Designing calm – Tekla Fabrics on what the beauty of simplicity feels like.

09.04.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

There is something irrevocably slow on your senses when you look at Tekla. The colours are near chalky in their palette, the cotton looks crinkly fresh, the towels almost smell of warmth.

The Copenhagen based brand founded in 2017, and ever since has laid out a clean, concise and calm vision, the equivalent of the sound of running water in a brook, the sensation of swimming in April in the harbour, of sitting on boardwalks, of lying in sun dappled sheets at 10am on hazy Sunday mornings.

An unsatisfied search for home textiles led founder Charlie Hedlin to commence the creation of a line of functional yet formulaic home textiles that would not forego beauty nor ignore the importance of practicality and sustainability either. Seeing images of bedsheets in Danish homes, it is hard not to connect the founder’s visual aesthetic to his roots – modern but not too avant garde, classic yet not traditionalist. It’s a balance on stable foundations, and the brand’s growth is a perfect reflection of that. 

The campaign imagery alongside also harks back to the bounteous presence of nature for many Danes, treasuring their forests and lakes as much as their boardwalks and harbour swims.

The simplicity of the sheets shots too – with its delicate focus on complementary colours and their gentle companionship – reminds us of Copenhagen loft apartments, with high ceilings, elegant furnishings and warm Spring sun pouring through onto the parquet flooring.

It isn’t often you come across a truly delightful home textiles brand, but in the age of isolation, more and more people are turning their eye inwards to their current surroundings. No more will trims and embellishments reign, but predictions of a softer desire in all of us as vulnerability comes through and the fragility of nations becomes ever clearer.

Keep Tekla close in your night and day: a brand to soothe, to comfort, to remind you of the beauty in small things such as box fresh cotton sheets, and towels to engulf after cold dips in the ocean. 

Why and how did Tekla begin?
 The need for starting Tekla was honestly trickled from my frustration of being extremely difficult to find beautiful, yet affordable home textiles. I’ve moved around so much – Paris, Amsterdam, L.A. and every time I moved I needed to buy new bed sheets or towels. However, there was nothing that made me think ‘This is it’. At some point, it was not about home textiles anymore, but it was about creating something that you buy to wear in your spare time or to sleep in; products that I want to use, that are very functional but in a beautiful way. I started developing the concept and the idea while doing freelance work on the side for the first 8 months. I started it all from my savings, but since we registered significant growth in the first 6 months, and the first bigger order needed to be done prepaid, I decided to take investors on board. 

What is the meaning behind the name?
 I was in a national sailing team when I was a kid and I called all my boats Tekla, so that’s where the name came from. 

Why do you think bedding and bathroom have never been explored before in the same extent Tekla has? 

I have always felt that I could buy any piece of furniture, but the lack of good sustainable and affordable home textiles made me want to create something new and different. I think people these days start realizing the essential roles of things we possess at our homes and their value. Home is your personal safe space, a reflection of who you are as a person. Everywhere you move, you are conscious of being in space that is comfortable. You want to surround yourself with different feelings, emotions, that takes you back to the serenity of childhood. Something you can escape in and I think that will matter more than ever now.
 

What is it about the bedroom that fascinates?
 I always considered my bed a safe space when I was a kid and I still feel that way today— I let go of all the things in my head, what’s going on at work and this and that. Your bed is a carefree-zone. It’s where you’re at your most vulnerable and emotionally exposed.

 

What do you think the creative industry will learn in this time of unprecedented change? 

Ultimately, this could lead to a positive outcome for the planet and its people. Industry- wise, surviving brands will become more adaptable, resilient and attuned to emerging change. People will hopefully slow down, and their regular travel, production and consumption patterns will shift. People’s shopping habits will change and companies would need to adapt accordingly. 

How do you plan to expand, or do you think specialization on key areas of business is key? 

At the moment it is very hard to talk about expansion. Rather than expanding our product line, we want to improve the quality to keep delivering the best possible product on the market. Everything from our packaging to the raw materials that go into every one of our designs, there is a deep respect for craftsmanship, the tactility, and functionality of natural fabrics and materials. We work with a responsible-first approach and try to be as transparent as possible regarding our actions. However, areas remain, where we can still improve, and these are a priority both when we embark on new projects but also in the continuous optimization of our existing setup. These actions will become essential in the upcoming months for brands to position themselves on top of the ladder. 

How do you establish a narrative into the brand?
We do not really plan the narrative beforehand. I think it all comes down to being honest about your product and staying true to yourself, then the narrative shapes itself. Building trust between us and the consumers is the most important thing for us. And it matters now more than ever because when the outbreak eventually ends, consumers will not begin searching for brands they hope they can trust, but rather stay with those who they have already established relationship with. 

Would you call yourself a luxury brand? / What do you think defines luxury?
 Joining together a refined and understated design language with the best of today’s materials for products that will stand the test of times in both quality and appearance. A combination of thoughtful products and quality, that serves a genuine purpose in the world, that is a luxury for me. 

Where do you find inspiration?
 I am getting inspired by spaces and textures. Tekla is about freedom, and to me, functionality is freedom. To live simply and not have too many things, to live in a space with less but better furniture makes it all so relaxed, and adds more quality to your life I think. It’s about creating a room that feels light and warm. This inspiration you can find anywhere, galleries, museums, airports. However, homes that I have always admired are spaces designed by Alvar Aalto, Mies van der Rohe, Axel Vervoort and John Pawson. Even if it’s, some people might say – minimal, I would say it has so much thought into every element in the room that it gives you serenity, that I do not think a lot of other rooms give you. Lately, I have been inspired by the Kanaal project by Axel Vervoort – a cultural and residential complex built near Antwerp, which opened recently after 18 years in the making. 

Follow Tekla at @teklafabrics

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A Deeper Look (Book) : Lacuna

08.08.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Twin takes a deeper dive into the jewellery and RTW brand Lacuna,  based in Paris

An unfilled space; a gap. It feels like a statement definition already, with the designer Annabelle calling her namesake brand Lacuna. While it also happens to be Annabelle’s last name, it seems fitting to look at the meaning from both angles. 

Lacuna is a brand with a grown up elegance but a sensual sensibility, matching Annabelle’s design pedigree within Chloe, Cerruti, Kenzo and now Margiela designing under Galliano the show collections. 

Seeding out these sensual and undoubtably mesmerising images of her first collection entitled ‘Serpent I’, within her jewellery we see beautiful beady eyes resting on a deep reddish gold that wraps over hands, loops under ear, swirls around necks. Beautiful peachy pearls and shimmery little Swarovski baubles drift amongst dark petroleum-black planet pearls.

Introducing the brand via her perfectly executed look book, Lacuna takes a classic introductory format and makes it sexy: she reminds us of the evocative powers of jewellery, of the way it can emphasise, flatter, signal something unsaid. 

Photographed by the German photographer Marlon Rüberg and styled by Annabelle herself, you can see this is a brand Annabelle has planned for a while. Keeping the team intimate is reflected adamantly in the imagery – room for spontaneity and happy accidents, but clearly polished until it reached a standard Annabelle was happy to brand as her own.

This is not to mention the wonderful hand painted concise collection photographed alongside: a rose overlaid on a python in blues, yellows and red. Stiff silks in kimono shapes and slinky slips drip off the model’s frame. 

Lacuna is a cosmic brand: refined but contemporary – the feeling that it is slightly intergalactic with these biomorphic forms floating on gold wires in unfilled space.

We anticipate great things in her future explorations of deep jewellery space. 

What made you begin your brand?

I have lived and worked in Paris as a womenswear designer for the last ten years- at many different houses and for different sort of creative directors. I wanted to continue doing that and at the same time start working on a personal project. I chose fantasy jewellery as it’s a product that is not connected to my daily work but I had always interest in and I’m a collector… I researched for weeks in all kinds of libraries and museums which was amazing to do, I wanted to give it time to grow. I found the best jewellery ateliers in France to work together with as well as an amazing atelier for my hand painted pieces.

Who photographed and styled the look book? 

Marlon Rüberg is a German photographer and director who shot my look book in Milan, where he also lives and works. He is a very good friend of mine who I met when we were both living in London more than ten years ago. He’s very talented, we share the same references and I knew that he could translate exactly what I had in mind and create a lot more to it than I had imagined. I trust him completely. I styled it myself- for my first look book I wanted to keep the team small and intimate. I like to be prepared and we planned out each shot- but I also like to see what happens on set when everything comes together … I like to try out new things spontaneously on the spot and see what happens. 

What was the inspiration behind your first collection? 

I went far back in my memory and landed at one of my first fashion obsessions that I could remember. My mother used to wear very colourful printed, Philippine exotic house dresses or caftans at home, which was very unconventional growing up in German suburbia and she also used to wear very decadent and chic 80s jewellery on special occasions like receptions or cocktails (my dad used to work for the Philippine government).

All the dresses are hand painted and have different kind of techniques on them, the colours are all mixed by hand. Each piece of my jewellery collection is single, the hand pieces as well as the earrings- I wanted a unique look. 

What did you want to explore in your look book imagery? 

I wanted to present my pieces in a sensual but also sculptural way- that’s why I choose the milk bath scene, the model floating on (fake) fur…


What are your enduring interests. 

I’m always looking at new exhibitions of artists, photographers, sculptors, painters, but also vintage books and magazines … I’m interested to see new aesthetics, mediums, point of views and I’m always happy to meet new people who I can learn from and work together with

Why do you think look books are important? 

For me, editorial, video, look books, any sort of image that accompanies a project, is the ultimate visual diary to show the vision of the brand, its world. Every aspect should look considered. For my next project I would like to focus more on the printed version.

Do you think attitudes in fashion are changing?

The only ‘trend’ or attitude I support at the moment and hope will endure is the sustainability and recycling one in terms of how fashion is being made and produced. But in general I think fashion attitudes go cyclical and one movement will always trigger the counter movement.

What do you want your audience to take away from your brand?

I want it to become synonymous for an avant-garde and extravagant look. 

What powers does jewellery hold?

When you buy it for yourself, it’s empowering. As a gift, it can become very memorable- when it’s family jewellery or from your loved one.


What powers does clothing hold? 

It’s empowerment and disguise at the same time. 


What was the last thing that made you excited? 

Coming to a conclusion what my next project will be about! A lot of different ideas have been going through my head, I was with a friend and talked and talked and talked- and it all became clear.

Credits:

Photographer : Marlon Rueberg 

Model : Kasia Jujeczka

MUA: Giulia Cigarini 

Hair : Daniela Magginetti 

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Chopova Lowena x Matches Fashion AW19 Capsule Collection

31.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Global luxury retailer Matches Fashion, has recently partnered with  London-based emerging design talent Chopova Lowena for the launch of an exclusive capsule collection for AW19. Post-graduation from Central Saint Martins, the design duo Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena initially launched their brand in 2018, which eventually took off and gained a cult like following for their interesting and distinctive designs. From traditional Bulgarian fabrics, to wide leather belts, to rock climbing carabiners added as statement pieces. The designers have united with the luxury retailer to offer all that and much more including a few additives such as kilt skirts, wool coats etc. 

 “MatchesFashion.com have been a dream partner and support system to us. Spotting our potential so early on and so carefully guiding us to fine tune our product with such care and a mentoring eye has been vital to our knowledge and our growth. Working with them has changed the way which we think about a woman’s wardrobe and her life,” explained the duo. In celebration of the partnership, Twin went ahead in joining the design duo for a brief Q & A. 

What was the inspiration behind this capsule collection?

This collection was inspired by Albanian Traditional dress and Equestrian Vaulting.

What are the most important things you consider when designing?

We consider first and foremost the combination of our two references and really merging them seamlessly. Also thinking about our customer and her comfort. 

Who would you say is the ideal Chopova Lowena woman?

There is no ideal, we would love if all kinds of women connected with our garments. That’s our ideal.

How would you describe the direction for the capsule’s campaign?

We worked closely with Charlotte Wales, Jamie Reid and Agata Belcen who are all so connected with our vision and we collaboratively decided on the campaign and shooting it on Equestrian Vaulting Team GB2019 in their barn in Warwickshire.

What’s next for you guys?

We are working on our new collection and campaign.

The collection has been launched at 5 Carlos Place and also includes a book in celebration of the brand’s latest campaign.

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Fashion East Fall-Winter 2019

19.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last weekend passed this year’s first Fashion East showcase which featured a list of three intriguing London based emerging designers, in showcase of their Fall Winter 2019 Collections. The non-profit initiative, set up by Lulu Kennedy and Old Truman Brewery to support and nurture emerging British talent celebrates its 18th year of triumph after housing designers such as JW Anderson, Kim Jones and Gareth Pugh; just to name a few.

Central Saint Martins graduate Gareth Wrighton was one of the three talents to showcase. Wrighton presented a 22 look collection in collaboration with stylist Ib Kamara titled “Smooth Criminal.” The collection was inspired by a four month residency the designer previously took in Johannesburg with Kamara and South African photographer Kristin Lee Moolman. It cohesively spoke to the stories of political coups, warring dynasties and feuding families caught in a violent power struggle. The looks included flaming hair, bullet accessorised mini dresses and sweaters with burning forests. The collection in itself was nothing short of a political statement. 

Gareth Wrighton AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Gareth Wrighton AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

In 2017 Designer Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault launched their South London label Charlotte Knowles London after also completing their masters at Central Saint Martins. Designing for a feminine and strong woman, in the AW19 collection, Knowles explores femininity and ready to wear in a way which disrupts traditional boundaries. Boundaries between the vulnerable and the combative, the human and the natural, the intimate and the public and the strange and familiar. The collection featured wool and technically crafted fabrics, made in soft pastel colours from form fitting, to minimal to fluid.  This was the designers’ final showcase with the support of the Fashion East Initiative .

Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

The final collection was that of Chinese CSM trained designer Yuhan Wang whose collection was inspired by traditional Chinese concepts of femininity and their connections to western culture. She explored the lines between beauty and strangeness , softness, delicacy and sensibility. In her second season showcasing for the Fashion East initiative, Wang’s pieces were made in silk satins, lace, velvet and tulle in ripple technique to flounce around the female form. She presented sheath and tea dresses in a 3 Dimensional way where her ruches and other artistically danced around the body. “ I think of it as the push and pull we experience as women. The constant dialogue between our inner and outer worlds,” says wang.  With soft colours of blue, lilac and primrose yellow, the designer pieced together a cohesive collection which told an impactful and interesting story. 

Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

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Fashion East SS19 Showcase

18.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Charlotte Knowles, Yuhan Wang and A Sai Ta were the London based designers chosen to showcase at this year’s Fashion East SS19 showcase.  The non-profit initiative, set up by Lulu Kennedy and Old Truman Brewery to support and nurture emerging British talent celebrates its 18th year of triumph after housing designers such as JW Anderson, Kim Jones and Gareth Pugh; just to name a few.

One of the first talents of this year’s show was the fruit of Central Saint Martins graduates Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault, who launched their brand Charlotte Knowles in 2017. The designer duo presented a collection for a strong, confident and futuristic woman which focused on refined pieces with intricate details. The woman they presented was one who celebrates her femininity as she proudly strut down the runway in, halter neck bikinis, mesh slips and cut-out pieces of bright colours accented with an abundance of straps.

Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, Charlotte Knowles SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

Chinese born designer Yuhan Wang who is also an alumni of the Central Saint Martins womenswear program brought forth a collection which was inspired by asian femininity and its ties to western culture. The SS19 collection was entitled Women Indors. She explored the line between coverage and exposure; delicacy and sensibility as she played peekaboo with techniques of drapery paired with sheer fabrics to create pieces which celebrated the female form in a fun yet sensual manner.

Fashion East, Yuhan Wang SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, Yuhan Wang SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

Designer A SaI Ta who previously launched his label Asai with Fashion East in February 2017 for his SS19 collection, dives into the roots of his British-Chinese-Vietnamese heritage and reinterprets this as a second generation Londoner. Ta uses fabric manipulation and pairs this with his sharp pattern making skills to create a collection with disrupts familiar visual codes by creating sharp intriguing forms of the modern day female silhouette with inspiration from military culture. After graduating from Central Saint Martins the designer gained experience at The Row and was sought after for a position at Kanye West’s Yeezy just a year into completing his MA.

Fashion East, ASAI SS19 | Images by Chris Yates
Fashion East, ASAI SS19 | Images by Chris Yates

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Everything You Need To Know About Topshop’s new face

16.02.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Topshop has announced a totally fresh model to front their SS17 campaign. Her name is Lily Jean Harvey and although she’s new on the scene, you should expect to see a lot more of her in seasons to come. Twin brings you the need-t0-know stats on this model to watch.

Brought up in Newark, just outside Nottingham, Lily Jean was scouted whilst on a swing outside King’s Cross station. She catwalk show was for UNIQUE in September, and while she’s already racked up an impressive wardrobe, she remembers that the piece that sparked her love of the brand was a petite jersey dress with red, white, and blue stripes.

When Lily isn’t in front of the lens, she’s likely to be partying to Drake or watching her favourite film, Shutter Island. Kind of like your average 17 year old. ish.

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Getting to know: Ganor Dominic

15.01.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Ganor Dominic is the shoe world’s new rising star, known for appealing tothose that have a “penchant for the experimental”. Designs include two-way sequin boots and exaggerated gripped brogues, and with the likes of Carine Roitfeld and Lady Gaga already amongst her fans, you can expect to see much more of the designer this year. Twin gets the lowdown.

What is your first memory of footwear?

It was my grandmother’s collection of vintage heels from 60’s. Every time I visited her, me and my sister would go to the shoe drawer and try everything on.

Describe your aesthetic.

Sculptural, minimal with the emphasis on the 3D elements. I also like multifunctional things and try to implement this in my designs by adding removable details or material that changes colour.

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Who do you design for?

What connects all Ganor Dominic customers is passion for avant-garde unusual objects, they love art and what to stand out from the crowd.

Where do you draw your inspiration?

Initially for the debut collection in was classical sculpture. Now I try to develop this theme and experiment with colour.

Do you have a signature style?

Yes, it’s Apollo pumps with 3D printed marble face under the sole.

What is your favourite pair of shoes of all time?

Ganor Dominic Chronos brogues: they come with three removable front panels, so you get 4 different shoes in 1.

 

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JoshReim

LCM: The Next Generation

15.01.2016 | Fashion | BY:

In spite of labels such as Moschino, Belstaff and Dunhill showing at London Collections: Men, the most talked about designers were the new kids on the block. This year saw a formidable collection of talent at the MAN catwalk. Charles Jeffrey, who runs the notorious night Loverboy in London, walked a collection reminiscent of Vivienne Westwood and John Galliano at their prime. Billowy silhouettes, Rauschenberg-esque handbags and vibrant colours which clashed against earthy browns created an overall aesthetic of dishevelled, debauched beautiful young things of the night.

Meanwhile Grace Wales Bonner set the city ablaze with her collection ‘Spirituals’. Her AW16 collection was sensitive yet full of precise cuts and intricate details, from coloured embroidery on denim knees to golden stitching. Her ’70s silhouettes ranged from red tracksuits to soft collared white shirts, and these were complimented by Swarovski adorned chokers. In all, an ethereal, truly soulful and stand out collection.

Designer Alex Mullins made meta play out of clothes, with faces of friends stamped across jackets and tee-shirts. Tailoring was obscure and architectural, with off-kilter cuts and frayed denim edges aligning to create a staunchly energetic collection, with the rhythms of the city at its core.

Outside of the MAN presentation, designer Josh Reim (pictured main) showed his first ever collection at LCM. His was a pagan inspired presentation with personal ancestry at the locus of the designs. Models were placed within a rural tableaux which highlighted the intricacy of the stitching and complimented the muted palette on show. All eyes on this new crop of talent, promising to carry the torch where McQueen & co blazed before them.

Main photography by Dexter Lander.

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