Arthur Arbesser SS19: A Celebration of Disharmony

For his Spring Summer 2019 collection Viennese designer Arthur Arbesser chose to embrace the concepts of the finished product along with the process in a collection which explored these two notions in a unified manner.

Arbesser often revisits his hometown for inspiration, however this season the designer looked towards Italian sculptor Fausto Melotti to further influence the collection. Melotti’s work often mirrors qualities of humanity in ways which are mathematical and geometric while still inducing harmony. This is quite similar to the making of a garment. Arthur used the concepts of rhythm and abstract within Melotti’s work to craft a collection of colourful patterns and textures architected in ways which framed the body as an art form. The designer imagined his ideal woman to be,  “a woman who works in a studio with clay and gets her hands dirty, but isn’t afraid to go out at night and have fun.” The collection also held an abundance of pattern,  jackets, skirts and pyjamas  often carried several panels of print, which in some ways were similar to Melotti’s work of swirls and stripes. Also notable were the uniquely formed earrings which hung from the body like mini-sculptures. The designer’s celebration of disharmony shed light on the beauty of imperfection and non-symmetricality in a perfect polished kind of way.

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Marni’s Mattress Recipe

For Marni’s spring summer 2019 collection creative director Francesco Rizzo invited his audience in bed as he presented a collection which celebrated the importance of human touch. Rizzo imagined a designer’s world where the clothing was all handcrafted as opposed to being manufactured, similar to the world of a painter or chef.

The collection glorified the inaccuracy of an artist’s hand in a way which highlighted the creative process. It was about that aha moment in the studio where the fabric is draped on the dress form with pins and tape and the light hits it and the character comes alive. The moment before the finished hems and tightened seams,  or as he said, “a journey from the white of the rough canvas to colour, seasoned with prints and embellishments.”  Vivid splashes of colour were complemented by prints of the human form along with draped skirts, finger painted patterned coats and skirts. Each piece of jewellery was crafted to mimic leaves and miniature versions of the female form. It was just the right balance between artistry and commerciality while still keeping in mind a very playful Marni signature. It might be safe to say the designer at Marni is just the perfect pairing. He has caught his stride on the path of equilibrium for high sales while still withholding the characteristics poetry and craftsmanship.

Marni SS19 seating

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Apparently, God Can’t Destroy Streetwear

Last Saturday evening, creative director  of Milan based label GCDS Giuliano Calza brought forth a show which in fact might have lent truth to the components of the aptly-comprised acronym — God Can’t Destroy Streetwear.  Out of all the shows of the season, this was a gathering of the most diverse group of audience members, that which included fashion editors,  journalists, all types of hardcore streetwear enthusiasts along with a few Italian celebrities . All surrounded by GCDS branded vending machines , accessories and signs , all apart of the inspiration behind the SS19 collection labeled The Futuro Beach.

Upon initial sighting, the first few pieces which strutted took some getting used to. They left a taste in one’s mouth which made you unsure of wether it was a collection to enjoy or one to scrunch your face at in disgust. However upon further analysis, that taste began to simmer and one began to realize that it is nothing but vodka, and that this, was a party.

The designer aimed to give forecast on a new era, one where he says is not only about aliens and plastic material, but quality and craftsmanship. “I wanted to talk to young people and to get them thinking about the future, plastics water shortage and the environment. Full sustainability is impossible and I wanted this show to be a wakeup call.”

Three breasted women in midriff tops, transparent vinyl dresses, highlighter pink hair,  telephone handsets and fruits which hung like jewellery were all ornaments which  complemented a collection of streetwear.  The brand’s collaboration with Pokémon inspired animated sandals, character appliqué which strung a fun cartoonish feel  throughout the collection. Although streetwear might have been rumoured to be dead earlier this year, Giuliano’s ability to put on a show might have just landed him the title of the ringmaster and at his feet sits  quite a roaring audience.

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Ashish SS19: reflection and sparkle

Ashish’s SS19 show at London Fashion Week came at a poignant time in India’s history. The country voted to decriminalise homosexuality at the beginning of September, a historic vote which marks a hugely significant new era. 

While this event wasn’t directly referenced in the collection by the Indian-born British designer – famous for his commanding statement slogans which have previously included the iconic ‘Immigrant’ t-shirt and upbeat messages such as ‘You Are Much Lovelier Than You Think’.  In this collection, the pain of the past and the joy for a new and more inclusive future instead permeated the ether. 

For SS19 Ashish Gupta amped up his signature statement sequins and offered plenty of 90s inspired bias cuts. For a look that has such disco connotations, Ashish managed to communicate a grunge-y, undone-ness in these looks. It felt less like a means of escaping from reality and less of a celebration of living in the now.

Ashish has previously used his designs to draw attention to the crises that pervade our times. This collection offered a dazzling moment of stillness – sequins as mirrors for reflection and pause. 

Twin contributor Alexandra Waespi documents behind the scenes and the best looks at the SS19 Ashish show.

Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine

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Fashion East SS19 Showcase

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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Sadie Williams’ glittering future

For SS19, Sadie Williams brought her signature combination of feminine sparkle and defined, futuristic prints together for a banging new take on womenswear.

The designer has developed her visual new code to offer confident emblems of empowered femininity. For SS19 Williams riffed on 1970s styles and went big on texture. Both felt controlled and new rather than repetitive or chaotic. This was thanks to razor sharp tailoring which drew outfits together crisply. Cinched silhouettes also fuelled the definition, while wide flat pleats or skirts added to the triumph.

With its metallic baker boy caps, sparkling laces and statement nails, the collection invites the wearer to bring their own sense of humour and play to the looks. Never didactic, Williams nevertheless is clear on where she wants to go. And without a doubt, we’re all going to follow. 

Twin photographer Alexandra Waespi captures behind the scenes at Sadie Williams SS19. 

Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin

Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin

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Fendi’s ‘Play Me’

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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What you need to know from Stockholm Fashion Week


The summer months were once quiet for the fashion industry. Nowadays, the cycle of fashion shows continues throughout the summer with editors making visits to Helsinki, Berlin, Madrid, Copenhagen, and Oslo. Stockholm Fashion Week is the last stop on the summer tour, though by no means the least important.

Sweden boasts an impressive group of designers who are adept at offering singular sartorial ideas. Some have been in the game for 25 years while others’ experience hasn’t quite reached 5.

“The fashion week just ended here in Stockholm, and the interesting thing is that there is so many new and gifted talents that are showing here,” shared designer Ida Klamborn. “I would say there is a new generation of Swedish brands that are doing something interesting and pushing the Swedish fashion industry forward.”

Read Twin’s highlights from Stockholm Fashion Week this season.

Filippa K

Filippa Knutsson founded her brand Filippa K in Stockholm in 1993. In the 25 years she’s been in business she effectively placed the streamlined, minimalist aesthetic, and Scandinavian fashion, on the map. 

With stores in Sweden, Belgium, and the United States, amongst others, Knutsson is undoubtedly one of the tentpole fashion names drawing the international attention to the Swedish capital.

However, Knutsson isn’t one for theatrics. Her Spring 2019 show took place in an informal setting. Models completed a procession against a blank backdrop, posing individually for groups of attendees. The consolidated womenswear and menswear outing demonstrated why countless individuals choose her work. It’s not about groundbreaking ideas or revolutionary propositions—sometimes, once deftly executed, an airy jacket in neutral shades of dove, clay, and taupe, or crisp white trousers, can be considered a radical statement.

Filipa K | SS19 collection

Stina Randestad

“My collection has a starting point in exploring and combining materials. The material comes first letting it decide the form of the garment,” explained Stina Randestad over email. The Stockholm-based designer presented her MA collection from the Swedish School of Textiles show at the school’s on-schedule group show. “The work, therefore, positions itself in the intersection of textile and fashion design, and shows an example of how a different design process can generate an interesting result.”

The designer’s use of colour was sublime. A juxtaposition between acidic brights and sober tonal hues. Meanwhile manipulated silhouettes and structures produced a mesmerising effect. Randestad belongs to a generation of designers willing themselves to express their creativity in an unconventional fashion. 


“The dream would be to continue making showpieces for special people on special occasions. I don’t know if that would be called a brand really? I want my future to be flexible,” Randestad said when asked about her future, adding: “One week I make a showpiece for a performance, and the next month I drop a small collection of printed shirts and then a collaboration with an interior brand.”

Stina Randestad

Amaze x NH(O)RM

Mathilda Nilsson and Hanna Rudebeck founded their label NH(O)RM in 2011. Like Randestad, they’re alumnae of the Swedish School of Textiles. For Spring 2019, the pair adopted an unconventional approach by partnering with the creative platform Amaze. 


Silk scarves were transformed into dresses, striped shirting was reimagined as decadent gowns while bicycle shorts were positively Elizabethan in aesthetic. The brand reworked the tropes of traditional beach dressing, making it into something subversive and transferable.

The show was a jubilant display of body positivity, racial diversity, stature, and composition. It turned the conventional runway on its head. In a way, it felt like Sweden’s answer to Eckhaus Latta, which is as much an inspired artful movement as it is a fashion house. 

Amaze x NH(O)RM

Ida Klamborn

Ida Klamborn’s millennial-centric collection was another belonging to the set of shows who dispelled the default, perfectly-packaged Scandinavian lifestyle trend of polished silhouettes, clean lines, and tonal hues with an amalgamation of colour and texture.

For Spring 2019, she issued a colourful proclamation on summer dressing. Replete with jewel tones and abbreviated hemlines, Klamborn’s rendition of influencer-friendly, festival-ready clothes wouldn’t feel out of place on Kendall Jenner’s Instagram feed for all its silky separates and feathered frocks felt in line with the current iteration of youthful, feminine dressing.

As the designer explained: “I have always been interested in clothes as a kind of language. When I was a kid I was quite shy, so through clothes I could express myself without words. It was like a safe and fun space. This season it was about the ‘conflicted princess.’ I wanted to do new and more dynamic version of my childhood memories of those quite flat dimensional princesses from movies.”

Ida Klamborn | Photo: Mathias Nordgren

Stand

Stand is one of the many contemporary Scandinavian brands vying for the attention of the international fashion pack. The brand closed out the three-day event at the Grand Hotel. Founded by Nellie Kamras in 2014, the brand’s focus is on accessibility, bringing the use of leather to an audience at a lower price. In recent years, the designer has added cashmere, fur, faux fur and wool to the mix to create a tactile experience. One glance at the show and it becomes clear Kamras is seeking satisfaction beyond the whims of Instagram trends, she’s searching for enduring wardrobe staples.

In the case of Kamras, staples doesn’t mean minimalism. At Stand a snakeskin peacoat or a geometric-print yellow faux fur coat is as relevant as, say, a manila-hued shirt or black leather trousers. In parts, the use of leather was a tad excessive for the summer season, especially for the customer who experiences a sweltering June, July or August. And as an increasing number of major designers move away from the use of fur, the ethical issues around fabric choices may yet prove a challenge for the brand.

Stand | Photo: Mathias Nordgren

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Stockholm Fashion Week Show and Casting Review

On her subsequent return to Stockholm fashion week, photographer and writer Sarah Jane Barnes set out to review new designers, encounter previously unseen brands, get honest feedback and most importantly shed some light on the choices of casting at one the leading Fashion Weeks of Northern Europe.

Jewellery Designer, Marian Nilsdotter chose to go her own way, communicating her vision through an intergalactic display of electro music and harpist amidst laser lights beside creeping smoke it was matched by a choreography of models that moved like celestial beings. The show ended in a crashing silence that enabled the audience to photograph the models posed as the army of angels they were. Nilsdottor uses jewellery as a medium to depict her universe of surrealist fantasy, with her careful approach to materials, all pieces are artisan produced.  Her work is characterized by symbolic figures using precious metals, stones, and pearls to tell her story. This was the most well-presented show of the season, a true piece of theatre. The casting was inclusive and representative of a diverse Sweden. 

Marian Nilsdotter SS19 

At Lazoschmidl, the Swedish-German menswear brand established models Fillip Roseen & Carl Hjelm Sandqvist led the show. Fillip experiencing well-earned success as the star of Missoni’s current campaign brought a definite international presence to the lineup. Carl a musician who tours as the frontman of rock band Tellaviv proved himself to be a multitasker by not only walking the show but managing the hip soundtrack as D.J in between looks. The collection was a combination of sparkling lurex knitwear and iridescent sequins. This loungewear look brought humour to the table via the added layering of crop tops featuring childlike depictions of teddy bears and monsters. Overall this self-entitled ‘playdate’ collection was clearly Missoni inspired by the patterns alone, the similarity was uncanny. Founded by Josef Lazo and Andreas Schmidl, the brand has a penchant for design that subverts gender norms. Initially creating made to measure garments, they traded via social shopping company Tictail before partnering with American retailer Opening Ceremony. With a target demographic of carefree party boys, they have gained a strong following in the New York club scene. 

Fillip Rosen for Lazoschmidl SS19| Photo by Peter Hakansson

Soft Goat a commercial brand with proven international sales and accessible price point showcased cashmere loungewear styled in a refreshingly non-commercial way. Rich tones of colour supported by attractive shapes were displayed with a cultivated sense of streetwear modus operandi. Using the internet as the only distribution channel the brand is able to keep prices low with quick turnover. Building a brand with a sense of social responsibility they support Project Playground, an organization that works to provide aid to vulnerable young people in South Africa.

Celebrity favourite Jennifer Blom launched her brand in 2010, this season she continued her red carpet style with flawless precision, presenting flowing dresses of pale and hot pink tones, as well as more classic mint and blue shades. With a focus on femininity and glamour alongside her way of reading the female body, she created a stunning collection. The graduate of Sweden’s prestigious Beckmans College of Design practises sustainable production by using Italian and U.K farmed silk as her main material. 

Jennifer Blom ss19 | Photo by Peter Hakansson

Camilla Thulin’s casting choices were both socially aware and politically aligned. With a roster of actresses, personalities and academics including Sara Danius this became a fine display of age equality. A charitable collaboration with Sara, in particular, led to the creation of a limited edition silk blouse. The pattern of which shows a clenched fist symbolizing women’s liberation. This in aid of GAPF, a non-profit women’s charity working against honour-related violence and oppression was modelled by Sara with discernment. In a time when gender issues are debated more than ever, Camilla Thulin remains strong in her feminine expression stating “My goal is for all women, regardless of age or size, to feel strong and beautiful.” Having founded her company in 1992 Camilla is a long-standing name in the industry. She is famously known for having created Malena Ernman’s gown worn at the Eurovision Song Contest at a whopping cost of 400,000 kroner (over €37,000).

Presenting at Fashion Week for the first time, Stylist and Costume Designer Salem Fessahaye was on fine form. This debut show, a family affair with friends both walking and in attendance was almost entirely non-caucasian cast. Her designs maintain an interesting mix of streetwear and couture showcasing asymmetric hems on sublime gowns alongside oversize suiting. These suits similar in design to zoot suits, a style popularised by African Americans in the 1940’s were striking. Her styling pedigree recognized through work with global clients including Adidas, Nike and David Beckham was apparent. The atmosphere was electric throughout resulting in a standing ovation from the full house. Runway photographers unable to capture the elusive finale designer shot accepted defeat, after pleas to audience members blocking the usual line of sight were left unheard. 

Designer Salem Fessahaye

From initial inspection, Ivyrevel appears to be a typical commercial brand, however, attending the show I was delighted to see otherwise. Happening upon a new path under the creative direction of Sebastian Hammarberg, business is on point. Colourful and sexy pieces owned the runway, featuring styling nods to Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums and Studio 54, the show was opened and closed with undeniable finesse by Sapitueu Jeng. Meeting with Sebastian later that day it was clear how ingrained his work ethic is. Overseeing every inch of the show production this season he had left nothing to chance, unafraid of last-minute change. With this true determination for the future, he has the capacity alongside founder Dejan Subosic to lead Ivy Revel to a broader audience beyond the domestic market. 

Ivyrevel SS19 | Photo courtesy of Fashion Week in Stockholm

During my trip, I met two of Sweden’s auspicious modelling talents Anab Mohamed Abdullahi and Sapiteu Jeng both signed to Stockholm’s Mikas Agency. Anab’s family hail from Somalia, whilst Sapiteu’s parents are Gambian. Each maintaining a strong presence across the show lineup this season I was interested to learn of their casting experiences in Sweden and more specifically Stockholm fashion week. Anab although positive diversity was slowly improving was clear to inform me of her previous encounters, “They made us feel it was a competition because they only took one black model per show. After castings during my third season, most of the designers wanted to book me. Later my booker told me they cast another model but not me also because they didn’t want two black models. So, in the end, I only walked one show and I was the only model of colour in it.” Working for Sale Fes this season light was cast upon her hopes for the future “For the first time, I felt like other designers may open their eyes and see there is nothing wrong with many models of colour in the same show.” Sapiteu defining her observations expressed “Right now it feels like everyone is just focused on looking diverse without actually understanding what that really means. Hiring one or a few coloured models doesn’t make your company diverse.  Even though there is still much work to be done by the agencies, casting agents and brands, I can see a change.”

Anab Mohamed Abdullahi for By Malina | Photo courtesy of Fashion Week in Stockholm

I also spoke with Ken Gacamugani who walked for three of this year’s graduates from the Swedish School of Textiles, Helga Lára Halldórsdóttir, Dick International and August Gille. Ken originally from Burundi in East Africa was signed to the Sunrise Agency after been scouted on Instagram earlier this year. Sunrise founded by Beckman College graduate Matilda Dahlgren in 2018 is a street casting agency with the objective to offer a less normative selection to clients through diversity in size and race. Ken explained his findings of casting in Sweden “They always look for the skinny, tall, white models, the blond and blue-eyed, throwing in 5 black models to call it diversity. But Sweden doesn’t look like this anymore. It is 2018, Sweden is a rich multicultural country with generations of immigrants. I feel that these fashion shows and the industry should represent that. There is a whole world of diversity beyond those boundaries we should normalise and appreciate.”

Model Ken Gacamugani

As touched upon by Sapiteu there is more work to be done. With power comes responsibility and the hope those who attain it will make future choices without bias or tokenism.   

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The Relaunch of Prada’s Linea Rossa

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

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

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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Azaadi by Misha Japanwala

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

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

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

“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

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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Akemi’s 100 Kimonos, by Emily Stein

In a new series of images, photographer Emily Stein creates portraits of Akemi and her kimonos. A celebration of traditional clothing and heritage set in a modern British environments.

Emily Stein explains the story behind her bright and celebratory new series. 

Akemi has lived in the UK for twenty years, however her heart is truly rooted in her home country of Japan and this manifests itself in her extensive Kimono collection.  As I got to know her she explained to me how she came to London in search of a safer place for her and her young daughter. She explained how in Japan women are sexually harassed frequently and how she grew up being taught to obey men. She felt she had no voice or way of expressing herself.

Each Kimono has a story to tell about her past which she is emotionally connected to.

Her kimono collection is a way for Akemi to be close to certain parts of what she loves about her heritage. Her collection of 100 beautiful pieces feels like an extension of her.

She always dresses in Kimono’s. I felt like it would be a lovely story to tell.

© Emily Stein
© Emily Stein
© Emily Stein

© Emily Stein

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Show moments of sunlight, Twin meets Cecilie Bahnsen

While sports and athleisure wear dominate the market, Cecilie Bahnsen’s work is unabashedly feminine and dream like. Her aesthetic feels rooted in optimism and possibility rather than perfunctory practicality.

Bahnsen’s romantic, sculptural forms have garnered a wide and loyal following and made her a name to know in the international fashion scene.

The new PS19 images, shot by Josefine Seifert, feel straight out of Peter Weir’s original 1970s’s Picnic At Hanging Rock. Photographs capture youth and a sense of freedom while also hinting at a the lurking, more sinister reality that’s never too far away.

Ahead of Copenhagen Fashion Week Twin talks to Cecilie about the evolution of her signature designs and finding inspiration in Eton collage for her PS19 collection. 

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

What about volume interests you?

I love how you can play with a great volume and yet make it feel light. We love to use the dresses as a canvas to show off the beautiful textiles and materials we develop, so for the volume, the bigger the better. I am not that good at ‘less is more’.

Were you always drawn to romanticism in clothes? Why?

I have always been drawn to femininity and a romantic way of dressing. I am a big sucker for romance, I fast-forward movies to the romantic scenes. I do though, like the contrasts that can be drawn to romanticism as well, and I always try to bring in some modernity and Scandinavian minimalism to not get carried away.

Are you inspired by sculpture? If so, what are your favorite pieces?

I’ve always taken a sculptural approach when designing clothes and so I was thrilled when we, for the AW18 show and campaign could present the collection in a setting surrounded by sculptures made by the legendary Dan Graham. In some respects, our work is similar — we each create unique pieces that come alive through their interaction with people.

The sculptural influences are woven throughout FW18’s considered series of covetable dresses in a pared-back palette of black, white, pink and green. Billowing sleeves, full skirts and floaty hemlines are all meticulously constructed, a play of precision and lightness like you see it in Dan Grahams glass installations.

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

How do you feel that your silhouettes and aesthetic has evolved since you started?

The collections are always a study in fabric, texture, line and volume. Each season we refine and evolve the silhouettes, details and fabric to fit perfect with the seasons mood.

I think that with confidence and knowledge the level of each collection grow and the identity and the DNA of the brand get more defined.  This process is so inspiring and fascinating.

Often you can’t see the development or the progression when you are in the middle of the design process and you have a lot of self-doubt, but when you see the finished collection, looks and how everything has fallen into place, you sometimes get this Wow feeling of how beautiful it all has become.

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

Did you find it easy / natural to develop your design signature?

I think, what has now become my design signature, is something that naturally and slowly evolved from my first collections and throughout the last seasons. I like to re-use shapes and develop new ones by using my favorite features from previous design to give birth to new ones and in that way continue the collections, and pass on the DNA from dress to dress.

What have been the biggest challenges that you’ve encountered as you’ve launched and grown the label?

The speed that fashion moves in, makes it very hard to both have the time to be creative and to run a business. You need to be able to handle a lot of different jobs at the same time.

The fashion industry is moving very fast, and I don’t think it would harm anyone to slow down and consider how much we produce and be more aware of our production process. 

For me it has been really important to hold on to the design DNA and create beautiful timeless pieces that last longer than a season and hopefully will be cherished by the wear for a life time. 

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

 

What are your favourite materials to work with, and why?

Merging tradition with innovation, we work with manufacturers in Como, Italy, to design new textiles for each collection that offer a unique combination of style, sustainability and quality. 

Quilting reimagining one of the oldest couture techniques for the contemporary woman, our double-faced silk quilting is produced by our partners in Lithuania using textiles sourced in the UK. 

Our embroidery is created by hand for each garment, with a bespoke process based on traditional couture techniques that offers a unique, contemporary aesthetic. 

Each garment is handmade with traditional techniques, intricate detailing and uniquely designed fabrics to present a timeless expression of modern femininity. 

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

What were you interested in exploring for PS19?

The Pre-Spring 2019 collection is inspired by collective identity and the expressiveness and beauty of a group. The inspiration is a combination of the femininity and innocent aesthetic of Japanese artist Osamu Yokonami’s photo series assembly, showing the beauty and strength of the collective entity, with the masculine contrast of the school uniforms worn by boys at Eton College.

The collection represents spring in its ability to show moments of sunlight through the subtle colours palette of yellow, lavender, black and white, combined with soft and sculptural silhouettes in light materials such as cotton poplin, silk, lace and transparent layering. 

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

How would describe modern femininity vs traditional femininity – is there a difference?

I like to draw inspiration from the romanticisms in traditional femininity, but I feel like modern femininity is much more about individuality, showing your personality and expressing yourself. I feel like it’s way more easy to feel feminine while dressing masculine. It’s way more complex and open for interpretation.

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

What are you excited about for Copenhagen FW this season?
There is always something special about Copenhagen fashion week in the summer, the entire city is buzzing with expectations and full of life. There is a very relaxed feel to it, people drink wine and arrive at the shows in puffy dresses on city bikes. I love that.

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

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Margaret Howell AW18 by Jack Davidson

Jack Davidson gets behind the lens for the Margaret Howell AW18 campaign. Shot in Farnham in Surrey images bring the best of Howell’s refined nostalgia and eternal relevance. Black and white portraits fuel the romantic lilt and emphasise the warm, elegant tailoring at the heart of the season’s collection.

Jack Davison for Margaret Howell AW18 campaign

Jack Davison for Margaret Howell AW18 campaign

Jack Davison for Margaret Howell AW18 campaign

Jack Davison for Margaret Howell AW18 campaign

Jack Davison for Margaret Howell AW18 campaign

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