Thursday, 30 June 2011

Antwerp's next generation

En-Ya Valdenhende's
Antwerp, the attractive city on the Scheldt river in 
northern Belgium, has been a leading commercial 
and financial center for centuries but its name 
is also renowned as a vibrant fashion incubator 
thanks to the prominent department of the 
Royal Academy of Fine Arts-Artesis Hogeschool.

Yusuke Hotchi's
The Academy is a wellspring of creativity having
formed many of today's fashion innovative designers:
the celebrated 'Antwerp Six', Dries Van Noten,
Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Bikkembergs, Walter
Van Beirendonck, Dirk Van Saene and Marina Wee
brought into being a new design era based upon
original production methods, high-quality 
materials and creativeness.

Leonneke Derksen's
Frederick Hornof's
Almost thirty years after their graduation Antwerp's
still the center of attention and its annual graduation
show even now a must-see to be acquainted with
the new breed of exceptionally trained talents 
who will lead from the front tomorrow's fashion.

Jantine van Penski's
SHOW/OFF#4 is a unique magazine dedicated
to the Fashion Department of the Royal Academy
featuring highlights from the final collections of
Master students, works by the Bachelor Year
students, info on projects and workshops
who came to publish a fascinating gallery
of Master Class 2011 graduated works with
the arresting images taken by Peripetie
(older post on her here) styled by Rolf Buck
with hair and make-up by Julia Heiermann.

Karolina Piech's
Antwerp's topping the fashion charts again:
what's bred in the bone will come out in 
the flesh, after all.

Niels Peeraer's
>all images © SHOW/OFF#4 by Peripetie<

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

beauty beyond belief

Tomorrow will be Al Isra Wal Miraj الإسراء والمعراج,
the Muslim holiday marking the ascension
of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) and that
makes me walk down memory lane to
one of the most beautiful man-made
landmarks I've ever seen: Abu Dhabi's
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque.

Initiated by the late and much lamented
President of United Arab Emirates, HH
Sheikh Zayed Al Nahyan, the open-hearted
ruler who is widely regarded as the father
of the nation, the Mosque is large enough
to house over 40,000 persons.

During my first stay in Abu Dhabi the
compelling mosque was actually under
construction yet I was totally enthralled
by its majesty and that's the reason why
I came back a year later to examine
its extraordinary features at length.

I could make a list of SZGM's umpteen
treasures: the imposing height of white
minarets and domes, the breathtaking
courtyard with its massive floral marble
mosaic or the multitudinous columns
of the main prayer hall, each and every
one clad in different marbles and inlaid
with mother of the pearl, not to mention
the largest handmade carpet on earth
but you can easily wiki it to read them
all while I simply want to take you into
a journey through beauty and belief.
For your thoughtful eyes.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Bill fits the bill

...”I'm a substitute for another guy
I look pretty tall but my heels are high
the simple things you see are all complicated
I look pretty young, but I'm just back-dated, yeah.”

The Who, Substitute

As the whole world knows, controversial designer
John Galliano was sacked on the spot from all
of his many assignements including his own
eponymous line, following his anti-Semitic
harangue in Paris' café 'La Perle' last April.

Out of the blue, last Friday the relatively
unknown Bill Gaytten has been announced
as Galliano's next-in-line creative director:
he was undoubtedly the best suited guy to
bring on the founding designer's deeds
having worked for him for as long as 23 years.

Gaytten, born in England, was the cut & drape
faithful hand in hand of Galliano and now he
presents the brand's menswear new collection
at Paris' Menswear Fashion Week.
The impressive show, called ”Big Splash”
in homage to 1974 David Hockney's
documentary 'A Bigger Splash' took London 
swinging 60's for its stamping ground.

all images by via
Fully packed in Galliano's style, the new s/s 2012
collection is less histrionic and shouted,
more market-oriented and with many wearable
pieces in spite of the catwalk's dramatics.
A great kickoff propelling the not-so-new
designer to the forefront of duty.

New Creative Director Bill Gaytten at the end of the show

Monday, 27 June 2011

Anna goes west

Last year I came across Anna Miminoshvili's
tasteful idea of fashion made of complex cuts,
flattering silhouettes and structural detailed
dresses (here) and it was quite a sight to behold.

Anna's new fall-winter 2011-12 collection shows
once again her feminine and delicate approach
to style: this time the designer's representative
petal motifs come back through a basic silhouette
strongly inspired by post-world-war-II British
fashion while ornaments and decoration remind
traditional Japanese samurai tatoos.
Glitzy and entracing, by the way, take a look 
as well at the staggering shoes she came to 
design for the very first time.

A refined, sophisticated collection which beyond
simplicity is very hard to be cut like for the skirt
creating a wave effect when rotating, with very
clean shapes and a cool color palette ranging
from black, forest green, camel and honey hues.

The Georgian-born, Moscow based designer's
new collection is enough creative although
far from formal architectural complexity and
much more market-oriented because all the
outfits bear a comfortable and easy-to-wear
features. Anna should go west, exporting her
own fully grown signature style all over Europe.

I do hope her collection will meet a wider
audience of buyers and not only its much
deserved five-star critics' rating!
Best of luck, Удачи, Anna!

lookbook's images by Zurab Darcmelia

Sunday, 26 June 2011

lazy summer Sunday

image credit: Joshua Trujillo/AP
I'm kinda lazy today, hard work
in the last couple of weeks made me
slothful and this lovely picture of a
hammock-napping lady says it all.
Enjoy a relaxed summer Sunday
and a bubbly new week.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

about equality

Finally, after much debate, New York's
legislature legitimized same-sex marriage, 
the New York State Senate passed 
the 'ssm' bill with a 33-29 vote.
A newsworthy yet historic step as New York 
becomes the sixth state but by far the largest 
one to make legal same-sex marriage.
Finally a great equal rights achievement
recognizing that gay couples are not
stereotyped characters yet simply real
people like you and me. Hooray!

Friday, 24 June 2011

Lanvin's precious few

A boring edition of Pitti Bimbo, the annual
Florentine event dedicated to childrenwear,
is about to end having showed s/s 2012
collections lacking excitement and originality,
I'd rather prefer to bring on the table some
outfits from 'Lanvin Petite', the brand's
first-ever haute collection for little girls.

Only 25 deluxe pieces for gals
4 to 10-year-old designed by Moroccan-born
Israeli superstar couturier Alber Elbaz
who came to draft also four rag dolls
for the high-priced pre-spring capsule
collection featuring the French historical
house's signature luxurious materials,
draped or pleated organza and tulle,
ballerinas and jewels.

Obviously unnecessary yet adorable.

all images © Lanvin S.A. Paris, 2011

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

color blocking at your own risk

photo © Sergi Pons for 'View of the Times' editorial
Color blocking seems to be the lastest frenzy
yet undoubtedly one of the key trends of this
summer, not only by the beach though, is made
of perky bright color shades as seen in the 
designers collections all the way.

photo © Sergi Pons in VotT's May issue
photo © Andrea Klarin for Knack mag
photo © Andrea Klarin > Knack
photo © Dori Tomcsanyi ”Color project 2011”
photo © Dori Tomcsanyi ”Color project 2011”
In our not-best-of-all-possible-worlds we
all apparently need to look ahead stepping
out in an energetic, bold spirit.
We can easily spot the winning color code
also in 2012 resort collections or even in
next year's menswear proposals.

from Mandy Coon's s/s 11 RTW lookbook
from Jil Sander's s/s 11 via
Peter Jensen's s/s 11 via
The dominant colorway suggests a joyful
summer spirit playing with vivid hues and
materials, having fun mixing & matching
while creating memorable outfits, but
please be aware that you're going to
undertake the block-color-trend
adventure at your own risk!

Alice + Olivia's 2012 resort collection via
Alice + Olivia's 2012 resort collection via
Viktor & Rolf's 2012 resort collection via
from Viktor & Rolf's 2012 resort collection
Last but not least a color blocking authority,
noblesse oblige!

Queen Elizabeth II during her first-ever visit to Ireland,
here at Cork's English Market. > photo © Pool/AP