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Twin exclusive: L Devine brings it home for ‘Growing Pains’

17.11.2017 | Blog , Culture , Music | BY:

“The first time I spoke to Liv I knew that we had something special to create.” Says director Emil Nava, the brains behind videos of stellar hits such as Selena Gomez’s  ‘Kill Them With Kindness , Aluna George’s ‘I’m In Control’, and Calvin Harris’ video for ‘This Is What You Came For’.

The partnership between director Emil and the 19 year old Newcastle-born singer has seen itself manifest in a new, long form video release to accompany L Devine’s latest EP, ‘Growing Pains’. 

A truly exciting name to watch, Devine got her first break after she uploaded a Beyoncé mash up onto YouTube, attracting the attention of American producer Mickey Valen. After having saved up three months rent, she traded northern life for London – and the gamble has paid off.

Marrying a knack for astutely evoking relatable scenarios with catchy, memorable melodies, L Devine makes the kind of modern pop that is easy to get excited about. For the launch of her new track, the singer partnered with Emil Nava to create an evocative video that brings together a melange of important women from the singer’s life. “Each of the women in the video has lived life with no restraints, and certainly never let their gender get in the way of working hard, doing what they love and being who they are.” Says the singer of the new film. Rooted in real life experience, the video brings Devine’s close friends and family into the story, harnessing the candour of shared memories and experience of love, sexual curiosity, and transition into adulthood against the sometimes stark, sometimes electric backdrop of the city.

Following on from the success of ‘School Girls’ earlier in the year, this new video, shot on 16mm film, perfectly captures the twilight moments between adolescence and adult life. Check out the full version below.

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Posturing: Photographing in the Body in Fashion

24.10.2017 | Blog , Fashion , Twin Video | BY:

Curation has somehow has become a dirty word these days. We think of a curator in the digital age as a bloodless algorithm editing the things we don’t want to see or interact with out of our feeds and experiences. The great shame of all of this is that curation in its truer sense is far less about editing out the things we don’t want to see and far more about shedding light on the things we didn’t.

A great curator – be that of an exhibit in a gallery or an assortment of bric-a-brac at the local car-boot – knows how to make things elevate each other within a fresh context. Discovering something in a single painting, say, is in and of itself an incredible thing, but being able to connect that indefinable something to a whole exhibition is where a curator shows their skill.

Shonagh Marshall is a Fashion Curator who embodies the contemporary make-up of the profession, and reminds us why curation is a job of such unique expertise. After completing her Fashion Curation MA at LCF in 2010 Shonagh went on to archive the Alexander McQueen collection ahead of the Met’s Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty retrospective (!), and then to work on the Louboutin and Isabella Blow archives.

The rest of her CV is as impressive as those early projects would suggest, and since leaving her post as Curator at Somerset House in 2016 she has been flexing her muscles as an independent curator, as well as founding The Ground Floor Project with friend and AnOther Magazine Photo Editor Holly Hay.

With the fashion industry in recovery from a month of new collections, and ahead of the co-curated exhibition Posturing: Photographing the Body in Fashion (also with Holly Hay) now seemed like the right time to pick her brain about curating a disparate industry, and contemporary photography’s fascination with documenting the body within it.

Lurve Magazine, Issue 10, Spring/Summer 2016 | Posturing : Photographing the Body in Fashion

Lurve Magazine, Issue 10, Spring/Summer 2016 | Posturing : Photographing the Body in Fashion

How did you initially get in to curation – did you always know it was a job that somebody did?

Not at all. I studied Fashion History & Theory as my BA at Central Saint Martins and when I finished I wasn’t sure exactly what job I wanted to do. As a freelancer I was employed as a researcher for Somerset House’s first exhibition in 2007, in its current cultural iteration. It was a traveling show called Skin and Bones: Parallel Practices in Fashion and Architecture and it was then that I realised that I was really interested in curation. I applied to do the MA in Fashion Curation at London College of Fashion as a result, and studied under Judith Clark and Amy de la Haye, which was the most amazing training.

What was it that drew you to fashion in particular?

I started my BA in Fashion History and Theory when I was eighteen. It gave a historical overview of dress from renaissance to present day and teaching into the application of theory. Being a curator you need such an overarching knowledge of a subject I don’t think I would have been able to focus on another subject. The tools I have picked up over the years in how to consider fashion, applying historical knowledge to assess the contemporary for example I think is so important. Art History is something I am fascinated by personally but I am absolutely no expert! I love so much about the telling stories about clothing within an exhibition, with projects like Isabella Blow it was about the tale of a life lived through the garments but then Posturing: Photographing the Body in Fashion, which is about to launch, looks at the practice and process of fashion photography by making the link between the body and the garment.

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! | Photos Chris Brooks/CLM

Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! | Photos Chris Brooks/CLM

Archival work is very solitary and organised, it is all about the process you are putting in place. Through doing this work into catalogue, photographing and boxing and storing the objects you have such an affinity with them. You learn about every mark or pulled stitch and note it down. When you are working on an exhibition the process is all about building a team around you: the graphic designer, the exhibition designer, lighting designer, the install team, the conservators. As a curator you are telling a story through the objects, bringing to life what you have noticed in the archive, and the team all works together to realise this for the visitor. It was such a lovely experience to be able to work on so many exhibitions about Isabella Blow after archiving her collection, there are so many hidden stories within the garments and accessories it is such a treat each time to tease them out.

From Marfa Journal, Issue 6, November 2016 | Courtesy of Pascal Gambarte

From Marfa Journal, Issue 6, November 2016 | Courtesy of Pascal Gambarte

Do you have a favourite forgotten gem that you’ve come across in your work?

I spent a lot of time throughout August at the Isabella Blow Collection reordering it and making sure everything was in the right place, after finishing archiving it nearly six years ago. When going through Isabella’s bags I found a nail polish that I had previously not noted down. There was something so evocative about this silver liquid, the brush once used to apply varnish to Isabella’s nails. I wondered if in the next exhibition, we are hoping to stage, if contextualised in the right way it might be able to conjure in the visitor the same reaction it had had in me.

You have worked on some very culturally important exhibits, such as Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! How do you approach the legacy of documenting the life’s work of such significant figures?

Isabella Blow’s legacy through her clothing is a project I have worked on since 2011. Firstly by archiving the collection and then by co-curating the 2013 exhibition Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! At Somerset House. I still work with the Isabella Blow foundation and have done a subsequent exhibition in Sydney and we hope to stage more to raise money for the charities we support and student bursaries the foundations runs.

Working with the clothing to tell Isabella’s story is really amazing, I always think that like other figures in history she was building her own myth through the objects she amassed. Every object in the collection has a story attached, through either her personal relationships or where she wore it. Daphne Guinness bought the collection so that she would be able to keep Isabella’s legacy alive through the garments and accessories so it is a real honour to be a part of that.

Do you think fashion is inherently fine art?

No I think art and fashion are two completely different things, which sometimes speak to one another but are incomparable.

What do you see as the difference of approach between choosing how to display a piece of clothing and a priceless painting?

I think that curating fashion and curating art are two different disciplines and the approach is so wildly different. The interventions used within an exhibition of dress are selected and considered to give further context to the story, however within a fine art exhibition the art is centre-front in laying the narrative.

It seems that everyone is a ‘curator’ today. Do you think the term has lost some meaning, and does its meaning matter?

A curator is a keeper of a collection and as I don’t actually manage a museum collection, and I never have, I think the meaning of the word has changed somewhat. The application of the word curator to define making lists, or selecting something, is another mutation of this. I don’t know for me it is great as I think so many doors have opened over the last ten years for curators in light of it.

You are also working on a new cultural programme for Chess Club London – would you say programming and curation are two sides of the same coin, or fundamentally different?

They are so different. I really love working with Holly Hay to programme the events at Chess Club, it is such a lovely project. We think there is something so brilliant about learning nuggets of information and Holly and I set out that everything we did at Chess Club would result in absorbing tidbits that you could then relay at dinner to your friends. We do such different things there and meet so many amazing people. Last month we had an expert tea taster who travels the world to find the best tealeaves, and this month we have Clym Evernden coming to talk about his inspirations amongst so many other things.

 Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! | Photos Chris Brooks/CLM


Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! | Photos Chris Brooks/CLM

Exhibits are most often worlds built for the public – what do you think is valuable about working on an experience for a more private sphere?

It is to nice to build a rapport with people who come frequently to the events at Chess Club. Also we have figured out what people like coming to, and can incorporate their feedback. It is much more organic than mounting a temporary exhibition which is on and then dismantled with no opportunity to change anything. It would be really interesting to do an exhibition that morphed with the times and opinions, I wonder how you could make that work?

Can you tell us a little about your new project ‘Posturing’ – what made you decide to focus on the body?

I had been thinking about it for a while. About two years ago I proposed a promenade contemporary dance commission around the body in fashion when I worked as curator at Somerset House, which didn’t happen. However it got me thinking. I noticed a shift, away from the sexualized body within fashion photography and I thought a group of contemporary photographers were exploring a new approach to gesture and pose in their work. I wondered how we could present this within a group exhibition. This exhibition is now launching on the 1st November and is entitled Posturing: Photographing the Body in Fashion, the first of a three part project the second looks at filming the body in fashion and the third, a book, writing the body in fashion.

What do you think that the repeated distortion of the body in fashion imagery, the ‘new aesthetic’ the exhibit focuses on, tells us about fashion today?

It is less about fashion today and more about the presentation of fashion. Shifting trends each season is the very foundation the fashion system is built upon but with this project we evoke thinking (hopefully) around how this then impacts on the way in which it is captured across different mediums. The approach employed by all the photographers within the exhibition is one of wit and subversion could this be a reaction to the world we live in now? Should we take fashion very, very seriously? I don’t know – but these are the kind of questions we would absolutely love the work to inspire in the visitor.

Photos above Kristin Lee Moolman and Ibrahim Kamara. All other photos courtesy of the artist.

Photos above Kristin Lee Moolman and Ibrahim Kamara. All other photos courtesy of the artist.

For Holly and I the whole project is about mediums and imprints. The body is the common thread but applying this theme to look at the way in which it, and in turn the clothing, can be captured in a photograph, a film or within the written word felt a really exciting way to capture different thoughts, insights and opinions. The Ground Floor Project, the company Holly Hay and I have founded, is all about creating conversations instead of offering conclusions and full stops. All the work is so contemporary that we wanted our exhibition, film and book to become part of the conversation as opposed to offering reflection and analysis to something that has already happened.

Do you have a favourite fashion image? A favourite collection?

I couldn’t possibly pick! I love researching imagery and slotting them together, I don’t think I could single one out.

And finally, apart from your own, can you recommend any new or upcoming fashion exhibits we should look out for?

I am really excited about Amy de la Haye’s next exhibition at Brighton Museum on the artist Gluck. It isn’t fashion but I can’t recommend Andy Holden and Peter Holden’s Artangel exhibition ‘Natural Selection’ enough, it is amazing. I also loved Rachel Whiteread at the Tate Britain is fantastic. I am super looking forward to going to see the Basquiat exhibition at the Barbican.

Posturing: Photographing in the Body in Fashion co-curated by Shonagh Marshall and Holly Hay runs 2nd – 12th November 2017: 10 Thurloe Place, London SW7 2RZ. The exhibition is free of charge. 

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Dr. Valerie Steele: On the Art of Fashion Curation

17.10.2017 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

The fashion curator is a role that has risen in recent years to that of a modern bard: a storyteller that can enrapture audiences and obsessives with their informed and accessible spins on the past. Much like the ancient bard travelled from town to town, the fashion curator moves their visual tales through varying cities, through exhibitions, talks, conferences or publications. The responsibility the bard held was to leave their audience with some enlightenment, be it through words of omens and warning, history re-told, or deliberation on the times: future, past and present. The fashion curator is no different, leading their audience through discussions on the past, comparisons to the present, and reflections on the future. The bard was heralded as a spiritual guide – the fashion curator has become a reputable pond of cultural relevance. No one is in better company to deliberate on the realities and the responsibilities of the fashion curator than Dr. Valerie Steele – Director of the Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology and a published author of multiple titles. Her books have explored the influence of fetish in fashion, to her exhibitions ranging from Shoe Obsession to Gothic: Dark Glamour. Reviewing and retelling from a fresh perspective: the art of fashion curation can both delight and discover.

What​ ​do​ ​you​ ​feel​ ​is​ ​the​ ​role​ ​of​ ​the​ ​fashion​ ​curator?

I think that fashion curation is much more than what most people think it is. I feel that most people think it is just choosing a selection of pretty dresses and putting them on display. In fact the whole word ‘curation’ is used so casually – this beautiful curation of cheeses at the supermarket etc. Being a curator is like working on a film or a book. You do research and tell a story, only you are using objects to tell a story. Hopefully you are going to do it in a way that is both educational and entertaining; that you are going to bring something new to the whole subject of fashion.

Does​ ​the​ ​fashion​ ​curator​ ​hold​ ​any​ ​responsibilities​ ​to​ ​the​ ​audience​ ​or​ ​to​ ​the​ ​subject​ ​they​ ​are​ ​exploring?

Of course – they have responsibility to both the audience and the subject matter. I wrote the mission statement for the museum here, which is to educate and inspire diverse audiences through innovative exhibitions that advance the knowledge of fashion. So yes, I think that you are responsible to educate and inspire your audience while also making a genuine contribution to the knowledge about fashion.

Stella Tennant @ Eclect Dissect, Givenchy F/W 1997 Haute Couture by Alexander McQueen

Stella Tennant @ Eclect Dissect, Givenchy F/W 1997 Haute Couture by Alexander McQueen

What​ ​are​ ​the​ ​considerations​ ​you​ ​take​ ​into​ ​account​ ​when​ ​deciding​ ​upon​ ​a​ ​new​ ​exhibition​ ​or​ ​a​ ​book?

I am fortunate in having a really great team of curators here – when I first came to FIT I had to curate 5 exhibitions a year myself, which is insane, and now I do one every year or so. Nowadays the other curators will present proposals – I will look at the proposals and see if they are plausible, and try to figure out whether it can be done with what we have here, or would it require us to buy or borrow a lot of things. For example, if someone said to me they would like to do an exhibition on the influence of 18th Century fashion on contemporary haute couture, I would have to say that is going to be a hard one to do, as we only have a small selection of 18th Century pieces. They are very fragile, so we can only show them once in a while, and we don’t have a lot of couture that was inspired by the 18th century, so it is going to be an expensive show to put on. Then two, we would want to be looking at having a range of exhibitions over the course of a year, so we wouldn’t want to have four shows about 1960’s fashion, as that wouldn’t be fair to our audience who might want to look at contemporary fashion. We sometimes have shows about a particular designer, but biographical shows tend to tilt towards the hagiographic – you have to beware of claiming the designer as the greatest to ever walk the face of the earth, so if we do a show on a particular designer, we try to contextualise the designer, to show how he or she fit into the context of other designers. On the whole we prefer to do thematic shows, such as the theme of the corset, or the theme of gothic in fashion – how did it influence high fashion designers like McQueen or Rick Owens.

The​ ​in-house​ ​archive​ ​of​ ​FIT​ ​is​ ​approximately​ ​50,000​ ​pieces:​ ​what​ ​influences​ ​the​ ​decision​ ​of​ ​a​ ​new​ ​acquisition​ ​into​ ​a fashion​ ​archive?

We try to get pieces which are artistically and/or historically significant, so when we are looking at things, we are looking at which designers have been most influential, which of their collections, which of their individual looks. For example, I am working on a show at the moment about the colour pink in fashion, so many of our acquisitions are made with a view to a show we are working on. That said, sometimes it’s a question that if an auction comes up and they have a piece that we feel is very important in the history of fashion we will try and acquire it. Hence, some of our purchases are opportunistic and others are planned ahead. I am working on another show for 2019 – Paris: the capital of fashion. When a Jeanne Lanvin evening coat that was made during the Nazi occupation came up, it was such a rare find that we wanted to have it and we got it for a very good price. We are always thinking ahead about how we will show an object, and will we show it more than once. Most fashion history collections in museums like the V&A traditionally had more 18th & 19th Century pieces while we have more 20th & 21st Century pieces. Because we want to continue to show people the history of fashion we do look and buy 18t &19th Century pieces too. Once we were shopping at auction in New York and Hamish Bowles saw me bidding on a particular Madame Grès piece and let me have it: he then sent over all his research on it; while you have lots of competition you also have people trying to help the museum collection advance.

John Galliano for Christian Dior, SS'98

John Galliano for Christian Dior, SS’98

Do​ ​you​ ​ever​ ​take​ ​on​ ​extremely​ ​new​ ​designers?

We do! We absolutely do! It’s very much like buying contemporary art – it’s not a known entity. You don’t know if that designer will disappear in three months or become extremely important. We do feel that it is important to buy from new designers, so if we see somebody who is really doing something interesting and new, we will try and buy from them. Who​ ​are​ ​your​ ​heroes​ ​of​ ​the​ ​fashion​ ​industry,​ ​past​ ​and​ ​present? Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garcons is an incredible talent. The late Alexander McQueen also.

What kind of mixture do you have? Do you choose exhibitions ​that​ ​reflect​ ​current​ ​societal​ ​interests​ ​and ​subject​ ​matter​ ​that​ ​hasn’t been​ ​deservedly​ ​explored​ ​enough?

Yes you have a mixture of that. Our young fashion curators tend to work in our fashion history gallery because thats easier to do, then the more senior curators tend to work in the special exhibitions gallery, where we hold bigger exhibitions and you can borrow things. In the fashion history gallery, exhibitions have to have some chronological framework, and draw from objects that are entirely our own collection – which doesn’t mean we cant buy things for it – but the curators have come up with very creative ideas, like how nature has inspired fashion, which is the current show, or politics in fashion, or eco-fashion, or seduction as it traces through the history of fashion. So those are very clever ideas. Patricia Mears is doing an exhibition on expedition – fashion and the extreme, which will look at how explorers to the arctic, the deep sea, outer space, wear protective clothing that has influenced fashion. She will show a real explorers parka that he would wear to go to the north pole, then she will show that next to Balenciaga parkas, Chanel outfits etc.

How do you​ ​feel​ ​the​ ​new​ ​breed​ ​of​ ​designers​ ​from​ ​the​ ​fashion​ ​capitals​ ​and​ ​beyond​ ​are​ ​exploring​ ​new​ ​territory​ ​in​ ​fashion?

Some designers from alternative fashion cities are taking new approaches. Maki Oh from Nigeria and Masha Ma from China, for example, are exciting talents. Education​ ​is​ ​becoming​ ​more​ ​and​ ​more​ ​important​ ​to​ ​young​ ​creatives​ ​to​ ​try​ ​ensure​ ​a​ ​future​ ​in​ ​the​ ​industry.​

New designers find themselves in a position of having vast pressures on output and financial strains from expensive education, but also work in an ever-expanding landscape – how do you see the situation for young talent? ​

The landscape of fashion is becoming ever-more competitive, and young, independent designers are kind of squished between the big companies, with LVMH at one end, and H&M and fast fashion at the other. I do worry that what with the cost of training for BA’s and MA’s in fashion a lot of talented, young people aren’t getting as much as a chance to study fashion. I think it would be a dilettante thing if only the super wealthy could study it, but those that aren’t wealthy were locked out of it.

What​ ​was​ ​the​ ​last​ ​thing​ ​that​ ​made​ ​you​ ​excited?

I was thrilled by the recent Rick Owens show.

Explore fashion books by Dr Valerie Steele here. 

(Featured image: Stella Tennant @ Eclect Dissect, Givenchy F/W 1997 Haute Couture by Alexander McQueen)

 

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Twin Issue XVII

12.10.2017 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

For fall, Issue 17 is taking a closer look at the expectations and realities of self-reflection. We meet the young, African artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami on the eve of her inaugural solo show, and discuss shedding the weight of self-doubt in order to soar. Elsewhere, sisters Nancy and Lotte Andersen are in conversation about their shared childhood and creative pursuits, while actress Joanne Froggatt questions the limitations facing woman who dare to age on screen. Patrick Demarchelier take us behind the scenes at the Musée du Louvre exclusively for Louis Vuitton, before we embark on a Californian road trip with Chanel. Meanwhile, as Browns East — the latest bricks and mortar retail innovation to hit London — opens, we discuss the vital fostering of raw talent with Browns CEO Holli Rogers and Farfetch’s Chief Consultant of Augmented Retail Susanne Tide-Frater. Speaking of raw talent, musician Cosima reveals her most uncomfortable self under the lens of Francesca Allen, while model and artist Larissa Hofmann turns the camera on herself for a self portrait redux. Here’s looking at you, kid.

BUY

17black
17intimacy
17wambam
17bags

BUY

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WHISTLES X by FAR (3)

Whistles x by FAR AW17

08.09.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For AW17, Whistles has partnered with by FAR to launch a new collection of shoes, all named after iconic streets in London.

Choose from the lace up Burlington boot, slip on Ledbury loafers, slingback heeled Redchurch shoe and tassel detail Chiltern shoes in a range of colour ways – covet this season’s favourite shade of red for a bold finish, or choose tan for a timeless investment.

WHISTLES X by FAR (8)

Founded by twin sisters Valentina and Sabina, along with their friend Denitsa , by Far is an under-the-radar Bulgarian shoe brand that makes dreamy, timeless staples from their headquarters in Sofia.

Leather Block Heel-Red_03

This new collaboration with Whistles focusses on celebrating the brand’s British heritage, offering Victorian-inspired boots, as well as unisex loafer styles.

If you’re looking for a shoe that does the hard work for you, this collection is for you.

The Whistles x by FAR collection will be available in selected stores and online at whistles.com ​from 15th  September 2017.

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Lou Stoppard brings Fashion Together

05.09.2017 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Whether it’s designers, photographers, stylists or artists, fashion is full of dynamic creatives who come together, in pairs and in teams, to produce emotional, meaningful images. But occasionally there are partnerships that stand out and endure beyond the whirring cycle of the industry, and it is these notable and lasting collaborations that Lou Stoppard has chosen to spotlight on in her latest bookFashion Together.

The book consists of 18 interviews between creative duos across fashion, design, photography and film. Highlights include Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin’s portrait of Clint Eastwood for the New York Times Magazine (2005) and Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen’s ‘Star’ headpiece from the Salem Collection (Autumn/Winter 2007), as well as conversations with Marc Jacobs, Rick Owens, Vivienne Westwood, Nick Knight and their creative partners. Conversations range from childhood memories to thoughts on the fashion industry, and a foreword from The Met’s Andrew Bolton provides the perfect means of entering these worlds.

Ahead of the launch of the book, Fashion Space Gallery will celebrate the collaborative spirit with a new exhibition opening this week. As an insight into the industry, and the minds behind the makers, this new book provides a warm, engaging presentation of some of fashion’s most enduring and memorable partnerships.

 

Fashion Together opens at London’s Fashion Space Gallery, 8th September 2017 and ‘Fashion Together: Fashion’s Most Extraordinary Duos on the Art of Collaboration’ is released on Rizzoli Press, October 17th. 

Photo credit: Backstage at the Alexander McQueen ‘Black’ show, June 2004. Aluminium Coiled Corset by Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen, The Overlook, Autumn/Winter 1999 | Courtesy of the Shaun Leane archive

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Explore new designers at In-Neoss pop up shop

09.06.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Sustainable fashion brand NEOSS will house the inNeoss pop-up shop in Hackney Road this June, bringing together designs and publications from a number of emerging brands. Participants include sustainable clothing line ELLISS, Edie Campbell’s label Itchy Scratchy Patchy, the bold and fearless Clio Peppiatt, denim brand I AND ME, and season-less, unisex clothes from Bonnie Fechter, as well as many others.

I AND ME

I AND ME

The pop-up is a non-profit project for NEOSS, and all money made will go back into the store, which will then be taken around the country, cropping up in carefully selected cities throughout the UK. The initiative is intended to bring attention and profit to these young designers within a conventional store setting.

Keep your eyes peeled for special in-store events every Thursday of the month, this is a fashionable pop-up you don’t want to miss. 

inNEOSS will be open from the 3rd to the 30th June between 10am and 7pm June at  205 Hackney Road.

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YULYA SHADRINSKY (1 of 1)-6

Girls who MISBHV

12.04.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Surrounded by the grime and grit of post-soviet Warsaw, Natalia Maczek and Katarzyna Kotnowska started by printing t-shirts for their own crowd, dressing the cities young clubbers and skaters in parodies of luxury designs. Since then, the brand has enjoyed unprecedented success.

Stocked at Browns, huge in Asia, and having generated major buzz at New York fashion week, MISBHV has quickly gained international acclaim. By celebrating their Eastern European influences with a sense of individuality and modern awareness, MISBHV has given the cool kids a sartorial concept they can get behind, playing by their own rules in fulfilling an agenda they never tried to conform to. Twin catches up with Natalia to talk real beauty, Warsaw style and building a new world. 

You’ve just come back from your second show at NYFW. What was your experience like?

It felt really good. It’s interesting how all the different means of communication – the cast, the garments, accessories, music, space, scent, light and movement come together for a show. 

What would your dream MISBHV fashion show look like?

We would like it to feel honest and real. 

MISBHV, much like Vetements or Gosha Rubchinskiy, has made its name by making streetwear a luxury brand.  How do you think the two work together?

Streetwear is by definition independent and rooted in real emotion. Luxury is often described by the impeccable craftsmanship. We would like to think of ourselves as a brand that can in the future marry both definitions.

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You reject the ideal of polished and traditional beauty, both in your designs and your choice of models. What is beauty to MISBHV?

We believe that there is no beauty without honesty. What is beauty if you can not connect to it? 

Warsaw, MISBHV’s hometown, is fast becoming a pioneering cultural center, going through a creative upheaval over the last couple of years. Do you think it will soon match the scene in Western Europe? Or is it heading in its own direction? 

Because of the hardships of war and communism Poland will never quite match the art scene in the West. We should thus focus on creating our own identity. This is not to say that we support or approve of the domestic politics of the moment. 

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What kind of person do you have in mind when you design your collections?

We only make clothes that we like. It wouldn’t feel honest designing for anyone outside of our circle. We have a tight group of long time friends that we work with and we also have “muses” like Lera Abova or Sita Abellan. 

Have you ever thought of collaborating with another brand?

Not really. We feel like our universe is still to be made. We need to create our own world first. 

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Brits Abroad

18.01.2017 | Fashion | BY:

From the 19th to the 24th January, a space on Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth in Paris’ trendy Marais neighbourhood will be transformed into the London in Paris pop-up. The shop, overseen by sister duo Gemma and Annabelle Phillips, and in partnership with the Department for International Trade (DIT), will provide a platform for London’s young designers and emerging brands during Paris’ busy fashion week.

Housing SS17 ready-to-wear, as well as accessories, jewellery and shoes, the pop-up will feature some of the capital’s most exciting new brands. They include Florence Bridge and her stunning patchwork shearling jackets, and Clio Peppiatt, whose bold designs have garnered the attention of a troupe of celebrities, including Kylie Jenner and Adwoa Adobah. Other designers, like Bonnie Fechter and denim brand I AND ME, will showcase their innovative seasonless and unisex collections, which reflect wider trends within the industry. Sustainable clothing lines like Elliss and Neoss, and sleek monochrome designs from Habits will also be available to buy. Beyond the bounds of a fashion store, the pop-up will also stock London-based magazines Ladybeard and Orlando, who have both recently released their second issues.

 

The London in Paris pop-up will be open from the 19th to the 24th January between 10-7 at 68 Rue Notre Dame de Nazareth. There will be a launch event on the 21st January between 6 and 9pm.

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Getting to know: Ganor Dominic

15.01.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Ganor Dominic is the shoe world’s new rising star, known for appealing tothose that have a “penchant for the experimental”. Designs include two-way sequin boots and exaggerated gripped brogues, and with the likes of Carine Roitfeld and Lady Gaga already amongst her fans, you can expect to see much more of the designer this year. Twin gets the lowdown.

What is your first memory of footwear?

It was my grandmother’s collection of vintage heels from 60’s. Every time I visited her, me and my sister would go to the shoe drawer and try everything on.

Describe your aesthetic.

Sculptural, minimal with the emphasis on the 3D elements. I also like multifunctional things and try to implement this in my designs by adding removable details or material that changes colour.

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Who do you design for?

What connects all Ganor Dominic customers is passion for avant-garde unusual objects, they love art and what to stand out from the crowd.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Initially for the debut collection in was classical sculpture. Now I try to develop this theme and experiment with colour.

Do you have a signature style?

Yes, it’s Apollo pumps with 3D printed marble face under the sole.

What is your favourite pair of shoes of all time?

Ganor Dominic Chronos brogues: they come with three removable front panels, so you get 4 different shoes in 1.

 

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Ben Rayner’s Stolen Moments

07.01.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Ben Rayner first made a name for himself photographing artists and musicians for Dazed & Confused and VICE, before transitioning into fashion photography. He has since become a regular fixture of magazines like Wonderland and Vogue. His talents have united him with the likes of Bella Hadid, ASAP Rocky and Alexa Chung, but he has always maintained an interest in producing his own personal work. Ben has published numerous zines and several monographs in the past. His latest project is a book made up of casually shot photographs that realise his aims of producing a photo diary of his day. Aptly named ‘Half Day’, the images have been shot in multiple locations and use an array of different formats, capturing fleeting and intimate snapshots of Ben’s life. Twin spoke to Ben about stealing moments, living in New York and the future. 

Tell us about your new book.

The book is a monograph of moments photographed during 2014 and 2015. It’s made up of abstractions, portraits and landscapes. It’s a snapshot of the world as I saw it in those moments. I’m always taking pictures, so after I amass a collection of work I try to put it together in a somewhat coherent way. The book kind of has a fluid narrative of stolen moments in time.

Why did you decide to name the book ‘Half Day’?

I wanted to call the book ‘Half Day’ because it sounded optimistic and is a reminder that you still have half a day left.

A lot of your work has maintained a focus on fashion in the past. How does ‘Half Day’ divert from that?

I shoot a lot of fashion, but have always photographed everything around me. This is my fourth monograph and first hard cover book. I have also published countless zines. To me all my work is a reflection of my view of the world. I think some fashion images could have been dropped into the sequence of this book and still would have made sense. I like to steal moments from people and from the world.

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Your photos have been described as ‘stopping time’ as opposed to capturing it. Why do you think that is?

I think sometimes I see things that other people don’t see, like a person’s fleeting expression. My aim is to connect with whoever and whatever I am shooting. I love photographing everyone, from famous models like Alice Dellal and Bella Hadid to actors and chefs.

You made the transition from London to New York. Do you think the change is reflected in your work? If so, how?

I don’t think so really. The images in this book are not very New York heavy. I tend to photograph things more where I don’t live. Although, I have been photographing my personal work in New York a lot more in the last few months. 

What’s next for you? 

I would like to do some still life photography, and more fashion stories, portraits and personal books. I have lots of ideas. I would also like to do a lot more video work in the future.

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Half Day is available to order now.

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The Nude London 4

Add Them To Your Radar: Nude London

30.12.2016 | Fashion | BY:

Founded by life-long friends Angelina and Julia the RTW brand, The Nude London exudes a whimsical femininity with a collection that consists of feather-light chiffon dresses, printed blouses and sharp tailoring. We catch up with the friends-come-business partners to chat about launching a new label and the power of female friendship.

Tell us how you first started?

We have known each other since childhood and have always been inspired by femininity and beautiful dresses. Each one of us has lived all over the world: Tokyo, London, Paris, Moscow and have drawn inspiration from there. Eventually, we wanted to create that effortlessly cool feminine look with our brand.

How would you describe your aesthetic? 

Very girly and elegant with a sexy twist.

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Where do you get your inspiration from?

Travelling and the amazing inspiring women we meet along the way.

Is there anyone you have in mind when designing?

Our heroine is the modern day woman who is not afraid to express herself, she loves being a woman and dressing in a feminine way.

Who would you love to dress?

Vanessa Paradis and Lily-Rose Depp.

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Which is your favourite piece, or pieces, from the collection?

We particularly love the Queen Mary dress, but this season we also branched out into outerwear and the coats are just so cool and comfortable!

Visit more here: www.thenudelondon.com

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Introducing PRITCH London

27.12.2016 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Calling all wanderlusters, the leather experts at PRITCH have now launched their latest line, PRITCH Adventures. The new range offers luxe travel wear, consisting of oversized sweatshirts and classic track pants in a colour palette of black, white, olive, baby blue, sapphire blue and deep red. Like the RTW PRITCH London range, this line has thoughtful detailing, which sees the finest leather combined with super-cosy jersey that is perfect for your winter getaways. Perfect for glam, post-holiday lounging.

Tell us about your background.

I was born in Moscow and raised in between Saint Petersburg, Germany, Malta and United Kingdom. At the age of 5 I started drawing and by the age of 7 I started to do fashion sketches. By the age of 14 I figured that I want to start my own fashion brand. Since then I never looked back.

You specialise in leather, what is it about this material that you love?

I feel like leather is underestimated as a material. Not enough is done, possibilities are endless. It is also a very challenging material to work with, that requires attention to detail. You only have one chance with it, as you can not stitch it twice.

How would you describe your brand aesthetic?

Embodying today’s duality between elegance and edge. PRITCH London’s distinctive signature is transformation and the art of combining various leathers and luxurious textures in one piece. Each PRITCH London garment is designed with multi-functionality and transformation in mind, easily layered or transformed with removable elements. Inspiration behind is contrasts and edges.

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Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?

I am in love with the Hybrid Bomber from our current AW16 collection for a casual day out or a fancy evening with friends. And my from now on “must travel in” piece is the “Jet-setter travel set” from our newest “Pritch Adventures” travel wear line.

You have launched PRITCH Adventures, what inspired this?

My constant adventures around the world, passion for travelling and lack of comfortable and sophisticated pieces to wear while I travel.

What do you have coming up for 2017?

I’m not even sure where to start. I have collaborations with well-known and up and coming artists, new partnerships, a mens capsule collection, kids travel wear and so much more!

 

Visit the Pritch London site here: www.pritchlondon.com

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A little bit of chaos

12.12.2016 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

Meet the latest offering from the Chaos crew: personalisable iPhone cases. Having designed those custom made luxe silk tracksuit bottoms for Cara Delevinge and Margot Robbie, Chaos have nailed personalisation and haven’t looked back.

Founded by fashion editors and stylists Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall, the brand’s line of phone accessories ranges from cases to alphabet charms, emblazoned with statement slogans, to graphic motifs (we love the pills) and initials.

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Available from their site: shop.chaos.club, as well as Dover Street Market, Selfridges and matchesfashion.com. Order before the 15th December to receive in time for Christmas.

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Twin Issue XV

08.12.2016 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

For Issue 15 it’s all about the pursuit of the personal, and deconstructing the concept of perfection. Photographer Thomas Giddings turns his lens on the kids of Amsterdam in homage to the Dutch Masters, while fearless artist Rachel Maclean presents the unashamed power of pink. We see Dree Hemingway cavorting with Chanel’s Cruise 2017 collection in Upstate New York, and explore the fluidity of gender in modern-day Tel Aviv. Yves Saint Laurent presents a study in beauty through the ages, artfully reworked to be the very definition of now, and we meet LA-based model-turned-musician Kacy Hill, who has recently caught the eye of Kanye West. In addition to this, Francesca Gavin takes us on a visceral MDMA trip with artist Geoffrey Farmer, and we sit down with Jane Moseley, the sex-boot wearing model who piqued Demna Gvasalia’s interest.

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Elliss’ Unconscious Clothing For Natural Women

24.11.2016 | Fashion | BY:

ELLISS is an exciting new brand that was founded earlier this year by young designer Elliss Solomon. Elliss’ first collection, entitled ‘Unconscious Clothing’, features flattering, contemporary designs, often emblazoned with bold prints, while staying true to the brand’s sustainable ethos. Elliss designs and makes the clothes in the UK to maintain a low carbon footprint, and only uses sustainable organic materials like cotton, hemp and bamboo. We spoke to Elliss about her inspiration behind the brand and the challenges of starting up her own fashion line.

What made you want to become a fashion designer?

I always knew that I wanted to do something creative and decided early that I wanted to study fashion at Central St Martins, which is where I ended up. I used to be very experimental with my outfits. I now dress quite simply and I am more conscious of the small details. That is where the design aesthetic for ELLISS has stemmed from.

Can you tell us a little bit about your vision behind the brand?

I design individual pieces that are beautiful, unusual and easy to wear: clothes that have a story. I am conscious of every step of the process – from how the garment will make you feel, to where it is made and from what materials. The fabrics I use are soft and natural and the garments are made in England to maintain a low carbon footprint. Every item is vegan friendly. The first collection is called ‘unconscious clothing’ which is a play on the idea of the ‘unconscious consumer’. I want the women who buy my clothes to not necessarily be looking for something eco friendly, but to choose a piece because of the design – to unconsciously be conscious.

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How do you incorporate political issues into your work?

I am inspired by women who spoke out before others would. This collection incorporates 18th and 19th century portraiture into prints. Each painting or photograph is carefully placed to flatter the female form. The prints are slightly risqué and tongue in cheek. I want the women who wear my clothes to feel confident and empowered.

What materials do you use?

The Jerseys I have chosen for this collection are made from organic cotton, hemp and bamboo. Hemp is the most sustainable fabric. It grows quickly and is so dense it doesn’t allow for weeds. It is also naturally breathable and can be very soft. It hasn’t always had the best reputation but I want to change that. Hemp can be lightweight and delicate!

Which other brands or labels are you inspired by?

I am inspired by small brands that are authentic in their ideas and production. Veja is a footwear brand that has a really interesting supply chain. Although they do use leather, I am still waiting for someone to do something fresh and innovative with sustainable leather alternatives.

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How do you choose the names for your designs?

The names come from the different activists that I have referenced in the prints and women in my life who influence me. The Anna body is named after Anna Kingsford, an anti-vivisectionist, vegetarian and women’s rights campaigner who has heavily inspired the prints.

What have been the most challenging aspects of setting up your own clothing line?

There are a lot of challenges but each stage is rewarding when you finally find a solution. I am always looking to my friends and family for feedback. Sourcing everything from fabrics to packaging takes time. When we find a supplier that is great to work with or a fabric that we can continue to use, things become easier. All of our postal packaging is recycled, from the stickers to the mailers. It’s really important to me to waste as little as possible.

What’s next for the brand?

Our online shop has just launched, which is really exciting! The first collection is available to buy now. The next step is working on designs for the second release. I am researching new and inspiring prints at the moment. I can’t wait to see it all come together!

ELLISS is available to shop online at www.elliss.co.uk

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Acne Studios x Jack Pierson: Leather Dreams

17.11.2016 | Fashion | BY:

Having always sauntered oh-so-chicly ahead of the pack, the new collaboration between Acne Studios and American artist Jack Pierson should not come as a surprise to fans of the Swedish brand. The new venture sees the label run a limited edition collection of leather goods, which launches today.

The capsule collection consists of one hundred leather pouches embossed with 5 different art works from Pierson’s ‘Caught in the Rain Broken in the Stardust’ exhibition which took place in 1994 in LA. The clutches are available in statement blues, reds and blacks and carry slogans such as ‘Dreams’ and ‘Again Again’.

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Accompanying the leather goods will be a limited edition second edition of the original exhibition catalogue.

 

Visit acnestudios.com or buy in-store

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Winter Finery

15.11.2016 | Fashion | BY:

London brand Finery has teamed up with make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench for a new capsule collection, just in time for Christmas. Launched by Caren Downie, Emma Farrow and Rachel Morgans in 2014, Finery was created with an emphasis on timeless, well made classics, pre-empting the move to slow, season-less fashion that is emerging today.

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This new capsule collection follows the launch of their festive campaign, in which the brand invited loyal customers to model for Christmas. The ‘stars’ include 70 year old retiree Penelope Dalrymple-Smith and  Associate Director of Deloitte, Thandi Maqubela – a heady mix of girl power.

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In this latest collection, Isamaya Ffrench has bought her signature sense of subversion to five statement pieces: the sock boot, a fur trimmed mule loafer, bucket hat, a leather bum bag and a sculptural earring.

Shop the Finery x Isamaya Ffrench collection here.

 

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Joy BC

Joy Bc’s Hotline Bling

13.11.2016 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

South London based jewellery designer Joy BC specialises in creating bespoke designs that embody both the anthropological and physiological sides of jewellery. Her work spans a range of themes, from ideas around protecting people while travelling; to remembering the dead; to celebrating love to more simple examination of form. Her aim is to use jewellery to engender conversation, imbuing fine jewellery with new and heightened significance. Ahead of her workshops at Draw Haus, Twin caught up with Joy BC to discuss the possibilities of silver and her collaborative ethos. 

How did you become interested in jewellery?

It started with a ring which was made by one of my ancestors in Italy. It resembles a futurist sculpture. My mother use to wear it on special occasions and I found it hypnotic. I drew comparisons between the form and feeling that that ring gave me to those within Brancusi’s pieces and Barbara Hepworth’s. Otto Kunzli, a jewellery artist who made a necklace made from divorcees’ wedding bands, which subsequently became an emotionally laden piece, and thus un-wearable, really excited me in how powerful jewellery can be.

What are you influenced and inspired by?

A variety of things. Sometimes it’s simply the materials, and their intrinsic beauty.

Why is important to use jewellery as a tool for engendering conversation?

Jewellery travels with with you – lives with you and speaks for you. Without words it can convey messages or feelings. A huge Hellenistic marble sculpture which conveys strength (Nike at the lure, for example) isn’t something that you can strap to your body – but a boobies ring which encourages discussion on the natural way of breast feeding, or female nudity – literally ‘freeing the nipple’ – is something that  you can. The ‘listening aids’ I make are to encourage people to be better listeners, something we could all benefit from. Especially myself! I talk way too much; it’s the Italian in me! In fact I’m currently wearing my ‘I’m all ears’ piece, which is made of 47 tiny ears in precious silver and gold, while I listen to the news of the news.

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What are the limitations of working with silver? And do you have a favourite material to work with?

Limitations? I’ve never thought of the limitations of silver, only the possibilities. It oxidises, which gold doesn’t. However I like that – I often use a chemical to speed up the oxidisation process to create a dark blue black patina on some of my work.  I don’t have a favourite material, but I have to say, 18ct yellow gold is delicious. I also love wax – especially the type I used in Tokyo which was made of beeswax and cedar resin. They use that combination to make traditional Kenji Stamps (then cast into bronze). And it smells beautiful.

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What do you hope to achieve through your workshops at Draw Haus?

I hope people really enjoy themselves, and help people making something that they feel proud of. Whether it’s a playful experiment or precise present for himself or herself or someone they care about. It’s always fascinating to see what pieces people make.

Draw Haus Creative Workshops: Jewellery Making with Joy BC will take place on 17th November. Buy tickets here.

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Bibliothèque, Cotton Poplin and Fleur Fantôme,

Candles To Stay Home with

10.11.2016 | Beauty , Fashion | BY:

As the darkest evening of the year snakes quietly towards us, and the autumnal hues give way to a starker and far colder season, nothing is more needed for hibernation than a decadent scented candle. Reader, meet Byredo’s 2016 Holiday Collection: the solution to your winter blues.

BYREDO Bibliotheque Green - £55.00

This new set of three scented candles, Bibliothèque, Cotton Poplin and Fleur Fantôme, all come in their own coloured glass holders, and offer a perfect compliment to these cold nights in the run up to Christmas. Best enjoyed with a stiff drink and a warm bath. They’d also make the a welcome Christmas gift, if you can bare to share them.

BYREDO Fleur Fantome Sunset - £55.00 (1)

Available on Byredo.com, £55

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