Milan Fashion Week: Arthur Arbesser SS20 – To Grandmother, with love

Austrian designer Arthur Arbesser is one who each season never fails to relay the tales of his rich heritage through his garments. For SS20, the designer drew inspiration from a large box in his late grandmother’s wardrobe. Only a few months ago, Arbesser discovered this box that belonged to his grandmother Mathilde which contained scraps of fabric cut from her own clothes from the 1920’s up until the 1980’s.

From this he was inspired to create a collection in her honour that was crafted in patchwork using a variety of fabrics and leftover scraps from Arthur’s past collections. From silk, to crepe and cotton popeline, all presented in light blues, white, and a variety of several prints. The collection contained several aspects of vintage references including the sailor collars and waistcoats which were tributes to his grandmother during the days when she wore school uniforms. Each piece of fabric had a story as well as the way in which they were crafted, which gave the collection not only a poetic dynamic, but a feel of handmade sincerity. 

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Milan Fashion Week: Fendi SS20 – Solar Flair

Images by : Giuseppe Triscari

Since the passing of her mentor the late Karl Lagerfeld , Silvia Venturini Fendi has taken the bull by the horns and managed to craft interesting collections that which although are sealed with her signature, still remain under house’s codes. For menswear SS20, the designer charged towards a direction where she drew inspiration from the actual seasons as she dreamed about gardening in her holiday home outside of Rome. For womenswear, shown earlier this week , the designer took a similar route, crafting a collection under the theme “Solar Flair.” 

Think summer vacation, which means yes, there were bathing suits , mini skirts, PVC coats, but not only, there was a range of pieces to cover every type of vacation, from a weekend in the alps with a line of fur coats, trenches and knitwear , to simple loungewear for a week’s cruise. Prints took centrestage with a variety of graphic florals as well as the house’s signature paperbag fabric in shorts and trousers from waxed and organic washed cottons. The collection also capitalised on creating going green at least with its accessories, by creating a version of their famous peekaboo bag in compact raffia in addition to a few tote bags, as well as the Baguette which was done with blanket flower marquetry.

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Milan Fashion Week: Prada SS20 Style over Fashion

For SS20 , designer Miuccia Prada took a few steps away from the glamours of fashion to focus on the concept of personal style. Each look from the collection was tailored precisely to fit and highlight the model’s personal and physical attributes. The opening look, a simple grey wool blouse with a white matching skirt and leather loafers. Every one thereafter mirrored this concept of not overshadowing the woman’s personality with the clothes but rather complementing her in subtle simplistic manners. A green velvet summer dress was simply paired with a lilac purple hat and big glasses, a gold leather suit given a simple white collar, put on a bare faced model. Hints of vintage aspects were also sprinkled about the collection with accessories and silhouettes that so likely resembled Prada silhouettes in the late 90’s as well as references of several different eras including the 70’s and 20’s. The collection itself was self referential , and centred around the idea of putting the woman first and clothes second. 

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Edeline Lee’s Collage of Everyday Life

Images courtesy of Simon Melber

The world is a scary place at the moment. And this season, fashion has taken notice. Designers have been either making open political statements through their clothing or indulging in an escapist mode by presenting bold garments which express their need to run away to distant lands. British-Canadian designer Edeline Lee is very aware of it, and that’s exactly why her Spring Summer 2020 collection was a light, brightly coloured burst of joy. 

This season, the designer wanted to inject a bit of optimism in her clothing, as past season’s fall-winter 2019 presentation had such a tough subject matter (she had been inspired by professor Mary Beard’s feminist manifesto, Women & Power, where Lee made the case for the runway as soapbox). 

“I feel like we need a bit of optimism right now and so I felt like I needed something light which could contrast the darkness of everything that’s been going on at the moment,” she said. 

Following up from her experiential presentation of last season, this time Lee collaborated with Sharon Horgan, the Irish actress and writer who starred and co-wrote Catastrophe and created HBO’s Divorce, for a presentation which verged on the line between theatre and runway. 

“Sharon and I are friends but not only that. I am such a big fan of her work, her voice and the way she talks about the human condition is so acute and real and to the skin,” she says.

And the clothes she presented exuded exactly the same vibe, they were real clothes for real women, which featured simple silhouettes – ranging from a series of white shirts and brightly coloured midi dresses in a palette of greens, blues and reds, to a series of brightly coloured striped numbers, to finally, a series of dresses made in her signature jacquard.

“In the show in a way what we’re trying to do is juxtapose the lightness of the clothes to these real-life moments which are acted out by a series of actresses, who sort of stop and get distracted by real-life passing by and then they stop and go back to their intimate realities,” she says. “It’s sort of like a play on a juxtaposition of these different versions of life.”

Sitting in one spot over the course of 15 minutes you would be able to experience every skit presented by the actresses almost as if eavesdropping on conversations of everyday life. 

Lee’s collaboration was a refreshing take on a runway experience – and it definitely helped her in trying to represent who her woman really is and making people understand who she’s making her clothes for and the audience she’s making it for. Collaborations like these are a fun way to get the point across and are also more memorable experiences in a month where editors see an enormous quantity of shows.

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London Fashion Week Day 3: Natasha Zinko, Preen by Thornton Bregazzi, Margaret Howell, Osman

Cover Image:  Preen by Thornton Bregazzi SS20 by Tom Warabida

Urban sustainability at Natasha Zinko x DUO

Images by Tom Warabida

At last, it seems like fashion has finally taken notice of its toll on the planet. Indeed, the theme of sustainability is finally being embraced in every fashion city and is a big theme at the core of this season’s spirit.

For SS20, Ukranian-born but London based designer Natasha Zinko brings forth her efforts of working to reduce the companies wastage footprint by re-using and repurposing all the textiles, including vintage pieces, presented in her new collection. This season, the designer has also created pieces crafted from old aluminium cans, sourced from the Alutrade Recycling Centre who has donated 500lbs of aluminium.

This season’s collection was co-ed and the was show was presented in a private street in central London. The collection was boldly maximalist and featured a number of urban-inspired looks which gave away 90s vibes. Oversized jumpsuits were covered in floral prints, whilst pyjama inspired looks were given a bolder edge through the use of a palette of neon tones ranging from greens, yellows, pinks and purples. Patch-worked paisley bandanas in different colours were sewn together to create mini-dresses, bras and oversized trousers, whilst a number of black, tougher looks were also present. 

Preen by Thornton Bregazzi’s Harajuku girls

Images by Tom Warabida

The duo at Preen always loves to start a show by presenting the audience with the books stacked on their bedside table, a list of references which inspire and influence the collection from start to finish.

Citing books such as The Promised Neverland and cult films such as Quentin Tarantino’s Kill Bill and Sofia Coppola’s Lost in Translation, this season was all about Japan.

Punkish Manga girls covered sweaters, hoodies and t-shirts and were paired with the brand’s signature floral printed skirts. Quilted coats and trousers also featured heavily this season and were a refreshing addition to the roster of looks. However, like Natasha Zinko, the duo also presented a collection whose focus was to use re-use and repurpose all past materials.

And this could certainly be seen through the collection’s standout looks, which were a number of asymmetric ruffled dresses featuring cut-out panels and mismatched layers of floral prints, which gave away an air of romanticism and which will for sure be seen all over Instagram by next season.

In order to add a bit of toughness to the overall romantic vibe of the collection, the looks were paired with men’s combat boots, leather shoes and satin lace-up ballerinas.

Refined Elegance at Osman

Images by Tom Warabida

Bold and romantic body wear, a myriad journey of sorbet hues across a candy sky, poisonous gypsum like polka dots, in ying-yang circles, splattered across ruffle tiers. This was the introductory phrase of the show notes, which had been carefully placed across the seats of Osman’s private presentation.

This season the designer showcased his SS20 collection in a private salon manner just like in the 1950s and presented a limited number of elegant and well-made looks inspired by the elegance of women always on the go.

There was an option for every woman in the crowd, ranging from soft suiting in pale tones of yellow and green to African inspired coats and jackets and mini dresses in a myriad of ruffled layers of tulle. The protagonists of the collection were a series of mini dresses featuring poet-looking balloon sleeves in a chinoiserie-like Parisian wallpaper print.

However, a mini dress in black ruffled organza which resembled a dark flower in bloom stole the show. Barely-there sandals and a series of brightly coloured rococo mules accompanied the looks.

British Boyish Minimalism at Margaret Howell

Minimalists rejoice! If you were thinking Margaret Howell was going to steer away from her signature style, then you are very wrong. Once again, Margaret Howell delivered a beautifully made collection returning to the Rambert Dance Company Showspace.

Yet again, the designer presented a co-ed collection which riffed on Britishness and exuded an air of boyish chicness. Fans of perfectly tailored trouser suits and high-waisted trousers will exult in delight this season, as the collection featured a number of chocolate-coloured pieces that won’t disappoint. 

Stick of butter fans will also rejoice, as the designer presented a series of crisp, midi dresses and shirts in a delicate buttery yellow palette. Stand out pieces of the collection included an antique pink blouse with a ruffle-y collar paired with over-the-knee shorts, teal pleated skirts and taut shirts in linen and a series of olive-coloured looks worn by male and female models alike.

The looks were paired with a series of studded clogs in chocolaty tones, as well as leather sandals worn with socks. 

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London Fashion Week Day 2: Ports 1961, Marques Almeida, Toga & Rixo

Karl Temper’s debut at Ports 1961

London Fashion Week Day 2 started with a bang as Ports 1961 set their newly re-launched and re-designed brand with a fantastic show at Tate Modern. The brand, renown for its minimalistic heritage has now been rebranded, from logo to collection, under the watchful eye of newly appointed artistic director Karl Temper. Breaking away from its previous minimalistic codes, Temper introduced us to a bold, maximalist collection. Tribal prints with slight nods to Matisse, covered pleated dresses, skirts and trousers, whilst triple-stitched trouser suits were presented in a varied palette of baby blue, terracotta and mustard, an interesting power alternative to the usual day-to-day workwear. Standout looks included a cue to a budding trend to come as a very cool mix of zebra and cow print covered a series of coats, trousers, a knitted two-piece set and a silky dress. Chinoiserie floral patterns covered silk panels on coats and shirts, adding a touch of etherealness and femininity. Chunky jewellery and bi-colour studded sandals accentuated the overall eccentric art-mom vibe of the collection. Definitely a great start for a first-time stylist turned designer. 

The power of community at Marques Almeida

Images by Tom Warabida

Multiple screens welcomed the guests at the Marques Almeida show. “If you had a daughter, what would you want her to know?” This was one of the questions posed by the designers to the M’A girls, the diverse group of young women featured in the video installations screened before the show started. “If I had a daughter I would want her to know that it’s ok to be who you are and to be super unapologetic about it,” said one of the girls. And indeed it was this empowering message that inspired the collection and wants to push the designers to create a strong community which aims at inspiring the youth. This season, the designer duo was inspired by a mix of rebellious icons, from slightly 50s freakish Hollywood actor shots to Riot Grrl zines and Bikini Kill. This duality of sensitivity, femininity and toughness was evident as different materials and colours were contrasted throughout the collection. Floral printed tight tops were styled with oversized denim frayed trousers, whilst oversized taffeta dresses in pink, acid green and blue were styled with a series of bold accessories, either tough or feminine, ranging from latex gloves to feathery kitten-heeled shoes. 

Fashion as an indulgence at Toga

Images by Tom Warabida

Set at London’s iconic Royal Institute of British Architects, the Toga show was a play of artistic temperaments. Every season, Yasuko Furuta, the designer behind Toga, defines her collection in three words, and this season these three words were “wrapping, re-development and efficiency,” words which she said connoted an ambience of not prioritising productivity in a world that does. Yet, how do you do that in this world which seems to be moving at an ever-changing and faster pace way of living? Slow down and indulge in the unnecessary details. This was the overall message conveyed by the collection as a range of romantic details accentuated the looks: big vinyl flower brooches accessorised perfectly tailored business suits, whilst urban items such as the now-very-popular bike shorts were updated in bold floral brocades. Beach sandals were re-interpreted for the city and paired with long, flowing formal dresses, whilst highlights of the collection were for sure the bold overcoats which gave an edge to the more minimal looks. 

60s psychedelia at Rixo

It seems like this season 16Arlington wasn’t the only brand who took inspiration from the 60s and its free, fun, atmosphere. Rixo, the British brand famous for its printed silk dresses and midi skirts popularised by Instagram’s it girl community, staged its SS20 presentation in a relaxed garden where models of all ages lounged on the grass, blowing bubbles and dancing around to a rock and roll soundtrack. Taking inspiration from Joni Mitchell’s style and featuring her vocals as the soundtrack to the presentation, the collection featured soft sixties silhouettes, psychedelic prints and florals featured on maxi dresses and mini dresses, and silky feel good flares perfect from morning to night. 

The collection will also be available to buy the moment it debuts at the Rixo store at 94 Kings Road. 

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London Fashion Week Day 1: 16Arlington and the power of Italian Groove

Images courtesy of Giovanni Rombaldoni

In the flamboyant yet conservative heyday that was 1960s Italy, a young woman with a short blonde bob shocked the Italian audiences by singing and dancing to songs that are still considered to be part of today’s pop culture patrimony. 

For this season’s SS20 presentation, British Luxury brand 16Arlington decided to celebrate and take inspiration from this still-iconic woman, pop legend Raffaella Carrà. 

Delving into the funky imagery that accompanied all of Carrà’s music videos, performances and more, the British-Italian duo produced a fun collection full of sewn struzzo dip-dyed feathers, hand-dyed chiffon draping, jazzy fringing and groovy beading. 

The duo presented a collection that was definitely fun to watch and will be fun for anyone to wear, as it encapsulated the spirit of the 1960s party girl. Delicate chiffons were juxtaposed with an ombre coloured palette, whilst gunmetal leather hot pats contrasted bold optical printed patterns. Psychedelic prints inspired by the 1960s king of prints himself, Emilio Pucci, appeared on a lame 3 piece trousered suits, perfect the maximalist working girl who wants to get her groove on. 

Original 1960s sunglasses from Oliver Goldsmith and shoes by British brand Dorateymeur complemented the styling and world created by the designers.

Who wouldn’t want to dance the night away wearing these clothes? 

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Bottega Veneta x Matches Fashion Exclusive Collection

This month London based luxury retailer Matches Fashion teamed up with Italian fashion house Bottega Veneta, for the launch of some exclusive pieces from the brand’s AW19 collection at their base at 5 Carlos Place in London. 

“The Fall 2019 collection is a statement of new intentions, a new point of view, it’s about building a wardrobe with great pieces to wear. I wanted amid of contemporary and classic, new technologies with a new immediacy, clothes that could be as refined as they were relevant,” commented Bottega Veneta Creative Director Daniel Lee. 

Some of the women’s items in the exclusive  collection include an Intrecciate Nappa rectangular clutch, a Spazzalato cross body, the brand’s quilted pumps , satin coats, cashmere skirts and wool knit dresses. 

“We are very excite to partner with Bottega Veneta on these exclusive AW19 pieces. The luxurious aesthetic of the brand resonates with our costumers and we know they will love the collection that incorporates key runway styles in the beautiful cream and chocolate colourways,” said Fashion Buying Director Natalie Kingham. 

For more info on the collection visit Matches Fashion.

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Art meets Fashion: A Chat with Designer Pauline De Blonay

Images shot by Pablo di Prima

Young designers merging the borders between art and fashion are rare birds waiting to be found and are indeed not easy to find. 

Pauline De Blonay, a recent runner up of the prestigious L’Oreal Pro Young Talent Award, and a Central Saint Martins graduate, seems to be one of them. The Swiss-born designer had been dreaming of going to London’s infamous hub of creativity since the age of fourteen years old, yet her way into fashion wasn’t a regular one, like you would expect. 

“Initially I thought I would study Fine Art and started by doing a foundation year in Jewellery design, however when I realized that I wanted to work on a bigger scale and to combine fashion, fine art and jewellery, I applied for the BA in Fashion Design in order to work this way,” she says. 

Art had and has been influencing her work since she was a little kid, paintings in particular, as her art tutor would make her and her peers replicate paintings that they loved, and hers included a lot of harlequins from Picasso and some dreamy spaces and characters from Edward Hopper. With time she kept on being inspired by painters, such as Modigliani and Egon Schiele. 

This multi-faceted approach towards visual thinking is what intrigued her and pushed her towards working with different combinations of various different techniques and materials, from jewellery to painting. 

“It was important to me to combine every skill or knowledge I possess in order to realize the looks I design,” she says. “It was essential for me to be in control of every detail of the collection I wanted to create, such as the metalwork, which took me a while to figure out my own way of casting metal in my own flat, the prints for the garments and accessories, the shoes, the make up, etc,”

And indeed it is polyhedric approach of hers to design which makes her clothing so intriguing and interesting. 

Her first collection, showcased during Central Saint Martin’s final year fashion show, was an exploration of her identity and the notions of masculine and feminine. She wanted to create a duel between masculine and feminine images and merge them together. A suit and a cast of her breasts, feathers locked in metal, dresses that you can mould that look powerful and strong but which are fragile at the same time because you can change their shape. In addition to that she created many portraits of the people who surround her and included them as patterns to some of her dresses. 

“My idea was that I was extending myself onto other people’s body by giving them casted parts of my body in metal and all these drawing of people that are important for me are represented too. They are an important part of my identity,” she explains. In a sense, it was a way for her of reuniting all of her relationships, by featuring on her garments. It was like a rendez-vous of the people that she deeply cares about.

Yet, after being the runner up to the L’Oreal Pro Young Talent Award, which brought her attention and visibility, what has the future in store for her? Will London still be the center of her world?

“I spent five years of my life evolving in the creative heart of London, being at CSM,” she says. “I have made the most amazing and creative friends who inspire me every day. Being in London and especially at Central Saint Martins, supported by amazing tutors gave me the strength and possibility to create and concretise a collection which represents me at best. I needed that time in London to evolve the way I did to get all the tools necessary to make my first collection happen.”

For now, an itinerant move to another city isn’t in the works, yet, wherever she’ll be, be it in London or another international city, she has in store of extending her collection and keep on making magical garments. 

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A Chat with 032C Creative Director Maria Koch amidst the launch of Buffalo London by 032C at Browns East

032c is more than just a magazine, it’s an entire solar system, and the constellation of projects that make 032c so special revolve around Joerg and Maria Koch. The husband and wife team are Editor-in-Chief and Creative Director respectively, and alongside Fashion Director Marc Goehring are the living, breathing embodiment of the 032c sensibility. A magazine that eschews the zeitgeist and charges directly at its own interests, 032c manages to be both genuinely counter-cultural and also extremely current. Their latest issues features both a Kristen Stewart fanzine and a call-to-arms in praise of solidarity from German sociologist Heinz Bude, a characteristically surprising and delicious mixture.

Alongside their bi-annual print publication, 032c also mount exhibitions, run large-scale events, co-own the ultra-cool 24hr REFERENCE festival, and consult with any number of big-name brands. Each member of the team also takes on a myriad of projects individually, and its hard to imagine how they find enough time and energy to fit it all in. In some ways it all seems to work because of the real sense they give off of truly practicing what they preach – somehow Maria and Joerg embody the ethos of the 032c workshop without ever feeling self-important or cliched. Every decision they make and each idea they bring to life feels like a natural and organic progression from the one before, adding to the dense and rich world they have created. 

032c have dabbled in apparel for a long time, ever since they started noticing that fans were bootlegging their own merch featuring the iconic logo (the name 032c is the pantone reference for the virulent red of the magazine’s cover). In the early days they simply put out small drops of tees and other basic pieces, produced in black or white with a bold logo as the only adornment. Unsurprisingly collaborations soon followed with everyone from Stüssy to Sade, to more recent hyped launches like their limited-edition adidas GSG-9 boot. The 032c brand alone is enough to shift a huge number of units, never mind the fact that the pieces they collaborate on have always exemplified their innate style, and intuitive understanding of what their audience wants.

A fully-fledged 032c Workshop Ready-to-Wear line launched at Pitti Uomo in early 2018, followed by a London showcase last November entitled COSMIC WORKSHOP, which saw the launch of their first ever womenswear pieces. Maria oversees the RTW arm of 032c, drawing on her experience working with brands like Jil Sander and Marios Schwab to lead a team of around 20 that includes patter-makers who are also experts in craftsmanship. Having worked on unisex pieces before AW19, Maria felt like womenswear was the natural progression of their ever-expanding output. 

Alongside the womenswear, a special collaboration with fellow German style icons Buffalo Boots was also previewed at the COSMIC WORKSHOP presentation. The collaboration sees the iconic Buffalo platform integrated with “archetypal elements of classic luxury footwear”. For one style the weighty buffalo sole elevates a riding-inspired jodhpur boot, complete with leather uppers and traditional fastenings. Another look sees thigh-highs that reference fetish and club-wear realised in the materials of heritage leather labels. According to the brand statement: “It’s streetwear on steroids meets old world craftsmanship, because more is more, contradiction is beautiful, and we didn’t grow up to leave our youth behind.” 

Today this collaboration launches alongside an exclusive capsule of the COSMIC WORKSHOP womenswear with a special installation and event at Browns East. The RTW collection hangs above a floor-level vitrine in which the boots are encased, almost like relics in an archaeological site. Translucent white plastic curtains hang in bands around the space, making it feel like the inner sanctum of the kind of Berlin club you would never make it in to. After a preview of the installation and the pieces, we sat down with Maria at Browns Eeast yesterday to talk about the collection and the collaboration.

Maria is full of energy and an un-sentimental kind of nostalgia when she talks about how the Buffalo project came about. “It really felt very natural […] because when I was in my teenage days I was like a rave kid, like a classic Berlin hardcore rave kid, and everybody would wear Buffalos and my parents never, ever would support that ugly shoe, so it wasn’t possible! But at the same time I was very much in to dressage riding, and so somehow this is actually really these two worlds of my teenager times.” Maria herself is wearing the short jodhpur boot and is clearly delighted with the end product, which she manages to make look at once very tough and very elegant. In person the shoes very much embody the contemporary mood, where cross-pollination of subcultures is becoming the norm. Yesterday’s Horse Girl is today’s Party Girl.

Elaborating more on the idea of the Browns East installation as a club space she notes the parallel design elements like the hanging plastic and flashing lights, which mirror the AW19 Cosmic Workshop presentation. “I really always liked this club-feel where you get lost and have a warm feeling and at the same time an idea of melancholia. You know this is a very, very interesting feeling, and we tried to achieve this a little bit downstairs [in Browns].” This carries through to the fabrication of the clothes and boots – when asked about their almost protective feel, she counters: “You know, I feel at the same time they’re very, I think, tender and soft and translucent. Or like, transparent you could say. And then yes you have the strong leather pieces, so there’s really this mixture, it’s really this club vibe.” This emotive approach to the design process is highly captivating, and speaks to the sense that everything 032c creates lives inside a very real world. The person who will actually wear these pieces, and how and where thy will wear them, has been truly understood and catered for.

Emotional connections aside Maria is pragmatic as well as creative, and that is what makes the whole enterprise so viable. She understands that you can create art as a fashion designer, but, “to describe fashion as art is a weird scenario because it’s produced, it’s produced to fulfil this certain product requirement, and to sustain in a commercial market, and this is not where art is coming from.” The workshop and the rest of the team clearly think carefully about how they approach their projects; how to make them thrive in a truly practical sense that still retains the artistic vision. 032c describes itself as a ‘Manual for Freedom, Research and Creativity’ and this triad ethos is as much a part of the RTW as it is the magazine, “this magazine is really like a huge research lab […] when I have the freedom and the proper research, [creativity] is then somehow the outcome.” This is the wholistic approach to everything they create; the editorial, fashion, research and consultancy teams all co-exist in the same space. The end-product for each team has been adapted through exposure to the others, and this results in something robust and sustainable. Commerce is not the only end-goal, but its key role is acknowledged.

In a pressurised industry undergoing a huge amount of change, working from this three-pronged foundation seems to be key to keeping 032c ahead of the curve. When asked about how the RTW collection will develop Maria is very candid about how they are grappling with the traditional seasonal model. “This is the big question […] I’m not really interested in the full collections, I feel, maybe the stores will tell you this, first of all it’s boring and it’s not really sustainable to do a 120-piece collection that nobody needs. And we felt it’s good to have strong, a very strong classic collection every half a year and then do what we do with the apparel as well, some drops.” Maria wants these collections to be not just desirable but also necessary, and wanted, and it’s a savvy way to keep them from ever feeling superfluous to the other 032c outputs. She is insistent that conversations with Browns and their other retail partners are a vital part of their process, allowing them to be flexible and reactive to practical elements like budget changes as well as her own inspiration. Putting the time in to researching what the market needs leaves more freedom to create, outside of the rigors of showing and selling on-schedule in an endless loop.

Crucially though, all of this careful consideration allows her to sustain her motivation in the face of the punishing fashion calendar. “This newness, makes me somehow not sad, but a little bit, it feels heavy. I don’t think wow the new collections I feel, phew!” – everyone is exhausted right? – “Yes! But I’m not at all exhausted from fashion, I’m exhausted by the rhythm, and by what it is now. So, I feel, we’re in to just figuring out what the answer should be to that.” If anyone is capable of figuring out the answer to the big questions, it seems more than likely that it’s Maria and the rest of the 032c team.

As we say goodbye Maria reveals yet another undertaking, as if all of this wasn’t enough for one woman. She and Joerg have recently moved out of the much-envied brutalist church they rented for years and bought a place of their own for the first time. With the new house comes a garden. “I really started to study what these plants want from me”, she ponders, “what do I have to do to make them happy?!” It’s comforting to think of this incredibly prolific woman taking the time to ponder the needs of her vegetable patch, even after all the demands that her work must place on her. Something so grounding and elemental seems like exactly the right tonic to working in a world driven by ideas and innovation. “It’s very rewarding.”

To shop the collection visit, Browns Fashion.

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Fendi’s #BaguetteFriendsForever ft. The Roman Baguette

Following their last episode filmed in Shangai, Italian fashion house Fendi returns to it’s roots for the latest instalment of  #BaguetteFriendsForever with an episode shot in Rome of influencer and entrepreneur duo Miki Tang and Ikwa. The Chinese pair, founders of Around the world in High heels are shot exploring the city of Rome as they arrive at the Fendi HQ at Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana , checking out an exhibition inside the building and on a mini adventure as they try the different versions of the brand’s signature Baguette while complementing the Palazzo’s iconic arches and statues with their head to toe Fendi garbs. In the short film, the Baguette is featured in different styles and sizes from the FF version in Nappa leather, to sequinned , to micro and macro sizes. t

The brand first launched the campaign #BaguetteFriendsForever earlier this year which included a series of short films featuring the storylines of inseparable groups of friends around the world throughout one of their daily routines which is centred around the iconic Fendi baguette. The first episode was titled “The Baguette is Back” and was an adventure set in the streets of Shanghai China. The second episode Titled “The Missing Baguette,” was shot in Hong Kong. All pieces are currently available in stores worldwide and online, to shop the looks , visit Fendi.

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Gucci Launches Gender Neutral Fragrance – Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur

Just in time for the summer , Italian fashion house Gucci recently released their third official fragrance under the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, with a gender neutral scent titled Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur. The perfume’s aroma is mainly defined by a note of Roman chamomile, with hints of Indian coral jasmine, sandalwood and cedar wood to create a feeling that takes one back in time.

“Everything comes from my obsession with scents: my memory is primarily olfactive so, for me, my sense of smell is my memory. I thought that, deep down, perfume is that thing that even with your eyes closed, brings you to a precise moment in space and time. When we began to work on Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur, I tried to imagine the recollection of a scent that couldn’t easily be identified; a hybrid scent that resembles memory as much as possible,”  explained Alessandro Michele. 

 For the fragrance’s campaign, the maison opted for some of its favourite faces including singer songwriter Harry Styles,  young British designer Harris Reed , American designer and musician Zumi Rosow among a few other familiar faces as they’re shot by Glen Luchford frolicking and bonding in the woods. Gucci Mémoire d’une Odeur is now in stores and available online

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A Deeper Look (Book) : Lacuna

Twin takes a deeper dive into the jewellery and RTW brand Lacuna,  based in Paris

An unfilled space; a gap. It feels like a statement definition already, with the designer Annabelle calling her namesake brand Lacuna. While it also happens to be Annabelle’s last name, it seems fitting to look at the meaning from both angles. 

Lacuna is a brand with a grown up elegance but a sensual sensibility, matching Annabelle’s design pedigree within Chloe, Cerruti, Kenzo and now Margiela designing under Galliano the show collections. 

Seeding out these sensual and undoubtably mesmerising images of her first collection entitled ‘Serpent I’, within her jewellery we see beautiful beady eyes resting on a deep reddish gold that wraps over hands, loops under ear, swirls around necks. Beautiful peachy pearls and shimmery little Swarovski baubles drift amongst dark petroleum-black planet pearls.

Introducing the brand via her perfectly executed look book, Lacuna takes a classic introductory format and makes it sexy: she reminds us of the evocative powers of jewellery, of the way it can emphasise, flatter, signal something unsaid. 

Photographed by the German photographer Marlon Rüberg and styled by Annabelle herself, you can see this is a brand Annabelle has planned for a while. Keeping the team intimate is reflected adamantly in the imagery – room for spontaneity and happy accidents, but clearly polished until it reached a standard Annabelle was happy to brand as her own.

This is not to mention the wonderful hand painted concise collection photographed alongside: a rose overlaid on a python in blues, yellows and red. Stiff silks in kimono shapes and slinky slips drip off the model’s frame. 

Lacuna is a cosmic brand: refined but contemporary – the feeling that it is slightly intergalactic with these biomorphic forms floating on gold wires in unfilled space.

We anticipate great things in her future explorations of deep jewellery space. 

What made you begin your brand?

I have lived and worked in Paris as a womenswear designer for the last ten years- at many different houses and for different sort of creative directors. I wanted to continue doing that and at the same time start working on a personal project. I chose fantasy jewellery as it’s a product that is not connected to my daily work but I had always interest in and I’m a collector… I researched for weeks in all kinds of libraries and museums which was amazing to do, I wanted to give it time to grow. I found the best jewellery ateliers in France to work together with as well as an amazing atelier for my hand painted pieces.

Who photographed and styled the look book? 

Marlon Rüberg is a German photographer and director who shot my look book in Milan, where he also lives and works. He is a very good friend of mine who I met when we were both living in London more than ten years ago. He’s very talented, we share the same references and I knew that he could translate exactly what I had in mind and create a lot more to it than I had imagined. I trust him completely. I styled it myself- for my first look book I wanted to keep the team small and intimate. I like to be prepared and we planned out each shot- but I also like to see what happens on set when everything comes together … I like to try out new things spontaneously on the spot and see what happens. 

What was the inspiration behind your first collection? 

I went far back in my memory and landed at one of my first fashion obsessions that I could remember. My mother used to wear very colourful printed, Philippine exotic house dresses or caftans at home, which was very unconventional growing up in German suburbia and she also used to wear very decadent and chic 80s jewellery on special occasions like receptions or cocktails (my dad used to work for the Philippine government).

All the dresses are hand painted and have different kind of techniques on them, the colours are all mixed by hand. Each piece of my jewellery collection is single, the hand pieces as well as the earrings- I wanted a unique look. 

What did you want to explore in your look book imagery? 

I wanted to present my pieces in a sensual but also sculptural way- that’s why I choose the milk bath scene, the model floating on (fake) fur…


What are your enduring interests. 

I’m always looking at new exhibitions of artists, photographers, sculptors, painters, but also vintage books and magazines … I’m interested to see new aesthetics, mediums, point of views and I’m always happy to meet new people who I can learn from and work together with

Why do you think look books are important? 

For me, editorial, video, look books, any sort of image that accompanies a project, is the ultimate visual diary to show the vision of the brand, its world. Every aspect should look considered. For my next project I would like to focus more on the printed version.

Do you think attitudes in fashion are changing?

The only ‘trend’ or attitude I support at the moment and hope will endure is the sustainability and recycling one in terms of how fashion is being made and produced. But in general I think fashion attitudes go cyclical and one movement will always trigger the counter movement.

What do you want your audience to take away from your brand?

I want it to become synonymous for an avant-garde and extravagant look. 

What powers does jewellery hold?

When you buy it for yourself, it’s empowering. As a gift, it can become very memorable- when it’s family jewellery or from your loved one.


What powers does clothing hold? 

It’s empowerment and disguise at the same time. 


What was the last thing that made you excited? 

Coming to a conclusion what my next project will be about! A lot of different ideas have been going through my head, I was with a friend and talked and talked and talked- and it all became clear.

Credits:

Photographer : Marlon Rueberg 

Model : Kasia Jujeczka

MUA: Giulia Cigarini 

Hair : Daniela Magginetti 

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F IS FOR…FENDI ft. Mr Doodle

London based artist Sam Cox aka Mr Doodle has joined forces with Italian fashion house Fendi for the latest instalment of their F IS FOR…FENDI rooftop performance in an edition titled Doodling FENDI ROMA. The collaboration sees Mr Doodle —  who is known for his signature drawings on walls, rooms, furniture etc. — take over the Fendi Headquarters in Rome for an extreme makeover. The artist spent two days of drawing in an ongoing creative stream where he used the label’s iconic double F logo as his outlet. Mr Doodle starts with mirrored desks and then moves on to cover the FENDI rooftop and eventually the entire Palazzo Della Civiltà Italiana. Images and videos show the artistic chemistry between Sam and Caterina, a young tailor of the FENDI atelier as she stitches on Mr Doodle’s jumpsuit by combining different tailoring techniques and applying them to different materials and textures to create a unique tailor made piece. 

Mr Doodle is also the only one to have ever doodle on a white canvas Peekaboo bag, creating a one of a kind version of the house’s iconic accessory. 

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The Nike ZoomX Vista Grind

One of the sneakers of the summer has been Nike’s ZoomX Vista Grind. Released earlier last month, the sneaker, specially crafted for the female consumer has already been seen on the soles of women and men everywhere. With a statement silhouette and bold features yet a level of comfort fit for athletics, the shoe is a fusion of both streetwear and high fashion. This concept was said to have been sparked by the Women’s World Cup and the city of Paris, with the intention of creating a clash of the city and suburbs, creating something both rebellious as well as refined. Sustainability was also a key driver in the creation process of the shoe, as foam scraps from the brand’s ZoomX sneakers were used to enable a level of technology fit for sports into the Vista Grind.  See the full story in our XXI issue to be released mid-September.

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Chopova Lowena x Matches Fashion AW19 Capsule Collection

Global luxury retailer Matches Fashion, has recently partnered with  London-based emerging design talent Chopova Lowena for the launch of an exclusive capsule collection for AW19. Post-graduation from Central Saint Martins, the design duo Emma Chopova and Laura Lowena initially launched their brand in 2018, which eventually took off and gained a cult like following for their interesting and distinctive designs. From traditional Bulgarian fabrics, to wide leather belts, to rock climbing carabiners added as statement pieces. The designers have united with the luxury retailer to offer all that and much more including a few additives such as kilt skirts, wool coats etc. 

 “MatchesFashion.com have been a dream partner and support system to us. Spotting our potential so early on and so carefully guiding us to fine tune our product with such care and a mentoring eye has been vital to our knowledge and our growth. Working with them has changed the way which we think about a woman’s wardrobe and her life,” explained the duo. In celebration of the partnership, Twin went ahead in joining the design duo for a brief Q & A. 

What was the inspiration behind this capsule collection?

This collection was inspired by Albanian Traditional dress and Equestrian Vaulting.

What are the most important things you consider when designing?

We consider first and foremost the combination of our two references and really merging them seamlessly. Also thinking about our customer and her comfort. 

Who would you say is the ideal Chopova Lowena woman?

There is no ideal, we would love if all kinds of women connected with our garments. That’s our ideal.

How would you describe the direction for the capsule’s campaign?

We worked closely with Charlotte Wales, Jamie Reid and Agata Belcen who are all so connected with our vision and we collaboratively decided on the campaign and shooting it on Equestrian Vaulting Team GB2019 in their barn in Warwickshire.

What’s next for you guys?

We are working on our new collection and campaign.

The collection has been launched at 5 Carlos Place and also includes a book in celebration of the brand’s latest campaign.

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Fendi X Jackson Wang launches Capsule Collection

Today Italian fashion house Fendi launches a special capsule collection in collaboration with Chinese celebrity rapper, singer and songwriter Jackson Wang.

The capsule collection is one that continues Wang’s partnership with the brand as an ambassador by mixing fusing his signature style with distinctive aspects of the FENDI DNA, creating a kind of pathway between the worlds of fashion and music. The collection mainly featured in black velvet and chenille includes a formal suit along with more casual pieces like jumpers, t-shirts and trousers. The list of accessories also include a black leather Baguette with a velvet FF logo, a clutch, slide sandals, a baseball hat rendered in chenille, running sneakers and a variety of other ready-to-wear pieces. The Fendi x Jackson Wang Capsule collection will be launching in 33 selected FENDI boutiques and online from July 20th .

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Balenciaga captures Parisian love scenes for AW19

Paris has long been known as one of the world’s most romantic city in Europe. With historic ‘love’ bridges, the Eiffel Tower and other amenities, over the years, it has become the city on the moodboards of couples all across the world.

For their AW19 campaign, Parisian luxury street brand Balenciaga opted to pay homage to the city’s romance with a photo-series of real life couples decked out in Balenciaga gears — oversized coats, big hoodies, stonewashed jeans, anoraks jackets. Gushing in romance, each couple is intimately captured through the lens of photographer Greg Finch — a creative more known for romantic, wedding shots rather than editorials — around the metros, on benches, outside grocery stores, in front of cafés etc. The photo campaign is also accompanied by a video shot by videographer Ed Fornieless on CCTV in various locations as they each discuss their bond.  It has always been said that sex sells, but try love, this campaign makes us all want to grab our partners and head all down to play dress up in some Balenciaga gear. To view the full campaign, visit Balenciaga.com 

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Fendi opens summertime café in London

This summer, Italian fashion house Fendi has joined forces with luxury department store Harrods in London, on the embarkment of an exclusive  dining experience.

From July 1st to August 31st, the fashion house has taken over the fifth floor of Harrods and transformed it into a conceptual cafe with the help of LA based visual artist Joshua Vides who re-designs the space according his signature “Reality to Idea” style. As he covers the building’s inside in his unique black and white graphic, while reimagining the iconic double FF logo in monochrome, artist creates an expression of Fendi’s instinct sense of humour and ingenuity.  The  double FF logo takes centre-stage in the cafe from on walls, to tables, menus , cups, saucers, down to the menu with Fendi logged cappuccinos. The menu is also very important as it gives diners a special taste of genuine Italian cuisine within the hearts of London.

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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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