Jacquard Loom: Believing That Antiquity is Modernity

Jacquard Loom

Believing That Antiquity is Modernity

Hi Jiahao, could you please tell us a bit of yourself and your background?

Hi, my name is Jiahao Chen, a fashion designer based in London. I came to London seven years ago to pursue my study in London College of Fashion, specializing in Menswear Fashion Design Technology. After my graduation, I stepped into the fashion industry by working in a fashion house in Shanghai, designing innovative Chinese-style wedding couture. Two years after working there, I decided to quit my job to establish my own brand, Jacquard Loom.

 

What makes you decide to go to London to study?

Influenced by my family’s clothing business, I’ve been wanted to study fashion design since I was a child. My parents are fashion buyers, I think they always knew I would go abroad to study fashion design. After a thorough research based on my preferred fashion style and city vibe, I decided to come to London for study.

 

That’s interesting! But what makes you decide to relocate back to London after Shanghai?

There are various reasons behind it. The main reason is the sudden lockdown in Shanghai two years ago due to the COVID-19 outbreak. In fact, I have just finished shooting the lookbook of my third collection the day before, and the lockdown arrived. During that time, neither could I receive the fabrics and samples from the factory, nor could I ship the orders to my clients. The growth of my brand was stagnant, and it really frustrated me. I always knew that I would come back to London, but I never found the right opportunity and excuse to do so. This incident somehow gave me an impetus to eventually move back to London. Interestingly, I left London for Shanghai because of the pandemic, and I left Shanghai for London also for it.

Can we say that the pandemic somehow gave you an opportunity to reconsider your career path?

Indeed. I graduated during the pandemic; finding a job that was suitable for me wasn’t easy. During that time, I could only ease my anxiety by connecting with friends through social media. It was this occasion that made me discover the potential of e-commerce entrepreneurship and fortified my decision to found Jacquard Loom.

 

Aside from the catalysis of the pandemic, are there any other reasons behind the establishment of your own brand?

Having my own brand has always been my dream since I was a kid. After studying fashion design, I started to notice that even though I love fashion so much, it was quite difficult for me to find designs on the market that I want to buy. Hence, I want to create clothes that I will like and will want to wear, entirely under my aesthetic and creative direction.

 

I am happy to know that you manage to find your way during this chaotic time. But what makes you stay in London afterwards?

The atmosphere of this city is magical. It’s full of vitality and creativity. Living here somehow gives me a feeling of living in the animated TV series “Martin Matin”, no matter how frustrated, defeated or sad you were, the next morning when you wake up, they are always something new happening, new inspiration emerging and new challenges waiting to be solved.

 

My friends are another of the major reasons for me to come back and stay in London. They have always been supportive to me and my career. They also helped me a lot when I decided to build my own brand. On top of that, I have many artist friends here in London with whom I collaborate occasionally.

As a young designer, what do you think London attracts you (and all the other aspiring international talents)? What kind of resources they have that are different compare to other cities (or to your hometown)?

London is very open-minded and free-spirited. This city is a cultural melting pot, with people from all over the world, who can bring me different insights and new ideas. The fashion industry in London is full of energy and opportunities, many designers’ works are unrestricted and uncontaminated by the market. This allows me to obtain some of the most cutting-edge information and inspiration every day. Overall, London is a city that always brings me unexpected surprises. I tend to dress like an old man and I adore vintage stuff, but with the infusion of London’s modernity and youthfulness, I’ve definitely had a breakthrough in the way of thinking and of perceiving things.

 

Just like the name of my brand, Jacquard Loom, I like the old jacquard fabric, but I always want to give it a new twist.

 

What are your sources of inspiration? Where do you usually get your inspiration from?

I really like to watch some independent film, some experimental theaters and visit some exhibitions in London. These cultural events often inspire me a lot. Sometimes, small but interesting encounters happen in my life can give me some inspiration. I also draw inspiration from my own experience and the environment in which I grew up in, as well as from my understanding of myself and my family.

How would you describe your design style?

I am interested in some antique elements and vintage style, just like jacquard fabric. I want to redefine them through different cutting and deconstruction methods, and express them in a more unique way.

 

Basically, I don’t buy fast fashion. Instead, I prefer to buy from charity shop, vintage shop or antique shop, whether it is to save money, be environmentally friendly or draw inspiration. I want to combine these old things with my new design concepts and make them more avant-garde, modern and more acceptable to the public.

 

Wearability is another point that I value. There are many designers who have strong concepts, creating beautiful and one-of-a-kind designs. However, their clothes tend to be less wearable and less practical. I believe that considering wearability is the key in fashion design.

So far, you’ve done 2 collections and 1 mini collection, would you like to go through them to us quickly so we can have a clearer vision on how they look like?

The first collection was my graduation project. Due to the pandemic, I could not present it in the graduation show. It was a huge regret for me, because I overcame a lot of difficulties to create this collection. The inspiration for this collection came from a movie I watched “The Garden” (1990). The title of my first collection is “Lavender Marriage”. I wanted to express the vision of breaking through the stereotypes of the original family and finally holding a same-sex wedding for myself.

 

After graduation, I started working on my second collection and my mini collection – the t-shirt. The reason why I decide to make the t-shirt is, as a queer person in China, I’ve experienced a lot of oppression because of my sexual preference. To recognize and to accept my body and my identity, I printed a lot of my names on the armpits of the t-shirt’s, expressing my concept in a sarcastic and humorous way. The particular fabric I used also represent the fibrous texture of the skin itself.

 

In my third collection, my design became more contained and inclusive. I began to consider the wearability and functionality of the clothing, for both menswear and womenswear. Starting with my favorite jacquard fabrics, I adopted a method combining rigidity and softness to revitalize these vintage elements.

We’ve noticed some gender fluid elements in your design, is this a topic that you are interested in discussing through your design?

When I was very young, I loved to wear my mother’s clothes stealthily and styled myself in some feminine looks at home. As a part of LQBTQIA+, my design is a testament of my gender identity. I really like the work of artist Jared French. His use of colors in his artistic expression on body structures of different genders have always influenced me. However, in the context of fashion design, I have always felt that gender a secondary topic to me.

 

Instead of calling my designs gender fluid, I like to consider them not limited by the gender boundaries. They are genderless, they suit the traits and characteristics of the person wearing them, rather than their gender. However, I do have to stress the fact that the sophisticated techniques I’ve learned from my menswear design formation is quite helpful, and they influenced my design immensely.

 

Interesting! If you consider gender a secondary topic to you, what are the more important messages you want convey through your design?

I would like to create a freer, bolder and more special context without gender constraints to showcase the beauty, craftsmanship and original expression of some antique and vintage items. Combining my love and understanding to contemporary art, I would love to reinterpret these forgotten elements, such as the jacquard fabrics, in a new and poetic way in my collection.

Are there any other topics you would like to tackle or to incorporate to your future design?

I would like to propose some ideas about sustainability and upcycling, like to collect some older but interesting items, and repurpose them into my design. This is something I really care and I believe that this is one of the topics we should be focus on when talking about future of fashion.

 

What are the future plans for Jacquard Loom, both design-wise and business-wise?

Design-wise, I would like to create something in knitting, just to make the collection more interesting. Of course, my principle of combining the so-called “classic” and “traditional” elements and transforming them into something contemporary and cutting-edge will still be the base of the knitwear designs. In addition, I would also like to discover more possibilities in fabrics, such as experimenting with the modification of textile.

 

If finances permit, I would like to add accessories, shoes and bag designs to my next collection to create a more complete look for Jacquard Loom.

 

Business-wise, I would like to build a personal website to launch the brand’s e-commerce business; and to collaborate with some multi-brand store to sell my designs. Also, I would love to seek for opportunities to work with some fashion platforms that provide runway shows and exposure for young designers; hoping to raise the brand awareness, popularity and visibility of Jacquard Loom.


Sky Flesh: An Immersive Sound Experience in Church by Marta De Pascalis

Sky Flesh

An Immersive Sound Experience in Church by Marta De Pascalis

As soon as I pushed the wooden gate of Santa Maria Annunciata in Chiesa Rossa church, I was captivated by the mysterious and extraterrestrial atmosphere that was happening there. Blue neon light stretched through the nave, all the way to the crossing. Perpendicularly, pink light glowed up the crossing and the transepts on either side. The apse behind shimmered with golden light, illuminating the person standing in front of the altar. With the ethereal music echoing in the background, I was instantly drawn into this eerie but mysteriously intriguing atmosphere.

 

The church was not holding a service, and the person glowing in front of the altar was also not a clerical. She’s Marta De Pascalis, an Italian musician and sound designer in the territory of contemporary and experimental music. Hailing from Rome, De Pascalis is currently based in Berlin. She often employs analog, FM synthesis, and a tape-loop system to her work, carving waveforms to shape cathartic sound bodies. Through incorporating improvisations into constant and repetitive patterns, De Pascalis’ music is a collage of dense, dynamic and melodic fragments that combine with bass lines and hypnotic synth figures. She has performed in various venues and festivals, including Museo Reina Sofia in Madrid, Venice Biennale, Berlin Atonal and Berghain, one of the world’s most famous nightclub and the mecca for electronic underground ravers.

Coinciding with the release of her latest album “Sky Flesh”, Marta De Pascalis teamed up with Three Production and Fondazione Prada to curate an eponymous sound experience in Santa Maria Annunciata in Chiesa Rossa church on the evening of May 16th, 2024. Growing up in Rome, De Pascalis used to wander through the dilapidated Roman streets. The atrophic ruins surrounded her were once majestic monuments, this sentimental of impermanence aroused her interest in decay and memory. With solely a Yamaha CS-60 as the composing instrument, “Sky Flesh” is a single thought that deepens her research on contemporary experimental music.

 

Located in the southwest periphery of Milan, Santa Maria Annunciata in Chiesa Rossa is a Romanesque Revival style church completed in 1932. The church hosts American minimalist artist Dan Flavin’s art intervention Untitled (1997). This is a site-specific installation composed of different colors of fluorescent light fixtures. Completed two days before and installed one year after the artist’s death with the assistance of Fondazione Prada and Dia Art Foundation, Untitled unfolded a creative dialogue with Marta De Pascalis’ ambient music under the vault of the church, rendering to the audience an extraordinary sonic and chromatic experience. Remotely resembled the sounds of the church’s pipe organs, the music leaked out from De Pascalis’ polyphonic synthesizer crescendo, the emotions in the music layered, accumulating into a conglomeration of emotion ready to outpour. In this solemn space, the emotional cloudburst reached its climax, exploded, and oscillated between the sacred ornaments, until it faded into calm.


Text: Yves Tsou


Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia: Orchestrating a Melodic Textile Story

Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia

Orchestrating a Melodic Textile Story

Spring in Europe this year is with unpredictable weather conditions. After a few weeks of heat, the skies over northern Italy were once again covered in clouds. On one of those rainiest days, we went on a journey to Borgosesia, a picturesque town in the Valsesia valleys a few hours’ drive northwest of Milan. Even though the weather is not the most ideal, I must say that the rain and the mist gave this occasion a charming and peculiar mood.

Invited to Borgosesia by Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia, we took a half day off discovering the story behind the textile house. Hailing from Piedmont, one of the main regions that process wool textile in Italy, Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia stands as a beacon of Italian textile excellence since 1850. Surrounded by scenic landscapes of the Italian Alps and entwined by the gurgling Sesia River, Borgosesia and its vicinity offers lush mountain pastures and abundant water supply essential for fleece washing and mill powering. Taken full advantages of the nature, Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia grew from a small worsted spinning mill with just 20 employees to a textile company of 635 people over its 175-year of existence.

 

During the tour, we learnt that the growth of factory transcended mere industrial success. By the late 19th century, Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia has become a cornerstone of the local community, providing housing for workers, a fire brigade, and a medical clinic. Such organization underscored the company’s deep commitment to social responsibility and welfare, and the tradition of giving back to the society continues. Today, Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia focuses on its sustainable development, employees’ welfare and the workplace’s health and safety.

 

The factory of Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia is another interesting point worth mentioning. The building retains the spinning mill’s original structure and design, where at the entrance a monument of shepherd and sheep is an inherent link through the history and essence of the brand. Walking through the factory, we had the opportunity to take a glance at all the production steps. Starting from raw material spinning into yarn, then dyeing into colorful threads; the wools were transformed into diverse textures with different thickness, catering to a myriad of luxury fashion needs.

While maintaining the tradition of yarn-making, Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia does not stop innovating. With a coherent sustainable strategy, the brand develops diversified high-quality and trendy textile with greener and more environmental-friendly operations.

 

Another highlight of the tour was a private concert of a string quintet inside the factory’s historical “Sala Consiglio” council chamber. Corresponding to the brand’s FW24/25 collection “Orchestra”, the musical notes echoed in the room are like spindles, spinning into beautiful melodies. A performance of a passionate soloist ensued by introducing each musical composition to the guests, explaining the nuances in each piece and immersing the audiences into the world of classical music. With the excellent acoustics of the hall, the concert was turned into a cozy delight.

 

The tour ended with a concluding cocktail in a hall surrounded by historical images and vintage manufactory machines. Even though the weather wasn’t the most pleasant, we had a more than pleasant experience in Zegna Baruffa Lane Borgosesia, getting an insight about the history and the manufacturing process, and having a tour through the beautiful factory with euphonious music echoing in the background.


Text: Anna Kovaleva


PR YOU - Nurturing a Fashion Community

Hi Juan. How’s your day?

I’m good, thank!

 

Would you tell us a bit more about PR YOU and yourself? What does PR YOU do and what are the main focus in PR YOU’s scope of business?

PR YOU was born 2 years ago after having worked around 10 years next to emerging designers or big names of fashion industry, with the aim of accompanying young brands with a global strategic expertise. We are a communication consulting agency and a press office having the objective to structure and promote emerging designers with a sustainable and inclusive engagement.

 

On my side, I followed technical studies where I learnt sewing and mechanic for textile industry, before going towards a fashion designer graduation. This helped me develop a real sensibility to the products and understand the issues associated with the industrialization of brands – from the drawing to its creation in factory. After all of these experiences, I was facing with the same choices as all of my classmates and other graduating designers – to build my own brand without knowing where to start from; or to start by understanding how to create a community and discover what we mean by public relations and communication. Mechanic may seem quite far from communication but in the end, I think it benefits me a lot. When you learn how to think and understand what works and what doesn’t, thing will be solved quickly and easily.

 

What followed was a powerful piece of an evidence. In the end, a series of beautiful encounters the pushed me forward and accompanied me to where I am today.

So, we can say your past experience in public relations and communication after graduation somehow inspired you to establish your own agency, PR YOU?

Yes. After many experiences in various offices, I’ve noticed that some designers lacked a lot of help in terms of brand structuration and product communication. They might have some brilliant ideas, but they don’t know how to market them. Instead of copying the modus operandi of other communication agencies, I chose to highlight on fostering young creators, dedicating my experience to help their brand grow.

 

As a founder and CEO, what are you vision to PR YOU?

I wanted to create an agency that is deeply anchored in the present, not afraid of digital communication and capable of advising brands on their structuration and key strategies and investments. We’re a young team and are not afraid of the evolution of press and media environment. If things change, we have to adapt.

 

Could you run through quickly to some of brands you are currently representing?

We represent various brands and from all around the world and in different fields. For instance, we work alongside The Silk Road Paris, the first European platform specialized in promoting and vending sustainable, ethical and artisanal brands from all around the world and especially South Asia. Their curation is super selective and they must visit the brand’s workshops to be sure of what they offer, they work with Carbone-neutral senders…We’re also working for the France and Hong Kong-based footwear label BOTH, whose soles are made of natural rubber and recycled plastic (EVA). Our new entries includes NORMANMABIRELARGUIER, whose first collection was showed at Festival de Hyères and ModaPortugal after receiving diploma at Geneva’s HEAD; Miss Boo, who dresses most of Parisian drag artists and MOSSI, who has created a free haute-couture school in the suburbs of Paris.

Let’s tell us about the key values of PR YOU and your sustainability and inclusive approach? You mentioned that you would like to work with brands that are environmental-friendly and discrimination-free. These are two issues not so easy to tackle. What made you decide to focus on these values?

These values are the pillars of our agency. Of course, it is difficult to be completely blameless in this field, as fashion industry is extremely polluting, but our goal is to provide sound strategies that fit to our sustainability and inclusivity approach. The curation of our brand, our business and media partners are also the base of these pillars. Commercial development is also a key factor to consider when you are a brand with a sustainable business model. Hence, we offer strategies adapted to this point so as not to rely heavily on the wholesale model.

 

How will you position yourself and PR YOU in the ever-changing fashion industry?

I think that our strength is our age range and our flexibility. Our team members grew up with the evolution of media and our vision for public relations extends beyond print press. Social networks are a large and potential platform on which we could implement our values and strategies.

 

According to you, what makes PR YOU different from other Public Relations and Consulting firms? What can PR YOU offer to them additionally that other Public Relations agencies might not be able to offer?

We work firstly with a strategy before on the product. We prefer consistency over quantity. We make people understand that public relations work is related to a more global communication work, which eventually related to the brand essence: We need to know who the brand is and where it wants to go. We don’t work with the same targets for different brands.

Now, we would like to talk about your “incubation” initiative. Each year, PR YOU will select 3 young brands and support them to grow professionally in the communication and fashion industry. What are the traits that you value the most when choosing the young brands to support?

When we initiated this program a year ago, our objective was clear – to discover new talents, which was also the reason behind the foundation of PR YOU. With my associate Leo, who is specializing in image, we analyzed the brands and their products, their commercial viability, added value and their essence for the society. We make sure to promote designer who are dedicated, but also those who are truly motivated by their brands and creations!

 

What channels, media and means you use to discover and scout the young designers?

There is no precise place to dig these designers out, but social media is definitely the best platform to understand a brand at the first glance. Some of contacted us directly, but we also participate in competitions and seek for new local brands while traveling. As you know, talents are all around the world

.

As an incubator, what does PR YOU provide to these young designers?

For the incubator program, we provide the exact same services as for the other existing brands. However, the difference is that the programmed service is planned only for 1 year. We are very cautious about their investment in this collaboration, as we put a lot of energy and effort into it. Basically, we help a brand to be structured from the ground up, develop their first commercial lines, their very first strategy and positioning. This is a long process, and it is also a process of mutual engagement. As we believe in them, we expect them to listen to our advice and put efforts in making progress. At the end of the sponsoring, we analyze our collaboration and decide whether to continue working with each other.

 

What are the future plans for PR YOU?

Indeed, we have a lot! I’d love to develop PR YOU in Latin America, for example in Medellin, Colombia. There’s a decent number of talented designers who are not represented here. It would be first and foremost a core project, a positive personal payback to my life, as I was born in Colombia and adopted by my French family when I was 3. I’m extremely grateful to my parents and I know how lucky I am to be at where I am today. It would be a cool way to open a new chapter from where everything started.


Small is Beautiful: A Journey Into Miniature Art Debuts in Milan

artist: Hannah Levesque

artist: Gaspard Mitz

After captivating 250,000 visitors across Paris, New York, and Brussels, the internationally renowned exhibition “Small is Beautiful” makes its Italian debut in Milan. Housed by Milan’s leading cultural aggregation center Fabbrica del Vapore, this extraordinary showcase takes visitors on a journey beyond reality, immersing them into a world of miniature dimensions where one feels like a giant navigating a universe as small as the tip of a finger.

 

Collectively hosting the exhibition are Fever, the pioneering entertainment platform, and Exhibition Hub, producer of large exhibitions across the world, “Small is Beautiful” opens its doors on May 9, 2024. Curated by Serge Victoria, the exhibition transforms miniature art into a major artistic genre, presenting an incredible exploration through minutely detailed worlds, rich in poetic expression and unfettered imagination.

19 miniature artists from all over the world showcases their works in art forms such as painting, photography, sculpture and even crochet, incorporating different media from paper, food, pencil tips and even recycle materials. These pieces, some merely millimeters in size, require powerful magnifying glasses to fully observe their intricate details. Walking through the exhibition hall, it is hard to not appreciate the boundless imagination, remarkable patience and exceptional virtuosity these artists have dedicated to their works.

 

The exhibition burgeons from social network. Curator Serge Victoria noticed a decent number of miniature artists sharing their creations on social media, giving him ideas on building a platform to showcase the beauty of miniature art in all facets. “Small is Beautiful” not only aims to bring miniature art to a wider audience and offer a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of it, but also seeks to foster a community eager to embrace all dimensions of art.

artist: Derrick Lin

artist: Minimiam

artist: Kiu Mini Art

The title, “Small is Beautiful,” harks back to economist Leopold Kohr’s advocacy for human-scaled societies in his student Ernst Friedrich Schumacher’s 1973 book “Small is Beautiful: A Study of Economics as if People Mattered.” Kohr championed the idea of reducing scales in various domains—economics, ecology, governance—to counteract the norm of gigantism. The meticulous attention to detail and the diminutive scale of the artworks challenge our perceptions, guiding us to ponder the beauty and complexity of smallness in a world that often prioritizes the big.

 

“Small is Beautiful” will be at Milan’s Fabbrica del Vapore, in Spazio Messina from May 9th 2024 to September 22nd 2024.


Text: Yves Tsou


Ian Ousley


Photographer: Maddie Murphy (@maddiemurphyphoto)

Talent: Ian Ousley (@ianousley)


Interview by Yves Tsou

Hi Ian, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hey! Yeah, of course. I’m a 22-year-old actor & artist from College Station, Texas. I’m a huge fan of all things art, especially the medium of film & tv. I did martial arts most of my life growing up from the ages of 9-16; it basically consumed my life. I’m a 3rd degree black belt and world champion in Weapons; I still keep up on my training. I love to write all sorts of things from songs to screenplays to journal entries, my day truly isn’t complete without writing. My life is centered around my relationship with Jesus, which is where I find my rest, my strength, and my inspiration.

 

Congratulations on landing on one of the leading roles in “Avatar: The Last Airbender”, how does it feel to be one of the main characters Sokka in this Netflix live-action adaptation?

 Thank you so much! It feels amazing to play such a beloved and iconic character in this series. This is my first leading role, so it was a big responsibility, and I grew so much as an actor and a person in general. I loved the animated series growing up, so it was really surreal to be a part of this life action adaptation.

 

You mentioned that you are a huge fan of the original animated series, what traits have you noticed from that version (or the movie adaptation) of Sokka that you like? How have you thought of continuing those traits in your portrayal of the character?

 Yeah, my goal with taking on the role of Sokka was to embody the soul of that character and translate who Sokka really is while bringing in the elements that come with making him a real-life person. He’s the meat and sarcasm guy with the boomerang, but he also has a lot of very complicated emotions coming up inside of him that he’s really never been able to face before. It was a really fun challenge to get to play with all of the layers of who he is. He masks a lot of what he’s going through with his humor which I think is true for a lot of funny people. Getting to find those little correlations from the animated character and connect him to a real, emotional human place was a big task but a very gratifying one to take on.

 

And is there anything new you have implemented in your interpretaion? If so, what is it?

 I think the newness that comes from adapting an animated character is getting to let their human components shine through. Finding their vulnerabilities and how and when they let those show and why. Being human is being vulnerable, so just keeping their core and soul of what makes them who they are and enhancing their humanity.

 

In the series, Sokka tries to prove his leadership and value even without having special abilities. In the end, he becomes a hero in his own way. Do you somehow resonate with Sokka’s perseverance? Do you think these traits could somehow be an inspiration to you in your real life?

Absolutely, perseverance is a crucial component to anyone becoming truly successful in anything. I had many grueling times in my career before coming onto this show where I was very close to booking the “career defining role” that ended up going to someone else. If I hadn’t learned my love for the art and on my pursuit of the craft, I never would’ve gotten this dream opportunity.

 

Trained in taekwondo at a young age, did it help you in your working on your role this time?

All movement experience while working on a show with this level of action definitely helps. However, my character doesn’t have a whole lot of technical knowledge when it comes to fighting, so I had to learn how to look like I didn’t know what I was doing when it came to martial arts for Sokka.

 

The series seems to be very dynamic, and we assume that the performance is very physically demanding. Have you gone through some training before filming? What kind of preparation have you done for the role, both mentally and physically?

They put us through a six-week long bootcamp where all four of us got to learn how to bend all four elements which was very fun but didn’t cater to my character because obviously Sokka can’t bend. I took that time to get as physically in shape as I could. On the mental component of prep, I outlined the arc for what Sokka goes through for the first 2 episodes and mapping it out so I could know exactly where I was emotionally and why in any scene. We block shot two episodes at a time, so it was important for me to get as familiar as possible with the material and have anchor points to allow me to get into the head, heart and body of Sokka wherever we found him on his journey.

 

Could you tell us something interesting happened during the filming? Anything fun that we don’t know from behind the scene?

 The way we filmed the Appa scenes were really interesting and weird because the whole bottom half of Appa, including the face, are fully CGI so we would hop on this huge 15 – 20ft animatronic and a crew of like 10 guys would surround the creature and manually pull and push the Appa rig up and down to make it look like we were flying.

 

For you, what are the most enjoyable things throughout this whole experience?

The family that I’ve made with the cast. The four of us have really become like siblings and have grown up for the past 3 years together. It’s by far been the biggest gift getting to work on this show that I’m really proud of and grateful for.

 

Now let’s talk about your entrepreneurship. You founded a clothing line, KALÓ SOIL, together with two of your pals. What inspires you to start this brand?

 Kaló Soil is a passion project and a creative outlet for me and the guys. It was really great for me to put my hands to another passion of mine during the actors’ strike. At Kaló we’re all deeply influenced by our faith, so our goal is to glorify God through the art of fashion.

 

How did you step into the world of repurposing vintage clothes into unique new fashion pieces?

At Kaló Soil we have a large collection of curated vintage, which is how the company started. We were wholesaling vintage and needed a show room to work out of and display the pieces we’ve accumulated. When I joined the company with Ryan Sullivan and Hunter Baker, we integrated our “Made-in-house” products which are our original designs hand sewn and sourced In LA. We still sell curated vintage alongside our own pieces online and in-store.

 

During the preparation of the physical store, you guys helped a homeless contractor (or maybe an interior designer you would say?) by accommodating him in the upcoming space and let him design the furniture in the store. This is indeed a benevolent act.  What encourages you to do so? Could you tell us more about the backstory and about the collaboration?

We met our friend Quinn while moving into our storage space near Skid row in DTLA and hired him to help us source products for the furniture and interior design section of the store. He’s a great guy and we’ve learned a lot from him. He has an amazing eye for the unusual which is something that all of us at Kaló really admire and value.

 

Are there any future plans for Ian Ousley? Both for his acting career and his fashion entrepreneurship?

The plan right now is to go back for the next two seasons of Avatar: The Last Airbender and pour my heart, soul, sweat and best efforts into the process of serving the project to make it the best it can possibly be. I’m about to start filming another project this summer that I’m very excited to dive into and share with all of you. A huge desire of mine is to direct, so I’m hoping to get my own short film shot before we start filming the show again. However, I’m mostly just trying to stay centered and focused on maintaining my relationship with the arbiter of peace, truth and life. That relationship between Jesus and I, above anything I could do in my career, is my ultimate goal and purpose.


Boy Interrupted

blazer and shorts SONIA CARRASCO, earrings ALEJANDRA DE COSS

full look OFFICINE GÉNÉRALE, rings RAT BETTY, shoes PRADA

blazer and shorts SONIA CARRASCO, earrings ALEJANDRA DE COSS, rings ROSE ARC, shoes PRADA

striped set KKCO

dress VINCE, rings RAT BETTY, bracelet ODDINARY STUDIOS

skirt SONIA CARRASCO, bag JACQUEMUS

dress VINCE, trench coat PRADA, rings RAT BETTY, bracelet ODDINARY STUDIOS

striped set KKCO, leather jacket MILLI POINT TWO

earrings ALEJANDRA DE COSS

skirt SONIA CARRASCO, bag JACQUEMUS, loafers PRADA

Photography: Michelle G. Gonzales (@enfoque_lumiere)

Fashion: Nathan Figueroa (@iamnathanfigueroa)

Grooming: Jefferson T. (@getyohairdid)

Fashion Assistant: Adrian Ramos (@adridekilla)

Model: Elijah Langston (@elijah.langston) @Storm Models (@stormmodels)

Studio: Vision Studio (@visionstudiola)


Eternally Modern: COS Unveils Groundbreaking Fashion Show in Rome

Unprecedentedly, London-based fashion brand COS took over the historic Corsie Sistine in Rome, for its first ever runway show in this eternal city. Dating back to the 15th century, Corsie Sistine was Europe’s oldest hospital. Inaugurated after a two-year conservation, thanks to Roman’s local health organization ASL Roma 1, the newly-restored monument is an authentic blend of pristine historical architecture and contemporary design. Featuring a modern structure crafted from recycled voile that creates a striking contrast to the ancient walls, the new Corsie Sistine is undoubtedly an ideal venue for COS’ Spring/Summer 2024 show.

 

Abbreviation of “Collection of Style”, COS epitomizes the contemporary minimalistic style with a focus on sustainability, innovation and craftsmanship. Not mere a display of style, the COS Spring/Summer 2024 is also a showcase of the brand’s endeavor in their values. Introducing simultaneously its Spring/Summer 2024 Mainline and Atelier collections, the 33 sophisticated looks embody the brand’s clean and cozy aura. The looks were relished by the 13,000 square meters of frescoes in the backdrop, emphasizing the enthralling merge of past and future. With legendary Italian supermodel Mariacarla Boscono elegantly closing the show, the pure excellence of COS’ aesthetics and craftsmanship climaxed.

Standing out with its exquisite fabrics use and meticulous attention to detail. The looks from the latest collection were marked by hand-pleated shoulder details, fishtail skirts, and flowing maxi volume. Tailoring and knitwear were redefined with extended hybrid sleeves and folded lapels, showcasing technical experimentation in cutting and texture. Leather jackets, ballet flats, and loafers highlighted the materials’ textures, while wide-leg pleated trousers featured hand-painted hems, adding depth and movement.

 

The collection also experimented with the materiality of light, exploring how chromatic effects can be achieved on translucent fabrics. Bold red tones on a neutral palette of steel blue, black, white, and sand rendered a beautiful and dramatic contrast.

 

Seamlessly mixed traditional craftsmanship with modern principles, COS reaffirming its commitment to timeless taste and uncompromised quality. The use of sustainable materials, including recycled components and paper yarns certified by the Responsible Wool Standard, emphasized the brand’s dedication to sustainability.

 

A selection of the runway collection is immediately available at COS boutiques and on cos.com, with more models to be released throughout the season. The Atelier line will be available from April, offering timeless elegance and craftsmanship both in stores and online.

COS Spring/Summer 2024 Atelier Collection Campaign


From Twilight to Starlight: Courrèges x Mytheresa’s Modern Wardrobe Proposal

From Twilight

to Starlight

Courrèges x Mytheresa’s Modern Wardrobe Proposal

Space Age fashion representative Courrèges has launched a capsule collection in collaborations with pioneering online luxury retailer Mytheresa. Featuring a total of 17 pieces, the exclusive collection highlights a monochromatic palette that combines Courrèges’ signature futuristic aesthetic with a contemporary sensibility, embodying the timeless elegance of Parisian fashion.

 

Once a synonym of futuristic, Courrèges projected the people’s desire for space exploration and unknown future at that time. As one of the coolest brands in 1960s, Courrèges took the Parisian fashion scene by storm with its simple and cutting-edge visual image, industrialist design and optimistic sporty style. Sending models down the runway with mini skirt, pants, goggles and helmets, Courrèges’ avant-garde concept and full-of-personality design approach revamped the fashion trend of post-war era. In those turbulent years when fashion people in Paris were in pursuit of extremely vanity and gorgeousness, Courrèges’ bold proposition of dressing women in super short mini skirt and trouser that have traditionally been part of the male wardrobe was undoubtedly revolutionary, pinnacling the brand onto the top of Paris fashion hot list before it went silent.

Since 2020, Belgium designer Nicolas Di Felice was appointed as the newest artistic director of this forgotten fashion house. Under the helm of this energetic young man, the magical revival started. Influenced by the rave culture, he infused a clear, modern vision to Courrèges’ notable cutting-edge design. He stayed true to the clean lines and silhouettes for which the fashion house is famous, incorporating them with new materials and fabrics in order to focus on quality and innovation. The rejuvenation came with great success, gaining huge visibility worldwide. Courrèges once again returned to the public eye.

 

Seeing its endless potential, Mytheresa teamed up with Courrèges for this exclusive capsule collection. Curated by Nicolas Di Felice, the collection combines Courrèges’ iconic heritage with the dynamic rhythm of today’s fashion world. Designed for modern women in any occasion, the collection offers versatility to their everyday wardrobe. Extending seamlessly from daily casualwear to sophisticated dinners then to the energetic dance floor, the capsule epitomizes the transition of fashion clothing from daytime to nighttime.

Lensed by photographer Jorin Koers and featured by model Ren Qing, the campaign visualizes Nicolas’ vision with an immersive environment of nearly heavenly purity, conveying an atmosphere of elegance and sophistication. Selling exclusively and globally on mytheresa.com from April 3rd, 2024, the Courrèges x Mytheresa capsule collection takes us back to the iconic Space Age with contemporary appeal and a dose of nostalgia.


Text: Yves Tsou


Yevonde Girls Reimagined: Miu Miu’s New Campaign Is an Ode to Powerful Feminity

Yevonde Girl Reimagined

Miu Miu’s New Campaign Is an Ode to Powerful Feminity

Established in 1993 by Miuccia Prada, granddaughter of Prada’s founder Mario Prada, Miu Miu is the most unrestrained portrayal of Miuccia Prada’s creativity and very embodiment of modern Milanese style. Born with a younger spirit, the brand is meant to challenge the definition of traditional aesthetics while emancipating the woman’s consciousness. The Miu Miu girl became a symbol of innocence and playfulness. Their style highlights the naive yet extraordinary forms of the fashion house’s designs, demonstrating the most rebellious and provocative core of contemporary femininity.

 

As a trendsetter and one of the most beloved brand amongst stylists nowadays, Miu Miu launches a new campaign for its iconic Arcadie and Wander bags, celebrating the emblematic matelassé elegance in newest hues. Under the creative direction of Edward Quarmby and the styling of Lotta Volkova, photographer Steven Miesel uses his tender but powerful camera language to demonstrate modern femininity. Interpreted by supermodel Gigi Hadid, the image of immortalized Yevonde ladies in the 1930s comes into sight, transforming into a modern Miu Miu girl vividly.

The campaign takes inspiration from the works of Yevonde, the famous British photographer who made a pioneering revolution in coloured portrait photography. As a beacon of female freedom and independence, she was actively involved in feminism and women’s suffrage movements. Yevonde started working as a photographer at the age of 21, at a time when female professions were limited. Throughout her career, she manifested a confident tone of voice in her beliefs. By signing her works with her own name instead of using a men-like or gender neutral pseudonym, she blatantly underlined her female identity. Back in 1920s, it was uncommon for women to have their own career and creative personalisation. Despite all the odds in the societal aspects that went against her, Yevonde assumed her place in artistic photography by her well-thought colour palette and surrealistic silhouette of human being, objects, flowers and foliage and clothes that are united in a utopian composition. Through the lens of Steven Meisel, the distinctive style of Yevonde and the meaningful messages about feminism behind her work coincide with Miu Miu’s DNA, colliding into an unforgettably beautiful and powerful fashion campaign.

 

Launched internationally on April 8th 2024, the new Miu Miu Arcadie and Wander bag campaign is an authentic and colorful ode to Miu Miu’s perfection in unconventionally feminine design and youthful creativity that transcend boundaries. On top of the classic cognac and caramel color, the new Arcadie and Wander bags are available also in the new color of the season: bright orange and soleil yellow, ready to glow up your spring wardrobe in vivacious tints