At the forefront of London street culture & at the zeitgeist of the British working class, Samual Ross’s A-Cold-Wall* put on his most accomplished show to date on Sunday in East London’s Old Truman Brewery, his first after previous seasons of showing at the BFC space. The viewers, on entering the space, were each given a vacuum pack of safety goggles, ear plugs and a ventilation mask. The show began with a group of models wearing full clay covered grey garments and their faces painted grey slowly moving in unison throughout the space, the group appearing throughout the show to guard the clothing models with metal rods. The show was named ‘Human. Form. Structure.’ with the three concepts examined throughout the show. The clothes ranged from structured jackets to cargo shorts, bright yellow, oxblood and grey in colour with flashes of colourful metallic details in crimson. The trousers loose fitting with padding above the knee. The show ended with the grey group of models breaking down a structured wall that had been brought onto the runway, followed by a lonely figure in red paint pushing the structure away.
In attendance was Ross’s old mentor Virgil Abloh, with whom he had worked as an intern, then moved on to be his right hand assistant and consultant. On working with Abloh, Ross recently told Vogue UK “It’s funny because I can look at it from a few angles — as someone who has been a part of his journey, someone who looks at him as a mentor, someone and who is a person of colour in this industry,” he says. “He articulates the information of our time and he has worked incredibly hard consistently for over a decade, and most of that was behind-the-scenes, without public acknowledgement.” This has given Ross the insight and ability to ensure the designer does not become isolated form the consumer, a drive in many current successful streetwear labels.
A-Cold-Wall* refers to the idea of feeling a cold surface as a common social denominator — an Edwardian marble colonnade and council estate scaffolding evoking the same sensation for two different social groups. “It’s really about presenting conceptual ideas at a digestible level,” he says, referencing the bright synthetics of construction sites and council estates, as well as contemporary working class subcultures.
The full A-Cold-Wall* SS19 show below
New Artistic, Creative & Image Director of Céline, Hedi Slimane, has spoken to Business of Fashion of his plans to introduce the ‘drop’ method when releasing parts of his new collection. The retail strategy is commonly used by highly sought after streetwear labels such as Supreme and includes releasing small portions of his collection every week or so to coincide with his main collection for the brand. The new strategy was revealed in an interview with Business of Fashion which also revealed plans for pop-up stores and small capsules to feature Slimane’s season-less staples such as jeans and casual wear.
Slimane has already announced Célene will be moving into menswear as well as producing fragrances and couture. He is also set to remodel each and every one of the Céline retail stores and owners LVMH are also rumoured to be buying up large retail space in New Yorks upper East side. Business of Fashion notes that although Slimane is very respectful of the brand he doesn’t feel beholden to the minimalist casual luxury vibe created—and beloved among the label’s loyal customers—by former Céline designer Phoebe Philo. If you were into the rockstar look Slimane began at his tenure at Dior Homme and then continued at Saint Laurent, chances are you’ll be quite happy with this new version of Céline. “He is doing exactly what he was hired to do, bringing his own vision to the brand,” the BoF report reads. It is still unknown what Phoebe Philo is set to do next but this will certainly be the end of Phoebe’s Céline and her simple aesthetic praised for being a brand that was instantly recognisable without having to shout.
To launch the new Pre-Fall 2018 line, Helmut Lang has gone to Instagram to unveil its 90’s aesthetic dating show campaign. New Editor-in-residence Alix Browne and Langs digital editor Ava Nirui have called on 12 single models living in New York to create a dating profile with details about themselves and what they are looking for in a relationship, whilst having there profile pictures of them wearing Helmut Lang. Each models profile has a caption urging people to email firstname.lastname@example.org if they would like to connect with them – with applicants actually being put in touch with the models if a suitable match is found. The images are rendered in a hazy, 90’s VHS quality and the models have been styled by Anna Santangelo. “I’ve always been super obsessed with the unique verbiage that goes with personal ads.” Ava Nirui told Vogue, “I recently had a realization that I’m constantly matchmaking friends and thought it would be fun to invite these friends (and friends of friends) to be a part of the Helmut Lang community, while potentially helping them find love in their lives.” The campaign gives many nods to early 90’s Helmut Lang, from its original on-line legacy to its successful print campaigns. Langs new Editor-inresidence Alix Browne took over in January and is the founding editor of V Magazine and former features editor of W Magazine.
Helmut Lang instagram campaign
Cult label Supreme has teamed up with iconic photographer Nan Goldin on a new collection for the brand. The cult streetwear brand, which has collaborated with Damien Hirst and David Lynch, is now working with the artist who chronicled 1980s New York, with her work exploring LGBT bodies, the HIV crisis and the opioid crisis. “I did this for the kids,” she said. “I’m looking forward to seeing teenagers skating on my images and wearing them. To my mind, people have become so conservative, especially the millennials – its like the 1960s never happened – so I like the idea of them being exposed to my real world.” The collection includes images from Goldin’s 1986 The Balled of Sexual Dependency and will be used on new T-shirts, hoodies and skateboards. “Nan Goldin’s work is real and raw – in the time, places and subject matter she shot,” says Supreme. “It comes from an era where the subjects she documented were taboo by society’s standards. To do this project with Nan Goldin is to celebrate the diversity her work represents and expose young people to it.”
Turner prize winning artist Anthea Hamilton has transformed Tate Britain with her latest instillation which, as well as 7,00 white floor tiles, includes seven costumes designed in collaboration with Loewe by Creative Director Jonathan Anderson. The show, called The Squash, is the latest annual Tate Britain Commission which asks contemporary British artists to create new work in response to the building’s grand space. Anthea Hamilton has transformed the heart of Tate Britain into an elaborate stage in which she has placed a solo performer in a squash-like costume at the heart of the Duveen. Every day for six months, a performer will select a costume from a rack of seven created by Loewe and explore the space. Each element of this bold and immersive installation is partially informed by Hamilton’s interest in found photographs, where the original source has been lost, but here, Hamilton re-purposes them, inviting the performer to explore their own interpretation of the image. Performers select their costume of choice, depending on the image and their chosen interpretation. Gallery director Alex Farquharson said: “Anthea Hamilton has made a unique contribution to British and international art with her visually playful works that both provoke and delight. This compelling commission demonstrates her ability to seamlessly weave together captivating images and narratives, creating rich new environments in which to encounter works of art.”
Anthea Hamilton – The Squash 22nd March – 7th October Millbank London SW1P 4RG
Fashion Image Maker Nick Knight Discusses the future of the fashion image, including discussions on the end of the catwalk show and the death of the printed fashion magazine as well as touching on the subject of sexual predators within the industry and the sexualisation of the fashion image. The discussion took place with Imran Amed, founder of Business of Fashion.
I have always been a big fan of Nick Knight. I have followed his work since coming across his images in the early 90’s, working with publications such as The Face, I-D and Arena. I was an early adopter of ShowStudio, which I followed almost from day one when it was just, what we would see now, a blog in 2000. In this discussion with Imran Amed, founder of Business of Fashion, Nick talks about the sweeping changes taking place within the fashion industry and particularly with how we view collections and the death of the fashion show & fashion magazines.
There is a lot in this podcast that I disagree with what Nick is saying. He questions whether the best way to show collections is through fashion film and not the catwalk or the fashion press. I agree fashion film can certainly add a dimension to a collection but I do believe that the designer feels the need to get across more than the structure of the clothing when putting forward a collection. That the image plays an integral part to putting forward an ethos of what the designer feels that season and how that can be portrayed to the audience.
Nick believes there is a resistance to change within the industry, brought about due to turmoil within the world, whether that be the Brexit vote or Trump being elected. But for me fashion has always been an outsider, and has always been at the forefront of expressing its anger at how the world can be. The fashion industry is not resisting change because it refuses to acknowledge fashion film is the only way it should be showing its collections. Yes, the way the world can now view collections has changed, especially though live streams and social media, but the narrative still remains the same – The designer has a story to tell that surrounds his collection, fashion film will only tell a part of that story. Editorial pieces, photography and catwalk shows will help tell the rest.
Nick also talks of the death of magazines. How he has spoken to editors at top fashion magazines who all believe the format is dead. Magazine sales have been dropping, and yet more and more very good titles are appearing on our magazine shelves. The mainstream fashion press may well be dying but there is a beautiful resurgence in publications producing fantastic photography and thoroughly thought out editorial pieces. A few of these publications even started as internet sites and moved into publication, BOF being a fine example. Nick mentions how magazines are not particularly nice objects, and asked why you would want to carry one around.
Another striking thing was the notion that in the 60’s & 70’s a photographer would be given 2 weeks by a magazine to produce 10 shots for an editorial piece, they would have the freedom to be more articulate in the images they chose to shoot, and now a photographer would only get 2-3 days and therefor not be able to produce something with as much merit. This really bothered me coming from somebody like Nick Knight, a photographer who in his early days produced some fantastic images for magazines that had no budgets, this didn’t, and doesn’t, stop people from being as creative as they could be. Also getting a shoot together in the 1960’s would have been so much harder than doing it today without emails, phones etc. The logistics are far easier now.
Although it may not appear to be the case, but I am still a huge fan of Nick knight and he is certainly somebody who is really pushing things forward in the industry and always has been, but something about this discussion bothered me a little – I think it was just the dismissive way he discusses print and the catwalk without really thinking about the bigger picture of what a designer wishes to come across each season.