2 Image By: Santiago Gutierrez
Editor In Chief James Childs Art and Design Art Direction: Bobby Saunders Art and Cuture Editor: Maya Ladwa Art and Culture Publiscist: Colleen Mills
Managing Editor Diana Tleuliyeva
Contributing Photographers Argiel del Mundo Santiago Gutierrez Sid Black
Fashion Fashion Editor: Roseline Awoyale Fashion Publiscists: Khushboo Rafeez & Marsha Ramsamy
Contributing Journalists Danielle Manning Zanna Rollins
Social Media Social Media Editor: Nicole Gunn
Contrubting Graphic Designer Fatawu Issah
Website: nextupmagazine.co.uk Facebook: nextupmagazine Twitter: nextupLDN
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Independance and Individuality
3 Image By: Santiago Gutierrez
04 The emergence of Parkour Maya Ladwa
28 Affinity Argiel del Mundo
10 Paradime Interview James Childs
38 The importance of individuality in fashion Roseline Awoyale
16 Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf Interview Maya Ladwa
42 Alex Dawber (4BYSIX) interview James Childs
20 Does commercialism in art harm young artists? Danielle Manning
46 Street Photography Enam Islam
24 Alina Zamanova interview Marsha Ramsamy
54 Generation Y and Politics Zanna Rollins
Image By: Marco Crupi
The emergence of Parkour “An art to help you pass any obstacle” is how the founder and practitioner David Belle describes the discipline he has coined as Parkour. Some call it a sport, others agree that it is a philosophy and the truly dedicated practitioners believe that it is an art. This individualised form of movement has become one of the most popular methods of physical training worldwide.
Parkour is a military practice that has been transferred to urban surroundings. It is about getting from one place to another using only the body and is not restricted to urban terrains. This form of discipline can be applied in any environment. In this age of technology and machines, most people have adapted to using the gym and exercise machines however Parkour allows the individual to feel the dirt beneath their toes; to interact with nature rather than being sheltered from the world. Using techniques like wall spins, vaults, flips, and jumps, “traceurs” as practitioners are called, overcome physical obstacles that exist in their surroundings such as walls, fences, buildings and bridges. The thought of cart wheeling or jumping off high buildings seems foolish and dangerous but believers of the sport are quick to defend the training. “Everything we do in life has an element of danger, but you need to understand your limitations, it’s called managed risk” says 28 year old Parkour coach Shirley. “It is an art that can be mastered through proper training.” 24 year old Ian Shore, who has only recently joined the discipline claims that, “no one is encouraging people to jump off bridges, the techniques are taught by highly professional coaches but the individual must understand their capabilities and stop when it’s appropriate.” The earliest form of the movement known as “méthode naturelle” emerged before the First World War and was defined by French naval officer, Georges Hébert. He developed this method in the military after visiting African tribes. Hébert used their methods to develop a training to help officers use their natural body movement to get past obstacles in their path – this laid the foundation for the later development of Parkour.
Years later, after being isolated from his parents during the Indochina war, a similar method was adopted by a man called Raymond Belle who was a child soldier. To survive in the military he trained hard during the night whilst everyone was asleep as he did not want to be a victim of the other officer’s abuse. Belle ended up in France, which lead to the further development of Parkour where his son David Belle became the owner of the brand in the 1980s.
Parkour has now made its way to TV shows like Ninja Warriors and documentaries like ‘Breaking the line.’
Belle found 8 other guys who had the same passion for the method and thus began a great movement in France, which was later taken to England by Belle’s friend Sebastian Foucan. It garnered popularity through films and advertisements that used the professionals to showcase their set of tricks. It can be seen as an inspiring journey for Belle for he started as someone that trained in the streets and after years of gruelling training and sleeping on the cold floor he transformed into a much sought after stunt man, choreographer and now filmmaker in Hollywood.
The act of Parkour is an inspiration for self development and the philosophies and theories are central to its principles. The movement is more profound than doing a couple of flips to act like Spiderman. It enables a person to increase their focus and control. Belle describes the process as an act of “self refinement.” Ashleigh Knight is a diligent 18-year-old student from Kings College London who has been involved in Parkour since she was 16, she adds, “this form of activity encourages one to overcome hurdles not only physically but also emotionally. I used to
After being popularised by YouTube and Hollywood, many adherents around the world have been enticed to practice the discipline because they think it looks ‘cool.’ But the originators of this movement disagree with this perspective as it goes against the principles of Parkour.
lack confidence but once I master a certain move, it makes me feel like I can conquer anything. Parkour is a way of life not just a sport.” The originators of the movement are against classifying Parkour as a sport because it promotes rivalry between traceurs, which goes against the principle of humility that is an integral part of the practice. According to the website, parkour.net, competition “pushes people to fight against others for the satisfaction of a crowd and/or the benefits of a few business people”. As a result, the website led a campaign to prevent the practice from becoming a sport in 2007. The movement has rapidly expanded to several countries however it seems that it needs better investment if it is going to be socially accepted by everyone within society. Max Sterling from the Chainstore in East London says, “It’s really good to see that there are a lot of young people
that are showing interest in the sport but parents are still wary of the risks, we need to invest more time, money and organisation towards training in order for it to become part of our culture.” There is a rather poetic notion to this abstract physical phenomenon because of the way traceurs look at their surroundings. Non practitioners will see a lamp post as a simple man-made object that exudes light, yet a practitioner of Parkour will look at it in different way. Either it will be used as a stepping stone to overcome an obstacle or it will be seen as an obstacle that must be tackled. Parkour has come a long way since its inception, from 9 French teenagers running wild in the streets to thousands of people being professionally trained worldwide. One thing is certain, once you start doing Parkour; your whole outlook on life is completely changed. Words By: Maya Ladwa
Image By: Josa Júnior
Image By: Sid Black
Next Up represents aspiring and upcoming talent; in the next pages we showcase who we feel are the ones to watch in 2015. Firstly we head to the graffiti tunnel with the creative collective Paradime and discuss music, acting, production, photography, health and everything in between. Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf discusses her journey as an artist and the importance of self-determination, dedication and creating a path of your own. We then go to the Barbican Centre and discuss fashion, design, interning at Alexander McQueen and pushing yourself beyond your limits with London College of Fashion student Alina Zamanova.
From top left: Andre, Patch, Latir, JP, Karl, 4i, DA, Bobby Devyne, Levi & Xon Image By: Sid Black
PARADIME No Man Is an Island is a famous quote from English poet John Donne, Paradime is a direct representation of those words. Coming out of North London, the creative collective Paradime consist of writers, actors, singers, rappers, gym enthusiasts, sportsmen, producers and more. Created as a means to help one another achieve their goals, the Paradime name has recently been causing a stir in the London underground scene. Previously Next Up sat down with rapper 4i to discuss the release of his widely praised mixtape â€˜Soul Richâ€™. For our print edition we thought it was only right to catch up with the team and give them their proper introduction.
What is Paradime and how was it created? 4i: Paradime is a collective of creatives that consist of a whole group of really close friends that all share the same vision and help each other achieve goals. Whether its music related or not. It was originally created as the Brotherhood which was a bit cliché and dead, it consisted of only a few of us but from there it grew out. My brother came up with the name Paradime and from then we ran with it. It sounds more universal and it resonated with everyone better. Who is a part of the collective and what does everyone do? 4i: Number 4 and letter i. I’m a singer, song writer and rapper. I just dropped the Soul Rich EP, produced by DA. Jay Paul: I’m Jay Paul, I direct and edit videos. Xon: I’m Xon I do videography and a lot of the videos. I produce and sing. Live to love and love to live, no auditions. Latir: I’m a singer and songwriter and now I’m starting to produce. Also a guitarist, pianists, clarinettist and all around creative. Patch: I’m a rapper, poet and writer. Levi: Just dropped my mixtape ‘Gym Life’. [everyone laughs] Only playing I’m not musically talented but I’m on a different journey, just following the whole fitness and healthy lifestyle. I encourage the importance of educating yourself about fitness so everyone can share their experiences and goals. DA: I’m a producer, that’s as far as it goes. Bobby Devyne: I play football but for me Paradime is not just music, it’s a collective of individuals trying to help each other. I’ve been here since the Brotherhood.
Karl: I’m an actor and I also came up with the name. Paradime is a small metaphor, without sounding rebellious it’s about making rules that fit our world, because if you don’t someone else will do it for you. Andre: I’m someone who embraces the philosophy of incorporating mind, body and soul in whatever I do. I’m currently writing some children’s stories with the hope to inspire morals and values. How does independence relate to Paradime? Karl: Were reaching a new age, in the past you needed a thousand people to do one job but now three people can do it. It means standing on your own two feet and doing things for the greater good. With the release of ‘Soul Rich’ your fan base is increasing daily, what have been some of the highlights since releasing the album? 4i: It’s the response from people; I was talking to DA about it the other day. We’ve been getting messages about which songs people love and hearing stories of how Soul Rich has helped them in certain circumstances and it’s been great. I was saying to DA this is why we did the music, to get this human reaction. It’s very rewarding. How have things changed since releasing ‘Soul Rich’? 4i: Yeah in terms of exposure and the way people view you, were still up and coming artist but people have a lot more respect for my craft. Because everyone’s doing music, when you tell someone, the reaction is not always positive but now, with the release of Soul Rich and a lot of videos, people have a different perspective on us.
In your music you mention your family a lot, how has your brother’s acting influenced you? 4i: His passion and work rate. He’s always taken it very serious and it made me realise that is how I need to approach my craft. Different areas but the principle is always the same.
At what age did you want to be become an actor? Karl Jackson: To be fair I’ve naturally fallen in to it. It’s been the one thing where people have said ‘wow you’re really good at this’. It’s been that encouragement from school that has given me the support and confidence to keep me going with it. From primary school where I played King Louie from the Jungle Book, that’s around the time my interest started. You have featured on TV shows such as the BBC’s ‘Murdered by My Boyfriend’ and adverts such as ‘Reebook’. What has been the most valuable lesson you’ve learnt on set? Karl Jackson: The discipline and humbleness required. A lot of the times, when you go to a professional set, you realise how insignificant you are. You’re a small part of a big canvas and you have to play that position. A lot of the time, ego trips can take over and it can be selfdestructive. In the industry there are groups of people who like each other and have something in common, that goes beyond the acting. That is the reason why they work together. The lesson I’ve learnt is to be friendly and be open to new experiences. I’ve been able to reflect on it as a company and collective, when it comes to professionalism we might not all realise it, but professionalism has allowed us to get through the process efficiently and seamless.
As a person of colour is in the UK, are opportunities in acting hard to find? Karl Jackson: I work with a company, it’s a youth advisory channel that helps young black males get back into employment, something ridiculous like 55.5% are unemployed and this is not trying to sound politically correct, this is out there. In the acting world I can look up to Cuba Gooding Jr or Idris Elba but what I’ve realised is that, they are the minority compared to the big scheme of that playing field. You need roles models. There is an assumption that black men have to go down the artistic route to be successful and what happens is we all go in that direction and only a pool of us make it. With the advancement of technology there is more room for us to start to create our own fields. DA you handle a lot of the production, Patch and 4i have very different sounds, how do you decide what beats go to which artist? DA: I don’t have to decide. When I’m producing I’m trying to get the best out them whilst respecting them as artists. Because they are different entities it comes natural. What music influences your sound? DA: A bit of everything. Especially with 4i the music that we are making has been influenced by his love for different types of Hip Hop influenced by his family, from underground Hip Hop to Garage. For me I listen to a whole bunch of different people from Flying Lotus to J Dilla to 9th Wonder and more. I have influences from everywhere and the music is about getting the best out of the artist.
Image By: Sid Black
Image By: Sid Black
14 What is the recording process like and do you give artists comments on how they should sound? DA: With 4i his recording process and what he does with the music is never expected from me. I’ll give him a beat and he’ll come back to me with what he’s done with it and I’ll be thinking ‘wow I never expected that’. With Patch, a lot of the time we will compose the songs together, so I have more of an input because we talk about the composition of the song more. You recently released ‘The Alpha Kid’ how would describe this song for those who haven’t heard it? Latir: The approach I took was epic, I heard the beat and I tried to make it as big as possible, it was written for a future son, saying he can be the greatest if he puts his mind to it. I tried to play with the words. For those who haven’t heard it, I would describe it as epic and powerful. Play it through your speakers. What singers inspire you? Latir: Recently Frank Ocean, Miguel in the past John Legend, Stevie Wonder and a couple of jazz legends like Frank Sinatra. Those are the main ones.
You also produce and sing are you working towards a project and how would describe your production and singing sound? Xon: I’m actually working on a solo project and something with DA. My solo project is completely abstract, old school Slum Village-ish vibes, basslines and funk. The project I’m doing with DA has a similar vibe, but more modern with Soul and trill trap. I would define my voice as a free spirit, when I’m writing my songs I try to bring a good tone and vibe to the music. What do the golden masks in the music videos represent? Xon: I think 4i would be best to answer that question but from my perspective, it represents how everything is interlinked from the concept of ‘Soul Rich’ it utilises how every aspect has soul and you have to embrace that fact. It has literal meaning, in that everyone has a mask that they show about materialistic things and with that mask, it’s a question of what is behind it. You’re recently released ‘The Pirate Ep Vol 1’, what can we expect from this?
15 Patch: With ‘The Pirate Ep Vol 1’ you’re going to get an introduction to me as a person and as an artist. It’s a small collection of stories from my life. It’s available to download at patchandonly.bandcamp.com
Patch: The ‘u’ is twofold, firstly it represents my family, the benefits that I achieve I want to be able to share it with them. Then the bigger u is the audience because I want to be able to help people, through the things I do.
What is the Drunken Philosophy? Patch: The Drunken Philosophy is a phrase that I put together to embody the ethos behind my music, which is to embrace your contradictions. I believe everybody has this element within them and a rounded set of characteristics but sometimes people can only show one side and I feel we need to embrace every part of who we are. Even if things don’t make sense. Drunken Philosophy came about because I’m a big party person and rum drinker but I’m also deeply spiritual and I like to read and I’m into Philosophy. Those two lifestyles are not considered to go hand to hand.
What can we expect from Paradime in the future? Patch: You can expect consistency of music, visuals and positive energy. We are going to continue to build on that, the more momentum the more you will see.
You recently released a single from your EP called ‘No Auditions’, which starts of aggressive but the tone changes towards the end. You end the song with the lines “I wanna live like I’m alive so I can give it all to you.” Who are those lines directed at?
Words By: James Childs
Rebecca is a third year student at Wimbledon College of Arts currently studying a MFA in Fine Arts. She has showcased her work across various exhibitions such as the Royal College of Art, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Mall Galleries and Cork Street. Her work explores the female body and the void between fantasy and reality, in realistic beautiful portraits. We caught up with her at her studio and discussed her journey as an artist, the representation of women in society and what the future holds.
At what age did art become of interests to you? It’s always been of interest to me, I couldn’t really determine a time when it began. My mother and aunt are artists so it’s always been in my surroundings and it’s always been a natural thing for me to do. How would you describe your art? I’d currently describe it as an exploration of themes of femininity, idolisation, desire and mortality through the framework of figurative painting, investigating the mythologising qualities inherent in portraiture. How do you decide on who you are going to paint? In these last years I’ve been painting women in my surroundings; friends, friends of friends and in one case someone I met in a bar who I was instantly drawn to. We have now become good friends. I’m interested in taking people from every day and transforming them into something iconic.
What other artists and people in general inspire and influence you? There are many artists who inspire and influence me. I’m lucky to be surrounded by artists and creatives in my circle of friends and family and at Wimbledon [College of Art]. They all inspire and influence me in different ways. In terms of well-known artists, I’ve been looking at Marlene Dumas and Wangechi Mutu a lot recently, but I always come back to artists such as Peter Doig, Sigmar Polke, Francis Bacon, Egon Schiele, Gustav Klimt and the Pre-Raphaelites. You worked at a gallery how did that experience motivate you? The gallery I worked in was more of a museum, and it motivated me in terms of making me realize that it was not what I wanted to do. Although it was ‘technically’ working in the arts there was nothing creative about it. I found that I didn’t have the time or energy to paint after I’d been at work, I was paying for studio space at the time, and it motivated me to try and find alternative, less rigid employment, so I could focus on making art.
What would you say has been your biggest achievement? To be honest, I think not giving up has been my biggest achievement, and getting myself to a point where I can live from my art. What struggles do you face being an artist? Making ends meet, as an artist it is a major struggle and doing this whilst keeping your artistic integrity is at times is hard. It can be quite a steep learning curve, because you’re not just an artist, you’re also trying to be a business person, an accountant and a marketing manager all at once and that isn’t necessarily something that comes natural to most artists. On the other side keeping things in perspective is probably one of the biggest struggles. Not comparing your own successes and failures to those of others, not allowing your sense of achievement and self-worth to depend on external factors such as financial successes, failures or prizes and competitions.
What is your favourite painting and do you have a least favourite? The way I feel about my work constantly evolves, and I often have quite a contradictory and conflicted relationship with my work, where at one moment I can feel completely satisfied and then I slip into absolute despair and want to destroy it. At the moment though, there are a couple of pieces which I feel happy with and they happen to be some of my latest pieces such as ‘traces’, and ‘spectrum’. I feel happy with ‘spectrum’ in particular because I feel that it marks a shift forwards. Maybe that’s what defines which pieces become my favourites temporarily, it’s when I feel that something has clicked and developed. What does independence mean to you and how does that relate to your path? I think that the path of an artist is mostly a solitary, selfdetermined one. You have to carve out a path of your very own. There is no specific way to make art or be an artist. There are no set rules as to how to conduct yourself, even to the point of whether you choose to show your work to anyone or not. So I think independence is at the very core of my life and my work as an artist. How would you describe the void between fantasy and reality? To me it describes an existential problem of existence and desire. As human beings we are never static or complete, we are in a state of constant flux and uncertainty. Yet, I believe we long for some kind of certainty or wholeness. We have a fantasy, a desire, which can never truly be fulfilled. Even if the conscious manifestation of our fantasy
is fulfilled our desire shifts onto something new leaving a constant void. What is it about the female subject that intrigues you? I am a woman and I come from a very matriarchal family, so I’m interested in the female subject from quite a narcissistic point of view to begin with. From an early age I’ve enjoyed looking at and drawing women. We are surrounded by images of female beauty in contemporary society, from media images through to art history, and these images have a very strong effect. I find they can be simultaneously enchanting and terrorising, and this contradictory relationship can evoke questions concerning the more existential issue of desire. How do you think the female subject is portrayed in society? I think there are still many issues around the way women are represented in society. The pressures of youth and beauty which are imposed on women and the overly sexualised images we are fed don’t necessarily create an environment of equality and empowerment for women. Because these images are omnipresent they seem normal and women develop a confused relationship to them and their own
sense of self. That said, I have been thinking about this question a lot recently and I have noticed more strong female role models appearing in the arts and in politics, so possibly all is not lost. In either case I think it’s promising that it has become a strong topic of conversation again recently. Why did you choose to study Fine Art at Wimbledon College of Arts? I decided to do the MFA at Wimbledon because I felt that I needed to push things further than I had been and I needed some input from outside. I’ve been working on my own for almost 10 years and sometimes you can get in a rut. I felt that an MFA (Master of Fine Arts) would be much more appropriate than an MA (Master of Arts) for me personally, as I am dedicated to being a practising artist rather than an academic, and after going to several different open days I decided that Wimbledon was the right fit for me. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be an artist? Think about it carefully, realise that the path you are
embarking on is not an easy one, emotionally, financially, or socially, but if you feel it is your calling, then dedicate yourself to it fully and don’t give up. I think going to an art college and studying is a great place to start, as it will obviously develop your work and give you a network of like-minded people. Keep working at it, experiment, go to lots of private views, see lots of exhibitions, make lots of friends and enjoy it. Where do you see yourself in the future? I’m really not sure where I see myself in the future, but I definitely see myself
Words By: Maya Ladwa
Does commercialism in art harm young artists? “Shiny objects and beautiful people” the phrase conjures images of an event at one of London’s high end department stores. Or perhaps a flashy cat-walk show or maybe even a Hollywood awards ceremony.
This is how Matti Brunzil describes the opening of the recent and hugely popular Jeff Koon’s A retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in his book In search of a lost avantgarde.
Brunzil critiques the increasing tendency of large galleries to put on blockbuster exhibitions which bring in the punters, but fail to showcase and expose lesser known artists to the viewing public. He sees the widespread commercialisation of the art world as the cause of stagnation in cutting edge art. Big modern art galleries seem to prioritise the artists that will make them the most money. I wanted to find out how commercialisation affects emerging artists in London, so I spoke to Richie Moment, a conceptual artist and a MA student at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Richie’s work deals with his frustrations of being an emerging artist in an increasingly commercialised scene. ‘Sometimes the best way to subvert something is to run with it,’ he tells me. His latest project is creating a ‘Richie Moment’ fanclub inspired by the cheesy pop aesthetic of the 90s teen magazine Smash Hits. His plan is to undermine what he calls the ‘formalised’ way of promoting work through galleries by asking patrons to engage with him directly by joining his fan club. Members pay an annual subscription charge and in turn will receive a fanzine and a set of limited Richie Moment prints through the post. He explains that this fun, old-school way of connecting with viewers is not simple parody. ‘I like that feeling of community built around your work with other people. For me it’s very important to have that’.
Photo By: Libby Rosof
22 Photo By: Jimmy Harris
For Richie, starting his own fan club isn’t just a way to make a statement about the rigid nature of the commercial, gallery centred model of promoting work. It’s also a way of him holding onto a personal connection with the people buying his work. Richie’s take on this issue differs from Brunzi’s. He doesn’t have as much concern about the lack of Avant-garde visual art being brought to new audiences. Instead Richie worried that, as an artist, being too caught up in the commercial way of promoting work could disrupt the natural creative process. ‘There seems to be a one-track, commercial way of doing things’, he tells me ‘Big galleries and big institutions have a lot of residencies. I feel like it’s a kind of national lottery effect in that as soon as you’ve put in a proposal for [a residency] you start dreaming of that being your practice. But that shuts down the work you do in your studio... you start forcing it and thinking of your work in terms of proposals.’
Despite the nature of Richie’s work, he does not completely condemn the commercial way of working. ‘If it works for you it works for you. No one should dictate how you work’ he says, and it seems to be the pressure to conform that Richie takes issue with, ‘there was a tendency before social media to just be in your studio and interact with the art scene around you. Now you can interact with the world wide art scene and I thinks that an insane amount of pressure to put on yourself. There’s no one to advertise another way of doing things and that’s what I try to do in my work.’ Richie also explained to me the benefits that financial backing could have on his work. ‘You could meet someone who ran and gallery who really liked your work and you could negotiate the fact that you had complete freedom within that.’ Richie made it clear that he is not necessarily looking for a massive amount of recognition for his work, but that the financial backing of a gallery would help him
Photo By: Jeff Koons
to keep producing work. From hearing Richie’s thoughts on commercial practices in the visual art world, I could see that for less established artists there is a middle ground to navigate between shaping work to fit the trends of commercial galleries and institutions and also using these establishments to benefit work through patronage and constructive partnerships. Tyler Woolcott runs Rowing, a small gallery in North London, and he told me about the benefits of working with larger institutions. ‘Partnerships with larger galleries play an essential part in helping us tap into more established networks, these associations also act as a sort of stamp of approval for us’ As a part public part funded organisation, Rowing has been lucky in being awarded funding from the Arts Council. ‘Our focus now is on building a strong roster of emerging international artists as well as continuing to explore a variety of formats for presenting exhibitions’.
commercial arts organisations, through to the smaller galleries that work with them, and then on to the emerging artists who are supported by galleries who enable them to develop their practices and exhibit work. Large galleries in London such as the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain certainly have huge commercial power. Over the past decade they have become brand name. But it is free to visit the Tate Modern and the Tate Britain as it is for many other museums and galleries in London.
So perhaps there is a trickle down affect from the large
Words By: Danielle Manning
The commercial interests of these organisations may well promote established artists over the up and coming avantgarde. But from the point of view of a gallery goer, being able to view a huge selection of art from around the world at no cost at all is perhaps worth the cost of having to search farther and wider for unknown artists. Indeed, the issue of an increasingly commercialised art scene is not necessarily as simple as Art Good/ Money Bad.
Alina Zamanova Alina Zamanova is currently a third year student at
London College of Fashion studying a BA (Hon) in Fashion Illustration. Her artwork has a sense of uniqueness and
identity, often representing the portrayal of ugliness, a
subject that is not usually depicted in the fashion world. We spoke to her at the Barbican centre a venue that Alina
frequently finds herself visiting, not only to view work but
I first got interested into fashion when I was a teenager experimenting with different styles. Even when I was younger I was be fascinated by fashion week and I would attend shows. When I was fourteen my father introduced me to Alexander McQueen and that was a real inspiration for me, I was captivated with the Alexander McQueen skull T-shirts that was when I really became interested in
also to create.
the fashion industry.
You are originally from Ukraine but moved to London in
How would you describe your experience at London
The initial move was due to University, I found out that
there were interviews for the London College of fashion so
London College of Fashion has really pushed my boundaries
I applied, hoping to secure a place at the university. From
as an artist enabling me to explore new techniques, my
about 12-years old I was inspired by London and wanted
course has a great sense of freedom and the tutors really
to move here.
encourage us as individual artists. The tutors do not restrict
2010 what inspired you to move to London?
College of fashion and what has been your most valuable
our creativity; the course also allows you to choose to What does independence mean to you?
graduate as a designer or a fashion illustrator, so I like the
For me personally independence started when I was
way students have a choice in London College of Fashion
around seventeen that is when we graduate in Ukraine.
it really has shaped me as an individual.
However my independence grew stronger when I moved to London, thatâ€™s when I finally felt independent as an individual, London has enabled me to grow as an individual. At what age did you start to show an interest in fashion?
You have a very unique style that sometimes includes the
use of floral designs, wings and the female body. How
would you describe your style and how has it developed? I have two different styles when it comes to my drawings
one of them is my fashion illustration that is very edgy
This was once again part of my course; we had to choose
and quirky. I often adapt a more freestyle approach to
a designer I choose to use her in my project, as she was an
my fashion illustration with themes such as ugliness. My
inspiring, up and coming designer. I created a cover with a
other style would be print design, which is inspired by the
strange texture with print, I was inspired by her collection
female body and nature, this type of work is very detailed
and used that throughout the look book I wanted to give
and I really enjoy the final outcome.
the cover a look and feel of leather and metallic as that reflected her work.
What fashion designers illustrators and fashion people in
You’ve also done a lot of solo exhibitions and worked
Alexander McQueen was the first designer who inspired
work, are you currently working on any projects?
me from a young age and from him I developed my
I am currently focusing on my final measurement and
interest in fashion, many artists and designers influence
collaborative projects as part of my final year, as well
me such as John Galliano, I am often inspired by up and
as doing interviews, whilst also applying for many
coming artists and designers.
different graduate schemes. I am hoping to get the
general has influenced you?
with brands such as dash magazine to showcase your
Stellar McCartney graduate scheme or perhaps return to How did it feel to see your work featured on the Vogue
Alexander McQueen and do some more work there.
26 It was featured after an exhibition I took part in, I was lucky What advice would you give to other students or people to have had my stand there. It was such an achievement
aspiring to get into the fashion industry?
and an amazing feeling to see my work featured on the
I think it is important for people to stay true to themselves
it is really important to be an individual. I would also say if people are looking to get into drawing, print or design
Last year you interned at Alexander McQueen what was
it is important to constantly work on your portfolios and
the experience like and how did you go about getting it?
to push your own limitations. I personally used to only
As part of my course at London College of Fashion we
produce monochrome pieces, now as an artist I’ve pushed
have to take part in a internship, I started applying early
my boundaries and started using colour within my work,
on to try and secure a place, then my course tutor told me
I think as an artist you should constantly evolve and try
about the internship at Alexander McQueen, so I had a
new things. Another piece of advice, is to make use of
interview and was offered a trial day. At the end of the trial
networking within the art industry do not be afraid to
day I was offered the internship. While I was interning I was
communicate with people.
designing prints designs for T-shirts and scarfs, most of the time I was working on the commercial department, the
What do you bring to the fashion world?
work I created was manly by hand. The internship was the
I have my own personal vision and through my drawings
best experience and I really got a chance to experiment.
I share this, I love to showcase art based on the idea of ugliness, I love to see people’s reaction to the way ugliness
You have a wide range of skills in print textile, animation
Print textile and illustration, I would say that they are my
Where do you see yourself in the future?
I would like to imagine myself working on my own personal
and illustration what skills do you prefer?
brand and eventually setting up my own company. You worked with the Anne Sofie Madsen fashion brand
to create a look book for their SS14 collection, the look of it was pretty unique how was that created?
Words By: Marsha Ramsamy
AFFINITY Photography: Argiel del Mundo Styling and Clothes: Mari Moon Makeup artist: Esmeralda Velia Model: Emily He & Mari Moon
Clothing: White jacket and shirts, Mari Moon; long Coat, Renard; Black fur coat, All Saints; Brown jacket, Phillips Lim; trousers, Uniqlo; stripe trousers, Zara; shoes, Jackie JS Lee; jewelry, Emily He.
The Importance of Individuality in Fashion We’ve all heard of so-called “fashion do’s and don’ts” vigorously promoted through fashion magazines. But have you ever wondered who made these rules and why we should be confined by them? Over the years people are often mocked because of particular fashion choices they make, that at other times are quite popular. For example, people say wearing socks with sandals is a fashion “no-no”; yet pairing socks with stiletto shoes has become the norm on the runways. We are often encouraged to be unique and to be “ourselves”, yet bombarded with criticism when we don’t dress in the manner that others would consider “fashionable” or “trendy”. Individuality is very important because it makes people who they are. Fashion can sometimes help to express people’s true personality and character. People should be comfortable and be able to feel free when showing their individuality in their choice of clothing, because with individuality comes a sense of independence. People shouldn’t be denied their right to be different. It’d be a very dull, boring and drab world if there were only one type of fashion style. It’s like saying everybody has the same personality and that we’re all the same. It’s important to have individuality in fashion as it gives inspiration to women of all ages struggling to find the style that works for them.
Lane Bryant launched a campaign for their lingerie line, Cacique, featuring plus-sized models to show us that we don’t have to be skinny or be Victoria’s Secret models to look good in lingerie or even to look good and be happy with our bodies in general. In the press release, CEO and president, Linda Heasley stated: “Our ‘#ImNoAngel’ campaign is designed to empower ALL women to love every part of herself.” Juxtaposed against original Victoria’s Secret campaign “The Perfect Body” featuring super skinny models, Bryant’s campaign inspires us to be different. Showing your personality through your choice of clothing can also attract people to you; people release a certain kind of aura about them making them approachable. I’m not saying you have to show some flesh to get attention sometimes less is more. After all, clothing was created to cover our nakedness, to protect against the harsh weather conditions and a way for us to keep our dignity. Now, it’s used for the socialising aspect of our lives - people use clothing as a conversation starter, “Oh, love your top, where did you get it? I saw something like that in Zara, I love it”.
Fashion should be fun, something we choose to do not just because everybody else is wearing certain clothes. Everybody has a distinct feature about them, enhancing one’s best features and assets helps to pull off certain looks. There’s nothing wrong with being bold and experimenting with various looks, sometimes no matter how ridiculous you think it looks, you might just be the person to pull it off; Lady Gaga anyone? Now this pop icon is a force to be reckoned with not just with her talent as a singer but also her incredible sense of fashion, from her meat dresses to her 8inch platform heels. Lady Gaga is one woman you can relate to if you want to see someone who shows their individuality through their fashion choices. With Kanye West releasing his fashion line for Adidas, it makes one realise that individuality within fashion really is important. Yes, there’re always going to be haters but seeing his odd and unique fashion line makes one realise there’s hope for people who want to be themselves in the world of fashion. Oliver James once said, “Why are we trying so hard to fit in, when we were born to stand out”. With Kanye West’s new fashion line, I can’t say I am 100% fond of it, but what I will say is I don’t mind the outfit Kim Kardashian wore on the release day from Kanye’s new line, it actually looked pretty awesome. It’s different, it’s definitely not something you would see on an everyday basis but it’s very wearable. The MTV movie awards in April, showcased array of amazing outfits and some rather surprising ones that only some people could get away with. Outfits like Bai Ling’s dragon fashion choice, some may say it’s a fashion don’t and I might agree it was a rather risky outfit to wear, but as long as she was comfortable wearing it then why not. Another supposed fashion don’t was Hailee Stienfield’s outfit but I have to say I liked it, I thought it was quite different and she totally rocked the look. So to end on a powerful and important quote, said by poet Ralph Waldo Emerson “To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment” Words By: Roseline Awoyale
Starting your own Street Wear Brand Creating a clothes brand from scratch is no easy business, but with determination, the right idea and the vast amount of opportunities available in one of the world’s most creative capitals, anything is possible.
42 Originally from Golborne, a small town in Manchester, to hang out on rooftops or in abandoned warehouses so Alex Dawber moved to London in 2008. After doing a Foundation degree in 3D Sculpting and Graphic Design, Alex studied Graphic Product Innovation at London College of Communication. In his final year he created the street wear brand 4BYSIX and graduated with a 2:1 in 2012. He currently works at a record label – creating their artwork, whilst directing the everyday business of 4BYSIX. I caught up with Alex to discuss his journey and future plans for 4BYSIX. What does 4BYSIX stand for and how is that represented in the logo? There are four letters in my first name Alex and six letters in my surname, Dawber. I wanted a logo that related to me which could also be a theme throughout the different designs. Every design has an element of four and six embedded into it, for example the skull logo has four upper jaw teeth and six lower teeth, to the left there is the number four within the shield and six bands around the neck. What inspired 4BYSIX? I’ve always had an interest in fashion and graphics. From a young age, living in a small village, my friends and I used
our clothing was important, being out all day, we would wear really robust and comfortable clothing, such as North Face or Berghaus. Hanging out in warehouses you notice graphics on the walls illustrating dangers or hazards; this introduced me to signage within graphic design. Linking the clothing, the warehouses and coming to LCC, really established my interest in graphic design and I thought about how to put this all together. Even if I hadn’t come to London I believe I still would have created 4BYSIX but I doubt it would have been of the same standard and passion. I find in London you are surrounded by so many inspiring and passionate people. Coming here is a big part of 4BYSIX, and I’m a firm believer that if you come out of your comfort zone you will excel. I find in London you are surrounded by so many inspiring and passionate people. What is the difference between a street wear brand and a fashion brand? For me, street wear is about quality, comfort and picking up that piece no one else has. When I’m looking to buy a new jacket I look at it as a product, a piece of equipment that will assist me when I’m out and about – like a good
44 mate. With higher fashion it’s more about visuals – this has less meaning for me, kind of like a girl you meet who’s beautiful but just doesn’t have a personality. What designers, graffiti artist and people in general influence and inspire you? I went to an event at the Village Underground on Shoreditch High Street and there were a lot of graffiti artists there, one by the name of Tristan Eaton who was talking about doing a project with Shepard Fairey, who I am a massive fan of. I introduced myself to him and asked if he needed any help, and he was open to the idea. I worked with Tristan and that was confirmation on what I wanted to do. We would get up around 9am and go home around 3am, it was really full on and I was told to get some sleep but I always wanted to stay. It was really cool and was my first real experience of being in those circles. There was a graffiti crew called MSK, who were there at the time. I didn’t meet Shepard Fairey because he was dealing with a court case with the Obama image. I would also have to say my dad – I lost him last year to cancer. He was always so positive and determined, his attitude was amazing.”
You collaborated with a graffiti artist by the name of Flekz – what did the final collaboration consist of? I saw Flekz on a blog, he’s a tape artist from Los Angeles, he finds massive walls under subways and creates designs based on shapes from blue tape. A lot of the time the shapes are mirrored images which I thought was really cool. We were working on a few designs together which I interpreted from an illustration perspective. At the moment we are sorting out the licensing but be on the lookout for the collaboration!” What’s your favourite product by 4BYSIX? The Mission T featuring the huge skull on the back. It’s a celebration having the logo cemented and it’s what the brand stands for – it’s very mission orientated and bold. We were going from warehouse to warehouse as kids, so for me that is the stand out design.” What struggles have you faced creating and maintaining 4BYSIX? The main struggle was getting my hands on good-quality plain garments and finding good printers. Most printers require a minimum of 25 to 50 shirts, so if you take a risk
45 with a new printer you may be in a dilemma if the quality isn’t up to scratch. But this is all part of the learning process. The most frustrating thing is definitely getting a good quality product. At the start I was printing with a really poor company and that was a big wake-up call. Running your own business can be stressful at times. What do you find therapeutic? I find drawing to be very therapeutic – put on some classical music and just zoning out and doodling. Often they turn into designs, so although I’m chilling it’s still semiproductive. I love to create album artwork for artists that don’t exist, if that makes sense. Find your style, find a story and reach out to your peers and get as much feedback as you can. What advice would you give to someone wanting to start a clothing brand? Have a theme in mind it’s okay putting out a few T-shirts but long term you have to create something that is present at the beginning and all the way through. Find your style, find a story and reach out to your peers and get as much feedback as you can.
Reach out to people who are already doing it because the time you save will be incredible. I reached out to a few printers when I started and they can point you in the right direction, they are happy to help because they have been in your shoes before. Collaboration is the key. Where do you see yourself and 4BYSIX in the future? What I’m doing now is getting a team together, I found myself trying to do everything before. This is a long process, almost like starting again but will be sustainable once in place. Involved so far is a PR guy who’s previously worked at Armani and Adidas, plus two friends who deal in manufacturing and logistics specifically from China – so we’ve started to get samples manufactured over there. Eventually we want to get a collection together and the dream is to have a store in London. I’m currently in talks about collaborating with a few people at the moment. The future is looking bright and I’m looking forward to it.”
Words By: James Childs
ENAM ISLAM P h o to g r a p hy
In the melting pot, which is London City, street style fashion is increasing in popularity in different areas and being explored in various brands.These images aim to capture the style on the streets of the city, where individuality is a key theme.
Generation Y and Politics, A LoveHate Relationship It seems that the majority of the 7.4 million young people living in the UK have fallen out of love with politics: a survey published by Populus in early March shows less than a third of eligible UK young voters (18-24) are planning to head to the polls on May 7, Election Day 2015.
Whether this is due to a generational lack of interest or is a response to the current government is still unclear. Despite the low numbers of new voters, it seems Generation Y are really interested in political participation but have found more unconventional ways to express their views.
Bee Tajudeen is the SUARTS vice–president for London College of Communication and has recently been elected as the Students’ Union’s education officer. She thinks that young people are politically active even when if they might not realise this is the case: “I think the student movement’s participation in the National Campaign Against Fees and Cuts is a fantastic example of young people taking part in politics. This year, thousands from across the country marched the streets of London and Brighton demanding the government makes education free. If that isn’t a political statement I don’t know what is”, said Tajudeen. The apparent loss of interest in politics seems partly to have stemmed from a lack of trust in politicians. According to a Eurobarometer opinion poll in August 2013, only 24 per cent of people had trust in the UK government. The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, was also accused of “conning” young voters to gain power by promising to freeze tuition fee costs; ultimately losing the respect and trust of the young voters he targeted. Students were then hit with a tuition fee increase following the last election which saw the £3,000 fee triple to £9,000 a year. “Nick Clegg hurt young people [but] young people cannot allow the lies of one political leader to affect their political participation as they only hurt themselves by not getting their voices heard,” said Tajudeen.
In an attempt to minimise the loss of youth votes, The Mirror launched the #NoVoteNoVoice campaign in collaboration with UNITE to register one million voters who are among the groups in which the drop-off rates are a greater concern. They successfully surpassed their target, registering over 10 million voters since the start of the campaign in July 2014. Also, popular figures within youth culture such as SBTV creator Jamal Edwards, Tinie Tempah and Eliza Dolittle were enlisted for the BiteTheBallot video campaign to highlight why it is important to be heard and encourage voters to register. Over the past two years, young voters’ interest in UK politics has been the subject of several surveys, including a 2014 poll by think tank, British Future, on first-time voters. Out of nearly two million interviewees, 58 per cent believed the coalition Government led by David Cameron “doesn’t understand them” because they are the last people politicians want to talk to. Furthermore, many feel that the Government has little interest in the needs of the young. 59 per cent stated that senior politicians pay more attention to big business and companies as opposed to the needs of young British citizens. “To be honest politicians and their parties are not exactly relatable to the everyday adult individual, let alone young people.” Bee Tajudeen “Why do young people not vote? I guess many factors come into play: socio-economics, lack of information or just generally not feeling the choices. To be honest, politicians and their parties are not exactly relatable to the everyday adult individual, let alone young people.” said Tajudeen.
Image By: Andrew Moss
Image By: William Warby After speaking to students and young people, it has become apparent that there is a divide amongst those willing to vote and those opting out; the main issues revolve around a lack of representation and a missing voice. Callum, 19, said he won’t be voting as he doesn’t see the point in voting for someone he doesn’t believe in anyway: “I don’t feel like any party really represents me and I don’t feel like my vote will make a difference. Nothing will change. They’ll do whatever they want anyway,” he said. This opinion has been echoed across the country, but goes against the ever–growing group of young people who are willing to register and vote.“We all need to vote. We moan about the conditions we are in, but as young
people we do nothing about it. I want to be heard and I want change so I will be voting.” says Rebekah, a student at Leeds University. Despite the general feeling of discontent perceived among Generation Y, their participation in May’s general elections could greatly impact the outcome of the election, as they make up 12 per cent of the UK population and account for 3.3 million voters. “I will be going the polling station and making sure my voice is heard because women fought for this right, black people fought for my right, and therefore it is imperative that I use my right and take action!” said Tajudeen. Words By: Zanna Rollins
Published on Jul 4, 2015
Published on Jul 4, 2015
Music | Art | Fashion | Culture | Lifestyle Next Up Magazine Issue 1 [Independence and Individuality]. Featuring creative collective Parad...