Durham County Council
Latest 15 Press Releases at Durham County Council
  • Local History Month steams into Clayport
    Clayport Library is celebrating County Durham’s railway heritage throughout May with a series of free events and activities for Local History Month. A packed programme of talks, craft drop-ins and family sessions at the Durham City library begins next weekend and will include: Christina’s Bridge – talk by David Butler Saturday, 3 May at 2pm The tragic death of a young girl on a level crossing in 1893 would lead to the construction of a bridge over the branch line. David uses original sources to look at the story behind the accident, the building of the bridge and its eventual demolition. Railway crafts –drop-in Saturday, 10 May from 2.15pm Iron roads for iron horses – talk by Dr Winifred Stokes Saturday, 17 May at 2pm Dr Stokes debates the shape and composition of railway tracks including how they were made and the companies that made them. Shildon Model Railway Club layout Saturday, 24 May from 10am to 3pm Beamish: a railway miscellany – slideshow with Julian Harrop Saturday, 24 May at 10.30am Children’s activity drop-in with Durham County Record Office Tuesday 27th May from 1pm to 3pm Head of Steam: Darlington Railway Museum Thursday, 29 May from 10am to noon Find out more about the role of the railways during the First World War, handle some railway related objects and make your own chaldron wagon. Visitors can also find out how they can get involved in the museum’s Heritage Lottery-funded North East Railways in World War One project. Anne Harrison, Clayport Library’s acting centre officer, said: “Local History Month offers us a fantastic opportunity to celebrate our rich heritage. “Here in County Durham, the railways played such a significant role in our past and there is so much interest and enthusiasm for the subject that it seems an obvious subject for our Local History Month events. “I hope people take the opportunity to come along and learn a little more about our past.” All activities are free but booking is required for talks. For more information or to book, call Clayport Library on 03000 265 524.
  • Buggy pump
    If your New Year resolutions are starting to wane, why not get your fitness goals back on track with Buggy Pump at Seascape One Point Children’s Centre from April 30. Parents and carers of children under 5 years with varying fitness levels are invited to come along and chat with those who have attended previous sessions and join in with the training, and there are no excuses as baby can come too! Sessions take place on Wednesdays between 1.30pm and 2.30pm; call the centre on 03000 266 391 for more information.
  • Celebrating World Book Night
    Library and leisure centre staff gave the gift of reading as they helped celebrate World Book Night. Staff from Newton Aycliffe Leisure Centre joined forces with Durham County Council’s library service to hand out dozens of free books to members of the public. The giveaway was part of the annual celebration of reading, which also aims to encourage people to discover the joys of reading for pleasure. Cllr Maria Plews, Durham County Council’s Cabinet member for leisure, libraries and lifelong learning, said: “Reading really can open up a whole new world for people. Losing yourself in a thrilling story or getting absorbed by a fascinating book of facts can really fire the imagination. “Giving away free books is a great way of sharing your passion for reading and encouraging others to find their own love of books.” Library staff also used the opportunity to talk about the thousands of titles, including the latest bestsellers, available on loan for free from the county’s libraries. Anyone having trouble getting to their library can also take advantage of a range of online facilities including reservations and renewals, free access to reference sites and a brand new e-magazines service, from which magazines can be downloaded on to PCs, e-readers, tablets and mobiles. It is also hoped that e-books will be available through the service from later this year. Readers can also join the library by going online. To find your local library, visit www.durham.gov.uk/libraries or more information about World Book Night visit www.worldbooknight.org
  • Food festival excitement hots up
    A County Durham man is preparing to spice up an annual food festival this weekend with his homemade chilli sauces. Victor Nwosu is looking forward to his first visit to Bishop Auckland Food Festival and inviting people to try his Wiga Wagaa Chilli products. The entrepreneur from Shotley Bridge will be among more than 160 stallholders offering the very best in northern food and drink at the festival this Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 April. Organised by Durham County Council in partnership with Auckland Castle Trust and Bishop Auckland Town Council, the festival takes place in the Market Place, Town Hall and the grounds of Auckland Castle. Victor said: “I’ve heard that Bishop Auckland is a great festival. I did apply last year but the stalls were full so I’m really excited about being there this weekend. “I always look forward to the opportunity to let people try something they have never tried before. “You can spend all the time you like preparing and making your product, but you’ve really got to be out there talking to people and getting them to try it and enjoy it – that’s what I really love.” Victor began making his own chilli sauces just a couple of years ago, using his biochemistry background, love of tasty food and experience of dining out around the world. When his friends started asking for their own bottles of sauce to take home, Victor decided to try selling his products to a wider audience. He has now expanded his range to include chilli oils, pastes, jam, mayonnaise and popcorn – all produced in his kitchen at home using traditional techniques such as a crushing in a pestle and mortar. Last year, his Wiga Wagaa Chilli Cooking Paste and Sauce won Gold Stars at the Great Taste Awards, less than a year after he started trading. Now in its 11th year, Bishop Auckland Food Festival offers up the very best in local produce, from fresh meat, fish and vegetables to chutneys, puddings, beer, wines and cider as well as gifts and crafts. This year, there will also be cookery demonstrations by Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer, CBBC star Stefan Gates and a number of other professional chefs as well as a feast of family fun including street entertainment and the festival’s first Kids’ Club. Park and ride buses services will operate throughout both days from Bishop Auckland College and Perfect Homes and Gardens on the A6072. Three hundred spaces will be available at the college, on Woodhouse Lane, with buses running every 15 to 20 minutes from 9.15am. A further 100 spaces will be available at Perfect Homes and Gardens, next to Tindale Crossing. Buses will run every 20 minutes from 9.30am. The last buses for both sites will leave the Market Place at 4.30pm. All buses are wheelchair and buggy friendly. There is a £2.00 charge for adults, and a 50p charge for children aged between three and 16. Additional long-stay parking spaces will be available at Kingsway (Castle Chare), South Terrace and Tenters Street, while short-stay spaces will be available at Kingsway/Church Road, North Bondgate and Victoria Avenue. For more information, visit www.traveline.info or call 03000 26 26 26 or visit www.bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk
  • Are you prepared for an emergency?
    Residents in the Chester-le-Street area are being invited to a drop-in event to help them be better prepared for an emergency such as flooding. Chester-le-Street and District Area Action Partnership (AAP) is working with Durham County Council’s Civil Contingencies Unit, the Local Business Association, resident groups and the emergency services to host an event which is designed to help communities help themselves. The drop-in session will showcase what the emergency services do in disaster situations as well as providing help and advice to members of the public. Part of the event will also see the organisations working with the public to develop community resilience plans, which will help them better respond as a community to floods and other local emergency situations which may occur. Chester-le-Street town centre has  a history of flooding as  have surrounding villages such as Waldridge. in addition,  many of the  villages on higher ground suffer in  severe weather, such as snow and the session will highlight ways more vulnerable community members can be supported. Derek Briggs, chair of the Central Residents Association, said: “We know the town has suffered terribly in the past. I’ve experienced it first hand and on ‘Thunder Thursday’ back in 2012, I found myself trying to stem the flow of water pouring into the back of Chester-le-Street Library because of the unprecedented amount of rain. “We recognise members of the community have had varying experiences of floods and other natural disasters and emergencies and we are keen to help people feel more informed and be aware of the support available.” The AAP, one of 14 set up by Durham County Council in 2009, is co-ordinating the event and the Civil Contingencies Unit will be on hand to help develop community resilience plans. Emergency services including Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service and Durham Constabulary will also be in attendance. For more information on the event email: chester-le-streetaap@durham.gov.uk or call 03000 266146. Members of the public are welcome to turn up on the day. The drop-in takes place on Wednesday, 30 April between 3.00pm and 7.00pm at Cornerstones Community Centre on North Burns and members of the public are welcome at any time.  
  • Gala gets the blues for return of popular festival
    Music legend Wilko Johnson is set to perform at a popular blues North East festival next month. The former Dr Feelgood guitarist stepped in to headline Durham Blues at Gala Theatre, Durham on Saturday, 21 June after original booking, Walter Trout, was forced to cancel due to illness. Now in its fourth year, the annual event features 12 acts performing during one great day of the best in blues music. Widely acknowledged as one of Britain’s greatest rock guitarists, Wilko studied English at Newcastle University before going travelling. He was lured into music when he bought his first Fender Telecaster from a music store in Southend and it was not long before he became known as the strutting, grimacing powerhouse behind Dr Feelgood frontman Lee Brilleaux. Wilko is also a poet, a painter, an astronomer and even an actor, recently finding fame in Game Of Thrones. The 66-year-old says he has never felt more “vividly alive” since being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic cancer. He has refused chemotherapy treatment so that he has the strength to complete a ‘farewell tour’. He recently teamed up with the Who’s Roger Daltrey to produce a new album released last month. Going Back Home features 10 Johnson originals, from both his solo career and his days with Dr Feelgood and Solid Senders, plus a cover of Bob Dylan’s Can You Please Crawl Out Your Window. Also playing on the main stage during Durham Blues Festival are Royal Southern Brotherhood, Stevie Nimmo Trio, Jo Harman and Company, The Spellkasters and Laurence Jones. Lined up to perform on the acoustic stage are Del Bromham, Rita Payne, Innes Sibun, Matt Woosey, Dove and Boweevil and Big Joe Bone. The festival runs from 3pm to 11pm. Tickets are £27 in advance or £30 on the day.  To book, visit Gala box office, call 03000 266 600 or go online at www.galadurham.co.uk
  • Bin it Right
    Residents across County Durham are being reminded to ‘Bin it right’ to make sure their recycling can continue to be used to make new products. The six month ‘Bin it right’ campaign, starting this month, will encourage residents to put the right items in the right bin to stop recyclable material being contaminated and spoiled by items that can’t be recycled. Recycling assistants will also be on hand to give advice to households in areas where recycling contamination is most common. The majority of householders place the correct material in the right container and the amount collected for recycling has increased by over 30 per cent since the introduction of alternate weekly collections in 2012. But last year, nearly 10 per cent of the total material collected for recycling was non-recyclable. This included nappies, pet waste and food. Councillor Brian Stephens, Cabinet member for neighbourhoods and local partnerships, Durham County Council said: “It is essential that all items, from a used tin of beans or glass bottle to nappies and pet waste, are put in the right bin or box so recyclable materials are free from contamination and can be turned into other products. “Recyclable items should be washed and squashed where possible and placed loose in the recycling bin without being bagged. Items that can’t be recycled such as food, pet waste and nappies should be bagged and placed in the rubbish bin. “We would  like to thank residents for recycling household waste items and hope to clear up any confusion about what goes where to give a better understanding of which items can and cannot be recycled. Contaminated material not only reduces recycling rates but also costs the authority about £100 a tonne in alternative disposal.” The awareness campaign forms part of an advisory system to improve recycling. Where there are repeated incidents of recycling contamination in household bins, residents will be notified directly by letter and the issue of a bin sticker. Further information on what items go where is available at www.durham.gov.uk/whatgoeswhere or call 03000 26 1000.
  • Help to get on the right career path
    A new drop-in session aimed at parents and 16 to 19-year-olds looking for work, college or training opportunities is taking place in Stanley every other Wednesday. Durham County Council’s One Point Service is organising the new sessions which take place between 1.00pm and 3.00pm, fortnightly at the One Point children’s centre in Stanley. One Point personal advisers and family workers will be available to offer advice on applying for jobs, apprenticeships and training. Nick Jobson, personal adviser, said: “We can provide impartial information, advice and guidance on local education, apprenticeships, training and career opportunities as well as assisting with job applications.” Help with CVs, personal statements and advice on job searches will be available as well as information on finances and support available to help young people move forward when it comes to looking for a job. Book a place by calling 03000 266 150 or just drop in.
  • Why not put a bounce into your free time?
    Why not put a bounce into your free time with a new course on how to trampoline? Courses, run by Durham County Council, for 11 to 16-year-olds will begin next week at Teesdale Leisure Centre. Victoria Lee, sport and physical activity project officer said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for young people to get into a new sport.” An eight week course will cost £8 with sessions beginning on Tuesday, 22 April at the centre, on Strathmore Road in Barnard Castle, between 6.15pm and 7.15pm. The council is also looking to offer the same opportunity for the 16 to 25 age range, if enough people show an interest. Anyone interested should contact Victoria on 07584141202 or email her: Victoria.lee@durham.gov.uk 11 to 16-year-olds can book a place by calling the leisure centre on 03000 260862/63 or email: leisure-teesdale@durham.gov.uk  
  • Sessions for dads
    A play session for dads and their little ones is taking place at Middlestone Moor One Point Children’s Centre on Saturday, 3 May. Dads and male carers with children under five, who live in the area, are invited to attend the centre, on Rock Road, to join in the fun between 10.00am and noon.  For more information on the activity telephone Tudhoe Moor Children’s Centre on: 03000 267 488. One Point Children’s Centres are a part of Durham County Council.
  • Festival lines up a selection of award-winning foods
    An annual food festival is set to sizzle with a Northumberland firm’s prize sausages among the array of award-winning produce on offer. The Northumberland Sausage Company, set up by former scientist Dr Claire Watson-Laney and her father, is just one of dozens of established northern food and drink producers signed up for Bishop Auckland Food Festival. Visitors to the popular event will be able to snap up about 30 different sausage varieties, including the company’s Great Taste one-star winning pork, red onion and Tarset Valley marmalade and Northumberland smoked cheese and cracked black pepper sausages. The festival, organised by Durham County Council in partnership with Auckland Castle Trust and Bishop Auckland Town Council, takes place on Saturday, 26 and Sunday, 27 April. Claire said: “We did Bishop Auckland Food Festival for the first time last year and absolutely loved it. It was one of our first events last year and we had two young team members training who were nervous and giggly. “We left them with enough stock to last the weekend and by mid-afternoon they had sold out. The atmosphere was lovely and people were really excited to see so many lovely local food companies all together. “We had completely sold out by mid-morning on the last day and are very excited about returning this year.” Claire, a molecular biologist with a master’s degree and a PHD, set up Northumberland Sausage Company with her dad Lewis, a sheep farmer, after they bought the local butcher’s shop in Wark, Northumberland. The sausages are made using lamb from the family farm and other locally sourced meats. As well as making a mouth-watering variety, which also includes Newcastle Brown Ale, minted mushy pea and a chilli sizzler, the company also runs popular sausage-making workshops at Brockbushes Farm Shop in Corbridge, who will also be at Bishop Auckland Food Festival. The Brockbushes stall will be offering up a range of freshly baked delights including cakes, pastries, pies and scones With more than 160 food and drink stalls and trailers serving up the very best in local produce, traders will be offering everything from fresh meat, fish and vegetables to chutneys, puddings and beer, wines and cider, this year’s festival looks set to be another big draw. There will also cookery demonstrations by Sunday Brunch presenter Simon Rimmer, CBBC star Stefan Gates and a number of other professional chefs as well as a feast of family fun including street entertainment and the festival’s first Kids’ Club.   For more information, visit www.bishopaucklandfoodfestival.co.uk
  • Equestrian fashion business under starter's orders
    Business Durham, the economic development company for County Durham, is helping a new business get under starter’s orders. Aztec Diamond Equestrian (UK) Ltd, an equestrian fashion wear company, is the idea of 18-year-old Jordan McCabe and is named after her own horse. It is set to be launched on Friday, 2 May, at Sedgefield Racecourse. For Jordan, from Stanley Crook, it is the realisation of a dream since she started showjumping when she was just eight-years-old. She said: “I have always wanted to create high quality fashionable clothing at affordable prices having found over the years that many items were just too expensive. Luckily I have been given the opportunity to create and design my own brand of equestrian clothing and create a range that follows fashion trends and targets every rider, whatever their budget. “I was also very grateful to get huge amounts of support from Business Durham in terms of where to go to for funding and grants and general start-up advice.” Jordan has been mentored by and is working with Stacy Marshall of Creative Textile Solutions, who introduced Jordan to manufacturers in Asia. Her 18-piece range comes under essential, everyday and limited collections and will be modelled at the launch. The launch fashion show will be the first chance to see and buy the fashion wear and guests include representatives from the equestrian trade and international contacts in manufacturing. Proceeds from a charity raffle on the night will go to the British Horse Society. Andrea McGuigan, business development area manager, Business Durham, said: “It has been an absolute delight to help Jordan. Her passion for horses and her sheer determination to succeed has shone through.   I would like to wish her every success for the future." For further information: janemcguire@aztecdiamondequestrian.com or tel 01388 764656
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    New problems to Durham County Council on FixMyStreet
    The latest problems for Durham County Council reported by users
    • Pothole, 24th April
      There is a pothole on pit lane.
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Pit Lane, Framwellgate Moor
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Potholes, 24th April
      There are three potholes in the crossover on this busy junction.
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Benridge Bank, West Rainton
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • 358 and 369, 23rd April
      Columns 358 and 369 are Out at night . Quarrington Hill Front Street
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Arterial, Quarrington Hill
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Pot holes, 20th April
      Stainforth close is littered with various large potholes causing holes in the whole of the road from the entrance into the close to the garages in the close and are getting worse loosening the surface and with numerous vehicles in and out of the close they are getting worse.
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Stephenson Way, Newton Aycliffe
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Fly Tipping, 18th April
      A Bath and Toilet have been dumped in gap between garages 24 and 25 Priory Road, Framwellgate Moor. This has been tipped within 4 hours of the glass being left at the same place,
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Brackenfield Road, Framwellgate Moor
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Fly Tipping, 17th April
      A large mirrored panel around 4 ft square and a number of roof tiles have been dumped between garages no 24 and 25 Priory Road. It must be moved as it will end up smashed to pieces .
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Brackenfield Road, Framwellgate Moor
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Matress and tyres, 16th April
      Hi, aproximately 1 mile along the B6301 from Tow Law on the right hand side there is a matress that has been dumped, also on the left hand side a little further along by a style there are a few concrete fencing posts and 2 car tyres
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): B6301, Tow Law
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Tipping of building materials, 16th April
      Hi Someone has tipped what looks like a flatback lorry load of building waste on the side of the road, about 1/2 mile along Inkerman Road, Tow Law from the A68
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): A68, Tow Law
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Fly Posting, 14th April
      Homemade sign from someone who will buy any properties with a mobile phone advertised at the bottom needs removed from a lamp post.
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Southfield Way, Durham
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Potholes, 14th April
      3 potholes in the area shown on the map. The one in the photograph has caused damage to my wife's car but we don't yet know the extent of the damage. Would like the holes filled in as soon as possible to avoid other users suffering damage.

      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): County Durham
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Inaction to Marks Lane problems, 11th April
      Overgrown hedges on both sides of Marks Lane in area indicated.......damaging cars and other through traffic.Also ,at point indicated, one very large pot hole.Both of these problems reported to DCC 28/3/14 by telephone to Highways Dept.
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Marks Lane, Leamside
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Blocking view, 7th April
      Always a van or car , never on the double yellows as that would be illegal , instead they park on the pavement and vehicles wanting to exit to the right can't see !!! There will be a death
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): North View, Meadowfield
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Section of lights out 356 - 369, 7th April
      Section of Lights out on Church street Quarrington hill. Road opposite the Half moon pub numbers 356 - 369 are out
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Arterial, Quarrington Hill
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Hole in footpath, 6th April
      The footpath has begun to sink forming a hole at the north west corner of the motorway bridge. A similar problem occurred some time ago.
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Broomside Lane, Durham
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Road repairs, 6th April
      Huge pothole
      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): A690, Brandon
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Broken paving slab, 5th April
      Broken paving slab outside 17 lilac gardens crook county durham dl159lu
      Report on FixMyStreet
    • Overgrown hedges, 3rd April
      Hedges are overgrown in quarrington hill by the Bus stop pinned on the map blocking the lovely view we should have which is now a over grown mess of spikey horrible thorn hedges. I am wondering if these could be cut back as after this year they are probably going to be touching 15-20ft in height. also theres some hedges on the other side of the road aswell that need cutting right back.

      Nearest road to the pin placed on the map (automatically generated by Bing Maps): Front Street, Quarrington Hill
      Report on FixMyStreet

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    • Style.com: Surgical Foot Face-lifts—Just Part of the “Real World”


      Think Chinese foot binding died out with the Qing Dynasty? Think again! According to a report in The New York Times, well-to-do women are seeking out plastic surgery so their tootsies can painlessly slip into high-fashion kicks by the likes of Christian Louboutin, Nicholas Kirkwood, and Manolo Blahnik. “On the surface, it looked shallow,” offered podiatrist Dr. Ali Sadrieh, who performs a variety of face-lifts for the feet. “But I came to see she needs these shoes to project confidence, they are part of her outside skin. That’s the real world.” I’d have to imagine that his definition of the “real world” is a loose one or, at the very least, exclusive to moneyed locales like Park Avenue and Beverly Hills.

      Wouldn’t commissioning custom shoes or, maybe, petitioning designers to make more wearable stilettos be ever-so-slightly less shallow, not to mention less expensive? You could also try my (only mildly less ridiculous) method of choice—foot Pilates—for which I’m frequently, and rightly, laughed at by my friends. Even better, you could just buy Prada, who, thanks to its embrace of wide soles, makes some of the most comfortable skyscrapers on the planet.

      —Katharine K. Zarrella

      Photo: Cesare Medri  
    • Style.com: Marina’s Must-Haves: Madewell’s Poncho Dress

      MadewellMy mind is in vacation mode—all I want to think about is summer days at the beach. For my seaside getaways, I like my outfits to be as simple as can be, and oversize cotton pieces are a must. Madewell’s white poncho dress will be in my suitcase for my next trip. Its graphic details make it city-appropriate as well, for those hot days in June. At the moment, summer seems but a dream, but as someone who likes to plan ahead, I’ll be ordering Madewell’s frock this week.

      Madewell poncho dress, $138, Buy it now

      —Marina Larroudé

      Photo: Courtesy Photo 
    • Style.com: EXCLUSIVE: Virgil Abloh Debuts Off-White for Women

      offwhiteblog1Virgil Abloh spends a lot of time in the air. One day he’s busy globe-trotting for his full-time gig as Kanye West’s creative director, and the next he’s jetting off to Miami to represent Been Trill with a DJ set at Ultra Music Festival. In recent months, the 33-year-old Chicago native has been squeezing in trips to Milan, where he operates the atelier for his ready-to-wear label, Off-White, which premiered its Spring ’14 men’s range back in December.

      Building his new brand is Abloh’s most personal project to date. His solo career as a designer began with his short-lived Pyrex Vision capsule of graphic tees and hoodies that quickly gained a fervent cult underground following. But he’s elevating the streetwear conversation altogether with Off-White, which is being championed by upscale retailers including Colette, Barneys, and Selfridges. The clothes themselves are marked by their worn-in, shabby chic-meets-street appeal, and often tagged with Off-White’s signature diagonal stripes that speak to Abloh’s passion for art and architecture.

      Abloh recently conceived one of the sets for pal Sky Ferreira, who is the opening act on Miley Cyrus’ Bangerz tour. His stage scheme involves a grid of intersecting lasers, and Ferreira wears a custom Off-White biker jacket cut from neoprene and embellished with 30,000 black Swarovski crystals. The jacket is also in Ferreira’s new, shoppable music video for “I Blame Myself.”

      That one-off Perfecto paved the way for Off-White’s first foray into womenswear for Fall ’14. Its corresponding lookbook, which was shot at the Barcelona Pavilion in Spain (designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, who is a perennial source of inspiration for Abloh), debuts here on Style.com. The feminine side of Off-White is less street, more refined, and definitely influenced by the bohemian moodiness of Hedi Slimane with its wide-brimmed hats, fringed wool coats, velvet maxi skirts, and pumps offered, in addition to the now-trademark faded denim and branded biker jackets. During a phone interview over the weekend, Abloh discussed his evolving vision for Off-White, youth culture, his collaboration with Ferreira, and more.

      —Brittany Adams

      How has launching Off-White allowed you to evolve your point of view?

      It’s interesting now having the brand. It’s kind of like an onion, rolling back the layers of what does Off-White mean. And Off-White to me just means “now.” My reference points are: It’s a culture, it’s a lifestyle, it’s kids. It’s, like, same social circle—like, all my friends, I love their personal style. I think the main thing is that Off-White is a sort of attempt to represent youth culture and young lifestyle in the marketplace of established fashion brands. For me, it’s a way to show the world—from my vantage point as a hip-hop kid—that image of fashion. I’ve designed for quite some time. I have a background in architecture, so I’ve always been trying to find an outlet for all these ideas.

      offwhiteblog4What is your womenswear aesthetic?

      I just want chic, plus Air Force 1s. My guy friends dress in more of a streetwear manner, and my girlfriends dress in Céline or Saint Laurent. It’s very, like, Chateau Marmont, Café Select, The Mercer [Hotel], to [The] Westway, to 1 Oak, so I just merge all that. The most exciting part for me now is to just lay out this women’s world, and I see it as more of a boyfriend-girlfriend type relationship. The title of the women’s collection this season is “I Only Smoke When I Drink.” It’s a sentence that relates to that girl I imagine wearing the clothes.

      Tell me about recently working with Sky Ferreira.

      I’ve known Sky maybe for, like, a year and a half or so, just through being friends, kind of being in the same sort of circle of friends and creative kids, trying to make a mark. And it’s very cool—she is such a talented person and such a muse. I was immediately drawn to that. We have tons of similar likes and whatnot, so it all sort of organically happened. It all started, I think, with the stage production for her, and organically that led into a twofold concept where it was like, let’s merge the aesthetic of the stage with a fashion piece that kind of integrates it, kind of making it more 3-D. We both kind of naturally were inspired by Michael Jackson. [laughs] Everyone at some point tries to get out some Michael Jackson dream of their life.

      Are you a fan of her music?

      Super. I’ve always been a fan of many music genres outside of hip-hop and people’s music that is supremely natural talent, and she is that. Like, her charisma, her stage presence, and her off-stage presence are very intriguing. She symbolizes a lot for her culture, and I think authenticity and rock music is a thing that’s not common, so that’s what makes me a fan of her. Her personality—that’s what draws me to her. And her music, her sound, and what she puts into it is amazing to me.

      Going back to the clothing, you referenced Martha Stewart and Montauk as influencing your first menswear collection, which was called “Youth Will Always Win.” Are you keeping that look moving into next season?

      [laughs] Yeah, I’m super into that still. That’s a part of my personality, so I’m still on that sort of aesthetic—I’m not ready to move from it so fast. But I have a different theme building for the men’s. It’s all this Baja surf-inspired collection. It’s very coastal still—it’s more like Cali, and it’s called “Moving Still” and it’s about waves. It’s a graphic story, but then it’s also this sort of hippie, poncho-wearing, drug rug interpretation. In order for me to be happy with the season, there has to be a cool name to it. It has to have a theme, but then still the graphic-based aesthetic and prints on clothes.

      offwhiteblog5Have you ever surfed?

      I have. It’s kind of one of those things where you try to learn a new hobby. I’m 33, so I like the idea of forcing yourself to learn something completely new.

      In general, how do you stay inspired?

      The zeitgeist is what inspires me, this sort of collective thought of trends and how they move to different cities—what kids in Paris are talking about or what music they’re listening to. You find similarities in between Ultra and Café Select—the conversations are pretty similar.

      What are your ultimate goals for Off-White as a fashion brand?

      My goal is to transcend outside of the streetwear and surprise people in a way. I’m very honored to be selling at the stores that I’m at. These are the places that I love, so the goal for me is to intersect with a wider audience and just be a representative of what’s happening in the street but have that square footage in the stores to kind of attract new fashion consumers.

      Speaking of, do you ever miss doing Pyrex Vision, or were you just over that?

      My whole idea from the beginning was that it was sort of a limited thing—I wasn’t that into repeating and keep making that product. I have this whole obsession with collecting early Raf Simons pieces, and I like that the brand for myself, Pyrex, has a definitive start. I like that people who are fans of that can seek out and find that piece and it’ll feel nostalgic in a way.


      So much of your professional career has been about collaborating. How does it feel to express your own vision with Off-White?

      That’s mainly why I kind of wanted to start Off-White in this way, because I’ve been very collaborative in my whole design career, so I had to remind myself, like, what’s my own favorite color? That’s kind of where the name came from—just sort of a reminder to myself because it helps me in collaborative projects, too, like, this is my specific opinion without having to compromise it. I can paint a whole world, so to speak, so that’s what Off-White is to me. I’m honored to have a platform to create in. I’m just fulfilling a trend that I see on the street and things—just fulfilling a niche to be a young, credible designer with valid ideas.

      Off-White’s Fall ’14 women’s collection ($180 to $2,000) will be available at select retailers including Browns, Colette, Selfridges, and The Webster. For more information, visit off—white.com.

      Photos: Christina Paik / Courtesy of Off-White
    • Style.com: Phoebe Philo and Natalie Massenet Make Time‘s 100 List

      British Fashion Awards 2010 - InsideAmong Time‘s list of the world’s 100 most influential people, which was revealed today, you’ll find Pope Francis, Rand Paul, Beyoncé, Hillary Clinton…and two fashion powerhouses: Céline creative director Phoebe Philo and Net-a-Porter founder Natalie Massenet. The fashion icons appear in the annual issue alongside tributes written by fellow industry leaders. Stella McCartney penned a story about Philo, in which she writes, “One of the few female designers, she celebrates the simple and champions the quality and reality of a woman’s wardrobe. One of the things we share is the reality that the clothes we design are actually worn.” J.Crew president Jenna Lyons, who made the 100 List last year, scribed Massenet’s tribute, calling her a “visionary.” The issue will hit newsstands on Friday, and 2014′s winners will be honored at the annual gala on Tuesday evening.

      —Emily Farra

      Photo: Nick Harvey/ Getty Images 
    • Style.com: EXCLUSIVE: Très Bien Debuts First-Ever Collection for Spring

      _BLOG_dyptich_cSince opening Très Bien in 2006, brothers Hannes and Simon Hogeman have been helping to lead the direction of style for men all over the world. The Stockholm-based shop has become one of the most influential outlets for streetwear, high fashion, and the tricky intersection between the two. In fact, Très Bien is that intersection.

      “It all comes down to our taste,” says Hannes, “which stems from growing up in Sweden with a general interest in fashion, style, and culture. We were brought up in the nineties with Helmut Lang and Ice Cube.”

      But the real magic of Très Bien isn’t just taste, it’s a sensibility for how to create juxtapositions that work—how Stussy and Rick Owens can intermingle, or Nike and Tim Coppens, Carhartt and Comme des Garçons. The e-boutique’s selection is as important as the styling decisions. Pairing high and low is not a radical new idea in fashion by any means, but Très Bien has mastered the formula. “When we started out we wanted to do our thing and incorporate all these elements,” says Simon, “mixing high fashion and streetwear with youth culture, art, and music references. It’s more common now, but when we started out ten years ago, only some magazines like i-D represented something similar.” Now they’re going to see how far they can push it.

      “We wanted to do our own collection all along,” Hannes says. “But we wanted to create a platform first, our own world with rules and standards distinct from the fashion world at large.” Seen exclusively here on Style.com first and available next week at tres-bien.com, the Spring 2014 collection is an amalgamation of all the things Très Bien has been championing: smart, luxurious, relaxed menswear with distinct design cues that mash up clean lines, bold graphics, and simple styling. The collection will also feature a special collaboration with Common Projects, a canvas with gum-sole Achilles sneaker.

      “What it boils down to,” says Hannes, “is we want to express ourselves and what we’re about—the collection is 100 percent Très Bien.”

      —Noah Johnson



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    • Aspects of WW1
      This 7 week course is organised by Workers’ Educational Association and lead by tutor Margaret Hedley
    • Exhibition: Landscapes, Trains and Planes by Steven Ward Fox
      The north-east region's rich railway heritage and preserved steam engines provide the inspiration for an exhibition of paintings and drawings by artist Steven Ward Fox. Born in Durham in 1970 and a member of the Guild of Railway Artists, Steven has held exhibitions in many parts of the country. Last year Steven developed studies for the Royal Navy Historic Flight of the Fairey Swordfish MkII 326 ‘City of Liverpool’, a World War 2 fighter aircraft. His work was displayed on board HMS Bulwark in Liverpool during the Battle of the Atlantic Event in May and in the following month in the Churchill War Rooms, London.
    • Comedy: Wes Zahuruk, Kevin Dewsbury and MC Scott Gibson
      Popular Scotsman Scott Gibson hosts the madcap Canadian Wes Zaharuk. . Opening the show is Kevin Dewsbury, recently in Martin Scorsese's Hugo and on TV.
    • Film: Prisoners
      When Keller Dover's daughter and friend go missing, he takes matters into his own hands. But how far will he go to protect his family? Tense thriller with Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman. Cert: 15, 153 min Advisory: Contains violence and strong language.
    • Film: Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom
      A chronicle of Nelson Mandela’s life journey: from his childhood in a rural village, through to his inauguration as the first democratically elected president of South Africa. Cert: 12A, 141 mins Advisory: intense sequences of violence and disturbing images, sexual content and brief strong language
    • Film: Enough Said
      A divorced woman decides to pursue the man she's interested in, learns he's her new friend's ex-husband. Starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus, James Gandolfini, Catherine Keener Cert: 12A, 93 min Advisory: Some language and sexual content
    • Folk: Billy and Tom Mitchell
      Founder of Jack the Lad, and one half of comedy duo Maxie and Mitch, Billy was also eight years front man of the legendary Lindisfarne. Join Billy and his son Tom for a rare duo gig of great music. Support: North Road
    • Film: The Fifth Estate
      Real events thriller that turned an Internet upstart into the 21st century's most fiercely debated organization. Starring Benedict Cumberbatch, Daniel Brühl, Carice van Houten. Cert: 15, 128 min Advisory: language and some violence Tickets £5.00
    • Film: Saving Mr Banks
      When Walt Disney's daughters beg him to make a movie of their favourite book, Mary Poppins, he makes them a promise - one taking 20 years to keep. Starring Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, Annie Rose Buckley Cert: PG, 125 min Advisory: thematic elements include some unsettling images
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      This groups meets on the last Tuesday of the month and is lead by The Principal Library Assistants of Durham Clayport Library
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      The Clayport Matters meet weekly (during term time) on the ground floor of the library. This 12 week course is organised by The Durham Guild and lead by tutor Greta Hodgson. Further details are also available from: durhammatgroup@yahoo.co.uk
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      The Clayport Matters meet weekly (during term time) on the Ground Floor of the Library. This weekly course is organised by The Durham Guild and lead by tutor Greta Hodgson. Further details are also available from: durhammatgroup@yahoo.co.uk
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      This group which meets weekly during term time is organised by The Durham Guild and lead by tutor Greta Hodgson. Price is £1.00 per person per hour Monday - 10.00 am to 12 noon & 1.00 to 3.00 pm
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      Saturday 7th June Spennymoor Town Hall start at 7:00pm Charity event for diabetes UK singer, speaker, comedian, hot buffet, disco and games
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