Red Bull Arts New York presents Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test

20.09.2020 | Art , Blog | BY:

In collaboration with Red Bull Arts New York , Jamaican stylist, designer and artist Akeem Smith is set to present his first solo exhibition entitled “No Gyal Can Test” at the Red Bull Arts New York. Set to open doors on September 24th, the exhibition is a compilation of personal photographs and videos gifted to the artist over the past decade by family members, friends and members of Kingston’s dancehall community, documenting the iconic era.  

“Drawing upon his experience growing up between New York and Jamaica, Smith harmonizes disparate elements from this extensive archival documentation, which chronicles this seminal era from the early 80s through y2k, conjuring a collective memory that otherwise would have only existed on the threshold of the artist’s own. Part poem, part anthropological homage, No Gyal Can Test forms a layered exploration of spectral coloniality, diaspora, and the voyeurism that results from transposing these artefacts across cultural, economic, and temporal divides.”

The exhibit includes work in collaboration with sculptor Jessi Reacves, British fashion designer Grace Wales Bonners and musicians Total Freedom, Physical Therapy, Alex Somers and dancehall icon Bounty Killer. Visit Red Bull Arts for more information on Akeem Smith: No Gyal Can Test. 

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The New Black Vanguard -Photography between Art and Fashion

06.11.2019 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

Cover image: Renell Medrano, Untitled, Harlem 2017

A few weeks ago, NYC based not-for-profit foundation Aperture opened its doors to The New Black Vanguard — an exhibition of photography between art and fashion curated by Antwaun Sargent. 

The New Black Vanguard is a visual  documentary of fifteen artists who works fuse the genres of art and fashion through innovative perspective. It compiles the images of these talents that have recently been on reign in magazines,  ad campaigns & museums across the world , be it New York, London, Johannesburg or Lagos.  Each piece of work opens up conversations from different perspectives around the roles of the black body and black lives as a subject matter, collectively celebrating black creativity in fashion and art.

Not only through the hands of photographers, but stylists, designers and other creatives as well. The exhibition includes selected works from photographers including Campbell Addy, Arielle Bobb-Willis, Micaiah Carter, Tyler Mitchell, Daniel Obasi, Justin French and a few others. It will be open throughout the rest of the year and will come to a close on January 18, 2020. For more information visit Aperture. 

Jamal Nxedlana, Late Leisure, 2019
Campbell Addy, Adut Akech, 2019
Dana Scruggs, , Nyadhour, Elevated, Death Valley, California, 2019

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Jamea Richmond-Edwards presents Prom Night at the Kravets Wehby Gallery

09.10.2019 | Blog | BY:

Cover Image : Fly Whips and Fly Girls, 2019

We all know of the commemorative event that signals towards the end of teen hood as being high school prom night. If we haven’t witnessed it first hand, then we’ve lived vicariously through the likes of films as old as Grease or as recent as High School Musical. But why is it that this event is such a milestone ?  

Later this month, New York based gallery Kravets Wehby will present an exhibition by American artist Jamea Richmond-Edwards that gives interesting insight on the momental event as a ritual for black American teenagers.

 Opening on October 17th , the artist will take her audience on a visual journey of paintings as she explores the question of why prom is such a right-of-passage for Black America.  Each of the artist’s paintings tells a story that hints to the bilateral perspectives surrounding the event. In her piece “Fly Whips and Fly Girls,” she depicts two prom goers posed against their cars ( a photo op. that has become somewhat of a staple on prom night ), implying a sense of autonomy. In another painting, “Seated Girl on Serpent Thrown with Stink Pink Gators,” Richmond-Edwards nods in references to her Southeastern American heritage through the girl’s pink alligator boots. Each painting tells a different story and offers an elevated perspective of the event that has become the norm so much so that we barely even think about it , through the eyes of black America. 

If in New York, this exhibition is not one to miss, and will run until November 16th. For more information , visit Kravets Wehby.

Slow Dance with Big Chief, 2019
The Prettiest Dress, 2019
Seated Girl on Serpent Throne with Stink Pink Gators, 2019

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“The Wahi Series”, – Northern New York City as seen by Kasandra Enid Torres

07.03.2019 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Kasandra Enid Torres is a culture and fashion photographer based in Washington Heights, NYC who has been documenting the soulful inhabitants of her neighbourhood for the past three years. Her series titled “Wahi” — short for Washington Heights —  diaries the vivacious poetic spirits of the busy district in ways which treasure the Old New York City aesthetic with a 21st Century twist. In conversation with the photographer , Twin discusses her inspirations and experiences throughout the process of the project. 

When did you first start shooting in New York? 

I moved to the city at the beginning of 2013 after graduating from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2011. For the first two years I didn’t shoot much, I was constantly working 24/7 and if I had free time I spent it sleeping. I was also on an artist block, I wasn’t sure what to shoot. I came from an art background making abstract photography and films. To get myself unstuck, I started to shoot anything and everything.

What inspired you to start the “Wahi” series? 

Around 2015 I started to shoot regularly. At the time I didn’t have access to models so I decided to shoot outside in my neighbourhood. I am not the most extroverted person and having to go out to make pictures by approaching strangers was daunting to me. It was definitely a challenge. I slowly got more comfortable with it and found my flow. I got my hands on a Hasselblad Superwide C, which is a medium format camera with no viewfinder. It was fun experimenting with it and finding its sweet spot. It is a somewhat big and chrome camera. I liked shooting with it for this series because it attracts attention. It is also a conversation piece, people approach me asking me about it and allow me to take their portrait. 

How do you select your subjects? 

I walk up and down on St Nicholas Ave between 168th and 191st street, keeping myself open for opportunities. I am attracted by really interesting people, how they are dressed, how they walk, their  expressions etc. I also choose things that speak to the culture of the neighbourhood, such as the supermarkets, the crowded bus stops, the chairs, domino tables, and the empanada carts. 

What’s your favourite thing about Washington Heights?

My favorite thing about this neighbourhood is the people. I love being surrounded by other hispanics. Having lived away from my family for the past eight years, I like being reminded of my culture and roots. I like listening to the radio blasting salsa or reggaeton while walking to the supermarket. I like watching the intensity of people playing dominos. I love the sidewalk parties of people chilling on their lawn chairs, drinks in paper bags, puffing from hookahs and grilling up on barbecues.  I love the wafts of food smells, such as pernil, mofongo, empanadas, and asopao. It feels like home. 

What would you like people to take away from viewing this series?

I want these images to give the viewer a look inside this Old New York style neighbourhood. There really aren’t many places like this in the city. Majority of the city has been gentrified and franchised. I want them get an honest raw interpretation of this community.  I want them to be able to see how interesting and cool the neighbourhood is, to feel as if they were there. 

Can we expect to see more projects like this from you in the future?

Yes I will continue to document series like this one. I just wrapped up a series I shot near the Adirondacks in January of a Snowmobile drag race. I shot that one during an insane blizzard! I am also currently shooting a series at busy subway platforms like Times Square, documenting all types of people.

What’s next for you as a photographer? 

I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself. With each new series I try to do something I haven’t done before, be it a camera technique, lighting technique, shooting a specific way or subject matter. 

Where can one view more of your work?

Majority of my work is online. I have work published here on Twin (my Afropunk series), Document Journal, a couple of other indie magazines and my website. My Dependence series is published on issue 7 of Recens Paper, another of my favorite project. In the future, I aim to have a gallery show at a space in the neighbourhood. I want to give back to this community that has given me so much. 

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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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Pink: The History of A Punk, Pretty, Powerful Colour

09.11.2018 | Art , Blog , Fashion | BY:

In celebration of Mark Kay’s 55th anniversary, the American beauty brand has recently teamed up with The Museum at FIT New York to present a special exhibition called Pink: The History of A Punk, Pretty, Powerful Colour. For years the brand has held a strong association to the colour pink, from makeup palettes to pink Cadillacs, and now after 55 years in the business they’ve made this partnership to honour the multifaceted colour in several ways.

“Since our inception in 1963, our brand has inspired and empowered millions of aspiring entrepreneurs across the globe. In that time, Mary Kay has become synonymous with the colour pink, and this exhibition shows the world what we’ve known for years, that pink is a symbol of power passion and purpose,” said Sheryl Adkins-Green, Chief Marketing Officer for Mark Kay. The exhibition features a collection of clothing from present day to pieces which date as far back as the 18th century. It includes looks from designers such as Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Christian Dior, Elsa Schiparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Jeremy Scott for Moschino Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and several others. The exhibition extensively  explores the history behind the colour and also how it has been used in Western Cultures. How for example in Mexico, the colour called Rosa Mexicano is associated with national identity, or in India it is worn by both genders. It also speaks to reason behind the colour’s erotic connotations, and its role in political protest and pop music culture in association to rebellious youth. The exhibit is currently open to the public The Museum at FIT New York , and will run until January 5, 2019. If you’re in town, be sure to catch a glimpse.

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Darling Days, A Memoir by iO Tillett Wright

12.10.2016 | Literature | BY:

iO Tillett Wright has many strings to his bow; the activist, speaker, writer, photographer, host and now author has proven himself to be a creative that not only pushes the boundaries, but well and truly breaks them – rejecting gender norms, and speaking out about it.


Brought up in the vibrancy of eighties downtown New York, Wright was at the intersection of punk, poverty, heroin, and art. His life also featured his creative showgirl, and all round “erratic glamazon” of a mother, Rhonna. It is no surprise then, that Wright’s debut book, Darling Days, A Memoir, is a culmination of the rebellion and love that he was exposed to and felt from an early age. At the heart of the book, it reveals the relationship between this formidable mother and a tearaway kid, sharing the bond they have which was defined by freedom and control, excess and sacrifice.

Recently released with Harper Collins, this debut book has predictably received critical acclaim. Buy your copy

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Afropunk by Kasandra Enid Torres

14.09.2016 | Culture | BY:

For 27-year-old photographer Kasandra Enid Torres, community is at the heart of the arresting and wholly joyous work she produces. Originally from South Florida, by way of Puerto Rico, Torres now resides in New York’s Washington Heights, and regularly shoots the kids in her neighbourhood.

This latest project, the ‘Afropunk Brooklyn’ series, is a collection of special moments brought to life in vivid colour. When Twin caught up with Torres, she described the atmosphere of the festival in which the images were created as “amazing”, with the crowd being “super chill and open”. She continued: “One of the days in the festival there was this DJ mixing some beats and everyone just really got in it. There was this amazing energy of everyone going with the beats and a sense of acceptance and joy. One of the shots is from this moment – it’s of a girl dancing.”

When asked what she believes the project portrays, Torres was thoughtful in her response, “I think it conveys feelings of power, pride and beauty.” And when further questioned about the resulting images, in comparision with her initial expectation of them, she replied: “Somewhat, if anything it showed me more about people.” Take a look for yourself below.






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Dani Miller: ‘Where the freaks at?’

02.09.2016 | Music | BY:

For the latest issue of Twin – issue XIV – we chronicled some of the most exciting female figures in the music industry to be aware of, right now. One of these girls, was 22-year-old Dani Miller, lead singer of the riotous band SURFBORT, who fills our Instagram feeds with infectious mayhem under the guise @alienzarereal. Here, we discover a little more about what makes this brilliant young woman tick.

Where are you from?

What was it like growing up there?
I learned how to chill hard, smoke a ton of weed and dodge beach jocks.

Where do you now live?
Brooklyn, New York.

Why do you like it?
It’s nasty, full of dreamers and magical aliens that constantly are creating and loving each other. The streets are alive and make me feel an electricity that is specific to New York. Also the weather is nice, the blazing heat cooking the rats and puke right onto the sidewalk wakes me up and influences my art in a completely different way than the art I make in the slushie ice queen winters. It really mixes my world up.

Where did you study?
San Francisco, but do not plan on returning anytime soon. I hate that the tech industry has taken over, especially when it so concentrated and sterile. It’s just making everything boring and shitty. You could really say that about a lot of areas. Rich people who don’t understand the arts just pollute the world with ugly establishments and ugly energy. Where are the freaks at?

What did you study?

What did you learn?
I have always been constantly making films and imagining how passing moments would translate onto the screen. but what I learned the most was about gender studies and I discovered I wanted to make experimental films that wake people up and inspire them to create positive change in one’s society/world.

Describe what you do for a living.
I am the lead singer in SURFBORT, I am also a director and set designer and I DJ for my Jarritos™ and pizza budget.

Why did you want to do that?
Singing, screaming and laughing on stage is such good therapy and it gives me a voice in the community. I enjoy bringing friends and people together. One: to have everyone realise they aren’t alone in their suffering and that we can all dance and run around and scream to let our frustrations out together, this is a fucked up world. Two: I enjoy that being in a band lets me publicly address things that matter to me like pollution and exposing the fucked-up government.

Do you think you’ll do it forever?
I will always create forever. I will always sing my poetry and thoughts into the universe.

Did anyone inspire you to do what you’re doing?
Patti Smith and Exene Cervenka, but my loneliness and sadness inspired me the most.


Dani Miller by Ben Rayner for Twin

What are you currently working on?
Just finished recording a 7” with SURFBORT. Have been working on another project where I also sing, called Hippie Vomit Inhaler. I am making a film about a post-apocalyptic New York where the water supply is so toxic it drugs people, and a group of women plan a trip to a “magical milk mother” in the city who will trade holistic healing crystals and potions to counteract the poison coming from the water supply. In return for putrid milk from the last remaining cows in the country,which are located in Brooklyn.

What would you like to work on?
Finding more time to paint in my basement.

Is there anyone you’d love to work with?
Nickelback, Slipknot, Patti Smith.

What are you the most proud of so far?
Doing what makes me happy – which is art – and surrounding myself with magical witches and wizards.

How would your friends describe you?

How do you think a stranger would describe you?
Fucking psychotic angel.

Would you say you have a ‘look’?
My “look” is comfort, things that make me go “hahaha”: ’70s, up tha punx. I basically don’t really give a fuck and I think it is important for any human to look the way that makes them feel electric. I am missing teeth, very hairy everywhere, and love wearing anything that makes me laugh and that’s what makes me feel good. A “feel-good look”!

How important is your image to what you do?
My image is important to my art because being in the public eye coincides with exposing a certain type of freak to the world, and letting other young women who look up to you or identify with the same type of alien I do that it is completely acceptable to be yourself. Shave or don’t shave, be toothless, wear clown clothes. Say R.I.P. to caring or letting toxic media define you.

How important is social media to you? What do you like and dislike about it?
I use it for a joke and to connect to other people and laugh at current events of the day. I also just enjoy seeing my friends paintings especially @chaka_sean. On the @therealsurfbort Instagram I am more political and point out how idiotic many of the current politicians are. The main things I dislike about social media is when people use it in an abusive ways to personally attack or shame each other. I also hate that Instagram over-sexualises women’s bodies and shames them into thinking their bodies don’t belong to them. There are a lot of negative things to say about social media because it can be extremely narcissistic and known to rot brains, but I overall just acknowledge that it is a powerful tool and it usually brings me more smiles and laughs than anything else.

What pisses you off the most?
Donald Trump and violence.

What makes you happy?
My puppy and Mom.

All images by Ben Rayner, exclusively for Twin.

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Stef Mitchell: the bigger picture

01.12.2015 | Art , Culture | BY:

How many times have you looked at a photograph and wanted to know what was happening in the exact moment that it was taken? How the air felt? If the people behind and in front of the lens even knew each other?

This is exactly what we tried to remedy with New York-based photographer, Stef Mitchell. Her absorbing work – which has appeared in places such as i-D and Urban Outfitters – is particularly portrait strong, so we asked her to share a few of her favourite shots, and tell us the story behind them. For Stef – who originally hails from Sydney, Australia – it’s the little things that count: “I just want to make nice pictures that make people react or feel something, even if it’s small.”

Here are a few of her characters.

Frida (main)

“The subject’s name is Frida Gustavsson, she’s in her early twenties and she’s from Sweden. This was taken in Tompkins Square Park right in the middle of the basketball court off ave A and 10th street. I remember it was the longest day of summer and it was hot and started raining as soon as Frida and I met up. I probably ate some M&Ms. I love Frida! We’d met on a few jobs while I was assisting. She’d just had a palm tree that I drew tattooed on her arm and sent me a picture, so we met up and took some pictures. I think afterwards we watched the World Cup and had a beer. I think Frida had just gotten engaged – we chatted about her spending time in LA, midsummer and a short film she was working on. Frida was so easy to shoot because she’s awesome and was totally comfortable for me to shoot while we chatted; it’s my favorite thing to do and it’s kind of rare for someone to be totally OK with letting me do it. I wasn’t really sure what ‘the shot’ was at the time but I think it was the first spot we took pictures in in the park. I love this picture because it’s so simple but people always respond to it. Frida is an amazing model and human and I think that comes through even with no hair, make-up or styling.”




“This was taken in the skate park under the Manhattan Bridge. The weather was pretty perfect that day, mild and sunny. I was on a job and had eaten everything in sight. I was scouting the area in between shots and just looked up and saw this guy. I’d never met him before but had just been chatting to his friend. I asked if I could take a picture, he said ‘OK’ but he didn’t really like doing it. I got two frames in before he skated off. I don’t know anything else about him. I love this picture because even though he was nervous, he just looked dead at me and didn’t try to do anything crazy.”




“This was taken outside my mums place in a suburb called Lane Cove in Sydney, Australia. It was about 7am and a big fog covered the street. My 14-year-old sister Charlotte was getting ready for hockey practice, and I dragged her outside for a photo. This is what she gave me. I’d maybe had some vegemite toast. When I made Charlotte come outside I thought she was very grumpy and turned out to be correct. Charlotte was probably 13 in this picture, and at the time her unique trait was to try and pull a face or flip someone off every time they took her photo. I think we were outside for about five minutes. I love this picture because every time I go home I try and shoot Charlotte on this street. She’s always been one of my favorite subjects and even though I miss so much time with her I like to think I’ll have a good series of pictures of her growing up for when she’s older.”




“This is Julia Hafstrom, she’s in her early twenties, and from Sweden. This was taken under a tree in Tompkins Square Park near the corner of Ave B. The weather was overcast and I definitely ate M&Ms this time. I thought Julia was a bad ass. We’d met before on a few shoots in LA. I think we talked about weird photographers, books and mums. Unique traits: being totally easy, fun and of course incredibly beautiful with the skin of 15th century cherub. I think we shot for half an hour, but again this was the first spot we were in and it ended up being my favourite. I love this picture because without doing anything Julia gave something real to the picture, and that’s my favourite.”

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Ash Kingston

16.09.2015 | Fashion | BY:

20-year-old, London-based photographer Ash Kingston recently went on his first trip to New York, returning with a bounty of photographs that have seen him likened to Juergen Teller and David Bailey. Juxtaposing dynamic pictures of up-and-coming models with snapshots of his time with them, the resulting work speaks of youth, energy and, above all, fun.

Citing Hedi Slimane, Robert Mapplethorp and Twin’s own Matteo Montanari as his main influences, Kingston is entirely self-taught. When his dreams to become a chef didn’t work out, he started shooting using his mother’s camera, photographing friends whose aesthetics appealed to him. Having spent the summer behind the camera, he ended up dropping out of Sixth Form to pursue his new-found passion.

‘I choose subjects because of their personality, particularly if I can have a laugh with them. I try to shoot people I’ve already met. It’s boring but I’d love to shoot Kate Moss – I’d have to meet her first though in case I couldn’t stand her,’ Kingston says.

Working with digital – it’s much more efficient – Kingston prides himself on treating it the same way as the film, taking only a few shots for each look. The perfectionist approach will soon be translated into a book featuring photos from his travels. In the meantime, look out for more images from Ash here on the Twin blog and Instagram. Featured image: photography by Ash Kingston, model is Eve Delf at


Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Flo Kosky at



Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Lottie Hayes at


Photography by Ash Kingston, model is Madi Fog at XX Models.



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Brigitte Lacombe at Phillips New York

02.07.2015 | Art | BY:

Perhaps one of the most hotly anticipated exhibitions of the year opened at the Phillips gallery in New York a few weeks ago: “Complicities”, by Brigitte Lacombe.

Famed for her photojournalistic approach to cinema, this is the first time in her 40-year career that she has exhibited her work in the Big Apple.

Lacombe is best known for her portraits and reportage in both black and white and colour, capturing private moments on set. These include large format prints of Martin Scorsese, Meryl Streep, Dustin Hoffman, Andy Warhol, Leonardo DiCaprio and Kate Moss, amongst others.

The late, great, Richard Avedon used to regard her work with envy – a true compliment indeed.

Adding to the occasion is the opportunity to buy some of Lacombe’s original prints, so get yourself down there before it finishes on 30 July.



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04.06.2015 | Music | BY:

Native New Yorkers Heather Boo and Emma Rose, otherwise known as BEAU, make the kind of harmonised blissfully soaked folk-pop with a modern new wave vibe, that sends you into a state of mellow melancholy, rooted in a fragile musical journey that wallows through their mindset and experiences – at times it’s a bumpy ride, with emotionally charged lyrics that underscore all those tear-inducing woes – “Is there such a thing as Karma? Falling in your life at the wrong time, when you’re sitting alone, an empty pistol with a glass of the wrong wine.”

Who knows what kind of wine is in their glass, but it suits BEAU to let loose. A little drama never hurt anyone did it?

Having worked with photographer Ryan McGinley, French cult magazine Purple and Gia Coppola for an Opening Ceremony campaign, BEAU have now released their self-titled debut EP via tastemaker Parisian label Kitsuné.

Ahead of their upcoming headline London show, we spoke to the multifaceted duo about their New York state of mind, personal heroes and good karma.

How did you both come together to form BEAU?
We started making music when we were 13 years old. From the moment we learned to play guitar, songwriting then followed. By 18 we had written so many songs that we didn’t know what to do with them. Beau was the answer.

What were each of you doing before that?
Emma: I was studying in school to become an ecologist. I’m very passionate about sustainability.

Heather: I was trying to get through High school and all of the drama that came with it. I was always affected by little things.

Your soundscape has been described as 70s folk Americana meets the West Coast– how would you define it?
Children of New York.

And your musical break came through cult Paris-based label Kitsuné – how did they discover you?
We met the co-founder Gildas Loaëc in Paris through our mutual friend André Saraiva. André told Gildas about our iPhone recordings of our songs and Gildas was all ears. The next thing we knew our relationship became deeply involved with Kitsunè. They are like family now.

So you hail from NYC and ‘New Wave New Yorkis a hot topic right now – how do you think the mindset of young creatives there like yourselves, is adapting to the citys changing cultural identity?
The mindset for us at least is that the city’s cultural identity changed a long time ago so all we can do to preserve whatever is left is to continue to be ourselves.

The city obviously influences your vision – what else motivates you to write?
Anything from an empty room to the most beautiful view can inspire us to write. It really only takes our imagination. You can write about anything and nothing at the same time, and then of course there’s the whole wide world at our creative disposal… it goes on and on.

And lyrically, where do you draw your inspiration from?
We are really inspired by Lou Reed and Leonard Cohen for their impeccable writing skills. They always manage to penetrate the psyche with the least amount and most simple of words. It’s about getting a feeling on paper and making sure that whatever you are trying to say is clear. When an emotion enters our minds we use lyrics as a release, it helps express and relieve.

Music is a universal language – do you think a lot about the way other cultures are working when writing songs?
We try to make sure that our lyrics aren’t rude or offensive in any way, but also make a statement and touch people. If we don’t speak about things that matter and affect the people of this earth nobody is going to vibe with the music.

Talking of vibes – one of the tracks on your debut EP is called ‘Karma– do you believe in it?
It’s funny you ask because both our Mother’s study Buddhism and believe in its power, but as for us.. we kind of just think of it in a simplified way. Bad things happen to bad people and good things happen to good people.

But you’re obviously both quite spiritually minded?
Yes we are very spiritual. It’s all about energy.

And with the energy your music gives off, how would you like people to connect with it – what do you want them to take away?
A feeling, any feeling, at the least.

You describe your EP as a mix of songs about love, friendship and never giving up–  whats your life motto?
Be true and you will live a true life.

And do you have personal heroes?
Our Mum, Dad, Einstein, and all the doctors and nurses out there volunteering and saving lives.

So let’s talk about women in music and the latest conversation surrounding the lack of female performers at festivals like Coachella and Glastonbury, in comparison to the guys – whats your take on it?
We think it should be changed and that there should be just as many women performing as men. It should be that way for everything.

And what can female artists like yourselves continue to do to ensure a balanced and positive representation of women in music, so future generations have inspirational role models like we’ve grown up with?
Stand up for our natural born rights, for freedom, for equality and live by these words: LOVE, SUPPORT, GIVE, BE THANKFUL, CARE, BE STRONG.

Now your own profile and fanbase is growing, what about the recognition side – are you ready to be stared at in the street?
It already happens because we’re such weirdos so hey, yeah, why not!

What about social media – you seem to have embraced it and enjoy a good selfie?
An occasional selfie never does any harm. Neither does the occasional post. We probably will never be fully enwrapped in the cyber world but we welcome it.

And your look is a real mix of girlie vintage meets street casual tomboy – tell us about the BEAU wardrobe?
501 Jeans and a faded T-shirt with some suede shoes. Perhaps a leather jacket or a jean jacket and the occasional terracotta silk dress. Trench coats are good too. If we feel eccentric we go super vintage. But it’s all hand-me downs. When a designer gives us a piece we really cherish it and only wear it on special occasions.

So you’re about to play a showcase in London – on a scale of excited to very excited, how excited are you?
We are falling off our chairs, that’s how excited we are!

BEAU the EP is out now via Kitsuné and to win one of 5 pairs of tickets to see the duo play in London on June 8th at The Social, just send your name and email address to The 5 winners will be selected at random and notified.

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Maison Kitsuné opens second US store

16.04.2015 | Fashion | BY:

Quirky fashion and music label Maison Kitsuné continues its infiltration of the US with the opening of its second US store in NYC.

The 700 -square-foot space will occupy 5 Rivington Street on the Lower East Side, which, founders Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki say is the “ideal neighborhood…[because] there’s an independent vibe and a natural convergence of music and fashion here that perfectly reflects the spirit of Maison Kitsuné.”

Offering a more feminine and intimate feel to offset the existing New York flagship, the store is launching several Rivington exclusives which include a grey cotton sweatshirt and t-shirt with the brands signature tricolour patch. They’re limited edition though, so you’d better get in there quick!

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Brianna Lance Q&A

29.09.2014 | Fashion , Music | BY:

I first met Brianna Lance when I went into Reformation to buy a skirt almost five years ago. At the time, every piece was one-of-a-kind and the girls sewed them in the back. The skirt was too big at the waist and Brianna – this beautiful creature – came out to fit the skirt to my exact measurements. Eventually, I was hired at The Reformation (as one of just two girls who worked in the shop) and I worked with them for a year and a half before the company grew into the amazing brand it is now.

Brianna serves as Head Designer and somehow manages to find time to perform with her band Bad Girlfriend. I sat down with her to ask her a few questions about her impressive work in both fashion and music.

Let’s start with the beginning: Where are you from? How did you end up in New York?
I grew up in Dallas, Texas. I moved to New York to go to Parsons for Fashion Design. I just stayed after that. I can’t imagine living anywhere else right now. I’m too spoiled by living here.

Was fashion design always a part of your life? How did you begin?
I was really interested from clothes as a kid, and my parents really encouraged it. They wanted me to do something I was passionate about so from the time I was 14, I think it was pretty set that I was going to go into fashion.

How did your relationship with Reformation start out?
I was friends with the founder Yael before. The company had been around about 6 months before I started. I was doing styling at the time and feeling a little burnt out on it, so she suggested I come work for her. I’ve been with the company five years now. Most of it as Head Designer and very recently as Creative at Large.

Do you feel the brand has changed a lot over time?
It has grown a lot and also become more what we want. It’s a clearer message now. The more we stay true to our interests, design ideas and message, it seems the more people respond to it.

Does it feel like a reflection of whatever you’re inspired by aesthetically at the time?
It feels most like a reflection of a particular message we have. We want women to feel beautiful and like the best version of themselves. We want them to feel like our clothes highlight the best parts of them. That is mostly what we design for: sexy, cool, chic, free spirited women.

If you had to choose one uniform to wear every day for the rest of time, what would it be?
Oh, that’s easy: jeans and a good blouse. Obviously there are a lot of temperature fluctuations that would make that less than ideal. But style-wise, I feel like that is always in fashion. That, or a really good jumpsuit.

Can you tell me a little bit about your band, Bad Girlfriend?
It’s an all-girl four piece that really likes making guitar-heavy music. It is the thing I do in life that gives me the most pleasure: singing and playing guitar. 

Did you always play music?
I played piano when I was young. Then when I moved to New York, I was a tambourine girl in a psych band. I learned to play guitar though about 5 years ago.

If you had to listen to five songs-and five songs only-every day for the rest of time, what would they be?
Tezeta- Mulatu Astatke, Numer One- Bill Moss, Cool Waves- Spiritualized, Sull’aria- Marriage of Figaro, Suzanne- Nina Simone

Is music and fashion a major balancing act for you or is it just life as it should be?
I can’t do just one thing. I have to do a lot of different creative projects to interest myself. Otherwise my brain gets bored. I’m always happiest when I have many different projects going on; it makes me feel the most alive.

Lyla Vander from Bad Girlfriend left, Brianna Lance right.

Photography by Alejandra Sabillon


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Store Focus: Fivestory, New York

31.03.2014 | Fashion | BY:

Fivestory New York is hands down one of the coolest, luxurious retail spaces in New York. In it’s own words, “Part maven; Part luxury retail; Fivestory is a connoisseur’s world of curated art, fashion and design,” well we are sold already. Stocking our favourite brands, from Delfina Delettrez to Anthony Vaccallero this store can be found in the heart of Madison Avenue.

“Our store is for the consumer who has a strong aesthetic and can appreciate the quality and specialness of a product. We are here to enhance, to inspire the creativity and individuality within each consumer; to bring them to a level of appreciation for a curated atmosphere and to stimulate their imagination. To feel the transformation from conventional to exceptional.” Claire Distenfeld, the owner/buyer. Below Twin picks two of our favourite Delfina Delettrez pieces.

Delfina Delettrez Finger Mood Bracelet

Delfina Delettrez Hand Ring

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Ghetto Fabulous – the full version

07.01.2013 | Blog , Twin Video | BY:

Meet the original New York crew whose gothic style is one part fierce, two parts fly.

Photography: Danielle Levitt
Styling: Kathryn Typaldos

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The Art of Fantasy

23.02.2012 | Art , Blog | BY:

Ever since the likes of Salvador Dali and René Magritte began blurring the lines between the worlds of fantasy and reality, the creative arts have had a special relationship with surrealism.

Opening today, the Mythologies exhibition at Rivington Design house, curated by Marlo Kronberg and Christine Bílý, continues to explore this correlation through photography, sculpture and film. Featuring the work of artists Bek Andersen, Wendy Bevan, Stefan Milev, Jordan Sullivan, and Paulina Otylie Surys, the group show aims to explore a muse that exists in this duality of fantasy and reality, ancientness and modernism, masculinity and feminism.

Twin spoke to photographer Paulina Otylie Surys on the eve of the exhibition’s opening about the power of artistic collaborations, her muses and surrealism in the arts…

How would you describe your photography work in a few words?
An expression of the most precious thoughts of a moment. The pursuit of old traditional techniques and a never ending experiment, a quest for perfection in the craft.

How does it feel to be exhibiting in a show of such diverse artistic talent?
When Marlo Kronberg, the curator of the Mythologies exhibition,  approached me,  I really liked the idea of the show. I also admire a lot the other artists who are participating  in the project together with me, I think that their works are great, really powerful. I appreciate any form of great art, all the artists in the exhibition have a similar sublime vibe of reverie. I believe it is going to be a really beautiful event.

The theme of the exhibition is magic realism. What does the term mean to you in regards to your work?
I really enjoy creating surreal and unique situations in my works—merging the world of reality with that of imagination, illusion and hallucination. I have always been a big fan of the Lo Real Maravilloso [meaning marvelous reality in Spanish, the term was first coined by Alejo Carpentier in his 1949 novel The Kingdom Of This World] motif in film, literature and art.

The exhibit also explores the idea of paying tribute to the spirit of the muse in the ancient sense. Who or what is your muse?
I have been exposed to fine literature, films and paintings since I was a child. My mother would take care of these matters, it would always be a very important part of our life, so I was already attending operas and theatre at a young age. Even our home in Poland is filled up with books, we had to transfer the less precious ones to the basement because they literally filled up every inch of free space.

Looking towards the future, what projects do you have lined up?
I am having an exhibition in London around April courtesy of Supperclub London. I will probably exhibit in Greece soon too, as I am doing a collaboration with an amazing artist, Pascale Pollier. I am also shooting for my monographic album which will be launched during PARIS PHOTO in November, where I will be showing my works in a group exhibition, but I will unveil more details about that within the next few months…

Mythologies opens today at Rivington Design House, 129 Rivington St., New York, N.Y. 10002. / / / /

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Mom & Dad

07.11.2011 | Art , Blog | BY:

Terry Richardson’s images are conventionally imbued with a heavy dollop of sex and fun so it is refreshing to see him turn his lens to a more sober topic: that of his parents’ divorce. “My parents split up when I was four. It feels good for me to have them back together again, even if it’s in a gallery and only for a little while. It’s something I’m doing for me and in a way, for them.” -Terry Richardson, 2011

Having launched his two-volume publication MOM DAD at cult Paris store Colette, this month sees the accompanying exhibition head to New York’s Half Gallery.

His father Bob Richardson was a renowned fashion photographer while his mother Annie, currently living in Ojai, California, is a former Copacabana dancer and stylist. Their early divorce is irrelevant in Richardson’s NYC exhibition: hung side by side their portraits, as well as written works relating to his parents, see them reunited. Moving yet funny, in bringing his mom and dad back together Richardson attempts to reconcile not only his parents’ marriage, but his own origins and understanding of self.

Published by Morel Books

From 11th November until 4th December 2011 at Half Gallery, 208 Forsyth Street, New York.

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Milk Made

04.11.2011 | Art , Blog | BY:

Fancy having your photographs exhibited at galleries from New York to Brazil? Today is the last chance to enter Manhattan based Milk Gallery’s emerging talent competition, Milk Underground. Dedicated to pushing open doors for young and unknown photographers, for the second Milk Underground competition, the judges are looking for innovative and progressive images from industry outsiders. All you need are two strong images and your work could be featured in a show at Milk Gallery opening 17th November, before moving to Milk’s sister gallery in Brazil. Get milking.

Past winners – Above Photo: Jason O’Neal.  Top Photo: Khaki Bedford

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