Saint Laurent SELF 05 – ‘A night in Shanghai’

Earlier this year Saint Laurent introduced a project of theirs entitled SELF —  a series of stories capturing several aspects of the Saint Laurent personality and underlining the complexity of various individuals through the eyes of artists selected by creative director Anthony Vaccarello. The latest version of the series is its fifth installation titled ‘A night in Shanghai’ and has been curated by Chinese artist Wong Kar Was and directed by Wing Shya. 

A night in Shanghai tells a story about the introspective research of ourselves which begins from breaking balance.  Ju Xiaowen is captured searching for the balance in life by comparing the past and the present while looking for who she is within . 

‘Wong Kar Wai envisions individual feelings; his art is like a vivid dream projected into real life, which emphasizes the contrast between the fragile aspect of humanity and reality. It was a very instinctive process based on mutual respect and admiration, in the movie you can find and feel the Saint Laurent fantasy taking shape as natural consequence,’ comments Vaccarello. 

The short movie will also be exclusively presents at the Yuz Museum in Shanghai art district, open to the public from the 22nd to the 24th of November.

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FENDI’s Karliagraphy

In homage to their late designer Karl Lagerfeld , Fendi presents their Karliagraphy bag. Designed with a squared shaped in soft leather, patent leather and exotics, the bag is accentuated with the iconic double F logo which was designed by Lagerfeld himself in 1981.

It renders itself complete with a strap in chain or leather than adds the factor of functionality while also allowing for easy transition from day to night.

Shop the Karliagraphy at FENDI.

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A Bouquet of Simplicity for PRADA Resort 2020

On theme with their latest resort show , last week, Italian fashion house Prada launched their Resort 2020 campaign under the direction of seditious simplicity. 

The campaign shot by photographers Keizo Kitajima and Drew Vickers gives a fresh take on advertising as it is physically presented the campaign in the form of tactile paper images wrapped around bouquets of flowers. Each one gives perspective of the very different images framed by the duo, showcasing their contrasting photography styles. 

One side sees the work of NYC based photographer Drew Vickers as he presents  elegant, emotional black & white images of his Prada Resort decked subjects,  whilst Japanese photographer Keizo Kitakima’s work complements this with the subjects alive and in motion, recalling his dynamic street photography from as far back as the 70’s . 

The products of the Prada Resort 2020 campaign can be discovered at local florists around the cities of London, Milan, Moscow , New York, Paris, Shanghai & Tokyo and the full collection can be seen on Prada.com 

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PAMPAS by Jessica Bishopp – A Short Film on how to spot a Swinger

For her directorial debut filmmaker and artist Jessica Bishopp explores the practice of swinging — habitual group sex or the swapping of swapping of sexual partners  — in the 1970’s. In an imaginative documentary, she  the rumoured notion that suburban swingers identify themselves within the community by planting a feathery planted called Pampas on their front lawns as hidden invitations to each other.

The documentary features the voices of a group of women discussing the rumours that were connected to the plant as they also reminisce on the swinging parties that occurred  in the 70’s. With model and author Naomi Shimada centerstage , the film gives a peek into the worlds of female desire, subcultures, botanical myths and this intriguing suburban legend. 

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The New Black Vanguard -Photography between Art and Fashion

Cover image: Renell Medrano, Untitled, Harlem 2017

A few weeks ago, NYC based not-for-profit foundation Aperture opened its doors to The New Black Vanguard — an exhibition of photography between art and fashion curated by Antwaun Sargent. 

The New Black Vanguard is a visual  documentary of fifteen artists who works fuse the genres of art and fashion through innovative perspective. It compiles the images of these talents that have recently been on reign in magazines,  ad campaigns & museums across the world , be it New York, London, Johannesburg or Lagos.  Each piece of work opens up conversations from different perspectives around the roles of the black body and black lives as a subject matter, collectively celebrating black creativity in fashion and art.

Not only through the hands of photographers, but stylists, designers and other creatives as well. The exhibition includes selected works from photographers including Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Micaiah Carter, Tyler Mitchell, Daniel Obasi, Justin French and a few others. It will be open throughout the rest of the year and will come to a close on January 18, 2020. For more information visit Aperture. 

Jamal Nxedlana, Late Leisure, 2019
Campbell Addy, Adut Akech, 2019
Dana Scruggs, , Nyadhour, Elevated, Death Valley, California, 2019

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Twin Talks: Melanie and Stephanie Hausberger

Taking inspiration from Tyrolean mountains and New York, Austrian twin sisters Melanie and Stephanie Hausberger make striking work about womanhood, connection and nature. Twin caught up with the twin sisters to talk about the synchronicity of creativity, New York hang outs and the creative power of two.

Duplications in nature and the female form are subjects that you return to in your works. What are you both drawn to?

Recently we were going though our works we created when we were really young and its striking how figures and the female form always have been the major subject. Being identical twins we always were very much of aware of people judging our differences and compare us. In our work its about the way these figures embody the world, the way they relate to one another. And then of course there is body image, which is another big theme we are interested in since we have a history of struggling with it. 

Also, growing up we never really had access to art museums or gallery, for us getting a magazine like I-D or Vogue, was a big deal. They certainly influenced our aesthetics and style too, the people featured but also the fashion ads and campaigns. We like to add nature since its timeless and also calming. Expressionist artists work such as Kirchner or Otto Mueller also incorporated a lot of natural scenes, and those works are the first ones we were exposed to. Also we grew up in the Alps, being outside in nature was a big part of our childhood. 

But we think our work has many layers and is quite complex sometimes, as art should be, so there is always the possibility to have a different perspective and one can read many things into our work. We like to let the viewer question our work, and we like if its not too obvious.

What does your creative process look like?

We are not working from photographs or pictures, its all out from our imagination and the accumulated input and inspiration. We are really sensitive to colors, patters, atmospheres and we always explore the places we are traveling to, whether for work or pleasure, often wonder how beautiful something is although nobody else seems to notice.

Also, we are very much influenced and inspired by the history and language of painting, we look and read a lot about art, so whether consciously or unconsciously we incorporate all this in our work. 

We love how art opens up new horizons and teaches one to think in different ways. For us, Painting and drawing is our way to reflect and explore everything, and we love how working together on a painting you never quite know what it will come out in the end since you don’t have full control – it can happen that I paint over something my sister just painted so one really has to let go of control. 

On larger drawings we also work on at the same time, with smaller ones we switch around until its finished. 

When it comes to creativity, do you think collaboration is generally more powerful than individual effort?

We find that our collaboration is a huge blessing – unless we have a hard time agreeing on something. We both have a very strong sense of what we want to make, so it can happen that we argue for a while…but that is rare because we instinctively know what the other wants and vice versa, maybe thats a twin thing… In the end every work we make is a teamwork  and we work toward a common vision. So yes, if things run well, a collaborative process can be more powerful than an individual one.

As both individuals and artists your visual identity is very distinct, how did this develop? 

Well, it is probably a mix of many things. The location (in the Tyrolean Alps) we grew up, our early influences, our own curious characters, and of course New York. We both always knew what we liked or disliked aesthetically. Early one we were drawn towards paintings and drawings, even though at that point we had no idea that one can become an artist per se. We both remember always feeling the impulsion to make things, not only to look.  We are very interested in many subjects outside art which eventually inform our work. Aesthetic decisions were always much easier for us than deciding on the mundane things of daily life. Its interesting that even though we spent time apart for longer periods, attending different schools at times, we were always drawn to the same artists and art movements.

What do you see as the relationship between photography and drawing / painting? 

Photography is a quick medium and for us, since we draw very quickly they both are quite similar in their ability to capture impressions and moments. 

Photography has always played a part in our live, shooting each other all these years when growing up and studying in New York. 

We both have this urge to record things, which we used to do through solely drawing before the iPhone came out. Now drawing and photography go side by side. We photograph a lot of inspirations, have separate folders sorted by theme and so on, but when it comes to painting then we try and trust our own instinct and ability to 

You both studied in New York, did the city help to shape or impact your work?

We love NY, its pace and energy perfectly lends itself to our lifestyle. The city definitely shaped our work – we love the New York School artists such as De Kooning, Lee Krassner, Joan Mitchell and also Francesco Clemente and Alex Katz. Those mixed with Austrian and German Expressionism seems to be the base of our work. 

What are your favourite places in New York?

Our regular go to spot has always been Souen, unfortunately there is only one left. Tomoe Sushi has the best sashimi platters, and we love classic New York restaurants more than the new “trendy” ones, such as Odeon, Balthazar or Raoul’s. For drinks in the evenings, when we go its usually Paul’s Baby Grant, Primos or Alley Cat at the Beekman Hotel. Bemelsman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel is also really beautiful.

Which other creative duos are you inspired by?

We like what Gert and Uwe Tobias are doing and the Haas Brothers,  and we think there are a couple of Filmmaker duos such as the Dardenne Brothers, which we think make great work together.

What are you working on at the moment, and what are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?

Right now we are preparing work for an upcoming show in Brussels in December. The rest of the year we Milan, where we are excited to work on a new body of work. 

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Ingrid Deuss Gallery presents : “When I saw the mountains for the first time, I thought they were clouds ” by Joost Vandebrug

Later this month, Antwerp based Gallery Ingrid Deuss Gallery is set to present an exhibition by Dutch photographer and filmmaker Joost Vandebrug. The showcase, titled “When I saw the mountains for the first time, I thought they were clouds,” will feature fifteen of Vanebrug’s photographs made between 2011 and 2018 when he immersed himself in the street life of Romania’s capital, Bucharest. 

The images are an honest documentary of the photographer’s six years spent, where he captured the daily lives of the street children of the city. The photo series represents an extension of his acclaimed film “Bruce Lee and the Outlaw (2018)” where he followed the life of the young Nicu who becomes his muse as well as his guide to the emotional underworld of homeless children and people protected under the wings of Florin Hora, a.k.a Bruce Lee. 

All the images for the exhibition will be showcased on Japanese washi paper, which helps in showcasing a similar unpredictability and vulnerability related to the way in which the photographer experienced the project in Romania.

The exhibition will open its doors on November 24th and will run until January 25th. 

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Tongoro x TAMU – A Capsule Collection of Effortless Elegance

Earlier this week, Senegalese fashion brand Tongoro launched the first edition of their Tongoro CollabX series with a capsule collection crafted in partnership with Jamaican style maven and influencer Tamu McPherson. The collection features 10 affordable pieces including blouses, jumpsuits, skirts, pants and dresses all fashioned with unique prints. 

“I strongly believe in the power of collaboration; its a beautiful way to build bridges and have conversation around identity and togetherness.  Tamu is someone I have long looked up to when I first stepped into fashion: she has always had a great sense of style. She is undeniable a force in the fashion industry and a powerful representation of black women in fashion.

She is Jamaica, I am Senegalese, we first met in Paris but we reconnected in Lagos during fashion week, and it was very special for me to welcome her to Dakar, in our studios and to share a part of our process. 

We gave birth to something that will hopefully spark a feeling of pride and belonging to anyone that will wear one of these pieces. The pieces are all fun and very easy. The capsule truly merges & emphasises our vision of the modern woman,” explained Tongoro Founder Sarah Diouf. 

The capsule collection is currently available on TONGORO.COM 

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FENDI #MeandMyPeekaboo ft Catherine Zeta Jones & Carys Douglas

Italian fashion house FENDI has only just released the latest episode of their #MeAndMyPeekaboo series and it features the mother daughter duo of Oscar award winning actress Catherine Zeta-Jones and Carys Douglas on an exploration of the eternal city of Rome. In the episode, the two are shot elegantly prancing under the colonnade of Palazzo Altemps, Roman historic building with their Peekaboo bags in hand. The bag could be spotted in a variety of different forms and sizes from the regular to the XS version, and including the Pequin and the house’s signature logo-no-logo pattern.

The  #MeAndMyPeekaboo series began earlier this year featuring 10 iconic women across the world which included names like Kim Kardashian, Kris Jenner and North West. Each episode includes versions of the Peekaboo bags which have been seen on the Spring Summer 2019 runways with an updated soundtrack of Mary J Blige’s Family Affair.  To shop the Peekaboo visit Fendi.

 

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“Nearness” – an exhibition in celebration of British Black History Month

Imagery courtesy of Ronan Mckenzie

This evening Brixton Village will celebrate UK Black History month with an exhibition curated by British acclaimed designer Bianca Saunders. The showcase, titled ‘Nearness’ is a pop up installation that explores black creativity in a vast variety of forms. It will include the works of multi-disciplined filmmaker & video artist Akinola Davies Jr, fashion designer Jazz Grant, poet and director Caleb Femi as well as photographer director and curator Ronan Mckenzie. 

“As London continues to grow and evolve in this age of gentrification, we need to keep stoking the fires of multiculturalism and inclusivity by celebrating creativity in up and coming areas. 

The concept of this exhibition is something that speaks to me on a personal level — supporting other artists of colour in London. I reached out to each of these artists personally, based on their unique creative vision: my favourite multidisciplinary talent from the community that enriches London’s culture dialogue,” explained curator Bianca Saunders. 

The exhibition will open it’s door tonight at 6pm at the Market Row in Brixton and will run until the evening of October 27th.

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PRADA Linea Rossa FW19 ft. Willow Smith

Last week, Italian fashion house Prada tapped American musician and artist Willow Smith for an unannounced performance at a station along the Central Line of London’s tube to commemorate the launch of their  Fall Winter 2019 Linea Rossa collection.

The inspiration behind the performance was quite literal, Prada’s Linea Rossa ( red line in English ) is a uniting emblem that’s simple yet complex, and industrially can be identified in all major cities throughout transport. This was in alignment with the core thought of the Linea Rossa collection which was originally created by Miuccia Prada in the 1990’s as she kept speed, travel , and dynamic energy in mind as the brand initially ventured into sportswear. 

The Fall Winter 2019 collection , of course uses this historic red line as one of it’s unifying elements as well as the brand’s use of signature fabrics. Some technical jerseys are created with polyester fibres recycled from plastic bottles recovered from sea and land fill where the waste was melted then spun into threads to  create the lightweight jersey.  It also includes the use of their renewable & recycled polyester fabrics,  Goretex Pro water-repellent microfibre and the famous nylon. The collection carries the tones similar to that of the military as when put together they give the effect of a modern day PRADA army , with shades of army green, pink , black , neon orange & neon green shaped to hug the body yet maintain a free range of free movement. 

To see more or shop the collection visit PRADA.COM

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GUCCI Cruise 2020 ft. Gucci Mane

On the occasion of their Cruise 2020 campaign, Italian fashion house Gucci invites a cast of guests to add the unrefined versions of themselves to a party titled “#COMEASYOUARE_RSVP.” With names ranging from the likes of Gucci Mane, (the collaboration that’s been long-overdue) Sienna Miller, Iggy Pop and Benedetta Barzini , the group is shot by Harmony Korine and directed by Christopher Simmonds as they explore the amenities of Gucci’s fun house. They go from chatting in the kitchen to showing off outfits in the bathtub to taking dives in the villa’s swimming pool. Each character from every scene is decked out in head to toe Gucci but in every way emanate distinctly diverse personality aspects; a wild rockstar, a glam socialite, the tycoon and of course the hip hop star.  

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Thierry Mugler: Couturissime at Kunsthal Rotterdam

Cover Image: Manfred Thierry Mugler , Photo by Max Abadian

Last spring Montreal Museum of Fine Arts launched an exhibition at its headquarters in collaboration with the Clarins Group and the Maison Mugler. The exhibit titled “Theirry Mugler: Couturissime” showcases some of the work of the great French creator Thierry Mugler through his time as a couturier, director, photographer and perfumer with a special focus on his ready-to.wear and haute couture creations. After closing its doors in Montreal, the exhibition has now found its way to the Kunsthal Museum in Rotterdam having opened only a few days ago. 

It features over 140 ensembles, many of which are being put display for the very first time since their creation between 1973 and 2001, with an additional collection of stage costumes, videos and sketches. Of course imagery also plays a major part, as the photographs of industry icons such as Avedon, Bourdin, Goude, LaCapelle, Newton, Ritts and Isserman have been curated all around the gallery to give an even wider perspective of the mythical extravagance which surrounded and still surrounds the designer.  

“I have always been fascinated by the most beautiful animal on Earth: the human being. I have used all of the tools at my disposal to sublimate this creature: fashion, shows, perfumes, photography, video… I am not a person who dwells in the past, but the MMFA, through Nathalie Bondil, was the first to propose to me to stage my creations and imagine together a free, global and reinvented artistic vision. How could I refuse?” said creator Manfred Thierry Mugler. 

Thierry Mugler: Couturissime is only display at Kunsthal Rotterdam from October 13th 2019 to March 8th 2020. 

Yesmin Le Bon wearing Thierry Mugler photographed at the London Palladium for ES Magazine
Patrice Stable, Outfit by Thierry Mugler
Helmut Newton, Outfit by Thierry Mugler
David LaChapelle, Outfit by Thierry Mugler

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“The Invisibles” by i-D & Jermaine Francis

Next week , photographer Jermaine Francis in collaboration with i-D will present an exhibition titled “The Invisibles.” The expo is a documentary of  London’s Homeless crisis through the photography of tents that serve as temporary homeless shelters around the city. 

Francis initially began shooting this project a few months ago and had the final project — The Invisibles featured in i-D’s most recent issue. 

“I didn’t enjoy making this project. About a year ago, I began noticing tents popping up around the urban landscape. I already knew that homelessness had increased and increased everywhere, not just in London — but the tents cemented it. Research from Shelter has revealed that there are about 300, 000 homeless people in the UK, an increase of 13, 000 in the past year alone . This means that one in every 200 people in Britain are homeless. If you add in those who are unrecorded, or sleeping two and three to one tent, that number is even higher. 

It felt strange seeing so many homeless people living in tents here in Britain; we’re the fifth largest economy in the world. This is a place that’s supposed to be able to help the most vulnerable in our society. I decided to document them,”  the photographer wrote in an article about the project. 

In addition to Jermaine’s photography, there exhibition will also include an auction of work from artists such as Robi Rodriguez, Lena C Emery, Mel Bles, Vinca Peters and others. All of whose proceeds from the draw will go towards supporting charities such as Shelter’s Home Team &  Family Support Service.

“The Invisibles” will take place on the 23rd of October at Protein Studios 31, from 6-9pm.

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Fashion Film Festival Milan presents edition NO.6

Cover Image: Still from Kenzo Memento by Thomas Traum

In a few weeks, the annual Fashion Film Festival Milano will present its sixth edition of screening since its establishment by Costanza Cavalli Etro five years ago. Set to take place from November 7th – 10th, at the Anteo Palazzo del Cinema, the festival will showcase a selection of 200 films from over 50 countries divided by curator Gloria Maria Cappelletti into categories under themes such as feminism, social diversity & inclusion, and environmental sustainability. 

From this selection of 200 films, the festival’s jury will be tasked to select winners for 16 categories including Best Fashion Film, Best Director, Best Green Fashion Film and the newly added category of Best New Italian Designer/Brand. The association has also partnered with Istituto Marangoni on The Gaze of The Future Fashion Film Contest, which will set an evening for the screening of films by emerging talents as well as a conversation, giving advice on pursuing a career in the industries as a young creative.

This year’s jury is lead by Giorgio Armani, and features fashion and art industry executives such as photographer Cass Bird; founder of Brazilian brand Osklen, Oskar Metsavaht; top model and human rights activist Waris Dirie; founder and creative director of Petronio Associates Ezra Petronio; actress, creator and producer Cristiana Captondi; Artistic Director of Pirelli HangarBicocca Vicente Todoli; Fashion Critic Angelo Flaccavento and Vogue Japan Editor-at-large Sissy Vian.  

Apart from the screening of films, additional festivities will also include conversations discussing topics such as Independent Publishing from a Female Point of View and issues surrounding female rights and female genital mutilation and a special screening of The Times of Bill Cunningham — a film directed by Mark Bozek honouring the memory of the later fashion photographer Bill Cunningham. The four day event will then conclude with the Italian premiere of Peter Lindbergh: Women’s Stories, a film directed by Jean-Michel Vecchiet documenting some of the works of the iconic fashion designer who recently passed away while some of his muses including Naomi Campbell, Astrid Lindbergh, and Helga Polzin discuss his legacy. For more information about the festival visit Fashion Film Festival Milano.

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Marni Pop Folk Market

Last April during Milan Design Week, Italian brand Marni presented a line of bags, furniture and design objects in their signature show space. 

This week the brand has finally put these objects on sale via what they dub their online Pop Folk Market. With a series of colour combinations featuring their Crochet bags (in cotton & wool) , Hammock Bags,  iconic striped bag and an introduction of their Fish Bag in a fluorescent shade, the house has created a visual story as they embark on a road trip filled with the characteristics of colour, humour and personality. Each of the pieces included in the collection is said to be a unique creation handcrafted by their long term Columbian artisans using the meticulous artisanal process of the local traditions. All the pieces from Marni Pop Folk Market are currently available at Marni.com

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A chat with Julie De Libran on her Matches Fashion collaboration

Julie De Libran is a French designer known for her work leading design houses like Prada, Versace and Louis Vuitton. Her speciality has always been the craft of creating unique made-to-measure womenswear pieces that allowed the wearer to feel a level of individual elegance. On her latest venture, De Libran has partnered with London based luxury retailer Matches Fashion on the launch of an inaugural collection. The collection, which marks the launch of her brand, includes a line of red-carpet gowns made from limited edition archive fabrics. Each gown was given a name of the different female personalities who inspired them including Sofia, Charly, Brigette , Gaia, Gilda, Julia, Jones, Blue Bird, Alexia, Martine, Eve and Nancy. 

The designer worked in collaboration with Matches Fashion to create 7 ready to wear pieces and 7 made-to-measure dresses which will be specially created for each client. On the occasion of the launch, Twin had the chance to have a quick chat with the designer about her latest collection. 

Would you call yourself a feminist in some way? 

No , I am a woman, I respect women and I am inspired by women. I am a feminist like all women without the political connotation. 

Each dress in the collection has a name/story, what is it the general idea of each of the names ? What do they mean to you? 

Each name is a person that inspires me she is real or made up. I like designing for women thinking of where they are going, what they like, their passions, their character and how a dress can influence this character or be a character of its own. 

Why did you think evening wear was the best vessel to tell these stories?

I feel a dress is something you cherish it’s one piece you can put on and you are dressed. You can dress it up or dress it down depending on your accessories. It’s timeless, it’s a memory of an important moment like listening to a piece of music that is full of memories. 

What percentage of the fabric used from this collection was recycled ? 

More than 60 percent the rest are made from limited embroidered materials made to measure so only made when ordered without waste. 

What do you hope for a client when they purchase and wear one of these dresses ?

I hope she feels comfort, freedom of movement, elegance, strength, feels it’s timeless, will cherish her dress and then pass it down to the next generation. 

Julie De Libran’s collection is now available online Matches Fashion

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Mixed Feelings – an exploration of the impact of our digital habits , a chat with author Naomi Shimada

Social media is the most powerful, disruptive and exciting tool to have come into the world in the last decade. It’s role in our lives has drastically changed too, as we lean into its complex system of absorbing information, embracing likes, tracking follows and sharing bits of ourselves.

Two people extremely well placed to grapple with the complexities of this landscape are Naomi Shimada and Sarah Raphael. Having both grown with the internet,  and felt the power and possibilities that the digital landscape presented, they’ve distilled their thoughts and experiences into a new book, Mixed Feelings. Bringing together diverse voices and ideas, the result is an insightful take on the most pressing issue of our time. How do we live together, openly, imperfectly and harmoniously in this digital age? 

We caught up with Naomi Shimada to discuss their work. 

Why did it feel like now was the time to write Mixed Feelings?

We were feeling this overwhelming sense that this conversation needed to happen on a larger scale. For millennials, the internet and social media are the things that affected our lives in the biggest way. It’s changed the way we work, love, travel, exercise, eat! It’s drastically changed how we live and there’s bound to be some fallout because of that. The fallout is mostly an emotional one.  To have a smartphone and be using social media almost undoubtedly means you have mixed feelings about it. There is this overwhelming feeling I can feel in the air and see in peoples’ eyes that things can’t go on like this as they are. Everyone we spoke to, so many conversations I overheard, wherever I went in the world, someone was talking about something that happened via social media, where it’s something they saw or did themselves that made them feel some type of way!

 How have your relationships with social media changed since you started  using it?

More than anything I’m more conscious of how I try to manage my time on it. I know when I want to be quiet and when I feel like being more active. I’m more aware of the feelings it triggers and try to give myself what I need. Also I feel less affected by the pedestal culture it can often create. There are so many things we can’t see in a photo, I really understand now that just because something looks good, doesn’t mean it is good. And it’s been a good reminder that we shouldn’t all be yearning after the same things in life, success shouldn’t look formulaic to all of us. We are all on different paths and it’s important to remember that amid everything we see on social media. 

Do you feel like it’s possible to have a naive / carefree relationship with social media today, or does it have to be conscious and curated?

I think that question is more a lot to do with who you are as person and what you’re using social media for! I think if you use it mainly for work or as a portfolio etc than probably using it in a more curated way makes sense for you. I’m all about doing what you feel is best for you!

How do you think social media impacts our friendships and relationships in real life, for the better, and for the worse?

I don’t think it’s black and white like that. It’s been a super powerful tool for connecting with people for me. Some of those digital connections have turned into some of my deepest IRL friendships so I definitely don’t discount the power of a relationship that starts online, but it can be confusing sometimes when social media is so made to be so much about social capital. We can also use our profiles to curate and create a version of ourselves that doesn’t necessarily mirror who are in real life and that’s tricky terrain to navigate. We are also a generation that has so many aquaintances and less deep friendships. I think just being aware of what kind of friendships you want and what kind of friend you are or want to be to others online as well as in real life is a grounding place to start. 

What has been the most exciting thing about creating this book for you both?

It’s been really powerful to just create a space to have and try to encourage really honest and vulnerable conversations. Social media is so often a place of pretence and projection, so we wanted to make something that was the antithesis of that. We wanted to make something that you had to put your phone down to absorb and think and sit with. 

What was the biggest learning / take away from the process of creating the book?

That even though our book was focused on our emotional habits around social media, what we were really writing about, was the human condition. That all of these complexities that we’re talking about, all these feelings, are innately human but are just amplified by social media! 

Although it’s entitled mixed feelings, is there a clear takeaway that you want to leave readers with?

That you aren’t alone in these feelings. This technology in the grand scheme of things is so new we don’t really understand what it’s doing to our brains yet, as we don’t have the research. We don’t pretend to have the answers but we’re hoping by sharing our experiences it makes other people feel more free and less ashamed about these feelings we so often feel in isolation, alone on our phones. Let’s just be honest and agree that so much of how social media makes us feel and make us do – is weird man! 

Based on what people have contributed to the book and your own thinking, do you think our relationship with social media is going to change any time soon?

I don’t think this technology is going anywhere, our lives are only becoming more and more intertwined. These apps are designed to make us addicted, and the more time we spend on them the more tech companies can gain from us financially. So if we want the internet and social media to change, we have to change. We have to be more aware about how things make us feel and from then decide what kind of role you want it to keep playing in your life. If we want it to grow up we have to grow up ourselves.

 Mixed Feelings: Exploring the Emotional Impact of our Digital Habits by Naomi Shimada & Sarah Raphael (Quadrille, £16.99) is out now 

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The Woven Exhibitionist by MWoven & Peter Tomaszewicz

Recently, London based sustainable fashion brand MWoven  by Martina Spetlova joined forces with motion graphics director Peter Tomaszewicz on the creation of an interesting short film titled “The Woven Exhibitionist.” The film is an exploration of the possibilities of hyperreal surrealism with a direct focus on colourful outbursts of shapes and spaces. The creatives’ intentions were to create a film that would evoke pleasant feelings of suspense, all while exploring the designer’s signature weaving techniques that come with an added touch of arms sensations. 

It begins in a minimal ambiguous space, an then further continues to reveal the unexpected artistry behind the techniques using colour and shapes. 

“The project includes reflections of the unseen, inflatable articles, liquid forms and unexpected movements that would transition the viewer with the guidance of the vigorous sound to the routes of “The Tree Of Woven”, an archetype of a paradise in which these objects represent the pinnacle of innovation and ultimate desire,” read the press release. View the full video below.

Motion design director – Peter Tomaszewicz

MWoven designer – Martina Spetlova

Sound – Austin from Snapped Ankles

Production and communications director – Christiana Perdiou

Digital textile assets by FBFX Digital:

Photogrammetry – Jack Rothwell

PBR Texture Creation – Anastasiya Honchar

Zbrush Artist – Chris Everritt

3D Artist – Giovanni Manili

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Rihanna set to release visual autobiography

In the world of pop culture, Rihanna is one of the three names that sits on the thrones of the holy trinity of modern day female music, alongside Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj. 

The Bajan singer’s story is one known and celebrated by many: having officially moved from Barbados to the US at just the age of 17, she soon signed with Def Jam Recordings and released her first hit single Pon De Replay as a part of her debut album Music of The Sun (2005), and the rest was history. Since then the artist’s image has gradually evolved and she has managed to keep the attention of the public as we all watched in fascination, as she transformed into the Good Girl Gone Bad (2007) with singles like Umbrella and not long after officially established her status as a sex symbol with songs like We Found Love from her album Talk That Talk. Today the artist is a proud recipient of 9 Grammy Awards , 12 Billboard Music Awards, 6 Guinness World Record and many others, and is the owner of billion dollar fashion operations like Fenty Beauty & Savage X Fenty. 

All of this journey and much more is set to be documented with intimate moments from her life and creative journey in the artist’s first visual autobiography published by Austrian publisher Phaidon Press. With 504 pages and over 1,000 images that include shots from her childhood in Barbados, to intimate family moments, iconic fashion moments and worldwide tours, the 15 pound book portrays the artist as the musician, performer, designer and entrepreneur we know and love. 

“I am so excited to share this collection of incredible images. I’m very grateful to the talented photographers and artists who contributed. We’ve been working on the book for over five years and I’m really happy to be able to finally share it with everybody,” commented Rihanna. 

The book will officially be released on October 24th, and will also be available in three luxury editions as a collaboration with artists The Haas Brothers: “This Sh*t Heavy” that will include a custom designed bookstand inspired by Rihanna’s hands; The Luxury Supreme Edition (already sold out) that has been signed by Rihanna, includes a special matte black book cover and a specially designed 18-carat gold coloured bookstand; and The Ultra Luxury Supreme edition (already sold out) includes the special matte black cover and a custom marble bookstand.  Secure your copy at TheRihannaBook.com

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