As part of The Selfridges Corner Shop: UNIVERSE project, Paco Rabanne has created a series of NFTs in collaboration with Foundation Vasarely that revisit The Twelve Experimental Dresses from 1966, Rabanne’s first collection. The series of NFTs, which feature 12 artworks by Op Artist Victor Vasarely and 12 Paco Rabanne “unwearables” can be seen in Selfridges’ flagship London store within an immersive space. The optical artworks can be seen alongside pieces from Rabanne’s SS22 collection, by creative director Julien Dossena who sought inspiration from Vasarely’s work, translating artworks into playful garments for the season. You can purchase the NFT’s on the new platform powered by Selfridges and Charli Cohen – universenft.live.
For a brand who’ve always explored futuristic materials, this collaboration is a great debut into the world of web 3.0 for Paco Rabanne, fusing past, present and future perfectly.
Bringing you the future of creative talent worldwide… We’re pleased to share we’ll be launching a new editorial feature – #VHFTalents very soon. The new project platforms creatives from across the industry worldwide, who we believe are the innovators of the future. Exclusive to VHFTV, the series will open your mind to what’s possible, and spotlight how the innovative minds of the next generation are forming our future through creativity. Stay tuned on VHF Channels for the first drop…
Get ready for the Givenchy TK-360 by Matthew Williams, the perfect marriage of couture and sportswear. Made by the piece, these shoes are a true work of craftsmanship. They go beyond functionality to become the ultimate dream of the most sophisticated sneakerhead. A real game changer with its complex aesthetic, achieved via a yarn capable of adapting and evolving through time, ensuring a unique character to each piece.
We call it first, the Givenchy TK-360 are going to be the hottest shoes around!
Collectors, your prayers have been answered. Nike has collaborated with RTFKT on its first pair of digital sneakers – the series of NFTs take the name of Dunk Genesis, and are part of the CryptoKicks project.
The Dunk Genesis are virtual sneakers inspired by the beloved Nike Dunk Low silhouette, designed specifically for the Metaverse.
Want to personalise them? The appearance of these digital shoes can be changed through “Skin Vials” technology – the application of specific vials, which can be exchanged for unlocking different styles, in the tongue of the shoe. The first Nike CryptoKicks items can be purchased by opening RTFKT MNLTH boxes – Nike digital boxes with contents up to now, unknown, have been assigned free of charge to the NFT owners of the CloneX profile images of RTFKT and other previous RTFKT non-fungible tokens.
Are you going to collect them all?
Parisian brand Y/Project, and sportswear label FILA have collaborated on a collection that fuses the two identities perfectly, through subtle nods to both brands’ heritage and recognised styles. Y/Project Creative Director, Glenn Martens has infused what would be everyday sportswear items with a streetwear spirit, adding graphic prints of juxtaposed logos and his signature touch of shapeshifting details. The collection sees Y/Project’s multi-wear, interchanging look details throughout, in the form of double collars, strategically placed press studs, asymmetrical buttoning, double sweatshirts and shoulder straps. It includes key items for a sporty yet street fashion look, with a selection of staples including t-shirts, hoodies, dresses and outerwear, plus accessories including bags, sneakers and hats.
Digital artist Andy Picci has us all hypnotized with his latest work, an interpretation of the colour blue for Adidas Paris – created to celebrate the launch of their Blue Version line. A new sportswear collection reworking iconic silhouettes from the 3 Stripes archives, featuring the iconic adidas Originals Bluebird colorway.
The artwork is being displayed in its physical form at the Adidas store on Rue des Rosiers, 75003 in Paris. It follows Andy Picci’s series “The Shape of…” which takes inspiration from cryptology. For which Picci created a spherical cryptography alphabet, with letters arranged in a circular way creating shapes which to most are abstract – leaving audiences to work out, or question the hidden words written. He has used this process to create the “The Shape of Blue” artwork, the artist’s unique interpretation of the colour.
The collaboration that broke the internet – between Calvin Klein and skateboarding streetwear brand Palace. Launched with a short film and campaign directed and shot by Alasdair McLellan, it combines the brands London and New York roots to create a narrative familiar of Palace’s previous mickey-taking campaigns, that flicks between the two metropolises. The campaign features cultural icons Willem Dafoe, Joan Collins, The Pet Shop Boys, Lola Leon and Palace’s Skate family, shot with a VHS aesthetic in black and white. The collection features t-shirts, fleeces, skateboards and more, with of course the CK classic’s underwear. Alongside a new interpretation of the iconic perfume – CK One, defined as youthful. It’s an unexpected collection, but one that the streetwear community have already claimed as a must-have…
Artist Filip Custic presents ‘pi(x)el’ — a project that combines identity, diversity and technology.
In an age of dysmorphia, Custic proposes a positive reflection on the potential of technology to allow fluid identities, not bound by stereotypes or aesthetic ideals.
Featuring a hyper-realistic sculpture of Custic’s friend and inspiring muse, the artist Virgen María, the performance and presentation of pi(x)el transports the public into the not-too-distant future of digital wearables.
Helmet, choker, bikini and nails make up a suit/screen of the future with a nostalgic touch. Each screen displays a wide range of images of body parts, inviting constant and continuous changes.
Pi(x)el embraces reality with all its alleged defects, setting you free from social constructs about beauty…
Certainty exhibition at Colección SOLO in Madrid from 1st of April, curated by Onkaos.
At VHF, we have always explored the iterations between digital and reality, promoting a common vision that pushes the physical boundaries to investigate new forms of media.
As the first ever Metaverse Fashion Week has just finished, we thought we’d look back on the not particularly impressive event… Hosted on the Decentraland platform, some of the biggest names in fashion joined the lineup – Dolce & Gabbana, Paco Rabanne, Etro, and Philipp Plein just to name a few, presenting virtual collections.
The result, not a hugely compelling affair which featured items that may have worked well in real life, but were not particularly suitable for presentation in the metaverse. The shows lacked engagement and many spectators described them as bland; the limits of the platform with rather simple graphic capabilities highlighted how many brands still have work to do in being able to offer digital products that could rival their physical offerings.
Though one space that’s worth a mention is the space built by digital fashion-pioneers Auroboros, who offered an immersive space where visitors experienced a digital simulation that couldn’t be recreated in the real world – a floor submerged in water with shimmering walls.
We know, the first of anything can come with issues and is in part an educational process – an opportunity to understand where the flaws are in order to make them better in the future. All being said, it’s got promise – we can only hope that next year at Metaverse Fashion Week they’ll transport us to a different realm…
It’s men’s showtime at the Victoria and Albert museum. The evocative title of the exhibition – Fashioning Masculinities: the Art of Menswear, speaks for itself.
The show, Co-curated by Claire Wilcox, Rosalind McKever and Marta Franceschini, in partnership with Gucci, features 100 looks and 100 artworks, spotlighting the evolution in the narrative of masculine appearance.
From the 23rd of March visitors will have access to some of the most iconic pieces in menswear’s history, from vintage undergarments to soirée looks, such as a magnificent coat from photographer Cecil Beaton, crafted for a party in 1937 – featuring eggshells and roses.
But a lot more is to be discovered, A$AP Rocky’s “Babushka Boi” video clip directed by Nadia Lee Cohen, a nod to male makeup from Tom Ford’s beauty campaigns or the homoerotic aesthetic of Tom of Finland, just to name a few.
It is time to step into this chameleonic journey through time. We guess you will be surprised by the real story behind the colour pink…
Let’s talk Euphoria, the hit series from HBO has created a stir with neon colours, statement looks and killer makeup galore. At VHF, we’ve got mixed feelings toward the series including the needless cruelty all characters were put through – in order not to find some sort of redemption, but just survive. We’re not a huge fan of the pretentiousness the show is infused with – the sweetening of difficult issues made empathizing with Rue’s drug addiction, Cassie struggles in building her own identity or the rage within Nate difficult. While the show has its fair share of high’s across the two seasons, the low ones were most evident – with every character built around a stereotype of which they seemed almost trapped in. A special mention goes to Fez and Ashtray – pearls of the series who really make you doubt about what the true meaning of good and bad is… Do we suggest binge-watching the show? Hell yes! You really do need to go through this chaotic beauty, to really understand why everyone is so obsessed with it…
Who could forget the joy brought by nostalgic 90’s classics like printed baby tees, character-adorned sweaters, logo hair clips and gummy jewellery?
Well, we can all satisfy our teenage dreams now, with the newest collection from Heaven by Marc Jacobs – a ‘polysexual’ line – as defined by the designer himself, which launched in 2020. Heaven perfectly encapsulates that subversive feeling – typical of grunge culture, while capturing the Gen Z zeitgeist. This edgy time-capsule from Marc Jacobs and Ava Nirui, is definitely one of the most interesting collaborations of the last few years. With even the logo giving a nod to 90’s fashion faves – a conjoined teddy bear backpack, inspired by the iconic 1994 photo of Katie Grand as shot by Rankin, giving us a taste of nostalgia. Welcome to Heaven, come in and explore the 90’s revival…
The global authority on colour Pantone and the Paris based multidisciplinary artist Polygon1993 have joined forces for a collaborative series of NFT’s celebrating the 2022 colour of the year Pantone 17-3938 ‘Very Pery’. The colour itself has a dynamic blue hue with red undertones.
Polygon1993 has created a series of nine unique NFTs that are part of a giveaway, available on Tezos’ SXSW 2022 experience, Block/Space, and on its largest NFT marketplace, Objkt.
The Paris based artist infused the artworks with childhood memories, in his signature digital glitch art technique. A technique that incorporates the use of analog cameras and digital manipulation tools, which creates a sense of motion through still imagery.
The initiative from Pantone aims to make art more accessible to its community of creatives, whilst also exploring products and services that complement both the physical and digital landscape – as Pantone’s Vice President and General Manager, Elley Cheng notes
With Paris Fashion Week now finished, another fashion month is over – and what a month it has been. From essentials reinvented at Anthony Vaccarello’s Saint Laurent, and Valentino’s hot pink transformation, spreading a message of integrity and love for all, to Loewe playing on tones of irreverence whilst showcasing an almost primordial aesthetic, and the duo of Coperni’s statement blown glass bag.
The return of Y2K style was strong with Miu Miu’s continuum of the micro mini and Ludovic de Saint Sernin embedding the era in his staple sexy, and skin baring aesthetic. We loved the elevated simplicity of Courrèges’ geometric patterns, turning them into unseen and unconventional forms.
A show that spoke to the deeply disturbing current happenings in the world was Demna Gvasalia’s latest collection at Balenciaga – presenting his statement looks along a path of physical struggle as models were blasted with wind and snow. To close Paris Fashion Week, we saw the return of Miu Miu for men, after a 10 year hiatus Miuccia Prada brought it back – presenting a modern menswear, that’s fluid and offers a very fresh perspective of menswear for 2022. A positive end to an incredible season of shows.
A ritual union between real and virtual realms – the Institut Français de la Mode’s 2022 MA Graduate Show was showcased through a film entitled Réetual at the start of Paris Fashion Week. The film captures a personal vision of fashion from the perspective of 56 students graduating from Institut Français de la Mode’s MA programme. A mesmerizing combination of styles, shapes and influences, the showcase gives an enthusiastic glimpse of where the future of fashion is heading with new visionaries…
Micro mini for all? Yes please Miuccia! Miu Miu had the last word at Paris Fashion Week, closing the AW22 shows with a Y2K revival as a continuum of last season… The seen-everywhere Miu Miu hipster mini, this time was paired with ballerinas and knitted socks for a sport-luxe feel. But what we’re really still reeling from, is the return of Miu Miu menswear. After a ten year hiatus, menswear is back and to mark the return, what other than a menswear version of the viral hipster mini for the boys too… We’re leaving aside the past, the new Miu Miu man is 2022 ready – fluid, labelless with a confidence that oozes through his statement looks. Get ready for bare legs and buckle boots next winter, cause the boys are coming!
VHF stands in solidarity with those in Ukraine and their loved ones across the world, and strongly condemns Russia’s invasion.
We invite you to join us in signing @1granary’s open letter – Fashion Unites Against War – a letter to businesses and their leaders to stand with Ukraine. It asks for businesses to leverage the power and influence fashion holds, and not stay silent in the face of injustice.
Visit the link in bio for practical information on ways to support, send aid, donate and share with your networks.
Balenciaga’s AW22 collection brought the reality of now to the forefront, presented with an emotional, and heartfelt letter from Creative Director Demna Gvasalia retailing the strength, solidarity and his kinship to those fleeing Ukraine amidst war.
The set, originally designed to highlight climate change, offered a physical depiction of struggle; the models walked inside a glass rotunda facing a snow storm. Guests of the show received a personal letter, and a yellow and blue t-shirt (the Ukrainian flag’s colours) from Gvasalia – the letter recalled the similarity of his childhood as a refugee of the Abkhazia war, in Georgia, 1993.
Though the message of an uncertain future was clear, models struggled in their stilettos and thigh-high boots, facing an implacable wind in long black dresses. Leather jackets made using a mycelium based material, were paired with tote bags which metaphorically symbolised having an emotional burden to carry.
Balenciaga closed the show with a yellow tracksuit for him and a blue dress for her, finished with a long flag-like train. A true message of hope and love entwined with the wish that democracy and freedom will prevail.
For AW22, Milan Fashion Week returned in all its former glory, with over 67 physical shows from Milan’s veteran designers and houses, to new emerging talents.
The season included Gucci by Alessandro Michele’s return to Milan with a masterfully executed collection created in collaboration with Adidas, the glorious debut of Matthieu Blazy as the new Creative director of Bottega Veneta, Ambush’s newest collection, transporting us to new realms for AW22 and alongside the romantic poetry infused within Marco Rambaldi’s latest offering.
What’s on our must-have list for AW22? Colour will be the tonic we need for autumn winter, so we’ll be brightening up the grey days with all the shades of yellow you could imagine, along with brilliant blues and hues of pink. Texture? Yes please, from heavy woollens, to the essentials in denim and leather – both patent and matte for added sex-appeal… Milan Fashion Week brought a sense of optimism for the future, in difficult times it’s what we needed.
Amidst darkness amongst a woody scent, the AW22 MM6 Maison Margiela collection came to life. The esoteric theme, familiar to Margiela’s connoisseurs, was suggested this season through a ouroboros motif – a snake eating itself as a symbol of eternal renewal, seen across shirts and gloves.
Kickstarting with a nod to the modern metropolis, boxy suited styles, some drawn in at the waist, permeated throughout the collection with strong outerwear to match. Followed by effortless cool, in the form of rock-star meets fetish leather looks, styled with snake-motif gloves for both men and women. The stream of wide-leg cargo style trousers paired well with this season’s collaborative sneakers – bold and bright in colour and style, created in collaboration with French outdoor sports brand, Salomon. We’re set for a sex infused smart everyday look in AW22 with MM6.
For their debut show in Milan, Ambush Creative Directors – Yoon Ahn and Gary Horton transported us to an otherworldly atmosphere, presenting the AW22 collection amidst a sand of white quartz, with a central lit sphere.
Infused with romance, futurism and sex appeal, the universe created for AW22 pervaded a sense of nostalgia with elongated silhouettes, bold tailoring and sexy yet sleek looks throughout.
Outerwear was taken to new extremes, with leather and shearling prevailing over all else – via tailored, oversized, cropped and effortlessly chic cuts for both men and women. Paired with towering platforms, endless buckles and dramatic thigh highs – the Ambush woman is ready for leather fetish footwear, at it’s finest in AW22.
London Fashion Week AW22 saw the merge of menswear and womenswear, giving us some memorable moments of style. For his debut catwalk show, CSM graduate Conner Ives presented his personal fantasy – to dress the female leaders he looked up to whilst growing up. Ives showcased a number of looks which embodied his distinctive aesthetic, whilst continuing his sustainability led practices throughout. London’s favourite, Richard Quinn echoed the glitz of Parisian haute couture, with his maxi roses prints upon trapeze coats with matching oversized hats and a series of voluminous caftan dresses with incorporated hoods that tightened around the face. We embraced the chaotic beauty of Matty Bovan’s ‘Cyclone’ collection, where America in its idiosyncrasies were unveiled upon the runway – through various treatments to the national flag and the reigning deconstruction motif – Bovan, as ever, brought a real punk flair. Whilst the queen of uncovering elegantly, Supriya Lele celebrated women in all shapes and sizes, with her magistral way to showcase the female body, taken to new heights. London is as always, ready to excite us with new talents and innovation – a spritely time to reconsider where the fashion landscape is headed next.
An ode to love imagined in its purest form, playful, free to express itself without fear – the latest collection from italian designer Marco Rambaldi. For AW22, it’s red lipstick for everyone as a powerful message of self-expression.
Rambaldi’s show during Milan Fashion Week embraced a transposition of modern Lady Godivas, embracing their own identities and wanting to be seen, heard and felt. Conveyed symbolically in a profusion of hearts which embellish the chest and the back of the models.
Rooted in the designer’s regional traditions, Rambaldi presented his signature crochet tops in a vibrant colour palette. All looks completed with Dr. Martens in styles, from the classic to a statement knee-high.
A rush of energy was almost palpable throughout… We look forward to more from this promising Italian talent.
Want to listen to Donda 2? You’ll need a Stem Player
Donda 2, the new album from Kanye West, comes with a twist… Ye has announced it will be only available through his own speaker, the Stem Player. The 200$ futuristic speaker, which was created in partnership with Kano Computing allows you to manipulate any song thanks to its touch-sensitive sliders, delivering a whole new way to experience music…
Perfectly mixing tweed, silk and ribbons, New York based label Saint Sintra, brought flamboyance to New York Fashion Week this season. For their Fall 2022 ready-to-wear collection, designer and creative director Sintra Martins embedded the attitude of a true New Yorker with a touch of her distinguishing eclecticism.
Martins, with a background in theatre, brought the drama for Fall 2022 – with many stand out looks including one of our personal favourites, a tiered cotton dress made with curved horsehair filaments. This season was designed with a flamboyant woman in mind, ready to embrace both a structured tweed suit and a lascivious silk dress1
Embrace the sparkle with Area’s Spring 2022 collection by Piotr Panszczyk – with an explosion of crystals and diamantes throughout. With the brand’s DNA firmly rooted in a showgirl aesthetic, Area embraced Y2K style with baggy jeans featuring sexy thigh high cutouts, feather trimmed tracksuits, and crystal statement logo thongs. ‘We are all show girls!’ stated Panszczyk, as he continues to present a vision of Area’s woman as powerful, bold, fierce, and almost intimidating in her confident beauty.
Amongst the sculptural shapes, the collection is almost obsessively embroidered with beads, sequins and crystals by Indian artisans matched perfectly with intricate headpieces handcrafted by a German artist in Italy.
The Los Angeles based jewellery manufacturers have bridged the gap between the Metaverse and reality, with a new statement necklace. The 14k Gold Ethereum BlockChain is the ultimate accessory for any NFT collector, allowing you to wear your virtual collection in reality, wherever you go!
Is this the future as we step further into the Metaverse?
The hybrid creative Luis Fernandez has explored the unlimited possibilities offered by a complete absence of rules in his latest collection – ‘dis[PLACE]: MIND TRAVELS and STUDIES for ARCHITECTURE in the METAVERSE’. A new series of NFTs in which the multidisciplinary designer deconstructs physical places to create experiential spaces in digital form. Through the process of combining manual and digital manipulation, he’s created a series of surreal landscapes from his physical architectural work to build a dialogue between the real world and the metaverse.
Jean Paul Gaultier by Glenn Martens Spring 2022 haute couture collection, masterfully combined a series of sapient references, generating a triumph of textures for Martens’ residency as guest couturier, sharing his vision of Gaultier couture.
The seafaring echoes, a trademark of the luxury French Maison, this time were coded by Martens via a knitted dress encrusted with a riot of red corals. The dress, a tribute to Alexander Mcqueen’s 1992 collection ‘Jack the Ripper Stalks His Victims’, with skin coloured bustiers covered in red tulle to recall the image of wounds and flesh. Martens also hinted at Caravaggio’s painting ‘Morte della vergine’ covering the faces and silhouettes of the models with veils. The show was a true work of art and reminds us all, how much there is still to be told in the fashion panorama.
For their return to the runway, the designer duo presented a show inspired by the image of Nosferatu, as imagined by Old Hollywood. This collection, as stated by Rolf Snoeren, symbolizes the fear of change in society, with a subtle hint to the will of embracing it, even if with caution… The symbolic fear, incarnated by the fictional character of Dracula. With silhouettes constructed around corsets worn under each look, raising the shoulder line to the neck; the spooky inspired looks were amplified by a horror-ific soundtrack, paired with claw-like fingernails and ghoulish makeup.
Gucci’s Head of Design Alessandro Michele and the synthetic artists Janky and Guggimon are launching a new collaborative series of NFTs on the 1st February 2022. The collaborative NFT artworks are inspired by the Maison’s signature patterns and come with a porcelain sculpture hand-crafted in Italy.
We can’t wait for the drop…
Welcome to 𝓛𝓸𝓾𝓲𝓼 Dreamhouse™
‘An octology according to Virgil Abloh’. Collection 8: IN THE GRAND SCHEME OF THINGS.
For @LouisVuitton AW22, Virgil Abloh’s narrative arc can be found in the desire to change our way of seeing; imagination is what fuels this dream-like collection.
The eighth collection from Abloh concludes Virgil’s hero’s journey – based on the Boyhood Ideology®, depicted by the unspoiled outlook of a child, who is yet to be affected by the preconceived ideas of society.
Experience the final Louis Vuitton collection from the late Virgil Abloh, through our signature VHF lens…
For AW22, designer Junya Watanabe has remixed the signature style of Jay Kay, the front-man of acid jazz ensemble Jamiroquai, giving us all a little ‘90s nostalgia.
Highlights of the show were a series of headwear inspired by Kay, from Benny Andallo and a continuation of Junya’s ongoing collaborations with Carhartt, Levi’s, Karrimor, New Balance, Stepney Worker’s Club, the Secretariat of Mexico and Pendleton, who provided some of the stunning woolen patterns seen throughout.
Embrace this 90’s moment, through the signature VHF lens!
Music: Jamiroquai-Virtual Insanity(Kenji Takimi&Gonno Re-Edit)
Choreography: Takeatsu Nashimoto
VHF is extremely saddened by the passing of Virgil Abloh.
His contribution to Fashion goes far beyond streetwear; his vision has revolutionised our industry forever and he shall be remembered by all of us as an incredible creative and beautiful soul.
Our thoughts are with his friends and family in this difficult time.
Here we remember some of his greatest moments captured through the VHF lens.
Text Georgina Evans Video Jon Emmony
Merging the natural world with the artificial, traditional with the unorthodox, multimedia artist Jon Emmony’s work is unique and ubiquitous. You might recognise his enigmatic animations from The 1975’s music videos or Selfridges London’s front display window, or even his AI-infused campaigns with BMW or his still-life inspired digital artworks. Here, we get to know the artist behind the screen.
Q: You work with many different clients, what’s your starting point when approaching a new project?
A: The thing I love about my job is it’s different every day. I purposely choose to work with lots of different types of commercial and non-commercial clients across fashion and music because I think that’s the thing that keeps it interesting for me, jumping between different worlds and not being in too much of a routine. However I do one consistent thing each time I start a project: I see how I can build a world around the idea or concept brought to me. Sometimes that can be a bit more literal than others. I sort of see what I do as world-building.
Q: When you start that world-building, what kind of tools and thoughts are you gathering?
A: It’s important, with all that I make, to try and avoid it being too much about the process or the technique, or trying to dazzle people with effects rather than considering the content. Over the last year, I’ve been thinking about how a narrative can be implemented into purely virtual worlds. I’m thinking about how to develop beyond surface, aesthetic treatments. I think we all live in such a virtual world anyway. At the moment, we’re half-existing on our phone, and half- existing in the physical world. There’s an exciting crossover between the two – something I’ve always found inspiring for my work.
Q: You tend to work with 3d animation, artificial intelligence and 360. What is it about those mediums that particularly interest you?
A: I studied photography at University and then went on to work at SHOWstudio. I came with interest in photography, especially fashion photography. That’s something I was so certain I wanted to pursue as a career. Working with Nick (Knight), I experimented and taught myself new ways of making digital art, creating different types of images and using things like apps on phones. Sometimes very DIY. All of those elements together led me to think it would be more exciting for me to pursue a career where I’m looking at creating digital work. It’s the possibilities that are exciting for me. When I open up a piece of software to make something, there’s nothing in it; it’s a void. You can craft any world you can imagine in there, which is exciting and terrifying. It can be daunting and nerve-wracking, but it can be thrilling when things start to emerge and make sense, when a logic starts to materialise.
Q: Do you think you have any signatures or Easter eggs that crop up throughout your work?
A: I love the idea of Easter eggs. I mean, that’s quite a trope found in computer games, and I’ll be honest, I’ve never really played computer games that much, beyond playing The Sims when I was younger. The idea of an Easter egg has always appealed to me. I see many of the projects I do as ending at one point and then picking up as another project for a totally different client in some abstract way. They may visually be different, but there might be a thread that I’m continuing.
Q: There’s always something that shows the process in your work too.
A: I’ve always loved that stuff. I think that a lot of the process can be stunning in its own way, partly because sometimes it’s a collaboration rather than my finished vision, or the rawness of a piece can be amazing or engaging. There’s a childlike playfulness to something being unfinished. I’ve always liked the torn edges where things aren’t entirely, appropriately rendered. Mistakes are something I like picking up in my work. Also the process can be quite funny – things go wrong and present themselves in quite absurd, chaotic ways.
Q: There are repeated words and phrases that get used when describing your work. Utopian, dystopian, a comment on our tech use – but what would you use?
A: I think I try to create things that umbrella all of that. There are good and bad things about technology, as there are good and bad things about anything in life. I find it exciting to turn the camera on all the different aspects: our addiction to our phones, information overload (which I often explore visually in my work). I think that technology and nature are the two significant influences on a lot of what I do. I quite like those crossovers, where you’re trying to visualise technology as something organic; I think we often see technology as a very rigid, stable thing in our lives, but often it goes wrong.
Q: When you first started working with Nick Knight, this genre and field were still relatively niche. Now, you’ve worked with mainstream characters and clients – The 1975, Selfridges, TikTok. How does it feel having your work and also the genre, progress so much?
A: I think it’s excellent. I think the thing I’ve always loved about 3D animation is that all you need to start is a basic computer. If you’re interested in making this stuff, there’s a lot of open-source software, and it’s quite an approachable way for people to make things. It doesn’t rely on where people are physically in the world, or what access to any physical materials or spaces they have. Photography in that way, I think can be quite limiting for people. Not everyone has the resources to go to a photo studio and shoot things, for example, but anyone with a laptop can go off and make this kind of work. I think it’s great that many different voices are coming into this field over the last few years. It’s a lot wider and broader – with different viewpoints and ideals.
Q: Are you on the hunt for new tech? What are your future predictions?
A: My ambition is to start working more reality into my work. Thinking about how I can go back to some of those photographic routes that I started at and merge between them. So that I’m not just utilising CGI. It’s important to keep moving on and progressing and not being in your comfort zone; you can often rely on the same sort of tropes and things can begin to feel comfortable. One thing I’ve been looking at the last couple of years is artificial intelligence. I did a project with BMW last year where I took hundreds of press pictures of their new car, and then loaded that into a AI. The AI then designed or reinterpreted the car’s shaping into how it imagined the car would look if it didn’t have the context of the final image. It took sections of the car and melted them together.
Q: Would you say there is a contrast in your work: Artificial Intelligence vs reality?
A: In some ways there is, but I think they’re a lot closer linked than we think. Every time you take a picture on your iPhone, there’s artificial intelligence that chooses the most stable image frame for you. Even the types of images and news items you see online each day are selected for you by algorithms. We all engage with this stuff daily, and we will more and more so as technology blurs into our physical existence. The crossover will blur more and more for all of us.
Text Georgina Evans Animation Meghan St Clair
From Somerset House’s exhibition ‘Mushrooms: The Art, Design and Future of Fungi’ to the Fantastic Fungi film release, mushrooms have been slowly entering the mainstream, a new-fangled and ever-growing love of mushrooms spreading the world over.
An increasing number of us are now able to recognise a mushroom species from sight, knowing which would get you high, which work well in a creamy white wine sauce or which would get you in trouble. It seems that during peak pandemic, we began using our limited time outside as a chance to get reacquainted with nature, foraging for wild and edible mushrooms; particularly handy when hoarders stripped the shop shelves.
Additionally, as this past year’s events have heightened our anxieties and mental health issues, many are turning to micro-dosing mushrooms for relief or as a holistic alternative to the high-demand therapy sessions or anti-depressants. Just a quick YouTube search shows grand statements such as ‘How micro-dosing psilocybin mushrooms saved my life,’ and ‘My chronic depression now manageable thanks to micro-dosing mushrooms!’
It’s the excessive time inside that has influenced the growth in mushroom popularity too. TikTok’s cottagecore trend saw the rise of gardening, mushroom foraging and flower arranging on the app. Most foraging and mushroom content creators have over 400K followers, and the hashtag #mycology has over 70K views alone. Even Animal Crossing, which was pretty cottagecore-y already, launched an Autumn update which had players foraging for rare and wild mushrooms too, allowing us to tap into the fantasy when we needed a bit of escape.
Some are so enamoured they’ve made the fantasy of escape a reality. Aimeè Cornwell (@peggweggyforaging) is an artist and farmer who this year, moved from Oxford to wet Wales (ideal habitat for mushrooms) to grow and seed species of mushroom in her farm’s forest. Her social media has rocketed over the past two years, with followers enraptured by her species knowledge and mushroom breeding tips.
Mushrooms have been trickling into the fashion world too, with flexible leather-like fabrications entering the space. These mushroom textures are often waterproof and compostable with groups such as MycoWorks and Reishi now seeding into the high-fashion world. Mushrooms have such a rich culture and such a visual history; unsurprisingly, they’ve become such a soothing and inspirational topic. Can fungi save the world? Perhaps, but for now, mushrooms are doing a fine job at helping us evolve and adapt.
Text Georgina Evans Video VHFdigital
Over-the-top glamour in stackable plastic – La Manso is the irresistible jewellery brand shaking things up
Barcelona-based jewellery brand La Manso has bolted into the accessories world with its colourful plastic pieces. Founded by Adriana Manso, the brand’s curvaceous and invitingly globular shapes have an infectiously 90s nostalgic appeal – think post-plastic fantastic Tamagotchi and Polly Pocket.
Initially inspired by Adriana’s grandmother’s penchant for plastic accessories, Le Manso is a personal venture. Her rings are made-to-order by a small, intimate team, including Adriana herself. Every element in making these mini-sculptures, from beginning to end, is a labour of love by Adriana; with each piece becoming a candy-like collectable from upcycled 90s plastic byproducts.
Seen on the likes of Dua Lipa, Normani, Bella Hadid and Miley Cyrus, La Manso’s costume jewellery has dominated the style-set of Instagram this past year. The glittery, fruity rings filling up our feeds started a wave of chunky ring production. Still, it’s La Manso’s quirky knuckle dusters and signet-style rings that provide a modern antidote to the trend of delicate, traditional jewellery and a much-needed bolt of joy.