Style In My DNA – An Exploration of Windrush Style and Fashion

Seventy years ago today, the SS Windrush pulled in at Tilbury dock, bringing with it the first Caribbean workforce to help rebuild Britain after the second world war. This would mark the first but not the last mass migration of peoples from the Carribean to the UK as more and more citizens of the commonwealth were encouraged to “do their part” and help rebuild the then wartorn motherland.

Lorna Holder’s ‘Style In My DNA: 70 years of British Caribbean fashion’, chronicles the ever-changing waves of Carribean fashion. The book begins with the very first men who stepped off the SS Windrush in 1948 and continues up to the present the day.

The book features a mixture of fashion photography, illustration and archival imagery to show the idea fashion and style helped bring an entire generation of peoples from outliers of society to being at the very forefront of fashion, design and beauty industry today.

Lorna Holder (centre) – Head of Young Fashion at Davis and Field (1980s)

Alongside the fashion analysis, the book also contains Lorna Holder’s own personal memoirs, giving us a first-hand account of just what was happening within the fashion industry behind closed doors. Most notably, it reveals just what a black woman in 1952 would have to face in order to gain notoriety within the worlds most exclusive industry.

1980’s Preppy look

While there is a focus on the British style, the book also take us on a journey around the world as we read Lorna climbs the ladder at New York City’s Bloomingdales, studies under the tutelage of Pauline Denyer, (wife of the well-known fashion designer, Sir Paul Smith), conducts Oman’s first televised fashion show in Oman and much more.

All in all, ‘Style In My DNA: 70 years of British Caribbean fashion’, provides a look at the fashion industry from a whole new vantage point. While both a theoretical study and autobiographic read, it reminds us that the Windrush generation and the generations that followed played a huge part in shaping the fashion industry into what it is today. To bear witness to the fundamental ways Carribean culture and fashion have shaped the UK and beyond, is to ensure that the
significant contributions made throughout the years will never be forgotten.

 

Style In My DNA is available from Foyles, Waterstones, Taureg

Join Lorna Holder as she discusses her 35-year career in the fashion industries at London V&A Museum on June 24th 2018

 

 

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

Is Fashion School a Worthy Investment?

The global fashion is currently valued at 3 trillion dollars, making up 2% of the world’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Traditionally favoured by those with sartorial flair, fashion is now being scene as a potential moneymaker, with high-end companies such as Chanel boasting brand values in the region of $8 billion. Because it is so intricately tied in with glamour and celebrity, fashion is fast becoming an interesting career choice for creatives. According to The World University Rankings, the UK is currently the world’s top destination for fashion students, with British institutions accounting for five of the 10 best BA and MA programmes in the Business of Fashion’s (BoF’s) world list of top fashion courses.

 

Fashion Education is Booming

Students today have many more options when it comes to a degree in fashion than they did just a decade ago. In the UK, for instance, the London College of Fashion recently launched a new Fashion Business School, where students learn about much more than designing garments, “Projects can range from future forecasting to creating a limited edition range of footwear and accessories or even looking for the response to a burning issue in sustainability. And our students of media and communications know all about promoting the outcomes of these projects,” claims the school. Today, there are many options for those who study fashion; rather than focusing merely on product design, they can use skills obtained to work in a plethora of roles, including marketing, social media, sales, and production management.

 

What ROI can an Education in Fashion Provide?

Central Saint Martins and The Royal College of Art have officially been deemed the top two schools in the BoF Global Fashion School of Rankings. Interestingly, the BoF notes that among the over 4,000 students who participated in their survey, most were ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with aspects such as the teaching, study materials, and campuses. However, they were less satisfied with the support offered to find employment. Many students have to raise finances for their schooling through bank loans or loans from family, and wish there was more help from their educational institutions once their degree was over.

 

What is the Solution?

The BoF suggests that top fashion institutions should place greater emphasis on career options, increasing student awareness on possible options through career fairs and similar events. They also note that there is an oversupply of graduates from the fashion sector, with only one in seven UK students finding employment as designers in 2014. However, they noted another interesting statistic: around 85% of fashion school graduates did find jobs in the industry, though not necessarily as designers.

 

Success Stories

There is no doubt that studying at a prestigious institution can open doors. Thus, studying at the UK’s top school or other European stalwarts such as the Istituto Europeo di Design in Italy or the Institut Français de la Mode in France can mean a chance to work as an intern at high-end firms such as Marni, Louis Vuitton, or Reem Acra. Students should be prepared to work in departments they aren’t necessarily interested in. At top fashion companies based in London, Milan, or Paris, movement is possible and students can find that time spent in sales or administration is a small investment for a career in fashion.

 

Advice from Experts

In a recent article in The Guardian, editor-at-large of Refinery UK noted that practical experience and building contacts were key to making it in the fashion world. In the same article, a host of experts recommended attending fairs, considering a placement year, starting local, and looking for alternative routes; everything from garment tech to pattern cutting. Creativity is also key; students should look for ways to start one’s own business rather than form part of the vast group of job applicants who send their CVs to a handful of established firms. Building a name for oneself through a beautiful, well-thought-out Instagram account is also important. Social media has made many a star in areas as vastly different as music, art, and literature. 

Fashion school continues to boast a good employment rate, though changes need to be made both in the way students are guided towards a career in their final years, and in students’ expectations. Students should realise that the aim is to make it into a firm that offers them the opportunity to work in a variety of departments. That is, they may begin in sales or marketing, and eventually work their way to product. Many students actually find abilities they did not previously know they had in areas such as communication and media. There are many roads to success, so keeping an open mind in this time of high supply is key.

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

Galvin Green from Function 18: must-have gear for golf fantatics

Galvin Green from Function 18

Golfers among us will recognise the name Galvin Green as one of the highest quality. Their garments, while understated, boast the technical design and consideration that is more typically seen in top of the range ski wear. The materials used are what strikes you first, with that stretchable fabric that ensures a tailored fit, while breathable enough that you don’t incubate. As with ski wear, golf clothing ought to be attractive, but needs to be comfortable and highly flexible; Galvin Green does exactly that. The tops are windproof and resilient to the elements and all the attributes lead to that prevalent word whenever this brand is mentioned: quality.

Galvin Green Dex Insula Golf Pullover

The Galvin Green Dex Insula Golf Pullover might — as its name implies — be marketed toward golfers, but in many ways that undersells it. The Dex Insula is premium sportswear no matter what metric you choose to employ to measure it by; fit, fabric, design… it’s superb. I haven’t yet tested its insulating properties to any extremes, but it has not fallen short so far in our tumultuous British Spring. Finally, and there’s no macho way to express this: it’s really soft. You can pretend that soft isn’t appealing all you like: no one’s buying it.

Another key component of golf clothing is, of course, sartorial sensibility. OK, the Galvin Green Dex Insula Golf Pullover isn’t exactly Ian Poulter grade gear but it is extremely stylish nonetheless. The lightweight yet durable polyester and elastane blend makes it flexible enough to adjust to your body movement while also having the added benefit of being neatly fitted for all those triumphal struts towards the green. That applies equally – if not more so – for the otherwise shame filled trudges into the rough as you prepare to try and swing your way through various bracken /parking lot mopeds /woodland creatures /other…

In summary: the Dex Insula has all the components required to be considered great sportswear: style, comfort, flexibility and durability. It’s true that there may be cheaper brands out there. But, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for and if you’re in the market for golf wear that ticks all the boxes and that will stand the test of time as it contorts to your swing, Galvin Green – available from Function 18 – should definitely be your first port of call.

Words: Robert Baggs

Images: courtesy of Galvin Green + Function 18

Galvin Green Dex Insula Golf Pullover

‘Artificial Light’ by Frederick Wilkinson – Exclusive Fashion editorial for FAULT Online

Top- Minan Wong
Pants- Layana Aguilar
Shoes- Marc Fisher
Earring- H&M

Blue pants- Chikimiki
Print blouse- Chikimiki
Shoes- Marc Fisher
Earring- H&M

 

Blouse- behno
Earring- H&M

Long sleeve blouse- Behno
Dress- Layana Aguilar
Shoes- Marc Fisher
Earring- H&M

Long sleeve knit top- Chikimiki
Sleeveless knit top- Chikimiki
Skirt- chikimiki
Shoes- ALDO
Earring- H&M

Coat- Layana Aguilar
Earring- H&M

Top- Chikimiki
Long sleeve blouse (worn around neck)- Vintage
Pants- Chikimiki
Shoes- Marc Fisher
Earring- H&M

Top- Chikimiki
Bralette- KORAL
Pants- Chikimiki
Shoes- Marc Fisher
Earring- MANGO

Dress- Layana Aguilar
Shoes- Marc Fisher
Earring- H&M

Photographer: Frederick Wilkinson @fw_photo

Model: Asia, MSA Models NY @asiaprus @msamodels

Stylist: Lauren Walsh @laaurenwalsh

MUA: Elena Thomopoulos @elvendoe

Wig Stylist: Bamby @bambyofsuburbia

Photographer’s Assistant: Yanutzi Diaz @yanutzi

London Fashion Week Ss18, Backstage With Steven Tai

DIESEL launch FAULTLess, ‘Go With The Flaw’ campaign

It’s no big secret that here at FAULT we’ve long grown tired of the notion of perfection; a belief so important that we base our entire magazine around it! Times, they are a’changing, and it’s wonderful to see a fashion brand as iconic as Diesel join the fight against flawlessness with the release of their ‘Go With The Flaw’ campaign which encourages fashion lovers to flaunt their flaws – it’s only natural, eh?

Of course for Diesel, challenging conformity is nothing new, since the brand’s inception in 1978, they have always sought to break the mould (or more appropriately) break the perceived “perfect mould” surrounding the fashion industry. From their 1994 ad featuring real life couple, Bob and Rod Jackson-Pari embraced in a (controversial for the time) same-sex embrace to featuring fashion model Jillian Mercado in their Spring 2014 campaign, while never explicitly stating it – Diesel has been fighting for inclusivity within the fashion industry for decades.

Now, Diesel has thrown another swing in their battle against conformity with the release of a short film directed by the famed Francois Rousselet, known best for his work with the likes of Snoop Dogg, Madonna and The Rolling Stones. Casting models who challenge people’s perception of “beauty”, Diesel encourage fans to “go with pride, grab the front seat and enjoy the ride” – and we’re cheering right alongside them!

 

In their own words, Diesel exclaim “perfection is sooo boring, so find a little bravery to wear your flaws with pride! Whatever it may be – we say don’t hide it, flaunt it.”

Here at FAULT, we commend Diesel for once again using their platform and voice to shine a light on the flaws which all of us have – yet seldom see highlighted so beautifully for what they are. Another iconic showing from the brand truly “doing the most” for the utmost flawed of us.