The Alessi Design Awards are here — and things just got even more exciting.
A fledgling designer can look to many places for inspiration. From a book or the pages of a magazine such as Vogue Living, learning the tips and tricks of the trade are all part of the journey into becoming an established, career designer. But, like in every industry, there’s nothing better than learning on the job — or from the people who know best.
Alessi’s annual Design Awards, which have seen the iconic Italian brand partner with Vogue Living yet again for the ultimate up-and-coming Australian design award, could see that dream become a reality. With two categories, Emerging Designer and Established Designer, the award fosters talent from all corners of the Australian design industry, with the two finalists of the Emerging Designer award winning the opportunity to travel to Milan to present their big idea to the in-house team.
Now, excitingly, a living legend and design icon has joined the judging panel. French designer Philippe Starck has been announced as one of the judges for the Alessi Design Award, and will be personally involved in selecting the final winner. A known figurehead in the industry, Starck’s prowess as an architect and industrial, furniture and lighting designer has seen him work with a slew of much-lauded brands, including Alessi, throughout his impressive career.
Known within the Alessi family for his unique take on the classic citrus squeezer, Starck designed the ‘Juicy Salif’ in the 1990s as part of the Project Solferino, a working group between Alessi and Francois Burkhardt from the Centre de Creation Industrielle at the Beabourg in Paris. The design was functional and controversial all at the same time, transforming the humble juicer into a staple design object — and becoming one of Alessi’s best-selling products of the era. “He is a living example of my dream: design, real design, is always highly charged with innovation towards the word of manufacturing trade, bringing results that need no longer be justified solely on a technological or balance sheet level,” said Alberto Alessi himself said of Starck’s genius.
Starck is among an impressive list of designers who have collaborated with Alessi over the years, including Patricia Urquiola, Adam Goodrum and Marc Newson.
The new HBO teen drama series Euphoria, which aired its season finale on August 4, deals with a bingo-card variety of particularly 2019-flavored adolescent issues: leaked nudes, fentanyl abuse, camming for Bitcoin. But the issues are also, unfortunately, timeless: divorce, abuse, mental illness, self-loathing. It is a testament to the overall approach of the show — created, written, and largely directed by Sam Levinson — that a project so concerned with story and character, interiority and drama, is also equally concerned with aesthetics, in production design and also in wardrobe. Everything is a choice, an opportunity to sharpen points.
Why merely show a character acting stoned when you can turn the camera around and around and give the audience the spins, too? Euphoria is fantastic, not only in the diegetic elements — in episode seven, talking pill bottles externalize a quiet moment in which Rue resists the urge to relapse — but also in its boundary-pushing with just how much high schoolers can get away with when it comes to school dress codes. The characters are not simply dressing on trend, they’re dressing to further tell a story about who they are and who they want to be. The clothing and makeup are used to create and enhance character. And if we must suspend our belief of what might otherwise garner a demerit, so be it.
“We had hour-long conversation with Sam just about makeup,” Alexa Demie, who plays cheerleader Maddy Perez, tells Teen Vogue. “Barbie, Hunter, and I all made mood boards.” Alexa grew up with issues of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar flooding her house and has been saving inspiration images to private Tumblr accounts since middle school — old Showgirls stills, iconic photos of Elizabeth Taylor, and Nina Simone with jewel-encrusted eyelids and brows. So this project ,and its collaborative process, were a dream come true. “I’ve never gotten to bring these references to any set except this one,” she says.
Costuming was a group effort, too. Alexa mentioned a fondness for Sharon Stone’s character in Casino during an early conversation with the show’s creator, and Levinson wrote that in as a set piece for her character, who receives an identical fur coat (custom made out of rabbit by New York furrier Marc Kaufman) from her boyfriend. In the finale, Alexa wears a custom outfit handmade with head-to-toe Swarovski crystals by her friend, the designer Aidan Euan (his line is called Akna). “I would DM brands to Heidi [Bivens, the show’s costume designer]. I’d send her references from ‘90s-throwback accounts, and she would make it more modern, more teen. She took a 1992 Chanel runway look and flipped it and made it modern and young.”
Teen Vogue spoke with Euphoria’s costume designer, Heidi Bivens, about how she approached outfitting TV’s realest teens.
Teen Vogue:What was your approach to using wardrobe to enhance the characters on this show?
HB: We wanted the costumes to give you a quick read, if you just glanced at the character. Whatever we did, I wanted it to feel timeless, but at the same time, like a time capsule.
TV: The character Jules (Hunter Schafer) probably has the most elaborate outfits, if we’re thinking about teens getting dressed for school. How does her wardrobe accentuate the balance she plays with, between innocence and sexuality?
HB: From the very beginning, when I only had the pilot, her character was described as having a look inspired by anime. She was even referred to as looking like Sailor Moon. Sam Levinson has an affinity for that anime vibe; it inspired him visually. The silhouette of the tennis skirt slash cheerleader skirt became a look we stuck with. As we received more scripts and started to understand where the story was going, Jules had an arc and we were able to see where we could take the character. One of the exciting things about TV, unlike features, is that you get to tell an ongoing story and discover things and collaborate. There are evolving ideas, and it’s really fun to learn more about the characters with each script.
TV: Jules has a few shifts over the season — her relationship with Rue evolves; her conflict with Nate becomes a threat that causes her to become secretive and afraid. How do her clothes tell this story of her emotional shifts?
HB: In the beginning it’s pretty obvious that Jules is trying to be sexy to men. She has an idea of what she thinks men want to see, boys and men. And so she’s created this person for herself based on what she thinks is going to get her male attention. As she starts to empower herself, come into her own, and mature, she starts to dress less cutesy and girly, for reasons that have everything to do with her personal growth, her inner story, her shifting away from caring about these dates that she would go on to get approval from men and looking inside herself for that approval. She starts to wear less cutesy skirts and dresses; she starts wearing pants. She’s willing to take chances with her style; she likes to stand out. In a way, her pushing it with her style is kind of like an “F you” to the world.
TV: I remember watching the roller-skating scene in episode five and being like, “She’s in pants?!”
HB: When I read the scene with her roller skating I thought, There should be pants here. For her to be roller skating in a skirt, that would be extra cutesy. She needs to be a little tougher at this point, and just visually look a little less vulnerable. And that orange knit hoodie that she’s in when she leaves and she’s on the bike. It’s not pink — it’s not such a femme color, but it’s very bright and still strong. She starts being less cutesy girly, less twee.
TV: You’ve said that you did a lot of scouting out in the world, observing teens in the wild, at school, to see what they’re wearing. How much of what you saw was translated into the costumes of this show?
HB: The most interesting thing that I discovered in what teens were wearing on the street — specifically in Los Angeles, where we were shooting — is that most teens didn’t have very outrageous or interesting style. There is a lot of homogenized style amongst teens these days. I could be reaching, but I equate it to what happens in a lot of public high schools, with bullying. My friends’ teenage daughters and sons who go to private school are really nurtured in a way where they are encouraged to be eccentric and creative. Whereas in my research, a lot of the public school kids, they often aren’t [dressing creatively] in the same way. That’s just based on sitting outside of public schools, versus interacting with my friends’ kids who go to private schools, who were sent to fashion classes and learned to design their own clothes.
TV: Which is more true to your own experience?
HB: I went to public school, and I can remember definitely being bullied for wearing knee-high socks and Bjork buns on my head, and being bullied by so-called cool girls who weren’t actually cool.
TV: There is a scene at school, after Kat (Barbie Ferreira) goes to the mall and buys her new dominatrix outfits, when her classmate Ethan says she looks different, and she replies: “I’ve changed.” This seems to make a moment of transition for her.
HB: I think that her character always was, or wanted to be, that person. She just didn’t have the confidence. It’s less like she changed, more that she was given permission to be herself. Or she gave herself permission through the confidence she gained from being adored online.
Art director Nikola “Niko Nice” Crnobrnjahas worked on some amazing projects over the years, from directing a music video for Jazz Cartier to designing album packaging for Juicy J to art directing the crash test dummy-inspired branding for A$AP Rocky’sTesting. His latest project, a co-working / agency hybrid, has him swapping out his pens and sketchbooks for hammers and hard hats.
After emigrating from Dalmatia (a region in Croatia) to Canada when he was just five years old, Niko Nice has kept his families roots close to him. Inspired by how people live and work together in Serbian culture, Niko began building Moonbase, an agency / co-working hybrid with the goal of finding talent and fostering a culture of collaboration. After managing all of the construction work himself, he began another brand: Farba, a construction company that is already booking its own projects.
I talked to Niko Nice over email about his work, how being an immigrant motivates him, and what it’s like to literally build an agency from the ground up.
This interview has been lightly edited for clarity and brevity.
How did you realize that design was what you wanted to do?
I naturally walked into it — picking up cameras, downloading software, and everything in between. Even as kids, we were making RuneScape clan sites and all that shit, putting random videos up on the early days of YouTube, asking if we can make a video for class projects instead of writing an essay.
What was it like in those early days in the industry?
Although a majority of the work I’ve done has been in the music industry, I don’t really feel like a part of any industry. Same with Moonbase. It was built in an open-ended manner that will be able to reflect all of our interests in due time. When I first started, though, I was just focused on being good and efficient, making sure I was challenging myself and getting my 10,000 hours.
How has your culture / family influenced your work?
In huge ways. My family, friends, and loved ones are the most important thing in the world to me. For those who don’t know, my background is Serbian. I’m from Dalmatia, to be specific. I came to Canada when I was five from a war-torn region that is barely discussed in history. Although I don’t recall the suffering myself, that was what my parents lived through, and, at the end of the day, I’m a warchild. Every new day is a blessing.
As I get older, I’m so much more appreciative of our unique culture that we’re privileged to further develop as Canadians. (Side note: so much of our new, still-internal projects at Moonbase are influenced by Balkan, Yugoslav, and Dalmatian elements. I’m very excited to share each one as time goes on.)
How has being an immigrant impacted your work and the way you navigate the industry?
It’s one of my biggest blessings. It’s very unfortunate what my family and many others in Niagara and around the world had to experience to become immigrants, but seeing my family and those around me make it out the mud — and being grateful for their lives — gives me more motivation than I can sometimes handle. I walked in the rubble of my childhood home. No one can really tell me shit, to be honest.
What is Moonbase?
Moonbase is a collaborative workspace and multimedia agency in its current form. We have two locations, both in Niagara (Niagara Falls and St. Catharines) in Ontario. Currently, we’re working on expanding the St. Catharines locations, finding talent, and launching a handful of sub-brands that will work alongside Moonbase. The ultimate goal is a Moonbase Colony, which is basically a micro-city.
How does it differ from regular co-working spaces?
That’s just the thing: it’s not a co-working space; it’s a collaborative workspace. All of our members bring unique skills to the table. They all operate as freelancers within Moonbase, but they are also able to contribute to various projects. We do have plans of opening a co-working space as well in the relatively near future.
What is Farba?
Farba is a design and build company that focuses on getting the most out of a physical space. Quick back story: when we were building Moonbase, we designed and built everything ourselves. The first location was super small, so we had to challenge ourselves to get the most out of the space. Although the second one is much bigger, we still did the same thing.
Ultimately, this gave us portfolio pieces for interior design and smart space construction. We’re just helping all of our friends build companies pretty much. Farba has already gotten a handful of jobs, and there’s more on the waiting list. Farba Job Site gear is in the works as well.
What have you learned from creating a physical project as large as this?
I’ve learned so much, bro, from teamwork to problem-solving and budgeting. We would work on digital projects from the morning to mid-afternoon, then get back to work on building Moonbase until like 2AM sometimes. When I stop and think about it, what we actually did in the last two to three years, it’s crazy. All future building will be automated through Farba, so I’m excited to just keep going. Nothing really happened that we didn’t expect, maybe some costs, but after we got started, we just went on “fuck it mode” and reinvested everything.
How did you first get involved with A$AP Rocky? What was that process like?
Robert Gallardo reached out to me on Twitter a few years back. He’s a dope creative, and he did a lot of work with Rocky and AWGE(Rocky’s creative agency). I worked on some stuff for the Tyler & Rocky tour in 2015 and then Rocky’s Coachella merch in 2016. That was super lit.
Gallardo hit me again last year for Testing. It was very rewarding working on an album at the scale, hella ups and downs. I’m still in touch with mostly everyone at AWGE, so you might see more stuff in the future. I definitely want to get Rocky in the studio with Teddy Walton again as well.
What’s your dream project, something you’d love to work on in the future?
Man, so much. I’ve been setting short- and long-term goals like crazy. Moonbase Colony is something that excites me a lot. I grew up with a lot of villager qualities. The way people lived back home was more pure, and we want to emulate that in a modern way with Colony. We’re going to get started in the next year or two and then keep adding for the rest of our lives.
There are a bunch of internal brands and companies we got down the pipeline as well, and a bunch will be launching relatively soon. I’m very excited for all of those. Moonbase and Farba gear are coming soon as well.
What does your creative process look like today? From start to finish.
I’m at the point where I’m confident enough in my abilities and taste to just think of something dope in my head and then make it. I like to make concept and brand boards as well. There are a bunch of people that work out of Moonbase now, too, so I love collaborating and just putting ideas on the table and refining them through experimenting and conversation.
Do you have a favorite tool that you use to create or to come up with ideas?
Sketches and quick notes recently have been the truth. The best ideas come so quick that if I don’t write it down right away, it’s gone. So I’ve been practicing sketching shit out ASAP, which changed the game.
What software do you use on a daily basis?
Photoshop. The whole Adobe Creative Suite is a must-have, though. Being able to use a lot of software has opened so many doors. Even if I’m not the best at all of them, I can express ideas and concepts, which is often a more powerful tool than being able to create it yourself.
Any artists you admire and want to shout out?
Shout out my brothers at Moonbase and Farba. Shout out Teddy Walton, Slim, and Aaron Bow. Teddy and Slim’s albums are on some other shit. I hope the world gets to hear them soon.
HThere’s nothing better than that feeling of knowing you look good. You might not be turning everyone’s heads, but you know some people are giving you an admiring glance.
You’ve experienced it before when you walked into the office in a new outfit that’s different to your usual dress sense. It might be the first time some people in the building even realized you were there!
What is the secret?
Believe it or not, this feeling has a name. It’s called enclothed cognition. The concept is defined as the influence what you wear has on your psychological processes. It affects several aspects of a person’s overall psychology. These aspects include confidence, performance, and empowerment.
That means that ‘swag’ is an actual thing! The spring in your step when you’re feeling good about what you’re wearing is not imagined at all. What people have been saying for years is correct: when you look good, you feel good.
How do you get the full advantage of your enclothed cognition?
Our forebears said that clothes make the man, but they were only partially correct. Fashion is not as narrow as clothing. It includes accessories like handbags as well as fragrances. Face it, when you smell good, you feel good.
Jewelry is another essential component of fashion and often treated as a status symbol. You can achieve enclothed cognition in your regular clothing while wearing a trendy Rolex Explorer or a blingy diamond bracelet.
So, go ahead and buy yourself some stylish clothes that make you feel good. But don’t forget to accessorize, accessorize, accessorize!
Shopping for optimal enclothed cognition
Here are some tips to help you achieve the highest levels of enclothed cognition the next time you go shopping:
1. Shop alone
You might enjoy going shopping with your friends, but did you know that it cramps your style? Our friends and family tend to be very influential in the decisions we make, and shopping is no exception.
Are you going to treat yourself to those designer shoes when your sister is with you nagging you about spending too much money?
2. Have a sense of who you are
Each person has their style. Your style is a set of fashion choices that make you feel good about yourself.
It might not always conform with all the latest fashion trends. Have a sense of what suits you, what makes you look good, and what makes you feel confident. Put your stamp on every outfit you wear.
3. Play around with fashion
Fashion is all about experimentation and personalizing your style. Combining different elements creates new outfits that are eye-catching. Part of expressing yourself through fashion is showing who you are and what a unique individual you are.
Don’t be afraid to experiment; it’s the best part of it all. Sometimes going against the grain is the best approach, if that’s your style, of course.
4. Don’t save it all for a special occasion
Shop for work, play, and formal clothes equally. There’s no point in only feeling good when you go to work but not when you go for a run. Spread your shopping across all aspects of your life. The more enclothed cognition you experience, the better your self-image will be.
5. Shop smart
You don’t need to be dressed from top to toe in fashionwear that makes you feel good about yourself. A pair of shoes alone can give you that confidence boost you need.
Instead of spending a fortune on one ensemble, shop for clothes and accessories that you can add to your regular wardrobe. Then you get to feel enclothed cognition more frequently.
The students were challenged to reduce their plastic use by 75%, which they found difficult.
“It’s hard when you’re on a student budget, getting anything not wrapped in plastic is so much more expensive,” Amy explained.
Plastics guru Lucy Siegle gave them a helping hand, swapping their countless shower bottles for sustainable versions of shampoo, toothpaste and soap bars.
She also gave them reusable items like coffee cups and cutlery and told them to change their shopping habits.
But Amy said they found supermarkets a particular problem as “everything was wrapped in plastic”.
“And going to the butcher’s was more expensive than getting pre-packaged stuff,” she added.
At the start of the week, Ms Siegle weighed the plastic in the students’ home, which totalled 2.8lb (1.3kg) – a figure she described as “rather a lot”.
With her advice, the students reduced it to 1.5lb.
“I’m still really pleased with them,” she said. “Especially as when I saw all the bottles they [initially] had in their bathroom, I nearly gave up.”
Ms Siegle said she thought the group had adopted the mindset shift really quickly, experiencing outrage over everything being plastic.
She urged them to be more militant by unwrapping products at the supermarket checkout and leaving the plastic behind to make the point.
“We need to take a stand,” she said.
Marcus Rudd, one of the housemates, had hoped that his shopping habits – buying 10 to 15 T-shirts a year, combined with some designer pieces – were environmentally friendly.
Then he learned that it took 3,000 litres of water on average to make only one T-shirt.
The fashion industry – which makes 100 billion garments each year – is a major contributor to greenhouse gases, water pollution, air pollution and the overuse of water.
It is exacerbated, MPs say, by so-called “fast fashion” – inexpensive clothing produced rapidly by mass-market retailers.
Sustainable stylist Alice Wilby taught the students to reuse, repair and recycle, encouraging them to swap fast fashion for second-hand.
She challenged Marcus and his housemate Goby Chan, who regularly buys clothes she does not wear, to make a new outfit from old clothes to model at London Fashion Week.
“We buy so much stuff and half of it sits unworn in the back of the wardrobe,” Ms Wilby said.
“Before we buy anything else it’s great to see what you’ve already got, and fall back in love with your things.”
Goby enjoyed the challenge. “I was shocked by what you can do by reusing a garment and making it into something new which is actually really fashionable. I actually love it.”
The students modelling recycled clothes
Quiz: Are your clothes damaging the environment?
The students with a food waste problem
And Ms Wilby said they did well.
“Considering Marcus had never set foot in a second-hand shop before – and thought they were smelly places with clothes you would never want to buy – by the end of the week he was finding pieces he really loved. That was a really great victory.
“These two shop a lot, and over the past month [since the challenge] he has only bought one item.”
The students took dramatic action to reduce their energy usage – and it worked.
They used much less heating – switching it off at night; wearing jumpers, coats and blankets; and generally keeping the house a little bit cooler.
It made a huge difference to their gas usage – cutting it by a whopping 48%.
They also lowered their electricity usage by 15%. This added up to a 44% carbon saving – around a tonne of carbon in all.
“It was a massive effort – it was freezing in our house,” said Marcus Golby.
“[Before] we weren’t communicating when things were going on and going off, so you ended up with the heating on the majority of the time,” explained Amy.
“This month we’re having more of a balance of keeping warm and keeping the heating off when we’re out.”
Dr Rosie Robison, an energy expert from Anglia Ruskin University, said it raised wider questions on whether the focus should be on individuals using less energy or the “wider responsibilities for landlords or homeowners, housebuilders and government for thinking about how our homes can require less fossil fuel in the first place”.
A third of all food made for human consumption is wasted every year – costing the average UK family £700 each year, estimates suggest.
The students were challenged to cut their food waste by 50% and move to the planetary health diet – a plant-based diet with small amounts of meat and fish.
Dr Elliot Woolley, a senior lecturer in sustainable manufacturing at Loughborough University, encouraged them to store their food more carefully to stop it becoming spoiled, plan their meals and prepare the right amount of food for the people eating.
He said that they found the challenge hard, but had reduced their food waste from 8.1lb to 6.8lb, which he described as “a fairly small reduction”.
Dr Woolley added: “One of the things it shows is even when you’re aware of the problem and you’re trying to reduce waste, it’s so ingrained into how we waste and use food that actually we continue with these large amounts.”
Housemate Will Smith said their waste totals were boosted by food bought before the challenge which had started to go off, but admitted: “I don’t think we did too well.”
But he said it had changed his mindset and he would continue trying not to waste food in future.
The Sustainable Students series was produced and directed by Owen Kean and Tom Yeates, with research by Curtis Gallant and Simon O’Leary.
With their soft sheen, rich color and elegant flair, velvet shoes add a luxurious touch to any woman’s wardrobe. But with such a fine fabric, special handling is required. The material is particularly vulnerable to inclement weather and spills, which can leave behind unsightly marks and cause the fabric to become crushed and matted — leading to bald spots over time.
Thankfully, it’s actually quite easy to get them looking like new despite water, mud and any other random stains you may encounter. As a rule of thumb, you’ll want to avoid wearing velvet shoes in rain or snow, as they’ll be harder to salvage in this case. However, there are ways you can make them more resilient against the elements, such as using a protective spray. Read on to learn our simple tips for cleaning velvet shoes and preventing future wear and tear.
For Dirt and Mud Stains
1. Let your shoes dry out.
If your shoes are caked with mud, it’s important to let the velvet dry completely before trying to clean the stain. Mud is much easier to remove from the surface when it’s dry.
2. Use a brush to remove dirt.
When your shoes are completely dry, use a toothbrush or other soft brush to remove excess dirt or dust. Make sure to brush in the direction of the nap to restore its sheen. Brushing the shoes after every wear is also a great way to keep dirt to a minimum and prevent the nap from getting crushed.
For All Other Marks and Spills
1. Blot excess moisture.
Lightly dab at the wet stain to soak up excess moisture. Do this as soon as possible to prevent the stain from setting.
2. Make a gentle cleaning solution.
For an easy DIY-solution, mix water and dish soap in a small bowl. Alternatively, you can try a combination of lemon juice and two tablespoons of baking soda. Fill the bowl with lemon juice until you get a considerable amount of foam on the top (this is important for the next step).
3. Use a soft cloth to the apply the solution.
Once you get a foamy consistency, skim a soft cloth over the suds or foam — so as not to get the velvet too damp — and gently wipe the affected area. Avoid rubbing the solution into the velvet and stick to long straight movements to keep the nap in place. Let the shoes air dry.
5. Protect against future stains with a protective spray.
While it won’t make your shoes completely waterproof, it’s a great idea to apply a protective spray to your velvet shoes to prevent future stains. Scotchgard’s top-rated Fabric & Upholstery Protector is safe to use on velvet (you can find this out by checking the manufacturer’s instructions on products designed for leather or suede).