Thursday, 24 July 2014

don't worry, be happy!

I met the YÒUYÒU label thanks to a friend's advice:
gifted Singaporean designer Max Tan (click his tag
to look at his works) dropped hints that I would appreciate
the brand's work which is marked by ”a quiet differentation,
an understated sophistication” as their motto goes.
YÒUYÒU is a ready-to-wear label aiming at bringing
forward ”a fresh perspective to the day-to-day wardrobe
of contemporary women, with foremost focus on design,
quality and aesthetics, offering classic pieces styled with
a modern twist” the designer duo behind it reveals.

YÒUYÒU is the brainchild of designers Jac and Zhiying:
”Jac has a background in fashion design while Zhiying
used to work in the Central Business District. They met
when both of them landed themselves in the fashion
industry and through conversations, found a lack of
options for young working professionals to dress up
for work, while retaining a youthful vibe and energy.
Thus, YÒUYÒU was born...”

YÒUYÒU's fall-winter 2014-15 collection, called
'Don't Worry, Be Happy!” shows spry outfits in a basic
palette made of black & white and bright blue with a
touch of cool gray for few woollen pieces: tight comfy
clothes ”designed with 'You' in mind” as they declare,
”for youthful or those who are young at heart, who seek
a breath of fresh air in their day-to-day wardrobe.”

A lively take on everyday fashion (you're 
absolutely free to whistle Bobby Mc Ferrin's 
eternal tune on the way).

> all images  by Gavin Yeoh Photography <

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

one more wizard coming from Kiev

Thankfully, lots of new fashion talents keep on growing
up in war-torn Ukraine and their work is more and more
part and parcel of the global fashion biz. Kiev-based
young fashion designer, stylist and visual artist
Yana Chervinska studied at the local National University
of Technologies and Design graduating last year 
soon after the creation of her own label lately 

Chervinska's latest collection is a skilled exercise in
shapes and colors, a compendium of her understanding
of clothing through the glass of art and design history,
namely the paintings by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood 
(even if the beautiful model, Evgenia Migovich, to my
eyes looks like a pop Alice in Wonderland coming
back from afternoon tea wearing a hat as a souvenir),
that emphasizes her innovative approach making visible
the aesthetic research behind it: supple pale-toned outfits
with sinuous lines, sculpted volumes, embroideries and
pleats worn with gorgeous soft wizard-like hats and
chunky coordinated platforms. A true statement 
of simplicity and straightforwardness.

> all images © by Yulia Zhdan, styled by Yana Chervinska <

Saturday, 19 July 2014

a flip through the ethnic craze

'Special Moment' © by Bubi Canal, NYC
As you know, fashion has felt the fascination of exotic and
faraway folklore ever since Sergei Diaghilev's 'Ballet Russes'
debuted in Paris in 1909 becoming a prime source of design
inspiration. Countless ethnic influences can be easily traced
throughout the 20th century with different periods, from the
Orientalist fad of 100 years ago to the 1970s and the latest
African influences, in which ethnic style became 
in effect a mainstream look.

from 'Far' editorial © by Addminimal creative studio
    photo © by Dobrin Kashavelov

from ”Multiethnic Gallery” editorial, Vogue Italia,
    January 2013 © by Paolo Roversi

both images from 'Cocktail' © by Namsa Leuba
        for WAD magazine n° 53 
The ethnic touch - provided by African multicolored patterns,
block-printed fabrics, Ghanian kente cloth or by Asian silk
clothing, indigo dip dyeing, mythical dragons, lush florals
and fierce tigers - can actually spice up a look as in 
jewelry as in fashion. Indian, Chinese, Japanese and African
cultures widely shape the Western world's fashion industry
(Mexican and Native American styles included) repeatedly
setting enduring trends that know neither gender nor age
strongly influencing designers, stylists and visual artists
as well as editorials and photo shoots.

© by Namsa Leuba from 'The African Queens' series,
       New York magazine, August 2012 
Jean Paul Gaultier's couture s/s 2013, photo © by
Manon Kündig's 'Bowerbird', © by Michaël Smits
    see 'finders keepers'
Maison Martin Margiela's haute couture s/s 2013,
     photo © by NowFashion
from 'Ancient Songs of Praise'
      © by Giampaolo Sgura for Vogue Japan, May 2014 issue
Let's celebrate this weekend the never-ending charm of the
ethnic mood through a selection (obviously personal hence
incomplete) of
beautiful pictures as a matter of preservation
of indigenous cultures, traditions and techniques worldwide
as well as the right key to blur even more the intercultural
barriers we still have to deal with in our 
multiculturally growing societies.

from 'Ancient Songs of Praise'
      © by Giampaolo Sgura for Vogue Japan, May 2014 issue

Thursday, 17 July 2014

mad as a hatter

My beloved readers' eyes must miss nothing while
scrupulously patrolling the narrow boundary between
art and fashion design and I bet the spooky creations
of a young 'mad hatter', Romanian-born fashion and
accessories designer Dinu Bodiciu, will make 
them squeal with delight.

The London-based designer, a graduate of London
College of Fashion who previously completed a BA
in graphic design in Bucharest and worked as a
costume and stage setting designer for independent
theater companies, focuses his search on the
interaction between body and garments and made
a name for himself with his mask-like hats. Dinu
always plays with shapes and materials: his latest
couture headwear collection, called 'There is no
name', is perfectly balanced between experimentation
and play with gripping visual illusions made working
with a range of materials from synthetic 
resin to human hair.

”I hope people can find my designs uncanny rather  
than futuristic” Dinu declared stressing the nature of
his unearthly head/mouth/eyepieces with translucent
squared or octopus-shaped forms which all at once
reinterpret the whole concept of head covering and
couture millinery or whatever else you like to call it.
What will Dinu pick out of his own hat next time?

> all images © by Alexandra Boanta <

Monday, 14 July 2014

rookie designer's charming power

Ashley Miella's graduate collection took my breath
away at first glance: I saw in my mind's eye three
hooded Wiccan witches who don't fly on broomsticks
but walk at leisure pace through the woods on posh
high-heeled shoes sprucing up their charming powers
through long flowing silk layered gowns, stunning
jackets with leather inserts and gorgeous neck pieces.
Yet Miella's 'Crusade collection' has nothing to do with
witchery; it's all about movement and energy.

Ashley graduated last year from AUT University, in
Auckland, New Zealand, with a BDes in fashion
showcasing her 'Crusade collection' at the AUT
Rookie, the University's end-of-year graduate show,
a display of future talents from New Zealand, an
event able to fire up the career of the most gifted
ones: Miella has been actually selected for a
scholarship for a master course in fashion design
at IED, Istituto Europeo di Design, in Milano through
the 'Design for a Better World' contest and her work
can be voted or reviewed in the Creative Diary
website. Let me introduce her collection 
literally using her own words.

”From the beginning my goal was to have a theatrical
collection, so performance, momentum and drama
were important for me. Inspiration for 'Crusade' draws
from other-worldly warriors on a quest which focuses
more on the role of protector than on the violence of
battle, and the resulting victory or defeat. (...) The
collection responds to an idealistic interpretation of
the journey to individuality, freedom and liberation.
The energy and momentum associated with Crusade
is brought to life through the silks used in the wrap
skirts and pants. I also explored ways of adding
volume using pleats to create these pieces” 
she declared.

”I experimented with laser-cutting leather which
I have used in Crusade's intricate neck pieces.
I used a lot of leather in my collection, including
a hair on hide for one of the jackets. I looked at
creating organic, sculptural shapes for the jackets
and the use of leather helped me achieve this.
The hats in my collection reference warrior-like
headwear, and again the use of leather helps
reinforce the structured silhouette”
Ashley states
but because of its theatricality and dynamism,
Crusade ”needs to be seen in motion with the
flowing silhouettes of the silks contrasting with
the structured leather pieces (...) Crusade
conveys a sense of purpose and explores an
idealistic internal journey of self-discovery.”

> all images © by Frances Carter <

Thursday, 10 July 2014

is space the place?

Young Chinese designer Ge Bai, MA womenswear
fashion graduate from London's Royal College of Art
specialized in knitwear, conveyed a subtle Sci Fi
character to this year's graduate collections: models
with rose-shaped goggles on walked the runway
wearing well proportioned knitted outfits in 
Mondrianesque color combinations of black and 
white with neon yellow and pastel pink.

An original color blocking tale with gripping silhouettes
and cuts; gorgeous knitted coats and combos subtly
referencing the 1960s in which 3-D printing techniques
and bright colored silicone flowers fastened on knitted
lace are paired with black piping and huge floral motifs
in what seems to be the first step of a conscious style.

So it's small wonder that Ge Bai has been selected by
public vote as one the 50 semifinalists of the MUUSE
x VOGUE Talents - Young Vision Award whose winner
will be invited to design a capsule collection under the
MUUSE label and will appear in a feature story on Hurry up, you can cast your vote until noon
GMT tomorrow, July 11, to help pick out the 'people's
choice' award winner. Both the Grand Prize and the
online readers' poll winners will be announced 
in August during Copenhagen fashion week.

Best of luck to Ge Bai and all her young fellows!

backstage images (first and last) © by Jamie Stoker
all lookbook images thanks to MUUSE x VOGUE Talents

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Peter Movrin's hidden jewelry

I'm eventually back after two hard-pressed weeks,
too tired of the to and fro to keep on blogging as
usual, yet the striking collection by Slovenian designer
Peter Movrin - the only son of a butcher who grew
up dreaming to become a fashion designer deeply
inspired by the glossy issues of Vogue his grandma
bought him during short trips to Trieste - makes
 me gladly resume my 'regular' work.

Movrin graduated from the University of Ljubljana,
Slovenia's capital city, briskly making waves with
conceptual unisex pieces and a great work on shapes
and details. He achieved his childhood ambition to
become a designer at first studying fashion textile
but was soon drawn to design developing a highly
personal style and a noteworthy craftsmanship by
combining traditional techniques and materials,
juxtaposing and treating natural and synthetic
fabrics often by means of heat and chemicals.

The young designer's MA degree collection, called
”Lu Gedigte Perlaopis”, probably a play on words, is  
”a very tactile monochromatic collection, where
through the manipulation and deformation the
garments become hidden jewelry pieces...” Peter
declares adding that pearls ”were one by one meti-
culously squeezed into the garments by my own
fingers. It takes forever, but it's so beautiful. The
collection's basic premise is that clothing should be
regarded as adornment for the body, as precious as
jewelry, thus transcending the norms of the fast and
furious ready-to-wear. A quintessential bourgeois
artifact and a pearl necklace can produce an effect
much like that of a body mutilation and a scar, which
is the most intimate adornment of them all. While
researching the Ethiopian tribes' practice of body
scarification and decoration, the polished sculptures
of Constantin Brâncuși kept popping up” he states
referencing different sources of inspiration.

Movrin's post-romantic approach, his innovative take
on draping through delicate inner beading, the accuracy
of each single detail and the constant play between
sheer fabrics, leather and wool, huge floral motifs and
earthy tones, are emphasized by the stunning images
taken by renowned Ljubljana-based photographer
Maya Nightingale together with make up artist
Špela Ema Veble and flowers by Dafnis studio.
Slovenian charm at its best.

> all images © by Maya Nightingale <