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varon

varon

Vol.11 Winter /Spring 15-16

Winter/Spring 15 -16 Vol.11 ES E 5.50 IT E 5.50 FR E 8 GB ÂŁ5.00 USA $10.99


3 avril 2015, Paris

Adrien Sahores photographiĂŠ par Karim Sadli Boutique en ligne : defursac.fr


U SCI FI FW15 adolfodominguez.com


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Contents

11

52

107

Masthead

Darkstar

Glaswegians

13

54

118

Contributors

Sean Nicholas Savage

Hundred And twenty

14

56

133

Collections a/w 2015

Devon Welsh

Sculptures Of Remain

26

58

142

Time Square

Smiler:

Stockist

32

Photographs Of London

Out Of Hours

64

38

Tracksuit Nation

The Clue

72

44

Alex Mullins

Grayscale

78

Saint Laurent Accesories

Daniel Fletcher

48

89

Opinion:

DSquared2

Ramblings From Paris

79

50

Paul Smith

Lixo

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Editors in Chief

Contributing Fashion Editors

Contributing Writers

Contributing Photographers

Hugo Lavín

Hamish Wirgman

Hynam Kendall

Alex Franco

Nacho Pinedo

John Alexander Skelton

James Brown

Baker and Evans

Mari David

Johnny Utley

Charlotte Hadden

Creative direction

Michael Darlington

Kate Eringer

Dham Srifuengfung

Lavín / Pinedo

Natalia Bengoechea

Matt Williams

Gareth O’Connell

Simon Frank

Kim Jakobsen To

Tom Hannah

Lonny Spence

Tom Richard Hart

Nacho Pinedo

Editor Nazanin Shahnavaz

Piczo

Design

Rosaline Shahnavaz

Jorge Zarco

Ryan Skelton Sarah O’Drisoll

Printed in Spain by Gramagraf Distributed by Export Press Paris +33 1 40 29 15 51 dir@exportpress.com ISSN 2171–6439 - Dep.Leg.: VG 66–2010 No part of the publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means Copyright 2015 VARON Cover: Connor Newall in shirt Alexander McQueen; jacket Dior Homme; trousers McQ Photography Charlotte Hadden; Styling Hugo Lavín

varon Studio 1 - 171 Riversdale Road N5 2SU London, England Calle Pedro Muguuruza, 8 - 28036, Madrid Spain Advertising varon@varonmag.com - www.varonmag.com

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Contributors

Nazanin Shahnavaz

Lonny Spence

Hamish wirgman

Hynam Kendall

Introducing Nazanin Shahnavaz,

Born in Vancouver Canada

Hamish is a London based,

Hynam Kendall is a London-

the new editor of Varón Maga-

Lonny had been living in London

Winchester raised, London 

based writer and consultant

zine. A journalist from London,

for 12 years. Having studied

born stylist. His work stems

for luxury brands. His Art,

Nazanin covers fashion, music

photography in high school he

from Casualism and how

Design and Architecture writing

and culture and has worked for

made the move to Europe to

this can be defined and

has featured in titles including

publications such as Under the

assist some of the industry’s

decontextualised

Architecture+, Frame,

Influence Magazine, where she

biggest names. A long time

to create new meanings

Dazed&Confused and The

held the title as Music Editor,

contributor to Varon his

and futures.

London Review and he has

and Tank Magazine where she

timeless style portrays

curated and hosted design

wrote and produced across the

menswear in a calm and

debates in galleries

group’s print, digital and agency

confident way. He recently

internationally. His fashion

platforms. She now contributes

married his long time girlfrend

writing has featured in Esquire,

to Dazed Digital and Broad-

and lives in Hackney with his

AnOther Man, Wonderland,

ly and when she’s not putting

two cats.

Rollacoaster, Ponystep and

pen to paper, Nazanin runs a

Dazed&Confused.

creative agency with her sister Rosaline and moonlights as a DJ playing international gigs, label parties and festivals.

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141 to Tottenhall road

photography Piczo S TY L I N G H u g o L av i n

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Craig Green

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Alexander Mcqueen

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JW Anderson

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Lou Dalton

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Matthew Miller

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Paul Smith

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Vivienne Westwood

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Casely-Hayford

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Christopher Shannon

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Hair Gary Gill using Wella Professionals Model William Linton at Tomorrow is Another Day Hair Assistant Rob Czlapka

E.Tautz

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T i m e S q u a r e photography Baker and Evans

S TY L I N G J o h n Al e x a n d e r S k e lt o n

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Watch by ROLEX Prince Cellini; vintage French shirt Previus page Watch by IWC SCHAFFHAUSEN Da Vinci automatic; vintage French shirt

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Watch by TAG HEUER Monaco calibre 12 automatic 34mm; shirt stylist’s own

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Watch by PIAGET Emperador; vintage French shirt

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Watch by BREGUET Heritage; vintage French shirt

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Watch by PARMIGIANI Kalpatraphs; vintage French shirt set design SARIANNE PLAISANT model ADNAN at HIRED HANDS styling assistant RYAN SKELTON

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out

of

hours

photography W i ll C o r r y

S TY L I N G j o h n Al e x a n d e r S k e lt o n

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Jacket and shirt by E. Tautz; latex scarf by ATSUKO KUDO; earring by ACNE

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Jacket by HENRY POOLE; shirt by BROOKS BROTHERS; necklace by BUNNY collar by JOANNA LARK

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Shirt and tie by EDWARD SEXTON; scarf by ISSEY MIYAKE; earring by PIETER

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Jacket and waistcoat by BROOKS BROTHERS; collar by JOANNA LARK; coffee spoon by JW ANDERSON: gloves by LOEWE

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Jacket by CASELY HAYFORD; shirt by BROOKS BROTHERS; tie by RICHARD JAMES; necklace by VERSACE; scarf by LOUIS VUITTON; mask by JOANNA LARK Grooming Rebecca Chang Model Joe Frampton @supa model Management Phtography Assitant Josh Cooper Styling assitant Ryan Skelton

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The

Clue photography L o n n y Sp e n c e r

S t y lin g H u g o L av i n

p a j a m a s

Come as You A r e

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Spring/Summer 2016 will see the launch of Alex Mullin’s holiday-inspired collection. Continuing to explore storytelling through apparel, this season the NewGen recipient seeks to capture the notion of “All holidays ever.” It is an abstract concept, which he translates through poetic narrative and his signature painterly graphics. He writes about a euphoric journey that takes him ona“scorched”and“zooming”carridetoaparty,where“warmkneestouch”and“flowersstarttoopen”. Manifesting into a white wardrobe of cottons and denim, the relaxed, almost untailored silhouettes of the collection become a canvas for the designer. Mullins transforms memories of crumbling graffiti walls and tourist markets into swirling brushstrokes, whilst speckles of sunlight become pockets spotted over the garments. During his preparations for London Collections Men, we spoke to Mullins to find out more about the inspiration behind his SS16 collection.

knitwear and pyjamas by  A.P.C;             turtleneck by FALKE;             apron stylist’s own;             boots by UMBRO

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knitwear by ADOLFO DOMINGUEZ; knitwear over his shoulders by ADOLFO DOMINGUEZ;  turtleneck by FALKE;  apron stylist’s own


knitwear by DSQUARED2;             knitwear over his shoulders by ADOLFO DOMINGUEZ;             apron stylist’s own;              pyjamas by BROOKS BROTHERS;             boots by UMBRO

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knitwear by ADOLFO DOMINGUEZ; turtleneck by FALKE hair ALEXANDER SOLTERMANN using Bumble & Bumble model JACK L at TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY

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When it comes to fashion in counterculture, biker jackets, parkas and Dr. Martens boots usually come to mind. However, a new garment is resurfacing: pajamas. Made stylish by the likes of James Franco circa Freaks and Geeks or Kurt Cobain, who famously wore checked blue pajamas to his wedding, a renaissance of the 90s grunge pajamas is under way. The modern update can be seen in the layering: rollnecks worn underneath silk or satin sets or heavy cable knits thrown on top, revealing only an unassuming striped sleeve. It has grunge sentiment whilst remaining svelte; a sturdy leather or denim jacket and sneakers seals the look and renders it an outfit. Though a step away from wearing sweats, collections by Dries Van Noten, Louis Vuitton, A.P.C and Daniel Fletcher confirm that this pervading catwalk trend is appropriate outside the bedroom. It maintains the “don’t give a damn” look without looking like a sluggard. It’s I-Just-RolledOut-Of-Bed in the best possible way.

BY K at e E r i n g e r

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GRAYSCALE

photography NAC H O P INEDO

S t y lin g NATA L IA B ENGOEC H EA

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All clothes by SAINT LAURENT; swimwear stylist own Model GABI SAHHAR at TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY digital work LUCÍA DAKOTA


Ramblings from Paris

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From the Runway to the Retailer Having spent the last seven years traveling back and forth to Paris in search of fresh ideas for men’s and women’s fashion, all that seems left now is a huge void of inspiration and creativity. Gone are the times where designers would let the This has never been more prevalent than in the women’s Spring/Summer 2016 Ready-To-Wear collections. The fanfare shifted focus away from the collections and onto Simon Porte Jacquemus leading a white horse across a stage, roaring motorbikes riding around the courtyard at Faculté de Médecine Paris Descartes before the start of A.F Vandevorst, and women strapped as backpacks at Rick Owens. Is this really where we are at with fashion? Perhaps it’s the cynic in me, but the pressure of this relentless production cycle is really starting to show; it not only dilutes the integrity of the designer’s work but it impacts the industry as a whole. For the retailer, this translates into a constant flow of products, which can be good for some and bad for others. For bricks and mortar stores, this cycle makes no sense. Deliveries are now either too early or too late; next season’s products arrive at the start of sale periods and late runway deliveries land when the season is coming to an end. This accelerated cycle suits e-tailers very well, whose biggest priority is getting the product in as early as possible and hopefully before their competitors. Even if it means silk and linen in winter and heavy wools in the summer, it doesn’t matter so long as they are winning the “distribution race”, months ahead of the physical shops.

quality of their garments be the talking point of the shows. Gone is the concept of the “stand out pieces”, replaced instead with the spectacle of turning the runway into a stage for theatrics.

Nonetheless there are refuges from these industry pressures; some brands and shops are choosing to take a different path, one that is more sustainable and built on respect for each other’s businesses. Take Geoffrey. B. Small as an example, one visit to his humble showroom in Paris and you will be blown away by the level of creativity he dedicates into building a collection. Each season requires months of in-depth research and technical skill; every piece is carefully handmade, intelligently thought out and executed. The designer also implements a selective stock strategy, which sees his collection in no more than two stores per city. His strict no sale-reduction policy ensures that his garments always maintain their value. It’s a bold statement for a designer, but it demonstrates that he stands by his work even if an item of clothing is from ten seasons ago. At Hostem, this is an ethos we can support. Having worked with Small for six years, we still display items from his very first collection with us. It is a reminder that there are other options and that longevity and genuinely timeless products can still exist.

TEXT James Brown

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Though clichéd, as Oscar Wilde once said, “Fashion is merely a form of ugliness so absolutely unbearable that we have to alter it every six months”. But does it have to be altered so frequently? An idealistic thought, but perhaps one worth considering. If fashion’s seminal institutions cannot keep up, then is it not time to reevaluate? Take Raf Simons’ recent departure from Dior as an example. After three brief but formative years at the helm, Simons took his last bow shortly after he expressed concern with the speed of fashion in an interview with Cathy Horn for System Magazine: “The problem is when you have only one design team and six collections, there is no more thinking time. And I don’t want to do collections where I’m not thinking.” Simons, like all creatives, needs time for his ideas to develop, but with the current state of the “machine”, he says, there is no incubation time, which for him is very important. “When you try an idea, you look at it and think, hmm, let’s put it away for a week and think about it later. But that’s never possible when you have only one team working on all the collections.” Unable to find the necessary time to realise his work properly and unwilling to accept mediocrity during his time at the house, he rejected the incessant production cycle and made a dignified exit at the height of his career.


Lixo Nightclubbing, we’re nightclubbing. GetMe! is a London-based record label and club night founded by Alex Hislop, a twenty-eight-year-old producer and d.j. who goes by the name Lixo. In 2006, Hislop began GetMe! as an alternative electronic night, in a small room at The Globe in Ladbroke Grove, not far from where he grew up. “It’s [The Globe] a pretty dodgy venue,” recalls Hislop. “There were in-house dealers, no set opening hours, and girl’s handbags would systematically get stolen by the management, I think.” Home to the annual Notting Hill Carnival and many of London’s underground music scenes since the 1960’s, the area is rich in cultural and musical history and made the perfect backdrop for Hislop, who looked to provide an eclectic offering. Inspired early on by producers J Dilla and Premier, who committed their careers to redefining the limits of hip hop; GetMe! became a vehicle for Hislop to explore the boundaries of electronic music. “I like to think GetMe! is eclectic, whilst retaining a certain tone that all the music shares,” says Hislop. “We’re not trying to be specific and that’s a reflection of my own taste and who we book at the club night.” By shifting away from genre specificity, Hislop’s headliners have ranged from The xx to Congo Natty, King Krule, SBTRKT, Nguzunguzu, Kode 9, Trim and Julio Bashmore.

“The London club scene felt really exciting back in 2006. There were loads of warehouse parties, lots of music scenes were emerging and it was the beginning of things not being so genre focused.” Across the city, East London became home to a new generation of creative industries during this period and a burgeoning nightlife followed shortly after. “The London club scene felt really exciting back in 2006,” says Hislop. “There were loads of warehouse parties, lots of music scenes were emerging and it was the beginning of things not being so genre focused.” Hislop eventually migrated GetMe! across town to Haggerston, launched the label with releases from Slime, Becoming Real, Kit Grill, Dam Mantle, and landed a residency at the acclaimed London-based Internet station NTS. Now, after almost a decade at the helm of GetMe!, Hislop releases his debut EP, Gloomer, admitting to have been quietly

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working on material all the while. “I’ve always wanted to make music, but I kept on thinking what I was making wasn’t good enough and preempting what kind of reception it might get. I realised though, you should make music for yourself rather than focus on any expectations.” Produced over a period of six months, Hislop describes the EP as “melancholic”, explaining that the title sets the tone for the mood. “It was a working title, almost tongue in cheek but I think it works. It’s a moody EP, definitely a cul mination of the past half a year or so.” Following suit to GetMe!’s exploratory ethos, Gloomer meanders through the landscape of electronic music, harnessing soft textures that touch on house, techno and electronica. The results are sumptuous and emotive; filled with soaring, melodic synth work, glitchy beats and detuned vocal chops, creating intimate dance music. For 2016, Hislop plans to work on new music and has two new signees for the GetMe! imprint. Looking further ahead, he hopes to develop the self-funded label over time; “I want to help new artists but GetMe! is still a DIY operation, in many ways the better for it because I don’t have to compromise what it is we do or how we evolve.”


“Gloomer” by Lixo is out now on GetMe!

t ex t Tom Hannah

photography W i ll C o r r y

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Darkstar Hit the North “Daily life is political. We wanted to convey how everyday life sits side by side with politics and walks hand in hand with it.”

To an outsider, life in Manchester could seem fundamentally similar to life in London. Part of what makes listening to Darkstar so interesting is how they acknowledge the distinction between north and south, then nonchalantly toss differences aside in the very next moment. The duo of writer/producer James Young and singer/producer Aiden Whalley both hail from the post-industrial north of England but have been based in affluent London for more than a decade. Darkstar have always sat on the edge of scenes, both musical and geographic. Their early singles emerged on Hyperdub, the London label run by Kode9 and known for releasing the most interesting music on the blurry edges of dubstep. Yet their 2010 debut album was simply titled North and placed at its centerpiece a cover of a song by Sheffield synth-pop innovators Human League, revealing a direct pop impulse in their music and interests not necessarily tied to self-consciously ‘cutting-edge’ electronic music in the capital. Their third and latest album, Foam Island, combines these two strands; though

the bulk of recording was done at their studio in London, a key element of the album are the interviews conducted with residents of Huddersfield, a fading industrial town in West Yorkshire, northern England. They wanted to capture the current state of the north, “We thought it was important to document peoples’ opinion in 2015 and portray it in a way that was as honest as possible.” Therefore Foam Island is more than just a token political album in the United Kingdom’s age of austerity. Rather than presenting their perspective as objective, Darkstar lets the people of Huddersfield speak for themselves about poverty and governmental neglect, samples from the interviews scattered around the album. A man at the end of “Inherent of the Fibre” talks about crime on his street but seems relieved to be discussing it with the duo, while in “Through the Motions” a young woman laments not going to university.

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Musically things are complicated too. “There’s northern connotations and subject matter, but musically it’s difficult to pinpoint,” admit the duo. As with their previous work, Grime, a genre innately tied to London, remains a strong touch point. The pinging, pointillistic synths and rimshot clicks of lead single “Pin Secure” call to mind classic grime productions by the likes of Wiley. “Grime for us is the most important thing to come and influence us. It’s constant in everything we do. It’s irresistible because it’s relentless in energy,” they enthuse, sharing memories of legendary club night FWD>> when it was still at its original home of the now defunct East London venue Plastic People. Darkstar references these sounds while drawing them into new territory, rather than just trying to create tracks for MCs. Much of the album’s construction may be electronic, but between Whalley’s breathy, melodic vocals and a certain off-kilter propulsion the music also recalls wiry guitar pop. While they weren’t necessarily going for a live feel, “All types of synths and live drums were


recorded then whittled down to what got on the album,” creating varied organic textures that match the music’s theme. Like the album title, Foam Island seems at once tropical and bleak, pop melodies balanced with foreboding ambient intros and outros. However, Darkstar are more optimistic now than when they finished writing the album, around the time the Conservative Party grabbed an election victory in May. If not providing all the answers, the Jeremy Corbyn’s victory in Labour Party leadership contest “has shown that there is hope for left leaning politics here in the UK.” And ultimately Foam Island reaches beyond political distinctions of parties and leaders. “Daily life is political” the duo insists, linking the everyday stories of their music and the interviews to broader issues. “We wanted to convey how everyday life sits side by side with politics and walks hand in hand with it.”

“ F o a m I s l a n d ” by D a r k s t a r is out n ow o n Warp

t ex t Simon Frank

photography R y a n S k e lt o n

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t ex t Tom Richard Hart

photography r o s a l i n e s h a h n ava z

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Sean Nicholas Savage I’m a freak, wild and free Singer-songwriter Sean Nicholas Savage is a self-confessed “freak” from Edmonton, the provincial capital of Alberta, in western Canada that also gave rise to Mac DeMarco, Purity Ring and Cadence Weapon. And, like most aspiring creatives from the region, who generally head west to Vancouver or east to Montréal, Savage chose the latter and set himself up in Québec’s creative heart. There he found a place in the city’s musical scene by the way of Lab Synthèse, a DIY arts space, which later evolved into Arbutus Records, the label that helped launch his career and those of Grimes, Doldrums and Majical Cloudz during the late-noughties. Seven years on and a staggering ten albums of raw R&B infused soft-pop later, Savage resurfaces from recording in L.A. with his latest LP, Other Death. Known for his searing romantic sensibilities, Other Death bursts and bends with energy and emotion as Savage bares his heart once more via faster tempos, groovier grooves and simplified lyricism. “I didn’t want to go as deep lyrically and that was a little frightening,” admits Savage. “When you’re under pressure to be great, and you want to produce great work, it’s bullshit.”

Having consciously shunned these pressures, Savage spent the summer in Berlin “Going crazy with friends and falling in love”, pushing himself into a headspace where he says he’s now free to write unencumbered and openly. “I think it was the right move, to write more exclusively and thoughtlessly. Thoughtlessness is often undervalued and misunderstood. I’m excited to employ this way of thinking to everything I do from now on”. With this new outlook, Savage says, his lyricism is less acute and more ambient, something he feels he couldn’t get away with before. Like the directness of his performances, Savage is open and deeply personal about his ideas and philosophies.

“I have no patience or time left in my life now for anything but magic.”

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He simultaneously relishes in a sense of confusion and clarity, forming a large part of his current consciousness as a writer. He discusses “Promises” and how the single is made up of two ideas; “The first idea is that a promise implies fear,” he says, “And secondly, I exist beyond the confines of this ‘body’ or this ‘mind’. All that this mind is, is the environment and variables surrounding it, not geographically, but the whole network that influences it makes it up entirely. The skull, the body, they’re meaningless. I mean that down to the bone, you’ll have to check out the tune.” For someone who is striving towards “thoughtlessness”, there’s still seems to be a lot of deep reflection unfolding. “Other Death focuses on the path,” he muses. “The wondering and the knowing that this wondering continues onwards and within.” Nothing is ever that straight forward with Savage, but that’s part of what makes him such a compelling artist. He writhes with an intensity that’s both empowering and fragile, displaying itself in an unceasing stream of creative output: “I have no patience or time left in my life now for anything but magic”.


Devon Welsh Are You Alone?

Varón talks to singer songwriter Devon Welsh at his Montréal apartment, following Matador’s release of the latest and potentially last Majical Cloudz album, Are You Alone?. Written over a two-month retreat last winter at a friend’s house in Hamtramk, Detroit, the album sees the Canadian duo continue with their unique breed of minimalist soul that deconstructs pop music conventions and gently pushes the formal and aesthetic limits of the genre. Known for their austere restraint and high-contrast mien, both recordings and live sets see frontman Welsh test himself and his audiences of their comfort with themselves and each other. Typically dressed in a white t-shirt and black jeans, he sings about the emotional condition of a confessional observer, offering sincere and sober reflections that linger in the ambiguous and vulnerable moments around love and anxiety and approaching fate and finality most of us flee from. Delivered with emphatic cries and soft-spoken croons, his focus wavers between the intimate and the depersonalized; the lyrics feel as much like instructions for himself as insights for others to ponder. Partner Matthew Otto’s syntheszed soundscapes cast each song in a vivid

“An intimate album about existential darkness but one that makes it sound less like a eulogy than a warm ascent towards a light in the sky.” hue and create both the space for Welsh’s words to ring out as well as the dramatic support to complete a lyrical, compositional apex. Much like the simplicity of the black and white uniform, Otto’s electro-acoustics provide a metaphysical starting point, a simple and consistent context with an understated but overly sentient orchestra of melodies, textures and beats that are as articulate as Devon’s poetry. Combined, Welsh and Otto produce an emotionally engaging music from this unique sentimental ethic. Those familiar with Majical Cloudz’s 2013 album Impersonator will find that the same emotional intensity remains on Are You Alone?, however, it reaches up towards the serene. The gravitas of their previous release felt like an earnest reaction to quotidian and jarring trauma, an acknowledgment of fear and the account of someone moving through it. While still touching on the morbid with songs like “Silver

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their previous release felt like an earnest reaction to quotidian and jarring trauma, an acknowledgment of fear and the account of someone moving through it. While still touching on the morbid with songs like “Silver Car Crash”, Welsh’s tone feels more comforting and comfortable, like he’s engaging with the world in a less reactive, more self-determined and deliberate manor. The upbeat title track of the album ticks along assuredly while still confronting the loneliness of our lives. Like their earlier work, this is an intimate album about existential darkness but one that makes it sound less like a eulogy than a warm ascent towards a light in the sky. Otto and Welsh are touring Europe, North America and Australia into 2016 to support the release of Are You Alone? and while these may be the final dates the two perform together under their current moniker, they have much to be proud of. The project ensured a future for itself beyond Montréal’s verdant yet hyper-local DIY synth-pop community when they signed with New York-based and Beggar’s Group-affiliated Matador Records, joining the likes of Pavement, Yo La Tango, Cat Power and Queen’s Of The Stone Age on the label’s roster.


Their first full-length produced and performed together, Impersonator, received unanimous acclaim from music publications around the world and won them a nomination for the Polaris Prize, Canada’s annual award for best full-length album based on artistic merit. Together they toured across Europe and North America repeatedly, and within a year they worked their way up from frustratingly empty small-town shows in America’s nether regions (documented in Welsh’s tour journal blog posts, later published as a small book) to opening

for teenaged pop icon Lorde at amphitheatres across the continent. With such a quick and thorough ascent within the pop world, it’s clear Majical Cloudz lacks no ambition or determination to master a steep learning curve, which may partially explain Welsh’s decision to bring the project to an end and resume his solo career: “I just needed to have a new adventure,” he said. “Performing on my own has made me feel like I’m figuring out something that’s brand new, and it’s been a good feeling.”

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t ex t Austin Milne

photography Sarah O’Drisoll


Smiler by M at t W i ll i a m s

British photographer, Smiler aka Mark Cawson, documented London squats on an analogue camera during the 70s, 80s and 90s. Mainly shot between West London and Kings Cross, Smiler turned his lens to the city’s rebellious anti-establishment sub-culture, capturing the social and political upheaval of this period. In conjunction to Smiler’s recent exhibition, Photographs of London, ICA curator Matt Williams chairs an interview between photographer Gareth McConnell who discovered the body of work and Smiler. Matt Williams: So how did you both meet? And Gareth what was it about Smiler’s photographs that you found so engaging?

Photographs of London

Gareth McConnell: I can’t quite remember exactly, but I know we met through mutual friends about 15 years ago. I was living in Hammersmith at the time. I didn’t know about Smiler’s photographs until he came around one day to use my photographic slide scanner. Mark Cawson: I had heard that Gareth was quite nifty with the camera at the time. So I asked “Do you know any way I can get to develop these black and white slides?” and you said, “Oh come over, I’ll give you a hand and show you how it’s done,” and then you scanned them for me. It must have been years later when he asked if he could take the photographs away with him for a closer look because he thought that there was something really special here. Gareth then kindly put them into some kind of order and made contact sheets. And the rest is, you know is history.

“Kings Cross at that time was a fascinating place, a crazy mix of bikers, prostitutes, pimps, gangsters, artists, and musicians – just all thrown together.”

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GM: When I first saw the photographs I was absolutely blown away by them and they stayed with me for years and years. Even after we had lost touch, I remembered two pictures in particular, Diane collapsed in Kings Cross and the portrait of Angela smoking. And then when I set-up my own imprint and published Horse Latitudes I immediately thought about Smiler’s photos and felt that it would be a really great follow-up. So, I tracked him down in Kings Cross a couple of years ago, and, obsessively went through everything again. Thank fully everything was still there intact. MC: And then predictably we had a few colorful episodes along the way. What you might call a lovers tiff, was it on, was it off. GM: Which I think developed because we had very different ideas about what it should be like. And of course I understand and respect that it’s very difficult to hand over your personal work to someone else to let him or her do their thing with it. But as you can imagine I was really excited by the material and keen to develop something out of it, especially because the subject matter felt so rich, plus technically they’re really good photographs. That’s when I started showing a couple of people; I think you were maybe the second or third person I showed them too. MW: Thanks for thinking of me. I think my response initial response was probably not dissimilar to Gareth’s; I was intrigued and interested in seeing more. The photographs felt genuinely honest; they didn’t shy away from the harsh realities of that period of time, which can often be romanticized. I do think that collectively they’re a fascinating document

Smiler portrait by Gareth McConnell

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of that period of time in London, which now looks totally alien. Do you think that the selection of photographs in the exhibition successfully managed to capture the sense of community and spirit of squatting in London during the 1980’s and early 90’s? MC: I t hink so. It was interes t ing period. Some of the characters in there, for example Angela who was a friend during my time in Kings Cross, she used to come around a lot before she just disappeared. She was, like a lot of people were at the time, transitory, especially the working girls, they would just disappear. She was around a lot and then one day off she went and that was it. Kings Cross at that time was a fascinating place, a crazy mix of bikers, prostitutes, pimps, gangsters, artists, and musicians – just all thrown together. There was a real scene at that time, especially at the Scala Cinema and at the back of Judge Street. Looking back it was a very bizarre time. MW: The photograph of the children playing on the street depicts a very different image of Kings Cross that you have described, it feels strangely poignant because it shows what appears to be a sensitive and intimate moment, but also because you so rarely see children playing out on the streets today, whilst subtly demonstrating London’s multiculturalism. MC: I personally believe that the prevailing aspect of the photographs in general is how they illustrate what a different place London was then compared to now. I think I was able to capture that moment and number of others was simply because I used carry my camera around with me. It was a simple little

Instamatic camera with a flash. It was great. I used to just leave it in my pocket and then click, and then you had the image. MW: Another powerful example of capturing that “moment” and an image that further illustrates how different London was then is the photograph entitled Man with Psychosis. How did you come to take that photograph? MC: It was taken near what used to be the Ladbroke Grove frontline on All Saints Road, close to the Mangrove Club and the Apollo Pub. My friend lived on that street. I was walking to his house and the man was just standing on the street with a pillowcase over his head next to a mattress on the floor. Apparently he had been living there on the street. I don’t really have an explanation for what was going on, it felt incomprehensible at the time, I just took it and then walked on. MW: Was that around the time that you were living in a squat around Latimer Road? How was it living squat back then? MC: Yeah, I think so. For me, to be honest, it wasn’t great fun. I was moving so often from one squat to another pushing a shopping trolley and a couple of trunks around. I was never lucky enough to stay in a decent squat for a long period of time. Take the schoolhouse for example, it was an amazing squat, but it was full. People didn’t move on that often or the opportunities to move in were always offered to a friend of friend who already lived there. If I lasted nine months somewhere, that was great. MW: Did you ever know in advance if you were going to being evicted?

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MC: Yeah, I think so. For me, to be honest, it wasn’t great fun. I was moving so often from one squat to another pushing a shopping trolley and a couple of trunks around. I was never lucky enough to stay in a decent squat for a long period of time. Take the schoolhouse for example, it was an amazing squat, but it was full. People didn’t move on that often or the opportunities to move in were always offered to a friend of friend who already lived there. If I lasted nine months somewhere, that was great. MW: Did you ever know in advance if you were going to being evicted? MC: Yeah, sometimes you would get some warning, it varied really. And it wasn’t that easy to go and crack a house. I mean, the properties were out there, but it wasn’t as easy as probably a decade beforehand. It was also really exhausting sofa surfing and squatting in various properties for such a short period of time. Never having any long-term security. I remember vividly when I got a studio flat in Kings Cross and the symbolism of being given a key. I remember thinking, “My life can start here.” That was the start for me getting settled. It was a fantastic feeling.


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Tracksuit Nation photography Nacho Pinedo S t y lin g H u g o L av i n


tracksuit by PUMA;           turtleneck by TOPMAN;              shoes by J.W.ANDERSON

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jacket by polo by FRED PERRY BY RAF SIMONS; turtleneck by SAINT LAURENT; trousers by PUMA

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tracksuit by LE COQ SPORTIF;           polo by  FRED PERRY BY RAF SIMONS;             turtleneck by TOPMAN;             shoes by  J.W.ANDERSON

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From the Jogging Suit to Grime BY Johnny Utley

“Men’s fashions all start as sports clothes and progress to the great occasions of state”. So said the recently departed columnist Angus McGill and a quick study of the Spring/Summer 2016 collections confirms his discerning foresight ; the tracksuit is here to stay. Designers have approached the broadening appeal of the tracksuit in two distinct ways: those looking forwards – to refine and elevate it from its modest origins – and those looking backwards, to reinvent sportswear through the lens of their own adolescence. Collections that strayed towards the former included Joseph’s beautifully draped leather joggers and Christopher Bailey’s tux-trouser silhouettes in cashmere. On the more nostalgic side, Nasir Mazhar’s urban guerrillas were clad in flared three-quarter length nylon, while Rubchinskiy invoked the Soviet running track with his bold 80s pieces cuffing at the ankle. Christopher Shannon, however, took a slightly more “tongue-incheek” approach and sent models down the runway in bubble-gum pink tracksuit bottoms. The range of interpretations this season is certainly refreshing, but ultimately the tracksuit remains the same; it’s casual wear and is as comfortable on the street corner as it is on the catwalk. Originally designed to keep athletes warm between competitions, the tracksuit’s history arguably began in the 1970s when America first obsessed over recreational exercise and the “jogging suit” made its way into the wardrobes of ordinary people. In the UK, it

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was embraced by aspirational football fans: young men with mod sensibilities for high quality, minimal styling and subtle designer branding who found their kit on the high streets of Italy as they followed their clubs through Europe. Specialist sports-knitwear brands such as Cerutti, Sergio Tachinni and Fila were not available in the UK; investing in them brought with it a sense of affluence and exoticism, ideal for the sartorial one-upmanship that went on in the stands. For the fashion conscious macho man, the sharp slim cut sweats projected continental sophistication in a distinctly working class way. The “terrace casuals”, as they came to be known as, shifted tracksuits out of the gym and on to the field of leisure wear. Around this time, hip-hop culture emerged in the Bronx and unified rap music, turntablism, graffiti and b-boying aka break-dancing. Valued for its skilled gymnastic step-work and improvised athleticism, break-dancers, required to wear clothes they could move in and boldly coloured shellsuits became the go-to uniform. Run–DMC’s track “My Adidas” celebrates the breakers’ style and contributed to the commodification of hip-hop culture by fashion retailers. After Adidas executive Angelo Anastasio saw them invite the audience to hold up their trainers during a performance at Madison Square Gardens in 1986, he immediately signed them up to a $1million dollar sponsorship deal. The deal signaled the dawn of non-athletic promotions in the sporting goods industry and positioned sportswear as the definitive style of young Americans for a generation.


As the thumping kicks of Detroit house music arrived on British shores in the mid 1980s, the tracksuit, specifically tracksuit bottoms, became synonymous with rave culture. United in hedonism, young people discovered a newfound freedom in dance music and embraced it in an ecstasy-fuelled haze. 1987 was dubbed “The Second Summer of Love” and the anti-fashion aesthetic of the baggy tracksuit was less a style statement than an unself-conscious gesture towards comfort and the joys of dancing all night. In the 90s youth culture continued to flourish, Britpop and Cool Britannia seized the national consciousness while subcultures cross-pollinated in all major cities. Acid House merged with Break Beat to form Happy Hardcore, which flirted with Dancehall and Dub to create Jungle. Trip-Hop slowed down and embraced the grittier elements of its American cousin, just as the glitzy excesses of Gangster Rap became encoded in UK Garage. Whether it was Damon Albarn wearing a terrace jacket or Goldie in a puffed out nylon two-piece, the tracksuit became emblematic of an emboldened youth.

of derision, as seen with comedy characters such as teen delinquent Vicky Pollard from Little Britain and Sacha Baron Cohen’s Staines wide boy Ali G. In spite of the condemnation, aspects of the underground music scenes still championed the look. Born out of underprivileged areas of East London, Grime was a fast-moving local phenomenon with MCs, DJs and producers darting between bedroom studios, pirate radio stations and vinyl cutters, often at a moment’s notice. Laughing off the unpalatable stereotype and fighting against censure by the Met police, artists such as Dizzee Rascal and Wiley succeeded in bringing a soundtrack of profound social discontent to a mass audience, becoming the tracksuit-clad heroes of the decade. The cultural context that surrounds the history of the tracksuit indicates its symbolism for designers today; a utilitarian skin adapted for the rigors of urban living, an innovative push against popular convention and an ode to the effervescence of youth. Even with its newfound catwalk ubiquity, designers remain inspired by its pioneering countercultural roots. And if the great McGill is to be believed, it won’t be long before the Prime Minister’s wearing one.

Tony Blair’s “tough love” approach to working class communities, the rise of ASBOs and the introduction of the 696 risk assessment form contributed to the growing stigmatization of inner city youth at the turn of the millennium. As the image the “hoody” spread through the mainstream media, the tracksuit became associated with violence and street crime. It also became an object

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jacket by REEBOK; jacket underneath by FRED PERRY BY RAF SIMONS; turtleneck by SAINT LAURENT

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jacket by FILA;             polo by  FRED PERRY BY RAF SIMONS;             turteneck by  TOPMAN Model Michael Sharp Photography Assistant Borja Lorenzo Thanks to John A. Skelton and Ryan Skelton digital work LUCÍA DAKOTA

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Alex Mullins All H o l i d a y s E v e r BY H y n a m K e n d a ll

Spring/Summer 2016 will see the launch of Alex Mullin’s holiday-inspired collection. Continuing to explore storytelling through apparel, this season the NewGen recipient seeks to capture the notion of “All holidays ever.” It is an abstract concept, which he translates through poetic narrative and his signature painterly graphics. He writes about a euphoric journey that takes him ona“scorched”and“zooming”carridetoaparty,where“warmkneestouch”and“flowersstarttoopen”. Manifesting into a white wardrobe of cottons and denim, the relaxed, almost untailored silhouettes of the collection become a canvas for the designer. Mullins transforms memories of crumbling graffiti walls and tourist markets into swirling brushstrokes, whilst speckles of sunlight become pockets spotted over the garments. During his preparations for London Collections Men, we spoke to Mullins to find out more about the inspiration behind his SS16 collection.

O n t h e Ho l i d ay …

O n Pa i n t i n g …

On the journey…

“It’s really important that I capture a feeling with the clothes that I make. Summer is always about feeling light, fresh, spontaneous, with lots of day drinking and falling in love with everyone. For Spring/Summer 2016, I wanted the collection to evoke the feeling of that holiday you took when you thought you were mature, but you were actually really young and still a kid in many ways. You know, climbing into a car with friends, smelling the hot leaves in the air and skin pungent with sunscreen.”

“Painting is so honest; it shows the slightest of hand gestures and holds energy within each stroke of paint. It has limitations, I can’t rub it out and start again, I just have to commit and let it take on a life of its own. It makes me curate a piece in a 360 degree format, carefully considering the vision of the guy walking around and what will be revealed with his movement. Generally my work is less about paint as a specific medium, but more about my aim to capture a sense of energy within the textiles and construction.”

“I like balancing ideas of opposites, to contradict each other. It encourages me to be objective with myself, it’s important for me to question everything. Creating narratives though my work allows me to be thorough with what I’m creating, which becomes a primary source of inspiration. These stories are usually my gut trying to tell me something: a point of view, a feeling of the moment, a reflection. I only seem to realise the true nature of my work when I see the final show.”

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Spring/Summer 2016 will see the launch of Alex Mullin’s holiday-inspired collection. Continuing to explore storytelling through apparel, this season the NewGen recipient seeks to capture the notion of “All holidays ever.” It is an abstract concept, which he translates through poetic narrative and his signature painterly graphics. He writes about a euphoric journey that takes him ona“scorched”and“zooming”carridetoaparty,where“warmkneestouch”and“flowersstarttoopen”. Manifesting into a white wardrobe of cottons and denim, the relaxed, almost untailored silhouettes of the collection become a canvas for the designer. Mullins transforms memories of crumbling graffiti walls and tourist markets into swirling brushstrokes, whilst speckles of sunlight become pockets spotted over the garments. During his preparations for London Collections Men, we spoke to Mullins to find out more about the inspiration behind his SS16 collection.

photography L o n n y Sp e n c e r

S t y lin g H u g o L av i n

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Hair ALEXANDER SOLTERMAN using Bumble & Bumble; Model WILLIAM at TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY; All the clothes are ALEX MULLINS SS16 boots model’s own


D a niel W. Fle t c he r BY N a z a n i n Sh a h n a v a z

O n l y Fo o l s a n d H o r s e s

photography dham srifuengfun

S TY L I N G Michael Darlington

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hair PATRICK FORINI make up   MIN SANDHU   All looks DANIEL FLETCHER; necklace stylist own; trainers stylist own socks NIKE

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“As a designer, I wanted to use my practice to raise awareness to the negative impact gentrification and redevelopment is having on London’s communities.” Central Saint Martins graduate, Daniel

On Gentrification…

On Peckham…

W. Fletcher, had not envisaged starting

“As a designer, I wanted to use my practice to raise awareness to the negative impact gentrification and redevelopment is having on London’s communities. In the collection, I’ve represented this by combining traditional British heritage pieces with sportswear and street-inspired garments to capture the mix of people in the neighbourhoods that have become gentrified. At one end of the spectrum, there are the super-rich developers who have cashed in on areas they have no connection to and at the other, the long term residents and small business owners who can no longer afford their rent. There needs to be more measures in place to protect people and the communities they are part of.”

“When I first moved to London I lived in Peckham because as a student it was one of the few affordable areas of the city. It has changed so much in the past few years, people who would have only associated it with Only Fools and Horses before are now sipping Campari on top of a car park there, the whole social dynamic of the area has changed. I’m not saying I’ve not been up to Frank’s myself, I think it’s great to see young entrepreneurs setting up independent businesses. But it concerns me when I see big developers and policy makers planning to build luxury apartments and wipe out all the artist studios around the station in favour of a shiny new shopping centre. There doesn’t seem to be much thought for the low income and long-term residents of the area, who potentially face displacement. In my collection there are leather jackets and briefcases emblazoned with “Peckham Pony Club” applique; this is a fictional tongue-in-cheek society I created to take a satirical look at how people’s perception of an area can change so rapidly.”

his own label so early on in his career. But after presenting his PeckhamRuth-Glass-inspired

BA

Menswear

collection, through which he highlights London’s rapid gentrification, the young designer received a wave of critical acclaim. “The Business of Fashion wrote my first brand feature,” says Fletcher. “Then I started getting approached by stockists who wanted to carry my line and it was at that point it became real and I thought, ok, I’m actually doing this.” During his studies Fletcher also interned with Burberry, Hussein Chalayan, Lanvin and Louis Vuitton, where

On Ruth Glass…

he now spends a couple of days a week

“I wrote my dissertation about the restructuring of urban space in London and read a lot of Ruth Glass’ works during my research. Glass was the sociologist who coined the term gentrification and it was fascinating to learn that all the issues she wrote about during the 1960s are still happening in the same cycles today. She described an “urban gentry” as the transforming of the working-class areas of London. I liked the poetry of this term and it had a strong influence on my collection. Glass believed that the purpose of sociological research was to influence government policy; I’d like to hope the same thing was possible in fashion. If my collection could raise any sort of awareness on these issues then that’s already a step in the right direction.”

designing leather goods. “I spent six months of my placement year at Louis Vuitton and seeing what a fantastic place to work it is, it was a dream to be asked back and still be given the freedom to continue with my own label.” Now as Fletcher moves into his first studio, we spoke to him to find out more about the inspiration behind his debut collection.

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DSquared2 BY H y n a m K e n d a ll

photography Kim jacobson To

S t y lin g Hamish wirgman

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Shoes and socks throughout models own; special thanks: KERENA and RODERICK WIRGMAN 

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Anything that you might do, I’m gonna do too “We do not want to give didactic messages to people,” say twin brothers, Dean and Dan Caten, the Canadian founders behind the multi-million-pound fashion empire, DSquared2. From their vibrant campaigns to outrageous runway shows, infamous parties and energetic ready-to-wear collections, fashion for them is all about fun. Take the opening of their Spring/Summer 2014 Menswear show as an example, which saw models in tighty whities and beaded jewellery, standing in spilling springs, rubbing down their statuesque muscles with pink towels. Or the celebrity appearances made by their “beautiful” friends such as Rihanna who entered the stage in an American muscle car and Christina Aguilera who stripped male models of their clothes. Though it is nearly impossible to tell the brothers apart, Dean is by his own admission the mischievous one, the one most likely to crack open the champagne in an interview and instigate celebrations. Whereas Dan, supposedly the “sensible” one, is possibly the more muscular of the two. What is obvious, however, is the duo’s inseparability; they share almost everything, most audaciously a bed. The brothers even dress similarly. Typically wearing something from their own label, you will often see them in one of two guises: the preened and immaculate dandy in dinner suit, or classic Americana in denim and whites – a nod to the Caten’s childhood and the history of the label, which first launched as a premium denim brand in 1992.

Born and raised in Toronto by their English mother and Italian father, the Caten children were not allowed to wear jeans. They had little money and their father, a welder who emigrated to Canada, thought jeans “were for poor people”. The boys instead went to school in “dress pants”, spurring what seems a life long infatuation with denim. Though a prominent feature in their collections, they are quick to say that they don’t just create for themselves; “As designers, this is not our mission.” At 19, the brothers decamped to New York to study fashion at Parsons School for Design, only to drop out after just one semester. Returning to Toronto, they where employed by Ports International where they worked their way up to the position of joint head designers. In 1991, the brothers went back to their Italian roots and relocated to Milan. In the space of a year, they managed to secure financial backing from Diesel president and founder Renzo Rosso and launched DSquared2. Almost twenty years on and the Catens’ success has seen their portfolio expand from jeans to include menswear, womenswear, fragrances, sunglasses, accessories and, most recently, handbags. Amassing an annual turnover that exceeds £152 million, the brothers also implemented an aggressive retail strategy that saw the recent opening of a new flagship boutique in London’s Mayfair on Conduit Street. “Honestly, we think that always being passionate and positive [is the secret to our success],” they say. “Also working with skilled staff helps!”

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Having dressed everyone from Kayne West to Nicholas Cage and George Clooney, a personal peak, they say, was designing for Madonna during her 2001 Drowned World Tour and for her music video “Don’t Tell Me”, which featured Madonna as cowgirl in dirty jeans. For the Caten’s, Madonna is the perfect DSquared2 girl: “A constant muse” they assure. “A Dsquared2 woman should be fascinating, self-confident and stylish. She impresses through her allure and attitude. She doesn’t show-off or exaggerate. She has to be herself. That’s it.” As for the Dsquared2 man, he comes in his most masculine and recognised forms: the lumberjack, the Adonis, the suave Milk Tray man in suit and tie or James Bond via structured tuxedos. This season was built around the surfer, inspired by their wave-riding holidays to Bali and Barbados. The action packed collection featured wetsuit-inspired outerwear, bleached oversized denim silhouettes, mesh tops and leather neoprene board shorts with tattoo printed tulle body suits worn underneath. In true Caten style, the show was elaborate, camp, macho and larger-than-life. Though highly entertaining, their elaborate productions may conceal the level of detail the brothers labour into their collections. The intricate embroideries, beading, studs and fringes are at risk of going unnoticed because the image that they portray is loud and about “energy, power, freedom, passion and love”. But behind the smoke-and-mirrors is craftsmanship, honed from a lifetime of design. Beneath the style there is substance.


all clothes by PAUL SMITH SS16; model’s vest; all jewerly by FINE BLUE

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paul

BY H y n a m K e n d a ll

photography

smith

L o n n y Sp e n c e r

S t y lin g H u g o L av i n

suited and booted

The story of Paul Smith’s road accident is as well known as his iconic stripe pattern: Smith was not an aspiring fashion designer, in fact not fashion-oriented in any capacity during his formative years. This towering, handsome figure with a thick mane of dandyish grey hair, now almost constantly wrapped in a suit and shirt of his own design, was, instead, destined to be a bike racer until a passing fender impacted upon his torso and changed everything. Smith was suddenly no longer a sportsman and had to give up racing to pursue design.

It was at the age of 16, and the sight of a green four-button suit, that Smith had first been made aware of “fashion”. Fashion was something he had never thought about at all. In truth, he had thought of little other than racing. And then this suit arrived and suddenly Smith’s interest was piqued. Rather ironically, this always tall, always slim man with limbs lithe and deft was born to wear a suit; the perfect figure for tailoring. Sir Paul Smith, today, revels in the imperfections. He can talk at length of

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the un-parallel floorboards in his luxury Covent Garden store, of the shop’s façade that was cast in sand, and the resulting pitter-patter of dappled pot marks left by each modular sand grain. The imperfections remain, unchanged, celebrated even. “With age,” he has said, “these things get better.” The same can, and often has been said of Smith’s eponymous brand, Paul Smith. By no account edgy – Smith by his own admission is not an edgy designer, but a designer more aptly described as “very capable”, he himself


model’s ring

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model’s vest and ring;           jockstrap stylist’s own

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Hair Jonathan de Francesco; Model Tony Bryan at FM London

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“Somebody once described the office as being like a beach where the tide comes in and goes out and things are always changing as a result”

comparing his role to that of a stylist – Smith’s brand has been born of a need for, simply put, well-made clothes. He famously dislikes moodboards, and, as a rule, neither he nor his team work from one. Instead they search for inspiration from the ever-growing collections of kitsch and modernist objects he assembles throughout his office, documented so well by the touring exhibition “Hello, my name is Paul Smith”. Of these, some favourites include a miniature model of his actual office in steel and Japanese newspaper, amazingly accurate and contained in a Perspex box, and the beautiful paintings of James Lloyd – a previous recipient of funding Smith gave to the Slade School of Art, and later the recipient of the BP Portrait Prize. “Somebody once described the office as being like a beach where the tide comes in and goes out and things are always changing as a result,” says Smith. “Are you a collector?” I ask, a term, perhaps, suggestive of excess. “Absolutely!” he exclaims, and then, “Because you can find inspiration in everything. And if you can’t, look again!” Over the years Smith’s brand has become synonymous with classic British design, especially in regards to suiting. While he has repeated the mantra “Nobody cares how good you have been, fashion is not for yesterday, but for now and tomorrow”, and he later presses this point with a curt “Personally, I never look back”, you certainly do know what you are getting with Paul Smith. His pieces, seasonally, are always reliable in their well-proportioned design, nodding to a more precise era of tailoring.

And there are the staples you can come to rely on: nobody can do a trouser like Smith; this season long and wide, paired with a double-breasted jacket or tunic. There is a reason Smith’s extensive list of loyal customers include David Bowie, Patti Smith and Gary Oldman. Smith has garnered a knack, and reputation, for updating classics, most notably adding modernity through vibrant colourways. SS16 Womenswear’s most critically lauded piece was a bright orange collar-less wrap-around coat. Stabs of tangerine were also seen in linings, paired with banana yellow block heels. SS16 Menswear, a series of looks with no fixed silhouette, clearly the result of digging through his own archive and re-addressing the differing types of tailoring, contained bolts of cobalt blue, burnt orange and sunshine yellows too. Smith, a magpie with unrivaled passion for hue, is often inspired by Rothko paintings, and, for SS16, specifically took to David Hockney’s teeming back catalog for influence and inspiration of palette. Post-show Smith cites Hockney a man with an “extraordinary eye for colour”. As the old adage goes, it takes one to know one. “Black and navy will always be very popular in terms of sales and commerciality,” says Smith, “but, fortunately, we’re very famous for our colour, so people come to Paul Smith to buy something exceptional and colourful. I think it would be quite a shock to everyone if one day we showed nothing but black on the catwalk!” and then, “We’re an optimistic company and colour cheers people up!” VA R O N 1 0 3

Smith’s myriad collections have been described, by Smith himself, as “nice, good, fashion”, which is, indisputably, how the brand came to be and how the brand came to last. Why others have faltered over the years and Smith has flourished, is because, Smith understands the basics: quality, quality, quality. Quality is a term Smith both lives and dies by. Without the quality there is nothing. The label may have not been taken as seriously as some other design houses, but the most important factors of design are always those which Smith labours over and perfects: proportion, scale, stitching and the quality of the garment. These are the skills Smith became aware of early on from then-girlfriend, now-wife, Pauline, a trained fashion designer who learned the mastery of couture at the Royal College of Art. She taught Smith how to put on a sleeve, how to stitch, the importance of a simple button. The fact that Smith never truly was ‘high fashion’ has only, really, aided him in his success. It has helped with the continuity of the brand. It has paved the way for a reputation and legacy, and ensured that the brand – irregardless of trend – is, above all else, wearable. In fact, “wearable” is one of the words Smith’s friend David Bowie has used to describe the designer’s apparel. To some designers this word may signal the death knell, but it is a word Smith loves, and, in fact, uses himself often to describe his clothes. Because, if not to wear, what is he creating all these garments for in the first place?


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Overall Kenzo

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Glaswegians Soul photography C H AR L OTTE H ADDEN

S t y lin g H u g o L av i n

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sweater and trousers by AGI&SAM; Â trousers underneath by McQ

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shirt by GIVENCHY by RICCARDO TISCI;             t-shirt by  LANVIN;               trousers by McQ

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shirt by E.TAUTZ; jacket by DIOR HOMME

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trousers by AGI&SAM;           trousers underneath by McQ;             braces stylist’s own

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vest by XANDER ZHOU; vest underneath stylist’s own; trousers by AGI&SAM; trousers underneath by McQ

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jacket by DIOR HOMME;           trousers by DSQUARED2;             trousers underneath by McQ

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shirt by ALEXANDER MCQUEEN; jacket by DIOR HOMME; trousers by McQ

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sweater by J.W.ANDERSON;             trousers by  CHRISTOPHER SHANNON;              trousers underneath by McQ;              shoes by LANVIN

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shirt by E.TAUTZ; vest by ASTRID ANDERSEN; trousers by McQ

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polo by PAUL SMITH;           trousers by  McQ;             shoes by LANVIN hair  ALEXANDER SOLTERMANN using Bumble and Bumble make up NOBUKO MAEKAWA using MAC model CONNOR NEWALL at MILK MANAGEMENT styling assistant RYAN SKELTON

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H u n d r e d a

n

d

Tw e n t y

photography R y a n S k e lt o n S TY L I N G Hamish Wirgman

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jacket by J.W.ANDERSON; cuff and chain by FLEET ILYA; previous page shoes by Prada

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both pages suit by VALENTINO; tutleneck by JOHN SMEDLEY; belt by PAUL SMITH shoes and socks by PRADA

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jacket by MARTIN MARGIELA; shirt by ACNE; turtleneck by JOHN SMEDLEY; trousers and belt by LANVIN; cuffs by FLEET ILYA next page suit by CORNELIANI shoes and socks PRADA

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jacket by KENZO; shirt by MARGARET HOWELL; turtleneck by SUNSPEL; neck piece by FLEET ILYA; shoes and socks by PRADA

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jacket by PAUL SMITH shirt by LANVIN turtleneck by SUNSPEL; trousers by MARGARET HOWELL; cuffs by FLEET ILYA

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suit by GIVENCHY BY RICCARDO TISCI; shirt and turtleneck by SUNSPEL; shoes and socks by PRADA; cuffs by FLEET ILYA

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top by J.W.ANDERSON; shirt by CORNELIANI; trousers by ALEXANDER MCQUEEN; shoes and socks PRADA; cuffs by FLEET ILYA

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suit by DRIES VAN NOTEN; turtleneck by JOHN SMEDLEY; shoes and socks by PRADA

VA VARROONN 12248


coat by LANVIN; suit by ALEXANDER MCQUEEN; turtleneck by SUNSPEL; shoes and socks by PRADA; collar by FLEET ILYA

VA VARROONN 12259


shirt and shoes by PRADA; turtleneck by SUNSPEL; trousers by DRIES VAN NOTEN; belt by LANVIN; neck piece by FLEET ILYA;

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jacket and trousers by ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA; top and shoes by PRADA; mask by FLEET ILYA grooming TAKUYA UCHIYAMA using TIGI; stylist assistant JENNY HARTLY; model GEORGE KIRKUP-DELPH at MODELS1

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sweater and cardigan by ISABEL BENENATO; Jeans by HED MAYNER; belt by SAINT LAURENT by HEDI SLIMANE; Sneakers by AMI next page Sweater Faith Connexion; underneath sweater Theory; Trousers Vivienne Westwood

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Sculptures of Remains

photography Al e x F r a n c o

S t y lin g M a r i D av i d


Jacket Acne Studios; Top Isabel Benenato; Trousers Julien David; Jeans Hed Mayner; Scarf as a belt Berluti

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sweater, shirt and trousers Faith Connexion; belt Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane; sneakers AMI

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jacket Theory; top Faith Connexion; jeans Hed Mayner; scarf Berluti

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sweater and white thin top Faith Connexion; jacket and trousers Yohji Yamamoto

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jacket AMI sweater Isabel Benenato; jeans Hed Mayner; belt Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane

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Piero jacket and t-shirt Versace; trousers Hed Mayner Dzhovani sweater Faith Connexion; Thin under sweater Theory; trousers Vivienne Westwood; belt saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane; cape Acne Studios

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Piero shirt and trousers Vivienne Westwood; sweater Acne Studios; large wool scarf Isabel Benenato belt Stylist own Dzhovani shirt and trousers Vivienne Westwood belt Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane

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all clothes by Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane hair by Benedicte Cazau @ Artlist make-up by Satoko Watanabe models Piero Mendez & Dzhovani Gospodinov at Bananas Model assistant stylist Mathilde Regnault

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Stockist ACNE www.acnestudios.com

DANIEL FLETCHER www.danielfletcher.com

JOANNA LARK www.joannalark.com

PIETER www.sebastiaanpieter.com

ADOLFO DOMINGUEZ www.adolfodominguez.com

DIOR www.dior.com

JOHN SMEDLEY www.johnsmedley.com

PRADA www.prada.com

AGI AND SAM www.agiandsam.com

DRIES VAN NOTEN www.driesvannoten.be

JULIEN DAVID www.juliendavid.com

PUMA www.puma.com

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN www.alexandermcqueen.com

DSQUARED2 www.dsquared2.com

J.W. ANDERSON www.j-a-anderson.com

REEBOK www.reebok.co.uk

ALEX MULLINS www.alexmullins.co.uk

EDWARD SEXTON www.edwardsexton.co.uk

KENZO www.kenzo.com

RICHARD JAMES www.richardjames.co.uk

AMI www.amiparis.fr

ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA www.zegna.com

LANVIN www.lanvin.com

ROLEX www.rolex.com

ANTONIO MARRAS www.antoniomarras.it

E.TAUTZ www.e.tautz.com

LE COQ SPORTIF www.lecoqsportif.com

SAINT LAURENT www.ysl.com

A.P.C www.apc.fr

FAITH CONNEXION www.faith-connexion.com

LOEWE www.loewe.com

SUNSPEL www.sunspel.com

ASTRID ANDERSEN www.astridandersen.com

FALKE www.falke.com

LOU DALTON www.loudalton.com

TAG HEUER www.tagheuer.co.uk

ATSUKO KUDO www.atsukokudo.com

FILA www.fila.co.uk

LOUIS VUITTON www.louisvuitton.com

THEORY www.theory.com

BAUME ET MERCIER www.baume-et-mercier.com

FLEET ILYA www.fleetilya.com

HARDY AIMES www.hardyaimes.com

UMBRO www.umbro.com

BERLUTI www.berluti.com

FRED PERRY www.fredperry.com

HED MAYNER www.hedmayner.com

VALENTINO www.valentino.com

BREGUET www.breguet.com

GIVENCHY www.givenchy.com

HENRY POOLE www.henrypoole.com

VERSACE www.versace.com

BROOKS BROTHERS www.brooksbrothers.com

HARDY AIMES www.hardyaimes.com

ISABEL BENENATO. www.isabelbenenato.com

VIVIENNE WESTWOOD www.viviennewestwood.com

BUNNEY www.bunney.co.uk

HED MAYNER www.hedmayner.com

MARGARET HOWELL www.margarethowell.co.uk

XANDER ZHOU www.xanderzhou.com

CASELY-HAYFORD www.casely-hayford.com

HENRY POOLE www.henrypoole.com

MARTIN MARGIELA www.maisonmartinmargiela.com

YOHJI YAMAMOTO www.yohjiyamamoto.co.jp

CHRISTOPHER SHANNON www.christophershannon.co.uk

ISABEL BENENATO. www.isabelbenenato.com

MATTHEW MILLER www.matthewmillermenswear.com

CORNELIANI www.corneliani.com

ISSEY MIYAKE www.isseymiyake.com

PARMIGIANI www.parmigiani.ch

CRAIG GREEN www.craig-green.com

IWC www.iwc.com

PAUL SMITH www.paulsmith.co.uk

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Profile for Jorge Zarco

Varon magazine vol. 11  

Fashion, music, photo, opinion.

Varon magazine vol. 11  

Fashion, music, photo, opinion.

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