An Etat Libre in the East End

26.06.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Controversial fragrance brand Etat Libre d’Orange have opened up their first fragrance store on our side of the pond.

Known for scents such as Secretions Magnifigues (based on the smell of sperm, blood and saliva) but also olfactory collaborations with the likes of Tilda Swinton and Rossy de Palma, this fragrance brand definitely sets itself apart from your mainstream perfumes.

If you’re on the hunt for a not-so-average fragrance, be sure to pay a visit to their Redchurch Street shop now.


25.06.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Coinciding with the 10th anniversary of the Fashion and Textile Museum which she founded in 2003, Zandra Rhodes: Unseen offers insight into one of the British fashion industry’s most treasured eccentrics.

Through an expansive collection of textiles, dresses and original sketches, the show will explore the archive, studio and creative process behind her five decades and counting career.

Zandra Rhodes : Unseen exhibits at the Fashion and Textile Museum, 83 Bermondsey Street, SE1 3XF, from 12 July until 31 August.

Cinematic Happenings

24.06.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Tomorrow marks the kick-off of the annual East End Film Festival. Founded in 2000, this year’s line-up includes films like the Linda Boreman biopic Lovelace and Noah Baumbach’s latest flick, Frances Ha.

Alongside the over seventy film screenings, the events also includes the EEFF award ceremonies, Industry workshops for aspiring filmmakers and other live happenings. Previous guests have included Tracey Emin, Danny Boyle and Annie Lennox, so be sure to stop by.

East End Film Festival 2013 takes place from 25 June – 10 July.


21.06.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

If you’re keen to add a bit of feminist activism into your Friday routine, check out award-winning human rights organisation OBJECT. With the tagline ‘Women Not Sex Objects’, the group has been running anti-sexist campaigns for over a decade.

OBJECT fights against the ‘pornification’ of society — be it with public slogans such as Eff Off Hef!, law-changing campaigns such as Stripping The Illusion or addressing the shameless display of lads magazines at national retailers.

Visit the OBJECT website to find out how to get involved.

Vintage Paradise

19.06.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

The king of vintage William Banks-Blaney has teamed up with Selfridges for a four week pop-up to showcase the best Dior and Balenciaga pieces of decades past.

WilliamVintage will be showing a range of antique pieces that spans over 100 years of fashion and includes early work by houses such as Madame Gres, Givenchy and Hartnell.

Whether it’s a 1968 Oscar de la Renta mini dress or 1955 Lanvin haute couture cocktail dress you’re after, be sure to stop by and marvel at these unique pieces of fashion history.

Documentaries at the Docs

18.06.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Documentary film fans will be spoilt for choice at this week’s Open City Docs Fest, which showcases 100 international films alongside workshops, panel discussions and other live events.

Topics include the challenges of urban living, Pussy Riot, drug trafficking, subversion of art and the restorative beauty of music, so no matter what your interest, you’re sure to find its corresponding cinematic counterpart here.

Open City Docs Fest runs from June 20 to 23 at UCL/Torrington Square, WC1H 0BW.

Rick & Raf

17.06.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

When style matches substance, you know you’ve got yourself a good fashion monograph. Hence why our inner fashion literary geek is excited by these two new publications, courtesy of i-D founder Terry Jones and Taschen, on the glunge (goth & grunge) master Rick Owens and Mr. Minimalism himself, Raf Simons.

Owens’ masterfully draped, bias-cut and beautifully melancholic designs are captured in images by Corinne Day, Sølve Sundsbø and Hans Feurer, while the anthology of Simons’ nearly two decades of understated elegance are displayed through the lens of Willy Vanderperre, Sølve Sundsbø and Alasdair McLellan. Far more than just two books full of pretty pictures, these hardcovers also feature interviews by the likes of Holly Shackleton, Jo-Ann Furniss, James Anderson, and Terry and Tricia Jones.

Say hello to your new coffee table book additions.

A Weekend with Yoko

13.06.2013 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Stumped for inspiring weekend plans? Look no further than Meltdown Festival curated by the one and only Yoko Ono.

Kicking off with a concert by Yoko Ono Plastic Band and ending with a live performance of John Lennon and Yoko’s last album Double Fantasy, there’s lots of musicians, artists and events on offer in between.

Catch the likes of  Siouxsie and Julianna Barwick singing their tunes on stage, watch Peaches recreate Ono’s famous performance Cut Piece and pick up your copy of Rough Trade’s latest publication, Let’s Start a Pussy Riot. Alternatively see Kim Gordon and Bill Nace’s experimental project Body/Head in action, take in the poetry and music of Patti Smith or experience a special one-off show with Marianne Faithfull and Bill Frisell.

Meltdown Festival runs from 14-23 June at Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, SE1 8XX.

An In Conversation with the original Guerilla Girl

12.06.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

Judith Bernstein will be talking to curator Sarah McCrory about the art of female rebellion this Thursday.

The American artist, who was a founding member of A.I.R. Gallery (the first gallery devoted to showing female artists), as well as an early member of art activist organisations including Guerilla Girls, Art Workers’ Coalition, and Fight Censorship, will be discussing her four decades of creating controversial work.

The discussion is taking place in the context of the ICA’s new exhibition Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper), which examines artists who have addressed issues such as gender politics, sexuality, feminist issues, war, censorship and race from the 1940s until today.

Judith Bernstein in Conversation with Sarah McCrory takes place on 13 June at 6:45pm, at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, The Mall, SW1Y 5AH.

Holy Handbags

11.06.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Amy Davidson, a BA (Hons) Fashion student at Manchester School of Art, recent won the Mulberry Accessories Award at Graduate Fashion Week for her intricate wood and laser cut leather men's accessories. Twin spoke to the young designer about her gothic architecture and French cathedral-inspired collection and post graduate plans…

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How did it feel to win the Mulberry Accessories Award at 

I couldn’t believe it, the competition was tough this year so I was 
overwhelmed with joy. It also gave me the confidence to keep designing and
 thinking of new ideas. I want to use the same methods from making these bags 
into something new.

What inspired you to pursue womenswear and men's accessories?

Throughout university and college I enjoyed designing and making feminine
 clothes. I love lace and girly printed fabrics. As I grew and developed my
 design philosophy, I began to love the idea of having these same designs on a
 man. Sometimes designing traditional feminine shapes on a woman can be quite 
predictable and bland, however if you put this on a man it becomes edgy and 
unusual. I chose accessories as a career choice because my work is very 3D. I am 
always trying to place unusual fabrications around the body, so it made more
 sense to study accessories. It’s important for me to find a career I enjoy
 and feel comfortable in.

You mentioned that you like to question why and how we wear fashion 
and how you can influence others. Would you like to elaborate on how 
this ethos feeds into your designs?

This ethos feeds into my designs by taking a generic garment and using it in a new way. In my final degree project I started making a
 traditional corset shape out of boning, then covered it in knitting and 
twisted it into new mysterious shapes around the body. The idea that we have
 to dress a certain way with certain rules doesn’t apply to my designs. I 
would much rather create an art form on the body then a generic shirt and
 pants collection.

Where do you find your inspiration and which designers do you look 
up to?

The inspiration for my collection came from my travels in France last
 summer. I visited a few cathedrals and fell in love with the intricate
 details found around the buildings and on the ceilings. I also love things 
that are delicate like lace, you can see the skill and time that went into
 making something like that. My fascination with both these things lead me to
 design detailed laser cut patterns inspired by gothic imagery.

I chose to 
use the colours black and silver because they are the colours most used in
 my research and work best with the look I tried to achieve.
 The designer I look at the most is Iris Van Herpen, she uses multiple textile techniques and unusual fashion materials to create beautiful
 garments that shock and inspire her audience.
 Another designer is Sandra Backlund, her visionary knitwear breaks the
 mould and shows how sometimes the best way to create exciting garments is to
 let the fabric inform the designs, not flat 2D drawings.

What was the process of creating your graduate accessories 
collection like?

The process of creating my graduate accessories collection was mainly trial 
and error. With most of my technical knowledge in pattern cutting and
sewing, I was faced with the challenge of using wood to create my bags. The most
 logical way for me was to have small holes around each piece of wood and sew 
them together with thick leather thread. Luckily this technique worked well
 and fitted in with the rest of my design.

How would you describe your aesthetic and how would you like to 
further develop as a designer in the future?

My design aesthetic is a real mix of my love for history, be it 
architecture or costume, and modern art. I keep my designs contemporary by 
mixing both research areas to create something original. 
I would like to further develop as a designer in the future by finding new
 ways to use my inspirational imagery. I think I would like to not be so
 literal in my design themes in the future. I enjoy collections that are not 
too overstated, where you can't see straight away where there designs came from, and that are a mix of ideas or a different take on the brand's own
 signature style.

What are your postgraduate plans?

My post graduate plans are to do some freelance design work and then a
 Masters in accessories at the Royal College of Art in September.
 My dream career scenario would be to work for Mulberry or Marc Jacobs, I 
love the quality of finish and the craftsmanship in each item. They design
 stylish accessories that are clean and sophisticated which I’m really 
interested in.


Burdens of Excess

10.06.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

Organic grotesqueness meets 'It' item fetishisation in Andrea Hasler's new solo exhibition.

The Zurich-born artist has recreated iconic handbags and footwear from labels such as Louis Vuitton, Dior and Jimmy Choo in her trademark wax sculptures for her Desire series, and transformed the Gusford Gallery into a boutique filled with organ-like accessories in the process.

Be sure to check out this interesting and tactilesocial commentary on the psychological effects of consumerism.

Burdens of Excess exhibits until August 10 at Gusford Gallery, 7016 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90038.


The Venice Biennale

07.06.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

Artist and previous interviewee Seana Gavin headed down to the annual arts mecca The Venice Biennale this week. In the following piece, Gavin handpicks her top ten pieces from the event exclusively for Twin…

I am only just recovering from a very full week spent at The Venice Biennale. It is my third time there and its always a great experience, but this year I really connected to the work on a more personal level.

In Il Palazzo Enciclopedico in the main Giardini there was a very obvious spiritual theme, with lots of cosmic, supernatural, scientific and nature over tones which I found really inspiring and relates to some of the subjects in my own art work. Here is some of the work that I especially connected with:

Carl Gustav Jung, ‘The Red Book’ in II Palazzo Enciclopedico

Jung experienced visions, visual fantasies and premonition dreams from a young age. In 1913 he thought he was going insane after having very intense apocalyptic visions, which he soon realised were omens of the horror of 2nd World War. He began to fill notebooks with detailed descriptions of his dreams and visions which then became the ‘The Red Book’. I loved the way the pages from the book were displayed in a round shaped room – it reminded me of a scene from film ‘The Holy Mountain’ by Alejandro Jodorowsky.

Shary Boyle, Canada Pavilion

This was one of my favourite pavilions. The room was blacked out. Inspired by the moon, the only light was a subtle glow highlighting revolving moon-related sculptures. The main piece was a 3D set, containing white figures in a landscape with collage imagery projected on to it. It would flash between the white figures with a moon-like glow and the collage projected version.

Jakub Julian Ziolkowski in II Palazzo Enciclopedico

He created a series of paintings including imaginary beings, hybrid and mythological creatures. I particularly liked ‘The Sleep of Reason’ depicting a bodily and grotesque hellish landscape.

Roger Caillois’ stone collection in Il Palazzo Enciclopedico

He was a poet and theorist heavily involved in the Surrealist movement. He praised how stones appear to depict landscapes and commented on their beautiful patterning. Here his personal, well chosen stone collection was displayed in glass cases. As someone who has collected stones and crystals since I was 5, I really appreciated it and enjoyed examining his collection.

Shinro Ohtake in Il Palazzo Enciclopedico

There is a whole room full of Ohtake’s scrapbooks displayed in cases. They are held open to view random pages of his mixed media collage images responding to mass media and contemporary urban life. I love the layering and looseness of his approach.

Ryan Trecartin, Il Palazzo Enciclopedico

He creates weird uncomfortable alternative realities in video form, inspired by game shows, reality TV and talk shows featuring transgender characters and Spring Break-like American teenagers. The digital effects, bright coloured face paints and exaggerated personas create a strong flavour of a bad acid trip. Here he has collaborated with Lizzie Fitch and other artists to create sets around the viewing space that expands the environments from the videos. You feel as if you are emerged into the films.

Bedwyr Williams, ‘The Starry Messenger’, Wales in Venice

He created a series of rooms relating to the exploration of infinity and minute space. I was blown away by the video piece which took you through a journey like a string of consciousness – going from the details of the granite marble flooring beneath your feet to the galaxy in the sky.

Museo Fortuny

Axel Veervordt curated the exhibition this year in this amazing space. It consisted of Tapies’ personal art collection along with some of his own works. It is so inspiringly put together. Often the architecture becomes part of the work – as with these pieces the crumbly walls where the work is hung seems to fuse into the paintings.

Palazzo Peckham

This space was created by a group of south London based creatives. Artists including Jon Rafman, Rob Chavasse, Samara Scott and Viktor Timofeev were commissioned to create the interior. The palazzo included a bar and an internet lounge and became a hub for Londoners in Venice. Throughout the week they hosted a series of events and served a lot of aperol spritz!

Jeremy Deller, English Magic at the British Pavilion

The whole pavilion contained several works all connecting to British culture and history. One wall showed a display of Neolithic hand axes dating 4,000 BCE all found along the Thames. In a corner of the room there was a stand where you were invited to hold 2 of the axe heads carved from stone while being told the history of the objects made by pre-humans! In another interactive area you could make your own DIY Jeremy Deller print to take home. But equally worth mentioning was the seriously fun after Party which the Brits do so well – which included a spontaneous naked male dancing as the steel band played British classics such as Voodoo Ray.


Words and images by Seana Gavin

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Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

06.06.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

The story of punk rock political rebels Pussy Riot aka Nadia, Masha and Katia is captured in Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s documentary, Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.

Filmed over the course of six months, the film follows the trio through their controversial trial and tells the story of the women behind the neon-coloured balaclavas.

Be sure to watch this fascinating and inspiring story of political expression and artistic rebellion.

Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer premieres on HBO on Monday June 10 at 7 pm.

Reclaiming the F Word

05.06.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

The f-word (feminism) has become a more important part of our everyday vocabulary than ever. Making sense of it all is the latest edition of Reclaiming the F Word.

Written by Catherine Redfern and Kristin Aune, this book examines the development of the women’s rights movement through topics such as sexism in popular culture, the rise of cosmetic surgery and the gendered effects of the economic crisis, making it an essential read in contemporary feminism 101.

Mozart’s Sister

04.06.2013 | Blog , Music | BY:

Music recommendations don’t come much better than from innovative songstress, Grimes, who has described Canadian pop singer Caila Thompson-Hannant aka Mozart’s Sister as her biggest inspiration.

With her new Hello EP out now, there’s no reason not to check out her self-described #pinkdepression tunes.

Cunt Today

03.06.2013 | Blog , Thoughts | BY:

Founded by Phoebe Collings-James, Cunt Today is the latest online platform for feminist interaction and debate, gathering information on current news and events alongside original contributor articles.

Twin spoke to the artist about the inspiration behind her site and her views on fourth wave feminism…


What inspired you to launch Cunt Today?

I’ve been using the word cunt since I was at primary school, shouting it at boys, girls and inanimate broken objects. Before I even understood what it meant. It is a powerful word, it is supposedly offensive, especially seductive and very pleasurable to use.

But powerful and offensive is how women’s sexuality and freedom is treated in society on the whole. I feel as though men and women are increasingly aware of how important gender issues are and wanted to set up a forum to share ideas and promote action.

Who got you involved in feminism and what does modern-day feminism mean to you?

My mother, even though she still won’t call herself one. She says she is a humanist, which is interesting when you think of one of the most important phrases of the women’s movement: ‘Womens Rights are Human Rights’. She taught me that I could do, say and be whatever I wanted.

Feminism today is about affirming those things for every girl and woman, through law and society. Feminism means something different to everyone. For me, it’s about equality and empowerment, and not letting gendered ideas of who or what we should be prevail.

It’s about addressing violence against women, supporting new structures of work and child care that deal with the realities of contemporary families. Not the Dickensian ones that David Cameron seems to be enamoured by.

How do you think does your background as an artist feed into the project?

A lot of the projects I have been involved in have been especially arts based, like the East London Fawcett group. They recently did an extensive audit into the ratios of male to female artists represented in galleries, museums, art magazines and auctions. This was a really important survey for me, simply to confirm that I am not totally delusional and that the massive indifference is real.

Creative people have the potential to change the way we live and a lot of their decisions affect our politics — in architecture, fashion and advertising, as well as art. I think it is especially important that they are morally conscious of the decisions they make.

What do you hope for viewers to take away from the site and what can we expect from it in the future?

I want them to speak about what they have read and open up debates. Get people talking and thinking.  I wanted the site to be in the style of a blog rather than a magazine because it is supposed to be an open resource, for people to contribute and gather information. It would be great for this to grow and continue into the future.

A Pool Pop-Up

31.05.2013 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Summer may have not shown its face as of yet but that doesn’t mean we can’t lift our moods with a bit of

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retail therapy.

Enter Beach in the East, the creatively different pop-up shop created by Yasmin Sewell and Papier Mache Tiger. Set up in a disused swimming pool near Old Street, the east London-based store stocks brands such as Acne, Thomas Tait and House of Holland.

Get your shop on here until August 24.

Artistic Resurrection

30.05.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

A legendary art event of the past comes back to life in the new When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013 exhibition. Presented by Fondazione Prada and curated by Germano Celant in collaboration with Thomas Demand and Rem Koolhaas, the show reconstructs the legendary Live in Your Head. When Attitudes Become Form exhibit by Harald Szeemann at the Bern Kunsthalle in 1969, which paved a then radical approach to the practice of exhibition curation.

Described as “a literal and radical superposition of spaces that produces new and unexpected relationships between the artworks themselves and between the artworks and the space they occupy”, the exhibition features the work of artists such as Claes Oldenburg, Eva Hesse and Joseph Beuys, as well as original materials from the development of the 1969 show, offering something for both art history buffs and newcomers alike.

When Attitudes Become Form: Bern 1969/Venice 2013 exhibits at Calle de Ca’ Corner, Santa Croce 2215, Venice from  June 1 until November 3.

What Is Gender?

28.05.2013 | Blog , Culture | BY:

For all those looking for  a way to reconnect with reality after a long bank holiday weekend, look no further than the What Is Gender? talk tonight with Stella Sandford at The Wheatsheaf.

Sandford, a reader in modern European Philosophy and member of the Radical Philosophy editorial collective, will be discussing the factors of sex and gender distinction in everyday life since the emergence of feminist activism in the 1960s.

Find out what subtle behaviours and roles within biology, culture and society separate women from men — and the future possibilites of challenging these impositions.

What Is Gender? takes place today at The Wheatsheaf, 25 Rathbone Place,  W1T 1DG, starting at 8pm.


Art Audit

24.05.2013 | Art , Blog | BY:

ELF, aka the gender equality-campaigning East London Fawcett Group, unveils their contribution to Calvert 22’s exhibition …how is it towards east? today.

For the past year, the organisation has been examining the postion of women within London’s contemporary art scene as part of their Art Audit campaign. Check out their findings at the Calvert 22 gallery now.

…how is it towards east? is on display until June 2 at Calvert 22 gallery, 22 Calvert Avenue, E2 7JP.




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