17May2015
INTERNATIONAL TASTE MAKER, FASHION BUYER AND OWNER OF RENOWNED SOHO INSTITUTION MACHINE-A STAVROS KARELIS ON STOCKING GRADUATE COLLECTIONS, THE POLITICS OF BUYING AND WHAT IT ACTUALLY TAKES TO START YOUR OWN BRAND.

Remember Galliano’s first collection, and that of Chalayan? When they were fresh out of Central Saint Martins, Browns bought their entire collections, displayed them in their windows, and became one of the leading institutions to embrace the talent of young designers. Machine-A, the Soho-based store founded by Stavros Karelis, followed the example set by Browns, and has quickly become one of the main globally recognised destinations to sell clothes by recent graduates and that of designers who are still studying. From Astrid Andersen and Nasir Mazhar, to Grace Wales-Bonner and Tigran Avetisytian, Karelis was the first to spot them.

But the route to getting there wasn’t a fashionable one at all times, and Stavros’ story is one of extreme dedication and non-stop work. He’s adopted the attitude that separates the wheat from the chaff: not having a day off or a holiday in years. Time is filled with tireless work until the early hours, hosting exhibitions, working together with SHOWStudio’s Nick Knight on projects, and throwing launch parties with Nicola Formichetti. Stavros works as hard as a machine and aptly called his store just that: Machine-A, with the ‘A’ meaning ‘new beginnings’.

But, he’s not just a hard-core buyer. More importantly, Stavros has become a sounding board to those emerging designers who he supports and consults. Because, as he says about the stocked garments, “the final result should be absolutely perfect. Better than high-end brands, as you are going to be judged much harder. If you see a fault in a Prada piece, you’re going to think that it’s a production fault. If you see a fault in a graduate piece, you’ll think: “he’s not ready yet”. Courtesy of Dishoom, we met the eloquent and very humble Greek for an extended breakfast, dressed from top to toe in CSM graduate fashion – discussing London, the politics of buying, and what it actually takes to start your own brand.

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WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU LET GO OF WHAT YOU KNOW AND HOW YOU SHOULD BEHAVE? WHAT HAPPENS WHEN WORKING IN FASHION IS UNFAMILIAR TERRITORY?

“What is a mistake and who defines it as if it is the golden rule?” When you embrace failure, you can’t go wrong. It’s exactly what design collective Point Blank have in mind for their joint project. Yanyu Chung, a Womenswear graduate from Central Saint Martins, and Adrienne Lau, an architect whose interest in cross-disciplinary design was aroused while working for Prada, work together to produce womenswear and present it in a format that moves away from the conventional runway. Instead, they made a film, which will premiere at Hoxton Basement tomorrow evening. As their preview video shows such a plethora of references, we decided to dig a bit deeper and find out about the framework behind Point Blank. Related Orchestrating a CSM collective: Display London James Kelly and the Grotesque Creative Mind Ready, set, design: Robert Storey Nina Van Houten – CSM Jewellery Design Graduate Sculpting Mind – Yuki Hagino Simon Horton: Building the

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14May2015
THE TALKS FOUNDERS SVEN SCHUMANN AND JOHANNES BONKE ON STARTING YOUR OWN BUSINESS, THE OBSOLESCENCE OF MATERIAL LUXURY AND THE WISDOM OF AGE

I meet Sven Schumann and Johannes Bonke at Katz Orange, an upscale organic food spot tucked away in a former brewery in Berlin Mitte. The cool but classy setting matches the allure of my interview partners: The two friends wear jeans, cashmere sweaters and, presumably, carry the most enviable address books you can find in the German capital. As the founders of the sophisticated online magazine The Talks, Sven and Johannes have conversed with the greatest – from Yohji Yamamoto, Marina Abramovic to Patti Smith, Sofia Coppola and David Lynch. Who else to ask about the art of interviewing if not these two masters of their craft? Ella Wolf: This is a nice place. How important is the location for an interview? SS: The setting is hugely important, but unfortunately you can’t always control it. A hotel room, for example, is not ideal. The more comfortable the person feels, the better the

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JAMES THESEUS BUCK SPEAKS UP ABOUT WIZARDRY, OBJECTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF CREATING YOUR OWN VISUAL LANGUAGE

James Theseus Buck’s final collection started from a series of objects. Here, he tells us how a sock became a rubber band penis; why he considers himself to be an ideas factory; if he still wants to fulfil his childhood dream of becoming a wizard, and how this has impacted his design.   Who is James Theseus Buck, where did you grow up, and where did you do your BA? I’m originally from Brighton, which is where I lived for the duration of my MA. I did my BA at CSM in fashion print. Living in Brighton is great as you have the freedom to escape down to the sea every day and refresh your mind. When did you realize that you wanted to work as a fashion designer? I’ve always enjoyed clothing and creating characters. I love the idea that you can appear as a different person, which is interesting when

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12May2015
TIRED OF PUNK`S NO-FUTURE NIHILISM, THE 1980S BLITZ KIDS STIRRED UP THE SCENE THROUGH GENDER-CROSSING EXTRAVAGANCE

White make-up, pop music, club nights. Countering the economic recession and cultural bleakness of the 1970s, London in the early 1980s saw the emergence of a hedonistic, drug-infused subculture centred around a club night run by Steve Strange. In walking distance to St Martin’s school of art, the Blitz Club soon became notorious as a place of escapist utopia and the breading ground for a new revolution in British youth culture. Keanan Duffty, ex-St Martin’s student and lead singer of the New Romantic group Wonder Stories, looks back at a time when style was about more than appearance.

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10May2015
THE JOURNALIST DISCUSSES THE CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF MONETISED CONTENT, THE VALUE OF *THE EDIT* WHEN THERE IS TOO MUCH CONTENT TO READ, INTERVIEWING TABOOS, AND WHY YOU CANNOT GIVE PEOPLE MONEY TO TALK WITH YOU.

It’s not unexpected when interviewing an interviewer that it begins with talk of recording methods. When I pull out my iPhone and open the recording app, Tilly Macalister-Smith eyes me a little anxiously. She, in turn, dives into her bag, takes out a sunglasses case (did I offend her? Is she leaving already?) and reveals an ‘old school’ (okay, not quite…) dictaphone with earphones: her weapon of choice. Seasoned, safe; guaranteed not to let the odd murmur slip the net with its multiple mics. We sit in Dishoom on a Bank Holiday Monday morning — a place that’s typically quiet, but today, is busy with the hustle-and-bustle of families walking in and out, and chai being regularly brewed. So, the iPhone moves from table to chair, to the seat of the couch on the level above us, teetering at mouth-level. Better to be safe- as Macalister-Smith- than sorry.

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TWO OF THE MOST WELL-KNOWN SET DESIGNERS IN CONVERSATION ABOUT CAUSING PUBLIC OUTRAGE WITH PERVERSE JEWELLERY, LARGE CORPORATIONS RIPPING OFF THEIR WORK, AND IF THERE IS SUCH A THING AS SET ETIQUETTE DURING A SHOOT.

Simon Costin’s set designs might be associated with McQueen’s shows for most people who have an interest in fashion. However, his career didn’t at all start out with rain pouting down runways. Rather with Bloomsbury squats, Tilda Swinton, and jewellery containing mythical sperm. Not long ago, he was in conversation with Gary Card, coinciding with his ‘Impossible Catwalk Shows’ exhibition at LCF. The talk stayed with us, and even though months have passed, we wanted to share some of the best parts that show an insight into the work of these two brilliant minds.

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06May2015
THE YOUNG MENSWEAR DESIGNER ON WHY HIS RESEARCH IS 90% WOMENSWEAR, WHAT HE TYPES INTO GOOGLE WHEN HE BLANKS OUT AND NEEDS TO LOOK FOR INSPIRATION, AND WHY HE EMBRACES AWKWARDNESS IN FASHION.

The menswear that Chin makes doesn’t look at typical gender distinctions. In fact, about 90% of his research is based on the feminine; he got a womenswear degree in Taiwan before studying at Central Saint Martins, and one of his earliest fashion memories is that of his mother twirling in the room when she had just bought new clothes. His general aesthetic often takes cues from the the 90s — the era in which he grew and obsessed over Gwen Stefani — yet his last collection took more reference from diversity and globalisation in the 80s. We spoke about a lot of things, like why Sonia Delaunay heavily influenced him, and why he calls out Chanel’s disproportions to describe awkwardness in fashion. A project with a textile company made you want to study menswear at Central Saint Martins. What was your experience of the project like at the time, and why did you

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