Copenhagen page 6
Berlin page 18
London page 30
Warsaw page 38
Editor’s Letter The idea for Off The Rails actually came about just under a year ago whilst Tessa and I were on holiday. We both knew with our final project we wanted to do something unlike anything we have done throughout the last three years. We wanted to take the risk and experiment with completely new aspects of media and through the project visit places we hadn’t necessarily experienced before. The idea of the project was to demonstrate our journey through new places as we discovered different aspects of the fashion industry. We both enjoy following fashion, it is something we are both interested in, and I think it is fair to say we are definitely much the wiser since our travels around Europe. So it was actually sat on a beach in what seems an age ago now that this whole adventure started. In this magazine you gain an insight into the different aspects of fashion and culture we discovered whilst travelling, seeing a small glimpse into different stages of the fashion industry from each city. We visit Copenhagen and speak to a design student there about what it is like starting out in this sometimes brutal industry, then go on to Berlin were we get to speak to the producer of Starstyling, looking at design at the other end of the scale once you’ve effectively ‘made it’. After this we take a look into the stylising of models in London before visiting the famous 2metres squared of fashion photography exhibition in Warsaw. And on a last note I have to say a huge thanks to everybody that helped with the magazine coming about. Without all the help from the interviewees and other people we met whilst travelling around Europe, Off The Rails simply wouldn’t have happened. Also to the people here in England that have guided us throughout the whole process and reminded us when everything got crazy that we were actually on the right track to completing this one day. Don’t forget to look at the Off The Rails website: www.offtherails.net were you can see the rest of the information about our journey and the four individual episodes from each city we visited! Best Wishes, Ails Stewart
Copenhagen is an extremely up and coming hotspot within the fashion industry, bringing in new Danish designers who are looking at a more alternative, bolder style of designs rather than the simple and plainer designs we have seen demonstrated in the past. This could be seen in this yearâ€™s winter Fashion Week, where we saw a display of more spacey themed styles and designers playing around with bold colour choices rather than sticking to the older, safer styles. It is evident that Danish designs are becoming more and more popular in other cities across Europe because of the designs themselves becoming more and more unique.
Whilst in Copenhagen we got the opportunity to visit the Fashion Academy there, running 2 year courses looking in depth at the process of making clothes. The Fashion Academy takes an extremely technical approach with their teaching, not only ensuring the students gain the knowledge to design clothes but also the technical skills needed to make them. There is a huge emphasis on the technical skills, giving the students the opportunity to go and start their own businesses making and selling their clothes. It also opens them up to a wide variety of other options once they have finished at the academy. They can not only go into designing clothes, but have the option to follow through with this more technical approach to their designing, and are encouraged to do so.
At the fashion academyâ€™s yearly open day we got the opportunity to speak to one of the students, Rebecca Nina Bloch Lajboschitz to get more information about what it is like starting out as a young designer in Copenhagen and learn a little about the learning process that the students undertake at the academy.
“We start the designs with a really basic approach, we get given our themes or our garment guidelines and then work from that. Each time we start making something there is a certain technical criteria we have to match. Therefore, with each new project we get to learn more technical skills. For example, with our current projects the theme was couture houses, so we each had to pick a house that inspired us or that we felt connected to and then design and create our garments from there. With mine I chose Dior to create a vintage Dior feel because I’m really into this new look. I tried to go for a very feminine look, super fun and playful and so I did this vest all red like a cocktail cherry theme. Then to make it more up to date I added this feature with the cape that’s completely circular. It can be buttoned on and off with the clips so that you can change the outfit depending on which style you wanted.”
“The tasks that we get here are very open, meaning we get to sort of choose what theme we want to work around. This project at the moment is quite fixed as we have to base our designs around couture houses but normally we only know what piece of garment we’ll be making and then it’s pretty open from there. Its really difficult to say about inspiration, and what inspires designers because its very different from person to person. I think that I personally get a lot of inspiration from a lot of things. They can be things that I think I see or clothes that I thought somebody was wearing and then they actually didn’t wear that - oh that was an idea - or from people I see walking in the streets, geometric shapes, a designer that you like or from magazines. Inspiration can come from pretty much everything. The way we do it here is that we know what we are going to make, so that already gets your mind going. Then we discuss it with our teacher and she guides us in a certain direction which we take from there. We go on to make mood boards looking at different fabrics we could use, which colours are best for the designs and so on. I think there’s no simple way to explain how the inspiration works because its very different from person to person.”
“I think there’s no simple way to explain how the inspiration works because its very different from person to person.”
Generally with her designs, Rebecca likes to make things that are fashionable but perhaps not in a commercial sense. She prefers to experiment with the space where fashion and personal artistic pleasure meet, which is where she sees herself placed in the creative world. We asked her about her previous works, and what type of style she prefered to design her clothes in. “The first designs with the circular balls was an experiement with how colours, patterns and shapes sort of twist in and out of each other: how these aspects together become a unity. So they no longer function as separate things but they work together to form a whole. The way the pattern works with the strings, the round shape of the balls, the boxy hat and straight a-shaped dress becomes one larger pattern/shape. The second piece is about how the texture of the hair completely takes over the shape of the coat underneath, and the wearer almost becomes a ’creature’ that is also controlled by the hair. When the hair is hanging down flat the wearer looks fierce but as they start to move you can’t help but smile at the colours and the movement. In both projects, and in general, I like working with things that move when you wear it. I call that type of work ’when I move you move.’”
Starst Be r Photography Starstyling, Berlin
tyling rlin Interview with Kai Seifried
Interview with Kai Seifried Photography from Starstyling 19
Fashion in Berlin has always been a big deal. Berlin is one of the most creative cities in Europe, and well known for attracting young designers to the area in the hope of making it big. The streets here are filled with unique designer stores, boutiques and vintage clothing shops. In recent years Berlinâ€™s fashion industry has grown immensely, creating both high competition in the area and an increased love for the fashion to be found here. An area in Berlin specifically known for its fashion is Mitte: the base for most of Berlinâ€™s designers and shops. This is where Starstyling can be found, along the well-known street of Mulackstrasse. Starstyling is a unique clothing line that has now branched out to select stores worldwide, but is originally based in Berlin. We were lucky enough to get an interview with the producer, Kai Seifried, to ask him what Starstyling is all about.
Kai originally trained as a communications specialist, since then working within the art and music world and then finally as the producer of Starstyling. He is in charge of taking care of the production and sales aspects of the business. Kai works alongside Katja Schlegel, whose passion has always lied within clothes. She has dreamed of designing since being a child and now fulfils that dream as the designer of Starstyling.
The brand first came about in 2000 and has not only grown over the years but inspired other likeminded people to follow in its footsteps. Kai describes the clothes as â€œnot just being about fashion, its more than that. It looks more into the trends of the society we live in than the trends within fashion, and through this has developed its very own unique and edgy look.â€? Kai and Katja had been working as stylists when the brand really kicked off, they were getting more and more requests from people wanting to buy the stuff they had created for shootings. Finally, an agent forced them to come up with a name and give him some items for a showroom.
Starstyling developed from there. They continued for three years without working around fixed schedules or collections, but by 2003 they decided to make some changes and from there on in started to make two collections a year. These collections then went on to be shown in showrooms across the globe, displaying their work in Berlin, Paris, New York, Amsterdam, Seoul, Japan, the list goes on. Since then Starstyling has become an internationally known brand.
The clothes tend to go against the strict rules of fashion’s aesthetics, looking at a more bright and colourful style, of which I feel there is no better way to describe than with the name ‘Starstyling’. The clothes almost have a ‘spacey’ feel to them, using vivid, glimmering fabrics to create patterns in all aspects of their lines. The creators are both well rooted within Berlin’s urban scene, something that can be seen through the quirky, fashionable designs they create. It would be fair to say that the clothes from Starstyling are not for the more serious dresser, but I think this is not what Kai and Katja were aiming for anyway. They are designed for a more fun and free style of dressing, somebody who loves to demonstrate their individuality through how they dress, and in designing their clothes this way they have managed to create a completely original and striking look. Starstyling really is a unique brand of clothing, and one that I feel there is a definite place for within today’s fashion industry. There are too many brands these days that worry too much about fitting into the ideas that the rest of the fashion industry has about what they should be designing, but I feel that in this day and age there are so many individuals willing to go out there and wear whatever it is that they want. The more quirky brands have just as important a place within the fashion industry as any other.
“There’s lots of hot graphics, textual gimmicks and striking details.” 27
We spoke to Kai about how Starstyling goes about actually producing the clothes. He speaks about how all the clothes sampling and prints are done within their own studios, with a small team working closely within the same place as the designs. The production is done in a city close to Berlin, tending to avoid outsourcing due to the fact that their techniques are quite special and their quality understanding is high, and as Kai stated “outsourcing often means a loss of this value.” He spoke to us a little about the designing of the clothes as well, Katja’s role within the company, and what the most important part of the designing process was:
“to have a ‘good’ feeling with what you do in that moment – even though this can be very hard work or frustrating at times.”
The shop in Berlin is located along Mulackstrasse due to the non-commercial nature of the street, making it more unique out of all the other locations in Berlin. However, competition in the area is increasing every year and as a consequence more and more boutiques shut down every year in Mitte. We spoke to Kai about this aspect of the industry, and why he feels competition is getting so fierce within Berlin. Kai told us that the competition comes from “the new commercial flow in the Mitte area, the big players want to eat all of it – so lets see what they manage to “eat” in the next few years.” 29
We spoke to fashion stylist Rosa Lewandowski about what it’s like to be a young stylist starting out in London. Everybody knows that the fashion industry can be a difficult one to break in to, but when you successfully manage to, it can be one that transforms your life completely. We managed to get a first hand account of what it can be like breaking into this industry as a fashion stylist. Could you give a bit of background about what it is you do as a stylist in London? I have the great job of styling outfits... By following a theme or creating a theme I put looks together. You can be most creative when styling editorials. Less so on adverts. But there are so many different areas to style. I am currently starting to style music videos, which is amazing. Why did you decide to become a stylist in the first place? I think the endless amount of time I spent in my teen years, spent in front of the mirror putting outfits together was what made me think it would be the right industry for me. I did tons of work experience, contacts are everything! After this I thought, great, lets do this! What shoots have you worked on in the past? Could you describe one or two? The first shoot I’ll talk about which is published in Kaltblut magazine was a colour block editorial. I worked with the photographer Sash Alexander. I wanted this shoot to be about splashes of bold colour, ready to hit into summer. Keeping in trend with the sportswear and colour-blocking trend we used contrasting eye shadow and lipstick to make the clothes pop. What is it like being a stylist in London; do you find it easy to get work? Well, London’s the place to be for sure, although being in the visual industry means you can work anywhere so travel opportunity as a stylist is endless. As I’m still building a reputation for myself I’ve only worked in London so far, but would love to work all over. Finding work is only really easy if you’ve established yourself and people know who you are. There’s not a shortage of jobs, but there’s tons of competition. I would say finding a job is definitely hard, but with persistence any thing is possible. If someone was looking to get into the industry I would advise assisting other stylists and doing placements at magazines. Just for contacts!
There must be a basic style you work with, something that’s uniquely you. How would you describe this style? Yes I definitely have my own style. But styling doesn’t always mean dressing someone how you would dress. If you’re working with a designer they will have their own ideas. This is the same when working with a photographer. It’s about knowing your audience or client. What will they like? How do you prepare for a new fashion shoot? To prepare for a shoot it’s really just narrowing down clothes. If it’s a potential, pull it. (Borrow). So many clothes that get pulled aren’t always used. It’s better to be prepared! As a stylist you have to think about everything: clothes, shoes jewellery, props, background. Then you have your styling kit, which consists of clips, pins, tit tape, safety pins etc. How is it working with a variety of models on shoot? What are the basic guidelines when styling a model for a shoot? Most of the models I’ve worked with are your classic size 6, 5 ft 10 shape, so you can put almost anything on them. Although everyone has a different shape sometimes looks you thought would work, just don’t. That’s why you always have too many looks than you need. But different designers want different models for a specific look. You have to think about which looks will suit the models best. Could you describe a typical day on shoot from a stylist’s point of view? When we all arrive, the clothes are steamed and laid out nicely so they are visually accessible. I will choose the outfits and their running order, which will coincide with backdrop changes. The hair and makeup is done and then we dress the model and start shooting! If something doesn’t work, you move on, and sometimes you try things on you haven’t planned. When you know, you know. What inspires you as a fashion stylist? I am mostly inspired by other stylist’s work, photography, and art. I generally go by a theme, or a reason, what do I want to say in this shoot. What trends are you seeing within styling at the moment? A trend I’ve seen a fair bit is doing two-colour background... Although I don’t think there will ever be too many styling trends as every one is so different, that’s what’s great about my industry. You can find more of Rosa’s work at: www.realstylelondon.blogspot.co.uk 33
â€œThe mod just ther job at the e day like e else 34
dels are re to do a end of the everybody e is.â€? 35
We all know the daily routines of putting make-up on before leaving the house, its just part of what we do. As you can imagine, make-up is one of the major aspects of a fashion shoot, and because of this we felt that it would be particularly interesting to get a make-up artists view on the world of modelling and stylising. We spoke to Terri-Ann Aubrey Smith about what the world of a make-up artist is like. Terri is currently studying a specialist make-up course at West Thames College. Having come from a fine art background she has recently started breaking into the fashion industry as a make-up artist. What kind of work do you do as a make up artist? At the moment I kind of do a lot of test shoots working in the past with Next, Storm and other modelling agencies. Basically in my first year I was lucky enough to meet a photographer who worked for Next models, and so I managed to get into it from there. I was quite lucky in that way because it’s all about contacts in this industry and so getting these jobs has been a really good portfolio building opportunity, particularly because the pictures are amazing. Then I’ve also managed to get some jobs with magazines, but these can be particularly hard to get because you need to have the contacts. Most of the work I do is for fashion, but I want to look into body painting, which is ideal for film and I know that this is a really good avenue to go down. It opens up a whole new world of job opportunities. With this industry though it’s just quite hard to have the confidence to go in to it because its quite a daunting industry, as I think all fashion and movie based things are, there’s a lot of competition. So what’s it like working with the models? To be honest I’ve had a really good experience with most models they’ve all been great. Obviously you get the odd moodier model to work with but I think you get this in every type of work place really, that’s just how things go. The models are just there to do a job at the end of the day like everybody else is. It’s always really good and in my experiences I’ve enjoyed it. What are your goals then as a make-up artist in the future? At the moment I just want get as much experience as possible. I don’t think I can know exactly what avenue of make up I want to go down before I’ve experienced it all. Therefore getting as much experience in every part of the industry as possible is the best way forward. My course also focuses not only on make-up but on hair as well. Which is great because getting better at hair and more confident in it will probably at the end of the day make me more employable.
What products do you mainly use when you’re on shoot with models? I’ve mostly used Mac, mainly because it was in our starting kit so we got it all at the beginning. Mac is a really good brand of make-up and I do like using it, but my student budget hasn’t really allowed me to explore many other brands. I’m always trying to try out new make-up and stuff but with a student budget it’s kind of hard. In terms of getting inspiration from certain looks, where do you get your inspiration? I used to look a lot at magazines; in particular I looked a lot at iD, Pop and Love magazine. Recently though I’ve been looking so much at Instagram and Pintrest. They are just completely accessible and I find them really good to work with because you can just type in exactly what you want and usually you can find something that’s actually quite amazing. I normally find some pretty inspirational stuff on there. What make up look never gets old throughout the years? I feel like eyeliner is one of those looks that just never gets old. In particular the feline cat flicks that you can see a lot of girls with. Its just a staple basically everybody always has it, and it always looks amazing; its fun and just makes eyes look so pretty. I’d definitely say black eyeliner flics; it’s just always there. In terms of make-up, what are common beauty mistakes that women make? I think my biggest thing is eyebrows: I see a lot of like bad eyebrows. There is this whole trend at the moment of having strange unnatural eyebrows, and due to this people tend to over pluck their eyebrows or draw them on excessively. I guess it is down to what you personally like but for me I’m definitely all for the natural brow. Do you have any advice for people wanting to start up as a make up artist? Especially for younger people wanting to go down this career path. Well definitely, I think if you enjoy art it’s a really good thing to explore art as much as you can. The main advice I would give is to do an art foundation because even though at the time it may not feel like it is going to help you, it actually really helped me. Art is such a creative subject, and at the end of the day make-up is just another form of art. Particularly if you want to start doing more adventurous work, this is where having a background in art really helps: you get to know colour palettes and colour theory which can be a really useful skill as a make-up artist. 37
2metre Squared of Fashion Pawel Zukowski
Fashion photography can be compared to all other types of photography; taking an image of beauty and capturing it in the moment forever. We spoke to Polish photographer Pawel Zukowski about the art of fashion photography and the exhibition he has since become the curator of, and how he has come to love the images and photographs that arguably represent today’s fashion industry. My first studies were Administration and Marketing at the Warsaw School of Commerce, the leading school of economics in Poland. But I totally sucked at this; I believe I couldn’t even sell water in a desert. So after that I decided to apply to Fine Arts Academy in Poznań, department of Photography. I felt that this was the right choice; I was no longer compromising and had total liberty of creating things. I was 21 when I first started working as a picture editor for a fashion magazine in Poland. That was awesome, I really liked working in fashion magazines. Before this I had worked for a Polish edition of Newsweek which was terrible. There were a lot of things changing in a very short time, and lots of politics. Working for a fashion magazine is all about aesthetics. You watch fashion shows, you know what will be ‘au courant’ in the next season, you watch the collection, because I was a really young guy, it made me construct my own aesthetic.
You were the curator for the recent exhibition ‘2metres squared of fashion’ at The Look Out Gallery, Warsaw which looked at fashion photography in Warsaw, how was it that this unique exhibition came about? 2meters squared happened by chance. I was living in Poznań finishing my studies of Fine Arts. Gallery Silownia, where I had my first solo exhibition, got a proposal from Poznań Biennale of Photography to put on a fashion exhibition, Silownia asked me to curate this show. I was working in various fashion magazines, like Blask (doesn't exist anymore), polish edition of Glamour (a job that I really loved), Viva! – a polish glossy with a strong fashion section - well, they thought that I might be the right person to curate this show and I thought that this was a great opportunity for me. The exhibition was quite a success in Poznań, with a lot of people visiting, but after moving the same show to Warsaw - that was a buzz. Warsaw fashion scene is much stronger than Poznań's one, and so the buzz and the interest was so much bigger. I worked with a lot of fashion photographers. Lots of them already had their own big and successful careers, whilst some of them were just beginners. Gallery Silownia, where the first part of exhibition took place, is a rather small gallery. I thought that I cannot divide the space democratically - no one should feel discriminated and no one should feel privileged. I decided to give the same space to each photographer - two square meters - one meter long and two meters high. I told them - you get your space and you can arrange it as you wish. Of course with some curator's touch! Does the exhibition give the opportunity for the photographers work to be seen by members of the fashion industry? Do you put any specific events on for this? I hope so. I chose the mix of very famous Polish fashion photographers with the very beginners in this business. All of their works were extremely good, not the spreads from magazines, but the unique works, in most cases presented for the first time in this exhibition. I really hope that this exhibition will help to perceive their work as not just fashion spreads, but also the particular images. Do you remember the famous Avedon shot with Dovima and elephants? I don’t remember which magazine it was published in for the first time (maybe Vogue, maybe Harper’s Bazaar, whatever), but this image runs very well itself. It’s not about magazines; it’s about the image.
Why did you choose Warsaw to base your exhibition? What is it that you would say is particularly unique about Polish photography? First edition of this exhibition was based in Poznań, during Poznań's Biennale of Photography. After that I got a proposal from The Lookout Gallery in Warsaw to show this exhibition there. I really liked this idea. In fact Polish fashion business is mostly concentrated in Warsaw. When we held the vernissage I saw a lot of people from the fashion business that are not regulars in galleries. They were interested in fashion, not especially in art. For me it doesn't make a difference - fashion photography is art, true art, however you can call it. So, showing fashion photography in an art gallery - it's cool. In Poland we don't think much about fashion photography as art. But I do really hope that this exhibition was a small change. With the photography, it's not about Poland itself. Each fashion photographer reads the same magazines and the same shows that they watch in Europe. However I do really enjoy watching Polish fashion shoots re-blogged by guys from thefashionspot.com. It makes me believe that what the photographers do in Poland is of worldwide quality. We do have a lot to offer. We're creative; we have fashion sense, the same as all over Europe. Most of the photographers I showed on 2meters squared of Fashion are showing their work in various European fashion magazines. It's not about 'oh, let's see what's cool in Poland' - it's just because these shootings are cool itself. We do have lot of trashy scenes here and we love to use it in our photography. Maybe that’s why it’s unique? There’s nothing special about Warsaw’s fashion photography – it is only fashion, it is just photography. It’s like in New York and London. Everybody is using their own state of mind. When you come to a studio - it doesn’t matter where it is. It can be in Milan, London, Paris - it’s just the sensibility of the photographer that counts.
The photographers you have chosen are using quiet a range of different techniques with their photography, why did you choose these particular photographers to begin with? Technique for me is not that important. The problem is the image. In one interweave, Małgosia Bela said that you could just cut the fashion business out of economy and nothing will happen, of course! But fashion is also a kind of language. I chose these photographers, they are art photographers, fashion photographers, but they are still working with fashion. Whatever it is - the trendy clothes, the costumes, the way the models dressed for the shoot - it's always about the language of clothes and the things you want to say by using it. Most of the artworks shown in that exhibition were very recent, I wanted to show something up-to-date. Fashion is about the new trends and that’s what I wanted to show in this exhibition. My preferred artwork is the one made by Łukasz Ziętek - a big picture of polish model Maria Lox dressed in dress by Michał Starost and shoes by Nike. You could add there a logo and it would be commercial. You could add the caption and it could be a spread from a fashion magazine. But it was not. It was the image itself. 46
â€œThey were interes especially in art. For a difference - fashi art, true art, howev
sted in fashion, not r me it doesn’t make ion photography is ver you can call it.”
Photographs supplied by Starstyling Rosa Lewandowski Terri-Ann Aubrey Smith Rebecca Nina Bloch Photography Aileen Stewart Lajboschitz Tessa Bricknell www.tnooz.com
Editor Aileen Stewart