Monday, 30 May 2011

patchwork's prodigy

Yusuke Maegawa is a gifted Japanese born fashion
designer who moved to London in 2004 where he
completed his MA course at Central Saint Martins
showing his compelling graduate collection as part
of CSM's catwalk show at London Fashion Week.

Yusuke's dark and modern creations deservedly
caught the eye of fashion experts for the skillful
mixing of fabrics and textures, the juxtaposition
between the inborn Japanese aesthetic filtered
through his European education.

I bet his works may sound quite a bit exotic 
to Japanese because of his Western-influenced
approach to womenswear in which street style 
hints and the careful selection of fabrics are 
of paramount importance together with 
his own cutting-edge silhouettes.

The young designer's  AW 2011-12 collection
shows amazingly tailored jackets and coats
with leather or neoprene bonded sleeves,
eye-catching denim patchwork biker jackets
worn over boiled wool skirts or layered
trousers and occasionally accessorized
with collars and cuffs.

Kind of a statement collection, conceived for a 
woman who wants to wear something really new,
something that may have some clues in
common with Japanese street style yet
certainly bears Maegawa's hallmark.

photos from the collection's lookbook, by Tomo Inenaga and Marsh Mel

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Caturday Evening Post

image credits: AFP/Getty Images
Widely known in NYC (and on the web)
as the 'cat man' the guy's name is Charlie
while his well trained cat is called Nicolas,
they can be found walking around town.
The consummate duo really photographs well!

Friday, 27 May 2011

tribute to Mother Earth

The horrific earthquake that rocked northern Japan
on March 11th last showed how nature could be
disruptive and merciless even though it can't be
blamed for nuclear related worries.

Japanese master designer Hiroko Koshino was forced
to postpone the presentation of her 2011-12 AW collection
during Japan Fashion Week, originally scheduled on March
22nd, because of the tsunami who came to affect even
some of the contractors working on it.

In her website Mrs. Koshino stated her own
commitment to make known the collection on May the
23rd dedicating her sincere respect to her collaborators.
”We learned of ties between people and the preciousness 
 of life, the mind and the clothes” Koshino declared 
while introducing two months later her sought-after 
collection called ”Mother Earth”.

Actually an amazing tribute to earth considered 
as the source of all its living beings and inanimate 
things representing her own breath of life 
after hard troubled times.
The collection is the result of the designer's 
struggle to revitalize Japan taking its weaknesses 
and skillfully translating them into positives.

Organic lines with bright colors and captivating shapes,
with prints and intarsia depicting animals and leaves,
birds and trees that are bold and delicate at the same
time, some of them featured in ink painting technique
on graceful icy white dresses.

A collection full of imagination and sheer beauty,
hopeful and confident about the future.

all images by

Thursday, 26 May 2011

beloved like a Queen

I spent three compulsive years of my life in Dubai
and I eventually came to know it like the back of
my hand, thus I'm fully aware of how many talented
people live and work down there.
Dubai could actually be taken as a paragon of virtue
for its glittering lifestyle as well for the constant
flourishing of modern art venues and fashion brands.

When I lived there they were slowly setting the scene
for a fashion-conscious environment, fashion was
quite in its infancy and lacking in vitality because of
balmy regulations and inexperienced movers and
shakers yet women's longing for elegance enormous,
and not only for the traditional full-length abayas.

So many designers are now based in Dubai, creating
garments that run the gamut from casual to haute couture,
a branch in which Filipino designers indubitably have
their say. I've been reporting about Michael Cinco's
idea of couture (here) and now it's time to introduce
you to another gifted Pinoy designer, Furne One.

Furne is the head of 'Amato' Haute Couture brand,
a name that sounds familiar to my ears literally
meaning 'beloved' in Italian, providing hand-stitched
designs for Dubai's high-end clientele.
His pieces fully reflect the designer's love for beautiful
clothes he inherited from his ma and grandma with
imaginative dresses, a unique passion for detail,
belted-skirt silhouettes, corseting, fanciful 
embroideries and crystal embellishments.

Furne One's spring couture collection, smartly called
”I'm the Queen” is a marvelous journey to bygone times,
the golden age of Queen Elizabeth I with breathtaking
tulle gowns, a triumph of lace, linen and Swarovski
crystals in a warm palette of nudes, buttercup yellow,
gold and bronze which is perfectly emphasized by
the stunning images of Dubai-based photographer
Tina Patni: a feast for all eyes indeed.

Each dress is a work of art and couture craftsmanship
through which the totally unafraid designer converts
historical costumes into wearable high fashion.

Lately the crisis has unsettled the couture economy
making the fashion sector more unpredictable while
many wonder whether there's a customer base left
for it yet couture deserves worthy, creative designers
showing a strong attitude of mind like the Filipino
'new masters' from the Middle East. 

Hurrah to them!

all images © by Tina Patni/Amato Haute Couture

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

the painterly-eyed designer

I admire Josh Goot's talent in blending artistic
references with his mastery in fabric manipulation
that shapes his sporty yet clearly elegant aesthetic.
The young Australian designer who began his
career in 2005 made his name for his clean,
minimalistic silhouettes and gorgeous prints.

His latest collection, actually the usual trans-seasonal
collection you can see Down Under at the end of
winter combining current spring and fall trends
while anticipating the new spring ones we'll see in
Milan, London and New York next September,
was the focus of all RAFW's attendees for the
clever juxtaposition of column-esque dresses
with bulbous tulip shaped skirts.

Goot's solid block colors are skillfully mixed with
the designer's artistic reference, German painter
Gerhard Richter who came to inspire his
paint textures and color blended prints.
”...I was inspired by Richter trying to capture
his way with paint textures and negative spaces
with the prints (...) I wanted to use prints
selectively and almost make sure they don't
overtake the silhouette.” he declared in 
his Dazed Digital interview.

A full-grown collection reaching an advanced
stage of the designer's know-how, he may
not be phantasmagoric as Mary Katrantzou
or austere like Gareth Pugh but his style
deserves praise and we'll surely hear 
from him again!

all images from:

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Sian's narrative textiles

Finally, after a busy long weekend I can enjoy some 
days by the seashore, however resuming to blog 
about the things I like in a more relaxed way.
By the way, maybe you know that nudist beachgoers 
refer to the other ones around them wearing 
beachwear like me as ”textiles” and that's 
in fact what I'm going to talk about.

Sian Zeng is a gifted textile designer and artist who 
was born in China and moved to Hungary with her 
parents when she was seven whose work is often inspired 
by her own fantasy world, a fairy-tale-like narrative 
she uses to create surface designs and illustrations.

Awarded the William Atkinson scholarship by London's 
Central Saint Martins for her designs on Little Red Riding 
Hood, Sian graduated with a BA in textile design in 2009 
and swiftly started creating her own collection of 
fabrics and wallpapers as well as designing several 
bespoke client led projects in a winsome way.

Sian is passionate about 'crazy' stories and beautiful
patterns design continually exploring the possibilities
of traditional and new technologies to bring into being
her imaginary world; last year she was awarded the
'Young Talent of the Year' by Hungarian 'Elle Decoration'
thus she was soon invited to exhibit at 'Young Talents 
on Show' during Milan's Design Week.

Held at Stella McCartney's lovely showroom, the side
exhibition was set up like a museum walk with elevated
platforms displaying each young talent's work at its best,
among them the intriguing selection of Sian Zeng's
wallpapers representing Hungarian 'Elle Decoration'.
She's undoubtedly, in my opinion, a young 
designer to keep a sharp eye on.

all images from the designer's blog
left to right: designers Sian Zeng and Rossana Orlandi with
Hungarian 'Elle Decoration' editor Cecilia Horvath in Milan

Friday, 20 May 2011

a dream to fly

...”the drone of flying engines
is a song so wild and blue,
it scrambles time and seasons if it gets thru to you
then your life became a travelogue
of picture-post-card-charms
Amelia, it was just a false alarm...”
 Joni Mitchell's ”Amelia”

It's happened once again, when I stumble upon
a photo shoot of the talented Russian duo made
by photographer Andrey Yakovlev and art director
Lili Aleeva I suddenly go nuts.

They have a real knack for fashion shooting
and at all times each and every picture bears
a glamour aura with perfectly styled
outfits and a remarkable use of light making
it polished and highly sophisiticated: 
 it's time to fly again.

By the way, the aviator-inspired look of Russian 
model Anastasija Ivanova reminds me the legendary
figure of American aviation pioneer and author
Amelia Earhart, the first woman to fly solo 
across the Atlantic Ocean.

Simply called ”Arrival” the new photo shoot
makes use of reflective curved surfaces showing
fancy spring/summer garments and kicky accessories
in the characteristic style of the Russian twosome
which every time goes refined.

You can see all pics here, have a fly high weekend!

all photos by Andrey Yakovlev, art direction by Lili Aleeva  © 2011

Thursday, 19 May 2011

monsters of fashion

exhibition's poster, © Bas Kosters, photo: Marc Deurloo
”...I'm workin' real steady
I'm workin' real hard
I'm building a monster
in my backyard...”

David Byrne's ”Marching through the wilderness”

exhibition's poster, © Charlie Le Mindu
exhibition's poster, © George Tourlas
Celebrated fashion designers and international artists
worked hard in the past weeks to build up or show again
their own monstrous, grotesque or enigmatic costumes
for ”ARRRGH! Monsters in Fashion”, the world's first
exhibition about Character design in fashion, 
curated by Vassilis Zidianakis.

Cassette Playa & Gary Card, photo © Minas Minatsis, the eternal optimist
Presented by ATOPOS, the non-profit cultural
organization based in Athens, Greece that recently
came to marshal Craig Green's ”Atopic Bodies” project
(previous post here), the new Benaki Museum's
exhibition shows behemoth creations, large and
ugly, even frightening yet playful and experimentally
avant-garde at the same time.

Christophe Coppens, photo © Minas Minatsis, the eternal optimist
Yssey Miyake & Dai Fujiwara's monster
Pandemonia, © photo: James & James
Pandemonia, photo from the postmodern artist's weblog

 Designers and artists reinvent the human body
redefining the relation between body and costume
by mixing visuall communication codes while
questioning the established aesthetic conventions.
Characters' strong anthropomorphic appeal and
their bold graphic silhouettes gained acceptance
over the last decade into a broader audience
regardless of cultural background strongly
influencing contemporary fashion and the arts.

Alexis Themistocleous, photo © Demetris Vattis
Hideki Seo, © photo: Etienne Tordoir
The extraordinary exhibition includes creations
such as dresses and costumes as well as masks
and vinyl toys by 50 designers and artists like Issey
Miyake, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, Gareth Pugh,
Bas Kosters, Maison Martin Margiela, Bernhard Willhelm,
Pandemonia, Cassette Playa, Charlie Le Mindu, Walter
van Beirendonck and Digitaria among many others
in a real extensive and frisky anthology of one-off
monster-like artworks: a real monster of a show!

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, © photo: Dominique Maitre