This girl glues the magazine together. The stuff she can do on a computer will blow your mind if her sexy accent doesn’t. You’ll find her slaving away over indesign or tucked under her staple beanie hat, perving on skateboarders in the park. --
Marina CREATIVE DIRECTOR
This social butterfly is one of the cool kids. He keeps the FUTURE family going with red wine, cigarettes and that bloody Irish charm. You’ll find him running late, dressed in baggy clothes and iconic glasses. --
THE HOLY PARTY
ISSUE ONE February 2016
Philippa PRODUCTION EDITOR
Nothing will hold this Northern girl down. Don’t be deceived by her size (she put the ‘p’ in petite) because she’s pretty level headed. She’s got London wrapped around her little finger. She’s always the last one at the party, dressed all in black and killer shoes.
The one with all the words. Her passion for similes, metaphors and sentences is stronger than her love of all things 60s and 70s. You’ll find her jotting down great words she just read or trawling the shops in platform boots and kick flares.
Lindsey PRODUCTION EDITOR
Our very own Ger-talian is a travel addict. If there is somewhere she hasn’t been then it’s probably not worth even talking about. She’s the quietest of the bunch, usually day-dreaming of foreign lands and Justin Bieber's sexy face.
L O H Y L O H O H Y L Y O L H Y O L Y H L O H O Y L L H Y L O O H OLY HO Y H L H Y H L O H Y Y O L L H Y L O LY O H Y O L H Y L O O
Have you ever wondered what it takes to be the new IT girl? And no, that isn’t an acronym for information technology, that tedious and monotonous lesson you used to take at school. IT stands for the girl of the season, the girl that everybody is talking about and the girl who is taking the fashion industry by storm. Riya Hollings, 28, originally from Bristol, graduated from fashion school in 2010 and moved to London to further her career in the arts. After deciding to put her love for design on hold, Riya chose to explore every element of the editorial world, assisting the likes of Anders Christian Madsen of i-D magazine and Kimi O’neil of LOVE magazine, to pursue a career in photography, styling and creative direction. Riya’s strong eye for styling and creative direction along with her photography skills has marked her as one of the most established artists in London. The ability and versatility to switch from fashion editorial to music, film and commercial projects has meant Riya has been successful in many aspects of the industries she works within: “I always wanted to get into fashion and image making since I was really young, constantly seeing things that influenced me in day to day life and magazines was really interesting for me.” Riya continued: “The thought that I could use my influences and combine them in a way that I had interpreted was incredible.” Alongside artists like Juergen Teller, Riya says everything that happens in her life is a constant inspiration. It’s arguably difficult to break out in any industry without a strong social media following to back you. Insta-likes are where personal branding reigns. In the age of Instagram you have everything you need now at the scroll of a touch-screen. Today’s youth face a staggering range of choices, day in day out. But one thing Riya Hollings does not have in common is her decision to lead her life free from the restraints of preconceived notions: with her diversified attitudes towards sexuality and female power. Riya turns her back on conventions to pursue her own genuine lifestyle; the IT girl of the current generation is leading the way into a new era.
You only have to scroll down Riya’s Instagram page once or twice, to get a grasp of everything this powerful lady has to offer. Her love for 80s and 90s fashion is at the forefront of her work, cladding her models in the likes of open vintage Moschino jackets; really taking free the nipple to a new level. Riya’s photography indulges in the kind of images you wouldn’t want to show your parents over the dinner table: “I think there is so much repression of the female form and it is so glorious and powerful that as an artist you are able to show this through art, I just think nothing else comes close to it.” Riya continued, “the emotion it makes people feel when they see my work is so varied and creates such an impact. I think this gives the most dominant and commanding of all messages. Plus as a woman it is incredibly empowering to feel comfortable naked, in front of a camera especially when you are not a conventional model.” Former Fashion Editor for Mixmag, the biggest dance music magazine and clubbing destination, Riya wowed the fashion world with her naughty but nice imagery. Showing a reflection of herself through everything she creates, her work is outrageously noticed widely appreciated. As well as being an artist herself she also has a great eye at spotting talent in others, her continuous inspiration by others led Riya to create her own street-casting agency for interesting young women and unusual talent. Love Your Life, is a platform that champions new up and coming models to express themselves in a way conventional model agencies don’t. Riya said: “Being able to make women feel good about their bodies and themselves gives me so much pleasure. I love incorporating this into my art and to be able to let others feel this too.” The phrase “That’s a bit Riya” is one that the world of fashion is no stranger to, and has now become synonymous with her agency and her style of work showcasing anything unexpectedly cool with just a hint of scowl. Riya is confident it’s time the fashion industry changed, and she wants to be the person to do it.
SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
Itâ€™s 2017 - Fitting in is all about standing out
IS CASUAL SEX A SENSE OF EMPOWERMENT OR A BLOWTO SELF-ESTEEM FOR WOMEN?
The subject of casual sex has been wrenched out from under the carpet and people are ready to talk about it openly. Society is learning how to cope with girls who do just want to have ‘fun’ and many young women are decreasing the stigma attached to sexual experiences. But, can a no-strings rumble-in-the-jungle ever be just that? Can it give a woman confidence, making her feel like ‘cock-of –the-walk’ the next day, or is the only result self-loathing and insecurity?
Ollis-Olds no longer thinks she would be able to have a one-night stand with the opposite sex because she has lost her confidence with boys. After being with both sexes, she’s felt how damaging a casual relationship can be that is complicated by feelings. “There is an assumption that single men only go out to 'score' and single males feel they have to conform to this. It’s hard to connect with men as an equal, before you decide whose place to go back to.”
Fashion Designer Chantelle Jones, 25, is happy to engage in sex outside of a relationship. “Most of the women I talk to are very open about their sex lives, especially when I’m more open about mine, we don't need to settle for a mediocre sex life.”
Psychotherapist Steve Pope, 60, from Blackpool believes that children need to be more educated about sex, “Jamie Oliver did it with food, it needs to be done with sex too.” For Pope, dating apps and films like Fifty Shades of Grey have a lot to answer for. “I’ve had to deal with girls as young as 13 acting out S&M roles. It’s become the ‘norm’ to receive ‘dick pics’ and have multiple partners. Girls recognise at a very early age that sex is a very big weapon when dealing with men. For teenagers it’s now normal to have three sexual partners a week, which is very damaging to mental health.”
Whore, slut, slag, floozie, skank, tart. These words have been used as ammunition, like a sharp arrow from a moral bow, to shame a woman about whom she lets into her bedroom and how often, but Jones feels that the real damage to self-worth is when women confuse sex and emotion. “As long as everyone knows it’s just casual then I'm all for it, my most positive sexual experience was the first time I had a pre-planned sex night with a guy, it was awesome.” If sex positivity was an intrinsic part of growing up, it could help women feel more confident about their experiences under, or on top of, the sheets. “I grew up in a family where sex wasn't discussed, I remember being young and being ashamed that I knew what sex was,” says styling assistant Amelia Ollis-Olds, 24. The silence around sex in her home created a void between her and her mother, she felt like it was something dirty.
If the carpet has been lifted on the topic, then we have to be prepared to get down on our knees and pick up all of the mess that’s been hidden. As well as emotional and mental damage, there is also the physical damage as a result of sex. Blisters, warts, cloudy urine, burning sensations when you pee, a penis or vagina so itchy you fantasise about wiping with sandpaper - yes, numbers might not be exchanged and names not remembered, but passing round those STIs is getting more common. According to The Times, syphilis has risen by 79% in the last year due to dating apps. Tinder, with its 50 million active users, spending an average of 90 min-
utes per day swiping left and right, has to be held accountable when it comes to exchanging diseases once the pants are off. Women are surrounded by stigmas of that four letter ‘L’ word and men are still stereotyped as being able to detach their feelings when it comes to placing their pole in their goal. “Females are nest builders,” says Pope, which means casual sex goes against their whole psyche. “I’m not a male chauvinist, I know many students who are lap dancers on the weekend, which is fine. But, it’s when the one night stand takes place that it becomes damaging to women and their self-esteem.” With these new attitudes, the traditional idea of a monogamous relationship seems more doomed than a wounded deer, staring into the eyes of a hungry hunter, with a loaded gun. In young people there is now a ‘notch on the bedpost’ and ‘little black book’ attitude to fucking, but according to Pope first time sex is often unrewarding unless you’re high on drugs or intoxicated by alcohol. “Sex becomes cheap and the consequences of these experiences are anxiety and depression for women, it’s much more fulfilling in a relationship.” It seems like casual sex is just like eating a hot dog, fine in moderation, but maybe just not three times a week from different vendors. Like a premature ejaculation, it may be a bit too early for us to know the consequences of the sex-positive movement. However, protecting our bits, educating our kids and putting a complete stop to slut-shaming girls, is a good place to start.
The hottest Swedish export since ABBA came to London for an exclusive gig and turned sceptic spectators into fans
If you thought all Swedish musicians were blond and tall, with names like Bjorn and Benny, think again. Lucas Hans Goeran Nordqvist, better known as Lucas Nord, is the latest Swedish export since Absolut Vodka and Ikea, and he’s taking the world by storm. On a recent rainy Wednesday evening at the Old Blue Last - the Shoreditch hotspot for up and coming artists – Nord is showing off his electronic skills, playing to a packed audience of music fanatics and a few lost Shoreditch hipsters. The venue is intimate and it seems like an evening amongst music loving friends. The venue invites up and coming artists on a regular basis and offers their customers great life music, while enjoying a chilly pint of lager. The concept is easy: artists get to put their name out there and customers get free entertainment. Nobody really loses. Like the name suggests, Lucas Nord is from up North - Sweden to be precise. The 24-year-old singer and songwriter, who lives in Stockholm, has had a number one hit on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs Chart in January. He recorded the track, ‘Run on Love’, with nobody less than Tove Lo, which catapulted him to his first US chart showpiece. He is an electronic musician, DJ and record producer and describes his music as electronic, dancey, soulful pop. Nord grew up in a family of musicians. His mum, his uncle and his granddad were all into music. He says that music came very natural to him and that’s all he’s been doing his whole life. He jokingly says that he didn’t really have another choice. The singer doesn’t suffer from stage fright, but the most challenging factor about performing on stage for him is remembering the lyrics. “The second verse is always a struggle for me. It’s so many words to remember, fuck. Maybe it’s just the excitement,” says Nord. The crowd was electrified and dancing to the songs. “His soulful voice and honesty give the songs so much power and emotions,” says Tatiana Niedermayr, 23, who saw Lucas Nord the first time at
the Old Blue Last. “I feel like I can really connect with what he’s singing,” she says. His fourth album ‘Company’ came out earlier this year and is available on iTunes. The musician is working on a new album, which is coming out after summer next year. “The release date has not been confirmed yet, but I can’t wait to come out and play as many shows as possible and do this all over again,” he says. Lucas Nord made a lasting impression with songs like ‘Don’t need your love’, ‘Faking’ and ‘Off my mind’ and was sure to gain some more fans during the event. “The songs are about one girl really. I liked her more than she liked me. So I went and wrote songs about it,” says Nord. Kevin Woods, 25, another attendee of the event, says: “I didn’t know Lucas Nord before tonight, but I really enjoyed it. It was such an intimate show and we got very close to the stage. He’s got a great voice and his songs are very catchy.” The young Swede has just been to Denmark and Finland and even crossed the pond to Los Angeles and New York. He says that he is tired after so much touring, but he’s not complaining about it, because he loves every single bit of it. He adds that it’s ‘fucking awesome’ and ‘unreal’ that people like what he is producing in his small Stockholm apartment. Nord is very grateful for what he has achieved so far. He is very down to earth and 100% sure that he does not want to become the next Justin Bieber. “I’m not doing this to be famous. I just want to play bigger stages and better slot times at festivals and maybe, if I’m lucky, get some hits along the way.” So make sure you keep an eye on Lucas Nord, the talent from Sweden with the recognisable voice. He is an up and coming artist and we are sure to hear more from him in the near future. Follow him on Instagram (@lucasnord) and Facebook (Lucas Nord). His music can be downloaded on iTunes and is available on Spotify as well.
“I’m not doing this to be famous. I just want to play bigger stages and better slot times at festivals and maybe, if I’m lucky, get some hits along the way.
“Trends suggest young adults tend to concentrate their drinking on one or two heavy drinking days a week, this risky drinking is accompanied by high levels of alcohol-related harm”
Booze is going out of fashion, with the number of teetotalers in the UK reaching new heights. Mocktails have never been so popular and alcohol free bars are popping up around the country. According to the World Health Organisation, 21% of adults (one in five) are choosing to stay off the hard stuff, giving hangovers a stiff middle finger. It’s the students, the KFC workers, the part-timers and the Mr I-still-live-with-my-parents who’ve had the biggest change of heart. According to the Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC) between 2005 and 2013 the number of non-drinkers increased by 40% in 16-24 year olds. So why are they choosing water over whisky? G.P., Dr. Mark Rawle, 30, says that we need to account for the ethnic shift. “Rates of drinking in young people are going down, but the proportion of young Muslims (who don’t drink) is also rising. Which might mean that young white people are still drinking loads.” “I consider myself to be uptight, I like to be in control,” says Aamir Khan, as he sips coca-cola through a straw. The 24-year-old Muslim has never touched a drop of alcohol in his life. “Obviously growing up it’s intimidating to go against your faith and family,” says Khan, “but now, I just don’t like the idea of throwing up on myself or losing my phone.”
Millennials in the UK are breaking up with booze. Lindsey Henderson found out their grounds for divorce.
There is no doubt having a drink (or five) gives you some courage, especially in a bar or club when dancing and talking garbage to strangers is part of an evening out. For people like Khan, it can be difficult to enjoy a night out the way most 24-year-olds do. “I’m jealous of those who can use alcohol to excel in social situations.” When it comes to connecting with strangers, alcohol can be as useful as a sat nav when you’re lost. But, in the worst case scenarios, it can have some serious consequences. “High levels of binge drinking are linked to poor academic performance, blackouts and unplanned sexual activity," says Clarke. Another danger is when alcohol is used to self-medicate, “It takes the edge off a tough day,” says 25-yearold Met police officer Lucy Williams. “Then on the other hand, drunks are the most irritating fuckwits. Completely unpredictable when you’re on the beat.” Some feel that abstemious drinkers are looking down on them, and yeah, there is nothing worse than
The UK has a strong reputation for binge drinking.
On a night out keys are lost, memories wiped and dignity is drowned in a pool of purple vomit by the bed - drunk Daisy just couldn’t make it to the toilet. According to psychologist Natasha Clarke, among those who do drink, binge drinking is still a problem. “Trends suggest young adults tend to concentrate their drinking on one or two heavy drinking days a week, this risky drinking is accompanied by high levels of alcohol-related harm.”
being lectured about drinking habits at a party - or anything that makes you want to swing a punch right into their smug, sober face. However, many teetotalers don’t take on this role. Blogger Olivia Purvis publicly declares her teetotal status on her YouTube channel ‘What Olivia Did’ but she doesn’t try to persuade her 34,000 subscribers to follow in her footsteps, she just advocates freedom of choice. “This isn’t a critique of drinking” she writes on her blog, “just enjoy your Saturday night cosmo or cola in hand.” “Sometimes people think I’m judging them for drinking which isn’t the case,” says Khan. “I personally find it weird coming across people that don’t drink, even in the young Muslim community it’s rare.” Alcohol is part of the culture in the UK, whether you drink it or not. In the UK our society is diverse, we have vegans, vegetarians, atheists, Muslims, Catholics, gays, transgender people and bi-sexuals. The rise in teetotalers reflects the freedom people have to make their own personal decisions, it’s another societal step forward. It’s moving towards an idealistic future where peer-pressure takes a back seat, where drinking or not drinking isn’t a big deal and expectations are out the window. Maybe one day we’ll get there. For now, we’ll just take it slowly. One drink at a time.
The fashion industry has witnessed the rise of luxe-sportswear as the it-trend of the past couple of seasons. Holy explores behind the scenes of this now very successful practice - welcome to masstige.
Last week in Paris, the most unusual but wellplanned fashion collaborations opened up their doors to the public: the Louis Vuitton x Supreme collection. The result of a luxury firm colliding with a street brand, it features specially branded accessories teamed with a few rare pieces of clothing. Supreme is not new to the fashion collaboration scene, keeping a wide portfolio of partnership with other street brands such as Vans and Air Jordan. Nonetheless, none of them has been as high-profile as the latest luxury adventure. It is easy to understand why street, mass-targeting brands are opting to associate their names with big industry names. This is the case of LMVH, the parent group of Louis Vuitton, which is one of the most valuable in the sector. Associating one mass brand to the traditions, quality and heritage of a luxury brand surely benefits the image of a mass brand. It’s the essence of co-branding. What’s going to happen to the luxury prestige of this brands, nobody really knows. Prestige for mass seems a terrible oxymoron, but instead it’s becoming the main aspiration of luxury brands. Masstige is the neologism that now sums up the new strategy for luxury companies. With the rise of sportswear luxury and athleisure - another neologism which refers to wearing sportswear as casualwear - sport-luxe is the it-trend in the fashion industry. And it’s not just a matter of numbers. Just look around and note how sportswear is now in the mouths (and closets) of everybody, especially celebs. Just to name some of the recent examples - singer and sex symbol Rihanna released a
new collection for Fenty x Puma just a couple of months ago, selling out in just a couple of hours. Kanye West, rap icon and now designer, launched his luxurious Yeezy by Kanye for adidas, creating another boom in demand. Following a similar track, the last few years witnessed the growth of luxury lines and extensions, such as Polo Ralph Lauren, EA7 Emporio Armani, and much more. These too are maximising their revenue thanks to the mass market. “Many luxury retailers introduced diffusion lines to grab a bigger market share. Also, nowadays people tend to mix things up in their day to day looks. In my opinion, that is the reason why collaborations are so successful,” says Migle Laskauskaite, 27, EA7 customer service advisor. At the same time, sportswear giants such as Nike and adidas are growing upwards releasing more and more luxe-tech apparel and accessories among their ranges. The result is a big, crowded competitive market. Clare Sherliker, 22, Sales executive for EA7 Emporio Armani in UK, is herself part of the growth of the masstige strategy and witnessed the success of the sportswear extensions of one of the most important and successful brands of all times - Giorgio Armani. EA7 was born in 2005 when Giorgio Armani forecasted the rise of luxury activewear, integrating its well-known quality with technology and sophisticated designs. “I believe it is a great step for our industry in regards to luxury brands targeting more of a mass market. From an EA7 perspective, it has truly helped with awareness and
accessibility for the brand. It helps to make the brand more universal in regards to a clientele base,” says Sherliker. Despite the success of masstige strategies, nobody really knows where it’s going to lead in future. At the end of the day - and of the supply chain - customers have the last say. Men, women and even kids are all now part of the strategy. “However, luxury brands should carefully choose partners for those collaborations not to damage their carefully built image,” adds Laskauskaite. “It’s all about consumers perceptions, and these easily change.” Some consumers are loyal to their favourite luxury brands, love showing off their attachment, and can’t go casual without the comfort and quality of their favourite luxury brands. The distinction, care for details and quality are a must in every aspect of their lives.
“We now have men’s ladies and kids all very successful parts of our business and that is truly down to the brand awareness resulting from targeting the mass market,” adds Sherliker. Others are just not of the same opinion. Gian Mario Pinna, 20 is one of the ‘cool kids’ wearing sportswear brands such as Nike and Adidas. He follows with passion every move within this industry. “Personally, I really love wearing sportswear and really love the latest designs and technological add-ons that have been developed in this industry,” he says. “I’m also passionate about luxury brands, but in more formal and classy situations. Luxury is prestige, uniqueness. Sportswear is the opposite. It is comfort and everybody’s everyday life. I am personally not a fan of this marriage between luxury and activewear. This is not a thing destined to work for long, it is just a temporary trend,” he says.
Norweigan-born Lene Terland is a portrait, lifestyle and documentary photographer, specialising in capturing youth and youth culture.
WHAT’S REALLY HAPPENING WITH FEMALE
Nobody is really talking about female skateboarding, but there is something we can do about it...
From Patti McGee to Leticia Bufoni, the female skateboarding panorama has always been full of talents. The same cannot be said regarding the visibility of the sport – while female skateboarders are making stride, they still cannot live up to their male counterparts. Most people, even skateboarding enthusiasts, think only about the male pros, much as male dominance takes centre stage in other fields. Despite the fact that many female skateboarders are making their name worldwide, the sport is only recently making its first steps towards a long-time desired acceptance. In 2015, the United States had an estimated 6.44 million skateboarders, according to statistics portal Statista. But only 46% of women participate in outdoor sports, the data said. The already poor statistics available online does not clearly focus on women, who struggle to get a spotlight in such a hidden space in the industry. Now women riders are eventually getting under the spotlight for the first time, but their voices are still struggling to be heard. With the support of the press and skateboarding associations, they could have the visibility that today only male riders can rely on. Alex Carvalho, 18, a London rider from Brazil, has skated since she was 12 years old, thanks to her brother who always pushed and inspired her. “If it wasn’t for him I would have never started skating, especially after I moved here, I guess. Men pros who’ve got enough visibility should be the first to empower women in this sport,” she said.
Another step forward was made in 2015. SLS (Street League - the most prestigious championship in this sport) had opened to women up this challenging indoor skating spot, which is yearly designed and reinvented for the championship. Among the participants were skaters such as Leticia Bufoni, Alexis Sablone, Lacey Baker and Vanessa Torres. They enjoyed the spotlight not only for the sport, but also for their efforts in fighting for gender equality. Not to be forgotten, Mimi Knoop, winner of 5 X-Games medals, distinguished herself by founding two of the largest female-focused skateboarding brands: Hoopla and Alliance. For the 2015 X Games, ESPN agreed to give women the same prizes and coverage that was once the unique privilege only of the male contestants. “Many people think skateboarding is for tough people. And as a stereotype, men are. But, let’s be honest. Are all the male skateboarders out there tough?” said Julia Hofer, 21, a skateboarder from Germany. “It shouldn’t really matter, so go out and skate if you’d love to. You don’t need to demonstrate anything to anybody.” If you need further inspiration, get to know Patti McGee. Since skateboarding exploded in 1960’s California, Patti started experiencing new tricks on something that could better be defined a plank of wood with wheels, rather than a skate deck. Experimenting the first handstands in 1965, she won many contests, becoming the first woman PRO in history. BTW: she used to skate barefoot.
One of the pleasures of art in London is that you aren’t reduced to spending your time in an environmentally controlled room, for hours on end, with no natural light. Although the art gallery scene is one of those many want to immerse themselves in, art is now not only for the bare white walls of an open space, but everywhere – amongst people, parties and the institutions who roll out their best shows. Will Nicholson, 21, named himself and his artwork SLART after finding humor in the fictional character, Slartibartfast, who won an award for designing the country Norway and encapsulated SLART’s love for Scandinavian artwork. SLART studies Illustration and Visual Media at London College of Communication. He hopes to sell his abstract, abnormal and inhuman like portraits to anybody willing to buy. Each piece of his work showcases a series of line drawings with faces that look more like a creature from middle earth rather than your everyday person.
With an inability to draw in a traditional fashion, and a need to express, SLART finds his influence from the people around him. And not so much the creatives he works with, but more general members of the public, or the certain things that general groups represent. He is interested in creating emotive work that makes the viewing look introspectively, enabling the viewers to see a part of themselves in his creations. “This is especially the case with the portraits that I have made in the last year, with them having no reference to real people,” he said. “I plan them with each pen mark, in such a fashion that it almost creates some sort of juxtaposition of facial features that may even conflict the viewer’s perception of the human face.” SLART considered mark making, the practice of creating different designs and textures, as a subject only fairly recently. Artist David Shingley was a big factor in this change.
“I plan them with each pen mark, in such a fashion that it almost creates some sort of juxtaposition of facial features that may even conflict the viewers’ perception of the human face.”
WENDY WHEIMAN LEONG
“Being in the industry is a lot of hard work when it comes to creating a collection or collections, and the growing vanity among the industry makes it even worse.”
For some people, their career takes off due to a fantastic internship, a dash of nepotism, or a recommendation from a friend in the industry. But for Wheiman “Wendy” Leong, it all began with a pair of “embarrassing panties”. Leong is one of the many emergent designers who decided to move to London in order to boost her career. She is not famous yet, but she boasts a CV with important names from the industry. At age 21, Wendy, who grew up in Sweden, has already interned for Celine and Maison Margiela, and is getting ready for an internship with Marc Jacobs next summer. But despite her impressive credentials, she didn’t always think fashion was what she wanted to do. “I was in love with science but I wasn’t good at it. So it all really started during a handicraft class, when I created a pair of embarrassing panties,” she says, laughing. “My teacher told me how amazing they were and that I should consider designing as a profession. When I turned 13, I got a sewing machine from my mum, and that was when I started the hard work.” Wendy moved to London in 2014, in order to start studying BA Fashion Design at Westminster University, one of the 100 highest ranking universities in the UK, according to CUG. After spending all her life in Sweden, both her style and her human growth were subject to continuous transformation once she settled in the capital. “My style always changes, I don’t really like to describe it. I'm very into functionality and comfort, and these mean for me details and pattern-cutting. I'm striking for innovative ways of how to put our needs and behaviour into garments,” she said.
The choice of London for her studies was mainly led by the need as a foreigner to get challenged by the industry in a prominent fashion capital. The worldwide fame of London’s fashion schools was another reason that drew Wendy to the UK. Many relevant names from the international fashion panorama got a degree in London schools. John Galliano graduated from Central Saint Martin, while Vivienne Westwood studied at Westminster. To get to that level you have to challenge yourself and get into the competitive world of fashion, no matter what. Obviously, skills and knowledge are at the basis of a good career start, but for an undergraduate student this may not be enough. Visibility and effort are necessary to get the industry to know you. Wendy describe herself as “lucky enough” to have interned at Cèline, providing her with skills and visibility able to compete within the industry. “At the beginning I wasn’t really confident about my working experience. I was a nurse in Sweden and even if I knew I was a hard worker, I had no real fashion experience I could rely on. But after I got into Celine, I understood that having relevant names of the Industry on your CV can open so many doors,” she explains. She has been, in fact, hired by Maison Margiela in Paris, where she is completing her “sandwich” year as a design intern. She has the opportunity to work close to John Galliano, and to deal learn from heavy duties and stress on a daily basis. “Life here is not that different from London. I haven’t got the stress of the studies, but when I finish working I just go back to my studio flat, fall asleep, and wake up again ready for another day at the office,” she says.
Her former flatmate Marcella Massidda, 21, describe her as the “most hard-working person” she has ever known. “When she was interning last year, she would disappear for hours in her room, where she prepared a portfolio for days and nights. One day she also forgot to eat,” she adds laughing. Before striking out into the real world of fashion, Wendy had unrealistic ideas about the industry. “At the beginning I thought fashion was all about the glamorous and fabulous life,” she explains, but she can now prove it as another reality. “Being in the industry is a lot of hard work when it comes to creating a collection or collections, and the growing vanity among the industry makes it even worse.” Fashion has changed since the time when designers could just think about it as a mean of self-expression. In a digitally connected world like ours, the fashion industry has had to reshape its appearance. The fear is that this whole system could forget its roots just to revolve around money. “I think some brands forget about our behaviour today, especially in a commuting city. But it can all be a contradiction since many fashion houses now are simplifying their products and losing their creativity […] Fashion moves so fast and people want to update their wardrobe as soon as possible.” Time has passed since Wendy sewed her first pair of panties, learning better and better how to compete with this fast-paced industry. After London and Paris Wendy is almost ready to settle in New York for another interning experience, this time with Marc Jacobs: “The more stylistic views you get from your experiences, the better. So I don’t want to stop” she concludes.
Known only as ‘Banksy’ - the artist who installed his own painting at the Tate Museum. Banksy has become a worldwide phenomenon thanks to his witty and sarcastic art, which puts social and political issues to society’s attention. The UK graffiti artist, who stays unknown, engages art lovers, activists and fellow street artists around the world. According to Banksy himself his work is inspired by cannabis resin and daytime television. You can now enjoy an exhibition of original Banksy pieces at the Hang-Up Gallery in Dalston. 81 Stoke Newington Rd, London N16 8AD Closest stations: Dalston Kingsland & Dalston Junction
he free destination for the incurably curious. For its autumn exhibition, the Collection takes on the much talked about issue of mental health, in Bedlam: the asylum and beyond. Through curated installations from artists, historical documents, medical records, film and art, the exhibition gives an insight into the progression of attitudes towards mental health. Eva Kotátková’s installation, the dimly lit ‘Asylum’ engulfs visitors in a sombre silence yet still manages to fill the room with an uneasy tension. Through testimonies and illustrations from patients of Bothnice Psychiatric Hospital in Prague an insight to their psyche is given. Anecdotes, being their only mode of communication, express how on edge asylum patients felt, crippled by phobias. How they lock said phobias in the cellar of their heads. Revealing how inner visions were monsters. Their heads being invaded castles. How their ideas exceed acceptable limits. How fantasy is a nice thing, but only in certain doses. These inner thoughts inevitably leading to the label of delusion being placed upon them. German designer, Tim Klasener, 21, said: “I liked that you got a good insight of how people with mental disorders see the world and themselves. It was interesting and very educating.”‘Asylum’ - very chaotic and juxtaposed, which takes an archaeological approach in creating an uneasy and tense atmosphere. The atmosphere is helped by spiked sculptures and caged windows. A vase with hands trying to escape, taking centre, perfectly expresses how trapped patients felt within these institutional constraints. London MA student, Darryl Campbell, 27, noted although: “The pieces provided were an eclectic mix, including obscure depictions of faceless humans, the display emitted an aura of disquietude which served to reinforce a deeper meaning to the exhibit.” Through metaphors, visitors are able to imagine the extensiveness of mental health. Bethlem Royal Hospital, or ‘Bedlam’ as it’s typically referred to makes the exhibition and installations flow cohesively. It is Europe’s first and oldest mental institution to treat mental illness and is still giving treatment today. The history of the building is documented, as well as the demise of mental asylums. Accompanied by books and records dating back until the 13th century. Scandalous stories of conditions being exposed and the ill-treatment of patients leading us to where we are today. Explained is society as we know it, how it has gone to using the term mental hospitals, instead of lunatic asylums and madhouses. Campbell added: “Yes, attitudes and practices towards sufferers of mental health problems have improved over time, but there is still some way to go.”Portraits from Henry Hering depicting patients before and after their time in these institutions add shock factor, as well as art from artist Richard Dadd. The portraits evoking sympathy due to drastic changes in physical features. Essentially from being confined and tortured. Portraits displayed beside electroshock bracelets and straitjackets, give insight into the treatment patients received. With institutions eventually running out of funding, leaving patients confined for life.
“The pieces provided were an eclectic mix, including obscure depictions of faceless humans, the display emitted an aura of disquietude which served to reinforce a deeper meaning to the exhibit”
Javier Tellez’s movie installation, ‘Caligari and the Sleepwalker’ raises the question of what exactly normality is. The main subject of the movie referring to himself as ‘extraterrestrial’. Tellez’s black and white installation breaks the exhibition off from its dark eerily mood and focuses on progression. How we are longer in those days or mindset. A chess sculpture by Tellez is also featured, each chess-piece being a mental illness. With a sense of sadness, he metaphorically tells how life goes on and there will always be obstacles to overcome.‘Bedlam’ moves onto the advancement of psychiatric help and pharmaceuticals. Feelings of exactly how patients at the time felt are captured at each point, inviting guests to relive it in their imagination and in the atmosphere. The Hearing Voices Cafe, where those who hear voices are invited to sit, gives a sense of empowerment, showcasing how accepting we have become towards mental health. The space slowly becomes louder with conversation, progression is captured perfectly as even visitors feel less restricted to be silent. In comparison to the space’s first dimly lit room, the final installation is full of colour and hope. It features Hannah Hull’s Madlove ‘A Designer Asylum’ - a collaborative piece drawing experiences from sufferers of mental health issues who have created their own utopia.
Klasener, enjoyed how the collection “presented a serious topic with a funny film and colourful part at the end.” Talking about our progression and how far we have to go he says: “Today it is much more socially accepted as an illness and treated better than a few decades ago. People are better educated about mental health and there will be much more progress, because we get to know so much more about how the brain functions.” Asked at the end to fill out a form, for personal keeping, the exhibition becomes interactive asking visitors their opinions and views. Enquiring how you personally would deal with the issue and how you see it progressing further.
Elissavet Ntoulia, a Visitor Experience Assistant at the Collection, said: “The exhibition has been well attended, receiving a steady flow of visitors as they believe it is a very important issue that should be addressed more.” The exhibition, which received mixed reviews, has proven to be a success in terms of educating visitors on a much discussed topic. Ntoulia said: “The events programme accompanying the exhibition is also very popular and all events have been fully booked.”The Wellcome Collection’s current exhibition runs through until January 2017 and explores the broad scope of mental health.
Lucy Williams, 21, student at Leeds College of Art creates work surrounding the idea of creating optical illusions from visual imagery sourced from 3D sculptures. Her 2D work is a reflection of these; using lazer cut frames and cubic forms that have a tactile quality to them enable Williams to move the shapes around to create new compositions using elements of light, reflection and colour to enhance the pattern before drawing it digitally. “I use words like motion and compression to form the textures I make in my designs, using bits of leather pressing through the mono print roller to create the almost animal-like print pattern.” She said. Lucy is also the founder of IMPRINT collective; a collaborative project exploring interactive art and installation creating opportunities for those who wish to share ideas and work in a large space. IMPRINT is a platform to enhance the creative talent Leeds has to offer. The collective brings a collaborative opportunity for multi-disciplinaries, across a range of artist’s fields.
HOLY HOLY HOLY HOL Y HOLY HOLY HOLY HO LY HOLY HOLY HOLY H OLY HOLY HOLY HOLY HOLY HOLY HOLY HOLY Y HOLY HOLY HOLY HO
“I was born a designer, baby”
From a very young age, Benjamin Alexander always knew that he would be a designer. He does admit that he wanted to be a lawyer for a bit. How glad we are that he chose to go down the designer route. As a kid he got his love of fashion from his mother; dressing up in her clothes and then returning the favour to Barbie dolls. If only he could dress all of us. Citing his mother and all the lucky women in his life as his “favourite thing in the world”, it is no shock that his designs showcase the female body in a beautiful, sophisticated, but still seductive and sexy manner. Feminine and masculine aspects of design are explored; his last collection gave us breathtaking gowns followed by sequinned power-suits. Using clean-cut lines and luxurious silks and linens, his designs drape and hang off the body with ease and perfection. The dashing designer, hailing from Auckland, NZ, only launched his eponymous label in 2015. And has been making waves in the fashion scene down under since. Said sequinned power-suit mentioned before was worn by Australian transgender model Gemma Cowling. As if he wasn’t busy enough, the 22 year old is currently studying his Masters in Fashion and Psychoanalysis. His optimistic outlook on life is refreshing, although never fully happy with final products, he hasn’t occurred any setbacks to date. “You can always do better, you know every minute detail of the work. There have been no setbacks, always moving forwards.” “All I do and wanna do is make clothes.” With big dreams of seeing his designs at the Met Ball one day. Or to dress the likes of Daphne Guinness or SJP. Or, of course, Lady Gaga - “the best bitch.” So it’s no surprise that his favourite designer is, the late great, Alexander McQueen. “The McQueen shows, or the spectacle of his shows, are iconic as fuck.” What pisses this level-headed guy off about our beloved fashion industry? “Fast fashion, unethical practice and sneakers.” Because they’re “lazy” - so don’t expect them to be making an appearance at any of his future runway shows. “Follow your bliss,” that’s the best piece of advice he’s ever received, “it was from a book my dad had when I was young.” His advice to young designers vying to crack the industry: “Work your ass off. It’s always good to have a lil dirt on your shoe.” Falling in love with Copenhagen, Florence, London and Paris, he is unsure where he will eventually settle. These cities, not being inspiring to him, but “the people in those place are what is.” “The most inspirational and iconic thing I ever saw was a woman in Paris. Walking out in a fulllength mink coat, grey tracksuit and bucket hat. Bag underarm, minding her own fucking business, buying bread from the bakery.” Just after launching his pre 2017 collection, the next step for Benjamin Alexander is a planned research trip to India and then full scale production. Check out his, very, cheeky pre 2017 collection. This Kiwi is definitely one to watch, and a new favourite.
THE GIRL WITH THE SIGNATURE DARK LIPSTICK
“As a fashion blogger I can share my own style and ideas with other people. That makes me most proud, but obviously being exposed to the fashion world and getting your eyes on the latest trends is always very alluring”
She looks as flawless as her Instagram feed and her smile is contagious. It’s unbelievable how someone so busy still manages to look great and be energetic. Erjola Marku, 27, insists on being called Eri, as it sounds “more like her”. She’s wearing a pair of ripped denim, a crop top, platform shoes, a choker and her signature dark lipstick. Eri describes her style as “girly with a kick of edgy street style”. “I don’t look up to other style icons. I’m my own person and love creating my own style,” she says, sipping her coffee in a café in London’s East End. Having an individual style is probably one of Eri’s secrets to success. As an influential fashion blogger and successful Social Media and PR manager at London Ethnic, a reputable London fashion collective house, she knows what she wants – and how to get it. The expertise she gained from having her own fashion and beauty blog gave her a big advantage in landing
the job in the first place. “My employer was super impressed with my blogging and offered me to take over their social media platform and be their official PR girl,” she says. But having a job in the field is actually a full-time occupation. If you want to be successful in the fashion industry, you must to be up-to-date with the latest fashion news and trends, even if you feel worse for wear, she says. There is NO day off. Ever. “First thing I do every morning is reading PR & press books, new blog entries of my favourites and check out the latest fashion news, all while having my morning latte.” But it doesn’t stop there. Eri, who moved to London three years ago from Albania, constantly needs to work on her blog as well to stay on top of the game. “There is a lot of competition out there and if you skip an entry here or there, you’ll lose your readers to someone else,” she says. “That’s just the nature of the business and if you’re not hardworking and reliable, forget it.
You’re better off sticking to your day job.” Even though her life sounds tough, with little time to rest, she enjoys some great incentives as well. “I get invitation to fashion events all the time. Sometimes I even have to decline them, because I can’t cut myself in half - unfortunately.” The most important incentive for her personally is something completely different though. “As a fashion blogger I can share my own style and ideas with other people. That makes me most proud, but obviously being exposed to the fashion world and getting your eyes on the latest trends is always very alluring,” she says. The 27-year-old, who lives with her British boyfriend in South London, loves her job just as much as blogging. Saumen Kar, 35, director of London Ethnic says that he hired Eri, because she knows exactly what she’s doing. “This girl can make some noise in the industry! It’s great to have her, because she’s got a following of her own, which is beneficial for the business as well,” Kar says.
Eri started her blogging journey three years ago, but initially being a blogging superstar wasn’t planned at all. She says that she first created an Instagram account where she shared outfit inspirations and trends. After getting some great feedback from the Instagram community she decided to put some more effort into it and created her blog Eri Ilsley - a combination of her first and second name. “From that point onwards I spread my wings and re-shaped my whole approach into the blogging world,” she says. The biggest challenge in fashion blogging is to stand out from the competition. “I realised that being myself attracts the most readers. If you don’t find your true identity, you’ll just be another number in the big blogging pond,” Eri says. At the beginning she mostly did brand reviews in exchange for product giveaways, but she soon realised that it’s the wrong approach. “I love to blog about personal thoughts and even poems.” She says that her blogging approach changed tremendously over the years. “I touch on much more personal issues now. I recently did a post on social anxiety and got a lot of good feedback from it, because it relates to so many people and it’s a topic that’s usually kept under covers.” In the blogging industry you need a thick skin, because there are always people who disagree with you or don’t like what you’re saying, she says. “The best way to get more traffic is sharing your blog via your social media channels. It takes some guts to share your thoughts with your closest friends and enemies.” If you want to meet Eri live, catch her at the London Fashion Week 2017 Showcase and Reception by London Ethnic on February 16th. Tickets are available on eventbrite.co.uk.
VINTAGE VS CHARITY Is it time to say goodbye to a beloved staple of British high streets? A new study from the True and Fair foundation found that thousands of charity shops in the UK were costing the government more money. Can young people save them or is it time to let vintage stores takeover? The study revealed that charity shops were making less profit than other well known high street retailers like Topshop and Next. Charity shops benefit from tax concessions under UK law and are also exempt from corporation tax on profits. The government also fund an 80% rate relief on property taxes. According to the Charity Retail Association, every year charity shops raise over £270million for a range of different causes through the 10,500 operating within the UK. The number of charity shops on British high streets dwarfs the number of Topshop stores at 300.
Cherry, 21, who works in Brick Lane, believes that the current high street trend of vintage “is damaging the reputation of independent stores.” With high street stores dedicating sections of their shops to renewed items, “it is damaging the vintage business as people are more inclined to buy from a large well-known name.” Unsure whether she feels there is a place for vintage stores on the high street or not, she says: “I think vintage stores are hidden gems and always should be. By putting them on the high street you are commercialising them, something that shouldn’t be done.” “Charity shops have always been there and should be, by putting vintage shops there it is just giving into commercialism and following trends. People don’t go to either for the latest trends,” she says. Although charity shops are using government money, it seems that they still have a place on the British high street. Vintage stores may just be too cool for the high street. With both serving different purposes and different customers, there is no real competition; both sell fashionable clothing. It will take more than young trendsetters to up their profits, but it doesn’t look like Oxfam and Cancer Research will be going anywhere too soon. The report, ‘Lifting the Lid’ discovered that charity shops make only a 17 per cent profit, despite the fact most of them are run solely on donations and volunteering staff unlike larger high street chains. It also revealed that Next PLC were more profitable. Suggesting, that by cutting down the number of charity shops and focusing on fundraising instead, the government will save money. Is the battle between charity shops and vintage stores over before it has even started? There have always been comparisons made between the two, one having too much clutter and the other being overpriced. The main consensus, essentially, they both sell the same stuff; one just benefits from profit. Over the past few years due to consumer spending and fashion trends; the vintage trend has become extremely popular with fashion-savvy young people. Discussing the ratio of charity shops to vintage shops, 18-year-old charity-shop volunteer
Aimee Grainger shares that it would “be nice to see more vintage shops. Most people that come to charity shops aren’t looking for vintage clothing, but for things they can afford.” However, as the proceedings from charity shops go toward a good cause; “we need to support local charity shops.” Taking recent fashion trends into consideration, Aimee believes: “It will persuade more new customers and could potentially remove the stigma attached to second-hand clothing.” With people experimenting more with their fashion choices, she says: “People are becoming more creative and charity shops are where they can find unique funky clothing.” Like Aimee, over 221,000 volunteer in charity shops as their way of giving back. Unlike charity shops, the stock found in vintage stores have been sourced and curated. Shoppers are able to easily navigate through endless rails of clothing from their favourite decades. Georgina
Ragyard, a new brand on the vintage scene, have opened two flagship stores in just under a year. Both situated on hipster-loving Brick Lane and trendy Portobello, their stores are essentially like hidden treasure chests. Originally inspired by boutiques that you’d find in Los Angeles, they seek to organically source different garments from around the world; displaying them in an edgy and eclectic way with their own collection each season.“We Love To Create” is lit up in neon lights in store, garments are made and produced in their North London factory, giving old garments a new lease of life. Distressed military designs and embroidered peacock detailing featured on tees, have become their signature as well as leather sourced locally in London.Levi’s are ripped apart from the seam and replaced with woven alpaca and wool belts. Mexican rugs are turned into winter coats lined with fleece. One-off pieces are handmade with intricate detailing. Finding these pieces take quite some time and dedication, from 100 jackets, two are typically selected.Ragyard’s aim to bring everything you would fall in love with on a travelling holiday, from every corner of the Earth, under one roof. Fancy bags made in Indonesia, a traditional Chinese kimono, or art nouveau clutch bags? You’ll find it here.Unlike your run-of-the-mill vintage stores, Ragyard is like a museum. Not restricted to just clothing, they sell antiques: old typewriters dating back to 1912, Avon aftershave bottles from the 80s and original pinball games.Customers vary from Grandma’s purchasing teacups to students looking to spice up their flats. Quintessentially British, of course the Queen pops up on memorabilia throughout the stores. Giving tourists visiting the trendy hotspots to take home a real souvenir rather than a naff postcard. Checking out at the till, let chocolates from New Zealand or spacepops from California tempt you.Recently teaming up with artist Blair Zaye, they held an exhibition and auction at their flagship store in Brick Lane. The event was a success and saw 15 internationally acclaimed street artists customise 15 jackets to raise money for charity - Art Against Knives.
Born to Bangladeshi parents, Selina Islam was born and raised in Cheltenham; a predominantly white middle-class town. Her father moved to England to earn a better living and her mother soon followed suit shortly after they wed. Both her parents see their faith as an important part of their lives, and as a child she was encouraged to do the same. With Islam being the most widely followed religion in Bangladesh, the 22-year-old was expected to go to the mosque, read the Quran and dress modestly. Being the middle child of five, she was “practically invisible” and was “super quiet and awkwardly shy," she recalls. She found her love for fashion as a young girl, from reading magazines. Currently in her final year, Selina studies Fashion Communication and Styling (BA) at Middlesex University. When she realised that styling was a profession, Selina set her “heart on it," adamant to take that exact career path. “At the time, I was young, a little naive and completely unaware of how many obstacles would stand in my way,” she says. Knowing London is the place for her to be at this moment in her life, it wasn’t an easy journey.
Her parents completely against the idea, and “the decision to leave home was the most difficult one I’ve ever had to make," she says. “My parents believe that Asian girls, especially Muslim girls should stay at home where they can be kept an eye on.” Selina, oblivious to how detrimental her career choice would have on her family, accepted her place at university. “My leaving caused so much grief for everyone in our family, you would think that I confessed to a murder.” Completely unaccepting of her decision, her mother actually walked out on the family before she left for uni. “Apparently, me making a choice about my own life had pushed her to the edge. I had to call her every day, and beg her to come back. She eventually did the night before I was due to move.” Essentially, she was forced to negotiate with her family to accept her career. Selina’s choice to move, echoes that of her father’s, who left his family as a teenager. Her 50year- old mother, Zahera, expected her daughter to follow in her footsteps by becoming a housewife and was confused by her daughter’s choices.
“We never really took Selina seriously when she told us that she was interested in fashion.” In Bengali culture, a career in fashion is often looked down upon and not seen as valid. “I thought Selina would go into law or medicine, something that Bengali people regard as being of high status and will make you wealthy,” careers typically expected of most South Asian children by their parents. Now elated with her life in London, after three years, Selina is still profoundly connected with her family. Through her studies she has been given the opportunity to experiment with her aesthetic and explore different themes. Selina’s recent work connects fashion and something she is passionate about; “South Asian women.” Growing up in Cheltenham she “never felt proud of my culture or my roots but coming to London changed that.” Although the industry is “always evolving, people of colour are still alarmingly underrepresented or misinterpreted,” she hopes that her work can empower South Asian women.
In her new series ‘East meets West’, Selina combines Eastern and Western cultures. Hoping her work resonates with “women who have felt too brown for white people and too white for brown people.” Like her, there are many other girls out there who want to “preserve the goodness of their roots and culture but also want freedom and acceptance regarding their life choices, sexuality or career.” Since coming to London, Selina has been exploring her freedom. “Apart from my brothers, I had no real interaction with guys, but most of my friends now are guys.” Unsure of what her mother would say, she expresses: “Of course, she would not be happy but in a way, by not letting her know, I am protecting her. It has never been my intention to rebel.” Selina sources her models through street castings and social media. “I find them more interesting and I like my work to reflect them as a person too.” With all the models having the same South Asian background as Selina, her work gives a clear message - “women of colour are valuable, beautiful and have a lot to offer.” It is no surprise that Selina’s work embodies the same message as someone she has had a lot of admiration for, “Edward Enninful. He is a game changer. The Italian Vogue ‘Black Issue’ is something that will go down in fashion history.” Taking pride in her roots and using them as the starting point for her references, her work has allowed her to “push myself to get out of my comfort zone.” She has recently started experimenting with different cameras; both digital and film. “To work with as many different people as possible,” is a goal she has set herself as, “every individual creative brings something different.” Selina is set to graduate in the summer.
FROM SKETCHPADS TO TOUCHPADS
How digital art has changed the illustration industry
“I typically hand draw or paint my work, but have found that digital design opens up your creativity. It allows me to manipulate my images”
For young illustrators it seems that the options on what they can and can’t do are endless. They can enter into almost any industry that they wish. This is thanks to the rise of digital art. It seems that sketching and painting are now dying art forms and millennials are making the move from canvases to computer screens. With the advances in technology, and, of course the internet, illustrators are now using digital design and new software to create graphics and images. With illustration and visual design becoming so open in terms of interpretation, the industry is the most competitive it ever has been. These young illustrators are pushing boundaries and illustrating their own rules. Charlotte McGlinchey, a 25-year-old illustrator from Manchester, remembers: “I had to scramble to learn all the latest programs. I typically hand draw or paint my work, but have found that digital design opens up your creativity. It allows me to manipulate my images.” This method has allowed her to experiment with designing clothing and accessories. “You can apply it to a number of art fields; fashion, branding or even tattooing. The bar has been raised and the competition is tough.” With so much competition, Charlotte sees this as a benefit to her as it opens the door to potential
collaborations. With illustrators’ work being commissioned for art galleries throughout the world, artists now know they have the freedom to experiment as much as they possibly can. Being able to adapt their styles to different brands and briefs, illustration can open the doors to many different industries and platforms. “There’s always that split personality where I’m doing what the client wants and what I want to do,” says Jonathan Collingwood. “I always want to do something different and what I want.” The 23-year-old Visual Communication student seeks to break away from guidelines and restrictions, choosing to work freelance. “I hate your everyday shit, the more dark and hideous, the better,” he says about his own work, adding that he likes to take reference from weird films and the work of other artists. “I scroll through Instagram like a mad man, always seeing cool new stuff.” With the help of social media, artists are able to promote their own work but also give inspiration. “One day, I’ll have a collection of the weird and wonderful,” with the satisfaction of inventing something being enough to him. Jonathan’s advice on getting ahead in the now cut-throat industry: “Show how good
and different you are, take it serious.” Having the freedom to not only work freelance, but also to collaborate can prove to be lucrative and help establish a brand. Ellie Louise, a 19-year-old Fashion Direction student from Liverpool, takes a more literal approach with illustration as a whole: “It has no restrictions, I could build an object, as long as it illustrates a story, it works.” With a strong interest in music, when illustrating she lets music take a visual form: “When I hear something I instantly see a colour, shape and form.” By connecting her love of music to her illustrations, she has been able to work within the music industry. Working with Weekend Wars and Katie Mac, she was “challenged to create sleeves and EPs for their first releases,” as well as social media projects. She is currently working on artwork for Super 8 Cynics. The advancements in technology has allowed a new wave of up-and-coming artists to create what they want. The sense of freedom in the industry teamed with the endless opportunities to collaborate has given them the upper hand. Creating their own platforms, showcasing the work and personal styles, making clients come to them first.
“One day, I’ll have a collection of the weird and wonderful, with the satisfaction of inventing something being enough to me”
n a t a n h o J
e i l E
“Illustration has no restrictions, I could build an object, as long as it illustrates a story, it works”
GUESS WHO’S BACK
Infamous London nightclub Fabric is back in business after winning appeal against closure
Fabric reopened its doors for the first time on January 6 after a five month long closure. The club saw its license revoked by Islington Council following the drug related deaths of two teenagers. Upon the closure of the super-club there were numerous protests and campaigns, ‘SaveFabric’ being the main; which raised over £300,000 to help with fees. Before the big reopening Fabric took to Instagram to thank supporters for saving Fabric. “Without the strength of your backing this would not have happened. You saved Fabric.” As expected the club was under strict police and CCTV surveillance, operating a zero tolerance to illegal substances. Only over 19s are permitted and those caught with drugs in the club will now be imposed with a life long ban. Not much inside has changed, it is still the same old Fabric that we all love and has been a staple in the European clubbing scene since first opening in 1999. What’s better than Fabric reopening? The news that Vivienne Westwood will be hosting a club night, that’s what. SWITCH, which is in partnership with Climate Revolution, is focused on encouraging clubbers to become more climate conscious.
FACING THE WORLD Itâ€™s 2017 and hearing about adventurers going solo travelling is not that much of a big surprise anymore. Still, too much scepticism and negative stereotypes keep many people away from doing it...
O There are many reasons why people decide to travel alone. Sometimes, especially among students, it’s difficult to find the perfect travelling companion. Some are broke, some are too busy or some can’t even be bothered. But then you’re scared, meaning… not travelling at all. Paul Toepel, 27, from Germany has been backpacking for more than one year, explaining: “I don't necessarily 'choose' to travel alone, but none of my friends have both time and money to join me for these trips. But I really want to travel and see the world - so I just go alone.” But it’s not necessary to go too far away to enjoy a solo trip: Europe could act as a springboard to gradually train you to this kind of experience. Some people are wilder than others and are physically and morally able to keep themselves away from danger. Truth is, that being careful during your solo trip may avoid loads of trouble. Lisa Young, 20, an Australian student currently enrolled at Bocconi University in Milan, has recently started a European tour all by herself. “Of course, once you reach a destination that is already far away from home, the best thing to do is getting the most of the surroundings,” she says.. “Don’t forget to add the needed alertness to the magic potion,” says Lisa. It’s actually true that too many times the news freak people out with stories of young backpackers disappearing, and this almost always applies to women, especially where the cultural gap is strong.
“But once you get used to the adventure, you really get to appreciate travelling solo. It is freeing and lets you fully enjoy your growth as a person and as a citizen of the world. “I usually get to know many people. I am a very talkative person! But even if you just want to stay on your own, you have nothing to loose,” she says.. Whether you decide to stay close to your culture, or go towards the infinity - and beyond - either the app stores or your local bookshop offer many alternatives. Hostelworld.com and booking.com are the most popular accommodation tools, perfect for the most organised travellers. Paul, instead, uses the Coachsurfer app to get affordable accommodation with the benefits of meeting locals.. “I found a new amazing addition to my travels - Couchsurfing. Locals basically offer accommodation to travellers for free. It’s incredible. You meet amazing, cool people and truly get to know the place and culture. I am addicted to it,” says Paul.
Making new friends and discovering the hidden secrets of the places you visit are surely the perks of travelling solo. If you are still unsure, the best thing to do is saving some cash, packing a backpack, and get inspired by a travel guide. “Surviving every day is easy - just get a Lonely Planet, book a random flight anywhere you want. Don’t plan too much in advance and just enjoy every day and let it flow. Go and travel, see the world, be open. It will be amazing,” says Paul. The future has already come and got the world so close to us, so don’t be scared to be alone - you won’t be, if you follow these examples. Choose the place that better fits your personality and culture, seek help from local people, and then you’re all set. This is the time to travel “solo”.
LDN KEEP YOUR LEGS SHUT!
Who doesn’t despise them? Men who take up more than one seat on public transportation, opening their legs as wide as possible to air their private parts, driving fellow passengers, usually women, into a corner. The MANSPREADER. The Urban Dictionary describes it as “the act of men spreading their legs particularly on a subway train - to create space for their genitalia”. Male passengers adopt their signature commuting posture as soon as they set foot on public means of transport, while women sit all coiled up not to take up too much space. “I hate them! It’s called public transportation for a reason. People should be considered and if they aren’t, they should get a taxi! I don’t understand why they think it’s okay, just because they are men,” says Lisa Schrammel, 22, student who uses London’s tube system at least three times a day. Not only are manspreaders behaving like the king of the castle, but they also get awfully close and harass strangers with unwanted knee-to-knee action. “Why should I tolerate being pushed into a small space, just because some man next to me needs space for their willy?,” asked Schrammel. With more and more people moving to urban areas which causes overcrowding on public transport, manspreading is becoming a bigger issue. London Underground is the world’s oldest and one of the largest railway networks, serving 270 stations with 11 lines. London’s Tube system handles up to 4.8 million passenger journeys per day, which clearly doesn’t allow much space for manspreaders. On the internet, the invasion of one’s space on public transport is a topic that’s widely discussed and criticised. Even airplanes are not safe anymore as this tweet by Kels @ksd_18 suggests: “But also, dudes. Manspreading on airplanes is not cool. Your
dick is not that big. This isn’t a contest to see if you can do the splits.” Trainee psychologist Rebecca Williams, 24, says that the problem and reasoning lies hidden far in history when women were suppressed by “the stronger sex”. From young age on women are taught to be small and quiet, while men are brought up to be loud, commanding and to stand up for themselves. “Who does not remember their mom saying to stop whistling because that’s a ‘boys thing’?,” says Williams. “Society thinks that the issue of gender inequality is widely tackled, but manspreaders prove that to be wrong.” Some “mansplain”, that they can’t help but manspread due to being tall, like Thom @ManukaHunty took to Twitter: “Should I apologise for being tall with long long legs?” We say, there are plenty of tall women out there, who still manage to keep their body parts onto one seat, so it shouldn’t be an issue for men either. But not all hope is lost. Some men finally start to realise that manspreading is an issue as Michael Betts @mchlbtts takes to Twitter: “This manspreading thing right, I’m sat next to a bloke on the coach now. And I get it. Ffs, this is awful.” Especially bigger cities like London, Paris and New York are targeted by manspreaders, because the public transportation means offer perfect conditions for them. Clearly manspreaders are not very popular on crowded trains as New York showed last year when two men have actually been arrested for manspreading on the underground. Manspreading is coming under fire recently, because of increasing reports of groping on public transport. British Transport Police (BTP) is encouraging women to report every “unwanted sexual behaviour” to help to prevent it from happening again.
A spokesperson from BTP told the Independent: “Significant work has taken place to encourage reporting of sexual offences on trains and tubes under the successful Report it to Stop it campaign.” Reports show that most sexual offences take place during rush hour between 5 - 7PM. This comes as a shock, as it was believed that women are most at risk when travelling late at night. “If I sit opposite a manspreader, who then touches his balls for whatever reason, I would consider it as sexual offence!,” says Schrammel. Leonard Kollmann, 24, barista and parttime spreader, admits that he spreads sometimes as well. “I honestly don’t mean to, but sometimes it just happens automatically. I don’t think it’s a major problem though and I don’t get all the fuss about it.” Kollmann assures that he doesn’t manspread with the thought of sexually offending anyone. “There are people who are much worse, like the ones who block seats with their bags or people who stuff their face with a triple cheeseburger in the middle of rush hour. That’s disgusting,” Kollmann continues. Instead of admitting to manspreading, men rather put the blame on women and shift the focus on “she-bagging” and “ladytoe”. While “she-bagging” is rather self-explanatory, “ladytoe” describes women’s sitting posture with their legs crossed, which takes up a lot of space in the narrow corridors of the underground carriages. Manspreaders are like wildfire. They spread uncontrollably and it needs to stop. Together with all the unconsidered listening of loud music, eating smelly food and hogging seats with bags. So next time you get on a bus or train, be considered of fellow passengers and for god sake remember to keep your legs shut!
Girls can look and act like boys and that's totally fine, no one cares, but when a guy wants to look or act like a girl that's not cool? There's grey in there too.”
At the back end of last year, beauty brand CoverGirl hit the headlines for debuting its first ‘cover boy’; Instagram and YouTube star, Charles James. As enchanting as it is seeing men abandon antiquated ideas about masculinity, it’s worth noting that many of these male makeup explorers are gay men, who are breaking expectations around gender expression. In addition to Charles, other men around the world are embracing a face full of makeup, such as Jeffree Star, Manny Mua, Lewyss Ball and Patrick Starrr. You’d be surprised, however, that straight men that wear makeup are still few and far between. So, why are men in makeup becoming more commonplace? We’ve seen it around ever since Prince, David Bowie and other musicians and artists like goth icon Robert Smith who began to don lipstick and eyeliner. But why is it that men who embrace beauty products tend to be viewed as freaks, provocateurs, or dogged by rumors about their sexuality? Despite the metrosexual movement and its admirable efforts, a large number of people still view the use of make-up and beauty products to enhance
male appearance as taboo.Jordan Boxall, a 23-yearold makeup clad socialite from Beverley, Hull, has worn makeup since the age of eight. “I didn't want it to be too obvious that I was wearing mascara so I didn't bother putting loads on, I never wanted to wear it so my teachers and friends could see,” he says. “It was more for me. As long as I knew I had it on it made me feel good, it gave me a buzz. It was my little secret. My parents liked a lot of Bowie and Prince, those two where always kind of omnipresent in my childhood, and I guess that’s where my love for make-up began.” Some men wear makeup the same way women wear makeup, some may wear a small amount of concealer, others may favour a full face of foundation to create a completely different effect and others won’t touch any at all. “I’m not offended, but I wish people would understand that not everything has to be black and white!,” Boxall said. “Girls can look and act like boys and that's totally fine, no one cares, but when a guy wants to look or act like a girl that's not cool? There's grey in there too.”Boxall says people’s reaction to him wearing makeup has been
seen progressive as the years have passed. “Right now I think it's a lot more positive, but that’s only because I don't see or hear the negative anymore. I still get stared and pointed at, because at the end of the day I'm a gay man in makeup and that's something you may not see everyday, especially living in a small conservative town up north, like Beverley.”Proving that makeup knows no gender, YouTube stars like James Charles, Lewyss Ball and Manny MUA are being honored with massive cosmetic campaigns after their YouTube stardom. Quick to judge, people presume these gay men are transgender. “A lot of people ask or assume I'm transgender because they don't know where to put me and everyone loves a label.” Boxall added.“I’ve always loved an audience. I’ve always been flamboyant. Makeup it just another extension for me. My makeup has gotten a lot better over the years I'll admit but it's all self-practice and wearing it almost everyday!“I will say as well to never ever take yourself to seriously! Have a laugh at yourself. That's always a good trait to have! I always try to never take myself seriously, I'm a bloody bloke
Wonky fruit and veg are the new supermarket staple. HOLY explores the new food revolution
IF IT’S UGLY, EAT IT
Ugly food. It’s actually much less disturbing than it sounds. It used to be that apples, tomatoes and oranges wouldn’t make it anywhere near the supermarket shelves if they weren’t as juicy and round as J.Lo’s derrière. It is safe to say that fruit and vegetables suffered about the same as plus size models in Victoria Beckham’s showroom. But times are changing. Big supermarket chains like ASDA, Lidl, Tesco and Co-op have adapted to the wonky veg revolution and added ugly veg boxes to their range with the hope to reduce the currently very high food waste. At the moment it is believed that one third of the world’s food is going to waste due to aesthetical standards in the food industry. “Beauty is always in the eye of the beholder. I love to look at pretty veg and fruit, but for cooking purposes it doesn’t matter how they look,” says Suzanne DeBrango, 54, food blogger for and wonky veg supporter. Organic food pathed the way for the wonky veg revolution. The trend of buying organic produce experienced a huge breakthrough in the past decade, with people willing to pay more for products containing no pesticides or genetically modified organisms. Consumers got used to not perfectly shaped fruit and veg in the supermarket aisles and Alex Lewis, 29, says that the population is ready for ugly food. “I am a fan of organic as well as ugly food,
because it is my way of contributing to a sustainable society,” he says. The father of two explains that he is concerned about the high food waste and the current consumerism of our society. “The world’s population is growing each year and there are people who are starving. The standards of the western world have to change dramatically.” Jamie Oliver discovered in his TV series ‘Jamie & Jimmy’s Friday Night Feast’ earlier this year, that about ten tonnes of wonky veg are thrown in the bin just because they are too ‘ugly’ to sell. The celebrity TV chef describes it as just the ‘tip of the iceberg’, with statistics showing that a jaw-dropping 20-40% of fruit and veg in the UK end up as animal food or waste on landfills. Food is the latest social currency, Waitrose says, with one in five Britons posting their food on social media platforms. Wonky veg supporters have joined in on the fun. They’ve launched Facebook groups and Instagram accounts to inspire people with beautiful imagery and recipes to cook, using the hashtag #uglyfood. And why not? Crooked carrots, wonky cucumbers and curved peppers are just as tasty as their prettier-looking counterparts. “If there were a blind taste test I doubt anyone could tell, which is ugly or perfect,” says DeBrango. The food enthusiast uses misshapen food for her blog ‘apuginthekitchen’ all the time, because she says it is an ingredient that goes into a finished product and beauty is therefore
irrelevant. ASDA sells their wonky veg boxes for £3.50 and they contain about £5 worth of food. The supermarket giant claims that one box allows a family of four to eat healthily for a whole week. “The wonky veg boxes sell out very quickly and the store is unable to offer a steady supply at the moment,” says ASDA employee Steve Barrow, 33. The boxes are proving a great success with consumers, with an ASDA consumer research study suggesting that 65% of customers are open-minded about buying wonky fruit and veg, while 75% are willing to accept less attractive food if it is sold at a cheaper price. Currently, ASDA sells the boxes in 350 of its 525 stores around the country. The restaurant scene has become part of the wonky veg revolution as well. London is now home to the very first zero waste restaurant. ‘Tiny Leaf ’ located at Mercato Metropolitano in Borough, uses misshapen fruit and vegetables to create mouth-watering dishes. Zero waste is an aspiration and a philosophy. We want to create conversation about how wasteful we are being and exploring ways to stop that across the board,” Alice Gilsenan, co-founder of Tiny Leaf, tells the Evening Standard. Everybody should remember that it’s not all about the looks - the inner values count. As food blogger Suzanne puts it: “I love a misshapen carrot or potato or an apple that is not perfectly symmetrical they have character!”
YOUR EXCUSE IS MY BATTLE
“It’s taken one of our friends to die to open up to each other so I really think there’s more to be done, and that needs to be more than just sharing things on social media. It needs to be educating men on how to share and react when someone does share their problems”
Gone are the days you require a doctor’s note to sign yourself off ill from work. Sending a short e-mail at 7:55am to your boss reading ‘I’ve had another anxiety attack, I don’t feel up to it today,’ is often all it takes to get yourself off the hook from a heavy night on the booze. But what about those who really can’t make it into work due to anxiety? Make no mistake, the male mental health crisis is real. The four most common mental health issues in under 21s are anxiety, depression, self-harm and eating disorders. And according to Natasha Devon MBE, co-founder of the Body Gossip education programme and the Self-Esteem Team, these mental health issues have collectively risen by 600 per cent in Britain over the past decade. Hospitalisations for eating disorders and self-harm have doubled in the past three years, and unexpected deaths arising from mental health conditions have soared by 20 per cent over the same period. Matthew Alpin, 21, has been struggling with mental health issues from the age of 14. Gradually he noticed that he was becoming more aware of germs and the perceived threat they presented to him - this lead to obsessive hand washing and a drastic overuse of hand sanitiser. These habits rapidly progressed into an acute phobia of vomiting. As a result, Alpin’s not uncommon combination of being terrified of being sick and an acute fear of germs lead to some unusual behaviour; a reluctance to eat food outside of the house and not being able to drink alcohol due to his fears. This caused him to be ostracised from his friendship group. It was when he joined university to study
graphic design that things took a turn for the worse, as his attendance eventually dropped to lower than 15 per cent. “I had formed an illogical association between lectures and feeling sick. I was awake every morning until 3-4 and sleeping until 10-11, and spending all my time in the flat, either watching Netflix or persuading my flat mates they didn’t need to go to lectures too. “Having done no work over the term and faced with huge deadlines in January, I lost the plot. I slipped into a bout of depression that I am only just recovering from, choosing to leave university and return home. I self-harmed, and often had suicidal thoughts,” he continued. Alpin was referred to the NHS crisis team and made significant progress out of the suicidal and self-harm stage under the care of an NHS nurse. He was then placed on a waiting list for NHS Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. But then things stalled. “This is a list I am still on, over a year later with no sign of treatment,” he said. In 2014, the ONS announced its results of a major survey, showing that the male rate was 16.8 suicides per 100,000 people, versus 5.2 female deaths. The gender split of suicides in 2014 shows male deaths peaking at 76%, and female deaths at just 24%. Thomas Davey, 25-year-old junior doctor said during a routine day at his practice he would usually see 20-30 patients during a clinic. “It is not uncommon for a good proportion of my patients to present with mental health issues, which can have far-reaching consequences for both them and their wider family and social circle. “I see how it affects their work, self-confidence and activities of daily living in a way that a
typical ‘medical’ condition might not. The roots of psychiatric conditions are often interwoven with day-to-day life to such an extent that they can consume people and leave them feeling totally isolated and without hope,” he said. “When patients come to us, treatments are available, but they do not work for everyone, and compliance with treatment is often a problem. The needs and circumstances of these patients are typically more complex than usual too, which adds further hurdles to successful resolution of their condition.” Alpin and many other men are not alone in this. Brad Willingham, 23, lost a close friend due to suicide in February 2015. “The main issue lies with men’s ability to share how we feel with each other and how we react with this. It took my circle of best mates who have been friends for around 20 years, 12 months to sit down and actually tell each other we were struggling after James committed suicide. “It’s taken one of our friends to die to open up to each other so I really think there’s more to be done, and that needs to be more than just sharing things on social media. It needs to be educating men on how to share and react when someone does share their problems.” He continued. “I think we’re vastly under equipped to deal with the new age of men sharing because we’ve been brought up with that as a sign of weakness so we literally don’t have a clue what to say. ‘It’ll be alright mate’ is genuinely the extent of our help and that’s what I think needs to be focused on more at present.”
Whether you’re ready to admit it or not, a young guy being loaned money to follow his dreams and buy a camera, is the kind of story that makes your heart swell. “That’s my man,” says photographer Javan André warmly. A close friend helped him out when he realised his lust for finding the “next shot” was more than just a hobby, it was something he was pretty fucking good at. The 26-year-old’s work is a catalogue of stories. By capturing a fleeting look, or raised brow, this boy from Hackney, when armed with a lense, gives you a conversation, a back story and a plot, without even a whisper of a word. “I have tried to train my mind to see things from many different perspectives, no two photos of people look the same, but I can find you ten identical photos of St Paul's.” His most absorbing picture is one of his favourites: A young girl with hands and hair covering her face. Her bright auburn curls arguing with the shocking blue walls she's surrounded by. The colours are beautiful, clashing like siblings; fighting for a parents attention. “I asked her to bring her hair in front of her face and move her head side to side. She thought this was silly, I could hear her muffled laughter. She then put her hands over her face for a moment. At that point I saw the shot. It's my favourite because it wasn't planned and it came as a result of two people having a natural interaction.” You can feel the life and taste the energy in his portfolio of work. “As it's happening you know you’ve captured something special. Photography for me is not about the production, it’s finding (the image), that’s where I have the most joy.” His collection of photographs tell you absolutely everything and devastatingly nothing about the boy, he holds his cards close to his chest where his family are concerned. Mentioning in passing only, about his older ‘sibling’ and West Indian parents. “I consider myself an independent person and I quite enjoy my own company. I think I get that from my mother.” The well dressed East Londoner’s latest quest for spine tingling pictures has taken him to L.A., the capital of youth, beauty and dreams (he must fit in perfectly). He’s used to travelling, finding himself in Paris three times last year, “it’s beautiful, especially in the summer.” The way he lingers on the word ‘beautiful,’ it's not just a careless adjective tossed from his mouth, he means this differently to the rest, like he’s seen a realm beyond our own. Javan’s less adventurous days are spent selling mens designer shirts, “it's the girlfriend and the wife you have to persuade, make it feel like it's their decision.” It’s this insight, his ability to recognise how humans tick that must make him able to catch life’s fleeting moments so well: An old couple huddled from the rain in a shop window, a skateboarder mid kickflip and a topless likely looking lad in the street, unashamedly scratching the pal in his pants. Mundane moments made magical.
LY OLY OLY HOLY Thanks to those who contributed to this issue.