Gucci’s Prêt-à-porter FW19 Campaign sees Fashion with a capital F

In the past few seasons, Italian fashion house Gucci has become renown for the creative direction behind their elaborately artistic fashion campaigns. For Fall Winter 2019, the campaign released earlier this week, creative director Alessandro Michele pays homage to the evolution of prêt-à-porter from the 1950’s to the 1980’s, a period in which ready to wear was at it’s peak. Shot by Glen Luchford, the campaign features the concept of fashion as a genre of science or art form, where each subject is shot surrounded by spectators and analysers inspecting each and every elaborate look from the FW19 collection.   

“The fabula of fashion, however, begins at the drawing table, then moves to the workshops, during fittings, trials and fault finding… It is a tale of manual and material skills, the result of a specific know-how that today we tend to discount, to take for granted,” the team stated. 

See the full story at Gucci.com

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Fendi Launches Men’s Version of Iconic Baguette

For the first time during the FW19 menswear season earlier this year Italian luxury fashion house Fendi debuted their iconic Baguette in several men’s versions on the catwalk. The brand’s iconic bag, originally launched in 1997 by Silvia Venturini Fendi, was reimagined in different styles, materials and sizes to fit. The baguette has been featured in three different sizes including mini, regular and maxi and is crafted in different materials such a croco, mink and Selleria leather.  An additional feature is although it may be a baguette, thanks to the flexibility of it’s straps it can be worn in several ways, from cross body to hand-carried or even as a belt bag. Today launches the digital campaign featuring a group of influencers friends including Marc Forné, Leo Mandella and Nasir Dean as they are shot sporting different versions of the baguette while decked out in their FENDI wardrobe. The baguette will be available in FENDI boutiques worldwide and online starting from mid-July. 

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Filles A Papa Makes Powershift with New Shoe Line

This month Belgian fashion brand Filled A Papa, broke new ground with the launch of their very first footwear collection for the AW19 season entitled POWERSHIFT. 

Carol and Sarah Piron, the creative duo behind the line created a collection of 4 styles including  ankle and thigh high boots, inspired by the theme of the previous collection , being the iconography of American Motorcross and Mud Wrestling with a touch of 90’s aesthetic. Laced high boots are reworked in both black and white suede with an added sparkle of Swarovski crystals, the brand’s signature numbers the Bliss and Cocomodels are offered in the same fabrics as well as a metallic “American Flag” version, leather and black tailoring with white dots. Each shoe is matched with its own personality that gives it’s wearer a unique extra oomph while sporting it. To view and purchase the full collection on pre-sale, visit Filles A Papa.

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PFW: Thom Browne SS20 – My Secret Garden

Within the past few seasons designer Thom Browne has managed to establish himself as one of the more creative menswear voices in fashion. Each season he manages to reflect the scenery that is the objet d’art of his complex mind. Creating fusions of menswear with forms of femininity and couture tailoring. For spring summer 2020, he created a story around a secret garden where he unleashed his fantasies of typically masculine sports reinterpreted and blown up with masculine qualities while still caressing the idea of vulnerability. This was shown through XVII century clothing that were reinvented and reinterpreted. From hips that blew up inches wider than usual to oversized shoulders all shown in the classic Thom Brown seersucker fabrics. Football balls pads and codpieces paid tributes to the sports in red, green, yellow among other colours.

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Notions of luxury and the relegations of throwaway culture: Twin meets the RCA graduate Andrew Bell

Images courtesy of Phillip White

The needle and thread, the binding hallmark of the fashion industry is devoid in the work and craftsmanship of the fashion designer Andrew Bell. 

Using cutting-edge sonic welding technology, in a disruptive approach that undermines the one constant that has traditionally kept fashion together, Andrew is a creative looking at alternative means to design. For Andrew contemporary fashion is stuck: designers are consistently creating the same shapes and silhouettes, very much defined by tools and techniques which have not changed for decades. Having graduated from Zowie Broach’s MA degree at the Royal College of Art, Andrew was one of the front running thinkers of her encouragement towards radical thinking: the graduate show entitled All At Once summarising the spectral chest of ideas on show.

Unpicking the traditional and moving forwards with new technology is central to what makes Bell’s aesthetic fresh and striking. Collapsible coats, razor sharp pants and fluid-cut tops combine to project a signature look that crisp, sharp, compact and concise.  Side-stepping the familiar, traditional and pre-determined is at the heart of what makes Bell’s work engaging. Animatedly explaining how he used Sonic welding technology to seal not only to edges and outlines of his pieces, but to bind the very aesthetic direction of his work, Andrew has ensured that in the absence of stitch lines his pieces are super-lightweight, which in turn allowed him to develop a series of collapsible coats and jackets that fold completely flat to just 1.5cm in profile. 

Andrew’s work hinges on an axis of high-low paradoxes. On one hand his cutting references the collapsible hover bag, on the other the very cornerstone of modern womenswear tailoring – the Dior Bar Jacket. For Andrew this paradox reflects the collapse in the traditional frameworks that bind our notions of ‘luxury’ and ‘non-luxury’ in an era of material excess.  In this saturated context Andrew’s work presents in part a portrait of the collapsible, but equally projects an alternative vision for the future, with ‘Future Tailoring’ the term the designer uses to condense and communicate his approach. 

Across his MA collection Andrew has explored the hallmarks of a new era of garment construction across a spectrum of materiality; from sharp and structured to soft and fluid. The edges of this new aesthetic are instantly identifiable through his iconic zig-zag emblem;  More subtle is the completely clean-cut, non-fray edge that defines every other sleeve and side seam in the collection. Up close, the zig-zag edging harks of easy-open, single-use supermarket stock. 

Collaborating with a print designer, Ciaran Moore, on the fabric, the pair capture the beauty of industrial textures, such as the rusty non-slip grills that go unnoticed under our feet. The ephemeral geo-prints that line envelopes and parcels sit side by side with heritage herringbones; luxury and the lo-fi abound. This approach is extended to the footwear in the collection too. In collaboration with fellow RCA alumnus Tabitha Ringwood, the pair present a capsule of footwear completely crafted from scratch. For the heels the designer borrowed the humble door wedge, re-moulding it both physically and conceptually as an object of beauty that extends beyond its primary status as a mass-produced, valueless and solely functional article. 

Perfume is an off-shoot, but nonetheless connected project to Andrew’s vision: exploring the potential of a fragrance focused magazine that features different contributors each issue. Just as the designer’s outerwear collapses the material hierarchies of ‘luxury’ and ‘non-luxury’, so too does his fragrance concept. In the place of traditional cut-glass bottle, Bell’s concept sees bio-degradable PVC sachets as a sustainable alternative. As such Andrew dissolves the most expensive aspect to any fragrance – the bottle – allowing fragrance to become more accessible to young designers and their audience.

Andrew’s work reminds us that aesthetics and technology can harmoniously inhabit a creative space together – technology cannot abandon visual beauty, nor can form ignore the potential and the responsibilities of production and design. Andrew has allowed technology to shape his process, re-articulating items of the banal everyday into structures of body-skimming beauty. As Bell surmises, in order to break the deadlock, the repetition and the dead-stock, fashion must look to new ways of making, and new ways of thinking.

It’s an approach that Bell attributes to the inimitable teachings of Zowie Broach, a modus operandi that demands a fearlessness in approach. Under Broach’s leadership Andrew was chosen by Value Retail to be the 2nd recipient of the highly coveted support scheme for rising Irish talent; The Kildare Village Fashion Scholarship which allowed Andrew to take his place at the RCA, an opportunity that the designer explains would otherwise have been closed to him. 

The designer is often a perfectionist: in the way they touch, feel, look. Every facet is examined, explained and evaluated in detail. Andrew Bell is no exception – it is this exhaustive dedication to the metaphorical folding of fashion that has allowed a designer to emerge that is refreshingly new.

Expect to see him at Jil Sander before long.  

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MFW: Marni SS20 – Carnival Meets Camouflage

Last week in Milan, Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso, who has in some ways become the enfant terrible of Milanese fashion invited guests to a show space that featured a net ceiling filled with plastic bottles for the presentation of his SS20 collection. The show’s set, although containing a strong message to environmental matters we face today was simply just a backdrop, or as the designer himself put it, “a reminder of the issues we’re facing with plastic hanging over our heads.”

The collection itself was a celebration as much as it was a rebellion. Risso imagined an unlikely marriage between Argentine revolutionist Ernesto Che Guevara and American novelist Truman Capote with himself as the wedding planner. This resulted in the harmony of two opposing worlds, carnival meets military. From hats made from staples, to  old furs, plastics and debris by artist Shalva Nikvashvili, to slippers crafted from cardboard cut outs and plimsolls dipped in oil.  

“A study in clashes, and the uneven harmony that ensues by mixing opposite worlds, jumbling it all together. The extreme graphic properness and formality of suits. The radical rebelliousness of field jackets and militaria, with a tropical slant.”

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MFW: Fendi SS20 Men’s – A Nurture of Nature

For the first time in a very long time, Italian fashion house Fendi stepped off site their routined Milanese show space and headed for the gardens of an 18th century villa in central Milan for their SS2020 show. A switch that had been prompted by creative director Silvia Venturini Fendi’s need for a break from the virtually infested world we live in as she takes a minute to appreciate the fruits of Mother Nature . This collection was a version of the Fendi man that goes fishing on weekends and gardens in his spare time. Sartorial workwear pieces were presented with a casual elegance that allow their wearers a sort of relaxed eased approach towards life.

From khaki cotton overalls, to striped beach slips, to fishmerman style vests and cargo pants. Throughout the collection, the house also revealed their collaboration with renown “Call Me By Your Name” director Luca Guadagnino who drafted a few botanical prints for the collection. These were brought out through digital prints and cut out knit wear. The colour palette was one that blended with the habitat ranging from beiges, to greens , browns and whites. In regards to accessories, the house debuted a Pequin printed Fendi watering can, garden baskets, big totes, pouch bags as well as versions of the Fendi baguette and peekaboo bags. This collection was a breath of fresh air for the house, one that in some ways allows for a sort of reset, and more than anything conjures the desire for a vacation.

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MFW: SUNNEI SS20 – A Haiku of Fashion Lucidity

On the occasion of their fifth anniversary, Italian minimalist brand SUNNEI adopted an urban space in the Rubattino area of eastern Milan, which they transformed into what they now dub as Bianco Sunnei. The space,  an entirely normal concrete area that sat underneath a giant bridge in Milano’s Parco dell’Acqua and has been regenerated as a visual oasis coated in white paint. A type of maximal minimalism that didn’t call for much to make a statement than a well thought out concept. This sort of effortless assertive simplicity was strung throughout the brand’s SS2020 collection which had their freshly created space as it’s backdrop.

The collection was aimed towards a specific colour palette which not only complemented the space, but embraced some of the house’s iconic runway history , from plain white, to the khaki browns, somber citruses, lime greens to sky blues and midnight blacks. Each transition gliding into another as if it were some sort of poetry. But not just any kind of poem, no, this was a haiku —  three lines, seventeen syllables, 17 words. Very simple but meticulously planned as to evoke all the right feelings. Boxy volumes were in abundance with cargo pants, monochromatic suits, denim jackets and coats, knit dresses that explore a few moments of layering. Fabrics move like liquid as the brand uses this moment to highlight their collaboration with Albiate 1830 — a branch of Italian eco-friendly fabric company Albini. This is seen through 3D woven nylon yarns, fresh leathers, and a deckchair-striped cotton poplin. Last season the designer duo presented a collection as a stance resistant against the wave of streetwear by referencing the 2000s. This season they affirmed that notion of in some ways being anti-fashion- Not like Rick Owens anti-fashion, and although similar not even Marni’s anti-fashion. Just simply riding , moving , sketching to the beats of their own rhythms, which happens to be in the opposite direction of everyone else. Either way this has become the duo’s strong suit. 

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LFW: Fashion East SS2020 Showcase

Last week  three young designers under the Fashion East Initiative presented their SS2020 collections. A small tribe of Londoners and British fashion school alumni who each spoke with very different voices.

Saul Nash SS2020
Saul Nash SS2020
Saul Nash SS2020

The newest designer to the bunch was British dancer and choreographer Saul Nash who opened the showcase and his section of the evening with a group of models standing on the runway. Followed by a dance performance upon the guests being seated. This performance helped to show off Nash’s construction abilities in creating functional pieces with technical fabrics, curved zippers and mesh. From steel grey nylon pants, to light blue tracksuits. Each piece was made with an awareness of comfort and sensitivity towards movement. 

Robyn Lynch SS2020
Robyn Lynch SS2020
Robyn Lynch SS2020

 Irish designer Robyn Lynch presented a solid coloured men’s collection inspired by the sport uniforms worn throughout Irish communities in earlier decades. This was brought out through a selection of cable knit sweaters, terry cloth shorts, t-shirts and cropped sweatpants all rendered in a palette of mint greens, lilac and cornflower blues.  

Mowalola SS2020
Mowalola SS2020
Mowalola SS2020

Nigerian designer Mowalola Ogunlesi showcased her second collection with Fashion East that was inspired by her experiencing the woes of romantic love for the first time, “I’ve just fallen in love for the first time and I feel as if no one talks about the horrific side, the dangers of love, losing control of your emotions and feeling like your crazy. It’s like a horror movie. So this is as if I’m in a black Woodstock Festival and someone has been murdered,” she explained. And henceforth this included looks with gunshot wounds placed against large lip prints, religious symbols in colourful halter necked suits, skin tight pants,  revealing bodices, jumpsuits, and coats made from leather, cotton and cowhide fabrics. 

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LFW: Charles Jeffrey SS2020 Menswear: 21st Century Punk Rock

All Images by Chris Yates

Last weekend British designer Charles Jeffrey revealed his SS2020 men’s collection during London Fashion Week. Within the past few seasons Jeffrey has established himself to be not just a designer but a showman, a thespian, a poet who doesn’t just put needle to thread without there being deep intention manifested behind it. Each season the designer has delivered full on productions that leaves his audience in wonder of the world around them about matters that are often so blatantly obvious, repackaged and re-presented by the designer in a way that manifests itself within the viewer. Last season Jeffrey presented an exhilarating and immersive Weimar Republic club performance with nods to Peter Pan and sexuality. However this season the designer opted for a rather more sober tone as he drew inspiration from the concept of punk culture and the idea of how it was created as a default to the times in which we lived.

This collection as he said, was “an eruption beneath violent pressure, as a diamond under the heat,” in reference to the political, social and natural climates in which we currently live. His show began with the designer himself walking down the runway of The British Library reading a passage from “In the Beginning,” by Dylan Thomas. Followed by a collection of seersucker suiting, featherweight jacquards referencing armour and civil service uniforms in reference to the need for both freedom and protection; opal blue silk column dresses styled with contradictory military jackets and some pieces containing intricately layered rips and tears representative as sorts of fault lines. 

Some models sported full face paintings done and extravagant head pieces and  fishnet stockings which reinforced the collection’s punk influence. The collection was acted almost like a map, like a polaroid of this generation’s pain and demise, a prediction maybe, of what such a movement like the punk subculture would have looked like in the year 2019. 

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Prada SS20 Mens: An Optimist Rhythm, A Boyish Freedom

Creative Director Miuccia Prada was moving to an optimistic tune in regards to the latest Prada Spring Summer 2020 Menswear collection. The collection was presented for the first time in Shanghai, China in celebration of the 40th anniversary of Milan being named it’s sister city. The show continued along the same themes and energies presented in the house’s resort collection a month ago which explored notions of optimism and simplicity. On a blue-lit runway at the Minsheng Art Wharf Mrs. Prada explored the these notions of optimism through a boyish elegance by acknowledging the significance and impact of fashion design. And as a result acknowledging the designer’s power as an artist with self affirmations, “I am no longer an artist; I have become a work of art,” a quote from the voiceover played during the show. The collection was almost like an ode to oneself, an embrace of both the good and the bad, the old and the new, the rebellious and the sophisticated. 

Classic pieces are decontextualised with contrasting  proportions and scaling created to frame the male body abstractly. An long shirt addressees the line of a tailored jacket, polo shirts and sweatshirts are given macro volume, each piece was crafted with a sort of boyhood in mind that speaks to a type of freedom. The type of boyhood that may recall the spirits of Boy Scouts which may have been subconsciously hinted with the above the knee shorts, tent-like nylon tank tops and palette of khaki’s included the collection.

These were complemented by neutrals of baby blues, pinks, blacks and greys in tune with that of the resort collection.  As described in the show notes “technology has become a fetish, ” where cassette tapes, floppy disks and other ‘antique’ pieces of technology are mounted on shirts and jackets like merit badges. Having landed commercial success through dipping her feet in these untamed themes such as Frankenstein in the last menswear show in February, this SS20 menswear collection seems to have been Miuccia’s affirmation that what had been known as a classic tailored Prada brand five or ten years ago, is now meant to be played upon and experimented with. Keeping up with the changing times, while staying true to the brand’s voice. 

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Riverdale’s Rob Raco Faces Fendi

Rob Raco, one of the stars of American Drama Netflix Series Riverdale has been recently shot as the face of Fendi’s SS19 men’s eyewear campaign Released this weekend, the campaign features the musician and actor in a short film flaunting sunglasses from the collection. Throughout the video, Fendi makes a point that sunglasses should be worn at any time of the day as it sets Raco on a cosy living space being documented from sunrise, through morning, afternoon and sunset. Each change of time is signalled through the the change of sunglasses and wardrobe. As he’s captured in enjoyment of the moments while his voiceover plays in the background:

“I like to know when the daylight comes.

The shape.  From purples to pink.

I know when I can feel it.

How your mood turns into a different colour.”

 The Fendi SS19 eyewear collection is now in stores and online. View the full film here and shop the collection at Fendi.com

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Nike Launches BeTrue Pride Month Campaign

In celebration for this year’s Pride festivities Nike launches it’s BeTrue collection in support of the LGBTQ+ community with a smashing campaign. Earlier this week, in partnership with Out Magazine, Nike released the images for the collection that were done in collaboration with the estate of Gilbert Baker — the political activist who claimed the rainbow for LGBTQ+ people by creating the pride flag. 

The campaign shot by photographer Marcus Smith features the likes of some of sports’ most important LGBTQ+ names including Caster Semenya, Sue Bird, Chris Mosier, Brittney Griner,  Kerron Clement among many others.  All decked out in this year’s updated merch which includes  collection of shoes, accessories and clothes highly influenced by the pride flag. Such as the Air Max 720 in a rainbow palette with Baker’s signature on the back, The Air Tailwind 79 with a rainbow heel, the Zoom Pegasus Turbo in a full rainbow stripe with glitter and sparkles among other products.  In tune with the initiative,  the brand will also grant financial support to 20 LGBTQ+ organisations including the GLBT historical Society, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, The National Gay Basketball Association and You Can Play.  The Nike BeTrue 2019 collection is now available online and in selected stores worldwide. 

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Matches Fashion x Paco Rabanne 1969 Pre-Collection

Yesterday French fashion house Paco Rabanne in partnership with London based luxury retailer Matches Fashion launched an exclusive silvery of the house’s 1969 anniversary bag and AW19 pre collection with an installation at Matches’ space at 5 Carlos Place. 

The Paco Robanne 1969 anniversary bag bridges past and present through iconic design and artisanal technique. Assembled by hand, the bag is the quintessential expression of Paco Rabanne – avant garde when created 50 years ago and timelessly modern today. 

Image by Cat Garcia

The installation is an immersive experience which welcomes customers into Paco Rabanne’s world through two channels.  One  as a chainmail cube that focuses on luminosity and curiosity, pulling stimuli for inspiration from the 1969 bag collection and it’s unique aspects. The other is a twist to the AW19 collection that curates an environment with films representing the landscapes of David de Beyter and digital tutorials on LED screens that explain how to wear pieces from the collection.  Both installation act as booths for photos where costumers are free to interact with the products and the curated environment that accompanies them. 

 The 1969 anniversary collection will be available exclusively at MATCHESFASHION.COM for the month of June and the installation at 5 Carlos Place will run until the 26th of June. 

Image by Cat Garcia

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Nike Taps Four of Fashion’s Most Promising Females Ahead of Women’s World Cup 2019

Cover Image: Nike x  Koché

Just in time for the 2019 Women’s World Cup in June,  Nike released their new collaborative campaign this week featuring four of fashion’s most promising female designers. For the collaboration Ambush’s Yoon Ahn, LVMH Prize recipient Marine Serre, Koché’s Christelle Kocher and MadeMe’s Erin Magee redesigned the classic football jersey with matching sports bras from their own perspective of these sports staples. 

Yoon Ahn of AMBUSH created a jersey that speaks to diversity by reflecting aspects of Asian culture in a unisex hybrid jersey inspired by the Happi coat, which is a traditional Japanese straight sleeved coat.

“ I chose the happy coat because, although we are celebrating the tournament and the incredible female players, I believe it is just as important for the fans, for everyone to have universal piece to celebrate in,” she explained. 

Christelle Kocher’s vision however, stemmed from the idea of creating a sort of elegant asymmetry. “I created this dress by reconstructing the soccer jersey around the female body. The result is a dress that can be worn by a girl who plays, dances or moves in the city,”  she stated.

Marine Serre was of course able to offer a version of the signature print which has aided in gaining her recognition over the past few seasons by presenting it in a printed body suit worn under a slender neon green jersey. “The focus of my design is always hybridity and adapting to daily life. It’s important to create a purposeful line that makes a female feel good without compromising style,” said Serre.

MadeMe’s Erin Maggee instead paid homage to the U.S Women’s National team of the 90’s with a match ready Nike stadium jersey featuring the USA federation crest.  “I wanted this jersey to be sport first, fashion second. It’s meant to celebrate the incredible victorious history of the USWNT by drawing attention to the woman namesake of the iconic sportswear company itself: Nike the Goddess of Victory.” 

The collection will be available for purchase at NikeLab stores globally and a few retailers as of June 7th. 

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Prada’s Pasticceria Marchesi opens in London

Yesterday Italian fashion house Prada opened the doors to their Marchesi 1824 store in Central London. The pastry shop,  the first of it’s kind outside of Milan,  replicates the scenery of it’s Italian location. The Pasticceria Marchesi, founded in 1824, has overtime become one of Milan’s signature spots, known for its fine patisseries, chocolates and traditional Milanese panettone. This vision of traditional elegance was channelled in it’s London location with elegant cherry furnishings and carefully restored tiling provided for the convenience of the enjoyment of the store’s wide selection of traditional Italian confectionery. The Pasticceria Marchesi is currently opened to the public and sits along Mount Street in Mayfair.

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Cecilie Bahnsen x Matches Fashion Capsule Collection

Danish designer Cecilie Bahnsen recently teamed up with luxury retailer Matches Fashion on the release of a fifteen-piece collection released this week . The collection, a continuation of her SS19 collection,  includes a selection of the designer’s signature feminine designed accentuated with embroidery, beading and other details.

“The designs for the exclusive capsule collection are a beautiful continuation of our last collection. Combining sculptural silhouettes with couture techniques reinterpreted for Matches Fashion woman,” explained the designer. 

For the collection, Bahnsen collaborated with a few female creatives including teenager Margrethe Hjort Hay who inspired the floral beadings as well as photographer Josefine Seifert who shot the editorial. In celebration of the collaboration, Cecile has also put on an installation open to the public until June 1st, at the Matches Fashion Mayfair townhouse, featuring furniture from Swedish Design Group Magniberg and the work of glass artist Nina Norgaard to stylishly accompany the designer’s collection. The Cecilie Bahnsen x Matches Fashion collection will soon be available online Matches Fashion.

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F IS FOR…FENDI Ft. Nigel Sylvester

Fendi has recently partnered up with American professional BMX athlete on their latest installation of the F IS FOR.. FENDI campaign.  The feature sees the athlete sporting an outfit from the house’s SS19 collection, doing 360s and rear wheel jumps with his one of a kind FENDI bike at the Fendi Headquarters in Rome. 

The F IS FOR.. FENDI initiative began as a platform for Millennials made to share stories and experiences relevant to the generation that are in line with the Maison’s DNA.  This is brought out through fashion editorials and interviews with musicians, artists, athletes and all types of creatives. 

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Adidas Original x Fiorucci SS19

Earlier this year adidas original joined forces with Italian brand Fiorucci for the release of a collaborative capsule collection.

A pairing that worked so well that they had to do it twice. This month the brands announced the release of a second collection perfectly tailored for the waves of the summer. The campaign features a bevy of girls decked out bright coloured swimwear, jackets, shorts, sandals and sneakers. Each of the collection’s pieces combines the sporty aesthetic of Adidas original with the bold graphics and identity of Fiorucci.  The collection is now available on Fiorucci.

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“All I Want To Be” by Thomas De Kluyver

Cover Image: Shibuya by Harley Weir

During the past few days make up artist Thomas De Kluyver has partnered with photographers Harley Weir, Fumiko Imano, Shama Osborne, Lea Colombo among others for the release of an IDEA book entitled All I Want To Be. The book, launched at Dover Street Market last week features exclusive work created by de Kluyver and his team of creatives as they explore themes of gender identity, politics, representation and individual expression in beauty and fashion. ”I want people to have fun with make-up and experiment with their identity,” he explains. 

Throughout the book, the 150 pages are brought to life by the colourful images of these talented creatives which are introduced with a beautiful poem by Wilson Oryema on the fluidity of identity.

“It talks about how our identities are never fixed, or set, and how important it is to be able to express ourselves the way we want to. Our starting point for All I Want To Be was making sure we captured the people that feature in it somewhere they felt safe. So many of the images are shot in bedrooms, bathrooms… The kind of places we’re able to shut the door and experiment with who we are freely and without any judgement,” explains the photographer.
The book concludes with photographer Harley Weir’s chapter which features a cast of full body painted subjects. Given the themes of the book, the photographer will also be donating a share of the proceeds to gender non conformity charity Mermaids UK.

“The world of fashion and beauty has a long history of challenging gender norms but more needs to be done to represent the beauty within all of us, regardless of our gender. We hope Thomas will continue to be a powerful force in gender acceptance in an industry that shapes the way our society understands power and beauty” said Susie Green Mermaids UK CEO. Thomas De Kluyver’s All I Want To Be is currently on shelves at Dover Street Market London.

inner/ outer / self by Oliver Hadlee Pearch
Awake by Lea Colombo

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