When the British photographer met musician Aya in Tokyo the pair bonded immediately. “Even though our time together was brief, they remain some of my favourite photos I’ve taken” says Francesca Allen of this first encounter in 2016.
Two years later, these first photographs have informed a longer and more intimate project. Francesca Allen’s new book, ‘Aya’ invites viewers into their friendship and documents a month that the pair spent together in Tokyo.
Unable to speak the same language, Allen’s lens offers a poignant testament to connections that are forged beyond verbal exchange. She captures the unspoken chemistry and emotional bond between them, created over an intense month of sharing everything and spending all their time in each other’s company.
Aya is depicted in the studio but also in both domestic and outdoor locations throughout the city. The portraits, whether up close or more distanced, are constantly tender and thoughtful. In these images we can feel Allen behind the camera, creating space for the audience to see into their shared world.
Released this week, ‘Aya’ is an ode to friendship, celebrated in a beautiful new tome. Ahead of the launch we caught up with Francesca Allen to find out more.
Read the full interview with photographer Francesca Allen on Twin magazine.
‘If something is well-made, it grows and ages with you; it becomes part of you. Once we begin appreciating better quality, the need for novelty wears off,’ posits Stamos Fafalios over email. It’s the end of the Sustainable Fashion event in Athens, and I’ve contacted him to find out how Greek designers are coping during these austere times.
Human beings are 90 percent bacteria. For Giulia Tomasello, that’s not gross at all. Instead, the Italian designer is leveraging our microfloral composition to transform the approach to women’s vaginal health.
While studying a masters in Material Futures at Central Saint Martins, Tomasello started to experiment with the idea of a bacteria kit that women can put inside their underwear to stay healthy and prevent viral infections such as thrush – which is said to affect a staggering 138 million women worldwide. The result was ‘Future Flora’. The project helps to recalibrate the notion of bacteria as something that’s harmful or negative by empowering women to self-care. Like Yakult for your vulva.
“The approach with bacteria can sound quite freaky,” she explains, “but it’s what makes up our skin microbiome. We are dealing constantly, on a very subtle level, with the relationship that we have with them.”
Twin issue XIX is all about not following the expected path – you could say the heroes and heroines of this issue are are rebels, but more importantly they’re pioneers. Leading with energy, humour and fearlessness that knocks you sideways. A celebration of speaking up and standing out.
The contributors to this new issue of Twin are all united by their insanely individual talent. Cass Bird’s celebrates the mesmeric Mette Towley, star of Rihanna and N.E.R.D’s smash hit Lemon, on a low-tempo day while Fanny Latour Lambert brings the strange and surreal home. Actress Indira Varma talks about women’s power in the post #metoo movement and in an intimate series of photographs and handwritten letters, photographers Markn and Daisy Walker offer a personal dialogue about sexual abuse.
Stefanie Moshammer heads to Mühlviertel for energetic family frolics while Charlotte James and Sebastian Bruno let loose inside Merthyr’s famous social club. You’ll be thrown into a swashbuckling tribute to Shakespearian England courtesy of Scott Trindle’s epic imagination.
The history and contemporary importance of afro hair salons in South London is explored by Sophie Green and Lynda Cowell while Emma Tempest creates contrasts with Veronique Didry against a striking natural landscapes. Lara Johnson-Wheeler chats to Niall O’Brien about documenting the unseen world within a world at Lourdes, while Agnes Lloyd-Platt makes you double take with her striking vivid shots around San Roque, Cadiz. It’s a knock out.