To give SHOWstudio viewers even greater access to the gowns and goings-on at the Paris couture shows Nick Knight has been offering up candid Instagram shots straight to our Twitter and Facebook accounts. Tune in for daily updates hot from Knight's iPhone. Today's most recent treat - Givenchy. Tisci's gone dark this season, with raven black fringing and laser cut leather.
'There’s power in ambiguity – in being able to expose people's prejudices and expectations. There’s pleasure in playing with cultural signifiers. In this way, head shaving can function as a feminist act – it breaks down learned beliefs about how men and women should behave, and helps to create a visually less gendered society.'
Most of us like to think that body hair is a personal issue, confined to the discreet salon or private bathroom. Not Emer O'Toole! This brave lady took her hair dramas public, penning a pointed piece on her decision to leave all her body hair untamed on Vagenda. The piece went viral, leading to an appearance on This Morning where O'Toole showed off her hairy legs and armpits in all their glory.
Today O'Toole turns her writing skills to SHOWstudio, offering up a witty yet thought-provoking piece on head-shaving, drawing on her own decision to go bald not once but twice. The piece, a response to Ellie Grace Cumming's Fashion Fetish film, is live now. Have a read!
Today's In Fashion interview double whammy is now complete. It was a real privilege to sit down with J.W. Anderson and Meadham Kirchhoff, two of London's most acclaimed talents. If you missed the live broadcasts, don't worry! We'll be putting full on-demand footage of both interviews on site shortly and will also be supplying our signature edited film. To keep busy in the interim revisit some of our past In Fashion interviews - we've sat down with everyone from Simone Rocha and Phillip Lim to Suzy Menkes and Anna Dello Russo.
A big thanks to Jonathan, Edward and Benjamin for visiting us at Bruton Place!
'I found this image whilst going through my archive yesterday. It is the beautiful Shalom Harlow and was shot for a Dior campaign but never used.' - Nick Knight
As if we didn't spoil you enough with our recent run of live events - including real-time interviews with J.W Anderson and Meadham Kirchhoff and live residencies from Phoebe English and Void of Course - we've gone and planned a run of Death themed live shenanigans to keep you entertained. Shop Director Carrie Scott is keeping things sinister by inviting a range of artists and creatives into the studio to showcase their unique dark arts. First up is taxidermy artist Rose Robson, who'll be channelling Hitchcock by creating a sculptured work out of multiple dead birds. Stay tuned on 1 and 2 August to see her in action.
To whet your appetite in the interim embrace all things mournful by visiting our Death installation at Bruton Place.
Coinciding with the display of the Gao Brothers' challenging bronze The Execution of Christ in SHOWstudio’s Death exhibition comes a scholarly essay from journalist Nicolas Niarchos. System = Power = Ideology starts with one of Mao's early poems, Tapoti, which problematises the relationship between single parts and multiples. This tension is explored with reference to some recent articles in the hope that this fertile aspect of Mao's thought will once again be open to enquiry.
The essay is spoken over silent footage of London from the top floor of the 148 bus at first during rush hour and then at dawn, punctuated by Google image grabs of some of the things referred to in the piece. Without explicitly linking text and footage, the film grounds the theoretical discussion in quotidian London scenes. The film shows one and many cities, deliberately focusing on a hodgepodge of urbanism and a web of different lives and systems. It offers a musing on something wildly alien to this reality, though somehow hopelessly linked to it.
'I wanted the video to feel a bit unpalatable and seedy - like a crappy old VCR that's been found and put on YouTube. Very dodgy and amateur.'
Today SHOWstudio is thrilled to unveil a new Fashion Fetish film by Lily Donaldson. The model was not content to limit her offering to bondage, bums and breasts - the usual fashion-does-fetish stomping grounds - instead choosing to champion a more unusual erotic group, the 'furries'. For those innocent souls who haven't stumbled across this particular perversion, 'furries' refers to individuals who have sexual fascinations with cuddly anthropomorphic animals. Some committed enthusiasts even cultivate special animal personalities, or 'fursonas' as they call them (I kid you not).
'I realised it might be interesting (and fun) to explore something that I didn't immediately relate to or understand within a sexual context,' says Lily. 'I understand the eroticism of a fetish such as bondage but furry soft toys as eroticism is such a bizarre idea.'
Lily's own 'fursona' is part cuddly cat part lingerie-sporting pin-up. Watch Tiger-Lily in action now!
Last night the Olympic closing ceremony gave old Gianni a run for his money as Britain's most iconic supermodels took to the 'catwalk' to celebrate homegrown fashion talent. Forget Linda, Cindy and Christy - this time Naomi strutted her stuff alongside Kate Moss, Karen Elson, Stella Tennant, Lily Cole, Jourdan Dunn, Georgia May Jagger, Lily Donaldson and David Gandy, all of whom arrived on stage in lorries boasting giant Time Square-worthy self portraits, captured by our very own Nick Knight. Aptly the gang were clad in gold, including a very fetching Christopher Kane Metal mesh and Swarovski crystal trouser suit (worn by Stella) and two Alexander McQueen showstoppers (on Kate and Naomi).
To see Nick Knight's Oscar-worthy imagery - titled Midas Touch - up close pick up a copy of British Vogue's September issue.
Make-up queen Val Garland is in New York (brushes in hand) ready to transform models into runway-ready visions. In keeping with our commitment to showing all the processes of fashion - not just the shiny final product - the wonderful Val is sending us hot-from-the-make-up-chair Instagrams live from backstage. Her imagery will be pulled straight into our newly launched collections feed, alongside various other exciting shots from the shows, as soon as our collections coverage kicks off! In the meantime - check out her gorgeous look from the BCBG show.
Our new collections design is all about embracing social media as a method of communicating fashion. From witty tweets to candid backstage snaps, we are pulling in all the commentary from fashion's great and good as they flit through fashion's four cities, iPhones in hand. As well as featuring key tweets and images in our collections feed - look at the amazing hair preparations backstage at Proenza Schouler - we have also launched a dynamic new live unit, the brain-work of tech-wizard Danny Brown. Check out all the collections-related Instagrams and Tweets from fashion week insiders live as they come in!
It's hard to believe that over the past four weeks we've had over fifty fashion experts through our doors. I'm not one to name drop, but I must offer Antony Price, Stephen Jones, Frances Corner, Bella Freud, Lily Cole, Jane Sheperdson, Philip Treacy, Susannah Frankel, Amanda Harlech, Daphne Guinness, Judith Watt, Colin McDowell, Hilary Alexander, Imran Amed, Madelaine Levy, Jo-ann Furniss, Fred Butler, Hywel Davies, Ruth Chapman, Iain Webb, Judy Blame, Mandi Lennard, Ruth Hogben, Caroline Evans, Harriet Walker, Anna Trevelyan, Roger Tredre, Caryn Franklin, Harriet Quick, Sasha Wilkins, Bay Garnett, Marion Hume, Anna Laub, Bronywn Cosgrave, Andrea Gelardin, Kay Montano, Karl Plewka, Rosanna Falconer, Angela Quaintrell, Carlo Brandelli, Trino Verkade, Verity Parker, Maggie Norden, Virginia Bates, Katherine Zarrella, Quentin Jones, Mimma Viglezio, Natalie Theo, Ronnie Newhouse Cooke, Michael Howells, Dilys Williams and Yasmin Sewell a sincere thank you - without your expertise our dream of dynamic, critical live fashion discussions could never have been realised. Special thanks, of course, go to our fabulous stalwart panelist Camilla Morton, who took part in multiple discussions, giving up a great deal of her valuable time. In the earliest planning stages of this season - when the exciting live panels were just a fragment of our imagination - Nick Knight joked that this month would be like 'one long party'. I stifled a nervous scream at the time - the organisational web of panelists and shows just seemed too daunting - but, in the end, he couldn't have been more right. It has been an absolute pleasure analysing the shows alongside so many fantastic, creative minds. Such was my enjoyment that at points I forgot that I was hosting the discussions and simply sat back in awe of some of the knowledge I was witnessing like a starry-eyed teen fashion fan.
A huge thanks also goes to Indigo Clarke, Kiki Georgiou and Stephanie LaCava who have been out in the field while the rest of us reclined in luxury with tea and cake at Bruton Place. Your sharp show reviews are greatly appreciated. Our wonderful Tumblr-ist Rei Nadal deserves similar applause. She was faced with a hard task - covering all four fashion cities with just an iPad is no mean feat - but her charming illustrations have offered a cheery reminder of the sheer beauty of fashion. Additionally, Sean Cunningham's addictive backstage videos have given us a great insight into all the mischief that goes on behind the scenes.
It goes without saying that we are also greatly indebted to our amazing band of SHOWstudio interns who, alongside the rest of the full time team, have helped make the innovations this season so successful. Li Yin, Nicholas, Sue, Jake, Sally, Younji - and of course Andrew and Monique - your professionalism, hard work, intelligence and at points sheer unrestrained mania has been incredible. We couldn't have done it without you.
Roll on next season.
Today marks the release of The New British, a new magazine by Kez Glozier and Neville Brody. As the anticipated publication hits newsstands, we release images from Nick Knight's cover shoot with Manflu's Aza Shade, alongside two tracks from the alternative band (including a SHOWstudio exclusive, Surfers).
The New British focuses on taking an unflinching look at life in Britain today. This debut issue investigates 'the Friday night ritual' and all that it represents, from style to music and entertainment. Its content offers a fresh take on current events, showcasing bold, and at points disturbing, imagery and text that unpick experiences of living in Britain today. Contributors - alongside Nick Knight - include - Victoria Young, Dean Chalkley, Kevin Cummins, Pennie Smith and Ewen Spencer.
Nick Knight's cover images and editorial - viewable now onsite - reinterpret the classic British pin-up, drawing inspiration in part from David Bailey's image of the Kray twins and an archive photograph of Goldie, to offer a vision of Shade that is powerful, energetic and most of all modern, a perfect symbol, according to Glozier, of what The New British are all about. Look and listen now!
Today we bid farewell to our Production Manager, the wonderful Miss Amy Ireland. In many ways I'm not the best person to be writing this blog, I've only worked alongside Amy for a few short months, whereas the rest of the team have had the pleasure of her company for three years (including over the entire relaunch of the site!). But even in that limited time I have learnt that Amy is the best kind of person to work with; organised, pragmatic and, most of all, really really nice. Amy makes everyone's jobs easier, often by taking on more than she should. Amy has been many things at SHOWstudio; a content manager, an accountant, a TV producer (ha!), a PR, a flower arranger, a guest getter, a HR manager, a counsellor, and last but not least the best Production Manager we could have hoped for. Her chameleon abilities will be sorely missed. Goodbye and good luck Amy Ireland (like the country).
Tonight, as part of Frieze London, acclaimed photographer and filmmaker (and SHOWstudio fave) Alice Hawkins is screening four of her wonderful films at The Bethnal Green Hotel. The pieces on show include past SHOWstudio exclusives such as Hello Rory, The Good Life and Museum of Costume. Additionally, after the screening there will be a Q&A with LOVE editor, SHOWstudio alumnus, Alice superfan and all round great guy Alex Fury.
Sad you can't be there? Of course you are. But fret not! SHOWstudio is filming the whole affair as part of our In Conversation series. Stay tuned for our forthcoming on-demand footage for the chance to hear Alex and Alice in all their glory.
And, in the meantime, revisit Alice's best work on SHOWstudio...
If you are lucky enough to be pounding the Parisian pavements then head over to retail heaven Colette to check out the newly unveiled Garage window. The display celebrates the magazine's recently released fourth issue, which features a Lichtenstein-inspired cover created by our very own Nick Knight.
For an extra pop hit, visit our WHAAM! project where you can enjoy backstage footage from the shoot and exclusive moving imagery showing Lindsey Wixson in character as a cheated girlfriend (with a little help from captions by gossip mogul Perez Hilton). Remember, hell hath no fury like a Wixson scorned...
You wouldn't typically associate latex and lingerie with female emancipation. But, Lingerie London - an evening dedicated to all of Britain's best smalls and drawers - promises just that, in the form of a catwalk show at Old Billingsgate that will explore the empowerment of women through luxury lingerie. Showing as part of the presentation will be latex expert Atsuko Kudo, making this event home to one of the first ever full-scale ladies latex-wear shows.
Kudo's latest collection will be going on a romantic wander by exploring unfulfilled love. Drawing on Wong Kar-wai’s film In the Mood For Love, the range will play with bitter-sweet emotions, presenting a vision of a woman 'walking and living through memories, existing in sensuality, sexuality, self expression, liberation, pain and joy.' The toying between suppression and expression is aptly fetishistic for a designer who, since 2000, has chosen to work solely with latex.
To get a sneak peak at the looks that will be on show, check out these exclusive sketches and swatches from Atsuko herself or, for a masterclass in how to swath oneself in latex, revisit our sensual Dressing For Pleasure LiveStudio from our Selling Sex series. For more rubbernecking, tune into SHOWstudio later this week for full images and backstage action from the show.