Article: Yasmin Ali
It shouldn’t be necessary to have to say this, but I’ve got news for you! The Twentieth Century is over! The past is always with us, of course, framing our understanding of the world and its possibilities. We have been made by the past, and can learn much by studying its successes and failures, but that was then, and this is now. Time to face the present – and the future.
The present is an age of crumbling borders. Geographical borders exist, but they do not enclose as once they did, punctured by trade and transport, still more so by new means of communication. Political borders – those lines on maps so at odds with human life as it is lived, but so beloved of 19th Century imperialists – are becoming a nuisance. The very notion of a ‘country’ as a discrete political and cultural entity is just one facet of identity, and one with decreasing legitimacy on a small and fragile planet.
So how do we do politics in these fluid times? How do we anchor a polity? What is the state, and what are its limits? How do we make democracy nimble and resilient in anxious times? And what are the markers of philosophical difference that distinguish parties, or movements, or alliances, from one another?
There are many answers to these questions, and inevitably we will grasp at what we think might work, and then discard it along the way to remaking a politics that works. Some of the issues we have to wrestle with are big and difficult, such as whether the global institutions set up to settle the problems of the mid-20th Century make any sense now, and if they don’t, how do we remake them without provoking the nastiest, least controllable kinds of power politics, even war?
But there are things we can do, as individuals, and as groups, to move beyond those things that worked in the past, and don’t – won’t – work now.
The first thing we must do is look unsentimentally, unflinchingly, at our world.
The two big questions, and they are linked, are the natural, and the economic.
The question of the natural world is essentially the question of what humans have done to our shared little planet, and what we can do to tend it more effectively, and equitably. Climate change is a driver that doesn’t wait around for a change of regime in the White House or the Kremlin. But there are other questions of natural resources, from water to rare minerals, from fossil fuels to renewables, which must be addressed with more haste and seriousness than we seem able to muster. Every citizen of the planet needs to become informed, expert, even, on these issues. These are urgent questions to which “the market” is not a credible answer.
The economic question is equally difficult, because it is a matter of the imagination.
There is no ‘invisible hand’, ‘rational choice’, nor any other ‘laws’ which can be turned into models to guide us to prosperity and happiness. That’s religion, not reason. Money doesn’t exist, except as an idea, a powerful idea that has built civilisations, and created great institutions, it is true, but the same is true for any religion. The European Enlightenment challenged unquestioning faith, but somehow we’ve forgotten to apply the same scepticism to the cult of economics.
What matters is the distribution of resources, to whom, for what purposes, and why? Money, whether coins, or bits of data, is a pretty effective way of making an economy visible and functional for people, but it’s not a ‘natural’ thing like the weather. It’s cultural. It is what we decide it is. Time to decide to distribute things in better, fairer ways.
We start answering these big questions from where we are. I am somewhere in the geographical centre of England, in a state that has a history so weird that the name of the country is The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. We’ve managed to deal with some of the tensions arising from the need to transition from empire to fairly populous and moderately prosperous European country through a series of treaties of cooperation with some of our closest neighbours – or at least, we thought we had. Brexit is the bullet in that essentially benign arrangement that was easing our way towards a new, essentially cooperative position in the world.
There is no upside to Brexit. It offers no route to a peaceable and meaningful place in the 21st Century world. The Brexit fanatics of the right are living in a fantasy world, with the exception of a handful of ideologically committed ‘disrupters’ who would upend the lives of millions just to turn a quick (and huge) profit, and that little band were not the drivers of the 17 million.
The Brexit fanatics of the left are even fewer in number. Any open debate involving the membership or the voters of the Labour Party would end quickly with a rejection of Brexit. All the so-called ‘Lexit’ arguments are weak, and confuse language (‘markets’, ‘freedoms’) with substance. Labour’s programme is entirely deliverable within the EU, and is almost entirely undeliverable in a near future in which we are out of the EU. An economic crisis dwarfing the 2008 banking crash is no basis upon which to build the New Jerusalem.
What a left radicalism ought to be doing now is sketching out a programme for remaking Britain in Europe from the ground up at home, and offering support and solidarity to our European neighbours in resisting the dangerous forces of right wing populism and authoritarianism currently threatening too many parts the continent. Indeed, Brexit is our own manifestation of that ‘new fascism’, which is why any genuine person or party of the left would have no truck with leaving the EU at all. There are some in Labour who smell a bit 1930s Moseleyite, with their talk of ‘bosses using cheap foreign labour to keep down wages’. Remind them of Cable Street, my fellow radicals….
Brexit is a huge roadblock standing in the way of real and necessary political change. Real radicals would set to work at once to dismantle it.
Then our real work can begin.
Contributing editorial Yasmin Ali
ROLI releases Everything by Lido, a new soundpack curated by the 25-year old Norwegian hit producer Lido.
The release of the soundpack comes at an exciting time for Lido – he just launched an album with emerging rapper Towkio and is working on new music with Skrillex. Lido made his name as a producer for artists like Chance the Rapper, Halsey, alt-J, The Weeknd, and Ariana Grande — weaving his voice into chart-topping tracks. Everything by Lido distills his signature voice and R&B-infused electronic sound that is immediately recognizable and unmistakable.
As the maker of some of the most stunning remixes of the past five years, he knows firsthand how you can take sounds and turn them into everything. Drawing from his emotionally-infused album Everything, the soundpack features noises that are frenetically polyphonic but supremely harmonious. It’s a collage of orchestral trills, ominous basses, and vocals that range from chipmunk squeaks to choirs to full-throttle rap.
“There are some fun stories behind most of the sounds in the pack,” he says. “The vocal chops in the Murder Drum Kit come from a freestyle rap I did when I was 14. My favorite sound is the bike bells from ‘Citi Bike Bass.’ We went to every toy store and bike store in L.A., looking for bike bells that would be perfectly in key with this song, and we sampled them. Those are the bike bells that you hear. It was incredibly challenging and fun to experiment how to give all these sounds more dimensions with ROLI Blocks.”
The Seaboard RISE and Lightpad Block are among the many tools Lido uses to craft soundscapes. His enthusiasm for ROLI controllers inspired the Everything by Lido collaboration.
“I love the Seaboard,” he says. “I love that for more experienced users there’s so much depth for exploration within the instrument, and for new users there’s still something intuitive and fun about the instrument right away. It’s amazing for performances. Instead of just turning knobs at the right time, I’m really playing the sound with my hands and my body.”
Everything by Lido is now available in the
NOISE Soundpack Store £5.99 €6.99
Article: Christopher George.
Not just a mecca for winter sports, incredible scenery on an epic scale, luxury lifestyle with out the clutter of most bustling cities. Vancouver has now become a fresh destination for those 'Fashion Things' pumping out creative collections.
For 30 seasons, Vancouver Fashion Week has produced a runway that celebrates multiculturalism and emerging talent. Striving to identify undiscovered designers by providing an accessible and widely reputable platform, vancouver fashion week is a shining beacon of style & design for creatives. Through international media coverage and cogent buyer connectivity, VFW has provided the exposure to project designers into the next stages of success.
Vancouver Fashion Week pride themselves on their dedication to style & design, with a broad & varied scope of fresh faced talent alongside established brands showcasing each season. A reputable platform promoting both menswear & womenswear, VFW is a unique display of international creativity intertwined with local designers & crafstmanship. Jamal abdourahman, founder of vancouver fashion week, is passionate in his committment to being an international incubator of innovation & talent on a global platform.
Vancouver fashion week furthers it’s relationship with international media bringing exposure & coverage to VFW designers. for exclusive press guests, the routine of international Fashion week showcases is refreshed with emerging designers breathing life into exciting collections, with unique craftsmanship & bold inspirations taking to the runway across over 80 designers.
Article: Christopher George
Acclaimed makeup artist Norah Nona changes her style of brushes and moves into fine art.
After 30 years of working as a make up artist, Nona seeks more control over her work and exchanges skin for canvas. In her up and coming exhibition she pulls back the veil looking at judgement.
Painting of the skin is something you have done for many years. When did you start to paint on canvas and what brought you to this?
I have always painted but was never able to support myself just through painting alone.
Becoming a make-up artist was as good as doing a 30-year foundation course.
The mask is a theme in this show, what are you revealing with this work, and also what have you been hiding up until now?
Judgment, criticism, condemning punishment. It’s all part of life but at what cost?
What have I been hiding? I suppose my voice to speak out.
Women rights and equality globally are being discussed, especially with this being 100 years since the vote was granted to women.
How do you think the veil is still enforced if not physically but metaphorically on women?
A 100 years later and still women live with violence, slavery, discrimination; to be educated; to own property; to vote; women are entitled to all of these rights. Yet around the world, women and girls are still denied them, often simply because of their gender.
How long have you been working on this show?
I’ve been working on putting this exhibition together for over a year, it consisting of 10 strong pieces.
What is the fashion industry to you these days?
I’m more interested in style rather then fashion.
How is it working away from a team and isolated with your works?
I’ve loved working as part of a team but also enjoy the stillness of ones-self. No outside clutter means my focus is channeled in the right direction.
Thanks Norah, a legend int he artis industry.
30th March until 1st April
77 Hermes Hill SE 24 London
6.00 pm 11.00
NIKE SWIMWEAR MEANS YOU WILL NEVER HAVE TO SKINNY DIP AGAIN
BY SARA DARLING
Get ready to hit the beach by choosing something that will raise a green eye of envy every time you go and take a dip. And even better if you can wear it to play too! The abstract designs are the name of the game for this summer’s Nike Swim collection, mean you can wear the bathers with shorts and shorts without anything! So you will be racing to the shops to snap it up.
With a ‘les is more’ vibe, the label’s unique “spiderback” bather will surely make waves even if you’re not a breast-stroke pro, and is perfect for training, competing or posing.
Men are looked after too, as they always seem to miss out on swimwear fun wear, but Nike have ensured that they can look the part without exposing any parts, as all their shorts are designed for working out and have built in mesh under grundies for total protection.
Not to knock the fashion out of poolside, the brand has designed a very trend led SS18 collection, and the inspiration comes from ‘Bold’ ‘Textured’ and ‘Geometric, with high summer offering ‘Fluid Rhythm’ and ‘Marble’ patterns.
However the collection isn’t just for swimming pros, you can also paddle round the pool in the fashionable bikinis, cover-ups and water shorts.
If you’re in the mood to get fit, Nike Swim has you covered.
The price range for the collection is £20 to £60
Available at nikeswim.com and ASOS.com
Credit: Nicola Rachel Colyer
Fashion Scout - the UK’s largest independent showcase for emerging and established design talent during London Fashion Week - once again took up residence at Covent Garden’s Freemason’s Hall to present the Autumn / Winter 2018 collections of designers from across the globe.
With some of London’s leading design talent, incuding Peter Pilotto, David Koma, William Tempest, and Eudon Choi making a name for themselves under Fashion Scout’s roof, it is no wonder that the industry’s elite continue to line the front rows each season. Undoubtedly a triumphant success, February’s schedule saw seasoned veteran Pam Hogg take to the runway with her euphoric offering, while emerging international talent made their debut with an electic celebration of multi-culturalism. Emerge yourself in all the action with our highlights of the week below.
An expression of Malan Breton’s journey of self-realisation, the Omega collection is a manifestation of renewed hope in humanity, of rebuilding one’s armour and heart in preparation for battle. With influences including Edwardian tarot, Chinese astrology and the myth of the four horsemen of the apocalypse, Breton offered up a decadent array of designs that walked the line between strong and seductive. Chinoiserie-inspired suits in silk brocade and rich velvets were toughened with vinyl trench coats, while silk floral gowns featured pops of red that rose from the depths like wildfire.
British designer Dr Pam Hogg returned to the runway in a jubilant celebration of overt feminitity with the Eternal Return of the Godess. Mounds of pastel tulle were punctuated with metallic military embellishment, while Crayola bright catsuits and trench coats popped against all-black looks that encapsulated the complexities of femininity with a show of strength and delicacy in equal measure. Expressing gender as a choice rather than a biological given, Hogg said “I accept everyone for who they are, and who they say they are. It’s the individuals right to make that choice and no one else’s.”
Bringing his unique knitwear techniques back to London’s catwalks with his Drifiting in a Million Stars collection, Apu Jan presented a collection that expertly fused traditional, oriental influences with the casual modernity that epitomises the designer’s work. Exploring both the celestial landscape and the earthly connections between humans, a palette of black, blue, grey and white was brought to life with patterns as intricate as the night’s sky, while oriental sihouettes were moulded into celebrations of the feminine form.
INIFD x LST
Bringing the best of student and graduate talent from across India, the International Institute of Fashion Design (INIFD) in collaboration with The London School of Trends (LST) put together a two-part showcase displaying the collections of 18 emerging designers. The first show, Fashion Utsace (Fashion Celebration), saw a kaleidoscope of customary textiles and embellishments brought into the 21st century with innovative silhouettes, while the second show, Azaad (Freedom), celebrated traditional Indian craftsmanship in a display of progressive Indian fashion. Meanwhile, Anisha Parmer London paid tribute to London’s multi-culturalism in a partnership with INIFD which saw models walk the runway in a bespoke collection of accessories.
Article: Jaswant Bhachu
Since making its mark in 2002, the ON-OFF show has become a staple in London Fashion Week. They pride themselves in being pioneers of showcasing fresh new talent mixed in with well-established designers. Over the 16 years ON-OFF has been going it has become renown for pushing the boundaries of creativity and nurturing individuality.
Kicking off the show was brand ‘This is Uniform’ by designer Jenna Young. The handmade pieces hold the essence of British street wear whilst exploring issues of gender, race, status and sexuality. These bold themes were demonstrated clearly with a wide range of unconventional models, ranging in size, ages and ethnicity. Fabric manipulation is key in this collection offering a great sense of fragility using voiles and mesh. The juxtaposition of masculine shapes with the femininity of the fabrics makes this a stand out show.
Next up is Honest Man and this collection was anything but minimal. Exaggerated masks and props teamed up with heavy layering had the audience captivated from the word go. Known for their use of ethically sourced materials and using reclaimed clothing; there was a great sense of fun and playfulness throughout. As a former PPE clothing designer early on in my career, the hi-vis work wear references were thoroughly enjoyed. The use of mix media added a great dimension to the collection. This ranged from hand drawn illustrations to applique to mark making brush effects. Each garment could be dissected and seen as a piece of art in it’s own right.
Fresh new talent launching in SS17 the dynamic brand Longshaw Ward. Created by husband and wife designers David Longshaw and Kirsty Ward, you can see a clear mix of their two styles of work. Ward offers the masculine tailored structures mixed in with Longshaw’s more feminine hand drawn aesthetic. The collection is predominately made up of block colours. However the intricacy and boldness comes from the detailed embroidery in the colours of the sea from turquoise blues to lemon yellows. The use of delicate net fabric creates the illusion of simplicity and clean lines. Yet when inspected closely the level of work in the embroidery, embellishment and accessories creates a great unique voice to the collection.
At last but definitely not least, the ever-fascinating Jack Irving. Best known for dressing the likes of Lady Gaga, the Costume Designer and Artist left everyone’s jaws on the floor. The realms of wearable art, fashion and a unique cosmic world of its own amalgamate to make this stellar collection. Metallic, shiny, futuristic and dramatic are just a few words that could be used to describe this catwalk. The use of inflatable forms and oversized silhouettes takes onlookers into another world. The models are transformed into alien showgirls with references to the natural world of the sea. One would question is it fair to call this just a fashion show or is this live art and theatre.
One thing is for sure; it is a finale we won’t forget.
Singer-songwriter Kristy Clark and producer Olsi Rama merged their respective skills after several chance musical encounters in their shared Brixton studio. Clark’s sensual lyricism occupies a distinct space amidst Rama’s spectral sound design, striking a balance between haunting depth and inviting warmth. Throughout the EP’s four tracks, moments of pop clarity twist subtly into abstraction; vocals and sonics interlace and deviate much like the experimental films from which the duo draw inspiration.
‘Soul To Skin’ is equal parts sombre RnB balladry and slick exploratory electronic beat tape. The title track and album opener is cloaked in smooth, layered loops and blissful, contemplative textures that recall Mark Barrott and Bibio while the vocals focus on a much more intimate and seductive manner that you may expect to catch on a Solange track.
Although not a literal acronym, the name VTR pays tribute to the invention of the Video Tape Recorder, the first technology to offer simultaneous recording of audio and video.
Article: Jaswant Bhachu
If you hear anyone say to you fashion has no substance anymore then they need to be pointed in the direction of Tata Naka. The AW18 collection is bursting with rich significant references to Eastern European fashion, a true visual culture dream.
Designers Tamara and Natasha Surguladze pay homage to the Russian shawls of Pavlovo Pasad with the famous floral prints incorporated into the collection. The classic punchy reds, blues and purples are highlighted but often paired next to a subdued pastel colour to add their own twist. The bold figurative prints reference Georgian Kilims of the 1920s and 1930s commonly featuring traditional Red Army officers on horseback, two lions or deer.
Despite the heavily traditional inspiration, there is still a strong sense of modernity and relevance to today’s fashion with current styles such as bomber jackets and oversized cardigans. The fabrics jump from velvets to tulle frills mixed in with a bold vibrant selection of prints and pattern. But the main common thread is the clever use of pleating. Whether it is a full sleeve pleated or a pleated midi skirt, it adds another dimension to the already exciting collection.
For the last of our interviews with artists exhibiting at the Talented Art Fair, we talk to London artist Michelle Heron whose paintings beautifully capture the fast-disappearing shop fronts of the traditional British High Street.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Michelle Heron and I’m a painter living in London.
What is your background?
I grew up in the suburbs of Norwich and escaped to study Fine Art at the University of Hertfordshire where I completed a degree in 2002. Since graduating, I have shown my paintings at various exciting places including Hampton Court Palace, Tower Bridge and The Royal Academy.
How would you describe your work?
My paintings have always been of the world around me; my early work was of bungalows, garages and alleyways, the suburban, the mundane and the overlooked. In my current practice I make photo-realistic paintings of London shop fronts. I have a fondness for painting old shops that are closing down, I try to capture the individuality and charm of these places before they are lost to modern development.
Talk us through your creative process.
I begin by taking photographs and if I’m not familiar with the area I’ll revisit it at different times before I catch the right light effect and to also get a feel for the place. I like to create a bit of drama in the painting with shadows, I think the contrast of the light and dark adds an almost theatrical atmosphere to the empty buildings. When I go about London with my camera I have to plot where the sun will be positioned at a particular time in order to catch the right effect. Sometimes it will take me weeks to find the right composition due to the weather or if there are any parked cars, you need a lot of patience! I then spend several days or weeks working from that photograph using acrylic paint. I used to exaggerate the colours on Photoshop to remove the shops from their reality but now I think they are beautiful as they are and don’t need to changed.
Who and what are your biggest influences?
One of my favourite painters growing up was Edward Hopper and I can remember the first time my art teacher showed me his iconic painting ‘Early Sunday Morning’ and immediately I was drawn to the shadows and light. I also love Rembrandt and always wanted to be able to paint like him. Growing up in suburbia influenced me too, I think being constricted by the landscape forced me to look harder at the mundane and everyday objects.
Who would you say are your favourite contemporary artists?
I’m a big admirer of George Shaw’s enamel paintings, especially the ones of his suburban home town of Coventry, which were a big inspiration for me when I was studying for my degree. I also love David Hockney for his bold colours and work ethic. I’ve always admired Rachel Whiteread’s work of the mundane and everyday but also for her tenacity and ambitious castings. I loved her recent exhibition at Tate Britain, it felt very moving.
What makes you get up and create art?
I feel very lucky to have this talent and am glad I kept at it, I’m constantly driven to keep improving and learning. I feel like I owe it to the people who like and buy my work. it’s lovely to think that something I’ve created out of nothing gives people joy. I also feel like I would probably go a bit crazy if I didn’t paint! It really centres me and calms my mind, when it’s going well that is!
What will you be showing at Talented Art Fair?
I will be showing new paintings, including one of a pie and mash shop in Deptford and another one of a haberdashery shop in Dalston. I will also have a selection of older paintings, and some limited edition prints of my other shop paintings, as I want my work to be accessible and affordable.
Michelle Heron will be exhibiting at the Talented Art Fair from 2 to 4 March, The Old Truman Brewery, Shoreditch, London E1 6QR