5 FACES OF LUDIVINE

July 26th, 2011

Ludivine.
Both Femme-enfant and enfant terrible of French cinéma, Ludivine Sagnier has been popping up on screens for well over a decade now.

However, we’ll forgive you if you haven’t noticed it, because Ludivine is a chameleon, blending in with her characters, making you forget she’s Ludivine.

She has “the mystery of lightness”. We didn’t say it, Christophe Honoré did.

As she appears in his upcoming film, THE BELOVED as well as Lee Tamahori’s DEVIL’S DOUBLE, we were commissioned to do an interview and video portrait we did for Vogue Italia, out on August 1st 2011. Here is an exclusive teaser out-take, where Ludivine plays for us the imagined role of TERMINATRICE, in a Versace dress.

TERMINATRICE. Music OUTLANDS by Daft Punk.

Set to Daft Punk’s TRON soundtrack, TERMINATRICE is one of the 5 teasers René and I directed for the video portrait of Ludivine. Set in the new and newly-starred Jean-François Piège gastronomic restaurant (designed by India Mahdavi and M/M) and adjoining Thoumieux hotel, Ludivine offered to us one very full day of her very full schedule between 2 trips to Cannes…

The last thing that stimulated her ? Meeting Robert de Niro.
More on August 1st.

DREAM. Music ANTIPHONIE by Discodeine. Dress, Valentino. Launched on Un Nouveau Ideal. 

ALIEN. Music GLASS JAR by Gang Gang Dance. Trench, Burberry. Launched on Fashion Copious. 

CRISE. Music SECRETLY by Skung Anansie. Dress, Fendi. Launched on Jules Fashion. 

IT GIRL. Music YOU KNOW WHAT I MEAN by Cults. Top, Giambatista Valli. Launched on Hiromi's Journal inTime. 

DIRECTED by Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher

STYLED by Lydia Lobe Elessa
Assisted by Edwina Ramade

HAIR by Karin Bigler @ D and V
MAKE-UP by Yacine Diallo @ Artlist

PRODUCTION The Stimuleye
Production Assistant – Lynsey Peisinger

FILMED AT Hotel Thoumieux, Paris

THANK YOU
Jean-François Piège
Lisa Kajita
First Floor


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editor MASANOBU SUGATSUKE : An edit of an edit

July 22nd, 2011

Masanobu Sugatsuke is one of the most influential editors, publisher of magazines such as COMPOSITE, INVITATION or METRO MIN in his native Japan, and of books with Mark Borthwick, Elizabeth Peyton or Jeff Burton. Masa considers himself not exactly a trendy person, yet is always on a forward trail, much ahead of his time.

THE STIMULEYE talked with Masa on the outlook of publishing and the editors future role, but also his recent book EDITORIAL PARADISE in which he is looking on his past editorial work. A reflection in a radical manner, rarely dared by others of his guild.

An edit of an edit, a compilation of compilations?
He’d been advised by a fellow columnist that “When an editor enters the spotlight, he automatically announces that it is time for him to go” he was told, as well as “an expression reaches a deadlock the moment it becomes self-referential”.

“But wait a minute,” he writes in his foreword, “Godard and Truffaut initiated the Nouvelle Vague with their filmic reflections on film; contemporary art has developed as a form of “Art reviewing art”, and Rei Kawakubo and Martin Margiela keep proposing dresses that inspire the wearers to think about dressing. Could it be that there exists a whole different level that self-expression can only reach after going through the painful stage of self-reference?”

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Works of Masanobu Sugatsuke laid out for EDITORIAL PARADISE.

When i visited you at you last time in Tokyo at your office – we had not seen each other for quite a long time.

Meanwhile you had halted “Composite” , and published your book “Editorial Paradise” revisiting your inventive editorial work of the last 25 years. Interestingly, this reflection coincided with a turning point, a time where the role of the editor is challenged through mechanics introduced by new media. To me it almost felt like a “katharsis” (精製) – in this context. Not only a personal one…

Talking about my book “Editorial Paradise”, I think that a retrospective book of a living editor sounds strange for everybody, even for me!
But to edit and launch it, it made me consider a lot about the role of editors and definition of editing nowadays.
I believe the role and definition of editors and editing has been drastically changing these days, because of the growing role of new media. But a few editors have been trying to define their new roles and public meaning.

“katharsis” you mentioned is quite a suitable word to describe my time editing this title. Editing this retrospective is like confession for me. But confessing what?
I can tell you about it clearly now, I didn’t know the meaning of editing until that time.

For this book you told me you’ve decided to include everything from the volumes that you’ve done, which is somehow “anti-editing” – was that part of making you realise the meaning of editing? What is your conclusion?

I’ve always aimed to expand the definition of editing. Through the editing process of this editorial retrospective, I recognized that the changing state of editing my thinking simple-minded.
So, what I came across through this process, – it was fun but hard for me to think deeply about editing all the time all day long and I felt like being ouroboros – is that editing is not about media.
I think editing is a way of thinking. It’s not like making film, designing a website. It’s a purely abstract idea to make something concrete.

My definition of editing is quite simple.
1: Drawing up a project,
2: Recruiting a team of collaborators,
3: Creating something,

They are the three basic conditions of editing, I think. If someone does something with these three conditions, whatever it is, I’d like to say “that’s editing”.

Editorial_Paradise_MASA_SUGATSUKE_theSTIMULEYELIBERTINES_MASA_SUGATSUKE_theSTIMULEYE
Sleeve of EDITORIAL PARADISE with an illustration of Masanobu Sugatsuke by Florence Deygas and a recent LIBERTINES cover

It’s something rare in this profession to put a focus on the act of editing itself, especially one’s own and in such a radical way as with your latest book.

As you can see, editors have been defined as interpreting someone to someone else, or something to something else. That means “Don’t express your own voice through your works. You are an in-between guy!”.
That’s 50% right. But there are so many high-profile advertising creative people all over the world. They are not behind the media at all nowadays.

I believe editors are mainly present in-between and behind media, but sometimes they are beyond media, i.e, Anna Wintour, who is Cabinet Minister of the Ministry of Cool, Terry Jones, Everlasting Evangelist of Street Style and Olivier Zahm, the second Gainsbourg.

I believe we, creative people, have to label ourselves. In other words, we have to “transform life into creation”.
Because, in this 21st Century, our creative lives are almost viewed and leaked by web and twitter.
It’s been getting hard for creative people to avoid being watched or criticized by ordinary people now.

Iconic editors from the past seem in this context like vanguards of another time to come:
Diane Vreeland (American Vogue) or, on another side of the spectrum, Hugh Heffner (Playboy), both transcended their editorial vision with their personal lives.

Today’s ever more fragmented stream of information requests perhaps a stronger necessity of structure through the personal standpoint…

How do you think the element of today’s over-exposure is influencing the role of the editor?

Over-exposure is big phenomena in our world, not just for editors. Modern people are fame-addicted.
On the other hand, we can show our way of living as an art piece. Lady Gaga’s case is the most excessive one, and Haruki Murakami’s case is the most stoic.
But both are most successful presentations of life as art piece today.

As I said, our creative lives are mostly viewed, watched by the media and each action are “timeline”d.
So if you can’t avoid it, you have to be determined to show your life as whole art piece, as if Andy Warhol presented us.
So, Warhol said “Everyone will be famous for 15 minutes” in the 60’s.
But now everybody became Andy Warhol, just like taking photo everyday, quoting somebody’s ideas and images and commenting as one phrase philosopher on twitter or blogs.

Our creative works are slices of our creative lives. People nowadays have a tendency to prefer the real lives of creative people to their work.

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Spread of "AISIAN FASHION NOW" from a recent issue of LIBERTINES. Photo by Leslie Kee

In these times, the stream of facebook statuses, tweets and re-tweets, tumblr and so on form a new way of consuming information.
You recently mentioned Paper.li to me – which seems like an attempt to “master” this stream almost a form of an “automatic generating editor”….

Yes, “Paper.li” is a kind of semi-auto-updated personal web magazine. On the web, if you curate something, you can be an cool editor. Therefore “first hand” is getting more important for media and creative people. Audiences can’t get interviews of celebrities and take their photo first hand.
So, “first hand” sources and high profile people are the last sanctuary of professional media and creative people.
But if they are lazy to maintain “first hand” capability, audiences will rob it.

The internet is certainly a big accelerator of this “theft”!
What we’re missing out besides “first hand” is the synthesis of information and its digestive analysis.
I am wondering how do you expect the print media to react to this and how you see its perspectives in the long run, in balance with the digital publishing?

I expect that print media will live with digital media in symbiosis. I believe print media will survive, as opera and theatre play do.
But not mainstream in the media.
There are two kind of information, flow and stock.
Internet is a best media of flow information. Print media is a best of stock information.
For creative people, beautiful books must be great tangible assets.
In this 21st Century, tangibility and physical experience can be more important because internet cannot provide them.

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Opener of the Yohji Yamamoto Interview of LIBERTINES

You have recently halted publishing your most recent print magazine “libertines”-
what was your experience with this? Were the reasons related to the shift in publishing that we’re talking about?

Talking about the end of “Libertines” magazine, I think I was a little bit too optimistic about the advertising climate and today’s readers. It was my fault.
Advertising for magazine has been drastically decreasing. I knew it. But I had estimated that I could have get a certain amount of it when I started “Libertines”.
But I couldn’t. It was worst time to start a new magazine in Tokyo with a professional level of budget.

Plus, I thought we could get a number of readers similar to what we had before. So, for the first issue of “Libertines”, we had a special feature about twitter culture.
We had exclusive report about twitter headquarters in San Francisco in it.
As you can imagine, we got big buzz on twitter and web when it came out.
BUT this buzz were not enough to sell magazine.

It is a similar situation for musicians and the web. If some musicians get big buzz on twitter and facebook, but their record sales are not related with buzz unfortunately these days.
It happens in magazine world.

I think “buying magazines” has become an old habit, or habit for people over 30’s.
If you aim to produce youth culture-medias and package contents, there are few actual youth consumers who buy them naturally.

On the other hand, I’ve been directing another magazine “Metro Min.” for two years as creative director, it is quite successful because it’s a monthly free lifestyle magazine which is published by a major publisher.

So, it is hard to sell magazine to the FREE generation. I’ve been struggling with this issue.
I don’t have a clear solution for it. But I’m not pessimistic about the future of magazines. I think publishers and editors have to organize a new kind of structure to make profit not only to produce print medias.

I believe there are great examples in the movie industry. The movie industry is not just about movie theatre nowadays as you know. It is an environment with movies.

I think that’s the hint for editors.

Metro_Min_May_2011_SUGATSUKE_theSTIMULEYEMetro_Min. _Jan_2011_SUGATSUKE_theSTIMULEYE
Covers of METRO MIN, the most recent publication of Masanobu Sugatsuke

Where do you see the future?

I’ve been thinking about the fate of both print media and new media all the time as I mentioned in our previous conversations.
And as you see, nobody knows. But there is one certain thing that I can say, that is if you love something, you’d like to own and touch it.
Same as your lover. That’s the human nature which will not change forever.

People nowadays talk mainly figures and speed of modern media. But media are not only produced by them. Of course, these specs are important.
But images, sympathies, affections and favoritism are very important elements of media.
If these elements are all included in one media, then it will be a loved media no matter if it’s in the form of digital or print.

I believe that creative people have to concentrate on how to produce a loved media to audiences. I think that’s the priority.

The last thing stimulated that stimulated you?

So many things and it is hard to answer to choose one particular thing.
Here is the list what I was stimulated after 3.11, the Great Earthquake in Japan.

# Cindy Lauper concert in Tokyo on March 17th, just 6 days after Earthquake.
Cindy is a quite brave artist who did Japan tour in such a catastrophic situation and she commented during each break between songs to encourage audience in Japan.
She sang her masterpiece “True Colors” in encore with mix of John Lennon’s “Power to the people” and almost the whole audience, including me, wept.

# Takashi Homma photo exhibition at Tokyo Opera City Gallery in April
Homma’s biggest exhibition in Tokyo which shows his conceptual landscape in Japan and Los Angels which was collaborated with Mike Mills.

# Jane Birkin Charity live at Shibuya Club Quattro, April 6th
Jane Birkin is not just an actress or singer. She is a role model of modern women.

# Anti-Nuclear Demonstration in Koenji, Tokyo, April 10th
Most biggest and joyful anti-nuke action in Japanese history. So many musicians joined it and I participated in it. People have the power!

# Saburo Teshigawara dance performance at Kawasaki City art center, May 6th
It is a final answer to the question “How can movement of human body be radical and beautiful”. Teshigawara does European Tour this Autumn. Must-See!

# Henry Darger exhibition at Laforet Museum Harajuku, Tokyo, May
Legendary outsider artist’s big retrospective. So innocent and scary.

# Yohji Yamamoto’s 30th anniversary party of his brand at Y.Y boutique in Tokyo, June 1st

Yamamoto is a last samurai of cutting edgy couturier. Congratulation!


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Life and Death of Marina Abramovic – vii

July 17th, 2011

“An artist should avoid going to the studio every day”

an artist should avoid going to the studio every day - marina abramovic

STUDIO
Last night was the last performance in Manchester.

Everyone in the cast and crew will soon be returning to their “normal” life, wherever it may be around the globe, to their city, their apartment, their studio.

Over the last week, seven exhausting nights, the play is ending.
It has been seen by Viktor & Rolf, Riccardo Tisci, the director of the MoMA and many others.

But fear not, it will return, soon, somewhere else around the globe.


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life and death of marina abramovic – vi

July 16th, 2011

“An artist should be erotic”

an artist should be erotic - marina abramovic

Marina's 6th commandment. Photo by René Habermacher.

DICK
This is not a dick.
It’s a strap-on.
It’s strapped on a man, Andy.

In the play, Andy masturbates while wearing a mask of Marina, as she flirts with him.

Tonight is the last night to see this, as it is the last night the play is performed in Manchester.


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LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – V

July 14th, 2011

“An artist should stay for long periods of time at exploding volcanoes”

artists should stay for long periods of time at exploding volcanoes

Marina's fifth commandment. Photo by René Habermacher.

THE WIG
This is the wig of Willem Dafoe when it’s not on Willem Dafoe.
It’s in the make up room.

In the play, Willem appears as a demonic, cartoonish narrator, meticulously going through Marina’s life chronologically, year after year.


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LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – IV

July 13th, 2011

“Enemies are very important”

enemies are very important

Marina's fourth commandment. Photo by René Habermacher.

THE SNAKE
After an energetic premiere, the play keeps running until the 16th.

One of the cast we havent yet introduced is Daisy, the boa constrictor.
Like bruno’s predecessor was stiffy, Daisy replaced the rolled-up blanket used for rehearsals.

She naps in her well temperated box towards the minutes of spotlight.
It was difficult to find a hotel for her, says David the “snake-man”, so many houses had refused them shelter…

Daisy and David

Daisy and David. Photo by René Habermacher.

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MARIOS SCHWAB

July 12th, 2011

MARIOS SCHWAB TALKS TO FILEP MOTWARY
PHOTOGRAPHS BY RENE HABERMACHER

Marios Schwab is known for his unique interpretations of natural forms and his ability to dress the female body in a way that he only knows.

While the world of fashion turns its attention to ephemeral trends, we decide to interview Marios and hear him analyze the Schwab philosophy, his position at Halston and the analysis of his very first Resort Collection, one day before its revealed to the public and press.

His collections are based around reflecting the inner structure of a garment on the outside, a theory that helped to define him as one of London’s most exciting designers – a position he continues to hold.

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Marios Schwab resort collection 2012. Photography by René Habermacher

A distinction and Best Student Award graduate of Esmod, Marios moved to London in 2003, where he completed an MA in Womenswear Fashion at Central Saint Martins, studying under the guidance of the formidable Louise Wilson.

Two years later 2005 saw him launch his own label, showing for two seasons with Fashion East before making his on schedule debut at London Fashion Week for SS 2007

Since the Spring of 2009, he was appointed as the creative director of HALSTON in New York.

Schwab’s designs are sold all over the world, in shops ranging from Dover Street Market, Harvey Nichols and Browns in London, to Maria Luisa in Paris and Barneys in New York.

Photographer Rene Habermacher met with him in London for the creation of the pre-collection’s look book

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Marios Schwab and his Greek coffee set at his studio. Photography by René Habermacher

How are you today Marios, what have you been up-to since this morning?

Pretty much like I came from Paris and immediately started working on the main line…It’s a non-stop situation right now because I just did my first resort collection which was in a way an experiment in terms of getting in right with timings and deadlines, a completely new experience for me. Also we are producing this collection elsewhere outside the UK.

You just photographed your first pre-colection for Summer 2012 yesterday with Rene Habermacher?

We started shooting on Friday; he came over to London and shot the collection in my Studio.

What is your pre-collection about?

I went to Vienna for a weekend where I visited Kunsthalle and saw these amazing series of Vanitas paintings from Dutch painters. For me they always have this feeling of seduction and mysticism that I really like and the hide-reveal again which I am so obsessed about. I wanted to create a print that kind of works color but still within a black background…

It all started with creating the print with artist Tom Galland, who is a friend living near by and with whom we work on numerous collections together. The outlines pretty much echo shapes that have a classic sort of detailing from Maris Schwab, torn down so it becomes easy to wear and accessible for the younger girl that wants to buy, but not necessarily can afford. It’s about clothes for someone who doesn’t want to wear something that is too tailored.

How did you decide to add a pre-collection in your work? Was it after popular demand? What it the aim of a pre-collection anyway?

Yes first comes the “demand” as you said because the main line concentrates on tailored pieces, cocktail pieces mainly, and has the element of fabrics that are more sculpted. There was an easy-wear-feeling missing. You know, easy things that make more sense in a resort collection rather in a mainline. Fabrics like jersey, which is great to wear, in a good quality and good price. Its something that was requested from the top floor but also the feeling of having to return back to something that is a little bit younger was very very important to me.

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Marios Schwab resort collection 2012. Photography by René Habermacher

How is this collection pricewise?

Well it starts from 200 GBP and reaches s 750 GBP. That was the main point, to put very interesting detailing from the DNA of Marios Schwab-keeping the outline and fit on a friendly price. It is quite an interesting thing to do I guess because when you start a collection with this thought pros-mind-set becomes automatically an interesting project. I was concentrating on dresses that you can put on daytime and also in a club or to go travelling with and I think this is something I would like to concentrate on at this point and turn it as the signature of the resort

Marios, it often seems that you manifest an idea way ahead of its time, even two seasons before others pick your ideas later. How do you work, develop these ideas and where you withdraw your inspirations?

Well it’s a lengthen process because I always like to bring in the surroundings of my own life, or what I hear in any sense politics, stories, everyday life, as its an emotional story developed into garments. I don’t know how to explain it really. It usually starts with materials and then it develops into proportion and sectioning of the body in a certain way.

Last season how it started for example, was after a documentary I watched about ancient Greece and the oracle temples. There was this amazing building- I don’t remember where it is now-but it was saying that “nothing in excess.” And it kinda gave me the idea that basically its very much about what we are right now: overloaded with information but also we want so much out of everyday life, some can afford it, some cannot. For me, the process of it was to take this theme and create something that is beautiful with craftsmanship.

So I started reading essays about craftsmanship, then I came across the work of Adolf Loos, an architect from Austria who worked on finding the meaning of decoration and its meaning in society.

To cut the story short the collection was based on minimized craftsmanship and how it becomes an over precious part of each garment. So really framing the details on specific parts of the body that becomes precious at the same time.

I like to place things where they don’t belong from time to time. Broking was one element but also the status of symbols like a pearl necklace and how it can be re-translated in a modern way. Within this season, the Vanitas paintings for me meant life, beauty but at the same time possessions and darkness. It’s so beautiful and it reminded me of Victorian wallpapers, bursts of flowers with a dark background. All these harmless detailing in the collection like elastics that wrap around the body and create the draping reminded me of my earlier works since Spring Summer is very much about the inside outside, how you can retranslate draping without looking like a retro reference, you add a utilitarian element to it but then it’s a little bit more modern.

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Vintage print of Marios portrait by Paolo Roversi, and Patterns at the studio. Photography by René Habermacher

In the last five minutes you used the word “craftsmanship” for more than five times. How important is craftsmanship in your work?

It’s the most important thing for me. The way I learned the trade was going to Austria at the age of 15, surrounded by manic women, teachers that knew everything about traditional techniques, probably not very used these days unless of course you work for a couture house. It became my obsession and also something I am very much fond of. I like the humbleness of a craftsman and the sound of craft. I feel so comfortable sitting next to a person that is s specialized and so focused into his work. There is certain romanticism in it that I always go back to. I like sitting in a studio surrounded by the fabrics I just got from the manufacturer and then turn them upside down doing things I didn’t even suspect. I get a kick out of it, not to buy something that is finished but apply something to it.

I guess that can be said about women or the girls that inspire me. It’s a woman with personality- I don’t like women with no character. I don’t see a woman only as a body to dress. I see her as a strong persona that has a little bit more that just attitude. For me, women should be running the world at this point.

I like women who are intellectuals and private at the same time …I make a subtle story each time for them that does not overload their personality, enhances their personality.

While having a closer look at your past collections, I noticed that you continue to focus on the women’s body structure, emphasising on the waist and shoulders. Though now, your work has become more confident and much more strict than before…Do you agree, how do you see your work through the years?

Basically the starting point of a collection is always a naked body –in that I draw around the bodylines that are very much continued over the years I have been working. Whenever I dress a body I like to reveal what I also hide under a garment. From an architectural and proportional point of view it’s the most interesting part for me. What you cover you can reveal in a very sophisticated way on the surface of the fabric but also the cut.

There was certain toughness in your winter 2011-2012 collection with the use of leather and all…

The winter collection indeed had a feeling of toughness and that’s a classic element I guess in Marios Schwab that contains this femininity within something that is the good girl and the bad girl together. There is the prettiness and a sexual element within something that is sometimes quite strong and tuff. And I like to mix leather in a sense that you take the lady completely away from clothes. I don’t like ladies. I like to have a non-pretentious woman and I think that when you look closely to the garments you can see that they are not pretentious and that’s very much about the aspect of Schwab. My dresses need to be appreciated close by and I like that they don’t scream aloud but at the same time with a closer look you learn to appreciate them, their line and the detailing.

Taking elements that are very lady like and gentlemanly, for instance the broking and the pro necklaces kind of annoy me when I see them on women cause they are just too preppy.

I use them in a way that they become almost irrelevant of their status, hidden behind seams or they grow out of a seam either the are attached in a different way and become a utility, not just decoration. This is something I like doing also, using decoration at the same time in a functional way.

Remember the metal piece from an earlier collection of mine? The point wasn’t to create something shiny with a reflection in order to simply impress the guests of the show.

I thought of it as a garment that gives you this extra support when you dress up and feel you are wearing “something”. Psychologically, in some dresses this is missing, also in fashion these days. People used to take time to prepare themselves, so I tried to modernize this vintage routine within this shiny dress.

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Marios Schwab resort collection 2012. Photography by René Habermacher

How has your involvement with Halston help your own brand you think?

I think it is such an interesting thing to work for another brand, with another team, travelling in a different country to produce a collection, which proved to be such a precious part of my Halston commitment. Basically you have a team that works abroad, that you are not very close to most of the time, you have different deadlines than your own. All these made me feel much more strong. You know also since I am the only designer there, I don’t have a team that designs alongside me which is exactly the opposite from what happens at Marios Schwab. It surprised me quite a lot. I always thought that it was going to be hardcore, working for two brands at the same time. It is hard but not as difficult I had in mind it would be.

Crazy in what sense?

Meaning the sense of “switching off”. I was surprised on how I could switch off from my collection, going to Halston do something else and then back again and back again… I felt a little bit scared before taking the job. It’s indeed a huge responsibility but you learn to do it, that’s it. Its pretty much like “you have to get on with it”!

What made Halston such a rarity as a House?

Halston as you know was concentrating on enduring fashion and I’d love to see Marios Schwab doing that,..

Halston encloses a story behind it that you can always see something else if you try looking closer. At his time Halston was creating, he offered something that was a very subtle, a minimal way of looking glamorous by wearing something simple and yet looking beautiful and seductive and expensive and clean. He had a very modern way of making clothes. The principle probably is the attractive one, what it was all about. But it was also attached to Studio 54, a very special place of that era and it was in everyone’s expectations. People just love it and for them Halston is attached to Studio 54.

Do you think your customers understand you better than your critics? Also how do you respond to bad criticism?

I don’t read reviews anymore because it just confuses me. After a show you are very tired and very emotional and personally the last thing I want to do is read criticism, good or bad. One critic can lift you up or drag you down which sometimes its not very relevant to a person that works in a very personal way and in private. I go meet people, the consumer, and the woman who wear what I create. You want to hear both at the same time, it normal but when you are still conquered by the after show adrenaline, you can’t just bother with that.

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You belong in the Kane, Katrantzou, Pugh and Pilotto generation. It’s somehow like the “Antwerp’s Six” story. What in your opinion, all of you offered in fashion that was missing at the point you appeared?

I think quality, good fit within something that is very special and still acceptable and wearable. London at the time was about things that were more phantasmagorical..

So you are saying that you guys made the difference?

I’m not speaking about the rest, but yes I think that was what was missing at the time without pointing out someone specific.

Let me do that (laughs) all you have to do is agree or disagree (laughs). You all came at a point where as you said everything was very phantasmagoria and finally we had some wearable clothes coming from London, which was not the case before.

Yes, London started having a good balance. More than anything, the overall look was a little bit overwhelming. But I have to say that London is very special on that and supports all kinds of new developments, new ideas in fashion. It has to be said; you can’t really find that anywhere else’s in the world. Many people wonder, “What’s this thing about London, anyway?” But its true, London within this experimental nonsense or sometimes good sense it creates certain movements and in a way creates the platform for all of us to stand onto tomorrow..

What would be a designer’s weakness you think? What’s your weakness in that case?

Deadlines (laughs), free time. I can never organize myself to have a life. In this business you become very critical about what you do. It’s the mentality of living in your own bubble, creating for somebody else can be quite intimidating at some times, for others as well..

How difficult is for a designer to cross lots of different ages in one collection?

It’s a matter of confidence of the client. If you see a curvaceous person that wears a skin-tight garment, regardless of her age, whether she is a young girl or a woman and she has the confidence and attitude that matches the whole personality and appeal its instantly a success. This equals that the designer must have done something right.

Would you tell a client if she doesn’t look good in your dress?

Yes if she would ask me I would definitely tell her my opinion. If she didn’t, then why I would I tell her if she is happy with it? It’s her choice and one needs to respect that.

How do you see the present of Fashion?

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Marios Schwab resort collection 2012. Photography by René Habermacher

Shall we move to the next question? (Laughs). It’s interesting because it’s changing and its not changing at all. I think what changed is the way we get informed, how we advertise, and talk about things, how we buy things.

Everybody has a question mark about what they are doing these days…

The non-interesting part of this global change is throughout this financial downhill, the how quickly we gain information around us can make things very boring and very …

Things are supposed to be fast in fashion and although it seems that way, there is no new development in music and so many other creative sectors; and that is a shame because people stopped thinking unnaturally and they want to get into so many different characters since there are surrounded by so much information and don’t know how to handle it. They don’t have the time to study the new, see it from a distance, observe it, analyse it. It’s not a concrete period, there’s no certain opinion about things. You want to dive into so many different things because you have no other option.

It takes one bad collection to take a designer out of the spotlight you think?

I don’t know how it is but I wouldn’t see it that way I don’t know. You can have a bad collection because you decided to go on extended holydays and have a bit of a life.

Its interesting to mention that fashion can be such a fluff in the air. People think Balenciaga is amazing and next season they think Givenchy is the most interesting thing…sometimes it can become a little…I don’t know how to explain.. Do people have an opinion at the end? In previous decades or centuries this wasn’t much the case. Things were very specific. I’m talking about how people dressed, the way people reacted on fashion, art, their opinion…It was about dressing up your own way, to look pretty your own way and the way they looked upon things. Its not about buying the total look its about buying items from a collection in order to combine them with what you already have and make your look your own.

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Marios at his favorite afternoon stroll and part of his butterfly collection. Photography by René Habermacher

You own your own company—nobody owns you. How’s that for a responsibility considering the reality of the fashion houses today?

I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing, no. The point is that our times as it is, its quite difficult to increase your team members, the structure, to tap into things you always dreamed of, like the way you want your company to spread out…

It’s not easy to do it by yourself without investment, or being helped by another source. It would be a shame to only be able to create clothes and not a whole product, that doesn’t only concentrate on fashion, not being able to communicate it right. Sometimes you don’t have the time or the money or both. But help must be welcomed.

I am curious to know, how many people work for you?

Hold on I need to count…Five full timers, mainly administrative and office work. I have one assistant that concentrates on fabrics and the boards.

Do you give chances to interns?

YES!! Yes!! Interns are so important, I like teamwork and when I refer to the team as always say “we”. It’s confusing for people. Who’s “we”?

I see myself as a craftsman, as I said before, I like to work within like a team that creates something that needs to be educated to us , to find our how its done and how its made and it takes a team of people that are special and committed to do that .

You can drive people crazy when you just give directions and not get involved in the making with them. For us especially, as we make all the samples in-house and it can get a little crazy. Students and the team that is here for years working with me seems like a family, we get emotional and fun and relaxed at the same time.

What I want from a student is to learn something special while running around in all the sections of the company, doing things, the boring jobs even,.. They need to have a complete idea on what it takes to be a designer because their time will come to open their own business.

Fashion is not a fantasy nor a party…

Do you ever let yourself go? Is there anything in your personality that you really have to keep a tight grip on?

The most important thing for me is family. They are part of what I do. My dad and mother enabled me to leave home at 15 to do what I wanted to do, feel free. They are critical about my work, which is very very important for me. Sometimes my mom doesn’t like certain things as she is a woman with style and she was the first who gave me the inside of quality and aesthetics.

In my private life I collect images I find beautiful. I like a variety of things, I love the impactful emotion when I sit on a beach somewhere in Greece, or sitting with old women on an island’s quiet little street, hearing them talk …Easy things and simple like that…

I like creating through emotion and experiences, history, the women I met n my life, their attitude, character. It can be very cinematographic. I build up a whole fictional character, created from my acquaintances with different women throughout my life.

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What was the last thing that Stimulated you?

…my boyfriend..


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LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC : TODAY IS PREMIERE

July 9th, 2011

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Marina Abramović backstage in the make up. Photography by René Habermacher

GOOD LUCK FOR THE PREMIERE EVERYONE!


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LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – LAST REHEARSAL

July 8th, 2011

Marina, Willem, Bob, Carlos and the Serbian girls.
Only a few more hours left to marinate, before the feast.

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The stage doors. The note is to be taken very serious. Photography by René Habermacher.

Today Marina had her shaman coming from Santa Fe, New Mexico, in order to clear any bad spirits in the theater.

Magick is in the air, the mood has eased the morning following the preview.
Some eruptions excluded.

Willem Dafoe

Willem Dafoe noting remarks on his text. Photography by René Habermacher.

Life and Death of Marina Abramovic

Preparations in the Make up rooms. Photography by René Habermacher.

After all, the puzzle of endless rehearsed scenes makes sense now, its emotional power in effect to captivate both spectators and cast.

As the premiere nears, the ticket office and press department whirl faster.

During breaks, we hear big names to will attend.
They have to be seated the right way. Tickets are limited and getting sparse.

Carlos Soto

Carlos Soto. Photography by René Habermacher

Marina Abramovic + Antony Hegarty

Marina Abramović and Antony Hegarty. Photography by René Habermacher.

The Serbian girls, that form the chorus with peasant songs, cook and cater everyone with traditional baked beans.

The longer they marinate, the better they are supposed to get. Though the longer you leave the beans to marinate, the higher the risk of having your portion snapped away – perhaps we should put name tags on the glasses in the backstage fridge?

Anyway, it’s all about MARINAting. The effect is, it melts on the tongue….

life and death of Marina Abramovic

Marina riding on her wooden horse Bruno. Bruno is a darling, but not too comfortable... Photography by René Habermacher.

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Svetlana sings the chorus while the soldiers shout parts of Marinas artist's manifesto. Photography by René Habermacher.

Life And Death Of Marina Abramovic
at Manchester International Festival
July 9 – 16, 2011.


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LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – III

July 8th, 2011

“An artist should not make themselves into an idol”

Marina's commandment III. Photo by Lynsey Peisinger.

MINI-MARINA
Mini-Marina is a doll that wears Marina’s own, real hair.

It just flew in from New York City.

The costume department is working on dressing Mini-Marina for the premiere…

Life And Death Of Marina Abramovic
at Manchester International Festival
July 9 – 16, 2011.


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LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – II

July 7th, 2011

“An artist has to be aware of his own mortality”

AN ARTIST HAS TO BE AWARE OF HIS OWN MORTALITY - MARINA ABRAMOVIC

Marina's Commandment II. Photo by Lynsey Peisinger.

MASK
Its raining in Manchester. Although sometimes not.

The first preview went on stage under the roof of that building where his architect threw himself from his landmark tower to death.
Marina thinks there must be some energy left from this.

At Marina’s funeral, who do you expect to see in the coffin? Marina, obviously. Since we have three people in both of Marina’s funeral scenes, they decided to make everyone wear “Marina masks” so that everyone would look like her.

We call them “Marina Death Masks”. They looked much more morbid before they put makeup on them…


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LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC : GUNPLAY

July 6th, 2011

Four more days to go until the premiere. The rehearsals proceed until late at night with great concentration. After four weeks of work, the cast, creative team and crew are almost ready for the first preview tonight. Bob Wilson, Marina Abramovic, Willem Dafoe and Antony Hegarty. An ensemble this beautiful doesn’t happen very often, perhaps just once in a lifetime.

The premiere is just hours away. Bob is orchestrating his cast and crew and the multi chromatic illumination of the play. Antony continues to conduct the music, snapping the tempo for the band while singing on stage. Willem recites his text in an endless mantra, a flood of whispers. His face and body moving through their various expressions. There is tension under the roof of the Lyric Theatre at the Lowry in Manchester. There have been troubles and tears and there have been shiny moments of camaraderie and playfulness, all in an effort to tell you a story. The story of Marina’s life. It is a story that will carve out a space for her in your heart forever…

Now, we go into our last rehearsal before the preview. The vultures are flying, Marina is slipping into her red, feathered dress and Bob….well, Bob is setting light cues.

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Robert Wilson instructs Wilem Dafoe in Gunplays. Photo by René Habermacher

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How Willem plays the gun. Photography by René Habermacher

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And finally on stage: "Bruno" as Marina calls him is the new Horse that replaces "Stiffy".
So here Bruno, Willem and Marina. Photography by René Habermacher

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LIFE AND DEATH OF MARINA ABRAMOVIC – I

July 5th, 2011

“An artist should have friends that lift their spirits”

marina abramovic

Marina's commandment I . Picture by Lynsey Peisinger.

STIFFY
The first three weeks of rehearsals were held in a rehearsal space where we used temporary props and stand-in animals.

Stiffy (aptly named by Willem Dafoe) was Marina’s stand in horse. We miss Stiffy now that we are at the theatre and the “real” horse has arrived.

He had a very wide body and Marina had to walk like a cowboy after sitting on him for too long.
But he was good to Marina for those weeks.

Life And Death Of Marina Abramovic
at Manchester International Festival
July 9 – 16, 2011.


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Presenting… LA MAIN DANS LE SAC / CAUGHT RED HANDED

July 1st, 2011

For your embeddable pleasure, a story of bags, fashion, crime, and more bags, commissioned by Vogue Italia.

Who is hiding behind those Prada shades ? What is she doing ? Will she get caught ?

 

THE STIMULEYE
presents

A Short Film With
JAMIN PUECH

for
VOGUE ITALIA

LA MAIN DANS LE SAC
“Caught red-handed”

Directed by
Antoine Asseraf & René Habermacher

Styling by
Michaela Dosamantes
Assisted by
Alexia Hollinger

Starring
Quinta Witzel @ IMG Paris

Make-Up
Tracy Alfajora

Hair
Romina Manenti @ Airport
Assisted by
Masako Hayashi

Filmed at
Prunier, Paris

Music by
Shane Aspegren & Lori Schonberg
of
The Berg Sans Nipple

Thank You:
Lisa Kajita
Nicolas Barruyer
Erotokritos Antoniadis
Yoann Lemoine


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