ASICS X Vivienne Westwood

28.03.2021 | Blog | BY:

A collaboration between renowned Japanese sports brand ASICS and British brand Vivienne Westwood: The GEL-KAYANO™ 27 LTX sneakers are eclectic, sleek, and sophisticated. Drawing direct inspiration from Westwood and (Malcolm) McLaren’s 1974 collection ‘SEX’ which included leather bondage, t-shirts with zips and holes, and provocative slogans, these shoes are a statement piece that says “I am here”.

ASICS and Vivienne Westwood both as individual brands draw from long-lasting quality design and materials – their shared vision making the collaboration immediately eye-catching. The shoe takes on the essence of both brands, constructed with detailed rubber stocking seams and a statement zip, presented in a translucent matte material. Each shoe has the printed Westwood orb and ASICS details and the neoprene inner sock, imitating the look of rubber tights.

This dynamic shoe is different from a normal running sho features advanced materials and construction such as gel cushioning and dynamic Duomax, allowing it to meet the biomechanical needs of various sports and ensures movement is fluid and flexible.

The optimal shoe for both style and comfort – you can browse and buy the ASICS x Vivienne Westwood now at viviennewestwood.com

Wales Bonner x adidas SS21 Collaboration

24.03.2021 | Blog | BY:

A celebration of the diasporic connections between Britain and the Caribbean, Wales Bonner and adidas SS21 campaign is effervescent and vibrant in its entirety. The digital presentation for the launch was first shown at Men’s Paris Fashion Week.

This collaboration succeeds the ‘Lovers Rock’ collection for the AW20 release, which explored the early eighties origination of dancehall music, inspired by photographer John Grotto’s series under the same name. This SS21 collection emphasises the intricacies through tailoring as the designer evokes British morning dress, romanticized with magical, found buttons. The designs are heavily inspired by 70s era pieces which includes shorts, t-shirts, and tracksuits that have been elevated with vintage cut lines, rich ribs, mesh, and check prints.

The Samba and Nizza silhouettes have been revised with dynamic contrasting colours. Inspired by its rich footballing heritage the WB Samba sneaker is composed of a full leather upper with a suede toe cap and heel tab as well contrast topstitching details, satin lining, leather stripes. The classic silhouette includes two colour combinations: Core Black/Prime Green and Collegiate Navy/Cream White/Mono yellow. The carefully crafted sneakers have co-branded details throughout, with bright colours that echo both Wales Bonner and adidas essence.

The launch of the collection is accompanied by a short film and a photographic campaign, shot in Jamaica by Jeano Edwards. The short film is composed of cinematic scenes that showcase young Jamaicans playing football in a grassy field and riding horses at the Caymans Park equestrian centre.

The adidas Originals by Wales Bonner SS21 collection is available globally on March 26th at adidas.com

Watch the short-film below.

Drag in the desert: A photo series by Jane Hilton

21.03.2021 | Art , Blog , Photography | BY:

Of all the people and places photographer Jane Hilton has documented over the past three decades there is one location that she can’t quite shake – Nevada. The sweeping desert state in America’s west is of course home to the brash and bawdy Las Vegas, but beyond the neon lights there is a grainier side of life she is drawn to.

The London-based photographer first travelled to the States in 1988, sparking a fascination with all things Americana that would become a hallmark of her career.

“I just fell in love with it,” she says of that first visit which took her to Tucson, Arizona.

 “It was like being in a film. It was those 180-degree, blue sky vistas, and the sunsets, and the light – it was the light! I’m so passionate about lighting and they’ve got it there, “god’s light”. They might not have got other things right but they’ve got the light.”

In 1992 she first visited Nevada on a job shooting the desert landscape, which covers the majority the state. Nevada is home to both Las Vegas and Area 51, with a transient allure that, beyond the casino tourists, attracts a myriad of characters often looking to either get rich or get lost. Over the past 25 years the photographer has documented many of the people that often inhabit the fringes of the place, including burlesque dancers, cowboys and sex workers.

“It’s in stark contrast to the way I was brought up in English suburbia. I think had I gone to New York first, I might have a different relationship with America. I’m more interested in the American west and the way that genre (of Westerns) has played out.”

It was the Western genre that inspired her latest project, Drag Queen Cowboys, which was recently shortlisted as a finalist in the prestigious Sony World Photography Awards. Drag Queen Cowboys is a series of black and white portraits of Las Vegas drag performers in Western-inspired costumes shot out in the desert. Hilton was largely inspired by 1961 film The Misfits, written by Arthur Miller and starring Marilyn Monroe, Clark Gable and Montgomery Cliff. In it, Monroe plays a recently divorced woman who meets an aging cowboy, Gable, and his friend, played by Cliff.

Since its release the film has been trailed by a macabre notoriety due to the death of all three stars within five years of its release. Gable died of a heart attack ten days after filming wrapped; Monroe of a suspected drug overdose some 18 months later; Cliff’s health deteriorated and he was dead by 1966. It was the last film Gable and Monroe ever made, and it is said that Miller’s marriage to Monroe was also a casualty of the film. Despite the playwright specifically writing the part for her, their relationship disintegrated during the lengthy and over-budget shoot.

“Arthur Miller himself went to Reno to get divorced so he could marry Marilyn. There were all these divorce ranches on the outskirts of Reno where people wait and have a good time while they are waiting,” Hilton explains.

“In the thirties and forties they were full of mostly housewives because their husbands had sent them there to get a divorce within six weeks, which was unheard of. They’d do that, then party with some cowboys while they had left the husband at home with his mistress.”

“So Miller went there because he knew about getting a divorce in Reno and the strange displacement of people who go to Nevada looking for a new life. Whether they are hiding from something, or trying to find something… In all my experience that is how Nevada is for me too; it’s people searching or trying to cover something up.”

After discovering the strange legacy of the legendary film, in February 2020, just before the pandemic hit, Hilton drove a handful of drag performers in their stage makeup and Western outfits in her ’66 Mustang to an isolated stretch of desert on the outskirts of Vegas.

“I was looking for another community, a different community, that I could document, one I didn’t know much about,” she explains of the process of choosing her subjects.

“I started to go to drag bingo in Vegas and got to know some of the girls. I was thinking about how they are perceived and how post-Ru Paul, social media has gone mad with drag queens. They are always literally lit with flash, it’s so artificial, with so much retouching or a filter, so that their imagery looks almost homogenous because of the way they all photograph themselves. I decided I wasn’t going to do that.”

Instead, Hilton photographed each performer in natural light, shooting on a 5×4 plate camera and black and white film, with no flash or retouching. Rather than just being passive subjects the performers worked with Hilton on creating the visuals, each creating their own Western-inspired outfit for the shoot. By removing the drag performers from their usual environment, that of a dimly lit bar or nightclub or karaoke stage, the portraits subvert the type of image often associated with drag performers and create a contrary energy that is both powerful and poignant, and typical of Hilton’s work.

Jane Hilton, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional competition, Portraiture, Sony World Photography Awards 2021

As a documentarian she has long been drawn to sub-cultures; in 2000 the BBC commissioned a ten-part documentary from her about two brothels in Nevada, the only US state in which sex work is legal. She has spent the past few years filming the ‘The Last Lion Tamer’, following a family’s fight to save their livelihood as the government moves to outlaw the use of wild animals performing in circuses. Currently the photographer is riding out lockdown in her London home working on various projects, eager to start shooting again. As always, there is one place in particular she is waiting to revisit.

“I am doing a book about the state of Nevada because I’ve spent a lot of time here – almost too much time! No matter where I go, I seem to end up back there…”

Jane Hilton is a finalist in the Sony World Photography Awards 2021: Professional Competition. Overall winners will be announced on 15th April 2021. www.worldphoto.org/

Header image credits: Jane Hilton, United Kingdom, Finalist, Professional competition, Portraiture, Sony World Photography Awards 2021

Breathing Pavilion by Ekene Ijeoma

17.03.2021 | Art , Blog | BY:

A sanctuary carved out of a time of intense loss and hardships, “Breathing Pavilion” is Ekene Ijeoma’s debut outdoor installation. In collaboration with Downtown Brooklyn Partnership (DBP) and Van Alen Institute, the installation will be available to view in The Plaza at 300 Ashland, in the heart of Downtown Brooklyn and the Brooklyn Cultural District, from 16th March – 11th May 2021.

Ekene Ijeoma as an artist and professor of Media Arts and Science at MIT, fuses his research in social inequality across various fields and his own experiences to create thought-provoking and inviting artwork. Breathing Pavilion was created in the context of Covid-19 and in the wake of rising concerns over the rampant police brutality and violence against black Americans. Ijeoma poetically reframes these social issues, and in the process reveals the stark reality of how these forms of oppression intersect.

The installation comprises a 30-foot circle of 20 nine-foot two-tone illuminated LED inflatable columns which gradually change in brightness and mimic a deep breathing technique, meant to trigger a meditative feeling of calm. The structure invites the public to enjoy a moment of respite, losing themselves in the lull of the lights allowing them to breathe, without feeling the weight of the world on their shoulders.

“Between the ongoing struggles in the racial and political movements in the United States and the COVID-19 pandemic, it can be difficult to find the time and space to breathe deeply and rest well […] I held my breath for most of last year, waiting to exhale into a new administration and new vaccines. It will still take some time before we see large-scale change. Until then, in these next few weeks, this pavilion is here to invite the public to breathe into the change within each of us, in sync with one another.” – Edward Ijeoma, creator behind Breathing Pavilion.

Ekene Ijeoma, Rendering of Breathing Pavilion (2021)

Breathing Pavilion will be unveiled on 16th March 2021 and will feature a performance from Grammy-award-winning musician Keyon Harold, who will perform a trumpet solo. The piece performed by Harold will emulate the contemplative nature of Ijeoma’s structure and will be the first performance of many throughout the installation’s duration in Brooklyn.

“As we head into spring, outdoor public spaces remain at the core of our shared experience and Breathing Pavilion will serve as artwork with intention that can bring us together at a time when we must remain physically distanced. This innovative installation stands out as an entirely unique public art project that offers a much-needed moment for reflection after a challenging year. We look forward to sharing this thoughtful new public art project with our community.” – Regina Myer, President of Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.

To find out more about Breathing Pavilion, visit vanalen.org

The Photographers Capturing Ireland Through a Queer Lens

14.03.2021 | Art , Culture , Photography | BY:

Ireland has undergone tumultuous social change in the past three decades. The queer creatives who have come of age during this period are seeking to change the narrative when it comes to documenting LGBTQI lives.

The nineties were punctuated by a slew of queer pop culture moments that are still referenced today for their bolshy, unashamed arrival into the mainstream. KD Lang and Cindy Crawford indulged in a homoerotic barber shop sitting on the cover of Vanity Fair; talk show queen Ellen came out live on TV, and even the soaps, that most pedestrian of pop culture institutions, featured the first gay character and lesbian kiss on Brookside in 1994.

These iconic moments gave the impression that queerness was slowly but surely creeping from the fringes into a suburban sort of conventionality, but real life for LGBTQI people was far from that. In Ireland, still a social conservative country in the hedonistic nineties, homosexuality was only decriminalised in 1993. The Catholic church had an iron grip on many institutions (and indeed, still does) including the public school system and many hospitals.

Conservative and liberal ideology would continue to clash for the next few decades, culminating in the 2015 referendum that brought in same-sex marriage, and the 2018 one that legalised abortion. It was against this backdrop of seismic social change that a generation of queer kids were brought up, sort of as changelings of the Old and New Ireland. Now in their twenties, Gen Z and young Millennial creatives have a particular viewpoint of how they want to document and express the experiences of LGBTQI people.

Donal Talbot, 25, is a model-turned-photographer whose work has featured in publications including i-D and The Face. Most recently his portraits were chosen by Benjamin Wolberg for his latest book, new queer photography, which showcases work from breakout and established queer photographers from around the world.

Home project, photo by Eoin Greally

“My work tends to challenge how we, as a culture, see things like intimacy and queerness, and how those things correlate. There’s a softness and stillness that I try to capture in my portraits that aims to rewrite a narrative about how queer people communicate and interact with each other,” Donal says.

“I find a lot of inspiration from meeting people in gay bars and queer spaces but I’m interested in seeing what happens past that; the still moments of capturing someone after the lights go down in the club, or the day after a party in someone’s house.”

The photographer studied at Ireland’s foremost art school, the National College of Art and Design in Dublin, and it was in his final year that he found his medium.

“For my final project I knew I wanted to do work around queer narratives, but I didn’t have an idea of how to do that. I was in drag going to a boxing ring, then I started to take pictures and realised that was what I like. The project came together in the last two months and it was a portrait series of around ten different LGBT and queer people I had met. I photographed and interviewed them and that springboarded me into the art I make today.”

Eoin Greally is a 23-year-old from rural Ireland who has already carved out an impressive career in fashion and portraiture photography. While back in the family home during lockdown, the young photographer began working piecemeal on a project that has evolved into a cathartic reflection of his own journey as a young queer person. His rural upbringing, once something that he feared, has given him a unique perspective on how he has evolved both creatively and personally.

“At first I didn’t know it was going to be a project, they were images I was simply collecting. It’s a lot of portraiture, and also trying to capture the essence of my home. There’s that idea when people ask, are you going home, or are you going ‘home home’?” he explains.

“Now I’m piecing together the images I have realised there is a huge queer perspective but it’s not the typical gay male perspective from a gay mecca like New York. It’s all about a place I was afraid of growing up. I was in rural Ireland and I was afraid of being queer.”

“I was lucky, I always had support from my family about being queer but it still came with its discomfort. A lot of the focus is on my dad – he’s my favourite person to photograph, but also because he was the only person I was afraid of disappointing by being queer. I never received that sentiment from him, it was totally coming from what I thought I had to be afraid of. This project definitely has helped getting rid of some of that discomfort. It was something I largely put there myself, and now I’ve been able to take it away but it needed time. It’s been a healing project.”

While lockdown has given rise to a lot of creative output, it has also stalled many planned projects and events. 22-year-old photographer and sociology student Niamh Barry was on the cusp of launching her exhibition, ‘Queer Hearts of Dublin’ last October until yet another lockdown was announced. The exhibition is a range of portraits of queer people Niamh met mostly through a casting call on Instagram, with the aim of documenting as diverse a group as possible; “It was about reconnecting to my queer community but also so that people knew it wasn’t just a white male perspective (of queerness). The image is different to what people think. I wanted to collaborate with people who wanted to tell their story but it was also intersectional- it was a new narrative but yet one that’s always been there,” she says.

“I reached out people on Instagram and that’s how I met one of my subjects, Mimi. Her story was really interesting. She is a black queer woman and hearing her experience was amazing. She’s two years younger than me but so confident; I was almost surprised by her confidence in those moments because at the same time she was telling how hard it was to grow up where she lives, which is a small country town, very inward looking.”

“She told what it’s like growing up as a black woman in Ireland and what it’s like to not really have representation, especially also being queer. That experience made me realise that this type of story is not being told in Ireland.”

The resulting portraits are intimate and raw, quietly communicating what it means to be queer and young and living in Ireland at this moment in time. It’s a sentiment that Eoin echoes when considering his next chapter in his work.

Home project, photo by Eoin Greally

“I have realised my privilege within the queer community – I am a white, queer, cis gay male. I don’t by any means think that’s a bad thing but being a photographer gives me an opportunity to uplift other sides of the queer community that didn’t always get the limelight.

“What’s important to me now is focussing on the groups in the queer community that don’t always get the opportunity to speak. It’s still a work in progress, but that’s what I want to dedicate my time to now.”

Header image credits: Ming and their significant other Aisling, photographed by Niamh Barry

International Women’s Day: Female Voices of Latin América

08.03.2021 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

In celebration of International Women’s Month, the digital art exhibition site: Vortic is set to host the first iteration of Female Voices of Latin América. This will showcase the work of over 150 living female artists from across the region, with 19 countries being represented across the board. The exhibition will be shown at over 60 galleries and institutions and will be launched on 8th March, the official date of International Women’s Day.

For so long, Latin-American artists have gone underrepresented in the art world nationally, with only a few names being highlighted. This exhibition aims to bring these artists to the forefront across generations, with artwork that spans from 1968 to the present day. Works from established artists like Liliana Porter and Adriana Varejão will be honoured alongside newer generation talent such as Sofía Clausse, Patricia Domínguez, and Nohemí Pérez.

“Madres adolescents”, 1988-1990 by Adriana Lestido. Silver gelatin print on fibre paper. Courtesy of the Artist and Rolf Art Gallery.

Galleries that will be participating include Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Museo Tamayo and Museo de Arte y Diseño Contemporáneo amongst a plethora of others established institutions. The initiative is all encompassing and will allow for collaboration and an exchange of ideas between galleries, whilst also exposing viewers to a range of diverse and talented Latin American artists.

“Sobre Isaacs”, 1989 by Karen Lamassonne. Acrylic on paper (116 x 85cm). Courtesy of the artist and Instituto de Visión.

“We have grown tired of not seeing female artists from Latin America receive the recognition they deserve in their own lifetime. As a platform, Voices of Latin America plays a well-deserved tribute to those with a remarkable artistic trajectory as well as promoting the current and next generation of artists. This presentation has been made possible by working hand in hand with the galleries, museums and non-profits in and out of Latin America that have contributed to develop the expanding arts scene. The future of our industry will rely on exchange, mutual support and collaboration. Through meaningful and memorable initiatives like this one, we aim to contribute to the art landscape in an impactful way”. – Elena Saraceni, Curatorial Director, Voices of Latin América and Special Projects
Consultant at Vortic

These shows will be hosted on the Vortic website, where they maintain efforts to support galleries and institutions by using cutting-edge technology to provide an immersive digital and physical experience of viewing art. The exhibition will be available to view from March 8th to May 2nd, 2021. Visit vortic.art

Header image credits: “Beatriz y Chelle en cuarentena” by Bernadette Despujols. Oil on canvas (39.4 x 29.9 inch). Courtesy of the artist.

TOGA AW21

05.03.2021 | Fashion | BY:

Japanese brand TOGA launches their AW21 campaign, built around the three concepts: “simplify, expand, flatten”. The focus on simplifying the line with two-dimensional forms made using three-dimensional techniques introduces a variety of unique pieces that carry the cool, and dynamic essence of the brand.

A virtual runway presentation filmed and directed by Anders Edström emphasises the message behind the line. The plain white wall background and dark flooring draws the attention directly to the designs. Models walk in and out of the frame like pedestrians, their footsteps reverberating off the walls. The camera zooms in on the clothing and lingers on the ruffle detailing, the expanded fabric, and mirrored accessories.

Designer Yasuko Furuta utilised techniques by contemporary artist Tomoo Gokita to accentuate the curves and lines of the body. Thus the shoulders, sleeves, and ruffles of dresses which are seen in some of the designs, are a reflection of some of the figures and bodies in Gokita’s paintings.

Watch the full virtual show below:

Billie Eilish “The World’s a Little Blurry”

02.03.2021 | Blog , Culture , Film , Music | BY:

“WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?”

A question posed in an award-winning album by singer-songwriter Billie Eilish, producer and Billie’s brother Finneas O’Connell. In celebration of the album and the artistic process, fans were invited to view the global live premiere for the release of “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” a new Apple Original Film from award-winning director R.J. Cutler. 

The film premiered on the 25th February 2021, and featured a stripped back version of the song “ilomilo” by Eilish and her brother Finneas, exclusive video footage of Billie speaking to her fans, an interview with Cutler, all of which is hosted by DJ Zane Lowe. The World’s A Little Blurry shows a nuanced and intimate side of Billie’s life experiences, her struggles as a musician, the importance of family, and ultimately the growing pains of being a teenager in the limelight. The run time is extended just over 2 hours, and the production is from Apple Original Films, in association with Interscope Films, The Darkroom, This Machine and Lighthouse Management & Media. T.

“It’s quite a remarkable family story because it’s simple and it’s clear, and yet it seems almost miraculous. How is it possible that Billie and Finneas do this work together? How is it possible that their two prodigies that come from the same parents? There are so many aspects to it, but most of all they’re folks who are unconditionally committed to supporting their kids being truly who they are. And truth and empathy and the fundamental themes, I think of this film, I think of Billie’s work. I think of this moment – I think it’s probably why it’s her moment” – Director, R.J. Cutler

To find out more, and to watch the film visit AppleTv.com/BillieEilish

TTSWTRS Presents The Earth Series

26.02.2021 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Location: Planet Earth. Existing on a galactic plane, at 0o latitude and being made up of a collection of a crust, mantle, and core, which holds large bodies of water and life. This is where well-known Ukrainian brand TTSWRTS takes their inspiration from for their new SS21 collection: The Earth Series. Their aim? To discover the concept of the future of clothing.

The Earth Series takes inspiration from a hypothetical future that involves space travel and the possibility of inhabiting new plants. A world where visual culture – fashion and clothing, becomes the main mode of communication. Arguably, we have already begun using fashion as a way to transmit ideas about our identity, but TTSWTRS takes this a step further. The centrepiece of the designs is the concept of a ‘second skin’, which is embroidered with inscriptions and images that involve a series of mantras, sayings, and symbols. The pieces are made to highlight the human body and its duality; it decentres the body whilst also maintaining the essence of one’s identity.

The line includes unique pieces developed in collaboration with other creatives: the Naked Landscape coat was created together with photographer Kseniia Kargina and the Earth, Mars, and Venus hoodie was made alongside American designer and illustrator Jeremey Harnell. The materials and fabrics used range from silk, micro modal, net, and denim, with a predominantly white, beige, and black palette. Each piece of clothing captures the essence of the earth in its entirety.  

But where does this series fit in in the discourse of fashion right now? Founder and designer Anna Osmiekhina commented: “I would describe fashion now in 3 words – Mirror. Protection. Addiction. For me, fashion is the most honest form of contemporary art that helps me accept myself. What a wonderful time we live in when everyone can manifest themselves in any way they want.” 

TTSWTRS being founded in 2013 has maintained a high level of success, through the brand’s unique focus on utilising beige imitating naked skin, basic colours, and tattoos. The Earth Series is another instalment of the brand’s push to focus on wider ideas and conversations, and incorporating this into clothing.

Anna goes on to share her hopes for where she hopes to see TTSWTRS transcend to and where she hopes the fashion world will be in the future: “I would love to see how every detail of the current era has changed: the perception of fashion, communication, the emergence of new communication types, and people’s manifestations. The Art reflecting on current times. Its Speed. And of course the value of resources. The value of Water, Air, and Earth. I would like to participate in this direction to reflect the time and help others to be more open and sincere, to be more loved. To help in self-acceptance. And if suddenly garments are not useful in the near future, I would like to design natural phenomena.”

To view the full collection, visit ttswtrs.com

CHANEL: Introducing The LIPSCANNER App

22.02.2021 | Beauty , Blog , Fashion | BY:

The future of make-up is here. The Chanel Lipscanner app utilises new AI technology to allow consumers to find the right Chanel lipstick that matches any colour that is scanned. Finding the perfect nude is made easy now and can be scanned from a magazine, a poster, a pair of shoes, or even a friend’s lips – the possibilities are almost endless.

This app is a result of a collaborative over several months between the CX Lab and the Chanel Make-up Creation Studio. The scanner is intuitive, with a rapid response enabling its users to find the perfect lip colour instantaneously.

The technology is advanced, with a vast analytical capacity that is built on the basis of tens of thousands of facial images. And it doesn’t stop there – the lipscanner also takes into consideration the skin tone and shape of the users lips, ensuring the match is just right.

With the incorporation of Chanel’s virtual try-on application, the lipscanner works to further expand the brand’s presence in the digital realm. To find out more and explore the app, visit Chanel.com

‘Automatiste’: An AI x Art Collaboration Presented by Ania Catherine and Dejha Ti

22.02.2021 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Award-winning, LA-based art, and tech duo Ania Catherine and Dejha Ti have collaborated with Chinese gender-neutral luxury brand Mithridate to create Automatiste. The multimedia showcase will be part of Mithridate’s SS21 presentation at London Fashion Week on 22nd February 2021. This marks the second collaboration between the brand and the duo after their 35-minute immersive performance instillation “I’d rather be in a dark silence than” (2020) at London’s Serpentine Galleries.

Automatiste takes root in the French adjective which describes the Surrealist Automatism, a method of art making which suppresses the conscious mind, allowing the unconscious mind to have great control. The piece will work to provide viewers globally with an immersive experience, with portals that explore the richness, danger, beauty, and raw nature of the subconscious. The production will weave through the digital world through the AI integration, used to represent the chance operations and inner-workings of the mind.

The art piece is a full production incorporating performance art, interactive film, augmented reality, poetry, and web design amongst a plethora of other forms of media. The team is spread across countries and cities, including LA, Shanghai, Istanbul, London, Washington DC, Baltimore and Rome.  

Ania Catherine and Dejha Ti commented, “We cherish being trusted so fully by Mithridate, and that trust is bleeding into the rest of our phenomenal team, who are all pushing the boundaries with their own contributions to make an experience that we all believe will mark a new chapter in the history of fashion, art, and technology. We want to show that digital-only doesn’t need to mean second rate and everyone shouldn’t be sitting around waiting for the ‘real thing’ to happen again. This is the real thing. It’s thrilling to us that anyone with internet access can take this journey with us, share digital space and be introduced to Mithridate’s collection through our art.”

Other featured artists include musician Tony Cruise, XR artist Aaron XR artist Aaron Jablonski, 3D artist Curry Tian, and Immersive Kind Studios. The amalgamation of some of the most advanced technology used in fashion to date, and the raw artistic energy: Automatiste is a showcase that utilises the power of technology as a means to an end, and not an end in itself.

To view the boundary-pushing work, visit automatiste.mithridate.uk

Mansur Gavriel: “Tulipano”

17.02.2021 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Hailing from modern luxury house Mansur Garviel: ‘Tulipano’ is the brands newest signature silhouette. The design is inspired by the tulip, the fresh flower that symbolises the season of new life: Spring. The details of the bag are intricate with a structure that unfolds just like petals, whilst still maintaining optimum functionality.

The bag is elegant, sophisticated, yet practical – made for the modern woman. The soft and supple feel is attributed to the luxury textiles, including a calf and suede construction.

Tulipano is compact yet large enough to hold everyday essentials, aligning with the contours of the body; this makes the bag perfect for both style and comfort. The bag is offered in a variety of colours: Snow, Prato, Cedro, Elettrio, Arranico, and Black.

Tulipano available for purchase beginning 17th February 2021, retailing for $695 (£500). To find out more, visit MansurGavriel.com

Karon Davis: No Good Deed Goes Unpunished

16.02.2021 | Art , Blog | BY:

1969. A Chicago courtroom. Political activist and author Bobby Seale is on trial as part of the Chicago 8, a group of seven defendants charged by the United States federal government with conspiracy, crossing state lines with intent to incite a riot, and other crimes relating to the anti-Vietnam war efforts. During the trial, federal judge Julius Hoffman orders for Bobby Seale to be physically gagged. The episode was not photographed, however the court sketches leave a scathing mark etched into the memory of anyone that lays their eyes on them. This image was burrowed deeply in artist Karon Davis psyche, leaving a haunting scar as a reminder of the historical violence against black bodies in America.

Karon Davis’ No Good Deed Goes Unpunished is direct reference to the pillory of the Black Panther Party by the government and the relentless harassment they received. During the 1960s, the public were cajoled into believing damaging and skewed ideologies about the party and their place in the community. Davis’ uses her work to take back that power, presenting the reality in a raw and unfiltered manner. Her own connection to the Chicago 8 case intensifies the impact of the sculpture, as one of her father’s first acting jobs was reading out Bobby Seale’s transcript.

The frozen tableau sculpture is a haunting image, as Davis used life casts of friends and family with casts of her own body parts, with sections missing to emphasis the ghostly nature. The mummified sculpted bags of groceries which sit in front of the tableau are representative of the Black Panther party’s free food programme which was for the black community in Oakland, California; Karon describes these bags as a “garden of golden fruit”.

Davis’ work strives to catch the “in-between” state which captures the soul. Much of her work presents black bodies and their stories – the joy, the trauma, the complexities. The brokenness of the work and the missing pieces, are a reference to the internal brokenness of the black victims of police brutality and violence. Although this trial took place decades ago, the reality of the discrimination and disenfranchisement of black people in America is still rampant.

No Good Deed Goes Unpunished is Karon Davis’s first solo exhibition in New York. The show will be available for viewing from March 6th – April 24th 2021. To find out more about the exhibition, visit Deitch.com

Puma x Black Fives Foundation: Celebration Black Pre-NBA History

12.02.2021 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

At the beginning of February, Puma announced a multi-year partnership with the Black Dives Foundation in support of Black History Education reform. Black Fives Foundation is a certified 501© non-profit who’s aim since being funded in 2002 is to research preserve, showcase, teach and honour the pre-NBA history of African Americans in basketball.

Puma is determined to stand by athletes, ambassadors, and partners by amplifying their voices and actions across different platforms. As Black Fives Foundation continues to carry out their mission, Puma will work to support the continued education and preservation by supporting the launch of an interactive, multi-use online museum; the museum will display its archive of historical artifacts and content.

The Virtual Vault will include an online portal that will allow visitors to experience, engage, and be enlightened by the illustrious history. The contents of the vault will include vintage equipment, ticket stubs, game gear, images, scorecards, and more.

“I’m proud and honored to partner with PUMA toward making a meaningful, long-lasting difference in expanding Black history education to include the pioneering African American teams, players, and contributors who helped pave the way for today’s game,” – Claude Johnson, Founder and Executive Director of the Black Fives Foundation.

In addition to this partnership, Puma will be giving back to the Harlem, NY community with partner ‘AfroBrutality’, a black-owned lifestyle brand that focuses on bringing diversity and inclusivity to athleisure wear. This will be done in conjunction with current and former athletes, surrounding activism in sport through their #REFORM platform.

To find out more about the partnership, visit https://partners.blackfives.org/hello-puma.

Stüssy “Laguna Beach” Eau de toilette

09.02.2021 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

In collaboration with Comme des Garçons Parfumes, Stüssy has created a fragrance that is an amalgamation of the mood and lifestyle of California’s Laguna Beach. The eau de toilette is a combination of natural marine freshness, moss, and atlas cedar mix with white solar flowers. This woody concoction presents a mellow, cool, and laidback scent representative of its muse.

Both brands have a longstanding partnership that is been built upon their strengths as individually influential brands. Stüssy was formed in the late 80s’ and was inspired by the Southern Californian surf scene which had swept through and influenced much of the culture at the time; the casual clothing, laid-back attitude, and overall mindset. This campaign is reminiscent of Stüssy’s roots and the photography led by Tyrone Lebon, is bright and colourful, featuring a model clad in a zebra-print bikini.

‘Laguna Beach’ is now available worldwide at select stores, including select Dover Street Market locations, and Comme des Garçons shops.

Visit doverstreetmarket.com and stussy.com to shop the eau de toilette.

Nokukhanya Langa: “Baby, I’m not even here. I’m a hallucination.”

04.02.2021 | Art , Blog | BY:

Presented by Ballon Rouge: Nokukhanya Langa “Baby, I’m not even here. I’m a hallucination” is an exhibition and experience in one; it showcases the emotional state of being, both the imaginary and the tangible.

Nokukhanya Langa was born in 1991, Maryland, USA and currently lives and works in Groningen, Netherlands, and Ghent, Belgium. The majority of her work resides in painting, with abstract themes explored within her distinct and vibrant artwork. She also explores repetitive patterns, symbols, and letters akin to graffiti tagging, which allows her work to exist between different planes – sophisticated and grounded.

Nokukhanya’s work is framed by her use of subversive language and artwork with different mediums and textures, which pulls from layers of private histories, political and cultural undertones, and allegories.    

Layered with hidden meanings and tongue-in-cheek references that are littered throughout, her work points to various political expressions. Her use of colloquial, everyday terms plays on humorous elements, which heightens the personal connection within her work; it is unapologetically her. This presentation of her work and her use of approachable language makes room for the artwork to convey subtle subtext, forming a “hallucinatory reality” (Ballon Rouge).

The exhibition will be live from February 25th – March 27th 2021.

For more information, visit BallonRougeCollective.com

Jadé Fadojutimi – ‘Jesture’

02.02.2021 | Art | BY:

Presented by Pippy Houndslow Gallery: ‘Jesture’ features a collection of artwork by London-based artist Jadé Fadojutimi. The artwork has been sourced from Fadojutimi’s 2020 repertoire, with much of the work featured in her solo exhibition last October; this her first published book. The publication also comes with a text by editor-at-large at frieze magazine: Jennifer Higgie, titled ‘From Life – Thoughts on the paintings of Jadé Fadojutimi’.

Fadojutimi work touches on a variety of subject matters, exhibiting the absurd in the disruption of the norm, through the jarring quarantines and lockdowns. Much of her work also tackles questions around identity and the fluidity that resides within it and the power and pleasure of nostalgia. Fadojutimi is known for using the soundtracks from films, animation, and video games to transport her to different places in her mind, which she then captures in her work

‘Globules of paint erupt like buds from the ground. These pictures seem like a garden in spring or a choppy sea; at times, the mood is so exuberant that it appears to be on the brink of exploding. Colours pulse like a bass line given centre stage. It’s clear: paint is an organic substance, as replete with possibility as newly composted earth.’ – Jennifer Higgie

Her work is layered with oil paints and pastels which creates textures that exist allow the work to exist in an artistic limbo – neither abstract nor literal. This level of depth draws audiences to her work, alongside the vibrant colours and patterns.

Jadé Fadojutimi: Jesture is co-published by Pippy Houldsworth Gallery and Anomie Publishing.

It may be ordered from WaterstonesAmazonCasemate UK, and Casemate US.

Alexander McQueen Pre-SS21 Couture

29.01.2021 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

The Alexander McQueen Pre-SS21 Couture campaign is the embodiment of ‘make-do-and-men’. The pieces are sourced and created in kitchens and back gardens of the team at Alexander McQueen in conjunction with a professional in-studio team. The collection includes an array of garments – with prom style pleated dresses, a tuxedo-style jacket with a silk-wrapped bow and a feminine colour palette consisting of albion pinks contrasted with black.

All the creations were mocked up, and the sketches were gathered by the embroidery team then printed onto organza panels. Once the panels were completed, each member of the team took one home to work on each design.

A dress with an off-the-shoulder drape and a tiered skirt was hand-made with toile that was dip-dyed. The dress was then taken apart and then reassembled, the skirt had to be dipped upside-down in order to maintain the pink hem. Majority of the tests and experiments were conducted once again at home, and the final results were created by a professional team.

The double-layered tuxedo jacket is inspired by oversized 1950s couture bow, re-imagined and interwoven into the jacket, using the same pink, black and white colour palette. An oyster ruffle dress with a high neck and a scalloped back, with an undulating pattern achieved by stitching row by row until the pattern indicated a change in circle size, achieving the degradé scale effect.

The final piece is a asymmetric floor-length dress with an exploded skirt volume in washed calico silk organza, embroidered with designs from a sketch book. The finale piece of the collection made by the Italian Alexander McQueen seamstresses in their kitchens. Sarah Burton and her team worked to feature sketches previously created before the pandemic.

To view the full campaign, visit AlexanderMcQueen.com

Gucci Presents ‘Winter in the Park’

26.01.2021 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

A strong reconnection with nature, the outdoors, and a celebration of unique pieces in a metropolis: Gucci presents ‘Winter in the Park’. Alessandro Michele, Gucci’s Creative Director reimagined a natural space in the city, with a combination of autumn leaves, frosted grass, and grey skies, alongside London-esque metal railings, benches, and amber lamps. The atmosphere sets the scene for the presentation of the pieces which are reminiscent of the 60s and 70s’.

This digital campaign features four of the House’s adored creations: this includes the GG Marmont soft leather matelassé bag, seen previously in Michele’s first show for the House. The Jackie 1961 which is the updated version of the famous hobo model that was presented by Gucci in the 60s’ is also the main attraction. Accessories in the campaign include the Dionysus Bag, which was first presented at the Women’s Fall-Winter fashion show in 2015. The bag has a double tiger-head closure detailing which is a direct reference to the Greek God Dionysus, who in the myth is said to have crossed the river Tigris on a tiger sent to him by Zeus.

These pieces are worn by the likes of singer-songwriter Celeste, fashion designer, television personality and author Alexa Chung, and actor Vanessa Kirby. Each woman dawns a different style all suited to their personalities, taken from the Gucci Epilogue collection and from the House’s Beloved Lines accessories. Photographer Angelo Pennetta perfectly captures the harmony between the outdoors and the clothing, encapsulating the beauty of the clothing and vitality that can be found in an outdoor space during the winter.  

To further explore the campaign, visit Gucci.com

Louis Vuitton Men’s AW21 – Livestream Fashion Show

22.01.2021 | Fashion , Louis Vuitton | BY:

Louis Vuitton’s Men’s AW21 premiered on Thursday 22nd January, a showcase that featured a selection of pieces spearheaded by their artistic director Virgil Abloh. The show begins with a title sequence, the phrase “A Peculiar Contrast, Perfect Light” appearing on the surface of Swiss mountains adorned in snow. The 13-minute video features an array of alluring visuals alongside reworked streetwear combinations.

Saul Williams narrates the beginning of the show, with a spoken word poem backed by an ethereal violin and harp duet: “In this white wilderness, the construct of purity is sullied with every step”. The wide shot switches to a hallway like structure, with models that move in a pedestrian yet choreographed. The combination of streetwear and cooperate suits creates an interesting flare. Pieces include a slouchy button up paired with a grey fedora and green silk scarf, and elbow length leather gloves combined with a fitted waist coat.

The cacophony of music, movement, and clothing draws the audience in throughout. As the music transitions into a faster-paced jazz ensemble, the shot switches to an open space with emerald granite structures under stark white lighting. Williams calls out the names of influential figures in literature, politics, film, music and more as the models continue to walk in and across the room. Yasiin Bey (also known as Mos Def) takes centre stage and performs a song, changing the pace to a more upbeat and somewhat frenzied tone. The camera shows flashes of accessories such as an iridescent silver suitcase and an airplane bag covered in Louis Vuitton’s signature brown pattern. The video closes out with Yasiin Bey in his illuminated green suit slowly fading out of view as the overhead lights shut off.

The show is more than a fashion show – it is a full artistic experience from start to finish.

To view the full collection, visit LouisVuttion.com.

Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2021: Yinka Shonibare CBE RA

12.01.2021 | Art , Blog | BY:

World-renowned artist Yinka Shonibare is to be presented with the Art Icon award, supported by the Swarovski foundation. Shonibare is one of eight artists who have received this award since its inception in 2003. This prestigious honouring will take place on 22nd March 2021 in a virtual gala celebration, and will be hosted by the director of Whitechapel Gallery: Iwona Blazwick OBE.

Yinka Shonibare is a name that instantly recognised worldwide. His work explores a range of subject matters: from race, colonialism and class systems. Born in 1962 in London, he moved to Lagos, Nigeria at the age of three and returned to the UK to study Fine Art, first at Byam School of Art (now Central Saint Martins College) and then at Goldsmiths College.

His signature medium is Dutch wax batik fabric, a material inspired by Indonesian designs, manufactured in Holland and appropriated by West Africans colonies. This fabric is woven by Shonibare into intricate and eye-catching artwork that questions identity, both contemporary culture and nationalism in relation to globalisation. Shonibare was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2004, and his work Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle, was the 2010 Fourth Plinth Commission in Trafalgar Square. It is now on permanent display at The National Maritime Museum, Greenwich.

Iwona Blazwick said: “Yinka Shonibare is a truly exceptional artist and is an exemplary Art Icon. His vividly clothed figurative sculptures, the Hogarthian scenarios he creates as installations and photographs, and his beautiful films celebrate African culture while exposing the legacies of race and empire. Globally celebrated Shonibare also supports younger generations of artists in Britain and Africa; both his artistic legacy and his charitable initiatives will resonate for years to come.”

The ceremony will be graced with a musical performance by four-time Grammy award winner Angélique Kidjo, amongst other live performances throughout the night. Artwork donated from leaded contemporary artists will be put up for auction, and the proceeds will go towards Whitechapel’s programme which continues to support the youth programme and educational activities. Whitechapel’s Youth Programme has helped to support and empower 4,000 artists the ability to explore contemporary art and meet creative professionals.

The event committee will include the likes of Aki Abiola, Sir David Adjaye, and Nadja Swarovski, amongst a plethora of other high profile attendees.

Nadja Swarovski commented: “The Swarovski Foundation is delighted to continue its support of the Whitechapel Gallery and the Art Icon award, which this year honours an artist who has made an outstanding contribution to our cultural life. Yinka Shonibare’s work is strikingly beautiful and exerts a profound emotional power whilst exploring issues such as race, power and identity. Through his charitable programmes, Shonibare’s support of the next generation of artists and to cultural exchange have been equally impactful.”

Visit Whitechapelgallery.org to find out more.

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