Amelia’s Magazine | Curating Yamamoto: An interview with Ligaya Salazar, the V&A’s Yohji Yamamoto exhibition curator

Illustration by Jo Cheung

So after a rollercoaster six days, website online Menswear Day and London Fashion Week drew to a close with hip-store Kokon To Zai’s label, this web dosage KTZ, viagra and what would be my final show of this season. I absolutely loved what they did last season, and I couldn’t wait to see what they’d come up with next.

All photography by Matt Bramford

A heavily policed front row meant me and illustrator Gareth took seats on the second, but I managed to get on the end so that my pictures would make it look like I was Frowing all along. I was bloody exhausted and feeling very sorry for myself, and I couldn’t help but wish that they’d just get on with it and stop papping people wearing pig masks. My legs wobbled and I struggled to keep my eyes open, but when the music started and the first look appeared, I quickly forgot my woes.

Illustration by June Chanpoomidole

Illustration by Thomas Leadbetter

Memphis-inspired fashion? I thought I’d died and gone to heaven. A pumpin’ soundtrack blasted from the PA system as gorgeous models (more women than men, but who cares?) sashayed up and down the length of the BFC tent. Stripes were a plenty on figure-hugging dresses with sweetheart necklines that feature extra flaps in that Pop Art/Memphis splatter pattern. Vibrant primary colours made black dresses playful: such a sophisticated, considered collection expertly styled by wonder-styilst Anna Trevelyan.

A whole load of other influences filtered into this power collection – the womenswear referenced power dressing from the 1980s (think Dynasty) and Mondrian’s prints; the menswear also digging up the eighties with (faux!) fur lapels and broad shoulders.

Illustration by Abby Wright

I have to admit, I did prefer the womenswear – it was far more wearable for fashion-forward ladies and it oozed sex appeal with dresses cut above the knee and details in all the right places to emphasise the curves. The menswear featured striped balaclavas topped with pom-poms, acrylic brooches which referenced the womenswear, over-sized imposing puffa jackets and graphic-print trousers. But it’ll be the womenswear that cements Kokontozai’s place as one of London’s hottest design duos.

Illustration by Lesley Barnes

Huge orb-like creations were worn on wrists, picking out patterns from lapels. And, oh, the cuts! Dynamic pieces of fabric were layered onto classic tailored pieces to give them a seriously sexy aesthetic. This was a collection that was playful but sophisticated at the same – a really difficult challenge to pull off.

Illustration by Valerie Pezeron

I loved EVERYTHING about it. I can’t put it into words, so just have a look at the pictures. Oh, and read Amelia’s more comprehensive and articulate review here!

You can see more from Jo Cheung, June Chanpoomidole, Abby Wright and Lesley Barnes in Amelia’s Compendium of Fashion Illustration!

Illustration by Gareth A Hopkins

This spring, visit this the V&A presents a unique exhibition dedicated to the Grand Master Japanese couturier, Yohji Yamamoto. The exhibition will celebrate his life and work, and is the first of its kind in the UK. 30 years after Yamamoto debuted in Paris, the V&A has brought together rare examples of his visionary designs.

Watch the video for an exclusive interview with the exhibition’s curator, Ligaya Salazar. You can also read some of Salazar’s thoughts below, too.

On process
With this project I started roughly two and a half years ago to work on the idea and the concept behind the exhibition, it’s also a very particular project because you are working with a living designer who you are doing a single retrospective with, working with their team very closely, so in terms of curating, there is much more of a dialogue there than you would probably normally have with a slightly more thematic show.

The focus was more on to find a concept that would work for him, as a designer, because Yohji Yamamoto is very special in the deign world in terms of the way he approaches designing, so the way you want to show his work should be quite different as well… I spent more time looking at ways of displaying his work, ways of showing his work…

On garment selection
I had the incredible honour to be able to go into both his Paris and his Tokyo archives; the Tokyo archives no curator had ever been to and I had all of his archive to look at and to choose from, which made the editing process incredibly hard. It is something you spend a long time doing, talking to Yohji’s team, talking to the designer, making sure you have covered the iconic parts of his career, but also choosing pieces that are most emblematic of the themes that you want to bring out. I stated with an object list that was about six hundred pieces, and that was already a selection of the pieces I saw in the archive and then I had to bring it down to ninety; it was a long and arduous process.

On themes
Because it is an installation based exhibition, there isn’t a prescriptive story to tell, or a chronology, it was much more about how people would encounter the garments. For the first time what we are doing is to show everything on open display, on the same height as the viewer, so you are meeting your other, rather than looking up and behind glass. It’s a very different experience of the clothes.

Yohi Yamamoto is at the V&A and at The Wapping Project until 10th July 2011. Look out for a full review coming soon!

See more from Natascha Nanji here.

Categories ,couture, ,Cromwell Road, ,Curator, ,exhibition, ,fashion, ,Gareth A Hopkins, ,japan, ,japanese, ,Ligaya Salazar, ,london, ,Natascha Nanji, ,paris, ,Retrospective, ,tokyo, ,va, ,video, ,Yohji Yamamoto

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Amelia’s Magazine | Montreal Festimania 2011: First Peoples’ Festival Review

Mohawk Dancer by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs
Mohawk Dancer by Maria Papadimitriou aka Slowly The Eggs.

At the Place des Festivals in downtown Montreal there were iridescent reindeer wading through sparkling fountains of water next to a giant suspended teepee under which loitered a colourful turtle. Children splashed happily in the water as parents munched on freshly roasted chicken and blueberry corn bread.

Montreal Festimania 2011 First peoples
All photography by Amelia Gregory.

First Peoples by Antonia Parker.

For a period between 2nd – 9th August the First Peoples’ Festival, sick part of Montreal Festimania was centred at Place des Festivals, approved with various events held at other venues across Montreal. It was a celebration of First Nations cultures from all over the Americas and beyond, cialis 40mg proving that ancient cultures remain relevant in modern times.

Montreal Festimania First Nations by Nabila Ibrahim
Montreal Festimania First Nations by Nabila Ibrahim.

First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

We went to CineRobotheque for a showing of three short films by indigenous film makers from New Zealand, Australia and North America. Something Fishy by Ben Young featured casual prejudice used to cover up the tragic death of a young aboriginal boy. Ebony Society by Tammy Davis showed young Mauri men going against expected behaviours when their attempt to rob a house goes awry and they instead end up babysitting. In Cousins Sally Kewayosh followed the friendship of two teenagers hooked on the same skater boy.

First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
Carving by Denis Charette. I particularly loved his beaver bowl.

First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory
First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

The Place des Festivals provided a place for local crafts people to show off skills: there were stalls selling jewellery, woven boxes and carved wooden boxes. It was even possible to watch as expert carving (with a distinctly non traditional chainsaw) took place. One evening we watched a group of Mohawk dancers demonstrate some foot stomping traditional dance. It was a great way to find out more about these rich earth centric cultures in a relaxed informal atmosphere.

Montreal Festimania First Nations by Nabila Ibrahim
Montreal Festimania First Nations by Nabila Ibrahim.

First Nations Mohawk Dancing by Barb Royal
First Nations Mohawk Dancing by Barb Royal.

Montreal Festimania First Nations by Faye West
Montreal Festimania First Nations by Faye West.

Montreal Festimania First Nations by Dan Lester
Montreal Festimania First Nations by Dan Lester.

Find out more about the annual First Peoples’ Festival by going to the Native Lynx website or at Montreal Festimania.

First Nations Montreal Festimania 2011 photo by Amelia Gregory

Categories ,Antonia Parker, ,australia, ,Barb Royal, ,Ben Young, ,CineRobotheque, ,Cousins, ,Dan Lester, ,Denis Charette, ,Ebony Society, ,First Nations, ,First Peoples, ,Maria Papadimitriou, ,Mohawk, ,Montreal, ,Montreal Festimania, ,Nabila Ibrahim, ,Native Lynx, ,New Zealand, ,North America, ,Place des Festivals, ,Reindeer, ,Sally Kewayosh, ,Short Film, ,Slowly the Eggs, ,Something Fishy, ,Tammy Davis, ,Teepee, ,Traditional Dance, ,Turtle

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Amelia’s Magazine | Montreal Festimania 2011: Fantasia International Film Festival Review

fantasia_film_fest_2011 poster by Donald Caron
Fantasia International Film Festival 2011 poster by Donald Caron.

Fantasia International Film Festival in Montreal, capsule Canada bills itself as a celebration of all things niche and genre. Our visit during Montreal Festimania coincided with the 15th anniversary of this independent festival, which over the years has grown to become the largest and most influential of its kind in the world. We were lucky enough to be granted a VIP pass allowing us access to any film we liked over our stay, and we decided to see quite a few!

Little Deaths
Ironically quite a few of our choices were British films that we’d failed to view over here in the UK, starting with a trio of horror shorts called Little Deaths, based around sexual perversion and gore. My favourite was a tale of domination and manipulation gone wrong: Bitch by Simon Rumley was shot in grainy London greys with a fabulous score to accompany scenes of every day mundanity as they descended into something more sinister.

Burke and Hare
Burke and Hare body
Burke and Hare follows the lives of two idiotic grave robbers operating in the Edinburgh of the 1820s. Despite the downbeat nature of this true story it was given a successful comedic twist by director John Landis, aided by an impeccable cast that includes Simon Pegg and Andy Serkis of Gollum fame.

Final-destination5-Olivia Castle
It was gone midnight when we attended the world premiere of Final Destination 5 in 3D, introduced by Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, who plays leggy lead character Olivia Castle… I’m sure this appearance was a major boon to the mainly male audience. The film was as utterly daft as its predecessors, but a lot of fun to watch with a hyped up festival crowd.

Phantom of the Opera Fantasia Film festival
One of the Fantasia International Film Festival highlights was a screening of the old black and white version of The Phantom of the Opera, made in 1925. This took place in the Barbican-like Theatre Maisonneuve in the Place des Arts, and was accompanied by a live rendition of the original full orchestral and operatic score. The auditorium was full to the rafters for this oddball story: I had no idea that the whole premise was so damn weird! The poster was designed by Donald Caron, the Montreal artist behind the fabulously kitsch Fantasia festival poster which features a flying horse: I loved them both and had to resist the urge to buy posters for which I have no wall space.

Horny House of Horror
Horny House of Horror bondage
Horny House of Horror deserves a mention for pure over the top Japanese pornographic gore: totally silly and questionable in taste, but I just about managed to sit through the 70 minutes of movie.

Cold Sweat
Argentina’s Cold Sweat was more of a chore: lacking any kind of coherent plot and drawn out far longer than was necessary. How on earth did the zombies get into the basement? It may be that I have yet to find my horror chops, but I found it hard to spend time watching this movie.

Petty Romance
Petty Romance
My favourite discovery of Fantasia International Film Festival was a wonderful rom com from Korea called Petty Romance, which followed the awkward relationship between a girl and a boy who get together to write a graphic sex comic that they hope will win them a large amount of money. It was a smart, sweet and funny reminder that the perils of falling in love remain the same everywhere in the world. I recommend that if you get the chance to see Petty Romance you skip along to the cinema pronto.

The Fantasia International Film Festival was supremely good fun and made me hopeful that I get asked to attend more film festivals in the future: there’s nothing like an enthusiastic audience for a niche film to increase the joy of the movie watching experience.

Categories ,3D, ,Andy Serkis, ,Bitch, ,Burke and Hare, ,Cold Sweat, ,Donald Caron, ,Fantasia International Film Festival, ,film, ,Final Destination 5, ,Genre, ,Gore, ,Horny House of Horror, ,Horror, ,Indie, ,Jacqueline MacInnes Wood, ,John Landis, ,Little Deaths, ,Montreal, ,Montreal Festimania, ,Olivia Castle, ,Petty Romance, ,Place des Arts, ,Rom Com, ,Short Film, ,Simon Pegg, ,Simon Rumley, ,The Phantom of the Opera, ,Theatre Maisonneuve, ,zombies

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