Music Monday: Marina and The Diamonds – “I’m a Ruin”

It’s no secret that I have a total crush on Marina Diamandis of Marina and The Diamonds. I love everything about her, from her style to her incredible voice and bubbly attitude. Let’s be best friends, Marina? Please?!

Now, less of the crazy and more about the music…

Marina’s new album, “FROOT” is coming together rather nicely, and I’ve been blown away with what’s been released so far, with “Happy” and “Immortal” offering minutes of beautiful, thought-provoking harmony, to “FROOT” itself, which is so camp and so, so good. However, one of my favourites to date is “I’m a Ruin”, and it finally has a brilliant video to accompany it – and that’s what I’m sharing with you for this week’s Music Monday.

Have a listen, indulge, get hooked…


Listen to more of Marina’s incredible music on the official Marina and The Diamonds YouTube channel.

Art Stuff: Day 565 on Art Blog Daily

You may or may not be aware that, in addition to writing about design, I’m also the one behind contemporary art blog, Art Blog Daily. Every day a post a new piece of artwork from a talented contemporary artist I admire. It’s a hobby that keeps me sane and inspired, which is always a brilliant combination.

From now on, every week on The Notable Male I will be re-highlighting my favourite piece from the previous week on Art Blog Daily. There’s so many fantastic artists out there who struggle to get noticed, so if you like something, share it!

This week I’m highlighting the work of incredibly talented US-based painter Maurice Sapiro, who creates the most beautiful landscape paintings. His eye for detail and attention to light, reflections and shadows within his paintings is incredible.

Maurice Sapiro

You can view more of Sapiro’s work on Art Blog Daily.

Images courtesy of Maurice Sapiro

For Men: Burberry London Leather Crossbody Bag

It’s only recently that I’ve started to tire of hiking a backpack to work every morning – it’s almost as if I purposely stuff my bag full just because the space is there, and not because I actually need all of the useless stuff I take with me to the office.

On that note, I’ve started looking for a smaller crossbody bag that could prove a slightly more classy replacement to my now tatty backpack. This eye-catching Burberry Leather Crossbody Bag, or something of a similar style, seems like it’d be the ideal option. It looks tidy and very office-esque, but at the same time has a pop of colour to avoid being too dull. Perfect!

Burberry London leather crossbody bag

London Leather Crossbody Bag by Burberry, £737.68. farfetch.com

If you have any suggestions regarding office-esque, compact bags like this lovely Burberry piece, drop me a comment.

Images courtesy of Farfetch

For Women: Cedric Charlier Single Breasted Coat

I’m a bit of a fool for a simple coat, and when that admiration is combined with evenings spent flicking through Farfetch, the inevitable happens. This blue cotton blend Cedric Charlier Single Breasted Coat is a fantastic staple to throw on over an array of ensembles when there’s a bit of a chill outside.

In the summer, opt for a slightly more care-free look by rolling up the sleeves and wearing the coat open with a floaty white blouse and cropped trousers underneath. Pair that with a chunky necklace and some simple black or matching strap heels, and you have, without doubt, got yourself an elegant, versatile look.

Perfect for the office or lunch with the girls!

Cedric Charlier Single Breasted Coat

Single Breasted Coat by Cedric Charlier, £504.73. farfetch.com

Images courtesy of Farfetch

Colour me edgy: Kirsty Ward Spring/Summer 2015

I recently took a bit of a break from blogging, however I’m back! And I’m glad to be back, because it means I get to resume highlighting superb talent, including the lovely Kirsty Ward.

I’m thrilled to say that Kirsty is seemingly on the edge of the “emerging” and “made it!” barrier, as her work is getting quite a lot of attention these days, and it’s easy to see why.

For Spring/Summer 2015 (I know I should be highlighting Autumn/Winter 2015 collections right about now, but give it time…), Kirsty produced another sublime collection with an effortless mix of simplicity, femininity in the form of beautiful overlaying and top notch accessories, and lots of edge. And yes, I mean that heads-turning-as-she-walks-into-the-room kinda edge. Kirsty’s jewellery is as loud and chunky as ever, but that’s the way we like it. Not to mention her fantastic collaboration with Williams Handmade, who’s bags are nothing but marvellous.

Kirsty Ward SS15

Kirsty Ward SS15

Kirsty Ward SS15

Kirsty Ward SS15

Kirsty Ward SS15

Kirsty Ward SS15

Kirsty Ward SS15

Keep posted with Kirsty’s fantastic work on her website, where you can also view the full collection.

Photographer: Alexander Jordan
Model: Isis Samassa at Storm
Stylist: Sarah Barlow
Make up: Alexis Day
Hair: Valerie Benavides

Images courtesy of Kirsty Ward

Behind-the-scenes with London-based Sleepwear Brand Eight Hour Studio

I’ve recently started some work with beautiful London-based sleepwear brand, Eight Hour Studio. The brand will launch officially this coming week, and I couldn’t be more excited!

Eight Hour Studio use organic cotton and traditional Indian woodblock printing methods to create beautiful, subtle and incredibly comfortable sleepwear. Their sleepwear will add a hint of luxurious elegance to your evening when it’s time to wind down and relax after work.

Sonia and Ash, the lovely couple behind the brand, have given me some exclusive images of their pieces in the making. Everything is handmade in Jaipur, India, and the pieces are beautifully cut, too.

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Pattern Square

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Sign-up to receive updates about the brand at www.eighthourstudio.com

Photography courtesy of Eight Hour Studio’s supply partner, Mehera Shaw, a fair trade artisan lifestyle manufacturer based in Jaipur, India.

10 British Contemporary Artists to Watch

Those who know me will know I’m a massive fan of contemporary art – I even write a contemporary art blog, called Art Blog Daily – and that’s why I’ve put together a list of some of my favourite British contemporary artists, who I think you should definitely keep an eye on. They’re incredible, I promise!

1. Paul Cooklin

Paul Cooklin

Paul is a fantastic landscape photographer, photographing beautiful sights around the UK and further afield. His work is entirely black and white, and he captures tone perfectly. If it’s black and white photography you love, Cooklin’s work may be your new obsession. I won’t apologise.

2. Patrick Palmer

Patrick Palmer

Patrick Palmer studied at Heatherley’s School of Art in London and The National College of Art and Design, Dublin. He now lives and works in Windsor, Berkshire.

Patrick is an incredible drawer, predominately drawing portraits. Everything from the detail to the striking colours will impress.

3. Oliver James Watt

Oliver James Watt

Amazingly, Oliver James Watt is a self-taught abstract painter who started painting at a very young age. A lot of his work is monotone, but interesting. Oliver was born in Suffolk, but he currently lives and works in London.

4. Jessica Slater

Jessica Slater

“Jessica Slater is a Cardiff School Of Art And Design graduate and currently lives and works in Cornwall, United Kingdom. She specialises in abstract paintings.”

Jessica’s use of colour and shape as one is just breathtaking, and everything she does makes you think a little bit more.

5. James Lucas

James Lucas

James is an abstract painter who loves to use colour. His work tends to be very busy, but it’s beautiful. Lucas lives and works in Nottingham.

“Colour and surface texture dominate my work. I work with rich vociferous colours in complex swathes, layers and trails of paint.”

6. Gina Parr

Gina Parr

“Gina Parr’s painted and photographic work uncovers complex connections and disconnections within form and landscape, explicitly questioning the relationship between chance and control.”

Gina’s work is unlike anything I’ve seen before… It’s incredible! I love the techniques she uses.

7. George Antoni

George Antoni

Perhaps a secret love affair of mine, the work of George Antoni is at the top of my list in terms of artists I would love to own numerous pieces from. George’s work is simple, but that’s what makes it for me. Subtle shapes and bold colours applied perfectly, but always varying.

8. Geoffrey Pimlott

Geoffrey Pimlott

“My work explores the shape of colour and the colour of shape through arbitrary geometric compositional arrangements that intend to engage the visual senses with their rhythms and sequences. ”

Born in 1946, Geoffrey Pimlott is a Wimbledon College of Art graduate. Geoffrey’s work is strong on bold shapes and colours, and his use of asymmetric patterns is really interesting.

9. Claire Pestaille

Claire Pestaille

Another secret love affair of mine, Claire’s work is beautiful. I absolutely love contemporary collage, and Pestaille’s work is some of the best I’ve seen and fallen in love with.

“Taking ownership of images from the past through the act of collage, my work establishes relationships and connections between the existence of one image and it’s marriage with another.”

10. Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens

Chris Stevens studied Fine Art at the University of Reading. He paints very detailed portrait paintings and is fantastic when it comes to tone and an on-point portrayal of different scenes and individuals.

Do you have a favourite?

See more contemporary art on Art Blog Daily, and find out more about the mentioned artists on the British Contemporary Art Association‘s website.

Images courtesy of the British Contemporary Art Association

Why Muslims could be the real victims of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy

In light of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy in Paris earlier this week, I was reading The Independent, including comments on Facebook, and a particular comment jumped out at me. It questioned, “Isn’t it really Muslims who are suffering most because of terrorism?” and I thought, “You know, that could be very true.”

Charlie Hebdo

The sheer level of hatred I’ve seen towards the Muslim community this week exceeds anything I’ve ever seen before. The level of negative generalisations about Muslims that have been shared publicly via outlets such as Twitter has been incredible. It’s because of this that I agree, yes, Muslims could be suffering most because of terrorism. These incidents are horrific, incredibly tragic and, yes, unbearable for the families of the loved one’s involved. However, that is no excuse to throw racially insensitive (to put it nicely) comments around. These incidents affect hundreds or thousands of people closely involved. However, we must not forget that with every incident, millions of Muslims – many who do not agree with the actions of terrorists whatsoever – are negatively affected. They are deemed “terrorists” and “murderers”, despite being nothing of the sort. A large percentage of Muslims are simply average people, like you and me, who are educated, work full-time, and who just want to enjoy life. Yes, that’s right… Muslims travel, have parties, go shopping, watch films at the cinema, and do pretty much everything me and you do, too!

There are some hateful individuals in the world – some Muslim, some Christian, some atheist, and plenty from other religion’s. However generalisations on such a vast level because of the actions of a handful of individuals is completely unacceptable. Regardless of religion, race, age or sex, most are their own person with their own views. Religion shouldn’t mean definition. It does for some no doubt, but not for all. That’s what we must remember.

On a last note, in this incident I did see many condemning Muslims not as “terrorists” or “murderers”, but as “heartless” due to leaders in Muslim countries not publicly condemning the acts. However, again, remember that the choice of one individual does not span the whole religion, country or world. After all, how annoyed would us Brits be if the world assumed we all shared the views of Margaret Thatcher, David Cameron or even Nigel Farage? We’d be fuming, I bet!

Please do share your thoughts on this subject. I’d be interested to hear any feedback, positive or negative.

My thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims of the Charlie Hebdo tragedy. May our freedom of speech always be just that. Free.

Rest in peace.

Images courtesy of Charlie Hebdo