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Vulture Magazine / Sept 2013

Issue 05: Fetish

THE CARNAL FLOWER W. Fabio Novembre Paul McCarthy Haruhiko Kawaguchi Joel Peter Witkin Thierry Mugler Nobuyoshi Araki Pam Hogg


Face of a Woman, 2004



Editor-in-Chief Nabil Aliffi Managing Editor Clifford Loh Designer Melissa Gan Contributing Editor Lune Kuipers Press Assistant Sean Tay Fashion Assistant Lesley Chee Editorial Assistant Tan Qian Rou Intern Ruby Thiagarajan VULTURE Digital Byan Teo Contributors Alvelyn Alko, Alex Peterson, Violet Foo, Sergio Mejia, Susan Walsh, Jaehann Lim, Tan Wei Shen, Maya Menon, Ros Chan, Hadi Jalal, Benjamin Waters, Matthew Carter, Shawn Chua, Jill Tan, Aurelien Richard, Chris Madsen, Aaron Kok, Melanie Chua, Keith Wong, Milou Maass FRONT COVER Photography by Clifford Loh featuring Paul Alexandre (MgM) in Burberry Prorsum F/W 2013 Styling by Nabil Aliffi, Makeup by Djad using M.A.C. Cosmetics, Grooming by Jonathan Dadoun Editorial Enquiries For advertising and sales, please email us at VULTURE Magazine Pte Ltd 113 Somerset Road, NYC Academy Building Singapore 238165 Published & Distributed by Allscript Pte Ltd MCI (P) 159/12/2012 With Special Thanks to Ryan Wong from Vue Photography Studios & Ng Ee Leng

Š 2013 All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without permission from the publishers. The views expressed in VULTURE Magazine are those of the respective contributors, and are not necessarily shared by the magazine or staff. VULTURE welcomes unsolicited contributors, but cannot accept responsibility for any possible loss of damage of the submitted material.

EDITOR’S NOTE Fetishism is an idea borrowed from centuries past but is beyond sex and leather. The concept that is synonymous with sexual deviances has ironically spiritual beginnings. Coined by Charles de Brosses, 'fetish' was first used to describe the most primitive stage of religion, based on observations of African Tribes and their emic attribution of inherent value or supernatural powers to objects. French psychologist Alfred Binet adopted it only much later in the context of sexual fetishism because of the perceived erotic value given to a particular object or body part. And by the turn of the 19th century, 'fetish' had already come to include other ideas like the Marxist concept of commodity fetish, which entails the perception of people as goods, bearers of economic value that can be exchanged and bought. Perhaps the final definition resonates most with the materially obsessed lives we lead in the 21st century. Or perhaps it is an amalgamation of all three, coming full circle, given the primordial and arguably perverse way we consume. The pursuit of objects and material things has become the dominant belief as secular and capitalist narratives increasingly dissolve conventional religions and their values of the abstract. In the words of Karl Marx, modern day consumption is like the ‘religion of sensuous appetite’. Seeing how deeply embedded this topic is in the zeitgeist, we had to devote an entire issue to its exploration. Fetish straddles the duality between the sacred and the profane. It opens a realm of possibilities, given its nature of skirting the boundaries of what is deemed acceptable. In moderation it could serve as a palate cleanser from the gentrified pleasures of the masses. At best it could be a revelatory experience, a much needed awakening that begins with the carnal flower, an invitation to revel in the sheer pleasure of the object.

Nabil Aliffi


Story From A Book, 1999






Editor’s Note

Celine's New Silhouette

Return of the Black Jacket

Gentlemen's Kit








Uncommon Ground

Guilty Pleasures

Pervert 17

Down in the Sacred Grove








Editor's Shortlist

James Franco & The Leather Bar

A Raf Idea

Sex on a Plate











Freyja Dalsjø

Modern Artisanship

A Global Artspace

Ideas in Design







Essential Eames

Young London

Blitz Kid

Bad Behaviour










The Little Rascals

Pierrot Le Fou

The Last New Romantic











The Cult of Thierry Mugler

Italian Stallion

The Weight of Waste

Breathless Love









The Romantic and Criminally Insane

Grey Matter

Body Language

The Age of Innocence







120 Days of Sodom

Save the Date




Céline’s New Silhouette Text – Lesley C.

TRANSFORMING FORTUNES Something seems different this season at Céline: the structured, boxy look that Phoebe Philo started out with four years ago, which arguably changed the way women dressed, has given way to a slouchier, moderately more relaxed silhouette. The bags have changed accordingly: the shape of the totes and clutches on the runway are best summed up by the aptly named Fortune Cookie bag, a marked departure from the classic Luggage and Box bags. Along with the shapeless Berlingot clutches, the bags seem to spell a new period for the Céline woman: slightly less rigid, and perhaps a bit more warm and approachable. The way the models clutched the Berlingot to their chests as they walked might suggest vulnerability, but make no mistake: Philo dresses strong women. Sleek, thigh-high leather boots are testament enough.



Return of the Black Leather Jacket Burberry launches A New Fragrance inspired by the ultimate symbol of bad-boy notoriety. Text – Alex P.

Before gracing the backs of James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause and Brad Pitt in Fight Club, the iconic black leather jacket was mainly intended for utility. It was in fact made as a protective outerwear to shield aviators against the elements in the First World War. Towards the later half of the 20th century, this quintessential garment grew in sartorial importance and became recognized for its pop culture significance and its associations with youth subculture rebellion. Its relevance to men’s stylistic needs hasn’t dwindled since and it continues to wield much sex appeal. This very symbol of rough-edged masculinity is set to make a strong return this season as it ushers in Burberry’s latest perfume, Burberry Brit Rhythm.

basil verveina, spicy cardamom and a shot of juniper berries that leads on to a distinct leathery middle note. With the heart of the fragrance smelling of heady patchouli and styrax resin, the fragrance exudes an unmistakably assertive masculine presence. The base note embodies the sensual characteristic of the leather jacket best with its cedarwood, incense and warm tonka beans. Given that this is the first perfume by Burberry since it retracted its license from Interparfum, ending a close to 20year partnership, Burberry Brit Rhythm is a milestone venture destined for success. Mirroring the carefully selected ingredients that make the juice, the marketing campaign is an equally precise orchestration spanning across multiple channels including a heavy emphasis on interactive social media. Like the classic black leather jacket, Burberry Brit Rhythm is casual, masculine and easy to sport. With a strong fragrance to lean on, this marks a new chapter for the house.

Contextualising the idea of the leather jacket, the British heritage label’s Chief Creative Officer Christopher Bailey speaks of the gripping sexual energy in concert venues as the inspiration. The image painted is one of adrenaline coursing through one’s veins to the beat of live music and by the sheer energy of the crowd. One could only speculate that time spent scouting for emerging British acts for the house’s musical arm, Burberry Acoustic, may have led him down this path. The nose behind the Eau de Toilette is none other than Dominique Ropion, who is responsible for many commercial successes including Christian Dior’s Pure Poison (2004) and topof-the line niche concoctions such as Geranium Pour Monsieur by Frédéric Malle. The fragrance’s electric top note features fresh



a guide to personal grooming:

the gentleman's kit Photography – Jaehann L. Special thanks to The Swagger Store

03. DIOR HOMME Dermo system anti-fatigue serum

At the height of socioeconomic success in the early 20th century, the average man began to pay an icreasing amount of attention to grooming and self-appearance. Though already prevalent in the 19th century, grooming was dubbed a privilege due to its inaccessibility to those who were not wealthy. The art of grooming has transcended time and trials from the likes of Beau Brummell – the pioneer of tailored menswear. With a never-ending variety of grooming tools to choose from, today’s man is able to tailor his facial hair to suit just about any aura he wishes to exude.

04. SK-II Men Facial treatment essence 05. AESOP Soar gift set 06. PENHALIGON'S Bleinheim bouquet 07. TOM FORD Tuscan leather Eau de parfum

01. DIPTYQUE Philosykos soap

08. PENHALIGON'S Nickel shaving set

02. COMME DES GARÇONS 888 Eau de parfum

09. PENHALIGON'S Black lacquer box


uncommon ground:

loewe x junya watanabe comme des garçons

It would seem like an unlikely pairing to most: a Spanish heritage brand renowned for its artisanal craftsmanship and luxurious leather goods, and an avant-garde, cult Japanese label at the forefront of the deconstructionist, experimental aesthetic. Yet the Loewe and Junya Watanabe for Comme des Garçons capsule collection is the perfect union of uptown and downtown: patchworked fabrics and denim synonymous with Comme des Garçons meets Loewe’s meticulous attention to detail and expertise with leather, with separate parts of each piece made in either Japan or Spain. The collection marks the 40th year since the opening of the very first Loewe store in Japan, and will be available in 40 Loewe stores worldwide and online at from 1 September 2013.


Guilty Pleasures a little sophistication for THE home with this collection of guilty pleasures. Text – Qian Rou T. Photo – Jaehann L.

In the words of legendary architect Mies van der Rohe, less is more. With a reduction of unnecessary design elements and a focus on quality, craftsmanship and form, everyday objects can be transformed into items of luxury. Elegant in design, they provide a touch of opulence to the most mundane of activities, from a game of cards to a cup of coffee. Here we have selected a collection of such objects: indulgent and luxuriant, items to be treasured and to provide some measure of guilty pleasure in your daily routines.


clockwise from left

Alexander Wang Bottle Opener For the discerning and stylish, Alexander Wang’s bottle opener is a must for any party. Sleek and solid, the heft of brass and a distinguished lambskin strap lend refinement to the simple act of popping a cap.

A.P.C. x Aesop Fine Fabric Care Known for their skin, hair and beauty products, Aesop now teams up with A.P.C to lend their expertise to garment cleaning. Lemon, cedarwood and pettigrain extracts keep everything from raw denim to delicate silk smelling clean and fresh.

Bang and Olufsen Beolit 12 For its size, Bang and Olufsen’s Beolit 12 generates an incredibly rich soundscape. 2-inch tweeters and a 4-inch woofer keep your music clear and full. Numerous connectivity options including wireless Air Play and a 4 to 8 hour battery life lets you partake of aural indulgence virtually anywhere.

Diptyque Figuier Candle Close your eyes and let yourself be transported to the Mediterranean with Diptyque’s Figuier candle. Invoking the scent of the fig tree, Figuier will leave your room delightfully perfumed for hours after lighting it.

Leica M Series Many photographers will agree: for the finest cameras, it’s hard to get better than Leica. The M Series has always been a favourite, and the new Leica M couples new technology like the CMOS sensor with details such as brass plates and a magnesium alloy body.

Alexander Wang Coasters Leather coasters make for durable and stylish table-top accessories. Wang puts a more contemporary spin on this set of six, with a faux-shagreen finish. When not minimizing wine spills and coffee stains, store them in a matching case lined with suede.

Jo Malone Reed Diffuser Red Roses Exquisitely crafted fragrances from Jo Malone range from colognes to room sprays, but their reed diffusers will keep your home constantly bathed in a gentle scent. Red Roses takes seven of the most exquisite roses and indulges you in the clean fragrance of a fresh bouquet. Other classic scents like Lime Basil & Mandarin and Pomegranate Noir are also available.

Alexander Wang Playing Cards Part of the Alexander Wang Objects collection, this set of playing cards features glossy black printing on matte black cards. The minimalist design places emphasis on quality materials: PVC and a stingrayembossed, suede-lined box, making every game an indulgent experience.

Hermès Rallye 24 Tableware An homage to Hermès’ links to the automobile industry, the latest tableware collection, Rallye 24 centres around a racetrack motif reminiscent of the iconic chaîne d’ancre pattern. Each piece is crafted in fine porcelain and rendered in the lively colours of vintage racing.



the givenchy "seventeen" watch Text – Lesley C.

Riccardo Tisci’s lucky number 17 is, ironically, foreboding in Italian culture for signifying death. In Roman numerals, 17 is viewed as XVII, and when rearranged anagrammatically to VIXI, translates in Latin to “I have lived”, or, “My life is over”. Perhaps Tisci’s fascination with religion and his penchant for unexpected, irreverent touches in his collections have led him to adopt this mysterious number for the first in a series of watches designed for Givenchy. The unisex Seventeen watch is made from stainless steel and sapphire glass, housing a Swiss-made quartz movement, with a choice of interchangeable raw-edged leather or nylon grosgrain straps. Available in six colour combinations of various cases and dials including black, anthracite, red, green, steel, and gold, Seventeen is sold exclusively in selected specialty stores and Givenchy shops worldwide.



Bosque by Humieki & Graef:

down in the sacred grove Text – Melanie C.

Many claimed to have contentment captured, in a bottle no less. Even more have professed to distil the primordial drives that come before it. After all, there is no contentment without achievement. When it came to creating their seventh fragrance, Humieki & Graef continued their spin on extreme emotion—this time of contentment. Clean and streamlined, Bosque does away with primordial urges.

memorial to two extraordinary women. VULTURE sits back with Sebastian Fischenich, one half of Humieki & Graef, and asks about being content. What inspired the concept for Bosque? Was it a personal experience in particular from the designers? Bosque describes the idea of contentment, the moment of arriving. To be at a place or a situation, a moment where you feel like coming home. There was this particular feeling while moving to Zurich for me that I suddenly had the feeling this is the place where I feel like arrived. During that period, I developed the perfume.

The subtle floral scent plays on primrose notes, which symbolises both contentment and new beginnings. Narcissus Absolute adds intoxicating undertones while the unusual combination of buffalo grass and musk notes is reminiscent of the smell of warm skin. It all wraps up in grapefruit, vetiver and saffron notes, completing the sensual warm yellow tones that give Bosque its radiant grace. No clutter: perfect pleasurable equanimity. It could indeed be the sacred grove where gods lay.

So are there particular "stages" of contentment? Does Bosque offer a particular definition of contentment? It's the moment you feel at ease. This could be with somebody or in a place, somewhere you feel relaxed. You could also describe it like the moment after sex—the moment when the world stands still.

Bosque was produced in close collaboration with two of the world’s top perfumers, Christophe Laudamiel and Christoph Hornetz (aka Les Christophs). In their own brand, designers Tobias Müksch and Sebastian Fischenich chose the maiden names of their respective centenarian grandmothers. The luxury brand became a fragrant

Are we, as a society, lacking in 'contentment' now? Or is it the reverse in fact, that this self-contentment is what we are recognising now as most important? For ages, the lack of


dignity from the maternal angle, while Eau Radieuse channels desire, through utilising the bright colours of tropical references. In the contemporary marketplace overrun by archetypes, is this a conscious desire to seek out the "different"? I think to plan to create a difference is always the wrong way. It's not about planning. It's about doing the right thing for you. You should be conscious about what you are doing and if you stick to your ideas and your dreams, then you always create something different. Therefore I believe in strong concepts which should lead your path of creation. With our fragrances, we try to keep our vision of a twisted traditional perfumery with a strong emphasis on culture and modernity.

contentment has been a motor for innovation. Therefore we need it. We need a lack of contentment to create the new. On the other hand, we always need more than the moments of contentment to experience what we are longing for. Could you explain the choice of ingredients used in Bosque a little more? Buffalo grass and musk do sound like an interesting way to evoke human skin. Buffalo grass is a smell from my childhood. It is usually used in a Polish vodka. I like the dry, sunny, slightly sweet smell of it. It's more to evoke the idea of sun on your skin, this warm halo effect—this we support in Bosque with saffron, narcissi, primrose and grapefruit. Were there any accidental surprises, or epiphanies in developing this fragrance? Yes, of course. Like when you receive the first sample. This is exciting and it makes you curious. When I smelt Bosque for the first time I knew that was it. It fits the concept perfectly and it made me more than content.

Bosque is available at Oblique (Hide & Seek), 71 Bussorah Street.

There's an incredible nuance and detail in each fragrance coming from Humiecki & Graef. Clemency looks at a fierce


Editor’s Shortlist A selection of staples that make great investment pieces from the Fall/ Winter 2013 collections.






















01. GIVENCHY Backpack 02. BALENCIAGA Turtleneck shirt 03. PRADA Leather shoes 04. JIL SANDER Trousers 05. ALEXANDER WANG Ipad sleeves 06. LOUIS VUITTON Men’s scarf 07. ERMENEGILDO ZEGNA Sweater 08. bottega venetta Black leather bag 09. LOUIS VUITTON Sunglasses

01. NARS Cosmetics Lip pencil 02. MARNI Earrings 03. MIU MIU Heels 04. MARC JACOBS Skirt 05. 3.1 PHILLIP LIM Shoulder bag 06. TORY BURCH Jacket 07. Alexander Wang Backpack 08. NATASHA Waisted dress 09. TRUFFLE Ipad sleeve





James Franco & The Leather Bar dress code for a leather bar by LN-cc Text – Alex P.











03. DAMIR DOMA Snake skin and leather gilet

James Franco may have finally convinced critics that his foray into "arthouse" filmmaking is more than a "pretentious exercise" through his latest project. Interior. Leather Bar. which debuted at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival is a 40-minute film based on missing footage from William Friedkin’s Cruising. Set against the backdrop of the S&M scene of the 80s, this "penetrating", "bracingly provocative" and "fearless" film wields an equally outstanding wardrobe that was managed by a professional S&M master. Inspired by the skin, sweat and authentic leather gear of James Franco’s erotic exploration, VULTURE put together a sexually charged wardrobe of our very own featuring products from leading concept store LN-CC.

04. DITA Titanium and 18K gold frame sunglasses 05. DOCUMENT PARK BY KOHEI YOSHIYUKI Seminal book of images that captures the illicit liaisons between hetero- and homosexual couplings 06. LANVIN Full leather duffle bag 07. LANVIN Wool zip-up blouson 08. RAF SIMONS Cotton and wool mix poloneck

01. ANN DEMEULEMEESTER Cow hide leather braces 09. RICK OWENS Sheer silk blend top 02. BARNY NAKHLE Hand-treated python platform shoes All items are available at



A RAF IDEA Text – Lesley C.

Raf Simons for Fred Perry returns this fall, marking the ninth collection in the collaboration.

knitwear with appliquéd collegiate inspired initials, and detachable patterned collars.

Initially created as tennis garb by Frederick John "Fred" Perry in the early 1950s, the Fred Perry polo shirt became hugely popular among British teenagers who adopted the shirt for their various subcultures.

The colours of the collection—bottle green, burgundy, mustard, navy, pops of lilac, electric blue, and orange—are reminiscent of Simon’s designs, updating Fred Perry’s understated garments with a modern touch while retaining the brand’s distinctive identity and strong sense of heritage.

Raf Simons takes this as inspiration for the collection and adds an American twist, drawing from both Mod and Americana styles: the staple Herrington jacket and checkered classic Fred Perry shirt—a continuation from SS13—are traditional Mod designs, while collegiate-inspired knitwear, oversized “Fred Perry” letters, and a varsity jacket with a blown up iconic Laurel Wreath on the back represent the hallmarks of the American Ivy League style. Other items to look out for include contrast panelled and multi-pattern woven shirts,

Feted photographer Pierre Debusschere, who was also behind the lens for the SS13 collection film, shot the lookbook images this season. The Raf Simons x Fred Perry AW13 collection will be launched internationally in all Fred Perry Laurel Wreath shops from July 29th.


Sex on a Plate An Aphrodisiac Menu by Chef Janice Wong of 2am: Dessert Bar. Text – Ruby T.

Photography - Jaehann L.

Food and sex. Only we humans would be able to turn the most primal of instincts into overt displays of decadence and vice, with dessert as perhaps the most sinful of these indulgences. A non-necessity; a furtive glance at the menu coupled with “I really shouldn’t, but…”

out in full force but it’s a teaser. Your palate is left wanting more. Another dish tantalises with pungent dehydrated vanilla and vibrant citrus piquancy in the unexpected textures of fruit leather. Coffee, the quintessential stimulant, is given a makeover in the form of cream-less tiramisu. Aerated again, the familiar tastes dance over the tongue, barely fulfilling your expectations. Finally, the succulent, exposed flesh of figs and plums are infused with spring blossoms. Feminine but not dainty.

The jury is still out on whether there is any scientific basis for the use of performance enhancing foodstuffs. Perhaps it is sheer phallic narcissism. It’ll get you in the mood or it’ll keep you in the mood. Bananas, figs, vanilla pods, melons - genitalia in bloom. Hard science does not titillate, it does not excite, does not escalate the heart rate. Play to your senses, your carnal and sybaritic compulsions. Why stick with red wine and chocolate kisses? Coy romance is not sexy. Allow yourself to get carried away by reinvented classics and dishes that push the envelope. Science says that novel experiences trigger dopamine production activity, an evolutionary adaptation for our sex drives. Experience says there’s nothing like the involuntary moan that follows that first bite.

Wong says the focus is always on the flavour of the ingredients. There is a certain rawness in ingredients laid bare, waiting for some work of genius to inspire them or be inspired. Ultimately, the taste should stick around weeks after you’ve visited. But being too ingredient-driven is boring. The visceral is what captures the imagination, not the nitty-gritty details. Much like courtship, we leave the visuals to do the talking and leave you to experience 2:am Dessert Bar for yourselves. Open from 6pm - 2am daily, this twilight haunt is an open invitation for clandestine appointments. The interior is simultaneously sleek and plush and the location is chic, but that’s not quite why you’re there. You’re there to play with your food.

This is where 2am: Dessert Bar enters the picture. Helmed by Asia’s premier pastry chef, Janice Wong, it presents ‘sweet treats’ in ways you’ve never seen before. Amadei and Michel Cluizel chocolate is aerated to form chocolate rocks that are all flavour but in a barely-there manifestation. Floral and earthy notes are


Reyka Vodka Vodka has its etymological roots in the Slavic term for water: voda. Handcrafted from the purest spring waters, Reyka stays true to these origins. Text – Qian Rou T.

Alcohol has always held a powerful, almost revered presence in the gastronomical culture of humanity. Recent years have seen the cult-like rise of artisanal alcohol: beer, gin and ale are now handled with a level of craftsmanship once reserved for the like of whiskies and wines. Previously relegated to cocktail mixers and shot trays, vodka has been edging its way into this trend in the past decade.

under the watchful eye of a small team of craftsmen. Reyka is filtered through lava rocks, refined with spring water and manufactured using geo-thermal energy: a true embodiment of Iceland. This delicate treatment results in a soft texture which becomes fuller in body, with a sweet and dry balance. A light spiciness and savory undertone of grain is accompanied by a fresh aniseed and vanilla scent. Reyka adds a sophisticated touch to the gritty image of vodka, a liquor for the discerning and adventurous.

In a small distillery off the edge of the Arctic Circle, small batches of vodka distill through one of six existing Carter Head stills


FREYA DALSJØ Danish newcomer Freya DalsjØ may just be three seasons old but ITS commitment to transgress ephemeral fashion places the eponymous label as a future modern classic. Text – Benjamin W.

fitting bodices and contrasting shoulder panels. The sporty neoprene, used particularly well in a bold red two-piece look, feels like a sci-fi suit for extraterrestrial exploration. A powder pink fur coat with hugely padded shoulders is even reminiscent of an architectural structure that hasn’t been built yet.

Freya Dalsjö’s debut collection was shown just over a year ago at the Copenhagen fashion week Autumn/Winter 2012. Just two seasons later she presented her seductively aggressive Winter 2013 collection, galvanising the Danish press, and looking set to expand her brand. Having grown up in an isolated area near the Danish coastline, Dalsjö had bigger and more exciting plans for herself. With a clear desire to make her mark she moved to Antwerp to study Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts.

"I guess when an architect is drawing a house, he is very aware that this house will stay there on the ground forever," she says. "This aim of creating something long lasting, something that you appreciate now but also in 50 years, is very important."

"I am always trying to depict the chaos of endless thoughts and ideas of the mind – in search for answers, what it is to be human and how you perceive your body and surroundings and life," she says.

There remains an allusion to the form beneath the oversized silhouette. Amidst all the enlarged neoprene looks with awkwardly shrunken sleeve and leg lengths you find female torsos formed from black molded leather. With sharp sheer panels cutting into the upper silk trouser legs, Dalsjö reminds you of what has been lost.

This early desire for chaos and rebellion against chartered territory still resonates in her latest collection. This time she peers much further than European borders, deep into intergalactic territories; this collection was inspired by an interpretation of surrealism and futurism. Her Winter 2013 collection articulates this with black, zip front dresses that almost nod towards a dark Star Trek uniform - tight

"I am inspired by the present and the future, a discussion of what it means to be human and the endless conflicts of the human mind."




“ T h i s a i m o f c r e at i n g s o m e t h i n g l o n g l a s t i n g , s o m e t h i n g t h at yo u a p p r e c i at e n o w b u t a l s o i n 5 0 y e a r s , i s v e ry i m p o r ta n t.”

Dalsjö composes a marriage of femininely curved shoulders and seams to padded masculine proportions. A woman is created, who refuses to be defined by her gender, yet never feels the need to hide her sexuality to do so. The exclusive and luxurious, seen in shiny fur coats, is celebrated while trying to avoid conformity. "My work discusses consciousness and not what is cool to wear at the moment. The collections transcend our state and vision, and is not a recent blogpost," she says. Clearly Dalsjö is obsessed with the future, not only in her space age aesthetic, but her intent to produce garments that will always be relevant. By implementing the already timeless luxury feel of leather and silk, along with contemporary silhouettes and materials, she intends to refine the fashion sense of the present through the open possibilities of the future. It is an unfortunate truth that the fashion industry is controlled by production and profit and many young, creative designers fail to thrive in such a strategic environment. However, Dalsjö seems to possess the capacity to fuse her interests, and has an appreciation for the allure of luxe that will hopefully bring her commercial success. We’re certain we have not seen all that Freya Dalsjö has to offer, and we wait in anticipation for the next installation of the future as she sees it.


Modern Artisanship Menswear shoe designer Diego Vanassibara believes contemporary designs AND age-old craftsmanship IS THE KEY to robust footwear. Text – Alex P. Photography – Sophia Aerts Styling – Lune Kuipers

Where do you see the biggest room for improvement? Shape. Colour. The materials. I think it’s everything. It’s been so predictable, and as a designer, I think you have to take the customer by the hand. People are very used to one type of silhouette. So when you bring something new, it’s a challenge, because their response might either be ‘Oh, that's not for me’ or they love it. I don’t want our brand to be too niche. I don’t see one type of man wearing the shoes. You’d want to choose something with innovation, with a very strong point of differentiation, but presents an element of familiarity. With this concept of the wood for example, no one has done it, which sounds very avant-garde. But the way that it was done, it was kind of a classic avant-garde. So when customers look at it, they say ‘Wait a second, this looks somehow familiar but it’s so different from everything that I’ve seen.’

London-based menswear shoe designer Diego Vanassibara lights up when he speaks about his lustrous footwear. Having debuted only two seasons ago, his wood-accented shoes behold stories from eclectic parts of the world from Java to rural Italy in the name of providing the most premium quality. But Diego is not so concerned with selling exoticism. The Cordwainers-trained designer puts the customer at the center of his design choices hoping to provide unparalleled ergonomic comfort and guilt-free luxury. To boot, the wooden embellishments are all harvested from sustainable sources. Taken by the customerfocussed ethos of the brand, VULTURE interviews the designer who we believe is set to become a household name in the business of quality footwear. Let's start with this love for shoes. Obviously you are quite passionate about it - would you be happy designing anything else? Yes, I would. I have thought of designing something else before. I think shoes is what I can design best. It wasn’t architecture, clearly, because I dropped out of the course after doing a year and a half in Brazil. And I didn’t want fashion. I wanted something where I could combine both, and shoes became obvious to me. I do want to expand the brand in the future with every kind of accessory imaginable but shoes are my biggest passion.

You shared that you went to the far ends of the world to source for your fabrics, for your materials. Let’s talk a bit about that journey to Indonesia, to source for the wood. Well I think to the ‘ends of the world’ might upset some people. Because I always say that when something is exotic, it is relative. The brand is about offering the best within our proposition. We wanted to do this concept of the wood and wondered how can we ensure that we produce something that is meaningful, authentic and honest – something that hopefully tells a story, and engage people on a different level. Why Indonesia? Because they have a tradition in carving. And the main body of the shoes are made in Italy. Why you don’t do the carving in Italy? Because Italians don’t carve, or they don’t anymore. It’s about going to places to find the best craftsmanship for that particular technique. Where I come in the story is in making it contemporary, because I don’t want it to look too folkloric or historical. In Java they have this very intricate way of carving, to produce this very elaborate work. But what I want to offer is something that uses that technique while making the overall design relevant.

Why men’s shoes? I didn’t imagine myself designing men’s at the start of University, but then for some reason, in the middle of the course, I decided to try it. I knew that it was an area that has a lot to be improved upon, but I wasn’t clear if I was the person to go and change that. But then I enjoyed it so much. I realised how exciting it is to be doing men’s shoes right now, because there is a shift in the industry. There is a lot of growing interest, so I think I came at the right time. I am just excited about the challenge of how much one can do, because let’s face it, there isn’t much out there that catches your eye, for men. Of course there are new things now, but there is a lot to do, and I hope that I can contribute.




If I could distil the brand to one word it would be ‘authenticity’. What would it be for you? Modern artisanship. That is the phrase of the moment. You were under the tutelage of Aki Choklat, whom I had the privilege of meeting at London Collections: Men. Let’s talk a bit about him. He used to teach at Cordwainers’ at London College of Fashion. He is the most inspirational tutor I had ever had, because he truly believes in the students and the power that they have to really bring innovation and new ideas to the industry. He made me feel very comfortable with expressing my fantastical ideas and always brought a level of challenge. I remembered something that he said to me. I was investigating Art Nouveau and was completely immersed in it. But it all looked very pretty, all very Art Nouveau obviously. He said "Diego," and I’ll never forget that,

"I think you should contaminate it a little bit, to make it have a little more ‘now’, spice it up a little bit, because it’s too pretty." And that thing kind of stayed with me. He was also my first customer. I feel very honoured. Cordwainers’ is a renowned school for shoemaking. Cordwainers’ is the oldest institution in the UK for shoemaking, which was part of the Guild of Cordwainers’. It was all about the leatherwork. Then in year 2000, it joined the London College of Fashion. The course was wonderful because you had access to the whole infrastructure, which is amazing. You can really explore, and you really understand the making process. To me, I don’t understand how you can design shoes without knowing how they are built. And you see horrendous things in fashion for women, especially in the positioning of the heel. It is going to give you such a bad backache! We have a responsibility as shoe


designers, because shoes influence the way you walk. And I think many people don’t take it seriously enough. That's what sets shoe designers apart. You work on the business with your partner Gotzon, yes? Yes, he brings a very strong sense of reality and experience from a more corporate view of the world. He’s the skeptic. He challenges, he approaches fashion with a point of view that is not a fashion’s point of view. He is an outsider, which is very important. Because people in fashion tend to be trapped in a bubble, and he gives a reality check, which is very, very important. What is the focus for your Spring/ Summer ‘14 Collection? How has it evolved since your debut? I think it’s more about showing the versatility of wood. For the lacquering, we bleached the mahogany and gave it a more matt finish to bring more of a summery feel. The soles are different

too. We brought lighter weight soles for the summer. But it’s very important for me to have a shoe that still looks robust and will always look robust. We also introduced some canvas, which was very interesting to add a bit of casualness. We’ve used some colour though we kept more of the dark colours, because I feel that people still love black. We heard you did very well at London Showrooms during Paris Fashion Week in June? Paris was amazing and one of the highlights was having Joyce, the departmental store, one of my favourite stores ever, and my favourite shoe designer, Mihara Yasuhiro come by my booth. Yasuhiro runs his brand in Japan, but also has a multi-label store called ‘idea by SOSU’ which I love, and visited when I was in Tokyo. He came in, and I didn’t recognize him at first. I certainly wasn’t expecting him. He was with two of his colleagues.

They started looking at the shoes and started talking, and getting really excited. I was thinking to myself I knew that the Japanese would like it, I just knew it. I was so honoured, to have my favourite shoe designer trying on my shoes, loving them, and actually planning to have them stocked at ‘idea by SOSU’ in Japan. I mean that’s amazing. I couldn’t believe it. What’s next for the brand in the near future? What can we expect? You can expect that I am not resting! (laughs) We want to grow with our new stockists. We are going to be stocked in Germany, Italy, Dubai, Hong Kong, China and Japan. Which is great. Which is amazing. And I think we want to strengthen those relationships. And for winter we have a new pair of boots that is going to be beautiful. I think a lot can be done with boots, and when the time is right, I am going to introduce a new concept, one


of the many that I have in the pipeline. It’s going to be quite surprising and I think people would love it. How would you describe the Diego customer in a few words? I would definitely say that he is happy. I think he is a happy man.


A Global Art Space with a world-class reputation, Helutrans has made a serious business out of art handling. global expansion could only be said to be imminent. Text – Maya M.


“ Word of mout h is v er y im p ortant . Ho w w e h and l e a p roject for a w e l l - k no w n institution gi v es p eo p l e in t h e industr y a good idea of h o w serious w e are w it h our w or k and t h e trust T h e y can p ut in us . ”

beyond its shores to expand its clientele. Though Helutrans boasts an impressive range of clientele, it does not brand itself as exclusive and is open to working with various clients.

Having earned a reputation as one of Singapore’s largest independent moving companies, Helutrans is now an established, trusted name, used in matters of relocation of art collections to destinations all over world.

“There is no real criterion in terms of whom we want to work with. Everyone would like to have big well-known names as their clients, but deciding who to work with is a luxury and we are always open to working with anybody, be it local or international, who can offer something different and unique to Singapore.”

Initially a German-owned company that dealt primarily with relocation services, Helutrans was soon bought over by CEO Mr Dick Chia twenty years ago, in 1993. With a solid vision, the company soon morphed into a hotspot of expertise in art handling, not withstanding the fact that such a trade was almost non-existent.

Helutrans' multi-purpose arts venue, Artspace@Helutrans, on the other hand, has equally attracted many high profile clients - most notably, Marc Jacobs.

The Helutrans we see today is a successful art handling company which offers clients services such as transportation, installation, and packing – making it a one-stop service center and making logistical needs much more convenient. Apart from its wide variety of services, Helutrans prides itself with the advantage of having chic industrial white-cube spaces. Its gallery spaces serve as blank canvases for clients to have the freedom to create a successful show.

“As time went on and word travelled about our gallery spaces, event companies caught wind of it and eventually started the ball rolling. Artspace@Helutrans is the kind of venue that is hard to find in Singapore – genuine white industrial space. This gradually became not just an ideal setting for art exhibitions, but for fashion houses and even luxury vehicle companies as well.”

Helutrans has been involved in high-profile Singaporean landmark events such as Art Stage and past editions of the Singapore Biennale by providing major logistical support to the abovementioned events. Its team is involved in the setup and installation of artworks and ensures that artworks arrive on time and are properly installed. These services are not limited to Singapore and as of late, Helutrans has taken its service to the various parts of Southeast Asia.

Artspace@Helutrans prides itself as a one-of-a-kind venue that exudes a raw, edgy and mysterious atmosphere. Over the years, this unique selling point has attracted many renowned brands. The company has garnered invaluable working experience from working with household names such as White Cube, Gagosian Gallery, the Andy Warhol Foundation, as well as auction houses like Sotheby’s and Christie’s.

Hosting operations in Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai seals Helutrans' status in the art industry. Providing art storage and logistical solutions in key cities helps Helutrans promote its services internationally – a crucial step in the promotion of the company.

Helutrans credits its impeccable work ethic and team synergy for its wide range of prominent clientele and notable success. As a world-class establishment in the making, Helutrans instills confidence in its clients by way of its consistent standards. It continues to play a part in the growth of the arts in Singapore and to educate the masses about the industry of art handling. It comes as no surprise that it bears bold plans for the future. The first order of business is to increase the company’s visibility as one if its many steps to serve the ultimate goal of creating a community of art enthusiasts.

“Our most recent project will be the exhibition “Andy Warhol – 15 Minutes Eternal” where we are in charge of the logistic support in Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai and Beijing. It is important for us to spot opportunities – constantly looking beyond Singapore to see where certain services are lacking. Word of mouth is very important. How we handle a project for a well-known institution gives people in the industry a good idea of how serious we are with our work and the trust they can put in us.”

“We want to market Artspace@Helutrans a single entity and not just individual galleries. With the space, we have opportunities to organize art talks and tours, allowing Artspace@Helutrans to become a community for art enthusiasts.”

Hong Kong, Beijing and Shanghai form the core circuit for overseas traveling exhibitions in Asia and Helutrans is constantly looking



University of Limerick building additions

in-ei ssey miyake collection by artemide

studio droog and rijksstudio collection

Four new additions to the University of Limerick have been built by Irish office Grafton Architects. The limestone façade of the medical school and three redbricked student housing blocks overlook the resultant open plaza. Building forms, layouts and circulation act in reference to the existing public space, greenery and the overall masterplan of the university. Bringing the theme of interaction through to individual buildings, each addition features multi-level social areas which tie the private functions together and create a common spatial link. Awarded the Silver Lion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, Grafton Architects is also up for the Stirling Prize with this project.

Japanese designer Issey Miyake and lighting company Artemide have teamed up to produce the IN-EI ISSEY MIYAKE lighting collection. IN-EI investigates Junichiro Tanizaki’s monumental work, In Praise of Shadows through the 132 5. ISSEY MIYAKE project. Using a fabric derived from recycled material, the family of freestanding, table and hanging lamps project light with an interesting texture. Having a semi-rigid material for the skin allows the lamps to maintain their form without an internal frame. With Miyake’s innovation and the superior craftsmanship of Artemide, IN-EI showcases an effortlessly seamless interweaving of traditional aesthetics and modernity.

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has recently reopened and launched the Rijksstudio, a hi-res, online resource that allows visitors to scrutinize its collection, spanning 125, 000 works. The Rijksmuseum’s willingness to apply modern techniques to the exploration of historical art has inspired Dutch designers Studio Droog to launch a small collection based on pieces from the Rijksmuseum. These include a centrepiece, redecorated with miniatures from the museum collection, a neck ruff rescaled as a napkin ring and a temporary tattoo of still life flowers. Each item reinterprets classic forms and motifs, creating a simultaneous journey into both the past and the future.


South Chase housing project The South Chase housing project in Harlow, Essex by Alison Brooks Architects has received a RIBA National Award for 2013. The project consists of apartment blocks, courtyard houses and terrace houses arranged to give individual views of the countryside while retaining a common identity. Each residence allows for light, space and integration of the surrounding landscape for home owners. Floor plans are also carefully crafted to take modern habits and conveniences into consideration, while being flexible enough to accommodate any customization. South Chase is Phase 1 in the construction of the Newhall development, an award-winning project which integrates new and familiar housing typologies to present a new vocabulary for suburban housing. The project has also been shortlisted for the Stirling Prize, which will be announced on the 13th of October.

Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes

Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre

Pritzker Prize laureate 2013: Toyo Ito

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) will be the first of three venues for a retrospective on Le Corbusier, the most iconic architect of the twentieth century. Titled Le Corbusier: An Atlas of Modern Landscapes, the exhibition presents Le Corbusier’s exploration of architectural landscape through various artistic mediums. It promises new ways of considering Le Corbusier’s ideas and proposals on landscape and territory at various scales, potentially generating new dialogue on urban geography and the concept of the modern city. The exhibition is on view at MoMA from June 15 – September 23, 2013, before travelling to Madrid (April 1 – June 29, 2014) and Barcelona (July 15 – October 19, 2014).

The winners of the Mies van der Rohe Award 2013 have been announced, with the Emerging Architect Special Mention going to the Red Bull Music Academy, and the main prize awarded to the Harpa Concert Hall and Conference Centre. A collaboration between Henning Larsen Architects, Studio Olafur Eliasson and Batteríið Architects, the project is part of a long term plan to revitalize the harbour district. Harpa is said to have been inspired by Icelandic landscapes, reflected through its crystalline form, reflective façade and subsequent relationship with sky, city and sea. For more information on the Mies van der Rohe Award, visit http://www.miesbcn. com/en/award.html.

The Pritzker Prize laureate for 2013 is Toyo Ito, praised by the Pritzker Jury for “infusing his designs with a spiritual dimension and for the poetics that transcend all his works”. Ito’s architecture, which includes the lauded Sendia Mediatheque, the Serpentine Gallery Pavilion and VivoCity, is often described as timeless and innovative. Drawing inspiration from nature, Ito creates environments and spaces that transcend the constraints of modern architecture. His mentorship of many renowned architects, including 2010 laureates Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA, also belies a commitment to nurturing the future of architecture.


Serpentine Gallery by sou fujimoto This year’s Serpentine Gallery Pavilion by Sou Fujimoto has been launched. At 41, Fujimoto is the youngest architect so far to take up the acclaimed annual commission, awarded to major architects with no building presence in the UK. Fujimoto’s pavilion centres around the concept of a porous cloud structure, expressed through 20mm steel and polycarbonate discs. The pavilion juxtaposes artificial material against the surrounding foliage, creating a surreal atmosphere from the inside and enabling a dialogue between pavilion and the landscape. The pavilion is open to the public at Kensington Gardens until 20th October, when it will be dismantled and the cycle for the next structure will begin.

Moooi New collection Fast-expanding Dutch brand Moooi debuted their Unexpected Welcome collection in Milan this April as part of the Salone del Mobile 2013. New products by contemporary designers such as Neri & Hu, Studio Job, ZMIK and Moooi co-founder Marcel Wanders are arranged into scenes depicting a small room. Each layout also features blown-up photographs from Erwin Olaf and colourful, nude mannequins from Hans Boodt, creating new realities within each setup. In a collaboration between two different artistic fields, a simple product showcase is transformed into a surreal, playful look at how we interact and emotionally connect with our everyday habitats.


essential eames Eames Demetrios discusses timeless design and his duty to preserve the legacy of his grandparents Charles and Ray Eames. Text – Qian Rou T. Photography – Zhuoyi W.


“ D e l v e dee p er , and t h ere is somet h ing fundamenta l l y different about t h e time l ess designs and forms of E ames furniture : it l ac k s t h e h ubris w e assume of star designers . ”

There is a parable that goes something like this: in India, the poorest man eats off a banana leaf. As you ascend the caste system, you will find them eating off a little dish called a tali. Ceramic talis, brass talis, bronze, silver, maybe even gold talis, all kinds of intricate and lavish dining ware is sure to exist. Yet, once you get past a point, the man with a certain amount of understanding and knowledge goes back to eating off a banana leaf; some process has happened within the man, which has also changed the leaf. It may not be an actual parable, but this most repeated Charles Eames quote might also be the most misunderstood. "This parable seems," I ventured, ‘to suggest that essentially, good design is something very simplistic? Functional, without any added flair. But also that simplicity in design is a concept that only a person with proper training might think about?" "Do you think you need design training to be comfortable in that chair?" That was the most important question of the day. Husband and wife duo Charles and Ray Eames changed the face of postwar American design, to the eternal worship of enthusiasts and students alike. Their tenacious curiosity and immense creativity spawned a staggering range of work covering architecture, film, photography and product design,

a selection of which is on display at the exhibition curated by Demetrios. The grandson of Charles and Ray, Eames Demetrios recalls growing up in the constant presence of the legendary designers; although to him, they were first and foremost, his grandparents. We didn’t ask, and he didn’t tell, if they influenced his foray into design. Regardless, it is obvious that the Eames philosophy lives on through him. In talking about their design process, Demetrios was hardly hesitant. "I think that they were very good at addressing problems from going back to first principles. For example, the Eames house, made out of prefabricated parts." A hallmark of modern architecture, the Eames house in which Demetrios spent many of his childhood days possesses astounding spatial qualities despite using prefabricated components, typically seen as an architectural inconvenience. "The reason why you care about prefabricated, especially after WWII, is that when something is prefabricated, there’s a lot of knowledge in the final objects. …You have something of quality; reliable, where you don’t have to be the person making that window for the first time and hoping it works well." Considering the Eames Office’s fame for their formally refreshing plastic chairs and ground-breaking plywood molding process, it is a little jarring to try and reconcile the prevalent image of the innovative designers with the


one Demetrios is describing, one which suggests respect and appreciation of pedestrian, pre-made products. Delve deeper, and there is something fundamentally different about the timeless designs and forms of Eames furniture: it lacks the hubris we assume of star designers. "I love this expression of theirs, which is ‘way it should be-ness’, that if something is really well-designed, then you wouldn’t even think that it’d been designed. And you just start taking it for granted. But ironically, if you achieve that, then that is timelessness. So I don’t think that they sought it out, I think that they were skeptical that you could really figure out timelessness for its own sake. But you could figure out quality. You could figure out endurance and legitimacy, and all these other things. Those, you could try to figure out." "It’s all about self-expression," Demetrios acknowledges about contemporary design, "and Charles and Ray felt that that was the least important thing. That your ‘youness’ would be in everything you did, no matter what, so to worry about it as a goal is silly." This 'youness’ is not so much the unique touch of a designer, but the part of a designer who recognizes his individuality as part of a collective whole. "The role of the designer is basically that of the good host anticipating the needs of the guest …it’s an ideology that puts the human being at the center of the design process."


It is this mentality, and an inherent understanding of a primal ergonomic experience that allowed Charles and Ray to create perplexingly comfortable chairs: by focusing on the experience of a person sitting in a chair. These ideas of function and universality tie in with multiplicity and massmanufacturing, something inherently evident from the earliest Eames designs. When Charles and Ray designed a method for bending plywood, it was to ensure that plywood chairs of a curved form could be mass-produced with ease. Rather than aiming to innovate upon the material expression of a chair, they sought to ensure that the experience they envisioned in a chair was achievable. So it seems a little ironic that vintage Eames products should exist, when ‘vintage’ suggests limited production and rarity: concepts opposed to those of the Eames office. Demetrios showed no signs of being perturbed. "I kind of made my peace with that. It comes two ways. First of all, it’s clearly a sign of respect for the chairs. So if this is how people are going to show their respect, then that’s absolutely fine. But the other thing is that it makes it more important to make sure the chairs are available in authentic- original, but not vintage- pieces, because the chair that

Charles and Ray were designing is the chair that Herman Miller makes today." And for all the emphasis on functionality, Demetrios also acknowledges that the design aesthetic of Eames products is undeniable. "Ray had this expression, she would say: what works good, it’s better than what looks good, because what looks good can change but what works good will always work good. But it didn’t mean giving up on the visuals, it just means keeping yourself centered there. I think they were very clear, aesthetics should be a part of function, so there’s always room to have all these wonderful things in there, but they never gave up on the other side. The quality and experience of function." "If someone wants to buy a chair as an object of function in their home,= and they may find that function as beauty, I want to make sure that that chair they can buy is exactly as Charles and Ray intended it, and it’s a perfectly authentic object." Before I sat down to talk to Demetrios, we spent a good couple of hours meandering after the man, following his animated narration of the exhibition. A sense of jarring awkwardness emerged as we scrutinised each object with reverence. It was only later, as he and I stared at each other, that I understood


why. The fundamental trait of any Eames creation is an undeniable quality in the user-object interaction. Chairs raised on pedestals and barricaded away behind glass welcome our gaze, but deny haptic interaction. While the exhibition no doubt serves as an insightful glance into the life and work of Charles and Ray Eames, the necessary barrier of presentation takes away the pleasure of experience. As a result, the poignant photography of Charles and the insightful short films they created turned out to be more resonant than any of the product displays, although the latter is more associated with the Eames name. "They used to say, innovate as a last resort. So that quote is important because people always say, oh they’re so innovative, and they were. But if there was only a way to make a chair, and somebody was making it well, they didn’t want to work on it. Because it was already working. It didn’t need their help." Perhaps, then, we’ve got this all wrong. Perhaps Charles and Ray Eames weren’t about designing good chairs, not in the conventional sense. Perhaps, they were more about the notion of a chair, the chair, and being the hands by which this concept could be materialised.

young london A portrait of the city's brightest creative talents. Text – Jasmine J.

Photography – India G.

London may very well retain its image as the most promising city for young creatives. Armed with some of the world’s leading art and design institutions and an eclectic pool of influences, it is rife with new ideas. Unbeknownst to the outsider, much of this creativity does not sit on talent alone. The exchange of ideas and coming together of striking personalities turn the city into a lively artist enclave where raw talent is honed. In a casual setting of a similar vein in Hackney, VULTURE highlights seven of London’s most creative emerging talent.

Alex Turvey

Alina Negoita

Jan Manski

Alex Turvey’s meteoric rise to prominence is testament to the quality of his films. Often dark and foreboding, they carry a post-apocalyptic beauty that has been trendy of late. Recently, the critically acclaimed director clinched the award for best cinematography at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival for his River Island commissioned work featuring Georgia Hardinge designs. He is currently in the process of creating his first feature film, and we cannot wait to see what he has in store.

Alina is a photographer by trade and has achieved a great deal prior to completing her degree at the London College of Fashion. Based in London and New York, her work captures the city and its inhabitants, offering an honest perspective of the world around her with a clean style and clear eye for detail. Alina’s impeccable imagery has captivated the fashion industry and her works have been commissioned and published by AnOther magazine, Elle and Harper’s Bazaar.

Jan Manski’s mesmerizing sculptures, videos and collage works immerse you in his terrifying but equally enchanting world. He pursued his MA at Central Saint Martins and showcased a project titled Onania for graduation, a series inspired by an infected universe. Many of his works paint a curiously dystopian universe through a combination of grotesquely realistic detailing mixed with primordial visual elements. The result is often powerful and haunting to say the least.


Jenkin Van Zyl Jenkin van Zyl is a student of the esteemed Slade School of Art. A multidisciplinary artist working with various mediums including film and sculpture, he is also a self-described “messmaker” with a wildly imaginative dress sense to boot. It wouldn’t be a stretch to highlight the striking resemblance to Boy George and Leigh Bowery of The New Romantics movement, judging by his anarchic streak and infallible charm. Always quirky, Jenkin’s refreshingly bold perspective and eclectic style reflects in his work.

read the full interviews at www.

Daniel Silvester Taylor-Lind

Úna Burke

Saga Sig

Daniel is a producer and musician who lives in East London. His unique sound and dedication to music has led to many different musical ventures. Daniel is currently producing and performing with the band Neurotic Mass Movement, and has toured with numerous others including Our Mountain, which once featured supermodel Abby Lee. Not only does he produce and contribute to musical acts, he also writes and plays guitar for his own venture Navajo Blue.

Úna Burke is a leather accessory designer with an artistic twist. She rose to critical acclaim with her MA collection Re.Treat, centered around emotional trauma. The collection is a crossbreed between body armour and straitjackets, acutely representing the stifling nature of trauma and reminding us of a need for added protection. Her intellectual designs have earned her the opportunity to work with the biggest trendsetters like David Bailey and Lady Gaga.

Icelandic photographer Saga Sig begets a presence that is as ethereal as the imagery she creates. Her work is a trove of mythological influences stemming from her cultural roots. Set against dramatic fairytale landscapes, the photos project a sense of gravity and spectacle we rarely see in commercial fashion photography today. This spellbinding, almost folkloric mystery has allured many eager collaborators including Dazed & Confused and concept store Coco de Mer.


Blitz Kid Photography – Clifford Loh Styling – Nabil Aliffi Assistance – Lesley Chee & Melissa Gan Hair & Makeup – Djad using Chanel Model – Caroline S (Silent)) Featuring Chanel F/W 2013













Subtlety has never been known to be Marc Jacobs’ strong point, nor his main concern. He imbues everything he touches with a certain audacity, irreverence even, and this is what keeps his Marc by Marc Jacobs label, in particular, young and relevant. It comes as a bit of a surprise, then, that his Fall/Winter 2013 collection seemed surprisingly ladylike, and very wearable; gone are the heady mismatched prints and patterns, 80s-inspired headscarves, and flouncy, flared skirts of Spring/Summer 2013. Commercial pieces for the Fall collection, in stores since July, were a transition of sorts between the two seasons. Printed, short-sleeved cardigans, in particular, hinted at the new, fitted, feminine silhouette to come. The bold style of 1930s and 1940s Hollywood glamour, mixed with a bit of 70s psychedelia, served as the main inspiration for Fall/Winter 2013. Bright deco prints on otherwise modestly-cut, mostly knee-length dresses, silky culottes, tunics and pantsuits in deep shades of wine, navy, peacock green and jolts of saturated colour for the women; oversized sweaters and coats, turtlenecks under loose, open collars, relaxed-fit satiny suits and worn-out sneakers for the men. A subtle military influence balances out the feminine silhouettes, while the bags took on vintage-inspired shapes. The collection presents a pared-down approach to modern decadence, of classics met with a playful, self-assured touch, of primness a bit undone. That much was evident in the tousled, slightly-demented hair that the models wore down the runway; that faint suggestion of delirium and recalcitrance is perhaps the most recognizable and well-loved hallmark of the Marc by Marc Jacobs woman. Clearly, Jacobs doesn’t take himself too seriously, and neither should we.






Photography – Clifford Loh  Styling – Aaron Kok Hair – Kenneth Svar Ong using Redken Makeup – Ros Chan (Arm Collective) using Chanel Model – Sebastian Sauvé, Kristina O. (Mannequin)

marc by marc jacobs


FAll/winter 2013 73




Photography – Sergio Mejia Styling – Susan Walsh Grooming – Marissa Bollman Photo assistants – Jenny Regan and Emma Pratt Stylist Assistant – Patricia Machado Model – Fielding L. (New York Models) All clothing is FW 13/14 except for archive pieces specified. All archive clothing courtesy of David Casavant Archive.


Top Givenchy


vest Robert Geller trousers 3.1 Phillip LiM boots Alexandre Plokhov cuffs Zan Bayne


Trouser Versace Archive 77

Suit Raf Simons Archive


Jacket APC Vest Robert Geller



jacket Dries Van Noten shirt Ports 1961


trousers/skirt hybrid Alexandre Plokhov jacket Ports 1961 shirt Givenchy


T-足shirt Alexandre Plokhov trousers Robert Geller coat Jil Sander Archive socks FALKe


shirt Tim Coppens trousers Dries Van Noten boots 3.1 Phillip Lim cuffs The Leatherman


jacket and trousers Prada shoes Givenchy collar Zana Bayne socks FALKE


Little RascalS Photography – Tan Wei Shen Styling – Lesley Chee and Hadi Jalal Illustration – Ros Chan Hair – Andy Razali using Design Pulse by Matrix  Make Up – Yanti Huang using Make Up For Ever Models – Lucas G &Tessa K (Mannequin)  Chloe M (Upfront)

cap and shirt H&M shorts JOHN LAWRENCE SULLIVAN sweater UNDERCOVER shoes D.GNAK BY KANG.D


dress AGNES B cardigan TOPMAN shoes TOPSHOP socks and bag STYLIST’S OWN BURBERRY PRORSUM 87




(on Tessa) dress Pierre Balmain coat TOPMAN UNIQUE rings H&M socks D.GNAK by KANG.D



jumper and scarf H&M socks STYLIST’S OWN shoes D.GNAK by KANG.D


top J.W. Anderson jumpsuit TOPSHOP UNIQUE


top SOPHNET outerwear Koonhor skirt KOONHOR

jacket ACNE


Pierrot Le Fou Photography – Alvelyn Alko Art Direction – Clifford Loh Styling – Violet Foo Hair & Makeup – Raudha Raily using DIOR Models – Dominique T, Elya B, Luiza M (Mannequin)


(on Alicia & Luiza) full look MIU MIU (on Elya) blouse PRADA skirt & heels MIU MIU 95


(on Elya & Luiza) dress CHLOE heels MIU MIU (on Dominique) shirt H&M shorts RAOUL shoes H&M


(on Alicia) blouse and skirt BURBERRY PRORSUM | cap MINI RODINI (INHABIT) | shades H&M | heels CHLOE (on Luiza) dress BURBERRY PRORSUM | cap MINI RODINI (INHABIT) | bracelet H&M | heels ETRO

(on Elya) dress INHABIT | heels ETRO (on Dominique) dress CODA & CO | bracelet MMM for H&M | shoes BURBERRY PRORSUM (on Alicia) vest RAG & BONE | trousers BURBERRY PRORSUM | boots H&M (on Luiza) dress & skirt DION LEE | heels BURBERRY PRORSUM


(on Elya & Luiza) dress PRADA (on Dominique) blouse PRADA shorts RAOUL


shades H&M blouse PRADA


blouse & heels ETRO trousers H&M



THE LAST NEW ROMANTIC Fashion Designer Pam Hogg Marches On As The Last True Member of the Anarchic 80s Subculture. Text – Jasmine J. Photography – Adam Fussell Styling – Lune Kuipers Hair – Sofia Sjoo using Bumble and Bumble Makeup – Julia Wilson using NARS Cosmetics Production – Sean Tay

“Everyone had a vibe about them, they all had their own look, they were interesting and innovative. They used their imagination and individuality.” It was these qualities that allowed the Blitz club to become a creative hub of the young and talented, attracting people like Boy George, Chris Sullivan and Stephan Linnard (also known as the original New Romantics), and gave Hogg the recognition she deserved.

Pam Hogg continues to cut a striking presence in the fashion industry, commanding a front row many fashion designers would be envious of. She is a modern fashion icon whose creations have enticed the world's most watched, with examples such as Rihanna, Alison Mosshart, and Kate Moss. It does not mean, however, that she has succumbed to the mainstream. The designer stays true to her roots in embodying her extensive knowledge and experience in each of her garments. Hogg, who launched her first collection in the 80s, is still more than able to bring to the 21st century the essence of New Romanticism, a post-Punk subculture she helped to found more than 30 years ago.

In response to being asked why the original New Romantics had disbanded, Pam Hogg stated, “Innovation is forward thinking, it's about progression, so it had to happen, it would have become stagnant otherwise.” It is this philosophy that has allowed Pam Hogg to stay strong for four decades and to continue to create and innovate.

Known from her days at the famously hard-to-get-into Blitz club, Hogg had to create her own innovative and exciting clothes in order to get past the infamously hard to please Steve Strange. She described him as “protecting the energy and essence of the club, looking out for fakes, people who had no real connection. It was fierce but without his determination the club would have collapsed.” It is thanks to this ferocious door keeping that the club became a pool of like-minded people where they could easily make friends, as they “felt connected”. When asked on what sort of people were at the Blitz she simply said,

Hogg’s exciting outfits drew the attention of many clubbers who asked if she could create bespoke clothes for them. This eventually led to the creation of her first fashion collection in 1981. In 1984, her first collective catwalk collection Psychedelic Jungle was a sell out in the Kensington shop Hyper Hyper, and propelled Hogg into a career in the fashion industry where she was immediately recognised as an innovative designer. It was also because of these clothes and cultures



“ I nno v ation is for w ard t h in k ing , it ' s about p rogression , it h ad to h a p p en , it w ou l d h a v e become stagnant ot h er w ise . ”

...feat. Pam Hogg Emperors New Clothes F/W 13 collection.

Despite the club scene having changed throughout time to a completely different era of new intentions and fashions, Pam Hogg’s heroic romantic image still influences subcultures of the modern club scene. She is the sartorial ‘hero’, saving us from average designs with conventional intentions.

associated with the Blitz and its spin-offs that the New Romantic subculture movement became embedded in the nation’s psyche. The New Romantic Movement was an extension of punk, which promoted androgynous dressing and took elements from the British Romantic period and the newly emerging sci-fi genres. Ultimately, the New Romantics used their clothes as a form of self-expression of their anti-establishment sentiments. All these elements can still be seen in Hogg’s current collections which carries a certain flamboyance.

An accurate visualisation of Pam Hogg's spirit and legacy can be seen in her Spring/Summer 2013 collection Save Our Souls. The collection range's from the purity of the nurses' uniforms to intercut colourful Lycra suited stewardesses transporting you to a new world. Her work is consistently a rejection of conformity and therefore protecting and celebrating the subcultures that exists in pockets of mainstream society, battling against the tide that is mass culture.

Hogg’s talent did not solely lie in fashion but also in her ability to perform. When Debbie Harry asked Pam Hogg to be her supporting act, Hogg readily accepted the challenge and formed a band in five days, whom debuted at a Debbie Harry performance. Throughout her career, Hogg does not seem to shy away from anything; she always seems to take everything in her stride.

The collection harnesses the “energy that cannot be found in the mainstream” and solidifies it into a form that can be admired and understood. Hogg is saving us from the banality of the high street in true super hero fashion. It comes to no surprise that when asked how she would like to be remembered, she simply said, “On my tombstone I'll have inscribed "Never Say Die"”.

Despite being famous for her Blitz club days, Pam Hogg is as relevant today as she ever was. Her rebellious collections and anti-conformist attitude have led her to become a successful fashion designer, where she makes it up as she goes along so that she has “complete freedom” to be true to her own vision, culminating in her own words, “My ideas are forever fusing and forming, I just follow where they take me”.

Hogg’s original pieces from the 80s are on display at the current V&A exhibition Club to Catwalk. (10th July 2013– 16th February 2014)



THE CULT OF THIERRY MUGLER Thierry Mugler rejoins his namesake house as Artistic Advisor after 10 years of hiatus. Benjamin Waters examines the influence of the designer turned cult figure. Text – Benjamin W.


Illustration – Milou M.

F as h ion for M ug l er w as not sim p l y about externa l beaut y but a transcendent ex p ression of emotion and fee l ing , about un l eas h ing t h e su p er p o w er , t h e foreign goddess in a w oman .

It has recently been revealed that the legendary Thierry Mugler has resumed an advisory position in his namesake fashion line. He has been working as Artistic Advisor for the hugely successful Thierry Mugler Parfums since their creation in 1992. His new job title is part of a move to realign both fashion and fragrance into a single creative vision, instigated by company director Joël Palix. In recent times Mugler has somewhat slipped under the radar of major fashion houses and this change is expected to bring the company back to its former glory as an influential and tastemaking luxury brand.

in his private gym every day. Mugler has been quoted by the New York times in 2010 saying “You don’t want to be reminded that you did this or you did that, it’s disturbing.” His physical reinvention reflects this feeling and his archive too, each collection having been notoriously surprising to its audience. It could be a fear to commit to a single vision of the Mugler woman, but more likely the result of a designer with incredibly prolific and varied fantasies. Instead, the Mugler woman became defined by reinvention, and it could be speculated that the cause of his volatile relationship with the business side of his company stemmed from the marketing difficulties of presenting such an elusive brand concept. It is perhaps ironic that his desire to escape the past and reinvent himself is actually what he has always done and therefore is his past. It is an endless circle powered by the anxiety of being understood wrongly and dissatisfaction with one’s own work, a circle most trodden by the highest of talented, creative individuals.

Thierry Mugler was a true visionary and his work has come to define an era of fashion history. His design ethos and runway shows encapsulated the excessive, overt sexuality and glamour of late 80’s and 90’s fashion culture. The company’s most famous fragrances are Angel and Alien and these names are the perfect summary of what his clothing stood for. Fashion for Mugler was not simply about external beauty but a transcendent expression of emotion and feeling, about unleashing the superpower, the foreign goddess in a woman. Trained as a ballet dancer, joining a professional dance company in his hometown of Strasbourg, France at age 14, the body was always Mugler’s portal to release creative energy; his love for the stage and performance was ever apparent in his runway shows. The exemplary 1995 Fall show, available on YouTube, is an hour long and enchanting for its entirety. Forget the straight down and back runways so frequently used today, this is truly theatre on a stage. Built up platforms with multiple pathways and levels, lighting that constantly changes colour and manually operated spotlights trying to keep up with multiple models on their intersecting journeys.

In more recent times he has continued his work dressing powerful women and creating theatre costumes. All of Beyonce’s I am... world tour outfits were designed by Mugler himself, where many of his distinctive traits remain in various metallic beaded leotards with exaggerated hips and shoulders. His company meanwhile has been struggling with mixed reviews, even during Lady Gaga stylist Nicola Formichetti’s two year stint as creative director. Although Formichetti was successful in opening up the Mugler brand to a new, younger audience with his large social media presence, the actual collections have often lacked maturity. The fabric selection, cut of the tailoring and originality, details that once held Mugler at the top of the industry, seemed to be overlooked.

Presentations like this required a new breed of model, where even physical beauty becomes secondary to character; Mugler was a key figure in the birth of the supermodel. Showing off huge architectural hats and corseted couture gowns whilst in knifepoint stilettos required a true skill that was not about looking comfortable but supernatural and aspirational. Mugler favourite Jerry Hall, amongst others, slink precisely around the catwalk, dropping their jackets off of their shoulders, smoking cigarettes and posing with hands on hips.

Hopefully Mr Mugler’s return will be followed by his dedication to true quality and will push the team to bravely bring a fantasy world to life in a way that has been adapted to modern times, with an over-the-shoulder wink to the fun and glamour of the past. We will all have to wait in anticipation to see what happens but the company seems poised to come back with a real crack of a whip.

A notable quality about the man himself is the physical transformation he underwent after departing his own company. He is now dramatically muscular with enormous biceps and nipples that have been rumoured to be surgical attributes alongside hours spent












06. THIERRY MUGLER Le Smoking boots, menswear 2011

01. THIERRY MUGLER Vintage red wool jacket 02. SAINT LAURENT Black studded pumps

07. YSL Pure Chromatics in N12

03. VALENTINO Red patent clutch

08. THIERRY MUGLER Silk shirt

04. LELA BO Rose 31 Eau de parfum

09. VALENTINO Black patent shoulder bag

05. LOUIS VUITTON Silver bracelet


Italian Stallion Few men cAN be said to brandish Italian passion as fervently as architect and designer Fabio Novembre. The l’enfant terrible behind the famous Nemo chair opens up about Fashion, the body and above all, women. Text – Alex P.

Fabio Novembre may claim his better half as his inimitable anchor, but it is hard to ignore that he is just as taken by a love for women in general. With two decades of experience under his belt, the Milan-based designer has made romanticising the female form his professional mantra. This, coupled with an unmistakably Italian gravitas, often leaves him testing the very limits of what is deemed socially acceptable. His piece Him and Her (2008) for Casamania reigned in much controversy for depicting a woman seemingly kneeling in the nude. Some critics went as far as saying it was done in ‘bad taste’.

Morrello for the Fall/Winter 2013 collection in January. It then became imperative for VULTURE to experience this sexual charge firsthand with Italy’s foremost design personality or as we see it, the Italian stallion of the design world. When did you begin to develop this appreciation for women and the female form? Personally I’ve always been amazed by the fact that a woman gives birth. Men are creators of things; women are creators of life. The perception of it has brought many sensible men (artists) to the divinisation of the woman. The naked female body is pure essence, exploring its secrets opens the doors of perception, relating to its beauty makes you adore it.

For anyone who has encountered Novembre in the flesh, this should hardly come as a surprise. The broad strokes he paints with his expressive gestures seem symptomatic of his preoccupation with physicality. The world is romanticised through Novembre’s eyes and his heightened vision of the woman is merely an extension of that. A quick peek into his portfolio shows a broad range of work from vase collections like Happy Pills (2012) to a Stuart Weitzman Store in Paris (2008), but each of which is underscored with the designer’s desire to express some form of sensuality.

Body-consciousness seems to be a recurring motif in your work. What was the impetus behind this aesthetic? For centuries, in many cultures, the human body has been the closest depiction of perfection. I would still define my cultural approach as a neohumanism: I believe in the people, in the huge potential we can still express. And I’m attracted by that perfection, especially by my complement: the female body. All my sense for space is informed by the female body, that’s why I love so much what I do. I have a very strong sense of discovery, of unveiling, of seduction, and the shapes of my spaces can’t be anything but curvaceous and sensual.

Perhaps it is this sexual energy that makes Fabio so alluring to work with. In the span of his career he has collaborated with countless household names including Atelier Persol and most recently Frankie


Filematologia 2013

From what I can infer, your relationship with your wife seems of paramount importance. How big of a part does she play in your work? My wife is my complementary. Like in the myth of Aristophanes, from Plato’s Symposium, we were one, and when we met we felt one again. She condenses my whole idea of femininity, she’s my personal “Origine du monde”.

The walls of your living room were deliberately charred by Maarten Bas. How did that come about? I must admit I’m a good talent scout. In fact, since I first saw Maarten’s early works I knew he would accomplish great things. That’s why I immediately got in touch with him and commissioned one of the few installations he has ever done. We are still good friends.

Some of your works have been described as “controversial” for their sexualised representation of women. What is your stance on gender politics? Talking about gender politics, I strongly believe that it’s time for women to rule this planet. Men have made enough disasters, and history is the demonstration that by force you don’t accomplish any peace. Only women’s gentleness and good care can give us a future, no wonder I’m a father of two girls...

You do seem fashionable. How would you define style and fashion? I don’t know what you mean exactly by “fashionable”... I believe that being fashionable means belonging to your own time. In fact, to answer your question: style is about respecting who you are, your own peculiarities, and fashion is about respecting the time you’re living, trying to testify your present as much as possible. We often forget that the present is, even etymologically, a gift.

Where do you draw the fine line between flattery and voyeurism? I don’t draw any line; I’m a flatterer and a voyeur at the same time. There’s space for multiple conditions when you relate to femininity.

Would you describe your work as a product of “Fashion”? How trend-driven are they? My work is definitely informed by the time I’m living in, and in that sense you may define it fashionable. But there are many ways of living your own time. As Dr. Darwin would suggest, I’m a wise monkey and all my work is now developing through an interplay of contemporary input and primordial output. All I look for is authenticity: authenticity is for pioneers; trends are for followers.

Many people are familiar with the Nemo chair. Perhaps you could explain more about the concept behind the design? What I wanted to achieve with that piece was a no-race no-gender condition, something that could contain in a neutral environment, in order to give you the chance of being whoever you wish, as masks always do.


Nemo, Driade 2010 Photo: Settumio Benedusi

In reference to fashion, you mentioned that clothes can be seen as an extension of the body. How does that apply to the context of architecture? It’s just a matter of layers. Today, the only real extension of the human body is the smart phone. In the near future, looking through the eyes of an increasingly nomadic human being, his hyper-technological clothes could be conceived as his own home.

Would you consider working on a similar collaboration again? Perhaps with other labels? I’ve been asked for fashion collaborations in the past, and I must admit that I've been tempted. Probably, at that time the conditions were not right. But in the future, who knows... If you had to be remembered for one piece of work, which would it be? I don’t feel the need to be remembered. Nothing is lost, nothing is created, everything is transformed.

Let’s talk a bit about the collaboration with Frankie Morello on their Autumn/Winter 2013 collection. How did that come about? Maurizio and Pier Francesco, the two designers behind the brand, are my friends, and both of them have an architectural background. It can’t be defined a collaboration ‘cause it just happened that a week before the show, they called me to say I had been the inspiration of the whole collection and that they would have liked me to share the catwalk with them. That’s all I did.

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MARNI Gold plated

GUCCI Swimming brief


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from Mr Porter

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ETRO Neckpiece

CANALI Sweater from Mr Porter

The Weight of Waste Defined loosely, shit covers much and can be THE touchstone OF a Dantesque hell. BUT how much is there to meditate on piles of waste? Text – Melanie C.

Paul McCarthy is not the only artist to have used excrement for art’s sake. Fake Sh*t (1982) was as innocuously named, an incredibly lifelike tableau of turds. Complex Sh*t (2008) propelled the American artist to international recognition. The inflatable turd was sitting in the East of Eden: A Garden Show at the Paul Klee Centre in Berne, Switzerland when a gust of wind blew it off its moorings. McCarthy sold nothing until the nineties. The performance artist was “just a guy covering himself in ketchup”, a consequence of being dead broke and the result of an urge. “I had this thing about exposing the interior of the body," he explained "the orifices leading into the body, and what the interior was, and the taboos of the interior."

This, dabbling in bodily emissions was de rigueur. The famous ones took it literally. Andres Serrano dropped a crucifix in his own urine in 1989. Half a decade later, Marc Quinn cast his own head in blood (also his own). Noritoshi Hirakawa took it live: in The Home-Coming of Navel Strings at the 2004 London Frieze Art Fair, a woman took a daily dump after reading a novel. Helen Chadwick’s Piss Flowers (1991/1992) were bronze sculptures cast from cavities made when urinating in the snow by her and husband David Notarius. It seemed like the art world was dredging dangerously deep until its peak in 1999, when Tracey Emin won the Turner Prize for showing them off in My Bed. Condoms and other daily detritus joined menstrual blood-stained knickers. This marked the triumph of the British 118

Young Artists (BYAs). Shock art works, apparently. The public drank it up. It was a redefinition of art on the brink of a new millennium—post-modernism was on. Grappling with the rise of shit in art; Brit Craig Brown captured it in his equally iconic essay My Turd when he said: “My Turd has a lot to say about birth and death, a lot to say about the nature of self, a lot to say about the whole process of defecation and renewal in contemporary society, and it has a hell of a lot to say about art itself. It is almost as if, in some extraordinary way, the artist were asking us to confront the very nature of what we call 'shit'.

Butt Plug 2007 Photo: Phillipe de Gobert 119

White Snow Dwarf (Happy) 2010 Photo: Fredrik Nilsen

Jason deCaires Taylor

Rubber Jacket H, Horizontal 2012 Photo: Fredrik ilsen

What is it? Where is it? Who will buy it?"

Let’s rewind.

we imagined it brought us closer to the innards of ourselves, however banal. The porcelain display was certainly open for interpretation. Its conceptual challenges pushed us to its visceral extreme. By the fifties, life-affirming Impressionism and coiffed anything faded fast in the aftermath of World War Two, reindustrialisation and McCarthyism (the politics, not the artist). They exist now only as boxed fantasies in Mad Men. The world had given up the last of its idealism by the Vietnam War. Even the hippies could no longer believe their own smoke.

Desperately seeking salvation Around the 20th century, lofty aspiration and refinement became passé. Art, always the avant-garde of society, sprung loose. The Dadaists marked the seed of a change in popular direction. In fact, Marcel Duchamp brought the poo barrier down with Fountain (1917). The upside down urinal stared us in the face; and

Serrano, Quinn, Hirakawa, and Chadwick were born of these ashes. East of the Atlantic, the YBAs would cement their reputation as conceptual artists who focused on the darker aspects of contemporary living. To be avant-garde was to dissect, be clinical, or delve into the abysmal hollows of pscyhology. Celebrity status was ensured, if you could

Art’s enfant terrible Damien Hirst recently enthused, rather late to the game, about his long-standing drive to make “the most perfect poo you could make in bronze”. “So one minute if you did it in the toilet you would want to go and tell your friends about it, it’s like so healthy and perfect, and then put it outside somewhere, and I was going to call it 'Untitled’ and in brackets ‘(Number 2)’”.


combine all three. Charles Saatchi even designed a special room to keep Tracey Emin’s bed. This brand of existential play with physicality and identity is not new. When Piero Manzoni produced ninety cans of Artist's Shit (Merda d'artista, 1961), he was asking a personal question. He was also echoing a contemporary dilemma that would plague his successors. Each can held thirty grams of faeces, labelled in label in Italian, English, French, and German. It was “the perfect metaphor for the bodied an disembodied nature of artistic labour”, as artist and critic Jon Thompson called it. Hirst closes the loop for us. “Art goes on in your head. If you said something interesting, that might be a title for a work of art and I'd write it down. Art comes from everywhere.” The golden liner: “It's your response to your surroundings.” Shit

in art is a manifestation of an artistic cogito ergo sum. It is also a perfect blank canvas for projecting dissatisfaction, and on its back, all ills from anger to hopelessness to indifference and impotence. It is no wonder Manzoni drank himself to death by the age of thirty.

image of innocence absorbed in all that pain." Articulating the underbelly evoked further repulsion, erasing any hope for illumination, as The Times art critic Richard Cork explained, “Hindley’s face looms at us like an apparition. By the time we get close enough to realise that it is splattered with children’s handprints, the sense of menace becomes overwhelming.”

A rose by any other name Of course, faecal matter is not the only carrier of such sentiment. But look at the rage that could be evoked by a piece of art deemed too polluted.

If we miss the humanism stirred in those sentiments, then what remains? No pun intended, shit becomes the final dissolution of all that could potentially have been good or inspiring, unless, of course, perversions allow otherwise. Even so, that only invites other questions, such as redefining perversions. Welcome back to the dilemma of definition, circa 1917.

When Marcus Harvey exhibited his painting Myra in 1997, the public revolted. Windows were smashed; eggs thrown; careers within the Royal Academy given up. Myra had to be placed behind Perspex glass and guarded by security. No one could deal with it. Even its protagonist, mass child murderer Myra Hindley herself wrote a plea through the Guardian to remove the painting. With the extent of media saturation and volatile public opinion, Harvey became vilified alongside Hindley. Surely the artist knew it was bound to cause controversy. He did not. “I just thought that the handprint was one of the most dignified images that I could find. The most simple

Complicated Pile 2007 Photo: Philippe de Gobert

Meanwhile, it is in our nature to dig, scrapping the bottom of the barrel and hoping to hit pay dirt; it is the nature of boundaries to entice. One last question remains: what makes a man go there?


Santa with Butt Plug 2007 Photo: Misha de Ridder

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AESOP Post poo drops

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CELINE Black lamb skin

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woven cabas




Printed shorts

Oversized leopard jumper

B R E AT H L E S S / LOV E When you embrace your lover, sometimes you wish to melt right into them. To realize this wish, I’ve been photographing couples in small, or even cramped spaces like motels and bathtubs. As my work has become moreand more intense, I’ve noticed that communication is indispensable. This time, I reached the point of photographing couples in vacuum-sealed packs, in a set that I’ve constructed in my own kitchen. The lights are in the ceiling, so I just flip one switch and have everything ready. I have a few different colored paper backgrounds, which I can leave rolled up in the corner. After the couple get in the vacuum pack, I suck the air out with a vacuum cleaner until there’s none left. This gives me 10 seconds to take the shot. In this extremely limited time I can’t release the shutter more than twice. I’ve been in there myself, and the fear I felt was overwhelming. As the shooting continues over multiple takes, the pressure of the vacuum seal grows stronger. At the same time, the two bodies start to communicate, and whether through unevenness of limbs or the curve of joints they begin to draw a shape of what they want to express. The two lovers draw closer until they finally transform into a single being. Looking at these vacuum-sealed packs of love, we can imagine a more peaceful world. For me, the vacuum pack is only a means: the important thing is connecting to someone.

Haruhiko Kawaguchi





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Casting Call: The Romantic and Criminally Insane Comparing key works of two seemingly ungodly but no less great artists Joel-Peter Witkin and Nobuyoshi Araki. Text - Shawn C.

Someone with wings, horns, tails, fins, claws, reversed feet, head, hands. Anyone with additional arms, legs, eyes, breasts, genitals, ears, nose, lips, head. Anyone without a face. Pinheads, dwarfs, giants, Satyrs... Awesome and terrible, erotic and grotesque, romantic and criminally insane - these are the paradoxes that have come to characterize the works of photographers Joel-Peter Witkin and Nobuyoshi Araki. These are works that draw us into the irreconcilable gulf between contradictory emotions. They induce in us a hypnotic vertigo that disorients our aesthetic bearings even as it keeps us transfixed. Whether because of physiological reflexes or out of moral propriety, our instinct is to look away. Yet this repulsion is matched with an attraction that challenges us to stay with the work. The images - of severed heads, and of exposed genitals - bring us to the thresholds of our conventional notions of beauty, transgressing taboos and transfiguring death. They are monstrous in their radical otherness and they override our sensibilities of the normal. In an open casting call, Joel-Peter Witkin declares he needs as models “physical marvels” that are so extraordinary as to inspire wonder. He then provided the most abominable and fantastical litany of abjection, from Satyrs to bondage fetishists to the severed heads of corpses. Witkin assiduously searches for his subjects while riding the New York subways, working as a headwaiter in an Albuquerque restaurant, attending the conventions of tattoo artists, always alert to potential collaborators. His aspirations are nothing short of the monstrously sublime. “To me extreme things are like miracles. There is nothing as boring as a person who is just okay.” Detractors

accuse Witkin of exploiting his subjects for their shock factor: their perverse depictions resemble little more than a Victorian freak show. However, Witkin's engagement with these physical marvels are neither fetishistic or superficial. It is religiously humane. He explains that through his meticulously arranged photographic tableaux, he intends to lift them beyond their decrepitude, transcending subject matter, and entering what he calls a world of love and redemption: “The figures were always isolated because the Sacred is always beyond nature, beyond existence.” In Un Santo Oscuro, Witkin presents a figure that is truly “beyond existence.” What first appears to be a broken mannequin is in fact a living person whose mother took the drug thalidomide to combat morning sickness during pregnancy, unaware of its side-effects. He was born armless, legless, without eyelids, with half-formed skin and lived in bandages enduring constant pain. When signing his model release, the man requested: “Whatever you do, Joel, make me look like a real human being.” Familiar with Spanish paintings of clerics depicted as martyrs, Witkin posed his model with his wife's cleaver and a chain-mail collar. Arrows and knives pierce him like a modern Saint Sebastian. The man longed to be redeemed as human and Witkin transformed him into a martyr bearing the stigmata of modern suffering, a saint atoning for the sins of humanity. But if Witkin searches for physical marvels, Araki explores the marvels in the physically banal. Nobuyoshi Araki claims he does not pursue any special subjects, because the world is already so magnificently rich with beauty that he cannot resist shooting


Still Life, Marsailles 1992

that his own preferences are usually submerged to lend primacy to his encounter with the subjects. “Anything and anybody who I have the privilege of encountering is significant in themselves. Some people may seem like assholes, but you have to be accepting enough to think that maybe you're projecting a preconceived idea onto them, and they're not really assholes. That way, you might be able to discover something nice about them.” In this approach, he is not unlike Witkin who, in his own words, seeks the “wonder and beauty in people who are considered by society to be damaged, unclean, dysfunctional, or wretched.”

everything around him. For Araki, photography is not about artistic expression because he believes that the people truly expressing them are the subjects. Witkin would bring his models back to his studio where he would carefully pose them on his elaborately designed set, suffusing the image with religious iconography and creating a visual allegory. They are sociopolitical critiques and psycho-sexual commentaries about the human condition. Araki, on the other hand, withholds such interventions and maintains: “I have nothing to say. There's no particular message in my photos. The messages come from my subjects, men or women. The subjects will convey what there is to say. I have things to photograph, so I've nothing to express.” Instead of the gravitas that Witkin wields, Araki shoots with the irreverence of “a mischievous boy doing naughty things.”

"... A woman with one breast (center); a woman with breast so large as to require Daliesque supports; women whose faces are covered with hair or large skin lesions and willing to pose in evening gowns..."

Araki infamously described the camera as a penis, but he concedes that it is also a vagina, accepting and embracing its subjects. They all have their own charms, even if they aren't aware of it, so it becomes the task of the photographer to discover that “extra-special unique something” in them and present it to them. This approach means

Through Araki's prolific portfolio of coital flowers, placid skies and covers for pornographic magazines, women hold him in their thrall: “Women make me live. I will continue photographing them. If one day women disappear from the planet, I would hope to die well before


Erotos, by Heibonsha Limited 1997 132



Face of a Woman, Face of A Woman 2004 2004


Sentimental Journey 1991

it happened.” In the moving series Sentimental Journey, Araki reveals how his wife, Yoko, made an indelible impression on his photography. He confesses that before Yoko, he took photographs of women as objects, through their genitals, but when he photographed Yoko, he began to capture the intimacy of the relationship between himself and the woman before him. “It was the first time I was taking a woman instead of an object.” Even in his notorious (bondage) series, Araki is careful to note that it as a gesture of tender embrace instead of pornographic objectification: “I only tie up a woman's body because I know I cannot tie up her heart.” What draws Araki is not the intricacy of the knots, but the involuntary and ephemeral expressions of the women, unfettered by rope. He acknowledges his debt to Japanese Shunga prints, where the genitals are visible, but the rest is hidden by the kimono. Shunga for Araki is not just about the revealing depiction of sex; it is a loving secret between two people, elusive to the grasp of ropes, cameras, and eyes. A young lady in the traditional garb of a geisha is suspended by ropes, with her legs sprawled open to reveal a carefully po-

sitioned flower at the end of a trail of pubic hair. Her kimono is draped along her waist and falls towards the tatami floor. A miniature figure of a Triceratops with its phallic horns wait expectedly below the woman. The model is looking at us, but she also seems to be looking inward: a subtle and enigmatic expression. In the intricate bondage and interventions with the flower and the dinosaur, Araki seems to emulate Witkin's careful design and narration, but both are ultimately gesturing to something that moves us beyond the thing itself, beyond what we see. "... Boot, corset, and bondage fetishists, a beautiful woman with functional appendages in place of arms, anorexics (preferably bald), the romantic and criminally insane (nude only). All manner of visual perversions..." Two works come to mind - The Rebirth of Joan Miro by Witkin and an untitled photo by Araki in his Tokyo Lucky Hole series. Witkin's piece features a denizen of New York's infamous Hellfire Club, a now defunct BDSM nightclub. The model is nude, except for a black hooded mask and the high-heeled boots of a dominatrix. She stands with one leg perched on a stool where a foetus lies prostrate. It is Joan Miro. The picture shifts


into a surreal register with cryptic symbols that conflate the paraphernalia of sexual fetishes with the iconography of art history. Araki, on the other hand, is documenting a scene in the notorious red-light district of Kabuki-cho in the Shinjuku area of Tokyo. Three voluptuous women who seem like house-wives in an earlier photograph are now posing in a suite of a “love hotel.” They are in lace stockings and sexy lingerie, brandishing a whip, a handcuff, and a candle. The masks they wear are reminiscent of those prominently featured in Witkin's oeuvre. The women seem to be posing casually, but when considered alongside Witkin's work, they acquire a mythological aura. Perhaps they are the urban Fates of a deviant pantheon. "... Beings from other planets. Anyone bearing the wounds of Christ. Anyone claiming to be God. God." The photographer and curator Van Deren Coke asks if Witkin is “a wild wicked man, surveying the world for subjects to shock us, or is he a dreamer searching the darkness for revelations of man’s true nature?” A similar quandary is posed about Araki's work as pornography and as art. Is there a sincerity in these perversions that move beyond the

The Rebirth of Joan Miro in Paris 1981

he knew that to get beyond the demise of his own flesh, he had to kiss the leper. And at the instant St. Francis kissed him, the leper turned into Christ.” The transcendental and the divine certainly persists in Witkin's works but I do not think he is looking for God. What we really glean in the works of these two photographers is a search for what it means to be humanly alive.

exploitative? Are they romantic or criminally insane? Perhaps they are both, but it does not really matter. This deeply disquieting ambivalence is what moves these photographs beyond the shock of the freak show, beyond the campiness of pornography. Witkin and Araki are both committed to the belief that there is a form of beauty in everything, even in the banal and in the deformed. While this is already an inherent truth for Araki, it is a quest for Witkin to become a more loving and unselfish person: “I've been thinking about St. Francis, who had this terrible fear of lepers. One morning he was walking down the road and saw the most grotesque leper and

“And my expression?” “Imagine you're a god who wants to look human.”



grey matter GIRLS TALK BDSM. Text – Jill T.

Over dinner with some friends, I mentioned that I had attended a screening with the makers of Kink, the James Franco-produced, Christina Vorosdirected documentary about BDSM porn website at The San Francisco International LGBT Film Festival. While the inner workings of the studio, housed in the historic San Francisco Armory, was the focus of the film, one of several arguments it makes is that the content produced by can be seen as feminist works. This sparked something of a debate around the question: can BDSM be compatible with feminism? In between mouthfuls of sushi, Jess suggested that the feminist critique of porn could easily apply to BDSM (which encompasses bondage and discipline, dominance and submission, and sadomasochism) as well, empowering but at the same time reinforcing gender equalities. For some who see empowerment being achieved by reversing gender dynamics in some BDSM films featuring female Dommes (dominants)

and male Subs (submissives), there is a caveat to bear in mind: acts of submission and humiliation are often achieved through language and methods that ‘feminize’ or emasculate them. Empowerment through taking ownership of the erotic experience whether one is in the dominant or submissive role is quite another matter; arguably, participating actively and consensually in submission can be empowering when it is a turn on. Nonetheless, Jess and Leigh both expressed discomfort with readily accepting BDSM as something which fits into the paradigm of feminism. While they were alright with thinking of it as a sexual fantasy, they wondered about the underpinnings. “Perhaps role play is just a reenactment of patriarchal power structures,” Leigh mused. They seemed to think that BDSM lies in opposition to feminism. What intrigued me was their evident familiarity with BDSM porn in spite of holding such sentiments. When pressed on the matter, 139

Leigh hedged, “I guess it’s interesting to see what other people are into. People can’t really help what turns them on I suppose.” There was a definite hint of judgment in her tone. I was not the only one to notice. Chris shrugged and declared that as a feminist, she felt no guilt in being turned on by submission. “As someone who’s often the more dominant person in the relationship and, as you guys can attest a dominant personality in general, the idea quite appeals to me.” I nodded in agreement. The sometimes extreme on-screen representations of BDSM differ quite a bit from integrating aspects of it into sex play in the bedroom, and the sex-positive feminist in me finds it difficult to come down too hard on what is a turn on. Sam chimed in with a personal anecdote. “Well, I once slept with this guy who was into dominating me and it was kind of hot even when it hurt, and so during sex I was completely into it. After, though, it did make me wonder if I was getting off


E m p o w erment t h roug h ta k ing o w ners h i p of t h e erotic ex p erience w h et h er one is in t h e dominant or submissi v e ro l e is quite anot h er matter ; arguab l y , p artici p ating acti v e l y and consensua l l y in submission can be em p o w ering w h en it is a turn on .

on the feeling of being used sexually, of being desired in that way, which is why I did not mind him using me as a sex object.”

literary merit. One thing that the mainstream proliferation of BDSM has changed is the way adult entertainment studios like create content. Where the main purpose of BDSM porn was once to shock, now that it is considerably more accepted, has been rendered moot. And with a change in purpose comes an altering of practices, where porn filmmakers can now pay more attention to artistic and creative direction. In an interview promoting Kink at Sundance, Franco even compares some of the work of the performers at San Francisco Armory to that of performance artist Marina Abramovic’s.

I was quick to note Sam’s distinction between ‘during’ and ‘after’. Should there and can there be a distinction between enjoying BDSM practices or rough sex in the moment, and the hangups attached to the subculture that may come after it? While reconciling sexual inclinations with one’s views is of course ideal, these things often lie in a grey (ahem) area. Failing that, there is that old thing of just going with what feels good. Sam then mentioned the aforementioned encounter was a one night stand. “The anonymity helped with the experimentation. Even if I didn’t like it I’d never have to see him again. I don’t see that happening with my boyfriend.”

Indeed, there is much to think about for those thinking of venturing into BDSM culture, whether it’s a first foray into a dominant-submissive sexual relationship or borrowing a much dog-eared copy of Fifty Shades of Grey from the library. For those who are experimenting, our society’s cultural history of violence against women is a strong wall to come up against when attempting to reconcile such sexual desires with what we know of feminism.

‘During’ versus ‘after’; anonymous versus familiar - like the subculture itself, the specifics of a BDSM encounter are full of dichotomies. Sam also slipped into using language that hinted at objectification, such as being ‘used’. Indeed, there is something in us which intuitively feels like being dominated is antithetical to the basic feminist concept of striving to be equals with our partners. As for those prohibited by Sam’s aforementioned anonymity clause and wishing to try out BDSM sex with a long term partner, here’s yet another dichotomy: what goes on inside and beyond the bedroom. Confining dominant-submissive relationships to the bedroom (should one wish to do so) seems like a reasonable boundary to set, provided there is mutual understanding that what is erotic being the directive in the bedroom should not bleed over into day-to-day dynamics.

Firmly establishing consensual BDSM bedroom play as a separate paradigm from day-to-day relationship dynamics is undoubtedly helpful. As for those considering the latter, I’d venture one last recommendation - ditch the novel and find a copy of Secretary, Steven Shainberg’s 2002 film starring Maggie Gyllenhaal and James Spader as the original and unequivocally superior Mr. Grey. You won’t be sorry.

Throughout this discussion, the last of our dining party, Gena, has been listening in but not saying much. She admits to not even having known what BDSM was “till that book Fifty Shades of Grey became really popular”. She is certainly not alone - E.L. Jame’s erotic novel is arguably responsible for bringing BDSM culture into public consciousness for better or worse, and regardless of



A graduate from LASALLE College of the Arts Singapore, Tiffany Tan initially focused on drawing and painting. Photography, though not a new endeavour, came into focus after her lecturers coaxed her to push it further. She eventually threw herself into photography – documenting her holidays and travels as well as people she met on the way. “I was really interested in portraiture.” she adds. Her latest series of photographs – also a series of portraitures - are the epitome of vulnerability and the naked body. Most of the pictures are set outdoors. Branches, patches of grass, grey mass, railings – all intertwined with the bare backs of unknown faces. Who are these people? “They’re friends,” she says smiling. “They’re friends who dabble in art as well. They really enjoy it and they would do stuff for art. I’ve been my own model as well. There are a few people I can work with really well and they try to help with whatever they know of my ideas.” Modeling for her own art is a sign of ownership and major guts – especially when your art focuses a great deal on the human form. It definitely come with its drawbacks. Tan tells us about her little run-in with the police – with a cheeky grin. “I had these set of pictures I took and it was confiscated by the police. I got locked up.” She laughs. “I was introduced

by a friend to this beautiful place. At that point of time I was really confused as to what I was doing, in terms of art in general. I’ve always been interested in the adolescent girl and the psychology and whatsoever that goes through the growing mind. It kind of evolved into how we perceive things – how girls and guys look at things really differently – specifically, the female and the male gaze. I started with trying to morph the female bodies to look like objects – so the literal objectification of women. This series was taken indoors and then I moved to taking pictures outdoors, particularly in that space.”

of curled bodies and abandoned houses. The first thing noticeable about these pictures, is the excruciating vulnerability and loneliness. Best known for taking self-portraits, Woodman is the exacting picture of solitude. It is evident where Tan has drawn her inspiration from, with the bare fronts and a great deal of attention to the back. “When I think about it now, I do find the back very sexual but very subtly sexual. But I think my initial intention was not to show the butt because I felt that was more sexual to men – to a man’s perspective. To me, the back is very sensual. Maybe you could say that the front is more sexual but the back is more sensual.” she adds.

She explains that she eventually dropped the female and male perspective and moved into the view of general adolescence and the immense need to fit a mold. Her confusion eventually forced her to just go out and do a photo shoot – which led her to dig deeper and discover nuances that she hadn’t planned to discover. “There’s one of a girl with a broken branch – I think it was a dried up leaf and it looked like a spine. So it’s kind of like fitting and molding. A lot of it is inspired by Francesca Woodman.”

With her iPad on her lap, Tan looks at the pictures with the sort of attention and fascination that one would give a child. “Francesca was a growing girl at that point of time and then she committed suicide. A lot of people believe that her photographs led up to her suicide, actually. That’s what they say. There’s a lot of self-portraiture so it comes from within. Some of the pictures are her and some aren’t her, but ultimately it’s still… her.”

When asked to elaborate on Francesca Woodman, Tan lights up and immediately whips out her iPad. Hundreds of images of Francesca Woodman pop up, in greys and black and white – haunting images

Encroaching on the subject of biographical photographs seems to be a topic best averted. Has Tan’s life influenced her work? “I guess so, yeah. Definitely.” She shies away from the


question and smiles just a little, distant but still absolutely friendly. It certainly is remarkable that someone so private has put out such soul-baring and seemingly controversial work and that too, in Asia, where naked bodies are still considered a big taboo. In a time where artists will do almost anything to push the envelope or to stir controversy, the intention of garnering attention has overshadowed the intention of self-expression and communication. In a society such as Singapore’s, what exactly is an artist communicating when nude bodies are involved? “Nude bodies show a lot of vulnerability and I suppose the additional fact that it is a taboo here in Asia - there’s an extra layer of vulnerability there. It’s not my intention to push the envelope – I’m not just influenced by Asian culture in itself. We are so open now, we have Internet, media and we are open to a lot of things. I do look at artists abroad and they use nude bodies and it’s fine.” While Asia has grown accustomed to the idea of nude bodies and art, it might still need a little time. Tan explains that she’s gotten into a fair share of trouble. “I have gotten into trouble taking my pictures.” She nods. She talks about the time when a couple of friends and her had come across an

abandoned location that was ideal for taking pictures. “It was so nice. It was away from the city, something like a ruined city and I managed to get some great shots.” She gestures to a picture on her blog. It wasn’t long before someone noticed her and her friends taking pictures. They were told not to move and weren’t allowed to get their clothes until later. Tan found herself locked up in a police station, until she was later bailed out. She looks almost perplexed as she tells the story, but with an understanding that her photographs may be deemed inappropriate or fetishized by the untrained eye. “I don’t know. I don’t show genitals that much, I kind of hide it. I guess it stems from the whole Adam and Eve thing, the vulnerability and being shameful of our bodies. I don’t think my pictures depict a ‘fetish’ in that sense.” In that case, does she have plans to develop an intimacy with her audience or to win over her critics? “Well, I haven’t really thought about it that way yet. I’m still developing this series and it’s still really new. I think at this point of time I’m still exploring my own photos and my own ideas and getting it all together. I would say that it’s not all together yet and developing. I’m still more concerned about my emotions being translated into the pictures. I guess I haven’t


really thought about pleasing certain audiences.” An artist who evidently marches to the beat of her own drum and takes risks that not many dare to take, is most likely to have a process that is just as unconventional. She explains how school forced her to do research. “Sometimes it doesn’t work. The more you know, the less you are able to freely express yourself.” As a child and growing up, Tan believed in not knowing too much – extremely surprising for someone so acutely aware and well-informed. When asked about how she would like to be remembered, Tiffany pauses and lets out a huge grin. “How would I like to leave my legacy?” she asks, smiling. “I’ve never thought about it, actually. It’s all so personal for now, I’ve never really thought about leaving a legacy for people to follow or to be another Francesca Woodman. I don’t know, I guess I enjoy looking at my pictures for now and knowing that they are an extension of me. I don’t know, I haven’t thought about it for now.” She pauses, looks down at her fingers and looks ahead with a little glint in her eye. “I guess one day…I will.”


the age of innocence Illustrations – Ros Chan









120 Days of Sodom Almost thirty years ago Paolo Pasolini released his scandalously twisted allegory. today it remains banned in many countries. Film writer Matthew Carter investigates just how SalÒ, the voracious tale of four fascist libertines, is regarded as the most horrific film ever made. Text – Matthew C.

Ever since its rather stunted release in 1975 Salò or The 120 Days of Sodom has been steeped in controversy and to this day still manages to endure the infamous title of being the most horrific film of all time. Pier Paolo Pasolini transposes the Marquis de Sade’s 1785 novel 120 Days of Sodom amongst the crumbling ruins of Mussolini’s Italian Social Republic. The film captures the plight of sixteen youths who have been forcibly corralled by four wealthy fascist libertines: the duke, the bishop, the magistrate and the president, who with the aid of a conscripted militia and collaborators (men with enormous genitalia) exact upon the victims escalating forms of torture, extreme violence and sexual atrocities inspired by stories narrated to them by veteran prostitutes. The story takes place over a four month period in 1944, set between various mansions across Northern Italy. The structure of the film borrows from Dante’s Inferno which is split into four segments: The Antiferno, The Circle of Manias, The Circle of Shit and The Circle of Blood, all of which the victims and the libertine’s own daughters must pass through until they meet their ultimate demise. Salò is smattered with an interchangeable triptych of comments on each of the three time periods it so effortlessly binds together. It seeks to debase the cardinal

perversions of libertinism in the 18th century, the political corruption of Italian fascism during the Second World War and the ever growing influence of consumerism in its contemporary setting of the mid 1970s. All three are chained together with an overall suffocating presentation of the abuse of power. Upon Salò’s release the film was immediately met with animosity and reactions of horror. In most countries it either failed to receive certification or was outrightly banned owing to graphic representations of murder, rape and torture. It was banned in Pasolini’s native Italy, although no doubt his ill-at-ease political stance, his notoriety with past controversies and his own personal exploits made the film even more of an obvious target. In the UK the film was not screened until 1977 at Old Compton Street Cinema Club, which was later raided and the print confiscated. The cinema was threatened with legal action under the offence of the common law of decency. Again in 1979, the film was shown but in the form of an edited ‘club cut’ that contained added introductory title cards that gave context to the film. These, however were still seized resulting in an appeal by James Ferman requesting that the Director of Public Prosecutions drop the charges of statutory obscenity. The film remains a controversial piece with


some countries still upholding a ban whilst others have only given it a classification as recently as the early 2000s. Today experts view the film as a work of art that skilfully addresses issues of its time and are able to reflect on the continuing relevance of the prolific film. Pasolini’s formal style of composition throughout the film is reminiscent of early Italian Renaissance painting; he presents a series of beautifully and meticulously organised tableaux within which the actors are impeccably choreographed. Each scene is primarily shot with either a wide angle or zoom lens that force upon the audience a carefully regimented dichotomy of depth between long shot or close up. However, the admirable rigidity of frame is soon tainted and instead serves as a device to trap the spectator in the unflinching horror, restricting the eye to a limited frame in which it can only scan around an unmoving abhorrence. This formality of style also complements the tedious bureaucracy in which the fascists conduct the whole atrocity; right at the beginning of the film the audience is introduced to this cringingly official modus operandi by way of the ritualistic signing of the rulebook, which is later read out to the captives. Combined with the stark long shots and the sterile bureaucratic approach, Pasolini’s method of directing the actors

“SalÒ … has earned and maintained its title as the most horrific film of all time not just for its never ending and ever increasing scenes of gratuitous and realis tic abomin ations of the flesh but so too for its more ethereal horrors.”

adds to the oppressive detachment of anything humane; often the victims seem devoid of any tangible expression of suffering other than what their bodies are forced to endure. The camera does not linger on the victims in an effort to uncover the cognitive and emotional horror that would normally be expected in with such cruelty; instead it portrays docile and eerily complicit prisoners, who later wilfully snitch on their fellow inmates with hopes of some abstract attempt at mitigating their own strife.

the citizens is smeared around each set via Pasolini’s choice of Art Deco décor and collections of a particular artist’s work that hang on the walls.

This lack of humanisation works as a tool to highlighting the public’s own willingness to sleepwalk into oppressive circumstances both in relation to fascism and modern day consumerism. This is most memorably explored in the scenes of coprophagia as a metaphor for eating processed food.

Straddled on top of this is the very corporeal and distinctively visceral depiction of the libertine sexuality that is devoid of any moral restraints. The exultation of physical pleasures that the figures of power take in realising the most extreme desolation of the senses is an explicit confrontation of the darker possibilities and places within the human psyche. In contrast, it also serves as a reminder of how, through the corruption of absolute power, the malleability of the human as a piece of flesh can be stripped right down to a sellable commodity.

The mise en scène is also pertinent in addressing this notion of reducing the human body to a sellable commodity. The manner in which the fascists of the 30s and 40s were so easily able to indoctrinate

The aesthetic suggests a soft sense of inoffensiveness that is so easily pliable into commerciality. It employs the idea that the streamlining and simplification of human wants and needs into catchy phrases and simple imagery that can be processed into seminal propaganda, political or consumerist alike.


Salò, or The 120 days of Sodom has earned and maintained its title as the most horrific film of all time not just for its never-ending and ever-increasing scenes of gratuitous and realistic abominations of the flesh but also for its more ethereal horrors. This film is truly disturbing in that the audience watches a saturated version of life, that on one plane is visible in its most real terms but on another is completely vacant. The spectator is as complicit as the fascists at the end of film in voyeuristically watching the horrors before them unfold. What’s more, the ignorant complicity in consumerist society has reached a stage that not even Pasolini could have imagined.

appendix (cont'd from page 104) Fashion Direction – Lune Kuipers Graphic Design – Aurelian Richard & Chris Maden








Form ICOPH icophi lia: A sex ual enjoym en t FORM I LIA derived from insects craw ling on the skin, especially on the erogenous zon es.

ERO T IC A S PH Y X IA : A sex ua l arou sa l cau se d by the restriction of breathi ng du ri ng sex ua l acts.

VORAREPH I LIA: A sex ual arousal from the thought of being a participan t or a spectator of an act of eating another being.

HYBRISTOPH I LIA: A sex ual attraction to som eon e who has a history of crim inal activity.

ROBOT FET ISH ISM: A sex ual attraction to h u manoi d robots an d people acting or dressed as robots.

BruSERA: A sex ual arousal derived from sm elling used un dergarm en ts worn by un derage school girls. A common occu rrence in Japan.


attraction PLUS HOPH I LIA: A sex ual or peop le in involving stu ffed toys u m es. stu ffed an imal cost

INFLATOPH I LIA: A sex ual arousal trig gered by in flatable toys or the act of in flation via flu i d or gas.

EROT IC LACTAT ION: A sex ual arousal achieved through being breastfed by a woman.




1 Amy Winehouse: A Family Portrait Jewish Museum London, UK Till 15 September, 2013 2 A Queer History of Fashion The Museum at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) New York, USA 13 September, 2013 – 4 January, 2014 3 Miles Aldridge: I Only Want You to Love Me Somerset House London, UK 10 July – 29 September 2013

7 The Red Queen Exhibition Museum of Old and New Art (MOMA), Hobart, Tasmania 18 June, 2013 – 21 April, 2014 8 Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) 10 July, 2013 – 16 February, 2014 9 Foire Internationale d'Art Contemporain Exhibition Various Locations, France 10 James Turrell Guggenheim Museum New York, USA 21 June 2013– 25 September, 2013

4 Christie’s Auction: Kate Moss Christie's London, UK 25 September, 2013 11 Istanbul Biennial Various Locations, Istanbul 5 New York, USA Singapore Biennale 2013 – If The 14 September - 10 November, 2013 World Changed Exhibition SAM, Singapore 12 26 October, 2013 – 16 February, 2014 American Modern Museum of Modern Art 6 New York, USA Soundings: A Contemporary Score 17 August, 2013– 26 Janurary, 2013 Exhibition The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) 10 August – 3 November, 2013

13 Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! Somerset House London, UK 20 November, 2013– 2 March, 2014



3.1 Phillip Lim

Diego Vanassibara

Maison Martin Margiela

Richard Braqo



Marc by Marc Jacobs

Saint Laurent


Dries van Noten

Marc Jacobs

Simona Vanth

Agnès b.



Sophia Webster

Alexander Wang

Eudon Choi

Matthew Miller


Ancient Greek Sandals


Meadham Kirchhoff


Andreia Chaves

Heavy Machine

Miu Miu


Ann Demeulemeester





Jil Sander

NARS Cosmetics


Jimmy Choo

Nicholas Kirkwood

Tory Burch United Nude


Joanne Stoker

Opening Ceremony

Baartmans & Siegel

John Galliano

Orlebar Brown


Julia Kaldy



J.W. Anderson

Paul Andrew


Kobi Levi

Paul Smith

Camilla Skovgaard


Pedro García



Pink Cobra


Laurence Dacade



Liam Fahy


Charlotte Olympia

Linda Farrow

Rag & Bone

Christian Louboutin

Louis Vuitton


Comme des Garçons

Maison Kitsune



Valentino Vivienne Westwood Wanda Nylon


Vulture Magazine Issue 05: Fetish  
Vulture Magazine Issue 05: Fetish  

In this issue, we explored the sexual undercurrents in popular culture and the psychoanalytics of perversion. With highlights with Joel Pete...