Sunday, 31 July 2011

fasting in style

The Holy Month of Ramadan will begin from tomorrow
hence I'm glad to wish 'Ramadan Kareem' to all my
Muslim friends and readers with one of the amazing
creations of Emirati designer Zareena Yousif who's
known for her gripping evening gowns and jalabiyas.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

spinning dress

image credit: AP
Yesterday  Miss Jin Linlin, 2008 Guinness
world record holder, jaw-droppingly spun
105 hula hoops during a promotional event
at  a major shopping mall in Hong Kong.

May you spin out your weekend at best!

Friday, 29 July 2011

Indonesian hive of artistic activity

window-installed Mella Jaarsma's ”The Fire Eaters”, 2011
Paris' prestigious Avenue des Champs-Élysées
with its clipped chestnut trees, cinemas, cafés
and luxury specialty shops is one of the most
expensive strip of real estate in the world 
where the 'Espace culturel Louis Vuitton' 
proudly hosts exhibitions by emerging 
artists from distant countries.

Arie Dyanto's ”The Dark Wave”, 2010
Heri Dono's ”Angels face to the future”, 2010
For its 16th exhibit the notorious griffe's art
space hosts ”Transfiguration - Indonesian
Mythologies”, the extraordinary showcase
of a dynamic generation of Indonesian artists
mostly from the Java island city of Yogyakarta
which is publicly acknowledged to be 
the real ”hive of artistic activity” 
of the whole country.

Eko Prawoto's ”Bamboo House”, 2011
the exhibition poster
Eleven emerging artists from Indonesia
showing new or specially reconfigured
artworks in the contemporary setting
designed by Alain Batifoulier: Heri Dono,
Arie Dyato, Mella Jaarsma, Jompi Jompet,
Agung Kurniawan, Eko Nugroho, Ariadhitya
Pramuhendra, Eko Prawoto, Bayu Widodo
and Tintin Wulia.

Agung Kurniawan's ”Portrait of forgotten memories”, 2010-11
one of Bayu Widodo's paintings
The gripping exhibition takes as a focus
the new mythologies of contemporary
Indonesia exploring the way in which
myths are related as well represented
to the modern-day society, its character
and identity through the works of already
established artists such as Heri Dono
(displaying two paintings and the amazing
installation of ten creaking angel-like
characters) to brand new names like
”street painter” Bayu Widodo and Ariadhitya
Pramuhendra (whose burned-out sort of
church installation hosts the artist's
self-portrait as a hooded monk).

Ariadhitya Pramuhendra's installation, 2011
A truly energetic and stimulating exhibition
through which the eleven Indonesian artists
tell the cultural story of their immense country
where tribalism, traditional beliefs and 
modernity uniquely merge.

Eko Nugroho's ”Strangers always look strange”, 2010

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

completing the triptych

”One windy day whilst filming a cherry tree covered 
with netting, Steffie Christiaens discovered the 
elemental inspiration that would form the unique 
beginnings of her experiential design process...”
recites the incipit of the Dutch designer's press 
release introducing her AW11-12 RTW debut 
collection arousing interest in her own
fresh viewpoint on fashion.

Steffie completed her fashion design studies at Paris'
IFM, Insitut Français de la Mode, and Arnhem's
Academy in the Netherlands while gaining invaluable
experience working in the ateliers of Balenciaga
and Maison Martin Margiela before 
establishing her own Paris studio.

The Cité de la Roquette-based designer drew flowing
shapes with a personal approach to experimental,
body-conscious garments reaching an interesting
balance between Futurist forms and a fluid, relaxed
elegance offering movement and new volumes in a
dusky color palette lifted by vivid cobalt blue shades.

Pieces able to express Steffie's artistic personality
as well her knowledge in fabric design and 3-D
construction such as tailored capes, technical
knitwear and elongated or cropped blousons
among which a stunning black Nubuck python
skin smartly sliced with jersey, sleeveless couture
minidresses, a piercing blue one with peaked
shoulders and flared hips and a gracefully
handmade tulip skirt.

Charmingly, Steffie's first collection bears some
similarities with previous posts designers' ones
excellently completing the riveting triptych of
northern Europe female designers.
Good luck with your careers gifted young ladies!

>all images from the designer's lookbook<

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

architectonically yours

Architecture is the old art and practice of designing
and constructing buildings or other physical
structures that came to inspire Polish born
designer Anna Dudzinska for her AW11-12
collection befittingly called 'Arch.Tekt.Onik'.

The almost monochromatic conceptual
collection bears a unique avant-gardist
mien as well a subtle industrial feel with
futuristic and geometric shapes associated
with classic forms skillfully utilizing luster
metallic fabrics mixed with old and soiled
ones in gray and fawn hues.

Anna, a graduated from Cracow School of Art
and Fashion Design, treats fashion as a form
of experimentation combining opposing
subjects such as old vs. new, construction
vs. deconstruction, tasty vs. disgusting
in her own peculiar way strongly inspired
by modern architecture and interior design.

'Dud.Zin.Ska' is the designer's label
producing eye-catching carefully constructed
creations using texture, bold shapes and
angles whose innovative character is
swiftly making waves in the fashion world.

campaign & lookbook images © Rafal Wojczal/Anna Dudzinska

Saturday, 23 July 2011

wordless sorrow

Friday, 22 July 2011

farewell post

Reflection (self portrait), 1985
”The picture in order to move us
must never merely remind us of life,
but must acquire a life of its own...”
Lucien Freud (1922 - 2011)

One of the greatest painters of our time
passed away yesterday in his London
home, Sigmund Freud's grandson
Lucien who came to redefine British
art over his fifty-year career. 
The unique combination of kindness
and conviction, curiosity and uneasiness
of his disarming portraits left a lasting
mark in my head years ago in Venice
at the Correr Museum's retrospective.
Bidding my fond farewell.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

lavishly gothic

Lena Lumelsky is a young talented designer
living and working in Belgium, born in Sebastopol,
Ukraine, she graduated from Shenkar College
of Engineering and Design in Ramat-Gan,
Israel and later she completed her studies
with an MA degree from respected Antwerp's
Royal Academy of Fine Arts before launching
her eponymous label in 2009.

Lena is the winner of ”el Botón” Mango
Fashion Award's fourth edition, probably
the most significant trophy for young
fashion talents, and briskly made her
name sounding as one of the most
promising yet to be closely watched.

Lumelsky came to show her latest AW 2011-12
collection, called 'Hochmud' inspired by
Amish people at 'SOUTH 36.32N, the
New Fashion Latitude', the event held
in the Spanish southwestern town of
Cádiz a couple of weeks ago.

A strong collection in which colors,
textures and materials are skillfully
combined or juxtaposed with an
elegant mix of gothic-inspired
elements in which flowing gowns
are paired with biker jackets, felted
wool and light silks merge with
black leather in uniquely romantic
yet dramatic elongated silhouettes.

A flawless collection whose virtues
have been fancifully extolled by the
amazing images taken for its lookbook
and campaign by top-notch photographer
Zeb Daemen: squealing with delight.

>all images by Zeb Daemen, courtesy of Lena Lumelsky<

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

a cut above the rest

I always take a brief, hurried look at Barcelona's
080 fashion week, truth be told that I'm usually
lukewarm about its proposals however a well
balanced collection caught me by surprise,
the one by young designer Miriam Ponsa.

Paying homage to the traditional town festivals
of Catalonia, the appropriately called ”Festa
Mayor” s/s 2012 collection shows joyful,
unaffected outfits bringing back 
elements of cultural costumes.

Catalan designer Miriam Ponsa comes from
a family with an old textile tradition going back
to the early nineteenth century: the old family
'Francesco Ponsa' factory has been fully
restored by the young heiress who established
there her own label's head office and boutique.

”The atmosphere you breathe in this place has
 something magical...” she said and from this
cherished haven Miriam carries out constant
research into textures and fine handcrafted
techniques, ”...the factory reminds me of my
childhood, the stage of acquiring interests and 

 forming personality” she recalls by heart.

Miriam's ”Festa Mayor” bears a balanced
and distinctive character skillfully twisting
off the typical boisterous Catalan imagery
and traditions with cozy dramatically knotted
blouses, hand-shaped padded fabrics and
hand-embroidered trouble-free garments.

>all above images from 080 BFW<
The Barcelona show started and ended with
”cabezudos”, the big-head coverings usually
worn by Catalan revellers, walking the
Barcelona University venue's runway before
and after models happily wearing white rope
wigs, a translucent make-up and nice
espadrille-revisited canvas shoes with
wooden platform soles.

photo © Albert Gea/Reuters
Ponsa's collection is quite a painstaking
and genuine research on textures and
fabrics linked to the autonomous region's
strong cultural heritage which is noticeably
superior to all other entrants'.

Monday, 18 July 2011

eastward-oriented lure

Time-honored elegance of the Far East always
has been a glamorous lure for fashionistas for
its perfect blending of cuts and colors, sumptous
prints and fabrics as well as the enhanced sense
of dignity Oriental clothing provides.

Fashion looks to the East again in the breathtaking
editorial of ”How to Spend It”, the posh and
multi-award-winning Financial Times' lifestyle
magazine, exploring Eastern-inspired apparels
by superstar designers brands such as Kenzo,
Louis Vuitton, Haider Ackermann, Donna Karan,
Carolina Herrera, Shanghai Tang and Alberta
Ferretti together with awesome accessories
and antique ink-painted or gilded screens 
from Mayfair's Gregg Baker Asian Art gallery.

Styled by the magazine's indefatigable style editor
Damian Foxe with wondrous images taken by
Japanese avant-garde photographer and film
director Sayaka Maruyama, a graduate from
Tohoku  University of Art which is now based
in London where she joined forces with
hair and head prop artist Tomihiro Kono
working together on artistic projects under the
collaborative smart name of  'Neon O'Clock
Works', the gifted Japanese-born duo worked
side by side even on this occasion.

The stunning editorial called ”The Empress'
New Clothes” shows a first-rate selection of
flowing silk kimonos, brocades, embroidered
satin dresses (with some catwalk-only pieces)
and even vintage robes in a mind-boggling
parade fully conveying the exotic sense of
elegance and intrigue that makes more
and more Western people going 
for Eastern wear.

 >all images © by Sayaka Maruyama-”How to Spend It”, 2011<