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In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

Showstudio’s Lou Stoppard has curated a new group exhibition focusing on fashion’s most renowned creative partnerships, Style Together at the Style Space Gallery, located at London College of Style, University of the Arts London.

In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

The exhibition delves into the behind-the-scenes world of the most “intriguing alliances”, such as Nick Owens and Michèle Lamy, Nick Knight and Daphne Guinness, and Shaun Leane and Alexander McQueen, highlighting what exactly makes the pairings so captivating, and showcasing the inspiration of a collaboration over individuals. In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

Stoppard explains: “I’m interested in lasting partnerships - the formative, friendships, the unions that exist behind the scenes or the decades-long working relationships that have shaped each participant’s vision and life.

In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

“These relationships are common across the industry, but their complexity has been under-analysed. How is credit shared? How is work divided? Is jealousy or ownership an issue? Is there a recipe for success?”

In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

Lou Stoppard’s ‘Style Together’ exhibition examines creative partnerships

Running until January 13, Style Together looks at how the relationships of each pairing facilitates the duo’s success in their respective fields with never-before-seen ephemera such as sketches, handwritten notes and fashion editorials will be displayed alongside garments, films and photographic prints.

In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

There are even audio recordings of the duos in conversation with the curator that give rare and intimate insights into the character and history of each pair’s working process.

Other partnerships examined include Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, Gareth Pugh and Ruth Hogben, and Thom Browne and Stephen Jones.

In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

Highlights include Shaun Leane for Alexander McQueen’s “Star” headpiece from the Salem Collection autumn/winter 2007, and Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin’s portrait of Clint Eastwood for the New York Times Magazine in 2005.

In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

The free exhibition runs until January 13 and will have an events programme of talks, workshops and masterclasses to accompany it at the Style Space Gallery, located at London College of Style, UAL, 20 John Prince’s Street, London, W1G 0BJ.

In Pictures: Style Together exhibition

Images: courtesy of Style Space Gallery

"Beyond Seeing" explores sensory fashion design

What does fashion feel like, smell like and sound like? With "Beyond Seeing", a research and exhibition project, the Goethe-Institute Paris explores innovative ways of fashion design that brings together the students of four renowned fashion schools from Germany, France, Sweden and Belgium and blind and visually impaired participants. The resulting works are stunning creations in between fashion and art, which will be presented for the first time at the ESMOD Graduate Show in Berlin on 14th September.

"The project is intended to make fashion discernible beyond the visual stimuli through interaction of sensory perceptions. Different target groups who never met before - students of design, blind and visually impaired participants as well as experts of different artistic disciplines - will be brought together for the first time in order to develop innovative design concepts," states the project's press release.

Given that sight provides 80 percent of all human perception, the research project explores the question of how blind and visually impaired people perceive fashion under those circumstances, being excluded from a whole universe of mass media images of fashion. 'How do they deal with the fact that they cannot see what is worn on the streets or how other people will react to the clothes they are wearing?', 'How do they experience colours, fabrics and surfaces?', 'What do they perceive that we fail notice or no longer do?', 'What does the term beauty mean for them?' and 'How can fashion be experienced with other senses than the visual one?' are some of the other questions "Beyond Seeing" explores.

"Beyond Seeing" explores sensory fashion design

The four participating fashion schools are ESMOD in Berlin, IFM – Institut Francais de la Mode in Paris, La Cambre in Brussels and the Swedish School of Textiles in Boras. Altogether, 50 sighted and non-sighted people came together to participate in the project, which was kicked off with an incentive conference in October 2016 in Paris. Experts from various disciplines – seeing or not seeing – introduced the participants to the overall project in talks and lectures. The project was initiated by Silvia Kadolsky, founder and CEO of ESMOD Berlin, and Katharina Scriba, program curator at Goethe-Institut Paris, while Francine Pairon is the educational and artistic direction.

"Beyond Seeing" explores sensory fashion design

In February and March 2017, research workshops took place in all participating countries to develop in a participatory and dialogical process creative approaches of how fashion can be experienced beyond the sense of vision. A creation workshop in Berlin marked the third phase, in which the design and fashion students developed innovative concepts together with the seeing and not-seeing participants.

The fourth stage of the project focuses on the participants presenting their creations in a transdisciplinary and interactive exhibition with the aim of creating a multiple sensory experience. The visitors – seeing or not seeing – will touch, hear, smell and taste as well as experience and interpret fashion beyond the visual aspect.

In addition, a large program of events is planned. In January 2018, "Beyond Seeing" will be presented for the first time in a transdisciplinary and interactive exhibition at the WIP at the Parc de la Villette in Paris. After the opening event in Paris, the exhibition will be shown in Borås, Berlin and Brüssel in 2018.

Photos: courtesy of Beyond Seeing
Grace Jones is the focal point of new documentary film

A documentary film, Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami will premiere on October 25, spotlighting the Jamaican pop culture icon.

The film, directed by Sophie Fiennes explores the the life of Grace Jones in terms of her performance, private and public life, featuring musical sequences and intimate personal footage to help examine the icon behind the mask.

The title: Bloodlight and Bami refers to the the red light that signifies an artist is recording, named ‘Bloodlight’ in Jamaican patois and ‘Bami’ which means bread, the substance of Jones’ daily life.

Produced by Katie Holly of Dublin based Blinder Films, the documentary is backed by BBC Films, Irish Film Board and Roads Entertainment.

The film will premiere with a Grace Jones and Friends Live event, livestreamed at selected Cinemas on October 25. The event will see Jones discuss her life and work with some of her closest collaborators, from the worlds of music, fashion, art and film, following an exclusive preview of the the new film.

Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami will be in nationwide cinemas from October 27.

Image courtesy of Grace Jones: Bloodlight and Bami

Kering to take part in European Heritage Days

Luxury conglomerate Kering is once again set to open its headquarters at 40, rue de Sèvres, Paris as part of the 2017 European Heritage Days.

The listed Historic building, home to Kering’s and Balenciaga’s head offices, will be open to the public on Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18. Visitors will be able to see inside the Balenciaga’s haute couture archives, view contemporary artwork from the Pinault collection and take a virtual reality journey into the history of the site.

“After the success of the opening of 40 rue de Sèvres for the Heritage Days in 2016, I wanted to offer a new way of discovering the unique beauty of this place,” said François-Henri Pinault, chairman and chief executive of Kering. “The two new temporary exhibitions combine heritage and creation, two fundamental values that embody the luxury group we are: the first, with a selection of works signed by renowned artists from the contemporary arts scene, both multicultural and universal; the second, through the creations of Cristóbal Balenciaga, one of the most avant-garde creators of his time.”

Highlights will be a selection of 23 haute couture creations by Cristóbal Balenciaga presented throughout the maison, alongside an exhibition for visitors to immerse themselves in the history of the House of Balenciaga and discover the creative world of Cristóbal Balenciaga.

Kering first participated in the European Heritage Days in 2016 and attracted more than 11,000 visitors to 40 rue de Sèvres in Paris.

Image: courtesy of Kering

Uniqlo will celebrate their Japanese heritage with ‘Japan Day’, a day of events and activities on September 2.

The Uniqlo 311 store on London’s Oxford Street will offer customers art workshops, featuring Origami and Shodo calligraphy; traditional tea ceremonies with Tsujiri, the 155-year-old Japanese tea house; and Taiko drumming performances, all spread over the stores five floors.

The Uniqlo rooftop will be transformed into a Tokyo themed bar for the day, with complimentary food and drinks. Accompanied by NTS Radio, who will broadcast a special Japanese live set from the rooftop, featuring a range of performers including Kero Kero Bonito Soundsystem.

The two have also collaborated on a limited edition Uniqlo X NTS T-shirt, designed by DJ, Foodman and Tetsunori Tawaraya, and available exclusively at the Japan Day event.

A post shared by NTS Radio (@nts_radio) on

Uniqlo’s Japan Day builds on the brands successful offering of unique experiences, with reasons more than just the clothes bringing customers to their stores.

Following Belgian designer, Dries Van Noten’s 100th show at March’s Paris Style Week, the designer has launched a book, split into two volumes to celebrate his shows from the first to the 100th.

Set to be published by Lanoo on October 1, the first volume: ‘Dries Van Noten 1-50’ features the first fifty shows, and volume two: ‘Dries Van Noten 51-100,’ the next fifty. Each volume will retail at a price of approximately 70 pounds.

“I like the idea that this commemorates my past so that I may just focus on the future and further evolving as a designer from now,” said Van Noten in a statement. “I originally published a book to commemorate my 50th show and so it came naturally to also do so for the 100th. The 100th show itself was a celebration and I wanted to make it last.”

Comprised in the book are 2,000 photographs that spotlight the runway, backstage, invitations, ambience and venues with accompanying texts, many of which have never been published before.

'A Nasty Boy' tests Nigeria's masculinity

Make no mistake -- Nigeria's "A Nasty Boy" is not a gay online magazine. In a country where homosexual acts can be punished with 14 years in prison, this provocative website featuring photos of men in mini-skirts is simply "pushing the boundaries and exploring masculinity".

Richie Akuson, the 23-year-old founder, makes up for what he lacks in years with confidence and audacity. Even in "bum shorts" -- the local name for hot pants. "Last year, I challenged myself -- walking through Abuja with silk shorts," he told AFP. "People insulted me loudly, they were making insulting comments, it was quite a painful experience."

He decided to recount his experience in Bella Naija, the country's leading digital lifestyle magazine where he worked at the time as fashion editor. His article, titled "Why I Wore Bum Shorts Around Abuja For a Day!", provoked a fierce online debate. The comments flooded in -- many to accuse the young provocateur of exhibitionism, others to congratulate him for his principled stand against convention.

'Huge, huge ego'

"I was surprised by the reactions, and I thought that we really need to debate these issues, to debate around what is masculinity in Nigeria," he said. His site's first online posts, published last February, were at best baffling to many in a country where everything associated with homosexuality is seen as an affront to religion.

Androgynous male models wearing make-up were pictured posing on a beach in Lagos, oozing sex appeal. Another article was illustrated by men sporting oversized Afro-style wigs and towering on high heels, lifting their denim mini-skirts. The images are undoubtedly provocative, but never sordid, and their quality is on a par with the major fashion magazines on sale in Europe and North America.

Richie claims that Nigerian men typically have a "huge, huge ego", and that his work is intended to hold up a mirror. "Nigerian men are always on edge to protect what they define to be masculinity: you have to be strong," he said. "No compassion for others, and a lot of money. The paradox is that it makes them very fragile at the end, behaving like bullies."

Having scandalised many with his initial web offering, Richie now plans to launch a print magazine to extend his brand. In a shoot for an upcoming online feature, he handed out outfits to his four androgynous models -- two men, two women -- in an understated Lagos hotel room decorated with floral pattern wallpaper.

He said he wanted to "transcend existing genres". But not by the hotel pool, which would be far too public. "Can you put this dress on?" he asked a young man with close-cut hair and a slim face. Abstrakt, a 21-year-old Nigerian singer who describes himself on Instagram as a "model and madman", resents being pigeon-holed and wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words "to be honest, I'm not normal".

And even if he was not overly enthused by the prospect of wearing a skirt, he did it anyway -- "for fashion". "And you... can you put on this men's blazer?" Richie asked a pretty young woman with long braided hair that reached down to her back.

'A Nasty Boy' tests Nigeria's masculinity

'I love controversy'

She wore the dark green velvet garment, created by a celebrated Nigerian designer, with neither bra nor trousers -- but with tights to preserve her modesty. "I love controversy, I've always been a rebel at heart," said the woman, Ajoke Animashaun, a law student and model. "In Nigeria we are so conservative. Girls have to be well dressed, be pretty, have their nails done... but I don't!"

For many women, painted nails are simply a matter of preference. Not in Lagos, where going unpainted is seen as an almost revolutionary feminist statement. Wole Lawal, a 22-year-old professional model, traded in his leather boots bought in London for baggy multicoloured trousers at Richie's request.

Like Nigeria's king of Afrobeat Fela Kuti, Lawal went shirtless for the shoot, joking that the hotel room's fierce air conditioning was freezing on his bare skin. "Nasty Boy allows men to show the other side of who they are," he said, in a deep voice, his face shimmering with glitter paint.

"(It's) an opportunity to know how it feels to be a woman... and I would say it's quite tough." (AFP)

Photos: Nasty Boy website

New exhibition celebrates fashion duos

A new exhibition titled Style Together will open in London next week, less than a fortnight before the women's collections are shown during LFW.

Curated by Lou Stoppard, Style Together explores the relationships of iconic designer teams and pairs, like Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler, Viktor and Rolf, Dutch photographic duo Inez and Vinoodh, Rick Owens and Michele Lamy, Thom Browne and Stephen Jones to name but a few.

The fashion industry is often seen as the home of eccentric personalities and unique, exceptional talents, but it’s the collaborators, rather than the individuals, who really push the industry forward and inspire this exhibition, says Stoppard.

Opening on Friday, September 8 at the Style Space Gallery in W1, the exhibition explores the relationships of some of fashion’s most notable creative coupling: “I’m interested in lasting partnerships - the formative, friendships, the unions that exist behind the scenes or the decades-long working relationships that have shaped each participant’s vision and life,” Stoppard told Dazed Digital.

The exhibition will show sketches and notes between the various pairs as well as garments, films, images and recordings – all to give more insight into the collaborative process.

A published book by Rizzoli called Style Together: Style's Most Extraordinary Duos on the Art of Collaboration will accompany the exhibition, featuring 18 duos including Proenza Schouler founders Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez.

The exhibition will run until 13 January 2018.

Photo credit: Style Together, source: Style Space Gallery

Burberry to mount major photography exhibition

London - Luxury British fashion house Burberry is set to host a new, major photography exhibition that aims to explore ‘the British way of life and character’ at its new show venue, the Old Sessions House.

The exhibition, named ‘Here We Are’ is curated by Christopher Bailey, president and chief creative offer at Burberry and Lucy Kumara Moore, writer, curator, and director of Claire de Rouen. Bringing together the work of more than 30 of the 20th century’s most famous social and documentary photographers, highlights from Burberry’s debut photography exhibition include never before seen prints from Shirley Baker and Ken Russell and Karen Knorr’s portrayal of Belgravia in 1979.

Burberry to host debut photography exhibition at new show venue

“When we started thinking about curating ‘Here We Are’, I knew I wanted it to celebrate a certain strand of British photography that I have always loved – one which documents the many and varied tribes and clans and classes that make up this island of ours,” said Christopher Bailey in a statement. “It has been an extraordinary privilege to gather together this collection of photographs, that have influenced me so much over the years. They provide a portrait of British life, in all its nuances, both exceptional and mundane, beautiful and harsh.”

Spanning over three floors in the room of the Old Sessions House, the exhibition will be held at Burberry’s show venue in London’s Clerkenwell. ‘Here We Are’ is divided into separate themes which aim to reflect the different aspects of British living. The new exposition will feature more than 200 photographs from iconic photographers, such as Dafydd Jones, Bill Brandt, Brian Griffin, Shirley Baker, Jane Bown, Martin Parr, Jo Spence, Ken Russell, Charlie Phillips, Karen Knorr, Janette Beckman and Andy Sewell.

“I have long been enchanted by British “social portraiture” – photography that reveals the ways in which we live, work, dream, celebrate and challenge, both individually and collectively,” said Lucy Kumara Moore. “I was therefore honoured to be invited by Christopher to curate this exhibition with him – he has such a deep personal interest in the work and his idea to host this exhibition reflects the brand’s expansive approach to the relation between fashion and visual culture.”

‘Here We Are’ is co-curated by Alasdair McLellan, who is Burberry’s latest creative collaborator, and will include a selection of over 70 of his photographs - the largest number of his work displayed to date. McLellan’s latest work, which sees the photographer capturing portfolios of images for Burberry, will be posted on August 29 onwards on the fashion house’s social media channel, with new portraits dropping over the next coming months.

The photography exhibition is set to open on September 18, two days after Burberry is set to show its September collection for women and men during London Style Week. Following its show on September 16, at 7pm, the fashion house is set to launch its collection for sale immediately and exhibit it at the Old Sessions House. “It’s the spirit of those photographs – sometimes ironic, sometimes tender, always truthful – that has guided our September collection,” added Bailey. “Together they will form an exhibition in our new show space, celebrating a very British way of life and way of dressing.”

‘Here We Are’ is set to run from September 18 to October 1 and is open to the public. In addition to hosting the photography exhibition, a series of workshops will also run within Old Sessions House.

Photo: Dafydd Jones, Magdalen Commemoration Ball, Oxford, 1988. Courtesy of Burberry

Nike to host events over US Open and NYFW

As one of the world’s leading brands, Nike have always been good at staying at the forefront of their customers minds. Now, as big events like New York Style Week and the US Open are happening, Nike are taking advantage of the public interest by incorporating their own events.

“We are committed to engaging in and sharing the creative spirit of the city through retail and pop-up experiences” commented Helen Kim, Nike's Vice President and General Manager of Nike NYC and East Territory. “It’s an amazing time in the city. We relish the excitement of the tournament and fashion week, and we all feel the energy of how those two moments come together.”

New York Made

Continuing their ‘New York Made’ campaign, which ties the city’s creative spirit and sport obsession together, Nike will put on a variety of events, brand activations and product releases.

On August 23, the second day of the US Open, Nike launched Roger Federers RF19! five day pop-up store, honoring the tennis icon’s style. The pop-up features the latest NikeCourt Collection, accompanied by the long awaited new Zoom Vapor Air Jordan 3.

Next in the schedule will be the launch of Nike Off Campus, in collaboration with Virgil Abloh. Set to be launched on September 6, the space will combine sport, design and innovation in a cultural learning environment. Abloh himself will be hosting a range of workshops with leading contemporary designers to promote ‘The Ten’ over three days.

Nike to host events over US Open and NYFW

September 9, Nike by You, Jersey Suite will open in the Nike Soho store and will allow personalisation of jerseys, with names, numbers and custom patches by artist Eric Elms.

Nike to host events over US Open and NYFW

As Nike engage customers with exclusive experiences, they also prove that a conventional collection launch works for customers. The Jordan x Public School New York, ready-to-wear collection will be featured during NYFW on September 10.

Nike to host events over US Open and NYFW

To round off a succession of events, Nike By You Studio will open on September 16, offering the best of Nike’s customisation, and co-creation experiences.

As the retail sector remains a difficult area for brands, Nike are proving that retail spaces cannot be just about shopping anymore. Instead, unique experiences for customers, with the chance to buy products, seems the more successful route.

Photos courtesy of Nike