APROPOS.PROVISIONAL.

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Apropos.Provisional is a unique concept store located on Hay Street in Subiaco. A wonderful mix of literature, photography, art, music and fashion, the space is truly one of a kind in Perth. I interviewed Apropos.Provisonal’s Alex Markovic recently to learn more about the store…
 
 
> Please describe Apropos.Provisional…

Apropos.Provisional is an independent retailer of books specialising in publications with an emphasis on current trends in art, photography, architecture, design and writing. Our store in Subiaco opened in November of 2014 and we co-inhabit the space with Good Company Records, another independent retailer who deal in specialty vinyl. We have also recently opened a small exhibition space attached to the rear of the store that operates as a contemporary art gallery that we curate simultaneously.
 
 
> What sparked its beginnings?

I’ve always been an avid collector of artist’s editions, they just appeal to me as these beautiful tactile objects that are artworks in their own right. the artists behind them always have so much to do with their production and every minute detail is so considered – from the actual layout, the way in which titles are bound and presented, down to the paper and printing process itself.

I was studying fine art here in Perth, and then later in Paris, and the thing that struck me over in Europe was just how there is such a widespread culture for the appreciation of artist’s editions, one that seemed vastly more expansive than over here. Paris was littered with so many incredible shops dedicated to these specialty publications, and the more and more I looked the more I found others elsewhere across the globe.

I discovered all these incredible stores and communities of people creating and sharing small press publications in New York, London, Berlin, Melbourne and Sydney and I really just found the passion and hard work behind it all so inspiring. I thought there was definitely enough interest for something comparable to operate in Perth, but nothing quite like what I was seeing elsewhere existed here.

As it happened, Andrew Sinclair from Good Company came across a spot in Subiaco when looking for a space for the record store. He thought our two concepts could align well, and so invited us to co-inhabit the premises with them. Six months later, both projects keep growing bigger and better.
 
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> The store is really beautiful! What concepts did you have in mind when you created the space?

We really just wanted to keep it minimal, give everything a chance to breathe. The Good Company guys shared a similar mindset in that we didn’t want it to take the appearance of an ordinary record/book store, where everything is cluttered and becomes somewhat hard to navigate. We wanted to celebrate the hard work that goes into the design of all the book covers and record sleeves, so we decided to display everything on tables and walls so that they stood the chance of being appreciated, rather than being stuffed sideways on shelves so that only the spines are visible.

The store at present almost has the appearance of a gallery for the products we stock, which I guess in a way helps to reflect the time we spend curating our selection of titles – but we’ve also tried to make it homely and approachable as possible with the inclusion of plants, fruit bowls, a fish-tank and some comfy chairs to kick back in and thumb through books or listen to records.
 
 
> When sourcing new publications for the store, is there anything in particular you look for?

Our goal has always been to showcase excellence in publishing and creative talent, on both a local and international scale. We’ve adopted a pretty democratic approach in that we are always looking for submissions from people who have self-published titles – whether they be photocopied zines, hard cover photo-books of anything in-between. The emphasis has always been on photography but really it’s all-encompassiong, and so the focus is simply on unique publications that are unlikely to be found elsewhere in Perth.
 
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Gallery space

 
> The top three titles you’re most excited to have in store at the moment…

Alec Soth’s ‘Songbook‘ is probably my favourite release of the year. The first lot of copies we got in sold out within a week of having them, and we’ve only just been able to get a fresh bunch of copies in stock this week. Alec is an American photographer and published whose work has that incredibly rare ability to resonate with anyone who is fortunate to come across it, his subjects always so breathtakingly compelling and his technical execution is so perfectly apt in capturing them. Songbook is a large hardcover collection of his Black and White photos taken from the LBM dispatch series he self-published with writer Brad Zeller from 2012-2014. They document his travels across the American stateside, attending dances, festivals and communal gatherings in an era of social networking. The resulting photographs are sublime and really need to be experienced in print rather than on screen.

’5 comes after 6′ by Japanese photographer Yurie Nagashima is also one of my favourites at the moment. There’s an incredible sense of stillness to the photos collected in this edition that really allow you to stop and appreciate her eye for colour and light. Everything is put together in an incredible way and the prints have such a vibrancy that make them leap off the page.

And lastly, Perth expat Traianos Pakioufakis’ editions ‘Grass Tree’ and ‘Ghost Gum’ are ones I can’t recommend enough. Two really incredible A5 editions that collect his photographic studies of two really recognisable pieces of Australian flora, but presented a completely different light. Simple, beautiful and haunting.
 
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> What does the future hold for Apropos.Provisional?

We’re in the early stages of starting our own in-house publishing imprint, and are working closely with some incredibly talented local artists to produce editions of their work that will be available later in the year.

Our exhibition program is also in full swing and we have some great shows lined up for the gallery space in the coming months, so keep following us on the usual social media platforms as well as on our website to hear more about those. Other than that we just want to keep expanding our catalogue of titles and help foster a community of people who are excited about producing, celebrating and collecting small-press publications in Perth.

Follow Apropos.Provisional…

267 Hay Street, Subiaco WA 6008

Website // Facebook // Instagram // Twitter
 

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Issey Miyake jacket, Pleats Please top, Zambesi jumpsuit, Charlotte Olympia clutch & Marsèll shoes.

Photos by Adam Nalapraya

I love wearing all black outfits, but one thing that I always try and do is play with different textures. Garments can get lost amongst the others when wearing all black, so it is up to the textural details to make the separate garments stand out from one another. I also tried to play around with silhouettes in this outfit; I love how the billowy curves of the jacket complement the tops curved sleeves. I almost feel like a ninja in this outfit, with my silver clutch as my shuriken-star (ninja-star)!

 

SHOPPING GOH-TOS : MELBOURNE : ARCHIVE

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I first came across ARCHIVE through Instagram many many months ago, and it was love at first sight – the crew at ARCHIVE love all the same designers I do! They’re based in Melbourne, but I was so happy to learn about their online store. I was very excited to visit their physical space when I was in Melbourne last. I met up with ARCHIVE’s Adeline – she is one of the loveliest people and is so interesting to talk to. We spoke about our favourite designers, ARCHIVE, this blog and more…
 
 
> Please tell us a bit about ARCHIVE

ARCHIVE is a consignment concept which fuses together fashion and art, our space is an almost gallery like space where we house the garments. We try to reject the fashion-paced mass consumption nature of fashion these days and focus more on timeless pieces. The Japanese consignment culture inspired the store and we’ve tried to bring that same approach to pre-loved designer clothing here in Melbourne.
 
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> ARCHIVE has such a focused aesthetic. Please tell us about the key designers you always look out for, and what it is about them that you love?

Since the beginning of ARCHIVE, we’ve always been quite focused on the Japanese labels; Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto and Issey Miyake – who is sometimes overlooked when referring to the great Japanese designers. We like to mix those labels in with more contemporary European labels; Prada, Céline and others.

We’re always on the lookout for pieces from Issey Miyake. Especially the more playful printed and colourful pieces which are often hard to find! Miyake is one of those labels which are so great because they are so approachable in a casual way however, when you wear any of their pieces, they’re so refined and elevated that they give you an edge without having to put in too much effort. Miyake’s Pleats Please range really give you structure without sacrificing movement.
 
 
> Travelling the world and sourcing pieces for the store sounds like such an amazing experience; what are some highlights from your sourcing trips?

Buying is professional ‘shopping’ and as sick as it sounds shopping for 12 hours a day does have it’s upsides. Naturally, the greatest thing is bringing the pieces back to our shop in Melbourne and showing all of our wonderful customers.

Often when we buy pieces, we have certain customers in mind – they don’t necessarily know this – however we get to know them and their differing styles over time so sometimes we are personal shoppers without them knowing it! It’s a really pleasurable thing to do and quite special as well. We really get to know our customers and we’ve even built up this little community or family!

We’ve had blisters from carrying so many shopping bags, pulling suitcases around suburbs of Tokyo, sweating in the sun… it’s all very glamorous. And the Japanese always think “Oh dear, those traic gaijin girls are back… to SHOP!”.

One of our main suppliers is an incredible man. He’s quite monk like and wears a chairman Mao style uniform, chain smokes intense cigarettes – almost like the Japanese version of Gauloise and he has an old IBM computer where he sits and plays a Mahjong game. His whole warehouse is a shrine to Yohji and Comme – WE LOVE HIM!
 
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> And I hear you’re moving! What’s next in the pipeline for ARCHIVE?

Yes we are moving! We are moving to a much bigger space (Bernard’s Magic Shop) on Elizabeth St. The new space will feature our new store Shifting Worlds and ARCHIVE in one space together.

We are so excited to be launching a new store, Shifting Worlds!! Shifting World will be stocking three lines of Issey Miyake; Pleats Please, Bao Bao, Cauliflower/Me alongside Maryam Nassir Zadeh, Nomia NYC, Martiano and NEHERA – an amazing knitwear label from Prague that has been recently revived by the co-founder of Encens magazine, Samuel Drira.

Make sure you follow us on Instagram @archivemelbourne and @shiftingworlds for regular updates!!