A Graphic and Textual Exploration of the Fashion World
NOTE ON COVER The Fashion Almanac logo and symbol © Jenny Campbell-Colquhoun 2008. Illustrations © Lucy Oldfield 2008. 2 — ISSUE 1
ISSUE NUMBER 1 SPRING/SUMMER 2008 EDITOR IN CHIEF Laura Bradley EDITORIAL ASSISTANCE Frankie Mathieson DESIGN ASSISTANCE Justin Argyle, Anna Gudbrandsdottir All text and visuals by Laura Bradley unless stated otherwise.
______________________ ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS The Fashion Almanac would like to thank: Theo Anastasato, Flavia Annecchini-Jones, Sarah Baadarani, Georgia Beavis, Matteo Bigliardi, Paul Bruty, Chloe Burrow, Francesca Burns, Wayne Daly, Marion Daumas-Duport, Hywel Davies, Valery Demure, Claire de Rouen, Jenny Campbell-Colquhoun, Alex Fury, Charles Greasley, Holly Hay, Paul Hetherington, Steve Hill, Laura Kelly, Nick Knight & Charlotte Wheeler, Lyndell Mansfield, Penny Martin, Greg Milsted, Dorian Moore, Lucy Oldfield, The Professional Classes Aid Council, Iain R. Webb, Sharmadean Reid, Benjamin Rhodes-Hodgkiss, Joe Ritchie, Eddie Roschi, Clinton Sinclair, The Stationers’ Foundation, Judith Watt, Lee Widdows, Francesca Williams, Jane Wilson, Oden Wilson and all of its contributors (listed on pages 96-97). Special thanks to: Steven, Karen & Natalie Bradley, Sean Lansdowne and Laura Mackness for their continued love and support.
______________________ COPYRIGHT The Fashion Almanac © 2008. The Fashion Almanac is published twice per year. Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is strictly prohibited. ISSN 1757-6423 The International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) is an internationally accepted code which identifies the title of serial publications. It is a unique eight-digit number consisting of seven digits plus a check digit, which enables a computer to recognise when the number is incorrectly cited. The check digit may be an X; otherwise the ISSN is fully numeric. The ISSN system was adopted as international standard ISO 3297 in 1975. The ISO subcommittee TC 46/SC 9 is responsible for the standard. Printed in Great Britain by Hertfordshire Reprographics. All papers used by The Fashion Almanac are FSC Certified. The cover is certified as a FSC 100% Recycled product and the stock used for the text is certified as a FSC Mixed Sources product (50% recovered waste and 50% virgin fibre). The manufacturing processes conform to the environmental regulations of the country of origin. WEBSITE www.thefashionalmanac.com
______________________ ERRORS & OMMISSIONS Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within The Fashion Almanac is both accurate and up-to-date and that all of its sources are appropriately credited. Please accept our sincere apologies if you find any errors, inaccuracies or omissions.
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CONTENTS [FRONT] NOTE ON COVER
TABLE OF CONTENTS EDITOR’S LETTER DIAGRAMS & LISTS: PART 1 Fashion Equations Shades of the Season Fashion Venn Diagrams The Endless Possibilities of a FLorian Necklace Take a Bow: Designer Analysis
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4-5 7 8-9 10-13 14-17 18-27 28-29
OBJECT LESSON 30-31 Anatomical dress by Marios Schwab, Spring/Summer 2008 INTERVIEW: VALERY DEMURE Profile of jewellery agent, Valery Demure
FAVOURITE FASHION CAMPAIGNS 40-51 10 leading figures nominate their all-time favourite fashion campaigns Q&A: FASHION FRIENDS FRANCESCA BURNS & LYNDELL MANSFIELD 52-55 Q&A with Fashion Editor Francesca Burns and hair stylist Lyndell Mansfield PROFILE: CLAIRE DE ROUEN Claire de Rouen and her bookshop, Claire de Rouen Books
FEATURE: THE COLLECTORS 5 fashion personalities reveal their personal ‘collections’
OBSERVATION: LE LABO Olfactory explorations with New York perfumer, Le Labo
DIAGRAMS & LISTS: PART 2 Curious Name Pronunciations Chronology of Nick Knight’s Assistants Fashion Identification Guide Favourite Fashion Moments Scents of Choice
84-85 86-87 88-89 90-93 94-95
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almanac n. A reference book, usually annual, composed of various lists, tables, and often brief articles relating to a particular field or many general fields. For centuries, almanacs have continued to cater for a wealth of fields including agriculture, astronomy, economics, health, religion, science, technology and transportation. An increasingly popular genre of publishing, these comprehensive compilations have continued to inform and/or entertain individuals. However, there is one prominent cultural field that has long been overlooked by the almanac. It is here, for the first time in the history of publishing, that the almanac centres on the world of fashion, taking its form as a magazine rather than the conventional book. The Fashion Almanac is a magazine in its purest sense, employing a conventional structure based around the components intrinsic to all women’s magazines. Careful never to stray from its original reference point, the approach and execution of each of these elements is always inspired by methods used by the traditional almanac. Fashion is the ideal candidate for the almanac framework - its complex, multi-faceted formation and ever-evolving nature provides a rich source of inspiration and subject matter for content. Its sartorial subject matter is so explicitly ideal, it is astounding fashion has never before been subjected to this specific treatment. There are many ways in which fashion could have been incorporated into an almanac, the most obvious being to compile an exhaustive compendium of chronological data and definition of garments. Instead, The Fashion Almanac’s mission is to offer a selective, informative, and entertaining analysis of the fashion world, in all its complexity. In particular, our curiosity is piqued by the achievements of the fashion season, the specific structures and trade nomenclature that makes the industry tick and crucially, the creative insiders that help to drive fashion forward. This inaugural issue, for Spring/Summer 2008, presents a fascinating assortment of objects, personalities, details and informative anecdotes. In true almanac style, diagrams and lists are employed to bring order and clarity, conveying diverse information spanning the key elements of this season’s collections, the pronunciation of designer names, favourite adverts and fashion moments and a chronology of Nick Knight’s assistants. Fashion ‘objects’, including a Marios Schwab dress, a FLorian necklace and Jason Evans’ intriguing selection of wooden cooking utensils, are given special consideration. The issue also features four inspirational women – each of them powerful tastemakers, shaping fashion from varying intersecting points of the industry. The enthralling subject of fragrance features heavily, in an in-depth profile of the New York perfumer, Le Labo and in a revelatory field guide depicting the ‘scents of choice’ of both male and female industry luminaries. From the outset, it was always my chief intention that The Fashion Almanac should inform, intrigue, inspire and, most importantly, entertain. It is my greatest wish that the copy you hold in your hands does all of this (and more). Laura Bradley Editor in Chief
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The first question that most designers are asked after their show is what inspired them. These references play a vital role in the journey of a fashion collection: for the designer, they work as a starting point and can inform looks, details and the overall narrative. After the show, the reference points become a vital tool for the journalist, allowing them to decode and make sense of the collection they have just witnessed, usually forming the crux of their reviews. Whereas some designers are very happy to list their varying inspirations, others prefer to let the work ‘speak for itself ’. Yet it is the way that a designer handles their references that is so intriguing. Whereas some are very literal, others are more abstract, hardly bearing any correlation to the final designs. Whereas some select complimentary sources, others choose to meld contrasting opposites. The format of a conventional mathematical equation is used here to unpack the varying references for six of this season’s collections.
+ = plus
+ Victoria Beckham
= Edie in ‘Grey Gardens’
= Film Noir
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Peter Lindbergh’s photographs
Viktor & Rolf
Marcel Marceau Man Ray’s ‘Le Violin d’Ingres’
Floral Liberty prints Superheroes (Batman)
Thora Birch in ‘Ghost World’
‘Crocodile Dundee’ Sissey Spacek in ‘Carrie’
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SHADES OF THE SEASON Alongside silhouette, fabric, references and details, colour is a fundamental component of any designer’s collection. It is often the first element of a design that is noticed and this influences how that garment or collection is perceived. Here, the core palettes of five of this season’s key collections are depicted using shades from the Pantone database.
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Maison Martin Margiela
PANTONE is a trademark of ©Pantone, Inc., 2008. All rights reserved. ISSUE 1 — 13
Venn diagrams are used in the branch of mathematics known as set theory and employ circular areas, to represent groups of items sharing common properties. Here, this method is used to portray six key, overlapping ideas or ‘trends’ evident this season.
Asterisk is used instead of an image.
Each diagram consists of two intersecting circles, producing a total of three regions:
Items that fall in this region [either ‘A’ or ‘B’] fit with the description that runs around the edge of the circle.
Denotes the intersection of sets ‘A’ and ‘B’. Items that fall in this region share properties of both ‘A’ and ‘B’.
[NO POCKET BA GS
OUSERS WI T TR TH
Laura Mackness [Central Saint Martins graduate collection, July 2007]
Marc Jacobs [S/S ‘08]
Chloé [S/S ‘08]
S P A RE
Dolce & Gabbana [S/S ‘08]
S S WITH HORTS W OR
Chanel [S/S ‘08]
TRANSPARENT TROUSERS WITH POCKET BAGS. SHORTS ARE ALSO WORN UNDERNEATH.
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Ann-Sofie Back [her trademark since S/S ‘05]
Viktor & Rolf [S/S ‘06]
TWALK PRES EN E CA TA TI
Marc Jacobs [S/S ‘08]
M M E R 2 0 08 ] /SU
O NE-OFF RE
Reverse Catwalk Presentations
Dolce & Gabbana menswear [S/S ‘08]
ANN-SOFIE BACK’S SHOWS HAVE STARTED IN REVERSE SINCE SPRING/SUMMER 2005.
TINGS [N OP PAIN AI
Basso and Brooke [S/S ‘08] Maison Martin Margiela Artisanal [S/S ‘07]
Miu Miu [A/W ‘07]
Three hand-painted oil canvases were combined to make one sleeveless dress. Each dress took thirty-five hours to finish.
R M E N TS ] N GA
Chloé [S/S ‘08]
Dolce & Gabbana [S/S ‘08] Ten young artists were invited to treat the dresses as a canvas.
DRESS IS BASED ON PAINTINGS. PAINT CAN BE FOUND ON THE GARMENT. ISSUE 1 — 15
Yves Saint Laurent [S/S ‘08]
S AR ST
Maison Martin Margiela [S/S ‘08]
Stars and Stripes
Chanel [S/S ‘08] Paul Smith [S/S ‘08]
Ann Demeulemeester [S/S ‘08]
LOOK INCORPORATES BOTH STARS AND STRIPES.
A Gucci [S/S ‘08]
Stella McCartney [S/S ‘08]
Roberto Cavalli [S/S ‘08] Junya Watanabe [S/S ‘08]
T FLORAL PRIN PEA T
Dries Van Noten [S/S ‘08]
Balenciaga [S/S ‘08]
Marc Jacobs [S/S ‘08]
LOOK FEATURES BOTH FLORAL PLACEMENT PRINT AND REPEAT FLORAL PRINT. 16 — ISSUE 1
CREATED BY CUT
Shoulders of Exaggerated Proportion
Ann-Sofie Back [S/S ‘08]
Roksanda Ilincic [S/S ‘08]
Maison Martin Margiela [A/W ‘07-8]
Richard Nicoll [S/S ‘08]
Christian Dior [S/S ‘08]
Maison Martin Margiela [S/S ‘08]
Maison Martin Margiela [S/S ‘07]
EATED BY SHOU
E R AT E
Yves Saint Laurent [S/S ‘08]
EXAGGERATED SHOULDERS CREATED BY CUT AND ALSO INCORPORATE SHOULDER PADS.
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The Endless Possiblities of a
Creative Direction by Laura Bradley & Photography by Justin Argyle
FLorian Ladstaetter is a jewellery designer of Austrian descent. He started his career creating art jewellery and his work was exhibited in galleries in Vienna, The Netherlands and Germany. In the late nineties, FLorian changed his approach, focusing on more wearable pieces and began producing seasonal fashion collections. His designs are visually striking, ranging from complex beaded necklaces, hanging pendants and larger, sculptural body objects; created from an unconventional palette of materials including resin, marble, wood, flock and Swarovski crystal. FLorian is best-known for his signature ‘Babel’ necklace – an intriguing piece made up of two-interconnecting necklaces. The following pages demonstrate the various ways in which the Babel necklace can be worn. ISSUE 1 — 19
Fig. 1: Place pearls around the neck and turn necklace around so that the first junction lies just beneath the collarbone and the other lies at the side of the neck.
Anna Gudbrandsdottir wears top by Balenciaga, leggings by American Apparel, Babel necklace by FLorian. ISSUE 1 â€” Â 21
Fig. 3: Position intersecting necklaces so that they create a conventional necklace shape (the clear bead ring will sit inside the ring of pearls). Place over head. Both junctions should sit at the back of the neck so that they are hidden from view.
Fig. 2: Place pearls around the neck leaving the clear beads to hang loose over the front of the body. Turn the necklace anti-clockwise until the clear beads form a narrow ring and flip over so that it sits on top of the pearls. ISSUE 1 â€” Â 23
Fig. 4: Place pearls around the neck and position the clear beads over the right shoulder.
Fig. 5: Place left arm through the pearls and right arm through the clear beads so that both junctions lie across the centre of the chest. 24 Ââ€” ISSUE 1
Some Other Possibilities...
* Place clear beads around the neck leaving the pearls to hang loose over the front of the body. [Fig. 6] * Place both rings around neck and position each junction above each breast. The pearls should hang beneath the clear beads. * Place clear beads around the neck and position necklace so that the pearl ring falls across the back. Pearls can then be wrapped around hair or can be left to hang loose across the back. * Place pearls around the neck leaving the clear beads to hang loose over the front of the body. * Place both rings around neck and position both junctions on left side of the neckline so that they are visible from the front. * Place the pearls around the neck leaving the clear beads to hang loose over the front of the body. Cross pearl ring and wrap around neck so clear beads sit around neck and pearls create a cross within the ring.
FLorian is stocked at Dover Street Market (Telephone: +44 (0) 207 518 0680). 26 Ââ€” ISSUE 1
TAKE Designer A BOW: Analysis
The way in which a designer appears at the end of their show can often attract as much attention as the collection itself. These situations vary: whereas some give a swift wave before retreating, others spend longer, striking a series of poses or traversing the full length of the runway. Whereas some look tired and worn, others appear bright and exuberant; some spend nearly as much time planning and perfecting their own ‘look’ as they do for those in the collection. The following diagrams illustrate the varying modes of ‘taking a bow’, beginning with the most contentious of finalés, courtesy of Marc Jacobs in his New York show and a month later at his Louis Vuitton show in Paris, and concluding with John Galliano, a designer who is renowned for his theatrical finalé appearances.
POLITICAL: Marc Jacobs at Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2008 & Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2008 The Marc Jacobs show in September 2007 started two-hours late and caused great controversy. The journalist Suzy Menkes consequently cited it as a “bad, sad show”.
During his finalé appearance at the Louis Vuitton show, Jacobs appeared to stick his tongue out in the direction of Suzy Menkes. Fellow journalist, Cathy Horyn later posted her thoughts on her blog, stating, “he should have known better”. Jacobs responded in a comment under the post, denying the gesture was directed at Menkes and explaining that he had actually left Menkes a Lesage-embroidered T-shirt on her seat at the Louis Vuitton show.
The Marc Jacobs show started in reverse, opening with an appearance from Jacobs -who ran energetically down the Stefan Beckman designed set- and ending with the first look from the collection.
Aged 44, Jacobs looks somewhat different from the long-haired, spectacle-wearing designer he once was. He now sports a cropped haircut and diamond stud earrings, his body is tanned and toned and his arms are lined with tattoos including the word ‘perfect’ written on his right wrist. These drastic changes are all part of Jacobs’ self-professed mid-life crisis. Jacobs’ appearance at the Louis Vuitton show is decidedly smarter yet his accessory of choice, a specially designed, SpongeBob SquarePants ‘TV bag’ ensures the look isn’t altogether serious.
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HUMBLE: Alber Elbaz at Lanvin Spring/Summer 2008 Elbaz appears in his trademark look: a bow tie, short trousers and suit jacket. The last model in the show was dressed in a version of the designer’s finalé look.
Elbaz walked the entire length of the catwalk to greet his audience. His hands are held together suggesting his humble, reserved nature.
TRIUMPHAL: Vivienne Westwood at Vivienne Westwood Spring/Summer 2008 Westwood plays a fundamental role in her brand’s promotion. Aged 67, Westwood regularly wears her own designs and has recently appeared in Juergen Teller’s advertising campaigns for the label, alongside her husband, Andreas Kronthaler.
Dressed in one of her own designs, Westwood stalks the runway with one hand in her pocket and the other swinging by her side. She takes her bow in front of the photographers’ pit and goes on to strike a series of poses. She leaves the catwalk in triumphant fashion, shaking her arms and bottom in time to the music.
THEATRICAL: John Galliano at Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2008 & John Galliano Spring/Summer 2008 Galliano is renowned for his extravagant finalé appearances, in which he regularly appears in full thematic costume. Previous examples include a Nasa-approved spacesuit and homage to Lieutenant Benjamin Franklin Pinkerton from ‘Madame Butterfly’. After the models had left the catwalk at the end of the Christian Dior show, the lights went down for a short time before Galliano appeared under a spotlight, dressed in a black top hat and tail-coat and white shorts, smoking a cigarette. Four days later at his John Galliano show, the designer’s finalé appearance was more relaxed. He walked around the Michael Howells’ designed set, wearing brightly coloured ensemble, with a green balloon attached to his hat and bunting hanging from his pocket.
As at Lanvin, the show’s last model was dressed in an outfit similar to the designer’s, this time a white Christian Dior top hat and tailcoat. ISSUE 1 — 29
OBJECT Dress LESSON: by Marios Schwab Since his namesake label’s debut under the Fashion East umbrella in 2005, fashion designer Marios Schwab has been renowned for his body-conscious silhouettes. For his acclaimed Spring/Summer 2008 show however, Schwab replaced his signature ‘body-conscious’ approach with ‘consciousness of the body’; focusing on the complex inner workings of the human form. The collection entitled ‘Vigour-Mortis’ comprised heat-reactive fabrics, pearl harnesses, draped jersey dresses and prints derived from microphotography of bone and viscera. Schwab’s main point of reference was the 16th century anatomical drawings of Andreas Vesalius in his seven-volume book, ‘De Humani Corporis Fabrica’, but Schwab also drew inspiration from a wealth of other sources, including exhibits at The Hunterian Museum at The Royal College of Surgeons, The Natural History Museum, the Wellcome Collection, Gunther von Hagen’s ‘Body Worlds’ series, and ‘Drawings for William Cheselden’s Osteographia’ held at the Royal Academy of Arts. The dress featured on the opposite page was the second look in Schwab’s thirty-one part collection. The piece is comprised of two parts: a black grosgrain structured ‘corset’ which sits over the main body of the printed silk chiffon dress. The following diagram discusses the key components of the dress and incorporates a selection of Vesalius’s anatomical drawings that informed its design.
The ‘rolls of fabric’ and their strategic positioning on the dress represent the formation of skin as it is pulled back during dissection, as illustrated in the works of Andreas Vesalius. In addition to complex anatomical drawings, the approach also referenced Jean Fouquet’s painting, ‘Virgin and Child Surrounded by Angels’ (c.1450), in which rolls of blue fabric fall around the Virgin’s left breast.
Crin is used as interlining on the ‘rolls’ as reinforcement.
Fig. 1: Andreas Vesalius’s illustration of a female dissection taken from his book, ‘De Humani Corporis Fabrica’.
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The one-way stretch grosgrain (including elastane fibres) used for the corset is specially manufactured for Schwab. Conventionally used in the design of girdles, the fabric has been used for various garments in each of Schwab’s collections.
A large, raw zip fastening runs down the back of the dress – rather than a conventional zip, the dress incorporates an oversized, industrial version, which echoes the structure of the spinal column it lies above.
The silk chiffon underlay features prints designed by Meera Sleight, based on microphotography of body tissue. The prints feature on the outer garment as well as on the inner-linings.
Fig. 2: Marios Schwab dress priced £1350.00 is stocked at Browns (Telephone: +44 (0) 207 514 0000).
The print features the original colouration of the microphotography on which it is based. Fig. 3: Andreas Vesalius’s illustration of the vertebral column as whole taken from his book, ‘De Humani Corporis Fabrica’. ISSUE 1 — 31
VALERY DEMURE Text by Laura Bradley & Photography by James Pearson-Howes
Jewellery obsessive; dog lover; charming eccentric; fashion extraordinaire; the only one of her kind. Welcome to the fascinating world of Valery Demure. Founded in late 2005, Valery Demure’s namesake agency represents and promotes a roster of independent, contemporary jewellery and accessory designers. Over the past two years, her agency has amassed a diverse yet distinct selection of emerging talent, nurtured and championed their work, established interesting collaborations and secured successful placement in a wealth of leading fashion publications and retail outlets worldwide. The agency has quickly become a driving force – its success made possible by an increasing number of progressive jewellery designers, a recent upturn in editorial interest from the fashion media, but more importantly, Demure’s tenacity and visionary zeal. Demure challenges the stereotypes associated with both the world of luxury fashion jewellery and accessories and the representatives that promote them: her company isn’t run from a plush office space and precious gemstones are certainly not its central focus. Each of her designers are carefully hand-picked and each shares a definitive aesthetic and intelligent reasoning, creating pieces that are both unconventional yet highly desirable. Perhaps the most interesting distinction is her company’s ‘diptych formation’: her business is as much about the designers and their jewellery as it is about Demure herself.
Valery wears jacket by Comme des Garçons, top by Sharon Wauchob, necklace by Ligia Dias, bracelet and ring by Hermès, engagement ring by Erickson Beamon, jeans by Superfine, socks by Tabio, shoes by Repetto for Comme des Garçons. ISSUE 1 — 33
This interview takes place in Demure’s studio, situated in an imposing industrial, multi-storey unit overlooking Regent’s Canal and Broadway Market in east London. This small open-plan space, which serves both as an office and a home, is where most of Demure’s meetings take place. Time spent here allows one to gradually piece together the varying facets that make up her intriguing character. Her sartorial preferences are reinforced by a heavy rail of mainly black clothing and numerous display stands of accessories. Her cultural passions are reflected in the Vladimir Tretchikoff paintings that hang on the wall. And the scope of her interests are illustrated by a vast collection of films, books and magazines. Her company’s website hints at this erudition: alongside profiles of each of the designers that she represents, is ‘Le Carnet’, a type of online notebook that houses her thoughts, inspirations and experiences. Updated regularly, the posts are varied ranging from her love of Surrealist art, taxidermy, dance, literature, photography, music, fashion and film, her admiration of iconic women, as well as the documentation of her recent trips. It is Demure’s ‘open-book’ approach that really sets her apart from her fashion representative peers who are more content to stand in the background. Demure’s company is vastly enjoyable. Her passionate nature is incredibly infectious and she is an entertaining conversationalist – intelligent discourse centring on her own working practice is juxtaposed with humorous anecdotes based on recent events. In the following interview, Demure talks candidly about her provincial French upbringing, her varied career path and charts the conception and realisation of her agency. LB: Can you tell me about your background? VD: I was born in Amsterdam in 1968 and five days later my family moved to France where I was raised. My childhood was not a very happy one. My sister died when she was a baby and I was very uninspired by my parents but I was very close to my grandmother who was probably the most influential figure in my childhood – she was fun, a bit wild and very loving. She would often tell me stories just before I went to sleep and I would go on to have vivid dreams and nightmares; she really helped me to develop my imagination. I was quite spoilt by her but I also remember being prevented from doing certain things. I didn’t like authority and was very rebellious; I was desperate to grow-up so I could be free to do whatever I wanted. I was also quite dreamy, introverted and very contemplative. I was
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really interested in books and films and was attracted to beautiful things. How do you remember your schooling? I hated school. My parents sent me to a Catholic school – a ‘good’ school that didn’t have a diverse cultural mix of pupils. It was very disciplined and I didn’t like this at all. I enjoyed studying Foreign Languages and Art but I didn’t really excel at Maths and Science – this didn’t bother me in the slightest because my grandmother always used to say as long as you could count your change in a shop, then you’d be alright! The college I attended after school was quite liberal and I felt much more comfortable there. Everyone at college seemed to be part of a big group of friends but I wasn’t really very sociable and I spent a lot of time on my own. Did go to university after you left college? Yes, I went to university in Strasbourg. This city was quite a long distance from my hometown of Lyon and I was desperate to get away. I opted to study History of Art and Drama – my parents weren’t keen on my Drama choice but I did it nonetheless! I absolutely loved Drama: it enabled me to develop socially and allowed me to really express myself. After I graduated, I returned to Lyon and began a degree in Journalism and PR because I was intent on becoming a film critic. Originally, I’d always wanted to be an art critic but I soon realised how much it involved remembering lots of tedious things like dates of paintings. Film had always been (and still remains to be) one of my greatest passions. Whilst I was studying, I did lots of work placements and then, after I graduated, I moved to London in 1989. What inspired this move? London had always interested me for many reasons. I liked its ‘look’ (the red buildings and the double-decker buses) and its association with fashion, particularly the designs of Vivienne Westwood. When did you first become interested in fashion? Very early on. I always dressed quite eccentrically at school – mismatched items of clothing worn with pieces of jewellery my grandmother had leant me. But lots of people did not really understand why I chose to dress like this and I had very few friends as a result. How did you find London when you arrived? I loved it, mostly because of its freedom. For the first
Valery was photographed at her east London studio where she lives and works alongside her fiancée Bruno Mouzoud and their beloved dog, Honey, who the couple rescued after finding her tied to a lamppost.
time, I seemed to fit in – nobody seemed to judge you on the way you dressed. I started working with a small clothing label called ‘Hyper Hyper’ in 1988 and stayed there for about a year. It was a crazy time for me – I had no ties and felt free to discover new things. It wasn’t always fun though because I wasn’t earning much money, but thankfully I had good friends who I could turn to for support. It was very different to the lifestyle I’d had in France. What did you do after you left Hyper Hyper? I had to return to France because my grandfather was very ill and I began work as an English teacher. It was an extremely well-paid job but being back in France really bored me so I spent a lot of my spare-time in bars and clubs. It was at this time that I met Bruno [Valery’s fiancée]. We both enjoyed clubbing and we
wanted to be a part of the new ‘rave’ culture but these parties were forbidden in France at this time. Finding another job was also very difficult: even though I had a degree in Journalism, magazines wouldn’t take me because of the way I dressed. They wanted me to be ‘proper’ and I just wasn’t! Bruno and I felt there were no possibilities for us in France, so we moved to London a year later. Bruno started studying Fine Art and I worked at the clothing store Whistles for a few years. This was a good experience for me as I was involved in both sales and visual merchandising but it was difficult job because they were not an easy company to work for. After this, I applied for a temporary position at the jewellery gallery, Jess James. When I first arrived, I wasn’t over-awed but thought it was a cute shop, on a
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really lovely street [Newburgh Street in Soho] and the owners seemed to really like me. Two months later, I was offered the manager’s position and ended up staying for four and half years. I would say that I was the driving force there: when I arrived, I didn’t really like anything they sold in the store so I completely changed it by bringing in a new generation of jewellers such as Scott Wilson and Shaun Leane. It was a particularly exciting time because lots of different kinds of jewellers were beginning to emerge. I was involved with everything –buying, press, special commissions, window displaysand it was a good grounding for what I do now. Where did you find out about this ‘new generation’ of jewellers? One of the jewellers I first came across was Naomi Filmer. One day Bruno and I were walking down Brick Lane [in east London] and I spotted super sculptural and interesting pieces in the window of a small shop called ‘@Work’. I was really intrigued so I went inside to find out whom they were by. I’d never seen anything like this before: being French, I was only really familiar with fine jewellery or mass-produced pieces that were decorative and meaningless. The shop told me they were by the jewellery designer, Naomi Filmer but refused to give me her contact details. A few months later, I finally managed to get in touch with her through another jeweller whose work we stocked as Jess James. From the first time we met, Naomi realised that I was incredibly passionate about her work and we have been close friends ever since. I remember her saying that many English people hadn’t really shown her the level of enthusiasm I had and I think she was incredibly touched by this. I wore and promoted Naomi’s work at Jess James and it sold well. Most of the designers I work with are introduced to me via someone, for example, Naomi recommended both the jewellers Shaun Leane and FLorian Ladstaetter. Sometimes though, I’ll see a girl in the street wearing an interesting necklace and I will always try and ask her more about it. I’ve always been curious from a very young age – this is probably one of the things I most like about myself. I read lots of magazines and now, if I come across a name that I don’t know I will always Google it. I love meeting new people and will always ask lots of questions; I think talking to people is incredibly important. I tend to work with people who I’ve sought out, rather than the ones that contact me. Now that I’ve built up a reputation, I receive a lot of
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look books from designers but only about half of them interest me. What are you looking for in the designers you represent? A very strong identity. I’ve always liked singers, filmmakers, photographers and artists who have a very distinct signature style. It also comes down to my own personal taste. How did your own company come about? It was Francesca Burns [now Fashion Editor at i-D magazine] who really encouraged me to start my own agency. I worked for a short time at the agency, LPPR who represented a variety of jewellers including Scott Stephen. I bought in the Austrian designer, FLorian Ladstaetter but nobody could really understand how he could be successful. FLorian began to change the style of his work ever so slightly without making any real compromises to his designs and it was then that I really began to understand it and could see that it had huge potential. I really believed in FLorian and was incredibly passionate about what he was doing and because LPPR was not willing to support him, I decided to set up on my own. I thought it would be great but I was also concerned about how I would make a living from representing jewellers and accessories designers. So many people thought I was crazy to even consider it! When was this? At the end of 2005. It started very small: I only had about six clients including FLorian, Scott Stephen and Benedicte [Mouret]. Bruno built our company website and I became self-employed. I had a small budget for PR and I had my first showroom at LPPR’s offices. A few buyers came and it was quite a success and it went onto grow quite quickly from there on. Who would you say was most supportive at the beginning? Stores like Browns Focus and Colette who have stocked our designers from the early stages. And the stylist Patti Wilson – she has used lots of our pieces in shoots for French Vogue and Numéro. I had made a lot of really good contacts from my time at Jess James and LPPR, such as [the stylist] Jonathan Kaye, and I knew [the stylist] Jane How, as she was a friend of Naomi’s. FLorian attracted a lot of attention and he became one of my first big clients.
What were your main intentions when you started out? Before I started my company, I was aware that I would not be able to make a good enough income from just press budgets. I really felt it was important to offer our clients promotion at all levels, securing the right kinds of press coverage and ensuring that they are sold in the right type of stores. When I was working at Jess James, I noticed that the designers that were being featured in magazines weren’t necessarily the ones that were selling well. Press is important but it isn’t everything and I see it more as a support to my sales work. I think a big part of my company’s success is that we can offer the full ‘package’. Also, my company is probably the only one of its kind – I’m sure there are agents who deal with craft-based jewellery and those who represent jewellers and accessories designers alongside clothing lines but there isn’t anyone in the world that solely handles the kind of fashion jewellery and accessories that I do. Although, I’ve spoken to a lot of PRs and the general consensus is that accessories are definitely more desirable now than they were two years ago. I’m sure it won’t be long until someone else is doing what I do.
to create a kind of ‘buzz’ around a designer and we often do this by setting up collaborations. For instance, FLorian has worked with Hussein Chalayan and more recently, Comme des Garçons; Ligia Dias and Scott Wilson have both created jewellery for Phillip Lim; and Scott [Wilson] is also doing work for Marc Jacobs. I am always keen to ensure our collaborations are interesting because I am very aware that there are so many that are very boring and meaningless. Another way to keep a designer ‘special’ is to be very careful about where they are stocked - I don’t think it’s right to have my designers sold in every department store as it saturates the market.
How would you say the company has changed over the past two years? At the start it was crazy - I was working non-stop and didn’t really have a life! It’s a better set-up now: Bruno works with me full-time and we also work with Corinne Brun, a freelance graphic designer. It’s not easy because we live and work in the same space - we are desperate to have an office but I know we have to be patient. The company’s had quite a fast ascension really and this is something that I’ve always been very frightened about – I know things can disappear just as quickly as they appear. I’m always thinking about the longevity of my business and also of my designers. I’m very protective of my designers and am very particular about the payment terms they have with stockists and whom I lend press samples to. I am aware that I have the reputation to be quite rude sometimes, but you have to be extremely firm when you are representing designers who have limited finances.
How business-minded would you say they are? A lot of them don’t have a clue! I did a lecture recently at Middlesex University and the students were incredibly unaware of the problems that young designers can encounter when their designs are sold in stores, particularly when it comes to payment terms. I was very aware of such issues when I started my business and I knew that it would be my role to liaise with the store, on behalf of the designer, and deal with any financial matters. I would say that fifty percent of my time is spent managing my business and my designers businesses and this is the part that I find least exciting.
How do you keep each of your designers ‘special’? From the very beginning, another thing I was aware of was the importance of working on the image of each of the designers I represent. I think it’s very important
How would you describe the relationship you have which each of the designers you represent? Do you see them at all points of their working process? Each of them is different. Whereas some of them are extremely strong-minded, others prefer me to be much more involved. I always try to keep things fair by promoting them equally – if one designer has a smaller press budget then it certainly doesn’t mean that I’m going to put less effort in.
How many people do you represent at the moment? Eighteen – I’m now at my maximum. Each time I do a showroom, I re-asses my situation and the relationships I have with the designers. Most designers are very good but some can be very difficult and ungrateful. You showcased your designers in a space called ‘Demure Untamed’ at London Fashion Week in
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September 2007. How did that come about? The British Fashion Council had been keen to do something for some time but I was initially quite reluctant because I prefer to do things on my own. I eventually came around to the idea and created an installation that showcased a selection of designers I represent. It was a lot of work but I was really pleased with the result and I received a lot of good feedback. But London Fashion Week is not really the place where you make lots of money – this happens in Paris. How does the reaction to the jewellery and accessories you represent compare in different countries? Japan has always been a very big client but now the yen is very low and the Japanese tend to be buying in the United States. Japan had always been a big purchaser of young designers so those that used to rely on this income are now struggling. Hong Kong and China are very big clients; Europe isn’t generally that big a market although France distributes a lot of my designers. The United States is very difficult because it is a pretty conservative market and there are not very many interesting avant-garde stores over there although I do sell to a few high-end department stores. I have a lot of problems with exclusivity in stores. For example, in Greece we work with one stockist who wants complete exclusivity but the problem comes when they decide to pull out the season after and you’re left with nothing because you’ve already turned all the others away. I think I take quite a lot of risks but I really try to make things work, say by lending samples to Greek Vogue. What would you say is the most valuable thing you’ve learnt so far? To try and be a bit more diplomatic [Bruno interrupts: “there is some improvement”]! To bite my tongue because I’m always very quick to speak my mind. But, I’ve learnt that the most important thing of all is to have a sense of humour: if you can’t laugh, working in a business such as this, you’d end up going crazy! Valery Demure was interviewed on Tuesday 18th March 2008. For more information visit www.valerydemure.com.
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FASHION CAMPAIGNS Creative Direction by Laura Bradley & Photography by Justin Argyle
For over a century, advertising has been a key component of the fashion magazine; even more so in recent times, with campaigns taking up ever higher proportions of the printed publication. Positioned so that they bookend the magazine’s editorial, these pages are arguably ones that most readers will pay least attention to. However, this feature gives special consideration to fashion campaigns, inviting ten creatives from varying sectors of the industry to nominate their alltime favourites; revisiting long-forgotten ones from the past as well as those from recent seasons.
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Yohji Yamamoto, Spring/Summer 2000 photographed by Craig McDean Nominated by Lucy Ewing, Fashion Director at Sunday Times Style Reason: “All of the Yohji Yamamoto adverts were brilliant in their own way, although my favourite is this one featuring Erika Wall. All of the ingredients are perfect: the clothes, the M/M (Paris) design, Craig McDean’s photography, and the popular Parisian tourist locations. It has beauty and humour and is thought provoking. I also have a soft spot for Prada’s Spring/Summer 2000 campaign - my husband took the pictures and I styled it and the clothes were fantastic.”
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Vivienne Westwood, Spring/Summer 2008 photographed by Juergen Teller Nominated by Laura Mackness, MA Fashion Student at Central Saint Martins Reason: “I really like all of the adverts Juergen Teller has shot for Vivienne Westwood, particularly this season’s. I love the juxtapositions that it employs: the contrast of the model, Ajuma Nasenyana, against Westwood’s alabaster-like skin and Nasenyana’s shaven head next to Westwood’s wild, orange hair. I also like the element of fun that all of Westwood’s campaigns evoke – it’d be great to spend a day hanging out wth Viv!”
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Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 2008 photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin Nominated by Jonathan Kaye, Stylist Reason: “It’s difficult to select just one as there has been so many great images of late. This season’s Yves Saint Laurent campaign works on all levels: concept, photography, product, model and the graphic design. It has a seemingly spontaneous quality and doesn’t appear to be over-worked or retouched.”
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Yves Saint Laurent, Spring/Summer 2008 photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin Nominated by Jop van Bennekom, Editor of Fantastic Man Reason: “The pictures represent such a weird puzzle: the world’s most-wanted model stands outside the Pierre Bergé Yves Saint Laurent Foundation in Paris, wearing the latest Yves Saint Laurent collection designed by Stefano Pilati?”
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Helmut Lang, Spring/Summer 1994 photographed by David Sims Nominated by Benjamin Alexander Huseby, Photographer Reason: “I was completely obsessed with this Helmut Lang advert. I also like the 1962 advert for Lanvin’s ‘Mon Péche’ perfume, photographed by Willy Maywald. It features the singer Nico – I am fanatical about her and am completely at odds with what she became later in life. The image is both goofy and pretty.”
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Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2007 photographed by Juergen Teller Nominated by Emma Elwick, Market Editor at British Vogue Reason: “The leitmotif of the child-woman is a recurrent presence and inspiration. Juergen Teller’s pictures of Dakota Fanning demonstrate this in a modern mischievous way - less Humbert Humbert, the campaign captures the continual state of dress-up at play in fashion.”
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Calvin Klein, Autumn/Winter 2002-3 & Balenciaga, Autumn/Winter 2001-2 photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin Nominated by Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak , M/M (Paris) Reason: “It’s a tough one to answer since in fashion every season erases the previous one. But to be sincere, our all-time highs would more than likely be ones we’ve made: Calvin Klein’s hand-signed billboards (from Spring/Summer 2002 and Autumn/Winter 2002-3) and the Balenciaga decapitation of Christy Turlington (from Autumn/Winter 2001-2).”
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Jil Sander Autumn/Winter 2006-7 by Jun Takahashi for A Magazine #4 Nominated by Laura Bradley, Editor in Chief of The Fashion Almanac Reason: “It is extremely rare to see an advertisement in a magazine that has been altered from its original form. Pioneered by the photographer Jonathan De Villiers in his 2004 magazine for the Hyères festival, the approach has since been employed by Martin Parr in his 2005, ‘Fashion Magazine’ and by Jun Takahashi [Undercover] in A Magazine in 2006. Realising the importance of advertising in the structure of a fashion magazine, Takahashi took a selection of existing campaigns -including Willy Vanderperre’s beautiful imagery for Jil Sander- and gave each one its own surreal twist, incorporating deformed dolls, punk-esque studs and brain illustrations. Aptly named, ‘Art-vertising’, the series gives a revelatory insight into the weird and wonderful mind of the designer.”
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Marc Jacobs Spring/Summer 2008 photographed by Juergen Teller Nominated by Alex Fury, Editorial Assistant at SHOWstudio Reason: “In a season where everyone seems to be producing eminently commercial and well-received collections accompanied by blandly beautiful ‘advertorials’, trust the frankly unholy trinity of Marc Jacobs, Juergen Teller and Victoria Beckham to come up with something a little more sickening. Jacobs’ lead balloon of a collection could only be made palatable by Mrs VB, herself shot by Teller in his trademark flash-faced manner that makes her resemble everything from perma-tanned alien to Ganguro girl to Peperami. Wrapped as a postmodern product in a coffin-like box, sometimes emerging legs akimbo or quizzically headfirst from a carrier bag, Beckham embodies the single-season flash-in-the-pan aesthetic of Jacobs’ shonky wares. I don’t understand how it works so well but at the same time I wonder if Posh actually got the joke?”
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Yohji Yamamoto Autumn/Winter 1987-8 photographed by Nick Knight Nominated by Susannah Frankel, Fashion Editor at The Independent Reason: “It’s an iconic and highly influential image - radical because it is abstracted and extremely beautiful. This season, I like Marc Jacobs’ campaign because it too is brave - and funny, not a word often associated with fashion.”
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FRANCESCA BURNS & LYNDELL MANSFIELD
Since meeting five years ago, Francesca Burns and Lyndell Mansfield have become firm ‘fashion friends’ – a relationship that has flourished both inside and outside of their working environment. An affiliation first cemented whilst the pair were working as assistants, Francesca now works as Fashion Editor at i-D magazine whilst Lyndell has established herself as an acclaimed hair stylist, working with a wealth of high-profile clients on catwalk shows, fashion shoots and advertising campaigns. The pair regularly collaborate on varying projects and have symbiotically produced a succession of striking fashion imagery. Intentionally questioned separately, both speak candidly about their creative partnership and their intertwining friendship outside of the industry. ISSUE 1 — 53
How did you first come to work in the fashion industry?
In my first year at university [the London College of Fashion] we were required to complete a two-week work placement. My friend Tanya was working on Kylie Minogue’s tour at the time and she introduced me to William Baker, Kylie’s Creative Director. My first job was assisting on the ‘Can’t Get You Out of My Head’ video. A two-week placement ended up lasting the full-length of the summer, which in turn resulted in me leaving college and working on the ‘Fever’ world tour.
Mansfield: From a very young age, I’ve always had a love of imagery and dressing-up. I became a hairdresser aged fifteen and was always interested in styling hair for images, be it film or stills. When I moved [from Australia] to London in 1998, I put all my focus on ‘fashion’, assisting on shoots and catwalk shows and doing test shoots with other young, fashion-hungry people. How and when did you first meet each other? FB: Whilst I was working with William Baker, he styled an Evisu fashion show, which was designed by Pamela Blundell. The show was in Milan and Luke and Daniel Hersheson were styling the hair. Lyndell was part of their hair team and was completely unmissable – she had incredible energy and was always laughing, had pink hair and wore Vivienne Westwood. I was quite intimidated by her – she was unlike anyone I’d ever met before and I didn’t really know how to talk to her. This didn’t matter though because Lyndell has time for everyone and we very quickly became friends. LM: [Lyndell also recalls the Evisu show in Milan.] There was an instant attraction and curiosity – both Fran and I are the kind of girls that love to see someone ‘busting a look’ and we both were (of course) so we had immediate respect for one another.
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What’s your favourite job that you’ve worked on together? FB: Without a doubt our Beth Ditto shoot for i-D [‘Hot Gossip’, August 2006] photographed by Alice Hawkins. Beth had never really been styled or treated like that before; her and Lyndell bonded instantly. It was such an amazing moment and we were very lucky to be a part of it. After that shoot, Radio 1 gave The Gossip airplay and suddenly they were everywhere. It was my editor, Ben [Reardon] who pushed me to shoot Beth and it remains to be one of my favourite shoots of all time. LM: Our ‘Agyness Deyn to Tank Girl’ story for i-D [‘Attitude’, May 2008] because we were both into it 100%! How often do you get to see each other outside of work? FB: We see each other a lot although Lyndell has about a billion times more social energy than me. We both work such insane hours so it’s not easy to plan – although this is actually better because we have many spontaneous fun nights out that usually end in some kind of karaoke. LM: We are both very busy and work away a lot but somehow we still manage to see each other all of the time. I live around the corner from the i-D office so I often pop in and I also touch-up Fran’s hair when needed. We both love karaoke, eating and drinking. I love having people over at my house - there’s a group of us and I’m like the mama! Sometimes, Fran and I just lounge around at mine, eating cupcakes. What’s the most memorable experience you’ve shared? FB: So many; good and bad, in both work and play. Lyndell has been there for me at my best and at my worst. Most time spent with her is memorable. LM: There are too many! Our time at the Coachella festival in Los Angeles last year was amazing! There is also the first time I saw Fran’s version of Samantha Fox’s, ‘Touch Me’ at karaoke – from that point on there was a true soldering of our friendship.
How would you describe each other’s work? FB: Lyndell is fascinating because people misjudge her all the time - because of her own personal style of dressing, people often think that she is only capable of this fun slightly eccentric, girly aesthetic. Lyndell puts as much into her hairdressing as she does into her friendships. As a personal hairdresser she is considerate, careful and knows exactly what you mean when you try and describe a colour (with all the wrong words)! As a session hairdresser, she is phenomenal – she really understands whatever situation she is in and always gives you not just what you want but takes it one step further. She always thinks about the complete image – it is never all about the hair or trying to have a ‘hair moment’ in every shot. Technically there is nothing she cannot do – she is beyond talented, perceptive and fun! LM: Fran has no boundaries and dives deep into any project she undertakes. She is relentless and lets nothing go unresearched or unprepared. She has superb taste and a unique eye and I love how she always gives her work such freshness. How would you describe each other’s personal style? FB: Lyndell is probably renowned for her personal style as she is for her hairdressing skills. She has a totally unique way of putting things together. She is always in a ‘look’ and always makes an effort. The only designer labels I ever see her wear are Vivienne Westwood or Charles Anastase, which she mixes with vintage pieces and great underwear – she is always in great underwear! I guess if it comes down to one look it has to be the jumpsuit – Lyndell has one for every occasion. Her hair always looks amazing – dyed pink, incredible curls, accessorised with a crown, a hat or ribbon. LM: Fran and I have played dress-up all our lives and
we have made some mistakes along the way – this is something we’ll both admit and we can laugh about them. But it is experimenting and practice that has given Fran her own signature style of dressing. She can pull off looks from ‘chic’ to ‘punk’ without effort and is always in a pair of heels – even when she’s cooking a Sunday dinner at home or trekking around Borough Market! I love it most when she wears sculptured body-conscious shapes -be it vintage Thierry Mugler or modern classics- because she always makes things look new. What have you learnt from each other? FB: I have learnt so much from my friendship with Lyndell. She is a very positive person and always looks on the bright side. She has time for everyone, energy for everything and has boundless enthusiasm; she gives 110% to everything in her life. She is an absolute inspiration. LM: Throughout our friendship, a lot has changed in both our lives. I think in this respect, we are always growing together. At work we always have our ‘professional heads’ on; at play we are friends. We have learnt to trust and respect each other and to appreciate our friendship. Can you sum each other up in 3 words? FB: No, it would take a lot more than that! LM: Babe. Visionary. Sister.
Francesca Burns was interviewed on Tuesday 15th April 2008 and Lyndell Mansfield was interviewed on Saturday 19th April 2008. Francesca and Lyndell’s hair is currently dyed a subtle shade of pink; in the past, they have both worn their hair platinum blonde. The photograph on the previous page is one of their favourite pictures of them together, taken in 2007. ISSUE 1 — 55
CLAIRE de ROUEN Text & 360˚ Photographic Diagrams by Laura Bradley
The legendary photographer, David Bailey once described it as, “maybe the best photographic bookshop in the world”. The subject of Bailey’s strident affection is ‘Claire de Rouen Books’, a small independent bookshop specialising in photography and fashion publications. It is located on Charing Cross Road in central London; a lengthy, busy stretch of street renowned for its specialist and second-hand bookshops. Unlike its neighbouring stores, Claire de Rouen Books is tucked away from the main thoroughfare, discreetly situated above ‘Soho’s Original Bookshop’. To the unknowing public, the store can often go unnoticed; whereas those who are sent on someone else’s recommendation can often confuse it with the ground floor shop, which also stocks a selection of fashion and photography titles. Despite this slight similarity, the two shops couldn’t be more different in both their approach and their aesthetic – a distinction clearly apparent in their bordering window displays. Claire de Rouen Books occupies three sections of the Soho’s Original ground floor windows – the latter has glaring neon signage directing customers to the ‘Sex Shop’ downstairs and drawing attention to its ‘Bargain Books’. The de Rouen approach is much quieter and far more intriguing with its ever-evolving displays featuring a hand-picked selection of titles, some of which are invitingly laid-open to reveal their content. Regardless of its hidden placement, the Claire de Rouen shop, accessed via a narrow staircase, is regularly crammed with customers who visit the shop for its carefully chosen range of publications, including the latest titles as well as rare, out-of-print and limited editions. Yet it is not just the shop’s renowned edit that draws its custom – it is also the shop’s manager, Claire de Rouen, who is present at the shop every weekday. Most of its clientele are familiar with de Rouen’s striking demeanour. Particularly her sharp, black bob, her dog, Otis, and the sound of her quiet, heavily French accented voice. However, very little is known about de Rouen’s background – she is notoriously shy, extremely reserved and rarely gives interviews.
Front Section: This area is visible when one enters the shop and houses the majority of the shop’s photography books. The table in the centre and the shelves on the back wall are part of the shop’s ‘New [photography] Titles’ section. On the left is its ‘American Photography’ section; on the right (in front of the windows) is its ‘Gay and Erotic Photography’ section. ISSUE 1 — 57
De Rouen was born and raised in the Egyptian city of Alexandria. She describes her upbringing as “very English” and attended a “snobby” English girls’ school. It was during her school days that she first visited England – not the conventional kind of school trip one imagines, de Rouen and her classmates were invited for tea at Holyroodhouse, the Queen’s official residence in Scotland and attended lectures at Ashridge, a country house and estate in Hertfordshire. Although it was London that really captured her attention; she first visited the capital city with her parents. De Rouen remembers a trip to Fortnum & Mason: “I thought it was just a grocery store but there was a fashion show being held there too”, and was particularly intrigued by the appearance of the city’s inhabitants, “all of the men used to wear Bowler hats - it was completely different to how it is now”. De Rouen eventually moved to London after she left school and attended a private art school in Chelsea. Although she never actually managed to finish the course – the school went bankrupt and despite intentions to apply to the esteemed Chelsea School of Art, de Rouen met her late husband, the American actor Reed de Rouen, “whilst walking down the King’s Road with [her] portfolio”. The couple lived in Rome for two years, “I did some sculpting but I never took it seriously”, until she fell pregnant and they returned to London, “I was pleased to go back – I always loved London”. As a young mother, she spent a lot of time reading and worked for a short time as a model, “it wasn’t really that serious – I remember going to Italy but I could never do catwalk shows as I was far too self-conscious”.
they also instigated complaints, “if any of them featured nude women, we would have people drawing crosses on them!” The shop experienced great success during de Rouen’s tenure, “the whole shop grew and was madly successful”.
After her son Robin had grown-up, de Rouen started working part-time at the Institute of Contemporary Art, “I really enjoyed my time there; I loved the fact that it changed all the time”. She was later introduced to Sue Davis, the founder director of The Photographers’ Gallery and started working part-time in its bookshop in the early eighties, ‘’I was in charge of the shop’s postcards and they were very successful. I gradually became more interested and started working full-time and was responsible for ordering the shop’s foreign books”. De Rouen moved to Zwemmer’s in 1998, a legendary specialist bookshop on Charing Cross Road, where she was in charge of its photography section. It was during her time at Zwemmer’s that de Rouen first began to attract attention as a result of the books she chose, “I always bought books that I liked and went by instinct”. De Rouen also began selling postcards as she had done at The Photographers’ Gallery, “these were my taste – I started with ones featuring photographs of the French writer, Colette. I loved her books and thought she was an extraordinary woman”. The cards attracted a lot of interest: they sold extremely well but
Almost three years on, de Rouen’s shop has built up both its stock and its reputation. The small space is now crammed with an impressive selection of publications, including photography titles by Guy Bourdin, Larry Clarke, Robert Mapplethorpe and Diane Arbus as well as lesser-known talent such as the French photographer, Antoine D’Agata. It also specialises in Japanese photography and includes books by Daido Moriyama, Araki and Hiroshi Sugimoto. Glass cabinets house rare editions such as out-of-print Stephen Gill books and the now legendary, highly-collectable ‘One Picture Book’ series published by Nazraeli Press – a limited edition run of 500 numbered and signed copies, that each contain an original print by the artist or photographer featured.
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Although things didn’t always run so smoothly: the shop went into administration after the Soho Housing Association decided to significantly increase its rates and was taken over in July 2003 by Ian Shipley, the owner of ‘Shipley’, another art specialist bookshop on Charing Cross Road. De Rouen had a difficult working relationship with the shop’s new owner: “it was very hard. There was never any money to buy new books”. It was at this time that she was encouraged by the late photographer, Bob Carlos Clarke, to start up her own shop. She was introduced to the owner of 125 Charing Cross Road, “he didn’t really ask me any formal questions and wasn’t interested in seeing my CV; he just asked me what I wanted to do. I told him I wanted a salary, as I couldn’t afford to buy all of the books myself. And I got it!” The small space that the shop now occupies was previously a fire exit, “we built the whole shop from nothing really. The floor was varnished and I requested we had white shelves”. De Rouen decided to employ a categorising technique she’d used previously at Zwemmer’s, arranging the stock by countries. The shop finally opened to the public in autumn 2005, launching with Bruce Weber’s monograph, ‘Blood, Sweat and Tears’ and a highly successful book signing by the acclaimed war photographer, Don McCullin.
De Rouen’s selection can be overwhelming but is always well worth the time and effort – one never knows what you might find nestled on one of the shelves. Titles are procured via the conventional publisher route and through a wealth of obscure contacts that de Rouen has amassed over her years in retail, “I never seem to have much time to source new books in the shop in the day
Left Side Section: This area can be found to the left of the shop’s entry point. De Rouen’s small ‘Dog’ section can be seen on the step. The shelves house the shop’s ‘Japanese Photography’, ‘Photojournalism’ and ‘Textiles’ sections.
Back Section: This area is the shop’s fashion and magazines section. To the left of magazines is ‘New [fashion] Titles’, Fashion Designers A-Z’, ‘General Fashion’ and ‘Fashion Photography’. To the right of the magazines is the shop’s ‘European Photography’ section.
and tend to work better in the evening or at home”. Other books arrive in a more organic fashion: people will often recommend certain publications that they believe may be of interest or bring in their own titles, in the hope that de Rouen will want to stock them. Authors given the de Rouen seal-of-approval are encouraged to sign the copy in pencil – apparently it lasts longer. “I work much harder here than I ever did at Zwemmer’s. It takes a lot of time and effort trying to ensure that we have the latest and best titles; I often worry that we don’t. I think there are other shops that want to be more like mine and I’m constantly thinking of ways in which we can improve. It seems the better you do, the more difficult it becomes. I think now the shop needs to be even more specialised than it is already”. Three part-time members of staff now work alongside de Rouen: Lisa Holgersson, Ben O’Connor and Jane Wilson. Her staff play a vital role and are carefully selected, “in the shop you work in such close proximity with the other person – it just doesn’t work if you don’t trust one another”. De Rouen first met Ben and Jane at Zwemmer’s where they used to work with her parttime and has cemented firm relationships with them both. She speaks highly of each of her staff: Ben, “is wonderful – really creative and very open”, and Lisa, “has a good eye for photography; she has real flair”. And the feelings are reciprocated: Jane who has worked with de Rouen since 2002 says, “I got on with Claire right from the start. She is a strong inspirational character, very grounded and incredibly glamorous”. De Rouen’s staff have also brought different ideas to the table – it was Ben (who is also a filmmaker) that encouraged her to use the space adjacent to the shop as a gallery, which now showcases the work of emerging contemporary photographers each month. Jane, a freelance photographer, manages the shop’s fashion section and its selection of magazines - areas which both contain a selective range of well-executed books including the overwhelmingly popular series of Japanese patternmaking books, ‘Pattern Magic’ by Nakamichi Tomoko. The magazine section is also cleverly and carefully edited, comprising foreign editions, hard-to-find titles, back issues as well as a handful of lesser known zines. In a thoroughly saturated market of fashion publications this section’s scrupulous edit is an accomplishment in itself. De Rouen highly approves of the changes Jane has implemented – “I was always interested in fashion but photography was my main passion and Jane has really opened the section up. I think it is very important to have lots of different kinds of fashion books and magazines”. The shop’s custom is varied. A high proportion derives
from the reputation she built at Zwemmer’s, “people still go in there [now Shipley] and ask for me and they are redirected”. David Bailey is just one of those who first met de Rouen at Zwemmer’s and is a loyal patron. On CNN in 2006, Bailey cited the shop as one of his favourite places in London, “what’s special about this bookshop is Claire, the person that runs it, because she has such a passion for photography. It’s like a magic cave. I hate coming here because it makes me spend money!” In characteristically modest fashion, de Rouen is quick to play down Bailey’s admiration of both her and the shop, “he likes me I think but I’m not sure why. He’s always so nice to me and teases me all the time by trying to find out my age – he’s outrageous!” The shop has also attracted a new breed of visitors, including a wealth of high-profile personalities such as the fashion designer Alexander McQueen, photographers including Corine Day, Chris Killip, Nigel Shafran, Valerie Phillips and Stephen Gill, and more recently, the actor and filmmaker Benicio del Toro. “We have customers of all ages but there are a lot of students that visit”. Most of these attend the neighbouring, prestigious Central Saint Martins School of Art & Design, although it is not just the students. Teachers including Course Director, Louise Wilson and the school’s Head Librarian, Alison Church are frequent visitors. Theodor Anastasato and Matteo Bigliardi are students on the school’s MA Fashion course and are ardent supporters of de Rouen and her shop. Theodor first heard of the shop on Bailey’s aforementioned CNN slot and has been a regular ever since, “the shop is fabulous. The selection of books is what makes it so appealing, particularly the signed copies, and there are always great offers”, he says. “The standard of service is excellent – Claire certainly knows what she’s talking about. It’s small but you don’t feel intimidated because Claire is so laid-back and always encourages you to have a good rummage”. Like almost everyone you talk to about the shop, the focus centres on de Rouen herself: fellow student Matteo is fascinated by her appearance, “I love it when I pass her on her way to the shop in a morning, wrapped in fur, khaki scarf and big sunglasses with her pug in tow”. There are other bookshops located in central London that specialise in fashion and photographic publications, namely Koenig Books at the Serpentine Gallery and R.D. Franks. It’s interesting to discover what de Rouen thinks makes her shop unique. “We try and make our customers feel welcome”, she says. “We talk to them – in lots of other shops, the staff don’t pay much attention to their customers”. I witness this being put into practice every time I visit the shop: de Rouen makes conversation with both her regular customers and those ISSUE 1 — 61
on their inaugural visit, often offering to explain how the shop is arranged. This isn’t pushy retail chitchat - de Rouen is genuinely interested in the characters that visit. Customers never feel pressured into making a financial commitment and are encouraged to browse, “a lot of people say to me that the shop gives off a relaxed feel”, although it can be extremely difficult not to be swayed by the titles on offer. De Rouen also feels the shop’s aesthetic plays a fundamental role in its success, “I really care about the shop’s appearance and other elements such as the music we play. Everyone seems to like my dog, Otis”, who is often found residing under her glass desk, “he doesn’t look like any other dog!” Everything in the shop reflects de Rouen’s own character – be it the postcards pinned above her computer, the brown Type 176 telephone or the unexpected, intriguing selection of dog-themed books near the door. This fastidious attention to detail also stretches to the shop’s carefully considered window displays downstairs – de Rouen can often be found in front of them, checking that they look exactly as she wants them to. The shop’s current display is themed around a selection of recent menswear publications. Its central focus is a new, limited edition book, ‘Dead Man’s Patterns’ by Hormazd G. Narielwalla. A former apprentice to a Savile Row tailor, Narielwalla’s handmade book contains fragile patterns that tailors dispose of when their clients pass away. A backdrop of dressmaking patterns compliments the selection of titles. De Rouen herself is central to the shop’s success. And it is her remarkable vision and approach that ties her to a breed of powerful female tastemakers at the helm of retail outlets, notably Rei Kawakubo with her Dover Street Market store and Sarah Lerfel with her Colette boutique. Although the cited examples stock a varying array of product (primarily clothing and accessories, as well as food, music, books and other obscure objects) and are of a much larger scale (Dover Street Market occupies a six-storey Georgian building in Mayfair and the Colette boutique spans three-floors in the centre of Paris), all three are run by visionary individuals whose unique characters inform and characterise their work. By procuring a distinct selection of stock, applying their own taste and employing unique methods of thematic display, these women have transformed the inconspicuous job title of ‘shop keeper’ into the prestigious role of ‘curator’. Claire de Rouen was interviewed on Wednesday 6th March 2008. Claire de Rouen Books, First Level, 125 Charing Cross Road, London WC2H OEA (Telephone: +44 (0) 207 287 1813).
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Claire de Rouen’s Desk: This desk is located in front of the shop’s fashion and magazines section. The shelves to the right house the ‘Fashion Illustration’, ‘Fashion Theory’ and ‘Accessories’ sections.
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COLLECTORS Creative Direction by Laura Bradley & Photography by Justin Argyle
It is fascinating to discover that many creative individuals have a collection of some sort. There are the obvious ‘fashion’ collections, those that spend their lives procuring vintage designs, and those that amass collections for their high financial value. But there are also more intriguing collections of unlikely, peculiar and sometimes mundane objects. The collections showcased over the next few pages represent the private passions of five individuals working in the fashion industry. In a series of interviews, each collector discusses the provenance, reasoning and methodology behind each of their collections. Interestingly, many of them don’t consider themselves serious collectors, and view their activity as an enjoyable pastime. Nevertheless, each interviewee reveals a distinct level of pride, passion and enthusiasm for the objects they can’t but help amassing.
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Aleksandra Olenska, Stylist Can you briefly describe your collection? A collection of surreal objects with a gently morbid lean: sinister fishing hooks, a small ceramic arm, a jar of teeth, five dead keys, a jar of pussy willow, a link, three laboratory test slides, two pairs of pincers, a small ivory comb and a jar of bus shelter crystals. When and why did the collection start? Probably before I was born. My grandmother buried her family jewellery in her garden before fleeing her country, and unknowingly, I have been collecting earthy curios my whole life. Where do you source your items? Wherever they find me. Do you have any rules when collecting? Only charming objects allowed. Does this collection have any relevance to your own working practice? Absolutely. My work is research based and the collections help me to define my world and sensibility. I’m incredibly curious and love to discover new things; be that in a library, museum, flea market, forest or on the street. Finds always filter through into my work somehow, sometimes literally being crafted into accessories but more often in their off-centred spirit, which informs all my work. I find myself drawn to those with similar obsessions such as Jan and Eva Svankmajer, Jane Wildgoose and Mark Dion. I really like the idea of Dion’s ‘Bureau of the Centre for Study of Surrealism and its Legacy’ in the Manchester Museum - I would quite like to live there. Do you have any other collections? Dead butterflies (or moths, I’m no taxonomic snob) that have landed on or near me and a small collection of glass eyes. I did have an unintentionally large collection of black India ink bottles, but this was more because the lids get stuck; I have since thrown them away. ISSUE 1 — 67
Jason Evans, Photographer Can you briefly describe your collection? A collection of wooden cooking utensils. When and why did the collection start? I can't remember when it started. I like spoons and kitchen stuff generally. I think it was probably in Thailand - they have great wooden pieces and nice melamine things too. Where do you source your items? I love markets. I used to travel a lot and would always search out the local market where you're sure to find useful things and interesting food. Do you have any rules when collecting? I just buy ones I like the look of. I keep them in a couple of vases on the kitchen windowsill; they look nice all together. Does this collection have any relevance to your own working practice? I make a lot of still life for myself, and my spoon collection looks like a photograph waiting to happen. Do you have any other collections? I have a lot of photo books and a lot of records. I also have a lot of pottery from car boot sales but I don't consider myself a collector. ISSUE 1 â€” Â 69
Jenny Campbell-Colquhoun, Graphic Designer Can you briefly describe your collection? A collection of typography related objects, loosely defined by anything to do with getting type onto something. When and why did the collection start? When I was studying on my foundation course, five years ago. I’d always been into rubber stamps and started making my own and my tutor at the time gave me the red set of stamps. After that I was drawn to things I saw in shops that were type related. I don’t think I made the decision I was making a type collection until the last couple of years. Where do you source your items? Mainly markets or antiques shops for the older things, I’m lucky that people often pass things onto me. A friend gave me the ‘Quick-Align Sign Kit’; I think his grandfather used it for his shop. Do you have any rules when collecting? There is a lot out there, especially things like Letraset and stickers so I try to use some discretion, based on whether I’ve seen it anywhere else. I don’t get things that often; I’m fairly fussy. It’s hard for me to put my finger on exactly what my criteria is, I think mainly I just have to like it! Does this collection have any relevance to your own working practice? Yes, definitely. These are the objects I probably treasure most and I think it’s really important having grown-up working on computers to have some connection with the original tactile nature of type. I hope that hand-picking out the letters and arranging them individually has given me a much better sense of spacing and the relationship between different letters. Do you have any other collections? At the moment I collect ‘New’ stickers from cosmetic products and rolls of tape. I used to collect used tape from people’s presents, put it in a book, and mark who the present was to and from but that had to stop - it took over people’s birthdays! Until very recently I collected the ‘Is This You? Win £50!’ pictures from Metro, but they’ve moved it to London Lite now and they take the pictures differently. My Great Aunt had this amazing collection of maps from all the places she’d visited, so I’ve taken it on and add to it whenever I travel. ISSUE 1 — 71
Sara Arnold, Fashion Student & Sales Assistant at Dover Street Market Can you briefly describe your collection? Erratically brilliant; occasionally totally dysfunctional; consistently vast and puzzling. When and why did the collection start? My eyesight started deteriorating when I was eleven so I got my first pair of glasses - a geeky pair of perfectly round thin dark frames. Then in a failed attempt to ‘fit in’, I chose a series of flattering frames, tortoise shell Dolce & Gabbana’s and Gucci’s. Then I realised that if I was going to have something sitting on my face everyday I should make a statement out of it. Where do you source your items? Anywhere really, from donations (my Grandfather’s free NHS glasses) to Dior. Do you have any rules when collecting? Not really. Does this collection have any relevance to your own working practice? Yes, they are essential - I need them to see. Do you have any other collections? Miniature hats, miniature clothes, miniature shoes, plastic animals, vintage photographs and vintage letters. ISSUE 1 — 73
Simon Foxton, Stylist Can you briefly describe your collection? Rooster ties. Rooster is an American brand known for their creative use of graphics and square-ended cotton ties. When and why did the collection start? I started collecting about twelve years ago. I had seen a few of these ties over the years and they always appealed to me. I bought two or three from a flea market in New York and got hooked. Where do you source your items? Mostly eBay nowadays although I do scout around thrift stores and vintage shops when I’m in America. Do you have any rules when collecting? I only collect the three-inch wide variety from the 1970s and not the narrower 1960s versions. I am also quite strict with myself and will now only buy one if I particularly like the graphics, otherwise it could get out of hand. Does this collection have any relevance to your own working practice? Well it’s menswear and I guess they are fairly humorous, like much of my work, but apart from that not really. Do you have any other collections? I have a collection of about fifty white china toast racks and I collected all of the Observer books (seventy in total). I also have loads of convex mirrors but wouldn’t call it a collection as such. ISSUE 1 — 75
LE LAB O Text & Photography by Laura Bradley
New-York perfumer, Le Labo opened its first British outlet in October 2007. Three months into its residency at the Liberty department store, Laura Bradley details her personal ‘perfume journey’ and considers Le Labo’s quiet, olfactory revolution. I don’t by any means claim to be an expert on perfume. Like most people, I’m on a constant quest for the ‘perfect’ fragrance: something that has presence, that lasts and that is worn by only a select few. My personal scent history perhaps mirrors that of many: years spent trying to find that ‘special’ something. Choosing perfumes because I thought they’d look good on my dressing table (‘Mitsouko’ by Guerlain), whose brand I liked (the first Prada fragrance with its annoying leaky atomiser), because I’d fallen for the sales-pitch (‘Kisu’ by Tann Roka) and I’d had time to kill in a Duty Free shop (‘Poison’ by Christian Dior). Left with an incoherent collection of unsatisfactory, half-empty bottles, I’m no further on. Mainstream, generic perfumes no longer suffice. We seek out intelligent, cleverly designed clothes that will last us a fashion lifetime, so why not scent? ISSUE 1 — 77
Perfume culture is changing. There is still a huge market for mass-produced fragrances, accompanied by slick marketing campaigns. Walk into any department store and you will find beauty sales assistants overpowering customers with unsolicited bursts of the latest, ‘musthave’ perfume. But, in a small corner of the market, there are a growing number of companies creating unusual, luxury fragrance ‘concepts’ intended to fit this aforementioned need. The most obvious solution is a bespoke fragrance, specifically formulated by a ‘nose’ (the industry title given to expert creators of perfume) to individual specifications. But these services come at a premium, costing between £6000, for a bespoke scent by Lynn Harris, and £20,000, for Roja Dove’s service at Harrods. Savvy to the success of such services, other companies have created affordable alternatives – ranges of fragrance that can be combined by the customer, to create an ‘individual’ scent. At opposing ends of the market, luxury perfumer Jo Malone has created 19 fragrances designed specifically to work with one another, and The Body Shop pioneered the concept on the high street in March 2004, with its ‘Invent Your Scent’ kit, containing 9 vials of fragrance. There are, however, a handful of other companies taking a different approach, creating innovative products in an attempt to breathe life into a moribund industry. Comme des Garçons’ fastgrowing line of unconventional fragrances provides an alternative to mass-market smells. For instance, synthetic fragrances based on ‘smells of the city’, or a series based on church incense, and clever marketing techniques such as luxurious perfumes presented in clever origami packaging or guerrilla perfume launches (their latest scent, ‘888’, was made available for 8 days, 6 months prior to it’s official launch). Alternatively, ‘Escentric Molecules’, a series of two unisex perfumes created by the Berlin-based perfumer Geza Schoen in collaboration with fashion writer Tim Blanks and his partner Jeff Lounds, launched in 2005. Rather than having three traditional notes -top, middle and basethe ‘Molecule 01’ version is comprised exclusively of the aroma chemical ‘Iso E Super’, whereas ‘Escentric 01’ combines the same aroma chemical with other ingredients such as pink pepper and green lime. Then there is Le Labo, a New York perfume company, quietly flourishing in its own corner of the olfactory market. Simultaneously focusing attention on both the scent and its associated ‘experience’, the company has
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tapped into a fascinating trend: a dedicated application of knowledge and, more importantly, a continued commitment to revelatory process. Edouard Roschi and Fabrice Penot founded Le Labo in 2006 as a reaction to mass-produced, luxury perfumes. The pair met whilst working for L’Oréal Paris, creating fragrances for the Armani group, and after many years spent creating 10 or 20 fragrances a year to a strict budget, Roschi and Penot left their executive positions intent on pursuing something more creative. Armed with a wealth of contacts of high-skilled noses they had amassed over the years, such as Annick Menardo, Françoise Caron and Franck Voelkl, they decided to set up their own perfumery laboratory, Le Labo. The company’s base, in the New York district of NoLIta, became home to their flagship store and a laboratory. Over the last two years, Le Labo has opened numerous stores in the US, Tokyo and Berlin and has concessions in Barney’s in New York, Colette in Paris and Liberty in London. The latter opened in October 2007 and became the company’s biggest outpost in Europe. And its placement in Liberty couldn’t be more right. Unlike its London counterparts, the department store takes a somewhat different approach to its beauty area: rather than a conventional, vast beauty hall crammed with concession stands and sales assistants, the department is spread through a series of rooms. Each bears the trademarks of the Liberty brand: intelligent, traditionalist methods of presentation and a selection of carefully chosen products. I first noticed Le Labo in Liberty just before Christmas and was intrigued by its unconventional display – a perfume ‘laboratory’ in a small corner adjacent to the Beauty Room, manned by an assistant wearing a white lab coat. A month later, I returned to be greeted by Flavia Annecchini–Jones, Head of Le Labo at Liberty. One of three staff at the Liberty outlet, Flavia joined the company for its UK launch. Taking a seat beside me, in front of the perfume ‘bar’, Flavia began by introducing the brand and its range of fragrances, highlighting the opportunity to ‘explore and discover’ without the pressure to make any financial commitment. It is clear from the start that Flavia is genuinely passionate about her job and exudes enthusiasm about each of Le Labo’s products. Her previous experience at Yves Saint Laurent and Agent Provocateur was complimented by the necessary Le Labo training she undertook before
she began to work for the company. Knowledge is an important component of the Le Labo brand, and they take great pride in ‘educating customers on the art of perfume’. Many of us have a limited knowledge of perfume, perhaps the majority of that derives from the film adaptation of Patrick Suskind’s novel, ‘Perfume’, where the fundamentals (the French city of Grasse) the aesthetics (the perfumer’s equipment) and the lexicon (‘nose’ and the varying ‘notes’ of a scent) associated with the process of perfume making, were powerfully communicated through the film’s narrative. As part of Le Labo’s commitment to perfume education, they stock ‘The Olfactionary’ – a box containing forty, 2.5ml bottles of natural essences that serves as a sort of ‘training tool’ to teach about the art of perfume making. The kit, priced at £295, sold out at Liberty over the Christmas period: a clear indication that people are keen to learn about fragrance. Le Labo specialises in perfumes for the body that take two guises –the conventional spray form and a balm, which is a concentrated perfume that releases scent, gradually- as well as home fragrances and candles. There are ten perfumes in total –including ‘Bergamote 22’, ‘Jasmin 17’ and ‘Ambrette 9’, each of which is built around a primary natural essence processed in Grasse, forming the base of a composition. Le Labo also produces an exclusive scent for each city in which it resides, for example, ‘Tuberose 40’ for New York and ‘Vanille 44’ for Paris. The ‘London fragrance’ is set to launch at Liberty in September 2008. Each of the perfumes are named after their principal essence and the number of ingredients combined to make them. Some perfumes can be composed of hundreds of ingredients but a higher number does not determine better quality: Le Labo favour short formulae and ask their perfumers to be as concise as possible in their creations. I set Flavia a task: to determine what kind of fragrance is going to be right for me. I explain my main reason for visiting Le Labo: the need for a fragrance that lasts a long time but at the same time, isn’t too overpowering. Apparently, all of the perfumes I’ve been wearing are Eau de Toilette which means they only have around 4-8% concentration (Comme des Garçons’ ‘Parfums’ logo is incredibly deceptive). One of Le Labo’s unique selling points is the fact that all the fragrances have a high concentration of 22%-25%. Many modern perfumes use low-quality raw materials, whereas Le Labo opts for
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higher quality, natural oils. These two factors explain the higher price points for the perfumes: £80 for 50ml and £120 for 100ml. Customers aren’t advised to try all of the fragrances so I rely on Flavia’s expertise to point me in the direction of which fragrances I should like, determined by the perfumes I currently wear. The list – ‘Jasalmer’ from the Comme des Garçons ‘Incense’ range, ‘Philosykos’ by Diptyque and ‘Flowers’ by Kenzo- eventually brings us to ‘Vetiver 46’ and ‘Iris 39’. Flavia instructs me to try the fragrances on my pulse points, highlighting the fact that natural reflex to rub the two wrists together actually ‘breaks the molecules of the fragrance’. I notice that the smell begins to alter as it begins to soak into my skin: apparently there are three phases of a fragrance’s life, and the initial impression can be quite sharp as a result of its alcohol content. Despite having names I’m familiar with, the Le Labo formulations are surprisingly different: the ‘Vetiver 46’ is close to the fragrances I know and love, but this version feels more sophisticated, sensuous and exudes just the right amount of ‘masculinity’ that I seek out in a fragrance. The ‘Iris 39’ is fresh and intriguing and like nothing I’ve tried before, but it feels a little summery for my current mood. ‘Vetiver 46’ has the highest number of ingredients out of all of the Le Labo fragrances, its main ones being Sandalwood (a synthetic version of Indian Sandalwood which is farmed unsustainably), Pepper, Labdanum, Cedar, and Incense. Flavia encourages me to explore other company’s versions of Vetiver: Comme des Garçons’ Eau de Cologne ‘Vettiveru’ (a low concentration of 2-5%) fades incredibly quickly and Creed’s ‘Vetiver’ has a, strange, artificial green tint to imitate its grassy derivative (none of the Le Labo fragrances’ colours are altered). Neither compare favourably. Le Labo’s unique ‘handmade’ approach, where fragrance products are freshly weighed to order in front of you, is by far, its strongest selling point. The fragrance formula –the essential oil concentrates and alcohol, kept separately in a refrigerator- are formulated and bottled in front of the customer. The Le Labo environment complements this ‘experience’. Each of the Le Labo outlets are set up like a laboratory (a reference to the surroundings in which Roschi and Penot first met) with a counter and scientific equipment. But it is not completely clinical - the space encourages customers to explore and discover with
chairs positioned in front of the perfume counter and cabinets of curiosity, displaying scientific apparatus and products (particularly in-keeping with the Liberty aesthetic). This commitment to revelatory process is part of an intriguing trend, tied not only to the olfactory market but one that is also predominant in others sectors. Pioneering the idea since its inception in 1999, Nick Knight’s fashion and arts website, SHOWstudio allows viewers to witness the entire creative process of the fashion industry, through its live broadcasts and behind-the-scenes footage; and more recently, guests at Dolce and Gabbana’s Spring/Summer 2008 catwalk show were shown video-footage of the creation of hand-painted garments before models emerged wearing the respective pieces. In the totally unrelated food industry, the concept of process is a
prevalent component: patrons of Fergus Henderson’s east London restaurant, St. John, share space with the kitchen staff, as their food is prepared; and in Heston Blumenthal’s ‘In Search of Perfection’ series, each episode was dedicated to extensive researching, sourcing and meticulous preparation of traditional dishes. More than ever before, we are concerned with where things come from and how they are made and such examples of careful explanation, dissection and demonstration are incredibly refreshing and make for a fascinating, compelling experience. Le Labo is a perfect example of what modern perfumery should be. One interesting comparison for Le Labo at Liberty is G. Baldwin & Co, London’s oldest and most established herbalist founded in 1844, which has built a solid reputation based on quality, affordable natural products. Baldwin’s standalone store on the
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Walworth Road in South London, despite having an extremely run-down interior, possesses an appealing authentic old-fashioned charm, with its wooden drawers, shelves stacked with oils and ointments, brown paper packaging and high serving counters. Here, customers can create their own perfume by purchasing base and essential oils and glass decanters. Clearly, there are no comparisons to draw with the fragrances - each of Le Labo’s 10 perfumes take up to 2 years to perfect and are a complex, balanced combination of many different ingredients. In contrast Baldwin’s takes a more do-it-yourself approach, where the success of the composition relies on the skill of the customer. At first glance, they appear to be worlds apart, but if you remove the fragrance from the equation, leaving the ideologies and methodologies of both companies, you are left with some striking similarities. It’s almost as if Le Labo at Liberty is Baldwin’s re-contextualised and repackaged, where good quality products, sold by highlyknowledgeable staff, are given a modern overhaul. And many other examples of this can be found elsewhere - think of the fusty, health shops once associated with hippy-types, compared to the seemingly modern, appealing organic outlets we have today, directed at the more savvy consumer. Le Labo’s talent lies first and foremost in its unique fragrances. But its clever blend of knowledge, process, experience and personal touch, set it miles apart from any of its olfactory peers. Another selling point of the Le Labo brand is the aesthetic of its products: a continuation of the brand’s ideology, its packaging takes a simple, scientific approach that is accented by a personal, handmade touch. The perfume is housed in a utilitarian glass bottle with a personalised label, with typewriteresque typeface bearing the name of the fragrance, the mixologist’s name and where it was made, whom it was made for and a unique ‘fresh until’ date (the perfume generally stays fresh for a year, but storage in a fridge can increase its longevity). The perfume is then wrapped in tissue (scented with your chosen fragrance to continue the sensory pleasure at home) and, with a small instruction guide, enclosed in a brown, labelled, recycled, cardboard box – none of the cellophane so synonymous with conventional beauty packaging. It’s difficult not to get overawed by the physicality of the perfume, particularly its unique label, and even more difficult not to be swayed by the multi-sensory experience: my visit left me bursting with enthusiasm
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and I continued to relay my newfound knowledge to anyone that would listen. But I guess, really, it all comes down to the success of the fragrance. I have to wait some time to answer this (3 days stored in my fridge, whilst the chemical reaction settles). But when I finally come to using it, I’m not disappointed. It smells just as good as it did the first time I smelt it in the shop and it’s instigated those ‘what’s that your wearing?’ enquiries - surely the ultimate marker of a good fragrance. Its longevity is incredibly appealing, staying longer than any fragrance I’ve tried before. However, I’m not sure I’ve found the ‘perfect fragrance’ I originally set out to find: in fact, I’ve come to realise that I don’t, at this point in my life, want to be defined by one single scent. I would rather spend time creating the ultimate perfume wardrobe. Laura Bradley visited Le Labo on Tuesday 29th January 2008. For more information on Le Labo visit www.lelabofragrances.com.
50Curious NAME PRONUNCIATIONS As written
Ann Demeulemeester Azzedine Alaïa Balenciaga Balmain Bottega Veneta Boudicca Christian Lacroix Christian Louboutin Comme des Garçons Courrèges Dolce & Gabbana Dries Van Noten Emanuel Ungaro Elsa Schiaparelli Gareth Pugh Giambattista Valli Giles Deacon Givenchy 84 — ISSUE 1
/ahn deh-mu-leh-meeest-er/ /azz-uh-deen a-li-ah/ /ba-len-see-ah-ga/ /bal-mahn/ [light ‘n’] /boat-ey-ga ven-eh-ta/ /bood-i-cah/ /christian la-kwah/ /christian loo-boo-tan/ [light ‘n’] /com-dey-gar-son/ [light ‘n’] /coo-rezh/ /dol-chey and gab-bana/ /dreez van no-ten/ /emanuel unn-gah-roh/ /el-sa schap-er-eli/ /gareth pew/ /gee-ahm batt-ista va-lley/ /jy-ls dee-kun/ /jhee-von-shee/
Hermès /air-mez/ Hervé Léger /air-vay lay-jay/ Issey Miyake /iss-ee-me-ya-kee/ Jean Paul Gaultier /jon-pawl-go-tee-yay/ Jens Laugesen /yens lar-ger-son/ Junya Watanabe /joon-ya wah-tah-nah-bay/ Lanvin /lan-vohn/ [light ‘n’] Loewe /lu-ev-ay/ Louis Vuitton /lu-ee vee-ton/ Madame Grès /madame gray/ Martin Margiela /maar-tin mar-jehl-ah/ Miu Miu /mew-mew/ Moschino /mo-ski-no/ Nicolas Ghesquière /nee-coh-la guess-kee-air/ Olivier Theyskens /oliv-i-eh tay-skens/ Peter Jensen /pee-ter yen-sen/ Pierre Cardin /pee-air car-dan/ [light ‘n’] Poiret /pwah-ray/ Proenza Schouler /pro-en-za skoo-ler/ Raf Simons /raff sim-mons/ Rei Kawakubo /ray kah-wah-koo-bow/ Riccardo Tisci /ric-ar-doe tis-she/ Rodarte /ro-dart-tay/ Rochas /roh-shas/ Rue de Mail /ru-de-my/ Sonia Rykiel /sohn-ya ree-kee-el/ Sophia Kokosalaki /so-fee-ah ko-ko-sah-lah-kee/ Thierry Mugler /tee-air-ree moog-lay/ Versace /vir-sar-chee/ Vionnet /vee-o-nay/ Yohji Yamamoto /yo-jee ya-ma-mo-to/ Yves Saint Laurent /eve-sahn-luh-rahn/ ISSUE 1 — 85
NICK KNIGHT’S ASSISTANTS
Almost every article written about the fashion photographer Nick Knight manages to mention, at some point, at least a few of the aspiring photographers that have assisted him, notably Craig McDean, Sølve Sundsbø and Elaine Constantine. Here, for the first time, a comprehensive list of Knight’s protégés is unveiled. This complex diagram charts the many individuals that have trained with Knight over the past twenty-five years, beginning with his early ‘Skinhead’ work up until the present day. Fig. 1
* Richard Croft
1st A S S I S T A N T S
* Andy Knight
* Paul Morgan
* Craig McDean
* Jason Evans
[over summer period]
* Juergen Teller
[Teller only came into the studio for 1 day - Knight thought his work was so strong that he would not benefit from being an assistant and advised him to start work as a photographer in his own right]
86 — ISSUE 1
* Mark Aleski * Elaine Constantine * Guy Hearn * Bruno * Sean Ellis * Claire Powell
Key 1st 2nd 3rd
The grid is arranged to incorporate the 3 levels of assistant Knight has: 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Any asterisks that fall in these periods are all of equal standing. Asterisks below this double line incorporate names that did not formally assist Knight but should still be acknowledged. Solid line indicates the length of time which the person assisted and is used instead of multiple asterisks. Dashed ascending line indicates when an assistant has progressed from 3rd to 2nd, or 2nd to 1st assistant.
All images courtesy of Nick Knight: Fig. 1, ‘Skinhead’, 1982; Fig.2, Yohji Yamamoto catalogue, 1986; Fig.3, ‘Fashion-able’, Dazed & Confused, 1998; Fig. 4, ‘Blade of Light’, Alexander McQueen campaign, Spring/Summer 2004; Fig. 5, ‘Beasting’, Arena Homme Plus, Autumn 2007. Special thanks to Nick Knight and Charlotte Wheeler. Fig. 4
* * Claire Powell Hiroshi Kutomi * * Sean Ellis James Dimmock * Sølve Sundsbø * Mike Thomas * * Hiroshi Kutomi Liz Collins * * James Dimmock Sølve Sundsbø
* Luke Thomas * Ben Dunbar-Brunton
* Jez Tozer
* Ruth Hogben
* Simon Thistleton
* * Andy Vowells Simon Thistleton * * Charney Magri Ruth Hogben * David Lee
* Ben Dunbar-Brunton * Dominic Cooper
* Oliver Sinclair
* Emma Sweeney
* Ruth Hogben
ISSUE 1 — 87
IDENTIFICATION GUIDE Text by Laura Bradley & Illustrations by Lucy Oldfield
Most designers have a trademark of some sort, be it a key item that they revisit each season, distinctive detailing, recurring emblems and motifs or an irrefutable signature approach. These are clearly identifiable components, so strong that one doesn’t even have to refer to the label to discover its creator. Taking its lead from conventional identification guides, this feature explores five designer’s varying trademarks.
Tabi shoes by Maison Martin Margiela
Fig. 1 Fig. 2
Maison Martin Margiela has numerous trademarks that make its products easily distinguishable. The most obvious is the attachment of its iconic label: the four thick, white stitches that fix the label are visible on the exterior of the unlined garments. Another Margiela trademark is its incorporation of the ‘Tabi’ toe shape in its line of shoes [Fig.1]. Tabi are traditional Japanese socks that separate each toe like a glove; usually worn with a kimono by both men and women. The idea of incorporating the toe shape into the design of a shoe was also demonstrated by Surrealist artists, namely René Magritte (‘The Red Model’, 1935), Marcel Duchamp and Enrico Donati (1945) and by the fashion designer, Pierre Cardin in 1986. Since Spring/Summer 1989, Margiela has used the Tabi as inspiration for its shoes, experimenting with different materials and designs to create a range of style variations, including long boot-like Tabi and a Tabi made from satin. This season, the Tabi-shoes take their form in metallic boots and ballet flats [Fig. 2].
The ‘H’ by Pierre Hardy and Hermès
Fig. 3 Fig. 4
As well as designing bags and shoes for his namesake label, Pierre Hardy also designs footwear and fine jewellery for the French luxury house Hermès. The ‘H’ symbol at Hermès has always been present in the design of its varying products, including jewellery, belts, luggage and saddlery. Here, the ‘H’ is almost always the objects central focus, for example this season’s ‘Hapi’ leather bracelet [Fig. 3] coils around the wearer’s wrist and fastens with a large silver ’H’. Hardy also incorporates the ‘H’ logo into many of his own designs, although it is less obvious than its Hermès counterpart: the bags fastener is discretely shaped in a ‘H’ shape [Fig. 4] and the arrangement of shoe straps can also be construed as a ‘H’. The shapes and finishes may alter each season but Hardy’s graphic colour palette, use of thick edging and the broad central tucked strap on his bags [Fig. 4] are also recurring components. 88 — ISSUE 1
Peter Pan Collar, Flat Shoes and Low-Gusset Trousers by Comme des Garçons
Whatever the theme of Rei Kawakubo’s collections for Comme des Garçons, there are three components that are almost always present in her womenswear lines: the Peter Pan Collar [Fig. 5], the flat shoes [Fig. 6] and the low-gusset trousers [Fig. 7]. The foremost, is a small, flat, rounded collar without a stand and is one of the few overtly feminine details utilised by Kawakubo. The Comme des Garçons low-gusset trouser derives from the design of ‘Sarouel’ trousers, which have a drop crutch gathered inset between the legs and previously formed part of the uniform of the Algerian Zouave Regiment. Junya Watanabe, a protégé of Rei Kawakubo, who also works under the Comme des Garçons umbrella, also included a similar design in his Autumn/Winter 2007-8 collection. Kawakubo also favours flat shoes, particularly men’s brogues, although these are never strictly conventional in their design: often employing an unconventional colour palette, the shoes are elongated and curl up at the toes, reminiscent of the footwear worn by clowns.
Red-Soled Shoes by Christian Louboutin
A pair of Christian Louboutin shoes is easily identifiable by their red-coloured soles [Fig.8]. Louboutin was originally inspired by an assistant who painted her nails red; he felt his shoes lacked a certain something and decided to use her red varnish on the soles of his designs. Red-soled shoes were first worn in the 17th century by King Louis XIV, which were thought to draw attention to his shapely calves and legs. Such was their popularity that he dictated that red-soled shoes could only be worn by members of his court, a privilege for the elite aristocracy. Used by Louboutin since 1992, this design aspect was trademarked in January 2008. Louboutin told the United States Patent and Trademark Office, “The shiny red colour of the soles has no function other than to identify to the public that the shoes are mine. It attracts men to the women who wear my shoes”.
Chains, Quilting and Jacket by Chanel
The most obvious, and also the most copied trademarks come courtesy of Chanel – so distinctive that the editors at Vogue in the 1960s dubbed them, “Chanelisms”. The iconic Chanel jacket [Fig.11] is a collarless, boxy jacket, traditionally made of woven wool; its neckline, front edge, cuffs, pockets and hem have a braided trim and it has gold buttons bearing the double ‘CC’ logo. This garment is widely regarded as a fashion ‘classic’ and the design is a trademark owned by Chanel. The Chanel chain [Fig. 9] first appeared on the bottom of the Chanel suit jackets as a trimming used to weigh the garment down. Chanel is also known for its quilted fabric [Fig. 10], which is used for clothing and accessories alike and was originally inspired by the quilting on jackets worn by jockeys. In February 1955, Chanel introduced the quilted bag with a chain shoulder strap, named the 2.55 bag after the month and year of its creation. ISSUE 1 — 89
Ten fashion personalities nominate their all-time favourite fashion moments.
Stephen Jones Milliner “I have two favourite fashion moments: one good, one bad. The good was the second season I worked with John Galliano; a peach bloom felt cloche with diamond brooch photographed by Steven Meisel for American Vogue. The journalist, Hamish Bowles wrote: “With her moulded felt cloche shadowing an eye and pinned with a tremblant diamond cow-parsley sprig, Nadja Auermann, slinking down the stairs of a crumbling Hotel Particulier in Paris for the John Galliano show, defined the fashion moment”. My bad fashion moment happened in 1987. I’d been up all night before the Claude Montana show and the grand supermodels of the day -Dalma, Betty Lago, Diane de Witt, and Elena Koudura- were fitting pastel satin sculptured siren gowns. Suddenly China, Claude’s Shar Pei dog, did a pooh in the middle of the room and amazingly no one went to clear it up. The ice blue and apricot satin of the girls’ trains swished around just a centimetre from this stinking mess. It must have stayed there for fifteen minutes! The beautiful people weren’t even in denial, they could not even see it.”
90 — ISSUE 1
Director of Fashion East
“It has to be Gareth Pugh’s incredible light-up outfit worn by Casey Spooner in the finalé of his Fashion East show at the Electric Ballroom in Camden, in September 2005. In rehearsals we weren’t sure it was going to work. I kept worrying that his battery pack wires were going to come out, that he might trip over his lead, or, worse still, get electrocuted. When it was time to send him out, the venue was in total darkness and there was eerie music playing; he stood there and we hit the switch. First it flickered and then went out and I thought, ‘Christ, it’s fused’, and then it flickered again and this time it lit up the whole venue! It was like watching something from another dimension walking into our reality. It was amazingly euphoric; the crowd went absolutely mental and I got goose-bumps all over.”
“My favourite fashion moment has to be on a shoot for the Spring/Summer 2004 Christian Dior campaign. In fashion, nails are an accessory; a detail that goes towards the total ‘look’. They are a small detail but still important. ‘Wrong’ nails stand out a mile; ‘good’ nails should appear part of perfect grooming; ‘statement’ nails should shout! Nick Knight shot this particular campaign; with Sam McKnight doing hair, Val Garland doing make-up and the model was Gisele Bündchen. This team did ten years of Dior campaigns and we always had fun, even on grueling three or four day shoots. The last picture of the shoot focused on Dior sunglasses. Unusually, I had been given a bit of free reign to do something different for the nails. Gisele had been several ‘characters’ and I had given her longer than usual nails and different looks for each character – one of them even had a piercing with a ball and ring through to match one of the new handbags. The last character was ‘surfboard, beach chic’ - I painted her nails white with a variation ‘French’ using yellow. I wasn’t on set at the time but Val called and told me to come down. I immediately thought that Gisele had lost a nail and was thinking, ‘Oh no! It’s the last picture and everyone will be impatient!” When I walked onto the set, everyone was there including John Galliano and his fantastic assistant (the late) Stephen Robinson. They were all waiting for me and Nick was holding an 8x10 Polaroid. The image he showed me was amazing: it was a close up of Gisele’s face wearing sunglasses and the light had caught the nails and lit up her skin. It looked fabulous - what a nail picture! John said (in a great ‘put on’ French accent), ‘Ooh, she ‘as received the illumination from above!” It was great seeing the pictures in all the magazines and on billboards after, but that moment, when the whole team were so pleased for me, was even better.”
Pierre Hardy Accessories Designer “After having worked for prestigious brands for many years, I finally decided in 1999 to put my name on the shoes that I was designing. The first ‘PIERRE HARDY’ shoe was quite radical a stiletto with a blade for the heel. I am still so surprised and pleased about the success of this first collection. These shoes are really special for me and I have kept them at the office, hanging by their blades from a ladder. They are there to remind me of this moment!”
Journalist and founder of ‘A Shaded View on Fashion’ “Several years ago when I was working at Vogueparis.com, I attended their party celebrating fifty years of fashion photography in French Vogue. When I arrived, an older man with silver hair and sparkling blue eyes started photographing me. He was going all around me taking photos and it felt as if I was being kissed by a butterfly. I had no idea who this man was and asked a younger photographer if he knew. The man said ‘Oh, I don’t know, just an old man with a camera.’ Later the two of us were standing in front of an iconic photo, discussing the power of the image when a little voice came from behind us, very child-like, “I took that photo”. I turned around and that wonderful man was William Klein. Of course I’d love to see the images from the night but I am quite sure that I never will.” ISSUE 1 — 91
Michael O’Shaughnessy Assistant at Richard Nicoll “In the summer of 2006, I was doing an internship at Marc Jacobs in New York. The two weeks before his show were absolutely manic, with stylists, press, consultants and major investors visiting the studio daily. After a particularly busy morning (Anna Wintour had been in to see the collection), I made a trip to the bathroom, which was situated in the centre of the sample room, in a gap between numerous rolls of expensive fabric. Unfortunately, after flushing the chain, the toilet started to overflow and its contents began to spill out over the bathroom floor and into the sample room, where Marc was! I felt like the only option I had was to run out of the building and never return. Instead, I managed to fashion a block to put under the door and luckily caught the attention of the maintenance man. He assessed the situation and, noticing how upset I was, sent me back to work. By this point, the vile smell had begun to infiltrate the studios and people were beginning to complain. To this day, I still don’t know if anyone worked out it was my doing and frankly, I never want to know. It took me a long time to recover from the embarrassment but now I can laugh about it.”
Mark McMahon Stylist
“I have two favourite fashion moments. The first is the time I had Britney Spears in my boutique, Urban Dandy, in Brighton. It was the day after she’d kissed Madonna at the MTV Awards and it was obvious that it was the beginning of Britney going off the rails. She was a sweet-natured girl but she bought some very naughty jewellery in the shape of a penis! The second is the first time I met Simon Foxton. I was working on a magazine as part of my final year project at Central Saint Martins. The magazine’s concept was the close bond between sportswear and fashion so I was desperate to get an interview with the legend that is Mr Foxton. Eventually I got my chance and we kept in touch. I now work for him and can call him one of my closest friends.” 92 — ISSUE 1
“My favourite fashion moment was at my Spring/ Summer 2008 show because of the pure ridiculousness of it. Everything was running to plan pre-show at the venue until we called the dress rehearsal and then a string of disasters started to occur. We realised that the stairs were too shallow for the girls to walk down, especially given many were wearing sunglasses and large hats, and the shoes were treacherous platforms. Two girls took a tumble during rehearsal and then our finalé model that had been fitted in the last dress (a made to measure couture dress) pulled out due to flu. After much last-minute reshuffling and a dash to the cobblers to have rubber soles attached to the shoes, the show went off, in a good way – there’s nothing like a bit of suspense!”
Props Stylist and Accessories Designer “In 2001 I took a flight to Paris to meet and have a coffee with Angela, ADi and KAi of AsFOUR. This in itself was a rather spontaneous, bizarre and bonkers way to spend a day. However, it all made sense when the vision appeared across the Place De Gambetta: three sparkling sensations with metallic disks on their arms. Apparently this was a ‘hangover day’ and Bloody Marys were ordered alongside café crème. It was a visual feast and sensory overload, which was unsettlingly distracting as I tried to overcome my intimidation and attempt conversation. ADi was a cute and giggly, wide-eyed, red haired, shimmering flame with bronze Swarovski crystals scattered over her auburn jacket; Angela was a terrifyingly glamorous Russian doll with iridescent cheekbones and an ever-renewing cigarette in elegant manicured gesticulating fingers; KAi was mysterious with gigantic impenetrable black shades with crystals creeping like ivy up around his head, apparently growing directly out of his crew cut. I felt like I had found exactly what I had been searching for all my life. It was nothing that I had ever seen before and a way that I didn’t know was possible for a human to dress. This day transformed my outlook of life, not only for the inspirational aesthetic but because I started a journey of a firm and loving friendship that has flourished ever since.”
Fashion Assistant at British Vogue
‘It was 2002 and I was working at SHOWstudio on a project called ‘Transformer’. We’d been shooting various people over an intense twoday period and the last shot we had to get was of Alexander McQueen. It was very late at night and nobody was really sure what to expect; all I knew was that I’d had to get a couple of white suits and some tins of paint. We dressed the male model and then McQueen started cutting into the suit before adding copious amounts of white paint; the suit was completely wrecked and there was paint all over the studio. In front of everyone on the shoot, McQueen had literally transformed this male model into a ‘bride’. It was like watching an artist at work; it was incredibly freehand and felt really spontaneous. That moment completely changed my perception of what fashion meant. I don’t think that you meet that many people working in the fashion industry that are really pushing the boundaries and it felt incredibly exciting to witness, first-hand, something so inspiring and extreme.” ISSUE 1 — 93
Ten leading figures reveal their personal scents of choice.
94 — ISSUE 1
Susan Irvine, Journalist and Author, nominates ‘Iris Gris’ by Jacques Fath Reason: “It has not been available for decades but someone with access to the exact formula illicitly made me a bottle. Dense, melancholic, creamy but pure; it’s not bizarre, it’s just unique. I want someone to bring it back, but not debased as most come-back scents are.” [Fig. 10] Peter Jensen, Fashion Designer, nominates Chanel No.5, Chanel No.18, Chanel No.19 and Chanel No.22 Reason: “I only wear Chanel’s fragrances for women. When I wear ‘Chanel No.22’ I apply it seven times: three times on the neck and four times on the front; then I spray ‘Chanel No.5’ on top three times: once behind each ear and once in the hair. With ‘Chanel No.18’ I do the same but mixed with Chanel ‘No.19’. I think that Chanel makes the best fragrances and has the best history behind each of its scents.” [Fig. 1] Penny Martin, Editor in Chief of SHOWstudio, nominates ‘Bois et Musc’ by Serge Lutens and Escentric Molecules Reason: “Sometimes I wear ‘Bois et Musc’ by Serge Lutens and others Escentric Molecules. But the smell I love above all can be found in my husband’s hairline (unwashed), above his left temple.” [Fig. 3 & 5] Patrick Scallon, Press Representative for Dries Van Noten “I love smells and tend to use many on a regular basis depending on my mood and the situation. I tend to have favourites for summer and winter. The scents I wear in summer are ‘S3’ by Legrain and ‘4711’ by Mäurer & Wirtz. Those I use in the winter include ‘Marescialla’ by Santa Maria Novella, ‘Poivre’ by Caron, pure patchouli oil by Santa Maria Novella and ‘Coal’, a synthesised isolated molecule of the odour of freshly mined coal developed by the scent artist, Sissel Tolaas. I suppose my absolute favourites are the ones I wear all year round; these include ‘Lavanda Imperiale’ and ‘Acetico Cosmetico’ by Santa Maria Novella, ‘Aqua Brava’ by Puig and ‘Green Irish Tweed’ by Creed.” [Fig. 2, 4 & 6] Susie Rushton, Journalist, nominates ‘Borneo 1834’ by Serge Lutens Reason: “It’s a dusty, dark brown smell (chocolate and tobacco), and is served from a stoppered glass bottle which means I usually overdose. I’m greedy and own and wear dozens of different perfumes but this one is special, partly because the experience of acquiring it. I got it in Serge Lutens’ amazing shop in Paris and it was very expensive. Sometimes I think it brings me luck.” [Fig. 11] Chandler Burr, Author and perfume critic at The New York Times, nominates ‘Ambre Narguile’ by Hermès Reason: “It instantly improves the experience of any meal, rendering it more delicious, more deep, more vivid, like salting one’s food.” [Fig. 8] Val Garland, Make-up Artist, nominates ‘Opium’ by Yves Saint Laurent Reason: “It brings back memories of clubbing in the 1980s.” [Fig. 9] Jason Evans, Photographer, nominates ‘Ambre Sultan’ by Serge Lutens Reason: “Partly because Serge Lutens is such an extraordinary character, partly because I enjoy the subtlety of his work. This scent just happens to compliment the way I smell and contradict the way I dress.” [Fig. 5] Valery Demure, Jewellery Agent, nominates ‘Le Parfum de Therese’ by Frédéric Malle Reason: “I just love the notes of leather, pepper and cedar with the jasmine and violet scents. It is a lush and languid fragrance. I also love its name it sounds old-fashioned and demure. I have worn this perfume since I found it at Natan in Brussels a few years ago.” [Fig. 7] Peter Saville, Graphic Designer, nominates ‘Terre d’Hermès’ by Hermès Reason: “There is a fragrance that I wear but I don’t think it chic for people to share the details of their personal wardrobe. To do so is pointless. Whereas the cheaper, synthetic scents sit on the skin, arguably the proper ones respond differently to each individual. So to read that ‘Yves Saint Laurent wore blah blah’ and then buy it is futile because the actual smell will be different in the event. I recently tested ‘Terre d’Hermès ‘ by Hermès, however, and it had a very striking scent: of a female. So I bought some.” [Fig. 12]
ISSUE 1 — 95
Aleksandra Olenska is a stylist who lives in Paris. She also works as an accessories designer and has collaborated with numerous designers including Peter Jensen, Roksanda Ilincic and Vanessa Bruno. Olenska is also the Fashion Director of EXIT magazine and is a visiting lecturer at the Instituto Maragoni in London. Alexander Fury is Editorial Assistant at SHOWstudio. He studied Fashion History and Theory at Central Saint Martins and graduated in 2007. Fury has since worked on research development for the fashion designer Marios Schwab and is a contributing writer to a number of independent magazines and websites. Anna Gudbrandsdottir studied Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins. Following her graduation, Gudbrandsdottir worked as an assistant at SHOWstudio and now works as a freelance photographer and occasional DJ. Gudbrandsottir is Icelandic; has blonde hair which she dies black; owns a cat and enjoys baking. Benjamin Alexander Huseby is a photographer who is currently based in Berlin. Having trained at the Chelsea School of Art, Huseby’s work has been published in i-D, Fantastic Man, Self Service, Arena Homme Plus and Pop; and has been exhibited in galleries throughout Europe. Laura Bradley is Editor in Chief of The Fashion Almanac. She studied at De Montfort University before enrolling on the Fashion Communication with Promotion degree at Central Saint Martins in 2003. Bradley has previously worked as Editorial Assistant at SHOWstudio and has lectured at institutions including the Design Museum in London. Chandler Burr is a journalist and author based in New York. He is resident perfume critic at The New York Times, a position that he has held since 2006. Burr has written numerous books, including ‘The Perfect Scent: A Year Inside The Perfume Industry’ which was published in early 2008. Diane Pernet is an esteemed fashion blogger and makes daily posts on her site, ‘A Shaded View on Fashion’. Pernet worked as a fashion designer in the 1980s and has also worked as a fashion editor and writer for Elle, Vogue, and the now defunct Joyce magazine. She is also Editor in Chief of Zoo Magazine and co-curator of the ‘You Wear It Well’ film festival. Emma Elwick is Market Editor at British Vogue. Having studied BA English and MA Fashion History and Journalism at Central Saint Martins, Elwick worked as a runner and researcher at the BBC before joining Vogue in 2004 as Fashion Features Assistant. Frankie Mathieson is a trained researcher who graduated from Glasgow University in 2006, where she studied Comparative Literature and Film and Television Studies. Mathieson has since worked in television; researching, writing and producing short content pieces for broadcast online. She recently spent three months travelling the United States by train, documenting her journey with her old but beloved Canon Sure Shot 35mm camera. 96 — ISSUE 1
Fred Butler is a props stylist and accessories designer who lives and works in London. Her clients have included Nicola Formichetti, Patti Wilson, Jacob K, Leith Clark, Susie Lloyd, Patrick Wolf, Selfridges, SHOWstudio and 3DCreative. James Pearson-Howes is a photographer based in east London. After graduating from the Photography degree at the London College of Printing in 2004, Pearson-Howes’ work has appeared in numerous publications including The Independent, i-D, Vice and NME. PearsonHowes shoots with his left eye and only uses film. Jason Evans is a photographer who currently lives in Farnham, Surrey. His work has appeared in numerous publications including i-D and Fantastic Man and has also been exhibited internationally; his seminal fashion series ‘Strictly’ is held in the Tate collection. Evans is founder of www.thedailynice.com. Jenny Campbell-Colquhoun is a freelance graphic designer and art director based in east London. Having trained in Graphic Design at Central Saint Martins, Campbell-Colquhoun has worked on projects for SHOWstudio, Hotel, and Super Super magazine. Jonathan Kaye is a stylist who lives and works in London. Kaye has collaborated with photographers including Nick Knight, Juergen Teller, Mario Sorrenti, Sølve Sundsbø, and Jonathan de Villiers and his work has appeared in publications including Fantastic Man, i-D, Vogue, Numéro, POP, V, Visionaire and W. Jop van Bennekom is the founder, editor and art director of Fantastic Man and BUTT magazines. Born in the Netherlands in 1970, van Bennekom launched the now defunct Re-Magazine, as a graphic design graduate in 1997. In partnership with the journalist Gert Jonkers, van Bennekom went onto launch the gay quarterly, BUTT in 2001, and the gentleman’s style bi-annual, Fantastic Man in 2005. Justin Argyle is a photographer who lives and works in Leicestershire. Argyle studied Product Design at Northampton University and Photography at Loughborough College. He is a long-time user of Nikon cameras and prefers digital to film. Lucy Ewing is Fashion Director of the Sunday Times Style Magazine, a position she has occupied since 2005. Ewing is also a contributor to various publications including i-D, British, Italian and Japanese Vogue, and 10. Lucy Oldfield is an illustrator based in London. Following her graduation from the Illustration degree at the Arts Institute in Bournemouth, Oldfield has worked on freelance projects for clients including Amelia’s magazine and The Times. Lulu Kennedy is director of Fashion East, a London-based independent initiative that has helped launch the careers of Gareth Pugh, Marios Scwhab, Jonathan Saunders and Richard Nicoll, amongst others. Kennedy regularly collaborates with Italian arts magazine, Boiler and has written for British Vogue.
Laura Mackness is a masters student at Central Saint Martins, currently studying on the Fashion Womenswear course. Mackness graduated from the college’s BA course in 2007; her final collection was selected for inclusion in the press show and a selection of her illustrations were awarded first prize in a prestigious illustration award. Mackness has also worked for Peter Jensen, Ebru Ercon and Margaret Howell. Marian Newman is a manicurist and regularly works with the photographer Nick Knight, alongside hair stylist, Sam McKnight and make-up artist Val Garland. Newman has also worked with a number of high-profile clients including Kate Moss, Gisele, Kylie, Nicole Kidman, Björk, John Galliano, Liberty Ross and Naomi Campbell. She also established the Urban Retreat nail bar, and has represented the professional nails industry on a British Industry board. Mark McMahon is a stylist based in London. Having studied Fashion Communication with Promotion at Central Saint Martins, McMahon launched his own clothing label Urban Dandy and a boutique of the same name, in Brighton in 2002. He currently assists the stylist Simon Foxton as well as working on his own freelance projects for numerous publications including i-D and Fantastic Man. Micheal O’Shaughnessy is a fashion designer who currently lives and works in London. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2007, O’Shaughnessy has worked as a design assistant for the fashion designer, Richard Nicoll and is currently developing his own line of clothing that will be stocked exclusively at the Cricket boutique in Liverpool. Michelle Duguid is Fashion Assistant at British Vogue. After graduating from History of Art degree at Winchester School of Art in 1996, Duguid worked as Fashion Editor at SHOWstudio and at a number of London based magazines including Cosmopolitan. M/M (Paris) is a design partnership between Michael Amzalag and Mathias Augustyniak. Since 1992, they have worked together as creative directors and graphic designers for a wealth of clients including the fashion designers Yohji Yamamoto, Martine Sitbon, Balenciaga and Calvin Klein and photographers such as Craig McDean and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin. M/M (Paris) also worked as creative consultants to Paris Vogue. Patrick Scallon is Press Representative for Dries Van Noten. Scallon is of Irish descent and previously worked as the Press Representative for Maison Martin Margiela. He has a vast, carefully procured scent wardrobe. Penny Martin is Editor in Chief of SHOWstudio. Previously she worked as a Curator at The National Museum of Photography, Film & Television. Martin has also written for numerous publications including The Independent, British Vogue, i-D and is a presenter on BBC2’s The Culture Show. Peter Jensen is a fashion designer of Danish descent. After graduating from Central Saint Martins in 1999, he launched his own label of the same name. Jensen won the British Fashion Council ‘New Generation’ sponsorship for Spring/Summer 2004, and has continued to design and show menswear and womenswear simultaneously in London. Peter Saville is a graphic designer. Having trained at Manchester Polytechnic, Saville was one of the founding partners of seminal music label Factory Records and was responsible for creating the acclaimed
artworks for Joy Division and New Order album covers. He has since worked for a wealth of clients including Suede, Roxy Music, Yohji Yamamoto, Givenchy and Selfridges; and his work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide. Pierre Hardy is an accessories designer based in Paris. Hardy began work as footwear designer at Christian Dior in 1988 and went on to launch his own line of shoes and bags in 1999. He also designs shoes and accessories for Hermès and footwear for Balenciaga -positions he has held since 1990 and 2001 respectively- and has recently designed a line of shoes for the high-street store Gap. Richard Nicoll is a London-based fashion designer. He studied on the MA Fashion Womenswear course at Central Saint Martins and his graduation collection was bought by Dolce & Gabbana. Nicoll has shown as part of London Fashion Week since 2005 and was awarded the prestigious ANDAM award in 2007. Sara Arnold is a Fashion History student at Central Saint Martins. She also works part-time at Dover Street Market and designs her own line of accessories. Arnold is an obsessive collector and currently resides in east London. Simon Foxton is one of Britain’s leading menswear stylists. Having graduated from Central Saint Martins in 1983, he set up his own clothing label, Bazooka. He started styling for i-D in 1984 and has since contributed to publications including Fantastic Man, The Face, Arena Homme Plus and W. Stephen Jones is a milliner based in London. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 1979, he has worked on his own-line of hats as well as collaborating with an array of designers including John Galliano, John Paul Gaultier, Comme des Garçons, Marc Jacobs and Giles Deacon. His hats are on permanent display at the V&A, The Louvre, and the Kyoto Fashion Institute. Susan Irvine is a London-based journalist and author. She has written numerous books on perfume including, ‘The Perfume Guide’ which was published in 2000. Irvine has also contributed to various publications including British Vogue and The Daily Telegraph. Susannah Frankel is Fashion Editor at The Independent, a position she has occupied since 1999. Having studied English at Goldsmiths University, she worked as assistant to the editorial director of Academy Editions, publishers of books on art and architecture; and as deputy editor at BLITZ magazine. Frankel’s first book, ‘Visionaries: Interviews with Fashion Designers’ was published in 2001; she is also a regular contributor to Another Magazine. Susie Rushton is a journalist at The Independent. A graduate of Central Saint Martins, Rushton has contributed to numerous publications including British Vogue, Another Magazine, i-D and Fantastic Man; and co-edited the book, ‘Fashion Now 2’ with Terry Jones, the founder and creative director of i-D, which was published in 2005. Val Garland is a leading make-up artist. Raised in Bristol, Garland later emigrated to Australia where she trained as a hair colourist before moving over to make-up. Since returning to London in 1994, Garland has worked on catwalk shows for designers including Alexander McQueen and on fashion shoots for publications such as Vogue, Dazed & Confused, i-D and Visionaire.
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n. A colophon, in publishing, is a brief description usually located at the end of a book, detailing production notes relevant to the edition. The term derives from the Late Latin, ‘colophon’, from the Greek ‘kolophon’ (meaning ‘summit’, ‘top’, or ‘finishing’). It should not be confused with Colophon, an ancient Ionian Greek city in western Anatolia.
1 Magazine 1 Editor in Chief/Creative Director/ Photographer/Graphic Designer/Stylist 2 Fonts 3 Invaluable Proof Readers 3 Dedicated Assistants 3 Notebooks 4 People that Declined to Contribute 4 Research Folders 5 Comprehensive Lists and Schedules 6 Moments of Complete Despair 8 Printers’ Quotes 9 Mock-ups 9 Months of Intense Work 18 Font Sizes 74 People 92 Objects 100 Pages 231 Dictaphone Minutes 205 Images 685 Emails [at point of going to print] 22,624 Words 98 — ISSUE 1
Reference Point: The Almanac The origins of the almanac can be traced back to ancient Babylonian astronomy, when tables of planetary periods were produced in order to predict lunar and planetary phenomena. The first printed almanac appeared in the mid 15th century. Benjamin Franklin began his famous ‘Poor Richard’s Almanack’ in 1732. A form of folk literature, 18th century almanacs furnished useful and entertaining information where reading matter was scarce; a surviving example is the ‘Old Farmer’s Almanac’. Modern almanacs are often annual publications containing statistical, tabular, and general information. Other noteworthy almanacs are ‘Schott’s Almanac’, ‘Whittaker’s Almanack’ and ‘The New York Times Almanac’.
Logo and Symbol Design The Fashion Almanac logo and symbol © Jenny Campbell-Colquhoun 2008.
Methodology Every effort has been made to ensure that all of The Fashion Almanac’s content is alphabeticised and that its components add up to a rounded number, e.g. 5 or 10, 50 or 100.
The letters that make up the logo [Fig.1] have been shaped using Neuzeit Book as a basis, which were moulded together to make the letters work as a logo. The logo reflects The Fashion Almanac’s concept of displaying information clearly and coherently employing clean, simple shapes with no unnecessary embellishment or tricks. The symbol [Fig. 2] continues this by lifting the ‘T’, ‘F’ and ‘A’ and housing them in a tight circle.
Typesetting Page Detail Font Size: 6pt Title Font Sizes: 18, 24, 30, 36, 48, 55, 60, 72 (pt) Introduction Font Sizes: 9, 10, 14 (pt) Body Font Sizes: 7, 7.6, 8, 8.5, 9, 11, 18 (pt) Caption & Diagram Font Sizes: 7, 8, 8.5, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 24, 48 (pt) Paper-size: 180mm x 230mm (portrait) Margins: 3p0 Font History: Baskerville Baskerville is a transitional serif typeface designed in 1757 by John Baskerville (1706-1775) in Birmingham, England. Baskerville is classified as a transitional typeface, positioned between the old style typefaces of William Caslon, and the modern styles of Giambattista Bodoni and Firmin Didot. The Baskerville typeface is the result of John Baskerville’s intent to improve upon the types of William Caslon. He increased the contrast between thick and thin strokes, making the serifs sharper and more tapered, and shifted the axis of rounded letters to a more vertical position. The curved strokes are more circular in shape, and the characters became more regular. These changes created a greater consistency in size and form.
Materials Hardware: Apple MacBook Pro (15 inch version). The MacBook Pro is a line of Macintosh portable computers by Apple Inc.. Software: Microsoft Word, Microsoft’s flagship word processing software. Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop, desktop publishing software applications produced by Adobe Systems. Various Mac applications, including the ‘Mail’ email program and iCal, a personal calendar application made by Apple Inc.. Dictaphone: Olympus WS-210S Digital Voice Recorder. Camera: Canon Power Shot G7 Digital Camera. Print Specifications Stock: Revive 100 Offset 250 g/m² for cover and Revive 50:50 Offset 150 g/ m² for text. Printing Method: Digitally printed using a Canon 6000. Perfect Bound on a GAE Horizon Perfect Binder. Run: 100 ISSUE 1 — 99
Aesthetic Alexander McQueen Anatomical drawings Arranged in countries Astronomy Austrian descent Babel Baldwin’s Balenciaga Ballet flats Baskerville Batman Beasting Bloody Mary Books Borough Market Bow tie Breast Broadway Market Carefully considered Carrier bag Chain Chandler Burr Chanel jacket Chronology Claire de Rouen Books Claude Montana’s dog Clown shoes Colette Colophon Comme des Garçons Compendium Complexity Component Conventional Convex mirrors Core Crocodile Dundee Crux Curator Curiosity Dakota Fanning Data David Bailey Decapitation De Humani Corporis Fabrica Definition Denim cape Diagrams Dictaphone Dissect Dover Street Market Economics Editor’s Letter Electric Ballroom Elsa Schiaparelli Entertain Environmental Exaggerated Shoulders Explicitly
Exploration Fashion Campaigns Fashion Friends Field Guide Film Noir Finalé Fishing hooks Flock FLorian Ladstaetter Flourished Flowers Formulation Fragrance Framework Francesca Burns Freshly mined coal FSC Certified Ghost World Girdle Gisele’s nails Glasses Grandmother Gunther von Hagen Helmut Lang Heston Blumenthal Holyroodhouse Honey the dog Humbert Humbert Husband’s hairline Icelandic Identification Guide Illustrations Inaugural issue Inform Inspiration Intention Intersecting Intertwining Ionian Jar of teeth Jason Evans Jil Sander Jockey Jonathan Kaye Jop van Bennekom Journey Junction Jun Takahashi Junya Watanabe Kate Moss Kawakubo Lanvin Le Carnet Leitmotif Le Labo Lesage-embroidered T-shirt Liberty department store London Lite Low-gusset Lulu Kennedy
Lyndell Mansfield MacBook Pro Maintenance man Maison Martin Margiela Man Ray Marble Marcel Marceau Marios Schwab Marlene Dietrich Masthead Mathematical equations Metallic boots Methodology Microphotography M/M (Paris) Nail varnish Narrative Neuzeit Book NHS glasses Nick Knight’s Assistants Note Nude Object Lesson Offset Orange hair Overlapping Ideas Overwhelming Painted clothes Pantone shades Patrick Scallon Pattern Magic Pearl ring Pencil Pendant Penny Martin Peter Pan collar Peter Jensen Peter Saville Pierre Hardy Pierrot Pincers Pink hair Pioneer Possibilities Powerful Prada Pronunciations Publishing Pug Pussy willow Quilting Raf Simons Red-soled shoes Reference point René Magritte Retouched Revisit Richard Nicoll shoe Rooster Ties Savile Row
Scents of Choice Scientific Sculptural Serge Lutens SHOWstudio Signature style Silhouette Simon Foxton Sissey Spacek Skinhead Small ceramic arm Spacesuit Specifically Spinal column SpongeBob SquarePants Sports cars Spring/Summer 2008 Steve Irwin Structure Subject Sunglasses Superheroes Surrealism Swarovski crystal Tabi socks Tailcoat Tastemaker The Collectors The Eiffel Tower The Olfactionary The season Tie Dye Toilet Transformer Transparent trousers Transportation Typographer’s calculator Type 176 telephone Underwear Unpack Utilitarian Valery Demure Venn Diagrams Vetiver 46 Victoria Beckham Viscera Vital Vivienne Westwood White paint White shelves William Klein Women Womenswear Wood Wooden cooking utensils Yohji Yamamoto Yves Saint Laurent Zip 032c 8x10 Polaroid