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  • Confessions of a Frieze Virgin

    I write as I recover from this visual hangover – visual, emotional, in a post-anxiety state. I write from the sofa, lying down, as the sitting and standing states suggest too much energy to be recommendable for today. This Monday the 17th, after what is called “Frieze Week”, I write what I have taken upon myself to write, just for the task at hand, as the will must have been lost on the floor of some gallery. The state of visual hangover is hardly commendable, a somewhat rare state in which I never thought I would find myself. I have agreed with myself not to go to an exhibition for a week, I don’t know if work will allow me but the twinkle in my eye and the childish urge to go to everything has died, at least for today. Maybe tomorrow I will feel differently. Like a seasonal migration, the art world converges to London in October for the Frieze art fair that lasts 5 days, despite life being only two. On the spur of this migration, where the art population quadruples per square meter of gallery space, the events also multiply and the city sees fit, in blind consensus, to have 13435648 events per day. If you don’t have an opening at Frieze Week, you are nobody. Out of virgin enthusiasm, on the eve of seven days dedicated solely to art, I stack events on my mobile calendar, where the edges of the colored boxes overlap and merge into Venn diagrams about the impossibility of omnipresence. Looking back on my innocent jubilation, commonly known as FOMO – fear of missing out – I count at least five siamese events fitted into each day. Needless to say, dear readers, too much art and not enough Mariana. Monday starts off busy with a total of five openings visited, in some of the city’s biggest galleries: Thomas Dane, Carl Kostyál, Pippy Houldsworth, PACE and Massimo di Carlo. A glass of wine here, a two or three “hi, how are you”s there, and the challenge of trying to exchange one business card or another. With high heels on my feet, the enthusiasm remains high. Tuesday, the same scenario repeats itself, an exhibition at Slade University, a few visits to more underground galleries, and the big players: Hauser & Worth, Simon Lee and Marlborough. One more blister on a foot and one less night. Getting home by ten at night and eating a can of tuna – clearly smuggled en masse on the last visit to Portugal. Oh, the Glamour! The next few days proceed in a similar fashion, shoes decrease in height until it looks like I’m going to the gym afterwards and vision begins to blur in the excessive sea of visual information. Friday was the day of 1-54, an art fair focused on contemporary African art, inaugurated with Barco by Grada Kilomba. There are times when even in exhaustion, the soul is dazzled, this time by the contrast between the brutalist minimalism of the work and the architectural beauty of the Somerset House building. A feeling bifurcated between the pride of sharing the same language and the exact reason why we share it – which replicated itself several times in the encounter of names like Cristiano Mangovo or Francisco Vidal. Given the context of the building, the fair seems like a magical visit to a house filled with art, with paintings over the fireplaces and sculptures between the windows. Finally Sunday, the day of the eagerly awaited Frieze London & Frieze Masters – while Masters focuses on modern art and the great “masters,” London takes a more contemporary and experimental approach – which may have once been true. I lasted three hours. Between over 100 galleries between the two spaces and surely over 1000 works on the Regent’s Park lawn, I drooled over a few Espressionists, photographed more than my mobile phone can handle, jotted down a few new names, and left when the gallery signs started spinning. Art critic Robert Hughes describes contemporary art cycles as “bulimic,” in a regurgitation of formulas and trends, easily described in the way it is hard to distinguish one gallery from another in the white cubicles and mirrored walls with sensationalist figurativism and faux-naïf painting after another. If you ask me to name 10 artists I’ve seen, I might be able to give you 5 I’ve written on my phone and possibly distinguish others I’ve started following on Instagram. If you ask me how many people I’ve met, I can’t say, but you can be sure they all have my business card. If you want to know what the plan for next year is, I’m not sure, but the important thing is to have a goal and not take in more than one can handle. If it was a good week, it was excellent, but now I need a nap. Originally published in Portuguese on Umbigo Magazine

  • Ginny on Frederick: a Sandwich-Shop-turned-Art-Gallery

    Freddie Powell is shaking up the London art scene. On a not so regular Friday, I make my way to the Barbican, leaving at Farringdon tube station and stopping in my tracks shortly after on an unassuming street. Hiding in plain sight is Sunset II Sandwich Bar: “Hot & Cold Food to Take Away”, having just had lunch, the sign above the door doesn’t sound too appealing, however, I’m not here to look at food but art. Amongst the craze of Frieze Week, Freddie is kind enough to let me steal a bit of his time and ask him a few questions. At 91-93 Charterhouse St stands Ginny on Frederick, a sandwich-shop-turned-art-gallery. The space is comprised of a door and approximately 10 square meters. “I think it used to sell Panini. Sadly, I never had a sandwich from here, it had slightly weird hours because of the meat market opposite. And, it’s tiny, so I’m still confused about where they cooked, but I would love to talk to whoever opened Sunset.” Freddie tells me he used to live around and walked by the space several times before even realising it was there. The poor Sandwich Shop closed during lockdown, Freddie spotted it during the Summer and reopened Ginny on Frederick in September 2021. “I opened a space called Ginny on Frederick because it was on Frederick Terrace in Haggerston. It was an archway space, and I did one group show called Octopus and then three weeks later, the pandemic happened.” The first attempt at a permanent space was run down by COVID-19, but Freddie is grateful for it as it allowed the shows and programme to further develop in the standstill of lockdown. However, the project has a longer history, it was previously called Ginny Projects and has been operating since around 2015. “Yeah, Ginny is my mother’s name.”, he says with a proud smile. The name emerged out of chance in Powell’s first show. “I did a show with Alexandra Metcalf in a hotel room in Seekonk, Massachusetts. It was a mediaeval themed hotel, it was so stupid!”, he laughs. “But the show was amazing and then someone wanted to do press on it!”, he recalls worryingly. Having not yet named the project, as a young graduate still figuring out his space, it was named Ginny because the hotel room had been paid for on his mother’s credit card. An inborn self-starter, Freddie tells me “if you haven’t been offered a show, just put one up in your bedroom”, this attitude has let him to where he is now. One of the first art pieces he bought was showing in someone else’s living room, and one of his first shows involved having tea with his mother. He searches for the unconventional and the new, believing that is why people are attracted to Ginny on Frederick. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design, Powell moved back to London, making his way through the gallery circuit in spaces like Union Pacific and White Cube, while still “dramatically organising projects and a lot of publications”, which led him to the New York Art Book Fair, the Paris Ass Book Fair and many other independent projects. “Friendships quickly become professional relationships, that quickly become networks and scenes emerging.” Through a chain of connections, from an artist who shared a studio with another, to their friend who visited and the friend of a friend who had an interesting practice, grew the programme of Ginny on Frederick. Initially focusing on London-based artists – also because of the pandemic – and currently expanding their circle, planning on showing artists from Vienna, Paris or Lisbon. “Now we’ve done a year of programming, I can see some nice common threads, like an interesting performativity or obsessive practise or strands of weirdness.” “I really like the space to transform with the artist and what they want to do.” Spanning from a roadhouse or motel, to a shower or a clearance sale, Ginny has a shape-shifting quality, almost as in reverse site-specificity. As its own entity, Freddie often calls Ginny by its first name – she has her own personality. Currently, the space is showing its first group show, Civil Twilight, comprising works by Guendalina Cerruti, Sam Cottington, Evangeline Ling, Hamish Pearch, Gal Schindler, Mary Stephenson and Michelle Uckotter. “Civil twilight is this specific time that exists between sunset and when it gets dark, the period when it’s still light”, a time of potential. The programme is usually planned six months in advance, already building in early conversations for the end of 2023. An array of exciting artists is planned for the new year, he walks me through some of the programme while I answer with “uhhs” and “ahhhs”, stopping him when he mentions Jaime Welsh. The Lisbon-born, London-based artist is set to exhibit in the Spring, a show I certainly won’t miss. “Ginny has been a commercial gallery since day one, which has been great, the support has been able to keep it going. Ginny has a lot of heads. That’s why I can be here and do ambitious shows. And then, yeah, we’ll see what happens next.” Freddie Powell is shaking up the London art scene. All we have to do is pay close attention. Originally published on Umbigo Magazine

  • From Glitz to Global Dialogue: Why the Venice Biennale Matters

    Foreigners Everywhere: The Venice Biennale redefines who belongs in the art world. This week, the Venice Biennale saw the crème de la crème of the art world descended upon the Italian city for a week of previews before the event officially opens to us, mere mortals, on April 20th. Yes, there will be egos, there will be money, and there might even be a touch of preposterous posturing – taking a line from Jerry Gagosian (Instagram), the art world’s resident provocateur: “Instagramming a water taxi? For Venice? Groundbreaking.” But in all seriousness, the Venice Biennale (Instagram) transcends the inevitable glitz. It’s more than just a glamorous excuse for art world power players to mingle over prosecco. The Biennale is a cultural compass, setting the direction for the art world every two years. Curators, artists, and collectors from across the globe travel to Venice, their eyes fixed on the latest trends and groundbreaking ideas unveiled within the hallowed halls of the Giardini and Arsenale. This year’s edition, under the visionary leadership of Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa (Instagram), promises to be a landmark event. The curator is the first Latin American of the Biennale, the first curator working in the Global South. Entitled “Foreigners Everywhere,” the Biennale takes a bold step towards inclusivity, placing artists from Africa, Latin America, Asia, and the Middle East at centre stage. Gone are the days of Eurocentric dominance; Pedrosa rewrites the narrative of art history, showcasing previously overlooked 20th-century artists from the South alongside established Western Modernists. Pedrosa doesn’t stop there. He delves into the complexities of identity, exploring themes of migration and the outsider artist. The “Nucleo Contemporaneo” (contemporary nucleus) is a vibrant tapestry woven from these threads, featuring a record-breaking 332 artists. Expect established figures alongside emerging talents, all pushing boundaries and challenging preconceptions. However, a powerful statement wouldn’t be so without a rebuttal, Artist Anish Kapoor expresses concern that the theme, while likely intended to challenge ideas of national identity, might unintentionally align with the anti-migrant stance of Italy’s current government.  He suggests that reclaiming the phrase “Foreigners Everywhere” could be misread, potentially serving the very forces it seeks to critique. Kapoor encourages other artists to reflect on their participation and suggests to curator Adriano Pedrosa that the title might benefit from further consideration. The Biennale isn’t just about intellectual exploration, it’s an immersive experience.  Pedrosa pays homage to the Italian-Brazilian architect Lina Bo Bardi by using her innovative display system in a section dedicated to “Italians Everywhere,” a playful counterpoint to the overall theme.  Imagine the raw beauty of the Arsenale space juxtaposed with the elegance of Bo Bardi’s glass easels – a visual symphony that reflects the Biennale’s global reach. In the face of recent global turmoil, the urgency of the exhibition’s message is impossible to ignore. The refugee crisis and rising tensions around immigration cast a long shadow over our world. “Foreigners Everywhere” isn’t simply an artistic exploration; it’s a powerful commentary on the human experience in the 21st century.  By showcasing the artistic voices of displaced communities and those grappling with issues of identity, the Biennale compels us to confront these challenges head-on.  It’s a call for empathy, a reminder of the shared humanity that transcends borders and backgrounds.  The Venice Biennale has always been a platform for dialogue, and in these uncertain times, “Foreigners Everywhere” offers a much-needed space for reflection and understanding. Palestinian voices are prominently featured throughout the Biennale.  Their work appears in both the central exhibition and a separate “collateral event” as the artists underscore the their belief that a ceasefire is only a temporary solution.  True peace, they argue, requires addressing the underlying issues that fuel the conflict. Originally published on YUNG Magazine.

  • The new players: Studio Chapple

    If you are in the known in the London art scene, chances are you have found yourself on a 6pm train to Deptford to catch a beer at an opening before they’re gone. Over the past few years, a cluster of art galleries, studio spaces and cutting-edge art events have been proliferating in London’s South East, alongside newfangled restaurants and emerging music scenes. If you want to hang with the new cool kids, this is where you have to go. Someone who knows a thing or two about being cool is Louis Chapple, I think as I look down at his geometrically paint-splattered four-toned mocassins and orange socks. In late 2022, Louis opened his first gallery space, Studio Chapple. “I’ve been doing pop up projects for a couple of years now. Whilst that was great fun and it was brilliant, I was always looking for a permanent space to have the freedom to experiment with shows that you wouldn’t necessarily be able to do when you’re having to fork out a huge budget for a pop-up rental space. And then this space came about in the summer of last year, I’ve been speaking to one of the other galleries on the street, and they were leaving and I started a conversation with the landlord and it just kind of happened!” However, Studio Chapple doesn’t work on a regular gallery model. To keep costs low and preserve his time as well, the space is used by two galleries in alternation. “We just do one month on, one off. My sign comes down and theirs goes us up and we can be different entities in that way”. As Louis points out, this is not a new business model, it is just a matter of looking around. “When you look at Deptford High Street, for example, which we are just off, you’ll see the most multiple kinds of units that are shared by more than one business. So, you might have a food store that also has a mobile shop in the front. That kind of process of sharing space for a common need has been going on for ages. And I think we may start to see it more in the art world, as rent is obviously only going up and our time is precious as well. To be able to have a month off to plan the next show, but still constantly have something going on in the space is fantastic.” Studio Chapple is an experimental art gallery and project space, focused on showcasing emerging UK-based artists from a myriad of backgrounds. With particular interest in the intersection between visual and sound art, Louis Chapple curates an eclectic mix shows and parallel events, aiming to attract a wider crowd. “Prior to my coming to art world life, I started off as a musician and deejay. While I still do that, I decided I wanted to, within this space, combine both rather than have them as separate entities. And so, the programming is going to be sound-focused, but not limited to working with sound artists in any way, but just a space that connects contemporary art, sonic production and the very defined history of club culture in the UK. Alongside the program of shows, we do raves, performances, gigs and we’ve got some exciting things coming up later in the year, hopefully a sound system event outside the gallery too.” At the moment of speaking, Durian Revolution was on show, a solo by Hoa Dung Clerget, exploring themes of home, community and womanhood, reimagining a Vietnamese nail salon. In the engulfing pink space, durian-fruit textured paintings frame the side walls while a magical waterfall of unidentified nail beings consumes the centre of the room. On one of the exhibition weekends, they had a nail workshop, inviting people to get their nails done at the gallery. Louis stresses how much it is important to him that the Deptford community feels the space is for them as well as for the artistic community. “It’s very important to acknowledge where you are as a gallery. There’s been some kind of element, in each show, that either brings Deptford in or we take the show out to Deptford. So, with this show, we have one of the works on the wall of a Vietnamese supermarket just down the road. Having this work hanging with the actual durian fruits they have for sale, was just a brilliant way of taking the show out of the space.” Finally, I ask Louis what is to come: “I’m Looking at starting a new series of exhibitions called B2B Back to Back, which is going to be a series of duo shows, pairing painters with sound artists. I’m trying to devise a monetary system where half of my commission of the sale of the painting goes towards the sound artist because there’s a lot of issues around sound, lots of artists not being able to make money from sales. Hopefully that might start a way of being able to incorporate a more diverse range of practices into a more commercial setting.” In the depths of Deptford, new galleries are trailblazing the industry, disrupting traditional business models and being more mindful to the social and cultural environments around them. The only question is: who is going to keep up? Originally published on Umbigo Magazine

  • Thalia Elansari – A Rising Star

    Championing diversity, representation, and empowerment. Thalia Elansari is a rising star of the entertainment industry, celebrated for her breakthrough role in ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ Season 2. She’s a tremendous young talent, yet it is her passionate advocacy for diversity and empowerment that captivate attention. As Jordan’s burgeoning entertainment landscape continues to evolve, with ‘AlRawabi School for Girls’ topping the charts on Netflix, Thalia Elansari’s ascent stands as a testament to talent, resilience, and the pursuit of excellence. Rising through Amman’s vibrant cultural scene, her journey to prominence has been nothing short of remarkable, marked by her standout debut performance as Shams in the acclaimed second chapter of the series. For Elansari (Instagram), the journey into acting was serendipitous, marked by an opportunity seized with steadfast determination. “To be honest, it was something new to me. I stumbled upon it,” she reveals with disarming honesty. “I took it as more of a challenge, like, ‘Okay, this is something that’s out of my comfort zone.’”, this drove her ambition further rather than holding her back. Recounting the moment she learned of her casting, Elansari’s excitement is palpable “It was crazy,” she recalls, her eyes sparkling with nostalgia. “Oh, my God, there’s no way. And I shared that moment with my mum, because I was on the phone in the kitchen. I was like, ‘Do you hear this, right?’”. As Shams, the actress’ portrayal captivated audiences with its depth and authenticity, earning her widespread acclaim. Yet, amidst the glitz and glamour of the entertainment industry, Elansari remains grounded, balancing filming with studying. The shooting occurred alongside her Year 11, and she returned to class the days she was not required on set, “My life was just two things: acting and studying; there was no time for any other interactions”, a disciplined attitude enabled her to allocate her time efficiently, and it’s paid off. “I’m very happy,” she shares. Despite the initial challenges of portraying a character whose mannerisms and behaviours contrasted with her own, Elansari delved deep into Shams’ psyche, constructing a rich backstory to inform her performance. By exploring Shams’ family dynamics, past traumas, and daily interactions, Elansari cultivated a profound understanding of her character’s motivations and complexities. This process allowed her to authentically inhabit Shams’ persona, ensuring a nuanced and compelling portrayal on screen, she talks about the use of lookbooks and playlists to help her get into character. As much as Elansari poured into Shams, the roles also reversed as she tells us enthusiastically about her newly acquired video skills and the purchase of her first camera, saying  “I also did not know how to ride a bike, so I had to learn, and now I bought my own bike and I’m like: This is actually fun.” Elansari’s face lights up as she recalls one of her most cherished moments on set. “There was this skateboard scene in episode four that I absolutely loved. The vibes of that day were astronomical, because everyone had their own specific thing, there were dancers and skateboarders. It was such a fun atmosphere.” Asked about her skateboarding skills in the scene, she chuckles, “I didn’t have much experience before, I guess back in 2020, there was this phase where everyone would learn how to skateboard and I got deeply invested in that, but I never could get past this one move – which was an ollie – so I got stuck and just gave up eventually,” she laughs. “Jordan is small, so everyone knows everything,” she says. The impact of starring in a series, especially as a newcomer to the acting scene, can be monumental, both personally and professionally. Elansari, reflecting on her experience with the series, shares about  the whirlwind of emotions she experienced as it premiered. Despite the nerves and uncertainties that accompanied her debut, the overwhelmingly positive response from viewers served as a validation of her talent and dedication. Elansari recounts how she returned to school the day after the series premiered, bracing herself for the reactions of her classmates – the reception exceeded her expectations, with an outpouring of supportive comments and messages. This flood of encouragement bolstered her confidence and solidified her resolve to further pursue acting. As she navigates her final year of school alongside her burgeoning career, Elansari finds herself at a pivotal juncture, poised to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead. Created by the renowned Tima Shomali, AlRawabi School for Girls explores uncharted territory within the Arab world, building upon the themes of teenage girlhood explored in its previous season, the show continues to shed light on narratives often overlooked by mainstream media. Elansari views her portrayal of Shams as an important opportunity to authentically represent the struggles and triumphs of young women. “It honestly feels like an honour,” she muses, her words laden with humility and sincerity. Alongside her gratitude lies a fervent determination to utilise her platform for meaningful impact, with a keen awareness of the struggles faced by teenage girls, Elansari is resolute in her mission to advocate for their empowerment and well-being. Drawing from her own experiences, she is acutely attuned to how  the series’ themes resonate beyond the borders of Jordan and the Middle East. As she envisions the far-reaching impact of her portrayal, Elansari emphasises the universality of the show’s message, transcending cultural boundaries to affirm the inherent worth and solidarity with all girls. She underscores the significance of AlRawabi School for Girls in presenting nuanced and multifaceted female characters. Moreover, she lauds the gender diversity within the crew, noting the substantial representation of women both behind and in front of the camera. This commitment to inclusivity and gender equality represents a pivotal shift in the landscape of Arab cinema. “Women, we can also do this,” Elansari continues, saying that by showcasing the talents and contributions of women in all aspects of production, the series not only challenges entrenched gender norms but also amplifies the voices of underrepresented storytellers. In championing the notion that women possess the same creative prowess and leadership potential as their male counterparts, the series serves as a beacon of progress and empowerment in entertainment, she says. Elansari’s impassioned plea for aspiring actors resounds with a powerful call to embrace challenges and step out of one’s comfort zone. In her words, she implores young talents to navigate discomfort with resilience, recognising that having to endure challenges is a precursor to attaining enduring comfort. Drawing attention to the all-too-familiar narrative of talented individuals abandoning their aspirations due to self-doubt, she urges against surrendering to such internal conflicts. Elansari advocates for seizing every opportunity, wholeheartedly investing oneself in the pursuit of the dream without reservation. Her advocacy extends beyond the confines of gender or geographical location, emphasising that the path to success in the acting and film industry is, and should be, equally open to all. Shomali’s insights and writing around social media, which inform much of Season Two of AlRawabi School for Girls, resonate deeply with Elansari’s observations on the topic. The show delves into the darker aspects of social media, illustrating how it can perpetuate negative emotions such as obsession and envy, and lead to online bullying. By depicting the blurred lines between characters’ lives and their online personas, the series challenges the notion that everything presented on social media is authentic. This narrative mirrors Elansari’s concerns about its impact on young girls’ self-esteem and identity formation, “Social media and its impact on young girls’ lives can be quite degrading. Just opening those apps, you see women portrayed as champions, but it’s hard to be certain about what’s real. Are these images edited?” Elansari acknowledges that her increased visibility and success have heightened her sense of responsibility to promote representation and serve as a role model for others. Amid the flood of sweet and thoughtful messages from fans, she recognises the weight of responsibility that comes with her growing influence. Steering clear of the pitfalls of comparison culture, Elansari aims to use her voice to guide her followers in a more empowering direction. She refuses to be seen merely as an idealised figure to be emulated, advocating instead for authenticity and self-acceptance. With a desire to address important issues such as mental health, Elansari is poised to leverage her growing platform to inspire positive change in her audience. The actress is overwhelmed by the outpouring of creativity and kindness from fans of the show. She marvels at the talent of artists who have shared their illustrations inspired by her character and the series, sparking a desire within her to explore her own artistic skills. “People have been so kind”, the heartfelt messages and words of encouragement from fans reaffirm her belief in the positive impact of her hard work. Elansari expresses her gratitude for the supportive community that has formed around the show, emphasising her admiration for each fan who has reached out to share their appreciation for the series. Discussing her future aspirations, she says, “Looking ahead, there are a lot of things I want to accomplish in my life. First off, I do want to explore acting more, I want to build an acting career for myself.” Despite her budding success in film, Elansari remains grounded in her academic pursuits. “I do want to finish school and I want to go to university,” she affirms. “Because I’ve worked so hard, I’m not going to throw that away. I’m going major into PPLE, which is Politics, Philosophy, Law and Economics,” she says of her plans come September. Thalia Elansari emerges not only as a talented actress, but also as an inspiration for aspiring artists and young women alike. From her breakout role in AlRawabi School for Girls to her impassioned advocacy for gender equality and mental health awareness, Elansari ‘s journey reflects a blend of determination, resilience, and a commitment to personal growth. Her ability to seamlessly embody complex characters on screen is matched only by her genuine desire to make a positive impact on the world around her. As she navigates the intersection of fame, academia, and societal expectations, Elansari remains unwavering in her pursuit of excellence, embracing challenges with grace and enthusiasm. With a promising future ahead, in the realm of entertainment and beyond, Elansari stands poised to leave an indelible mark on the world stage. “And as I said, I like challenges now.” Originally published on YUNG Magazine.

  • Coperni – Bags That Are Out of this World

    Exploring the intersection of history, technology, and style. A Coperni bag is literally out of this world. In the wake of their groundbreaking robot dog showcase at Paris Fashion Week, Coperni is once again pushing the boundaries of fashion with their latest creation: the Mini Meteorite Swipe Bag. In a bold fusion of archaeology and design, this accessory is not just a mere It bag; it’s a piece of history brought back to life. Arnaud Vaillant (Instagram) and Sébastien Meyer (Instagram), the creative masterminds behind Coperni (Instagram), tell us this avant-garde creation is made out of “a lunar fossil that fell to earth 55,000 years ago, found in France in 1968 and carved in 2023.” Crafted from genuine meteorite material, each bag is a testament to the brand’s commitment to innovation and craftsmanship. With a starting price of 40,000 euros, the Mini Meteorite Swipe Bag is a coveted collector’s item reserved for the elite. But for those who can afford it, it’s more than just a fashion accessory; it’s a statement of sophistication and discernment. This isn’t the first time Coperni has captivated the fashion world with their unconventional creations. From the Air Swipe Bag to spray-on dresses, their willingness to push boundaries has earned them a dedicated following among Gen Z and on platforms like TikTok. The Air Swipe Bag, unveiled at Coperni’s F/W 2024 show, is a visual marvel, boasting a misty appearance reminiscent of frozen clouds, thanks to its composition of 99 percent air and 1 percent glass. The bag, designed in collaboration with Professor Ioannis Michaloudis, sees Coperni’s Parisian atelier transform NASA’s silica aerogel, renowned as the lightest solid on Earth, into a portable accessory that defies traditional notions of materiality. Weighing a mere 33 grams, the Air Swipe Bag is a testament to the delicate yet resilient nature of silica aerogel. Originally utilised by NASA in its Stardust mission, this nanomaterial has withstood extreme conditions, including temperatures up to 1,200 degrees Celsius and pressures 4,000 times its weight. While the Air Swipe Bag exudes an ethereal charm, it is not without its practical considerations, users are advised to handle it with care, avoiding excessive swinging or overloading with heavy items. The transparent aesthetic, reminiscent of trapped smoke within the aerogel’s porous structure, adds to its allure, creating a striking visual contrast against the sleek silhouette. These groundbreaking accessories represent Coperni’s ongoing commitment to pushing the boundaries of fashion and technology. Just as the Mini Meteorite Swipe Bag captivates with its fusion of archaeology and design, the Air Swipe Bag epitomises the brand’s ethos of innovation and creativity. While some may dismiss their marketing tactics as mere gimmicks, there’s no denying the impact they’ve had on the brand’s success. With each new release, Coperni continues to redefine the intersection of fashion and technology, cementing their status as pioneers in the industry. In a world where trends come and go, Coperni’s commitment to innovation remains unwavering. These bags symbolise a broader cultural shift towards embracing innovation across disciplines. By incorporating materials like meteor and “air”, Coperni not only redefines luxury but also invites us to reconsider the possibilities of materiality and craftsmanship in the digital age. These avant-garde creations reflect a larger trend within the fashion industry, where designers increasingly draw inspiration from diverse fields such as space exploration and environmental sustainability. As Coperni continues to push the boundaries of traditional fashion, their pioneering spirit serves as a catalyst for broader discussions surrounding the intersection of art, history, science, and technology, highlighting the importance of interdisciplinary approaches in shaping the future of design. Originally published on YUNG Magazine.

  • Maison Georges Hobeika Fall 2024 – Regal Reimagined

    A celebration of youthful expression and regal heritage. From the glamour of Monaco to the chic streets of Los Angeles, the offspring of contemporary “royalty” converge, with homes nestled in the heart of Paris or along the shores of Saint Tropez. They are the custodians of family legacies, their wardrobes brimming with timeless designs, yet they yearn to reinvent regal codes in their own image. Enter Maison Georges Hobeika (Instagram) and their Fall-Winter 2024/25 collection, a jubilant escapade into joyful, fresh modernity—a testament to the conflicting desires of youth: the urge to conform and the quest for self-expression. Embracing this spirited generation, Maison Georges Hobeika liberates its traditional codes—embroidery, embellishment, and tailoring—granting them newfound freedom in a space of understated elegance. The narrative unfolds with a dress borrowed from a maternal archive, infused with timeless chic but reimagined with a contemporary twist. Tweed is the hero of the season, its “grown-up” texture infused with playful vitality across oversized separates. Dresses crafted from duchesse satin, silk crepe, and mousseline hug the body with an air of confidence and control, eschewing overt sexuality for an aura of sophistication. The collection seamlessly melds elements of 80s glamour with a youthful, nature-inspired aesthetic, featuring whimsical motifs of clouds and flowers. Evening gowns take centre stage, with a stunning array of silhouettes and embellishments that exude timeless sophistication, blending techniques of haute couture with contemporary flair. Silver accents sparkle amidst dreamy swirls, evoking a sense of ethereal beauty; cut-outs, a trend prevalent this season, make a bold statement, adding an element of contemporaneity and androgynous blazers offer a twist, blurring the lines between masculine and feminine aesthetics. Maison Georges Hobeika’s iconic embroidery receives a minimalist makeover, reflecting the perspective of a new generation. Charming bows adorn garments and accessories, punctuating a vibrant pastel palette dominated by mint green, berry red, orange, and latte beige. Accessories serve as conduits of generational transmission, as classic pearls are juxtaposed with daring, abstract designs in statement earrings. Handbags exude a reinvented vintage allure, blending leather and tweed with the recurring minaudiere shape stealing the spotlight. Footwear mirrors the season’s essential tweed, with sandals and kitten heels adorned with signature bows. Hairbands, modern crowns of glory, take on geometric twists, embodying the essence of contemporary edge. Set against the idyllic backdrop of a Jardin d’Hiver, Maison Georges Hobeika’s Fall 2024 collection radiates joy and modernity while paying homage to the past. It celebrates youthful freedom of expression, echoing the importance of identity with a playful spirit. A delightful antidote to the winter doldrums, this collection invites audiences to embrace reinvention and revel in the joy of self-discovery. Originally published on Yung Magazine

  • JW Anderson AW24 – Knitted Chic

    Nostalgia, subtlety, and surrealism. JW Anderson’s latest offering for AW24 serves as a profound exploration of the labyrinth of fashion’s psyche. It’s not merely a collection of garments; it’s an odyssey into the depths of sartorial expression, where the mundane meets the extraordinary. Within this assemblage, there lies an enchanting dichotomy, a narrative woven with threads of contrast and subtlety. Gone are the grandiose displays; instead, we’re beckoned to the realms of the everyday, to find allure in the seemingly banal, and to embrace the grotesque in its most unassuming guise. Knitted dresses, jumpers, and shorts intertwine with oversized tailoring, forming a tapestry of distorted proportions and dowdy fits, all cloaked in a subdued palette of neutrals. Yet, within this apparent simplicity lies a complexity that demands attention. It’s a celebration of the ordinary, an homage to the forgotten tropes and types that often evade our notice. Each piece, meticulously crafted, whispers secrets of the subconscious, inviting us to unravel the mysteries of our own dressing rituals. Housewife flats take centre stage, emblematic of a quiet rebellion against ostentation. The grey wig, a symbol of the greynassance, a transformative device, blurs the lines between reality and illusion, while draping and knotting techniques evoke a sense of theatricality amidst the familiar. In JW Anderson’s (Instagram) AW24 collection, the mundane becomes sublime, and the everyday is elevated to art. It’s a testament to the power of fashion as a psychological phenomenon, where every garment tells a story, and every stitch speaks volumes. Surreal objects and materials, too big and oversized, mingle with wooden elements and complex shapes, creating draping and an enigmatic attraction to a show the meddles with our sense of truth. Models strutted straight from grandma’s house, after raiding her closet, onto the catwalk, breathing life into the collection’s nostalgic charm. The show, an embodiment of understated elegance, took place at a West London leisure centre, where the juxtaposition of haute couture and everyday surroundings blurred the lines between fantasy and reality. It was a celebration of individuality, where nostalgia collided with the cutting edge of contemporary fashion, leaving an indelible imprint on the collective consciousness of all who bore witness. In this fusion of past and present, JW Anderson crafted not just a collection, but a transformative experience—a journey through time and space where the ordinary became extraordinary, and granny chic reigned supreme. Originally published on YUNG Magazine

  • Sculpting Elegance: JACQUEMUS’ Les Sculptures SS24

    Sculpted shoulders, chiseled structures, Mirós and Giacomettis. In the ethereal ambiance of La Fondation Maeght, where artistic brilliance has flourished for six decades, JACQUEMUS (Instagram) recently showcased their SS24 collection, Les Sculptures, against a backdrop of iconic works by the likes of Joan Miró, Fernand Léger, Alberto Giacometti, Jean Dubuffet and Ellsworth Kelly. The presentation marked a return to the landscapes of southern France, a place that holds profound significance for designer Simon Porte Jacquemus (Instagram). Gigi Hadid (Instagram), a seasoned presence on the fashion scene, graced the stage as the show’s opener, setting the tone for a spectacle that melded artistry with sartorial innovation, equally star-studded throughout and on the sidelines. The runway came alive with a plethora of sculpted shoulders, chiseled structures, and oversized coats cinched with rounded belts, evoking a sense of motorcycle race-inspired chic. Neutrals dominated the palette, offering a timeless canvas for the sculptural trousers, two-in-one pieces of around the shoulder jumpers, and tailored shorts that epitomised contemporary sophistication with a twist. Garments were meticulously crafted to enhance and amplify natural curves, employing draping and excessive fabrics reminiscent of sculptural masterpieces. A mischievous nod to Cruella de Vil in Dalmatian-print was evident in some jackets, while signature mini skirts and fitted dresses exuded minimalism with a distinctive flair. The collection transpired a sense of fluidity and movement, with body-hugging silhouettes adorned with sculptural belts, veils, and capes. Form followed function, mirroring the shapes depicted in primary colours of Miró paintings as models walked past them. In the courtyard, the models’ haughty demeanour mirrored the splendour of Giacometti statues, infusing the presentation with an air of avant-garde elegance. Materials ranged from fluid mousseline to textured knit jacquard, while finishes and embroideries added a crafted touch to each ensemble. Ladylike dressing was reimagined with absurdist twists, while men’s thong sandals integrated half-socks as a trompe l’oeil. The accessory lineup was equally alluring, with streamlined handbags and innovative designs that challenged conventional notions of style. Each piece, from “Le Calino” to “Le Vanity,” showcased a blend of sophistication and ingenuity that mirrored the ethos of the collection. The finale, a gauzy silk mousseline white dress, thermoformed on a squared moulded bust, and a sweeping veil, paid homage to traditional bridal attire, symbolising the culmination of the couture journey. Its ceremonial elegance resonated with the timeless sculptures at La Fondation Maeght, transcending fashion to become a piece of art in its own right. JACQUEMUS’ newest collection was not merely a showcase of fashion; it was a testament to the enduring intersection of art and creativity, where boundaries dissolve, and imagination reigns supreme. Originally published on YUNG Magazine

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