Friday 29 June 2018

Portrait of John Maynard Keynes by Duncan Grant, 1917 / VIDEO:Charleston - Bloomsbury Group Bohemia

 Portrait of John Maynard Keynes by Duncan Grant, 1917

The beautiful science
Maev Kennedy

TU 24 Nov 2005 12.31 GMT First published on Thu 24 Nov 2005 12.31 GMT

Portrait of John Maynard Keynes by Duncan Grant, 1917

 Shh, he's working on how to finance Britain's role in the first world war... portrait of John Maynard Keynes by Duncan Grant
The chap in the frivolous hat, looking as if he's considering nothing more taxing than replanting the herbaceous border and possibly lunch, is the great economist John Maynard Keynes - painted in 1917 by his lover, Duncan Grant.
The beautiful and tender portrait shows Keynes working (on how to finance Britain's role in the first world war, according to his daughter) in the garden of Charleston farmhouse, country bolthole of the Bloomsbury group, of which he was undoubtedly the most wildly improbable member.

The painting will be displayed for the first time at the Sussex farmhouse, where it hung for years after his death. It has been withdrawn from auction and bought by the Charleston Trust, which now runs the house as a museum, after just six weeks of frantic fundraising.

The trust raised £100,000 to keep it from auction, with major grants from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund charity.

Keynes died in 1946, aged 63, said to have been worn out by overwork. Grant, arguably the nicest of the Bloomsburies and certainly the best artist, outlived almost all his friends, working on at Charleston until 1978. After his death the house was opened as a museum. The trust maintains it as a shrine to the jaw-dropping interior decor tastes of the Bloomsburies, and has restored the garden.

Grant kept the painting until 1956, when a London dealer contacted him for a client who wanted a portrait of the much photographed, rarely painted economist. Alastair Upton, director of the trust, said: "Portrait of John Maynard Keynes is quite simply a wonderful painting by an artist at the height of his powers, that also tells an extremely powerful story."

Keynes, regarded as one of the greatest and most original economists of all time, is still revered by many contemporary money men: he argued for interventionism, warning against hoping things would sort themselves out in the long run - "in the long run we are all dead" - and directly influenced the creation of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

He was also the oddest member of the tangle of writers and artists known as the Bloomsbury Group. Grant kept the painting in his studio long after his lover stunned the Bloomsburies by outing himself as bisexual, if not straight. Keynes turned up at Charleston in 1925 with his new wife, the Russian ballerina Lydia Lopokova, a member of Diaghilev's famous Ballets Russes company. The Bloomsburies relished being shocking, but were quite shockable themselves, and thought her habit of dancing naked in the dawn fields beyond the pale. Millions of art lovers have walked over her: she appears as the muse Terpsichore in the mosaics by her friend Boris Anrep halfway up the main stairs of the National Gallery in London.

Keynes was friends with most of the gang, including Virginia Woolf and her sister Vanessa Bell, their long-suffering spouses, Leonard Woolf and Clive Bell, the painter and critic Roger Fry and the essayist Lytton Strachey, as well as the society hostess Lady Ottoline Morrell - lover of Bertrand Russell - and the painter Walter Sickert. Sickert was recently accused by the American crime writer Patricia Cornwell of being the true Jack the Ripper.

Despite spending most of his life with Treasury mandarins, Keynes was intensely interested in the arts. After attending the Versailles peace talks after the first world war, he made his name with a small book mainly written at Charleston, Economic Consequences of the Peace, correctly predicting the dire implications of the punitive settlement. His 1936 tome The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money was an academic and political sensation, and became a bestseller.

Tuesday 26 June 2018

“Pretty Gentlemen, by Peter McNeil / VIDEO: Macaroni fashion style, some images

“Pretty Gentlemen, by Peter McNeil (Yale). In the latter half of the eighteenth century, a new subculture emerged in England: the outlandishly dressed “macaroni men,” who flaunted a proto-dandy brand of masculinity that was often mocked as effeminate. Using sources such as caricature and poetry, this history examines the trend’s social, political, gender, and economic implications, and claims for it a role in the construction of English national identity. The macaroni style, brought from Italy and France by men who had made the Grand Tour, proved hard to integrate into English society, which was unused to such frippery. For every aristocratic youth excited to emulate the new fashions radiating from London, there was another whose first reaction was to stuff a mouse into a macaroni’s wig bag.”

A macaroni (or formerly maccaroni) in mid-18th-century England was a fashionable fellow who dressed and even spoke in an outlandishly affected and epicene manner. The term pejoratively referred to a man who "exceeded the ordinary bounds of fashion" in terms of clothes, fastidious eating, and gambling. He mixed Continental affectations with his English nature, like a practitioner of macaronic verse (which mixed English and Latin to comic effect), laying himself open to satire:

There is indeed a kind of animal, neither male nor female, a thing of the neuter gender, lately [1770] started up among us. It is called a macaroni. It talks without meaning, it smiles without pleasantry, it eats without appetite, it rides without exercise, it wenches without passion.

The macaronis were precursor to the dandies, who came as a more masculine reaction to the excesses of the macaroni, far from their present connotation of effeminacy.

Young men who had been to Italy on the Grand Tour had developed a taste for maccaroni, a type of pasta little known in England then, and so they were said to belong to the Macaroni Club. They would refer to anything that was fashionable or à la mode as "very maccaroni". Horace Walpole wrote to a friend in 1764 of "the Macaroni Club, which is composed of all the traveled young men who wear long curls and spying-glasses".The "club" was not a formal one; the expression was particularly used to characterize fops who dressed in high fashion with tall, powdered wigs with a chapeau bras on top that could only be removed on the point of a sword.

The shop of engravers and printsellers Mary and Matthew Darly in the fashionable West End of London sold their sets of satirical "macaroni" caricature prints, published between 1771 and 1773. The new Darly shop became known as "the Macaroni Print-Shop".

The Italian term maccherone, figuratively meaning "blockhead, fool", was not related to this British usage.

Sunday 24 June 2018

Patrick Melrose (2018) / VIDEO:| Official Trailer | Benedict Cumberbatch SHOWTIM...

Brilliant, Sharp and Dark. Much more than a portrait of addiction, is a deep reflection about the terrifying consequences of abuse, certainly if it comes from the architype: Your parents

Patrick Melrose is a 2018 five-part drama miniseries starring Benedict Cumberbatch as the titular Melrose. The show is based on semi-autobiographical novels about Britain's upper class by Edward St Aubyn.

Following the death of his father in the 1980s, Englishman Patrick Melrose attempts to overcome his addictions and demons rooted in abuse by his father and negligent mother.

It was announced in February 2017 that Benedict Cumberbatch would star in and produce a television adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s Patrick Melrose book series that would air on Showtime in the United States and Sky Atlantic in the United Kingdom. David Nicholls wrote the five episodes of the series, with Edward Berger directing. In July, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Hugo Weaving joined as Patrick’s mother and father, and Anna Madeley was cast as Patrick’s wife. Allison Williams and Blythe Danner joined in August 2017, with filming having begun by October in Glasgow.

The first trailer debuted in April 2018, with the series set to premiere on May 12 on Showtime.The series will consecutively stream new episodes on CraveTV in Canada. It's showing on Sky Atlantic in the UK.

1             "Bad News"       Edward Berger David Nicholls   May 12, 2018
In 1982, Patrick Melrose is dispatched to New York City to retrieve the ashes of his father David. He decides to quit using drugs but finds himself unable to stop as he recollects his father's abuse and encounters associates of his father. Patrick resorts to using heroin, alcohol, and other drugs and finally breaks down with a botched suicide attempt. Patrick places a call to his friend Johnny telling him he wishes to finally give up drugs.

2             "Never Mind"    Edward Berger David Nicholls   May 19, 2018    
While going through heroin withdrawal, Patrick recalls a traumatic day he experienced as an 8 year old while on holiday in France with his parents. His father David is manipulative and cruel, his mother Eleanor an alcoholic who is terrified of her husband. It is revealed through a series of flashbacks that the young Patrick was abused by his father, while his mother more or less acquiesced.

3             "Some Hope"    Edward Berger David Nicholls   May 26, 2018    
It's 1990 and Patrick has been invited to go to a party of the upper class where Princess Margaret will be present. We see a Patrick who is trying to put his substance abuse in the past and has help from his friend Johnny who is in a therapy group. At the party, we find Princess Margaret behaving unpleasantly due to her social status and humiliating the French ambassador. She also dismisses the hostess' daughter from meeting her and this reminds Patrick of himself as a boy when his father wouldn't allow his mother to talk to him during dinner in France. Patrick later reveals to Johnny that he was sexually abused by his father for a number of years as a young boy. The episode ends with Patrick meeting the drug dealer Chilly Willy, who we as the audience met in the first episode as the drug dealer who passed out, as he is about to leave from playing in the band at the party.

4             "Mother's Milk"               Edward Berger David Nicholls    June 2, 2018       0.264
In 2003, Patrick is sober and has become a lawyer. He brings his wife Mary and three children to the South of France to visit his gravely ill mother, who has suffered a stroke. Eleanor has been taken in by a shady guru named Seamus, who has convinced her to sign the deed to the house over to the "foundation" which he leads. Being disinherited conjures up Patrick's buried resentment toward his mother, causing him to begin drinking and using prescription drugs again. His marriage to Mary is also in trouble, which he makes worse by engaging in an affair with his old girlfriend Julia when she visits. Patrick comes to terms with the loss of his childhood home and gives his blessing to his mother's plans, offering to arrange for her to be brought to London. Thereafter Patrick brings his family to Connecticut to see his snobbish aunt Nancy, where his drinking spirals out of control. After an angry confrontation with Nancy, Mary confronts Patrick and gives him an ultimatum: sober up or leave.

5             "At Last"              Edward Berger David Nicholls   June 9, 2018      
April 2005 - Eleanor Melrose has passed away and Patrick presides over her funeral. There are flashbacks of Patrick's life over the past two years, in which his drinking problem continued unabated after separating from Mary and his children. Eventually he returns to a rehab center, and after initially resisting the process and even escaping, he returned to focus on his recovery. His mother, bedridden in a London nursing home, insisted on being euthanised, so Patrick petitioned the British government to allow her to be brought to Switzerland. After gaining approval, Eleanor changes her mind at the last minute. There is also a flashback to years earlier, when Mary and Patrick realize that his father was a serial child molester, and Patrick for the first time confronts his mother about the abuse, who claims to have also been abused by David. In the present day, Eleanor's funeral and wake turn into a bizarre show as old faces converge. Patrick struggles to reconcile the positive portrait of Eleanor which others knew to his own experience of her as a neglectful mother.

TV review
Patrick Melrose review – a brilliant portrayal of addiction
5 / 5 stars 5 out of 5 stars.    
Benedict Cumberbatch had long wanted to play Edward St Aubyn’s character – and David Nicholls’s adaptation shows the actor’s deep understanding of the role

Sam Wollaston
Sun 13 May 2018 22.10 BST Last modified on Tue 19 Jun 2018 12.23 BST

The phone rings, one of those telephones from my childhood, with a curly wire connecting the receiver. A stripy-shirted arm reaches for it tentatively. “Hello?” says a voice – deep, aristocratic, lugubrious and woozy, but unmistakably Benedict Cumberbatch (confirmed when the camera eventually looks higher). There is a delay and an echo on the line (remember that?). Sad news from New York: his father has died.

Patrick Melrose, the character Cumberbatch is playing, sinks slowly towards the floor, but not in grief. He has dropped something; a syringe. There is a tell-tale blood spot on the shirt, too.

After hanging up, Melrose’s face slowly – very slowly – transforms. His eyes close, he exhales through his nose, the corners of his mouth twist into a smile, because heroin is now flooding his brain cells and because of another kind of release – from the abusive relationship and trauma that was instrumental in getting him mixed up with serious drugs in the first place.

“Old bastard’s only gone and died,” he says to one of the women in his life. He is thinking of giving up drugs, he tells another. Then he Concordes across the Atlantic, where he fails spectacularly to give up drugs (to heroin add amphetamines, quaaludes, valium and alcohol) and very nearly fails to pick up his father’s ashes. He only just fails to kill himself, too.

The first episode of Patrick Melrose (Sky Atlantic), adapted by One Day writer David Nicholls from the autobiographical novels of Edward St Aubyn, covers two days in 1982 in New York, with flashbacks to a miserable childhood that is explored – excruciatingly and poignantly – in future episodes.

It could have been ghastly – messed-up, Tennyson-quoting toff throws money at people and takes a lot of drugs in 80s New York, because his messed-up toff daddy wasn’t very nice to him. And how can the thoughtful wit and exploration – of the character and of addiction and privilege - of the books translate to the screen?

It is a triumph, though. Nicholls must take some credit for managing to boil down five books into five hours of television without losing flavour. I have seen three, each of which has a distinct character that has a lot to do with where and when it is set, yet they nod to each other and belong together, like movements in a symphony. The dialogue (much of which is Melrose in conversation with himself) is sharp; this is tight, intelligent adaptation.

Then there is Edward Berger’s direction. Berger, who did Deutschland 83, does excellent New York 82 as well. There are so many glorious scenes in the first episode. At the funeral parlour on Madison (“only the best or go without” Melrose’s father would have said), where Melrose goes into the wrong room, a Jewish wake, before finding the right one and unwrapping his father like a birthday present (“Is it Dad? It is! It’s just what I wanted, you shouldn’t have!”). A disastrous date with an ambitious New York socialite who doesn’t want a quaalude or even a drink. Another drink with a woman who witnessed some of Patrick’s tragic childhood. During this one, a quaalude hits and everything slows down, as if all the batteries have suddenly gone flat – Patrick’s voice, the movement of the camera … until he does a line of speed in the loo. Suddenly, everything – jerky camera movement included – is on full charge again. It is an immersive experience: not just watching Melrose, but kind of being him as well.

Which brings us to the man who has thrown himself into Melrose. There are other fine performances: Sebastian Maltz, haunting as young Patrick; Hugo Weaving as his monster father; Jennifer Jason Leigh as his wasted, spaced out, waste-of-space mother. But this is the Cumberbatch show and it has come to town.

He had always wanted the part, he told the Radio Times, which might have been problematic, made it a vehicle for his talents and range: look at me acting, now shower me with awards.

Maybe there is a bit of that going on. But it also means he has a deep understanding of the character. He hits just the right note: hilarious, but also tragic, irritating, exasperating. It is addiction personified, sympathetic without being celebratory or glamorised. So, do look at him – it is impossible not to – and shower him with awards. He is, and it is, brilliant.

Saturday 23 June 2018

YES !! My Generation !! JEEVES / VIDEO: Paul McCartney Carpool Karaoke

Paul McCartney serves up surprise show in Liverpool pub
Rock star returns to home city for appearance on Carpool Karaoke with James Corden

Alexandra Topping
Fri 22 Jun 2018 18.42 BST Last modified on Fri 22 Jun 2018 23.15 BST

As homecoming gigs for one of the world’s biggest rock stars go, it was fairly low key: a small band on a slightly bigger stage in a local pub.

But for the drinkers who just happened to be in the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool, seeing Sir Paul McCartney perform was probably the best gig of their lives.

There was amazement, dancing and more than a few tears when one of Liverpool’s most celebrated sons returned for his appearance on The Late Late Show’s Carpool Karaoke with James Corden on Tuesday.

McCartney performed a piano rendition of When I’m Sixty-Four as he revisited his childhood home, showing Corden the back room where he wrote songs with fellow Beatle John Lennon. Walking upstairs in the small terrace, he showed off his old “acoustic chamber” – the toilet where he would sit, strum and sing for hours.

Describing how he and Lennon had played She Loves You to his father, McCartney recalls him asking if they could change the refrain to “yes, yes, yes” because there were already too many Americanisms in common use. “We did not heed his advice. Had we have done, who knows what could have happened,” he said.

Tweeting a link to the episode, Corden wrote: “Ok, so here it is. Quite possibly the best #CarpoolKaraoke we’ve done so far. I hope you like it. I’ll never ever forget it. Take a breath and jump in.”

James Corden
 Ok, so here it is. Quite possibly the best #CarpoolKaraoke we’ve done so far. I hope you like it. I’ll never ever forget it. Take a breath and jump in  x

7:28 AM - Jun 22, 2018
13.7K people are talking about this

The pair started the show singing the Beatles hit Drive My Car, while cruising through the city, replacing the song’s “beep beeps” with honks of the horn. On Penny Lane, they popped into a barber shop – which had a picture on the wall of a much younger McCartney getting his hair cut – much to the delight of the hairdresser.

Corden became emotional as the pair sang Let It Be in the car. “I can remember my granddad, who’s a musician, and my dad sitting me down and saying, ‘We’re going to play you the best song you’ve ever heard’. And I remember them playing me that. If my granddad was here right now, he’d get an absolute kick out of this,” Corden said. “That’s the power of music,” McCartney replied.

McCartney harmonised with Corden singing Blackbird and his new single Come On to Me from the album Egypt Station.

But the 18-time Grammy award winner saved the best performance until last, when he appeared from behind a curtain in the Liverpool Philharmonic Dining Rooms, or “the Phil”, where he had played and occasionally drunk as a young man.

Within seconds, the small crowd was on its feet, and more poured through the door as word spread, as he performed A Hard Day’s Night, Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da, Love Me Do, Back in the USSR and Hey Jude.

The star said the journey back to his childhood home had made him reflect on the trajectory of his life. “The distance from here to where we went, and where we are now is phenomenal.”

Wednesday 20 June 2018

‘The Crown’ Costume Designer Jane Petrie / VIDEO: The Crown's Costume Designer Breaks Down the Fashion of Season 2 | Vanit...

‘The Crown’ Costume Designer Jane Petrie On Her Approach To Period Authenticity – Production 
by Matt Grobar
June 14, 2018 9:40am

With an abundance of period work behind her on films like Genius and Suffragette, Jane Petrie would seem the perfect artist to oversee costumes for Netflix royal drama The Crown. Early in her career as wardrobe mistress—and later, as a costume assistant—Petrie tracked Queen Elizabeth I’s looks with two films: Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age. Having covered this antecendent monarch of the 16th century, why shouldn’t she get her crack at Queen Elizabeth II?

While Petrie would take over for Emmy-winning costumer Michele Clapton for the series’ second season, she wasn’t sure upfront that she wanted the job. Watching a rough cut of Season 1 prior to its debut, though, the designer was compelled. “I realized just how brilliant the scripts are, and that they’re really about the whole country and world politics,” Petrie says on the latest edition of Deadline’s Production Value video series. “The narrative isn’t just sort of a shiny representation of the royal family; it’s so much more than that.”

While Petrie won’t return for Season 3 of The Crown, thus far, her instincts in signing on for Season 2 have been validated. Winning the Costume Designers Guild Award for Excellence in a Period Television Series for her contributions, the designer also drew a nomination from the BAFTA Television Craft Awards. For our interview, she took a break from production on David Michôd’s hot period drama The King (a Netflix original starring Oscar nominee Timothée Chalamet) to discuss the beginnings of her career and the craft she has brought to The Crown.

Looking to the series’ celebrated first season for purposes of continuity, Petrie was always encouraged to make her season of The Crown her own—and given the way in which the series jumps forward in time between seasons, there was little reason to hew too closely to any previous designs. Of course, on a project indebted to historical fact, Petrie’s work begins with an extensive prep process.

“I start just [with] broad research—social history, history. What are the main events that are happening around the time?” the costume designer says. “I watch a lot of documentaries, and in the case of The Crown—because it’s a period that has been documented on film—I watched lots of film footage.”

While research is essential, achieving authenticity on screen is certainly not as simple as picking up a book, or flipping on History Channel. “So much research has been edited before we even see it, so if you’re watching a documentary, it’s been selected,” Petrie explains. Approaching projects of this nature, the designer is always attuned to the little details—what was worn by the average man or woman living at a given time, as well as how they wore it.

“What I really look for is people wearing their clothes and being themselves, and not doing this sort of period thing of, ‘Their gloves match their shoes and their handbag, and everybody has to wear a hat, and everything’s neat,’ ” Petrie says. “I want to find how people really wore it, and how relaxed they were, and how they inhabit their clothes. If somebody’s wearing something and I believe it, that’s my first base.”

For Petrie, challenges of authenticity and chronology continued to present themselves throughout the production process, resolved only through “a lot of swatching, and a lot of searching.” “The hardest part of that—when you really pull it down to the nuts and bolts—is finding the quality of suiting for the menswear,” she reflects. “The rules that we have now that we make suits from are so very different. [They’re] so lightweight and soft compared to those heavy, dense wools that they used to use.”

Outside of finding the raw materials for a series’ costumes, there is also the matter of conditioning them for use onscreen. “Even if you can go to a shop and buy something, it’s unlikely it’s going to go in that condition onto camera,” Petrie notes. “It often needs to be dyed, slightly broken down, given a little bit of a history, a bit of wear and tear.”

The Crown (2016) season 1 - scene comparisons

Monday 18 June 2018

TROUBLE in the Conceptual Art Paradise … ‘Famous urinal ‘Fountain’ is not by Marcel Duchamp’ / VIDEO: Duchamp, Fountain

After "this" … is just delicious to listen at the “smart” conversation in the VIDEO below …

The original Fountain by Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 (Art Gallery) after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit. Stieglitz used a backdrop of The Warriors by Marsden Hartley to photograph the urinal. The entry tag is clearly visible.
‘Famous urinal ‘Fountain’ is not by Marcel Duchamp’
Art history Art experts claim ‘Fountain’, the world famous piece of art, was created by German Dada artist Elsa von Freytag, not by Marcel Duchamp.

 Sandra Smallenburg
 14 juni 2018

Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Dada artist and Marcel Duchamp’s friend, seen here posing as a model at the New York academy of art.
Foto Bettmann/Getty Images

Fountain, the famous urinal credited to Marcel Duchamp, is not by the famous French artist, according to four academics and historians in the latest edition of Dutch art magazine See All This.

Instead, the urinal, which dates from 1917, should be credited to German Dada artist, Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, the experts say.

The theory that a female artist rather than Duchamp is hiding behind the name R. Mutt – the signature on the urinal – has been doing the rounds in the art world for a longer period. And various academics have been trying to determine who is the real maker since 1982, when a letter by Duchamp popped up in which he denies any involvement. In 2002, academic Irene Gammel wrote in her biography of Baroness Elsa that Von Freytag-Loringhoven was at least partly responsible for the work.

In 2004, Fountain was described in the British press as „the most influential modern work of art ever”. The original urinal was probably lost in 1917 and is only known from a photograph. Replicas, authorized by Duchamp, can be found in some of the world’s most prominent museums, including the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Tate Modern in London and the San Francisco MoMA.

Last year, however, new evidence emerged that indicates Von Freytag-Loringhoven rather than Duchamp dreamt up the urinal. Towards the end of his life, Duchamp circulated a story in which he claimed to have bought it in a sanitary fittings shop on Fifth Avenue in New York. That story turned out not to be true. In 1917, the address he gave was actually occupied by JL Mott Iron Works, which did not sell products.

British art historian Glyn Thompson was the first to track down a similar urinal to the original, in an old factory in St Louis. It had been made by Trenton Potteries Company in New Jersey. And according to the Mott company inventory, that particular type had never been sold in New York.

There is more indirect evidence which points to Baroness Elsa. When Fountain was submitted to an exhibition in New York, the label carried an address in Philadelphia, the city where Von Freytag-Loringhoven lived in spring 1917. Later that same year, the artist made another sculpture from a waste water pipe called God, which would appear to seamlessly fit the urinal.

Theo Paijmans, the author of the article in See All This, says all this evidence is overwhelming. „The letter, Duchamp’s weak arguments, the finding of a second urinal, the fact the original was sent from Philadelphia not New York – when I put everything together, I knew it. Elsa made Fountain.”

Paijmans says the myth Duchamp created is a „one big cover up” and „an old scandal that has to be revisited.” Now, with the #MeToo movement, the time is right for change, he says. „There is real momentum to put works by women in the spotlight again. It is high time that art history is rewritten and this mother of modern art is given the place in it that she deserves.”

Fountain (Duchamp)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The original Fountain by Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven photographed by Alfred Stieglitz at the 291 (Art Gallery) after the 1917 Society of Independent Artists exhibit. Stieglitz used a backdrop of The Warriors by Marsden Hartley to photograph the urinal. The entry tag is clearly visible.
Fountain is a 1917 work produced by Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven. The piece was a porcelain urinal, which was signed "R.Mutt" and titled Fountain. Submitted for the exhibition of the Society of Independent Artists, in 1917, the first annual exhibition by the Society to be staged at The Grand Central Palace in New York, Fountain was rejected by the committee, even though the rules stated that all works would be accepted from artists who paid the fee. Fountain was displayed and photographed at Alfred Stieglitz's studio, and the photo published in The Blind Man, but the original has been lost. The work is regarded by art historians and theorists of the avant-garde, such as Peter Bürger, as a major landmark in 20th-century art. Seventeen replicas commissioned from Duchamp in the 1960s now exist.

Marcel Duchamp arrived in the United States less than two years prior to the creation of Fountain and had become involved with Dada, an anti-rational, anti-art cultural movement, in New York City. According to one version, the creation of Fountain began when, accompanied by artist Joseph Stella and art collector Walter Arensberg, he purchased a standard Bedfordshire model urinal from the J. L. Mott Iron Works, 118 Fifth Avenue. The artist brought the urinal to his studio at 33 West 67th Street, reoriented it to a position 90 degrees from its normal position of use, and wrote on it, "R. Mutt 1917".

According to another version, Duchamp did not create Fountain, but rather assisted in submitting the piece to the Society of Independent Artists for a female friend. In a letter dated 11 April 1917 Duchamp wrote to his sister Suzanne telling her about the circumstances around Fountain's submission: "Une de mes amies sous un pseudonyme masculin, Richard Mutt, avait envoyé une pissotière en porcelaine comme sculpture" ("One of my female friends, who had adopted the male pseudonym, Richard Mutt, sent me a porcelain urinal as a sculpture.") Duchamp never identified his female friend, but two candidates have been proposed: the Dadaist Baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, whose scatological aesthetic echoed that of Duchamp, or Louise Norton, who contributed an essay to The Blind Man discussing Fountain. Norton, who recently had separated from her husband, was living at the time in an apartment owned by her parents at 110 West 88th Street in New York City, and this address is partially discernible (along with "Richard Mutt") on the paper entry ticket attached to the object, as seen in Stieglitz's photograph.

Rhonda Roland Shearer in the online journal Tout-Fait (2000) has concluded that the photograph is a composite of different photos, while other scholars such as William Camfield have never been able to match the urinal shown in the photo to any urinals found in the catalogues of the time period.

At the time Duchamp was a board member of the Society of Independent Artists. After much debate by the board members (most of whom did not know Duchamp had submitted it) about whether the piece was or was not art, Fountain was hidden from view during the show. Duchamp resigned from the Board in protest.

The New York Dadaists stirred controversy about Fountain and its being rejected in the second issue of The Blind Man which included a photo of the piece and a letter by Alfred Stieglitz, and writings by Beatrice Wood and Arensberg. The anonymous editorial (which is assumed to be written by Wood) accompanying the photograph, entitled "The Richard Mutt Case,"[14] made a claim that would prove to be important concerning certain works of art that would come after it:

Whether Mr Mutt with his own hands made the fountain or not has no importance. He CHOSE it. He took an ordinary article of life, placed it so that its useful significance disappeared under the new title and point of view – created a new thought for that object.

In defense of the work being art, Wood also wrote, "The only works of art America has given are her plumbing and her bridges." Duchamp described his intent with the piece was to shift the focus of art from physical craft to intellectual interpretation.

Menno Hubregtse argues that Duchamp may have chosen Fountain as a readymade because it parodied Robert J. Coady's exaltation of industrial machines as pure forms of American art. Coady, who championed his call for American art in his publication The Soil, printed a scathing review of Jean Crotti's Portrait of Marcel Duchamp (Sculpture Made to Measure) in the December 1916 issue. Hubregtse notes that Duchamp's urinal may have been a clever response to Coady's comparison of Crotti's sculpture with "the absolute expression of a—plumber."

Shortly after its initial exhibition, Fountain was lost. According to Duchamp biographer Calvin Tomkins, the best guess is that it was thrown out as rubbish by Stieglitz, a common fate of Duchamp's early readymades.

The first reproduction of Fountain was authorized by Duchamp in 1950 for an exhibition in New York; two more individual pieces followed in 1953 and 1963, and then an artist's multiple was manufactured in an edition of eight in 1964. These editions ended up in a number of important public collections; Indiana University Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the National Gallery of Canada, Centre Georges Pompidou and Tate Modern. The edition of eight was manufactured from glazed earthenware painted to resemble the original porcelain, with a signature reproduced in black paint.

Of all the artworks in this series of readymades, Fountain is perhaps the best known because the symbolic meaning of the toilet takes the conceptual challenge posed by the readymades to their most visceral extreme. Similarly, philosopher Stephen Hicks argued that Duchamp, who was quite familiar with the history of European art, was obviously making a provocative statement with Fountain:

The artist is a not great creator—Duchamp went shopping at a plumbing store. The artwork is not a special object—it was mass-produced in a factory. The experience of art is not exciting and ennobling—at best it is puzzling and mostly leaves one with a sense of distaste. But over and above that, Duchamp did not select just any ready-made object to display. In selecting the urinal, his message was clear: Art is something you piss on.
Since the photograph taken by Stieglitz is the only image of the original sculpture, there are some interpretations of Fountain by looking not only at reproductions but this particular photograph. Tomkins notes that "it does not take much stretching of the imagination to see in the upside-down urinal's gently flowing curves the veiled head of a classic Renaissance madonna or a seated Buddha or, perhaps more to the point, one of Brâncuși's polished erotic forms."

Title of the work
The use of the word "Dada" for the art movement, the meaning (if any) and intention of both the piece and the signature "R. Mutt", are difficult to pin down precisely. It is not clear whether Duchamp or Freytag-Lorinhoven had in mind the German "Armut" (meaning "poverty"), or possibly "Urmutter" (meaning “great mother”). The name R. Mutt could also be a play on its commercial origins or on the famous comic strip of the time, Mutt and Jeff (making the urinal perhaps the first work of art based on a comic). In German, Armut means poverty, although Duchamp said the R stood for Richard, French slang for "moneybags", which makes Fountain a kind of scatological golden calf.

In December 2004, Duchamp's Fountain was voted the most influential artwork of the 20th century by 500 selected British art world professionals. The Independent noted in a February 2008 article that with this single work, Duchamp invented conceptual art and "severed forever the traditional link between the artist's labour and the merit of the work".

Jerry Saltz wrote in The Village Voice in 2006:

Duchamp adamantly asserted that he wanted to "de-deify" the artist. The readymades provide a way around inflexible either-or aesthetic propositions. They represent a Copernican shift in art. Fountain is what's called an "acheropoietoi," [sic] an image not shaped by the hands of an artist. Fountain brings us into contact with an original that is still an original but that also exists in an altered philosophical and metaphysical state. It is a manifestation of the Kantian sublime: A work of art that transcends a form but that is also intelligible, an object that strikes down an idea while allowing it to spring up stronger.

The prices for replicas, editions, or works that have some ephemeral trace of Duchamp reached its peak with the purchase of one of the eight 1964 replicas of Fountain for $1.7 million at Sotheby's in November 1999.

Several performance artists have attempted to "contribute" to the piece by urinating in it. South African born artist Kendell Geers rose to international notoriety in 1993 when, at a show in Venice, he urinated into Fountain. Artist / musician Brian Eno declared successfully urinating in Fountain while exhibited in the MoMA in 1993. He admitted that it was only a technical triumph because he needed to urinate in a tube in advance so he could get the fluid through a gap between the protective glass. Swedish artist Björn Kjelltoft urinated in Fountain at Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1999.

In spring 2000, Yuan Chai and Jian Jun Xi, two performance artists, who in 1999 had jumped on Tracey Emin's installation-sculpture My Bed in the Turner Prize exhibition at Tate Britain, went to the newly opened Tate Modern and tried to urinate on the Fountain which was on display. However, they were prevented from soiling the sculpture directly by its Perspex case. The Tate, which denied that the duo had succeeded in urinating into the sculpture itself, banned them from the premises stating that they were threatening "works of art and our staff." When asked why they felt they had to add to Duchamp's work, Chai said, "The urinal is there – it's an invitation. As Duchamp said himself, it's the artist's choice. He chooses what is art. We just added to it."

On January 4, 2006, while on display in the Dada show in the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Fountain was attacked by Pierre Pinoncelli, a 76-year-old  French performance artist, with a hammer causing a slight chip. Pinoncelli, who was arrested, said the attack was a work of performance art that Marcel Duchamp himself would have appreciated. In 1993 Pinoncelli urinated into the piece while it was on display in Nimes, in southern France. Both of Pinoncelli's performances derive from neo-Dadaists' and Viennese Actionists' intervention or manoeuvre.

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain, 1917/1964, porcelain urinal,
paint, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. Speakers:  Dr. Beth Harris and Dr. Steven Zucker.
Created by Beth Harris and Steven Zucker.

Friday 15 June 2018

MY GENERATION Michael Caine / VIDEO: Q&A | BFI London Film Festival 2017

My Generation review – Michael Caine on what the 1960s were all about
3 / 5 stars 3 out of 5 stars.    
Twiggy, Joan Collins and Paul McCartney reminisce with the Alfie actor about a decade of smiley hippies and grumpy people in bowler hats

Peter Bradshaw
Fri 16 Mar 2018 06.00 GMT Last modified on Fri 16 Mar 2018 09.15 GMT

The enduring mystery of what Michael Caine is thinking and feeling remains intact during his watchable, if somewhat exasperating docu-reminiscence of 1960s swinging London. It certainly doesn’t say anything revealing or new about the man itself. With many images of smiley hippies and apoplectic people in bowler hats, the film is narrated by Caine in his inimitably measured and inscrutably deadpan style: the script is evidently the work of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais whose 60s TV classic The Likely Lads sadly goes unmentioned.

David Bailey, Joan Collins, Sandie Shaw, Twiggy and Paul McCartney are interviewed here by Caine, though oddly and disappointingly off camera, their voices the accompaniment to old footage. Caine has said that he didn’t want the audience distracted by these faces all looking shockingly older. Well, it is a shame to diminish these people’s actual presence in the film, though there are some extraordinary archive moments here, and the film is all but stolen by the young and breathtakingly beautiful Joanna Lumley talking about how hilarious it is to work with the photographer Duffy.

The welfare state, a growing economy, free education and the pill created the conditions for postwar freedom and anti-establishment irreverence, a cultural aftershock to the Attlee victory of 1945. And these pop singers, hairdressers, photographers and movie stars had ideas above their station, promoted to a dizzyingly exciting central position in popular culture. It was a working-class, or at any rate middle-classless movement. Caine does not, however, mention that he and these other fortunate celebrities were unrepresentative. For most people outside London and indeed inside London, 60s life actually trudged on as it had done in the 50s and 40s.

Anyway, they were Caine’s “generation”, although they were mostly a bit younger than Caine, who was in his early 30s when he found stardom in Zulu and Alfie. Caine had come up from the East End though hard graft; he’d consolidated a strong work ethic in rep and avoided the drug experiments and live-fast-die-young affectations of many pop stars and associated media celebrities, who had perhaps covertly modified a posh person’s dilettante attitude, having money and contacts to fall back on.

My Generation is mostly about rock stars: Jagger, Lennon, McCartney, Daltrey, Burdon. (Sadly, Cliff Richard is evidently not considered weighty enough to be interviewed.) There is also some entertaining material about pop art and what they did to help drearily monochrome, pea-soupy London get to be more colourful. There is oddly little about cinema in Caine’s documentary. The posh voices of Brief Encounter are teased; there are some clips of Alfie, Zulu and The Italian Job and bits of Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay – but nothing from Antonioni’s Blow Up. Similarly, nothing much about TV and theatre, and nothing about that quintessential standard-bearer of the irreverent 60s: David Frost.

Interestingly, literature had gone through what passed for its own revolution the decade before with Colin Wilson, Kingsley Amis and the angry young men. A dismayingly pompous Anthony Burgess blathers on about how “youth considers itself wise like a drunk man thinking himself sober”. Stuart Hall gets a tiny cameo talking about what the new currents in youth culture meant, but there’s nothing here about the whiteness of swinging London. Caine talks cheerfully about “birds”, an expression for which he apologises to the “ladies”.

Without entirely intending it, the film shows that the one institution in British life that remained stuffy and staid was the press. There’s a glimpse of a newspaper hoarding, advertising a warning about hippies by Billy Graham, written by that hungry young journalist Jonathan Aitken.

My Generation valuably reminds us that many people of the older generation really were very, very cross about the upstart counter-jumpers of the 60s revolution. There were grumpy gents and tetchy twinset ladies who were interviewed on TV and they didn’t realise or mind how absurd they sounded. It wasn’t just cultural or political. It was the age-old envy and hate of the old for the young. Nowadays people conceal it more carefully and make satirical jibes about “millennials”. Replace that phrase with “young people” and today’s droll commentators sound an awful lot like the purple-faced types who demanded that Mick Jagger got his hair cut and did some national service

Michael Caine: ‘What ruined the 60s was drugs’
By Michael Hogan

Michael Caine
The New Review Q&A
As his documentary about the 1960s opens, the veteran actor talks working-class culture, Woody Allen and why he never liked drugs
Sat 10 Mar 2018 17.00 GMT Last modified on Wed 21 Mar 2018 23.48 GMT

Now 84, Michael Caine has appeared in 127 films, including Zulu, Alfie and The Italian Job, and been Oscar-nominated six times, winning twice. Caine is the narrator, co-producer and star of new documentary film My Generation, about his journey through 1960s London.

What inspired you to make My Generation?
Simon Fuller [Spice Girls/Pop Idol svengali] and I are friends, and over dinner, conversation kept coming round to the 60s. He was too young, so was always asking about it. One evening he said, “Let’s make a documentary. You can tell the stories and I’ll find the music.” It’s taken a few years, but that’s what we did. I have a very good memory, which is fortunate at my age, so there’s a lot of material left over. We’re turning that into a six-part TV series.

The film is studded with star names, but they don’t appear in traditional “talking heads” style. Why?
I interviewed loads of people – McCartney, Twiggy, Roger Daltrey, Joan Collins – but we ended up taking the footage out of the film. It screwed it up, because you’re no longer immersed in the 60s, you’re too busy going “Oh look, he’s gone bald,” or “Ain’t she got fat?” So you only hear their voices; we’ll use the footage in the TV series instead.

I thought the saying went “If you remember the 60s, you weren’t really there”?
That’s more the late 60s/early 70s. In the 60s, we were drinkers. What ruined the 60s, towards the end of the decade, were drugs. If people were taking cocaine, they’d start talking bollocks and not stop for hours. If they were on other drugs, they’d just sit around, going “Wow, man.” So it was either people talking too fast to understand, or people not saying anything at all. It brought to an end the 60s as we knew it – which was a load of drunks getting up to all sorts and dancing like mad.

Is it true you smoked marijuana just the once?
Yes, and I laughed for five hours. I nearly got a hernia. I must have been very tense beforehand! When I left the party at 1am in Grosvenor Square, I was standing alone on a corner, roaring with laughter, and no cab would stop for me. I had to walk to my flat in Notting Hill, and when I got back, I vowed I’d never take bloody drugs again. And I never did. I’m not anti-drugs: I’m sympathetic to people who take them, because they’ve got themselves in a situation that I really do not envy. Most drugs are terrible… at least marijuana’s good for medicinal purposes.

You permanently had a fag in your mouth during the 60s, though…
I smoked a lot, but Tony Curtis saved my life. I was at a party, chain-smoking by the fireplace, when a hand came round from behind me, took the cigarettes out of my pocket and threw them in the fire. I turned round and it was Tony Curtis. We’d never met, but he said: “I’ve been watching you, Michael. You’re going to die if you keep doing that, you idiot.” So I quit.

I later took up cigars, but gave them up because of Hurricane Higgins, the snooker player. I knew Alex quite well, and one night I was smoking a cigar while watching TV. Alex came on the screen with a voice-box and I could see he was dying. I stubbed the cigar out in the ashtray and never smoked again.

In the documentary you sometimes seem like the more senior, sensible one…
Well, I was a serious actor. I’d spent nine years on stage and worked my way up to leading roles in movies. I’d be up at 6.30am for a day’s worth of dialogue, so I couldn’t stay up all night, dancing and getting laid. Don’t worry, though… between films I’d go a bit mad.

My Generation has a 50/50 gender split of contributors. Did you insist on that?
Absolutely. I’m a feminist to the core. An interviewer once asked my wife, “What first attracted you to Michael?” and she said, “The way he treated his mother.” I respected women tremendously, right from the start. I just didn’t know I was a feminist until they invented it.

 The first night I went to the Ad Lib club every single Beatle and every single Rolling Stone was in there dancing
Michael Caine

Social change is a big theme in My Generation…
That’s the serious point of the film, really. Society was transformed by the 60s. I was born during the Depression, then came the Blitz. I was evacuated and spent six years waiting for a telegram telling me my dad was dead. A tough start. Six years after the war, I was in the army myself – first in the occupation force in Berlin, then the Korean war, fighting the Chinese. When I got home, London was all smog and rationing. The last straw was [Soviet leader] Khrushchev’s speech saying they now had the atom bomb and could send it here in a rocket to annihilate us within four minutes. So the attitude became: “We’re miserable as sin, we’ve got four minutes to live, let’s have some fun.” And boy, did we have fun.

Was there a working-class takeover of culture?
Yeah, slowly but surely. Small things happened: Radio Caroline launched, before the BBC finally gave in and started playing pop music. Coffee bars started putting on live groups, like the Beatles. Discotheques arrived from Paris. The first night I went to the Ad Lib club – run by my friend Johnny Gold, who later opened Tramp and called me “Disco Mike” – every single Beatle and every single Rolling Stone was in there dancing. Pop culture went bang, exploded, and just kept going. Working-class kids everywhere

David Bailey and Terry O’Neill became almost as famous as the people they were photographing. I shared a flat with Vidal Sassoon and got free haircuts. Terence Stamp was another flatmate. It seemed like everyone I knew became famous.

You were good friends with Roger Moore. Did his death last year hit you hard?
Yeah, we were close. But at my age, you get used to your friends dying.

You’ve been buddies with two Bonds, Moore and Connery. Who would you like to play 007 next?
Tom Hardy. And make him do a posh accent.

You won an Oscar for Hannah and Her Sisters. What do you make of the accusations against Woody Allen?
I am so stunned. I’m a patron of the NSPCC and have very strong views about paedophilia. I can’t come to terms with it, because I loved Woody and had a wonderful time with him. I even introduced him to Mia [Farrow]. I don’t regret working with him, which I did in complete innocence; but I wouldn’t work with him again, no.

Last year, you were in yet another Oscar-nominated film, Dunkirk…
Only a cheeky little cameo. Christopher [Nolan, director] and I have done six very successful films together. I’m his good-luck charm. Or is he mine? Anyway, I had to be in Dunkirk, but there was no proper part for me because of my age. Instead I did the voice of the Spitfire squadron leader over the radio. I looked at the gross yesterday: half a billion. The lucky charm worked again.

You seem almost as busy as ever…
What’s come into fashion, fortunately for me, is films for older people. Ever since The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel took $150m, they’ve realised there’s a generation who still go to the cinema. So last year I made Going in Style with Morgan Freeman and Alan Arkin, all of us in our 80s. I’ve just done Night in Hatton Garden, about the oldest robbers in history. It’s like the audience have grown up with me.

Tess Daly says you’d be her dream celebrity contestant on Strictly Come Dancing. Fancy it?
Oh, really? I’m afraid I’m beyond that. She should be mighty relieved. I watch Strictly every weekend with my three grandchildren. We all shout out the scores together.

Was the 60s the best decade of your life?
At the time it was. Since then, my life has improved from decade to decade. My joy nowadays is not movies, money or women – I’ve been happily married for 45 years to the most wonderful woman I ever met – it’s my grandchildren. I’m devoted to them.

You’re 85 next week. How are you celebrating?
My wife’s organising something but won’t tell me what. My 80th was in Las Vegas with Quincy Jones. We call ourselves “the celestial twins”. He composed the music for The Italian Job and when he came on set, we worked out we were born at exactly the same hour. We’re not identical twins, clearly, we’re celestial ones. One thing I love about Quince is he’s always late for everything. He invited me around for lunch recently and he was an hour late. In his own house.

Will you ever retire?
No. The movie business retires you. I’ve just turned down a film, actually; but if I get a script I really want to do, I will. I’m busy enough. I’ve got the TV series and a book I’m writing. I did a guide to acting, which went very well, so now I’m writing one on stardom. It’s full of funny stories and I name-drop like fury, obviously. You might have noticed.

My Generation is released 16 March. On 14 March a preview screening in cinemas will be followed by a live Q&A with Michael Caine, broadcast from BFI Southbank

Michael Caine rails against the establishment in exclusive clip from My Generation documentary

'I never understood who my betters were supposed to be. I've never seen any of my betters'

Clarisse Loughrey
Monday 12 March 2018 12:29

Michael Caine invites you into the world of his youth in the new documentary My Generation: London in the Swinging Sixties.

It's an opportunity to see a revolutionary time in British history through the eyes of one of its famous participators, documenting the birth of London's pop culture scene.

The film combines Caine's own personal accounts, alongside archive footage and interviews with The Beatles, Twiggy, David Bailey, Mary Quant, The Rolling Stones, and David Hockney.

An exclusive new clip sees Caine and compatriots discuss how his generation clashed ideologically with the established powers, of the older generation still clinging on to the legacy of the British Empire.

Though the young have always been taught to respect "their betters", Caine notes: "I never understood who my betters were supposed to be. I've never seen any of my betters. I've seen a lot of my equals, but I've still never seen any of my betters."

My Generation has been a six-year-long passion project of Caine's, working alongside producer Simon Fuller, writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais, and director David Batty.

An exclusive Q&A with Michael Caine will be broadcast live March 14th when My Generation arrives in movie theatres. For more information visit:

My Generation Trailer

Mulberry Born in 1971 / Mulberry's sales of luxury goods fall sharply in UK / VIDEO: Beyond Heritage - Mulberry SS'18 at Spencer House

Born in 1971, the roots of Mulberry are in Somerset, England.

Mulberry’s founder, Roger Saul, established the brand at his kitchen table, with £500 backing from his mother. His sister designed our instantly-recognisable tree logo - both that, and the name “Mulberry” come from the trees he would pass each day on his way to school. All of this represented a love of nature, the importance of family and the growth of a fundamentally British brand.

The first designs were buckled leather belts - soon, other accessories followed, including iconic bags and a womenswear line in 1979. The hallmarks of these Mulberry creations - timeless design coupled with traditional quality and a sense of the here and now - are the threads that run through everything we make. Then, today and tomorrow.

Mulberry's heritage - and hence our identity - is quintessentially British. Early inspiration was drawn from the styles synonymous with English rural pursuits - hunting, shooting, fishing - and Mulberry's immediately-identifiable, utterly individualistic style came to be dubbed "Le Style Anglais" in 1975. This idea is still inspires us. Between town and country, between Somerset serenity and London pace, Mulberry combines authentic, age-honoured craft with an innovative fashion character. Heritage meet rebellion - rules are broken, to make something new.

For more than forty years, Mulberry has been a leading British lifestyle brand, internationally acclaimed for our quality and design. Mulberry’s handbags - the Trout satchel, the Bayswater and the Alexa - have become contemporary classics, iconic examples of British design and manufacturing expertise. Roger Saul’s successors, Design and Creative Directors Nicholas Knightly, Stuart Vevers, Emma Hill and, from 2015, Johnny Coca have each placed their own stamp on Mulberry, reinterpreting the brand to chime with the fashion moment.

Mulberry today offers a unique point of view on heritage. We continue to celebrate the contradictions of a truly British identity, looking back to our archives and rich British traditions and examining them from a new perspective. A sense of the past reinvented with the spirit of now. Heritage yet modern, classic, yet unclassic.

Play with the classic, twist the conventional, use the familiar to make something inspiring and new.
Johnny Coca

Creative Director

Mulberry's sales of luxury goods fall sharply in UK
British bag manufacturer says weak pound causing tourists to shop elsewhere in Europe

Angela Monaghan

Wed 13 Jun 2018 14.27 BST Last modified on Wed 13 Jun 2018 14.56 BST

Mulberry’s UK sales have been hit in recent weeks as wealthy tourists favour Paris and Milan over London for their luxury shopping sprees.

The British designer bags manufacturer said foreign tourists were choosing other European destinations because rival luxury brands had raised their UK prices to compensate for the weak pound.

Sales in Mulberry stores that have been open for more than a year fell by 9% in the 10 weeks to 2 June, as domestic shoppers as well as overseas tourists stayed away. Sales outside the UK rose 1%.

Thierry Andretta, the chief executive, said that over the period Mulberry products had been sold at full price, with no discounting, adding he was confident demand in the UK would pick up.

 “We are playing a luxury game and we have a lot of attractive products that appeal to new, young customers and to our loyal customers,” he said.

Mulberry’s bestselling bag is currently the Amberley, launched last year with prices starting from about £500 for a small satchel.

Approximately 70% of Mulberry’s sales are in the UK, and Andretta said that while the company was “totally committed” to the domestic market, he hoped that over the long-term the split between UK and international sales would be closer to 50/50.

Alongside its annual results, the company announced a joint venture with SHK in South Korea as part of its international expansion plan. Mulberry will own 60% of the newly created entity, investing £3.1m. SHK will own the remaining 40% and invest £1.5m.

The luxury brand also created new entities in in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan and Japan in the year to 31 March 2018, as it seeks to capitalise on Asia’s swelling middle-classes.

“Although the UK market remains challenging, we will continue to invest in our strategy to develop Mulberry into a global luxury brand to deliver increased shareholder value,” Andretta said.

Pretax profit over the year fell to £6.9m from £7.5m, after £2m of startup costs and £2.4m of operating costs relating to its new Asia subsidiaries. Revenue edged up 1% to £169.7m.

Beyond Heritage - Mulberry SS'18 at Spencer House
To celebrate the launch of the Spring Summer ’18
collection Mulberry took over the magnificent Spencer House in central London
to host ‘Beyond Heritage’: a series of presentations and workshops throughout
the weekend. Open to the public on Saturday 17th and Sunday 18th February,
guests were able to enjoy the Palm Room tea house and shop the new collection