1947 was a bleak year for post-war Europe: a lack of adequate housing and poverty were daily struggles. Yet that all changed thanks to Christian Dior. His iconic New Look featured fuller silhouettes, the abundance of material rebelling against the austere, masculine narrow skirts forced by rationing. The collection carried a spirit of rebirth and renewal, and heralded a return to normality.
In a new exhibition running until 1 November, the esteemed fashion house will be showcasing this sartorial revolution. Featuring a selection of haute couture pieces dating from 1947-2015, photographs, documents, memorabilia, manuscripts, original drawings, miniatures of the Barsuit, New Look dolls, patterns and toiles, along with a tribute to the legendary Miss Dior perfume, it will serve as a genealogy of Dior style.
Musée Christian Dior, 1 Rue d’Estouteville 50400 Granville, France
Perhaps one of the most hotly anticipated exhibitions of the year opened at the Phillips gallery in New York a few weeks ago: “Complicities”, by Brigitte Lacombe.
Famed for her photojournalistic approach to cinema, this is the first time in her 40-year career that she has exhibited her work in the Big Apple.
Lacombe is best known for her portraits and reportage in both black and white and colour, capturing private moments on set. These include large format prints of Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Warhol, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss, amongst others.
The late, great, Richard Avedon used to regard her work with envy – a true compliment indeed.
Adding to the occasion is the opportunity to buy some of Lacombe’s original prints, so get yourself down there before it finishes on 30 July.
The contemporary Berlin concept store, Voo, has teamed up with Swedish sunglass label Monokel Eyewear to create a limited edition pair of sunglasses, and together they have collaborated with artist Axel Wannberg on a accompanying art installation.
The all-white frames feature silver mirrored lenses, handcrafted in premium acetate with lenses from Carl Zeiss Vision. Wannberg has taken the pair as inspiration to create a mirrored sculpture built on basic geometric shapes to reflect the sunglasses perfectly. The art piece aspect of the project explores the concept of modern narcissism and the idea of self-image in a digital and hyper social society, that utilises the symbolic meaning of mirrors, used in both art and literature.
“The project begun with a discussion between us and Voo about narcissism and how digital tools and social media enables us to fine-tune and present this curated ideal image of ourselves,” states Robert Sandgren, creative director of Monokel Eyewear. ”And it seems as if mirrors depict reality, but they rarely do.”
Twin favourites, Kate Boy, have announced the release of their latest track, Midnight Sun. Following on from singles, Self Control and Higher, the new song was written and recorded by the trio in Stockholm last December, drawing inspiration from the endless days of sunlight during Swedish summers: “Midnight Sun is about summer days that never end and also a metaphor for meeting in the middle and accepting each other for who we are,” states the band themselves.
After spending time touring the likes of festivals such as SXSW Festival, Secret Garden Party and The Great Escape, they also played headline shows at Koko, XOYO and The Lexington in London last year. Now, however, the band are focusing on their debut album, One, set for release in November.
To get in the summer mood, the NYC Young Feminist Giving Circle (NYFem) are hosting a festive evening celebrate their patron feminist, Frida Kahlo, at the New York Botanical Garden.
You’ll be able to stroll through Kahlo’s beloved Casa Azul reimagined in the Conservatory, see rare works in the Art Gallery and enjoy live music and performance art, all while enjoying a complimentary Modelo Especial draft beer or a Jose Cuervo Tradicional margarita.
After a self-guided tour, bask under the stars to learn more about NYC Young Feminist Giving Circle and the work they do to fund feminist-led human rights work.
Jeremy Scott’s collections for Moschino are some of the most hotly anticipated in the fashion world, and are widely lauded as epitomising modern society. It makes sense then that he is the latest superstar designer to undergo the film treatment, with Jeremy Scott: The People’s Designer to be released in cinemas on 18 September. The trailer is a two-and-a-half-minute clip following the American from his Missouri upbringing to his hard times in Paris, sleeping in Metro stations, to backstage at his Moschino debut.
From the same producer as Valentino: The Last Emperor, the documentary is sure to create a buzz for the new fashion season.
Prada has been instrumental in helping wooden eyewear break free of its formerly dowdy image. The fashion powerhouse’s new line, Prada Raw, features sought-after smooth curves and top quality, light weight materials, while the grain makes each product unique. The trend reached new heights when Prada stitched leather uppers to its specs for the SS15 catwalk.
Prada continues its innovation with the launch of Prada Raw Avenue this Friday, a virtual catwalk where shoppers can experience Prada’s sunglasses through the eyes of six illustrations. Users can interact with the site in real-time through the different illustrations as they walk the virtual runway.
The artists from around the globe include Carly Kuhn, Megan Hess, Blair Breitenstein (whose illustration features above), Judith van den Hoek, Wong Ping and Vida Vega.
Sugar and spice and all things nice, that’s what Linda Farrow’s delectable pastel beach bag is made of. Available now and filled with essentials for your summer holiday, the kit includes a fan, a beach ball, flip flops, paddles & a ball, a water bottle, a tote bag, a notepad & pen, a mirror compact and playing cards – and 1 in 10 will contact a new pair of Linda Farrow stylish sunglasses. In blue, pink or green, this is a chic way to ensure fun in the sun.
Francesca Belmonte’s sound is sultry, distinctive and unique, blending RnB, soul, club and electronica with an avant-garde twist. Having worked in the industry for years with trip-hop icon Tricky, Belmonte perfected her talent and is now going out on her own. Her recently released debut, Anima, gives us insight into her world with sombre vocals that are broken up by beats, synths and electronica.
Twin caught up with the singer/songwriter to talk melancholia, favourite lyrics and how it all began.
So how did you end up in Music?
As a teenager I had a few friends with bedroom studios who were always looking for singers. I started writing poems from a young age but this was the first time I’d laid down vocals and ideas properly and I loved it. We would play gigs around London for fun and I realised very quickly it was what I wanted to do. I started working with more producers, experimenting and developing ideas. Then in 2008 when I met Tricky and my life changed. Within a week of knowing him I was on a two month European tour and then a month or so after that we were touring America. He invited me to sing and write in the studio which we’ve been doing ever since; and six years later he produced my record. I am interested in other things and I’d like to go back to school one day but music has always been priortity.
Why did you decide to go it alone after working with Tricky for so long?
Because I began to get too comfortable. I had no idea what I was doing when I first started with Trick. I knew I was good enough and that I deserved to be there but I was a novice with a lot to learn. The skills and lessons I’ve learned along the way both professionally and personally have been invaluable but six years is a long time and I began to get restless. It would have been very easy to just stay there, stay on his tour, in his studio. It’s an addictive cycle; make an album tour it and start all over again and being his singer this cycle was provided for me over and over again and all I had to do was show up. It’s been an enriching experience but I needed to feel scared again, I needed a new challenge.
What would you say is the most important lesson you learnt from working with Trick?
To leave your insecurities at the door. I learned this lesson the hard way and I’ll never forget it. Very early on we were writing on the tour bus in Estonia. It was a good vibe and he suggested I tried this particular idea over a piece of music we were listening to. I was apprehensive and said ‘No I don’t think thats going to work’. And the session just stopped, it was like I’d just murdered a member of his family or something, I completely killed the vibe and there was no coming back from it. That doubt I had was an insecurity that had no place in that creative environment and I totally got it. Later on he wrote me a poem to explain why he was so upset about it which is the opening verse of a song I wrote called I Could. He says often, even now ‘You have to try, you have nothing if you dont try.’
Tell us a little about the name of the album, Anima. What does it mean to you?
I came across the word while reading about Carl Jung and firstly it jumped out at me because it looked so beautiful written down and sounded so strong and elegant. Then the more I read into it, the more it resonated with me. It means soul in Italian and being half Neapolitan I liked that nod to my heritage. In Jungian psychology it is the female element of the male psyche which was fitting having been Trickys singer, the voice behind a man for such a long time. There is also an ancient meaning my guitarist told me about a few weeks ago which is the idea that everything is living and connected from a human being to a rock at the top of a mountain. To me the word Anima is about femininity, strength and the two existing harmoniously together. To be a woman is to know your power and to excercise it while retaining that feminine strength and vulnerability which can be challenging in the world we are living in today. There’s too much pressure put on women of all ages to be sexy and fuckable and not enough encouragement to develop ones skills and unique abilities.
Your music has melancholic undertones. What draws you to this style? It’s not something I think about, it just comes out that way. The album is often quite uptempo and dancey, but you’re right there are strong sad elements even in those seemingly more upbeat tracks like Lying on the Moon. I like sad songs, always have done so perhaps its just a cultivation of listening to a style of music which ultimately influences your art.
How would you describe your sound?
Alternative blues, experimental pop. Always a tough question.
You have said in previously interviews that you are very proud of your lyrics. Do you have a favourite line that resonates?
It’s hard to pick one favourite line. I want to write more songs like Your Sons, ‘Your sorrow, your sons a hero, but what for? I’m not sure. Your young ones get called and march on, but what for? I’m not sure’. I like the Brothers and Sisters lyrics too , ‘He’ll be waiting round the corner, he’ll be standing up straight, you may notice some affliction. Can you see him whats he wearing? Were his wings beneath the coat? Did he talk of revolution? Did he sing of every note?’ I want to write more songs like that, focusing on strong imagery and mysterious stories. I’m most proud of the Stole lyrics though, they poured out of me and it was like a purging.
Francesca Belmonte’s debut album Anima is out now on False Idols. Buy here.