Marni Resort 2019 – Compulsive Harmony

“Gentle subversion. Looking at reality through a filter, in pursuit of extreme beauty. “

A freshly-released Marni resort 2019 collection focuses on magnifying the traits of romanticism and elegance through the forms of pastel coloured, delicate established silhouettes. Designer Francesco Riso waved his magic wand and created a harmonious collection tied together by feminine distorted, draped and pleated pieces. Demure jackets, voluminous skirts, languid dresses, puffy skirts and soft printed dresses paired with metal-toed shoes and soft coloured leather jackets . The collection feels like a haiku pieced together by a delicate sophisticated feminist to her ex lover with the intentions of letting them know about the great strength she has gained from the horrible break up, with not too much but just enough words. Like an evening primrose, a flower which blooms in darkness, an enchantress of love which has metamorphosed her pain into a collection of welded silk, nylon, ostrich leather, denim and crepe de chine as a gesture of freedom. To view the full collection, visit Marni. 

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Hyun Mi Nielson Spring/Summer 2019

Founder of Hyun Mi Nielsen, Christine Mi Nielsen is an experienced and ambitious Danish designer who has creatively served at some of the most renowned fashion houses such as Givenchy, Balenciaga and head womenswear designer at Alexander McQueen. Throughout her journey, she has worked with and under many creatives at the helm of these houses known for their distinctive and at times iconic pieces. However in July of 2016, after her departure from Balenciaga, the designer  decided to launch her own label, “ I have never wanted to start my own label. The thought never occurred to me until I was asked: “Why don’t you start your own?!”.  That was where it all began, since then she has been invited by the French Fashion Federation to showcase during Couture Week and has launched four couture collections. The latest being Spring/Summer 2019, entitled hybrids. The collection explores the fusions made possible by a multicultural world, veiled sheep herds, fetish culture and post war street style. The construction, styling and photography has a punk poetic ring which leaves you in some sort of trance craving for more.  Plunging necklines, leather bustiers and distorted colourful prints, Twin sits down with the designer to get further insight on the collection.

What was the inspiration behind the most recent collection? 

Magpies, travellers, 70’ties, free spirits, punk, there are also a soft under current of SM and something ethnic. 

Would you say your work and style has somewhat been influenced by the designers you’ve previously worked with? 

I think all people to some degree or another is shaped by their past and my working life is a part of my past.

Where , what or who do you look to for inspiration ? 

I get inspired by the most things in nature, art or just walking down the street. I love to do research, images or developing techniques or volumes. But I have some reoccurring themes I love punks, free spirits, 70’ties etc.

What fashion school did you attend and when did you graduate ? 

I did my BA at The Danish Design School – today it the school has changed name  and become a part of The Royal Academie of Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark. I graduated my MA from the Royal College of Art and Design in London.

How does music and pop culture influence your brand (if it does)? 

I listen to a lot of different music, and definitely love pop music. I for example love artist like Beyonce and the British singer Farai.

What person in the public eye today would you class as the Hyun Mi Nelsen poster woman? 

There are alot of strong, working women I’d love to see dressed in HYUN MI NIELSEN. But as you ask, ‘in the public eye’, my answer is Beyonce. She has already worn the label in the video Apeshit. I’d love to see her dressed in it again.

You of course have a tonne of experience under your belt, working with different designers and attending fashion school. Do you think it’s absolutely compulsory to attend fashion school to be a designer or is gaining sufficient experience enough to get started? 

No, today is not necessary. But why go? It is FUN! And you have time to experiment in a supportive, creative environment and meet like minded people.

What’s next for you ?  A/W 19 and lot of adventures.

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Vivienne Westwood x Burberry

Iconic British fashion houses Vivienne Westwood and Burberry recently joined forces in a collaborative collection released this week. The collection is a celebration of British style and heritage and takes inspiration from Vivienne Westwood iconic collections reimagined from a unisex Burberry approach. From double-breasted and hugger jackets to mini kilts, lace up platforms and berets, all is featured in Burberry’s iconic vintage checkered print. The campaign for the collection features a flavourful cast of names like Kate Moss, Sistren, LadyFag , DelaRosa, Vivienne Westwood , Andreas Kronthaler among others, shot in London by David Sims. The designers of the houses were united by a vision to support and promote a UK non-profit organisation called Cool Earth which works alongside rainforest communities. Four exclusive items from the collection will be auctioned off to raise further support for the organisation along with an oversized T-shirt included in the collection with a handwritten message from Vivienne dedicated to the charity. 

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Rinse, Repeat.

Richard Malone debuts his first exhibition at NOW Gallery on the Greenwich Peninsula this week. Inside the space Malone, a star of the London womenswear scene, will explore the relationship between fashion, art and movement. Visitors can experience and explore the designer’s processes and inspirations in the tactile installation.

From flicking through Malone’s sketchbooks and listening to transcripts from private appointments, to trying on clothes by the designer, the experience is one that will forge new creative bonds between visitors and the designer. Meanwhile large scale images will help to further immerse visitors inside Malone’s architectural and imaginative world.

Richard Malone’s exhibition ‘Rinse, Repeat’ will be at NOW Gallery for free from 28th November 2018 to 27th February 2019.

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Miu Miu Women’s Tales 16 – The Wedding Singer’s Daughter

A few years ago in, Italian womenswear label Miu Miu initiated an ongoing series of short films featuring all female directors using the platform to tell captivating and pertinent stories from a female perspective. Each year, the brand commissions and releases two films for both their summer and winter collections. This year, for their 16th installation of the series, the brand has tapped Saudia Arabia’s first female filmmaker Haifaa al-Mansour to direct their freshly-released film entitled “The Wedding Singer’s Daughter.” The film is set during the 1980’s in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia and speaks on the strict gender segregation rules of Saudi Weddings.

The storyline features a cast of women draped in their traditional black abayas driving to the hall of the wedding location, and reveals the sparkle of the glamorous heels, dazzling dresses and wild hair once they arrive and are in an all female presence. As they prepare for this celebration,  all eyes are on the wedding singer to keep it going until the electricity suddenly cuts out. Mumbles begin and guests start to complain, the singer experiences a slight panic until she is saved by an unlikely heroine: her young daughter who manages to save her mother’s dignity. “Weddings are the actual mirror of society in Saudi Arabia: segregated, fragmented, along gender and class. I wanted to tell the story of those people and capture that tenderness,” says the director, “It’s very important for women to tell their stories, and sometimes it’s hard. In the film, the daughter uses her nimble mind to quickly solve the problem just like an independent film-director. For me the little girl represents the future, and the future belongs to the outsiders.” The film can currently be seen along with the brand’s repertoire online MiuMiu.com.

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Disrupting patterns with Filippa K

As the ultimate antidote to Black Friday and Cyber Monday consumption, over the weekend Filippa K presented the results of their two year sustainable research project ‘Circular Design Speeds’, in collaboration with Mistra Future fashion, at an exhibition at UAL.

2018 has been the year that fashion finally woke up to its responsibilities. And as fast fashion, and the waste produced by the fashion industry more widely, have come under increasing scrutiny, Swedish brand Filippa K has worked to find a solution.

The results of the project are not only exciting from an environmental perspective, but also in terms of style. Both the 100% recycled and recyclable coat and the  biodegradable dress maintain Filippa K’s classic, timeless aesthetic and high quality, while taking the conversation forward. 

Crucially this new research comes from a major fashion brand rather than an experimental and emerging designer. The learnings and results show that when companies choose to put their resources into sustainable innovation, the results can be truly impactful and redirect the standardised path. 

These first creations, as well as the research process, were shown at the ‘Disrupting  Patterns’ exhibition at the University of Arts in London, alongside a series of talks and lectures aimed at sharing the findings of their projects with the larger fashion community.

In order to transform the linear (thinking) production cycle into a circular system we need understandable and simple examples, role models. Upcycling waste into beautifully naturally dyed dresses is just one of many fruitful ways of doing it – hopefully it will plant a seed to transformation,” explained Marie-Louise Hellgren, Designer at Heart & Earth Production at Filippa K.

As the fashion industry is forced to address the mounting crisis that its practice is contributing to, championing brands that embrace cyclical production is no longer a nicety, but a necessity. 

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Dior: From Paris to the World

This week The Denver Art Museum (DAM) opens its doors to one of it’s most recent exhibitions entitled Dior: From Paris to the World. The exhibition is in celebration of the  legacy of French fashion house Christian Dior and it’s influence on the industry since its inception over 70 years ago. It includes a collection of over 200 haute couture dresses, accessories, photographs, original sketches and runway videos which showcases the visual evolution of the house throughout decades.  The exhibition not only highlights the founding father Christian Dior, but also profiles the work of artistic directors Yves-Saint  Laurent  (1958–1960), Marc  Bohan  (1961–1989), Gianfranco  Ferré (1989–1996),  John Galliano (1997–2011),  Raf  Simons  (2012–2015)  and Maria  Grazia Chiuri  (2016–present). “Dior: From Paris to the World will give our visitors  insight into the  House of Dior’s creative  process and inspirations that contributed to  its  unparalleled impact on the fashion world, which continues to reverberate today,” said  Christoph Heinrich, Frederick and Jan Mayer Director of the DAM.  “This exhibition encourages audiences to think differently about the boundaries of fashion as art, and advance the museum’s commitment to taking viewers behind the scenes to reveal Dior’s imaginative and innovative endeavours.” Curated by Florence Müller, DAM Avenir Foundation Curator of Textile Art and Fashion, the exhibition will be open from Nov 19, to March 3, 2019.

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Stefano Pilati, Random Identities

A few days ago Italian designer Stefano Pilati debuted a collection under his name with a runway show in Montréal. The collection, and label titled Random Identities, is the designer’s first independent venture since he parted ways with Ermenegildo Zegna in 2016.  A few days prior to the collection’s debut, the designer took to the internet to release a photo series of intimate images shot by photographer Luis Rodriguez. These images featured male bodies shot in black and white wearing nothing but black caps and boots from the collection. This was a series of photographs that at first glimpse on a timeline would instantly capture one’s attention, it felt as if Pilati had something to relevant to say, and this was one’s cue to listen carefully.

The fact that the designer chose to debut in Montreal as opposed to one of the European fashion capitals well within his reach enforced that he was not aiming to continue or tell a story of Yves Saint Laurent, Ermenegildo Zegna, or any of the previous houses he was associated with, but instead, this represented the flip of a blank page for a completely different type of fashion story.

“An honest statement is necessary: fashion at high prices no longer means exclusivity. My response is to produce moderately priced clothes — ‘the low’ — and present them in a high fashion context, creating limited edition items which by quality of design will justify the proposal — ‘the high’.’ The collection was menswear oriented and featured several looks of separates combined and styled to create silhouettes which were genderless. Dominated mainly by shades of black and olive green, the designer describes the pieces as forms of protective wear — constructed from twill and nylon  and offers a presence which is both friendly and secure, providing a feeling of power whether during the day or clubbing at night. Following such a powerful debut of the brand, it will be interesting to see what next he has to offer, as one who seems to have a different voice with an interesting perspective and story to back it.

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The National Museum of Women in The Arts x Rodarte

The National Museum of Women in The Arts (NMWA) in collaboration with American luxury fashion house Rodarte is hosting the museum’s first fashion exhibition at their headquarters in Washington, DC this month. The exhibition which started last weekend, showcases the works of the designer-duo sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy within the industries of contemporary art and fashion. From an archive of 13 years, composed of nearly 100 looks, each one will be presented as they were on the runway which will highlight selections of the brand’s most pivotal collections. With themes of high fashion and modern femininity, Rodarte has drawn critical acclaim from both the art and fashion worlds since its launch in 2005.  “Rodarte continually prompts a dialogue between the worlds of contemporary art and fashion” says NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling.  “This exhibition will continue that discussion with new insights, illustrating the Mulleavy sisters’ highly creative practice and sources of inspiration.”  Early Rodarte collections have made critical acclaim for their use of unconventional material which fused dressmaking and art together with strong influences from Vincent Van Gogh, nature, films etc. “We are honoured to be the first designers to have a fashion exhibition organized by the NMWA,” said the Mulleavy sisters. The exhibition will conclude on February 10, 2019, do ensure to catch a glimpse before it ends.

Rodarte designer-duo sisters Kate (left) and Laura Mulleavy Photo © Clara Balzary
Rodarte, Fall/Winter 2008 backstage; Photo © Autumn de Wilde
Rodarte, Spring/Summer 2018 backstage; Photo © Autumn de Wilde

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A-LAB MILANO SS19

Emerging Italian brand A-LAB MILANO, conceived by Milanese designer Alessandro Biasi is a mark which plays on the lexicon of modernity and contemporaneity through the outlet of fashion design. For his Spring/Summer 2019 collection, Biasi cooks up a mixture of his signature 2-D graphic prints combined with Japanese themed iconography and techniques reworked in an innovative manner inspired by street style from the Harajuku district of Tokyo. Varsity jackets, graphic printed t-shirts and oversized raincoats give direct references to contemporary street style while the designer pays homage to the Japanese culture by the use of things such as the Furoshiki — a traditional Japanese cloth, often with a unique pattern used to wrap bento boxes, gifts and other objects for enhanced presentation using knotting techniques. With this technique, Biasi has created a fashion story around the collection of which the protagonist is the art of knotting, used in both functional and decorative ways throughout wrap dresses and blouses. The collection is also accompanied by an accessory line which features fabric Japanese pinstriped bags with leather handles, pouch bags, silk scarves, and shoulder bags.

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Gentlewench Boutique Opening: A fusion of Elegance & Flamboyance

On the East End of London, somewhere along Chance Street, Shoreditch this weekend launches a boutique which caters to the likes of a fashion lovers minimalist and maximalist tastes all in one store. Its name: Gentlewench, owned by Chinese personal stylist Wei Yue, is a collaborative effort which includes his expertise of international retail shopping and buying director Tijana Djordjevic’s mass experience in the fashion industry.  “It was important to find a memorable name, the meeting of a gentle educated and refined lady with the saucy, outgoing personality of the wench encapsulates the dual character of the store,” says Djordjevic. The boutique will carry a wealthly catalogue of global designers and under the radar designers which will include the likes of French label Lemaire, hybrid Japanese label Facetasm, Georgian designer Lado Bokuchava, and specialist brand founded by a former Comme des Garçons pattern cutter Hed Mayner and Overcoat. “ Our vision is to combine gentle subtle design alongside exuberant fashion and explore the affinities between the two,” says Djordevic. The store interior, created by Fred Rigby and Dunstan James of Projects & Design, offers an intimate luxurious experience while underscoring the industrial heritage of the area. A section of the space will also house a selection of home ware items including wooden kitchenware by Grain & Wood and ceramics by a Jude Jelfs. The store’s aim is to create an artistic space with hints of surprise in its design where consumer can explore, talk and relax. Doors open to the public this Sunday, be sure to stop by and have a look yourself.

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Pink: The History of A Punk, Pretty, Powerful Colour

In celebration of Mark Kay’s 55th anniversary, the American beauty brand has recently teamed up with The Museum at FIT New York to present a special exhibition called Pink: The History of A Punk, Pretty, Powerful Colour. For years the brand has held a strong association to the colour pink, from makeup palettes to pink Cadillacs, and now after 55 years in the business they’ve made this partnership to honour the multifaceted colour in several ways.

“Since our inception in 1963, our brand has inspired and empowered millions of aspiring entrepreneurs across the globe. In that time, Mary Kay has become synonymous with the colour pink, and this exhibition shows the world what we’ve known for years, that pink is a symbol of power passion and purpose,” said Sheryl Adkins-Green, Chief Marketing Officer for Mark Kay. The exhibition features a collection of clothing from present day to pieces which date as far back as the 18th century. It includes looks from designers such as Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Christian Dior, Elsa Schiparelli, Yves Saint Laurent, Jeremy Scott for Moschino Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and several others. The exhibition extensively  explores the history behind the colour and also how it has been used in Western Cultures. How for example in Mexico, the colour called Rosa Mexicano is associated with national identity, or in India it is worn by both genders. It also speaks to reason behind the colour’s erotic connotations, and its role in political protest and pop music culture in association to rebellious youth. The exhibit is currently open to the public The Museum at FIT New York , and will run until January 5, 2019. If you’re in town, be sure to catch a glimpse.

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Jil Sander’s Tangle Bag

The new Tangle bag from Jil Sander has us in a twist. Functional and versatile, the minimal, compact design is served in spring green and sienna, as well as primary black and white. You’ll find they inspire a fervent desire to collect them all.

The crisp body is contrasted with a knotted, barely-there strap – just enough to garner a double take from admirers. 

It’s another playful offer from creative directors, husband-and-wife duo Luke and Lucie Meier. The pair have evolved the famous signature of the brand without losing its past. Understatement and the unexpected are blended with confidence and ease. 

 

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God Can’t Destroy Streetwear (GCDS) – The Bag Essentials

Italian streetwear label GCDS recently embarked on a new venture of branding introducing their first beauty line called The Bag Essentials. The line is set to feature a collection of products which hints at the brand’s playful ironic aesthetic while still minting it’s high end Italian quality. The first drop of items which launched at the beginning of November included a series of four lip products: Hype — a fresh mental transparent lip balm with deep idratation,  Blinghoe — A flirty sparkling pink lipstick with a plumping effect,  Marijuana — A green ph reagent that turns into a blushing tint with a natural cherry shade when applied on the lips and Velvet D.I.C.K — a rough red lipstick with a matte finish.  The beauty line is set to expand on a wider scale in 2019 with a series of launches always to be accompanied by the brand’s twist of irony.

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Designing through Destiny’s Cup

The new collection by upcoming Australian brand WORN is a riotous homage to powerful women and seventies recklessness. Modelled by the muse Amy, lead singer of the band Amyl and the Sniffers, Twin talks to the designer Catherine about being brave and the importance of beginning out bold.

Has Amy Taylor ever been told her peroxide rats tail mullet homage sets off her eyes? A dusty blue, like smoke marring a crystal clear sky, or the mist in the morning around 5.34am.

The acrid blaze of her mop, her fringe jagged across her brows, seems to balance beautifully with these mysterious blue-moon puddles: a punkish cross-hatching of Dolly Parton (both Capricorns) and Cherie Currie with the unapologetic audaciousness of Betty Davis. 

Amy, the lead singer of the Australian pub-rock band Amyl and the Sniffers, is the sort of woman that must cause jukeboxes to combust, beer bottles to explode, skies to clear. She is mesmerising, through her vocal leadership of a motley mullet crew of merry Sniffers. Caltex Cowgirl, I’m Not A Loser, Blowjobs –  the songs of the Sniffers are some freaky stuff. Their reference points dart from 70’s Australian pub rock like AC/DC and Rose Tattoo, Cherry Currie and Nancy Sinatra, to Melbourne garage: nothing set in stone, more like a collage of influence, coming at all angles from the four former housemates. 

WORN

Amy is a true showman, jumping, leaping and roaring onstage, with her gratingly dark and humorous lyrics alighting the band’s Australian punk revival. Amy is definitely the leader, and boy does she front it well.

In the words of the designer Catherine Conlan, Amy is “kickass and fearless! Brave and bold! She is absolutely charming and completely engaging.”

It is through this steadfast reasoning that Catherine has set Amy as her look-book lead, embracing the role and embodying the seventies reverence.

Catherine Conlan is the designer of WORN, a brand with a sustainable conscience and a spinal chord of print and sharp suiting.

Her new collection is a perfect complement to the woman that Amy represents, both sartorially and linguistically speaking, and as such results in a showcase that puts the metal to the pedal, with frisky tailoring, retrograde prints and nostalgic finishing.

WORN really takes its title to the core of the company – the seventies colouring (that dusty leather brown), those cuts (wide leg pant suits), and collaging (the scarves are a straddle of the 20th Century artistic medium, yet strangely stasis in a thoroughly contemporary referential point). In this vein, the brand name could be read as a riff on being worn, loved and cherished, or the past as a starting and end point for its inspiration.

Having supported Amyl and the Sniffers with her own band, WORN is tied to Amy through her embodiment of the woman Cath has in her mind, a woman with no f**k’s given, and no offence taken.

We look forward to seeing WORN’s next steps as it celebrates and elevates the brilliance of boldness in women.

WORN

How do you know Amy Taylor?

Cath: The band I am in supported her band Amyl and the Sniffers, I think it was one of those things… love at first sight. 

What attributes do you admire in her?

She is kickass and fearless! Brave and bold! She is absolutely charming and completely engaging.

How does she embody your brand WORN?

Amy is confident, she is somebody you can’t take your eyes off of. WORN is about combining your personality with the garments to create a unique look with each individual and that’s exactly what Amy embodies, a completely unique take on whatever she does.

Why did you choose her to model your collection?

When I was designing the final prints and pieces for the collection, I was thinking about Amy. Thinking about her wearing this collection, jumping about in the garments and making it all seem larger than life. Her aesthetic to me, completely complements the prints…with her white mullet and big dolly eyes.

Does music hold relevance in your brand?

Yes, absolutely. For me, music is a huge part of any creative process.

How did the brand WORN come about?

I guess it was always a part of me, in some way shape or form I just never had a title for it. I didn’t have a ‘brand’ to identify with, until I was in fashion school. I needed a more official point of association, an umbrella in which I could design under and to define my aesthetic with.

WORN

What is your brand’s unique DNA? 

Non-seasonal, ethical, sustainable for our local textile industries. Slow paced and timeless design.

What are the most important things to consider when designing?

I always consider print design in my process. It is as important as the garment design and construction.

What are your reference points for WORN and for this collection in particular?

The power suit. Recycling a mass of wool suiting. Working women.

How did you get to where you are now?

I have been drawing, painting, playing music and making clothes since I was young. I studied fashion design with a focus on print design at fashion school in Sydney. I have been creating collections and bodies of work, as worn for the past 5 years.

WORN

What type of woman do you design for?

Crazy, confident bad ass women who know what they want and don’t give a damn!

What’s next?

Releasing a collection of Wallpaper that I have been designing for a while now, touring with my band and collaborating with one of my favourite Sydney artists on a joint exhibition for mid next year.

Most important things on your mind right now?

Australian summer, reducing waste and shooting for the stars.

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anGostura: Symbiosis SS19

Emerging Italian jewellery brand anGostura , is a brand conceived by designer Giulia Tavani who drew inspiration from the meaning behind the word — an aromatic bitter bark from South American trees, used as a flavouring  for cocktails and formerly as a tonic to reduce fevers. The designer describes the birth of her jewellery line as her way of giving a bitter, yet mandatory punch to the cocktail of life itself. Endorsed by the mother of soul herself, Erykah Badu, the collections often feature unique chunks of silver and gold carved into interesting forms which when worn are often seen as poetry to the body.

For her latest collection the designer drew inspiration from the biological term symbiosis — a long-term relationship between two or more organisms living closely together. The form of symbiosis she  chose to focus on was communalism, which is the type of relationship where each organism benefits equally from the arrangement and depends on the other for survival. This is how Tavani envisioned her jewels in relation to the human form, “I want them to be seen as not just ornaments but decorated extensions of the human body.”  The collection is a collaboration with wig designer Ilaria Soncini which includes dark stones, semi precious natural stones, gold and silver jewels, hats and also uniquely fashioned wigs. For more information visit their site at anGostura.

anGostura FW18
anGostura SS17

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Ready, set, Frieze: at Dover Street Market

The excitement in the air as Frieze comes to London is palpable and everyone is looking to get involved. Conserve your energy and make the most of the good vibes: for a super condensed shot of fashion and art related events, Dover Street Market is the place to be.

Serving as the wheatgrass in the cultural smoothie that Frieze has become, Dover Street Market’s locus of activities offers everything we thought we needed, and a whole lot more. The series is launching in store tomorrow and you may want to bring your camping gear – there’s a lot to get through.

Luncheon magazine at Dover Street Market

Highlights include Isabella Burley’s joyful new book, ‘Sisters’ by Jim Britt, which features the brace-clad duo who starred in the AW88 CDG campaign; Charles Jeffrey’s zine launch; Simone Rocha x A Magazine launch; Luncheon magazine’s installation with Rottingdean Bazaar; Loewe’s celebration of classical literature; and much more.

Isabella Burley, UK book launch: ‘Sisters’ by Jim Britt

For the Luncheon installation, Rottingdean Bazaar are re-decorating the Luncheon ‘Kiosk’ which sits the DSM and will be offering some custom playful product with every copy of the magazine – ‘spoontacles.’ These are, as they sound, spoons made into glasses… expect to see London’s most fashion forward coveting the maverick brand’s latest invention in the season ahead.

Luncheon magazine at Dover Street Market

Spoontacles or no spoontacles, you’ll find there’s plenty to dive into at Dover Street Market tomorrow. See you in the queue.

Loewe classic books
Charles Jeffrey Zine
JW Anderson, Your Picture Our Future Publication

Dover Street Market Open House, October 4th 2018, 6-8 pm.

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Kota Okuda: Dismantle Capitalism, But Make It Fashion

One of the most recent visual floods on social media has been caused by Japanese designer Kota Okuda who made his debut during NYFW at the Parsons MFA show 2018. His collection shared a sultry yet rather interesting message.

“I’m fascinated with the obsession there is surrounding the United States currency, and through this I wanted to deconstruct the meaning of it’s value in relation to humans.” Okuda drew inspiration from German philosopher, economist and revolutionary social Karl Marx’s book ‘A Contribution to the Critique of Political Economy,’ which references the themes of conceptualism and pop aesthetics. The designer also described his collection as a way of redefining the American currency by commodifying its value in an alchemistic system of dress, which he surely did accomplish. He  sent models down the runway strutting giant US Dollar bills, giant wallets and accessories reminiscent of cash. Following this collection, the designer hopes to continue to use fashion to tackle important issues and his currently working alongside New York based labels Telfar and Sea NY to design jewellery.

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Antonio Marras SS19: The Fault of The Mistral

Italian designer Antonio Marras dug deep into the unexpected for the inspiration behind his Spring Summer 2019 collection title The Fault of The Mistral.  Arriving to the show a few minutes early, the first familiar attribute was the sound of Nina Simone’s music playing from the outside as the models capped their final rehearsal. As the curtains opened and the audience was let in, what was to be discovered was a series of door jams aligned along the runway with sacks tied atop each one. This show was slightly different from all the others, it carried a message that came across as personal. Marras’ stimuli behind the collection was based on his wife’s recollection of an Ethiopian princess she once met. Princess Romanework, eldest daughter of Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia who was captured during the battle against the Italian army and forced to live on the exile island of Asinara.

The collection embodied a tropical woman dressed in shades of military green gowns, coats and sweaters. Flashes of floral prints, white, beige and lace appear throughout intervals. This was not just clothing being presented at a show, this was a story being told, some models wore headpieces which mimicked flower wreaths and at the end of the show there was a performance. An emotional bevy of men in underwear with shoes tied around their necks, rushing together to salute one another and then ripping the sacks tied atop the door jams, where a flow of sand emptied upon them. This was not just a show, it was a carefully orchestrated re-enactment of poetry. The only note to be taken is that since this was a story of an Ethiopian princess, it would have been ideal for the casting to better reflect that. If making an ode to Ethiopian princesses, go all out, hairstyling and everything. However the designer is definitely one to keep an eye on as he is one who chooses to go a little bit of an extra mile further.

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N.21’s Bare Necessities

N.21 Creative Director Alessandro Dell’acqua kept things quite simple for the SS19 collection. As opposed to his often whimsical streetwear inspired looks the designer delivered a clean collection which he describes as very adult-like, and indeed it was. The first few looks were a series of black dresses, all accompanied by a pair of plexiglass heels.

Each silhouette was clean and feminine with very slight touches of fun added to them, further down there was Dellacqua’s signature touch of nude and pops of colour. Some looks appeared to be transformative series, a pink sweater and pencil skirt was followed by a pink mini dress which was followed by the pink skeleton of a dress layered over a white minidress. The designer worked with these couture-like fabrics to create a very simple straightforward collection that although appeared to be very commercial, withheld tiny interesting detailing. Dress skeletons were made out of faux ostrich feathers, a skirt suit boasted an open zipper back and tie-dye mini-dresses wore slightly oversized bows.  Although this shift might be a step in the right direction for the brand, one can only hope that the birth of this austere, semi-couture  N.21 woman, does not come at the cost of the designer’s ingenuity.

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