Archive for March, 2013

Dawn French Rocks Anna’s Top on the Telly

March 23rd, 2013 10:00 am

OK, so we know that you can’t really see it, but we’re still very proud that Dawn French is wearing an Anna Scholz top in her new television ads with Churchill the dog for Churchill Insurance.

Here is a still from the ad in which you can just about see Anna’s lovely georgette lace-up kaftan! We’ll keep you posted if there are any other Anna sightings in the upcoming ad spots.

Read more about the campaign and see the full advert here!

Orso Major to Feature at Weekend Startup Showcase

March 21st, 2013 4:44 pm

On behalf of the online gallery Orso Major, the artwork of our very own sales and production manager, Darren Monaghan, will be on display at this weekend’s Startup Showcase at Somerset House (23rd and 24th March, 2013).

Sponsored by Doug Richard’s School for Creative Startups, this showcase is a two-day celebration of creative entrepreneurship in the UK. It includes a curated Marketplace featuring work from over 100 rising star startups in creative sectors from fashion and design to craft and fine art. Visitors will have the opportunity to shop and attend lectures and workshops.

Tryptique Cerulean Blue and Tryptique Down Pipe Grey by Darren Monaghan

Orso Major is an online gallery, which strives to bring affordable art by up-and-coming artists to one’s home or business. The Gallery offers limited edition photographs and prints, and a series of original charcoal drawings. “While we are an online gallery,” says Director, Gita Joshi, “we have plans for 2013 to mount exhibitions at various locations around London.”

Tryptique Lumo Lights and The Oblique Self by Darren Monaghan

Read more about the upcoming Startup Showcase here!

Cave Couture

March 21st, 2013 10:00 am

The next time you’re adjusting your fascinator to attend Cousin Trudie’s wedding, you may think, why am I doing this? Not in the sense of why am I supporting this wedding which I know is a sham because he’s intellectually inferior to her, he’s a cat person and he’s a Scorpio, so it’ll never work…but more in terms of why the urge to pin feathers to your hair? Well, according to recent studies, you are responding to an ancient urge for feather adornment that goes back as far as Neandertal civilization.

A recent article in Scientific American magazine described how new evidence suggests that Neadertals used bird feathers as adornment. This flies in the face of previous theories that Neanderthals were not advanced enough to exploit smaller prey, such as birds, and that they did not yet express themselves through symbolic behaviours. Such shortcomings, according to previous theories, put Neandertals at a disadvantage when more modern humans with more skills invaded Europe.

Paleontologist Clive Finlayson and zooarchaeologist Jordi Rosell and colleagues recently reported their analyses of animal remains at 1,699 fossil sites in Eurasia and North Africa spanning the Pleistocene epoch. Their findings indicate that Neandertals were strongly associated with corvids (ravens and the like) and raptors (eagles and their relatives).

The evidence gathered from these bird remains suggests that they were not eaten for food (people do not eat corvids or raptors today), but that the beautiful flight feathers were used as adornment. Further, cut marks were found on wing bones—not the meatiest part of the bird. Additionally, according to archaeologist John Shea, the Neandertals’ preference for dark-feathered birds mirrors their preference for black manganese pigment, which is known from a few sites. Finlayson believes the Neadertals may have used flint tools to separate the plumage from the wing bones still attached to the skin to create a kind of cape or headpiece.

Though Neandertals may not have had the most sophisticated tools, Rosell points out that many of these birds would have been easy to capture by hand. Vultures, for example, often hang out in tree branches waiting for a current to carry them. Gibraltar—where many cutmarked bones have been discovered– is on a major migratory route for many species, and the birds often arrive tired from the shifting winds and easier to catch.

Previous findings of cut bird bones from Neandertal levels in Fumane Cave in northern Italy were dismissed as an isolated event. But Finlayson and Rosell’s study indicates that feathers were almost definitely a kind of fashion statement for thousands of years, possibly across Eurasia, and indicative of a certain level of sophisticated, symbolic behaviour. “A purely utilitarian kind of person does not put on a feathered headdress,” says paleoanthropologist John Hawkes.

Indeed—on the heels of tools follow feathered headdresses…followed by heels!


© Anne Kroul, 2013.