Designing through Destiny’s Cup

18.10.2018 | Blog , Fashion , Music | BY:

The new collection by upcoming Australian brand WORN is a riotous homage to powerful women and seventies recklessness. Modelled by the muse Amy, lead singer of the band Amyl and the Sniffers, Twin talks to the designer Catherine about being brave and the importance of beginning out bold.

Has Amy Taylor ever been told her peroxide rats tail mullet homage sets off her eyes? A dusty blue, like smoke marring a crystal clear sky, or the mist in the morning around 5.34am.

The acrid blaze of her mop, her fringe jagged across her brows, seems to balance beautifully with these mysterious blue-moon puddles: a punkish cross-hatching of Dolly Parton (both Capricorns) and Cherie Currie with the unapologetic audaciousness of Betty Davis. 

Amy, the lead singer of the Australian pub-rock band Amyl and the Sniffers, is the sort of woman that must cause jukeboxes to combust, beer bottles to explode, skies to clear. She is mesmerising, through her vocal leadership of a motley mullet crew of merry Sniffers. Caltex Cowgirl, I’m Not A Loser, Blowjobs –  the songs of the Sniffers are some freaky stuff. Their reference points dart from 70’s Australian pub rock like AC/DC and Rose Tattoo, Cherry Currie and Nancy Sinatra, to Melbourne garage: nothing set in stone, more like a collage of influence, coming at all angles from the four former housemates. 

WORN

Amy is a true showman, jumping, leaping and roaring onstage, with her gratingly dark and humorous lyrics alighting the band’s Australian punk revival. Amy is definitely the leader, and boy does she front it well.

In the words of the designer Catherine Conlan, Amy is “kickass and fearless! Brave and bold! She is absolutely charming and completely engaging.”

It is through this steadfast reasoning that Catherine has set Amy as her look-book lead, embracing the role and embodying the seventies reverence.

Catherine Conlan is the designer of WORN, a brand with a sustainable conscience and a spinal chord of print and sharp suiting.

Her new collection is a perfect complement to the woman that Amy represents, both sartorially and linguistically speaking, and as such results in a showcase that puts the metal to the pedal, with frisky tailoring, retrograde prints and nostalgic finishing.

WORN really takes its title to the core of the company – the seventies colouring (that dusty leather brown), those cuts (wide leg pant suits), and collaging (the scarves are a straddle of the 20th Century artistic medium, yet strangely stasis in a thoroughly contemporary referential point). In this vein, the brand name could be read as a riff on being worn, loved and cherished, or the past as a starting and end point for its inspiration.

Having supported Amyl and the Sniffers with her own band, WORN is tied to Amy through her embodiment of the woman Cath has in her mind, a woman with no f**k’s given, and no offence taken.

We look forward to seeing WORN’s next steps as it celebrates and elevates the brilliance of boldness in women.

WORN

How do you know Amy Taylor?

Cath: The band I am in supported her band Amyl and the Sniffers, I think it was one of those things… love at first sight. 

What attributes do you admire in her?

She is kickass and fearless! Brave and bold! She is absolutely charming and completely engaging.

How does she embody your brand WORN?

Amy is confident, she is somebody you can’t take your eyes off of. WORN is about combining your personality with the garments to create a unique look with each individual and that’s exactly what Amy embodies, a completely unique take on whatever she does.

Why did you choose her to model your collection?

When I was designing the final prints and pieces for the collection, I was thinking about Amy. Thinking about her wearing this collection, jumping about in the garments and making it all seem larger than life. Her aesthetic to me, completely complements the prints…with her white mullet and big dolly eyes.

Does music hold relevance in your brand?

Yes, absolutely. For me, music is a huge part of any creative process.

How did the brand WORN come about?

I guess it was always a part of me, in some way shape or form I just never had a title for it. I didn’t have a ‘brand’ to identify with, until I was in fashion school. I needed a more official point of association, an umbrella in which I could design under and to define my aesthetic with.

WORN

What is your brand’s unique DNA? 

Non-seasonal, ethical, sustainable for our local textile industries. Slow paced and timeless design.

What are the most important things to consider when designing?

I always consider print design in my process. It is as important as the garment design and construction.

What are your reference points for WORN and for this collection in particular?

The power suit. Recycling a mass of wool suiting. Working women.

How did you get to where you are now?

I have been drawing, painting, playing music and making clothes since I was young. I studied fashion design with a focus on print design at fashion school in Sydney. I have been creating collections and bodies of work, as worn for the past 5 years.

WORN

What type of woman do you design for?

Crazy, confident bad ass women who know what they want and don’t give a damn!

What’s next?

Releasing a collection of Wallpaper that I have been designing for a while now, touring with my band and collaborating with one of my favourite Sydney artists on a joint exhibition for mid next year.

Most important things on your mind right now?

Australian summer, reducing waste and shooting for the stars.

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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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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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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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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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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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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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Stockholm Fashion Week Show and Casting Review

10.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

Marian Nilsdotter SS19 

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

Fillip Rosen for Lazoschmidl SS19| Photo by Peter Hakansson

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

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

Jennifer Blom ss19 | Photo by Peter Hakansson

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

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

Designer Salem Fessahaye

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

Ivyrevel SS19 | Photo courtesy of Fashion Week in Stockholm

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

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

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

Model Ken Gacamugani

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

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

30.08.2018 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

American-born Central Saint Martin third-year fashion design student Harris Reed has quickly became on of the most recent names to know in fashion.

With his natural appetite for androgyny fused with an impeccable taste in design, Reed has found himself gaining attention from celebrities such as Solange Knowles and Troye Sivan. He’s also designed collections exclusively for singer-songwriter Harry Styles. Only a few months ago , the designer was tapped by Gucci to take over their instagram stories during the Cruise 2019 show and to debut on the runway himself in Arles, France.

Twin contributor Jordan Anderson sits down with the creative to decipher the details of his whirlwind of success.

Harry Styles sporting one of Reed’s looks during a performance.

Jordan Anderson (JA) : First of all I have to ask, what were your exact thoughts walking down that aisle for Gucci in Arles?

Harris Reed (HR) : I remember the one thought going through my head was that this is it, this is the beginning of it all. With all the editors from all sorts of magazines that I’ve admired sitting in the audience, it was just kind of this overwhelming feeling knowing that I am one of the only designers that is being supported in this way by such huge brand. After all the hard work I put in, and am still putting in, this was like the best sort of graduation anyone could ever have.

JA: What’s an average day like in the life of Harris reed?

HR:  Lately it’s been waking up at 7am and attending to emails, running out to get coffee and starting to do research on different things happening around London. I usually visit the National Portrait Gallery and other art exhibitions around town where I often find inspiration for my work.

Some days I’ll return home and do interviews all evening or some days I’ll stay up sewing until 4 a.m, but pretty much the bulk of my days involve emails, research and sewing.

JA: The title of your last collection was the “The Lost Romantic Boys of the Edwardian Summer Holiday.” What was the story behind it?

HR: The collection I did before this was a 13 look compilation for Harry Styles, which was what kind of led me to this project. That entire collection was inspired by the summers I spent down at the seaside in England with my grandparents. All the men in my family are kind of men of the sea and I’ve always felt kind of like the odd one out. It’s sort of a play on my interpretation of what I would look like if I was to ever be come one these characters.

A look from a previous collection of the designer.

JA: What’s your design process like?

HR: I always start with a very strong character. Then I create a narrative around this persona and from there I dive into the design process through collaging, which is where I create a silhouette. It’s always a constant back and forth between collaging and working with the physical pieces as feel is very important to me in the creation of these characters. I end up doing a lot of hands on work while doing my sketching and collaging at the same time.

JA: People often label your work as androgynous, but do you consider yourself a menswear or womenswear designer?

HR: Even though I’m thinking about gender constantly when it comes to the physical design process I try not to imagine my characters as gendered. I imagine them more as fluid beings, it’s more about the body,  the shapes,   forms and the personality traits rather than all the labels.

So no, I wouldn’t place myself in either of those categories.

Singer Troye Sivan in a Harris Reed look

JA: If you could use one movie, a song,  a poem or some type of media to define your work what would it be?

HR: It would surely be cross baby of the movies Only Lovers Left Alive (2013)  and Orlando (1992)  .

JA: When looking at your work, it’s noticeable that a lot of the pieces are quite similar to your personal style. Is your work a reflection of yourself?

HR: It’s quite funny because when I started designing, I noticed that the second I started making pieces that were for myself the response was much greater. I would definitely say that a lot of times my collections hold aspects of myself and my personality.

JA: Who is your work for?

HR: My work is for a very mixed group of people, from 16 year-old girls to 60 year old women. Everyone has a different perceptive on it: some people think it’s quite rock n roll, while some think it’s very tasteful and victorian like . It is for anyone who’s not afraid to dress up and understand that they’re going to spark conversation by wearing my pieces.

JA: I noticed when composing your look books and doing personal shoots that most of the models you use are black men. Was this intentional and why?

HR: I can never do anything for only the sake of being pretty or beautiful. I always have to be tackling issues that are important. For a short time in my life I did modelling and one of the things I noticed was the lack of diversity, so I always try to be  as inclusive as possible. Also for me it’s more about the people I meet and their personalities. I would rather meet someone, get to know them and shoot them for my collection rather than just picking a random model from an agency.

Artiste Solange Knowles in a full look by Harris Reed

JA: Is a college education important for one wanting to be a designer ?

HR: It’s interesting because I’m obviously  quite fortunate to have such great success before even completing university. However I’ve found CSM to be such an amazing experience. I look at the work I did a year ago and compare it to what I’m doing now and I see how I’ve experienced such enormous growth, and a lot of that was thanks to the professors and friends I’ve met here.  So I think it’s good for growth. However I think there are some people who make it work without schooling . It just depends on the person. I would say it’s not mandatory, but it’s 100% beneficial if it’s within your means.

JA: What are some of the challenges you experience being a student who’s already in the spotlight?

HR: Finding the time to do everything is difficult. I’m a ‘yes’ person, I love to collaborate so the biggest challenge is knowing when to say no and understanding my limits.

JA: Can you tell me about a time that was scary for you?

HR: Moving to London from America for me was like coming out of a cocoon. When I got to London I was welcomed with such an accepting energy that pushed me to being more fluent and embrace who I was. One of the scariest moments for me was physically opening up and wearing these extravagant things that better represent me.  Sporting these looks in public and worrying about what people will think. It was kinda just about that moment of physically coming out of a closet dressed in all these extravagant, decadent pieces.

JA: What would be the dream for your career ?

HR: I think it would be having a huge business that is completely gender fluid and which is giving back to the community. That’s successful in breaking down the fundamentals of the way fashion looks at gender and personally being a role model to people like myself.

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Whistles Autumn/Winter 2018

21.08.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For their Autumn/Winter 2018 collection Whistles presents a collection which they describe as a more forthright approach to dressing. A blend of both maximalist attributes and modern sophisticated details, the AW18 campaign embraces a silhouette which is fluid and feminine and also holds inherent strength.  Louche shirt dresses, wrap around silk bodices, over the knee boots and autumnal floral prints are some of the qualities which add character to this modern-day silhouette. See the full collection here.

Whistles AW18
Whistles AW18
Whistles AW18

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Nike City Ready Womenswear Collection

20.08.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Sportswear brand Nike recently unveiled their latest womenswear collection titled Nike City Ready which is set to hit stores on September 6th. The collection comprises of nine pieces designed by an all-female team which included Nike Women’s Senior Creative Director Maria Vu.

“Our Challenge was how to take our incredible motion adapt technology and make it beautiful and push it through a transformative lens without compromising the performance,” explains Vu. The campaign features American athlete Sloane Stephens and ballerina/photographer Olivia Burgess who model the pieces which include footwear, bras, pants, tights and crews which are shot by female photographer/athlete Paola Kudacki.

Nike City Ready Collection
Nike City Ready Collection
Nike City Ready Collection

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An ode to robotics, Twin meets Miaoran

15.08.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

“Robeauty” — an ode to the beauty of robotics — was the inspiration behind Milanese brand Miaoran’s SS19 collection.

The label, run by Chinese designer Miao Ran, launched three years ago after intense collaboration with Missoni.  Specialising in both menswear and womenswear, Ran often delivers collections inspired by ethereal subjects and incorporates them through structure, print and delivery.

For his latest collection, the designer uses soft silhouettes, prints, colour, broken lines and macramé embroideries to construct looks in alignment to this automaton aesthetic. He also teams up with photographer Marcello Junior Dino, to create a lookbook influenced by muses of the future. Twin met with the designer to learn more about his process. 

What materials are your favourite to work with and why

At the beginning it was so much about natural fibres but for the SS19 collection I choose many synthetic fabrics. I can’t really say I have a favourite. Each season it’s a different intention and a different mood to portray.

I always pay attention to materials. A fabric can deeply change the look of a shape and make it something you would never expect. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t but it’s important to experiment. It is always worth it.

What has been your biggest challenge so far since the launch of the label?

The biggest challenge for me, as for many designers nowdays, is to stay original. It’s important to combine many different aspects when your passion becomes your job. You have to make something beautiful, something that could be different among the all other products,  something that has a twist but will also work in the stores. It’s difficult but it’s also very exciting for me. 

How would you describe the ideal Miaoran woman/man?

Someone who is confident and who can wisely choose a piece of clothing and give it life. I love people with great personalities.

What inspires you the most?

I am very open to the world, and what happens on a daily basis. You can take a picture, read a book, watch a movie… but it’s not just that. It’s your background and your own world that makes you see everything in a different way.

Why were robots your inspiration for this collection?

Robots are the future. Aren’t they? And so are children, which was why we decided to pair them both for the look book.

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Akemi’s 100 Kimonos, by Emily Stein

08.08.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

© Emily Stein
© Emily Stein
© Emily Stein

© Emily Stein

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Show moments of sunlight, Twin meets Cecilie Bahnsen

03.08.2018 | Fashion | BY:

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

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

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

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

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

What about volume interests you?

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

Were you always drawn to romanticism in clothes? Why?

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

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

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

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

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

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

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

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

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

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

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

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

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

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

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

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

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

 

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

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

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

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

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

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

What were you interested in exploring for PS19?

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

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

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

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

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

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

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

Cecilie Bahnsen PS19 | images by Josefine Seifert

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Rosetta Getty and Hayden Dunham’s Tribeca Collaboration

25.07.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Clothing designer Rosetta Getty has teamed up with artist Hayden Dunham, to create an installation in her Tribeca studio space, also incorporating Dunham-inspired elements into into her own Resort 2019 collection. Each season, Getty selects a young female artist to collaborate with in this way. In the recent past these have included acclaimed artists Alicja Kwade and Analia Saban.

Dunham’s work investigates the relationship between the hard and soft architectures of building and body, embodying ideas of transformation and the process of facilitation. By working closely with Dunham, Getty began to record and understand her approach to sculptural processes, which is scientific and methodical. In response to this, Rosetta has created Resort 2019 in much the same way, working with unusual fabrics like laminated water repellent cotton to create a truly unique collection.

Twin contributor Sarah Roberts spoke to both Getty and Dunham about their artistic exchange.

Rosetta

How did the collaboration between you and Hayden come into fruition?

I have been interested in Hayden’s work since first seeing her exhibition at Red Bull Arts in 2016. I later visited Hayden’s studio in LA and was fascinated by all of the different materials she gathers for her work, such as silicone, resin, glass, porcelain, silk, and charcoal. I related to this strongly with my own process as a designer. For Resort 2019, I started searching for the most unique fabrics I could find.

Each season, I work with an artist to create a unique installation reflecting my collection. I asked Hayden if she could create a site-specific installation that would provide context to the clothes, and the process was very organic.

Rosetta G interior | image Jonathan Hokklo courtesy of Zoe Communications

What first drew you to Hayden’s work?

I was drawn to Hayden’s approach of using natural elements and synthetic materials together in her sculptures. I began to think about my own approach for designing clothes, and it felt very much the same. It has encouraged me to further my own exploration of fabrics and I discovered some incredible synthetic materials for this collection.

How is the Resort 2019 collection different from those you’ve created in the past?

Resort 2019 continues our minimalist aesthetic even further, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about the purpose and functionality of every piece. The collection arrives during a time of year when you need an ever-changing wardrobe, so I’m pleased we can offer lots of different options with this collection.

What aspects of the collection are directly inspired by Hayden’s work?

The fabrics, which we developed ourselves, are directly inspired by Hayden’s process of manipulating materials. We found carpet cushioning at a hardware store, which is very industrial, and transferred it to a print on silk georgette and it turned out very soft and elegant.

In the end, it was made into a very subtle cape panel gown, with flowing separates. Another example is the laminated water repellent cotton which we used in the outerwear. The laminated finish on one side and cardboard colour give it an industrial characteristic, but once worn, it’s light, casual and unassuming. The colour palette is also very much directly inspired by Hayden’s work; soft tones of peach, meadow, shell, and sky.

Rosetta G interior | image Jonathan Hokklo courtesy of Zoe Communications

How do you and Hayden similarly approach sustainability?

We both feel strongly about the responsibility of putting things into the world as creators. My team continues speaking every season with our fabric mills and looking into their practices, discussing the impact on human health and the environment. I’m glad to see that most of the mills we work with use sustainable methods to produce their textiles.

Hayden

How do you use sculpture to investigate the relationship between the architecture of the human body, and the chemical matter with which it interacts?

There is a very clear relationship between material bodies and human bodies. We are in a constant dialog with the environments we live inside. This conversation is reflected physically through the materials present in our bodies.

How does this installation depart from, or tie into, your previous work?

I am obsessed with water and structures that support water. Specifically, large-scale circulation systems that move bodies of liquid around. Human bodies are one of these systems. A fountain is another structure that hosts these exchanges.

When I visited Rosetta in Siena, she pointed out the fountain in the piazza, which is a gathering spot for the community. The water has a very special and specific mineral composition and feeling to it.

LAIL, 2016, Hayden Dunham | © Andrea Rosen Gallery

What drew you to Rosetta’s work?

There is this deep calmness and clarity in Rosetta’s presence, and she is both grounded and expansive. I see her work and process as an extension of this energy. I am also really impressed with her team and the level of intentionality and thoughtfulness in their practice.

What challenges did you face while creating this installation?

The presence of these pieces is so expansive and wild that they wanted to be incorporated into every system inside the space. They were particularly tempted to go inside the floors and electrical outlets. My role in the install was making boundaries with the work, which is constantly expanding and contracting. For me, the garments operate in a similar way. They are containers, and they provide a boundary to be held by.

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Growing up as a goth in the British Midlands: Twin meets Supriya Lele

27.06.2018 | Fashion | BY:

What does it mean to be British? This is one of the biggest questions facing British people in the aftermath of the Brexit vote. What does Britishness look like? It’s a difficult one to answer given the influx of immigrants, cultures, and customs in British society over the last forty years. It’s something Supriya Lele confronts with her work.

Supriya is a British fashion designer with Indian heritage. Her work is influenced by her British identity and Indian cultural heritage. The way she works with drapery recalls the sari. The colours she works with refer to her own background, growing up as a goth in the British Midlands. Her work is inspired by architecture and sculpture, which she believes are integral facets to fashion design. Her work caught the attention of Fashion East, Lulu Kennedy’s incubator program for emerging talents. With three seasons at London Fashion Week showing as part of Fashion East, the British Fashion Council awarded Supriya NEWGEN sponsorship. This September, she will debut her standalone show at London Fashion Week. Twin caught up with her to discuss identity, launching a brand and “growing up as a goth in the British Midlands.”

When did you know you were meant to be a fashion designer?

I wouldn’t necessarily say I always knew I was meant to be a fashion designer, I began by studying architecture, and then subsequently wanted to study sculpture before last minute changing to my undergraduate degree in fashion…I think these three areas are quite linked. I was always really interested in fashion and it has always been an important part of my life, and this has been a very natural process.

Surprise LeLe AW18 | © Chris Yates

There are also parts of your work which refer to your childhood “growing up as a goth in the British Midlands”. For you, is storytelling an integral part of your designs?

Haha, yes the “goth,” aspect or subversive aspect to my work is important. I have been exploring my cultural identity since I completed my Masters at the Royal College of Art- and that involves exploring different memories, or parts of my family history which have informed my personal viewpoint and design handwriting; I think storytelling is a big part of that.

Your work features contrast: masculinity and femininity; your Indian heritage and British cultural identity; lo-fi fabrics and the air of luxury– is your work defined by contrast or the balance between the contrasting elements?

I always enjoy the tension between high and low and I like to play with that in my work. I would probably say that the balance between the contrasting elements is what I enjoy- finding that middle space or exploring that tension is what is exciting.

Surprise LeLe AW18 | © Chris Yates

It was reported that your first presentation with Fashion East came at a time when you hadn’t yet worked out how to sell the collection. Is this true?

My first presentation with Fashion East was when I showed parts of my Masters Collection from the Royal College of Art- most of this had been created on the course without sales in mind; so it was more that the actual collection was not ready for sales. It was more an aim to present my ideas and vision in that context, and introduce myself to the industry.

You worked with Fashion East for three seasons, what was the best advice you received?

I received a lot of good advice from Fashion East so this is a tough question! I think it was not to worry too much and to be confident in my own abilities.

You’ve been afforded NEWGEN sponsorship for the upcoming season. How does it feel to join the ranks alongside your peers Matty Bovan, Bianca Saunders, as well as previous winners such as J.W. Anderson and Simone Rocha?

It feels really exciting to have my own slot on schedule at LFW, I am really looking forward to it. NEWGEN has an amazing list of alumni, but also the current designers are so strong it’s really great to be a part of it!

What is next for the brand?

To keep pushing my vision forward and to grow my business and brand organically with the support I have.

 

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Fashion East x Galeria Melissa

23.05.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

In keeping with Galeria Melissa’s reputation for hosting maverick collaborations and guests, the space’s next takeover brings Fashion East’s merry band of designers to the Covent Garden space.

The Fashion East womenswear designers, which includes Supriya Lele, Charlotte Knowles and Asai interpreted Galeria Melissa’s  OPEN VIBES AW18 collection. The video that will preview this evening is the first to be created between Galeria Melissa and Fashion East. Shot with a home video aesthetic, the video offers a low-fi feel that blends the fantasy of fashion with the reality of its process.

This latest collaboration with Fashion East follows Juno Calypso’s unnerving takeover earlier in the year. Expect weird, wacky and wonderful things.

Imagery by Dexter Lander

Imagery by Dexter Lander

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