Tracks for the Weekend

Last moments of August have arrived, and we want to give you few music suggestions to stay a moment longer in the last summer month.

Vondelpark – Closer (FaltyDL Blueberry Remix)
FaltyDL fresh from his new label, Blueberry, comes up with Happa to remix a track of the young English trio: Vondelpark. “Closer” shows as a very future garage track that the lovers of the genre will surely appreciate. Listen here.

FKA twigs – Water Me
The Young Turk, label of the XX, puts its hands on that little treat of Twigs, which for the occasion changes moniker in: FKA Twigs. Her debut album, Ep2, will be released in September and will be co-produced by Arca, already seen and heard in Kanye West‘s Yeezus. Minimal and hypnotic track recommended to fans of the XX. Listen here.

Lil Silva – Salient Sarah (feat. Sampha)
Out for the radio transmission of Zane Lowe, the track is a sneak preview of the EP signed by the London producer Lil Silva: The Distance, released in the beginning of August. The track is enriched by the voice of Sampha, new phenomenon of the English post-dubstep scene.

CFCF – Jump Out Of The Train
This track is an anticipation, and we are talking about Michael Silver with his electronic project CFCF. The EP in question is Outside, which will be released on 21th October. “Jump Out Of The Train” is a 6 minutes pearl, very simple and full of synthesized voices.

Supreme Cuts – Envision (ft. Channy From Polica)
Already known for having produced tracks for Haleek Maul, this time to give voice to their base trance / house there is Leaneagh Channy of Polica.

Enrico Chinellato 
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Pirate Radio in London

Constantly pushing the boundaries and breaking musical ground, as well as the law, pirate radio stations are somewhat of a phenomenon in London, if not a cultural tradition, as they have been broadcasting the freshest sounds in popular music for several decades now. Whether it was Rock’n'Roll in the 60’s, Acid House in the 80’s or Dubstep and Grime in the 00’s, that’s where you heard it first. But times are changing and many of the people involved seem to think that the era of pirate radio is coming to an end, with the internet being both the cause of its demise, as well as its successor.

The story of pirate radio begun in the 50’s on real pirate ships (thus the name) and sea forts in the English Channel, where pirate Dj’s broadcasted Rock’n'Roll to millions of people in the UK and around the world, as commercial radios were illegal in Europe at the time. Driven by a sense of social duty, pirate Dj’s of the time, much like today’s pirate Dj’s, considered “that it was the people’s right to have a radio station of their own, not run by governments”, as Tony Pine, an original pirate Dj of the Maunsell Sea Forts has said.

From the Maunsell Sea Forts to London tower blocks where the remaining pirate radio stations’ antennas are usually positioned, the purpose is the same, to broadcast the newest, most cutting-edge music, that is not being given the time of day on any of the official channels. And while the purpose remains the same, the hindrances they face are quite different. From actual pirates trying to take over their ships to the London police, pirate radio Dj’s always had some kind of opposition, although doing a seemingly harmless thing, playing records.

Perhaps that’s also what makes the phenomenon of pirate radio so interesting, the fact that it’s illegal without it necessarily being wrong, or doing any harm. Pirate Dj’s in London are treated akin to criminals and are just that in the eye of the law. Nevertheless, they keep on doing what they’ve always been doing, at whatever cost, without thinking about the consequences too much. In the words of Dan from Flex Fm Studio in South London, “we’re not actually causing anybody any harm, just putting up an aerial and playing some music at the end of the day”.

With around 80 pirate radio stations still broadcasting in London today, it’s not likely that this underground culture will cease to exist just yet, but it is certainly declining. And although it might be sad to think that an end of an era is imminent, the spirit of pirate radio will surely persevere online as the platforms change. Inevitably loosing something along the way, but hopefully gaining something else.

Andreas Stylianou – Images James Buck, Nico Hogg, Hossam el Hamalawy, Wayne Barry 
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Garden State

Famed as a sandstone-clad Mecca of learning, Oxford has character, charm and leafy archways aplenty. Blending medieval intrigue with the buzz of a thoroughly modern city, Oxford has lent its hallowed name to a dictionary and bitter marmalade and inspired tales of worlds behind wardrobes and bottles that beg to be drunk. It can also boast a university that has educated over eight centuries of philosophers, author, archbishops, politicians, explorers, artists, mathematicians and scientists – many of whom have gone on to make a formidable mark on the world.

Brimming with cobbled alleyways, Venetian-inspired bridges, boats named after lost loves (and literary heroines) and buildings that have witnessed more history than you may think possible; Oxford is a city of whimsy, beauty and academic passion.

Visit wise, begin by staring lovingly at Radcliffe Camera (you’ll yearn to be a student, they’re the only ones who can actually go inside this this circular library). Then enter Christ’s Church College. This aristocratic building, known affectionately as ‘the House’, has bowler hat wearing porters and a dining room overlooked by Charles Dodgson (aka Lewis Carol) who once taught mathematics here. Catch evensong at 6pm at the college chapel, which is the city’s cathedral. It’s a truly magical experience that becomes more atmospheric as the winter months set in.

Get a little lost in the small yet enchanting Botanic Garden, the oldest in Britain. Found down the appropriately named Rose Lane, this stonewalled haunt offers peace and solitude against a vibrant floral and herb filled backdrop. Take a punt along the river and pass college gardens, the university meadows and the countryside beyond. If you’re feeling bold you can brave the waters yourself or hire a pro (well, student) to do the hard work for you. You can hire a punt from Magdalen Bridge Boathouse, Salter’s Steamers or at the Cherwell Boathouse.

Those with a penchant for indoor attractions are sure to fall for Modern Art Oxford. Opened in 1965, this gallery displays a wide range of contemporary visual arts and attracts a host of international visitors who take sartorial daring to the next level. Ashmolean Museum (the oldest public museum in Britain), Castle Museum and Pitt Rivers Museum, which is packed with a weird and wonderful assortment of knick-knacks from across the globe, are also worth a gander. Excelling on the art, outdoors, literary and history front, Oxford is so much more than a sleepy University town.

Liz Schaffer 
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The Talented – Erdem

The person born with a talent they are meant to use, will find their greatest happiness in using it.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Even though this year will be a moment of change we decided to dust off one of our ‘old’ categories “The Talented”, and which would be a better month than September to review talent?

Just like another of our talents, Erdem Moralioglu was born in Montreal but residing currently in London, from where he runs his eponymous ready-to-wear brand, Erdem. In 2005, some time after having completed his training at the prestigious Royal College of Art and working alongside a couple of grand names in fashion, he went back to London to establish the brand that today has become synonymous with versatile, powerful femininity. The garments aren’t made for one woman, they are made for every woman that falls for the pieces – independent and strong with sensuality and femininity mixing in symbiosis. He goes for uncomfortable colour combinations, experimental textiles and vibrant prints, and with a beautifully executed work and craftsmanship he creates pieces that have been mentioned as ‘timeless’.

Erdem isn’t afraid of being “wrong”. On the other hand, he often talks about how nothing is as right as when it’s wrong. With inspiration from the world of art – theatre, film, books – and nature, he is creating his own world where delicate and bold walk hand in hand. Having always worked with colours, he went black for Fall/Winter 2013-14, only letting the bright accompany the dark. Exploring the colour that for so many other designers is a given, Erdem put new light on his interpretation of the modern day woman.

Influences that don’t make sense until they do, exquisite materials and the signature balance between right and wrong – with fashion week approaching, we’re in anticipation of seeing what comes up to the surface.

Lisa Olsson Hjerpe 
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Build My Ranch, Tadao Ando

If thinking about architectural projects that have left their sign to our minds, designer/director Tom Ford‘s personal ranch designed by the rigorous and self-taught Japanese architect Tadao Ando surely positions high on that list.

The complex is located in the arid lands of Santa Fe, New Mexico, setting place for several western movies, and continuing the tradition of architecture connected to the fashion world and its characters. Polyhedric Tom Ford is Texan by adoption and to him New Mexico has always been a very spiritual place, a mind-set that has formed part of his aesthetic, and always meant freedom to him. For his project, Ando took inspiration from the context of enveloping portions of barren land and turning them into monumental riding facilities, integrating them with the surrounding nature.

The ranch Las Cuadras plays different roles with the architecture, landscape, Mexican customs (the figure of the Gaucho), local climatic conditions and light, a very violent light, playing with the thick, strong walls that Ando designed. Also the use of rustic color palette fills the space with tones of the earth and the blues of the sky and water.

Other additional solution is Ando’s skillful control of circulation, the contrast between curved volumes and square-shaped parts, and between camouflaged materials and solid concrete, which are a part of a method that the award-winning Japanese master has been experimenting for some time. In addition, his poetical project – certainly influenced by the works of the Mexican architect Luis Barragán – has been generated creating sweeping landscapes, juxtaposing light and shadows as strong contrasts, but could be reassumed on the themes of the wall as a monumental scenography and magnificent calibration of sunlight. The clean aesthetic, volumes of pure geometry, the modern lines and the unobtrusive relation to the surrounding views make this building absolutely stunning. Las Cuadras expresses the personality and the meticulousness of Tadao Ando’s handprint, that as Ford’s, is always directed to the pursuit of perfection and pure beauty.

Giulio Ghirardi 
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Tag Christof: Outside In

Tag Christof 
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Back to School

No matter how much we love summer and everything it comes with – holidays, late nights and lazy days – we do love the arrival of September. September means a fresh start, September means new promises and a bright future. Even for the ones of us who are “only” going back to office, the kid within us can feel that excitement of the new period that requires shiny new shoes, never-worn clothes and a new set of pens – the school starts.

There’s probably no other image than the “all-American college student” to better describe the ultimate school look, something that Italian denim giant Roy Roger’s picked up on. For the story of the brand’s vintage soul, the re-occuring “Rugged” collection, Roy Roger’s went to the 50’s America for Fall/Winter 2013-14. With material recovered from their archives they present a collection that is contemporary yet retro. Preppy or jock, in the AW13-14 Rugged collection you find your favourites from English shetland jackets and Oxford shirts to cotton socks, all in the representative colours of American college football teams.

It’s time to put on your sweatshirts, pack your backpacks and sharpen your pens – we’re going back to school.

From the Bureau 
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Retrospective Fashion

Fashion has always found inspiration for the present by looking back to the past. FIT Museum celebrates this typical attitude by an historical exhibition called RetroSpective. 
By grouping together different and distant ages – there’s for instance a circa 1939 evening dress by Elsa Schiaparelli displayed with a 1988 Carolina Herrera’s and an ensemble by 1999-2000 Anna Sui – the aim of the show is to present that perpetual link between various approaches and similar references. From ancient Egypt to Greece, up to Byzantium, 250 years of clothing are examined by comparison, with a special focus on silhouettes.

As the design scholar Elizabeth Guffey cleverly observed in the book Retro: The Culture of Revival, “Since World War II, there has been a popular thirst for recovery of earlier, and yet still modern, periods at an ever-accelerating rate”. The book explores indeed the ambiguous cultural meanings of the term “retro” and tries to reveal why some trends never come to an end and periodically come back; RetroSpective retraces the same path by underling the importance of the phenomenon.

The exhibit is organized by Jennifer Farley, with textiles by Lynn Weidner and accessories by Colleen Hill and will be open until November 16.

Francesca Crippa 
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Design to See in September: London Design Festival

If you have enjoyed your summer holidays as much as we have, you must be really cranky for heading back to your office. For this very reason, we have come up with the perfect strategy to face those difficult first days at work: planning your next trip. If you’re a design junkie, there is no better place to be this September than London. In fact, for the eleventh year in a row, London will be hosting its Design Festival, and even though it may be a bit too soon to know all the great shows, shops, new products and brands to visit, here is a brief guide to this year’s edition.

The main venue of the Festival, which this year bears the slogan “Design is Everywhere”, is hosted by the Victoria and Albert Museum. V&A’s rich collection is the perfect setting for creating connections and reflecting on design practice. At the intersection between centuries-old crafts and up-to-date design, the V&A will be hosting different initiatives, from a real-life installation with objects from its collection designed by Scholten and Baijings, to Swarovski “God is in the details project” which will offer a closer look (literally) at the museum’s collection.

As with any other fair or international event, London Design Week has given birth to a set of collateral events, mainly organized in design districts around town. Even though Brompton Design District is the oldest cluster, nevertheless Eastern London has lately been true hub of creative activity. Hence, Clerkenwell Design Quarter with its retail spaces and Shoreditch Design Triangle with design studios and young creatives are the ones that need your attention.

Last but not least, we feel the need to mention in a concise to-see some events that have already been put on our design calendar for this year’s Festival: Max Lamb and his terrazzo project developed for dzek, Wrong for Hay collection directed by Sebastian Wrong for the super-exciting Danish brand Hay, Graphic Africa at Habitat‘s Platform gallery, and, of course, two days of talks at Global Design Forum at the V&A.

p.s. Even though we are still sleepy from our holiday break, we cannot but end this post on a critical note and think, once again, that events like London Design Festival or Salone del Mobile, should carefully think what is actually their role in contemporary design world and if 19th century world’s fair exhibition model should still be applied today.

Rujana Rebernjak 
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Style Suggestions: Holiday to the Office

The holidays might be over while summer isn’t. It’s time to head to the office again, but luckily you can keep the outfits light. Choose smart accessories with the sun in mind.

Shirt Acne, Bag Alexander McQueen, sunglasses MIU MIU, shoes Ter et Bantine

Styling Vanessa Cocchiaro 
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