DiscoverWhat's Contemporary Now?
What's Contemporary Now?

What's Contemporary Now?

Author: What's Contemporary

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Designed for curious minds, "What's Contemporary Now?" engages various thought leaders across cultural industries taking in their broad, compelling perspectives and unveiling their common threads.

Hosted by Christopher Michael

Produced by Shayan Asadi

47 Episodes
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Season 4 Trailer

Season 4 Trailer

2024-05-2001:03

While fashion has become culture's greatest Trojan horse, it's only natural that there should be a show exploring both the contemporary landscape and modern-day human experience through its lens. You'll find both the unique and universal in these conversations that illuminate the pulse of our times as we ask different creatives and thought leaders the ever-present question, "What is contemporary now?"  In our upcoming season, we've lined up extraordinary guests, including a Pulitzer Prize-winning fashion critic, a brand founder who could give a masterclass on how to do it right and win at life, and award-winning designers, magazine editors, and cultural icons, both established and new. Tune in for new episodes starting Monday, May 27 with Paloma Elsesser, Greg Krelenstein, Katie Grand, Robin Givhan, Dara, Suzanne Koller, Pierre Rougier, Zoe Ghertner, Willa Bennett, Erik Torstensson, Daphne Guinness, and many more.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Hanan Besovic, the content creator and fashion commentator behind @ideservecouture, shares his unconventional journey and outsider perspective into the fashion world. Moving from Croatia to the US, Besovic garnered a significant following on his platform during the COVID lockdown, using it to channel and convey his perspective on fashion—which he comes by through sheer obsessive passion. His honest and timely critiques often challenge traditional norms in the industry. Besovic details the evolving role of influencers, advocating for discernment in evaluating their contributions to fashion discourse. Expressing admiration for Gen Z’s assertiveness and knowledge, he navigates the industry with a focus on community-building and networking, while maintaining an authenticity that he sees as all too often lacking on social media. His overwhelming fashion insight gives him a unique perspective laced with nuance, allowing him to see what’s contemporary now as both the influence and image of businesswoman Kim Kardashian, as well as pervasive mediocrity that comes from the industry’s exclusivity and commercialism. Episode Highlights: Serendipitous start: Introduced to fashion in 2010 after seeing a McQueen show, Besovic transitioned from hospitality to fashion after a move from Croatia to the US and following a layoff from hotel work during the pandemic. Following a passion: Though he treated fashion as a hobby, joking that he failed algebra because of his obsession with Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, he found a role in the scene during the COVID lockdown. Superfan: Citing Plato’s Atlantis and the Horn of Plenty, Leigh Bowery lips, and Dior silhouettes, Besovic recounts how McQueen’s show was “a perfect introduction to fashion because I got a history of fashion in 13 minutes.” Ending up on a panel for Show Studio, through which he had first been introduced to the fashion world, was a full-circle moment for Besovic. @ideservecouture: Having been called a content creator, a fashion critic, and an influencer, Besovic sees himself as a commentator, remarking on how the fashion world has changed to include more critiques like those pushing for body diversity.  On influencer culture: Besovic sees the importance of having a discerning view on social media, where unresearched or misinformed influencer opinions on fashion proliferate alongside those of influencers who have dug deeper into the contemporary moment and its historical roots. Gen Z: Likening the feeling of maintaining an outsider perspective among the insiders to those that look down on Gen Z, Besovic notes that he admires the younger generation’s activeness and knowledge of their value. Organic growth: Quoting a drag queen, Besovic says that “goals are preplanned disappointments” and prefers relying on organic personal—and social media—growth. Navigating the industry: Besovic’s advice to young designers is to work more toward networking and building community, as he does on his platform. “Nice, genuine, and down to earth”: Besovic’s contemporaries don’t have the same egos as most in the industry, and Besovic himself is happy to forgo sources of status, like physically attending the shows.  “I like to know the reality of the things.”: When asked whether the world needs the 24/7 dream or fantasy of fashion on social media, Besovic insists that the world needs to know instead that everything’s not as perfect as it looks. When clothes speak for themselves: Besovic says storytelling is crucial to a collection, except when garments are too good to need a narrative. Dream job: Besovic thinks he would be a good consultant for brands like Givenchy, which don’t understand their worth or history.  Polarities: For Besovic, the Kardashians are what’s contemporary now (still), because “no one can dispute how smart of a businesswoman she [Kim] is.” On the other hand, additionally, what is contemporary now is “mediocrity, it’s commercialism, it’s lack of creativity.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
French photographer Robin Galiegue has carved a distinctive niche in the world of contemporary photography, captivating audiences with a refreshing vision of beauty, style, and attitude. Galiegue's early experimentation with makeup, styling, and photography laid the foundation for a career marked by raw energy and a timeless aesthetic. Seamlessly blending fashion, portraiture, and reportage, his notable projects include a recently published book and work with directional publications like Vogue Italia, Self Service, and Harper’s Bazaar France, and collaborations with brands such as Saint Laurent, Isabel Marant, Tom Ford, and Hermès. In a world where he sees people molding into different personas online, Galiegue believes what is contemporary now is being oneself, in work and in life. Episode Highlights: Early ambitions: Born and raised in Lille, France, to artistic-minded parents, Robin Galiegue always had ambitions to move to a bigger city and first felt drawn to images and fashion at 14 in directing a photo shoot with his sister.  The big move: Dropping out of school at 16, Galiegue attended photography school in Paris, deciding over the course of five days.  Without reference: Coming to school with zero cultural exposure to photography, Galiegue gained technical expertise and was driven to work, though he knew little English and was not assisting.  Nerves: Even as a big name in the industry today, Galiegue is nervous about approaching collaborations, such as with legendary model Linda Evangelista. Hard to sit still: Being in Paris—or in large, bustling cities—incites Galiegue’s desire to work rather than relax; he sees them as villages that offer bursts of energy. “Shooting has to be fun”: Known in the industry as a kind presence, Galiegue has an intuitive understanding of when to be firm and when to prioritize kindness.  Merging visions: Galiegue enjoys working with brands, stylists, and collaborators with strong voices to make something exciting and new.  Finding inspiration and peace: Traveling, meeting new people, having friends not in the fashion industry, and discovering new cultures keep Galiegue engaged in his creative work after hours.  What’s contemporary now: Galiegue sees so many people playing roles on social media, so what’s contemporary or necessary now is being yourself.  Fear of AI: Galiegue is not interested in AI and is more scared of its potential to replace collaborators and artists. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gill Linton is the cofounder and curatorial persona behind Byronesque, a digital boutique department store that uniquely merges editorial content with a focus on contemporary vintage fashion. As editor-in-chief, Linton is a thought leader in the realm of editorial-based e-commerce and has long been a go-to brand strategist well-versed in the subculture of vintage fashion. Hailing from London, Linton divides her time between Paris and New York, collaborating with designers, consultants, editors, stylists, and other in-the-know individuals to reissue vintage finds and preserve creative brand histories. For her, it is essential to encourage people to be more thoughtful and slower when buying clothes—institute a cultural shift in shopping behavior. Episode Highlights: “The odd one out:” Born in London into a Scottish family, Linton got her start at M+C Saatchi, where she was able to pursue her passion for advertising, branding, and creating content. Serendipitous start: From her first job, she moved to BBC Radio 1, which was a state-run representation of youth culture. She was able to move into the fashion industry through a move to New York to work with the agency of entrepreneur Russell Simmons.  Brand evolution: Linton began in the fashion industry at a time when concepts like “brand heritage” weren’t considered in traditional marketing.  Bridging gaps: She cofounded Byronesque, set apart from traditional resale sites, to focus on “contemporary vintage” with a global network of vintage sellers and private collectors. Resale is the new fast fashion: increased volume and perpetuated ideas of buying and selling in the resale sector have led Linton, through Byronesque, to “encourage people to be a little bit more considered, slower, and to keep things for a long time.” Fighting flip culture: Byronesque believes the clothes it sells and stories it tells have more meaning than the mainstream gives them. Careful curation: Making Byronesque “a specialist environment” for vintage and “future vintage” of luxury brands, Linton has been authenticating, partnering with archive teams, and organizing concessions for luxury brands in an attempt to provide more agency and control over resale markets and brand image.  Reissuing vintage: Byronesque has reissued vintage finds from Helmut Lang, Vex Generation, Claude Montana, THREEASFOUR, and other brands that have been producing iconic items in decades past. Collector’s items in fashion: Her concern with keeping clothing as investment pieces drives a blockchain-based authentication process, and brings up the power of narrative and the importance of story. What’s contemporary now: Real talent, Linton says, and she hopes to see a resurgence of talent among a generation and in an evolved industry where that’s not always necessary. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Writer, editor, and creative director Thom Bettridge navigates the realms of storytelling, experience curation, and audience expansion with seasoned expertise. From editorial leader at 032c, Highsnobiety, and Interview to Head of Creative and Content at SSENSE, Bettridge has come a long way since his beginnings as a student of philosophy in New York City. His series of compelling statements showcase an impressive grasp of worldbuilding, adding context to the evolving landscape where editorial content and e-commerce converge. In an industry where magazines and retailers traditionally kept their domains separate, Bettridge’s approach to keeping consumers engaged signals a potential future trend for others. His insights reflect a shift toward a more integrated and dynamic relationship between content creation and commercial endeavors. Bettridge has seen—and been behind—much of the changes to the fashion industry as it enters an inundated era obsessed with viral moments. His connectedness to contemporary culture is only rivaled by his closing remarks: that true contemporariness might be found in uncharted, offline territories.  Episode Highlights: After becoming interested in art criticism via philosophy studies, Bettridge started an art space in Medellín, growing attracted to the fast-paced evolution of Colombian culture and society.  On interning and moving up through the ranks in New York: “That was my idea of hell. So I wanted to go somewhere where I could make more of an impact even if it was an uncertain terrain.”  Noting that “the only two things that were still alive and kicking when I finished school were fashion and, like, tabloids,” Bettridge explains how he came to fashion through his love of magazines and editing them.  The solitary nature of writing didn’t suit his personality, and Bettridge found he enjoyed editing more, with creative direction being an extension of that kind of collaboration. “360 control over how a story looks and appears”: Creative direction was never a target for Bettridge, who considers it more of a byproduct of writing and editing—what he was already doing—and born of necessity along the way. His first foray into magazine editing was at 032c, where he gained firsthand experience observing creative direction before moving on to Interview.  Considering philosophy as a way of creating and applying systems, Bettridge sees an analogy in being a storyteller adept at making connections.  Coming to SSENSE as the company was nearing its 20th anniversary, Bettridge leaned on the experiences of the people who had been at the company for a long time. Bettridge has a strong understanding of brand DNA, pushing the company further into its “anti-nostalgic, anti-heritage” heritage.  “Mind-share”: Bettridge’s creative process aligns naturally with SSENSE’s ability to tap into a young, digitally native generation, which communicates via social media. Using a metaphor of a hotel with a great coffee shop, Bettridge expresses the relationship between editorial content and e-commerce, where content regularizes exposure to a company and signals what it’s about.  To cater to a younger generation, Bettridge notes that youth culture demands that brands be good storytellers that tap into the current social and political moments.  Old-school print magazines tell stories through image placement (much like Instagram), but in a way, that decisively marks a certain zeitgeist, which Bettridge says somewhat outlasts the neverending inundation of social media. Bettridge remarks on learning that intuitively marked anchors within a magazine or brand’s vision create cohesion and that visual storytellers are the individuals most capable of creating brands with palpable foundations or clear identities.  What’s contemporary now? The potential for offline culture, a culture that “isn’t solipsistic or self-isolated.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Renowned photographer of the Antwerp Six, Willy Vanderperre is a Belgian-born image-maker best known for his campaigns for Prada, Dior, and Jil Sander, as well as publications like i-D, Another, or W. Longstanding creative collaborations with fashion icons like Raf Simons, Olivier Rizzo, and Peter Philips have informed his creative output over the decades and renewed his lasting interest in what youth cultures have to continually offer the older generations.  Vanderperre has made himself an industry staple over the past twenty-plus years through his illustrious photography, which includes his project Naked Heartland and a book series that cleverly connects analog publishing to the new forms of media consumption. But his experience doesn’t make him feel old. In fact, he continues to tap in—in his life and in the contemporary conversation—into the energy that youthful voices bring to fashion in a creative and lifelong practice that mirrors how he approaches long-term industry collaborations and pervades his images: with a sense of renewal, expression, and movement.  Episode Highlights: “A rather difficult place to be”: Growing up gay in Belgium to a hardworking family (and a father who was a butcher), Vanderperre felt the “smallness of the country” and says he was saved by art school and the sensitive people he came into contact with there.  Aspirational: Because of his upbringing, Vanderperre quickly found a drive to escape his origins.  An introverted country: Vanderperre sees Belgium’s history and small geography as drivers of the country’s production of artists and designers.  Looking differently at a garment: Vanderperre’s photographic work stands out among fashion images because of his preoccupation with and sensibility for capturing movement.  Normalcy: While a big-city feeling feeds a feeling of glamor, Vanderperre celebrates a sense of rootedness in his origins and having peers outside of the fashion realm, a situation of social solitude that he likens to COVID quarantining.  Contemporary publishing: Translating ephemeral social media into the “analog product” of a book, Vanderperre put his book together quickly, almost instantly, much like an Instagram post.  “The right thing to do”: His book on Instagram was driven by his love of youth culture—its accessibility, efficiency, and unpretentiousness. Vanderperre’s obsessions with youth, isolation, and the redemptive power of pop culture can be summed up by how impressed he is by outspoken young people disconnected and connected by expressive forms like music and movies in the internet age.  Never growing up: Vanderperre is one of the first modern generations to see themselves as having a different aging and cultural trajectory from their parents, and more able to choose whether they wanted to become “adults.”  Contemporary politics: Youth have positively shaped the world, particularly in the past five years, but Vanderperre has partnered with the Trevor Project to support LGBTQ+ rights. Long-term relationships: Close collaborations with Raf Simons, Olivier Rizzo, and Peter Philips have been challenging, presenting opportunities for growth.  Fluidity: While the industry has changed in the past 20 or 30 years, it doesn’t feel all that different to Vanderperre; he approaches it with new energy and different emotions and enjoys the influx of new voices. What’s contemporary now: “This conversation.”   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Derek Blasberg, a dynamic force in the worlds of fashion and media, boasts a multifaceted career as a writer, editor, and a New York Times bestselling author. Previously YouTube’s head of fashion and beauty and director of public figures, Blasberg transformed the platform, earning praise from industry luminaries like Tom Ford. His influence extends to the Gagosian Gallery, where he spearheaded the relaunch of Gagosian Quarterly and collaborated with renowned image makers, especially in celebrating the life and work of legendary American photographer Richard Avedon. After his 2023 Gagosian landmark exhibition Avedon 100 in New York, Blasberg follows with the launch of Iconic Avedon: A Centennial Celebration of Richard Avedon in Paris on January 22, 2024. A graduate of NYU with degrees in dramatic literature and journalism, Blasberg comments on his journey from Vogue assistant to front-row favorite, underlining his extroversion, passion for the fashion industry, and the importance of never saying no—and that’s what’s contemporary. Episode Highlights: Sweet nostalgia: Blasberg remembers his upbringing in St. Louis, Missouri, as typical and all-American, but not one that facilitated a knowledge of fashion from the get-go. Surrounded by manuscripts: With a mother who was the managing editor of a medical journal, Blasberg had his first connection to documents and texts through medicine and later as a prolific note-passer at school.  Contrasts: “I had a fundamental lack of understanding or loose grasp of the fashion industry, as I now know it today,” Blasberg says. Beginnings: Being predigital but a natural extrovert, Blasberg found an agency and advocated for himself, with his first foray into the fashion world writing biographies for models, later working for Vogue and W magazines.  Hired and fired from Vogue: Blasberg calls it an educational process and experience, even though managing and assisting “was probably not the best fit for me.” The evolving role of the journalist: Though the traditional writer role doesn’t exist in the same form it did two decades ago, Blasberg sees the ability to express oneself in written language as more important than ever.  Do readers exist?: Regardless of form, people may not be reading but are still consuming content and “still curious what people have to say and what they have to write,” Blasberg notes. Bazaar Models: Blasberg’s books explore successful models and muses in a form that fuses literature, journalism, and sheer curiosity about the lives of talents. Man About Town: Blasberg has a unique freedom and independence in navigating the fashion industry, which he sees as a result of open-minded optimism.  Perspective as a “trader in culture”: Blasberg notes that live streams, online and resale marketplaces, and influencer culture are ways in which the fashion industry, in particular, has changed over the course of just the last few years.  Full-circle moment: A career highlight is the Paris centennial celebration of Richard Avedon, Blasberg’s childhood hero.  Driven by passion: Inspired by icons like Richard Avedon and Marilyn Monroe, Blasberg’s work at the Gagosian Gallery is unique in its capability to portray other elements of culture and history, such as the Civil Rights Movement. His enthusiasm for the subject matter shines through.  What’s contemporary now: For Blasberg, it’s never saying ‘no.’ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Creative consultant and iconic figure Amanda Harlech has played a key role in fashion for decades. Harlech is recognized for her insightful, ultra-collaborative approach, her influential work with brilliant designers, and her mentorship of young designers. She initially joined forces with John Galliano in the ’80s and ’90s before later joining Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel. For her, creative sensitivity and a willingness to work are facilitating forces in an industry that she sees as evolving in a more collaborative direction. Though she surprisingly calls herself not quite “a fashion person,” Harlech’s prolific career has shaped parts of contemporary fashion design and showcased her intuitive understanding of creative storytelling. Illustrating a unique narrative of artistic connection, Harlech notes that the enduring allure of craftsmanship is what’s contemporary now.  Episode Highlights: Creativity and make-believe: Harlech has vivid memories of being surrounded by storytelling and fashion, which were emphasized in her life from an early age by those around her. “It’s a way of navigating life:” Weaving fictions and working with fantasy is how Harlech has always sourced creative inspiration, from childhood collaging to designing gowns. Career trajectory: Harlech went from working at Harper’s Bazaar and The Face to working with Galliano, a collaboration she calls “so powerful.”  Collaboration rather than competition: Harlech found Galliano’s designs emotionally powerful, and their active collaboration is contrasted with a more passive one while working with Karl Lagerfeld for 27 years. She discusses collaborating with Andrew Bolton for the most recent Met Gala in celebration of Lagerfeld.  Collaborative evolution: While Lagerfeld, for instance, directed teams based on his genius, Harlech notes that contemporary labels tend to create entire creative communities wherein designers all bring something unique to the garments. Creative sensitivity: Harlech’s intuitive understanding of a collection’s intention and rhythm has propelled her throughout the years.  “I am this undefinable thing:” Surprisingly, Harlech says, “I’m not really a fashion person, although I love the whole creative process that goes into a collection.” She describes herself as a facilitator above all else, synthesizing creative energies among the many individuals any collection or shoot requires.  Other forms of collaboration: Enjoying how mentorship “switches the light on” in her head, Harlech brings her know-how to the energy and willingness of Central Saint Martins students. Progress and its countermovements: Discussing AI’s ever-increasing role in creative design, Harlech takes a positive stance, remarking on the emergence of support for and dialogue with the hands-on, artisanal work that goes into design.  What’s contemporary now: Harlech takes the question in a mythical direction with ancient myth and ritual, paying homage to “the old ways, the skill of making, craft.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Trailblazing South African fashion designer Lukhanyo Mdingi's brand story is as distinct and vibrant as the fashion he creates. From early influences of pop culture in the Eastern Cape to the launch of his post-graduate show, Mdingi's journey is a testament to the power of visibility and mentorship in the fashion industry. Winning the LVMH Karl Lagerfeld Prize in 2021 and the Amiri Prize in 2023 bolstered his eponymous label's global presence and solidified vital industry connections; it also revealed the systemic challenges faced by brands emerging from developing countries. Yet, despite these challenges, he affirms his brand will remain in South Africa, articulating a strategic approach to building a regional direct-to-consumer model, recognizing the potential for growth and revenue generation, and instilling a sense of empowerment within local infrastructure and craftsmanship. A key focus for Mdingi is collaboration: His partnership with the Ethical Fashion Initiative and his label's work with South African artisans highlights the unique, rich histories and the particular needs of regional communities and markets. By nurturing homegrown success while keeping an eye on the global horizon, Mdingi thrives in a dynamic industry, wittingly weaving together talent, purpose, and the transformative potential of fashion. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Brendon Babenzien offers a look into his trajectory from a skateboarder immersed in the alternative music scene between Long Island and New York City to the forefront of fashion. His journey is a testament to his unique cultural access and entrepreneurial spirit. Inspired by the convergence of hip-hop, punk, new wave, and rave cultures during his teenage years, Babenzien recognized early on that the future lay outside mainstream culture. His skateboarding roots instilled a sense of belonging in the cultural periphery, a theme he later translated into the foundational ethos of his brand Noah, a staple in the New York menswear luxury realm. Babenzien discusses his evolution, from his early days at Supreme in 1996 to the launch of Noah in 2002 to the present moment, which is, for him, marked by a commitment to ethics over aesthetics, emphasizing sustainable business practices. He views creative direction as not merely about premium clothing design but the creativity involved in building a well-intentioned business. Babenzien encapsulates his philosophy—fusing style with substance, challenging mainstream culture, and championing a future where conscious choices redefine contemporary values. Episode Highlights: Upbringing: Growing up skating and in the alternative music scene between Long Island and New York City, a serendipitous meeting in Babenzien’s teenage years with Don Busweiler ultimately led to his interest in fashion.  Cultural access: Babenzien’s proximity to surf and skate cultures coincided with a “unique window of time where there was a lot of firsts.” Hip-hop, punk, new wave, and rave culture made an impression on him as a teenager.  “This stuff we’re into is the future”: he recognized from an early age that scenes outside the mainstream culture were the future and capitalized on that reality.  Skateboarding culture and being a “freak”: Babenzien locates the importance of making meaningful friendships that cultivate a sense of belonging, even on the cultural periphery.  Building a brand: He doesn’t consider creative direction to be “terribly creative,” arguing that the business infrastructure and upkeep takes a more creative toll than clothing design.  An organic process: living in and near New York City culture in a combination of subcultural worlds naturally lent itself to fashion design and product marketing, especially when he felt represented by certain brands, like Stussy. Joining Supreme in 1996, Babenzein had the cultural references to create a certain style but had to learn the business management and operation as he went along From underground to mainstream: speaking on how street style has infiltrated the luxury sector and mainstream fashion, Babenzein says that while he himself is always looking for growth and the next thing, his ethos of earning access comes from his skate roots. Ethics over aesthetics: Babenzein’s idea of what’s punk has evolved over the years, moving from rebelliousness to real action, which informed his establishment of Noah, a brand existing “intersection of lifestyle and fashion.” “A long arc”: Babenzein spent two decades learning about the intersection of environment and fashion business in the process of launching Noah. “There wasn't so much an aha moment, as it was this slow build to get there.” Future-forward: Babenzein cites getting married and having a child as moments when he knew the importance of sustainability. Luxury and sustainability: Noah garments comes at high price point to reflect the premium quality and ethical standards set in place for factory workers. “I'm not Yohji”: As a creative director of a brand with simple collections Babenzein sees Noah’s value in the idea behind the label rather than in the clothing itself. On J.Crew: Babenzein likes that the scale of the brand and its resources enable him to produce clothing at an accessible price point and that he brings to the company a transformed idea of internal culture. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Movement director Pat Boguslawski reflects on his journey in this latest episode, citing a unique artistic trajectory. Boguslawski has always been sure of his career as an artist throughout his upbringing in Łódź, Poland, fueled by pop culture, film, and fashion shows. Coming to dance—which he immediately perceived to be the most expressive art form he could pursue—and then moving to London to find an outlet for that passion, Boguslawski came to his current role, shaping the fashion shows of his childhood heroes, like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen’s Sarah Burton, through a mixture of serendipitous encounters and hard work.  Boguslawski’s breakthrough as a movement director occurred during the 2020 Margiela show, where Leon Dame’s viral walk marked a rule-breaking moment. He emphasizes the irreplaceability of artistic experiences that originate in ordinary life, and as a movement director, he navigates the everyday challenges of instilling confidence in inexperienced individuals. His love for the constantly evolving, interdisciplinary nature of his work shines throughout the episode, revealing a passion that combines modeling, dancing, directing, and acting. With sobriety as a grounding force, he cherishes the magic, presence, and drama inherent in the collaborative artistry of fashion and movement together. Episode Highlights: Upbringing: Born in Poland, Boguslawski spent his childhood developing his imagination by watching music videos and movies and keeping up with pop culture through MTV, VH1, and FashionTV.  A new way of expression: Though he was sure he would be a painter or designer, he came to dance at a friend’s urging and found it to be a more expressive and social artistic practice. An international move: Boguslawski moved to London into an “extreme” situation, without a job or a solid plan except to pursue his dream of dance. Balance between serendipitous luck and willpower: Boguslawski came to London intending to be a dancer and was scouted as a model and then championed by Alexander McQueen Creative Director Sarah Burton. “Strong attitude”: He had a breakthrough moment as a movement director in 2020 at the Margiela show when Leon Dame walked in a particular way and went viral. “I realized that we probably broke some rules.” “Weird energy”: Boguslawski realized he was meant to be a movement director while working as a creative assistant for a choreographer. “Magic and presence and drama”: He expresses a feeling of privilege that he’s part of Galliano’s creative vision, which was part of his childhood dream. Unrepeatable: Boguslawski notes that if he’s watching a fashion show, he wants it to feel singular and to be something he couldn’t experience or re-create in his daily life.  Creating confidence: The greatest challenge is being confronted with models who have low confidence or little experience, and in that way, creating confidence for movement is “like therapy.”  Burnout: Speaking to creatives’ need for time to sit around and do nothing, Boguslawski reflects on times when the more jobs he did, the less creative he could be. Loving the job: The constant fluidity and change of clients and the interdisciplinary nature of the work keep him loving his line of work, which merges modeling, dancing, directing, and acting.  Sobriety: Because his body is so closely tied to his work, sobriety helps Boguslawski bring “the best energy” to his job. “I’m not cracking,” he says of aging. What’s contemporary now? It’s “being a good human.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Ruba Abu-Nimah is a graphic designer at the vanguard of creative directing—even as the title of that role has become, she says, completely devalued. She’s put her creative skills to work directing brands like Elle US, Shiseido, Revlon, Tiffany & CO., and most recently Balenciaga. In this episode, Abu-Nimah offers her take on the value of formal education and travel, the balance to be struck between digital and analog craftsmanship, and upholding heritage while striving for innovation. Her passion for access, information, and learning comes through in her articulate, informed perspective on what she sees as the trajectory of corporations and AI. Swayed by her love of democratic arts, from her passion for Andy Warhol to her formative years spent listening to punk and hip-hop, Abu-Nimah sees what’s contemporary now as what has been and will be: the power of youth and their rebellious nature.  Episode Highlights: Formative years: Abu-Nimah notes the convergence of punk rock and hip-hop that took place during, and had a strong influence on, her formative years. Punk, she says, “hit me like a ton of bricks.”  London as a design city: She notes that she was “preprogrammed” to work in the tactile, visual world, and that London kickstarted her preoccupation with beautiful design.  Formal education: Abu-Nimah sees formal education as “outdated.” “It wasn’t creative enough for me, in terms of analytical thinking,” she says. Art school, on the other hand, though it was outside of her family’s understanding, “was the only possible way for me to get through life.”  The contemporary digital moment and creative directing: Access to software and information has created a misunderstanding or confusion around distinctions between creativity and the tools used to accomplish the creative process. “It took me about 20 years to gain that title.”: On becoming a creative director, Abu-Nimah says the role requires a total knowledge of her craft, from typography to conceptually bringing a project to life.  On the fundamental nature of graphic design: She prefers to identify as a graphic designer because the title of creative director today has been devalued and doesn’t have much meaning, unfortunately. Also, “I believe that to be a creative director in my world, which is, in the world of branding and messaging and communication, I believe you have to come from an understanding of communication.” Balancing brand heritage with innovation: She distinguishes between heritage and nostalgia, highlighting the importance of brand DNA woven together with what resonates with today’s audiences. Working by instinct and driven by learning: “Any passion that becomes a purpose—I’m just a lucky person that I was able to achieve that. To me, a lot of it is just feeling and understanding and immersing myself and living and breathing the world that we work in. I really love it. I don’t stop absorbing it.” Prioritizing creative direction: She says corporations (outside of the luxury world) tend to prioritize marketing over creative departments.   On confidence and gender in the working world: She emphasizes a sexist perspective in which confident women are seen “as a bitch, as difficult to work with, or intransigent” while confident men are perceived as “strong.”  Travel: Abu-Nimah sees travel—whether uptown or to a city that’s a 15-hour flight away—as the most important education as well as a luxury.  Marrying art to a commercial purpose: She paraphrases Fran Lebowitz, saying that people are more interested in the price of the art than the art itself. “But the art itself, I think, is for everyone and should be available to everyone, and everyone should have the privilege to understand it.” Discovering Warhol: She speaks of her love for Andy Warhol’s art and graphics, how he democratized art and was “the artist of the people.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gordon von Steiner is a force of youthful creativity and talent in the world of fashion film. In this episode, Christopher Michael sits down with von Steiner to discuss how the recent Grammy nominee—for directing Troye Sivan’s showstopping music video “Rush”—honed his passions into a creative practice from a young age and evolved as an artist in tandem with changes to the fashion, art, and culture industries. Raised in Toronto on cinema classics by filmmakers such as David Lynch, Pedro Almodóvar, and Woody Allen, von Steiner moved to New York to attend NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. After an internship with GQ, he spoke to a friend at the artist agency Art & Commerce to seek advice on what to do next. It was through that conversation that he ultimately found a champion for his work in legendary photographer Steven Meisel, who catapulted his innovative work in fashion film at a critical cultural moment onto platforms like Vogue and W Magazine. He discusses what it’s like to fulfill your childhood dreams: For him, it’s been fueled more by excitement than intimidation, finding validation in the process of coming up with concepts, carrying them out to completion with friends and collaborators, and resonating with audiences who admire the emotional appeal of his visual storytelling. Episode Highlights: Early cultural experiences: von Steiner knew from an early age that he would pursue cinematography and remembers the childhood joy of visiting the Toronto Film Festival yearly to watch new releases like Punch-Drunk Love and Lost in Translation.  Diversity for creativity: Though von Steiner counts filmmakers like Pedro Almodóvar, Woody Allen, and David Lynch among his early inspirations, it was the variety and cross-genre nature of his interests that inspired him to make films for himself. Cross-genre performing arts: “More than anything else, there’s a signature style of movement to my work,” von Steiner says. “That’s something I’ve subconsciously developed over the years, often through dance.”  “A rewarding filmmaking experience”: von Steiner’s most recent success is a Grammy nomination for his direction of the music video “Rush” for Troye Sivan, an affirming project that merged a passion for telling queer stories with his talent for fashion film. A healthy relationship to work: Hands-on experiences at GQ and Vogue were fun and high responsibility; he felt comfortable with his creativity at a moment when the film industry was changing rapidly to cater to the evolution of social media platforms. “This is the future”: Industry greats like (“What’s Contemporary Now” guest) Nick Knight inspired von Steiner to channel his experimental thinking into new aesthetic mediums, using Vine for Vogue, for instance, or working at a time when cultural momentum shifted from YouTube to Instagram, longform films to shorter video clips.  A big break: von Steiner found a champion of his work in acclaimed fashion photographer Steven Meisel around the same time he started working with Vogue. He speaks of the critical importance of having a mentor who believes in you to support your efforts. The validation is in the work itself: In crafting a trilogy of videos for Sivan, von Steiner says “the joy and the pleasure of coming up with an idea,” along with working with friends to create something emotionally evocative and lasting, is something that can be seen and felt in the final product.  Short attention spans: von Steiner notes that being unaware of how people are receiving your film is a huge risk. Playing to the medium (usually of videos viewed from phones) is essential to keep in mind.  Outside of social media: He tries to step away from social media and engage with film, books, and theater to keep his mind alive to find new inspiration. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Editor-in-chief of Interview magazine, Mel Ottenberg, wants to maintain a sense of fun in an atmosphere rife with fear. Previously creative director at 032c, he’s collaborated with an impressive roster of stars, high-profile clients, and photographers. In this episode, he shares his take on where we are in this cultural moment and how fashion, beauty, and style can be powerful vehicles for communication and social transformation. He highlights some of the influences that have shaped his aesthetic—MTV, The Cock, the downtown scene, and Vogue—and the icons who fueled him as an aspiring creative in the 90s, such as Madonna and Arianne Phillips. Teeming with energy and ideas, he found ways to connect his work in the indie and pop celebrity spaces, and with Interview, he found the perfect platform for his diverse experiences and an outlet for cheeky, unfiltered output. What’s contemporary now? “Fear and loathing is truly the most contemporary thing now. It’s totally gross. It’s totally real, and I think confidence and an open spirit of change is the only way past that.”  Episode Highlights: Fashion forward: Mel sees clothes and style as vehicles to channel people, cultural sensibilities, and change. Formative influences: Mel was shaped by the 80s and its dress codes, Madonna, MTV, Vogue, and the downtown NY club and arts scenes. Finding inspiration in the multidimensional visual artist Arianne Phillips. Fusing styles: Working in both indie and mainstream celebrity spaces. At the intersection: Becoming editor-in-chief of Interview magazine aligns everything in Mel’s eclectic career. Status check: Publishing has evolved since Mel’s formative years and has been reshaped by the emergence of digital media and new approaches to branding. Embracing opposites: Playfulness, camp, and a general sense of high-low fun emblematic of Mel’s style and sensibility—in the pages of Interview and beyond. Blending voices: Why Mel deliberately infuses Interview—initially conceived by young rule breakers—with a youthful energy that sharpens his own Gen X lens. Embracing messiness:  Interview’s independent format protects artistic freedom and content that isn’t perfectly polished or orchestrated. Risk-taking is part of the mandate. Daring to be unfiltered: With the current political and social climate, Mel speaks authentically despite pressures to be packaged and guarded. Cancel culture: The cultural pendulum swings between self-censorship, nihilism, optimism, intrigue, and despair. Hyper-veneer and hyper-raw: What feels like reality (versus the algorithm) in the diversity of style, beauty, fashion, and identity narratives that coexist today. What’s contemporary now? Fear, the 80s, and younger generations calling out and challenging fear and repression. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Quil Lemons is a photographer and artist renowned for his innovative contributions to commercial and fine arts spaces. As a Black queer creative force, he defies labels and uses his work to authentically represent the multifaceted aspects of his identity. The youngest photographer to capture Vanity Fair’s cover (featuring Billie Eilish), Lemons is featured in The New Black Vanguard: Photography between Art and Fashion, as well as in many other publications, including Garage, i-D, and W. Recently, he debuted his first solo show, Quiladelphia, in the Hannah Traore Gallery. Lemons’s work extends beyond capturing images; it is a form of activism and storytelling that pushes boundaries and challenges societal norms. He is reshaping narratives around authenticity and sexuality, and fostering open dialogues within the LGBTQ+ community. In this conversation, Lemons shines light on how he’s breaking barriers in the industry, celebrating Black queer masculinity, and blazing a trail for Black artists. He shares his secret sauce for creating one’s reality and changing one’s industry. What’s Contemporary Now? A utopia. A vision of a world with no pain. Episode Highlights: Surrounded by art: Attending Julia R. Masterman was a formative part of Quil’s adolescent years. Going on to attend the Charter High School for Architecture and Design in Philadelphia, art and creativity have always surrounded him. Champion of authenticity: Quil has been a champion of authenticity from a young age, constantly questioning what adults thought and deciding to go against the grain of society. “How am I going to beat the odds?” was always his guiding motto. Empowered by femininity: Raised by strong Black women, Quil viewed women and femininity as fragile, yet powerful and beautiful. Race, gender, and privilege: Quil believes that, in comparison to Black men, white men often have a privilege when it comes to sexuality and self-expression (such as fashion). Quiladelphia: Through photography and raw conversation, Quil sought to change the entrenched notions of Black masculinity, family, queer sexuality, race, intimacy, and beauty. It showcases his fight to exist. Sex positivity and sex work: Quil wouldn’t be able to make art if sex workers weren’t part of the conversation. He speaks on porn and OnlyFans as integral parts of the queer community, as well as catalysts for changing the narrative around nudity, sexuality, shame, and even HIV. Family feedback: “I grew up pretty Christian on my mom’s side and pretty Muslim on my dad’s side, and so it was a family full of religion,” Quil says. “But they came to the show, and they loved it. They loved where I’m at and my journey as a person and that I am unafraid and I don’t give a fuck what anyone has to say about what I’m doing with my life because it’s my own.” Feeling different: Quil pushed himself to be vulnerable, which he believes is the whole point of being an artist. Watching his community support him gratifies and motivates him to keep going. Editorial vs. commercial: Quil loves infiltrating traditionally white spaces with his fully authentic self. “Watch me do all of these spaces because there is no limitation on my creativity and where my art could go,” he says. Changing the industry: The rules of the fashion industry are changing. “The New Black Vanguard” is changing the industry. It doesn’t come without pushback, but Quil is pushing forward to keep the fashion industry evolving. The secret sauce to creating your reality? Quil is blissfully unaware of negativity, he’s goal-oriented, and he knows there’s always a way around a “no.” To be successful is to be delusional. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Vanessa Friedman has been the fashion director and chief fashion critic at The New York Times since 2014. Her lauded insight as a critic balances both the courage to speak to reality and a responsibility to inform her readers. Working at the intersection of culture and news journalism, Friedman has seen the landscape of the fashion industry change dramatically in the last decade. In this episode, she gives an honest and authoritative account of the state of fashion, speaking to hurdles that must be addressed in sustainability, production, and creativity in an age of short attention spans and ever-shortening fashion cycles. She discusses the new role of sports in the world of luxury branding, bringing a historical perspective to conversations around elitism and accessibility. Advising emerging journalists to find a unique voice, Friedman herself is always on the lookout for what’s truly new, bringing to fashion journalism a willingness to be surprised. She hopes what’s contemporary now is the kind of open-ended dialogue she conveys in her approach to fashion criticism. Episode Highlights: “A serendipitous error”: Friedman didn’t know early on that she was setting out to work in culture and journalism, but instead came to fashion naturally over time. A critical framework: As a fashion critic, “I’m not interested in expressing my gut feelings to others,” Friedman says. “It’s not ‘Do I like that? Do I think it’s cute?’” Friedman sees fashion as a way of communicating within the broader contexts of historical traditions.  Intersections: Friedman sees fashion as a malleable art capable of tethering to any element of culture. As a critic at The New York Times, Friedman’s work exists at a particular intersection between fashion, culture, and news journalism.  The last decade in fashion: She’s seen fashion transform from a niche artistic experience into an industry that informs how a wide range of communities (such as the realms of athletics and politics) express ideas and positions. The constant flow: In the last few years, Friedman’s seen the pace of fashion change, with the traditional seasons speeding up to provide consumers with a continuous flow of products.  Evolving ideas of luxury: The most successful modern brands—like Nike—lure customers with both goods at more accessible price points and higher-tier, elite items.  Sustainability: Friedman discusses the need to rein in the scale of production, rethink materials, and overhaul practices on a global level. “I don’t think anyone, certainly no major brand I’ve talked to, has really come to grips with that.”  Real, and not real: Friedman comments on a growing tendency to not trust fashion imagery in light of filters, the ubiquitousness of surgical treatments, and changing beauty standards. The role of a critic: She sees her role as one that requires both courage and a sense of responsibility, considering her work a beacon that her readers use to wade through the white noise of mass media. New vs. more: Friedman distinguishes between what adds “more” to the world of fashion and what adds something truly “new.” Newness is more creative, and it “does take thought, it takes experimentation, it takes making mistakes,” she says. Capturing attention: In what Michaels calls an attention deficit economy, Friedman advises emerging journalists to have a unique point of view and an individual style without relying entirely on that voice. What’s contemporary now: It’s listening and engaging in open-ended dialogue. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
London-born photographer and SHOWstudio founder Nick Knight has remained at the forefront of what’s contemporary since his emergence into the fashion photography scene in the 1970s. Over the course of an illustrious career, Knight has worked closely with the likes of Alexander McQueen, Lady Gaga, Bjork and John Galliano, as well as with fashion houses such as Christian Dior, Tom Ford, Louis Vuitton, and Yves Saint Laurent, among many others. Bringing an outsider’s insight into the fashion and art worlds, he began pushing boundaries in the ’80s in collaborations with i-D magazine and revolutionary designer Yohji Yamamoto. He has directed the trailblazing fashion film platform SHOWstudio for over two decades, pioneering new modes of artistic expression and audience connection. In a thoughtful conversation with Christopher Michael, Knight reflects on how he maintains a sense of artistic integrity and urgency—with or without the validation of commercial success. His hunger to continue to learn has driven not only a varied career spanning music, art, and fashion through the lens of the camera, but also kept him at the forefront of technological innovation, whether with SHOWstudio or a riveting perspective on AI—comparing it to the birth of photography and the internet—and how we will evolve. Episode Highlights: Trial and error: Coming to photography after a failed attempt at becoming a doctor, Knight found that following his natural talent led to success and a sense of fulfillment. Working with restrictions: For Knight, starting out with just a few rolls of film, natural curiosity, and “with your back to the wall” was the perfect learning opportunity. A creative upbringing: Growing up amidst the countercultural revolution of the 1960s, Knight produced early work that delved into provocation and followed his obsessions. Led by his fascinations: Knight used his photographic practice as a means for exploring unfamiliar subcultures, realizing that fashion wasn’t just the catwalk but coded into the social worlds of the clubs and dancehalls. “Music was my way in”: Working with stylist Simon Foxton, Knight found his introduction to the world of fashion through music and art. “Mind-blowing”: Taking cues from revolutionary designer Yohji Yamamoto’s 1980s collections, Knight was riveted by the idea that fashion—and photography—could be based on the soul rather than the sexuality of the body. Refusal to be referential: Knight rejected photography as a fascination with the body and articulating instead an obsession with the mind, producing an aesthetic paradigm fit for a new generation of artists “outside the system.” Innovation and newness: Knight continually modernized fashion and photography, guided by his talents and fascinations at critical technological junctures. Best of both worlds: Seeing fashion photography as lacking in the ability to capture the fundamental movement of clothing, Knight explored the invention of fashion film. Perspectives born of necessity: Knight saw fashion photography and filmmaking as two distinct practices that could be combined to inform one another. “An uplifting moment of freedom and experimentation”: With the rise of the internet, Knight was free to do the work he loved outside the system and in new mediums Commercialization of fashion: What had previously been an art form evolved into a lucrative form of business with the rise of Vogue and Anna Wintour. Guided by passions: Knight saw SHOWstudio as a rethinking of the magazine format at a critical moment when the internet allowed a reproposal of how we see—and who sees—fashion. “It wasn’t that we just wanted to do something differently. We just wanted to do something that was exciting.” Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Season 3 Trailer

Season 3 Trailer

2023-11-0600:56

When we first asked the question, “What is contemporary now?” we thought it made sense to explore the makings of culture by tapping into the varied perspectives of creatives whose work has helped shape the contemporary landscape. This season sees that dream continue, having the chance to speak to a master on the intersection of technology and image making and a brilliant young artist on the recontextualization of queer black culture. We explore how creatives lead successful luxury brands and even tap into the important role of the critic as a lighthouse amidst oceans of information.  Subscribe now for new episodes starting Monday, November 13 with Quil Lemons, Vanessa Friedman, Mel Ottenberg, Ruba Abu-Nimah, Brendon Babenzien, Willy Vanderperre, Amanda Harlech, Gordon von Steiner, Robin Galiegue, Thom Bettridge, Nick Knight, and many more. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
British makeup artist Isamaya Ffrench has been challenging our perceptions of beauty and creativity for the past decade. She attributes her unconventional approach to beauty, one that escapes commonality and mainstream aesthetics and paves the way for bold innovation, to her family’s background in engineering and problem-solving. Spurred by a face painting side hustle, her nontraditional rise in the industry saw her take on pivotal creative roles—such as brand ambassador, creative director, and global beauty director—for luxury brands, such as Tom Ford, YSL, Christian Louboutin, Burberry Beauty, Byredo, and today, beauty curator for Off White. In 2022, she launched her makeup brand, ISAMAYA, an evolving line of progressive beauty products entrenched in the zeitgeist. In this episode, Isamaya shares with Christopher Michael her perspectives on cultivating creative audacity and innovation in beauty. Some may consider her work subversive, yet she sees it as contextual and impulse-driven—LIPS, the brand’s penis-shaped lipstick, was influenced by conversations around gender and sexuality. What’s contemporary now? Isamaya believes it’s time for people to acknowledge and accept that having a different opinion, preference, or approach is okay. “Just leave people alone and let them get on with their lives.” Episode Highlights: Creative audacity: Isamaya attributes her creative edge and audacity to her upbringing—having grown up in a family of engineers and creatives. Penis-shaped lipstick: Isamaya is often driven by impulse; she’s very receptive to what’s happening around her, so it’s no surprise the discussions around gender, nudity, and sexuality have indirectly influenced her work. However, more than anything, LIPS was a logical decision. Global beauty director: Is it challenging working for brands? “It’s about having different experiences,” Isamaya says. Although she values the creative freedom of having her own brand, she enjoys the collaborative aspect and various parameters of working with other brands. Side hustle: She worked her way up from face painting to semiprofessional body painting to makeup artistry. Product design: Isamaya describes her love/hate relationship with product design and how it is a part of her path to success. Favorite clients? Junya Watanabe and Tom Brown—to name a few. Isamaya looks for a strong sense of self and a willingness to push creative boundaries when partnering with designers or brands; to find new territory while maintaining a concise brand aesthetic and philosophy. Advice: “If you’re passionate about something and you want to do it, do it. You only live once!” What’s next? Collaborations, new makeup collections, and a documentary about global beauty aesthetics and ideals. What’s contemporary now? “Just leave people alone and let them get on with their lives.”  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Fashion journalist, writer, and broadcaster Tim Blanks has had a front-row seat to many defining, pivotal moments in the fashion industry since 1985. Throughout his prolific career, he has witnessed countless transformational trends, with his byline appearing in international magazines and newspapers, including Vogue, GQ, Financial Times, Fantastic Man, and Interview. Previously, host of the globally syndicated television show Fashion File for a 20-year stint, he was as well editor-at-large at style.com. Today, he is editor-at-large of Business of Fashion and a celebrated author and contributor to various monographs and volumes on fashion royalty, such as Anna Sui, Dolce & Gabbana, Alexander McQueen, and Michael Roberts. In this lively conversation with Christopher Michael, he contextualizes trends related to everything from branding and sustainability to creative talents and human needs, which attract people to the art of fashion. Tim's insights reflect a unique perspective on the industry's evolution and a deep, intuitive understanding of the vulnerabilities and desire for validation that drive even the most successful industry icons. Although Tim celebrates the fault lines he sees redefining today's fashion landscape with new inclusive language and geographic diversity, he also spotlights global issues such as social and environmental justice, prompting a reckoning of sorts within the fashion industry—and the world at large. Ultimately, it's all about keeping creatives relevant in an era of turbocharged change and adaptation. Episode Highlights: Starting out: Starting university at age 15 helped him evade bullying and launched his experience of making “all those mistakes that change your life.” Connecting with fashion: Tim’s limited exposure to fashion while coming into adulthood in New Zealand when he realized images had the power to shock or amaze. First rung: A detour into filmmaking in Canada eventually morphed into freelance writing and, ultimately, a full-time gig at a fashion magazine and a high-visibility role hosting the global TV show Fashion File. Staying fresh: Keeping something of an outsider’s perspective has helped blunt any cynicism about the fashion industry. Inside-outsider: The curiosity—and an eye inspired by filmmaking—has defined Tim’s unique approach to fashion’s personalities and untold stories. Reflecting and projecting: Fashion has a dual role as a mirror of culture and a harbinger of social trends on the horizon. Community of misfits: Tim believes fashion has historically drawn outsiders, agitators, and visionaries into a tribe bound by creative energy. A circus. A roving family! Human longing: The “hole in our soul” Tim believes we are constantly trying to fill or offset with validation from our peers—an impulse at odds with how social media actually makes us feel. Stand-out moments: Witnessing an interview in which LouLou de la Falaise was the translator for a reluctant Yves St. Laurent; 90s runway shows that were cultural high points, including spectacular shows featuring Alexander McQueen, Jean Paul Gaultier, and Christian Lacroix; and getting the opportunity to talk to Helmut Lang for the first time. Assessing AI: Tim believes that ChatGPT and other machine learning could create informational bridges and—with good intent—positive, beneficial results. At odds: The challenge to reconcile environmentally wasteful “gigantism” and corporate sustainability in the billion-dollar corporate branding and production world. What’s contemporary now? Simmering rage, confusion, chaos, fear, an urge to fight, and a puzzlingly benign (rather than punk) attitude in fashion in contrast to the climate crisis, political unrest, and pandemic fallout. What should be contemporary now? A revolutionary spirit to fuel change, even at great lengths. It’s time for idealism coupled with pragmatism, expressing itself in action—with fashion playing a part. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
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