LIMBO Magazine – A Lockdown Cultural Time Capsule

13.07.2020 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

This week a new zine model entitled LIMBO made its debut which was created out of a lack of government support for the arts and creative industries during these difficult times. The LIMBO model , launched by publisher Nick Chapin (Frieze, Vice) is a community drive model with the aim of supporting out-of-work creative minds. The first issue edited by Francesca Gavin, Art Editor for Twin, Kaleidoscope, Dazed & NTS, with creative direction by David Lane of The Gourmand, features a myriad of almost 100 artists including Wolfgang Tillmans, Peaches, Collier Schorr, Tyler Mitchell, Brain Dead, Paul Noble , Georgina Johnson , Carol Bove, Honey Dijon among others who have contributed their art, ideas and humour born out of the global lockdown.

The zine is seen as somewhat of a time capsule , offering creative insight, hope , humour and vision during a time where everything seems so unsure. The publication is a 176 page book that recalls DIY magazines with a method of patchwork , created with expressive work with lo-fi techniques. The magazine also offers a non-traditional approach to publishing as all profits from advertising and issue sales will be distributed directly to the contributors and the staff who need it most. Some of whom have opted to waive their fees and agreed to allow their portions of the profits to be donated to those in need like Vivienne Westwood, Wolfgang Tillmans, Tyler Mitchell and others.  

The book is now available for purchase online limbomagazine.com 

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Twin Talks: The Versace Baroness by Sarah Baker

05.02.2020 | Art , Blog , Fashion , Literature | BY:

Multimedia artist, entrepreneur and founder of Baroness Magazine Sarah Baker recently teamed up with iconic Italian designer Donatella Versace as guest editor for the second instalment of the magazine. In a photographic storybook shot and curated by Sarah Baker, art directed by Stephen Male and styled with Versace’s collection, the artist tells a tale of glamorous yet tumultuous affairs among five characters as the dominantly females cast is tasked to work together in order to successively overcome blackmail & deceit. The scenery is set by Decor from the Versace Home collection and even served as the brand’s holiday campaign.

Twin sat down with the artist Sarah Baker to discuss inspiration and her process of realizing the issue.

What was the experience like working Donatella Versace as guest editor for BARONESS issue NO.2 ? 

Working with Donatella was amazing. I have admired her for a long time as a business woman and creative director and she has inspired my artwork for many years. Her team is superb and they have been carefully chosen by Donatella to filter the first round of decisions. When Donatella reviewed our progress, she had a fresh perspective on all the options, and I really admired her bold decisions. As an artist, it is a dream to work with an editor who is open to a lot of very outrageous ideas and willing to experiment and take risks.

You opted to go in the untraditional direction by creating a saga around female collaboration as opposed to female rivalry, what inspired this?

I think it’s about time female collaboration is not seen as groundbreaking. We were interested in reinterpreting the character of The Bitch (the title of a Jackie Collins novel that inspired Alexis Carrington). Interestingly, Collins also wrote Lucky, perhaps her most famous character, who is sexy, sassy, brilliant, and in-control. This really personifies the Versace woman, and the strong traits of our lead characters Angelina and the Baroness resonated with Donatella. My work has been about looking at how women are represented in popular media and how a woman might represent herself. As an artist, I am interested in shifting the narrative away from woman as seen from a man’s perspective, to a woman who is very much in control of her own image, and temper, and therefore abandoning Dynasty-style cat fights. Regarding my personal inspiration for female collaboration, I was also thinking about my own very close group of girlfriends—we have supported one another since early childhood.

What was your favourite aspect of the process while fabricating this issue? 

I really enjoyed solving problems with the structure of the narrative. The plot shifted so much from the very beginning, and every time a character was removed or dialogue altered, it had a ripple effect over the whole story. We started with twelve characters and twelve chapters, and due to the reality of shooting schedules and time constraints, we needed to alter the story quite a lot. It was extremely challenging to keep the story alive while maintaining logical conclusions. This problem kept me extremely excited and maybe in the end it was never fully solved, but that contributed to the ridiculousness of the narrative, which made it a little bit more funny. It was reminiscent of the TV show Soap, which is often a point of reference for my work, where the farcical narrative explodes into embellished dialogue. It is true to many fictitious dramas—most Noel Coward plays have the absurd built in—but sometimes life can actually be like that too. Or maybe it’s just my life!

Is there anything you want your viewers to take away or feel from this series? 

Humor is really important. That is another thing that was really great about working with Donatella: she has a great sense of humor. Especially at this current time when it seems like the world might blow up—politically, ecologically. It can feel very overwhelming. I personally find laughter more important than ever right now.

Do you have ideas or clues you can give on what may be in store for the next BARONESS issue? 

Something fabulously sexy and witty, like everything published by Baron and Baroness.

Where can one purchase the book ?

The Baroness is available online at baronmagazine.com.

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A Chat with 032C Creative Director Maria Koch amidst the launch of Buffalo London by 032C at Browns East

06.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

032c is more than just a magazine, it’s an entire solar system, and the constellation of projects that make 032c so special revolve around Joerg and Maria Koch. The husband and wife team are Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director respectively, and alongside Fashion Director Marc Goehring are the living, breathing embodiment of the 032c sensibility. A magazine that eschews the zeitgeist and charges directly at its own interests, 032c manages to be both genuinely counter-cultural and also extremely current. Their latest issues features both a Kristen Stewart fanzine and a call-to-arms in praise of solidarity from German sociologist Heinz Bude, a characteristically surprising and delicious mixture.

Alongside their bi-annual print publication, 032c also mount exhibitions, run large-scale events, co-own the ultra-cool 24hr REFERENCE festival, and consult with any number of big-name brands. Each member of the team also takes on a myriad of projects individually, and its hard to imagine how they find enough time and energy to fit it all in. In some ways it all seems to work because of the real sense they give off of truly practicing what they preach – somehow Maria and Joerg embody the ethos of the 032c workshop without ever feeling self-important or cliched. Every decision they make and each idea they bring to life feels like a natural and organic progression from the one before, adding to the dense and rich world they have created. 

032c have dabbled in apparel for a long time, ever since they started noticing that fans were bootlegging their own merch featuring the iconic logo (the name 032c is the pantone reference for the virulent red of the magazine’s cover). In the early days they simply put out small drops of tees and other basic pieces, produced in black or white with a bold logo as the only adornment. Unsurprisingly collaborations soon followed with everyone from Stüssy to Sade, to more recent hyped launches like their limited-edition adidas GSG-9 boot. The 032c brand alone is enough to shift a huge number of units, never mind the fact that the pieces they collaborate on have always exemplified their innate style, and intuitive understanding of what their audience wants.

A fully-fledged 032c Workshop Ready-to-Wear line launched at Pitti Uomo in early 2018, followed by a London showcase last November entitled COSMIC WORKSHOP, which saw the launch of their first ever womenswear pieces. Maria oversees the RTW arm of 032c, drawing on her experience working with brands like Jil Sander and Marios Schwab to lead a team of around 20 that includes patter-makers who are also experts in craftsmanship. Having worked on unisex pieces before AW19, Maria felt like womenswear was the natural progression of their ever-expanding output. 

Alongside the womenswear, a special collaboration with fellow German style icons Buffalo Boots was also previewed at the COSMIC WORKSHOP presentation. The collaboration sees the iconic Buffalo platform integrated with “archetypal elements of classic luxury footwear”. For one style the weighty buffalo sole elevates a riding-inspired jodhpur boot, complete with leather uppers and traditional fastenings. Another look sees thigh-highs that reference fetish and club-wear realised in the materials of heritage leather labels. According to the brand statement: “It’s streetwear on steroids meets old world craftsmanship, because more is more, contradiction is beautiful, and we didn’t grow up to leave our youth behind.” 

Today this collaboration launches alongside an exclusive capsule of the COSMIC WORKSHOP womenswear with a special installation and event at Browns East. The RTW collection hangs above a floor-level vitrine in which the boots are encased, almost like relics in an archaeological site. Translucent white plastic curtains hang in bands around the space, making it feel like the inner sanctum of the kind of Berlin club you would never make it in to. After a preview of the installation and the pieces, we sat down with Maria at Browns Eeast yesterday to talk about the collection and the collaboration.

Maria is full of energy and an un-sentimental kind of nostalgia when she talks about how the Buffalo project came about. “It really felt very natural […] because when I was in my teenage days I was like a rave kid, like a classic Berlin hardcore rave kid, and everybody would wear Buffalos and my parents never, ever would support that ugly shoe, so it wasn’t possible! But at the same time I was very much in to dressage riding, and so somehow this is actually really these two worlds of my teenager times.” Maria herself is wearing the short jodhpur boot and is clearly delighted with the end product, which she manages to make look at once very tough and very elegant. In person the shoes very much embody the contemporary mood, where cross-pollination of subcultures is becoming the norm. Yesterday’s Horse Girl is today’s Party Girl.

Elaborating more on the idea of the Browns East installation as a club space she notes the parallel design elements like the hanging plastic and flashing lights, which mirror the AW19 Cosmic Workshop presentation. “I really always liked this club-feel where you get lost and have a warm feeling and at the same time an idea of melancholia. You know this is a very, very interesting feeling, and we tried to achieve this a little bit downstairs [in Browns].” This carries through to the fabrication of the clothes and boots – when asked about their almost protective feel, she counters: “You know, I feel at the same time they’re very, I think, tender and soft and translucent. Or like, transparent you could say. And then yes you have the strong leather pieces, so there’s really this mixture, it’s really this club vibe.” This emotive approach to the design process is highly captivating, and speaks to the sense that everything 032c creates lives inside a very real world. The person who will actually wear these pieces, and how and where thy will wear them, has been truly understood and catered for.

Emotional connections aside Maria is pragmatic as well as creative, and that is what makes the whole enterprise so viable. She understands that you can create art as a fashion designer, but, “to describe fashion as art is a weird scenario because it’s produced, it’s produced to fulfil this certain product requirement, and to sustain in a commercial market, and this is not where art is coming from.” The workshop and the rest of the team clearly think carefully about how they approach their projects; how to make them thrive in a truly practical sense that still retains the artistic vision. 032c describes itself as a ‘Manual for Freedom, Research and Creativity’ and this triad ethos is as much a part of the RTW as it is the magazine, “this magazine is really like a huge research lab […] when I have the freedom and the proper research, [creativity] is then somehow the outcome.” This is the wholistic approach to everything they create; the editorial, fashion, research and consultancy teams all co-exist in the same space. The end-product for each team has been adapted through exposure to the others, and this results in something robust and sustainable. Commerce is not the only end-goal, but its key role is acknowledged.

In a pressurised industry undergoing a huge amount of change, working from this three-pronged foundation seems to be key to keeping 032c ahead of the curve. When asked about how the RTW collection will develop Maria is very candid about how they are grappling with the traditional seasonal model. “This is the big question […] I’m not really interested in the full collections, I feel, maybe the stores will tell you this, first of all it’s boring and it’s not really sustainable to do a 120-piece collection that nobody needs. And we felt it’s good to have strong, a very strong classic collection every half a year and then do what we do with the apparel as well, some drops.” Maria wants these collections to be not just desirable but also necessary, and wanted, and it’s a savvy way to keep them from ever feeling superfluous to the other 032c outputs. She is insistent that conversations with Browns and their other retail partners are a vital part of their process, allowing them to be flexible and reactive to practical elements like budget changes as well as her own inspiration. Putting the time in to researching what the market needs leaves more freedom to create, outside of the rigors of showing and selling on-schedule in an endless loop.

Crucially though, all of this careful consideration allows her to sustain her motivation in the face of the punishing fashion calendar. “This newness, makes me somehow not sad, but a little bit, it feels heavy. I don’t think wow the new collections I feel, phew!” – everyone is exhausted right? – “Yes! But I’m not at all exhausted from fashion, I’m exhausted by the rhythm, and by what it is now. So, I feel, we’re in to just figuring out what the answer should be to that.” If anyone is capable of figuring out the answer to the big questions, it seems more than likely that it’s Maria and the rest of the 032c team.

As we say goodbye Maria reveals yet another undertaking, as if all of this wasn’t enough for one woman. She and Joerg have recently moved out of the much-envied brutalist church they rented for years and bought a place of their own for the first time. With the new house comes a garden. “I really started to study what these plants want from me”, she ponders, “what do I have to do to make them happy?!” It’s comforting to think of this incredibly prolific woman taking the time to ponder the needs of her vegetable patch, even after all the demands that her work must place on her. Something so grounding and elemental seems like exactly the right tonic to working in a world driven by ideas and innovation. “It’s very rewarding.”

To shop the collection visit, Browns Fashion.

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Spreading Spreads by Milan-based photographer Piotr Niepsuj

19.07.2019 | Art , Blog | BY:

Milan-based photographer and creative consultant Piotr Niepsuj is best known for his raw portraits of urban scenes. Born in Lodz, Poland, Niepsuj first arrived in Italy to study architecture before working for PIG Magazine, the Italian equivalent of Dazed or ID. It was at PIG that he was first given a camera and sent on assignment to photograph people anywhere from the streets of Milan to music festivals. He now shoots campaigns for brands like Off-white and Perks and Mini who he photographed for issue XX of Twin. 

Most recently, Niepsuj presented a photo magazine called Spreads at Artifact in Spazio Maiocchi in Milan. Spreads features images of Tokyo inspired by Moriyama, which Niepsuj took on a digital camera on his recent trip to the Japanese capital city. Here, we speak with him about his practice and evolution as a photographer, his thoughts on contemporary photography, and his new work Spreads. 

Image by Piotr Niepsuj

What is your first memory working as a photographer?

My first assignment ever. It was an interview and portrait of Jeremy Scott of Moschino. I didn’t even know what I was doing. It was very courageous of the magazine PIG, and it was a very good time for me. I learned everything. I learned about magazines. I learned about photography. A lot of hard work, no money, and good parties. 

How have you evolved as a photographer since then? 

I grew up in a very vice school of photography. You would go with your camera and photograph whatever surrounded you whether it was a party or a festival or a trend on the street. It’s basically what everybody does now, but it’s what anybody from Ryan McGinley to Juergen Teller who’s kind of father of this style was doing when I started. The approach doesn’t really change. I just go with my camera and shoot what I see and what I like. 

I think the world changed more than I did. In the beginning, we photographed parties, trends, and us being young. Then, us being young turned old and boring. It’s also much more difficult to take pictures of people now because of how much more aware we are of being photographed. The naturalness is lost. This changed about the world. 

Image by Piotr Niepsuj

Have you changed cameras? What are you working with – digital or analogue? 

I change cameras from analogue to digital. I shoot a lot with my phone also, because it’s the easiest and the fastest way. I think it’s like the contemporary equivalent of point and shoot. 

When I first started, I used to love analogue. Then, I didn’t approve of it. You realize all of your pictures look the same as the pictures of people twenty or thirty years ago – but they are not as good. When you think about how they’re going to be seen in the future, you wonder why a picture from 2019 has to look like a picture from 1980?

I think the iPhone picture is the picture of 2019, and when someone sees in 2050 a picture from 2019, it’s a bit strange to see it like a fake picture from 25 years before. I became bored, too, with the graininess of it. Then, it became commercial.

When I started working for real and shooting commercially, I realized film is the way not to get crazy. I produce so many images that my hard drives are exploding. Even mentally it’s too much. With digital, you can be shooting all the time – 2000 shots per day. I arrived to the point I understand film again.

Image by Piotr Niepsuj

Why do you like photographing urban scenes?

I studied architecture, so it’s always somehow inside me, this interest in cities and urbanization. Cities are the same everywhere you go, the same elements exist. They’re temporary and permanent. Temporary things eventually stay, and permanent things get old and change. Old and very new always clash, because the old is still functional and still works. It’s a documentation. Cities are like living structures in the end, and urban scenes are like a proof of history filled with layers, evolution, communication, advertisement, stratification, development. 

I always think and hope every time I take an image that it’s not for selling a product, that it will have a value in 20 years. Even if I shoot the backstage of a fashion show for a brand, I always try not to show like a perfect image. It’s always like trying to find the mess, what’s human. 

What is your new work Spreads

P: It’s at Artifact, the store space Kaleidoscope shares with Slam Jam at Spazio Maiocchi. The work is about Tokyo and Moriyama. Last October, I went with some friends to Tokyo. I’ve always wanted to go to Tokyo, and I brought this little point-and-shoot digital camera and just went down the streets and took pictures of everything from little homes in the streets to the trash. There’re thousands of images of this trip. I also went into all the bookstores, looking at old and new books to add to my collection. I found this one about Record Magazine that Moriyama founded. It’s the magazine he made for himself with only his pictures. I was reading this and looking at thousands of his images and realized it’s the same. I want to have my record now. I’m presenting it for the first time. 150+ prints from the magazine and outtakes were also “exhibited” during the launch.

Image by Piotr Niepsuj

Spreads reminds me of your Instagram @spreadingspreads where you post images of photos in books, often two-page spreads. Are the images in conversation with each other or intended to create a dialogue?

Not necessarily, but when there are two images next to each other, you always try to find a dialogue. It’s important to me to think about. Even if you look at the Spreading Spreads Instagram, I very rarely put a spread that is only one image. With spreads, sometimes there’s no conversation. Sometimes, there is. Sometimes, it’s a joke. Sometimes, it’s aesthetically working. That’s the fun of making a magazine or a book. 

Follow Piotr Niepsuj @piotrniepsuj and @spreadingspreads.

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The best of 2017: highlights from 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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Printed Pages From It’s Nice That

31.10.2016 | Blog , Culture | BY:

It’s Nice That has released the latest issue of its print magazine Printed Pages. With a cover shot by photographer Jack Davison, the issue welcomes contributions from 30 international creatives, including illustrator Jean Michel Tixier, graphic designers APFEL and artist Noritake.

Highlights also include a tribute to architect Zaha Hadid, an interview with graphic design legend Milton Glaser, illustrator Jean Jullien, photograph’s from Charlie Kwai and and a gallery of the heroes of Rio 2016 sculpted by Wilfrid Wood.

Since launching in 2007, the folks at It’s Nice That have enjoyed a reputation for championing creativity and putting out beautifully formatted, engaging work. Regulars and newbies to the publication can expect a similar creative standard, with a printed edition that you’ll treasure.

 

Its Nice That_John Morgan 2

Printed Pages is available to buy now. 

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