Faceless, nameless bodies, Mommo’s works depict a world void of explicit human expression. Without eyes, mouths, eyebrows, and cheekbones displaying the emotion upon his subjects’ faces, allowing immediate identification between subject and viewer, Mommo must find an alternative way of engaging his audience. He does this through creating works which are absurd, combining human subjects with objects connoting construction and property. Taken on their own, these objects are mundane, practical but boring. In Mommo’s hands, however, they become objects of imprisonment, or somewhere to hide.
Their graphical aesthetic gives the images a modern and sleek twist which affords them a level of commerciality while maintaining a unique edge.
Taiwanese London College of Fashion graduate Ming has a very striking and bold design aesthetic. Based in London he is highly skilled at conceptual designing and pattern cutting. His work features unusually manipulated materials which emulate the forms and shapes of the human body.
Ming’s AW/2013 collection saw strong and traditionally masculine shapes softened by pastel, patchwork fabrics. It portrays “female beauty and toughness of war” taken from his sources of inspiration; for example the film “Flowers of War”.
This aggressive strength and beauty is carried out throughout all of his collections with the use of contemporary prints and textures and sharp pattern cutting and construction. Each of his garments are beautifully and intricately formed, including one of his most memorable and eye catching pieces from SS 2013; a leather cage overcoat, in which strips upon strips of leather have been linked together with hundreds of silver metal hoops and rivets.
Layering is also frequently used in his work to present different ideas and techniques. With so much going on in Mingpin Tien’s work it is clear to see how much thought has gone into each piece, to avoid clashing or distraction from each important element. Website: Mingpintien.com
Name: Juhao Zeng Age: 24 Occupation: Fashion Designer Inspiration: Different culture, old photographs We last featured Zeng’s designs in FUSSED’s first ever issue back in October 2011. Zeng is a graduate from Winchester School of Art, and since his third year pre-collection for the university, has gone on to create his own company as well as design a brand new collection for AW/2013, the results of which you can see above. So, what was your inspiration in this particular collection? I was mainly looking at travel culture. I really like how travelers dress by making the most of what they have. I find it very stylish and charming. Based on the classic garment shape, I put lots of time into picking texture fabrics, designing print and also choosing color, so the collection would look contemporary. How did you get into design? I started by looking at Alan Mcweeney’s photography book ‘People of the Road’ which is full of real life photography of Irish travelers, then based on what they wear, picked out the specific garments I liked, and recreated them with my own ideas of pattern cutting, details, and a combination of fabric and color. I tend to design individual pieces first, then when samples reach a certain amount, I mix and match to unify each look. Tell us about your company. I started this company named Black Box Project ltd. We provide a bespoke, contemporary fashion designing service through my own label JH.ZANE to retail organization, couturiers and private clients. What was your favourite garment to design from the collection? Definitely the mustard and green coat. I would make one for myself. Your work seems very androgynous. Is there a particular reason for this? I think that is my personal style; I have always been very androgynous in what I wear. It reflects in my design too, and this is how I like to dress a women. What are you up to for the rest of the year?
I am working on the sale of this season, but for the meanwhile am in a mode of gathering inspirations for SS14, also 3 potential contract works. It is going to be BUSY, haha, I love it. Website: Jhzane.co.uk You can view FUSSED’s first post on Zeng’s designs here.
Australian designer and Sydney Institute of Technology graduate, Dion Lee, has a futuristic and sleek signature style. Neoprene fabric is frequently used in his work; this fabric is commonly associated with sporty, modern design and is also used to make sportswear items such as swimming and diving costumes. Dion Lee uniquely manipulates this Neoprene fabric to bring a high end look to his collections. This fabric is paired with neon knits, metallic colours and intricate pattern cutting. Pieces of his garments are held together with nude netting, which gives the impression of floating or hovering pattern pieces. His garments look as if they are levitating perfectly on the body like some unearthly, reptilian ensemble from a scene in “The Fifth Element”. What is admirable about Dion Lee’s work is that he has created practical garments which haven't been technically compromised. His work displays highly skilled tailoring, contrasted with innovative and experimental fabrics and embellishments.
Dion Lee’s most recent collection SS/2013-14 takes focus away from the neons and metallics to emphasise his bewildering tailoring skills. However this collection still stays true to his signature concept with the use of reflective silver fabrics and striking blue patterns. Images: Vogue.comStylebubble.co.uk
About a year and a half ago, I stumbled upon an animated short titled ‘Curiouser and Curiouser’. The film features a creature which was part cat, part mouse, and part giraffe as it explores a mysterious shaft of light. A truly captivating animation created by an extremely talented film-maker, it hardly came as a surprise to learn Joseph’s latest venture, ‘The Man who was Afraid of Falling’, released today, had caught the attention of the prestigious BAFTA Cymru (BAFTA in Wales).
How did you feel when you found out it was Bafta Cymru nominated?
I was thrilled to hear about the nomination. It was a huge honour and a really encouraging accolade at this stage in my career. Ultimately we didn’t win but Falling was the only animated film in the whole 2013 selection and it was great attending the awards ceremony.
What inspired you to create The Man Who Was Afraid of Falling?
The film is my graduation short from Newport Film School in Wales. I’d had the idea for the film about three years previously when I was travelling around Italy. I was saturated with Italian landscape and architecture and I’d also been thinking about ageing and fragility and the relationship between body and mind in old people. I was waiting for a ferry at a port when I took my sketchbook out and wrote the story. It didn’t changed much after that.
What is the concept behind it?
I think everyone has someone they care about who’s old and frail. We all worry about the wellbeing of our relatives and I wanted to explore how that frailty might manifest as anxiety for an old man. The story follows Ivor who lives alone on the top floor of a tall apartment block in a crowded city. His main passion is his flowers but when a plant pot falls from his window and smashes below he begins to think ‘what if I fell?’ As his paranoia grows he makes a series of decisions that turn his life upside down.
Describe the process of actually making the film?
The production process was about eight months long from ideas development to final product. I worked with composer Kit Wilson and sound designer Jack Vaughan but there were only two of us on the project full time, myself and another student, Emma-Rose Dade, who worked with me. Every project I work on always starts with drawing, I use it to explore and define ideas and it’s shorthand for taking what’s in my head and communicating that to others.
The storyboard and animatic went through various iterations and, as that was settled, we built all of the sets and the puppet. Everything apart from Ivor is made from recycled cardboard from cereal boxes to postal packaging. The shoot was about two weeks long and we used a Canon 5d, Dragonframe software and an array of film and photography lights. Kit’s music evolved with the film and we constantly sent sketches and ideas back and forth. As there is no text in the film we wanted the music to work as a dialogue and allow the audience into Ivor’s psyche.
How did you get into animation?
When I was three years old my parents showed me the first Wallace and Gromit film. Apparently I sat transfixed and at the end I turned to them and said that’s what I wanted to do. I studied animation and also film production on the continent as well as training as a performer and theatre maker. I now work as a freelance film and theatre director.
When telling a story in a short film, what do you think is the most important thing to bear in mind?
I always talk about making shorts, especially animation, as a kind of alchemy. Many different elements synthesize to create the final piece. For me, it’s a combination of narrative, character, visuals, music and sound. Whether I’m working in animation, live-action or live theatre I always try and consider the audience’s relationship to the work and my main concern is storytelling. With Falling I had more time to spend on details like the colour palette and how that goes towards informing the audience and telling the story.
What are you up to for the rest of 2013?
I’m working as Puppetry Associate on Bristol Old Vic’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ from the makers of War Horse, we go on tour to America in May so most of my summer will be spent in the States. After that I am moving to France to set up my own studio with a bunch of talented animators and filmmakers. I’ll be posting about the adventure on my twitter (@josephwallaceuk) and blog.
The young Spanish designer, Eduardo Acquaroni, moved to Paris at the age of 21 to begin his career in fashion on the BFA Fashion Design program. After his first year on the course he moved to New York City to complete the program, which is where he is now based.
His collections are conceptual with a strong commitment to the theme such as his Amazon-esque Into the Wild collection which is full of earthy greens, blues and browns. They are strong pieces as much art as they are fashion.
In Search of Sanity is the most striking of his collections in my opinion. His designs are sleek and futuristic in design, colour and fabric choices. The portfolio reads like a mystical and beautiful dream, with a combination of mermaid meets attractive alien. It may sound wrong, but the result is so right, with the pieces making doubt effervesce in one’s mind. Eduardo quotes Tim Burton in this collection:“One person's craziness is another person's reality.” If this is crazy then get me a straightjacket, because Acquaroni’s ‘reality’ is stunning.
Innovative shoe designer Julia Lundsten launched her label in 2004 and has caused quite the stir in the fashion industry. The London-based, Swedish-born designer has been turning heads since her career began. After graduating from London Royal College of Arts in 2003 and winning the prestigious Manolo Blahnik award two years in a row she has experienced a series of successes. She won Finland’s Young Designer of the Year Award in 2007; the same year high street royalty Topshop carried her Autumn/Winter ‘07/’08 collection in store. In 2010 Elle awarded her the Elle Accessories of the Year award and she has recently caught the eye of no other than the Fashion Bible themselves, Vogue. Her SS /12 collection named Skin is fresh and a cut above the rest, quite literally. Her designs are inspired by architecture, interior design and nature which are reflected in her staple wooden-heeled design. Her pieces are made of leather and wood; the designs have intricate cutwork, with everything from a mid-height cone heel, to mega chunky wedge platforms. The stand-out pieces come in nude and mink hues with colour pop tangerine and turquoise blue flashes. They may be ’12, but these designs have SS/13 written all over them!
Daniel Vasilescu’s artistry produces all kinds of limit works. I mean to say, he operates along, rather than inside, the social boundaries of propriety and taboo. Yet, I will contend, his art does not derive effect simply from testing the viewer’s individual sense of what is and is not acceptable for public display. His works are not, in words, shock tactics.
I think ‘Pain’ is one of his very most fascinating pieces. Below the collarbone, the body vanishes into whiteness, and as one looks down, towards the top of the head, that disappears into darkness. The body is reduced to two gestures: the hands agonisingly clasping the head and the mouth wide open, possibly screaming. It becomes a pure signifier – one whose reference, given the erasure of body and brain, is to itself alone. We might then understand the surface of the image, apparently torn and discoloured in places, as a result of the body’s ripping and tearing as it tries to escape this internal circuit of reference. It expresses pain, but does not communicate it. We recognise these isolated signs and, without context, cannot empathise.
The photography recalls Edvard Munch’s famous painting ‘The Scream’, and anyone who follows up that reference is likely to note further parallels in another of Daniel’s works, itself titled ‘Scream’. What Fredric Jameson has called the ‘autoreferentiality’ of postmodern culture imprisons meaning within the work, as form and content become reciprocal emblems of each other. The tarnishes on the surface of these photographs are the only signs of external communication. They symbolise the drive for meaning to reach outside the artwork and elicit empathy again. In this way, we could understand Daniel’s works not as paradigms of postmodern culture, but as subtle subversions of it.
Johan Ku has been interested in extreme design from an early age. Born in Taipei, he began his artistic career as a graphic designer. After completing a Master’s course in fashion and design in 2005 and then an MA in fashion at Central Saint Martins in 2009 he has now launched his own knitwear label. You can see how graphic and sculptural design has influenced his work, as his signature style is very bold and striking.
Past collections have been inspired by films such as “Enter the Void”; a trippy film set in a vivid, neon Tokyo: a place of significant interest to Johan Ku.
Johan Ku’s name is becoming increasingly popular because of his innovative, signature glow-in-the-dark knitwear pieces, which are very futuristic and extra-terrestrial looking. The delicate and chunky contrast of Johan Ku’s “Glowing” collections makes the garments seem even more eerie and phantasmal - just another contributor to the impending futuristic movement in the fashion industry. Website: Johanku.com
Roland Barthes attributes to Émile Benveniste the idea that language is the only semiotic system able to interpret another. We cannot analyse pictures with music or music with pictures. All other arts become comprehensible only when transferred into the medium of the spoken or written word. Perhaps evidence for this is the interpretative closure that the aphorism brings to the visual image. We can frame the corollary question around Tara Yarte’s beautiful pictures of the natural world and human embellishments on it. Do the remarks she appends inject the photographic material with meaning, or do they narrow the range of viable interpretations? We could also couch the same problem as an issue of analytical liberty: to what degree do these aphorisms and quotations wrestle interpretive authority from the viewer? Tara’s photography reifies the interesting hybridity that occurs when these discrete signifying systems come into necessary contact. Website: Society6.com/TaraYarte