• photography by FABIO PALEARI

    Greta Bellamacina is the Queen of Broken Magic

    Written by Marie Brunnberg


    She writes poetry and directs films. She runs the publishing house The New River Press and is currently the new face of the cult British fashion brand: John Smedley.

    Meet the contemporary Greta Bellamacina - the London-born woman who is trying, in her own creative way, to change the world for both women and poetry.

    As a child she spent a lot of time on film sets. When she was thirteen years old, she had her first acting role in Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. Five years later she was discovered as a model in a lift whilst she was working as an intern at US Vogue. She has modelled for both Burberry and Stella McCartney and collaborated with Vivienne Westwood on a poetry project to help Climate Control.

    This is just the surface of Greta Bellamacina’s world. Her passion for the society and literature just seems to continue to grow more and there are new interesting projects going on right now.

    MB: Where do you live?
    GB: I live in London in Fitzrovia right underneath the BT Tower.

    MB: What’s happening in your life right now?
    GB: I am currently in the pre-production process of making two new feature films which I have been writing over the past year, entitled “Hurt by Paradise” and “Nothing’s Ideal”. Both films draw on the female position in society today. I am really excited to start filming.

    I am also doing a series of poetry readings to promote my new collection “Pershing Tame”.  Last year I did a book tour, performing around Europe and the U.S., reading at The Shakespeare & Company, The Groucho, The Chateau Marmot, Ace Hotel, Neue House and The Albion Beatnik bookshop and others.

    MB: How would your partner or best friend describe you?
    GB: Queen of broken magic.

    MB: Do you like being a mother? Has it changed you in some way?
    GB: I feel incredibly connected to other women. I think as an artist you always want to connect emotionally with everything you make. I have been overwhelmed by the new depth of emotion of having a child.

    MB: You are running a publishing house. Is it a lot of work?
    GB: Yes, The New River Press - it is truly a labour of love. Last year we published our first set of poems, I particularly love Robert Montgomery´s debut collection “Coltash” and Rosalind Jana’s collection “Branch and Vein”.

    MB: Any special book or project going on?
    GB: I just launched “Smear” a collection of contemporary female poetry which I edited. There doesn’t seem to be anything quite comparable in the poetry world. I didn’t feel there was a comfortable place for young women in their teens and early twenties to voice their thoughts, their politics, and their emotions through poetry. I think there really isn’t anything. I found it frustrating myself growing up and I know a lot of poets who get disheartened early on. So I wanted this collection to be open to first time poets. I did an open call on New River Press Instagram and we got hundreds of submissions, I chose the best 20 or so and added about 10 established poets that I already knew. The book is really there to discover and encourage new voices.

    MB: What do you think defines a contemporary poet of today?
    GB: I think like any time it´s about discussing the world you live in now. It´s about staying true to your authentic voice. Not being afraid to cause a riot.

    MB: Could you mention one female contemporary poet we must read?
    GB:One of my favourite poets is Alice Oswald, I especially love her collection Darts. Her writing is so closely connected to nature. She uses images of the world to reflect a group human mind.

    MB: What poem you wrote are you most proud of? What is it about?
    GB:I think it has to be my most recent poem. This Christmas I wrote a poem called “Dartmoor Wedding Song”, it's a meditation on the British landscape in winter.

    Here it is:

    “Dartmoor wedding song
    Dartmoor came with a low fog
    ancient gods all sleeping between
    the sky and the clouds,
    the same as the bed we woke up in
    slopping downwards, a room made for the fallen
    the last breath of a flower
    hung in the direction of rain song

    The air of god dreams roped in the wind
    shaking the locking shadow organs
    making the daytime observe its place to the sun.
    the last land to bewitch
    the trees and groan out the gut of broken stars
    which sit silently on the side of the road still stung,
    free angels, ebony bird tombs

    born again to moors, forking the heartlands
    washing in the mystery of love
    and the ferrying images of you pushing the pram
    up the hill towards me, barely a shape
    grappling with this idea of distance
    in the communism of Sundays
    and the abandonment of paradise.”

    MB: How do you think a modern future library looks like?
    GB: I wrote and directed “The Safe House: A Decline of Ideas” a documentary about the decline of the British public libraries. Whilst filming I discovered that rather than replacing libraries with central libraries we need to keep them local. We need to have a curated cannon of books for all age groups. The future library is a temple of learning, a place for self-education.

    The film is available to watch online with Curzon Home Cinema.

    MB: Are you still working as a model?
    GB: Yes, I am currently signed to VIVA MODEL MANAGEMENT in London and Paris. They represent me on their talent board.

    MB: Which job as a model (or actor If you prefer) do you remember the most? Why?
    GB: At the age of eighteen I got into the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts. I have really special memories of performing the bride in “The Blood Wedding” by Federico Garcia Lorca. It was the first time I really felt completely at home.

    MB: Are you going to Paris or London Fashion Week 2017? In case you do, do you have any favorite designer you specially like?
    GB: Yes, I will be going to Paris to support the Each X Other fashion show. I did a collaboration with them last year. My boyfriend, artist/poet Robert Montgomery has collaborated on their new show, entitled- “The City is Magical Sculpture of The Group Mind”.

    MB: What’s in your wardrobe? What sort of garments or labels?
    GB: Turkish born designer Dilara Findikoglu - everything she makes is a piece of art. I also love The Vampire’s Wife and Shrimps.

    MB: If you could change one thing in the fashion world tomorrow - what would that be?
    GB: A lot of clothes on the high-street are made in sweatshops with child labour. I think this needs to urgently change.

  • photography by ELLINOR STIGLE

    Interview with Zack Moscot

    Written by Robin Clementson by Anonymous

    “Moscot is a Family”

    The classic Moscot iconic eyewear have been worn by many familiar faces around the world for decades. It started as a small local business over hundred years ago in Manhattan, New York. The brand has survived generations and is now a thriving global brand, well known for its timeless design and quality.

    We had the chance to interview with Zack Moscot, 26, who is the fifth generation of the Moscot family and the chief eyewear designer of the family brand.

    – I am constantly motivated by my family’s century of hard work, and dedicated to ensuring the longevity of the Moscot brand, he says.

    You are fifth generation Moscot, what is life like today within the brand compared to the years before you?

    ZM: The Moscot brand has evolved quite a bit. While we do consider ourselves a global fashion brand, we are still, at heart, a neighbourhood optical shop, and this philosophy is expressed through all of our branded initiatives. The difference between the past and the present is, now we are able to tell our 100+ year-old story to the rest of the world! We launch new eyewear collections seasonally, and our small team works tirelessly to ensure our brand ethos, design and heritage transcends various cultural differences.

    Talk to us about the origins of Moscot and why you think the brand has survived for 101 years?

    ZM: What’s unique about Moscot is that we are truly a 102-year-old family business with five generations behind our name. All four generations before me were dedicated to providing customers the ultimate optical experience. Sol, second generation Moscot, used to tell customers, “Your vision is our concern!” At the heart of Moscot, not much has changed; we are constantly striving to keep our loyal fans and customers happy by providing a memorable experience and timeless, quality eyewear. We’re focused on the relationships we build, and on doing the right things for the right reasons. We believe our honesty and humble attitude is why generations of customers have put their trust in us, and return to Moscot year after year.

    What is the DNA of Moscot what are the must do’s and dont’s that any new employee must adhere to or know about?

    ZM: At the end of the day, Moscot is a family. We are one big family and that is the feeling that resonates in the shops, at manager’s meetings, and even company events. We have a 20+-year employee club, some of whom have been with the company for over 40+ years and spent time behind the counter with my grandfather and great grandfather! Moscot is a home for us Moscot-eers and we like to keep it that way! It’s important all employees understand the depth of the family history and the origins of Moscot. My father and I believe that one must know where he/she comes from in order to know where he/she is headed, and this message applies to our staff as well. There is a certain warmth and sincerity that is unspoken in the House of Moscot. Our do’s: smile, good energy, and passion. Fortunately, most of our employees happen to be artists and creative types so this comes easy to them!

    Whenever we meet fans of Moscot or we discuss the brand with people within the industry, we always hear the words ‘retro’ and ‘cool’. Do you see the product in the same light, or is there so much more to it?

    ZM: I feel that when one wears a pair of Moscot frames, he or she is wearing 100+ years of downtown NYC heritage and family history. A Moscot frame represents the immigrant story of my great-great-grandfather who escaped oppression and came to America in 1899 to start a new life. He did what he knew how to do best: he sold glasses off a pushcart. There is a certain emotional connection between a Moscot frame and the wearer. The product is time-honored in its design, and also has emotional depth. The brand has been owned and operated by the Moscot family for over a century, and five generations later, we continue to pour the same love and devotion into what we do. As a product designer and someone who loves classics, I find that people feel this connection and the authentic attributes of our brand the way we do.

    So many celebrities wear the brand, can you tell us who you think might wear it the best and why?

    ZM: We’re so fortunate that so many celebrities have taken a liking to the Moscot brand! Quite frankly, it happened naturally, being that Moscot has always been located in the Lower East Side – a place that exudes the Moscot DNA and is filled with artists and independent thinkers. It’s really hard to say who wears Moscot best since every individual has his or her own Moscot identity and individual look. I can say, however, that Johnny Depp first wearing The Lemtosh in the early 2000s helped put the frame on the map. It showed people all over the world the beauty of that silhouette.

    You are the first Moscot family member not to be a qualified optician, but a designer and responsible now for the new collections, namely the up-coming Opti-Munich trunk collection and the new SS17 line to be unveiled at MIDO in February. How does it feel to be coming from a totally new family angle?

    ZM: When I first entered the business there was a lot of pressure since I really had no optical background. All my predecessors had optician licenses, and my dad Harvey is an eye doctor (O.D.). I always wanted to join the business, but never really had a passion for the “eyeballs” per se. I did, however, have a passion and eye for design. I realized I could combine my passion for product with my family’s unique history, and I began to push the envelope. My father appreciates my design background since I am able to approach the business with new perspectives and creative thinking. Together, he and I are a solid team and together we create product that not only looks good, but is designed with optical expertise to provide the ultimate fit for all face shapes.

    What do you try to incorporate into your designs, what’s the aim and the direction? Are you led by generic trends?

    ZM: When designing new product, I pay close attention to the history of our frames and the decade’s past. The mission is always to create models that cohesively grow and enhance the collection while adhering to our brand identity. While certain seasonal releases may be inspired by particular eras or concepts, the final designs are always clean, minimalistic, and classic. I want our customers to come to Moscot and know they will find a design that will not go out of style, lasts a lifetime, compliments their face and bone structure, and boosts their self-perception and individuality.

    How would describe where Moscot sits today as a brand?

    ZM: Moscot represents an emerging brand in the independent eyewear segment. Much of the industry worldwide is dominated by some of the larger conglomerates. As a small, family-owned business in NYC, we pay close attention to where and how our product lives. While we may be a smaller player in the growing market of eyewear, we feel confident we’re able to provide the best service and quality eyewear to our loyal fans, and anyone looking for something different, special, authentic, and timeless.

  • photography by SANDRA MYHRBERG
    photographer's assistant STEPHANIE CETINA

    Agonist: An Invisible Wardrobe

    Written by Giovanna Pisacane by Stephanie Cetina

    All the fragrances are inspired by our culture, our country; even the climate is a source of inspiration”

    Niclas Lydeen considers the perfume line as a storytelling.

    Niclas with his partner (and wife) Christine founded Agonist in 2008, a niche Scandinavian perfume brand. 

    In just a few years, Agonist has expanded its borders. You can find Niclas and Christine’s fragrances in more than 267 stores, perfume boutiques and interior design stores in Italy, the United Kingdom and in the USA. “Next step: Japan. Many Japanese retailers are interested in our products. Sometimes I think about the moment when all this started. We were interested in raw materials, we were trying to understand patchouli, sandal. We were focusing on different inspirations. You know, when you work in fashion, for example, you have constant visual inspirations. But this is another world. You try to reproduce feelings with smell.”

    Niclas takes inspiration from literature, music and poetry. “A Swedish novelist I keep reading is Karin Boye. She has written amazing books and she can really capture certain “Scandinavian” feelings as melancholy, loneliness after a storm, the lights. And I personally love Tomas Tranströmer, who has died recently. With just a few words his writings are able to open up into infinite associations, and his use of metaphors is so inspiring”. 

    Both came from a creative background; Niclas and Christine were working for different brands, spending most of their time on creative concepts. “I was working as a visual artist and a product designer, while my wife was working in the fashion industry when we came up with the idea of launching a fragrance brand. I believe that design and fashion are two backgrounds that come together. One of our first ideas was to create an invisible wardrobe. Scents are abstract. What you wear can be considered as an extension of your personality”.

    Niclas explained that breaking into the niche perfume market has been a natural process. “We started producing our own ideas by launching expensive, limited-edition design products, presenting them to collectors and receiving international recognition. From this point we decided to go further, finding our way into perfumes. And we shared confidence, education, experience and also useful references from what we did before”.

    Today Agonist has a strong identity. Every fragrance is able to dress you.”When you get in contact with Agonist, it's like having the possibility to choose a different dress, a different style, depending on your mood”.

    Agonist wants to overthrow the idea that every person should have his/her own fragrance. “People should discover more and play with scents as a natural way of self-expression. We've received loads of positive feedback from people who have always been using the same perfume for years. You know, it is like with food in a way; people shouldn't be afraid to try new things. In the same way, it is so boring to always wear the same smell. Once a customer told me that “Solaris” was the first fragrance  he used after ten years of wearing the same perfume every single day”.

    Personalizing perfumes is a trend lately. “We have been asked (but we have never done it.) The closest we have been is creating a fragrance for a brand. This happened last year with the Swedish clothing brand Hope. We produced three candles and one perfume (Hope), inspired by tactile materials, the way they cut the leather, the style of their stores. And the names of the candles were very important for us, because they expressed perfectly the feeling of that moment: “Hope for diversity”, “Hope for freedom” and “Hope for courage”.

    A new scent “White lies” came out on the market in November and it is presented with a quote from the Scottish artist and musician Momos: “Every lie creates a parallel world, the world in which it is true.” Niclas describes it as a joyful and playful fragrance that doesn’t reveal itself at first, just like a little lie. It is a smooth sensation that becomes stronger. 

    We wanted to create a scent that takes you to another dimension where dreams, stories and fantasies come to life. In the end it keeps its promise and becomes a symbol of truth, yet with some intriguing shades.”

    The packaging reveals the fragility but also the power of what you call a lie: a simple clean bottle with a little crack in the middle. You see, the bottle is cracked but it is not broken. At the same time a white lie can't hurt you.”

    blazer & tshirt NICOLAI D'ÉTOILES
    jeans & rings NICLASOWN
    jacket GANNI
    shirt FILIPPA K
    trousers & ring CHRISTINE'S OWN
    Christine wears
    blazer FRAME
    dress GANNI
    bracelet CHRISTINE'S OWN
    Niclas wears
    blazer & tshirt NICOLAI D'ÉTOILES
    jeans & ring NICLAS' OWN