The first edition of Perimeter’s Composite Journal came out two years ago. It was an art journal with a difference. Like any magazine, it had different articles, different sections, but all squared on one topic: Belgian photographer Jan Kempenaers. Now, after 18 months, Composite is back to spotlight Chinese-based fashion label ffiXXed Studios.
“What’s drew us to ffiXXed was that, for a fashion label, they work in a very lateral, rigorous and critical way,” says Composite co-editor and publisher, Dan Rule.
“ffiXXed is a life project,” says Rule. “It’s not just about making fashion collections.” ffiXXed started in 2008, interested in using the medium of fashion to explore ideas about lifestyle, modes of production and consumption. Using organic fabrics, its simple, layered and baggy designs draw on its own multicultural background and hyper-local mode of production. Gradually, it has shifted from what it has called “textile-based sculptures” to more wearable fashions.
Fiona Lau and Kain Picken, the designers behind ffiXXed, are both from Australia, but have relocated their operations to a village at the foot of the Wutong Mountain in China, where they live and work in a single space. “It’s a completely different take on a Chinese factory,” says Rule. “They have a close relationship with all their staff. They eat together, they hang out together, they take afternoon naps together.”
Like the first edition, the new Composite is somewhere between a magazine and a monograph, centering on a long essay written by Rule himself detailing ffiXXed’s practice, Q&As with both Lau and Picken, a catalogue of their work, and a new photoshoot.
Rule promises the next issue won’t take another two years.
Composite Journal #2: ffiXXed Studios launches at Perimeter Books, Thornbury at 3pm, Saturday July 4.