Discovery / Exploration
Table of Contents
- Poem from the Editor
- Cultured Clothes: Now you can have your Cow and Wear it
- Well Hello There Paul Smith
- Top Ten Trends this Season
- Fredrik Sträng: The Future of Exploration
- FOLLOWING KIRST GORDON
- A Rift in Virtual Reality
- The 'Instagram Hotel'
- Up close and personal with whales
- The Global Art Scene at Frieze Art Fair
- Herve Leger's Party Rocks & So Does Delilah
- Fashionable foreignness?
- Secretive Azzedine Alaïa is 'King of Cling'
- STADTVÖGEL / URBAN BIRDS
- Dressing like a grown-up: A guide for men
- Louis After Marc
- Jackie O style meets Kurt Cobain attitude: Fall 2013
- LIFE 11
- Around the world in Ten Spas
- Lab grown meat: Can vegetarians stomach it?
- Book Review: Illustration Now! Fashion
- Book Review: Apsley Cherry-Garrard's 'The Worst Journey in the World'
- Film Review: Blue Jasmine
- Space Archaeology
Poem from the Editor
Sail the abyss on ship of spirit's teak
For you I seek, diving in seas of space
Grand or small yet all are infinite deep
I need to know, I need to grow in your grace
Your face is both my map and my treasure
Possessed to explore by your wet wise kiss
Virgin lips burnt from discovery's pleasure
Addicted to your secret liquorice
This sweet lust drives me to the edge of time
Charcoal polished from mines of mysteries
In the black you are the white, love of mine
Search for you gives me life and true release
While on this expedition I may die
I'm already dead if I didn't try.
Ankit Love, Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director
Cultured Clothes: Now you can have your Cow and Wear it
By Kelly Ritchie
Creating fabrics is an intensive and resource expensive process. The production of leather and wool is especially burdensome on our planets resources, with livestock currently taking up 33% of our planets ice-free land mass, where it consumes over 8% of its clean water supply and produces 18% of its greenhouse gases. Not to mention the slaughtering and refining stages of production, making clothes from animals may not be sustainable on a long term global level. That was, of course, until Modern Meadow's Andras Forgacs and Biocouture's Suzanne Lee, had their say on the matter via TED.
“Because we make this material, we grow this leather from the ground up, we can control its properties in very interesting ways... And we can tune this leather for other desirable qualities, like softness, breathability, durability, elasticity and even things like pattern. We can mimic nature, but in some ways also improve upon it. This type of leather can do what today's leather does, but with imagination, probably much more.” Forgac explains to a wide-eyed audience. Forgac’s company uses tissue culturing techniques to produce nature friendly materials from a single cell.
Creating fabrics beyond traditional methods invites playful ideals, once considered far fetched but finally technology is driving textiles into new arenas. Nobody does it better than Suzanne Lee, who brews up fabrics in a process that utilizes the ever-so-tasty drink of Kombucha tea, along with a little sugar. As Lee explains so simply, Kombucha tea is essentially “a symbiotic mix of bacteria, yeasts and other microorganisms which spin cellulose in a fermentation process.” Left to its own devices, over time these cellulose threads form a thick layer of skin on the surface of the liquid. It is this layer of skin that could change the way we think about material forever.
You don't have to do anything to it; you just literally watch it grow.
“You don't have to do anything to it; you just literally watch it grow. It doesn't need light.” Lee states, as garments are presented behind her. “And then you can either cut that out and sew it conventionally, or you can use the wet material to form it around a three-dimensional shape. And as it evaporates, it will knit itself together, forming seams”. One aspect that clearly needs attention is that this material is biodegradable, so if you wore it in the rain you might get some unwanted attention.
Once constrained to the technology that followed the invention of the sewing machine in the 19th century, fashion has officially stepped into the limelight of biotechnology. Inventive and driven, the emerging technological generation will no doubt embrace these new developments with open arms.
"Modern Meadow is combining regenerative medicine with 3D printing to imagine an economic and compassionate solution to a global problem," said Lindy Fishburne, executive director of Breakout Labs, a project of the Thiel Foundation. "We hope our support will help propel them through the early stage of their development, so they can turn their inspired vision into reality,” she said in an interview with CNET.com. The company is also working on a process to create artificial meats but with regulatory roadblocks that process is still 10 years away from landing on your dinner plate. “Technically, skin is a simpler structure than meat, making it easier to produce.”
Well Hello There Paul Smith
By Maxine Sapsford, Editor
Boasting a career in fashion that spans more than 40 years, Paul Smith has built an impressive empire from the ground up. Yet despite the dizzying heights of his success, he remains as down to earth and approachable as he did in the early days when you could find him working on the shop floor at the tender age of 15. We caught up with the man behind the brand at the press conference for his upcoming Design Museum show; Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith where he talked to MIST about the roots of his empire, retaining the personal touch and balancing business with creative flair.
The exhibition opening on the 15th of November will chart the course of the quintessentially British brand from Smith’s first shop in Nottingham, right up to its global 74 country turn over today. It showcases materials from his personal yet exhaustive archive, much of which has never been available to the public before and celebrates how his anti-corporate methods and hands-on approach secured the success of Paul Smith as one of the leading brands in the fashion world.
Unfazed by the crowds of photographers, Smith smiled warmly when we asked if there was a point at which he realized he’d made it big? “O absolutely not, luckily. My whole business from humble beginnings has been very gentle. It’s never gone like a rocket, just grown a little bit every year. But I’m not a Rolls-Royce, private jet and chauffeur person, you know, with bodyguards and PA’s. I’m very down to earth, so I was happy to just let it grown very naturally. If you let things grow naturally rather than force them you’ve got more chance of longevity. I think that's why Paul Smith [the brand] has always had a loyal following of people that really enjoy my work.”
I’ve never been a private jet or chauffeur driven car man.
Allowing a brand time to grow and develop organically is definitely the route less traveled in the fashion industry and Smith has devoted a lifetime of love and commitment to allowing his company to blossom at its own pace. This patience has of course bore remarkable fruit and the foundations laid by Smith have stood the test of time. “I started when I was 15 working in a shop and then I opened my own shop when I was 21 and so I really understand about unlocking the door in the morning and locking it at night, keeping shops looking interesting, paying the rent, paying the staff. So you’ve got that sort of grounding and then I learned to be a designer, so the balance between the creative side and the practical side was very even."
PAUL IN HIS FIRST SHOP. PAUL SMITH ARCHIVE.
Despite the global scale the company has reached, Smith is still hands-on with every aspect of the business as both designer and chairman. From designing the pieces and choosing the fabrics, to approving the shop locations and overseeing all developments within the company. He believes strongly that there is an importance to being fully immersed in and having creative control over his label, which is why the brand has flourished. “Its never been forced and if you were to float it on the stock market you’ve got shareholders pushing, pushing, pushing for more turnover, more sales, more profit. And if you’re part of a big company they’re always nervous about corporate identity and what's right and what's wrong. Where as because I’m the boss, basically we just go with the flow."
"So my shop in Los Angeles is bright pink and the decision to make it bright pink was down to me. I just said ‘I think we should do it in bright pink’. But if you were part of a big company you would have to discuss it, whether it would be correct for the image of the company and where the company is going and is it right for the corporate identity. Unfortunately it’s a killer of spontaneity.”
But the success of Paul Smith can’t be entirely attributed to Smith’s creative input, he has a good business head and a strong understanding of what it takes to run a successful company. “I’ve always kept my overheads really low and I’ve never, like I said, been a private jet or chauffeur driven car man.”
It’s rare for a designer to have both the creative flair and the level headedness to make a fashion brand succeed as a business to the extent that Smith has. “Yeah and a lot of people are very good at business but have no flair or are very good at design but have no common sense or business sense often and that’s absolutely understandable, why should they? But I’m naturally sort of OK at both. I’m not particularly wonderful at either but I’m not bad” he laughs with all the modestly and charm we have come to expect from fashions ‘Mr nice guy’.
Celebrating the brand, its ‘classic Englishness with a twist’ and Smith’s unique take on business; Hello, My Name Is Paul Smith will be showing at the Design Museum in London from the 15th November until 9th March 2014. It follows the company from its Nottingham roots, through its development during the 80s and 90s, charting its rise to the impressive global-scale operation it is today. For more information and to book tickets visit: designmuseum.org/exhibitions/2013/paul-smith
Top Ten Trends this Season
By Sevine Samadi
Whether it’s a trip back to the 90’s, pretty in pink, or lace and sheer fabrics, this is your essential guide to the top 10 recurring trends seen on the Fall/Winter 2013/14 catwalks. That's right, I’m counting down the top 10 standout looks straight from the runways right here! Which trends matter? What’s exciting? What looks great? And who’s making waves?
10. Forever Young: Animal prints are usually the most talked about print in any given season, especially if we are to look at a Roberto Cavalli show, but this Fall it’s all about youthful prints. From hearts at Burberry Prorsum, to cartoon characters such as Bambi at Givenchy and stars and flowers at Saint Laurent. Designers are definitely feeling young and playful this season.
9. Let It Shine: Let it shine, let it shine! Winter is no longer about being demure, dark or even faded – this season designers push us to shine not only in gold and metallic but also in purples, oranges and blues. Moschino, Balmain, Naeem Khan and Marc Jacobs all presented party dresses and ensembles full of glitter and shine. I personally love the Balmain collection, which has a few pieces that kind of remind me of Studio 54 in its heyday. And some of the Marc Jacob’s dresses and evening coats are simply exquisite.
8. Fashion history: This winter, expect to go back in time and not just to the 90’s, 80’s, or even 40’s but as far back as 1600’s. Think of Queen Elizabeth I of England and Rome in the 1600’s when the Baroque style began to spread across all of Europe. This was a period that used exaggerated detail to produce drama, exuberance and grandeur. Alexander McQueen, Alberta Ferretti, Dolce and Gabbana and Chanel are some of the designers that gave us just that this season. This lavish and palatial trend brought drama and richness to the catwalks making the viewers almost want to stand up and bow with reverence.
7. Pretty in Pink: Yes ladies pink is back and its here to stay, so don’t be afraid to invest in a few key pieces in this preciously sweet and angelic colour. Spring/Summer 2014 will propel this trend into one of the leading ladies of the catwalks with an array of shades from lavender pink and Persian rose to the deeper Fandango hue. Everything from accessories to blazers and coats are now acceptable in pink and dare I say ‘cool’!
6. Furrr: Every year one of the strongest trends for winter is fur, and this season is no exception. Fur is the material of choice for most designers with muffs, mittens, and stoles being offered along with the usual jackets and full-length coats. This season’s must-have fur coats come straight from the wild with vibrant and fluorescent colors and a flare of grunge and disco. Fur is no longer one colour, now two-tone and tricolors are the code for urban sophisticates. With neon yellow, hot pink, red and green, no colour is too wild for Roberto Cavalli, Vionnet, or Jeremy Scott. At Balenciaga and Tom Ford, however, it was black and white furs that ruled the scene. I wonder what West Hollywood has to say about all this with the new ban on fur having come into full effect this past September.
5. All in Excess: This Fall/Winter, prepare to see a lot more embellishments, bejewelled garments, textured materials, oversized jewellery, feathered gowns, mirrored effect dresses, studded leather and the many more perks that come with embellishments and bold details. Whether it was Fendi's fur mohicans, Dolce and Gabbana’s bejewelled tiaras, Lanvin’s insect appliqués, Gucci’s feathered gowns or every single thread of Tom Ford’s extravagantly decorated multi-ethnic, multi-coloured collection, my verdict on it all is simply: MORE PLEASE!
4. Winter Shades: Greens, Grays and Navy–Blues. It’s often hard to narrow it down to just a few colours for a seasons trend, but This A/W all the shades of greens, grays and blues have been spotted on the runway. It seems gray and slate are the new black and white, and that the green movement has finally made it’s way onto the runways with a wide array of greens and khakis on display. As for Blue, designers showcased a wide range of cool blue tones and rich navy hues, from Jenny Packham to Prada, Valentino and beyond there are so many shades of blue that the skies will be envious all season long.
3. Here we are now, entertain us: For anyone who grew up listening to and being obsessed with Nirvana like I was, the time has come to channel your inner Kurt Cobain all over again or maybe even your Courtney Love (I’d personally stick to Kurt). Saint Lauren, Rodarte and Givenchy presented us with some awesome 90’s grunge inspired collections, and taking cues from this Fall's tough-girl approach to layered styling this trend fits right in, with chains, leather, zips and studs to complete the look. This A/W 2013 brings a nostalgic lineup of updated grunge and the fashion world is embracing it with open arms.
2. Simply Lace: One of the top trends for this season is lace, it’s such a beautiful, feminine and sensual fabric and who better then my designer en titre to give us the best this trend can give, Alessandra Rich. There is so much French lace going in Mrs Rich’s collection that you might think you've stepped into the dressing rooms of the Moulin Rouge at the turn of last century, Oohh la la! Her dresses are simply faultless and awesome.
1. Oh What a Tartan: The tartan may just be one of this season’s most memorable prints; everyone from Tommy Hilfiger to Chanel, Preen, and most noticeably Celine gave us look after look in this traditional print. Tartan is a trend that’s set to have staying power so invest in a neutral colour piece and you’ll be wearing it for years to come.
Fredrik Sträng: The Future of Exploration
By Katherine Templar-Lewis
“There are hardly any leaves left but the sun is trying to push her way above the horizon. It’s quiet, it’s peaceful, it’s beautiful.” Fredrik Sträng is describing to me the view from his window. It is a crisp winter’s day in his home city of Stockholm. Less than an hour ago he stepped off a plane from Kazakhstan, after our interview he will head straight to the gym, part of his continuous physical training. Fredrik is a man of action, yet he still takes the time to appreciate the beauty around him. After his description of his view out his window he proceeds to describe to me his view on the world. It is equal parts lyrical and captivating.
Society has become allergic to taking risk
Fredrik Sträng, a “professional adventurer”, is impressive to say the least. He has twice been awarded Adventurer of the Year, firstly for his 2007 record breaking 7+7+7 challenge – climbing the 7 highest peaks on each continent in 7 months. But it's not just to break records that he pushes himself to such such extremes. He is a photographer, documentary film maker and has, over the last decade, been an important part of scientific research expeditions. At lower altitudes he lectures, writes and raises money for Save the Children. He is also involved in the development of interactive 3D technology. Then there is a project high in the mountains of Kazakhstan. It is currently ‘confidential’ but he promises with great conviction that it will transform our approach to renewable energy. He is many things, but above all Fredrik Sträng is an explorer. And it is the idea of modern exploration that I am here to talk to him about.
“Let’s get one thing straight” he states firmly, “if it wasn’t for the explorer’s soul, spirit, their bravery, their determination, we would still be sitting in caves painting on the wall with blood. True explorers do not want to be remarkable individuals, they want to push boundaries and they are driven forward by curiosity.” I have always been enchanted by the tales of the old fashioned explorers. From the Chinese to the Vikings, the Kon Tiki expedition to Christopher Columbus: brave men who set out without knowing if they would ever return, to explore, to discover. “What about today?” I ask him, “with the world already mapped out, do true explores really exist anymore?" Of course exploration exists today” he retorts. "Exploration is not just geographical or driving science. Exploration IS Science. And scientific exploration exists more now than ever: scientists searching for a cure for HIV, looking for a solution to fresh water, risking their life in remote areas. There are people everywhere with true integrity, looking at the problems of the world and doing something about it.” And this ‘doing’ he states is key: “exploration is all about action."
As mankind faces more and more problems, Sträng believes the need for exploration is greater than ever. He warns “if you stop funding you block the most important driving force there is, curiosity." So where I ask, is the next great expedition? Sträng knows those behind the Mars missions. He admits it is financially a huge undertaking and for that reason it has attracted some criticism. But to Sträng it is absolutely necessary. “We have to go there for our survival. We have to go there to show that we can. If we can get to Mars, if we can do the ‘impossible’, we may find clues about solutions to climate change. We have to go to Mars. We have to go there to inspire humanity.”
Back on Earth he is involved in an exploration of a completely different type: the development of interactive 3D technology with Eonvision. A technology he is keen to share. Why is it so important I ask? The answer is simple: the power of sight. “How many times have you heard the phrase : seeing is believing,” he asks me, “I see it therefore I believe it”. Interactive 3D is an interface which allows the wearer to ‘see’ a created environment. It allows them to experience it. It is used to help prepare for expeditions but the implications, he says, stretch much further. “Seeing something helps you understand it, feel it. Politicians trying to understand the effects of a policy or an issue could go beyond just reading about a situation. By ‘seeing it’ they could gain a deeper understanding of a situation.” He is keen for it to reach young people especially “to teach them about the world and give them the momentum to change the future.”
Vital to exploration, he tells me, is the believing it can be done. It has become part of his personal mantra. “The power of thoughts can move mountains” a quote that sits atop of all his emails and even his website. I ask him of it significance. “We are climbing mountains in our lives every day.” He explains “There are talkers and there are doers. Nothing comes from I can’t. If you believe you can’t, then you probably can’t but if you believe that you can, then you are right. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Changing your mind-set leads to neurological changes. But people are too quick to put up walls, find reasons not to do. This becomes a truth, an excuse and people give up before they even try. Work out what you want and have courage, nothing’s going to happen if you don’t do it.” He reminds me of a quote from Yoda who tells a young naïve Skywalker: “Do or do not do. There is no try."
Naturally, he is aware that in everything there is risk. Risk must be acknowledged he says but it must also be managed. “In every expedition we think first: what do we want. Then: how are we going to get it. And finally we analyse the risk, not before.” It highlights a problem of modern society “Society has become allergic to taking risks.” He says “They think of the risk before they consider the opportunity or benefit and so do nothing.” Of course, he states, sometimes the risk becomes too great and things can go wrong. The recent documentary film The Summit tells of the fateful 2008 K2 international expedition of which Fredrik Sträng was a member. During the ascent 11 people lost their lives. It was the worst single accident in the story of K2 mountaineering. Much of his own footage is used in the film. For he believes it is important to tell the story, but not to judge. “These men were experts, they had assessed the risk but sometimes things happen beyond your control.” He explains that this is why he trains so hard. “Survival is not about luck. You plan and you train. The more I train, the more luck I have."
You plan and you train. The more I train, the more luck I have.
And here is a life lesson for us all. “We talk about risk elimination” he says, “but life is a risk. There is no return ticket. So either you die a coward or you are brave, you live your life fully, you take risks, you do. Yes, sometimes you stumble, you fall, you may get bruised but you live.” Life, he points out, is an exploration. We can all be explorers but we have to choose to, we have to do. I must have looked concerned as he laughed at me and said “But don’t get too stressed. Focus on climbing the mountain you are on, don’t worry about the next one. But be an explorer, take action and do it today.” I realise he’s right, he has found balance, amongst all the action we must not forget to take time to look out at the view.
The winter’s sun is dipping in the sky and he must get off on his run. But before he sets out into cold evening air he leaves me with one last anecdote to think upon. “I was at a magnificent Burlesque party. I was dressed up in a red top hat. The compere was dressed up in a blue bunny outfit. He stood in front of us all and screamed ‘Put your smart phones away! Be here, present so you can tell the story of today, tomorrow.’” And with that he is off, back into action. If the actions of Fredrik Sträng are the stories of tomorrow that the future is built on, then I am very excited. It promises to have a spectacular view.
FOLLOWING KIRST GORDON
A Rift in Virtual Reality
By Erick Moen
“I believe in zero minutes to fun,” you would expect nothing less from Laird Malamed, one of the minds behind Guitar Hero and the new COO of Oculus VR. He is obviously proud of the many controller-based games he’s helped create, but he joined Oculus VR to work on the hotly anticipated virtual reality headset, the Oculus Rift.
The idea is simple. Cover your eyes with a video display. Cover your ears with headphones and let motion sensors impose your will on the digital landscape around you. From Johnny Quest’s Questworld, to the iconic Matrix, entertainment has explored the intrigue of a limitless electronic interface, and it has long been the pot of gold at the end of the digital rainbow for those seeking ultimate immersion.
These types of intuitive interfaces hold the key to breaking the learning curve normally associated with console or computer-gaming, Malamed says, “The idea is that you can immediately enjoy an experience… new interfaces like the Rift and motion controllers help achieve that by better connecting to how humans perceive and interact with the world.”
The concept of virtual reality has captured the hearts and minds of gamers since the late 80’s through its various incarnations; however, hardware manufacturers have struggled to bring the concept to market. Cumbersome headsets, laggy displays, small fields of vision and clunky controls divorced of haptic interaction, are just a few of the obstacles that have plagued consumer virtual reality devices in the past. Not to mention the usually prohibitive price tag. Remember Nintendo’s Virtual Boy? No, neither do we.
The Virtual Boy is not alone in the pantheon of failed VR simulators. Nintendo again tried to create an early version of it’s Wii controller with the virtual reality glove but the motions were clunky and imprecise, a gross miscalculation by the Mario company. The Virtusphere was a 10 foot tall giant hamster ball which would encase a user. This was an attempt to create a limitless world a character could walk around in as the ball was elevated on gears which would turn the giant man-prison in different directions as the user moved through the world. Its main drawback was simply just how impractical it was and so this walk enabling ball never went very far.
An ability to realize the desire many of us have dreamed about for years.
But Malamed and Oculus think they have finally cracked it with the Rift, “Advancements in screen and display technology, motion sensors, accelerometers and graphics chipsets give us an ability to realize the desire many of us have dreamed about for years. Where I think we are revolutionizing the notion of VR, is by making it affordable and opening it up from the get go… encouraging all sorts of projects and experiences on the Rift.”
The Rift execs aren’t alone in their excitement either. Designers and companies from Sony to the creator of Super Smash Brothers, to Valve’s Gabe Newell have endorsed the new tech. Valve is famously known for it’s groundbreaking work on the Half-Life and Portal franchises. Not to mention Oculus’ latest acquisition, John Carmack, the co-founder of id Software and the man behind Wolfenstein, Doom and Quake, who has agreed to come aboard as Chief Technology Officer (CTO).
Tim Miller, Technology Specialist for the Entertainment Technology Center at the University of Southern California, said, “navigation through the game world is rife for improvement.” But he cautions, “interfaces alone are never enough. New technology can enable a unique experience, but only content will drive it forward.”
The question becomes whether new content can create an emotional response and only then, Tim says, can we decide if the Rift will be the, “Next step forward or a dead end.” Charley Price, Co-founder and Creative Director at Hidden Variable Studios, agrees, “I’m intrigued and optimistic because of the people involved, but there is still a healthy amount of skepticism there. It’s got to move beyond the gimmick phase.” As a developer, though, he is excited by what he has seen so far. Even as we talked about current content for the Rift, he couldn’t help but brainstorm ideas during the interview. “When I played with it I saw how good it could be, for example, it could enable a totally different way to play co-op games.”
Charley went on to say, “The timing is great [for the Rift] and that’s pivotal, a ton of developers are getting a crack at the interface right now as opposed to an exclusive handful. And they could create some new titles that take the tech beyond even the founders’ visions and inspire others. The soil is extremely fertile.” Oculus is furthering its cause by making the development kits compatible with two of the big game design engines (Unity and Unreal) out of the box. They’ve also built in C++ support and created Oculus Share, a collaborative website for people to find and exchange new content.
For now Oculus is focusing on the PC and mobile market, but with Sony’s interest heating up and the latest generation of consoles on the horizon, virtual reality just may have finally arrived.
The 'Instagram Hotel'
By Michael Bou-Nacklie
Social media has been around for the better part of a decade, but getting the full use out of it beyond Likes has been the riddle for businesses to solve. It’s common knowledge that large numbers of followers can mean lucrative advertising opportunities but what about luxury vacations? A hotel in Australia is offering just that to customers with Instagram followers over 10,000.
The 1888 Hotel in Sydney, Australia has been dubbed the Instagram Hotel. With a recent $28 million renovation and redesign, The 1888 Hotel caters to snap-happy Smartphone customers, offering any customers with over 10,000 followers a free night's stay. Also guests who post the best Instagram picture while staying at the luxury hotel are awarded a free night.
The name of the hotel is inspired by the year 1888 when Kodak first introduced its box cameras which used roll film. Guests can pose in the ‘selfie’ space, complete with an antique frame sporting an 1888 placard at the bottom in case your #1888 hashtag was ignored on your post. Not only that but dual flat-screens in the lobby constantly display images with the #1888 hashtags on the photo-sharing app.
The cherry on top of this unusual social media experience comes in the fitting form of an iPad. Every room is equipped with complimentary iPads, on which guests can order room service, adjust the air conditioning or even view the hotels' recommendations for bars and restaurants in the area. Want to know the best places to Instagram while having some delicious food? These same iPads have built-in ‘Instawalks’ – maps to local locations, which make for the best Instagram photos.
This quirky 90 room boutique hotel, however, isn’t alone in trying to harness the power of social media. Sol Wave House in Mallorca, Spain is the Twitter equivalent of The 1888 Hotel. Need your fridge filled? Tweet the concierge. Want room service? Tweet the kitchen. You get the point. But don’t worry, your order of eggs benedict with eggs on the side won’t be plastered all over the Twitter-verse because all these interactions are done through the hotel’s proprietary app which requires a twitter login. Granted most of us go on holiday to disconnect (at least in theory) from the fast paced world of modern technology aside from the apparently obligatory photos of legs on beaches or wings of airplanes. But these quirky inventive hotels certainly cater to a demographic searching for a little extra something from their stay.
Up close and personal with whales
By Michael Bou-Nacklie
The images are stark and strangely humanizing, but the subject isn’t what you’d expect. Photographer Bryant Austin’s almost 20-year-journey photographing whales’ is something that’s never been attempted. These giants of the deep are gentle and naturally curious and Austin wanted to meet them on their terms. “I felt I was barely scratching the surface,” he said by phone after working 3 months constantly on the project..
Armed with nothing more than a 60 megapixel Hasselblad with underwater housing and an 80mm Mamiya lens, Austin floated in the shallow waters off the island of Tonga looking for humpbacks. “Time, or lack of it, causes us to behave badly,” he said referring to when people take a weekend to go whale-watching. “Whales are naturally curious and people have so little time to be with them. We rob them of their curiosity of us,” Austin said. “It’s a studio camera, so it’s very slow, one frame per second. It’s really quite agonizing, I could be out for hours and only come back with 3 images that are in focus.”
His work has been exhibited in several countries including Japan and Norway, which still have very active whaling cultures. “I didn’t do this to initiate a whaling debate, I went to areas where the debate is already very polarized.”
In order to exhibit the whales as accurately as possible he set out to do large-scale prints to show the viewer just how massive these gentle giants really are. After being commissioned in 2009 to photograph Sperm whales, who are notoriously shy according to Austin, he managed to complete the first ever to-scale portrait of a Sperm whale. Taking 140 images of a young male named Scar in 2011 he was able to hand blend a selection into one complete portrait. “When people see the images on display they are moved to silence, moved to tears…those non-verbal responses are what keep me going. They remind me that I can’t stop, I can’t quit,” Austin said.
After a decade of trying to do the project alongside his full-time work as a funding manager for a research group, he was about to give up. The next day he took a trip out to try one last time and as he floated in the water with his fish-eye equipped camera he saw a young 6 week old, two-ton calf, barreling towards him. “I saw him through the lens coming on a collision course so I lowered the camera, he veered away at the very last moment from my camera probably about 6 feet away,” he said with a slight shake in his voice. “I remember turning my gaze upwards and seeing this belly button cruise by my face and seeing all this detail; this intricate, fine detail I had never seen before.”
I remember turning my gaze upwards and seeing this belly button cruise by my face.
At this point, with the calf above him, Austin feels a nudging from behind on his shoulder. As he slowly turns, shaking in fear and sees the large eye of the calf’s mother staring right at him, studying him. “She had reached out with her 15-foot long two ton pectoral fin to gently touch me with the tip of it, letting me know she was behind me,” Austin said. “If you could imagine, if you hold out your hand and your fingers are closed together, if you look at your middle finger - she touched me with the tip of that, the tip of her pectoral fin. If she had touched me with the leading edge of her index finger or another finger on either side she could have broken my back.”
Being between a mother and her baby is generally ill advised in the wild, as females tend to become aggressive and protective of their young. Austin knew this hence his concern. “Why are we even significant to them? To take that much care not to hurt us accidentally, that left me humbled. I just floated there shaking, looking into her eye and I realized what I could offer; these moments when a whale comes up to you. When they come up to you they usually have a very calm, mindful gaze, very heavy lidded and she was studying me. I realized I could capture portraits of them at this scale.”
Reaching a crisis point in his life he did not know what to do about his work. “I was trying to do my job of 6-years and this project at the same time and all I was doing was everything badly.” It’s obvious he was conflicted. In a TedTalk in San Jose, California last year, Austin looked as if he was holding back as he talked about the calf and his mother, almost choking back tears. In 2006 he finally quit his job, sold his home and went off to try and secure funding for another 90 days in the field.
The commercial whaling moratorium halted the slaughter of tens of thousands of whales back in 1986. Yet despite the moratorium and projects like Austin's designed to raise awareness and document these ‘masters of the deep’, whale populations are still under threat. According to the Animal Welfare Institute, over 33,000 whales are still being killed each year and Norway, Iceland, and Japan continue to hunt whales for commercial gain in the name of scientific research. An ongoing case in the International Court of Justice is currently debating a loophole in the moratorium stating that any member can catch as many whales as they see fit, as long as they are caught for scientific purposes. Japanese whalers have reported killing 12,393 whales since the commercial whaling moratorium took effect. Thats why projects like Austin's are very important in raising the profile of this magnificent creature.
33,000 whales are still being killed each year.
Finding the whales is one of the main challenges due in part to the large distances whales cover in their annual migrations. Austin has just completed a proposal for a photography rig equipped with 6-7 cameras, designed to take large-scale portraits of the whales. “The easy part is taking the picture,” Austin says with a slight chuckle, knowing that the main challenge will be the design and implementation of the rig.
Long term Austin hopes to create a full body, life size photo mosaic of a whale entangled in fishing lines. Commercial fishing kills 300,000 whales, dolphins and porpoises each year. Which is exponentially greater than what any whaling operation could ever accomplish.
One of the major challenges to this life-long endeavor is that most of the technology has either not been implemented in this way before or doesn’t yet exist. So Austin would be trailblazing the way forward for printing at this scale, designing all new printers which could print at the required 10ft x 90ft size. “Not to mention we’ll have to build a whole new computer to be able to process the images, every time I did my previous composites I had to build a specialized computer which cost 10-15 thousand dollars each time.”
When asked why he had such a singular fixation on whales, Austin pauses for a brief moment before citing his work with sperm whales. Having evolved for close to 5 million years, these giants have the largest brain in any animal weighing in at 7.8kg in a mature male. “Really it’s the thought of never knowing, never understanding what goes on in the biggest brain. This is what it’s all about and the thought that we could loose that this century.”
The Global Art Scene at Frieze Art Fair
By Maxine Sapsford, Editor
From the comfort of the great white pavilion situated in Regents Park’s inner circle, MIST visits galleries from across the globe to chat about art, fashion and their interaction within the settings of some of the world's fashion capitals.
Infamous for being Europe’s largest and most important gathering of influential galleries from across the globe, Frieze London housed over 150 galleries this year as well as numerous art projects, their sculpture park and Frieze Masters, bringing together a vibrant cross-selection of global art cultures. Embarking on our journey into this veritable melting pot of artistic trends and nuances, we sought out the insights of a few of the worlds top galleries.
First we talked to Claudia Pasko from Konrad Fischer Gallerie situated in Dusseldorf and Berlin about the current art trends in Germany. "Berlin is a lot more trashy, for young artists it's very good to be there. In Dusseldorf it's a little bit more established but I guess we have a lot more institutions and a lot of good galleries as well so there's a lot to see.” So, we ask, does art, science and fashion intermingle in Germany? “I think this is the way in Hamburg. A big mixture between design and art and fashion, but in Dusseldorf it's not so much. You have a lot of high class fashion and not so much new and inspiring. High class like Bond Street over here” she laughs.
Patricia Pratas from Sprüth Magers Gallery in London and Berlin gave us her verdict on the differences between the two locations. “In Berlin everyone has huge spaces and it’s much cheaper to get gallery space, also there are many, many artists living in Berlin. London is a lot more sales focused in that you constantly have clients passing by London. You know, Americans on their way to the Middle East stop by London and the other way round so it’s a hub, there’s more traffic. So London is definitely more business focused and the pace is faster. Berlin is just more laid back.” Does she think fashion influences art? “Maybe the other way round, art influences fashion in London.”
We spot a studded jacket sculpture by Joel Morrison at Almine Rech Gallery which is based in Brussels and Paris. Barbara De Palmenaer, Junior Director tells us “it’s like a classical bust you know. He often works with studs, he likes studs.” We ask about the Parisian art scene, “The visitors are more fashionable in Paris,” she laughs, “but this artist is from LA. We don't really have French artists.” We walk round the space and she points to the various pieces. “LA, London, Germany, this is Swiss. It's a mixture. People in Paris they buy LA artists or American artists.”
BARBARA DE PALMENAER, JUNIOR DIRECTOR, ALMINE RECH GALLERY WITH PIECE THE DECLINE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION, 2013, BY JOEL MORRISON.
Then our eye is caught by a canvas full of Takashi Murakami’s iconic smiling flowers. The infamous Japanese pop artist is no stranger to the world of fashion having collaborated with Louis Vuitton on a range of colorful monogram bags back in 2002. Mike Davis from Blum and Poe of Los Angeles, New York and Tokyo introduced us to some of the other artists they represent that have delved into fashion collaborations and “blending of mass culture” with art.
We talk about their Japanese artists; Yoshitomo Nara’s illustrations, Murakami’s album cover for Kanye West and how Tim Blum and Jeff Poe started working with him in ‘97 before his career really took off. “They find a lot of artists in their early unknown stages and then foster them.” Then Mike shows us catwalk images from Richard Nicoll’s latest spring/summer ‘14 collection incorporating prints of Linder Sterling’s collages, digitized and printed onto fabric. “To see the piece walking down the runway is very interesting” he smiles. Linder’s works definitely look at home on the catwalk and compliment the blacks and grays and simple yet strong lines of Nicoll’s designs.
There is something very exciting about these art/fashion collaborations and how they bring what can be very insular and exclusive to a wider audience. Works that are normally unavailable to most people are suddenly obtainable, enjoyable and even wearable, “it makes it more mass market” to an extent, he tells us, which we agree is a good thing and something that, sadly, a lot of artists shy away from. However, cross-collaborations between artists and designers seem to be on the increase and we look forward to more of these colab-creations like Vuitton’s bags (Vuitton have now worked with artists Murakami, Kusama and Stephen Sprouse) and Nicoll’s and Linder’s clothing pieces.
To see the piece walking down the runway is very interesting.
Before we go we can’t resist indulging our geek side and asking if any of the gallery’s artists are influenced by science? Apparently yes, quite a few are intrigued by “mathematical systems and patterns” found in nature, “artists are always looking for something that inspires them.” Mike tells us that Keith Tyson is very intrigued by these systems and “trying to connect them with art” in a sort of visual language. We leave with our eyes satisfied by the visual feast served up by Frieze London and our head full of future collaborative possibilities.
KEITH TYSON, OPERATOR PAINTING "PASTTIMES", 2009, MIXED MEDIA ON ALUMINUM, 78 X 78 INCHES, COURTESY OF THE ARTIST AND BLUM & POE, LOS ANGELES
Herve Leger's Party Rocks & So Does Delilah
By Ankit Love
She walked into the party and my jaw just dropped. Her pneumatic figure was accentuated and held by the sensuous straps of a cool black Herve Leger dress. "Her name's Delilah," I would be told a couple hours later by the pop star's agent. But for that moment she was just an enigma who had me captured by her aura and those tattoo flowers that grew down the left sleeve of her arm. "I like space" she told me, referring to the minimalistic nature of her tattoos. She could have told me anything and I would have listened for an eternity.
That October night at the Herve Leger Boutique, 29 Lowndes Street, London was a mix of beauty, creativity and class. To see so many beautiful women all together in Herve Leger dresses was quite a sight. The stunning and talented Polish singer Marzena Rychlik, had introduced me to the boutique's managing director Patrick Couderc. He and his team of four angles in red Leger dresses, were on top form ensuring that the guests were well looked after, informed in their choice of Herve Leger dresses and of course that the champagne was flowing. Other guests included the presenter Tamara Ecclestone, hair supremo Nicky Clarke and footballer John Riise.
Such is the pleasure of the intimate boutique experience, dedicated service and expert advice on dress would suit you best. And of course being in the heart of the Belgravia village, you never quite know who you may bump into while in search of that perfect dress.
Certainly, I was not expecting to be blown away by the unforgettable Delilah in her black criss cross Herve Leger. When I arrived back home and searched for her music, I was pleased to discover that it too was as beautiful and enchanting as her.
By Philip Ellis
When people talk about “the fashion world” they often refer to a world largely white and Westernized. While trends and influences come from all over the globe, from Japanese kimonos to Maasai jewellery, all too often they are harnessed and propagated by people with little to no personal understanding or connection to them.
The entertainment industry is equally rife with oblivious borrowings; most recently, Lady Gaga’s attempts to rock the “burqa-swag” look have caused quite a stir. But why? According to photographer Sanaa Hamid, cultural appropriation often goes beyond the aesthetic and betrays an unsettling fetishisation of the “Other.”
Hamid has made this the subject of her latest project. Entitled ‘Cultural Appropriation: A Conversation’, the on-going series of photos provides a neutral space in which both the appropriators of cultural imagery and individuals from that specific culture give their thoughts on what a symbol or garment means to them.
“I remember standing in Topshop, staring at the jewellery in utter bewilderment at the appropriation that is fed into mainstream fashion as a trend,” says Hamid. “It’s the kind of thing that once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it.”
Edward Said, a prominent professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University defines this as “Orientalism”. Specifically referring to when Western institutions take certain aspects from Eastern cultures and use them as representations of the culture as a whole and mostly to justify actions towards that culture, i.e. colonialism of the early 18th and 19th Century.
It’s the kind of thing that once you’ve seen it, you can’t unsee it.
Hamid cites the bindi as a particularly prevalent example, which has returned to the mainstream via the ‘soft-grunge’ trend. “The more I thought about it, the more I realised the urgency of creating some kind of work to demonstrate appropriation,” she says. “People should think before wearing something injudiciously.”
Coming from a background that is often mined for its imagery, Hamid struggles with the notion of white pop stars like Lady Gaga and Iggy Azalea playing dress-up in the traditions of other cultures.
“I think it’s disgusting,” she says. “I actually liked Iggy Azalea a lot before her ‘Bounce’ music video.” The video in question has the rapper decked out in a sari, riding an elephant, and engaging in pseudo-Bollywood dance moves. “The fetishisation and commodification of oppressed cultures happens a lot in the fashion and entertainment industries, by people from privileged backgrounds – as if decorating your life with the quaint, pretty parts of another culture isn’t belittling or offensive.”
Singh Street Style is a fashion blog showcasing particularly stylish examples of how the turban, an important article of faith, can be incorporated into the everyday wardrobes of Sikh men. “For Sikhs, the turban is a crown,” says blogger Pardeep Bahra. “It reminds us to behave like a king, to be loving and compassionate.” He concedes, however, that what is sacred to one person or culture, may have vastly different connotations elsewhere; “The turban has many different meanings all over the world; non-Sikhs can wear turbans in any style, and use it as a fashion item, but for us, it is an article of faith above all else.”
For more information on Sanaa's Cultural Appropriation: A conversation series, check out her website - www.sanaahamid.com. To get involved in the visual conversation and take part in the series, email Sanaa at - Sanaahamid82@yahoo.com.
Secretive Azzedine Alaïa is 'King of Cling'
By Sarah Mouton
They don’t make fashion designers like Azzedine Alaïa anymore. For most of his career, he has shied away from media attention, giving only rare interviews and refusing honours. His signature collections are presented from his home studio, featuring a decided absence of security guards and frantic publicists; just a handful of adoring clients, buyers and journalists. This is how Alaïa has had it for 30 years.
His unconventional tendencies don't stop there, as Alaïa also seemingly ignores the biggest event in fashion, Fashion Week. Alaïa’s shows take place two months after everyone else’s, once the fever of Fashion Week has cooled down a bit. Despite his unorthodox nature Alaïa has had a tremendous influence on today’s fashion industry.
The Palais Galliera Fashion Museum in Paris is currently paying tribute to Alaïa, displaying an exhibition of his work in the first Paris retrospective to be held in the newly renovated galleries. The exhibition will run until January 26th, 2014 allowing visitors a insight into how much this counter-culture designer has impacted the fashion world.
Born to a farming family in the late 1930's it was Alaïa's glamorous older sister who inspired his love for women and fashion. After graduating from the The School of Fine Arts in Tunis, Tunisia, Alaïa moved to Paris where he worked at Cristian Dior as a tailleur. The early part of his career consisted of learning the tricks of the trade and what his clients wanted. His clothes are cut, pined and assembled directly on the body, using precise seams to produce the signature silhouette which has become his trademark.
In the late 70’s, he befriends a young Thierry Mugler and designs the costumes for the legendary Crazy Horse Cabaret in Paris. Befriending not only Mugler, but the soon-to-be famous Kenzo and Jean-Paul Gauthier, he becomes part of the Parisian superstar designers’ club of the 80’s. What set Alaïa apart from rest was his love for classical designs by masters like Madeleine Vionnet, Paul Poiret and Madame Grès. Instead of trying to break their rules he learned from them.
Alaïa has avoided the use of embroidery in his collections, differing for example from Kenzo. Instead he makes bold statements through his exquisite construction and streamline tailoring. The use of utilitarian materials like studs, zips and eyelets for decoration has come into vogue in the past 5 years, something Alaïa has been doing since the early 80's. Alaïa's genius is undoubtedly one step ahead of the rest. His attitude towards the construction of his ideas is apparent in how he describes himself as a "builder" and not a fashion designer.
I make clothes, women make fashion
You could say that Alaïa’s career has been defined by his friendships with women. As Alaïa once said "I make clothes, women make fashion". He famously launched Naomi Campbell’s career in 1986 casting her in her first ever fashion show when she was just 16. They have been working together ever since, most notably on the SS 1990 collection inspired by African influences.
Another one of his muses, Grace Jones, immortalized his hooded jersey dresses in her Bond girl role in “A View to Kill.” Towards the end of the 80's he also created 'The Bandage Dress', which he then launched with model superstars Campbell, Linda Evangelista, and Christy Turlington (think Milla Jovovich in Fifth Element). Among many prestigious admirers, his designs have caught the eye of fashion conscious First Lady, Michelle Obama, who is often seen wearing Alaïa's distinctive dresses.
The 70 pieces on display at the Galliera Palais in Paris capture the beauty and sophistication of his designs. Of course, some pieces have aged better than others, but the timelessness of most of his dresses will inspire new designers for years to come.
Alaïa's most recent collections can be found in the US at Barneys New York, Mary Jane Denzer and Ikram.
STADTVÖGEL / URBAN BIRDS
- PHOTOGRAPHY & ART DIRECTION: OSCAR LATORRE-BOSCH.
- STYLING: ROBERTO CARO & GIEDRE ALTENSTRASSER.
- HAIR & MAKEUP: ROBERTO CARO.
- ASSISTANT STYLIST: TAMARA DYSON.
- MODEL: AMINA (AMT MODELS), LAETICIA & MARTIN (FLAIR MODEL MANAGEMENT).
- SPECIAL THANKS TO: LOOS BAR & IBIS HOTELS
- LOCATION: VIENNA
Dressing like a grown-up: A guide for men
By Rayan Khayyat
A problem that many men face is how to develop their style beyond the haphazard wardrobe of their youth. Guys, there’s no excuse for wearing T-shirts until they fall apart beyond your teens. As a man it’s easy to fall into theT-shirt and jeans trap, or just get stuck with the trends or anti-trends of the groups and scenes we followed as kids. We can be guilty of sticking to those well into our twenties. Unfortunately, those rebellious trends fall out of favor pretty quickly, and getting out of these wardrobe habits can be surprisingly difficult. We’ve compiled a few easy rules to encourage some sort of grown-up dress code, without sending you running for that band T you’ve lived in since you were eighteen.
- THE CASUAL DRESSER
STYLE FASHION WEEK, LA, MARCH 2013. PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTON OPARIN.
A lot of guys these days fall into making repetitive clothing choices. It’s not always appropriate to dress up, but there are ways to move beyond the basic T-shirt, jeans and sneakers combo.
- Plain colored tees are basically just too plain and make no statement, go for graphic tees under an open shirt. Give some though to what colors work together and be creative with your T shirt/shirt combos.
- Instead of jeans, try dark blue pants in a lighter fabric that don’t have the usual denim stitching. Uniqlo make them in a variety of great colors. If you love your denim try a nice rich dark brown or dark olive jean to update your look for winter.
- Wear a belt, even if your pants don’t need one. Belts add a touch of structure to a casual outfit.
- Boat shoes are on trend and they make a great alternative casual shoe over sneakers.
- THE TREND SETTER
MICHAEL KORS S/S'13. PHOTOGRAPHY: NATA SHA.
Keeping your look current by following this seasons trends can be fun, refreshing and whimsical. When overdone however, trends can be pretentious and they don’t always suit everyone. Nevertheless, there are ways to get it right.
- Add one trendy element or key piece to your usual attire. Don’t fall into the trap of dressing completely head-to-toe in new tricks, it makes too many statements and comes across as poser-ish. Sticking to basics but adding a kick of style with a piece of jewelry or on-trend item of clothing gives a stronger overall look.
- The key to having fun and creating variation with the current trends is to dress for the occasion. For a movie or night at the local the graphic tee trend works well, at the beach or boardwalk wear a colorful snapback and at a dance club go for neons and geometrics. Pulling something off is easier when you have a sense of fun about it.
- To skinny or not to skinny? A lot of brands such as Levis are shifting away from skinny jeans and catering for the growing number of men who are leaning toward something in between skinny and classic fit. A well-fitted slim pant that doesn’t cling at the ankles always looks good and is the way to go this winter.
- MR SMART / CASUAL
MICHAEL BASTIAN, S/S '14. PHOTOGRAPHY: ANTON OPARIN.
The days of casual suits and ties seem to be behind us but that doesn’t mean we can let our sense of style slip. If anything we need to get more creative with our formalwear.
- One easy way to ‘dress it up’ without wearing a suit is to throw on a blazer with a button down shirt over some matching pants. We’re not talking slacks, simple dress pants like those found at H&M can keep you comfortable but looking good.
- Alternatively dress top half formal, bottom half casual by pairing jeans with a suit jacket. Forgo buying a whole suit and spend the extra money on a really decent, well fitting jacket. This look works great whether you go for black denim or blue with a navy or black jacket. Add a shirt and skinny tie to take the formal feel further, or dress it down with a T-shirt or a V-necked jumper worn against the skin.
- The key to going formal is getting the fit of the clothes right. Decrease on impulsive shopping and increase on the time you devote to trying things on properly.
- Trousers, for most occasions, should end an inch and a half below the ankle. When buying shirts the seam around the arm should end right on your shoulder and the length should be beyond your waist but not below your backside.
- Be wary of fabric bunching around the waist. If something’s too big don’t just stick a belt on. Equally if the fabric between the buttons on your shirt is starting to gape slightly when you slouch, don’t just resign yourself to improving your posture. Get a size that fits.
- Cut down on the junk you carry in your pockets, an overstuffed wallet or a large bunch of keys can ruin the line of your clothes.
Louis After Marc
By Sarah Mouton
The departure of Marc Jacobs from Louis Vuitton was quite the news at the September Paris Fashion week. Anna Wintour rightfully gave him a standing ovation at his last show. After fifteen years as creative director at Louis Vuitton, the American designer is leaving to focus on his signature labels Marc Jacobs and Marc by Marc Jacobs.
Rumours began to circulate of a possible departure for the designer to snag the top spot at Coach as Creative Director. Later that month Coach hired Stuart Vevers, but with the launch of Fashion Week in September, speculation arose once again as a source told Reuters that Vevers’ contract may not be renewed.
Once simply a long established, old-fashioned travel trunk maker, the transformation at Louis Vuitton has been quite dramatic, to say the least. Founded in 1854 by Mr Louis Vuitton, the leather goods manufacturer had made trunks and travel bags for decades until branching out into the city bag niche in the 1930’s.
Soon enough, their elegant carriers were seen everywhere in the bourgeois circles in Paris, think ‘The Speedy Bag’, their iconic model. But it wasn’t until 1978 that Vuitton started expanding its empire outside of Europe. First in Japan and then in New York City, by 1984 the LVMH group was born and Vuitton was doing 90% of its business outside of France.
Marc Jacobs started at Louis Vuitton in 1997, a chubby 35-year-old hiding behind big glasses and avoiding media attention. When Jacobs was called up to be head designer, Vuitton was a flourishing luxury company but one that lacked a certain edge. With Jacobs' help the company launched the first ready-to-wear collection in 1998, followed by shoes, watches and finally, jewellery in 2004. Since then, Vuitton has also benefitted from a succession of collaborations with infamous artists such as the widely successful Takashi Murakami collection, featuring his colourful cartoonist style. Another collaborative hit was the neon graffiti logo design created by American fashion designer, Stephen Sprouse.
By that time, Jacobs’ relevance had been clearly established by fashion commentators and he became a star in his own right. Karl Lagerfeld had the biker gloves and black and white look, whereas Jacobs had newly sculpted abs, extraordinary tattoos (including one of Sponge Bob) and a trademark diamond earring. In ultimate consecration in 2012, the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris held an exuberant retrospective, showcasing in two acts, the visionary entrepreneurship and craft of Louis Vuitton and the creative genius of Marc Jacobs.
With the worldwide success of Vuitton, flattery came as bad imitations, flooding the black markets pushing the multinational company to prioritise fighting the pandemic. But surely, the notion of luxury and exclusivity was lost with the democratisation of the brand. You can visit any Louis Vuitton store and see how the monogrammed canvas appeals to all genders, nationalities, ages and even social status’. Jacob's mark on Vuitton will no doubt remain long after his departure. But with over 200 retail stores in 80 countries of his own brand, Marc Jacobs’ ambitions have anything but ceased.
Jackie O style meets Kurt Cobain attitude: Fall 2013
By Kelly Ritchie
The leaves are falling, crackling underfoot as pedestrians step out into the crisp air. Hitting everything, from city street sidewalks to spontaneity driven photo blogs; fashion is driving-forward and blending pasts. Two eras are clashing; the craze of Mad Men silhouetted fashion, plaid, and cocktail lunches with the chevron patterns, contrasting stitches and shaggy beards.
Grunge and 60's have come together, stronger together, bonding with just a dash of a hipster edge thrown in this Fall. Making designs full of strong prints, angles and cuts for the Fall 2013 wardrobe.
Capturing this movement is designer Kate S. Mensah, a designer from Paris, who was keen to create women's wear inspired by balancing nature and culture for her Fall 2013 collection. Catching her on a particularly blustery afternoon, Mensah shares her insight into this techno-driven fashion season.
“This year I think the fusion in the fashion industry will come from classic construction but with new fabric designs,” she reveals. “Fashion tries to create a balance between those two different worlds: solitude and (crowded); softness and hardness.”
The svelte shapes and demure edge of the 60's embodies a softness, while the bold, attention seeking attitudes of 90's grunge is itself naturally hard. There seems to be a balance that we have found culturally, provoked by the changing season of Summer to Fall that comes through in this season's fashion sensibilities.
“I call my fall 2013 collection simply “une vie d’automne” meaning “Life in Fall.” My collection is about reinterpreting the fall as a live vibrant season. I believe Fall is a season of many feelings and “sensations”. The leaves are changing color, the temperatures are dropping, the wind is blowing and we want to enjoy the last warm days."
As I soak up the last rays of sunlight from the looming gray skies, there is a sense of anticipation in the air for the forward thinkers and everyday trendsetters to take charge of this season’s wardrobe. Fall 2013 isn't going to be a wayward or wondering fashion season but one to stride forward in, with your chin up and body wrapped in pieces cinched and peppered with boldness.
Around the world in Ten Spas
While we’re out discovering new technologies, scientific techniques or just what’s on trend in the world of fashion, it’s easy to forget the importance of a little self discovery. What better way to explore your inner most thoughts in the utter tranquility of a spa retreat.
The Spa, Four Seasons Resort, Bora Bora, French Polynesia
This holistic beauty overlooking turquoise Pacific waters on the edge of a lagoon epitomises luxury relaxation. Using local natural Polynesian ingredients, the Four Seasons Spa aims to make each treatment a personalised experience with the option of in-room treatments and services bringing the spa to you. Also available apon request are private Yoga lessons and personalized massages.
Ananda Spa, Ananda, India
Known best as the place where The Beatles’ discovered transcendental meditation, the area is also known as the birthplace of Yoga. Situated in the heart of the Himalayas, overlooking the winding Ganges, we challenge anyone to not feel at peace here. This hidden gem combines the traditional Indian systems of Ayurveda with a contemporary Spa, creating a pampering experience tailored for the deep soul searcher.
Couple Tower Isle, St. Mary, Jamaica
Once a secret getaway for the Holywood elite of the 1950’s and recent winner of Travel + Leisure’s ‘Best Caribbean Spa’ award, Couple Tower Island Spa is most assuredly one to add to the list. This opulent yet sleek hotel pampers its guests with peppermint-seaweed wraps, four layer facials and fresh water swimming pools.
Rome Cavalleri, Rome, Italy
An icon of Rome, with its plush rooms and a world class three Michelin star restaurant La Pergola, Rome Cavalieri is a must visit if you are looking for a holiday of pampering. With décor reminiscent of traditional roman baths, this decadent spa tempts us into its fluffy robes and warm waters. Equip also with a roman style relaxation room, Turkish baths, saunas, hydro-massage pools and a whirlpool, guests are spoiled for choice.
The Sanctuary Spa, Covent Garden, London
Hidden away in the very heart of London, this blissful - women only - day spa offers a much needed retreat from the fast paced life outside its doors. Featuring a delightful lounge area with pools of Koi Carp fish as well as numerous swimming pools, Jacuzzi’s and even a pool with a swing, this spa is sure not to disappoint. All treatments are performed featuring the famous Sanctuary Spa products.
Six Senses Spa, Evason Ma'In Hot Springs
Jordan Deep in the Jordanian desert, an oasis of rest and relaxation, emerges built under a natural hot-spring waterfall close to the Dead-Sea. A unique place where guests can enjoy treatments in the mineral rich waters including scrubs, wraps, massages and facials - a real treat for anyone looking to relax in utter seclusion.
Omni Bedford Springs Resort, Pennsylvania, USA
Recently renovated to the tune of $120 million with over 216 rooms as well as a restored golf course. The 30,000-square-foot spa features treatments that utilise local healing minerals like black walnut and honeysuckle to pamper its wiery golfer guests after a long day out on the pitch.
The Mekong Spa, La Résidence Phou Vao, Luang Prabang, Laos
This oriental gem is situated overlooking the idyllic town of Luang Prabang. The first ever luxury spa in the area offers treatments using traditional Laotian herbal remedies, which heal and nurture guests using only the purest local botanical ingredients.
SPA Riga, Riga, Latvia
Inspired by the elemental properties of fire and water, the resort is a menagerie of black crystal and spectacular light sculptures. Spa treatments include a mixture of Chinese, Indian, European and Balinese concepts. The wheather in Latvia can be particluarly harsh, so why not enjoy a Baltic amber stone treatment to warm your cold bones and smooth you dry skin.
Oasis of Calm, The Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok
Thailand With a restaurant boasting all-organic loccally grown food and an on hand Thai masseuse, it's the perfect way to treat your mind, body and soul. Fancy yourself a bit of a master chef? Sign up for classes at the hotel’s traditional Thai cooking school or take a boat-ride up the Chao Phraya River to the bustling night market.
Lab grown meat: Can vegetarians stomach it?
By John Detlefs
They’ve gone and done it. Meat grown in a test tube has become a reality. You read about this in science fiction novels all the time, yet I still find it hard to wrap my head around the idea that meat, grown in a test tube, designed to be eaten, actually exists.
Cultured meat is one proposed solution to the growing question of how sustainable international food resources really are. It’s being embraced by many as the meat of the future, while also polarizing the opinions of vegetarians around the world. But could this 'lab meat' be threatening to redefine what the term ‘vegetarian’ even means?
The U.S. alone consumes close to 8 billion chickens, 35 million cows and 115 million pigs annually, which at our current rate of population growth, may not be sustainable.
Creating meat in a lab is not entirely a new concept and scientists have been trying to figure it out since the early 90’s using stem cells. In fact NASA has been conducting experiments to create in-vitro meat since 2001 using turkey cells. The first time an edible sample was produced was in 2002 when the NSR/Touro Applied Bioscience Research Consortium used goldfish cells to grow what apparently resembled fish fillets.
In 2003 two scientists; Oron Calls and Ionat Zurr at Harvard University, used frog stem cells to grow something they called a 'steak' which was a few centimetres thick and was cooked and eaten by what I can only describe as a very brave soul.
If all of this seems to you like a crazy nerd-driven race to create weird foods, prepare to be surprised - There is actually a huge demand for lab cultured meat. The US alone consumes close to 8 billion chickens, 35 million cows and 115 million pigs annually, according to Purdue University and USDA data. That’s a lot of land and a lot of resources, which at our current rate of population growth, may not be sustainable. The Dutch government has put close to $4 million into research towards in-vitro meat since 2008 and currently over 30 different labs around the world are working on the issue. Cultured meat or 'shmeat' (sheet meat), as it’s sometimes called, is a big deal and there’s a lot of money riding on it. But let’s not worry about that right now. The more pressing question is would you eat it? And more interestingly, now that animal cruelty issues have been removed from the equation, would a vegetarian eat cultured meat?
First I went to my wife with this question and received the most gratifying look of complete shock I’ve ever seen on her face. No, she wouldn’t eat it. In fact, just based on the fact that cultured meat even exists, she’s considering giving up meat altogether.
What about vegetarians? Would a died-in-the-wool vegetarian consider tucking into a nice juicy piece of lab-grown steak? Could an animal rights activist be tempted by a Petri dish inspired Wagyu burger topped with caramelized onions and a slice of melted Swiss cheese?
Does it taste good?
The ideal candidate? Ben Ferris, director of the Sydney Film School in Australia, a colleague of mine who crossed over into vegetarianism 7 years ago for what he maintains were purely ethical reasons. We suspect that it was because his wife took a very strong stance against animal cruelty and refused to cook meat in the house. Over time he has become a vegetarian by default and now says he loves it.
But I wonder. Could a nice tender, cruelty-free piece of barbecued sirloin bring him back over to the dark(meat) side? So I phoned him on a sunny Saturday afternoon and found him at his desk working. After the usual pleasantries I explained cultured meat and finally posed the question, would he eat it? In reply, silence. Then, lawyer-like, the hedging began. “So... is it truly ethical? No harm comes to any of the animals?” I explained that the process hadn’t been made totally ethical yet, but that he was avoiding the question. Assuming that the meat was produced in a totally ethical manner, would he eat it?
The hedging continued. Was it really grown in a test-tube, because that sounds quite nauseating? What about unintended consequences? He’d read books on this, where did not things go pretty badly for all concerned? Was I sure that all of this was totally ethical? And then, a sign of weakness, a chink in the vegetarian armour. “Does it taste good?” Sensing an opening I laid it on thick. “Assuming that the entire deal was totally ethical in every way, if I turned up with a delicious Wagyu burger, topped with cheese, caramelized onions, homemade ketchup and full-egg mayo, would you eat it?” “Yeah” he whispered into the phone. “I think I would.”
Book Review: Illustration Now! Fashion
By Maxine Sapsford, Editor
Every garment starts with a single drawing. Yet fashion illustration is not just essential for brainstorming and sharing style ideas and clothing designs but has developed into an art form all of it’s own.
Illustration Now! Fashion brings together an exhaustive collection of the most gifted and dynamic illustrators in the fashion industry today. This veritable tome of works is both the ideal reference guide for budding fashion and illustration students and a must have coffee table book for it’s sheer beauty. With 400 colorful pages it covers over 90 different artists from the traditional to the flamboyant and bizarre.
Not just a pretty cover lIlustration Now! Fashion is introduced by Steven Heller an expert in the field of illustration and includes a history of fashion illustration by Adelheid Rasche, art and fashion historian, covering it’s beginnings in the 17th century right through to today’s rising stars. The rest of the book is devoted to an extensive A to Z of artists that will satisfy the hungriest of fashion addicts and art lovers. We recommend this one as a must have to put on your Christmas wish list.
lIlustration Now! Fashion by Julius Wiedemann, Hardcover, 21,5 x 27,4 cm, 400 pages, is available for $59.99/£34.99 from the Taschen website at - www.taschen.com
Book Review: Apsley Cherry-Garrard's 'The Worst Journey in the World'
Recalling Robert Falcon Scott’s ill-fated expedition to the South pole, the youngest member of the expedition, one of only three survivors, provides an insight into the horrors of one of the worst polar expeditions of all time. In January 1910 the expedition launched with the goal of recovering a sample of emperor penguin eggs, believed to hold the key to the evolutionary link between reptiles and birds.
They reached the South Pole in January 1912 after two years of relentless travel, only to discover that they had been beaten to it by Norwegian explorer Roald Ambundsen who arrived only 33 days earlier. Diary entires from the other crew members are also included, bringing the reader into the chilling reality of what those brave men experienced. Through Cherry's narrative we get a rare glimpse into our past, allowing us to appreciate the sacrifices made in the name of science and exploration.
Film Review: Blue Jasmine
By Louise MacGregor
Drama-comedy-of-manners Blue Jasmine could have been a risky endeavour for old-school art-house veteran Woody Allen. Who, due only to the sheer volume of work he has created, has unfortunately added some real duds to the medium. Loosely adapting Tennessee Williams’ well known play A Streetcar Named Desire also puts the film on equally tenuous ground, especially when you take into account the modern-day setting and cast. From the outside, Blue Jasmine looked like it could go either way, into utter genius or complete embarrassment.
Split quite unequivocally down the middle; one half of the movie is almost imperviously cynical, while the other represents a warmer, more human side to the constantly evolving drama. The latter half takes place almost entirely through flashbacks, following Cate Blanchett’s character Jasmine French before her husband became involved in some seriously dirty money. Alec Baldwin plays the conniving husband in question; pitching his performance perfectly between lechery and charm, he and Blanchett make one of the most convincing power couples I’ve seen in cinema for a while. With each scene so luxuriously put together, you find yourself dizzily absorbed into the wonderful decadence of a glamorous world you’re granted a glimpse into.
These sequences are balanced out with regular visitations into life as it is now. Having had to move in with her sister Ginger (Sally Hawkins), Blanchett is attempting to eke out a living while defining herself as her own person for once, all the while battling with her deteriorating mental health. Once again, the world created here is almost more interesting than the actual plot, with Hawkins stealing every scene she’s in with an earthy, eclectic charm that lands on the right side of quirky.
Interestingly there are many levels to Blue Jasmine; there’s the traditional, distinctively Allen-esque character-driven humour that exploits the supreme talent of the ensemble. But there’s more going on here, Blue Jasmine can also be unbelievably tragic and desperately sad. Even with the outrageous decadence, monetary power and constant double-crossing the film remains ultimately human. No one is an outrageous villain or an outrageous victim, despite what some of these characters would clearly have you believe.
Released in the UK back in July 2013, Blue Jasmine has already secured the best UK box office opening weekend of Mr Allen’s career. Proof alone that Blue Jasmine was definitely worth the risk, if there ever was one.
By Kayla Kedrowen, Assistant Editor
Exciting new Egyptian histories are being unearthed as the world of archaeology is turned upside down by the research of Dr. Sarah Parcak. As Associate Professor and Director of the Laboratory for Global Observation (closely tied to NASA), Dr. Parcak has made promising progress in the field of satellite archaeology. Dr. Parcak's satellite archaeology or "remote sensing" has shown great potential, not only for Egyptology but archaeology all over the world.
Space archaeology is especially important in the face of Egypt's modernisation.
Satellite archaeology is a relatively new scientific field. Understandably, that label stirs up many just concerns about how this new method will stand up in practice and against the scrutinies of the scientific community. At first, there were plenty of sceptics claiming the shapes viewable from space were just unidentified modern settlements or geological anomalies. All fell quiet though, after a BBC1 documentary followed Parcak as she put her theories into practice, excavating a dig site located through remote sensing. The camera's were present at the exciting moment when the remains were uncovered, confirming for many the validity of Dr Parcaks work.
It beauty lies in it's simplicity as a concept, in part due to our familiarity with apps such as google map and Earth. Anyone who has googled their own house can recognise the familiar shape from above. Similarly, archaeologists look for objects on the Earth and what better way to view the Earth than from space. This new technology, however, goes that little bit further. These satellites not only pick up the visual light spectrum that we see but they also detect the thermal and infrared spectrums. This enables scientists to differentiate between the different densities of vegetation, soil, geology and man-made features, something they call multispectral remote sensing.
With these advanced capabilities, scientists can use the satellites to scan the Earth's surface for any sign of settlements buried beneath the sands of time. In fact, astounding finds have been made by Dr. Parcak and her colleagues from the University of Alabama. Using the multispectral remote sensing methodology, Parcak's team have potentially detected over 1000 tombs, 3000 ancient settlements and 17 pyramids.
This new technique is changing the face of archaeology as it enables more targeted, focused excavation cutting the costs of explorative survey expeditions. This technique allows scientists to scan for potential sites and only launch expeditions when unnatural shapes and man-made densities are detected with the satellites. Space archaeology is especially important in the face of Egypt's modernisation. Urbanisation, looting and groundwater pollution could be threatening yet to be found ancient Egypt artefacts and treasures. Remote sensing empowers researchers to flag potential sites nearer more time sensitive areas and perhaps prioritise their excavation over others.
Not only does this technology allow more targeted detection of dig sites but it will also enable researchers to look into areas that would otherwise be inaccessible. Archaeological digs are often sparked by ground survey findings, which are mostly restricted to barren landscapes where human artefacts are easier to find. With this new technique archaeologists may now be able to scan a variety of landscapes for long-lost cities reclaimed by the jungle, places previously unexplored by archeologists due perhaps to harsh isolated terrain and hard to penetrate vegetation.