Twin catches up with fashion designer and artist Claire Barrow to talk about her new exhibition, and how fashion can help to fight prejudice during these uncertain times.
How did the collaboration between yourself and Galeria Melissa come about?
I was approached from them a while ago but the installation idea started to take shape towards the end of last year. Melissa‘s shoes are completely recycled, waste free and 100% animal free so I’m really into that. It’s been on my wishlist for a long time to work with larger company with great ethics like theirs and I’m also really into what they do with collaborations. Ow, and the smell of the PVC is really good (all the shoes smell like rubber and strawberries.)
What was your starting point for the project, and what were you inspired by?
I wanted to combine performance and sculpture that also used digital in some way, so I think it started there then the idea grew and it become human size sculptures and digital projections of people performing next to them. I just wanted to do everything at once. So we have digital, music, film, performance, costume, movement.
So, the piece addresses the ‘judging’ of people, and the initial ideas you have of someone before they even speak. So, these ‘people’ (sculptures) will never get the chance to communicate but how can the performers work with them to make them feel animated. Then the fact that the ‘real’ people aren’t really there, but digital also signifies our online communication with friends, feeling less lonely but not seeing them IRL. We are all on our phones and computers too much now that I don’t want to miss that out in my work. I try to use the everyday and this is our new reality.
What were your design references for this piece? Was there particular reason that you were drawn to use pearls and a muted palette?
I’ve been trying to not use references in my work to much unless I have to explain my idea’s to someone else in the team as I would like the ideas to come from somewhere inside my head or from a drawing I have done. My subconscious will have maybe seen references in the past, or that day on Instagram, but then it will be a distorted version that sticks. I took a lot from my own life and childhood for this project.
I took a train ride over Christmas time past the old British Steel in Teeside, (a steel works that closed a few years ago leading to the loss of thousands of jobs, which is just stood rotting), and the light was so beautiful and metal so glittery I sort of took it from an imagined version of that then also the idea of ‘high glamour’ too, so jewellery and make-up and sparkle. So I chose the pearls and muted palette and crystals in like, ‘powdered’ down version of primary or secondary colours. Different types of camouflage feature heavily too.
What are your hopes for the exhibition, and what are you most excited about?
It was brilliant to work with the team on the video. I cast Sameena who was in the Daniel Wolfe film ‘Catch Me Daddy’ a few years ago and hasn’t acted since. So it was an honour she actually said yes to me!
It’s the first time I’d worked with Joseph Bird to who’s a reasonably new film director and also Taigen and Ken (Bo Ningen) on the music. I’ve been meaning to work with them for years we were just looking for the right project.
The five characters all take on different roles but very much improvise and added their own ideas to each part. I had designed the costumes and given anecdotes from my own experiences to show them which helped form the characters.
And finally, in such uncertain times, what role do you think fashion has in challenging assumptions and prejudices more widely?
Design wise I think the most interesting work is coming from people who don’t limit themselves to being creative within the fashion system. I don’t see anything particularly progressive happening with bigger brands currently but maybe this will change during times of extreme political unrest if they feel it necessary.
It’s like, they need to stand up for injustice but also to fix problems within their own companies such as material wastage and paying workers fairly. That’s why it’s brilliant to be associated with a large brand like Melissa whom are dedicated to keeping everything recycled and looking after their staff in Brazil.
For AW17, Molly Goddard brought audiences into a sumptuous banquet, where models sauntered around the Tate Modern show space in signature tulle dresses. This collection offered a veritable feast – aesthetically and literally within the presentation – where creamy pinks and reds mingled with azure, a bold use of metallic silver flashes and delicate embroidery throughout.
This collection showed Goddard at her most diverse to date, walking trousers and cropped, peplum inspired jackets as well as the silhouettes she has become famous for. We can’t wait to see where she takes her brands over the course of 2017.
Contrasting rich, buttery song with a brutalist aesthetic, the teaser film released by Gareth Pugh ahead of his AW17 show tonight has us tingling with excitement.
Directed by Pugh’s long-time collaborators Ruth Hogben and Andrea Gelardin, the startling black and white aesthetic is infused with powerful sound courtesy of Rebekah Del Rio – star of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive – who performs a haunting version of her signature song ‘Llorando.’
The film opens with a quote from Shakespeare’s King Lear, “‘Tis’ the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind”, setting a strong precedent for a political context in his AW17 show. As Pugh notes, the film is “a vision of a world on the precipice of anarchy.”
If Pugh’s previous shows are anything to go by, audiences can expect his AW17 collection to be a damning indictment on the state of current affairs.
Readers, meet Rose Pilkington: her magic manipulation of colour and form has us all hot under the collar. And yes, Rose happens to have designed the cover for Twin issue XV, but we swear we’re not biased when we say you’re guaranteed to fall in love with her work. Designs are playful, bright and hypnotic; she creates graphics to be remembered and stand out. With previous clients that include Jamie XX, H&M and MTV, expect to see much much more of Pilkington in 2017.
On the only snowy day in January, photographer Joe Quigg headed to east London to hang out with Rose and capture the woman splashing colour into your life.
First off, the cover looks amazing! What was the inspiration behind the design?
It was actually a very open brief which is aways a treat be given. Becky wanted to work with an artist to create some bespoke graphics for both covers, so I made them abstract and vivid so as be eye catching.
Specifically, what is it about the colour pink that you find interesting?
I have a life long relationship with colour, but out of the whole spectrum its the one colour that my eye draws too the most, and I’m not entirely sure why. Though i’ve never connected to the colour by its usual association, being categorized typically as a ‘feminine’ colour, which in itself is growing to be an old fashioned connection. Looking at my body of work I can see how subconsciously its made its way into most of my projects, as it is a sort of go-too for me. Funnily enough ive had a client or two who has requested ‘not too much pink’ in the past. For me I mostly judge aesthetically pleasing imagery by way of colour, and I believe pink emits positive vibrations and is a both calming but mentally stimulating colour.
You have a very distinct aesthetic, how did your style develop? Was there a certain point where you felt you had discovered your voice?
Things really started falling into place in my final year at Central Saint Martins (Graphic Design / Moving Image) I was literally given the opportunity to focus soley on subjects, themes and ideas that fascinated me and it was one of my most inspired times. It was also when I started learning 3D software which changed and informed the way I made my work.
There’s always a sense of movement in your work – whether it’s colour fades or through organic forms – what interests you about creating images that convey a sense of change?
Its hard to say, I think those sorts of visual decisions are instinctive, as is my approach to colour. I’m also constantly switching between moving image and still projects, so maybe that also has a part to play in it somewhere.
Topshop has announced a totally fresh model to front their SS17 campaign. Her name is Lily Jean Harvey and although she’s new on the scene, you should expect to see a lot more of her in seasons to come. Twin brings you the need-t0-know stats on this model to watch.
Brought up in Newark, just outside Nottingham, Lily Jean was scouted whilst on a swing outside King’s Cross station. She catwalk show was for UNIQUE in September, and while she’s already racked up an impressive wardrobe, she remembers that the piece that sparked her love of the brand was a petite jersey dress with red, white, and blue stripes.
When Lily isn’t in front of the lens, she’s likely to be partying to Drake or watching her favourite film, Shutter Island. Kind of like your average 17 year old. ish.
With America in the claws of Trump, Britain on the precipice of Brexit and the power of big corporations stronger than ever, a new campaign to launch a book of the social history around protest is perfectly timed.
Having spent years documenting the protests of the late 80s and 90s, Matthew Smith has built up an extensive catalogue of images which embody the rawness and freedom of an earlier age. It was a time of rave culture and parties, where dance music was a refuge for the disenfranchised and the ostracised, uniting disparate sub-cultures into one mass movement.
Matthew Smith’s archives chronicles events that happened across the UK, and offer a rare and honest insight into the spirit of the times; the photographs depict stories rarely told.
It is now 23 years since Government acted to constrain youth culture in the UK by law and, Smith says “it is time to tell that story from the inside.”
“My intention was to bear witness to this culture and to provide a positive personal truth in order to counter mass media and political representation of the lowest kind.” Help bring the incredible archives into print by supporting the campaign on kickstarter, and thereby ensuring the legacy of protest and community remains enshrined in the contemporary mind.
Meet Rianne Van Rompaey, the new face of Chanel Le Rogue ‘Crayon de Couleur’. The Dutch beauty has become a regular fixture on the luxury sartorial circuit, fronting campaigns for Louis Vuitton, Prada and Coach, walking for McQueen and gracing the cover and insides of a slew of international fashion publications. She was also nominated for Model of the Year in 2016 – not a bad list of accolades for a 21 year old.
The flame haired model has enjoyed a close relationship with Chanel, featuring in their catwalk shows as well as other beauty commercials. However this most recent partnership seems especially well suited, not only for the harmonious colouring of rogue and red, but also for their playful character and characteristics respectively.
At a time when beauty has never been so mesmerically unconventional, this is without a doubt the kind of campaign to fall in love with, and the kind of make-up we want now.
On the eve of Dior’s 70th birthday, a new documentary goes behind the scenes at one of fashion’s most successful houses to unpack the rich history of the brand. The film follows in the footsteps of the acclaimed documentary Dior and I, which focussed on the run up to Raf Simon’s (then Creative Director at Dior) first collection.
Inside Dior widens the narrative, exploring the brand’s history more widely. It first looks back to the beginnings of the house, with Christian Dior’s iconic ‘New Look’ and follows the evolution the label’s signature feminine aesthetic through to present day, with Maria Grazia Chiuri now at the helm. Highlights include the introduction to Francois Demachy, Dior’s ‘nose’, set the rose and jasmine fields of the South of France, and to makeup director, Peter Philips, as he creates the right catwalk look.
Presented in two parts, this new Dior documentary is vital viewing for those looking for unique insight into one of the most game-changing brands operating today. An aesthetic delight, catch the first episode on More4 this evening.
At a time when liberal values are being challenged and questioned in the West, the story of George Montague‘s campaign is timely. In November 2016, George, a 93-year-old gay man, marched on Downing Street to present Theresa May with a petition signed by 16,000 people. The petition demanded an apology for the discrimination against homosexuality and the abuse that gay men endured under the Criminal Law Amendment Act of 1885. Before homosexuality was legalised in 1967, the act often culminated in arrests and criminal records for men persecuted for their sexual orientation.
George, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1974, brought the case to the Prime Minister on behalf of all gay men who were forced to suffer shame and embarrassment as a result of the Act.
A new film from Hilow Films invites viewers into George’s life as he embarks on his journey to No.10, celebrating his activism, sense of humour, loving nature and commitment to securing the ‘sorry’ that gay men of his generation are yet to receive. You can watch the new film exclusively below.
Olivia Bee started taking pictures in her early teens, one of those rare precocious talents who already had the basics nailed before most of us had figured out how to make our lava lamps work. And when I say basics, I mean being commissioned to shoot commercials for Nike and Converse by the time she was 17.
Having emerged during the peak Tumblr years, Bee has continued to carve a name for herself with candid photographs that capture the intensity of youth; the fragile nexus of love, and the yearning for the wild. Her photographs are often situated within nature, away from the obvious limitations of the city and the responsibilities that lie therein.
With a knack for powerful juxtapositions, Olivia Bee’s photographs have a corpuscular quality that capture individual moments in time but which together weave a wider narrative about the transient nature of youth. With a beautiful new tome, Kids in Love, out now, Twin caught up with her to talk hanging out in Oregon and the future of the Internet.
Starting with Kids in Love – your photographs embody a fantastic energy. What’s your process when shooting?
Kids In Love came about because I was taking pictures of the world around me — I wasn’t really trying to make anything in particular, other than the things I gravitated towards. When it was finished, I knew, and I knew it was a show and a book. The energy in Kids In Love came from the universe that I existed in and made for myself when I was a teenager. I was observing that universe.
What was it about the camera that you were originally drawn to?
The ability to create and make art simultaneously; to directly document your experience.
What I like about Kids In Love is that you immortalise the transient state of youth through movement and these wonderful juxtapositions with the natural world. Was this an aesthetic that came naturally to you? How did your style develop?
I mean this just came with living in Oregon, living in nature but being around kids my age and exploring that universe. In Oregon you just go to the river and to the mountain and to the beach and to the forest, that’s what you do for fun and that’s where you get drunk. it was just part of every day. Green was my studio.
You started working professionally when you were pretty young, did you ever feel that this inhibited your ability to develop creatively? Was there less freedom to make mistakes, experiment etc.
I always kind of did what I wanted and didn’t think much about it. There were times I’d get feedback from people who were selling my work saying what i was doing was less marketable, but i’d just be like, “dude. i’m just documenting my world.” It was (and is) a natural process for me to document. I still experimented and made plenty of bad pictures.
What is it about intimacy that interests you as a subject matter?
It is so innately human.
Instagram has bought this generation a whole host of really exciting creatives who otherwise might not have had the capacity to promote their work to a global audience, but do you ever feel that sheer scale of the platform – and its millions of contributors – might come to negate the power of a singular image?
I’m getting less and less satisfied with the internet. It’s all controlled by money at this point and our information is getting sold so that companies can market for our demographics. It’s terrifying. We have to fight back and play that game to our advantage. My work belongs in galleries and in books and in theaters — not just the internet. I get depressed when my pictures I love are just on the internet and then they’re gone or stolen because people think the internet is an equal playing field and ownership is lost.
Also with the internet, people skip over movies, books, tv shows, people, and minimize them into one single image on their tumblr when they haven’t seen that movie, tv show, read that book, or researched that celebrity. Everything is aestheticized. Even the notion of “liking” or “loving” something or someone has been aestheticized. Authenticity has been aestheticized. People have to remember what’s real and I really do think a big part of that is existing in your world and participating and reading and talking to people and watching movies in the theater and on tv and going to museums and being in nature if these kinds of things are available to you. That shit will keep you human.
Who and what are the major influences for your work?
My life and my emotional experiences. The wonderful people i surround myself with. Nature.
What do like to listen to when working?
Right now I’ve been listening to a fuck ton of Leonard Cohen. I just discovered Emily Eeo when I was in a coffee shop in Portland and have been playing that over and over. The Lemon Twigs are wonderful too.
What’s your favourite camera to work with?
That’s a secret 😉
What’re your plans, concerns and hopes for 2017?
Time is a marker that we created — it doesn’t actually exist. It’s fluid. So I don’t always believe in setting goals for certain periods of time but I do feel that with 2017 and the upcoming Trump presidency it is especially important to stand up for the things you believe in. I want the people I choose to be in my work, especially in fashion, to be more diverse, and I want to write a book? Or a movie? I want to quit low balling and I want to stand up for myself and the ones I love more! Also establish some sort of place to live in the future in nature.
Featuring photographs taken between 2013 and 2016, this new self-published and beautifully curated book sees Lina present a series of unplanned moments. This spontaneous style results in an intimate and personal collection of work which celebrates the beauty and mystery of ordinary life. Twin was lucky enough to be given a preview, see the images below.
The world waited unabashedly for Maria Grazia Chiuri’s first Haute Couture collection for Dior, and it did not disappoint. Drawing inspiration from the motif of the labyrinth, the collection embodied Chiuri’s journey to the heart of Dior’s design story.
It was a collection alive with nature: woodland flowers, moss and ferns made up the set and informed the collection in equal measure, inspired by Christian Dior’s statement that: “After women, flowers are the most divine of creations. They are so delicate and charming, but they must be used carefully.”
Silhouettes referenced the original founder of the house too, with cinched waists imbuing ethereal lace dresses and mysterious midnight velvet gowns with an easy elegance. Powder pinks and blues were married with inky blacks, allowing for the full spectrum of characters to be imagined and rendered in Chiuri’s magnificent modern fairy tale.
The Whitechapel Gallery plays host to a seminal new exhibition about the female form, bringing together exhibits from the National Museum of Women in the Arts of seventeen artists. The exhibition depicts women in constructed and natural environments through a range of photography and film. Through this examination of the female body, audiences are invited to join in scrutinising and empathising with new narratives around women; seeing the flux and mysteries of gender in new light.
The exhibition continues a conversation started by the late Franca Sozzani last year, that of subverting the idea of the gaze, and inviting a radical approach to the female perspective, both creator and subject. With work from artists including Marina Abramović, Rineke Dijkstra, Anna Gaskell, Nan Goldin, Charlotte Gyllenhammar, Justine Kurland, Nikki S. Lee and Hellen van Meene, audiences can again expect to be challenged and engaged – a must see exhibition in London this winter.
Marina Abramovic, The Hero, 2001.
Daniela Rossell, Medusa, 1999.
Nikki S. Lee, The Hip Hop Project, 2001
Nan Goldin, Self-Portrait in Kimono with Brian, NYC, 1983.
Terrains of the Body:Photography from the National Museum of Women in the Arts runs 18 January – 16 April 2017 at the Whitechapel Gallery.
Paris based, Swedish artist Linus Ricard uses film and photography to capture and explore the relationship between the human body and the space it occupies. By focussing on the ordinary, unseen moments of the everyday, Ricard invites audiences to re-examine their surroundings and their position within the environment. Twin caught up with Linus to find out more.
How did you get into photography?
Studying styling at the Marangoni in Milan I collaborated with photographers and quickly realised I wanted to hold the camera.I still loved the clothes but the magic and interaction with the subject was stronger.
Your photographs & films are pre-occupied with movement – what is it about motion that interests you?
Motion creates emotion. My first, unanswered, teenage love was with a dancer. I used to go watch all her performances. She completely rejected me but my love for dance and movement stayed.
What’s your process when you’re working?
I keep the subject moving, I love to catch that in-between moment, that you can never pose or control.
Do you have a favourite photograph, that you’ve taken?
No, it tends to be more and more about the process than the result, enjoying the moment and the making.
What are your influences?
Anything. At the moment I’m into going for long walks, I find it very inspiring and zen. I think Kierkegaard was onto something – “If one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right.”
Mesmerising and inspiring, FKA Twigs has long been a Twin idol thanks to her surreal, boundary breaking style and extensive, highly vibey musical talent. This month, the singer has teamed up with Nike as creative director for their new Nike Zonal strength tights.
This recent collaboration invites a new appreciation of sportswear, and FKA Twigs has used the campaign to delve into ideas around the power of modern movement, using the new items as a means to consider wider societal issues – while also creating a seriously beautiful new advertising campaign. With full creative control, from original concept to casting, through to the finished product, FKA Twigs asks viewers to see sports as a means of self expression, a more empowering way to embrace new year resolutions. As to the collection itself, expect a palette of maroons, earthy greens, rich blacks and a collection of crop tops you’ll want to wear every day.
Of the campaign Twigs said: “People don’t always see dancers as athletes, but we are. Through dance, I’ve met young people who work really hard and have dedicated their lives to being active. To me they represent “modern movement,” which I define as exploring any genre of sport without boundaries. As a dancer, I try to embrace my fragility and accept that where I’m at is good enough. Dancers are taught to always look in the mirror, from an early age, to make sure we have perfect alignment. There comes a point when you just have to let go and trust that you’re going to get where you need to be. Overall, dance makes you realize that there’s beauty in the imperfections. I think that’s what can make it most intriguing for people to watch.”
Gorgeously composed, Willy Vanderperre captures the essence of Jil Sander‘s design aesthetic in their new SS17 advertising campaign. Featuring a cast of Natalie Westling and Tillmann, the photographs are perfect style inspiration for the new year.
SHOWStudio’s Lou Stoppard and academic Adam Murray have joined together to co-curate a new exhibition, North: Identity, Photography, Fashion, which opens this week at the Open Eye Gallery in Liverpool.
The exhibition brings together designers, fashion photographers and artists, with contributors that include Raf Simons, Jamie Hawkesworth, Glen Luchford and Turner-prize winning artist Mark Leckey. At the crux of the exhibition is a desire to explore the mythology around the North and its culture, decodifying the traditional narrative around the region and instead investigating how it has really influenced contemporary style.
In a post-Brexit era, the exhibition is both timely and surprisingly overdue. As Adam Murray notes in his essay ‘The Constructed North‘, since Agyness Deyn’s rise to stardom in 2008, ideas of the North have long inspired and informed the zeitgeist. However the personal, more visceral experience of the area and its influence has yet to have been investigated – until now.
North: Identity, Photography, Fashion is at the Open Eye Gallery from 6th January – 19th March 2017