Knotted Gun by Carl Fredrik Reutersward
"Should I look for spiritual love, or material, or physical?
Don’t ask yourself this question.
Discrimination leads to discrimination.
Love doesn’t need any name, category or definition.
Love is a world itself.
Either you are in, at the center.
Either you are out, yearning"
- Shams-i Tabrizi
It was a sobering weekend for us here at CMPLT UNKNWN, as we woke to the news of the worst mass shooting in the history of our country. Once again innocent people were the target of an inexplicable act of violence, and our hearts go out to them and their families. There are people who will exploit this tragedy to their political ends and there are those who will revile and blame others on the basis of their religion, faith, or sexual orientation.
Our country is in the midst of a chaotic and volatile time - like an adolescent caught in a nebulous haze- but we believe we can come through on the other side, stronger and triumphant than ever before. We, as citizens have to wake up to the facts and stop playing the blame game. Some are blaming Islam and its aversion to homosexuality and propensity to violence.
“But Muslims did not invent domestic violence or homophobia. And the determination with which some on the right have fought same-sex marriage indicates tolerance and acceptance have struggled to find a home in significant sections of Christian America.” - The Guardian
“Just 48 hours after America laid its most famous Muslim, Muhammad Ali, to rest in a spirit of celebration and pride, the entire Muslim community faced finding itself under collective suspicion, not only of terrorism but of homophobia.” - The Guardian
There are others saying it is about guns. Yes, it is abundantly clear that our laws about gun control are archaic and in need of immediate reform. But, what happened in Orlando is not about one or two issues. It is much more complex - a quagmire of political agendas of demagogues, racists, homophobes, and fear mongering bigots.
At CMPLT UNKNWN we embrace diversity in all its shapes and manifestations. We are advocates of love, peace and tolerance. In this tragic hour, we stand by the LGBT community and hope that this heinous act will not propel hysteria or fear but push forward an amendment to our existing gun laws.
Rudi Geyser’s cinematic and compelling photo essay documents some of the most exciting female identified artists exploring feminist identity, queerness and creativity in South Africa today. Through his series Kwaai Girls, Geyser hopes to emphasize the growing feminist movement in the country, as well as telling the individual stories of these fierce women. “They are all very strong, unique and inspiring women. My aim was to emphasise the diversity and individuality of each person,” says Geyser
Yeah. Brittany Howard had us in a tilt-a-whirl with the spectacular Sound and Color, the last Alabama Shakes album, but with Thunderbitch, her new side project, she grabbed us by the throat, flipped us over and spanked the hell out of our bottoms. It’s so good, this record. A deadly garage rock experiment gone right that evokes the ghosts of Janis Joplin, the New York Dolls and the Velvet Underground from around the time uncle Lou still knew how to party.
This record is full of explosives. For example the unbearably tension-filled “Closer” which explodes cathartically right at the fucking end. “Eastside” a mad stomp, shames us into feeling like moving from yuppie-fied DUMBO to the east side, wherever that might be, and the down and dirty rocker, “Very Best Friend” which might have been the Stones and James Brown jamming together behind Queen Brittany’s epic lament.
Bitch, you got us heated.
What’s with Denmark anyway? Why does this tiny country keep producing mega-watt talent? Is it the food? Clean water? The air? Better shrinks? And how come their talent is so diverse across race, gender, industry and… amount of crazy? On the film front they have auteur directors like Nicolas Winding Refn whose films Drive and Only God Forgives are visual feasts both starring Ryan Gosling; and Lars Von Trier who has made some of the most controversial and (mostly) brilliant films of the past two decades, including “Nymphomaniac”, a film so vast in its audacity and ambitions it was released in two parts.
It’s really irritating, Denmark. It’s almost impossible to get a table at NOMA, the much touted restaurant in Copenhagen but somehow the country produced Deepika Padukone, the famous Bollywood actress and Viggo Mortensen who is not only a great actor but also a painter, poet and photographer. Jesus. Stop it already. What’s the connection between hard-to-get-tables at NOMA and Danish film stars you ask? We don’t know. It’s just upsetting.
And now there’s MØ, the electro/post-punk singer and gorgeous apparition whose 2014 debut album No Mythologies To Follow received rave reviews and sparked comparisons to Grimes. But MØ, whose real name is Karen Marie Ørsted, is headed for bigger things, as the video for her new single Kamikaze proves. The catchy, hypnotic, vaguely Middle-Eastern tinged song is a collaboration with Diplo, and the video was shot in Kiev and directed by Truman and Cooper.
The video is bursting with manic creative energy and a kind of sporty steam-punk aesthetic that is a lighter, backyard version of Mad Max: Fury Road or a whiter, more sanitized take on MIA’s scorching and sexy “Bad Girls”. Whatever the hell it is, Kamikaze is wild and wonderful and sure to establish MØ (which means “virgin” in Danish) as a major talent and fashion icon- the kind of crazy beautiful pop star who would look even wilder with a CMPLT UNKNWN Mad Metal clutch.
Yeah the Danes are so good it makes us angry. But all is forgiven after Kamikaze MØ.
Coco Hayley Gordon Moore, the daughter of Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore, founding members of the unparalleled force that was Sonic Youth, is unaffected by fame that comes as a legacy of her cool parents. She lives in the Midwest and attends the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.“People expect me to be really feminist because my mom is such a feminist icon,” she says. “It’s a subject I’ve stayed away from, or tried to not say too much about, just because it’s complicated and there are so many views on what it is and what we should do about it.” Nonchalant, quietly confident, and cloaked in mystery, she may be the quintessential millennial.
PJ Harvey is a pure magic. From the earlier, raw sound of "Dry" and "Rid of Me" through the punk-blues-rock of "To Bring You My Love" and the hypnotic and poetic Mercury Award winning "Let England Shake", PJ Harvey's music is both powerful and empowering. Her songs reek of blood and sweat, lightening and thunder, and her sense of style is equally unique and radical. CMPLT UNKNWN's Mad Metal and Animal Nitrate Collection are steeped in love for PJ Harvey.
London based Fleet Ilya was established with the objective of creating a label that informs about the erotic possibilities of leather and restriction, as well as bridging a high fashion aesthetic with subversive fantasy. Determined to blur any distinction between fashion and bondage the label artfully walks the line between both disciplines. We are huge fans of their expertly crafted lifestyle objects, ready to wear leather accessories and edgy, sophisticated bondage pieces.
Wasp Gold Garnet clutch from our Animal Nitrate collection has been getting a lot of love lately. The uber fabulous Cool Hunting featured it in their buy list this October. Let’s take you on a little trip about how the embroidery was created. Two summers ago we were poring over sick vintage insect illustrations and found our beloved wasp in a jumble of books and digital downloads. We set to work by drawing and resizing the vintage art. The idea was to create a baroque-meets punk wasp that did not exist. After testing various hand embroidery techniques, we settled for the ari stitch which is done with a hooked needle ( a legacy of the mughal karkhanas from 18th century). The spring metal thread used in this embroidery is ornate, durable and lends a 3D effect to the finished piece. It takes two artisans over 4 days on a loom to embroider each Wasp Gold Garnet clutch. We love how each wasp is slowly transformed into this rock n roll insect. Resplendent and extremely beautiful.
Struck by an image of Bjork in a phantasmagorical beaded face mask, we were led to discover the fabulous artist and embroiderer, James Merry. Having worked for Damien Hirst, he began creating out of this world costumes for the Icelandic diva Bjork, after moving to New York 6 years ago. He now divides his time between New York and Iceland (where he lives in a cabin shrouded in lavender lupines). Transformative and surprising, his creations are a refreshing application of a traditional craft like hand embroidery. He says: "I'm obsessed when two conflicting principles collide and turn into a different matter. Urban vs. rural, man vs. nature, handmade vs. machine, digital vs. physical. Being able to have them coexist is always a starting point."