In the midst of last week's presentations of the Spring/Summer 2018 collections all over Paris, one of the things we liked most that came from the French capital was the release of the Summer 2017 chapter of the ongoing collaboration between Pigalle and Nike, that next to his own brand's interesting Spring/Summer 2018 collection forms another significant addition to founder and designer Stéphane Ashpool’s ever-growing legacy. In the shared vision of the Parisian brand and the American athletic giant, which first saw light in 2014, basketball continues to be the constant factor. While themes have varied since the beginning — from weathered courts to the tick of the shot clock — Ashpool’s undying love of (nineties NBA) basketball remains the leitmotif, which he took to new interesting heights with his latest creations.
His new collection with Nike explores new grounds within the fundament of basketball, not only introducing new garments and shoes, but broadening the scope of his creations to include silhouettes that work seamlessly for men and women. Ashpool estimates for every 10 customers at his Paris store, three are women, and while his aesthetic draws heavily from women’s haute couture, this is the first time he’s consciously pushed a NikeLab offering in a softer direction. Next to a change in the pieces itself, a new color palette of pink, blue and white marks the new phase of less gendered boundaries in a perfect elegant way. And it doesn't stop at just the clothing, as the famous basketball court in the Parisian neighborhood that gave the brand its name — which Ashpool, his friends and Nike first renovated in 2009 and subsequently became a significant tactile element of their earliest collaborations with NikeLab — was given a complete color make-over in a collaboration with Ill Studio to beautifully mark the latest developments directly in the place where it all started. [ Continue reading ]
Another release that took place while Joachim and I were away on holiday last month (but we need to share as it's so good) came from one of our favorite magazines on the market. The Los Angeles-based FRANCHISE Magazine, that was incepted in April of 2016 to bring a new elan into the world of basketball publications, celebrated already the third edition and it proved to be another incredible addition to the catalogue of the magazine that, without a doubt, is among the most playful and creative printed publications writing about sport.
The third issue features a front and back cover shot by the very talented New York-based photographer Pete Deevakul. Deevakul shot basketballs from the Japanese-based basketball manufacturer Tachikara Japan with a unique twist on ikebana. Inside it holds stories like the day in the life of the New York KNICKS City Dancers shot by Daniel Arnold and one of our favorites; Australian artist Mark Whalen bringing his neon-infused style in a watercolor series. In the magazine one also finds a profile on the Barcelona-based duo LLobet & Pons’ art installation series 'No One Wins', in which New Orleans native Ashley Teamer uses a variety of mediums for her art including collages featuring WNBA imagery. One also finds the work of Isa Saalabi: a Los Angeles-based photographer who documents emerging high school talent of which a selection from the Tarkanian Classic is showcased. And finally Photographer Gary Land’s work is highlighted showing his legendary images of Allen Iverson and Streetball, amongst a list of other inspirational stories.
In our eyes this is the third W in a row by Justin Montag, Chris Dea and Brock Batten, make sure to pick it up one way or another! [ Continue reading ]
Outlier Summer 2017 by Luis Alberto Rodriguez
New York City-based technical fashion brand Outlier has been one of the spearheading companies that have set a complete new standard in direct-to-client business from the moment of their foundation in 2008, partly due to their open and direct dialogue with its customers through Reddit, for which we hold them in the highest esteem. Over the years we have kept an eye on their expanding brand and slowly but surely growing collection, in which they have explored both technical innovations and new aesthetic directions beyond 'classical' techwear, but last month they took it to the next level with the release of their extraordinary collaboration with 2017 Hyéres winning photographer (and former dancer) Luis Alberto Rodriguez for their Summer 2017 campaign.
The incredible series named 'Meditations on the Materials' features the contemporary dancer Oskar Landström and artist Moley Talhaoui and is among the strongest lookbooks we have seen in a while. Shot in Kivik, Sweden, the very talented Rodriguez and the just as gifted stylist Paul Maximilian Schlosser, bring a professional dancers eye to imagery, fashion and fabric. New shapes and forms emerge from the movements of the models and raw materials hide within themselves, under the open sky. The result is an utmost intriguing series opening a complete new chapter of narrativity in the world of Outlier's perfectly crafted pieces; reminding us of both the American settlers' aesthetic and Yohji Yamamoto's oversized draping. We can only hope that this is the beginning of a new phase in which Outlier adds new exciting facets to its brand grounded on indisputable leading technical expertise. Continuing to explore new cultural roots in their communication through similar collaborations with extraordinary talents like Rodriguez to create a new richness in the narrative and affect around its beautiful future-proof clothing for them to reach an even larger audience in the years to come. [ Continue reading ]
We've been big fans of Australian photographer Akila Berjaoui's sensual photography from the moment whe we discovered her beautiful series 'Lake Como', some years ago. Since then, she has been steadily continuing her worldwide travels with her analogue cameras, showing her beautiful signature in every new series that she produces. Last month, Berjaoui celebrated a new important milestone in her blooming career, when together with Prestel Publishing she officially presented her very first book to the world named 'The last days of Summer'.
The new book proves to be the most elegant platform on printed paper for Berjaoui's work till date, adding a significant new chapter to her ongoing artistic love affair with sandy beaches, sun, water and beautiful woman. In 'The last days of Summer', the spectator is taken to her hometown of Sydney and subsequently to bathing hotspots in Italy, France, and Brazil, amongst other places. Taken over the summers of 2015 to 2016, Berjaoui’s sun-streamed photographs of bathing beauty is brought to life in her familiar lush color palette that reminds of late 70s and early 80s photography. Her photographs have the power to veritably evoke the feeling of an earlier time; every detail is rich in the romance of 20th century travel, right down to the beach umbrellas, miniature but elegant swimwear and hidden Italian coves that are still cherished by the few who are able to keep a secret; in her work Berjaoui paints a sunny dreamworld on film. Beyond the surroundings, through her eye for beautiful framing, the eye-pleasing subjects in front of her camera always seem at total ease, with a hint of sexual tension lingering in the air. Curves are always soft and sandy tan lines both playful and honest — overal the visual narrative (and title) of 'The last days of Summer' transcends an undertone of nostalgia referring to a more heartfelt and colorful (pre-selfie!) era.
With summer all over The Netherlands at the moment, there's no better time than now to order 'The last days of Summer', which finally captures some of our favorite photography in between two book covers to truly reveal its extraordinary beauty in the best possible form. [ Continue reading ]
The Head of Fashion and Textile of the Royal Academy of Art The Hague on his return to designing and how it brought him new perspectives on the future
Eye on the future
After discovering the extraordinary work of Belgian fashion designer Jurgi Persoons by chance, a little under ten years after his eponymous label closed shop in 2003, the Royal Academy of Fine Arts Antwerp graduate continued to be much of an enigma. The legacy of his raw-edged romantic vision includes punk-spirited seasonal presentations in Paris along the bank of the Seine and on a deserted parking space, at that time breathing new life into the anti-fashion spirit of the Antwerp Six (and Margiela), who had started a decade earlier. As most of Persoons' vision (who withdrew from the fashion world after 2003) lays hidden in a time before the internet started absorbing everything that takes place, only bits and pieces are still to be found now, with every once in a while a piece from his hands popping up on eBay.
Six years ago, after years of working in the printing workshop of his partner, Persoons had returned to fashion, but in a completely new capacity: as a teacher at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague. There he becomes the Head of Fashion and Textile in 2013, which finally granted me the chance to sit down with him and learn more about what had fascinated me for so long, right before the graduation show of 2016. With the new graduation show upon us tomorrow, we sat down another time to speak about the rather eventful last twelve months and how it brought Jurgi new perspectives, both as Head and through the (highly surprising!) return of fashion design in his life. [ Continue reading ]
We have encountered their inspirational work repeatedly throughout the last few years, but only recently became aware of the extraordinary Copenhagen-based headquarter and Studio Store of Danish multidisciplinary design firm Frama. A little under four years ago, the firm traded their industrial space for the former home of the St. Pauls Apotek (pharmacy) which was established in 1878, respecting all of the building's original woodwork and architectural elements, using it as a canvas to create something radically new. The synergy between the past and present elements of the space is a direct manifestation of how Frama defines their main interest within the creative field as a dialogue between two opposite poles; classical and contemporary approach – between digital and analogue production. In addition to their earliest interest of producing beautiful understated products — designed in-house, next to commissions to other Nordic creatives — in recent years a new focus on interior design was added to their activities, showing that remarkable signature of blending old and new materials, contexts, and influences within every project. The inspirational level of multidisciplinarity in the complete output of the firm today, makes the Studio Store more than just a 'showroom' for their product, but forms an incredible Gesamtvision for Frama's aesthetic design discourse and ideology. And it is exactly this, beyond that we really appreciate their design vision, what makes Frama one of the firms we feel is spearheading creation with a contemporary mindset. When in Copenhagen, make sure to directly step into their universe located at Fredericiagade 57. [ Continue reading ]
We continue to be far from as active here as we would love to be, mostly because of our schedules at ...,staat and New Amsterdam Film Company demanding most of our time, but after some time completely off the grid in (Upstate) New York and California for the both of us in May; we are really picking up the pace again. Starting it up with an incredibly stunning new book by Swedish photographer Mårten Lange published by MACK, that was presented to the world some hours ago at the gallery space of Webber in London. Named 'The Mechanism', the extraordinary publication presents a remarkably melancholic series of monochromatic photographs that form a futuristic narrative about contemporary life. Bringing together anonymous images made in multiple cities, the work deals with themes of technology, economic systems, surveillance and (dystopian?) urban society. Lange attempts to trace the effects of technological developments on human experiences, using architectural tropes to build a narrative loaded with the threats and promises of the future. Cutting back and forth between close-up views and cityscapes, the beautifully designed book offers a filmic sequence of photographs that is at once affective and estranging. We have been familiar with the impeccable work of Lange before, after just discovering 'The Mechanism' we have a new instant favorite. Make sure to order it before this book sells out! [ Continue reading ]