Sisters of Sclerder

Sisters of Sclerder is a captivating project by photographer Ibolya Fehrer, documenting the quiet and humble existence of nuns in The Carmelite Monastery in Cornwall.

“The Carmelite order is one of the oldest and strictest among the female contemplative orders. Sclerder Abbey is an enclosed monastery where outsiders are allowed only on rare occasions. Apart from the two recreation times the sisters spend their day in prayer and working in silence, only talking when it is necessary.

My work explores monastic life as an alternative way of living at the beginning of the 21st century in Britain. As our contemporary society is driven by materialism and is ever more homogenised, it is increasingly challenging to find alternative, more spiritual lifestyles. The Nuns take vows of obedience, poverty and chastity and dedicate their life to live in unity with God and to pray for the world. As a community their simple but strict lifestyle allows them to seek harmony and happiness.”

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

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Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

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Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

Every day life in an enclosed Carmelite Monastery

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Native Youth SS15

British label Native Youth is not necessarily doing anything new with their SS 2015 Women’s Collection, but the pieces that make up the collection are infinitely versatile and wearable. They are the type of clothes that become well-worn favourites, the clothing that you return to again and again. You could say that this is mirrored by their approach:

“Native Youth reflects the no-nonsense British way of doing things. Signature details creating a stylish recognisable look for a confident generation.”

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Hsiao-Ron Cheng

Hsiao-Ron Cheng is a Taiwanese digital artist and illustrator with a distinctly ‘feminine’ approach. Her predominantly pink and pastel-hued works are softly rendered, giving them an ethereal quality. I particularly liked her portraits, which I will share with you today. She also has a lovely selection of prints for sale if anyone is interested.

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Matthieu Bourel

I’ve seen the work of collage artist Matthieu Bourel before – but his collaboration with Mexican photographer Anairam for L’Officiel Mexico really made me take notice. I love the flat, yet multi-dimensional affect of these images. Really beautiful.

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To Watch: TV Series

A lot of my job as a creative researcher is dedicated to indiscriminately (emphasis on the indiscriminately) watching as many films, documentaries and television series as possible. It is both a blessing and curse.  But sometimes I stumble across some really exceptional and I thought I’d share some of my favourite TV shows at the moment. I was thinking of making these TV, movie and documentary suggestions a regular feature. So let me know if you’d like me to keep it up.

Transparent is an Amazon Original Series that really floored me with its phenomenal script and performances. Jeffrey Tambor, who some of you may know as the Dad from Arrested Development, plays a transgender person who finally ‘comes out’ to his family and friends after decades of living in the closet. The series is sensitive, nuanced, and hell of a funny. I’m so glad it’s been renewed for another season.

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Olive Kitteridge is a 4-part miniseries adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning book of the same name by Elizabeth Strout. Frances McDormand plays the title character: “a misanthropic, strict, but well-meaning, retired schoolteacher who lives in the fictional seaside town of Crosby, Maine”. The miniseries spans 25 years, elegantly dealing with the themes of depression, ageing, bereavement, jealousy, and friction between family and friends. It is really great.

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Mozart in the Jungle is another original series created for Amazon Studios. The show is an adaptation by Roman Coppola and Jason Schwartzman of the book Mozart in the Jungle: Sex, Drugs, and Classical Music that chronicles the experiences of professional oboist Blair Tindall living and performing in the New York.

I was dubious at first, the idea of a quirky comedy centred around an orchestra doesn’t strike as the obvious choice, but it sparked my interest because of the people involved. The ensemble cast – that includes Jemima Kirke’s  little sister Lola Kirke, Saffron Burrows, and Gael Garcia Benal – work so well together to tell the story of a young woman navigating her way through the classical music scene. The actors subtly balance humour, with heartfelt emotional moments, as well as a bit of strangeness and magical realism thrown in for good measure. I hope they renew this one.

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The Grand Budapest Hotel Book

The Grand Budapest Hotel, which was released last year, not only drew acclaim for its splendid storytelling, but also for the meticulousness of it’s art direction and design. Annie Atkins was lead graphic designer on the film, working with director Wes Anderson and production designer Adam Stockhausen, to create all the graphic props and set-pieces for the State of Zubrowka – a fictitious European country set between the Wars. You can read a really interesting interview with Annie Atkins about the whole creative process here.

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With that in mind, it is no wonder that a book has been released as a companion to the original The Wes Anderson Collection book that chronicles his movies from Bottle Rocket to Moonrise Kingdom. The Grand Budapest Hotel book takes readers behind the scenes of the film:

“Through a series of in-depth interviews between writer/director Wes Anderson and cultural critic Matt Zoller Seitz, Anderson shares the story behind the film’s conception, personal anecdotes about the making of the film, and the wide variety of sources that inspired him—from author Stefan Zweig to filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch to photochrom landscapes of turn-of-the-century Middle Europe. The book also features interviews with costume designer Milena Canonero, composer Alexandre Desplat, lead actor Ralph Fiennes, production designer Adam Stockhausen, and cinematographer Robert Yeoman; essays by film critics Ali Arikan and Steven Boone, film theorist and historian David Bordwell, music critic Olivia Collette, and style and costume consultant Christopher Laverty; and an introduction by playwright Anne Washburn. Previously unpublished behind-the-scenes photos, ephemera, and artwork lavishly illustrate these interviews and essays.”

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An Ode to Minimalism

I don’t think I could do without bright colours and prints in my wardrobe but there is much to be said about having some elegant minimalist pieces. There are a variety of labels who do this whole minimal fashion thing pretty well – I thought I’d feature two of them here…

Toast’s SS 2015 Pre-Collection is simple and understated. Its genius is in the tailoring and flattering shapes.

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Jasmin Shokrian’s  Spring RTW 2015 collection is punctuated by geometric accessories and bright whites.

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