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

11.10.2019 | Blog , Culture , Literature | BY:

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

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

We caught up with Naomi Shimada to discuss their work. 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Rihanna set to release visual autobiography

10.10.2019 | Blog , Culture , Fashion , Music | BY:

In the world of pop culture, Rihanna is one of the three names that sits on the thrones of the holy trinity of modern day female music, alongside Beyoncé and Nicki Minaj. 

The Bajan singer’s story is one known and celebrated by many: having officially moved from Barbados to the US at just the age of 17, she soon signed with Def Jam Recordings and released her first hit single Pon De Replay as a part of her debut album Music of The Sun (2005), and the rest was history. Since then the artist’s image has gradually evolved and she has managed to keep the attention of the public as we all watched in fascination, as she transformed into the Good Girl Gone Bad (2007) with singles like Umbrella and not long after officially established her status as a sex symbol with songs like We Found Love from her album Talk That Talk. Today the artist is a proud recipient of 9 Grammy Awards , 12 Billboard Music Awards, 6 Guinness World Record and many others, and is the owner of billion dollar fashion operations like Fenty Beauty & Savage X Fenty. 

All of this journey and much more is set to be documented with intimate moments from her life and creative journey in the artist’s first visual autobiography published by Austrian publisher Phaidon Press. With 504 pages and over 1,000 images that include shots from her childhood in Barbados, to intimate family moments, iconic fashion moments and worldwide tours, the 15 pound book portrays the artist as the musician, performer, designer and entrepreneur we know and love. 

“I am so excited to share this collection of incredible images. I’m very grateful to the talented photographers and artists who contributed. We’ve been working on the book for over five years and I’m really happy to be able to finally share it with everybody,” commented Rihanna. 

The book will officially be released on October 24th, and will also be available in three luxury editions as a collaboration with artists The Haas Brothers: “This Sh*t Heavy” that will include a custom designed bookstand inspired by Rihanna’s hands; The Luxury Supreme Edition (already sold out) that has been signed by Rihanna, includes a special matte black book cover and a specially designed 18-carat gold coloured bookstand; and The Ultra Luxury Supreme edition (already sold out) includes the special matte black cover and a custom marble bookstand.  Secure your copy at TheRihannaBook.com

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“All I Want To Be” by Thomas De Kluyver

19.05.2019 | Art , Beauty , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover Image: Shibuya by Harley Weir

During the past few days make up artist Thomas De Kluyver has partnered with photographers Harley Weir, Fumiko Imano, Shama Osborne, Lea Colombo among others for the release of an IDEA book entitled All I Want To Be. The book, launched at Dover Street Market last week features exclusive work created by de Kluyver and his team of creatives as they explore themes of gender identity, politics, representation and individual expression in beauty and fashion. ”I want people to have fun with make-up and experiment with their identity,” he explains. 

Throughout the book, the 150 pages are brought to life by the colourful images of these talented creatives which are introduced with a beautiful poem by Wilson Oryema on the fluidity of identity.

“It talks about how our identities are never fixed, or set, and how important it is to be able to express ourselves the way we want to. Our starting point for All I Want To Be was making sure we captured the people that feature in it somewhere they felt safe. So many of the images are shot in bedrooms, bathrooms… The kind of places we’re able to shut the door and experiment with who we are freely and without any judgement,” explains the photographer.
The book concludes with photographer Harley Weir’s chapter which features a cast of full body painted subjects. Given the themes of the book, the photographer will also be donating a share of the proceeds to gender non conformity charity Mermaids UK.

“The world of fashion and beauty has a long history of challenging gender norms but more needs to be done to represent the beauty within all of us, regardless of our gender. We hope Thomas will continue to be a powerful force in gender acceptance in an industry that shapes the way our society understands power and beauty” said Susie Green Mermaids UK CEO. Thomas De Kluyver’s All I Want To Be is currently on shelves at Dover Street Market London.

inner/ outer / self by Oliver Hadlee Pearch
Awake by Lea Colombo

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TO READ: “It’s Not About The Burqa” – As told by an Ingenious Collective of Muslim Women

18.03.2019 | Blog , Literature | BY:

During a time where Islamophobia and Xenophobia are still currently on the rise,  “It’s Not About The Burqa” conceived and edited by writer and activist Mariam Khan is an essential hardcover offering insightful unique perspectives from inside the Muslim community. Published by Pan Macmillan earlier this year, the book features an anthology of 17 informative essays from 17 of Britain’s Muslim female youth brought together by Khan as they reflect on their stories of oppression, the lazy stereotyping, misogyny and islamophobia. 

Mariam’s concept for the book was triggered when she first came across a report about a leaked conversation had by British Prime Minister David Cameron and one of his officials where he expressed his views of the “traditional submissiveness” of Muslim women being a key problem in the fight against Islamic extremism. Mariam soon grew tired of conversations like this being had about the definitions and needs of Muslim women by parties that were neither female or muslim. 

From this, the idea was conceived to unite the voices of these women with different stories ranging from funny , to warm, to sad and angry, as they discuss freely the hijab, the wavering faith, love and divorce, feminism, queer identity, sex etc.  “I wanted a book that let Muslim women speak on their own terms, without being spoken over, about whatever they wanted and for that not to have to go through a white filter. We had to have a platform of all sorts of voices, and represent the vast experiences. I couldn’t edit the book thinking, ‘I don’t agree with that,”said Khan.

The book counteracts the media’s distorted definition of a Muslim woman being “all about the burqa” and gives insight to what it’s truly like. Mariam’s chapter titled “Feminism Needs To Die” discusses her experience as a feminist as she came to the realization that mainstream “white” feminism did not have room or wasn’t interested in accommodating the choices she makes in regards to her faith. Each essay, with titles like The First Feminist (Sufiya Ahmed) , Immodesty is the Best Policy (Coco Khan) , Hijabi [R]evolution (Afshan D’Souza-Lodhi) and Not Just A Black Muslim (Raifa Rafiq), presents a unique testimony from a few of the only voices we should be listening to about the journey of what it’s like to be a Muslim woman in 2019. To get your copy visit INATB.

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Jane Dickson in Times Square

15.11.2018 | Blog , Literature | BY:

American author Chris Kraus,  culture critic Carlo McCormick and visual artist Fab 5 Freddy have all recently joined forces on the embarkment of a new hardcover creation titled Jane Dickson in Times Square.  The book tells a tale of the artistic, seedy and criminalistic night-time world of Manhattan in the 70’s and early 80’s through the eyes of renowned painter Jane Dickson. As a distinct creative voice of this period, Dickson has made her marks within the legacies of downtown art, punk rock and hip hop through her involvement with the Colab art collective which included her work in iconic exhibitions such as The Real Estate Show (1980) and Times Square Show (1980). Throughout this all,  the artist has lived her success from her apartment of 43rd street while raising two children in a time where the neighbourhood experienced it’s most crime-infested period. Through her journey, the artist has photographed, drawn and painted scenes of life in Times Square. In this book, many of these art works are reproduced for the first time along with candid shots, sketches and paintings.  The book tells the visual tale of a wild, manic, beautiful New York City with a foreword by Chris Kraus, afterword by Fab 5 Freddy and an interview by Carlo McCormick. This is the first first time Dickson has chosen to place her personal speech alongside her finished work as unfiltered personal memories.  “I was a flâneur, documenting this crazy scene: A painter, using the camera to take notes, trying to get some grip on what the hell was going on.. One of my main goals is to leave a record of how the world looked and felt, in this place, at this time, to this woman. The female gaze is not disembodied — it is very much embodied and grounded within the fame form and experience, here in my experience.” The book, published by Anthology Editions, is now on shelves in select stores in the US, UK and Australia, for more information on where and how to purchase, check out the official site. 

Imagery courtesy Jane Dickson In Times Square
Imagery courtesy of Jane Dickson In Times Square

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Twin Issue XVII

29.12.2017 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

For fall, Issue 17 took a closer look at the expectations and realities of self-reflection. We met the young, African artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami on the eve of her inaugural solo show, and discussed shedding the weight of self-doubt in order to soar. Elsewhere, sisters Nancy and Lotte Andersen discussed their shared childhood and creative pursuits, while actress Joanne Froggatt questioned the limitations facing woman who dare to age on screen. Patrick Demarchelier took us behind the scenes at the Musée du Louvre exclusively for Louis Vuitton, before we embarked on a Californian road trip with Chanel. Meanwhile, as Browns East — the latest bricks and mortar retail innovation to hit London — opened, we discussed the vital fostering of raw talent with Browns CEO Holli Rogers and Farfetch’s Chief Consultant of Augmented Retail Susanne Tide-Frater. Speaking of raw talent, musician Cosima revealed her most uncomfortable self under the lens of Francesca Allen, while model and artist Larissa Hofmann turned the camera on herself for a self portrait redux. Here’s looking at you, kid.

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Nathaniel Goldberg, 1999. Christian Dior Haute Couture par John Galliano, automne-hiver 1999

Dior: New Looks

14.12.2015 | Blog | BY:

If there’s one thing we’ll never tire of, it’s a great coffee table tome. And the latest offering from fashion journalist and fashion photography specialist Jérôme Gautier – Dior: New Looks – is the perfect kind of thing to lose yourself in on a wintry Sunday afternoon.

Since 1947, when Christian Dior first showcased the irreversibly influential ‘new look’, the house of Dior has been at the forefront of revolutionary design prowess, and this book chronicles some of the most beautiful moments of that time-spanning journey, resulting in a satisfyingly dense catalogue of breathtaking couture and iconic imagery.

Model in Christian Dior Accessories Smoking

Woman modeling black velvet visor with rhinestone pin and satin scarf, both by Dior, 1952. Image by © Condé Nast Archive/Corbis

From Irving Penn to Peter Lindbergh, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton, Willy Vanderperre, Mario Testino and Patrick Demarchelier to name but a few – the list of revered photographers with work nestled between these pages is endless.

Given the recently announced departure of the brilliant Raf Simons from the house, this book comes at the ideal time. It is a chance to marvel at all that has come before, and appreciate the sheer amount of history that the new artistic director will have to shoulder in the future.

Peter Lindbergh, 2012; Christian Dior Haute Couture par Raf Simons, automne-hiver 2012

Peter Lindbergh, 2012; Christian Dior Haute Couture by Raf Simons, AW12

Dior: New Looks by Jérôme Gautier (Thames & Hudson) is out now.

dior.com

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hi you are beautiful how are you

16.10.2014 | Art , Fashion | BY:

hi you are are beautiful how are you is the product of a two year relationship between photographer Valerie Phillips and Swedish artist/model Arvida Byström.

The pair was initially introduced by a mutual friend who predicted the creative collaboration that followed; Phillips and Byström first met on Skype before eventually working on 3 zines together.

As a photographer, Phillips likes to observe her subjects in their natural environment, living the lives they lead. hi you are beautiful how are you does exactly that, with Byström as the focus. She becomes all the more intriguing because of her eccentric lifestyle and fashion choices.

The result of this quirky friendship is a narrative portrait of a young feminist, questioning modern ideas of beauty and demeanour.

valeriephillips.com

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PLANTS — Polly Brown

21.07.2014 | Culture | BY:

After two years of tireless hunting, London-based artist Polly Brown is releasing PLANTS. The new photographic monograph gives us a glimspe into the homes of the world’s most iconic brands, starting with their office foliage.

PLANTS is a casebound 120-page volume that celebrates nature, even in the most man-made of environments. According to Brown, “Pot(ted) plants are natural yet cultivated, a hybrid of our existence, at one in nature and yet outside it. I was interested in how the isolated desk plant became a totem to our biophilic desires. In every corporate head office and manmade workplace, a reminder of our own innate connection to the natural. VIVIENNE WESTWOOD becomes a splayed palm; GOOGLE a tidy shop bought orchid; the BBC a twisted stalked rubber plant. In their humble way, these plants seemed to contain a great expansiveness, an imaginative weight contrary to their immediate simplicity.”

Designed and edited by Brooklyn based independent publisher PAU WAU PUBLICATIONS, PLANTS features a foreword from THE EDEN PROJECT founder Sir Tim Smit. Expect an insight into Vogue,
 The New Yorker, Celine,
 Google,
 Paul Smith, Disney, Microsoft,
 The Wall Street Journal, BBC, Playboy, 
Acne,
 Moët
 and many more. Buy a copy at pauwau.bigcartel.com

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Wild Girls

13.04.2012 | Art , Blog | BY:

In 2009 Cass Bird took a group into the forest with the intention of taking femininity back to its basics and stripping away the gender stereotypes.

Casting friends as well as queer women scouted on the streets of New York, her book Rewilding represents Bird’s attempt to go native. The results are androgynous scenes among Tennessee’s lush forests, which take the gender soaked tutu and make it climb a tree.

“I’m trying to play and celebrate life,” says Bird. “To create a space where people can physically express and take risks.”

Rewilding is available at cassbird.com

 

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Acceptable in the Eighties

23.03.2011 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Claude Montana’s signature silhouette defined the age of excess. His was a New Look for the Eighties and Montana’s glamazons wore cinched-in waists, topped off by razor-sharp shoulders. It was a universe of bold colour, luxe leathers and power tailoring, where Montana reigned supreme. However the Nineties embrace of minimalism saw his vision without an audience, and in 1997 he filed for bankruptcy.

While the designer now lives quietly in Spain, his name retains its ability to evoke a decade of design. The Montana legacy has been compressed into a new book, written by the designer himself with the help of fashion journalist Marielle Cro.

Claude Montana looks at the principles and practices that underpinned his world. Punctuated throughout by catwalk images, sketches and tributes from former collaborators, including photographer Paolo Roversi, embroiderer François Lesage and fellow designer Alain Mikli.

With rumours that Montana could be lured back to designing under the right circumstances, we can only hope the book is less a eulogy, than the prelude to a restoration.

Claude Montana: Fashion Radical is available from Thames & Hudson,
thamesandhudson.com

Images courtesy of Guy Marineau and Paolo Roversi.

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Black-Market Records

02.09.2010 | Art , Culture | BY:

‘Contraband’ is an extraordinary series of works by New York photographer Taryn Simon. Compiled over  five days, the book documents over 1,000 items that have been seized by customs at John F Kennedy International Airport. It’s amazing what people will try to get away with carrying or sending – the objects in question range from an African cane rat infested with maggots, to a South American pig head, counterfeit American Express traveller’s Cheques, gold dust and heroin. Often it’s the way that the banned objects have been concealed that is the most intriguing of all.

The book reveals the dark brass tracks of America and the contradictions of a system that we often try to forget. Each of Simon’s photographs is composed with forensic care. They are like a scientific record which leaves no room for ambiguity. Yet the personal nature and the geometry of the objects themselves means they are often cast in a seductive and haunting light. The result is perfectly lluminating – humanising even the most forbidden fruit.

‘Contraband’ by Taryn Simon is published by Steidl this month (steidlville.com), and an exhibition will also open at Lever House, New York on September 30 and run until December 31, 2010 (gagosian.com).

Words by Zoe Limberis

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Art house

24.11.2009 | Art , Blog , Culture , Twin Life | BY:

Twin’s art editor Francesca Gavin has been busy working alongside artist Jonathan Yeo co-curating a permanent collection of artworks for the Dean Street Townhouse, the latest addition to the Soho House Group, which opens tomorrow.

In the style of Colmbe D’Or artists Tracey Emin, Sam Griffin, Fiona Banner, Tim Noble and Gavin Turk – to name just a few – were all given credit at the hotel, which was once the notorious Gargoyle Club, in exchange for their artworks. So visitors know they will certainly be in good cultural company.

www.deanstreettownhouse.com

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Want One

23.11.2009 | Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

This beautiful book – Fashion Etcetera by Sam Haskins – is top of our cultural wish-lists. We spotted this Tommy Hilfiger edition in Colette this weekend and quite frankly we need it in our lives.

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€75.00 Available from Colette

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Big pimpin

18.11.2009 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

The super style of the ‘Gentlemen of Bacongo’ is celebrated this month with a brief but brilliant exhibition. Photographer Daniele Tamagni’s images provide a fascinating insight into the vibrant street style of ‘The Sapeurs’ – the immaculately dressed dandies from the heart of the Congo. As King Kester Emenya, the Congolese musician says, “The white man may have invented clothes but we turned it into an art”. Apparently, Sir Paul Smith, who prefaced the original book based his spring collection on the images. Nuff said.

From 27th – 29th November, London Newcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, London E2 7DP.
www.trolleybooks.com

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