21 August 2017

Taking Spiritual Cues from George Harrison

During a trip to North India in 1968, The Beatles stayed at an ashram beside the river Ganges where they learnt transcendental meditation and wrote most of the White Album. It was one of their most concentrated spells of songwriting but the impact on each of the Fab Four had varying levels of longevity. Ringo Starr left after about 10 days, complaining about the food; Paul McCartney left a month later (but still continues to meditate daily) and John Lennon and George Harrison eventually quit as they needed to return home. The ashram was popualted by characters from across all walks of the creative industries who has experimented with psychedelics and were intrigued by the possibilities of meditation to broaden the mind at a level that transcends that of a trip. The Maharishi caught on to this and began building an infrastructure and using a mass marketing model to teach the transcendental meditation technique to willing Westerners as an alternative to drugs. George's spiritual journey continued until his untimely death, with his reference points and the sitar-heavy sound of a lot of his solo work evidencing that with crystal clarity. Here are ten tips from the man himself, as taken from this interview, on what spirituality meant to him and how to be Zen.


14 August 2017

Blame It On The Benjamins: Books

For the first instalment of a new series that I've aptly titled Blame It On The Benjamins, I've listed the five mighty tomes that I wouldn't hesitate to purchase if money was no object. Literally every book in my list served as accompaniment to an exhibition of the same name and for that reason, they're largely image-based with very little text. Whilst PDFs aplenty do the rounds of torrent pages and tumblr alike, there's nothing quite like the tangible real deal to pick up, peer through, put down and come back to at your choosing. Painfully limited printing runs have catapulted these books – and other niche fashion publications of a similar nature – into a new dimension of rarity, one which magnetises a price tag that's as weighty as the book itself. Better look out that library card.

7 August 2017

Lessons to Learn From David Lynch

Through the episodic medium of television, Lynch was able to create a multi-layered world full of rich stories, diving deep into the lives of its characters with Twin Peaks. After 25 years, the wait was over for fans of the show as David Lynch and Mark Frost announced a return to the mythical town for the show which is currently mid-third season and often credited for having paved the way for the golden age of television. Today, he rarely discusses cinema, or even his own life progress, without delving into Transcendental Meditation. Not surprisingly, Lynch consistently preaches the benefits of Transcendental Meditation, discussing the path he’s used to expand his mind toward catching cinematic ideas, as well as achieving inner peace. Here's some of Lynch’s best advice and the not-so-secret secrets to his success over the years...

31 July 2017

The Wise Words of Cottweiler's Creative Duo

Putting the 'suit' in 'tracksuit', Cottweiler's co-designers Matthew Dainty and Ben Cottrell propose a reworked vision of authenticity by giving an unassuming formality to the urban uniform. With collection references that have ranged from prison roof riots and patio furniture, to a dystopian cornfield set and a Hare Krishna-inspired live installation, the brand self-defines as "contemporary luxury". Having already documented the 'Wise Words' of Rick and Demna, I thought with this one, it'd be another chance to hone in on the extension of a specific type of relationship between fashion and subculture, through the words of the designers themselves, of course.

    

24 July 2017

A Linear Perspective

Frederic Forest started out selling his drawings on the streets of New York City before lending his hand to Hermès, Adidas and Cartier and then going it alone with his own studio. The French artist's illustrations are delicate with a confident attitude in the gestures he depicts and a nonchalance in the lack of technical detail in them. Forest mainly explores the female form and cites his biggest inspirations as the random moments running riot in his head and the women he surrounds himself with. After having one of his illustrations inked on my being at the start of the year, I thought it was about time I found out a bit more about his process, his highly anticipated new book and upcoming collabs that transcend the perceived limits of an illustrator's trade.

   

17 July 2017

Sound of the Summer

To celebrate LOEWE’s revival collection with Paula’s Ibiza Boutique and the third edition of its annual summer shop in the island’s Museu d’Art Contemporani, the Spanish brand have released Close to Paradise. The specially produced summer soundtrack aims to transport listeners back to the island’s most wildly hedonist nights in the ‘70s and ‘80s with an escalating tempo narrated by four local characters, providing unique perspectives on the island’s esoteric allure.

10 July 2017

Defining a Decade

In 2011, i-D interviewed Hedi Slimane about new youth, California Dreaming and the street-cast boys that constantly stalked through his mind in black and white. As he turned 49 last week and as another addition to my favourite interview series is long overdue, I remembered this specific interview which focused on his exhibition Fragments Americana, and his book entitled Anthology of a Decade; both continuing the creative's idea of allusive portraiture and signs. The latter also focused on emerging acts and individuals, through music and street casting which was Slimane's organic way to outline the fundamentals of what was about to happen – not only in his career and what he was going to do at Saint Laurent, but to the aesthetic of fashion in general. The idea was to put a generation into perspective, dissect the scene and energy that emerged and define the vibration of the past decade.

26 June 2017

Less Done Well Equals More

This transient world that we find ourselves on spins at as rapid a rate as we live. We rush through our day when there’s not always the need to do so, we acquire possessions and things that we don’t really have use for, we exhaust our environment’s offerings mindlessly and we take up excessive physical space that we simply don’t need. A number of trends in society have generated the notion of mindfulness – from Buddhist beliefs and traditions of detachment, to extreme movements in Japanese aesthetics that favour clean-cut minimalism beyond our comprehension. Countless best-selling books tell tales of embracing mindfulness and minimalism in combination across all aspects of living from simplistic interior décor to satisfactory eating habits as though a potential stepping-stone to mass-minimalism. In discussion with TreeHugger founder and entrepreneur Graham Hill, it became clearer and clearer why people believe that a life with less possessions and less space is a life with less obstacles and more freedom.


19 June 2017

A Moment for Magazines

There’s a precise power in combining words and imagery in aesthetically pleasing/engaging proportions in print that can evoke an almost hypnotic sensation in readers. Publications that have a knack for this more so than others are independent magazines, which seem to be crafted with more attention, care and invigorating design than mainstream publications. Despite it being an industry all-too-often pronounced dead, independent magazine publishing is in having a moment of impassioned output as the photography, graphic design elements and interviews that aren't published online have us flocking to our reliable mag dealer as soon as they hit the newstands. From travel to fashion, art to politics, magazine makers are producing important and beautiful work with a physicality that the internet simply can't provide and these are some of my favourite right now.

12 June 2017

Good 70s

Mike Mandel is an American photographer, based in Massachusetts, who uses the camera to create curious, innovative documentary-style images that double up as intriguing works of art. Many of his projects are some of the most selfless, fascinating research-based works of the seventies in which Mandel set about casually snapping people in cars as they drove by while he was standing at the side of the road. The Southern California native was able to document the real lives of ordinary passers-by in a unique and candid way for perhaps his most well known series People in Cars. All of the reactions were natural and the images are full of such humour, laughter and frivolity, that they create a timelessness that makes it extremely easy to forget which era they were taken.