“COARSE: The Edges of Black Ingenuity” VIRTUAL EXHIBITION by JAWARA

One of the top young creatives for hair in the fashion industry has been international hairstylist Jawara Wauchope. His expertise in the avant-garde crafting of black hair resonates deeply with many creatives in and outside of the local industry.

In one of his most recent ventures, the hairstylist has partnered with his creative agency Art Partner for the launch of a virtual exhibition of some of his most iconic work entitled COARSE: The Edges of Black Ingenuity . Curated by the artist himself, the exhibition features images by top fashion photographers such as Tyler Mitchell, Kristin-Lee Moolman, Nadine Ijewere among others that document the intricacy of afro-hairstyles as an art-form. In each piece of his work the artist has managed to use hair to tell stories of a modern reality where black hair styles are seen through a complex artistic light as opposed to whatever stigmatized view that is usually put upon it. 

“It is my intention to use this platform to curate a storied journey of triumph through the power of our follicles. I was taught at a young age that “hair is strength” by my mother who hasn’t cut her hair in 43 years. I believe that the best way to convey this truth is through beauty,” he artist explained. 

Running from now until late December 2020, the virtual compilation of images from black hair as something way different than a cosmetic feature but enables one to think of it with commentary on gender, class, race and spirituality. 

Take a tour on the full virtual exhibition on ArtPartner.com 

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Prada’s Holiday Campaign: ‘A Stranger Calls’

Prada unveils their holiday campaign ‘A Stranger Calls’, which showcases their pieces through a black and white avant-garde narrative. Photographed by Steven Meisel and based on the works of best-selling author Candice Cathy-Williams, the campaign is not one to miss. 

The story surrounds four protagonists and one mysterious stranger, set in an isolated villa in Italy. All characters originate from the Prada Universe, starring Freja Beha, Maty Fall, Mao Xiaoxing, Rudolfs Valbergs and Merlijne Schorren. 

“Cinema suggests shifting focus and points of emphasis: here, details of Prada accessories are pulled into macro-scale. Like plot-points, or clues to an unknown mystery, they dominate the frame, drawing attention – before Meisel’s lens, they become characters in themselves,” reads the press release.

The spotlight is placed on the new Prada Cleo handbag which was debuted in the Prada Multiple Views SS21 show and featured in the Spring/Summer 2021 womenswear collection. 

The Cleo line utilises classical Prada styles to give way to pieces that perfectly coalesce classicism and futurism. The accessories include reworked traditional jewels in silver and gold with tourmaline, and the emblem appearing on a delicate chain, necklaces and chandelier earrings. 

“This campaign – and these Prada accessories – explore emotion, intrigue, attraction and, ultimately, desire.” – Prada

For more information about the campaign and the collection visit Prada.com

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Tekla X Laura Coulson – A new Breath across Connectivity

Collaboration: one of the greatest learnings of how to remain hopeful in a future uncertain. A vital tenet for Tekla since the start, the value of visions from a plethora of spectrums has given a freedom of expression from a broad playing field to the brand. Working with photographer Laura Coulson, whose intuitive imagery of the everyday holds an exceptional magic, a series of images exploring families and friends with those innate ties that can often never be expressed… but maybe captured on film. 

Speaking to Tekla, we talk about knowledge exchange, capturing a particular emotion and finding a common language.

What role does collaboration play with Tekla and your own creative expression? 

We like to collaborate with a variety of people whose creative work we find interesting, whether it is with a photographer or a designer, the collaboration itself is a process. You need to find a common language. It is always interesting to get together with other creatives and see things through their eyes to exchange experience and knowledge. 

What first attracted you to the photography of Laura Coulson? 

I’ve known Laura for ten years now and have been following her works ever since she started taking pictures. She has her unique way of seeing the world, which she projects into her creations. Her ability to see the potential for strong photography in any ordinary situation and capture a particular emotion, makes her images very honest. 

What do you think she managed to capture in these images she created with you? 

Laura’s idea was to capture the loving spirit of spending time as a family and friends, which we’ve shot during the late summer in London parks. I’ve found that this time has brought everything back to basics and made us refocus our attention on celebrating happiness in the here and now. Appreciating the little things we might have forgotten to enjoy, and I think Laura achieved that abundantly. 

How are these emotions captured intrinsic to what you stand for? 

I think the honesty and emotions which Laura encapsulates in her works is something we can relate to when it comes to the values in Tekla. 

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Alexander McQueen AW20 – “The Tall Story”

Alexander McQueen’s new addition to their line of luxury bags encompasses elegance and practicality. The Tall Story bags are the taller sister of the previously released “The Story” and includes bags with a contrast colour on the sculptural lining of the tote. First spotted on the Autumn/Winter 2020 runway, the sophisticated bag includes the Alexander McQueen seal on a leather tag. 

This tote bag is not only an elegant staple, it is also constructed with an executive interior and features pockets for a laptop, phone, and wallet. The foldable metallic handles make the bag easy to hold or hang over the shoulder via the supple leather straps. 

The Tall Story bags are available in black with oversized quilting and with a red lining finish. The line also includes a black stamped croc design and a handmade patchwork style. To view the full collection, visit AlexanderMcQueen.com 

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Prada launches Linea Rossa FW20

This week Prada released their Linea Rossa FW20 campaign, featuring another selection of clean-cut designs for the sportswear inspired line. All the clothing is made from Extreme Tex – Prada’s innovative textile made with eco-sustainable technology. This material also ensures optimal insulation and features waterproof properties.

The campaign incorporates clothing with stark contrasts by utilising black as the base, with only tinctures of colour. There are select pieces that include bright neon colours such as the Tec Rec Cropped Puffer Jacket. Other articles include a bucket hat, Polarius sneakers and sweatshirts, all complete with the signature red strip. This line is reminiscent of Prada’s releases from the late 90s’ and early 00’s, now with a futuristic spin. 

A resurgence in 90’s fashion and a push for ecological alternatives has been propped up as an important concern, especially for the incoming generation. The FW20 release features 20-year-old actor Yara Shahidi, EXO member Chanyeol Park and Chinese actress Jin Chen.  All images were photographed by Renell Medrano and creative direction under Ferdinando Verderi. View the full collection at PRADA.com

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FENDI x CHAOS Capsule Collection

This week Italian fashion house FENDI officially launched their capsule collection collaboration with London-based accessory brand CHAOS —  helmed by Charlotte Stockdale and Katie Lyall. The collection which was first revealed and the FENDI Women’s FW20 show earlier this year in Milan features a series of tech jewellery pieces that offer a luxury take on everyday accessories.

With old Hollywood glamour as inspiration , it reinterprets some classic vintage pieces through the modern eye. Vintage cigarette cases, gold lighters, and evening clutches are re-created and engraved in metal shapes with FENDI’s iconic craftsmanship and style. A four-piece metal shot glass set is suspended from a moulded leather keyring, the traditional clip-on smartphone case is made in metal; a leather and satin minaudière case features a gold chain handle; and even a laptop is given a fur and shearling protective casing. The FENDI X CHAOS collection is now out. For more information visit FENDI.COM 

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Savage X Fenty Vol. 2 Lingerie Show: Inclusivity with Style

Rihanna has branded herself as more than just a musician. Through the release of the brand “Fenty” she has stormed the beauty and fashion world, breaking down barrier after barrier. On the 2nd October 2020, she invited the world to the second instalment of her fast-paced, high-energy: Savage X Fenty lingerie showcase. 

The hour-long show features unique pieces from the new line, stitched together with elaborate live performances. Each dance section transitions seamlessly into a catwalk, all choreographed by world-renowned dancer and choreographer: Parris Goebel. 

“Inclusion” was the phrase of the show. The final section introduced the “Men’s Shop”, featuring a broad menswear’s selection, with sizes that go up to 3XXL. 

[Rihanna] kicked the door down. And she opened up the world to all these possibilities of makeup, fashion lingerie, all that being for every size, every shape. That’s some ballsy, powerful shit” – Yusef Williams. 

The show pulls the audience in from start to finish, each shot adorned with enticing visuals.  Pyrotechnics, a mechanical garden of flowers and a factory filled with conveyor belts, all add to the elaborate narrative. Behind the scene shots reveal Rihanna’s modus operandi and the genius behind her vision with her team. Rihanna’s process and the outcome of Savage X Fenty’s success is all a manifestation of things that inspired her. 

“Inspiration can come from anything. What makes it unique is your own interpretation on that message, that colour scheme, that texture. And so everything that I do is going to be personal to me when it comes to Savage” – Rihanna. 

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Shoes Have Names: An exhibition dedicated to opening the conversation on homelessness

Looking to develop a language for fashion which is about a greater purpose and social cause, artist Jo Cope is bringing communities together through her touring exhibition Shoes Have Names.

Joining forces with Shelter, Shoes Have Names features a collection of handmade artworks inspired by the personal experiences of real people facing homelessness. Ten international artists, shoemakers and designers were paired up with a person that Shelter has helped through its frontline services.  

Discussing the exhibition, Jo Cope surmised: “Shoes Have Names aims to use fashion as a positive vehicle to create greater public awareness of homelessness. It also celebrates the amazing work of Shelter. This year, as the pandemic took hold and more and more people found themselves facing their own housing crisis, Shelter’s services have never been more vital.“

Exploring the shoes created by Tabitha Ringwood, she collaborated with Kimberley who was heavily pregnant when she received a shock eviction notice. She then faced ’No DSS’ discrimination and struggled to find a landlord who accepted tenants who received housing benefits. Crafting a red stiletto repurposed from a leather sofa, the message of hope and positive change in the face of adversity is pulled from the meaning a sofa can hold for a home: a centralised sense of comfort and security, an unknown to many who are supported by Shelter.

Jo Cope’s dedication for the exhibition is to spotlight the role and responsibility fashion must uphold now more than ever: “Fashion’s role in society is changing; this fashion project reflects the need for ethical shifts in the fashion industry towards something more human-centred. Boutique by Shelter, which is already doing great things for sustainability, was the perfect partner. And naming shoes after real people supported by Shelter is a way of giving these people back their place in society and a positive identity, which can sometimes be lost by the blanket term ‘homeless.”

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Alexander McQueen’s FW20 Tailor’s Quilt

One of the most fascinating things about Alexander McQueen’s FW20 womenswear collection is the amount of intricacy and sentimental value each look and garment holds. “The collection is a love letter to women and to families, colleagues and friends. We went to Wales and were inspired by the warmth of its artistic and poetic heritage, by its folklore and the soul of its craft. The woman is courages , grounded, bold: heroic. There is a sense of protection in the clothes, of safety and comfort, evoked through quilting and blankets. The hearts are a symbol of togetherness, of being there for others, ” explained creative director SaraH Burton .

One of the main pieces that from the collection that embodies this sentiment is the Tailor’s Quilt, which took inspiration inspiration from the allegorical tailor’s quilt at the St Fagans National Museum of History in Cardiff that withholds a rich history of being hand-stitched over sixteen years from 1842 by master tailor James Williams with over four and a half thousand patches.

Throughout the collection the quilt is featured in two looks including a suit with single-breasted jacket and straight legged trousers and a single breasted coat with a swallow tail constructed in an embroidered patchwork of red, damson, ivory, grey and black — all created from up cycled in-house stock of British worsted wools and military flannels from past seasons. To find out more about the looks from the FW20 collection visit AlexanderMcQueen.com 

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FENDI launches FENDIFRENESIA Pink

Last December Fendi launched their FENDIFRENESIA Yellow Scented Baguette line in Miami and this year as follow up to that gesture , the house has once again teamed up with Maison Francis Kurkdjian for the launch of FENDIFRENESIA Pink. The addition to the line is an interpretation of the colour pink by their master-perfumer and fragrance house co-founder Francis Kurkdijan who has crafted the scent into a floral and cheerful fragrance. The new bag comes in several versions including a regular Baguette bag, a Nano Baguette and a new card case, all of which are crafted from the signature Selleria Cuoio Romano leather. The FENDIFRENESIA bag line is now available online FENDI.COM 

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East London celebrates their 20th anniversary with digital showcase

Last weekend Fashion East celebrated the twentieth anniversary of their multi-designer showcase, commemorating their work with 144 designers & brands and innovators of British fashion. 

Looking back over twenty years of helping London’s best designers is wild! I’m incredibly grateful I’ve been able to do what I love doing best. I wouldn’t change a thing. It is an honour to get to work with and present these four fabulous talents this season. I am in awe of their visions, creativity, optimism and the resilience they have shown throughout these difficult circumstances, ’ commented Fashion East Founder Lulu Kennedy.

For the occasion , in light of the current social distancing measures, the house proceeded with this year’s SS21 showcase with a digital exhibit with a roster of four designers including up and coming names like MAXIMILIAN, GOOMHEO,  Nensi Dojaka & Saulnash, each of whom brought something new to the table. 

Trinidadian designer Maximillian pulled on his cultural heritage with a collection that referenced Trinidad & Tobago’s annual carnival that was born from a resisistance of Eurocentric traditions following their emancipation in 1834. The collection visualised a contemporary evolution of some of the key dresses of the era including starched Jean-Baptiste Belley styled white cravats made into keyhole halter tops paired with low-slung waist pants and micro miniskirts.  He paid homage to contemporary carnival costumes through details like hammered silk skirts trimmed with goose boots feathers, bralettes cut with harnessed backs & custom headpieces made by Nasir Mazhar. The collection was a celebration of Caribbean heritage and modern black identity which was also reflected in the way it was presented, which was a majestic shooting in collaboration with photographer Rafael Pavarotti & stylist Ib Kamara. 

On her second showcase with Fashion East, designer GOOMHEO took on an alternate view from her last perspective of flourishing romance for a sensuous vouyeristic timbre. She presented a collection influenced by the erotic paintings of German artist Paul Wunderlich. She translates his visions of the nude female figures with to a curvilinear heavy draped female with silk chiffon sashes , roll neck crop tops & low waistband. She created a hide and peek effect with each piece, exploring what it means to be watched and be the subject of ones attentions. 

On a similar note, designer Nensi Dojaka played with abstract shapes and shades around the female body. “The lightness of movement I witnessed in a Sylvie Guillem ballet at Sadler’s Wells came to mind. During lockdown from the peace of my studio, I also had the opportunity to explore the art of draping,” Dojaka explained.

The collection was composed of new capsules of swimwear, body wear and long evening dresses. Backless bodysuits , dresses and swimsuits made in lycra, with different shades of black, caramel , and sepia with sheer chiffon, stretch silk , jersey, tulle and organza. For a playful interpretation, the designer also collaborated with photographer Harley Weir and stylist Francesca Burns for a series of 12 images. 

Saul Nash’s third collection with Fashion East is his Spring/Summer 21 collection entitled Flipside which he created around the qualities of movement, function and transformation. 

I wanted the pieces to open up and move, with this image in my head of men spinning in space. After lockdown I took a trip to the coast, which gave me a feeling of escapism. It made me think about transformation, about shape-shifting through what we wear,”  he commented.

The collection was inspired by 1890’s dance pioneer Loie Fuller and the costumes of the Sufi whirling dervishes which led him to think how seemingly generic garments could be transformed, encouraging a sense of release. Many of the pieces literally flip, like a 3-D tracksuit which is green on one side and printed on the other, a reversible polo-shirt among others. Footwear is provided by Nike, customised by Hernan Guardamagna. Meanwhile, Saul’s shin bags are a collaboration with Raphael El Baz, and can be worn at the ankle, or alternatively on the arm.

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Saint Laurent Men’s SS21 – “No Matter How Long The Night Is”

Earlier this week Saint Laurent presented their Men’s Spring Summer 2021 collection in a digital project curated by Creative Director Anthony Vaccarello entitled “No Matter How Long The Night Is.” The collection which is presented in video format set against the various backdrops of Paris, New York & Beijing is a unique fusion of different artistic mediums including video, augmented reality, 3D lenticular imagery, street posters, flags and many others . View the full video & collection below and on ysl.com 

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FENDI Renaissance – Anima Mundi ft. Tokyo University of the Arts

Fendi’s latest edition of their FENDI Renaissance series was a special performance last Sunday in collaboration with the highest seat of arts studies in Japan —  Tokyo University of the Arts. The performance featured students of the university violinist Rio Arai & saxophonist Kohei Ueno who were shot during a compelling performance of the Finale of Gioachino Rossini’s William Tell Overture while wearing looks for the FENDI Pre-fall 2020 collection.

They were perfectly framed with the background of the afternoon panoramic skyline in Tokyo as the event took place at the Shibuya Sky, an observation area 230 meters above the Shibuya skyline. The collaboration between FENDI and the Tokyo University of the Arts was essentially a way to give a positive message through art, fashion and music in a time where things might seem so hopeless. Watch the full performance below. 

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The reinvention of the DIOR Bar Jacket

In one of their most recent ventures, Dior revisited one of their most prized possessions – the classic Bar Jacket. Created in 1947 by the monsieur Dior himself as a part of his first Haute Couture collection , the jacket has remained one of the house’s staple pieces up until today. For the FW 20-21 show, we saw  this emblematic piece re-imagined by Maria Grazia Chiuri in a new knit version. In a recently published savoir-faire video, the house takes us through the process behind the creation of the new jacket including the making of four prototypes it took in order to create the perfect one. See the full video below. 

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Saint Laurent SELF 06 – “Sportin’ Life”

For sixth edition of their international art project SELF , curated by Anthony Vaccarello, Saint Laurent recently produced  a documentary directed by Abel Ferrara entitled “Sportin’ Life.” Set to debut at Venice Film Festival this weekend the documentary is a social commentary on society while highlighting the multiple facets of individual existence through the eyes of different artists. In an exploration of the sources and personal history of creativity , the film looks at the essential life of an artist . It offers an intimate look into Ferrara’s life and his own artistic world filled with art, music, filmmaking as well as as a first hand insight on his collaborators and muses suck as Willem Dafoe, Joe Delia , Paul Hipp among others.

“I have been shooting predominately documentaries the past 10 years or so. Whatever the subject – Piazza Vittorio, Padre Pio – we also film the process itself….so our team and I are a part of it. The subject of my new documentary is the relationship I have to my work, to Willem Dafoe, and my music and art. These relationships are the starting point and I could not avoid facing what the world went through this year with the pandemic” explained Abel Ferrara.

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The FENDI Power ft. Alton Mason & Mia Kong

In an alternate twist to their rooftop performance, FENDI recently teamed up with American top model Alton Mason and Chinese creative talent Mia Kong for an edition entitled “The Fendi Power” in tribute to their iconic Peekaboo bag. Shot on the colourful rooftop of Miami’s Museum Garage, the campaign sees Mason letting loose and showing off his famous dance skills wearing flexible pieces from the brand’s leisurewear that are complemented perfectly by the subtle yet bold colour palette of the black and yellow FENDI Peekaboo. He’s soon joined by Mia Kong who shows off her moves while also sporting pieces from the leisurewear line and they’re shot grooving out in celebration of the FENDI peekaboo. For more information on the iconic accessory visit FENDI.COM.

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Browns Fashion in collaboration with Homecoming

In 2018, Metallic Inc. launched Homecoming, a festival in Lagos, Nigeria combining panel talks, parties, workshops and brand activations to spotlight the influence of African music, art, sport and fashion culture around the world, bringing together up-and-coming African talent and established industry names in a celebration of creativity across the diaspora.

In the wake of COVID19, Browns Fashion have joined forces with Homecoming to present an exclusive experience of Homecoming 2020. Titled “Ni Agbaye”, meaning “in the world”, Homecoming and Browns have created what can be described as an unfolding e-zine universe, focussing on the influence that Afro culture has on global pop culture, exploring cultural exchange through the work of some of the diaspora’s most pioneering creative minds. Combining fashion editorials, online panel talks, interviews, custom artwork and in-depth think pieces from notable African publications.

Featured writing commissions will explore the exportation of African arts, culture and the impact of music by The Native, The Republic explores the disruption of narrative by African designers to carve spaces for themselves, Nigerian Gothic has created a series of collages to create new visuals with a modern guise, and the Motherlan create a photo story capturing their extended community.

Aiming to celebrate the cultural exchange of Africa with the world, there will be a physical presence through Yinka Ilori’s installation and listening takeovers in the Immersive Room by Fela Kuti and Obongjayar at the Browns East store in London, and also as ever an almighty focus on the global digital stage, with playlists from the likes of Mowalola and a focus on brand storytelling and cultural exchange from the new Nigerian brands supported online. Explore further here.

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FENDI Peekaboo Campaign ft. Zoey Deutch

This week FENDI officially launched their first ever worldwide video and image campaign for its renown Peekaboo bag with actress and producer Zoey Deutch as lead. 

Featuring a video story that speaks to Zoey during moments when she shows up her most authentic self, the journey begins with dancing decked in FENDI with the Peekaboo bag in hand , then continues with her on her way to the studio , greeting paparazzi and making her way inside.  It captures the short moments before a seasoned actress takes the spotlight as she gets mentally prepared to be shot with the FENDI Peekaboo bag in the studio.

The campaign features the new Peekaboo which was presented for the FENDI Fall/Winter 20-21 collection last February, which sees updates like an accordion frame shape that opens in a “deep smile” , inside pockets etc. The new FENDI Peekaboo bag. Is currently in stores, visit FENDI.com for more info. 

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PRADA revamps its Harrods Boutique with the launch of an exclusive new accessory

Last weekend Prada officially announced the renovation  of their ground floor boutique at the Harrods department store in London with a transformation that aligns more with their Milanese heritage. The revamped space features a black and white chequered floor, in reference to the historic Prada store in Milan, as well as 3D covering with graphics that speak to the historic prints of the house, which are paired their signature shade of boutique green.

To mark this special occasion , the house also scheduled the launch of an exclusive Prada spazzolato leather handbag , which was first seen in their SS21 digital presentation not too long ago. Carefully crafted in spazzolato leather , the accessory comes in two styles and will be sold in black , white , orchid and aqua. 

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Alexander McQueen launches Autumn/Winter 2020 Campaign

If it’s one thing one can always look forward to it is the undeniable beauty behind an Alexander McQueen campaign. This season the brand tapped photographer Jamie Hawkesworth as the creative behind their Autumn Winter 2020 campaign. The campaign features models Anok Yai , Sora Choi & Jil Kortleve as they’re pictured with the striking romantic silhouettes of the AW 2020 collection against a serene English countryside background. Also front and centre is the house’s The Tall Story bag, created in line with the colour scheme of the runway. With a structor made up of sculptural lines & modern metallic handles, the elegant tote bag embodies the flexibility of being carried in hand or on the shoulder with its leather straps. The Tall Story is available in a variety of versions including black oversized quilting, black stamped croc or handmade patchwork.  View the full campaign below.

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