Tag: secret garden party

secret-garden-party-picIt's always a big one - we've had space, we've had under the sea and now we're going current age with VIPs.

Secret Garden Party organisers plan on holding the biggest VIP –LOL-Off ever, (we all VIPs) as theme for 15th edition 2017 is announced……SWEET DREAMS.  Are made of these? And who are we to disagree…

Fame, celebrity, a media that obsesses over both and huge business that sells us access to, and relics of, them: the one thing that’s clear is we have ourselves a new religion…  of sorts. But this is a doctrine that offers us a troubling vision of Heaven on Earth; a room, full of our idols, guarded behind doors, with a strict entry criteria…

So, in this Strictly X Factor Love Island I’m a Kardashian #get-me-out-of-here social, instant, online world; what should we do?  How much do we embrace this idea of the universal right to fame and, if we do, should we all start immediately baking, blogging, dancing, cooking, singing and redecorating our little hearts out, to get 'there’?  You know that place down the red carpet and behind the velvet rope…

Well this summer the Secret Garden Party invites you to join it ‘there’ and finally find out if it’s anywhere we want to be.

In the tradition of the bacchanals, we will satiate this worldly distraction to the point we can break free from it - to finally gain a true perspective.  And in doing so, set a new, true precedent. So we’re donning our finest threads and polishing up like never before for the biggest VIP LOL-off you’ve ever seen. Where everyone likes / follows / adores you, the bouncers all know your name and the Sweet Dreams are made by You…

Also - calling all London artistic types - Art Applications are now open:

SGP is calling out for next year’s creative wonders. Since launching the Grants Programme in the Garden, there’s been an explosion of creative work adorning the site with imaginative installations year on year.  Now SGP is on the hunt for the new and spectacular, theme-inspired pieces for 2017. Artists, Designers & the wildly creative, be a part of this credible arts collective. With commissions, grants and development funds available contact: art@secretgardenparty.com


Secret Productions are back with yet another day of talks, walks, performances & food that bring the Sunday Papers to life.

Celebrate Mother’s Day and the start of UK Summer Time with round #3 of the Sunday Papers Live - presenting all the traditions of a perfect cozy Sunday as you’ve never experienced them before – the papers brought to life, roasts as big as a house, and long walks with some of our finest cultural commentators. The first and second editions were sell-outs, so we suggest you move fast.

Third edition highlights School For Startups and Dragon’s Den star Doug Richard on Business; beat-boxers Reeps One & Shlomo on Culture; author, journalist and former BBC Newsnight editor Paul Mason on World News; and Bompass & Parr on Food. The music section is competently handled by Rowan Sawday and Sivu.


The day takes place in laid-back Sunday style, in a giant living room packed full of worn settees, warming Bloody Marys, cozy rugs & slippers. Sit back and see the broadsheets brought to life by poets, politicians, musicians, actors, writers & artists - section by section, performance by performance, - covering news, travel, style, sport, science, culture, business and more. Some will be silly, some serious. Some will make you dance on the tables.

The all-important Roast is presented as a long-table banquet with shared plates piled high by Best Ethical Restaurant award-winning eco-chef Tom Hunt. London’s favourite brunch-peddlers The Breakfast Club are on hand all day serving benedicts & breakfast burritos. The best Bloody Marys in the universe in three varieties return thanks to Vestal Vodka.

Sudoku, cartoons, lonely hearts, crossword, obituaries & letters take over our café with hands-on craftiness, silliness and a little match-making from the ever-capable Son & Sons. The real ale bar hosts intimate folk sessions, quizzes and spoken word.





Greg is a world-renowned fractal artist, author, entrepreneur, chaos theorist, social scientist, and the inventor of the vegeburger. He looks at World News through a wide lens. From anthills to rainforests to galaxies, everywhere else in the cosmos things successfully organise from the bottom up; yet we continue to expect the top-down approach of government to solve our problems. Greg argues that it is the problem.

Chill Pill are one of the top Spoken Word collectives in the UK, running hugely popular nights at The Soho Theatre and The Albany. Comprised of Mr Gee (host of Radio 4s Bespoken Word and Rhyme and Reason), Raymond Antrobus, Deanna Rodger, Adam Kammerling and Simon Mole, Chill Pill bring tightly spun tales inspired by today’s headlines, the ever-popular Classics Corner and plenty of banter to boot.

Doug Richard is the founder and CEO of School for Startups - a social purpose business that supports aspiring entrepreneurs realise their ambitions. Last year they supported more than 1,200 businesses, with over £10million lent in approved loans. A former Dragon’s Den star, Doug has more accolades and experience than is strictly necessary, his motivational & business talks are legendary, and his entrepreneurship workshops are a fiercely hot ticket.

Rad, a Royal Observatory astronomer, brings us all the latest news on what’s going on up there right now. From spaceships landing on comets and probes landing on alien moons, to the Mars rovers and a Jade Rabbit in the Bay Of Rainbows.

Paul is Culture and Digital Editor at Channel 4 News and former editor of BBC’s Newsnight. Twice shortlisted for the Orwell Prize and named the Royal Television Society's specialist reporter of the year in 2012, his books include Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere - an account of the occupy movement and the Arab Spring. Paul covers culture, our digital life and the social and political controversies they generate.

Melissa is a NYC-based writer and freelance journalist covering sex, tech, and politics, in the streets and everywhere else - challenging the myths about selling sex and those who perpetuate them, and arguing that separating sex work from the ‘legitimate’ economy only harms those who perform sexual labor. For her, sex work is work, and sex workers’ rights are human rights. She's a contributing editor at Jacobin, and her reporting and commentary appears in The Nation, Wired, The Atlantic, Glamour, The Guardian, The Washington Post, Dissent, Slate and Jezebel among others.


Guinness World Record holders who have worked with Bjork, Damon Albarn, Jarvis Cocker, DJ Yoda and Chase and Status; as solo artists their live performances never cease to amaze and are not to be missed; so a duo we can expect to be stupefied.

SIVU (UK) Debut track (the MRI-machine video for ‘Better Man Than He’) went viral, showing the world precisely what goes on inside a musician’s head. Now signed with Atlantic Records, he has toured with the likes of London Grammar, and picked up support across Radio 1, 6Music and XFM. Having finished runner-up to Banks in the Blog Sound of 2014 poll, Sivu’s debut album will be released on August 28th, and is produced by
Charlie Andrews (Alt-J producer).


How can the nation that gave us the preeminent work on carnal pleasures today be a country racked by an epidemic of gang rapes, so sexually repressed that many young couples fear to hold hands in public? Sally Howard is a travel writer and reporter for UK broadsheets. Her first book, The Kama Sutra Diaries - a ‘socio-sexual travelogue’ - presents India as a country undergoing a social metamorphosis that puts the West’s sexual revolution to shame.


Named “one of the 15 people who will define the future of arts in Britain”, Bompas & Parr lead in flavour based experience design, culinary research, architectural installations and contemporary food design. Their most recent project saw them host the world's first Multi- Sensory Fireworks Display for London.

The 2009 & 2010 UK Beatbox Champion, and the current World Loopstation Champion, Reeps & Shlmomo are recognized as two of the most interesting and powerful beatboxers on the globe with a level of technique only surpassed on occasion, by each other.

Anna Reynolds is Curator of Paintings at the Royal Collection - the art collection of the British Royal Family and one of the largest and most important art collections in the world - responsible for the care and display of approximately 12,000 paintings and miniatures spread across residences including Buckingham Palace and Hampton Court. Centuries of portraits of people, are also centuries of portraits of the clothes they wore, and using her intimate knowledge of fashion from the Tudors to today Anna explores how fashion has been democratised.

Steve Wheen is the Australian-born, London-based creative talent behind The Pothole Gardener. The project, which began in as a simple way for Steve to beautify his east London neighbourhood, quickly attracted a loyal following and international media attention from the likes of Oprah and the The Sun who labelled Steve as the ‘Banksy of guerrilla gardening’.

When Steve’s not busy planning or planting his pothole gardens, you’ll find him directing and producing films for the likes of Google, MTV and Publicis.

The Walks

The Bullsh*t Tour ---

Philosophy Walk with Mark Vernon
Socrates said that walking in shady groves was an ideal setting for talking about philosophy, the good life and love. Take a short walk to the tip of Primrose Hill with views across the capital with acclaimed public philosopher Mark Vernon to learn what Socrates had to say to Phaedrus that day, and with the sage of Athens follow the advice of the Delphic oracle, to know thyself!


Braised brisket of beef
Roast mushroom tart with hazelnuts (v) *
Served with
Homemade horseradish sauce Rosemary roasted potatoes
Kale with chestnuts
Poached pears with vanilla chantilly

Read more about the event at

Advance booking highly recommended.
Click here to buy tickets £30 -
(food and drink not included) 

The third edition is thaking place this March 30th 2014. 12pm – 11pm at Cecil Sharp House – home of the English Folk Dance & Song Society 2 Regents Park Road, London www.sundaypaperslive.com

Recently I went down to The Secret Garden Party to shoot an editorial with Secret Emporium. I interviewed founders Lucy and Tess prior to the festival about the amazing work they are doing offering a platform to fashion designers. We shot on the last day of the Garden Party, taking a beautiful festival goer called Emily on an adventure around the lake. She was sleepy and elated following an amazing three days dancing and exploring. The sun came out to greet us as we perched up against the backdrop of the main stage, waiting for the infamous paint fight to begin.  As the paint exploded in the sky photographer, Carys Lavin captured the energy and sense of happiness around us.

I selected a look which was fun, simple and brought together all the classic items for a festival - from a bespoke Merrimaking hood to skintight denim shorts which look stunning on Emily's very long legs. I loved the over-sized body jewellery by E A Burns contrasted against the tiny Wolf & Moon hare pin - animals, neon brights and layering is what festival dressing is all about.

A truly special experience for Who's Jack.

Fashion credits:
Bespoke hood - Merrimaking
Neon top - Lioral Lassalle
Purple and gold necklace - E A Burns
Denim shorts - The Faded Glory
Diamond bag - Jessica Bennett
Sunglasses - Daisy Thomas
Hare brooch and bracelet - Wolf & Moon
Neon ring - TAWN
Silver ring - Margaux Clavel

Team credits:
Words and styling: Faye Heran | @epinettefiles
Photography: Carys Lavin | @carysmagielavin
Styling assistant: Alice Munteanu | @Alice_Munteanu
Model: Emily Smith | @EmiLina35

Thanks to: Lucy and Tess at the Secret Emporium and Karen and Nick at Orbit PR


Secret Emporium
Festival fashion is the juggernaut taking over summer at present. Whether it is about getting together your fancy dress costume or working out how to look good in the unpredictable climate, festival goers are as fashion savvy as they come. However, despite UK festivals showcasing the best of the best in terms of music and the arts, fashion remains relatively unrepresented on official festival programmes.

Secret Emporium, is the clear exception. They curate a platform for start-up designers to sell their items at festivals and events around the country and aim to support them beyond the festival season. Here I speak to founders, Lucy Peacock and Tess Acheson about this fantastic venture and the impact it has been making.

What inspired you to set up Secret Emporium? Did you recognise a gap in the market?
The gap in the market was a glaring, ever present reality. Festivals were becoming more fashionable and the concept of fancy dress was moving to a far more sophisticated level. Both of us would go all out at festivals but we would construct our outfits at home, because all you could actually buy at the festivals was imported tat from India and the odd dodgy fairy wing.

Jim Whewell, one of the directors of The Secret Garden Party, challenged us to shake up retail at festivals and to curate something interesting. A combination of Tess’s experience as the art installations’ co-ordinator for SGP and Lucy’s experience as a jewellery designer, inspired us to curate a single platform of designers who could sell their work under one roof. From our very first Secret Emporium venture at SGP we realised we were kick-starting a collaborative and supportive community of cutting edge costume and fashion designers. In the first year, many were our friends – people we’d worked and studied with. Secret Emporium allowed everyone to expose their work to a hungry and receptive customer base, rather than the usual sterile experience of selling and promoting their work at a trade show in the city, people could access them in an exciting and immersive environment.


Beyond festivals being an immersive environment, what else do they offer new designers?
Well firstly, designers have access to sometimes up to 60,000 people throughout the weekend and it is customer-to-designer contact, its immediate and personal. That kind of feedback, sales and exposure is really hard for them to find anywhere else. Secondly, festivals promote openness, self expression and lack of inhibitions; festival goers will buy and wear something that they would not buy on the high street on a wet Winter Tuesday!

Thirdly, and bluntly, money! Designers who are mostly graduates, can come home with a substantial amount of money they can use to fund a new collection or a studio space and allow them to continue to be independent, and to produce in this country. For many of our designers we are a key part of their financial make up. From their first involvement with us many of them come back bigger and better the next time round.

Do you think festivals like the Secret Garden Party are having an influence on fashion?
Yes. People have got savvy. The days of packing your worst clothes and digging out the rain mac you last wore on an orienteering course when you were 15 are gone! At Secret Garden Party, in particular, which is a really young and fashionable crowd, people go in huge social groups. It is a time to get out your best outfits and look completely comfortable in a lobster headdress, spandex onesie and a face full of glitter! It’s like the Blitz Kids all over again. One major thing you cannot escape now is how much the press and media cover festival fashion. Every magazine you see has ‘festival must have buys’ etc.

It seems like it is incredibly hard for a designer starting out, what more could the fashion industry be doing? 
This is kind of a never ending conversation! The main thing that hinders start up designers is trying to compete with the cheap, throwaway approach to design. If something is hand produced by one person it has to be more expensive. We support designers by having an online shop that sells the best of the best from their products,  we also committed right at the conception of the business to offer two free scholarship places at every event we do. The fashion industry is a huge financial monster and we think that more funding should be provided to designers so they can survive in those early years. The industry should encourage music acts to wear young designers on stage at festivals and give them the much needed exposure. Essentially if the industry just pumped money into us we could do it all for them!

What will Secret Emporium be offering festival goers at Secret Garden Party this year?
They’ll see the return of Spangled, who last year stormed the season with stunning, hand-customised eyewear (which has since been featured in Time out, Sunday Times Style and picked up by the likes of Urban Outfitters); TAWN, a new fashion label from designer Ashleigh Downer, who graduated last year from LCF to huge acclaim with her collection, ‘Crystallography’. Ashleigh will be launching her first street-style ‘ready to wear’ collection inspired by her previous work; also Margaux Clavel, our scholarship winner from the Royal College of Art who blew us away with her ‘Festival’ collection at the RCA Graduate show this year. Look out for her deer horn headdresses and diffusion range cast silver jewellery pieces.


Are there any key trends or items being picked up on by festival goers?
It goes in waves but ultimately people love eccentricity; sunglasses with dinosaurs on them, glitter paneled catsuits they can roll around in, huge headdresses, big statement pendants to drape themselves in, bold prints, bomber jackets and printed tees. They also love customised accessories; caps, bum-bags, hoods, capes etc. Festival goers follow the fashion trends in the real world, they just always turn it up to 11 for the festivals so you see the trends just dipped in neon and glitter and without the inhibition of the everyday.

Finally ­what does Secret Emporium hope to achieve in the future?
We want to set up a social enterprise arm of the business which would distribute funding to start-up designers to support them to build their business, before they have even created their first complete collection. There seems to be considerable help for fashion designers already producing ‘ready to wear’ collections, looking for manufacturers and that next big step. We deal with many designers and creatives who are literally just starting to create their first winning ideas and need that leg-up to help them feel they can have a viable label, to then develop further to play serious ball in the fashion industry. We want to develop both the festival arm and the urban arm of the events we do and make them even better and more concentrated with talent – and take the talent global!

Words and Interview: Faye Heran | @epinettefiles

Images thanks to: Secret Emporium and Stephanie Sian Smith for ELLE street style

Secret Emporium will be at The Secret Garden Party from 25 July - 28 July 2013 situated in the North Field of the festival. Tickets for The Secret Garden Party are available via Seetickets.

 Secret Emporium Pop-up at Boxpark

Secret Emporium comes to Boxpark this month taking over 3 adjoining units.

The takeover will showcase beautifully crafted, innovative new and existing collections from 20 handpicked independent designers.  This is a perfect opportunity to snap up some unique pieces from London's freshest artisans ready for summer frolics.

From Saturday 16th March until Sunday 24th March you can pop in and have a browse, you can even snap up your Secret Garden Party and Wilderness Festival tickets in person during the 10-day pop up at Boxpark.

And if you make it along to the Secret Emporium pop-up on the weekends on 16th – 17th and 23rd – 24th March and book boutique camping in person, the boutique camping wristbands will be half price.

Wins all around!