Archive: October, 2009

Mrs. West’s Hats review – Dakai magazine

26th October, 2009

To view this and the images selected see: www.dakaidakai.com
Dakai magazine is a new online journal of the independent arts devoted to creating a necessary, mutually nurturing bridge between the artistic communities of China and the rest of the world.

Beijing based artist Helen Couchman’s new book uses an eclectic collection of hats left to her by her departed grandmother to weave a striking and stylish narrative of an adventurous young woman and her exploration of identity and self-presentation.
A celebration of both her grandmother’s life and mid-twentieth millenary design, Couchman’s photographs ape the fashion photography of the time and resurrect an array of bold and colorful characters that although long out of “fashion” seem as vibrant and exciting as anything we’ve seen recently. The hats, all of which are authentic vintage, range in style from the colorful and classically feminine to the avant-garde, gently recalling a time before the sleekness of the modern era when a hat could serve as the proverbial “cherry on top” of a dignified yet colorful outfit.

Mrs West’s Hats – Beijing book launch

9th October, 2009

Thursday 15th October 7.30pm:
Mrs West’s Hats
by Helen Couchman
a book launch

Helen Couchman’s new book is a thoughtful, quiet meditation on the life of her grandmother, a remarkable lady and the owner of a number of extravagant hats. Tonight we explore memory, history, heritage, and inheritance via this beautiful little work, soon to be launched in London and worldwide.
Currently attracting international media attention, Helen’s new book is launched in a climate of worldwide recession – the most pertinent of times to look back on an earlier, less consumer-focused era, and perhaps to a time when beautiful objects were treasured more than they are today.

Helen Couchman is a visual artist based in Beijing, and the author of ‘Gongren’. Tonight’s discussion features art critic and philosopher Anthony Gorman, and Time Out’s fabulous art editor Stacey Duff.
Jenny Niven, The Bookworm Beijing

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