LFWM: SS18 BODYBOUND REVIEW

An exploration between the vulnerability of sheer fabrics juxtaposed with the machismo of barbed wire was just one of the combinations at Bodybound’s SS18 show that subtly exposed the political turmoil of the ‘70s. “WE SHALL NOT WILT” is appliquéd across over-dyed denim jackets, a quote by Abbie Hoffman who in 1968 formed a political part in the US protesting against the Vietnam War. Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ echoed down the catwalk contrasting with the slick silhouettes of the collection. And while the ‘70s are the main influencer, the duo Champion and Pliny acknowledge the turbulence surrounding modern day politics, economics and gender issues with Peace symbols and true adorned “flower power”. Dusty blues were the powering force behind the colour palette, with accents of whites, greys and blacks; a nod to the modern masculine man, amongst feminine detailing. Well-tailored, minimalism, utilitarian and clean lines all describe the aesthetic; a wildflower Jacquard printed trouser suit with matching boots blurred the seams between masculinity and femininity. Jumping on the embroidered patches bandwagon, Bodybound instead stitches embellished flowers to punk up their garments, manipulating flora and fauna into symbols of rebellion.

 

Words: Emily Simpson 

LFWM: SS18 VIVIENNE WESTWOOD REVIEW

The political climate, which as of late has been turbulent world-over to say the least, expectedly reigns through at Vivienne Westwood’s SS18 show. Circus-like folk music bounced through the basketball court at Seymour Leisure Centre, London, as messages about environmentalism and strategies to save the world danced across the model’s bodies. Westwood implies money makes the world go down as multiple hand-drawn ‘o’s’ represent the zeroes of billions in which our society revolves around. Contemporary dancers and ballerinas donning apron-like dresses, t-shirts and skirts protest with slogans in bold blacks on clean whites. Skirt-suits, v-neck jumpsuits and especially the spades playing card suit, feature prominently; the latter being a victim of Westwood’s decon-recon, as the ace of spades here signifies our reaping of the earth. Playful clown-faced acrobats, flattened water bottles as foot-wear, fish-net stockings full of litter and redesigned suits (the deck of cards-kind as well as sartorial), made light of the collection to those unknowing. Those clued in however, discern that the designer is still firmly holding a middle finger up to the conglomerates of the world.

Words: Emily Simpson

FAULT Focus: Khadija Saye: Remembering The Artist Through Her Photography

 

Early Thursday morning, the reality of London’s Grenfell Tower blaze hit home for myself and my fellow UCA alumni as we read the final Facebook update from our once classmate, Khadija Saye. Trapped within the burning building, Khadija reached out for prayers from her loved ones, and they rushed to the streets and social media in hopes of finding her. Sadly, the next day Khadija’s family would confirm that what we feared the most had come to fruition, Khadija had tragically perished in the blaze.

While we did share a class throughout university, myself and Khadija were not close friends. Remembering my panic as I scrolled Google and social media desperately looking for an update on her condition, I feel compelled to help ensure that her captivating body of work and not the tragedy of her passing, form her lasting legacy.

As an artist, her work cast a light on Gambian culture, the collective unity within “the other” and her journey into self. In memorial of Khadija and the conclusion of her photographic portfolio, FAULT takes a dive into the work of the late great artist – Khadija Saye.

 

‘Crowned’

In 2013, Khadija took her seat at the proverbial table and unveiled her centrepiece in the form of her photographic project entitled, ‘Crowned’. This series of photographs is one of the projects that our class was able to observe as it developed from inception to completion as Khadija’s final degree show series. ‘Crowned’ is made up of eight portraits showcasing the different ways in which black woman close to Khadija styled their hair. From woven braids, extensions, dreaded and natural afro, the viewer is given a glimpse into the diverse range of hair styling possibilities open to black women.

Entitled ‘Crowned’, Saye references the physical and the symbolic idea that black hair is something to be prized and adorned and not ashamed of. The words of Ingrid Banks taken from her book entitled ‘Hair Matters: Beauty, Power, and Black Women’s Consciousness’ echoes in my mind when I reflect upon Khadija’s title choice. In the book, Banks writes:

“Crown suggests a source of power, excellence or beauty…Therefore, a notion of power is embedded in the idea of hair as a black woman’s crowning glory. Hair has the ability to become a foundation for understanding how black woman view power and its relationship to self-esteem” –  Ingrid Banks 2000.

More contemporary references to black hair as something of brilliance can also be seen in Solange Knowles’ critically acclaimed 2016 release ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’, where within the opening verse Solange exclaims:

“Don’t touch my crown, They say the vision I’ve found”

“They don’t understand, What it means to me”.

One does wonder what significance Khadija’s perception of her own afro hair and its beauty played in her choosing to embark on the project and if I were to guess, producing ‘Crowned’ was a labour of love and presentation of self-pride. Indeed in March 2017, four years after the release of the series, Khadija reminisced on the making of the project in joy tweeting:

 

In the image, her young assistants observe possibly unaware of the importance their participation played in the construction of ‘Crowned’ or how it might affect their perceptions towards their afro hair and ideas of self in years to come; truly the impact of ‘Crowned’ will stretch on far further than even Khadija would have imagined.

As the only black male on our course, I once attempted to play up my “wokeness” and asked Khadija if she had seen “the Chris Brown documentary called ‘Good Hair’”, (misquoting Chris Rock’s 2009 documentary that focussed on the perception of natural hair within the African-American community.) Emblematic of her kind-hearted and gentle attitude, Khadija, of course, corrected my mistake letting out a light giggle; dropping my façade I listened to her thoughts on the documentary.

Earlier I referenced Solange Knowles’ ‘Don’t Touch My Hair’, a fiery anthem that highlights the resentment caused by patronising actions which decrease afro hair to a thing of play but observing ‘Crowned’, the same frustrated narrative does not confront me. My interpretation of ‘Crowned’ isn’t, “don’t touch my hair!” It is an inviting, “Don’t touch but do see. Bear witness to the beautiful ways black women can choose to style their crowns.” The viewer is invited to marvel at the intricacies of the different twists, curls and over-locking structures of the sitter’s hair and when printed and framed in a gallery, we’re disarmed and hypnotised by their sophisticated beauty.

It’s important we recognise the personal connection Saye shared with the women she photographed. The trust the sitters have placed in Khadija is unique; formed not just from a shared experience of blackness but through the confidence these women placed in Khadija’s skill as an artist to capture so much more than just hair. It is thanks to her affable character that Khadija was trusted to capture up-close the art within her subject and through her artistry and presentation nous, she allowed the viewer to appreciate black women’s hairstyles up close as something of splendour.

Khadija’s ‘Crowned’ might end here, but the project as a form of inspiration to a new generation of artists will continue. The eight sitters included on Saye’s website are but a drop in the ocean of the many different ways black woman can choose to style their hair; making ‘Crowned’ a gleaming seed from which the mightiest body of work can still grow.

 

Home.Coming

For her series entitled ‘Home.Coming’, Khadija travelled to The Gambia and documented her exploration of self through a series of portrait and landscape photographs.

Something I notice through all of Khadija’s work is her ability to find familiarity and gain trust within cultures sometimes seen as ‘the other’. ‘Home.Coming‘, ‘Crowned‘, ‘Eid‘, ‘Madame Jojo’s‘, all focus on different categories of the human experience yet notice how she has never been kept at arm’s length from her subject. I don’t feel the presence of a white tape that Saye is forced to photograph from behind when I observe her work. When capturing her subjects, for a time at least, Khadija is one with their environment and through her lens’ eye, the viewer is too.

For me, the unseen friendship-building and conversations Saye would have had with each person to earn their trust before the photo session conjures much intrigue. The above portraits arrest your gaze; the men’s eyes tell countless yet frustratingly unattainable stories. Khadija has stopped time but for a moment yet opened the door for myriads of questions – made sorrowfully more perplexing now they’ll go unanswered.

In another photograph from the series, a young girl smiles as she watches something out of the frame and in the below photograph a man leans on his prized Volkswagen, both beg a mountain of questions yet if we take a step back, we’ll find Khadija’s story told throughout the series.

Any second generation migrant knows all too well the conflicted notion of “home”, and from what I can only guess, Khadija travelled to The Gambia to find, explore and reflect on life in a home in which she did not live. While the content of Khadija’s photographs doesn’t answer the question of “did Khadija find self and the comfort of home while in The Gambia” but we need only look at her sitters to find our answer. As referenced previously, her subjects are unperturbed in front of the camera and this is likely because they were relaxed with their photographer. Any artist can tell you the anguish of requesting a portrait of a stranger only to watch their sudden discomfort when faced with the intrusive camera lenses flung in their face but notice the air of calm in Khadija’s work.

Yes, each photograph in the series contains countless untold stories, yet one is clear, and it’s the sitter’s tale of Khadija. As a photographer, she wasn’t a stranger in their midst nor a second generation displaced entity forcibly taking up shop in their domain; for that time if only for a moment, Khadija Saye was one with them – truly at home.

 

Dwelling: In This Space We Breathe

Khadija’s last exhibited work ‘Dwelling: In This Space We Breathe’ made with the help of artist, Almudena Romero, saw her once more exploring her heritage by investigating traditional Gambian spiritual practices and the comfort practitioners found in the arms of a higher power.

There is something remarkably poignant about her final project immortalised on such a physically existent format such as the tintype. By using tintypes, Khadija transformed her amorphous visual being, memory and legacy from a temporary state and gave it physical form. Unlike a digital file, memory or spoken recollection, her tintype image has weight, texture, smell and uniqueness the very same way our physical forms do; yet unlike us, her tintypes do not have an expiration date and will always remain.

The very idea of legacy and the pursuit of artists to leave a token in this world for after we pass, itself is a practice of spirituality. For all we know, there is no telling of what significance our life actions will play after our lives come to an end, yet we attempt to leave proofs of our existence to tell the future world “I was here and I existed.”

In the tintype images, Khadija is depicted in a ritual using sacred Gambian artefacts meant for the purpose of connecting with the spiritual world from the physical plane. Now with her passing, there is a spiritual awakening of ideas and ways of reflecting within the viewer. Now as we gaze upon the imagery, it is us the viewer who are being connected with Khadija and in turn, linked spiritually to the “once was”.It is through Khadija’s immortalisation of Gambian ritual that we now look upon her from this physical plane despite what would be considered by many religions as her soul ascending to a higher state of being.

I’ll admit that the above sounds somewhat of a stretch and likely not what the project was intended to symbolise, but it did cast a light on my scepticism towards schools of beliefs that I do not understand. In reflecting on the work, my own westernised perception of spiritual ritual has come into question. For myself at least, the actions depicted by Khadija provides a brand new outlook and way of seeing such ceremony.

For some of those raised in the UK, the idea of spirituality and non-conventional western religion is sometimes considered as something of myth or fantasy, not necessarily through conscious choice but through our conditioned view of pre-evangelised spirituality.

In Sir Edward Burnett Tylor’s 1887 book (now somewhat offensively entitled) ‘Primitive Culture’, he gave the broad belief that spirituality can be attributed to ritual and inanimate objects the name ‘Animisim’.

Note: ‘Animisim’ does not exclusively describe the Gambian ritual Khadija explored in her project but broadly refers to the school of similar beliefs held by people throughout Africa, Europe, Asia and Australia throughout history. Hopefully an anthropologist or practitioner of the specific belief Khadija explored can provide a more suitable title for us to use in this essay.

While coining the English term for the phrase, Tylor knew he was generalising a large number of people, but he did so out of frustration with writers of his day who saw such displays and dismissed them as illegitimate forms of spirituality.

“Short of the organised and established theology of the higher races as being a religion at all. They attribute irreligion to tribes whose doctrines are unlike theirs”. – Taylor 1887

The link between the photographic process and spirituality is also drawn upon in the accompanying text for ‘Diaspora Pavilion 2017’ where the works are currently held on display.

“The process of submerging the collodion covered plate into a tank of silver nitrate ignites memories of baptisms.” – Disapora Pavilion 2017

It is clear Khadija found a spiritual link at every step of this project even choosing herself as the subject when producing the tintypes but rather than theorising or projecting, it’s only right to let the words that accompany the project have the final word:

“This work is based on the search for what gives meaning to our lives and what we hold onto in times of despair and life changing challenges. We exist in the marriage of physical and spiritual remembrance. It is in these spaces that we identify with our physical and imagined bodies. Using herself as the subject, Saye felt it was necessary to physically explore how trauma is embodied in the black experience.” – Disapora Pavilion 2017

 

Notice how throughout Khadija’s entire body of work, there’s a level of thinking that transcends just the art of seeing. All three projects spoken about above are unique individual displays of artistry and wonderous displays of photography worth that of an artist far beyond Khadija’s years.

‘Crowned’, ‘Home.Coming’ and ‘Dwelling: In This Space We Breathe’, are all linked only by the artist of origin and much like Khadija, they mean and will continue to mean so much to so many different people. Reminiscent of the Khadija that I knew from across the lecture theatre, not a lot is shouted nor is it displayed with over-the-top performance – because work and artists with true substance donesn’t require such theatrics.

This week we sadly lost Khadija, but not her contribution to the artistic world.

 

See more from Khadija’s portfolio on www.sayephotography.co.uk

 

 

 

LFWM: SS18 D.GNAK REVIEW


SS18 was the debut collection for South Korean menswear brand D.GNAK. With the designers trademark being the fusion of traditional Korean menswear and western tailoring, this season showed the introduction of new colour and detail. The inspiration came from the concept of ‘inevitable interaction’, with the clothes made suitable for our hyper connected society. Classic Korean silhouettes, resembled by distinct folding and necklines, were blended with suit jackets and leather shorts, held together by the continual use of thick contrasting trims, buttons and silver buckles. Mustard drawstring trousers were worn with long matching zip-lined jackets; while beige sweatshirts were detailed with write rope. Accents of red ran through the collection, perhaps to represent the colour of the national flag, and Korean wording was inked in black on the models foreheads, a graphic reminder to not loose your sense of culture. Inclusively D.GNAK cleverly formed a collection that mixed traditional Korean fashion with the modern influence of western dressing, diverse enough for the streets of London Tokyo, New York or Seoul.

Words: Sarah Barnes 

LFWM: SS18 KATIE EARY REVIEW

The Katie Eary SS18 collection was an eclectic collaboration with brands BOY London and Spliffy, all pioneers in the history of British street fashion. This season took us back to the cloth obsessed youths who valued utilitarianism, accessibility and design. Models strutted to vibrating beats wearing pieces that were lux yet had a rough edge and showcased both sexuality and humor. Washed denim jeans from Spliffy were worn low to revel silky boxers, while trackies were reinvented with mesh and netting and paired with oversized parkas, equip with bungey cord belts. Neon colouring was a standout trend with tank tops and macs ranging from emerald greens to electric blues. BOY London logoed silk jumpers and printed hoodies that were worn with rucksacks and vibrant trainers. Eary’s patterns were inspired by the world underneath us and above us, the prominent prints of creepy crawlies covered high cut swimming costumes and flight jackets. The models even looked through bug-eyed masks and astronaut like helmets, proving that two worlds not dominated by humans could dominate the designs that humored our adolescent nostalgia.

Words: Sarah Barnes 

LFWM: SS18 KATIE EARY – BACKSTAGE

Backstage at Katie Eary SS18 photographed exclusively for FAULT by Chidubem/Lost in Talent

FAULT Magazine Reviews: Roast, Borough Market

 

London’s Borough Market has always home to foodies and street food lovers and for over a decade, Roast has been at the centre of the hype surrounding the area.With Summer just around the corner, FAULT is on the quest to bring you the very best of dining experiences in London for our 2018 “Where To Dine This Summer Guide” and with that in mind, we headed down to see if it would live up to all the hype!

On entering the restaurant, you’re instantly transported from the hustle and bustle of the street below and welcomed to the cosmopolitan and modernly furnished restaurant; not what one would expect from an establishment priding itself on being “deliciously British” but that’s not to say the restaurant is stale and lifeless, quite the opposite. Located over two floors of Floral Hall, the restaurant is spacious and from our table, we could see marvel at views of St Pauls and The Shard – all rather elegant.

The aperitif menu is expansive and that’s without mentioning the welcoming bar at the front of the restaurant. We started with a Sweet Black Manhattan- not too sweet and not too bitter either, a perfect start.

 

Starter Menu:

Rock oysters with Scrubby Oak apple vinegar and shallots 6 Carlingford 18.50 / 12 Carlingford 36.00 6 Jersey 17.50 / 12 Jersey 34.00

Scallops with spiced apple tea raisins, cauliflower and cashew nuts 14.00

Baked charcoal cheddar soufflé with oyster mushrooms and chives 8.50

Baby kale with sprouting beans, avocado, miso aubergine, feta and salted almonds 10.25

 

 

From the starter menu above, you’d be forgiven for thinking the flavours (on paper at least) wouldn’t be anything to write home about but alas you’d be wrong. I went with the cheddar soufflé with my dining guest choosing the less adventurous scallops. The soufflé you’ll be happy to know tastes exceptionally better than it looks – well bodied and well complimented by oyster mushrooms and chives, at first I didn’t have the highest of hopes but Roast was able to put their own twist on the dish and serve up a real treat. My guest’s scallops were fried expertly and the adorning cashews were given the same fine treatment – if you do visit Roast, be sure not to jump straight to the mains.

With both of us deciding on red wine – we left it up to our waiter to choose a wine for us. We went with a modest Italian Bacchus Rosso Piceno Ciu Ciu and while it was nowhere near the most extravagant wine in their cellar – it certainly went down a treat.

For my main, I went for the beef wellington,  and it was truly cooked to perfection. Throughout the whole dining experience, Roast continued to take what is usually a standard flavoured dish and heightened it to gourmet standard. The exterior was light, crispy and just the right amount of butter glazed, which is a lot to say about the pastry alone but it really was perfect. The meat was flavoursome, tender and just how I wanted it. The course was accompanied with crispy roast potatoes which were but I’d highly recommend the ‘Creamed spinach with nutmeg’ as a side.

My dining guest went with the Hereford sirloin steak on the bone (400g) with chimichurri and chips and from what I hear, it was “banging” – which I can confirm is a positive trait. I did have a try and while the steak was indeed impressive – it also confirmed that our waiter who I asked to select the wine for us is an expert at wine pairing. The flavours of the meat and chimichurri were complimented extremely well with the juicy summer berry hints from the Bacchus Rosso Piceno Ciu Ciu.

Somehow I found room for the Eton Mess which was equally as exceptional but I’m running out of positive adjectives and word count so let’s move on.

So does the Roast make the list? It sure does! If you’re looking for the homely country pub style roast then setting wise, Roast is not going to provide the experience you crave but what if lacks in homeliness it more than makes up for in other areas. We’d highly recommend Roast for our readers looking to visit the quintessential foodie capital but still want a more refined meal than that served on the markets below. Roast is where you go when quality and taste are at the forefront of the experience. Not just for the leisurely diners, it also doubles as the perfect venue to host business lunches with non-locals who are looking to sample the very best of British food.

It must also be said that the service provided by all the staff, from the maître d to the waiters inside was exemplary and a great model for every high-end venue staff in the capital – great customer service needn’t be robotic and the Roast staff have mastered this.

If you’re looking for the best British food that London has to offer, look no further than Roast.

 

http://www.roast-restaurant.com/

 

Monday-Friday:

7am-11am, 12pm-3.45pm, 5.30pm-10.45pm

Saturday:

8.30am-11am, 12pm-3.45pm, 6pm-10.45pm

Sunday:

11.30am-6.30pm

 

 

Camila Cabello reveals her upcoming album title and release date of her debut single!

FAULT Issue 25 coverstar Camila Cabello has released further details to her debut solo album releasing later this year. Tweeting to her followers, Camila has revealed that her album is to be entitled “The Hurting. The Healing. The Loving.” and it will chronicle Camila’s journey from darkness into light. In Camila’s words, the album will give an insight into “a time when I was lost to a time when I found myself again.”

You might remember from our interview with Camila, we wrote about how “Camila moves graciously through the attempted adumbration of negativity into the spotlight” and it sounds like her new album will be an exact telling of just how she has grown to become the artist she is today.

Camila also revealed that her debut solo single will be released this Friday (19th May) so Camila fans have 4 days left to make sure their wigs are glued on tight in an attempt to avoid an inevitable snatching!

The new single will follow hit collaborations “Hey Ma” with J Balvin and Pitbull from the “The Fate of the Furious” soundtrack and the international smash “Bad Things” with Machine Gun Kelly, which reached #1 on the Billboard pop chart and has racked up over 148,000,000 YouTube views to date. Camila has also previously duetted with Shawn Mendes on the track “I Know What You Did Last Summer.”

You can read more from our exclusive interview and photoshoot with Camila HERE