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Gurls Talk x Coach Festival

21.06.2017 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Conversation-changing platform Gurls Talk and Coach have partnered up for powerful new festival, coming to London at the beginning of July. Throughout the day, the event will celebrate women in all their many and majestic facets, with the likes of Hari Nef, New Statesman columnist and fierce activist Laurie Penny and US Vogue contributor and relationship expert Karley Sciortino all joining to fuel debate and discussion around gender.

The event kicks off with a speech from Gurls Talk founder Adowa Aboah, who started the platform as a means of encouraging girls to speak more openly around issues of mental health and identity. Her ongoing commitment to activism has seen Gurls Talk grow into a formidable and vital organisation, offering a much needed space for young women to receive support and mentoring.

There will also be choreography classes from Wayne McGregor and a library by Claire de Rouen – and best of all, it’s free.

Gurls Talk x Coach Festival will take place 1st July, 12 – 6 pm at 180 The Strand, London 

 

 

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An exclusive look at Sies Marjan’s new Fall 1 editorial

14.06.2017 | Fashion | BY:

In fashion it’s increasingly rare for creative individuals to collaborate without a clear (usually financial) purpose. But to celebrate their Fall 1 collection, Sies Marjan‘s creative director Sander Lak paired up with photographer Roe Etheridge stylist Marie Chaix to create a new series which embraces art for art’s sake.

The idea was simply to celebrate the texture and silhouette of the designs, focussing on the heady combination of materials – Chukka loafers in nubuck leather, satin sweatshirts, metallic and tinsel details – and the way in which they interact.

Sander Lak commented: “I always like the idea of not having an agenda or goal and just come together with talented people and create stuff. Sometimes all the projects and shoots and lookbooks and presentations that are scheduled for various goals are a creative killer. We work on them just to get them done in time… This project was very much about rejecting that idea. Not having a clear final purpose really freed us up creatively and ended up being so helpful with putting the show together a few months after this shoot.”

Twin was given an exclusive teaser of the new editorial, check out some of the images below.

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Cats & Plants

06.06.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

As simple as the title suggests, this new book from independent publishing house Zioxla is all of the internet clichés repackaged into something new, fun and fresh.

Featuring the work of Chicago-based artist Stephen Eichhorn, the book is a playful ode to one of the most familiar images in contemporary culture. There’s always something interesting about bringing Internet trends offline, and Eichhorn’s work offers a meta-read of what cats have come to stand for, taking what’s familiar and transforming it into something surprising.

While plants have been a constant recurrence in Eichhorn’s work, when he began working on this latest series of collages he decided to pursue images and references from niche publications only. This led to discovering and using images from publications such as Japanese cactus guide books and abstracted parts of Orchids.

Having started the project back in 2009, the 200-page tome is the culmination of years of work, with the honed, stylised graphic quality that has defined other work reflected here too. Cats eyes jump out of shells, blend with cacti and peek from behind coniferous leaves. Its’s funny, light-hearted and smart; we predict ‘Cats & Plants‘ will be your new obsession this summer.

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Fashion Flora at SHOWstudio

01.06.2017 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

In their latest exhibition, SHOWstudio offers a botanical paradise in which fashion illustrators and flowers combine for a refreshing presentation.

The exhibition brings together an array of works by renowned names including Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten and John Galliano. Curated by Flora Starkey, the best seasonal British flowers combine with these works, and films from SHOWstudio’s 17-year archive, to create a summery, fresh space in which audiences can explore the long-standing relationship between fashion and flowers.

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“Flowers have always been a huge influence and inspiration in the art of fashion design as well as a recurring theme throughout my own work.” Commented Nick Knight. “It is with great pleasure that I can announce the latest exhibition at the SHOWstudio Fashion Illustration gallery, ‘Fashion Flora’. The exhibition presents an explorative look at the use of flowers as a motif in fashion throughout the decades, as seen by 40 of the world’s preeminent contemporary fashion illustrators. Curated by Flora Starkey, who is one of the most exciting floral designers working today, the exhibition will also feature Flora’s beautiful flower arrangements.”

Fashion Flora is open at SHOWstudio now. 

 

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Opening up to the unknown: Twin meets artist Sarah Braman

22.05.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

Sarah Braman focusses on large-scale sculptures which interact with their surrounding environments. Born in New York, Braman has cultivated a distinct aesthetic which sees a melange of vibrant colours rendered in various materials – from perspex to scrap metal pieces. The resulting works offer captivating interplays between the private and the public, wherein exhibits invite an engagement with their surrounding space, as well as engendering emotional response. As her first solo show in London comes to a close this week, Twin spoke with Braman about creative spaces and finding the perfect object.

Your work is often large scale, and often involves familiar objects that you render unfamiliar through new juxtapositions – how do you decide what to work with?

I tend to work with what is around me, things I find at home or in the yard or on the road. I am a regular at the town dump and Salvation Army in my town. Sometimes I get a slow burn desire for a specific object and then I open my scanning to a larger periphery to try to find that thing. 

Do you feel an instinctive pull towards certain types of materials?   

Yes I have always had a love for transparency.  I guess light feels like such a gift and always changing and transparent glass or fabric allows that to do its magic. I also love everything about wood. I love its density, it’s colour. I love that when I paint on wood there is already a subject in it’s grain.  It is also true that in carving wood every piece is so different from every other. Even out of the same tree the different chunks have such a variety of qualities. And I like furniture and junk form day to day life. I like automotive parts because when they are taken in parts they work as much as pieces of architecture as the do pieces of cars or trucks.

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What has most surprised you when working? Do you often pair materials and see them in a wholly new light?

When I use a material or object and it transforms to something I don’t expect that is the best feeling. It doesn’t happen all the time but its part of why I keep making art, trying to get to those moments.

What stories and themes do you most enjoying telling or exploring in your work?

That is a really hard question. I feel like I work best when I am detaching from thoughts about what the work is or should be.  But to this same point my friend Pascal said to me recently this is an important time to take ownership of our choices.  This also seems true.  The truth is that I really don’t know what I am making, but that said; I do have desires and feeling of what I hope the work can be.  I really want the sculptures to operate as objects that exist on their own, not as metaphors or symbols or stand-ins for anything else.  I hope that the sculptures can lead the viewer into an experience that is truly abstract, that is, one that cant be described by words.  I hope that the viewer could some how be ungrounded in this experience and that while they may have feelings or thoughts looking at the piece that they are at the same time unable to tie all this together in a way that they can understand.  I guess this is all to say that I hope the work can open people up to the unknown, and more specifically, the unknown that exists in every moment of our lives.

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Who have you been most inspired by, for this exhibition and more generally throughout your career?

My mother built our house when I was about five years old.  I think the experience of watching her take down an old tabbacco barn and slowly build a house out of it has been one of the most inspirational experience in my life and in my art.  For sure being a mother and the inherent imperfection of the day to day of raising children paired with the absolute perfection of the love shared has been a guide for me in the studio.  This also is true for my relationship with Phil.  With him I think the deepest value is having someone that I feel completely safe with.  I think when I can have a place of comfort and faith to go to, it allows me to follow the work to the edge of what I understand, and get to a place that is maybe all wrong and fucked up.  After that I would say my involvement with CANADA and the artist that form that extended family.  Of course there are many artists from art history and contemporary art that influence and inspire me, but the proximity I have to the artists makes the effect and inspiration that much more intense. I could list a whole lot of artists and works of art if you think that would be helpful and interesting let me know and I will write back with that.

I’m interested in how you reconcile the more rigid space of a gallery with large-scale works. Do you feel that it inhibits the viewer’s ability to interact with them, or is it the reverse?

I hope that it draws people into an experience that is complex. Some people have said that they are intimidated at first by the presence of some of the larger works, but that as they start to walk around the pieces they get comforted by the humanity in the details and start to let down their guard and engage.

What is it about volume and scale that you enjoy? Do you begin each work with a smaller visualisation?

I almost never do small studies or small maquetts. When making large work I usually start directly with the materials/objects or use large sheets of cardboard or plywood if I am trying to work out the planes.  I think I am drawn to large scale because of the direct body experience when you are standing next to the sculpture. I like having the opportunity to surrender to the sculpture and I think the large scale helps move me towards that.

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You also established your own gallery. Given that you work so much with space and sculpture, did you seek to invest a kind of higher sense of art in the gallery itself, where each exhibitor played into   a relationship with the existing space, or do want artists to exhibit independently within the space?

The gallery was really my husband Phil Grauer’s idea. He invited a rag tag group of artists to join him in his vision. I was lucky enough to be in the vicinity at that time so I got swept up into it. It has been one of the great gifts of my life to be able to participate in his vision over the last almost 20 years.  Getting back to the question you are asking, we really try to let the artists steer the handling of the space in whatever way that they need/desire. I think if there is a larger creative desire underlying the gallery it has to do with creating a space for a web of artists to be in conversation with each other and who provide support and context for each other.

What are your future projects?

I just finished a large sculpture for a show at The Brant Foundation curated by my colleague, fantastic painter and friend Sadie Laska. It’s a small shack type structure that was made for a group of friends to play music in.  It’s also filled with books I have collected from the town dump.

I am just starting to work on a few outdoor sculptures.  One is for an exhibition organised by artist Matthew Day Jackson and is taking place in Jackson Hole Wyoming in time for the solar eclipse happening at the end of Aug.  Matthew has generously offered to fabricate the piece out there.  It is basically a glazed shipping container that is stuck in the ground at a slight angle.  It will also be a vehicle for music performance and makeshift reading room.  The other outdoor piece is for an exhibition of public sculpture at UMASS Amherst which is especially exciting for me because my son is in his final year of college there studying computer science.  And lastly I am working on a solo show for the fall for a wonderful dealer Linn Lehn in Dusseldorf Germany.

Sarah Braman is at Marlborough Contemporary, 27 Apr 2017 – 27 May 2017

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Marques’Almeida pops up for summer

18.05.2017 | Fashion | BY:

The M’A pop up shop is back! Just in time for summer the Portuguese duo will be bringing the best of their SS17 collections, as well as archival pieces, to the Old Truman Brewery.

Alongside the chance to snag staple summer pieces, attendees can also switch up their hair style courtesy of Keash Braids. There’s also the opportunity to dress up in M’A classics and be a part of the ‘#howdoyouwearyourMA’ series.

The Marques’Almeida pop-up shop is open Thursday 18th May from 3-8pm, and Friday and Saturday too, from 11-7pm.

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Watch Louis Vuitton Cruise 18 Show Live at Miho Museum, Kyoto

14.05.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Having previously taken Louis Vuitton to the desert in Palm Springs and the ocean in Rio, this year from Louis Vuitton’s Cruise 2018 show,Nicholas Ghesquiere will take audiences to the verdant surroundings of the Miho Museum in Kyoto.

Watch the Louis Vuitton Cruise 2018 show live through the player below.

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Setting a new agenda: Women In Fashion

06.05.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

With ample experience in the industry,  Lily More and Daisy Walker decided that it was time to address the issues around gender equality in the fashion industry. The aim is to empower women through community, creating a strong network for women and men to learn from, inspire and create a stronger industry together. Twin caught up with co-founder of Women in Fashion Daisy Walker to discuss issues around the male gaze, street casting and launching a dynamic new platform.

How did you two get to know each other, and what drove you to start ‘Women in Fashion’?

We met through a mutual friend when we were 19, far before either of us had any idea we’d end up in this industry.

Lily is a researcher for David Sims, and I am a photographer. Coming from very different sides of the industry we quickly found through conversations that we were already having that a lot of our experiences were similar, but that there were multi layered experiences that were specific to each part of the industry as well. We wanted to create a space that would allow these layers to be explored and shared with the aim of changing the negative aspects of an industry we love.

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What is the aim of the platform?

To provoke change through conversation and to make the industry accountable for it’s ways of working.

wWhat do you enjoy about street casting?

Street casting came out of necessity for me. I was looking at other fashion images and saw nothing of myself in them. These girls literally didn’t look like me or the people I knew. By using models from agencies I felt like I was contributing to a warped view on age, size and diversity that the whole industry was feeding into, which lead me instead to start street casting.

When you’re casting from agencies you’re casting a professional to turn up and act and behave a certain way. When casting someone you literally found on the street, or is a friend of a friend, there is no formal set up for how the day should go. There’s a level of closeness and trust you have to build very quickly with that person, and it’s that interaction, that honesty and that connection that I love.

Much like Women in Fashion, I’ve made lasting friendships through my casting and and it’s that drive for inclusivity and level of intimacy that drives me to continually cast outside of the agency system.

More than ever, with Instagram etc, image is central to how fashion is portrayed. How do you see photography shaping the conversation within the industry?

For me photography is a window into the concepts and ideas behind artists, and I think fashion photography is the only tangible and visible way that the industry can change perceptions and give a voice to niche experiences. It’s great to see that brands are reverting back somewhat to hiring photographers with a clear voice and message and the more those experiences are given a visual representation within the industry, the more space there is for that conversation to continue and evolve.

Do you think a women’s relationship with the camera has changed permanently now? How do you think men can navigate the stigma of the ‘male gaze’ while embracing a feminist narrative?

I don’t believe that anything is ever permanent, nor do I think we’ve necessarily reached any kind of goal in terms of the female gaze. The female experience is incredibly diverse, and ever evolving and the social landscape morphs, as well as our means of communication within it. What I do hope is that this wave of the female gaze continues to grow and move forward.

I think there’s huge scope for men to reappropriate the male gaze and offer new and fresh perspectives and continually strive to create work that is feminist. As fourth-wave feminism has opened up to the mainstream, perspectives are more readily available for feminist men to absorb and learn from. It’s the reason that Women in Fashion is not open to only women. We are open to all iterations of gender, specifically because we think that it is open conversation that allows better understanding, which leads to us all becoming better feminists and better allies.

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Thinking more generally about the industry, what are the biggest challenges that you perceive for ensuring greater diversity in the industry? How can we overcome them?

Often i find that diversity is hindered by sales. Clients and magazines are certainly becoming more aware of the need for diverse casting but at times are wary because they often experience a drop in sales. It’s an extremely painful truth, but one that lies in a history of brainwashing women to believe that white, tall and thin is the definition of beauty. The only way to overcome that is to push to saturate the industry with images that prove that is not the case.

Years of oppression can not be overturned overnight, but it’s important to remember that the images we put out today are the ones the next generation will be growing up with. And if they can learn the importance and beauty in diversity now; then they’ll be the next generation to buy into it.

Who are the women you most admire and who inspire you in fashion, and in culture more generally?

I’m a huge admirer of Vivienne Westwood. She was my first ever client and set the tone for me, personally. She came from humble beginnings and fought her way to success in an industry very much owned by men at the time. The industry is still run by men, and she still endures. She is ever evolving, always looking forward and always focused on exploring the role of gender.

Outside of the fashion world I am very inspired by Patti Smith and Arlene Grottfried. Their portrayal of relationships, in their own very distrinct ways, is lusty and ardent and far removed from the perfection often synonymous with that theme.

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What other female collectives do you admire, and who do you think is exciting in the industry?

Gal- Dem! We were interviewed alongside Liv recently and loved everything about her and what she’s doing!

In terms of individuals were excited about in the industry; Fern Bain Smith, Emma Hope Allwood, Sara McAlpine. These are all people who are working in the industry on their own terms and have a lust for questioning norms, for change and for promoting women. Really the greatest hope for a safer and more responsible industry is inclusivity and passion, and these girls are brimming over with it. They are all also Women in Fashion members!

Twin asked Women in Fashion to curate their favourite images as part of their Twin Instagram takeover. Check them out on our feed and below. 

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Rebecca Horn, 1974

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Ana Mendieta, Untitled (Silueta Series, Mexico), 1976

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Barbara Crane

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Dana Lixenberg

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Deborah Willis. Hank Pending, 2008

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Francesca Woodman

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Inside the Acne Archives

02.05.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Fans of Scandinavian brand Acne will have the rare chance to discover archive pieces in a pop-up shop this week. Running online only, the brand is offering access to classic pieces from collections past, with up to 75% off.

Having never really put a design foot wrong, there’s no such thing as a dud Acne piece, which makes getting in early on this imperative. Whether it’s a timeless biker jacket, pistol boots or statement sunglasses, these items are guaranteed to sell out fast. Sign up here to register, and delve inside the Acne archives while you can.

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Coco Capitán: ‘Middle Point Between My House and China’

28.04.2017 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Gucci collaborator and renowned photographer, Coco Capitán: is an artist who needs little introduction. The Spanish creator’s idiosyncratic eye and quirky slogans have commanded a legion of fans, with 75.6k Instagram followers and counting.

Having graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2016, the photographer has already racked up an impressive string of accolades: she has been a guest speaker for Cambridge University Photographic Society (2016), a member of the Jury for Hyères Fashion & Photography Festival (2016), and was awarded the Pho- tographers Gallery FF+WE Prize (2015).

And then there’s the fact that she’s working with one of fashion’s hottest luxury brands… Capitán’s collaboration for Gucci in February this year saw slogans such as ‘What are we going to do with all this future?’ and ‘Common sense is not so common’ etched across the brand’s sell-out logo tees. But for her latest project, a new book ‘Middle Point Between My House and China’, disenchantment takes a back seat in favour of the imagination.

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The book’s tittle is drawn from memories of the photographer’s childhood, in which she thought that if she dug deep into the ground she could tunnel to China. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Capitan found herself in the country itself – though via the more conventional route of air travel.

The book is therefore both an homage to her journey and the people she encountered on her travels, and to the experience of childhood. ‘China’ and ‘House’ can be understood in both the literal and figurative sense. As is noted in the press release, “‘China’ represented the desire to run away, the attainment of her goals; while ‘House’ was her present reality.” Coco adds, “I wanted to take images that would denote how I perceived China, my personal experience in the country and how I saw the people who were there”.

To mark this hotly anticipated release, Claire de Rouen will be hosting a signing at their London store. Head over on 9th May to snap up a copy of this must-have book.

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‘Middle Point Between My House and China’ by Coco Capitán is published by Maximilian William, and released in May 2017. 

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LOEWE Reignites Ibiza Love with New Collection

24.04.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Just in time for summer, LOEWE’s creative director Jonathan Anderson has teamed up with Matches to revive the legendary boutique, Paula’s Ibiza.

Inspired by his encounters with the boutique as a child, Anderson has sought to marry the bohemian spirit of Ibiza’s most iconic concept store (before there was such a thing) with Loewe’s luxury, Spanish heritage. The result is a dreamy capsule collection of bright pieces, printed with florals and inspired by Ibiza’s nature.

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For the collaboration Paula’s boutique founder, Armin Heinemann, donated original prints and designs from their archives, ensuring that the spirit of the original store is fully revived in this new collection. Heinemann first moved to Ibiza in the early 1970’s, and opened his boutique soon after. Until 2000, the store attracted a starry array of clients that ranged from Freddy Mercury to Valentino, amongst others.

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A long-time Anderson collaborator, photographer Jamie Hawkesworth shot the campaign with signature energy. The photographer dreamily captured the combination of glamour and creativity that informed, and informs, the legend of Paula’s.

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LOEWE Paula’s Ibiza collection will be available on matchesfashion.com from April 28th. 

 

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Orlando issue 2: ‘Discourse’ launch party

23.04.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Literature | BY:

Founded by Philomena Epps in 2014, Orlando is an online platform and print magazine that fuels and ignites conversation around feminism, gender and identity. With a view to championing women creatives and intellectuals across a range of disciplines, Orlando is both radical and inclusive; it’s about uniting individuals through conversation and community.

The forthcoming issue draws together a range of work around the theme of discourse. Contributors include Katherine Jackson, who in her essay ‘The Sculpture: Language, Industry and Art in the Work of The Artist Placement Group’ considers an ephemeral 1971 work by The Artist Placement Group, long-form poetry from artist filmmaker Keira Greene and an image-led essay from Althea Greenan, curator of the Women’s Art Library.

“The name itself is inspired by the transgressive protagonist of Virginia Woolf’s 1928 novel.” says Philomena. “In the text, Woolf drew on the androgynous body as a signifier for multiplicity, and to advance a narrative of mutual understanding and inclusion. Inspired by how androgyny functions in the story, Orlando operates in a similar way by eschewing binaries in favour of the united body.”

To mark the latest issue, Orlando will be hosting a launch party next week which will see various elements of the magazine brought to life. Expect readings and performances from many of the magazine’s contributors, as well as a complimentary copy of the latest issue.

Orlando issue 2 launch party takes place on May 3rd, buy tickets here

 

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More Than Oh-Kaye: Twin Meets San Fermin’s Lead Vocalist

21.04.2017 | Music | BY:

Those who write about Charlene Kaye often describe her as “a powerhouse” and “a machine” and it’s easy to see why. In between enjoying a successful solo career that has seen her release two albums and an EP, Honey last year, she’s also a lead vocalist for San Fermin. The Hawaii-born, New-York based singer joined the 8 piece band in 2014, and has since been crucial in weaving dreamy vocals over undulating synths and punchy melodies. With the release of ‘Belong’, San Fermin’s third album, we caught up with Kaye to talk about performance, growing as a band and solo recording.

How did you guys come together as a band?

I joined the band when they were already a fully operational touring enterprise, in the middle of touring their debut album. Ellis and Allen had been friends since they were teenagers and found everyone else in New York, and found me through a mutual friend. 

This the band’s third album, how do you feel that you’ve grown and developed in terms of your sound? 

When I first joined the band, it was challenging to get away from the thought that I was replacing three absolutely phenomenal singers – I would align my singing style to theirs, as they had originated the versions that people had first fallen in love with. As the band has progressed, I’ve felt more comfortable contributing my own interpretation and personality into Ellis’s vision for the music – mainly stage diving whenever I can, you know.

This has been described as the most personal album to date, how does it feel to vocalise someone else’s experience? 

Even though it’s Ellis’s songwriting, it feels personal to me as well. There have been moments onstage where it’s occurred to me that certain songs oddly align with my life and what I’m going through at the time.

You’re also a solo musician – do you prefer recording and performing in a group or alone?

If it’s my own stuff, I’ll often record my vocals at home in my closet! But I hate performing solo. That’s probably why I love our live shows so much, it’s just a giant group freakout on stage, and at this point we’ve spent so many thousands of hours together that the energy of friendship on stage is so strong, possibly just as potent as the music itself.

What’s your favourite track on the album?

 I had an intensely emotional response to the song “Palisades” when Ellis first played me the demo – it describes this Lord of the Flies-like scenario where the glow of youth is preserved forever, everyone you love staying young forever – and I just found it unbearably sad and beautiful. That and Oceanica are probably my favorite two songs on the record.

What are your plans for the rest of 2017, and what are you looking forward to?

I’m looking forward to touring this record, and in the meantime I have a lot of new music of my own in the lab I’m excited to release.

Belong is out now.

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The Craft of Couture with Mulberry and Burberry

19.04.2017 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

In recent years, luxury brands have proven to be increasingly keen on opening their doors to bring customers behind the scenes – think Dior & I or Chanel’s interactive exhibition at Saatchi Gallery. This year at London Craft Week, some of fashion’s most influential houses are going a step further and creating more intimate experiences. Audiences will gain unparalleled insight into how iconic pieces from luxury brands are made.

At Mulberry, their ‘Passion of Making’ event invites visitors to see craftsmen and craftswomen from the brand’s two factories in Somerset demonstrate the making of its iconic handbag styles in their flagship store on New Bond Street.

Similarly Burberry will embraces it’s tradition of craftsmanship with a series of events at their Regent’s Street store. Here customers can experience pivotal moments from the company’s 160-year history with help from Burberry archivist, and add one’s own unique handwritten design to Scottish-made cashmere scarves with the help of the renowned company’s artisan calligrapher.

These events and many others work to showcase the best of creativity in the capital, with over fifty four creative disciplines recognised and 200 events taking place throughout London Craft Week. With everyone from major names to rising stars taking part, DIY has never seemed so enticing.

 

Mulberry: The Passion of Making takes place Wed 3 – Sat 6 May, 10.00am – 7.00pm and Craft, Heritage & Personalisation at Burberry takes place Fri 5 and Sat 6 May, 10.00am – 8.00pm, Sun 7 May, 12.00pm – 6.00pm. No booking required. 

 

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Imagination Vacation: Escape with Louis Vuitton’s Objets Nomades

05.04.2017 | Culture | BY:

Drawing on their longstanding tradition of creating travel objects, Louis Vuitton have invited designers to reimagine furniture through the lens of journey and adventure for this year’s Objets Nomades collection.

Launched in 2012, the collection coincides with the start of Milan Design Week and this year sees the addition of two more renowned designers to the rostra, India Mahdavi and Tokujin Yoshioka. Other designers include Campana BrothersMarcel WandersAtelier Oï and  Patricia Urquiola. Each has contributed a piece, or pieces, inspired by iconic items from Louis Vuitton’s heritage collection such as the Bed Trunk of 1874, produced for French explorer Pierre Savorgnan.

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Contemporary objects in the collection range from supple rocking chairs by Marcel Wanders, to India Mahdavi’s side table, inspired by Middle Eastern nomadic hospitality to a lamp that holds light in a way reminiscent of how a Louis Vuitton bag contains a traveller’s belongings. Other highlights include Tokujin Yoshioka’s Monogram-pattern flower stool, Atelier Oï’s vintage swing chair and Marcel Wanders’ leather screen that references the House’s classic Monogram pattern.  

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The collection comes alongside the launch of Louis Vuitton’s ‘Spirit of Travel’ campaign for 2017, which sees Michelle Williams captured by Patrick Demarchelier. In fusing modern day design with a the brand’s rich travel heritage Louis Vuitton beautifully provides a segue between innovation and history, adventure and style.

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Lady Skollie Doesn’t Play By Anybody’s rules

26.03.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

South African artist Lady Skollie is a creative force to be reckoned with. Born in 1987 Lady Skollie (real name Laura Windvoge) is part of a new generation of artists in South Africa who are working within and against the digital sphere, and her work emanates a captivating and sensual energy across the range of mediums that she works with. Her most recent, and first solo, exhibition ‘Lust Politics’ at the Tyburn Gallery gave the city a riveting introduction to her provocative vision, and followed on from an acclaimed stint at Frieze last year. Twin caught up with Lady Skollie to talk working in South Africa, having a sense of humour and how women are going to lift each other up.

 Growing up, were you always inclined to express yourself visually? How did your aesthetic develop?

When I was about 4 the Zorro franchise was really taking off in South Africa. I crawled underneath my mum’s tables, beds, inside cupboards and covered everything’s underside with wax crayon Z’s – all in different sizes. I remember being terrified that my mother would realize. So I suppose I have always expressed myself visually. When I was younger I thought that to be an artist you needed to paint realistically, and then I understood that my mark making did not need to be mimetic to be respected or convey a message. I took inspiration from Khoisan drawings because of my own Khoisan culture – as a coloured South African, and my work just became hard, fast, fluid.

Where did the name Lady Skollie come from?

Lady Skollie, for me, has been a lesson in identity. I’ve always had these disparate elements of my personality. Not long ago I wore cute 1950s dresses and had ringlets. Although I looked like a lady, inside I felt this urge to rail against authority and challenge the norm. I would talk about sex and paint little dicks on people’s things. Lady Skollie was a performative thing; it was the space where these two things -masculinity and femininity – met.

 Your work is striking and honest, drawing on personal experience. When you started did you ever worry that it wouldn’t resonate with a wider audience?

No, this was never a worry really because I also draw on a range of socio-political issues, like rape, rape culture and plight of women, which are so prevalent within our wider society. They are issues which everyone, even those outside South Africa, should engage with.

It is time for people to feel uncomfortable, and for people to ask themselves very hard questions about how they relate to women, how they treat them, how they talk to them.

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Your most recent exhibition was called Lust Politics. Do you think there is always a relationship between the visceral and the political?

Yes, from Monica Lewinsky to Marilyn Monroe to politicians blocking any means for women to have a more equal life or even just reproductive rights. I think there has always been a love hate relationship between politics and lust.

The names of your work are as powerful as the pieces themselves, which comes first when you start to create?

Usually the writing comes first. The works come separately and then I edit and chop to make the writing and the work correlate more.

You’re wrestling with gender, sex and societal structures, why did you want to investigate these ideas in ink and crayon?

I like the tension between a granny-like medium like watercolour and the garish, crayon drawings of sex. Depicting something as visceral as sex with a medium as soft and delicate as watercolour and childlike crayon is thrilling.

Why do you want to use humour in your work?

In South Africa humour is often used a vehicle for social change. People don’t always want to listen if you are being serious. They would rather not listen to preaching and they don’t want to hear about rape stats, HIV stats, etc. I think in some ways I’m pretty funny, so I use humour as a way of unwrapping serious issues in a palatable way – so that people will actually start thinking about change.

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One of your pieces focusses on the ups and downs of competitive sisterhood. As you see it, how can women better enable each other?

Women need to engage with each other about issues; communication is key to a united front, and we need one. At the moment, I definitely feel part of a zeitgeist and movement, especially in South Africa, where women are speaking up against feminine debasement and subjugation. Whether we make a social commentary with watercolours or whether we post an online status – that is what I’m part of. 

How does Johannesburg influence your work?

J’burg pushes you to achieve things you might have only ever thought about; it’s a city that’s totally alive. My surroundings make a big impact on my work, and I think it’s important to address issues around gender and sexuality because Johannesburg, and South Africa in general, is rife with sexual assaults and abuse. Art is an accessible way to bring up the narrative and I think we need to talk about it more and more and more.

Is now an exciting time to be an artist in South Africa?

Being an artist in South Africa right now is very important and very exciting. Finally the international market is catching on, and it’s actually becoming a financially viable option. In J’burg there are a lot of new independent studios opening where people are reclaiming spaces, especially in Troyeville which was a huge centre of resistance during apartheid. Most of Troyeville is studios, huge buildings which were abandoned in the ‘70s and are now being taken over and are really cost-effective. People are now offering funded residencies. As a creative person it’s a real privilege to have a space to make, without the worries of having to generate a huge income to sustain it.

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What are your processes when working? Do you have a specific routine?

It’s difficult to say, because my process entirely varies; I don’t really have a specific routine when it comes to making work. However, usually I think about the image for a long time before making a single mark. Sometimes I write about the work before I create it, which allows me to have a context for it. I listen to a lot of hip hop in the studio; hip hop can take you places and it especially helps me with confidence. 

Who are the artists that inspire you?

I am totally inspired by Athi Patra Ruga’s ability to immerse you into his world without even trying. Also Robert Mapplethorpe, for his beautiful way of shocking and Mary Sibande for her sheer brilliance of identity dynamics.

What’s next for you? And what are you most excited about?

I prefer not to talk about ‘what’s next’. I am in the present; I’m hard, fast, now. I don’t play to anybody’s rules. I am a rebellious person!

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Chained to the Rhythm

16.03.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Looking for a fiery fashion fix? We’ve fallen head over heels for Saint Laurent’s accessories. For SS17, the brand has taken disco-glam to the next level: from snakeskin slingbacks with ruched ‘leaf’ detail to versatile black leather Love Box bags, these are designs made for nights out. Get ready to behave bad and bougee. We’ll see you under the disco ball.

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Feeling Emoji-nal

12.03.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Excuse the pun, we couldn’t help it – such is the excitement at Acne’s latest Resort 2017 drop of Emoji themed apparel. Featuring a classic combination of teddy bears, mushrooms and peace signs (we use classic a little lightly) the collection is printed across unisex sweatshirts and teeshirts in bright colours and tye dye hues.

Call us clichéd but as the summer months approach, something a little more frivolous is what we’re craving right now. This new line checks all the boxes for a relaxed, breezy look with the added bonus of promising to instantly refresh well-worn staples.

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Louis Vuitton AW17

09.03.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For AW17, Nicholas Ghesquière investigated notions of borders and boundaries. Set in the majestic surroundings of the Louvre, Louis Vuitton’s Autumn-Winter collection aimed to negate frontiers and shift into an evocation of the nomadic –  city blends with distant landscapes, masculine blurs with feminine, day fades into night and the heritage of the House, meets a thirst for the future.

The result was a truly global collection, which drew inspiration from American sportswear classics and Slavic accents, the über feminine and the romantic gothic. In short, the kind of world we’d love to live in. Watch the full Louis Vuitton AW17 collection here.

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Seana Gavin X Super/Collider

07.03.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

Artist Seana Gavin has rummaged in the super/collider’s library of vintage science books and world encyclopaedias to create surreal collages of imagined landscapes.

Inspired by a mutual love of old educational materials, each collage draws on anthropology, space exploration, mineralogy, botany and astronomy – transforming hard science into a series of otherworldly scenes that are both playful and slightly unsettling, existing outside of any recognisable time or place.

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The three new prints follows on from Gavin’s ‘Cosmic Worlds’ series in 2011, which similarly depicted otherworldly scenarios.

The triptych – Planetoid Life, Time Traveller and Liberty Sunset – are available to buy on super/collider now.

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