OLIVER BY KARL SIMONE
Shirt by Givenchy
Shirt by Givenchy
Text by Rishabh Manocha
Riccardo Tisci is no novice in the landscape of fashion. His conceptual prowess, studded with an eccentric interplay of leather, hardware, embellishment, and lace raised many eyebrows during his time as Givenchy’s creative director. Tisci hails from London’s Central St. Martins where he spent his young days mastering the art of subversive, unapologetically sexual, coarsely dramatic imagery. He will now return to the British capital to take the helm as Chief Creative Officer at Burberry.
The appointment wasn’t anticipated, but it is well known that Marco Gobetti, newly- appointed company CEO isn’t predictable either. Chief amongst Gobetti’s credits is the utter transformation of Celine and Givenchy to the forefront of Paris catwalks in recent years. Gobetti, a close friend and mentor of Tisci’s, laid out plans later last year to completely overhaul the brand character of Burberry.
The brand, which is known for its strong links to British heritage and traditions, will now inevitably face one of the most momentous transformations of our time. From being at the pinnacle of embracing technology in fashion to defining British fashion identity, Burberry has always executed timely strategy. However, as sales began to decline and the call for houses to revisit their marketing and production strategies becomes more resounding, this appointment indeed seems apt. Gobetti, in a statement last year, mentioned how Burberry had lost its distinct voice by catering to a middle-market audience. An increased supply and reduced demand indeed presented a major setback for company sales and share prices. However, he added that Burberry would now return to the rungs of true luxury catering mostly to the high-end consumer, with a renewed focus on accessories. This transition he anticipated would be rewarding.
It also means that two Italian pioneers in their respective rights will run the most significant house in British fashion. Their collaborative approach has proven to be both commercially profitable and artistically refreshing in the past. Tisci’s penchant for streetwear is bold, audacious, and revitalizing. His transformation of the sweatshirt as an object of high fashion is perhaps most reflective of his influence on contemporary culture. The collaboration with Nike to stylize the sneaker, Rihanna’s look on her Diamonds World Tour in 2013, and the dramatic designs worn by countless stars at red carpet events around the world manifest his ability to, time and again, give us a more compelling version of his philosophy. It remains uncertain how much the superficial image of Burberry will change. However, the clash, perhaps a harmonious clash of the two schools (Burberry and Tisci) remains one of the most highly anticipated phenomena to soon unravel.
Givenchy Jeans Campaign
Spring/Summer 2013 Givenchy Campaign
Riccardo Tisci with Beyoncé, wearing Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci
March 18, 2013 – Toronto, Ontario, Canada – RIHANNA performed a sold out show at the Air Canada Centre during her ‘Diamonds World Tour.
Kim Kardashian takes a selfie with Riccardo in custom Givenchy during a fitting for her wedding at Versailles
Charmingly-maximal, Luke Edward Hall’s whimsical take on interiors offers an escape from the mundane white box of minimalism.
Photography by Wikkie Hermkens | Styling by Sonny Groo | Interview by Dustin Mansyur
Full look by Burberry
Peruse through Luke Edward Hall’s instagram feed, and one will find a story vibrantlylayered in color-clad interiors, candy-colored hues of hand painted ceramics and drawings, and peppered with images documenting the 27-year-old creative’s quixotic travels. Stylishly dandy and tousle-haired, Hall curates a dreamy world as if seen through the most decadent shade of millennial pink lenses. A visit to his North London studio enforces the idea, with it’s bubblegum-painted walls and scatter of colorful tools and materials strewn across his work table. Daring fabric remnants, bouquets of colored pencils and brushes sprout charmingly in a collection of vintage mugs and vases, vintage photographs, magazine clippings, and the occasional tchotchke clutter the artist’s space like a decorated nest. In the center, a spot is cleared away, just big enough to entertain a drawing in progress.
Hall has been dubbed by Vogue.com as the ‘interior design world’s wunderkind’, a hefty seal of approval for a budding artist and designer. With a variety of blue-chip collaborations with companies like Burberry, Drakes, and Stubbs & Wootton already in his portfolio, Hall is positioned thoughtfully for longevity. His idyllic watercolor brush strokes, and gestural, simplified drawings elicit an understanding of the same subtleties of Matisse or Picasso’s more expressionistic works, while an array of products he’s created in-house suggests similar branding sensibilities of such design heavyweights as Jonathan Adler or Kelly Wearstler. The romance exists in the visual language Hall uses to couple his creative vision with commercial potential, resulting in the fanciful prism of his nostalgia inspired work.
Here IRIS Covet Book offers a glimpse into the auspicious world of Luke Edward Hall.
‘Gervase by the Pool’, 2017
You actually studied menswear at Central Saint Martins before you established your studio in 2015. Your career has really blossomed as an artist, but also as a designer of objects. What influenced your decision, or what shifted your focus, I should say rather, post-graduation, so that you went down this career path as opposed to choosing to stay in men’s wear design?
I always had an interest in antiques and interiors as well as fashion. While I was studying menswear, I was also selling antiques online. When I graduated I met an interior designer in London, whose style I really admired. So I ended up going to work for him, and that’s how I got more involved with interiors. It wasn’t something that I decided, it happened quite naturally.
Then what helped you to make the decision to venture out on your own after working with that architect that you mentioned?
I always knew that I wanted to have my own thing. When I was working full time, I started designing fabrics. I began putting more work up online, and I started doing much more drawing. Then, eventually, I got a few commissions — enough that allowed me to set my own thing up. I worked quite hard to get my work out there, so that I could be able to go out on my own.
What avenues did you pursue to increase your exposure?
Obviously, I’ve had a lot of work up on Instagram from the beginning. But, early on, I started making products like cushions, fabrics, and prints of my work. I had a lot of product that I could sell. I just tried to make sure that I had my work out there as much as I could. Eventually it began being published in magazines.
Do you do all of your fabrics in-house or are you licensing your designs through a fabric company?
It’s full-time in-house. Coming from a fashion and interiors background, I always appreciated good fabric. After I sketch up the design, I’ll print them out and work with a factory to produce them in very small runs to be used in my cushions and other products.
Can you describe what your studio’s like? Do you share space with others? What is it like when you are there?
I work with my friends in an art gallery where I have a space in the back. It’s really nice because it’s very close to where I live, five minutes away. I have this corner of a room that I’ve painted pink. It’s where I work on all of my projects.
What’s a typical day in the workroom like for you?
I go in every day because there are lots of new things happening. I always have meetings and a variety of projects to work on. Sometimes I’m working on foreign accounts, sometimes I’m drawing, other times I’m painting pottery or sourcing fabrics.
Voluta and Luca Cushion by Luke Edward Hall
You describe your aesthetic as being informed by a love of history, an appreciation of beauty, and a sense of playfulness. Do you have any specific historical influences that you find inspiring from which you pull inspiration?
I draw inspiration from history because often I’m inspired by the stories. I love looking back at ancient Greek myths and legends, also English folklore. I love reading about times in history, like the 1920s and ‘30s, especially in London. I’m quite nostalgic.
Your work is very sophisticated. How do you draw the line between playfulness and something that’s considered kitsch?
The thing is, I do like a little bit of kitsch, but I don’t want what I do to be so gaudy and outrageously mad that it becomes off-putting. I think you can be playful with color and print without sacrificing elegance and sophistication, which is a nice balance for interiors. I love playing with tradition or history, and trying to achieve the balance of pairing something very old with something very new. Curating the right pieces together is always a fun process.
I feel like today people consider minimalism and modern design as being somewhat synonymous, especially when we’re talking about interior spaces. Your approach is anything but minimal and yet reads as modern. Do you think there is a shift in the consumer market towards a more “decorated” approach?
There’s a general shift toward people being more interested in a more maximal approach, which I think there’s lots of reasons for that. Like with fashion, things come in cycles. I don’t really think of my lifestyle as maximal…it’s more that I just like being surrounded by my “stuff ”. I like having lots of color and pattern, and that look is typically classified as maximalism. The thing with maximalism in the interiors I like, is that it offers a little bit of a fantasy. I guess that’s why I look at the past, as well. I like the idea of creating something magical into which you can escape. The world we live in at the moment is quite grim at times. I think that’s partly why more people are taking to this trend because perhaps they need an escape from the everyday as opposed to living in a white box.
Based on your Instagram, it appears as though you travel a great deal. Is it a source of inspiration as well?
Travel is a huge source of inspiration. Italy is a really inspiring place for me to visit and work; I go there a lot and bring inspiration back. I always feel refreshed after going to the countryside in England because I find the city to be quite intense. Travel for me is just as important as my studio days. When I travel, I end up working every day, and always get re-inspired by the many things I come across.
You’ve collaborated with so many high profile companies already across several different luxury consumer markets, Burberry, Drakes, Christie’s, Stubbs and Wootton, and even Samsung, what have been some of your favorite collaborations to work on and why?
They’ve all been great for their own reasons. I only collaborate when it feels like the right fit. It has to be something that I feel really passionate about and connected with. Burberry is an amazing company to collaborate with because their reach is worldwide. It was very exciting when that opportunity happened. I also have always loved Stubbs and Wootton, so it was really fun to work with them to turn my drawings into embroideries for their slippers. Drakes was also a great collaboration that gave me the opportunity to see my drawings on silk for ties and scarves. It’s a great experience working with other people when they do something really well. It allows me to add my touch to it, and we come together and create something beautiful.
Luke Edward Hall x The Store ‘Face Bowl’ (available from The Store x Soho House Berlin and The Store x Soho Farmhouse)
Vases From Left: Lemons, 2016, Flower Prince, 2017 (Personal Collection)
You’re working on many different projects that span different disciplines, do you do all the your own business development or do you work with an agent?
It’s sort of a mixture. I don’t employ anyone. I just work by myself. I have an agent for Europe and they get me more illustration jobs. Most of the work comes to me, though. If the project involves working with a bigger company, I may hire someone short-term if needed, and I have relationships with vendors to produce what needs to be done.
I feel like drawing, itself, is such pure, analog art form. Now, we’re living in a post-digital world, all connected to a screen, advertising ourselves online on whatever platform we can. Do you think that social media and the Internet are simply just an extension of the artist’s tool kit?
I don’t think everyone has to engage in social media. I completely appreciate the people being like, “Oh, I’m not doing it. I’m not doing Instagram,” and that’s totally fine. For me, I like having a visual diary to see and process what I’m working on. I’ve always liked working on blogs and documenting what I’m doing. I’ve received lots of work through Instagram. When I got my first big job, which was for the Parker Palm Springs, it came from Instagram. So I owe a lot to it really, because it’s helped me. If you don’t need it, fine, but it can definitely be a great tool. If you can get greater exposure, then I think, why not make the most of it?
Warhol said, “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art.” You have an ecommerce portal on your website, you also have 1stDibs shop, and you did a pop-up shop last year. I’m curious what entrepreneurship means to you. How do you maintain the balance between art and commerce, being commercial without sacrificing your vision?
I’ve always been fascinated by retail. And while I like drawing and painting, I also like making products. When I first started selling antiques online, I’d go buy old antiques and restore them for resale on 1stDibs. I love graphic design and the process of branding things, so creating a variety of products with my artwork was natural. Now, I’m thinking about doing a little exhibition next year, so I’m setting aside time to work on those pieces. Maybe people think, “Oh, well, you’re not a real artist, you’re more of a designer.” I don’t really mind what label I’ve got. I think you can have all of these worlds that fit together, and I quite enjoy doing it.
I saw images online of your pop-up shop. Do you ever think you’ll venture into doing a little shop, a flagship store, for all your creations to live within?
At some point, I will probably do some shop type of thing. The thing is that at the moment I’m doing one-off pieces. I almost went down the route doing more products, but I’m now fixating more on hand-made ceramics, which are hand-painted and all one-off pieces. During the holiday season, I make more pieces and products for online and pop-ups. Right now my focus is on projects like the exhibition next year, which is going to be drawings, prints, and ceramics.
Do you have any advice that you might give to a young person considering to choose this as a career path?
Make sure you feel it pulling your heart; be brave. Go for it and believe in yourself. When something is completely yours, I think people always pick up on that. So do what makes you happy, because that’s what people respond to. You need to couple that with being on it as a business, thinking about social media, and having a bit of a strategy to give you direction. I do think you do need to have both sides – a creative side and a business side – in order to make it a success.
You’ve worked on many of amazing projects and I’m sure you only want more, but what do you envision for yourself in your future?
That’s the thing. I don’t actually have a plan. I’ve got so many exciting stuff happening, like the exhibition next year, and I’m going to carry on doing more interior projects. I’ve only been doing it for two years by myself so there’s still a lot that I want to do. I’d love to do a book and I like the idea you have, maybe, opening some sort of showroom. But for now I’m also just playing it by ear. I’m happy to just let things happen.
For more information visit lukeedwardhall.com
Away from her newly adopted home of Los Angeles, multidisciplinary artist Tali Lennox takes us inside her New York loft to share her daring, emotional paintings and collages that capture the fleeting nature of memories.
Dress by Burberry
Portrait Photography by Tiffany Nicholson | Interview by Anna Furman
In Tali Lennox’s self portraits, her face is often obscured by charcoal-black facial masks or distorted by bulging eyes and drooly, menacing expressions. When she paints figures, their identities are kept hidden and their facial features are imbued with an abstract, spectral quality. The British-born artist, daughter of singer Annie Lennox and film producer/ director Uri Fruchtmann, has made a name for herself in art and in fashion. At the age of seventeen, Tali began walking runway shows for the likes of Miu Miu and Roberto Cavalli (most recently, she starred in the lingerie brand Agent Provocateur’s tastefully noir-inspired campaign as well as the international campaign for David Webb shot by Inez and Vinoodh).
In 2015, she spent a month in residency at New York’s Catherine Ahnell Gallery, and the following year, mounted an exhibit inside the storied Chelsea Hotel. Both shows explored Western attitudes toward aging and the role memory plays in our collective conscience. She represented grooming habits as odd, culturally specific acts, and took a close look at ordinary gestures (holding a glass, washing one’s face)–encouraging viewers to reexamine their own everyday lives. Elements of Lennox’s portraiture–unusual head-to-body proportions, sanguine facial expressions–invite comparisons to celebrated American painter Alice Neel.
After tragically losing her boyfriend to a kayak accident two years ago, Lennox moved across the country to start a new chapter of her twenties in East Los Angeles. IRIS Covet Book sat down with Tali to chat about maintaining a bicoastal lifestyle, painting in solitude, and our shared admiration for the artist Tracey Emin.
Nose Bleed, 2017
‘Inhale the Oasis’ collage, 2016
‘Mood Swings’ Collage, 2016
Hi! How’s your morning been?
Very quiet. My roommates are both away right now so it’s just me in our treehouse-y home. My favorite hours to paint are either first thing in the morning or late at night so that’s what I did. I’ve had a full day of painting reclusiveness.
What are you painting right now?
I’m working on a painting of my friend Lili. It involves blood, tan lines, and pink silk. I’ve been curious about what it is to be a woman capturing other women. I want to gently challenge the viewer’s own awareness of sexuality. I love to paint nudes, skin, boobs… it interests me to figure out how my perspective differs from that of a man’s, which can come from such an objectified angle.
I’ve had a morbid curiosity since I was a child. I’m fascinated with gore and ghosts. I like to add in elements like blood and drool to my recent portraits, to explore the lines of attraction and repulsion. Recently, I posted a picture of spilled red ink on a mattress and it wound up in the newspaper because people thought it was period blood. Men and women were commenting on it–calling it disgusting. I wasn’t even trying to suggest or make a point about period blood when I took the photograph, but it did get me thinking. It’s a little absurd that women have been having periods since the beginning of humanity and yet people still find it so outrageous.
You relocated to Los Angeles from New York, but you still live in both cities. Why did you decide to move?
I’m in Silver Lake mostly. I love having trees outside my window, and the sense of vast space in LA gives my ideas a certain expansiveness. LA is weird and faded. It’s hard to grasp reality here, which I find so inspiring. I go to New York City every couple of months and it’s always just a big slice of cake–in a wonderful and somewhat overwhelming sense.
Dress by Burberry
What do you miss most about NY when you’re away?
Chinatown, the movie theaters, Serendipity, 24-hour delis, the Met, exchanging a hello with a man who looks like Santa Claus who sits outside my building every morning, the raging desire for a strong coffee in the morning.
Your Instagram bio says that you’re a painter slash jellyfish breeder. Jellyfish? Breeder? Please elaborate.
Really the jellyfish breeder thing is just to be silly. I mean, social media should never be taken too seriously. I do have a fascination with sea creatures though. It stems from childhood. I remember being completely hypnotized by fishmongers when I was probably four years old. I loved looking at the fish scales and the variety of colors, and experiencing the strange smells. I would secretly touch the dead fish when no one was looking. I’ve always been curious about the things others might find gross.
Do you have a regular routine for your creative work? Where is your studio?
I have a rough routine, without regular hours. Right now I paint most often from my room, which I like because I can paint at any hour. Sometimes I like to work late into the night. A lot of people like separating themselves from their work, but I find that working where I live heightens my relationship to the paintings. I mean, I literally wake up and fall asleep seeing it, so I really need to like what I’m doing because there’s no escaping it.
Do you listen to music while you’re working or do you prefer silence?
I like to listen to a lot of film soundtracks. Hitchcock soundtracks are great. Jonny Greenwood, Disney scores, Alan Watts and Ram Dass are great when you don’t want to feel like you’re falling down a vortex of isolation. And when I need a little energy, I’ll put on the Fat White Family’s Champagne Holocaust album.
What are you reading right now? Either book or magazine-wise or just a lingering link in your browser tabs?
I’m about to finish Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami–it’s utterly beautiful. For a quick bedtime chapter or two, I’ll read Anaïs Nin.
Tell me about when you first started painting.
I’ve been drawing and painting forever, or at least since I was very young. I was the kind of kid to stay in the art room at school during break time. When I was nineteen, I moved to New York and started to develop my work with oil painting. I had been modeling full time since I was seventeen. I guess I was looking for a sense of identity outside of that world. Painting builds such a private relationship with oneself. It’s lonely and frustrating–but wonderful.
You were raised by world-famous parents– Scottish singer Annie Lennox and producer Uri Fruchtmann – in the UK. Can you tell me a bit about your childhood?
I grew up between north and west London and went to a pretty liberal school called King Alfred’s, where it was encouraged to be open minded and independent. Honestly, I didn’t feel like there was a difference between my mum and anyone else’s. I was raised with pretty strong values.
How has your mom’s creative work influenced your approach to art-making?
My mum came up with all the visual concepts for her videos and took a lot of risks. She has always been unafraid to express herself, which has encouraged me to keep exploring and experimenting.
I love how you painted terry cloth in that series of self-portraits where you’re wearing a bathrobe and charcoal face masks–what other textures or surfaces are you drawn to painting?
I absolutely love painting breasts. Nipples though can take a very, very long time to get right.
You’ve talked about how your painting practice helped you cope with the loss of your boyfriend, who died in 2015 after a tragic kayak accident. Have you found other practices to be helpful for emotional processing and healing?
I talk a LOT. I’m very open with people I trust. I’ve also explored a lot of energy practices, mindfulness, being able to truly sit with one’s emotion, being present with what comes up. I’m all for feeling fully, releasing, and clearing the way.
What visual artists do you look to for inspiration?
It changes all the time, but lately I love looking at Gerald Brockhurst’s paintings. His paintings are eerie and bold and often have an unsettling quality. I love paintings of the past, before so much technology existed, with female subjects. From the Pre-Raphaelite period, John William Waterhouse and from Baroque times, the painter Georges de La Tour. From the Renaissance, Sandro Botticelli. Their technical skill and level of imagination is simply mind blowing.
Do you have any upcoming shows or creative projects?
I would love to do video and performance art pieces. And curate experiential art shows. My last show was throughout The Chelsea Hotel, and my aim was to alter the viewer’s perspective of reality. So I’d love to continue mind-bending experiments in obscure locations.
Do you have a dream collaborator? Any particular artist or designer, dead or alive?
I would love to connect with Tracey Emin. I have so much admiration for the vulnerable honesty in her work. Gustav Klimt for his imagination and mad technical skill. And Hieronymus Bosch because he created vast realms, centuries before there was even electricity, and that fucking blows my mind.
Dress by Burberry
Hair by Austin Burns using Oribe, Makeup by Tonya Riner using NARS cosmetics, Art Direction by Louis Liu, Editor Marc Sifuentes, Production by Benjamin Price
All artwork © Tali Lennox, images courtesy of the artist
Grooming by Mike Fernandez using Evo Hair Products and Glossier on skin
Coat by Adrienne Landau, Suit by Vivienne Westwood, Vintage shirt from Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Necklace, stylist’s studio, Rings by Joy of Crystals
Coat and shirt by Dries Van Noten, Shawl by Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Necklace by Joy of Crystals
Jacket by Just Cavalli, Rings by Joy of Crystals
Vintage robe and scarf from Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Fur Shawl by Adrienne Landau
Coat by John Varvatos, Shirt and undershirt by Burberry, Vintage scarf from Screaming Mimi’s Vintage
Sweater by JW Anderson
Vintage shirt from Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Pants by Jil Sander, Scarf by John Varvatos, Vintage scarf clip, stylist’s own, Rings by Joy of Crystals, (right pinky) Ring by Alexis Bitar
Suit, shirt and boots by Roberto Cavalli, Vintage neckpiece from Screaming Mimi’s, Vintage Pocket square by Ralph Lauren
Coat and pants by Valentino, Vintage shirt hat and necklace from Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Rings by Joy of Crystals (right pinky) Ring by Alexis Bittar
Coat, sweater and pants by Versace, Necklace by Screaming Mimi’s Vintage, Boots by John Varvatos
Special Thanks to Cole Harrell and Tai Heng Cheng for opening their home in Tuxedo, New York for our location