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Aesthetica Issue 57 February/March Out Now

Experimentation is the key component to innovation. It’s essential to try new things and to gather your inspiration from as many sources as possible. This means that you have to step outside of your comfort zone from time to time, and engage with something that you might not normally encounter. Inside Issue 57, we begin with a discussion around the parameters of photography and the role that light, colour and subject play with What Is a Photograph?

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Review of Berlin Fashion Week

Berlin Fashion Week drew to a close on 19 January and Aesthetica takes a look at some of the trends beginning to emerge in streetwear. Bright trade show presented some of the biggest competitors in the casual streetwear market and drew a sharp contrast with the trends appearing at high-end presentations such as Premium and Bread & Butter. It appears that where high-end fashion is rejecting Modernism in favor of a simple lifestyle and clothing to match, casualwear is embracing the technological revolution and the hectic lifestyle to go with it. However, regardless of the ideological differences, there were still some strong similarities throughout. 

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Bread & Butter at Berlin Fashion Week

The Bread & Butter trade show at Berlin Fashion Week demonstrates the importance of the craft behind the garment. The emphasis on heritage, bespoke tailoring and quality was apparent even within the retail environments and visual merchandising. One of the reoccurring interior design elements of the show was reminiscent of classic style Swiss chalets, featuring excessive amounts of animal hides, piles of chopped wood and mounted animal horns. In keeping with this theme, Bread & Butter present a “new gentleman” trend, full of  lumberjack shirts, leather boots and thick knit jumper and hats.

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Berlin Fashion Week: Capsule Trade Show Review

Entering the Capsule trade show at Berlin Fashion Week was like entering the height of shabby-chic. Minimal metal bars displaying clothes stood alongside bare wooden crates, industrial concrete flooring and original brick walls. The interior of this urban factory-style building reflected the trends that would be found in the Spring /Summer 14 collections. Aesthetica takes a look at the trends emerging at the start of Berlin Fashion Week.

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Review of Alaïa at Palais Galliera and Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, Paris

Celebrating the reopening of the Palais Galliera, the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris presents a retrospective of fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa, uniting his most outstanding creations. The exhibition is split over two chapters: the first défilé of numerous remarkable exhibits by Alaïa are in the salon and galleries of Palais Galliera, and the second in the Salle Matisse of the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris.

Siezure, (2008), Roger Hiorns. An Artangel commission. Photo by Marcus Leith.

Artangel Open – Deadline 28 February 2014

Artangel Open is inviting artists working in all media across the UK to submit bold, site-specific proposals that will transform and enrich the UK’s cultural landscape. Championing innovation and creativity is at the heart of this project; a £1 million initiative running in alliance with BBC Radio 4. Deadline for submissions is 28 February 2014.

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5 To See This Weekend

Running into the mid-point of December and with just days to go until the all-important business of Christmas truly begins, this weekend is unquestionably the one to take a breather from the festivities to revel in the best exhibitions still on offer at galleries around the world. From stylish fashion illustration to prize-winning portraits, a cobbled road in Bradford to the streets of Italy, there’s plenty going on this Saturday and Sunday to drag you away from the mince pies and Christmas shopping. Here’s five of the best.

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Art Basel Miami Beach Day Two

The second day of Art Basel Miami Beach is upon us and there are still hundreds of galleries to check out. Participants from Europe, North America, Latin America, Asia, and Africa make up the impressive list of exhibitors at this year’s event. The different galleries present historical work from the masters of Modern and contemporary art, as well as newly created pieces by emerging stars. If you are unsure of what to see today, with such a vast selection on display, check out some of our recommended stands below.

Review of Isabella Blow: Fashion Galore! at Somerset House, London

Exhibitions at Somerset House are always an event, vibrant and full of personality; Fashion Galore! continues along this thread, portraying the life of Isabella Blow (1958-2007) – model, muse, designer and stylist – through over 100 pieces from her own iconic wardrobe.

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Issue 56 December / January Out Now

Issue 56 December / January of Aesthetica is in shops now! In this edition we consider the importance of reflecting upon the things you have done, as well as those you didn’t do and will go on to do in the future. We start with Hello, my name is Paul Smith, which is on now at the Design Museum, London, and looks at the art, fashion and creative ingenuity of one of Britain’s leading designers. We also examine The Desire for Freedom. Art in Europe since 1945 at MOCAK in Krakow, Poland. At MoMA in New York, European art is also being showcased: Isa Genzken’s installations and sculptures are the subject of a massive retrospective, which surveys the layers of her work.

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Miles Aldridge at the launch of the House of Peroni, London

This November House of Peroni, London, opens its doors to celebrate  Italian style and creativity with Miles Aldridge.  Fashion photographer, Aldridge,  is inspired by Federico Fellini’s era-defining film, 8 1/2, forming one of the centrepieces of the launch. Bringing all the glamour and beauty of Italian contemporary film into this residency of culture and cuisine, the artist helps kick-off 30 days of sizzling style on Portland Place.

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Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion, The Peabody Essex Museum

Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion, is an exhibition of nearly 100 dresses, skirts, gowns and suits that celebrate the innovation of contemporary Japanese fashion designers. The Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts, will present this stunning collection of clothes from 16 November until 26 January. For decades, designers such as Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto have directed both couture and popular fashion, launching a revolution that marks the first time a non-Western culture has significantly transformed the global fashion world.

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Interview with Madelief Hohé, Curator of The Chanel Legend

The designs of Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel have influenced and inspired designers for decades. The name Chanel is synonymous with the Paris fashion elite and the modern woman. Now directed by Karl Lagerfeld, the company goes from strength to strength. The Chanel Legend at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag explores the company and the creative directors in an extensive overview. We speak to curator Madelief Hohé about her approach to the Chanel archive and also the continued contribution of Lagerfeld on the industry.

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Issue 55 October/November Aesthetica Out Now

Issue 55 of Aesthetica is in shops now. This issue concentrates on redefinitions as a way of constructing new meaning. The artists featured expand across decades of contemporary practice, and the works included test the resilience of the artist. Inside we start with a look at Elmgreen & Dragset’s latest installation Tomorrow, which takes over the former Textile Galleries at the V&A, London. The artists have created an apartment belonging to a fictional, elderly and disillusioned architect to comment on the loneliness and alienation ever-present in today’s society.

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Interview with Rufio Summers

The Shoreditch Fashion Show returns again this autumn. Running on 12 October, the second show for 2013 follows the success of the first in April. Hosted by OffBeat, the event includes a dynamic guest programme showcasing the best in emerging UK fashion design, art and music. The audience will get an exclusive preview of designs from young designers from the world’s top fashion colleges, notably the London College of Fashion and Central St.Martins. Aesthetica speaks to one of the music acts, Rufio Summers, about his participation in the event and his dream collaborations.

Bora Aksu Spring/Summer 2014 Catwalk (The Opening Show of London Fashion Week), Somerset House, LONDON,

Born and raised in the Aegean town of İzmir, Turkey, to a family of doctors, Bora Aksu trained at the Central Saint Martins College of Arts and Design and this year celebrated his 10th year participation in the London Fashion Week with a dazzling opening show sponsored by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism of the Republic of Turkey. While sitting and waiting for the show to commence, there was a noticeable level of enthusiasm and excitement amongst fashion-lovers. What is so fascinating is Aksu’s skill in putting together an incredible spectacle with his choice of music and fabrics, designs and emotions, cultural differences and a synthesis of Turkish culture and western tastes. Chiffon, silk tulles, hand woven textiles which he purchased from village women in Şirince and Nazarköy in Turkey adorns the light, tom-boyish outfits with splashes of hidden femininity and naivety.

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Body/Head, MCA Chicago

The co-founder and bassist of Sonic Youth, Kim Gordon, returns to the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (MCA) to perform as Body/Head, a project with free-noise guitarist Bill Nace. The duo began after Sonic Youth broke up in 2011 as an instrumental side project and now features scripted improvisation and songs with vocals by Gordon. Using a slow-motion film projection as their backdrop, the pair creates a dream-like narrative of guitar instrumentations, feedback, and vocals. The MCA Stage concert marks the Chicago debut of Body/Head and is part of a national tour to support the release of the band’s double album, Coming Apart, which came out 10 September. 

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Formento+Formento: Circumstance

This September Formento+Formento celebrates the launch of a new artbook, Circumstance. The book will be released by YellowKorner internationally and will arrive in the UK on 12 September and in France on 18 September. The photographic duo, made up of BJ and Rochelle Formento, will attend a special evening event on Wednesday 18 September at the YellowKorner gallery in the Pompidou centre. Featured on two covers of Aesthetica, Formento+Formento’s striking frames uncover cinematic beauty and theatrical stories.

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Interview with Luciano Benetton, on their new collection – Imago Mundi

As a great traveller and a lover of art, iconic Benetton clothing brand founder Luciano Benetton has extended his passion for entrepreneurial and memorably inclusive fashion into an arena that his family’s foundation is newly colonising: Living Art History. The Fondazione Benetton’s Imago Mundi project is a collection of over two thousand artworks with a 10 x 12 cm format, commissioned by the Benettons of established and emerging international artists, with the goal of uniting the diversities of our contemporary cultures in the widest possible mapping of 21st Century world art, for future centuries to glorify and decode.

Review of Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast, City Art Centre, Edinburgh

Coming into Fashion – a unique glimpse into the most sparkling and striking of images from the international Condé Nast archives- is both a history lesson in glamour and an ode to scintillating, beautiful photography. Spanning the decades and the stream of cover girls from across Condé Nast’s infamously stylish publications, including Vogue, Glamour and Vanity Fair, curator, Nathalie Herschdorfer, creates of the exhibition a linear stroll along emerging and ever-changing elegance and allure, both in photography and ideals of femininity.

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A Journey Through London’s Subculture: 1980s to Now, ICA Off-Site

A Journey Through London’s Subculture: 1980s to Now at the Old Selfridges Hotel in London is part of the ICA’s Off-Site summer series, which started with Glastonbury Festival. The exhibition illustrates a perceived thread of creativity between the post-punk era and the present day – a legacy that underpins London’s incredible creative potential in the present. Taking over the first floor of the hotel, the project will bring together up to 60 influential figures from London’s creative scene from the 1980s to the present, spanning art, design, architecture, fashion, club culture and food. Participants include Tom Dixon, Zaha Hadid, Nicola Tyson, Bodymap, Sarah Lucas, Giles Deacon, Julie Verhoeven, Matthew Darbyshire, Louise Gray, SIBLING, David Waddington and Pablo Flack (Bistroteque), Bethan Laura Wood and Lucky PDF.

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Miles Aldridge: SHORT BREATHS at Brancolini Grimaldi, London

SHORT BREATHS is Brancolini Grimaldi’s first exhibition of work by Miles Aldridge to coincide with his major retrospective at Somerset House, I Only Want You to Love Me, (10 July until 29 September). Presented as large scale prints, SHORT BREATHS brings together a body of work which explores sensuality and malaise in modern life through a language of vivid colour and unexplained narratives. Aldridge’s images of beautiful women placed in a hermetically sealed parallel universe of luxury are both thrilling and unsettling. Executed with the precision of a Hollywood movie, their power derives from the tension created between exterior perfection and internal turmoil.

Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast at City Art Centre, Edinburgh

The great American photographer Edward Steichen took what were probably the first fashion photographs in 1911. Since then it has become a unique platform for experimentation, balanced between commerce and creativity, recording the Zeitgeist and capturing individual dreams and desires. Coming into Fashion: A Century of Photography at Condé Nast is part of the Edinburgh Art Festival currently running across the city, the selection of outstanding photographs appear at the City Art Centre until 8 September.

Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s, V&A

The information available for the V&A’s latest exhibition, Club to Catwalk: London Fashion in the 1980s instantly inspires thoughts of the 2003 film Party Monster. Those who have seen it will remember that this riddling film is the true story of Michael Alig, a deluded Club Kid party organiser who moved to New York and entered a dark yet glamorous world. The 1980s was an incredibly creative decade in which the fashion of the club was slowly but surely carried onto the catwalk in the major capitals of the world. The many sub-cultures that formed and which still exist today, in some form or another, were founded on the basis of the nightlife in clubs. Curated by Claire Wilcox, V&A’s Head of Fashion, the exhibition covers the sub-cultures and their distinctive fashions, as well as the interpretations of now renowned fashion designers on the fashions of the club scene.

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Edinburgh Art Festival

The Edinburgh Art Festival returns to Scotland from 1 August, immersing the city in cultural explorations of art. Running until 1 September, the festival features no less than 50 exhibitions across 30 venues. Celebrating the location of Edinburgh and the many gallery spaces across the city, the event is the UK’s largest annual festival dedicated to visual art. Alongside the many exhibitions and events there is an ambitious commissioning programme that takes art out onto the streets. Looking at the theme Parley, the commissioned works explore communication either with the city or with audiences.

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Review of PUNK: Chaos to Couture at the Costume Institute at the MetropolitanMuseum of Art, New York

Punk was an attitude and an aesthetic, a movement which provoked anti-establishment with exhibitionist flair. According to John Lydon (Johnny Rotten of the Sex Pistols), “Punk was like nothing anybody had seen before, like nothing. Punk was fearless. Utterly fearless.” With this fearlessness came its unabashed fashions, its intended chaos of cut-offs and chains which has been captured and appropriated by high-end designers into relics of couture. PUNK: Chaos to Couture, at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, nods to the birthplaces of punk before progressing through a series of four Do-it-yourself themes of punk fashion.  

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Interview with Artist & Creator of Playlust, Play Hunter

Born and bred in Zurich, Play Hunter is an artist, author and creative entrepreneur. Studying Fine Arts at Saint Martins College of Art, London, Hunter set up her website Playlust back in 2007. Six years later, what began as just a space for portraits of artist friends, transformed into a hub of artistic discussion across the world. Aesthetica speaks to Hunter about her inspiration, her exhibitions and her first photo book Now & Wow – A Style Hunter’s Book of Photographs.

10 to See: Degree Shows

At Aesthetica we like to keep an eye on emerging artists, and one of the best ways to do that is to take note of the numerous degree shows open this summer. Picking our ten favourites, we count down the best art presentations this June. We also take a moment to interview a few successful graduates, to investigate the value of an art degree and the benefits of their chosen Universities. Running from Glasgow to Plymouth, we give you a snippet into each show. Keep an eye on the blog for interviews with graduates in the next few weeks.

Daniele Tamagni: Global Style Battles, London

Italian photographer,  Daniele Tamagni, comes to ArtEco to exhibit a collection of works from 2007 to date. Global Style Battles is a diverse selection of images, celebrating music and fashion in a colourful display of photographic skill. Running 24 May until 22 June, the showcase includes pieces like The Flying Cholitas, Playboys of Bacongo, Havana Glam and Afrometal. A street photographer,  Tamagni has traveled to places as exotic as Africa and Cuba. 

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Miles Aldridge’s Carousel, London

Film-maker turned fashion designer Miles Aldridge has delivered seductive sirens silk-screened in an electrifying palette to the forefront of the fashion world for 15 years. Although beginning his artistic career in the studios of Central St Martins, his photographs are heavy with references to 1950s America, reminding of Stepford wives and the blinding lights of Hollywood.

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Palace Art and Craft Fair, London

For the third year, the Palace Art and Craft Fair returns to London, 17 – 19 May. Organised by the team behind the highly successful and well established Brighton Art Fair, MADE LONDON and MADE BRIGHTON, this year the fair becomes an art, craft and design fair; a small scale more intimate event showcasing highest quality and original contemporary art and design across all media. Located in the beautiful grounds and main building of Fulham Palace, the historic Tudor/Georgian Palace, formerly the country home of the Bishops of London right by the river at Putney Bridge, is the perfect spot for perusing and purchasing art.

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Tate Liverpool is 25

Since 1988, Tate Liverpool has been the home of some of the world’s most important art works and attracted 15 million visitors. Opening its doors on 24 May, 1988, the gallery has become the most visited venue for modern and contemporary art outside of London. The gallery has already received several birthday wishes in the form of postcards, letters, emails and artworks, from Wayne Hemingway, Anthony McCall, Yoko Ono, Ed Ruscha, Bob and Roberta Smith, Zarina Bhimji and Colin Self. From 17 May until 2 June, Tate Liverpool will be celebrating in style with a specially curated exhibition entitled  Tate Liverpool is 25.

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PUNK: Chaos to Couture, New York

The Costume Institute of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, open PUNK: Chaos to Couture this May. Running 9 May until 14 August, the exhibition collates one of the most significant and political forms of fashion as it explores punk’s influence on high fashion. Beginning at the birth of punk in the 1970s, PUNK: Chaos to Couture  spans the transformation of the movement, concluding with its resonating impact today.

Claire Aho: Studio Works, The Photographers’ Gallery, London

Claire Aho has produced a prolific output, covering editorial, advertising, fashion photography and reportage. From this substantial body of work the selection of photographs exhibited at The Photographers’ Gallery were taken between 1950 and the late 1960s. In the early 1950s, Aho opened a commercial studio in Helsinki. Here she undertook every aspect of the image making process: casting, styling, lighting and developing. This exhibition focuses on her studio work.

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Review of Bowie Is, London

When an important, popular figure dies, fans seem to need more than their legacy – more than their work – to remember them by, to cling to them through. Physical mementoes, objects – things which that specific person touched, used, loved – are obsessed over; particles of skin and saliva on a napkin George Harrison used take on strange importance. Voyeurism and celebrity obsession have grown to a point now where people are paying up to $15,000 for a pair of stained underpants worn by Elvis Presley, a rumoured million for a pair of John Lennon’s glasses, and, perhaps most bizarrely, $45,000 for a set of three X-rays of Marilyn Monroe’s chest. However, this strange obsession we seem to have with the physical remnants left in the wake of our popular icons can be traced back a surprisingly long way. Darwin’s beard, for example, Abraham Lincoln’s hair and even Galileo’s finger have survived decomposition and remain, today, preserved behind glass for us all to gawk at.

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Mulberry Opens Their First Store in Berlin

British luxury brand Mulberry has opened its first store in Berlin on prestigious street, Kurfürstendamm. This new store continues the brand’s expansion into major European cities and reinforces the brand identity through a dedicated retail space. Mulberry is internationally known for luxury leather craftsmanship. Founded in 1971 in the English countryside, the brand is one of the last British luxury brands to still retain and invest in leather goods manufacturing in the UK, and has built a reputation for balancing creativity and modernity with the traditions of luxury leather craft.

Patternity: Pattern Power/Superstripe, London

In a cultural festival of pattern exploration, Patternity present Pattern Power/Superstripe at the London Newcastle Project Space from 6 April. The exhibition opens a series of events that explore the powerful presence of pattern and it’s impressive ability to positively inspire and connect humanity. Living in a world of patterns, the shapes and colours surrounding us can often be overlooked, this collection draws audiences to look at these familiar angles with a new perspective. 

POP! Design Culture Fashion, The Civic, Barnsley

Pop! Design Culture Fashion opens 4 April at The Civic, Barnsely, celebrating poodle skirts, rockers, Mods, kitsch glamour and 1970s retro. A reminder of when British popular culture first captivated the world, the exhibition uncovers a time when popular images, music, art and fashion blurred the boundaries of commerce, culture and style. Between the optimism of 1955 and the disillusion of Punk, the “Pop” generation created a lifestyle, which reached its apogee in 1966 in “Swinging London”, and values which constantly challenged those of wider society.

6 To See this Bank Holiday Weekend

With four days off and weather that doesn’t compliment outdoor activities or picnics, art exhibitions are an obvious solution for Bank Holiday boredom. However, wherever you are in the world, the weekend is always a great time to leisurely explore local art exhibitions. From Amsterdam to New York we uncover the best in contemporary art in both Public and Private galleries across a variety of practices. Whether it be fandom at David Bowie Is… or destruction in Sara Cwynar’s Everything In the Studio (Destroyed) these shows provoke a range of responses.

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Louis Vuitton unveiles Stéphane Couturier’s first solo exhibition: Mutation in Hong Kong

Louis Vuitton unveiled today Stéphane Couturier’s first solo exhibition in Hong Kong: Mutation at Espace Louis Vuitton Hong Kong opening to the public tomorrow, Thursday 21 March. Curated by William Zhao, the exhibition will feature a survey of Couturier’s work with key photographs from the Melting Point, Landscaping and Urban Archeology series, alongside a new series of photographs and videos drawing out the architectural themes and details of the current construction of the Frank Gehry designed Louis Vuitton Foundation For Creation in Paris.