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The Forum Welcome back to The Forum. In this, our second issue, our globally based contributors will take you on a tour round their universe. With them we head to London, Berlin, Amsterdam, Los Angeles, New York and, of course, Planet Fashion. We see their cities through their eyes, breath the air they breathe and live the high-octane lives they lead – it’s all reflected in their words and images, so sit back and soak up the atmosphere. And as before, your Forum experience doesn’t have to stop when you get to the end of the pages in your hands. Using the Shortcut app (download it for free from the App Store now if you haven’t already), you can scan each page and be immediately taken deeper into our world – to our core of fantastic, exclusive, extra content. What this means is, with just a tap of your device’s screen, you can dive straight into the online shopping portals where the fabulous fashions you see before you are being sold; you can listen to the sounds of the brilliantly bonkers band you’re going from party to party with; you can watch videos that will tell you more about the zeitgeistdefining individuals who are shaping the future. At The Forum, we don’t want you, our reader, ever to be constrained by limits. The world is there for you to explore, and the technology is there to help you find out more. Enjoy our travelogue and send us a postcard. See you soon for much more…
Editor-in-Chief Pejman Biroun Vand
Creative Direction Hight & Irons
Art and Lifestyle Director Axel Mörner
Contributing Fashion Director Julian Ganio
Fashion Editor Luci Ellis
Sub-editor Sam Thackray
Contributors Rebekka Alden Malina Bickford Dennis Duijnhouwer Tetsu Kubota
Oh! Gun Quit Ellis Scott Kiriakos Spirou Erika Svensson
Managing Assistant Calle Bloedorn Advertising Dino Mujkanovic email@example.com Online Creative Marc Kremers
Online Producer Anna Gullstrand
Online Editors Anastasia Freygang Nada Diane Fridi
Ida Grundström Nyberg Lovisa Ingman
Web Producers and Partners Fröjd www.frojd.se Printing MittMedia Print www.mittmediaprint.se © 2014 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced in whole or part without permission from the publisher. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the contributors and not necessarily shared by the magazine Cover image by Tetsu Kubota Shirt by Prada
Sam Smith, of luxury-menswear purveyors Oki-ni, makes his top picks of menâ€™s trainers for this spring/summer. All available at Oki-ni.com
1. High-top fashion sneakers by Raf Simons 2. Roshe Run slip-on GPX sneakers by Nike 3. Navy blue running sneakers by Lanvin 4. 22 white San Crispino running sneakers by Maison Martin Margiela 5. Blue-grey Shadow 6000 sneakers by Saucony 6. Brown ZX9000 25th Anniversary sneakers by Adidas Originals 7. Flyknit Air Max sneakers by Nike 8. Black and white Geobasket leather sneakers by Rick Owens Scan the page to get your favourite pair
Sasha Keable Singer Since south London girl Sasha’s incredible voice featured on Disclosure’s Voices track, her debut EP – and beauty – have taken the industry by storm. Lucky for us she is just about to unveil her second EP ahead of her debut album next year. Clockwise, from left: jacket by Cacherel, dress by Again. Top and skirt by Paul & Joe. Jacket and dress as before. Shorts by Paul & Joe
girls on top
Luci Ellis gets to the bottom of which London ladies are at the top of their game in music and fashion Photographer: Ellis Scott Stylist: Luci Ellis
Little Simz Rapper Born and raised in north London, Little Simz was thrust into the spotlight when her fourth mix tape, Blank Canvas, premiered on Jay-Z’s Lifeandtimes.com last September. Her debut EP – E.D.G.E. – is set to be released mid-June. Clockwise, from below: jacket and jeans by Levi’s, T-shirt by Alexander Wang, trainers by Adidas. Jacket and top by Monki. Sweater by Kenzo, hat by Life’s a Beach. Jacket, T-shirt and jeans as before
Irene Agbontaen Â Fashion designer and stylist Standing at 5ft 11in, Irene knows all too well the trials and tribulations of being tall. She like many others became frustrated by the ill-fitting basics on offer, so decided to create her own. Her brand, Taller Than Your Average (TTYA), offers simple but high-quality pieces for women who are 5ft 9in or more. Clockwise, from below: dress by TTYA, trainers by Nike X Pigalle. Top and skirt by TTYA, necklace stylistâ€™s own. Leotard by TTYA. Dress as before
Siobhan Bell DJ This pint-sized east London beauty’s great taste in clothes is on par with her taste in music. She started DJ-ing back in 2010 (first gig, London’s NikeTown), and since then has gathered a cult following. Travelling and playing around Europe and America, she manages to pack out dancefloors with banging 1990s and Noughties classics.
Hair: Daniel McCourt and Kristof Pacura using Vidal Sassoon Make-up: Daisy Harris-d’Andel using MAC Stylist’s assistant: Nicole Carvalho
Clockwise, from left: top by Again. Jacket by Hide, top by MinkPink, shorts by Hilda Maha. Top and trousers by Again, trainers by Vans. Top by Monki, trousers by Cacherel
Scan these pages find out more about the girls and how to get their looks
HIDE AND SEEK
Camouflage print is a matter of life and death for many who wear it, so when it gets appropriated by the fashion world, what are we concealing about ourselves, wonders Kiriakos Spirou Around 1915, the American poet Gertrude Stein was walking in Paris with her friend Pablo Picasso when the first camouflaged military truck drove by. Upon seeing the vehicle’s abstract, disorientating paintwork, Picasso exclaimed, “That is cubism!” Although camouflage is as old as war itself, the characteristic patterns we are familiar with today are a relatively recent invention, developed during the First World War as a response to the improved accuracy of cannons and the appearance of military aircraft. And whether or not the Picasso story is just a myth, the connection between modern art and military camouflage is true. Cubism, vorticism and other early-20th-century art movements were aiming for the same things that camouflage artists were: a distortion of forms and shapes, as if one object is transforming or disappearing into the next. Naturally, as artists became more adept at the techniques of concealment and confusion, the army’s interest in them increased, with notable figures such as the painters Paul Klee and André Mare, as well as the fashion designer Bill Blass, being recruited as camoufleurs during the big wars of the 20th century. Of course staying unseen on the battlefield is one of the few things that can keep a soldier alive. So when designing a uniform’s camouflage pattern, a lot of factors are taken into account, such as the prominent colours of the terrain, the weather conditions in a region, the morphology of the ground, etc. Soldiers deployed in the desert naturally need a different uniform from those stationed in a tropical jungle. For reasons that still remain unclear, however, the US military decided in 2004 to introduce the Universal Camouflage Pattern, a design that took several years and around $5 billion to be developed. The aim was to develop a pattern that would be suitable for all terrains and types of land. The project failed, and the uniforms were withdrawn after a few years. The latest development in camouflage design is the CADPAT, an impressive pixelated pattern developed by the Canadian military that is computer generated in order to render the wearer less visible to night-vision devices. Camouflage and death are interconnected concepts, since in addition to its military use, camo
is also a necessary part of that other deadly human activity: hunting. For some an exhilarating outdoors sport, for others a brutal and unnecessary crime, hunting animals out in the wild requires similar camouflage techniques to those of war, because he who goes undetected has a deadly privilege: the advantage of moving and acting unnoticed. The hunter is lethal because he is invisible. It is socially acceptable for humans to go out in nature and kill animals on a whim, and the hunter, because of his lethal power and control over nature, is a symbol imbued with erotic appeal and masculine authority. Therefore, it is understandable that young urbanites like dressing up in camo. It makes one appear a predator, the one with the licence to kill and the liberty to chase, bring down and even torture his victim without asking for permission. He’s the one at the top of the food chain – the king of the jungle. The camouflage pattern (usually in green, khaki or brown) has thus become a staple reference in contemporary fashion, from authentic military uniforms found in second-hand shops to expensive haute couture creations seen on the most prestigious runways of Paris and New York. In fact, camo has seen a spectacular comeback in recent years, starting with the SS13 collection of Dries Van Noten, followed by Michael Kors and his blackblue patterns for his AW13/14 collection, and more recently, in the pre-SS14 collection of Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci. The comings and goings of camo in fashion aren’t random, but they are connected to broader social and economic events. Just as when in tough economic times designers and brands go for sexier, more flashy looks in order to boost sales, during the periods when hope and social change
are needed, designers adopt the “rebellion look” and bring camo back on the runway, usually as a direct reference to the grunge fashion of the 1980s and 90s. However, unlike the grunge movement, where military uniforms found in thrift shops were worn because they were the exact opposite of the polished, glamorous fashion worn by the elite, whenever camo appears on the runway it is by default turned into something glamorous itself. In that sense, using the patterns of military uniforms in fashion is a case of cultural appropriation, where a cultural trait that has a certain significance in a particular subculture is being used in a decorative and superficial way by another. In other words, the rich like to dress up like soldiers and punk squatters from time to time, but without compromising their glam and status. Moreover, camo patterns in fashion are not intended to conceal or hide anything, but are instead used to make someone conspicuous, to draw attention. This is of course because our city landscapes have visually nothing in common with the wilderness, where hunters stalk their prey, or the battlefield where soldiers need to conceal themselves in order to protect their lives. Camouflage patterns and military attire are completely out of place in city life. As a result, in a shocking, if not cynical way, wearing camouflage brings into the urban the imagery, the colours, and even the emotional impact of war. Think, for example, of the camouflage evening dress from the SS00 collection of Jean Paul Gaultier, which looked like a desert-army tent made from hundreds of tulle ruffles. The dress mashes together the image of a high-class party at a Parisian penthouse with that of siege cannons blasting a Syrian village. We sometimes forget that the economy that feeds and sustains our urban cultures (including our consumerist lifestyles, our parties and the haute couture we wear at them) depends primarily on the military and the institutionalised, socially acceptable violence it applies. Yet, in a way, culture is a mirror of who we are, and fashion has the fascinating power to flatten all its symbols into one shallow surface. Thus, war ironically joins the penthouse party, revealing itself to be just another sport, another kind of hunting. It’s a pity someone has to die for our champagne, but that’s just how life is. Besides, this is a jungle we are all living in… Scan the page for more camo on the catwalk
Amsterdam is known for being one of the more colourful capital cities for all sorts of reasons. We meet local lensman Dennis Duijnhouwer, who captures it in all its glory. By Rebekka Alden Dennis Duijnhouwer is a lifestyle analogue photographer based in Amsterdam. He works with his camera almost every day and his focus is always on catching moments of what he considers to be out-of-the-ordinary reality. Current obsessions include animal prints, 2Pac, fake flowers, bad graffiti and gabber music. What first drew you to Amsterdam? “As a kid, coming from a small town, visiting family in Amsterdam was always a thrilling experience. When I first started carrying a camera with me after moving here, I was definitely inspired by the photographers who documented Amsterdam’s halcyon days, such as Ed van der Elsken. The city still has that spirit, you’ve just gotta look a lot harder to find it.” Photography is obviously a big part of your life. The pictures in your portfolio portray a
large variety of people with different looks and personalities in many different contexts. Is being different what appeals to you? “I just want to have a rich, colourful and adventure-filled existence. Photography is a way for me to be rooted in reality and be caught in a dream at the same time. It’s easy to hate with photography, much harder to love.” Your images have a real vibrancy; colour just bounces off them. Is that intentional? “I generally find this world to be a cruel, harsh and grey place, so I’m really drawn to anything that is not that.” What inspires you most in your work? “Anything really. Mostly my friends – they are quite an amazing cast of inspired, outspoken and fantastic weirdos. And, of course, definitely music. Music is the best!”
Why is photography so important to you? “It allows me to interact with the world in a very different way compared with when I don’t have a camera on me. I’m usually a little shy. I like all the possibilities of adventures that lie just around the corner when I’m photographing.” You describe your city as being small, chaotic and beautiful. Amsterdam is also, of course, well known for being outspoken concerning the subjects of drugs and prostitution. Does that influence your work at all? “When I was younger I romanticised the red-light district in Amsterdam, but today I’m really sort of saddened about it. It’s human misery for sale and on display. With that said, prostitution will always be a part of this world. I’m just not sure how we, as a society, should go about changing it.” Scan the page to see more images
DOGGIE STYLE Photographer: Tetsu Kubota Stylist: Julian Ganio
This page: shirt by Prada, vest by Calvin Klein, shorts by Louis Vuitton, string vest (used as bag) by Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane. Opposite: shirt by Louis Vuitton, trousers by Calvin Klein
This page: jacket and string vest by Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane, trousers by Tom Ford. Opposite: shirt by Saint Laurent by Hedi Slimane, vest by Calvin Klein, trousers by Lanvin
Hair: Kenshin Asano at L’Atelier NYC Make-up: Yumi at L’Atelier NYC Models: Abel van Oeveren, Felix Gesnouin and Tim Schuhmacher at VNY Photographer’s assistant: Yoshiyuki Matsumura Digital technician: Tomonori Iwata Casting: Edward Kim at The Edit Desk Dogs: Hank and Jagger
This page: jacket and trousers by Prada, vest by Lanvin, plate by Homer Laughlin China. Opposite: playsuit and belt by Raf Simons Scan the pages to get the looks
behind the camera
The popularity of photography is enormous at the moment, both as an art form and a vital tool in social media. Nobody can be without a smartphone – how else could we constantly update our Facebook and Instagram accounts? It is part of our daily routine to inform everybody of what we are doing at that very moment and to check out what everybody else is up to. A generation of anxiety, perhaps, but I guess it’s called evolution. At the same time the fine-art auction houses and galleries are witnessing a continuous boom in the art-photography market. The American photographer Cindy Sherman’s Untitled #96 (1981), one of her more serene-looking self-portraits, from the “centerfold” series, went for $3.8 million in 2011; a couple of months later, Andreas Gursky’s Rhein II (1999) went for $4.3 million. This might be hard to understand, especially as the Gursky photograph is from an edition of six and the Sherman photograph is one of 10. So you could buy an oil painting by a contemporary artist such as John Currin for the same amount, despite the latter being a unique piece. This is more or less controlled at the art market’s highest level: the top dealers and gallerists in co-operation with the collectors, who are often hedge-fund billionaires and oligarchs who have no problem at all with these price tags. They like the idea of an edition, even if it is as low as six or 10 (it could be considered “original”) – they need a large number of works to achieve a big turnover, and they will get that from fine-art photography. The bottom line for these people is that it’s about earning money, so the more art you make, the bigger business you do as a collector and an artist. To understand how photography reached the level of recognition it recieves today we need first to look at some historical facts and events. In the first half of the 1800s the medium was more or less invented by Joseph Niépce and put to use shortly afterwards. Long exposure times and limited capacities from the lens restricted the images to portraits and still-lifes. Documentary photography also started around this time, as seen with Roger Fenton’s famous photographs of the Crimean War (1853-1856). It was the first such photography to document a war that was taking place far from England, but the modern techniques used, including woodblock printing, enabled the public to get a good view of the ongoing campaign. Fenton had a mobile darkroom that enabled him to produce his photographs continuously, like an early version of a camera phone. He took many shots of landscapes filled with tents and troops, as well as portraits of the officers and soldiers, but the best is an image called Valley of the Shadow of Death. In this, a dirt road leading to Sevastopol is scattered with cannonballs after heavy shelling from the Russian side. It has to be said, though, that these early versions of the camera restricted Fenton to only depicting things that were not moving, and he was not allowed to portray the dead and wounded on
the battlefield. However, he was still able to capture a realistic and brutal portrait of war, making him a truly important pioneer in the early days of photography. As photography was increasingly taking over the role of portraiture and documentation, painters were finding their work was becoming obsolete. This led to a surge in creativity and new directions in painting in the early 1900s, such as cubism, futurism, suprematism and constructivism. New territories in art and society were being explored. And when Dada and Surrealism erupted there seemed to be no limits to artistic freedom. In 1913, the artist Man Ray (born Emmanuel Radnitzky, 1890-1976) visited the (in)famous art show the Armory Show in New York. He was greatly inspired by the top avant-garde artists of the era he saw there, and by Duchamp‘s intellectual approach in particular. He became an exhibiting artist using mainly painting and objects. But on finding himself dissatisfied with the photographers who were documenting his paintings, he started to do it himself. He proved to be very good at it, and so helped other artists document their work, while also painting many portraits of them. He quickly understood the versatility and possibilities of photography, and started experimenting with both film and photography in a Dadaist and Surrealistic manner. He invented his “rayographs” by composing symbolic images in the darkroom, and made beautiful images using the solarisation process with the help of his stylish girlfriend at the time, Lee Miller, whose eye can be seen in the artwork Indestructible Object (1923).
He even did fashion shoots with Vogue and created several iconic works that really set the standard for avant-garde fashion photography. Indeed, Man Ray’s own great versatility makes him one of the most important artists/photographers of the era. Even though photography had been introduced as an art form by this time, it was a while before the public accepted it. Great art was still dominated by painting. When the then successful illustrator Andy Warhol (born Andrew Warhola, 19281987) wanted to become an artist in the late 1950s he found it hard to choose the style and imagery he wanted to use. After discussions with fellow artists and friends he realised he should work with the world around him, especially that of American advertising, which was experiencing a golden age at the time. He quickly discovered how to work with the art world and, by using photography as his main source, he created some of the most famous works in the history of modern and contemporary art. He understood how to create art without having to sit in the studio and paint endlessly, and he turned his famous Factory studio into exactly that: a factory producing silkscreen paintings with the same motifs in different sizes and colour combinations, for example the Flowers series (1964-1965), which were based on a photograph by Patricia Caulfield, as well as the Marilyn paintings (1962), for which the image was taken from a publicity photo of Marilyn Monroe for the film Niagara. Clever indeed, as he made long series of these paintings compared with large editions of photographs and prints. His works are still original paintings, but many are available and yet they retain the value of an original.
Man Ray: New York-Paris-Hollywood, Millesgården, Stockholm (until June 8, 2014). Andy Warhol: Fondazione Roma Museo, Palazzo Cipolla, Rome (until Sept 28, 2014). Untitled #96 (1981) by Cindy Sherman: courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures. Blue Shot Marilyn (1964), Self-Portrait (red on black) (1986), Flowers (purple, blue and orange) (1964), and Liz #5 (Early Colored Liz) (1963): Brant Foundation Collection, © The Brant Foundation, Greenwich (CT), USA, © The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Inc, by SIAE 2014. Jenny Källman: courtesy of the artist
Both as fine art and a gossip medium, photography is now hugely popular, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t suffer from growing pains along the way. Axel Mörner follows its road to stardom and examines its flaws
Warhol understood how to make an interesting story with his art and the people associated with his Factory. He also recognised the importance of having inhouse photographers. The first one was Billy Name, known for documenting the early silver era of the Factory. His work can be seen in the classic exhibition catalogue Andy Warhol, from the retrospective held at Moderna Museet in Stockholm in 1968. Warhol wanted to find the most instant and rewarding way to get his images and was always interested in what new technology had to offer. His early portraits using the screen-print technique were often an assemblage of photo strips from photo booths usually found in New York’s Subway stations. An example is the magnificent work Ethel Scull 36 Times (1963), for which Warhol sent the millionairess down to the photo booth at Times Square to get a good array of snapshots. After this period he moved on to use his favourite instrument, the Polaroid camera. With this Warhol could go anywhere and get the images for his silkscreen portraits. He was overjoyed by the images produced by the Polaroid because the wrinkles on people’s faces vanished. He used the Polaroid Big Shot model, which was produced solely for portraits and had a flash diffuser, which created the soft light and tone that he loved. When compact cameras appeared in the late 1970s, Warhol took an instant liking to the makes Minox, Olympus and Konica, especially when everything became automated and included features such as the built-in flash and autofocus. He took his camera to all VIP events and clubs such as Studio 54, taking snapshots of the in-crowd – Liza Minnelli, Bianca Jagger and all the cool kids. He gave the public a direct view of them relaxing in private and in a happy mood. It all resulted in the brilliant book Exposures in 1979, which was put together by Christopher Makos, the in-house photographer from the late 1970s to the 1980s. Every night Warhol gave him all the exposed film he had used and Makos would choose five images from every roll and make photographs of them. All this, combined with Warhol’s recordings from his encounters with the glitterati, his gossipy phone calls the morning after events and the fact that he had his own magazine – Interview – made him a precursor of what is happening in today’s social media. He would have been thrilled with Facebook, Instagram and all the other similar platforms currently available and the swift way you can spread your nonsense. But comparing prices for his paintings to the prices of fine-art photography is breath-taking: last November, Silver Car Crash (Double Disaster) (1963) went for $105 million – quite a leap from the photographs mentioned at the beginning of this piece.
In 2000 the first camera phone was introduced to the market; it was a starting point of a whole new era. But instant availability really exploded when Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, a smartphone with a touch screen that connected to the internet and, more importantly, the new social networks that were appearing. We were now in possession of one of the greatest weapons of truth. Wrongdoings and crimes could be displayed in an instant; everybody is a now reporter. For good or bad, billions of images are transmitted via the internet each hour. But looking at today’s selfies, food pictures and the endless flow of cute little animals can become frightfully boring and uncreative. There is still a great need for creative photographers and artists to pave the way for us ordinary users of the camera. Looking at the work of two photographers of today we can see a more artistic and enigmatic attitude emerging and they seem to have a liking for the classic black and white photo. The artist Jenny Källman (born 1973) uses photography as her main medium. She often depicts young women in the exterior, showing no or very little action. The images have a snapshot/ documentary feel but they are deliberately arranged. It’s a private world we are attending as an onlooker and we have a hard time understanding what is going on. A feeling of uncertainty evolves into something unpleasant, but it is hard to put your finger on it. The black and white images are excellently executed and Källman has succeeded in creating her own solemn world. Her latest book, Surveillance, contains some of her best work. The world of Hedi Slimane (born 1968), artist extraordinaire, is a totally different one. As the creator of the super-skinny silhouette for Dior Homme, Slimane is one of the most creative fashion designers of today. He is also a hugely accomplished photographer, often documenting youth culture in the larger metropolitan areas. The portfolios Berlin and London – Birth of a Cult are just two great examples of his oeuvre. Slimane has since taken over the creative direction of Yves Saint Laurent, now renamed Saint Laurent Paris, and turned the old brand into a very hip and young label (yet expensive). He also does a lot of the photography used in the brand’s advertising campaigns. The imagery is always of youth with a touch of outsider rock’n’roll attitude. He has teamed up with some of the more famous icons from the rock circuit, and is planning to turn his customers into white-faced, black-eyed, depraved-looking rockers clad in tight black outfits. He uses the chiaroscuro technique for his portraits, which gives a feeling of the Hollywood-noir style. The photos have a serene feel, a kind of determination; this is his trademark. Both Källman and Slimane glance in the rear-view mirror, but they transfer their versions with a contemporary stance. For photography the road now lies open, and it is controlled by its users – you, dear reader. But it is not the technique that matters so much, it is the understanding and acceptance of the odd minority and gender equality that sets the new standards, especially as seen in the work of these latter two artists. Scan the page for more examples of this art form
demon out & dig
Filth fests, flying foodstuffs and endless fun… Come with us as rumble-bop trash-blitz voodoo band Oh! Gun Quit take us careering around town on three nocturnal trips to London's artistic outer regions Tucked behind Angel Tube station on City Road is Islington Metal Works, or Electrowerkz, a huge warehouse space and former late-19th-century threestorey horse stables. Whatever its correct name and history it hosts the most diverse, fun and way-out irregular freak shows in town. It’s a labyrinth of rooms, corridors and spaces that seem different each time you visit. Tonight the sick and slick Amy Grimehouse crew are putting on a 12-hour John Waters-inspired Filth Festival, and they’ve booked us to play. These reprobates are showing Waters movies all day and night, interspersed with the filthiest riot that would have local councillors tearing up licences immediately should they stumble into this carnival of doo-wop Americana nightmare, but would then be found dancing naked on stage with a transvestite dressed in a full red lobster outfit while smearing themselves in egg mayonnaise, no doubt. Waters would approve, as when you enter the venue the Egg Lady from Pink Flamingos is sitting inside her playpen, welcoming you in and asking, “Are you the Egg Man?” Inside, the bar is half a London Tube train, and hanging from the ceiling are lots of mock(?)stained white Y-fronts and female sanitary products. Filthy! Lots of twisted surf, rhythm and blues, exotica and 1950s dirty sax-driven rock’n’roll blasts out while we play a game of vibrator racing, and after catching bits of Cry-Baby, Mondo Trasho and Female Trouble, which are showing on different screens, the place fills up with many Divines, Mink Stoles, Hatchet Faces and other fruity characters from Mr Waters’ murky imagination. There’s a table of marker pens so you can “colour in your favourite serial killers”. These get stuck to the wall behind the stage and it quickly fills up up with Ted Bundys, Ed Geins and Charles Mansons in a variety of disguises.
Then a call to arms by the filthiest fright-fest host leads everyone to another room where we are set up, ready to go and get our kicks out. Initially I seem to have trouble Hula Hooping and playing the trumpet as I have a sex toy tied to it and I’m dressed head to foot in tight black leather, looking like a messed-up Barbarella/Poison Ivy. We mash up and belt out songs about Facebook Killers, Cindy’s Tiger, Caves and Voodoo Meatshakes. Everyone seems to rumble, stampede and slide with us admirably at this sleazy free-for-all… Zing… Was that a blast or what?! More ales and rum, then the highly anticipated Filthiest Person in London competition, which is worse/better than you could ever imagine. The wildest troupe of wackos cavort and strip onstage admist whipped cream, other foodstuffs, and whatever they can find to taunt each other with until the winner is selected. Onwards we now lose ourselves in a riot of colour, crazed cross-dressers and grotesque fun while frugging to Little Richard, Link Wray, Wooly Bully and a whole bunch of other social outcasts, until the sun comes up and we know we’ve been to Amy Grimehouse’s Filth Fest! The Lock Tavern is a “tarted-up boozer” that has been running things up on Chalk Farm Road, north London, for years and is, in part, responsible for the annual Field Day Festival at Victoria Park, east London. Although the cultural shift has been heading eastwards for a while now, The Lock Tavern still puts on decent shows, and it’s where we used to put on our own night a while back and also somewhere we pulled pints in the past. This weekend they are putting on a four-day festival that
Amy Grimehouse, Cléo Ferin
is also the leaving do of a friend of ours who managed the place for eight years (or considering it’s Thursday and the festival lasts until Sunday, maybe that should be leaving dos). Female garage three-piece band and our friends Abjects are playing tonight. They go on first and rip it up fine. Headlining are another all-female band, a great post-punk/garage band from Manchester called Pins, who we’ve heard about but never seen until now. They are cookin’ hot and what a drummer! After much free IPA, courtesy of the departing manager, we walk back through the fallout of the high street as people get looser all around us and we bump into a buddy who is looking for a nightcap. We head to The Black Cap cabaret bar, one of Camden’s oldest recorded pubs. It’s still open; we step in and on we go. Heading to Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club for this evening’s excursion, to DJ for a friend’s night called Coney Island. It rains on us every time we make our way here for some reason, but that makes it all the more important to get there in good time and cut some rug. Rob from top skiffle-billy band The Severed Limb is the compere, and Cléo, who runs the night, always makes us feel welcome with the obligatory drinks tokens, with which we always get the infamous Banana Beer. The tokens look like something you’d shove in a bumper car at the fair. Well, it is Coney Island, complete with sailor-tattoo stand, sideshow games, hot-dog-eating contest, limbo competition, twisted circus freaks and a 60-year-old transvestite glass collector called Stephanie. We have our regular “DJ barney” around 10pm, which consists of some panicked row about which tune to play next as the crowd are fully worked up. This is normal and part of the fun. Rob hosts the night with a travellingcarnival-type schtick, heavy on the sarcasm. In short, a scream. Cléo leads the limbo competition and twist dance-off with kitsch panache and, as with all their games, it results in the finest of prizes for some “lucky winners”: generally a Top Gun or suchlike DVD, or maybe some sparkly hairclips (the pound shop does a roaring trade on their night). On stage Stephanie picks out the hot-dog-eating-comp names and much ketchup-smeared sausage gobbling ensues with some gung-ho participants. Thankfully nobody pukes and we play more records. We decide to end with The Witch by The Rattles, I Won’t Come Crawling Back to You by Melvin Davis, and there’s always time for Runaway
by Del Shannon and The Kingsmen’s Louie Louie. Rob, as ever, plays out with some blissful Allen Toussaint as the lights go up. Next location is on our way back, when we stop off at Ye Olde Axe in Hackney Road, a gorgeous Victorian pub that, until 10.30pm, hosts erotic dancers for whackedout City boys, but from 11pm things change completely as Spencer, a sax-playing friend, spins hours of amazing obscure rock’n’roll 45s until the small small hours… Now it’s time for OGQ to quit and decide to either cab it or bus it on the crazy train home. Tune in next time, folks, for more nocturnal adventures with Oh! Gun Quit. Scan these pages to submerge yourself in the sounds of Oh! Gun Quit
This page: jacket by Lee, shirt by Cheap Monday. Opposite: jacket by Lee, jacket by Cheap Monday, trousers by KenzoÂ
Photographer: Leonn Ward Stylist: Luci Ellis
This page: jacket by Leviâ€™s, bra top by Monki, trousers by Edwin.Opposite: grey sleeveless jacket and dark denim jacket by Leviâ€™s, light blue denim jacket by Cheap Monday, grey shirt by Lee, light blue shirt by Hentsch Man
Hair: Ranelle Chapman using Aveda Make-up: Theresa Davies using MAC Models: Dylan Fosket at Select and Lottie at FM
This page: sleeveless jacket by Leviâ€™s, T-shirt by Cheap Monday. Opposite: jacket by Monki, shirt by Lee Scan the pages to get the looks
Dani Brown Dancer Born in New York, Brown works as an international freelance choreographer, performer and teacher. For her, fashion is entertainment, representation and fantasy. It’s a way to play with identity and expectations. At 21 she cross-dressed and went to all the casting for men’s fashion week in Paris. “I didn’t get booked, but it was fun. The pretty boys couldn’t keep their eyes off me.”
Adina Bier Curatorial director Chicago-born Bier thinks it’s important to express herself through fashion. She describes it as being a link between her body and personality through putting pieces together to provide different options and opportunities. It’s a way of presenting herself, she says, and becoming the best she can be.
It’s no surprise that a host of creative talents have chosen über-hip Berlin as their base. We track down the key figures making waves and ask how fashion affects their flow Photographer: Erika Svensson Text: Rebekka Alden Special thanks to: Anastasia Freygang
Luvinsky Atche Musician, composer, actor and theatre director Atche comes from Bordeaux, France. He compares art to food and love, so more or less the essential things in life. He thinks how you wear a pair of jeans is more important than what you wear, and that having a unique style is key. A favourite quote of his is one from Yves Saint Laurent: “Fashions fade, but style is eternal.”
Scan these pages for videos of the creatives and more
Viviana Druga Performance artist and photographer Druga was born in Transylvania, Romania. Since moving to Berlin she has been investigating the personal and poetic side of performance and the new dimensions of reality, and she captures that reality using photography. She doesn’t believe in style. In her view every human is unique, but she thinks we are all very similar. “We all want to be loved and this is the most essential.”
Florinn Bareth Artist A true multitasker, Bareth composes experimental music works using sound and video, and is also a project co-ordinator and concept consultant. Her personal style reflects the notion of reusing, but fashion is irrelevant to her art. She is inspired by coherence of the personality and style that comes from beyond temporary trends.
Ettina Berrios Negron Fashion designer Having grown up in Berlin, Berrios Negron currently designs for her own label, Thone Negron. Art inspires both her mind and spirit but she doesn’t use fashion as an art form. Her goal is to dress women and make them look and feel good about themselves. She believes that fashion can be entertaining and a way to communicate with the world around us.
l a story
It’s the city of dreams and could-have-beens, the place where vying for attention gets turned up high. Yes, every stereotype you’ve ever heard about Los Angeles is the goddamn truth, says Malina Bickford
Everywhere I go, Angelenos are making unnecessary, totally inescapable noise. Gum cracking, finger snapping, grossly conspicuous phone conversations, line practising, hand clapping, dance-move demonstrating, laughing, talking to themselves and singing. So much singing. Peacocking and presenting for anyone and everyone’s benefit. Look at me! Ask about me! They turn the music up higher in their cars, honk their horns for longer. They sport outrageous clothing and hairstyles. Audio and visual chaos. Even the dogs seem to bark through megaphones. People strike up conversations with strangers. Everyone is an extrovert, taking turns talking about themselves in lieu of actual discourse. Spinning self-aggrandising tales; utter bullshit, big fat piles of transparent lies. Feigning power, wealth and talent. Nobody will ever ask you where you went to school or demand proof of whatever credentials you claim. This city is a hustler’s paradise. Fame and power, or the illusion of such, are the most sought-after currency. It’s hard to sort out who’s actually good at anything. Not that it matters. This most narcissistic and honourless of pursuits isn’t reserved exclusively for cosmetically disfigured, reality-television bottom feeders. A significant amount of garden-variety Hollywood dreamers are putting their cart before the horse, chasing after the Golden Unicorn of Renown with little or no regard for anything resembling art. Those whose broken homes and small-town indignities have driven them west in pursuit of all the validation that their daddies never got around to bestowing, looking to salve the wounds of having been a fat kid or sexually rejected one time too many before they grew into their ears. And of course, there are the Beautiful ones, not yet ready to come down from that Prom Queen high, taking solace in this technicoloured paradise’s sophomoric social hierarchy. Fame is now so relative that snagging a shred of it is easier than ever. There’s a spectrum, from the Mega Star to the Curiously Recognisable, the latter achieved somewhat handily by appearing in a television commercial or getting your picture taken standing near an actual famous person. The internet provides additional opportunities for niche notoriety. On a site like Twitter you could be considered a totally big deal because a bunch of people “follow” you, even though nobody glances twice at you on the street. There are so many different ways to scratch the attention-whore itch, how could the self-esteem challenged possibly resist? They – okay, we – share a city, a neighbourhood, even perhaps some mutual friends, with the apex of celebrity. And under these highly unusual circumstances, it is so very easy to become deluded with self-entitlement. I mean, just imagine… You step outside to get the mail and find a 1990s supermodel sitting on your front stoop, smoking a cigarette – “I’ve sat there before!”
Sitting across the bar from a comedy hero while she gets drunk alone – “I like to get drunk alone, too! We have so much in common!” You go to brunch every week at the same cafe as your favourite actress and she even said hi to you once – “We’re basically friends now!” You meet a legendary rock musician and he checks out your tits – “He has fucked the most beautiful women in the world and now he wants me, too!” All those who were once intangible, in the flesh, buying tampons at Walgreens – “I also purchase feminine-hygiene products!” “Stars, they’re just like us!” The physical realness of them – the shattering of the fourth wall – is a heady thing to encounter on a daily basis, even for normal folks such as yours truly. It changes the way you watch movies and listen to music. Not because these people are so different in real life, rather because they are simply in real life. This is the Los Angeles that you’ve already heard about. This part, because all the rest – a radically diverse assortment of humans – tend to get muffled by the thunderous, distracting din provided by the cult of fame-obsessed, aspiring thises and thats. Shouting out their need from the rooftops of West Hollywood gyms. Laughing too loudly at their own jokes. Talking about juice cleanses and all the “projects” they’re working on. Taking photos of themselves. You get the picture. LA is so fucking loud. Scan the page for a tour of Malina’s LA
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