• New Balance launches unisex collection and continues to pay tribute to talented individuals

    Written by Fashion Tales

    New Balance introduces a new unisex collection that has taken inspiration from the 90's archives. Associated with the launch, New Balance strengthens the brand position “Fearlessly Independent,” which aims to support and lift colorful individuals to inspire others to challenge norms, dare to stand up for change and continue to be progressive.

    The classic New Balance model 997 was released for the first time in 1991 and is, although it may not always got the most time in the spotlight, a big favorite among sneakers connoisseurs. Now New Balance launches it updated version 997H, which inspired inspiration from the classic predecessor, but at the same time breathe modernity and contemporary. The collection also includes clothes, everything in unisex sizes.

    In connection with the launch of 997H, the New Balance continues its work on the global platform “Fearlessly Independent” and this time chooses to let young, fearless Swedish creators take the place and show the outside world its capacity. The campaign faces outwards are the artists Felix Sandman, the former FO & Omedlemen who is now on their own, and Luana Kiara who at Spotify has over ten million streams on his collab “Bad Boy” together with Tungevaag & Rabaan. As the first step in the creative the movement lets you release a music video to Felix Sandman's song “Miss you like crazy” where you to collaborated with set designer and neon artist Josefin Eklund, winner of the Nöjesguiden's Göteborg Award in category “Art of the year” 2018. The music video is released on 8/2.

    It feels like such a large brand chooses to highlight young creators by lifting ours stories and our art. I like that New Balance chose to work creatively and it's cool that they can tell their independent story through mine. I love sneakers so this cooperation fell very much naturally, says Felix Sandman.

    Felix Sandman has, despite his young age and in a short time, achieved great success and has a strong driving force and willingness to change. He belongs to the Swedish independent company TEN Music Group and is highly topical one of the leading roles in Sweden's first Netflix Original series, “Largest of all” released in spring, but will be premiered during the Berlin Film Festival in February. New Balance is both a training and lifestyle brand and they believe that both athletes and creative practitioners are a force for social change and wants to support and lift these in different ways through the platform.

    There are many talented individuals in Sweden who drive conversations, culture and development forward different ways. Through our launch of 997H, we are expanding our cooperation with young and fearless profiles, not only in sports, but now also in creativity and music. This is a first step in spring brand transfer and we have great ambitions ahead, says Hanna Löfberg, Marketing Manager at New Balance.

    The original 997H sneaker is now being modernized and updated in the new 997H to meet today's sport-driven fashion who draws inspiration from the trends and looks of the 90s. 997H comes in four different color settings, is Equipped with an updated sole and a tasteful upper in suede with stylish leather and mesh details. Along with the shoe, two tracksuits are also released in unisex sizes. The 997H collection is released by selectors dealer on 2/2. The prices are SEK 899 for the sneakier, SEK 699 for the track deposit and SEK 749 for wind jacket. Additional product or campaign information can be found on the campaign page at Sneakers Point.

    https://www.newbalance.se/

  • Liljevalchs - Vårsalong 2019

    Written by Fashion Tales

    January 25 - March 24

    Vårsalongen 2019 takes place in the home of Carl Bergsten, in the pink house on Djurgården and the audience can queue as usual even though the work for Liljevalch's extension is in full swing.

    All works are for sale and the participants have set the prices themselves. Most expensive this year is the Zorn parafras “Red sand” which costs one million kronor - perhaps as one provocative flash to the art market. SEK 340,000 wants The creator collective Forma has for its installation “17,000” in 34 parts. Cheapest is the animations by Malin Desme (SEK 200) and Karin Elmgren (600). The sale of works is ongoing throughout the exhibition period.

    Since 2010, the number of applicants to Vårsalongen is steadily above 2000. This one time and time a record number was sought: 3,538 applications came in. 136 artists have has been adopted and shows a total of 254 works. This year, the women are in the majority, 79 against 57 men, and the age range remains big. Youngest is an 18 year old from Stockholm and the oldest are two who is passed the 90s. The average age is 49 years.

    The jury for Vårsalongen 2019 has been composed by the artists Helene Billgren, Susanne Vollmer and Lasse Åberg, the latter also museum director,
    the chairman was Liljevalch's head Mårten Castenfors.

    https://www.liljevalchs.se/

  • Femininity and gender equality discussed at the UNTITLED Fair, Miami Art Basel 2018

    Written by Anonymous

    Femininity and gender equality discussed at the UNTITLED Fair, Miami Art Basel 2018

    By bringing art society from around the world together, Art Basel in Miami is a yearly art and culture celebration of the highest rank in the United States. Foremost galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa introduce works of their modern and contemporary art masters, including new generation of emerging talents. During the art fair certain spaces in the city of Miami turning into art platforms. Spending an intensive week filled with exhibitions and art events, dj sets and private parties, I feel incredibly inspired. However, there are also a number of questions to discuss. 

    The UNTITLED Art Fair at the Ocean drive on the South Beach that through December, 5th-9th, leaves space for established art galleries and non-profit organisations, which spread awareness of significant social and political issues, engaging visitors into an exploratory conversation. One of the participators was the non-profit art platform Girls’ Club based in Fort Lauderdale, who presented a project Changing Room. Featuring performance work of Swedish dancer and choreographer, Jenny Larsson and a static installation with wearable design pieces from the visual artists such as Lucinda Linderman, Michelle Weinberg, and Natalie Zlamalova, the female art collective challenges the conventional norms for the expression of the public female identity. Seemingly, the ability of the Swedish dancer to integrate her feministic considerations into her own artistic language, has inspired American artists, what resulted in a series of grotesque garments. The question is whether the artists’ elaboration on the idea is a further interpretation or a protest against Swedish pragmatism when it concerns femininity.   Furthermore, I feel slightly uncertain concerning the Miami streets being ready to switch to the “Swedish” style of femininity, which definitely is not about girls having nice legs and a tan and radiating their sexuality as an exchange currency for success and empowerment.  

    Another intriguing performance piece at the UNTITLED fair was submitted by the Russian /American visual artist and social justice activist Ekaterina Juskowski.  Her fifty-hour long performance #NeverNotWorking, in which the artist uses the fashion accessory le tablier, text and colour, aimed to manifest the necessity of taking stand towards the repeated injustice of the underpaid domestic labourers. The performance has a deep personal connection because Ekaterina’s great-grandmother was one of such labourers, doing laundry for other people in order to make her own living. 

    Amongst the female contributors, I was able to discover artworks, created by male actors with relation to femininity and gender equality. At booth B 27, managed by the Sapar Contemporary Gallery (New York), had invited visitors to his exciting conversation. Young Azerbaijan artist Faig Ahmed showed a series of handmade carpets, woven by the Middle Eastern women. Understood as psychedelic creations, the rugs involve collectors in a multi-faceted interpretation game. “On a fundamental level, we spread out carpets on the floor to decorate and embellish our homes, the places, where gender equality begins. This is why I’d like to move beyond.” Faig Ahmed’s rugs and intertwine issues of power and subjectivity, gender and class, culture and individuality. To me, when the conditions are right, an artwork becomes resplendent.

  • VEJA: Beyond leather?

    Written by Fashion Tales

    Beyond leather? For SS19, VEJA introduces the Campo made out of the «corn waste» based material (C.W.L). Since we started VEJA in 2005, we are always looking for new sustainable and more ecological raw materials. 

    Our obsession: How can we improve the way we make sneakers?

    Going beyond leather 

    After 5 years of R&D and many failures to find an ecological substitute for leather, we finally found a revolutionary fabric. Developed by an Italian company, C.W.L. is a bio-sourced material, made from a waxed canvas with 50% corn waste from the food industry.

    As a result, this leather alternative is a 63% biodegradable fabric. Its look and touch is comparable to leather.

    A new vegan basic sneaker with a larger sole and a sharper design.

    It opens a new exciting path for VEJA : a new sneaker that is going beyond leather.

    …………………………………………………………………….

    Models available in January 2019. From size 36 to 46.

    https://www.veja-store.com/fr/190-vegan

  • The Azerbaijan Equation vs. Gender Equality at Miami Art Basel

    Written by Anonymous

    A Personal Essay by Ludmilla Christeseva

    The Art Basel show in Miami ran through December 5th thru 9th, introduces and re-introduces artists from around the world. Turning downtown and Miami beach area into a hub of art exhibitions and events, the primary art show in the United States brings the art society together not only for festivities and inspiration but also for great deals in the art business. After consuming art for one week on the sunlit South beach, interpretation is obligatory.

    The diverse artistic expression of The UNTITLED Art Fair on Ocean Drive in South Beach seemed to offer the most exciting art collection with a focus on gender issues. There, in booth B 27, male artist Faig Ahmed from Azerbaijan introduced his Liquid Design carpets, hand-made by female weavers from his home country. As a typical Persian rug could be overlooked, the distinct psychedelic nature of Ahmed’s works is undeniable and one is left to ponder the widely overlooked cultural and historical nature of what lies behind this traditional tapestry.  

    Since at nomadic times some 2,500 years ago at least, tapestries have been embellishing homes in the Middle East. Designing a place to live and raise our children, however, we should remember that this is the place where gender equality begins and where every object can be intertwined with issues of power and subjectivity, gender and class, culture and individuality. One might be able to see beyond the pleasant aesthetics of hand-woven carpets: they are historically produced by women, yet marketed by men.

    Sustained by traditions centuries-old and crossing cultural boundaries, women are widely recognized as the carpet weavers. In villages, women have historically woven carpets for family use and would teach their daughters these skills. Girls would have a greater chance of marrying if they were skilled weavers, textiles were a part of young girls’ dowry to their future husbands whom they, perhaps did not wish to marry. They would take great care in following traditions. Carpet weaving would serve for them as a way to share their stories about daily life, tribal culture, thoughts and perhaps, impossible dreams.

    While providing comfort, warmth as well as decor, tapestry speaks about gender inequality and unpack power relationships in society. The Liquid Design rugs by Faig Ahmed are no exception. I can see through the colour palettes that they are still produced by women but appropriated by men who try to tell the world a different story rather than that of women and carpet weaving which are almost exclusively linked.

    Being both amused and distracted by the manufactured defects, which were skilfully appropriated in the art world of the Azerbaijan artist and conceptualized as a series of handmade woolen carpets, we have gradually moved beyond the suggested psychedelic understanding. This colourful digitalization was executed by the Middle Eastern women and submitted at the world’s largest art fair by a young and talented male artist. Capturing the assiduous cultivation of authenticity and diversity in Faig Ahmed's rugs, I was wondering if his artistic exploration of the field of artisan know-how and creativity connected to today’s contemporary solutions, empowers the women who work for him, to learn by doing. In this part of the world, women are products of cultures that maintain the traditional roles of females to remain at home and know how to take care of families and raise children.  Restricted to their households, tribal art functions both as a duty and for enjoyment, but also as a language widely used to tell women’ stories, feelings and dreams. This language, however, has remained unvarying throughout generations. The yearning of a young woman to get married is still always the emphasis.

    Represented by the Sapar Contemporary gallery in New York City, Faig Ahmed has been exhibiting his handcrafted collection of the psychedelic creations worldwide, gradually earning his status as a spiritual contemporary artist. Suggesting an excited invasion of the traditions of tapestry and I would say of traditions, in general, Faig Ahmed involves ornaments in his artistic language. To me, the meaning of an ornament is, on one hand, a decoration and is a way to organize an object, but on the other hand, it acts as a constant repetition, which is regular and stable. So are the traditions, which are passed down from one generation to another, repeated, and cherished. We are not allowed to change or question them and are therefore afraid.  Using the habitual patterns, Faig Ahmed is developing trust. But what kind of message do his works actually carry? How are social values and norms communicated and discussed through his innovative approach? His disobedient behaviour found in this series of bizarre psychedelic carpets brings many women together in the production process. To me, the weaving in the works of Faig Ahmed is not about decoration or interior solutions, but rather it is about women’s rights which are rooted in patriarchy, which women unconsciously or consciously choose to sustain through generations. When speaking about carpets, we would agree that the best ones come from the Middle East, where the position of women is bound by patriarchal norms and gender inequality. No doubt, his rugs are amusing works of art, yet they are strongly associated with the gender issues of the Middle Eastern cultures.

    While Europeans for centuries eagerly adorned their homes with the best handmade carpets exported from the Middle Eastern countries such as Morocco, Azerbaijan, Iran, Pakistan, and Turkey, to name a few, I was wondering if gender inequality issues, weaved in by women themselves, could be explored, questioned, and eradicated through the same process? Some women find weaving to be an enjoyable means of passing time and a way of expressing themselves creatively, yet it has never been a feasible form of income generation. But what if we reverse the culture of carpentry through learning by doing or by creating a different design pattern together, in which we connect the traditional craftsmanship and artisan know-how with contemporary digital trends. Meanwhile, we might agree that it is important to be mindful of words, actions, and objects in our homes, which can perpetuate or combat gender stereotypes. To me, only when the conditions are right, can anything be resplendent?

  • Kirsty Mitchell —Wonderland 2th December–3rd March

    Written by Fashion Tales

    On 7 December, Fotografiska opened the doors to Kirsty Mitchell’s fairy tale world in this winter’s major exhibition Wonderland – a dream world to be
    enchanted and embraced by during the darkest months of the year. The magical creations and woodland sets of Wonderland both move and fascinate. Mitchell embarked on the intensive 5 year project in the summer of 2009, a few months after her mother had tragically died of cancer in 2008. It became her escape from a painful reality as she sought her way back to the fairy tale world they shared throughout her childhood. In the woods around her home, the characters from Mitchell’s imagination were given free roam in front of the camera. A journey through a healing grief in a fairy tale kingdom …

    The story of Kirsty Mitchell and her Wonderland project is much like a fairy tale. A multifaceted fairy tale in many respects.

    –For the first time, the exhibition will include all 74 photographs featured in the Wonderland book. The exhibition is a true fairy tale experience – like a brightly coloured firework display where magic and reality meet on the journey we call life, says exhibition producer Lisa Hydén at Fotografiska.

    It all begins with a young and successful fashion designer who studied art history and had a very close and loving relationship with her mother, an English teacher whose great passion was literature and books, a joy which she would constantly share by reading aloud to her daughter.

    When the mother is diagnosed with a brain tumour, the daughter’s world comes crashing down and in her grief she turns to the ancient woodlands that surround her home, deep in the English countryside. With incredible attention to detail, she plans and prepares her photos by designing the most spectacular costumes and props, some of which take months to complete. Each piece is a tribute to her mother, forged from the daughter’s faded childhood memories of the books they once shared, mixed with the sadness of her adult grief and her new found spiritual connection with nature.

    Together with a small team of models, a makeup artist and her husband, out in the woods she then builds stunningly beautiful sets for each photograph. Each filled with drama and characters that capture the imagination evoking a strong sense of recognition, despite being entirely new creations from her own mind. As part of the project, the daughter starts to write a deeply emotional blog about her grief and the project in the woods, a blog that increasingly attracts more attention from people who can understand to her experiences and relate to what she is going through.

    The story behind Mitchell’s Wonderland book, which will now also take the form of an exhibition at Fotografiska, is as magical and spectacular as her woodland photographs.

    –We felt that somehow my mother was with us, so it was important that we always went to the woods as planned, regardless of the weather. So we hauled these creations through snowstorms and downpours to let that which was supposed to happen actually happen. The overall feeling of this tribute to my mother was that it just needed to be done. It was like escaping to a place that felt deeply meaningful, in the midst of everything else, says Mitchell.

    The ambition was to create a book, a book of the highest quality to reflect the great, heartfelt love that existed between mother and daughter, and it was to reach a large audience. Several publishers made contact as the project became increasingly widely known, but all involved compromises.

    –At that point, I was contacted by a big name in the industry who suggested that I should self-publish and that it could be financed by crowd founding. Then we’d be able to get enough money together to use the best designers and printers. So we set it up, my husband and I. Once we’d registered the project on Kickstarter, we were really on edge, wondering if anyone would be interested. Then it started ticking upwards, again and again, because it turned out that so many people wanted to get involved and contribute, Mitchell explains.

    The book achieved it’s funding goal within 24 hours and after 28 days. Wonderland became the most funded photobook in crowdfunding history raising £334,000, with the first edition selling out completely within 2 months. And the result – a photo book unlike any other of the absolute highest quality in all respects from the paper to the design. A book that does justice to the photographs and this daughter’s tribute to her mother. Everything planned and managed down to the last detail by a heavily pregnant Mitchell, who eventually gave birth to her first child on Christmas Eve 2015, just 2 days after the book was delivered to it’s supporters all over the world.

    But the drama of this story doesn’t end there. Eight months later, new mother Mitchell was diagnosed with breast cancer whilst in Italy printing the Second Edition of her book and the next chapter of the challenges of life unfolded.

    –I just focused solely on getting through it and put all my energy into my recovery. Now, two years later when I’ve been given the all-clear, I have so much creativity trapped inside that needs to get out. I know how much healing is to be found in expressing your innermost feelings, whether through words or a creative process, and how rewarding it is to share this process with others.

    https://www.fotografiska.com/

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