Today we're shooting with our contributing head of fashion film Marie Schuller. Commissioned by the London College of Fashion in response to Rem Koolhaas' Venice Architecture Biennale, the film has been a collaboration between Schuller and MoMu curator Kaat Debo. It features a 3D printed dress that has been created by Tobias Klein, Alexandra Verschueren and Joris Debo at Materialise. The film will be released on SHOWstudio on 6 November 2014 alongside three others as part of the upcoming 1914 Now project.
Iris van Herpen's designs are often poetic meditations on materials in a state of flux. From capturing the finest drops of a splash of water wrapping around the body, to interrogating the poisonous beauty of refinery smoke or mining the dynamic forces of repulsion and attraction between magnetic forces, her garments interrogate the behaviour of the elements, often following them through a transition between two absolutes. It is not surprising then that she was selected to collaborate with Dom Perignon to mark the end of their Vintage 2004, and the 'rebirth' of its Second Plenitude as P2- 2004.
Van Herpen responded to Dom Perignon's 'Metamorphosis' with a sculpture that was revealed last night at Hus Gallery in London. Concealed within a black lair, she presented the Cocoonase. Speaking of the piece, she said “The name Cocoonase references the butterfly which softens her cocoon shell before she goes into her next stage of metamorphosis. This piece of art houses Dom Pérignon Vintage 2004, symbolically nestled inside of the cocoon structure, and its fine ribs and lines represent a one-way passage out. Cocoonase acts as a shield that protects the Dom Pérignon bottle as it prepares for its metamorphosis.”
Appearing at first be a solid titanium shell or fossilised trilobite, the piece began gradually to undulate, as though breathing. It was was submerged in ferrofluid, a black liquid that can be manipulated when exposed to strong magnetic fields so that the sculpture's tendrils would spontaneously and randomly ripple. The effect was an uncanny Kafkan creature existing in a constant state of liminality, anticipating its eventual emergence.
If you have the chance, seek this sculpture out.
Following on from the success of last year's SPEZIAL exhibition in Hoxton - a showcase of adidas footwear from a host of different collectors including Noel Gallagher, Robert Brooks and Goldie, and curated by long time three stripe devotee Gary Aspden - last Thursday 23 October 2014 saw the opening of a second, bigger and better SPEZIAL exhibition as part of Design Manchester 14. The show accompanies the launch of adidas Originals X SPEZIAL, an archive inspired capsule collection of clothing and footwear curated by Aspden.
As well as including hundreds of shoes from avid collectors and celebrity fans alike, this year's showcase also included deadstock collected by Aspden and a team of sneaker fanatics from a fabled shop in Buenos Aires stacked high with vintage adidas. Their journey was documented in Soul Searching in South America, which premiered exclusively on SHOWstudio.
A must-see for all sportswear obsessives, the adidas SPEZIAL exhibition ends on Sunday 1 November 2014. We asked curator Gary Aspden a few questions about the motivations behind this fan-centric celebration of the adidas brand.
SC: You've likened this exhibition in Manchester to a 'homecoming' for adidas, could you expand a bit on your ideas about the relationship between adidas and the North?
GA: Whilst adidas is popular in most places there is a particularly deep love and affinity for the brand in the north of the UK. The 'brand with the three stripes' has been intrinsic and adopted by northern cultural movements for over four decades. adidas was popular with the Northern Soul fans of Wigan Casino, the Perry Boys of Manchester and the Scallies of Liverpool, as well as being hugely popular with Acid Ravers and nineties Indie kids. It was adopted by a number of great bands from this part of the world too - from New Order to Ian Brown, from Oasis to Echo & the Bunnymen, from The Verve to The Coral and The La's...
SC: How do these ideas sit alongside the collection you brought back from Buenos Aires?
GA: The concept of these exhibitions is that the content is for the fans by the fans. adidas support the idea financially (with all the proceeds going to charity) but we don't borrow anything from the company's archives. It is ultimately a showcase of people's passion for adidas. We always said that if we were to do the exhibition again we wanted it to have new content. The discovery of the shop full of deadstock adidas in Argentina gave us a great opportunity to document the lengths people (us!) will go to to find rare pieces of vintage sportswear. I feel this documentary (which was launched exclusively on SHOWstudio) gives context and has added gravitas to the physical exhibitions.
SC: In what ways has this exhibition built on the first one last year in Hoxton?
GA: We were invited by Malcolm Garrett to include the SPEZIAL exhibition onto the roster of the Design Manchester 14 festival that he curates. Malcolm loved the idea that the exhibition works on so many levels - it is an incredible showcase of product design but due to its cultural and sporting connotations its appeal is very broad. From what I have seen of the north of the UK (particularly Manchester and Liverpool) it has the highest concentration of adidas collectors on the planet. Whilst these people love trainers they would never describe themselves as 'sneaker heads', as it is an American term that represents something that bears little relation to their culture. The popularity of adidas in the UK is born out of a host of localised subcultures and that is something I personally have a lot of time for.
In Manchester we have invited a number of these local people to exhibit. Hoxton last year had just over 500 pairs - in Manchester we have over 800 pairs. We haven't used as many of my personal collection as we did previously because of the quality of contributions from the other collectors and ultimately there are limitations on space/shoe capacity/budget. We also have a new Kevin Cummins photographic exhibition which adds a new dimension to the event. We have produced a limited edition exhibition book and are once again giving proceeds from the exhibition to the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Once the Manchester exhibition finishes on 2 November we begin preparation to take it over to Paris where it will open at No.42 on 13 November - again working with local collectors.
SC: What is it about adidas that provokes this avid need to keep collecting?
GA: As adidas's popularity expanded globally in the seventies and eighties much of what was produced was handled by licensees who manufactured adidas products locally. As a consequence there are a lot of random licensee manufactured products out there and despite the company having thousands of old catalogues there is no definitive history of the company on a product level. We found some vintage running shoes called ZX390 whose soles were completely disintegrated in the store in Buenos Aires. When we got back we asked adidas Germany to resole them and it turned out that they didn't know which midsole to use as they had no record of this style in any of the old catalogues in the adidas archive for reference. The brand's history really is like a bottomless pit. Aside from all that I cannot think of another clothing/footwear brand that has the same number of bona fide design classics in its back catalogue which is another reason I love it.
SC: And of all the pieces in this year's exhibition, any highlights?
GA: Too many. There are some incredibly well preserved vintage shoes in there. There are also a one off pair of hand painted Stan Smiths from the Chapman Brothers which they donated to an exhibition called Platform Six. These were auctioned off to raise money for Stonewall and me and my friend Mikey managed to buy them.
This SPEZIAL exhibition also ties in with the launch of the first season of the adidas Originals x SPEZIAL range that I have designed. To showcase the range there will also be a photographic exhibition. Kevin Cummins has shot a group of musicians, actors and sports people wearing the clothing range and these photos are presented in the space alongside the cases of vintage footwear.
During a Giles Deacon spectacular at Kensington Palace the night of Wednesday, 22 October, Lindsey Wixson walked the show in a breathtaking GILES silk and Lurex Jacquard gown with woven leather corset and Swarovski embroidery, topped off with Stephen Jones' showstopping Pac-Man headpiece from his Spring/Summer 2009 collection. Having just landed from New York, the famed milliner was spotted backstage delicately placing it on Wixson himself, before leaving for another flight to Tokyo. Part of a series of 'Georgian Fashion Remix' happenings, illustrating the subtle ways that historic references are woven into contemporary collections, Liz Collins' video shows the moment Pac-Man arrives at the Orangery within Kensington Palace's historic grounds.
Edited footage of Alex Bilmes' In Fashion interview is now available to watch! The Esquire editor sat down with SHOWstudio's own Lou Stoppard to discuss men's style, women's magazines and why editors are all 'frustrated show-offs.' Bilmes also defends his past controversial comments on women as 'ornamental', as well as the magazine's attitude to women in general. 'We interview a lot of famous women and I feel Esquire takes them more seriously than anyone else does.'
Watch the condensed interview now and don't forget to explore the rest of the In Fashion series, including our chat with Bilmes' former boss, GQ's Dylan Jones.
This week's Subjective interview is here! Nick Knight continues his investigation into contemporary fashion imagery from the perspective of the model. His latest subject is Naomi Campbell who discusses shooting with Peter Lindbergh when she was just seventeen.
Campbell sets the scene, describing the boardwalk 'pissing down with rain' and explains that her inspiration came from Josephine Baker: 'She came across as very manic, we were trying to get that feel.' The supermodel goes on to praise Lindbergh and Knight, saying 'There are four gents in this business: you, Peter, Paolo and Patrick!'
Campbell also discusses her close relationship with Azzedine Alaïa, having lived with him and worked as his fit model with when she first moved to Paris: 'I didn't know my dad… He's a father figure to me to this very day.'
Watch the exclusive interview now and stay tuned for more as Subjective continues!
Sadie Frost's fashion credentials just skyrocketed. She appears in a behind-the-scenes film for The Vauxhalls, a short film accompanying the launch of the new Vauxhall Adam Rocks Air, produced by Frost's production company, directed by British hairdresser James Brown and starring model Abbey Clancy. . As she starts talking about her ska and punk days, out of nowhere these images come up on screen. Turns out James Brown lived with Corinne Day for years, and his fastidious attention to detail that he picked up watching her on shoots helped him breeze through his first filmmaking endeavour.
Our love affair with London fashion designer and rising star Nasir Mazhar continues as we launch new apparel from his womenswear line at SHOWstudio Shop. You can now get your hands on a black lycra long-sleeve crop top and sparkly pink mini skirt from Mazhar's Autumn/Winter 2014 collection.
© Anj Smith, Apparatus, 2012, Oil on linen, 42.8 x 38.6 cm/ 16 7/8 x 15 1/4 inches
Collection: Amrita Jhaveri. Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth
SHOWstudio is delighted to announce that our upcoming exhibition is with painter Anj Smith. Opening 21 November 2014, the painter will create a 'wunderkammer' spilling with the vestiges, mementos, relics and artefacts that combine to inform her meticulously executed worlds.
Anj Smith's paintings do not succumb to easy categorisation. A single golden hair painted minutely, is as likely to appear as a rock face hacked from crude impasto slabs. While the composite elements in her works are not inherently magical or fantastical in themselves, when piled together in sheer layers of paint, they acquire a mystic quality as though extracted from hallucination, intoxication or psychosis.
Smith's painting Apparatus (2012) marks the centrepiece of the exhibition. Ethereal, androgynous and with rouged lips, her sitter's pallid complexion and soft features are crowded with facial hair, dark eye circles and blue veins. Smith's muse is exquisitely attired and has seemingly constructed an armoured veneer from found debris. Embroidered drapery is ornamented with obscure embellishments that have possibly been sourced from the surrounding wilds. Wriggling beetles and insects have been clumsily stitched into place alongside grasses, a jewelled Chanel brooch and a bonzaied corpse flower. Clawing bats nest in the hair amongst feathers, fauna and shells that are lodged precariously into place.
Smith's cabinet features a wide array of objects that have served as a reference point for her work. Richard Dadd's handwritten manuscript The Elimination of a Painter and its Subject-called the Fairy Feller's Master Stroke details the schizophrenic 'spirit' inspiration he received whilst recovering in Bedlam. Plant-inspired relics from Mediterranean temples jostle with antique pearls. 17th century Mughal masterpieces are juxtaposed with a capsule library and glittering figeater beetles fossilised in 70's neon perspex. Detritus, Smith's 2009 Liberty print, also features, alongside Philip Treacy's intricately hand carved Chinese Garden headdress and Yoshiki Hishinuma's waxed plastic wind coat. Amongst objects lent directly from Smith's studio are grains of Stromboli's black volcanic sand, a skull found on the Isle of Mull and a treasured painting of a monkey.
Smith will also release a limited edition etching to coincide with the opening of the show. The exhibition opens 21 November 2014 and runs through until 27 February 2015. Don't miss it!
We are deeply saddened by the news of fashion designer and icon Oscar de la Renta's passing this morning, aged 82. Our condolences and sympathies go to his family, friends and colleagues. The world has lost an incredible artist. Rest in Peace Oscar.
Join us for the final day of our live editorial shoot with 10 Magazine! Today Nick Knight is on set with Victoria's Secret Angels Behati Prinsloo, Lais Ribeiro and Barbara Fiahlo as they continue to revamp the traditional figure of the pin-up.
Tune in at live at 10:30 BST to watch the shoot unfold and keep an eye on our Pin-ups project for further develoments!
Our Girly project continues! Read Lost Girls, an evocative new essay by writer and researcher Liberty McAnena. Focusing on the ubiquitous trope of the 'Lost Girl' so often seen in Tim Walker shoots and the pages of Lula, McAnena explores the unwavering appeal of this ambiguous character. Citing her influence on designers such as John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, McAnena deconstructs the fantasy the 'Lost Girl' embodies.
'She represents fantasy in a way that few other fashion tropes do - whilst jetsetters with Louis Vuitton luggage and couture-clad brides are not 'realistic' per se, they do have an aspirational quality…The 'Lost Gir'l is at odds with this idea of 'having it all.' She doesn’t seem to have anything.'
In addition to this great read, stay tuned for more Girly content coming soon, including an essay on Meadham Kirchhoff’s whimsical Spring/Summer 2013 collection Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing.
It's the second day of our live Pin-ups shoot with 10 Magazine and Victoria's Secret! Today Nick Knight and Sophia Neophitou will be on set with 'Angels' Devon Windsor and Ming Xi as they continue to reinterpret the codes and motifs of the traditional pin-up. Expect 3D scanning, innovative set design by Andrew Tomlinson, male models in an unmissable shade of powder pink and beauty by hairdresser Eamonn Hughes and make-up artist Laura Dominique!
Tune in to the livestream now to watch the shoot as it progresses, and join us again tomorrow for the final day of the shoot with models Behati Prinsloo, Lais Ribeiro and Barbara Fialho!
SHOWstudio joins forces with Sophia Neophitou, editor-in-chief of 10 Magazine and one of the masterminds behind the infamous Victoria's Secret Fashion Show, for a live editorial shoot! Featuring a gang of Victoria's Secret 'Angels' including Jourdan Dunn, Behati Prinsloo, Devon Windsor, Lais Ribeiro, Ming Xi, Sui He, Cindy Bruna and Barbara Fialho, the three-day shoot riffs on the traditional codes and motifs of erotic imagery, from fishnets to silk, reinterpreting the traditional pin-up into something modern and cutting-edge.
Watch live today, 16 October at 11:00 BST and again on Friday 17 October and Saturday 18 October to see Nick Knight and the grooming and styling teams, including make-up artist Laura Dominique and hairdresser Eamonn Hughes, at work. Be sure to stay tuned for further developments in our Pin-ups project including an exciting innovative take on the traditional pin-up calendar made using the 3D technologies we love.
To celebrate the launch of the adidas Originals x SPEZIAL collection, a premium, archive-inspired range curated by SHOWstudio contributor Gary Aspden, we are proud to present Sole Searching in South America. This 12 minute documentary follows Aspden and a team of adidas addicts (musician Ian Brown, notorious adidas collector Robert Brooks and adidas enthusiast Mike Chetcut) to Buenos Aires in search of rare vintage pieces - both for research purposes and to exhibit in the forthcoming SPEZIAL exhibition as part of Design Manchester 14.
Lovingly captured by photographer Neil Bedford and filmmaker Greg Bond, the documentary is a must-see for all sportswear fanatics, watch it now exclusively on SHOWstudio!
Iconic make-up artist Inge Grognard lent her skilled hand to our shoot for Rika magazine with model Codie Young. I came across Inge's work though her memorable collaborations with Maison Martin Margiela and Walter Van Beirendonck. As well as her work with photographer and partner Ronald Stoops.Using unconventional materials such as feathers, tape and tinfoil Inge created the image of a 'white wanderer'. Inge comments, 'For me a wanderer picks up things he likes on his way, like the tape, feathers etc... and those were my tools to create those looks.'Codie wears Alexander McQueen, Celine and Gareth Pugh among others styled By Rika fashion director Alexandra Carl.See the whole story here.