25 March 2019

Why The 1930s Are Having A Fashion Moment

The interwar period – an era often overlooked in favour of the vibrancy of the roaring '20s, the make-do-and-mend attitude of the '40s and the subsequent grandiosity of Christian Dior’s New Look – is a timely reference which has been creeping into the international collections of late. JW Anderson, Marine Serre, Paco Rabanne, Loewe, Olivier Theyskens, Alexa Chung, 16Arlington, Peter Pilotto, Roland Mouret and Preen were among those who tapped into the decade’s signature bias cuts, graphic argyles, luxe loungewear and caricature shoulders for AW19, namechecking '30s icons such as actress Marlene Dietrich, photographer Lee Miller (I've written a fair bit about her), and Ecstasy star and inventor Hedy Lamarr.


11 March 2019

Rough Trade, The Jack of All Trades

Last year, Rough Trade launched a new publishing arm. Describing itself as “bringing the same original spirit and radical direction” of the record label to the world of book publishing, the legendary label’s inaugural release was a collection of twelve pamphlets, the first in an ongoing series titled Rough Trade EditionsThe pocket-sized publications bring together the very highest calibre of artists, writers, poets, musicians, photographers, illustrators and thinkers, producing work relating to their relationship with the counterculture.

4 March 2019

When Old Meets New at Céline

Hedi Slimane’s sophomore collection for Celine, held in Paris last week, marked a definitive about turn: though there was plenty to suggest it had been in the fashion auteur’s plans all along. Gone was the dishevelled after-dark glamour of season one – itself reflecting the look he pioneered during his tenure at Saint Laurent – replaced with a riff on the demure dress codes of the 1970s and 80s Parisian bourgeois epitomised by Celine of the era, albeit in his own defiant style.

18 February 2019

NYFW Designers On The Up

After another year of struggle for fashion brands and even more questioning of the relevance of New York Fashion Week, you might be wondering, why are people still launching fashion brands and choosing to show them at New York Fashion Week? I wonder that too sometimes, but they still are. New York may be missing some of its biggest names this season, but their absence has allowed a new guard of designers to step out from their shadow – and boy did they shine. The sartorial ritual takes over the city every year, setting into motion a new cycle of trends that will trickle down throughout fashion for the rest of the year, and below, you’ll find the crème de la crème of the up-and-coming.

4 February 2019

Greetings From... Our Racist Past

Welcome to 1960s Africa – or, at least, ‘Africa’ as seen by a 1960s Englishman. That Englishman in question is John Hinde, postcard photographer extraordinaire. Having begun his professional life in the circus, he quit the big top in the 1950s to pursue a life in the then-new medium of commercial colour photography. Adventuring around the world, he helped forge the hyper-saturated postcard style that became ubiquitous during the post-war tourist boom. Giddily idealised, his snaps often tell us a lot more about the assumptions of a colonial-era Englishman than the places they purport to show.

21 January 2019

A New Time For Dreams

As hastily made resolutions fade to distant memory, 2019 stretches languidly before us, rudderless with the possibility of the unknown. It’s the hazy mood which menswear designer Grace Wales Bonner taps into with Grace Wales Bonner: A Time for New Dreams, a new exhibition at the Serpentine’s Sackler gallery that traverses themes of spirituality, mysticism, rhythm and temporality. Building on her process to date, the exhibition is unique in that Wales Bonner has worked directly with the artists and writers that have inspired her rather than using their work as source material.

4 January 2019

London Fashion Week Men’s: Ones to Watch

There's something satisfying about the way that the newly christened London Fashion Week Men's (formerly London Collections: Men's) falls at the beginning of January. What says fresh start more than the prospect of a whole new wardrobe? What better time to throw it all out and start again? But let's not get ahead of ourselves. The menswear industry is one in flux. There's been a quiet exodus from the schedule, with global powerhouses Gucci and Burberry (to name but a few) ditching menswear shows to present a unisex offering during womenswear week. It's begged the question: is a menswear month still feasible?

17 December 2018

Raising the Morality Bar for Businessmen in Art

It’s a bad time to be a white man producing tear gas in America. Between Black Lives Matter protests, resistance at Standing Rock and controversial border control tactics used on asylum seekers, the aerosol cans have become synonymous with conservative power. While someone is always going to be producing weapons like tear gas and riot gear, the recent protests at the Whitney Museum in New York are asking whether someone gets to profit off of the use of these items and also be at the head of one of America’s leading cultural institutions.

3 December 2018

10 Immigrants Who Became Famous Artists

Immigration, at its very essence, is a beautiful thing. Despite the circumstances people leaving may come from, and the bigotry they may face when they arrive, immigrants still carry with them the hope of a more plentiful life. In addition to being beneficial for those immigrating, the culture they import with them helps to make a place more interesting and diverse. Now it isn't always perfect, with many possible problems naturally arising, but overall multiculturalism is a staple of what makes society great.

19 November 2018

The story behind David Hockney’s 'Portrait of an Artist'

Flying over Los Angeles in 1964, a trip that would initiate a life-long emotional and artistic relationship with the city, David Hockney was immediately struck by the endless specks of blue that dotted the land below. Unbeknownst to him and his Bradford upbringing, private swimming pools were commonplace in LA, a standard social space that Hockney would adopt as a recurring motif for many of his major works throughout the 1960s and 70s. Among his best known is his Portrait of an Artist (Pool with Two Figures), painted in 1972 and, as of last week, the record holder for the most expensive painting sold at auction by a living artist ($90.3m), comfortably exceeding the previous record of $58.4m set by Jeff Koons.