Written by Ksenia Rundin

    The Extraordinary World of Christian Tagliavini’ invites us into the world of a photographer, who with the mind of an architect, creates unimaginably intricate and meticulously calculated silhouettes, and with the precision of a watchmaker, places every tiny detail into its own aesthetic space, bestowing his audience with a true historical and fashion experience wrapped in the imaginative lustre of the postmodern times. Christian Tagliavini is the artist, who turns photography into a complexed architectural process of planning, researching, designing and constructing an artwork, what at the same time is also extremely exciting. The eye is making its own voyage, bringing the mind along, while discovering new references, admiring new lines and applauding to new ideas. In his artworks, the rigidity of the architectural language is alleviated by the plenitude of historical allusions and embellished by the inscrutable enigma of fashion connotations, accommodated by the immaculacy of the craftsmanship.

    Going from Machiavelli to Jules Verne, from Il Bronzino to Modigliani, you create your own imaginary world, filled with abounding references, adhering to the spheres of art, fashion and engineering. From a passive beholder, you suddenly become an emotional co-creator, taking Christian Tagliavini’s stories into your own ingenious plane of your now roused imagination. The combination of different devices and 3D technology, intellectually engages you into something imaginary that might never have existed, and through the immersive sensations leading you further to a kind of splice of the existed knowledge and a self-constructed augmented reality. Henceforth, the exhibition is a unique celebration of Italian stringent splendour with its clear architectural lines, befuddled by the playfulness of mind, curiosity of history, versatility of fashion and flamboyance of art. Tomorrow the exhibition leaves Stockholm to conquer new horizons, but the experience will stay with us like the aftertaste following a sip of vintage Barolo Monfortino Riserva.

    What did you do before becoming a photographer? And what made you change your career?
    Before becoming a photographer, I studied engineering and architecture and ten years later graphic design was discovered. Then I started working as a graphic designer for a big publishing house in Italy. Nevertheless, the graphic design as such did not completely satisfied my creative side. Suddenly, I realised that I merely was a number in a big space among other graphic designers.

    Photography I have actually discovered by accident, while attending a solo exhibition of Patrick Demarchelier. At that moment something happened in my mind – I was captured not by the image as such but by its impeccable quality. It was that carefully performed back-and-white printing that conquered me. Exactly one month later, I bought my first medium format camera and started playing, photographing different objects, like still life, architecture and also people in the street, asking them to pose for me for free.

    In 2004 I discovered Mise-en-scen Photography through the works of Erwin Olaf and Gregory Crewdson. It is a strange type of photography, called in America ‘one-shot movie’. And I started taking my first steps in two series of photographs, inspired by another photographer and using a wallpaper - a work someone had done before me. Thus, in 2008 my first series ‘Dame Di Cartone’ was conceived, what also helped me to discover my personal identity in photography. Each new series helps me to explore more and more within myself and strengthen my own voice, establishing my personal signature in this type of art. It is not easy for me as my identity is very important for me and I try to re-discover it every time I start a new series. I try to do as much as I can by myself, besides tailoring. Otherwise, I work as a carpenter, engineer, designer – everything from tiny details to big parts. Photography has completely changed my creativity and my perception of this world. When freelancing, you give to the client all your creativity concentrated in the final result, which client can transform by moving some details. Meanwhile, in photography you cannot change anything, after the picture is taken, it is all there.

    When did you realize that photography was that something you were looking for in life?
    I think in 2011, when, after having created three series as a Mise-en-scen photographer and still working as a graphic designer, I received an invitation to Paris Photo [the largest international art fair dedicated to photographic medium] not as a visitor, but as an artist, I understood that the direction had already been chosen. All of a sudden, I realised that I had already hit the photography market with three series of successful photographs. Hence, I quit the graphic design and comprehensively dedicated myself to photography.

    Every detail in your work is unique, whether it is the wallpaper in the background of a photograph or some mysterious headgear. The face expressions in your photographs in the series “1503”are very hard to comprehend. Is it the mystery of the face you are looking for, as a fuel for your creativity engine?
    The series ‘1503’ were growing in a peculiar way, because the beginning constituted my first steps in the stage photography. Today I methodologically use a study board to decide colours, pose and dress but by then, I had no idea how to do such photographs. Nevertheless, the series is inspired by two artists and the epochs they lived in, where the first one is the Florentine Mannerist painter Agnolo Bronzino (1503-1572), to whom I pay homage in my artworks. The other one is the Italian painter and sculptor Amedeo Modigliani (1884-1920). In this sense, two Italian painters, belonging to two different art eras meet in my works, where I, by using mechanical trick, compound the photography and photoshop. If you observe the paintings of the past, you could recognize that no one is smiling on them, because the painting supposed to instill a sense of power into the beholder. The same trend you could see in the photographs of the first era of photography, by the end of the 19th Century.  Thus, this is the mystery in my photography.

    What do you enjoy the most, the result as such or the process of creation, while mastering your own space?
    It is a good question, where the official answer is both. Every time I start with a new series, it is a huge fun to make new discoveries, realizing new things as for instance 3D technology, which I used for the last project, materializing the quality of 3D printing. In connection to the project, I even attended a 3D fair to gain knowledge and ideas surrounding the technology. Challenges I meet ‘behind the scene’, while beginning a new project, create a great dose of excitement in my mind. Furthermore, I spend a lot of time making research in order to avoid any bloopers in my works. Everything should be on its place the way I want it to be.

    How do you decide what series you want to create, what theme to start playing with?
    The ideas strike me in various ways. For example ‘Dame Di Cartone’, inspired by cubism, is based on the interplay of the 3D technology and two-dimensionality of the cardboard. I happened in a tailor shop, when the tailor brought me a piece of fabrics that turned to be quite rigid, reminding a piece of cardboard. It made me think and after a while, sitting in the car, I started discoursing about the relationship between 3D and 2D. That is how the idea of the cardboard dresses for the series was born. Another story concerns the series ‘Voyages Extraordinaires’, devoted to the theme of journey and traveller, inspired by the famous French poet and novelist Jules Verne. In other words, each series has its own source of inspiration acquired either by accident or through a certain scientific research.

    Could you describe the clothing creation process in general stages? Do you do the whole work from the sketch to the completed look?
    In the last three series the process turned to be all the same, because I could establish my own method for approaching a new project. First, I and my colleague Paola spend a lot of time to research things around the idea we have, what constitutes a significant part for me prior to any concrete work such as a sketch or a storyboard. I need to know the era I am working with, whether it is the end of the 20th Century or the Renaissance, as it is important in order to avoid any mistakes. When I have acquainted myself with all the details, I move over to sketching, inspired by iconographic research that I already have in my mind. My aim is not to make a reproduction of the past but to create my own interpretation of it, inspired by the latter. It is the period when my creativity is completely free. Later, we create a storyboard in black and white, which I hand over to Paola with instructions concerning for example the colour and quality of the fabrics we are using or of any details that we are going to put into the composition. Meanwhile, we are looking for a model. Previously, I could just find a model on the street with exclusion for children, where we always go through model agencies. Today, people are walking with their faces hidden by smartphones, what makes it difficult for me to see the faces. Thus, I use social media such as Facebook, to find a right model. Finally, we prepare the shooting and take a picture.

    Would you say that you combine architecture with fashion in your works, where fashion could be seen from a historical perspective?
    I used to make a joke, calling myself a fashion designer. When I work with a certain era, I usually have a book describing fashion during that era, which undoubtedly inspires me, modifying my creativity and resulting in a sketch for a dress I later place in the composition. I do everything by myself but the dress as such would be sewn by a tailor, based on the sketch I have provided. Thus, the tailor materializes my dress idea into a real object.

    What do you think architecture and fashion have in common based on your experience?
    I think that some fashion creations are well architected that they become art objects. The definition of architecture such as artistic elaboration of the structural, functional and aesthetic elements of the building can also be used for dress as the final result. In every era fashion has changed those structural, functional an aesthetical references in accordance with the premises given under the period.

    Have you had any fashion collaboration with designers or fashion magazines? Any in future?
    Not yet, but I had a chance to work with a seamstress and tailor and could appreciate their knowledge of techniques, tips and tricks.

    Could you please describe how you got the ideas for the design of your futuristic headgears?
    For the series ‘1406’ I was inspired by 1300 and 1400 paintings and ‘re-visited’ them with my ideas. As I mentioned before, prior to jumping into the design process and technical drawings, I do research of the period. For example ‘La Moglie dell’Orefice’ refers to the painting of ‘Sant'Eligio nella bottega di un orefice’ [St Eligius in His Workshop] (1449) by Petrus Christus.

    Are you inspired by haute couture? Any preferences there?
    I try to find references of the period that I want to include into my project.  Without making any reproduction, I try to follow the historical period but combine the latter with more modern materials and technologies. I can remember some fashion exhibitions that I visited and where the dresses really moved me in the way works of art could do. Talking of recent fashion, I remember an exhibition of dresses of Roberto Capucci, where I was impressed by the ability to combine the possibility of wearing a dress and the complexity of constructing the latter. The dresses seemed to look like sculptures. Another story is the exhibition of Gianfranco Ferré ‘The White Shirt According to Me’, where I could perceive his technical research to get to those results. I also remember a wonderful exhibition in Bilbao celebrating Armani. I would like to learn, see and admire more.

  • Tictail x HOBO

    Written by Meghan Scott

    In today’s convenience of digital shopping, we are slowly becoming detached from 'in real life' communication with brands, sometimes opting for convenience over quality and individuality. As technology grows stronger and our workloads surreptitiously increase before our eyes, our dependence on convenience becomes indisputable. With marketing strategies streamlining with our needs through social media outlets, we are slowly losing touch with the tangible world of consumerism. Shopping habits have changed dramatically over the past 10 years and there is a longing for the brick-n-mortar boutique aspect of shopping. With retail chains smothering the market and blinding the mainstream from the way it used to be, the future of retail for independent brands is transforming its approach and it is important to have an appealing setting to draw in.

    Todays leading online marketplace for emerging designers, Tictail, and Stockholm’s famed design boutique hotel, Hobo have teamed up and launched Tictail x Hobo, a permanent brick-n-mortar storefront located in the lobby. And ‘Space By’, the original space for featured designers will remain within the Tictail x Hobo section. City dwellers and visitors can have an immersive shopping experience in the lobby of Hobo and tangibly explore pieces from the Tictail marketplace. Located at Brunkebergstorg 4, with the appropriate title ‘Summer Escape in the Swedish Archipelago’ that will feature 25 brands from 13 countries;  including hats by Portuguese designer Jolie Su, sunglasses by Stockholm native Nividas, beautiful handmade jewelry by Art of Observance in New York and modern knit blankets by French designer Mathilde Boulley. In tandem with the store opening, one Tictail brand per month has the opportunity to open a pop-up shop in the ‘Space By’, giving visitors the opportunity to meet the designers face-to-face and learn more about the brand on a personal level.

    The unveiling of the collaboration took place last week at an intimate dinner that included a small selection of press and influencers who are passionate about the Tictail brand. The evening commenced with bottles of bubbly and a tour of the storefront followed by a fabulous dinner hosted by Carl W Rivera, CEO and co-founder of Tictail and his team and Mattias Stengl, the General Manager at Hobo Hotel. After dessert, we were charmed with an acoustic set by the super talented Swedish pop singer, Rhys. The evening came to an end with more bubbles on the rooftop bar, Tak, overlooking the city.  We also had a chance to discuss the partnership tête-a-têtes. 

    When was the idea of the collaboration first materialized?
    Mattias: Hobo has from the very beginning been driven by a philosophy to not accept status quo and to do things in a different way – especially in collaboration with others. I think we as hoteliers need to challenge ourselves with questions such as “If guests don’t pay for the hotel room in 5 years, what would they be willing to pay for instead?”. Those type of questions challenge us to create experiences beyond just a great night’s sleep and it also challenges us to adapt to an increasingly digital world. With all that said, I was so happy to have met Carl Waldekranz about a year ago. Sometimes you meet people that you immediately understand, who you share values with and that you want to work with. I have been following Tictail for many years and have been impressed by how they are pushing boundaries and with our mission to find out what role hotels will play in the future I was humbled about the thought that Tictail and Hobo should create something together. Said and done we continued our dialogue and we are now ready to take our retail experience and Space By to the next level and we could not wish for a better partner to do that with.

    Carl: When I met Mattias last summer we and had an instant connection: our two businesses and brands share many common traits and values and it felt like a natural fit to work together on something amazing. We both seek to approach something that feels conventional and known, like hotels and retail, but making it unlike anything anyone has ever seen, so when the opportunity came to collaborate on a storefront within Hobo, we both knew we could make amazing things happen together. At Tictail, we have always set out to redefine what e-commerce can and should be, and with Tictail Market we really saw the impact of opening a storefront to our business: turning into a must-visit NYC staple, a community hub, an event space. Opening our second storefront in our hometown of Stockholm speaks not only to the power of brick-and-mortar for our business but to the future of in-store retail for Tictail and the convergence of online and digital.

    Was the decision to have a permanent collaboration influenced by the concept of Hobo’s previous pop-up?
    Carl: We’ve had pop-up’s with Tictail previously, albeit in a different format, both in Stockholm, Paris and New York - and we really saw a huge success at each of those occasions. After opening Tictail Market in New York it became even more evident what having a brick-and-mortar meant for our business. Over the past years we’ve been asked repeatedly about opening another storefront, but in Stockholm, however, we didn’t want to do it until we found the perfect opportunity – we wanted to make sure we could create something really special, unlike anything else. When I met with Mattias, and after staying at Hobo on so many different occasions, it became evident how well the establishment connects with our audience. They promote the love for traveling, meeting new cultures and as a hotel, it is a natural place for a lot of foot traffic. At Tictail, we love hosting events at our NYC storefront and we couldn’t have asked for a better partner here in Stockholm. It is also important to us to create something new with this second location, something that differentiates this from what we have done in NYC. That’s where the Space BY concept comes in, as the last bit of the puzzle. Having the opportunity to offer this to an emerging designer, who can come in and take over the space and run their own retail shop, for some this may be the very first time in such an environment, is something we are so excited about!

    Mattias: At Hobo, our idea prior to this collaboration came from the question of how we could contribute to the community and the outcome was an ever-changing pop-up area for emerging brands, start-ups, and designers. When we then decided to do Space By and we adopted things from the pop-up shop concepts. We have always tried to do things in an easy way and make it possible for many brands to be there even if you are a super small brand that usually do not have your own physical store.

    Have some of the designers that sell on Tictail have had a pop-up at ‘Space By’ in Hobo before?
    Mattias: Hobo is a brand that has its roots and heart in Stockholm and combined with our love for collaborations, we decided early on to create a space inside our lobby that was meant for our community and a way to support emerging brands, start-ups and designers. The result was Space BY and it’s been amazing to see Space BY flourish over the past year, and we are humbled about the opportunity that we have been given to collaborate with progressive brands like Bukvy, Deadwood, Teenage Engineering and many more. Some of these also sell their products at Tictail, such as Bukvy and Deadwood, and this is something that made our collaboration now even more natural.

    Would you ever plan to branch out even further, perhaps Los Angeles? Berlin? Or another city you believe Tictail and its designers could benefit from? Which city would you choose and why?
    Carl: The possibilities are endless. One of the main reasons we love having storefronts in New York and Stockholm, is because we have very active communities in both of those cities. As we continue to think about future storefronts, we will continue to prioritize having an active community in said location. At the end of the day, it’s about community building and making everyone – from our new neighbors to our participating Tictail brands - feel welcome in the space we build. Right now, we want to dedicate time to making Tictail x Hobo as incredible as it can be before thinking of our next location. That said, Paris is a huge market for us, with a wonderful Tictail community, and could be an amazing place to open a store in the coming years.

    The Tictail brand and marketplace will probably expand after this shop opening, do you think this will create a shopping trend not only in retail, moving into the future in terms of web to brick-and-mortar? How do you think this concept will influence consumerism in the future?
    Carl: By creating physical spaces where Tictail products can be featured, we want to build upon what is already occurring online through our platform and offer customers another avenue to interact with these great products and brands. Another important aspect for us has been to tell the story behind the product someone buys. Globalization has created anonymity when shopping today where the average consumer has no idea where, or who made the item that they are purchasing. This is something we aim to change and make sure shoppers get to know the people behind the brands they shop from. When customers are deciding between a small business and big fashion brands, the story behind the product is something that can really help highlight the value in what they bring to the table.

    For Hobo, do you think this will create a shopping trend not only in retail, moving into the future?
    Mattias: I think this collaboration has the possibility to change the way that we look at spaces in general. If a hotel could be a retail experience I think it’s a lot of other venues and places that could do things that they necessarily don’t do at the moment. I also think it could be something that will inspire others to find partners where one is online based and the other offline based.

    If you live in Stockholm or happen to be in town, it is worth checking out, located at Brunkebergstorg 4, in the city center. 

  • photography by JÖRGEN AXELVALL


    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    Japan has never ceased to be a source of inspiration for the Western culture, starting with the two-hundred-year-long isolation under the sakoku (“closed country”) policy and ending with Japonism, whose influences have embraced artists such as Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Degas, Alphonse Mucha and also art movements from Realism to Art-Nouveau and Symbolism. Odalisque Magazine was given a chance to talk art with the Japanese artist Mariko Matsushita, whose art works speak the language of philosophical aesthetics, bringing the matter and form into a conscious meaning for the beholder.

    The references we see in Mariko’s art are a merely reflection of our mind, where those have already been hidden for a long time and now, provoked by the sense of exoticism, caused by the art works, are swiftly trying to break out. These are emotions that make us human, make us strong and make us feel real and alive. Looking at Mariko’s art we deal with a postmodern interpretation of East Asian ideals, where digital technology challenges our authenticity and questions our identity. Mariko makes you unpretentiously live it.

    Why did you decide to become an artist?
    I never thought of becoming an artist. I needed my own language to speak about myself. I seek for expression being driven by necessity. I am not an artist, I want to become myself.

    When I look at your drawings I think of Frida Kahlo and Finnish artist Markus Heikkerö because I see a touch of surrealism, sexuality and vulnerability. Could you say what message you are placing into your drawings?
    The message I breathe into my work is about the sense of “being alive”. During the course of one's life, you might feel pain like someone would be peeling off your rawhide. You feel a dark loneliness that no one can understand. You may experience a feeling of freedom, living like you were flying unconcerned. You feel the fate given to you by heaven. You feel the happiness which is warm and natural, spreading itself to every corner of the body. And you also feel the irony as all these might just be a lie.

    I strongly feel that I am alive, especially through physical sensations. I do exercise, daily training my body. And this practice reminds me that in spite of the technological innovations, we humans are all given a small body, as a mass of very sharp sensory organs. Our own body tells us that it contains a certain flame similar to the sun’s, and that it is complex and mysterious like the universe, as much as it constitutes a very small and insignificant existence in comparison to the latter.

    I always think about my sense of body and sense of time. Through experiencing my life, I think about life and death. Why are we alive, why are we humans, and why am I myself? In my actual sense of living, I also strongly feel an impulse urging and seeking for others.

    You paint female body a lot. Who is/are the woman/women on your canvas?
    Regardless of female or male, what I paint recently is myself or my close friends. My paintings are also words, mirrors, friends in my heart. So my models are often someone intimate or emotionally involved. The relationship may have ended, while painting. I interact and bring them back out of somewhere they don’t know they belonged to. In such a case, painting is also a ceremony of a fatal encounter and alienation.

    I could also see a shadow of Van Gogh in your brush strokes. Am I right or wrong? Please comment.
    I think that when you confront with painting, it is all up to the beholders, regardless who they are and how they think. The painting also acts like a mirror. Van Gogh lives in your heart, the heart that sees the shadow of Van Gogh on my painting. I think that is precious. In the movie “Fahrenheit 451”, there is a line saying something like, “There are humans behind the book, I am attracted to it”. I think that it could be applicable to all literature and all arts.

    The impressive power that art can hold, is not only about creating the art as such, but also to deliver tremendous messages to someone through time and space. It is a message directed to life, which is not so easy to verbalize. It is a message directed to love and humanity.

    Please tell me about your collaboration with the photographer Mikito Tateisi. What did you endeavor to create?
    This is the record of myself. The day will come, when my own body dies. Until that day, I will continue to record my body and feelings of myself and others with paintings, photos, videos and poetry. I understand that I am an insignifiant person, but I feel that the record might help someone else to live. The place where human consciousness awakens is a very dark place. I think that art can be done by placing the next stepping stone in the dark without any concrete meaning.

    In 2017, I spent the summer in the Delfina Foundation in London. While in residence, I hung a red cloth on the window and thus, lived everyday in a room reddened with the sunlight. In the room there were daily necessities and what I wanted to create was something overflowing and accumulated. The red room was also mentally influential, I was experiencing various psychological conditions … The room would turn pinkish with the daylight, then it turned into deep red with the evening light… It made me slightly nervous, giving a strange feeling. I gradually started thinking that I would like to create an art piece using meat, imitating a fetus placed in a pseudo-uterus called “a red room”.

    At first I was making a small sculpture carving a little piece of meat in the shape of an animal, but the meat grew gradually and finally I walked around the city with a mass of meat weighting 14.4 kilos and spent time naked with the meat in my room. Thus, collaboration with Mikito is the record of the “red room” which also has been an installation and a performance.

    You have had collaboration with a fashion brand. Tell about your experience as an artist entering fashion.
    First of all, I merely lent the paintings, I did not participated in the designing process of the clothes as such. However, it was a very interesting experience of my paintings going to the town not only in the atelier and the exhibition place but also on the people's clothes.

    In the 1990s, when I was a teenager, there were several magazines that snapped Japanese Harajuku Fashion, and the fashion was the street culture for me.

    Two brands that I collaborated with are also brands for young women. Some people might get sceptical of such collaborations, but I would like to go out more on the street through production. I think that it will guide me to expressions that are not just paintings, such as images, performances and poetry.

    I hope that not only prints with my art works are to be viewed but also many people wear art, become art, live powerfully and be free. And paradoxically, even if you do not wear anything, you do not have anything. No matter how old you are, you can be yourself, you can jump into art from writing only one verse, this is what I want you to feel with my art.

    Do you have any future fashion collaborations planned?
    I have not decided anything yet, but personally, I would like to make kimonos. Kimono is traditional Japanese clothing. I would make it very planar and play with it as it was a painting hanging in the room.

    Like many Japanese people, I have had a modern childhood and thereof, have been separated from the traditional Japanese life. However, as I deal with art and deepen my various ideas, I gradually return to the Oriental ideas and thoughts.

    When I stayed in the Delfina Foundation last year and traveled all over Europe, there were many cases that reminded me of Japanese culture. I think that fusing not only clothes but also wisdom of the West and the East is important.

    What do you think art and fashion can learn from each other in the aspects of creativity and sustainability?
    I am not specialist concerning fashion. However, looking at the changing society, various things can be considered. For example, a genderless world expressed and driven by fashion, a screened communication of the body deployed on the Internet. Furthermore, the manufactured limbs such as artificial arms and feet which are concerned a necessity today will be eventually transformed from the perspective of trans-humanism. 
    Medical development encourages people to dress. The design of artificial legs is already quite artistic now.
    Imagining the future, the body expansion will be in the field of general fashion, I think that the sense of “human beauty” will become more diverse.

    An era may also come when you can genetically customize the skin color, hair color, height, etc. of a child coming to be born. Why, is it me? Where on earth do you live with your heart? With the expansion of physicality, there will be a time of reincarnation, when many people listen to themselves and the question of “human”. It is very important.

    We are living in the midst of the flow of the canal in the era of technology increasingly being developing.
    Every art, music and literature will play an important role for not losing your human self, growing to an intelligent, lovely adult, and always keeping paying it forward to the next generations.
    I am planning to travel the world from now on and I would like to know about gender and death in various cultures. I think that I will learn a lot about fashion and art as well.

    And I will never stop dreaming about the future, drawing my sense classically and magically like a cave painting.