Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Liam Fahy

Photo Courtesy Of Liam Fahy

YOU WERE BORN IN HARARE, ZIMBABWE AND GREW UP ON A SNAKE FARM, CONTINUE THE STORY FROM THERE: WHY FOOTWEAR? AND WHY WOMEN’S SHOES?
I was studying developmental psychology and narrowly chose footwear design over psychology. I didn't want to study for seven years, and had wanted to have my own shoe company since I was about 14. I chose women’s shoes after trying out all the other types of footwear first. Women’s footwear, especially in the super luxury market, allows the designer to be far more creative. It’s more expressive and sexy than other categories.

WHERE DID YOU LEARN THE CRAFT? 
I studied at De Montfort University, the best place to study real footwear making and design. Then I worked for sneaker companies in China for a while learning the technology. When I got tired of that I won the Fashion Fringe and was able to learn how the Italians make luxury footwear in Bologna. There are so many types of footwear and the processes are always developing so I like to think I'm always learning.

HOW DID YOU GET YOUR BREAK?
By luck. My girlfriend gave me a small article, torn off from a metro newspaper, which was announcing the Fashion Fringe competition to be judged by Manolo Blahnik. I gave it a go and won which lead me to design for Rupert Sanderson.

HOW DOES YOUR CULTURAL HERITAGE INFLUENCE YOUR ARTISTRY?
It's quite a mix. I was born in Zimbabwe, my father is Irish, my mother is Portuguese/English and I live in London which is more multicultural than anywhere in the world. Each one of the shoes I produce is named after someone I know, I try to get as many Irish/Celtic names in there as I can. And each collection has some inspiration from Africa, whether the vibrant colours, materials or just the symbols and shapes. Africa is a never ending source of inspiration, the trick is translating it into luxury. Every shoe we make comes with a small dust bag that is made by a charity we support in Zimbabwe. The Shingirai Trust, a group of women (an NGO) that supports orphans.

WHAT MOTIVATES YOU?
I love learning. With every project I do; designing shoes, accessories, websites, books, furniture or cooking food, I love the process more than the result. As Confucius said, “Choose a job you love and you'll never have to work a day in your life.” I think if anyone decides to have a career in fashion they must find out what it is that they enjoy about it. Don't do it for the money because the money rarely trickles down past the luxury groups, and the hours are longer than in any other business sector.

WHAT PART OF YOUR JOB DO YOU LIKE THE LEAST?
Fashion is becoming less about talent and more about hype. The highest bidder always wins. I guess it's no different to pop music.

ANY TIPS ON HOW NOT TO RUIN THE PERFECT OUTFIT WITH THE WRONG PAIR OF SHOES?
I think you should start with the shoes and then decide on the outfit. My tip is to choose one thing to show off. Don’t’ look like a Christmas tree with all the bells, whistles, colours and the kitchen sink. One of my favourite quotes is by Bruno Munari, 'To progress is to simplify, not to complicate.” Another great tip is to only wear our shoes. You can’t go wrong.

DO YOU HAVE ANY PREFERENCE FOR WHAT A WOMAN SHOULD WEAR?
I like to see women wearing things that show off their personality or have some degree of individuality no matter how small. It's all about expression and doing your own thing. Do something random just because you can.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN STYLE?
Very simple, black and white. No logos. Kind of like the guy in “The Book of Mormon” poster on the London tube adverts. I’m very serious about what socks I wear though. It’s all about the socks!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Pentatonica

Photographed By Karen Burgos

AW15. 

Friday, March 20, 2015

Casual Friday

Photographed By Karen Burgos

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Brittany Huckabee

Photo Courtesy Of Brittany Huckabee

YOU WERE RAISED IN A RELATIVELY CONSERVATIVE HOUSEHOLD IN COLORADO AND TEXAS, HOW DID FILMMAKING COME TO YOU, AND HAVE YOU FACED ANY OBSTACLES IN YOUR PURSUIT OF IT?
Growing up, I couldn't decide if I wanted to be a visual artist, a writer or an academic. At some point I realized filmmaking could bring together elements of all three. So I just did it. I learned a lot about production as a local television reporter, then I moved to the East Coast and began producing documentaries for public television. Making connections in the independent film industry wasn't an automatic process. It has taken time, and there have been assumptions to overcome. But a different background can also be a strength - it means I bring a different perspective to my work.

DIRECTOR, EDITOR AND PRODUCER, HOW ARE THESE TITLES OBTAINED?
The lines between roles in independent filmmaking are blurry. When you're short on money and personnel you just do what you have to do to make the film. At some point you have to give a name to what you've done. Director or producer usually means you were in charge of the creative or business front. Editor means you sat in front of a computer and put the footage together to make a film.

WHAT INSPIRES YOU ON A DAILY BASIS?
I just began work on a new film about female military veterans, and I've been immersed in war literature. Given all that and everything else going on in the world it's hard not to see life as cruel and unfair. I find inspiration in acts of rebellion. For me that includes looking for beauty and joy in every place I can. It's always there, in the cracks and crevices. You just have to excavate it.

WHAT’S YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS AND HOW DO YOU TACKLE YOUR SUBJECT MATTERS?
I try to set aside a bit of time in the mornings to write about whatever's in my mind. Brain dumping is incredibly important to creativity. So is focus, at least in my field. I'm also all about structure. While working on a documentary project, whether in the field or in the edit room, I keep running story outlines. These are always changing but they keep me on track and help ensure no good ideas get away.

DO YOU EXPRESS YOURSELF CREATIVELY IN OTHER WAYS?
I like making small watercolour paintings, though I can't say I'm any good at it.

YOU’RE PART OF THE TEAM BEHIND THE NEW DOCUMENTARY, ”HOT GIRLS WANTED”, PRODUCED BY RASHIDA JONES, WHICH RECENTLY PREMIERED AT SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. HOW DID THE PROJECT AND COLLABORATION ORIGINATE?
I had collaborated with the directors on an earlier documentary called “Sexy Baby”, which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012 and aired in the U.S. on Showtime (and in Sweden on SVT). They had set out to make a follow up film and convinced me to join the effort. Rashida was already speaking out about the issues the film examines and came on board after she saw some sample footage we put together.

“SEXY BABY” ALSO BRUSHES ON THE ASPECT OF INCREASINGLY YOUNGER WOMEN BEING LURED INTO A CULTURE SEEMINGLY SKEWED IN THE FAVOUR OF MEN. DO THESE DOCUMENTARIES AID IN CREATING AN AWARENESS OF A SOCIETAL PROBLEM OR DO THEY AUGMENT THE APPEAL OF THE SET VALUES?
Both films tell character-driven stories that explore how the culture intersects with the lives of ordinary women and girls, hopefully allowing viewers to make their own judgments. I wouldn't say, though, that the societal problem is that our culture is increasingly skewed in favour of men. I suppose it's always been that way. The problem is one that comes along with female liberation. And this is my personal opinion, not the official position of the films. As women are increasingly empowered to wrest their sexuality from male control, things have gotten confusing. Nicki Minaj can wear hot shorts and wink at us while she's doing it, and we can agree she owns it. But what about every 12-year-old girl who wants to be her? Especially for young girls still getting a handle on their sexuality, it can be difficult to sort out who or what you are actually pleasing: yourself or the male gaze? It's a situation that can be ripe for exploitation, raising all kinds of questions about agency.

DO YOU FIND IT CHALLENGING TO BE A FEMALE FILMMAKER IN A MALE DOMINATED FIELD?
People do make assumptions based on gender. Young women don't make serious films. I feel like I've gotten that one a lot. When I'm out working in the field those attributes can be a big asset. I don't seem threatening. That's probably helped me a lot to connect with film subjects and convince them to open up about their lives.

IT’S BEEN SAID THAT WOMEN AREN’T REWARDED FOR THEIR INPUT IN THE MOVIE BUSINESS TO THE SAME EXTENT AS MEN. DOES AN INSTITUTIONAL BIAS EXIST OR DOES IT BOIL DOWN TO THE FACT THAT THERE ARE MORE MEN ACTIVE IN THE INDUSTRY, THUS BY SHEER NUMBERS THEY’RE MORE LIKELY TO BE RECOGNISED FOR THEIR WORK?
Certainly there are still biases, but women are pretty well represented as directors and producers in the field of independent documentary. At Sundance this year, almost half of the documentaries in competition were directed by women. Laura Poitras just won the Oscar for “Citizenfour”. Our voices are being heard. That's probably because we can and will work outside of institutions, with very little money. And that of course isn't the case in Hollywood.

AS AN AWARD RECIPIENT AND NO STRANGER TO AWARDS SEASON AND UPSCALE EVENTS YOURSELF, HOW DO YOU GET RED-CARPET READY?
Going back to the previous discussion, self-presentation can be a thorny issue for women, at these kinds of events and in everyday life. In my twenties I actually made a point to avoid wearing makeup or dressing in ways I thought would be appealing to men. As I got older I came to realize this was also letting a male agenda control me in a way. Now I wear whatever I like.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Anna K

Photographed By Karen Burgos

AW15. 

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