Fashion East SS19 Showcase

18.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Charlotte Knowles, Yuhan Wang and A Sai Ta were the London based designers chosen to showcase at this year’s Fashion East SS19 showcase.  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.

One of the first talents of this year’s show was the fruit of Central Saint Martins graduates Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault, who launched their brand Charlotte Knowles in 2017. The designer duo presented a collection for a strong, confident and futuristic woman which focused on refined pieces with intricate details. The woman they presented was one who celebrates her femininity as she proudly strut down the runway in, halter neck bikinis, mesh slips and cut-out pieces of bright colours accented with an abundance of straps.

Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

Chinese born designer Yuhan Wang who is also an alumni of the Central Saint Martins womenswear program brought forth a collection which was inspired by asian femininity and its ties to western culture. The SS19 collection was entitled Women Indors. She explored the line between coverage and exposure; delicacy and sensibility as she played peekaboo with techniques of drapery paired with sheer fabrics to create pieces which celebrated the female form in a fun yet sensual manner.

Fashion East, Yuhan Wang SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, Yuhan Wang SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

Designer A SaI Ta who previously launched his label Asai with Fashion East in February 2017 for his SS19 collection, dives into the roots of his British-Chinese-Vietnamese heritage and reinterprets this as a second generation Londoner. Ta uses fabric manipulation and pairs this with his sharp pattern making skills to create a collection with disrupts familiar visual codes by creating sharp intriguing forms of the modern day female silhouette with inspiration from military culture. After graduating from Central Saint Martins the designer gained experience at The Row and was sought after for a position at Kanye West’s Yeezy just a year into completing his MA.

Fashion East, ASAI SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, ASAI SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

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Fendi’s ‘Play Me’

12.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For their previous SS18 men’s eyewear story titled ‘Discovering Me’, Fendi chose to muse upon musician, actor and model Jamie Campbell Bower with a fashion film which explores the actor’s stage prowess along with the discovery of his inner self.

Their fascination with the performer is further explored in their latest film for FW18-19 with a follow-up story called ‘Play Me’. The video features Bowie in his hotel room in Rome wearing Fendi accessories as he is interrupted a phone call with notice of a delivery left for him. As the actor opens the box, he discovers a note which reads ‘Play Me’ along with a DV camera tape. The footage reveals Jamie strolling the local Roman landscapes along with intercuts of his daily life inside the Roman hotel room — a juxtaposition of his off-stage moments unfolding in front of the viewer. Discover the full video here.

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The Relaunch of Prada’s Linea Rossa

07.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Italian fashion house Prada once again went digging in the pile of their iconic archives for their latest digital campaign called Prada Linea Rossa.

The distinctive red striped logo was first born in 1997 when Patrizio Bertelli, husband of designer Miuccia Prada was convinced by a German yatch designer to create his own sailing team to compete in the America’s Cup competition, and from this came the Linea Rossa.

Inspired by the world of sport, the logo first began to appear on sunglasses and since then, was gradually seen in collections throughout the years. However, it’s new incarnation debuted at the FW18 show earlier this year.  The line offers a range of wardrobe from outwear, to footwear and specially conceived pieces geared to the demands of specific actives including skiing and snowboarding. Prada underscores the origins of the logo’s sportswear foundations with a touch of innovation in colour and form. Garments are clean, precise, entirely streamlined in form and also made with strategic material including nanotech fabrics, recycled polyester and water-repellent microfibre. The garments are all assembled by advanced methods of heat and internal heat-sealing completely devoid of stitching. Prada Linea Rossa hits stores in September in select Prada store and department stores as well as on the brands website. 

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Acne Studios X Fjällräven

06.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Swedish fashion house Acne Studios recently partnered with Swedish outdoor brand Fjällräven to produce a unisex capsule collection of outerwear and accessories.

This fashion meets nature collaboration celebrates the 40th year since the launch of Fjällräven’s legendary Kånken backpack with three versions of the bag — the classic backpack, a messenger bag and a mini clutch. Also included are added details to Acne’s ready-to-wear designs such as fake fur trims, reflective patches, oversized pockets, along with bright coloured caps, camouflage sleeping bags and t-shirts printed with Swedish flags and hiking scenes. The collection is set to hit stores on September 6th with prices ranging £100- £1300.

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Kenzo FW18: ‘The Everything’

02.09.2018 | Blog | BY:

For the Fall 2018 instalment of their film campaign series French fashion house Kenzo tapped their co-creative director Humberto Leon for his directorial debut in the creation of their latest picture “The Everything.”

The film is a light-hearted narrative of a family of teenagers who brought together by their mutual peculiar superpowers.

Actress extraordinaire Milla Jovovich leads as the matriarch of the mutant squad which also includes actors Alexandra Shipp, Kodi Smith-Mcphee and Sasha Frolova. Also featured, are actors Regina Hall and Jay Ellis along with a special appearance by filmmaker Spike Jonze. “The Everything” features  Kenzo’s FW18 collection, along with pieces from La Collection Momento N°3 which is a collection of garments inspired by the brand’s archives. The film is to be released on the brand’s site on September 8th.

Kenzo FW18 by Ethan James Green
Kenzo FW18 by Ethan James Green

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A chat with designer-turned-Gucci-model Harris Reed

30.08.2018 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

American-born Central Saint Martin third-year fashion design student Harris Reed has quickly became on of the most recent names to know in fashion.

With his natural appetite for androgyny fused with an impeccable taste in design, Reed has found himself gaining attention from celebrities such as Solange Knowles and Troye Sivan. He’s also designed collections exclusively for singer-songwriter Harry Styles. Only a few months ago , the designer was tapped by Gucci to take over their instagram stories during the Cruise 2019 show and to debut on the runway himself in Arles, France.

Twin contributor Jordan Anderson sits down with the creative to decipher the details of his whirlwind of success.

Harry Styles sporting one of Reed’s looks during a performance.

Jordan Anderson (JA) : First of all I have to ask, what were your exact thoughts walking down that aisle for Gucci in Arles?

Harris Reed (HR) : I remember the one thought going through my head was that this is it, this is the beginning of it all. With all the editors from all sorts of magazines that I’ve admired sitting in the audience, it was just kind of this overwhelming feeling knowing that I am one of the only designers that is being supported in this way by such huge brand. After all the hard work I put in, and am still putting in, this was like the best sort of graduation anyone could ever have.

JA: What’s an average day like in the life of Harris reed?

HR:  Lately it’s been waking up at 7am and attending to emails, running out to get coffee and starting to do research on different things happening around London. I usually visit the National Portrait Gallery and other art exhibitions around town where I often find inspiration for my work.

Some days I’ll return home and do interviews all evening or some days I’ll stay up sewing until 4 a.m, but pretty much the bulk of my days involve emails, research and sewing.

JA: The title of your last collection was the “The Lost Romantic Boys of the Edwardian Summer Holiday.” What was the story behind it?

HR: The collection I did before this was a 13 look compilation for Harry Styles, which was what kind of led me to this project. That entire collection was inspired by the summers I spent down at the seaside in England with my grandparents. All the men in my family are kind of men of the sea and I’ve always felt kind of like the odd one out. It’s sort of a play on my interpretation of what I would look like if I was to ever be come one these characters.

A look from a previous collection of the designer.

JA: What’s your design process like?

HR: I always start with a very strong character. Then I create a narrative around this persona and from there I dive into the design process through collaging, which is where I create a silhouette. It’s always a constant back and forth between collaging and working with the physical pieces as feel is very important to me in the creation of these characters. I end up doing a lot of hands on work while doing my sketching and collaging at the same time.

JA: People often label your work as androgynous, but do you consider yourself a menswear or womenswear designer?

HR: Even though I’m thinking about gender constantly when it comes to the physical design process I try not to imagine my characters as gendered. I imagine them more as fluid beings, it’s more about the body,  the shapes,   forms and the personality traits rather than all the labels.

So no, I wouldn’t place myself in either of those categories.

Singer Troye Sivan in a Harris Reed look

JA: If you could use one movie, a song,  a poem or some type of media to define your work what would it be?

HR: It would surely be cross baby of the movies Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)  and Orlando (1992)  .

JA: When looking at your work, it’s noticeable that a lot of the pieces are quite similar to your personal style. Is your work a reflection of yourself?

HR: It’s quite funny because when I started designing, I noticed that the second I started making pieces that were for myself the response was much greater. I would definitely say that a lot of times my collections hold aspects of myself and my personality.

JA: Who is your work for?

HR: My work is for a very mixed group of people, from 16 year-old girls to 60 year old women. Everyone has a different perceptive on it: some people think it’s quite rock n roll, while some think it’s very tasteful and victorian like . It is for anyone who’s not afraid to dress up and understand that they’re going to spark conversation by wearing my pieces.

JA: I noticed when composing your look books and doing personal shoots that most of the models you use are black men. Was this intentional and why?

HR: I can never do anything for only the sake of being pretty or beautiful. I always have to be tackling issues that are important. For a short time in my life I did modelling and one of the things I noticed was the lack of diversity, so I always try to be  as inclusive as possible. Also for me it’s more about the people I meet and their personalities. I would rather meet someone, get to know them and shoot them for my collection rather than just picking a random model from an agency.

Artiste Solange Knowles in a full look by Harris Reed

JA: Is a college education important for one wanting to be a designer ?

HR: It’s interesting because I’m obviously  quite fortunate to have such great success before even completing university. However I’ve found CSM to be such an amazing experience. I look at the work I did a year ago and compare it to what I’m doing now and I see how I’ve experienced such enormous growth, and a lot of that was thanks to the professors and friends I’ve met here.  So I think it’s good for growth. However I think there are some people who make it work without schooling . It just depends on the person. I would say it’s not mandatory, but it’s 100% beneficial if it’s within your means.

JA: What are some of the challenges you experience being a student who’s already in the spotlight?

HR: Finding the time to do everything is difficult. I’m a ‘yes’ person, I love to collaborate so the biggest challenge is knowing when to say no and understanding my limits.

JA: Can you tell me about a time that was scary for you?

HR: Moving to London from America for me was like coming out of a cocoon. When I got to London I was welcomed with such an accepting energy that pushed me to being more fluent and embrace who I was. One of the scariest moments for me was physically opening up and wearing these extravagant things that better represent me.  Sporting these looks in public and worrying about what people will think. It was kinda just about that moment of physically coming out of a closet dressed in all these extravagant, decadent pieces.

JA: What would be the dream for your career ?

HR: I think it would be having a huge business that is completely gender fluid and which is giving back to the community. That’s successful in breaking down the fundamentals of the way fashion looks at gender and personally being a role model to people like myself.

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30 Days 30 Female Artists

26.08.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

British cinematographer/screenwriter Molly Manning Walker is a creative best known for using her work to speak up on prominent issues within society from a unique perspective. 

In 2015, Walker collaborated with director Billy Boyd Cape to create a powerful short film titled ‘More Hate Than Fear’ which gave insight on the experience of an unjustly imprisoned graffiti artist as he navigated the first months of his 3 year prison sentence.

Previously, Molly also teamed up with producer Joya Berrow to create the mini-documentary ‘Not With Fire, With Paint’ which explores the impact of the murder of Diego Felipe Beccera — a graphic artist shot in the back by police officers while painting in the streets of Bogota, Colombia during 2011.

Painting by Camilla Rose

The cinematographer is now turning her lens to the subject of rape and is currently working to produce a short film entitled ‘Dark Is Her Shadow’ which is set to explore the emotional, physical and mental traumas and stigmas surrounding sexual assault. “We follow Amy, who is a 16 year-old girl who is trying to resume life after being raped, the day after the incident, she struggles with being provided with little to no guidance while the ghost of her rapist returns to haunt her,” says Walker.

Once a victim of sexual assault herself, she explains that the intention of the film is: “to prevent people from losing eye contact when the word rape is brought up and counteract people from asking victims what we were wearing when we say we were raped.”

In order to raise funds for the film — set to be shot in London this November — Molly has brought together a team of 30 female artists for 30 days of an instagram auction.

Over the span of these thirty days, the donated work of each of these artists will be auctioned off via Walker’s instagram to raise money for the film.

Big Titty Kitty by Netty Hurley

“The film is being funded through Kickstarter and the page will go live on August 29th. Each day we will have a different piece, an image of this piece will go out on instagram, facebook and twitter, the artist will self-evaluate this piece and that will be the starting price. When the image goes up, the followers will have until midnight to bid on each piece. At midnight, the winning bidder will donate to the Kickstarter page and the piece will be marked sold.”

The group of women include illustrator Alice Rosebery-Haynes , music photographer Natalie Wood, portrait photographer Charlotte Ellis, fashion designer Jazz Grant, along with several other poets, painters and talented creatives.

For more information and to get involved, tune in to Walker’s instagram.

Portrait by Charlotte Ellis

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Azaadi by Misha Japanwala

23.08.2018 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Pakistani designer and visual artist Misha Japanwala recently presented an uplifting collection entitled ‘azaadi’ — an Urdu word which means freedom — as her official debut as a New York based designer.

The Parsons School of Design graduate returned/revisited her hometown for inspiration where she sought to focus on a more positive narrative from the headlines she often read as a child about murders and brutal acts of violence against women.

“My collection was inspired by women like late Pakistani social media star Qandeel Baloch and other victims of honour killings who were murdered by family members that believed they had brought dishonour upon the family because of actions or decisions the victims may have made.

Japanwala used her platform as a designer to create a series of wearable sculptures of the female body moulded from her own body along with accessories from the hands of other Pakistani women.

“The female body was the perfect symbol to highlight the strength of the women who aren’t afraid to fight to live on their own terms, but also representative of the fragility that comes with being a woman in Pakistan.” Twin spoke with the designer about her process and inspirations behind this meaningful collection.

Azaadi by Misha Japanwala

How long did it take you to compose this entire collection and what were some of your challenges?

I worked on this collection for almost a year. I spent the first couple months deep in research about honour killings and reflecting upon experiences of Pakistani women from different backgrounds, including my own. The process of designing the looks in the collection was the most challenging aspect for me, because it took a long time to settle upon visual anchors that represent struggle, strength, and what it means to be a woman living in Pakistan. A few months in, I had a dream where all of the final looks in the collection were created using sculptures of the female body, and that’s when the process of experimenting with casting and different materials began. I had never sculpted or life-casted before, so the process of trying to figure it all out included a lot of trial and error and experimentation, which was a lot of fun for me as an artist.

Photography by Alec Lesser and Teagan West

How has the general feedback been since you’ve launched?

The reaction I’ve received from people, both during the process of creating my thesis as well as after completing it, has been really special. As an artist, the best I can hope for with any work I create is to make people feel something, and it’s been amazing to watch so many of them, especially Pakistani women, connect with the themes explored in this collection. However, I also knew that by highlighting taboo and controversial subjects, and by being an outspoken Pakistani women, I would face some amount of backlash. It has been important for me to expose myself to the negative opinions about my work, because I think it is always necessary to have an open dialogue, especially when it’s conversations surrounding honour killings, domestic violence and the societal pressures faced by women living in Pakistan. 

Photography by Alec Lesser and Teagan West

How did it feel to show your muses the finished products?

After completing the collection, I went back to Pakistan for a couple weeks and had the opportunity to show my work to some of the women that had inspired it, and the ones who allowed me to make moulds of their hands to create the accessories in my collection. It was really special to see them excited about the collection and wearing the accessories themselves. It resulted in us having an impromptu photoshoot and it’s one of my favourite moments associated with the collection. 

Image courtesy of Misha Japanwala

Where can one find these pieces to view/buy?

My collection can be viewed online – official photos of the lookbook are up on my website www.mishajapanwala.com, and I continue to share photos and images of my process on my instagram @misha_japanwala. Anyone interested in buying my work can contact me directly through those channels.

Photography by Alec Lesser and Teagan West

What’s next for you?

I’m currently working on launching an online store in the next few weeks to sell accessories inspired by the themes I targeted in the collection. I want to use my platform and my art to help Pakistani women, and so a portion of all proceeds from the sales on my website will be donated to a women’s shelter in Karachi, Pakistan. Moving forward, my work will continue to explore the subjects I used with my first collection, because I still feel like there is so much to say. In Pakistan, now more than ever, it is so important to continue pushing boundaries and challenging the status quo, and I hope that my work can, in a small way, help change mindsets and open people to different perspectives. 

Image Courtesy of Misha Japanwala

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Whistles Autumn/Winter 2018

21.08.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For their Autumn/Winter 2018 collection Whistles presents a collection which they describe as a more forthright approach to dressing. A blend of both maximalist attributes and modern sophisticated details, the AW18 campaign embraces a silhouette which is fluid and feminine and also holds inherent strength.  Louche shirt dresses, wrap around silk bodices, over the knee boots and autumnal floral prints are some of the qualities which add character to this modern-day silhouette. See the full collection here.

Whistles AW18
Whistles AW18
Whistles AW18

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Nike City Ready Womenswear Collection

20.08.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Sportswear brand Nike recently unveiled their latest womenswear collection titled Nike City Ready which is set to hit stores on September 6th. The collection comprises of nine pieces designed by an all-female team which included Nike Women’s Senior Creative Director Maria Vu.

“Our Challenge was how to take our incredible motion adapt technology and make it beautiful and push it through a transformative lens without compromising the performance,” explains Vu. The campaign features American athlete Sloane Stephens and ballerina/photographer Olivia Burgess who model the pieces which include footwear, bras, pants, tights and crews which are shot by female photographer/athlete Paola Kudacki.

Nike City Ready Collection
Nike City Ready Collection
Nike City Ready Collection

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An ode to robotics, Twin meets Miaoran

15.08.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

“Robeauty” — an ode to the beauty of robotics — was the inspiration behind Milanese brand Miaoran’s SS19 collection.

The label, run by Chinese designer Miao Ran, launched three years ago after intense collaboration with Missoni.  Specialising in both menswear and womenswear, Ran often delivers collections inspired by ethereal subjects and incorporates them through structure, print and delivery.

For his latest collection, the designer uses soft silhouettes, prints, colour, broken lines and macramé embroideries to construct looks in alignment to this automaton aesthetic. He also teams up with photographer Marcello Junior Dino, to create a lookbook influenced by muses of the future. Twin met with the designer to learn more about his process. 

What materials are your favourite to work with and why

At the beginning it was so much about natural fibres but for the SS19 collection I choose many synthetic fabrics. I can’t really say I have a favourite. Each season it’s a different intention and a different mood to portray.

I always pay attention to materials. A fabric can deeply change the look of a shape and make it something you would never expect. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but it’s important to experiment. It is always worth it.

What has been your biggest challenge so far since the launch of the label?

The biggest challenge for me, as for many designers nowdays, is to stay original. It’s important to combine many different aspects when your passion becomes your job. You have to make something beautiful, something that could be different among the all other products,  something that has a twist but will also work in the stores. It’s difficult but it’s also very exciting for me. 

How would you describe the ideal Miaoran woman/man?

Someone who is confident and who can wisely choose a piece of clothing and give it life. I love people with great personalities.

What inspires you the most?

I am very open to the world, and what happens on a daily basis. You can take a picture, read a book, watch a movie… but it’s not just that. It’s your background and your own world that makes you see everything in a different way.

Why were robots your inspiration for this collection?

Robots are the future. Aren’t they? And so are children, which was why we decided to pair them both for the look book.

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Fendi’s #MeAndMyPeekaboo

13.08.2018 | Fashion | BY:

In 2008, Fendi’s creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi launched what was to be known as the iconic Peekaboo bag.  Inspired by childhood tales from the game itself, the designer crafted a handbag somewhat resemblant of a face which is covered and then uncovered like in a game of Peekaboo. The two main sections of the crocodile leather-stitched bag opens and shuts in a way resemblant of the eyes. 

As the brand celebrates it’s 10th anniversary since it’s launch, they unveil a new project entitled #MeAndMyPeekaboo featuring iconic women around the world. Mothers, daughters and sisters are the protagonists of these intimate short films which were released on the brands social networks in July.  The short film series feature the designer along with her two daughter Delfina Delettrez Fendi and Leonetta Luciano Fendi, Kim Kardashian with her mother Kris Jenner and daughter North West, actress sisters Jessica and Krystal Jung along with other influential women. In these films the brand aims to highlight the beauty of the bond made between related women. Discover more at Fendi.

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Chad Moore, ‘A New Name For Everything’

11.08.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

New York based photographer Chad Moore today launches an exhibition entitled ‘A New Name For Everything’ at the Asama International Photo Festival in Miyota, Japan.

The American photographer is one who is known to accurately capture the beauties of human expression and emotion in ways which often uproots empathy in his audience. He mostly focuses on the themes of family , friendship, love and youth.

“In retrospect, the most beautiful periods of my life seem to have all been momentary events. In the snaps where the power of a photograph which confines the moment is demonstrated.”  

Moore will reveal 24 unseen photos from his archive in this exhibition which will run until September 30th.

Photograph by Chad Moore

Fondazione Prada: John Bock , The Next Quasi-Complex

01.08.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

Fondazione Prada’s most recent display features the work of German multi-media artist John Bock whose work explores the themes of dark comedy, violence, music, fashion and fragments of everyday life all fused into one space. The exhibition, which takes place from July 18th to September 24th on the ground floor of the Milanese venue is aptly-labeled “The Next Quasi-Complex.”

Lütte mit Rucola (2006)

Bock, an artist known for his performances which he calls lectures, curated this project in which he transformed the ground floor of Fondazione Prada’s podium into a surreal space of his imagination using furniture, debris and everyday objects combined to create what he describes as an illogical universe. In this particular exhibition the artist also includes two installations from the Collezione Prada: the mobile stage of When I’m looking into the Goat Cheese Baiser (2001) and the living room of Lütte mit Rucola (2006). During his lectures, John invites his audience into to be involved in this process of fabricating a new reality. His next live lecture is set for September 8th at the foundation in which he will collaborate with actors Lars Eidinger and Sonja Viegner to help animate the mobile stage of When I’m looking into the Goat Cheese Baiser.

When I’m looking into the Goat Cheese Baiser (2001)

The moralities of protest clothing

01.08.2018 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

Four years ago, Nigerian author/activist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie published a book length essay titled “We Should All Be Feminists.” In summary, the book is an outstanding revelation which aims to give a definition to modern day feminism and it’s relevance to society.

In 2013,  Adichie delivered a TEDx Talk on the subject which was sampled by Beyonce in her 2013 hit single ***Flawless. This boost of popularity as an author/activist introduced to pop culture was just in time for the book’s launch. 

In 2017, three years after the launch, for her debut as the first woman to take charge as creative director of french fashion house Christian Dior, Maria Grazia Chiuri presented her SS17 collection which included a t-shirt aptly-bearing the title of Chimamanda’s essay , “We Should All Be Feminists.”  Since then, the t-shirts have gained popularity and have been sported by celebrities and influencers such as Rihanna , Jennifer Lawrence, ASAP Rocky, Chiara Ferragni, etc. To say this trend was a success is a gross understatement.

And as we have witnessed time after time, messages being told through fashion tend to often have quite an effect: dating from as far as back as the 80’s when fashion designer Katharine Hamnett wore a T-shirt in protest against nuclear missiles in her meeting of former British prime minister Margaret Thatcher. More recently Black Lives Matter protesters marched through American streets bearing variations of the slogan across their chests after the Trayvon Martin injustice, and who can forget the jacket which read “I Really Don’t Care Do You?” worn by Melania Trump on her way to visit a migrant facility in Texas.

While these garments might carry notes that can contributive to a mass shift in society, as anything that involves the internet, there are pitfalls of going ‘too’ viral.

Two seasons ago a version of the We Should All Be Feminists t-shirt was seen on the Milanese runway for the budding menswear Sunnei – an innocent play on words, altered to “We should all be Sunnei”. One might argue that such an artless move could do no harm.

Sunnei FW18 | credit: Giacomo Cabrini

However, this is where the watering down of an important message begins. Now personalised versions of the book title can be spotted on influencers, fans etc. and although the intent might be innocent, the message is undoubtedly weakened.

It’s like playing Chinese whispers. In the end, you risk losing parts through transition, but in this case, its much more important than a game. When Black Lives Matter protesters created T-shirts with the slogan it was to emphasise the fact that black lives matter, not to leave room for “All Lives Matter” spin-offs which disregarded and disrupted the original message, or when Melania Trump wore the jacket that read “I Really Don’t Care, Do You?” some might say the First Lady was genuinely sending a message henceforth the internet’s effort to change the writing to something positive was besides the point.

So I believe it’s safe to assume that when Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie penned this essay, it was for the purpose of speaking out against the heinous acts of sexism, and likewise Maria Grazia Chiuri when she incorporated the unaltered title as apart of her collection. So might we be reminded that protest t-shirts and whatever other forms of fashion used to send messages, are not for the purposes of individualisation or modification, regardless of innocent intentions, but for the sole motive of emphasising an important message using an art form which can be easily outspread.

#MyFLV winners announced

13.07.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Earlier this year, the Fondation Louis Vuitton (FLV) – an art museum and cultural centre sponsored by LVMH and its subsidies – in celebration of its fourth anniversary launched an architecture photographer contest inspired by the Parisian building’s exceptional construction and design. The museum, which was inspired by abstract structures of glass was designed by renowned Canadian-American architect Frank Gehry.
The competition, titled #MyFLV, launched on May 3rd and welcomed photographers of all calibre, both amateur and professional who were required to post original photographs of the buildings to their Instagram accounts accompanied by the respective hashtag and Fondation account tag.
After concluding on June 5th, the FLV gathers several representatives from its board along with French photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand who formed a jury to select the top 7 photographs. Their picks were announced earlier this week which included a mix of photographers from several corners of the world. Namely Pierre Châtel-Innocenti, Mathieu Collart, Roseline Diemer, Yi-Hsien Lee, Boshiang Lin,  Jean-Guy Perlès & Jérémy Thomas.

The winners will have their photos used in an upcoming digital and print poster campaign, a boost of publicity via the foundation’s social account, a Collector’s Pass for FLV valid for one year, along with a chèque of 2,000 euros.

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#YSL17 PART I

06.07.2018 | Fashion | BY:

This season Saint Laurent’s creative director Anthony Vaccarello taps supermodel Kate Moss for the leading role of Part 1 of their Winter 2018 campaign. The campaign, shot by husband and wife duo Inez and VInoodh, features Moss on the shores of a beach, as she gives us a lesson in the modern art of seduction with sleek hair and plunging necklines. Vaccarello previously opted for the supermodel to face the YSL brand back in 2017 when he was freshly appointed as creative director so might we say that this campaign is well-deserved and definitely worth its wait.

Jacquemus man’s low key start

03.07.2018 | Fashion | BY:

Earlier this year,  after a few weeks of teasing at the claim of having a “new job,” French designer Simone Porte Jacquemus announced the forthcoming launch of a menswear line. Three months later, the artisan revealed the details of his first menswear collection via instagram with a campaign/editorial shot with a robust model — French union international rugby player Yoann Maestri. The title – “ Les Gadje”—  which translates to a name given by men who are not of their world —  and the location was set for a popular beach in Marsielle, France — a delightful variation to the buzz of Paris which his audience had gotten used to.

Simone Jacquemus is the designer who has been rumoured to be one of the brightest stars amongst the alliance of new French designers. He has been giving facelifts to the imagery of female fashion and sexuality with the flair and personality of his last few collections. Le Souk, La Bomba, L’Amour D’un Gitan – all previous shows which embodied the liberated, unconstrained spirits of wanderers that were manifested in the forms of a rejuvenated version of the modern day woman. The aura of the brand itself has been described by many as fashion’s breath of fresh air. So when Simone declared the launch of menswear, the assumption by many was that the Jacquemus man would be a parallel personification of the liberal bohemian-like spirit used to inspire its female counterpart.

Only a few days before the launch of his show the designer revealed that the inspiration for menswear  in an interview with American Vogue. It was based on the connection that he had built between himself and his now estranged/ex boyfriend Fashion Director Gordon Von Steiner.

“It was more a feeling.. I was obsessed with the way he was dressing. I think Gordon has a particular taste….really simple but particular.”

The day of the show, the designer set the tone. Preview shots of the location on his Instagram,  — the shores of the Calanque de Sormiou — a popular beach off the coast of  Marsielle,  lined with rows of beach towels as the seating arrangement. A few minutes later entered the beautiful bevy of “healthy men,” as he mentioned in his earlier interview with AV. They were not too skinny, not too muscular, just perfect. They were all of diverse complexions.

At first glance, the bright colours and well-casted handsome faces might have fooled one into believing it was a collection worth it’s ballyhoo, but after only a second glimpse, it was evident that these were pieces one could easily acquire at a thrift shop or even at a local Zara franchise. In fact in his interview with AV, he gives insight that the prices for this collection would be lowered, “We wont sell an 800 euros shirts, but one at 270 euros we will.”

For Jacquemus womens’ we were given oversized straw hats, asymmetrically draped skirts, plunging tops, uniquely proportioned low heels — pieces which defined and distinguished his brand in the brimful pool of french designers.

This first menswear collection lacked the dexterity and creativity we knew the designer possessed as a protégé of Rei Kawakubo.The “Jacquemus man” wore cargo shorts, knitted shirts and ties (from his collaboration with Woolmark), printed shirts and speedos. Just like any other man. Apart from the colour coded styling and the branded neck wallets, there was nothing special about this collection. It felt like a bit of a mockery of what he has proven to be naturally capable of.

This was only the designer’s first menswear collection. What’s clear is that the Jacquemus the designer has demonstrated his potential for development and growth, and he’ll surely turn this to his menswear line too.

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The People vs Virgil

23.06.2018 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Twin contributor Jordan Anderson considers the impact of Virgil Abloh’s first collection for Louis Vuitton.
Earlier today, Ghanian-American fashion designer Virgil Abloh presented his first collection as creative director of Louis Vuitton Menswear in the gardens of the Palais Royale for Paris Fashion Week.
Since his appointment in March, the news of a black man at the helm of one of fashion’s most prestigious French houses has of course caused some stir and split opinions between fans and fashion critics. This was not just any black man, but specifically Virgil Abloh.
I, particularly as man of colour, was on the fence about the decision. Only two men of colour had ever held such positions, Ozwald Boateng at Givenchy and Olivier Rousteing at Balmain. On one BLACK hand, I was overflown with joy, and completely elated that another man that looked like me had finally landed such a position. The story of an immigrant, arriving to the US, starting his journey in fashion and being so successful in his efforts to the point where he now sits at the head table of one oldest fashion labels in history is undeniably inspiring. This would be a monumental moment, not just for black people, but for anyone of colour who has ever felt excluded from a conversation in the walls of fashion as a result of skin colour, culture or heritage.
On  the other hand, as a  detester of the ranks of fashion as a popularity contest, I was torn. Abloh and his label Off-White for me and many represent a millennial-friendly fast-selling branch of fashion which often sacrifice quality and ingenuity for mass sales/trendiness. Prior to this appointment, Virgil to me was but a DJ and a businessman. I assumed his label was a business he would pick up every season to use his influence to create a few stirs among millennials to make some extra bucks. Which in this case would be fine. We’re all hustlers, and you definitely don’t have to go to fashion school to be a designer. However where was I to be left when I found out that one of fashion’s “influencers” was taking over an historic French fashion house. Was this like Kendall Jenner becoming photo editor for Vogue?

 I had no idea what to expect. As I tuned in to Louis Vuitton’s live Instagram stream and got a glimpse of the location, goose bumps grew on my skin. I was excited. My heart started racing as I witnessed an army of computed men in white, opening the multi-coloured runway. This was Virgil’s moment:  it was his peak, and I was extremely excited for the masterpiece which he seemed to have created. LVMH may have hired him for his savvy business approach but regardless, I saw this as a win for us.
After the emotions faded and the show ended I then went back and had a look at the collection. The hints of his brand Off-White were evident. There was not much innovation but it was better than I expected. This was a luxury version of his own brand and a deconstructed version of the Louis Vuitton we had been used to. It was relatively safe ground: double breasted blazers, two pleated trousers  paired with holsters and harnesses. Nothing too new for fashion, but definitely new for the French fashion house.
LVMH were certainly ahead of the curve hiring a designer that brings streetwear to the luxury space. Virgil Abloh might not be an innovator, or to some, not even a designer, but he sure is a hell of a showman.
Feature image via Louis Vuitton Instagram. 

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N21’s Anti Streetwear

20.06.2018 | Fashion | BY:

For his SS19 collection, N.21 designer Alessandro Dell’Acqua,  opted to turn his head away from the fast-selling streetwear direction of the industry and focus on a more sensual side of the brand.

“I’m over streetwear and sportswear at the moment. I started from a desire for light and warmth, to rediscover the body’s natural physicality.” 

Sneakers were thrown in for socks and sandals, t-shirts for button ups. There were also raincoats, the brands signature photo inserted shirts, nylon pouch bags and totes. 

The collection had a familiar simplicity accompanied by a whiff of femininity which made you want to ask for more. It was a celebration of the sensual man. Was this the brand’s official proclamation towards a more permanent  formal aesthetic? And if so, will he then give up the shorts for tailored trousers next season?

Whatever direction chosen the brand should look to exaggerate their inspiration. At times their signature simplicity might be mistaken for indolence and repetition. 

N.21 SS19 | Jordan Anderson for Twin magazine

N.21 SS19 | Jordan Anderson for Twin magazine

N.21 SS19 | Jordan Anderson for Twin magazine

N.21 SS19 | Jordan Anderson for Twin magazine

N.21 SS19 | Jordan Anderson for Twin magazine

N.21 SS19 | Jordan Anderson for Twin magazine

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