The Real Life ‘Mad Men’

Its April/May. The showers are coming down on my window like sweat on a pubescent kid’s spotty forehead in a tennis lesson (not speaking from experience here) and exams are impending BUT I still reserve a little time for such art forms as interviewing cool creatives like the guys from ad agency C.R.A.P !! Below you can see me prodding the collective intellect of Scottish Ad Men Chris Rush & Andy Peel.

FIRST UP: Top tips for advertising and some “random words” from C.R.A.P.

Subjectively, they’re the new Saatchi & Saatchi. I know someone will execute me for that. To save you from CSI-type measures, his name will be Charles Saatchi and he will be in the conservatory with the lead pipe.



HJD: Due to the popularity of Mad Men, which has just finished its oh-so-stylish third series, do you guys think that the ad world is getting a makeover? And, of course, what’s the most glamourous part of your day job?

AP: [its] between people spending money on our ideas and going on shoots. Traveling the world(ish) and meeting celebs is pretty good, and you can live in the pub so long as you’ve got some awesome work to show for it when you stagger out.

CR: ^What? *reality check Peely* maybe getting free drinks on expenses? We can go anywhere to do ‘work’ and not pay a thing when we’re there. Anywhere can be the office… till I have to direct some art at least.

HJD: Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce (Mad Men) vs CRAP (you). Whats in a name, and do you honestly think your, well, crap? Do clients call you ‘crap’ or C.R.A.P? Or is it like M*A*S*H where the periods are ignored? Help.

AP: to start with, the name was everything. we were crap. We took the piss out ourselves because of people didn’t like our work, we told them “what did you expect from crap?” CRAP got us noticed and remembered. It works, but because he’s CR and I’m AP. If i was John and CR was Bob, being crap wouldn’t have a purpose. And it’s always crap, except my dad hates it, so to him we’re c.r.a.p.

CR: Clients don’t really know us. For the most part only the account handlers deal with them, there are exceptions of course. cr.ap is memorable. It just works for that. When doing crits (HJD: book crits are visits to ad agencies to try and get work by showing a portfolio) we’d start out by telling them we are crap – its on the cover of the front page of the portfolio – then anything they see from then on might not be crap. We’re getting better, not entirely crap anymore but always cr.ap

HJD: At least your not Chris Underwood and Nathan Thomas, I here that their agency didnt go down too well. Jokes aside, how did you guys get into the business and what advise would you give to someone of about my age (17) who is thinking of getting into the PR or mad ad world?

AP: I didn’t have a clue. I did an ad course, after year one I teamed up with Chris and then started getting book crits and placements ever since. Network, work hard and being nice go a long way. Plus being good at it helps. Find a coach/mentor that’ll help is a bonus. See our Facebook group for more.

CR: Have fun. Meet people -agency people all ‘have been there once’ and most will give you good advice on how to get into the industry. There’s not one set method that works, as a creative it relies a lot on timing, luck and of course you being willing to put the graft in. And be polite. Everyone knows everyone in this industry, piss one off and the rest can hear about it…

We got here by not being perfect. We made a lot of mistakes and did a lot of bad ads. It’s how you learn. Literally. Just practice. Meeting people who can push you in the right direction helps and don’t rely on just one person’s opinion because it is just that: an opinion. Always try and get several people looking at your work, then you can take a consensus from that.

AP: Sound advice Mr Rush.

HJD: Sound advice indeed. I’m curious as to what has been your favourite project to date and why? (my personal fave is the Jaffalympics above)

AP: A toss up between our first TV shoot for the Scottish News of the World and our pitch win for Scotrail which will break nationally (in Scotland) in the summer. (HJD: Scotrail is the Scottish railway if you hadn’t guessed).

CR: What AP said plus the Smoking campaign for Northern Ireland. It was effective and got a lot of good response.

AP: It’s because you got to fly to Belfast you jammie git. It looked pretty good though, *pats head*.

HJD:  “CRAP is one guy drawing and one guy writing” – discuss

AP: One Photoshops, one waffles, but it works. I don’t think we’ve been blown our cover yet.

CR: I can’t spell, he can.

HJD: Would you ever consider more government propaganda…I mean, information campaigns…like your work for the NHS?

AP: of course, we worked with the Scottish and Northern Ireland Governments before. Sexual health, drinking and smoking. So long as it’s for a good cause we’ll sell our souls.

CR: They aren’t propaganda, there’s a difference between telling someone they must quit smoking and suggesting they do. We don’t really ‘consider’ whether we do a brief or not anyway. It’s a job, it pays the company’s bills so it has to be done. We’d never get a product that it is wrong to advertise because they aren’t allowed to be advertised. We do of course get some briefs we’d rather not have…like a girls beauty brief thats on my desk right now.

AP: that’s true. A brainstorm with 6 women is a scary moment. Especially when you can’t get a word in edgeways over the “isn’t he just gorgeous” or “eugh, fat thighs”.

Mr A.I.D.S: one of CR.AP’s NHS initiatives simplifies serious illness for dramatic effect.

HJD: Better than working on those disgusting ads where those women discuss diarrhoea over lunch. Finally, who would be your dream client and why? For example, if I had any idea about the ad world whatsoever I would love to make an advert where a car is created out of cake..ohh thats been done…

AP: Chris and John at Fallon (who made the Skoda cake ad) gave us our first crit and placement. I’d love to work on Sony, Nike or Coke. But something closer to home would be good.

CR: A one that just allows creativity to shine through instead of worrying about the size of a frigging logo. It’s amazing the difference between an original idea and the work which the general public end up seeing. 9/10 its a watered down version that isn’t anywhere near as good. So not a specific client, just one that wants to be creative and bold.

AP: I think our portfolio has a few of those in…

HJD: Thanks guys, all the best…Can’t wait to see if these guys do become the Real Life ‘Mad Men’ (which, by the way, I really don’t advise)

BEST OF THE REST

Elsewhere, I very unfortunatly had to miss the Underage Easter festival with Artrocker due to illness (boo), but I did end up with a friend at Storm Models, which got me thinking about something which only a tackly glitter graphic can show :

Vice Style is currently in Beta, but it looks pretty awesome. Some of the stuff I’ve found and loved so far has included a bit on bindis (below) with the beautiful French reporter Dora modelling some sticky jewellery to great effect.

Drop in some top-class editorials and pictures like this:

….and I think we can say that the little sister to Vice and VBS.tv s going to be huge. YVAN Rodic, LOOBOOK, WWW aside…ViceStyle looks set to join the ranks of net stardom. Oh, and some of their superb offerings make it into the paper VICE magazine. There’s even a few words with the world’s most famous plus-sized model, Crystal Renn – author of the memoir Hungry: A Young Model’s Story of Appetite, Ambition and the Ultimate Embrace of Curves.

And no fashion website worth its salt (or low sodium substitute) would be complete without the man himself, Karl Lagerfeld, as interviewed by film-director-cum-Vice-man Bruce Labruce (those familiar with Bruce, do excuse my wordplay there).

Karl's pad is both cluttered and library-like in its order. Viva Ikea!

My friends at Vice are also going Pretty Scritti Political right now, in celebration of next week’s election! Click here to watch a trailer for their (genuinely thrilling) docu Rule Britannia: Elections.

On an extremely important political note, not sure if its just me, but don’t these guys look alike?

Nick 'spanish wife and french chateau' Clegg
Or is it Dragons Den king, telecoms magnate and sock-puller-upper Peter Jones?

Possibly not the best picture to show a comparison.

I think I’ll finish with a bit of music, eh?

My mateys The Ruskins come from Isleworth (not too far from me) and I can’t believe they’re still unsigned. Not for long I hope/bet. Here’s their latest offering, Old Isleworth…the video features Elliott Tittensor (Shameless) and Kaya “Effy” Scodelario.

Its a cracker.

ALSO LOVING: OK GO, Lou Reed, N Sync, Amy Studt (yes I know), Sparks, Interpol (back on form), Julian Plenti…

And this:

Yes, that is Corbin Bleu’s Deal With It you can hear there…turns out that a whiley Jay Sean penned the song for the Afroed teen and sold the music to Korean superstars Shinee too. Clever move. Cleverer than that smug ‘blazer dance’ in the Down video, anyway…

Yours critically,

x x x x

I’m Back In The World…

…of Hannahjdavies.com. Sigh in relief, breathe deeply, sigh again. Read 🙂 How I’ve missed writing! I’ll be back on February 16th (yes, double dose this month), in a collaboration with the photographer from the feature below!!:


– INNOCENT IN AN INNER CITY SENSE

Hope you’re well…I certainly am! Yesterday was spent adding 98 – yes, 98 – obscure songs to my iPod from Nick Drake to *NSYNC, whilst today I became a model-cum-photography-assistant whilst helping the fabulous Cathryn Photography to comprise a set which I nicknamed ‘Playtime’ because we had regressed towards the swings, roundabouts and monkey bars of a park we often frequented in our time of extreme youth.


It was incredibly cold, despite the little glimmers of sunlight of which were bouncing off Cathryn’s lense. She’s a newbie on the scene, but you wouldn’t guess it – the way she squints whilst looking for the perfect shot and occasionally gives us our marching orders is throughly Vogue.  She has comprimised a mental list of some shots, utlising props such as a copy of To Kill A Mockingbird and a satin cushion. Model one (but hardly Models One) is me, and I’m dressed in an attire which pages homage to punk rock and Ronald McDonald (yes, as it is an FAQ that is my real hair).

Rachel – model two – was styled more like an abandoned prom night date/Fred Perry employee, but still managed to look gorgeously waif-like. She has the kind of toussled curls which are the envy of GHD users everywhere, unfortunately for me. The wind keeps lashing my curls across my eyes (ouch!) and mouth (sticky, eww) but the shoot still turns out to be rather fun, and an eye-opener to the predicaments of a model.

Pout or smile?

Lipstick or gloss?

To the left….or to the right?

It’s enough to make me reach of a bottle of (Laura) Bailey’s…

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-DON’T CHA WISH YA GIRLFRIEND WAS A FREAK MACHINE LIKE ME? PROBS NOT.

On another note, here is the amazing ‘Freak Machine’ by The 9000…and if you look very closely at around 1:55 you’ll spot me on the right. This was my first – and possibly last – experience of being in a music video, and it is a pretty damn good one. Like Daft Punk, Justice, etc? Then check this out…and be sure to laugh at our super slow facial movements:

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– KEN KOBAYASHI’S AMAZING ALBUM!!

I received a jiffy bag this week, and inside was a pre-release copy of ‘My Big Foot Over The Sky’ by the wonderful Ken Kobayashi. Of course, I’ve played it half to death, put it onto my ancient iPod and choreographed a dance to it which would make the Beyonce team’s eyes water, and am aching to tell you all about it next month! Expect not even a soupcon of malice towards this record from me, basically…


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-FASHION UPDATE: Han’o’Meter

Tarts – Bare legs, long boots, a cami, shorts and a kaftan. In the middle of winter. Our thermostats have obviously been installed in America mode with Barack Obama now King of The World. Chavvy.

Tartan – still doing it for me, even after a cold winter. Just don’t team clashing tartans or put tartan with its younger brother, check…you might look like one of those twins from Skins…

Primark – ‘slave labour’ from Manchester to Mumbai. Seams that come apart after a few days. Itchy cloth. Shoplifting year 7s. Uncool.

Primates – Konnie Huq’s voice as she introduces us to Zoo Days on Channel 5. Makes Beanie Babies look passé tbh…

Squeaky doors – lubrication for the nation…please??

Sliding Doors – just everything about chance meeting sets my heart a flutter and restores my faith in humanity. I’ve been saved from verbal abuse by a lionheart in Lyle and Scott, and even got a free lolly from a neighbour I’d never met. Oh, and I appeared in a music video cos I was in the right place at the right time…

Skins – dodgier than a week old kebab… stay away unless you want to catch the mental equivelent of salmonella.

Skin – it feels really nice with a light spritz of Body Shop’s coconut oil cream…except I keep wanting to lick my arms.

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GRANDES BISES, REMEMBER TO CHECK BACK ON FEBRUARY 16TH FOR MORE!

hannahsig1


x x x x

Style Tips: January blues, greens and yellows

Evening dudes, bettys and those who know that Hollister is just a dimly lit Primark warehouse. Honestly, I thought there had been a powercut on my first visit to ‘HCO’…

Imagine my shock then, when I found a massive queue of teens waiting to get into the Westfield branch of Hollister on Saturday 10th January. It’s not that I dont rate their clothes, but well…would you queue for an hour or two for a few 60% cotton hoodies soon to be worn by everyone in West London?

Anyways, I love fashion immensely, although in the winter I know how tempting it can be to shrivel up and pile on the clumpy, bumpy and clashing layers.

I seriously mean like this:

You can make me whole (cream) again...

MY TIPS AW 08 – SS 09 (sorry for any sideways images, Photobucket is being annoying):

1) Big, fat leather belts:

I got mine

sp_b1198


courtesy of an attic clear-up at home, although these daddies can be snapped up everywhere.

Wear with jeans (if your loops arent big enough then put your baggy jeans on, pull them up quite a bit and then secure the belt over your top…just dont give yourself a wedgie doing this!!!) or a loose gypsy skirt – these are really cheap but look lovely with real leather accessories and boho jewellery, which is currently making a revival.

For cash payments, This Next belt is a gorgeous alternative to a vintage find …try attacking it with some sandpaper and leather balm for an aged look, or just leave it upstairs for 10 years a la moi…alternatively, splurge with this belt by Shane…the bird foil is very antique-look and the kind of pretty usually found in an ornately drawn biology book; just don’t mess around with the leather on this too much as it is a pretty expensive buy!!

2) Tartan:

Tartan is still surely the best thing to have come out of Scotland since, well, ever! I know, I know, I just destroyed hundreds of years of Scottish history with a single blow. Seen in SS 08, its stilll doing the rounds for SS 09!!

My family (Davies) tartan, is below ↓ however I’m much more of a fan of red tartan.


A bow, such as this Asos steal at £8 will bring a touch of Celtic class to your outfit without being too much of a distraction. With a simple tee, leather jacket, dark jeans and some kooky heels, this would for make an excellent midwinter ensemble.

With everyone getting in on the act, The Observer printed this gorgeous pic of photographer du jour Alice Hawkins in a lovely tartan prom dress with netting:

I’ve gotten in on the act by finding some ceilidh-ing/clubbing/coffeeing pieces of tartan in my very own wardrobe.

Example one:  my TK Maxx shoes – Babyshams – which are easily copied, again at Asos.

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Example two: my tartan skirt, stolen from my mum, which can be reproduced by either scowering charity shops of visiting the high street.

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Example three: my tartan cross-body bag, which I have found is incredibly roomy and has lovely leather straps. For just £15 at the Topshop sale I dont think I could’ve found a prettier, redder or more Scottish sack.

sp_b1200

Currently waiting on a GREEN tartan dress from the ASOS sale – in the meantime I will try and stay away from this increasingly addictive print!!

3) Crazy corsages

Beg, borrow and steal bits and pieces for your corsage…here’s one I made earlier!!


Whoops, HERES one I made earlier:

You’ll need:

-Badges (i like ones from galleires, like the Tate or high street stores)sp_b1201

-Ribbon/Sequin bows

-Buttons

– Chain (optional)

-Stickers (can be added or removed from the tee underneath)

Get them all together, mess about a bit and dont be afraid to prick yourself a few times in order to get the positioning of your trinkets perfect!!

4) Power dressing

I sometimes wear a suit jacket with jeans and a tee. This look works for pretty much anything – interviews, shopping, family events, or something more formal. In the pic below I’ve styled it with an oversized tee and a chain-strap bag.

sp_b1209

To fit in with this season’s fabulous patriotic trend, I would recommend this union jack chain-bag from Paul’s Boutique at ASOS. It is adorable and boasts an animal print interior – another of my faves this year. Sometimes I wonder if Iam Edie Sedgwick/a bubble car from another psychadelic planet…

Anyway, dress like a mod and swing this off your Vespa handlebars (not advisable):

5) Costume-cocktail

An expensive dress shouldn’t have to require top-class accessories. Gems and jewels are easily faked, and as tacky as crystals might sound, a Victorian-style sparkler which can be thrown off after the party rather than lost down the toilet bowl is a plus. CC Skye make the best bling – their enamel bangles in particular are on trend. Fake the look of their leather double wrap bracelet by doubling a Topshop headband (you know the one, the one with the gold loops on it!!) around your wrist for LA style without lalaland pricing.


Style doesn’t have to be complex to be cool, and I hope I’ve shown you the basics of my AW 08 – SS 09 wardrobe. Also loved are:

-high waisted jeans (still around from SS 08)

– tailored trousers

– snuggly coats and cashmere scarves, both of which can be found cheaply during sale time. Good quality scarves – including vintage University scarves – will bring a touch of interest to a dark coat/boot combination.

– Sheepskin boots (Ugg, Emu etc). Nuff said. Expensive but worth it for warm, dry feet in times of snow

– Primark basics – tank tops will eventually lose their colour so why not buy them from old Primark…worn-in ones can look good layered with interesting buys from abroad such as kaftans and bikinis in the impending summer months.

Bisous,

hannahsig1

x x x x

-Currently listening to and loving this week:

The Beatles – Rubber Soul

Radiohead – The Bends

Destiny’s Child – Number 1s

-Thoughstream:

Stop the Gaza conflict, bring back X-Fire (best TV show ever as of 2001), tape Prince Harry’s gob shut!

My nose…

(8) My nose goes to yoga
Your nose – fruit roll-up
My nose – grade-A beef
Your nose – Mayday geek (8)

Kleenex cant bring me down
My Nose vs. Yours: Kleenex can't bring me down

Some self motivation for my bunged up beak via Mickey Avalon’s horrendous, poorly syntaxed smut-fest ‘My Dick’, and influenced by the hilarious book ‘Pop Charts’ by Paul Copperwaite. Actually, dont click that link cos I’m not in the Amazon Affiliates programme yet and wont get paid :p

Non-scrooge voice says click it, and whilst your browsing books maybe buy this too. I hate to think how this guy survives, having worn an NHS nurse’s school sex-ed prop as headgear on the interwebs…

I’m currently enjoying what is known to mere mortals as a cold or flu, as I mentioned briefly in yesterday’s post. I cant make my mind up which one it is yet, but its awfully annoying. Today I was meant to be go to HEAVEN (Westfield London), and with two days til crimbo, I’m contemplating implementing some kind of pulley system by which I can receive my presents and dinner without the bane that is human contact. *insert heinously unfunny apartheid joke*

Ever been blamed for spreading your cold around? Then you’ll know what I mean. I absolutely can’t understand how some people can play Cluedo over something so trivial, yet each year it seems to be ‘was it Hannah in the bedroom with the Olbas oil?’ Its not like im spreading STDS or subliminal callyourmothershesworriedaboutyou messages.

On a lighter note, here’s what I wore to Underage on Saturday for your viewing and disecting…

© Rachel Cosford
© Rachel Cosford

I’LL HAVE YOU KNOW I’D BEEN MOSHING FOR SOME HOURS BY THEN, HENCE THE UNKEMPT BARNET & DISTINCT LACK OF MAKE-UP.

Bisous, I'm off to phone my 99 year old distant auntie
and spread some yuletide love, not germs or cracker jokes x x x