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Spitalfields Gets Fashionably Weirder
- Swatch Alternative Fashion Week gets rough and ready with new talent and quirkier swag

London Goes Alternative.  Image: Bob StuartWith London Fashion Week gone and done, trend-watchers and apparel-addicts may feel a little worse for their (collection of) wears as they once again resign to perusing the window display collections of Oxford Street to get their fashion fix.

This week, however, fashionistas and art lovers alike can refresh their spirits as Spitalfields Traders Market is transformed to fashion central for The Swatch Alternative Fashion Week.

In its tenth year, this celebration of original and creative new fashion features an elite group of 60 fashion students and young designers.

"As an arts organization, we promote new artists and new ideas in a wide range of art forms," said Maggie Pinhorn of Alternative Arts. "Fashion is an expression of current culture and something everyone is interested in."

She appreciates that the show is an opportunity for young designers to showcase their collections. Each day, twelve of them will be featured on the catwalk, with a favorite announced at the end of the daily events.

In addition to looking for exposure, designers are competing for two awards - sponsored by Swatch - in which they will be given funding for school and equipment and a work experience opportunity with a top fashion designer.

The perks aren't just available for the designers - Pinhorn says those interested in attending the shows will have the opportunity to speak with and commission work from some of the designers. They can also shop the stalls of affordable and exotic designer gear at the Fashion Market each afternoon.

From womenswear to swim and underwear, fantasy to tailored and streetwear, patrons can leave the market with original, eccentric and fashion-forward designs from some of the brightest young fashion artists.

The Swatch Alternative Fashion Week will run the 20 - 24 of March from noon to 15:00. The fashion shows are open to the public, starting at 13:15 and walking to the tune of a contemporary live jazz band.

Swatch will also be selling vintage watches and offering re-designs and fix-ups to older watches by graffiti artist Red Mutha at the Swatch Interactive Zone.

Lauren Burke

Michelangelo Masters Ticket Sales

Drawings exhibition sets new record for advanced bookings at the British MuseumMichelangelo Buonarotti, Portrait of Andrea Quaratesi. C.1528  32. 41.1 x 29.2cm.  British Museum. Exh no.70

THE UPCOMING Michelangelo exhibition has smashed the record for advanced ticket sales for a British Museum event.

At nearly 11,000 tickets, Michelangelo has proved to be a draw almost three times as strong as his nearest rival, last year's Persia exhibition, which managed close to 4,000 advanced sales.

Officially titled Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master, the exhibition does what it says on the tin and reveals the processes by which the Florentine genius created some of his work, a revelation that wouldn't have met with the approval of the man himself, according to Hugo Chapman, curator at the British Museum.

"Michelangelo would have hated this exhibition," said Chapman. "He wouldn't have wanted us to understand how he worked. He wanted us to go into the Sistine chapel and be amazed. But I think he was wrong to destroy his drawings because they bring a further understanding and make us appreciate his genius even more."

Michelangelo Drawings: Closer to the Master opens this Thursday, 23rd of March.

Click here for tickets >>

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