CONTRIBUTORS Editors in chief Martin Mitchell & Pernille Mosbech Contributing writers Helene Jeune Devin Hentz Christine Løth Andrea Kamper Michelle Hørlück Pernille Hammershøj Phillip Monge Nicklas Thrysøe Myrto Papailiou Guro Sofie Ulsaker Graphic design Vanessa Hoffmann Proofreading Anna De Laurenzio
Cover by Mikkel Völcker 2
Other contributors Alicja Biala Pernille Sandberg Madara Freimane Laura Bonnefous Anny CK Mikkel Völcker Mads Stig Jacob Storm Line Jarde Denis Bjerregaard Lasse Wind Tue Blichfeldt Venera Kazarova Lena Kholkina Domantas Smaizys Ausra Babiedaite Charlotte Boyte Valeriya Olkhova Jesper Drejer
Materiality is the theme of this sixth issue of Less Magazine. It is an interesting theme due to its complexity and how materiality is understood differently depending on context. It can come off as thoughts on consumption, but also in a hands-on and tactile way. With materiality as a concept, we have had the pleasure of inviting our team of contributors to interpret it in their own way. In this issue of Less Magazine we have explored materiality as a concept from a variety of angles. We have looked at material manifestations of ideas and materials as a medium for telling stories. Materiality as consumerism, the tactility of materials and how it affects our lives and happiness. Weâ€™ve dealt with several angles to slow clothing from craftsmanship and nostalgia to social sustainability in interviews with designers from Toogood, Trine Lindegaard and Ivan Grundahl. We have focused on representing a widespread array of opinionsa from many very different people, in order to widen our horizon and approach to slow fashion and materiality as much as possible. Visually, the theme materiality has been approached from the perspective of the interaction between body and garments or fabrics. Among other themes, we also present a criticism of the pace in the fashion industry with a story on offering value to second hand clothes and a story on maintaining your clothes. We have discussed dialectics of fantasy and reality in magazines, and tried to break with misconceptions of the properties of synthetic versus natural materials. As with everything else in this world, slow fashion and materiality is not black and white, and in this issue we have made an effort to paint a picture of materiality in a greyscale. Martin Mitchell & Pernille Secher Mosbech
Closer than Consumption Intrinsic Values in Sustainable Communication
Visualization Pernille Sandberg
Interview Erica Toogood
Out of Line
History and the Power of Magazines
Visualization Anny CK
Interview Ivan Grundahl
Ivan Grundahl Archive Search
Natural vs. Synthetic
100. Connectivism 110. What Does Happiness Have to Do With it 113.
Visualization Line Jarde
120. Revisited 136. Interview Trine Lindegaard 144. Dripping 154. Mongeâ€™s Column 158. A Consumption Study 161. Visualization Domantas Smaizys 168. Brand List 172. References
S tatem e n ts On Mat eriali t y
V L A DI M I R K AR ALEEV
DE SIG N E R , V L A DIMIR K A R A L E E V â€?Materiality as a garment, has to have a necessery aspect of technical, practical and aesthetic function. It is the fundamentel part of the concept of a garment.â€?
S tatem e n ts On Mat eriali t y
L AU R A BON N E F OUS
PH OTOG R A PH E R
”Body, object, shape, empty, full, outline, hollow, palpable, you, me, us, nothing - all material exists through the expression of its tactility. A materiality that can be revealed by the sensible; this is what I explore through my “sculptural” images. Everything we create around us, everything we support, everything that makes us live each day; all this material is reinterpretable. Human, textile, geometric or abstract, I deconstruct the materi-
al in space and rebuild a new form. I create my images by rethinking each thing, reversing the direction, and reinterpreting the material, particularly clothing. Sculpture, photography, performance, and fashion practices combine to create a new sensitive landscape of the world. For me, our contemporary mythologies are born with the prospect of creating a poetry of material.”
VA L E R I YA OL K HOVA
DES I G N E R & ART D IR E CTOR ”New Era of SYMBIOSIS and CONNECTI-VISM between textile and human, material and emotion. It reflects a Period of ‘IDENTITY CLOTHING’ manifested through SLOW-FASHION and born through preservation, awareness, sustainability, and interactive and customizable design and futurism. Clothing as a SECOND SKIN empowers and safeguards a sense of serenity and curiosity of mind, fueling our senses to wander and escape.
The material’s elasticity enables it to mold itself to liberate the body in movement, and its rawness cocoons the body in unique comfort. This change in design system is reflective of human values. It exudes primal energy of identity. Mate-Rialism today embodies a personal relationship with the garment, where handcraft is venerated and breathes life into its soul.”
Photographer Nicklas ThrysĂ¸e Art Director Martin Mitchell Model August Bisgaard, Le Management Make-up & hair Marie Dausell Assistant Silja BjĂśrk
In the early 1900s the majority of the working class did not experience the benefits of urban life. Many struggled to survive, but they cherished what they had and saved up for things they needed. They did not buy new things on a weekly basis. Imagine saving up for months to buy a single item of clothing. Your jacket, your trousers, your boots; they all became your uniform. To build a wardrobe was like building ways to survive. Sturdy, long-lasting fabrics providing warmth and protection were key - wools, linens and cottons were your best friends.
Brand lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest Garment lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest More information on page 168
PREVIOUS SPREAD Shirt by Marvielab Knit & sleeves by Toogoodunisexouterwear RIGHT Jacket by Toogoodunisexouterwear Hat by Reinhard Plank LEFT Jacket by Toogoodunisexouterwear Shirt by Jan-Jan Van Essche Trousers by Hansen Garments Shoes by Guidi
Entire look by Marvielab
Shirt and jacket by Hansen Garments Trousers by Jan-Jan Van Essche
Shirt by Marvielab Top by Toogoodunisexouterwear Trousers by Hansen Garments
Knit by Susanne Rohrmann
Coat by Susanne Rohrmann Trousers by Hansen Garments Shoes by Guidi
Coat by Toogoodunisexouterwear
19 Shirt by Marvielab Knit by Toogoodunisexouterwear
LEFT Shirt and knit by Jan-Jan Van Essche Trousers by Hansen Garments RIGHT Jacket by Toogoodunisexouterwear Shirt by Jan-Jan Van Essche Trousers by Hansen Garments Shoes by Guidi
23 Coat by Susanne Rohrmann Shirt by Hansen Garments
In vestig a tion of. . .
Intrinsic Values in Sustainable Communication
Closer than Consumption Helene Jeune, Master in science of Sociology Illustration Alicja Biala
A group of young schoolchildren form part of an experiment. They sit around a table full of colorful pens and paper. They are asked to write or draw what they want from Santa Claus; quickly and without hesitation they note down all their wishes: a new bicycle, a guitar, computer games. The children are then asked to write or draw what they wish for from their parents. Thoughtfully and after a long pause they note down their wishes: spending more time with them, hugging them, and playing games with their parents. Change of scene: a mother, looking stunned; another woman with tears rolling down her cheeks; parents laughing openheartedly when hearing their child’s wishes. The scene described above is from an IKEA promotion video from Spain that went viral on social media. Its viral effect can be explained by the following: First of all, it’s rare for a large retail company to promote immaterial and intrinsic values (spending more quality time together) rather than material ones. The video asks viewers to reflect on how they prioritize their time. The advertisement is thus thought-provoking in a western cultural context, where material consumption dominates and where marketing campaigns mainly emphasize the product and urge people to consume more.
New tendencies The IKEA video has also gone viral for a second reason. New tendencies in society, reflecting critically on the nature of consump-
tion, are on the rise - tendencies that aspire to and support a focus on intrinsic values. Several movements and concepts have emerged recently, one of which is the slow movement: slow food, slow fashion, and slow living. Slowness is about taking one’s time, putting care and effort into activities such as growing one’s own food, cooking, making and re-making products as well as celebrating everyday activities. Another tendency is the maker movement. The maker movement consists of individuals and groups who build small so-called maker-spaces to remake and ‘hack’ products through collaborative sharing. Such maker spaces are not driven by profit, but by the urge to strengthen learning opportunities and bolster communities. This movement can be seen as a reaction to planned obsolescence and throwaway culture. Neither of the two movements is necessarily concerned with sustainability, but rather can be seen as reactions to the prevalent disconnection between people and material culture. However exciting these tendencies are, they only affect few subcultures and consumer groups with specific socio-economic qualities. They only scratch the surface of the overall consumption paradigm that dominates western society today. Our current production/consumption system is still in large part unsustainable and taxes the earth’s resources and the health of people, animals, and the environment. Conventional marketing and communication keep our un-
sustainable consumer culture going by continuously focusing on extrinsic values and wasteful behaviors. But what does it take then to challenge consumer culture and direct people’s behavior towards a more sustainable direction? There is obviously not a simple answer to how to provoke such a shift, as it will entail a systemic approach involving many different stakeholders. The aims of this article however are to look at this question from a communication and marketing perspective and examine new framing of communicating sustainability. A definition of intrinsic and extrinsic values should firstly be addressed and in addition the link between intrinsic values and materiality should be examined in order to fully grasp what influences and drives consumer behavior today.
Defining intrinsic values Intrinsic values can be defined as values that are an end in themselves. Caring for others (people, animals and nature), for instance, is an intrinsic value. Caring is also about caring for material objects that are valued for their utility, aesthetic qualities, emotional value, or symbolic role. Other examples of intrinsic values include building strong relations and communities, expressing oneself through the arts and connecting to spiritual domains. Such values are often linked to the creative, imaginative, ethical, and spiritual spheres. Extrinsic values can be defined as the opposite. For instance, producing material objects that are aimed at creating status or power over others, as a way of achieving self-esteem. These are objects that are both functional and positional including consumer goods such as cars, electronic gadgets, and designer products.
Materiality is not superficial An immediate and convenient distinction is to associate intrinsic with immateriality, extrin-
sic with materiality. But this would disregard important aspects of what it means to be human and what drives consumer behavior. Our relationship with material products are not extrinsic per se. Caring for and taking the time to make and remake material products, as seen within the slow and the maker movements, are expressions of intrinsic values. It is also about reclaiming the right to express oneself as a co-designer and producer of products, rejecting one’s position as a passive consumer left to obey the planned obsolescence of products. Materiality is not necessarily superficial; caring for materials is a way of expressing one’s identity and culture and has been an integral part of human behavior since the beginning of time. Materiality may connect us to emotions, aesthetics, and spirituality, encompassing real needs of belonging, and caring. Materiality is therefore not in opposition to intrinsic values. Understanding our relations to material goods and how to restore such connection is essential for communicating intrinsic values.
Cultural values Since the 1950s, conventional marketing has influenced and expanded consumer culture as we know it today — a fairly recent phenomenon that is less than 75 years old. Conventional marketers and political leadership have been ‘successful’ in telling the story of consumption as a means to prosperity and happiness. The Trojan horse for advertisers and marketers has been to link the functionality of products to social and positional status, thereby pushing the boundaries of consumers’ perception of wants versus needs. Products have become illusions for fulfillment, belonging, status and self-esteem, which all revolve around a human deficit. Today, extrinsic and ‘me’-centered values dominate the western cultural value system and have a huge impact on current behavior and consumption choices. Using the same tools as conventional advertisers and marketers, but promoting intrinsic values instead, has the possibility
of creating a demand for more intrinsically valuable products, services and experiences, moving away from extrinsic products. This opens up for a positive spiral that can lead to behavioral changes.
Sustainable communication messages Sustainability messages are in various ways addressing unsustainable production and consumer choice. Unfortunately, these haven’t managed to change cultural values with enough leverage. Lack of political leadership, technological solutions, and conventional marketing also play a part in this. It can be argued, though, that sustainability messages diffused by businesses, NGOs and governmental organizations are using the wrong tactics and framings possibly because they are loaded with fear and guilt that prevent them from suggesting alternatives to action, or they are focusing on small steps ‘if we all just do a little’ which takes the focus away from actors taking full responsibility, or they are disguising the real content for instance by not revealing the full transparency of the product, or communicating intrinsic values but with an underlying tone of consuming more. This may have the adverse affect of leaving the consumers disillusioned.
Re-framing communication messages To help direct people’s behavior towards a more sustainable direction through communication messages, it is important to leverage intrinsic values in promoting sustainability. The following list contains suggestions for how such messages could be re-framed.
feeling good enough and questioning the ‘need’ for more stuff. •
By emphasizing intrinsic values as a source for a happy, fulfilled life; cultivating caring, sharing, community, nature etc. Intrinsic values are not about putting your pleasures on hold.
By inspiring self-expression, whether it be culturally, spiritually or artistically, or in the making and remaking of products.
The slow movement and maker movement infuse products with intrinsic values whilst restoring our connection to the material and immaterial world. The IKEA video could in principle be categorized as a ‘values in disguise’ message. However, it stands out and distinguishes itself by being bold enough to question the need for ever more ‘stuff’. It strikes a fine balance between conveying a sustainable message and promoting IKEA as a responsible business. It is an example of how companies can infuse their brand and products with more intrinsic values that support a more sustainable consumer culture. This entails a more nuanced and powerful way of communicating that may connect the consumer more closely with the sender than what we have seen before. Promoting intrinsic values doesn’t mean putting business aside. It’s about taking a (governmental, corporate, societal) responsibility for changing the unsustainable production and consumption system that in the long run diminishes the possibility of continuous prosperity and our ability to create flourishing businesses and communities.
Sustainability messages should focus on intrinsic values: •
By liberating the consumer from assuming that extrinsic values are a prerequisite to happiness. Support the consumer in
Se e references on page 172
A big part of Less Magazine is to let creative people show their talents. Visualization is a section divided into four parts as we choose four different stylists or photographers to visually interpret a theme given by the editors of the magazine. In this issue the theme interpreted is
V isu aliza tio n
PERNILLE SANDBERG SÉRÉNADE MÉLANCOLIQUE Like the silk touching my pale skin, like my stream of consciousness. Like the rough canvas covering my slender arms, like the stones resting on my shoulders. Like the tremble through my chest, like the pressure in my veins. Like the melody of hunger resounding through the waves. Like the power of my steps, like the fray of my filters. Like the hardened tree, like my unspoiled youth. Like the subtle threads breaking in the wind, like the hard beats of my heart.
Photographer Pernille Sandberg Styling Léonie Cujé Model Milton Rojas Echeverri Assistance Julian Zacharias Eide Thanks to Seebad Friedrichshagen
Brand lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest Garment lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest More information on page 168
Vest & shorts by Vladimir Karaleev Tanktop by Zimmerli of Switzerland
31 Coat by Martin Niklas Wieser
Coat by Henrik Vibskov Fabric stylistâ€™s own
Jumper by Vladimir Karaleev Jumper underneath by Whitetail Leggins by Zimmerli of Switzerland
Jumper by Vladimir Karaleev
Coat by Henrik Vibskov Shorts by Vladimir Karaleev
In ter vie w
Erica Toogood f rom
Toogoodu n i sexout er we a r
Christine Løth Photographer Madara Freimane & Toogoodunisexouterwear
The world we live in is visually saturated. A feature of postmodern society is its persistent traffic in images, often borrowed from diverse times and places, and patched together in ever-changing ways. This traffic serves commercial purposes, shapes identities, and increasingly replaces reality itself. To the sound of ripping fabrics, waiting for Erica to arrive,
I flick through the lookbook of Toogood’s Collection 004. With each piece given an individual personality I find myself drawn to The Draughtsman Shirt: “With simple strokes of pen or cursor, the deft delineator draws up brave new worlds for us. A precise shirt.” It is only when we stop thinking that sex determines social behavior that we can start to understand the
‘gender conventions’, meaning the cultural expectations of behavior, clothing and image that have divided men and women. In response to the post-digital age, we have become more aware that boundaries between genders are culturally constructed and in response to this people are constructing their identities more freely than ever. Surrounded by the raw mix of materiality and experimentation in the studio, I sit down with Erica Toogood at The Element Table, a patinated steel mesh softened by the iconic fiberglass Roly Poly Chair. There is an honesty to the rawness and irregularity of the chosen material in everything they do at Toogood. Erica joined her sister Faye’s creative team at Studio Toogood and together they created the unisex outerwear label Toogood. Collection 001 consisted of nine different styles of workmen’s coats, pushing the boundaries in terms of form and silhouette, inspired by tradespeople and made entirely out of cotton canvas.
“It was the basic starting point and therefore we rubbed, screen printed and foil printed it and then we put melted dustbin bags onto it. We also had a beautiful canvas, which was put through a special wash process that breaks it down and gradually evolves over time so it enabled us to be really innovative with the fabrics and the shapes. It was really interesting working with men and women and not wanting it to be something that is androgynous.” Unfortunately unisex can come across as something that used to be quite an androgynous singular look. “We are not trying to make women look like men and men look like women. It’s true you can be incredibly feminine or incredibly masculine depending on how you wear something, but it is really exciting to see menswear now really lift off and go down quite an experimental avenue.” The genuine desire by men and women to dress as individuals, and the blurring of gender distinctions gives the sisters a greater freedom, with a much broader range of forms and silhouettes to explore. While Erica works on the silhouettes, Faye focuses on the concept and fabrics, pushing the idea of design. “So my love is entirely for pattern cutting, form and silhouette – I don’t really see in color or in print as Faye does. She will question tailoring techniques and sort of say, ‘Can’t we just get rid of that seam?’ and take away some of the fundamental rules that I have learned. With Faye you have no idea what the parameters are. You question absolutely everything and that is fantastic to work with – the battle between concept and cutting gives us this sense of experimentation and questioning of silhouette.” When designing, Faye and Erica are not trying to recreate an actual milkman’s uniform; it is inspired by the practicality and wanting to push it to the next level. It is something a bit more modern and sculptural rather than a repetition of something that has been done before. “So that is where the kind of questioning, and hopefully advancement of our silhouette, comes in.”
They are modern reinterpretations of workwear and for Collection 004 they recreated a lot of new pieces by adding separates to their signature line of coats. “We keep all of our patterns; every single trade is kept. Some of them have featured almost every single season and others take a well-earned break, like The Beekeeper and The Oilrigger, and then come back. But it is an archive; we are very protective of these trades and we will develop them and stay loyal to the shape. It is not about reinventing every season.” They keep the craftsmanship alive and design in contrast to the ‘fast fashion’ surrounding us. Centuries of tradition mesh with modern innovation.
lection, I know that I can say that we will make her one.” It is about building an emotional connection and trust, a development that will become increasingly important in the remodeling of the fashion ecosystem.
They have a client in Australia who reorders the same thing each season but in the new fabrics. They have never met her and she has never experienced their pieces in store. Now Erica has gotten to understand her through email, and know that she has found her uniform. “For me that is absolutely magic, because even if the piece that she loves doesn’t go through to the next col-
”It was a really exciting project for Faye and the team at Studio Toogood to be a part of. It’s the great idea of having a studio full of sculptors, product designers, architects, and fashion designers. What you come up with and what everyone is capable of doing within a short period of time in a small studio is quite phenomenal. I think if we were designing in a fashion studio only
Each piece is a patchwork of ideas and listening to Erica describe the process, and the amount of hours and work they put into each garment is amazing. Everything they do is rooted in a strong beautifully written manifesto, where the following paragraph promises a natural creative freedom: “WE HEREBY reject and reprehend the cruel dictates of the discredited fashionista treadmill: the voracious cycle in which spring/summer is devoured by For Collection 004 Faye and Erica looked back autumn/winter, and autumn/winter is in turn deand were inspired by their grandmother, who voured by spring/summer. Let them be rendered was an incredible seamstress and tailor. During obsolete by the very inconstancy they thrive upon the war, like so many resourceful women at — we want it to happen! We will create only when that time, she transformed fallen parachutes we choose to create. Never again shall free thinkinto silk lingerie. They emers be in thrall to the capricbraced that kind of makees of chain store buyers or of “We don’t want to be part of do and amend idea of marketing consultants!” this sort of fashion cycle where grabbing any kind of fabyou feel like you always have ric. “We’ve worked the paraComing from the interior to keep up. We really want to chute into every single eleand furniture design world, ment within the collection, create something that you can Faye values the surroundwhether it be a small tab at work in, live in and go out in. ing space in everything she the back with this kind of zigdoes. The environment you A sort of uniform.” zag stitching, or a medical step into is a crucial space, string that sits inside. There and how you feel about is always a knot to the base, the concept and I’m something, the sensation and the textures is very curious to see how these are going to transicrucial. The format of retail is something that tion for AW 16 into cozy winter wools.” Faye has questioned in her work and particularly in Agender at Selfridges back in March 2015. As a brand they want to question and challenge She tested out the idea of a gender-neutral the increasingly destructive fashion system, space and created a genderless shopping by producing only one collection a year and experience across fashion, accessories and changing the textiles to adapt to the seasons, beauty. The concept space, designed by Faye, “We don’t want to be part of this sort of fashion was a caged metal space where you walked cycle where you feel like you always have to keep into a completely different zone with a focus up. We really want to create something that you on the product and the freedom to transcend can work in, live in and go out in. A sort of uniform.” notions of ‘his’ and ‘hers’.
with people who had a background in fashion, we would come out with something very different.” This multidisciplinary approach allows them to be adaptable and bring creative solutions to their agenda to move fashion forward and reflect the realities of the way we live now. “If I have an architect trying on a coat, he is going to say something very different from if I try it on a fashion designer or a pattern cutter; he talks about lines and silhouettes in such a completely different way. Everyone has an involvement in the process; people try it on and give their opinion. It is quite fascinating to be able to draw on all those insights.”
So in order for Faye to be able to embrace and enjoy her love of materials and to really go to the extreme and do extraordinary pieces, they had to give it a place and one that was limited edition. “The pieces are for people who will appreciate the surface and the experimentation and the idea that whether it is cling film, gaffa tape or hand-painted stripes, it is so time consuming. Hand-felted wool as well, I mean, we had three or four of us working here seven days a week for about six weeks, hand-felting with olive oil and soap. All we could smell was olive oil and soap. This almost laborious, very sort of patient way of making this fabric becomes a beautiful, beautiful thing. I think it is really interesting to watch Faye experiment and push fabric, as with anything that she does. She will take a different approach, one that you can never second-guess.”
The acknowledgement inside the passport-like label, in the back of all the pieces, references every single person in the making, the name of the garment and the season it is from, the designers involved - all in initials – followed by the mak“I think if we were ers; the cutters, dyers, hand Most of the materials are finishers, painters, presser, sourced in the UK, with designing in a fashion printers and seamstresses. lambswool and cashmere studio only with people Then finally you as the wearfrom West Yorkshire: “There who had a background in are only two mills left in the er scribble your initials, and when you nick it from your UK that make cashmere from fashion, we would come brother you scrub out his iniscratch and we use one of out with something very tials and put yours. We really them. To be able to do that is different.” wanted people to understand wonderful, I mean the prices all the elements. That it isn’t are expensive; probably trijust created by a single designer, a single name. ple the cost of what it is in Italy. The importance It is created by a huge amount of people and you of those manufacturers is huge and people unwearing it is just as important as the person that derstand that, and the quality of it is incredible. cuts it or the person that pressed it. Everyone is You can feel it.” They try to embrace the UK valuable in the process.” as much as they can, but as Erica puts it: “It is very exciting to also work with some incredible In today’s society, with mass production, fast people in Japan and Italy, as we now have a betchanging trends and consumer culture, handter understanding of what we are looking for and made pieces are under threat. The crisis of speaking to our stockists in terms of what peoconsumerism is the crisis of meaning. The way ple react to, it is softer more luxurious fabrics. It Erica talks about the materials is inspiring and is trickier to sell the kind of scratchy wools that I especially within their Made In House collection think British people love so much; perhaps they they are known to push the boundaries. don’t understand that as much around the world – in warmer climates.” “How that happened was, when we launched the collection and had the rubber next to the Scottish Each season Fay and Erica go to Paris to waxed cotton, we understood that what we really present the collection to buyers: “It is quite an wanted to be able to do was to celebrate the rubinteresting space when you go to Paris, where ber. I suppose it is a more extraordinary piece and the designer suddenly becomes the retailer and it is a different customer. It is a different thinking the retailer becomes the buyer. I always find that and more of an art piece, whereas the waxed quite a different interchange. You are selling to cotton or the canvas is a more kind of day to day.” people who sell for a living. So the relationship 43
that you build with the stockists and the importance of the story behind us has to come through at that point. Faye and I are very much on the ground talking to all of our stockists and wanting them to be involved in the process. They are the ones representing us to our final wearers.” Fashion, like any art form, has the ability to provoke and generate change. It’s an industry that prides itself on being ahead of the norm, so it’s essential that it keeps pace with the progress we are seeing in society as a whole. “Fashioned by the industry not the fashion industry,” a slogan graphically painted across a naked body for Collection 001. Apparent in their design, it makes me wonder how they look to evolve with the
market and as a brand. “We don’t have this kind of long-term plan. We have really exciting ideas of things that we can possibly do and where we can take this, but it has to do with taking our time and being patient, gaining the trust and loyalty of our customers in order to expand but also remain as a team that is very much hands-on,” says Erica. They go through everything together and know every single detail of every garment. A brand’s value and what it contributes to a person’s belief system has become the decisive choice factor for many. It is about a state of mind as much as it is about the clothes themselves. “It is not just us here in the studio, it is the factory down the road in Bethnal Green
(East London ed.) that has grown with us and puts in the same amount of hours and energy to make it all happen.” That factory has gone from just being three people and doubled its numbers, with Toogood being their main clients. “We have worked long hours together to create this kind of business. So we want to further embrace that whilst at the same time understanding that our garments are at a higher price because we make them in the UK. It would be interesting to see if we can make them even more accessible.” So it is about seeing what the possibilities are while remaining true to the manifesto. “But yes in terms of how it evolves, as a brand there is no prescribed sort of blueprint. I think that Faye took
that sort of attitude when she started the studio, and her approach is never to necessarily conform to go in one particular direction. But it is exciting not to know.” We both sit for a moment in silence, listening to the ripping fabric in the background. “That is what happens to 850 meters of one fabric that has just arrived, getting it ready to go into boxes of what is going to be cloudy grey, weathered black and air force blue. It is exiting. Every day is completely different.”
Body sculpting / Painting clothes / Material performed Out of line is an exchange between the body, space and clothing; a movement of the eyes towards sculptural compositions. The human is introduced and emphasized by its most primal force, his body and his singularity. Then the clothing is personified, colors and materials become entangled and come together and we can no longer distinguish each item separately but rather as a whole. The forms are redrawn, the characters are transformed, and hybridizations are created between human material and textile. Art and Fashion are invoked, they fuse, assemble and build around what characterizes and distinguishes us every day. Art Directior & photographer Laura Bonnefous Retouch OphĂŠlie Bertrand Make-up Laura Merle & Felix Surowy Hair Nina Olivet All clothes second hand And special thanks to Wanted Model Agency
Brand lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest Garment lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest More information on page 168
History and the Power of Magazines Devin Hentz, Bachelor in Art & Philosophy Illustation Alicja Biala
The strongest connection between people and magazines is desire. Magazines are a place for us to see pure idealism – an extreme focus on aesthetics, with images whose content is based in reality. The images are dismissed as being inauthentic, or fantasy. Everything (excluding digital add-ons and manipulation) is real. The items and people exist in the physical world, and, most of the time, the objects are commodities that can be purchased. How can something be real and not real at the same time? This quality of content of magazines that exists between the space of what is real and what is not real can teach us about the role of desire in our lives and society, and the relationship of owning something versus that of owning a picture of something. Magazines lure you in by getting you to desire the cover. Now with Instagram and Tumblr, they attract with content that is not actually in the magazine itself, but merely used to create a mood for what might possibly be between the pages. You desire to consume the content. We know that the content lies in a place that is between reality and
non-reality. To desire a magazine, one must desire both - the real, physicality of the objects in the images and the impossible, intangible elements that exist in each image. It seems natural that if one desires the content of a magazine, one would seek to possess the actual, real, commodities themselves. In some cases this is true; people buy things they’ve seen on a model or celebrity. But in most cases, it isn’t. We see things in magazines, and while we may desire the images of them, we do not desire the actual objects themselves. The substitution of image for an actual object can be explained using a Lacanian theory of desire: Absence is necessary for desire to exist. The appeal of fantasies is that they seem impossible. Magazines provide fantasies that allow us to desire. The fact that the objects, people, and places in the content are real only makes the desire more intense. You could actually own/meet/visit what’s inside the magazine. Or you can use the content as a springboard to indulge your own desires. You may not desire exactly what you see, but something similar, or even the opposite. The content gets you
thinking of possibilities of aesthetics and objects and how they could function in your everyday life. For creatives, the content of magazines is something to possess, and in most cases a challenge to create something just as good or better. Creatives are people who follow their desires. The magazine is a storehouse of examples of what can happen when people use their skills and desires and direct them towards creating something. In her essay “Too Much World: Is the Internet dead?” contemporary video artist, Hito Steyrl says objects, lifestyles, and ideas leave the internet and magazines, and become “real”. She’s partly referring to people who work in creative fields, that take the images and text they read and create something different, and sometimes these creations are taken and used as content for more magazines or websites. Magazines are part of an endless feedback loop of desire. Content is created to be desired, and that content inspires the creation of more desire. Magazines are holding spaces for ideas and values about cultures. The word ‘magazine’ comes from an Arabic word which means storehouse. The storehouse of Plato’s conception functions as a space where all true knowledge is kept inside of us, just waiting to be accessed. Magazines function as storage for ideas, and knowledge, but simultaneously function as, what Plato referred to as, shadows. In The Allegory of the Cave, Plato uses a simplistic, binary form to create a dichotomy between what’s real (forms) and what’s filtered/ false (shadows). He describes a scene where humans are trapped, with their backs to the sun, watching shadows move across the walls of the cave, while the true forms are behind us in the sun, casting the shadows that we live with and perceive to be reality. The situation
that Plato describes can easily be applied to how we consume magazines. Fashion magazines (print and digital) are places where people deposit images and texts created to explore ideas in depth. You’ll find images that seek to explore to an extreme the ideas embedded in garments, and the lifestyle and people associated with them. Magazines portray the shadows in the sense that they show an intensely filtered version of what it is that we really see in our everyday lives. The magazine may as well be the shadows dancing on the cave wall. They show a designer’s or photographer’s idea or vision at near completion. While we see a designer’s idea of what type of person would wear their clothes, the environment, and the actions this idea wearer would perform in said environment, we usually don’t see the ’forms’, or the realities that are casting these shadows. There are teams of people that go into creating a fashion image, and hours of pre- and post-work. There are lots of real people and objects that go into creating fantasy. Fashion magazines function in a way that subverts the binary of reality and non-reality. The content can neither be singularly categorized as representational nor as fabrication. It sits in a space in between, provoking our desires. The images and text sometimes serve as a substitute, satiating our desires. It’s difficult and unnecessary to give a judgement value of ’good’ or ’bad’ to this function. It’s better to question what the content is trying to get you to desire. Though we don’t always attain our desires, especially when they exist in the form of a material thing, we are still consciously and subconsciously led by our desires. Where are some magazines attempting to lead you?
S ee referenc es on page 1 7 2
V isu alizatio n
Anny CK Whatever the weather… and does it even matter? My inner tone is clear and there’s a rare witness in my sphere. The fog… in its expansion and contraction… it has me. Has me delicately in its divine hold. This fog makes me think… I wonder… I think that the loves I found delightful, poisoned me in a way. Those pulses and vibes… they were joyful. I didn’t mind, but now I do. I mind a personal thought, and I don’t mind… this foggy weather.
Photographer Anny CK Styling Daniel Padilla Werner Hair & make-up Eva Heyden Model Jessie, Micha Models Brand lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest Garment lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest More information on page 168
Scarf & pullover by Evyi Pants by Denham the Jeanmaker Shoes by Danny Reinke
Blanket by Pendleton Pullover by Inis Meรกin Knitting Co. Bracelet by Eins Berlin
Scarf by Kurt’s
Pullover by Inis Meáin Knitting Co. Pants by Denham the Jeanmaker Shoes by Danny Reinke
Pullover by Danny Reinke
Pullover by Inis Meรกin Knitting Co.
Pullover by Inis Meรกin Knitting Co.
Pants by Denham the Jeanmaker Shoes by Danny Reinke
I VAN G R U N DAH L Nicklas ThrysĂ¸e Photos from Ivan Grundahl Archive 74
In ter vie w
On a very sunny yet quite cold winter day in Copenhagen, Less Magazine meets designer and icon Ivan Grundahl at his office in the city center. An old and charming staircase leads to the first floor where we are welcomed by Ivan and his colleagues. It is very surprising to meet Ivan wearing sunglasses indoors. He quickly explained that it wasn’t because he was a drama queen but just because he had an eye infection. He adds laughing that he is perhaps also a bit of a drama queen. Ivan pours us some mineral water in beautiful tall wine glasses and the conversation starts flowing. Ivan grew up in Oksbøl, a small town just outside Varde in Jutland, but moved to Copenhagen when he was only sixteen because he had had enough of the Danish topsoil, and didn’t feel like there was enough good energy there for him to stay. He left secondary school after the third year, after which you normally go to high school - but not Ivan. He decided to apply to the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, and was accepted. Ivan’s guidance through life began when he was at secondary school and met a guy named Kris, who was studying at The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. He asked him all about the academy and Kris explained to him that he could study advertising, ceramics, furniture, architecture, fashion and so on. Ivan checked out the school, gave them a call and received an admission form. He signed up and submitted his application. That year there were about 2,500 applicants, of which only 300 were selected to take the admission test, of which only forty were accepted and offered a place of study. Ivan passed the admission test and in 1968 he was accepted by the academy.
Back then you could join the academy from the age of sixteen. That is not possible today. Looking back, Ivan explains that he felt way too young to join the academy at such a young age. He also adds that there were only three others in his class that were sixteen years old when they started at the school. Ivan was the only boy in a class of around twenty-five people. His career as a designer gained momentum back in 1974, when he graduated from The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen. From 1970-1973 he worked for the Danish designer Birger Christensen in Copenhagen. During his time at Birger Christensen he also took the first step of opening up his own business, and in 1972 he opened his very first store in a small street in central Copenhagen. We go on to talk about where Ivan wanted to settle down and he mentioned Gunnar Larsen, a photographer that lived and worked in Paris, but he also had a studio that he wanted to get rid of. Simultainiously Ivan was very eager to move to Paris, and was therefore very interested in buying the studio and settling down in the city. Gunnar was an eccentric and spontaneous guy and after all decided not to sell his studio. Ivan realized that he wasn’t ready to take the big step and move away from Copenhagen just yet. But he had in mind to open a new store in Paris, and he did end up living there for three months as he explored the haute couture scene to see if there was potential for developing his mind and skills. In 1986 Ivan left Paris and decided to move to New York. However, after some time he realized how much work it required of him: In contrast to Copenhagen where he had already started something up, in New York he would be starting from scratch. In the end he couldn’t let go of what he had started up
in Copenhagen, but that was a necessary sacrifice if he wanted to succeed in New York; he had to give it 100%. Ivan decided to move back to Copenhagen. Ivan explains that he always had a deep interest in architecture. He was, and still is, a very talented artist. He never doubted his drawing skills. Years ago when he attended the academy he used to draw installations that he created himself. He would, for example, take some elements, place them together, and then start drawing it. He also mentions that he used to enlarge stamps and draw them or use them in patterns. After this experimental creative process he started to draw dresses. Ivan is renowned for iconic architectural signature. He explains that creating clothes doesn’t interest him so much. It’s a deeper thing. It’s about creating. “Fashion in its simplicity is boring,” he says. It has always had to have more to it. Ivan suddenly shouts out: “Is the coffee service open?” to which his colleague of many years answers jokingly: “It could be!” and shortly after we continue the conversation accompanied by two cups of freshly brewed coffee. During his time at the academy Ivan befriended a guy named Gert. He was, as Ivan explains “really crazy!” and he inspired him a lot during the time at the academy. One day Ivan got a room at the “Amager Kollegiet”, a dorm in Copenhagen. He remembers this as one of the best times in his entire life, because before moving there he was renting a room from a very strict, old lady in an apartment at Østerbro. They didn’t like each other and his room was only six square meters which wasn’t quite enough for him.
Every morning when he took the bus to the academy, he saw Gert, who looked very bizarre, wearing a black jumpsuit and big boots. Apparently he found out that he and Gert were living in the same courtyard, and they began to get to know each other, and ended up becoming really good friends. Gert was a crazy guy who had a difficult childhood and came from a boarding school. Though he was only eighteen, he had his own wine cabinet and knew all about Werner Panton and antique furniture and even collected House of Garden. “He was a very composed guy, like myself” Ivan adds. When Ivan was young he had no expectations of what he would end up doing. The entire process has been very intuitive for him. Back when he started up with his first store that he had for about five years Gert would come over every day and help out. But they both had a young irresponsible and rebellious attitude towards it. Sometimes they would empty the cash register after work and go and spend the money at a hip bar before returning during the night to sew some skirts. After five years he was offered the new location at Niels Hemmningsensgade, where the store still stands today. After the move he felt that it all got a bit more serious and more expensive. He had to start thinking about the business side of things. Shortly after opening the store he hired a seamstress and then the business started to take shape. He slowly figured out which direction he wanted approach. He felt that he certainly was not in the ”feminine department”. Chiffon and girly clothes didn’t mean anything to him. Washed ruffles and raw lace was more his style. In 1982 while in Paris he attended the Commes des Garçons and the Yohji Yamamoto fashion shows - it was very avant-garde and inspiring for Ivan to experience. He was
also particularly inspired by the big store at Ètienne Marcel where everything seemed so obscure, different and futuristic. Since 1982 he has followed their work closely and sees them both as major sources of inspiration, now also including Junya Watanabe. Ivan also mentions that he still draws inspiration from Damir Doma & Ann Demeulemeester from their collections were less commercial. The old store of Damir Doma in the courtyard at Rue Saint-Honoré made a particularly big impression on him.
and naively thought that the men’s collection could be sold to the same retailers as the women’s collection, but it that it wasn’t so easy. When it comes to the process of making the clothes, his routine is usually the same. He receives a lot of samples, places them on a big table and looks through a number of fashion magazines. In his sewing room he can try out different silhouettes and produce prototypes. For Ivan everything fuses together when a new collection is created; impressions and the search for inspiration cannot really be put into a schedule. If he sees something beautiful a few weeks before the presentation he always finds a way to include it.
The inspiration he got from Paris back then (1982) influenced Ivan a great deal, and made him go in the direction of deconstructed creations. Ivan thinks that Commes des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto could be showcased in an art gallery For example, when he was or a museum for contemin Venice for the Biennale, porary art. He returned to “Just look at passed a guy wearing a Copenhagen from Paris with me, I’m wearing he jacket with an odd silhoumany new ideas. In Copenhagen the most interesting the same clothes ette, a weird kind of beanie, that laced together designers were Birger Chrisevery single day” trousers around the ankles and Chitensen, Nørgaard & Torben nese loafers. He was such Brandt, according to Ivan. In comparison to what Ivan saw in Paris, their an inspiration that Ivan went after the guy styles were very simplistic. Ivan was ready and asked about his outfit. He happened to shake up the industry in Copenhagen. to be local and for the next collection in For Ivan it’s not only about the clothes; it’s February 2016, three of the jackets were about the architecture, the ethics and the inspired by him. Another thing Ivan does to stay creative is to visit Nice twice a year provoking mind-sets. to concentrate on drawing and to recharge Ivan wants to challenge the his Danish cos- himself, where there are no distractions. tumers, and has now chosen to bring home his own big inspiration to sell among his Ivan Grundahl is by now a very established own creations. Today Ivan stocks pieces brand and has a lot of signature pieces from Commes des Garçons & Yohji Yama- in the archive: a sweater in a very short silhouette is repeated every year. And for moto in his flagship store in Copenhagen. next season he will have ten pieces in the Back in 2012 Ivan briefly experimented exact silhouette that was created years with a men’s collection, but it only lasted ago. one season. It turned out to be a completely different business compared to what he Talking about production Ivan mentions was used to. He wasn’t prepared: He didn’t that he just came back from Portugal have a salesman for the men’s collection the day before. Most of his production
takes place a little north of Porto. Besides Portugal he also produces in Bulgaria, Italy and China. The factory in Bulgaria is a new partner, and Ivan mentions that they have a difficulties in understanding each other. For example, Ivan wants a lot of his clothes washed in a certain way. The workers at the factory want to iron it and make it “perfect”. Laughingly Ivan explains that he hopes they will learn his weird way of creating after a few seasons as they establish their relationship. It takes time and a good dialogue to really create an understanding of your design DNA. He is really happy with the products from China as the quality is really high and the costs are low. Suddenly Ivan walks into another room and comes back with some knitwear to show me, and I had to agree. The quality was beyond amazing. Ivan describes his relationship to art as quite ambivalent. He likes art and visits many exhibitions throughout the year. As formerly mentioned, he was in Venice to see the Biennale this year. It made a huge impression on him, as it was “magnificent”; enormous rooms with beautiful aesthetic installations
Ivan himself wears the same black outfit every day. Twenty years ago he bought a Yohji Yamamoto coat in Paris, and has never found one that he likes better. Since then he has had it sewn up a couple of times, completely as the original coat. And it’s the same goes for his trousers and T-shirts. It seems like he has found his eternal uniform. Sustainability in fashion is a hard thing to fulfill 100%. If, for example, he has to produce a red T-shirt using no chemicals, he would need an entire field of poppies for colour, but if he can use chemicals he just needs a single poppy. So what is a sustainable choice in this situation? According to him there are many similar situations. In the end it’s about using common sense. “There is not much transparency in the industry as it is, and who can you truly trust in the end?” It takes a lot of work to become sustainable, but we are making an effort, that’s for sure. Just look at me, I’m wearing the same clothes every single day” he adds laughing. Though Ivan Grundahl is not fully organic and recycled, he surely lives by the slow clothing mind-set. In the following photo series we have used clothes from his archive that dates back to the 80s up until today, which all still have relevance and elegance. This is slow clothing from before the name of the concept was ever invented.
One of the Danish artists that inspires Ivan and his work is the artist Christian Lemmerz; especially a marble sculpture which he once saw at Horsens Art Museum, and the huge installation with candle lights in the Cisterns at Frederiksberg in Copenhagen. Ivan uses Lemmerz’s art mostly for inspiration and to create his own show pieces. It is not featured much in his collections, but he believes they are important, as a show is a genius way to widen the vision of the universe sorrounding the collection.
Ivan Grundahl archive search
This story sets out to embrace the timelessness and longevity of the design ethos of Ivan Grundahl. Featuring archive pieces from the mid 1980´s and forward the story should prove the coherency in the design offered by Ivan Grundahl because it is impossible to distinguish the seasons from each other.
Photographer Mikkel Völcker Stylist Nicklas Thrysøe Hair & make-up Mads Stig, Scoop Artists Model Anna Frost, Scoop Models All garments by Ivan Grundahl
In ve stig atio n of. . .
Natural vs. Synthetic Myrto Papaililou, BA in Sustainable Fashion Illustration Alicja Biala “Synthetic clothes smell like crude oil, whereas natural clothes smell like grass, like apples!” said a customer of Heel Athens Lab, a Greek clothing brand of organic cotton products. Nowadays, consumers have a certain preconception: Natural fibers represent an act of good and synthetic fibers the work of the Devil. Interviewing some of the customers at Heel Athens Lab, led to an insight into what people believe about this subject. Heel is a Greek clothing brand, which produces only cotton and organic cotton products and this is the reason why its target group is expected to have a certain interest in natural products. However, what wasn’t expected was their actual motive. Why do these people prefer these specific clothes? What drives their desire for clothes made from natural resources? Nobody can deny that natural fibers are the closest thing to nature compared to synthetic fibers, and as a result it is only fair to think green when thinking of natural fibers. In fact, a customer explained why she feels safer around natural products: She simply believes that they are closer to the raw materials. Her point seems logical much as it seems like a mindtrap: Most customers feel better about natural products just because they are, by definition, created from nature. However, none of the consumers know how these natural products fall into their hands or at what cost; they simply believe they are a pure act of nature. “Natural is something that grows without chemi-
cals and interventions, it is like lettingnature act by itself”, says another customer. Lovely thought, but not the only fact. At this point, let us have a closer look at the facts: The processing of most natural raw materials into fibers, which in turn become fabrics, has a negative impact on the environment. First of all, mass production of natural fibers is the biggest problem since we are dealing with overexploitation of our natural resources. By natural resources I also mean the amount of water, the exploitation of soil and the use of land that these raw materials need in order to become fibers. For example, the production of cotton requires a huge amount of chemical pesticides, an extremely high consumption of water, and productive agricultural land (which means it also competes with food production and as a result the amount of food is reduced due to the soil being poisoned by all the chemicals). This is actually the reason why organic natural fibers, such as organic cotton, organic linen or organic hemp, are considered a better option nowadays. Organic natural fibers minimize the tremendous impact that their production has on the environment. And people seem to understand this: “Organic products have less chemicals and pesticides, I guess, so that’s better, right?” asked a man who was accompanying his wife shopping. “I don’t know what the actual difference is but I guess organic cotton is even better than cotton”, said another woman in the shop. These people were sure they were making a better choice by choosing organic
over conventional products even if they were sometimes not sure of the exact reason. Their instinct was indeed correct, but it is interesting to understand what lies behind this instinct. Could it be more a psychology of ideas? Ideas undertood as our deepest preconceptions? In western societies people connect certain values to what they perceive as natural: “pure”, “original” and “safe”. Moreover, if we recognize how much pain and evil human actions have caused, it is no wonder people are suspicious of any man-made inventions. Therefore, it’s understandable why people seek pureness through natural products and why synthetic or not organic products can influence them in a certain negative way. Understandable yet not absolutely clear: Are human beings part of nature while human actions are not? Hold that thought. “With cotton it feels like I’m touching a flower, while synthetic products make me feel terribly uncomfortable”, said a customer, proud of her purchase choices. Think about it, if all synthetic products created such issues of discomfort then H&M, Inditex, and in fact the whole fashion industry, wouldn’t be so big by now. However, by the end of the interviews it became clear what was at play. According to customers, synthetic clothes smell like “gasoline”, “something faux”, “plastic” or “petroleum”. “I despise wearing synthetic clothes, they are a pure derivative of oil!” said another woman very critically. People referring to synthetic materials have in mind only polyester and nylon. Well, I agree! Polyester and nylon, especially those of poor quality, can sometimes be uncomfortable to wear as customers fairly complained. However, they are neither the only man-made fibers in the world, nor the best ones. When one looks at the synthetic fiber issues, there are two good examples: half synthetic fibers and recycled synthetic fibers. Half synthetic fibers are those which are man-made but their origination is natural, for example from bamboo or wood. Monocel® and Tencel® are good examples of half synthetic fibers which have contributed to a more sustainable future and, according to Made-By, a not-for-profit organization which offers consultancy on sustainable development issues, are considered 98
as good as organic cotton. Monocel® and Tencel® are produced within a closed loop system and are therefore recyclable, reduce the use of water, try to replace chemicals with organic solutions during their production and ease the pain of the land use issue. Moreover, since the fiber is man-made, it can be designed to be stronger, therefore more durable and soft. But not all half-synthetic fibers are good. For example, semi synthetic fibers like viscose and some of its derivatives are bad for the environment, mainly because toxic solvents are used during manufacture. On the other hand, recycled synthetic fibers, such as recycled polyester or recycled nylon, are also a good contribution to a sustainable solution for the environment. There are two different ways of recycling a fiber: Chemical and mechanical recycling. I won’t get into tiring specifics, but as you can probably guess, mechanical recycling is even better than chemical recycling. However, both chemically and mechanically recycled synthetic fibers score as good as, or better than, organic natural fibers in sustainability tests launched by Made-By, which take into consideration six common parameters: Greenhouse gas emissions, human toxicity, eco-toxicity, energy waste, water waste and land use. All recycled fibers contribute to the elimination of water use, landuse and Greenhouse gas emissions, while mechanically recycled fibers additionally use less chemicals and energy input during their production. Consequently, are synthetic fibers that bad or natural fibers that good? As yin-yang taught us, there is a universal balance between opposites. As a result, there is good inside the evil and there is also bad inside the good! Not all synthetic fibers are that bad, nor are all natural fibers that good. It is very important to emphasize that some synthetic fibers are currently a good solution, even though it resembles a human manipulation of the natural. Seen in the light of the anthropologist Tim Ingold’s work, people in the Western world understand nature as being in a different “sphere” than culture. But through his work he shows that this is a constructed way of thinking. Our culture is not divided from nature, since we derive from it and live in it, even in cities, and, therefore, we
are part of it. We exist in the same reality as all other living creatures. In light of this, we have to find ways of acting in the interest of nature, as those interviewed in this article all wish to. However, these actions should not be seen as natural versus cultural or man-made, as artificially made fibers does not in itself mean that they are harmful to nature. The action we take should instead be aimed at being in harmony with the natural environment. And this is possible even with artificially made fibers. Sustainability works in realistic terms, which means that a sustainable product doesn’t refer to the era of Adam and Eve but adjusts itself according to contemporary technical possibilities and to the spirit of the time while taking into serious consideration the needs of both humans and the environment. For example, it is very important that destructive materials such as polyester, nylon or viscose can be replaced with other sustainable man-made materials or even better be recycled! At the end of the day let’s get something straight: As far as natural fibers are concerned, they may feel more luxurious and comfortable on the skin compared to synthetic fibers, however, we must keep in mind that sometimes our senses are driven by a socially constructed way of thinking, which taught us that nature is pure, and mankind and man-made stuff is not. Unfortunately, this is a socially constructed idea which doesn’t solve any problems. Mankind exists and it has been developed in a certain way, along with nature. If we want to be of help, we should wean ourselves and start using our own resources, like thinking critically and developing useful technology. Man-made materials could have well-designed technical characteristics which could be salutary both for us and the environment, so we shouldn’t pass judgment on them straightaway. As somebody said, “the mind is like a parachute, works way better when it’s open” .
Se e references on page 173
5 Myths about Natural
All natural clothes are made from raw materials and yet they are bet ter for nature All natural clothes keep the human body safe from chemicals All natural clothes are as healthy for me as for the environment
All natural clothes are produced chemical-free
All natural clothes are organic
5 Myths about Synthetic
All synthetic clothes cause bad reactions to our skin All synthetic clothes cause environmental issues All synthetic clothes smell bad All synthetic clothes are made from Polyester or Nylon All synthetic clothes cannotbe recycled because they aren’t derived from nature
Connectivism Photographer Jakob Storm Creative direction Valeriya Olkhova & Charlotte Boyte Set design Charlotte Boyte Makeup Nat Syrik Models Michiel Tange van Leeuwen, Jade Shadey Dâ€™econzac Mbay, Nina Rasmussen Special thanks to Sabine Poupinel *VOFT knit by Valeriya Olkhova Brand lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest Garment lives up to Less Magazine slow manifest More information on page 168
Nina Bodysuit & socks VOFT* Michiel Shirt by Bettina Bakdal Leg accessories, leggings, waist harness & props by VOFT*
Nina Earring & necklace by Ninna York Bodysuit & socks by VOFT* Michiel Leg accessories, leggings, waist harness, props & hair accessories by VOFT*
BOTH PAGES Jade Earring & necklace by Ninna York Dress by P. Feilberg Skirt & socks & arm-wrap VOFT* Michiel Dress by P. Feilberg Arm wrap & bustier by VOFT*
Michiel Dress by P. Feilberg Bustier by VOFT*
Jade Earring & necklace by Ninna York Dress by P. Feilberg Hand accessory, harness & socks By VOFT* Michiel Trousers by Nicholas Nybro Bodysuit by VOFT*
Nina Necklace by Ninna York
Michiel Bodysuit by VOFT*
What Does Happiness Have to Do With it? 110
In ve stig atio n of. . .
Fashion & Materiality Guru Sofie Ulsaker, Master in art of Philosophy Illustration Alicja Biala The connection between fashion and happiness is one that is often overlooked due to the way both happiness and fashion are perceived in society. Fashion is often viewed as superficial and shallow because of its relation to appearance, as a visual and aesthetic representation of who we are. Caring too much about how you look or how you are perceived is by many linked to a lack of depth, personality or ambition. This approach, however stereotypical it may sound, fails to acknowledge the very power that fashion has in connection to happiness.
The nature of happiness When asked what happiness is, people tend to answer with what makes them happy. This might be good health, education, spending time with family and friends, achieving professional and personal goals, and any kind of personal preference being satisfied (like drinking good wine, eating nice food, being social, having sex, exercising, etc.), but they all describe contributing factors and not the true nature of happiness. So what is happiness? you might ask. Happiness as a concept can be divided into two different categories: hedonic and eudaimonic happiness. Hedonic happiness, or enjoyment, refers to the elusive feeling of happiness that arises when you touch delicate fabrics like silk, cashmere or satin. It is what you experience when you see someone you love, when endorphins are rushing through your body from exercise, when you connect socially or physically with people, or when you eat or drink something delicious. This kind of happiness is completely free from constraint, meaning that it can arise from any source and is completely dependent on what your personal preferences are. Eudaimonic happiness, on the other hand, is directly linked to how we view our lives, and
how happy we feel. It is all about developing our personal and universal potentials as humans, about growing and flourishing, about developing our identity, and being recognized for who we are. The expression of identity, the choices we make and how we relate to the world around us is a way that the clothes we wear can be related to happiness. Happiness and fashion, or clothing are not merely related conceptually through expression of identity, but are also connected physically through triggering endorphins, leading to hedonic enjoyment, and mentally though a conscious, hands-on approach related to eudaimonia. Your approach to what you wear has the potential to make you happy on a fundamental level or at least more content in your life. There are many ways to interpret and introduce this, but for the time being, letâ€™s focus on materials and production.
Fabrics and Pleasure When discussing happiness, the experience of pleasure is a natural element to include. Our desire for luxurious, natural fabrics is often driven by what they represent to us, or it can be motivated by the way they feel on our skin. Wearing a shirt made from pure, soft cotton, or raw silk or a sweater made from cashmere is a very different experience to wearing something made from synthetic fabrics. A part of this is affected by how we think about these fabrics, what we expect and what they represent to us, but our bodies will react to the way the fabrics feel when we touch them, or how they brush up against us when we move, and will have an undeniably positive effect on our experience. This is a pure physical pleasure being activated by the feel of the fabrics, but it can also work as a catalyst for a deeper sense of contentment. This is because, if chosen consciously, it can reflect back on the underlying motivation behind our choice.
Fabrics, Identity and Consumerism The way we dress is closely connected to our identity, how we perceive and choose to portray ourselves, and how others perceive us. The choices we make in terms of what we consume, what fabrics we are drawn to, and what kind of production we choose to support doesnâ€™t only say something about us as consumers, but also about our identity. From the moment we are born, we are shaped by society, the people who are close to us, and by the many different types and identities that are available. Because even though we are highly individual beings, we are born into a selection of molds where we naturally identify and fit in with one or more. Following the path of desire satisfaction where fast fashion, and consumer driven thought is the baseline, is one, while a more conscious consumer that values style and sustainability over trends, is another. Desire satisfaction describes the underlying motivation behind a hedonic approach to happiness, but is also a pleasant side effect of eudaimonic enjoyment because reaching our goals also satisfies our desires. The two approaches to happiness are connected to certain personality traits and fit different molds, and both experience pleasure from the way that they are consumed. Desire satisfaction fits in with the hedonic approach where the immediate pleasure from the act of buying, from satisfying the need for something new or from the feeling of fitting in, is the link to happiness. The more carefully considered approach is the one I want to elaborate on here, and is connected to the eudaimonic approach to happiness and clothing, because what we wear can have a more longstanding effect on our level of happiness through the fabrics we wear and the production we choose to support through what we buy.
Happiness and Identity By making conscious choices that support a healthy, sustainable clothing production we are contributing to developing our universal potential as humans by helping to push the fashion 112
industry in a more sustainable direction and doing good for our planet and the animals, and workers that are involved in the production chain. Expressing yourself through clothing can include both eudaimonic and hedonic components, and stretches far beyond the aesthetic expression of what you are wearing. Personal expressiveness is the connecting factor between happiness and identity, and what we wear is a tool that we can use to express who we truly are, or want to be. Through what we choose to consume, and our attitude towards it, we can use garments as a tool to express where we stand on these important issues. Through the fabrics we wear and the production we support, we are not only contributing to a more healthy industry, we are also getting pleasure from expressing our identity, taking an active stand, and living up to our own moral beliefs in knowing that we are taking part in making a difference. The fabrics we wear are a constant reminder to us, and the pleasure we get from the physical sense and feel of the fabrics expands into a sense of contentment that is based in the expression of our selves.
Conscious choices equals happy lives? Expressing, and acting on, our moral identity and standpoint through what we wear can only be said to be a contributing factor to our sense of well-being and level of happiness, and does among other things refer to the approach of slow fashion to replace that of fast fashion. But the awareness of the connection is important. It is important to discuss this because using clothes to express ourselves is a tool that is available to us in a very straightforward way, in which everyone can participate. Doing something morally right out of duty will not lead you to happiness, but small yet honest steps towards satisfying our moral identity through clothes has full potential. Fabrics can bring us pleasure, both physically and intellectually and one way is not better than the other. We have complete freedom to make the choices we want, and following and developing our personal potentials, and expressing these is an important part of our sense of well-being.
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V isu aliza tio n
LINE JARDE Velvet Clementine Moon â€œThe material time of fashionâ€?
This story is a visualization of daydreaming in time in a combination of materiality. This analogy highlights the moment at which materials become the actors and anchor points in the artistic processes luring in their audience in a web of connections.
We are here, just in this moment we are here. Living one hundred percent.. for a while. Time shows us a new year, but time is a rather mysteriuous thing. Time is valuable, like a velvet moon. Time can feel like a tornado rushing by. Time is now, right where you are. The present, is where you experience life.
Revisited Emphasize the need for a closed-loop system in fashion by not always demanding the new. Exclusively feturing vintage and second-hand pieces this story urges us to look back and revisitclothes that have already been worn once. Photographer Lasse Wind Styling Denis Bjerregaard, Agentur Hair & make-up Claudia Prins, Agentur Models Kari Timsson, Diva models Oskar Dalsjรถ, Unique models
Special thanks to: Episode Wasteland Baubau Decor Times Up Vintage KBH K
Kari Gillet vintage Gucci, Baubau Top 2nd hand, Episode Pants stylistâ€™s own Oskar Shirt vintage Asger Juel Larsen, Baubau Belt used as scarf 2nd hand, Wasteland Tank top 2nd hand, Kbh K Pants stylistâ€™s own
Boiler suit stylistâ€™s own Tote bag vintage Lanvin, Baubau
Shirt & pants stylistâ€™s own
Kari Jacket vintage Etro, Baubau Pants 2nd hand, Episode Oskar Knit 2nd hand, Kbh K Jeans stylistâ€™s own
Hat 2nd hand, Timeâ€™s up Jacket stylistâ€™s own Fur collar vintage, Decor Henley vintage Lanvin, Baubau
Jacket 2nd hand Wrangler, Episode Scarf vintage Yves Saint Laurent, Baubau Pants stylistâ€™s own Shoes vintage Jil Sander, Baubau
Jacket vintage Lanvin, Baubau Knit dress used as top 2nd hand, Wasteland Pants vintage Yves Saint Laurent, Baubau
Coat 2nd hand, Episode Tank top 2nd hand, Kbh K Jeans 2nd hand Leviâ€™s, Baubau
In ter vie w
Why Not Unconventional? Tr i n e L i n d e g a a rd i n t e r vi e w Andrea Kamper & Michelle Hørlück Photographer Tue Blichfeldt
I begin my quest for the studio of designer Trine Lindegaard by the eastern tip of Denmark. An industrial and gray theme topped with a gleaming shore surrounds me as I walk from the Metro station. The forecast spells out sharp and crisp autumn weather. As I leave the noisy road behind me and walk towards the shoreline, I spot a path that leads to a stunning, old farm. The charming building stands out as an analogy of a nostalgic black and white picture trying to compete with big-budget 3D blockbusters in a 21st century cinema.
The Studio Behind an old wooden door on the second floor I find the studio of Trine Lindegaard in the courtyard. A tall bare mannequin with a twisted arm placed in the middle of the hallway is the first to welcome me besides two flap chairs that seem to have been stolen from an old theater. It is warm and cozy. I can hear chatter coming from the first room closest to me. Out of nowhere a smiling and energetic woman shakes my hand and welcomes me. Trine Lindegaard has introduced herself. “Would you like anything to drink?” she kindly asks and shows me into her studio, letting me look around while she makes the coffee. It seems the studio is a reflection of her personal, charmingly cluttered universe; the room is filled with objects handpicked from market
places to make up a playful and inspirational room that fits the mood of the designer. Doll heads and embroidery made during the Second World War are just a few of the random things that meet my eye. On the wall hangs a clothing rack with a cocktail of garments from different seasons. At first the clothing appears to be only basic unisex wear, with comfort being the main goal of the design. As I flip through the hangers, I instantly notice that the style is dominated by a focus on graphics with a sense of naivety and childhood dreams. Regarding the expression in the clothes Trine says: “It is humoristic, colorful and playful. It is a reflection of the mood we are in while making the clothes”. With her warm welcome in mind I imagine that working on drawings and embroidery with her must be an engaging and amusing activity with time to chat about this and that while working.
The Process What makes Trine Lindegaard’s design process unconventional is that she includes different people to leave a mark on her prints and patterns in the clothes. A key element is working with minority groups, which for example includes inmates from a UK prison, a Danish asylum centre and more recently, immigrant women from a project called In Line With The World. They are responsible for the 137
Happiness Sweatshirt: Designed by inmate in UK prison, originally from Mexico. Trine has chosen not to publish his name to me, but on every shirt you buy the nameof the inmates and prison is embroidered on the shirt when sold in stores.
The jacket with cone embroidery: The design is made in coperation with emigrant women from RĂ¸dovre through the project In Line with the World and is based on an old, danish embroidery.
illustrations behind the prints and the embroidery, with a given theme as their only limitation. It is important to Trine that these people feel part of society and feel useful by having an influence on the outcome. “It is a slow and random process”, Trine says. “But that is never a problem.” She pauses and gazes in the distance to collect her thoughts. “Again, it is part of the development. It becomes a joint process. There are always times where I think: ‘Where will this go?’” She smiles and continues. “For instance, we are now working on some embroidery about food culture. Some of it is good - but sometimes it looks like something a kindergarten has made”. Trine laughs but adds: “It always succeeds in the end”. She makes it clear that she is the one who makes the final decisions. There is no doubt that Trine still has to keep her own style in check and therefore the illustrations and embroidery have to fit her design and not vice versa. “To me the balance is important”, Trine says. The cuts are subtle and clean ensuring that the decorations and prints are the first thing to catch your eye, which Trine underlines, “If there is some kind of decoration on the clothes it is better to keep the cuts simple”. These simplistic cuts also make it wearable to both sexes.
The Materials As previously mentioned, comfort is part of the main goal, which you immediately feel in the soft and easily wearable materials. The materials make the clothes wearable for everyday use and not necessarily for a formal gathering. In short you would not be afraid to live an active life wearing one of her shirts. That is why cotton jersey is one of her favorite materials used in the different collections as it is such a flexible textile that you can easily stretch and move around in. It is also the cotton jersey that Trine makes sure to buy organic even though it is not something she really wants to focus on when she describes the design. “My jersey is always organic, but it is not what I’m branding my design on. It is for me a natural thing to always weave sustainability into the clothing. It is just not the most important tale to me.” She shrugs and looks at me. “It is just something I believe that everyone should be practicing.” This might sound as if she takes the organic bit too lightly. But the demands for a 140
designer who wishes to be certified a hundred percent organic are high and requires that the entire production, from thread and buttons to size labels, meets the organic criteria. This would mean that being organic is the sole focus and therefore other priorities like working with minority groups, which is very important to Trine, would be deemed less important. As for right now it is hard to fulfill every step in the process with an organic solution, which Trine also admits. “It is not that I have no compromises regarding organic materials because that is nearly impossible. I do choose organic to the most possible extent”.
Sustainable Belief Being organic is not the only factor that makes up sustainable thinking: “What I value in the concept of sustainability is the relationship to people”. This is the highest priority on her list: Sustainability concerning the social responsibilities in production, which explains why the environmental aspect is more of a by-product of her main goal. “Of course we have a planet we have to take care of and that is very important.” But she exemplifies, “There is nothing more poisonous than the production of cotton. So if the cotton isn’t organic, then many people will die because they work with harmful chemicals.” She postulates, “If people work under proper conditions, then there will be better conditions for the environment. You have to take care of the environment, but in a sense these two conditions (social and environmental ed.) go together.” Sometimes she even has to compromise on her idea of her social awareness to make a cooperation work with the people she wants in her design process. “Something I have a really hard time dealing with is when I am working with the weavers in Ghana as they use soft thread from China. I use it myself and I think it is terrible!” It is a huge compromise for her, because cheap thread imported from China possibly means that working conditions have been compromised to satisfy lower retail prices in the process, and environmental conditions have been overlooked. She continues, “But that is the way they work. They can’t work in any other way. It is really terrible that you have to support that choice of material.” Sometimes Trine has to make that
compromise to focus on the people in the process. “It is hard to think all of the parts through sometimes”, she admits frankly.
The Line Having a design process that relies on groups that are on the edges of society also sparks ethical questions. For instance, when Trine worked with UK prison inmates and asked them to embroider pieces based on the theme of “freedom” it was a very delicate subject to many behind bars. Or indeed some of the asylum seekers that she worked with whose applications were rejected. So what and how much can you ask of people to give of themselves to the project? What stories and feelings that shine through in the illustrations are fit for printing? These questions are very important to Trine and something she is always aware of in her cooperation with these different groups, who sometimes find themselves in a fragile position in society.
Trine really wants to make sure that she presents the stories in respect of the working people’s minds. If their stories are too hard it is only on a shirt “if they want it to be. You have to consider what any given person wants me to do with their story.” To seal that commentary, she always wants to be respectful of the balance of their skills and each person’s personal limitations so the creative process doesn’t become unpleasant for the groups involved. For Trine, the process is supposed to be a positive experience for everyone.
The payment therefore has to benefit the people who work for Trine. Bearing in mind these social and creative projects only pay the participants a low wage, Trine also makes sure that some of the profit from the clothing goes to help funding for the minority group she has worked with. Her project workers usually get paid between 30 to 50% of the clothing sale price, although it differs depending on the style. For instance, on the project with the UK prisoners, they got paid for the time they You have to respect the people who are in- spent embroidering the illustrations. 40% of volved in the work, Trine believes. Especially their cut of the clothing retail sale price went because their illustrations and embroidery to the workers and 60% went to an organization called Fine Cell Work. are a reflection of their This is an organization that own thoughts, hopes and “You have to consider helps teach embroidery dreams. In fact, the contriskills in prisons, so she has butions are very delicate what any given made sure that the work and intimate expressions. “There will still be a lot of person wants me to do she started didn’t end when she left. In addition to the their personal story on a with their story.” production process, I hashirt.” Trine is very much ven’t even begun talking aware of that and the balance between what she requires of the people about juggling the payment with covering the and what they in return want to share and are material and the production costs, which of course also plays a part in the equation from able to deliver of themselves. textile to product. That is why it becomes clear But even with that in mind, she still stumbles to me that she isn’t only concerned about the upon stories that are too dark and heavy once profit of her own designs, but most importantin a while, which Trine is openly aware of, “The ly she is concerned about the profit being benfact that they open up to me doesn’t mean that eficial for the workers involved – even when I should use their story. There are some stories she moves on to a new project. that are a little too harsh.” Of course these contributions are also welcome and can serve as The line between the professional and persontherapy for the people who are drawing those al is hard to define. In her cooperation with difillustrations. But as mentioned earlier, Trine ferent groups it almost becomes a fusion of gets the last say about the end product, and the two. For instance, she receives nearly 20 sometimes the stories are just too harsh to fit messages daily from different people that she on a shirt, because they can be too hard to in- has worked with. Only yesterday she received corporate in light collections like the theme on several graphic messages of “Happy Eid” from many of the women she worked with on the “freedom”, for instance. project In Line with the World. “Sometimes it 141
would make life a whole lot easier if you didn’t have a relationship with the workers. But at the same time, it is that part that makes it so amazing.” She smiles at me satisfied.
The Center Even though Trine is a fashion designer and her clothing is both interesting and loud, there is no doubt that the people in her process are the drive behind the work she does. The fact that being a clothes designer is not her lifelong dream is an unconventional and surprising revelation, “I have often thought: Now I am studying this and I am getting this job, which I possibly don’t want.” She gestures with her palms, “Now it has become this. If I didn’t make clothes, then I would be working on these projects in another way, that’s for sure. I wouldn’t be able to just sit down and design clothing.” However, her subtle doubts about the profession as a designer do not show in her clothing at all. It actually seems that the strength of her designs isn’t focusing on being a designer, but rather being good at working with other people and handling their ideas and stories well. This focus seems to make the designs even more creative and personal as opposed to a product produced by only one designer. Finally, the different designs spark my curiosity because I want to know who is behind each print or embroidery and what kind of story inspired them. I imagine that wearing one of her prints is like carrying a king-size biography on your chest or an untold tale of an unknown person. “Clothing itself is in a way secondary to me. It is this other aspect that has the most importance for me,” Trine Lindegaard claims, which perfectly sums up what is really at play for Trine in her work.
The Avnstrup Jacket: The print is designed by various residents at the of Avnstrup, Denmark. They include Josephine fr from Afghanistan, Mariam from Syria and Jane D
Asylum Center rom Liberia, Pierrre-Jean Doe from Eritrea.
The Mother Denmark Turtleneck: Designed by Galau from Burma at the Asylum Center of Avnstrup, Denmark.
DRIPPING Photographer Lena Kholkina Concept & clothing Venera Kazarova Model Julia S, Aquarelle
This story is about exploring a material and the meaning of that material when its customary surroundings have been altered. Imagine integrating an artificially made element, such as a piece of crushed paper, into a natural environment. Photographer Lena Kholkina http://offonroad.com Crushed paper in this case serves as both a piece of a Concept and clothing Venera Kazarova http://www.venerakazarova.com Model Julia S, Aquarelle garment but also as an element - a raining cloud - making it a part of the whole but also separating it from the rest. This story is about exploring a material and the meaning of that material when its customary surroundings have been altered. Imagine integrating an artificially made element, such as a piece of crushed paper, into a natural environment. Crushed paper in this case serves as both a piece of a garment but also as an element - a raining cloud - making it a part of the whole but also separating it from the rest.
S a tir ical c o lumn
10 Tips to Complete the
â€œ100 Things Challengeâ€? Philip Monge Illustration Alicja Biala
This technical manual is completely straightforward and simplified. It will tell you exactly how to succeed if you have been brave enough to challenge your lifestyle and cut down on all of the stuff you do not need to survive in the modern world.
Create an overview
How much do you own? That’s the first question to answer. The known factor is how much you have to own. Yes, you’re absolutely right: It’s “100 things”, as the title of the challenge clearly states.
You’ve already found your modern day Ringo Star, who finds your hairy genitals appealing, so go ahead and clear out your entire bathroom. Now you have absolutely nothing to cover up, which is why you can go easy on the make-up. Off it goes. And your natural odor doesn’t need a chemical treatment from a fake scent. The rich flavor of an “after-gym-session” is the smell of you - and in this world yourself is all you need.
You find yourself crying over a teddy bear you had to throw away for the sake of the test. You end up going through the trash to put it next to the picture of your dead dog, Roman, which you also regretted discarding.
Start from the beginning
The first thing you do in the morning, when your eyes are all encrusted with a yellow secretion, is to take a piss. We all do it. Therefore, let’s start in the bathroom. Find your razor. Throw it away. Miley Cyrus has already approved the furry-bohemian lifestyle. Now it’s your turn. Your after-dark necessity is probably already an organic rubber, so you can easily upgrade your good conscious by simply growing a bush. Afterwards, you can add your shaving gel, moisturizer and additional blades to the bin. That’s already 5 items down. Now you’ve just got infinity to go. Oh, yeah: And while we’re at it, throw away the organic condoms as well. Your parents would love a good old bastard! No doubt.
Let’s face it, when you reach the kitchen and begin counting your stuff you start to worry. Just a bit. You really like those chilli cheese tops from McDonald’s, but you also have to keep up the facade and cook photogenic food. Just once a while. And that requires tools. Lots of them. You need a fork, a knife, a spoon, a bowl, a cup, a pot and something to stir with (it can easily be your fork). Now, for the sake of your final list, we will just call these items “kitchen tools”. No one will ever notice. I promise.
Cheat some more
Occasionally you will have to change your underwear. The need occurs from time to time. The problem is though that the action of change requires a spare item, which means you need to count in one more of each spare item. Let’s agree not to count any of the spare items. Your list includes an undefined number of “underwear”, “socks”, “T-shirts”.
When you realize that you actually enjoyed the act of drinking different types of liquid from different types of glasses and your crotch itches and you just stepped in a pile of horse shit with your only pair of shoes, then you kinda feel depressed. You are on the verge of a mental break-down.
10. Give up
But, let’s face it. You actually kinda like your materialistic life. You’re not Pinocchio. You can’t let go of what you’re tied to. You’re reading a magazine about fashion, for God’s sake. Don’t lie to yourself. You do need a wardrobe the size of which could dress the population of a Chinese metropolis. Of course you do. What if someone actually saw you wearing the same clothes over two consecutive days? Just give up. No one will look down on you for not succeeding. All of us would ask, “What the fuck were you were thinking?.” But no one will look down on you for facing reality.
Claim stuff you find at your friend’s house
Even though you have never been richer on life itself, you find yourself caught in the vacuum of social media. You have kept your iPhone (and counted the wire and the charging unit as just a “mobile device”, of course) and you over-exaggerate your smile on every selfie you take just to make sure that people are actually aware of your newly gained happiness in life, but it doesn’t really seem convincing to you. Therefore, you snatch the latest edition of the French Vogue from the pile of magazines at your friend’s house, grab her new handbag and Instagram it with the caption: “Je me sens bien”, which you had to Google five times to double-check its meaning.
Don’t worry, though. Stay strong. Have faith. And find energy through the knowledge that you could travel the world tomorrow without any hesitation. You are as free as a bird. You could saunter down the avenue singing “I’ve got no strings to hold me down, to make me fret or make me frown. I had strings, but now I’m free. There are now strings for me”!
In ter vie w
A Consumption Study: Nico Glad Golden Pernille Hammershøj Photographer Jesper Drejer At Less Magazine we value good quality clothes that have been produced in accordance with standards of sustainability and environmental awareness. However (and unfortunately) the clothing you fall in love with might not be from an ethical and sustainably responsible label. When selecting a garment, the look, feel and smell of the garment are all factors that precedes any ethical considerations. What prevents us from combining the emotional and aesthetic experience of shopping with an ethically correct choice? This article takes exactly that question into consideration. In order to investigate it further I met with stylist and fashion student Nico Glad Golden. Nico and I share a love for fashion and shopping and we are both familiar with the following scenario: When walking through town you pass a shop-window. You see a specific piece, and you are immediately drawn to it. Your heart beats faster, and you step closer to the window to get a better look of your new piece of clothing that will be your new favorite. Until you find something new. That is the problem with high-street brands; they are so cheap that they allow you to buy something new every week. But why is this so tempting? By spending time with Nico, I found out it has something to do with both economy and the process of discovering who you want to be – both of which probably develop with age. I ask Nico about his relationship with fashion and shopping and he tells me that he has been fascinated with it since he was introduced to it as a child. His mother is a stylist and a hairdresser and in the wild 80s and cool 90s she would impress everyone with her creativity and curious relationship to fashion. Nico has thus followed in his
mother’s footsteps and the love for fashion and shopping runs in his veins. Nico is definitely very exact about his choice of clothing and yet it is interesting that he seems to have turned away from impulsive shopping for cheap labels once he left his teens: “When I was younger I used to buy many things in central Copenhagen, and I was very impulsive. Now I am much more selective and I know exactly what to look for. But back then I was definitely in the process of discovering myself.” Tracing how Nico’s attitude towards shopping has changed and especially how it has changed in relation to high-street labels, Nico tells me that he longs for daring clothes on the Copenhagen fashion scene and therefore he has become an expert in online shopping. His favorite sites are Italian high-end web shops but also high-street labels like TopMan, the British site AQ/AQ and American Apparel: “It’s mostly the same high street I go for. AQ/AQ from Britain has great stuff. They are good at using new trends in a simple way. It is very standard but yet with a twist, and I like that. They make classic, basic items and successfully combine them with classic, a-typical materials.” Nico tells me that he subscribes to a number of newsletters from his favorite web shops. As a student, his budget is limited and his favorite styles are often put on sale. The newsletters thus allow him to consume more – both high-street brands but also exclusive clothing from high-end brands. In accordance with his profession as a stylist, trends are important to Nico and he tells me that his latest purchase is a Japanese
inspired jacket from TopMan: “I like the fact that it’s classic and it has a remarkable visual aesthetic. I am very fascinated by its Japanese cut and I finally found a men’s version.”
You can say it’s hard to implement it 100% in your everyday life – only buy organic etc. Not many brands are 100% sustainable and organic and only a very few have certifications.”
Nico is thus very conscious about his choice of labels – whether it’s high-end fashion or high-street labels. But what if, for instance, Nico passed by a high-street store that did not fit into his usual high-street preferences but offered just what he needed for a styling job? He tells me that labels are not his first priority when he works as a stylist. Rather it is the visual and the aesthetics, which have to conform to his vision and the story he wants to tell. For instance, Nico would use the Spanish label ZARA for a styling job, though he would not buy it himself because the quality and standard are not good enough.
The fashion industry could not survive without people’s enthusiasm for beautiful clothes and unfortunately the perfect pair of jeans does not always fit the criteria for sustainable clothing. Nico recognizes that fact and as we discuss the theme he turns to British fashion designer and environmental activist Vivienne Westwood for inspiration:
Nico’s profession as a stylist has a lot to do with his choice of clothes. It is what it looks like that is crucial to Nico but he also has a love for materials: “I know what I like and what I want. Definitely – the visual is super important. But also the quality and the materials play a big part. I am fascinated with materials in general – if you can combine atypical materials with classic design then I am completely blown away.” When asked about his attitude towards sustainability Nico tells me that he tries to implement it in his everyday life but that it is hard. He would, for instance, donate his used clothes to charity organizations like the Red Cross but on the other hand he does not shy away from buying a gorgeous item from one of his favorite high-street brands if he finds something perfect. As he says: “Little steps in the right direction also count in the long run.
“The principle of thinking critically; buy less but buy items of good quality. That’s definitely what I try to do and I am very inspired by Vivienne Westwood.” Nico admits that when he was younger he was more likely to buy many items that would just hang in his closet and in this regard his viewpoints have developed a lot. This is an interesting point and I believe many people’s consumption patterns tend to develop with age. When we are young we tend to be eager to discover ourselves and experiment with our style. With age comes wisdom but also a better personal economy; grown-ups usually have more money to spend on good quality clothes than teenagers. But does our willingness to buy something we can vouch for also develop with age? To many people it does and the way Nico’s attitude towards shopping has changed proves the fact in this case at least. We can’t always just do the right thing of consuming only sustainable clothes. But we can do our best to and to be aware of the sustainable alternatives. This is our mission at Less Magazine – as Vivienne Westwood says: “Buy less, choose well.”
V isu aliza tio n
DOMANTAS SMAIZYS Creating an experience for the owner is developing into the materiality of ultimate reality. Designing an aesthetic experience that ages with beauty - or that can “grow” or change with the owner - and thereby becomes a part of him/her. The materials used are natural, handcrafted, change their character through usage, show the passage of time and provide the experiencing subject with stimulating emotional value. An aesthetic experience is connected to asymmetrical compositions and complex expressions. Value as decay; the object that doesn’t stagnate but develops and becomes more interesting and beautiful with time and use is very aesthetically sustainable. It is about imperfect beauty that provides a space for the imagination to enter and become more involved with the devolution of the piece.
Concept & clothes Domantas Smaizys Photographer Ausra Babiedaite Shoes Nature Footwear Hair & make-up Kirstine Engell Model Mathias Walbum & Elisabeth Thostrup, Gossip Models
SLOW CLOTHING A c c o r d i n g To L e s s M a g a z i n e
Less Magazine focus on slow clothing, as you probably know. But you might not know exactly what we mean when we say this. So, in order to be more transparent we made a definition, so you can have a clearer idea of what you see on the following pages. The fashion industry itself is not very transparent at this moment. We are doing the best we can, but we can only be as transparent as the brands allow us be. At Less Magazine we define slow clothing as a specific approach to clothing consumption mainly from the point of view of consumers. Because of this, a brand can be acceptable in the slow clothing sense without awareness of it and without branding itself as such. A single garment can also be acceptable while the brand is not. At Less Magazine we expect a slow clothing garment to be of very high quality in both materials and handicraft. This assures that the garment will last a long time but also at the same time certifying a lot of use. Furthermore the garment should fulfill at least one of the following standards to be accepted as slow clothing. The garment should have:
• Special features that makes it long lasting, e.g. a timeless fit and color. • Special meaning that makes it more than just clothes to the ower. This could be in the form of sentimental value, or a special artistic or conceptual idea behind the design. • Be made of reused material or other eco-friendly materials. • Be made by using techniques that reflect environment issues.
For a brand to be accepted as a slow clothing brand it needs to ignore seasonal trends, be of very high quality and at least meet one of the following standards. The brand should:
• Only make garments that live up to our definition of a slow clothing garment. • Work on maintaining or developing new sustainable materials or techniques. • Present a high level of transparency concerning the consumers.
To the best of our ability we will mark every garment in one of these ways: Slow clothing garment from a non-slow clothing brand or ment from a slow clothing brand. This slow clothing definition will be reviewed biannually.
a slow clothing gar-
BRAND LIST Toogoodunisexouterwear www.t-o-o-g-o-o-d.com • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Marvielab www.marvielab.com • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Jan-Jan Van Essche www.janjanvanessche.com • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Hansen Garments www.hansengarments.com • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Technique Whitetail www.whitetail.luxury • Timeless • Craftsmanship • Techniques
Susanne Rohrmann www.rohrmann.dk • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Reinhard Plank www.reinhardplank.it • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Guidi www.guidi.it • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Domantas Smaizys www.smaizysdomantas.com • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Evyi www.evyi.de • Timeless • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques
Denham the Jeanmaker www.denhamthejeanmaker.com • Timeless • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Danny Reinke www.dannyreinke.de • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Inis Meáin Knitting co. www.inismeain.ie • Timeless • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production Techniques Pendleton www.pendleton-usa.com Timeless • Materials • Craftsmanship • Techniques Eins Berlin www.einsberlin.com • Timeless • Materials • Craftsmanship • Techniques
Ivan Grundahl www.ivangrundahl.dk • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Techniques Trine Lindegaard www.trinelindegaard.com • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques • Social Valeriya Olkhova www.voft.eu • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Venera Kazarova www.venerakazarova.com • Timeless • Artistic • Production • Techniques Martin Niklas Wieser www.martinniklaswieser.com • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques
Vladimir Karaleev www.vladimirkaraleev.com • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship
Nicholas Nybro www.nicholasnybro.dk • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Techniques
Zimmerli of Switzerland www.zimmerli.com • Timeless • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production
Kurt’s Amsterdam www.kurts-amsterdam.com • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques
Henrik Vibskov www.henrikvibskov.com • Timeless • Artistic • Craftsmanship Bettina Bakdal www.bettinabakdal.dk • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques Ninna York www.ninnayork.com • Timeless • Artistic • Materials • Craftsmanship • Techniques P.Feilberg www.pfeilberg.com • Timeless • Materials • Craftsmanship • Production • Techniques
REFERENCES CLOSER THAN CONSUMPTION Pp. 24-27 By Helene Jeune
Braybrooke, K. 2015. “Hacking apple – putting the power of tech into our hands”. The Guardian Boztepe, S. 2016. “The Notion of Value and Design”. Institute of Design, Illinois Institute of Technology. www.idemployee.id Ehrenfeld, J.R 2013. “Flourishing – a frank conversation about sustainability”. Standford Business Books. Miller, D 2010. ’”Stuff’”. Polity Press. Mont, O. & Power, K. (editors) 2011. “The role of values and public perceptions in policy making for Sustainable Consumption”. ETC/SCP working paper no 2/2013 Mont, O. & Power, K. (editors) 2010. “Dispelling the myths of sustainable consumption.” European Topic Centre on Sustainable Consumption and production; International Institute for Industrial Environmental Economics. Walker, S. 2006. “Sustainable by Design – explorations in Theory and Practice”. Earthscan. Wilber. K 2006. ’Right Bucks’. kenwilber.com
HISTORY AND POWER OF MAGAZINES Pp. 64-66 By Devin Hentz
Felluga, Dino 2015. “Modules on Lacan: On Desire.” Introductory Guide to Critical Theory. Purdue U. Steyerl, Hito. 2015. ”Too Much World: Is the Internet Dead?”. The Internet Does Not Exist. Ed. e-flux journal. Sternberg Press. Plato. 2008. “The Human Experience: Who Am I?”. Littleton. Tapestry Press.
NATURAL VS. SYNTHETIC Pp. 96-99 By Myrto Papailiou
Ingold, Tim 2000. “The Perception of the Environment. Essays on livelihood, dwelling and skill”. London: Routhledge Made-By, 2013. “Environmental Benchmark for Fibers” (Condensed Version, Version 2.1). Available from: www.made-by.org Sterbenz C. 2015.“I bought a plain, white button-up made of this ‘luxury’ fabric — and now I’m hooked, Business Inside”. Available from: www.businessinsider.com Kristiansen J., Monocel. Available from: www.launch.org
FASHION AND MATERIALITY: WHAT DOES HAPPINESS HAVE TO DO WITH IT? Pp. 110-112 By Guro Sofie Ulsaker Jacobsen
Appiah, KA 2005. “The Ethics of Identity”. Princeton: Princeton University Press. Bourdieu, P. 1992. “Distinction. A Social Critiques of the Judgement of Taste”. London: Routledge. Haybron, DM 2008. “Happiness, the Self and Human Flourishing”. Utilitas, vol. 20 (1), 21-49. Haybron, DM 2001. “Happiness and Pleasure. Philosophy and Phenomenological Research”, vol. 62 (3), 501-528. Kraut, R 1979. “Two Conceptions of Happiness. The Philosophical Review”, vol. 88 (2), 167-197. Taylor, C. 2003. “The Malaise of Modernity”. Toronto: House of Anansi Press Inc. Taylor, C. 2002. Sources of the Self. The Making of Modern Identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Waterman, AS. 1993. “Two Conceptions of Happiness: Contrasts of Personal Expressiveness (Eudaimonia) and Hedonic Enjoyment”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, vol. 64 (4), 678-691.