Alice Waese is not your typical fine jewellery designer. Despite founding an eponymous cult jewellery line that ranges in price from £1,900 to £6,500 – she has received critical acclaim from numerous fashion magazines including Vogue and Interview and exhibited her work at Frieze London 2015 – Alice’s propulsion of fine jewellery leaves it’s mark by revelling in the subversion and whim of all-that-glitters-isn’t gold cocktail sparkle. Her unisex gold and silver pieces, which are hand crafted in limited editions of 90, are subjects of her diverse research stimuli: birds, trees, roots, skulls, rock formations and limbs.
“The glowing and vivid palette os my Spring Summer 2016 collection is based on a series of paintings I created, they explore the visual intensity and subsequent symbolism of various stones. Alchemists consider the emerald as a symbol of hope, wisdom and as a preservation of love. The ruby is believed to be the most powerful jewel, and is associated with passion, vitality and courage—I incorporate them all in this collection,” she said.
At 20, Alice Waese moved to New York, her current base, to intern for the jeweller Maria Cornejo and was later hired as a design assistant there. She then moved to London where she studied Fine Art at Goldsmith’s College before turning to jewellery full time. Alice describes her interest in fine jewellery as in fact a fascination with “artifacts and heirlooms, the weight of an object with intrinsic value. I consider what happens to an item that is loved, given away, passed on and worn daily. I am inspired also by the materials themselves, the transformation from wax to gold is something really satisfying both on an aesthetic level and a tactile, physical level. I also work from my drawings, an internal world of fantasy and narrative”.
Drawing from life is the basis of Alice’s work, as she truly believes that knowing the dimensions and details of objects and space are key to later constructing something fine and precious out of that which was once mundane. In conjunction with research of the fine jewellery field, Alice eagerly sketches and has published her surrealist watercolour drawings in a series of hand printed hardbound books, each containing a single piece of jewellery hidden in the cutout.
For Spring Summer 2016, Alice Waese’s launches a fine jewellery and ready-to-wear collection that is available exclusively at Hostem.
While in the first instance the idea of a non-conformist British punk institution aligning forces with a Scandi-infused, purist brand may seem a jarring fit, the new collaboration between Dr. Martens and Norse Projects actually makes total sense. Together, their designs participate as part of a wider conversation, one that draws without end, on the study of contemporary culture and shows an avid interest that often oscillates between both modern and sub-cultural references.
The re-worked version of the Dr. Martens 3-Eye Steed is no exception. The mens shoes has been crafted for the first time in a rich suede texture, that comes in three colour ways (black, white and oxblood). It is also detailed with quiet sportswear technicalities—the added insole, the padded tongue and elasticated nylon straps, are all quite clearly traits of practicality brought forward by Dr. Martens Copenhagen-based counterpart, Norse Projects.
Staying true to heritage is a mantra that remains close to everything Dr. Martens does and this collaboration does not waver from that. Like the rest of the Steed collection, the 3-Eyed Steed has been manufactured using the original process of industrial manufacture, a technique that has been in practice from 1st April, 1960—when the first pair of Dr. Martens rolled off the production line in Wollaston, England.
The Dr. Martens x Norse Projects Steed collaboration (from £200) is available online now and in-store at END, Newcastle from May 7th.
If you head to Peckham’s Bussey Building and Stratford’s Roof East you’ll sure be in for a treat. Open now and running throughout the summer, the Rooftop Film Club and the Spirited Mixers will be keeping us entertained during the warmer months, all whilst taking in the panoramic views of London.
The Rooftop Film Club will be showing a mix of new and cult classic movies from Purple Rain to The Danish Girl and cocktails are courtesy of mixology masters, the Spirited Mixers. If that isn’t enough expect DJ sessions and a spot of crazy golf at the Stratford venue, with all this happening we’re looking forward to summer.
Bussey Building, 133 Rye Lane, London, SE15 4ST
Roof East, Stratford Multi Storey Car Park, Great Eastern Way, London, E15 1XE
Photographer Yoshiyuki Matsumura may have grown up in Osaka, Japan, but his lens if firmly trained on the people and landscapes of deepest America.
With his American Samples project “strongly influenced” by the work of Robert Frank (The Americans), Stephen Shore (American Surfaces and Uncommon Places) and Joel Sternfeld (American Prospects), his nostalgic portrayals of different towns and their inhabitants are both striking yet familiar.
“It was shot in many different places in the States because I wanted to capture the whole of America,” Yoshiyuki told us, “I crossed America six times by train from New York to LA, stopping along the way.”
Using kit like a Pentax 67, Ricoh GR1v and Konica Big Mini, and having “endurance in the dark room” all contribute towards the resulting hazy finish of Yoshiyuki’s style. A self-declared fondness for the film Stand By Me as a child also may have played a part.
Despite having met and photographed a multitude of characters throughout his travels, there are some that stick with Yoshiyuki: such as the kids seen here in South Carolina. “The young boy and girl are meeting at the corner on the street,” he told us. “She lives in the house near the corner. She is not wearing any shoes. I think they will go out soon. I love their distance.”
Someone once told Yoshiyuki: “You know more about America than Americans.” And by the looks of these images, we think they may just be right. Take a trip with us now.
Yokiyushi Matsumura is represented by Quadriga; quadriga.fr
JAEHA, founded by Korean-born New Zealander Jae Kim, is the new ready-to-wear label to know. After moving to London in 2010, Kim gained experience working in the Mary Katrantzou studio before studying at Central St Martins under the late Louise Wilson OBE. Carving out his own aesthetic, he is known for combining abstract forms with layering and texture.
Tell us about how you started designing… When I was 17, I saw all these girls sewing up their ball dresses for their end of year high school ball – pure polyester moment. They needed help – so I decided to take fashion as one of my subjects in high school back in New Zealand.
Why did you decide to move to London?
I met Peter Pilotto and Jean-Pierre Braganza at Mango El Boton competition in Barcelona. Braganza told me I should come to London – so I sent my application to Louise Wilson at Central St Martins MA, and was accepted.
How would you describe your brand?
Premium contemporary womenswear – visually striking garments that combine bold, androgynous cuts with a care free, wearable style.
What’s the story behind the AW16 collection?
Modern pre-Raphaelite women’s wardrobe meets Wes Anderson.
What’s the most valuable advice you have been given?
Collaboration is good when it’s needed.
Where do you see your brand in five years?
Kate Middleton’s wardrobe. Hopefully people can pronounce ‘JAEHA’ correctly by then.
Cancel your plans: for tomorrow, on Saturday 23rd April, Soho’s Brewer Street Carpark will play host to quite possibly the ultimate car boot sale.
Brought to us by The Store, and featuring participants such as Bay Garnet, Laura Bailey, Alex Eagle, Charlotte Olympia, Saffron Aldridge and many, many more – proceeds will be going towards the ever-deserving Women For Women International.
Rifling through the discarded treasures of some of fashion’s most elite has up until now been the stuff of fantasy – but now – it’s a reality. And all for an excellent cause.
Since its inception in 1993, Women For Women International – lead by the fearless Zainab Salbi – has tirelessly been striving to practically and morally support women who have survived the horrors and consequences of war, throughout the world.
And an event such as this, is arguably the easiest way to make a difference to those who need it most.
The event takes place between 1-5pm in Brewer Street Car Park, Brewer Street, London, W1F 0LA. Entry is £10 on the door, and £5 for concessions – cash only.
High street staple providers Uniqlo are about to unveil a brand new collaboration for SS16 with Brooklyn-based artist, KAWS.
The 25-piece collections will see the characteristically playful work of KAWS adorning everything from their line of UT (T-shirts) to totes bags and room shoes.
Due to launch in the brand’s Fifth Avenue Global Flagship store on 22nd April, and then throughout the world and online, customers will have the chance to invest in items adorned with KAWS’ iconic ‘companion’ character, as well as his beloved heart, cloud and double-cross motifs.
Described as one of the most relevant artists of his generation, KAWS studied illustration in Manhattan in the early ’90s and has now become well-versed in, and known for, his street art, graphic and product design, paintings, murals and large-scale sculptures.
Caine London is the new cult denim brand on the scene, brought to you by musician/stylist duo, Matt Allchin and Hayley Caine.
The AW16 collection, ‘Rub-A-Dub’, consists of handcrafted denim jackets and jeans as well as embroidered sweaters and shirts, and is inspired by everyone’s favourite place: the pub. As a concept, it takes you on a cheerful crawl from ‘The Rising Sun’ to ‘The Half Moon,’ where you’ll shoot some pool and try your luck on the fruit machine; which, coincidentally, is a print which features on one of their shirts.
Combining ‘ye olde pub’ references with their ’90s grunge silhouette, we want to join their party…
How did you meet?
We met in 2013 in a pub in Peckham, Matt had been up all night at a friends party and had a picture of Martin Sheen in his pocket. Hayley was so impressed she hasn’t left him alone since.
Tell us about your collection: ‘Rub-A-Dub’…
The collection, like our meeting is based around the good old-fashioned English boozer. We used some of our favourite pub signs and names as inspiration. We’re constantly being inspired by things around us that don’t seem to be there or appreciated anymore. Our last collection was based on Canal Art and this time we were drawn to the signs above old English pubs, this again seems to be a way of life that is disappearing. It’s hard to find a pub that you would recognise as a traditional pub these days, we wanted to celebrate this.
What’s in the name?
It’s cheeky really it is cockney rhyming slang for ‘pub’. Other options were ‘nuclear sub’ or ‘battle cruiser’ – boozer – but they didn’t seem appropriate or fun enough!
Which are your favourite pubs in London? Unfortunately many of them are unrecognisable or closed down but we’re always on the look out for those rare bolt holes where you can only pay cash and the duke box is free like the Man of Kent in Nunhead.
You also cite ’90s grunge as an inspiration behind this collection – who were your favourite bands/musicians?
Obviously Nirvana, Sonic youth etc, but we love all music really. During our long painting sessions at the studio we can listen to anything from Bob Marley to 1930s comedy songs about loving bananas ‘coz they have no bones’.
Which is your favourite piece in the collection and why? You can’t help but smile when you look at The Rising Sun Jacket and he came to represent a turning point in the design process. Once we had that made everything else seemed to flow more easily, we hung him like a talisman in our studio!
You’ve branched out into jeans for AW16 tell us about those… Are there any skirts/dresses etc to follow for next season? The straight and wide leg jeans are super soft and luxe with a vintage look. Next season were ramping it up a notch so expect anything and everything.
If you had to sum up your brand in three words it would be… Stylish, fun and irreverent.
Entitled ‘Auroratone’, Rose’s work is not only beautiful, it has been made with healing in mind. Citing Cecil Stokes, an experimental filmmaker from the 1940s as a loose inspiration – whose psychadellic 16mm abstract films were said to improve the mental state of emotionally fractured war veterans – Rose has keenly observed and subsequently utilised the historical link between colour and our state of mind.
By deftly using a combination of varying practices, from optical illusion to 2D and 3D techniques, her work is as transportive as it is visually pleasing. In a world – creatively speaking – that is for the most part hell bent on paring back and minimalism, it’s refreshing to be confronted by such unapologetic and uplifting “eye-candy” pieces.
“Creating these abstracted cavernous landscapes with colourful curves and soft shapes I wanted to assault the senses of the viewer,” says Rose, “impacting their eyes with colour and form, provoking them to feel stimulated by the colour surrounding them. By forcing colour to the forefront of our consciousness, some connection to it becomes apparent and a response is evoked that infiltrates the emotions.”
‘Auroratone’ at Dreams Bags Jaguar Shoes runs from 8th April – 30th June. Click HERE for more information.
Northern Soul, The Smiths, Joy Division, acid house…Manchester’s cultural (and subcultural) legacy is legendary. Today tells a somewhat different story. The Hacienda’s been bulldozed and turned into flats, and the proudly-Labour city has felt the fog of Tory austerity descend. As the hangover of Manchester’s past lingers, London-based photographer Tom Sloan believes that it’s youth culture is deep rooted and immovable.
In his second online story for Twin, Sloan meets and photographs Dakota Ditcheva—a 17-year old World Champion Thai Boxer from Sale, Manchester. In line with the rest of his work Sloan hopes to shed light on the importance of youth:
“One of the great things about boxing is how it works – perhaps more so than other sports does – as a platform (quite literally) for these kids to perform, and that’s what I try to do, to give British youth an opportunity to showcase what they do best at a stage in life when they are often wrestling with burgeoning notions of selfhood.”
What are the ideas or questions that ignited this project? So much of my work examines those few years that sit between late adolescence and adulthood. For most, this is a time when the novelty of independence first comes in to play. It’s a universal feeling, but the way young people choose to use it is not. I had a pretty eventful teenage period in Southhampton, hung out with the type of kids I photograph, took drugs, went to parties – the usual stuff. But for Dakota these years were spent in the gyms and boxing rings of Manchester. At 17 she’s at the cusp of ‘adulthood’ and the forefront of women’s boxing – which was included in the Olympic Games for the first time in 2012. In line with the rest of my photography I wanted to show Dakota at home in Manchester, doing what she does best – boxing.
Much of your work depicts youth, and young people—is there a reason for that? When you are younger you haven’t picked up as much baggage—as tired and overused as that phrase is. You are easily excited, open to opportunity and less conscious. In a round-about way, this brings about two things, first a more honest connection and second a sense of confidence which I look for in youth. That confidence might manifest itself in one kid as he skins up a fat joint on the local rec, or like Dakota through an activity or sport. I ask questions in an attempt to connect with the young people I photograph: what do they like? What don’t like like? Who are they listening to? It’s easy with Dakota she has an clear interest – and I was interested in that.
You shot this story in Manchester. Was it important to give the city a sense of place? Absolutely. I shot Dakota in her house and around her estate in Sale, often against the backdrop of those brown-brick terrace houses that are so synonymous with the North West. I wanted to evoke a strong sense of identity and give insight into where Dakota and her family are from.
Boxing is a recurring theme in your work. What is it about boxing that inspires you? The energy, that sense and feel of the unexpected – that’s why I’m drawn to it. I don’t box – I like it – but I don’t box, it’s an observational relationship but immersive in so far as pulling out Dakota’s clear interest in it. But, it’s not just boxing. I have shot motocross riders, gravel pit shooters, activities or interests that toy with a sense of danger. As much as I am on the look out for new faces, I’m as much on the look-out for new activities – different ways to showcase the diversity that is so relatable to British youth culture.
What is it that you’re trying to do with your work? My future work – I guess – will be an extension of what I am doing now. I try to make sure there is a level of linearity running throughout my work, each project tells a different story but the aesthetic joins them. I shoot ‘real’ people, people not models. I like to work with people who haven’t been shot and that is a practice I want to continue.
Trundling round Europe in a white van, spending their time listening to The Band and Bob Dylan, drinking too much whiskey and beer: the antics of the six-man band Whitney have a something of a cinematic quality about them. On the icy Sunday that I meet them, they’ve just come over from a festival in Holland where they played to families and partied with the locals until the early hours. One small jaunt across the border and they’ve arrived in London, much to the delight of Hackney’s finest, who are queuing down the street to get into the small garage space which is already 100 degrees too hot from the expectant fans inside.
Maybe it’s just the home-made, half-drunk Tom Collins in hand, but as the band sound checks you can feel their magnetism entrance the crowd. By the time they’ve launched into their first song, the sense of joy from the stage and throughout the audience is palpable.
The band – made up of Max Kakacek, Julien Ehrlich, Josiah Marshall, Malcolm Brown, Will Miller and Print – are an exceptional live act. They literally move in rhythm, playing their separate instruments (trumpet, keyboard and a rhythm guitar alongside guitar, bass and drums) as though they’re all in sound together. It’s an unparalleled and unique chemistry. The lyrics are melancholy yet hopeful, expertly worked out by Julien, Max et al. Julien’s silky, pure vocals ride over melodies that swing from soft and searching to the downright groovy, led by ex-Smith Western’s Max on the guitar. Whitney are a band singing about crossroads and transience, about lost loves and moving forward and having a lot of fun together whilst they do it. “I’m searching for those golden days” Julien sings in one particularly enthralling track; judging by the reaction of the crowd, it feels like Whitney might finally have found them.
We caught up with lead duo Max and Julien to talk the bathrooms in Soho House, eyeballing audiences, Donald Trump and the new album.
How did Whitney happen?
M: Me and Julian lived together. After Smith Westerns ended we each worked on different weird projects that never came to fruition. Then one morning I bought this old cassette tape machine that sounded crazy and we were just testing out the machine and wrote two songs for it just kind of snowballed into something we wanted to make a whole album for.
J: We had never recorded my voice before. And this tape machine had a ton to do with it. It just made everything sound really good and appealing but dry, super dry. And that’s where the sound kind of blossomed.
M: The first song we recorded, if we ever release it, you’ll hear that the affect on Julian’s voice is so intense and ridiculous and we were kind of going way way far to figure out a voice and then scaled it back.
J: During the demos I was more experimenting with my voice a bit more and we were experimenting with recording it, and right before we went out to LA to record the full length in LA I kind of hit my stride and figured out how to sing.
M: Once we had the unique voice or whatever we kind of built the band around it.
Was there a particular moment when it clicked? J: I remember a moment that we decided that we were going to drop the other shit that we were working on. It was right after we finished the second song that we wrote. I think we took shots of molly water and were walking around Chicago because it was the first nice day and we were just listening to it out of our iPhones. We were insanely proud of it. We went onto someone’s roof and were still listening to it.
M: Did you almost pee on someone’s couch that night?
J: I think I peed on someone’s couch that night… And then we didn’t really follow up with any of the other stuff that we were doing.
The band; photo by Sandy Kim
And how did you find the other members of the band? M: They’re our best friends. They all basically left their apartments, which were five minutes away from ours, and everyone moved in together. It was like an open door thing, like a family.
Do you think Whitney only happened because of your experience with Smith Westerns and Unknown Mortal Orchestra? J: I don’t know if it was because of other bands, but we were just in the right place in our lives to put all of our energies and songwriting talents into this weird project in the hopes that people would pick up on it, and so far it’s working.
M: I don’t think there’s anything specific I took from Smith Westerns but it’s just learning on a personal level how to arrange things.
Are you still using the tape machine? M: No that thing broke like after we made that song. We did record the whole album on tape though.
You recorded your album in L.A with Foxygen’s Jonathan Rado, what influence did he have on your sound and process? J: We used basically all of his gear to record it, it’s obvious that he has gotten really good at getting the right sounds out of all the stuff he owns. He’s the type of guy that goes crazy if he’s not recording so we didn’t really have any downtime. Overall it was a great experience.
Do you write the songs together? How personal are they? J: We really consult each other on mostly everything. Most of the time I concept where the lyrics should to but if I hit a road block we’ll just bounce them off each other. And it goes the same way with every instrument.
Why did you choose this particular sound? J: Most of the songs are about transition in general. That’s where we were in our lives and it seemed like the sound suited the character at the time, but in no way is it going to define Whitney as a whole. We don’t want people to think that we’re going to come out with a sad record every time. We’ve been listening to a lot of Greenday today so…
How is it playing drums and singing vocals? J: I’ve always done it, but for backing vocals. So it wasn’t hard to do four limbs and singing vocals.. It was more about learning how to assume the pressure of being a frontman, of learning how to talk in between songs and be more entertaining. But I’m past that roadblock now, I feel really comfortable. We toured with the idea of me standing up and playing guitar but then I looked like a fucking lame dude playing the guitar. I do not look good.
What’s the weirdest thing that happened on tour? J: Our bass player drank our old guitarist’s piss, by accident. It was a really late night and we were hanging out in a cemetery and then our guitarist went and passed out in the van, and then peed in the half-full water jug. Then our bassist came in and busted off the top…
M: So many good thing’s going on! His name’s Josiah Marshall.
J: He routinely loses tour.
How are you finding the whole touring experience? What’re learning along the way? J: I’m learning how to pace myself a little bit more.
M: I was pretty prepared for this tour, but I learned that Soho House as an institution is really nice! The showers.. Oh my god.
J: Just the most private bathrooms you could ever imagine, you can do whatever you want it in there.
Max and Julien; photo by Dominique Goncalves
Alright! What’s the plan for the rest of 2016? J: Just non-stop touring. Our goal is to sit down and write more songs, but we’ll probably just learn to do it on the road.
How do you find performing the same songs every night? J: Whitney is a band that changes things every night. We’re always working to put variations on the songs that we wrote a year and a half ago.
M: And at this point, the faces in the audience are always new, so the reaction to songs is always different.
What’s the worst song you ever wrote? J: I wrote a song about that sci-fi movie Event Horizon with our bass player
M: I was in a really bad band called ADHD when I was in eighth grade, and we had a song called Sexy Police Officer. We sang about George Bush a lot, I was really active.
What’re you going to do if Donald Trump gets in? J: We have a thing where during shows I’ve made the crowd flip off Donald Trump and yell “Fuck Donald Trump.” Besides that, I don’t think Whitney wants to comment on political affairs…
Light Upon the Lake is released on Secretly Canadian, June 3rd
J.W.Anderson doesn’t intend on going out of style any time soon. After showing fabulous mens and womenswear AW16 collections in London (the first of which was live streamed on Grindr, a PR triumph) for his eponymous label, alongside an acclaimed Loewe show in Paris, the designer has the world smitten.
Limited Edition books curated by J.W.Anderson will be on sale
Off the catwalk, his flair for innovation is similarly newsworthy. Unlike contemporaries such as Christopher Kane and Erdem, Anderson has spurned the traditional flagship store vibe, opting instead to run creative workshops at an intimate venue in Shoreditch. His most recent collaboration with image-maker Ian David Baker is the latest treat.
In this collection, the youthful, culturally poignant images from Baker’s canon are married with a range of staple items. From 23rd March, attendees will have the chance to browse scarves, T-shirts, hoodies, knitwear, tote bags, and a blanket, all with a variety of raw-edged cotton appliqué Ian David Baker photographs.
T-shirts bearing Ian David Baker prints are for sale
Additional print material by Baker, such as his Candyfloss Boy poster will also be available, as well as a limited edition book of images curated by J.W.Anderson.
J.W.Anderson Workshops, 100 Shoreditch High Street, London, E1 6JQ
You don’t have to be ‘Gregory’s Girl’ or ‘Bend It Like Beckham’ to make timeless sports classics work for you. In fact, there’s no need to reference any men at all. With the Women’s Super League preparing to embark on another astounding season – and players such as Marie Hourihan, Beth Mead, Jemma Rose and Jade Bailey fast becoming ones to watch – a kick about has never looked so good.
In another of our online stories, we bring you the work of photographer Josh Shinner, with the shoot ‘Match Day’. Working with stylist Siobhan Lyons, they spent a hectic Saturday at North London’s Emirates Stadium and produced, what we think you’ll agree, is quite a lovely study in focus, fashion and football.
Shooting outside the ground before the Tottenham vs Arsenal match – billed as the ‘biggest north London derby in a decade’ – certainly had it’s challenges. For example getting caught up in a scrum with smoke bombs and riot police was maybe a tad more than I’d anticipated… – Josh Shinner
White Wool Poloneck Jumper, Lacoste at Tick Tock Vintage
Creme Harrington Jacket, Beyond Retro
Tracksuit Bottoms, Tick Tock Vintage
Argyle Wool V-Neck Jumper, Fred Perry Archive
Tracksuit top worn underneath
Vest, Vintage Nike
Shorts, Vintage Sergio Tachini at Tick Tock Vintage
Champion Hoodie and all Jewellery, Stylist’s Own
Hooded Anorak, Fila
Yellow Polo-Shirt, Fred Perry Archive
Anorak, Vintage Fila at Tick Tock Vintage
Blue Shirt, Vintage Burberry at Tick Tock Vintage
Scarf, Burberry at Rokit
Tracksuit Bottoms, Ron Dorrf
Socks (as before), Topshop
Polo neck, Rokit
Sweatshirt and Shorts both Vintage Adidas at Tick Tock Vintage
Red Windbreaker Jacket, Vintage Adidas at Tick Tock Vintage
Red Jumper, Vintage Tommy Hilfiger at Blitz Vitage
White Wool Poloneck Jumper, Lacoste at Tick Tock Vintage
Creme Harrington Jacket, Beyond Retro
Tracksuit Bottoms, Tick Tock Vintage
Tracksuit Top, Tick Tock Vintage
Photographer: Josh Shinner
Stylist: Siobhan Lyons
Hair: Bjorn Krischker @ Frank Agency using Bumble and bumble
Makeup: Gina Blondell using Bobbi Brown
Photo assistant: Jack Somerset
Styling assistant: Emi Papanikola
Model: Martha Rose Redding @ Select
There’s a new generation of British designers making a splash on the scene with bright, bold and idiosyncratic designs. Amongst these rising stars is knitwear sensation Katie Jones. Graduating fro Central St Martins in 2013, her instantly recognisable aesthetic combines playfulness with artisan craft; breathing fresh life into a British style which has for years been dominated by homogenous items from high street chains. Each piece is hand-made in the UK too, meaning Jones is also carving a path for mainstream, ethical fashion.
Currently a part of Selfridges’ Bright New Things series, we caught up with designer Katie Jones to discuss knitting Elvis, crocheting for Craig Green and spinning yarns.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a designer?
Not really, I always liked to customise things as a kid and the obsession just grew from there.
Can you recall your first serious design? What were you doing and being influenced by at the time?
The first time I actively designed anything was a hand knitted jumper with Elvis on the back. It was supposed to be sexy young Elvis and I messed up the pattern and it became fat old Elvis, it was for a sixth form Project based on ’50s rock & roll.
Your aesthetic is very distinctive, where did it come from? And what was it about knitwear that you were drawn to?
My Gran used to embellish everything and only wore pink or bright prints I think this really influenced me as a child. All my family knitted but I think I then became really drawn to it as you can control the whole make process. As you make the whole fabric from scratch you choose colour, texture everything – that’s amazing as a designer.
You’ve worked for John Galliano, Mark Fast and Diane Von Furstenburg, what made you want to start your own label?
I never set out to run my own label. It was a small portfolio project in between seasonal crochet showpiece work I was doing for Mark Fast at the time; it just snowballed after that.
How would you describe the industry at the moment, is it a good time to be an emerging designer?
It’s exciting, there’s lots of change at the moment and it’s hard to guess how it will affect young designers with this move to instant selling after shows. But on the plus side with the growth of social media and Instagram you can really reach such a big audience as an emerging designer and control so much of your PR- it’s really cool to be able to make your brand more of an experience.
Katie’s window at Selfridges in London
How long does it take to make each piece, what’s the process?
All our pieces are handmade so they are pretty laborious taking between 10-100 hours to make. For me its all about the craftsmanship and detail. We dye our yarns and also source colours from designer surplus. I like it as it makes designing more of a puzzle and pushes our designs forward. I like to work with what is most available at the time while having control of picking and hand dying our colours.
Do you ever get halfway through a collection and wish you’d opted for something simpler, like cotton dresses?
Making a cotton dress sounds more stressful to me! I’m a knitter and crafting the collections as we do feels second nature to my design process.
What has been your most ambitious design to date?
Designing and making our Selfridges window for me was the most ambitious and fun project we have done. It was really amazing to be able to make a world to invite people into. We built it all in my tiny kitchen so it was quite a task. The donkey lived on my dining table for a month.
When you’re working, are you designing as Katie Jones or for a particular element of your personality?
I like to think when I design that it’s for myself. I think this is really great as you understand your target market. I usually create a character and a story each season and the collection embodies what they would wear but I think they are a form of alter ego of myself.
What’re the challenges of having ethical and sustainable fashion at the core of your brand?
For the brand I feel our challenges have just been the same as any new emerging designer: production and growth. The only difference is we are finding ways to grow the brand in London rather than abroad and picking our resources consciously.
What was the inspiration behind your AW16 Highland Fling collection?
It all sparked from an image of John Lennon donning an Afghan and sporran and I loved the combo. Highland Fling then became a celebration of traditional Scottish textiles like Aran and Argyle knits, Tweeds and the 60s. We wanted the pieces to empower the craft and pay homage to the babe power of the icons of the era!
You collaborated with Kit Neale how did that come about, and how was it working with a menswear designer?
Kit got in contact telling me he was a fan of my jewellery and it would work for his upcoming season and it went from there. He’s super fun to work with! I just got to play with his fabric scraps and he let me go off and come back with my creations. It was a really great project – how can dressing boys up in big dangly earrings not be fun. I love working with menswear designers, it’s such an exciting time in menswear. That season was really fun and a bit of a menswear focus for me as I was also working for Craig Green crocheting pieces.
What’s in store for the rest of 2016?
This year we are launching our online range, which I’m really excited about working with our Golden Girls Nana Knit Squad on!
British artist Hayden Kays is about to hold his first solo exhibition of 2016 – Overdrawn – which will take place at Exposure London and opens on 7th April.
By now, Kays is someone that needs little introduction. Not only are Banksy and Jake Chapman fans, but he counts many high profile collectors – Harry Styles, Jude Law, Douglas Booth – among his clients. He was also asked to take part in Art Wars at the Saatchi Gallery during Frieze London 2015, alongside the likes of David Bailey, Damien Hirst and Yinka Shonibare, MBE.
The work of Hayden Kays frequently offers a superbly wry take on the many failings of society, and highlights every day absurdities that we have all become disturbingly numb to. However, it can also be profoundly touching, and sentimental without falling into the territory of trite, as was shown with 2013’s The Hot 100 collection.
This latest series, Overdrawn, is a deliciously sardonic take on both the political and the popular, and features a range of uncirculated one dollar bills which have been overlaid with vivid inkjet prints – a selection of which can be seen here. And, according to Kays himself: money itself is art, since every note is a drawing and every coin a sculpture. Overdrawn is said to offer Kays’ characteristically “acute observations on our fragile and yet compulsive relationship with consumerism and mass culture”.
Here, we discover a little more from the artist himself.
Firstly, where did the idea for this latest exhibition come from? Was it a gradual process or a sudden thought? If the latter, what spurred it?
I’ve been doing the signed notes for a while now so I’ve had notes around me while I’ve been working. I’m constantly seeking to consume as many images as I can, so have been looking at loads of medical books and obviously using Google. It struck me that new meaning could be given to both images with the simple act of combination.
‘You Can’t Eat Money’ by Hayden Kays
Do you like money? Do you see it as a need or a want?
I don’t dislike money. I dislike not having enough. I need and want it. I simply can’t build the art I construct in my mind with money.
Do you think it can bring happiness?
Ask me again when I’ve got some.
‘Money Makes The War Go Round’ by Hayden Kays
Isn’t it a crime to deface money?
Money is used for far more criminal acts than me using it for my Art.
Do you like shocking people?
I genuinely believe I’ve never made a truly shocking image. Everything vaguely shocking I’ve ever made has also contained love, humour. A dead four-year-old boy face down in the sand being scooped up like dog shit littered accross the internet and frontpages is shocking to me.
Is it easy to shock you?
I’m shocked everyday. The world is thoroughly insane. The collective memory is terrifyingly short.
‘You Can’t Sit With Us’ by Hayden Kays
I know comparisons are annoying, but if you had to be compared to someone, who would you like it to be?
Mr Muscle. I’ve heard he loves the jobs you hate. An admirable attitude to have in life.
Who is exciting you among your peers right now?
Far too many to mention. I think now is a great time, everything is quicker, everything is easier, everything is now. You can do more. I feel obliged to take advantage of this.
‘Building Walls And Burning Bridges’ by Hayden Kays
Is there anyone that you wouldn’t want owning any of your work?
I was talking about just this the other day with my sister. We spoke about the strangeness of spending time making something and then often having no idea where it ends up living. I’ve got alot of wonderful collectors that I admire very much, so it’s inevitable that they’ll be some I’m not so fond of.
‘Oil Wells Don’t End Well’ by Hayden Kays
Your work frequently uses humour to brilliant effect, what makes you laugh?
I have a very broad sense of humour, everything makes me laugh. It diminishing as I age is a great fear of mine.
This is your first solo show for 2016 – how would you sum up the year so far in a sentence?
I’ve spent far too much time thinking about money.
Overdrawn opens at 7pm on 7th April, at Exposure London; 22-23 Little Portland Street, London, W1W 8BU
Main image: ‘Pills And Thrills & Dollar Bills’ by Hayden Kays
Dr Martens have headed some successful collaborative projects lately, like their alliance with Supreme for an Autumn Winter 2015 special collection. This Spring, they will release another collaborative effort, in the form of a low-cut take on the brand’s high-top classic.
Towards the end of March, Dr Martens will welcome their limited edition shoe with cult Parisian fashion store colette. The design incorporates both classic design and modernity, resulting in a fresh unisex style. The design is a special take on their Dr Martens classic 1461 3-Eye boot. The simple shoe is a low-top model, made from soft black leather with an all-over glossy polka dot print and bursts of colour added with the blue dipped lace tips, blue stitching and blue detail at the back of the shoe.
The Dr Martens X colette collaboration was released exclusively in the Parisan colette store on the 27th February, and is due to become available in the UK on the 26th March. The shoe has already sold out on the colette website and is expected to do the same in the UK. The special edition shoes will be sold at £115 from selected Dr Martens outlets such as The Goodhood Store, End. and Hervia.
Paris Fashion Week is not a low key affair. It always has – and remains to be – where a large handful of historically iconic design houses show their respective wares amidst a flurry of theatrics and architectural grandeur. And one of the most memorable of AW16 was Christian Dior.
The fact that the world still awaits the name of a successor to the now departed Raf Simons was momentarily shelved, as the skill of the exemplary design foundations of the house took centre stage. This is a brand with creative and flair at its core, and although an effective ‘lead singer’ of the big fashion band is still yearned for, Serge Ruffieux and Lucie Meier – who worked in Raf’s former team – have more than proved that it’s not necessary for them to have one in place to be able to produce greatness.
This season followed on from the success of January’s couture collection, and was yet another show with a strong focus on the key ‘looks’ of the late Mr Dior, with “black silhouettes as crisp as the sheets of white paper on which they spring to life: dense, textured, embroidered and quilted.”
It also featured “hand-painted dévoré velvets, re-coloured jacquards inspired by one of Monsieur Dior’s iconic sketches” as well as, “fragments of colour, embroidered motifs atop prints, a touch of leopard.” It was a collection in which “everything lies in the mix and the compilation,” according to Dior themselves.
Image by Adrien Dirand for Dior
And the sets? Magnificent. Once again Bureau Batek made made illusion a reality, and used vast mirrors to disorientate in the entrance to the normally so familiar Musee de Louvre. Once you found your way in, it was a journey through spiraling tunnels clad in dulled metallic finishes and burgundy velvet. It’s was both reminiscent – many said it conjured the historic grandeur of a cathedral – and incredibly modern – we suppose, just like the clothes themselves.
International Women’s Day is a tricky thing to illustrate. Is there an image that sums up a gender? Something pink? Something ‘girly’? Would an inspirational quote that fits into a little square, or a depressing statistic about female-specific abuses and injustices be the right thing to go with? How, exactly, do you put a marker on approximately half of the global population?
Reflective of the vastly complex aspects of what being a woman is to most, poetry seemed like a good thing to go with. Poetry built with anger, but also humour, intelligence, common sense and hope for a more enlightened future. Poetry that aims to unify all in one, very basic, experience.
If you don’t know The Period Poem by Dominique Christina, it’s time you learnt it off by heart. If you do know it, watch it again.
Kent-born photographer Laura McCluskey, 29, has been living and working in and around Hackney for the past seven years, enjoying playing with the “feeling of creative freedom it brings.” Her work – which she describes as “honest and relaxed” – is a mixture of conceptual fashion imagery, documentary and pared-back freshness, with a focus on character and personality as opposed to a highly stylised ‘set’.
“I walk a lot and find the clash of cultures inspiring,” she says. “As a visual person, I think it helps to really engage in my surroundings and often ideas are sparked by people and scenarios I see on the street or stories I hear on the bus. I often do street castings for different projects and enjoy shooting portraits of people I find interesting. I enjoy the sense of community, the busy feeling often ignites my imagination.”
Here we asked Laura to chronicle some of her favourite projects to date, and explain how and why they came about.
I photographed Bronte at Next models for a story for Pylot magazine. I found a popup restaurant with an Abigail’s Party ’70s themed event, I contacted set designer Alice Hodge who had created the scene. I was working with my stylist friend Issie Gibbons on this and we shot the story within part of the set and surrounding rooms within the community centre it was being held. I loved shooting this story as I am a big fan of finding beauty within the everyday and the location really worked well. Bronte had a really great energy and a real timeless feel that worked so nicely for this story.
I recently shot musician Meilyr Jones. We met at the V&A and took some photos inside on the marble steps. The light was really great that day and we chatted and took some photos. I like these portraits because they feel quite peaceful.
A few years ago I was shooting a series of new faces for The Ones 2 Watch. Harry and Leomie were outside in the hallway and I found out they were a couple at the time. We shot some simple portraits of them together and it just worked.
I’ve worked with menswear designer Liam Hodges for a couple of seasons. Most recently for his AW15 campaign for his collection ‘Totally Safe Classics’ which explored the everyday reimagined, taking inspiration from the market stall traders in Walthamstow near Liam’s studio. I did a street casting for this and found Jyrrel in Shoreditch. We worked with stylist Harry Lambert and built a set within the studio with tarps and sandwich boards from the show.
Forever my Dreamland: Troy and Chaos
I’ve been shooting a series ‘Forever my Dreamland’ since 2009 in the places I grew up around Kent. I was in Margate shooting some stuff and was just heading back to the train when I walked past this guy and stopped to asked to shoot his portrait. He was walking his dog and just had a really happy face. I found out he was called Troy and his dog was called Chaos. Pretty amazing names. They had such a great connection between them and as I started shooting the dog jumped up for his portrait.
Teeth magazine: Nothing Fits
This story was a collaboration with my stylist friend Helen McGuckin. We’ve worked together on a few projects and we wanted to shoot a story that explored androgyny, shape and form. I think the starting point for this series was seeing Dilara Findikoglu’s graduate collection, we loved the carpet look. We shot Aggy at Next, she really brought a great spirit to the shoot and definitely conveyed the right feeling.
My favourite picture in the whole world
So many artists inspire me, but if I had to pick one of my photographs, then it’d be from from a series I have been working on for the past few years: My sister Grace. I started out taking some photos whenever I visited my mum and youngest sister Grace at home in Kent. After a while I kept looking at my contact sheets and could see her changing and growing up and the series just came together. I took some portraits of her last year on her 13th birthday. This is one of my most favourite and treasured photos, it says so much about her personality and of growing up.
For those perpetually in search of a little sartorial freshness, Stefanie Biggel is a designer to watch. The 31-year-old, who originally hails from Zurich, spent a year in London before deciding to live and work in Athens, and is in the midst of building a successful brand built on desirable separates that are imbued with the fluidity of youth, gender and contrasting mediums. In essence, it’s the perfect collection for ‘generation Y’ – with references spanning Kurt Cobain and Larry Clark films to political correctness and superstar celebrity; the latter a jumping board for her latest collection, ‘Hysteria’.
Here, we speak to Stefanie and showcase some exclusive, never-before-seen images of her creative process for the new season.
You trained in Basel, Switzerland – how was that? What kind of cultural stimulation does it offer?
The education at my university was really good. Also in terms of handcraft. This was always very important to me. That’s why I still make all the samples myself. It’s part oft he design process for me. On the other hand the town was very small and I wanted to leave at a certain point and move on. I can’t be in the same place for too long. This has changed a bit since last year. It was really good for me to move to Greece and slow down a bit.
How long did it take you define your own aesthetic? Or is it still evolving?
I feel like it’s constantly evolving in a way. It suits my personality. But after seven collections and reaching a certain age I can express myself a lot better and speak out what I don’t like. I’m more relaxed. When you’re insecure people from the industry always try to push you in a certain corner, try to form you. I know about my insecurities and they belong to me and my work. It’s okay to not be perfect.
Descriptions of your work often include the word ‘boxy’ – what is it about this silhouette that appeals to you? ‘Boxy’ ist just one of many silhouettes. They all interest me. One day I feel like wearing a unisex look, the other day I wanna show my body. It depends on the mood and can change constantly.
An exclusive preview from the ‘Hysteria’ collection
Androgyny is a continuous theme throughout your collections – why is that? And how do you think it contrasts with some of your more feminine details? I like experimenting with contrasts and don’t want to create these categories like what’s ‘feminine’ or not. To be a woman has so many different aspects that can’t be described easily. This is what interests me the most. It’s very intuitive.
Exclusive images of Stefanie’s studio
How many people work on your collections? Are you very hands-on in every aspect of the business?
Yes it’s basically just me. I like collaborating with people and share my ideas with them but when it comes to making the actual sample collection, I’ll do it myself. I used to have interns in the past but I sometimes have a very specific idea of how things should be made. I prefer having an assistant that’s evolving with me but moving cities so many times made this difficult. Since my goal is not to make huge collections it somehow works out for me. I simply love working with my hands. But I definitely need people around me like stylists, photographers, and textile artists to create that vision together.
Of course I know a lot about the proper business part too, but I prefer having a showroom agent than selling the collection myself. They’re just more experienced and the whole networking thing is massive. I wouldn’t be able to do that myself.
The ‘Homesome’ presentation in Paris
Who is the most well-dressed person you know? Basically everyone that is authentic in their wardrobe choice.
Do you wear your own pieces? Yes, a lot.
Have you been inspired by another designer over the years? If so, who and why? I wouldn’t call it inspired but there are of course brands I like a lot. Right now it’s Vetements for that new spirit they brought into the industry. I like people that want to change something and not strictly follow the rules.
The ‘Homesome’ presentation in Paris
Who would you most like to see wearing your pieces? Real women that like to change and evolve and like to have fun, are serious, have to struggle and find their way in life.
How would you describe your customer? My customer likes clothing of good quality that you can wear for any occasion and throughout the year.
Do you think that business acumen is as important as creativity in launching your own label? Yes totally. It’s a proper business in the end and you often can’t afford paying someone to do these things for you in the beginning . But I still think the most important thing is to know the right people from the industry. You also need a bit of luck.
The ‘Homesome’ look book, shot by Amanda Camenisch (and main)
If your collection was a song, what would it be?
For ‘Homesome’ probably a Punk song including some strings and techno. A wild mix of everything.
Which Larry Clark movies in particular inspired the latest collection? It was mostly Kids which transported that feeling of being connected to a group very well. You are looking for this as a teenager. You want to be part of something.
How would you like to take your work to the next level? What does the remainder of 2016 have to offer? I just finished my latest collection ‘Hysteria’ and I am getting ready for Paris Fashion Week. I don’t know yet what will come next. I need some space to let things happen naturally.
Is there anything that we’d never see in a Stefanie Biggel collection? I’m pretty much open to anything. There shouldn’t be too many rules.