22/4 or Stephanie Hahn’s faux unisex

Tucked away in Dusseldorf, Stephanie Hahn and her label 22/4 produce seemingly identical garments for men and women. But upon closer inspection, one will notice subtle tailoring techniques to fit the body’s gender-specific needs: give or take a few centimeters on a cinch or a pocket, and you get gender-bending yet well-fitting elegance.

Stephanie Hahn, the brain behind the brand, felt driven by a passion for wearing masculine clothes and merging the two universes – but realised the impossibility of a truly unisex garment. Her collections, which echo each other stylistically, are cut according to gender-specific classical tailoring techniques, highlighting in a most subtle manner the gendered body.

The almost-unisex garments are crafted in Bavaria, where Stephanie is from, using ages-old knowhow. Sleek caught up with the designer who’s preparing her presentation for the menswear shows in Paris:

How did your interest in gender-bending garments start?
I was always fascinated by my father’s suits and the whole universe that came with it. All of a sudden, it’s like he stepped into another personality, he held himself differently, was a whole new person. I tried to wear an old suit of his at the opera – my mum was not so amused. Later, I was also dazzled by Tilda Swinton’s performance in Orlando.

Despite this experimentation, you insist that your clothes aren’t unisex, correct?
No, they definitely aren’t – on a stylistic level you can come extremely close, but the closer you come, the more you realize the differences you can never ignore. As much as I like the idea of wearing my boyfriend’s shirt, a woman’s shirt or trousers need to be cut for her. Men and women inevitably put on weight in different areas, their waists are at different heights. I hope to create a dialogue between men-, and womenswear and create a hybrid between ancient techniques, formal menswear and gender-specific cuts. This is why my pattern designers are trained in both.

You experiment with tailoring a lot – what will we see on a technical level?
I continue experimentation of the summer collection, and reveal the skeleton of the construction but in a less obvious way – subtle English linings, seams on the exterior surface of coats. This continues my love story with classical tailoring!

I also added sportswear touches, such as sported elasticised elements, and a blanket coat to push further the idea of a bed outside the bedroom.

As for the men vs. women-specific cuts, that comes in very subtly placing the pockets on the back of trousers for a different effect, or having a seemingly oversized coat with a slight empire cut at the women’s back.

What are the influences of your upcoming collection?
These go from Greta Garbo in her pajama to Glenn Gould and Chilly Gonzales’ nonchalance. I like the items of clothing neither for the bed nor the street, but this in-between moment of familiarity and warmth.

What sort of presentation will the show in Paris be like?
My presentation will be at Door Studios in Paris on January 16th. It’ll see a live drummer set, a movie presentation and models in the clothes and an after show gig. Come!

224hommesfemmes

Clink your glasses with Ruinart

We’ve survived December 21, the end of the Mayan calendar, and 2013 is just around the corner. What better way to ring in the New Year than with some high-end bubbly? We have a bottle of Ruinart Rosé Interprétation to give away, which comes in a limited edition gift box with eight aromas and a board game. This New Year’s Eve clink your glasses with style – and when the party’s over, there’s a game to keep the memory.

Just send us an email with your address to get@sleekmag.com

Shades of Gray with 5Preview

The holidays are closing in quickly but we still have a few last goodies to give away! And what could you possible need – and want – more that this fantastically warm 3-tone, half-long woolen coat from 5Preview? Made of 70% wool and 30% viscose, this number in light and dark gray, and balck, is valued at 195 Euros.  All you need to do is send us a mail with your size and address to get@sleekmag.com

Conceptual Carpenters

From left to right - Focsa, 2002 Wood 280 x 227 x 100 cm Someca, 2003 Wood 300 x 125 x 65 cm Retiro Médico, 2003 Wood 278 x 84,5 x 84 cm Installation view Los Carpinteros – Silence Your Eyes, Kunstverein Hannover, 2012 Photo by Raimund Zakowski

From Cuba to Miami, New York and Hanover, the artist-duo Los Carpinteros carve out their own unique branch of interdisciplinary work

A luminous egg-shaped construction glowing by the oceanfront at night was one of the most frequented hangouts during the 2012 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach – an art fair known for its parties and celebrity sightings as much as it is for the art on display. The mysterious cocoon was in fact a temporary wooden bar erected especially for the art fair by one of its main sponsors, Absolut Art Bureau, conceived and designed by Cuban artist duo Los Carpinteros.

Los Carpinteros (“The Carpenters”) is one of the most important names to have emerged from Cuba in the past decade. Formed in Cuba’s Instituto Superior de Arte in 1991, the trio (consisting of Marco Castillo, Dagoberto Rodríguez, and, until his departure in June 2003  Alexandre Arrechea) adopted their name in 1994, in a conscious decision to renounce the notion of individual authorship and refer back to an older guild tradition of artisans and skilled laborers. Their work focuses on the intersection of art and society and does so by using a distinctively multidisciplinary approach that merges architecture, design, and sculpture in unexpected and often humorous ways. They have exhibited in their native land, including at the 9th Havana Biennial, in Europe and in North America, and have received a number of prestigious awards. On 1 December, the first comprehensive institutional survey show of their work in Germany opened at the Kunstverein Hannover, with some 20 works spanning more than 13 years.

Sleek caught up with Los Carpinteros in Miami after the launch of their temporary bar, dubbed The Güiro, to talk about rendering culturally specific codes and symbols with art, and the space between the functionality and the visual syntax of uselessness.

Marco Antonio Castillo Valdés and Dagoberto Rodríguez Sánchez AKA Los Carpinteros. Image courtesy the artists and Sean Kelly, New York

It’s not always easy for artists to put a survey show together; many feel they are simply too young to have this sort of retrospective take on their work. How did the show in Hanover feel for you?
It felt right! We were so happy when we installed the works because the Kunstverein, as a building, is very well conceived – it makes great use of natural light. We have works in there from 1999, and the latest ones are very recent. Some of the works are also really big, I mean, three-meter-high sculptures and there was room enough to show them properly. Many of the works came from private collections across Europe, too, so we haven’t seen them in a while either. It’s like reuniting with a child you gave up for adoption!

Tell us about the conceptual process of your work.
We work a lot with the functionality of the object; there are objects that we transform in order to cancel out all of their symbolic meaning. Our theory is that manufacturing itself is a language, and we think that things and objects manufactured in the past, for example, reveal a lot about their place and time and the culture of the people who produced them. Our work, in a way, is about translating those codes, which are embedded in the objects, and rewriting them in our language, and to readapt them to our own symbolic purposes. In this sense, we don’t have any preferences in regards to what materials we work with: the nature of the object dictates its conception and execution.

How is the work divided between the members of the trio, or later, the duo?
That’s a complicated one to answer. We worked as a trio for 14 years and in the beginning it was more like an interchange of service. But now we are both behind everything: the discussions of work, their design and production. There are no specifically defined roles. Not anymore. Not after working together for so many years.

Los Carpinteros, Cama, 2007. 125 x 345 x 510 cm

How did the idea for the Absolut Art Bar in Miami come about?
The Absolut Art Bureau contacted us wanting to do something, and what attracted us was that they did not see it as a commissioned work, but rather as a collaboration. And I mean a true collaboration, where everyone really worked as a team. The Gürio is a functional open-air bar that also operates as an artwork, a piece of architecture, an open library and performance space. We were interested in playing with the function of a public space.

And where does the name Güiro come from?
Güiro is a percussion instrument made from a hollowed-out dried gourd, and used widely in Latin American music. We wanted to probe the symbolic and cultural meaning of the güiro, particularly in the Caribbean realm and Cuba. It’s such an ancient traditional object imbued with deep cultural implications. But the form of the bar only plays on it; it’s an ambivalent shape and is, in fact, a total abstraction. It’s a very modern ultra-aerodynamic form. We don’t want to anchor the meaning in the fruit alone. Actually, when I saw it built here on the oceanfront for the first time with all the lights on, I thought to myself “We made a lamp!” (laughs).

Güiro, an art bar installation by Los Carpinteros in collaboration with Absolut Art Bureau. Installation view (2012) © Los Carpinteros Courtesy Sean Kelly, New York/Absolut Art Bureau Photo by Roberto Chamorro

Humor is an important aspect of your work. It’s often been described as tongue-in-cheek and even irreverent.
Yes it is, it’s our way of introducing political content. We’re exploring performance now as a new avenue and we did one in Havana during the Havana Biennial. We try to do as much as possible there, not to lose contact. We keep a studio in Havana, though we’re based in Madrid now. For the Biennial we showed a dance performance – it was a very politically charged work, but we were able to show it!

What’s next from Los Carpinteros?
We’re experimenting more and more with performance and dance. We’re working on a new video, a Rumba in the Alps, to be filmed this winter, and another one filmed in Havana about intimacy. It will be very sexually charged. The new videos will be premiered at our New York gallery, Sean Kelly, during the art week in May.

Los Carpinteros
Silence Your Eyes

Kunstverein Hannover
Until 2 March 2013

Conceptual Carpenters

From left to right - Focsa, 2002 Wood 280 x 227 x 100 cm Someca, 2003 Wood 300 x 125 x 65 cm Retiro Médico, 2003 Wood 278 x 84,5 x 84 cm Installation view Los Carpinteros – Silence Your Eyes, Kunstverein Hannover, 2012 Photo by Raimund Zakowski

From Cuba to Miami, New York and Hanover, the artist-duo Los Carpinteros carve out their own unique branch of interdisciplinary work

A luminous egg-shaped construction glowing by the oceanfront at night was one of the most frequented hangouts during the 2012 edition of Art Basel Miami Beach – an art fair known for its parties and celebrity sightings as much as it is for the art on display. The mysterious cocoon was in fact a temporary wooden bar erected especially for the art fair by one of its main sponsors, Absolut Art Bureau, conceived and designed by Cuban artist duo Los Carpinteros.

Los Carpinteros (“The Carpenters”) is one of the most important names to have emerged from Cuba in the past decade. Formed in Cuba’s Instituto Superior de Arte in 1991, the trio (consisting of Marco Castillo, Dagoberto Rodríguez, and, until his departure in June 2003  Alexandre Arrechea) adopted their name in 1994, in a conscious decision to renounce the notion of individual authorship and refer back to an older guild tradition of artisans and skilled laborers. Their work focuses on the intersection of art and society and does so by using a distinctively multidisciplinary approach that merges architecture, design, and sculpture in unexpected and often humorous ways. They have exhibited in their native land, including at the 9th Havana Biennial, in Europe and in North America, and have received a number of prestigious awards. On 1 December, the first comprehensive institutional survey show of their work in Germany opened at the Kunstverein Hannover, with some 20 works spanning more than 13 years.

Sleek caught up with Los Carpinteros in Miami after the launch of their temporary bar, dubbed The Güiro, to talk about rendering culturally specific codes and symbols with art, and the space between the functionality and the visual syntax of uselessness.

It’s not always easy for artists to put a survey show together; many feel they are simply too young to have this sort of retrospective take on their work. How did the show in Hanover feel for you?
It felt right! We were so happy when we installed the works because the Kunstverein, as a building, is very well conceived – it makes great use of natural light. We have works in there from 1999, and the latest ones are very recent. Some of the works are also really big, I mean, three-meter-high sculptures and there was room enough to show them properly. Many of the works came from private collections across Europe, too, so we haven’t seen them in a while either. It’s like reuniting with a child you gave up for adoption!

Tell us about the conceptual process of your work.
We work a lot with the functionality of the object; there are objects that we transform in order to cancel out all of their symbolic meaning. Our theory is that manufacturing itself is a language, and we think that things and objects manufactured in the past, for example, reveal a lot about their place and time and the culture of the people who produced them. Our work, in a way, is about translating those codes, which are embedded in the objects, and rewriting them in our language, and to readapt them to our own symbolic purposes. In this sense, we don’t have any preferences in regards to what materials we work with: the nature of the object dictates its conception and execution.

Los Carpinteros 16 m, 2010. Metal, fabric, dimension variable. Photo: Inaki Domingo, Courtesy Ivorypress, Madrid

How is the work divided between the members of the trio, or later, the duo?
That’s a complicated one to answer. We worked as a trio for 14 years and in the beginning it was more like an interchange of service. But now we are both behind everything: the discussions of work, their design and production. There are no specifically defined roles. Not anymore. Not after working together for so many years.

How did the idea for the Absolut Art Bar in Miami come about?
The Absolut Art Bureau contacted us wanting to do something, and what attracted us was that they did not see it as a commissioned work, but rather as a collaboration. And I mean a true collaboration, where everyone really worked as a team. The Gürio is a functional open-air bar that also operates as an artwork, a piece of architecture, an open library and performance space. We were interested in playing with the function of a public space.

And where does the name Güiro come from?
Güiro is a percussion instrument made from a hollowed-out dried gourd, and used widely in Latin American music. We wanted to probe the symbolic and cultural meaning of the güiro, particularly in the Caribbean realm and Cuba. It’s such an ancient traditional object imbued with deep cultural implications. But the form of the bar only plays on it; it’s an ambivalent shape and is, in fact, a total abstraction. It’s a very modern ultra-aerodynamic form. We don’t want to anchor the meaning in the fruit alone. Actually, when I saw it built here on the oceanfront for the first time with all the lights on, I thought to myself “We made a lamp!” (laughs).

Güiro, an art bar installation by Los Carpinteros in collaboration with Absolut Art Bureau. Installation view (2012) © Los Carpinteros Courtesy Sean Kelly, New York/Absolut Art Bureau Photo by Roberto Chamorro

Humor is an important aspect of your work. It’s often been described as tongue-in-cheek and even irreverent.
Yes it is, it’s our way of introducing political content. We’re exploring performance now as a new avenue and we did one in Havana during the Havana Biennial. We try to do as much as possible there, not to lose contact. We keep a studio in Havana, though we’re based in Madrid now. For the Biennial we showed a dance performance – it was a very politically charged work, but we were able to show it!

What’s next from Los Carpinteros?
We’re experimenting more and more with performance and dance. We’re working on a new video, a Rumba in the Alps, to be filmed this winter, and another one filmed in Havana about intimacy. It will be very sexually charged. The new videos will be premiered at our New York gallery, Sean Kelly, during the art week in May.

Los Carpinteros
Silence Your Eyes

Kunstverein Hannover
Until 2 March 2013

 

Touch and Go with Roeckl

That technology doesn’t make life any easier is something we’ve all learned to accept. But sometimes, the only way to fight technology is with more technology! Take the painful conundrum of operating your touch-screen devices out in the cold and letting your fingers freeze. This one should no longer be a problem, and thanks to Roeckl, touch-screen sensitive gloves don’t have to look tech-y and grey either!

The new range of high quality gloves, Roeckl Intelligence, join innovative technology with great design to keep you warm and connected on the go. We have three of these colourful leather gloves to give away, in the colour of your choice.

Send us a mail with your glove size, address and colour preference to get@sleekmag.com

 

Keep Cool, Stay Warm with Drykorn

This number by DRYKORN is called Fimber. It’s dark as winter and as stylish as they come. Made of soft mohair and fur details on the puffy, voluminous sleeves, this luxury jacket is priced at 429€.

We have one to give away to a lucky winner. Just send us an Email us with your address and size to get@sleekmag.com
Good luck!

Travel in Style with Eastpak x Kris Van Assche

With just over a week to go until the “most wonderful time of year”, many of you will be getting ready to skip the hustle and bustle of the city and head to lands and places afar that are full of that festive feeling, and we have just the goodie for you. 

Since January 2012 the special collaboration between Eastpak and Kris Van Assche has been frequently talked about as one of the most successful high street and high end collaborations in recent years, and for one lucky Sleek reader we have one “Suitcase M” bag to give away in blue. The design merges technology and craftsmanship together, with style remaining at the center of this partnership

Make sure you travel in style this festive season and email get@sleekmag.com for your chance to win. Good luck!

 

21er Haus Embraces the Sloth in You

Cosima von Bonin THE BONIN / OSWALD EMPIRE’S NOTHING # 04 (CVB’S PURPLE KIKOY SLOTH RABBIT ON PINK TABLE & MVO’S KIKOY SONG), 2010 Variable materials and dimensions © Kunsthaus Bregenz © Courtesy the artist, Galerie Buchholz, Cologne/Berlin, and Friedrich Petzel Gallery, New York

The current show at Vienna’s 21haus examines the conditions that bring about the ubiquitous feeling of exhaustion, lethargy, and lack of motivation, not to mention depression that is the sign of times in our information society. As the show argues, this physical and mental state is caused by the paradigmatic shift from industrial society to information capitalism, characterised by a demand for flexibility and self-control, and which places increasing importance to immaterial and creative work.

The differences between these two societies can now commonly be established on the basis of the diseases that they cause. Stress, depression and burnout now replace role conflicts and schizophrenia, afflicting those who are no longer able or allowed to differentiate between work and leisure; those from whom total work-identification is demanded, everywhere, and at all times.

Art was once the utopian counter model to achievement-oriented gainful employment, a realm of freedom opposing the realm of necessities. Today, the artist too is expected to operate like a small agency, promoting themselves and their projects. 

While taking note of these tendencies, the exhibition also outlines the reactions against them, and draws attention to movements such as Craftivism that attempt to once again include excluded skills through a re-evaluation of handicrafts and related forms of practice. And if nothing else helps, there’s always a little wooden corridor by Josef Strau you could crawl into and hide for a while.

Participating artists:

Thomas Baumann, James Benning, Cosima von Bonin, Josef Dabernig, Verena Dengler, Simon Dybbroe Møller, Manfred Erjautz, Claire Fontaine, Rodney Graham, Hans Hollein, Siggi Hofer, Judith Hopf, Lone Haugaard Madsen, Michel Majerus, Christoph Meier, John Miller, Ute Müller, Olaf Nicolai, Laura von Niederhäusern, Stefan Panhans, Josephine Pryde, Werner Reiterer, Kirstine Roepstorff, Santiago Sierra, Nicole Six & Paul Petritsch, Josef Strau, Adrian Williams

21er Haus
BUSY. Exhausted Self / Unlimited Ability
Until Jan 13, 2013

Show the love with Sabrina Dehoff

This beautiful piece by Berlin’s very own Sabrina Dehoff is a perfect rendition of black in jewelry: two pieces of soft Nappa leather embrace a large onyx, with elegant gilded details. This handsome, dark bracelet, rated at 135 euros in stores, can be yours at a click of the mouse! Just send us an email to get@sleekmag.com

And if you like what you see and want more, this is your lucky day! Sabrina Dehoff is doing a Christmas sale event at her boutique this weekend. Go there for presents for the hardest-to-please ones on your list – this stuff is special! 

 

Nam Chau

Nam Chau. Photo by ©Maxime Ballesteros for Sleek

Through text, image and performance Nam Chau examines the haunting relics of memories falsely constructed, questions unasked, and answers still floating in the ether. She grew up in a small town in France, the country that her mother had moved to as a refugee from the Vietnam War, then moved to Berlin via Untermeitingen in Bavaria, and now works from her Mitte studio.

Influenced by “videos of cats on the internet… pornography and old black and white photos”, her work combines an unusual collision of subject matter and process that she works on prolifically, starting at 6.00am and only stopping, “when I think that I don’t see what I am doing anymore”. In “My Mother’s Camp”, Nam Chau uses the internet to extract imagery from a time period her mother won’t discuss, forming her own imagined access to her heritage through photos of other people in the refugee camp to which she has never made a pilgrimage to; Chau herself holds no pictures of this place, banished as it is from memory.

Blurred figures emerge from the brushstrokes, connecting the artist’s hand engaged in the act of re-representation with a distant moment, manifesting from the fog of history. Nam Chau also maintains an interest in American movies of the Vietnam War (“Full Metal Jacket” and so on) where, she says, “Vietnamese women are either prostitutes or fighters”, and intends to create a new series of these entitled, “That’s Me”.

Intrigued by this past which is never discussed (her mother once said, “why should I keep a memory of something I don’t want to know”), her paintings have a hazy quality, as if she is peering through the mist as she considers, “Can I paint what I cannot imagine? Is the painting able to say something that I do not want to know? Are my hands able to paint what I can’t remember?”

 Text by Susanna Davies-Crook

www.namchau.net

 

 

 

Fine Craftsmanship with MMX

 

MMX is a brand that prides itself on the design and fine craftsmanship that go into the production of their trousers, with both of these elements featuring heavily throughout the entire process from start to finish. 

Starting in 2010, MMX is a family run business with Michael Meyer, son of the companies founder, continuing to run the business and bringing MMX to a new generation. Focusing their attention on creating the best fit of trouser available for you, with precise workmanship and high quality, MMX also make sure to use fair-trade cotton in their collections, conscious of social and environmental sustainable production. 

For one lucky Sleek reader we have a pair of these tailored trousers to give away! All you need to do is send your size and address to get@sleekmag.com

www.mmxgermany.com

Newton’s Books Are Re-Discovered

Helmut Newton, French Vogue, Paris 1969. © Helmut Newton Estate

Saturday saw the opening to “Helmut Newton: World Without Men/Archives de Nuit François-Marie Banier: Portraits” – the newest exhibition in Berlin’s Museum für Fotografie. For the first time Newton’s book “World Without Men” (published in 1984) is presented in an exhibition format. The book, Newton’s fourth, shows his collection of commissioned fashion photography for magazines and fashion houses. The typical luxurious, opulent and seductive photographs are set in the streets of Paris, the beaches of Saint Tropez, Los Angeles, Milan, Berlin and London between the 1960s and 80s. Every single photograph from the book is hung on the walls – a stark contrast to the previous rather scarce exhibition: “I knew I’d be asked why I chose to pick some photographs but not others. So, I picked them all. The walls are very crowded but, why not?” so June Newton, Helmut’s wife and President of the Helmut Newton Stiftung.

 The exhibition of the book is accompanied by “Archives de Nuit”, an exhibition project and accompanying publication by Helmut Newton, which premiered in 1992 in Paris. The black and white photographs do not include a single fashion shot proving that his photographic themes and subjects extended beyond the fashion circuit: a disused soap factory, urinals, dirty hotel laundry, abandoned buildings, airplanes and cathedrals can be seen. 

Furthermore June Newton invited the French photographer and author François-Marie Banier to exhibit more than 30 of his photographs in “June’s Room”. Here we get to enjoy the results of an extremely well-connected and talented portrait photographer: portraits include Johnny Depp, Andy Warhol, Queen Elizabeth II and Woody Allen. “It’s the smallest exhibition I have ever done but it’s wonderful. I like what June has done.” The extremely famous subjects come across at ease – “I’m not conventional, you can see celebrities as they naturally are.” Banier explains in a thick French accent. 

“Helmut Newton: World Without Men/Archives de Nuit François-Marie Banier: Portraits” 
Until 19th May 2013
Museum für Fotografie
Helmut Newton Foundation