Photography Justin Aranha Fashion Direction Monika Tatalovic Grooming Claudine Baltazar (Plutino Group) Model Hannah Donker (Wihlemina Models NY)
Shirt Thomas Tait
Shirt and Skirt Maison Martin Margiela
Blouse Vetements Sweater Dress Stella McCartney
Photography Tony Wong Creative and Art Direction FAKEDCANDID Featuring Somewhere Nowhere SS15 Prosthetic Makeup Vincent S and Hana Ho
Paint Job is a series of fashion-fused still-life images that illustrates the cynical side of a painter’s job. The story is told in a surreal tone, through the peculiar tools and arrangement of objects to reveal just a pinch of the painter’s existence. Within the unsuspecting bright colours lies the depictions of the painter being suffocated, squashed, knocked down and wounded – willingly or otherwise.
Text Callum Riley
In the build up to his debut solo release, Jamie XX has dropped his new collaboration with Young Thug & Popcaan, a bouncing hip hop track built around a sample of The Persuasions’ “Good Times”. Jamie has clearly been taking notes from DJ Mustard, utilising the same sparse production style that has made Mustard so popular in the past few years, though listeners can still hear a certain British twist that we heard on All Under One Roof Raving. Special mention must be made of Young Thug’s rhymes, which are literally ridiculous, especially with lines like “I’mma ride in that p*ssy like a stroller”. Even though Thug’s rhymes sound like someone doing their best impression of braggadocio rappers, it still flows well and juxtaposes well with the soft production of the track, leaving us with a great finalist for underground song of the summer.
Tiga & Boys Noize for years, remixing each other’s work and releasing tracks on their respective labels, but it’s only now that we’ve been treated to a full blown collaboration between the two. 100 is one of two tracks created by the two recently, drawing from the individual styles of Tiga’s vocals driven production and Boys Noize’s love of acid house. 100 is a masterpiece which is going to be dominating raves for months to come, even if it doesn’t have the same instant popularity of Bugatti. It’s clear that the pair are a natural fit for each other in terms of production, here’s hoping that the pair collaborate again in future, maybe even with a dedicated side project like ZZT or Dog Blood.
I must admit, I did a double take when I saw Rod Stewart featuring on an A$AP Rocky track, but as it turns out Everyday’s chorus is actually based around a sample of Python Lee Jackson’s “In a Broken Dream”, on which Stewart performed the vocals. A track with too many featured artists is always at risk of sounding too cramped or losing focus on the main artist themselves (Remember when Nicki Minaj out-rapped Kanye and Jay-Z on Monster?), but Rocky dodges this with Miguel and Stewart singing the chorus and Ronson on production duties. So it’s firmly a Rocky affair, but how does he perform? Very well is the answer. Everyday is a hazy, meandering track that allows Rocky to show off his best flow, especially his double time rapping, with the track splitting itself into several parts which change up the atmosphere and allow Rocky to flex his rapping muscles. Prepare for Everyday to make it’s way right to the top of everyone’s pre-drinks playlist for a few months.
Back when The Giver was released in 2012, my favourite aspect was always the soulful vocals, and even though the remixes that were released were great, I always felt that Duke Dumont had missed a great opportunity. So when it was announced that The Giver was getting rereleased with a remix from Mark Ronson, it seems that my dream had been realised, and I wasn’t wrong. Ronson has stripped away the house vibe of the original and replaced it with some of the smoothest yacht rock of 2015, the end result not sounding out of place on Uptown Special, Ronson’s latest album. Hopefully more DJs will turn to Ronson to send their new tracks into the 80s, Disclosure’s latest single with Gregory Porter could do with a Ronson makeover to begin with
Prince – Baltimore (Feat. Eryn Allen Kane)
If you’ve been keeping up with the unrest currently in progress in America, you’ll be familiar with the Baltimore protests over the killing of Freddie Gray. In support of protesters, Prince has dropped the track “Baltimore” alongside his “Rally 4 Peace” concert. The track itself is a slick funk trip, complete with soaring vocals from Chicago vocalist Eryn Allen Kane and some of Prince’s best guitar-work that we’ve seen in a while. But the highlight of the track are the lyrics, with specific mention being made to both Freddie Gray and Michael Brown, the Bloody Sunday protest in Selma from 1965, and even lines reminiscent of philosopher Baruch Spinoza when Prince sings that “Peace is more than the absence of war”. It’s clear that Prince is siding with the protesters in this conflict, mailing it home with the bridge where we hear the chant “If there ain’t no justice then there ain’t no peace”. Hopefully support from such an influential star will encourage more people to support the protest movement.
Vince Staples – Señorita
In the video for Señorita, we see Vince Staples wandering round a neighbourhood that’s clearly seen better days; full of prostitutes, crazed BBQ chefs, looming watchtowers and a mysterious pastor preaching the word of Vince Staples. Oh and everyone is mysteriously dropping like flies from some plague or similar affliction. So it’s not exactly an ideal place for anyone to be living, but clearly not everything is not as it seems. It wouldn’t be fair to spoil the twist ending but kudos to anyone who guesses it before it reveals itself.
The Chemical Brothers – Go (Feat. Q-Tip)
Whenever the Chemical Brothers and Michel Gondry work together, we’re left with a great music video, as we’ve already seen with the videos for Star Guitar and Let Forever Be. In typical Gondry fashion, the video for Go is really weird, with 7 identical women marching around and performing strange synchronised dancing with 2 metal poles in order to look like a steam train. It’s difficult to explain the video and do it justice, but Gondry’s use of harsh camera changes and irregular camera angles mean that the dancers’ movements are oddly hypnotic when compared with the austere Constructivist surroundings.
The Armed – Polarizer
You have to commend The Armed for their tenacity of this latest video. Rather than actually filming anything themselves for their Polarizer, they simply went through hundreds of hours of music videos from other artists and made them sing their song for them instead. Everyone from Maroon 5 to Kanye West to Ellie Goulding to Atilla is used to mime the lyrics and dance along to the music, a pretty mean feat when you’re trying to get Nicki Minaj to dance along to some hardcore punk music. Is it a cheap cop-out or comment on modern pop music videos? Who knows but the novelty is at least enough to keep viewers interested
Squarepusher – Stor Eiglass
Marshmallow Laser Feast has given Squarepusher’s Stor Eiglass a suitably crazy video, looking like the result of Adventure Time and a really bad acid trip. Starting off as a cacophony of different colours and happy faces, the scene shifts about halfway through to some sort of alien attack, with the landscape transformed into a bleak pixelated version of the opening scenes of the latest X-Men film. The last thing we see before the credits is a lone character performing a strange dance in front of a campfire in the desert whilst a rock fires lazers at things. No explanation is offered for any of this video but it’s undeniably fascinating viewing.
Photography Joanna Krawczyk Styling Veronika Dorosheva Grooming Marie Lei Models Yosuke (Pearl Models Management) and Fritz ( Core Management)
Top and Trousers Mareunrol’s
Top 3. Paradis
Sleeveless Top William Fan Trousers Tuldam / Top Tuldam
Trousers and Tops William Fan Shoes Velt Sandals William Fan
Top and Trousers Mareunrol’s Shoes Velt
Photography Morgan Hickinbotham Styling Jamie-Maree Shipton Makeup Kate Olivia Logan Hair Leah Rose Briody Model Darcy Waugh Styling Asst Charmain Hanyashi
Fur Stool Stylists’ own Jacket Amelia Hermawan
Sheepskin Stool Feel the Future Shirt and shorts Matthew Hickmott Skivy Stylists’ own
Pants Alexandra Peters Jumper Olivia Briasco
Sheepskin Stool Feel the Future Shirt and shorts Matthew Hickmott Skivy Stylists’ own
Pants Matthew Hickmott Top Stylists’ own
Fur Stool Stylists’ own Jacket Amelia Hermawan
Images Courtesy of PHLEMUNS Text Elizabeth Patterson
PHLEMUNS is James Flemons, a 26 year old, “half self-taught” (he went to FIDM) designer born and raised in Central Los Angeles. Here, I talk to him about his Fall 2015 collection, his goals, his influences, and why he wants his clothes to encourage you to say “fuck you, I’m me”.
Well, let’s start off with some basics. When and why did you start designing?
I started designing in – I think it was the 2nd grade. I grew up with really bad asthma so I couldn’t do much physical activities, so my parents saw I was good and drawing and began to heavily encourage it. One year for Christmas, one of my older sisters got a Barbie fashion kit with body stencils and clothes to trace. I somehow got ahold of it, but instead of tracing the clothes provided, I would just use the stencil for the bodies and create my own clothes. Since then I’ve been known as that kid who designs clothes. Then going to college elevated things when I learned how to sew.
You’re a designer, but you also have another job. How do you juggle the two?
It’s really difficult honestly, and sometimes after removing myself from the process I don’t know how I manage to do it. Being a natural born workaholic and self-diagnosed insomniac has worked to my advantage in this case. But mostly being efficient with time and finding ways to make my day job work for my brand has really helped.
Do you ultimately hope to one day be able to design full-time?
I truly can’t wait for that day! It’s been my dream since high school. My goal was to have a full-time line launched by the time I graduated, but obviously it’s much easier said than done. I’m happy with the route I ended up on; I’ve learned so much since then.
So PHLEMUNS is obviously derived from your own last name, Flemons. Why the change in spelling?
That actually came about from two different reasons. First, growing up as a Flemons my last name was not very common at all…to this day people still read my last name and pronounce it like the much more common last name “Fleming”, even with the obvious ons/ing difference. For many years I have been annoyed with the simple mispronunciation. My family even has a saying “lemons with an F in front” to help people better understand. Come to find out from my dad’s interest in our family tree, Flemons is the slave derivative of “Fleming”. The Flemings were my family’s slave owners and over the course of many years the name has had numerous changes in spelling because my ancestors didn’t know how to spell due to the lack of education of slaves. So I decided to use Phlemuns like the pronunciation key they use in dictionaries before the definition of a word. In my brain it’s like (phle – mun – s).
Second, I have a huge sense of humor and was teased a lot in school, called “phlegm wad” and “get your cough drops lemons for that phlegm” and all kinds of other stupid things kids say to make other kids feel bad. So I decided to take ownership of the things that people used against me.
In all Phlemuns is something that has taken years to settle upon and is actually very personal.
I actually used to live in New York after graduating college in 2010. I was working at Marc By Marc Jacobs at the time, and wanted to transition to New York in hopes of moving up to the design team, but once I realized that wasn’t going to happen I moved back home to LA. More recently I have been thinking about going back because it probably would help propel the advancements of my line just being in that environment, but I’m such a laxed Cali boy at heart and I’ve been way more productive here than I was while living in New York.
What were you thinking of when designing this collection [Fall 2015]?
I wanted to really challenge myself and do things a bit out of my comfort zone with more emphasis on quality pieces, so I decided to scale back and only do 19 pieces instead of maybe 30-40 pieces like I did for Spring . My main influences were American Western and Black culture in the 70′s, heavily inspired by the work of Malick Sidibe. His photographs were so simple and stylish yet elegant with so much character. With every collection I like to reference vintage clothing because that’s mainly what my closet consists of. Mashing up elements from different decades – mainly the 70′s 90′s & 00′s – without making any one more dominant than the other, and the idea of unisex clothing with a balance of masculinity and femininity. I also really like to find ways to give pieces dual uses, like the jumpsuit that unzips into a coat, so that’s something I’m always thinking about.
The first thing I thought of when I saw your collection was that it reminded me of a clash between 90s hip-hop music videos and westerns. Going back to your calling your clothing “unisex” – Do you consider your designs to be genderless, and is that intentional? What were some of the masculine/feminine elements you incorporated into this collection?
Yeh! You thought right! I get so excited when people pick up on exactly what I’m trying to give.
For the most part I like to consider my clothes genderless – sure, for the structure of a clothing line I consider some pieces men’s and some women’s, but I love to see guys and girls of all kinds wearing all my clothes. I just recently worked with a friend of mine who is a musician and he used a lot of my women’s pieces and they looked really dope in them. We’re in a time now where dressing without the idea of gender is being embraced by more people and gradually being accepted by those who once frowned upon it. I’ve been wearing women’s clothes for years, lol.
Some of the main masc/fem elements I tried to balance were – for some of the tops, just wide enough for a guy and just slim and long enough for a girl to wear as a dress, or jackets just cropped and wide enough to work both ways, using a lot of classic style lines that through the years have been seen in both men’s and women’s clothing…the cut of the pants, either a tapered straight leg or a higher waist and wide leg with the leg just wide enough that they don’t necessarily swing one direction. One of the challenges was definitely incorporating the fringe into a men’s piece. The dress with the fringe came first and I thought, “This is so cool I want something to wear too!” I didn’t want to do the obvious fringe across the yoke of a jacket, and down the side of pants reads a little too feminine or costume in my opinion. One morning I just woke up and was like “throw it down the back!” and I’m really, really happy with the way those came out.
What’s the soundtrack that would be playing to this collection?
Ooohhh that’s a good question! I’m a huge music person so I gotta answer this right, haha. I think there’s a lot of subtle funk in this collection so I would say The Gap Bands greatest hits. They also incorporated a lot of western styling into their image now that I think about it…it’s a perfect fit. I’ve personally done a good amount of dancing in a few of these pieces so I know they’re dance floor approved.
Funk seems to fit the collection perfectly. Something about the fringe makes it work. You feature a lot of denim in your collections. Any particular reason?
I used to be someone who hated jeans and only wore casual slack like pants. I don’t know exactly what it was but I just wouldn’t wear them. It ended up being a mixture of wanting to come up with new ways to wear denim and practice developing sewing skills. I shop a lot at The Goodwill and constantly see the racks filled with tons of ill-fitting or outdated jeans, so I bought a pair that fit my waist and took them in. Initially I messed up, had some fabric I never used and asymmetrically attached it to the bottom half. All my friends loved them so I just went a little denim crazy and came up with all these different creations. Now people know me by my denim work. I think it’s pretty funny actually. Also it’s become my way of not feeling so bad on my end about the waste the fashion industry produces. Each collection I include a few pieces constructed with recycled denim, and it’s a cool way to get the washes I want without the process of bleaching/dying.
From not wearing denim to a denim connoisseur! Who knew? So denim is big for you and your friends love it, but who do you envision wearing your clothes? Who is the PHLEMUNS client?
You know what honestly, going to fashion school, your target market and finding your client base and all that was heavily emphasized but there are certain things about the structure of the fashion industry I try to work against and not follow. At the end of the day I follow my gut and make clothes for myself to wear and that I would like to see out in the world – people wanting them is just an added bonus. Anyone that genuinely likes what I’ve created and wants to wear it because it will make them feel good, that’s who I want wearing my clothes.
What do you want your brand to represent?
I want it to represent ones individuality and expressing yourself the way you want to, and wearing whatever the hell you want without anyone else in mind. In high school I wore baggy, oversized clothes and wouldn’t wear the things I was really interested in just so I would fit in. I used to care so much about what people would think about what I was wearing, or how they would perceive or judge me. Finally I came to a point in my life where my outlook became “fuck you I’m me, I’m happy with me, and I’m going to start living fully as me”, and I want my clothes to help people achieve that thought process.
You seem to have a really clear idea of what you want to achieve through your clothing. How do you see your brand growing and evolving?
I’m a pretty simple guy who doesn’t ask for much. I’d love to be able to expand within a selective amount of stockists and build just enough recognition to be able to have a productive team to take some of the weight off my shoulders, and make designing my full-time job. I’m not trying to be the next top innovative American designer, because that’s just not me. I would also love to be able to work alongside someone much more experienced than myself because a lot of what I do is self-taught and I always love learning more.
Alright, last question, and it’s a big one. What are you working on right now?
Currently I am working on finalizing my first order at Opening Ceremony and creating a few custom pieces to fit within the store. I’ve got a few back orders which is usually the case since all production is done by me, haha. And I’m working on my Spring 2016 collection. I don’t know how most labels structure the process of their collections, but I’m always working on different parts, pattern making while finding new reference images to be inspired by, sketching while fabric shopping, or thrifting new silhouettes while making random one-off pieces just to break my mind away and inspire a new idea. The process is never structured and my brain is always on a million things every minute.
Photography Carmen Kemmink (House of Orange) Styling Dayenne Bekker (Eric Elenbaas Agency) Makeup Liselotte van Saarloos using Laura Mercier, MAC Cosmetics (Eric Elenbaas Agency) Hair Mark van Westerop (Era Management) Asst Photography Anke Zwinkels Asst Styling Seven Geferts Model Naomi Nijboer (Paparazzi Model Management) Styling Dayenne Bekker (Eric Elenbaas Agency)