1. by SHOWstudio .

    Erin O'Connor talks Alexander McQueen!

    Today we are launching the next segment of Subjective, a series of interviews conducted by Nick Knight to unravel the history of contemporary fashion photography from the perspective of models. This week’s interview is with Erin O’Connor, who sits down with Knight to discuss walking for Alexander McQueen’s Spring/Summer 2001 collection, entitled Voss

    Right before she went out, McQueen told O’Connor to rip apart her dress, resulting in an iconic clip: ‘I was worried that it looked like I was victimised, and actually, it was the complete opposite. It was stripping away the pain, and the armour, and going ‘Here I am’. He pushed me, and I’m glad’. 

    Watch this candid interview now, and stay tuned for more, rare Subjective interviews! 

  2. by SHOWstudio .

    U.G.L.Y! The latest Tumblr takeover is almost over

    Our week-long Tumblr curation of Ugly inspirations is nearly over!

    Both Lou Stoppard and Ruth Hogben have been sharing imagery that formed the basis of their work on SHOWstudio's wonderful Ugly project. For Stoppard these consist of runway looks from recent seasons and iconic archive shows and quotes on the theme by the likes of Uberto Echo and Judith Clark, while Hogben continues to show Hitchcock stills, uncanny artworks and close ups of make-up looks from Galliano shows. Their references also converge, with both guest curators citing Leigh Bowery as an emblem of Ugliness. 

    Catch up on the Ugly curation now!

  3. by SHOWstudio .

    It's day four of the Ugly Tumblr takeover
    Lou Stoppard and Ruth Hogben explore Ugly

    It's day four of the Ugly Tumblr takeover, curated by our own Lou Stoppard and filmmaker Ruth Hogben

    In keeping with our tradition of Tumblr takeovers, where a guest contributor curates seven days of content around a specific theme, Stoppard and Hogben are posting the references behind the recent, acclaimed Ugly project. 

    So far these include runway imagery from the likes of Meadham Kirchhoff, Alexander McQueen, J.W. Anderson and of course the doyen of ugly fashion, Prada, interspersed with quotes from the essays and articles in the series. These sit alongside the inspiration from Hogben's film Beyond the Glass - stills and gifs from the classic Hitchcock horror The Birds and unnerving artworks by Alexandra Engelfreit, Bart Hess and John Stezaker. 

    Stay glued to Tumblr to follow the Ugly takeover as it unfolds. 

  4. by SHOWstudio .

    Our Sans Couture shoot is complete

    Yesterday and today, 1 and 2 August, Nick Knight has been shooting breathtaking haute couture pieces by by houses such as Chanel, Dior, Margiela and Schiaparelli. The looks were selected by Amanda Harlech who styled model Model Elena Sudakova, a Russian famed for her flexibility and contortion abilities, and dancer Olivia Cowley, a soloist with The Royal Ballet, in pieces that wrapped and enveloped the body. The editorial, which will go on to appear in The Independent, focuses on using garments to make abstract marks on the page, nodding to the movement in ballet and written music. Stay tuned to see the final images, and brace yourself for a beautiful fashion film. While you wait visit our coverage of the A/W 14 couture collections. 

  5. by SHOWstudio .

    Sans Couture resumes tomorrow, 2 August

    Today, 1 August, Nick Knight, Amanda Harlech and Alexander Fury teamed up on a live haute couture shoot. The editorial, which will appear in The Independent, focuses on veiling, wrapping and unwrapping the body and using garments to make abstract marks on the page, nodding to the movement in ballet and written music. Ballet dancer Olivia Cowley, who is a soloist with The Royal Ballet, and model Elena Sudakova have been styled in A/W 14 haute looks by the likes of Chanel, Dior and Gaultier, along with accessories by Philip Treacy and Piers Atkinson. Tune back in tomorrow, 2 August, as we continue to make music with fashion.

  6. by SHOWstudio .

    A new fashion film by Ruth Hogben!

    We are thrilled to launch a new fashion film by Ruth Hogben! Beyond the Glass stars model Saskia de Brauw styled by Robbie Spencer and forms part of our rolling Ugly series. The work is an exploration of fashion's fascination with deliberate awkwardness and vulgarity and draws on the iconic work of Alfred Hitchcock. It features fashion by the likes of Prada, Meadham Kirchhoff, Gareth Pugh and Alexander McQueen.

    To accompany the film, we asked historians, curators and writers to compose essays on the theme of 'ugly'. Soon, we will also be releasing mini films that unpick and explain key 'ugly pieces', from clumpy shoes to odd prints with audio analysis.

    Watch Hogben's piece now and experience that 'ugly feeling'!

  7. by SHOWstudio .

    Tumblr takeover by Ruth Hogben and Lou Stoppard
    An exploration of Ugly. 1 - 7 August

    We’ve got an exciting new guest curation on Tumblr! Fashion filmmaker Ruth Hogben and our own Lou Stoppard will be teaming up to create a special Ugly curation in celebration of our rolling series.

    Stoppard explains:

    'At SHOWstudio, we host live panel discussions to review the fashion week collections each season. During our debates and chats around the A/W 14 womenswear collections I found myself and my fellow panelists saying the word 'ugly' constantly. We talked about deliberate ugliness, kitsch, pointed awkwardness and witty bad-taste, citing everyone from Christopher Kane to J.W Anderson, Marni and the doyen of ugliness Miuccia Prada. I decided this vogue for 'ugly' and the seeming enthusiasm fashionable woman have for wearing odd, awkward or even downright hideous clothes was something worth exploring and investigating. Were they doing it in the sad hope of becoming a street style star? Or was it more complex, something to do with rejecting the male gaze? Around the same time Nick Knight was speaking to his friend the filmmaker Ruth Hogben, who'd got this wonderfully sinister and unsettling film concept in her mind that channelled Hitchcock. Nick thought that sounded pretty ugly so got the two of us talking and the Ugly series was born. We'd both wanted to work with stylist Robbie Spencer so we looped him in to select the fashion - the most wonderfully awful pieces from the likes of Meadham Kirchhoff, Dior, Prada. I set about commissioning brilliant writers to explore the topic. My friend and writing hero Alex Fury penned a great ode to Prada, while talented female writers like Lucy Norris, Ana Kinsella, Rebecca Gonsalves, Sarah K. Cleaver and Harriet Walker wrote about the way 'ugly' dressing is infusing every woman's wardrobe. Curator Judith Clark got in touch as she's long had an interest in all things ugly and offered up a brilliant article that drew on the writings of cultural theorist Mark Cousins. I also rang up Valerie Steele, possibly the most intelligent person working in fashion, to quiz her on the history of 'ugly' fashion. The transcript of our conversation can be read in the Ugly project on SHOWstudio. On Tumblr, we're revealing the inspirations and ideas that go behind that series, from Ruth Hogben's film references to past catwalk looks that helped me understand the history and development of the 'ugly' movement. Enjoy and remember, to quote Mrs Prada, 'Ugly is attractive, ugly is exciting. Maybe because it is newer.'

    Read more about the Ugly project and be sure to head over to Tumblr to see what Stoppard and Hogben are posting!

  8. by SHOWstudio .

    The final essay in our Ugly project

    On the brink of our Ugly film launch, we are releasing the last (but certainly not the least!) essay in Ugly, written by A Magazine Curated By editor-in-chief Dan Thawley!

    His piece offers an interesting glimpse into the menswear world, exploring how new technologies, fabric innovations and changing social norms have killed off the traditional peacock. ‘Beauty has bounds, and in the last century the ideal of the perfect male has been muddied by the ever-changing, liberalised attitudes of society that has embraced a wide, new set of norms’, writes Thawley. 

    Read this intriguing essay on Ugly, and be sure to watch the incredible fashion film by Ruth Hogben, coming later today, 1 August.

  9. by SHOWstudio .

    A SHOWstudio film screening!

    Last night, 30 July, we hosted an intimate screening to launch Ruth Hogben's new film, Beyond The Glass. The work is a central part of our rolling Ugly series, which explores high fashion's obsessive relationship with awkward, odd or deliberately unsightly clothing. It was styled by Robbie Spencer and features fashion from houses like Christopher Kane, Prada, Schiaparelli and J.W Anderson.

    To celebrate the film, and Lou Stoppard and Ruth Hogben's Ugly series as a whole, SHOWstudio Shop's Niamh White set up a pop up Ugly exhibition featuring work by Tim A. Shaw, Charlotte Kingsnorth, Rose Robson, Tobias Klein, Amanda Harlech and London Taxidermy. The fish sculptures by Shaw were a particular hit with the crowd.

    The fashion film will launch on SHOWstudio tomorrow, 1 August. While you wait revisit the many brilliant essays and interviews in the series, including pieces by Valerie Steele, Judith Clark and Harriet Walker.

  10. by SHOWstudio .

    Live shoot tomorrow, 1 August

    For the Chanel haute couture A/W 14 show, Karl Lagerfeld sought to create 'sans couture' – literally, 'without sewing' - by banishing construction lines to the back of his silhouettes, creating pieces that seemed seamless at first glance. On one hand, 'sans couture' can be viewed as the highest level of the craft: Lagerfeld has been obsessed with the technical challenge of creating seamless dresses of this kind for years, a preoccupation shared by pioneers like Rudi Gernreich, Issey Miyake and even Madeleine Vionnet, the original architect of fashion. But on another hand, 'sans couture' hints at deconstruction; clothes with stitches ripped out, cloth draped, wrapped and bound rather than cut and sewn.

    Toying with these ideas are Nick Knight, Amanda Harlech and Alexander Fury who unite on a haute couture shoot, which will be streamed live on SHOWstudio. The editorial, which will go on to appear in The Independent, focuses on veiling, wrapping and unwrapping the body, using garments drawn from the latest couture collections with intent to make abstract marks on the page, nodding to the movement in ballet and written music. Model Elena Sudakova - a Russian famed for her flexibility and contortion abilities - and dancer Olivia Cowley will become notes on a stave in haute fashion from houses such as Giambattista Valli, Jean Paul Gaultier, Valentino, Chanel, Schiaparelli, Margiela, Dior, Armani and Versace.

    Watch the shoot live tomorrow, Friday 1 August and Saturday 2 August 2014.

  11. by SHOWstudio .

    Kristen McMenamy talks Ruth Hogben!

    Today, 30 July, we are launching the next segment of Subjective, a series of interviews conducted by Nick Knight to unravel the history of contemporary fashion photography from the perspectives of models. This week’s interviewee is Kristen McMenamy, who sits down with Nick Knight to discuss working with fashion filmmaker Ruth Hogben on a film presentation of Gareth Pugh’s Spring/Summer 2011 collection in lieu of the traditional catwalk show. 

    ‘I could express myself in a better way than I could in still photography,’ says McMenamy. ‘Ruth created drama, amazing drama, and still showed the fashion. That blew me away.’ Knight and McMenamy go on to discuss the future of image making, and whether film will become the predominant medium to display fashion. 'When Vogue first started using fashion photography in 1910, there were only two fashion photographers that did it for fifteen, twenty years,' Knight points out. 

    Watch this candid interview now, and be sure to watch Ruth Hogben’s next fashion film - created as part of the Ugly series - launching this Friday 1 August! 

  12. by SHOWstudio .

    Dirty Girls!

    We're very pleased to launch a new essay in our rolling Ugly series, by none other than our own editor Lou Stoppard. Stoppard's take on the theme revolves around 'Dirty Girls' - visions of dishevelled, unkempt and unwashed femininity.

    Exploring attitudes to dirt, decay and womanhood from as far back as the 13th century, Stoppard focuses on the visual horror of death, the connections between physical dirtiness and imorailty as well as perceptions of the women who use a grubby appearence as a tool to assert their own autonomy and sexuality.

    'Poise and purity have long been associated with prettiness and with that passivity and traditional, regressive femininity. To be beautiful one must be ordered and proper. Like Kate Middleton. Dirt suggests activity, agency and autonomy,' Stoppard states.

    In particular, Stoppard's essay cites Dirty Girls, an amateur documentary short (and now Youtube cult) that examines as its subjects a group of girls in high school known for their grubby appearance. As she points out, 'The shock of their fellow pupils mirrors the outrage that has always surrounded unkempt women.'

    Delve into the fascinating essay now, and stay tuned for the release of Ruth Hogben's fashion film at the end of the week!


  13. by SHOWstudio .

    New fashion film coming soon!

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    We're excited to announce a new fashion film coming soon! Nick Knight has teamed up with Levanna McLean, also known as 'IfThisIsLev' on YouTube. McLean uses the video sharing platform to release videos of her dancing to soul music, thus earning the affectionate nickname 'Northern Soul Girl'. For this fun fashion film, Mclean will be wearing clothes selected by acclaimed stylist Katy England. More information to come soon!

    While you wait, head over to Mclean's YouTube channel to watch her twirl and groove, and check out Nick Knight's Fashion Mix featuring his favorite soul tunes! 

  14. by SHOWstudio .

    Listen to Liam Hodges' Fashion Mix!

    Fashion Mix alert! SHOWstudio invites fashion’s elite to compile a playlist of their ‘greatest hits’ to celebrate the link between music and fashion. Our mixes feature designers, models, journalists and photographers, and this week’s playlist is curated by designer Liam Hodges! Take a listen to avant-garde hip hop with Death Grips, Flatbush Zombies and Ratking, fitting perfectly with Hodges’ design aesthetic.

    Stay tuned for more Fashion Mixes, and browse through our current collection!  

  15. by SHOWstudio .

    Liberty Ross and Nick Knight reminisce about working for Dior!

    Today, we are launching the next segment of Subjective, a series of interviews conducted by Nick Knight to unveil the history of contemporary fashion photography from the perspectives of models. This week’s interview is with Liberty Ross, who sits down with Nick Knight to discuss working together on this sensual and provocative Dior Addict campaign. 

    Knight explains why he chose this photo, citing Ross' ability to ‘twist and turn [her] body and to maintain the believability in the expression and to be able to be so provocative and still stay within the beauty and elegance’. Ross continues, ‘It’s a journey you go somewhere mentally, your body does things you never believe possible… I’m prepared to go the full. Whatever it takes.'

    Watch this candid interview now and stay tuned for more, rare Subjective interviews! 

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