Our upcoming exhibition in collaboration with Maison Martin Margiela is beginning to take shape! Centred around memory and the way reminiscence can be triggered by scent, the exhibition will feature 21 original drawings of personal memories inspired by Margiela's Replica perfumes. Jowy Maasdamme is one of the artists invited to take part and was given Margiela's Promenade in the Garden fragrance to evoke a memory. You'll be able to see the finished drawing from 28 November when the exhibition opens at 19 Motcomb Street, London.
Nick Knight has interviewed Sheila Rock for the latest in our Punk: Photography series. The iconic punk image under discussion today is Rock's snap of the Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's SEX boutique on Kings Road. Taken before she really thought of herself as a photographer, the image exemplifies the DIY attitude shared by creatives at the time.
'I think generally if I look at my archive, or what I haven't thrown out, and the different things that I've done. It's very much me just being fly on the wall or being in the right place at the right time or meeting people.'
This week saw a screening of a new fashion film by TOME at London's Hayward Gallery amongst their current exhibition of work by Ana Mendieta. The designers, Ryan Lobo and Ramon Martin were asked by the gallery to create a piece in response to the show after it was announced that their S/S14 collection was inspired by the artist.
The importance of the exhibition should not be under estimated. Ana Mendieta is an artist whose life and work has been largely overshadowed by her death. In 1985, Mendieta died after falling from a window of the Manhattan apartment she shared with her husband Carl Andre. Andre was tried for her murder, but later acquitted due to a lack of evidence. While the case failed, the murder and scandal lingered on. With her death shrouded in mystery, Mendieta's story rather than artwork, became the focal point of remembrance. Jane Blocker in particular made her disappearance the subject of her 1994 publication Where is Ana Mendieta as a means to examine the emission of female artists from the art historical canon.
In her life time, Ana Mendieta's continued aligning of the female body with the earth garnered widespread criticism as being essentialist feminism. However, this exhibition re stages her work in a new light. Gender politics were of course central to Mendieta's practice and the show highlights her complex treatment of the subject. She used pagan and shamanistic imagery as an antidote to the male centred, industrially produced minimalist work she was surrounded by. She researched these subjects intensely and chose symbols specific to particular cultures; often the Cuban Taino culture from which she was removed when her family emigrated to the USA. Her inclusion of these subjects can be more closely linked to the French masters like Matisse and Gauguin than her feminist contemporaries, and address a number of additional political and formal concerns. Particularly evocative are her Blood Sign pieces for which she covered her arms in paint and dragged them down the surface of a canvas. The piece mocks the objectification of the female body in Yve's Klein's Anthropometries when he used naked women as paint brushes for his signature blue tone.
It is amongst this seminal artwork that TOME screened their fashion film. Immersing their latest collection amongst the undergrowth on models wearing a palate of pinks and pale flesh tones, the designers pay tribute to the artist that influenced their designs. It's not the first time the team have drawn on 20th century feminist art for inspiration, they credited Georgia O'Keefe as the muse for their previous collection. By engaging with audacious, self assured and historically established female artists, TOME are creating the kinds of garments I'd like to wear.
Piet Paris dazzled us last month with his beautiful illustrations of the Spring/Summer 2014 collections. Nick Knight invited the artist to cover the Paris shows in his inimitable style as part of SHOWstudio's collections coverage, and the results were beautiful. Now his designs are available to buy exclusively through SHOWstudio Shop. The designers depicted include Comme des Garcons, Celine, Giambattista Valli and more. Browse Piet Paris' illustrations here.
The Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! exhibition at Somerset House opened its doors last night. And as we continue unravelling our own Blow series - from interviews to essays - we are very excited to bring you the next part: you might have seen glimpses of Nick Knight's striking exhibition catalogue images across our social media platforms, now you can see them all!
Knight shot the evoking Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! catalogue at her ancestral home Doddignton Hall. The result is far more than your ordinary catalogue - it offers a haunting celebration that captures not only Blow's incredible wardrobe but also her uplifting spirit.
The full selection of credited images is available now exclusively on SHOWstudio, featuring models Alexia Wight, Liberty Ross, Xiao Wen Ju and Anais Mali. You get your own copy of the catalogue in our shop!
Today's Punk: Photography conversation between Nick Knight and Pennie Smith concerns the photograph Smith took of The Clash's Paul Simonon smashing his guitar, a shot that eventually became the cover of their London Calling album. Smith opens up about the moment the shot happened, the fact that it almost didn't (she nearly went to dinner with a friend instead) and the factors that fell into place to make an image so symbolic of an era.
'If Paul's face had been showing, if… all sorts of other things, I don't think it would have been. It's because it's impressionistic.'
For the full story listen to the interview now. And for Clash fans still wanting more - check out Sound System, a limited edition box set released by The Clash in the SHOWstudio Shop!
The fascinating insights into the late Isabella Blow's life, style and personality continue as we launch three new essays on different aspects of the fashion editor's creative influence and the things she is best remembered for. The essays are authored by experts including fashion writers Kiki Georgiou - who writes on the subject of icons - and Katharine K. Zarella - who draws on her own experiences of wearing a hat everyday to explore Blow's love of chapeaux. Additionally, consultant psychiatrist and researcher Simon Kyaga has contributed a fascinating essay on the link between creativity and mental illness. Read the three wonderful essays now and stay posted for more!
Our Isabella Blow series is already in full swing, and today we're very excited to premier Ruth Hogben's fashion film, which will feature in Somerset House's Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore exhibition (opening tonight!). The beautiful film, which gives life to some of Blow's famous clothes, was shot at Doddington Hall at the same time as Nick Knight's images for the exhibition catalogue. Isabella's favourite song by Roxy Music is used as the soundtrack. Watch Hogben's moving film now and stay tuned for more exciting launches in the series as the countdown to the exhibition opening nears its last few hours!
In light of the Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! exhibition launch this evening, we release the next interview within our series in which SHOWstudio alumnus Alex Fury focuses on the notion of a fashion icon.
Revist the other touching interviews with the people who really knew the greatness and heart of Issy Blow here and stay tuned for Daphne Guinness' recollection.
Illustrator Richard Gray photographed the very beautiful Liberty Ross at SHOWstudio today in preparation for our upcoming exhibition curated by Maison Martin Margiela. The exhibition is built around memory and will feature an installation custom made by the house. Twenty two artists and fashion illustrators have been asked to smell one of Margiela's Replica perfumes and create an original drawing of a memory evoked by the scent. Nick Knight asked Richard Gray to feature Liberty Ross in his art work and the pair spent the afternoon in the studio together discussing the project and finally Gray took a series of reference images of his muse for his composition.
The exhibition also features a selection of some of Margiela's most intricately made haute couture pieces that were inspired by the act of reminiscence. These will be accompanied by a range of Line 13 products hand picked by the house that also reflect the theme. Opening to the public on 28 November, the exhibition will be hard to forget.
In the second of today's Isabella Blow interviews creative director Amanda Harlech remembers Blow as both a friend and collaborator. The touching interview sees Harlech recall her late friend's creative vision and the sense of romance and authenticity she brought to everything she did.
'I think powerful people are vulnerable and I think that was Issy's strength, that she felt so much, so passionately.'
'I think it’s hard to understand anything until you learn empathy and after that you begin to experience the world that exists outside of yourself. Punk is always portrayed in such an aggressive way and for me it actually represents freedom and standing up for what you believe in. I wanted to make something that was really pure and about human relationship with nature and how it reflects our relationship with everything and everyone.'
Featuring scenes from the Disney film Bambie, a reference which will take many of us straight back to our early childhood experiences, Cooney's film is entitled Loveliness. Watch it now and revisit our enormous archive of punk films.
Our beautiful Isabella Blow series continues today as we launch two more interviews with individuals who knew the late fashion editor. The first conversation with Philip Treacy is now live. The hat-maker speaks about meeting Isabella and designing her wedding headdress, as well as her role as an early supporter of his work, even going so far as moving him into the basement of her house so he would have a place to work.
'Her passion for young creative people was amazing, and her belief in you was what carried us. She felt after she met Alexander that she had discovered the next Yves Saint Laurent which was a big statement at that moment… and she was right!'
The Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore exhibition at Somerset House is open to the public on Wednesday, 20 November. In the mean time watch Treacy's emotional interview now and stay tuned for Amanda Harlech's launching later today.
My 3 word review.
Visceral. Sexual. Intoxicating.
Aza is wearing Pam Hogg while performing their song 'Holes'
Their website - www.manflumusic.com
'This time we are excited by the notions of copyright and ownership, new realities, screen language, new imagery, high density decoration, latent image and fashion film. How those desires come together in a new coherent and exciting way is the journey I am about to start.'
As they continue to shoot whilst being live streamed this weekend we share with you the incredible garments from the latest collections including Givenchy, Calvin Klein, Craig Green and Hood By Air - to name just a few - being styled by Simon Foxton.
The entire shoot was live streamed capturing the four male models in action, catching rubber chickens whilst wearing some incredible pieces from the likes of Nasir Mazhar, Givenchy, Raf Simons and Hood By Air.
Make sure you tune in tomorrow, 17 November 11AM GMT, where we will be live broadcasting the second part of the shoot featuring more amazing garments and street-cast models.
In the meantime check out our Tumblr to follow the process so far and even have your questions for Knight and Foxton answered!