Velvit Presents: Creative Collaboration with Colourblind
London based fashion journalist, Josh Walker, of the colorless publication Colourblind discusses writing, the fashion industry, and actually being colorblind in the art world and how he navigates through all black
Velvit sat down with Josh Walker, the editor and creative director of Colourblind, for a deeper understanding of the publication's background and collaborative efforts, his view of writing and poetry as prominent players in the fashion industry, and why black is his calling card.
Velvit: How did your career in fashion journalism begin?
Josh Walker: I've always wanted to be a writer. I grew up reading a lot and constantly writing my own material, but I guess my career as a fashion journalist began when I started at the London College of Fashion. I always remember one of my lecturers telling us in one of our beginning weeks that first, you're not students, you're budding fashion journalists, and second, by the end of your degree you will have branded yourself as a writer and found your voice. Since then, I've never looked back. I can't imagine doing anything else.
V: Where did you get the idea for Colourblind?
JW: Colourblind started as a publication through my final project [in college]. The idea itself came from my personal experience with writing, as a response to the fashion industry as I saw it, and generally being attracted to the darker side of style. I am colorblind: I get my greens confused with my oranges and browns, and my blues are lost with pinks and purples. So when it came to writing about fashion, I had to learn to come up with a style that fit around that issue. I filtered out the color and focused on the cut, the construction, the details that matter. As I started to write about fashion in that respect, I started to wear entirely black and have done so ever since. With black not being a color, I was seeing my wardrobe as everyone else was. I was in full creative control. As well as that, I wanted to create something that stepped away from certain parts of the fashion industry that I find frustrating – that being the celebrity culture and how dictated it is by people who don't always deserve it. I wanted to create something that not only embraced fashion as an art form, but promoted and provided a platform for those who matter. Other than that, I've been into the dark aesthetic since for what seems like forever now. Be it music, art, fashion, or architecture. The darker side of style will always be where I'm most at ease.
V: How is Colourblind different from other explorational platforms of art, fashion, and lifestyle?
JW: I guess its difference comes from the story it's born from. With me being colorblind, it's obviously a very personal venture and project, and one that people will hopefully find interesting. With color stripped, it's not only a place where obscurities are removed because everyone's eyes are seeing exactly the same as mine, but a place I've come to call home.
V: How has Colourblind been received?
JW: I'd like to say it's been received well. No one has said they don't like it, which is encouraging. I couldn't really put a most memorable moment down. Each and every comment, page view, interview I conduct and email I receive is incredibly appreciated.
V: How did you find your voice in this world of dark arts?
JW: I'd say it's because I can relate to it and that there's absolute honesty. I say what I see, I ask what I'd like to know, and in doing so, there's absolute clarity for myself, for the designers, and for the readers.
V: You've had the opportunity to write many articles and initiate interviews on your site, what is one of your favorite pieces?
JW: I've absolutely loved every interview I've done for Colourblind. I'll approach someone not just because I love what they design, but because their thought process seems just as attractive. Again, I wouldn't like to pick a favorite. Every single person I've talked to so far for Colourblind is a true inspiration and artist in their own right.
V: Other than Colourblind, what other projects or events do you cover?
JW: Outside of Colourblind, I'm a London based fashion writer within the industry. I've been editor for online content for both Fashion Scout and Graduate Fashion Week, as well as a writer for a number of other publications. Generally speaking, I try to write for platforms who promote the upcoming. The upcoming for me are the pulse of the fashion industry, and during the busy fashion periods, it's their work that's sending shivers down my spine.
V: Why is it important for artists to collaborate?
JW: It's incredibly important. Sharing ideas, talking things through, and working with others opens up other worlds and other ideas. There are so many talented people out there and Colourblind wouldn't be what it is without those people on the site. The fact that people would want to collaborate with me is also rather flattering. As a start-up, Colourblind is still finding its feet. That said, I'm very much looking forward to and excited about turning the recent talks I've been having with Velvit into a collaborative reality.
V: As a poet, what drives the subject matter of your poems?
JW: It's interesting that you've asked about my poetry in relation to this. I've written poems for a long time and actually put them somewhere to be read online for just over a year now. It's always an area of writing I've been both fascinated with and love exploring. My style of poetry itself is pretty minimal. There's something incredibly satisfying about condensing a thought or feeling that's making a lot of noise in my mind into a handful of words on paper. They're all love poems, and so a lot of the driving force comes from my lovely girlfriend. In terms of what inspires the writing and feeds directly into that force though, I'd say music, the written word, beauty, and the sheer force of Mother Nature.
V: Where do you hope your career takes you professionally?
JW: All I've ever wanted to be or have is a voice that's respected.
V: How does music inspire what you do?
JW: The Colourblind aesthetic is built upon the foundation that “beauty needs an animal to breathe,” which is a song lyric from a favorite band of mine. It's been a constant ever since I heard it. Marilyn Manson is also a huge inspiration, as much for his interview approach as his music. He's an extremely tuned in, intelligent, and fascinating individual and I strongly recommend reading his autobiography The Long Hard Road Out Of Hell.
V: Why is it important for people to view fashion the same way as they would view art?
JW: Defining art is something I've always found an interesting conversation to have with people and for me, art is something that provokes a reaction. Whether you leave an exhibition loving it or hating it (for whatever reason), it's produced a reaction. I'd like to say the same with fashion. I do view fashion as an art form and especially with the people featured on Colourblind, the approach they take to their work and the process they have behind the reactions they want to provoke or achieve for themselves, I can't help but approach them as true artists.
V: What does fashion mean to you?
JW: Visual poetry.
V: How would you define art?
V: What does black represent for you?
For more information on Josh Walker and Colourblind, visit our Contributor profiles, and visit Josh's exploration platform at www.thecolourblind.com.