The monsters well known to sleep under the bed have joined forces with 58 established and upcoming fashion designers to create the imaginative ‘ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion’ exhibition in Paris. Eighty mesmerizing creatures are presented at La Gaîté Lyrique, fashioned by Alexander McQueen, Issey Miyake, Gareth Pugh, and Rick Owens to name a few. These monsters are unusual characters that test our comforts and conventions, reminding us that our differences are an important value to defend.
“ARRRGH!” is the cry of surprise, fear and worry. We scream to send a message to others, to notify them of potential danger. It is that very scream that reminds us that we depend on other’s human relationships to coexist. The monsters in this exhibition bring us together to study our fear and to reflect on fashion norms.
What is a monster? For the ancient Greeks the word ‘monster’ described anything that was inexplicably strange, including the astonishing, heavenly, phenomena of the world and universe.
In the current fashion industry, the human body is constantly mutated into mysterious, strange, and sometimes monstrous figures. Designers and artists experiment to provide unusual shapes with textiles, creating abnormal forms and extreme volumes. These artists mask the human face and dress the body with animated colours, while simultaneously adding abstract elements.
In today’s globalised society, ‘natural beauty’ is questioned. What is considered beautiful and desirable in one culture can be revolting in another.
In this exhibition, fashion steers clear of ‘Who I am,’ but focuses on ‘What I experience.”
What lies hidden behind a person or an identity? What constitutes identity in a secularized society in which we see ourselves both as a citizen of the world and as a member of a local community? Besides our real lives we now also lead virtual, digital lives on the Internet. We create and develop our very own avatar. Then who do we become when we look within ourselves and give our fears and fantasies free rein?
ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion is at La Gaîté Lyrique in Paris from now until April 7, 2013
For more information please visit: http://www.gaite-lyrique.net/en/theme/arrrgh-monsters-in-fashion
Words / Sheri Chiu
Follow her on Twitter @schiuonthis
Welcome to the 20th issue of Schön! which celebrates the individuals and brands shaping our future. We talk to established labels such as Wunderkind and Longchamp – who show us what they have in store for the new season – billion dollar businesswoman Paris Hilton, and the hottest new design talent, from Iris Van Herpen to David Koma. From grass flip flops at Kusa to hand finished techniques at Ted Baker, innovation in fashion is all around us. Find it on our pages, modelled by the faces of the future: Tian Yi, Chrystal Copland, Baptiste Giabiconi and Francisco Lachowski.
Beyond fashion, we discover developments in fields as diverse as architecture and animation, music, technology and the media. We ask trend forecasters and psychics alike to look into their crystal balls. In The Innovators, we meet the individuals who are changing the way we will think and live. This is not the stuff of science fiction. This is the real future and the future is now. Turn the page for the shape of things to come…
This Easter, only the most exquisite of eggs will do, as master jeweller Fabergé, luxury aviation company VistaJet and Turner Prize nominee Ian Davenport team up to create Egg Miles.
Celebrating both Spring and Easter, this special project sees Fabergé and VistaJet commission abstract painter Ian Davenport to produce an exclusive design which now adorns the tail of one of the aviation giant’s flagship aircrafts – the Bombardier Global 6000.
Encompassing Fabergé’s rich heritage yet with a thoroughly modern aesthetic, contemporary artist Ian Davenport’s design plays homage to the guilloché enamel patterns of the infamous Russian jeweller’s Imperial Easter Eggs. Taking the ovum-shape and decorating it with a burst of rainbow hues, Davenport worked with Fabergé’s Creative and Managing Director Katharina Flohr to encapsulate the thoroughly fresh Fabergé of today.
Just as Peter Carl Fabergé created extraordinary designs for the Tsars, nobility and globetrotters throughout the 1800s, today’s Fabergé is doing just that, but this time for the travellers of VistaJet. Available exclusively in-flight to its customers, VistaJet will offer a collection of Fabergé’s beautiful egg-shaped pendants in gold, coloured gemstones and enamel, to be viewed in the relaxing surroundings of the cabin.
“When I was contacted by Fabergé about the project I was excited to be working with a company of such reputation and heritage,” explains Davenport. “There were numerous challenges to overcome especially considering the scale and shape of the aircraft and how this might relate to the artwork. The VistaJet Global 6000’s tail had to incorporate my own artistic vision and Fabergé’s identity whilst still being a unique strong design in its own right” – something the British artist has in no doubt succeeded with.
Words / Roxanne Golding
Follow her on Twitter @RoxanneGolding
“Fight mindless uniformity by doing deeply committed fashion.” Such is the motto for the Institute for Fashion Design Basel and the Academy of Art and Design in Switzerland, which encourages its students to question the conventional practices of fashion. To embrace this motto, on 23rd March, the school staged the fashion show ‘Doing Fashion’ in tandem with the release of a book showcasing its most talented and promising students.
This, the third annual show, featured twelve graduating students, who were asked to consider the question, “Am I doing fashion or just putting fabrics together?” The 1,200 guests comprised of current students, former students and faculty, but also designers, photographers, fashion connoisseurs and international press. Here at Schön!, we picked out three students we believe could be attracting even greater attention in the future.
Jasmine Einsele – unlike many women in the fashion industry – decided to undertake menswear in an attempt to make unique what is often the same time after time. Athough Einsele’s collection comprises of suits and trousers, subtle variations, such as asymmetric cuts, add unique interest to each look.
Israel Mariano’s menswear also caught our eye by adding a twist to old favourites. His collection features chic hats in numerous colours, a sexy trench coat and a jacket and shrug that look as if they were weaved together like a picnic basket. Vintage style is paired with white sunglasses and fedoras, combining gangster and hippie looks of yesteryear. What stands out most is the superior craftsmanship of this impeccably put-together collection.
The show also presented the first public unveiling of Nadine Burkhardt’s work. Burkhardt uses box-like structures to beautifully frame her models and says she designs womenswear so that, “The hanging of the dress lies on the shoulders and falls through natural gravity in exactly the form determined by me.” The models were also wearing elegant gloves and shoes that featured heels formed of little balls. Burkhardt has already interned for Henrik Vibskov and has been invited to work for Maja Brix when she returns to Copenhagen after graduating.
In the future, Burkhardt hopes to connect, “…the creating of fashion with art and music or an extra environmental dimension.” It’s a fitting remark for a student from the school where, “Doing Fashion means to be involved with a human-centred approach to fashion and to participate responsibly in shaping the present and future.” Watch out for these three young talents. Who knows, they may well be shaping the future of fashion.
Visit Nadine Burkhardt online
Words / Schuyler Sorensen
Follow her on Twitter @Skye114
Marie-Thérèse (Marithé) Bachellerie and François Girbaud are the reason you have at least one pair of jeans in your wardrobe – that is if they aren’t on your legs at this very moment. Pioneers of denim – ‘orijeanators’ if you will – Marithé and François Girbaud set about as early as 1968 to create jeans ‘not like the Americans’. And now, four decades later, the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in St Étienne, France, has detailed their impressive career to date in ‘L’Autre Jean’ (The Other Jean) which coincides with book ‘Marithé+François Girbaud: From Stone to Light’ (Editions de la Martinière) and an exhibit at the Biennale Internationale Design 2013.
Meeting in 1967, the fashion world is fortunate this pair delved into it at all, Marithé with high hopes of Hollywood, while François had the boyish dream of becoming a rockstar and indeed a cowboy – which incidentally brought about his lust for denim. Back then, the only jeans available were from the big American names, and had specific reasons for wear – Levi’s for miners, Wrangler for rodeos and Lee for cotton-pickers. But Marithé and François had strong ideas of what jeans could become, introducing the ‘pre-worn’ effect through multiple trips to the laundrette, and innovating stonewashed denim by the mid Seventies.
In challenging the typical vision of denim, Marithé+François Girbaud have accomplished many ‘firsts’ – creating baggy jeans (in turn earning them kudos with the US hip-hop scene), introducing images to catwalk shows and producing short films to illustrate their collections, to name but a few.
As such a forward-thinking brand, you may be a little puzzled as to why a retrospective – which François blames on Communication Manager Muriel de Lamarzelle, but that is not to say he is not pleased about the situation. “To be in the capital of French industry, in St Étienne, in that museum [Musée d’Art et d’Industrie] I am very, very proud.”
The Eighties and Nineties are hailed as the ‘height’ of Marithé+François Girbaud’s career – no doubt due to their huge African-American following courtesy of brand spokesperson Jessica Beals of ‘Flashdance’ fame, and their now infamous ‘X-Pocket’ and ‘African Cut’ jeans. During this time they further collaborated with New Wave film director Jean-Luc Godard, to produce their only television advertising; trialled techno-fusion, laser-blading and ultrasound, and developed ‘B.E. Blue Eternal’ – the indigo denim that does not fade.
That said, the ecologically sound work which Marithé+François Girbaud began in the late Eighties is reaching all-new heights within the industrial denim world today. Content in their avant-garde, but superficial explorations with jeans, the couple now work beneath the surface of this iconic indigo fabric.
Many processes involved in distressing denim (some of which Marithé and François pioneered) are terribly damaging to the environment, not least for the huge wastage of water (‘blue gold’) incurred by each action. “It took a long time to be conscious, but now we know” explains François, and have subsequently sought to right this wrong through their revolutionary use of air and light.
“I realised chemical reactions are not something bad, if you control them,” says François. Minimising water usage by 70%, their atmospheric treatment which combines oxygen and ozone sees denim soften and develop a patina congruent to a well-worn pair of jeans.
But this isn’t where these sartorial scientists call off their endeavours, after much experimentation with the use of lasers, Marithé and François discovered light could be used not only to cut fabrics, but to ‘engrave’ them too. “We started to imagine the possibility with the evolution of software that you can pick at the fabric to customise your jean, but it was a dream at the time.” Roll forward to 2009 and Marithé+François Girbaud introduce their WattWashTM technology – a machine which uses lasers to engrave patterns into denim. Its name deriving from the measurement of light, WattWashTM uses only 5 litres of water, 97.5% less than the shocking 120 litres required to treat a single pair of jeans. Not only does this method leave consciences clear, but opens the doors to denim design, its use of computerised software leaving pattern possibilities infinite.
Preaching the word of guilt-free denim, Marithé and François Girbaud attend trade shows and symposiums to promote their ‘clean’ methods in jean manufacture. Currently residing at the Biennale Internationale Design 2013 in St Étienne, one of their WattWashTM machines allows visitors to laser-etch their very own jeans with one of three designs from students at Ecole Supérieure d’Art et Design de Saint-Étienne.
Be it through sartorial or scientific methods, creators of the ‘other’ jean, Marithé and François Girbaud constantly challenge the way we view fashion today. Single-handedly establishing the staple garment of the 20th Century, jeans would not be jeans without them, and the future looks brighter still. As François says himself, “We went from stone and water, to air and light, it’s incredible.” Quite.
‘L’Autre Jean’ exhibition at the Musée d’Art et d’Industrie in St Étienne runs until May 6th 2013
Find their WattWashTM machine at the Biennale Internationale Design 2013 Saint-Étienne until 31st March 2013
For more information visit http://www.lautrejean.blogspot.fr
Words / Roxanne Golding
Follow her on Twitter @RoxanneGolding
Composing the music for several movies including ‘Untouchable’, ‘Doctor Zhivago’ and ‘Acquario’ (the latter of which won the Grolla d’oro for Best Soundtrack in 1996) as well as several successful solo albums, concert pianist Ludovico Einaudi is an inspirational individual. And one who fellow artiste, photographer Vincent Urbani had the pleasure of sitting down with to talk inspirations, aspirations, concepts and creating, between taking these elegant portraits that is. Producing music that “…has a visionary power and turns everything it touches into a memorable scene.” According to Urbani, “It’s impossible not to include it in the script of your own life”.
Tell us about your creative process. Do you follow a precise scheme, or do you prefer to lock yourself in your studio and play non-stop until you get what you want?
Well, actually it’s a mix of both ways. Having a deadline (not a very close one) helps me focus on my music, but I don’t really follow any precise time schedule. Some days it takes me hours, some others just minutes, but in the end, I always reach what I have in my mind. It’s not a linear process, it’s a mix of a lot of elements and ideas.
The titles of your albums are always very peculiar: Cloudland, Nightbook, In a Time Lapse…Do you choose the title before starting to work on a new album? Or do you do that in the end, when all the songs are ready?
The only title I decided before the composition of the songs was Le Onde, because it was inspired by Virginia Woolf’s book. All the other times, I looked for the title inside my music, trying to read between the lines of my new songs. It’s not easy to find the key concept for all the tracks of the album. Sometimes it’s even harder than the composition itself.
Tell us more about the concept of your last album In a Time Lapse.
In a Time Lapse tells about the desire to stop the time of our lives; the perfect moments that we don’t have the possibility to enjoy to the fullest because they are too fast. Music can slow and freeze time, giving to our days the importance they really deserve. That’s what this album is about.
Do your Italian roots inspire your music?
Well, my music has an Italian heat. It’s full of emotions. I definitely can’t define my music as a cold one.
Is there a director that inspires you and that you would like to work with for a soundtrack?
I really like Terrence Mallick (The Tree of Life, The Thin Red Line). His movies are very deep and I’d love to work with him.
Do you like any particular composer (or singer)?
I spent months listening to Bach, but I really enjoy modern groups like Radiohead or U2 too.
Is there a book that really impressed you?
Oh yes, Walden by Henry David Thoreau. The way he wrote this masterpiece really fascinated me. He spent two years in the woods to write this wonderful diary. He got out of the city to live in perfect harmony with nature and to report every sound, colour and experience. He was living in this diary.
Within the ancestral surroundings of Steinway & Sons’ piano showroom, workshop and studios an atmospheric and wholly unfamiliar experience lay in wait for a lucky half-a-dozen at a time.
In a darkened room, a pair of hands are illuminated as they rest over a piano keyboard, ready to fill the space with the sounds of Ligeti’s Étude, ‘Pour Irina’. Six grand pianos surround this individual, each with their own artiste ready to embark on an intimate psycho-acoustic journey as unseen hands guide their own.
Created by artists Christer Lundahl, Martina Seitl and experimental pianist Cassie Yukawa, in conjunction with Montblanc Cultural Foundation, NOMAD and the Arts Council, this curious work immerses the viewer in a synaesthetic story, exploring memory, perception and timelessness.
Bringing together the works of Bach and Ligeti who lived nearly three-hundred years apart, this installation for iconic piano-makers Steinway & Sons turns the viewer into the protagonist – much like the journalist W.T. Stead, who foretold his own death on the Titanic. Writing as a young man, British-born Stead detailed his dramatic demise on a transatlantic liner which shipwrecked without enough lifeboats; twenty-seven years later his story came true as he boarded the ‘unsinkable’ ship.
Perusing the structure of sound, feeling, movement and space, Lundahl&Seitl and Cassie Yukawa’s ‘The Memory of W.T. Stead’ expands on their 2009 collaboration ‘Symphony of a Missing Room’ which placed visitors on a bizarre museum tour, guiding them through the history of art and both imaginary and actual architecture in the museum. Renowned for transforming their viewers into the content of their installations, Lundahl&Seitl’s alliance with Yukawa who has explored visual art, fashion, yoga, science and choreography through her projects once again push the boundaries of perception, which of course NOMAD was happy to support.
‘The Memory of W.T. Stead’ runs from 25th March – 6th April 2013 at Steinway Hall, 44 Marylebone Lane. For more information visit www.nomad.org.uk
Words / Roxanne Golding
Follow her on Twitter @RoxanneGolding
“You no longer judge a picture for the picture – you judge it on how well it has been photoshopped. Photographers shouldn’t be called photographers; they should be called image makers,” Mathias Augustyniak memorably said, talking to writer Glenn O’Brien at MoMA PS1’s Sunday session. He’s half of the graphic design duo M/M Paris.
Augustyniak and partner Michael Amzalag created a name for themselves by collaborating with the likes of Kanye West, Madonna, Calvin Klein, Jil Sander and Stella McCartney. They have also art directed French Vogue, Interview and their own magazine, Man About Town, and have built a reputation as true graphic design pioneers. Now they have released a monograph of their 20-plus years in graphic design hybridizing art, fashion and music.
They met in the late 80s when both of them attended École nationale supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris. “Pousse-toi monochrome,” was the first thing Augustyniak said to Amzalag after overhearing Amzalag bragging about being dressed head-to-toe in blue. “I had blue moccasins, blue socks, blue pants, a blue shirt, a blue jacket and a blue cap on,” he says, his partner nodding in recognition.
Their first job together was designing a letter-heading for a friend in Paris. They admit they had no idea what they were doing. “We set up a kind of fantasy studio in my room; we had a desk, an unplugged phone, a couple of pens and we said ’OK this is going to be our office,’” Amzalag recalls with a grin.
Both agree that they were lucky to start in the pre-internet era. “We had time to develop our core skills, because we didn’t have to create and upload things every day,” Amzalag says. “Back then we didn’t even have to show a reference picture; we just explained our idea and did it.”
Even though they don’t necessarily agree on the way the industry has evolved post-internet, they do love the advantages of this millennium’s helpful technologies. “I can’t draw,” Amzalag says, while his partner is heavily pre-occupied sketching on his napkin. “I can correct and perfect a drawing, but I can’t make one,” he says, expressing his love for Photoshop and InDesign.
The book has taken on an unusual format offering two covers – back and front – featuring a silhouette portrait of each of them and starting from the middle with the list of content. Even though this is to be expected from such enfants terribles of graphic design, they laugh at the fact that they didn’t design the book themselves. “The designers wanted to portray a ’country’ built between two partners. The book is an atlas of our work,” Augustyniak says.
The book, M to M of M/M Paris, is published by Thames and Hudson and is available online and in shops worldwide.
Words / Lars Byrresen Petersen
Follow him on Twitter @LarsLaLa
Renowned for her experimental fashion photography with its bold colour and progressive post-production, Chinese artist Chen Man captures a beautiful, seminal China. In a specially commissioned pop-up gallery space at Metropolitan by COMO in Bangkok, her work will go on display from April 25th.
Showcasing nine lightbox images and two printed works, some of which come from her ‘Bad Head’ series, the temporary gallery – within the hotel’s iconic Met Bar – further offers an exclusive Chen Man-inspired Afternoon Tea. Think ‘iced lychee ginger and silver moon tea’, ‘Chinese green tea brûlées’ and ‘bamboo, red bean and sesame cupcakes’ while thoroughly immersed in Man’s creative vision.
But for those who enjoy art in more intimate surroundings, six prints from Man’s collection will appear in one of the Met’s elegant Penthouse Suites where a signed copy of her book is presented and the Afternoon Tea is also available.
Alumnus of the Central Academy of Fine Arts Beijing, Chen Man is China’s definitive champion of fashion photography. With an avant-garde approach to feminine beauty and indeed photographic techniques, Man is a favourite with Celine, Versace, Chanel and Adidas. Her affinity for all things vibrant no doubt secured her affiliation with MAC who has employed much of her imagery, the pair even collaborating on a cosmetic collection last spring.
Appearing regularly in Chinese Vogue and other mainstream publications, Man defines a modern China, yet with much reference to the traditions of her homeland. It is little wonder this young artist has exhibited across the world in London’s V&A, the Salon National d’Art Contemporain in Paris, and Beijing’s Ullens Center of Contemporary Art and the Today Art Museum.
Words / Roxanne Golding
Follow her on Twitter @RoxanneGolding
Schön! talks to five of the hottest new generation fashion designers, while photographer Rasmus Mogensen and Fashion Editor Laurent Dombrowicz capture their creations in these striking images.
First up is the stunning Haute Couture designer Iris Van Herpen. We learn about the process behind her unexpected, intricate designs. David Koma, one of Central St Martin’s top alumni discusses his time at the prestigious college and his quick rise to fame. Russian designer Ulyana Sergeenko shares her fascination with the elegance of the past and how reinterprets it within her designs. The former Architecture and Economics student Omer Asim explains how architecture impacts his design aesthetics and, last but not least, we talk to Belgium based designer Lucas Sponchiado, who has gained recognition for his use of diverse materials.
If the future of fashion lies in the hands of these capable creators, then the future certainly looks bright. Read more in our latest issue
Photographer / Rasmus Mogensen
Fashion Editor / Laurent Dombrowicz
Make Up / Yann Boussand Larcher
Hair / Fred Teglia @ b agency
Model / Roxane @ hmm, Brussels
Styling Assistant / Emilien Gilbert
Words / Lukas Grout