Rick Owens Disco Boots

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Going to Berghain every year has really made me appreciate club kids and their outfits. There’s an amazing array of incredible looking people who really make an effort when they go out, it’s cool to see. I’m too used to “dusty chic Hackney Wick warehouse vibe”. Although I think some of the outfits are a bit limited. Leather, PVC, and bondage. My favorite period of club clothing emanated from Studio 54 in the 1970s and 80s. From thrilly blouses, bell-bottom pants, and platform boots it looked like so much fun. I would never correlate Rick Owens with that time period given their overall aesthetic but I like the way he flipped the boot it in his own way. They look incredibly difficult to wear which I actually think is a good thing, you’re required to work a bit harder to make them work with your outfits but I like the addition of the metal cap on the front which reminds me of New Rock boots and the transparent 6-inch heel. It’s nothing short of fabulous! Below are some of my favorite looks featuring the boots, you can see the entire Rick Owens fall/winter 2020 show here.

 

Balenciaga

I love it. I’ve been a big fan of all things Demna Gvasalia for a long time. I think some of the work he did at VETEMENTS especially the firs 3-5 collections were some of the best work he’s ever done and his impact on culture is far-reaching. Unfortunately due to the nature of his aesthetic (call it high-end normcore) he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. In recent months Demna has decided to step away from VETEMENTS (which I don’t believe for a minute) to focus entirely on Balenciaga. I really enjoyed the Balenciaga fall/winter 2020 show. I liked the stripped-back nature of the clothes. I loved the tailoring on the outerwear pieces and some of the standout moments such as the spiked jacket and the motorcycle race suits were welcome surprises! Below are some of my favorite looks from the show, enjoy.

Don’t Watch Contagion If You’re Scared

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It probably wasn’t the best idea in the world but I decided to Contagion last night. According to Wikipedia the movie follows “The death of Beth Emhoff and her son leads to the discovery of a deadly virus. While the US Centers for Disease Control struggles to curb its spread, worldwide panic ensues.” It’s a fascinating movie especially in context with what’s going on with the coronavirus at the moment. The parallels are actually quite frightening, from the various dissenting voices eager to play down the threat of the virus to the corporate interest desperately trying to rewrite the narrative, it’s weirdly poetic. It features an all-star cast and objectively speaking it’s a thoroughly enjoyable movie. Hopefully, this isn’t a case of “art imitating life” and some lessons have been learned since this released in 2011 but judging by the confusion in media at the moment I’m not too optimistic. Things could get worse before they get better. Sorry.

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This Is the Greatest Era In Hip-Hop

I absolutely love this new video from Lil Yachty featuring Drake and DaBaby. Not only is it carefree and funny it also matches the music perfectly. Lil Yachty journey to hip-hop stardom hasn’t been straightforward ever since he “burst on the scene” (I love that phrase ha) but what I like about him as an artist is his ability to go back to the drawing board and make the necessary changes to his sound in order to “get back in the conversation.” as he pointed out in this interview with HYPEBEAST. It’s also pretty cool to see this new generation of artists have the ability to collaborate with brands such as LG on products they actually give a shit about. It’s an amazing time for fans of hip-hop too, no matter your preference you can find an artist for you. Lil Yachty’s new album Lil Boat 3 is coming out soon and I cannot wait to hear it!

LG V60 ThinQ 5G Dual Screen Lil Yachty Video Featuring Drake and DaBaby

My Berghain 2020 Experience

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I’ve been going to the Berghain/Panorama Bar every year since 2016. It’s a yearly tradition of mine, firstly because it’s one of the best clubs in the world and secondly it servers as a yearly source of inspiration and motivation for my own DJ career. It’s a privilege to have the means and the ability to go to Berlin and witness some of the best DJs in the world tear that club to pieces from opening until close. More often than not I go by myself, it’s hard to schedule catch up drinks with friends in London let alone plan a spontaneous weekend clubbing holiday, so I usually book time off work at the end of a random month and head out on my own. But that’s the beauty of Berlin it’s one of the best cities in the world for solo travelers. No matter what you’re into you can find your tribe there, all you need to do is abandon your need for control, surrender yourself to the city and be open to random encounters. And more importantly, keep your smartphone in your pocket. I’m aware that some people roll their eyes at the “no photos” policy in most Berlin clubs but I truly think it’s ripple effects can be felt throughout the city. People are more present and in the moment which can result in some truly once in a lifetime encounters, unlike anything you’ve experienced previously.

Back to the club, there’s not much more I can add to the bevy of positive reviews you’ll find online but one thing I can say is if you’re a fan of electronic music you have to visit Berghain at least once in your life. It’s the perfect size for a nightclub, there are two rooms, Berghain for the more hard-hitting techno types and Panorama Bar (upstairs) for those of you who lean more towards disco and house music. The sound system is impeccable, loud enough that you can hear the thump of the bass as you make your way up the main set of stairs but low enough that don’t have to scream during conversations. The bartenders are superb too, attentive and quick you’ll never be left waiting more than ten minutes for a drink and considering how busy the club gets it’s an amazing accomplishment! The cloakroom is ridiculously cheap too and they charge a flat fee (something in the region of 1-3 euros) so you don’t have to pay per item. So make sure you tip them generously, o and bring a change of clothes with you, because why the hell not?!?! It’s truly one of the best clubs in the world. I don’t have much more to add apart from that. I’ll be going back again during May Day so lookout for a more comprehensive review then. Below you’ll find some random pictures I took during my trip, enjoy.

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Falling In Love

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Steve McQueen is one the greatest artist of his generation. He won the Turner Prize in 1999 (ahead of the of Tracey Emin) and directed the critically acclaimed movie ‘Hunger’ in 2008 which depicted the true story of IRA member Bobby Sands. Now he’s made his way back to the big screen with ‘Shame’ centred around a sex addict living in New York who’s life is falling apart. Most recently he directed ‘Widows’ an amazing movie which didn’t get the attention it deserved. Steve McQueen is a huge source of inspiration for me and I was honoured to have the opportunity to interview him a few years ago for HYPEBEAST, you can find a small excerpt of the interview below, I hope it inspires you as much as he inspires me…

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What is it about the subject of sex addiction that intrigues you? Because during the film as his addiction becomes more and more rampant he becomes more alienated. Although he says himself “that’s an alienation I’m completely happy with”

What fascinated me about it was the fact that this addiction [in some ways] you need someone to facilitate it [not all the time of course]. But I just love the idea of that drama with two people, one wanting something off the other person. And that so called control and also the same time it was about the struggle and not knowing you had a problem in the first place. When I first heard about sex addiction I found it quite funny of course, I laughed. Then you realise this person similar to an alcoholic, in order to get through the day needs two bottles of vodka. Similar to Brandon, he can’t do anything without reliving himself how many times a day. That’s kind of sad, it ceases to become funny.

I think to fall in love with someone is pretty brave. That person could break your heart.  I think for him somewhere along the line he didn’t want that to happen or the possibility of being vulnerable.

Many of the scenes involve a degree of nakedness, physical nakedness and emotional nakedness. Tell me how difficult that may or may not be to work with a cast. One imagines acting without your clothes on not too comfortable?

No, but then they’re not very good actors are they. If Michael was walking around with a bazooka and he showed an AK-47 no one would say anything, but its one of those strange things where the bizarre is normal and the normal is bizarre. He’s an actor and we have to get to the emotional depth of the character. And also this isn’t 1951, a lot of people don’t wear pyjamas, they get up in the morning and they’re naked. They’re up, they’re calm and they’re comfortable, end of story.

There have been comparisons made between Michael Fassbender and Marlon Brando in terms of physical performance. I think people now view Fassbender as arguably one of the greatest screen actors of his generation. Do you see any connection between their acting styles?

Yes I do. He’s a man, he’s a man’s man, he’s bold and he’s physical. But there’s a certain fragility in him which is so beautiful. That I think you can project yourself [as an audience member] onto him and see yourself. He can bring you in; he doesn’t push you away he brings in you in, he’s not afraid to show his vulnerability, which is beautiful.

Tell me about Brando’s relationship with Sissy. There’s a key conversation with Brand and Sissy at one point where she says “we’re not bad people but we come from a bad place” – one of the things I admire about the film is you’re explicit as to what that bad place is.  Although it seemed to me the film had certain suggestions as to what it might be. Tell me what that line meant?

I wanted to make their past familiar rather than mysterious. But I didn’t want it to be a let out for what Brando does in the movie. It’s their past. When we meet people in our lives we know nothing about them other then what they present. And sometimes there’s tales of the past in the present when you’re with them. Similar situation arises in the film when Carey Mulligan sings ‘New York, New York’ to Brandon. It’s the only time when he has to listen to Sissy, he can’t move, he can’t escape, he’s forced to sit there and listen, he has to.

In terms of where you go from here, two features films both critically well received, do you see feature film making as the primary part of your future career or do you still see yourself as a visual artist that happens to work in film?

No, no I don’t want people to allow me to have to choose. I don’t want that, I want to do what I want to do. Next time I might want to dance [laughs]. It’s not even a joke, I feel as an artist or as a person who wants to do stuff, you should just do stuff, whatever that stuff is. There’s no real barrier or dividing line between what you can and can’t do. I just don’t see it.

32 Books+ I Read In 2018

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I’m no fan of New Years resolutions, I find the idea of suddenly changing your ways on an arbitrary date a bit pointless and ultimately not conducive to actual IRL change. That being said the last time I did it was back in 2012 and one of my New Years goals was to read more books. Even though I hated school and got voted “class clown” 3 years in a row (big up Royal Docks Community!) I always found reading quite pleasurable, but like many others post-University the last thing I wanted to do was read another book for enjoyment purposes, that experience burned me out.

Everything changed when I randomly stumbled upon ‘The 4 Hour Week’ by @timferriss – Cringe title aside that book made me realise time is our only non-renewable resource and spending all of it glued to social media wasn’t the best use of it. I used to spend days on end scrolling through feed after feed frantically looking for something I couldn’t find. To remedy the situation I decided to commit to reading at least 2 books per month for 1 hour a day. To make things easy I scheduled my reading time around my commute to work or during my lunch breaks.

And every year since then I’ve upped the ante book by book and I’m proud to say in 2018 I managed to read a TOTAL OF 32 books and 4 audiobooks! I wasn’t sure about posting blogging about it, I didn’t want give the impression that I’m gloating or that I think I’m better than anyone, that’s not what I’m about. But my hope is this serves as motivation for the people out there who complain about the amount time they spend on their smartphones glued to social media, there is a solution. For some you reading isn’t an option, whether its going for a walk for 30-60 minutes with your phone on airplane model, whatever it is try and find something that takes you away from your screen for a designated period time I promise you your life and mental health will be better off for it.

As Theodore Roosevelt once said “Comparison is the thief of joy” – so if you’re want make one resolution this year I implore you to unplug from the internet, at least for an hour a day.