Fatima Al Qadiri is an artist, musician and composer working in New York. She composed the soundtrack for our Men's Fall/Winter 2014 show and her track Szechuan, from her album Asiatisch, is the sound heard on our FALL 2014 experience. KENZINE had the pleasure of chatting to her about Asiatisch and her collaborations with KENZO.
KENZINE: Besides your solo career under your own name you have many different projects, including AYSHAY and collaborations with Visionist; lately, you started Future Brown with J-Cush and Nguzunguzu, who also created a soundtrack for KENZO in 2012. Do you find that constant dialogue and collaboration with other artists is important to evolving your music?
FATIMA AL QADIRI: Collaborations occur naturally, I don't overthink the process. Although Future Brown in particular is an evolution because of the number of artists involved in the project.
K: Can you tell us about how you approached the mix for the KENZO men’s Fall/Winter 2014 show, composed with some of your music from your album Desert Strike?
F.A.Q.: It was a conversation with Carol and Humberto in person that decided which tracks were used. Really swift and to the point - my favorite kind of approach.
K: The KENZO Fall/Winter collections draw on the mystery of the Pacific-Northwest states of the U.S.: Lynch’s Twin Peaks, the distorted light you find there and things not being what they seem. Is that a part of the country you are familiar with?
F.A.Q.: The only part of the West Coast I've been to is L.A. But Twin Peaks is a global cult favorite so it's an ongoing reference for artists.
K: Your song Szechuan from your latest album Asiatisch is the soundtrack to the KENZO Fall 2014 3D video experience. Carol and Humberto’s latest Sprint/Summer 2015 collection for KENZO take an outsider’s view of Parisian culture; would you the say the same about your view on China for Asiatisch? Where did you find the references for your imagined China, and how did the album start?
F.A.Q.: Yes, I would say it's an outsider's view of China, but maybe add that it's a colonial and post-colonial mutant. My references are everything the Western media has fed me about China, plus its historic fungus. The album started by accident when I didn't follow exact instructions given to me by the artists Shanzai Biennial on a nonsense-Mandarin acapella of Nothing Compares 2 U.
K: At KENZO, a worldly curiosity influences every part of what we do. Your music seamlessly captures that same curiosity. I imagine you travel a lot but do you find that the internet can be the ultimate portal to other cultures?
F.A.Q.: The internet is an immediate portal to other cultures without the sensual
aspect, the juiciest part.
K: The city that most inspires you?
F.A.Q.: New York.
K: Describe yourself in a sentence.
F.A.Q.: Operating on predictive patterns.
K: What was the last thing you saw, heard, felt or saw that moved you?
F.A.Q.: Going to Dia Beacon. It has the combination atmosphere of spa and crematorium. A holistic horror.
KENZINE issue two is now available to buy in KENZO boutiques! The limited edition magazine is a collaboration with our friends at TOILETPAPER and features all the KENZO Spring/Summer 2014 campaign images, along with some exclusive new TOILETPAPER fantasies. We asked our book corner columnist Angelo Cirimele to give us his thoughts on KENZINE issue 2.
Kenzine vol. 2
“This season, I found the images created by Maurizio Cattelan, Pierpaolo Ferrari and Micol Talso for the KENZO campaign first surprising, then amusing. It was a signature style of TOILETPAPER magazine, a publication that collects their rather poetic images in collages or superimposed into unexpected associations. That’s exactly why these artists are so original: their work creates astonishment, whether it’s with a cat wearing a tie or its head coming out of a shoe… This second issue of KENZINE of images from the Spring/Summer 2014 campaign (its circulation limited to numbered 2000 copies) is like an extension of TOILETPAPER: each image tells a story and is often beyond a sense of time and space (and beyond reality as well). What’s striking with Cattelan and Ferrari’s approach is that they apply the same strong artistic style no matter whether they are working on an exhibition, a book, or a campaign for KENZO: a plain technicolor (or spaghetti-spattered!) background, the object is there in the middle of the picture, yet there is often an unexpected twist. Indeed, when was the last time we saw matches photographed this way?”
Kenzine vol. 2, 2014, 44 p. Ed. Damiani.
KENZO - 60, rue de Rennes, Paris.
The book corner section highlights the most original aspects of culture all summer long, through works selected and reviewed by Angelo Cirimele. The Showa period in Japan under Emperor Hirohito lasted from 1926 to 1989, but most of the illustrations in this charming and at times hilarious picture book are from the 1950s to 1970s. The collection of futuristic imaginings anticipated what life might be like in the 21st century for Japanese children, and are grouped into six categories: everyday life, modes of transportation, robots, computers, space and, optimistically... the end of the world!
"It may sound strange to us, but the 21st century has been the stuff of dreams of many fantasies. With wild visions of transportation, architecture, robots, computers, previous generations really overinvested in the future we are living now. A quick check around today will confirm that there are as yet no flying cars (even if budget travel might resemble it); computers are indeed high-powered but tiny and not very impressive, and as for houses, they are very similar to the old ones. Dreams are manifested principally through images and as here, through drawings. Thus, this book is a collection of the Japanese futuristic imagination from the fifties to the seventies: creative, colorful and hungry for innovation. It is quite delightful to turn these pages, you experience a kind of nostalgia (even though we are talking about the future) for a childish outlook free from barriers and ulterior motives. A bit like with Daft Punk and Goldorak."
Futuristic Illustrations for Kids of the Showa Era — Our 21st century, 2012, 260 p. Ed. Seigensha.
KENZO - 60, rue de Rennes, Paris.
Top Ten Surf Movies - Part One
California's long coastline means that surfing has been a quintessential part of the culture since the 1960s. In additon to California being Carol and Humberto's home state, the almost-mythical power of 'big waves' inspired one of our key prints of the KENZO Spring/Summer 2014 collection. For those of you who have not yet had the chance to experience the California surf lifestyle for yourselves, let Guillaume Le Goff transport you there with his selection of ten great surf movies.
"Big Wednesday" (1978)
"Big Wednesday - the story of every generation growing up…" went the tagline when the film first came out; one of the first major surf movies and the work of director John Millus – a native of California. The film spans a decade in the life of three young, talented Californian friends and surfers: Matt Johnson, Jack Barlowe and Leroy Smith. To each his own personality and experience but what they have in common is a destiny: to one day ride the world’s biggest wave. From ‘62 to ‘74, through early youth, the Vietnam war and subsequent loss of innocence followed by transition into adulthood, ‘Big Wednesday’ invites the audience to classic Californian beach spots in Santa Barbara, Ventura and Malibu, and Hawaii (Pupukea). In the end, Matt, Jack and Leroy reunite for the ‘74 Great Swell. They’re going to face the biggest challenge of their lives, and risk it all on this unique and long-awaited "Big Wednesday". With incredible surf images and a strong plot, BW was predicted to achieve the success of Star Wars or Jaws by Spielberg himself but failed to gain the recognition it deserved. At last, it is now a cult surf movie.
"Point Break" (1991)
“100% Adrenaline” was how Point Break was presented upon its release. Faithful to the word, the movie won over audiences and critics alike with its memorable surf (and sky-diving) sequences, legendary casting and a fast plot. Directed by Kathryn Bigelow, Point Break was the film that launched then-rookie actor Keanu Reeves to stardom (he was subsequently awarded "Most Desirable Male" at the 1992 MTV Movie Awards). First titled "Johnny Utah" (after Reeves’ character’s name in the movie) then "Riders on the Storm" (after The Doors song), "Point Break" was finally chosen by the producers as a clear reference to the surf world. Indeed, Point Break tells the story of two cops hunting down a bunch of Californian surfers who rob banks, the "Ex-Presidents": more in search of adrenaline than money. The closing scene of the "50-Year Storm" (in Victoria, Australia) presented some of the biggest waves ever seen on screen… And, thank God, Keanu is still a surfer today.
"In God's hands" (1998)
After Point Break's success, Hollywood wanted to offer an even bigger surf movie to the public. Along came "In God's hands", produced by actor Charlie Sheen and singer/actor Bret Michaels, and directed by Zalman King (9 1/2 Weeks, Wild Orchid). IGH tells the story of a group of big wave riders looking for the ultimate ride of their life. Hopping between the most dangerous and exotic spots around the world (Bali, Madagascar, Hawai, Mexico), three young pro surfers Shane (Patrick Shane Dorian - who spent 11 years touring the Surf World Championship Tour as a real pro surfer from Hawaii), Mickey (co-script writer Matt Georges) and Keoni (Matty Liu) are living fast but never lose sight of their ambitions: surfing the biggest waves on earth, that is until the dramatic (but happy) ending. On-the-water footage was shot by notorious director of water photography Sonny Miller (Die Another Day), whose exceptional angles add a nice twist to “In God’s Hands”.
"Once Upon a Wave" (1963)
Shot in color by Walt Phillips (Sunset Surf Craze…) between 1959 and 1962, "Once Upon a Wave" takes you on a 48 minute tour along the California coast, introducing some of the region’s best waves and most stylish riders. Enjoy Dewey Weber, Miki Dora or Lance Carson perfecting a line on Surf Rider Beach; big wave riders Fred Van Dyke, Peter Cole and Ricky Grigg on Sunset Beach (Huntington) and legends like Mike Doyle and Robert August, who in their quest for the ultimate ride, show us how to control a board in such locations as Steamer Lane (Santa Cruz) or Haleiwa (Oahu North Shore, Hawaii). Considered a vintage surf safari, "Once Upon a Wave" is a testimony of a purer time – gone, but never forgotten.
"Riding Giants" (2004)
Written and directed by Stacy Peralta (Lords of Dogtown) and the first documentary to ever open the Sundance film festival, "Riding Giants" is an impressive piece about legendary pioneers surfers who dedicated their lives to Big Wave riding: among them Greg Noll, Gerry Lopez, Jeff Clark, Mickey Munoz, or more recently Laird Hamilton. "Before mankind ever walked on the moon, a few young men stepped off the ledge of the earth and carved out a new way of life…” This is how the opening line of "Riding Giants" sets the scene, before charting how those incredible characters - real “water astronauts of their era" - living on nothing but their raw passion came to defy the forces of the ocean to invent a whole new lifestyle. Starting from Waimea Bay, Hawaii (where it all began) in the ‘50s and ‘60s, to Mavericks in Northern California in the ‘70s and ‘80s, they set up the big wave blueprint for generations to come. As Greg Noll recounts in the film, they didn't care about dying; they just lived to surf the biggest wave. With a deep spirit and vision, a lot of archive footage, interviews and amazing surf scenes, "Riding Giants" remains today an essential reference.
Dawn in Luxor
KENZO’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection is about California as a nexus of experiences, radiating from Carol Lim & Humberto Leon’s teenage years. For this latest film, KENZO collaborated with director Kahlil Joseph. A resident of Los Angeles, he is known for a string of stellar short films and music videos, including Flying Lotus’s ‘Until the Quiet Comes’ and Shabazz Palaces’ ‘Black Up’.
Through his lens, the world appears as fragmentary and paradoxical - as a series of beautiful visual riffs. Joseph’s unique vision is the perfect complement to KENZO’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection, which encapsulates California in all its many guises: sensual yet tough, relaxed yet intense, sophisticated yet free-spirited.
In this profound and uplifting short film, Kahlil Joseph conjures up an otherworldly Los Angeles, one awash in myths and visions: a man ordering fish in a Jamaican restaurant, the regal beauty of a woman overlooking the sea, a beautiful boy paying homage to a beached dolphin. Shot on 16mm film, the amalgamation of images--at once utterly real and splendidly fantastical--is deployed through a loose narrative driven by pure emotion.
Written and directed by Kahlil Joseph.
Chris "Worm" Lewis
Music by Shabazz Palaces
Cinematography by Jason McCormick
Art direction by Partel Oliva
Styled by Mobolaji Dawodu & Annabelle Baldero Lacuna
Produced by Onye Anyanwu & Alejandro De Leon
Produced by Pulse Films and What Matters Most
Gia Coppola's Palo Alto
Born January 1, 1987, Gia grew up in Los Angeles. She attended Archer School for Girls in Brentwood, California, before entering Bard College, a prestigious liberal arts institution which is noted for its excellent photography department - Gia’s intended course of study. Her artistic tendency was to use the camera with personal style, casually documenting life within her field of vision. She made a departure into film noir for projects, mimicking stills from noir films using an old light bulb flash during nighttime shoots.
After graduating in 2009 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography, Gia began making advertising videos with her friends to challenge herself in another arena: "When fashion companies started hiring us to make short online videos using their clothes, I’d think up stories I could tell without too many locations, using my friends as the actors. I was excited by film because it added something to what I was already doing. I liked writing, developing characters, telling a story, and using different, more complex cameras."
As the first grandchild of Francis and Eleanor Coppola, Gia never knew her father, Gian-Carlo Coppola, who lost his life in a tragic accident before she was born. She and her mother, the former Jacqui de la Fontaine, lived in Napa Valley during her early years, before eventually returning to L.A. Gia is now based in New York City.
'Palo Alto' is Gia’s first feature film, an impressionistic study of teen angst and parental malaise in an urban community. The screenplay emerged from a collection of short stories by James Franco, whose company, Rabbit Bandini, also financed and produced the film.
Emma Roberts (“American Horror Story,” We’re the Millers)
Jack Kilmer (in his acting debut)
James Franco (Spring Breakers)
Nat Wolff (Admission, The Fault in Our Stars)
Zoe Levin (The Way, Way Back)
Chris Messina (“The Mindy Project”)
Shy, sensitive April (Emma Roberts) is the class virgin —a popular soccer player and frequent babysitter for her single-dad coach, Mr. B. (James Franco). Teddy (Jack Kilmer) is an introspective artist whose best friend and sidekick Fred (Nat Wolff) is an unpredictable live wire with few filters or boundaries. While April negotiates a dangerous affair with Mr. B., and Teddy performs community service for a DUI — secretly carrying a torch for April, who may or may not share his affection — Fred seduces Emily (Zoe Levin), a promiscuous loner who seeks validation through sexual encounters. One high school party bleeds into another as April and Teddy finally acknowledge their mutual affection, and Fred's escalating recklessness spirals into chaos.
PALO ALTO premiers in select theaters in the United States on May 9th, and in France on June 11th 2014.
Gia Coppola's Top California Movies
The Long Good-bye: the best example of a movie that knows not to take itself too seriously. A Raymond Chandler novel as slapstick comedy.
Los Angeles Plays Itself: The truest portrait of my hometown
The Conversation: I love the score and sound editing. I like movies that take place in San Francisco.
American Graffiti: I like movies about teenagers just driving around.
Sunset Boulevard: A movie told from the perspective of a dead guy. What Hollywood can do to a person.
Double Indemnity: Barbara Stanyick is one of my favorites. Good old classic.
Heat: Best heist movie & best shoot out scene. Val Kilmer.
Zodiac: A movie about a serial killer that's really a story about obsession.
Chinatown: Makes the history of Los Angeles into a Greek myth. The birth of LA. The story of LA can be whittled down to the search for water.
"For some reason, they're mostly crime movies!"
Food has always been part of the KENZO lifestyle, so we couldn't resist asking the TOILETPAPER team for their favourite recipe of the moment. April Fool's Day has sadly passed but at KENZO, we like to surprise our friends and family all year round. Enjoy making TOILETPAPER's 'Chocolate mortadella'!
White Chocolate (sugar, cocoa butter, powdered milk, soy lecithin)
Sicilian Bronte pistachios
Food coloring E129 (red)
The product may contain copious amounts of gluten and nuts.
Melt and temper the chocolate into squidgy discs.
Place the chocolate discs on acetate paper and grease them lightly with a brush.
Cut the pistachios in to halves and dispose of them into the chocolate.
Taking great care not to stain the pistachios, dye the areas of chocolate with the red food colouring. Let the slices cool and then package them.
An ideal snack for vegetarians looking to be corrupted.
Soon available on www.toiletpapermagazine.org
KENZINE: The Fall/Winter campaign 2013 was an outright success and many people suggested it was one of the strongest of the year… Not bad for a first campaign as a team! According to you, what does it take to create a great campaign and make a difference?
Toiletpaper team: Toiletpaper images are made of simple images: it’s something you can easily describe during a dinner with friends, but without being able to completely explain that uncanny feeling it creates in your stomach. Same thing for the campaign: it probably worked well because of its way of treating the familiar as unfamiliar and vice versa.
K: what are the key elements you need when you create a campaign for KENZO?
TP: We’re not sure if there are key elements, because every change is good for creativity, and every habit is probably not. We believe that KENZO is a brand that fits our ideas and our vision of beauty like a glove. It's as simple as this.
K: The first time you shot for KENZO, the set was a bit crazy with the two horses, the kittens and Humberto’s mask... This time, was it more serious?
TP: As we said before, we like to change a lot from time to time… It had nothing to do with seriousness, since those huge plastic fishes were like a punch in the eye of tastefulness, weren't they?
K: What was the initial brief from Carol and Humberto?
TP: It’s a strange feeling: it is really hard to recall how it started when the work is finished… We probably talked about monastery and Orient, and some music also… But in the end, during the shooting brainstorming continues independently from where it started, as a Chinese whisper.
K: What was the inspiration? A bit of Hokusai? Film Noir? Mythology? Surrealism?
TP: If you want to come with a good recipe, you need to mix together a lot of ingredients, but none of them should cover the others. Just remember that in our dishes what looks tasty and yummy usually is also lethal.. Try it at your own risk!
K: Did you start with drawings, mood boards, collages?
TP: Basically mood boards and collages, but we must admit that the hardest side of working with us is probably that you’ll never know what to expect until you’re on shooting phase: that’s the moment where great ideas spring like frogs in a pond.
K: Who does what inside the TOILETPAPER team during the photo shoot?
TP: There are some phases of the work while we discuss all together, these sharing moments are fundamental for the shooting phase. Then naturally we begin to outline the roles more and more. Maurizio, is a kind of a deus ex machina who always manages to keep the right distance from the images, to criticize them in a neutral manner. Pierpaolo has this ability to improvise and reinvent, changing a comma or a whole set, even things that were already established. Micol is the aesthetic eye, and she knows how to tip the balance in the final stage of the number, when the cake is done and the decoration on top is missing. In any case, the territories do not have clear boundaries, and the invasion is more than welcome, because there are no fixed rules.
K: How was it like to shoot kids this time, do they allow more creativity, more craziness, more energy?
TP: We are like children too, so the feeling was not very different from what we usually get during the set.
K: You have influenced lots of different artists/photographers/designers, who influences you?
TP: A lot of artist, photographers and designers! And some very normal people as well: we are like sponges with legs: we go around, see things that affect our imagination and absorb them… That’s why it’s not so easy to go back to the influencers.
K: What is the best advice you have ever been given?
TP: Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.
K: A secret you could share with us about the shooting?
TP: We brought the fish back home and keep it in an inflatable pool. It’s still there in our office
K: What are your favorite pieces from the Spring/Summer collection and why?
TP: We liked everything so much we couldn’t make a choice, really!
K: What do you share with KENZO in terms of values, in terms of aesthetic?
TP: We both are colorful and do not take ourselves too seriously… That’s the secret to stay mentally young and creative.
K: Why is it important to be irreverent?
TP: Because otherwise you’re already dead.
After a memorable retrospective at the Guggenheim Museum in New York in 2011, Cattelan announced that he was retiring from art while continuing his collaboration with Italian photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari on Toiletpaper Magazine born out of a passion or obsession they both cultivate: images. The magazine contained no text or ads only full spreads of color photographs. Micol Talso is now in charge of art direction for the magazine.
Here's a portfolio they built for KENZINE.
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