Anastacia discusses breast cancer and the road to a FAULTless recovery in FAULT Magazine Issue 24

Fashion Editor & Creative Director: Rachel Holland | Photographer: Andres De Lara | Make Up: Alex Price @ FRANK Agency | Hair Stylist: Karin Darnell @FRANK Agency | Nail Artist: Diane Drummond | Photographer’s Assistant: Stefano Della Salla | Stylist’s Assistant: Tara Theiss | Stylist’s Assistant: Lina Buckson

Fashion Editor & Creative Director: Rachel Holland | Photographer: Andres De Lara | Make Up: Alex Price @ FRANK Agency | Hair Stylist: Karin Darnell @FRANK Agency | Nail Artist: Diane Drummond | Photographer’s Assistant: Stefano Della Salla | Stylist’s Assistant: Tara Theiss | Stylist’s Assistant: Lina Buckson

 

Words: Miles Holder

 

Before we begin, I need to break FAULT’s usual editorial style guide and explain the background behind our reversible cover feature for FAULT Issue 24. It’s important to me that our readers understand Anastacia’s head space throughout our interview so that you can understand just how Anastacia is able to make light of times which read like her darkest of days.

As a musician, Anastacia is known for being the powerhouse vocalist who stormed the charts in the early 2000s with hit tracks ‘I’m Outta Love’, ‘One Day in Your Life’ and ‘Left Outside Alone’, all of which now are defining pop anthems of the decade. Despite breaking away from Sony Records (a decision Anastacia admits wasn’t the best idea for the time), Anastacia went on to release 6 studio albums, tour endlessly and sell 52 million records worldwide.

Behind the music, Anastacia has been gripped in an internal battle against illness and self-acceptance her whole life. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at the age 13 and fighting two bouts of breast cancer, the second of which ended with a Double Mastectomy­ in 2013, Anastacia’s has been on a mission to regain the femininity stolen by the disease.

Arriving at our interview, Anastacia greeted me wide eyed and with a tender embrace; while I wish I could say she was just excited to see me, it’s clear that after years of hiding her scars and parts of her story from the world – it was a godsend for her to finally be able to reveal her story to the world.

It’s been a long fought battle consisting of 10 procedures & 5 Surgeries but Anastacia is ready to reveal her FAULTs to the world.

Here is Anastacia’s story – FAULTs and all.

Dress (worn as Skirt) by Joe Richards

Dress (worn as Skirt) by Joe Richards

FAULT: Thanks for being so trusting with FAULT on this shoot. Prior to this, how did you feel about your scarring?

Anastacia: I resented them. I resented how large they are but I also understood why I needed to go through all the physical changes. My scars are part of my journey and a reminder of all the things I went through with my mastectomy. At this point, I feel great to be able to show them in a way that’s artistic with a respected team in fashion because it’s transformed my body’s “FAULTs” into art.
Your scars aren’t in the usual place for a mastectomy, why is that?

The surgeons had to go around my tattoo; the scars really should have been on my bra line but to graft skin, the surgeons needed to find a place that wasn’t compromised. I wasn’t expecting it to be as long but it was the only way.
How does it feel to finally show the stripped back Anastacia?

I’m so nervous to let people see them, I really am, but I want to be able to go on the beach and not have the first photographs taken of my body to be ones that I didn’t give. I want to be free and knowing that this photo-shoot will be out there and available, I can be on the beach and not worry about what people think. After today, paparazzi can take a photo of me breathing in and call it a gut or say all the things they want, that doesn’t scare me – but my scars are a part of me and I want to be the one to reveal them. If paparazzi photographed them before today, I’d feel like I was being shamed but being able to release them this way, I feel extremely empowered.

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Silver Vest: Baserange | Jeans: Anastacia’s Own (True Religion)

When you battled cancer, you were fighting an illness that was slowly taking over your body and wrecking havoc on its path. Do you feel like you’ve finally reclaimed it back?

Absolutely! Every little thing that I’m doing, including Strictly Come Dancing, was me trying to reclaim a little piece of my femininity that cancer stole. When you have as many surgeries as I’ve had, you lose so many female sensations that you’ll never get back. Nipple sensation is something that cancer robbed from my anatomy and I’m used to it now but there is that little part of me that will always be lost. Doing Strictly and doing this shoot I feel like I’m finally becoming the woman that I was again.

How long has it taken for you to mentality repair and be ready to share your body with us?

It’s definitely been a long process. I was diagnosed January 2013 and it’s nearly 2017. It took this long but finally when people see this shoot it will be 100% back to me. I’m really grateful that this has been the journey and that you are a part of it – if I was on Strictly long enough I might have done it there but it wasn’t meant to be. Doing a shoot like this, I can be sure that the world sees my scars how I now do – as art.

 

Talk me through your first moment of discovery back in 2003.

2003, I actually went in to explore breast reduction as a preventative measure and two days before my procedure my doctor asked me to have a mammogram. I remember saying “I’m young, what are you talking about!?” and he replied “I just want to check that your tissue is pristine” and me being me I said,“Pristine, mean, clean that’s who I am when I’m on the scene!” [laughs] It was all jokes, I got my mammogram and lo and behold, they found cancer. I wasn’t so pristine, mean or clean after all…

It was a blessing because they found it so early. I spent so long learning all the information I could from that point on. When doctors ask “Is cancer in your family?”, they’re only guaranteeing that you will get it. If it’s not, it’s still a wide open field and 70% of women who get cancer, it’s not even in their family and most women will get cancer. Everything in the environment, your stress levels, what you eat – it all can be a cause of cancer. There are so many combining factors that will make you a victim which is why I decided to become an advocate for early detection.

Young women need to ask for a mammogram contribution for holiday gifts or birthdays etc. Even just £5 or £10 towards the procedure, anything will help and it’s all an investment in your long-term well-being. If you’re a young woman in your mid-twenties, just get it the test done and you can have peace of mind until you’re thirty years old. In your thirties go every two or three years depending on your doctor’s advice and then after thirty-five, it’s safest to go each year. Find it early and you’re done and it’s so much easier.

Cancer and death needn’t go hand in hand, if you catch it early you can live with it and seek treatment – it’s not spotting it early enough that’s scary.

Dress: Laura Theiss

Dress: Laura Theiss

You’re very vocal and many who have heard your story were able to learn from it and beat cancer due to their proactive detection. How does that make you feel to know you affected a life in such a drastic way?

I’ve heard it so much that I never take back any personal invasion of my privacy because it allowed my story to be told to so many people and saved so many lives.

The first news of your cancer wasn’t revealed on your terms?

The press told people I had cancer before I told people! I found out I had cancer on Friday and on Sunday World News rang to tell me they were releasing the story and if I’d like to make a statement. I didn’t have a press team at the time to do all that for me and I was still coming to terms with my diagnosis. Three days later most of my friends learnt I had cancer from the press. I couldn’t call anybody; I was trying to deal with what I thought at the time was a death sentence.

In saying that I’m not angry and what the press did – I say all the time that I’m grateful to have had cancer because it meant that I was able to save lives and that is worth every minute of surgery I’ve been through. I’m still alive and telling this story is why I’m still here and that’s why I keep talking about because there are a lot of people who don’t have the ability to raise their voice. It’s hard spiritually and mentally to tell people about your experiences and I get that. Not everybody needs to be as open as I am but as long as I’m open I can help someone who is closed get by and that’s how I look at the world that is cancer but I just look at the first three letters, C.A.N.

 

What physical trait did you hate before scarring and how insignificant does it feel now?

My boobs! [laughs] When I think back to how much I hated them, they ended up saving my life. Had I had smaller breasts I might not have seen anything and then I would have had it and not known and been hit with stage four out of the blue. My friends were telling me not to get them reduced because they were beautiful and people were paying for larger breasts and thank god I didn’t listen to them.

I say I was blessed with cancer and I was blessed with Crohn’s because it allows me to find a positive way to get through it in order to find a way around it. Having Crohn’s has made me a better communicator because to hold it in creates anxiety which makes it worst.
You’ve had bad days, in fact, you’ve had the worst of days. What lifts you back up?

I just wait for it to pass. I think you have to allow yourself to feel like crap, you’re supposed to have those feelings. You need to have emotions and it’s how you process them and how you exist and I think that for me I just tell myself “Anastacia, you’re down today and just be down.” If I have to work, then I push it aside and sometimes I can forget but if I don’t take care of letting it exist then it can come out another way. I’ve made a lot of mindful decision to get me to this place. I’ve had a lot of accomplishments but it’s the setbacks which taught me who I am and what I’m made of.

No, I haven’t accomplished everything I wanted to but it’s how you learn from what you haven’t been able to accomplish that brings success.

Trousers: Cacharel Blazer: Cacharel Bodysuit: Else

Trousers: Cacharel; Blazer: Cacharel; Bodysuit: Else

Strictly sounds like a lot of work and even more so for someone who has been through the physical changes that you have. How did you cope?

I was and now am in the best condition that I’ve been in, in a long time. I had just finished 50 dates before I started on Strictly and the injury I received wasn’t because I was unfit but because I was trying to do something that was hard for most people let alone me with my Latissimus Dorsi in front of my body! [Laughs] It was a tall order for my dance partner and me to do but I think we were both stubborn in our “we can do this” philosophy.

And then you got injured. What exactly happened?

I just thought it was a sore muscle and I just waited for it to pass but it got progressively worse and then I felt a lump which I knew couldn’t be cancer because I didn’t have any breast tissue left but it had to be something. I went to see a doctor and as it turns out it was an inflamed scar tissue. I found this out on Saturday morning and the show was filmed live on Saturday night.

We decided to continue with the performance, and we took out the lift to help me do that. By the end of the performance, I was in a lot of pain and knew I needed to see a specialist. Then I was told there was a dance off. I knew I was physically unable to perform, and I was terrified about what damage I had already done. I began to cry and said “sorry I’ll get my things and go and thanks for the opportunity” and I was ready to leave…I didn’t know they had contingencies for occurrences like that.

The press wasn’t so understanding at first.

I didn’t have the best time hearing what the press had to say because I couldn’t dance-off but once they found out why it was all “wow, how did you even dance in the first place!?” and I’m all like “Hello, I’m a fighter!” But once I felt that my arm was going to die, I just had to sit it out. I think the press thought I was being a diva and refusing to dance off which was so wrong and it was the best feeling when the truth finally came out.
If you could give any piece of advice to your younger self what would it be?

I believe that I would say “be kinder to yourself and not compare yourself to other people.” Back then I never felt I was pretty enough or talented enough. I wore glasses, I wasn’t tall, I didn’t have blue eyes, I didn’t think I was pretty because I compared myself to people who looked nothing like me. I could have picked anything to not like about myself but I wish I’d been gentler and kinder to me and not been so judgemental. It’s strange because my mum always taught me to accept other people for all their differences and I always saw the beauty in others, I just couldn’t see it in myself.

What is your FAULT?

I give to my own detriment. As much as people say giving is a great gift, it’s not when you don’t know when you’re being taken advantage of. I’ve been so giving that I’ve hurt myself so much in the process.

 

 

Read Anastacia’s full story and see more exclusive photographs only in FAULT 24 – available to pre-order now

Jenn Murray Discusses Fantastic Beasts and where to find them in FAULT Magazine

 

Today (Nov 19th) sees the release of J.K. Rowlings much anticipated new blockbuster, Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them. FAULT Magazine sat down with cast member Jenn Murray who appears as Chastity Barebone in the movie to learn more about her character, the movie and the magic goings on behind the scenes!

 

You’re going to be entering a huge, huge franchise, do you think you’re fully ready for that?

As ready as I can be!  I cannot predict the future, I just hope people enjoy the film!  I can only be grateful that David Yates saw something in me and gave me an opportunity.  The opportunity was to work with some of the most talented people in the film industry.  Every day was a playground of inspiration and creativity, you simply had to open your eyes and you would learn something.

 

Can you tell me anything about Chastity? Her background doesn’t seem to be divulged much. What can we expect from her character?

Chastity was an interesting role to play.  She is mysterious, to me and to others.  She is surrounded by big personalities and although she is curious, she is also content in her own particular way of life.  She didn’t draw attention to herself, she just got on with her work, she got on with her life.  There is something about silence that can be powerful, I learnt a lot from playing her.

 

How did you mediate the different material in order to become Chastity, such as JK Rowling’s help to the script to David Yates’ work as a director?

Simply to be in the knowledge that I was part of a story that had come from JK Rowling’s imagination was thrilling.  Whenever I play a role, I always make the choice to trust two people, I trust the director and I trust the writer.  Both David and JK tell stories with eloquence and a life force energy that you cannot but be swept away with them.  You do your homework and research because for me, preparation brings confidence.  Then, on the set, I pay attention, I listen to my scene partners and I jump in.  David knew what he wanted and so I always felt very safe.

How was it working on a film driven by so much CGI and visual effects?

Working on Fantastic Beasts was incredible.  Each day on set there were so many resources to take from to inspire your performance.  How did my coat feel on my shoulders, how did my feet sound on the wooden floor, what temperature was it outside?  CGI requires focus and commitment.  It is like playing make believe as a child, you choose to believe that whatever the special effect is that will be added later is actually in front of you now and you go for it!  Plus you are not alone, your fellow actors are taking the same leap of imagination, and it can be a lot of fun!

 

Are you scared or excited for the release of the film next month? Do you think it will live up to Harry Potter fans expectations?

I am excited.  Working on a film like Fantastic Beasts you see that every person has the same goal, to tell a great story.  I feel really lucky to be part of an ensemble cast and therefore there is not too much pressure.  You can be aware of expectations but ultimately you can only focus on your own contribution to the project.  JK said something I always think of in her Harvard commencement speech.  What we achieve on the inside effects our outer world.  So I like to remind myself that even to be in a film, and a film that has expectations, is a dream come true.

 

Words: Harley Cassidy

Read the full interview and see more exclusive photographs inside FAULT 24 – Available now

 

 

Little Mix Bonus Online Cover Shoot for FAULT Magazine Online

A Bonus (not so secret) photoshoot with the Little Mix to celebrate the release of  album – Glory Days

Often referred to as this generation’s Spice Girls, Little Mix are just on the cusp of releasing their latest album Glory Days. The girls are no newcomers to the FAULT scene, having previously been featured in issue 17– back when Salute was only just being released. It has been a while since and the foursome has surely done some growing up in the meanwhile. We caught up with Little Mix ahead of their album release and here’s their take on the past 5 years of their careers.

You’ve gone a long way since people first saw you on the X Factor. You’ve rocketed to the top, broken records and vanished the jinx of the X-Factor winner. How does it feel to prove everyone wrong?

Perrie: It feels really good. Every little bit of success we get, we feel massively grateful and humbled for it. I don’t think I’ve ever expected to have the success that we have now. But I’m glad we broke that curse for X Factor. We’re very proud of ourselves.

 

It’s been five years now. What do you think is the most important lesson that you’ve learned over the past five years?

Perrie: Just to try and stay grounded with all your family and friends. Hold your loved ones really close. And try to keep your own little circle of friends. It’s hard to trust people in this industry. So yeah, keep all your family close.

Jade: To appreciate what we have. I think it’s very easy in this job to think negatively and think low of yourself after working such long hours. We’re always tired, but we have to remember that we’re in a much better position than many other girls. And also – to never underestimate our success.

So straight out of the X Factor – what were the biggest issues that you encountered in the industry?

Leigh-Anne: We didn’t have a clue what to expect. When you’re in a show like that, you’re kind of thrown into it in a way that you don’t really have any time to adjust to it. I think we were just really lucky to have each other. Doing that on your own – must be so much pressure. I’m just really happy that I got to have these girls as my comfort blanket.

Was there a specific moment in your careers when you realized that you’re becoming role models for young girls and therefore had a responsibility towards them?

Perrie: I think being named role models kind of happened just naturally, we never really asked for it. Which is lovely, I love the fact that girls look up to us and we empower people and inspire them. But obviously, we’re young girls and we’re going to do silly things sometimes that can kind of put pressure on us, but we’re just being ourselves. And if that means that we’re being role models by just being ourselves, then that’s incredible. It’s a massive compliment.

 

And as so, do you have any particular life stories that you’d like to share with your young audience for them to learn from?

Leigh-Anne: Well, both Jade and me had bad skin when we were young. And we used to get teased. And at the time – you think it’s the worst thing in the world. What I would say to anyone that is suffering from it is the fact that it will go away and it’s not the end of the world.

As women in the public eye working in an industry that constantly scrutinizes people – women first and foremost – have you ever felt you had a responsibility to act against it?

Perrie: Well, now that we’ve got a bit of influence – which is amazing – we try our best to make something positive out of it. We don’t think it’s fair that women get scrutinized more than men. Everything is harder for a woman in every kind of aspect and that’s why we try to empower women with our music, our image and everything we stand for. If we can help a little bit, then we’re doing okay.  

 

How did you all find your individualities under the given circumstances?

Perrie: We kind of stayed the same I think. From the beginning, we all knew who we were individually, what our style was and what we liked and disliked. Nothing changed, it just evolved. We like to be individuals because more people can relate to us. People relate to Leigh-Anne differently than they relate to me and so on. We’re all tight knit, but we embrace our individualities too.

Have you always had this mindset?

Perrie: Yeah, we’ve had the same beliefs pretty much from the beginning. We’ve always wanted to be girl-power; we’ve always wanted to inspire people.

 

How do you usually cope with the pressure of that omnipresent eye of the media?

Perrie: At first, it was really horrible. We were really young; I was 17 when I got put into Little Mix. I felt like a baby, I didn’t know how to fend for myself. Moving to London was terrifying – to not be with my family. I think, at first, we found it hard reading things about ourselves that weren’t true. Like rumours or seeing a bad picture right on the front of a magazine or whatever it was. But now, we literally couldn’t care less.

Leigh-Anne: It doesn’t matter. We’ve learned how to deal with it all of it now. Everybody gets it. Adele, Beyoncé, everyone gets scrutinized. And it’s usually from people who don’t have a life.

What’s next for Little Mix?

Perrie: Hopefully a lot more success. But we’re very happy with this album. It’s a lot more mature, it’s very honest and it’s different to what we’ve done before. We just hope it does really well.

 

What’s your FAULT?

Perrie: I can be stubborn.

Leigh-Anne: When I gen drunk, I take things really seriously.

Jade: Mine is overthinking. I’m too much of a perfectionist.

 

Words: Adina Ilie

Little Mix Return to FAULT Magazine with Online Cover Shoot

Fashion Editor & Creative Direction: Rachel Holland | Photographer: Daniel Nadel @ Kayte Ellis Agency | Make-Up: Adam Burrell | Hair: Aaron Carlo @ Frank Agency | Styling Assistant: Lina Buckson | Photoshoot Location: Hotel Megaro

Fashion Editor & Creative Direction: Rachel Holland | Photographer: Daniel Nadel @ Kayte Ellis Agency | Make-Up: Adam Burrell | Hair: Aaron Carlo @ Frank Agency | Styling Assistant: Lina Buckson | Photoshoot Location: Hotel Megaro

Often referred to as this generation’s Spice Girls, Little Mix are just on the cusp of releasing their latest album Glory Days. The girls are no newcomers to the FAULT scene, having previously been featured in issue 17– back when Salute was only just being released. It has been a while since and the foursome has surely done some growing up in the meanwhile. We caught up with Little Mix ahead of their album release and here’s their take on the past 5 years of their careers.

 

You’ve gone a long way since people first saw you on the X Factor. You’ve rocketed to the top, broken records and vanished the jinx of the X-Factor winner. How does it feel to prove everyone wrong?

Perrie: It feels really good. Every little bit of success we get, we feel massively grateful and humbled for it. I don’t think I’ve ever expected to have the success that we have now. But I’m glad we broke that curse for X Factor. We’re very proud of ourselves.

 

It’s been five years now. What do you think is the most important lesson that you’ve learned over the past five years?

Perrie: Just to try and stay grounded with all your family and friends. Hold your loved ones really close. And try to keep your own little circle of friends. It’s hard to trust people in this industry. So yeah, keep all your family close.

Jade: To appreciate what we have. I think it’s very easy in this job to think negatively and think low of yourself after working such long hours. We’re always tired, but we have to remember that we’re in a much better position than many other girls. And also – to never underestimate our success.

So straight out of the X Factor – what were the biggest issues that you encountered in the industry?

Leigh-Anne: We didn’t have a clue what to expect. When you’re in a show like that, you’re kind of thrown into it in a way that you don’t really have any time to adjust to it. I think we were just really lucky to have each other. Doing that on your own – must be so much pressure. I’m just really happy that I got to have these girls as my comfort blanket.

 

Was there a specific moment in your careers when you realized that you’re becoming role models for young girls and therefore had a responsibility towards them?

Perrie: I think being named role models kind of happened just naturally, we never really asked for it. Which is lovely, I love the fact that girls look up to us and we empower people and inspire them. But obviously, we’re young girls and we’re going to do silly things sometimes that can kind of put pressure on us, but we’re just being ourselves. And if that means that we’re being role models by just being ourselves, then that’s incredible. It’s a massive compliment.

And as so, do you have any particular life stories that you’d like to share with your young audience for them to learn from?

Leigh-Anne: Well, both Jade and me had bad skin when we were young. And we used to get teased. And at the time – you think it’s the worst thing in the world. What I would say to anyone that is suffering from it is the fact that it will go away and it’s not the end of the world.

 

As women in the public eye working in an industry that constantly scrutinizes people – women first and foremost – have you ever felt you had a responsibility to act against it?

Perrie: Well, now that we’ve got a bit of influence – which is amazing – we try our best to make something positive out of it. We don’t think it’s fair that women get scrutinized more than men. Everything is harder for a woman in every kind of aspect and that’s why we try to empower women with our music, our image and everything we stand for. If we can help a little bit, then we’re doing okay.  

 

How did you all find your individualities under the given circumstances?

Perrie: We kind of stayed the same I think. From the beginning, we all knew who we were individually, what our style was and what we liked and disliked. Nothing changed, it just evolved. We like to be individuals because more people can relate to us. People relate to Leigh-Anne differently than they relate to me and so on. We’re all tight knit, but we embrace our individualities too.

Have you always had this mindset?

Perrie: Yeah, we’ve had the same beliefs pretty much from the beginning. We’ve always wanted to be girl-power; we’ve always wanted to inspire people.

 

How do you usually cope with the pressure of that omnipresent eye of the media?

Perrie: At first, it was really horrible. We were really young; I was 17 when I got put into Little Mix. I felt like a baby, I didn’t know how to fend for myself. Moving to London was terrifying – to not be with my family. I think, at first, we found it hard reading things about ourselves that weren’t true. Like rumours or seeing a bad picture right on the front of a magazine or whatever it was. But now, we literally couldn’t care less.

Leigh-Anne: It doesn’t matter. We’ve learned how to deal with it all of it now. Everybody gets it. Adele, Beyoncé, everyone gets scrutinized. And it’s usually from people who don’t have a life.


What’s next for Little Mix?

Perrie: Hopefully a lot more success. But we’re very happy with this album. It’s a lot more mature, it’s very honest and it’s different to what we’ve done before. We just hope it does really well.

 

What’s your FAULT?

Perrie: I can be stubborn.

Leigh-Anne: When I gen drunk, I take things really seriously.

Jade: Mine is overthinking. I’m too much of a perfectionist.

 

Words: Adina Ilie

 

A Night of Fashion, Music, Art and Fun @ FAULT Magazine X Lights Of Soho Party

Last night FAULT Magazine presented the latest collection between notable artist Maximilian Wiedemann and fashion house Collier Bristow. FAULT welcomed featured talent and contributors from our past, present and future issues down for a night of fun, music, art and fashion at London’s most talked about arts venue – Lights of Soho. Those who picked up a copy of FAULT 23, will recall the space from our cover shoot with Boy George and FAULT Focus piece with co-founder Dudley Spencer.

 

Featuring Maximilian’s latest venture into the fashion industry which we discussed earlier in the month (here), the venue was adorned with articles from the limited edition collection. Prints featured on the night included some of Max’s most famed statements “Closer to God in Heels’ and “Vanity Unfair”, those who read our interview will know that Wiedemann’s work is based very much in the world of irony.

Becca Dudley was the first DJ on the bill of the night and following her stint presenting the MTV EMA’s official backstage show in Rotterdam last week, Becca got the party started right!

Proceeding her whirlwind set, model, and DJ Josh Parkinson took to the stage followed by the Collyer Twins who played us into the early house.

To those wondering what the fancy drinks everyone is sipping in the photos, those come courtesy of Belvedere Vodka who fittingly joined forced with previous FAULT Coverstar John Legend for their RED campaign to fight Aids. The bar staff whipped up RED Martinis and Vodka Spritzers for our guests and they were instant crowd pleasers.

All in all the night was a resounding success (if we do say so ourselves), FAULT would like to personally thank everyone who came down to the launch to witness our debut bout into event hosting. It’s something we’ve been asked to do many times and with the opportunity to present great fashion, music, and art in the very venue we photographed cover star Boy George – everything fell into place marvelously.

For those who couldn’t make it, fear not, there’ll be more 😉

 

Photography: Sophie Jones

Max Wiedemann X Collier Bristow collection will be available to buy exclusively at Collier Bristow, instore and online, from Thursday 10th November.

 

FAULT Magazine in Conversation with Maximilian Wiedemann ahead of his Collier Bristow Collaboration

 

 

While planning this feature and our upcoming collaboration, I’ve read many other articles on Maximilian Wiedemann and his work and in my opinion, none have managed to capture and convey the soul of Max or what he is trying to show with his artwork. Like many artists, the more journalists that attempt to write and add outside narratives to his creations, the less people are listening to Max’s true voice which lives within his artwork. As Max gears up to launch his new range of t-shirt designs in collaboration with Collier Bristow, we wanted to learn more about Max and his views on the art world and beyond.

Rather than further muddy the waters and assign another box to place Maximillian’s artistry inside, I asked him to describe it in his own words for us.

 

Max: I’m a graffiti based artist. I come from the good old days inspired by modern art and subway artistry. I started painting on walls which were uninteresting to the public and it started to get me jobs and I was able to continue. If I had to describe my style, I’d say it’s where Haute meets street art.

Oozing with iconography and vibrant palettes, the rawness of his early work still appear in his contemporary pieces. In many ways, Max fills the space in the modern art world which Andy Warhol left behind. Despite his love of Haute, fashion, and the refined, Max stays true to his roots of street art and his original inspirations for creating. Observing his surroundings and finding art in the discord, Max’s work often plays on modern perception, themes, and self-reflection.

 

With the latest generation, I’m very aware that 15 minutes of fame is hugely sought after and admired but as an artist my job is to bring self-reflection to a relevant zeitgeist and plant new seeds for healthier ideas and ways of thinking.  

My new t-shirt designs mirror the vanity and the foolishness of those in our society who believe that money rules everything. “The better you look the more you see”, “The only pain Is champagne”, I’m turning the mirror on those people and reflecting their current mindset upon them in the harsh light of day.

The more I look at society the more I’m seeing how materialistic it is becoming and how much less we’re looking at the true values of humanity the way those who came before us did. I want a return to a broader way of thinking and to show that while money talks, it has nothing to say.

 

It’s clear that Maximillian cares and his frustrations are sincere and from a genuine place. For a clearer understanding, it’s best to observe Max’s own entrance into the art world. Finding his talent for street art and graffiti (or vandalism to some) and having never studied a formal art course, Max has never strayed from his grass roots mentality. Despite being commissioned by some of the biggest names and working with many social elites, there is a disdain in his voice when he discusses the “rich art school kids” anyone (including myself) would have met at university. Max is an artist who has excelled through the grit of his talent and has had nothing handed to him – while not fully innocent of splurging nor claiming to never have indulged during his success, he refuses to be a person of excess and refuses to create artwork just for a paycheque.

 

The rich are getting richer the poorer are struggling more. I’ve self-indulged at times, but I’m not going to do art without being in the position of messaging. My statements in this collection are directed at materialistic people who’ll do anything for a pay day. I’m asking them directly, “what is your integrity worth?”.  These are basic questions but I see more and more people chasing money instead of humanity or anything else without a financial gain.

 

The message is clear in his tone and his words that his latest body of work is born from his own frustrations with modern society and what he perceives to be the chasing of skewed ideals. While he touches on the point about his own times of self-indulgence, I also know that Max worked within the advertising industry for over ten years. I quizzed:

 

FAULT: You’ve said in the past that the advertising industry strengthened your understanding on the power of art, but as an artist, how could you not feel stifled or insincere working for such large and sometimes soulless corporations?

In advertising, we played the game of seducing people but with my art, I’m playing with the art of seduction which is a totally different thing. Living in the world of advertising I’d often tell myself, “this isn’t a real world, it’s faulty and manipulative.”

Advertising is the art of seduction but my seduction is my art.

I’m just putting a mirror up and showing you who you are and letting you truly perceive yourself and your values. People go and buy Rolexes in hopes that others will see it and say “wow, look at him and his money” but I want them to truly see themselves how I do. I have a design which takes their “Rolex” and I change it to “relax” as if to say “well done you own a Rolex what next? What does it truly mean? Nothing. Just relax.”  

You should be cool for what’s inside, if you can’t sit on a street curb and share interesting ideas and insights and only have a shiny watch and large bank account to offer, then you really have nothing.

I’m not against the establishment, I’m against soulless people who use daddy’s money as a ticket to notoriety to then become popular figures and idols. I’m a self-made man and I thought a long time about if I could do this art thing. But I’m putting my life on the line for this project because I have a message which I need to get out.

People are chasing money to pay for a soulless lifestyle which forces them to keep chasing money for even more soullessness, it’s a vicious cycle.

As an artist, I’m here to communicate. My art is communication.

 

Throughout our discussion, I’m wanting more and more to quiz Max on his chosen medium for this project. Why t-shirts and why fashion at all? By its very nature, fashion is materialistic and I recalling Oscar Wilde’s essay from 1885’s New York Tribune ( also published again in The Philosophy Of Dress’) “Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.”

 

FAULT: Fashion is and has been known to be a revolving door of ideas, trends and physical materials, so why choose such a throw away medium for such a long lasting message?

A canvas appears in someone’s home or gallery and is tucked away to be seen only those who are interested but I’m thrusting my message at you on a street level. I know it’s hypercritical to put it on a t-shirt but I feed off of the irony for this project. All my statements derive from irony, “La Vie En Pose”, “Detox to retox”, “The only pain is champagne” I’m in the business of the ironic and that’s the hidden or not-so-hidden layer to what I’m working on now.

On the same level, the collection is called Raw and Ready and you wear them direct from the hanger without receiving any social merit based on the name on the label alone. You can walk around with an outfit made by huge high fashion designers and receive a social standing based on that but with my collection, you have vibrant messaging without the social labeling. Once again I return to my saying “money talks but has nothing to say”, but my collection has much to say and much to question.

 

One take away from our discussion is the clarity of Max’s resolve to insight change of some degree to modern society. While conscious about adding another long and drawn out personal analysis of Max and further muddy the waters as mentioned in the article’s intro – it is important for me that Max’s message does not come across as false to our readers. There is a reason this interview is so challenging and far from the “What are you promoting? Why? What is your FAULT?” format some might expect. Launching a for-profit business in hopes of revealing the greed of modern society, sounds confusing on paper but through challenging discussion, we can hear his true motivations. A graffiti artist finds their canvas in the environment most needing of a message, and an artist finds a medium most suitable for their ideas – it’s no surprise then that Max has chosen fashion for his latest art piece.

As Max is passionate about having his name tied to this collection as am I with FAULT’s as we gear up to present the launch at Lights Of Soho this month. Grilling? Perhaps; but from this interview Max’s message is as clear as day and really fills us with excitement for his new collection. Time will only tell if the change Max is calling for will be acted on or if the statements he is making will be heard, but one thing is for certain, Max will keep creating and keep questioning as all great artists do.

Money may talk, but Max has far more too much to say before he listens to it.

Words: Miles Holder

 

Maximilian Wiedemann & Collier Bristow will launch their collaboration at Lights Of Soho on November 9th. For more information head over to lightsofsoho.com

Preview: FAULT Magazine BBC Class Special

By now, you’ll be well and truly engrossed in the brand new BBC Dr Who spin off ‘Class’. From the same universe of such a classic character, FAULT Issue 24 includes a ‘Class’ special feature on their lead cast members, Greg Austin, Fady ElsayedSophie Hopkins and Vivian Oparah. We learn more about the young cast, the characters they play and of course their FAULTS! Enjoy the preview below and see the whole feature inside FAULT 24 HERE.

 

Class. BBC. Working with one of the most iconic BBC shows of all time. How does it feel?

Sophie: Mad! Being part of the Doctor Who family – even being such a new show, the support that we’ve already had is unreal. I think Fady probably sees a lot more of the feedback than I do, with social media…

Fady: Yeah Sophie doesn’t have Twitter! I mean all over social media, all of the Doctor Who fans have been so interested to see what that world is going to bring them next. Being part of a show that so many people already respect…

 

There are so many aspects to the Doctor Who universe to potentially expand on. Why Coal Hill ?

Fady: It has been such an iconic area of the Doctor Who universe – so to be honest it’s been a long time coming!

Sophie: With Jenna Coleman’s character as Clara being a teacher at the school in the last season – it was a perfect moment in the Doctor Who timeline to link that in. To say hold on, okay, lets look over here now. People have already begun to see more of it, the seeds were already planted. It makes sense now in a way…

Fady: It’s particularly interesting being able to explore that universe in today’s world. Just seeing how this generation deals with that and how it fits into the 21st Century. I don’t think anyone will expect Coal Hill to be quite the way it is now.

 

While it exists within a known franchise, all the characters and story are original. How do you go about becoming a character

Vivian: I asked Patrick where [my character] Tanya came from, and it was his own personal life and books he’s read. For me, I had to bring her out of myself and how I identify with her. Throughout the series she makes many social comments which reminds me of myself at her age and I remember angst of being around friends who were much older and having to find my way. 

How did it feel to hear you had the part in such a huge production?

Vivian: My audition for Class was my first ever audition. They hinted that it was linked to the Dr Who universe in some way but I couldn’t fathom how big of a production this actually is until I got the job and started filming.

 

qsqs

Photography: Miles Holder / Hair: Shamirah Sairally /Makeup: Mario Brooksbank Stylist: Amii Mcintosh

 

Did you find parallels between Charlie and yourself?

Greg: When I first read it, I was like “this is me”. He’s very quiet and awkward like myself and I find that with any role you’ll find something to empathise with and build upon. There is one very specific side of me which is Charlie and remember being thirteen years of age and no knowing how to handle being a teenager and I feel Charlie is me at that stage. Forever striving to make sense of it all and fit in . 

You’ve all been to Comic Con and met with the die-hard Doctor Who fans. What’s it like to be up close and personal with so many excited fans of the show?

Greg: I love it to pieces because I’m one of those die-hards! I’ve been going to Comic Con for years, so the chance to actually be on a panel and interacting with people who appreciate the show and it’s history and who have excitement for its future is such a dream come true for me. 

Read the full interview and see more exclusive solo and group photographs inside FAULT 24 – Available now

Theo Rossi Up Close and Uncaged for FAULT Magazine

Theo Rossi is best known to his fans for playing “Juice”—the tatted up, mohawked, and hopelessly troubled underdog—on FX’s long-running TV series Sons of Anarchy. Now the Staten Islander is set to attract an even bigger fan base as the Marvel Cinematic Universe soldiers on with Netflix’s Luke Cage. The setup? After a sabotaged experiment leaves a wrongly accused man with superhuman strength and bulletproof skin, he breaks out of prison and attempts to find a semblance of normality in modern day Harlem, New York City. But it’s not long before his many adversaries pull him out from the shadows—among them Rossi’s own supervillain Shades Alvarez—forcing him to confront a past he tried to bury. Luke Cage is the latest in a string of shows leading up to Marvel and Netflix’s event series The Defenders set to premiere in 2017, which will see Rossi’s comic book world collide with that of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Iron Fist.

 

 

F: So you’re obviously big on tattoos. What’s happening with that these days?

          TR: Back in the day, you got a tattoo and that was that. You weren’t thinking about where to put it and just got something that meant something to you. As I got older, I got crazy about symmetry and making things even. I want to tell a story by linking the tattoos I do have, especially after having my son. This tattoo artist and I just spent a couple of hours talking about how to put it all together in a really cool way. I’m really excited about it.

F: You’re a family guy. You’re big on your Staten Island roots. Was it nice to shoot Luke Cage closer to home after being on the West Coast with Sons of Anarchy?

          TR: Without a doubt! Luke Cage was predominantly shot in Harlem. I would say the heavy majority of it was shot on the streets and rooftops around there. All the stage work is done in-studio in Brooklyn, and that’s where Daredevil and Jessica Jones also shoot. I lived in Los Angeles, on and off, for 15 years. I think we were in season five of Sons when [Hurricane] Sandy hit Staten Island and that’s when I decided to move back to the East Coast. I knew that Sons was going seven seasons and, more importantly, I was going to be on for all the seasons. So I created an exit plan. It just so happens that a month or two before I got back to New York, Luke Cage came into my life. To come back to New York City and do Luke Cage—you can’t write a better book than that for me.

F: Were you hesitant about joining another TV show after such a long run on Sons?

          TR: My agent and everybody were asking me, “Do you want to do another TV show?” There are so many TV shows and people don’t realise this. There are like 400 TV shows on the air. I told them, “The only way I’d go back to TV is if it had a Comic-Con type of audience.” That’s what I felt we had with Sons. I felt that passion. There’s a giant difference when you look at something like the fans’ passion for Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and Jessica Jones. There’s a fanboy type of love that is so intriguing to me as an actor. Once you feel it, you only want that in TV. I wasn’t interested in doing a procedural on network television. I have a lot of friends who do it, but it’s just not for me. In this day and age, it’s all about Netflix and Marvel. They’re at the top of their game.

F: There’s a lot of secrecy surrounding your character Shades Alvarez on Luke Cage. He has been described as “the ultimate opportunist.” Could you elaborate on that?

          TR: Well, he’s from the original comic book Luke Cage, Hero for Hire from 1972. Shades has a massively long history with Luke. And since he has this history with Luke, it makes him very dangerous. There’s constant purpose in every move, look and decision that’s made, so he’s the ultimate chess player. He’s the ultimate opportunist because he uses humans as pawns. He’s always shifting things around to his advantage, whether the other characters know this or not. He’s just so patient. I’ve never played a character so patient.

F: How often do you get asked about the challenges of acting with sunglasses on?

          TR: All the time! [Laughs] I didn’t think it was a big deal at first and then you’re in these dark clubs at night. The dark Ray-Bans are such an important little aspect of Shades, not just because it was derived from the original comic book, but it also really does make him that much more—for the lack of a better word—shady. Anyone who wears sunglasses at night in a club is either on peyote or just a little “off” like Shades is. As we started doing more episodes, I was like, “Am I not communicating?” The thing is, I act so much with my eyes. The eyes are everything. With some of the best acting I’ve seen, nothing is spoken. So to then take that away, that was a really big challenge. Amazingly, the person who I had to study was Charlie Cox on Daredevil. I was like, “How is this kid doing this and still getting his emotional points across?” Shades does take them off sometimes…

F: I know you played a bunch of sports growing up. You’re an obsessive runner these days. Did you have to take up additional physical training to prep for Luke Cage?

          TR: I feel lucky because we kind of covered the gamut of physical activity with Sons. I just finished a race last weekend for Nike and I’m training for the New York City Marathon. Running started for me when I had to lose a bunch of weight for a role I took on. What I found was that it’s the easiest way for me to escape life for a minute and go reset. I could also do whatever task was at hand while running—memorizing lines, and figuring out how to excel in one of my businesses and move it into its next phase—because I’m so competitive and always want to test myself. You’re waiting all the time as an actor. When they say you shoot all day, you don’t really shoot all day. You actually shoot about 45 minutes of footage total. I used to come home at three or five in the morning after a shoot and just start running. I just had to get moving and get my brain working again.

F: Do you think about mortality a lot? And where do you think that comes from?

          TR: I’ve had a lot of people leave around me, either by their own hands or just the roll of the dice. It made me very aware of it from the first person I saw go that I was super close to when I was very young. I knew that this isn’t forever, and whether people want to admit it or not, it’s terrifying! Things get real short, real fast. You blink and the day is over.

F: What is your FAULT?

TR: I want to do everything. I want to do absolutely everything and my mind is constantly jumping from one thing to another. It’s like that [Dylan Thomas] poem: “Rage, rage against the dying of the light!” I’m going to rage into the light. [Laughs] I’m very, very aware that I have a very short time on this Earth. This is why I try to be as clearheaded as possible and do everything possible. The only reason I say this is a FAULT is because there’s not a lot of rest living that kind of existence. But I’m more than okay with that.