Saturday, April 30, 2011

Denham Garment Library

It's taken a while for them build this up but there's a ton up on here now. Very generous of them.

THNK: The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership

Launched this year, with the first class beginning in 2012, the THNK Creative Leadership Program at THNK, The Amsterdam School of Creative Leadership is a post-graduate program designed to “provoke and inspire professionals, entrepreneurs and scientists into becoming the world’s next creative leaders.” Limited to 30 participants the program runs for a whole year with one month of “basic training” off campus, four months of “intensive training” on campus, and five months of “acceleration program” off campus. Tuition is €43,000 (US$63,000). An identity for the school has been created by Amsterdam-based Lava.

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The Sharjah Biennial stays open despite controversy

It Has No Importance/Wild Writings, by the Algerian, Mustapha Benfodil, which has now been removed, was a combination of texts, sound and graffiti, with a parody of a football match, involving 23 headless mannequins. The t-shirts worn by one team were printed with excerpts of Benfodil’s novels, plays and poetry, while the other team’s t-shirts carried texts borrowed from Algerian popular culture: songs, jokes, poetry, recipes, board games, etc.

What shocked the public was a text on one of the t-shirts, in English and Arabic. It said: With each breath of the wind I see a hand on my pants and my hymen torn/Every night was a sharp body raid/Vaginal sacrifices for lustful gods/My nights were haunted by the cries of all those virgins whom they had/Scratched, molested, maimed, bitten, eaten/RAPED KILLED/After being blessed/By the penetrating holy word of Allah/The sperm of his Prophets/And the spittle of his apostles.

Benfodil explained that this is from his play Les Borgnes (The One-Eyed): “The words have been interpreted as an attack against Islam, but they refer to a phallocratic, barbarian and fundamentally freedom-killing god. It is the god of the GIA, the Armed Islamic Group, a sinister sect that raped and massacred tens of thousands of women at the height of the civil war in Algeria in the 1990s in the name of a pathological revolutionary paradigm, supposedly inspired by the Koranic ethics. My own Allah has nothing to do with the destructive divinities claimed by Algerian millenarian movements.”

None of the three curators, Suzanne Cotter, Rasha Salti, and Haig Aivazian had noticed the offending text and neither had Jack Persekian. Speaking to the Abu Dhabi newspaper The National, he said: “It was foolish of me, I had not looked at it carefully because I couldn’t: there were so many works and so many things to produce—films and books and publications and videos.” (Persekian had previously self-censored a film by American-Iranian director Caveh Zahedi that contained material which could have been considered blasphemous.)

In fact, it was only when ordinary Emiratis started to visit this neighbourhood with their families and school groups for the 15 Heritage Days, when there is traditional music and dance, that the shocking words were noticed. People began texting each other and the message got to the ruler very quickly. But there was no public rioting and no works of art were damaged.

Sheikha Hoor said: “There was vulgar and obscene language in this work. It seems that the physical and cultural context of the site was not explained enough to the artist; there was a lack of dialogue.We do not want to offend the people: our work is for their benefit—we are publically funded. And while we appreciate the fact that people are coming from abroad, we must not forget the local and regional population.”

Since his firing, many in the art world have spoken in support of Jack Persekian, who has worked with the biennial since 2005 and has been an authoritative influence in the Middle Eastern art scene.

Courtesy of The Art Newspaper

La Vertige de la Moraine. Isabelle Cornaro & Louise Nevelson

1m3, Lausanne. April 8 – May 22, 2011.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Olivier Rousteing

Balmain parted ways 3 weeks ago with Christophe Decarnin, its creative director of five years. Finally they announced that fellow Frenchman Olivier Rousteing is taking over.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Uniform Experiment Leica

Leica have teamed up with Hiroshi to create a limited edition version of their D-LUX 5 camera under Uniform Experiment, a Japanese experimental project for men's clothing founded in 2008. The D-LUX 5 itself hasn't changed a bit, apart from some Uniform Experiment branding on the front and top of the camera, but on this occasion the camera comes with an exclusively designed leather case. The case, of course, has the Uniform Experiment logo on it as well. The D-LUX 5 comes in a limited edition of 200 and will be released on 11 May for an approximate price of $1480. Ouch.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


JJ: How would you describe Levi’s® Made & Crafted™ and how does it differ from the Levi’s® Vintage Clothing line?

MD: Levi’s® Made & Crafted™ is a brand that reflects the future of Levi’s®. If LVC is about history, this new project is about a sense of understanding within the Levi’s® planet based on the question: "How would we approach this if we were to start Levi’s® today?" It instantly becomes about anything but fashion. It’s about utility, and practicality. It’s about building a brand, yes, but the term brand is maybe a bit misleading. It’s about responding to a new way of living - faster, slower, new. So we started experimenting and creating an identity for this new project.

Starting a new brand out of a long established one can’t be easy; especially when its gestation period is anything but private; it’s like having to grow up fast and in public.

It was definitely challenging. Starting from scratch, we had to ask ourselves questions like, “What does the label look like?" and "Why does it look like that? What’s the fabrication?” We made a lot of mistakes building this brand. At one point we looked too European. Then we looked too flat, too neutral. Our point of view wasn’t strong enough. We had to take into consideration many philosophical interpretations of what the project was about. We needed to be global and American - of course it’s Levi’s®. Even though we respect the idea of being a denim brand we want more than that. We can’t be happy with simply building another denim brand. So we focussed on looking and feeling non-denim. And this is considering that denim will always be part of our DNA. How to be based outside blue? Processing this was an amazing experience. We created a different design team, and we look at technology through different eyes.

What does it look like? As yet, I've not seen the product.

It’s LVC on the left and LMC on the right, old and new, dirty and clean. One is history and the other one is modernity. One is about being maniacal with reproduction of the past and the other is about looking at modern Americana with new eyes - thinking like we’re not even a clothing company. It’s as if we might even be designing chairs this time next year.

To me modern design, even when it comes to clothing is moving closer and closer to the ideas that underpin architecture for example. It’s about how it applies to the way we live.

Again, we’re not looking at Levi’s® Made & Crafted™as a classic piece of fashion or clothing, or anything trendy. It’s a wardrobe for the moment but it could be a house tomorrow. It’s about having that point of view. Our approach is very art and science, very industrial design. Maybe I’m not saying anything new. It’s not revolutionary per se, but it’s revolutionary for my company and it’s new in a way that keeps me smiling.

Funny because when I first heard that you were doing LVC, having spent some time with you in Vegas in 2009, I thought to myself: Ah, he’s not going to be happy. He’s doing vintage, vintage, vintage. He’s back doing vintage, like he was at RRL. He’ll be bored. What I know of you is that you’re very forward focused. So although there must be a great deal of satisfaction creating a brand which tapped into the vaults, I also had the feeling that you’d be eager to look ahead at this point in your career and start at year zero with a project as well.

It’s probably one of the most interesting projects in our industry today. Just thinking about connecting the notion of modern with Levi’s® seems weird. As a company so authenticity based and heritage focused, creating something new and modern out of that is what it’s about - that’s why I love this project.

It’s a big move for Levi’s® I guess; for you it must have felt like sneaking a CAD designer into an Arts and Crafts convention. It’s obviously a learning curve for the brand, but is it the same for you?

It’s a wonderful journey. I’ve never done anything like this professionally. It’s like being part of a cultural transformation. It’s more than material, fabric or jeans. It’s a real shift within a company that I, like so many other people, have been an admirer of ever since I was a child. My professional life, my journey, can stop now and it would be extremely rewarding just being one of the people working on this project. So, imagine how I approach everyday?

Thanks James

The Lancia Montecarlo VS the Fiat X1/8 VS The Chavvy Probe + a Capri

It is a widely held belief that the Montecarlo was a development of the Fiat X1/9. However there is some evidence to suggest the Montecarlo was a totally separate yet complementary development. Further evidence to this fact is found in the Pininfarina Centro Stile archives where the project code name is X1/8.

At the end of the Sixties the demand for conventional Fiat roadsters (850 and 124) was reducing, so they decided to study new 'closed' two-seaters. For this purpose the projects X1/8 and X1/9 were started. The X1/9 was released first and it allowed Fiat to check reactions on the market before launching the X1/20.

The type of car envisaged can be seen from these early drawings, made long before a single prototype was built.

The Fiat X1/8:

The Fiat X1/8 prototipo zero was built in July 1970.

The Fiat X1/8 prototipo uno was built January 20th 1971.

The Montecarlo...

The Montecarlo is generally the most sought-after Beta of all, a two-seater mid-engined coupe or convertible using essentially the same drivetrain as the 1995 cc carburettor cars, but with an entirely new Pininfarina-styled bodyshell (usually described as a 'Mini- Ferrari' due to its resemblance to many of the Pininfarina Ferraris.

In 1975 Lancia announced the launch of the Montecarlo at the Geneva motor show. Styled by Pininfarina, the new car was mid-engined and offered fine handling, and ride comfort. These prototypes were produced for motor shows across Europe and lent to journalists to review. I have an example of such a review from Autocar 11 October 1975 shortly after the car was exhibited at Earls Court. There were some complaints about the rear vibility as the car had solid rear quarter panels above the engine bay. Lancia promised that cars would become available "early in 1976", a timescale that was never met. a nutshell, this was Lancia. Like the guy you really, really fancy but is late for every date and is practically falling apart at the seams, but you love him regardless because..well..he's hot. & has that "something".

Lancia Montecarlo.

Oh how you all laughed at my Ford Probe. But it's a poor man's Capri, which is a slightly richer European man's Lancia Montecarlo. Only the Probe, in all its vulgarity (mine was metallic purple with purple puma's embroidered on the seats and a gold number plate surround - all this came with the car. In, well, Ohio.), it doesn't break down all the time.. It won't rust.

But let's face it, if it was late for a date by 5 minutes you'd fuck off home and not answer its calls. The Capri... I'd give it a second chance. But not a third.

1970's Ford Probe Concept.

1970's Ford Capri MKII.

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Russian Criminal Tattoo Art Images

The accompanying photographs by Sergei Vasiliev act as an important counterpart to Baldaev's drawings, providing photographic evidence of their authenticity, and allowing us a glimpse into this compelling and extraordinary world. In these incredible images the nameless bodies of criminals act as both a text and mirror, reflecting and preserving the ever-changing folklore of the Russian criminal underworld.

This edition of photographs has been made with the full co-operation of the photographer.
They were taken between 1989 and 1993 in prisons and reform settlements across Chelyabinsk,
Nizhny Tagil, Perm and St. Petersburg.

Saturday, April 16, 2011