptown Cold Brew Coffee have refreshed their old identity with a new CI and packaging designed by Chandelarrow Design Co.

“Using earthy colours, like brown, burnt orange, and tan, obviously harmonious hues to associate with the rich and chocolatey colour of coffee, but it also is a nod to the remote places where some of the best coffee beans are sourced. There are two main fonts used, a serif text that is paired with a slightly sloped cursive, which both appear on the main oval label. The packages are simple, giving off a small-town vibe.”

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Old Standard Moonshine’s fabric bottle label created by Chad Michael Studio is a luxurious combination of dark midnight blue and gold script typography.

“The fabric has slight fraying at the top and bottom, and along with the batch number written on the back, this clearly tells the consumer that each bottle of whiskey is one-of-a-kind. Each fabric label is a rich, navy blue, with gritty gold text covering it. The custom fonts have distinct qualities that complement each other. One is a basic all-caps sans serif and the other an elegant, more traditional typeface for the brand name, with swirls and playful elements that blend well with the small graphics and accents on the label. A white Old Town Distilling stamp is printed on the front, highlighting the simple, small business ethics that Old Standard Moonshine values.”

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Last, but not least, is the packaging design for whisky and cola concentrate Cola Maison available from Old Faithful Shop. The medicinal bottles paired with the metallic detailing of the label make it a very alluring looking concoction.

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Sport Luxe

I have built up quite a reputation amongst my friends for wearing sportswear (*cough* leggings) as my daily uniform. I have no misunderstanding that leggings are pretty much form-fitting tracksuit pants, in fact there is a debate about whether they can even be counted as pants, but I love them. I’m a pretty active person so being comfortable and (hopefully) presentable is my goal most days. I definitely don’t get it right most of the time.

Thankfully in recent years the design of sportswear has become a lot more fashion-orientated, making the integration of sportswear items into daily life a lot less cringe-worthy. So with that in mind, I’ve rounded up some items that I think hit the spot in terms of wearability, comfort and fashion.

Uniqlo is a great band for staple wardrobe items. Their Spring 2015 collection is a good example of sophisticated activewear.




Oysho Gymwear Studio’s Spring 2015 collection is ballet-inspired so I am sold.










Outdoor Voices is a brand that “take(s) it as a given that activewear must perform, but we see it as a virtue that our clothing also looks good and fits well”. That is a philosophy I can definitely get behind.





Ok this one is a bit of a cheat, because it is definitely only for swimwear and not regular wear. But I thought it was too nice not to mention. Cynthia Rowley’s latest surf and swim collection is both flattering and functional. Her wetsuit designs are clean and beautiful, something that is rather uncommon with this type of clothing. Take a look.









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