At the end of January SHOWstudio is moving from Mayfair to Belgravia. Here is the new space. We just need to build a beautiful cove and paint everything white. Very exciting.
John O was a lovely man.
John O was a lovely man and my black and white printer in the 1980s.
There were two brilliant printers then, John O Driscol and Brian Dowling. John O printed black and white and Brian colour.
I worked with John O on all the early Yohji Yamamoto campaigns and then on Martine Sitbon and then Jil Sander and on all my portraits.
John O could print in ways that no other printer could or had ever attempted. Using hand cut masks he managed to create prints that looked so beautiful and complex you would think they could only have been possible in Photoshop, 10 years before Photoshop was invented!
He had the patience of a saint and an unflinching determination that would mean all night printing sessions were a regular occurrence.
There is something magical about an old fashioned darkroom, everything bathed in the red light, the trays of chemicals and just watching the image appear from nowhere on the wet paper. Magical and in John O's lab totally wondrous even awe inspiring.
To allow us to view and discuss the images he would rest the wet prints on an angled viewing board where they glistened and sparkled as the water ran off them.
The deepest of blacks, jutted right up against delicate smooth dove greys. Wood smoke and jet.
Depth of tone that made your head spin.
He created prints that felt like that could knock you clean over, they had such powerful visual impact.
It is a sign of any great artist and craftsman, that his or her work physically reminds you of that person, and John O's prints certainly did.
Physically John O was big man, bearded with curly light brown hair and a big strong frame.
He was easy to smile and his eyes twinkled with mischief and delight. In all those years I can never remember him being sad or cross.
I can remember his singing and I remember his laugh.
He had a huge O. Winston Link print hanging in his darkroom, which he loved. It's the picture of the train at night, caught and rendered motionless by O Winston Links 100s of carefully positioned flash bulbs. Maybe it was the huge amount of effort and care this photographer had put into his work that touched John O, as it was exactly the effort and care he would put into creating one of his stunning prints.
John O always wanted to work for the best photographers and in the 1990s he moved to New York and printed for one of the greatest photographers of all time, Irving Penn. I know he would have made his new client really happy.
John O was a lovely man.
John Driscol passed away last week from lung cancer.
One of the questions I get asked the most is why did I start SHOWstudio, and I will always enthusiastically answer by talking about Fashion Film, new technology, showing the process and so on. However perhaps the most important reason was to be able to provide a place where I could collect around me all that I loved; the new and the different. Emerging and undiscovered talents that could have a place to grow and to blossom free from the distorting pressures of commerce.
Back in 2008 the then editor of SHOWstudio, the wonderful Penny Martin, introduced me to her new assistant, a peculiarly handsome young man who was still at the time working for the most refined of banking establishments, Coutts (as a way to fund his fashion education) and with a name that from the offset has a ring of grandeur to it; Alexander Fury.
True to the 'being thrown in at the deep end' nature of SHOWstudio one of the young Alex's first projects was a 3 day long live broadcast from Abbey Road studios, called Fashion Djs. Alex was to be introducing and talking about the acts, wether it was Stella Mc Cartney chatting by phone to Miss Piggy, Naomi Campbells top 10 or Gareth Pughs Day-Glo line dance. No rehearsal time, no script, just living off your wits. As soon as his first words flowed out across the fm airwaves, he shone. At the end of the 3 days and nights Penny took me to one side and whispered to me " he is a little star, you know."
Since that event Alex has gone on to be perhaps one of the most inspirational people I have the pleasure to work with. Our days usually start with Alex casually dropping into conversation, over a fondant fancy he favours for breakfast, some little jem of information, so obscure but so marvellous that it explodes in my mind producing a million new beginnings of ideas, anything from Baudrillard to Babe Paley. To say Alex has an encyclopaedic knowledge of fashion is really not to paint you the full picture. He can pull references for the the social etiquette of the " toilette of Marie Antionette", relate in one sentence Alexander Mcqueens shoes, the prow heads of Renaissance warships and domestic violence and tell stories of The Marchesa De Casati "who wore live snakes as jewellery and who was infamous for her evening strolls, naked beneath her furs and parading her chetahs on diamond studded leashes' as easily as most people can tell you about the weather. We often say people are inspiring but in the case of this particular young man, he is utterly in a league of his own.
A large part of Alex's job at SHOWstudio was to cover the collections. I remember really early on somewhat alarmed reports that the journalist from SHOWstudio was so overcome with excitement at one particular show he was actually applauding whilst standing on his chair. The news just made me think that that is exactly the sort of level of excitement fashion should provoke in people, so good for him I concluded and good for the designer in question too. With the show coverage I always wanted SHOWstudio to offer real critism of the fashion shows and precisely not the highly edited versions of sycophancy that are all to often seen in increasingly desperate attempts to keep fickle advertising brands loyalty.
There are of course a few times where Alex's directive from me to honestly speak his mind, has allowed his passion to get the better of his judgement and designers that were told they would "be better off dead so that they could at least have a grave to spin in" so bad has the show been, have all been calmed with me sending flowers and offering the somewhat harsh but neverthelees true explanation that at least when Alex offers a good review its the truth from his heart.
Both he and I believe firmly that fashion, like any art form, benefits from real criticism and designers like any artists want to really know how there work is percieved, there is nothing more frustrating and harmful than a lack of real debate, so I have always encouraged Alex to not pull any of his punches.
It can be no secret I am heartbroken to lose him but I will have to find a different and less selfish asseement of the situation. If SHOWstudio can provide the environment to develop and nuture talents such as Mr Alexander Fury, then every effort that I have poured into it is more than fully justified. I will never think of trying to replace him, that would not be possible, but instead, to allow the wave of brilliance he has created at SHOWstudio to attract more of the sort of people I love to have near me.
I am so enormously proud of him being given such an amazing opportuniy as he has been to work with Katie at Love Magazine and no one in their right mind would even dream of holding him back from that. Alex and I have projects that we will still work on but for now at least he is off to inspire and excite others. And to anybody else who has the chance to work with him, I would honestly advise them to realise how lucky they are and savour every moment,and relish every pearl of wisdom Alex will give.
There are in my own private sky a few really bright stars, Lee, John, Ruth, Gareth, all people who have lit up my imagination, Alex has been and will be shinning there too. Penny you could not have been more correct in your assessment of this young man.
I will miss you Alex.
My assistant Laura discovered these incredibly beautiful images by a photographer called Neil Craver, whilst researching for an up and coming underwater shoot we are organising.
I loved them so much I wanted to share them.
Ryan , this picture is for you.
I found these fantastic illustrations on a incredible old soul music channel on Youtube run by someone called Lil Darling.
Love the music 100% and love the art.
If anybody know more about these I would love to find out who did them.
Dear Little Monsters,
We will be releasing one last film on SHOWstudio from the Monster Ball tour, which will be announced soon.
For the other songs what we created are often just loops of film that are repeated for the chorus or verse and therefore sadly are not complete films.
The animated GIFs on the SHOWstudio Tumblr are a way of getting you something to remember from those songs and something to keep from the fantastic Monster Ball.
I wish I could help more.
Gareth Pugh's 'Frieze' is our latest digitally remastered augmented archive project.
See Ruth Hogben and Nick Knight's fashion film documenting a 2006 shoot with British designer Gareth Pugh, styled by Nicola Formichetti and featuring a one-off selection of 'garments' created entirely out of balloons -and experience a brand new interactive feature.
I was so in love with Amy's music. So sad. Such a waste.
This is a photograph by a young French photographer who I particularly like called Marianne Maric. Her work is a mixture of the brutal, the sensual and the surreal.
Hopefully you will be seeing a lot more from her soon...
I love this picture of our extremely stylish production manager Ms Amy Ireland enjoying some very fine company at London Fields last weekend.
The full story featuring more pictures by Damian Weilers is due to be released in 1814 Magazine early next year.
Sissel sent me the link to this interesting article;
Dear Nick, yes the topic pheromones is of great importance!!!!!
The word "pheromone" comes from the Greek words perein=transmit and
hormon=stimulate. A pheromone is a messenger of stimulation that tells us
when and where we should gather and then separate. It tells us how we should
behave toward the other sex and how we should know whether it is in fact the
other sex. Pheromones tell us how to organize the members of a society in a
structure befitting their dominance; they mark the exact borders of a
territory. They also tell us how we can be sure beyond a doubt that we are
Pheromones regulate power relationships, association and above all - SEX.
Pheromones provide unconscious data from an arsenal of information that can
be decisive for the course of human communication.
Considering the flood of pheromone communication that reaches us directly,
it is no wonder that Western society, cut off from smell perception and
over-deodorized as it is, tries to stimulate sexual attractiveness and
activity with the help of artificial pheromones. This is doomed to failure
because it is like cutting down the forest in order to plant trees.
As human beings (men and women) we have the ability to sense certain
chemical signals emitted by people around us—without being aware of it? We
use a separate set of sensory receptor cells in our nose to receive social
and sexual information from members of our own species.
Testosterone is a hormone produced primarily in men's testes. The adrenal
glands of both men and women also produce small amounts of testosterone.
In men, testosterone produces sperm, facial and body hair, deep voices, and
muscle mass and strength.
Testosterone is associated with two behaviors in males: aggressive dominance
of other males, and sexual activity. E.g., male red deer live peacefully
together for most of the year. But in October their testosterone increases
five-fold. They fight for territory. Female red deer select land that has
sufficient food for raising fawns. The males that control the best
territories mate with the most females.
Testosterone is an anti-depressant, in men and women. It increases
friendliness. It reduces anger, depression, fatigue, confusion, nervousness,
That may seem contradictory-testosterone makes males fight, yet makes them
friendly. Testosterone makes males want to mate. If fighting precedes
mating--e.g., gorillas--testosterone makes males fight. But if mating
requires friendship e.g., baboons- testosterone makes males friendly.
Testosterone varies between men more than four times. Football players have
the most testosterone. Ministers have the least.
Bacteria and fungi live on your skin and in your clothes. These organisms
drink your sweat and digest your discarded skin cells. Their excretions make
you smell . That's body odour.
Body odour can provide be interesting signs of a specific state of mind as
well as or of a more serious medical condition.
When our "fighters" fight and sweat, we smell these molecules that live on
their skin, mixed with their sweat. Each human body have a body smell as
unique as their fingerprint - in sweat this is what we smell underneath the
external molecules that live on the surface of the skin.
New research has shown that some individuals are highly sensitive to
smelling a component of body odour which is called androstenone.
Furthermore, if the person can easily smell androstenone then he will decide
whether or not he likes the person based on the smell. What is androstenone?
It is a human pheromone which is a chemical attractant that is found in body
secretions like perspiration. Men release large quantities of androstenone
while women omit small amounts. So men are more likely to be judged by their
smell than women. According to the study, fifty percent of people the
population cannot smell androstenone at all and one half of them can only
catch a whiff and enjoy the scent. Those who can smell androstenone, on the
other hand, do not like the smell and compare it to urine or perspiration.
The study went on to show that there was a correlation between the ability
to smell androstenone and the androstenone-smeller's judgment of the person.
In other words, if someone can smell androstenone on someone else and finds
the smell unpleasant then he will dislike the person, or may be not……….
Attached acouple of artickle on the topic!
SORRY I DID NOT MEAN TO WRITE A BOKK........but the topic is what it is all
about!!!! = INVISIBLE COMMUNICATION
The Violence 2 is a lot more interesting than the first prototype.
My first impression was that there was something more animal about it. It smelt more menacing/ dangerous and I wondered if it was my desire to feel this or wether there was the beginning of a instinctive reaction to the smell.
Our theory is that when men (or indeed women,but that is part two of this project) fight they release pheromones that are only released when the "fight or flight"response is activated. Furthermore the pheromones we are trying to isolate are the one that would be released if the individual opts for the "fight" option rather than the "flight" option.
Now, are we supposing that these pheromones will have a smell and it is that that our scent would predominantly smell of? Or are they an ingredient within the overall scent and that we create a "pleasing" scent that may smell mainly of pleasing but appropriate smells, such as leather or brick dust for example and that the pheromones that we isolate are undetectable and are there to trigger a behavioral response in the wearer or the people that the wearer comes into contact with?
I am talking to a fighter and friend of mine about organizing a two day shoot in London at my studio. We would have 4 bouts , with eight contestants all different forms of combat.
The shoot would be broadcast live on SHOWstudio and would I will film it and photograph it as-well .It would be crucial to have you there so we can be sure of getting the pheromones extracted immediately after the fight has taken place. Also you can stipulate exactly how you want the fighters prepared for each fight. For example should they be freshly showered and with no other scents on them at all?
I am looking at dates around the beginning of March, probably the first week.
Can you tell me when you would be free to come to London around then and also can you bring the "Headspace " technology to London or will the Tshirts have to go back to Berlin?
Anyway there are lots of other exciting ideas i have about the shoot but I will talk to you later.
Look forward to hearing from you.
SORRRYYYY for the late respond! I was travelling.
First I wanted to discuss dates in London,
the rest will come today on a separate mail :-)
The ONLY time I could possibly make it to London could be 7th,8th,9th of
March and may be the 6th. Then only after Eastern ( mid April).
In case I manage to get the possibility to bring headspace, this also would
need time and organization,
So PLEASE give me some potential dates from your side ASAP11
All the very best!