The urge to destroy is also a creative urge: on three Ultra HD screens, see-through boxes are filled with slowly smoking fireworks. To a crescendo, they explode in technicolor, smashing through the plexiglass.
Matthew Williams and Nick Knight’s exhibition for ALYX at 032c WORKSHOP / Joerg Koch marks the latest chapter in 032c’s engagement with the brand. After features in print and online editorials, as well as a jointly hosted party during Paris Fashion Week and a belt currently available for pre-order, this month 032c is hosting THE SOUND OF LIGHT’S DESTRUCTION, a triptych of videos directed Knight, and commissioned by Williams.
Williams launched the label in 2015, and has called on his frequent collaborator, the groundbreaking photographer and SHOWStudio founder Nick Knight to help define ALYX’s universe. ALYX stands for a blend of inner city aggression and timeless elegance, unifying luxury and subversion. The exhibition further cements the tensions ALYX’s designs capture. It references the brand’s next collection, titled Love Chaos, while the exhibition also serves as a celebration of its FW-16 catalogue, also shot by Knight. Find documentation of the installation below, as well as an interview with Matthew Williams on his collaborative spirit, the vision of his brand, and ties to music.
Can you describe the ALYX universe?
MATTHEW WILLIAMS: It’s something really personal to me. The brand is really all based on my personal experience, the internal monologue of my life. It’s named after my daughter. Each collection is named after whatever I’m feeling at the time. I would describe the clothing and the world as this aggressive elegance. It’s a flag I put up, and say: “I’m living out loud through my work.” If people can relate to it, then come join us.
How does your past as a creative director, working mainly in music, impact the brand?
The soundtrack of the film is built upon the sounds of fireworks exploding, kind of blending them in and out. It was made by the New York musician NOLIFE. We have an ongoing project where he makes music for my films and installations, and in return, I make clothing I consider merchandise in my collection and for his live shows. His music feels really authentic to New York, and had a great energy that I love. Working with him feels like there’s kind of a movement in New York – a new type of music. It really has a lot of energy, it feels really new to me. With my past of working in music, I like to have these ongoing threads that weave in and our of my projects. I’m excited to have our worlds interact, and have a dialogue.
This collaborative spirit is a big part of ALYX. Another of your main collaborators is Nick Knight.
We have worked together for about eight years. I’ve been his art director on many projects, including ShowsHtudio. We are always collaborating on something, but when I started the brand I really looked to him to help define the world, the set and mood for the whole brand. That’s what we’ve been doing with our catalogues each season. The exhibition features the videos of fireworks contained in plexiglass boxes that Nick and I made and photographed together for the center of our next catalogue. The title of the next collection is “Love Chaos” and for us, the fireworks represent a beautiful chaos in containment. At the same time, the exhibition is a celebration of our current catalogue, for which we shot Molly Bair and which is available exclusively at 032c.