See the full oki-ni shoot HERE. Photo: Christian Alegria, Styling: David Hellqvist, Grooming: Joshua Gibson, Model: Alamantus at Elite
Life isn’t black or white… it’s grey. People who try and live by one idea alone, stubbornly refusing to compromise, tend to be uninspired and one-track minded. The key is to look around, to be influenced by different people, several schools of thought and completely opposite styles. By embracing this sartorial, intellectual and philosophic mish mash, you’ll find your own unique approach to life and clothes. Somewhere in the middle something new and exciting will be born.
Techno Tailoring is all about fusing the best of both worlds. Look at your life; there’s an element of formal strictness, whether you like it or not. You might subscribe to a casual lifestyle but no doubt you’ll need to dress up from time to time. Instead of hiding the crisp formal shirts and well-tailored coats, move them to the front of your wardrobe. Wear them with technologic sportswear. But the key is finding the balance; no-one dresses in stiff, formal and starched collars seven days a week, just as full-on outfits of innovative high performance gear only makes sense on athletes. Neither of them work as one-way versions of your everyday wardrobe. Techno Tailoring is about mixing sporty details with smart looks, about accessorising clever streetwear with well-made and qualitative bits of Savile Row aesthetic.
Good magazines present a point of view. Good magazines also allow the reader to make up their own mind. Good magazines educate, inspire and let the reader discover new and exciting people and places. Good magazines are focused; they have a red thread, a theme… or at least some sort of coherent concept. Tremors does most of those things. As an architecture and arts publication, Tremors and editor Maksymilian Fus Mickiewicz has found its own little niche – especially since architecture in Tremors is seen/dealt with/dissected/analysed/appreciated/ through youthful 21st century eyes. The second issue has, except for a colourful and appetising cover, a range of features that engage us on both aesthetic and academic levels; the magazine has found the perfect balance of what architecture is all about; style and substance. The first piece is arguably the most interesting, at least to me. Antonio Zambardino went to Palermo in Sicily to document the concrete monstrosities that local mafia mobsters built in the 6os as a way of laundering money. The beautiful city, with its ancient and magnificent Moorish architecture, was destroyed in a blink of an eye by money-crazed gangsters. Tremors not only shows you the pretty, it lifts the lid on human creativity, both the good and bad bits.
David: How would you sum up Tremors?
Maksymilian: I would describe Tremors as an experimental arts and architecture publication that collaborates with architects, artists and writers to re-imagine the cities we live in.
David: Why do an architecture magazine?
Maksymilian: That’s an interesting question, and one I’ve been thinking about recently. When Tremors first began the idea was most definitely that it would be a magazine about arts and architecture in the sense that it would be a print publication, a physical object. I quickly became really involved with the whole commissioning process though, asking artists to create unique works to run in tandem with short pieces of literature, developing speculative architectural projects to run with a research piece… It rapidly became interdisciplinary and curatorial. Something I found really exciting, and also really got contributors stoked.
Now I see the idea of Tremors as an interdisciplinary platform as its strongest feature. It means it doesn’t just have to be regarded as a print publication. Instead it has limitless potential, and in line with this thinking I’ve decided next time Tremors surfaces it will be in the form of a sound file
David: The motto is Architecture with Intelligence… any examples of architecture without intelligence?
Maksymilian: I’d say a prime example is the rampart real-estate projects of the Sicilian mafia photographer Antonio Zambardino documented in our ‘Wonder’ issue; architecture as money laundering without a care for the user, context or style. It ruined Sicily’s urban landscape and destroyed the lives of those who’ve tried to resist it.
In the last issue Thomas Demand also brought up the famous case of Wu Ping’s nail house, which for me highlights China’s determination to wipe out its historical past, its citizen’s sense of place, cultural identity and knowledge of a context beyond the present political system. Closer to home, the Westfield shopping centre in Stratford seems to exemplify everything that is wrong with consumer culture.
David: The theme is ‘Wonder’, please explain…
Maksymilian: Wonder evokes a sense of escapism associated with adventure. And this issue is very much about that sense of going beyond the usual modernist canon of 21th Century Architecture. Very early on it was about challenging ‘The Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture’ with a Global Survey of Outsider Architecture, complete with photographs and profiles of visionary environments from William Rickets Sanctuary in Australia to the Hang Nga guesthouse in Vietnam. It’s about another unconsidered strand of architecture, unrelated to the mainstream iconic buildings we see in everyday magazines, and also about the possibility of architecture without architects.
David: Any personal highlights from issue 2, and why?
Maksymilian: I think the Global Survey of Outsider Architecture was a real achievement that discussed important issues, and featured beautiful quirky projects like a wooden version of the Eiffel Tower in Estonia. Plus it looks damn savvy thanks to our designer Addie Kosmaczewska’s illustrations. I also really enjoyed Eleanor Barnard and Grace Helmer’s artwork for the magazine, was really pleased to feature Antonio Zambardino’s photography about the Scicillian Mafia’s narcotectural crimes, and had an amazing time spending the day with Thomas Demand at his studio in Berlin. Speaking to childhood hero Jonathan Meades was also undoubtedly a highlight.
Maksymilian: I always judge a building on the basis of what its architect set out to achieve and how successfully they achieved that aim foremost. I’m not giving myself a chance to dismiss a building just because it’s Brutalist or Post-Modern, though saying that it is incredibly hard to argue for buildings that are environmentally unsound.
David: What decade was most exciting for architecture?
Maksymilian: I’d say the 1960s was one of the most exciting times for architecture. People then were re-thinking how they lived from ground zero and re-imagining how architecture could make that new ideal a reality. You have Buckminster Fuller arguing for experimental architecture such as geodesic domes and also a huge D.I.Y counter-culture movement that took on those ideas and tested alternative living spaces as a reality.
Maksymilian: It depends where you look. Architecture For Humanity works incredibly hard to provide basic shelter in extremely innovative ways worldwide but even in global capitals you’ll find unimaginative architectural projects that do a disservice for the very inhabitants they’re intended for. Here’s to looking forward 21st century architecture’s future.
Pussy, cock and sex – the debut issue of Animae Magazine has it all, and then some. The brainchild of designer Matt Ryalls and photographer Lena Modigh, the magazine also features the work of illustrator Lucie Russell and poet/writer Kristina Sigunsdotter. Together the four create a compendium of erotic creativity. The paper (the format and paper type makes it a paper rather than a magazine) is like a themed visual essay, and the first issue looks closer at sex, obsession and sanity. Modigh and Ryalls are most likely brilliant creatives when working separately but when combined, as Animae, their work speaks a whole another language. Described as a “three way conversation”, Animae feels like an honest approach to a subject that many shy away from. The text is quite innocent while a few illustrations are very sexual. Throughout, bright pop colours energise the beige nudeness of naked bodies. With only 400 copies printed, the issue is quite limited and the graphic theme helps keep it niche. But there’s nothing that says that Modigh and Ryalls can’t achieve similar success with a more mainstream topic. But I have a feeling the boring prospect of a non-controversial subject matter will have to wait, which is just fine with me.
David: How did you guys meet?
Matt: I worked with Lena’s husband a lot in the late 90s when he was assisting Horst Diekgerdes and I was assisting Nancy Rohde – I met Lena through him. I really liked her androgynous beauty and the way she photographs youth.
David: Where did the name come from?
Matt: I’m obsessed by succulent plants and love the formal system of the Latin names, and I’d been looking at Carl Jung’s Anima/Animus concept of dual sexuality, as it seemed to fit the character I had in mind when we first started working on the newspaper. I really liked the relationship to the word ‘animal’ – which is where “part girl / part boy /part animal” came from. So it was just a conflation of the two interests, really.
David: Is it like a collective, do you work on other projects together as well?
Matt: We also work together on Mono so when Lena asked if I wanted to produce a publication for her I knew it would be fun. She’s super easy to work with and really un-precious with her images.
David: What’s the process like, where does it all start: photography, text or illustration?
Matt: It started with Lena’s photographs, or my interpretation of them at least and then we worked on a narrative for the central character. The rest fell into place really easily. I’ve known Lucie Russell for a long time and we work together a lot so I knew she would have a great response to the ‘brief’. I wanted a continuous written narrative rather than a series of ‘articles’; Kristina is Lena’s cousin and writes beautifully. So we really did just come together.
David: How come you chose the newspaper format and paper?
Matt: We knew we didn’t want anything too glossy at first, a bit rough, and it’s cheap and cheerful to be honest. But we hadn’t anticipated the problems the format would cause with stockists.
David: The theme is ‘Sex, obsession and sanity’… why? Isn’t there enough sex mags out there?
Matt: Yeah, there are a lot of sex mags around, but it’s an enduring theme I guess. And a response to the highly sexualized time we’re in, it’s coming at us from all angles but can sometimes feel a bit skewed. I still have a slightly school boy fascination with sex and sex imagery. I would say Lena and me share the same humour around sex but she’s probably not so uptight about it, perhaps because she’s Swedish… Interestingly though, the sex theme has proved to be really popular, so sex does still sell!
David: It’s an all female artist crew. How different from an all male perspective on same subject do you think that is?
Matt: I’ve always harboured a notion that a lot of photographer’s are also pornographers but I haven’t seen a lot of publications that deal with sex and sexuality from a female perspective. When you look at fashion images shot by straight men, gay men and straight women and gay women, they communicate slightly differently. I really wanted to see what a three-way conversation about sex between three female artists would look like, and I just wanted to be the facilitator.
David: Some of it is quite graphic illustrations of naked boys. What’s the reasoning… you guys think there’s enough naked girls and we need more boys?
Matt: Lucie’s illustrations are always great, her take on pornography, that it’s aimed at gay men and then reimagined from a female perspective, is fascinating… I think she usually makes the penises smaller. One distributor turned us down because of these images, which made us laugh. He was very kind about it but apparently even pencil drawings of erect cocks are deemed as hardcore pornography – which is nuts because you still see a lot of full frontal porn mags on the top shelf of the local corner shop.
David: What’s the ultimate goal of Animae as a publication?
Matt: To carry on exploring sex and fashion I think, to work with more contributors and not worry about advertising. It would be great to be stocked more widely and let it run it’s course. It will be interesting to see where we get placed in stores, as we have a lot of discussions with stockists about whether we should be in the Art, gender or adult sections.
David: What’s planned for No 2?
Matt: Vagina power with a bit more fashion, still from the female perspective.
Photography and text. It’s all about photography and text… sometimes we can be a bit narrow-minded in our desire to express beauty. Decoy Magazine, a publication dedicated to the art of fashion illustration, shows that there are other ways of communicating this creativity. Founded and edited by Richard Kilroy, issue 4 offers a refreshing take on contemporary menswear, with both his and invited illustrator’s drawings showing off the work of Christopher Shannon, Lou Dalton and Matthew Miller, to mention but a few. But it’s almost like the beautiful threads of mentioned designers take on a Sideshow Bob role in Decoy, merely a means to the end. The purpose with this magazine is as much to showcase drawing as it’s to drool over Meadham Kirchhoff’s SS13 collection. Kilroy asked illustrators Richard Gray, Ricardo Fumanal, Judith van den Hoek, Tara Douglas and Artaksiniya to contribute the issue 4, while adding an editorial touch through a roundtable discussion between Shannon, Ponystep’s Richard Mortimer and illustration supremo Julie Verhoeven. The result is a unique take on London’s menswear scene, yet another reason to talk about our local design talent – but with a new and different kind of magazine as starting point… and isn’t excitement and freshness what fashion is all about?
David: How did Decoy start?
Richard: It was mainly from my interest in publishing and the resurgence of zine culture, and of course the systematic desire to put the things that you love into one space. The final few years of The Face were my introduction to fashion publishing and artists like Julie Verhoeven and Jasper Goodall, and after it closed I was never satisfied with the (lack of) illustrative content in any mags. There were a few select titles that ignited my interest in self-publishing, mainly zines like Gym Class Magazine and Fever Zine, and then of course Luis Venegas’ self-published titles. Issue 1 felt right to do at the time so it became my final project at university.
David: What’s the idea behind the name?
Richard: In all honesty, I just wanted something snappy and short… like you do. The one syllable mag name that makes a clean headmast. I didn’t give it too much thought but when I got to ‘Decoy’ I started to think about how a Decoy is a visual distraction to mislead from the normal path, so it felt quite fitting and natural. Even though there is a Decoy Magazine already out there apparently, all about duck decoys. I’m assuming the audiences won’t cross…
David: Is there even another fashion illustration magazine out there?
Richard: Not one that is 100% illustration as such, no. It’s a niche area in fashion, I accept that and it’s fine! Some adopt a slightly more bitter ‘photography versus drawing’ attitude about it. There isn’t the market for a monthly fashion publication on illustration alone, so it’s best to keep it select and something special. A single work can sometimes take days to produce. It’s not photography, so by nature it’s something that is more exclusive and to be treasured. The new issue of A Magazine Curated by Stephen Jones, for example, is entirely illustrated and fucking gorgeous. A real collectable.
David: Why just menswear?
Richard: It was never a conscious decision at first. Richard Mortimer commissioned me for two series of menswear illustrations for Ponystep’s season reports, and it kind of went from there. I’m more excited by the development of menswear anyway, as a customer and as an illustrator. I feel overwhelmed with the sheer amount of womenswear at times. I’m more inspired by the male models, too, and the portrayal of men in fashion. The first three issues were just about illustrators, it felt right to give that a stronger context with the new issue and concentrate on London Collections: Men.
David: How do you choose the illustrators you include?
Richard: Well, call it selfish but the joy of being your own editor of something means it can just been the artists you personally love, a mix of the established who I’ve been a fanboy of and studied, along with the emerging ones I’m excited by. It’s an honour to have had such revered artists featured, like Julie Verhoeven. Having Richard Gray onboard meant a great deal to me, his works are always so full of such vision and dramatic style, and his career story is so fascinating, having been discovered and nurtured by Anna Piaggi, illustrating at the couture shows and working closely with Alexander McQueen. Tara Dougans and Artaksiniya are relatively ‘new’, like myself, and their work is just brilliant, fresh and – most importantly – original. I’m a fan of all the illustrators in Decoy and follow them to the point of obsession, they wouldn’t be in it otherwise!
David: Looking at the designers, who and why do you feature in the mag?
Richard: The first three issues weren’t really focused on designers, just on the illustrators themselves. Not all illustrators directly portray the clothing, sometimes just works inspired by them. But with the new issue, once I arranged the line-up of illustrators, we discussed who they preferred from the mens shows. Ricardo Fumanal for example has had a working relationship with Lou Dalton for years, someone who I’m a huge fan of, and was keen for Ricardo to draw from. With illustrators being working artists it can be useful to see whose collections they are more inspired to interpret and get the best results. Some will need to call the samples in and get them on a model in order to create their work. Some can interpret them straight away with their style. For SS13, Christopher Shannon and Meadham Kirchhoff produced particularly brilliant looks to translate. I loved Matthew Miller’s eye for his tailoring proportions and was adamant I wanted to illustrate Matthew Bell in it from the get go.
David: Tell me about the book you are working on?
Richard: It’s mainly a volume of whom I consider to be the leading and more inspiring illustrators currently around in fashion. I’m constantly researching and following the progress of others and passionate about the industry’s approach to using illustrators. A handful of the figures profiled are not directly illustrators as their main profession, there are one or two designers or photographers, but that’s not to say that their drawn work isn’t as brilliant or inspiring. I’m really not a fan of these books that are released with the sales pitch of featuring up to 200 fashion illustrators etc. You can sense it’s just to meet a head count and certainly no reader is going to want to wade through that many, when there simply aren’t that many of the best. Those kind of books provide more of a disservice to illustration’s profile in the industry if anything.
Richard: Maybe Paris is on a par, but London definitely seems to be one of the best hubs for fashion illustration. FIG, the Fashion Illustration Gallery, is based just off Savile Row and represents the leading artists in the field on a very prestigious level, then you have a lot of working illustrators who either work with designers or tutor at CSM and LCF. The whole thing with London being the hotbed for fresh talent bodes includes illustrators too, not just designers. Everyone is prepared to be skint here for the first few years while trying to stick it out.
David: Do you get a lot of mag/lookbook commissions? Reckon the power of illustrations is underrated in fashion?
Richard: My last one was for an international instore display that I can’t really mention further until it’s released, I’ve never actually had a lookbook one. Clothes don’t necessarily sell directly off the back of illustration like they do with photography, you’re being offered an artistic portrayal, not a camera documentation. The power of (great) illustration is underrated, yes, but of course I’m going to say that, aren’t I? Illustration and art in a broader sense can heighten brand image and iconography, and offer beautiful, strong, inspiring imagery whether based on the collection or the brand overall. It’s the appeal of a more artisan approach.
David: What’s next for you?
Richard: A plan to get away from this crap weather!
I visited the Dominican Republic last week. Amazing place; great food, friendly people, a gorgeous ocean and generous service. I enjoyed a brief stay at a resort in Puerto Plata and then travelled to Santiago. One of the things I noticed while there was the uniforms worn by the army and police. Sometimes it was difficult to tell those two apart. Sometimes armed – often with shotguns -they were surprisingly relaxed in terms of how they interacted with their guns. Nevertheless, they wore amazing uniforms, many of them clearly inspired by the US Army. These guys were all very friendly, though, and up for posing in front of the camera. Cheers!
Issue six has ‘something’ on the cover. Flick through it and you’ll see shoots featuring Stone Island, Engineered Garments, Dickies, 6876, Nike and Woolrich Wollen Mills by Crook, Linda Brownlee, Ewen Spencer and Noah Kalina. But the stand out piece, except for the beautiful Kenneth Mackenzie-styled Brownlee shoot, is Kitson and Crook’s NYC piece on street photographer Mordechai Rubenstein. #legend
Mark McNairy – Mr McNasty, King of Fucked Up Ivy League, Master of American Classics – call him what you want as long as you acknowledge that he knows how to rock a collab and make it his own. He’s gone through several shoes brands, some of them not so exciting, but it was all worth the wait when you see his badass Timberland boots. They’re as comfy as you expect Timberlands to be but to add a touch of attitude, McNairy took the Waterproof Field Boot, built with a full-grain leather upper, and splashed a bit of his beloved camo-printed canvas on the side panels, just below the heavily padded collar. Nice one, mate.
David: How did you two hook up?
Mark: Through my friend Andy Friedman, their director of sales. I wandered into his booth at the Capsule show, got to talking and many great things started happening!
David: What’s your relationship to Timberland?
Mark: The 6″ boot and the field boot are American classics so obviously I’m drawn to them. But it’s not a recent thing, I’ve been wearing them for as long as I can remember…
David: What did you do to them, what did you change?
Mark: I changed nubuck to fo’ real suede, and I added two of my classic colour combinations. I didn’t want to change too much – it’s the details that matter.
David: What makes Timberland great boots?
Mark: Their combined style and function; there was no way I could improve the function, so I made the style even mo’ better!