Download Our Fashion Issue on the VICE iPad App
Did you know we’ve been releasing a free iPad edition of every VICE issue since 2012, packed full of special features, extras, and exclusives? If not, you need to crawl out from beneath that big ball sack you’ve been hiding under and immediately download all of the great content we’ve cooked up.
Earlier this month, we released our annual Fashion Issue, which was sex themed. The concept lead to us explore everything from the hairy butts of women to the nuns in latex. As per usual, the iPad edition of the issue is bursting with dope, new shit. Here is a rundown of all the goodies:
— VICE’s Creative Director Annette Lamothe-Ramos introduces the issue with a video, detailing how we acquired the incredible Robert Mapplethorpe portfolio and cover photo.
— Artist Ole Tillmann’s Wooly Wendy illustration for “In Defense of Hairy Women” gets an interactive update, allowing users to actually add hair to Wooly Wendy’s face.
— In our Duran Duran-themed fashion shoot, “The Chauffeur,” Annette serves up some behind-the-scenes audio commentary.
— Our “Gender Benders” fashion shoot features behind-the-scenes footage our model boys transitioning into sexy-ass bitches.
— Our “Sisters” photo shoot, which has a nunsploitation-theme, features more audio commentary from Annette.
— “Power,” our fashion shoot and feature on the evolution of black masculinity through fashion, boasts beautiful bonus images taken by Awol Erizku.
— “Some Cat from Japan,” our Q&A with famed designer Kansai Yamamoto, features audio commentary from Annette.
— Jocelyn Spaar’s lovely illustrations of panties for Sadie Stein’s essay, ”Ass Menagerie,” features interactive lingerie animation.
— We added the audio version of Rat Tail’s ”2 Butts 4 the Price of 1” to the mysterious artist’s long lost lyrics.
— Milt Abdjourian, the publisher of an imaginary porn and fashion-focused, adds satirical audio commentary to a selection of his vintage cover images.
(Source: Vice Magazine)
Style and Shopping as a Means of Expression and Self-Realization
by Kate Carraway
Girls and women (it feels so corny to consider girls and women as these separate classes of experience, right?) have, more so than guys and to our great benefit, style and shopping as a means of expression and self-realization. As problematic as it is to get super-excited about spending money toward, like, selfhood, it’s a socially and emotionally safe way to have some stripe of identity-adventure, to tell ourselves stories through our choices and things, and, more and more, to share those adventures and tell those same stories online. (This is why I don’t hate it when a tween buys a pee-quality body splash for $14 and posts about it; I know what she’s doing when she’s choosing, when she’s having, when she’s showing.)
The online show-off experience could have been about sex—some of it is, obvi—but girls tend to do the show-off parts of the internet the way they do clothes, which is mostly for themselves and for each other. This way of doing the internet, our way, converges as an inward “me gaze.” The aspects of performance and intimacy are all there, but are for us, and for an audience of us-es.
Meet the Genius Behind David Bowie’s Best Costumes
n January 1972, David Bowie and his band set out on the Ziggy Stardust Tour, an 18-month, three-continent sojourn to support the albums The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars and Aladdin Sane. As epoch-defining as the songs on those records were, it could be argued that Bowie’s persona, Ziggy Stardust, had a greater impact on sex, fashion, and the gender-bending pageantry of 70s glam rock that would eventually follow. Many of Ziggy’s most eye-popping outfits—avant-garde kimonos and billowing structural pantsuits—were made by Kansai Yamamoto, a Tokyo-based designer who had no idea that his creations would become such important visual markers in the history of rock ’n’ roll.
Japanese photographer and editor Kazumi Asamura Hayashi caught up with Kansai—who in the decades since Ziggy has continued to push fashion in new directions—to talk about the first time he crossed paths with Bowie and how his interest in Central Asian fabrics led to a coat that can cause car accidents.
VICE: I heard a rumor that David Bowie wanted you to design these costumes so badly that he flew out in his jet to ask you in person. What was it like meeting him for the first time?
Kansai Yamamoto: I actually had no idea who David Bowie was until I saw him wearing my clothes onstage at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. Yasuko Hayashi, my stylist, was doing work for David Bowie and gave him some of my clothes. This was the first time I had ever met an artist who was wearing my designs. Before then, I didn’t know how immensely talented he was. (A similar thing happened to me with Lady Gaga. I only found out how talented she was when I looked her up on the internet ten minutes before I met her.) At the time, David Bowie was all about transcending gender. I didn’t know anything about concepts like that, so I remember thinking whoa when I saw him wearing clothes I had designed for women. The clothes were influenced by hikinuki, the method of changing costumes quickly in kabuki. The audience in New York saw the costumes transform a few times during the show. I realized I had done something really cool when everyone in the audience got on their feet and clapped.
I met a lot of famous people in the Western music world through David, and the one thing I can say for sure is that the best people in the world have distinctive personalities that are completely out of the ordinary.
You’ve said your work has a “Japanese beauty.” What do you mean by that?
Why was Andy Warhol obsessed with canned food? It’s the same with me, but I’m going after Japanese themes. Every artist has his own thing going on. I often use Japanese motifs and sometimes wonder if I’m choosing them because I’m Japanese. Having been all over the world and to countries with various religious backgrounds as much as I have, I sometimes wonder where I’m really from. I’m Japanese, so of course I think of myself as Japanese, and I eat Japanese food most of the time. I hardly ever eat Western food. That said, my daughter Mirai’s homemade spaghetti is really tasty! But of course I eat it with chopsticks. It would be rude to try and act cool and eat it with a fork.
Assaad Awad’s Special-Order Bondage Gear
Assaad Awad makes fashion that scares the living shit out of people. This Lebanese-born, Madrid-based designer spent 14 years in advertising before quitting to open up his own workshop, and today he specializes in outfits and accessories that wouldn’t be out of place in a Flash Gordon villain’s filthy rape basement.
Assaad has made reflective gold and silver armor for a Thierry Mugler Paris Fashion Week show, a dress made out of wood for Lady Gaga, and ancient Egyptian-esque crowns for Madonna’s 2012 Super Bowl halftime performance. He also crafts bondage gear for a less famous and much odder private clientele, which is mostly what I wanted to talk to him about when I met him (at his suggestion) in the cellar of a Madrid fetish shop.
VICE: How does someone raised in a very conservative country like Lebanon become a luxury fetish designer?
Assaad Awad: It doesn’t matter where you’re born—if the fetish is inside you it will come out at some point in your life. You simply cannot hide it. It will come out sooner or later. And sooner is better, because we only live once.
What’s sex like in Lebanon?
There’s a lot of respect. It’s like cooking in a microwave versus three hours on a low flame—the way it tastes is better, you get to where you want to be, and everything explodes.
I’m not sure I get what you mean.
In Europe, you go out for a drink, you get tipsy, flirt with someone, take them home, have sex, and don’t even ask for his or her name. That is microwave sex. On the other hand, because of the taboos in the Arab world, fetish sex [in Lebanon] has a totally different approach. It is cooked on coal, the old-fashioned way. As we all know, the longer you cook on a low flame, the more the taste is enhanced. This is the way it’s done where I come from. You heat up your partner, meet them more than once, and then invite him or her to taste your recipe. That’s what I call a hot dish.
In December, the University of Michigan released the results of a survey that, among other things, asked Middle Easterners what style of dress was appropriate for women to wear in public. Participants were invited to choose between various styles of Muslim head coverings, like burqas, chadors, and niqabs. The results showed that people from conservative nations like Saudi Arabia and Pakistan generally favored the face-concealing niqab, while most Egyptians, Tunisians, Turks, and Iraqis preferred traditional hijabs, which cover the hair and leave the face exposed.
These results aren’t particularly surprising, and neither is the fact that Middle Eastern women and men largely shared the same preferences. Though some Westerners associate Muslim religious head coverings with the oppression of women, many Muslim women view the hijab—a blanket term used to denote any form of traditional head covering—as a source of empowerment. During the Arab Spring–inspired protests against Hosni Mubarak, some Egyptian women wore hijabs to protest a ban against headscarves on state television.
According to Shereen El Feki, a researcher and the author of Sex and the Citadel: Intimate Life in a Changing Arab World, many young Muslim women cover themselves to gain more independence from their parents. “They feel that their parents think these girls are good Muslim girls, therefore they don’t exercise as much vigilance and the girls get more latitude in their lives,” she told me. “They may get to travel, they may get to move around, and they have more mobility.”
Another common misconception about head coverings is that it is always worn as a statement of extreme religious modesty. “The women wearing hijab who I spoke to for my book have just as much sexual desire,” said Shereen. “Women put on hijab for a variety of reasons, not just to desexualize themselves.”
Smiling and Vomiting at New York Fashion Week
Fashion Week has hit New York City again, and big, fancy designers are showing their latest collections for fall/winter 2014. So we went to a few shows to figure out what all the Tumblr goofballs, twinks, and trust-funders will be wearing in autumn. Keep checking back frequently throughout the week for our reviews of the shows at Milk Studios, Lincoln Center, and more.
The influences behind Robert Geller’s collections are always super fascinating. The press releases for his shows are like rabbit holes that have you crawling through obscure Wikipedia pages and loading up your Amazon shopping cart with very rare goodies. This time around, however, the genesis for Robert’s fall 2014 looks lie with a rock star we’re all pretty familiar with: David Bowie. It’s not super surprising that Robert would find a muse in the Thin White Duke. David has long been a bastion of style (just check out the feature we did this month on Kansai Yamamoto, the designer behind many of David’s iconic looks). Not to mention, David’s a master at walking the thin line between being tough and elegant, just like Robert’s eponymous brand. Surprisingly, Robert opted to mine one of David’s lesser-known personae. Instead of aping low-hanging fruit like Ziggy Stardust, Robert looked to the big and boxy suits David wore in The Man Who Fell to Earth as a springboard for his collection. Robert’s models took to the runway in everything from neoprene overcoats and tall military caps to Chelsea boots and elongated tops. In the context of his previous work, it wasn’t revelatory. Everything from the warm hues of purple to the layered silhouettes was well within his wheelhouse and felt very familiar to me. Even so, it was refined to the point that his looks are becoming so pure and distinctive they’re bordering on the iconic.
—By Wilbert L. Cooper
The jungle-drum music and the “exotic” prints on the clothes made it apparent that Mara Hoffman was channeling the Dark Continent with her latest collection, which is weird because she’s never even been there before. Though I’m usually very suspicious of cultural reappropriation by old white people, I was at least pleased to see that Mara had the Rainbow Coalition do her casting. Models of all different races and complexions were clad in flowy dresses that were decorated in vibrantly colored sequins and patterns. There were definitely some great looks, and the styling of dark-skinned models in white was especially striking. But at the end of the day, this stuff is what a WASPy mom would wear to an Invisible Children fundraising event.
—By Wilbert L. Cooper