The Birth Issue AUTUMN/WINTER 2012
LETTRE DE LA ÉDITEUR There is a serious issue facing the world that needs to be addressed. It’s connected to Choupette Lagerfeld, to Anna Dello Russo and Patrick Pope, but it also filters down to normal people, like you. Yes that’s right, I am talking about … pomposity. It’s making people behave in peculiar ways. We are reminiscing about the 90s, we tweet instead of text and some people are even forgetting to change out of their pyjamas before they go to work. I seem to have remained immune, but what I have realised is that all this extra colour flying around the world, really does make me smile. And in some ways it makes me feel more like, me. The added pomp in the world should be celebrated. It’s about individuality and uniformity, but most of all its about drama. The world can be a little cloudy sometimes and so these personalities are here to remind you to have fun. POMPOUS Magazine is a journey into the weird and wonderful world of fashion. I may have gone a little too far and found myself stuck under a bell jar for a little while, but I’m back. This is what I saw…
THE D I G I TA L DIRECTOR A boy with a pompous vision and a camera http://stavrosagapiou.tumblr.com
THE SHOPPING PAGE
PETA VS FASHION WEEK An pompous opinion
TRENDS Fashion’s newest rules to break
TOYS Pompous finds out about the intimate relationship between girl, and her vibrating toys
IS FASHION ART? Pompous speaks to those in the industry to answer the age old question.
THE FEMININE EFFECT An interview with photographer Anna Bloda about meeting Terry Richardson and why she’s attracted to girls.
SEEING DOUBLE Inspired by London’s derelict, pompous shows the men what to wear this season. Photography by ST.AG
THE HUNTER S. THOMPSON OF FASHION An essay that discusses the fabulous P’Trique and his influence on fashion and social media.
FACTORY GIRL Going out the night before is no excuse. Pomposity isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. A womenswear story photographed by ST.AG.
MY GUCCI WATCH SAVED MY LIFE POMPOUS speaks to the woman who’s life was changed for the better, after getting her favourite accessory.
LONDON’S NEWEST CLUB KIDS There’s a warehouse rave happening. Not all of you are invited... But Meadham Kirchhoff and Louise Gray have the party favors sorted.
THE RISE OF MAXIMALIST A look into the world of jewellery with designers such as Maria Francesca Pepe, Sarah Angold and E.A. Burns.
I’M THE NARRATOR OF THE STORIES Frankie Leone is a hipstermatic writer from Williamsburg. POMPOUS caught up with him to find out what its like being cool.
WHAT THE POMP? What is pomposity? Really? Dal Chodha, editor of B Magazine, says he has the answers.
Pomposity surrounds the fashion industry. Those who live, work and play within it are over-exaggerated, but it makes them interesting. Making your mark in this world is no easy feat. There are many ways to make it big, which all involve a large dollop of hard work, but they’re not always fun. If you really want to make it big, but don’t want to work the extra hours, follow these POMPOUS Commandments. These rules are not for the faint-hearted, but nor is fashion, they are however, easier to do then intern. Good luck, you’ll need it; we don’t let just anybody in.
1. No publicity, is bad publicity 2. Never be seen drinking anything other than champagne 3. Never wear all black to a fashion show, otherwise they’ll think you’re PR 4. Avoid Primark like the plague 5. If your not sample size, try to be 6. Make sure to be seen in each Fashion corner of London, not just Shoreditch High Street 7. Heels less than 6 inches are not heels, they’re flats, and shouldn’t be worn after 6pm 8. Say chic, not cool 9. If you ever pronounce a designer’s name wrong – God forbid – just say you are friends with said designer, and that’s actually how you say it 10. Follow absolutely everyone in the industry on twitter, and retweet everything they say 11. When trying to get photographed for a street-style blog at fashion week, bigger is always better. Wear your puppy on your head if you have to. Google Anna Dello Russo for inspiration 12. Never wear the same thing twice. If you do, never tweet or post it on Facebook 13. Stalk Susie Bubble. Befriend her if possible 14. Vogue is not your bible. READ OTHER MAGAZINES 15. Read The Language of Fashion by Roland Bartes and try not to fall asleep.16. Start a blog about your daily life. Hire a photographer, editor and writers if you can 17. #TOTESAMAZE 18. Owning a pair of Manolo Blahniks does not make you Carrie Bradshaw 19. Don’t call a woman healthy, that means fat in this industry 20. Make sure your bio on Twitter reads: Fashion Stylist/Writer/Photographer/Designer/Blogger/ Director & DJ 21.Never wear last season Topshop, we will know 22. You can only wear you hair in a ponytail once a week 23. Just because its legitimate vintage, doesn’t mean its chic. 24. You’ll know when you make it, because you’ll be in the front row. If you’re not in the front two rows, you don’t matter.
Karl Largefeld Black Diamond & Hydrothermal Emerald-Embellished Suede Collar, £29,000 net-a-porter.com
Tom Ford Private Blend Noir de Noir eau de parfum 250ml, £300 selfridges.com
Bless N°36 Duofringeglasses, aprox £150 blesswebshop.com
Women Chanel Resin, Wood & Fibreglass Snowboard, POA Chanel.com
Oribe 24k Gold Pomade 50ml, £47 uk.spacenk.com
Everything You Need, IS EV
If Six Was Nine Assymetric Blazer, £1579 farfetch.com
Agent Provocateur Alina Babydoll, £345 agentprovocateur.com
Givency Mink Snapback Cap, £1335 ln-cc.com
Grado Lab GS1000i Headphones, £1,150 ln-cc.com
A.P.C. x Aesop Post-Poo Drops, £25 Exclusive to A.P.C. & Aesop stores
Ilil Mirror Ball Helmet, £460 farfetch.com
Men Derek Rose Embroidered Silk Dressing Gown, £810 mrporter.com
Willfry ‘Air-Yeezy’ Tee, $90,300 shop.wilfry.com/limited-tee
VERYTHING YOU WANT
Zagliani Volo Ostrich Bag, £6395 luisaviaroma.com
Cartier Grand Complication Pocketwatch, POA Cartier.com
James Long Quilted Leather & Wool Jacket, £1,500 brownsfashion.com
PETA vs Fashion Week I’ve been a vegetarian for years now, seven to be exact. Although technically I’m a pescetarian as I eat fish. It’s not that I disagree with the killing of animals I just don’t like meat. I even tried being a vegan once, but ended up eating too many carbs, so that was thrown out immediately. My diet choices, as you can probably tell, have nothing to do with the welfare of animals – I cook meat, I just don’t eat it. I wear leather and if I saw a beautiful fur coat, I would buy it; I wouldn’t toss it aside for moral reasons. Again, that’s just me. I understand peoples choices and opinions on these matters, but as a student of fashion; someone obsessed with designers, when I see a leather See by Chloe purse, I see a beautifully soft-to-touch piece of design that I want, which probably costs more money than I will ever be able to put in it. What I don’t see is the cow that was killed to make it. The world of fashion has always been split over the fur debate. In February I received an email from PETA, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Foundation telling me about the first anti-leather campaign which was launched ahead of London Fashion Week which had Stella McCartney as its ambassador. They were urging fashionistas to shed not only fur but also leather with a viral video exposé of the skins trade, hosted by McCartney. “As a designer, I like to work with fabrics that don’t bleed; that’s why I avoid all animal skins”, said McCartney in the video. She went on to plea with the fashion obsessed to “please join me in exploring the huge variety of fashionable shoes, belts, purses and wallets that aren’t the product of a cow’s violent death.” Now I understand that the killing of animals in a cruel way is horrible, but aren’t the battery farms filled with feather-less chickens just as bad? Recent campaigns have featured less popular celebrities. One that caught my eye, was Lauren Goodger, from The Only Way Is Essex clan, who can be found on their website in a rather compromising position; covered in body make-up to give the allusion of scales. Now whatever message they are trying to portray, which is obviously against the cruelty of skinning animals for fashion, is completely lost on me due to the campaigner who is using the good cause as modes for personal gain; trying to heighten her fame. Speaking with a PETA representative, they tell me that they will be running a similar campaign this spring/summer 2013 Fashion Week in September, which bodes the question, if it didn’t work then, why will it work now? If you are planning on starting an anti-animal cruelty campaign I think a target audience of Alexander Wang bags and Christian Louboutin Heel owners is the wrong place to start. These fashion loving individuals, some of whom wear fur, are sure as hell not going to give up their platform heels and oversized totes because someone like Stella McCartney said so. Unless of course there is the chance they might get a piece from her autumn/ winter 2012 collection. I think it’s great to feel this passionate about a cause and to have someone influential backing it. I do hope they raise awareness, but actually being able to turn London Fashion Week against leather might just be too far out of reach. Even for a McCartney.
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POMPOUS: TRENDS Our edit of the Autumn/ Winter key trends youâ€™ll be wearing
Dolce & Gabbana
LITTLE BOW CHIC
Many designers looked to the darker side of fashion. Even designers such as Alexander Wang, Dolce & Gabbana and even Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel were working out their inner angst. But it was Gareth Pugh, the dark king himself, Jean Paul Gaultier and Frida Giannini at Gucci that won best in show. Frida Giannini used a lot of velvet to give her princess pure opulence, where as Gareth Pugh toyed with leather. The leather coat with built in full skirt showed that no goth needs to be frumpy. Of course, Jean Paul Gaultier brought sex appeal to the table with his lace and leather combinations. Whatever mood your in, there was a gothic ensemble to match this season.
Often we see designers influenced by famous characters and icons. There was a lot of 20’s gangster energy this season, due to the remake of The Great Gatsby, but one we didn’t see coming was Little Bow Peep. Well known for her innocent and pretty silhouettes, why didn’t someone think of her sooner? Mary Katrantzou took the baby doll dress and made it her own, stamping her famous prints and creating little button sleeves to match. Alexander McQueen showcased a Little Bow Peep from the future, with a full A-line layered dress, with matching crop-top and puffy sleeves; topped off with alien sunglasses. Dolce and Gabbana made her modern, showing a lot of leg and peasant style blouse. The only thing missing from these looks, her little lamb.
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This season, print likes company. Pairing matching designs head to toe is the only way to work it. Agi & Sam’s first ever catwalk show at the Fashion East MAN installations, showcased their print on print Linton Tweed creations. Versace played with primary colours of unapologetic motifs blasted on to denim jackets and jeans. Other designers such as Alexander McQueen also kept the trend alive with a blue winged suit, but it was Dries Van Noten, the young Belgian designer that took it to the next level. His prints do more than just match; they tell us a story, described by the man himself as ‘psychedelic elegance.’ Call it what you will, but it looks like those trousers are on acid. Get me some of that.
Dries Van Noten
Agi & Sam
BIGGER IS ALWAYS BETTER It’s an age-old question; does size matter? These designers’ are certainly making up for something with their over-sized silhouettes. Thom Browne goes all-American jock with his highschool drop out collection. Over-emphasized shoulder pads kept the big spirit alive, especially with this Frankenstein of American football look. Rick Owens went big in leather. His leather trench, with awkward length trousers to match and boots, seems to be missing a fishing rod and bucket, but we’ve certainly managed to forgive him. Also making excuses for his penis was Shaun Samson, another designer working his way up the London fashion ranks. His hip-hop inspired collection featured many loose styles and bulky shapes, carried out with a concentrated colour palate and all with an element of fun.
3.1 Phillip Lim
“I’VE GOT MAN SHOULDERS”
There was a lot of hat action on the catwalks this autumn/winter, both Louis Vuitton and Marc Jacobs displayed some over-seized creations, and Hermes and Ralph Lauren gave us their own versions of the trilby. Other designers however, were taking the trend in a whole different direction. Both Charlotte Ronson and Rick Owens decided to create a head-piece more in line with that of what a rugby player might wear in the scrum. Perfect for a messy night out we think. Giles Deacon pushed it even further with his first look. He channelled ‘Le Smoking’ with his suit, but it was what was going on above the neck that had us intrigued. He presented a black mask, with overgrown feathers, perfect for scaring other birds of prey away.
We were under the impression that having man shoulders was a bad thing. But seeing these brands strut them down the runway quickly changed our minds. More than just an over-sized or boyfriend-fit silhouette, this trend focuses its energy on a body part sometimes forgotten. The emphasis of these pieces, be them a neon green jumper at Acne or a blue cropped jacket at Haider Ackermann, is just below the neck. Take the sleeves from the eighties; give them a modern minimalist look, without the deflation and you get the idea. With such a heavy top, we think this look is best paired with a skinny bottom half, just like the styling on Acne and 3.1 Phillip Lim’s catwalk show.
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One accessory seen all over the autumn/winter catwalks was the baseball cap. Le cap is a simple piece of millinery craftsmanship that is usually overlooked by high-end designers. But with the trickle up of street-style, more and more high-end brands are adding this little gem to their collections. This season we saw designers such as Lanvin, Dior Homme and Alexander Wang all creating a similar look, pairing the cap with formal suits to create a new aesthetic. Wang kept to his traditional minimalism, Kris Van Assche did it all in one colour at Dior Homme whereas the boys at DsquaredÂ˛ were a bit more playful. Dean and Dan Caten added le cap to a more comfy looking ensemble â€“ a two piece jersey tracksuit.
Looks like a few designers have their minds in the gutter this season. Influenced by some very bad boys, designers such as Givenchy, Jeremy Scott and Lanvin all presented us with stripes, while J.W. Anderson gave us the monotone chequered behindbars jumper. This trend is not to be confused with the candy cotton stripes on the spring/summer 2012 catwalks, no this time their bigger, bolder and much bader. Jeremy Scott convinced us of his bad-boy status in multi-colour, while Riccardo Tisci at Givenchy and Alber Elbaz at Lanvin did it in a two-tone palette.
POMPOUS TOYS We speak to one girl, about her first orgasm, her relationship with vibrators and whether theyâ€™re a feminist invention. iNTERVIEW WITH LOUISE PARKER
“The first orgasm I ever had was with a vibrator. It was that initial OH! That’s what all the fuss is about!” This September see’s the release of Hysteria. Based around Mortimer Granville’s story of how he invented the first vibrator in the name of medical science. Any film with vibrating toys is always high on our list, but this movie featuring stars such as Maggie Gyllenhaal, Felicity Jones, Sheridan Smith and Rupert Everett is sure to be educational. Set in the repressed Victorian era, the film depicts the management of “hysteria,” a then popular diagnosis of women displaying an array of symptoms including nervousness, insomnia, exhaustion, depression, cramps, and sexual frustration. Don’t you just adore the Victorian notion of killing depression with masturbation? Maybe The Rabbit should be prescribed by the NHS? That feeling of self-pride after climaxing would be sure to rid those with minor symptoms, we say free toys for us all. The relationship between girl and toy is a precious one. But what have we learned by playing with ourselves? Louise Parker is a girl not afraid to speak her mind, so we wanted to find out what such an open girl would tell us about her gadgets. When did you get your first vibrator? I was first interested in and had my first experience with vibrators at seventeen but it wasn’t until I was 19 that I purchased my first one - after many viewings of the videos of them in action on the Ann Summers website… thank you student loan.
What vibrators do you have? At the moment I have a Rampant Rabbit Platinum Plus and a recent favourite is actually part of a ‘2 way cock ring’ I bought before I hooked up with a guy I was seeing at the time. I found that taking the bullet sized vibrating part out of the rubber circle is great for deep clitoral stimulation. Do you give them nicknames? Roger… Roger Rabbit. Not very original I know, but at nineteen I clearly was a novice and it was the best one I could come up with! I think I might have to get a bit more creative with the next buy… possibly The Hulk? Brad? Leonardo? Well a girl can dream. Have your partners ever been intimidated by your toys? If they have then they’ve never mentioned it. I’m pretty open about masturbating but I don’t broadcast it to every guy that I’m with intimately. Especially if it’s a one-night stand then I don’t find the need to whip it out and ask them to use it. With me it’s more of a private thing. I seem to get the impression that guys think that they need to ‘get it’ or be into it or to find it sexy when actually some of them, especially if it’s a serious partner, doesn’t really get why their girlfriend has to use one.
Have you ever asked a partner to use one of how to get me there. With that being said, now your toys? that I am more confident (thanks to Roger), I don’t think anything can beat two bodies against My first experience with vibrators was with a each other, or a pair of strong arms scooping you partner, and it pains me to admit that looking up and working their way over you. So I suppose back it was more for their pleasure than mine, (I that I enjoy sex more now because of the help won’t be making that mistake again). Since then, I from my toys, but that doesn’t mean I’m willing haven’t asked anyone or been approached to use to give them up just yet. In fact I’m on the prowl one during sex or foreplay. for my next buy… Do you prefer self-pleasure to sex?
How often do you use your vibrators?
That is genuinely t h e It completely depends on how busy I am and how most difficult question I have much time I get to myself. Anything from twice to ever been asked. I can’t answer six times a week. simply… it just depends. I enjoy sex a lot more since I’ve been Would you describe the vibrator as a using vibrators as I have learnt feminist invention? more about my body and senses because of them. In fact the I’ve never actually thought of it like first orgasm I ever had was with that before, but I suppose yes, I a vibrator. It was that initial “OH! would. Having a vibrator definitely That’s what all the fuss is about.” It empowered me to get the kind helped me to explore myself thoroughly. of sex that I want, and let me I now know exactly what I want, how I want know that sex is a two-way street. it and when I want it. That is something that Times have changed and so has I never got from a man, and maybe that’s a woman’s role in sex. It isn’t because I wasn’t confident enough with being all about the man, but I didn’t a bit more dominating and willing to explore realise that until I got Roger and (…oh how times have changed.) This might until I had my first real orgasm. be a combination with getting older Vibrators have allowed women and more experienced, but I to be more liberal and to act now don’t feel the need to lie when a guy on that proudly without being asks me if I’ve orgasmed. I say ‘yes sure I ashamed of having a sex have… twice actually,’ or I’ll tell him drive. So yes, I would say it’s “not yet”, and let him a feminist invention… and a k n o w good one at that.
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Is Fashion Art?
Fashion and art have an incestuous relationship. They relate in terms of seasons and modes of language; techniques and styles come in and out of fashion in the art world just like they do with designers’ collections, and these siblings just can’t help but get into bed together. The relationship is cemented around inspiration. Elsa Schiaparelli and Yves Saint Laurent are just two designers from the 20th century that took art and transformed it into infamous designs. Returning the compliment Artforum Magazine placed an Issey Miyake dress on the cover in 1982. This mutual belief in the other’s greatness became stronger in the later part of the century. Fashion magazines became more artistic, and some such as Self Service and V Magazine even dedicate precious pages to art itself; the boundaries have been blurring ever since. Fashion has been said to be art’s other, but is it an art form in it’s own right? Before answering that, it is important to understand what makes these two worlds collide, what makes their relationship so, intimate. Aesthetics looks to critically reflect on art and culture, to look for the beauty in things. Fashion and art set out to make those objects of beauty - they have that in common. But producing beauty isn’t the main aim; the fashion industry is also a high-flying business. Creative designers are backed by business moguls who know how to sell and although art dealers do a similar job, art is usually made for arts sake. But can one argue that designers such
What makes their relationship so, intimate? as Karl Largefeld are not artists of their craft, even if he doesn’t agree himself. The Chanel designer said recently “if you call yourself an artist, then you are second-rate,” but of course calling himself an artist would make him readily available for more comparisons within a wider industry. One of the latest trends in fashion is to exhibit. Already this year we have seen Louis Vuitton in Paris, Gucci in Florence and Prada vs. Schiaparelli in New York. This autumn you are able to see the famous costume designs from cinema, such as Holly Golightly’s little black dress by Givenchy at the V&A’s latest exhibition Hollywood Costume. You can visit the Fashion & Textile Museum to see the impact of music, art and personality on the fashion of the times in their POP! DESIGN • CULTURE • FASHION show until the end of October. And that’s just in London, The Musee d’Orsay is offering Impressionism and Fashion – Portraits of Society, from September 25 and the Design Museum
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Viktor & Rolf 2008 Retrospective 2ft Dolls
Holon in Israel presents Yohji Yamamoto, from July 4 to October 20. With this rise of fashion exhibitions it must evident fashionâ€™s growing status as an art form, or at least the peopleâ€™s view that it is one. Although these exhibitions gain a lot of press and attention, it seems odd that those in fashion want to spend time and money on a show where the target audience, those interested in fashion, have most likely already seen the clothes being put on display. However, it is also likely that these shows are designed for those not in the fashion industry, but those that still enjoy the craftsmanship that goes into a beautifully designed gown.
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The difference between art shows and fashion exhibitions is grandeur. When one walks into an art gallery we see blank walls and either paintings displayed or a sculpture in the middle, but fashion has to create a dramatic entrance. The House of Viktor & Rolf at the Barbican Art Gallery in 2008, is just one example. Designed by the architect, art historian and curator Siebe Tettero they produced a dramatic installation that took over the entire museum. Alexander McQueen’s spring/summer 2001 catwalk show was as theatrical as they come. Journalists where made to sit and look at themselves in a mirror for two hours before the presentation itself even began. It is these nuances that makes the world of fashion stand out from the rest. One can play the commercial card, and discuss the high street and mass production. Fashion has a way of being accessible to the masses, but with art, it’s slightly different. The art market is small and the deals are done in big sums, so those wanting a way in, have to have the funds to do so. This is one way in which the two industries lean on each other. The players in the art world, not only buy art, but they buy high fashion and vice-versa. You won’t see many art deals being processed by someone wearing H&M. Although the high street is technically part of the fashion industry, they are not mass-produced pieces if art, but copy-cat products of the art that came before them. Walking into Topshop and seeing their latest autumn/ winter 2012 offerings, it’s clear to see influences (albeit too close for comfort) of Mary Katrantzou and Burberry Prorsum. When we say fashion, we mean the intricate designs of an artist, who sketched his way to the catwalk. We are talking about the drama, the beauty and the unique materials that go into one garment. Which is why the connection between haute couture and art is more intimate than fashion as a whole. Haute couture is where it all began, it wasn’t until the 60s that ready-to-wear became
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The difference between art shows and fashion exhibitions is grandeur
You need to have a voice, a design vocabulary and most importantly, something to say something to be proud of. These two industries have more in common than just price points, but they each have a connection with time. Art buyers look for investments, and so do buyers of haute couture. Couture has a way of being topical with collections for each season, but it is going to be glamorous forever. This is the main difference between high-fashion, mass-market fashion and art. Trend-led garments are not investment pieces, some cannot even be worn three months after purchase – they could, but then you wouldn’t be in fashion. Being in fashion is a way of connecting people together, making people feel they are a part of something, even if it is a trivial as the autumn/winter 2012 gothic trend, whereas in art, its more about being disconnected from others, pushing out everyone until a small elite group of individuals is left. But every now and then, art decides it needs more compliments and praise, which is when they call to the fashion industry for help. Making art available for the masses is something the fashion world is famous for. Collaboration between highend brands and high-street chains are a typical commodity nowadays. This season we await Louise Gray for
Topshop and Maison Martin Margiela for H&M, collections sure to sell out just like their predecessors. Fashion learnt long ago the importance of cult-status and that when it comes down to it; it’s all just a numbers game. Art has always been seen as elitist, but learning from its fashionable sister, it takes on many forms. When artists collaborate with designers the results are always desirable, even if sometimes the final product isn’t that spectacular. When Tracy Emin designed a range of bags for Longchamp they were on many women’s wish list. The final products where not incredible pieces of design, impeccable and beautiful like other creations from handbag brands, but they did open up doors to a bigger market for both parties. It is the process of collaboration that makes sense for everyone involved. An example of this from the art side of the equation is Marc Quinn’s 2006 sculpture Sphinx, which depicted Kate Moss in a yoga position.
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“The two sculptures are really about the same thing: why we do, or do not, find a person beautiful,” said the artist about his work when it was released. Trying to find beauty, express it in new ways and their methods of practicing this notion, is the key theme that joins these two industries together. The creative process of a designer and artist are not too far removed also. It starts with an idea, research, practice, more research and then that ideas slowly starts to take shape and a piece of art is formed, weather it’s a painting or a dress. The conceptual progression is the same, but it is the pace that defines them. We all know that fashion is a fast-paced industry, seasonal in its fundamental values, whereas an artist, in theory, can take as much time as they like to produce a collection, or just one piece. In the way an artist will make art to try and entice us, conjure emotions,
a designer does the same. Fashion is not as superficial as it once was. Once only for the upper classes this industry has matured into a machine, set out to comment on today’s society and is much more accessible, which is why to be a fashion designer today means much more than to make pretty dresses. You need to have a voice, a design vocabulary and most importantly, something to say. It was in the 1960s that catwalk shows and designer’s collections really became a personal form of expression, and this is the crucial value of a being an artist, hence fashion can be labeled art. The confusion lies with the word craft. Some people like to confuse craft with art, some see them as the same thing. These couture designers have outstanding talent, and produce amazing works of craft. And if craft is then wearable art, isn’t it all just art in the end?
Marc Quinn 2006 sculpture Sphinx
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Fashion is art. There, we said it. There are many quotes, explanations and theories, but the answer is a simple one. Being that we live in a democracy and also because we love to argue, we searched the industry to produce our first ever POMPOUS: Debate and bring you the opinions of those closely connected to fashion and its art status.
and some collections show the mood of the designer, whether they are in a light or dark place, very much similar to that of an artist.” Lottie Langford, Senior Account Executive at Katch PR “Yes - fashion can conceal, highlight, glamourize and memorise just as a traditional artist may use a brush.”
Charlie May, Designer & Blogger at Girl a la Mode “To me, fashion is an art form because when I design and create a garment, I put emotion into the piece. You are creating something powerful, that moves people and makes them think about the world.” Mary Haong, Shop Curator at Not Just A Label “Yes and no. Certainly fashion can be considered to be a form of art but it is not always so. I believe that subjectivity of what is considered to be fashion complicates the debate to an extent which renders it futile.” Jaana Jatyri, founder of fashion forecasting agency Trendstop.com “Yes, for me it is a wearable form of art. But unlike art, which can be perceived as elitist, fashion is accessible to everyone.” Caterine Teatum & Rob Jones, Designers of Teatum Jones “Maybe our approach to design could be described as artistic or as an art form. For us, I think, we can only work and be inspired by what inspires us, what gets us going and we’re lucky that as a partnership it’s the same things. We work that way, but we understand that this is a business. We believe that the two can work in tantum with each other” Stacy Jane Archer, Fashion Correspondent at The BITE Magazine “I think fashion is a form of art open to interpretation. It can be a form of expressionism and just because someone does not necessarily paint or draw it as the finished product, we cannot deny that the original idea has come from a conceptual idea that has been sketched, played around with and then changed, the only difference is that we end up wearing this. I believe that it’s open to interpretation
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Jody Shafton, Knitwear Design Assistant at The Tango Group “In recent years I feel that the benchmark for creativity has risen and designers such as Hussein Chalayan, Alexander McQueen, print designer Mary Katrantzou and knitwear designer Sandra Backlund have highly influenced and inspired a new generation of design, introducing the era of wearable art.” Shini Park, Blogger at Park and Cube “It’s near impossible to define ‘art’, but if expression of emotion, storytelling or even making a social commentary is a what makes ‘art’, then Fashion too is most definitely an art-form. Past the functionality element, fashion explores the body, the motion, the emotion, and even perhaps a story of the wearer. Inspiration for design can be taken from nature, architecture, history, religion and science which transform and develop on a canvas of ‘body’, using the methods in patterns, textures, cutting - which can be
Grace Strang, Assistant Buyer at Asos Petite “I think high fashion is a form of art, not necessarily high street fashion. The big influential design houses convey a Zeitgeist with their lines; the same way artists do with their work. They are exploring ideas and themes within their designs and it’s all subjective to the person looking at it. High street fashion is very commercialised, its like capitalist fashion, they just want to make a quick buck. But couture fashion is definitely an art form” Daniel Jaems, Creative Director of F.Tape “I do not believe Fashion is Art. Art is liberated. Fashion is liberating. Art makes itself. Fashion has to be forced into existence every 6 months.” Lizzie Burns, Jewellery Designer at E.A. Burns “No. I think that if you believe that then you’re going to have a very difficult time in fashion. I have worked for people who do, and at first it’s exciting working in such a free and creative way but when you get older and you still can’t pay your bills, you have to question it. Dresses, jewellery etc are to be worn - they are products of our social and political ideals but they are not art. It’s really important to be creative in fashion, but art and fashion are different beings and really a lot of
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compared to a painter’s methods when producing a painting on a blank canvas. Even in a functional manner, fashion can be considered an art-form - just as architecture may be considered art, while being functional, in essence - in definition of ‘decorating’ the body to communicate a social class, or the occupation of the wearer.”
“It’s wearable art, yes, it’s been created by a person, but it is also functional, no matter how elaborate, detailed or artisan it is.”
designers would be better off making sculpture and paintings - they’d get much more satisfaction and probably money too. I know that’s a harsh way of looking at things but I think it’s the truth that we need to hear.” Eva Wilkos, Freelance Fashion Journalist “I think fashion is superior to other forms of art right now since it translates directly into selling dreams and creating desire, in a way that Tracey Emin’s bed would never be able to. It’s accessible to large numbers of people around the world and capable of holding sway over their imagination. Yes, it’s commercial, but so are other contemporary artists and musicians who earned a fortune selling their art. Fashion has the power to promote other artists, no matter if it’s Florence Welch or Francesco Vezzoli, who nowadays jostle to team up with fashion designers. At the end of the day, who would have ever heard about Czech Cubism if Karl hadn’t used it as an inspiration for his Chanel autumn/winter show?”
Jenny Postle, designer at Leutton Postle “It’s wearable art, yes, it’s been created by a person, but it is also functional, no matter how elaborate, detailed or artisan it is.”
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P O M P O U S:
P H O T O G R A P H Y
The Feminine Effect INTERVIEW WITH ANNA BLODA
“This is why mankind, and most of all, the feminine element in all of us, is for me a principal inspiration and the greatest challenge.” In a season where girls wearing menswear and trouser suits reign, its inspiring to find an artist whose work centers around women, and what it means to be a girl. Anna Bloda is a photographer, whose spirit is one of a true artist. She likes to take inspiration from the mundane and attempts to turn it into something beautiful. Studying at the College of Arts in Nowy Wisnicz and The Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź, Anna has gone on to work for magazines such as Hiro, Machina, Exklusiv, Aktivist and Laifstyle to name a few. Currently residing in New York City, Anna finds herself attracted to girls, but because she’s not a lesbian, she says that the only way she can work with that attraction is to photograph them. “In my view, photography is an ability to see forms through the qualities contained within the psyche. Psyche and soma come together as one, driving me to approach a potential subject and attempt to examine them through my camera lens. In photography, the most essential act is the ability to break into someone else’s mind. As I take pictures - I extract, I open and I mix up whatever I find. This is why mankind, and most of all, the feminine element in all of us, is for me a principal inspiration and the greatest challenge.” Anna’s portfolio is made up of images, mostly of women. When she does shoot a man, there is something soft about the work, however, her portraits of girls from around the globe tend to have more to say. She cuts through to the essence of vivid and striking personalities. This is illustrated not only with a mixture of saturated light and overly extended brightness, but it is also indicative of the depth of layers she investigates. While uncovering someone’s beautiful
attributes, quirks and also faults, she is looking into the imperfections and frailty of human existence. “The pursuit of a subject and the astonishment of discovering that subject’s originality are what stokes this fire. It is this originality, combined with certain elements of innocence and the inclination to transgress one’s own bounds that I find fascinating. I find my models on the subway, in bars, on the street. I am building a portrait of a generation, a visual record of the very times that I am living in, while also asking certain questions - what is gender? What is sexuality? And then exploring how these issues are manifested in the body. I love delving into the subconscious of my subject. Through the use of symbols, colors and style I strive to portray their essence.” Anna states that the most inspiring thing that’s happened to her was meeting Terry Richardson in New York’s Washington Square. That would be high on our list too. “My influences include a mix of artistic styles like Richardson, Nobuyoshi Araki, Nan Goldin, Richard Kern and Helmut Newton. From each of these masters I have broken off a crumb for myself to forge my own style of photography.” Anna is currently working on a project called GENERATION, trying to explore a homosexual teenage group in New York City, as well as working on a show in Berlin, showing portraits of Hasidic Jewish women.
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SEEING DOUBLE Looking to the streets for inspiration this season, we were inspired by Londonâ€™s character building hobos PHOTOGRAPHER ST.AG MODEL CHRISTIAN PANKHURST
Blue Cap £13 River Island.com Vintage Blue Shirt £10 Rokit.com POMPOUS Customised by Bleach Suit
Superdry Limited Light Grey Knit Tailored Jacket ÂŁ119.99 superdry.com
Unconditional Drop-crotch Bleached Jeans, £190 unconditional.uk.com Last Night Parade Black Raw Edge Vest, £28 urbanoutfitters.co.uk
Vintage Fur Coat Superdry Eyewear Brown Tortoiseshell Round Glasses £59.99 superdry.com Hugo Boss Gents Chronograph Watch 1512519 £295 hugoboss.com Silk Leopard Print Boxers, Models Own
S: ESSAY The Hunter S. Thompson of Fashion Social Media has changed the communicating landscape of fashion. Brands no longer just have a store and a website, they will connect with their customers through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google +; the possibilites are endless. Fashion Journalism has changed drastically in the last ten years also, it had to make way for the blogger, its younger more robust cousin. And then Pâ€™Trique happened.
P’Trique at Stella McCartney’s Resort 2013 garden party
Social Media has changed the communicating landscape of fashion. Brands no longer just have a store and a website, they will connect with their customers through Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google +; the possibilites are endless. Fashion Journalism has changed drastically in the last ten years also, it had to make way for the blogger, its younger more robust cousin. And then P’Trique happened. Since the burst of Social Media and blogging, high-fashion became more accessible. Now we have less of a trickle up, trickle down paradigm, but more a bursting out theory of sorts and everyone wants to be involved. “There is no doubt the emergence of social media has changed the way we communicate overall and especially with fashion,” says Katy Dobinson, an Account Manager at Mediaworks, an online marketing
company. “I always like to think of the cliché teen girl putting up posters and photos on her bedroom wall… now the majority of teen girls will post them on their Facebook wall. Not to mention that they may also post them to Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, Blogger etc. It’s almost made publicising fashion brands easier for companies because now you have all these platforms widely available and the general public is willing to post on them.” Even PR companies utilise social media as another way of connecting with the press, they look for trends and oppotunites on Twitter as well as carry out their own shoots, style and write blogs, very similar to that of the journalists they are trying to work with. Job roles are changing, and to be truly innovative in this fast-paced industry you need something completely and utterly
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original. But we now live in a posteverything culture, everything is fastculture, not high-couture and this is even the case for fashion - the industry based on the invention of the new. So how did it react? Fashion gave us P’Trique.
Photo by Stefanie Keenan
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This fabulous designer-junkie started out as a spoof character on a Youtube video. Laughing with fashion girls about the little phrases they adopt without realising, since they entered in the industry. And when the number of views kept rising, so did the value in the videos. During the autumn/winter 2012 Fashion month, P’Trique was snaped by street-style photographers in New York and London, and he also reviewed his favourite collections, introducing new phrases the fashion world was soon to embrace. Alexander McQueen’s collection was described as “a goth’s sleepover, with one popular girl.” And when it comes to pronounciation, especially in fashion, it can prove your status, show how much your in with the in crowd. Getting a syllable wrong infront of an editor, photographer, or worst of all the designer themselves can show your rookie status, but to go ahead and change the way you say almost everything is flamboyantly true to his character. He is making up his own
rules. P’Trique’s celebrity status reached new levels when Nicola Formechetti appeared in one of the videos. P’Trique was reviewing the Mugler show – “I could go blind tomorrow because I’ve seen this collection,” - and got a little lost on one look. He stated, “when I want facts, I go straight to the source,” and in came Nicola to explain his creation. Nicola Formechetti himself is one designer and stylist who has climbed up the social ladder, utilising the internet and its new forms. The days of designers such as Yves Saint Laurent hiding away in their Parisian towers are long gone. If you are following such brands on Instagram, you might be lucky enough to catch a retro looking glimpse at a magazine shoot months before release, and sometimes even hints at future collections. Showstudio, the online blog and home to fashion film, even produce Instragram fashion shoots, showing just how innovative they can really be. The rise of popularity with mid-season collections such as Resort and PreFall only proves that this industry built around a six month shift is getting even harder to keep up with. Making sure one is in season now means throwing out the old twice as much as before. In a time when boudries are blurring, and advert campaigns look like editorial shoots, fashion needed someone to come a blow the whole thing out of the water. Hunter S. Thompson invented a new genre. He placed himself in the story, almost missing the point of the feature entirely and along came Gonzo Journalism. If we take this to be true, then P’Trique has invented Fonzo Journalism; Gonzo Journalism for Fashion. Instead of relaying the news online, or even instead of giving us our much needed fashion update in a humourous yet interlectual fashion, he turns it around and makes it about the diva he is. Working in this industry isn’t enough for fashionistas anymore, in the old days everyone
Stills from #TopChicret - Announcing Charlotte Free as New Face of #1 Cosmetic Brand in the World. Top: P’Trique, Middle: Charlotte Free, Bottom: Betsy Johnson
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wanted to be a muse, now they also want to make it as a superstar blogger, or more. P’Trique is showing us all how its done. When P’Trique took over as Social Media Manager for The Platform, the company behind the Youtube fashion videos, he placed the focus of the videos out there in the open. He collaborated with online retailer Nasty Gal and shot a campaign, even model Charlotte Free announced her new role as the face of Maybelline through his mode of influence. Placing yourself in the story is nothing new in fashion. 10 Magazine’s reviews of fashion week almost always contain the journalists acts of glamour pre and post show. And when the fashion blogger was invented in the early 2000’s it became all about the ‘I’ over night. We don’t just want a running commentary of the clothes anymore, we expect to find about about the hunger pains and sleep deprevation of the budding journalists also, which in reality gets a bit repetative. But with P’Trique, all of this is taken to the next level. It is his undeniable style that we are all attracted too, and he’s inventive descriptions are so gripping, we almost don’t need anyother form of review. He keeps us entertained with his constant tweets and posts on facebook, teaching others the way to interact with cosumers. Being ahead, knowing who to be seen with before anyone else is the art of his game. Collaborating with blogger Leandra Medine aka The Man Repeller
on one of his latest videos, P’Trique uses people and names in the same fashion Americans use product placement. He shares with us his make-up bag full on on-trend and also all time essentials, as well as each outfit being carefully chosen by his style curator (he doesn’t have a stylist.) He is making himself a glamorous hub and portal for brands to reach wider audiences with as he even appeals to non-fashion folk too. He is a one-man magazine, and the World Wide Web is his glossy page. Taking a look at his Twitter feed, it is clear to see which brands he is connected to. Tweeting about Mac products, Jeffrey Campbell shoes and recently he’s been trying to bring back the scrunchie – he may have caused #totesamaze to trend on twitter, but trying to bring back the scrunchie, the symbol of everything that was wrong in the 80’s and 90s might be too much. But it is this sense of humour that people fall in love with. A lot can be learnt from this fashion personality, and I’m sure many hoping to make it in this industry have already applied to intern with him. We suggest you do. All hail P’Trique.
All hail P’Trique. - 49 -
Just becasue it’s the morning after the night before, doesn’t mean you can’t look fabulous PHOTOGRAPHER ST.AG MODEL DEMI AMY GUIRARD
Vintage Blue Jumpsuit, ÂŁ25 Rokit.co.uk
Mac Lipstick in Film Noir ÂŁ14 maccosmetics.co.uk
Vintage Black Lace Bra
House of Harlow 1960 Imagine sunglasses ÂŁ132 amazon.com Vinatge Chandelier Earrings $100 zacharyssmile.com
Aldo Rise x Preen Ankle Boot, ÂŁ145 aldoshoes.com Vintage Blue Silk Peplum Shirt $70 zacharyssmile.com
POMPOUS: MEMOIR My Gucci Watch Saved My Life
Rachael Zanotti suffers from depression. At the age of 24, she had two kids, a mortgage and started working two jobs. Her loving husband worked hard, but they were falling further into debt. So by the time she was 29 she started to fall into sadness. By this time Rachael was working three jobs. Her day job was as a travel executive, in the evenings she would work at her uncle’s Italian restaurant, and she would help out her husband in the cafe they owned at the weekends. Finding anytime for herself was difficult and she began to loose grip with reality. The only comfort she had was flicking through fashion magazines and one day she fell in love with the Gucci Bamboo watch. In the summer of 2001, Racheal’s daughter (who would prefer to remain nameless) remembers getting a call from her dad, who’s broken English was trying to explain that mummy wasn’t very well. “I remember that no one would tell me what was wrong, but by this time I was 12 and shouted that I was old enough to know the truth. Finally they told me mummy had depression and was going into hospital, which is when I decided I would fly back home from Italy and help daddy.” She recalls visiting her mother in hospital and watching the anorexic patients walk back and forth in the garden while her mother kept trying to smile. Rachael had to leave the hospital against the recommendations of her doctors because they couldn’t afford the treatment. In the years to come her health
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only seemed to deteriorate, and her family tried to think of ways to make her happy again. Going through depression is tough for any family to endure. But on Mother’s Day 2003, everything changed and happiness was restored to this Italian Family from South London. “I had been looking at that watch for years, thinking I could never afford it and the fact they had been saving up for it for ages was really sweet.” Racheal’s husband bought her the watch she longed for. As soon as she tore away the wrapping paper and saw the Gucci name on the box she smiled. “It was the first true smile; I had a fake smile for years,” she explained. She rushed to put it on, and all the feelings of anxiety and sadness started to fade away. “After years of feeling numb seeing that watch was the first time I had that feeling of excitement and happiness, a quite unfamiliar feeling that I hadn’t experienced for a long time.” Sure enough, due to feeling happier Rachael’s working arrangements got easier. She was given a raise at the travel company and was able to stop working the other two jobs. She felt the confidence to go out with her friends again, who also all loved the watch. Rachael and her husband still live in the same house but her children are grown and both live away from home. She has fully recovered and lives a happy full life. If it wasn’t for Gucci’s impeccable designs this story could have gone in an entirely different direction. Whoever said materialistic things don’t matter, obviously never had depression.
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London’s Newest Club Kids
There’s a rave going on in London’s fashion scene. Designers such as Meadham Kirchhoff, Louise Gray and youngsters Leutton Postle and Sibling are fuelling us to keep dancing till the sunrise. This season London really proved itself and showed the rest of the fashion world why we are a city to be reckoned with. Italy has its glamour, Paris it’s elegance, but what we have is much more interesting. Much more, important. PHOTOGRAPHER ST.AG MODEL HOLLY BARKER
.......... E.A. Burns Neon Green Breastplate Necklace, £150 bengtfashion.com American Apparel Disco Shorts £45 store.americanapparel.co.uk Superga x Giles Pink & Black Flatforms £75 superga.co.uk Givenchy Eyewear in Black & Brown with Fur From £500 net-a-porter.com ..........
During the 60’s Yves Saint Laurent shocked the Parisian fashion scene with his ‘Down With The Ritz’ collections, showing the upper-classes that what was going on down in the streets was more fun. Designers such as Mary Quant heralded the way for the Mod movement and people thought at first these looks won’t catch on, but oh they did. All things different are looked on with scepticism at first. The invasion of the Japanese designers Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake in the early 80’s, brought about minimalism at a time when fashion loved opulence. The 90’s until two years ago were thought of as a decade full of bad taste, but since time has that way of moving forward and pushing those 10 years into a state of retrosim, it’s making a comeback of sorts. The Fresh Prince of Bel Air is back and so are the Nivana style chequered shits and baggy attitude. Although 90’s fashion may be having a moment on the streets, its mentality certainly hasn’t been forgotten by the high-end brands either. They have taken the mood and element of the acid-house decade and turned it into something any fashion loving person will want to wear. Basking in the philosophy of the 90’s, the club-kid revolution is what this season is all about; London fashion week cemented its individualism. We have always been known for our creativity,
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but the designers proved that you can dance to the beat of your own drum and still be recognized by the mainstream. Is anyone even in the mainstream? Certainly not in London anyway. And now with everything that’s going on in the world, recessions, civil wars we need a little escapism. To think back to an earlier, freer time, and that is what these brands are doing. They are bringing the party back to fashion. “We design for someone who’s open-minded, funny and with a sense of humour,” say the Vauxhall Fashion Scout Merit Award winners Leutton Postle. Friends Jenny Postle and Sam Leutton met on the foundation course at Central Saint Martins. Jenny’s own MA
collection was snapped up by Browns Focus, so it was clear to see they would do well together. They churn their advanced knit ability into outlandish pieces, full of colour and individuality, but their craftsmanship can never be faulted. They pave the way for other young designers wishing to make their own unique collections and to do exactly what they want. No trend-led garments here. Their autumn/winter 2012 collection was titled “Visually Arresting”. They have a way with texturizing knit, and making it so vibrant and playful, you can’t help but swoon. The models in their presentation walked to a heavy, tribal influenced beat and the statement pieces marched forward in the form of vests, cardigans, v-neck jumpers, all transformed into the imagination of the design duo, who are not afraid to use unusual materials, such as tinsel and metallic yarn; “the fact that you can make a fabric from scratch, from what is essentially one continuous thread. The opportunities are endless.” They took the classic smart skirt suit and distorted it with intense patterns and a metallic palette. Other colours they infused into the collection were earthy, putty tones, inky blue, with splashes of orange, yellow and red. Some of the models were veiled in knitted masks of the facial features behind them. The bright colours worn on the lips and eyes only emphasized the kind of woman that they design for. A woman not afraid to make a statement, not afraid to be who she is. Louise Gray has always had this ethos in her designs. Her latest collection was introduced over the sound system at fashion week with a Hanna Hanra- mix shouting, “Why you think
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you’re fierce?” Well this Scottish designer certainly knows how to work it. This season her miss-match designs matured but kept to their original aesthetic. She took her usual layering of prints and textures in a different direction. Also playing with metallic fabrics. Primary coloured barcodes resided on knee-high boots, jackets skirts and dresses. Louise Gray took the acid-house defiance and made it her own, keeping it relevant for today. There was something tribal happening on her catwalk, much the same as Leutton Postle’s. This tribal beat denotes free-spiritualism, and being who you want to be. She described her collection as being “about everything, all the time,” and its punk rock rave mentality showed us just what London fashion week is all about. Adding over-sized punk mohawk hairdo’s courtesy of hatmaker Nasir Mazhar just incase you missed the point. When it comes to designs so full of colour and materials, the styling can make or break the overall collection and its 20 minutes of glory. Claudia Croft, Head of Fashion at News International said recently “modern fashion is as much about creative styling as it is about innovative design. The flamboyant subjects of the street-style blogosphere (now fashion stars in their own right) are testament to that. It’s not about what you wear, but how you wear it that matters.” And since the dawning of the bloggers such as Susie Bubble, designers whose collections are
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“I think I will always look to traditional menswear as a starting point for designing; there are so many rules to be broken” admired by fashion editors but never really mentioned in the main-stream press are becoming vocal points each season. The bloggers are paving the way for individual style, and these eccentric designers are reaping the benefits. When we take a look at the men’s side of the equation, it’s the young stars that want to join the party. Shaun Samson presented his second collection at the Fashion East Man show, and much like his spring/ summer 2012, was influenced by youth culture. This season he took to a more 90’s hip-hop beat and created garments of the oversized variety, very much like finish brand Sasu, but it was Shaun’s playfulness and use of fur that fortified individualism. Large mesh and netted tops where decorated with a monster mane to spell out the designer’s name. Another young designer who presented his collection, having literally just graduated from the London College of Fashion with a MA in Fashion Design Technology – Menswear, was Joseph Turvey. He toys with traditional Saville Row tailoring techniques to produce bright coloured pieces that stand out, “I think I will always look to traditional menswear as a starting point for designing; there are so many rules to be broken.” Showing as part of The Ones To Watch Vauxhall Fashion Scout collective, the young designer who has interned at Katie Eary and Louise Gray, not only gave us his version of the formal suit, but our favourite piece that should be worn by any London fashion club kid, his see-through net top embellished with popping pink stripes, and of course the shorts to match. He described pure eccentricity when explaining how the fight to be an individual shaped his graduating collection. “The inspiration for the collection was the
amazing documentary Grey Gardens. Years ago my mom introduced me to the documentary and the two Edies have stayed with me ever since. Their amazing attitude towards life astounded me and I wanted to try and capture that in the collection. Little Edie has a distinctive style and is an endless source of inspiration. This prompted me to look at all the unconventional style icons that I admired. Hattie Jacques, Margaret Rutherford, David Attenborough are just some of those icons. Their ability to wear amazing clothes in their own individual way no matter age, size or shape was a true inspiration to me.” This lust for the individual, to be exactly who they are and to look fabulous while doing it, well that’s exactly what this season is all about, so the fact that one designer, so fresh out of university is that tuned into the scene is more than just refreshing. It’s an inspiration in itself. One designing trio hailing recognition from the fashion press, who also enjoy a bright pink hue, is Sibling. The collaboration of Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery, who set out to shake up the world of men’s knitwear in 2008. The three of them have previously worked for everyone from Lanvin to Alexander McQueen retrospectively. Since then, they’ve gone on to show us that knitwear has a
personality. And it’s a loud one at that. “We like mutating classic, traditional knitwear designs or techniques so the Knit Monster Scare Isle comes to mind,” said the trio when asked to describe their trademark in a previous interview. Starting out with Menswear, the experimental knitwear designs soon found themselves being modeled on women with the female line, Sister by Sibling; and these two relatives like to get dressed in matching outfits. Their autumn/ winter collections introduced us to head to toe leopard print, with pink trimmings and their signature headgear – what Micky Mouse’s bank-robber friend might wear, if he liked glitter and to make an entrance. They were inspired by The Marked Man and produced us a collection with glittery yarns, in a palette from black to vivid pink, institutionalized blue and hot orange, and used the vocabulary of sportswear to create recognizable street shapes. All of the Sister by Sibling autumn/winter 2012 designs were produced in miniature form, to be modeled by Barbie and her friends. Thinking of new ways to showcase collections, to be unique and stand out is only natural from this progressive threesome. For the men’s line they produced an intriguing, yet slightly dark fashion film, directed by Sam Renwick and Thomas Bryant that reinforced their cult-status. With the
same brashness, rebelliousness and sparkling fabrics that we see from Meadham Kirchhoff, this young brand likes nothing more than to find the humour in fashion and push the boundaries of what we expect. If one is going to talk about fashion and innovation, you cannot forget Meadham Kichhoff. The creative design duo Edward Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff always do it their own way, and this season they threw a party filled with glitter and disco dancing. Leutton Postle also state them as their inspiration; “If we’re talking present day it would be Meadham Kirchhoff and Louise Gray ... anyone who takes risks is inspiring.” And like Louise Gray and youngsters Leutton Postle, they also proved that metallic fabrics are hot this season. An explosion of colour, fur, and playful silhouettes strutted its way down the catwalk. Patterned jumpers, flared jeans, platform sequined shoes, flared tartan dresses, leopard-print bustiers and striped tights were all present at their ball. From afar, one may be blown away, loving the collection but unsure if one would wear the intricate in-your-face garments, but on closer inspection, they provided
“It’s my way of partying vicariously through others”
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us a varied amount of accessible costumes that would seep well into any wardrobe. Meadham Kirchhoff’s latest collection was all about angst and repression; screw the world, let’s dance. “It’s my way of partying vicariously through others,” Edward Meadham was reported saying post-show. In the same way ecstasy influenced the 90’s or glamour enthralled the 80’s, they show us that no matter what’s going on outside the little bubble fashion encases us in; we can feel liberated through design and have fun. And it’s this attitude that relates these brands together. In a time when depression reigns high, why shouldn’t we focus on a happier industry and use its ties with escapism to pull us through. Lets all take the disco pills Meadham Kirchhoff are selling and dance to the early morning. You know you want to.
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For many years now minimalistic designers have ruled the fashion world. It was a way of bringing back abundant trends and making them modern for a new audience. But this season, itâ€™s about maximising your assets. And by assets, we mean bling.
The Rise of The Maximalist
With the arrival of the statement necklace came oversized dangling earrings and huge bangles, we even see jewellery designers who take it to the next level and create pieces that don’t only compliment an outfit, but are the focal point of said outfit and sometimes even replace the need for clothes; coining the term jewellerywear. An example of this is designer Fannie Schiavoni, whose creations have been worn by Lady Gaga and Rhianna. The Swedish designer studied Tailoring and interned at Hussein Chalayan and Giles Deacon before starting her own brand. She infuses sex and the avantguard into her collections, producing pieces that not only decorate, but also contort the human form. “Jewellery is such a wonderful way to celebrate being human – this strange mess of mind and body, imagination and matter,” said Florian Ladstätter once. Jewellery is an extension of fashion; it is another way of showing our individual personalities. It can be easier to wear an oversized necklace than it is to wear a piece straight off the runway, but getting attention is always the aim of the game. A statement necklace says that ‘I want you to look at me, and I don’t care if it’s obvious.’ Designer Alexis Bittar also agrees, he says that we wear jewellery because we crave attention, “decorating ourselves is a great way to get [attention]. When you break it down, that’s it, we just want to be noticed.” There are many contemporary designers that create for these attention-seeking people. Instead of producing elegant pendants and stud earrings, designers are thinking bigger and the breastplate necklace has become a common piece in
many collections. Some jewellery designers who believe that bigger is always better are Michelle Jank, Judy Blame and Florian. These designers are known for their innovative craftsmanship and playful pieces that push the boundaries of what jewellery is all about. One young designer whose geometric shapes have the fashion press turning heads is Lizzie Burns. Designing under the brand name E.A. Burns since April 2011, Lizzie says her inspirations come from science and magic. “For this collection I was inspired a lot by art, architecture and science fiction. There have been lots of artists (like Ryan Browning) and illustrators working with colourful geometric shapes and the jewellery emulates this in some way.” Her designs have a colour palette of neon green, pink and black, and with pieces such as The Studded Stegosaurus Necklace (the designer’s favourite), her collections are not designed for someone wanting to fade into the background, which is why we used her Breastplate Necklace for one of our shoots. Lizzie is also part of the ethical fashion movement. Her creations are made from reclaimed leather; she
“When you break it down, that’s it, we just want to be noticed.”
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Collaborating with other designers is one way for jewellers to expand their audience. One designer who has collaborated with some of the big names in fashion, creates for her love of materials, textures and construction. Sarah Angold was one graduate who didn’t take no for an answer. Once she graduated she set her sights on collaborating with Hussein Chalayan. “I essentially hassled him, turning up at his studio, hanging out there with my portfolio,” until he said yes to working with her. She has since seen her work on David Koma and Mark Fast’s catwalk shows. In September she will be unveiling another accessory collaboration in Paris, which she couldn’t tell us too much about, all she could say was that “they are a girls best friend.”
researches and contacts manufacturers in the UK that are bound to have a lot of waste, however she cannot tell us too much, as its her trade secret. When asked to define her style, Lizzie talks about mixing magic and science together; “I like to say it’s half science and half magic. My friends and I have a theory that everything/one brilliant in life has an inner hippy- not too much that you’re walking around the mud in barefoot wearing hessian, but enough to make a spark of magic and to soften the hardness of reality and science. That’s kind of what I try to do.” She is currently working on a collaboration with Rosita Bonita, “it will be ready soon. Think my 3d designs mixed with her illustrative style and you’re halfway there.”
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Sarah Angold’s designs are inspired by light installations that she created while carrying out a residency at the Design Museum. She studied Construtive Textiles at the Royal College of Art, but then moved to Tokyo to design concept cars for Toyota. “I’m a fashion girl at heart, but saying that, working in fashion wasn’t enough for me.” Her company and it’s studio work on bespoke creative design projects from various fields such as interiors and printed fabrics, to community projects, but it is her jewellery collections that we have fallen for. Her graphic style and natural palette, with splashes of florescent colours, show us another way of being different and standing out from the crowd. The materials being utilised by Sarah and her team are mostly acrylic, but in the last few collections they have introduced a lot more metal, wood and concrete; “I’ve always been interested in the juxtaposition of contrasting textures.” Her aesthetic is quite individual and unique, as you may see other laser cut acrylic earrings, but none carried out with such conviction than that of Sarah and her Studio.
Not only are the wearers gaining more attention. The “jewellery [industry] had a stronger presence than ever at London Fashion Week, where the British Fashion Council launched London Rock Vault; an exhibition curated by Designer Stephen Webster which featured some of London’s hottest talent,” says Beanie Mayor, Editor of In Detail, a blog all about jewellery design. “The vibe on the street seems to be that people want to invest in quality and craftsmanship. The recession has helped; there is definitely a shift from high-street to designer jewellery.” Instead of impulse buying, people are looking to invest, whether that’s in fine jewels or highend fashion, its certainly leaving trend purchases behind. Fashion jewellers are becoming widely known, as people are more likely to buy a well-made statement necklace to inject new life into their wardrobe. With more interest in the subject, Beanie saw a niche in the blogosphere and so she started In Detail. “I was keen to find a way to showcase jewellery within a style and lifestyle context. In Detail is about real people wearing real jewellery.” Beanie set up her blog in October 2011 and since then In Detail has been featured in Grazia, The Evening Standard and The i Newspaper to name a few. “Jewellery is one of the most personal forms of adornment so we try to make it accessible to people.” This coming fashion week will also host Rock Vault Dozen with 12 designers invited to create a ring out of the precious metal Palladium. The designers taking part are Alexandra Jefford, Fernando Jorge, Hannah Martin, Hillier, Husam El Odeh, Imogen Belfield, Jo Hayes Ward, Jordan Askill, Melanie Georgacopoulos, Sophie Bille Brahe, Tomasz Donocik and Yunus and Eliza. This unique showcase celebrates the
Jewellery from Maria Francesca Pepe autumn/winter 2012 Can’t Buy Me Love Collection mfpepe.com
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fashion jewellery industry and allows it to have its own presentation instead of limiting the new jewellery collections to decorate the catwalk shows. Jewellery has always been confined by the body in a similar way that fashion is. But recently it is braking away from its usual place and decorating other body parts we usually leave alone. The septum has always had a place in the underground world of body piercing, but with the rise of maximalist fashion and jewellery we saw metal rings adorning the noses of the models walking the Givenchy autumn/winter shows. “With the return of the polo-neck and high necklines gracing the catwalk statement earrings (seen at Meadham Kirchhoff) are set to be autumn/winter 2012’s biggest jewellery trend.” Says Beanie Mayor. “Otherwise multiple piercings and delicate gold hoops Abby Leestyle. Layering metals will also be key, people are no longer afraid to mix gold and silver rings.” This freedom to wear metals of different colours lends itself to the maximalist trend. Why just show off just one piece, when you have three that compliment each other so nicely. Maria Francesca Pepe is one jewellery designer who also believes that decoration shouldn’t be restricted to the wrist, neck and ears. “I was always inspired by fashion and the idea of beauty in general, but mainly from how to be subversive with it. So when I had to work on my Central Saint Martins
MA Show, back in 2007, I thought to incorporate jewellery into the clothes and subvert the idea of the accessory itself from a mere decoration to the primal focus of my research.” In her latest collection we can find beautiful pieces that could be described as necklaces, for your back, and other pieces such as collar jewellery, all in a style she describes as “gothicurban-chic.” Maria’s brand grew when Lady Gaga and Nicola Formichetti commissioned her to create a headpiece for the singer to wear. She then collaborated with Topshop, and that was when the term jewellery-wear became part of fashion’s vocabulary. Maria likes to blur the boundaries of fashion and jewellery while still creating pieces that have a contemporary functionality. It is this concept that finds itself at the center of our trend. It’s about paying more attention to the sometimes delicate, always ornate pieces we usually throw on and don’t think about too much. If jewellery’s main aim is to decorate and draw attention to the wearer then these designers are doing just that, but not only are they confining themselves to the functionality of jewellery from seasons past, they are setting the bar for future contemporaries to emulate and maximize. We can’t wait for the day when someone designs jewellery that replaces the need for clothes completely.
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POMPOUS: LITERATURE “I Am The Narrator of The Stories”
INTERVIEW WITH FRANKIE LEONE
“I try to tell the truth,” confesses Frankie Leone, a writer from the borough of lost boys, known to everyone else as Williamsburg. We have a different approach, we like to play with the truth, distort and regurgitate it, that’s what we love about fiction writing but Frankie believes otherwise. “The truth is really elusive, I think, and that’s what I try to find in my writing.” Its been said before, and in Frankie’s case its evident, that the truth certainly doesn’t pay. To make ends meet and to pay for his ‘cool’ lifestyle, he drives a van around and helps people move in and out of their houses. At 25 Frankie has been living in a dingy loft, nurturing his tortured soul for years. We discovered a piece of fiction on FreeWilliamsburg entitled Ponce Funeral Home, intrigued by the title, clicked the link and was taken to a amateur selfpublishing website. After reading the four-page short story we had to read more. The great thing about today’s society and the Facebook-era is that we were able to find the author of this enigmatic piece of writing within five minutes, and also other pieces of work on his blog. Christ on Kent Avenue depicts a way of turning a rather menial incident or event into something alluring, which shows skills crucial to good writing; “[it shows] how you can turn someone, even a stranger into an idea or symbol.” Frankie uses his own poetic justice, which can be a little shaky at times, but the raw emotions are evident, he places himself completely into his work. “I am the narrator of the stories; I don’t know how to write from other people’s perspectives. When I started seriously writing I wrote a lot about my experiences ... I write about meaningful connections with other people, and more often than not, they tend to be with women.” We decided we had to meet the man behind the words, so on a recent trip across the pond we met Frankie in his usual hang-out; The Black Bird Cafe, where he goes to get his creative juices flowing. We wanted to get to know a little bit more than the usual name, age, relationship status and religious views that Facebook gives us, but witnessing him in his usual habitat, we found him to be more guarded than anticipated. His
I write about meaningful connections with other people, and more often than not, they tend to be with women.”
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writings bare all, they are the raw descriptions of the life he is experiencing and because of that we thought the real life counter-part would be the same. He gave us just enough information to write something, not the complicated undertones we expected. When asked to describe himself a little, he replied; “I'm a narcissist that desperately wants not to be one. That's who I am. Sometimes I tell the people the truth about myself. That's why I think the people that listen to me do. I don't have use for social inhibitions. They're a tragic waste of time.” We found that he would touch the surface, but never really delve into the depths of an answer, giving us rather confusing responses. But what more could we expect from an artistic writer, with a hipster-matic flare that we had only just met. More interested in the allusion of saying something
truly poignant, he forgot to actually say anything at all. Some phrases fell out of his mouth that felt forced and some fully rehearsed; being a writer to Frankie Leone means much more than creating his own art-form, its about being an artist of the struggling variety. Frankie’s aspirations to become a writer, stemmed from his mother, who was a well-respected journalist. Those aspirations have taken him to Craig’s List and more localised, the Missed Connections page, however, at first he never even signed his name. “It wasn’t really about myself as a writer. I really liked reading people’s responses, especially when I had something nice to say.” For someone with a rather unique, yet familiar way with words, I would have thought the sky to be the limit, yet I got the feeling Frankie is quite content with posting his poetically worded ramblings online and “moving other people’s shit.” Maybe he is able to be a man-with-van when he has to be, to be able to be faithful to his writing, so as to not sell himself short. Maybe there is some truth in that.
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“I’m a narcissist that desperately wants not to be one. That’s who I am.”
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W H AT T H E POMP? Fashion can be pompous, and thatâ€™s why we love it. But
what is pomposity? We spoke to Dal Chodha, editor of
B Magazine, to find out what all the pomp is aboutâ€Ś
How would you describe the word pompous? Pompous, to me, is something that is ridiculous. But maybe it is the person who is displaying the pomp. It’s almost a nouveau riche idea. For me the modern idea of pomp is The Only Way Is Essex. It’s like the Shit Fashion Girl video on YouTube, its true. It’s quite funny, but it becomes pompous when you don’t realise its true. I think being pompous almost means that your not aware of yourself. I think a lot of people aren’t quite aware of what they are right now. How do you think Pomposity relates to fashion? Being pompous in fashion is about displaying something. It used to be about displaying wealth, but today I’m not really sure whether it’s riches. I think today pomp can be anything from uploading pictures of your coffee on to instagram. Its not just any coffee, you wouldn't tweet coffee from Carluccio's – that’s kind of like Starbucks – but you would if you were going to some independent deli round the corner. By association, that coffee, that’s ground locally, means you’re cool. It’s so easy to buy into cool now. I think that’s what I find pompous – the people that flood into London from surrounding areas on the weekend and really try to adopt a culture or lifestyle. I think people are now being more pompous with their lifestyle, then with their clothing. Years ago you could look at an issue of a magazine, and it would be pompous. People would look over the top. Like Anna Dello Russo maybe: slightly silly, almost like a caricature of themselves. But the beauty is that
Anna Dello Russo
“She allows us to laugh at her because she’s laughing too.” - 82-
their not pompous when they understand what their doing. For someone like Anna Della Russo, as much as I don’t like how she dresses, she understands what she’s doing, she’s intelligent enough to know that she looks ridiculous, and she allows us to laugh at her because she’s laughing too. What is pompous is the American Apparel staff and the American Apparel windows. That world, for me, is very pompous. I know a lot of people are always trying to bash East London and places like that, but I think there are so many people on a wider level that try and ascertain, or try and look like that and it all just becomes super pompous. What trends do you think are pompous? For me, I think the mention of trends is quite pompous. I write for Vogue India, for example, and Vogue in India is what it used to be here in terms of education. Because at the moment in India and Brazil, places where there has been a big economic boom, there’s a whole new middle class of people that have cash and have access to designer labels but have no idea what to do with them. With a magazine like Vogue India, when I write about trends, you really are informing someone. In a very old fashion kind of way - this is what you should wear with this. But I think over here, in Europe, the western world, parts of the states; I find magazines that talk about trends to be a little bit pompous in themselves. I don’t think there are many people that shop like that anymore, generally. And the reason is, because there are so many trends. Years ago we used to have one season, and maybe there where four or five different stories that would come out. And you chose one, dependent on your lifestyle or your body shape. It wasn’t like ‘ooh I’m going to dress in a 80s style,’ because what if you looked really bad in nylon and all those colours. There are exceptions to the rule, where people buy into trends still, but largely I think there are so many that we can’t a) afford to do that and b) there’s a massive identity crisis with the young generation right now. They have no idea who they are, what they want to do, they almost have so many options open to them that I think having so many options in fashion is also becoming a little bit of a brain freeze. That’s why when you go to a place populated by young fashionable people, there are all dressed the same. Its almost as if people are dressing to fit in, within fashion now. I remember when I was in secondary school, you had the kids that wanted to be different and so they would all become ‘goths’, or dress like ‘emos’, but in reality they were all dressing the same, but in a different outfit. I think that has happened with fashion. My generation sees fashion as a way of being different, a way of being individual, but again, they are all shopping at the same vintage shop. There are just too many magazines out
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there telling us how to be individual, but in the same way. What about magazines, are magazine’s aiding the pomposity? My problem with magazines now, is that everyone wants to make one, but not everyone understands what a responsibility it is or how difficult it is. With the responsibility, we should be aware that we are putting out information, no different to writing a newspaper. Just because you’re writing at home, doesn’t mean you can be more relaxed about what kind of lifestyle you’re selling. There’s a new magazine that comes out every week, and the problem I find is when they are trying to emulate their hero. That’s something I find really distressing. There are like eight magazines that are like shit versions of LOVE, what Katie Grand does. And you can’t touch what she does. So why bother? That’s the problem I have – that people don’t think like that. Why are you going to do it with less than half the budget, not the right talent, why bother. And sadly not enough people are asking themselves that question. And what that means is that there is so much crap out there. But I think within media and publishing there is a lot of pomposity, there’s a lot of ego publishing - people who make a magazine because they can. I think that comes down to our DIY nature. In a similar fashion to the way punk records were produced independently in the late 70s, with the angst and rebellion, our young generation thinks we have such valid poignant things to say and, sometimes regrettably, we have the copious means to do so. We have grown up in an instant gratification society, where if we want to see a film, we stream it. If we want to hear an album, we search online, find it and download it all for free. We can even, if we’re lucky, chat to our heroes on Twitter. We are used to getting what we want, when we want it, so if we want to make a magazine, we are going to go shoot, write, edit and put it out there, without even thinking about it. That’s why growing up in the noughties has taught us to be, naughty, in a way. And I think we don’t realise the consequences until it’s already out there for the world to see, and then judge. You mentioned the trends, but is their anything else that you think is utterly pompous? I just keep thinking of Elton John. And OK Magazine. And probably when OK came out. When reality TV became big, so we are looking at the early 90’s, when Big Brother started, and people became famous for nothing – that was when the pomp began. Pomp for me is associated with an ego.
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laura_vis instagram photo tagged #americanapparel #Sanfrancisco #California #USA
If you look at certain countries today, people display a lot of pomposity. If you look at India, you have people with money who always have a Birkin bag and they always wear Roberto Cavali, and heels. Because you wouldn’t wear flat shoes if you have money. It’s that simple. It’s the same in Brazil, and other areas in the world that all the fashion brands are pouring over. In all of those places you find pomp. But for me, its really important we keep it celebrated. Because without that you haven’t got the contrast of what is not pompous. If we all walked around like Celine adverts, how dull would that be? And you get that at Epsom, where I teach, all the girls go to Zara, they all buy the super chic jackets – they look like a 30-year-old French woman. There are loads of them that do that though because it’s not difficult to do that. I’m not saying they’re not stylish, but I think it’s easier for people to buy into that look, with brilliant stores like Zara. But that’s where this identity crisis comes in. If everyone looked like that it would be so boring. There are certain things I don’t wear, but I hope someone else wears them; otherwise I’ve got nothing to compare myself to. Contrast is really important. We can get critical, and slag off people that dress in a very bright ostentatious, flashy way, but I think without that we can’t put ourselves in any kind of box. Fashion is all about putting people in boxes, and labels.
“But the beauty is that their not pompous when they understand what their doing”
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Tell me why you think fashion isn’t art. I don’t think we should get too romantic about fashion. My issue now is that the fashion industry is full of fans. Because the people who write about fashion, there all fans of something. And when you’re a fan of something, as you know, you can’t judge it … what’s the word? Objectively. Yes, objectively. It’s like when a mother loves a kids drawing and its shit, it’s that that’s happening in fashion right now. So I don’t read any reviews of fashion, because honestly I don’t think anyone reviews fashion as well as two or three people. I read Cathy Horyn from The New York Times, maybe a bit of Suzy Menkes, but not all the time. Otherwise I don’t care what anyone else thinks, because the issue is that we are all getting the same information at the same time. And no one cares what I think either. I think the dialogue about fashion, where it becomes quite pompous, is where people, fans of fashion, aren’t asking critical questions about it. There all like ‘ahh its amazing!” There is a lack of aspiration now. I use to look at a magazines and I saw an image. And you would be like ‘how the hell did they do that?’ I’m thinking of Corrine Day’s photos of Kate Moss on the beach, but if that was shot now I could go on YouTube and I could watch the making of. I could see the photographer telling us what they did, the make-up artist would tweet on their blog and their Pinterest, the colours they were going to use. Where’s that gap? What magazines used to do is get people excited and they used to be a gap, so its like you would see a fashion show, and it would be in the newspaper. I used to keep the newspaper and look at it every single day because I loved fashion. But now we don’t need to do that. Everything is so much more disposable, and so our emotions linked to fashion become much more disposable. Which in tern makes everything seem quite frivolous. That white noise surrounding fashion which everyone thinks its so interesting, I don’t think it is. I love it, but I don’t think its paramount. And don’t think that its important. And the problem is its being almost paid to much attention, ironically.
Published on Oct 9, 2012
POMPOUS is a Art/Fashion publication by S&M Productions - A collaboration of creative writer @mariellaallure and video director @stavrosagap...