Mobb Deep: Havoc and Prodigy – two decades strong

Havoc and Prodigy have been creating music together since they met as teenagers at the High School of Art and Design. Since then, they’ve dropped numerous albums, travelled the world several times over and have been involved in some pretty legendary rap beef. The feuding also made its way into the group, with the duo splitting for a brief hiatus in 2012 before reconciling to record and tour once again. And, in that way, the relationship between Havoc and Prodigy is one of the of the realest in the industry.

They’ve been creating together for over two decades since their beginnings in Queenbridge, Queens. From the hood dissertation that was The Infamous to releasing The Infamous Mobb Deep this year, it’s come full circle for Havoc and Prodigy. They’ve truly grown up together and have seen each other through both creative and personal growth. The split was very publicized, with verbal sparring over twitter and fans torn between sides.

It’s the type of rivalry we’ve all been in at some point in another, with those that we share a rarified relationship with, where true feelings aren’t masked behind false words. These types of relationships are the strongest because they can withstand the depth and complexity of us as humans, and the only ones which will reveal the sometimes brutal truths we need to face. For Havoc and Prodigy, their hiatus was a chance to focus completely on them as individual artists, and when they reunited a year later (as many predicted they would) they came back with tenacity, recording and touring with a renewed sense of passion and loyalty too Mobb Deep. It’s a clarity you can only reach after having had some strife.

We saw them perform together to a packed house, a testament to the reach of Mobb Deep since their first album. It was clear as soon as the first two bars of Shook Ones Part II came blaring through the speakers, Mobb Deep is forever.

Eddie Borgo: The New Classic

To understand the cohesion in a collection, you have to look at its inspiration. Each season, creative directors churn out collections with mixed inspirations from the most obscure and unlikely of sources. It’s fascinating to see how designers, season after season, mesh their various inspirations to create a line of garments and accessories that somehow still feels new. To borrow from a cliche – fashion, like history, tends to repeat itself. The importance of fashion lays in its role as an archivist for culture, and the mindset of that era. Using history as inspiration is a great way to pay homage to a time which that defined the industry.

For Eddie Borgo, his favorite time in fashion history was the rise of American costume jewelry, in the ’50s and ’60s. This era of jewelry serves as continual inspiration for Eddie and his team at their NYC based studio. The time that Eddie takes to carefully research and refine the best parts of certain periods and influential figures in fashion is reflected in his own, unique vision. He’s incorporated a Majorelle blue in his F/W collection, that captures the mood of the Majorelle Garden in Morocco. Meanwhile, his holiday collection is an ode to the colorfield artists of the ’60s, with geometric, graphic shapes inspired by Kenneth Nolan. It’s these developed details in his collections that make it clear that Eddie is as much a student of fashion as he is a contributor.

Symbolism runs deep in Eddie’s collections, like the deep red colour he used in his F/W to represent life in Marrakech, and it’s something that’s obviously resonating with a lot of people, as seen by his success in the infancy of his company. We like our jewelry to have a meaning and Eddie Borgo’s line speaks to those who want a new kind of classic, with modern silhouettes that still retain the durability and longevity of eras past.

We caught up with Eddie at Holt Renfrew and he talked to us about his love of costume jewelry and also filled us in on the beginnings of Eddie Borgo studio and how living in NYC has inspired both his line and his life.

Eddie Borgo finds sparkle in the streets

When’s the last time you really looked at your surroundings?

Eddie Borgo’s inspiration for his classic collection comes directly from the geometrics of everyday objects, familiar to anyone walking the concrete jungle. Latches from gates, padlocks, domes, cones – and other shapes that you see everyday, but can miss entirely, are given new life in his designs. These objects have a certain character to them, and give off a very tough exterior; they’re functional shapes, with a specific purpose – to keep people in or keep people out.

Eddie’s classic collection reinterprets these silhouettes into something striking. His workmanship is precise; he chooses brilliant stones and luxurious finishes that refine these familiar, everyday objects. His gift is in foresight; he sees materials in a way that we ordinarily wouldn’t think mesh well, but come together beautifully under his hand, such as rubber coated  metal.

Our video interview with Eddie, in which he speaks further about his inspirations and his love of costume jewelry, is coming up next.

TheScreenGirls_EddieBorgo3

Rectangle Estate drop earrings and necklace

Rectangle Estate drop earrings and necklace

Multi-stone Pyramid Bracelets

Multi-stone Pyramid Bracelets

Assorted gemstone cone bracelets

Assorted gemstone cone bracelets

New York Fashion Film Festival founders explore the genre of fashion films

Each year, the New York Fashion Film Festival gathers aficionados of fashion and film for an evening of exploration and discussion about this new genre of fashion film. The festival is a collaborative effort between Stephen Frailey, Bon Duke, Chris Labzda and Jimmy Moffat and is held at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan.

The festival highlights the best fashion films of the year, and doesn’t differentiate between films shot by novice filmmakers and those backed by big budgets and a Coppola. Showcasing emerging talent is important to the founders of the festival, as the genre of fashion film continues to mold and evolve. In the last decade the prominence of fashion films have grown exponentially. Easier access to equipment, and the ‘more-is-more’ work ethic we’ve adapted to as a society has lead creatives to explore their talents in many different fields . This kind of attitude is what has allowed fashion designers such as Tom Ford the opportunity to try their hand at directing. The festival echoes this attitude, as it offers a platform for directors who are able to work in different disciplines.

Fashion films demand a fine balance – they must be able to show the clothing without actually having the clothes overpower the narrative – to sell without being overt. Fashion films continue to grow and evolve each season as it becomes increasingly more popular for fashion houses to show a video alongside each collection. It’s been a fast turn around time, helped by the advent of social media and the global reach of these films. And they do not disappoint. From elaborate, sweeping productions to reviving hilarious sitcom characters, directors have blended so many genres to create the new genre of fashion film.

Because fashion films have become so integral to the business of fashion in such a short amount of time, it leads to many questions about its future in fashion. What other interactive opportunities could come from the merging of fashion and video? Will still images and fashion films live side by side?

We headed to Manhattan to interview three of the four partners of the New York Fashion Film Festival, and asked them to share with us their opinion on what makes a good fashion film, their first recollection of a fashion film and their plans for opening up the festival in other markets.

 

Check out our favorite films by Monica Menez, Danny Sangra and Gareth Pugh 

Fashion film director and photographer Bon Duke on the importance of communication

New rules. It’s the unspoken mantra that is moving the creatives of today. Everyone is looking for fresh ways to push ideas forward, to do things as they’ve never been done before. It’s an emboldening time to be an artist; you get to open all of your own doors, or maybe decide they aren’t doors at all. From Beyoncé dropping her album at midnight with no promotion, to the legions of street artists that are earning an income from “defacing” property, there is no form of conventionality when art and commerce are joined.

The outcome of a multitasking society is the multi-professional – someone who can cohesively manage several occupations in different fields. It’s a difficult balancing act, the key to longevity seems to be the ability to perform well in each sector, and there is no one doing it better than Bon Duke. He’s a Brooklyn (born and raised) based fashion photographer/director/co-founder of the New York Fashion Film Festival. He graduated from the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan with a masters in photography and film and since than has platooned forward shooting Alexa Chung for the cover of Time Out, celebrity portraits for Ciara and Eve for Block Magazine  and filmed with Nowness for Chloe . His videos are an enchanting mix of expression and emotion with a suggestion of something more sinister.

Bon toys with all of the perceptions of the fashion industry. He understands how to blend fashion seamlessly into his videos without it making it all about the clothing. His videos have a vision, a narrative, in a few minutes, you’re transported, made to feel something, beyond an admiration for the shoes.

He’s accomplished so much in a short period of time, yet his aspirations only climb higher. He’s looking into some entrepreneurial options and hopes to one day create a scholarship program at his alma matter. Beyond all of his accolades, Bon is an example that the ceiling is only as high as you set it.

We visited his Brooklyn studio mostly to hang out and watch him paint, but also asked him to share with us his thoughts on his love of photography, how he learned to communicate and why doing just one thing isn’t enough.