New African Photography III

22.04.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Following the success of previous collaborations between Nataal and Red Hook Labs, Nataal curates an exhibition of some of most exciting image-makers documenting modern Africa in a new exhibition. New African Photography III opens at the Brooklyn space in May.

The new exhibition will showcase the work of six female artists: Fatoumata Diabaté (Mali), Rahima Gambo (Nigeria), Keyezua (Angola), Alice Mann (South Africa), Ronan McKenzie (UK) and Ruth Ossai (UK/Nigeria).

Together these works celebrate female identify and diversity, offering an empowered and positive vision. A sense of energy is conveyed through the celebration of movement and the use of powerful juxtapositions – both in terms of colour and of form.

The event also coincides with the launch of Nataal’s first print issue. The website and magazine work as a platform to champion creativity and culture in Africa. You can find out more here.

Alice Mann, Dr Van Der Ross Drummies, Delft, South Africa, 2017, from the series Drummies

Ruth Ossai X Mowalao

Fatoumata Diabaté, Kara et ses oreilles, 2012, from the series L_homme en Animal

Sailing Back to Africa as a Dutch Woman, 2017, from the series Fortia

Nataal: New African Photography III, 4th – 13th May, Red Hook Labs, 133 Imlay St, Brooklyn, New York. Opening times: 10am-6pm daily. 

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Lindsey Mendick, Perfectly Ripe 

18.04.2018 | Art | BY:

In her new exhibition artist Lindsey Mendick brings audiences a rich and atmospheric memory of a summer holiday that she took when she was 13 years old. Immersing audiences in a world that is at first exciting and new, though later threatening and dangerous, Mendick uses ceramics, sculpture, painting and audio recordings to conjure the rich experience of her holiday.

Even at the peak of her sunny and nostalgic narrative, a sense of unease and discomfort pervades the piece. This is emphasised by the dark background within the exhibition. Below, Lindsey Mendick shares an extract from the audio recording which plays throughout the exhibition.

Lindsey Mendick, Tease Me Until I Lose Control (detail), 2018. Ceramic. Installation view of Perfectly Ripe, Zabludowicz Collection London. Courtesy the artist and Zabludowicz Collection. Photo: Tim Bowditch

I’d only ever been to France before. But this wasn’t France. We flew on a plane. And the man behind me was smoking cigarettes the whole way there. He was very fat and had two seats all for himself. The ashtray was in the armrest. You flip down one side of the metal and the dank smell of old fags rushes out. The ashy residue of successful flights. Your throat burns and your clothes stink. But no one complained.

It’s a proper hotel. It has three pools, a buffet and it has a discotheque. It has a discotheque.

Francoise has gone missing.

It was hot. So hot. I fall asleep on my Lilo on the beach. I wake up with salty lips and one hot cheek, a pool of saliva slipping across the PVC. There is shouting.

Francoise has been found and Joce and Viv are really cross. She had been flirting with a group of Local men. Vivian said she once saw Jesus behind the dustbins, so you can’t always trust what Vivian says. But Francoise had been looking at boys. And Francoise had been stealing your fags.

Your dad and sister tease you when you pull yourself up out the pool. They sing ‘Nutbush City Limits’, because no one told you at 13 that there was such a thing as too much pubic hair. This was evidently too much. Shamefully, you steal your dad’s razor that evening and shave it all off. For the rest of the holiday you itch insatiably.

Lindsey Mendick, Touch Me In The Morning, And Last Thing At Night (detail), 2018. Ceramic. Installation view of Perfectly Ripe, Zabludowicz Collection London. Courtesy the artist and Zabludowicz Collection. Photo: Tim Bowditch.

Francoise comes down to dinner with Joce and Viv. She has no glasses on and her mum is telling her what all the foods at the buffet are because she can’t see. ‘Francoise did you lose your glasses’ ‘no she didn’t, we took them away so she couldn’t look at boys’ you watch Francoise tentatively slip foods into her mouth. Fish mixed with chicken mixed with an unknown dish that nobody at the table likes. It’s buffet roulette. You feel lucky your parents let you do what you want.

I’m allowed Malibu and diet cokes. They’re so delicious and I drink them with Fran and Nick as mozzies attack my legs. I never knew alcohol could taste this exotic. They smell like Hawaiian tropic and in the mornings I am never sure if I can smell the aftermath of the night before or the residue of sun cream on my skin.

I wear my Jane Norman boob tube dress because I now have big enough boobs to fill the tube. I had always hated my body. But here men like my body so I like my body. And my body gets me into the discotheque because no one realises I am 14 in two months. But I’m mature for my age. Everyone says it.

Zabludowicz Collection Invites: Lindsey Mendick, Perfectly Ripe, Zabludowicz Collection, London, 12 April – 3 June 2018

(Feature image credit:Lindsey Mendick, An Itch That Needs To Be Scratched, 2018. Ceramic and flowers. Installation view of Perfectly Ripe, Zabludowicz Collection London. Courtesy the artist and Zabludowicz Collection. Photo: Tim Bowditch). 

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Posturing

14.04.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Following the wildly successful exhibition last year, Holly Hay and Shonagh Marshall are releasing Posturing as a book this month.

The beautiful tome brings together 21 iconic image makers in contemporary fashion. These photographers explore, respond to and propose new ways of using the body as a tool in the way clothing is depicted. Viewers are invited to look beyond the clothes though, at the entire art of composition and structure of each photograph. The careful curation of images allows viewers to examine fashion photography in new ways. The book portrays the spectrum of the fashion canon, from hyper-sexualised to the hyper-abstracted body. It is a celebration of the new era of strangeness in fashion, and the photographers central to leading the way.

Read our interview with Shonagh Marshall about co-curating the exhibition with Twin contributor Holly Hay here.

Johnny Dufort for AnOther Magazine, ‘Go Fish’ Autumn:Winter 2017

Charlie Engman for AnOther Magazine, ‘A Nod And A Glance A Gesture For One Word’ Autumn:Winter 2015

Lena C Emery for The Gentlewoman, ‘Practise’ Spring:Summer 2014

Pascal Gambarte for Marfa Journal, ‘Being Michael Rothstein’ March 2017

Reto Schmid for Under the Influence Magazine, ‘Relative Transparency’ Spring:Summer 2016

‘Posturing’ is available to buy via SPBH Editions from April 23rd 2018. 

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(More than) Just A T-Shirt!

12.04.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Browns fashion brings back the hyped Just A T-Shirt collection for a second season, and it’s even better than the first. Featuring prints from renowned photographers Mark Lebon, Ryan Gander, Brad Feuerhelm, Kieron Livingstone, Gareth Mcconnell, Jason Fulford and Joshua Gordon, the designs are a dream to wear and timelessly cool. For men and women, this is the kind of essential addition to your summer wardrobe this season – and for every summer in the years to come.

Available to buy now from Brownsfashion.com.

Seagulls and nautical stripes: JW Anderson x Uniqlo SS18

10.04.2018 | Fashion | BY:

For SS18, JW Anderson x Uniqlo looked to the Brighton seaside for a flavour of 1950s nostalgia. The results are classic British summer. Nautical t-shirts get a fashion twist courtesy of bias cut detail, linen summer dresses in chalky blues are easy holiday-wear and seagull-print jumpers are a nod to the classic seaside soundtrack. The latest collection brings a fresh, breezy update to the silhouettes and styles offered for JW Anderson x Uniqlo debut collection.  There’s also the addition of covetable denim bucket hats (an essential seaside-prop).

Available from April 20th in selected stores and online

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Saint Laurent Jamie Bag

06.04.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Inspired by the treasures within the Saint Laurent archives, the new Saint Laurent Jamie bag is a modern classic that has arrived perfectly on time for the new season. The Carré rive gauche quilting lends the classic silhouette a unique look while the metallic and leather chain references Saint Laurent signatures. Available in red and black, it’s the kind of treasure that will keep you smiling throughout the year.

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An interpretation of the real: Twin meets Alice Waese

05.04.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

New York-based designer Alice Waese offers textured, evocative design across jewellery, clothes and illustration. Her work is sensual and imaginative, imbuing those who wear or otherwise engage with her work with a sense of heightened or unexpected reality. Twin caught up with Alice to talk about her work and her creative process.

You work across a range of mediums. Where did you start?

I began with drawing as a kid, chalk, paint then pencil, then pen, then watercolour.

In terms of jewellery, what are the most challenging materials you’ve worked with?

Casting fine leaves, snake skin, leather with lots of undercuts, a round pinecone.

Which materials and / or stones do you find most interesting, why?

This season I am really interested in pearls because of how they form, The crustaceans coat an intrusion, something foreign, something parasitic enters the body and in an effort to protect themselves they coat it, creating something beautiful.

You often include small figures or body parts in your jewellery designs. Why did you decide to use these?

The figures and body parts relate to a series of drawings where I was really studying the body in relation to the non material world. the severed limbs related to a series of paintings where body parts were energetically connected to other parts with a thin red line of paint. I then sculpted them in wax and stung them on chain, it came naturally, tells a story and relates to the themes I was working with in my drawings at the time.

Why was it important to have a sense of texture and materiality in your work?

I think the textural component comes from a reflection of what I find visually interesting the world, it is less an importance or a decision, and more following an intuition and staying true to it. I think texture and imperfection translated into a precious metal that is usually smoothed to perfection creates an interesting juxtaposition.

How does your design approach differ between jewellery and clothes?

Its actually a very similar approach. Never a mood board or a singular inspiration, more an internal concept, a series of paintings, a texture, or a new process I am experimenting with, often the outcome of a mistake.

 

Did you find that it was easy to translate your aesthetic throughout the range of works?

I don’t find it difficult to speak through different mediums, being honest with my process and limitations and creativity makes it easy for the same voice to pass through.

Watercolours have quite a different quality to the materials you use for clothes and jewellery. Why did you decide to work with watercolours for your illustrations?

I like the fluidity of watercolours, it allows me to make up the rules as I go along. The process is similar to how I work in jewellery and clothing.

When starting a project, how does your creative process begin?

Its not a set regime, always different, but usually a clear need to make something.

What would you say are the most powerful informants of your work?

Whatever mistake I just corrected or embraced usually informs the next piece of work. 

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ANOK: The final face of Willy Vanderperre’s ‘/ 12 series’

03.04.2018 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

The last of Willy Vanderperre’s /12 series with IDEA books spotlights on 19 year-old Anok Yai. As the first black model to have opened a Prada show since Naomi Campbell in 1997, the profile of Yai is a powerful way to end the series. The model embodies the energy and determination of a young generation working to ensure a more equal future for those that follow.

Throughout his series Vanderperre’s emotional and sensual photography has juxtaposed the personality and prowess of the models photographed. The images offer readers timeless portraits of young talent, sure to become iconic faces in the next few years. Explore the whole series here.

SUPERSTRUCTURES: The new architecture 1960-1990

03.04.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

The phrase ‘high-tech’ makes most of us think about phones, computers or intelligent dishwashers. But it’s one that makes some architects gasp with indignation. This year the Sainsbury Centre celebrates its 40th anniversary with “Superstructures: The new architecture 1960–90”. An exhibition that picks apart the architectural movement behind the centre itself and examines the controversial label of ‘high-tech’ against the wider architectural canon.

‘High-tech’ architecture was championed by legendary British architects Norman Foster (the designer behind the Sainsbury Centre) and Richard Rogers (Centre Pompidou), amongst others. This group of architects found ideas of adaptable, expandable and mobile buildings exciting. They were interested in pragmatic solutions, and inspired by earlier architectural ideas and innovations like Buckminster Fuller’s geodesic domes and Jéan Proves demountable house.

Current day Sainsbury Centre 2009 | Photo:© Sainsbury Centre, Pete Huggins

The high-tech style managed to blend post-war 60s utopian ideas with 19th, and early 20th century ideas about adapted architecture – a mixture that resulted in expressive and very characteristic buildings. It was a  technologically focused – one might even say obsessed – development from modernism.

Talking via a malfunctioning, ironically un-high-tech Skype connection, Twin chatted with curators of the exhibition Jane Pavitt and Abraham Thomas. An era of optimistic architecture that looked to engineering and technology for new possibilities certainly seems resonant in 2018.

Sainsbury Centre construction 1975 – 1978 | Photo: © Foster + Partners, Alan Howard

Could you begin by telling me a little bit about the exhibition?

Jane Pavitt: The exhibition is about this crux in late modernism, the term often used in association with it is high-tech. We have taken a rather interesting positioning I suppose…  In the exhibition we show the long history of association between technology, engineering and architecture. It starts with the the Sainsbury Centre, a superstructure that is, in a sense, an enormous shed. It’s complex, beautiful, precisely engineered, but still kind of like a shed.

We used this building to explain the high-tech approach to architecture. Then we look at ground structures like the Crystal Palace, and through to the modern experiments by Prouvé and Buckminster Fuller. Finally we look at the generation of architects that we are focused on. The first part of the exhibition tell the pre-history, then we get to high-tech it self.  

Abraham Thomas: Should I go back to high-tech?

Jane: Yes, I see that she’s dying to hear about it.

Abraham: One of the things that we wrestled with as curators is using the phrase high-tech without actually using the phrase high-tech. The term is very divisive, a bit like postmodernism. Many of the practitioners of postmodernism hate that label. Jane curated the big postmodernism exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum so she has been through this.

Jane: [laughs] The toxic term.

Ben Johnson, Inmos Central Spine, 1985Acrylic on canvas | © Ben Johnson

Abraham: We had to be conscious to the fact that many of these leading architects absolutely reject the term high-tech. It is reasonable to an extent, they reject it simply being a style. What we are trying to say is that it was more than a style. It was a sort of ethos, a movement. But it is a convenient term, it refers to the idea of influence of technology. In a way it is valid. But we also sort of pick it apart, don’t we?

Jane: We wanted to make it very clear that it’s certainly not a style label, although it’s often used like that. These buildings are stylistically very different. The architects reached different types of solutions, but they all share a set of principles. The Sainsbury Centre and the Pompidou Centre are totally different solutions to the same set of ideas and concerns. They respond to their sites, position and purpose in different ways. On the other hand, we felt as curators, and historians, that if there is a term that has some currency historically – it is a frequently used label in architectural history – then this is the right time to kind of, as Abraham says, pick it apart and attempt a much more nuanced understanding.

Do you think there is another term that could work better?

Jane: Architecture of advanced engineering is a good description. That’s what they are concerned with, testing the limits of certain kind of building methods. If you think of high-tech as a process, rather than a style, that’s quite a useful way of approaching it. I would say that it’s a type of technological modernism.

But people like labels, don’t they? Like art deco. Everybody has contested the meaning of art deco, but it is still a very powerful term. Postmodernism is a term that makes people angry [laughs] but it persists. Rather than abandon the label all together, we wanted to unpack and position it. These buildings share certain things about advanced engineering and precision engineering, but they can also be simple solutions.

To take an example: we have reconstructed a section of Michael and Patty Hopkins house in the exhibition. It is not high-tech in that sense. It is appropriate technology. They liked the idea of using pre-fabricated components and cost effective materials that could be assembled simply, cheaply, effectively with a powerful aesthetic.

ZipUp HouseDetail colour presentation competition model, scale 1:20 | Photo: © Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, Eamonn O’Mahony

Abraham: There are a number of examples of high-tech buildings with ideas from other explicitly progressive technological contexts. For example, here at the Sainsbury Centre, Foster created a double skinned wall which allows a lot of the servicing and utilities to be packed away, resulting in this sleek exterior surface and an uninterrupted interior space well suited for an exhibition layout. That idea came from Foster’s observations of a passenger aircraft, were you have a sort of false elevated floor where all the services can be packed underneath.

Jane: There is this section in the exhibition where we have some of the original cladding from the Sainsbury Centre next to a part from a [Citroën] 2CV van. Those ribbed aluminium panels that slot into a car are remarkably like the panels that clad this building. The term high-tech is a bit forbidding, but these buildings have almost the childhood appeal of assembling models.

Abraham: Jane’s point immediately makes me think of this amazing object in the exhibition, a project called Tomigaya. It is a mixed use, residential and cultural space in Tokyo, and the model is made from Meccano. It’s a slightly lighthearted moment in the exhibition. The model of Tomigaya encapsulates a rare notion of simplicity, an understanding of how buildings are put together. It makes it very accessible.

Crystal Palace details of bracing between columns | Photo: © Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851

What drew you to this project at first?

Jane: The Sainsbury is one of Britain’s best postwar buildings and it is extraordinarily powerful. It attracted a huge amount of controversy, admiration and criticism at the time it opened. It’s been fascinating to re-examine that. This group of architects are among the most prominent in the world and produce buildings in all typologies: office buildings, factory buildings, buildings for culture, domestic projects, airports, stations. In London, especially in transit, we all move through these buildings. You probably could encounter a Foster, Rogers, a Grimshaw building within any square mile of central London.

Abraham: I went through Heathrow today and the Rogers’ Terminal 5 has a lot of expressive engineering.

What would you say was most challenging with this exhibition? There are so many different aspects to it.

Abraham: I think it’s always tricky when you’re a temporary guardian of someone’s legacy. These are all very successful architects now, huge international names.

Jean Prouvé House, France | Photo: © Galerie Patrick Seguin and Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners

And still alive!

Abraham: Yes they are all still alive! You’ve got to be really careful with how you present that legacy. That is always the case when you’re working with any contemporary artist or architect, but I think that is particularly the case here.

One of the hardest things was to ensure that we were sensitive to their legacies, but also created a new narrative. Since the mid 80s there have been shows on these key British architects – Jane and I didn’t want to do another “Best of British Architects” exhibition.  

Jane: It’s not a biography show. Architecture exhibitions are difficult. A lot of visitors may not be familiar with reading architectural plans and some of the buildings will be unfamiliar to them. We wanted to explain how buildings worked and how they were made. We’ve just come back from installing two giant wooden carved prototypes of the steel joints from Waterloo International Station. They are about a meter or so high, but fantastic objects. Like pieces of sculpture.The process of construction is fascinating for people of all ages, we are just trying to emphasise that.

SUPERSTRUCTURES: The New Architecture 1960 – 1990 is on at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts 24 March – 2 September 2018

Feature image credit: Century Tower, Japan | Photo: © Foster + Partners, Saturo Mishima

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“Like I’m working with them, alongside them, in tandem.”: Twin meets Terri Loewenthal

28.03.2018 | Art , Culture | BY:

Her vivid, evocative ‘in-camera collages’ of the Californian landscape will have you captive for hours. Twin meets photographer Terri Loewenthal to talk about immersing oneself in the environment, the power of nature and startling “little old ladies in women’s restrooms.”

How did the idea of California manifest itself in your consciousness when you were growing up?

Everything I knew about California I learned from Top Gun and Beverly Hills 90210. I spent my childhood in South Florida, on the other side of the continent. As a kid, I didn’t think California was that much different than where I grew up. We had beaches, sun, pastels and fancy cars too. I played a lot of volleyball. Same thing, different coast, right? I was a jock, competing at a national level. What seemed to matter most at the time was that the volleyball players coming out of California were better than the ones coming from anywhere else. And of course, the continual juvenile version of an east vs. west debate: which is better, Disney World or Disneyland?

I ended up in California not because of a childhood vision, but because of a rebirth later in life. Right after I graduated from college in Texas, my rental house burned down. I took the nominal insurance settlement, borrowed my mom’s manual 35mm camera, and hit the road. I traveled for over a year exploring, camping alone, aligning my schedule with the sun’s, and teaching myself to take pictures. That was when I fell in love with photography and California’s backcountry.  

Terri Loewenthal, Psychscape 48 (Lookout Mountain, CA) 2017.

What about the landscape makes it compelling to photograph?

I chose to work with the eastern Sierra for this body of work. It’s not the California most people have in mind – it’s nothing like El Capitan in Yosemite, the ring of mountain peaks around Lake Tahoe, or the beaches in San Diego riddled with surfers. There’s something otherworldly about it. You see Mono Lake from above as you drive towards it, and it doesn’t even make sense. There are no rivers or streams flowing from it; being in the desert, it just evaporates. It’s away from everything, the end of the line.

When I’m thinking about where to shoot, it’s very much about using the shapes of the land as a paint brush — for example, how the curve of a dune when juxtaposed with another dune overlapping it creates a sloping line, a single gesture formed by the contours of the land. The eastern Sierra expanse is ripe with geometry, all these granite building blocks, which I use in my work. With a lack of iconic shapes like pines and sequoias, I’m able to freely use the landscape as raw material instead of subject.

Also, photographing remote landscapes means camping. I have a deep need to sleep on the land, to skip some showers. I love to lose the safety of manicured city life.

Terri Loewenthal, Psychscape 73 (Downs, Mount, CA) 2017

How much did you choose to engage with the predominantly male canon of Californian photography when conceiving this project?

When I had the idea for these images, it was purely aesthetically driven, at least in my conscious mind. I’m extending an invitation to step inside of these imaginary places, to have a subjective experience. Our perception of the natural world isn’t gendered. I don’t think of the conceptual framework of Psychscapes as relating to gender, however there are a number of gender norms I don’t buy into, and that offers a certain freedom necessary for creating this work. I love camping. I love being dirty. I love uncontrolled adventure. I might be less afraid to venture solo into un-manicured territory because I’m taller than most men – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve startled little old ladies in women’s restrooms!

Terri Loewenthal, Psychscape 18 (Banner Ridge, CA) 2017

Do you feel a tension between the wild as a free space and the idea of capturing it through photography?

I’m currently reading a book called The Ohlone Way about the indigenous people of the Bay Area. It’s a fantastic account of the abundant wilderness and wildlife here before white people “headed west.” The sky was so filled with birds that, looking up, you were more likely to see one than not. I often wonder if my life were as deeply enmeshed with the natural world, if I’d be drawn to make landscape images. My desire is to commune with my subject. Looking through the lens, I slow down and consider subtle nuances. Sometimes it’s shape, or correlation of shapes, sometimes it’s color, sometimes it’s a character trait that I didn’t notice before the camera was in my hand. Mine is a sensitive approach to photography. It’s always been an attempt to process my surroundings more deeply. What I mean to do is appreciate. If I were living off the land, I wouldn’t need to venture away from the distractions of city life in order to touch the dirt. I wouldn’t seek out the grounding feeling that immersion in nature offers. But here I am, surrounded by pavement and electronics, and I do need to visit those spaces for refuge. I am driven to make something out of the feeling of re-finding myself when I’m there.

Was there anything about the landscape that surprised you when you were working in it?

In America, when you drive through the mountains, there are often signs urging you to pull over in the most picturesque places, signs that say “Overlook” or “Scenic View.” To my surprise, these vistas don’t work. Everything is at infinite focal distance, and it feels flat. I am able to create more when I’m nestled in a dynamic environment. If I’m on a trail, say, along the side of a canyon, I’m able to utilize the huge mountain face that is reachable with one hand, and the majestic mountain ranges in the distance. Another surprise is that the horizon line, something I’ve loved photographing all of my life, proves to be a challenge with these compositions. What isn’t surprising in the least is that I’m happy to be limited to the 360 degrees surrounding me as I’m making the collage. Limitations are built into my process, and that’s a relief.

Terri Loewenthal Psychscape 26 (Rock Garden, CA) 2017

Can you talk about your compositional approach and process?

 Each image is a single exposure. All of the layering and colour shifting happens in-camera. I like to think of these images as in-camera collages. There are a number of aspects I tweak as I’m compositing: the position, saturation and palette of each layer, along with all the traditional photographic controls like focus and shutter speed. I can make an environment feel soft or hard, depending on how muted or bright it is. Placing different colour washes next to each other, then saturating them just so, is often the final piece that makes an image sing – like sprinkling flake salt on top of your meal. I just experiment until I strike something that sparks the rush. Anyone who’s ever made anything knows about the rush. It doesn’t always happen, but when it does, I no longer question what I’m doing, or why I’m doing it – it’s just absolutely meant to be.

Did you feel that your relationship with the landscape changed as you were creating the images?

Absolutely. Since I’m working to distort reality, and it’s all happening in real-time. I don’t feel like I’m looking at the mountains as-they-are anyway. They immediately morph into something new and I feel like I’m working with them, alongside them, in tandem. Not only have Psychscapes changed my relationship to the landscape I’m actively working with, they’ve changed my relationship to every wild place I’ve yet to see. I can barely take a hike now without trying to envision it in the context of a Psychscape, even if I don’t have a camera in my hand.

Shooting these images involves contortions, octopus arms, propping things up with my knees. I dive deep into the unknown. It’s a reverie where I feel like I’m falling through times and places. I experiment until I stop questioning my experiments, until I find a composition that feels like another landscape altogether – a place I want to be. When I resurface, I find myself twisted into the least comfortable position attainable, a crick in my neck and knotted-up shoulders. My yoga teacher would be horrified. There’s always a “come to” moment where I finally open both eyes and think briefly, “whoa, where am I?”

Terri Loewenthal Psychscape 41 (Lundy Canyon, CA) 2017

Aside from the natural surroundings, did you seek inspiration anywhere else when preparing for the project?

Color plays a huge role in my drive to create these images, and paintings are where I find the most unexpected palettes. I’m surrounded by fantastic painters in my immediate community. My dear friends Joe Ferriso and Alexander Kori Girard come to mind. They both have a knack for using odd colors that when used solo, might not work; but they add other colors, and then there’s a relationship between the colors that challenges what I thought of the colors in the first place. I have an incredible painting of Joe’s in my living room where he started with rejected house paint from the hardware store, and built from there. It’s my reminder that nothing exists in a vacuum, that the correlation between two things makes a third thing. I was a touring musician for the first ten or so years of my photographic career and I draw a lot from that experience too. Attention to rhythm, composing layers of color/sound washes, and seeking collaboration with my surroundings are all instincts honed by performing pop music. Inspiration, as it goes, tends to be an ongoing concoction of every single moment of your life.

Are there other landscapes that you’re interested in approaching in the same way?

I had the idea for these images years ago, but I’ve only recently figured out how to pull them off. California is a natural starting place. Not only is this the place where I fell in love with photography, it’s the place where I’ve found my people – people who care more about creativity, social justice, and community building than paying homage to the crumbling paradigms of what we “should” do with our lives. In California, I feel encouraged to explore ideas that don’t spring from what I’ve been taught or shown, to trust my inner rebel. Hopefully my discovery will open the door to all sorts of adventures. At the moment, I’m curious about working in a tropical place, mainly because an expanse is harder to come by. Jungles are tangled, the shapes less obvious due to the uniformity of color and the dense layers of plants growing on top of one another. I wonder if Psychscapes would work in that context. I wonder if I’d be able to make images that would offer a similar sense of otherworldliness. Maybe jungle Psychscapes would feel like you’re nested inside the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. And maybe that’s not so bad.

TERRI LOEWENTHAL: Psychscapes is on at CULT in San Francisco until April 21st. 

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Dr. Martens collaborates with Lazy Oaf for SS18

27.03.2018 | Fashion | BY:

For their second ever female-only collaboration, Dr. Martens have partnered with Lazy Oaf to offer dreamy suede buckle boots. Coming in two colour ways, the pink and black boots have a chunky double sole and cute heart buckle details. A contrast heart detail at the back provides a final finishing flair. These boots are perfect for energising and empowering your spring wardrobe.

Available from 29th March at drmartens.com, www.lazyoaf.com, and in Dr. Martens stores from April 14th. 

Everything is recorded: Francesca Gavin meets Toby Ziegler

21.03.2018 | Culture , Music | BY:

What happens when you mix sound and image? This layers of contrasts and collaboration has led to one of the most interesting projects of the year, between British artist Toby Ziegler, XL’s Richard Russell and Sampha. Toby took time to talk to Twin about the project:

How did the decision to work together happen?

I’ve known Richard for about 15 years. We’ve had a 15 year long discussion about music. We’ve also been talking about collaborating for ages but this is the first time it made sense. About two years ago he played me early recordings of some songs off the album, and immediately the title track clicked with this work I’ve been doing, using search engines, so I offered to make a video for that song. The installation grew out of that video.

How did you respond to the music?

Initially I set out to make a fairly conceptual video that only intersected with the song in places, using a similar image search to make a kind of visual Chinese whispers. I was aware of Sampha and Richard’s narratives behind the song, but I was trying to make a tangential video about the way images get juxtaposed online, poignant ones and banal ones. I wanted to reflect the dispassionate nature of the algorithm that drives an image search: sometimes cancer cells are visually equivalent to instagrams of pizza, and termite mounds segue with mushroom clouds. Image searches can function like cut-up techniques or tarot, highlighting our predisposition to find meaning or poetry in seemingly random juxtapositions, and sometimes looking for images online feels like consulting the oracle. In this case subconscious decisions and fate intervened in extraordinary ways to make the video far more autobiographical, and closer to the narrative of the song, than I had originally intended.

Everything is Recorded installation at Hackney Arts Centre

With this album Richard was considering his experience of temporary paralysis from Guillan-Barre syndrome, and Sampha related the song to the experience of sitting in hospital with his dying mother. During the month I was finishing the video my mother had an accident, spent two weeks in a coma and then died. So many people visited her during the course of those 2 weeks, it was a real vigil, but frequently the highly emotional atmosphere was punctured by the banal. Discussions of consciousness and mortality, jostled with lengthy conversations about sandwiches.The video took on all sort of resonances I hadn’t previously considered and I allowed myself a different sort of freedom in the final editing. So the video took this sequence of image searches as the starting point, compressing over 3000 found images and videos, but I then incorporated some photos and videos I’d shot myself.I’ve found images operate at different speeds, and editing the video was analogous to playing a musical instrument. I played the drums for 20 years and then quit in my late twenties, but for this video I made a sequence of images and ‘played’ them.

Then I decided to make a second video for a song featuring Infinite Coles called 8am. It triggered a very specific memory for me, from an acid trip when I was 16. I made a lot of work that stemmed from that one evening in a way, and it started me off using CGI in my paintings. I have this archive of 3D landscapes and objects that I used for paintings and sculptures about 10 or 15 years ago, and for this video I turned them into an animation, a sort of drive-through of this tunnelling geometric space.

Tell me about the installation you created to debut the films and how it functioned?

The song Everything Is Recorded was also central to my design for the installation at the abandoned cinema in Dalston. I wanted to project the video in an old disused cinema for the association with projected analogue images, and also as a space that clearly bore the scars of it’s history. For the installation I wanted to show the two videos I’d made on a cinema screen, flanked by two other screens with projections from webcams in real time. I wanted something that operated at a different frequency to the slightly epileptic ‘image search video’ and the CGI of the 8am video (originally I was going to use a live feed of motorway traffic cameras on the other two screens) When we found a space that could house both the projections upstairs, and the gig downstairs it seemed perfect, and immediately it was clear that the live feed should be to cctv of the stage and rehearsals downstairs. It was very interesting to have these different projections running simultaneously. When you walked into this delapidated, cavernous cinema you could hear the band rehearsing in the space directly beneath you, rumbling through the floor, and see a live link to two cctv cameras trained on the stage. It was an uncanny experience, and often took people a few minutes to compute how the sound and images fitted together. If you put on the headphones you could hear the soundtrack to the videos I made, which were projected on a larger central screen. There were two parallel audio spaces to go with the two visual ones.

What works did you show as part of the performance rehearsal area? What did you like about that context?

When I was 17 I went to Lagos and saw Fela Kuti play in his club, Shrine. It was this huge corrugated iron shed with black and white photographs lining the walls, really rickety podiums dotted around for his dancers, and a huge stage that didn’t really separate the audience from the band. Initially about ten musicians came on and started playing , and then periodically a few more people would wander on stage, have a drink and a chat, and then join in, until eventually there were about 50 people on stage. Fela came on after about four hours of this. That was partly the inspiration for the stage downstairs.

I put a low stage in the middle of the room so the audience could get close and it felt intimate, but it was a place the whole band could hang out. The space downstairs is usually a venue for weddings and is white with a tiled floor and a lot of purple furniture, but I wanted attention to be focussed on the performers and a few objects I introduced, so I put a black floor down and black drapes all around, like a Samuel Beckett production. The stage was approximately triangular with some higher and some lower platforms, and three of my my older sculptures functioning a bit like totems or sentinels at the points. The sculptures also appear in the 8am video as virtual models in a CGI landscape. On the walls there were huge posters of Robert Johnson and Ralf and Florian from Kraftwerk, who were the household gods for the whole project.

Everything is Recorded installation at Hackney Arts Centre

What interested you about the contrast and relationship between music and your work?

I used to play in bands when I was a teenager and in my twenties, but it reached a point where I was dividing my time between visual art and music, and not doing anything justice. I got sick of being the unreliable drummer so I completely quit playing. I loved what playing the drums does to your brain, and I think I can occasionally reach a similar state making visual things. I definitely think music informs my paintings and sculptures in a lateral way. I think images and objects function at different frequencies or speeds, and since I’ve started making video work that aspect has become more explicit.

The title track is very much a criticism of our relationship to the digital. How does this connnect to your own take on the internet, technology and our access to imagery?

I’m not sure if that’s what Richard and Sampha intended, but for me it’s exciting how quickly things are changing and sinister how trusting we are. My diabetic son has a sensor under his skin that talks to my phone, to monitor his blood sugar, and in a way the internet also functions as a prosthesis. The internet is a repository for many of our memories, and Google could be seen as our collective unconscious. When you do a similar image search for a picture that doesn’t exist online, the algorithm analyses the image and creates a set of visual parameters by which to find similar ones: colour, tone, composition, and to some extent subject, and shows you the most popular images within those parameters. The results change from day to day depending on what people are looking at. I found that one brownish, abstract image which reliably fed back images of fried dumplings suddenly started to prompt pictures of arid landscapes, because of a drought in California. The results also change because of the constant modification of the algorithm , and it’s scary to think how much influence the designers of these algorithms have.

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Home Strike: resisting the feminisation of domesticity

21.03.2018 | Art | BY:

Alexandra Kokoli and Basia Sliwinska guest curate the new exhibition Home Strike. In the new show the pair bring together the work of four women artists — CANAN, Paula Chambers, Malgorzata Markiewicz, Su Richardson — to explore domesticity through an activist lens. The artists probe and refute the idea that domesticity and femininity are intertwined.

Each artist radically reimagines the domestic space as a battleground. It is territory to be taken and looked at afresh. Paula Chambers repurposes everyday kitchen furniture into a fort or barricade, rejecting the wholesome connotations of stools and ironing boards, laying bare the repression and violence which they can also represent.

Installation view, Paula Chambers. Photo: Andy Keate, courtesy L’etrangere

Małgorzata Markiewicz work addresses the family home. She interrogates the idea of women within the domestic sphere, examining motherhood and the idea of entertaining in the home.

Su Richardson contemplates themes of domesticity and motherhood through knitted and crocheted pieces of family scenes. In pieces such as Burnt Breakfast the idea of tarnished or ruined food is contrasted with intricate, delicate technique. Richardson also presents a new series of work made especially for the Home Strike exhibition. Here, knitted breasts are both sexualised and reduced to emblems of motherhood.

Installation view, Su Richardson. Photo: Andy Keate, courtesy L’etrangere

In her video Fountain (2000), Istanbul-based artist and activist CANAN records the sounds of her lactating breasts. The film challenges audiences to radically reevaluate the way in which a women’s body is perceived. To forgo sexualised connotations that have been promoted in art and the wider cultural and political sphere, and to value their functionality and normality.

In all then, Home Strike offers a powerful and invigorating call to action: to engage with, and to challenge, existing notions of domesticity and femininity.

Home Strike is at L’étrangere in London until April 21st 2018.

 

Featured image: CANAN, Çeşme / Fountain (video still),  2000 © CANAN, courtesy the artist

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Raise The Barre

19.03.2018 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

The new season demands poise, precision and passion in order to do it justice. Watch the new fashion film from Agnes Llyod-Platt made especially for Twin magazine. Read the full story in the latest issue, out now.

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Dance

Twin Issue XVIII

19.03.2018 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

As we make our way through 2018, Twin delves into the complexities of female camaraderie through a low-key lens, as we study the closeness of sisterhood, as compiled by Holly Hay. Samuel Bradley also turns focus on girls with bows, as archery takes centre stage when accessorised with the latest collections. In the States, we meet Arrow De Wilde — daughter of rock photographer Autumn de Wilde — and the band she fronts, Starcrawler. Shot by Molly Matalon, this explosive group are as likely to shred expectations as riffs, as they spit fake blood on crowds and remind us all what music can, and potentially should, be about. Elsewhere, we take the drama to the ice as photographers Stevie and Mada give us incredible portraits of figure skating stars past, present and future, in catwalk attire to suit. The unimaginable power of pregnancy is also given the respect it deserves, thanks to Jesse J Jenkins and Aurelia Donaldson, in ‘The First Thing I Stole Was Your Milk’, and the important, and ethical, work of designer Bethany Williams is explored in ‘Cycle Of Exchange’. Lastly, we raise the barre on couture through the refined images of Agnes Lloyd-Platt, and find out what happened with Okay Kaya (Wilkins) almost met PJ Harvey. Join us for the ride.

BUY




BUY

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Le Jour Se Lève from Les Parfums Louis Vuitton

17.03.2018 | Beauty , Fashion | BY:

Embrace spring with this new scent from Louis Vuitton. Offering top notes of mandarin with hints of blackcurrent, jasmine and peony, this is a fresh, energising scent to kick start the day. Surround yourself with a sense of the new season: buy it now.

Louis Vuitton, Le Jour S Lève

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Artistic collaborations from London’s next generation of creatives

17.03.2018 | Art , Fashion | BY:

Fashion and Fine Art are as intertwined as any two mediums can be, and so on the surface a project that brings together five artist and five designers doesn’t seem so radical. But not every designer is Raf Simons, able to access and afford the works of Sterling Ruby for his Dior collections, or Gianni Versace, making Warhol’s iconic work part of Versace’s iconic image without fear of being sued. A titan of one industry working with a powerhouse of another often produces incredible results, but it rarely exposes anyone to anything new.

The reality is that producing a collection or a piece of work takes time and money, and most emerging designers and artists are short on both. Encountering the work of someone new and having the infrastructure to collaborate is a privilege, and it is a privilege that the BFC Fashion Arts Foundations aim to extend to more makers. Now in its second year, the FAF’s Fashion arts Commissions scheme sees the British Fashion Council and the Royal Academy Schools pair NEWGEN designers with recent graduates of the RA Schools. Each pair is given a budget and mentoring, and a year to produce work to be exhibited and sold at Christie’s.

As you might imagine some pairs clicked immediately, finding a symbiosis between their practice that made them easy and natural collaborators – Liam Hodges and Nicky Carvell got on so well that they used part of their funding to take a research trip to LA together. For others the clash of influence, interest and expectation might have made the creative process a little more torturous, but this kind of friction is sometimes needed to provoke new ideas and ways of working. Eliza Bonham Carter, Head of the Royal Academy Schools, puts it best: ‘The value of this process lies not only in these bold, surprising and intriguing works of art, but also in the process by which they are achieved, which will inform the practice of each participant long into the future’.

In an era where arts funding is on its knees, and the government continues to cull art from school curriculums, it’s heartening to see organisations like the Fashion Arts Foundation are still around. All proceeds from the sale at Christie’s will go back in to the Foundation, to continue funding future cycles of collaboration. Unsurprisingly the final works are as strong and diverse as the participants. Encountering each other’s different mediums, approaches and frames of reference has produced a show that is a testament to the aims of the project – there is something new here. Across the hall from the more stiff traditional pieces that are the bread and butter of a house like Christie’s, the viewer suddenly encounters is a looming metal parasol, ominously askew and slick with fabric; distorted metal sculptures that feel like collages in motion; a carpet swatch rolodex of endlessly pleasing textures printed over with sinister undertones; a room of balance and tension shadowed by projection, and a series of playful, Zeuss-like structures that are as elegant as they are unusual.

Hear about each pair’s pleasingly divergent inspiration below:

LIAM HODGES & NICKY CARVELL

The ideas behind our work – industrialism, decay and rejuvenation sparked instantly on our first meeting. A shared search / destroy / rebuild attitude meant the work had to be uncompromisingly tough yet hopeful. A road trip to Los Angeles and to salvaged sites ‘Slab City’ and ‘Salvation Mountain’ were essential to instigate our shared visions. Process wise, Liam immediately wanted to set everything on fire. The nearest we came to this was welding scrap metal with sheet steel. The end results are robust sculptures made with the American ‘can do’ attitude brought to life in an East End warehouse.

PAULA KNORR & APPAU JNR BOAKYE-YIADOM

We wanted to create a work that could exist in different iterations. Using materials that illustrated this, from the fabric that takes on different characteristics when hung, looking through, gathered on the floor or folded over. The parasol frame both electric and manually operated changing its size and orientation depending on the space in which its shown. The video illustrating a ball falling from the top of the frame to the bottom, looped in transit, accompanied with dubbed audio of a drum in an echo chamber of sound. Focusing on different forms of sculptural movement from both culture, fashion, video and sound.

RICHARD MALONE & MARCO PALMIERI

A garment, as a term, is ambiguous; it can serve a limited but clear purpose, or on other occasions can shed its functional vestiges and slip into the realms of surrealism, play and sensuality. Our bodies share an intimate relationship with these fabrics and textiles, from the clothes we wear, to the furnishings that decorate our houses. At the same time this relationship is fragile and fleeting; fashion dictates a constant change in taste. Our hope with this collaboration was to create something tactile and ephemeral, like the clothes we inhabit for the recital of our daily routines – delicate skins we shed with seasonal regularity. From gentle poses of the hand that are sketched out on sheets of paper and lines of laser-cut aluminium, to oversized figures/mannequins robed in intricately patterned fabric, the pieces present themselves in a theatrical, surrealist spirit.

 

SADIE WILLIAMS & CARLA BUSUTTIL

In highlighting the politics of algorithmic era information commodification, we use Google Adwords as material for exploring consumer hierarchies. Our “Google Adword Library” contains some of the most expensive words on auction: Mesothelioma. Lawyer. Blackjack. Cord Blood. Spread Betting. We re-channelled these words through the search engine, collaging image results on textiles through painting, bonding and printing. The installation includes a ‘tombola’ showroom display. The metallic structure stands as a confident, analogue representation of an abstract digital marketplace for words. The tombola also references ‘old school’ methods of enticing consumers – contrasted here with modern visual and digital methods of production.

SAMUEL ROSS OF A-COLD-WALL* & JULIE BORN SCHWARTZ

The starting point of the project was an exploration into the different layers that appear in Samuel’s designs. Working with the film media we wanted to play with the possibilities of light and transparency, like a collage of the different layers and structures of the clothes itself. The process was an ongoing back and forth inspiration: the musical score was made after some of the editing of the film, and the last film edit was made from the music’s compositions.

For sales enquiries contact the British Fashion Council.

Natural and animalistic: Twin meets jewellery maker Rebecca Onyett

11.03.2018 | Blog | BY:

Rebecca Ellis Onyett’s jewellery (REO Jewels) personifies everything that she stands for: it is unapologetically raw, natural, bold, elegant and visually strong. Like most young creatives looking to explore their craft and talent, having completed her degree at UCA in Silver and Goldsmithing Onyett came to London to carve out a career for herself. She spent the first two working in Harrods and Selfridges for jeweller Shaun Leane, until she felt that the experience and knowledge she had gained from this time was strong enough for her to formulate her own brand. Five years on, Onyett has created a mini empire where her brand recognition is growing steadily, as is her international following.

Speaking with Twin, Onyett explained the ethos behind REO jewels; I think it has always been the same, since the beginning. I’ve always just wanted to make jewellery that’s nature driven and animalistic in a sexy couture way. To be worn by strong women and men who feel free to express themselves by wearing something a bit different. For me it goes back to our ancestors who wore animal bones and skins to express their primitive strength. After all, we all were once animals ourselves.

This drive to make jewellery that places a strong focus on nature and animals comes from her experiences as a child, growing up in the Kentish countryside, constantly surrounded by the natural elements. I have always loved to be around nature and growing up spent a lot of time  both in the woods near my house but also along the Kentish coastline due to my father’s love for nature and always taking me for long woodland walks or beachcombing. From a very young age I always knew I was an artist. I always loved using my hands and after experimenting at Plymouth university in 3D design I found myself engrossed in a jewellery making evening class, which is when I knew I had found my calling. After finishing my degree at UCA in Silver and Goldsmithing I definitely felt a call to move to London and try and make a name for myself there.

While her time in London was critical to the success of REO Jewels, Onyett’s love of the city was starting to wane as she became more and more aware of its rushed quality of life and the realities all Londoner’s face; property development and gentrification. These became a catalyst for her move to the small Kentish seaside town of Margate; 5 years on, with a huge wealth of experience, new friendships and a mark made in the jewellery industry I started to fall out of love with London. I just felt that my quality of life was less than it had been after having to leave my huge studio due to development work and I felt the need for change. I mentioned this to other artist friends and Margate became a recurring theme. I decided to take a trip there as I had never visited before. As soon as I did, I knew I wanted to move there. I think that’s the thing with Margate you either get it or you don’t. And I got it.

Reo Jewels | Jenna Foxton

Having now lived in the seaside town for two years, Rebecca discusses what she loves most about it; the space, the fact that I have a home I can call my own and a new studio that is cheap and big. The skyline, something about Margate skies really does soothe the soul. The pace, everyone in London is in such a hurry that they miss out on life. You don’t even realise it until you leave but I was so caught up in having to make money that I forgot to enjoy the simple things. For Rebecca, REO jewels is both her work and passion, it is all-consuming, which means she tries to have moments separate from the business. With this in mind, she mentions Feral Sistas, a project she has started working on with her best friend. Throughout the summer the duo will travel around the UK to summer festivals in their 29 year old Bedford Rascal campervan hosting creative workshops, which will include jewellery making and life drawing. Onyett explains how the project naturally came to fruition through their shared love of meeting and engaging with new people on a creative and fun yet also productive level.

As for many small businesses, Instagram has been  instrumental in the growth of REO. Onyett’s beautifully curated profile, has been invaluable for the brand. It showcases her most popular products,  arguably her signet rings as well as the bespoke commissions she regularly receives. It is a godsend. I have a lot of sales through it and it’s a free platform to advertise. I’d like to think that not long from now I won’t need a website and I can do all my sales through it.

Sparrow Claw Pearl Earrings, £100

While in time it may not be necessary for Onyett to have a website, she will always depend on Hatton Garden for sourcing her materials. When we discuss the topic of gender equality within the jewellery world, she touches on London’s jewellery district and why she feels it is still so old school and relatively sexist; I suppose it is this way because there are not many women employees, especially in trade jobs. It is predominantly male and even the men my age working there have learnt the trade from being an apprentice. But from my time, university degrees seem to have produced mainly female contemporary jewellers (whether they are full on makers or just designers is a whole other point). So it seems to depend on your background , but saying that if you were female and couldn’t afford to do a course or a degree I think you’d find it hard to get an apprenticeship in Hatton garden.

Raised Bee Signet Mix, £75

For Onyett, having full control over her life is the most important part of working for herself. With this in mind, she credits her father for teaching her about the importance of a strong work ethic and describes him as her biggest inspiration. When asked who on the contemporary scene she would like to see wearing REO Jewels Rebecca’s response again embodies what she stands for; an individual who instinctively avoids the status quo; There isn’t really anyone current who I can think of but if I was making my jewels in a different time I’d say Janis Joplin or Courtney Love. Travelling, especially road tripping across America, and observing the reaction of a customer when they first see her work, are what make her most happy. You can find REO jewels on Broadway Market every Saturday from 9AM-4PM. If at first you cant find Onyett’s stand, listen out for and then follow the loud laugh, and that’s where she will be.

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Walter Van Beirendonck limited edition at Dover Street Market

10.03.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

This weekend sees the arrival of a bright, quirky new Walter Van Beirendonck installation at Dover Street Market, mirroring his electric and imaginative SS18 collection.

Designed by Alex Wolfe, the ‘Owl’s Whisper’ display reflects the geometric shapes, loud colours and sense of play at the heart of the collection. The new installation also coincides of the launch of new Walter Van Beirendonck items in store at Dover Street Market, with 40 limited edition, handmade t-shirts that combine parts of clothes from old collections. Get them while you can.

Walter Van Beirendonck

Walter Van Beirendonck

Walter Van Beirendonck

Walter Van Beirendonck

Walter Van Beirendonck at Dover Street Market

Walter Van Beirendonck

Twin loves: Rouge Coco

10.03.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Write your own rules, make your own story: Chanel’s Rouge Coco blush is the Twin women all over. Be bold with lines, experiment with style and go beyond all the norms. This is a blush that will leave you feeling empowered, and ready to wow ’em.

The new rouge Chanel lip blush campaign offers an ode to the COCO fragrance advert created in 1992. Back then it was the emerging starlet Jean-Paul Goude on a swing. Now it’s the young starlet Lily-Rose Depp in the frame, proving that Chanel’s sense of play and style is timeless.

Watch campaign star Lily-Rose Depp showing how it’s done in the video below.

Chanel Rouge Coco is available in stores and online now.

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