Billie Holiday, Downbeat club, New York, c. February 1947 (photographed by William P. Gottlieb)
When I was a younger, I used to have a book that was basically a collection of biographies of all the greatest black jazz musicians and artists. It was filled with stunning black and white pictures of elegantly dressed young black women, and dapper young black men. Pictures of them in their element; happy, fulfilled, killing it. People like Louis Armstrong, Lena Horne, Billie Holiday, Lester Young and Nina Simone. I loved looking at the pictures, reading through it, getting to know some of the artists who had inspired people for generations, some I’d heard of, some I hadn’t – I loved being able for the first time (this was before Wikipedia was a thing for me), being able to get some insight into who they were personally.
And I hated it. Yes, I grew to dislike that book as it became for me an encyclopaedia of a predictable cycle of disaster, tragedy and abuse.
11th September 2010 marked the second Fashion Live show by Akemi Creative, the main focus being the Autumn/Winter collection and all female performances to celebrate talented women. I had the pleasure of taking part as front of house, and I can honestly say it was one of the most fun events I have been to and worked at in a while.
The venue was just right; some may have called it small, but in my opinion its structure rendered it appropriately intimate yet also flexible enough to allow for the various and creative ways in which it was used during the night. The layout was clearly the fruit of a professional vision, excellent planning, and appropriate practical execution of the vision and planning. Attention to detail were evident in the raised catwalk which spiralled out into a U shape in the centre of the room, and the stage lights which focused on this specific area, the impact of which was very noticeable during the actual show; it really brought a touch of sophistication and professionalism to the event; indeed the layout was just like fashion shows I have seen on TV, and equally packed out. Thus in spatial terms, Akemi Creative definitely get a huge thumbs up.