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