Upcoming Artists | JAWS

Hello, how are you and what have you done today?
Hey! Today I have been shopping in Birmingham. It was cold.

Who are the JAWS and how was the band born?
The JAWS are Eddy the drummer, Huddy the guitarist, Jake the bassist and me, Connor. We all met at the Halesowen College and shortly after decided to create the band!

Tell us about your musical background.
We’ve all been in and out of bands, before JAWS. Eddy and I used to play the drums in metal bands and Jake was a drummer in a pop punk band. Can’t go wrong with 3 drummers, right?

Has Birmingham influenced your music? If so, in which way?
I don’t know, I guess it has influenced my music somehow… A lot of things that happened in my life, happened in Birmingham. That’s the reason why I write songs about it.

What do you think about the B-Town?
No one from Birmingham actually says B-Town! In terms of scene it’s pretty great and the shows are always full of familiar faces and friends.

Is this music scene something real or is it just a kind of hype created by the media?
It’s real.

How was the experience of taking part in the Reading & Leeds festival? Was it your first time at a crowded festival? Were you scared?
It was something else! We didn’t expect the reactions that we got and I think that’s what made it all even better. It was our first time at Reading & Leeds so we were all really nervous. To me a bigger crowd is easier to play for, so when I saw how many people it turned out to be, it became such an easy show to play and a really fun one.

How has the tour in the UK been?
Now that it’s over I realize that it has been so much fun. The London show has been a crazy one. I can’t wait to go back on 2014.

You guys really take care of the graphic aspects of your videos, album covers and merchandising in general, isn’t it? Is it just one person taking care of it, or is it the whole band?
A little bit of both. Sometimes it’s me coming up with the ideas, but if the rest of the band doesn’t like them, then we don’t develop them. In the end, it’s always the whole band coming to a decision.

What are the JAWS preparing for 2014?
We are preparing a tour and hopefully we’ll present our debut album, so fingers crossed!

Enrico Chinellato 
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Dressing dangerously

It’s undeniable that clothes have a powerful impact in movies, not only because of their glamorous side, but for the key role they play in a concrete scene or even in an entire story. Jonathan Faiers, fashion theory reader at the Winchester School of Art, at the University of Southampton, decided to go deeper and wrote Dressing Dangerously, a study about the “cinematic negative wardrobe”.

Professor Faiers gives us several examples, starting from the white Dior dress worn by Marlene Dietrich in Alfred Hitchcock’s Stage Fright. The huge blood stain, on the candid and classy pleated skirt, inevitably catches the eye. Faiers continues with an example from The House on Telegraph Hill by Robert Wise. In this film, the stained glove illuminated in the dark is a clear sign of guilt – the image also chosen as the cover of Dressing Dangerously – while in movies such as Leave Her to Heaven, all the costumes bring you to a complex set of emotions.

To step out of historical cult movies, the author also talks about Bridget Jones‘ appearance at the Law Council dinner. Dressed in a long golden robe she is completely out of context, while surrounded by formal dresses and suits – a scene that emphasizes a quite clear shade of shame. Fashion manages to communicate through movies and Dressing Dangerously traces a path from glossy photos to the most dangerous of fashion moments. The book will be released on December 3rd.

Francesca Crippa 
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The empire of Giorgio Armani

Fancy some fashion-branded sweets, a relaxing massage with custom blended essential oils, an aperitivo with a view over Milan or just a pair of slick jeans? For quite some time now fashion brands have been offering a whole lot more than hip clothes. But while brands like Diesel, Acne, Missoni or even Zara have limited their production to homeware, Giorgio Armani has been taking a completely different approach. From the humble beginnings back in the 70s, Mr. Armani has made the phrase “from spoon to city” his own, and has built an exceptionally unique empire.

Giorgio Armani was born in 1934 in Piacenza, Italy and has entered the world of fashion in 1965, initially working for La Rinascente, and later for Cerruti and Sicons. The latter collaboration, which resulted in Armani by Sicons line of clothing, will lead him to create his own brand – Giorgio Armani – in 1975 together with his partner Sergio Galeotti. With a clear vision of what his brand should embody, Giorgio Armani has through the years created a dozen different clothing lines, opened over 250 shops around the world, developed a series of beauty products, perfumes, jewellery, watches, homeware collections, hotels and restaurants.

But while sheer breath of his work might leave us speechless, one must wonder what is the common thread that keeps it all together. What does a luxury spa in the centre of Milan have in common with simple, de-structured jackets that have become Mr. Armani’s statement pieces? The answer is apparently simple. Since the very beginning of his career Giorgio Armani’s products have all been designed with a clear, neat style that hasn’t changed in more than 35 years. His products seem to stand the test of time because they are uniquely timeless and follow a single, pure inspiration: Armani himself.

But whereas this may be true for his clothes, declining the same empowering, classically elegant lifestyle on furniture, interiors, restaurants and hotels might not be as easy to accomplish. In fact, while we appreciate the silent luxury hidden in the impeccable sartorial quality of his clothes, his furniture, lavish homeware or even the extravagantly richness of his Milanese hotel seem to privilege style over substance. Even though fashion and design often speak the same language, the core of each discipline is grounded on a set of completely different rules, making it difficult to successfully hop from one practice to another, even for a grand master of Italian design like Giorgio Armani.

Rujana Rebernjak 
Backstage images by Matteo Cherubino / Lifestyle images by Armani, Gionata Xerra and Stefano Guindani 
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Ace Hotels – Past, present and future

Have you ever been in a hotel that made it impossible to remember the town, or even the country, you were in for a split second upon entering? Marble paved lobbies, fake golden columns, lavishly decorated yet impersonal rooms, cold and unfriendly bars are usually part of this landscape, whose apparent lack of hospitality and warmth fuelled the success of Ace Hotels. Defining itself “A friendly place, continually new”, the first Ace Hotel opened in Seattle in 1999 and immediately set a new benchmark for hospitality.

Taking distance from polished, but cold modernist aesthetics, Ace Hotels were created with the idea of merging iconic local elements, businesses and styles in a unique blend of hospitality and warmth at an affordable price. Working with local design firms, chefs, decorators, or even florists, each Ace Hotel was equipped with a selection of hip furniture, crafty detailing, great food and relaxed atmosphere, offering an unusually cosy place for its clients, as well as a trendy gathering place for the town dwellers in New York, Portland, Los Angeles, Palm Springs and, recently, London.

Unfortunately, one of the founders of Ace Hotels, Alex Calderwood, has passed away on the 15th of November, only six weeks after opening his first branch outside US. Calderwood was the creative genius behind Ace Hotels’ success, interested in humanizing big businesses by “rescuing things, not just discarding everything”. His love for icons of the past and local traditions which fuelled the explicitly retro aura of his hotels, will remain a strong reminder of the fact that while we may feel globalised at home, when abroad we are still looking for that local charm, beauty and warmth we may find in the streets of our hometown. Hopefully, Ace Hotels will continue to nurture that approach with the same passion, quirkiness and wit of their founder.

Rujana Rebernjak 
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Style Suggestions: Layering in Winter

This year, there is no need to look and feel like a snow ball. Layer wisely, go to work feeling confident and don’t let the winter blues take control.

Isabel Marant coat, Acne trousers, Helmut Lang knit sweater, Stella McCartney shirt, Kenzo boots, J.Crew scarf, Aèsop body balm

Styling by Vanessa Cocchiaro 

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Entering the Giò Marconi‘s total white-walled gallery, illuminated through cold neon tubes, you feel the urgent need to rub your eyes, hit by a blinding, snowy white light. The almost aseptic, immaculate rooms of this prestigious art space seems to actively contribute to value the concision of the forms of the latest works by André Butzer (b. 1973 Stuttgart, Germany).

For his third solo show at the Milanese gallery, the semi-abstract German painter – well known for his roughly executed repetitions of ugly, extremely coloured cartoon character paintings -, presents a series of the so-called N-paintings, in which he has abandoned figurations and showy tones for rectangular black and white shapes. These works, which name “N” stands for an imaginary destination, a non-place situated on the edge of abstraction where all colors are conserved, are made of flat stripes that creates strong geometric contrasts. Even though they look like machinelike iterations, getting closer to them you can see deep differences in the brush strokes and colour intensity, as well as in the shades and the use of space: perfectly horizontal and vertical lines alternate slightly curved contours, that create optical illusions.

Along with the N-paintings, Butzer exhibited here also some works belonging to the Post N-Paintings; small canvases that call to mind the artist’s earlier hectic compositions, featuring cartoonish renderings of various characters and objects, clearly influenced by artists such as James Ensor, Willem de Kooning or Phillip Guston. With the dark symbolism and the abstract and neo expressionism as first references, Butzer makes use of coloured motifs, hollow-eyed faces, grotesque and anxious masks mixing them with the monochrome newest researches. The exhibition will run until 1st February 2014.

Monica Lombardi – Many thanks to GiòMARCONI Gallery 
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Amsterdam creates addiction. But not in the way that the ten thousand youngsters, who every year visit the capital of the Netherlands, understand it. Its clean street markets, the graceful houses that overlook the canals and the endless comings and goings of old ladies and businessmen on their bikes clash with the libertine air of some of its neighborhoods and with the sense of perdition that in general is associated with the city. This creates a powerful contrast that floors tourists and that, sometimes, is not totally grasped during the first visit to the city. The desire of better understanding this cohabitation of lights and shadows generates again and again the craving of coming back here for discovering new marvelous features.

At night, when the city lights reflect on the water, Amsterdam becomes a fairy city. Then, when the lights of the 50 days long light festival are added, the city offers a sublime show. It was organized for the first time in 2012, and also this year (from December 6 until January 19), the light festival will transform Amsterdam into a sparkle of optical effects, that has been able to enchant residents and tourists, and that make the city become an illuminated jewel during the darkest month of the year. It has been organized in the respect of energetic sustainability and with the help of young talents: high tech art installations, that respect the environment and that have been created by international artists, who in this way can exhibit their own creations in the stunning showcase that is Amsterdam.

The best way to enjoy this show is on a boat, so that it is possible to admire the art installations while navigating the Amstel, while admiring some of the historical monuments of the city, such as the Werthein Park or the Nemo and Stopera Science Center. This is for sure the best trip to do in the city.

Antonio Leggieri – Image courtesy of Janus Van den Eijnden and Janet Echelman 
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Guest interview n°51: Guido Biondi

President’s is one of the most innovative contemporary Italian brands. In an era of fast culture and even faster fashion, its creative director Guido Biondi has decided to take things slow. Made of essential, but meticulously designed pieces, each President’s collection is an ode to quality Italian manufacture, timeless elegance and bold style. We have sat together with Guido for a pleasant chat, discussing President’s past, present and future.

Could you explain the concept that guides President’s collections? Do you have a ‘recipe’ to follow when you create each collection?
If we were to sum up the silent guidelines we follow for each President’s collection we should say that the inspiration comes mainly from items of the past. What could be understood as timeless pieces is brought together and translated in a unique collection, contaminated by various cultures and styles with a strong contemporary twist. President’s style is raw, authentic and elegant, while it also pays an ode to the supremely Italian sartorial tradition fused together with continuous research of quality fabrics.

Do you feel the weight of Italian fashion heritage? How do you feel President’s fits in this heritage?
President’s brand was first registered in 1957 by my grandfather, but it was never used until three years ago. I have decided to add the “Crafted in Tuscany” phrase to the brand’s name in order to make people understand my passion and dedication to Italian textile tradition, as well as the country’s crafts in general. The reference to tradition and heritage is one of the fundamental qualities of President’s collections, and we continually seek to develop new collaborations with artisans and local manufacturers.

You stress the importance of quality materials. Could you tell us something about the materials you use, how and where are they produced, how and why you choose them for your collections?
When we source new materials, I am always interested in knowing where does the raw material come from. Whether it is cotton, linen or wool, I always try to find out how the yarn is produced, if the farms or plantations are sustainable and top-notch quality. This is the reason why we choose to produce all of our collections in Italy, mainly in Tuscany.

The summer and autumn collections seem very different yet somewhat similar at the same time, where did the inspiration come from for both of them?
The summer and winter collections are brought together by core values of the brand: offering a unique, exceptional product in a contemporary interpretation of classic menswear pieces. The winter collection draws inspiration from the military world, interpreted in a neat, sartorial key. The summer collection, on the other hand, plays with 60s Puerto Rican Americans’ style, interpreted in a lighter tone.

What kind of man do you envision would wear your collections? Do you think that contemporary clients value and know how to recognize the quality manufacture in an era of fast production and consumption of low-cost brands?
A President’s man is a globe-trotter, with a variety of interests from art and culture, to underground movements. He loves and appreciates beauty and quality craftsmanship and chooses our clothes because he knows they will last for a lifetime. I think that our ideal clients understand and appreciate the quality manufacture and precious detailing of our clothes. You cannot notice the handmade quality of our products, especially in a world made of low-cost fashion.

How would you like to see the brand develop in the future?
In the future, I hope to be able to develop products that are even more smart, neat and well-finished. In particular, my biggest aspiration is to open a series of President’s boutiques, developed with a new concept, offering a unique shell for our products. Hopefully the future will bring new challenges and exciting new projects.

Rujana Rebernjak 
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Through the Lens of Brian W. Ferry

Brian W. Ferry 
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The Multi Brand Store – From Merchants To Makers

Concept stores are nothing new. Ever since the 90’s, we’ve been able to shop limited capsule collections while sipping on a wide array of bottled waters. 10 Corso Como and Colette need no further introductions. These boutiques were founded by influential individuals. However, in the recent years, a slight evolution has been discernible. The smallest brands have gone from merchants to makers.

They not only sell their own products and those of others, they own the whole store. Say hi to the multi brand store. It has become a given platform for young talents to showcase their ideas. Carol Lim and Humberto Leon are partially responsible for this development. In 2002, they founded Opening Ceremony. It started in New York and eleven years later, they’ve spread worldwide. Today, they additionally run their own TV channel and an annual magazine. And of course, their own line of clothing. The idea has spread further up the Northern hemisphere as well. The same year as Opening Ceremony, danish Wood Wood opened up its business. Except for their own pieces and collaborations, they also offer selected items from Carven and scents from Comme des Garçons.

In August, Cheap Monday-founder, Örjan Andersson launched his latest project Från Ö Till A (From Ö to A). Located by the Skanstulls bridge in Stockholm, it features local designers such as Cornelia Webb, altewai.saome and the founders own collection Örjan Andersson. It’s actually an ingenious marketing ploy for peddling one’s goods. Carefully choosing other brands for a store will translate the in-house designer’s own aesthetics. The customers compare and juxtapose the external labels to Anderssons’. The near future will most probably see a multitude of these new conceptual stores flourishing. The most interesting part of this will be to see whether they’ll balance emerging talents with already established ones. Instead of clinging to the conventional luxury segment, this is a golden opportunity to promote a new generation of craftswo/men.

Petter Köhler 
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