Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with Stratis Kastrisianakis, co-founder of Nakedbutsafe magazine

nakedbutsafe front cover-NATALIA-ZAKHAROVA
Nakedbutsafe magazine is a beautiful new arts, fashion and photography magazine with a conscience, produced in Greece, printed in the UK at Principal Colour, and available worldwide. Co-founder Stratis Kastrisianakis explains the thinking behind the creation of his new publication in more depth:

Nakedbutsafe dreaming of another world
Nakedbutsafe dreaming of another world
What does Nakedbutsafe mean and how did you decide upon the name for your new magazine?
Nakedbutsafe means that our magazine tries to be ‘naked’ from any form of ties and connections to standard industry pressure points like PRs etc… which makes it highly independent. I think readers don’t trust magazines and the media in general any more because there is no more news, only commerce. Magazines today (including many so called independent ones) are just sales platforms for major brands. As a freelance photographer I witnessed last minute calls from major brands in Paris to an otherwise quite credible publication, asking for clothing items to be used on the cover shoot even when they had nothing to do with the theme of the shooting. Additionally ‘naked’ means naked from any form of post production that cannot be done in the dark room. This could have made the magazine feel a bit nostalgic, but this is not the case. We celebrate photography and our research into young artistic and photographic talent shows that there is a strong trend towards not using post production. We want our fashion photographers to enjoy the process of taking photos in the moment, and not to rely on the lab. Naked is also naked from any fear of press censure. We encourage freedom and the breaking of boundaries every day, not just in the magazine. The choice of name was a natural decision from the state of mind we found ourselves in at the start of 2011.

Nakedbutsafe your joy is my low
Nakedbutsafe your joy is my low
Nakedbutsafe your joy is my low
Who is behind Nakedbutsafe? Can you tell us a short history about its creation?
Myself (Stratis Kastrisianakis) and my partner Manos Samartzis are the creators and driving force behind the magazine. We do everything in house from design to proofing, and from art curating to monitoring distribution and sales. Happily we are blessed with many talented friends and old collaborators that jumped on the idea of giving a hand to a project that started out shy but now is a full time commitment. One day in december 2010 myself and Manos were so frustrated by a commission that we decided NOT to work for these kind of publications any more. So nakedbutsafe was born out of frustration. Then we started a task of entering into a world that already seems so natural, even though it was all news to us back then. We chose to work with consultants and not actual collaborators so we could keep the schedule under control (it is hard to ask people to work for free under pressure) and so that we would not offend anyone’s artistic expression by rejecting them. Nakedbutsafe is 100% an in house process with 95% of its material shot especially for us. Today things have changed dramatically. Every day we get requests from artists and collaborators of every kind that want to be part of nakedbutsafe. This is all very exciting. Our new roster is a very selected list of young and emerging talent in their fields.

Your press release speaks about living life with intellectually fulfilled integrity, how is this best manifested in the magazine’s content?
Our take on lifestyle aims to show people that we are humans with brains and not just simple forms of life who react to outside influences. We do not need toys and wealth to live a rich life. Wealth comes from bettering our lives. There are alternatives out there that will create conditions for a new experience. We don’t just need things to show off to other members of our circle. Our planet is a wonderful thing and it is ours. Freedom from needing stuff but encouraging new experiences is our biggest tool towards independency from the media promoted garbage that fills our lives. This is clearly stated in many parts of our magazine – we want it to be a magazine that is read and not just a coffee table item. Magazines are not decorative items.

How difficult has it been to launch a magazine in Greece in this time of financial crisis?
Amazingly difficult and challenging. But also this is one of the reasons why we manage to keep editorial integrity. Once you hit the bottom you can only go up. Also the anger that exists inside everyone in Greece right now has transformed itself into a creative force.

I love the statement that you ‘appreciate illustrators, but not the ones who call themselves photographers’. Why is it so important to you to use images that are not airbrushed?
See my previous answer for part of this explanation. All readers, even non industry ones, are so familiar with post production that they have lost their trust in the colours of a sunset, of a fruit and eventually the beauty of human form. It’s a crime. We are living in the era of temporary plastic surgery through imagery.

Nakedbutsafe let it fall
Nakedbutsafe is published in English. What was the decision about this, and where can you buy the magazine?
English is the most commonly spoken language and the one that suits most of our international team. It was a decision based on practicality. In the future we want to have multilingual articles in the magazine (in their original form) as well as in English, but this will not be the case anytime soon. Pineapple Media and Comag International are the people behind our global reach. We have somehow limited printing numbers (under 15,000 copies) so our reach is global but targeted. In January 2012 we will have full details of where to buy nakedbutsafe but for the moment please check out Where to Buy on our website.

Have there been any difficulties in ensuring global distribution, if so what have you learnt?
Yes. As always a new craft brings excitement and also problems which need to be dealt with. Not knowing the actual distribution locations until the magazine is already in the stores was news to us. Now we know and it’s ok. We are not an urgent magazine to buy in terms of news.

Nakedbutsafe all signs point to no
Why is it important to you to create a magazine from 100% sustainable sources?
I will reverse the question; why is not so important for everyone else? There is too much intellectual garbage out there, never mind actual garbage. Let’s all be sustainable – it will make everyone happier.

How did you discover Principal Colour and why did you decide to use them to print Nakedbutsafe?
Their take on natural and ecological printing was a big attraction, but I also like that Principal Colour is run with an informal mood that is in line with the playful (but still extremely serious) character of nakedbutsafe. They are amazing and I have no hesitation in recommending them to others. I received their press proofs by mistake for issue 1 and there was no difference in quality between mine and theirs.

To read the rest of this article hop on over to the Principal Colour tumblr blog.

Categories ,art, ,brazil, ,Circle of Transformation, ,Comag International, ,eco, ,Greece, ,magazine, ,Maike Ludenbach, ,Manos Samartzis, ,Nakedbutsafe, ,Ned Sewell, ,photography, ,Pineapple Media, ,principal colour, ,Print Design, ,Stratis Kastrisianakis, ,sustainable

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Amelia’s Magazine | An interview with textile designer Emma J Shipley

Emma J Shipley by Natalia Stuyk

Emma J Shipley S/S 2012 by Natalia Stuyk

It was Liberty of London’s Best of British open day, and I can remember quite clearly the moment that Emma Shipley pulled a selection of fine pencil drawings from her bag. Quiet gasps came from around the table. We all pulled the papers closer to our faces, screwing up our eyes at these exquisite drawings, to see if they were really the work of hand. The excitement doubled when she delved into her case and produced a handful of her intensely detailed and rich coloured scarves. Luxurious, conversational pieces, and undoubtedly delicate works of art.

Gorilla-emma shipley
Gorilla drawing courtesy of Emma J Shipley

She then told us about herself – a graduate from the MA Textiles course at the Royal College of Art, who loves drawing (spending up to 10 hours a day with pencil in hand). At the RCA she won prizes and scholarships, and achieved further recognition when her first collection, Hyper Nature, was bought by Browns – a commendation that most graduates can only dream of. Emma Shipley‘s print collection was spotted in this review of the RCA’s 2011 Textile Design show by Amelia. Emma spoke to me ahead of the launch of her label at London Fashion Week A/W 2012.

Emma J Shipley by Alejandra Espino
Emma J Shipley by Alejandra Espino

I was first introduced to your designs at the Liberty of London Best of British open day – what have you been up to since then?
I haven’t stopped! I won Texprint’s pattern prize, and with this, exhibited my work in London, Paris, Shanghai and Hong Kong, and also visited the silk mill industry area in Como. As well as working on my scarf label, I’ve been pursuing an exciting collaboration with jewellery designer Tomasz Donocik, on a collection of bejewelled silk scarves. These have so far previewed at Garrard and Harvey Nichols, with the full collection to launch at London Fashion Week.

I’m also currently working on an exciting commission for an American fashion corporation, using mathematical algorithms and programming techniques I developed during my MA at the Royal College of Art to produce randomised, non-repeating patterns. Aside from this, I’ve been producing limited edition fine prints from my drawings, and working on some special commissions for fashion, interior and automotive clients.

Emma J Shipley by Fay Newman
Emma J Shipley by Fay Newman

Can you explain a little about your passion for drawing, and how you moved into scarf design.
It’s something that I’ve always done and loved – it comes naturally and is a part of me. Through studying textiles at the Royal College of Art, I began to focus more and more on my drawing, devoting more time to this stage of the design process, to create something unique and full of soul. The drawings have really become artworks, that are translated onto textiles – I felt that these artworks lent themselves perfectly to luxury scarves, which can be collectable pieces and can be seen as a canvas.

Can you explain a little about the process that goes into making your scarves? What materials are you working with?
The designs are digitally printed directly onto the fabric using the latest technology, as this gives the best results with all the fine detail in my drawings, as well as being more environmentally friendly than traditional printing methods. Fabrics in the new collection include cashmere, modal and Italian silks.

Emma Shipley
Photo courtesy of Emma J Shipley

You outsource most of your production. What is it like managing this? Any lessons learnt?
Absolutely! The transition from college and making everything yourself, to having small runs of samples made, to outsourcing larger production orders is huge. However I don’t think the lessons can really be taught, and at every stage I have felt that I’ve learnt more and more, which hopefully will help me in the future. In fact setting up my own label straight from college has been a steep learning curve in every way.

Emma J Shipley by Katie Chappell
Emma J Shipley by Katie Chappell

You’ve said that your influenced by Darwinian evolution and nature – can you explain where these influences come from?
It’s difficult to explain my passion for this – I think nature is just something that I’ve always been inspired by and drawn to. It’s such a rich and unending source of inspiration and I think the most spectacular and beautiful things in the world are found in nature. An interest in the theory of evolution has also always been there – for me our inextricable link to all other living things inspires so much wonder and awe

I share your love of Walton Ford – what do you find inspiring about his works?
His subject matter and botanical influences are close to my interests, and I love the way he subverts traditional references (botanical illustration) by adding sinister details and exploring the darker side of nature. I also love the way he plays with scale.

What about the new collection – what can we expect?
A continuation of the natural, scientific and mathematical influences. Vibrant colours as well as bold monochrome. A collaboration with jewellery designer Tomasz Donocik, on a collection of bejewelled silk scarves with silver and gold. New fabrics including cashmere and silk chiffon, and some stunning cashmere jacquard woven scarves.

Emma J Shipley by Alejandra Espino
Emma J Shipley by Alejandra Espino

You are launching your new collection at LFW… What expectations do you have?
Exciting and intimidating…! I don’t know what to expect as it’s my first London Fashion Week – the most important thing for me would be to get a great response to the collection, and also of course to meet buyers from stores I would like to be stocked in.

What else will 2012 hold for you?
Exhibitions and launches of wallpapers and interior fabrics with some big interior companies later in the year.

Emma J Shipley will be showing her new A/W 2012 collection in Somerset House, at the Exhibition for London Fashion Week, February 17th – 22nd 2012.

Categories ,Alejandra Espino, ,animals, ,Browns, ,Como, ,Darwin, ,drawing, ,Emma J Shipley, ,Fay Newman, ,Katie Chappell, ,Liberty of London, ,Luxury, ,MA Textiles, ,Natalia Stuyk, ,nature, ,pencil, ,rca, ,S/S 2012, ,Scarves, ,Silk, ,Texprint, ,Textile Design, ,Tomasz Donocik, ,Walton Ford

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