• photography by ESTELLA ELOFSDOTTER

    Backstage at J.Lindeberg SS15

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    Biotopia - Unfolding an urban wilderness

    J.Lindeberg has been stepping it up during the last seasons, giving us an SS15 collection including tailored suits and leather jackets with a 60s mods influence. The collection was dressed up but at the same time adjusted for a cooler Scandinavian outdoor climate.

    After the show I went backstage and grabbed the one with the brains behind it all, designer Jessy Heuvelink, for a quick reflection on what we just saw walking down the runway.

    MM: Are you satisfied with the show?

    JH: Absolutely! I still have to see it filmed afterwards, but the energy and the feelings that I have right now are amazing. I'm extremely content.

    MM: Do you have any favorite pieces?

    JH: I have many favorite pieces. It's difficult to choose just one, but I would have to mention the leather pieces. I think they turned out really well. We took a step away from the clean leather we usually work with and introduced both washed leather and suede. I guess that makes it a bit more dirty and with a vintage feeling that we combined with more modern cuts. The flower inspirations I really like. The black leather roses give the collection a bit of couture edge. So there are a lot of elements I'm really happy with.

    MM: How do you keep evolving for every collection, and where do you find new inspiration?

    JH: Well, first of all I look around me, I see people on the streets. I think that's one of the main inspirations to actually look at what people are doing with the clothes that we're making. But also getting inspired by nature, that's one of my main sources for new ideas.

    MM: Do you follow any street style bloggers for that kind of inspiration?

    JH: No, not really, I want to see the people through my own perspective. I travel a lot and by that I get the chance to see so many different kinds of people. But I also think the bloggers do a fantastic job showing us street style from around the globe.

    MM: Does J.Lindeberg represent a typical Scandinavian style?

    JH: We definitely aim to show our Scandinavian heritage. I mean we're a Scandinavian brand but with strong international influences. I think this collections shows that we're ready to go worldwide.

    MM: I loved the show, and I wonder if you, as a designer, are also involved with choosing models and music?

    JH: Absolutely, I'm involved with everything from the color of the shoelaces to what kind of models we use. This season we had a casting process with 300 different models. It's extremely important to get the right characters into the clothes; sometimes something that looks good on one person can give a totally different energy on someone else.

    There's a lot of movement in the backstage area. Photos are being taken and there's a circle forming around us. I can feel the other journalists eager for a few words with the designer, so I thank Jessy for the talk and move on to the next show…

    photography by MARGOT NOWAK
    picture of Amy Winehouse wearing FRED PERRY x AMY WINEHOUSE
    photographed by Bryan Adams

    An interview with Charlie Middleton

    Written by Tsemaye Opubor by Michaela Widergren

    Dressing the tribe: Fred Perry’s subculture style

    British subculture style as we know it wouldn’t be the same without Fred Perry.

    Generations of teddy boys, mods, skinheads, soul boys, and rudies have all worn the iconic Fred Perry cotton pique shirt or Harrington jacket, adopting the pieces as an essential part of the uniform of the underground.

    On a sunny morning in May after a Bank Holiday, I was invited to Fred Perry headquarters to meet Charlie Middleton, Product Director for the brand.

    For a dedicated Fred Perry fan, stepping into the lobby of the building is like entering “the mothership”. Fred Perry’s laurel wreath logo is visible already from the door, built from birch plywood in a sculptural form that stretches some 7 metres from the door all the way to the built-in reception desk, where Fred Perry pin badges are placed strategically for visitors to take with them (yes, I took a pocket full).

    The lobby is a gallery space in miniature, and on my visit there were large format black and white photos on the walls of many of the musicians and personalities that are also devotees of the Fred Perry brand.

    TO: Fred Perry has reached British Heritage status as a company, although it is no longer British–owned, having been bought by Japanese investors a number of years ago. How does the company manage to keep its Britishness with foreign ownership?

    CM: In 1952, British tennis champion Fred Perry and a business partner launched a slim fit cotton pique tennis shirt with a laurel wreath embroidered on the front. It was a hit on tennis courts, and players liked the slim fit. Today in 2014, every piece that is produced is approached from the same starting point. Take a white shirt: the design team asks the question how can we make this piece very Fred Perry? From there we look at our different themes within the brand, to see what we need to do to achieve our goals. Finding what is in the brand DNA, and identifying the Britishness of the brand and holding on to it, and doing it in a contemporary way, that’s what keeps us relevant today. So, in that way, keeping an element of Britishness in what we do isn’t hard, because our identity doesn’t change so much.

    TO: What did the early subcultures like about Fred Perry?

    CM: It was The Teds and Mods that made Fred Perry the first sportswear to streetwear crossover in the 1960s.

    From the start, wearing a Fred Perry shirt was a clean, sharp, way for young people to dress. The clothing was different to what their parents or even other kids were wearing. When young people from different early subcultures like the mods, teddy boys and suedeheads discovered and dressed in Fred Perry clothing, I think rebelliousness got associated with the brand.

    TO: The brand still manages to create a buzz across a wide range of subcultures, more than 60 years after the start of the company. Why is that?

    CM: After 60 odd years, it would be very easy to sell it out. We keep an eye on trend but saying that, we don’t follow fashion. Fred Perry has a unique way of resonating with different subcultures, still, and music is really closely linked to the brand. Today we have new fans: from scooter boys in Taiwan to skateboarders on the west coast of the United States, and Brazilian 80’s casuals. They are all looking for the simplicity of the clothing and they are embracing the brand’s underground heritage as well.

    TO: Fred Perry and music seem to go hand in hand. Why is that?

    CM: We are lucky that music gives us a platform at the grassroots level to be involved with the music scene. We are able to showcase musicians at gigs on a monthly basis.

    Music is always contemporary. We can through music refer to a previous time that was important to the Fred Perry brand back in the 60’s, and still stay relevant today.

    TO: What can you tell me about The Amy Winehouse Foundation Collection?

    CM: The Amy Winehouse Foundation Collection has been produced for several seasons now. The evolution of the clothing was due to Amy’s passion. She was very much a part of it. She thought most of the pieces were perfect as they were and she didn’t think they should be “messed with” too much. She was such a purist. She loved the brand so much. We created many of the pieces in the collection by examining the way Amy wore Fred Perry. Her upturned collars, her colour choices, lots of things.

    We worked with Amy Molyneaux, who was Amy Winehouse’s stylist, for a few seasons after Amy sadly passed away. The collection is now designed in-house and we will be launching a special collaboration competition with Central Saint Martin’s University for SS15.

    TO: What’s next for the Fred Perry brand?

    CM: Product categories aren’t likely to change much, as we work really hard at what we do. That being said, new markets are emerging around the world and I think there are a lot of similarities in the kinds of people that wear Fred Perry, even if they are all individuals and in some ways all very different.

    So, what’s next for Fred Perry is cementing the various tribes of loyal Fred Perry fans and bringing them together globally through #WeAreTipped. We’re a special brand in terms of the diversity of our customers that choose to wear the Laurel Wreath as a badge of honour. Everyone is invited to be a part of Fred Perry, to be ‘tipped’.

    sleeve detail of a bomber jacket from the archive
    Charlie Middleton, Product Director
    employee at the Fred Perry Shop 
    bomber jacket patch detail from the archive
    employees at the Fred Perry shop
    Fred Perry showroom
    men’s shirt from the archive

    An interview with Magnus Gjoen

    Written by Michaela Widergren

    Magnus Gjoen is the former Vivienne Westwood denim and graphic designer, who abruptly changed his career from fashion to art while trying to decorate his own home. I got the opportunity for a quick Q&A with the London based artist who is using objects containing strong symbolic meanings in a beautiful and sensible way.

    MM: How’s London, and what are you doing today?

    MG: London. Well right now I’m in the bathtub which is the only place I have time to write this (or dictate to my iPad). There’s a lot to do with three shows on the horizon, moving to another house and quitting smoking (electronic).

    MM: How did you end up where you are?

    MG: I’ve been doing art for a few years now. But I started working in denim and fashion design for the last 10 years. It all started with wanting to decorate my own flat some years ago, and before I knew it, and with encouragement from friends, it had snowballed into having to leave my day job and become a full-time artist.
    It wasn’t just about what do I want on my walls it was also about what other people would hang on their walls.

    MM: Your artwork is edgy but also a bit romantic, so what do you want the work to convey to others?

    MG: I tend to look for beauty in the macabre. It’s about showing the audience something which they have a different relationship to and changing this and making them see that it can also be seen in a different light. In the end it’s about beauty and the unexpected, but also play to peoples’ emotions towards certain objects.

    MM: Do you get inspired by art, fashion or life itself? What’s the most important source of inspiration?

    MG: I get inspired by everything around me. Art is for sure one of my biggest inspirations whether it’s street, contemporary, modern or Renaissance art. You can take little snippets from each one, whether it’s a shape or color, it all coalesces into something new or different. I’ve been living between London, Bologna and Florence for the past two years for this reason; the more you see the more you get inspired.

    MM: What do you have planned for the future?

    MG: I’ve got a few shows coming up, two in London and a solo show in Florence. We’re doing a lot of porcelain pieces for the Florence show, so that’s exciting. And we’re currently working with Converse to make an art piece for the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

    MM: Coming to Scandinavia anytime soon?

    MG: Nothing on the calendar yet, but I’ll go back to Norway for a week to see family at some point this summer and there is a long overdue trip back to Copenhagen where I used to live.

    AK DELFT