Who are the best and boldest new talents in the UK today? On the eve of the next general election, we champion the young creatives setting their own cultural agenda for our State of the Nation spring/summer issue. Leading the pack is Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams, who is shot by Ben Toms and Dazed fashion director Robbie Spencer for our explosive, ten-page cover story. As she turns 18 just in time to vote, the young anarchist talks sexual taboos, feminism, and which box she’ll be checking come May 7. “I get a lot of adults who are like, ‘You don’t know shit,’ and it’s like, ‘You don’t know shit. You have no idea what it’s like to be 17 years old.’” Cameron better watch his back.
We also scoured the UK to gauge the opinion of the country from the people who will define its future – the first-time voters. For our epic #dazedgeneration project, we put out a call on Instagram for Brits between the ages of 18 and 22 to take a selfie and let us know what they loved and hated about the UK, and what they would change. We brought the most inspiring and outspoken voices together for a shoot with Johnny Dufort. From immigration issues and education fees to sex and gender rights, the #dazedgeneration breaks down what really needs to happen in the UK today.
Also in the issue, breakout designer Grace Wales Bonner subverts notions of masculinity and race to spark her own opulent revolution, and for our back section art residency, fashion heretics Meadham Kirchhoff remind us why they’re the country’s most subversive designers in a 13-page splash of colour. Scotland’s sonic mastermind Hudson Mohawke blasts out from behind the scenes with Kanye to reach new stratospheres with sophomore album Lantern; Jamie xx lifts the lid on his lifelong love affair with UK club culture; the enigmatic Sameena Jabeen Ahmed relives her starring role in breakout Brit flick Catch Me Daddy; Glasgow golden boy Iain De Caestecker talks starring in Ryan Gosling’s surreal film debut Lost River; and bionic pop star Viktoria Modesta heads up her own alternative revolution.
Elsewhere,Raf Simons reflects on his rise from fashion outsider to creative director at Dior, and why the kinked-up androgyny of David Bowie has played such a big part in his work. Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing recruits his own army of British icons, including Jourdan Dunn and Lily Donaldson. And we crawl inside some of the country’s most creative minds with 50 pages of the best UK-themed fashion: legendary photographer Tim Walker teams up with Junya WatanabeandIsamaya Ffrenchfor our eye-popping beauty story; Harley Weirand Jacob Kjeldgaard meet their match with Jean and Olympia Campbell; and Paul Wetherell and Mattias Karlsson riff on the rough-hewn beauty of the great British council estate.