In keeping with our commitment to providing a platform for new talent and emerging fashion filmmakers, we’re pleased to present Pippin and the Pursuits of Life, a fashion film by Femke Huurdeman. Originally the filmmaker’s graduation project, the short features the playful Spring/Summer 2015 collection of Dutch designer Maaike Fransen and takes the collection's ethos as its starting point. With a whimsical soundtrack by Ravian de Vries, enchanting sets and hair and make-up by Sacha Kambong and Sofia Commandeur, Huurdeman’s colourful film builds a world around the quirky garments.
This month saw the launch of our Unseen McQueen project, a tribute to Nick Knight's dynamic collaborations with the late Lee McQueen. Every day from the 13 to 19 March, we launched a piece of newly edited footage from Knight's archive of McQueen projects, along with interviews with the photographer and other individuals who knew and worked with the designer.
Today, 23 March, we're adding two new interviews to the series. Casting director Jess Hallett spoke to Lou Stoppard about the challenging job of finding models for some of the most celebrated Alexander McQueen runway shows, including Deliverance, The Girl Who Lived in the Tree and Plato's Atlantis.
Lending a scholarly aspect to the series, fashion historian and Alexander McQueen: Fashion Visionary author Judith Watt discusses the designer's work. In conversation with Lou Stoppard, she gives an insight into other designers Lee was influenced by (Jean Paul Gaultier in particular) and unpicks the vast amounts of references and themes within his theatrical runway shows; 'forget the tailoring, it's the research, his references that were so good!' she exclaims.
Watch the newest additions now, and explore the revealing project in full.
Our In Fashion series continues on Thursday 26 March with a live video interview with David Sims. Tune in at 13:00 GMT as the British fashion photographer talks at length with Lou Stoppard about his minimalist aesthetic and illustrious career.
Sims contributes to influential publications including Vogue, Harper's Bazaar and i-D, and has created distinctive modernist imagery for luxury brands such as Prada, Yohji Yamamoto and Alexander McQueen.
Streaming live, the conversation is the latest in our line of exclusive in-depth interviews with industry luminaries. Catch up on our most recent with stylist and photographer Venetia Scott, fashion illustrator David Downton and design duo Marques'Almeida while you wait.
Yesterday, 19 March marked the end of our week-long Unseen McQueen takeover of the site in conjunction with the V&A’s Savage Beauty exhibition. Over the last seven days, we revealed a series of newly edited films from Nick Knight’s archive documenting his creative collaborations with the late Lee McQueen alongside interviews with members of the designer’s circle including stylist Katy England, choreographer Michael Clark, model, actress and athlete Aimee Mullins and Knight himself. The project is still growing however, with new interviews with McQueen’s creative team being released today, 20 and Monday, 23 March.
Trino Verkade worked with Lee McQueen from the start, first on PR and later across all areas of his business. She spoke to Lou Stoppard about her relationship with Lee from first meeting him, through assisting Katy England to her work spearheading the late designer's foundation, Sarabande, which provides essential financial support to young creatives.
British set designer Simon Costin discussed collaborating with Lee McQueen on some of his earliest shows, including the S/S 98 Untitled, originally called The Golden Shower before being changed due to objections from the show's sponsor, American Express. ‘In retrospect it's very easy to say, 'wasn't that unusual?’ or 'wasn't that groundbreaking?’ But at the time you're just doing it. It's only in retrospect that you have that luxury,’ he said, on being part of the iconic moments.
Finally, journalist Michelle Olley shared her memories of appearing as the finale tableau in the celebrated Alexander McQueen S/S 01 Voss show. She was arranged naked and covered in moths inside a glass box in an image that paid tribute to Joel-Peter Witkin's Sanitarium photograph. 'When the glass dropped there was kind of this silence, and then there was this cheer!' she recounted.
Watch the fascinating conversations now, and explore the rest of our Unseen McQueen project.
This striking Nick Knight photograph is now on display at Westminster Tube alongside a series of night-time city scenes by Cecil Beaton, Corinne Day, Juergen Teller and more, as part of TfL's current Free the Night exhibition. Large scale prints by key photographers have been installed in the vast cement alcoves within the network of escalators at the station.
Knight's black and white image is taken from his 2011 Punkature editorial for AnOther magazine that channelled the raw energy of punk culture and merged it with the rarefied grace of the haute couture Spring/Summer 2011 collections. Model Harmony Boucher wears Givenchy Haute Couture by Riccardo Tisci in front of a cavernous wall of concrete found on a London street near to SHOWstudio's former HQ at Mayfair's Bruton Place.
The exhibition is part of a series of events that build up to the 24 hour opening of the Tube from September this year and the photographs will be on view until Sunday 12 April. It's a great reason to look forward to your commute!
Photographer and SHOWstudio regular Joseph Lally has branched out into writing, publishing his debut novel; The Infared Summer: The World of Dark Glamour. A coming of age tale set in in South Beach, Miami, the year leading to the murder of designer Gianni Versace, the book is available through Amazon. Grab a copy and dive into the artist's latest darkly decadent creative outout.
The fifth instalment of the successful Fashion in Film Festival, this year entitled Frame by Frame: Dissecting the Fashion Moving Image Now is currently being held at across three of London’s leading arts venues- Central St. Martins, Somerset House and Hackney Picture House. Running from 17 - 24 March, the festival brings together some of the fashion industry’s most acclaimed practitioners, from image-makers and journalists, to fashion historians and curators. An exciting series of conversations and screenings sheds light on the role and rise of the moving image in the fashion industry, and explores in detail the ways in which the industry is embracing and adapting to them.
SHOWstudio’s own Lou Stoppard will be sharing her thoughts on this important topic during a panel talk on The Shifting Landscape of Today’s Fashion Media, today, 20 March at 18:30 GMT. Taking place at at Central Saint Martins and also featuring blogger Susie Lau, The Sunday Times Style's Sally Bolton, fashion broadcaster Caryn Franklin and academic Agnès Rocamora, the panel will consider the changing role of the fashion journalist in today’s multi-media culture.
Tomorrow, 21 March at 16:00 GMT, Nick Knight will then be in conversation with film scholar Nick Rees-Roberts at the Hackney Picture House in order to discuss his innovative and dynamic approach to utilising moving image, including his work at SHOWstudio.
Read more about the festival and book tickets for the upcoming talks and screenings.
Last night we opened a solo exhibition of Nick Knight's fine art prints showcasing his dynamic collaborations with Alexander McQueen. The show coincides with the opening of Savage Beauty at the Victoria & Albert Museum and the photographs display Knight's arresting re-imaginings of McQueen's collections. We were joined by a number of the pair's closest collaborators including Erin O'Connor and Shaun Leane.
The exhibition sits alongside our online project Unseen McQueen, a series of interviews and newly edited films from Nick Knight's archive that illuminate the process behind these images. Viewing footage of Knight, McQueen and Michael Clark shooting the now iconic Blade of Light in 2004 is a particular highlight.
The exhibition is open to the public at 19 Motcomb Street, London, until 5 June. Opening hours are Monday to Friday, 11:00 - 18:00 GMT. Don't miss it!
It's the final day of our week-long Unseen McQueen series and time to unveil the last of our newly edited footage from Nick Knight's archive, alongside an interview with Knight and another of McQueen's collaborators.
In 2000, Knight and McQueen were commissioned to interview each other for i-D magazine. Filmed at London’s Hempel Hotel by Knight’s assistants, the conversation took place ahead of the launch of Knight and McQueen’s Angel project, a haunting 2001 sound and image installation, with exclusive Björk soundtrack that the pair filmed at La Beauté en Avignon. Only part of the footage survives, although all of the audio from the conversation remains intact.
In the last of our revealing chats with those who knew and worked with the late designer, Lou Stoppard discussed his work with American athlete, model and actress Aimee Mullins. In 1998, Lee McQueen selected her to appear on the cover of his guest-edited issue of Dazed & Confused, shot by Nick Knight. Off the back of this famous Fashion-able editorial, Mullins went on to model in the Alexander McQueen S/S 99 No.13 show, wearing a pair of prosthetic legs hand-carved from solid ash.
Our final interview with Knight unpicks the footage and the designer and photographer's creative relationship. Here, Knight discusses interviewing his friend and collaborator for i-D in 2000, the designer's legacy and his memories of their friendship.
Review the week's worth of newly edited footage and interviews now, and stay tuned; we'll be adding three new exclusive interviews to Unseen McQUeen tomorrow, 20 March.
We’re halfway through Unseen McQueen, our week-long project exploring and celebrating the creative collaborations of Nick Knight and Alexander ‘Lee’ McQueen. Each day from the 13 to 19 March, we’re releasing never-before-seen footage, dug up from Knight’s archives to time with the V&A’s Savage Beauty exhibition. While you wait for tomorrow’s content to be revealed, explore SHOWstudio’s back catalogue of projects with and about the late designer.
Interviewed in 2003, as part of our In Camera series, McQueen answered questions posed by global viewers, celebrities and friends in an often candid and sometimes outrageous one-on-one interview. His irreverence shines through as he responds to questions about Central Saint Martins; ‘a lot about hype and not much substance,’ whether fashion matters; ‘of course, does sex?,’ and when clothes will be computerised; ‘as soon as I figure out how to use a computer.’ McQueen was also the first person to be interviewed as part of our still ongoing In Fashion series.
A master of showmanship, McQueen filmed many of his spectacular catwalk presentations. You can watch highlights from shows such as S/S 99’s No 13 featuring a revolving Shalom Harlow sprayed in black and yellow paint by robots, the snow filled A/W 99 The Overlook and A/W 01’s eerie What A Merry Go Round in our Bellwether project. For the model’s perspective, watch Kate Moss talk about appearing as a hologram in the Alexander McQueen A/W 06 show, Karen Elson on her performative roles in S/S 01’s Voss and S/S 04’s Deliverance, and Erin O’Connor, again discussing walking in McQueen’s Voss ‘asylum’ in our rolling Subjective model interview series.
You can also watch the full length Spring/Summer 2010, Plato's Atlanis, McQueen's final collection before his death. The show was famously live streamed from Paris by SHOWstudio, see it here alongside another interview with the designer, the fashion film by Ruth Hogben that opened the show, and Nick Knight’s campaign imagery featuring Raquel Zimmerman.
Examine and recreate McQueen’s design genius with a downloadable pattern from his A/W 03 collection, donated as part of our Design Download series. A collision of Western Victoriana and Eastern traditional dress, the kimono-inspired jacket, like so much of McQueen’s work, references historical detailing whilst remaining quintessentially modern.
Finally, revisit Nick Knight's filmic tribute to the late designer, To Lee, With Love, Nick made in 2010. In Knight's own words; 'This film is my way of speaking about a very unique and important person who changed my life. My desire was to speak in some way about the dark and the light contained within Lee, and within us all.'
We’re nearing the end of our week-long celebration of Nick Knight and Lee McQueen’s creative collaborations. The penultimate piece of footage gleaned from Knight’s archives shows the creation of an image from 1999 for the debut issue of Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. The final photograph follows the tradition of Knight and McQueen collaborations in terms of its extreme imagery and emotive concept. McQueen appears bound in chains and hanging from his own flesh in a padded cell, the themes of torment and captivity symbolising the designer’s unhappiness working as head designer at Givenchy. The short film gives a glimpse of the image-making process from beginning to end.
Marian Newman is the latest of McQueen’s collaborators to be interviewed about her relationship with the ground-breaking designer. The nail artist speaks about working on shows and projects including the Alexander McQueen S/S 10 Plato’s Atlantis show, Lee McQueen’s last. 'Every time I did something with him there was always a story with the nails, which was great - and it was unheard of in those days,' she says of the designer's attention to detail.
In conversation with Lou Stoppard about his Talk magazine image, known as The Cell and shown as today's unseen footage, Nick Knight gives his penultimate interview on his creative collaborations with Lee.
Enjoy today's exclusive Unseen McQueen content, we'll be releasing the final piece of archive footage and accompanying interviews tomorrow, 19 March.
It’s Day 5 of our week-long journey through Nick Knight’s archive of projects created in collaboration with Lee McQueen. Each day, we’ve been revealing one previously unseen, newly edited piece of footage and today’s archive surprise originates from 1998.
Inspired by the Alexander McQueen A/W 98 Joan collection, Nick Knight shot an editorial for the April 1998 issue of The Face featuring Lee McQueen himself in character as Joan of Arc and model Shirley Mallmann on a bed of nails. The process of creating the extreme editorial and cover images was captured by Knight for his archive using handycams.
Sitting alongside the footage, in the latest in a series of interview with other individuals who collaborated with the designer, Lou Stoppard interviewed Nadja Swarovski about her relationship with the designer. The principle sponsors of Savage Beauty at the V&A, Swarovski provided support for many of McQueen’s shows and projects during his lifetime. Nadja Swarovski speaks about meeting Lee McQueen through Isabella Blow, her love of working with fashion designers and the ways McQueen worked with crystals.
As always, today’s newly revealed footage is contextualised by an interview with Knight himself, as he recalls shooting McQueen and Mallmann for the April 1998 The Face cover story.
Immerse yourself in our Unseen McQueen project so far, and stay tuned for more exclusive content, released daily until 19 March 2015.
Our Unseen McQueen series continues with footage from 2005. Lee McQueen and Nick Knight worked together to create the campaign imagery for Puma’s first collaboration with Alexander McQueen. Inspired by Lee McQueen’s passion for nature, the concept for the shoot surrounded the idea of a man morphing into a cat. The footage cuts from Lee McQueen explaining the process of creating the image to the shoot itself, featuring an athletic model and a live puma; ‘he wasn’t very co-operative, he just snarled a lot and sat on his arse’ noted McQueen of the animal. The film also shows the stages of laborious retouching that went into completing the photograph.
Interviewed by Lou Stoppard, Joseph Bennett talks about working with the designer on his theatrical runway shows. A British production designer, Bennett designed every Alexander McQueen show since Spring/Summer 1999’s No 13. He also designed the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition at the Met in New York and the V&A in London.
Finally, in today’s interview with Nick Knight, the photographer recalls the same Puma shoot seen in our newly edited archive footage and the difficulty of trying to recreate the 'power of nature... with a slightly overweight puma in Park Royal Studios.'
Enjoy Day 4 of our Unseen McQueen series and expect the next installment at 11:00 GMT tomorrow, 17 March 2015.
Day 3 in our Unseen McQueen week brings to light photoshoot footage, recorded, as always by Nick Knight for his archive using handycams, of a shoot for the 20th edition of Visionaire, guest edited by Comme des Garçons. The resulting editorial featured Devon Aoki as a Manga heroine and Laura de Palma (shown in this footage) in the controversial metal ‘Bellmer’ harness worn by Debra Shaw in the Alexander McQueen S/S 97 La Poupee show. Watch the 1997 shoot (complete with a very nineties soundtrack).
Our exclusive interview for today features Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty curator Claire Wilcox talking to Lou Stoppard about working with members of McQueen's team, including set designer Joseph Bennett, Sam Gainsbury and Katy England, to create the exhibition, which opened yesterday, 14 March at the V&A.
Placing the Visionaire shoot footage in context, Nick Knight speaks about his experience of shooting editorials with Lee McQueen, and their work for the 20th edition of Visionaire, captured in today's previously unseen archive footage.
Enjoy today's archive gem and interviews and come back tomorrow for Day 4 of Unseen McQueen.
It’s Day 2 of our week-long celebration of Lee McQueen and the legacy of his long creative collaboration with Nick Knight. The second item in our top secret line-up of footage from Knight’s archive captures the working progress behind Blade of Light, one of the photographers most famous works. The image features pieces from the Alexander McQueen S/S 04 Deliverance collection and was choreographed by Michael Clark. The behind-the-scenes film shows the group of celebrated creatives at work, posing the models and dancers around the gigantic perspex shape that formed Knight’s ‘blade of light’.
Explaining the footage further, an exclusive interview with dancer and choreographer Michael Clark sits alongside. Clark provided the choreography for the both the Alexander McQueen dance marathon inspired Deliverance show and Knight's subsequent Blade of Light image. He also opened the Amex-sponsored Black show in 2004 performing a dance with model Kate Moss.
Finally, in conversation with Lou Stoppard, Nick Knight discusses the making of the Blade of Light image. ‘When the models worked for Lee they were absolutely devoted to him. You hardly ever got anybody who grumbled about having to do these things’ he remembers on the subject of the physically challenging shoot.
Watch the footage and associated interviews with Clark and Knight, and get ready for tomorrow's archive Unseen McQueen piece.
It’s Day 1 of our long-awaited Unseen McQueen series. In conjunction with the record-breaking Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty exhibition, opening tomorrow, 14 March at the V&A, SHOWstudio celebrates Nick Knight’s collaborative relationship with the late Lee McQueen by releasing never-before-seen, newly-edited footage of interviews and photo-shoots from the photographer’s archive.
We begin our week-long McQueen takeover of the site with a 1998 interview with the designer. The footage shows a young Lee McQueen in conversation with Knight’s then first assistant, Sølve Sundsbø. The pair can be seen discussing Knight and McQueen's collaborative relationship and the creation of their first project together, a series of images for the 1996 Florence Biennale. ‘At the time that was happening I was starting to work for Givenchy and everything was going crazy.’ the designer said of the project. ‘I suppose that’s why one of the pictures I asked Nick to do was of my head exploding, because that’s how I felt.’ On working with Knight, he observed, ’when we work together, we think as one - usually what he was thinking I was also thinking.’
To accompany the previously unseen interview, SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard interviewed Katy England, who worked with McQueen as a stylist on his shows for 13 years. England speaks about how first she met the young designer, the collaborative environment of his studio and being busy backstage at some of his most iconic shows; ‘I often used to wish I could watch them but I was always backstage,’ she recalls.
Rounding off our first day of McQueen revelations, Knight also speaks to Stoppard about how he came to meet and work with McQueen as well as his long-term habit of filming his photo-shoots, and the making of the same 1996 Florence Biennale images.
Watch our first archive piece and the illuminating interviews, and stay tuned for day 2 of Unseen McQueen.