Tim Labenda, a German menswear designer, grew up in Düsseldorf and, in the spring of 2012, graduated from Pforzheim University with a BA (Hons) degree in Fashion Design. Tim’s graduate collection, titled “Grenzgänger”, is inspired by the contemporary man and saturated with numerous garments that are modern and classic in their aesthetic. Tim uses an array of high quality, sustainable materials and the aesthetic behind not only his graduate collection but all of his work is to be clean, sophisticated and understated. Tim states that his collections are made for a “modern man that likes to feel authentically dressed in a confident manner”, and I could agree more. All of the pieces seem relatively minimalist at a first glance, but Tim’s use of subtle detail is incredibly clever. Pleats, folds and drapes are intertwined with each other impeccably, and the outcome is nothing less than superb.
You can view the full collection on the Tim Labenda website, where you can also view a relatively short, creative video of Tim’s graduate collection.
Photography by Bastian Achard
Images courtesy of Tim Labenda
I have recently come to admire the work of London based film and photo duo meandbe Pictures, and it was only after seeing their work with Irish womenswear designer Stephanie Grace Foy that I knew we had something rather spectacular on our hands. The duo do not only have a lovely personality, but are also incredibly talented when it comes to manipulating both manufactured and natural light in order to get the best image possible, which they did ever so well when shooting Stephanie Grace Foy’s Spring/Summer 2012 collection.
As I do with all individuals and duo’s I admire, I had to bug them for an interview and, to my delight, they replied promptly and agreed to the interview, adding “we are quite fresh to the industry any publicity is welcomed” followed by, “pop through the questions and we’ll get working on them tonight.”
What is meandbe Pictures?
MeAndBe are a friendly collaboration born from a love of pictures. We have come from a background of film & photo and have naturally found ourselves bridging the gap between the two disciplines, specialising in fashion film.
What were you doing before you founded meandbe Pictures?
After studying cinematography together Me toured as a photographer on the U2 360 Tour and Be worked as a photographer’s assistant, then began shooting her own fashion stories.
What has been the highlight of your photographic career so far?
Turning around a fashion film in less than 36 hours for jewelry designer Merle O’Grady. We conceived, produced, shot and cut it together on a whim and it turned out pretty good. We were very happy with the finished piece; it proved to us that working under tight time constraints is something we can do and that pressure is something we work well under.
Is there a designer or brand you would like to work with if you got the chance?
We shot behind the scenes at London Fashion Week last season and found ourselves enthralled by Mary Katrantzou‘s pieces. We love the playful approach to her design, like her literal version of the pencil skirt and the clever visual trickery with her prints as seen in the typewriter dress. All of this while indulging and adoring the lines and curves of the female form. We salute her!
What is your idea of an ideal weekend?
One that never ends…
Why do you think designers and brands choose meandbe Pictures?
Because of our unique ideas to how designers and their brand should be presented. We strive towards a true representation of the designer and their work by capturing the emotion or initial idea that surrounds their collection. For example, the intention behind our most recent fashion film for Stephanie Grace Foy (coming soon) was for it to act as a visual business card rather than a seasonal exclusive piece. Here we concentrated on the roots of her design process by using a lot of projection to convey her use of digital draping and her talent as a pattern cutter.
Do you have a ‘signature’ technique?
We like to move, to track within the picture. We feel motion carries the onlooker through the story and builds a sense of emotion.
Who is your favourite designer or brand?
We’re not partial to favourites but we do appreciate great design. Brands such as Muji for their stationary or designers like Comme des Garcons for their T’s, both Japanese in origin, both very efficient but stay true stylish design.
Where in London do you like to hang out? Do you have a favourite coffee spot or restaurant?
If you could collaborate with another photographer, who would you like to collaborate with?
For Me it would be Paolo Roversi and Be has a soft spot for Tim Walker‘s work but we both adore Gregory Crewdson‘s cinematic images. The way he paints with light and his ability to conjure up a whole narrative in one image is breathtaking.
Do you have any exciting projects coming up in the near future for meandbe Pictures?
We recently met a man with a bag of birds on an old route master bus. We’re very excited but that’s all we can give away right now.
What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
When starting out say yes as you’ll always learn something. Discovering what you don’t like is the best way to reveal your own style.
Images courtesy of Stephanie Grace Foy
My fifth post for We Are Selecters is a post that introduces incredibly talented, London based fashion photographer Bella Howard.
I spent a good half an hour or so flicking through the different pieces of jewellery from Norwegian jewellery brand Dreams of Norway this morning, and the Pyrite Ring, which retails at £105.00, jumped out at me as an admirable, minimalist ring. I’m a big fan of pyrite and the relatively abstract appearance it gives a piece of jewellery, and it is one of the many reasons as to why I’ve deemed this ring as one of my favourite pieces from the brand.
Images courtesy of Dreams of Norway via Not Just A Label
Many of you have known for quite some time that Young British Designers is one of, if not, my favourite online retail platform for emerging designers and brands, and British designers and brands in particular. I managed to bug Julian Whitehead, one of the founders of Young British Designers, for an interview last week and, without being rude to the other individuals I have interviewed so far, it might just be my favourite interview yet!
What is Young British Designers?
It’s an online platform celebrating and selling the very best of emerging British Design talent. Our vision is to put ‘Emerging British talent on the world stage’. We aim to present a carefully curated collection of the very best that new British design has to offer for our customers – and for our designers we aim to promote their achievements and to be a significant step in their burgeoning careers. Fundamentally, we are a shop – the vast majority of our stock is bought by ourselves entirely at our own risk; our model does not depend on designers funding their own stock or paying to be part of our site.
Why did you set-up Young British Designers?
YBD was set up in early 2010 – we opened our doors for business on 9th September 2010. We launched for all of the above reasons.
What were you doing before you founded Young British Designers?
Something about ourselves to start with. We are Debra and Julian, a married couple with an ambition to work together, create something wonderful and use our skills to promote the causes of great design and enthusiastic and talented people. Debra is one of the founding partners of an advertising agency and continues to be its Managing Director – Julian had a career in the car industry, but had a hankering to leave the corporate world and do something for himself – he is now full time with YBD.
What do you look for when you’re scouting designers for the platform?
We are looking for an inherent and instinctive feel for their brand and for an outstanding, signature aesthetic. We don’t have a formula as such but we always look for designs that make the fine hairs on the back of our necks stand on end.
What do you do when you’re not working on anything Young British Designers related?
Whatever else we do: cook, travel, read, love our family (and dogs) we always have YBD with us. The business is too young and we take it too personally to not be involved with it all day every day.
What do you hope to achieve with the platform?
To nurture, launch, build and grow great British designers. To interact with our customers in an entertaining and caring way, giving them new and unusual items that bring them joy.
Do you wear any of the pieces from the designers you sell on Young British Designers?
Yes, Debra does all the time and I have a cashmere jumper with birds by Simeon Farrar too! Debra wears different designers in different ways each and every day.
Are there any designers you would like on the platform who are not currently on Young British Designers?
Yes, we always have a short list of designers we are following and desiring. It’s important that we restrict the number of designers on our site in order to give each designer their own brand space, but we do try to make space for brilliance whether it be current season or next.
We were delighted that Debra was invited to be a judge at Graduate Fashion Week with the BFC this year and we hope to have the opportunity to do so again in future. This has brought us even closer to tomorrow’s stars.
Do you have any exciting plans for the development of Young British Designers over the course of the next year?
Yes, we do. We have new designers joining us for Autumn/Winter which is always exciting; Sophie Hulme, No Love Lost and Red By Wolves to name but a few. We are also excited to build our customer experience too with an updated site due for launch in October. We get a great buzz out of communicating with our customers, particularly through social media channels (Debra, through YBD Fashion was rated amongst the ten most influential fashion bloggers on Twitter by Cision in spring this year and was also rated at 18th in the Daily Telegraph analysis in November 2011, only a year after we launched.
We love building audiences – we’re working really hard on Pinterest right now and we plan to launch a ground-breaking new initiative with a number of bloggers later this year.
What advice would you give to those who are looking to set-up their own online platform?
Don’t do it unless you are 150% committed – it will take all your money, your time and you need real passion to keep going. But if you can offer all of that and more it’s wonderful!
The Spring/Summer 2013 collection, titled “A Raven’s Tale”, from New Zealand based womenswear brand NOM*D is inspired by the actions of the ebony bird and reflects the brands continuous creative development. This collection is a little more vibrant in comparison to the brands previous work and features an array of prints, alongside an admirable colour palette of black, white, red and grey. Margarita Robertson, the designer who founded NOM*D, has stayed true to the brands signature and developed an admirable accumulation of dresses, shirts, trousers and skirts that are dominated by drapes, pleats and folds. Each and every piece is incredibly structured and, despite the brands relatively urban aesthetic, this collection is full of feminine charm.
You can view the full collection on the NOM*D website and purchase selected pieces via Precious Peg; an online fashion store for women who appreciate the unique talents of New Zealand and Australian designers.
Images courtesy of NOM*D
My fourth contribution to We Are Selecters is a post that introduces the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, titled ‘harbinger’, from London based womenswear designer James Hock.
After interviewing Cody Sai last week, I thought that writing about his Spring/Summer 2012 collection, which I probably should’ve done beforehand, would be appropriate. The collection is relatively minimalist and includes an assortment of clean skirts, sleeveless dresses and tops, and collared blouses. The colour palette for the collection is predominately white with a hint of pink, blue and mint green here and there, and Cody has used luxurious assortment of silk chiffon, silk georgette, organic cotton and silk gazar throughout. Each and every piece is moulded to the female form impeccably, which gives the impression that this is, without doubt, a collection for the younger, modern woman.
You can view the full collection on the Cody Sai website, and keep on top of all the latest news from the brand via the Cody Sai Facebook page.
Photography by Eric Doan
Images courtesy of Cody Sai