Misschiefs Takeover Part One

    Written by Sarah Parthemore Snavely by Fashion Tales

    photography SANNA LINDBERG

    The first really cold day at the tail end of an unsettling year. It’s been a tough 10 months, a soul-breaking year for many - me very much included. On my bike from Södermalm, the wind smacks me in the face. I pay homage to my oversized puffer jacket, roll past the Christmas lights at Stureplan, and turn right on Linnégatan. These are not my hoods, and I wonder what awaits me amidst the brass and fur of the swanky side of Stockholm. Punk? You’ve got to be kidding me.

    These days, the air is thick with tension, accompanying us all, everywhere. Keeping our distance from one another, and at times from ourselves. So it was a shock. The neon lights. The stark concrete. The raw, bare bones of art being carved out right before my eyes – right here on this power-positioned passageway. As I step into the Misschiefs Takeover space, that tension does a runner, racing back to street level, where pandemic paranoia plagues passersby. Within these walls, there is only the unedited, unmanipulated, undoctored, unveiled pulse of female fluorescence. An outburst, an explosion of blood and angst and pure brilliance. The real mother-effing deal. Finally, here in Stockholm, smack-dab along the currencied corridors of power and prestige.

    And with any great anything in life, there is a person. A mastermind behind this pulse-raising, art-in-action platform. There she is, at the back of the space, perched between a coat rack and a giant hand-tufted carpet shaped like a placenta (Kött och Blod/Flesh and Blood, Maja Michaelsdotter Eriksson). Paola Bjäringer. Swedish-blooded, French-souled, and a pioneering spirit of the highest rank. Born and bred in Paris to Swedish parents, gender studies in London blew open the path that Paola now forges. A path paved by gender, design, and sociology. The absolutely contemporary, like right-this-very-moment kind.

    And forge she does, in the most fantastically un-Jante way imaginable. Stationed on Linnégatan, at the last working laundry factory in Stockholm, where royalty and top hoteliers once had their linens cleaned and pressed, Paola occupied space in August of this tumultuous year, bringing with her 10 Swedish female designers – all selected for the punk nature of their work. From this industrial space on this ever-so prestigious street, artists work daily, conjuring up original pieces for all the world to see – and buy. No basement atelier, no back alley studio for these trailblazers. Gorgeously exposed, these women work at the crossroads of design, craft, and art. Everything created within these walls has a usable nature to it, and each artist makes three pieces during their time onsite. A design gallery-cum-artist studio, Misschiefs Takeover offers Stockholmers the extremely unique opportunity to purchase contemporary design pieces directly from the artist herself. With absolutely no middle man – all profits go directly from buyer to creator, flesh and blood.

    Misschiefs, as the name implies, is a punk movement and iron-clad collective. Fierce, smart, rule-makers, these women forefront change in the here and now, inventing new ways of creating, communicating, and coming together. Rare currency in the regularly divided, keep-your-distance COVID-19 world of right now. Paola’s original intention was to take her 10 Swedish Misschiefs on tour, and feature one local on-site artist in each city. First stop was Stockholm in February of this year, and as bags were being packed for next stop Milan, COVID-19 arrived. Misschiefs stayed put, but Paola’s immense drive to enable the intersectionality so lacking in Stockholm’s art scene - impelling many Swedish artists to seek refuge abroad – was still as wildly fervent as ever. And a rescue mission quickly followed.

    One connection led to another, and Paola was offered the opportunity to bunker down on Linnégatan. A refuge and a boiling pot of creativity and cutting culture, Misschiefs’ Takeover features the original 10 with an additional 10 takeover designers – performance artists, painters, fashion designers, poets, sculptors, musicians, and more – with around eight working onsite on any given day. A rotating roster of guest artists camps out on main stage – visible from street level – for a week at a time. Making their art in real time, fancy folk racing by outside get the chance to see the creative process in action. Do they linger? Painter Hanna Stansvik tells me they most certainly do. Working on her largest canvas to date – enabled by the gigantic working space – she recalls how people made their way through the door and right up to her canvas halfway through the week to say how they’d been watching with fascination as her art came to life, something they had never before experienced. And in the short time I’m here, I watch Hanna sell a piece, the buyer returning to those frosty streets with a warm piece of punk-rock gorgeousness hot in hand. The future unfolds, right before my hungry eyes.

    What connects each Misschief to one another? Paola explains that each women is entirely uninterested in pleasing the masses, and has a feminist way of making art. Each piece calls into question the overpowering masculine forces at work in not only the art world but society in general. Reappropriating, readdressing, and reestablishing a new world order - that’s the energy I sense here. And underneath it all, what really connects each to one another is Paola. Mama Misschief herself, she knows the intimate ins and outs of each and every work of art on site, every woman’s story, each baby perched on hip as mothers, sisters, and freedom fighters create a new world - one full of color, magic, and interconnectedness. Paola, the tireless matron, the eloquent gallerist with piss and vinegar for blood, holding space for her Misschiefs as they work their work, fight their fight, and spread their magnificent light. Brush hitting canvas, sound hitting microphone, yarn hitting loom, needle hitting thread, pen hitting paper, plastic hitting metal, steel-toed boot hitting concrete floor. Paola is there for it all. 

    As my time to head back home approaches, Paola urges me to stay for the evening’s live performance. Live? In November 2020? As my mind processes an all-new definition of punk, Grebnellaw emerges. And my heart is blown open. The most contemporary commentary on life today, complete with hand sanitizer, digitally manipulated face masks, and live singing, fills this former royal laundromat, and us lucky few come alive - together. Grebnellaw: red as blood, white as winter.

    Energetic and electric, I ride the same bike through the same streets, feeling anything but the same. A forgotten feeling courses through my veins. I recognize this feeling, a long-lost lover returning to my door. What is your name after all? Hope, you say. Ah, yes, I remember you. And there you are, on Linnégatan. Is this where you house yourself these days, as the world twists and writhes in the grip of a pandemic, stuck between what was and what may be. This is where you are writing a new story? So happy we meet again. And from what I can tell, you’re fiercer, stronger, and more ravishing than ever. 

    So Stockholm, this is your chance. To lead the way towards a new kind of creativity. To cut a trail through the bullshit and shine a light on the brilliance. She goes by the name of Misschiefs, and luckily for you, her Takeover is staying put for a few more months. Make your masked way to Linnégatan 4, cutting past the tinseled storefronts and tension of today, and meet hope in the flesh.

    Oh, one last thing. When I first said hello to Paola, she spoke of her great inspiration, French designer Matali Crasset, whose Permit to Build furniture piece greets newcomers at the door. Paola so lovingly told me, “One woman can change everything.” Well Paola, isn’t that true. And right now, in Stockholm that woman is you.

    Misschiefs Takeover Part One rounds up on 27 November 2020. Part Two will be held in the same space - on Linnégatan 4 in Stockholm - and is due to finish up some time in February 2021. For the low-down on the Misschiefs’ movement and the Östermalm Takeover, head to misschiefs.se and misschiefs.se/takeover

    My soul is greater than the market economy.”

    - Nachla Libre, artist and poet.

    Don’t miss out on Misschiefs’ Takeover christmas market 18-19-30 December at Linnégatan 4
    No more than 10 visitors at the time, 550m2

  • blouse vintage COMME DES GARCONS
    skirt FENDI
    boots ALAIA

    photography by JESSE LAITINEN

    amake up YIN LEE using MAC COSMETICS


    Interview with Wendy Bevan

    Written by Mari Florer by Fashion Tales

    Each song tells a story and opens a door into another world”

    Wendy Bevan arrived home to her hometown Los Angeles in the nick of time, right before Trump closed the airport gates to protect the Americans against COVID-19, the virus that is on top of every human's mind nowadays.
    Bevan has been working in London, finishing her upcoming album – a collaboration with the producer Nick Rhodes (Duran Duran). She is proud of the result and excited to release the album later this year.

    I video call Bevan, when she is back home in her classic 1930´s Hollywood Apartment. She is in a good mood after have talked to her parents in London. We start talking about the weather in California. “It´s morning and the weather is nice — a perfect day for hiking!” She smiles.

    M: Are you staying home?
    W: Yes, I will do, but I don´t have to yet. I think it´s quite easy here for me. Because in London I’d have been in a small place with lots of people. Here I have my own place, which is big enough and even includes my studio.

    M: Please, describe your home. How does the interior look like? 
    W: It’s a classic 1930’s Hollywood apartment, pink from the outside; and reminds me of a little space ship in its shape. I have a papaya tree, roses and birds of paradise in my courtyard and the apartment itself has a huge amount of natural light, which I absolutely love. Its beautiful throughout the day and the light constantly shape shifts through the windows from morning to evening. The interior is very simple, chic  1970’s meets a mid-century modern vibe. I’ve tried to design it so the shadows cast from the light are not disturbed.

    M: Tell me about your collaboration with Nick Rhodes – how did you two meet each other? 
    W: Nick and I met through mutual friends and we have been collaborating on my second album for the past 18 months. 

    M: Why is he producing your album? 
    W: We both think in a very visual way, what constitutes a huge asset for our album collaboration, including building mood boards, finding picture references that create a visual world, echoed in the music. He completely understood the sound I wanted, what usually appears to be difficult to find in a collaborator. I love the world Nick has conceived with his projects in the past, including Duran Duran. Furthermore, he still very much continues creating an amazing, rich world that stands the test of time. It possesses a permanence that makes the songs sound like they were from another world.

    M: What is your favourite Duran Duran song? 
    W: That's a tough question!! To name a few, I love; Hungry Like a Wolf, A View To A Kill and Union of the Snake. 

    M: Tell me about your new songs – what is your inspiration behind them and how does this “record” stand out from your earlier releases? 
    W: This album is one of my favourite projects so far. For me, as an artist, it’s a big step up from my past releases. It feels like we’ve captured something extremely special; Nick and I have sonically created a very, otherworldly, unique sound that is hard to put into words. We have cast a wide inspiration net for this project. Hopefully, it conjures up different feelings for every listener to relate to and question. 

    M: Do you write all the lyrics yourself? 
    W: Yes, I write the lyrics for the songs. Lyrically, it’s my world and Nick is a great source of inspiration when it comes to support and nurture my ideas. It makes my lyrics become something strong. I’m proud of my work, where each song tells a story and opens a door into another world. 

    M: What projects do you have during 2020? 
    W: This album is my main project this year, which I will be focusing on the most. Setting up up a live show and performing all the songs live is one of the things that I’m most passionate about but, may now may have to reaches how this will happen under the current situation. But, now we have the album completed, this can start to develop as we understand how to adapt to the new world. It’s an exciting time.

    M: You have fantastic outfits and are a true inspiration. Do you have any favorite boutiques? 
    W: Thank you! I have always loved dressing up. I think I got this from my grandparents, who were terribly glorious and worked in the wool trade. I also inherited my love for theatricality and costume from my parents, who were theatre actors. My grandfather's first wife, Doris Langley- Moore opened a museum in Bath, England with her clothing collection, which is still open today and where you can visit her archive. She was one of the first female fashion historians and a truly dynamic and rather scandalous woman for her time…. I’ve always found a huge amount of inspiration in fashion and costume. It informs some of the characters I have created in the past through music and pictures. There are some labels that I love older and new, but I do like to buy a lot of vintage pieces that possess real elegance and shape. Some of my favourite designers are Thierry Mugler, Westwood, Comme des Garçons and Dries Van Noten. I’m also a big fan of the newly vamped label Ganni. I particularly love their 70’s flared pants! In fact, anything with a 70’s edge, also 1940’s & 50’s is my vibe. 

    M: How does an ordinary Friday look like for Wendy Bevan? 
    W: No day is ever the same for me, as I may be in the studio from early hours either recording or taking photographs. If I’m not, I have a routine that works for me. Before working out every morning, I get up and meditate for at least 20 minutes. Later, I try to squeeze in a hot yoga class during the day at some point or go for a hike. While living in LA, it’s easy to get into a healthy lifestyle, fresh juice and amazing vegan food. Normally, I start the day by writing some lyrical ideas, I try to discipline myself into this routine otherwise words are in my head during the day and the written page is lost. By the afternoon, I may be in a rehearsal or even in the studio recording something. By late afternoon and before sunset, I try to practice the violin and spend some time practising on my vocals. Since living in LA, I have also started to draw and paint a lot. If time allows, I might spend some moments doing this during the day - it's a great creative release for me. Throughout the quarantine, I’ve been working on several different projects including a new series of surrealist self portraits.

    M: If we want to look at your art projects – where can we see them? 
    W: Follow me on my instagram @wendybevanofficial or check out my website www.wendy-bevan.com. I’m also represented by RSA (Ridley Scott Associates) for my photography and moving image work, you can follow my work there too. 

    M: What dream of yours haven´t you realized yet? Why so? 
    W: I have so many dreams, it´s hard to realize everything by now, but surely, I will one day. I look forward to the future. Mainly, it´s about remembering those dreams through the hard times and keeping focus on your long-term goals. That´s not always easy, especially when life throws so many surprises on your way. But these days, I stay focused and dream of the future with my feet on the ground. In 2020, I’d love to be performing my work more, it´s how I build my world. But, it´s hard to plan right now, no one knows what the future will look like.

    M: Which of your qualities are you most proud of? 
    W: One of the things I most enjoy about life is the opportunity to be kind to one another. I have a big heart and like to be there for the ones I love. I have been practicing Buddhism over the last few years which has changed my life perspective. As an artist, things are not always secure and life offers a lot of uncertainties. At some point, I needed to understand how to create balance, which I feel I can now easily achieve with meditation. This foundation allows me to be who I am with some clarity. Maintaining self-belief throughout your career is a real challenge that I have faced many times. It has also helped me maintain stability throughout the isolation period of COVID-19.  I’m proud of the quality of strength and courage that somehow I seem to be able to sustain no matter how hard the storm is. 

    M: Name three people that have inspired you the most in your life? 
    W: My sister, my mother and my father. They have been my foundation, my house, my day, night and sky of everything I have learned and become. As I grow in this world, my understanding of human nature has become integral to knowing and loving my family. I now can imagine having my own one day.

    dress ROTATE
    coat with faux fur CLIO PEPPIATT
    boots TOPSHOP
    leather & lace skirt CLIO PEPPIATT
    boots & gloves ALAIA
    leather hot pants R&M LEATHERS
    boots ALAIA
    corset, veil & stockings SIAN HOFFMAN