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Rachel Entwistle Q&A

24.07.2014 | Fashion | BY:

London’s jewellery scene is full of innovative talent. Emerging designers are everywhere you look. Rachel Entwistle is certainly at the forefront. Inspired by different cultures and her travels to Mexico, Guatemala and India, Rachel’s philosophy is deeply rooted in her love of anthropology, symbolism and mysticism. Twin caught up with the East London jeweller to talk Thor & Wistle, primitive man and what it’s like to win two awards at once…

What started off your passion for jewellery design?
As a teenager I was always into clothing and jewellery and often up-cycled pieces I found in charity shops and made my own things. It was in Mexico though that my passion really took off – there are so many jewellery artisans there, great silversmiths and access to gemstones precious metals and jewellery materials made it an easy place to get inspired and start making. I began making with artisans in a very low key fashion and loved hanging out in their workshops. I then went on to study in Taxco which is the silver capital of Mexico and it all went from there.

When did you decide to start your own label?
I didn’t really decide, it was just what I was doing and loved doing. It evolved naturally. I was living and travelling in Mexico and then stayed to study jewellery manufacture. I started to approach galleries and boutiques with my first pieces in Mexico and then continued when I came back to the UK. I was working from my bedroom in Hackney to start with and very quickly outgrew it and moved into my first studio by London Fields.

What inspires your designs most?
I have a background studying Cultural Studies and have always loved travelling – my interest in culture, symbolism, anthropology are the roots of my inspiration - I love to explore the hidden meaning of objects and cultural stories behind forms. For me jewellery needs to have a significance and a narrative that connects the design, the designer and the wearer.

Tell us a little about Thor & Wistle, how did the store come about?
Thor & Wistle was a natural progression for myself and Kamilla Thorsen who I co-own the store with. We had been sharing a studio for a while and renting out various pop-up spaces when we had a very successful stint on Columbia Road with a pop-up for the Christmas period of 2011. It was a  great opportunity for us to manage a space and really get to know our customers and the people who really get our designs plus a chance to think about display. As the lease came to a close in Jan 2012 we realised we were ready to take on our own space. Bizarrely the Thor & Wistle premises was the first place we looked at and we signed the lease that day. We have our store, offices and studio on site and the space is perfect for us. Kind of felt like it was meant to be really!

What was it about primitive man that sparked your interest for AW14?
I am really drawn to tribal and primitive jewellery and love the thought that man has always adorned himself with a purpose – amulets and talismans that protect or manifest. I travelled to Indonesia last year and the jewellery and body adornment from Papua New Guinea really inspired my thought process and I began to explore the idea of primitive man and how ancient symbols can be translated into a modern context but still maintain that essence of strength and meaning. I like my jewellery to have a raw, primal and organic feeling but also an urban edge.

What was it like to win both Jewellery Designer of the Year and Boutique Retailer of the Year at the Retail Jewellery Awards 2014?
Unbelievable! It is such an honour to receive two awards at once. And such a surprise. To receive the ultimate recognition of Designer of the Year is incredible as I was up against some really great designers. I feel really happy to be recognised. We had just celebrated our second birthday at Thor & Wistle the week before the awards and so to receive the award for Boutique Retailer at the same time was really exciting and a great achievement considering we have only been established for such short space of time.

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Twin Picks: Skate Shoes

23.07.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Fashion’s obessesion with all things surf and skate isn’t fading. Nor is the resurgence of the skate shoe. The slip-on style is effortless, chic and can be worn with nearly every wardrobe. Here Twin picks four designers and brands who have transformed this casual trainer into covetable luxury items.

Joshua Sanders Bordeaux Velvet Rubino Trainers, £220, & Lanvin Grey Leather Skate Shoes, £410,

Common Projects Leather Slip-on Sneakers, £300, & Givenchy Leather Bambi Skater Shoe, £455,


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Art Social

22.07.2014 | Art | BY:

Art Social ’14 is a four day arts and culture festival from pioneering charity and not-for-profit private members’ club, The House of St Barnabas. From Thursday 31st July, until Sunday 3rd August you’ll find an innovative programme of talks, interactive workshops and live music performances in the ornate surroundings of its’ 19th century chapel.

Acclaimed and emerging artists have been commissioned to produce visual and sonic installations throughout the Grade 1 listed Georgian town house. The three central artistic collaborations are; Patrick Murphy X Keaton Henson, Barby Asante X Tony Nwachukwu and Margot Bowman X Actress & Giganta. Their work will be exhibited at the House throughout August, around which the rest of the festival will revolve. Expect talks on subjects such as Art in the Public Realm, Digital Democracy: Art Online, Architecture and the City and more. The specially curated, ticketed events commence on Thursday and finish with a Open House, all day event on Sunday featuring family friendly activities, performances, talks and a tea party.

“Art Social ’14 is where The House of St Barnabas will bring its social and cultural mission together – we believe that to be socially progressive you should be culturally progressive – Art Social is a celebration of that mission,” states Nadra Shah, the Festival Director.

Tickets from £8 – £12.50 and are available from

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Polly Brown - PLANTS

PLANTS — Polly Brown

21.07.2014 | Culture | BY:

After two years of tireless hunting, London-based artist Polly Brown is releasing PLANTS. The new photographic monograph gives us a glimspe into the homes of the world’s most iconic brands, starting with their office foliage.

PLANTS is a casebound 120-page volume that celebrates nature, even in the most man-made of environments. According to Brown, “Pot(ted) plants are natural yet cultivated, a hybrid of our existence, at one in nature and yet outside it. I was interested in how the isolated desk plant became a totem to our biophilic desires. In every corporate head office and manmade workplace, a reminder of our own innate connection to the natural. VIVIENNE WESTWOOD becomes a splayed palm; GOOGLE a tidy shop bought orchid; the BBC a twisted stalked rubber plant. In their humble way, these plants seemed to contain a great expansiveness, an imaginative weight contrary to their immediate simplicity.”

Designed and edited by Brooklyn based independent publisher PAU WAU PUBLICATIONS, PLANTS features a foreword from THE EDEN PROJECT founder Sir Tim Smit. Expect an insight into Vogue,
 The New Yorker, Celine,
 Paul Smith, Disney, Microsoft,
 The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Playboy, 
 and many more. Buy a copy at

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Twin Exclusive: V Jewellery Film

18.07.2014 | Fashion | BY:

V Jewellery is a relatively new brand, one that should already be on your radar but if it’s not, take note. Grown from a love of vintage design, Creative Director Laura Vann noticed a gap in the market, one where affordability and quality should meet.

“When we began it was all about looking at themes and reoccurring styles that had survived the test of time and celebrating those,” states Laura. “I just started drawing; bought loads of art deco books and looked at old auction catalogues and took inspiration from those, analysing the shapes and styles.” Fast forward two seasons, V Jewellery is now about to launch its third collection and is stocked in around 90 stores in Ireland and the UK.

Having never studied jewellery design, Laura uses traditional forms of designing – old fashion drawing, using pen to paper, but it’s never a chore. “It’s pretty easy when designing for your own demographic – I just ask myself if I’d wear this.” As the brand grows stronger and its audience, larger, Twin headed to Birmingham to met with the V team and created this film with director Hazel O’Brien.


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Charlie Siskel Q&A

17.07.2014 | Film | BY:

With the release of Finding Vivian Maier drawing closer, Twin spoke with director Charlie Siskel to find out more about the documentary that looks into the life of the mysterious nanny that took over 100,000 photographs, only to be discovered decades later (watch the trailer here).

Tell us a little about how the project came about?
John Maloof bought the original box of negatives because he was working on a book about Chicago. These pictures didn’t work for the book but the more he looked at them the more he recognized there was something special about them.  At the time he didn’t know anything about photography but the photos inspired him to start taking pictures himself.  Eventually he scanned some and put them online just to hear what other people thought. The reaction was incredible and they went viral. That’s when he knew he had found something special.

How did John go about contacting people who knew Vivian?
John contacted someone by phone who’s address was on a slip of paper in the box of negatives he purchased. He told them he had the negatives of Vivian Maier and the person said, “Vivian was my nanny.” That was the point when he realized there was an interesting story here. He started to search for people who knew her and eventually started filming interviews.

When did you get involved in the film?
I thought this was a great story the moment I heard it. A nanny takes over 100,000 photographs and hides them in storage lockers, and they are discovered decades later and she is hailed as one of the great photographers of the twentieth century – what a great story! I thought this could be a great feature documentary that should be seen in theaters.  It is a great story of discovery, a detective tale, a mystery, a roller coaster ride and “an entertainment,” as they used to say. I also grew up in Highland Park where Vivian worked and I thought it would be interesting to tell this story of an artist through the eyes of those who knew her.

How closely does the documentary follow John Maloof on his quest to find out who Vivian Maier really was?
The film is about Vivian Maier but it can’t be told without her discovery — not only would Maier’s story not have an ending, there would be no narrative. So John’s discovery is central. But [the film] explores the mystery of who she was and how she lived a double life publicly as a nanny and privately as a brilliant artist, told through the eyes of people who knew her not as a photographer but as the woman that looked after them, so their accounts are limited, flawed and incomplete. The viewer has to fill in the blanks, judge for herself, and we invite this kind of scrutiny.

People in the film contradict each other — one says that she had a fake accent, another says it was real; someone says she posed people, another says she photographed them just as they were. So part of the film is our exploration of Maier as this secret artist — a kind of detective story.  The other narrative in the film follows John’s effort to share Maier’s work with the world and “put her in the history books.”  Starting with sharing her work online and mounting his own show of her work in Chicago and then trying to gain acceptance of her work among institutions.

You must have ended up with lots of footage. Was it a difficult project to edit down?
That is a challenge, but once you understand the story it is easier to make these decisions. That is where documentary storytelling combines art and journalism. It is not just a recitation of facts — not a movie version of the Wikipedia entry on Vivian Maier. Just because some things are interesting about Maier doesn’t mean everything is interesting about her. The challenge is to tell the story using the elements you have — and we had Maier’s photos, audio recordings, super 8 films, the belongings she left behind and the stories of people who knew her — in an entertaining an enlightening way.

Once we recognized that this was the story of an artist who went undiscovered during her lifetime — in part because she kept herself hidden but also because we as people don’t always know where to look to find art — it became easier to see what belonged in the film and what didn’t.  But yes you always have to make tough choices and say goodbye to individual scenes/things you love in order to make the film work as whole.

What was the most interesting thing you discovered while working on the film?
At first I thought this was a nanny who somehow happened to take thousands of photographs, but that was 180 degrees wrong. She was a true artist, who just so happened to be a nanny, but that was her means to an end, her camouflage and masquerade – that was the biggest discovery. I could see how Maier would feel like an outsider in this world of suburban wealth and privilege. She was misunderstood.

Finding Vivian Maier is released in the UK tomorrow, July 18th.

Images: ©Vivian Maier/Maloof Collection

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Ephemera High Summer


16.07.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Nicole Banning designs swimwear with ready-to-wear in mind. Combining the savoir-faire of the French swim and lingerie industry with Australian manufacturing, Ephemera launched in time for the Cruise 2014 collection and was developed to have the most refined and luxurious finish possible. The High Summer collection, now available online at Net-A-Porter, features a mix of bikinis and one-pieces with cut-out and twist back designs, creating something truly elegant and chic in hues of bright citrus and pasteque, as well as noir. The high-waisted bottoms are a Twin favourite, as are the specially developed jacquard designs that lend themselves to the various one-pieces and bikini styles.

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Twin Backstage: Ralph & Russo

15.07.2014 | Fashion | BY:

In the last of our Autumn/Winter 2014 Haute Couture coverage, Twin sent photographer Masao Yufu backstage at the Ralph & Russo show in Paris. This is what he saw.

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Five Minutes With Jasmine Deporta

15.07.2014 | Art | BY:

Jasmine Deporta’s photographs are sexy and free and full of hot girls. 99% of her work features beautiful women in their natural habitats behaving pretty naturalistically. They just so happen to lie in baths fully clothed and flash their bras.

After seeing Sofasafari, the Italian photographer’s latest project whereby women suffering with killer hangovers become one with sofas in a bygone furniture store, we were left feeling a little transfixed. So Twin got in touch to ask her a few of our burning questions.

What are you working on at the moment?
I just photographed my first wedding. I’m a friend of the couple and it was a beautiful, very special day and a really good experience. Being a wedding photographer never really appealed to me but in this case I was totally free taking the pictures. I did them in analogue and it became more like an experiment. I still need to scan the negatives but I’m pretty excited to see the outcome.

Does summer inspire you? How?
I really like summer and it is inspiring me. But, at the moment I’m so busy that I feel like I haven’t even realised that it’s summer already. Hopefully soon I can.

We love the Sofasafari project. What triggered the concept?
The starting point was the request from a magazine. The series was developed for the new issue with the theme “Home”. The issue was all about rethinking your preconceptions of ‘home’ or ‘being at home’. A furniture store is nothing more than a fictitious home, arranged for the customer. The series was finally photographed in a typical, fairly antiquated upholstered furniture store.

The idea was to generate a sort of camouflage effect, so that the models could become one with the various couches via their clothes.

Women are a consistent subject within your work. Why?
Because I love woman in every sense – and it has nothing to do with feminism. Women have something eclectic to me, they are smooth and gentle, sensual, sweet and erotic. I feel much more comfortable shooting woman because I can identify with them and maybe I can even see myself in the girls I’m shooting.

If you were an ice cream what flavour would you be and why?
Good question! I really like raspberry, because it’s natural, fresh and fruity. The taste reminds me of my grandmother’s garden and how we would eat them fresh from the bush as children – and still nowadays. I think it’s a flavour I connect with feeling at home, fresh air, the mountains and those moments when you’re immersed in nature.

What’s next for Jasmine Deporta?
Hopefully I can visit my friends in Berlin soonish and enjoy summer with them a little bit. I’m also heading to Paris to shoot the new Lookbook for wupwup, a collective I’m part of. I’m pretty excited to move to a new flat with my fiancé in September. After all this I really want to go on working on my stuff and on some collaborations with other artists from different fields. The plan is to work on my first publication while developing a basic fashion collection with Fashion Designer Nadja Pugneth.

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Twin Backstage: Adeline Andre

14.07.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Our Autumn 2014 couture show coverage continues with a look at all the goings on behind the scenes of the Adeline Andre show in Paris.

Photography: Masao Yufu

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