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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Posturing

14.04.2018 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Following the wildly successful exhibition last year, Holly Hay and Shonagh Marshall are releasing Posturing as a book this month.

The beautiful tome brings together 21 iconic image makers in contemporary fashion. These photographers explore, respond to and propose new ways of using the body as a tool in the way clothing is depicted. Viewers are invited to look beyond the clothes though, at the entire art of composition and structure of each photograph. The careful curation of images allows viewers to examine fashion photography in new ways. The book portrays the spectrum of the fashion canon, from hyper-sexualised to the hyper-abstracted body. It is a celebration of the new era of strangeness in fashion, and the photographers central to leading the way.

Read our interview with Shonagh Marshall about co-curating the exhibition with Twin contributor Holly Hay here.

Johnny Dufort for AnOther Magazine, ‘Go Fish’ Autumn:Winter 2017

Charlie Engman for AnOther Magazine, ‘A Nod And A Glance A Gesture For One Word’ Autumn:Winter 2015

Lena C Emery for The Gentlewoman, ‘Practise’ Spring:Summer 2014

Pascal Gambarte for Marfa Journal, ‘Being Michael Rothstein’ March 2017

Reto Schmid for Under the Influence Magazine, ‘Relative Transparency’ Spring:Summer 2016

‘Posturing’ is available to buy via SPBH Editions from April 23rd 2018. 

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Obsessing over Wade’s world: Mimi Wade AW18

18.02.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

It was a kind of mock-gothic, Hollywood bridal party that only Mimi Wade, with her proven aptitude for taking the fantastically kitsch and making it fantastically sexy, could have pulled off. For AW18, Wade ostensibly stripped back her signature aesthetic but managed to retain a raw, vamp-like glamour even while working across a monochrome base.

Part of a new generation of designers in London adept at creating clans – the likes of Molly Goddard and Sadie Williams have delivered a powerful, unifying aesthetic language too – Mimi Wade has established a strong identity for her women, mixing a sense of nonchalance (this season through bias cuts and frayed hems) with feline sultriness (velvet bows, ruched, deep collars and puffed sleeves). It’s Wade’s World, and we want in.

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

Mimi Wade AW18 | © Amber Pinkerton

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Arcades, escapism and English breakfasts: Alexa Chung’s ‘Fantastic’

06.02.2018 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

A new video from Alexa Chung, directed by Jesse Jenkins, evokes the magic and nostalgia of the British seaside. Starting with a laconic reading of a John Cooper-Clarke’s poem ‘I Mustn’t Go Down To The Sea Again’ the visuals introduce a lonely dancer, spinning on the beach between cliffs. As the boy, dressed in a mustard corduroy suit, explores along the promenade, he discovers the ‘fantastic’ venue, and the allure of the glitter and musical magic inside – a gathering of women dressed in pink satin dresses and striped shirts.

“I think I’m always intrigued by that stage of youth where you’re caught in between teenagedom and adulthood.” Said Alexa Chung, creative director of her eponymous brand, of the video. “There’s a synergy between what’s going on in the video: finding one’s place in the world, tentative expression, the joy of discovery and what’s going on with our brand. Progressively feeling more confident. Britpop largely inspired this collection and that sort of ultra-British experience of soggy chips and windswept beaches and old men’s pubs and disco revivals is a time and a place I wanted to revisit in this film.”

A tribute to the joy of discovery and the energising power of music, this is the kind of romantic escapism that’s perfect for starting the week.

ALEXA CHUNG “FANTASTIC” from Jesse John Jenkins on Vimeo.

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Bethany Williams AW18

07.01.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

A pioneer of sustainable fashion, Bethany Williams puts a social conscience at the heart of her work; the last collection ‘Breadline’, worked alongside the Vauxhall food bank and Tesco to highlight the poverty crisis hidden in plain sight in the UK. Here the collection was developed around food waste, and Tesco recycled cardboard. The results were not only socially aware and environmentally friendly, but also innovative, avant-garde and sculptural – a hybrid of responsible and covetable which is glaring absent for the most part in the British fashion industry.

Her latest collection ‘Women of Change’ put women’s rehabilitation at the heart of her collection. The designer worked with female prisoners and the San Patrignano drug dependancy program, subverting the gender narrative to bring men into fore of the solution through her designs. Each piece was created from 100% organic or recycled, even down to the buttons which are handmade in the Lake District by Jean Wildish, who plants her own trees for the production of wooden buttons, and handmade in the UK and Italy.

The collection was shown at London Fashion Week Mens through a film, directed by Crack Stevens, along with a live presentation with models from TIH – a new modelling agency that supports young Londoners affected by homelessness.

One of the most exciting designers on the London menswear scene, Bethany Williams is offering a vision for the future which fashion desperately needs. We can’t wait to see what comes next.

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The best of 2017: highlights from Twin Issue XVII

29.12.2017 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

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

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17black
17intimacy
17wambam
17bags

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Dangerous and completely magical: Twin meets Mimi Wade

19.12.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Mimi Wade is one of the most exciting designers to have come out of London in the last few seasons. With her hyper feminine, seductive and playful designs she has created a new space for women to enjoy dressing up, and in doing so invites women to enjoy their bodies and the power they hold.

A Central Saint Martins graduate who came through the Fashion East platform, you can expect exciting things to come from Wade in the seasons to follow. Twin caught up with Mimi to talk about her grandmother, Hollywood and carving a new fashion structure.

Your last collection was inspired by your Grandmother’s Hollywood home, can you tell us a bit more about what the place was like?

Her house is slap bang in the middle of Hollywood, movie posters and lobby cards adorn every inch of wall space, mixed in with numerous photographs of herself , portraits by different artists and ex-boyfriends (including Cecil Beaton, and one by Matisse -not actually of her but one which bears a very striking resemblance) film stills – it’s all very ‘Sunset Boulevard’ !

Hollywood is infinitely seductive, why do you think that is?

The possibility in the air, that’s very seductive. People flock from all over the world to the city to pursue their dreams. In the same way that movies promote fantasy and detach us from reality, so does Hollywood. It is both trashy, dangerous and completely magical.

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You embrace femininity and sexuality in your designs – what about that kind of aesthetic interests you?

There have been times where I’ve felt undervalued for embracing and embodying my femininity and it only made me want to continue to push further. Women are too often underestimated, especially beautiful women who embrace their femininity and sexuality. My grandmother had a boob reduction, died her hair an unflattering colour and tried to rid herself of her stereotypical bombshell looks in an attempt to get more fulfilling roles in the movies – it’s frightening how often women are put in a box because of the way they look. Take Hedy Lamarr for example- she is responsible for inventing wifi and yet she is often merely remembered for being beautiful. Things need to change and I want to be part of it.

Aside from personal experience, who or what do you draw aesthetic inspiration from when you’re building a collection?

I watch a lot of films, I collect packaging and movie memorabilia, I take pictures and draw a lot, I look at vintage clothes.

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You graduated from CSM and then did Fashion East, what were the biggest challenges of launching a label in London? What were your biggest learning curves?

I’m still learning a lot, mostly from my mistakes!

What are your favourite materials to work with?

I have had an ongoing sponsorship from Sophie Hallette since St Martins, they make the most exquisite lace in Paris which is a joy to work with. I also love painting on leather.

When did you have the most fun designing?

My graduate collection at St Martins, having the freedom to design something with no commercial constraints whatsoever was pure joy.

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All you want for Christmas is….?

A lilac Birman kitten.

Where do you want to take the brand in 2018?

I’m restructuring the way I show collections, I’m not going to be a slave to the schedule anymore. In 2018 I’m doing things on my own terms. I’m launching my website and e-store in the new year too which I’m really excited about.

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

17.11.2017 | Blog , Culture , Music | BY:

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

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

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

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

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

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Posturing: Photographing in the Body in Fashion

24.10.2017 | Blog , Fashion , Twin Video | BY:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What was it that drew you to fashion in particular?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do you think fashion is inherently fine art?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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