After winning the i-D Styling and Maria Luisa awards at 2007’s International Talent Support (a.k.a. ITS) – an annual event in Trieste supporting young fashion designers and photographers – a shell-shocked Justin Smith threw himself into celebrations. Smith, born in 1978, is the millinery world’s new rising star. His MA show at London’s Royal College of Art was extremely well received. ‘The concept for my show was based all around the performative hat’, he says. ‘I started with the models, found out what they performed with and worked back from there. For example, the burlesque fan dancer wore the fans on her head as part of the hat, and took them off and performed on the catwalk with them. So the main themes were the performative hat inspired by circus, performance and an East End Victorian funeral’.
‘I overdosed on art, psycho-analytic theory and philosophy, and that clogged up my creativity’, says London-based Gordon Cheung of his artistic state in 2001 after graduating from the Royal College of Art. A six-week residency in Pakistan in 2003 changed all that. ‘The combination of being away, seeing some amazingly kitsch decorated trucks, and meeting some very interesting artists, had a huge impact on me’, he says.
Elizabeth McGrath’s art is like something out of An American Werewolf in London or a Tim Burton production. Part-gothic, part-whimsical, Elizabeth draws inspiration from roadside attractions, decaying cities, nature, fashion, architecture, interior design, churches of all kinds, movies, good magazines, folklore, music, literature and poetry.