The reek rebellion

24.12.2016 | Beauty , Blog | BY:

REEK is a new feminist perfume brand from created in collaboration with perfumer Sarah McCartney. Designed to make a stand through everyday rebellion, REEK is about empowering women through the commemoration of fierce feminists that have come before. Using the unifying and transcendent power of scent, this is a fresh and exciting take on engendering a conversation around women’s rights and identity. Twin caught up with Bethany Grace to talk badass bitches and what makes REEK smell so good.

How did Reek come about?

In our culture, we don’t memorialise our amazing women, and that means female role models are lost. In the UK only 15% of statues are raised to women, and most of those are to Queen Victoria. So we started thinking of ways we could change that.  Scent is so evocative, it’s also a great means of rebellion.  No one needs to know you’re wearing a scent that stands for something, unless you tell them.

Who are the women that you were inspired by when creating the perfume?

DAMN REBEL BITCHES was named after 18th century Jacobite women, as badass political activists and dissidents they were the right inspiration for our first scent.  The Duke of Cumberland called them Damn Rebel Bitches because they wouldn’t give up on their cause. They were fearless. Jacobean Lady Nithsdale broke her husband out of the Tower of London in 1716 by dressing him in drag. There is no statue of her.

Scent is so individual, what ingredients did you feel embodied a universal sense of heroism, and why?

We work collaboratively with perfumer Sarah McCartney. The scents we picked all pay homage to the women of the 18th century. Blood orange peel was used as a deodorant, clary sage as a herb in women’s medicine and pink peppercorn was the most expensive thing you might have in your kitchen at the time, if you were lucky.  Though perhaps not a universal representation of heroism, these are scents that speak to the real lives of powerful women – women stood up for what they believed in.

 

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What kind of things did you look at to develop the scent – were there any fragrances of the past that inspired you?

It’s not necessarily scents from the past that inspire us but the female pioneers in perfume from history.  The first prominent female perfumer was Germaine Cellier who broke into the industry through sheer determination in the mid-20th century. There was no question that we wanted to work with a female perfumer to combat the sexism in the industry even now.

How do you know when a perfume is finished, what are you looking for?

I suppose we just close our eyes, sniff and rely on our noses. For REEK it is more than just creating the right scent, it’s creating a present-day memorial. We’re currently developing a new fragrance for next year to commemorate a different set of women. Researching and coming to understand who that woman is takes a lot of work.

 

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How do you see scent as a medium for commenting on the role of women today?

As an everyday rebellion. We still have so much to fight for, and we can’t go forward without looking back. So our first scent is about the strong women we admire, whose stories aren’t widely known, and who shouldn’t be forgotten. At REEK we believe that we need role models in order to be role models. Our campaign features women of a variety of ages and sizes, all un-retouched beautiful bitches.  No retouching isn’t a revolutionary concept within the industry but we wanted to reiterate how important it is to combine no retouching with diversity – of race, of size, of age. We could have just taken photos of the perfume and it’s ingredients, avoiding any direct representation of women, but having this medium available to us we took a stand, as we emblazon on our website and t-shirts ‘BITCHES UNITE’.

What do you hope to achieve with the brand going forward?

More perfumes. More amazing women to memorialise. More feminist campaigns. More rebellion.

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Lena C. Emery’s ‘Rie 理絵’ Investigates Feminine Truth

16.12.2016 | Art , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Twin contributor Lena C. Emery’s new monograph Rie 理絵 (pr. Rhea) is a product of an continuing exploration of how women are intimately depicted. Rie, both the title and main subject of the book, literally means ‘truth’, a theme that permeates each image. The book depicts Emery’s poetic renderings of women who repeatedly pose, rest and move while in various states of dress – and undress. Playing with ideas of the female gaze, the women in the photographers are both aware and vulnerable; tangible and mysterious. Of the new launch, Emery explained:

“Within Rie 理絵 I wanted to embark on an inherently female dialogue on the subject of revealing. I was interested in understanding at what point when we reveal our bodies as women to a potential other, does the apparent vulnerability cross over into the  appreciation of the powerful notion of being naked and being oneself without an inner or outer surveyor present, without being on display. Watching Rie and the other nine women that I photographed, all of which were strangers to me and each other at the time and who had never been photographed in this way before, come to life as they slowly shed each layer of artifice, felt incredibly reassuring.”

Published by Kominek, Rie 理絵 is available from 16th December and can be bought here. 

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Petra Tate

Petra Collins x Tate Modern

19.07.2016 | Art | BY:

To mark the opening of the Tate Modern’s long-anticipated Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective, acclaimed artist and leading voice among the ‘new-wave feminists’ – Petra Collins – has created a specially commissioned video at the request of the gallery.

Taking inspiration from some of the ‘Mother of American Modernism’s’ most famous works – spanning her almost 100 year life – Collins’ video is a mesmerising exploration of every aspect of modern femininity, much in the way that O’Keeffe did so iconically before her.

“O’Keeffe was one of the first artists that made me appreciate color in a whole new way. Her use of it makes me feel like her landscapes are complex beings. That with each stroke of color, each line, each curve, she’s bringing these locations to life. With this short I wanted each girl to really play with their surroundings (that were inspired by O’Keeffe’s desert and Lake George – her two favourite spots) – to use their every inch of skin, muscle, bone, etc and really put themselves into her landscape too – while making their own.” – Petra Collins

New York-based Collins’ video features a bevy of relevant and revolutionary women, from Barbie Ferreira to Maia Ruth Lee, Seashell Coker and Ajani Russell. With fans including Katy Perry, Lena Dunham, Selena Gomez and Marilyn Minter, she has been heralded as the ‘next defining artist of her generation.’

Georgia O’Keeffe at the Tate Modern runs until 30th October 2016, click HERE for tickets.

Petracollins.com

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