Saturday, 4 June 2011
Bizarrely and intriguingly there was a trend across the board of exhibitors to work in nude and beige shades including the Bless installation I covered earlier. Here is a selection of a few of those works. The ultimate example was Amie Dickie who built a replica of her student digs which would slowly become covered in a layer of foundation over the month duration of the show. "Infallible" is actually the Illustration aspect of the show with sprinklers spraying hundred of litres of L'Oreal foundation turning Amie's life time of collected objects into a 3D self portrait.
The photographic slant of the Biennale was headed up by "Capricious" - a New York based magazine dedicated to discovering emerging artists by the process of submission. Joff wanted this fine art crossover publication to bring together work that would be a fresh take on regular fashion editorial. Here you can see some of the images that were printed on silk banners including a Matthew Stone entry representing the UK!!
Friday, 3 June 2011
After a couple of years of being an unofficial ambassador for Lazy Oaf by wearing their wares around town - we have now collaborated! My capsule collection of 4 styles of jewellery will be launching at their flagship store on Fourberts place on Thursday evening. At last my accessories have been produced at an accessible price point so the colour can be shared and enjoyed with more ease to the pocket. Here are a couple of Polaroid outakes from our shoot with Ellis Scott yesterday ......... modelled by the chiseled foxy Rory. Keep your eyes on the Lazy Oaf site for the photos going live over the next week........ and come down to the opening for which Pomp De Franc will be cooking up some cupcakes inspired by the graphics of my perspex pieces.
One zone of the Arnhem Biennale is called "Atmospheres" which represents the facets of the industry that circumnavigate the actual collections........ ie film, photography, illustration, scent and sound. To first reach this wing of the building, you enter through a dark 30 metre long corridor spot lit with 12 isolated hanging speakers. Nico Muhly's sound installation plays 12 different tracks so as you pass each one, the entire track unveils itself.
What unfolds further along the path is a truly amazing curated space by "Fashion Film Festival" working in conjunction with composer Daniel Pemberton on a score for the installation. The research project which began in 2005 out of an initiative from Central St. Martins has come to The Bienalle to represent an inventory of colour in film. They have taken a library of footage of monochromatic dress drawn from over a hundred films covering a huge variety of genres throughout decades since colour cinematography began. Each screen shows a montage of scenes shot in one colour, splicing up all the disparate sources. These are staggered in line with the next so that the complete vision is a hanging rainbow of film clips. This is my idea of heaven! So much fun to watch and recognise the films but also get to appreciate the subtle colour organisation employed to emphasise abstract elements in the narrative.
Read more here.
Whenever my NYC friends threeASFOUR fly to Europe to exhibit, I always try to travel to catch up with them. This has taken me to Paris, Lausanne, Santiago Del Campostela and most recently Arnhem for the Mode Biennale. It is the second time they have been approached to take part in the showcase and for this year's brief they chose to collaborate with architect Christian Wassmann. The installation is a continuation from the "Fibonacci Spiral"inspired sculpture created for the site specific structure built for their S/S11 show. In this instance models appeared from a white curved sculpture on which projections of fractals span to set the scene for the cosmic collection.
Taking the theme of string musical instruments from their A/W 11 show, threeASFOUR expanded the scale of the accessories to realise a giant size version to suspend a heart shaped dress, specially made for the Biennale's muse Amber:
"Consciousness is one of the greatest mysteries of humanity. Deep down within our physical selves, our bodies are nothing more than fields of energy. If we could zoom in with a super powerful microscope we would find that our atoms are held together by an invisible force, and that the atoms themselves are empty. No matter how closely we look, we can hardly find a substance that isn't just another form of energy contained within seemingly empty space. All the events in our lives are based on the absorption and reflection of this binding energy.
We have tried to grasp this mysterious energy with an installation called "Resonance". Through a string installation of two inverted Fibonacci spirals, one on top, and one at the bottom, and a red multi-textured dress strung through the twisting structure, we want to express a high musical note: the human spirit throughout nature.
The installation is based on sound frequencies that are all around us. Even if these are not audible, they can be used as a reference, converted into vibrations within our range of hearing, and used to make music. For example, hydrogen is the most common element in existence. Hydrogen absorbs and emits energy at 1,420.4057527 KHz. If we take that frequency and transpose it down by 24 octaves , we hit 84.5 Hz, which is very close to an E note , the lowest string on a guitar. since about 90 percent of all matter is hydrogen, including our bodies, then perhaps notes in unison with hydrogen can resonate more harmoniously with matter in general. Learning how to identify and utilise these frequencies and waveforms opens up new frontiers in music and sound design technology"
Without bias or subjective favouritism, I can honestly say it is the best piece in the exhibition! Beautifully thought out and beautifully executed. I can't wait to see the costumes they are currently producing for a couple of musicians world tours...... more news on that soon........
( left to right: Christian, Angela, GABi and ADi of threeASFOUR. Bottom image by Nina Trippel)
Wednesday, 1 June 2011
Some designers were too busy to undertake a totally unique project for the Biennale, but keen to include certain collections, Joff got involved with personally collaborating to represent these brands. To represent Jil Sander's S/S 2011 mix of couture and streetwear elements, Joff put the pieces behind pains of Fresnel magnifying glass to play further with the proportions and volumes.
The largest section of the main exhibition in the derelict factory location, was given up to designer's reaction to Joff's brief. He approached a hand picked selection with an open invitation to translate their vision of an imaginary scenario ......... if everything fell dark - what "collection" would appear when the light came back on. His hope was to challenge typical atmospheres, elements and visions of what a collection could be. In some cases, no clothes appeared at all.......
From overhearing a visitor's reactionary comment on Yoshikazu Yamagata's crochet wearable houses from 2007 "Is This Fashion?" - Joff wanted the 2011 agenda to explore exactly what realms the creative art reaches. Ann Sophie Back made a giant water tank in the shape of a dildo with one dress floating inside the solution, A.F Vandervorst made a life size candle of a girl lying in a hospital bed..........
Wendy & Jim literally used lighting in the form of neon strips and devised not a wearable home but a habitat to encase garments and ceramic skull parfum bottles.......
"The teepee functions as a symbol of a couture house, the branch office of a designer. It is the container of the designer's vision, yet at the same time it represents it. The teepee is a sculpture, a room; as part of a collectively cherished childhood memory it invites you to enter and partake in the action. The teepee becomes an exhibition within an exhibition, a dressing room" - Wendy & Jim
Whatever the reason, this purple plexiglass teepee was totally cosmic and one I would love to see at Glastonbury ......... complete with the drift-wood skate boards inside.
When Joff curates the Arnhem Mode Biennale he uses the platform to open up the public perception of the fashion industry by offering first hand experience to interact with works up close. He spends the two year interim exploring which collections and designers to incorporate into each annual context and concept. To run alongside both emerging and established names, he picks a selection of the latest talent graduating from international schools to give equal opportunities of exposure. One whole area was dedicated to this showcase entitled "Prologue" to bring together the very first works from future stars ....... including here, top to bottom: Andrea Cammarosano & Mads Dinesen, Petrou/MAN, Anne Bosman, Michael Van Der Ham, Jenny Postle
Weds 1st June: Arnhem Mode Biennale - "Elements" - Nicholas Kirkwood in collaboration with the Keith Haring Foundation
Having a coffee and enjoying the sun on arriving in Arnhem, I was sat next to a man wearing a Keith Haring T-Shirt. This is a constant coincidence that crops up wherever you travel and a fact about his legacy that I love - it lives on and on in its international omnipresence. I am delighted that Nicholas Kirkwood has collaborated with the Keith Haring Foundation on this project to combine both signature styles in this highly covetable classic capsule collection. I'm sure Keith would have been especially keen on the knee length roller boots! It seems fitting to find new work from the New York legend in conjunction with a British designer in the middle of a European arts festival ........... the mission to share the vision continues .......
Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Its always a joy to see the work of Bless in different settings and scenarios. At this years Arnhem Mode Biennale they have taken advantage of the large expanse offered to utilise in free reign for an installation. Initially Desiree Heiss and Ines Kaag wanted to implement their surreal interior design by creating a labyrinth of string. Experiments were made working with twine but unfortunately the fire risk meant the Health & Safety regulations put a stop to developing this concept. But the limitation was turned into advantage when they discovered a Spanish manufacturer to collaborate with on recreating the illusion in metal. Links are put together by hand to construct chain curtains which meant pixelated images could be recreated in enameled links. Inbetween the hanging hardware images nestle a mix of their integrated and morphed mechanics e.g a vacuum cleaner table or saddle chair. The best part is a car clad in a camel leather outer covering, sewn in panels to replicate the fixtures and fittings of the chassis. Inside the hard looking shell is bouncy foam from a sofa so perhaps its function could end up as a large bean bag to crash out on ..........
Monday, 30 May 2011
I have come to Arnhem for the Mode Biennale 2011 entitled "Amber" = A for Arnhem, M for Mode, B for Biennale..........
The last time I came to visit ThreeASFOUR exhibiting here was in 2007, when I covered the event in real time as a contributing journal for SHOWstudio, which you can view here.
Today started with a sneak peak and explanation as part of the press tour from curator Joff .........all of which will be unveiled officially at the opening night tomorrow. Celebrations kicked off around town this evening with Antwerp's initiative RA who took over the Biennale offices to hold a one off pop-op up installation for a select crew of the designers they represent. Here are images of Narelle Dore's purple crystals, Elise Gettliffe & Fahd El Jaoudi's foam flowers and leather patchwork back-pack and Romain Brau's Mermaid............... a little collective taste of what more lies in store for the rest of the month long festival.
See the full line up of exhibitors for this years Biennale here.
Sunday, 29 May 2011
Whilst Alex and I are guest editing the blog over on Swatch MTV Playground they are editing bite size snippets of our interviews into subjects. Here are a couple I have selected that I think are the best............. especially Alex's fantastic story about Lady Gaga. To see more head over to the site.
Scottee held a little soiree in Soho to announce his new project "Burger Queen" at a reception complete with glittery burger cupcakes. The idea behind the competetion is a spectacle to celebrate diverse personal beauty in protest to the promoted encouragement of adapting to "accepted" ideals in current media. Instead of staying in to watch "Supersize vs. Superskinny" use your precious time to better effect and get down to The Royal Vauxhall Tavern for a much more enriching and fun experience. Better still, why not enter the competition to impress an array of judges with your fashion, culinary and talent skills in order to take home the £100 prize and crown of Burger Queen 2011.
The doors open for the first heat this Wednesday with resident judge Amy Lamé (seen here) joined by a stellar lineup of famous faces......... concluding with an incredible crew of judges for the final including Paloma Faith and Lisa Stansfield.
Tickets are £6 or £9.99 with burger & chips or £19.99 if you fancy attending all four shows. For dessert Scottee will be showing a video diary documenting his weekly self inflicted fad diets running in conjunction with the contest. This week's film follows a cabbage soup diet........ good luck Scottee, I think I'll stick with Sue Tilley's homemade burger cupcakes.........
1st June - Heat 1, 8th June- Heat 2, 15th June- Heat 3, 22nd June- Final
RVT, 372 Kennington Lane, SE11
Doors at 7pm, Show at 8pm