Stüssy “Laguna Beach” Eau de toilette

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information, visit BallonRougeCollective.com

Jadé Fadojutimi – ‘Jesture’

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

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

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

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

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

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

Alexander McQueen Pre-SS21 Couture

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

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

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

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

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

To view the full campaign, visit AlexanderMcQueen.com

Gucci Presents ‘Winter in the Park’

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

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

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

To further explore the campaign, visit Gucci.com

Louis Vuitton Men’s AW21 – Livestream Fashion Show

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

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

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

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

To view the full collection, visit LouisVuttion.com.

Whitechapel Gallery Art Icon 2021: Yinka Shonibare CBE RA

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Visit Whitechapelgallery.org to find out more.

Davide Sorrenti “Polaroids”

A collection of unforgettable polaroid photographs that encompass voracious love, passion and connection: this is Davide Sorrenti’s Polaroids. The photographs encompass 4 years of Sorrenti’s creativity, between 1994-1997, before his premature passing at age 20. Published by IDEA, who also produced two editions of Sorrenti’s monograph ArgueSKE, coupled with a film “See Know Evil”, which explores the ‘heroin-chic’ aesthetic, which is believed to have been popularised by Sorrenti. 

His work encapsulates a snapshot into his personal experiences – his reliance on family and friends, and the importance of capturing this connection with them. This desire for proximity and closeness speaks to the ‘new normal’ that we are living in now, and even more so, the project itself is somewhat allegorical for the year 2020. A last minute decision, not planned until late October and a roll-out decision in December, this collection is a gift from a gifted artist. 

The book is complete with 125 polaroid’s and presented in a raw-cut Eskaboard hardback with black buckram spine. The front cover is decorated with a single blurred self-portrait of a hooded Davide looking down into the lens. Each polaroid is preserved with the original grain, creases and rawness, some with a yellow-tungsten overcast. In one image, Davide uses his girlfriend at the time Jamie King as his muse. The image is blurry, she looks away from the camera, aloof and distant; however, Sorrenti is still able to capture a sense of closeness and intimacy. 

Alongside the collection original t-shirts will be released, all of which have been curated by his mother Francesca Sorrenti. She writes: 

“Davide’s photography was a reflection of the youth culture of the 90s; engulfed in rap music, skateboarding and ‘gangsta’ culture. Almost 25 years have gone by since his passing and still the love for his persona and his work lives on” – Francesca Sorrenti, Designer and Editor of Polaroids.

The book launched mid-December 2020 at Dover Street Market and New York, with a limited supply of only 1,000 copies. To find more about the launch and for purchase, visit IDEA.com 

Alexander McQueen and Jonathan Glazer: First Light

Alexander McQueen presents “First Light”, a film in conjunction with English filmmaker Jonathan Glazer and Alexander McQueen’s creative director Sarah Burton. The film combines the gritty scenes from the River Thames overpass with the stripped-back clothing and accessories from the campaign. With the tagline “Back to London, coming home” and under Glazer’s directing, the film draws on the peculiar and the striking. 

Debuting Alexander McQueen’s 21’ Spring/Summer collection, each scene shows the meeting point between the sophisticated and the rugged through a culmination of panned and still shots. The musical score is intense with bass and synths that reverberate throughout. Each shot is a hodgepodge, a collision of clothing hailing from different time periods that are brought together to create something new and refined. 

The womenswear collection includes pieces like a deconstructed dress with a strapless corset and an exploded skirt in layers of blush and tea rose tulle. This corset dress is featured in the film and worn by model Celina Ralph, who is caught in a cinematic shot, falling back slowly into a bed of mud. The menswear features a black biker jacket with zip detailing, a vest in white cotton jersey and biker trousers with zip detailing, reminiscent of the biker fashion of the 60’s. 

“Shape, silhouette and volume, the beauty of the bare bones of clothing stripped back to its essence – a world charged with emotion and human connection.” – Sarah Burton. 

To discover the collection, visit AlexanderMcQueen.com 

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Silvia Rosi: Encounter

Exploring the artist Silvia Rosi’s interpretation of the family album in her project Encounter, created for the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2020 in London.

Looking through a family album feels like going back in time. Nostalgia is mixed with false memories and the feeling of being old.  Do we actually remember those distant memories or are they distorted and transformed into fixed moments, contained within each image?

In Silvia Rosi’s series Encounter, created for the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards 2020, Rosi plays with the aesthetics of vernacular photography to explore her family history.  Though performative self-portraits, she reimagines images of her mother and father, in an attempt to bring those past memories to life.

2016, Studio Portrait

Rosi explores two characters in this work: her mother and her father. But these versions of her parents exist in photo albums, created before she was born.  Her ‘practice involves looking at [her] family album and imagining different situations that happened in the past, recreating them and adding more elements that are absent in the original photos.’ In Self Portrait as my Mother, Rosi is wearing a pink and green dress, holding a radio on her head. In Self Portrait as my Father, she is sitting on a box, covered in pink fabric, surrounded by sculptural looking piles of tomatoes, balancing three books on her head.

In Self Portrait as my Father on the Phone, she is wearing the same familiar suit, holding a phone receiver to her ear, the base balancing on her head. In every image we see the same studio backdrop, reminiscent of West African studio portraiture.  The props, clothes and pose changes from image to image but we always see the cable release in her hand and she always holds our gaze. This locates these images within the studio, reminding us that they are staged but more than that, they remind us that Rosi is in control of these images – that this is her reimagining of her family history. 

2016, Studio Portrait self portrait of myself as my mother

These photographs explore personal and family identity. Through the use of objects and text that accompanies each image, Rosi tells the story of her parent’s migration from Togo to Italy.  This is, in Rosi’s words, “a process of identification with my mother and father who went through a journey that built my Afro-European identity.”

Each object connects to the text in the image, hinting at the story Rosi is recreating and confirming her carefully crafted narrative. The text accompanying Self Portrait of my Father reads: ‘He was an educated man from a good Togolaise family. He arrived in Italy with a few clothes, some books and the dream of finding a good job. A few weeks later he was picking up tomatoes in a field for a few cents a box.’

This is a common story of migration and one which many people have experienced. Rosi’s work becomes not only a personal story of her own family history but a representation of this shared experience of migration – the disconnect from what is imagined to the reality. 

Although Rosi’s work could be considered performative, she sees it more as mimicry.

2016, Studio Portrait

“I’m not interested in any practice or convention in particular. My work is very instinctive and personal. I’m interested in storytelling, myths and legends. I like to hear stories, repeat them and make them my own.” Through this act of storytelling, Rosi has created myths based on her own family history. But isn’t that the case with all family albums, aren’t they always slightly fabricated, a perfectly performed selection of images to represent an ideal family life? In this case, we don’t know what is truth and what is performance. But Rosi has made her own version of the family album, which is one that has shaped her own story and Afro-European identity. 

The Jerwood/Photoworks Awards support photographers, or artists using photography, to make new work and significantly develop their practice. The Awards particularly seek to encourage artists and photographers exploring new approaches to photography, and/or whose practice is experimental.

Art Basel Miami Beach 2020 – Pippy Houldsworth Gallery Presentation

A celebration of thought provoking and eclectic work – this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach Exhibition introduces the work of artists across different generations. Presented by Pippy Houldsworth Gallery, this all-female exhibition brings together works that explore different subject matters and as captioned on the site “initiates a dialogue between feminist icons and the younger generation, reflecting the programme as a whole”. 

Although the presentation is usually held in person, the show will include ‘viewing rooms’, where the public can wonder around in virtual rooms that showcase digitalised versions of each artist’s work. The line-up includes the likes of Mary Kelly, a staple figure in feminist art, Ming Smith’s street photography which focused its lens on African American’s in the 1970’s, and work from Jacqueline de Jong who was an editor for the experimental platform The Situationist Times. 

The talent does not stop there, with the inclusion of prolific work from the younger generation. Highlights from painters Jadé Fadojutimi and Stefanie Heinze, the vibrant portraiture of Wangari Mathenge, Zoë Buckman’s repurposed textiles and the hypnotic oil on linen pieces by Angela Heisch. These works were created specifically for the fair and offer a deep dive into each artist’s psyche – how they postulate change, their ideas on identity, and how their individual work connects to larger ideas. 

In an exclusive interview, Zoë Buckman and Wangari Mathenge sat down with Twin Magazine and revealed some of their thoughts surrounding their work, the exhibition itself, and the ways they have continued to create during this turbulent time. 

Zoë Buckman, Lilith, 2020, boxing gloves, vintage textiles and chain
Photo: Thomas Müller

Zoë Buckman:she would use that cloth to make a sling, it stings, 2020’ and ‘Eyes Closing Now, 2020’

How does it feel to be a part of an all-female art exhibition? 

I was so excited when I saw that. Also those artists, the ones Pippy has selected, I am just delighted to be in such esteemed company. I know and really admire Ming Smith, we’re kind of a part of the same community here in the art world in New York, and I have obviously been a long admirer of hers. But also for me, Mary Kelly is a big one too because I actually studied her work at school, and I have her books and she has been a massive inspiration to me as I have attempted to juggle being an artist but also a mother. I’m getting to know the other artists on Pippy’s programme and it’s exciting. 

I have noticed that you use boxing gloves quite often in your work – why did you choose this medium for this piece and this exhibition? 

I’m really interested in the space in between polarised states. And I think that conversation or that tension between the stereotypically masculine and the stereotypically feminine, has always been a really interesting terrain for me to make art from. I do box [and] for a particular time in my life it was very formative for me because it gave me a space to work through both feelings of frustration and anger about what was going on politically in the world at the time. This was in 2016 in the run-up to the general election here in the States. I just began to really feel that there was this mounting war on women against our rights, and our body, and our body autonomy. It was also when there was a lot being circulated about rape, and scoring different experiences of rape against each other. It was a time where I was finding my feet as an artist in the art world, which is a very male dominated arena. In a way the boxing gym gave me a space to work through certain personal traumas, but it also gave me practice at learning how to hold my own and take up space, and even take space away from others. 

Visually boxing and iconography, like boxing gloves are very interesting to me because a lot of my work does look at masculinity, aggression and violence. So using boxing gloves but reworking them with these domestic feminine textiles, and often placing so that one is balancing on the other and bringing a kind of fragility to something that is stereotypically quite masculine and resilient.

The phrase “it stings” has also been used in your work prior. What does this statement mean in your work? 

A lot of the texts that I use in my work, both the titles, for what I write and embroider, that is taken from this ongoing poem that I’m writing. The poem is called “show me your bruises then” and it weaves together snippets of conversations or memories, or things that women have said to me, or even things that men have said to me. A lot of the text is from my own experiences with relationships with men. But that particular line it used to be “it stings, I sob”, that was taken from a play my mother wrote about her experience [of] coming on her period for the first time. 

In the Jewish tradition, the matriarch of the family will slap the young woman across the face the first time she gets her period. And so that was obviously this deeply problematic ritual for women, at least for my Mum she didn’t know what was happening to her body, and she didn’t know she was going to get slapped in the face by her grandmother. It’s this way of using a violent act to mark a significant time in a woman’s life. She found that, and therefore I find that really interesting and problematic. 

I also merged that with another piece of text which said “Mama would use that cloth to cook and clean, and she would use that cloth to make a sling”. She was talking about her grandmother in the kitchen using these tea towels in all these different ways. When a kid broke his arm, she would use that cloth to make a sling, but she would also use that cloth to tend to her own black eye. This line “it stings” for me, I’m sort of looking at the feminist experience. You can apply that “it stings, I sob” to coming on you period the first time, to losing your virginity, to experiencing violence, to experiencing heartbreak: it just seems so universal to me.  

As an artist and creator, do you believe your art has an obligation to tackle wider socio-political subjects? 

I try to veer away from any feelings of obligation because I feel they can limit the creative process. But I was brought up with this example of art being something that is used to examine or attempt to change the status quo. I personally will always use my art to do that. I think it’s something that I just intuitively want to do, and do. But I don’t feel like I am obligated. 

How does your art speak to your own experience as a woman and to the ‘female experience’ as a whole?

The series that I create they always start from a personal experience. Whether that’s divorce, grieving the loss of my mother, or sexual violence, or abortion or whatever is the impotence for me to embark on a series. It also comes from something within me that I find difficult or problematic or complicated. And then I go through a process of expanding that out and talking to other women, and bringing other women’s experiences and stories in the work. I hope it will always be something that is collective. For example, I’m not interested in making work that is solely about something that I have gone through. I’m more interested in saying “I have an experience with this” and I know there are plenty of women out there that have that; I want to share that space with them.

One of the subject matters highlighted in this exhibition is “metamorphosis”. Did you go through a process of change or metamorphosis that brought you to creating these two pieces?

I think that I’ve been on a real journey of transformation. The last few years for me have been almost a fast track of different experiences: from a divorce, to losing my mother to a terminal illness, to a very painful breakup from a relationship where there was violence and assault. A lot of that has brought a real complex darkness to my work as I have been exploring those things in my work. But more recently I feel that I am arriving at a place of joy and celebration. I think from my own spiritual practice, and through my relationships with other women, my best friends – my gyaldem, it has really put me in touch with this kind of inner force of creativity, and resilience, and joy. A lot of this work is looking at how we as women overcome the fuckeries that life throws at us. Through prayers, and devotion, and dancing, and raving and being together and through accessing our own ‘inner wild space’, and our own ‘inner wild women’; I think that is really the antidote to subjugation, and oppression, and trauma.  

In the current tumultuous time we are living in right now, (Covid-19, the US election, police brutality), where does your work as an artist fit into these conversations? 

I think that where the work explores as an antidote to oppression, and trauma and difficulty, choosing and seeking out joy, and connection to spirit and that inner wilderness that I was referencing; I think that sort of fits in with what is going on right now. Everybody is going through something, everybody is grieving something right now or everybody is anxious about something right now, or feeling trapped or limited or held back. Those are things I have had experience with, and some practice with. And so I think offering as a tool for those difficult experiences, this connection to something that is within us that can’t be limited, can’t be held back or trapped. I think that is a good way of reaching people during this time and what they’re going through. 

Ming Smith, Symmetry on the Ivory Coast, Abidjan, Ivory Coast, 1972, archival silver gelatin print

Wangari Mathenge: The Ascendants IX (Just Like My Parents’ House, I’ve Become A Visitor), 2020’

I noticed that you use oil paints in the majority of your work. Why did you choose this medium specifically? 

It started just out of curiosity. I actually started painting with watercolours and acrylic. I just used to look at artworks a lot, like when you go to museums [and] there was this quality, a sort of richness that I noticed. I noticed the difference between oils and acrylics. Acrylics have come a long way and they mimic oils right now, back in the day acrylics were kind of dry and they didn’t really have the mixing mediums that they have right now; I think you can mimic an oil painting with acrylics now. When I was doing it, you could tell the difference. And so it was really curiosity. The first time I ever tried to work with oils, it was a complete disaster. It was a very difficult material to understand. And then it just became a quest to understand the language of oils. And then after a while, I just became good at it I guess. Initially it was just curiosity, and now the reason I still paint with oil is – I think just being comfortable with it. 

As an artist that has a diasporic experience, being between more than one culture, how does your artwork speak to your experiences? 

For me I think it changes. Initially what ‘diaspora’ meant to me when I started painting and thinking about it is very different to what it means to me today. Initially I think it was more of a statement, and now it’s more of an exploration of ‘what is diaspora?’. I think that would happen in any time you’re trying to work out something, whether you’re writing or whether you’re painting it tends to become this exploration, this understanding. With my works what you’ll notice is the motifs and objects, and all of these sort of informs that inquisition which is “what is diaspora?”, because it means [something] different to any individual. 

Most recently, I started reading this book ‘Potential History’ by Ariella Azoulay. It’s really interesting because it questions this whole notion of culture, objects, history, art history: what is it? I think for me, especially now with my work, I’m beginning to really look at what my place is in the world, my place in Chicago, the United States. How I have always kind of thought of myself as being a part from Kenya, and sort of being a part from here [United States], with a basis of being diasporic. But really what is that? I realised that there really is no understanding of what that culture looks like. And so [I’m] basically trying to explore that in my work. 

Do you see your work as a direct representation of you as an individual and your identity?

Yeah. I think it has to be. It’s an interesting question, because I have never thought about it not being that I guess. So it must be. 

How has the current world, this ‘new normal’ we are living in affected your work as a creative? Has it enhanced or hindered your work?

The thing is that I have been in school, right? Especially since Covid happened, the only thing that changed is that I was going to class and mingling with my peers and I had a studio on campus, and then we were relegated to distanced learning. Initially I had to change what I need, because I didn’t have access to the kind of space that I had in school. 

In a way it also makes you a little bit more introspective, because when I was in school I had my colleagues, and I had my professors walking in and kind of making the paintings with me because they come in [and] make comments, and you adjust accordingly. While now because you don’t really have eyeballs on your work all the time it forces you to go I think a little more inwards and pull things out. I think for me the change has been a self-direction. I say it’s forced self-direction because part of being in school is that you’re looking for that direction, and you’re looking to be challenged in that way. But because of Covid that hasn’t quite happened in the last 5-6 months. 

What do you hope this exhibition will do for you and your work as an artist moving forward?

I think I would love to have more people have conversations. And I guess the exhibition has more people seeing my work, right? Like you had said you hadn’t seen the work before and so having more people see the work and then engaging in the conversation is always helpful, because I’m not making this work just for me. So I would hope that all those conversations then helps the work grow and become something else as you move along. 

What do you hope people will take away from your artistry? Is there a particular message that you want to portray? 

No. Definitely for me I know what it is that I’m trying to get out of it. I would prefer to leave it a little bit open ended, rather than say that “Okay, this is what I am trying to convey”. I would rather leave it open ended because I think that’s how we live in any case. When we are confronted with visual things and even with writing, there isn’t that capability to always have the author or the artist translate what is going on. I would like for people to come to the work and take with it whatever they want to. And if it can do that, if it can relate to them in some way without me saying anything, then I guess that’s what I’m looking for.    

To view the full exhibition, visit artbasel.com 

All images courtesy of Pippy Houldsworth Gallery.

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Introducing ‘HOME’: A Black-Owned Creative Space by Ronan McKenzie

Introducing a creative, multifunctional space made to hone in on artists of colour: this is ‘HOME’. Founded by creative director, photographer, and curator Ronan McKenzie, this accessible art space is built to house exhibitions and events from a diverse range of artists.

This black owned space is one of few, working from the inside out to fully understand and support other BAME artists. The space works as a ‘home away from home’ for creatives through uplifting the voices and work of artists that are often relegated to lower positions of influence and authority or simply cast aside in the art world. The team at HOME also prioritises accessibility and sustainability, through disability access needs built into the space and fabric eco-friendly alternatives to paper backdrops. By giving these artists access to equipment, expertise, and a safe place to create, HOME is moulding a new infrastructure entirely, one built on equity and empathy. 

The space features an array of equipment including an affordable daylight photo studio, an open workspace and a curated library where exhibitions will take place year round. Events that will be held in the space range from film nights, artists talks and portfolio reviews to supper clubs, life drawings, and music events. 

“Art spaces remain hierarchal and out of reach for most – especially BAME audiences, making entering artistic spheres extremely difficult and maintaining a place in them even harder. Drawing on my own experiences of showing work at institutions, and working across fashion and arts, I am all too aware of the difficulties of navigating creative industries as a black female, and amongst the current offering in London, there needs to be a HOME.” – Ronan McKenzie, Founder and Creative Director of HOME. 

HOME’s debut exhibition is titled: ‘WATA; Further Explorations’ a show by Joy Yamusangie and Ronan McKenzie. This exhibition launched digitally on November 28th and will run till February 9th

For more information on HOME, visit homebrym.space

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Vee Collective: aligning design and sustainable practice

Brands are taking a more responsible and proactive approach for their enterprises and outputs, and Vee Collective is one such example: dedicated to aligning the steps of reducing and reusing with the possibility technology can play in design.

The more we educate ourselves with different sustainable approaches to design the more we open our mindset for effective change. Twin caught up with the brand founders about how the brand came about and their responsible approach to design. 


How did Vee Collective come about?

10 years ago we launched our first brand Lili Radu – handcrafted leather bags and jewelry at a premium price point. By working closely with stockists, customers and creatives, we found that there seemed to be a great quest and hunger for accessories that were more stylistically and functionally versatile. We constantly heard that people wanted a super lightweight tote bag, comfortable to wear, effortlessly transitional and affordable, but it proved difficult to source. We wanted to create an update on the concept of the universal tote, more inclusive, carefully created, responsibly sourced and built to last. 

Photo by Andreas Waldschuetz

Can you tell us a little bit about the name?

Vee is a symbolic and a literal link to the V shaped pattern and weave on many of the products that we were creating within Lili Radu accessories. Journey and evolution is an important element of life for us and so to act as a continuous reminder of the route of this starting point we decided to include this as a nod to the focus of craft. 

The process of creation is very collaborative and it is a democratic, community approach that we work across, so we felt it integral that the name reflected this too, so we included the word Collective to anchor our creativity. We wish to build an interesting community, a collective of people that feel similarly towards being inclusive, support open-mindfulness, freedom and embrace the pace and movement of life. When we collaborate with artists and partners, these partnerships are selected on these shared beliefs, and so become integrated and part of the fabric of the collective.

Talk us through your responsible approach to design

Creativity has always been a focus, as well as practicality. We grew VeeCollective from the brand ethos of everyday-unlimited. Like so many people, after becoming parents your vision changes and evolves. It became so apparent that the environment we create has such impact, past our immediate visibility. This concept of responsibility, in a broader sense became extremely important to us. We felt it necessary to start navigating ways to become a more contentious brand, exploring how to deliver our vision but with less environmental compromise. We do not only want to follow, we want to be innovative and lay paths to a better and more responsible format for a fashion business. 

What are the biggest challenges you see the fashion industry facing?

Two challenges that can make a great difference to how brands evolve, survive and optimise contentious creation in fashion are re-thinking the format of traditional seasonal collections and also the process of sourcing sustainable materials. 

It can take time to source and develop specific components, materials and manufacturing solutions or processes. We are lucky to work with a fantastic team who are very passionate in finding wonderful qualities in recycled or re-engineered materials and components, as well as collaborating with innovative textile developers who are trailblazing the life-cycle of fabrications, components and packaging. These can take two-three seasons to source and implement and close the sustainable circle. Allowing time for creation and implementing improved-ethical choices is important but also can be complicated to balance in an industry with specific traditional season-lead collections. 

We work closely with our retailors to launch our capsule- core collections and also limited edition collaborations. By creating versatile accessories we allow for variation with consideration. We are proud to have been able to launch products when they are ready, aesthetically, functionally and when we feel confident they can also deliver the values we prioritise. 

How is Vee Collective finding solutions to these challenges?

We are still evolving, adding even more optimization of practices and exciting solutions to our way of creation daily. Our goal is to make the best product possible in the best way possible. Our products are created in recycled Nylon fabric, linings and recycled thread/yarns. We use long-lasting aluminium hardware to extend product-life and recycled or no-trace packaging. We ship our products by sea to try to off-set carbon foot print and always look to find ways in which we can offer better with less-impact.

It is not just the product that we look to invest in, we also believe in supporting creative communities and social-sustainability practices too. 

We try to approach change with little but honest steps and to be open in the conversation of change. It is a process.

What positive change can you see on the horizon between fashion and sustainability?

We feel that talking about responsibility is important, but it can also have so many meanings. The word sustainability needs to be un-packed- it holds so much. As an industry, we feel that we are all still learning how to incorporate or live the process authentically. Support around interest in change and transparency is now becoming more widespread and that makes problem-solving feel less isolating. 

It can be far more expensive to implement the steps and processes needed to be a more sustainably created product, but now, due to the more recent demands and expectations by the consumer, this has helped to align the journey of the final price tag. We try to find ways that keep our totes functional and approachable in every sense including the price.

Recently we have been selected as one of the brands to be included in the fantastic Selfridges Project-Earth campaign. This is a great initiative to foster and lead questioning on how things are made and to give everyone more earth-conscious, interesting options to explore in luxury retail.

It is exciting to connect and partner with so many other creative-leaders who are exploring how to reinvent the fashion industry and to help close the loop on waste.

Find out more on Vee here

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Colville’s Authentic Vision

Collaboration as the core of creative vision: Colville founders Lucinda Chambers and Molly Molloy discuss the cultivation of an authentic vision with Marte Mei and Viviane Sassen for Twin. 

There is never just a single solitary eye in fashion. No isolated roving thoughts, or an action not inspired by another. Colville might be named after a street in London, but its name feels drawn from the family of collaboration, cross-pollination, creative inspiration. 

Founded by Lucinda Chambers and Molly Molloy, there are so many creatives, resources, ideas at play it feels like more than two: it is a river of thoughts, streams pulling in and rolling through.

In anticipation of their most recent collaboration with Marte Mei and Viviane Sassen, we spoke to the four respective collaborators about the freedoms of sharing visions and the interconnectivity of the creaive landscape.

If 2020 has taught us anything, do you think it is the vital importance of collaboration and creative cross-pollination?

Lucinda Chambers

I think I have always felt the joy of collaborations, not just during this time. I truly think no man is an island and it is one of the greatest pleasures to have a criss-crossing of minds, hearing others’ point of view and expressing ourselves creatively.  Also, as I get older, I let go more, not needing to hold on to my ideas or my way of doing things. I enjoy the freedom of collaborative work, and I feel very fortunate to have identified amazing collaborators to take the journey, and some have found me!

Molly Molloy

Absolutely, I think the incredible moments that happened for me during the first lockdown were the ideas and collaborations that came out of it. We worked with people all over the world to knit squares for blankets that we will eventually auction next year for a women’s refuge here in Milan. It was moving to involve so many people and to read the letters they sent along with the squares. I also took part in a group talk with BoF and many other designers, everyone coming together in a think tank to exchange ideas and make changes. These and many other projects we started during this year have reinforced our vision of collaboration. This was something we all talked about at the beginning of Colville: we all have collaborative natures and it just makes the creative process fresh and inspiring.

Marte Mei

I think 2020 has showed us how fragile our systems are. The interconnectivity of our global economy but also as a species within the ecosystem. Hopefully it has also showed people how much we depend on a healthy ecosystem around us, and how much we depend on that as a species to survive. 

Viviane Sassen

I believe the vital importance of collaboration and creative cross-pollination is something of all times.

How can fashion cultivate authentic visions in a creative climate in flux?

Lucinda Chambers

Now more than ever creativity flourishes. You must be authentic these days – people’s money is precious. They want to know where it is going and what the journey was. There are so many good stories out there and I think things are being scrutinised in a way that’s never happened before, and that’s a good thing. So, the more authentic you are, the better tale you have to tell.

Molly Molloy

To quote Louise Bourgeois “Tell your own story and you will be interesting”. I think what stands out are designers being authentic and working from their hearts and creating what they believe in.

Marte Mei

Fashion to me has always been about making something that triggers a new vision, sets a new tone or creates new examples. In the context of this project, it was all about freedom about coming together as a woman-only team. We also worked very local and with low carbon emissions and a very small team. The shoot took place in Amsterdam, the clothes were sent do us by mail, and nobody had to travel for the job apart from biking to the studio. I hope that becomes the new norm of creating within the industry. 

Viviane Sassen

By embracing true and original creative minds and give them a platform. Like Marte got through her collaboration with Colville!

How has this image series come about, and do you think it expresses a convergence of unique viewpoints that come together as a greater whole?

Lucinda Chambers

Molly contacted Marte Mei. We have worked with her from the very beginning of Colville. One of the beautiful things about Colville is the friendships we have all made along the way, for years now, way before we dreamt of having our own company. We have gathered around us a band of really dear and important friends who are creatives. Collaboration and giving everyone a voice is something that is very important to us, always has been. It’s about relationships, friendships and respect. In that sense we feel that Colville is a real collective. A meeting of the minds. 

Molly Molloy

Marte has worked with Colville from the very beginning, I worked with her creatively in the past and Lucinda and I love her vision, use of colour and sensitivity to what surrounds her. What’s amazing about letting go of control is what it brings back to you and how it surprises you. We didn’t give Marte or Viviane any constraints, they created something together that was for us completely unique and took the clothes somewhere else. It was an incredible privilege to work with two such inspiring women.

Marte Mei

To me, the process felt like a chain reaction of appreciation and admiration. Both the textile design collaboration, the set design, the image making, all felt like an overlapping patchwork of creation without clear borders. I found that really special in the way that Lucinda and Molly approached me for the textile design. They asked if I wanted to create a special follow up of an artwork I’d made in the past. I find it fascinating that they acknowledge potential within that sculpture from paper and wood, to become a piece of clothing. To see their brand as a space without borders, entering the field of art and going beyond their set team of designers by having me as an outsider creator woven into their collection. 

Viviane Sassen

It was a super organic collaboration; I have known Marte for years and we’ve worked together so many times – she’s one of my muses so to speak. The whole process of working on this project together was very intuitive and smooth and a lot of fun. It is also a matter of mutual trust and understanding, that makes for a good collaboration, and Marte and I absolutely recognize that in each other. 

What does fashion and photography come to learn from another?

Lucinda Chambers

I think they are totally intertwined. As is art and fashion, theatre and fashion, music and fashion. Fashion can be expressed so beautifully through photography. Fashion and in particular clothes are the tools we use for storytelling. The narrative and dialogue that fashion and photography has can create something wonderful, standalone images or a drawn out tale. Clothes facilitate that. And they can also be the inspiration, the beginning of the photograph.

Molly Molloy

They are ever evolving together, it’s so exciting when you see the two combine in original and unique ways, it’s such an incredible feeling when you see a shoot that’s inspiring, it will stay with you for years if not ever. It’s like moving image and sound, the two go hand in hand and can really evoke emotion. 

Marte Mei

I think that it was a revolutionary experience for me as a former model, to take on a different role within the dynamic of the team I really look up to. Having designed the textile, and the set design, but also modelling within the project. On a personal level I still think there is a lot to learn in being comfortable within that role of being both the creator as the subject of creation. For instance, when we were working with the clay on my body, I wanted to just trust the image of Irena within applying it to me, so when she asked for my opinion to guide her, it was hard for me to switch between having a creative vision to the outcome of project but also being subjected to her creative expression in the project and onto my body. 

Viviane Sassen

I’ve always perceived my fashion photography as a great way to express myself; to play, to experiment, and to collaborate with other creative people. I also work as an artist and that is a much more solitary process, so I love working as a fashion photographer too, as it enables me to work together in a group, have a mutual goal, and create images together with others who are often super inspiring. In that sense, I feel I’ve learned so much from collaborations with stylists, designers, models, hair & make-up artists!

What does fashion and photography come to learn from another?

Lucinda Chambers

I always learn from Molly and everyone really, we have an incredible team, Danny, Alice and Luisa.  I think I’ve learnt from Molly to try things out even if they are out of my comfort zone, out of my field  of vision, to give things a go and see where it leads or takes you. Also not always getting my own way and that’s fine. I’ve learnt to let go. And to like vegetables more.

Molly Molloy

I’m learning every minute of the day being a founder with Lucinda we are both on a huge learning curve having our own business and bringing people in to Colville that constantly keep it evolving and exciting. 

Viviane Sassen

I really love watching Marte work, the refined gestures she makes and the thing(s) she creates, both while modelling and while working on her own art; it all comes from the same source, the creative energy which is within her. I recognize her inner drive to create beauty, and I admire her sense of colour, texture, and shape. It’s a true joy to watch her work evolve and refine over time!

What was the last thing that made you feel inspired?

Lucinda Chambers

Well, everything really, but probably the leaves on the pavement tonight coming home, I wanted to collect them all, the colours, shocking reds and yellows, blowing around. Beautiful.

Molly Molloy

Heavy Metal by Osamu Matsuo, I hadn’t seen it for a while and forgot how beautiful it is!

Marte Mei

Nature is a limitless source of inspiration to me, being inside due to corona and wintertime limits the possibility of going outdoors, so for me this is a time for reading and thinking. 

Viviane Sassen

A few documentaries I recently watched about climate change, and how some new technologies and (futuristic) solutions will be able to help humankind towards a better, more sustainable future.

Explore the collaboration here

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FENDI CAFFE x Selfridges

Lockdown has lifted, and FENDI is here to up the festive ante this month. Announcing the launch of a new FENDI CAFFE at Selfridges, this pop up will see the Italian fashion powerhouse takeover of the 14-seater Champagne Bar Selfridges’ Accessories Hall on the Ground Floor, bringing with it an exclusive curated menu – and a creative transformation, of course.

The FENDI CAFFE is inspired by the FENDI ROMA Holiday collection, bringing signature FENDI yellows and pastel pinks to every aspect of the experience.

For an instant pick me up,  glassware, coasters, napkins as well as decorative details for the menu’s food and beverage all feature the iconic FF logo in pink too – which makes the custom cocktails and aperitifs on offer even harder to resit. If we needed another excuse to toast the end 2020, FENDI CAFFE has us covered – and with such style.

Discover the FENDI CAFFE at Selfridges London. Opening 3rd December 2020 until January 2021.

Jermaine Francis, ‘Something that was so Familiar becomes Distant.’

Covid-19 altered our reality in many ways. For renowned photographer Jermaine Francis, this was felt in the dislocation of everyday London environments.

On his daily walks during the first UK lockdown in March, Jermaine documented the ever shifting landscape of the city. The people had gone, but London was far from silent.

Francis’ portraits reflect the cultural, political and economic movement that were unfolding on the streets. The anxiety, anger, hope and care which have shaped 2020 in equal measure, when social distancing signs were printed on pavements, boarded up shops became commonplace, yet even in isolation, people found power in each other.

It is these photographs which form a beautiful new book, ‘Something that was so Familiar becomes Distant’. 171 pages of visual imagery that offers an evocative living memory of this transformative year.

The first run consists of a limited edition series of 150 copies, and the book is available to pre-order from 7th December.

Jermaine Francis, ‘Something that was so Familiar becomes Distant.’
Jermaine Francis, ‘Something that was so Familiar becomes Distant.’

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Wales Bonner launches AW20 Campaign “Lovers Rock”

A dedication to dancehall – the fashion, the community and the music: Wales Bonner’s campaign is titled ‘Lovers Rock’; an ode to the work of British-Jamaican photographer John Goto. Photographed by Liz Johnson Artur, this line includes distinct pieces that hark back to the lively culture of the British youth in the 1970s: the donkey jackets, repurposed 1960s Saville Row tailoring, and moleskin double-breasted blazers adorned with found buttons. 

Based on the British-born music genre ‘Lovers’ Rock’, which was a style that used the softer notes of reggae to create this passionate sub-genre. The romantic musings that were found in the dancehall scene and the underground blues parties created a convivial connection between black and Asian communities; this is shown through the integrated Adidas and Wales Bonner collaboration. An eclectic mix of colours can be seen in the Adidas freizeit in crimson, ochre and emerald green. 

There is a heavy emphasis placed on Caribbean culture in the campaign, with mod jackets in two-tone tweeds and windowpane check mixed with crocheted sportswear silhouettes. The hand-knit beanies crafted in raw Scottish shetland wool, courtesy of Stephen Jones, reflects a strong Rastafarian presence. The military influence is also felt, with the inclusion of a tobacco gabardine cadet jacket and a navy twill pea coat fastened with Jamaican gold brass buttons. 

From the turtlenecks layered with tailored jackets, the ankle-length skirts matched with dark tights and knitted sweater vests, this launch is a love letter to the vibrant culture in 1970’s Britain.

To discover the full collection, go to WalesBonner.net

 Wales Bonner AW20 campaign, by Liz Johnson Artur

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Designing for the future, Less is More

Celebrating transparency and craftsmanship within the industry, the International Woolmark Prize 2021 nominees inspire hope for the future of fashion at time when innovation is needed more than ever.

This year’s theme, ‘Less is More’, focuses on slow, conscious and responsible design. Buzzwords these may be, but this year’s crop of design talent are showing how to put ambitious principles into action. The nominations brings together a group of bright young designers who have built innovative new models from the ground up.

Twin talks to Bethany Williams, Casablanca, Kenneth Ize, Lecavalier, Matty Bovan, Thebe Magugu about putting sustainability first and creating a green hype cycle.

Matty Bovan, United Kingdom

We have always tried to be sustainable, and to question where we source materials and artisan makers. We make everything in the United Kingdom and try and source as much as we can from the UK and even more locally, Yorkshire where we are based. We use deadstock fabrics, deadstock yarns, and end of line pieces alongside stock service fabrics. This is very important to myself, and my business, in a world where we have such huge amounts of materials and garments made every day – it’s important to rework and make something special.

I am very interested in upcycling, whether this be vintage pieces, or end of line, damaged fabrics; it excites me to be able to transform something under an artisan process. We rework all leftover fabric we have each season, alongside any excess yarns we have, nothing is ever disposed of and always reused in some way. Constantly experimenting with craft and process is very important to me and helps aid me in transforming materials that others may disregard. We use screenprinting in-house, embroidery and hand-dying to rework. 

We are in a great place in fashion, with people asking more questions about who is making what we buy, who is putting love into these pieces. Traceability has always been very important to me, and I have always found it key to understand who we work with and where they are in the world. I try to work with artisans with hand skills. I try to make and treat a lot of textiles in-house. I like the touch of the hand on everything that comes under Matty Bovan. 

mattybovan.com

Thebe Magugu, South Africa

If the current state of the world is enough to go on, I think it’s critical for anyone working in creative output of any kind to consider their sustainability practices. We are effectively destroying the world and sustainability is all our pledges to try to counter that destruction as much as possible. 

I am very proud of the fact that most of our resources and production are made locally in South Africa. I am excited about the continuation of problem-solving through fashion, and the growing consciousness our industry is having towards its role in solving those problems. This is very particular to the younger generation especially.

thebemagugu.com

Lecavalier (Marei-Eve Lecavalier), Canada

As a young generation of creators, we were put in front of a reality that fashion production and consumption was creating a lot of waste. My creativity comes also from a place where I want to make special pieces by reusing discard materials, there is so much material available out there and it is our duty to find new ways to be creative with it. I’m really proud that I have created a unique technique to weave discard leather. There is still so much for us to explore in terms of new weaving technics but also to explore of different fabrics. I’m looking forward to an era where the craftsmanship and savoir-faire will become more present. Fashion has always been about the garment, it’s not only a product and it’s not only hype.

lecavalier.studio

Casablanca (Charaf Tajer), France

I think it’s important we all play a role in sustainable practices. The fact that we go from the idea to the creation of the garment is very special for me. My most proudest is that I am continuing the techniques of French classic fashion traditions. The whole process of creating the print and the fabrics. In terms of my own designs, I am optimistic about bringing more joy and gratitude through the clothing to people’s lives. I am optimistic that there is going to be more diversity and more acceptance towards people from different backgrounds. I think we have experienced a small part of the ongoing evolution that will create a better a future.

casablancaparis.com

Bethany Williams, United Kingdom

Growing up my mum has always been very socially and environmentally conscious, and very caring, so this has been something that has been of interest to me from a young age. I want to create beautiful things but I always want to create something with a purpose, something that can support and protect the maker and the supply chain it is a part of. Each item we produce is made from recycled, deadstock, or organic materials and made in the UK and Italy. I feel it’s really important to have produce locally or close to home so that you know exactly where your garments are made and who exactly is making them.

I think our most recent collection titled ‘All Our Children’ is what I’m most proud of. Not just because of the outcome of the final collection of garments but also the groups of creatives and like-minded people that worked on the project alongside me. I really like the network of amazing people we are building through each collection and how positive and supportive the network is that we are surrounded by and look to grow and add to this network each season.

I’m always really excited to develop my skills and look forward to introducing new techniques each season, alongside the research into and introduction of new social manufacturing partners. I hope to expand my knowledge of social manufacturing, supply chain, and craft, and strive to share this at every opportunity to help drive change within industry. I feel the presence of change starting to happen within the fashion industry, and I’m optimistic that this will continue and build momentum towards a more environmentally and socially conscious system, however there is a long way to go yet.

bethany-williams.com

Kenneth Ize, Nigeria

My love for the traditional Nigerian design textile culture of Aso Oke. Historically Aso Oke weaving created fabrics that were used to create everyday clothing that lasts for centuries and can be passed down from generation to generation. However, we started seeing less and less use of the textile except in occasion wear. With my brand I hope to bring the use of this textile to the forefront. 

I’m also very passionate about the weaving villages we empower, and I hope to do all I can to continue to push opportunities for them to grow and develop

In a collaboration with Nigerian Product design firm nmbello Studio, we were able to redesign the loom. The old loom had never been redesigned or updated, the weavers had complained about the discomfort they felt while using it. By redesigning the loom we were able to birth new life into the industry as a new generation of weavers have come forward with an eagerness to learn and push Aso Oke weaving into a modern era.

I am most optimistic about the economic empowerment that is the bedrock of my atelier. We are currently building a factory to house many of our local artisans, creating more opportunities for local textile designers and establishing a more structured industry within Western Africa.

kennethize.net

Find out more about the International Woolmark Prize here.

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Dior Thanksgiving celebration with Kat Graham

Dior celebrates this Thanksgiving with actress Kat Graham, welcoming all into her beautifully decorated, convivial abode. To celebrate the holiday, Kat introduces her “famous” sweet potato gnocchi, glazed in a sage and cinnamon butter sauce. 

The delicious dish is presented on hand-painted faience plates from Dior’s Maison collection. This set of plates takes its inspiration from the beauty of wildflowers, and the spirit of Puglia, Italy. The designs echo the essence of the incoming 2021 Cruise Show by Maria Grazia Chiuri. 

Each dish mimics the designs of traditional tarot card images, bringing a touch of magic to every meal. Enjoy the holidays with the warming and homely energy this set emits. 

View the full collection at Dior.com

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Marni Presents: Holiday Glassware Collection

Introducing a limited edition collection of sophisticated coloured glassware by Marni. The holiday edition includes kaleidoscope patterns that are offered in vases, glasses and carafes. Inspired by nature, each piece of glassware is made to be one of a kind: unique in shape and beautiful in design.   

The selection is formed by two Columbian artisans who work in harmony, using local traditions to forge the eccentric pieces. Recycled glass is used in the process with the hodgepodge of fragments representing the unpredictable, raw, and creative essence of Marni. This collaboration yields a variety of tones and unexpected shapes, with warm and homely functionality. 

Each vase is carefully crafted, taking up to two hours of steady workmanship to create one. The chords that are used to mould the goblets and tumbler glasses, brings about alluring dances of colour in the mixed glass. The line of carafes and glasses are smoothed over, also producing refined colour combinations. 

The pieces take on the meticulous and intricate workings of the craftsmen; the singularity of the construction process can be seen in each design. The glassware physically embodies a material metamorphosis: from glass shards to artistic centrepieces. 

This line will be available in select boutiques around the world at the end of November. 

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