First Aid Kit talk Ruins, burnout & brave new beginnings for FAULT Online cover

FAULT Magazine X First Aid Kit

Photographer: David Yeo, Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland

 

FAULT: Stay Gold came out in 2014. What were you doing for the four years until Ruins?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We toured Stay Gold intensely for about a year and a half following it’s release. After that we felt quite burnt out and exhausted. We could’ve kept touring forever. However, since we’d toured pretty much non-stop since we were teenagers we felt like we needed a little break. We needed time to figure out our lives, beyond First Aid Kit. We lived in separate countries. I stayed in Stockholm while Klara moved to Manchester for two years. It was necessary to get a break from not just the band and the music, but from each other. It was pretty difficult but we feel like we learnt so much about ourselves and about life during this time period. We built serious relationships, bought our own apartments. Klara started taking acting classes. I got a driver’s license. We needed to catch up on some grown up things we’d been missing out on.

 

When did you start work on Ruins?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): When we took our break we told ourselves we didn’t need to work on new material straight away, we didn’t want to rush another record. We didn’t even have to listen to any music or go to any shows if we didn’t want to. However, pretty quickly after the touring ended we felt quite eager to perform and write again. Klara broke up with her boyfriend and had a little bit of a life crisis. This inspired the theme of the album and sort of got us started on it.

We went to Los Angeles for six weeks in April 2016. We rented a house in Echo Park and went on road trips across California. We hung out with other musician friends and gathered inspiration. That’s when we finished writing most of the tracks that ended up on Ruins.

 

 

How does it differ to your previous records?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We wanted to try new things on Ruins. Because it’s dealing with a relationship ending, the lyrics are both more personal and more universal than on our previous records. Before our lyrics were a lot more fictional and had more story telling elements. This time the songs are more direct. I think it stems from us being older, more experienced and more in touch with our own emotions. We’re also braver in a sense, it takes a lot of courage to write so openly about your inner feelings.

We decided to work with a new producer in a new city, so we reached out to a long-time favorite producer of ours, Tucker Martine. We told him we wanted to make an album that was less polished, had more of a live feel and a little more edge. Previously, we’d been pretty strict about the sounds we allowed on our records. It had to be very folky, pretty and acoustic. This time we sort of through all those ideas away, and we’re very open to new things. Whatever fit the song, we went for. It was super refreshing.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Johanna Wears: Red Silk Slip Dress by Amanda Wakeley, Black Poloneck Top by Alice McCall, Red Boots by Zadig & Voltaire, Pearl Hooped Earrings by Dower & Hall

 

Obviously, this is your fourth album, has the process been different to your others? 

Klara (First Aid Kit): The songwriting process hasn’t changed that much since we started, but this time we wanted to make sure we really took the time we needed not to rush the record. All songs stem from a line, an idea, a lyric and then we work from there. Sometimes that takes less than five minutes, sometimes it takes years. In the end the most important thing for us is that we end up with songs that feel real and interesting. Something that makes us curious.

This time the recording process was different because we had a live session band that improvised a lot in the studio. It was so much fun! Getting to hear all these musicians that we’ve looked up to for so long play on our songs was a dream come true.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Klara Wears: Black Blazer by Stine Goya, Red Tule Skirt by Amanda Wakeley, Black Top by Black Gold by Diesel, Red Loafers by Kim Kwang, Gold Curved Earrings by Dower & Hall, Silver Ring by Dower & Hall

 

How have you grown since your 2010 debut?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): When I watch old YouTube clips of us performing I feel like we’ve changed so much. We were just kids when we started out, although we felt like we were so much older back then. We were pretty insecure. We can hear in our old songs when we’re trying to imitate our idols and it’s kind of cute. It’s definitely not something we’re ashamed of.

We’ve always been good at what we do and had a strong core in our music, but we’ve just grown so much more confident with the years. Both in the studio and on the road, we trust our instincts much more and can relax. I don’t think we care so much about what people think anymore. We’ve always sort of been following our gut feeling, and it’s lead us this far…so we must be onto something, right?

 

Does this last album feel like the most “First Aid Kit” like album?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): I think all records are very ”First Aid Kit”-like in their own pretty ways. They’re just documents of who we were at that certain period of our lives. We think of them as time capsules. We don’t want to stick to a sound too much, we truly are open for experimenting. Who knows what the future will bring, getting too comfortable in a certain style is boring.

 

So talking about Ruins, can you tell me a bit about the lyrical inspirations behind it?

Klara (First Aid Kit): When we went to Los Angeles to write the record I had just gone through a breakup. The wound was quite open. I thought I was going down one road and then it all changed. The songs came through that and so of course, they all mirror that intense experience of this major loss. Visually, we see the record as a ruin of a relationship, walking around it, exploring it and trying to understand it. It felt like an important record to write as honestly and boldly as possible. That is how you get a real connection with people, which is always what we strive for.

 

And musically?

Klara (First Aid Kit): We always follow where we feel the songs want to go, arrangement wise. We usually have more a broad sense of what we want a record to be – this one we felt needed to be a little more raw with more of a live sound. Honestly, it’s all about the gut feeling. You go on in with ideas and expectations but in the end you go with what feels right and good.

We were listening to a lot of different music during the writing process, like Big Thief, Angel Olsen, Whitney and Mitski. We are always returning to our old favorites Townes Van Zandt, Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons, Bob Dylan too. The list is endless. It’s hard to pinpoint where the inspiration comes from, it can be so random.

 

You’ve said that most of the record is about questioning yourself following the breakdown of a relationship. Can you tell me a bit about that?

Klara (First Aid Kit): It’s so easy to grow comfortable and be blinded by what you once thought was good. It’s hard to uproot yourself and leave it all behind. You feel so very lost. In the midst of all that it’s hard not to second guess yourself, looking for simple answers to things that will never really make sense. The record was written during a really vulnerable, exciting, scary time.

 

Do you find it cathartic to write about these kinds of subjects?

Klara (First Aid Kit): It is very cathartic. Writing is the way that we deal with whatever is hard in life, which is why our music is so sad, haha. Getting to share our deepest emotions with people, even though that can be scary, is so rewarding. The connection that we feel with people who love our songs is so special. Playing shows and singing the lyrics to another human being in the crowd, seeing their reaction and knowing the song means so much to them, there is nothing like it.

 

You’ve previously said that you wanted this album to be “more real”. Can you tell me about the ideas behind that? 

Klara (First Aid Kit): That wasn’t something that we planned to do but the songs ended up being more direct and open. Like we previously stated, we wanted to have more of a raw feel, of a live performance.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Klara Wears: Tan Leather Jacket by Scotch & Soda, White Embroidered Shirt by MCQ by Alexander McQueen, Black Leather Skirt is Klara’s Own, Black & White Ankle Boots by Malone Souliers, Silver Ring by Dower & Hall

 

Is it difficult knowing that such personal songs will be listened to around the world?

Klara (First Aid Kit): All the songs and themes are very universal. We left out names or anything that felt too personal. The songs are still very emotional and of course that can be scary but it’s ultimately the most rewarding thing, when people react to something that came straight from the heart.

 

How has your relationship with each other changed during this album?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): I think our relationship is stronger now than ever. Touring together for so long has been hard. We’ve been put under a lot of pressure and pretty much been around each other 24/7. No wonder we some times argue and can’t get along.

For a while I think we were on totally different wavelengths. We wanted different things for the band but didn’t express it clearly enough. We’re much better at communicating now to make sure we’re on the same page. We also know when we need space from each other. We have so much more fun together now, too!

 

Now that it’s out, how has the reception been?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): Honestly, it’s been pretty darn amazing. Releasing Ruins was scary, especially after that four year break in-between albums. We didn’t know what kind of reaction to expect from either music critics or our fans. We didn’t know if anyone was still into our music. We never expect anyone to care or take our popularity for granted.

Also, when we’re making music we’re constantly torn between feeling like what we’re doing is the greatest thing ever and feeling like it’s a complete piece of shit. Sometimes when you’re in the studio singing a song you feel like it’s a masterpiece. Then when you get home and get some perspective on it, you listen to it and get doubts about it. That definitely happened with Ruins in a sense. However, it’s been amazing playing these sold-out tours full of crowds who know the new songs by heart. When we look at our listeners we can tell that the songs mean so much to them. It’s powerful.

 

First Aid Kit - FAULT Magazine

Johanna Wears: Pink Embroidered Suit by Alice Archer, Silver Silk Shirt by Bogdar, Silver Mules by Jones, Gold Earrings by Dower & Hall, Silver Rings by Dower & Hall, Bracelet by Dower & Hall

 

What do you want people to take away from your latest album? 

Johanna (First Aid Kit): We want people to feel comforted, to not feel alone in their feelings. We hope it’s a relatable album. Everyone goes through heartbreak in their lives, one way or another. It’s important to realize that it’s completely normal and that things are going to be OK. That’s the beauty of sad songs. They allow you to wallow in those sad feelings for a while and then hopefully gather the strength to move on.

What are you working on next?

Johanna (First Aid Kit): Though we just started touring Ruins, we’re already thinking about the next record and future tours. We can’t say much at this point. All we know is we think we’ve got a really exciting future ahead of us.

 

Interview by Ely Watson

To find out more and to purchase RUINS, visit here.

Photographer: David Yeo
Fashion Editor: Rachel Holland
Make-up artist: Jaimee Thomas at Untitled Artists
Hair Stylist: Jordan Leigh
Nail Artist: Diana Drummond
Stylist’s Assistant: Ana Carnu
Photographed at Yoyo Studios

Viktor & Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years, A Retrospective

The House at the End of the World, 2005 By David LaChapelle Studio Viktor&Rolf, Bedtime Story, ready-to-wear collection, AW 2005

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fashion royalty Viktor&Rolf, are celebrating a 25 year retrospective at the Kunsthal gallery in Rotterdam, Holland. From May through to 30 September 2018, fans of the designers can get an up close and personal viewpoint of some of their most famous and innovative pieces. From the theatrical Van Gogh Girls of 2015, the iconic 2010 Chainsaw Massacre collection, with gaping, gravity-defying holes in each piece, to the overtly padded 2005 Bedtime Story collection, consistently taking the designer’s concept of ‘Wearable art’ to the highest levels of art and dramatic haute couture.

Russian Doll, haute couture collection, AW 1999

 

Canadian curator Thierry-Maxime Loriot has worked directly in collaboration with the Dutch designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren,  to create a thoroughly intriguing exploration into the various areas of inspiration in the designers’ World. Enabling the general public to view in accurate detail, the construction of each iconic runway couture garment and a glimpse into the genius psyche of the Viktor & Rolf partnership.

 

Van Gogh Girls, haute couture collection, SS 2015

 

In their own words: “We often play with the idea of two people being one, or both of us being of one mind, and we play with our image to express that.” This theme is visible throughout the retrospective, showcasing the power of two creative minds in creating serious art-based fashion and then fabricating these mind-bending concepts into reality. These show-stopping and notable couture pieces by the design duo are now all available for scrutiny at the Kunsthal, a homecoming for the Dutch designers.

 

Viktor&Rolf by Anton Corbijn Amsterdam, 2018

 

Over 60 haute couture pieces from the designers’ archives have been carefully selected by Loriot for the Kunsthal retrospective, including stage costumes created for ballet and operas, alongside special pieces, such as the costume created for Madonna’s 2016 Miami Art Basel fundraising concert. New works from the latest collections, ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ and ‘Action Dolls’ are also displayed for the first time within the retrospective.

Solidifying Viktor&Rolf’s 25 year journey to date within their home country of Holland, the retrospective features their strongest collections, marking a chapter of exceptional high couture work and achievement so rarely achieved by designers within fashion. The fact that the duo have also managed to remain as unpredictable, ground-breaking and art-driven within that timeframe, well, we cannot wait to witness the next 25 years of their creative partnership.

 

Getting There

Rotterdam or Amsterdam airport is only a short (less than an hour) flight from London. We flew from Heathrow to Amsterdam via British Airways and the flight only lasted a mere 45 minutes. A train shuttle will then quickly transport you across to Rotterdam with the metro system being extremely easy to navigate on arrival.

 

Accommodation

The 5 star Design hotel, Mainport is offering a Viktor & Rolf Hotel package for visitors of the Kunsthal. Upgrade your visit to the exhibition by booking the V&R hotel package, which includes a City XL room, entrance to the Kunsthal ‘Viktor&Rolf: Fashion Artists 25 Years’, a signed catalogue of Viktor&Rolf, a poster, the champagne breakfast buffet on the relaxing riverside terrace, cocktail bar, rooftop swimming pool, gym & sauna. Mainport is ideally located at the shores of the Maas in the city centre and it’s then only a short walk or metro journey into the town centre.

Book here: www.mainporthotel.com/en/viktorrolf
The offer is 144.50eu per night until the 30th September.

 

Places to Eat

Heroine Restaurant

Unique 70’s inspired decor combined with cosy fine dining.
Address: Kipstraat 12, 3011 RT Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 310 0870

Supermercado

A unique concept restaurant & bar situated in a disused Swimming pool,  featuring Mexican & Latin-American cuisine. After the meal the rooftop turns into a dance party for a fun dining experience.
Address: Schiedamse Vest 91A, 3012 BG Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 404 8070

Ayla

Mediterranean food suitable for lunch, brunch, bites, dinner or drinks.
Interesting food combinations & killer cocktails.
Address: Kruisplein 153, 3014 DD Rotterdam, Netherlands
Phone: +31 10 254 0005

EDITORS PICK FOR SUMMER ’16

holland st

The FAULT Womenswear team have hand selected these unique Kimono’s as a stylish summer cover-up for Summer ’16. Made from quality fabrics, such as silk, crepe de chine and satin dior, the Holland St kimono’s feel luxurious and light to wear. Showcasing a classic design alongside exotic prints, they are the go-to statement piece for weekends away in the sun and long summer nights, heady cocktail in hand.

WINTER INDULGMENT AT CONSEPT

CONSEPT

‘ConSept’, a new and one of a kind concept store on the King’s Road in London invited FAULT to it’s annual winter party, along with a host of other Fashion VIP’s.

Situated in the old post office just opposite the landmark Chelsea Town Hall, Consept offers lovers of luxury an exclusive shopping experience. Stocking only unusual and difficult to source pieces, such as Hermès bags, 24kt gold-dipped Chandeliers and  limited edition fashion and furnishings, the store has made it onto the elite’s fashion map for it’s eclectic mix.

With an array of sought after, celebrity endorsed, ready-to-wear brands that are only stocked at ConSept in the UK, a visit here is essential for life’s indulging in life’s luxuries, gold crown anyone?

 

 

 

Jameson First Shot : Three filmmakers win the Opportunity of a Lifetime & Make Short Film with Uma Thurman & Kevin Spacey

Uma_Thurman_profile - jameson first shot (Medium)

Uma Thurman for Jameson First Shot

FAULT Magazine has just returned from a sunny trip to Santa Monica, LA, as guests of Jameson Whisky. We flew out to view the winning films of this years Jameson First Shot Competition. It’s a once in a lifetime chance for three filmmakers to direct and produce a short film starring Hollywood legend Uma Thurman and to work closely with Kevin Spacey as both the Creative Director and Producer.

The competition is fully supported by Jameson First Shot & Trigger Street Productions and allows new talent access to Hollywood filmmaking in a creative space that was never before obtainable.

The winning films were showcased at an industry party at the YouTube Space in Los Angeles, before being released to millions of viewers on YouTube.           

The three new shorts THE MUNDANE GODDESS (writer/director: Henco J), THE GIFT (writer/director: Ivan Petukhov) and JUMP! (writer/director: Jessica Valentine) can be viewed below.

Keep an eye out for our interviews with Uma Thurman & Kevin Spacey, which will be featured in the next issue of FAULT Magazine (Issue 19).

The Mundane Goddess

 

 

JUMP

 

 

The Gift

 

Fault Reviews: Yves Saint Laurent

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Tournage YSL

Set against the beautiful backdrop of Paris in 1957, the film tells the heady story of Yves Saint Laurent, played by Pierre Niney, and his lover Pierre Bergé, played by Guillaume Gallienne. Together as both business partners, soul-mates and eventually Pierre taking the role of carer to the troubled and reckless Yves, the film delves into the personal and creative life of the young designer.

The imagery is as stunning as you can imagine, featuring the original YSL garden in Marrakech, Morocco and various evocative scenes across Paris.  Original couture pieces from the YSL archives feature throughout the film, with a cast decked-out in a film wardrobe to die for. The full effect of the movie, creates a rich and idealistic story of the making of an internationally acclaimed fashion brand and how a designers relationship with their models, staff, friends and the people surrounding him / her can make or break a career.

Yves Saint Laurent, is portrayed as a creative genius, a tortured artist and a revolutionary designer, with Pierre as the rock that held the entire show (and Yves life) together season after season. Although this story sometimes glosses over some of Yves’ life and fails to explore what happens after he and Pierre separated, it’s worth seeing for the beautiful scenery, the costumes, and a deeper understanding into one of the greatest designers of our time.

Directed by Jalil Lespert

With Pierre Niney de La Comédie-Française, Guillaume Gallienne de la Comédie-Française, Charlotte Le Bon, Laura Smet and Marie de Villepin

YVES SAINT LAURENT is released in cinemas across the UK on 21st March 2014

 

 

 

 

Part 2: Paris Fashion Week Roundup, AW14 Womenswear

Following on from PART 1 of our Paris Fashion Week roundup, here’s our review from some of our favourite fashion designers;  CélineBalmain, ACNE, Margiela, Rick Owens and more.

 

Célineceline

 

Balmainbalmain

 

ACNE Studiosacne

 

Saint Laurentlaurent

At Céline and Balmain, animal prints were presented with a similar luxurious subtlety as at Givenchy. Céline’s Phoebe Philo worked the prints into a collection that was beautifully restrained, with a palette of black, grey, cream and camel, woven into which were a muted leopard print, hints of enlarged gingham and textiles like feathered wool and Astrakhan. Balmain’s collection was a much more clear reference to safari, with riffs on safari suits and camo colours, amidst abstracted zebra and leopard print. Zebra print also made an appearance at Acne Studios, in a collection that seemed to also draw on the safari influence, with a nod to Yves Saint Laurent’s famous collection in the Seventies. This retro inspiration was clear in the swirling print patterns, the candied colour palette and wide-legged trousers. This Seventies influence was as potent as ever in the actual Saint Laurent collection, with Hedi Slimane’s ongoing tribute to glam rock androgyny helped along by Alex Turner and Miles Kane sipping champagne in the front row. From the fur and sparkles, to the miniskirts and floppy hats, amidst prints of paisley and plaid, this was a veritable feast of retro style and it is testament to Slimane’s electric modernity and eye for youth that the references didn’t feel tired.

 

Vivienne Westwood westwood

 

Maison Martin Margiela margiela

Vivienne Westwood’s collection was a true celebration of her label, possessing much more impact than her relatively tame Red Label show in London the other week. This show exploded in colour and print, combining label signatures of silhouette and shape with a youthful, almost riotous energy. At Maison Martin Margiela, there was a similar sense of heritage and label hallmarks, but here these were in the treatment of tweed, merged with the silhouettes and tailoring upon which Margiela made its name. The result was an incredibly beautiful and subtle collection that was at once feminine and finely detailed, yet effortless and utterly wearable.

 

Rick Owensrick

 

Gareth Pughgarethpugh

At the opposite end of the spectrum to the candy colours, decorative detailing and concept prints of labels like Chanel and Kenzo, some collections offered the avant-garde minimalism that has been central to Paris since the arrival of the Japanese designers to the city in the 1980s. Rick Owens, who has made this kind of punky minimalism a hallmark all of his own, delivered looks in total blocks of either black, oxblood or grey. The shapes were oversized and, again, biomorphic, with curvilinear sleeves and shell-like drapery. Pleats and variations of textile allowed for a considered experimentation, fully expressing Owens’ unique and intelligent eye.  Gareth Pugh’s collection was in a vein that was at once similar, and entirely different. Whilst minimalist in terms of being rendered entirely in white and silver, this collection was extravagant in silhouette and cut, with Pugh’s tailoring of a breathtaking standard. Consistently eye-catching, he continues to push his label forward with intricate detailing. Rei Kawakubo’s collection for Comme des Garçons was again a pushing of the boundaries of fashion, in line with her desire to make ‘objects of the body’ as declared last season. The result was in biomorphic, tubular knits that hung like literal sculptures , protruding from the body.

 

Comme des Garçonscomme

In terms of the influence of the Paris shows, it will surely be the clever treatment of colour and print that filters into the mainstream; the broken animal prints, the neon inserts, the ongoing block-colouring filtered through pleats and trouser-suits. With your local supermarket and McDonald’s now firmly absorbed into the fashion domain, perhaps the industry’s influence will be more pervasive than ever.

Words by Will Ballantyne-Reid

Part 1: Paris Fashion Week Roundup, AW14 Womenswear

The Paris collections of  A/W 14 veered between a beautiful aesthetic restraint and a highly ornamental treatment of textile. When designers pared it back, they hit upon a class, luxury and elegance that not only reminded the world of the French standard for ultimate quality and design, but provided a respite to the more brazen bling of Milan. Next to Karl Lagerfeld’s post-modern riff on supermarket-chic, with a brilliant supermodel-populated suburbia at Chanel, Jeremy Scott’s brash, comic take on McDonald’s uniforms for Moschino suddenly seemed a bit under-developed.

Chanelchanel

 

Kenzokenzo

 

Givenchygivenchy

There was a decidedly ‘street’ element to the looks on show at Chanel, with the appearance of crop-tops, leggings (complete with ladders and holes in them), puffa-tweeds and trainers. Lagerfeld never allows the show concept to overwhelm the clothes, and the most the supermarket theme really infiltrated the collection was in brilliant bouclé-bound shopping baskets and, perhaps, the food packaging candy-colours of some of the prints. This intelligent consideration of colour was key to the Paris collections, such as at Kenzo, where prints were measured and brilliantly composed, in jewel tones and off-kilter neon shades (ochre and burnt orange.) Like Lagerfeld, the designers balanced proportions and shapes to balance this treatment of print, with cinched waists and unusually cropped hemlines acting as counter-weights for bold sleeves and volume in skirts and trousers. Givenchy also tread this balance, with Riccardo Tisci breaking down animal prints and loud colour across refined geometric detailing, from obi belts and pockets to inserts and cuffs. In this careful and measured treatment of materials like leopard print and fur, Tisci epitomised a very French approach to luxury; effortless, elegant, intelligent.

 

Stella McCartneystella

 

Balenciagabalengcia

Stella McCartney also used this approach, with knitwear and comfortable, easy silhouettes providing a vehicle for experimental, even ornamental, colour and print detailing. By blocking the colour out, McCartney was able to maintain her trademark balance of masculine tailoring and feminine aesthetic, layering prints and textiles without losing the utility so central to her label. Under Alexander Wang’s guidance, Balenciaga used colour in much the same way as at Givenchy, with bold geometric inserts and thick bands of colour on cuffs, collars and waistbands. Wang’s Balenciaga is a consistently brilliant, aligning the house’s tradition of chic tailoring and experiment, with a modern, almost underground energy. As the collection unfolded there was an almost biomorphic quality to the silhouettes on display, rendered in heavy leather, knit and silk. At Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, these biomorphic silhouettes also prevailed, with Miyake’s pleats ballooning in curvilinear shapes with beautiful drapery and scalloped detailing. Colour was bold but relatively restrained, either in colour-blocking or in geometric, mosaic prints. At Yamamoto, colour was highly decorative, exploding in intricately-detailed drawn prints or in fine detailing and trim.

 

Issey Miyake
issey

 

Yohji Yamamoto

yohji

READ PART 2 HERE

Words by Will Ballantyne-Reid