By Roshannah Bagley
LONDON, United Kingdom:: The middle of the year is fast approaching, in Britain this can only mean one thing – the end of the academic year, thus ‘graduate season’. Come June London’s Earl’s Court will be taken over by the country’s top fashion and design schools parading their final year collections. Running parallel to this is the London College of Fashion’s annual BA Fashion show and exhibition. With the first of several previews, FAULT presents an exclusive look at LCF student Ruby Iqbal.
FAULT:: How long have you had an interest in fashion?
Ruby:: I can’t really pinpoint a moment where I decided that I want to study fashion, or be a fashion designer; I think it’s happened without me realizing! I’ve always loved anything arty and creative but I’ve never really known what exactly I want to do. I don’t really plan ahead and my decision to apply to LCF was quite last minute…it sounded exciting so I thought why not! It was only once I got into the course that I really started to appreciate fashion and developed a love for embroidery and print in particular.
FAULT:: Where did you seek inspiration for your final collection?
Ruby:: My collection is inspired by deformity, malformation and abnormality. My aim was to create a collection that is beautiful on the surface, yet it roots from somewhere not conventionally ‘beautiful’. In my research workbook, you’ll see images of bruised and wrinkled skin, skin malformations and plastic surgery gone very wrong; it might appear to be slightly gruesome! However I wanted to take these themes and using embroidery techniques, turn something unsightly and unconventionally pretty, into something beautiful.
FAULT:: How did you materialize these ideas?
Ruby:: I wanted the embroidery to appear as if it is growing over the garments; inspired by the idea that if we get a bruise, scar, boil, rash or wrinkle it will grow over our skin suddenly and out of our control. I came up with an embroidery technique that was inspired by the rough, uneven and bumpy texture of skin…it is essentially quite unsettling and peculiar yet beautiful and organic at the same time.
FAULT:: Which fashion designers or houses do you admire and why?
Ruby:: There are so many but one of my favourite designers is Hussein Chalayan. His work is so out of this world and truly limitless, and his designs have got a surreal visionary quality that sets him apart from other designers. I think his use of crazy materials and technology within his shows makes him much more than just a ‘fashion’ designer. I also love Basso and Brooke …they do lots of colour so beautifully.
FAULT:: What do you intend to do once you have completed your studies?
Ruby:: I’m hoping to do work experience with a few designers before I find a job; I’d love to intern with Vivienne Westwood. I loved making my final collection, the whole process from start to finish was such a learning curve and hopefully it won’t be long before I get to make another one. I’m also hoping to go traveling now I don’t have to be back for the start of term!
FAULT:: What have you learnt from your time at LCF?
Ruby:: I feel very lucky to have studied at LCF. I have been studying here for 4 years in total and in that time I’ve learnt so much. The projects have been extremely varied yet they’ve all enabled me to be highly experimental and play with ideas and processes I’ve never tried before, whether it be a new print or embroidery technique, my creativity was never limited. I definitely think that I’ve learnt more from things that have gone horribly wrong! That’s why I think it’s really important to not be afraid to take a risk or completely experiment.
FAULT:: What is your FAULT?
Ruby:: I think too much and I stress too much!
To contact Ruby email:: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Roshannah Bagley
LONDON, United Kingdom:: Luke LeBaigue Stenzhorn and Chris Gove of Telegramme – the East London based design studio whose previous clients include the Arctic Monkeys and MTV – are expanding their creative empire. Their new venture is Percival, a menswear fashion label that aims to provide “lasting, honest fabrics in styles that capture a sense of boyish adventure with playful buttons and lining.” (percivalclo.com) Despite not having any formal training in fashion, the duo have managed to produce a FAULT-less and wearable debut collection:: the chunky patterned lambs wool pullover and mustard yellow and pinstripe mac being standout pieces.
By enlisting the help of friend and artist Alex Turvey, and minx Daisy Lowe, the pair also produced a short film to coincide with the house’s release:: cue a trio of cool-yet-pretty boys and Lowe frolicking through a mystical woodland. Luke and Chris settle down to speak with FAULT about their journey.
FAULT:: How are you finding the transition from illustration and graphic design to menswear?
Luke:: There are a lot of similarities. We still essentially take an idea, research and plan it, before designing and fine tuning it. It’s just been great working with a surfeit of new materials. We’ve both been illustrators and graphic designers for a while now and fashion has been a common interest also. One Sunday morning at the beginning of last summer we were talking ideas for a waxed fishing jacket based on similar ones we both happened to have as children. After a couple of hours we had filled a sketchbook with different ideas for clothes and we both suddenly thought that we probably knew enough people to make this happen and started to put the label and collection together.
FAULT:: Will you continue to be involved with your design company Telegramme now that you’re pursuing this new avenue?
Chris:: Yeah I will be but it’s hard trying to balance the time, lots of late nights and weekends. When we design the seasons I take a week or two specifically off Telegramme. It’s hard to balance running two companies, but it is doable.
FAULT:: What and who do you find inspiring?
Luke:: Getting out of town. Don’t get me wrong – London is one of the best places to get inspired, but there’s nothing quite like removing yourself from it all to get a bit of perspective.
I couldn’t begin to say who I find inspiring – I could go on for days. There are just so many abundantly talented people out there doing such exciting things at the moment – I just try to immerse myself in all of it as much as I possibly can.
In terms of fashion – there are lots of designers and brands doing really positive things at the moment. UK labels such as Folk, Albam & YMC. Margaret Howell, Band of Outsiders and Opening Ceremony are favourites too. bStore are putting together some great stuff as well.
FAULT:: The fantastic Alex Turvey created a short film to coincide with the brands debut. How did this collaboration come about?
Luke:: I’ve known Alex a long time. He’s a close friend. We studied together at Falmouth and even then it was evident he had something special. A collaboration was something we’d both been looking to do for a while, and the whole experience was fantastic. We actually all took over Chris’ family home for the weekend – cast, crew, the lot.
FAULT:: Which are your favourite items from the AW collection?
Luke:: We’re happy with the whole collection – the wax mac is a personal favourite but I keep changing my mind which colour and lining combination I prefer. One of the things we are most proud of is how all the pieces fit. We spent ages agonizing over the smallest details to ensure all the clothes would fit perfectly. We roped in tonnes of friends for fitting sessions, just to make sure we could get the sizing just as we wanted.
FAULT:: What are you working on at the moment?
Luke:: We’re designing Spring/Summer 2011 right now working closely with our pattern cutter and designer Olivia Hegarty. We’re up to our neck in sketches, fabric hangers, patterns and designs and trying to whittle down our ideas into a concise range that we’re happy with. I can’t wait to see the samples already.
FAULT:: What is your FAULT?
Luke:: I have a million showers a day. I don’t know who’s to blame for my OCD – but I’d quite like to kick them in the shin for it!
Screens in Cannes 15 May and at cinemas across the UK alongside feature films Four Lions and The Ghostfrom May onwardsLUX and the Independent Cinema Office (ICO) are excited to announce a new series of artists’ film commissions for The Artists Cinema, a unique project which brings leading visual artists’ work into cinemas in subversive and playful ways, to a diverse and large-scale audience from May onwards with a special preview at Tate Modern on 16 April 2010 and screening at Cannes film festival, Saturday 15 May in the Market (MIF) 2pm and 3pm in the Palais des Festivals G screening room. The feature films confirmed to screen alongside them include Chris Morris’ controversial satire Four Lions and The political thriller The Ghost among others.
The seven international commissioned artists for The Artists Cinema 2010 are:
Keren Cytter (Israel) – The Coat
Aurélien Froment (France) – Pulmo Marina
Amar Kanwar (India) – A Love Story
Deimantas Narkevicius (Lithuania) – Ausgetraümt
Rosalind Nashashibi (UK) – This Quality
Catherine Sullivan with Farhad Sharmini (USA) – The Last Days of British Honduras
Akram Zaatari (Lebanon) – Tomorrow Everything will be Alright
Produced on 35mm, the commissions intervene in cinema programmes around the UK, inserted before the main feature, to consciously respond to the cinema context. The works approach the distinct conditions of the cinema, questioning, interpreting and reflecting on its special characteristics. Each of the works has been made specifically to play before feature films to enthuse and excite audiences in different ways.
Developed in response to wider public interest in artists’ film, and a convergence between the worlds of visual art and cinema in recent years, with the success of films by visual artists such as Steve McQueen (Hunger) and Sam Taylor-Wood (Nowhere Boy), The Artists Cinema travels from the art house to more mainstream cinemas. The 2006 edition previously screened in front of widely released film titles such as Borat, Casino Royale, Notes on a Scandal, The Lives of Others, Miss Potter, Pan’s Labyrinth and This is England.
The Artists Cinema follows two previous LUX-ICO commissioning projects – A Movie (2005) produced with Spacex, Film London and South West Screen was viewed by an audience of 40,000; and The Artists Cinema (2006) with Frieze Projects which commissioned and toured new films by Phil Collins, Mark Leckey, Manon De Boer, Yang Fudong, Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, Miguel Calderón, Imogen Stidworthy, Jimmy Robert, Bonnie Camplin, Daria Martin and Mika Taanila reaching audiences of over 100,000 people in cinemas UK wide.
Confirmed cinemas for the 2010 Artists Cinema screening commissions include (more TBA):
BIRMINGHAM – MACBRIGHTON – Cinecity, Duke of YorksBRISTOL – ArnolfiniCARDIGAN – Theatr MwldanCANTERBURY – Gulbenkian CinemaCARDIFF – ChapterCHICHESTER – New ParkDALSTON – Rio CinemaDARTINGTON – ArtsDERBY – QuadDUMFRIES – Robert Burns TheatreGLASGOW – Glasgow Film TheatreINVERNESS – Eden CourtLANCASTER – DukesLEICESTER – Phoenix SquareLONDON – Rio, DalstonLONDON – Tate ModernLUDLOW – Assembly RoomsMANCHESTER – CornerhouseNORTHAMPTON – ForumNOTTINGHAM, BroadwayPRESTATYN – Scala CinemaSAFFRON WALDEN – Saffron ScreenSALISBURY – Arts CentreSHEFFIELD – ShowroomSTOCKTON-ON-TEES – ArcSTOKE – Film TheatreSTREET – Strode TheatreTAVISTOCK – The WharfTEWKESBURY – Roses Theatre
FAULT: How would you describe your work?
My photography is predominately live music photography. A collection of bands and artists rocking the show! I have been shooting gigs for 4 years now.
FAULT: What is the creative process of your photography?
I approach each gig that I photograph with an open mind. I like to get a feel for the band’s/artist’s live performance and their interaction with the audience. Live music photographers usually only have the first three songs to get their images, so you have to think on your feet. Primarily I aim to capture the essence and emotion of the performance in my shots.
FAULT: Tell us about your creative background?
I am definitely a creative being. I currently work as a web designer. I started my working life as a hairstylist and progressed to become an educational director for Toni & Guy, Birmingham. Photography has been a passion of mine since childhood.
FAULT: Who or what inspired you to take a career in photography?
I was inspired to take up Music Photograph after I picked up Linda McCartney’s book; Sixties, Portrait of an Era. Her photography is so raw and beautiful. That comes from her use of natural light in most of her work. Every time I look through her work I get the fire in my belly to get out there and capture…
FAULT: What are you working on at the moment?
My main project at the moment is Gig Junkies (gigjunkies.com). Gig Junkies is a live music photography, review and interview website covering gigs throughout the UK.
FAULT: What has been the biggest compliment you have ever been given and who was it from?
In Birmingham (where I live) there are an amazing group of music photographer and music writers. There recognition and support is a great compliment to me.
FAULT: What was the first album that you bought?
I didn’t buy it myself, but my first album was U2’s ‘Boy’ which I got for Christmas. My mom got me the cassette and a walkman and I listened to the album all day. I Will Follow is such a great song…
FAULT: Who would you like to work with?
It would be hard to collaborate with another photographer, especially when shooting a gig, but the opportunity to just sit in on a studio session with someone like Annie Leibovitz or Rankin shooting an artist or band would be simply amazing!
FAULT: What new music are you listening to?
I must confess I’m not incredibly on the ball with new music. I kind of stumble across songs and albums that are recommended to me by friends. I always seem to revert back to old favourites. I’m a huge fan of 60 and 70s music. I love Jimi Hendrix, Free, The Doors etc. However I have just downloaded the new album from She & Him, I adore Zooey Deschanel’s voice. I’m also looking forward to hearing the new album Brothers from The Black Keys next month (May).
FAULT: What couldn’t you live without?
That’s a really hard question as there’s so much I couldn’t live without. I think a life without music would be extremely dull…
FAULT: Do you have a favourite artist/photographer?
I have a lot of favourite photographers and artists, the list is endless, I’m in awe of so many. If I had to say one it would be Linda McCartney’s for the purity of her work.
FAULT: Do you have a favourite all time favourite image?
There is a photo of Jimi Hendrix taken at the Royal Albert Hall in 1969 by David Redfern, it was actually Jimi’s last concert. The image and colours are so stunning and surreal it almost looks like a painting. Simply beautiful.
FAULT: What are you looking forward to?
I’m really looking forward to shooting a couple of festivals this year, hopefully V and Download. I shot my first festival last year and although it’s hard work, it’s such an amazing buzz and lots of fun…
FAULT: Where do you see yourself this time next year?
This time next year I hope my portfolio of work is even stronger, with a few more published photos, and Gig Junkies well and truly rocking!
FAULT: What is your FAULT?
I still suck my fingers at 34 years old! However my biggest FAULT has to be my lack of confidence, it stops me from growing as a photographer. I need to be brave and just LEAP!
By Roshannah Bagley
BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, United States:: Korean born knitwear designer Alyssa Wood spent her formative years training at three of the world’s most outstanding design schools – New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology, London’s Central St Martins and Florence’s Polimoda) – and it certainly shows. Wood has since gone on to produce striking textiles for fashion duo Ohne Titel and threeASFOUR.
Created during her final year of university, an avant-garde ensemble of a “bold shouldered spaghetti macramé throw tossed over a tribal painted body suit” (wwd.com) took to the runway at the FIT 2009 Graduation show. Wood’s look was hereafter featured on Style.com as their ‘Look of the Day’ and described as an “impressive piece”. Speaking from her Brooklyn home, the designer tells FAULT about her journey.
FAULT:: As an up-and-coming knitwear designer, how are you finding working in the American fashion industry?
Alyssa:: It’s been difficult for me. Not so much in finding work, but finding work that I really enjoy. I recently quit a corporate job as a knitwear designer, and realized that something that large and hands-off was not for me. Also, I have worked for up-and-coming designers whose only claim to fame was that their parents had money. That’s the worst! Many people want to hire me to knit them a garment but get confused at why the price isn’t similar to the “hand knitted” garments that are sold at H&M. I think there is a real disconnect to what the fashion industry is perceived as and what it actually is. It’s a business and sometimes innovation is just not in the budget.
FAULT:: What drew you to specialize in knitwear?
Alyssa:: I like the difficulty of it. It’s definitely a commitment. You can’t just pick out a fabric, cut it out, sew it up, and change your mind if you’re not satisfied. It’s a skill up there with tailoring and couture only without the respect.
FAULT:: How influential has your time at FIT, Polimoda and St Martins been in shaping your artistic vision?
Alyssa:: While my experience at these schools has proven invaluable, I look back and think it was my classmates that had the most influence on me. When someone presents their work to you, it’s a very vulnerable situation. They are being judged, by you, by others, and you start to form opinions about your own work and how it is different, better or worse. People in general have always had a strong hold on my outlook on life. Honestly, give me a bad relationship and I’m sure that person will have a much deeper impact on my artistic vision than my education ever could.
FAULT:What are you currently working on?
Alyssa:: Currently I am working on a small collection to present in September. I have spent the last two months working on the very first piece and it’s very possible my show could consist of only two pieces! But, I am an extreme perfectionist, so two is a progress from last year.
FAULT:: Which fashion designer labels would you like to collaborate with?
Alyssa:: JC de Castelbajac would be my dream job! I admire designers who have a since of humor while still producing amazing work. Viktor and Rolf would also be an amazing opportunity. I think I gravitate towards designers whose work has an emotional impact on the viewer.
FAULT:: Are you at any point looking to forge a label under your own name?
Alyssa:: Not anytime soon. I think that the dream is to graduate, start a label, become crazy famous and make tons of money. The problem is that there are too many one-hit-wonders out there who start off with a bang and don’t have the business skills or the financial longevity it takes to keep a stable lasting brand. Although, it is very possible to do and I know a few designers who are living the dream, I need a bit more time to grow up before I make that type of commitment. But, yes, at some point it will happen.
FAULT:: What are your hopes for the near future?
Alyssa:: I hope I can pay rent this month.
FAULT:: What is your FAULT?
Alyssa:: I say too many things I regret later.
By Roshannah Bagley
TOKYO, Japan:: Yuima Nakazato’s origami and structural elements merge into otherworldly creations. This avant-garde aesthetic has seen Nakazato win numerous awards (namely the ITS#7 ‘Vertice Award’ and ITS#8 Accessory YKK Award), showcase in Paris, and most recently design costumes for Fergie of the Black Eyed Peas; and all in only a few short years – he merely graduated from Antwerp’s MA fashion course in 2008. Yuima Nakazato allows FAULT into the mind of an extraordinary creator…
FAULT:: How did you become involved with designing costumes for the Black Eyed Peas?
Yuima:: It was very sudden, I was approached by Fergie’s stylist to design costumes for the world tour after she came across my graduate collection on the internet.
FAULT:: You must feel a huge sense of achievement witnessing your creations on such a huge platform?
Yuima:: I don’t really know. I just really enjoy this way of designing. It is very personal, and I have complete freedom.
FAULT:: How would you describe your signature style?
Yuima:: I always take inspiration from the future, nature, and human technology.
FAULT:: How did you manage to create this incredible architectural aesthetic?
Yuima:: There is a very specific process I follow when designing on paper, and shape is the most important element. The idea for Fergie’s costume came from the idea of popup books. The flat paper transforms into 3D form, and so for instance the ‘black dress’ becomes a 3-dimensional sculptural piece.
FAULT:: Who inspires you?
Yuima:: My best friend, and my muse is Sabrina. She often models my work. I am always inspired by what she is thinking, wearing, doing…etc.
FAULT:: Upon graduating from the Royal Academy of Arts you made a sudden transition from clothing to accessories and footwear. How did this come about?
Yuima:: To me shape is most important element of design, I don’t really feel this was a huge transition, simply an extension. I wanted to apply the sculptural aspect of my work to smaller objects like shoes and accessories.
FAULT:: Each collection presented so far encompasses an unusual material, first wood, then metal. Why do you enjoy working with such unconventional mediums?
Yuima:: This really came from my background. My father is a sculptor, and he has always used metal, wood and glass to create the appropriate shapes. I have been influenced by this, and have taken on this attitude when investigating designing for the human form.
FAULT:: What is a normal day in the life of Yuima Nakazato like at the moment?
Yuima:: I like to visit galleries and see contemporary art… and read books…
FAULT:: What’s next on your agenda?
Yuima:: Thinking about next season’s collection.
FAULT:: What is your FAULT?
Yuima:: I have a narrow mind…