FENDI’S Pre-fall 2020 California Sky Collection

24.06.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Following their collaboration with visual artist Joshua Vides last July , FENDI once again taps the LA- based creative in collaboration for a spree spirited Californian vibe for its Prefall 2020 collection design by creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi. For the collection Vides used his signature contemporary black and white marker style and interprets this in the form of womenswear, menswear, kid’s ready-to-wear and accessories pieces. The artist created 3D trompe-l’oeil effect by mapping the seams and edges of a range of urban and resort styles , while also giving his twist on a vibrant, whimsical floral allover motif & reworking the FENDI Stamps and the iconic FF logo.

The collection carries a wide variety of interchangeable separates including nylon windbreaker, embossed cycling shorts, satin blousons, embossed leather outerwear, sweatshirts, denim pants compact knits, printed denim pants , to even luxurious featherweight fur coats and cardigans and perforated leather jackets, all given that special splash of a tropical Californian vibe. For the accessory department , the collection did not disappoint as it includes a new version of the house’s bestseller Fendirama Women’s Sunglasses, featuring a silver metal frame and a graphic interpretation of the FENDI Stamps on the silver mirror lenses and also a new Men’s Botanical Fendi Sunglasses with an extra light white shield with the FF logo mirrored. You can find the collection in Fendi Boutiques, on  Fendi.com  or from July 1st at the California Sky Pop-Up, Harrods Men’s Piazza.

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Bianca Saunders x Joshua Woods – “We Are One Of The Same”

18.06.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For London Digital Fashion Week last weekend designer Bianca Saunders joined forces with photographer Joshua Woods for the launch of a Zine entitled “We Are One of The Same”.

Shot in New York by the photographer in collaboration with stylist Matt Holmes and model Jessica Cole, the zine explores themes of identity, community and finding a common ground in the world of social distancing. Throughout the zine, human connection is glorified in a way which urges us to appreciate small moments whenever we have the chance as Woods’ images reminds us that that which binds us together is far greater than that which divides us — a pertinent sentiment to keep in mind especially in recent time. We Are One of The Same is currently available for purchase on biancasaunders.com .

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Ahluwalia’s Jalebi – photo book & virtual exhibit

17.06.2020 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Just in time for London Digital Fashion Week last weekend, designer Priya Ahluwalia launched her photobook titled Jalebi in collaboration with photographer Laurence Ellis. The hardcover book is the designer’s second release, following the success of her first book Sweet Lassi not too long ago. Throughout the pages Ahluwalia & Ellis explore themes within the designer’s work as they give a visual account of what it means to be a young mixed heritage person living in modern Britain.  She explores her roots growing up regularly visiting Southall, Britain’s first Punjabi community with the help of Ellis who captures the beauty of diversity and the level of enrichment immigration brings to our lives and communities. The theme of family also stands out as one that is also a major factor in the make up of the Ahluwalia brand. Old family photographs tell stories of past lives lived by her family.

Each image in the book is featured with extracts from an interview carried out by Ahluwalia with her Nana regarding the family experience between India and Britain. The personal touch of the book mimics the finishing techniques of the designer’s work as how each one her pieces acts as a fundamental part of a bigger story. The book launch has also been supported by Chameleon Visual who have rendered a 3D , VR exhibit , allowing the contents of the book to be presented in a way that might not have been achievable otherwise , considering the circumstance. To view the exhibition and purchase Jalebi visit alhuwaliastudio.com 

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Alexander McQueen SS20 – The Story Shoulder Bag

16.06.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For SS20, British fashion house Alexander McQueen launched a continuation of their Story bag line from the SS20 pre-collection with an intro to their latest addition , The Story Shoulder Bag. First seen on SS20 runway last year, the chic shoulder bag , was inspired by the previous version,  “The Story” , featuring a slightly larger version of the modern metal handle and a new weaved chain .

The accessory is one that allows for an easy transition from day to evening, with a variety of styles to be worn over the shoulder, via the chain strap or carried as a clutch through the front metal handle. The Story Shoulder Bag is offered in a variety of colours and textures, including finishes of the iconic leather knotted whipstitch and the seasonal gold eyelets . For more info about The Story Shoulder Bag, visit AlexanderMcQueen.com 

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Harris Reed – “Thriving in Our Outrage” : A Homage to The Fluid & Flamboyant

16.06.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

London based designer Harris Reed recently debuted their latest graduate collection under the theme “Thriving in our outrage.” Virtually launched online via instagram and other platforms, the collection explores gestures of fluidity and flamboyance as an act of resistance.

“Do we express ourselves because we are angry ? Does outrage breed the outrageous? Without outrage for change, where does one find their strength to make a push towards difference?” Are the questions they ask themselves. The collection is an exploration of the idea of performance, opulence and self expression as a daily ritual of our modern day lives, ranging from   the possibilities of fluid bridal wear, theatricality and glamour. With strong convincing visuals created in lockdown, the designer constructs a narrative around extravagance born from a selection of inspirations tracking as far back as Henry Paget , the 5th Marquess of Anglesey — one of history’s most eccentric aristocrat who defied societal expectations by divorcing his wife, and being known for transforming his family chapel into for a location where he’d regularly entertain in gender fluid costumes while performing plays by Oscar Wilde and was later prosecuted on the grounds of homosexuality.

Reed looked towards Paget’s gendered opulence and bravery interpreted as an act of resistance that flourished into flamboyance, which could not be more current with the realities of the current times. He also took hints from the rock band New York Dolls who are known for juxtaposing traditional stage wear elements like sequins , crystals and feathers with 70s masculine tailoring.  With a digital lookbook , the designer pieced together all these key points of inspiration to create this collection of re-interpreted flamboyance channelled through the medium of every day fashion. For more info on the collection visit HarrisReed.com

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McQueen Creators NO.6 – Patchwork

12.06.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This week, British fashion house Alexander McQueen is inviting their audience to recreate patchwork using scraps of fabric found in our home with the brand’s quilt coat & suit from their AW Womenswear 2020 collection as inspiration. 

The pieces from the collection were created with inspiration by 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. McQueen’s tutorial features a much more condensed version with a tutorial by a member of the house’s design team taking us through the process of the creation of the tailor’s quilt patchwork . 

McQueen Creators was a weekly initiative brought forth in reaction to the current global quarantine, and calls on the house’s followers to artistically engage with their favourite pieces from a selection of images shared on the McQueen instagram page. A selection of final will be published across their social media platforms. Follow the house’s social media channels for updates, and to be considered in the batch of images shared on the McQueen page, be sure to tag @alexandermcqueen and include the hashtag #McQueenCreators in your caption. 

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The Earth Issue’s Freedom Fundraiser – Round 2

09.06.2020 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover image : Lauren Mary Fan Gerstel – Bus Driver, 2017

Last week The Earth Issue — a collective of artists and creative professionals working at the convergence of fine art and environmentalism — launched the first instalment of their Freedom Fundraiser. The initiative entails a print sale put together to raise funds for bail contributions and to support organisations fighting for social justice in response to recent events in America regarding the murder of George Floyd and the great movement which has followed. The Earth Issue has taken this opportunity to stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement by donating to the cause. The first wave from last week featured the work of over 80 artists and photographers from around the world , and has managed to raise over £70,000 in 3 days  100% of which will be donated. 

Markn , Joseph Siblings, 2020

“I was feeling really upset about what was going on and just feeling kind of helpless as a white person , so I wanted to make sure that I contribute, so I decided to start this print fundraiser and initially reached out to all of my contacts to try and see if I could get anyone to donate, and in a few hours we thankfully managed to put together over 90 artists. My entire team, which is a collective of people from different origins and backgrounds came together  and pulled on their respective resources and got it done in about 20 hours , which I’m really grateful for, ”explained Elena Cremona, The Earth Issue Founder,  Creative Director & Print Media Coordinator 

The collective now gears up for their second wave of the initiative to be launched tomorrow morning, where another round of limited edition prints will be put on sale including artists and photographers such as Chieska Fortune Smith, Johanna Tagada-Hofbeck , Edwin Antonio, Olivia Rose, Harley Weir,  Justin Tyler Close among many others. A 100% of the proceeds after printing and shipping raised  from this wave will be split amongst the organisations on Bail Funds: George Floyd and the 4Front Project. 

“ We want to thank the artists who donated their work to this initiative , and of course everyone who contributed by purchasing prints. We are overwhelmed by your quick and generous response — the power of the global and creative community to rally together and support community struggle in a time of need has been truly heartening.” 

To keep up with the launch of the The Earth Issue Freedom Fundraiser’s second wave , visit TheEarthIssueFreedomFundraiser.com

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Important Resources for the Black Lives Matter Movement

04.06.2020 | Blog , Culture | BY:

In the wake of the recent movement that has been born from the heinous murder of African American George Floyd, it is is evident that as active members of the fashion industry, we have the responsibility to play our part and make our contributions in the support of black voices and the Black Lives Matter movement. The industry itself is one that widely looks to the influence of black culture and black creatives both throughout history and present day for inspiration throughout many aspects of our work from campaigns, to shows, to music, which is why it is imperative for us all to answer the call when the community is in need of support of any kind. In doing our part we have to learn to create an industry where black voices and black talents are able to blossom and speak freely without the worries of being stereotyped or blacklisted.

It is a process that will take time as it means levelling the playing field and holding ourselves and those who came before us accountable for the systemic oppression that have existed throughout the industry for years. However, regardless of how much time it may take it’s important for us to take action first within our own industry and in supporting the community at large. In doing so, Twin has composed a list of how you we all can contribute to the cause.

Petition

  • Justice For George Floyd is a petition to sign in support of George Floyd , who was murdered in Minneapolis by police officers, signing this petition helps to gain the attention of the city’s Mayor for the arrest of the police offers.
  • Raise the Degree is a petition to sign to raise the degree for the charges of officer Derek M Chauvin —  the police officer seen kneeling on George Floyd neck — to first degree murder.
  • Ahmaud Arbery – a petition to sign in support of Ahmaud Arbery , another black man that was murdered by white supremacists in Georgia USA, only a few weeks ago, that will help in the arrests and charge for those involved.
  • Breonna Taylor was an unarmed American woman murdered by a police officer while sleeping in her home in Louisville, Kentucky USA, a few weeks ago, this petition is in aid of firing and arresting the police officers involved.

Donate

Support the family of George Floyd by donating to cover funeral costs , counselling and the creation of a memorial .

As many are out in the streets protesting , many are being arrested, here’s a list of funds that will help in the bail of protests who have been jailed. 

Donate directly to the Black Lives Matter movement. 

Donate with no money 

By watching this video, and the other videos that follow after it without skipping the ads, it supports the fundraisers for the Black Lives Matter movement as well as the funds for the bail of protesters who are arrested.  

For more information on how to help, visit Black Lives Matter Card.

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Twin meets the Designer of KARA in exploration of her ongoing project “KARA You Be You”

01.06.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

“Now more than ever people are really looking for something that feels personal and feels human”

KARA is a brand with a human spirit at the core. Founded by Sarah Law as a reactive medium to explore her own personal identity quest, KARA – the name borne from Karaoke which in turn is Japanese for empty orchestra – looked to connect with a global community through self expression and artistic freedom. Formulating her You Be You campaign on this premise, KARA has collaborated with creatives from all over the world, from Fish Zhang in Beijing to Richie Shazam in New York to Masha Reiva in Kiev. 

“I am really trying to show all these different points of view, together”, Sarah Law states, discussing over the phone in her New York apartment the reasoning behind the breadth of talent commissioned for this 4 year photography series. Commissioning creatives from a global network, Sarah has posited her fascination with expressions of identity into her brand and subsequently in the hands of these international artists, asking them to interpret her brand and present it in their own unique way in a series of images. 

“A huge sentiment behind the brand is this aspect of community – I think it is about really trying to find people who sometimes don’t have a massive platform but have amazing work, and trying to feature them. We have commissioned different people to create pieces working from home, which has proven to be a really fun project to connect with people and learn more about them in this time.”

As COVID19 brings through isolation and subsequent yearnings for deeper connection, does KARA think that a sense of vulnerability has befallen humanity in this time?

“I think finally because of COVID19 there is more compassion – people connecting with people to see how they are doing.”

“In a world under such an intense pressure to move forward with the internet getting faster, brands are pushed to produce so much content and so many collections, we are losing sight of people’s humanness. It is interesting as in this time, I am finding people are friendlier right now, as there is this acknowledgement of what we are all going through, something that we are all experiencing.”

Delving into the four year project KARA You Be You, the breadth of talent collaborated is as wonderful as it is varied. With the initial desire to explore her own experience of being both Chinese and American at the core of the commencement of KARA, Sarah has embarked on a deep dive into our own cultivations of self, how we express ourselves, and what we choose to take from our past to define ourselves in our futures.

As the world comes to learn new ways of communicating, those with authentic voices and unique, purposeful visions will be coming out stronger; putting the creative in the hands of the people means KARA is carrying a refreshing approach through our new navigations of normal life. 

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Twin Talks: Robert Wun – the Designer sculpting the silhouettes for the power women of tomorrow

29.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

There are many up and coming young fashion brands out there who are still in the process of navigating to find their brand voices within the industry. Some have found solace in RTW, others in menswear , streetwear etc. London based Designer Robert Wun, has already made himself into somewhat of a prodigy, having found his design knack for futuristic silhouettes and natural forms.

The LCF graduate who launched his namesake brand in 2013, offers a very fresh approach to the genre of womenswear by sculpting each piece with intention and attention to detail, using bold cuts and strong shapes to contrast with bright colours as a statement of feminine power. Each of his pieces hold a story, not just as an entire look, but rather every shoe, every hat , every blouse, razor cut skirt, every double stitch, all separately tell tales of a mystical futuristic world that leaves its audience so desperately yearning for more. His collections are a sight for sore eyes that makes one seriously lust and ponder over his vast creative capacity. Twin recently caught up with the man behind the grand desirable sculptures to discuss his process, SS20 collection and quarantine routines. 

What was the inspiration behind your SS20 collection?  Does the collection have a title ? 

The SS20 collection is named “ Orchid Mantis “

I continue to draw inspiration from the infamous female warrior Mulan, which I first introduced in the SS19 collection, the collection pays homage to the full spectrum of qualities celebrated about this legendary character who has paved the way for feminists of the modern day. Hua Mulan, her name 花木蘭 meaning flower, wood and orchid.

I decided to further explore the potential of the orchid as an inspiration in the SS20 collection, studying one of my favourite animals , the Orchid Mantis’ on  it forms its shape . a beautiful yet deadly camouflage. I have transformed that petal shape throughout the collection with a technique which allows the seams to reverse and extend out as the shape of flower petals, which is one of the main highlights of the collection.

What’s your design process like ? 

I normally will start with an image or a sketch of rough visuals from my mind, then illustrate the garments to be able to move forward technically, it always starts with the idea into one garment first.

Then afterwards it’s just hours and hours of placing different fabrics and swatches next to that illustration until I feel right. Pushing the range and transforming that first design into a full range of garments and into different looks. Lastly would be the execution in pattern, testing of fabrication and techniques. Once that first piece is physically done, I will get a clearer picture for the rest of the collection.

Your futuristic approach to silhouettes is really quite interesting , what is it that influences this ? Do you have a knack for architecture ?

I am actually more inspired by nature versus artificial architecture, at the end nature is somewhat of an architect too! 

My admiration towards nature will always be the core of my creative process, and I always believe nothing can be more original and timeless when it’s inspired by something so real and far from artificial, and nature offers a kind of beauty that humbles and motivates you, and something as raw and genuine as nature, everyone could interpret it differently.

Do you imagine that this type of eccentric silhouette is where womenswear will be heading in the future?

I like to believe the future of womenswear is a celebration of individuality, where designers can be celebrated by doing what they want and who they are and what they do best. I am always inspired by unapologetic individuals who embrace femininity in a bold and provocative way, never thought of on a mass market scale or creating an influential trend, just trying to pursue what I love and grateful for the audiences, no matter the size who supports it.

What’s your favourite fabric to work with ?

Not any in particular, as different fabrics and materials serve for different ideas and effects so it depends on the design. Although a good sturdy bonded fabric, or crease proof materials are something I always work with, as I tend to create things with a futuristic touch on finishing and sculpted silhouettes.

What’s been the most difficult part of your journey as a young designer? 

I was not fully aware of the business side of fashion at all when I first started, which makes pricing and the production side difficult to navigate, also completely oblivious to the marketing and sales side of the industry. 

Through time I have started to understand the need to learn it as a business, and the importance of asking for help and advice. I eventually got an investor two months after the Joyce launch of my graduate collection,  who helped me set up a proper business support, since then I have learned from every season as I carry on, 4 years ago I decided to become independent to look for better future partners to take this to the new level.

What’s been the most gratifying experience as a young designer?

To be able to have 100% creative control and being afforded the freedom to make mistakes. Also being able to define your own equation to navigate through the industry! I didn’t get a lot of sponsorships or awards as most emerging brands got when they first started, and those titles had become an essential to show the industry you are promising and have an “authorised” future. 

I learned that it is ok to not have a sponsored show and to carry on after being told no, and I’ve also learnt not to invest in expensive showcases which you can’t afford, but just focus on good work and good photography and let them speak for themselves, and I have been doing that ever since. Something we can easily forget as designers nowadays, is to just focus on delivering good designs and well made garments and let them speak for themselves.

I am quite grateful now when I look back that I didn’t get these opportunities, from my graduation to many programs that I also didn’t get selected at the beginning of my career, as they made me more focused on pushing creatively as a designer, and more ready as a business person too on building a solid foundation for longevity.

If you had to choose a woman in the public eye or a movie character who embodies the Robert Wun aesthetic , who would it be ?  

Dream character would be a sci-fiction character by the Wachowskis siblings or Ridley Scott, as Trinity from the matrix and Ripley from Aliens are some characters that have inspired me deeply. Or even if there was a modern day or futuristic interpretation of Mulan that would be great to design for!

I’d also love to dress a Bae Donna, Bjork, Lizzo, Yalitza Aparicio, Kelly Marie Tran, Noomi Rapace, Tilda Swinton, Rooney Mara and Rihanna etc in the future. Women who are authentic and shaping the future.

If you use a movie, a song, or a poem to define your work , what would it be ?

A movie would be Princess Mononoke by Studio Ghibli Hayao Miyazaki

A song would be Taro by Alt J

How’ve you been handling the quarantine? 

Keep sketching and draping and watching movies! It’s hard to stop even at home, especially considering that most business errands have to be put aside now, focusing on the positive note as it could be a brand new start for the SS21 collection in September, with hope that the pandemic will have passed by then.

Is there anything you’re hoping will change in the fashion system post COVID-19?  

Buying better on the consumer side and for the industry to put less pressure on creatives and allow them to design less product orientated collections. Which ultimately means what everyone’s been talking about; slowing down and having less collections=less waste and healthier mentality for the industry.

How / Where can one purchase/order your pieces ?

We will have a brand new distribution of stockists at the end of this year starting from SS21 collection.

Currently you can order directly from us [email protected] and the E-commerce will be live later this year as well on www.robertwun.com

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Charles & Keith x Cecile Bahnsen Launch Capsule Collection

26.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This week footwear brand Charles & Keith joined forces with designer Cecile Bahnsen for  an exciting collaboration of a shoe line inspired by traditional school-wear. The collection features some of the most classic Charles & Keith shapes and silhouettes which are reinterpreted by Cecile and finished with her signature brooch. Four various styles are featured including three Mary Jane designs and a distinctive mule. The general palette of the collection sees a neutral scheme of black and white that’s garnished with a touch of colour with the lemon yellow Camelia mule. 

In line with Bahnsen’s commitment to sustainability, the collection revisits two of her favourite fabrics being a recycled satin and a unique patchwork that are given new life. It also includes the use of dust bags stitched from leftover cuts from previous season. For more information about the collection visit Charleskeith.co.uk 

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“We Make You Feel Exactly What You Want To Feel,” Twin Meets Danish Eyewear Brand FLATLIST

26.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

FLATLIST is cool. Their shapes are fresh, the circle of supporters are creative, the imagery that naturally has grown around the brand doesn’t stink of hours in a daylight studio – it smells of real life living. 

Talking to the brand and taking a closer look at the provenance of this funk factor, we talk about the importance of the school of life lessons, trusting your inner feelings, and the acceptability of sunglasses indoors during lockdown. 

Tell Us How FLATLIST Came About .

The “Feeling”: Well, FLATLIST was founded way before the actual launch of any products. When we started our agency 8-years ago, we also started a global tour of socialising and networking. Working with international sales in the fashion industry, you often find yourself at trade shows, fashion shows, showrooms, launches, parties and dinners. And with 150 travel days a year in cities like Paris, Milano, London, New York, Berlin, Amsterdam you meet a lot of people that like to talk about fashion. You end up in endless of uninspired conversations and meetings. 

To avoid this, we started hosting dinners ourselves 3-4 years ago after too many nights spend on “free dinner and drinks” that didn’t give us anything beside hangovers.  We invited people we felt connected to, (that felt the same as us) and where the conversations and mutual mindset led to some unforgettable evenings, long nights and pictures. People were mentally present. Real but charming. 

It was here FLATLIST was born. We “FLATLISTED” people. It means to be yourself and feel fucking great about it. It was in this period the actual brand and products started to take form. 

We both love shades, and we both had design ideas, so the dream of running an eyewear brand was pretty mutual since day one. We didn’t have any personality or visual concept to go with it. The “Flatlisted” feeling was all we needed. We used that feeling when we started to create our brand and visual material and then we used our private collection of shades for design inspiration. Quality over quantity and eyewear designs and colour combos we thought were great and that we couldn’t find in the market at that time. No “trend analysis” but simply a look in the mirror and thumbs up to your partner when trying on our first prototype set of samples. 

The “Business Plan” :We wanted to create affordable luxury frames that we thought were excellent and that we would wear ourselves. Not trend-driven at all, but based only on personal preferences. We wanted to be the brand priced below the big fashion brands while offering a quality just as good, if not better. 

How Has It Grown Since Its Inception? 

We have had a very strict distribution strategy since day one, choosing to work only with a handful of global retailers. Not just based on their name but also if they were a good match when it came to selling our brand and products, such as Need Supply, KITH, Totokaelo, Luisa via Roma, Hybebeast, END,  Smets, LN-CC, Liberty, Matches Fashion etc.  Furthermore, our e-commerce is really starting to pick up!

How Do Your Sunglasses Differ From Others?

There are many things to be said. Whether it is our uniquely designed straight side temples for a better all-round fit and grip on the head (fits all, kinda), our carefully sourced 90’s deadstock Italian acetate or our unique colour combinations and designs. Every style and colour also has its unique style code written in gold on the outside of the left temple. Our little trademark. And maybe the fact that our collection is pretty retro-inspired. 

What Do You Think Sunglasses Impart In The Wearer? A Sense Of Mystery, Intrigue? Sexiness?

That is a very difficult question to answer – obviously some kind of Hank Moody coolness but, ultimately, we hope our eyewear makes our consumer fell exactly what he or she wants to feel. This can be a lot of things, but mainly we want them to feel themselves. 

What Changes In The Fashion Landscape Do You See Ahead?

A LOT, but it’s difficult to predict at the moment. You see quite some self-proclaimed experts trying to predict the future at the moment, but the truth is that we don’t know other than our industry needs to slow down. 

FLATLIST is cool. Their shapes are fresh, the circle of supporters are creative, the imagery that naturally has grown around the brand doesn’t stink of hours in a daylight studio – it smells of real life living.

How Do You Feel FLATLIST Will Be Adapting To These Changes? 

No need to adapt as our aim has always been to make long-lasting products instead of having to reinvent ourselves on a seasonal basis. We feel that we already created styles that have the potential of becoming icons of tomorrow (Hanky, Tishkoff, Le Bucheron, Bricktop). When we think it’s needed, we add some newness here and thereby adding new acetate colours and lenses, but that’s it. 

Your Sunglasses Have A Certain Understated Grunge Elegance About Them… Would You Agree?

Yes! But also the absolute 70’s freedom of expression vibe as well as the 90’s minimalism. 

Finally, Is It Acceptable To Wear Sunglasses Inside During Lockdown?

Of course – why not? Go for our Le Bucheron style with blue lenses if you want to add some colour to the wall you’ve been staring at for the last month or try Tishkoff with yellow lenses if you’re behind on your D-vitamins.

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Reimagine, Reinvent, Rebuild: Twin Talks to Carcel Founder Veronica D’Souza as they launch their new brand model.

22.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Carcel is proposing a new model, new methodology, and new mindset in fashion. One free from broken matrixes, the disjoint of seasons, and the hysteria of discounting.

Launched in Copenhagen in 2016, Carcel is a brand of forward thinking change. While their raised issues are nothing new to the verbalised battles currently gaining ground under the buckling pressures of the luxury fashion industry, they are set apart in that they have chosen to action what others so far have only dared to digress.

Carcel was founded on the principle of working with incarcerated women, working with the best natural fabrics, and working outside the fashion model. Carcel founder Veronica D’Souza’s decision to work with incarcerated women stemmed from her personal experiences of visiting women’s prisons in high-poverty countries and the strain on dignity, emotion, finance and family that came from the struggles these incarcerated women faced:

“The main cause of incarceration for women globally is poverty. It’s predominantly non-violent crimes that women are incarcerated for, and it’s non-violent crimes such as drug trafficking, prostitution, theft, and the main cause is most of them want to provide for their families. When they are incarcerated they have to give up their children, either to an orphanage, or if they’re lucky enough relatives, and when released they are poorer than they were before. It’s also a very big social stigma, to be a criminal or ex-criminal and particularly if you’re female, so it’s very difficult to get a job. In the prisons, all the women were all knitting, sewing, crocheting and making small crafty things, but they didn’t have access to good materials, and they didn’t have anywhere really to sell that product. You could buy a few of them in the visitor store for very little money, so it ended up being more like vocational training or a way to spend your time, but they didn’t make any money.”

Exploring these activities the women were undergoing, the thought of offering a fairly paid opportunity to these women by providing high-quality fabrications and job security felt like there could be a chance for a fashion brand to hold more than sartorial affectations at its core:

“I thought that if you could cover those three things: good materials, education, and also a market to create proper salaries, these women could keep on providing for their children, who are small when they are incarcerated so they still need a provider, save up for when they get out, and also learn new skills. This came back to the lesson I have learnt about making things desirable: if you want to create something that has a market and is sustainable, how can you make something that’s really good quality.”

A business model was emerging, that took the form of a firm new approach. “I made a challenge for myself about what could a supply chain look like if it was rethought. I made a map of the world of the countries that have the highest rates of poverty with crime for women, so where I felt there was a lot impact to be made, but also countries that have natural materials that are the best in the world and a tradition for craftsmanship amongst women. Peru was number one of that list on my map.”  

A woman’s prison in Cusco was her first partner in the launch of Carcel, with a kickstarter campaign allowing for the first knitting machines to be purchased and provided for the women who would be the fair-paid producers of the brand. “We have merged production so it can have a social impact and just harnesses natural materials from the region where we produce.”

Speaking to Veronica on the phone, the energy of her dedication twangs off every word as she rollers through the history and foundations of Carcel. When you can almost see the passion in someone’s mission just through a phone call, you can tell this is more than a business – this is a call to action.

Veronica’s background is not an expected answer for someone leading a luxury fashion label, but that is part of what makes Carcel so exciting. 

“Firstly, I think it’s important to say for me that I don’t have a background in fashion- at all. I’m really passionate about finding solutions to problems in society, but through business. And making those solutions desirable. So I think for too long we’ve had a split between like the old capitalism, that basically messes up the world, the planet, and then like a lot of do-good, which is not necessarily with the consumer in mind. Money comes through the product, or the service, or whatever is created. So, I guess that’s where my passion really lies.”

What was it about fashion that demanded her decision to create a whole new way of working?

“It doesn’t really make sense to create a fashion label that just feeds into the same way as what’s wrong with the industry today. So from the beginning I tried to write down dogmas for creating our own value chain.”

And the result of these new tenets of design practice? “We don’t have any collections or any seasons, we don’t have sales, and we are trying to rethink how to not waste anything. It goes back to Danish design tradition, to create something that is good quality, and that can last and that can stand the test of time, and just not be done with: I think that’s the main core of how we operate today.’

The way Veronica breaks down and draws comparisons with the industry and social strictures is somewhat compelling; her views of the fashion industry as we know it has certainly .

“In some ways fashion is incredibly  old-school in its thinking and the industry model. I don’t really understand, because in my mind it is divided into two very separate parts, like the body and soul. The soul is really cool – that is the identity and aspiration. It is progressive, and is a way of expressing yourself. The body of fashion, the industry, is so broken, and badly treated and rotten. I think that’s extremely regressive, because I think at the same time there’s still this tendency just to put it on a pedestal.” 

What is the purpose of a brand does she feel?

“You need to say something, how to become a story teller as a brand, what do different brands do and to think of different reactions. I think some are doing really well that really half a year ago didn’t have anything to say. So I think there’s a journey happening now which is hopefully interesting, and it also needs to happen because if not, fashion just becomes extremely irrelevant. If it’s not creative and expressive then what is it? It’s not that we need more clothes.”

And how do visuals interplay with Carcel’s brand message and purpose? With the launch of their new model further reinstating Carcel’s principles, the visual message must be as arresting as the purpose is crystalline; walking down the street, a wall of fly posters presenting a passerby with the wonderful words ’No Seasons’ and ‘Carcel’, a young man smiles as he squints through the sunshine at the camera. The images are modern, elegant, neither shouty nor shy. How important is the imagery for Veronica, and in turn Carcel?

“A lot. We’ve also been on quite a journey. So in the beginning it was very much focused on our production, but also focused on the branding element- creating a cool brand. That’s been really important for us in the beginning to like say this is not just for people who want a bit of world, and talk about fair wages, and female empowerment, and natural materials, it’s also about a relevant brand vision too. We’ve done collaborations with artists, and explored new avenues off our core narrative all the time.”

Of course, COVID19 enters our conversation, as surely it’s impossible for it to not be discussed; How does Veronica hope brands will react post COVID19?

“The whole seasonal wheel makes it impossible to create something that has value and maintains value, and that is properly made – from how people are getting paid to what’s put into the product. You need to be able to communicate on a digital platform, and say more than just ‘this is my clothes’, for more people to be interested in your brand. So that will hopefully be more of an incentive to look beyond what’s on the catwalk and what’s on the model, to what’s behind the process. I see a lot of collaborations coming up, people helping each other out. In general I see a lot of positive things happening, and I think the desire in society for solidarity, and for value beyond empty consumption I think is on the increase.”

Looping back to her analogy on the body and soul, Veronica contemplates the need for both aspects of our being to work together, to collaborate: “for the soul, we need a driving force. We need culture, we need inspiration, we need arts, you know, that part of fashion as well to create those visions and dreams of what beauty looks like in a post-consumerist society. That’s something that occupies me a lot. So I hope that this break has freed some energy to spend time on that. “

Reimagine, reinvent and rebuild are the lasting words plucked out in bold from Carcel’s relaunch – the most concise words that surmise their focus to disrupt a system that is creaking on its foundations. 

Here’s to Carcel, taking a stand, putting forth action, and allowing us all to take a leap of faith in fashion’s ability to move forward and beyond the boundaries we had previously set. 

Reimagine, reinvent and rebuild. 

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SAINT LAURENT RIVE DROITE : ‘NOSES ELBOWS AND KNEES’ by Mario Sorrenti & John Baldessari

21.05.2020 | Art , Blog | BY:

Saint Laurent Rive Droite recently announced that it has exclusively launched the prestigious phonebook by Mario Sorrenti and John Baldessari “Noses Elbows and Knees.” Curated by Neville Wakefield, the book was originally published at the end of the “Noses Elbows and Knees” exhibition in 2017 ,  and explores the work of Baldessari’s signature paintings of body parts on photographs , giving a nod towards Hollywood culture with elements of bold colour, while Sorrenti’s work on the book was a reinterpretation of 90’s beauty photographs .

Together the duo question the notion of familiar representations through codes of nudity in society , fashion, collage and photography. Each copy of the book is signed by both artists and are currently available for pre-order in Saint Laurent Rive Droite’s Paris and LA stores.

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FENDI Peekaboo’s Savoir Faire

21.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

A key part of Fendi’s SS20 collection were the several versions of their Peekaboo bag that appeared on the runway. This week the brand is highlighting the savour faire of a few of those bags with video showing the workmanship techniques such as the “Laser Cut” , “Intrecciato” and the “Intarsio” known as inlay. With 3D technology , the results are featured in both male and female versions such as the Peekaboo X-Lite for Men’s which showcases the laser cut, The Peekaboo for men’s where Selleria stitching meets the Intarsio fur workmanship and the Women’s Peekaboo and it’s mini version which boasts the intricacy of the “Intrecciato” workmanship.

The video is a detailed look of the brand’s iconic techniques of the Roman Maison which gives us an a peak of the amount of work that goes into building these must-have pieces. For more info on the Peekaboo bag, visit FENDI.COM 

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Alexander McQueen – The Tread Slick

17.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover image: Black Tread Slick by Lea Colombo

 One of the best aspects of Alexander McQueen’s menswear collections are the shoes. Usually they all seem to take on an entire character within themselves, proposing interesting yet sturdy new shapes, blends and colours within the genre of menswear. A particular favourite is the Tread Slick, which first appeared in the house’s SS20 pre-collection. A lighter successor of the Tread Boot from the FW18 collection , the Tread Slick features an oversized rubber sole with a canvas upper in an array of season colours .

The house recently commissioned a selection of photographers around the world to capture the iconic shoe in their current environments. Some of which included Adama Jalloh, Lea Colombo, Eddie Wrey, Alice Schillaci, Luis Alberto Rodriguez and Julia Noni. With locations ranging from Peckham to Berlin, each shot features unique styles of imagery which captures the shoes’ detailing in somewhat of a poetic manner. For more on the Tread Slick visit Alexander McQueen

Low White Tread Slick by Wing Shya
Low B&W Tread Slick by Ethan James Green

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Alexander McQueen SS20 – Endangered Flowers

17.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Every small attribute of Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen collections are created with some type of story. Each piece from the share to them hems to the embroidery is built with some type of intention. A special detail from the house’s SS20 RTW collection was the implementation of endangered flowers. For the collection, a selection of endangered flowers were hand-embroidered on ivory irish linen dresses with cocoon backs and exploded sleeves and cotton silk tailoring.

The Alexander McQueen team were who contributed with drawings sketched in glass houses and filled with rare blooms which were all transformed into embroidery artworks. The process included lots of research into engendered and extinct flowers, and required an operation of several steps including painting and silk threading using several thread techniques. For more info on the SS20 collection visit Alexander McQueen.

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A refreshing energy of inclusion: Marguerite – the female-focussed network for women to build likeminded connections in the arts – talks to Twin about their 5th year as a very modern arts organization.

15.05.2020 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Cover image by Dunja Opalka

Marguerite was founded in Joanna Payne’s living room after a few glasses of the bubbly stuff. Hey, who hasn’t concocted their million dollar idea on the sofa, or a brilliantly innovative concept with mates in the pub. For Joanna however – Marguerite came to be a living, breathing, invigorating association for women in the arts to come together, and share their thoughts/views/frustrations/hopes with other women that might feel the same. 

After the adage of the ‘members club’ gratefully comes to wear off – the notions of exclusivity wearing thin in a world that has never felt more isolated and alone – Joanna is shifting the dynamics and the dusty insinuations members clubs have come to imply, and has built a community across the globe that looks to if not inspire at least articulate a  universe where women can feel the confidence to advance their own interests, passions and careers.

Here we talk to Joanna about starting her own business, the importance of sharing experiences, and the art of slowing down.

David Seymour, Venice. Peggy Guggenheim in her palace on the Grand Canal, 1950

What made you want to start Marguerite?


After seven years of working in the art world, for organisations including Whitechapel Gallery and Frieze Art Fair, I wanted to do something about the fact that women often found it harder to realise their potential than men. By that, I mean that I so often found that my female colleagues and friends found it much harder to do things like ask for a pay rise than their male counterparts. Whilst there are many reasons for the pay gap in the UK, one of them is women’s confidence in comparison to men’s. If men are happy to ask for a pay rise whereas a woman isn’t, guess who’s more likely to get it?

I was very lucky in that I landed my dream job at the age of 23, working in the VIP department at Frieze Art Fair, where I was meeting collectors, artists, gallerists, museum curators.. even Jay Z and Beyonce! I found that having such a strong network in the industry really helped me in my career and I was made to feel pretty confident as a result. I wanted to share that network with my friends and peers in the hope that it would do the same for them – so in February 2015, set Marguerite up as very casual drinks in my living room. It didn’t have a name back then and the initial idea was for a different woman to host a similar sort of thing in their own home every other month. The idea was simple: to bring women in the arts together to meet, share ideas and in turn, build their careers in the industry.

Has the original purpose changed at all over the years?

The concept of Marguerite changed pretty quickly after that first event in my home. After a friend had to pull out of hosting the second event, I decided that it would be better to instead ask artists, curators, photographers and designers whether they would in fact play host to our events. This was very much drawing on my experience from Frieze and later Photo London, where I was organising special events in artist studios and collectors’ homes for some of the best known collectors, museum directors and curators in the world. From that experience, I was taught the importance of having ‘content’ at events in the form of a talk, panel discussion, workshop or some other form of entertainment. I really wanted to step away from your awful average networking event where a bunch of people are just chucked into the same room with a name badge and a glass of wine and expected to find things in common.

Our core values are still very much the same: to advance the careers of women in the arts by providing a ready-made professional network and spaces in which to hear from some of the most influential people working in the creative industries today. The caliber of our hosts has always been pretty high (two of our first events were hosted by the world renowned fashion photographer, Rankin and winners of the Turner Prize 2015, architecture collective, Assemble) but we’ve built on that hugely and have welcomed some incredible speakers including the likes of fashion designers such as: Dame Zandra Rhodes, Roksanda and Alice Temperley MBE; photographers: Miles Aldridge, Nick Knight & Juno Calypso; artists: Idris Khan OBE, Gavin Turk and Michael Craig-Martin; and museum directors: Maria Balshaw (Tate), Dr Tristram Hunt (V&A) and Tim Marlow (then the Royal Academy of Arts, now The Design Museum). 

Despite the hosts and the quality of our events (hosted everywhere from London and Somerset to Venice to New York) growing ever more magnificent, we’ve worked hard to ensure that the original energy of friends meeting over a couple of glasses of prosecco in my living room remains.

Idris Khan & Annie Morris for Marguerite by Dunja Opalko

You have turned 5 years old which is amazing: how has our definition of members clubs changed in that time?

Thank you! Whilst the concept of ‘private members’ clubs’ seemed very glam when we first started out, we now actually steer away from the term as we don’t want the network to seem too exclusive or off-limits to anyone who works in the arts. Anyone in the industry can buy a ticket to our events if they’re interested in one particular topic or want to ‘try before they buy’ a full membership. 

Unlike many private members’ clubs which operate in the way they do so that they can be strict about who they do and don’t let in, the reason we offer membership is to encourage the same group of people can come together six or more times a year. The frequency means you’re much more likely to actually make friends at our events than if you just attended a standalone talk. Marguerite’s aim is to foster friendships as opposed to make people feel left out because they’re not included.

Linder Sterling & Charlie Porter for Marguerite by Luke Fullalove

Why did you choose to build a female only members club?

I think that incredible things happen when women come together. I wanted to provide a space in which women would be made to feel more confident which would hopefully go on to have an impact in their careers and most importantly, their lives. Judging by our talks in comparison to many others I’ve been to, I’m always struck by how many questions from the audience there are at the end. I think women feel a lot more confident in the company of other women which means they get more out of the situation. Furthermore, if there’s one thing the #MeToo movement taught us, it’s that there’s a lot to be learnt from women sharing their experiences with one another. 

I should say that Marguerite is female and non binary-focussed. If a man wanted to come to one of our regular events, he would be very welcome and we host some events that are open to all. We hosted one of these with Lean In just before lockdown began on how people feel in the workplace post #MeToo – a discussion that would have been a pointless echo chamber if it was just had by a group of women!

Marguerite members at their Polly Morgan studio visit by Luke Fullalove

You have aligned your online presence to support the creative industries: tell us a little bit about this

The week before the official lockdown began, we began to see many members of our community (especially freelancers) lose their jobs. We therefore instantly shifted our attention to launch a forum where freelancers could meet potential employers. It was way more successful than we could ever had imagined and we paired our first freelancer with a paid job in under 24 hours. The following week we also launched a forum to support small businesses – where independent brands could present their products and anyone who was in the position to shop could find them! In the absence of our usual events, we wanted to pivot quickly to best suit the new needs of our community. 

We’ve also been hosting online talks and workshops on our Instagram Live focussing on the things people are most worried about right now including money, managing anxiety and parenting kids and teenagers when you’re trying to hold down your other full time job! We’re now running ‘Marguerite Creates’ every Saturday and Sunday morning where creatives are showing us how to do things like: draw our house plants; collage; make simple home improvements; and take better photographs on our phones! We wanted to provide quick, fun activities to allow people to try something new to alleviate the lockdown boredom – and maybe even get that “Oh my god! I did it!” feeling I think we all need a bit of right now!

Unlike our usual events, these new online features are all quite ‘rough and ready’. We felt it was important to act quickly to give people what they needed rather than spending lots of time (and money!) producing something really sleek that may become redundant by the time it was ready. People’s requirements and moods are changing every day at the moment and we’re very mindful of being relevant. It’s actually also been a brilliant time to test out new things and throw us out of our comfort zone! 

Marguerite Presents Snappy Salons on Women in the Arts part of the February 2017 Uniqlo Tate Lates at Tate Modern Image by Dunja Opalko

What has C19 taught you?

Professionally, the joy of slowing down. We’ve hosted 40 events a year for the past few years which is a lot and can mean up to three events taking place in one week. I think once this is all over, we’ll consider hosting fewer events but maximising the quality.

What will the most important lessons be for the creative industry post C19 do you think?

Much like many industries, I think coronavirus will force the creative industries to slow down. The hectic merry-go-round of private views, art fairs, fashion weeks and events was tiring for everyone involved and I think ultimately, unsustainable. Furthermore, the shipping and travel required for the larger international events of course had huge environmental implications. It’s been interesting to see how quickly art fairs and galleries have shifted to host their events online – I hope a lot of this will remain in place once this is all over. 

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Marni Home Market

14.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

As a part of Milan Design Week last year, Marni presented a line of bags furniture and designs objects under what they dubbed their online Folk Market. This year, regardless of the absence of design week as a result of COVD-19, the Italian brand returns with another collection entitled MARNI HOME MARKET. The collection reflects Marni’s multifaceted universe with an exploration of colours and forms. It features a range of bags including playful hammock bags, retro-inspired crochet bags, small striped shopping bags, natural canapa bags and crochet fish bags.

Each piece from the collection is specially  handmade by Colombian artisans who have been collaborating with the brand for several years. With respect for local traditions, each item is made according to meticulous artisanal processes that require close attention to detail. The collection will is currently available for pre-order online Marni.com 

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Catching up with Parisian Jewellery brand Sisi Joía

14.05.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

As a solution to our quarantine woes, Twin recently caught up with Cécile Wallon creator behind Parisian glass jewels and beads label Sis Joía. The handmade jewellery brand has been known for its special personal touch, pieced together with glass, quartz and crystal beads collected over time on elastic wires . During these difficult times, small gestures like these matter more than anything. Keeping in mind the importance of noticing what surrounds us and how things evolves. Which is why our contributor Amanda Ballerini engaged her dear friend Wallon in conversation discussing inspiration, quarantine finds, habit and much more.

Tell me a bit about you and your Sisi Joía. How did it all begin?

So I’m 29, and after a few years in the fashion retail industry, I had a baby and suddenly a lot of time (well the first few months) to think about what I wanted for the next few years. A question that was a little to big, so the first answer was: I would like to have something beautiful to gather my curtains. I knew this lady who was selling antique beads at the flea market near my house, so I went, in search of some supplies to start making beautiful curtain tiebacks. I never made those, instead I crafted a few elastic bracelets that were easy to take on and off (with a baby…) and showed it to my friends. They were so enthusiastic with the result it convinced me to start making a small jewellery line. And here we are!

Did you ever think of creating something like this in the past?

I’ve always been keen on crafts and handmade things, but more things for the home. However, I’ve been nourished and fed by all the beautiful things and costume jewellery I was selling at my previous job at Vanessa Seward’s. She was especially good at this , from working for numerous years as an accessories designer at Chanel.

Tell me a bit about the connection you developed with the glass maker/blower. How did it happen?

Well I used to live in the neighbourhood of this old store that was never open. One day, they finally had sort of like a Christmas sale, and I bought so many beautiful things for my home. For several years, I didn’t think of it, and then I found one of their glass drops at the flea market. It fit perfectly with the necklaces I was developing, so I started to look for more… and after 2 months of calling the shop and passing by every week, I finally got in touch with Youssef, the owner.

He’s Syrian, and moved to Germany, then France, some 20 years ago. Now he works with a partner, a lady who goes every couple of month to Damascus to select the works of their glass blower (who collects glass debris and recycle it in a traditional brick oven) and have them transported back by boat to their workshop, where they assemble the pieces to make lamps and other beautiful things. They are very discreet but their lamps sell all over the world. Now they allow me to purchase some glass drops, glass blowers and beads to make my pieces.

How’s the everyday life of a creative Parisian mum like you are? Do you have some kind of daily schedule you follow?

It’s busy, as my schedule revolves around my son’s hours: daycare, going to the library, the park, etc. But I get to work following my own schedule during the day, until around 4 when I pick him up. Then the day stops and we focus on being with him. Then, at night, as soon as he’s asleep, my second day begins and I work packing my orders and crafting the pieces.

Where would you ideally be living, if it weren’t Paris?

Actually we’re in the process of moving a little further from Paris, in a suburban town near a bigger park, with more nature and a “greener” municipal area, which is super important to us.

What do you do when something makes you sad?

I try to change my mind and create anything, a little bowl with auto-hardening clay, tie dye a vintage panty .

Keep up with Cécile and her Sisi Joia ventures @sisijoia .

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