MFW: Arthur Arbesser FW20 – An ode to Milanese Beauty

23.02.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

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.

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MFW: PRADA FW20 – A Surreal Glamour

23.02.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Designer Miuccia Prada is no stranger to the movement of feminism. She has not only covered the topic in past runway shows, but her presence in itself as one of the leading female forces in fashion is symbolic for many.

For her FW20 womenswear show the designer tackled traditional standards of what it means to be intrinsically feminine as she challenges the notion of femininity equating to softness, fragility and sensuality and proposing that this tradition delicacy can and should be what defines strength. With this in mind, she dresses her woman with the idea of finding power and strength in such paradoxes. Vents, layered fringes and deconstructed pleats reveal skin, and underscore locomotion.

Movement is tied to the corporeal , to athleticism, hence to sportswear. All these forms of everyday glamour are challenged from practical to aesthetic. Cinched waists of nylon puffer coats create a classic feline shape paired with gum boots for contrasts. The collection is a reflection of the construct of femininity, and an ode to it’s many different shapes, forms , sizes and manifestations. Each pairing , each look acts as a protest against the idea that there is a singular definition to what it means to be feminine, or what it means to be a woman. 

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LFW: Margaret Howell FW20 – The beauty of simplicity

17.02.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Margaret Howell’s FW20 collection was crafted around the idea of a simple elegance. The designer showcased the collection yesterday in South Bank where she stripped back from the glitz and glamour and brought out the essential parts of her maison with class and minimalism.

From box pleat skirts, to knee high socks, to a simple white t-shirt dress which opened the show. Each look was stripped back to it’s core to embrace the true values of the British fashion house. Our photographer Olivia Lifungula gave us a BTS view of what went on at the Margaret Howell FW20 show. 

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LFW: David Koma FW20 – An Ode to British Glamour

16.02.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Images courtesy of Olivia Lifungula 

This weekend designer David Koma presented his FW20 collection as an ode to some aspects of classic British pop & contemporary culture. From a detailed  “Gherkin” building beaded on a mini dress  to the Union Jack stamped on pump heels to subtle details of the cityscape print brought out in bike apparel, and nods to Princess Di and Dame Viv with emerald jewellery and pannier skirts.  Twin ventured backstage with photographer Olivia Lifungula to get a closer look of all the key details. 

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GIVENCHY SS20 features Marc Jacobs & Charlotte Rampling

03.02.2020 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For Spring Summer 2020, French Maison Givenchy revisits its signature “couple” theme with its most iconic pairing yet. 

Charlotte Rampling and Marc Jacobs face the brand’s campaign with a story shot by photographer Craig McDean under the direction of the house’s Artistic Director Clare Waight Keller. The duo is shot “celebrating the individualistic beauty and the liberated, self assured attitude so emblematic of Givenchy,” as so reads the press release. 

Both are decked in full looks and accessories from the Givenchy SS20 collection styled to honour each icon’s personal style. Charlotte is pictured sporting more masculine pieces while Jacobs flaunts a more feminine style. In the short video, the two are captured in their elements in a fascinating scene as they exercise their acting skills with a series of improv. Givenchy SS20 , is currently in stores. 

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Tongoro x TAMU – A Capsule Collection of Effortless Elegance

01.11.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Earlier this week, Senegalese fashion brand Tongoro launched the first edition of their Tongoro CollabX series with a capsule collection crafted in partnership with Jamaican style maven and influencer Tamu McPherson. The collection features 10 affordable pieces including blouses, jumpsuits, skirts, pants and dresses all fashioned with unique prints. 

“I strongly believe in the power of collaboration; its a beautiful way to build bridges and have conversation around identity and togetherness.  Tamu is someone I have long looked up to when I first stepped into fashion: she has always had a great sense of style. She is undeniable a force in the fashion industry and a powerful representation of black women in fashion.

She is Jamaica, I am Senegalese, we first met in Paris but we reconnected in Lagos during fashion week, and it was very special for me to welcome her to Dakar, in our studios and to share a part of our process. 

We gave birth to something that will hopefully spark a feeling of pride and belonging to anyone that will wear one of these pieces. The pieces are all fun and very easy. The capsule truly merges & emphasises our vision of the modern woman,” explained Tongoro Founder Sarah Diouf. 

The capsule collection is currently available on TONGORO.COM 

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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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Gucci’s Prêt-à-porter FW19 Campaign sees Fashion with a capital F

17.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

In the past few seasons, Italian fashion house Gucci has become renown for the creative direction behind their elaborately artistic fashion campaigns. For Fall Winter 2019, the campaign released earlier this week, creative director Alessandro Michele pays homage to the evolution of prêt-à-porter from the 1950’s to the 1980’s, a period in which ready to wear was at it’s peak. Shot by Glen Luchford, the campaign features the concept of fashion as a genre of science or art form, where each subject is shot surrounded by spectators and analysers inspecting each and every elaborate look from the FW19 collection.   

“The fabula of fashion, however, begins at the drawing table, then moves to the workshops, during fittings, trials and fault finding… It is a tale of manual and material skills, the result of a specific know-how that today we tend to discount, to take for granted,” the team stated. 

See the full story at Gucci.com

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Filles A Papa Makes Powershift with New Shoe Line

08.07.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

This month Belgian fashion brand Filled A Papa, broke new ground with the launch of their very first footwear collection for the AW19 season entitled POWERSHIFT. 

Carol and Sarah Piron, the creative duo behind the line created a collection of 4 styles including  ankle and thigh high boots, inspired by the theme of the previous collection , being the iconography of American Motorcross and Mud Wrestling with a touch of 90’s aesthetic. Laced high boots are reworked in both black and white suede with an added sparkle of Swarovski crystals, the brand’s signature numbers the Bliss and Cocomodels are offered in the same fabrics as well as a metallic “American Flag” version, leather and black tailoring with white dots. Each shoe is matched with its own personality that gives it’s wearer a unique extra oomph while sporting it. To view and purchase the full collection on pre-sale, visit Filles A Papa.

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Notions of luxury and the relegations of throwaway culture: Twin meets the RCA graduate Andrew Bell

30.06.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Images courtesy of Phillip White

The needle and thread, the binding hallmark of the fashion industry is devoid in the work and craftsmanship of the fashion designer Andrew Bell. 

Using cutting-edge sonic welding technology, in a disruptive approach that undermines the one constant that has traditionally kept fashion together, Andrew is a creative looking at alternative means to design. For Andrew contemporary fashion is stuck: designers are consistently creating the same shapes and silhouettes, very much defined by tools and techniques which have not changed for decades. Having graduated from Zowie Broach’s MA degree at the Royal College of Art, Andrew was one of the front running thinkers of her encouragement towards radical thinking: the graduate show entitled All At Once summarising the spectral chest of ideas on show.

Unpicking the traditional and moving forwards with new technology is central to what makes Bell’s aesthetic fresh and striking. Collapsible coats, razor sharp pants and fluid-cut tops combine to project a signature look that crisp, sharp, compact and concise.  Side-stepping the familiar, traditional and pre-determined is at the heart of what makes Bell’s work engaging. Animatedly explaining how he used Sonic welding technology to seal not only to edges and outlines of his pieces, but to bind the very aesthetic direction of his work, Andrew has ensured that in the absence of stitch lines his pieces are super-lightweight, which in turn allowed him to develop a series of collapsible coats and jackets that fold completely flat to just 1.5cm in profile. 

Andrew’s work hinges on an axis of high-low paradoxes. On one hand his cutting references the collapsible hover bag, on the other the very cornerstone of modern womenswear tailoring – the Dior Bar Jacket. For Andrew this paradox reflects the collapse in the traditional frameworks that bind our notions of ‘luxury’ and ‘non-luxury’ in an era of material excess.  In this saturated context Andrew’s work presents in part a portrait of the collapsible, but equally projects an alternative vision for the future, with ‘Future Tailoring’ the term the designer uses to condense and communicate his approach. 

Across his MA collection Andrew has explored the hallmarks of a new era of garment construction across a spectrum of materiality; from sharp and structured to soft and fluid. The edges of this new aesthetic are instantly identifiable through his iconic zig-zag emblem;  More subtle is the completely clean-cut, non-fray edge that defines every other sleeve and side seam in the collection. Up close, the zig-zag edging harks of easy-open, single-use supermarket stock. 

Collaborating with a print designer, Ciaran Moore, on the fabric, the pair capture the beauty of industrial textures, such as the rusty non-slip grills that go unnoticed under our feet. The ephemeral geo-prints that line envelopes and parcels sit side by side with heritage herringbones; luxury and the lo-fi abound. This approach is extended to the footwear in the collection too. In collaboration with fellow RCA alumnus Tabitha Ringwood, the pair present a capsule of footwear completely crafted from scratch. For the heels the designer borrowed the humble door wedge, re-moulding it both physically and conceptually as an object of beauty that extends beyond its primary status as a mass-produced, valueless and solely functional article. 

Perfume is an off-shoot, but nonetheless connected project to Andrew’s vision: exploring the potential of a fragrance focused magazine that features different contributors each issue. Just as the designer’s outerwear collapses the material hierarchies of ‘luxury’ and ‘non-luxury’, so too does his fragrance concept. In the place of traditional cut-glass bottle, Bell’s concept sees bio-degradable PVC sachets as a sustainable alternative. As such Andrew dissolves the most expensive aspect to any fragrance – the bottle – allowing fragrance to become more accessible to young designers and their audience.

Andrew’s work reminds us that aesthetics and technology can harmoniously inhabit a creative space together – technology cannot abandon visual beauty, nor can form ignore the potential and the responsibilities of production and design. Andrew has allowed technology to shape his process, re-articulating items of the banal everyday into structures of body-skimming beauty. As Bell surmises, in order to break the deadlock, the repetition and the dead-stock, fashion must look to new ways of making, and new ways of thinking.

It’s an approach that Bell attributes to the inimitable teachings of Zowie Broach, a modus operandi that demands a fearlessness in approach. Under Broach’s leadership Andrew was chosen by Value Retail to be the 2nd recipient of the highly coveted support scheme for rising Irish talent; The Kildare Village Fashion Scholarship which allowed Andrew to take his place at the RCA, an opportunity that the designer explains would otherwise have been closed to him. 

The designer is often a perfectionist: in the way they touch, feel, look. Every facet is examined, explained and evaluated in detail. Andrew Bell is no exception – it is this exhaustive dedication to the metaphorical folding of fashion that has allowed a designer to emerge that is refreshingly new.

Expect to see him at Jil Sander before long.  

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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: 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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Upcycling fabric, unravelling memories: Renata Brenha

15.02.2019 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

“Today we are so surrounded by waste. For me I really like when the material has a story. It is like animating something that is currently inanimate: if you put it in a new context it always has this spirit! Especially for our times, we have so much waste and we need to do something about it.”

Renata Brenha is a designer of precision and feeling. Her debut collection, showcasing at London Fashion Week, puts to work this meticulous and formulated explorations of her Latin American heritage, her fascination with Mexico and a pre-occupation with material and its consumption.

Her clothes attempt to catch a spirit, an attitude, of the communities she explores: utilising the silhouette and work with cloth to translate these nuances. There is always a translation – its important the way I work with fabric: pleating, painting, reimagining – but I always want to capture that spirit. 

I love performance, and clothes have that ritualistic space. You are in that moment, you are that person. 

Each item of her 16 look collection holds an anecdote – I like to feel them as individuals! – which is retold through their cut. The tales range from the Grandma dress, made with studio scraps from the pattern of a dress her grandmother decreed as perfect; the coat-trouser coagulation – there is a Mexican saying “a courageous woman is someone who knows how to wear her trousers”; to her tights top, a reworked version of the improvised thermals her mother created to keep Renata warm in the winter months of her hometown just outside Sao Paolo. 

Workwear is weaved throughout the collection – when you travel to Mexico to see communities you see workwear half-references through their natural dress. Traditional clothing with something intuitive about putting things together. I love canvas, it’s something that really tells the passage of time. There is always a story behind it: when you put it behind a female body the story changes that I find so interesting too. 

While saved for the presentation itself, headdresses are to be made by a gardener, Luciano. Initially Renata wanted the headdresses to be more dangerous, more testing (initially thinking of cactus) but after looking at images by Claudia Andujar, and the ritualistic energy from her feather headdresses, Luciano felt he could create something similar with moss. 

The moss comes together with braids in the hair intertwining, much like the fabric, cuts and reference points.

Renata’s heavy referencing of Mexico came about from the desire to visit a place that she could relate to through the Spanish language, but also look from a distance. Mexico felt like home but also really fresh – a little bit of space but still a connection. She found a lot of affinities with her own home of Latin America: both holding relationships with mysticism and improvisation. 

A colour palette deeply entrenched in blacks, whites and blues give clarity and corners to her garments: the smocking, the hand painting, the deliberate reworking. While her shapes are anthropomorphic, and her vision is cut from a refreshing cloth, Renata has just begun her brand – here’s to her future fables of fabric.

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