Publication: Interview Magazine September 2016 Model: Adwoa Aboah Photographer: Mikael Jansson Fashion Editor: Karl Templer
It’s so strange, when you are the person, who writes for magazines, and then… you see yourself in one.
You can’t believe, how happy I am. It’s the first time, when Design & Culture by Ed, my five-year old blog, and my collages (which accompany every fashion show coverage) were featured in a printed magazine! The Waiting Room is a publication that touches on all creative territories, delivering articles on contemporary culture in art and design. The magazine, founded by Mosope Alli, looks forward to still widely unknown artists, fashion’s creative sensations and in-depth, profound interviews. It focuses on art, but in comparison to other big players, Alli tries to leave pretentiousness behind and make a statement – art is all about self-perception. In the first issue of The Waiting Room, I’ve shared my favourite collages from the past few seasons, like military Casely Hayford AW16 for men or Gucci’s Frida Kahlo-inspired collection for women. Also, there’s an interview where I’m discussing my love to collage-making, most inspiring people in the industry I admire and my plans for the future!
For now, The Waiting Room is a university project – but Mosope is having big plans for his “baby”. Hope to hear her soon in magazine industry!
François Guillaume is not a street-style photographer who seeks the most fancy, Instagram-worthy handbag in a person’s outfit. On his independent blog, This is Not a Tie, François presents his photographs of people through the lense of his Leica.
By looking at your photos, there is this very Parisian mood about them. In a way, your photos translate the amazing aura of Paris, but not in a literal way. Could you describe your feelings towards this city?
I didn’t grow in Paris, but in a really small town. I dreamed a lot about cities and Paris when I was a child. After my studies, I began to work there, it was 11 years ago… Even after struggling for years and walking its streets tirelessly, I still feel like a stranger in Paris. When I work on a manuscript (I’m a book publisher now) in some café, I enjoy the view, the constant agitation, the passerby, the noise, the grace, the lights and the dirt…
How is your street-style photography style different from all the others?
Well… The outfits are completely secondary for me. And “This is not a tie” is a personal project… I try to shoot something real, beautiful, funny, or powerful, well composed, or even blurry if it makes me feel something. In the end, it’s a lot like an exercise for me, and it’s liberating because I get to work oustide. To be honest, I don’t believe in “street-style photography” as a genre in itself, It feel it’s not that interesting. It’s more of a way to get a pass at shooting total strangers, when they ask “why do you take my picture ?”, You have the “street style” alibi, and it makes it OK every time. I remember the words of Robert Capa when he was talking to Cartier-Bresson : “Never say you do Surrealist Photography, they’ll never hire you ! Do what do you want but label it as photojournalism”. At this time, it was the best thing to say to be able to work, whatever your style really was.
Other than that, obviously, contrary to other photographers, I shoot only with analog cameras, most of the time with black and white Kodak TriX. I also allow myself to post a lot of out of focus and underexposed shots!
What do you search for in an outfit, person or a situation when you take a photo?
Sometimes I see a good background, with a beautiful light, an interesting pattern on the wall, a striking contrast, and I just wait for a character to pass by. It can take some time, but I’m kind of a patient guy. Every photographer want some life, a lot of action, dramatic gestures, but most of the time you’re stuck with a discreet movement, a fading shifty look, people simply walking or looking at their phones. But even in these moments, you can sometimes find something worthy of a shot.
When you take a photo of a person, what makes you want to photograph him or her? Is it an impulse or something further?
It’s sad you cannot stop a stranger in the street, a man or women, a kid or and old grand-pa, and tell him you find him or her beautiful. Taking a pictures of them is my direct way of telling them I find them radiant or graceful or stunning.
Could you tell me about your personal style, “finds” that you were, want or collect?
This week I have bought a red Filson trucker hat, a vintage Batman T-shirt with a drawing of Gene Colan, looked up a black or grey Arc’teryx Veilance jacket, and stole a book from my wife (The Master and Margarita by Bulgakov, I bought a copy 14 years ago but I loaned it to a friend who ended up killing himself. As you might imagine, I never asked for the book back, even if the irony might have made him laugh in his tomb)… And I also want to buy new running shoes for my weekly 45 kilometers, but I’m too broke for that right now… Wanting to buy sneakers and having an empty wallet, It’s like being 15 years-old again! In a way, it’s absurd and that’s a good feeling.
More of François’ photography on thisisnotatie.com
He knows how to talk about perfume like no other, using images that speak to everyone. Born an artist, Francis Kurkdjian became a perfumer. Through an association of ideas because he has a feel for his times, a desire to tell beautiful stories and curiosity about people and raw materials. For the pleasure of giving pleasure. For an attraction to taking risks – the antidote to boredom. Meeting up with Francis Kurkdjian for an interview is not that easy – being a world-famous perfumer makes you think and care about your own maison all the time. But during his arrival to Warsaw last month, I had a great opportunity to talk to Francis about his perfumes, inspirations and of course, fashion!
Francis, what inspires you while creating fragrances?
Diversity, travelling, modern life, lack of rules. The so-called hidden part of creation. Something you do not see.
What ingredients do you use? And why?
If you are writing a book, you need a story and letters. My words are materials which I use. It is a very abstract usage – oud, amber.
Do you believe in power of aphrodisiacs?
No. It is based on people’s imagination of “love being a scent”. For me, it doesn’t exist that way.
What do your perfumes convey within themselves?
Memories and extraordinary emotions which can be created by the connection of sense of smell and a perfume. Also, I am trying to bring on something new within my fragrances – something the nose doesn’t know.
As a perfumer, I think you should have some interest in fashion – do you have your favourite designer(s)?
Yes, definitely! Rick Owens, AMI by Alexandre Mattiussi (who is my friend) and Nicolas Ghesquiere when he created for Balenciaga. In fashion, I value comfort that makes me feel free in my clothes.
The interview was edited. More on franciskurkdjian.com
The list of inspirations that designer Isaac Reina names include architects and industrial designers like Jasper Morrison instead of the usual fashion suspects. That’s not to say that Reina doesn’t know luxury – he spent years at luxury leather giant Hermes, and collaborated with Maison Martin Margiela. It’s just that his version of luxury relies on what is not said, knowing when to use luxury elements and when to refrain from all the embellishments and other. I am happy to present you our June interview with this amazing leather goods designer from Paris!
How would you describe “the user” of Isaac Reina leather goods?
Architects, designers, photographers, graphic designers… For now, our typical client is someone extremely cultured and exigent who is generally looking for an alternative to big brands that are too much distributed. They find themselves in our products which are more discrete and confidential.
Are your leather goods “minimal” or rather “sophisticated”? Or both?
Both. We are always looking for the right balance between minimal and sophisticated. If we tend to do minimal work, we might forget some practical and useful aspects necessary in a bag or a wallet. If on the opposite we tend to do sophisticated work we might loose the strength of the first and formal essence of the product. Therefore, we are always searching for something ultra simple and sufficiently sophisticated or something sophisticated without excess.
You have studied architecture in the past. Does it influence your wallets, bags, backpacks, clutches and others?
Definitely. Because architecture is only made of geometry (square, circle, triangle…)which is also our tools and is a very similar approach. Of course architecture has its own techniques specific to architecture itself, like all profession has, very different but incredibly parallel in the projects.
How would you define “luxury” in nowadays leather goods industry?
Luxury itself doesn’t interest me. But I am interested in someone feeling at ease with one of our bag or wallet because the product conveys values and shapes that correspond and suit him/her.
Your brand is all about leather goods. Are you planning to expand the brand with shoes, etc.?
Not shoes at the moment. It is too difficult for me. But since a little time, i am working on new projects like stationary, small objects and furnitures to edit in the future. Why not?
Special thanks to Isaac Reina for sending me the exclusive photos of his showroom and store in Paris,
38 rue de Sevigne
Visit http://www.isaacreina.com for more.