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STUDIO BY

COLETTE

A FASHION & ART PUBLICATION

SPRING/SUMMER 2017

ISSUE 01


ISSUE 01

STUDIO BY COLETTE

A FASHION & ART PUBLICATION CURATED BY COLETTE


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MAKING AN ENTRANCE SPRING/SUMMER 2017 The debut issue of Studio by Colette marks our foray into the realms of print media, where we bring you inspirational interviews, striking editorials and intelligently written pieces. Available in both English and French, Studio by Colette is published quarterly and comprises of a combination of submissions and privately commissioned content - showcasing an entire range of creative talent from across the globe. _

Chris McParlan

Editor/Creative Director


CONTENTS EDITED & CREATED BY CHRIS MCPARLAN

STUDIO BY COLETTE ISSUE ONE


Female SS17 Lookbook

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The Cow & Co Café

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Naomi Smalls: The 7ft Glamazon

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He’s Fantastic

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Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture

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Coffee Break

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Male SS17 Lookbook

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In Profile: All Black Everything

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Top T BY ALEXANDER WANG Skirt ZARA Watch LARSSON & JENNINGS


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Jacket ALL SAINTS Shoes BIRKENSTOCK

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Sweater NEIL BARRETT Jeans WEEKDAY Shoes BIRKENSTOCK


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Coat TOPSHOP UNIQUE Trousers COS

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HIDDEN VENUE:

Situated in the heart of Liverpool city centre, UK - the Cow & Co CafĂŠ possesses a passion for coffee, rivalled only by their love for freshly-prepared quality food. The endearing yet industrialised space also offers niche magazines, designer-collaboration homeware and an intimate atmosphere.


H ID D EN V EN U E

The Cow & Co Café - Liverpool, UK

N o.15 C le ve la nd Squ a r e Li ve r pool L1 5B E

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Introducing

Naomi

SMALLS The seven-foot-tall glamazon with a penchant for fashion, makeup, and french fries.


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Straight out of Redlands, California, Naomi Smalls (AKA Davis Heppenstall) is the walking, talking supermodel from season eight of RuPaul’s Drag Race. The reality TV show offers a platform promoting an entire range of drag styles - from androgynous late 80s club kids to full-on femme glittery glam. The instantly recognisable look painted on her face every episode, along with her high-fashion drag aesthetic and kind, lovable personality has won Naomi an army of adoring fans. The leggy 22-year-old talks to us about her obsession with 90s supermodels, friendships from the show and being dubbed “queen of the $5 dress”.

WORDS & ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS MCPARLAN


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C.M: How have things changed since the season aired? N.S: Since the show aired I have had a lot of fun! It’s very nice not having to keep the secret anymore and be able to hang out with queens from the show, as well as getting out-of-town bookings. I’m super excited to travel and meet fans and to see the drag in other people’s hometowns. C.M: How long were you given to prepare for the show? N.S: The show gives you 2 weeks to prepare for the show - so imagine 12 queens running around stocking up on lashes and lipstick! The first thing I did when I found out that I had made it on RPDR was scream at the top of my lungs for a good five minutes, just running around my house. After that I ran to my computer and Amazon Prime’d every wig colour, body foundation and pair of eyelashes you can imagine. It was such a short amount of time we were given to get prepared. C.M: Which other contestants did you bond with most during your time on the show? N.S: I got along with pretty much everyone from the show, but I grew especially close to both Bob and Kim Chi. Kim and I are such polar opposites but at the same time we have so much in common - we actually pull a lot of similar references for our drag, but execute them in two very different ways. I always say that the best thing that has come from my time on the show is my friendship with Kim, my best friend. C.M: We have seen some spectacular looks from you - who are your favourite designers and photographers to work with? N.S: Juan Chavez and Christina Isabel make the majority of my outfits and costumes. It’s definitely a collaboration - I show them references and inspirations and I trust them to apply their own talents to it and create something that Naomi would wear. I have some looks planned for the upcoming reunion that make me want to cry just looking at them because they are so incredibly fantastic! My favourite photographer to work with is Chicago-based photographer Adam Ouahmane. The first time I flew to Chicago to visit Kim Chi after filming, Kim actually set up a shoot with Adam and it has been such an amazing experience every single time that we get to work together. C.M: Speaking of inspirations, who or what inspires your style of drag? N.S: I take a lot of my inspiration from 90s fashion and 90s supermodel nightlife. I always loved seeing these fabulous 100-pound models stumbling from nightclub to limousine, but also as these poised characters on the runway. Growing up in the 90s when there were actual music videos playing on MTV, watching these videos was one of my favourite things to do. I loved watching TLC, Salt-N-Pepa, Eve, 3LW, Samantha Mumba, etc. - the silhouettes and revealing cutouts really stuck with me. C.M: What is it about the models from this particular era that draw you to them? N.S: Back in the 90’s the models had so much fun on stage.

_ The way the models would come down the runway, smiling and twirling, made you fall in love with them. _

Yes - their job was to sell the garment, but the way the models would come down the runway, smiling and twirling, made you fall in love with them. Nowadays models are often serving blank stares and low energy walks. I still love the models of today but nothing compares to Naomi, Linda, Claudia, Brandi, Cindy, etc. C.M: What initially made you start doing drag? And how do you feel that you have developed since you started at 18? N.S: Raven actually inspired me to start doing drag. I saw her perform ‘Never Forget You’ by The Noisettes and I loved that it was non-top 40, non-impersonation and she was just doing her own style. When I first started doing drag I didn’t really have my own style and was a little too shy to do something different from what the local queens were doing. I performed to Rihanna and pretty much only wore bathing suits. It was nothing new or exciting, so I decided to say fuck it and change the music and wear the costumes that I wanted to wear. I will definitely say that the bathing suit/crop top Naomi Smalls era was a lot more affordable, but I’m much happier now knowing that I’m performing the way that I want to be seen! C.M: What is your favourite thing about doing drag? N.S: My favourite thing about doing drag is the satisfaction that you get from becoming your own creative vision. Drag includes all of my top interests: makeup, hair, fashion, music, heels, and performance. There is no better feeling than looking in the mirror and seeing everything that you imagined, realised.


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C.M: How did you learn to do your hair and makeup styling? Did you have any sort of background in either beauty or fashion beforeheand? N.S: I actually went to beauty school right after high school and graduated in 2012. There are some small things like base direction and roller size that help when I attempt to style my own wigs, but synthetic hair is completely different to real human hair. When it comes to makeup, my old best friend taught me a lot of tips and tricks that I still use, but honestly I am so thankful for the internet - specifically YouTube. Whenever anybody asks me who my drag mother is, I just say YouTube.

the cover that I can get my hands on. I find that you can learn a lot from just staring at how the models position their bodies to showcase the garment.

C.M: Being from the Golden State yourself, what do you love about the California drag scene? And is there anywhere in particular that you want to perform in the future? N.S: The California drag scene has some of the best makeup queens you will ever see. You can definitely tell where they grab their inspiration though - Raven from the second season of RPDR is from the Golden State as well and you can see her polished cut-crease neutral face on literally 75% of LA drag queens. I am so excited to go to London and Australia! I have a feeling that the London drag scene is going to be so much fun and full of conceptual fashion!

C.M: Do you see yourself growing old and still doing drag? N.S: I will do drag for as long as it still looks good, but there are so many other opportunities that come from drag besides performing and I plan to take advantage of them.

Walk with your head held high and your shoulders back and you will look so unbothered by ever ything.

C.M: What one piece of advice would you give to anyone thinking of starting drag? N.S: If you are starting to get into drag my advice would be to really think about the kind of queen that you want to be and what you want to do with your drag. Don’t just dress up like the local queens and perform the same old songs that everybody else does, make sure you stand out for all the right reasons rather than blend in.

C.M: Anything that you can tell me about? N.S: Unfortunately everything planned for the future is strictly confidential - but trust me, they will be worth the wait!

C.M: If you could only ever lip sync to one song again, what would it be? N.S: ‘Shoop’ by Salt-N-Pepa is normally my go-to lip-sync song. But if something has a cute beat that I can walk around and grab dollars to, I will definitely perform to it. C.M: As the self proclaimed ‘queen of the $5 dress,’ what would be your advice for making anything look high-fashion? N.S: Honestly my advice to anyone who asks about confidence, is to walk with your head held high and your shoulders back and you will look so unbothered by everything. People unfortunately want to see you crack when they attack your look, but it’s best to not give them the satisfaction. I may have a minimalist drag style compared to other queens, but I know that I look good and the person putting it down could never pull it off. C.M: I suppose being 99% legs helps ‘pull it off,’ along with all of your phenomenal posing skills. N.S: I don’t know how it started, but I’ve been practicing posing since I was so young - I think it was around the same time that America’s Next Top Model began, so I guess I owe all of the posing tips to Tyra and Miss J. In my spare time all I do is scan through fashion magazines and anything with a model on

Words by Chris McParlan


N A O MI SMA L L S

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He’s fantastic


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A L E X A N D E R P E R F O R M I N G

C A L D E R : S C U L P T U R E

WORDS BY CHRIS MCPARLAN

The name Alexander Calder is synonymous with delicately dangling mobiles, energetic wire figures and imposing geometric sculptures. The American artist’s work heralds foregone ideas of what people in the 20th century at one point imagined the future to hold. The tail end of 2015 brought Alexander Calder: Performing Sculpture to Tate Modern in London, showcasing Calder’s carefully engineered works and reminding us of how farreaching his influence still is to this day. Calder’s educational background was in mechanical engineering, which comes as no surprise seeing the meticulously crafted nature of the work on display. Upon moving to New York, he gained employment as an illustrator at the National Police Gazette, where he was assigned the task of sketching his observations at the Barnum and Bailey Circus. Instantly fascinated with what he saw, the circus theme would dramatically influence Calder’s later work. The Tate Modern exhibition showed film of Calder performing with his cast of sculptures, alongside his eclectically playful wire elephants, bullfighters and other circus performers. Among the variety of wire sculptures on display, The Brass Family (1929) was by far a standout. Depicting seven nonscale figures performing a balancing act, the piece captured a characterised liveliness with its funny faces and spiralling hair. Each of these pieces was developed as an individual component of Calder’s mechanised circus, which he traveled around the globe exhibiting to audiences. A visit to Piet Mondrian’s studio in 1930 brought about a conversion to abstraction, where Calder suggested that

Mondrian’s shapes be taken off the wall and set in motion in a three-dimensional way - a notion which the French artist wholeheartedly rejected. Undeterred, Calder set about making his own rotating abstract sculptural arrangements to fulfil his newfound vision. Stepping into the room surrounded by suspended ellipses and rectangles, instantly transported the viewer into the imagination of one of the greatest visionaries of the 20th century. Although many of the mobiles are perhaps too fragile to be set in motion, and moved only by the air currents generated by the passing viewers, the presence of these incredible sculptures filled a room all on their own. A Universe (1934) is a motorised sculpture that takes an astonishing forty minutes to complete its presentation. Today the piece can no longer be run, and is exhibited as a static work - a ghost of what it once was. Where the effervescence of Calder’s wire sculptures brings about a sense of exuberance and humour, the motionless mobiles provoke a quiet intrigue and an almost sobering feeling of pity towards artwork, that its sole purpose during its prime was to do exactly what it now was unable to do - to move. Alexander Calder: Perfoming Sculpture is on display at Tate Modern, London, until 3 April 2016.

Opposite: The Brass Family (1929) Credit: The Calder Foundation, New York/ DACS, London


E X H IB IT IO N R EV IEW

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Coffee break!


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Jacket ACNE STUDIOS Trousers DRÔLE DE MONSIEUR Roll-neck COS Jumper ZARA Shirt THOM BROWNE


P R O F IL E

In

PROFILE The eight types of people who wear all-black

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A firm favourite with the fashion elite - the all black ensemble has become an iconic symbol of understated cool. We all know the distress caused when something is labelled as black, but is in fact a very, very, very dark grey. We all know the convenience of using the “Sort by: Colour: Black� function when shopping online. In this incredibly ungeneralised piece, generated from information compiled by our team of on-the-ground researchers, Studio by Colette presents eight types of people who wear all-black everything. Always.

WORDS & ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS MCPARLAN


P R O F IL E

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TH E C OOL & C LAS S IC MIN IMALIST

THE SUA VE & SUITE D TY CO O N

This person’s Instagram account is everything you want your own to be. As a matter of fact, so is their wardrobe. Words such as “floral” and “navajo” are not part of the Cool & Classic Minimalist’s vocabulary, and don’t even try to talk to them about Aztec print. Subcategories include Avant-Garde Advocate, Basics-Loving Blogger and Futuristic Fellow.

Immaculately groomed, the Suave & Suited Tycoon exists primarily in intimidatingly tall glass buildings. Usually found working hard behind a pristinely organised desk (right angles are very important) or holding business conferences, their brief lunch-break involves readjusting their tie, smoothing out their pocket-square and being photographed for The Sartorialist on their way to a light gym session.

Trivia: The Cool & Classic Minimalist sometimes models for well-known brands and magazines, but modestly insists that it is “only a hobby.” Often found: Anywhere with free wifi and a plain white wall. Item of choice: Alexander Wang striped knit pullover

Trivia: Finds no distinction between mind and body. Often found: In business class flight lounges or corporate board meetings. Item of choice: Thom Browne three-button double-vent suit


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THE C OF F EE-FUELLED JOURN ALIST

THE UNCE NSO RE D BE ATNIK

After wrapping up an interview with the month’s latest it-girl, the Coffee-Fuelled Journalist grabs their fix and, regretting their decision to wear heels that day, hops into an Uber, praying that their dictaphone hasn’t failed them. They have mastered the art of navigating busy crowds of tourists, PR rivals and slow walkers - fast - in order to get from A to B in record time.

Often seen in groups, the Uncensored Beatnik enjoys hanging out with their other beatnik counterparts, discussing literature, analysing Hemingway’s Iceberg theory and Ginsberg’s anaphora as they pass around a joint. You may think that behind their vintage shades, this person is silently judging you as you walk past them - and they most certainly are.

Trivia: Has never gone longer than 12 hours without coffee. Often found: At important press events, queuing in Starbucks or endlessly typing away behind a screen.

Trivia: Uses the word “hip,” frequently and without sarcasm. Often found: Smoking outside an obscurely located coffee shop or jazz club.

Item of choice: Céline satin jumpsuit

Item of choice: Gucci woven beanie


P R O F IL E

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TH E A C C I D E N T-P RON E KLUTZ

THE BIG RO O M DJ

Not one to shy away from less-than-pristine environments, the Accident-Prone Klutz is, well…prone to accidents - accidents that typically involve spillages. They admit that they aren’t perfect, as the remainder of their Mocha Frappuccino drips onto their t-shirt. But that’s okay, it’s precisely the reason why they chose to wear black in the first place - nothing shows up on black, right?

Rarely seen during daylight hours, the Big Room DJ is almost exclusively nocturnal, hoping to obtain the majority of their Vitamin D intake from the strobe lights flashing inside their weekend venue. While some genuinely have a passion for their EDM music, other’s talents are more visible in their ability to press play on a pre-recorded set, pop a pill and crowd surf.

Trivia: Hasn’t worn white since 2004. Often found: Standing awkwardly in front of a restroom handdryer, attempting to dry out the most recent stain on their shirt.

Trivia: There is a 15% chance that the Big Room DJ will get so messy that they will be unable to perform. Often found: Behind the DJ booth at a city hotspot, shouting “ARE YOU READY?” into a microphone.

Item of choice: Comme des Garçons Play tee

Item of choice: Adidas X Jeremy Scott Metro Attitude sneakers


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THE OV ER WORKED DES IGN ER

THE SAMURA I

The Overworked Designer’s calm and collected exterior may exude a sense of sophistication and a “That’s right, I’m in control” vibe, but on the inside they are frantically panicking about missing samples, the deadline they have in three days, or the fact that they simply can’t decide between Forest Green or Pistachio. Averaging around four hours of sleep each night, they choose to wear black to contrast with their vibrant workplace.

The Samurai is reserved by nature. Their perfectly tousled hair and loose clothing billows as they move, almost as if they are permanently on the receiving end of a wind fan - think Beyoncé, but more masculine. More a listener than a talker, the Samurai quietly observes situations, rather than involving themselves in petty arguments and squabbles.

Trivia: Is at any given point, on the verge of a mental breakdown. Often found: Surrounded by fabric swatches, mannequins, design sketches, sewing machines and moodboards. Item of choice: Acne Studios Velocite suede coat

Trivia: Does not believe in social media. Often found: In some sort of tranquil and serene setting, looking mysteriously into the distance. Item of choice: Yohji Yamamoto trouser/kimono co-ord


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