MFW: GCDS’ FW19 Troubled Youth

24.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Weekend past Italian streetwear label GCDS presented their Fall Winter 2019 collection in their signature show space in Milan. This season , creative director Giuliano Calza’s inspiration for the collection was a play on the notion of how society’s boundaries and expectations for today’s youth represents a toxin of creativity and imagination. Though quite simple inspiration, the designer wrapped his mind around a rather complicated show concept. The first half of the 49 look collection revealed a cast of models bouncing down the runway in 90’s inspired looks which included cheetah and zebra prints, bouncy pink hair, logo printed coats and lots of vibrant colours. It also revealed the house’s collaboration with pasta company Barilla and toy company Polly Pocket which carried their logos across sweaters. The second half of the collection was when the magic apparently vanished from the youth as a result of having to succumb to social norms and standards. This revealed a cast of models dressed in veils, catsuits, mini dresses, work suits in a palette of black, purple, blue and other dark shades.  This was a simple yet interesting statement made with a simple change of lighting and music. Giuliano Calza often delivers a show which gives you all the fun,  but at the same time never borderlines on costume. He creates these concepts for his consumers which not only makes them want to purchase pieces but also makes them want to join in the story. He creates a narrative which is very much street, and although some may argue at times he may border on cultural appropriation , has not yet crossed the line, especially as a result of his selection of such a diverse casting. This makes you wonder, if by doing so, he’s in some ways subconsciously aiming to challenge the walls down around the concept of appropriation itself.

Cover image: Scott Mason

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MFW: Marni’s Neuroerotik FW19

24.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This weekend Italian fashion house Marni’s Fall Winter womenswear show took place in the same location as the menswear show only a few weeks ago. Guests were welcomed into the space of dim multi-coloured lighting and speakers as they eagerly waited for the show titled “NEUROEROTIK” to commence. As the name suggests, creative director Francesco Risso envisioned the show to be a fantaerotic escape game. A game based on the themes of sexuality, sensuality and mind play. It was about exploring the possibilities of re-directing the mind to think of alternative body parts and even garments as erogenous zones. As the electric soundtrack from the movie The Shining was cued, each piece from the collection walked with a double meaning, gold and silvers chains wrapped around the neck and body, silk pleated scarves which hung from the neck and almost dropped to the floor, skirts with two waistlines, mens blazers and jackets cut in half, and sleeves were slashed. It was a quirky humour sort  which made one marvel at the possibilities of sexuality, the power of the mind and the concept of fashion design as a means of neurotic exploration. Each piece told a story and gave a stimulus to a different conceptualization of what we know as reality with a primary palette of red, black, orange,  white and hints of rhinestones. This woman Risso created around the themes of sexual liberation and experimentation fruited a line of wardrobe components that is in many ways reflective of the feminist zeitgeist we are currently living in. 

Cover image: Scott Mason

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MFW: Fendi’s Farewell FW19

22.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Just yesterday, Roman fashion house Fendi invited guests to their Milan location to view the final collection designed by the late Karl Lagerfeld. There was something to be said about the atmosphere upon location, the screams of the fur protesters on the outside in comparison to the somber mood on the inside, it was an aspect that was very Karl Lagerfeld. How regardless of protests, laws or whatever was happening, the iconic designer had a code which he lived by and carried to his grave, which is something to be respected. 

Of course, the Fendi Fall Winter 2019 collection was an ode to Karl and his half a century with the house. As an apt sound track of Lou Reed & John Cale’s Small Town played in the background, it set the mood for what was to come, a compilation of Lagerfeld’s signature designs throughout time. Starting from the beginning with his classic silhouettes, the first look made it’s debut as a double breasted suit dress with a poignant white bow around the neck. Throughout the collection , the looks featured a various number of different styles and tailoring, the iconic Fendi logo monogram , designed by Karl himself in his ‘Karliagraphy’ font appeared on coats and cabochon buttons there were also floating bow belts, pleated trouser, asymmetric lapels, tulle bodysuits , pointed collars and laser cut leather outwear. Neutral tones of ivory tulle, cognac and beige contrasted shades of sea green, yellow, tangerine and azure. Each piece holding the common thread of the late designer’s expertise. The iconic Fendi Baguette was also transformed into versions of embossed pillow patent, vegetal leather and a multi-strap utility harness. The entire collection was a celebration of Mr. Lagerfeld as a designer whose inception created a whole new era of designers and whose vision helped to shape the Italian house into the brand that it is today. “The bond between Karl Lagerfeld and Fendi is fashion’s longest love story, one that will continue to touch our lives for years to come. When we called just a few days before the show, his only thoughts were richness and beauty of the collection,” to quote Silvia Venturini. 

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MFW: Prada FW19 – Anatomy Of Romance

22.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Yesterday Italian fashion house Prada welcomed guests to their show space in Milan, for the viewing of their Fall Winter 2019 Women’s collection. Being the same set to that of the menswear show last month , this show was a continuation of the Frankenstein storyline established in the previous show, from a slightly different perspective. Last season designer Miuccia Prada’s focus was on the outcasts of society, she crafted a collection mainly inspired by the social Frankensteins of society, which was a dark but interesting stimulus. However this season, she decided to shed light on the more affectionate side of such a love story , being love stories like Frankenstein and his Bride. The collection titled “The Anatomy of Romance,” was an exploration of the gloom of love and romance and their duality. It spoke to that turbulent pull one has towards love even when you know it will end in turmoil. As a violin instrumental of bad romance plays in the background, a model struts the runway in a full black gown with an embroidered yellow rose to the side. This was the mood, this was a woman who was strong, feminine, who falls in love and gets her heart broken every time, yet always gets back up to try again. The collection also featured a military utilitarian nod: army green skirts, massive patch pockets, black trouser suits, along with fun features such as lace veils and skirts, a Frankenstein + Bride printed dress, mohair fur ear and head muffs  and also mohair fur backpacks. As much as this collection focused on the dark side of things, it also focused on love’s duality and it’s potential to bloom, with flashes of flower prints and embroideries throughout the story. Last season Ms.Prada had lots of fun with a quirky, interesting collection, however this season, the pieces were more practical and serious and also very Prada. 

Cover Image: Scott Mason

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MFW: Arthur Arbesser FW19

21.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

In past seasons, Austrian designer Arthur Arbesser often referenced art from the Viennese Secession for inspiration behind his collections. However, the only valid explanation for the designer’s dexterity in design and architecture intricately executed in his last collection is for him to hold himself to the same standards as one of these artisans. 

For Fall Winter 2019, the designer welcomed guests to an indoor sound-reflective rock climbing site on the outskirts of Milan . As the show began,  the space was first filled with an arrangement of elegant orchestral music complemented by the clank of approaching rubber boots. Calf high rubber boots fashioned in black, white and blue carefully paired with a selection of colours from Arthur’s palette. The collection took inspiration from the architectural context of his Milan studio which was designed by Luigi Caccia Dominoni in the late forties with a bourgeois classic Milanese aesthetic. Each look was skilfully paired with the most unexpected complementary colours: pomegranate and lychee shade pants, yellow and olive, checkered shirts and skirts,  feather textured blouses, architectural jewellery. This collection felt very personal to the designer, as if the woman he was dressing would be a woman he would not only be dressing, but be crafting, and grooming. She felt free, artistic and at the same time cryptic, almost like the a female Picasso who took you on a very personal journey throughout her abstract process, but instead of paint, her chosen medium is fabric. 

Cover image: Scott Mason

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Fashion East Fall-Winter 2019

19.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last weekend passed this year’s first Fashion East showcase which featured a list of three intriguing London based emerging designers, in showcase of their Fall Winter 2019 Collections. The non-profit initiative, set up by Lulu Kennedy and Old Truman Brewery to support and nurture emerging British talent celebrates its 18th year of triumph after housing designers such as JW Anderson, Kim Jones and Gareth Pugh; just to name a few.

Central Saint Martins graduate Gareth Wrighton was one of the three talents to showcase. Wrighton presented a 22 look collection in collaboration with stylist Ib Kamara titled “Smooth Criminal.” The collection was inspired by a four month residency the designer previously took in Johannesburg with Kamara and South African photographer Kristin Lee Moolman. It cohesively spoke to the stories of political coups, warring dynasties and feuding families caught in a violent power struggle. The looks included flaming hair, bullet accessorised mini dresses and sweaters with burning forests. The collection in itself was nothing short of a political statement. 

Gareth Wrighton AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Gareth Wrighton AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

In 2017 Designer Charlotte Knowles and partner Alexandre Arsenault launched their South London label Charlotte Knowles London after also completing their masters at Central Saint Martins. Designing for a feminine and strong woman, in the AW19 collection, Knowles explores femininity and ready to wear in a way which disrupts traditional boundaries. Boundaries between the vulnerable and the combative, the human and the natural, the intimate and the public and the strange and familiar. The collection featured wool and technically crafted fabrics, made in soft pastel colours from form fitting, to minimal to fluid.  This was the designers’ final showcase with the support of the Fashion East Initiative .

Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Charlotte Knowles AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

The final collection was that of Chinese CSM trained designer Yuhan Wang whose collection was inspired by traditional Chinese concepts of femininity and their connections to western culture. She explored the lines between beauty and strangeness , softness, delicacy and sensibility. In her second season showcasing for the Fashion East initiative, Wang’s pieces were made in silk satins, lace, velvet and tulle in ripple technique to flounce around the female form. She presented sheath and tea dresses in a 3 Dimensional way where her ruches and other artistically danced around the body. “ I think of it as the push and pull we experience as women. The constant dialogue between our inner and outer worlds,” says wang.  With soft colours of blue, lilac and primrose yellow, the designer pieced together a cohesive collection which told an impactful and interesting story. 

Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates
Yuhan Wang AW19 | Image via Chris Yates

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Milan FW: Fendi Men’s FW19, Contemporary Tailoring

15.01.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last weekend guests were invited to the  Milanese headquarters of Italian fashion house Fendi for the presentation of their Fall Winter 2019 menswear collection.

For Spring Summer we were presented with a  collection where Venturini drew inspiration from one of the main men in her life, her son-in-law Nico Vascellari, a performance and visual artist who according to her “transforms himself on the stage,” revealing several facets fo himself including a dark side. From this came a collection of light and dark which featured shorts, fanny packs, buckets hats and other streetwear like pieces. However for this season, the creative director chose to muse upon one of the more, or if you dare say, the most tailored male figure in her life. Karl Lagerfeld was the guest artist in this season’s collection to which he contributed to physically and creatively. 

“I have never seen him wearing sportswear; he is always wearing tailoring in a contemporary way, ” stated Venturini Fendi, which was exactly what represented the theme carried throughout the collection, — “tailoring done in a contemporary way.”

Upon entry, guests were treated to the scenery of a black and gold replica of Karl Lagerfeld’s personal Parisian library.  Then came the models who were clad in classic tailored pieces which made them seem like wealthy fashionable modern day librarians. Tuxedos and shirts were made in organza and accessorised with gold chains, there were puffer parkers and jumpers made in two different colours, high collared shirts and asymmetrical double-breasted suits all made with a palette of black, beige, brown, accents of red, blue and a calligraphic version of the FF logo. 

Most looks were accompanied by several forms of baggage which included Fendi logo-ed briefcases, trunks and newly introduced male versions of the brand’s iconic Peekaboo bag and Baguette. The man  created throughout this collection was a tailored contrast to the street-like Fendi man previously seen, but he was in fact a character who wore timeless well-made pieces flexible enough to pull out the closet during any season of the year.  Visit Fendi for more. 

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Milan FW: MSGM FW19 Men’s , TURBO!

14.01.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last men’s season Italian designer Massimo Giorgetti welcomed his audience to volleyball courtside for the viewing of a collection inspired by the beachy sport. However for FW19 , Giorgetti had a rather more dangerous impulse for the inspiration behind the latest collection. The art of motor racing culture and the adrenaline from the velocity behind it was his sole focus this season. “MSGM is evolving. Speed has always been at our heart, the fast passion of life. What do we do as we grow? We go faster,” to quote the man himself.

The collection was aptly titled TURBO and featured graphic pieces inspired by the thrilling qualities of the world of motor racing. It included knitted jumpers and t-shirt with the slogans “more speed” and “run away”, bright coloured parkas and trucker jackets, wide cut denim cargo pants inspired by pit crew uniforms, motorsport newspaper stories printed on coats and of course the customary reference to Milan with an embroidered blouse of the Duomo’s skyline. The collection was a rather tailored offering to the table of streetwear as was included a selection of double breasted blazers and wool coats complimented by both sneakers and formal footwear. See more at MSGM.

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Milan FW: Sunnei FW 19, Maximal Minimalism

14.01.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last season designers Loris Messina and Simone Rizzo launched the womenswear branch to their minimalistic Italian label Sunnei in commitment to their vision of building a worldwide community amongst the brand’s fan base. For FW19 , the brand invited guests to an airy liberty-styled white room in Milan called Palazzo del Ghiaccio (translates to ice palace) which was previously used for ice skating. 

The location itself accurately represented the brand’s aesthetic, it was large and simple but procured an admirable level of architecture. The seating arrangement dispersed the fashion hierarchy by not featuring second or third rows but a simple maze of seats which placed each guest at a reasonable distance from the passageways. This was quite unlike what any other brand would do which was exactly the brand’s major message of the season. They presented a collection which made you note that they were not designers who follow guidelines or go off trends but rather create their own. With inspiration from personal experiences throughout high school and college, the duo crafted a collection of women’s and menswear featuring flared trousers, bumpster pants, knit sweaters and blouses, and pastel colored pieces. It included standout pieces such as a sweater with a pixelated meadow and cloud landscape from the Windows 98 OS background along with interesting versions of their classic boots and sneakers. The 41-look collection was very ‘Sunnei.’ Each look contained the brand’s special ingredient of maximal minimalism with small grains of nostalgia carefully sprinkled. Visit Sunnei for more. 

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Milan FW: Prada Men’s FW 19-20, Monster Muses

13.01.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This weekend Italian house Prada invited guests for the official presentation of their Fall/Winter 2019 Men’s collection at their signature show space in Milan. Within the area, a spacious arena seating arrangement filled with eager Prada enthusiasts and a black sponge-like floor lit up by 120 oversized light bulbs.  In the background played an elegant tune of harps and violins which might have lead one into expecting a collection of tailored traditional pieces. However, what occurred next was quite the contrary. It first began with the change of music, a mix of hard rock beats aptly reset the mood for the collection which emerged. 

It was a slight change of tone in creative director Miuccia Prada’s feminist voice. Behind it, was the inspiration from the birth of famous gothic tale Frankenstein, which was created by author Mary Godwin in the 17th century during a competition with her husband in attempt to see who could create the scariest story. Needless to say, Godwin claimed her victory, but released her novel anonymously due to the fact that female novelists were not highly encouraged at the time. This was what drove the designer’s influence this season, her fascination with the grunge-like ‘otherness’ and vulnerability of society’s’ outcasts, wether minorities or monsters. The collection featured symbols from the tale such as shirts and sweaters with lightning bolts circling towards the heart (an upgrade to the Prada hit shirt from last season), menswear suiting with triple belting,  studded dresses, backpacks, floral printed dresses, and winter hats filled with wool lining — which was also included as shoulder pads on sweaters. It told an enticing story of twisted romance, femininity and vulnerability while also including military references. Miuccia’s Prada’s agility to switch diversify the tone behind her inspiration is exactly the quality which is destined to keep the brand alive and relevant. See more at Prada.

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Milan FW: M.1992 FW19-20

13.01.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This season, M.1992 designer Dorian Tarantini referenced the allure of the past as major inspiration behind the FW19 menswear collection presented yesterday in central Milan. The designer invited guests to a 60’s inspired vintage ballroom in a corporate Milanese hotel as he revealed a collection which although gave nods to the swinging sixties, was aimed at the upcoming generation, Gen Z. It began with big hair, flared sleeves and pants,  and continued with full patterned looks leading into Baracuta jackets and tailored blazers. Also included was an ode to Britain, as the designer paid tribute by including printed designs of the British flag and signature British style throughout a few pieces, which he states in his show notes, does not act as a form of appropriation, but rises from an authentic sense of belonging having been a frequent traveler between the two worlds as a child.  As his fourth official season on the scene, Tarantini is finally beginning to establish a design voice which speaks for itself, the collection was one which not only felt cohesive, but also held strong evident traits of brand personality.

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Stefano Pilati, Random Identities

19.11.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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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Antonio Marras SS19: The Fault of The Mistral

26.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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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Marni’s Mattress Recipe

24.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For Marni’s spring summer 2019 collection creative director Francesco Rizzo invited his audience in bed as he presented a collection which celebrated the importance of human touch. Rizzo imagined a designer’s world where the clothing was all handcrafted as opposed to being manufactured, similar to the world of a painter or chef.

The collection glorified the inaccuracy of an artist’s hand in a way which highlighted the creative process. It was about that aha moment in the studio where the fabric is draped on the dress form with pins and tape and the light hits it and the character comes alive. The moment before the finished hems and tightened seams,  or as he said, “a journey from the white of the rough canvas to colour, seasoned with prints and embellishments.”  Vivid splashes of colour were complemented by prints of the human form along with draped skirts, finger painted patterned coats and skirts. Each piece of jewellery was crafted to mimic leaves and miniature versions of the female form. It was just the right balance between artistry and commerciality while still keeping in mind a very playful Marni signature. It might be safe to say the designer at Marni is just the perfect pairing. He has caught his stride on the path of equilibrium for high sales while still withholding the characteristics poetry and craftsmanship.

Marni SS19 seating

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Apparently, God Can’t Destroy Streetwear

24.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Last Saturday evening, creative director  of Milan based label GCDS Giuliano Calza brought forth a show which in fact might have lent truth to the components of the aptly-comprised acronym — God Can’t Destroy Streetwear.  Out of all the shows of the season, this was a gathering of the most diverse group of audience members, that which included fashion editors,  journalists, all types of hardcore streetwear enthusiasts along with a few Italian celebrities . All surrounded by GCDS branded vending machines , accessories and signs , all apart of the inspiration behind the SS19 collection labeled The Futuro Beach.

Upon initial sighting, the first few pieces which strutted took some getting used to. They left a taste in one’s mouth which made you unsure of wether it was a collection to enjoy or one to scrunch your face at in disgust. However upon further analysis, that taste began to simmer and one began to realize that it is nothing but vodka, and that this, was a party.

The designer aimed to give forecast on a new era, one where he says is not only about aliens and plastic material, but quality and craftsmanship. “I wanted to talk to young people and to get them thinking about the future, plastics water shortage and the environment. Full sustainability is impossible and I wanted this show to be a wakeup call.”

Three breasted women in midriff tops, transparent vinyl dresses, highlighter pink hair,  telephone handsets and fruits which hung like jewellery were all ornaments which  complemented a collection of streetwear.  The brand’s collaboration with Pokémon inspired animated sandals, character appliqué which strung a fun cartoonish feel  throughout the collection. Although streetwear might have been rumoured to be dead earlier this year, Giuliano’s ability to put on a show might have just landed him the title of the ringmaster and at his feet sits  quite a roaring audience.

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Stockholm Fashion Week Show and Casting Review

10.09.2018 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

On her subsequent return to Stockholm fashion week, photographer and writer Sarah Jane Barnes set out to review new designers, encounter previously unseen brands, get honest feedback and most importantly shed some light on the choices of casting at one the leading Fashion Weeks of Northern Europe.

Jewellery Designer, Marian Nilsdotter chose to go her own way, communicating her vision through an intergalactic display of electro music and harpist amidst laser lights beside creeping smoke it was matched by a choreography of models that moved like celestial beings. The show ended in a crashing silence that enabled the audience to photograph the models posed as the army of angels they were. Nilsdottor uses jewellery as a medium to depict her universe of surrealist fantasy, with her careful approach to materials, all pieces are artisan produced.  Her work is characterized by symbolic figures using precious metals, stones, and pearls to tell her story. This was the most well-presented show of the season, a true piece of theatre. The casting was inclusive and representative of a diverse Sweden. 

Marian Nilsdotter SS19 

At Lazoschmidl, the Swedish-German menswear brand established models Fillip Roseen & Carl Hjelm Sandqvist led the show. Fillip experiencing well-earned success as the star of Missoni’s current campaign brought a definite international presence to the lineup. Carl a musician who tours as the frontman of rock band Tellaviv proved himself to be a multitasker by not only walking the show but managing the hip soundtrack as D.J in between looks. The collection was a combination of sparkling lurex knitwear and iridescent sequins. This loungewear look brought humour to the table via the added layering of crop tops featuring childlike depictions of teddy bears and monsters. Overall this self-entitled ‘playdate’ collection was clearly Missoni inspired by the patterns alone, the similarity was uncanny. Founded by Josef Lazo and Andreas Schmidl, the brand has a penchant for design that subverts gender norms. Initially creating made to measure garments, they traded via social shopping company Tictail before partnering with American retailer Opening Ceremony. With a target demographic of carefree party boys, they have gained a strong following in the New York club scene. 

Fillip Rosen for Lazoschmidl SS19| Photo by Peter Hakansson

Soft Goat a commercial brand with proven international sales and accessible price point showcased cashmere loungewear styled in a refreshingly non-commercial way. Rich tones of colour supported by attractive shapes were displayed with a cultivated sense of streetwear modus operandi. Using the internet as the only distribution channel the brand is able to keep prices low with quick turnover. Building a brand with a sense of social responsibility they support Project Playground, an organization that works to provide aid to vulnerable young people in South Africa.

Celebrity favourite Jennifer Blom launched her brand in 2010, this season she continued her red carpet style with flawless precision, presenting flowing dresses of pale and hot pink tones, as well as more classic mint and blue shades. With a focus on femininity and glamour alongside her way of reading the female body, she created a stunning collection. The graduate of Sweden’s prestigious Beckmans College of Design practises sustainable production by using Italian and U.K farmed silk as her main material. 

Jennifer Blom ss19 | Photo by Peter Hakansson

Camilla Thulin’s casting choices were both socially aware and politically aligned. With a roster of actresses, personalities and academics including Sara Danius this became a fine display of age equality. A charitable collaboration with Sara, in particular, led to the creation of a limited edition silk blouse. The pattern of which shows a clenched fist symbolizing women’s liberation. This in aid of GAPF, a non-profit women’s charity working against honour-related violence and oppression was modelled by Sara with discernment. In a time when gender issues are debated more than ever, Camilla Thulin remains strong in her feminine expression stating “My goal is for all women, regardless of age or size, to feel strong and beautiful.” Having founded her company in 1992 Camilla is a long-standing name in the industry. She is famously known for having created Malena Ernman’s gown worn at the Eurovision Song Contest at a whopping cost of 400,000 kroner (over €37,000).

Presenting at Fashion Week for the first time, Stylist and Costume Designer Salem Fessahaye was on fine form. This debut show, a family affair with friends both walking and in attendance was almost entirely non-caucasian cast. Her designs maintain an interesting mix of streetwear and couture showcasing asymmetric hems on sublime gowns alongside oversize suiting. These suits similar in design to zoot suits, a style popularised by African Americans in the 1940’s were striking. Her styling pedigree recognized through work with global clients including Adidas, Nike and David Beckham was apparent. The atmosphere was electric throughout resulting in a standing ovation from the full house. Runway photographers unable to capture the elusive finale designer shot accepted defeat, after pleas to audience members blocking the usual line of sight were left unheard. 

Designer Salem Fessahaye

From initial inspection, Ivyrevel appears to be a typical commercial brand, however, attending the show I was delighted to see otherwise. Happening upon a new path under the creative direction of Sebastian Hammarberg, business is on point. Colourful and sexy pieces owned the runway, featuring styling nods to Wes Anderson’s The Royal Tenenbaums and Studio 54, the show was opened and closed with undeniable finesse by Sapitueu Jeng. Meeting with Sebastian later that day it was clear how ingrained his work ethic is. Overseeing every inch of the show production this season he had left nothing to chance, unafraid of last-minute change. With this true determination for the future, he has the capacity alongside founder Dejan Subosic to lead Ivy Revel to a broader audience beyond the domestic market. 

Ivyrevel SS19 | Photo courtesy of Fashion Week in Stockholm

During my trip, I met two of Sweden’s auspicious modelling talents Anab Mohamed Abdullahi and Sapiteu Jeng both signed to Stockholm’s Mikas Agency. Anab’s family hail from Somalia, whilst Sapiteu’s parents are Gambian. Each maintaining a strong presence across the show lineup this season I was interested to learn of their casting experiences in Sweden and more specifically Stockholm fashion week. Anab although positive diversity was slowly improving was clear to inform me of her previous encounters, “They made us feel it was a competition because they only took one black model per show. After castings during my third season, most of the designers wanted to book me. Later my booker told me they cast another model but not me also because they didn’t want two black models. So, in the end, I only walked one show and I was the only model of colour in it.” Working for Sale Fes this season light was cast upon her hopes for the future “For the first time, I felt like other designers may open their eyes and see there is nothing wrong with many models of colour in the same show.” Sapiteu defining her observations expressed “Right now it feels like everyone is just focused on looking diverse without actually understanding what that really means. Hiring one or a few coloured models doesn’t make your company diverse.  Even though there is still much work to be done by the agencies, casting agents and brands, I can see a change.”

Anab Mohamed Abdullahi for By Malina | Photo courtesy of Fashion Week in Stockholm

I also spoke with Ken Gacamugani who walked for three of this year’s graduates from the Swedish School of Textiles, Helga Lára Halldórsdóttir, Dick International and August Gille. Ken originally from Burundi in East Africa was signed to the Sunrise Agency after been scouted on Instagram earlier this year. Sunrise founded by Beckman College graduate Matilda Dahlgren in 2018 is a street casting agency with the objective to offer a less normative selection to clients through diversity in size and race. Ken explained his findings of casting in Sweden “They always look for the skinny, tall, white models, the blond and blue-eyed, throwing in 5 black models to call it diversity. But Sweden doesn’t look like this anymore. It is 2018, Sweden is a rich multicultural country with generations of immigrants. I feel that these fashion shows and the industry should represent that. There is a whole world of diversity beyond those boundaries we should normalise and appreciate.”

Model Ken Gacamugani

As touched upon by Sapiteu there is more work to be done. With power comes responsibility and the hope those who attain it will make future choices without bias or tokenism.   

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Pure Alchemy

11.10.2011 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Continuing her collaboration with Diesel Black Gold, Sophia Kokosalaki chose to reflect the label’s name at New York Fashion Week last month, with a collection of blinding metallic and midnight petroleum.

Bringing innovative techniques to everyday wear, Kokosalaki created cracked silver leather trousers and tiny shorts that were produced by photographing mirrors, printing them on foil and fusing them with leather.

While there was plenty of high-tech shine, fresh masculine tailored blazers in pink and cream toned down the glare and oil slick flares had the essence of Diesel’s rock chic DNA. This was a collection made from sophisticated fabrics but rooted in casual cool shapes, while the inclusion of Greek draped dresses had the unmistakeable Kokosalaki signature.

diesel.com

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