Aries Arise x Porter

22.02.2020 | Blog | BY:

“Japanese – Italian – Luxury” is how the Aries team sums up their most recent collaboration with Japanese fashion house Porter. But the collection is a little more subversive than such a description would suggest – as ever with Aries Arise’s approach, there’s a sense of playfulness too. 

“I wanted to include a trompe l’oeil design that would be a reference to classic luxury bags, this is how the gold chains idea developed. I specifically wanted the straps to be an ironic take on a handbag, to contrast the very utilitarian language of the Porter bag design.” explains Sofia Prantera of the approach to the collection. “Trying to achieve a balance between utilitarian and luxury is central to my design process and it creates constant tension between these opposing tenets.”

Shot by Clare Shilland, the campaign for Aries x Porter project taps into the new energy that accessories are bringing to style. They’re a material in themselves, building full looks from the outside in. For Prantera, the collaboration had personal roots. “Porter bags are unique, I have been buying their bags since my first trip to Japan in 2003. My first Porter bag was an iPod classic 1st Generation 5GB holder. Our Japanese distributor came up with the idea of collaborating on a bag collection which seemed like a dream come true. Porter bags are really iconic and unique. Porter have invented their own bag language and in some ways they are still pretty undiscovered outside of Japan.”

The collection is comprised of five unique styles, mixing original Porter silhouettes with an Aries twist. I particularly like the Helmet bag, which is Porter’s signature shape, but I think the construction and materials lend themselves really well to small accessories so we added a 5th design, based on a 1990’s raver holster. This style is new and unique to our collaboration.”

Aries Arise x Porter is available to buy now.

Twin Talks: Melanie and Stephanie Hausberger

05.11.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Taking inspiration from Tyrolean mountains and New York, Austrian twin sisters Melanie and Stephanie Hausberger make striking work about womanhood, connection and nature. Twin caught up with the twin sisters to talk about the synchronicity of creativity, New York hang outs and the creative power of two.

Duplications in nature and the female form are subjects that you return to in your works. What are you both drawn to?

Recently we were going though our works we created when we were really young and its striking how figures and the female form always have been the major subject. Being identical twins we always were very much of aware of people judging our differences and compare us. In our work its about the way these figures embody the world, the way they relate to one another. And then of course there is body image, which is another big theme we are interested in since we have a history of struggling with it. 

Also, growing up we never really had access to art museums or gallery, for us getting a magazine like I-D or Vogue, was a big deal. They certainly influenced our aesthetics and style too, the people featured but also the fashion ads and campaigns. We like to add nature since its timeless and also calming. Expressionist artists work such as Kirchner or Otto Mueller also incorporated a lot of natural scenes, and those works are the first ones we were exposed to. Also we grew up in the Alps, being outside in nature was a big part of our childhood. 

But we think our work has many layers and is quite complex sometimes, as art should be, so there is always the possibility to have a different perspective and one can read many things into our work. We like to let the viewer question our work, and we like if its not too obvious.

What does your creative process look like?

We are not working from photographs or pictures, its all out from our imagination and the accumulated input and inspiration. We are really sensitive to colors, patters, atmospheres and we always explore the places we are traveling to, whether for work or pleasure, often wonder how beautiful something is although nobody else seems to notice.

Also, we are very much influenced and inspired by the history and language of painting, we look and read a lot about art, so whether consciously or unconsciously we incorporate all this in our work. 

We love how art opens up new horizons and teaches one to think in different ways. For us, Painting and drawing is our way to reflect and explore everything, and we love how working together on a painting you never quite know what it will come out in the end since you don’t have full control – it can happen that I paint over something my sister just painted so one really has to let go of control. 

On larger drawings we also work on at the same time, with smaller ones we switch around until its finished. 

When it comes to creativity, do you think collaboration is generally more powerful than individual effort?

We find that our collaboration is a huge blessing – unless we have a hard time agreeing on something. We both have a very strong sense of what we want to make, so it can happen that we argue for a while…but that is rare because we instinctively know what the other wants and vice versa, maybe thats a twin thing… In the end every work we make is a teamwork  and we work toward a common vision. So yes, if things run well, a collaborative process can be more powerful than an individual one.

As both individuals and artists your visual identity is very distinct, how did this develop? 

Well, it is probably a mix of many things. The location (in the Tyrolean Alps) we grew up, our early influences, our own curious characters, and of course New York. We both always knew what we liked or disliked aesthetically. Early one we were drawn towards paintings and drawings, even though at that point we had no idea that one can become an artist per se. We both remember always feeling the impulsion to make things, not only to look.  We are very interested in many subjects outside art which eventually inform our work. Aesthetic decisions were always much easier for us than deciding on the mundane things of daily life. Its interesting that even though we spent time apart for longer periods, attending different schools at times, we were always drawn to the same artists and art movements.

What do you see as the relationship between photography and drawing / painting? 

Photography is a quick medium and for us, since we draw very quickly they both are quite similar in their ability to capture impressions and moments. 

Photography has always played a part in our live, shooting each other all these years when growing up and studying in New York. 

We both have this urge to record things, which we used to do through solely drawing before the iPhone came out. Now drawing and photography go side by side. We photograph a lot of inspirations, have separate folders sorted by theme and so on, but when it comes to painting then we try and trust our own instinct and ability to 

You both studied in New York, did the city help to shape or impact your work?

We love NY, its pace and energy perfectly lends itself to our lifestyle. The city definitely shaped our work – we love the New York School artists such as De Kooning, Lee Krassner, Joan Mitchell and also Francesco Clemente and Alex Katz. Those mixed with Austrian and German Expressionism seems to be the base of our work. 

What are your favourite places in New York?

Our regular go to spot has always been Souen, unfortunately there is only one left. Tomoe Sushi has the best sashimi platters, and we love classic New York restaurants more than the new “trendy” ones, such as Odeon, Balthazar or Raoul’s. For drinks in the evenings, when we go its usually Paul’s Baby Grant, Primos or Alley Cat at the Beekman Hotel. Bemelsman’s Bar at the Carlyle Hotel is also really beautiful.

Which other creative duos are you inspired by?

We like what Gert and Uwe Tobias are doing and the Haas Brothers,  and we think there are a couple of Filmmaker duos such as the Dardenne Brothers, which we think make great work together.

What are you working on at the moment, and what are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?

Right now we are preparing work for an upcoming show in Brussels in December. The rest of the year we Milan, where we are excited to work on a new body of work. 

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Mixed Feelings – an exploration of the impact of our digital habits , a chat with author Naomi Shimada

11.10.2019 | Blog , Culture , Literature | BY:

Social media is the most powerful, disruptive and exciting tool to have come into the world in the last decade. It’s role in our lives has drastically changed too, as we lean into its complex system of absorbing information, embracing likes, tracking follows and sharing bits of ourselves.

Two people extremely well placed to grapple with the complexities of this landscape are Naomi Shimada and Sarah Raphael. Having both grown with the internet,  and felt the power and possibilities that the digital landscape presented, they’ve distilled their thoughts and experiences into a new book, Mixed Feelings. Bringing together diverse voices and ideas, the result is an insightful take on the most pressing issue of our time. How do we live together, openly, imperfectly and harmoniously in this digital age? 

We caught up with Naomi Shimada to discuss their work. 

Why did it feel like now was the time to write Mixed Feelings?

We were feeling this overwhelming sense that this conversation needed to happen on a larger scale. For millennials, the internet and social media are the things that affected our lives in the biggest way. It’s changed the way we work, love, travel, exercise, eat! It’s drastically changed how we live and there’s bound to be some fallout because of that. The fallout is mostly an emotional one.  To have a smartphone and be using social media almost undoubtedly means you have mixed feelings about it. There is this overwhelming feeling I can feel in the air and see in peoples’ eyes that things can’t go on like this as they are. Everyone we spoke to, so many conversations I overheard, wherever I went in the world, someone was talking about something that happened via social media, where it’s something they saw or did themselves that made them feel some type of way!

 How have your relationships with social media changed since you started  using it?

More than anything I’m more conscious of how I try to manage my time on it. I know when I want to be quiet and when I feel like being more active. I’m more aware of the feelings it triggers and try to give myself what I need. Also I feel less affected by the pedestal culture it can often create. There are so many things we can’t see in a photo, I really understand now that just because something looks good, doesn’t mean it is good. And it’s been a good reminder that we shouldn’t all be yearning after the same things in life, success shouldn’t look formulaic to all of us. We are all on different paths and it’s important to remember that amid everything we see on social media. 

Do you feel like it’s possible to have a naive / carefree relationship with social media today, or does it have to be conscious and curated?

I think that question is more a lot to do with who you are as person and what you’re using social media for! I think if you use it mainly for work or as a portfolio etc than probably using it in a more curated way makes sense for you. I’m all about doing what you feel is best for you!

How do you think social media impacts our friendships and relationships in real life, for the better, and for the worse?

I don’t think it’s black and white like that. It’s been a super powerful tool for connecting with people for me. Some of those digital connections have turned into some of my deepest IRL friendships so I definitely don’t discount the power of a relationship that starts online, but it can be confusing sometimes when social media is so made to be so much about social capital. We can also use our profiles to curate and create a version of ourselves that doesn’t necessarily mirror who are in real life and that’s tricky terrain to navigate. We are also a generation that has so many aquaintances and less deep friendships. I think just being aware of what kind of friendships you want and what kind of friend you are or want to be to others online as well as in real life is a grounding place to start. 

What has been the most exciting thing about creating this book for you both?

It’s been really powerful to just create a space to have and try to encourage really honest and vulnerable conversations. Social media is so often a place of pretence and projection, so we wanted to make something that was the antithesis of that. We wanted to make something that you had to put your phone down to absorb and think and sit with. 

What was the biggest learning / take away from the process of creating the book?

That even though our book was focused on our emotional habits around social media, what we were really writing about, was the human condition. That all of these complexities that we’re talking about, all these feelings, are innately human but are just amplified by social media! 

Although it’s entitled mixed feelings, is there a clear takeaway that you want to leave readers with?

That you aren’t alone in these feelings. This technology in the grand scheme of things is so new we don’t really understand what it’s doing to our brains yet, as we don’t have the research. We don’t pretend to have the answers but we’re hoping by sharing our experiences it makes other people feel more free and less ashamed about these feelings we so often feel in isolation, alone on our phones. Let’s just be honest and agree that so much of how social media makes us feel and make us do – is weird man! 

Based on what people have contributed to the book and your own thinking, do you think our relationship with social media is going to change any time soon?

I don’t think this technology is going anywhere, our lives are only becoming more and more intertwined. These apps are designed to make us addicted, and the more time we spend on them the more tech companies can gain from us financially. So if we want the internet and social media to change, we have to change. We have to be more aware about how things make us feel and from then decide what kind of role you want it to keep playing in your life. If we want it to grow up we have to grow up ourselves.

 Mixed Feelings: Exploring the Emotional Impact of our Digital Habits by Naomi Shimada & Sarah Raphael (Quadrille, £16.99) is out now 

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A Chat with The Artists of the Venezia Pavilion

29.07.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

This year, the Venezia Pavilion at the 58th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia moves beyond the confines of the exhibition space and infiltrates the city. Reflecting the multitude of stories, of splendour and beauty and of cruise ships, flooding and souvenirs, these esteemed Italian artists plunge into the wealth of inspiration to depict the ancient city in new lights. 

As Alessandro Gallo,  Artistic Director, explains: “In thinking about the creative concept of the pavilion, we have focussed on two angles: on one side, we wanted to return to the original elements that have characterised and shaped Venezia, and from the other side, we wanted to communicate the dichotomy of representing the stereotype that Venezia has in the world, and also a more authentic reflection of the city lived from the inside.”

Twin spoke to the artists involved, Mirko Borsche, Lorenzo Dante Ferro, Sidival Fila, Ferzan Özpetek, Fabio Viale and Giorgos Koumentakis, as well as artist director Alessandro Gallo, about their artistic approach to Venice. 

Alessandro Gallo , courtesy of Fondaco Italia

TWIN: How have you responded to Venice in your work?

Ferzan Ozpetek:

As soon as I was asked to visualise a personal idea of Venice, I had mixed feelings:  I was proud to be asked,   but at the same time overwhelmed by the difficulty of finding a creative way to tell the story of a city that has always been a symbol of unparalleled beauty, art and landscapes. A place deeply probed from all points of view. All of a sudden, I remembered so many walks I had taken in the Laguna, not just in the city, and above all the times I spent some days at the Lido either with my movies or as a member of jury for La Mostra del Cinema. That’s it, Water and Cinema: a dream of fluidity once again. You happen to reach the Lido on a motorboat, get off and soon you can enter the huge screening room where a collective rite is going to be held. I gathered some of those memories and emotions and revived them into imagery.  

Fabio Vale:

In this work I was trying to represent not the object, but the spiritual side of Venetian Bricole.

Lorenzo Dante Ferro: 

My work as a Master Perfumer originated in Venice in the 1500s when it was a flourishing and prosperous centre for the trade and commerce of precious spices, unguents, fragrant oils and resins brought back by navigators and explorers returning from voyages to distant lands. They provided Venice with the first new ingredients and raw materials necessary to give impetus to the development and creation of the first Italian perfumes, making Venice a natural location. Today, I continue this work as the keeper of secrets and traditions of artistic perfume creation from my perfume studio in Gradiscutta di Varmo (Udine) only a short distance from Villa Manin, the summer residence of the last Doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin.

Sidival Fila: 

I was invited as a selected artist for the Venice Pavilion from the beginning of the project, so I was able to follow its birth and its development; my involvement was both individual and collective, and for different reasons during the making of the show, many synergies were born with the other selected artists. I was also present in Venice for the opening of the Biennale and I was able to see that the message I wanted to share, through the descriptive elements of my installation and through a specific technical procedure , was communicated to the visitors, in the form of reflection and emotion.

Giorgos Koumendakis: 

This work has been created specifically for Venice, a vibrant city that combines the crossroads of many different cultures that approach it by water and could not exist in its present form for any other city!

Mirko Borsche:

The Venice Pavilion invited our studio to contribute as an ‘artist’. The biennale’s theme this year is FAKE NEWS, among other topics that form ‘interesting times we live in’. We are not artists, but we believe in graphic design as a strong tool, so we developed an identity for the Venice pavilion, which could be seen to be the identity of the whole Biennale and therefore is aligned with the concept of the Biennale, it also creates the maximum awareness for the pavilion of Venice. The centre piece of our concept is the Lion of St. Mark, the symbol of Venice. Bureau Borsche created a reduced, abstract form of the lion to highlight the six boroughs of Venice in the lines of his wings. These simple geometric shapes were also used to create the secondary graphical element – an exclusive typeface. This consists of mainly vertical bars in reference to the omnipresent poles throughout Venice. The popping Neon Yellow is a modern interpretation of the golden ornaments of the historical centre. Functionally, the colour is used as a signal colour because of its special visibility. Together the lion, the typeface, and the colour create a strong and yet ironically confusing guiding system for the city – ultimately leading to the pavilion of Venice. The graphical system is applied on many elements like signs, posters, flags, and public transport etc. At the same time there will be several take-away items such as apparel, tennis balls, plastic bags or lighters referring to the city’s strong tourist business. All these items are branded the same way and reveal their connection to the Venice pavilion once the visitor arrives at the pavilion. 

TWIN: What does Venice mean to you?

Alessandro Gallo – Artistic Director:

Having the privilege to live and know this place deeply, we feel we belong to an identity that has developed over centuries, creating something so strong, unique and personal; something that has put together and mixed different influences and culture that have shaped it.

Ozpetek, Image Courtesy of Fondaco Italia

Ferzan Ozpetek:

I called my work Venetika right because that is the ancient byzantine name given to the powerful maritime city. Venezia was and still is deeply marked by centenary – better say millenary – stratifications of Ottoman culture and traditions. Having grown up in Istanbul, Venezia to me is another “mother-city” where everything reflects, immerses in and resurfaces from water.

Fabio Vale:
Venice is a very hard city that forces you to move with its rhythms, different than ones we are used to. Thanks to this slowness you can appreciate the details.

Lorenzo Dante Ferro: 

Tradition and culture that express an elegance and style that is entirely unique. These are all elements that I treasure and take great pride in as a Venetian. 

Sidival Fila: 

Venice has always been a place of choice for art, culture and beauty. It’s a metaphor of travel and meeting, a unique and timeless city. 

Mirko Borsche:

I really like Italy in general, not very surprising for a German I guess, but for me it was always a place I wanted to live.

Venice is special, I love the city, but more around Autumn, when it gets a bit quiet again. Most of the season tourists take over, like a flood, which is disturbing for a lot of Venetians and forces them into the background. I can tell because Munich is a very touristic city too, and during the season it’s quite hard to get through the city or get anything done.

Giorgos Koumendakis: 

Venice is a city symbolic for music, visual arts and architecture. I am very happy because after many previous collaborations and presentations of my music in Venice, the time has come to compose a piece that is written especially for the Biennale and the city’s Pavilion. It is a great honour and privilege to participate in this important venture, along with great artists and under the artistic direction of Stelios Kois. 

TWIN: How have you interpreted this in your work for the Venice Pavilion?

Ferzan Ozpetek:

The city has hit my imagination as a vision of a woman immersed in water. That woman is performed by the wonderful actress Kasia Smutniak, who conveys the sense of a mysterious and magical experience. At a certain point that female figure representing the city emerges on the surface and thus Venezia materialises once the liquid becomes solid. Now we can recognise its extraordinary shapes, its dreamy buildings, its great paintings as in a revolving kaleidoscope of human figures and astonishing images.

Fabio Vale:
The installation was a collective work where all the artists collaborated together for one project.The meaning was to create a landscape where the viewer is immersed as they would be in the city of Venice

Lorenzo Dante Ferro: 

“Venéxia Odorum” is the natural essence which I composed, inspired by the Venetian lagoon with its briccole bathed by saltwater and the evocative notes of Mediterranean vegetation in the air. This geolfactive fragrance is my invisible contribution to the collective work which I have created to portray and to prolong the olfactive memory of the Serenissima into the future of all those who have had the opportunity to visit the Venice Pavilion.

Sidival Fila: 

They asked me to talk about spirituality as a constitutive dimension of the life of Venetian civilization, so I decided to present the crucifixion as the representation of a historical event, not only as a sacred or liturgical element. My “Golgotha” installation is composed of eight elements,  but only one of them presents a figurative sculpture of the Holy Cross; the other 7 elements open the doors to spirituality and transcendence, but they are not directly related to a specific religion, they only want to speak to every creed and to the heart of the people. 

Giorgos Koumendakis: 

In my work “The pedal tone of a closed current”, Byzantium, Renaissance and this modern city overlap, by the use of pedal tones from the Byzantine music together with western polyphonic elements. All those have an operatic dimension, symbolically accumulating at an orchestra pit full of water.

Mirko Borsche:

Our aim was to involve the Venetians to be part of our concept, they either got items provided by the pavilion for their own use, or make their own souvenirs, they can also download the graphic elements for free to create their own products. The idea is to make this symbol viral and make the whole city of Venice an extension of the Venice pavilion. 

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For the love of Cher

11.01.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cher is a goddess. Her influence lurks in the ether, making rogue appearances where you’d least expect them – in Mamma Mia 2, as the recommended video you didn’t know you wanted on YouTube. She’s the empowered, individual icon who brings eternal joy (look no further than her duet with Tina Turner or her workout videos if you’re in need of a refresh) . 

Inspired by vintage finds in Athens, stylist Daphne Iliaki began to bring together a 1970s-inspired shoot which drew on cowgirls and Cher. “I mainly researched 70s Cher for beauty references on hair” she explains, adding Anjelica Huston was also a point of  reference, and photographer Inez van Lamsweerde, “for her “witchy” hair”. 

“When you see a 70s Cher look, you can tell that what she did with designer Bob Mackie was free, authentic, fun and gave zero shits.  That’s the magic of it, that still feels unique and relevant today. Plus her charming boyish looks, combined with all that glitter ‘n’ glamour!”

Shot by photographer Nikos Papadopoulos and featuring Gucci model Veronika Primorac, the new series celebrates the iconic style of the 1970s, and Cher’s enduring spirit.

Veronika Primorac shot by Nikos Papadopoulos, styled by Daphne Iliaki
Veronika Primorac shot by Nikos Papadopoulos, styled by Daphne Iliaki
Veronika Primorac shot by Nikos Papadopoulos, styled by Daphne Iliaki
Veronika Primorac shot by Nikos Papadopoulos, styled by Daphne Iliaki

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RCA secret postcards

30.11.2018 | Blog | BY:

The annual RCA postcard sale starts today, offering supporters the chance to bid on anonymous postcard-size artworks. Contributing artists this year include Sadie Williams, Celia Hempton, Maggi Hambling, Grayson Perry and Richard Malone, alongside emerging talents from the RCA.

Each donation goes towards supporting the RCA fund, and helps to foster the next generation of artists, designers and illustrators. And you never know, you might end up with a major miniature masterpiece.

Find out more and register here.

Rinse, Repeat.

27.11.2018 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

Richard Malone debuts his first exhibition at NOW Gallery on the Greenwich Peninsula this week. Inside the space Malone, a star of the London womenswear scene, will explore the relationship between fashion, art and movement. Visitors can experience and explore the designer’s processes and inspirations in the tactile installation.

From flicking through Malone’s sketchbooks and listening to transcripts from private appointments, to trying on clothes by the designer, the experience is one that will forge new creative bonds between visitors and the designer. Meanwhile large scale images will help to further immerse visitors inside Malone’s architectural and imaginative world.

Richard Malone’s exhibition ‘Rinse, Repeat’ will be at NOW Gallery for free from 28th November 2018 to 27th February 2019.

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Disrupting patterns with Filippa K

25.11.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

As the ultimate antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumption, over the weekend Filippa K presented the results of their two year sustainable research project ‘Circular Design Speeds’, in collaboration with Mistra Future fashion, at an exhibition at UAL.

2018 has been the year that fashion finally woke up to its responsibilities. And as fast fashion, and the waste produced by the fashion industry more widely, have come under increasing scrutiny, Swedish brand Filippa K has worked to find a solution.

The results of the project are not only exciting from an environmental perspective, but also in terms of style. Both the 100% recycled and recyclable coat and the  biodegradable dress maintain Filippa K’s classic, timeless aesthetic and high quality, while taking the conversation forward. 

Crucially this new research comes from a major fashion brand rather than an experimental and emerging designer. The learnings and results show that when companies choose to put their resources into sustainable innovation, the results can be truly impactful and redirect the standardised path. 

These first creations, as well as the research process, were shown at the ‘Disrupting  Patterns’ exhibition at the University of Arts in London, alongside a series of talks and lectures aimed at sharing the findings of their projects with the larger fashion community.

In order to transform the linear (thinking) production cycle into a circular system we need understandable and simple examples, role models. Upcycling waste into beautifully naturally dyed dresses is just one of many fruitful ways of doing it – hopefully it will plant a seed to transformation,” explained Marie-Louise Hellgren, Designer at Heart & Earth Production at Filippa K.

As the fashion industry is forced to address the mounting crisis that its practice is contributing to, championing brands that embrace cyclical production is no longer a nicety, but a necessity. 

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“The Amount of Love You Have to Give is More Than I Can Stand.”

18.11.2018 | Art , Culture | BY:

Phoebe Collings-James’ first solo show in Cologne opens today. The new exhibition at the Ginerva Gambino gallery presents three wall-size pieces that create an overall frame, with smaller drawings and paintings displayed in between these works.

“In most of Collings-James’ work, violence and beauty coincide.” The gallery says of the new exhibition, noting the complexities and nuances of Collings-James’ work that have seen her reputation skyrocket in recent years. The exhibition addresses dualities and contrasts – “feelings of familiarity and distance. This cacophony relates to her exploration of identity. Her personal (being a queer, British-Jamaican woman) and the historical – the present day and the ancestral.”

Since she graduated from Goldsmiths in London in 2009, Phoebe Collings-James has become one of the most exciting new voices on the scene. Now Brooklyn-based, the artists has had major shows in London, New York and Antwerp. With such a capacity to produce works that make an impression, that are both intense and delicate, it’s easy to see why. The new exhibition is on until the end of January.

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Jil Sander’s Tangle Bag

08.11.2018 | Fashion | BY:

The new Tangle bag from Jil Sander has us in a twist. Functional and versatile, the minimal, compact design is served in spring green and sienna, as well as primary black and white. You’ll find they inspire a fervent desire to collect them all.

The crisp body is contrasted with a knotted, barely-there strap – just enough to garner a double take from admirers. 

It’s another playful offer from creative directors, husband-and-wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier. The pair have evolved the famous signature of the brand without losing its past. Understatement and the unexpected are blended with confidence and ease. 

 

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Life listening: tune into foundation.fm

30.10.2018 | Blog | BY:

A new radio station, foundation.fm, is set to launch 5th November, bringing listeners 12 hours of inspiring women every weekday.

The new station will broadcast from Peckham Levels in London, and is based around the schedules of the city’s creatives, running from 10am – 10pm. Easily enough time to settle into your morning routine without missing anything.

It’s the first female-led community station of its kind, with an aim to champion and promote the most dynamic talent from across the creative sphere. 

Presenters will include a host of Twin favourites, including Women in Fashion founder, Daisy Walker, artist and activist Lotte Andersen and the inspirational Naomi Shimada. The mix of DJs, artistic directors, songwriters and performers promises to make for highly entertaining broadcasting throughout the day. 

Even though podcasts are firmly established, such an inspiring station which brings together leading voices and music on air has been missing from the radio landscape. We can’t wait to tune in. 

Listen and find out more here.

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“Sex, sadness, politics, country music.” Twin meets Lola Kirke

06.10.2018 | Music | BY:

“My tongue won’t tie / It’s not supposed to / Least I can’t lie like I used to.”

So sings Lola Kirke on her record ‘Supposed To’, an elegy on perfectionism rendered with melancholic yet determined vocals that soar over a traditional country rock sound.

Music is the latest addition to Kirke’s growing oeuvre. Having previously starred in TV shows such as Mozart in the Jungle alongside films like Untogether, Gone Girl and Gemini , Kirke is now bringing her performances closer to home.

Her first album Heart Head West was released in August. The record features a rich and emotive collection of songs, which mix the sound of country with cosmopolitan, city experiences. Personal and honest, what Kirke sings resonates even as the melody ends.  This November sees Kirke arrive in London to perform at the Lexington in North London.

Ahead of her arrival in the capital, Twin caught up with Kirke to talk sadness, Gram Parsons and the  power of Italian bar bathrooms.

Did your sound develop naturally or was there a lot of experimenting to find the best fit?

It came about pretty naturally. I’ve been pretty consistent in my musical taste for some time now—Neil Young, Karen Dalton, the Band and the likes of them have always felt deeply close to me, so recording live to tape and reducing the amount of “slick” just felt right. I’m also just kind of a bad guitar player and have a somewhat unusual voice (lisp, smoking for far too long, charmingly flat or at least I hope!) so the sweaty, messy, reverb sound has always been kind to me. 

Did you find it easy to create something unique which also has the recognisable characteristics of a country song?

For whatever reason, I have just always loved country music. Maybe it’s cause my big sister loved country music and I just wanted her to think I was cool when I was little. Or maybe it’s something from a past life or maybe it’s the intrinsic ability of the country format to put so simply feelings that are so complex. When a writer of any kind can do that, they’ve succeeded for me. So I guess it’s “easy” for me to lean towards a country sound but it’s always a welcome challenge to say what you’re trying to in the most effective and beautiful way.

Is there a challenge of distilling city living into a country sound? 

When you live in a city, you see so much pain and joy—the whole spectrum of life. It’s always very inspiring but also can be very sad. I’d say writing music in general makes it easier to cope with all of that, it gives me an outlet. But I’ve never felt a tension between urban life and country sound. I think they complement each other very nicely. 

How did the album come together? Did you know from the beginning what it would be or did it form as you worked? 

I’d been writing songs for a long time and always had fantasized about having my very own record. I’d been touring the songs with my band a bit and they were kind of like “Alright you have a record now let’s record it” and that was sort of the beginning. Besides the fact that the songs are written by me and mostly in the year 2017, there isn’t really a connecting theme. 

What’s your approach songwriting?

Sadness and loneliness help! I journal a lot which helps keep my lyrics coming from true place instead something more forced. Otherwise I’ve been lucky to have melodies come to me. 

All your songs seem to come from a personal perspective. Were there any experiences you drew on which surprised you? 

“Turn Away Your Heart” began in a bar bathroom in Italy. I think I was squatting to pee. That was surprising. 

‘Monster’ and ‘Supposed To’ both address the theme of being an outsider and not conforming. What do you see as the biggest challenges to individuality in the modern age? 

I suppose they do! That’s funny you picked up on that because they’re really about very different things. “Monster” is about self destruction and social awkwardness while “Supposed To” is about perfectionism… but I think all of those things connect back to individuality. I think social media really challenges our sense of ourselves and makes it very easy to compare ourselves to other people and despair about the results. At least that’s my experience. 

What were you interested in before making the record, and how did this feed into your work?

All sorts of things! Sex, sadness, politics, country music. What’s fun about songwriting is that you can make work about all your interests if you want to. 

What about Gram Parson’s music were you drawn to?

He was the first person I ever heard who fused the genres of rock and country together and he did it so well too. In the stories I’ve read or heard about him it’s clear that his and charm charisma weren’t unique to his music, that he was really able to bring that into his personal life too. He was such a leader and attracted quite the interesting following. I love how he’s still doing that to this day with his music. 

Gram Parsons songs are open and vulnerable. Do you think there’s still the same room for those qualities in songwriting today?

If there isn’t then I’m not interested! Art is all about communication and movement, and if were not communicating openly and vulnerably then we’re not moving anything.

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Ready, set, Frieze: at Dover Street Market

03.10.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

The excitement in the air as Frieze comes to London is palpable and everyone is looking to get involved. Conserve your energy and make the most of the good vibes: for a super condensed shot of fashion and art related events, Dover Street Market is the place to be.

Serving as the wheatgrass in the cultural smoothie that Frieze has become, Dover Street Market’s locus of activities offers everything we thought we needed, and a whole lot more. The series is launching in store tomorrow and you may want to bring your camping gear – there’s a lot to get through.

Luncheon magazine at Dover Street Market

Highlights include Isabella Burley’s joyful new book, ‘Sisters’ by Jim Britt, which features the brace-clad duo who starred in the AW88 CDG campaign; Charles Jeffrey’s zine launch; Simone Rocha x A Magazine launch; Luncheon magazine’s installation with Rottingdean Bazaar; Loewe’s celebration of classical literature; and much more.

Isabella Burley, UK book launch: ‘Sisters’ by Jim Britt

For the Luncheon installation, Rottingdean Bazaar are re-decorating the Luncheon ‘Kiosk’ which sits the DSM and will be offering some custom playful product with every copy of the magazine – ‘spoontacles.’ These are, as they sound, spoons made into glasses… expect to see London’s most fashion forward coveting the maverick brand’s latest invention in the season ahead.

Luncheon magazine at Dover Street Market

Spoontacles or no spoontacles, you’ll find there’s plenty to dive into at Dover Street Market tomorrow. See you in the queue.

Loewe classic books
Charles Jeffrey Zine
JW Anderson, Your Picture Our Future Publication

Dover Street Market Open House, October 4th 2018, 6-8 pm.

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Ashish SS19: reflection and sparkle

23.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Ashish’s SS19 show at London Fashion Week came at a poignant time in India’s history. The country voted to decriminalise homosexuality at the beginning of September, a historic vote which marks a hugely significant new era. 

While this event wasn’t directly referenced in the collection by the Indian-born British designer – famous for his commanding statement slogans which have previously included the iconic ‘Immigrant’ t-shirt and upbeat messages such as ‘You Are Much Lovelier Than You Think’.  In this collection, the pain of the past and the joy for a new and more inclusive future instead permeated the ether. 

For SS19 Ashish Gupta amped up his signature statement sequins and offered plenty of 90s inspired bias cuts. For a look that has such disco connotations, Ashish managed to communicate a grunge-y, undone-ness in these looks. It felt less like a means of escaping from reality and less of a celebration of living in the now.

Ashish has previously used his designs to draw attention to the crises that pervade our times. This collection offered a dazzling moment of stillness – sequins as mirrors for reflection and pause. 

Twin contributor Alexandra Waespi documents behind the scenes and the best looks at the SS19 Ashish show.

Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine
Ashish SS19 by Alexandra Waespi for Twin magazine

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Sadie Williams’ glittering future

17.09.2018 | Fashion | BY:

For SS19, Sadie Williams brought her signature combination of feminine sparkle and defined, futuristic prints together for a banging new take on womenswear.

The designer has developed her visual new code to offer confident emblems of empowered femininity. For SS19 Williams riffed on 1970s styles and went big on texture. Both felt controlled and new rather than repetitive or chaotic. This was thanks to razor sharp tailoring which drew outfits together crisply. Cinched silhouettes also fuelled the definition, while wide flat pleats or skirts added to the triumph.

With its metallic baker boy caps, sparkling laces and statement nails, the collection invites the wearer to bring their own sense of humour and play to the looks. Never didactic, Williams nevertheless is clear on where she wants to go. And without a doubt, we’re all going to follow. 

Twin photographer Alexandra Waespi captures behind the scenes at Sadie Williams SS19. 

Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin

Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin
Sadie Williams SS19 | photos Alexandra Waespi for Twin

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Salon 63

16.09.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

Londoners heading south should leave room for a longer bus journey this week thanks to a new project opening along the 63 bus route.

Curator Sasha Galitzine has partnered with 13 artists with 10 hair and beauty salons to make site-specific works throughout the route. Each work explores and celebrates the role of the salon in the local community, and the journey runs from Clerkenwell to Peckham. 

The participating artists Larry Achiampong, Gabriele Beveridge, Ellen Gallagher, Gery Georgieva, Paul Kindersley, Eloise Lawson, Andrew Logan, Isaac Olvera, Paloma Proudfoot, Hans Rosenström, Stasis, Freddy Tuppen and Kirsty Turner Jones.

One of Lewis Barbers clients in Eloise Lawson’s workshop there whilst waiting for a haircut.

The participating salons are Barber Streisand, La Bodeguita & Elephant & Castle Shopping Centre, Diamond Nails, Manuel Guerra Skin Care & Sylvio’s Juice Bar, Old Kent Road Barber Shop, Lewis Barbers, Miami Health Club, Sam’s Barbers, DKUK and Divine Destiny.

The project draws attention to the vital role that these salons play in the local community, how they act as spaces for socialising and support as well as for beauty treatments and hair styling.

Eloise Lawson and Lewis barbers.

In doing so Sasha seeks to raise questions about the role of the salon in London, and beyond that to investigate notions around what a social space is, and how it is made.

For more information about Salon 63: Artist & Salon collaborations down the 63 bus route, click here.

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Megan Rooney, SUN DOWN MOON UP

10.09.2018 | Blog | BY:

This weekend Megan Rooney will conjure an immersive world at the Serpentine Pavilion as part of their Park Nights series. 

The performance will centre on the story about a group of female magpies who invade Mount Athos, exploring the idea of transgression within forbidden space and investigating metaphors offered by nature.

Rooney is widely known for her fluid and expansive narratives. The artist brings together a rich catalogue of expression, from painting and sculpture to spoken word performances, in order to convey her imagined worlds. And while her settings may feel apart from the everyday, her themes and topics are deeply rooted in the current political and social sphere. 

This performance will include choreography by Nefeli Skarmea, and sound by Paolo Thorsen-Nagel. 

Buy tickets for Megan Rooney, Park Nights at Serpentine Pavilion, 14th September, here. 

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AYA, Francesca Allen

03.09.2018 | Art , Culture | BY:

When the British photographer met musician Aya in Tokyo the pair bonded immediately. “Even though our time together was brief, they remain some of my favourite photos I’ve taken” says Francesca Allen of this first encounter in 2016.

Two years later, these first photographs have informed a longer and more intimate project. Francesca Allen’s new book, ‘Aya’ invites viewers into their friendship and documents a month that the pair spent together in Tokyo.

Unable to speak the same language, Allen’s lens offers a poignant testament to connections that are forged beyond verbal exchange. She captures the unspoken chemistry and emotional bond between them, created over an intense month of sharing everything and spending all their time in each other’s company.

Aya is depicted in the studio but also in both domestic and outdoor locations throughout the city. The portraits, whether up close or more distanced, are constantly tender and thoughtful. In these images we can feel Allen behind the camera, creating space for the audience to see into their shared world.

Released this week, ‘Aya’ is an ode to friendship, celebrated in a beautiful new tome. Ahead of the launch we caught up with Francesca Allen to find out more. 

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

What did you find most interesting about Aya when you met her?

It’s hard to pinpoint why you find someone interesting, but for me it’s all about a connection. Aya is enigmatic and quiet and funny and intriguing. I’m so happy I was able to get to know her more. 

How did you meet?

We were introduced through a mutual friend in 2016 when I first visited Tokyo. We hung out for a few hours taking photos and went to Aya’s label Big Love Records in Harajuku. Even though our time together was brief, they remain some of my favourite photos I’ve taken.

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

How did documenting one person compare to doing editorials and campaigns?

To have the luxury of spending that much time with one person is so special and something I was very grateful to be able to do. 

What did you learn?

I learnt that this type of project is my dream project. I’m constantly looking for people to photograph and forge connections with, and to be let into someone’s life like this was amazing. 

Did the city of Tokyo inform or inspire the photographs?

Being in a new place is always so exciting, but I wasn’t there to make a book about Tokyo so I veered away from including anything too obvious. I wanted Aya to be the sole focus of the photographs. 

Was there anything that surprised you during the project?

I never tired of taking photos of Aya. We spent a lot of time together and went through so many rolls of film, yet it never felt stale. 

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

There’s a mixture of studio portraits and natural environments in the book. How did the different settings inform your approach to image making in the context of such an intimate relationship with your subject?

I don’t feel like there is so much difference with shooting in a studio to being on location. The focus of my photos is so rarely about the location or the environment, and when you reach a certain level of intimacy with someone it doesn’t make too much difference where you are. 

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

What about the book are you most excited about?

I received my first copy of the book the other day, and it felt amazing to hold it in my hands. We are all so used to seeing our photos on screens and social media, so to have the opportunity to make something tangible feels incredibly special. 

‘Aya’, Francesca Allen

‘Aya’ by Francesca Allen is out on Libraryman with a limited first edition of 500 copies, 4th September 2018. 

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Soft Criminal, Red Hook Labs

31.08.2018 | Art , Culture | BY:

A new exhibition at Red Hook Labs this September looks to immerse audiences in an anarchic and imagined world.

Entitled ‘Soft Criminal’ the new exhibition brings together the work of three creatives: South African photographer Kristin-Lee Moolman, Sierra-Leonean designer Ibrahim Kamara and British designer Gareth Wrighton.

The collaboration between the three artists is set around an imagined story line about characters from the African diaspora. Soft Criminal centres around three families wrestling for power and explores the tension not only between individuals but between tradition and progress. In the story an old King is deposed by a “new money hacktivists” and an anarchic war lord.

The exhibition at Red Hook Labs will open with a live show featuring 22 hand-made designs alongside a display of photographs taken of the collection by Moolman in South Africa.

This exhibition at Red Hook Labs is the latest of an ongoing series of work between Moolman, Kamara and Wrighton. The group have also exhibited together at Somerset House and collaborated on a zine.

Poignant and evocative expected your imagination to be sparked and the impact of the trio’s vision to stay long after you leave the exhibition. 

Soft Criminal, Red Hook Labs, September 12th – 23rd, 2018.

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Supernature in Two Parts

28.08.2018 | Art , Blog | BY:

Two evenings of sonic and experiential performances in London see Haroon Mirza and Daria Khan present emerging artists with a specific focus on performance, queer, female and non-binary practitioners.

The first evening is curated by Khan and Mimosa House and will centre around the work of three artists who use sculpture and performance to explore ideas around gender, sexuality, resistance and desire.

Moscow-based artist Taus Makhacheva, who works under the name Super Taus, who will create sculptures from steel during a live performance on the evening. 

London-based artist Gaia Fugazza will invite audiences to hold sculptures in their mouths and Linda Stupart will create performances that investigate melting icebergs and Morgellons disease.

The first night will be curated by Daria Khan while Haroon Mirza curates the second evening of performances. 

On this second evening the work will centre around how humans will imagine the archaeological site of the Large Hadron Collider after two millennia have passed. The collaborative work was inspired by a trip to CERN and sees Mirza work with artists, musicians, performers and producers.

The event is free to the public but booking in advance is highly recommended. 

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