Life Doesn’t Frighten Me -Michelle Elie Wears Comme Des Garçons

Later this month, Frankfurt based museum Museum Angewandte Kunst is set to open doors to their latest exhibition in collaboration with Haitian couture icon Michelle Elie and Paris based label Comme des Garçons. During the past few seasons, many have noted Elie as one of the reigning queens of Couture Week as she can always be spotted in the streets and in the front rows serving the most inspiring yet flamboyant looks, many of which often happy to be Comme Des Garçons.

“Life doesn’t frighten me” traces the her journey in fashion and the spark of her love story with the brand beginning with her first purchase in 1997 from the brand’s Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body collection, to her fondness of how the brand’s clothing shaped her body during her first pregnancy, to the vast collection of pieces she holds in her closet today. The exhibition will showcase all of the key pieces that speak to her by means of defying ideal standards of beauty and body, while also touching on themes of representation not just in the world of Couture but fashion in general. Which was why she opted for each piece in the showcase to be worn by custom-made black mannequins made to resemble her. 

The exhibition was set to open on April 2nd, but as a result of the current health crisis the opening has been pushed back to April 19th and will run until August 30th 2020. In the meantime the Museum’s director Prof.Matthias Wagner K and curator Dr. Mahret Ifeoma Kupka invites guests to virtual opening where one can get a taste of the exhibition online through the museum’s instagram channel. 

Tags: , , , ,

PRADA launches instagram live series – PRADA Possible Conversations

In the midst of the current global health crisis, Italian fashion house Prada is set to launch a conversation series to help us deal with our quarantine woes. Prada Possible Conversation is a series of live discussions between thinkers, cultural arbiters and fashion insiders across the world in an effort to piece together a community of collective thoughts and thinkers. Set to take place on Prada’s instagram page, guests will be engaging in real time conversations that the house promises to be enlightening , engaging and maybe even revelatory. Guests will include personnel from all sectors of the creative industries including fashion, art , architecture, film, literature etc. 

The headliner of the series is scheduled for this evening April 14, 2020 at 6pm CET, and will feature Pamela Goblin, author curator & Artistic Director of Jacquard x Google Arts Culture Residency and Alexander Fury, fashion features director of Another Magazine and Men’s Critic of the Financial Times. The duo will be having a conversation under the theme, ‘Fashion in Times of Crises’ and will also allow for questions from their audience. 

This and all the upcoming Prada Possible Conversations will result in a donation from Prada to UNSECO. 

Be sure to tune in via PRADA

Tags: , , ,

ELHANATI – the mysterious energy of adornment

Storytelling – synonymous with the meaning of jewellery. From wedding rings, birthday necklaces, celebratory bracelets, the concept of jewellery as symbolic of a tale is a natural role it continues to play. 

This is vey much the case for Danish based jeweller Orit Elhanati. 

From searching the past as much as the present for symbolism reworked into contemporary elegance and at times somewhat biomorphic shapes, Elhanati feeds into the notion of what we define as a modern woman. Not shy of her past and its impact, nor fearful of what the future can unfurl.

We spoke to Orit about her cross-cultural approach to design, the textural possibility of 18 carat gold and the protective powers something so close to your skin can bring.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by my environment and people around me. Nature, the sea, the clean lines of the desert, rocks and nature is deeply inspiring to me. I am not religious, but I believe in these greater powers that have such a force, that we cannot comprehend. Each thing I create, whether it be a piece of jewellery or something in my home, is somehow inspired by all these different places and people. It is very important to me that there is a feeling behind everything I do. I am in love with the works of Zara Hadid that has incredible ways of creating beautiful, yet functional design with soft and curvy lines. Gaudi’s mysterious universe as well as Henri Matisse’s sensual lines and touch to name a few have inspired me.  

Why did you choose to launch a jewellery brand ?

Gold has always fascinated me. I have always been infatuated with my grandmother and her friends sitting on the porch in Tel Aviv dripping in gold. This has imprinted itself in my mind and has followed me throughout my life – I love the way jewellery is made to be passed on through generations and becomes a part of the woman and her story. I remember the exact moment when I knew it was my calling – I have never looked back since, and have had ELHANATI since 2011.

Has this reason evolved or changed since your brand’s inception? You are now doing a range of both fine jewellery pieces and more costume jewellery styles: was this diversion part of the plan?

18K gold has always been my preferred material. I love the texture of the gold, I love working with it. However, the main thing for me is creating, and I love having a larger canvas as you can with demifine and limited collections, so this is something that has been a part of ELHANATI from the start, with other things in the pipeline too.

You have a cross-cultural approach to your designs: how does each part of your heritage manifest in your jewellery?

I am a Danish jewellery designer with roots in Israel. I create handmade jewellery from our atelier in Copenhagen, drawing inspiration from the Nordic lightness and minimalism and mysterious energy and surroundings from the Middle East. I only work in 18K solid recycled yellow gold: I am in love with the feeling of working with it, creating textures. Everything I do is connected to nature, so this texture helps me tell stories. The yellow gold I always use, has a direct connection to the Middle East. Many of the things I create are stories about the streets of Jerusalem, the path to the dead sea, the textures of the mountains, cliffs and desert lines. There is also a symbolic meaning connected to the pendants on the necklaces, that protect and empower the bearer.

How do you see the jewellery landscape evolving after this year?

I have always been designing jewellery for men, and bespoke pieces, and I can see the demand is increasing for both of these types of jewellery, so this is something I think we will see more of next year. I am currently working on some amazing projects that I cannot say more about just at present. I can say it something I am very excited about. I love pushing myself and learning new things and working on new projects and collaborations creates something very magical and a completely different universe in my work. I have been really lucky to work with some amazing talents. 

Tags: , ,

Designing calm – Tekla Fabrics on what the beauty of simplicity feels like.

There is something irrevocably slow on your senses when you look at Tekla. The colours are near chalky in their palette, the cotton looks crinkly fresh, the towels almost smell of warmth.

The Copenhagen based brand founded in 2017, and ever since has laid out a clean, concise and calm vision, the equivalent of the sound of running water in a brook, the sensation of swimming in April in the harbour, of sitting on boardwalks, of lying in sun dappled sheets at 10am on hazy Sunday mornings.

An unsatisfied search for home textiles led founder Charlie Hedlin to commence the creation of a line of functional yet formulaic home textiles that would not forego beauty nor ignore the importance of practicality and sustainability either. Seeing images of bedsheets in Danish homes, it is hard not to connect the founder’s visual aesthetic to his roots – modern but not too avant garde, classic yet not traditionalist. It’s a balance on stable foundations, and the brand’s growth is a perfect reflection of that. 

The campaign imagery alongside also harks back to the bounteous presence of nature for many Danes, treasuring their forests and lakes as much as their boardwalks and harbour swims.

The simplicity of the sheets shots too – with its delicate focus on complementary colours and their gentle companionship – reminds us of Copenhagen loft apartments, with high ceilings, elegant furnishings and warm Spring sun pouring through onto the parquet flooring.

It isn’t often you come across a truly delightful home textiles brand, but in the age of isolation, more and more people are turning their eye inwards to their current surroundings. No more will trims and embellishments reign, but predictions of a softer desire in all of us as vulnerability comes through and the fragility of nations becomes ever clearer.

Keep Tekla close in your night and day: a brand to soothe, to comfort, to remind you of the beauty in small things such as box fresh cotton sheets, and towels to engulf after cold dips in the ocean. 

Why and how did Tekla begin?
 The need for starting Tekla was honestly trickled from my frustration of being extremely difficult to find beautiful, yet affordable home textiles. I’ve moved around so much – Paris, Amsterdam, L.A. and every time I moved I needed to buy new bed sheets or towels. However, there was nothing that made me think ‘This is it’. At some point, it was not about home textiles anymore, but it was about creating something that you buy to wear in your spare time or to sleep in; products that I want to use, that are very functional but in a beautiful way. I started developing the concept and the idea while doing freelance work on the side for the first 8 months. I started it all from my savings, but since we registered significant growth in the first 6 months, and the first bigger order needed to be done prepaid, I decided to take investors on board. 

What is the meaning behind the name?
 I was in a national sailing team when I was a kid and I called all my boats Tekla, so that’s where the name came from. 

Why do you think bedding and bathroom have never been explored before in the same extent Tekla has? 

I have always felt that I could buy any piece of furniture, but the lack of good sustainable and affordable home textiles made me want to create something new and different. I think people these days start realizing the essential roles of things we possess at our homes and their value. Home is your personal safe space, a reflection of who you are as a person. Everywhere you move, you are conscious of being in space that is comfortable. You want to surround yourself with different feelings, emotions, that takes you back to the serenity of childhood. Something you can escape in and I think that will matter more than ever now.
 

What is it about the bedroom that fascinates?
 I always considered my bed a safe space when I was a kid and I still feel that way today— I let go of all the things in my head, what’s going on at work and this and that. Your bed is a carefree-zone. It’s where you’re at your most vulnerable and emotionally exposed.

 

What do you think the creative industry will learn in this time of unprecedented change? 

Ultimately, this could lead to a positive outcome for the planet and its people. Industry- wise, surviving brands will become more adaptable, resilient and attuned to emerging change. People will hopefully slow down, and their regular travel, production and consumption patterns will shift. People’s shopping habits will change and companies would need to adapt accordingly. 

How do you plan to expand, or do you think specialization on key areas of business is key? 

At the moment it is very hard to talk about expansion. Rather than expanding our product line, we want to improve the quality to keep delivering the best possible product on the market. Everything from our packaging to the raw materials that go into every one of our designs, there is a deep respect for craftsmanship, the tactility, and functionality of natural fabrics and materials. We work with a responsible-first approach and try to be as transparent as possible regarding our actions. However, areas remain, where we can still improve, and these are a priority both when we embark on new projects but also in the continuous optimization of our existing setup. These actions will become essential in the upcoming months for brands to position themselves on top of the ladder. 

How do you establish a narrative into the brand?
We do not really plan the narrative beforehand. I think it all comes down to being honest about your product and staying true to yourself, then the narrative shapes itself. Building trust between us and the consumers is the most important thing for us. And it matters now more than ever because when the outbreak eventually ends, consumers will not begin searching for brands they hope they can trust, but rather stay with those who they have already established relationship with. 

Would you call yourself a luxury brand? / What do you think defines luxury?
 Joining together a refined and understated design language with the best of today’s materials for products that will stand the test of times in both quality and appearance. A combination of thoughtful products and quality, that serves a genuine purpose in the world, that is a luxury for me. 

Where do you find inspiration?
 I am getting inspired by spaces and textures. Tekla is about freedom, and to me, functionality is freedom. To live simply and not have too many things, to live in a space with less but better furniture makes it all so relaxed, and adds more quality to your life I think. It’s about creating a room that feels light and warm. This inspiration you can find anywhere, galleries, museums, airports. However, homes that I have always admired are spaces designed by Alvar Aalto, Mies van der Rohe, Axel Vervoort and John Pawson. Even if it’s, some people might say – minimal, I would say it has so much thought into every element in the room that it gives you serenity, that I do not think a lot of other rooms give you. Lately, I have been inspired by the Kanaal project by Axel Vervoort – a cultural and residential complex built near Antwerp, which opened recently after 18 years in the making. 

Follow Tekla at @teklafabrics

Tags: , ,

Alexander McQueen’s SS20 Beetled Linen

Cover image by Liam Leslie

One of the distinctive components of Sarah Burton’s SS20 collection for Alexander McQueen was the use of beetled linen. The fabric, known for it’s pressed natural sheen, was beetled by the oldest linen mill in Ireland and the last remaining specialist in garment beetling William Clark. Needless to say, there were pieces from this collection that would be difficult to find anywhere else with such level of quality in consideration. Each beetler at the mill is trained under a master of the craft as a way to pass the elaborate technique through generations.

Specifically , the garment beetling for the SS20 collection required the making and unmaking of clothing in the McQueen studio which were later sent off to the mill where each piece was hand painted with potato starch and hammered by wooden blocks before being constructed in a final frame in studio. The intimacy of this work is visible particularly in the form of a black troupe l’ceil layered jacket and peg trousers and in black and white puff sleeve dresses with pin-tuck details that were featured on the runway. Grab a closer look at the collection online via McQueen.

Image by Chloe Le Drezen
Image by Liam Leslie

Tags: , ,

100 PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR BERGAMO Initiative

Cover Image by Mario Sorrenti

In the last few days many have been lending support to the Italian health system, which has been recently severely threatened by the Coronavirus outbreak.

A group of local photographers have also joined the efforts with the creation of an initiative in favour of the intensive care unit of the Papa Giovanni XXII Hospital of Bergamo,  which at the moment is one of the most affected hospitals.

The project was born following a testimony of one the hospital’s doctors, who told the fundraiser’s organizers about an extremely dramatic situation for which all possible help is seriously needed.

Rome, Italy by Alec Soth

100 PHOTOGRAPHERS FOR BERGAMO is a call to some of the most influential voices in the world of Italian fashion, art, architecture and portrait photography, an invitation to donate their images, which can be purchased at a cost of 100 EUR on https://perimetro.eu/100fotografiperbergamo 

The operation, coordinated by the community magazine Perimetro and the non-profit organization Liveinslums, initially involved some of the most important names in the contemporary Italian photography scene, who have generously intervened and immediately accepted the appeal of doctors and healthcare workers, battling on the frontline of the COVID-19 emergency.

Among these photographers are: Davide Monteleone, Alex Majoli, Oliviero Toscani, Michelangelo Di Battista, Toni Thorimbert, Giampaolo Sgura, Maurizio Galimberti.

The 100 photographers for Bergamo has already collected 350,000 euros in 5 days and today thanks to the help of the international network Linke Lab, other important international photographers will join the ranks, including Alec Soth, Susan Meiselas, Adam Bromberg, Ed Kashi, Christopher Morris, Ami Vitale, Pep Bonet, Michael Ackerman.

The funds will be entirely donated to the hospital to support the intensive care unit in the purchase of specialized technical equipment.

Tags: , ,

Alexander McQueen launches interactive digital initiative

British fashion house Alexander McQueen today launched a new project encouraging digital creatives to work from home with the help of their guided expertise. The initiative titled McQueen Creators was brought forth in reaction to the global quarantine, and will call on the house’s followers to artistically engage with their favourite pieces from a selection of images shared on the McQueen instagram page, a selection of which will be published across their social media platforms.

Each week a new set of concepts will be released, and this week’s headliner is taken from the Roses installation at their New Bond Street open studio.  It involves the sketching process of the finale Rose dress from the AW19 show. Other future endeavours will include 3D creation and embroidery from home amongst other initiatives. Follow the house’s social media channels for updates, and to be considered in the batch of images shared on the McQueen page, be sure to tag @alexandermcqueen and include the hashtag #McQueenCreators in your caption.

Tags: , ,

JW Anderson SS20 – British Suburban Youthfulness explored

London-based luxury fashion brand JW Anderson recently released it’s Spring Summer 2020 Campaign for both its Men’s & Women’s collections with strikingly soulful imagery shot by photographer & filmmaker Tyler Mitchell.

Styled by Benjamin Bruno, the campaign hints slightly at the theme of the crossroads between tradition and innovation which was previously explored in the SS20 Women’s show. A cast of models from previous campaigns with included street casted faces are pictured in a light-hearted manner. They manage to  highlight Mitchell’s signature style while staying true to the designer’s playful aesthetic as colourful backdrops and props like a giant oversized tricycle were implemented as signifiers of British suburban youthfulness. 

Photographer: Tyler Mitchell
Stylist: Benjamin Bruno
Art Direction: M/M Paris
Hair Stylist: Cyndia Harvey
Makeup Artist: Lauren Parsons
Set Designer: Andy Hillman
Casting Director: Julia Lange
Models: Enonha, Djeneba, Krisha, Rose, Romance, Hamza, Jerell, Khalid
Production: Holmes Production


Tags: , , ,

Balenciaga SS20 campaign tackles politics and post-apocalypse

Following his SS20 show last September which touched on the themes of the European Union and power-dressing , Balenciaga Creative Director Demna Gvasalia continued on a similar note for the campaign which was lensed by renown political campaign photographer Laurence Chaperon. The images use politics as a source of inspiration and conversation throughout fashion as a series of models are captured in a light similar to that of political candidates accompanied by cliche political slogans like “Love is for everyone “  and “We vote for tomorrow” . 

Following the release of the campaign images the house also released video footage directed by Will Benedict in the form of a live evening news broadcast where a digitally modified cast reports disturbing but very eye opening headlines regarding climate change including flooding, the end of traffic jams , planets realigning etc. The campaign itself was a step further to the efforts the house have been making ignorer to spread awareness regarding climate change and global warming, yet carried out in a way in alignment to the Balenciaga aesthetic.  

Tags: , , , ,

Institut Français de la Mode offers free online course on understanding fashion

In light of the current health climate French fashion institute Institut Français de la Mode is currently offering a free online course entitled “Understanding Fashion: From Business to Culture,” which has officially launched this week. The course is set to offer a perspective of the fashion industry both as a cultural phenomenon and a creative industry and will be lead by Professor Benjamin Simmenauer. 

The course will also feature a lineup of testimonials from fashion insiders, business leaders and designers who will give an analysis concerning different themes addressed throughout the course. Some of which will include Saint Laurent CEO Francesca Bulletin , Chanel President of Fashion ActivitIes Bruno Pavlovsky, LVMH Chairman and CEO Sidney Toledano, Jacquemus Founder & Designer Simon Porte, designer Sir Paul Smith among a few others. The course will be offered in English with the option for subtitles in several different languages. And is targeted not only for students but also professionals who might be interested. For more information visit IMF. 

Tags: , , , , ,

The Majestic Lacework of Alexander McQueen SS20

Cover image by Don Mccullin

Sarah Burton’s SS20 collection for Alexander McQueen was undoubtedly one of the designer’s most graceful and sartorially inventive yet. The collection was presented in Paris last September sans the theatrics of a flashy production with the melodies of a musical orchestra. The tour de force lied within  the tailoring, as she pieced together a story that emphasised the importance of craft, and the importance of spending time to hone it. One of the lead protagonists in this story was her use of lace. Both featured in black and white , the fabric was cut into suits, dresses and even paired with leather as inspiration was drawn from the likes of endangered flowers and Irish crochet techniques. 

“I love the idea of people having the time to make things together, the time to meet and talk together, the time to reconnect to the world,” Burton explained. 

A variety of ivory lichen lace, ivory guipure and ivory lacework were all featured throughout the collection, with the ivory lace & lacework having being woven on damask linen by Thomas Ferguson who’s widely acknowledged as the world’s finest damask weaver. The intricate use of lace was not only a reference to the works of McQueen in his past collections like Dante AW1996 but also featured some up cycled fabric from Burton’s archives. For more info on Alexander McQueen SS20 , visit McQueen.

Image by Chloe Le Drezen

Tags: , , , ,

Fashion brands & companies quickly answer the calls for support during the dark times of COVID-19

The past few weeks amidst the current health climate have been difficult for all. The necessary measures that have been put into place regarding the containment of the COVID-19 virus as local governments and health care workers fight tirelessly against rising death tolls has had an impact on all industries. The global fashion industry has of course had its major set backs with major cruise shows like Gucci, Dior, Prada & Chanel cancelling, production halting and general stocks that have been dropping. It would be an understatement to say the industry has had it’s fir share of loss amidst the crisis, especially considering the European country with the larger number of cases, is fashion and production hub — Italy . However, at the moment , many of these fashion houses and conglomerates are choosing to momentarily put aside these losses to focus on the task at hand — aiding the governments and healthcare officials in defeating the virus in the best way possible. 

In Italy — where the blow has been the hardest, many have stepped up to the plate, Prada donated two complete intensive care and resuscitation units, and launched the production of 80,000 medical overalls and 110,000 masks for healthcare personnel following a request in the Tuscany region; Gucci also responded to the call with a donation of 1.1million surgical masks and 55,000 overall as a donation on behalf of its conglomerate Kering who has donated to four major foundation hospitals in Lombardy, Veneto, Tuscany and Lazio and the brand also launched a crowdfunding campaign with the goal of 10 million and has had the WHO take over their instagram profile; Moncler has donated €10 million towards the construction of a new hospital in Milan;  Giorgio Armani has given a total of €1.25 million to numerous Italian hospitals; Versace’s Donatella and her daughter donated €200,000 to the ICU of a Milanese hospital; Sergio Rossi has donated €100,000 to a hospital; and Valentino’s parent company Mayhoola has made a donation of €1 Million towards the Italian civil protection foundation for the extraordinary efforts they’ve had to put in place as well as a donation to improve the ICU of a struggling Milanese hospital. Influencer Chiara Ferragni also managed to raise a lump sum of €4.3 Million via a GoFundMe account launched with her husband in aid of Milanese hospital San Rafaelle.

In France – LVMH is manufacturing hydroalcoholic gel /hand sanitizer via its facilities normally used to produce fragrances for Dior, Guerlain and Givenchy which they will donate 12 metric tons across Paris’ 39 public hospitals by the end of this week; conglomerate Kering has also tasked it’s fashion brands Balenciaga & Saint Laurent to manufacture surgical masks and Hermes has donated 5 million yuan to a Chinese foundation in honour of medical professionals fighting the virus. 

In Spain, Mayhoola , parent brand of Valentino, Balmain & Pal Zileri is supporting the Madrid community during this crisis by donating 1 Million EUROS, towards the expansion emergency field Hospital COVID-19 IFEMA which will become the largest hospital structure in the Madrid Community.

In the US a few brands have also been showing up for the cause, with designer Christian Siriano offering himself and team to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to aid in making face masks as well as Brandon Maxwell who has started working with his team to make masks, hospital gowns and other items that may be in short supply. 

MOSCOT optical is working in collaboration with Cherry Optical Labs to give back to emergency medical professionals in the United States by providing over  $1.5 million worth of MOSCOT frames filled with clear lenses that will help reduce exposure to airborne particles and fluid borne pathogens. 

Witnessing the industry come together on such a tragic occasion in such a way to help the community at large is a glimmer of hope during a dark time. Each brand and individual person’s  contribution has surely helped in some way or another in easing the pressure off medical professionals who are on the frontlines fighting during this dire time. For information on channels you can directly support the ongoing crisis in Italy, visit Forbes

Tags: , , , , , , ,

A Note on Modern Irish Design

What is modern Irish design? For a such a small island nation, it’s a complex answer. There mightn’t be an obvious linear evolution of what we might consider a region’s design history, in the way we can trace design movements in say, Germany, Scotland or Sweden. Instead, there exists a rich heritage of crafting and making, which, over time, has resulted in an aesthetic that is rich, roughly hewn and distinctly Irish. 

This is not to say that Irish fashion designers can be described as a neat coterie. Modern Irish designers are just as likely to be influenced by the wild craggy cliff faces of the west as they are the urban grit of Limerick city; they reference folkloric narrative, as Simone Rocha did for SS’20 when she reimagined the Wren boys with their gaudy painted faces and straw suits; and they pursue the horrors that emerged from the sinister allegiance of Church and State, the tentacles of which still grip some parts of modern Ireland, as Roisin Pierce’s explored in her debut collection Mná ì bhláth (Women In Bloom).

Underpinning this storytelling is the tangible history of textile making that can be found in nearly every corner of the country. Linen from Derry, lace from Carrickmacross, tweed from wild north-west Donegal, and of course, Irish wools. These ancient traditions of weaving and spinning are both ancient and thoroughly modern, at risk of being a dying art yet vital to the industry well beyond the borders within they are created. Ahead of her SS’20 collection for Alexander McQueen, designer Sarah Burton decamped to Northern Ireland for several days to study the techniques of local textile makers. 

And what of the next generation of designers? The aesthetic of the young Irish designers poised on the edge of the industry cannot be contained in a few words. It is a motely mix, a heady combination of Celtic tradition and ‘foreign’ influence; for this is no longer the homogenous Catholic nation it was half a century ago.

Tags: , ,

FENDI’s #BaguetteFriendsForever Ft. Winnie Harlow & Shannon Hamilton

Fendi’s latest episode of their Baguette Friends Forever ( BFF) series features the familiar face of supermodel and vitiligo public ambassador Winnie Harlow on a Miami adventure with her real life best friend , model and influencer Shannon Hamilton. In the episode , the day begins with Winnie on her phone with her bestie calling from NYC as they chat about day dreaming of passing time in Miami.

Soon after, Harlow ventures on a mini shopping spur where the FENDIFRENESIA room captures her attention and the fragrance notes remind her of moments she shared with her BFF Shannon.  Upon checking out the fit of the scented Baguette, Winnie is then interrupted by a voice that exclaimed “nice bag” and when she turns to answer with the the slogan “this is not a bag, its a Baguette,” she discovers the surprise of it being Shannon herself! It then continues to document their fun filled day throughout Miami from under palm trees to beauty salons as they flaunt their full FENDI gear which included the Nano and the Pico Baguettes. 


The brand first launched their digital  campaign #BaguetteFriendsForever last 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 introduced on the seasonal runways . All pieces are currently available in stores worldwide and online, to shop the looks , visit Fendi.

Tags: , , ,

PFW: Balenciaga FW20 – The Sacred and Seductive Combined

Demna Gvasalia is one of the only creative directors who manages to find an enviable balance between staying on trend and being political at the same time. The FW20 show presented in Paris last weekend was a show to remember , one that spoke directly to the inescapable doomsday that will brought by global warming, yet offering subtle glimmers of hope throughout the way. 

The show’s set played a major role in the narrative —  a flooded platform with water that bordered so wide that it submerged the first front rows seatings which was a subtle hint to the the primary responsibilities that lie with the decision makers of the industry. The ceilings of the room were screens programmed to produce eerie graphics birds fleeing and dark lighting which felt like a scene from a horror film. 

It was as if he imagined the day of reckoning where humanity would be confronted with all its wrongdoings against Mother Earth, the day where Mother Earth herself wouldn’t wreak havoc upon the race with a menacing chaos. A mass of confusion so dire that it would wipe out whatever boundaries or structures we previously held which of course includes dress codes. Gvasalia dressed his subjects by fusing and recontextualizing dress codes associated with traditional values and desires. The religious was fused with the every day by way of clerical robes interpreted into casual wear ; bodybuilder fitted outfits made oversized for an one size fits all aesthetic and night gown prints made into powerful evening-wear. Sports, religion, obsession  and seduction are a stripped of their functions and symbolisms and melted into one. It was a political statement aimed at climate change but also one that fired shots in the direction of religion and the traditional symbolism of the sacred versus the seductive. 

“I had a lot of clerical wear in my research. I come from a country where the Orthodox religion has been so predominant. I went to church to confess every Saturday. Back then, I remember looking at all these young priests and monks, wearing these long robes and thinking, ‘How beautiful.’ You see them around Europe with their beards, hair knotted back and backpacks. I don’t know, I find it quite hot—but that’s my fetish,” the designer explained. 

“How comes it is acceptable for clerics to wear that, but if I put on a long jacket and a skirt I will be looked at? I can’t, even in 2020! Religious dress codes are all about hiding the body, about being ashamed—body and sex is the taboo. Whereas when you look into it, some of these people are the nastiest perverts.”

Gvasalia created a collection that spoke to climate change, traditional dress codes and perversions of the church all while making reference to the house’s archives and staying in line with the current day trend. Such level of aptitude and interest in social change showcased, only makes one more intrigued for the house’s re-opening of their couture division later this year.


Tags: , , , ,

PFW: Alexander McQueen FW20 – A love letter to warmth, heritage & family

For the past few seasons Alexander McQueen Creative Director Sarah Burton has been resorting to the quietude of poetry as sparks of inspiration for her latest collection. A strategy that has been working quite well in finding the beauty in little things to execute and amplify on a larger scale. The beauty in nature or culture or in this case heritage. Burton’s FW20 references stemmed from a trip to Wales where she grew fond of several aspects of the country’s heritage.   

“The collection is a love letter to women and to families, colleagues and friends. We went to Wales and were inspired by the warmth of its artistic and poetic heritage, by its folklore and the soul of its craft, “ she commented. 

She drew direct inspiration from the Wrexham Tailor’s Quilt was an artefact and one of the most well known patchworks that was crafted over a ten year from 1842 using recycled scraps he had used to craft the uniforms he made during the day. The quilt known for its detailed visuals which stood as a representation of something greater, braver and aspirational knowing that it was pieced together by scraps. The literal and symbolic sentiment of this resonated with the designer.

“The woman is courageous, grounded, bold: heroic. There is a sense of protection in the clothes, of safety and comfort, evoked through quilting and blankets. The hearts are a symbol of togetherness, of being there for others.” 

The collection was a collage of sharp seamed graphic tailoring that incorporated upcycled wool flannels woven in British mills from previous McQueen seasons and set in dramatic geometric blocks, which was also very much in line with the brand’s recent initiative of a fabric donation scheme for future designers. 

“The ethos at Alexander McQueen means that everything we use in researching and designing collections has always been archived and stored”, she notes. “We’ve never thrown anything away.” Mindful of providing access to students who need resources, the scheme activates an imaginative purpose for the remaindered luxury fabrics which have been routinely saved after the sampling and production cycles of women’s and men’s collections over the past decade,” Burton said of the initiative. 

This collection was a further step to this project , pulling on fabrics from the brand’s archive to piece together an impressive collection which spoke to the concepts of warmth, family and heritage all while being sustainable while at it.

Tags: , , , ,

Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana – MEMOS: On Fashion in This Millenium

Late last month during Milan Fashion Week , the Italian chamber of fashion Camera Nazionale Della Moda Italiana launched an exhibition entitled Memos on Fashion in this Millenium, in collaboration with Museo Poldi Pezzoli and with the support of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The exhibition was inspired by the series of lectures written by author Italo Calvino  called Lezione Americane which he was set to give at Harvard in 1985, but was never given the chance as a result of his sudden death. During the time, his wife opted to publish the lectures with the author’s original title, Six Memos for The Next Millenium. 

Calvino’s work inspired the exhibition simply because it poses the question  as to whether fashion, as a cultural industry, a communication system, a rich, hybrid yet problematic terrain, be considered a scientific and a poetic practice, and therefore naturally literary? By using his words as a guide , the exhibition takes its audience through a guide throughout the history of fashion by way of memorable images and garments created with deeper meanings to them. 

Featuring a collection of garments, images, objects, magazines that serve as a part of fashion history by designers and creators such as :

Giorgio Armani,  J.W. Anderson for Loewe, Arthur Arbesser, Demna Gvasalia for Balenciaga, Boboutic, Riccardo Tisci for Burberry, Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel, Gabriele Colangelo, Maria Grazia Chiuri for Dior, Marco de Vincenzo, Fendi, Maria Sole Ferragamo, Paul Andrew for Ferragamo, Alessandro Michele for Gucci, Maison Martin Margiela, Francesco Risso for Marni, Noir per Moncler Genius, Moschino, MSGM, Fausto Puglisi, Prada, Pier Paolo Piccioli for Valentino, Giambattista Valli, Random Identities Versace and Zegna, all of whom help to shape the 3 dimensional structure of the exhibition’s aesthetic visually designed by Stefano Tonchi.

The exhibition is now underway at the Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan and will be open until the 4th of May.

Tags: , , , ,

MFW: Fendi FW20 – The Dualities of La Donna Fendi

It is safe to that Creative Director Silvia Venturini Fendi has been hitting her stride within the past few seasons. For FW20-21, the designer explored what it means to be a FENDI woman , or rather FENDI women with a collection that spoke to the different interpretations of what it means to be feminine. It was a collection that was charged with power yet stroked with softness and delicacy. It was a play between between a total dominance and a graceful elegance that was brought out even through the fabrics used. A mixture of cashmere, leather, lace and even fur were the headliners. 

“Tailoring and outerwear is built around nipped waists; flared officer’s coats, burnished perfectos and high-octane blazers are boned through the bodice with shoulders that plane to a flat point or drop into a Juliet sleeve. Voluptuous shapes unfurl into cozy loopback sweaters, a bonded leather accordion skirt and bibbed organdie blouses.”

Each silhouette was defined by its respective story. The FENDI Fall/Winter 2020-2021 Accessories Collection were also optly paired with this season’s boudoir themes, as padded lambskin ‘brace’ booties and satin ‘suspender’ pumps elicit vampish airs.

In three sizes, a new accordion-frame Peekaboo bag opened in a deep ‘smile’ to reveal interchangeable inside pockets in smooth leather and precious skins. It appeared also dipped in gold leather fringes or traced with appliqué lacework and beaded tassels. The iconic Baguette bag in handknit wool was joined in leather shopper bags and charms inspired by vintage FENDI packaging, returning from the last Men’s Collection.

Tags: , , , ,

MFW: Arthur Arbesser FW20 – An ode to Milanese Beauty

The city of Milan was the inspiration behind Arthur Arbesser’s FW20 collection which he presented just this past weekend. The designer was fascinated by the subtle and at times hidden beauties of the city such as the vintage architecture and design.

As a foreigner, living in the city for the past six years, he’s had the opportunity to observe the city’s gems from an objective perspective which he re-interpreted into this collection. Within the that he created strong graphics that were balanced with clean silhouettes and aspects that were to be discovered. 

The collection played with an interesting autumn palette of warm burgundy, milk white , black velvet and different shades of brown that also featured the designer’s signature pattern. He also collaborated with his fellow designer friend Marco Guazzini, who is the creator of a ceramic-like material named Marwoolus that mixes pressed marble powder and wool. In white, but flecked with attractive abstract plumes of color, these were Marwoolus single-button jackets, belts, pendants, earrings and a few skirts, shirts, and pants as well.

Tags: , , , ,

MFW: Marni FW20 – Piecing together the fragments of Alice’s trip to Wonderland

This weekend Francesco Risso presented his FW20 collection for Marni as an abstract reinterpretation of the age old tale of Alice in Wonderland. 

“Where are you, Alice?

I’m not here right now, and probably not there. I am down the rabbit hole, luxuriating in a time warp.

Are you coming back anytime soon?

I don’t know. I feel like I have been here for a while, but probably I just arrived. Who are you?

I am Venus, Alice. Venus of the Rags. Do you recall me? I come with no tags, usually in full drag.

What can I do for you?

Please make sure you make, do, ment, and that you never bend. Take scraps, bits and pieces, never to be shredded in pieces. Be a militant, always vigilant.

Is this your vow?

Aim for the rainbow. But tell me, Alice, what was it like to fall in the hole?

I felt micro, then went macro, as the natural sped up to supernatural.”

The collection saw remnants of fabric collaged to create each look. Coats and tabards were created and worn with mini and maxi skirts made from scraps of leather and the calico that dress toilet were made from. Velvet, fragments of metal and even scraps of cotton fabric that were woven togethers by hand in a factory in Venice on looms that were originally designer by Leonardo Da Vinca.  It was all an exploration of patchwork , a collection of memories, of thoughts, and fabrics, pieced together to create one story. 

It was one those stories that left you asking yourself a question , as Risso noted, “ Are we in a psychedelic world and we need to be more grounded, or are we in a caged world and we need to be freed by psychedelia?” 

Either way the designer’s collection fell into neither the categories of grounded nor caged but in all senses was an exploration of  psychedelia from the details of glitter doused make up and hair to the precision of weaving of all the separate scraps of fabrics in a way which seamlessly harmonized them as the voices on a choir. 

Tags: , , , , ,

Join the mailing list

Search