CONVERSE X A-COLD-WALL*’S SPONGE CX CRATER: Wearable Sculptural Forms With Louis Holsgrove & Ayrtn21 June 2022
To celebrate the launch of Converse and A-COLD-WALL*’s Sponge CX Crater, END. visited the Engineering Research Station in Killingworth, Newcastle, with stylist Louis Holsgrove and up-and-coming rapper, Ayrtn.
The Engineering Research Station in Killingworth is a Grade 2 listed building that was created by Ryder & Yates in 1967 — a precision-designed sculpture that represented their uncompromising approach to architecture. It stands as one of the many buildings designed by the firm throughout the North East of England, with Ryder & Yates being responsible for pioneering the modernist movement for social housing and private buildings during the 1960s and ‘70s.
In many ways, Ryder & Yates approach to architecture — a cutting-edge sensibility contextualised in social milieu and sculptures — is something that sits at the core of Samuel Ross’ A-COLD-WALL*, making the Engineering Research Building the perfect location to shoot the label’s Sponge CX Crater made in partnership with Converse. END. invited up-and-coming rapper and producer, Ayrtn, to be styled in the Sponge CX Crater — a creative who describes his sound as an expression of the environment he grew up in. A diverse palette serves as inspiration to the South London rapper — ranging from MF DOOM to Erykah Badu — resulting in him forging his own path rooted in experimentation.
To provide creative vision and styling, END. also tapped into Louis Holsgrove for assistance — an archivist and stylist known for his appreciation of cutting-edge, high-end sportswear. On his approach to the project, Louis said “pulling shapes from the Sponge CX Crater, as well as the abstract shoot location, I wanted to capture these forms through the use of technical garments with similar details. To me, the shoe feels quite industrial, so I wanted to draw attention to the orange hues by exploring splashes of colour in the pieces selected, while complimenting the shoe’s experimental aesthetic.”.
Louis’ archive and styling focuses heavily on technical, retro-futuristic pieces from the ‘90s and early ‘00s. His approach to styling this with contemporary experimental pieces, like the Sponge CX Crater, was “to pull details, shapes and colours from each garment so that they compliment each other. I wanted to express the rounded and fast-paced orange segments of the Sponge CX Crater, echoing it through the looks without taking away from its striking design.”.
Much like Samuel Ross and his architectural approach to clothing, Louis’ background studying Fine Art at university led him to “look at clothing as wearable sculptural forms”, with a particular focus on high-end sportswear and its ability to “push the boundaries further than the norm”. To Louis, technical design and what we can learn from it mirrors his love of artwork: “Technical design, particularly in fashion, is often made to enhance our performance and comfort, as well as pushing the boundaries of conventional aesthetics. To me, it feels like contemporary art and always asks us what if?.”.
Converse x A-COLD-WALL* Sponge CX Crater
Dark Grey & Tangering Tango