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THE PHOTO ISSUE

TAVI


This page Grandma Takes a Trip vintage Levi's jacket, $60. American Apparel jeans, $125. Dieppa Restrepo from Incu at The Galeries loafers, $375. Kate Sylvester sunglasses, $280. 1. UNIF.M dress, $129. Maison Scotch jeans, $219.95. Arvust from General Pants Co. shirt (around waist), $79.95. Alex Monroe necklace, $275. Man the Label silver necklace, $98.95. 2 Bandits bracelet, $118. Pushmataaha for Manning Cartell cuff, $189. 2. Ksubi jeans, $279.95. Vanishing Elephant brogues, $220. Alex Monroe necklace, $275 and bracelet, $300 (worn as anklets). 3. Maison Scotch light denim shirt, $184.95. After the Apple clutch bag, $395. 4. Topshop T-shirt, $64 and cami, $36. Asos shorts, $51.

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seeing double Dig out your denim and layer it up! FASHION NICKI COLBRAN PHOTOS FRENCHY

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their place Peek at the creative goings-on of three very different studio spaces. PHOTOS JACQUI TURK

The Fortynine Studio thefortynine.com.au

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We design, develop and make a range of ceramic, object, textile and environmental design work. Our focus is on producing handmade and considered design objects and spaces for commission, research, exhibition and sale. We are a group of designers, thinkers, makers and good friends, namely Lauren Austin, Ben Elbourne, Sarah Spackman, Carly Vickers and Harriet Watts. The five of us each have very different backgrounds and interests, a varied range of skills and a unique approach to designing. We all studied design at the College of Fine Arts and throughout the degree were secretly admiring each other's work and approach in quite a funny interconnected way. After graduating we met for a beer one day and got talking about the potential benefits of working together, sharing space and equipment. One beer led to another and nine months later we had a company together! The studio tends to be an open and collaborative environment. We find more exciting design outcomes are achieved without too many boundaries in place. Having said that a stash of good coffee, an open mind and a good sense of humour are essentials in the studio. Ceramics can be a beautifully simple yet technically complex medium to work with. It is constantly challenging and you are always learning something new. It’s incredibly tactile and we all love working with our hands so it is something we enjoy working on together. It never ceases to excite us every time we open a kiln after a firing and see the new pieces come out. It is truly satisfying to see work we have created being used. We enjoy different projects for different reasons, but if we had to pick one our Flip Flop Slip ceramic range has allowed us to not only explore our work in a commercial context, but it has been a great catalyst for further collaborative and publication opportunities while allowing us to develop the design and produce our work by hand together within our studio space.


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GANGS OF NEW YORK

In 1972, John Shearer photographed the largest gang in the Bronx for LIFE magazine. Shearer opens the archives especially for Yen. WORDS SINEAD STUBBINS PHOTOS JOHN SHEARER

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John Shearer has never let personal safety get in the way of a good story. But then the New York based photographer has always lived life on the edge – he’s been punched by police during anti-Vietnam War protests, broken a collarbone at the 1968 Democratic National Convention riots and been threatened with tire irons by gangsters in Chinatown. “I didn’t think about being scared,” Shearer says from his home in Katonah, New York. “Not that I didn’t get my share of bumps and bruises along the way – but that was my life.” Working as a staff photographer for LIFE magazine in the 1960s and ’70s – only the second ever African-American photographer on staff – was pretty gnarly business. But then Shearer’s fearlessness is probably what led him to photograph one of the most dangerous gangs in New York. “The big news across the country was the return of street gangs,” Shearer says. “So I set out to find a gang I could photograph. The folks in Chinatown… it became very clear that they did not want me there. They said to me, ‘You know you won’t make it back?’” Although he laughs about it now (and laments the “language barriers” that prevented him from covering the Chinese gang – not the fact they threatened to kill him, but the language barriers) the process of finding his subjects was pretty taxing, involving him walking the streets at all hours and dodging the suspicions of locals. After another long night of searching, a dejected Shearer sat outside a bodega sipping a cup of coffee. A man tripped over his legs and began jiving him for getting in the way – it was 20-year-old Eddie Cuevas, president of the largest gang in the Bronx, the Reapers.

“In 1972 the Reapers were an interesting gang who had a lot of returning vets who were gang members prior to the war and then came back and joined again,” Shearer says. “Many of the young men were fatherless, and the gang was the only family they had. They really created powerful bonds.” After impressing Eddie with his past assignments, Shearer was given permission to follow the Reapers around for a few weeks. “They were delighted and surprised that I was a young guy in my late ’20s,” he says. “LIFE was a big deal then.” Not only was this the start of one of John’s most significant stories, but also an unlikely friendship. Eddie Cuevas was a charismatic man with a surprising passion for art – he had designed all the gang’s colours himself. Over the six weeks of shooting the story, Shearer and Cuevas became so close that Shearer ended up staying on Cuevas’ couch. Unfortunately the other Reapers weren’t so easily convinced. “Folks tended to be… vicious,” Shearer says. “Because I don’t speak Spanish – well actually neither did they, most of them spoke Spanglish – it took time for them to adjust to me and accept that I was going to be there.” Although he was careful not to affect the story in any way, Shearer found it impossible to not become emotionally invested in the Reapers, feeling protective of Cuevas in particular. “I felt like he was my kid brother in a way,” Shearer says. “But in terms of the world of the gang he was the baddest cat on the planet! I mean he was a big deal.” Life as a Reaper wasn’t all logo designing and hanging out with your mates on stoops – Cuevas had a responsibility to protect their turf from rival gangs. These turf wars, sometimes started by


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Eddie and fellow Reapers.

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FOOD PHOTOGRAPHER Yossy Arefi What cameras do you use? I use a combination of film and digital cameras, depending on the job. For film I love my Pentax K100 and Pentax 67. When I shoot digitally, I use a Canon 5D Mark III. How long have you been taking photos for? I studied a bit in high school and college, but I didn’t start shooting professionally until 2011 when I left the restaurant business. What’s the best part of your job? I feel really lucky that my job combines my two greatest passions, food and photography. What’s the most challenging? A lot of working as a photographer involves sitting in front of a computer; editing, retouching, planning shoots, managing expenses, etc. It can all be a bit tedious. When do you not take photos? I very rarely take photos in restaurants, the lighting is never great and I’d rather just eat! What makes you angry? I like to think that I’m a pretty evenkeeled person. I can’t remember the last time I was really angry. What makes you happy? My boyfriend, my cat, a good meal and a fresh roll of film back from the lab.

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What do you try and capture with your photographs? I aim to take the viewer of my photos on a visual journey, whether that is through a trip to the farm or market, step-by-step photos to highlight the process of making a dish or making viewers feel like

they have a seat at the table of a dinner party or bbq. I also try to capture and highlight the natural beauty of food; sometimes the best images are the ones before the dish is even cooked. What advice do you give to aspiring photographers? Observe, study and assist as many photographers as you can. Ask lots of questions, see how they work, but most importantly shoot a lot. Take the time to develop your style and skills. What’s your career highlight? My first cover came out this year (for Pure Green Magazine), that was pretty exciting! What would be your last meal? An Iranian feast cooked by my family, enjoyed outside, on a warm summer night. What’s your food guilty pleasure? I love a good cheeseburger with crispy french fries. Favourite Brooklyn foodie places? Saltie for amazing sandwiches, Bakeri for baked goods, Bien Cuit for amazing breads and pastries, Four and Twenty Blackbirds or Blue Stove for pie, Hanco’s for Vietnamese sandwiches, Blue Bottle for coffee, Five Leaves for delicious food any time of day, Cafe Mogador for Moroccan/ Mediterranean inspired dishes... I could go on for a long time. Best three kitchen implements? KitchenAid Mixer, sharp knives, Dutch oven. Check out Yossy's photos at yossyarefi.com.


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This page: American Vintage singlet, $169 and shorts, $99. Karen Walker ring, $619 (worn throughout). Opposite: Velour from Meanwhile trench coat, $400. Equipment pajamas, $529 (for set).


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SEVENTIES STYLE

A home that stylishly nods its head to the glory days of flares, disco and mustard as a 'feature' colour. 64

PHOTOS LAUREN BAMFORD


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THE TENANTS Karlee Sangster (garment maker and teacher), Oliver Hextall (sound artist, retail manager), Karlee's cat Tybalt, and Oliver's cat Stevie. This is our first place together. It was built in the '70s (obviously!) and we have met the original lady who lived here. She told us that nothing has changed and everything you see is as they intended it to look. It's a typical Mediterranean '70s arrangement – olive and lemon tree in the front, grapevine down the side, fig tree in the back and some crazy dilapidated sheds where the landlord tells us her dad used to hide his money. IN THE HOOD Karlee: It's a funny neighbourhood; the gentrification of Melbourne's inner suburbs hasn't quite made it this far yet. The street is very quiet, but a few blocks away is a little outdoor mall with the best falafel in Melbourne. The majority of residents are older Mediterraneans, which means heaps of delicious food options. There's a lot of enviable veggie garden action happening, which makes me want to lift my game! Oliver: There's a great old Greek coffee shop with neon signage and painted murals of scantily clad gladiators. I think that sums up the neighbourhood. TURN THAT FROWN UPSIDE DOWN Karlee: It's a long story. But it basically involves me deciding to make a new friend one day and walking past Oliver, who had a monumental frown on his face. I decided "That's the guy", and it went from there. We had coffee, which turned to gin, which turned to whisky and we've been together ever since. Oliver: That's a good summary.

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