London Fashion Week Day 3: Natasha Zinko, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Margaret Howell, Osman

16.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover Image:  Preen by Thornton Bregazzi SS20 by Tom Warabida

Urban sustainability at Natasha Zinko x DUO

Images by Tom Warabida

At last, it seems like fashion has finally taken notice of its toll on the planet. Indeed, the theme of sustainability is finally being embraced in every fashion city and is a big theme at the core of this season’s spirit.

For SS20, Ukranian-born but London based designer Natasha Zinko brings forth her efforts of working to reduce the companies wastage footprint by re-using and repurposing all the textiles, including vintage pieces, presented in her new collection. This season, the designer has also created pieces crafted from old aluminium cans, sourced from the Alutrade Recycling Centre who has donated 500lbs of aluminium.

This season’s collection was co-ed and the was show was presented in a private street in central London. The collection was boldly maximalist and featured a number of urban-inspired looks which gave away 90s vibes. Oversized jumpsuits were covered in floral prints, whilst pyjama inspired looks were given a bolder edge through the use of a palette of neon tones ranging from greens, yellows, pinks and purples. Patch-worked paisley bandanas in different colours were sewn together to create mini-dresses, bras and oversized trousers, whilst a number of black, tougher looks were also present. 

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s Harajuku girls

Images by Tom Warabida

The duo at Preen always loves to start a show by presenting the audience with the books stacked on their bedside table, a list of references which inspire and influence the collection from start to finish.

Citing books such as The Promised Neverland and cult films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, this season was all about Japan.

Punkish Manga girls covered sweaters, hoodies and t-shirts and were paired with the brand’s signature floral printed skirts. Quilted coats and trousers also featured heavily this season and were a refreshing addition to the roster of looks. However, like Natasha Zinko, the duo also presented a collection whose focus was to use re-use and repurpose all past materials.

And this could certainly be seen through the collection’s standout looks, which were a number of asymmetric ruffled dresses featuring cut-out panels and mismatched layers of floral prints, which gave away an air of romanticism and which will for sure be seen all over Instagram by next season.

In order to add a bit of toughness to the overall romantic vibe of the collection, the looks were paired with men’s combat boots, leather shoes and satin lace-up ballerinas.

Refined Elegance at Osman

Images by Tom Warabida

Bold and romantic body wear, a myriad journey of sorbet hues across a candy sky, poisonous gypsum like polka dots, in ying-yang circles, splattered across ruffle tiers. This was the introductory phrase of the show notes, which had been carefully placed across the seats of Osman’s private presentation.

This season the designer showcased his SS20 collection in a private salon manner just like in the 1950s and presented a limited number of elegant and well-made looks inspired by the elegance of women always on the go.

There was an option for every woman in the crowd, ranging from soft suiting in pale tones of yellow and green to African inspired coats and jackets and mini dresses in a myriad of ruffled layers of tulle. The protagonists of the collection were a series of mini dresses featuring poet-looking balloon sleeves in a chinoiserie-like Parisian wallpaper print.

However, a mini dress in black ruffled organza which resembled a dark flower in bloom stole the show. Barely-there sandals and a series of brightly coloured rococo mules accompanied the looks.

British Boyish Minimalism at Margaret Howell

Minimalists rejoice! If you were thinking Margaret Howell was going to steer away from her signature style, then you are very wrong. Once again, Margaret Howell delivered a beautifully made collection returning to the Rambert Dance Company Showspace.

Yet again, the designer presented a co-ed collection which riffed on Britishness and exuded an air of boyish chicness. Fans of perfectly tailored trouser suits and high-waisted trousers will exult in delight this season, as the collection featured a number of chocolate-coloured pieces that won’t disappoint. 

Stick of butter fans will also rejoice, as the designer presented a series of crisp, midi dresses and shirts in a delicate buttery yellow palette. Stand out pieces of the collection included an antique pink blouse with a ruffle-y collar paired with over-the-knee shorts, teal pleated skirts and taut shirts in linen and a series of olive-coloured looks worn by male and female models alike.

The looks were paired with a series of studded clogs in chocolaty tones, as well as leather sandals worn with socks. 

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London Fashion Week Day 2: Ports 1961, Marques Almeida, Toga & Rixo

15.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Karl Temper’s debut at Ports 1961

London Fashion Week Day 2 started with a bang as Ports 1961 set their newly re-launched and re-designed brand with a fantastic show at Tate Modern. The brand, renown for its minimalistic heritage has now been rebranded, from logo to collection, under the watchful eye of newly appointed artistic director Karl Temper. Breaking away from its previous minimalistic codes, Temper introduced us to a bold, maximalist collection. Tribal prints with slight nods to Matisse, covered pleated dresses, skirts and trousers, whilst triple-stitched trouser suits were presented in a varied palette of baby blue, terracotta and mustard, an interesting power alternative to the usual day-to-day workwear. Standout looks included a cue to a budding trend to come as a very cool mix of zebra and cow print covered a series of coats, trousers, a knitted two-piece set and a silky dress. Chinoiserie floral patterns covered silk panels on coats and shirts, adding a touch of etherealness and femininity. Chunky jewellery and bi-colour studded sandals accentuated the overall eccentric art-mom vibe of the collection. Definitely a great start for a first-time stylist turned designer. 

The power of community at Marques Almeida

Images by Tom Warabida

Multiple screens welcomed the guests at the Marques Almeida show. “If you had a daughter, what would you want her to know?” This was one of the questions posed by the designers to the M’A girls, the diverse group of young women featured in the video installations screened before the show started. “If I had a daughter I would want her to know that it’s ok to be who you are and to be super unapologetic about it,” said one of the girls. And indeed it was this empowering message that inspired the collection and wants to push the designers to create a strong community which aims at inspiring the youth. This season, the designer duo was inspired by a mix of rebellious icons, from slightly 50s freakish Hollywood actor shots to Riot Grrl zines and Bikini Kill. This duality of sensitivity, femininity and toughness was evident as different materials and colours were contrasted throughout the collection. Floral printed tight tops were styled with oversized denim frayed trousers, whilst oversized taffeta dresses in pink, acid green and blue were styled with a series of bold accessories, either tough or feminine, ranging from latex gloves to feathery kitten-heeled shoes. 

Fashion as an indulgence at Toga

Images by Tom Warabida

Set at London’s iconic Royal Institute of British Architects, the Toga show was a play of artistic temperaments. Every season, Yasuko Furuta, the designer behind Toga, defines her collection in three words, and this season these three words were “wrapping, re-development and efficiency,” words which she said connoted an ambience of not prioritising productivity in a world that does. Yet, how do you do that in this world which seems to be moving at an ever-changing and faster pace way of living? Slow down and indulge in the unnecessary details. This was the overall message conveyed by the collection as a range of romantic details accentuated the looks: big vinyl flower brooches accessorised perfectly tailored business suits, whilst urban items such as the now-very-popular bike shorts were updated in bold floral brocades. Beach sandals were re-interpreted for the city and paired with long, flowing formal dresses, whilst highlights of the collection were for sure the bold overcoats which gave an edge to the more minimal looks. 

60s psychedelia at Rixo

It seems like this season 16Arlington wasn’t the only brand who took inspiration from the 60s and its free, fun, atmosphere. Rixo, the British brand famous for its printed silk dresses and midi skirts popularised by Instagram’s it girl community, staged its SS20 presentation in a relaxed garden where models of all ages lounged on the grass, blowing bubbles and dancing around to a rock and roll soundtrack. Taking inspiration from Joni Mitchell’s style and featuring her vocals as the soundtrack to the presentation, the collection featured soft sixties silhouettes, psychedelic prints and florals featured on maxi dresses and mini dresses, and silky feel good flares perfect from morning to night. 

The collection will also be available to buy the moment it debuts at the Rixo store at 94 Kings Road. 

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London Fashion Week Day 1: 16Arlington and the power of Italian Groove

13.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Images courtesy of Giovanni Rombaldoni

In the flamboyant yet conservative heyday that was 1960s Italy, a young woman with a short blonde bob shocked the Italian audiences by singing and dancing to songs that are still considered to be part of today’s pop culture patrimony. 

For this season’s SS20 presentation, British Luxury brand 16Arlington decided to celebrate and take inspiration from this still-iconic woman, pop legend Raffaella Carrà. 

Delving into the funky imagery that accompanied all of Carrà’s music videos, performances and more, the British-Italian duo produced a fun collection full of sewn struzzo dip-dyed feathers, hand-dyed chiffon draping, jazzy fringing and groovy beading. 

The duo presented a collection that was definitely fun to watch and will be fun for anyone to wear, as it encapsulated the spirit of the 1960s party girl. Delicate chiffons were juxtaposed with an ombre coloured palette, whilst gunmetal leather hot pats contrasted bold optical printed patterns. Psychedelic prints inspired by the 1960s king of prints himself, Emilio Pucci, appeared on a lame 3 piece trousered suits, perfect the maximalist working girl who wants to get her groove on. 

Original 1960s sunglasses from Oliver Goldsmith and shoes by British brand Dorateymeur complemented the styling and world created by the designers.

Who wouldn’t want to dance the night away wearing these clothes? 

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“When you dance you make me happy ,” ft selected artworks from the Luciano Benetton Collection

12.09.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image – Boakye Pass  by Lynette Yiadom

This week Italian contemporary gallery Gallerie Delle Prigioni opens it doors to a new exhibition entitle  “ When you dance you make me happy ft selected artworks from the Luciano Benetton Collection”. The exhibition , set to open tomorrow at the gallery’s location in Treviso has been curated by Nicolas Vamvouklis, and will include themes which focus along the lines of the human body. 

“ The starting point of the exhibition is the tension between inner and outer worlds, public and private realms interpreted through the idea of the body as a shell that is both a home and a prison,” reads the press release. Throughout the exhibit the themes then extend to the collective dimension and observe the performative roles the body plays in social gatherings of celebration, mourning or protest.

The collection include pieces from names like Helmut Lang, Maripol , Nick Cave, Hermann Nitsch and other gems from Italian Billionaire Luciano Benetton’s private collection. The exhibition entrance is entirely free and will run until November 10th. For more information visit Imago Mundi Art. 

Barkley L. Hendricks – Fela Amen
Image by Maripol

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Bottega Veneta x Matches Fashion Exclusive Collection

12.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This month London based luxury retailer Matches Fashion teamed up with Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta, for the launch of some exclusive pieces from the brand’s AW19 collection at their base at 5 Carlos Place in London. 

“The Fall 2019 collection is a statement of new intentions, a new point of view, it’s about building a wardrobe with great pieces to wear. I wanted amid of contemporary and classic, new technologies with a new immediacy, clothes that could be as refined as they were relevant,” commented Bottega Veneta Creative Director Daniel Lee. 

Some of the women’s items in the exclusive  collection include an Intrecciate Nappa rectangular clutch, a Spazzalato cross body, the brand’s quilted pumps , satin coats, cashmere skirts and wool knit dresses. 

“We are very excite to partner with Bottega Veneta on these exclusive AW19 pieces. The luxurious aesthetic of the brand resonates with our costumers and we know they will love the collection that incorporates key runway styles in the beautiful cream and chocolate colourways,” said Fashion Buying Director Natalie Kingham. 

For more info on the collection visit Matches Fashion.

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Art meets Fashion: A Chat with Designer Pauline De Blonay

10.09.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Images shot by Pablo di Prima

Young designers merging the borders between art and fashion are rare birds waiting to be found and are indeed not easy to find. 

Pauline De Blonay, a recent runner up of the prestigious L’Oreal Pro Young Talent Award, and a Central Saint Martins graduate, seems to be one of them. The Swiss-born designer had been dreaming of going to London’s infamous hub of creativity since the age of fourteen years old, yet her way into fashion wasn’t a regular one, like you would expect. 

“Initially I thought I would study Fine Art and started by doing a foundation year in Jewellery design, however when I realized that I wanted to work on a bigger scale and to combine fashion, fine art and jewellery, I applied for the BA in Fashion Design in order to work this way,” she says. 

Art had and has been influencing her work since she was a little kid, paintings in particular, as her art tutor would make her and her peers replicate paintings that they loved, and hers included a lot of harlequins from Picasso and some dreamy spaces and characters from Edward Hopper. With time she kept on being inspired by painters, such as Modigliani and Egon Schiele. 

This multi-faceted approach towards visual thinking is what intrigued her and pushed her towards working with different combinations of various different techniques and materials, from jewellery to painting. 

“It was important to me to combine every skill or knowledge I possess in order to realize the looks I design,” she says. “It was essential for me to be in control of every detail of the collection I wanted to create, such as the metalwork, which took me a while to figure out my own way of casting metal in my own flat, the prints for the garments and accessories, the shoes, the make up, etc,”

And indeed it is polyhedric approach of hers to design which makes her clothing so intriguing and interesting. 

Her first collection, showcased during Central Saint Martin’s final year fashion show, was an exploration of her identity and the notions of masculine and feminine. She wanted to create a duel between masculine and feminine images and merge them together. A suit and a cast of her breasts, feathers locked in metal, dresses that you can mould that look powerful and strong but which are fragile at the same time because you can change their shape. In addition to that she created many portraits of the people who surround her and included them as patterns to some of her dresses. 

“My idea was that I was extending myself onto other people’s body by giving them casted parts of my body in metal and all these drawing of people that are important for me are represented too. They are an important part of my identity,” she explains. In a sense, it was a way for her of reuniting all of her relationships, by featuring on her garments. It was like a rendez-vous of the people that she deeply cares about.

Yet, after being the runner up to the L’Oreal Pro Young Talent Award, which brought her attention and visibility, what has the future in store for her? Will London still be the center of her world?

“I spent five years of my life evolving in the creative heart of London, being at CSM,” she says. “I have made the most amazing and creative friends who inspire me every day. Being in London and especially at Central Saint Martins, supported by amazing tutors gave me the strength and possibility to create and concretise a collection which represents me at best. I needed that time in London to evolve the way I did to get all the tools necessary to make my first collection happen.”

For now, an itinerant move to another city isn’t in the works, yet, wherever she’ll be, be it in London or another international city, she has in store of extending her collection and keep on making magical garments. 

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A Chat with 032C Creative Director Maria Koch amidst the launch of Buffalo London by 032C at Browns East

06.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

032c is more than just a magazine, it’s an entire solar system, and the constellation of projects that make 032c so special revolve around Joerg and Maria Koch. The husband and wife team are Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director respectively, and alongside Fashion Director Marc Goehring are the living, breathing embodiment of the 032c sensibility. A magazine that eschews the zeitgeist and charges directly at its own interests, 032c manages to be both genuinely counter-cultural and also extremely current. Their latest issues features both a Kristen Stewart fanzine and a call-to-arms in praise of solidarity from German sociologist Heinz Bude, a characteristically surprising and delicious mixture.

Alongside their bi-annual print publication, 032c also mount exhibitions, run large-scale events, co-own the ultra-cool 24hr REFERENCE festival, and consult with any number of big-name brands. Each member of the team also takes on a myriad of projects individually, and its hard to imagine how they find enough time and energy to fit it all in. In some ways it all seems to work because of the real sense they give off of truly practicing what they preach – somehow Maria and Joerg embody the ethos of the 032c workshop without ever feeling self-important or cliched. Every decision they make and each idea they bring to life feels like a natural and organic progression from the one before, adding to the dense and rich world they have created. 

032c have dabbled in apparel for a long time, ever since they started noticing that fans were bootlegging their own merch featuring the iconic logo (the name 032c is the pantone reference for the virulent red of the magazine’s cover). In the early days they simply put out small drops of tees and other basic pieces, produced in black or white with a bold logo as the only adornment. Unsurprisingly collaborations soon followed with everyone from Stüssy to Sade, to more recent hyped launches like their limited-edition adidas GSG-9 boot. The 032c brand alone is enough to shift a huge number of units, never mind the fact that the pieces they collaborate on have always exemplified their innate style, and intuitive understanding of what their audience wants.

A fully-fledged 032c Workshop Ready-to-Wear line launched at Pitti Uomo in early 2018, followed by a London showcase last November entitled COSMIC WORKSHOP, which saw the launch of their first ever womenswear pieces. Maria oversees the RTW arm of 032c, drawing on her experience working with brands like Jil Sander and Marios Schwab to lead a team of around 20 that includes patter-makers who are also experts in craftsmanship. Having worked on unisex pieces before AW19, Maria felt like womenswear was the natural progression of their ever-expanding output. 

Alongside the womenswear, a special collaboration with fellow German style icons Buffalo Boots was also previewed at the COSMIC WORKSHOP presentation. The collaboration sees the iconic Buffalo platform integrated with “archetypal elements of classic luxury footwear”. For one style the weighty buffalo sole elevates a riding-inspired jodhpur boot, complete with leather uppers and traditional fastenings. Another look sees thigh-highs that reference fetish and club-wear realised in the materials of heritage leather labels. According to the brand statement: “It’s streetwear on steroids meets old world craftsmanship, because more is more, contradiction is beautiful, and we didn’t grow up to leave our youth behind.” 

Today this collaboration launches alongside an exclusive capsule of the COSMIC WORKSHOP womenswear with a special installation and event at Browns East. The RTW collection hangs above a floor-level vitrine in which the boots are encased, almost like relics in an archaeological site. Translucent white plastic curtains hang in bands around the space, making it feel like the inner sanctum of the kind of Berlin club you would never make it in to. After a preview of the installation and the pieces, we sat down with Maria at Browns Eeast yesterday to talk about the collection and the collaboration.

Maria is full of energy and an un-sentimental kind of nostalgia when she talks about how the Buffalo project came about. “It really felt very natural […] because when I was in my teenage days I was like a rave kid, like a classic Berlin hardcore rave kid, and everybody would wear Buffalos and my parents never, ever would support that ugly shoe, so it wasn’t possible! But at the same time I was very much in to dressage riding, and so somehow this is actually really these two worlds of my teenager times.” Maria herself is wearing the short jodhpur boot and is clearly delighted with the end product, which she manages to make look at once very tough and very elegant. In person the shoes very much embody the contemporary mood, where cross-pollination of subcultures is becoming the norm. Yesterday’s Horse Girl is today’s Party Girl.

Elaborating more on the idea of the Browns East installation as a club space she notes the parallel design elements like the hanging plastic and flashing lights, which mirror the AW19 Cosmic Workshop presentation. “I really always liked this club-feel where you get lost and have a warm feeling and at the same time an idea of melancholia. You know this is a very, very interesting feeling, and we tried to achieve this a little bit downstairs [in Browns].” This carries through to the fabrication of the clothes and boots – when asked about their almost protective feel, she counters: “You know, I feel at the same time they’re very, I think, tender and soft and translucent. Or like, transparent you could say. And then yes you have the strong leather pieces, so there’s really this mixture, it’s really this club vibe.” This emotive approach to the design process is highly captivating, and speaks to the sense that everything 032c creates lives inside a very real world. The person who will actually wear these pieces, and how and where thy will wear them, has been truly understood and catered for.

Emotional connections aside Maria is pragmatic as well as creative, and that is what makes the whole enterprise so viable. She understands that you can create art as a fashion designer, but, “to describe fashion as art is a weird scenario because it’s produced, it’s produced to fulfil this certain product requirement, and to sustain in a commercial market, and this is not where art is coming from.” The workshop and the rest of the team clearly think carefully about how they approach their projects; how to make them thrive in a truly practical sense that still retains the artistic vision. 032c describes itself as a ‘Manual for Freedom, Research and Creativity’ and this triad ethos is as much a part of the RTW as it is the magazine, “this magazine is really like a huge research lab […] when I have the freedom and the proper research, [creativity] is then somehow the outcome.” This is the wholistic approach to everything they create; the editorial, fashion, research and consultancy teams all co-exist in the same space. The end-product for each team has been adapted through exposure to the others, and this results in something robust and sustainable. Commerce is not the only end-goal, but its key role is acknowledged.

In a pressurised industry undergoing a huge amount of change, working from this three-pronged foundation seems to be key to keeping 032c ahead of the curve. When asked about how the RTW collection will develop Maria is very candid about how they are grappling with the traditional seasonal model. “This is the big question […] I’m not really interested in the full collections, I feel, maybe the stores will tell you this, first of all it’s boring and it’s not really sustainable to do a 120-piece collection that nobody needs. And we felt it’s good to have strong, a very strong classic collection every half a year and then do what we do with the apparel as well, some drops.” Maria wants these collections to be not just desirable but also necessary, and wanted, and it’s a savvy way to keep them from ever feeling superfluous to the other 032c outputs. She is insistent that conversations with Browns and their other retail partners are a vital part of their process, allowing them to be flexible and reactive to practical elements like budget changes as well as her own inspiration. Putting the time in to researching what the market needs leaves more freedom to create, outside of the rigors of showing and selling on-schedule in an endless loop.

Crucially though, all of this careful consideration allows her to sustain her motivation in the face of the punishing fashion calendar. “This newness, makes me somehow not sad, but a little bit, it feels heavy. I don’t think wow the new collections I feel, phew!” – everyone is exhausted right? – “Yes! But I’m not at all exhausted from fashion, I’m exhausted by the rhythm, and by what it is now. So, I feel, we’re in to just figuring out what the answer should be to that.” If anyone is capable of figuring out the answer to the big questions, it seems more than likely that it’s Maria and the rest of the 032c team.

As we say goodbye Maria reveals yet another undertaking, as if all of this wasn’t enough for one woman. She and Joerg have recently moved out of the much-envied brutalist church they rented for years and bought a place of their own for the first time. With the new house comes a garden. “I really started to study what these plants want from me”, she ponders, “what do I have to do to make them happy?!” It’s comforting to think of this incredibly prolific woman taking the time to ponder the needs of her vegetable patch, even after all the demands that her work must place on her. Something so grounding and elemental seems like exactly the right tonic to working in a world driven by ideas and innovation. “It’s very rewarding.”

To shop the collection visit, Browns Fashion.

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PUBLIC Gallery: Echolocation by Charlotte Edey

31.08.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Early this month on the 4th of September, British artist Charlotte Edey is set to present her debut solo exhibition Echolocation at the PUBLIC Gallery space in London. Edey’s exhibition is set to speak along themes that have influenced the artist through her experience in career, identity, spirituality and femininity as she explores how we navigate our environment with a series of drawings, embroidery, women tapestry and silk georgettes.

“Employing organic symbolism and the traditionally gendered mediums of embroidery, weaving and textile, the fabric of the worlds is shaped and informed by the idea of femininity and how it intersects with the multiple facets of identity. Anthropomorphic landscapes and atmospheres punctuated by curls and waves speak to expanding beyond the body,” she comments.

“Across the series a desire for harmony is communicated through curvilinear landscapes and symmetry of form. Edey’s attempt to resolve divisions also manifests within the physical nature of the works. Distinctions between synthetic and natural processes are blurred as drawings are translated via a digital jacquard loom to woven tapestry, displayed alongside hand-embroidery and hand-weavings.”

The exhibition is set to run throughout the month and will eventually close its doors on the 28th of September. 

Freshwater, 2018, Woven jacquard tapestry with hand embroidery
Garden, 2019, Woven jacquard tapestry with freshwater pearl, mirror detail and hand embroidery
Biform, 2019, Graphite pencil

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Creswell Crags Cave set to house psychoacoustic artwork exhibit

27.08.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: AlanJames Burns at Creswell Caves by Stephen Garnett – CAG Photography

At the beginning of next month , a series of interesting performances will take place at an art event being held in a space that was recently revealed to house the largest concentration of apotropaic marks in protection against witches and curses ever found in the UK. Beginning on September 3rd at the Creswell Crags Cave in Worksop, Nottinghamshire, Visual and Environmental Artist AlanJames Burns will bring forth the first British presentation of Burns’ “Entirely hollow aside from the dark.” The project, done in collaboration with the Creswell Crags Museum & Heritage Centre , will stage an immersive psychoacoustic sound artwork in the cave, following Burns’ success of an Irish nationwide tour completed in the summer. 

The “Entirely hollow aside from the dark” project was created by the artist to take place inside ancient natural auditoriums,  “using these caves a physical metaphor for the mind the cavern personifies the consciousness of Mother Earth as she struggles with her worsening mental health, brought on by the human distressing of her body,” reads the press release. 

“In the gloom of these caves an audible dialogue echoing Mother Earth’s thoughts and regrets unfold a symphony of choreographed sounds shifts around the cave mirroring the processes of the human mind. “ The exhibition will also be done in collaboration with writer Sue Rainsford and  Sound Editor Ian Dunph and is set to run until September 7th. For more information visit Entirely Hollow Aside From the Dark. 

AlanJames Burns at Kesh Caves, Sligo 2017. Photo by Trevor Whelan
Entirely hollow aside from the dark, Audience with lights (Smugglers Cave, Portrane, Dublin, Ireland, 2016). Photo by Brian Cregan

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Bloomberg New Contemporaries celebrates 70th with a grand exhibition

22.08.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover Image: Community Dance Showcase (2017) by Roland Carline, one of the artists selected for the 2019 Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition. 

This Autumn , New Contemporaries, one of the leading UK organisations supporting  emerging talent will celebrate its 70th anniversary with the launch of their annual touring exhibition. Set to initially launch on September 14th at the Leeds Art Gallery, the exhibition will feature 45 of UK most interesting artists selected by renowned artists Rana Begum , Sonia Boyce and Ben Rivers. 

Through a rigorous process of selection from the recent batch of graduates from the UK’s finest art schools, the team has put together a roster of creatives to tackle topics such as global and personal politics, class and community and gender and sexuality. Giving each artist the freedom too showcase their perspective on such issues. 

 “It’s so important for the enrichment of the arts and the UK’s cultural legacy that a new generation of artists have a platform to present their work to wider audiences, and give them an opportunity to develop a voice,” said Rana Begum, 2019 selector.

After closing it’s run in Leeds on November 17th the exhibition will then move to the South London Gallery on December 6th where it will remain until February 23rd 2020. 

For more information visit: New Contemporaries.

Family Portrait (2018) by Eleonora Agnosti, one of the artists selected for the 2019 Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition. Image courtesy the artist and New Contemporaries
Somewhere Crashing (2018) by Louis Blue Newby, one of the artists selected for the 2019 Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition.
Drunken Gravity by Xiuching Tsay, one of the artists selected for the 2019 Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition.
SCULPTURE CULTURE (2019) by Alexei Alexander Izmaylov, one of the artists selected for the 2019 Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition.

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Fendi’s #BaguetteFriendsForever ft. The Roman Baguette

22.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Following their last episode filmed in Shangai, Italian fashion house Fendi returns to it’s roots for the latest instalment of  #BaguetteFriendsForever with an episode shot in Rome of influencer and entrepreneur duo Miki Tang and Ikwa. The Chinese pair, founders of Around the world in High heels are shot exploring the city of Rome as they arrive at the Fendi HQ at Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana , checking out an exhibition inside the building and on a mini adventure as they try the different versions of the brand’s signature Baguette while complementing the Palazzo’s iconic arches and statues with their head to toe Fendi garbs. In the short film, the Baguette is featured in different styles and sizes from the FF version in Nappa leather, to sequinned , to micro and macro sizes. t

The brand first launched the campaign #BaguetteFriendsForever earlier this year which included a series of short films featuring the storylines of inseparable groups of friends around the world throughout one of their daily routines which is centred around the iconic Fendi baguette. The first episode was titled “The Baguette is Back” and was an adventure set in the streets of Shanghai China. The second episode Titled “The Missing Baguette,” was shot in Hong Kong. All pieces are currently available in stores worldwide and online, to shop the looks , visit Fendi.

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World Meet ROWSE: the skincare brand making skin as clean as its morals

17.08.2019 | Beauty , Blog | BY:

What can your skin say about you? Your lips part: you are elated. Your ears wiggle: you are excited. Your eyes gleam: you are mesmerised. Up close, each hair, freckle and pore move, interact and breathe together in their very own eco-system: an image ROWSE beauty want to embody. A brand built on passion for natural ingredients and passed-down processes, ROWSE beauty is all about the gentle communication of nature.

Nuria Val is a quiet woman when you first meet her – shy, bashful almost, with a blush to her cheeks when she speaks about nature, family, photography.

When you get to know her, she is timid yet driven – holding ambition that is humble and decidedly environmentally aware.

Alongside Gabriela Salord, Nuria has co-founded the skincare brand ROWSE as a celebration of raw beauty, inspired by personal values and a deep respect for the environment. 

With a mission to connect people to the planet through an intentional line of plant-based skincare, the duo are aiming to develop meaningful dialogue about how we understand and interpret nature. Their plant-based formulations and recipes are non-toxic, organic, cruelty-free, and tested in independent laboratories. 

This brand feels like it is Nuria coming into her own: with a plastic free promise by 2020, Nuria’s love of the environment is clear, alongside her determination to create a brand that is dedicated to the natural needs of the wonders of our bodies and skin.

The winter oil is a coup – the smell alone transports you to memories you never thought you had, and the recipe tab is a brilliant edition: there is not always a singular solution for skincare, and this encourages us to listen to what our skin needs (rather than what we want) and to interact with ourselves accordingly. 

We spoke to an incredibly inspirational new brand, budding from meaningful purpose and honesty-driven values. 

Why did you want to launch ROWSE? 

I came up with the idea of ROWSE while travelling to inspiring places such as Lanzarote, Reunion Island, Japan, Iceland, Stromboli, Philippines, among others. I was dazed by the power and beauty of nature there and curious to explore how it could be used for beauty purposes. When I met Gabriela Salord, co-founder of Rowse, we both connected really well from the very beginning and we decided to start this adventure together


What does ROWSE the name mean? 

our name comes from the concept “the rise of raw”

What do you hope people will learn from ROWSE? 

Our mission is to connect people to the planet through an intentional line of plant-based skincare; build and nurture a purpose-driven creative community; and develop meaningful dialogue about how we understand and interpret nature. 

What was the last thing that made you excited? 

We’re about to launch a ceramic collaboration for ROWSE that we will share in September, I just took the pictures of the collaboration and I feel so excited to share them!

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Gucci Launches Gender Neutral Fragrance – Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur

17.08.2019 | Beauty , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Just in time for the summer , Italian fashion house Gucci recently released their third official fragrance under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, with a gender neutral scent titled Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur. The perfume’s aroma is mainly defined by a note of Roman chamomile, with hints of Indian coral jasmine, sandalwood and cedar wood to create a feeling that takes one back in time.

“Everything comes from my obsession with scents: my memory is primarily olfactive so, for me, my sense of smell is my memory. I thought that, deep down, perfume is that thing that even with your eyes closed, brings you to a precise moment in space and time. When we began to work on Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur, I tried to imagine the recollection of a scent that couldn’t easily be identified; a hybrid scent that resembles memory as much as possible,”  explained Alessandro Michele. 

 For the fragrance’s campaign, the maison opted for some of its favourite faces including singer songwriter Harry Styles,  young British designer Harris Reed , American designer and musician Zumi Rosow among a few other familiar faces as they’re shot by Glen Luchford frolicking and bonding in the woods. Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur is now in stores and available online

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A Deeper Look (Book) : Lacuna

08.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Twin takes a deeper dive into the jewellery and RTW brand Lacuna,  based in Paris

An unfilled space; a gap. It feels like a statement definition already, with the designer Annabelle calling her namesake brand Lacuna. While it also happens to be Annabelle’s last name, it seems fitting to look at the meaning from both angles. 

Lacuna is a brand with a grown up elegance but a sensual sensibility, matching Annabelle’s design pedigree within Chloe, Cerruti, Kenzo and now Margiela designing under Galliano the show collections. 

Seeding out these sensual and undoubtably mesmerising images of her first collection entitled ‘Serpent I’, within her jewellery we see beautiful beady eyes resting on a deep reddish gold that wraps over hands, loops under ear, swirls around necks. Beautiful peachy pearls and shimmery little Swarovski baubles drift amongst dark petroleum-black planet pearls.

Introducing the brand via her perfectly executed look book, Lacuna takes a classic introductory format and makes it sexy: she reminds us of the evocative powers of jewellery, of the way it can emphasise, flatter, signal something unsaid. 

Photographed by the German photographer Marlon Rüberg and styled by Annabelle herself, you can see this is a brand Annabelle has planned for a while. Keeping the team intimate is reflected adamantly in the imagery – room for spontaneity and happy accidents, but clearly polished until it reached a standard Annabelle was happy to brand as her own.

This is not to mention the wonderful hand painted concise collection photographed alongside: a rose overlaid on a python in blues, yellows and red. Stiff silks in kimono shapes and slinky slips drip off the model’s frame. 

Lacuna is a cosmic brand: refined but contemporary – the feeling that it is slightly intergalactic with these biomorphic forms floating on gold wires in unfilled space.

We anticipate great things in her future explorations of deep jewellery space. 

What made you begin your brand?

I have lived and worked in Paris as a womenswear designer for the last ten years- at many different houses and for different sort of creative directors. I wanted to continue doing that and at the same time start working on a personal project. I chose fantasy jewellery as it’s a product that is not connected to my daily work but I had always interest in and I’m a collector… I researched for weeks in all kinds of libraries and museums which was amazing to do, I wanted to give it time to grow. I found the best jewellery ateliers in France to work together with as well as an amazing atelier for my hand painted pieces.

Who photographed and styled the look book? 

Marlon Rüberg is a German photographer and director who shot my look book in Milan, where he also lives and works. He is a very good friend of mine who I met when we were both living in London more than ten years ago. He’s very talented, we share the same references and I knew that he could translate exactly what I had in mind and create a lot more to it than I had imagined. I trust him completely. I styled it myself- for my first look book I wanted to keep the team small and intimate. I like to be prepared and we planned out each shot- but I also like to see what happens on set when everything comes together … I like to try out new things spontaneously on the spot and see what happens. 

What was the inspiration behind your first collection? 

I went far back in my memory and landed at one of my first fashion obsessions that I could remember. My mother used to wear very colourful printed, Philippine exotic house dresses or caftans at home, which was very unconventional growing up in German suburbia and she also used to wear very decadent and chic 80s jewellery on special occasions like receptions or cocktails (my dad used to work for the Philippine government).

All the dresses are hand painted and have different kind of techniques on them, the colours are all mixed by hand. Each piece of my jewellery collection is single, the hand pieces as well as the earrings- I wanted a unique look. 

What did you want to explore in your look book imagery? 

I wanted to present my pieces in a sensual but also sculptural way- that’s why I choose the milk bath scene, the model floating on (fake) fur…


What are your enduring interests. 

I’m always looking at new exhibitions of artists, photographers, sculptors, painters, but also vintage books and magazines … I’m interested to see new aesthetics, mediums, point of views and I’m always happy to meet new people who I can learn from and work together with

Why do you think look books are important? 

For me, editorial, video, look books, any sort of image that accompanies a project, is the ultimate visual diary to show the vision of the brand, its world. Every aspect should look considered. For my next project I would like to focus more on the printed version.

Do you think attitudes in fashion are changing?

The only ‘trend’ or attitude I support at the moment and hope will endure is the sustainability and recycling one in terms of how fashion is being made and produced. But in general I think fashion attitudes go cyclical and one movement will always trigger the counter movement.

What do you want your audience to take away from your brand?

I want it to become synonymous for an avant-garde and extravagant look. 

What powers does jewellery hold?

When you buy it for yourself, it’s empowering. As a gift, it can become very memorable- when it’s family jewellery or from your loved one.


What powers does clothing hold? 

It’s empowerment and disguise at the same time. 


What was the last thing that made you excited? 

Coming to a conclusion what my next project will be about! A lot of different ideas have been going through my head, I was with a friend and talked and talked and talked- and it all became clear.

Credits:

Photographer : Marlon Rueberg 

Model : Kasia Jujeczka

MUA: Giulia Cigarini 

Hair : Daniela Magginetti 

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F IS FOR…FENDI ft. Mr Doodle

08.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

London based artist Sam Cox aka Mr Doodle has joined forces with Italian fashion house Fendi for the latest instalment of their F IS FOR…FENDI rooftop performance in an edition titled Doodling FENDI ROMA. The collaboration sees Mr Doodle —  who is known for his signature drawings on walls, rooms, furniture etc. — take over the Fendi Headquarters in Rome for an extreme makeover. The artist spent two days of drawing in an ongoing creative stream where he used the label’s iconic double F logo as his outlet. Mr Doodle starts with mirrored desks and then moves on to cover the FENDI rooftop and eventually the entire Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana. Images and videos show the artistic chemistry between Sam and Caterina, a young tailor of the FENDI atelier as she stitches on Mr Doodle’s jumpsuit by combining different tailoring techniques and applying them to different materials and textures to create a unique tailor made piece. 

Mr Doodle is also the only one to have ever doodle on a white canvas Peekaboo bag, creating a one of a kind version of the house’s iconic accessory. 

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The Nike ZoomX Vista Grind

02.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

One of the sneakers of the summer has been Nike’s ZoomX Vista Grind. Released earlier last month, the sneaker, specially crafted for the female consumer has already been seen on the soles of women and men everywhere. With a statement silhouette and bold features yet a level of comfort fit for athletics, the shoe is a fusion of both streetwear and high fashion. This concept was said to have been sparked by the Women’s World Cup and the city of Paris, with the intention of creating a clash of the city and suburbs, creating something both rebellious as well as refined. Sustainability was also a key driver in the creation process of the shoe, as foam scraps from the brand’s ZoomX sneakers were used to enable a level of technology fit for sports into the Vista Grind.  See the full story in our XXI issue to be released mid-September.

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Dark Air: A Solo Show by Gray Wielebinski

02.08.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Born in Dallas Texas, artist Gray Wielebinski uses their practice to explore the ways in which gender and sexuality intersect with other structures of power and identity, often referencing their body and journey as an individual who is currently undergoing the transition from female to male. 

Working between London and Los Angeles in print, video, performance, sound, sculpture, and installation, Gray moved to London in 2017 to complete a masters in Fine Art Media at The Slade.  Since then, Gray has exhibited internationally and is currently an artist in residence at The City & Guilds of London, alongside Taku Obata and Alistair Gordon. 

Using a variety of strategies to explore identity, specifically their ambivalent relationships to masculinity, Gray’s more recent research and practice uses sports for both aesthetics and metaphor as an entry point to examine themes such as national identity (specifically the US and Americana), desire, myth making, surveillance, hierarchies, race, and gender. In Dark Air, the artist’s first solo exhibition at SEAGER gallery curated by Martin Mayorga and Vanessa Murrell from DATEAGLE ART, we observe Gray’s ongoing exploration of sporting ceremonies as seen in the artist’s personalised football scarf stand. Located at the entrance of the gallery space, the piece highlights the ritualistic yet commercial nature of the sport, while also reiterating the entwined nature and relationship found between myth and sport. 

Dark Air, a solo show by Gray Wielebinski curated by Martin Mayorga and Vanessa Murrell at SEAGER Gallery © DATEAGLE ART

Instead of displaying a body of work, the exhibition uses the body as the work – acknowledging it as something which can be moulded and adjusted continuously. Using a diverse array of textiles to create a patchwork of materials that include recycled leather and jeans, Gray creates a site-specific sculpture, a monstrous creature that is representative of both the sphinx and Scorpion. Stuffed and stitched, the physical act of creating the hybradised beast presents the audience with a work that exists in a paradoxical realm. All at once it is violent and volatile yet gentle and vulnerable – playing with traditional binary stereotypes of male and female. With only a few days left to see Dark Air, Gray spoke with Twin about the show and their grotesque Frankenstinian beast. Gray also speaks openly about their own dysphoria and dissociation with their body as well as the importance of being conscious in order to re-inhabit and bridge the gap between their mind and body to create as harmonious a relationship as possible. 

You started to create art as a way of helping you relate to your own body – is this where the tactile element of your practice and its link to your own body manifests from? 

In a lot of ways, in regards to my gender identity as well as my art practice itself, I was existing very much in my own head and in an ideological way rather than a physical one, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing but I think became a problem for me as I was coming to terms very starkly with my own dysphoria and dissociation with my own body. This show in particular deals with a rejection of “before” and “after” narratives in a broader sense around myth making and storytelling, but that are so tied to mainstream/cis narratives around transness that can really seep into my consciousness, but is ultimately a dangerous way of thinking when it comes to my own understanding of myself and my life. I don’t particularly identify with the concept of “being in the wrong body” so while my dysphoria is real and distressing in its own way, there’s also a recognition of and gratefulness for the body I have and what its capable of and finding ways to inhabit it more consciously as I discover the ways, big and small, I might have subconsciously unlearned out of self-preservation. The “before” and “after” narrative tells us we aren’t complete yet or we can’t be happy or know ourselves until an outward marker of change or identity has been breached for others, but that obfuscates the work and learning and daily experiences we encounter on the road towards knowing oneself. Everyone in their own way has these experiences with learning or unlearning themselves, recognizing and accepting their bodies and their possibilities or limitations, and making their own meanings and interpretations on their own terms. With this in mind, I moved towards a more physical or tactile practice which has been a way of trying to reinhabit my body in a more conscious and present way on a daily basis (sewing in particular is quite a meditative act). Without sounding too much like Frankenstein, there is a power and a catharsis for me in creating these new ways of embodiment that take up physical space and I can hold in my hands or that literally dwarf me in a room, and I can also use this physical practice as a means of furthering my ideological pursuits and explorations of my identity and the world around me, and in so doing I hope to get closer to bridging my mind and my body in ways that are within my control. 

Dark Air, a solo show by Gray Wielebinski curated by Martin Mayorga and Vanessa Murrell at SEAGER Gallery © DATEAGLE ART

You are influenced by science fiction and the way it allows us to create other worlds and possibilities Can you name some of your influences? 

Whether it was books or films or TV, I consumed a lot of media and stories as a kid and still continue to do so, so the list of inspirations is long and muddled together in some ways, but science fiction has always held a special place. Science fiction has long been a means, particularly for marginalized people, to hold up a mirror to see and critique that which is made to feel “natural,” which can then be a very useful tool for survival, communication, community and ultimately questioning and fighting the powers that be by understanding where they came from and how dominant narratives are upheld. 

In Kindred, Octavia Butler interrogates the impacts of slavery and white supremacy through a time travel narrative. The Matrix has widely been revisited through the lens of the trans experience and transitioning, particularly as the directors, Lana and Lily Wachowski, came out as trans in recent years. The Twilight Zone is masterful at weaving both the minor and major elements of creating uncanny atmospheres that can go from nudging you slightly off kilter to knock you out for the count. For ‘Dark Air’ specifically I was also thinking about Stanislaw Lem’s Solaris which subverts a more typical trope of space exploration as a colonization narrative, and in fact is ultimately about the astronauts’ inability to cope, physically and emotionally, with an overpowering ocean planet. It’s about our complete inability to understand or fathom the extraterrestrial (and maybe even our own subconscious). Science fiction, at its best, lets us imagine and wonder and be awestruck with possibilities, while still keeping a foot firmly on the ground and, in fact, may help us see reality even clearer. 

Dark Air, a solo show by Gray Wielebinski curated by Martin Mayorga and Vanessa Murrell at SEAGER Gallery © DATEAGLE ART

With Dark air you hope to overthrow the notion of the “hero’s journey” and our perceived set paths, goals, and obstacles – is this a comment on the overwhelming conditioning that has been determined through society and the West’s patriarchal system?

I’m fascinated by the idea of the hero’s journey as a storytelling archetype, and I think more so than completely subverting or throwing it out the window, it’s about an even deeper dive into it and not shying away from the minutiae and the mundanity that arguably differentiates a story from a life. The conditioning you’re referencing I think is important especially in relation to our contemporary moment within capitalism and this tension between expectations and conditioning to want certain things for our lives, to take certain paths or understanding success in specific ways, while at the same time being led to believe it’s our decision and that our happiness or opportunities lie squarely within ourselves or within our grasp rather than questioning what is out of our control and what might be possible to question or tweak within ourselves to find our own ideas or barometers of success. Some people are just trying to survive while at the same time we’re being told what we need to be happy or what we are doing wrong or what we need to overcome, and then the goal post keeps moving. It’s a function of capitalism to obfuscate our “true” foes or obstacles and for our path to be fog-covered, so perhaps even subconsciously I proposed of a sphinx that fits in with this atmosphere, or at least how I often feel while trying to navigate it. This all sounds a bit pessimistic but in actuality I hope for it to be empowering in any small way it can, that even in a time where things are made to feel and may very well be out of our immediate hands, there may be ways to internally recalibrate our parameters for success and happiness and fulfilment even on a day to day basis, even if it’s just how we relate to ourselves and each other.

Dark Air, a solo show by Gray Wielebinski curated by Martin Mayorga and Vanessa Murrell at SEAGER Gallery © DATEAGLE ART

 Can you explain the link between your exploration into Mythology and sports and how you connect the two? 

I’m interested in blending ancient storytelling and mythological creatures or narratives with contemporary interpretations and iconographies, and in so doing am hoping to bring into question the biases and power dynamics/hierarchies that are often involved in storytelling and myth making both in the past and the present, and how that has the potential to shape our futures.

I also was thinking of intersections of sports, mythology/religion and even being an artist-the relationships between the grand events and the mundanity of the everyday that both, in their own ways, make up these experiences and our relationships to them. Holidays, championship games, art exhibitions certainly hold their own meanings, they can build community and give us something to look forward to and remember, but these go hand in hand with the everyday and the myriad other emotions and experiences built up around these that make up our meaning as well. Personally I am also thinking about gender and transitioning and the relationship between insular and exterior identities and how to shift narratives from a “before” and “after” to a whole other way of being and experiencing and becoming oneself on a daily basis. Rather than being a sort of trick or gimmicky reveal, my use of this iconography and the set-up of the exhibition itself is coming from a place of optimism and empowerment, of wanting to give both myself and the audience the choice to create meaning for ourselves and to question how and when we might be told otherwise. 

What else will you be working on this year?

Right now, I’m working towards making new works for a group show at Lychee One in London and a three person show in Odense, Denmark both in September. I am also working on a newly commissioned video and performance piece in collaboration with HRH that I’m really looking forward to. After that I’m going to take some time to reflect on what I’ve made this year and how I want to move forward. 

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Chopova Lowena x Matches Fashion AW19 Capsule Collection

31.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Global luxury retailer Matches Fashion, has recently partnered with  London-based emerging design talent Chopova Lowena for the launch of an exclusive capsule collection for AW19. Post-graduation from Central Saint Martins, the design duo Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena initially launched their brand in 2018, which eventually took off and gained a cult like following for their interesting and distinctive designs. From traditional Bulgarian fabrics, to wide leather belts, to rock climbing carabiners added as statement pieces. The designers have united with the luxury retailer to offer all that and much more including a few additives such as kilt skirts, wool coats etc. 

 “MatchesFashion.com have been a dream partner and support system to us. Spotting our potential so early on and so carefully guiding us to fine tune our product with such care and a mentoring eye has been vital to our knowledge and our growth. Working with them has changed the way which we think about a woman’s wardrobe and her life,” explained the duo. In celebration of the partnership, Twin went ahead in joining the design duo for a brief Q & A. 

What was the inspiration behind this capsule collection?

This collection was inspired by Albanian Traditional dress and Equestrian Vaulting.

What are the most important things you consider when designing?

We consider first and foremost the combination of our two references and really merging them seamlessly. Also thinking about our customer and her comfort. 

Who would you say is the ideal Chopova Lowena woman?

There is no ideal, we would love if all kinds of women connected with our garments. That’s our ideal.

How would you describe the direction for the capsule’s campaign?

We worked closely with Charlotte Wales, Jamie Reid and Agata Belcen who are all so connected with our vision and we collaboratively decided on the campaign and shooting it on Equestrian Vaulting Team GB2019 in their barn in Warwickshire.

What’s next for you guys?

We are working on our new collection and campaign.

The collection has been launched at 5 Carlos Place and also includes a book in celebration of the brand’s latest campaign.

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A Chat with The Artists of the Venezia Pavilion

29.07.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

This year, the Venezia Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia moves beyond the confines of the exhibition space and infiltrates the city. Reflecting the multitude of stories, of splendour and beauty and of cruise ships, flooding and souvenirs, these esteemed Italian artists plunge into the wealth of inspiration to depict the ancient city in new lights. 

As Alessandro Gallo,  Artistic Director, explains: “In thinking about the creative concept of the pavilion, we have focussed on two angles: on one side, we wanted to return to the original elements that have characterised and shaped Venezia, and from the other side, we wanted to communicate the dichotomy of representing the stereotype that Venezia has in the world, and also a more authentic reflection of the city lived from the inside.”

Twin spoke to the artists involved, Mirko Borsche, Lorenzo Dante Ferro, Sidival Fila, Ferzan Özpetek, Fabio Viale and Giorgos Koumentakis, as well as artist director Alessandro Gallo, about their artistic approach to Venice. 

Alessandro Gallo , courtesy of Fondaco Italia

TWIN: How have you responded to Venice in your work?

Ferzan Ozpetek:

As soon as I was asked to visualise a personal idea of Venice, I had mixed feelings:  I was proud to be asked,   but at the same time overwhelmed by the difficulty of finding a creative way to tell the story of a city that has always been a symbol of unparalleled beauty, art and landscapes. A place deeply probed from all points of view. All of a sudden, I remembered so many walks I had taken in the Laguna, not just in the city, and above all the times I spent some days at the Lido either with my movies or as a member of jury for La Mostra del Cinema. That’s it, Water and Cinema: a dream of fluidity once again. You happen to reach the Lido on a motorboat, get off and soon you can enter the huge screening room where a collective rite is going to be held. I gathered some of those memories and emotions and revived them into imagery.  

Fabio Vale:

In this work I was trying to represent not the object, but the spiritual side of Venetian Bricole.

Lorenzo Dante Ferro: 

My work as a Master Perfumer originated in Venice in the 1500s when it was a flourishing and prosperous centre for the trade and commerce of precious spices, unguents, fragrant oils and resins brought back by navigators and explorers returning from voyages to distant lands. They provided Venice with the first new ingredients and raw materials necessary to give impetus to the development and creation of the first Italian perfumes, making Venice a natural location. Today, I continue this work as the keeper of secrets and traditions of artistic perfume creation from my perfume studio in Gradiscutta di Varmo (Udine) only a short distance from Villa Manin, the summer residence of the last Doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin.

Sidival Fila: 

I was invited as a selected artist for the Venice Pavilion from the beginning of the project, so I was able to follow its birth and its development; my involvement was both individual and collective, and for different reasons during the making of the show, many synergies were born with the other selected artists. I was also present in Venice for the opening of the Biennale and I was able to see that the message I wanted to share, through the descriptive elements of my installation and through a specific technical procedure , was communicated to the visitors, in the form of reflection and emotion.

Giorgos Koumendakis: 

This work has been created specifically for Venice, a vibrant city that combines the crossroads of many different cultures that approach it by water and could not exist in its present form for any other city!

Mirko Borsche:

The Venice Pavilion invited our studio to contribute as an ‘artist’. The biennale’s theme this year is FAKE NEWS, among other topics that form ‘interesting times we live in’. We are not artists, but we believe in graphic design as a strong tool, so we developed an identity for the Venice pavilion, which could be seen to be the identity of the whole Biennale and therefore is aligned with the concept of the Biennale, it also creates the maximum awareness for the pavilion of Venice. The centre piece of our concept is the Lion of St. Mark, the symbol of Venice. Bureau Borsche created a reduced, abstract form of the lion to highlight the six boroughs of Venice in the lines of his wings. These simple geometric shapes were also used to create the secondary graphical element – an exclusive typeface. This consists of mainly vertical bars in reference to the omnipresent poles throughout Venice. The popping Neon Yellow is a modern interpretation of the golden ornaments of the historical centre. Functionally, the colour is used as a signal colour because of its special visibility. Together the lion, the typeface, and the colour create a strong and yet ironically confusing guiding system for the city – ultimately leading to the pavilion of Venice. The graphical system is applied on many elements like signs, posters, flags, and public transport etc. At the same time there will be several take-away items such as apparel, tennis balls, plastic bags or lighters referring to the city’s strong tourist business. All these items are branded the same way and reveal their connection to the Venice pavilion once the visitor arrives at the pavilion. 

TWIN: What does Venice mean to you?

Alessandro Gallo – Artistic Director:

Having the privilege to live and know this place deeply, we feel we belong to an identity that has developed over centuries, creating something so strong, unique and personal; something that has put together and mixed different influences and culture that have shaped it.

Ozpetek, Image Courtesy of Fondaco Italia

Ferzan Ozpetek:

I called my work Venetika right because that is the ancient byzantine name given to the powerful maritime city. Venezia was and still is deeply marked by centenary – better say millenary – stratifications of Ottoman culture and traditions. Having grown up in Istanbul, Venezia to me is another “mother-city” where everything reflects, immerses in and resurfaces from water.

Fabio Vale:
Venice is a very hard city that forces you to move with its rhythms, different than ones we are used to. Thanks to this slowness you can appreciate the details.

Lorenzo Dante Ferro: 

Tradition and culture that express an elegance and style that is entirely unique. These are all elements that I treasure and take great pride in as a Venetian. 

Sidival Fila: 

Venice has always been a place of choice for art, culture and beauty. It’s a metaphor of travel and meeting, a unique and timeless city. 

Mirko Borsche:

I really like Italy in general, not very surprising for a German I guess, but for me it was always a place I wanted to live.

Venice is special, I love the city, but more around Autumn, when it gets a bit quiet again. Most of the season tourists take over, like a flood, which is disturbing for a lot of Venetians and forces them into the background. I can tell because Munich is a very touristic city too, and during the season it’s quite hard to get through the city or get anything done.

Giorgos Koumendakis: 

Venice is a city symbolic for music, visual arts and architecture. I am very happy because after many previous collaborations and presentations of my music in Venice, the time has come to compose a piece that is written especially for the Biennale and the city’s Pavilion. It is a great honour and privilege to participate in this important venture, along with great artists and under the artistic direction of Stelios Kois. 

TWIN: How have you interpreted this in your work for the Venice Pavilion?

Ferzan Ozpetek:

The city has hit my imagination as a vision of a woman immersed in water. That woman is performed by the wonderful actress Kasia Smutniak, who conveys the sense of a mysterious and magical experience. At a certain point that female figure representing the city emerges on the surface and thus Venezia materialises once the liquid becomes solid. Now we can recognise its extraordinary shapes, its dreamy buildings, its great paintings as in a revolving kaleidoscope of human figures and astonishing images.

Fabio Vale:
The installation was a collective work where all the artists collaborated together for one project.The meaning was to create a landscape where the viewer is immersed as they would be in the city of Venice

Lorenzo Dante Ferro: 

“Venéxia Odorum” is the natural essence which I composed, inspired by the Venetian lagoon with its briccole bathed by saltwater and the evocative notes of Mediterranean vegetation in the air. This geolfactive fragrance is my invisible contribution to the collective work which I have created to portray and to prolong the olfactive memory of the Serenissima into the future of all those who have had the opportunity to visit the Venice Pavilion.

Sidival Fila: 

They asked me to talk about spirituality as a constitutive dimension of the life of Venetian civilization, so I decided to present the crucifixion as the representation of a historical event, not only as a sacred or liturgical element. My “Golgotha” installation is composed of eight elements,  but only one of them presents a figurative sculpture of the Holy Cross; the other 7 elements open the doors to spirituality and transcendence, but they are not directly related to a specific religion, they only want to speak to every creed and to the heart of the people. 

Giorgos Koumendakis: 

In my work “The pedal tone of a closed current”, Byzantium, Renaissance and this modern city overlap, by the use of pedal tones from the Byzantine music together with western polyphonic elements. All those have an operatic dimension, symbolically accumulating at an orchestra pit full of water.

Mirko Borsche:

Our aim was to involve the Venetians to be part of our concept, they either got items provided by the pavilion for their own use, or make their own souvenirs, they can also download the graphic elements for free to create their own products. The idea is to make this symbol viral and make the whole city of Venice an extension of the Venice pavilion. 

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Fendi X Jackson Wang launches Capsule Collection

26.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Today Italian fashion house Fendi launches a special capsule collection in collaboration with Chinese celebrity rapper, singer and songwriter Jackson Wang.

The capsule collection is one that continues Wang’s partnership with the brand as an ambassador by mixing fusing his signature style with distinctive aspects of the FENDI DNA, creating a kind of pathway between the worlds of fashion and music. The collection mainly featured in black velvet and chenille includes a formal suit along with more casual pieces like jumpers, t-shirts and trousers. The list of accessories also include a black leather Baguette with a velvet FF logo, a clutch, slide sandals, a baseball hat rendered in chenille, running sneakers and a variety of other ready-to-wear pieces. The Fendi x Jackson Wang Capsule collection will be launching in 33 selected FENDI boutiques and online from July 20th .

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