A proud recipient of the NEWGEN exhibition sponsorship, Polish-born fashion designer Marta Jakubowski is showcasing her Autumn/Winter 2015 collection at London Fashion Week today, 20 February. Entitled Cracks, and inspired by broken connections and emotional loss, the collection is presented in a fashion film, “Bille”, directed by artist Rei Nadal and produced by PRETTYBIRD.
Tune in tomorrow for a brand new format in our expanding range of fashion week reportage. SHOWstudio regulars, creative consultant Mimma Viglezio and fashion writer Colin McDowell, will go 'head to head' in a forthright discussion of the Marc Jacobs Womenswear A/W 15 show.
Off-setting the educational, analytical nature of our panel discussions, Head to Head provides a more hard-hitting, confrontational style of fashion reportage. Two industry insiders sit face to face in a pared back studio setting, engaging in a fast paced deabte on a selected show - one per fashion week.
Tune in tomorrow, 20 February to watch Viglezio and McDowell debate the Marc Jacobs show live on camera at 11:00 GMT.
Stylist Katy England invited fellow McQueen friend and collaborator Nick Knight to shoot a cover story featuring rare, archive Alexander McQueen pieces for AnOther Magazine. The images are now available to a admire in our editorial gallery, and the S/S 15 issue of the magazine. Rising talent Stella Lucia (described by Knight as having ‘an incredible mixture of strength and vulnerability, a child with the power of an army’) stars on the cover sporting the exact shade of gunmetal grey skin that McQueen himself was obsessed with achieving in his and Knight's imagery.
Focusing primarily on pieces from the height of her close working relationship with the late designer - the ‘London years’ - England’s styling includes archive pieces from the nineties, some of which had never before been photographed for a magazine. Recognising that the clothes themselves were imbued with narrative, Knight took a simple approach to photographing them, shooting in a stripped back studio that recalled McQueen's esoteric references as well as in an empty parking lot as a nod to his East End urban roots.
View McQueen: The London Years now, and stay tuned for a series of films that will show off each outfit in movement and give further details about their provenence through audio commentary.
On the eve of London Fashion Week early, SHOWstudio will be live streaming the London College of Fashion’s first stand-alone MA womenswear show. The catwalk show, part of MA15 graduate season will take place at the Wallace Collection and feature collections from twelve selected students from the MA Fashion Design Technology Womenswear course.
‘By separating our MA catwalks it allows us to profile the Womenswear course at a time when the fashion industry’s eyes are on London. The standalone show gives LCF an excellent opportunity to showcase the wealth of exciting, creative and commercially savvy talent that our Graduate school produces.’ said Professor Frances Corner OBE, Pro-Vice Chancellor of UAL and Head of London College of Fashion.
In celebration of its 25th anniversary, street-wear retailer Slam Jam joined forces with American diffusion brand Carhartt WIP on a special collection. Designed under the creative direction of British designer Andrew Bunney, the range consists of five classic Carhartt WIP looks reinterpreted alongside new designs. The collection is showcased in Boom Town Slickers, a fashion film by SHOWstudio’s contributing head of fashion film Marie Schuller. Starring five diversely different male models, the short film makes a feature of their idiosyncrasies as each one poses for the camera and delivers an anecdote.
The latest instalment in our Subjective model interviews, a series exploring the history of contemporary fashion photography from the model's perspective, features Kristen McMenamy recalling her experience working with photographer Peter Lindbergh on a 1993, Russian Ballet inspired editorial for Harpers Bazaar.
In candid conversation with Nick Knight, the model covers her status as a cult model, separating her family life from her modelling career - ‘as a model I’m not going to say ‘I’m a mum, I can’t do that anymore,’’ - and being shot by Lindbergh. ‘Peter’s very good training for a model because he doesn’t tell you anything.’ McMenamy explains, ‘He just waits to take the picture until he sees it. When he sees the image he likes he’s so excited, he’s shaking.’
Watch the revealing interview now, and stay tuned for the next in the ongoing series.
With their signature single eye, One Eye Girl's girls are dainty and delicate. His minimal interpreation of an Ohne Titel runway look removes all elements of detail, emphising a black collar, in contrast with a 'paint splotched' take on Suno's florals and Jason Wu's deatailed furs.
Reflecting the pagan influences seen in the Spring/Summer 2015 collections, Nick Knight and Charlotte Stockdale set out to create a strange, mystical fashion story set in sacred woodlands near Stockdale's home in Basingstoke and depicting fictional satanist rituals. Playing with the believability of the still versus film, Knight shot series of photographs and put them together to create choppy, unnerving short films.
Named Aquelarre, after the place where witches held their meetings with the devil, the editorial features in the special 'artificial reality' S/S 15 issue of Garage Magazine, in which the covers and much of the content is brought to life by viewing the print magazine through the Garage Mag app. Seen through the virtual reality of a phone screen, Knight's desolate, scene-of-the-crime style photographs become nightmarish, horror movie vignettes.
'I liked the idea that we go to the cinema to be scared, that human beings need to be, or enjoy feeling anxiety or fear, and they'll actually pay for that. Isn't it strange that photography never really does that? It's fairly bad at delivering any emotional punch, where-as the poorest film or TV can easily reduce you to tears. I wanted this series to create fear and discomfort rather than the usual objective of a fashion editorial, which is to make you say 'Oh how beautiful,'' Knight stated.
To further emphasise the anxiety producing viewing experience and furnish the horror with a particularly contemporary slant, SHOWstudio's digital art director Jon Emmony added fake 'malware' to two of the films. Finally artist and frequent SHOWstudio collaborator Rei Nadal matched up each film to Wikipedia links featuring urban legends and shocking true stories, blurring even more the lines between fiction and reality. This final touch cites the mass panic caused by H.G Wells' 1968 War of the Worlds broadcast, as Knight points out, 'in those days people believed the radio, now they believe Wikipedia'.
Explore Aquelarre to experience Knight's unsettling stories, and be sure to grab your copy of Garage Magazine, available in the SHOWstudio Shop.
The Sunday Times Style tapped Nick Knight to pay tribute the 10-year anniversary of Gareth Pugh's eponymous label and the designer's return to London Fashion Week with a stunning editorial featuring the best of his archive. The shoot marks another step in Knight and Pugh's long-term collaborative working relationship.
The full fashion story is now available to peruse in our editorial gallery, alongside footage showing the entire shoot from beginning to end. Be sure to snap up your copy of The Sunday Times Style today to see the editorial in print!
In advance of the publication of the magazine on 15 February (keep your eyes peeled for a special silver cover featuring S/S 11), we are proud to release footage of the entire shoot allowing you the chance to go behind the scenes. Watch girls spinning in Pugh's arresting black plastic ballgowns from A/W 13 - causing slithers of gold leaf lining the studio to fly - and see if you can spot the designer himself nestled in amongst four models sporting his cage-like S/S 12 creations. Watch the shoot now!
While you're at it, why not revisit our numerous past projects with Pugh, from fashion films by his long-term collaborator Ruth Hogben - such as S/S 11 featuring Kristen McMenamy - to his exhilarating series of art-meets-fashion performances Fash-Off from 2006?
Each season as part of our collections coverage we invite an artist to illustrate the key shows. For womenswear A/W 15, we're thrilled to have Stephan Beaumont, who works under the name One Eye Girl, translating his favourite runway moments from the New York catwalks into his delicate signature style.
A self-taught illustrator living between Barcelona and Marrakech, One Eye Girl recently turned to illustration after years of working in the worlds of fashion and advertising. Instagram has been the chosen platform to showcase his art to a worldwide audience through his 'one eye girls', a project that defines his particular style and philosophy: feminine imperfection as a source of beauty.
The Autumn/Winter 2015 womenswear collections begin tonight with New York Fashion Week! As usual we’ll be covering the shows with our signature selection of live social media feeds, runway shots, show reports and illustrations as well as our live panel discussions.
Lou Stoppard and a host of industry insiders will be discussing some of the season’s most noteworthy shows as well as the wider subjects surrounding the state of contemporary fashion. Here’s what you can expect from SHOWstudio in the coming month:
The experts explore the identity of New York Fashion Week and the growing interplay between sportswear and high fashion. In the wake of Wang's H&M collection, they'll also discuss high street / designer collaborations - when they work well and why?
Tune in for a discussion of the late Oscar de la Renta’s influence and iconic moments, the appointment of Peter Copping at the helm of the label and his past work, plus a look at the complex subject of new appointments at old houses. The panel will also debate the question of evening dressing - is dressing up over?
Lou Stoppard will be leading a conversation on fashion education. Why is London the centre for fashion schools, how likely is this to change, and how are tuition fees and arts cuts damaging fashion education? The experts will also talk about the influence of the late Louise Wilson.
This live panel will see the industry insiders examine London as the fashion city of showmanship as well as the influence of club culture on the fashion world and the pros and cons of licensing for Pugh and other designers.
Industry insiders will debate London’s key shopping streets and the ways they are changing, citing Kane’s Mount Street store as an example. They will also question whether London’s designers have failed to produce an ‘it’ bag and if so, why? Similarly they'll look at Kering’s investment in Christopher Kane and the potential young upstarts likely to gain financial backing in the future.
We'll begin our examination of the Milan shows with an in-depth look at the recent changes at the house of Gucci; the appointment of Alessandro Michele and his work so far and Frida Giannini’s legacy. The panel will also chat about the death of the star designer and why we’re seeing appointments from ‘behind-the-scenes’, as well as the future of traditional leather goods in the age of technology.
Our panel discussion on THE show of Milan fashion week will include conversations on gender and whether menswear and womenswear should be shown together, the issue of approaching the Chinese market intelligently and the question of which young designers could eventually replace Miuccia Prada.
A group of industry experts will talk Vaccarello’s appointment at Versus, the identity of Paris Fashion Week and the relevance of ‘sexy’ dressing.
Topics of discussion in our Loewe panel will include the ingredients for a successful rebrand, the importance of advertising and imagery and the modern ‘it’ bag.
Our panelists will discuss the highly anticipated womenswear show under the creative direction of John Galliano and the response to his appointment so far, as well as the wider issues of media focus on designers and the relevance of the deconstructionist aesthetic.
Monday 9 March at 20:00 GMT - Saint Laurent panel discussion
Continuing our tradition of inviting a selection of students from London's finest art and fashion colleges into the studio to give us their thoughts on the contemporary fashion landscape, this livestream will see bright young things give their verdict on Hedi Slimane's Saint Laurent. They'll discuss their hopes and ambitions within the fashion industry, the brands that feel relevant and exciting to them and the A/W 15 season as a whole. They'll also give the definitive verdict on whether Saint Laurent is actually cool in the eyes of the kids!
Tuesday 10 March at 19:30 GMT: Alexander McQueen panel discussion
We’ll be wrapping things up with a discussion of the upcoming Savage Beauty exhibition at the V&A and exhibiting fashion in general and the tricky topic of designer biographies and the blurred lines of fashion reportage and gossip. The panel will also explore the McQueen brand now and the imprint of Sarah Burton.
Five years ago today the world lost a visionary artist, fashion designer Lee Alexander McQueen. His work is set to be honoured in the forthcoming exhibition Savage Beauty at the V&A in March 2015. Alongside this major retrospective, SHOWstudio will be celebrating McQueen's groundbreaking work with Nick Knight, re-editing and revealing previously unseen footage from photo shoots and interviews filmed by Knight over the course of their working relationship.
Quick to emphasise the immersive experience of a McQueen production - ‘there’s darkness and danger and absolute beauty’ - Elson reveals what it was like to work with famed creatives such as ‘the incredible' Michael Clark for They Shoot Horses Don’t They? She describes the directions the models were given and process of transformation they underwent in hair and make-up, declaring, ‘it was profoundly beautiful … honestly my favourite ever fashion show experience ever. I mean ever, ever.’ Elson also discusses her model idols growing up - including ‘wildcard’ Kristen McMenamy and Kate Moss - and confesses falling behind the scenes at McQueen’s S/S 04 show, resulting in her being impaled on the sharp accessories and the designer holding her ‘so tenderly, to make sure that I didn’t fall again’ during the finale.
Watch this unmissable interview now and don’t forget to explore the rest of the series, including Elson on her first shoot with photographer Steven Meisel for Italian Vogue.
SHOWstudio is delighted to present an exhibition of Nick Knight’s fine art prints opening 19 March 2015. Curated to celebrate Knight's dynamic collaborations with Alexander McQueen, and to coincide with the opening of Savage Beauty at the Victoria & Albert Museum, the exhibition showcases Knight's arresting re-imaginings of McQueen's collections.
Similarly daring in their approach to fashion, the pair have been equally revered in their respective fields. In their hands, fashion, flesh and form were as malleable as each roll of fabric, length of film or digital file. Bodies and bodices were slashed, structured and stitched to produce imagery and attire flung from the furthest corners of the psyche.
Printed in monumental scale, the visual tapestries that Knight created for McQueen are being shown together for the first time at SHOWstudio’s gallery in Knightsbridge. Knight's futuristic rendering of Devon Aoki in McQueen for the cover of Visionaire 20 (1997) is one of his most enduring. The young model appears as a wild cyborg one-eyed geisha whose forehead has been sliced open and is held together with a safety pin. In a surreal twist, the wound does not spring forth droplets of blood but flowers with pink cherry blossoms. The following year, the photographer and designer produced an iconic editorial for McQueen’s guest edited issue of Dazed & Confused magazine titled Fashion-Able (1998). Unprecedented within the realm of fashion, the project featured a number of disabled models in order to challenge ideas of what can be considered beautiful. In Knight's striking compositions, dancer David Toole’s pose is one of pure strength and agility while athlete Aimee Mullins’ alabaster skin merges with fibreglass prosthesis in a display of pure ardour, accomplishment and allure. They signalled the forging of a future in which human value and aesthetic beauty are not determined in comparison to a myth of a perfect norm.
The images featured in this exhibition are some of the most elaborate and technically engineered of the pair's generation and during an interview with Knight for SHOWstudio in 2009, McQueen revealed that he saw illuminations of his dreams and his nightmares in them. In Blade of Light (2004) Knight interpreted McQueen's vision of a bus queue of people wearing his Spring/Summer 2004 Deliverance collection being struck by a shooting comet. Michael Clark was enlisted to choreograph the moment of sheer energy of the strike and it was performed by members of his company alongside models such as Lily Cole. The resulting tableau embodies unbridled chaos and beautiful order simultaneously.
For McQueen’s celebrated Spring/Summer 2010 collection Plato’s Atlantis, (which was the first fashion show to be streamed live via the internet and was done so on SHOWstudio.com), Knight photographed Raquel Zimmerman beneath an undulating mass of snakes. Again the boundaries of the human body were blurred and the highly complex digital print on her apparel becomes almost like a second skin. In Knight's dazzling description of pattern and colouring, Zimmerman’s body, the garment and the wider natural world are synthesised into one hypnotic fantasy.