Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018: ‘Full Speed Into The World’

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018: “If I want to take a picture, I take it no matter what.

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018

Words: Will Ballantyne-Reid
All images courtesy of Nan Goldin and Matthew Marks Gallery

Amidst the hyper-capitalist spectacle of Frieze 2018, the political turmoil of the last year, and on the day before Brett Kavanaughs controversial and much-contested confirmation, legendary photographer Nan Goldin took to the stage with veteran arts writer Linda Yablonsky to discuss her career.

Goldin is famously one of the most fearless photographers of her generation – with work that examines the deeply nuanced relations between couplingof all degrees. From relationships that veer between fear and obsession, to individuals in a complex relationship with their own self-presentation, Goldins work has always delved into the rich tapestry of our own humanity. Her appearance forced a re-consideration of her landmark practice, in the context of a modern world that though plagued with political unrest has at least made leaps and bounds in the context of queer representation – of which Goldin was a torch-bearer, realising the vast array of aesthetic and emotional identities that could be caught on camera under the focus of her lens.

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018

The instance of photographing, instead of creating a distance, is a moment of clarity and emotional connection for me.

This was clear in each moment of her conversation with Yablonsky, who carefully guided the conversation through a cast of characters – many of whom are now historically renowned; Robert Mapplethorpe, David Wojnarowicz, Cookie Mueller, and other luminaries of New York on the cusp the AIDS epidemic, which would cut short so many of their brilliant lives. Writing on the iconography and rhetoric of the AIDS epidemic — and the epidemic of significationthat occurred as result — Susan Sontag assessed that the catastrophe of AIDS suggests the immediate necessity of limitation.This accompanied, in part, the observation of multiple socio-cultural breakdowns; the conflation of medical fact and social fiction, the sensationalising impact of moral panic upon the media, the effect of hysteria upon imaging the disease — and how these were fuelled careless reporting, pre-existing homophobia, and governmental complacency. In a time of cultural confusion, fake news, and the breakdown of public discourse over multiple crises of socio-political injustice, Goldins work remains as relevant today as it has ever been.

The talk began with Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018 highlighting to the audience the presence of a striking series of medicinal bottles on the table, one for each life that would be lost to the American Opioid crisis during the course of her one-hour talk. This is her latest cri de coeur, and one through which she has suffered directly (as has always been the case with her work.) Writing of her own struggle with opioid addiction, Goldin acknowledges she narrowly escaped […] I went from the darkness and ran full speed into the world.

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018

“I was isolated, but I realised I wasnt alone. When I got out of treatment I became absorbed in reports of addicts dropping dead from my drug, OxyContin. I decided to make the private public […] my first action is to publish personal photographs from my own history.

As such, she has led an international campaign against the Sackler family – prescription drug dynasty and noted patrons of the arts – described by the New York Times as the family that built an empire of pain.In again tying her work to an epidemic of physical injustice and its emotional consequence, Goldin continues to forge ahead with a photographic practice that is deeply entrenched in her own personal politics – and in the bravery it takes to make the personal public in the name of political progression. We should all be grateful for her fearlessness, and the humility and honesty with which she rages on.

Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018

 

To see more by Nan Goldin at Frieze 2018, visit Matthew Marks Gallery

 

FAULT Reviews – Alexander McQueen SS16

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Spring/Summer is always a strange season for a label like McQueen – one that is so rooted in a dark, sumptuous, and often harsh aesthetic, seemingly at odds with visions of light linens and the beach. For SS16, Sarah Burton cast her models into the ocean, drawing upon military uniform and maritime imagery reworked into a vision of captain coats and nautical stripes that spoke to Victoriana (and occasionally Tim Burton.) Models had their hair wet and bedraggled, with faces deathly pale, as if we were watching a procession of fallen sailors, returned from the depths (and perhaps the clutches of a mermaid.) The tailoring was impeccable as ever, with sharp cuts, elongated hemlines and rigid structure. Anchors and compass points were applied without seeming kitsch or retro, worked onto white fabric in a chalky blue as if on Wedgwood China. It was this softness that was most intriguing – with pyjama-inspired suits, sashed at the waist. Dazzle camouflage took a few of the looks in a different direction, seeming almost to speak to a Seventies aesthetic but overall, this collection was charming in its soft Romanticism.
Words: Will Ballantyne-Reid

Demi Lovato for FAULT Issue 19 – first look (issue is available to pre-order NOW!)

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - reversible cover WEB

FAULT Issue 19 reversible cover star Demi Lovato was shot by Giuliano Bekor and styled by Avo Yermagyan.
Click here to get your copy of this issue!

FAULT Magazine Issue 19 – the Millions Issue will feature American pop phenomenon Demi Lovato as its reversible cover star this Fall. Eminently suitable for the issue theme, Demi has over 60million fans on Facebook and Twitter alone and is one of the most influential popular culture figures in the world today.

Demi’s feature – which includes an in-depth interview and exclusive photoshoot by photographer Giuliano Bekor and stylist Avo Yermagyan – runs over 12 pages in the print issue. Demi also covers the Beauty section inside the magazine.

The shoot, based on the issue’s theme of ‘Millions’, showcases Demi as an artist whose every move has ramifications on a globally impactful scale. As a role model to millions, her words and actions are reviewed, analysed, dissected and reflected over and over again. Under those circumstances, one can only imagine what a surreal experience it must be to come face to face with the person behind the lens…

In her interview, Demi discusses the responsibility that comes with being a role model, her collaborations with people like Cher Lloyd and the Vamps, her incipient interests in philanthropy and world affairs and, of course, her music.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside 1 WEB

Production by Giuliano Bekor + Leah Blewitt

FAULT: You’ve spoken about how the album marked a real shift in sound for you, towards more dance-inspired tracks. Was that something that you deliberately wanted to create or was it something that happened organically?

Everything that happened on the album happened organically. Nothing was really planned in terms of “I want a dance song” or anything like that- it just kind of happened! It’s exciting to show people a different side of myself.

In terms of the collaborations (most recently with Cher Lloyd and The Vamps), how do they come into being?

Sometime you come up with a part in a song and you instantly know who you’re looking for. With ‘Really Don’t Care’, [her latest single], Cher instantly came to my mind. She’s got a lot of attitude and a lot of sass and was perfect for the song. Other times it just kind of happens- you meet someone and you write together and it turns out to be an awesome song.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside 2 WEB

Interview by Will Ballantyne-Reid

You’ve become an inspirational figure not just for your fans but even for those unfamiliar with your music as a result of your philanthropic projects and your work with anti-bullying campaigns and mental health awareness. How do these projects shape your career and your own creative process?

Well these projects were really born out of my relationship with my fans, where they are able to look up to me no matter what they’re going through. I really like being there for them in that way. I pride myself in being a role model but I’m not perfect- I curse like a sailor and I sometimes make mistakes but at the same time I want to be what I know my little sister and that younger generation needs.

Are there any difficulties that come with being in the public eye, and especially that ‘role model’ tag?

I use to get frustrated that just because I wanted to sing, I was automatically expected to be a role model. But I had to grow up and realise that no matter what I do I’m going to be somebody’s role model. It’s true what they say- “with great power comes great responsibility”- and everybody’s career is different but for me, I had to grow up and embrace it rather than resent it, as that only made me resent my career.

Demi Lovato- FAULT Magazine Issue 19 - inside Beauty section cover WEB

Get the full shoot and interview – only in FAULT Issue 19.
Click here to order your copy for delivery worldwide!

Going forward with your music and your philanthropy work, what do you feel is the next step?

I take my life day by day; some day I’m really involved with one charity, and another I’m really focussed on another. In this moment, I’m really dedicated to the scholarship program that I created in order to provide mental health services to people that can’t afford it on their own.

Demi’s album, DEMI, is out now

FAULT MAGAZINE ISSUE 19 – The Millions Issue – IS AVAILABLE TO PRE-ORDER NOW

 *FAULT MAGAZINE IS AVAILABLE FOR DELIVERY WORLDWIDE*

…Or get your copy digitally via Zinio! 1 year’s subscription = just £14.40

Mr Hudson: Exclusive shoot and interview for FAULT Online

After originally breaking onto the music scene in 2007, Mr Hudson has now notched up over 80,000,000 views on YouTube (with his feature on Jay-Z anthem ‘Young Forever’) to date , collaborated with Kanye West on the platinum-selling ‘808s & Heartbreak’ album, and released his solo album Straight No Chaser in 2009, spawning the #2 single ‘Supernova’ featuring Mr West.

Since this last release, he has featured on Jay Z’s ‘The Blueprint 3’ in 2009, and on the Jay-Z/West juggernaut ‘Watch The Throne’ in 2011, as well as having recorded and toured with industry giants from Tinie Tempah and Calvin Harris to Amy Winehouse and Miley Cyrus. Now he’s back with another album of his own- the upcoming Step Into The Shadows. This is a record with a new sound and a dark intensity, with cameos by the likes of George The Poet, Giggs and Luther star Idris Elba, who features on the title track that dropped in May of this year.

Blazer: Monta Heritage Shirt: Sand Trousers: Duchamp Tie: Topman Shoes: Kurt Geiger Watch: Triwa

Blazer: Monta Heritage
Shirt: Sand
Trousers: Duchamp
Tie: Topman
Shoes: Kurt Geiger
Watch: Triwa

FAULT: Your new album is very influenced by London. How has your experience of the city shaped your music?

Mr Hudson: I’ve just been running around so much the last few years- the first big tour we did was with Amy Winehouse around the UK and Europe and then I was in America with the G.O.O.D guys and Kanye. So it was a real decision to set up a studio in London and not run around so much.

I was struck by the narrative quality of the new album- the imagery, the place names. Is that something you are conscious of?

I really wanted to pin it- like on Google Maps- there are pins all through the music. Part of that was due to living and working in Central London. My studio was in Clerkenwell, near Smithfield market, and that place has a vibe. And I was watching a lot of Luther, which was where I first saw Idris [Elba.] I was like “I want to work with this guy” and he came round the next day!

When you were first coming onto the scene there was a kind of Brit bubble with Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen and Mark Ronson. Do you see that trend coming round again?

I think we have a really nice kind of Brit Pop bubble happening but at the same time, I think the mainstream is definitely looking towards the US and a very America-centric sound, which it wasn’t ten years ago. It’s interesting that some people still want to sing with an American accent- girls more than guys- but I love the scene that’s coming through at the moment; Disclosure, Sam Smith, Aluna George, MNEK.

Suit: Richard Anderson Shirt: Sand Tie: Topman

Suit: Richard Anderson
Shirt: Sand
Tie: Topman

With the new album you have spoken about the theme of secrecy and hidden moments. Was there a desire to get away from the hyper-activity of being so in the public eye?

Yeah, and really just to slow down. Some of the tracks on the album are so slow which might seem a bit downbeat but my thing with music is that you’ve just got to let that out if that’s what you’re feeling. I’ve always just made the music that I want to hear come out the speakers. Sometimes it will resonate with the mainstream and sometimes it won’t.

You have spoken about the ‘physicality’ of your music. In that vein, what is your approach to the live experience?

I love singing live- I have mixed feelings about the way in which the industry has moved towards performing to a track. You’d be surprised by how little of the sound you hear is actually made on stage. I’ve always been influenced by the likes of Bowie, Chet Baker, Cole Porter, and I play musical instruments so it makes me sad that music doesn’t really start with the musicians anymore. These days it starts on a laptop in a room, the vocals are done in that same room, and then maybe when it comes to the stage you get people together in a rehearsal room.

Suit: Richard Anderson Shirt: Sand Tie: Topman Coat: Atelier Scotch Shoes: Church’s Watch: Triwa

Suit: Richard Anderson
Shirt: Sand
Tie: Topman
Coat: Atelier Scotch
Shoes: Church’s
Watch: Triwa

Do you create everyday?

Yeah- even if just in my head. I love sitting with a guitar on my knee, or at the piano with a cup of tea. I’m more into the process of actually making music than being recognised for it or being famous- whatever that is! I worry that we’ve shifted back into a sort of ‘music as a way to be rich and famous.’ Money’s cool but it’s not a way of life. Shakespeare was not the richest man in London in his day!

Did you approach the new record with a view to core themes, or a particular message?

I just went in and thought about making music. I made a real effort not to be cerebral about it. Not to think about it but to actually do it. For me, the new record feels like driving or walking around London at night. My reference points were things like (the film) Drive, Luther, Blade Runner, Hitchcock.

Coat: Atelier Scotch T-Shirt: Lazer-eye Watch: Triwa

Coat: Atelier Scotch
T-Shirt: Lazer-eye
Watch: Triwa

It’s interesting that those are all visual references.

Yeah! I wanted to paint some pictures with the music, as if each song is a vignette of a time and place. Driving around West London, driving through Canary Wharf. In terms of music I was drawn to this kind of unnamed genre that centres on a guy who is miserable, but it’s okay. A kind of Frank Sinatra ‘One for my Baby, One for the Road.’ You’re going through it but it’s okay and you’re not a wreck. We celebrate Sinatra for the kind of big, brassy music he made but he has some incredible, miserable albums!

What is your FAULT?

I think I’m too diplomatic sometimes- too much of a peacekeeper. If we were having a row, I’d just do whatever to calm everyone down but that avoids the problem. I don’t face up to shit.- I’m a coward. It’s a stiff upper lip thing of not wanting to deal with it.

Photography: Miles Holder

Words: Will Ballantyne-Reid

Styling: a+c studios

Makeup: Patricia Obaro Odje

Hair: Natalie Viner

FAULT FUTURE: Alexa Goddard

It has been less than a month since Alexa Goddard signed her 5-album record deal with Roc Nation. Having caught the eyes of Jay-Z himself, the pop and R&B singer is going places, fast. She’s already built a solid following, having garnered over 43 million views on YouTube with her covers of songs by everyone from Taylor Swift to Lil Wayne. The lyric video for her debut single ‘Marilyn’ is available on YouTube now, with official release coming later this year.

Shirt: Lazy Oaf

Shirt: Lazy Oaf

 

When you were growing up, who were your biggest influences?

So many! It varied from Bob Marley and UB40 to Tina Turner, the Spice Girls, Sam Cooke, Jay-Z, lots of Hip hop. A bit of everything!

 

How do you process those influences when you’re still growing?

I would hear bits and pieces and take it from there. Maybe a run Whitney would do, or the tone of someone’s voice.

 

Were you always a performer?

The first time I ever sang in public was aged 3, doing karaoke! But I remember I would run off after the performance, crying because I was so nervous. But then I’d want to go back and do it again. When I was about 14 I entered a singing competition and something just changed; I remember walking on stage and feeling that I could do anything.

 

Was superstardom always the dream?

As soon as I finished my GCSEs I committed to music. Even if I had just been a local pub singer it would have been enough, but obviously I managed to get a deal, so it worked out! (laughs)

 

The first time you met Jay-Z you walked straight up to him and introduced yourself, which takes guts! Did you always have that in-built determination?

There was definitely a time, maybe a year before I signed with Roc, when I wasn’t sure it would all happen for me. But I would still have made music, and I would still have been happy.

Dress : David Koma Necklace: MAWI

Dress : David Koma
Necklace: MAWI

How has signing with a label that’s as big as Roc Nation affected your artistry?

Not at all. I was nervous that I was going to be told exactly what to do but they’re completely open to what I think and what I want to say.

 

How do you hope to present yourself in the public arena?

I want young girls to be able to relate to me. Having really started out on YouTube, that’s how people know me- as a normal girl, sitting at home with her fluffy pink headphones, singing. I want an element of that to always exist. If I look at Katy Perry, I think she’s a superstar but she’s still so nice and approachable and real. That’s what I want.

 

Having got your big break on YouTube, how do you think online media has shaped the music industry? Were you always ahead of the curve in that respect?

You know what, I didn’t want to do the YouTube thing to begin with. I had this vision of me having to look into the camera and I thought it would just be so corny! It was my management’s idea and after getting positive feedback I just started putting more up. It was daunting but I’m very glad I went along with it!

 

Having become so successful covering other people’s songs on YouTube, is there an added fear or pressure releasing your original material?

Not a fear as such- I’m actually really excited. Because I love my music so much, and my latest track ‘Marilyn Monroe’ has gone down really well so there’s a pride in that- in putting out my music.

 

Cardigan: Sister By Sibling Top: Sister By Sibling Trousers: Lazy Oaf

Cardigan: Sister By Sibling
Top: Sister By Sibling
Trousers: Lazy Oaf

 

The whole phenomenon of the rabid fanbase has really taken hold of the music industry at the moment, with Little Monsters and Beliebers etc. How do you picture the Alexa Goddard fanbase?

The thing is I don’t even like using the word ‘fans’- it makes me feel a bit funny! I’d rather see them as Twitter followers or just supporters, really. It’s lovely because a lot of them have been following me from the very beginning and I remember them. To see that so many of them are still following, still interested, still supporting is so amazing to me.

 

What are going to be the core themes on the album?

As it’s my first album, I just want people to have fun. There’s a good mixture though. There are pop songs but also ballads with just me and the piano. One in particular actually made me tearful when I first heard it- it’s not a sad song but it has such a beautiful message to it.

Overall, the album is going to be fun, cheeky, and a little bit rebellious but some of the tracks just bring in more emotion and more vulnerability. But mainly it’s just about fun and having a good time! (laughs.)

 

On that note, what is your FAULT?

Chocolate! (laughs)

 

Photography: Miles Holder www.milesholder.com

Writer: Will Ballantyne-Reid

Stylist: a+c Studios 

Makeup: Emma Miles using Mac Cosmetics

Hair Stylist: Natalie Viner

Angel Haze – exclusive shoot for FAULT Online

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Bomber Jacket: D’Albert
Trousers: Jean Pierre Braganza
Boots: Dr Marten
T-Shirt: This Is A Lovesong

Last week, Angel Haze took to the stage at Heaven for her headline gig and told the assembled masses that “fans of Angel Haze are fans of themselves.” Amidst the crowd of people crying, screaming and hanging on every lyric, there is no denying that Haze has forged a rare bond with her fanbase. Sitting in the make-up chair before her FAULT shoot, she explains that “people who get me, get me because they are me in some sense….they take my music and they make it what they need.” Haze has overcome unusual adversity; she grew up in a religious cult and suffered abuse throughout her childhood, before taking on the music industry with her unique brand of raw, lyrical rap. The aggression in her music is high-impact and searing, with lyrics that possess a brutal honesty and a surprising spirituality. On stage, she has a religious quality; equal parts saint, sinner, preacher and, on the harshest tracks, appearing almost exorcised mid-set.

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Jacket: Napsugar Von Bittera
Shirt: Joy Rich
Trousers: Carlotta Actis Barone

Perhaps this isn’t far-off; “I wanted to use music as catharsis…to rid myself of all my demons and all the shit I couldn’t deal with alone.” Having put her life so much in the public domain, it would be easy for her ‘story’ to become a burden, and she admits that “once people relate to you, they will run to you.” Haze seems to fear being pigeon-holed, although she is resigned to the fact that “people take your demons and run with them….they become who you are.” Taking a breath, she looks around the room before asserting that “my story isn’t the only story I have to tell.” The story Haze refers to is one of “prosperity, of becoming a better person” and it’s a story ongoing. Her latest single Battle Cry features a vocal from Sia and has already broken into the Top 20, jumping 62 places in a week.

Haze is accustomed to this rapid, viral success. “I got famous from Tumblr”, she laughs between texts on her phone, “and I’m not even as famous as I’m gonna be.” By her count, it’s taken two years to transform her life and she appears incredibly introspective (and honest) for such a rising star. When I compare her to other rappers and their declarations of status, swag and self-deification, she almost timidly confides that “the braggadocio shit doesn’t come easy to me.” Instead, her lyrics are about “being honest with myself and obsessed with love”, filtered through her honest voice and confessional verses; “there’s an immense loneliness to my life.”

Angel Haze by Miles Holder

Jacket: Joy Rich
Trousers: Jean Pierre Braganza

Haze seems both born for the life she is living now, but also so clearly  conscious of where she has come from and, more importantly, what she has overcome. Over the course of our time together, boxes arrive from Chanel, messages get sent over from Karl Lagerfeld (in London for a store opening,) and at one point John Newman texts her to be his date for an event that evening. Haze is that rare thing- the humble rap superstar, with something to say that is truly her own, and a sense of self grounded in her lyrics and not in her designer labels. Amidst the chaos of the set- of publicists and hair people and rails of designer clothes- she pauses and reflects on what she refers to as her ‘process of becoming’ who she is now. “You change, you evolve, and you never want to go back.”

Words by: Will Ballantyne-Reid
Photographer: Miles Holder
Stylist: Denise Brown

FAULT FUTURE: MTV Unsigned 2014 Winner Marie Naffah, Live at The Barfly

Last night, in the small and dimly lit (and quite literally leaking) upper room of Camden’s The Barfly, Marie Naffah– winner of MTV Unsigned Artist 2014– played an intimate showcase, debuting new material and a unique sound that goes from strength to strength. Marie’s voice possesses a raw soul and her songwriting is endlessly honest, from the betrayal of Silver & Gold (the track that won over the MTV Brand New judges) to the comic emotion of the newly-debuted David Gray. It is her personal take on life and love- the high and lows, the disappointments and false hopes, the crushes and the comedy- that have the audience hanging on every note. Given the Camden setting (and the big hair,) a comparison to Amy Winehouse feels like a lazy one, but there is truly something of the young, early-days Winehouse in Marie’s honest lyrics and raw, off-the-cuff delivery.

mariemtv

Marie’s lyrics are confessions strung together; nuanced observations that unfold amidst entrancing vocal runs. As clichéd as it sounds, her voice really does take the audience on a journey with each track, from whispered excuses (‘He said “honestly…nothing”’) and effortless trills (‘Even rooooocks get thrown’), to epic moments of unleashed vocal, where you feel yourself hit by the sheer power of her voice. Some tear up, some dance, some seem to end up strangely hugging themselves- in short, all are entranced. The critics have been drawing comparisons with the power-house voice of Florence Welch and, in the wake of last night’s roaring vocals, similar comments rippled through the crowd.

Special guest Archie Faulks, alias Tenterhook, is another remarkable talent, currently making waves on radio with his own track Stereo. He joined Marie on stage for Primrose Hill, having produced and contributed vocals to the track last Summer. This was followed by the debut of Hold You, a heartbreaking track of harmonies and vocal runs that, in its rawest form, already sounds like a No.1. With public support from the likes of MTV, ELLE and Levi’s, along with a consistent and invested fanbase, Marie is on her way to big things beyond being a mere ‘one to watch.’

The audience always feels fortunate to have seen Marie Naffah play live. Part of this is due to her immense talent, and part of this is due to the fact that she’s so clearly headed for big things that to watch her now, on a small stage in a crowded room on a Wednesday night in Camden, feels like a sort of strange luxury. Catch her while you can…

http://www.facebook.com/marienaffahmusic

Part 1: Paris Fashion Week Roundup, AW14 Womenswear

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

Chanelchanel

 

Kenzokenzo

 

Givenchygivenchy

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

 

Stella McCartneystella

 

Balenciagabalengcia

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

 

Issey Miyake
issey

 

Yohji Yamamoto

yohji

READ PART 2 HERE

Words by Will Ballantyne-Reid