Art meets Fashion: A Chat with Designer Pauline De Blonay

10.09.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Images shot by Pablo di Prima

Young designers merging the borders between art and fashion are rare birds waiting to be found and are indeed not easy to find. 

Pauline De Blonay, a recent runner up of the prestigious L’Oreal Pro Young Talent Award, and a Central Saint Martins graduate, seems to be one of them. The Swiss-born designer had been dreaming of going to London’s infamous hub of creativity since the age of fourteen years old, yet her way into fashion wasn’t a regular one, like you would expect. 

“Initially I thought I would study Fine Art and started by doing a foundation year in Jewellery design, however when I realized that I wanted to work on a bigger scale and to combine fashion, fine art and jewellery, I applied for the BA in Fashion Design in order to work this way,” she says. 

Art had and has been influencing her work since she was a little kid, paintings in particular, as her art tutor would make her and her peers replicate paintings that they loved, and hers included a lot of harlequins from Picasso and some dreamy spaces and characters from Edward Hopper. With time she kept on being inspired by painters, such as Modigliani and Egon Schiele. 

This multi-faceted approach towards visual thinking is what intrigued her and pushed her towards working with different combinations of various different techniques and materials, from jewellery to painting. 

“It was important to me to combine every skill or knowledge I possess in order to realize the looks I design,” she says. “It was essential for me to be in control of every detail of the collection I wanted to create, such as the metalwork, which took me a while to figure out my own way of casting metal in my own flat, the prints for the garments and accessories, the shoes, the make up, etc,”

And indeed it is polyhedric approach of hers to design which makes her clothing so intriguing and interesting. 

Her first collection, showcased during Central Saint Martin’s final year fashion show, was an exploration of her identity and the notions of masculine and feminine. She wanted to create a duel between masculine and feminine images and merge them together. A suit and a cast of her breasts, feathers locked in metal, dresses that you can mould that look powerful and strong but which are fragile at the same time because you can change their shape. In addition to that she created many portraits of the people who surround her and included them as patterns to some of her dresses. 

“My idea was that I was extending myself onto other people’s body by giving them casted parts of my body in metal and all these drawing of people that are important for me are represented too. They are an important part of my identity,” she explains. In a sense, it was a way for her of reuniting all of her relationships, by featuring on her garments. It was like a rendez-vous of the people that she deeply cares about.

Yet, after being the runner up to the L’Oreal Pro Young Talent Award, which brought her attention and visibility, what has the future in store for her? Will London still be the center of her world?

“I spent five years of my life evolving in the creative heart of London, being at CSM,” she says. “I have made the most amazing and creative friends who inspire me every day. Being in London and especially at Central Saint Martins, supported by amazing tutors gave me the strength and possibility to create and concretise a collection which represents me at best. I needed that time in London to evolve the way I did to get all the tools necessary to make my first collection happen.”

For now, an itinerant move to another city isn’t in the works, yet, wherever she’ll be, be it in London or another international city, she has in store of extending her collection and keep on making magical garments. 

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A Chat with 032C Creative Director Maria Koch amidst the launch of Buffalo London by 032C at Browns East

06.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

032c is more than just a magazine, it’s an entire solar system, and the constellation of projects that make 032c so special revolve around Joerg and Maria Koch. The husband and wife team are Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director respectively, and alongside Fashion Director Marc Goehring are the living, breathing embodiment of the 032c sensibility. A magazine that eschews the zeitgeist and charges directly at its own interests, 032c manages to be both genuinely counter-cultural and also extremely current. Their latest issues features both a Kristen Stewart fanzine and a call-to-arms in praise of solidarity from German sociologist Heinz Bude, a characteristically surprising and delicious mixture.

Alongside their bi-annual print publication, 032c also mount exhibitions, run large-scale events, co-own the ultra-cool 24hr REFERENCE festival, and consult with any number of big-name brands. Each member of the team also takes on a myriad of projects individually, and its hard to imagine how they find enough time and energy to fit it all in. In some ways it all seems to work because of the real sense they give off of truly practicing what they preach – somehow Maria and Joerg embody the ethos of the 032c workshop without ever feeling self-important or cliched. Every decision they make and each idea they bring to life feels like a natural and organic progression from the one before, adding to the dense and rich world they have created. 

032c have dabbled in apparel for a long time, ever since they started noticing that fans were bootlegging their own merch featuring the iconic logo (the name 032c is the pantone reference for the virulent red of the magazine’s cover). In the early days they simply put out small drops of tees and other basic pieces, produced in black or white with a bold logo as the only adornment. Unsurprisingly collaborations soon followed with everyone from Stüssy to Sade, to more recent hyped launches like their limited-edition adidas GSG-9 boot. The 032c brand alone is enough to shift a huge number of units, never mind the fact that the pieces they collaborate on have always exemplified their innate style, and intuitive understanding of what their audience wants.

A fully-fledged 032c Workshop Ready-to-Wear line launched at Pitti Uomo in early 2018, followed by a London showcase last November entitled COSMIC WORKSHOP, which saw the launch of their first ever womenswear pieces. Maria oversees the RTW arm of 032c, drawing on her experience working with brands like Jil Sander and Marios Schwab to lead a team of around 20 that includes patter-makers who are also experts in craftsmanship. Having worked on unisex pieces before AW19, Maria felt like womenswear was the natural progression of their ever-expanding output. 

Alongside the womenswear, a special collaboration with fellow German style icons Buffalo Boots was also previewed at the COSMIC WORKSHOP presentation. The collaboration sees the iconic Buffalo platform integrated with “archetypal elements of classic luxury footwear”. For one style the weighty buffalo sole elevates a riding-inspired jodhpur boot, complete with leather uppers and traditional fastenings. Another look sees thigh-highs that reference fetish and club-wear realised in the materials of heritage leather labels. According to the brand statement: “It’s streetwear on steroids meets old world craftsmanship, because more is more, contradiction is beautiful, and we didn’t grow up to leave our youth behind.” 

Today this collaboration launches alongside an exclusive capsule of the COSMIC WORKSHOP womenswear with a special installation and event at Browns East. The RTW collection hangs above a floor-level vitrine in which the boots are encased, almost like relics in an archaeological site. Translucent white plastic curtains hang in bands around the space, making it feel like the inner sanctum of the kind of Berlin club you would never make it in to. After a preview of the installation and the pieces, we sat down with Maria at Browns Eeast yesterday to talk about the collection and the collaboration.

Maria is full of energy and an un-sentimental kind of nostalgia when she talks about how the Buffalo project came about. “It really felt very natural […] because when I was in my teenage days I was like a rave kid, like a classic Berlin hardcore rave kid, and everybody would wear Buffalos and my parents never, ever would support that ugly shoe, so it wasn’t possible! But at the same time I was very much in to dressage riding, and so somehow this is actually really these two worlds of my teenager times.” Maria herself is wearing the short jodhpur boot and is clearly delighted with the end product, which she manages to make look at once very tough and very elegant. In person the shoes very much embody the contemporary mood, where cross-pollination of subcultures is becoming the norm. Yesterday’s Horse Girl is today’s Party Girl.

Elaborating more on the idea of the Browns East installation as a club space she notes the parallel design elements like the hanging plastic and flashing lights, which mirror the AW19 Cosmic Workshop presentation. “I really always liked this club-feel where you get lost and have a warm feeling and at the same time an idea of melancholia. You know this is a very, very interesting feeling, and we tried to achieve this a little bit downstairs [in Browns].” This carries through to the fabrication of the clothes and boots – when asked about their almost protective feel, she counters: “You know, I feel at the same time they’re very, I think, tender and soft and translucent. Or like, transparent you could say. And then yes you have the strong leather pieces, so there’s really this mixture, it’s really this club vibe.” This emotive approach to the design process is highly captivating, and speaks to the sense that everything 032c creates lives inside a very real world. The person who will actually wear these pieces, and how and where thy will wear them, has been truly understood and catered for.

Emotional connections aside Maria is pragmatic as well as creative, and that is what makes the whole enterprise so viable. She understands that you can create art as a fashion designer, but, “to describe fashion as art is a weird scenario because it’s produced, it’s produced to fulfil this certain product requirement, and to sustain in a commercial market, and this is not where art is coming from.” The workshop and the rest of the team clearly think carefully about how they approach their projects; how to make them thrive in a truly practical sense that still retains the artistic vision. 032c describes itself as a ‘Manual for Freedom, Research and Creativity’ and this triad ethos is as much a part of the RTW as it is the magazine, “this magazine is really like a huge research lab […] when I have the freedom and the proper research, [creativity] is then somehow the outcome.” This is the wholistic approach to everything they create; the editorial, fashion, research and consultancy teams all co-exist in the same space. The end-product for each team has been adapted through exposure to the others, and this results in something robust and sustainable. Commerce is not the only end-goal, but its key role is acknowledged.

In a pressurised industry undergoing a huge amount of change, working from this three-pronged foundation seems to be key to keeping 032c ahead of the curve. When asked about how the RTW collection will develop Maria is very candid about how they are grappling with the traditional seasonal model. “This is the big question […] I’m not really interested in the full collections, I feel, maybe the stores will tell you this, first of all it’s boring and it’s not really sustainable to do a 120-piece collection that nobody needs. And we felt it’s good to have strong, a very strong classic collection every half a year and then do what we do with the apparel as well, some drops.” Maria wants these collections to be not just desirable but also necessary, and wanted, and it’s a savvy way to keep them from ever feeling superfluous to the other 032c outputs. She is insistent that conversations with Browns and their other retail partners are a vital part of their process, allowing them to be flexible and reactive to practical elements like budget changes as well as her own inspiration. Putting the time in to researching what the market needs leaves more freedom to create, outside of the rigors of showing and selling on-schedule in an endless loop.

Crucially though, all of this careful consideration allows her to sustain her motivation in the face of the punishing fashion calendar. “This newness, makes me somehow not sad, but a little bit, it feels heavy. I don’t think wow the new collections I feel, phew!” – everyone is exhausted right? – “Yes! But I’m not at all exhausted from fashion, I’m exhausted by the rhythm, and by what it is now. So, I feel, we’re in to just figuring out what the answer should be to that.” If anyone is capable of figuring out the answer to the big questions, it seems more than likely that it’s Maria and the rest of the 032c team.

As we say goodbye Maria reveals yet another undertaking, as if all of this wasn’t enough for one woman. She and Joerg have recently moved out of the much-envied brutalist church they rented for years and bought a place of their own for the first time. With the new house comes a garden. “I really started to study what these plants want from me”, she ponders, “what do I have to do to make them happy?!” It’s comforting to think of this incredibly prolific woman taking the time to ponder the needs of her vegetable patch, even after all the demands that her work must place on her. Something so grounding and elemental seems like exactly the right tonic to working in a world driven by ideas and innovation. “It’s very rewarding.”

To shop the collection visit, Browns Fashion.

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Fendi’s #BaguetteFriendsForever ft. The Roman Baguette

22.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Following their last episode filmed in Shangai, Italian fashion house Fendi returns to it’s roots for the latest instalment of  #BaguetteFriendsForever with an episode shot in Rome of influencer and entrepreneur duo Miki Tang and Ikwa. The Chinese pair, founders of Around the world in High heels are shot exploring the city of Rome as they arrive at the Fendi HQ at Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana , checking out an exhibition inside the building and on a mini adventure as they try the different versions of the brand’s signature Baguette while complementing the Palazzo’s iconic arches and statues with their head to toe Fendi garbs. In the short film, the Baguette is featured in different styles and sizes from the FF version in Nappa leather, to sequinned , to micro and macro sizes. t

The brand first launched the campaign #BaguetteFriendsForever earlier this year which included a series of short films featuring the storylines of inseparable groups of friends around the world throughout one of their daily routines which is centred around the iconic Fendi baguette. The first episode was titled “The Baguette is Back” and was an adventure set in the streets of Shanghai China. The second episode Titled “The Missing Baguette,” was shot in Hong Kong. All pieces are currently available in stores worldwide and online, to shop the looks , visit Fendi.

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A Deeper Look (Book) : Lacuna

08.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Twin takes a deeper dive into the jewellery and RTW brand Lacuna,  based in Paris

An unfilled space; a gap. It feels like a statement definition already, with the designer Annabelle calling her namesake brand Lacuna. While it also happens to be Annabelle’s last name, it seems fitting to look at the meaning from both angles. 

Lacuna is a brand with a grown up elegance but a sensual sensibility, matching Annabelle’s design pedigree within Chloe, Cerruti, Kenzo and now Margiela designing under Galliano the show collections. 

Seeding out these sensual and undoubtably mesmerising images of her first collection entitled ‘Serpent I’, within her jewellery we see beautiful beady eyes resting on a deep reddish gold that wraps over hands, loops under ear, swirls around necks. Beautiful peachy pearls and shimmery little Swarovski baubles drift amongst dark petroleum-black planet pearls.

Introducing the brand via her perfectly executed look book, Lacuna takes a classic introductory format and makes it sexy: she reminds us of the evocative powers of jewellery, of the way it can emphasise, flatter, signal something unsaid. 

Photographed by the German photographer Marlon Rüberg and styled by Annabelle herself, you can see this is a brand Annabelle has planned for a while. Keeping the team intimate is reflected adamantly in the imagery – room for spontaneity and happy accidents, but clearly polished until it reached a standard Annabelle was happy to brand as her own.

This is not to mention the wonderful hand painted concise collection photographed alongside: a rose overlaid on a python in blues, yellows and red. Stiff silks in kimono shapes and slinky slips drip off the model’s frame. 

Lacuna is a cosmic brand: refined but contemporary – the feeling that it is slightly intergalactic with these biomorphic forms floating on gold wires in unfilled space.

We anticipate great things in her future explorations of deep jewellery space. 

What made you begin your brand?

I have lived and worked in Paris as a womenswear designer for the last ten years- at many different houses and for different sort of creative directors. I wanted to continue doing that and at the same time start working on a personal project. I chose fantasy jewellery as it’s a product that is not connected to my daily work but I had always interest in and I’m a collector… I researched for weeks in all kinds of libraries and museums which was amazing to do, I wanted to give it time to grow. I found the best jewellery ateliers in France to work together with as well as an amazing atelier for my hand painted pieces.

Who photographed and styled the look book? 

Marlon Rüberg is a German photographer and director who shot my look book in Milan, where he also lives and works. He is a very good friend of mine who I met when we were both living in London more than ten years ago. He’s very talented, we share the same references and I knew that he could translate exactly what I had in mind and create a lot more to it than I had imagined. I trust him completely. I styled it myself- for my first look book I wanted to keep the team small and intimate. I like to be prepared and we planned out each shot- but I also like to see what happens on set when everything comes together … I like to try out new things spontaneously on the spot and see what happens. 

What was the inspiration behind your first collection? 

I went far back in my memory and landed at one of my first fashion obsessions that I could remember. My mother used to wear very colourful printed, Philippine exotic house dresses or caftans at home, which was very unconventional growing up in German suburbia and she also used to wear very decadent and chic 80s jewellery on special occasions like receptions or cocktails (my dad used to work for the Philippine government).

All the dresses are hand painted and have different kind of techniques on them, the colours are all mixed by hand. Each piece of my jewellery collection is single, the hand pieces as well as the earrings- I wanted a unique look. 

What did you want to explore in your look book imagery? 

I wanted to present my pieces in a sensual but also sculptural way- that’s why I choose the milk bath scene, the model floating on (fake) fur…


What are your enduring interests. 

I’m always looking at new exhibitions of artists, photographers, sculptors, painters, but also vintage books and magazines … I’m interested to see new aesthetics, mediums, point of views and I’m always happy to meet new people who I can learn from and work together with

Why do you think look books are important? 

For me, editorial, video, look books, any sort of image that accompanies a project, is the ultimate visual diary to show the vision of the brand, its world. Every aspect should look considered. For my next project I would like to focus more on the printed version.

Do you think attitudes in fashion are changing?

The only ‘trend’ or attitude I support at the moment and hope will endure is the sustainability and recycling one in terms of how fashion is being made and produced. But in general I think fashion attitudes go cyclical and one movement will always trigger the counter movement.

What do you want your audience to take away from your brand?

I want it to become synonymous for an avant-garde and extravagant look. 

What powers does jewellery hold?

When you buy it for yourself, it’s empowering. As a gift, it can become very memorable- when it’s family jewellery or from your loved one.


What powers does clothing hold? 

It’s empowerment and disguise at the same time. 


What was the last thing that made you excited? 

Coming to a conclusion what my next project will be about! A lot of different ideas have been going through my head, I was with a friend and talked and talked and talked- and it all became clear.

Credits:

Photographer : Marlon Rueberg 

Model : Kasia Jujeczka

MUA: Giulia Cigarini 

Hair : Daniela Magginetti 

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F IS FOR…FENDI ft. Mr Doodle

08.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

London based artist Sam Cox aka Mr Doodle has joined forces with Italian fashion house Fendi for the latest instalment of their F IS FOR…FENDI rooftop performance in an edition titled Doodling FENDI ROMA. The collaboration sees Mr Doodle —  who is known for his signature drawings on walls, rooms, furniture etc. — take over the Fendi Headquarters in Rome for an extreme makeover. The artist spent two days of drawing in an ongoing creative stream where he used the label’s iconic double F logo as his outlet. Mr Doodle starts with mirrored desks and then moves on to cover the FENDI rooftop and eventually the entire Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana. Images and videos show the artistic chemistry between Sam and Caterina, a young tailor of the FENDI atelier as she stitches on Mr Doodle’s jumpsuit by combining different tailoring techniques and applying them to different materials and textures to create a unique tailor made piece. 

Mr Doodle is also the only one to have ever doodle on a white canvas Peekaboo bag, creating a one of a kind version of the house’s iconic accessory. 

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The Nike ZoomX Vista Grind

02.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

One of the sneakers of the summer has been Nike’s ZoomX Vista Grind. Released earlier last month, the sneaker, specially crafted for the female consumer has already been seen on the soles of women and men everywhere. With a statement silhouette and bold features yet a level of comfort fit for athletics, the shoe is a fusion of both streetwear and high fashion. This concept was said to have been sparked by the Women’s World Cup and the city of Paris, with the intention of creating a clash of the city and suburbs, creating something both rebellious as well as refined. Sustainability was also a key driver in the creation process of the shoe, as foam scraps from the brand’s ZoomX sneakers were used to enable a level of technology fit for sports into the Vista Grind.  See the full story in our XXI issue to be released mid-September.

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Chopova Lowena x Matches Fashion AW19 Capsule Collection

31.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Global luxury retailer Matches Fashion, has recently partnered with  London-based emerging design talent Chopova Lowena for the launch of an exclusive capsule collection for AW19. Post-graduation from Central Saint Martins, the design duo Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena initially launched their brand in 2018, which eventually took off and gained a cult like following for their interesting and distinctive designs. From traditional Bulgarian fabrics, to wide leather belts, to rock climbing carabiners added as statement pieces. The designers have united with the luxury retailer to offer all that and much more including a few additives such as kilt skirts, wool coats etc. 

 “MatchesFashion.com have been a dream partner and support system to us. Spotting our potential so early on and so carefully guiding us to fine tune our product with such care and a mentoring eye has been vital to our knowledge and our growth. Working with them has changed the way which we think about a woman’s wardrobe and her life,” explained the duo. In celebration of the partnership, Twin went ahead in joining the design duo for a brief Q & A. 

What was the inspiration behind this capsule collection?

This collection was inspired by Albanian Traditional dress and Equestrian Vaulting.

What are the most important things you consider when designing?

We consider first and foremost the combination of our two references and really merging them seamlessly. Also thinking about our customer and her comfort. 

Who would you say is the ideal Chopova Lowena woman?

There is no ideal, we would love if all kinds of women connected with our garments. That’s our ideal.

How would you describe the direction for the capsule’s campaign?

We worked closely with Charlotte Wales, Jamie Reid and Agata Belcen who are all so connected with our vision and we collaboratively decided on the campaign and shooting it on Equestrian Vaulting Team GB2019 in their barn in Warwickshire.

What’s next for you guys?

We are working on our new collection and campaign.

The collection has been launched at 5 Carlos Place and also includes a book in celebration of the brand’s latest campaign.

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Fendi X Jackson Wang launches Capsule Collection

26.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Today Italian fashion house Fendi launches a special capsule collection in collaboration with Chinese celebrity rapper, singer and songwriter Jackson Wang.

The capsule collection is one that continues Wang’s partnership with the brand as an ambassador by mixing fusing his signature style with distinctive aspects of the FENDI DNA, creating a kind of pathway between the worlds of fashion and music. The collection mainly featured in black velvet and chenille includes a formal suit along with more casual pieces like jumpers, t-shirts and trousers. The list of accessories also include a black leather Baguette with a velvet FF logo, a clutch, slide sandals, a baseball hat rendered in chenille, running sneakers and a variety of other ready-to-wear pieces. The Fendi x Jackson Wang Capsule collection will be launching in 33 selected FENDI boutiques and online from July 20th .

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Something that is present: Idil Tabanca on immersing within the Turkish landscape

25.07.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Cover image: by Idil Tabanca Gökhan Polat

Idil Tabanca isn’t someone you would necessarily assume to be a Chairperson of a museum. Her alternate title, Creative Director, absolutely clicks with the persona of the woman that founded and ran New York’s loved fashion and culture title Bullett Magazine, but a chairperson? If the role of a chairperson is to allow fair and open discussion of matters, Idil is set to be a total coup – the expectation of others, matched with the vision of herself seems like a task she is more than equipped to handle. Bringing a fresh standpoint she is sure to provide: now that is vital to the success of any Institute. 

We are here to talk about OMM, the Odunpazari Modern Museum, that Idil is holding these integral positions within. Opening in September in the Turkish city Eskişehir, OMM will be a foundry of both global and local vision. 

“OMM will have education programmes, residencies, and pairings with global and local artists – opening up the doors to create an institution that will be a stepping stone for a lot of young artists. We want this place to be like an exchange for artists – creating spaces for people to come together and have these intercultural dialogues. There will be a hotel attached for artists to stay, and a quadrangle, with a vegetarian café which is almost unheard of in Turkey! Giving people options and breathable space to come together and create. The building itself will be a feat of architectural beauty, designed by the respected Japanese Kengo Kuma and Associates. I don’t see OMM as a museum – it’s a platform, a bridge, for young people to have their voices heard”.

With an education in film and digital media, you see this influence impact Idil’s approach to presenting the Museum on a global, innovative and connected scale. Her editorial background gives Idil a lateral and relevant viewpoint: the threat facing museums is that they face cultural extinction unless they adapt to new audiences – if anyone can speak about creative agility as a necessity you need not go further than anyone in the magazine trade.

“It is very similar work – you are still creating content but instead of a magazine page you are working with a gallery wall. You are giving someone a platform for display.”

Idil has grown up since her DIY New York days. From pulling together character love letters with celebrities, Idil is now invested in the importance of educational awareness of her beloved museum within the surrounding art schools of the heavy university town she finds herself in.

Her eyes still sparkle when she speaks of the projects and the collaborative partners ahead; a natural thinker and doer, mover and shaker.

Did Bullett set her up effectively for this role she is undertaking? 

“I think it set me up to manage people more than anything else to be honest! Juggling different people and personalities is always tough, especially when you are working in fashion and art, and managing all these moving parts. Creatively Bullett helped me shape my vision – I can’t imagine if I didn’t do Bullett how I would see things.”

Marc Quinn, Mekong Delta İce Floes, 2008, Photo by Ozan Çakmak

So why has Eskişehir been chosen as the favoured site for an interactive, cutting edge cultural institute? 

“There are 3 universities here, and they are all art universities – for all the cities in Turkey it is a very secular city and a very intellectual city. It is also geographically quite central, so easy to get to from the other surrounding cities. It was in 2004 that the first contemporary art gallery happened in Turkey, so we only have a very short history of museum culture here. Now it is somewhat challenging as we are creating something that hasn’t been there before. Sure, in Istanbul, but not in other places. We did a study and found out 80% of people hadn’t done a cultural activity in their lives – rates that were astonishing. What is exciting about this situation is for me to change that.”

Will the OMM be more about creative expression rather than strictly art?

“Absolutely – we want to carry collaboration into every aspect of what we are doing.”

Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, İsimsiz, tuval üzeri yağlıboya karışık teknik 1956

And Fashion?

There will be a store selling a small line, and a big name designer will be creating the uniforms for the staff. Hey, you can take the chick out of New York fashion… 

And a global outlook?

“We want to have a global outlook, but want to ensure we are starting by getting local communities involved. The city has the potential for this. Our mission is to ensure that we are also educating global audiences that we are a destination: have this connection with the rest of the world.”

Tanabe Chikuunsai IV Installation photo by Kemal Seçkin

There will be work showcased by the local and the international, starting with a permanent collection made up of Marc Quinn, Julian Opie and Sarah Morriss, to Turkish artists such as Bedri Rahmi Eyüboğlu, Ramazan Bayrakoğlu and Canan Tolon. A site-specific commission by bamboo artist Tanabe Chikuunsai IV will be installed for opening in September.

While we can’t say we knew Idil before,  and we can only imagine this role has led her into a new direction – museums and galleries must ensure the voices of the next generation are accounted for, and Idil seems set on bringing her native country into the realm she finds most familiar: of the innovative, the creative, the outsiders, the brave.

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Balenciaga captures Parisian love scenes for AW19

23.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Paris has long been known as one of the world’s most romantic city in Europe. With historic ‘love’ bridges, the Eiffel Tower and other amenities, over the years, it has become the city on the moodboards of couples all across the world.

For their AW19 campaign, Parisian luxury street brand Balenciaga opted to pay homage to the city’s romance with a photo-series of real life couples decked out in Balenciaga gears — oversized coats, big hoodies, stonewashed jeans, anoraks jackets. Gushing in romance, each couple is intimately captured through the lens of photographer Greg Finch — a creative more known for romantic, wedding shots rather than editorials — around the metros, on benches, outside grocery stores, in front of cafés etc. The photo campaign is also accompanied by a video shot by videographer Ed Fornieless on CCTV in various locations as they each discuss their bond.  It has always been said that sex sells, but try love, this campaign makes us all want to grab our partners and head all down to play dress up in some Balenciaga gear. To view the full campaign, visit Balenciaga.com 

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Fendi opens summertime café in London

22.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This summer, Italian fashion house Fendi has joined forces with luxury department store Harrods in London, on the embarkment of an exclusive  dining experience.

From July 1st to August 31st, the fashion house has taken over the fifth floor of Harrods and transformed it into a conceptual cafe with the help of LA based visual artist Joshua Vides who re-designs the space according his signature “Reality to Idea” style. As he covers the building’s inside in his unique black and white graphic, while reimagining the iconic double FF logo in monochrome, artist creates an expression of Fendi’s instinct sense of humour and ingenuity.  The  double FF logo takes centre-stage in the cafe from on walls, to tables, menus , cups, saucers, down to the menu with Fendi logged cappuccinos. The menu is also very important as it gives diners a special taste of genuine Italian cuisine within the hearts of London.

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Gucci’s Prêt-à-porter FW19 Campaign sees Fashion with a capital F

17.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

In the past few seasons, Italian fashion house Gucci has become renown for the creative direction behind their elaborately artistic fashion campaigns. For Fall Winter 2019, the campaign released earlier this week, creative director Alessandro Michele pays homage to the evolution of prêt-à-porter from the 1950’s to the 1980’s, a period in which ready to wear was at it’s peak. Shot by Glen Luchford, the campaign features the concept of fashion as a genre of science or art form, where each subject is shot surrounded by spectators and analysers inspecting each and every elaborate look from the FW19 collection.   

“The fabula of fashion, however, begins at the drawing table, then moves to the workshops, during fittings, trials and fault finding… It is a tale of manual and material skills, the result of a specific know-how that today we tend to discount, to take for granted,” the team stated. 

See the full story at Gucci.com

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Fendi Launches Men’s Version of Iconic Baguette

16.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For the first time during the FW19 menswear season earlier this year Italian luxury fashion house Fendi debuted their iconic Baguette in several men’s versions on the catwalk. The brand’s iconic bag, originally launched in 1997 by Silvia Venturini Fendi, was reimagined in different styles, materials and sizes to fit. The baguette has been featured in three different sizes including mini, regular and maxi and is crafted in different materials such a croco, mink and Selleria leather.  An additional feature is although it may be a baguette, thanks to the flexibility of it’s straps it can be worn in several ways, from cross body to hand-carried or even as a belt bag. Today launches the digital campaign featuring a group of influencers friends including Marc Forné, Leo Mandella and Nasir Dean as they are shot sporting different versions of the baguette while decked out in their FENDI wardrobe. The baguette will be available in FENDI boutiques worldwide and online starting from mid-July. 

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Filles A Papa Makes Powershift with New Shoe Line

08.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This month Belgian fashion brand Filled A Papa, broke new ground with the launch of their very first footwear collection for the AW19 season entitled POWERSHIFT. 

Carol and Sarah Piron, the creative duo behind the line created a collection of 4 styles including  ankle and thigh high boots, inspired by the theme of the previous collection , being the iconography of American Motorcross and Mud Wrestling with a touch of 90’s aesthetic. Laced high boots are reworked in both black and white suede with an added sparkle of Swarovski crystals, the brand’s signature numbers the Bliss and Cocomodels are offered in the same fabrics as well as a metallic “American Flag” version, leather and black tailoring with white dots. Each shoe is matched with its own personality that gives it’s wearer a unique extra oomph while sporting it. To view and purchase the full collection on pre-sale, visit Filles A Papa.

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PFW: Thom Browne SS20 – My Secret Garden

01.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Within the past few seasons designer Thom Browne has managed to establish himself as one of the more creative menswear voices in fashion. Each season he manages to reflect the scenery that is the objet d’art of his complex mind. Creating fusions of menswear with forms of femininity and couture tailoring. For spring summer 2020, he created a story around a secret garden where he unleashed his fantasies of typically masculine sports reinterpreted and blown up with masculine qualities while still caressing the idea of vulnerability. This was shown through XVII century clothing that were reinvented and reinterpreted. From hips that blew up inches wider than usual to oversized shoulders all shown in the classic Thom Brown seersucker fabrics. Football balls pads and codpieces paid tributes to the sports in red, green, yellow among other colours.

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Notions of luxury and the relegations of throwaway culture: Twin meets the RCA graduate Andrew Bell

30.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Images courtesy of Phillip White

The needle and thread, the binding hallmark of the fashion industry is devoid in the work and craftsmanship of the fashion designer Andrew Bell. 

Using cutting-edge sonic welding technology, in a disruptive approach that undermines the one constant that has traditionally kept fashion together, Andrew is a creative looking at alternative means to design. For Andrew contemporary fashion is stuck: designers are consistently creating the same shapes and silhouettes, very much defined by tools and techniques which have not changed for decades. Having graduated from Zowie Broach’s MA degree at the Royal College of Art, Andrew was one of the front running thinkers of her encouragement towards radical thinking: the graduate show entitled All At Once summarising the spectral chest of ideas on show.

Unpicking the traditional and moving forwards with new technology is central to what makes Bell’s aesthetic fresh and striking. Collapsible coats, razor sharp pants and fluid-cut tops combine to project a signature look that crisp, sharp, compact and concise.  Side-stepping the familiar, traditional and pre-determined is at the heart of what makes Bell’s work engaging. Animatedly explaining how he used Sonic welding technology to seal not only to edges and outlines of his pieces, but to bind the very aesthetic direction of his work, Andrew has ensured that in the absence of stitch lines his pieces are super-lightweight, which in turn allowed him to develop a series of collapsible coats and jackets that fold completely flat to just 1.5cm in profile. 

Andrew’s work hinges on an axis of high-low paradoxes. On one hand his cutting references the collapsible hover bag, on the other the very cornerstone of modern womenswear tailoring – the Dior Bar Jacket. For Andrew this paradox reflects the collapse in the traditional frameworks that bind our notions of ‘luxury’ and ‘non-luxury’ in an era of material excess.  In this saturated context Andrew’s work presents in part a portrait of the collapsible, but equally projects an alternative vision for the future, with ‘Future Tailoring’ the term the designer uses to condense and communicate his approach. 

Across his MA collection Andrew has explored the hallmarks of a new era of garment construction across a spectrum of materiality; from sharp and structured to soft and fluid. The edges of this new aesthetic are instantly identifiable through his iconic zig-zag emblem;  More subtle is the completely clean-cut, non-fray edge that defines every other sleeve and side seam in the collection. Up close, the zig-zag edging harks of easy-open, single-use supermarket stock. 

Collaborating with a print designer, Ciaran Moore, on the fabric, the pair capture the beauty of industrial textures, such as the rusty non-slip grills that go unnoticed under our feet. The ephemeral geo-prints that line envelopes and parcels sit side by side with heritage herringbones; luxury and the lo-fi abound. This approach is extended to the footwear in the collection too. In collaboration with fellow RCA alumnus Tabitha Ringwood, the pair present a capsule of footwear completely crafted from scratch. For the heels the designer borrowed the humble door wedge, re-moulding it both physically and conceptually as an object of beauty that extends beyond its primary status as a mass-produced, valueless and solely functional article. 

Perfume is an off-shoot, but nonetheless connected project to Andrew’s vision: exploring the potential of a fragrance focused magazine that features different contributors each issue. Just as the designer’s outerwear collapses the material hierarchies of ‘luxury’ and ‘non-luxury’, so too does his fragrance concept. In the place of traditional cut-glass bottle, Bell’s concept sees bio-degradable PVC sachets as a sustainable alternative. As such Andrew dissolves the most expensive aspect to any fragrance – the bottle – allowing fragrance to become more accessible to young designers and their audience.

Andrew’s work reminds us that aesthetics and technology can harmoniously inhabit a creative space together – technology cannot abandon visual beauty, nor can form ignore the potential and the responsibilities of production and design. Andrew has allowed technology to shape his process, re-articulating items of the banal everyday into structures of body-skimming beauty. As Bell surmises, in order to break the deadlock, the repetition and the dead-stock, fashion must look to new ways of making, and new ways of thinking.

It’s an approach that Bell attributes to the inimitable teachings of Zowie Broach, a modus operandi that demands a fearlessness in approach. Under Broach’s leadership Andrew was chosen by Value Retail to be the 2nd recipient of the highly coveted support scheme for rising Irish talent; The Kildare Village Fashion Scholarship which allowed Andrew to take his place at the RCA, an opportunity that the designer explains would otherwise have been closed to him. 

The designer is often a perfectionist: in the way they touch, feel, look. Every facet is examined, explained and evaluated in detail. Andrew Bell is no exception – it is this exhaustive dedication to the metaphorical folding of fashion that has allowed a designer to emerge that is refreshingly new.

Expect to see him at Jil Sander before long.  

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MFW: Marni SS20 – Carnival Meets Camouflage

21.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last week in Milan, Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso, who has in some ways become the enfant terrible of Milanese fashion invited guests to a show space that featured a net ceiling filled with plastic bottles for the presentation of his SS20 collection. The show’s set, although containing a strong message to environmental matters we face today was simply just a backdrop, or as the designer himself put it, “a reminder of the issues we’re facing with plastic hanging over our heads.”

The collection itself was a celebration as much as it was a rebellion. Risso imagined an unlikely marriage between Argentine revolutionist Ernesto Che Guevara and American novelist Truman Capote with himself as the wedding planner. This resulted in the harmony of two opposing worlds, carnival meets military. From hats made from staples, to  old furs, plastics and debris by artist Shalva Nikvashvili, to slippers crafted from cardboard cut outs and plimsolls dipped in oil.  

“A study in clashes, and the uneven harmony that ensues by mixing opposite worlds, jumbling it all together. The extreme graphic properness and formality of suits. The radical rebelliousness of field jackets and militaria, with a tropical slant.”

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MFW: Fendi SS20 Men’s – A Nurture of Nature

19.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For the first time in a very long time, Italian fashion house Fendi stepped off site their routined Milanese show space and headed for the gardens of an 18th century villa in central Milan for their SS2020 show. A switch that had been prompted by creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi’s need for a break from the virtually infested world we live in as she takes a minute to appreciate the fruits of Mother Nature . This collection was a version of the Fendi man that goes fishing on weekends and gardens in his spare time. Sartorial workwear pieces were presented with a casual elegance that allow their wearers a sort of relaxed eased approach towards life.

From khaki cotton overalls, to striped beach slips, to fishmerman style vests and cargo pants. Throughout the collection, the house also revealed their collaboration with renown “Call Me By Your Name” director Luca Guadagnino who drafted a few botanical prints for the collection. These were brought out through digital prints and cut out knit wear. The colour palette was one that blended with the habitat ranging from beiges, to greens , browns and whites. In regards to accessories, the house debuted a Pequin printed Fendi watering can, garden baskets, big totes, pouch bags as well as versions of the Fendi baguette and peekaboo bags. This collection was a breath of fresh air for the house, one that in some ways allows for a sort of reset, and more than anything conjures the desire for a vacation.

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LFW: Fashion East SS2020 Showcase

18.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last week  three young designers under the Fashion East Initiative presented their SS2020 collections. A small tribe of Londoners and British fashion school alumni who each spoke with very different voices.

Saul Nash SS2020
Saul Nash SS2020
Saul Nash SS2020

The newest designer to the bunch was British dancer and choreographer Saul Nash who opened the showcase and his section of the evening with a group of models standing on the runway. Followed by a dance performance upon the guests being seated. This performance helped to show off Nash’s construction abilities in creating functional pieces with technical fabrics, curved zippers and mesh. From steel grey nylon pants, to light blue tracksuits. Each piece was made with an awareness of comfort and sensitivity towards movement. 

Robyn Lynch SS2020
Robyn Lynch SS2020
Robyn Lynch SS2020

 Irish designer Robyn Lynch presented a solid coloured men’s collection inspired by the sport uniforms worn throughout Irish communities in earlier decades. This was brought out through a selection of cable knit sweaters, terry cloth shorts, t-shirts and cropped sweatpants all rendered in a palette of mint greens, lilac and cornflower blues.  

Mowalola SS2020
Mowalola SS2020
Mowalola SS2020

Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi showcased her second collection with Fashion East that was inspired by her experiencing the woes of romantic love for the first time, “I’ve just fallen in love for the first time and I feel as if no one talks about the horrific side, the dangers of love, losing control of your emotions and feeling like your crazy. It’s like a horror movie. So this is as if I’m in a black Woodstock Festival and someone has been murdered,” she explained. And henceforth this included looks with gunshot wounds placed against large lip prints, religious symbols in colourful halter necked suits, skin tight pants,  revealing bodices, jumpsuits, and coats made from leather, cotton and cowhide fabrics. 

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LFW: Charles Jeffrey SS2020 Menswear: 21st Century Punk Rock

11.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

All Images by Chris Yates

Last weekend British designer Charles Jeffrey revealed his SS2020 men’s collection during London Fashion Week. Within the past few seasons Jeffrey has established himself to be not just a designer but a showman, a thespian, a poet who doesn’t just put needle to thread without there being deep intention manifested behind it. Each season the designer has delivered full on productions that leaves his audience in wonder of the world around them about matters that are often so blatantly obvious, repackaged and re-presented by the designer in a way that manifests itself within the viewer. Last season Jeffrey presented an exhilarating and immersive Weimar Republic club performance with nods to Peter Pan and sexuality. However this season the designer opted for a rather more sober tone as he drew inspiration from the concept of punk culture and the idea of how it was created as a default to the times in which we lived.

This collection as he said, was “an eruption beneath violent pressure, as a diamond under the heat,” in reference to the political, social and natural climates in which we currently live. His show began with the designer himself walking down the runway of The British Library reading a passage from “In the Beginning,” by Dylan Thomas. Followed by a collection of seersucker suiting, featherweight jacquards referencing armour and civil service uniforms in reference to the need for both freedom and protection; opal blue silk column dresses styled with contradictory military jackets and some pieces containing intricately layered rips and tears representative as sorts of fault lines. 

Some models sported full face paintings done and extravagant head pieces and  fishnet stockings which reinforced the collection’s punk influence. The collection was acted almost like a map, like a polaroid of this generation’s pain and demise, a prediction maybe, of what such a movement like the punk subculture would have looked like in the year 2019. 

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