Thursday, 31 March 2011

bold Ukrainian prêt-à-porter

Julia Aysina's AW 11-12, photo by Xinhua/Reuters
One of fashion hot spots has been lately represented
by Ukrainian capital city of Kiev where the 28th
fashion week showed the interesting AW 11-12
prêt-à-porter collections from local leading
designers and gifted newcomers.

Kamenskayakononova's AW 11-12, photo by Ukrainian fashion week
Each year Ukrainian Fashion Week gathers international
buyers and experts to promote the country's designers
worldwide and I must admit some of them can
straightforwardly achieve commercial success.

Kamenskayakononova's AW 11-12
Kamenskayakononova (spelling does not determine
pronunciation for all of these names) is the brand's 
name of designers Natalya Kamenskaya and Olesya
Kononova who joined forces in 2007 combining
their creative talents to make tailored urban outfits
for a contemporary charismatic woman.

Elena Burenina's AW 11-12, photo by UFW
Elena Burenina is a budding designer whose first
collections caused a wave of appreciation for the
distinctive features of her body enveloping looks
with Japanese and East Indian hints.
Her winter creations bear a colorful, somewhat
pugnacious self-ruling spirit with layered
elements in a mix of felt, leather, fake fur
and denim. A statement collection emphasized
by extraordinary boots and shoes especially
designed by Irina Litvinskaya.

Elena Burenina's AW 11-12
Andre Tan is bound for design, ever since the
age of 11, while his coevals were kicking a ball
in the yard he was mastering the fundamentals
of dressmaking craving to become the editor
in chief at “Isabel” fashion magazine and drawing
more than 50 school notepads with sketches
for his future edition. Happily Andre became
a designer and the inventor of Smart Couture
style mixing outdoor and couture details.

Andre Tan's AW 11-12, photo by UFW
Andre Tan's AW 11-12, photo by UFW
Julia Aysina is one of Ukrainian leading
designers whose clothes are decontracteé
and elegant with strong attention to details
and high quality fabrics and very good
interpretations of knitwear enhanced by 
dramatic horn-like coiffures so it's small
wonder her own fashion house clients
come from the country's elite.

Julia Aysina's AW 11-12, photo by UFW
Julia Aysina's AW 11-12, photo by UFW
Irina Krasilnikova recently graduated from
Kiev University of Technology and Design
before working as stylist for Harper's Bazaar
Ukraine and realizing her own collections.
Her latest is quite innovative showing
skilled tailored details with perfect lines
and cuts mostly on jackets and coats
or architectural knitworks.

Irina Krasilnikova's AW 11-12, photo by UFW
Irina Krasilnikova's AW 11-12, photo by UFW
Anouki Bicholla is the young Georgian
designer who came to present an alluring
collection built on contrasts combining
leather and wool with architectural silhouettes
accentuating hips and shoulders in
a comely color palette made juxtaposing
orange and pale blue with black.

Anouki Bicholla's, photos by Olga Yakimovich via
No doubt Ukrainian fashion shows qualities
worthy of attention and rewards.

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

shaking the fashion tree

It's time to shake things up again In Athens, Greece with
”4FASHIONSHAKE III” days which started yesterday to
reach its climax next week, April the 6th, with 
“Poetry in motion” multimedia night show.
4FashionShake is an avant-garde fashion festival, 
actually one of Ozon's Magazine most ambitious projects, 
presenting the works of selected international young 
designers through different ways such as illustrations, 
video art projects, installations and catwalk shows.

Craig Green's illustration/collection
Held twice a year, the alternative fashion event aims
at represent a platform for new creative talents while 
keeping the focus on the industry drives and needs.
Emerging young gifted designers and newly graduates 
such as Antwerp's Michael Kampe (who opened the 
exhibition with a live installation with pieces taken 
from his 'Exploded view' collection) established label 
Eleftheria Arapoglou's “Digitariawill show 
tomorrow a 'subversive art project' accompained
by videos and installations made by Peter Dobill,
Ewa Potocka and Bernd Imminger.

Craig Green's illustration/collection
Frankly I'm on the lookout for the April's days of the Greek
innovative event when Atopos, the Athens-based non-profit
cultural organization founded by Stamos J. Fafalios and
Vassilis Zidianakis, will present British designer Craig Green's
“Atopic Bodies (four): the Wicker Cult”, his ongoing project
exploring the eccentric and unregistered ways through 
which the human body is able to reinvent itself.

Craig Green's illustration/collection
Craig Green is an emerging designer recently graduated
from London's Central Saint Martins who looks at fashion
as a form of boyhood reverie designing his own creations 
for a fantasy character. He will exhibit his newfangled 
illustrations and sketchbooks in an interactive performance 
together with scarecrows, masks and voodoo dolls. 
Among Green's illustrations on display the ones he 
created with Jeii Hong for 21 Up Magazine inspired 
by a Russian robot character with squared male 
silhouettes wearing block colored garments 
made of vynil, rubber and plaited foam all 
capped by lofty headwear.

Aptform SS11 collection, photos by Jaime de Almeida
Aptform SS11 collection, photos by Jaime de Almeida
 The same day at Athen's 'Theatron Cultural Center Hellenic
Cosmos' Michail Gkinis will unveil his AW11-12 collection 
for Aptform, the brand the Thessaloniki designer
managed to establish in 2008 after graduating from
London's College of Fashion and his Japanese internship
years with Issey Miyake. Gkinis will present his brand new
'form follows function' fashion focused on hand-knitted 
leather garments with futuristic elements like in his 
SS11 collection showing his natural understanding 
of clothing with soft and natural fabrics amazingly
tailored into comfortable, distressed silhouettes.

Aptform SS11 collection, photos by Jaime de Almeida
Designer Michail Gkinis in a photo by Will Robb
 Ùna Burke is the talented Irish designer whose leather
unconventional objects caught my eyes for their visual
strength who will participate at 4FashionShake III with a
fashion film called “Meta.Morph” directed by Andreas
Waldschuetz and Adia Trischler inspired by a series
of 'Beautiful Pictures' taken by disabled artist
Nicola Lane showing the designer's sculptural
armor-like signature style body pieces.

Ùna Burke's Meta.Morph, photos by Andreas Waldschuetz
 Hormazd Narielwalla will show his collage-drawing
collection inspired and dedicated to famed fashion
“shaded viewer” Diane Pernet (Hi Darling!) called
“Fairy-God, Fashion-Mother” made up by combining
original paper dresses from Atopos archives with
excerpts from Victorian pattern-cutting books from
London's Fashion College archives and discarded
Saville Row men designs.
Narielwalla's first solo exhibition was at Paul Smith's
Mayfair gallery who was quick on the draw fully
understanding the artist's quest to recount patterns
as aesthetic objects of art.

Hormazd Narielwalla's
Hormazd Narielwalla's
Artist Hormazd Narielwalla in a photo by Daniel Schweitzer
The event's closing night will also feature a fashion
film by local designer Ioanna Kourbela, the presentation
of items from Greek brand Loukia and London-based
knitwear label Sibling AW collections while listening to
May Roosevelt's live music performance.

Oh, what a shake-up night it will be!

Monday, 28 March 2011

going green in Cali

Cali is Colombia's third largest city and it's widely
considered the world capital of salsa as well a booming
travel and fashion destination thanks to its 'Exposhow'
which is yearly held in October as well the latest
Eco-fashion exposition presenting garments 
made with recycled materials.
The show took place the very same day of  
“Earth Hour” in which lights were turned off in 
thousands of cities around the world to support 
a tougher action to face climate change.

Cali, which is the shortened name of Santiago de Cali
and the broader 'Valley of Cauca river' province 
are economically growing at a fast pace becoming 
a world point of reference for fashion and even
eco-friendly fashion products. 
Last year Florentine acclaimed designer Roberto 
Cavalli visited Cali's Exposhow receiving a heartly 
welcome as well honorary citizenship.

This year's edition of Cali's 'biofashion' has been quite
different from the previous ones showing creations
made of recycled materials of any kind, from tableclothes
to computer keyboards in a joyful array of environmentally
friendly outfits while previous editions were focused 
on organic elements with clothes made of fruit, 
seeds, leaves and flowers.

Obviously these creations aren't meant to be worn yet
they're ideally suited to promote ecological awareness
while allowing the designers' creativity to break loose.
All photos are by Medellin born esteemed photographer
Jaime Andrés Saldarriaga, today a Reuters news 
agency correspondent after working 
for several Colombian newspapers.

Colombian textile and fashion industry are rapidly 
growing emerging year after year as the key figure 
in the country's economic development.

¡Que Viva la Moda Colombiana!

all photos © Jaime Andrés Saldarriaga/Reuters

Sunday, 27 March 2011

preserving Paradise

“Preserve the Paradise” is this year's theme of
Samui International Body Painting Competition
going on this weekend on lovely Lamai beach.

Koh Samui is one of the most beautiful islands off the
east coast of Thailand and one of its top tourism spots
which is now undergoing a dearth of foreign visitors
for many reasons, not least Burma's current earthquake
and aftershocks whose casualties are dreadfully 
higher than the official figure.

The event aims to compete as a venue for international
body painting contests matching the likes of the ones
held in Europe, US and Canada and is expected
to fetch in local and international visitors while
stimulating interest in Thai arts and, of course,
in the beautiful island.

The amazing designs are mostly based on marine life
highlighting the theme of conservation and Samui's 
the right place to do it because the island's supply of
tourism infrastructures (the plan to build a second airport
has been lately pushed) begins to outstrip arrivals demand.

Staring at these colorful masterworks is indeed a feast 
for our eyes as well a powerful source of inspiration.

all photos © by Arthur Jones Dionio via

Saturday, 26 March 2011

the day we saved the Earth

Tonight at 8:30 pm lights will switch off around the
planet on which we all live for Earth Hour 2011,
the global call (134 countries joined this year's 
event) to the world's largest voluntary
action for the environment.

It's time to go beyond the hour committing ourselves
to stand up and act responsibly for our future
even after the lights come back on, so please spread
the word about Earth Hour and don't forget 
to switch off or at least dim your lights.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Portuguese talented boosters

Ana Salazar's backstage pic by Miguel Ricardo
Despite uncertainties about Portugal's long-term economic
vitality which have been increased by yesterday's downgrade
by Fitch Ratings, young Lusitanian designers are confident
that fashion business will keep going showing interesting
well tailored fall-winter collections.

Ana Salazar's AW 11-12 image credit:
Portugal will surely be helped and rescued by Eurozone brother
countries yet it will have to fight for its financial independence
from now on but the country's current fashion events,
ModaLisboa and Oporto's Fashion Weeks, showed 
a lively, optimistic outlook.

Ana Salazar's AW 11-12 image credit: Miguel Ricardo
Ana Salazar's AW 11-12 image credit: Miguel Ricardo
Portugal may be in troubled waters yet its creative designers
strive to secure the steady growth their own creativity 
deserves and these three are undoubtedly among the designers 
on the front line of redressing the Portuguese grievances.
Ana Salazar is a practiced designer whose name is 
internationally known for her stretch fabrics and cozy 
designs which have been described by critics 
as “body-conscious yet wearable”.

Ana Salazar's AW 11-12 image credit: Pedro Pacheco
Ana Salazar's AW 11-12 image credit: Pedro Pacheco
Ana Salazar's AW 11-12 image credit:
Her AW 11-12 collection shows gripping red outfits ranging
from medieval to futuristic and even biker-inspired 
touches with thick folded coats, red leather studded 
military-style jackets, asymmetric black and floor-length 
chiffon dresses together with printed trousers worn with 
glittered balaclavas or black indented headbands 
referring to medieval knight helmets.

Luis Buchinho's AW 11-12 image credit: Miguel Ricardo
Luis Buchinho presented his latest creations which saw
their debut at Paris fashion week made playing with 
lines, diagonal cuts, stripes and alternating lengths also
showing soft chiffon dresses, cuffed long sleeve jackets,
amazing bold red capes with folded layers and low-cut
blouses worn on mannish pants as well Lurex
reptile-looking minidresses.

Luis Buchinho's AW 11-12 image credit: Miguel Ricardo
Luis Buchinho's AW 11-12 image credit: Miguel Ricardo
Luis Buchinho's AW 11-12 images credit:
Os Burgueses, The Bourgeois, is a talented duo made 
by designers Pedro Lusa Eleutério and Mia Lourenço 
whose collections are developed like an urban opera, 
every season being an act of the whole grand opera 
they're constantly working on, called “The Jane Doe 
saga” by the name of their heroine character.

Os Burgueses' AW 11-12 image credit: Pedro Pacheco
“Our brand's philosophy is closely linked to the arts 
so the collections are developed and displayed with 
a performance...” they said and even this new apparently
mismatched collection/act has been compelling.
Deconstructed garments in which felted wool is combined
with synthetic leather, knits and prints in a continuous
shuffle between tight and oversized, structured and draped
in a clever mix of contrasting shapes and materials.

Os Burgueses' AW 11-12 image credit: Pedro Pacheco
Os Burgueses' AW 11-12 image credit: Pedro Pacheco
They work to boost their own names and skillfulness in
the highly competitive world of fashion as well to spur
Portugal's lackluster growth and it goes without saying
it's my wish they'll get to the desired result.