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Interview with Fashion Designer Karen Mabon

Karen Mabon’s designs are beautiful, bold and brash. All hand-illustrated, her silk scarves combine delicate drawing with playful and quirky aesthetics. With designs that cover everything from a British garden to a stationary cupboard, Mabon transforms everyday clothing into works of art. Her pieces have appeared in the likes of Cosmopolitan, Elle UK, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar and she also produces clothing and jewellery. We speak to Mabon about her journey into the fashion industry and her favourite designers.

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Interview with Fashion Designer Isabel Wong

Bringing together simplicity, contemporary design and experimental form, Isabel Wong is a luxury womenswear designer based in London. Interested in translating  conceptualism into wearable products, Wong is often inspired by paradox and enigma. She is also concerned with innovation and sustainability and often utilises unusual materials in her pieces. Aesthetica speaks to Wong about her design process and British fashion.

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NOISE Festival Open for Entries

NOISE Festival is now open for entries. The award-winning national arts charity has announced an outstanding line up of Curators to handpick online entries for the 2014 event, including fashion designer Giles Deacon, games legend Ian Livingstone CBE (Tomb Raider), architect Sir Nicholas Grimshaw (Eden Project), pioneering musician Brian Eno, acclaimed cartoonist Gerald Scarfe CBE (Pink Floyd’s The Wall), cult horror film writer Clive Barker, photographer Elaine Constantine, and arts broadcaster Tim Marlow (White Cube Gallery) and more.

Interview with Fashion Photographer and Filmmaker Kourtney Roy

Kourtney Roy’s striking fashion photography is currently on the cover of Aesthetica. Roy began her career with the intention of becoming a painter. However, after taking a photography course she quickly found a passion for the instantaneous nature of this art form, enjoying being able to immediately capture a scene as it was unfolding. The photographer was born in Ontario, Canada and now lives in France, and her images draw on a large selection of artists such as Jeff Wall, Guy Bourdin, Stephen Shore and Francis Bacon. This year the Aesthetica Short Film Festival launches a Fashion Film strand and Roy has also produced a number of these glamorous short films. She speaks to us about her narrative construction and the benefits of fashion film.

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Hello, My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum London

Newly extended due to popular demand is the exhibition at London’s Design Museum, Hello, My Name is Paul Smith, that will run until 22 June. Looking at the work of this British Designer, the exhibition highlights at the impressive selection of work from this iconic men’s wear designer.

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Aesthetica Issue 58 April/May Out Now

Aesthetica Issue 58 April/May is now available online and in stores. We are at a particularly good time for artistic output. It’s not a coincidence that this reflects the extraordinary things that are happening in the world. The first 14 years of this millennium have progressed so exponentially, it’s simply staggering. It’s a moment of reflection, but also one of anticipation; the artists of today are helping us to make sense of it all.

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International Festival of Fashion & Photography – Hyères

Running for nearly 30 years, the International Festival of Fashion & Photography – Hyères returns 25 – 28 April. Conceived by director Jean-Pierre Blanc back in 1985, the event combines fashion and photography competitions. Every year the glamorous show brings together 1o emerging fashion designers and 10 young photographers under the patronage of an international jury, highlighting some of the most important practitioners working in the visual arts today.

OBEY Collaborates with Artist Deedee Cheriel

Visual artist, Nalini “Deedee” Cheriel, has teamed up with OBEY clothing to produce a unique fashion collection. The artist started out creating record covers and T-shirts for the Oregon music scene in the early 1990s and has since gone to become an acclaimed practitioner. Her bold and colourful designs now adorn several sweatshirts, vests and t-shirts for OBEY, making for a stand-out item in anyone’s wardrobe.

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The Glamour of Italian Fashion 1945 – 2014 at the V&A

Stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Elizabeth Taylor became style ambassadors for Italian fashion in the 1950s and 1960s and this exhibition from the Victoria and Albert Museum aims to trace the history of Italian Glamour from 1945 to the Present day. Told by the companies that contributed to the glamour, on display will be around 100 ensembles and accessories by leading Italian fashion houses including Simonetta, Pucci, Sorelle Fontana, Valentino, Gucci, Missoni, Giorgio Armani, Dolce & Gabbana, Fendi, Prada and Versace, through to the next generation of fashion talent.

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Vee Speers: Bordello, The Little Black Gallery

Opening next week on 4 March at The Little Black Gallery, London, is a new exhibition from Australian artist Vee Speers. Bordello is a searing vision of Parisian decadence, taking inspiration from the interiors and vibrancy of the city in the 1920s and 1930s. Shot on location in Paris, Speers’ work is set against the backdrop of surviving bordellos, where the lavish interiors have been preserved. Her photographs provide a seductive exploration of the female form and are produced using a hand-rendered Fresson charcoal process, lending Speer’s images an authentic quality.

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Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days AW14

Showcasing an international comprehension of design, Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion Days were back this season to celebrate their second year at London Fashion Week. Almost functioning as a taster menu the designers were stacked eclectically back to back. The talent came from emerging designers such as: Anna K, Lara Quint, Lera Leshchova, Paskal, Irina Krasilnikova and Yasya Minochkina.

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London Fashion Week: Belle Sauvage

Cult cool, design duo Virginia Ferreira and Chris Neuman never fail to cause a stir. However this season they have steered away from their archetypal East London look, citing their muse as the refined “Parisian woman”. The show notes told a tale of an “Iconic Parisian woman during the devastation of WWI” although it was immediately apparent that their vision was not one of a victim.

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London Fashion Week: Bernard Chandran

In a city where dining experiences “pop-up”, sales flash, and oysters are a tasteless travel ticket, fashion has had to break from a light jog into a sprint. Ready for submersion into a harsh urban sphere, Bernard Chandran’s AW14 collection channels all of the strongest parts of menswear tailoring, with the cinching and finesse of women’s wear.

Bottega Veneta and Pieter Hugo: The Art of Collaboration

Fashion house, Bottega Veneta, has joined forces with South African photographer, Pieter Hugo, to shoot the Spring /Summer campaign. Every season the new collection is conceived and captured by an exceptional photographer in conjunction within Creative Director Tomas Maier. Other artists to have worked for the house include Alex Prager, Nan Goldin, Sam Taylor-Wood and many more. The Art of Collaboration is a series of films documenting Maier and Hugo’s vision, unifying fashion and art in a stylish and creative film.

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Interview with Artist Johny Dar

Rankin, artist Johny Dar and model and actress, Tuuli Shipster, have teamed up to produce the stunning calendar, Tuuli by DAR. Inspired by the artist’s art series, DAR the BOOK, Dar hand-painted his designs directly onto Tuuli’s body, transforming her into twelve different forms that were captured by Rankin. Dar cast his beautiful designs across Tuuli’s bare skin, tailoring every brush stroke to her body, and to her emotional response to each colour and pattern. Aesthetica speaks to the artist about his approach to this unique project and his plans for the future.

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Read Aesthetica on Your iPad, iPhone and Android Devices

You can now read Aesthetica Magazine wherever you are with our new digital subscriptions accessible via iPad, iPhone and Android devices. A bi-monthly publication, Aesthetica brings you the latest news in contemporary art and culture. It is the ultimate destination for discovering industry developments, ground-breaking exhibitions and world-class artists.

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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.

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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.