Friday, June 3, 2022

Somewhere

Photographed By Ellinor Forje

Saturday, May 14, 2022

The Pink Elephant on the Serengeti

Photographed Hana El Zohiry

A short story. Read it here.

Friday, March 4, 2022

"My Grandparents Were Immigrants And Holocaust Survivors Originally From The Ukraine"

Photo Courtesy Of Bree Olson

Twitter, March 9, 2014, a year before our interview:

"Ukraine deserves peace, it's never ending."

What's more, Bree Olson on a life lived, here.

Monday, February 14, 2022

Kunjina Tesfaye

Photo Courtesy Of Kunjina Tesfaye

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
Even though I was born in a different city, I have lived in Addis Ababa for most of my life; it’s where I finished my elementary, high school and college education. Addis Ababa is where I have my family and friends. It's a place I can call home.

WHERE WERE YOU BORN AND BROUGHT UP?
My parents have been in Addis Ababa, that’s even where they met! But, my father’s work requested our family to move to Bahir Dar, a city in Ethiopia and that was where I was born. Two years later, we moved back to Addis Ababa and we haven’t moved ever since.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR PRESENT CITY OR HOMETOWN?
Being one of the fastest growing cities in Africa, Addis Ababa is slowly morphing into a vibrant hub of art and design. Add to that a growing social life in the city. My personality leans on the extroverted side so I enjoy the growing social life. Since most of my family and friends are here, I also enjoy spending quality time with them.

WHAT WERE YOUR ASPIRATIONS GROWING UP?
I’ve always aspired to become a fashion designer. Everyone who knows me knows this. But I am realizing nowadays that one does not simply become a fashion designer. It is a constant process. My aspiration therefore is to constantly become a fashion designer that keeps pushing their limits. 

WHY DESIGNER?
It was a childhood passion, I fell in love with fashion when I started playing around in my mother’s closet. I used to drape her extra- large clothes on myself and present a fashion show for the family over the weekends. My passion grew stronger with age and I knew I had to change my passion to a career. Designing gives me the chance to empower my customers and support the local economy by creating job opportunities.

WHERE DID YOU RECEIVE YOUR TRAINING?
I first took a short course at Wossi International Fashion Institute while i was a fourth year student in college. Then I joined African Mosaique Fashion Incubator program followed by Mitreeki Fashion Incubator Programme. 

WHAT'S YOUR PROCESS FROM CONCEPT TO CREATION?
First it starts from an idea. An idea based on my personal experience and what I think is worth sharing. This idea will then be clarified on a mood board which is going to guide the illustrations and the whole theme of the collection. Based on the illustrations, we start making the patterns and then proceed to garment sampling. Finally, when all the samples are approved we start the production using the main fabric.

WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION?
I usually get inspired from my personal experiences. My inspiration is a reflection of what I have been going through. And in some way I hope people will relate to it and find that connection with the pieces from the collection.

WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD THE BIGGEST INFLUENCE ON YOU? 
“When you really want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it’’. This quote from “The Alchemist’’ has stuck with me throughout my existence and has invigorated my faith and determination, regardless of any obstacle.

HOW DO YOU DEFINE YOUR PERSONAL AESTHETIC?
I believe in sophisticated simplicity, where intentional formation of unique details breeds distinctiveness to each piece. I like working with monochromatic colors to create an aesthetic that is simple yet bold and compelling. My personal go-to wardrobe assemblage is usually comfortably chic. Although I value simplicity, I always seek subtle, unique details to elevate each look.

WHAT MOMENT ARE YOU HAVING?
I feel like I am yet to explore the different avenues of my growth in my career as a fashion designer. While I am curiously exploring, I still feel like there could be more; a more advanced fashion industry, more opportunities at fashion design residencies.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
A restful morning, a lazy day with the family or out and about with friends.

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
I unwind by taking time for myself. My participation for the one month residency in Tafaria Castle, Kenya, showed me how important it is to spend time by myself. I use journaling as a tool to realign myself.

Thursday, February 10, 2022

Kunjina

Photo Courtesy Of Kunjina

The Resilience Collection.

Thursday, February 3, 2022

Jane Dashley

Photo Courtesy Of Jane Dashley 

WHERE ARE YOU RIGHT NOW AND HAVE YOU ALWAYS LIVED THERE?
I am living outside of Dallas, Texas. I have always lived in and around Dallas, but I am appreciating the extra room being outside of the city affords me for painting and studio space right now.

WHERE WERE BORN AND BROUGHT UP?
Outside of Dallas, Texas.

WHAT'S THE BEST THING ABOUT YOUR PRESENT CITY OR PLACE OF BIRTH?
I think Texans have a great flare for individuality and bold style. We celebrate strong personalities here, for better or worse I suppose. 

WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVOURITE CHILDHOOD MEMORIES?
Having tea parties with my sister and dolls in our front lawn, wearing princess dresses.

WHY FASHION?
It’s irresistible. I can’t not love and obsess over it. 

WHY ART?
For the exact same reason! Seeing a great painting fills me with joy and lust to live and create. I have no art training though. I have very poor hand-eye coordination actually, it was a problem for me when I was younger. I never excelled in art class for that reason, the teacher would always wonder why I couldn’t do the technical exercises and or draw in proportion. I am glad I didn’t go to art school, I think it would have killed my enjoyment of creating.

WHAT'S YOUR PROCESS FROM CONCEPT TO CREATION?
By drawing a lot, I have assembled a cast of characters in my work. My cats, teddy bears, dragons, and red-dressed ladies are always there for me and I can arrange them in different vignettes. I draw a lot, every single day. I keep a few ideas bobbing around in my head and I let my hands go crazy in my notebook. The final product is always a surprise.

Notebook paper and Blackwing pencils are the most important start to any artwork, that’s always the medium where I begin.

WHO OR WHAT HAS HAD THE GREATEST INFLUENCE ON YOUR WORK?
Definitely my mom. She has incredible taste, and she has been working very hard on her own artwork too. She has been making these amazing chair sculptures for the last two years. We text back and forth about the artwork we are working on all day long and we meet often to discuss ideas and new directions. 

AND YOUR APPEAL OF DARKNESS?
I am thinking of a piece that I read by the artist and poet Sean T. Randolph, written for the opening of the Air Kiss art show at Gattopardo gallery in Los Angeles. I will quote Sean’s writing here, because I think it’s a perfect capture the upside of darkness lately: "We have spent the past two years fearing what is floating in the air. I don’t know about you, but it has left me feeling untethered. We are living our lives like ghosts barreling through the dark, camouflaged in night colored sedans, praying we don’t hit a deer. But in the darkness we tune in, maybe better than we have ever tuned in before. Now we can hear past the radio, past the fuel pump, past the grip of the tires on the road and into our untapped capabilities. What we once considered a coincidence is now a prophecy.” 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PERSONAL AESTHETIC? 
I try to be very open-minded and seek new experiences and inspiration, but I will always be drawn to bold, colorful, and boisterous work.

WHAT MOMENT ARE YOU HAVING?
I am definitely settling into a brand new chapter of my life. It’s exciting and invigorating, and I am thinking of the future constantly. I’ve been staying home and working on art non-stop the last few months. It’s taught me a lot of discipline but I am ready to have a little bit of fun now, too.

WHAT DO YOU GET UP TO WHEN YOU'RE NOT WORKING?
I like to read romance novels and cook. My husband I have been extremely interested in collecting fragrances, too, often at night once work is done we will go over new perfume samples and discuss them together. 1

WHAT BEAUTY ROUTINE DO YOU SWEAR BY?
Clascoterone cream. It’s amazing for hormonal acne if you can’t take Accutane or go on spironolactone. Buying fancy skincare is nice, but in my experience the stuff that makes the biggest difference comes from a dermatologist! 

HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
I like big sentimental romantic art, and I am a huge fan of 1940s women’s pictures, like those made by Douglas Sirk. I like to get a little cocktail and make some cheese dip and watch them alone. They are having a showcase of Douglas Sirk's work on Criterion Channel right now and I think I will spend my evenings watching All That Heaven Allows and Magnificent Obsession over and over the next few weeks. I just love the colors in his movies. I also enjoy film noir a lot. Sound stage movies have a lot of appeal for me, I like the artificiality and stillness. It’s the limitations of genre movies that interest me so much.

Monday, January 31, 2022

The Aesthetic

Images Courtesy Of Jane Dashley

Paintings by Jane Dashley.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Poets Of Babylon

Image Courtesy Of Poets Of Babylon

Love through all seasons from Poets of Babylon.

And more endearment is available online, and in-store, at NK Details, Stockholm, Sweden.