12 March 2018

Remembering Margiela's S/S 90 Show

In the autumn of 1989, on a derelict playground on the outskirts of Paris, Martin Margiela staged his S/S 90 show. Since then, the Belgian designer became the first to instill the cult of invisibility at the brand, beginning with himself. As other designers chose – or were required to embrace – fame, Martin Margiela made a clear statement in the opposite direction. As Margiela / Galleria, 1989 – 2009 opened in Paris last week, I revisit the unorthodox show through the words of those who helped create it c/o The Gentlewoman. True to form, though, and despite any accolades, the designer remains as removed from the hysteria and histrionics that surround the fashion industry as ever. While his silence is maintained, his work continues to speak volumes, after all.

5 March 2018

Life on the Fringes of Society

“They are all trying – through bodies of work – to reflect the complexities of the reality of those worlds that they are able to provisionally pass through,” curator Alona Pardo tells me of the link connecting all the photographers featured in the Barbican’s latest exhibition, Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins. Engaging in the dialogue between art, society and politics, the show directly – and at times poetically – addresses difficult questions about what it means to exist in the margins, the role artists have played in portraying subcultures and the complex interminglings of artistic and mainstream depictions of the outsider.

Igor Palmin Untitled XVI, Stavropol Krai, USSR, 1977 From the series The Enchanted Wanderer, 1977 Courtesy of the artist © Igor Palmin

26 February 2018

Honey, I'm Home

Step inside the Venus Mansion – a pastel-infused acid trip blending Roman sculpture, modernism and 1950s nostalgia. Unfortunately, it’s not a place you can actually visit but a surreal digital series and the deliciously kitsch Instagram account of Korean artist, Lee Sol. In Lee’s outlandish world, an atomic bomb of pantones has exploded, repainting American suburbia in bubblegum pinks and sunny day sky blues. Michaelangelo’s David becomes Ziggy Stardust and Venus di Milo goes multicoloured. There’s a feeling of dystopia about the interiors of the Venus Mansion as cinematic mid-century modern scenes lay mysteriously empty whilst an eerie banquet hall recalls The Lobster, with a touch of Wes Anderson in the contrasting hues.


19 February 2018

Textured Tunes and Layered Lullabies

Emerging from the brutalist backdrop of the concrete city that shaped her, Pearl De Luna's hometown of London serves as a muse of sorts; for which the grey tones of winter skies and pebbled pavements alike are reimagined in technicolour. Psychedelic undertones and jazzy overtones are branches of a sound that has mellowed trip-hop roots, allowing you to hear her interpretation of a speeding city in slow-mo. With the recent release of her debut project Synesthesia last month and her upcoming short film which is a twisted remix of Alice In Wonderland, the 22-year-old talked me through her connection to synesthesia as a condition, the effect of place on the music you make and the artists she just can't get enough of at the moment.

12 February 2018

Collages Fusing Erotica and Escapism

Although he trained in engineering, Martin El Mas Flaco’s vice is making erotic collages, which he does under the pseudonym of The Skinny Type. Brought up in a small town in Columbia, Martin now lives and works in London where he finds a steady stream of inspiration in the form of magazines and books – especially photographers’ monographs. Using surgical tools for optimum precision, Martin crafts these collages out of paper, imagining erotically-charged scenes borne from his desires and fantasies. He plays with different representations of the male form, ranging from contemporary underwear ads to images of classical sculpture.

5 February 2018

Return to Jungle

As the first of a series of exhibitions entitled RTRN II JUNGLE, Super Sharp explores the Italian designer clothes – Gucci, Versace, Moschino, Iceberg and D&G to name a few – that were popularised through Garage music in the late 90s, but actually instigated by Jungle ravers earlier in the decade. Commanding a title that embodies both an attitude to dressing and references the 1996 DJ Zinc track of the same name, Super Sharp is curated by Tory Turk and Chase & Status’s Saul Milton and elicits a collective sense of nostalgia. It's only fitting at a time where financial downturn, social unrest, little belief in the government and their failings, and a general feeling of uncertainty could be said to mirror the social climate of the early 90s.

29 January 2018

Nine of Paris' Architectural Gems

Undoubtedly a beautiful city, Paris can thank Baron Haussmann’s mid-19th Century re-ordering of the French capital for its uniformity and elegance. But the French capital isn’t all boulevards. In fact, it’s a city where architect’s laboratories have come to test their new ideas for centuries – and today is no different. From the iconic Art Deco Théâtre des Champs-Élysées to the shimmering modernism of Oscar Niemeyer’s Communist Party Headquarters or Le Courbusier’s Maisons Joul, the city is full of stellar examples from every architectural era. It's been a year since I was living in the French capital for a brief work stint before starting a semester abroad and one of my favourite things to do there was just wander; here are nine mighty fine buildings I stumbled across...

22 January 2018

Giving Modern Its Moment

Relative newcomer 22:22 gives femininity to oversized clothes in a way that so many brands just can’t seem to get quite right. Sheer fabrics are the right level of risqué: you’re not over-exposed but it’s far from the frump and pompous of the opposite end of the tasteful scale either. I spoke to designer Jessica Pike about how Brexit will affect small fashion brands, the similarities between Paris and Leeds (yes, there are some) and how women collectively decided to start dressing for ourselves and not for “the gaze”.

15 January 2018

David Bowie’s Most Unforgettable Quotes

Born David Jones, the man we know as David Bowie flexed a plethora of personas across his five decade-long career – each informing the music he made at the time and the creative potency of his accompanying artistic projects. From Ziggy Stardust, his interstellar individualist of a carefully concocted rock star and Aladdin Sane (a play on “a lad, insane”), to the Thin White Duke and laterly, the cryptic guise of Lazarus; he pushed the very boundaries of expression until the very end. With both his birthday and the anniversary of his death falling in the past week, I presented ten of his most profound quotes for Another Man.

8 January 2018

Youth Culture Commentary

The Fourth Sex: Adolescent Extremes was an exhibition curated by Raf Simons which was held at Fondazione Pitti, Florence and opened 15 years ago this week. It turned a critical, illustrated spotlight on adolescence; a territory of transition crisscrossed by the most varied creative energies. In the present, 'youth' is often spoken about as a mere as a marketing demographic or a disembodied wash of colliding newsfeeds, so I'm revisiting the exhibition which presented youth more as a practice or a methodology – something that's teeming with questions and always becoming.