Niamh White is the Associate Director of SHOWstudio’s acclaimed gallery space ‘Shop.’ During her tenure at SHOWstudio, White has been instrumental in building innovative curatorial models into Shop’s exhibition programme. The gallery currently takes the form of the ‘SHOWcabinet’; a part installation space, part wunderkammer, where commissioned art works and fashion pieces are surrounded by various related artefacts in a purpose built, curiosity cabinet. Each exhibition is accompanied by a supplementary online programme which is showcased on SHOWstudio.com. From broadcasting the world’s leading designers and artists creating items from start to finish live online to streaming interviews and discussions or publishing essays, Shop’s intention has been to create a space for the production, display and dispersal of fashion, film and contemporary art.
Michael Azu has always had a fetish for the Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris and so after getting accepted into the Masters course at Cordwainers (one of only 7 students worldwide), it seemed like the perfect opportunity to explore the cemetery as a source of inspiration for a new footwear collection.
Although Azu initially wanted to design and dedicate each pair of footwear to a famous residence at the cemetery (for example, Frederic Chopin, Eugene Delacroix, Jim Morrison, Oscar Wilde), after several visits the designer started to realise that he was more attracted to the abandoned and decaying graves and mausoleums. Whilst most of the tourists would flock to all the famous graves, he started to think more and more about the abandoned sites. Somehow he wanted to pay homage to the forgotten people at Pere Lachaise; people whose graves no longer get visited by friends, family or loved ones because their lineage had now ceased. It made Azu think about however precious we find something, nature will find a way to eventual erase all traces of it.
shoes: handmade by Michael Azu using traditional bespoke footwear methods, plus water jet cutting technology
Dominique Fallecker’s lifelong passion for couture was satisfied by her own fetish for collecting it; and in particular she developed a penchant for Christian Lacroix. From 1999 to 2012, she joined Didier Ludot at the Petit Robe Noir, a Parisian boutique that specialises in vintage black dresses, located within the elegant surroundings of the Palais Royale. Since then, Fallecker has dressed, informed and inspired many people from all over the world. Born in Paris to an artistic family, Fallecker first dedicated herself to law, working in Sweden and Denmark before becoming a lawyer in Paris. However her love for fashion history fueled the passionate study of couturiers such as Cristobal Balenciaga, Madelaine Vionnet and Christian Dior.
Royal College of Art MA graduate Trine Hav Christensen was born and raised in Denmark and spent her childhood collecting / hoarding little objects that were her so called little treasures. What used to be a hobby became her fetish and main inspiration for her bold, almost-sculptural silhouettes. From this fantasy world full of treasures, her graduate collection emerged from under the sea… A distinctly modern wet look with clear PVC jackets, metallic “seaweed”, Swarovski details, frills and acid colours all used together to create a synthetic underworld with a hint of the boudoir and classic haute couture elements. A perfect mix of water and fire was illustrated in garments such as one made with iridescent sea fan leaves and printed textiles that she developed with print designer Joanna Burdett. The enigmatic mood is heavily inspired by artist Pipilotti Rist and her luscious and colourful videos. Mystical mermaids wearing dresses with fluid movements. We’re sure that Trine will keep on digging up inspiration from her treasure chest to create magical garments in the future.
Marie Schuller is a London based fashion filmmaker and Head of Fashion Film at SHOWstudio.
Born in Germany, Schuller resettled to London in 2004. She studied filmmaking at the National Film and Television School and completed her MA in Photography at the University of the Arts London. As part of SHOWstudio since 2010, Schuller is an instrumental part of all in-house film production and the head of the studio’s renowned Fashion Film department. Together with SHOWstudio’s director Nick Knight, Schuller works on film season concepts and commissions film content exclusively for SHOWstudio.com.
The colour red has forever been connected with the idea of blood and passion. And passion is the right term to describe the design-duo of rENs. Renee Mennen and Stefanie van Keijsteren founded their design studio after graduating from design school. They have their own enterprise and work together on new design strategies that address material and the environment in a better way. By collecting second hand clothes and buying up old stock, they have found an abstract canvas for their chosen colour: red!
rENs’ work was recently exhibited at the M°BA ATELIERS, on show until July 21 at M°BA CENTRAAL, Arnhem.
This is Lidewij Edelkoort wearing one of Bertjan Pot’s amazing masks. Bertjan’s fetishistic creations will be part of ”Talking Textiles”, a new exhibition at the renowned TextileMuseum, taking place from September 28, 2012 – January 26, 2014.
The 2013 Talking Textiles show has been especially expanded for the TextielMuseum to include new or rarely seen items, some of them exhibited in the Netherlands for the first time. Recent Design Academy Eindhoven graduate designers will also be showcased as part of Lidewij’s ongoing effort to promote fresh design talent, including a sensorial carpet by Italian designer Daniel Costa, intricately printed textiles by Dienke Dekker and fabric woven from wood by Lenneke Langenhuijsen. A textile and design seminar for the public with Lidewij will take place on November 27.
M°BA FETISH Thousands of visitors have enjoyed experiencing all 8 of M°BA 13’s exhibitions, its festivals, films, seminars, city programme and pop-up stores. Delve into some local visitors’ comments here, while the show continues until Sunday, July 21. For those of you who would like you to visit FASCINATION at the Zypendaal Castle, it runs until August 31. www.moba.nu
Fascinated by the psychology of dressing in this particular era made Saba Tark want to bring handcraft back of the art of weaving and the use of “fetish” ingredients such as metal, golden yarns and expressive colours like red and royal blue. The focus lays on one particular aspect in cloth: the collar. The feeling of getting suffocated, the art of undressing and dressing by buttoning up garments is fascinating. After all it was an era when one suffered to look in certain way. In this design, the main idea is how important handicraft was in that era and the designer’s vision to bring the technique of passementerie back with a modern twist.
Saba’s work was recently exhibited at the M°BA ATELIERS, on show until July 21 at M°BA CENTRAAL, Arnhem.
The West London born and raised menswear designer, print/textile developer and creative consultant Alex Mullins is interested in the idea of the world being condensed into one place and one country, and the repercussions of such a situation. Alex follows in the footprints made by his mother who introduced him to fashion at a very young age. A graduate of the MA Fashion (Menswear) course at the Royal College of Art in London, he has assisted at Alexander McQueen, Diane von Furstenburg, Jeremy Scott and Kanye West, amongst others.
His aesthetic is a balance between graphics, humour and high quality menswear. Strong shapes, played with motifs and riots of colours, which are typically more associated with feminine clothing. His creations are textured, ornate and strong. Stimulating an exchange between traditional and contemporary style, he has quickly made a mark in the fashion world. Alex’s passion for mixing stereotypes into a visual association game, offers the possibility to jump from one idea to another, spontaneously introducing a new style. Alex presented his graduation collection at the HURRAY! fashion show on June 8 and his garments can be seen as part of M°BA 13 in the HURRAY! exhibition (until July 21 @ Mariënburgstraat 12, Arnhem).
Fetishism in Fashion recently welcomed renowned specialists from around the world to discuss and share their view on fetishism, each of them adding more layers of understanding to the subject. Over two days this June 25th and 26th, the seminar’s message became emphatically felt by all: through exploring fetishism and fashion, our culture is headed towards a moment where our sexuality will merge with the spirit, unveiling a new instinctive era to come. We asked some of the speakers to share their personal experiences of the seminar and M°BA 13. As you can see in this film, Indian milliner and designer Little Shilpa urges you to get to M°BA 13 this week!
Religious and political issues are generally explored in connection with subjects such as civil rights, repression and freedom, causing further frictions and misunderstandings. Inspired by these debates, Turkish designer Erkan Çoruh tries to create a dramatic elegance through his collections and a balance between Islamic attire and Western style. Born and raised in Istanbul he takes inspiration from his childhood and his life in Istanbul, where East meets West; like Caravaggio, he wants to paint a picture of a darker world, but with a light from above.
Since Autumn/Winter 2010 (his first extremely unconventional collection entitled ‘The Men & Women of Allah’), Erkan merged Islamic traditions with western aesthetics by reinventing the burqa, mixing it with a Chanel-style jacket or creating decorative appliquéd 3D motifs, inspired by the wearing of the burqa on sleeveless tops.
"I think that the main aim of my garments is to spark a dialogue. I considered (the burqa) in my collections as a garment out of a woman’s wardrobe without any political connections and developed it in an innovative way, trying to prove that even two radically different garments can create one and only amazing dialogue.”
In collaboration with fellow University of Applied Science Hamburg student Sarah Ama Duah, Faustyna Klabun created a guerrilla installation at M°BA CENTRAAL on July 5 & 6, 2013. Klabun’s collection ‘LATEX’ is a study about the material natural rubber material which is made from the Havea Brasiliensis tree. The Indian name for Latex is “ca” meaning `tree´and “ochu” meaning `tear’ (the tear of the tree). Experimenting with natural liquid latex, suede leather and fur, Klabun created textiles for outfits made in several pieces, just like the leaf elements of the Havea Brasiliensis itself.
This emerging Hamburg-based designers is one to watch! Her 2012 debut collection “La Chevalure bleu” was highly acclaimed at Ghana Fashion Week. In her current collection Sarah creates unique handmade pieces using artificial hair, turning them into wearable garments and accessories. Unconventional materials, a high artistic approach to fashion and the influence of her Ghanaian roots melt together into one exciting entity.
Russian brand Homo Consommatus, latin for “consuming person”, uses abstract subjects such as pollution, consumerism and the meaning of life as themes for its womenswear collections.
The increasing consumption power in Russia has Alexey Sorokin’s hands full. Establishing the brand in June 2008, shortly after his graduation at the Saint Petersburg State Art and Industry Academy, Alexey criticizes today’s consuming and greedy society, which prioritizes the idea of inner comfort and lacks a worthy package. His clothes – borderline costumes – are sometimes the result of collaborations with the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg and the Temporäre Theatre in Berlin. Alexey creates his own world where shapes are organic yet structured, and where materials such as fur and leather blend into one fluid look.