Friday, 29 June 2012


This summer, Irving Penn’s masterful Cigarettes series will be displayed in its entirety for the first time ever at Hamiltons Gallery, London. Although Penn is probably most renowned for his photographs of famous fashion models and iconic figures, he was also equally as accustomed to shooting various forms of still life – in this case, discarded cigarette butts found on the streets of New York in the early Seventies. By printing the Cigarettes using the Platinum palladium process, an extremely difficult and costly photographic technique, Penn advanced the status of these objects from unwanted garbage to treasured rarities.
Either arranged as singular objects or clustered in groups, the image composition remains relatively minimal, however the depth and density of the tone applied to these black and white shots highlight subtle details, features and textures which otherwise would go a miss.
All of Penn’s pictures are created with a great attention to detail and the extreme magnification applied here means this series is no exception; every burnt edge, rip and fold in the delicate paper is meticulously captured as are the stray strands of loose tobacco that sprout out at the butt ends like wiry whiskers.
Another focus is the branding that is stamped onto each cigarette; even after being smoked, stubbed out, stepped on and subsequently weathered in Manhattan’s gutters, the marks of Tobacco industry giants such as Marlboro, Camel and Chesterfield are still evidently fulfilling their intended commercial purpose.

All 26 photographs from the Cigarettes series are available to view now until 17 August at Hamiltons Gallery, 13 Carlos Place, London.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012


As part of the continuing 2012 Olympiad festivities, this week London’s Southbank Centre is hosting Poetry Parnassus; a celebratory gathering of poets, rappers, storytellers and singers from around the globe.  Scheduled are over a hundred events and activities, (many of which are free) generating Britain’s largest poetry festival to date.
Made-to-order poems will be available for the “literary-starved” at the Poetry Takeaway, whilst the Emergency-Poet Ambulance will be on call for private poetic health consolations, offering remedies and prescriptions in the form of ‘curing’ poems, verses and lyrics.
Numerous spoken and written word artists from over two hundred countries will be participating in the festival, fronting reading-marathons and recitals as well as discussions on political topics that are often the inspiration and stimulus behind their work.
Poetry Parnassus is on now until Sunday 1st July at The Southbank Centre, London.
For tickets visit

Tuesday, 26 June 2012


It’s been a busy month for House of Hackney; as well as setting up a summer residency within the walls of Liberty, June also sees the launch of their debut clothing line. The omnipotent interiors company have joined forces with US fashion giant, Opening Ceremony, whom we just can’t get enough of right now, to turn their beautiful and bold homeware prints into ready to wear.
Antiqued leopard spots and the brand’s signature ‘Dalston Rose’ design are placed onto a selection of baby doll dresses, oversized knits and high-waisted shorts to name a few. Business partners and HoH founders, Frieda Gormley and Javvy M Royle both hail from fashion backgrounds, so it is no surprise that next season the pair plan to take the fashion element of their business to the next level with the launch of a menswear capsule collection. The current womenswear collection is available to buy in Opening Ceremony stores and from the House of Hackney website now.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012


“This is what normal women look like close up… and I think it’s rather beautiful,” states Brighton based artist Jamie McCartney referring to his latest project, The Great Wall of Vagina; an integral feature of his current exhibition Skin Deep.
As the name may suggest, the artwork in question is a nine metre-long panelled display consisting of 400 plaster casts of female genitalia; each of them unique. After taking moulds from a variety of different women aged between 18 and 79 years old, McCartney’s primary aim was to highlight the diversity of the intimate female form, inviting the viewer to embrace and celebrate its beauty whilst abolishing any previous insular and unrealistic views on ‘normal’.
Skin Deep also presents the world premier of Jamie’s physical photography series; a collection of full body portraits that depicts his female subjects in their natural state through high definition scanning of the flesh. Similar to the wall, the photographs continue to challenge society’s limited and impossible ideals on beauty through the artist’s decision to reject the image-manipulation and retouching process.
The work featured here is not seen as erotic art nor is it in anyway pornographic; it’s a visual education that just so happens to be titillating and intriguing.
Skin Deep is on now until 2nd June 2012 at the Hay Hill Gallery, Cork Street, London.

Friday, 27 April 2012


Ever since she first picked up a camera several years ago Norwegian born photographer, Mariell Amélie, has been fusing the lines between fashion and art through her whimsical and often eerie approach to photography. Describing herself as an introvert, Amélie’s pictures reflect a similar sense of solitude and silence that she experienced whilst growing up. Now based in London, her lens continues to capture precious moments inspired by memories and dreams.

Currently housed at Notting Hill Arts Club, Forget Me Not / Forglem Meg Ei is Mariell’s debut solo exhibition, presenting an assortment of self-portraits from her extensive archive. Last night Twin joined Mariell for her opening night to find out more about the girl behind (and in front of) the lens…

What initially attracted you to photography?
When I was younger I stumbled across a drawer full of Polaroid pictures of my mum and dad from the Seventies. I found it so fascinating that a particular moment from their history had been permanently captured in a single shot so I bought myself a camera and began playing around and experimenting with photography. I grew up in a small island, Andøya, in the polar circle of northern Norway with just my mum and dad… I had to learn to entertain myself and enjoy my own company so being on my own was something I got used to; I guess that’s why I primarily focus on self-portraiture.

Who/what inspires you?
My Grandmother. She was the most creative person I ever met yet no one really knew it.  Moving to a big city like London from my small Norwegian home was a bit overwhelming but I knew branching out was something I had to do; she taught me to take risks, challenge myself and never give up. I decided to call this exhibition Forget Me Not (Forglem Meg Ei in Norwegian) referring to the flower of the same name that I have tattooed on my wrist in memory of my grandmother.

Describe your photographic style in three words:
Isolated, cold, eerie…

Females are often the subject of your pictures (in this case, yourself) would you say you were a feminist at heart?
I definitely like to make a statement with my work to express that you don’t have to be a male to have power and freedom. Also there’s simply something about the female form that I find to be more interesting, but ultimately I like people to see my subjects as individuals without casting any stereotypical or preconceived views.

You split your time between Norway and London – where do you prefer shooting?
Well the majority of the pictures in this exhibition were taken in Andøya. It’s just such an amazing place with such beautiful and untouched landscapes. I work with a location scout back in Norway who helps me to find some incredible settings for my shoots. I think everywhere in London has already been discovered and overdone so it gets a bit tedious.
What’s next?
I’ve been really busy the last year on various commercial projects: I’m not saying that I haven’t enjoyed them but I now want some time to really focus on projects that I am truly passionate about. I’m going back to Norway in a couple of weeks so I am planning on shooting a lot when I’m out there and hopefully creating a brand new set of images for my next exhibition.

Forget Me Not / Forglem Meg Ei is on at the Notting Hill Arts Club, now until 11th June 2012.

Monday, 16 April 2012


It’s about that time of year again; the evenings are becoming noticeably longer and the air is remaining warm yet faintly fresh. Summer is upon us and so is a season of ‘Cinéma en plein air’ thanks to the return of London’s legendary Rooftop Film Club.

Due to popular demand this year sees the launch of two additional venues, Netil House (London Fields) and The Roof Gardens (Kensington) as well as the original Shoreditch-spot at the Queen of Hoxton. From 30th April to 30th August, the RFC are scheduled to screen a combination of classic, cult and contemporary flicks. Everything from the 1960’s hit Breakfast at Tiffany’s, to Aronofsky’s gritty Requiem for a Dream will be available to view underneath the starry nights sky surrounded by exquisite panoramic views of London’s cityscape.

For further information and to book tickets visit

Saturday, 14 April 2012


"The marvels of daily life are so exciting; no movie director can arrange the

unexpected that you find in the street." Robert Doisneau.

Today marks what would have been the 100th birthday of Robert Doisneau, the wonderfully inspiring street photographer and great pioneer of early photojournalism. Doisneau became renowned for capturing candid shots of incongruous moments and often amusing exchanges between passersby most commonly on the streets of Paris. ‘Le Baiser de l'hôtel de Ville’ (Kiss by the Hôtel de Ville) is one of his most recognisable images, which was featured in the June 1950 issue of Life magazine. Having achieved an impressive career that spanned over 60 years, Doisneau died in 1994. Since his death there have been many published books and several worldwide exhibitions celebrating his life’s work.

Tuesday, 10 April 2012


Ever since John Galliano’s departure from Dior in March last year, the fashion industry has been playing its own game of ‘designer ping – pong’ bouncing names back and forth in speculation as to who will take the creative reigns of the Parisian couture house: Jacobs – Tisci – Ackermann – Jacobs – Simons – Kane – Ackermann – Simons… It went on.

However after a year-long debate the rumours were finally put to rest yesterday as LVMH CEO, Bernard Arnault, announced that Raf Simons will take over as Artistic Director. Having left his previous post as Creative Director at Jil Sander earlier this year, Simons will commence work at his new design home with immediate effect, preparing for what will be his first Dior collection, which will be showcased at Couture Fashion Week in Paris this July.

Thursday, 5 April 2012


Conjuring up images of everything from Maharajas to Marilyn Monroe, diamonds hold highest rank when it comes to wonder gems. So it’s fitting that for this month only diamond specialists, Cartier, have taken over Selfridges’ Wonder Room for an exhibition entitled Cartier Loves Diamonds.

Enriched with over 150 years of history and heritage, Cartier are sure to captivate visitors with their savoir-faire on the subject of sparkling stones. Part of the space houses a special “bridal lounge” as well as an exhibition composed of archive imagery and stories on legendary Cartier stones which have ultimately become just as famous as their eminent wearers.

Diamonds have long been associated with idealistic views of romance and love – something that is much of a focal point in Cartier’s series of short films entitled True Love has a Colour and a Name, all of which are available to view in the room’s “interactive space”.

Pride of show is the renowned “Oriental” Tiara; a platinum headpiece dating back to the beginning of the Twentieth century featuring over 1,200 diamonds – I'll be adding this to our Spring wish list then!

Cartier Loves Diamonds is on now until 29 April located at The Wonder Room, Ground Floor at Selfridges, London.

Thursday, 10 November 2011

20 Years of Dazed & Confused Making It Up As We Go Along!

The Terrace Rooms at Somerset House. Now until 29th January 2012

One of the first key things to mention about this exhibition is something that can be discovered before even stepping foot inside Somerset House: the name. “Making It Up As We Go Along.” It’s so refreshingly honest and so unpretentiously ‘cool’… It’s so ‘Dazed and Confused!’

Situated within the building’s extensive Terrace Rooms, the exhibition is divided into three sections. The very first, quite appropriately represents the first decade of the magazine’s existence, taking you back to where it all began in the early 1990s. Founded by the now prominent publisher & editor Jefferson Hack and renowned fashion photographer Rankin, the early days of Dazed & Confused was a time of creative experimentation for the pair along with friends and contributors including Katie Grand, Katy England and Nick Knight. Throughout the nineties the magazine’s reputation and influence within the style press quickly developed putting it on a par with more established rival publications such as The Face and i-D.

“We were so arrogant”

- Katie Grand on the early days of Dazed & Confused -

The edgy, controversial and original fashion editorials (one of the major factors behind the magazine’s early success) are displayed side by side, similar to a film strip, along various angular structures which seem to almost zig-zag across the floor and walls guiding eager eyes towards the exhibition’s next section…

…Onto the next room and we’re ontothe next decade. The wall space here is used mostly as a dedication to the portraiture of famous faces that graced the pages of Dazed & Confused during this period (Blondie, Katie Moss and Pharrell Williams to name a few,) whilst interactive TV screens enable visitors to create their own photomontages by selecting and combining various fashion imagery and portraits.

“Dazed & Confused never had a united aesthetic for portraiture: it had a code of liberation.”

- Jefferson Hack -

For me, it is the third room of the magazine’s ‘timeline’ to date, which I find to be the most interesting and intriguing for it focuses on the current and possible future format of Dazed and the new generation of talent that it has either produced or showcased. A further 2 rooms are dedicated to the work created for Dazed & Confused by the late Alexander McQueen; an example of true talent which the magazine embraced and I’m sure will continue to do so.

“We were the generation that tore out the pages of the original Dazed and stuck them on our walls.”

- Karen Langley, current Fashion Director -

One of my favourite Dazed &Confused fashion stories from this year is “It Came From The Sky” styled by Robbie Spencer and photographed by Richard Burbridge. Displayed are the final printed pages exactly as were seen in the June 2011 issue along with a set of the original embroidered art work (pictured above) by artist Maurizio Anzeri, accentuating just how much work, individuality, creativity and passion goes into creating each page for each issue.

When looking back across at all three rooms it’s quite astonishing to see how much Dazed & Confused has evolved and progressed through the years: highlighting this further is a corridor of illuminated covers from the past twenty years which step-by-step, cover-by-cover, gradually guides visitors to the exhibition’s end, leaving them only to ponder and picture the next twenty years of Dazed & Confused…