Thursday, 31 July 2014

A Gnarmads Life for Boys By Girls Magazine

 If you think the guys behind Gnarmads are just another two Larry Clark-esque kids splitting their time between the half-pipe and house parties, you are in for a big surprise. Whilst these guys are about as laid back as they come, make no mistake about it, Bodgand and Matt Kruz are in it for more than just a few kickflips.

Kiev-born Bogdan and Brooklyn-born Kruz first bonded over their love of skating on a Sunset Park basketball court over a decade ago. Today, the 23-year-olds spend their time skating, biking and giving back to their community through various charity and mentoring projects. “Skateboarding has no boundaries. Race doesn’t matter, age doesn’t matter - if you share a love for skateboarding, that automatically connects you,” Kruz comments.

As Gnarmads (inspired by Bogdan’s ‘gnar’ knee tattoo and both of their nomadic lifestyles) the two have launched the world’s first mobile skate shop, Tre Truck, collaborated with the Create Skateboard Foundation on children’s skating programmes, and put on a skateboard contest in NYC’s Coleman Park Skatepark among other things.
This month sees Bogdan and Kruz set off on their biggest adventure yet: a cross-country bike journey from NYC to San Francisco, with all benefits proceeding the Stoke Organization’s youth mentoring programs. “Skateboarding teaches you how to keep going no matter how many times you fail. There are tricks that I’ve practised for months, walking back every single week with failure and wanting to break my skateboard and quit. But then the next day you wake up and that rush is still there. That's why we are now riding our bicycles to San Francisco: we want to just keep pushing forward,” Bogdan says. In between the 4,000+ miles on their way to California, Gnarmads will make pit stops in 13 different cities to do skate clinics and organise jams to showcase local skate culture, documenting their journey through photos, videos and written content in the process.

As with all things the two have pursued thus far, there seems to be an accompanying sense of ease and positivity even to this very ambitious project. “We’re planning to be on the road for at least four months,” Bogdan explains. “We are not even trying to plan anything after that - anything could happen. This is probably going to be the biggest adventure of our life.” Support the project here and for regular updates follow Gnarmads’ visual diaries.

Read the entire post here.

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Nastasia Alberti Interview for A Shaded View on Fashion

Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,

Annin Arts is bringing art to the masses, literally, with their latest exhibition #MYNAMEIS. The show sees five artworks by Nastasia Alberti, Duval Timothy, Kevin Morosky, Annie Mackin and Gillian Wearing displayed on single billboards throughout London. While #MYNAMEIS brings up intriguing questions surrounding a different kind of interaction with art outside of exclusive gallery walls, its main focus lies in the importance, perception and burdens of names.London-based artist Nastasia Alberti chose Slutever blogger and Vogue columnist Karley Sciortino as her subject, depicting the writer in a sepia-toned portrait. In the following interview, Alberti discusses hours of location scouting in public libraries, the single image that inspired her to take up photography and why art consumption needs to catch up with our busy schedules.

When was the first time you realized you were interested in photography?
I start being interested in it when I was about 13 or 14 years old. I can remember that moment exactly: I went to an exhibition with my family and saw a Francesca Woodman photograph, the one where she's disappearing into the wall. That image had a very strong impact on me. Somehow it was showing what I was feeling. From then on, I wanted to do the same.

How do you go about creating your images and what inspires them?
I usually get inspired by my own life. I try to talk about emotions, about feelings.

What was the working process on this exhibition like?
It was really quick. The first aspect was choosing the girl and then timing. When George Annin told me about the exhibition and the subject that Gillian Wearing wanted us to work with, I got a bit freaked out because it was far away from what I usually do. But once I passed that stage it was really fun. I proposed my idea of working with Karley Sciortino to the gallery and they completely supported me, which was great. So then it was only a matter of organization, I had to go to NYC to see her.

Talk to me about the composition and overall feel you were going for in your photograph.
I wanted something moody but peaceful in her expression and an image that somehow would show Karley as a strong person. It was very important that she was seated at a desk surrounded by books. We walked around in the NYC library for hours to find the right place. I really wanted the photo to remind people of those old portrait paintings of writers, where they were always pictured sitting at their old desks with glasses on, looking very wealthy and serious.

How do you see the photograph interpreting the themes of the exhibition?
I really wanted to create a piece on the expectation that goes with names, the idea of clichés and stereotypes that a name can bring. Everyone in the show has done such a different and personal piece of work which is really awesome.

What was the collaboration with Karley Sciortino like and why did you choose her as your subject?
It was so much fun! I love her so much. We basically hung out in NYC all day talking about our lives and taking some photographs. She is the best person to work with because she is very open. She trusts you to do whatever you think is best. When I decided I needed to talk about stereotypes and clichés that came with a name I needed someone with a strong image. It obviously needed to be someone that when you say their name you have an image of said person pop up in your mind straight away.

I thought of Karley straight away because she is the perfect example. I feel that she is one of the best writers of our generation, and she's so smart, but as soon as you mention her name the first thing people seem to have in mind is not her writing but more her boobs, her sexy clothes, her hair, etc. Just because she talks about sex does not mean that she only has to be this sexy girl. It's so cliched and one-dimensional. People have put her in that box : the super sexy writer who talk about sex. So for me, depicting her in a classic portrait looking so different was thrilling, because this seems to be the image that writer should have, which is also a cliché. It was also important for me to work with a woman.

How do you see the public’s interaction with these images, displayed on billboards throughout London, differing from that of a gallery setting? Do you think these kind of shows are perhaps more relevant to our times?
I think it's a brilliant idea, it is relevant to our times and an easier way to consume art that matches our busy lives in this ever-changing social climate. I have a tendency to think that gallery shows are always a bit too snobbish, and not that open to everyone. For me this setting is so much more open, you don't need to take your Saturday off work to go to a gallery, you can just walk to your shop and see art. It's so smart. Everyone is included in this; you can be a young kid and still have access to it. I love that idea.

What are your upcoming projects and goals for the future?
Recently I've been very interested in working in cinema, on set photographs. I would really like to do that for a bit. I'm also gathering more material in order to hopefully publish a book by the end of next year. My biggest project at the moment is getting my US visa as I would like to settle down in NYC for a long time.

#MYNAMEIS is on display until July 7 at the following locations:Karley Sciortino by Nastasia Alberti - 129/127 Hackney Road, E2 7QS - Billboard no 0237
Gillian Wearing by Gillian Wearing - London Bridge Station, SE1 9SL - Billboard no 1331

Lateefa Smith / Chang Jian Wen by Kevin Morosky - 178 Westbourne Grove, W11 2AD - Billboard no 1458
Annie Mac by Annie Mackin - Camden Town, Camden Road Station, NW1 9LS - Billboard no 1105

'London Bridge Arizona Arizona London Bridge' by Duval Timothy - London Bridge Station, Duke Street Hill, SE1 2SW - Billboard no 8171


View the full article here.

Beautiful Savage: The Man Issue for A Shaded View on Fashion

Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,
Most magazines, upon releasing an edition called The Man Issue, would probably scout a cover star with A-list credentials, a six-pack and expertly coiffed hair. Then again, Beautiful Savage isn't like most magazines.
For the cover of its third issue, the independent art and fashion glossy chose model, DJ and Lana del Rey music video regular Bradley Soileau. With his delicate features and heavily tattooed exterior, Soileau is the perfect embodiment of the issue's theme of modern masculinity. Inside the magazine, readers will find interviews with the likes of JD Samson, Sebastian Errazuriz, Asher Levine and Theo Gosselin. "The whole magazine is about telling stories about people who do beautiful and challenging pieces of work. I never worked at a magazine before, and I was like, 'fuck it. let's just make something really dark and cool'. Beautiful Savage, was a name I chose to represent visually stunning works that possess subversive or challenging themes," explains the magazine's editior-in-chief Chad Saville.
The story behind the birth of Beautiful Savage is just as unconventional as its content. After suffering from a spinal cord injury that nearly left him paralyzed, Saville was inspired to start the magazine in February 2013. "My friends, a bunch of photographers, artists, and basically art and fashion nerds, would hang out with me a lot and like take out my trash and make my bed for me. And I sort of rediscovered journalism through my love of art and fashion and magazines. During that time, the only thing I would do is take pictures and hang out in art galleries," he explains. 
In the end, it begs to question: what is the ethos that lies at the heart of Beautiful Savage? "Our mission is to connect with jaw-dropping artists and to tell their story. We're not really interested in who's a celebrity, or the illusion of exclusivity, or fashion parties and all that stuff," Saville says. "It's more about, who really are the important artists, independent or otherwise, and what makes them remarkable."

Read the full article here.

Giovanni Sammarco Interview for Basenotes

The story of Giovanni Sammarco’s company is best described as one of a road less taken: originally (and still currently studying as) a law student, he soon transitioned into perfume-making after discovering the world of fragrance and has since relocated to Switzerland to create artisanal fragrances without EU restrictions.

Today the exuberant Italian sells perfumes, raw materials and bespoke fragrances through his online store, the three scents under the Sammarco brand name being Alter, a feminine concoction of sambac jasmine, rose, incense and mimosa; Vitrum, a smoky mix of rose and vetiver; and Bond-T, a gourmand scent with notes of cocoa absolute, patchouli and osmanthus.

In the following interview, Sammarco discusses his love of animalic raw materials, the challenges of running an independent perfume company and why nature is the master perfumer of the world.

Tell me about your journey from law student to self-made perfumer.

I don’t know exactly how it all happened to be honest. I was often asked about it and sometimes I thought about creating an intriguing story to tell..but the truth is that it was all spontaneous. After my masters degree, I began to be interested in the perfumery world and then one thing led to another.

As a company that sells tinctures such as civet and ambergris, what is your opinion on the synthetic alternatives to these materials? Are they a more sustainable solution or a soulless fragrant alternative?

For me, synthetic substitutes of animalic raw materials are not a suitable solution. If you smell the naturals and the synthetics you will notice immediately that these are two different worlds. If you use them in perfumes, the difference is clear: only the natural ingredients have the soul and power to excite and give life to the perfumes.

What are the challenges of running your own company and creating on an artisanal level?

There are many challenges. The first is to sell. Being independent, there is a lot of competition and you have to find your space in this world.

If you really make everything on an artisanal level, this means that you have to take care of the administrative side of the work; you have to stay in contact with suppliers, couriers, public offices and Alcosuisse.

Also, obviously you have to create the perfumes, bottle them, prepare the tinctures, develop new ideas and products, promote yourself, follow perfume blogs and communities, choose fairs to attend, and last but not least, look at your bank account balance.

Making everything by hand gives you total control of the production process and quality, but it’s not easy.

Seeing as you also create bespoke fragrances, what are your thoughts on the idea of finding one’s signature fragrance in a store-bought version? Can one’s true signature fragrance only be found in the highly individual art of bespoke perfumery?

I think that one of the leading values in perfumery has to be freedom. If one finds their signature fragrance at a store, then that’s great and it does not have lesser value than a bespoke fragrance.

A perfume must give us positive feelings, so if I find my perfume in a store, why not?Bespoke creation is something different, not only a signature fragrance but more a tailor-made perfume because you (the client) are the creator together with the perfumer and you can also choose to have exclusive use of the final formula. Only when both say its okay is the perfume really finished. This requires a lot of time and many meetings, but the perfume will be tailored to you and nobody will have the same perfume.

I also create so-called mini bespoke fragrances for those who want a personalized fragrances but can’t afford a fully bespoke creation or have a lower budget. Mini bespoke is a single bottle of personalised perfume: no meetings, the customer tells me their preferences and I will work on them and send them samples of different trials. The mini bespoke doesn’t include the exclusivity of the formula.

Each one of your fragrances really harnesses the natural power of raw materials - from the moist, earthy smell of Vitrum to the rich cocoa notes of Bond-T and the lush florals of Alter. Do you think there is any connection between these olfactory experiences and the fact that you create them in the nature-entrenched world of Switzerland?

Here in Switzerland, especially where I live, in Appenzell, nature is part of my daily life. Here it is easy to come across cows, goats and sheep and the mountains are around the corner. I love this place and the strong contact with nature that the Swiss have. I usually search for farmers to buy fresh milk, cheese and eggs from, and every time I discover a new world of smells and tastes. And yes, I think this influences my work and my connection with raw materials, because I never forget that nature is the master perfumer of the world.

Bond-T, Alter and Vitrum are all very individual fragrances in their own right, but what would you say is the Giovanni Sammarco olfactory trademark?

I don’t know if my creations have an olfactory trademark. I think that the common thread is something dark and animalic. I love to work with animal scents and even when I don’t use them in the perfume I like to create a sensual and dirty effect.

What is the one scent that sticks out in your mind to this day?

The smell of raw goat’s milk. I had searched for it for a long time and found it yesterday on a farm here in Appenzell. I did not imagine how tasty it is. And its smell is really amazing.

View the full article here.

Twisted Lily Boutique Opening Report for Basenotes

Twisted Lily Fragrance Boutique and Apothecary can best be described as the NYC version of perfume nirvana - think sleek wooden floors, purist white walls and rows upon rows of niche fragrances.

At the boutique’s opening in Boerum Hill this past week, guests were greeted with Pear & Olive martinis (inspired by Josh Lobb’s creation of the same name for his Portland-based brand Slumberhouse) and introduced to the store’s 30 different fragrance brands, ranging from Brooklyn natives D.S. Durga and CB I Hate Perfume to French provocateurs Etat Libre D’Orange and all-natural brands like Providence Perfume Co. and Undergreen.

Twisted Lily is the exclusive NYC carrier of brands including Maison Dorin, Jardins D’Ecrivains and Smellbent, plus the first store to bring Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Amouage, Montale and Penhaligon’s to the BK. Presenting an all-around approach, the shop also offers home fragrances, bath and body, make up and skincare products from a range of indie brands like Rouge Bunny Rouge and In Fiore.

The founders behind the boutique are Eric Weiser and Stamatis Birsimijoglou, who previously created the popular e-commerce site “Our philosophy for Twisted Lily is Think Global. Act Local,” explains Weiser, “it’s not about the immediate sale but building relationships and discovering the language of perfume with our customers.” This friendly and sample-happy environment makes the visit to Twisted Lily one of calm olfactory exploration, rather than profit-orientated pressure. Birsimijoglou perfectly sums up the ethos of their endeavour by stating: “We are firm believers that individuality is the spirit of fragrance—and no two people should smell alike.”

View the full article here.

JC de Castelbajac Resort 2015 Report for A Shaded View on Fashion

Dear Diane and Shaded Viewers,
Jean-Charles de Castelbajac put his own upbeat spin on French Riviera elegance for the Resort 2015 season. Inspired by the paintings of Henri Matisse and illustrations of Jean Cocteau, the designer infused classic and casual pieces such as jersey shift dresses and silk jumpsuits with a new livelihood thanks to trompe l'oeil prints, 3D shoulder details and cane weave cutouts. 
More restrained silhouettes and colors such as cream and olive were contrasted with splashes of red and quirky parasol prints for a collection that managed to be simultaneously chic and cheerful.

View the full article here.