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  1. by Ross Phillips .

    Now with sound!

    I have made a version of the 'fragments of me' interactive with sound. Liberty Ross will be happy as she has been keen for this to happen since the project started. The problem has been that the addition of sound increases the individual clip size to somewhere approaching 200k which means, in my opinion, you have to wait slightly too long for each clip to load. We have solved this dilemma by simply giving you, the viewer, two versions to choose from. Consider it an early Christmas present.

  2. by Penny Martin .

    Collections Stories

    The performance event that will conclude Liberty Ross's project is shaping up, as matters arising from yesterday's meeting with Jonathan Kaye take effect.

    Nick Knight asked Jonathan to deconstruct the thousands of looks presented at the Autumn/Winter collections shows in February/March (this is standard for a collections story) and he came in with 13 key themes that suggest potential 'characters' for you, the viewer, to dress Liberty as. These include: ecclesiastical, military, Navajo/fringed/veiled, Edwardian, sixties, volume etc. As a freelance stylist, Jonathan can generally afford to be more picky than this broad survey would suggest in his own work, and rarely works in this literal way. However, we felt it is important that in acting as 'virtual stylists', viewers get the chance to act as a stylist on the books of a magazine would and be forced to meet the challenge that each trend presents.

    We haven't quite finalised how this 'mood board' imagery will now be presented on the site, but it might be the main way that viewers get to familiarise themselves with the clothes in advance of the shoot. One issue is to select looks that comprise sufficient activity in their undressing to warrant the six-or-so shots that Nick envisages. The trend headings have been e-mailed through to Liberty, so expect to see the references leak into Liberty's engrossing 'Fragments of Me' project. Today's a belter! Altogether now: 'lay a blanket on the ground'....

  3. by Christabel Stewart .

    I Feel

    A posthumous addition to 'SITTINGS', Jean Francois-Carly's elegant filmic rogues gallery establishes a series of beautiful 'before and after' portraits of the models from Raf Simons A/W '05-6 show. For anyone that followed the daily transformations involved in Simon Foxton's living magazine pages closely the paralells will be clear.

  4. by Penny Martin .

    Complimentary commissioning & porno propriety

    Just as Jean Francois-Carly's film is being posted today as a 'complimentary project' to sit in the overall context of Simon Foxton's SITTINGS (though Foxton was neither author nor its commissioner), we are also looking for something interpretative to position against 'DRESS ME UP, DRESS ME DOWN'. As that project references a very specific and fairly recent genre of internet pornography, we thought it might be interesting to commission someone to document the environs where 'one-to-one video chats' are broadcast from.

    I have been keen to work with the photographer Jonathan de Villiers for some time (a spread from his beautifully printed, massive magazine that he made for last year's Hyères festival is pictured above: the entire magazine was shot by him; even the 'ads' that 'bookend' its editorial). Not only has his editorial been reflexively dealing with the concept of the photographic process (that is bedrock to SHOWstudio) for some time, he is one of the fashion photographers that has -gasp- *genuinely original ideas* and isn't afraid to put those he collaborates with through the mill to achieve them (his stunts remind me of the late John Cowan). In a climate where just about everyone is 'chasing the campaign' via conservative editorial, this maverick pursuit of the virtuoso is surprisingly rare.

    Jonathan has also been working in film (he did a short with the artist Jacqueline Hassink as part of her 'Car Girls' project), so I asked him if he might consider doing a deadpan documentary, detailing the kinds of places and girls that make up this peculiar world of sex performance. This resulted in a very interesting phonecall about the propriety of editorial that purports to 'cover' the issue of pornography. Jonathan's pretty bright, so I don't know if I do his rationale justice here, but his central argument was that he feels pictures 'about' pornography also ARE pornography, since their role is equally to titillate, albeit less directly. (A bit like Magritte's painting of a pipe not being a pipe but a *representation* of a pipe if you want to get all semiotic on me). Jonathan was also very interesting on the role of the photographer and their guilty complicity in controlling and constraining the model. This is a compelling development from the standard Feminist rant on fashion and pornography. Perhaps we should get Jonathan to write something about why he didn't undertake the project instead of pushing for the film?!

    With projects like Tom Hingston's 'Porn?' book, which dealt with fashion photography's recent obsession with pornography, and obviously, with Larry Sultan's extraordinary pictures of the L.A. sex industry, it may be that there is little else, visually, to say. It's an interesting conundrum. With pornography always having been the force behind progressing the photographic medium (from Daguerreotypes and Polaroid to home video) I can hardly imagine that the last word has been uttered.

  5. by Penny Martin .

    Junya Watanabe exclusive coming up

    We are utterly delighted to announce that as part of the Liberty Ross's 'Dress Me Up, Dress Me Down' project, the brilliant Japanese designer Junya Watanabe has offered to contribute a garment pattern from his forthcoming Autumn/Winter 2005-6 (not-yet-in-the-shops) collection. Picked out by Liberty Ross from Jonathan Kaye's draft selection for the live event at the end of next month, the pattern is for a wool and pvc dress (pictured above). The pattern will be available (free of charge) for you, the viewer, to make up in advance of the event (urging you to engage with the draping and cutting techniques of the designers represented forces you to enter into the spirit of the coming season, no?). We expect it to be launched in 2-3 weeks. Forgive me for gushing, but Watanabe has been a heinous omission from our contributors list and this is a longstanding personal aspiration fulfilled. Hurray!

  6. by SHOWstudio .

    Casting

    The panel are ready and waiting for London's finest: Simon Foxton's conducting a casting for 10 Men, 14: 00 - 15:00hrs (UK)

  7. by SHOWstudio .

    Sanderson Bob

    Sanderson Bob, formerly of The Designers Republic, came in today to discuss his part in the design of DRESS ME UP, DRESS ME DOWN. We've been looking for an excuse to incorporate his ideas into a SHOWstudio project ever since he showed us his book last year and, with the theme of Liberty Ross's project being such a goldmine of design possibilities, we thought it fair to share our good fortune.

    You can see Sanderson's (or is that Bob's?) work for yourself at www.sandersonbob.com. He'll be reporting back with his initial ideas next week so stay tuned.

  8. by Penny Martin .

    Redress

    As it turns out, it was in fact this dress that was photographed over the weekend, to accompany the forthcoming downloadable pattern. Be glad, for the more demure among you, that this one covers your knees! The pattern itself is currently winging its way from Junya Watanabe HQ in Japan to Comme des Garcons press central in Paris and will be with us in a few days, for scanning and 'tiling'. So if you haven't got your Singer sewing machines at the ready, then prime your Grandma for what she'll be spending the next few weeks doing... As ever, there will be a gallery, and our expectations were never higher.

  9. by Ross Phillips .

    Super Busy

    Liberty Ross's clips for the 'Fragments of Me' interactive have been coming in every day and she's built up a varied body of work (pun intended) for you to mix and match. However, her cameraman is super busy so the clips will be coming in sporadically over the next couple of weeks. So keep checking back!

    On a related note, we are also planning on posting lots of video clips from behind the scenes at some of Nick Knight's old shoots. The clips have been edited, compressed and are currently being looked at by Nick and Liberty to decide what stays and what goes...

  10. by Paul Hetherington .

    Something amazing this way comes

    Later this year SHOWstudio may be coming to a city near you. Contained in this 1m x 1m x 2m glass cube, you will have an opportunity to become part of the AMAZE ME project. Designer Wayne Daly and I have been designing and prototyping the booth for a few months now – maybe you have seen it on the webcams – a 'self contained microstudio’ concept. The visual element seems to be finally there at last, and now we just have to sort the audio.

    If you can get yourself to London, Antwerp, Paris, Berlin, Barcelona or Rome during the Autumn season, and have half a minute to spare, then that's all it takes to become part of the project.

    We will reveal all in due course, but it’s a ‘need to know’ basis at the moment.

  11. by Paul Bruty .

    Bob

    Since last week's meeting with Sanderson Bob, or Bob as we now know him, the project design for DRESS ME UP, DRESS ME DOWN is taking good shape.

    This particular good shape was hanging around on the periphery of one of Bob's design layouts and, although not intended for our consumption, is now set to play a major role in the branding of the entire project.

    Most of Bob's week has been spent designing stylist, Jonathan Kaye's looks pages and the finished articles are due to be launched sometime next week.

  12. by Penny Martin .

    Liberty's mulling them over

    To those of you who have been desperately checking for Liberty Ross's answers to your questions (and there have been hundreds of them...) apologies. As Ross Phillips said earlier, she has been away filming with her husband and will respond on her return. Only, Ms Ross has requested a break from her daily updates around the end of the month, so this is your last chance to put your questions to Liberty before the ultimate one-on-one event, which is now pencilled in for June 28, 29 & 30.

  13. by SHOWstudio .

    Deer Nick

    This series of mysterious packages, sent to Nick Knight at SHOWstudio, had us flummoxed. Until we worked out that the key to the sequence lay in the 'Nick' badge, pinned to the deer. One of the more, er, arresting pleas for assisting experience but it's missing a contact address... Do you know him? We'd like to thank him for the delicious chocolates!!

  14. by Paul Hetherington .

    Shanghai Suprise

    I’ve arrived in Shanghai today, here to give a SHOWstudio
    presentation as part of Rick Poynor’s excellent ‘Communicate’ graphics exhibition, which the British Council is touring to four cities in China.

    The seminar for the opening of the exhibition in Shanghai is focusing on web and interactive design, this is an important growth area in Shanghai and an increasing number of businesses and creatives are exploring this medium. The exhibition opens on the 2nd of June at 3pm and the seminar is scheduled for the 3rd of June at 2pm.

    If you’re attending the talk at the Shanghai Urban Planning Centre, then I’ll very pleased to see you there. If not then you can see more about this exhibition on the Barbican website.

  15. by Penny Martin .

    Central Saint Martins BA Fashion Show

    We don't generally cover each and every graduate presentation, but I think it's worth blogging last night's St. Martins show as its themes were quite marked. We've been focusing on fashion performance for some time at SHOWstudio (think: Transformer, fashion films, the live shoots and picture message projects), but rarely do you see performance translated onto the catwalk at student level.

    Spectacle and narrative are treasured aspects of some of the more established fashion houses' presentations (John Galliano's famous steam train in his Pocahontas S/S '99 couture show, Viktor & Rolf's ribbon-strewn S/S '05 tableau, Alexander McQueen's S/S '04 marathon danceathon and Jessica Ogden's boudoir sequence starring our very own Liberty Ross for A/W '04 are obvious examples). Without the production budgets and choreographers at those designers' disposal, however, the potential for performance to tip over into am-dram is perhaps too great.

    Credit is due, then, to graduates Josephine Sundt (who pulled off a Viktor & Rolf-alike tableau, complete with rite-of-spring maypole, without a titter) and Yuya Abe, whose installation with placards and plinths was very effective while people took forever to be seated. Yoshikazu Yamagata's Hans Christian Andersen-inspired fashion freak show finale gave me The Embarrassing Feeling, however. I guess that was its point. A fashion show within a fashion show, his giant knitted characters hi-jacked the catwalk to parody the occasion and the industry itself. All the staple characters were there: a corpulent, knitted catwalk photographer took his place in front of the photographers pit as some downright mean, woolly caricatures of fashion editors Hilary Alexander (Telegraph) and Diane Pernet (Disciple Films) plonked themselves down on the front row. Next, a series of stereotypical 'freaks' (the cripple, the hairy 'thing', the fat woman) paraded down the runway. Ah, well. The crowd seemed to love it.

    The other big trend suggested by the show was an alarming shift towards infantilism: lots of big baby-doll dresses on grown up women. Never a good look, not even on the Turner Prize winner Grayson Perry who was there to hand over the Menswear prize (a shrewd press fudge, making all those sugar-sweet frills in the collections seem knowing...) The star, though, was Gemma Ainsworth's hard-faced prom bitches in peach (pictured - a big thanks to Chris Moore at catwalking.com for lending his splendid image). As Ainsworth's models formed a frieze at the back of the runway to Tina Turner's 'Simply The Best' a bit of cheeky elegance rescued the night from panto excess.

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