Milan Fashion Week: Marni SS20 – Act II / Tachitropirina

23.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

The mind of Marni’s creative director Francesco Risso has proven to be both a maze as it is a museum especially in the case of metaphors. For his latest show, Act ll , presented during the past weekend in Milan, the designer presented a collection that was inspired by the idea of seeing his fashion as a form of pharmaceutical drug which he called Tachitropirinia, used to treat an imaginary tropical disease.

 “It is recommended for use by all subjects who are hypertensive to tropicalism: bulb women, mangrove ladies, cocoon females, Liana amazons, jungle janes, palm elves,” reads the press release. 

This was brought out through a series of brushstroke prints on garments that wrapped the body like cocoons in a variety of different colours and prints. Flared skirts with balloon smock tops , raw edged painted coats, net dresses , flip flops and all made from accumulations of old  recycled fabrics. For the past few season Risso has managed to drill in the topic of sustainability not only with the physical collection, but with all aspects of his show as well. This season guests all sat on recycled cardboard stools and were surrounded by a tropical jungle of artificial trees created from recycled materials used during Risso’s last two shows. 

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

23.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

23.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

22.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

18.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

16.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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 1: 16Arlington and the power of Italian Groove

13.09.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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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PFW: Thom Browne SS20 – My Secret Garden

01.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

19.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

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MFW: SUNNEI SS20 – A Haiku of Fashion Lucidity

18.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

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

11.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

All Images by Chris Yates

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

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

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

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Prada SS20 Mens: An Optimist Rhythm, A Boyish Freedom

09.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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

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

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

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