“The Coromandel Collection” – Chanel’s Ode to Madame Gabrielle C.

19.03.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Gabrielle Chanel was said to have been one who lived a figurative lacquered box where sailing ships, palaces, flowers and birds plaited in flashes of gold and deep red stood out against the darkness of light. This fantasy landscape meant so much to her that she often wished to always carry this fantasy in a portable form. This was how her love for Coromandel screens was first discovered in 1910 on a journey with her great love Boy Capel. “The first time I saw a coromandel screen, I cried out: It’s so beautiful! I had never said that about any other object,” said Madame Chanel.

The French fashion house which lives in on in her name recently chose to honour their founder’s passion with a high jewellery collection of fifty-nine pieces inspired by coromandel screens. The collection includes twenty-four pieces which are entirely unique with reworked motifs around the themes of floral, noticeably evoking her signature flower, the Camellia; animal, through the bestiary of Coromandel; and mineral, reflecting her love of crystal and gemstones.

The Fleur De Laque Necklace

The designer was undoubtedly greatly inspired by the intricacies of these Chinese Coromandels which often included art of flora and faunas. She would muse upon the screens and attach photographs and drawings to create a sort of moodboard  or theatre in which she would often immerse herself. “When I look at this screen in the evening for example,”she continued, “ I see doors opening and knights setting off on a horseback.”

At the heart of this animal theme, the workshop captures a flock of in flight birds as they appear on some of the designer’s screens in an ornament diamond right that boasts over ten carats. The collection’s gems also calls on the colours of the Coromandel lacquers which includes the greens of the Tsavorite garnet, emeralds and the over thirty-seven carat tourmaline on the “Vibration Minérale” ring; the red spinel on the “Evocation Florale” ring and the ruby beads and deep hypnotic black lacquer transposed onto the onyx. To shop or view the full collection visit CHANEL


The Évocation Florale necklace
Coco Chanel (1883-1971), couturière française. Paris, 1937.

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TO READ: “It’s Not About The Burqa” – As told by an Ingenious Collective of Muslim Women

18.03.2019 | Blog , Literature | BY:

During a time where Islamophobia and Xenophobia are still currently on the rise,  “It’s Not About The Burqa” conceived and edited by writer and activist Mariam Khan is an essential hardcover offering insightful unique perspectives from inside the Muslim community. Published by Pan Macmillan earlier this year, the book features an anthology of 17 informative essays from 17 of Britain’s Muslim female youth brought together by Khan as they reflect on their stories of oppression, the lazy stereotyping, misogyny and islamophobia. 

Mariam’s concept for the book was triggered when she first came across a report about a leaked conversation had by British Prime Minister David Cameron and one of his officials where he expressed his views of the “traditional submissiveness” of Muslim women being a key problem in the fight against Islamic extremism. Mariam soon grew tired of conversations like this being had about the definitions and needs of Muslim women by parties that were neither female or muslim. 

From this, the idea was conceived to unite the voices of these women with different stories ranging from funny , to warm, to sad and angry, as they discuss freely the hijab, the wavering faith, love and divorce, feminism, queer identity, sex etc.  “I wanted a book that let Muslim women speak on their own terms, without being spoken over, about whatever they wanted and for that not to have to go through a white filter. We had to have a platform of all sorts of voices, and represent the vast experiences. I couldn’t edit the book thinking, ‘I don’t agree with that,”said Khan.

The book counteracts the media’s distorted definition of a Muslim woman being “all about the burqa” and gives insight to what it’s truly like. Mariam’s chapter titled “Feminism Needs To Die” discusses her experience as a feminist as she came to the realization that mainstream “white” feminism did not have room or wasn’t interested in accommodating the choices she makes in regards to her faith. Each essay, with titles like The First Feminist (Sufiya Ahmed) , Immodesty is the Best Policy (Coco Khan) , Hijabi [R]evolution (Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi) and Not Just A Black Muslim (Raifa Rafiq), presents a unique testimony from a few of the only voices we should be listening to about the journey of what it’s like to be a Muslim woman in 2019. To get your copy visit INATB.

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Balenciaga’s Futuristic London Store Opening

15.03.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Yesterday Spanish luxury fashion house Balenciaga opened it’s doors in London to a new two story ready-to-wear and accessory store on Sloane Street. The store’s interior design is an exploration of Creative Director Demna Gvasalia’s interest in the look and feel around the idea of diverse retail environments.  The store features a large display case along with a combination of ceiling panel lamps and floor to ceiling with on the ground floor. With a very futuristic feel, it includes grey scaled industrial furniture and columns, aqua green carpets, and glass and metals shelves complemented by minimal wrapped seating. The storefront also introduces a pair of hyper realistic mannequins based on two exclusive models: Eliza Douglas and Takato Harashima.   

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Foam Talent Exhibition: March 21st – April 10th

15.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

For the third year in a row,  Amsterdam based international talent organisation Foam returns to Red Hook Labs in New York for their annual group exhibition Foam Talent. Set to debut on March 21, the exhibition will feature the work of twenty international photographers who were selected through the organisation’s annual talent call from a pool of 1853 creatives under the age of 35. 

The showcase will feature the works of these artists under several tabs of contemporary themes and topics such as social politics, nostalgia, night fall, homesickness and grief. A few of the names featured will include French duo Durimel,  Chinese photographer He Bo, Australian Sophie Gabrielle, Italian Salvatore Vitale, British Maisie Cousins, among others. For further info on how to cop tickets visit Foam

Cover image: “Untitled” from the series Worry for the Fruit the Birds Won’t Eat, 2018 by Sophie Gabrielle

“Kaelyn and the girls” from the series Frères dune île pas très proche, 2018 © Durimel
“Ants” from the series grass, peonies, bum, 2018 © Maisie Cousins
Model Angela and her personal story”, 2016, from the series Separation Anxiety, 2018- ongoing © Dima Komarov
“Untitled” from the series How to Secure a Country, 2015-2018 © Salvatore Vitale

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Centre National de la Danse: “Where Did Our Love Go?” – March 16th & 17th

11.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

In the early 90’s during the Great Depression of the US, there began an interesting tradition of exhaustive dance marathons.  Participants would dance for hours while mesmerised audiences made bets on winners and predicted losers. Although they included many rules with risks of disqualification, these marathons offered a  cathartic release as they acted as a sort of mirror to the crisis happening where the main aim was survival as opposed to glamour.

French institution Centre National de la Danse as a part of their Trois Fois Rien exhibition recently tapped artist and choreographer Émilie Pitoiset to conceive a performance titled, “Where Did Our Love Go?” in ode of the iconic dance marathons. The 6-hour performance set for March 16 &  17 at the institution’s headquarters in Pantin, France will explore the dance form which Pitoiset has been studying since 2009. It will include repertory of gestures and postures which are at the heart of her studies and artistic works from the time period which will feature the bodies on the borders of falling, intimately enduring the mechanisms of capitalism in ways to appear increasingly contemporary. For more information, visit CN D.

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FENDI – Me and My Peekaboo Ep 8.

08.03.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For International Women’s Day, Italian fashion house Fendi launches the 8th episode in the second chapter of their Me and My Peekaboo series. The series which began earlier this year features 10 iconic women across the world which included names like Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner and North West.

The second chapter of the Peekaboo series focuses on the bond of iconic pop families. From J-pop stars identical twins Ami and Aya shot in Paris to Taiwanese renowned actress and movie director Sylvia Chang with her son Oscar Wang in Shangai. The latest episode (Ep. 8) features businesswoman and socialite Grace Pen accompanied by her visual artist,  model daughter Jossilyn Pen shot in the Amanyangyun resort in Shangai. The mother daughter duo are filmed enjoying and intimate bonding day with their Peekaboo bags in hand on the architectural ecological grounds which also houses a 15 year tree conservation project in protection of the rich heritage, traditions and sites it holds. The episode includes versions of the Peekaboo bag which have been seen on the Spring Summer 2019 runways. To view the film and shop, visit Fendi.

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“The Wahi Series”, – Northern New York City as seen by Kasandra Enid Torres

07.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Kasandra Enid Torres is a culture and fashion photographer based in Washington Heights, NYC who has been documenting the soulful inhabitants of her neighbourhood for the past three years. Her series titled “Wahi” — short for Washington Heights —  diaries the vivacious poetic spirits of the busy district in ways which treasure the Old New York City aesthetic with a 21st Century twist. In conversation with the photographer , Twin discusses her inspirations and experiences throughout the process of the project. 

When did you first start shooting in New York? 

I moved to the city at the beginning of 2013 after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. For the first two years I didn’t shoot much, I was constantly working 24/7 and if I had free time I spent it sleeping. I was also on an artist block, I wasn’t sure what to shoot. I came from an art background making abstract photography and films. To get myself unstuck, I started to shoot anything and everything.

What inspired you to start the “Wahi” series? 

Around 2015 I started to shoot regularly. At the time I didn’t have access to models so I decided to shoot outside in my neighbourhood. I am not the most extroverted person and having to go out to make pictures by approaching strangers was daunting to me. It was definitely a challenge. I slowly got more comfortable with it and found my flow. I got my hands on a Hasselblad Superwide C, which is a medium format camera with no viewfinder. It was fun experimenting with it and finding its sweet spot. It is a somewhat big and chrome camera. I liked shooting with it for this series because it attracts attention. It is also a conversation piece, people approach me asking me about it and allow me to take their portrait. 

How do you select your subjects? 

I walk up and down on St Nicholas Ave between 168th and 191st street, keeping myself open for opportunities. I am attracted by really interesting people, how they are dressed, how they walk, their  expressions etc. I also choose things that speak to the culture of the neighbourhood, such as the supermarkets, the crowded bus stops, the chairs, domino tables, and the empanada carts. 

What’s your favourite thing about Washington Heights?

My favorite thing about this neighbourhood is the people. I love being surrounded by other hispanics. Having lived away from my family for the past eight years, I like being reminded of my culture and roots. I like listening to the radio blasting salsa or reggaeton while walking to the supermarket. I like watching the intensity of people playing dominos. I love the sidewalk parties of people chilling on their lawn chairs, drinks in paper bags, puffing from hookahs and grilling up on barbecues.  I love the wafts of food smells, such as pernil, mofongo, empanadas, and asopao. It feels like home. 

What would you like people to take away from viewing this series?

I want these images to give the viewer a look inside this Old New York style neighbourhood. There really aren’t many places like this in the city. Majority of the city has been gentrified and franchised. I want them get an honest raw interpretation of this community.  I want them to be able to see how interesting and cool the neighbourhood is, to feel as if they were there. 

Can we expect to see more projects like this from you in the future?

Yes I will continue to document series like this one. I just wrapped up a series I shot near the Adirondacks in January of a Snowmobile drag race. I shot that one during an insane blizzard! I am also currently shooting a series at busy subway platforms like Times Square, documenting all types of people.

What’s next for you as a photographer? 

I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself. With each new series I try to do something I haven’t done before, be it a camera technique, lighting technique, shooting a specific way or subject matter. 

Where can one view more of your work?

Majority of my work is online. I have work published here on Twin (my Afropunk series), Document Journal, a couple of other indie magazines and my website. My Dependence series is published on issue 7 of Recens Paper, another of my favorite project. In the future, I aim to have a gallery show at a space in the neighbourhood. I want to give back to this community that has given me so much. 

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Q & A with Millennial Milliner Emma Brewin

04.03.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Within the past few months you’ve probably noticed that faux fur hats and garments have been trending, from the streets of London, Milan and Paris Fashion weeks, to magazine editorials and cover shoots. Upon further inspection, you’ll probably find out that a great number of these pieces were made by British millennial milliner Emma Brewin. Her clientele has been from the likes of Rita Ora, Miley Cyrus, Adwoa Aboah to Kylie Jenner for Paper Magazine, Vogue USA among others. Brewin has been stitching faux fur outerwear and accessories for these pop culture behemoths from the comfort of her hometown Sandwich in South East England. 

“I really enjoy being out here in the middle of nowhere and doing my own thing,” she says. Twin sat down with the designer for a chat about struggles, inspiration, and the creative direction behind her latest SS19 Campaign shot by photographer Chloe Sheppard.

When and how did you learn to make hats? 

I studied fashion design at university but I suppose I am self-taught in millinery. I made my first hat back in 2013, to match a coat I had made, and now I can’t make a coat without a furry topper! 

What persuaded you to go in the direction of faux fur as opposed to any other fabric?

At university I did lots of studies into what fabrics children find most appealing when dressing up, and fur was a always up there with the first things they grabbed, once I started working with it I completely fell in love, for me it can complete any outfit and make it so much more special.

How long does it take you to make each piece?

It completely depends on the piece but if I am working on a hat I always give myself a full day from start to brushing and boxing up.

What was the direction behind your SS19 campaign and collection? 

When starting a collection I never really have any particular direction, it’s my favourite part of the whole process, the girls and I just make, make and make. Usually producing pieces that we would dream of finding in old vintage shops then playing around with them until they are perfect. The studio is like a fancy dress box of hats, and the ones we dress up in the most are usually the ones we put into production. In regards to the campaign we really wanted to let the hats speak for themselves, which is why (for the first time) we shot in a studio. 

Where, what or who do you look to for inspiration? 

Everything old. 

What has been your greatest challenge since the launch of the label? 

Relinquishing control and not doing every job myself.

Who is the ideal Emma Brewin woman?

Our customers. We really do have the best customers on Earth. 

What’s next for you? 

We have spent January and February locked in the studio making some wonderful new styles, we released a sneak peek of our new Cat Hat on Instagram the other day, and have some matching new accessories to twin with our hats coming very soon.. 

Photographry- Chloe Sheppard

Styling – Clarissa Bowman

Hair – Sinead Gregory

Make up – Lindsay Low

Model – Mimi (Anti agency)

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The Art of Women Exhibition

03.03.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

This week, British organization The Art of Women launches their exhibition in support of women across the United Nation. The Art of Women is a solidarity movement for the empowerment of women which unites UN Women with fashion models in an effort to amplify their voices. The organization is a commitment to human rights and is a form of advocacy for respect towards women and  diversity by promoting change through art and raising awareness around issue surrounding feminism . The Art of Women opens the doors of their exhibition tomorrow March, 4th through 6th at the Florence Loewy in Paris. The exhibition shot by Nikki Esser, provides a perspective on a diverse representation of women, authenticity and empowerment as the photographer captures the personalities of her muses through her warmth and the connections she creates with them. For further information visit The Art of Women.

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J Hammond Projects: “Fuck Paintings, Etc.” by Betty Tompkins

01.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

This week London based exhibition space J Hammond Projects presents the opening of their latest exhibition “Fuck Paintings, Etc” by pioneering feminist artist Betty Tompkins. The exhibition which opens today features a series of pornographic images aimed predominantly at men missing heads, hands and other identifiers until the work takes a form of abstractionism. The artist tells the stories of sexuality and desire from a female perspective, in attempt to break the monopoly of the male gaze. The  series will include a selection of ‘Fuck’ , ‘Cunt’ , ‘Pussy’ and ‘Dick Paintings’ which the artist has completed throughout the last decade along with four brand new text works from Tompkin’s “Insults/Laments” series. 

The “Insults/Laments” is a combination of the artist’s work featuring quotes of crude and degrading language directed at women. “I’m always moved by what I’m quoting, by including the words in my paintings, I’m showing respect for how women have survived these awful experiences,” stated Tompkins.  

The artist began her journey of making giant genitalia ‘Fuck Paintings’ over half a century ago and was presenting a body of work which had initially been rejected by all corners of the art world for its sensitive subject matter. As a result, despite a handful of group shows during the early 1970’s these  paintings have been ignored for the past three decades stored in the Tompkins’ New York studio until a solo exhibition in 2002 and her participation in La Biennale de Lyon the following year. The exhibition is set to run throughout March until April 13th. 

Betty Tompkins Who Will… Acrylic on canvas 2019
Betty Tompkins Cunt Painting 2017, Acrylic on Canvas

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Hen The Exhibition, by Bex Day

01.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

British fashion and documentary photographer Bex Day in collaboration with producer curator Sandrine Servent and artist publisher William Esdale have recently joined forces in the conception of a campaign which seeks to raise awareness and visibility of the UK’s older transgender community.  The campaign titled ‘Hen’ is an initiative Day has been working on for the past three years, that aims to promote a better understanding of integration in and outside the transgender community through an exhibition, film, talks and workshops. 

According to Day, “Hen is an anthropological study on gender fluidity and an exploration into the lasting impact societal restrictions concerning sexual identity and gender roles upon us. It examines how gender stereotypes have affected the older transgender community and questions how we define gender and if as a society we should, as well as exploring the inherent social and cultural problems within these alienating classifications.” The exhibition is set to display a series of 30 photographic portraits in various sizes and a newly commissioned film featuring subjects over the age of 40 which with successful funding, will take place in London at the Herrick Gallery during the first week of April following Trans Day of Visibility day on March 31st.

Unfortunately , the campaign is sans funding and is in attempt of seeking financial sponsors to cover the expenses of the panel discussion, transport and installation of the artwork, equipment for the three workshops among other costs. The workshops will be hosted by the charity Stonewall Housing with whom the exhibition has partnered with to ensure that 50% of prints sales goes to the organization as one of the UK’s LGBTQ+ and trans only supported accommodations. Twenty percent will also be contributed to partners Press For Change as one of the UK’s leading campaign groups in focus of the rights and treatment of transgender people. To donate, visit Hen The Exhibition, to learn how. 

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MFW: GCDS’ FW19 Troubled Youth

24.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Weekend past Italian streetwear label GCDS presented their Fall Winter 2019 collection in their signature show space in Milan. This season , creative director Giuliano Calza’s inspiration for the collection was a play on the notion of how society’s boundaries and expectations for today’s youth represents a toxin of creativity and imagination. Though quite simple inspiration, the designer wrapped his mind around a rather complicated show concept. The first half of the 49 look collection revealed a cast of models bouncing down the runway in 90’s inspired looks which included cheetah and zebra prints, bouncy pink hair, logo printed coats and lots of vibrant colours. It also revealed the house’s collaboration with pasta company Barilla and toy company Polly Pocket which carried their logos across sweaters. The second half of the collection was when the magic apparently vanished from the youth as a result of having to succumb to social norms and standards. This revealed a cast of models dressed in veils, catsuits, mini dresses, work suits in a palette of black, purple, blue and other dark shades.  This was a simple yet interesting statement made with a simple change of lighting and music. Giuliano Calza often delivers a show which gives you all the fun,  but at the same time never borderlines on costume. He creates these concepts for his consumers which not only makes them want to purchase pieces but also makes them want to join in the story. He creates a narrative which is very much street, and although some may argue at times he may border on cultural appropriation , has not yet crossed the line, especially as a result of his selection of such a diverse casting. This makes you wonder, if by doing so, he’s in some ways subconsciously aiming to challenge the walls down around the concept of appropriation itself.

Cover image: Scott Mason

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MFW: Marni’s Neuroerotik FW19

24.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This weekend Italian fashion house Marni’s Fall Winter womenswear show took place in the same location as the menswear show only a few weeks ago. Guests were welcomed into the space of dim multi-coloured lighting and speakers as they eagerly waited for the show titled “NEUROEROTIK” to commence. As the name suggests, creative director Francesco Risso envisioned the show to be a fantaerotic escape game. A game based on the themes of sexuality, sensuality and mind play. It was about exploring the possibilities of re-directing the mind to think of alternative body parts and even garments as erogenous zones. As the electric soundtrack from the movie The Shining was cued, each piece from the collection walked with a double meaning, gold and silvers chains wrapped around the neck and body, silk pleated scarves which hung from the neck and almost dropped to the floor, skirts with two waistlines, mens blazers and jackets cut in half, and sleeves were slashed. It was a quirky humour sort  which made one marvel at the possibilities of sexuality, the power of the mind and the concept of fashion design as a means of neurotic exploration. Each piece told a story and gave a stimulus to a different conceptualization of what we know as reality with a primary palette of red, black, orange,  white and hints of rhinestones. This woman Risso created around the themes of sexual liberation and experimentation fruited a line of wardrobe components that is in many ways reflective of the feminist zeitgeist we are currently living in. 

Cover image: Scott Mason

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MFW: Fendi’s Farewell FW19

22.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Just yesterday, Roman fashion house Fendi invited guests to their Milan location to view the final collection designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld. There was something to be said about the atmosphere upon location, the screams of the fur protesters on the outside in comparison to the somber mood on the inside, it was an aspect that was very Karl Lagerfeld. How regardless of protests, laws or whatever was happening, the iconic designer had a code which he lived by and carried to his grave, which is something to be respected. 

Of course, the Fendi Fall Winter 2019 collection was an ode to Karl and his half a century with the house. As an apt sound track of Lou Reed & John Cale’s Small Town played in the background, it set the mood for what was to come, a compilation of Lagerfeld’s signature designs throughout time. Starting from the beginning with his classic silhouettes, the first look made it’s debut as a double breasted suit dress with a poignant white bow around the neck. Throughout the collection , the looks featured a various number of different styles and tailoring, the iconic Fendi logo monogram , designed by Karl himself in his ‘Karliagraphy’ font appeared on coats and cabochon buttons there were also floating bow belts, pleated trouser, asymmetric lapels, tulle bodysuits , pointed collars and laser cut leather outwear. Neutral tones of ivory tulle, cognac and beige contrasted shades of sea green, yellow, tangerine and azure. Each piece holding the common thread of the late designer’s expertise. The iconic Fendi Baguette was also transformed into versions of embossed pillow patent, vegetal leather and a multi-strap utility harness. The entire collection was a celebration of Mr. Lagerfeld as a designer whose inception created a whole new era of designers and whose vision helped to shape the Italian house into the brand that it is today. “The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi is fashion’s longest love story, one that will continue to touch our lives for years to come. When we called just a few days before the show, his only thoughts were richness and beauty of the collection,” to quote Silvia Venturini. 

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MFW: Prada FW19 – Anatomy Of Romance

22.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Yesterday Italian fashion house Prada welcomed guests to their show space in Milan, for the viewing of their Fall Winter 2019 Women’s collection. Being the same set to that of the menswear show last month , this show was a continuation of the Frankenstein storyline established in the previous show, from a slightly different perspective. Last season designer Miuccia Prada’s focus was on the outcasts of society, she crafted a collection mainly inspired by the social Frankensteins of society, which was a dark but interesting stimulus. However this season, she decided to shed light on the more affectionate side of such a love story , being love stories like Frankenstein and his Bride. The collection titled “The Anatomy of Romance,” was an exploration of the gloom of love and romance and their duality. It spoke to that turbulent pull one has towards love even when you know it will end in turmoil. As a violin instrumental of bad romance plays in the background, a model struts the runway in a full black gown with an embroidered yellow rose to the side. This was the mood, this was a woman who was strong, feminine, who falls in love and gets her heart broken every time, yet always gets back up to try again. The collection also featured a military utilitarian nod: army green skirts, massive patch pockets, black trouser suits, along with fun features such as lace veils and skirts, a Frankenstein + Bride printed dress, mohair fur ear and head muffs  and also mohair fur backpacks. As much as this collection focused on the dark side of things, it also focused on love’s duality and it’s potential to bloom, with flashes of flower prints and embroideries throughout the story. Last season Ms.Prada had lots of fun with a quirky, interesting collection, however this season, the pieces were more practical and serious and also very Prada. 

Cover Image: Scott Mason

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MFW: Arthur Arbesser FW19

21.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

In past seasons, Austrian designer Arthur Arbesser often referenced art from the Viennese Secession for inspiration behind his collections. However, the only valid explanation for the designer’s dexterity in design and architecture intricately executed in his last collection is for him to hold himself to the same standards as one of these artisans. 

For Fall Winter 2019, the designer welcomed guests to an indoor sound-reflective rock climbing site on the outskirts of Milan . As the show began,  the space was first filled with an arrangement of elegant orchestral music complemented by the clank of approaching rubber boots. Calf high rubber boots fashioned in black, white and blue carefully paired with a selection of colours from Arthur’s palette. The collection took inspiration from the architectural context of his Milan studio which was designed by Luigi Caccia Dominoni in the late forties with a bourgeois classic Milanese aesthetic. Each look was skilfully paired with the most unexpected complementary colours: pomegranate and lychee shade pants, yellow and olive, checkered shirts and skirts,  feather textured blouses, architectural jewellery. This collection felt very personal to the designer, as if the woman he was dressing would be a woman he would not only be dressing, but be crafting, and grooming. She felt free, artistic and at the same time cryptic, almost like the a female Picasso who took you on a very personal journey throughout her abstract process, but instead of paint, her chosen medium is fabric. 

Cover image: Scott Mason

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Fashion East Fall-Winter 2019

19.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last weekend passed this year’s first Fashion East showcase which featured a list of three intriguing London based emerging designers, in showcase of their Fall Winter 2019 Collections. The non-profit initiative, set up by Lulu Kennedy and Old Truman Brewery to support and nurture emerging British talent celebrates its 18th year of triumph after housing designers such as JW Anderson, Kim Jones and Gareth Pugh; just to name a few.

Central Saint Martins graduate Gareth Wrighton was one of the three talents to showcase. Wrighton presented a 22 look collection in collaboration with stylist Ib Kamara titled “Smooth Criminal.” The collection was inspired by a four month residency the designer previously took in Johannesburg with Kamara and South African photographer Kristin Lee Moolman. It cohesively spoke to the stories of political coups, warring dynasties and feuding families caught in a violent power struggle. The looks included flaming hair, bullet accessorised mini dresses and sweaters with burning forests. The collection in itself was nothing short of a political statement. 

Gareth Wrighton AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Gareth Wrighton AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

In 2017 Designer Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault launched their South London label Charlotte Knowles London after also completing their masters at Central Saint Martins. Designing for a feminine and strong woman, in the AW19 collection, Knowles explores femininity and ready to wear in a way which disrupts traditional boundaries. Boundaries between the vulnerable and the combative, the human and the natural, the intimate and the public and the strange and familiar. The collection featured wool and technically crafted fabrics, made in soft pastel colours from form fitting, to minimal to fluid.  This was the designers’ final showcase with the support of the Fashion East Initiative .

Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

The final collection was that of Chinese CSM trained designer Yuhan Wang whose collection was inspired by traditional Chinese concepts of femininity and their connections to western culture. She explored the lines between beauty and strangeness , softness, delicacy and sensibility. In her second season showcasing for the Fashion East initiative, Wang’s pieces were made in silk satins, lace, velvet and tulle in ripple technique to flounce around the female form. She presented sheath and tea dresses in a 3 Dimensional way where her ruches and other artistically danced around the body. “ I think of it as the push and pull we experience as women. The constant dialogue between our inner and outer worlds,” says wang.  With soft colours of blue, lilac and primrose yellow, the designer pieced together a cohesive collection which told an impactful and interesting story. 

Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

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susan pui san lok: A COVEN A GROVE A STAND

18.02.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Earlier this month at the Firstsite gallery Colchester,  opened an uncanny exhibition titled “A COVEN A GROVE A STAND.”  The exhibition pioneered by artist susan pui san lok, is an exploration of the age-old practice of witchcraft and the history of witch persecutions across East Anglia during the 16th and 17th centuries where over 300 witches were executed by the Witch Hunter General Matthew Hopkins. 

Throughout the exhibition , the artist’s focus is on an 800 year-old oak tree called the ‘Old Knobbley’ located in Mistley, Essex and is rumoured to be where witches were thought to have hidden.  The exhibit also includes a sound installation which echoes several versions of the folk song “Cruel Mother” around the tree. The showcase is set to conclude in April and will evolve overtime as the artist will encourage her audience to participate in the exploration of the themes of voice, place, collective remembrance and resistance.  

Famous Old Knobbley oak tree in forest in Mistley, Essex – Image by Callum Redgrave
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite
 A COVEN A GROVE A STAND, 2019. Photo Douglas Atfield, Courtesy Firstsite

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Bottega Veneta Spring Summer 2019 Campaign

14.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Earlier this month Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta released fresh new images for their Spring Summer 2019 campaign. Marking the first campaign for the brand under the new creative direction of Daniel Lee.

The designer was appointed in June, which allowed him means he missed the opportunity for the design process of the SS19 collection but was still able to edit it. However the creative direction of the campaign was solely led by his vision. The previous Céline designer teamed up with photographer Tyrone LeBon to present a selection of images influenced by minimalism and Italian coasts. Shot on the Neapolitan island of Ischia, the images are said to strip fashion and art down to their purest forms in a way which highlights and appreciates their similarities. A black trench coat, woven leather, knit, squared toed pumps. The campaign was a sort of visual documentary on the relationship between skin and material. This peek of the designer’s taste and appreciation for beauty is just enough to gather him an audience of eager new consumers leading up to his debut show later this month, especially during this time when old Céline consumers are scouting elsewhere. 

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Fondazione Prada: “Surrogati – Un Amore Ideale”

12.02.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Later this month Fondazione Prada will present a peculiar exhibition curated by Melissa Harris entitled “Surrogati. Un Amore Ideale” (Surrogate. A Love Ideal).  Set to be opened on February 20th at their Osservatorio venue in the Galleria Emanuele,  Milan, the exhibition will feature the works of American photographers Jamie Diamond and Elena Dorfman which will explore the notions of romantic and sexual love. Each of the photographer’s works create visual and oral discussions around the theme of emotional linkages between male and female with the notion of synthetic representations of humans. 

“Together, Diamond’s and Dorfman’s work presented in ‘Surrogate’ vividly and non judgementally documents the interactions of humans with their lifelike, inanimate companions” says curator Melissa Harris.

The exhibit will showcase three subcategories of work, by Jamie Diamond:  Forever Mothers (2012-2018) and Nine Months of Reborning (2014). The prior captures the lives of an outsider art community called the Reborners who are self-taught female artists who create, collect and interact with hyper-realistic dolls which help them fulfil a certain desire for motherhood.  “Working with this community allowed me to explore a grey area between reality and artifice where relationships are constructed with inanimate objects,  human and doll, artist and artwork, uncanny and real.”

Elena Dorfman’s segment of the exhibition features her series titled Still Lovers (2001-04) which highlights the lives of men and women who have relations and often devote themselves to life-size, realistic sex dolls. This series instantly ignites conversation about the power of lover and the value of an object that has the power great enough to replace human beings. Dorfman’s intentions behind creating the series was not to exploit or shun the deviancy of these unconventional relationships but to instead reveal the fascinating world of intimacy between flesh and silicone. “ My ambition is never to judge, but to allow the inhabitants of this secret world to share their daily lives with me. In familiar surroundings  of their homes, I watch the scenes of domestic life unfold, the artist explains.”  The exhibition set to conclude on July 22,  will also carry an illustrated publication in the Quaderni series published by the Fondazione, which will consist of conversations between the curator herself, the artists along with some of the image subjects.

Forever Mothers, (2014) Jamie Diamond
Rebecca 1, Still Lovers, (2001) Elena Dorfman
CJ & Taffy 5, Still Lovers, (2002) Elena Dorfman
Forever Mothers, (2014) Jamie Diamond

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