The Society runs London's longest running literary salon and has put on over 500 literary talks and lectures starting in 2005 over lavish dinners at The Grill Room of The Café Royal with peripatetic life from the Whitechapel Art Gallery to Bistrotheque ever since until the opening of The Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities. Fine Art & Natural History in Hackney in the autumn of 2014 gave us a permanent home.
Past speakers have included Philip Hoare, Ian Kelly, Marina Warner, John Waters, Hugo Vickers, Max Egremont, A.C.Grayling, Toby Young, Tim Knox, Selina Hastings, Stephen Bayley, Tom Hunter, Robert Irwin, Doug Fishbone, D.J.Taylor, Alasdair Gray.
The Lecture series is curated by Viktor Wynd, Amber Butchart & Mark Pilkington.
Amber Butchart presents Theatre of Fashion
Amber Jane Butchart has had a lifelong love affair with dressing up and has turned this obsession into a career as a fashion historian, writer and broadcaster. She is an Associate Lecturer in Cultural & Historical Studies at London College of Fashion, where she lectures across a number of areas concerning fashion, the body and contemporary culture, from the impact of blogging on fashion media to fashion and the grotesque. Shot by Vogue as a girl with great British style and a featured fashion historian on various BBC productions, her interest in antique clothing was ignited by working as Head Buyer for vintage clothing company Beyond Retro. She has contributed to productions for BBC 1 & 2, BBC Learning, Radio 4, Channel 4 and Sky Arts, from the Breakfast News to Making History and Woman's Hour. She also presents a regular ‘In Conversation’ series at the V&A museum looking at issues concerning the clothed body in fashion and performance, and for 5 years she was a regular contributor to leading trend analysis company WGSN. As the red-haired half of the Sony-nominated Broken Hearts DJ duo she co-hosts a weekly radio show on Jazz FM that celebrates inter-war culture and the trends that the era continues to influence from fashion to food, film and literature; and as live DJs they have graced stages across the globe for the likes of Marc Jacobs, Vivienne Westwood and Louis Vuitton. A former Research Fellow at the University of the Arts London, Amber has also lectured and sat on panels at the Institute for Contemporary Arts, British Museum, Royal Academy, British Library and SHOWstudio. She has recently completed a book on the history of nautical style, due for publication in 2015 by Thames & Hudson. Amber Jane Butchart's Fashion Miscellany, her compilation of vestimentary oddities, is out now.
Mark Pilkington founded and runs Strange Attractor, which has been shining a spotlight on adventurous and intelligent alternative culture since 2001. As Strange Attractor, Mark has programmed and hosted countless events in venues all over London and the UK and has curated three exhibitions, including the first public show by the 1930s psychic artist Ethel Le Rossignol. Meanwhile, Strange Attractor's publishing arm has published over 30 books, including four editions of its acclaimed Journal, London's Lost Rivers, Austin Osman Spare, Welcome to Mars, The Influencing Machine, Somnium, Medical London, Airborne, and many others. Mark will be curating the Spring Lecture Series.