• One of the ten winners of the Chanel Next Prize 2021 - Precious Okoyomon. Image courtesy of Chanel.

    Chanel Next Prize 2021

    Written by Lina Aastrup

    Chanel Next Prize is an international award that promotes innovation in arts and culture. Established to provide an emerging generation of artists with resources to develop new and ambitious projects, the winners receive 100,000 € in funding each, as well as access to mentorship and networking opportunities.The prize is an extension of Chanel’s legacy of arts patronage that began with Gabrielle Chanel’s support of avant-garde artists of her time and her desire to be part of what happens next, “ce qui va arriver” – hence the name “Next” Prize. The winners represent 11 countries and a wide variety of disciplines within arts and culture. Awarded biennially, the artists are nominated by a global advisory board representing different artistic practices from film to the visual arts. The 2021 jury consisted of multi-media artist Cao Fei, architect Sir David Adjaye OBE and actress Tilda Swinton.

    ”I’m obsessed with the miracle of the everyday life. I’m obsessed with how that translates into the very concept of how we imagine the good life or life itself, or how we stretch the imagined fabrics of what even we see art as.” - Precious Okoyomon, one of ten recipients of the Chanel Next Prize 2021.

    The Winners of the Chanel Next Prize 2021:
    Composer Jung Jae-il
    Collaborative practice Keiken made up of Hana Omori, Isabel Ramos and Tanya Cruz
    Game designer Lual Mayen
    Dancer and choreographer Marlene Monteiro Freitas
    Filmmaker Rungano Nyoni
    Poet and artist Precious Okoyomon
    Theatre director Marie Schleef
    Dancer and choreographer Botis Seva
    Filmmaker Wang Bing
    Filmmaker Eduardo Williams

  • photography Christofer Zagal

    fashion Diana Neumark

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    all clothing by Felicia Halén Fredell

    Born of Decay, An Interview with Felicia Halén Fredell

    Written by Diana Neumark by Sandra Myhrberg

    The Designer
    “When I was little I was praised for my drawings of people, this later evolved into “dressing up” my painted characters and then teenage me was thinking fashion design is the coolest thing one could do. Over time I realised it’s about the only thing I could actually do, so I naively pursued it and  entered the fashion industry like a baby ready to be moulded after anyone’s liking…” 
    - Felicia Halén Fredell 


    When  it  comes  to  fashion  and  design  Felicia  Halén  Fredell’s  thoughts  and  feelings  differs  from  the  norm  of  a  fashion designer.  In  her  graduation  project  essay  she  wrote  that  her  design  is  born  from  her  “contradictory  relationship  to fashion and the guilt it has brought”.

    Which is your favourite design piece made?
    My favourite piece is always the newest one, the one I  just made- or the one still in my head waiting to be made! Onto the next design that is always going to be bigger and better. I’ve simply stared at the ones in my archive far too long, so they don’t feel like achievements anymore.
    ‘Born of Decay’ was the name she chose for her graduation collection, shown at the catwalk when she graduated from Beckmans College of Design in Stockholm, 2018. Her ambition was to make an emotional collection, that was close to the heart and left the viewer with elusive emotions. Her goal with the design was to add as much value to fashion that it can’t be dismissed or rejected out of hand.

    “I have realised that my creativity has sprung from a critical examination approach that is often also 
    emotional rather than necessarily negative.”
    - Felicia Halén Fredell


    What is your favourite material to work with?
    I love fabrics that kind of defy people’s expectations of them. Like raw silk for example, it’s extremely rich in colour and  has  an  uneven  structure  that  gives  it  a  lot  of  life.  Most  people  seem  to  think  of  satin  as  soon  as  you  mention silk but they don’t know all the different forms the fiber can take on. Or how about a very fine wool crêpe with the most luxurious fall and matte finish, it’s destined for a draped dress - Just call me a fabric snob, I deserve it!

    Besides off being a fashion designer with a big philosophical mind she also works as a costume designer, illustrator and print designer with a focus on high craftsmanship. Since graduating from Beckmans Felicia hasn’t stopped challenging the fashion industry and its intentions with her innovative and conceptually clever yet complex fashion design. 

    Where would you say that most of your inspiration comes from?
    I strive for symbiosis between me and the wearer of my clothing. The greatest inspiration comes from the interview, which  is  the  first  consultation  where  I  get  to  know  my  customer  and  ask  questions  that  will  determine  a  design.  ” When  you  dress  yourself,  is  it  in  functional  uniform,  protective  armour,  a  statement  of  beliefs  or  a  playful  party?” This  is  followed  by,  ”are  you  happy  with  the  state  of  your  style  or  do  you  wish  to  evolve  so  it  better  matches  your inside?” And finally, ”how would you like to feel when I dress you? empowered? vulnerable? both?” I believe fashion is a fine tuned language and I want to express whatever is on the wearer’s mind.

    What can we expect from you in the future?
    You  can  expect  fashion  that  is  thoughtful,  personal  and  authentic.  There’s  always  gonna  be  a  lot  of  drama  as  well! The  launch  of  my  brand  is  somewhere  in  the  distant  future,  but  only  as  soon  as  I  have  separated  fashion  from exploitation. This  is  just  a  brief  touch  into  the  mind  of  Felicia  Halén  Fredell.  The  young  fashion  designer  that  questions  the  status quo of the clothing and fashion purpose.

    photography Christofer Zagal

    fashion & hair Diana Neumark

    model & makeup Cissi Torsler Viström  / Stockholmsgruppen

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    all clothing by Felicia Halén Fredell

  • photography Katarina Di Leva
    all clothing Whyred by Jessy Heuvelink

    Creation Of Opportunities, an interview with David Lagerqvist

    Written by Decirée Josefsson by Thea Undemo

    Of all the dance stars, few shine brighter than David Lagerqvist. Let the music play while seconds of art history will be formed. A sense of relief from tension is felt when Lagerqvist guides us through bodily storytelling with his elemental technique and sense of authenticity. The journey started at the early age of four when watching Svansjön on Swedish television. This experience motivated him to start his education at the Royal Swedish ballet making it clearer that he’s a man who fell to earth from Planet Ballet.

    For a couple of years, he’s been working as an independent dancer. On the verge of Corona, he is now working at Ballet Theater Basel in Switzerland following up with exhibitions and productions few can resist.

    Mr. Lagerqvist, how come you are interested in such a variety of multimedia?

    The mentality of translating something into aesthetics and producing something creative has always fascinated me.
    However, it is not only soothing to get close to the thought of a brief career. When I chose to be a professional dancer, I unwillingly prepared for early retirement. One often quits at the age of forty because of bodily pressure. To avoid creativity signifying survival, sometimes it can be good to remind me why I initially started. I've prepared myself for the future by always staying open-minded to various professions, not excluding anything.

    You started to dance early in life and have enjoyed a long journey to where you are today. Could you please describe it?
    I watched the remarkable opus Svansjön on Swedish television at the age of four. I felt represented and inspired by the performance and how the creators had manifested the story. That made me start to take weekly ballet classes at the Royal Swedish Ballet School. Sharply following I stopped, because I represented the only guy in the group. While I was off, I tried different types of activities which were never the same. The four-year-old David observing Svansjön moment was still present. A couple of years went by until I turned fifteen and properly started my education at the Swedish Royal Ballet School. Since that age, I’ve been managing both as a freelance dancer and for institutions. Right now I’m working in Schweiz.

    Name remarkable productions which affected you deeply other than Svansjön?
    I worked in a production at Dramaten named Safe in 2018. A performance which held at Ingmar Bergmans 100th anniversary. It was impressive. It vibrated with my ways of expressing creativity because of the subtexts and cultural expressions. The story was dramatic and authentic and I combined dancing with acting.

    Can you describe how training so intensively at an early age has affected you?
    It can be both challenging for the mind as well and the body. The pandemic has been severe.
    You try imagining the finished product with all the work you put your heart into without knowing when or if being able to perform again. As for everyone, life ain’t a bed of roses. Ultimately, you have to continue bending over backward still if it's tough. I'm proud I never gave up hope. By getting maturer I've learned to acknowledge my limits to properly set boundaries to protect my body.

    How do you handle audition setbacks? Does it affect you?
    There is something crucial about developing the ability to handle different situations while being exposed to a large amount of stress if one decides to be a dancer. To circumvent getting caught up in adversity for a choreographer, production, or role it’s good to have more than one project ongoing. That prevents sadness if something may not go as planned. As a dancer, you are steadily affected by others' preferences. However, I did not enter into this profession to satisfy anyone. I want to develop my possibilities and try not to care too much about others'. I will keep on striving to achieve that.

    Is there something that you desire to change in the industry?
    There’s a difference between institutions and freelance life. Institutions are highly pressured by the administration to push the cast to be more than capable of achieving. To avoid making the dancers burned out it would be logical to conduct more frequent conversations of what’s credible expectations based on the individual.

    What do you glimpse for in a production?
    I appreciate the theatrical side. The expressions and the authenticity.

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