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Beauty, rawness and awkwardness: Twin meets Clare Shilland

15.10.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Having contributed to Twin issue IV with a series that captured young women who are fighting for their educational rights, Clare Shilland is back for issue XVII. Over the course of a sunny Saturday afternoon in Notting Hill, Clare shot sisters Lotte and Nancy Andersen, beautifully depicting the love and affection the pair feel for each other, as well as their distinct personalities. As Twin XVII hits the stands, we caught up with Clare to talk fashion, inspiration and capturing something you can’t use words to describe.

Do you consciously try to better the female gaze in fashion photography through your work?

I feel like I have always photographed women and girls in a very natural and strong way, showing them as truthfully as possible. So, I suppose I have.

In creating lookbooks for fashion houses, such as Marni and Aries, do you think of the clothes first?

Yes, it is about the clothes, but also about a particular girl (or boy) who reflects the brand. The casting is super important.  Sofia at Aries and I have a similar taste in girls  – usually ones who look like boys :). The casting is always the most important thing!

© Clare Shilland

© Clare Shilland

Your series have a filmic quality, and seem to build narrative around a character. Have you been working with film recently?

I was always very influenced by movies- so that’s probably why. I’ve been doing a few films recently – I love the one we did for Aries x Vans.

I love the picture of your sister outside McDonalds in Bromley. Do you think of those photographs differently to your commercial work?

Shooting my sister outside McDonalds in Bromley is my favourite photo ever. I hope to bring that beauty to my commercial work, but sometimes it’s hard when you have to please clients.

© Clare Shilland

© Clare Shilland

Who has been your most memorable subject? Why?

I met my husband on a shoot so that’s pretty memorable.

The beauty and rawness and awkwardness and the fact that you never realise quite how beautiful you are when you’re young. Those years make you what you are and I find it fascinating.

Your work appears in several magazines and books. Do you still find it exciting to see your work in print? What do you think the digital shift in publishing means for photography?

Yes, it’s always nice to see in print, especially when it’s something that is really considered and well designed. But the only thing anyone looks at these days is social media… so it’s going to become more and more specialist. Hopefully it will mean less waste and a few really interesting magazines out there.

© Clare Shilland

© Clare Shilland

What are your trying to capture when you take a photograph?

Something I can’t put into words. A strange moment.

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17naturist

Twin Issue XVII

12.10.2017 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

For fall, Issue 17 is taking a closer look at the expectations and realities of self-reflection. We meet the young, African artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami on the eve of her inaugural solo show, and discuss shedding the weight of self-doubt in order to soar. Elsewhere, sisters Nancy and Lotte Andersen are in conversation about their shared childhood and creative pursuits, while actress Joanne Froggatt questions the limitations facing woman who dare to age on screen. Patrick Demarchelier take us behind the scenes at the Musée du Louvre exclusively for Louis Vuitton, before we embark on a Californian road trip with Chanel. Meanwhile, as Browns East — the latest bricks and mortar retail innovation to hit London — opens, we discuss the vital fostering of raw talent with Browns CEO Holli Rogers and Farfetch’s Chief Consultant of Augmented Retail Susanne Tide-Frater. Speaking of raw talent, musician Cosima reveals her most uncomfortable self under the lens of Francesca Allen, while model and artist Larissa Hofmann turns the camera on herself for a self portrait redux. Here’s looking at you, kid.

BUY

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17intimacy
17wambam
17bags

BUY

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Autumn beauty: the essential Twin edit, part 1

11.10.2017 | Beauty , Blog | BY:

Time to swap up your lipstick shades, change your nail polish, lessen the bronzer and swaddle your hair and skin in central heating antidotes: Autumn is here. In the first of our beauty edits, Twin rounds up bold, playful and on trend products and perfumes to add to your favourites this season.

Chanel Rouge Allure Velvet

Embrace dark nights and new adventures with Chanel’s long-lasting velvet lipstick – the intense shades are a perfect match for a deep glass of rich red wine.

rouge-allure-velvet-luminous-matte-lip-colour-38-la-fascinante-3_5g.3145891623802

 

NARS Audacious Lipstick, Lana shade

Embrace autumnal tones with the colour of the season – both on the trees and on trend. NARS thick lipstick ensures a playful upgrade to your look. Wear with retro flares in burnt orange and orange tinted glassed (ala Bella Hadid) for a fashionable finish.

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& Other Stories, Paris Atelier lipstick

The new range from & Other Stories is inspired by community gardens of Paris. Made from 85% natural origin products, their creamy lipstick with cold-pressed certified French plum oil works dreamily against central heating.

Russet Génial Lipstick & Other Stories - £17.00

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Timothy Han eau de parfum, she came to stay

Inspired by Simone de Beauvoir’s 1943 existential novel of the same name, Timothy Han’s unisex perfume blends notes of geranium, basil Indonesian clove with a hint of patchouli to offer an addictive, immersive scent.

 She Came to Stay, Eau de Parfum #002

She Came to Stay, Eau de Parfum #002

Maison Margiela, Lazy Sunday Morning

Shroud yourself in the feeling of freshly washed sheets and cosy mornings with this soft, supple scent from Maison Margiela – good enough to take to brunch.

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Byredo, 1996

Inspired by the photograph ‘Kirsten 1996’, taken by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Byredo’s new scent is warm and evocative, much like the Dutch duo’s work.

Byredo, 1996

Byredo, 1996

Reek perfume, Damn Rebel Witches 

Edinburgh-based perfumers REEK make empowering, rebellious scents for modern women. Expect scents that blend punchy, unexpected hints of blood orange and hazelnut – the splash of attitude you need to enliven the everyday.

REEKPerfume-DamnRebelBitches-BitchesUnite-About1

 

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Susanne Kaufmann

Hailing from the  Bregenzer Forest in Austria, Susanne Kaufmann knows a thing or two about making resilient, high-impact beauty products. Invest in her plant-based hair mask for a season of winter-proof locks – and it smells so good.

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UKA hair oil

Japanese beauty brand UKA may only be stoked in select stores in Europe, but it’s worth hunting down. Their hail oils combat harsh climates, and the packaging is super cute too.

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© Faye Wei Wei

The best fashion & art collaborations for womenswear SS18

09.10.2017 | Art , Fashion | BY:

Fashion month and Frieze fall within days of each other, highlighting the deeply interconnected nature of these two creative mediums – a relationship that has always been investigated by both artists and designers, spurning glorious collaborations throughout contemporary history. For SS18 designers drew strongly on artists to render new, unexpected collections. Twin looks at some of the best designers working with artists for womenswear this season.

Christopher Kane / John Kacere

Kane’s collection this season took inspiration from Cynthia Payne, the eighties party girl and brothel keeper who was a tabloid favourite in the seventies and eighties. A reference that balanced the clean with the dirty, the pretty with the ugly underbelly of society, Kane’s use of John Kacere imagery continued this harmonious interplay. Kacere’s photo-realistic paintings of women in underwear have littered Tumblr for years but Kane’s repositioning of the silk and satin clad derrieres onto chiffon-bordered t-shirts have finally brought the idea of wearing a woman’s butt on my flank into reality.

Christopher Kane SS18 | © Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane SS18 | © Christopher Kane

 

Hannah Weiland of Shrimps / Faye Wei Wei

A partnership exploring the possibilities of presentation, West London artist of the moment, Faye Wei Wei created a series of three broad, bold boards to stand behind the Shrimps S/S 18 presentation. Working directly with designer Hannah Weiland, Wei Wei’s mythology-inspired canvases clashed against the Shrek-greens and fun furs on show. An illustrator herself, Weiland first saw Wei Wei’s work at a show at the Cob Gallery and loved it.  This collection featured fewer of Weiland’s signature doodles, allowing Wei Wei’s canvases to provide a large dose of the whimsy and wonder we associate with Shrimps.

Shrimps SS18 | © India Doyle

Shrimps SS18 | © India Doyle

Gareth Pugh / Nick Knight / Olivier de Sagazan

In a move that has swiftly become synonymous with the Gareth Pugh brand, for S/S 18, Pugh rejected the catwalk in favour of a fashion film created by SHOWstudio and Nick Knight. Collaborating with artist Olivier de Sagazan, the film sees de Sagazan and Pugh mould their faces together with clay, tear each other, viscerally, physically apart, and explore the allegories present in Pugh’s clothing; creation, destruction and reproduction.


Undercover / Cindy Sherman

This year, artist Cindy Sherman released her private Instagram to the public and renewed her global capital. As one who consistently taps into smart, zeitgeisty movements, Joon Takahashi of Undercover took this opportunity to whack Sherman’s face on a series of dresses. Drawing inspiration from twins, ‘Shining’-style, these dresses played on the concept of duality, dual natures – reality and Instagram, as explored in Sherman’s oeuvre.

Ambush design / Twitter

Ambush design / Twitter

Comme des Garçons / Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo was an Italian painter best known for creating imaginative portrait heads made entirely of objects such as fruits, vegetables, flowers, fish, and books. Rei Kawakubo’s S/S18 collection presented imaginative portrait dresses with items including hairbrushes, dollies, trinkets and Hello Kitty ephemera. Dresses plastered with Arcimboldo’s paintings contradicted the scatter of Harajuku and pink and looked as modern on the catwalk as the animé designs that preceded them.

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Giuseppe Arcimboldo

Featured image by Faye Wei Wei

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Loewe SS18

The fruits of Loewe

09.10.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Shot by Steven Miesel, we’re obsessed with the Loewe SS18 campaign…

Consisting of five portraits, the Loewe campaign features Italian model Vittoria Ceretti with various fruits in her mouth. Provocative and sexual, the composition offers a playful take on the tradition of fruit in art, as well as evoking a more visceral, modern and feminist motif.

With make-up by Pat McGrath and styling by Benjamin Bruno, this is another striking series from Jonathan Anderson, and we can’t get enough.

Loewe SS18

Loewe SS18

Loewe SS18

Loewe SS18

Loewe SS18

Loewe SS18

Loewe SS18

Loewe SS18

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© Stevie + Mada

Like splitting a milkshake: Twin meets Stevie and Mada

08.10.2017 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

There are so many reasons why a sane person might avoid working with our other halves at all costs; mixing the ego of creativity with the power dynamics of a relationship seems like a recipe for disaster. And yet some of the most celebrated creative pairings in fashion and beyond have been couples. From Andreas and Vivienne to Inez and Vinoodh, there’s no shortage of partnerships emotionally evolved enough to sustain making beautiful things with the person they share a bed with. Shame on all of us for not making a go of it, perhaps?

Twin contributors Stevie Verroca and Mada Refujio are another enlightened example. Crediting themselves as Stevie Mada, the couple have been working together since meeting in California in 2010. They take photographs that are full of colour and buckets of the sun-drenched outdoors, tempered by the cooler airs of their current home in NYC. Their subjects are lovingly rendered and playfully directed, with winding poses that remind us that it’s actual human beings who wear the clothes in editorials. The body’s physicality is often at the forefront of their work, and the combined adoration of an evenly balanced female and male lens unlocks something pleasingly sensual for their viewer.

There is lots of beautiful work by Stevie Mada to be found out there – for the likes of V Magazine, Interview and Teen Vogue to name a few – but very little about them as people. Before their feature in the new issue of Twin hits shelves, we caught up with the pair to get to know them better.

What kind of work were you each making before you met?

Mada: Some light book keeping .. haha. I was playing around with some paints and mixed media before photography found me.

Stevie: He’s modest, he’s a painter. I’ve always taken photos.

You used to be based on the west coast. What prompted the move from LA to New York?

M: A more creative energy was drawing us to NYC.

S: We craved a change in culture and style. Very much miss the weather and ease of CA, but it’ll always be there. It felt like the right time for a change.

Did that move have an impact on your work?

M: Extremely.

S: Night and day.

We tend to think if the photographer as a single eye, how do you align your perspectives to create cohesive work?

S+M: Thanks for saying our work is cohesive :)

M: I think it’s like splitting a milk shake. You decide on the flavour before you decide to share.

S: We’re becoming firmer in our individual likes through experience and we happen to be fortunate that our shared likes outweigh the dislikes. Plus, whatever I say, goes. ha!

You seem to work a lot in exterior locations – do you prefer them to the studio?

M: I love to work outdoors – partially the reason I don’t paint anymore. Following the sun and the earth’s textures really makes me feel connected. Although a studio shoot does have its appeal from time to time.

S: Yes! Light, colour, space. I never get tired of it.

© Stevie Mada

© Stevie Mada

That said, the environment of your images never overwhelms the subject – what draws you to that?

S: We like open spaces – probably because we grew up near deserts in the LA valleys.

Do you have any interest in making work without a human subject?

M: Yes, but working with cool peeps outweighs that. :)

S: I love looking at photographs of empty spaces. I can look at Stephen Shore for hours. But to take them myself, I crave people.

The ‘naughty & nice’ story you shot for the newest issue is very playful but also very sexual, how did you approach the shoot?

S: I’m naughty, Mada’s nice :) It really is a female/male perspective on sexuality and femininity. Can you tell which is which?

There is a very rich, almost painterly quality to your images – how do you think about colour?

M: Colour is the 5th element.

S: It’s my obsession.

Do you ever hope to work on any individual projects, separate from each other?

M: I’m open to it, but no.

S: I have fun doing what I love the most with my best friend.

© Stevie Mada

© Stevie Mada

How do you see your partnership developing in to the future?

M: Kids? (we’re a couple). I LOVE short films!

And to close on something lighter – do you have a favourite anecdote about working with the other?

S: Mada loves to wear a t-shirt with Rihanna’s baby photo printed on it. It’s become a uniform.

M: Stevie blushes when you compliment her.. haha, BiG time! Try it!

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Georgina Starr, Moment Memory Monument, 2017. Photo Henrik Blomqvist

Twin curates: the best things to see at Frieze 2017

02.10.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

Frieze is here this week and even those with the most tentative interest in art will be blown away by the onslaught of visual experience coming to the city. Twin rounds up the ten best things to catch at Frieze 2017.

 

1:54 African Art Fair

 

This satellite fair in Somerset House, focused on galleries and artists from Africa, has grown every year and shows some of the most interesting and less known work you’ll see in the week. You are guaranteed to discover new artists – keep an eye out for Ouattara Watts, Marlene Steyn and Admire Kamudzengerere. If you cant make it in person the website has a good visual compendium of featured artists.

 

Ouattara Watts, After rain, 2017, Mixed media on canvas, 182 x 160 cm. Courtesy Primo Marella Gallery

Ouattara Watts, After rain, 2017, Mixed media on canvas, 182 x 160 cm. Courtesy Primo Marella Gallery

 

Seth Price at the ICA

 

This retrospective brings together 20 years of one aspect of Price’s work – his videos. They are amazing, influential and worth every minute you watch them.

 

 Jeremy Shaw, Arthur Jafa and Everything at Once by Lisson Gallery at 180 The Strand

180 The Strand is putting on three killer shows for the next few months. Past Twin interviewee Jeremy Shaw has a solo show on the ground floor, Arthur Jafa is showing a film on the roof in a tent and Lisson gallery has filled the former office block with massive installations. All free. All exceptionally good.

 

Jeremy Shaw's sci-fi pseudo-documentary Liminals to be exhibited at Store Studios this autumn, presented by The Vinyl Factory and König Galerie.

Jeremy Shaw’s sci-fi pseudo-documentary Liminals to be exhibited at Store Studios this autumn, presented by The Vinyl Factory and König Galerie.

 

Georgina Starr at Frieze Art Fair Projects

 

Starr is getting some well deserved attention with a narrative performance project at Frieze, showcasing her mysterious and marvellous take on brains, bubbles, disembodied voices and strong female characters.

 

Haroon Mirza at Zabludowicz Collection

Psychedelic film installations, a sensory deprivation chamber and mix and match take on collaboration. This brilliant show which is evolving over three months is also the show for a performance by dancer Wayne Macgregor on Thursday (book now).

Nathalie Du Pasquier Other Rooms at Camden Arts Centre

Nathalie Du Pasquier Other Rooms at Camden Arts Centre

 

Natalie du Pasquier at Camden Arts Centre

 

Du Pasquier was one of the members of iconic 80s design collective Memphis, who are having a serious moment. This exhibition brings together paintings and art objects she has created since in a fine art context but still have a touch of individualistic colour and architectural shapes from her earlier work.

 

Dream Art Fair

 

You can visit one of the most interesting emerging art fairs from your own bedroom – Dream. This five day online fair is a great project, with a well curated selection of galleries. Experimental while still being accessible.

 

Renate Bertlmann, Eva im sack (‘Eva in bag’, 2010) (detail). Digital print, 80 x 80 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Richard Saltoun, London

Renate Bertlmann, Eva im sack (‘Eva in bag’, 2010) (detail). Digital print, 80 x 80 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Richard Saltoun, London

 

Sex Work curated by Alison Gingeras at Frieze

 

Twin profiled Black Sheep Feminism curated by Alison Gingeras in Texas, showing female artists from the 60s and 70s who were ostracised for their sexual imagery. The curator brings her research to London in a new form. Expect from beautiful and brilliant takes on genitalia.

 

Bob Parks Open Air Gospel Choir at Gallery of Everything

 

If you want something extra crazy, performance artist Bob Parks is your guy. To activate his show at the Gallery of Everything this Tuesday between 3 and 5pm he’ll be bringing a gospel choice to Chiltern Sreet. Expect it to have a large dose of wildness added on.
 

10 Sunday Art Fair

 

This long running fair down Marylebone Rd from Frieze focuses on smaller and often more interesting galleries. Always worth going to see new work and have real conversations with exciting international spaces.

 

Honourable mentions, because then things is not enough: Douglas Gordon at Gagosian, Tobjorn Rodland at Serpentine, Dorothea Tanning at Alison Jacques, Superflex at Tate Modern. 
(Featured image credit: Georgina Starr, Moment Memory Monument, 2017. Photo Henrik Blomqvist). 

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Balenciaga shoes

The Croc takeover has begun

01.10.2017 | Fashion | BY:

When crocs made their comeback on the London stage they rightly induced scepticism – Crocs! – but it seems they are the shoe that won’t go away.

Christopher Kane got there first, with quite innocuous looking pairs during his AW17 show; they came in marble and camo print and were lightly adorned with gems and glittering rocks. Then for SS18 Kane did it again, this time going further with large Swarovski diamonds and bright yellow hues.

Now in Paris, Balenciaga has taken up the mantle, offering platform pairs in bright, bubblegum pink and strong yellow. So perhaps it’s time to embrace the unthinkable: after all this time in the dark, are Crocs the shoe of the season?

 

 

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Alex Cameron

“Tender but brutal: exactly how I like a character to be.” Twin meets Alex Cameron

28.09.2017 | Blog , Music | BY:

One of the pleasures of seeing bands in small venues (when they’re good) is that you get to witness how much they enjoy playing with each other – which was certainly true of Alex Cameron and his gang on their most recent visit to London. In amongst a slick delivery of the latest album, Forced Witness, were plenty of banterful asides, whispered knowing eye catches and asides made while sweat poured and Stella Artois spilled.

Such synchronicity is hardly surprising given that frontman Alex and saxophonist / business partner Roy Molloy have known each other since they were 5, when Alex was sent round to play with Roy because he was lonely (– “don’t put that in” – sorry, Roy). That they wouldn’t tell me the name of the band they had when they were 17, or their worst lyrics, also speaks of a deep, artistic bond that means some ten years later, they’re more on it than ever.

Cameron himself likes character, starring on his first album cover ‘Jumping the Shark’ as a Scarface-esque bruiser. For Forced Witness the physical performance may have changed, but the album delves deep into various personalities and identites, unpacking as it does ideas around gender and specifically the ‘Alpha’ males of rock and roll, and the wide world beyond. And though while for the video of ‘Stranger’s Kiss’, a record that features Angel Olsen, Cameron and Jemima Kirke play with the nuances of gender of screen, the best and most surprising expositions are most definitely to be found in the lyrics.

Co-produced with Foxygen’s Johnathan Rado and recorded partly in Las Vegas (“a completely rational and sane place”) it’s a record to pay attention to.

Read Twin’s interview with Alex Cameron (guest starring Roy Malloy) below.

Where do you get ideas for your characters?

A lot of my ideas come from conversations with people. A lot of it is dialogue with people that I’m on the road with. Someone like Mclean Stevenson who is a photographer from Australian. I worked in a government legal office working with victims of corruption, so a lot of my process is to do with taking that skill of being an assistant to an investigator; what I is a breakdown or a study of a story that I’m interested in.

Alex Cameron

Alex Cameron

Do you have a favourite one?

On the new record I really like country figs. My car broke down on a highway, it was me and Roy and our two ex-girlfriends and we got towed. That whole song came from a conversation with a tow truck driver.

How do you come up with melodies to support to the character?

I just try and focus on whether or not it’s a good song. The melody is quite natural, I’m kind of drawn towards them. I’m more interested in the stories and the melodies, they come together after a while. You have to be patient, and I tend to let things happen over time.

Do you find yourself looking at people on the street and get a sound to them?

Um no, I wouldn’t say so. I’ve written songs on the bus before but that comes more from absentmindedness. I do a lot of song writing when I’m walking and when I’m on public transport.

Some people write very confessional lyrics and you choose to write through the lens of character, but how much of yourself do you put into it?

I’d  like to think that if you get a sense of moral awakening then that’s me trying to put some humanity into the characters, even if they are bastards or misguided. I wonder about the process of everyone having a bullshit detector, I’m fascinated by that. Some people have a strong edit before they speak and others just speak based on their emotions,without contemplating the fact that they’re an animal. So I think a lot of stories are just me wondering about certain circumstances, and I just try and let the characters take me to where they want to go. Often that’s somewhere decrepit because when I’m writing it feels like I’m writing a tiny world where someone can behave, that I’m not in control of; I’m just there. Part of it is just based on the flow of emotion and not so much trying to ruthlessly understand something and then examine it in retrospect.

Was music the most instinctive form of doing that to you?

Most of my song writing comes from words I’m constantly taking down; long sentences and utterances, lines, poems and things like that. Then I’ll find the ones with the right cadence and the right syncopation that fit with certain melodies I have recorded as well. I write short stories, but I felt that there was no way for me to access that industry. Some of my favourite authors have been more responsive to my records than they ever would be to a story.

What was it like starting out in Sydney?

Sydney was really hard. Not in a knocks way, but it’s not the place to write music with a sense of realness to it; it’s very much a paradise over there. I don’t think Sydney is the place where groundbreaking music happens. The only way for me to make a living was to leave. Sydney has been taken over by investor money, it’s corporate. It doesn’t has any nightlife. You’d have to go up against the laws and the corporations to really get a subculture going.

ENTER ROY MALLOY

Hello Roy. How did you meet Alex, and how did you get into the saxophone?

I met Alex because we went to stay at friend’s when I was kid, and that was two doors down from Al’s, so we lived next door to each other when we were 5 or 6. We met each other because his mother made him come and play with me because she thought that I was lonely. But I wasn’t lonely. Don’t print that I was lonely.

And the saxophone I came across because the school had a program where you could rent them, and  I thought Lisa Simpson was pretty cool so, that’s how it happened?

Have you ever been tempted by another instrument?

I guess between the ages of 16 – 25 I didn’t think that the saxophone was suitable for rock music so I was playing the bass guitar. Then 4 or 5 years ago we started doing this live thing with the horn, and it just came into it I guess.

So were you guys in bands together when you were younger?

Yeah we played in a band at the end of school –

What was it called?

(Inaudible shouts from Alex)

That’s a secret (laughs).

EXIT ROY MALLOY

Hey again Alex. I wanted to talk to you about the video for Stranger’s Kiss and the way in which you play around with binaries in it, and also in the album more widely. Do you think that music has a specifically female or male sound?

Well the whole record was kind of intentionally made with the intention of subverting those masculine qualities in pop rock music. And so when Jemima came with the idea with this video that also challenged that it was kind of natural and perfect.

The song was produced in a way that was really strong, but the lyrics suggest a lot of denial of weakness. I certainly view the record of being a direct challenge to those tropes of masculinity, those male-dominant forms of song. Like that song Jesse’s girl I always think is pretty interesting – it’s oestensibly a song about a woman but it’s actually a discussion between two men. It doesn’t even mention Jesse’s girl’s name.

Interestingly when Angel came into the studio and laid down her vocals it became really evident that she was the strong one in that world. So we made her the one that was really not giving a fuck about the breakup, so we made her tender but brutal – which is exactly how I like a character to be.

 Forced Witness is out now on Secretly Canadian.

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© Sophie Davis

Looking at Women, by Sophie Davis

25.09.2017 | Art | BY:

Photographer Sophie Davis talks to Twin about her series of work, ‘The Unresolved’.

I began this series nearly two years ago, having been constantly exposed to images of beauty ideals from a young age through media and popular culture. Starting this series felt like a necessary step for me to try and understand my fascination with beauty and the female form.

‘The Unresolved’ is a growing body of work and the girls I photograph start out as strangers to me. I ‘collect’ my subjects around London, they are just normal women who I feel instantly drawn to because of their physical appearance. I ask them to sit for me if they are interested. These sittings are mostly done nude.

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

Surprisingly, through the many girls I have photographed I have only ever had one no, which I think speaks volumes about how we as women are curious about seeing ourselves laid bare. It could be seen as searching for validation, wanting to feel beautiful in a world that makes us constantly insecure.

The images have become part of a growing archive, a collection of female flesh, both a celebration of the magnetising allure of the woman but also an exploration into the limits of objectification.

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

The method of my work has been described as predatory in nature, more ‘male gaze’ than ‘female’ (which I can’t help but see as reductive, as women have the ability to desire just as much as men). But alongside the seemingly callous ‘pick ups’ there is a tenderness to the photographs that remove them from an objectifying, colder viewpoint – it is down to the close ups. The details in the folds of skin and stray hairs, the remnants of another human being.  There is the intimacy and closeness you would assume exist between lovers. I am always amazed at the level of trust each girl puts in me, and the friendships that come out of some encounters.

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

‘The Unresolved ‘is an exploration of the limits of the female gaze and the ‘trap of beauty’ and our constant hunt for it. In exploring with such issues with this body of work, it has given me further insight into our conditioning, and the confusion that surrounds the self in relation to images of the  ‘ideal’. There is a hunger in the images, both from myself as photographer and from the subjects themselves, it’s a desire to be seen, to be looked at to be the one do the looking.

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

© Sophie Davis

Follow Sophie on Instagram: @sophiexzx and Skin and Blister collective on @skin.and.blister

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Azadi(Independence) by Khanwal Dhawali_Image courtesy of the artist

Nasty Women UK

22.09.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

This weekend, Stour Space in Hackney Wick will be transformed into a free art exhibition, packed with talks, comedy shows, DJ sets and spoken word performances, as well as live music and workshops. Alongside these creative events, there will be artwork on sale, with all proceeds going towards End Violence Against Women

The event is being put on as part of the Nasty Women global art movement, which began in New York to increase awareness for women’s rights, using art to channel freedom of speech and self-expression. The organisation brings together people of all genders, races, faiths and LGBTQIA identities, and its name comes from a comment Donald Trump made about Hilary Clinton during a televised debate. It has since become a rallying call for women who are standing up against misogyny and gender inequality.

Eat Cake Like a Boss by Rachael Rebus_Image courtesy of the artist

Eat Cake Like a Boss by Rachael Rebus_Image courtesy of the artist

Taking place across the weekend of the 23rd and 24th September, the multidisciplinary exhibition employs a variety of different art forms, including sculpture, street art, ceramics, and an immersive art installation in which visitors can create their own virtual artwork. Virtual Reality is a recurring theme throughout the exhibition, with other spaces recreating instances of street harassment and everyday sexism using VR, to give a visceral understanding of what those experiences are like.

Famed comedian Ava Vidal will be taking to the stage over the weekend, along with spoken word artists Salena Godden and Joelle Taylor. Included amongst those who have donated their work are experimental ceramicist Carrie Reichardt, and Louisa Johnson, the great granddaughter of Suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst. One of Johnson’s donated items is a handwritten letter by Pankhurst herself, written during her stay at Holloway Prison.

Fuck Washing Up_by Stacey Guthrie_Image courtesy of the artist

Fuck Washing Up_by Stacey Guthrie_Image courtesy of the artist

Nasty Women will be open on Saturday 23rd September and Sunday 24th September, from 9am until late, at Stour Space in Hackney Wick. http://www.nastywomenuk.com/

 

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Fenty Beauty

FENTY BEAUTY: RiRi’s beautiful vision

21.09.2017 | Beauty , Fashion | BY:

Something about this month’s launch of Rihanna’s new beauty line – Fenty Beauty – has touched a nerve with consumers and it’s not entirely owing to her A-list cred. In a sea of celebrity-endorsed fashion and beauty collections, Fenty stands out thanks to its notably diverse range of foundation shades (all 40 of them, near revolutionary in its inclusivity), from lightest of alabasters to the deepest of coffees, with a range of authentic skin-loving undertones as well. Word on the street is that customers are liking – and buying – what they see: there are reports of the darkest shades selling out instantly, which flies in the face of the argument of bigger brands that producing darker shades is a risk for their profit margin. But it’s not only dark-skinned girls loving the range, a number of people with albinism have sung the praises of Fenty for making shades light enough for pigment-free skin, using the hashtag #AlbinoMatch to broadcast the discovery on various social platforms.

Of course this isn’t Rihanna’s first foray into the world of beauty, with products from her RiRi for MAC collection reportedly selling out in hours. However, with a whole makeup line created by the original bad girl herself – and with names like Trophy Wife, Moscow Mule, Sinnamon, Killawatt and Pro Filt’R – this one’s got RiRi written all over it, in a very good way.

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Aries x Vans

19.09.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Catch it quick! The new collaboration between Aries x Vans launches at midnight. There’s also fresh patches, sweats and a whole new AW17 collection to get stuck into.

Founded by Central Saint Martins graduateSofia Prantera and graphic designer Fergus Purcell, Aries has quickly become a cult brand since it launched some five years ago. Marrying the 90s streetwear aesthetic with modern style, the label offers easy, transitional pieces all with that Aries edge. Think logo t-shirts, frayed denim and hoodies, as well as patches, tie dye and silk tracksuits to boot.

Aries 'No Problemo' sweatshirt, £120

Aries ‘No Problemo’ sweatshirt, £120

This latest collaboration sees the brand delving further into subcultures, offering a new customised trainer that will debut alongside a film by Jeremy Pollard. Expect these shoes to sell out as fast as their printed t-shirts, and be ready to click ‘buy’ when the clock strikes 12.

Browse the full Aries x Vans collection here.

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Topshop SS18

Customisation station: Topshop SS18

19.09.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Whether it’s phone cases, patches, berets or bags, customisation is the trans-seasonal trend that we can’t get enough off. Hot off the Topshop SS18 catwalk, customised tees from the runway show are available to make your own at Topshop’s customisation pop-up in their Oxford Street store.

Head over over any time this week to tap into that fierce, independent attitude: because while wearing your heart on your sleeve is good, your name on your chest is better.

 

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Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Having a Blast with Molly’s Gang

17.09.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

The room was succulent with energy before the show had even started, but Molly Goddard SS18 trumped all feverish expectations as it began. Opening with Edie Campbell, an e-cigarette dangling from her lips, the show offered a strong, louche party girl spirit, wrapped up in signature smocks and empire lines.

Taffetas, sequins and dense cotton was finely rendered here, with Goddard honing in on fine details as much as the big, stand-out aesthetics which have made her show one of the must see of the season – hell, even Sadiq Khan was on the front row.

Finely tuned ruche detail lent organic curves to backs and sleeves, while juxtapositions of form gave fresh vibes to familiar silhouettes. Cropped cardigans and blazers in rich tangerines, lemon-curd yellows and midnight blues translated the Molly Goddard girl into a more contemporary setting, while sequin smocks and sheer dresses were the wearable, fun escapism we’ve all been looking for.

“The doctor told me to watch my drinking. Now I drink in front of the mirror.” the show notes quipped: the show itself an exuberant realisation of the confident, funny, playful and seductive Molly Goddard girl that we have come to love so well.

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

Molly Goddard SS18| © kamil kustosz

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Cass Bird, ‘Ali in Treehouse,’ 2000.

In bed with Cass Bird

15.09.2017 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Beds have always offered a world within a world, a place where sex, loss, pensiveness and commonality can all exist in the same place, and sometimes all at once. It is these dichotomies and juxtapositions that photographer Cass Bird plays with in a new exhibition at Red Hook Labs in New York.

This new series of portraits tells the story of her family, with pictures of wife Ali, and their two children weaving a story of laughter, intimacy and feeling connected.

Alongside familial images are examples of Bird’s fashion photography, which has featured in publications such as French Vogue and Wall Street Journal, as well as Twin magazine.

'Self Portrait with Mae' (2014), Photography Cass Bird

‘Self Portrait with Mae’ (2014), Photography Cass Bird

Here the same off-kilter, fluid and sensitive compositions relay an eye that is totally attuned to its subjects; whether it’s professional or personal, Cass Bird communes with these moments rather than directs them.

 

‘In Bed’ is on at Red Hook Labs, Brooklyn until September 24th. 

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House of Holland AW17 DRESS - £375 at Fenwick of Bond St

House of Holland and Woody Woodpecker open London Fashion Week

13.09.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Famed for being light, bright and breezy, Henry Holland’s designs have always embodied a playful and punchy nature. So it kind of makes perfect sense that the designer has launched a capsule collection with cartoon character Woody Woodpecker, launching just ahead of London Fashion Week.

Available exclusively at Fenwick of Bond Street, the collection comprises of 15 pieces – hoodies, jackets, dresses and skirts, all featuring or making reference to one of Disney’s most eccentric characters. If you want a fun-filled energy boost for your style, look no further.

House of Holland x Woody Woodpecker collection is available from September 11th, at Fenwick of Bond Street.

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carsten holler 'untitled' | image courtesy of galeriecpc

Champignons!

12.09.2017 | Art | BY:

Francesca Gavin (Twin, Art Editor) curates a new exhibition in Paris, inspired by the cultural power of the humble champignon. 

The exhibition explores the mushroom through cultural and historical narratives, focussing on how this simple fungi has operated at the heart of ritual for thousands of years.

Hannah Collins 'The fragile feast, madonna and ceps.' 2012 - 2017. | image courtesy of galeriecpc

Hannah Collins, ‘The fragile feast, madonna and ceps.’ 2012 – 2017. | image courtesy of galeriepcp

“They were an early form of female empowerment” Peter Cybulski, of galeriepcp tells me, adding that women used mushrooms for a source of income throughout the 19th century.

Throughout contemporary art, the mushroom can also be seen as a source of inspiration, with creatives looking towards it for its ability to signify nature, as well as more abstract, and psychedelic references.
seana gavin. mushroomscape. paper collage on card. 2017.

Seana Gavin, ‘mushroomscape’, 2017 | image courtesy of galeriepcp

Bringing together a diverse and exciting range of international artists which includes Hannah Collins, Sylvie Fleury, Seana Gavin, Carsten Holler and more. This new exhibition covers painting, collage, film and photography to offer an exciting and surprising survey of the mushroom, and the strangeness it embodies.
John Millei 'maria sabina #1', 2016 | image courtesy of galeriecpc

John Millei ‘maria sabina #1’, 2016 | image courtesy of galeriepcp

Champignons! curated by Francesca Gavin is at galeriepcp in Paris until 10th November 2017. 

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Gabrielle Chanel - Kristen STEWART

A loving tribute to Gabrielle Chanel

11.09.2017 | Beauty , Culture | BY:

To mark the launch of their latest fragrance, Gabrielle, Chanel brings the scent to life with a new pop-up shop on Bond Street.

Running until 24th September, the space will invite audiences to immerse themselves in the history and personality of Gabrielle Chanel; a series of events and workshops designed to unpack her rebellious nature, and how this has been conveyed through scent.

To find out more about the workshops and events on offer, and to book your place, click here.

 

 

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Lina Iris Viktor, Dark Continent No. XVII _ The exaltations before time. She... , Acrylic, Ink, Print on Cotton Rag Paper, 1_3, 2017

“A black and gold chapel, of sorts”: Artist Lina Viktor presents her fictional dystopia

08.09.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

From the 12th September to the 20th October, Amar Gallery in London will host Lina Iris Viktor’s first solo exhibition in the UK. Of British and Liberian heritage, Viktor explores narratives surrounding race and the African diaspora in her work.

Black Exodus brings together both new and existing abstract works, which have been made using Viktor’s trademark black and gold colour palette. This exhibition marks the first ‘Act’ in an evolving series for the artist, which reimagines artistic and socio-political definitions of blackness. Twin spoke to Viktor about the implications of her two-tone colour palate, and the exhibition’s roots in a mythologised dystopia where the black race no longer exists.

Black Exodus is based on a mythologised dystopia, where the black race has been extinguished. How do these works respond to that theoretical future?

These works are not literal interpretations of this theoretical concept, but rather investigatory visualisations that are very abstracted; the entire idea is completely abstract, though it may bare historical significance and relevance. My work has always been driven by concept. Whether or not I have chosen to clearly express the driving force, the conceptual narrative is central to the development of a body of work. On this occasion, I believed the concept was imperative to share when reading the work. However, these concepts are and never should be constricting. 

All of my work is essentially a continual experiment – with concept, colour, and material stripping away all that is nonessential. The idea of a dystopic world where the black race no longer exists was conceived to illustrate how integral and essential the black race has and will always be to the development of humanity. It is more of an idea to keep in mind while viewing the work rather than a signifier that is sought through the work. The black in the work and the surrounding space is allegorical – as are all the hues, resonances, and finishes of black that are incorporated. Black is source: without it we all would cease to exist (as would light), so even theoretically it is an impossibility. But it is an interesting future to contemplate – especially with all that continues to be done to stymie the progress of those that belong to the African diaspora globally. It is our daily reality. I simply pose the question of a future without the black race, for the viewers’ contemplation rather than mine. I hope the works can further elaborate that question. 

Lina Iris Viktor, Constellations III, Pure 24 Karat Gold, Acrylic, Gouache, Print on Matte Canvas 2016, Unique, courtesy the artist and Amar Gallery, London

Lina Iris Viktor, Constellations III, Pure 24 Karat Gold, Acrylic, Gouache, Print on Matte Canvas 2016, Unique, courtesy the artist and Amar Gallery, London

Your colour palette for Black Exodus exclusively uses black and gold. What are the associations of those colours for you?

These are mainstays in my artist palette, which has always been very specific and focused. The departure into an entire body of works within this even more restricted palette was about stripping away all of the nonessential, and also seeing how far I could stretch and push these contrasting extremes into a series of unified works within a unified space. In my practice, black is a value – one polar extreme of the colour spectrum; it represents the full absorption of light within the colour spectrum and it contains all colours. Therefore it is completely saturated and colour-full. Gold is the closest to a godly metal one can find. Revered since its discovery, previous civilizations have likened it to the sun – a bearer of light – the immortal metal that will never tarnish, fade, or rust. Both black and gold hold light in very different frequencies and resonances; gold shines in the dark and requires very low-lit conditions to illuminate. In this exhibition, the gold imbued in light depicts the interconnectedness and interdependency of light to dark and vice versa. Both are required to appreciate the other. 

This exhibition marks the first Act in an evolving series for you. How do you see the series developing?

I am already planning Act II for next year, and it will take the form of next solo show in New York. I grew up acting and in theatre, and I view each solo exhibition as a continuum, an intervention or revolt that is staged to counter what we have all been taught. This Act is called ‘Materia Prima’, meaning ‘first matter’, so it deals with the concepts expressed on a universal and primitive level through abstraction and limited palette. It addresses the relationship of light to dark, absence and presence et al. The next act will be an evolution from that, and it will be more topical and less abstracted. Essentially it will be the next chapter in my exodus story. 

Lina Iris Viktor, Black Union Pure 24 Karat Gold, Acrylic, Charcoal, Poly Resin, Wood on Fabric 2017. Unique, courtesy the artist and Amar Gallery, London

Lina Iris Viktor, Black Union Pure 24 Karat Gold, Acrylic, Charcoal, Poly Resin, Wood on Fabric 2017. Unique, courtesy the artist and Amar Gallery, London

How does this body of work depart from your previous collections?

I feel like all of my work is just a continued conversation that builds on the previous – each one poses more questions, and pushes me further technically and conceptually. But really, every artist only has a few good ideas that they delve deeper and deeper into over time. No matter how varied the work may appear, I have found that the core thesis is usually very consistent; they are essentially the questions you have been asking since you were born that you have yet to resolve. 

This work is more complete as it is a suite of paintings, and it utilizes different creative processes to produce each – many processes that were experimental and will most likely be refined over time. I have become more open to the experimental aspect of work production – creating with less of a determined outcome. 

Can you tell me a little bit about your artistic process?

A great deal of thinking and planning before execution. The execution happens quickly, but the preparation can take an age. 

Lina Iris Viktor, Dark Continent No. XX _ A prophecy. And the scramble began . . . Acrylic, Ink, Print on Cotton Rag Paper _ 1 of 3 _ 2017, courtesy the artist and Amar Gallery, London

Lina Iris Viktor, Dark Continent No. XX _ A prophecy. And the scramble began . . . Acrylic, Ink, Print on Cotton Rag Paper _ 1 of 3 _ 2017, courtesy the artist and Amar Gallery, London

How does your work unite materials and methods from both contemporary and ancient art forms?

I gild with 24-karat gold, which is an ancient practice that I have modernized for my usage. I gild on a variety of substrates and materials that are not conventional within traditional gilding practices.  

What do you hope people will take away from this exhibition?

I hope that it is somewhat of a visual assault, a slight overload for the senses in simple complexity. The works are very dense and the space is also limited, adding to the visual barrage. I want people to enjoy it on an aesthetic level, as well as really contemplate this theoretical concept when viewing the work. I just want them to hold that idea in their head and think about the implications. I believe anyone open enough to view my work will also be open enough to ponder this fictional dystopia. The space will be built to be one of contemplation – a black & gold chapel of sorts. 

Lina Iris Viktor’s first solo UK show, Black Exodus: Act I, will be on display at the Amar Gallery in London from September 12 to October 20 amargallery.com 

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