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Calm Down Dear

28.09.2015 | Culture | BY:

The UK’s first and only festival of feminist theatre is returning for a third year, with a line up including porn industry refuseniks, a celebrated 15th century cross-dresser, a Bruce Springsteen loving male alter ego, a mother and baby performance duo and teenage activists.

The star showing will be the London premiere (until Saturday 3 October) of Louise Orwin’s latest work, A Girl and A Gun (pictured above). It aims to explore the use of images of girls with guns on film as a means of attracting interest, referencing Jean-Luc Goddard’s well-known assertion that “all you need to make a movie is a girl and a gun.”

Elsewhere, Hula House (Dates and times tbc) from Permanently Visible is inspired by true accounts and stories obtained from interviews with sex workers and women at The English Collective of Prostitutes. The show is an immersive, interactive performance featuring dark comedy, physical theatre and audience participation.

Themes of gender identity, drag and transgender will be particularly prevalent; Break Yourself (Thursday 1 October at 8pm), will see Ira Brand experimenting with what constructing a male alter ego allows her to say and do, while Joan (8-10 October at 7.30pm) will feature Drag Idol UK Champion 2014 Louis Cyfer in a one-woman show inspired by the story of Joan of Arc.

With a plethora of events until mid-October, the Calm Down Dear festival continues to create a space to discuss feminism in the dramatic sphere.


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divine female trouble

Revelling in the filth of John Waters

18.09.2015 | Film | BY:

With monickers such as ‘The Pope of Trash’ and ‘The Prince of Puke,’ John Waters hasn’t always been welcomed into the greater film community, but his first UK retrospective at the British Film Institute, running until 6 October, will finally recognise him as one of the industry’s great counter cultural figures. Titled ‘It Isn’t Very Pretty…The Complete Films of John Waters [Every God Damn One of Them]”, the BFI’s month long series will screen not only his entire filmography, but his formative, early short films shown in the UK for the first time. As the ‘godfather of bad taste’, Waters’ films provide a cynical and celebratory take on American popular culture.

Though creative validation has never been a barometer for which Waters has measured himself by, the BFI tribute is nevertheless a fitting celebration of an artist who worked hard to foster an enduring and definitive style in an industry that doesn’t always allow such individuality. The cult director’s influence on art and fashion go far and wide, as seen recently in Jeremy Scott’s Spring/Summer 2016 show in New York which took beauty inspiration his films. Flip through runway shots and you’ll get to see the likes of Bella Hadid and Hollie May Saker as modern day replicas of Waters’ leading ladies -  Debbie Harry, Traci Lords, and Waters’ best collaborator, the late drag performer, Divine (pictured above in Female Trouble).

The BFI series features his entire body of work, including cult classics like Pink Flamingo (1972) and his most commercial offering, Hairspray (1988). May we suggest, however, you take the time to watch Female Trouble (1974), starring Divine as a scorned teenage girl who goes on a crime spree after her parents fail to give her a pair of much coveted ‘cha cha’ heels. Another one to catch is Cry-Baby (1990), a musical romantic comedy set in 1950’s Baltimore that also stars Johnny Depp in his youthful prime.


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Ash Kingston

16.09.2015 | Fashion | BY:

20-year-old, London-based photographer Ash Kingston recently went on his first trip to New York, returning with a bounty of photographs that have seen him likened to Juergen Teller and David Bailey. Juxtaposing dynamic pictures of up-and-coming models with snapshots of his time with them, the resulting work speaks of youth, energy and, above all, fun.

Citing Hedi Slimane, Robert Mapplethorp and Twin’s own Matteo Montanari as his main influences, Kingston is entirely self-taught. When his dreams to become a chef didn’t work out, he started shooting using his mother’s camera, photographing friends whose aesthetics appealed to him. Having spent the summer behind the camera, he ended up dropping out of Sixth Form to pursue his new-found passion.

‘I choose subjects because of their personality, particularly if I can have a laugh with them. I try to shoot people I’ve already met. It’s boring but I’d love to shoot Kate Moss – I’d have to meet her first though in case I couldn’t stand her,’ Kingston says.

Working with digital – it’s much more efficient – Kingston prides himself on treating it the same way as the film, taking only a few shots for each look. The perfectionist approach will soon be translated into a book featuring photos from his travels. In the meantime, look out for more images from Ash here on the Twin blog and Instagram.

ash-kingston.com. Featured image: photography by Ash Kingston, model is Eve Delf at suprememanagement.com.


Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Flo Kosky at newyorkmodels.com.



Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Lottie Hayes at suprememanagement.com.


Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Madi Fog at XX Models.



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Anais & Dax

The Female Frontier: Hats On with Tasya van Ree and Stetson

09.09.2015 | Fashion | BY:

The late Louise Wilson (course director of Central Saint Martin’s Fashion MA) once said in relation to her students, “They should be bringing me a book or something that I haven’t seen, not like some obscure chant book by Dominican monks, but an image of the way they see the world.”

For LA based artist and photographer Tasya van Ree, the way in which she sees the world is something every young dreamer could draw inspiration from – with a vision which explores the inner workings of the human spirit, the human form, landscapes, nature and animals – her work is a visual and emotional journey translating deeper connections with the intelligence and beauty that exists all around us.

With such an engaging creative sensibility, it’s no surprise she’s been propelled into the public eye as everyone’s latest art crush, resulting in solo exhibitions in LA, New York, and Paris – Girl power yet again challenging the exclusionary structures which frame the industry for female artists.

With her unique and often sartorial style, her affinity for hats has also not gone unnoticed, which is why iconic US brand Stetson invited her to collaborate with them for their 150th-anniversary.

“Tasya van Ree is an ideal collaborator for Stetson”, says Izumi Kajimoto, the brand’s Chief Executive Officer. “She looks strong, empowered, and captivating in her hats, which is something that also comes across in her extensive body of work. Stetson has always been a part of contemporary culture and we’re excited to continue to work with artists whose visions relate to our brand.”

Taking one of Stetson’s vintage felted styles as a blank canvas, van Ree called upon her artistic flair to create a unique design for the brand – dubbed “The Signature”, the hat is an effortlessly stylish and structured piece of modern minimalism – in itself, a work of art.

We caught up with van Ree to find out more about the collaboration with one of fashion’s most enduring brands, and her plans for the future.

So tell me how you got involved with Stetson for this project?

I’ve worn a vintage Stetson for years and have been photographed in it quite a few times in the social media realm. Through that exposure we began a dialogue and soon after, the collaboration was born.

And what was the inspiration behind your hat design?

Horses. I wanted to design a piece of art that reflected their intelligence and also that captured the beauty of their philosophical language of power, their sensuous lines and their majestic sense of spirituality and danger.

What was the creative process like for you?

Combining the world of fashion and the natural world was quite seamless. They both operate on the same level. It was just a matter of finding the moment through sketches where the influence of an emotional state of mind connected to an image of artistic appeal. It was a process, and after a good amount of time “The Signature” hat was drawn out and created.

So does it feel like youre officially an ambassador for hats now?

“Ambassador” sounds really formal, I just really like wearing hats!

Hats are an extension of ones self, the minute you put one on, it becomes a living part of you – what is the quality that makes the hat come to life for you?

There is a harmony between my physical appearance and my internal existence. My hat is the conductor that creates this relationship.

So would you ever go all out and do an Isabella Blowthen, and wear something outlandish, just to move away from your signature comfort zone?

I’ll do anything once!

The English have an inbuilt understanding of the peculiarities of life and thats often expressed through fashion – living in LA, how would you describe the dress codes there?


What about defining your own style?

Half Japanese / half Dutch.

Yes, I can see how youve shifted towards a more conceptual approach in your style vocabulary. So do you think youll move on to other fashion collaborations in the future? Absolutely. I’ve fallen in love with the collaboration process. I’m open and would love to join forces with other creative minds in all forms, whether it’s in fashion, art, music, etc. 

Lets talk more about art and photography – I read recently that over 50 new galleries have opened in the last two years in LA. Its always been a cultural mecca for creativity, but it must be cool to see the city now really embracing and shaping art?

Art is elemental in the progression of a culture’s evolution. I’m really interested to see what profound changes LA will make as the art world becomes more and more pronounced here.

And has there also been a shift towards those galleries supporting and exhibiting work by more female artists?

I feel as if they have. I’ve been going to more openings and shows that are exhibiting female artists. Much more than in the past.

Are you planning any new exhibitions of your own work?

Yes, I have a photo exhibition with The Curator LA next month and also in Paris at the beginning of November. And later in the year / early next year, an artist residency show in Mexico.

So talking of exhibitions, Annie Leibovitz is returning to her project Womenand is now going to tour a show documenting portraits of 21st century females, to present how womens roles are changing in a new feminist society.

Who would you personally like to see in that roll call?

Every woman in the world should be photographed for this project. Every one of them has a voice that is changing the world in which we live in on a daily basis.

The Signatureby Tasya van Ree for Stetson style will be available from October 2015 at stetson.com. Photo credit: Anais & Dax anaisdax.com


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Laura Callaghan for The Anonymous Sex Journal

The Anonymous Sex Journal & a new age of erotica

07.09.2015 | Literature | BY:

The Anonymous Sex Journal – that pleasurable, pocket-sized zine – is back and the new issue is all about solo sexual adventures, or the “ménage à mois”. For those not familiar, the cheeky zine consists of anonymously submitted stories that range from awkward and sordid, to hilarious and endearing – adjectives which often describe the broad range of human sexual experiences. Created by London-based editor, Alex Tieghi-Walker, its success lies in the name: anonymity, where contributors are freed of having their names attached to revealing and compelling sexual exposés.

In a similar way that iconic gay zine, Butt, did over a decade ago, The Anonymous Sex Journal represents a new wave of sex-themed magazines with strong artistic sensibilities that are changing the way we look at sex. Other examples are Irene in Paris, Treats from Los Angeles, and Adult in New York, all of which are shifting the atmosphere of sexual discourse towards a more honest and diverse one.

With a vested focus on art direction, they sell at a premium with the aim of, as described by the New York Times, “moving sex periodicals from under the mattress up onto the coffee table.” One of the best aspects of The Anonymous Sex Journal is its focus on celebrating the creativity of one illustrator per issue – for this fourth issue, Laura Callaghan (her work is featured above) – making them as beautiful as they are fun, and increasing the publication’s good humour.

The new issue of The Anonymous Sex Journal: The Solo Issue has been restocked at Ditto Press and submissions for the next issue, “The Hotel Issue of Dirty Weekenders,” are already being taken.


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super/collider’s Women of Rock exhibition

04.09.2015 | Art | BY:

Geology has never been considered the most feminine science but the oeuvres in a new showcase from creative science agency super/collider are anything but masculine. Witness Carly Waito’s stunningly realistic oil paintings of gemstones (main picture) and Jessica Herrington’s crystal and rock inspired sculptural works, while Sophie Rose Asquith’s Sylacauga 1954, Thixenhale 2013 (pictured below) leverages black-and-white photography to eerily represent extraterrestrial geology.

The mixed media show is designed to represent the resurgence in female fascination with geology, minerals and meteorites, with beguiling results. Many of these artists are fascinated by how these jewels develop through immense pressure and time – parallels with everyday life, perhaps?

super-collider.com; 25 September – 30 October, Print House Gallery, 18 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL

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The ICA’s new film programme

01.09.2015 | Film | BY:

“Women are a drastically under-utilised resource for the UK film industry.” That’s the conclusion drawn by Calling the Shots: Women and contemporary film culture in the UK, 2000-2015, an ongoing Arts & Humanities Research Council funded project, which investigates women as creative practitioners in contemporary UK cinema.

The Institute of Contemporary will celebrate this with Onwards and Outwards, a programme of films made by British women filmmakers over the last 50 years, focusing on those who have excelled in making works of independence and originality. The nationwide programme of screenings, talks and events aims to establish a dialogue around the conditions of production that women face when using the moving image as a means of expression.

Screenings will be accompanied by introductions and Q&As from relevant industry professionals and cultural practitioners such as Joanna Hogg, Laura Mulvey, Carol Morley and Campbell X.

Finishing with a round-up discussion, Onwards and Outwards will raise the profile of key issues and encourage public debate. The programme has been made possible by support from the BFI, awarding funs from the National Lottery.

Onwards and Outwards will run until 10 September at the ICA and until end of December at nationwide venues.


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Beyond Gender with & Other Stories

28.08.2015 | Blog , Culture | BY:

There’s no doubt that transgendered issues have been brought into the greater cultural conversation over the past year. While fashion has long toyed with gender fluidity and featured androgynous and trans models like Andreija Pejic in campaign imagery, no major brand has seemingly addressed gender non-conformity as much as H&M’s little sister, & Other Stories. Their new campaign not only stars trans models, Hari Nef and Valentijn De Hingh, but was produced by a predominantly trans crew, celebrating their artistry in front and behind the camera.

Representation and increased visibility is undoubtedly a good thing – it broadens perspectives and offers more opportunities for minorities to be included in a wider narrative. But there are only so much a few magazine covers and documentary specials can do, and in an industry that’s obsessed with newness – both falsely inviting and cruelly fickle – how do we make sure this isn’t another seasonal trend that disappears in six months. And in a time when the trans community still struggles with unemployment, discrimination and lack of opportunity, how much are we doing if the same creative teams get rehired to produce campaigns.

By hiring an all transgendered below-the-line talent including photographer Amos Mac (founder of Original Plumbing), stylist Love Bailey and makeup artist Nina Poon, & Other Stories empowers everyone involved to control the means of their own representation. The behind the scenes video is quick to highlight how the team bonded on set, which comes across in the campaign itself, showing the power of shared experiences. When talking to Dazed, Nef noted that prior collaborations in fashion hadn’t always entailed empathy and understanding but, “With a trans team however, it’s all there.” The campaign also raises an important question about ‘the gaze’, long associated with fashion imagery, & Other Stories asks whether, in this case, the cisgender gaze could change if a trans team produced the imagery.

Fashion dictates who does and does not get to participate in the world of luxury and beauty, but as Nef notes in the video, campaigns like this – and on a greater level, the Internet – have expanded and diversified fashion’s audience, who demand to be both represented and included. In the past year alone, Selfridges experimented with the Agender Project while a new online, unisex-only fashion platform, You Do You, launched this month promoting designers like Eckhaus Latta, Vejas and Timo Weiland, all of whom produce collections not tied to a gender binary. In the US, Target has promised to remove gender-based labels on toys, which hopefully signifies the industry is finally noticing the importance of empowering a diverse set of consumers – let’s just hope it doesn’t disappear in six months time.

Words by Alex LeRose


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The Great Mother at the Trussardi Foundation

26.08.2015 | Art , Blog | BY:

Mum/Mamma/Maman: the word signifying ‘mother’ is almost a universal term – and with good reason. The authority of Mamma is particularly synonymous with Italy, so its seems only fitting that what the Trussardi Foundation’s latest contemporary art exhibition at Palazzo Reale in Milan will explore the mother figure as a subject of admiration, myth, historical significance and artistic inspiration. Curated by director Massimiliano Gioni (the artistic director of the Venice Bienale 2013), the show will run from August 25 to November 15.

127 international artists will be exhibited over 20,000 square feet, analysing the iconography of motherhood in the 20th and 21st centuries. Highlights include work from Julie Den Hagg (pictured above, courtesy of Rineke Dijkstra and Marion Goodman Gallery), Anna Maria Maiolino (below, first picture, courtesy of Galleria Raffaella Cortese) and and Joan Jonas (below, second picture, photograph by Roberta Neiman). The Great Mother aims to celebrate women’s power, not only as a life-giving, creative force, but also the story of female empowerment over the course of the past 100 years. No subject will be overlooked, from gender struggles to sexual politics, and one of the exhibition’s goals is to encourage women to be active participants in the representation, rather than just its subject.

Until 15 November, fondazionenicolatrussardi.com

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No retouching: Petra Collins, Zara Mirkin and Mayan Toledano celebrate the female form

21.08.2015 | Blog | BY:

The trio shot beautiful imagery for the latest Lonely campaign, and we got to ask them a few questions about it.

How did you chose who to shoot?

Petra Collins: We shot ourselves, each other and our friends. It was a liberating experience to be shot and shoot each other in lingerie, because our imperfections were on full display, which was awesome.

Was there a particular concept behind the shoot?

Petra: I guess we just wanted to make it super intimate, to explore our relationships to our own bodies, to each others bodies and to the environment.

You guys are all friends, how do you think that changes the dynamic of a shoot? 

Petra: It’s the only way I shoot. I like to surround myself with my friends and peers and I think that’s what always gets the best results.

What did you shoot on?

Petra: A Yashica FX-3000

Is lingerie important to you?

Mayan Toledano: I have more underwear than any other item of clothing—I own maybe 200 pairs. Sometimes I’ll embroider them, sometimes I’ll print or draw on them and some have faded period stains that never washed off. They’re like a diary, I keep memories through them. I still own a pair of purple undies that I had on the night I first stayed with my first boyfriend. Lingerie is the closest thing to our bodies and that’s what makes it so personal.

Tell us about the girls you shot, why are they special to you?

Mayan: We picked girls who we met along the way and who inspire us. We shot an actress, an artist, a designer and a journalist—each one was different and special in her own way. It was cool to meet new people and hear their personal stories, and since we shot in their homes the feeling was super intimate right away. We got to see what the girls are really like, what they do, what they feel comfortable wearing and how they look at themselves in the mirror. When we wear lingerie at home we wear it primarily for ourselves, so it felt really special when the girls invited us into that world.

You didn’t shoot models. Why is it important to you to feature different female bodies?

Mayan: Representation is so important to all of us, and seeing diversity of body types is so rare, especially in lingerie imagery. Lonely gave us the freedom to cast girls and shoot each other without having to worry about the extreme beauty standards out there. Beauty is everywhere, but it is definitely not just what’s being fed to us by the media. We’re all beautiful with our stretchmarks, freckles, cellulite and all the other bits we are taught to hate about ourselves. The only reason we see these as flaws is because we somehow believe the images we see every day, the ones that show models who have been Photoshopped to such a degree that nothing is real anymore. When we start loving ourselves with our “flaws”, we can stop judging others for having them. I think self love is the first step in acceptance and support. It’s something we dealt with a lot on this project because we were both modeling and shooting. We all have our bad days where we feel more self-conscious, but the greatest thing about working with Zara and Petra is that we’re all so close, we feel comfortable and relaxed with each other, there’s no judgment whatsoever. They are both so beautiful to me because I value who they are.

What is the dynamic like when you’re working with your best friends?

Mayan: We get really hyper. We each get excited over different things and follow each other’s instincts, which is amazing. I feel so safe and creative with my best friends, the whole shoot never once felt like work. It was just us doing what we do—chilling, taking photos, laughing and screaming at each other.

Lonely is a brand that supports a healthy, natural body image, how did you aim to communicate that, aside from not using models?

Mayan: When we take photos of other girls or each other we approach it in a way that is super soft and stress free. The atmosphere on set is very similar to the photos; it’s personal and close and I think the photos communicate that feeling. I’d rather see a girl feeling comfortable and loving herself, wearing what she herself picked, rather than dictating how everything is going to look. The Lonely Girls Project is so important because it features different genders, ethnicities and body types. It is personal and real and I think more women can relate to it. We still have a long way to go before we all feel represented, but Lonely is one of the only brands currently taking a leap towards change.

Where do you shop for lingerie?

Mayan: My mom still buys underwear for me. I never go into lingerie stores because I personally don’t feel like they’re designed for me. From campaign to product it’s made to appeal to men more than it is about female empowerment. but the products are only for women—it’s kinda crazy. If I wear a bra I prefer ones from Lonely because they aren’t padded. What are padded bras about? We all have different shapes and sizes and those to me are like wearing a shield.

What was the idea behind the Lonely campaign?

Zara Mirkin: In my mind it was an extension of the Lonely Girls Project we started a few years ago. It was about initiating a change from lingerie imagery being made for the male gaze, to finally being for females—with real woman wearing underwear in their natural habitats—showing all their so-called imperfections.

Tell us about your personal relationship to lingerie.

Zara: I never thought about it much until I started working for Lonely five years ago. Until then I only ever wore basic cotton underwear that I’d hold onto for years—no matter how stained or ripped they got, or how weird the memories they conjured. I remember when I was 18 my boyfriend made a pattern from a pair of knickers I had left at his house, he made me cotton undies that he wrote his name on with a pen after watching The Virgin Suicides and seeing the character Lux Lisbon write Trip’s name on hers.

Starting the Lonely Girls Project changed how I looked at lingerie, because it gave me the experience of learning about the women I was shooting and their relationships with their bodies. Lingerie can be really powerful. It can tell stories and can reflect, or alter, what mood you’re in.

Tell us about the girls in the shoot…

Zara: They are all clever, kind, strong, hard working, beautiful and humble. It is always so important to me that I can have an interesting conversation and walk away having been inspired when shooting someone. Because we have the power to decide who we shoot I feel like the responsibility is on us to feature those who other woman can relate to and be inspired by. I know what we are doing is small in comparison to all the photos out there of fake, Photoshopped, unrealistic female bodies, but we can still make a difference.

What is like working with Mayan and Petra:

I feel so lucky and grateful that I get to work with my best friends all the time, mostly because it never feels like work. We do our best work together, because we push and inspire each other, while having so much fun and making each other laugh—or maybe laughing at each other…

Why has Lonely made such an impact?

I think a huge part of Lonely’s success has come from the Lonely Girls Project. Finally a lingerie label was photographing woman of all ages, sizes, ethnicities and careers, and from different parts of the world. With no make up and no Photoshop . Women want to look at woman they can relate to, those who look like them. These images were shot by women, for women—showing stretchmarks, hair, cellulite dimples and veins.

How do you chose lingerie?

Most of my underwear is still the same old, faded, stretched and stained cotton pieces… but now I own tons of Lonely because they make stuff that is beautiful and feels nice to wear.






She's Beautiful When She's Angry 1

London Feminist Film Festival

21.08.2015 | Film | BY:

With London’s rising reputation as a hub for independent film, it’s no surprise that it also hosts its own London Feminist Film Festival, which this year is take place from 20-23 August. The Rio Cinema, Dalston, and the Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn, are opening their doors for 15 film screenings over four days.

Subjects range from Jewish feminism to hip hop, views on gender from the young generation and an animation about a Welsh suffragette. The Feminist Classic section will this year feature Cynthia Scott’s The Company of Strangers, a multi-award-winning film about older women from 1990. Each film is followed by a panel discussion.

20 -23 August; londonfeministfilmfestival.com


Carsten Höller, Four Birds, 2015, photogravure, edition of 18, series of 9. Courtesy: Niels Borch Jensen Gallery & Editions

Chart Art Fair 2015

18.08.2015 | Art | BY:

European capitals have long been considered to be temples of art, with a roster of household names to bolster their reputations – Madrid has Picasso, Florence has Leonardo da Vinci, Paris has Monet. Copenhagen, however, is current cool kid on the block when it comes to the art scene, and Chart Art Fair might just be the place to discover a corresponding famous face. From 21 -23 August, the fair will be holding a unique exhibition of contemporary Scandinavian artists from 28 countries at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Its unique presentation will propel the viewer through a unique and distinctive experience of the many different facets of contemporary Nordic art.

One of these facets is performance, and as such the fair will feature Spectrum, a programme created by Twin’s own art editor, Francesca Gavin. Intended to demonstrate how performance can be relevant, engaging and complex, Gavin’s programme will focus on Nordic artists who work in different areas such as architecture, sound and textiles.

Friday will see Tori Wrånes create dramatic aural audio works, while on Saturday, Sirra Sigrún Sigurōardóttir will focus on spectrum and movement through interactive spaces and David Mullett will leverage a psychedelic virtual reality. For the final day, Nadine Byrne and collaborators Julie Verhoeven and Peter Jensen will channel a variety of mediums including sound, sculpture and textiles.

Gavin has also created series of special projects: Video Video presents a series of video works from artists such as Joe Winograd, Katarina Löfström, Martin Erik Andersen, Rhys Coren, Samuel Levack and Jennifer Lewandowksi, and Sara Ludy, with the films being shown on designated screens in shop windows around Copenhagen.

Elsewhere, Carsten Höller’s graphic works (pictured) are a highlight, as are pieces by Franz West, John Kørner and Jaume Plensa, to name but a few. With accompanying events covering architecture and gastronomy, the fair looks set to chart a stylish voyage of discovery into Scandinavian culture.


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Gianoi: The Future of Fashion & Technology

14.08.2015 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

Many brands have attempted to fuse fashion with technology, almost always resulting in clumpy items that feel redundant. However, when we were introduced to the recently launched handbag label, Gianoi, we knew we had something truly different on our hands.

Design duo Enrico and Raffaele Caroli, have taken their respective skills – one in design and one in technology – and created a line of luxury bags that fit into our modern lives in a way no other accessory has to date. The main feature not only allows us to charge our phones, a struggle of contemporary life, but by using the Gianoi app, the bag acts as one big notification center, alerting us when we have an email, phone call and even an Instagram comment, like or message. Each bag features a gold-plated logo which discreetly lights up and gently pulsates to keep you connected in a chic and colourful way. Through the app you are able to allocate different shades for every social media channel, making it effortless to use and understand.

The current collection is available to pre-order now, however, Twin was lucky enough to road test one of their prototypes for a week. Not only did the elegant design and flawless finish complement each outfit daily, but the lifestyle element became something we found hard to part with. Being able to charge our phones on the go was a commodity we became very accustomed to. We were able to fully charge our phones twice before the bag itself ran out of juice. To keep the bag functionality, we simply placed the bag on a thin, flat branded unit that magnetically attached to the bottom and charges wirelessly, making the whole process seamless. Having a bag that told us when we had an incoming phone call or email, made keeping up with modern life that much easier. We’d even go as far to say our Nadia (pictured above), aided our productivity that week.

When speaking to Raffaele Caroli, the former Design Director for Jean Paul Gaultier, he stated “Our offering is very unique because we have combined fashion and technology, creating high quality beautiful accessories that are also functional without compromising on the aesthetics. We are different from wearable technology companies because we have been focusing on designing pieces that women want to wear and use and look good with, rather than an item that just serves a technology purpose.”

The word Gianoi itself, as well as the logo, was inspired by Janus, the ancient Roman God of transitions, referenced in history with two faces – looking to the past and the future. The designers “believe that in the future wearable technology will become part of our every day lives, integrated into almost every aspect of the way we live.” Gianoi is just the beginning.




Protein Journal: Having So Much Fun At The Beach

12.08.2015 | Culture | BY:

Protein Journal has been known for its observations of consumer culture since 1997; its global daily inspiration feed, monthly events, printed quarterly Journal and regular Insight Reports have since become authoritative platforms for the promotion of the people and topics driving cultural revolution in today’s society.

Its most recent publication is the Age Report, which challenges our understanding of ‘age appropriate’ and re-examines age-based stereotypes. The film Having So Much Fun At The Beach forms part of this portfolio, exploring the effect of the Internet on the new youth generation.

Award-winning filmmaker Lucy Luscombe speaks to nine young girls and boys, ranging from pre-teen to young adult, about their experiences of social media. They tell of bizarre scenarios, from a ‘catfish’ (when someone creates a false identity using Facebook, Instagram and so on, particularly with a view to pursuing a deceptive romance) to online revenge between two friends. Perhaps the most poignant conclusion is uttered by the youngest interviewee: ‘I feel like, when you’re on the beach, you should take a picture and the caption should be, “Having so much fun at the beach,” […] even if it’s not fun.”


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Colour By Icons: The queer history colouring book

31.07.2015 | Culture | BY:

What do you know about queer history? It’s not exactly on the school syllabus, which means we tend to be woefully uninformed.

That’s what Never Apart hopes to rectify with its LGBT Historic Colouring book, Colour by Icons, which celebrates some of queer history’s most colourful trailblazers: legends and heroic symbols of queer struggles, talents, and achievements.

The book costs $20, with 50% going to Rainbow Railroad and 50% to going directly into funding youth-focused programming at Never Apart. There are 25 iconic images found inside and bound in the 1980’s Colouring Book style.

It will be accompanied by an art exhibition at the Never Apart Gallery – its first – which will showcase works from a number of artists who took on the task of colouring a page in in the book. These will be auctioned off in aid of the same cause later in the year, and you will also be able to buy 3 different “Colour by Icons” t-shirts.

Never Apart is a non-profit organization in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, determined to bring about social change and spiritual awareness through programming with global reach and impact.

Never Apart seeks to educate on equality, the environment, and conscious living, while celebrating both established and emerging artists. The platform is geared towards igniting change through gatherings, music, art exhibitions, panel discussions, workshops, and special events.



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Talking to Mayan Toledano and Julia Baylis, the best friends behind Me and You

27.07.2015 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

What started as two design students connecting over their love of everything girly, and their dislike of the elitism and limits imposed by fashion school, led to the creation of Me and You—a fashion label with a cult following. Mayan Toledano and Julia Baylis are the best friends behind the label known for its beautifully simple underwear emblazoned with ‘feminist’ in pastel pink lettering, floaty tulle dresses, and fitted T-shirts covered in lipstick kisses.

Me and You began while Baylis and Toledano were studying at Parsons School of Design in New York. “We started collaborating on art pieces because we really liked the print studio at our school and it was a good getaway for us from regular class—because we hated it,” says Toledano. “It was very business oriented,” adds Baylis. “It was either become an assistant designer or become the next big thing, but we really wanted to design stuff that is accessible.”

“We always say that Me and You is about going to that place when you’re a young girl and you’re sitting in your room, where you feel safe and comfortable and creative.”

Snatching time between classes and assignments, their collaboration continued to develop. But it was the response they received on social media that really pushed the best friends to take it from escapist pastime to an actual business. “We didn’t sit down and decide to start a clothing label together, it was very organic,” says Baylis. “We began to print pieces and then our friend Petra [Collins] photographed some of our stuff, we put some of it on Instagram and people were commenting on our work and getting excited about it.”

The internet has been a critical space for the fourth wave of feminism, and Me and You has found a dedicated fanbase among young females who aren’t afraid to call themselves part of the movement. While some brands have tried to use feminism in cynical, attention-seeking ways at a time when it’s getting renewed interest, for Toledano and Baylis it is instinctive. “The idea of feminism was always so natural to me, I don’t even remember first becoming aware of the word,” says Baylis. “The perception of the word has changed so much, it has and morphed through each wave of feminism.” This is what lead the duo to incorporate the word ‘feminist’ into their designs in the way that they have. “We decided to take that word, which is so loaded, and use it in a fun, accessible way, in a pretty way, making it something that girls can relate to,” says Toledano.

Those tired of homogenous fashion imagery so far from a representation of themselves are turning to a new era of creatives unafraid to offer up a different vision—like Baylis, Toledano and their collaborators, who include Barbara Ferreira, Petra Collins, Arvida Byström. The imagery created for Me and You, which is as much a part of the brand as the clothing, stands out for the diversity of girls—and occasional boy—featured. “Who we photograph is never calculated, it’s just people we see in real life or on Instagram,” says Toledano, “We would never airbrush our images, we show cellulite and whatever.” They have no qualms about body hair either, but point out that they see shaving as just as valid—what’s important is knowing that it’s a choice.

‘The idea of feminism was always so natural to me, I don’t even remember first becoming aware of the word.”

With Me and You, Baylis and Toledano have created a world of comfort, vulnerability and the freedom that comes with having total support from a community of like-minded individuals. That is perfectly encompassed by how they describe their label: “We always say that Me and You is about going to that place when you’re a young girl and you’re sitting in your room, where you feel safe and comfortable and creative. We always reference that place because we think that exists within everyone. It’s that place where you feel uninhibited, you feel yourself.”


Photography by Zara Mirkin 


Eliot Sumner: Firewood

22.07.2015 | Music | BY:

As the daughter of Sting and Trudie Styler, Twin favourite Eliot Sumner has some serious music credentials. Despite being just age 24 (she turns 25 at the end of the month), she has an uncanny knack of creating music that gives you the chills, and her latest track, Firewood, is no exception. It’s out now on iTunes, and her hotly anticipated album is promised later this year – although details are being kept very hush hush. If you’re lucky, you can catch her tonight, playing at the Kings Head Club. Check out her website for more details.


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Charlese Merson

Falling/ Floating/ Drowning/ Dying by Phoebe English

16.07.2015 | Fashion | BY:

The brilliant designer and Twin favourite Phoebe English debuts her book, Falling/ Floating/ Drowning/ Flying today to accompany the exhibition of the same name, on at Now Gallery on the Greenwich Peninsula.

English is known for her intricate, meticulous creations and the exhibition provides a fascinating insight into her design process, featuring sketches, photos and fragments from her previous collections.

With such painstaking attention to detail, the book is sure to be beautiful—but only 100 copies have been made, so make sure you get your hands on one.


Matt & Nat’s Hope bag

10.07.2015 | Fashion | BY:

 We’ve already declared our love for Matt & Nat’s über chic, eco-friendly designs here on the Twin blog, but the brand is now going one step further and producing bags with a double dose of goodness.

100 % of the purchase price of its limited-edition Hope bag (£50, pictured) will go to a charity of your choice, although Matt & Nat has conveniently curated an extensive selection of environmental, humanitarian, and animal welfare organisations that it feels best represent its values of social responsibility, inclusiveness, integrity and love. Head to their website to find out more.

As ever, the bag is created from an entirely recycled, sustainable material that mimics leather. What’s not to like?




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MS MR How Does It Feel

MS MR – How Does It Feel

09.07.2015 | Music | BY:

Twin favourites, Lizzy Plapinger and Max Hershenow, known more commonly as MS MR, are soon to release their second LP How Does It Feel, the follow up to their 2013 debut Secondhand Rapture. 

So far the new songs, such as Wrong Victory and Painted, have showcased a new sound from the Brooklyn duo, and their latest to be released, the titled track off the album, features an anthem-like chorus that begs to be sung at the top of your lungs. Could this be a step away from the melancholic crooning that caught our attention, when Hurricane came out?

How Does It Feel will be released on July 17 on Columbia Records. Pre order it here and receive the first three songs released as an immediate download. 


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