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Clerkenwell Design Festival Turns 10!

Clerkenwell Design Week logo

Clerkenwell Design Week is 10 years old. Not an actual week, the three-day festival celebrates the area’s status as one of the world’s most influential design hubs. Clerkenwell, a vibrant area in London’s EC1, is home to some of the capital’s most historic buildings where traditional craft industries today flourish alongside the most contemporary. CDW is showcase of commissioned projects, events, exhibitions, installations and street spectacles. There is even a fringe away from the main spots. To celebrate its tenth year, 10 installations  – to symbolise birthday candles – have been placed throughout the area – guiding visitors along the festival route. From state-of-the-art taps to pavilions and art sculptures, CDW is a brilliant place to see first hand designs of the future. Plus there…

Space-Age design still influencing how we dress

Paco Rabanne Space-Age dresses

Space-Age designs and all things Swinging London are hitting the headlines again. Swinging London: A Lifestyle Revolution / Terence Conran – Mary Quant is showing at the Fashion and Textile Museum, and a Mary Quant retrospective opens at The V&A in April. The popularity is proof that such a period continues to fascinate and influence what we wear today and the BBC’s Culture Designed thread has a great read up now – that features Ops&Ops. Check it out here!

The Art – and Joy – of Campari

Campari. Just mention of the name, its sound, conjures a smile and an image or memory. For us, it's summer out in the open with soda; or winter in a dark wood-panelled bar, Negroni in hand. (Wearing Ops&Ops, of course!) Then there are the ads, charming and iconic — from the Belle Epoque through to the 1960s, as powerful today as when they were originally conceived. And now they are on show, around the corner from our studio in Canonbury, at the Estorick Collection's latest exhibition: The Art of Campari. Campari is the classic Italian aperitivo. An intriguing mix of bitters, herbs, spices and sweetness, this deep jewel-red delight is unchanged since Gaspare Campari invented the blend in 1860. As aperitivo culture bloomed, Gaspare opened...

Peter Ashworth’s Mavericks

Mavericks: Looking down the hallway of Leigh Bowery's extraordinary flat.
Mavericks. From Julian Cope to Adam Ant, the Clash to Leigh Bowery – photographer Peter Ashworth created some of the most scene-defining images of the 1980s and 90s. And now the legendary photographer is presenting ‘mavericks’. This first solo exhibition of his work debuted at The Gallery, Liverpool, and after adaptation is now showing at Lever Gallery in Clerkenwell, London. Ashworth captured both the fashion and music worlds. His iconic images adorned the record sleeves of the most famous, the avant garde and the scene-setters. These images, as powerful today as they were decades ago, helped forge a band’s aesthetic and how they wanted to be seen well before the digital era. The Eurythmics, Smiths, Bryan Ferry and Frankie Goes to Hollywood, among many, can thank...

Go Green!

Green, in all its shades, is news. The Pantone colour of the year in 2017, it hit the catwalks and is now edging us through spring and into summer. From the high street to the big hitters, Gucci, Marni and Balenciaga among them, green is having a moment. Of course, Ops&Ops have a version with our latest style, the No15 wedge in rich Emerald suede. Green, perhaps more than any colour, can divide. It signals health and nature, money and wealth, rejuvenation and new starts. But also sickness, jealousy and envy. Fashion, too, has had a tempestuous relationship with it. A tricky hue to achieve, in Victorian times high levels of arsenic found their way into cloth dyes, yet by the 1920s it was a...

On the Move – Ops&Ops Take a Roadtrip

Lily in Dark Cherry Ops&Ops No12 boots with car
Who doesn't love the idea of a roadtrip? From short but stunning day-long outings to epic week, even month-long, quests. They can begin and end anywhere. Scenic, off-the-beaten track drives to city hopping, there are no rules. But nowhere are they more taken or mythologised than in the US. Route 66 may be the most lauded, but there are trails to discover and places to find across the continent. Open roads, motels, billboards, stopping at small towns, by-passing big cities, a roadtrip is both going somewhere and a destination itself. Ops&Ops shoes and boots are made for round-the-clock wear. Anywhere at all. So, when our friend, filmmaker and artist Lily Creightmore embarked on her roadtrip to the Californian desert and Joshua Tree National Park up...

Remarkable Book, Remarkable Symbol for Peace

Poster for Peace book from Reel Art Press
Peace is the latest book, and accompanying exhibition, from RAP – Reel Art Press. Some 59 years after the peace symbol was created, this never-before-seen collection of works by photographer Jim Marshall is truly remarkable. And it could not have come at a more poignant time. Marshall, one of the most celebrated photographers of the last century, is best-known for his pictures of rock-and-roll royalty from the 1960s onwards. Though he also enjoyed a rock-and-roll lifestyle, he always saw himself as a photo-journalist and in between music assignments would document the street life of ordinary people. Peace is Marshall's personal archive of the peace symbol. The symbol was created in 1958 by Gerald Holtom for the British Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. It spread quickly to America, going on to become globally...

NY Night Train Soul Clap & Dance Off hits London

poster for New York Night Train Soul Clap & Dance Off
Ops&Ops are going back to our roots this weekend as our dear friend and ace DJ Jonathan Toubin brings his New York Soul Clap and Dance Off to London Town. Brilliant music and non-stop dancing – it's what Ops&Ops were made for. Jonathan's Soul Clap and Dance Off events are legendary in New York, where he spins night-long sessions of r'n'b and soul 45s – many of them rare and forgotten – from the 1950s and 1960s. A big part of the bash is the dance contest. Any one can take part and pony like boney maroney, do the mash potato, alligator or any steps they choose for the judges. Expect the unexpected, too. You never know who you'll bump into. Ops&Ops joined in last time we were in NYC, and Teri danced her...
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