anGostura: Symbiosis SS19

08.10.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Emerging Italian jewellery brand anGostura , is a brand conceived by designer Giulia Tavani who drew inspiration from the meaning behind the word — an aromatic bitter bark from South American trees, used as a flavouring  for cocktails and formerly as a tonic to reduce fevers. The designer describes the birth of her jewellery line as her way of giving a bitter, yet mandatory punch to the cocktail of life itself. Endorsed by the mother of soul herself, Erykah Badu, the collections often feature unique chunks of silver and gold carved into interesting forms which when worn are often seen as poetry to the body.

For her latest collection the designer drew inspiration from the biological term symbiosis — a long-term relationship between two or more organisms living closely together. The form of symbiosis she  chose to focus on was communalism, which is the type of relationship where each organism benefits equally from the arrangement and depends on the other for survival. This is how Tavani envisioned her jewels in relation to the human form, “I want them to be seen as not just ornaments but decorated extensions of the human body.”  The collection is a collaboration with wig designer Ilaria Soncini which includes dark stones, semi precious natural stones, gold and silver jewels, hats and also uniquely fashioned wigs. For more information visit their site at anGostura.

anGostura FW18
anGostura SS17

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“Sex, sadness, politics, country music.” Twin meets Lola Kirke

06.10.2018 | Music | BY:

“My tongue won’t tie / It’s not supposed to / Least I can’t lie like I used to.”

So sings Lola Kirke on her record ‘Supposed To’, an elegy on perfectionism rendered with melancholic yet determined vocals that soar over a traditional country rock sound.

Music is the latest addition to Kirke’s growing oeuvre. Having previously starred in TV shows such as Mozart in the Jungle alongside films like Untogether, Gone Girl and Gemini , Kirke is now bringing her performances closer to home.

Her first album Heart Head West was released in August. The record features a rich and emotive collection of songs, which mix the sound of country with cosmopolitan, city experiences. Personal and honest, what Kirke sings resonates even as the melody ends.  This November sees Kirke arrive in London to perform at the Lexington in North London.

Ahead of her arrival in the capital, Twin caught up with Kirke to talk sadness, Gram Parsons and the  power of Italian bar bathrooms.

Did your sound develop naturally or was there a lot of experimenting to find the best fit?

It came about pretty naturally. I’ve been pretty consistent in my musical taste for some time now—Neil Young, Karen Dalton, the Band and the likes of them have always felt deeply close to me, so recording live to tape and reducing the amount of “slick” just felt right. I’m also just kind of a bad guitar player and have a somewhat unusual voice (lisp, smoking for far too long, charmingly flat or at least I hope!) so the sweaty, messy, reverb sound has always been kind to me. 

Did you find it easy to create something unique which also has the recognisable characteristics of a country song?

For whatever reason, I have just always loved country music. Maybe it’s cause my big sister loved country music and I just wanted her to think I was cool when I was little. Or maybe it’s something from a past life or maybe it’s the intrinsic ability of the country format to put so simply feelings that are so complex. When a writer of any kind can do that, they’ve succeeded for me. So I guess it’s “easy” for me to lean towards a country sound but it’s always a welcome challenge to say what you’re trying to in the most effective and beautiful way.

Is there a challenge of distilling city living into a country sound? 

When you live in a city, you see so much pain and joy—the whole spectrum of life. It’s always very inspiring but also can be very sad. I’d say writing music in general makes it easier to cope with all of that, it gives me an outlet. But I’ve never felt a tension between urban life and country sound. I think they complement each other very nicely. 

How did the album come together? Did you know from the beginning what it would be or did it form as you worked? 

I’d been writing songs for a long time and always had fantasized about having my very own record. I’d been touring the songs with my band a bit and they were kind of like “Alright you have a record now let’s record it” and that was sort of the beginning. Besides the fact that the songs are written by me and mostly in the year 2017, there isn’t really a connecting theme. 

What’s your approach songwriting?

Sadness and loneliness help! I journal a lot which helps keep my lyrics coming from true place instead something more forced. Otherwise I’ve been lucky to have melodies come to me. 

All your songs seem to come from a personal perspective. Were there any experiences you drew on which surprised you? 

“Turn Away Your Heart” began in a bar bathroom in Italy. I think I was squatting to pee. That was surprising. 

‘Monster’ and ‘Supposed To’ both address the theme of being an outsider and not conforming. What do you see as the biggest challenges to individuality in the modern age? 

I suppose they do! That’s funny you picked up on that because they’re really about very different things. “Monster” is about self destruction and social awkwardness while “Supposed To” is about perfectionism… but I think all of those things connect back to individuality. I think social media really challenges our sense of ourselves and makes it very easy to compare ourselves to other people and despair about the results. At least that’s my experience. 

What were you interested in before making the record, and how did this feed into your work?

All sorts of things! Sex, sadness, politics, country music. What’s fun about songwriting is that you can make work about all your interests if you want to. 

What about Gram Parson’s music were you drawn to?

He was the first person I ever heard who fused the genres of rock and country together and he did it so well too. In the stories I’ve read or heard about him it’s clear that his and charm charisma weren’t unique to his music, that he was really able to bring that into his personal life too. He was such a leader and attracted quite the interesting following. I love how he’s still doing that to this day with his music. 

Gram Parsons songs are open and vulnerable. Do you think there’s still the same room for those qualities in songwriting today?

If there isn’t then I’m not interested! Art is all about communication and movement, and if were not communicating openly and vulnerably then we’re not moving anything.

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Fondazione Prada: The Black Image Corporation

05.10.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

For their latest venture , Fondazione Prada presents a collaborative effort of American publishing house Johnson Publishing Company and installation artist Theaster Gates in their latest exhibition titled “The Black Image Corporation”.

This project which is on display at the foundation’s Osservatorio venue in the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, Milan explores the historic visual evolution of the contemporary African American identity. The exhibition includes the archives of the Johnson Publishing Company which feature more than 4 million images that have been captured throughout decades by photographers Moneta Sleet Jr. and Isaac Sutton. The publishing house was founded by John Johnson in 1942 and was also the mother of the two landmark publications Ebony and Jet magazines, which both celebrated black culture.

With the work of the publishing house’s two photographers, Theaster Gates has curated an exhibition which honours the culture in an a way which speaks to beauty and black female power, “for this show I hope to tease out the creation of female iconic moments created by Sleet and Sutton and also offer small forays into the lives of everyday people through never-before-seen images of the Johnson Collection. Today it seems to me a good times to dig into the visual lexicon of the American book and show images that are rarely seen outside of my community. I wanted to celebrate women of all kinds and especially black women.”

At the exhibition, while most frames contain developed images, some will show the reverse of photographs which will include the date, time and photographer. The audience is invited to freely interact and explore with these images which will be kept in various cabinets of the exhibition. On the first level of the Osservatorio, the artist has also installed original furnishing and interior design elements mimicking the publishing house’s downtown Chicago offices. Within this area, spectators will be allowed to browse and read copies of Ebony and Jet magazines while viewing Avenue In Full Bloom (2018) , which is a short film shot by gates documenting the actual office space in Chicago.  The exhibition is on display from September 20, 2018 to January 14, 2019.

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Ready, set, Frieze: at Dover Street Market

03.10.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

The excitement in the air as Frieze comes to London is palpable and everyone is looking to get involved. Conserve your energy and make the most of the good vibes: for a super condensed shot of fashion and art related events, Dover Street Market is the place to be.

Serving as the wheatgrass in the cultural smoothie that Frieze has become, Dover Street Market’s locus of activities offers everything we thought we needed, and a whole lot more. The series is launching in store tomorrow and you may want to bring your camping gear – there’s a lot to get through.

Luncheon magazine at Dover Street Market

Highlights include Isabella Burley’s joyful new book, ‘Sisters’ by Jim Britt, which features the brace-clad duo who starred in the AW88 CDG campaign; Charles Jeffrey’s zine launch; Simone Rocha x A Magazine launch; Luncheon magazine’s installation with Rottingdean Bazaar; Loewe’s celebration of classical literature; and much more.

Isabella Burley, UK book launch: ‘Sisters’ by Jim Britt

For the Luncheon installation, Rottingdean Bazaar are re-decorating the Luncheon ‘Kiosk’ which sits the DSM and will be offering some custom playful product with every copy of the magazine – ‘spoontacles.’ These are, as they sound, spoons made into glasses… expect to see London’s most fashion forward coveting the maverick brand’s latest invention in the season ahead.

Luncheon magazine at Dover Street Market

Spoontacles or no spoontacles, you’ll find there’s plenty to dive into at Dover Street Market tomorrow. See you in the queue.

Loewe classic books
Charles Jeffrey Zine
JW Anderson, Your Picture Our Future Publication

Dover Street Market Open House, October 4th 2018, 6-8 pm.

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Peter Fetterman: A fascination with the photographic lens

01.10.2018 | Blog | BY:

In celebration of the Santa Monica-based photography collector’s new exhibition, The Fashion Show, at his self-titled gallery, Twin parks the spotlight on Peter Fetterman’s dedication to the photographic frame.

What initially sparked your fascination with photography?

I started my career in the film industry dealing with moving images then discovered the power of photography to tell stories through individual images.

How did you become such an ardent collector?

By accident in 1979. I had just arrived in Los Angeles from London. I was invited to a small dinner party and it turned out the host was selling his small collection of photographs that hung in his dining room. I could not stop looking at one image, Max Yavno’s “Premier at Cathay Circle”. I asked how much it was and the owner said it was $400. I had arrived in California with five t-shirts and two pairs of jeans, had a total net worth of $2000 and was driving a beat-up car with virtually no brakes. If I were rational I should have spent the money on new brakes, but I bought my first photo and it changed my life.

Frances McLaughlin, Gill Fiona Campbell, The Palace at Versailles, Paris, 1951 © Peter Fetterman Gallery

Why did you choose to open your own gallery?

My collecting habit had become so extreme. I was working out of the back of my rent-controlled apartment and making house calls like the Tupperware lady. I was asked to open a gallery in a new arts development centre in Santa Monica. The organiser said to me that he had heard I had a great eye and asked if I would like to open a public gallery. I said why not? I had no idea of what I was doing when I started out. I learnt along the way.

Over the years has there been particular photographers whose vision has stayed with you?

My first and greatest inspiration was the celebrated French photographer Henri Cartier Bresson, and still is. We became his main US gallery for the last 14 years of his life. Henri kindly introduced me to another inspiring photographer, the great Brazilian photographer Sebastiao Salgado, with whom we have collaborated for over 30 years now. His passion fires up my own.

Jerry Schatzberg, ‘Big Hat’ © Peter Fetterman Gallery

You have a new exhibition entitled ‘The Fashion Show’ – what made you decide on this as a fitting theme for your gallery?

I am always seeking the beauty in life and I have always appreciated the style and elegance to be found in this genre.

A fashion show can be an overwhelming collaborative celebration of creativity: do you think the images in your exhibition showcase this aspect?

I hope the selection in this exhibition does indeed show this collaboration. We have some of the greatest designers ever represented form Yves Saint Laurent, Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli matched by such great artist like Horst, Norman Parkinson, Hoyningen -Huene, Melvin Sokolsky and many others…

There are some iconic female photographers in the line-up: who are your highlights?

There were so many great female photographers working in the 50’s and 60’s who were overshadowed by the attention heaped upon the members of the fashion boy’s club, chief of whom were Irving Penn and Richard Avedon. But I have always felt that female photographers like Lillian Bassman, Francis McClaughlin Gill, Louise Dahl Wolfe were their equals.

Norman Parkinson, ‘Anne Gunning II’, 1950 © Peter Fetterman Gallery

Were the female photographers in the exhibition initially celebrated as equals their male counterparts?

These photographers were overlooked critically, but I strongly believe that history will eventually re-write their achievements

What have you learnt makes a great fashion photograph?

I use the same yardstick I do for what makes a great photograph in any genre of photography. Like a great novel or film or piece of music, you are one person before you see a great image and another person after you see a great image.

Norman Parkinson, ‘Traffic’, 1950 © Peter Fetterman Gallery

In the age of hyper self-awareness, have we entered a new age of fashion portraiture?

I’m not so sure we have actually entered a new age of fashion photography. I think we have entered a different era because of the proliferation of digital photography. Everyone today can call themselves a photographer because the barriers to entry are so low. Perhaps I’m just old school but my taste keeps leading me back in photo history. Probably one of the first great fashion photographers was Julia Margaret Cameron. What she produced in the 1860’s is still pretty monumental in my book, and has barely been topped since. 

What was the last thing that thrilled you?

The last great exhibitions that thrilled and moved me recently was the Irving Penn exhibition at the Grand Palais. In Paris last November and the great Dorothea Lange exhibition at the Barbican this year.

The Fashion Show is on at Peter Fetterman Gallery until 20th October, 2018.

Kota Okuda: Dismantle Capitalism, But Make It Fashion

30.09.2018 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

One of the most recent visual floods on social media has been caused by Japanese designer Kota Okuda who made his debut during NYFW at the Parsons MFA show 2018. His collection shared a sultry yet rather interesting message.

“I’m fascinated with the obsession there is surrounding the United States currency, and through this I wanted to deconstruct the meaning of it’s value in relation to humans.” Okuda drew inspiration from German philosopher, economist and revolutionary social Karl Marx’s book ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy,’ which references the themes of conceptualism and pop aesthetics. The designer also described his collection as a way of redefining the American currency by commodifying its value in an alchemistic system of dress, which he surely did accomplish. He  sent models down the runway strutting giant US Dollar bills, giant wallets and accessories reminiscent of cash. Following this collection, the designer hopes to continue to use fashion to tackle important issues and his currently working alongside New York based labels Telfar and Sea NY to design jewellery.

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Antonio Marras SS19: The Fault of The Mistral

26.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Italian designer Antonio Marras dug deep into the unexpected for the inspiration behind his Spring Summer 2019 collection title The Fault of The Mistral.  Arriving to the show a few minutes early, the first familiar attribute was the sound of Nina Simone’s music playing from the outside as the models capped their final rehearsal. As the curtains opened and the audience was let in, what was to be discovered was a series of door jams aligned along the runway with sacks tied atop each one. This show was slightly different from all the others, it carried a message that came across as personal. Marras’ stimuli behind the collection was based on his wife’s recollection of an Ethiopian princess she once met. Princess Romanework, eldest daughter of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia who was captured during the battle against the Italian army and forced to live on the exile island of Asinara.

The collection embodied a tropical woman dressed in shades of military green gowns, coats and sweaters. Flashes of floral prints, white, beige and lace appear throughout intervals. This was not just clothing being presented at a show, this was a story being told, some models wore headpieces which mimicked flower wreaths and at the end of the show there was a performance. An emotional bevy of men in underwear with shoes tied around their necks, rushing together to salute one another and then ripping the sacks tied atop the door jams, where a flow of sand emptied upon them. This was not just a show, it was a carefully orchestrated re-enactment of poetry. The only note to be taken is that since this was a story of an Ethiopian princess, it would have been ideal for the casting to better reflect that. If making an ode to Ethiopian princesses, go all out, hairstyling and everything. However the designer is definitely one to keep an eye on as he is one who chooses to go a little bit of an extra mile further.

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N.21’s Bare Necessities

25.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

N.21 Creative Director Alessandro Dell’acqua kept things quite simple for the SS19 collection. As opposed to his often whimsical streetwear inspired looks the designer delivered a clean collection which he describes as very adult-like, and indeed it was. The first few looks were a series of black dresses, all accompanied by a pair of plexiglass heels.

Each silhouette was clean and feminine with very slight touches of fun added to them, further down there was Dellacqua’s signature touch of nude and pops of colour. Some looks appeared to be transformative series, a pink sweater and pencil skirt was followed by a pink mini dress which was followed by the pink skeleton of a dress layered over a white minidress. The designer worked with these couture-like fabrics to create a very simple straightforward collection that although appeared to be very commercial, withheld tiny interesting detailing. Dress skeletons were made out of faux ostrich feathers, a skirt suit boasted an open zipper back and tie-dye mini-dresses wore slightly oversized bows.  Although this shift might be a step in the right direction for the brand, one can only hope that the birth of this austere, semi-couture  N.21 woman, does not come at the cost of the designer’s ingenuity.

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A Millenial-Friendly Fendi

24.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Fendi SS19 was all about the Italian brand’s step towards a younger generation — a slight shift in the brand’s aesthetic, which was also rumoured to be the reasoning behind the slightly titled “F” for Fendi on the invitations and at the top of the runway.  Creative director Karl Lagerfeld alongside creative director of accessories and menswear Silvia Venturini Fendi curated an urban collection of utilitarian romance. Pockets upon pockets , pouches in pouches and bags upon bags, the collection was a much needed breath of fresh air that introduced a slightly younger version of the Fendi woman.  Each look was just as ‘instagrammable’ as it was elegant, shades of lobster orange,burgundy, tangerine, optic white , denim and sage created flirty feminine silhouettes with hard fabrics.  Also making an appearance were versions of a trendy cycle shorts along with the iconic Fendi baguette which made its comeback this season. 

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Arthur Arbesser SS19: A Celebration of Disharmony

24.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

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Marni’s Mattress Recipe

24.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

Marni SS19 seating

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Apparently, God Can’t Destroy Streetwear

24.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

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

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

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Ashish SS19: reflection and sparkle

23.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fashion East SS19 Showcase

18.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Charlotte Knowles, Yuhan Wang and A Sai Ta were the London based designers chosen to showcase at this year’s Fashion East SS19 showcase.  The non-profit initiative, set up by Lulu Kennedy and Old Truman Brewery to support and nurture emerging British talent celebrates its 18th year of triumph after housing designers such as JW Anderson, Kim Jones and Gareth Pugh; just to name a few.

One of the first talents of this year’s show was the fruit of Central Saint Martins graduates Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault, who launched their brand Charlotte Knowles in 2017. The designer duo presented a collection for a strong, confident and futuristic woman which focused on refined pieces with intricate details. The woman they presented was one who celebrates her femininity as she proudly strut down the runway in, halter neck bikinis, mesh slips and cut-out pieces of bright colours accented with an abundance of straps.

Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

Chinese born designer Yuhan Wang who is also an alumni of the Central Saint Martins womenswear program brought forth a collection which was inspired by asian femininity and its ties to western culture. The SS19 collection was entitled Women Indors. She explored the line between coverage and exposure; delicacy and sensibility as she played peekaboo with techniques of drapery paired with sheer fabrics to create pieces which celebrated the female form in a fun yet sensual manner.

Fashion East, Yuhan Wang SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, Yuhan Wang SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

Designer A SaI Ta who previously launched his label Asai with Fashion East in February 2017 for his SS19 collection, dives into the roots of his British-Chinese-Vietnamese heritage and reinterprets this as a second generation Londoner. Ta uses fabric manipulation and pairs this with his sharp pattern making skills to create a collection with disrupts familiar visual codes by creating sharp intriguing forms of the modern day female silhouette with inspiration from military culture. After graduating from Central Saint Martins the designer gained experience at The Row and was sought after for a position at Kanye West’s Yeezy just a year into completing his MA.

Fashion East, ASAI SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, ASAI SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

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Sadie Williams’ glittering future

17.09.2018 | Fashion | BY:

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

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

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

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

Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin

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

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Salon 63

16.09.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

Londoners heading south should leave room for a longer bus journey this week thanks to a new project opening along the 63 bus route.

Curator Sasha Galitzine has partnered with 13 artists with 10 hair and beauty salons to make site-specific works throughout the route. Each work explores and celebrates the role of the salon in the local community, and the journey runs from Clerkenwell to Peckham. 

The participating artists Larry Achiampong, Gabriele Beveridge, Ellen Gallagher, Gery Georgieva, Paul Kindersley, Eloise Lawson, Andrew Logan, Isaac Olvera, Paloma Proudfoot, Hans Rosenström, Stasis, Freddy Tuppen and Kirsty Turner Jones.

One of Lewis Barbers clients in Eloise Lawson’s workshop there whilst waiting for a haircut.

The participating salons are Barber Streisand, La Bodeguita & Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, Diamond Nails, Manuel Guerra Skin Care & Sylvio’s Juice Bar, Old Kent Road Barber Shop, Lewis Barbers, Miami Health Club, Sam’s Barbers, DKUK and Divine Destiny.

The project draws attention to the vital role that these salons play in the local community, how they act as spaces for socialising and support as well as for beauty treatments and hair styling.

Eloise Lawson and Lewis barbers.

In doing so Sasha seeks to raise questions about the role of the salon in London, and beyond that to investigate notions around what a social space is, and how it is made.

For more information about Salon 63: Artist & Salon collaborations down the 63 bus route, click here.

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Megan Rooney on her performance SUN DOWN MOON UP

15.09.2018 | Blog | BY:

London-based artist Megan Rooney premiered a new performance SUN DOWN MOON UP yesterday at Park Nights at the Serpentine Pavilion.


Rooney is a storyteller whose cross-disciplinary practice encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, performance, written and spoken word. Her imaginative, narrative works are deeply rooted in the present, considering, questioning, and critiquing crucial social and political issues. Political chaos, gender and the body, the ephemeral self, humanity and nature. Her performance Sun Down Moon Up, in which a group of female magpies invade Mount Athos, explores the human subject and the natural world, boundaries and transgressions of space.

In collaboration with Nefeli Skarmea, choreography, and Paolo Thorsen-Nagel, sound. The piece was performed by: Temitope Ajose-Cutting, Daniel Persson, Leah Marojevic and Megan Rooney.

Park Nights takes place at the new Serpentine Pavilion each year and requires artists to respond to this environment. How has Frida Escobedo’s 2018 Serpentine Pavilion influenced your performance and how will you interact with it? And in this space, how will you physically and performatively explore more metaphorical themes of boundaries, forbidden space, transgression, etc.?

SUN DOWN MOON UP has been constructed specifically around the pavilion, that is our site and that provides the intention. It becomes for me the skin of the piece, holding everything inside of it. Frida’s Pavilion has four entry/exit points, so it encourages movement very naturally. I’ve written a new text which deals with the present moment:  the festering chaos of politics with its myriad cruelties and the laden violence of our society, so resident in the home, in the female, in the body.

“I saw you dropping eggs out your car window

Passing through the stop signs

Yielding to blue sky  

Praying for a pay rise

You were honking and choking

Singing out malarkey

True as god”

This performances uses the body as a site of resistance and as a site for storytelling. I am interested in the transferring of the myths, in the boundaries between real and fake in the construction of new stories. This work is responding to the present moment, to the complication and confusion of it. Things are swinging around violently and moving further and further to the right. The characters are resisting.

Your works have been described as fragments of a larger whole. How does SUN DOWN MOON UP fit into your larger body of work and or propel it further?

Yes, I think of the performances as chapters in an ongoing story. I am interested in the movement of stories, and what happens to stories overtime, which stories are preserved and which are lost? We are at a difficult moment in the story and as a result things have become quite stark and stripped back – only the urgent things remain.

I like that idea of focusing on what’s urgent or imperative. And that’s really apparent in your work, in the subjects that recur and the characters that often return. Gender and the body, the female body and femininity in particular, and the natural world and environment seem to always play an important. How do they manifest in SUN DOWN MOON UP?

I write about the things I know, the things that I experience in my everyday life. The things that I see in the people close to me. The stories I hear.

My performances occupy a slippery territory, I want you to come and see them. Not to look at static single pictures of the work on Instagram, not to watch documentation – although, of course, we do this all the time. But this is something that unfolds in real time and that is important. It’s about the bodies in the room and the bodies in the piece. It’s about sharing something together. There’s something very powerful in that.

For Park Nights, you’re working with Nefeli Skarmea on choreography and Paolo Thorsen-Nagel on sound. What was this process of collaboration like? What have you achieved together?

I met Nefeli Skarmea three years ago at the Serpentine when I was working on another performance called, Last Days. Last Days. Last Days. Over the past few years, we have been developing a universe of movements that relate to the texts that I write. I see the performances as different chapters in an ongoing story that is constantly changing and evolving but that drags that past with it. Nefeli and I have developed a number of pieces over in past few years in very different locations.

Similarly, I’ve also been collaborating with Paolo Thorsen-Nagel across different projects. His understanding and intimacy of sound really changed the way I hear the world. We started sending sound files to each other, creating a landscape of sound for the performance to live inside of. I’m interested in the transfer of sound between bodies and places and across time, how we can trap and store sound and then use them as tools for communication. The wail of an angry child, the sound of a bus engine, the howl of a dog tied to a rope. The relentless hum of crickets chanting in unison. The blocking out and isolating of sounds. When the roll of a wave takes over this invisible landscape. How water sounds in different places and the different types of words for describing this sound. For example, on the west coast of Finland, you can hear the roar of the sea in the distance almost like a constant hum – only discernable when you isolate it but after impossible to ignore. They call this the brus. Like a storehouse of sound attached to memory.

I spend a lot of time in the studio working on my own. Performance is my chance to be social and I love that feeling. The studio is full. Everyone is picking each other’s ideas apart, and we’re building something together. Performance is also about orchestrating something – about bringing the right people into the situation and working it out together. You have to have a vision, of course. It can’t be everything – it can’t be a soup. It has to sing. It’s about having control and losing control for me and sucking the thing out of people that you see in them.

Why Mount Athos? Why magpies? Where did the inspiration come from? How did this setting and these characters connect for you?

Many years ago I saw an opera by Giannetto De Rossini called La Gazza Ladra – The thieving Magpie. It tells the story of a French girl accused of theft who is tried, convicted and executed. Later, the true culprit is revealed to be a magpie. La Gazza Ladra is best known for the overture with its use of snare drums. This section of Rossini’s overture evokes the image of the opera’s main subject – a clever, cunning, thieving magpie. Magpies are extremely intelligent, ancient birds that are surrounded by myth and superstition, especially in Britain. There are always bird references inside my performances.

And Mount Athos?

I read a news article about Mount Athos a couple of years ago. It’s situated in Northeastern Greece, a peninsula that extends its boundaries into the sea. A place women are banned from entering, including all female animals. It’s been inhabited by a group of Eastern-Orthodox Monks for over a 1000 years. Athos becomes a kind of literal, visible boundary. One that is shrouded in secrecy and perhaps can be interpreted as having little consequence. What impact if any does banning woman for this place really have? You could argue very little. But I think we can use this to speak about invisible boundaries and invisible violence. Access. Isolation. Separation. Distance.

Humans have always had the impulse to create barriers. To say you can go here and not there. This belongs to you. This belongs to me. This is mine. That is yours. You cannot enter here. The idea of boundaries are forever caught in a wave of absurdity – and yet every aspect of our lives is wrapped in this basic idea of territory and belonging.

It’s not really about Mount Athos. I did go there this summer or to the closest town Ouranoupoli. I went on this boat cruise around the peninsula, 500 meters from the shore, which is the closest women can get to visiting the monasteries. The Monks ride out from the monastery on a speed boat and board the main ferry that holds about 350 people – with suitcases full of merchandise that folks can purchase. This loud speaker describes the different monasteries, explaining all the incredible relics inside that you don’t have access to. I did a lot of filming on the boat. You can buy beer and sandwiches.

I think you have to go to places to make references real. To observe the people in those places. To sit on a night train clutching your belongings in your lap, surrounded by drunk men. The trip itself was intense and difficult at times; at other times, it was totally banal and very fucking hot. I watched this singed landscape blowing past the window, stopping where wildfires had scorched sidewalks into carpets of ash.

Megan Rooney, Park Nights in partnership with Cos at the Serpentine Pavilion, September 14th.

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Fendi’s ‘Play Me’

12.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For their previous SS18 men’s eyewear story titled ‘Discovering Me’, Fendi chose to muse upon musician, actor and model Jamie Campbell Bower with a fashion film which explores the actor’s stage prowess along with the discovery of his inner self.

Their fascination with the performer is further explored in their latest film for FW18-19 with a follow-up story called ‘Play Me’. The video features Bowie in his hotel room in Rome wearing Fendi accessories as he is interrupted a phone call with notice of a delivery left for him. As the actor opens the box, he discovers a note which reads ‘Play Me’ along with a DV camera tape. The footage reveals Jamie strolling the local Roman landscapes along with intercuts of his daily life inside the Roman hotel room — a juxtaposition of his off-stage moments unfolding in front of the viewer. Discover the full video here.

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Megan Rooney, SUN DOWN MOON UP

10.09.2018 | Blog | BY:

This weekend Megan Rooney will conjure an immersive world at the Serpentine Pavilion as part of their Park Nights series. 

The performance will centre on the story about a group of female magpies who invade Mount Athos, exploring the idea of transgression within forbidden space and investigating metaphors offered by nature.

Rooney is widely known for her fluid and expansive narratives. The artist brings together a rich catalogue of expression, from painting and sculpture to spoken word performances, in order to convey her imagined worlds. And while her settings may feel apart from the everyday, her themes and topics are deeply rooted in the current political and social sphere. 

This performance will include choreography by Nefeli Skarmea, and sound by Paolo Thorsen-Nagel. 

Buy tickets for Megan Rooney, Park Nights at Serpentine Pavilion, 14th September, here. 

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What you need to know from Stockholm Fashion Week

10.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:


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

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

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

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

Filippa K

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

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

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

Filipa K | SS19 collection

Stina Randestad

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

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


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

Stina Randestad

Amaze x NH(O)RM

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


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

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

Amaze x NH(O)RM

Ida Klamborn

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

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

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

Ida Klamborn | Photo: Mathias Nordgren

Stand

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

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

Stand | Photo: Mathias Nordgren

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