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Rejina Pyo plots next growth phase with new store

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The launch comes at a challenging time for the retail sector, which has been hit by higher interest rates, raised inflation, rising energy bills and ongoing supply chain issues. Footfall is recovering in the UK, but still remains below pre-pandemic levels. UK’s total retail footfall in November was 13.3 per cent lower than in 2019, according to the latest British Retail Consortium Sensormatic IQ monitor. Jonathan De Mello, founder and chief executive of JDM Retail, an independent strategic retail consultancy, points out that retail space in Soho is in hot demand, but Upper James Street is “not a particularly busy” location in terms of footfall, and acts as more of a side street. Pyo hopes the strength of her community will help drive interest, engagement and sales — many customers came out for a recent sample sale, she notes. “We’ve been around for a while so we really know who we are, and what our customers want from us.” Some physical experiences can’t be replicated online, she adds. “Online [shopping] is a funny experience because you have to know what you’re looking for. That takes away the sense of discovery.”A creative showcaseThe store is her first tangible move into a lifestyle space, showcasing the art and interiors that inspire the brand (Pyo wants to expand the brand into those areas in the coming years). The store features rails and mirrors that Pyo collaborated on with furniture designer-maker Barnaby Lewis, and tables with lacewood legs and an aluminium and travertine stone top co-created by Pyo and interior designer Elliott Barnes. Independent bookshop Claire De Rouen, which specialises in new and rare books on photography, fashion and art, curated some picks for the store. There are also works by up-and-coming painter Catherine Repko. “It’s an unconventional retail space, full of curiosities,” Pyo says. She intends to use the store as a hub to showcase artists that she’s excited by, host shop-in-shop pop-ups for other brands and also events such as a series of talks with women from the brand’s community. “It should feel a bit raw and warm, like going to a friend’s house and seeing the bits they’ve collected over their lives, the books they’re reading, the music they’re interested in, and of course their amazing wardrobe.” Growing independentlyThis year will mark Pyo’s eighth in the business. After graduating from the MA at Central Saint Martins, she became Roksanda Ilinčić’s first assistant, before launching her own brand in 2014. Accessibility and inclusion has always been a top priority. While Pyo’s collections are not high-street prices, they’re not as out-of-reach as some of the brands at London Fashion Week: a faux leather trench coat costs £775, a tencel print dress is £490 and a mini crossbody leather bag is £370. The designer has also consistently championed diversity on the catwalk, making a point each season to cast models across multiple shapes, sizes, ages and ethnicities.

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ICE London 2023 to feature exhibitors from record 68 nations – IAG

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Industry trade show ICE London will feature exhibitors from a record 68 nations, topping the previous best of 65 set three years ago, according to organizer Clarion Gaming.
ICE London returns as a full-sized show for the first time since 2020 from 7 to 9 February, with the total 623 exhibitors representing everything from Argentina to Australia and Macau to Mexico.
“No other exhibition in the gaming space can come anywhere near the internationalism of ICE,” said Clarion Gaming Managing Director, Stuart Hunter.
“To have 68 nations represented by our community of exhibitors means that visitors are immediately part of what is a global experience with unique access to the smartest gaming innovators drawn from every corner of the world. There are very few exhibitions of scale in any industry sector which are able to compare with such international representation and legitimately lay claim to being a ‘global’ or a ‘world’ event.
“Once an event is recognized as being genuinely international, stakeholder groups including brands, regulators, trade associations, media groups and strategic industry-wide bodies focus their activities accordingly.
“Research that we’ve undertaken has shown that for many people ICE and iGB Affiliate London actually start on the Sunday preceding and finish on the following Saturday. In that week we estimate that over 100 gambling industry events will take place outside of the show hours providing a new and compelling perspective on why ICE and iGB Affiliate London are so influential and important to the world industry.”
IAG will have a team of four at ICE London next week. Visit us at Stand ND7-C.

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David Ford and Annie Dressner Live in London

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There’s something special about London on a Saturday night – there’s a certain buzz in the air as you head into the Capital city. For me that buzz was extra special, as I was going to see David Ford and Annie Dressner at The Lexington in Islington. I literally listened to their ’10 Days (Live)’ album for the first time a week ago, but since then it’s been on repeat and heading in I knew that the night was going to be special.
The Lexington is a great place for music, with a bar on the ground floor before heading up the winding stairs to the spacious venue itself. And as the crowd started coming in, the atmosphere in the room was growing by the minute.
Opening the night was Scottish singer songwriter Gary Stewart. He set the night off really well, with an engaging set that got the crowd onside from the start. He opened with his 2021 single ‘Hot To Trot‘ and you already knew the set was going to be a good one – a rousing folk song with great lyrical dexterity. The highlight of the set was ‘Frontlines’, a simply gorgeous song (check out a YouTube video of the song here – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDCLwYwsesk). Gary ended with a fine cover of Paul Simon’s ‘Song for the Asking’.
It was time for a quick visit to the bar before settling down for the main event. 
The duo appeared on the stage to great applause, David in an orange shirt and Annie in a sparkling black dress. They opened with ‘Easy Falling’, the first song that I’ve ever heard of theirs, and a song that convinced me I needed to listen to the rest of the album. This slow and moving number is a touching love song and shows off the brilliant harmonies of David and Annie – there’s something special about the English (David) and US accents (Annie) mingling in the way that they do. 
Throughout the set, there were so many highlights. ‘Something I’ll Have to Learn‘ is a song with an almost timeless feel that feels like a conversation in song, Annie’s original ‘Strangers Who Knew Each Other’s Names‘ was simply brilliant and ‘Some Folks Are Lucky I Guess‘ is a song with a great sentiment. ‘Can’t Help What I Want‘ (below) is a great example of those brilliant harmonies that the two share.

‘Trash‘, a cover of the Suede hit, was a particular highlight – a song that was a nice surprise on the live album. As they break into ‘Oh maybe, maybe it’s the clothes you wear‘ it almost feels like this was a song that Suede wrote for David and Annie, their version is that good. Outstanding.
The set had a second cover, a song that Annie introduced as ‘an American classic‘. This classic was ‘Ain’t No Pleasing You‘ from Chas and Dave, a song that typified the cockney sound of London back in the 1980’s. I love the way they re-worked it and there was something special about the way Annie sings the word ‘Darling’ in her US twang that just resonated and put a smile on my face.
There were great moments of humour throughout the night, the chat between the two great. At one point mid-song, Annie passed her guitar to David, exclaiming ‘I knew there were chords in this song, I just didn’t know which ones‘ which had the crowd laughing.
The best of the night was saved till last. ‘Warning Sign’ had quickly become my favourite song from the pair and hearing it live in person lived up to all expectations. There’s such a beauty in live music, and hearing songs like this with other people in a venue can really bring a song home – and almost even change your own personal relationship with a song.
The final song of the night (there was no encore as David explained that they literally had no more songs!) was ‘Put Me In A Corner’. Annie’s vocals take the lead in this track and it was just magical, the emotion of the song emanating from the stage and filling the room. You can listen and see for yourself below.

You never know what to expect when you see an artist or artists perform for the first time. Some exceed expectations and some just don’t hit the heights you expect. In David Ford and Annie Dressner, it was definitely the former. The gig was stripped back – just two people on a stage creating a moment. And what a moment it was.
Annie and David and reviewer Nick Cantwell
Check out their websites and hit and follow the social links!
http://www.dressnerford.com/

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http://anniedressner.com/
***Note – I need to say a word about the audience for the gig. The audience was impeccable, with barely any talking at all at any point (apart from whispered orders at the bar). Credit goes to Gary, Annie and David, who managed to grab the audience from the start, but also to everyone there. If you were there yourself, give yourself a high five!***
Review written by Nick Cantwell (instagram.com/nickcantwellmanagement)
 
 
 


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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties – Church Times

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Graduate Organist vacancy in London and Home Counties  Church Times

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