Melissa Jordan Interface 26, 2016

FACIAL RECOGNITION: A two-woman show

19.07.2017 | Art , Culture | BY:

Dealing in themes of feminine representation in the media and the body at large, ‘Facial Recognition’ takes the work of two celebrated British-born artists and turns it into a striking visual dialogue. Images from glossy media form the basis of Melissa Jordan and Eve Ackroyd’s work; subjects are warped and reimagined, transported into otherworldly places, where the traditional figurative is given a new freedom of form.

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‘Slats’, Eve Ackroyd

Jordan’s work features process-led clay sculptures, Ackroyd is solely a painter; and while in execution their work is very different, the thematic undercurrents and inherent symbolism of their subjects live intuitively in quite a similar space. The artists explain: ‘Trapped in a state of conflict between the visual narratives of their new world and the expressive postures of their past, these paintings and sculptures exist in a remote place, caught in expressions of restlessness and desire’.

The show runs from July 14-22, by appointment at Convoy Projects.

Convoyprojects.com

Main image: ‘Interface 26’, Melissa Jordan

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TH_PORTRAIT

Timothy Han: The story behind scent

18.07.2017 | Beauty | BY:

Described as an ‘olfactory storyteller’, Timothy Han is flipping the fragrance landscape on its head with his innovative approach to scent through his brand TH/E Parfum. By taking inspiration from a multitude of sources, such as literature, he is adept at never limiting himself to widely perceived ‘norms’ of practice. Most recently, Han has been combining fragrance with music and VR, to create an entirely new sensory experience. This week, he will appear in residency at Somerset House, as part of their Perfume Lab series. We caught up with the man himself to discover the process behind the genius…

You create perfumes that have a life of their own – what was your journey into this world?
My journey into the world of fragrance was rather accidental. I wouldn’t say there was any specific moment that led to where I am today – rather a haphazard series of events that led from one thing to another. It was everything from my time working with a fledgling John Galliano and his love of scented candles to launching my own candle brand; a chance and somewhat amusing encounter with Francis Kurkdijan who planted the idea in my head and a drink with my friend Paul Tvaroh who started making drinkable perfumes many, many years ago. I was also very lucky to have the support of Caroline Burstein who was the creative director of Browns at the time, and she promised that if I made perfume that Browns would help launch the brand. Who could say no to that?

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Why was creating scent built through journey important to you?
One of the things I learned at Galliano was the importance of storytelling. At a time when most designers were just sending models down catwalks he was creating theatre. The models were acting out characters from a story he imagined. They entered by driving vintage cars, John’s interpretation of the catwalk was filled with props like writing desks, wardrobes and beds…he even had ancillary actors on the stage who were dressed in costume and helped to round out the story that he was trying to tell. It was his attention to and ability to create a journey for both the audience and the models which I could see created a much richer and engaging experience than what anybody else was doing that inspired me.

How do you see the relationship between literature and perfume, and who inspires the scents?
I never liked it when a perfumer created a perfume based on something so personal to themselves that the person wearing the perfume had no connection to. I like the idea that with literary inspirations you may have read the book and you certainly can read the book on which the perfume is based so that immediately you have a basis for connection. That way you can agree or disagree with my interpretation and we can at least begin to build a dialogue.

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What’s your favourite creation so far?
That’s like asking a parent which their favourite child is…but if I had to answer I would say my first fragrance ‘She Came to Stay’ for no other reason than that is what set me on this wonderful ride.

And were there particular creations that surprised you?
Certainly…but I haven’t released them. And for those who do get to experience them it will only be fleeting, during secret underground performances (at least until our album is released next year) of our collective Miro Shot that fuses music, fragrance and virtual reality to create a new kind of immersive reality concert experience.

What are your earliest memories of scent?
At the risk of sounding corny…walking through a pine forest in winter.

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How do you think people’s relationship with scent changes as they mature?
I’m not sure that that is so easy to answer – as I think it comes down to the person. While generally speaking (and baring any disabilities) we all have have a sense of smell like we all have eyes to see. But how many people look up in this world or are even remotely aware of half of what their eyes take in at any one time. It’s the same with our sense of smell – for our relationship with smell to change we need to focus on it and be aware of all that it is taking in.

How has the landscape changed? What is it that makes a scent ‘modern’?
People are definitely becoming more aware of fragrance and in particular niche brands. More people are seeking out unique fragrances which reflect their personality and allow them to stand apart from all the masses wearing big brand perfumes. As for what makes a scent modern – it’s the way in which the fragrances are combined and the use of ingredients. For example: you are seeing a lot more fragrances which evoke tar and charcoal now than previously.

What are you looking forward to with your residency at Somerset House?
I’m looking forward to two things. Firstly the lab we are using is being kindly provided by Givaudan and they have a number of proprietary fragrance notes which they will be providing us and which I have never had a chance to smell before. Secondly I will be working alongside my friend Roman Rappak where we will be tying fragrance notes to musical notes. Up until now we have only done this in the privacy of our own workspace so it will be fun to hear people’s feedback as we present variations of different musical notes against a specific fragrance note.

‘Perfume Lab Residencies: Timothy Han’ takes place on Sunday 23 July, 2017. See https://www.somersethouse.org.uk for booking information.

Becky Smith is the Creative Director for Timothy Han; photography throughout by George Harvey; produced by Twin Studio.

Timothyhanedition.com

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Tambour Horizon Monogram

Louis Vuitton: a stitch in time

14.07.2017 | Fashion | BY:

This week Louis Vuitton introduce a new facet in their already multi-platform luxury offering: the gift of time. Or more precisely, punctuality, thanks to the revolutionary Tambour Horizon.

The art of travel has long been at the core of any endeavour that this French Maison has pursued, and for this wristwatch, which is as beautiful as it is innovative, a global range of expertise has been called upon. Conceived in Paris, created in Switzerland, further developed in California’s Silicon Valley and for the first time, fit for use in China, the Tambour Horizon is much more than a smart piece of technology, it is a lifestyle.

Louis Vuitton Tambour Horizon

Ever since the first Tambour timepiece was launched in 2002, Louis Vuitton have been connecting the ever-changing dots between design and functionality. And now, the brand is also connecting journeys, and as a consequence, continents.

Louisvuitton.com

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Roller Disco

14.07.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Add a punchy disco twist to everyday style with YSL patchwork pieces from their Fall collection. Full of neon flourishes and pop art references, these perfect patchwork pieces are your summer fling.

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Reggie Blennerhassett, Outside London Lesbian and Gay Centre, early 1980s | © Reggie Blennerhassett. Courtesy the artist

Love Happens Here: celebrating the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality

09.07.2017 | Art , Culture | BY:

‘Love Happens Here’ is a commemorative exhibition that celebrates the historic struggle of the LBGTIQI movement. Presented by The Photographer’s Gallery off-site at City Hall, the exhibition displays a range of visual perspectives from London’s LBGTIQI community.

Constructed to mark the 50th anniversary of the decriminalisation of homosexuality in England and Wales, ‘Love Happens Here’ tracks the progression towards equality for the LBGTIQI community, since the milestone legislation was first introduced in 1967.

Emily Rose England, Inside London’s Enduring Queer Club Scene, 2016 | © Emily Rose England. Courtesy the artist

Emily Rose England, Inside London’s Enduring Queer Club Scene, 2016 | © Emily Rose England. Courtesy the artist

Included in the exhibition are works by prolific arts editor Ian David Baker, who worked for several gay magazines in the 1980s, and who documents early Pride parades through his black and white photographs. Reggie Blennerhassett provides intimate snapshots from the Greater London Council’s Lesbian and Gay Centre, allowing a candid insight into the Labour funded space, which was founded in 1984. Emily Rose England, who is both a photographer and an organiser for club night Sassitude, explores the currency of London’s vibrant clubbing scene.

Ian David Baker, Pride, 1980 | © Ian David Baker. Courtesy the artist

Ian David Baker, Pride, 1980 | © Ian David Baker. Courtesy the artist

Curated by Karen McQuaid for London Mayor Sadiq Khan, every aspect of the exhibition has been designed to reflect the work of the LBGTIQI community. This includes the font, which is appropriately Gilbert, and commemorates Gilbert Baker, the artist, gay rights activist and designer of the iconic rainbow flag in 1978. Gilbert passed away earlier this year, and the font was created in his honour.

Emily Rose England, Inside London’s Enduring Queer Club Scene, 2016 | © Emily Rose England. Courtesy the artist

Emily Rose England, Inside London’s Enduring Queer Club Scene, 2016 | © Emily Rose England. Courtesy the artist

Other works on display are portraits by Anthony Luvera, Kate Elliott and Tania Olive, who each address gender, sexual identity and global politics through their studies of Londoners from the LGBTIQI community.

 

‘Love Happens Here’ will be on display at City Hall until 28th July.

 

(Title image credit: Reggie Blennerhassett, Outside London Lesbian and Gay Centre, early 1980s | © Reggie Blennerhassett. Courtesy the artist)

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LOEWE publication #15

07.07.2017 | Fashion | BY:

We’ve got that Friday feeling courtesy of LOEWE‘s hardcover Fall Winter 2017 – 2018 publication. Shot by Jamie Hawkesworth in a set designed by M/M (Paris), the publication features French model and actress Laetitia Casta. Playing with contrasting forms, the images juxtapose sharp angular structures with the female form.

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

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LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

LOEWE publication Fall Winter 2017-2018. Photography by Jamie Hawkesworth

The run of 1,200 hand-numbered copies will be available at select LOEWE stores.

© Anita Corbin

Forging solidarity in Anita Corbin’s ‘Visible Girls: Revisited’

04.07.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

In the early 1980’s 22 year old photographer Anita Corbin captured the lives of women from different subcultures in the UK. Photographed mainly in London, the project documented the power of female friendship and individuality, offering candid portraits of their everyday lives. From mods to new romantics, rockabillies to punks, Corbin (who was just starting her career at the time) told the story of these women in their natural habitats, whether that was at friends house’s or social centres.

The project was called ‘Visible Girls‘ and Corbin’s 28 images toured the UK throughout the 1980’s and 1990’s, garnering acclaim both for her subject matter and for her photography style, which saw her shoot in slow film and with a portable flash.

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36 years later, Anita decided to find the women and offer a new series that centred on who the women have become. Having tracked down over 70% of those she photographed, Visible Girls:Revisited is a radical and vital examination of age and identity; an exhibition which allows individual spirit to transcend time.

The original portraits will be showcased alongside the new series, and audiences can also listen to original tape recordings from interviews in 1981.

© Anita Corbin

© Anita Corbin

“This exhibition is not only about the powerful bond between women united by subculture, belief and friendship, but about the potential of women coming together across generations.”  Says Anita, reflecting on the forthcoming exhibition. “Visible Girls: Revisited, allows the ‘visibility’ of youth to shine a light on the often-disregarded wisdom of the older woman, revealing a unique, cross-generational tribe with the power to provoke and inspire.”

© Anita Corbin

© Anita Corbin

 

Launching in Hull, the exhibition will tour Norwich, Exeter and Bristol, with other spots to be announced soon. In an age where so much emphasis is placed on the power of a fleeting selfie, this tribute to female friendship, culture and style across decades is, kind of ironically giving the time lapse, offers a fresh approach to how women are depicted today.

“This is an exhibition where mothers and daughters will find mutually provocative ground through which to forge a rare solidarity” adds Anita. “At this point in our history we need [that] more than ever.”

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© Anita Corbin

Anita Corbin ‘Visible Women: Revisited’ runs 7th July 2017 – 8th October 2018. 

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© Anita Corbin

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Louis Vuitton x Supreme

02.07.2017 | Fashion | BY:

180 The Strand is playing host to some of London’s most fashionable events this summer. Launching the day before the Gurl’s Talk event at the same venue, Louis Vuitton have set up shop to give the city a preview of their Supreme collaboration, and it’s as good as we expected.

Bringing together influences from 70’s, 80’s and 90’s New York, the collaboration pairs the confident street aesthetic of Supreme with the high fashion design of Louis Vuitton, seamlessly fusing the two strands into one, highly covetable whole.

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Visit to explore their RTW collections, as well as leather goods, accessories and exclusives specially made for the pop-up. We’ll see you there.

Louis Vuitton x Supreme pop-up store at 180 The Strand, June 30th – 21st July, 2017

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Reserve and check in: Nobu Hotel Shoreditch is London’s hottest new haunt

02.07.2017 | Culture | BY:

Escape the worst of London and embrace what it does best with a stay at the new Nobu Hotel in Shoreditch. Following on from openings in Miami, Manilla and Las Vegas, Nobu’s new opening in London is a welcome addition to the cultural scene.

With modernist exteriors and minimal interiors, the design reflects the creative prowess of East London; the hotel’s facade offers an interplay of colour, reflection and light, while inside Japanese influences take the fore.

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Nobu Hotel Shoreditch | photos by Will Pryce

Offering 150 bedrooms and the latest Nobu restaurant, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch marries a casual atmosphere with captivating aesthetics, making it a wholly Instagrammable and über trendy place to head to this summer. Alongside dreamy rooms and suits, there’ll also be events throughout the year. It’s time to check it out, and check yourself in.

 

 

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Summer Vibes are Here with Paco Rabanne RS18 Collection

29.06.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Feminine silhouettes meet boyish looks for Paco Rabanne RS18. Think fitted waists and cutaway tank tops, draped knitwear and slinky shirts; bright colours play against neutral hues while checkerboard patterns add fresh texture to familiar shades. Embrace for a full summer refresh.

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Weyes Blood © Katie Miller

‘If I had my way with clothes I would be mostly naked’: Twin meets Weyes Blood

26.06.2017 | Blog , Music | BY:

‘Y…O….L….O’ sings Natalie Mering in her wistful, luscious composition, ‘Generation Why’. The letters come so elliptically that you almost don’t piece the word together, especially as the sarcasm is delivered in angelic tones, packaged with fleeting guitars. Elsewhere on ‘Seven Words’ the same emotive voice offers a more morose, melancholic narrative. These two songs offer a survey of range of Natalie Mering’s (aka Weyes Blood) canon, and it’s no surprise that she’s considered to be one of America’s most exciting female artists. Whether she’s contributing to other records or delivering her own kind of ephemeral gospel, the music is rich, immersive and often sardonic  – the fact that she’s supporting Father John Misty on tour (and is regularly photographed by his wife, and Twin favourite Emma Tillman) seems a perfect fit.

Her third album, Front Row Seat To Earth is filled with West Coast meandering melodies which encompass personal stories and wider musings on the world. Sloppy listeners will find themselves caught off guard in the same way that attentive ones wait with anticipation to see where the lyrics will bend next. Either way, you’ll find yourself surprised and likely with a grin on your face. In the midst of touring, Twin caught up with the Californian singer to chat about the state of music, collaborating with Perfume Genius and the duality of performance.

In the last two years, there’s been a lot of talk about the rise of the 70’s singer-songwriter. Do you consider yourself to be part of this movement?

In some ways, but not entirely – I love music from all decades, all time periods. The 70’s thing is convenient because its definitely a convergence of a lot of different influences, it was a vibrant time that set the pace for the time we still live in now. I can associate with that aspect of it, but I don’t think of myself as 70s. 

What does a 70’s sound mean to you? What was magical about that era of recording?

Music started to expand into different micro genres, things were becoming less homogenised. That’s pretty magical. Also most people were recording to tape and collaborating with a lot of different, smart, creative people. Producers, players, arrangers. It was the hey day of money being thrown into interesting projects because mainstream music hadn’t been totally strangulated yet— big record labels were still taking risks and culturally we were discovering the future as we know it now.

How did you go about shaping the sound for your record? What specifically were you influenced by, and what were you listening to?

I was listening to a lot of Soft Machine and classical music — I wanted to make something epic but also personal… Chris Cohen had a really good ear for this concept, we used a very limited amount of microphones while recording and did a lot of things live to capture that feeling, make it all feel like it was recorded in the same sphere. I was also was listening to a lot of Weather Report which is a pretty strange non-sequitur – I have a tendency to listen to things that are very different from my own music while I’m creating.

There’s a strong visual element that runs through your cover and videos, do you think in ‘the digital age’ image has taken on a heightened significance for music?

Not necessarily — we’ve always been a civilisation driven by imagery. Things probably changed the most in the 80s when music videos become synonymous with artists – suddenly people had to look really good, seem young. I think now more than ever we’re less interested in innovative music, which makes the imagery seem more important. It’s like the music is an afterthought. Music has been congealed into a very specific “industry standard” that’s numbed peoples tastes a bit, made it a more narrow experience for the masses as a whole. 

In the album the emotional nuances are very powerful – do you have to access and inhabit the original emotions that you had when writing the songs when you’re performing them, or can you do it with a certain level of detachment?

I’ve learned to replace it with other emotions if I don’t want to conjure the old ghosts – I try to avoid detachment in an apathetic sense, but sometimes I do let go and stop thinking and just feel whats happening. That’s like detachment in the zen sense.

Your fashion sense is impeccable. Do you see your style as part of the Weyes Blood persona, or is it an expression as Natalie?

It’s a part of Weyes Blood— if I, as in Natalie, had my way with clothes I would be mostly naked or wearing huge swaths of fabric. I do like a good suit, its like a huge swath of monochrome fabric but organized a bit more. If it fits super well you can climb a mountain in a suit, live in a suit. Classic hobo.

And thinking more broadly about that potential duality – why did you want to work under a different name when putting out your own music?

I wanted it to be a different world. I’m not that much of a realist with my art – there’s a lot of fantasy and imagination involved, occupying an archetypal space, my lyrics are the most Natalie Mering thing about it all and I think that stands out just enough. It’s still not too late to release under my own name someday, but I’d rather just make films or do stand up comedy under my name. Those are more Natalie Mering things.

You have worked and toured with Perfume Genus. Tell us more what that collaboration means to you?

Mike is an incredible soul —  he carries very powerful and moving musical ideas that I feel a kindred spirit with. Singing with him is always an elating experience. I think we have the same knack for a certain kind of musical drama and vulnerability. He’s definitely been an inspiration to me.

Generally you’ve worked with a lot of exciting artists, who would you like to work with in the future?

I’d love to work with somebody who’s very different from me, see what that’s like. I’m first and foremost a really big fan of music, so there’s lots of people I can imagine working with. It’d be fun to dip into a top 40’s world or make a Nashville country record. Sky’s the limit.

What are your plans for the rest of the year, and what are you looking forward to?

I’m going to be touring with Father John Misty in the states, UK and Europe this fall – right now I’m writing my next record and cultivating a new sphere to take back into the studio with me for the next one. I am most looking forward to getting back in the studio and recording!

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Gurls Talk x Coach Festival

21.06.2017 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Conversation-changing platform Gurls Talk and Coach have partnered up for powerful new festival, coming to London at the beginning of July. Throughout the day, the event will celebrate women in all their many and majestic facets, with the likes of Hari Nef, New Statesman columnist and fierce activist Laurie Penny and US Vogue contributor and relationship expert Karley Sciortino all joining to fuel debate and discussion around gender.

The event kicks off with a speech from Gurls Talk founder Adowa Aboah, who started the platform as a means of encouraging girls to speak more openly around issues of mental health and identity. Her ongoing commitment to activism has seen Gurls Talk grow into a formidable and vital organisation, offering a much needed space for young women to receive support and mentoring.

There will also be choreography classes from Wayne McGregor and a library by Claire de Rouen – and best of all, it’s free.

Gurls Talk x Coach Festival will take place 1st July, 12 – 6 pm at 180 The Strand, London 

 

 

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The Female Japanese Photographers to Watch

18.06.2017 | Art | BY:

Until early July, IBASHO Gallery in Antwerp will host the works of twelve young female photographers from Japan. IBASHO means ‘a place where you can be yourself’ in Japanese, and the gallery consistently displays stunning Japanese photography in its many forms.

The title of this show is ‘Female Force from Japan’, and it includes photographs from an array of young female artists, with images ranging from the raw and unpolished, to the minimalist and still.

Kumi Oguro, 'Drift' 2015

Kumi Oguro, ‘Drift’ 2015

The exhibition will display selected images from artist Yukari Chikura’s series ‘Fluorite Fantasia’, a very personal body of work that deals with the death of her father. Photographer Mikoko Hara presents a selection of her square-formatted photographs, all taken without using a viewfinder, and London-based photographer Akiko Takizawa exhibits images that use the 150-year-old Collotype printing process, which originated in France. Other artists included in the exhibition are Haromi Kakimoto, whose crisp images falter between our everyday lives and our dream worlds, and Mika Nitadori, whose artistic focus is on human interaction.

Mika Horie, 'Spring Dragon' 2016

Mika Horie, ‘Spring Dragon’ 2016

The varied and compelling nature of the works are tied together by both the artists’ gender and national identity. And with works by Western photographers who have been inspired by Japan also on display, this exhibition at IBASHO ensures a complete survey of the exciting work coming out of the country, and its wider ramifications for contemporary culture on the international stage. 

Reiko Imoto, 'Parallelism' 2000

Reiko Imoto, ‘Parallelism’ 2000

‘Female Force from Japan’ will show at IBASHO Gallery in Antwerp until 2nd July

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An exclusive look at Sies Marjan’s new Fall 1 editorial

14.06.2017 | Fashion | BY:

In fashion it’s increasingly rare for creative individuals to collaborate without a clear (usually financial) purpose. But to celebrate their Fall 1 collection, Sies Marjan‘s creative director Sander Lak paired up with photographer Roe Etheridge stylist Marie Chaix to create a new series which embraces art for art’s sake.

The idea was simply to celebrate the texture and silhouette of the designs, focussing on the heady combination of materials – Chukka loafers in nubuck leather, satin sweatshirts, metallic and tinsel details – and the way in which they interact.

Sander Lak commented: “I always like the idea of not having an agenda or goal and just come together with talented people and create stuff. Sometimes all the projects and shoots and lookbooks and presentations that are scheduled for various goals are a creative killer. We work on them just to get them done in time… This project was very much about rejecting that idea. Not having a clear final purpose really freed us up creatively and ended up being so helpful with putting the show together a few months after this shoot.”

Twin was given an exclusive teaser of the new editorial, check out some of the images below.

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Paula Knorr: Painting Power

09.06.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Paula Knorr paints power. Through molten textures and engulfing energy, striking clashes and forthright form. The brush she paints with is of a modern sensibility, dappled by her emotive translations through evocative fabric and stylistic fluidity.
The womenswear designer, currently supported by the British Fashion Council’s support scheme NEWGEN, initiated her interest in design with a naturalised association of fashion as an art form: as her artistic explorations developed, so did her desire to place the female at the foreground of her inspiration, with the presentation of femininity and strength colouring her collections each season.
From her emphasis on movement and sway in the shapes she cuts, there is something quite mesmerising about a Paula Knorr piece in motion. For Paula, clothes create a synergy between the wearer and themselves – seen in how her garments appear to mould around the body’s lines and horizons. Through her methodology – draping first on the figure before sketching out her ideas – the woman is the leading instigator in her inspirations. Her February 2017 showcase at London Fashion Week, Collages of Herself, took shape from excerpts of conversations Paula conducted with inspiring women, the figure and the female psyche informing the results. Her premier collection, ‘Her Wet Skin’, injected the power of contrasts between fabric choice to react and cause an emotional response to the collection. Discussing the challenges and responsibilities of design and the role of reality, the emerging designer is creating more than collections, she is aiming to capture expressions.
Paula Knorr AW17

Paula Knorr AW17

 

As a young woman of the 21st Century, what influenced your decision to study fashion?

I knew that I wanted to create clothes from a really young age on. I was always sketching and sewing outfits for my little sister. Growing up in a very artistic household – my parents are both artists and illustrators – I naturally saw fashion as an art form and for a long time not the commercial side of it.

How did your design process and inspirations change from when you began your studies?

When I started to study it was hard for me to source inspiration in personal subjects. Especially during your studies you have to talk about concept and inspiration on a daily basis in front of various people – I was too self-conscious to really work through my inner heartstrings. It was during my MA in London at the RCA that I realised there is no time to hide behind fashionable subjects – that it’s more worth your time when you work on something that truly defines you.

Paula Knorr AW17

Paula Knorr AW17

What is your design process now?

My main intention in my design is to put the woman in the foreground, not the cloth. It´s all about her body, her movement and her personal beauty. This interaction and balance between the body and the garments is essential . Details, prints, etc. come second: that´s why I never start by drawing my ideas. I have to drape and preferably create them directly on a real body to explore how they interact.

How does the female voice shape your seasonal collections?

To support and illustrate female identity is the core of my designs. In fashion you sometimes get the feeling that the superficial vision of a girl and her clothes on the runway is getting more attention than the real woman that wears the garment later on. Every season, I try to define a method to reverse that and remind of the actual purpose of fashion.

What does being a designer mean to you? Are you a translator of femininity and power?

As a womenswear designer it is absolutely necessary to challenge yourself and what femininity means to you. Your sole field of work is to dress women, so you have the responsibility to be progressive, powerful and a fighter for their wishes. In your small area of reach you have the chance to contribute and absolutely change something for women.

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You describe your most recent collection as a complex collage of attributes – what are they and what lends to their complexities?

I wanted to showcase the diversity and complexity of the female psyche and appearance. Like in a collage all those emotions and characteristics don´t belong or fit together, they come from all sorts of places. Fashion tends to showcase this one dimensional, fictive girl as a muse. This makes the collection easy to understand, but also not relevant as an inspiration to reality.

How do you unite abstract emotion with material expression?

I wanted to transfer the interaction of sometimes conflicting emotions directly into garments by choosing fabrics which are not easy to understand and trigger your haptic impression. For example the AW17 silk and foil mix chiffon, which can look like glossy transparent latex in pictures, but moves like super thin chiffon, which creates a beautiful antithetic effect.

Your mission statement discusses creating an identity that allows a balance of strength and vulnerability – how do they feed into each other?

In reality a personality is never one dimensional. You can feel strong and vulnerable at the same time and tons of things more. To influence my design with reality, with a realistic female identity, is important in my process. What does femininity mean to you? My own picture of femininity is not the most unconventional one per se, but I have no problem with this. I think the main goal of feminism nowadays is to create room and acceptance for all concepts of feminine identity equally.

In an age of social anxiety, pressure and responsibility, where does your brand sit amidst the uncertainties surrounding women of our generation?

I want to connect to women of our generation which feel lost between gender neutral and over-sexual. I want to show that to be a feminine woman is equally important and needs the same attention than to be anything else. I was never the coolest kid and I always loved to feel really feminine. My main goal is to create a wardrobe for those women, which are not afraid to be strong and powerful but equally feminine.

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Explore new designers at In-Neoss pop up shop

09.06.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Sustainable fashion brand NEOSS will house the inNeoss pop-up shop in Hackney Road this June, bringing together designs and publications from a number of emerging brands. Participants include sustainable clothing line ELLISS, Edie Campbell’s label Itchy Scratchy Patchy, the bold and fearless Clio Peppiatt, denim brand I AND ME, and season-less, unisex clothes from Bonnie Fechter, as well as many others.

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I AND ME

The pop-up is a non-profit project for NEOSS, and all money made will go back into the store, which will then be taken around the country, cropping up in carefully selected cities throughout the UK. The initiative is intended to bring attention and profit to these young designers within a conventional store setting.

Keep your eyes peeled for special in-store events every Thursday of the month, this is a fashionable pop-up you don’t want to miss. 

inNEOSS will be open from the 3rd to the 30th June between 10am and 7pm June at  205 Hackney Road.

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Cats & Plants

06.06.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

As simple as the title suggests, this new book from independent publishing house Zioxla is all of the internet clichés repackaged into something new, fun and fresh.

Featuring the work of Chicago-based artist Stephen Eichhorn, the book is a playful ode to one of the most familiar images in contemporary culture. There’s always something interesting about bringing Internet trends offline, and Eichhorn’s work offers a meta-read of what cats have come to stand for, taking what’s familiar and transforming it into something surprising.

While plants have been a constant recurrence in Eichhorn’s work, when he began working on this latest series of collages he decided to pursue images and references from niche publications only. This led to discovering and using images from publications such as Japanese cactus guide books and abstracted parts of Orchids.

Having started the project back in 2009, the 200-page tome is the culmination of years of work, with the honed, stylised graphic quality that has defined other work reflected here too. Cats eyes jump out of shells, blend with cacti and peek from behind coniferous leaves. Its’s funny, light-hearted and smart; we predict ‘Cats & Plants‘ will be your new obsession this summer.

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Anne Morris in ‘Form and Volume’

04.06.2017 | Art | BY:

What happens when you take simple objects and turn them into art? Annie Morris’ practice grew out of drawing. Her love of line develop into sculpture, painting and free-hand sewn works that exude joy. She uses everyday objects such as biro pens and clothes pegs to make pieces that brim with a personal visual language full of narrative pleasure.

The staking sculptures she has on show in Form and Volume at CF Hill in Stockholm sit firmly between the abstract and figurative. They are often human scale, or larger than life, but seem to echo the vertical stance of the human body. She reduces her forms to shapes that are circular but inanimate. She plays with gravity, creating balls of pigment and colour that seem to defy the laws of nature.

The formal nature of her stacks veer towards the language of painting. She studied with Giuseppe Penone at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris and Phyllida Barlow at the Slade in London – and reflects their sense of solemnity and play, free space and steadiness.

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She uses coloured pigment, chalk and watercolour on the surface of her balls, which are intentionally hand made and uneven. Their imperfections give them a feeling joy, lightness and humour. The balls should fall apart, but Morris’ has enabled them to reach upward seemingly through hope and intention as much as anything else.

Each of Morris’ colourful combinations are unique. There is a sense of repetition and exploration in combinations that brings to mind Joseph Albers. She obsessively deconstructs and reconfigures fragments on order to create something harmonious. The stacking series slowly emerged in the wake of her experience of giving birth to a stillborn child, the resulting trauma and the relationship with her desire to have children (she now has two). These are works about hope and harmony in the face of hardship.

Morris has now begun to explore making stack works in metal – experimenting in both bronze and steel. Most recently she has been working with technicians who fabricated work for the iconic British modernist sculptor, Barbara Hepworth. A feminist aesthetic heritage runs throughout Morris’ work, yet her work is not limited by references to gender – her use of line echoes both Jean Cocteau and Louise Bourgeois. This is an artist whose ever-expanding approach is both personal and refreshingly accessible and universal.

Annie Morris is on show in Form and Volume at CF Hill, Stockholm until June 30

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Fashion Flora at SHOWstudio

01.06.2017 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

In their latest exhibition, SHOWstudio offers a botanical paradise in which fashion illustrators and flowers combine for a refreshing presentation.

The exhibition brings together an array of works by renowned names including Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten and John Galliano. Curated by Flora Starkey, the best seasonal British flowers combine with these works, and films from SHOWstudio’s 17-year archive, to create a summery, fresh space in which audiences can explore the long-standing relationship between fashion and flowers.

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“Flowers have always been a huge influence and inspiration in the art of fashion design as well as a recurring theme throughout my own work.” Commented Nick Knight. “It is with great pleasure that I can announce the latest exhibition at the SHOWstudio Fashion Illustration gallery, ‘Fashion Flora’. The exhibition presents an explorative look at the use of flowers as a motif in fashion throughout the decades, as seen by 40 of the world’s preeminent contemporary fashion illustrators. Curated by Flora Starkey, who is one of the most exciting floral designers working today, the exhibition will also feature Flora’s beautiful flower arrangements.”

Fashion Flora is open at SHOWstudio now. 

 

Ella Kruglyanskaya, Drawing of Lounging Woman in Straw Hat, 2015, Oil on linen, 53.3 x 58.4 cm, Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London

Celebrating tradition and championing the future: ’31 Women’ is back

29.05.2017 | Art | BY:

In 1943, art collector Peggy Guggenheim hosted the ground-breaking ’31 Women’ exhibition at her New York Gallery, lending a platform to female artists who hailed from the contemporary worlds of surrealism and abstract expressionism. From the 2nd June, Breese Little Gallery will present a sequel to this pioneering exhibition, tracing this group of female artists from the 1940s up to the present day, and including works by successive generations of female surrealists and abstract expressionists.

We spoke to Director Josephine Breese, to find out about the relevance of this exhibition today, and the themes that are highlighted by these dual genres. 

What drew you to Peggy Guggenheim’s 1943 exhibition and why did you decide to bring it into the present day?

Our exhibition channels the celebratory spirit of the original concept, at an appropriate moment to revisit the relevance of Guggenheim’s all female show. While the format of 31 women artists was unusual for its time in 1943, the exhibition was presented without extra fanfare, in step with the courage of many of Guggenheim’s avant-garde decisions. This provided a prominent platform for Guggenheim’s circle, incorporating artists such as Dorothea Tanning, Louise Nevelson, Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington and Meret Oppenheim.

RACHEL WHITEREAD. STEP 2007 | Photo credit: Mike Bruce

RACHEL WHITEREAD. STEP 2007 | Photo credit: Mike Bruce

How does 31 Women at Breese Little differ from the exhibition at Peggy Guggenheim’s Gallery in 1943?

We adopted a starting point of the dual strands of abstraction and surrealism, in the ascendance of 1940s New York, alongside the additional framework of the British connection that is shared by the participating artists. These themes are developed through subsequent generations, represented by contributions from the 1940s to the present day, from early British modernists to iconic female artists of the 60s and 70s.

What techniques do the artists use to convey these themes?

An advantage of having 31 participating artists is the breadth of different materials used! A brief overview includes ripped canvas, bark, steel, latex, resin, jesmonite, and a handwritten letter by Tracey Emin.

Why did you feel that it was important to put on an exhibition using only female artists?

The benefit of an exclusively female context is that it can be considered from multiple perspectives, and we are particularly drawn to its capacity as an open forum for discussion between the work on show as well as its timing. The exhibition concept met with enthusiasm from artists and galleries involved from its early planning stages, indicating the confidence and place for shows of its kind at this moment.

Eileen Agar, Fighter Pilot, 1940

Eileen Agar, Fighter Pilot, 1940

Are there any works in the collection that particularly stand out to you?

31 Women is composed of a wonderful and wide spectrum of contributions, which chart a loose introduction to the timespan and production from the 1930s – 2017. Claude in Gillian’s Shadow (2017) is Gillian Wearing’s testament to this legacy. The small silver gelatin print was made shortly before her exhibition with Claude Cahun at The National Portrait gallery, and revisits a 1938 self-portrait by Cahun. Likewise, Katie Schwab recognises the history of modernist making processes that are often traditionally ascribed to female practitioners. Schwab’s compact ceramic composite from the recent Leftovers series, anticipates the research she is currently undertaking on the Wilhelmina Barns-Graham Residency at Porthmeor Studios in St Ives.

’31 Women’ will be on display at Breese Little Gallery from June 2nd until 31st July 2017.

Featured image credit: Ella Kruglyanskaya, Drawing of Lounging Woman in Straw Hat, 2015, Oil on linen, 53.3 x 58.4 cm, Courtesy the artist and Thomas Dane Gallery, London

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