Chapter Magazine: Issue 2

Page 1

CHAPTEr construction & & deconstruction



...We stepped back and took a look at Fashion and Culture from new and different perspectives. Starting with the industry as a whole, we discuss the digital takeover and rise in transgender models in our Writing section. Our Fashion pages explore the growing ethical market and the fashion crowd. We also feature an exclusive interview with designer Rav Matharu, better known as ClothSurgeon. Stripping back the fashionable world in our final, Culture section we scrutinise the romantic ideals of global trends that are built on exoticism and aesthetics. Lastly, we delve into photography; from the construction of a visual story, to the physical deconstruction of the everyday object.


Editor’s Note Fashion and culture is made up of historical, social and political constructs. Through picking apart these constructs we simultaneously reconstruct them through new ways of seeing. Nothing is as it looks. There is more to everything and then even more than that. Simplicity in fashion is beautiful, but the construction behind the simplicity is highly ironic. Take a plain, white shirt; a classic, daily item of clothing. The plain white shirt is made up of over ten pieces. I suppose the point I am trying to make here, is that fashion and culture is loaded with a bricolage of things and meanings that are often dismissed by the human eye alone.

“ We share with you a Chapter to inspire your creativity… encourage your mind to think, explore and wander… ”

At Chapter we look beyond the surface for to give our readers more to think about. This issue, while themed, sheds light on many aspects of fashion and culture that interact and relate to one another. We do not wish to share with you what you already know, nor re-discuss the same old controversy that infects the creative industries today. From the literal and physical deconstruction to analytical deconstruction we share with you a Chapter to inspire your creativity; and encourage your mind to think, explore and wander.

Construction and Deconstruction is not only the theme of Chapter two, but everything that Chapter is. Thank you to all who contributed to this issue of Chapter. And, most importantly, thank you, the reader.

Yours, Asha Patel, Editor



Laura Klonowska Senior Designer

Art Editor

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - -

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - -

Emma Gray

Terri Waters Fashion Editor

- - - - - - - - - - - - -- - - - -

Picture Editor

- - - - - --


Elise Kerr

the t

Suzi King Pr


Sub Editor

Asha Patel Editor



Bryony Lathbury

Luci Burgess-Farwell Staff Writer





Megan Danskine Production Editor

Hayley Rorrison Senior Staff Writer & Marie Attfield Photographer Deputy Editor

--------------- ---------------------------

e team


Contents Writing



Russian doll


iFashion: The digital takeover of the sartorial world


Top 10 fashion apps


Outside the gender binary

fashion Autumn/Winter trends for 2015


Q&A: ClothSurgeon


Vintage deconstruction


The uprising of ethical style


Fashion followers




culture 40



Culture on the catwalk


Q&A: Bergina Leka


The inner workings

RUSSIAN DOLL Russian Doll meets Russian Constructivism as Chapter explores the exciting new theme of issue two, through texture and shape

Fashion direction: Terri Waters Styling: Reanne Walker Photography: Elise Kerr and Hayley Rorrison Makeup: Emma Cutter Illustration: Hannah McIntyre Model: Genna Tourh



iFashion: The Digital Takeover of The Sartorial World

Are the world’s designers and retailers pressured to become more tech-savvy, or are the techies of the world feeling the heat to be more fashion-forward?

Words: Luci Burgess-Farwell Illustrations: Adeeba Faheem WRITING 14

While, for the consumer, this digital switchover is convenience in its highest form, there is a worry within the industry that fashion as an art is losing its exclusivity’’


The tec(h)tonic plates of The Fashion World are shifting more rapidly each day. In a global industry worth over £1,200tn, with British e-tail commerce alone reaching an estimated net worth of £56bn in 2014 and its current annual custom exceeding 28 million individual customers just in the UK, fashion houses and retailers are being pressured to keep up with the times. Or, at least, buddy with the technologically inclined. Most designers now live-stream their shows during Fashion Month for anyone to view online and, at SHOWstudio, users can see experts watching and commentating on the collections in realtime to get an expert opinion immediately. While, for the consumer, this digital switchover is convenience in its highest form, there is a worry within the industry that fashion as an art is losing its exclusivity. In October 2009, Alexander McQueen was the first fashion house to stream its ‘Plato’s Atlantis’ show live online. After seeing the hits and interest it received from the public, Burberry and Marc Jacobs were soon to follow. Now it is available to anyone and everyone with a data plan or wifi router. The once-exclusive club has been infiltrated with


bloggers and students eager to make their mark without, really, any authority. ‘Frow’ seats at Fashion Week – once reserved for editors and buyers – are now being taken over by the online audience, meaning content is now free pickings. Even though the Livestream experience can be regarded as the best possible house-to-consumer marketing tool, it could be detrimental to how the shows are regarded by its critics. Cue PR firm KCD and its latest website launch: Digital Fashion Shows. The site aims to make working life easier for stressed editors and buyers throughout Fashion Month by curating the need-to-know information for each show. So, under Balmain’s SS14 show, we now have access to model names, order of appearance, the title of their look, video footage, fabric detail images and comments made by professionals for every single look. With real-time reports and videos giving the public access to future collections on the move with tablets and iPads as well as at home, the online fashion blog is arguably now becoming more relevant than the editorial fashion magazine.

Despite high fashion’s visibility to the masses being fantastic for revenue, PR and brand awareness, it does have its downfalls. Trickle-down fashion has never been so powerful and with independent websites offering almost-identical versions of designer garments, lowincome households are now able to achieve the high fashion aesthetic at a fraction of the price. Zara, one of the world’s leading high street shops for its affordable-yet-luxe appeal, has been labelled the world’s top fast-fashion retailer. A great example of this in action was when Jil Sander unveiled the cult leather lunch-bag clutch in her A/W12 Menswear collection, it was a hit worldwide for women and men. After viewing the show on Livestream, Zara had a similar piece in stores within weeks and sold out after just a few days.

It would appear that e-commerce has commandeered the retail experience and, in turn, many of us are making the move to online shopping. Of course, nothing is ever as straightforward as human will. Researcher A.C. Nielson suggests each consumer falls into a certain situational category, and our category determines the shopping habits we choose. There is The Social Shopper, who sees shopping as a social experience and enjoys the whole ritual. The Experimental Shopper enjoys store shopping but is open to trying media such as online or mobile shopping. The Convenience Shopper cares less about the store experience and more about the end product the less time it takes them to get it, the better. The Habit Die-Hard may not go so far as to dislike technology but feels the online shopping experience tears them


away from the status quo of physically shopping for their item. The Value Shopper, who looks for the strongest combination of product quality, customer service and good value, heads in the direction of the overall best option. Lastly, we have The Ethical Shopper, which more and more people are becoming. This type of consumer cares little about how they obtain their goods, but more so about how the retailer comes to sell them. They look for Fairtrade or organic options and price isn’t so much of an issue. Laura Lambert had this very much in mind when starting her company, Befittd. She points out that 40 per cent of online returns are due to incorrect sizing and feeling like she related to this statistic, she decided to do something about it. Befittd is a simple concept but one that has already tucked away a small fortune for

Lambert, taking a tiny percentage of each sale in which it plays a part. When shopping online, you simply click the Befittd button in your browser toolbar, enter your measurements and the app will tell you how well the garment will fit. It even takes into account things like the give of the fabric and how stretchy it might be. What’s more, with events such as Decoded Fashion, we could see further advances in fashion and tech. Set up by Liz Bacelar in 2011, Decoded Fashion helps fashion houses come together with technological minds. It hosted the world’s first Fashion Week Hackathon in February 2013, bringing 550 software developers together with designers to help them both achieve their goals and optimise their respective markets. It’s a shame the trouser suit doesn’t have a built-in computer yet, but we’re getting there.








1. Fancy, £Free. Content curated by users, Fancy houses the most stylish items you absolutely need in your life. Home, garden, jewellery, fashion and art all included. 2. Polyvore, £Free. Create moodboards and palettes of inspiration for home, fashion, art and beauty and shop from other people’s sets. 3. Befittd, £Free. Not strictly an app, this web tool enables you to see exactly how a garment from any online store will fit - even taking stretchiness of fabric in to account! 4. Afterlight, £0.69p. Instagram’s more sophisticated older sister. Afterlight gives you 56 filters and even more editing features, with the ability to airdrop your photo straight into Instagram once altered to perfection. WRITING 18

5. net-a-porter, £free. Because where else are you going to pine for glorious garments and sensational shoes while on the go? 6. vogue daily, £free. Stay up-to-date with designer news than the Fashion Bible itself . 7., £free Probably the greatest (and most financially appeasing) fashion film resource any sartorialist could possess. Entire shows, look books and reviews in one tiny app.







8. myPantone, £6.99. Not at a price for everyone, but this app enables the user to colour match absolutely anything – from clothing to skin tone and follow colour stories with daily trend updates. The perfect tool for analysing seasons. 9. snapfashion, £free. “See it. Snap It. Buy it.” is its tagline, and it does what it says on the tin. This app makes child’s play of finding that-dress-that-woman-wore-to-that-event in one snappy motion. 10. pinterest, £free. Create online pinboards for absolutely anything. An amazing tool for sharing street style and home décor inspiration.


Outside the gender binary

As children, we’re told that we are either male or female according to our sex. But is this gender binary enough to categorise every individual?

Words: Marie Attfield Photographs: Anait Grigoryan Styling: Asha Patel Model: Elisha-Jade White


“Is it a boy or a girl?” is one of the main questions surrounding every pregnancy. Every time a child is born, those three words uttered by the midwife that declare the sex of the baby are enough to categorise that child into a life of pink or blue; which colour to paint the nursery, which toy to buy them, whether they should have a fairy or a race car on their bib. Is it possible to categorise 7 billion individuals into two groups? There is a huge colour spectrum complementing the pink and blue and the same can be said for gender. Unlike a child’s sex which is biologically determined, our stereotypical views of male and female have been constructed through society. Despite these two words often being used interchangeably, the vital difference between ‘sex’ and ‘gender’ has become distinct with time. Looking back to the Tudor era, the sex of a child was all that mattered. The appearance of one’s genitals clarified their gender and, consequently, the expectations of that child’s life. Up until the 20th century, the roles of men and women greatly differed, as did the clothes it was acceptable for either gender to wear. In many ways, the stereotypical characteristics of men and women are still the same but the advances in the fashion industry have hugely influenced the way we perceive gender. During World War I, women began to wear trousers after taking on jobs previously assigned to men. By

the 1920s, trousers had become a staple of their leisurewear. Within a very short period, the connotations of a pair trousers were no longer solely male orientated and the 1960s then brought the androgynous look of the Mods. Twiggy popularised a typically


boyish look with her short crop and skinny frame and Yves Saint Laurent commercialised women’s trousers, making it the norm for women to wear this once strictly male garment. Entering the 1970s, unisex clothing pushed the boundaries even further

as hippie couples began wearing gender-neutral garments, dismissing all the previous rules of the gender binary. Icons such as David Bowie encouraged the experimentation with gender by sporting quirky outfits, sky-high platforms and a face of makeup. It was the beginning of gender bending within the masses. The growing acceptance of diversity within our culture has blurred the lines of the male and female fashions and enabled individuals to express their identity rather than conform to gender ideals. Alongside cisgenders, new gender identities including androgynous, genderqueer


and transgender are now recognised and have expanded the restrictive confinements of the gender binary. To reflect this development in gender identity within our society, Facebook has extended from the traditional male or female option and will allow their users to customise their profile from a choice of over 50 options, including ‘transgender’, ‘androgynous’ and ‘bi-gender’ as well as choosing whether to be referred to as ‘he’, ‘she’ or the neutral pronoun ‘they’. The importance of the media in promoting and influencing diversity in society is paramount and the fashion and beauty industry have fought against problems such as racism and body shape with campaigns from the United Colors of Benetton to Dove’s Real Beauty. Gender has always played a huge part in commercials, often depicting the ideal man or woman at the time and fitting with the conventional characteristics of the binary, but advertisers have been challenging these stereotypes in more recent years. Back in 1952, Christine Jorgensen became the first transwoman widely known for her gender reassignment surgery and was under much scrutiny and ridicule from the public who simply did not understand how an individual could not identify with their assigned sex. Nowadays, fashion houses use transgender and androgynous models to create ambiguity in their campaigns in order to push the gender boundaries. In 2010, transgender model Lea T featured in Givenchy’s campaign, shortly followed by Andrej Pejic for Marc Jacobs, which has given way to the rise of the androgynous model and softened the distinction between the opposing genders. High-end brands such as Vivienne Westwood (whose male models in her A/W 2011 menswear collection wore bright red lipstick), Karl Lagerfeld (who used moustaches on the female models in the Chanel Cruise 2014 collection), and Pejic who

“Growing acceptance of diversity within our culture has blurred the lines of the male and female fashions and allowed individuals to express their identity rather than conform to gender ideals�

“Fashion houses use transgender and androgynous models to create ambiguity in their campaigns in order to push the gender boundaries�


works as both a male and female model have all since jumped on to the androgyny bandwagon along with many other designers and models in the industry. Despite this current trend within the fashion industry, the topic of gender still remains somewhat disputed by the masses. However, controversy means coverage so Barney’s, an American luxury department store, didn’t hesitate when launching its recent Spring campaign ‘Brothers, Sisters, Sons and Daughters’ for which the company cast 17 transgender models. Barney’s partnered with the National Centre for Trans Equality and LGBT centres to embrace gender identity issues and show its support for individual rights. Bruce Weber shot the campaign, which focused on the models’ diverse experiences and unique personal anecdotes to make the public aware of the struggles and accomplishments a trans person may face. Patricia Bosworth, an American journalist, also interviewed every model and a short film was created to reveal each individual’s story to really connect the models to Barney’s audience. This campaign has brought to light the bigger picture of gender. As a society, we are left with the question of how necessary it still is to define our identity through gender? Huge parts of our culture are made up from the differences between male and female, especially within fashion and retail where there is constant

separation between the men and women’s sections. Society dictates what constitutes as acceptable for male and female and over the last century there have been radical changes within fashion; trousers are a prime example of our 25

quickly changing attitudes. The ideas around gender and identity have developed dramatically in the last decade and have opened up the gender binary to encompass every individual, but the need for equality and diversity for all continues.

Autumn/winter Trends for 2015 Lorna Graham, a representative from one of the world’s leading trend forecasters, reveals the season’s key colours, textures, tones and themes

Words: Hayley Rorrison


a/w 2015: Key colours and tones We have come a long way in terms of industrial evolution, and 2015’s A/W fashion trends certainly reflect this. Tonal blacks and greys teamed with denim blue will replicate the impact that new machinery and technology is having on design. We’ll see rich, industrial-themed colour palettes, with orange and brown spicy tones. Brown is also on the spectrum for 2015. Minimalist blacks with cinnamon and deep reds will create vivid contrasts. Forest green will be a popular colour during A/W 2015, alongside winter pastels and light airy greys. Think sugared almonds and dusty smoke. Different tones of grey work well layered together and a neutral palette will complement the less-daring dresser.

We’ll see rich, industrial-themed colour palettes, with orange and brown spicy tones

Tapered material, overlaid panelling and hardwearing fabrics are forecasted to be staple trends for the fashion follower. Layering garments will also be a major look for A/W. Wear jackets over long-sleeved woolly jumpers with bulky scarfs to create a multi-layered, textured look. Faux fur scarfs and woven fabrics will be key buys for eager trend shoppers. Fashion followers will wear light cashmere against heavy luxurious garments; this look will be a particularly dominant trend. Grey, brown, blue and black leather jackets with imperfect cuts will also be on trend in 2015. Dark shadowed eye makeup and burgundy lipstick will complement Autumn Winters’ dusty tones and burnt orange colours.


a/w 2015: Masculineinspired macro trend This trend is all about overstated proportions and masculine cuts with a sophisticated undertone. Coats are a great way to wear this trend, with longline shapes or bomber jackets. A masculine coat paired with high heels will add a touch of femininity. The pre-season catwalk shows have already anticipated this trend is going to be huge. Henry Holland is already using longlines in his recent collection. Michael Kors has introduced some classic designs of the masculinecut coat too. The oversized hood will also make an appearance next winter; it’s an easy casual way to update what we have already seen in 2014. The transseasonal sleeveless coat will come onto the scene in 2015, providing fashionable utility for the wearer.

The oversized hood will also make an appearance… it’s an easy way to update what we’ve already seen in 2014

Knitwear with masculine silhouettes and dropshoulder sleeves are set to sell next A/W. Maxi cardigans, the oversized jumper and the sweatshirt dress will be a huge trend across the globe. The masculine-proportioned pyjama shirt will be turning heads, reinvented with an oversized fit. Outfits such as a long white oversized blouse worn with black skinny jeans is also on the fashion agenda for A/W 2015. The matching suit takes the masculine inspired trend to a whole new level. Power dressing will be returning from the 1980s. Shoulder pads and, astonishingly, top hats are also going to be making waves in 2015.


a/w 2015: Sportswearinspired macro trend Designers are still filled with multitudes of inspiration from the Olympic games and the World Cup. Sneakers will continue to be a big seller. Electrifying prints shake up this trend and colour blocking breathes new air into the sporty style. Funnel necks are going to be imperative, while baker-boy caps will be teamed with sweatshirts and jeans. Bomber jackets worn with matching pencil skirts add femininity to the athletic designs. Suede, brushed textures and teddy fleece are essential fabrics to master this sporty look. Geometric shapes, lurid colours and tropical prints are set to blitz the catwalks; not forgetting the casual beanie hat to really capture the sport luxe trend.



Suede, brushed textures and teddy fleece are essential fabrics to master this sporty look

Metallic crop-tops, skater skirts and colourful boxing gown kimonos are all set to gain popularity in the near-future. Sleeveless clear raincoats, intergalactic patterns and PVC are just a few of the exciting designs the fashion world has to look forward to over the coming months. Marc by Marc Jacobs is already ahead of the game and has introduced PVC pencil skirts to the fashion line. The fashion designer has also reinvented motocross trousers and BMX boots in his Autumn/ Winter ready-to-wear collection to really emphasise the sporty trend.



CLOTHsURGEON Words: Asha Patel

with images of the customer as a baby printed all over, to a beautiful black tartan blazer with a built-in waistcoat, and rose gold zip finishing.

The art of fashion design is often coated with bright lights and glossy press, leaving us with a pretty dress and a label. Rav Matharu, better known as ClothSurgeon, has modelled his career and business on the beauty behind the trade. Since his instant success at House of Billiam, the designer has been working on his own project, gaining a significant following after dressing the likes of Tinie Tempah and collaborating with Selfridges. ClothSurgeon creates and recreates beautiful garments, aiming to bridge the gap between Saville Row quality and urban style. Asha Patel exclusively interviews the surgeon on his craft and inspiration.

Men's fashion has grown massively in the UK in recent years. As a designer in the midst of this development, where do you see the male silhouette going and how would you like to see it develop further? I just like to focus on [my own work]; I tend to keep my silhouettes quite clean and classic, always layering and generically modifying the classic pieces.

You have dressed several respectable names in the music industry, and continue to build a star clientele. Firstly, can you give us an overview of the day in the Is music a large part of your inspiration? life of ClothSurgeon? Do you have any daily rituals Many people say music and fashion to fuel your creativity? goes hand in hand – it’s very true. I usually start with a run or a swim, When referencing a period, music a black Americano and then emails. “I take a less-isis always a big part of the research Every day is pretty much different, and development. sourcing fabrics, cutting patterns more approach: and fabrics, sewing, meetings, subtle details, With reference to the previous designing.... it all depends on what my [diary] says! quality fabrics and question, how do you see both the music and fashion industry construction, using influencing each other? Where do you find the inspiration for I feel music helps shape trends your seasonal collections? classic shapes...” and fashion is a huge part of a I begin with a topic, object, book, film musician’s image and personality and research it in depth. This makes on and off stage. the ideas flow. It’s then [a case of] refining them and making it all work Who are your personal, as a collection. most influential figures in the design world, and why? Rei Kawakubo, Raf Simons, Phoebe Philo, Within your work we have seen a beautiful range of Yohji Yamamoto, Margiela, fashion-wise. I have textures and fabrics. Do you have any key elements huge respect for people like Tinker Hatfield who that you incorporate into your designs? created some of my fondest childhood memories I take a less-is-more approach: subtle details, quality through footwear. fabrics and construction, using classic shapes/ silhouettes and developing the fit. And, finally, what does construction and deconstruction mean to you? You recently held a pop-up store in Selfridges. What Construction is starting with an initial idea, to drawing kind of response did you get? Were you faced with then to a 3D product. It’s the construction of a thought any challenging or memorable requests? into a final garment. Deconstruction, for me, is reIt was an incredible response; a lot of people inventing the garment, taking elements of [something] knew about the brand and came to support. We and making it new. made some incredible pieces, from silk bombers


vintage analysis Today, the term ‘vintage’ is often overused and misconstrued across the fashion world and amongst young fashion followers. With many secondhand stores popping up on local high-street corners, some argue the history behind vintage is losing its value. The Chapter team went on a vintage shopping spree of their own in an attempt to learn more about the story behind a truly, vintage garment.

Words: Asha Patel and Marie Attfield Images: Hayley Rorrison


Piece 1: snakeskin bag An air of sophistication surrounds this beautiful snakeskin bag. The use of exotic leathers has been revived in high-end catwalk shoes for decades and the rarity of real snakeskin contributes to its statement of wealth and affluence. Animal rights groups such as PETA shone light on the inhumane killing of snakes and illegal snakeskin

trade used to create this material. It has caused real snakeskin leather products to become scarce. As a result of this ethical concern, many garments use a faux snakeskin material – such as silk-screen printing python designs on to leather – as a more moral way to produce animal prints.


Piece 2: victorian jacket This handmade velvet jacket with lace trimmings signifies the importance of mourning during the Victorian era. After the death of Prince Albert, Queen Victoria mourned the death of her husband; England mourned with her and so began a strict etiquette for mourning both relatives and royalty, which included particular clothing that was appropriate for the mourning and half-mourning periods. The shine to the velvet and decoration on this jacket would not have been acceptable for the initial deep mourning stage, however in the later stages of bereavement, widowers were allowed to adorn in more lustrous fabrics with intricate detail. Lace was highly valued and, like velvet, was a luxury denoting wealth. The colour black has connotations of death, so mourning clothes were dyed to symbolise spiritual darkness. This ritual continues today, with orthodox funeral dress being fully black clothing.


Piece 3: Utility dress This dress is more than a piece of clothing; it is a piece of history. It was made under Britain’s post-war Utility Clothing Scheme. Labelled with the official CC41 (Controlled Commodity) logo, the garment had to meet the strict specifications of the rationing rules. All clothing was stripped of its luxuries in order to aid the struggling economy and conserve the shorty supply of materials. So while it may look like a pretty summer dress, its details are actually minimal. There is little to no decorative appeal, with the exception of colour. Even the amount of buttons and fastenings were reduced to as little as necessary. Patches of fabric were also sewn into the seams under the arms to enable its wearer to remove and wash them, thus extending the life of the garment for years to come.


The uprising of ethical style Fabulous designers such as Zandra Rhodes and Stella McCartney are making sustainability desirable. Chapter looks at how brands are making fairtrade fashion a thing of the future Words: Hayley Rorrison

Fashion ethics and sustainability are hot topics at the moment. Slow fashion is on the rise and some designers are doing everything they can to produce garments in a sustainable manner. Zandra Rhodes is one of them. This exuberant fashion and textile designer collaborated with the fairtrade brand People Tree. Together they have created a fashionable and exquisite collection called the ‘Happy Women.’ Zandra and Safia researched every aspect involved in the creation of the six different dresses for the ‘Happy Women’ collection. They visited organic cotton farmers and artisan designers from all over the world. Safia explains: “We put people and the planet central to everything we do. Our garments are made with integrity and respect to the people who have made them and the planet.”

Meanwhile, Zandra created the designs for the collection during the 1960s, near the time of her graduation. The prints had never been made into garments before, but when Safia saw them she was inspired to put the artwork onto new modern-day silhouettes using ethical fabrics. “I am really happy to be working with ethical fashion and it’s got a very deep meaning,” Zandra tells us. “You can still produce wonderfully fashionable things and have the right morals in heart.” However, they’re not alone in the world of Eco Luxe fashion. Peter Melchett, policy director of the Soil Association revealed: “Sales of organic cotton are growing globally. The last figures show there is a rise in growth of over 10 per cent.” High street store H&M has also taken big steps towards sustainable fashion. The CEO


I am really happy to be working with ethical fashion… it’s got a very deep meaning

of the brand, Karl-Johan Persson, has made Upcycling old clothes an objective for the brand to reach within the near future. He wants it to be possible for suppliers to discuss fair wages and working conditions, alongside ensuring the creation of the garments has minimal impact on the environment. “Our vision is that all our operations should be run in a way that is economically, social and environmentally sustainable. To help us achieve this vision, we have set seven ambitious commitments; provide fashion for conscious customers, choose and reward responsible partners, be ethical, be climate smart, reduce, reuse, recycle; use natural resources responsibly and strengthen communities.” EcoLuxe London is also in favour of ethical fashion. The non-profit organisation showcased at London Fashion Week for the first time this year. Described as the “only exhibition in the UK that showcases and promotes eco luxury as a lifestyle,” EcoLuxe London supports ecological designers by showcasing everything from garments, jewellery, hats and footwear. The vision is to “…create an international platform that promotes luxury with an ethos and become the destination for showcasing and the promotion of sustainable luxury.” Meanwhile, eco-friendly designer Stella McCartney has collaborated with Adidas and created an eco-Sport fashion range also featured at London Fashion Week earlier this year. The designer showcased swimwear, a running kit and gym wear within the collection. Ideal for the continuing sportswear-inspired macro trend. Eco-friendly, sustainable materials are slowly stealing the show, all thanks to great-minded fashion designers, designer brands and the newly launched Fashion Revolution Day. Here’s hoping ethical fashion will continue to blossom further and to make the fashion world a more environmentally friendly place.

– zandra rhodes


DedicATed FOllOwers of fashion ‘’I have style, elegance and individuality,’’ you say. ‘’Just another fashionista,’’ they say. Has the social construction of the fashion follower lost its original charm and appeal? Words: Lucia Tarrant Illustrations: Stephanie Churcher The status of the fashion icon has been ever-evolving, beginning in the early days with the aristocracy, to the rise of the celebrity and bloggers. But now with the blogosphere expanding further – particularly with the upsurge of fashion studies – anyone can earn fashion icon status. Thanks to social media platforms such as Tumblr and Twitter, the social status that came with previous generation of fashion followers and icons is losing its elite appeal. To be considered a ‘proper’ fashion follower, there seems to be a set of stereotypical requirements that one must adhere to. Now of course, we cannot all make it to Fashion Week, so a Macbook Pro is a must to watch the shows online. Secondly, one

must be ‘in the know’ of the current fashion lingo on the scene, from buzzwords to the names of every Mulberry bag. Thirdly, a Canon Digital Camera and 2,000 followers on Instagram are the final and most crucial requirements to complete the look. The pedestal was once set much higher by a crowd of glamorous celebrities and film stars, significantly Audrey Hepburn. Her role as Holly Golightly in the 1950s film Breakfast at Tiffany’s defined the actress forevermore and the bar was set for the ultimate fashion follower. Today, it’s a social media following that seems to serve as the “fashionable” credit. Fashion followers are losing grip of their desire to be different. The allure with Audrey was that the actress


“The rise of technology and social media has enabled the young generation to submerge themselves in fashion and gain admirers, almost gaining an online celebrity status”

celebrity status,” she explains. “I do not believe I am part of this ‘fashionista’ crowd. For them it is more of a religion or a ritual, but I don’t follow trends every day.” Is this insinuating that perhaps the fashion follower is socially constructed and adapted to the times, and this ‘fashionista’ status is acquired through conforming to the fast-paced, social media movement? The wave of young bloggers may be the beginning of a new generation of social media celebrities but with 101 ways to share and find fashion, it is proving more difficult to be individual. These days, the fashion icons who are the Sid Vicious’ of Punk, the John Lennons’ of Hippie culture and the Adam Ants’ of New Romanticism, are the likes of infamous fashion blogger Susie Bubble of, muse and television presenter Alexa Chung and models of the moment Suki Waterhouse and Ms Cara Delevingne. These folks and their entourages are the fashion elites of the 21st century. Their Instagram and Twitter feeds are followed by thousands; and with bags, books and shoes named after them, these are the modern-day Holly Golightlys, equipped with cult followings and iconic status. Bloggers, take note.

was a one-off, a rarity, and icon. Sarah JessicaParker’s character in Sex and the City also enticed a huge following as another trendsetter and the crème de la crème of a modern-day icon. But what do some of today’s fashion followers think about being part of the popularised and ever-growing blogosphere? Do they still feel individual? Eve Fisher is a 23-year-old Fashion Marketing graduate who is in the midst of expanding her personal fashion blog. “I do believe that there is a large fashion following that has stemmed solely from appearance. The rise technology and social media has enabled a younger generation to submerge themselves in fashion and even gain an online




A series of Kandinsky-inspired still lifes portraying fashion’s typical ideals of global culture BRITISH British culture is a vibrant playground of mix-and-match, a quality that the UK’s fashion industry prides itself most. It’s what makes Barbour jackets and Oxford shoes so very classic. It is fair to admit that our typical weather does not quite reflect the aforementioned vibrancy; however, from the outside looking in, Britain is the heart of bad weather and impeccable style.

Words: Asha Patel Fashion direction: Asha Patel and Terri Waters Photography: Elise Kerr and Hayley Rorrison 41

AMERICAN America, for us, is all plaid shirts, converse and of course, the ‘movies’. Think Tommy Hilfiger meets Karl Lagerfeld’s cowboy collection. Hosting one of the biggest Fashion Weeks in the world, America is undoubtedly a heartland of the industry. The American Dream goes beyond a national ethos; it resides within the denim of Levis and the Ralph Lauren logo.




FRENCH Nothing says France better than Breton stripes and ballet pumps. While history, art and design play such a huge role in French culture; from a fashionable point of view, it is easy to boil “Frenchness� down to a few beautifully classic items. Chanel and silk scarves paint a romantic picture of Parisian bliss.



JAPANESE Japan has brought us some of the world’s most talented designers and artists. From a world so far from us, we know this Eastern side of Asia through fashion, food and TV. Here the national symbol that is the Kimono takes form as a bomber jacket as fashion adapts and recycles meaning. In colour, taste and intricacy of design; Japan harbours a depth and elegance like no other.


INDIAN India is the dark horse of the fashion world; with a growing economy and rising fashion market, the country’s influence is inevitable. A richness runs through soft silks and chiffons of a sari, a richness that can only be described as the true colours of Indian tradition. We see summer festivals and the swinging 1960s in paisley prints and gemmed necklaces, but beneath lies a national heritage.



culture on the catwalk Cultural appropriation has been the stuff of designer’s sketch books for many years, but is it right to commodify something that isn’t ours to do so? Words: Megan Danskine

The pre-Autumn/Winter catwalks of 201213 saw Karl Lagerfeld unveil his ParisBombay Métiers d’Art collection in all of its glory at the Grand Palais in Paris. Inspired by India, models such as Stella Tennant, Amber Le Bon and her mother walked the circular runway in metallic evening gowns cut to look like saris, classic Chanel tweed jackets with Nehru collars and traditional French silhouettes decorated with elaborate Indian jewellery. With banquet tables lining the runway that were lavishly laden with fruit, flowers and even a small silver train carrying crystal decanters to the guests, the Grand Palais had also undergone quite the Maharaja transformation. In the days following the show, the fashion media praised Lagerfeld for paying homage to India, seeing the collection as a reminder of how Europe’s fashion industry often turns to India to facilitate the production of extravagant handmade items when it is not possible to do so at home. “It’s more inspiring not to go to places than to go,” Lagerfeld told journalists in response to the fact he has never been to India, “fantasy is better than reality.” That may be so, but surely that would mean he hasn’t seen Indian culture in its truest form? By drawing on an ‘idea’ of India is he not reinforcing stereotypes and ignoring other

aspects of the culture that may not fit with his image of what India is? We all take inspiration from somewhere. Whether it is a new hairstyle or the next best outfit, it is in our nature to see something we like - be it on a friend or in a photograph of a celebrity - and to recreate it. Western society has for a long time been obsessed by different cultures. Explorers have travelled the world to investigate new and exciting places and to immerse themselves amongst those who live there. Artists and designers continuously use other cultures as muses, referencing them within their work and museums exhibit interesting artefacts from distant lands, so it isn’t uncommon to see the influences of other countries and cultures in both high street and high end stores. According to cultural theory, difference has always been something we are attracted to. The late Stuart Hall suggested that we know what it is to be British or Western, not only because of certain national characteristics (namely, perhaps, the Wellington boot), but because “we can mark its ‘difference’ from others”. In simplified terms ‘others’ are fascinating to Western culture because they are different. They have different traditions, religions, ideas and looks, all of which are dissimilar to the social norms that we are


It’s more inspiring not to go to places than to go… fantasy is better than reality

used to, which in turn make them interesting and attractive to us. Of course, Lagerfeld is just one of many big names in fashion to have drawn on a culture different from his own to inspire his designs. Yves Saint Laurent’s landmark African Queen collection of 1967 featured shift dresses made from raffia, shells and wooden beads and was described at the time by Harper’s Bazaar as “a fantasy of primitive genius”. Among others such as Jean Paul Gaultier and more recently Burberry, John Galliano has also referenced both African and Indian culture in his couture and ready-to-wear collections. His 2003 ready-to-wear Spring/ Summer collection had models draped in swathes of sari-style material, wearing exaggerated Indian head jewellery over painted blue faces. It is clear why we enjoy taking inspiration from other cultures. The beauty of traditional Indian dress gives the feel of something exotic as it is so far away from the Western norms of jeans and t-shirts, yet it does raise questions when, really, it isn’t ours to take or change. The appropriated ideas of leading designers trickle down to the high streets and all too frequently we see Indian head dresses or hand jewellery taken out of context and commodified. Currently we can see a huge variety of ornamental tikkas being sold for very little so that teens can feel like they’re on trend and in-line with the designers who first put the items on the catwalks. Such cultural appropriation has, on occasion, received backlash from the cultures that items were stolen from. Last year H&M was forced to remove Native American-style feathered headdresses from its stores across Canada after they were deemed culturally insensitive by people of Native American descent. “Bindis and head dresses should not be sold in Primark or Topshop allowing people to wear them to festivals or to nightclubs thinking that

– Karl Lagerfeld

they are alternative and indie when the purpose of a bindi, or tikka depending on which part of India it has been taken from, is a celebratory accessory mainly used for brides at weddings,” claims Poonam Agate, a model for Asian Bride and Asian Woman magazines. “I think it can be refreshing and engaging when designers take inspiration from Indian culture, making it contemporary and fresh. However, some designers have a tendency to overdo it and by not doing their research and using certain items out of context or in an exaggerated way it makes a mockery of the classic and respected heritage it originally came from.” Some say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. However cultural appropriation (or misappropriation as is sometimes the case with those who don’t do their research) through drawing on stereotypes and ideas of another culture, rather than visiting and discovering the meanings behind particular staples and traditions of somewhere like India can make for a shallow design concept. Collections referencing other cultures are pushed out to the masses who cannot engage with what they buy because they’re not told of the meanings behind the inspired pieces. Instead the stereotypical ideas that we, in Western society, have of that culture are simply reinforced. Perhaps the fashion media should explore further into the rich Indian culture that Karl Lagerfeld managed to design a whole collection around, having never visited the country, because through his and other designers collections we learn nothing of other cultures but what the designer wants us to see. 51

The SpacE oF FearlEss ARt Bianca Caministeanu delves into the unknown and fascinating world of photographer Bergina Leka

All photos Š Bergina Leka


Most people assume that taking photographs is fast and easy - indeed, why shouldn’t it be? Especially now with accessible and affordable technology as well as Facebook, Instagram and other kinds of digital platforms that have the power to solve all your problems with the click of a button. Still, how do you make a photo truly stand out and what is the connection between art and photography? Enter Bergina Leka, a Southampton-based photographer. There is more to her than meets the eye; an optimist with a refreshing view on photography. When taking photos, she believes life is beautiful and full of possibilities. The moment she left Albania, Bergina started a challenging journey in which she discovered more than she could have ever expected.

“In all my photos, you will see small parts of my life. There was a time when I was trying to achieve something and there was a time when I wanted to be in a dream” ‘‘When I left Albania at just 17, I knew nothing about the world. Albania was a very poor country at the time, my father had lost his job so we couldn’t spend money on culture or anything else. All the money we had went on food. But I wanted more in my life so I moved to Italy. Whilst studying, I worked to explore Italy and find the beauty in it.’’ In between questions and answers, Bergina talks passionately about photography and her past experiences, “rebuilding reality” through the recollection of incredible memories that will transport you to Italy or Germany. “In all my photos, you will see small parts of my life,” Bergina explains. “There was a time when I was trying to achieve something and there was a time when I wanted to be in a dream.’’


You experienced great poverty as a child so how did you start taking photographs?

Well, I need to tell you something very strange about my life. When I was living in Albania we had no cameras, so all my photos from when I was a kid were made in a photography studio when we had something to celebrate. But then I went to Germany for the first time and I asked my parents if they could buy me something like a small camera, so that I could take some photos. That was the beginning of everything because my parents said: ‘OK, we will buy you three films. Every film has 36 photographs, so this should be enough for you.’ I thought it wasn’t, so I brought back seven. I had this big passion to capture everything.

What inspires you?

I live by the philosophy ‘La Vita e Bella’ which means life is beautiful, so everything that is alive and natural inspires me. ‘La Vita e Bella’ reminds me that I must find the beauty, the happiness and the courage to go forward because life is so incredible. My inspirations are people, buildings, flowers, everything.

“When I take a photo I am creating it, building it. I am showing everybody my point of view; how I have experienced a moment, but I never close it”

What do you wish to express through your work?

That depends on what kind of images I do. When I photograph people, I try to capture a feeling. But, when I photograph buildings, cities or landscapes, I try to find another way to see things because a photographer should have a 360-degree view. He must look up, down, left, right so everywhere and this is what I try to tell people. Not just lines, but to make them think about where the lines can take them.

What does construction mean to you and how do you incorporate it in your work?

Construction is, for me, not just a process which consists in building, but it is also a process of understanding, interpreting and explaining. So yes, when I take a photo I am


creating it, building it. I am showing everybody my point of view; how I have experienced a moment, but I never close it. I leave my photos open so that other people can identify themselves or see something different from me. The construction in photography is also the wait… you know, most parts of photos are fragments of life shorter than a second. To catch it you must wait until all the elements that you want to put in your photo enter in synchrony to each other. Everything should become harmonic.

What is, in your opinion, the connection between art and photography?

Both photographers and painters speak with images. Art motivates people because an artist catches the spirit of the time and I think that is the way it has always been and it will always be like this.

What is your view on deconstruction being a form of rebellion in fashion?

How do you usually produce and deliver your photos?

If by produce you mean editing, I use ‘Lightroom’ normally, which is very fast . I use ‘Photoshop’ very little, just to make photo montages. Editing is very important. I spent two years trying to make the perfect photo from my camera and it isn’t possible. I wish I knew the importance of editing in the beginning. I’ve tried to deliver my work personally, but now I’m trying to do it online. I think the future will be digital, so I’m trying to improve my and knowledge in digital marketing.’’

“Construction deconstruction are like life and death, like light and dark: they must stay together; they are a process. This process brings us change, improvement and innovation”

Well, it is a rebellion as it is against the status quo and what is traditional. They strip away the aesthetic illusion associated with clothes to reveal the forms of construction that lie beneath. Now, for sure, it is a form of rebellion, but they are creating a new fashion too. We normally see what we know and we know what we see. Sometimes we must go out of the lines because it is the only possible way to experiment and find new paths. “Destroying” and deconstructing what we have around shows us another point of view. Deconstruction, yes, is a kind of rebellion but I like to see it in a positive way. Construction and deconstruction are like life and death, like light and dark: they must stay together; they are a process. This process brings us change, improvement and innovation. So, yes… I am not against it, I simply accept it as a part of all.

What makes notable?



People see different things sometimes; what is great for you may not be for other people. But what all the artists have in common is that they have caught a specific moment, which is unique and they transmit a real feeling in that. It can be irony, love, happiness, sadness, it can be anything. If a photo transmits something really unique, it will be amazing.

If your life was a photo, how would it look?

A photo where I am always with my suitcase and travelling from one place to another. Travelling helps in any way, at any time and when we travel everything we see is new. For me, the best place to photograph is a place where you feel comfortable.

What projects are you looking forward to in the future?

I have an exhibition coming up in Winchester. That’s a future project. I really think there should be more opportunities for people to exhibit their work. It’s very important to have your work in a gallery or to have places for young people to work. It’s very healthy, like a therapy because it keeps you going.


ThE INNEr WorKings

We are constantly surrounded by objects, but because we use them every day we may overlook how technical they are. By looking at all of their various parts, these photographers are reminding people of the work that goes into items we take for granted

Words: Bryony Lathbury

Things Come Apart Š Todd McLellan


A unique take on still-life photography has arisen, in which objects are taken apart and laid out with every component visible. This new way of visualising objects enables us to be creative and see familiar devices in a new light. These photographs remind us that there is more to an object than just the end product and that a lot of detail is involved in the construction of even the smallest of items.

were all perfectly functional objects that needed life brought back into them in some way.” He unscrews, takes apart and deconstructs items to view every single element. Todd has dismantled items such as bikes, phones, alarm clocks and chainsaws. His idea showcases objects in their simplest forms; a viewpoint that many are not familiar with. For Todd it is “the curiosity of how things work and the need to photograph them mashed together.”

“The curiosity of how things work”

Todd McLellan is one of the leading photographers that has introduced us to this unfamiliar way of perceiving iconic items. Graduating in 2002 from Alberta College of Art & Design in Canada with a -Todd McLellan bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts, he is well-known for his project Disassembly which mainly focused on vintage gadgets. Todd then furthered his idea and created a project called Things Come Apart. This collection of photographs includes a wider range of dissected objects. His project was so admired by the public that a book of his images was published by Hudson and Thames in May 2013.

Two styles of photos are taken for each object. In the first, Todd precisely lays nuts, bolts, wires and more onto a white backdrop in neat rows and takes the shot from above. In a second image, the components are photographed as though they are floating in mid-air – achieved by the parts being dropped from a platform in the studio. To describe his reasoning for taking two images, Todd states: “I always loved assembly diagrams, like a mechanical object would have… I just laid them out in the most simple way. Although simple, there is a formula I like to stay with and that is to represent how the object came apart.” This layout is effective because it shows the complexity of the original design. He describes the contrast between the two as “One organised photograph and one photograph set free.”

Todd explains: “The project began years ago as a collection of things started to build up in my office. They



constructs large-scale posters from. Gabriel goes on to describe that it takes him “about three hours to take apart [the objects] and three hours to then take the photographs”. This time-consuming endeavour takes a lot of concentration and patience to ensure none of the parts are broken and to carefully compose extraordinary arrangements.

Similarly Gabriel Menashe, a photographer and photo-editor from Israel, focuses on vintage artefacts and has photographed the likes of Canon Cameras and Sony Walkmans. Gabriel’s collection of photographs is titled Taking Apart, which he also has a website devoted to.

Opposite Page and above © Gabriel Menashe - Taking Apart

“The objects I buy are usually old, I give them a new life”

Gabriel explains why he decided to dismantle objects and photograph them: “I am a photographer, and in this project I find a way to realise some of my loves such as flea markets, and purchasing vintage stuff and of course photography. I feel that I respect the objects and as most of the objects I buy are usually old, I feel that I give them a new life and the end result is a beautiful poster.”

One of Gabriel’s most technical -Gabriel Menashe photographs is of a Minolta Hi-Matic-E camera, which shows viewers just how many intricate parts make up the device. The aerial view makes it easy for viewers to imagine the object as a whole in its more recognisable shape. Sometimes when we see items in their simplest forms, it allows us to view them from a new and different perspective. This style of photography challenges us to realise the greater depths that go beyond what we can see.

The unwanted gadgets found at flea markets are put to a unique use to create mesmerising images that he



Deputy Editor Marie Attfield Art Editor Elise Kerr

Designer Emma Gray

Editor Asha Patel

Fashion Editor Terri Waters

Senior Designer Laura Klonowska Production Editor Megan Danskine

Senior Staff Writer & Photographer Hayley Rorrison Sub Editor Bryony Lathbury Staff Writer Luci Burgess-Farwell Picture Editor Suzi King


Adeeba Faheem, Anait Grigoryan, Bianca MinodoraCaministeanu, Emma Cutter, Hannah McIntyre, Lucia Tarrant, Reanne Walker and Stephanie Churcher

Special thanks to:

Donna Bevan, Gino Sprio, Laura & Damian Santamaria

get in touch:


CHAPTEr construction & & deconstruction


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.