Sun, Sex, Hair, Shadows
Tribute to Dali,
André Breton and the Surrealism
2015, ©Marianne Maric
Sun, Sex, Hair, Shadows
Tribute to Dali,
André Breton and the Surrealism
2015, ©Marianne Maric
In tandem with our Subjective model interview series, our rolling Transformative series also presents the history of contemporary fashion photography, but as told from the perspectives of the creatives whose skills and behind-the-scenes work helped create the world's most iconic images - the make-up artists and hairdressers.
This week’s interview, sees rising make-up artist Isamaya Ffrench sit down with Nick Knight to discuss her face painting roots and shooting with Daniel Sannwald for Interview. 'This was a custom built foam mask.. glued and latexed on and then hand-painted,' Ffrench elaborates.
From 9 to 11 September 2014 Noritaka Tatehana took up residence at SHOWstudio to create a pair of his vertiginous heel-less shoes. Tatehana’s intimate method was revealed exclusively in a process film as the Japanese shoemaker gave a step-by-step demonstration of the techniques used to create his gravity defying designs. Once the shoes were complete, they were displayed as part of a SHOWcabinet exhibition.
Nick Knight consequently shot the shoes on Daphne Guinness, a longterm champion of Tatehana. In Knight's latest fashion film, edited by Raquel Couceiro, Guinness floats gracefully in Tatehana's creations.
Watch Floating World now and don’t forget to explore the project to get a further insight into Tatehana's practice. Check out the interviews with Valerie Steele and Julia Hutt that interrogate the significance of the absent high heel or take a look at our Q&A with the designer.
Fashion historian and writer Lucy Norris has taken the reins of SHOWstudio’s Tumblr. Exploring how the historical anniversaries of 2015 influence fashion creativity, Norris has cut the century in four, looking back 100 years, 75 years, 50 years and 25 years.
So far Norris has looked at themes including war and peace, notable events of 1915 - such as the invention of the lipstick barrel - and the influence of Henri Matisse’s 1940 painting La Blouse Roumaine. Today she contemplates the legacy of the ‘Kitty Foyle’ dress; characterised by its dark fabric and contrasting collar and cuffs, which Ginger Roger’s character wore in the 1940 film Kitty Foyle.
Along with the new products comes a selection of new shop imagery. Photographer Sam Bayliss-Ibram has shot exclusive imagery for the SHOWstudio shop. Styled by his long time collaborator Jayson Hindley, the duo used street-cast models Nazifa, Kami, James and Blaze Kidd. Head online to explore the latest collections and Bayliss-Ibram’s unique photography.
Our Print project continues with a brand new interview!
In 1979, 18-year-old Perry Ogden and his Eton College school friends pitched a magazine that aimed to follow in the footsteps of Ritz and Interview. It was called Lipstick and would go on to feature the likes of Andy Warhol, David Bailey and Diana Vreeland.
SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard sat down with Ogden to discuss the zine’s beginning, how he defied Eton’s ‘£25 profit’ rule and his encounters with fashion’s big names: ‘You had to be very careful. Who would those people be? What do they represent?’
Ogden also talks of the surprising success of Lipstick’s only issue – ‘In a funny way, I guess I was proud… it went better than we’d expected. The next day or the next week, you’re onto something else’ – along with how he feels about his early photographs: ‘They’re fine. It was probably a bit daunting because, you know, I wasn’t in a position to be carrying around lights and I was still very much learning.’
I have to communicate with sadness that Bernard Baschet has just passed away (1918-2015). He was the creator of the fabulous dresses in the movie Who Are You, Polly Maggoo? (1966) directed by William Klein.
He and his brother François devoted their scientific, musical and sculptural talents to open an inclusive and social model for cultural relationships, claiming for everyone's aesthetic citizenship through the participation in art. They were aware that they were planting the seeds of a garden that will live long, blooming and offering fruits for ages. Their achievements spread around the world, and now it's our time to preserve and keep developing them.
I had the privilege to work with Bernard last year and we spoke a lot about fashion, music and sculptures for a special event 'Silence, oeuvres ouvertes'. Tiphanie Dragaud & Pierre Bal-Blanc curated me to do some research in his huge fantastic messy atelier in Paris. One year after, I showed dresses, some sculptures that had never been shown before and a lot of his 'sonic sculptures' in a big 'opera' with great musicians, models and dancers. A video and book will be released soon.
It's almost time for our next Tumblr take-over! Following our tradition of inviting a guest curator to take the reigns of the SHOWstudio Tumblr for the first week of each month, we're pleased to welcome fashion writer and regular SHOWstudio contributor, Lucy Norris from tomorrow, Saturday 1 August. Cutting the century in four - looking back 100 years, 75 years, 50 years and 25 years - Norris will be looking at how some of the historical anniversaries of 2015 influence fashion creativity. Stay tuned to see what Norris has in store.
As the V&A’s highly-acclaimed Savage Beauty exhibition comes to a close, SHOWstudio presents a tribute film titled Lee Alexander McQueen, 1969 – 2010. Incited by the arrival of the exhibition earlier this year, Nick Knight and the SHOWstudio team set about opening up his extensive film archive, searching for unseen footage from his collaborations with Alexander McQueen.
Sitting alongside our Unseen McQueen and Black: 2015 projects, this film by Knight - created with the help Younji Ku and Jon Emmony - features footage shot in 2010 for the tribute film, To Lee, With Love, Nick. The footage features some of McQueen's most acclaimed designs, selected by Sarah Burton with the input of stylist Edward Enninful in breathtaking motion.
Enter into Mary Katrantzou's eye-popping, reality-scrambling creative universe!
From Mary Katrantzou's earliest collections, SHOWstudio has admired and championed the London-based designer. Earlier this year Katrantzou was awarded the BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. Motivated by this achievement and the 5-year anniversary of the Mary Katrantzou label, Nick Knight joins forces with Katrantzou on There’s Something About Mary.
Showcasing some of Katrantzou’s most iconic pieces from her archive, this fashion film includes designs such as Typewriter from A/W 12 and Kite Runner from A/W 11 modelled by both Karlie Kloss and Lily Donaldson. Set to Prokiev’s waltz, the prints come alive with Younji Ku's pioneering 3D animations.
There’s Something About Mary unites Katrantzou and Knight’s shared interest in the possibilities and potentialities of the digital realm, offering a whimsically modern, ‘wonderland’ of prints, textures and patterns. ‘I’ve always been fascinated and inspired by digital innovation and new technologies, it underpins so much of the work I do for SHOWstudio as well as my ethos as an image-maker. I think those passions and interests are shared by Mary - her work, especially her pioneering of digital print, is all about embracing the new,’ explains Knight. ‘Nick has an amazing vision which filters through into the narrative of the film, beautifully capturing my designs and their evolution from past to present,’ adds Katrantzou.
Be sure to watch the eye-catching film now and for exclusive insight into the creative process behind the film, watch the on-demand footage of the shoot. The first part of the film shoot, featuring Kloss, was streamed live in 2014, and the second part, starring Donaldson and was live-streamed in April 2015.
In 2000, Nick Knight and Lee McQueen collaborated on their Angel installation for the Festival de Avignon, exhibited in La Beauté en Avignon. The work was composed of 80 gallons of live dyed maggots arranged in the shape of an angelic face. Seated upon a tall circular silver font and adorned with blue neon, the installation aesthetically mirrored the fly killers found in butchers shops. As the maggots transformed to flies, the facial form completely disintegrated, turning black.
The newly edited footage reveals the preparation for the installation, alongside interviews with Knight and McQueen focusing on the ideas behind it: ‘You get the most beautiful girl made out of the most grotesque thing. It transcended that - we didn’t want to put any protocol on the image. I don’t believe in stereotyping..I think beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ McQueen explains.
In conjunction, Lou Stoppard interviewed Knight about the installation. Knight forthrightly discusses his long term collaboration with McQueen and Björk and the significance of maggots. 'The maggot itself is an interesting phenomenon. Without maggots, you don’t have life. Maggots take away the disease from death,’ Knight explains.
It’s the second day of the return of our Unseen McQueen project, celebrating Lee McQueen's legacy and the designer’s long-running creative collaboration with Nick Knight. The pair began their collaborative relationship in 1996 and worked together continuously until McQueen’s death in February 2010, pushing creative boundaries right until the end.
In 2003, the CFDA commissioned Nick Knight to celebrate the growth and success of the Alexander McQueen label and McQueen’s CBE. A film of the designer illustrating a selection of his designs appeared on SHOWstudio at the time, titled Bellwether. The new edit features never-before-seen footage of McQueen sketching looks from his A/W 03 Scanners and S/S 03 Irere shows.
In conversation with SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard, Knight discusses filming McQueen sketching for the CFDA film. Knight talks candidly about the transformation of McQueen, his adoption of a public persona with his growing success and explains the concept behind the film; ‘the gentle and poetic idea of the drawing becoming real life,' inspired by the work of Walt Disney.
Watch the Bellwether film and the exclusive interview on-demand now. Don’t forget to look back on the rest of the series, especially yesterday’s Florence Biennale process film and interview. Stay tuned for more Unseen McQueen from Knight’s extensive archive.
Unseen McQueen returns! The exclusive project, launched earlier this year, paid tribute to Nick Knight's dynamic collaborations with the late Lee McQueen. Every day from the 13 to 19 March, we released a piece of newly edited McQueen footage from Knight's extensive archive, along with interviews with McQueen’s closest collaborators.
For the next three days we will be launching a piece of never-before-seen archive footage, accompanied by exclusive interviews with the photographer.
Today, take a look behind-the-scenes of Knight and McQueen’s first collaborative venture, a series of images for the 1996 Florence Biennale. The photographs, which feature McQueen himself alongside model Carmen Hawk, were the designer’s first step into image making and art direction and reference prostitutes’ calling cards.
To accompany the previously unseen footage, SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard interviewed Knight about the project. Knight speaks about image-making and the new possibilities of digital, ‘taking two very different images and bringing them together, artistically it brings you into a lot of different territory that previously you couldn’t have imagined,’ he recalls.
Watch the latest instalment in our Subjective model interview series!
This week, Nick Knight discusses his Christian Dior A/W 01 campaign with model Karen Elson. Analysing the shoot from Elson's perspective, they talk about the level of physicality required for each dynamic shot. In order to make the image look authentic, Elson was harnessed and hoisted throughout the process. It was this energetic and effective use of motion that created a ground-breaking campaign. ‘Going where we are right now, we think of Cara. We think of how fashion has transcended and changed into being a lot younger and more urban- from being haute couture to relating to a different generation and I think that this was the beginning of all that,’ Elson explains.
To celebrate and unpick Riccardo Tisci's long-running fascination with religious iconography, Nick Knight and stylist Katy England collaborate on a live-streamed shoot for AnOther Man magazine, using pieces from Tisci's S/S 16 and A/W 15 Givenchy menswear collections.
The themes of gang culture, incarceration and prison wall pin-ups, which Tisci toys with in the collections inform the shoot's concept. England adds her spin, creating personal male pin-ups - fantasies that merge traditional masculinity with the unexpected and avant-garde, just like Tisci's shows. Six models - each spread on a prison bed - will act out her visions, transforming into sensual prison characters, from the pious worshipper to the work-out-obsessed body boy.
Tune in and watch the shoot unfold live on SHOWstudio today, Wednesday 22 July from 10:00 BST!
Our zine-focused project, Print, has arrived. Is print dead? SHOWstudio editor Lou Stoppard doesn’t think so. Intrigued by the life span of modern magazines, she set out to gather some of the best cult zines – and their founders - from the past including Cheap Date, Nova, Twen, West One and Lipstick.
Watch magazine fanatic Paul Gorman talk Lou through his extensive collection and take a look through his archive for yourself. Curator and archivist of the world’s biggest magazine collection, Tory Turk, reflects on the history and importance of print while Cheap Date’s Bay Garnett looks back at the success of her zine. ‘It wasn’t about trying to sell people’s stuff and it wasn’t about self-promotion. It was pure and it was celebratory,’ says Garnett.
Don’t miss out on the chance to see inside the thrift-centric Cheap Date and more for the very first time. Stay tuned for new essays and interviews with the likes of Lipstick’s Perry Ogden.