Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Prada's winter real fantasies

According to schedule, Prada brings to the fashion
table the brand's artsy lookbook for the AW 11-12
collection called ”Real Fantasies” with almost 
the same team of previous seasons.

Conceived as an inspirational compendium of
head-to-toe looks, the lookbook is also a testament
to Miuccia Prada's deep sense of obligation to 
the world of visual arts as well her own 
conceptual approach to fashion. 

In Milan it's rumored that the top-notch 
designer plans to open a Rem Koolhaas 
designed museum to house her
  own creations next year.

With art direction by AMO, the Rotterdam-based
counterpart to OMA's international architecture
partnership and namely by Ippolito Pestellini
Laparelli and Fausto Fantinuoli, artworks by
Lok Jansen and Jeroen Koolhaas with photos
by Phil Meech, the lookbook shows gripping
cutouts against vintage decor backgrounds.

A deluxe 'Swinging London' mood which is quite
enthralling as the brand's catwalk show in Milan.

Monday, 29 August 2011

Eid greetings

I guess the amazing works of a Muslim female artist
are ideally suited to share greetings for tomorrow's
Eid al-Fitr, the three-day celebration marking 
the end of Ramadan.

Tehran-born talented photographer Aretzu Karoobi
uniquely captures the layered dimensions of life's
exclusive moments wrapping corporeal forms in
her storytelling, intentionally obscure images.
Eid Mubarak!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

vintage Caturday

© Ralph Crane's image from LIFE magazine archives, ca. 1950
Let me wish to all of you an amusing weekend
with this funny vintage bathing cap with 
a printed cat face and protruding ears 
from LIFE magazine archives.
Have a blissed-out weekend!  =^..^=

Friday, 26 August 2011

unbridled talent in harness

Zana Bayne is a crack designer, a tastemaker,
a stylist, a photographer, a style blogger,
a self-made entrepreneur and, it goes almost
without saying, an early riser who loves to work
with natural light as a painter.
”I came into working with leather without 
any prior training, so I've really let the craft 
guide me...” she acknowledged.

She had made a name for herself as the gifted
designer who recently came to dress the torsos
of Lady Gaga and Katy Perry with her inventive,
mind-blowing leather straps fastening and
emphasizing the body in a very natty way.
Harnesses with a vaguely S&M flavor, from
jagged armor-like creations to custom made
pieces which are wholly able to transform
every look turning a basic jacket or a minimal
dress into spiffy new garments.

Zana was born in Seattle, studied sculpture
and conceptual art at San Francisco's Art
Institute from which she earned a BA in
”new genres”, briefly lived in Berlin and now
living in NYC where she runs her own
Brooklyn studio as well her online shop.

Zana's eponymous line shows leather accessories
that are both wearable on skin and over clothing,
strongly accenting body parts such as torsos,
shoulders, collarbones, back or legs with hand
crafted creations, including belts and bootstraps,
recently releasing the AW collection's lookbook.
Fastening my eyes on it!

> all images © Char Alfonzo, styling by Raul Guerrero <

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

limelight Felicity

Once again the amazing looks of young British
designer Felicity Brown knock me down while
reckoning the amount or work each and every
single piece of hers requires.

Felicity's AW 11-12 collection shows her signature
hand-dyed soft layered silk ruffles while reinterpreting
her own take on deconstruction with inspirations from
cubism and tribal markings (cubism was strongly
influenced by African sculpture, after all).

Conceived as a tribal costume, each piece shows a
theatrical layer-upon-layer lure with laced up corsets,
striped maxi skirts and cubist-style printed shirts in 
a palette mainly made of navy, mustard, salmon pink
and white for a glamorous yet romantic 
she-warrior elegance.

I like looking at tribal costumes from all over
the world and the way tribes mark themselves
she wrote on her eponymous website, ”I find
that much more fascinating than minimal

With her artisan approach, her one-off skills in 
silk manipulation and her taste in quality fabrics, 
Felicity came to put her poetic mark anew,
enjoying the limelight she deserves.

> all images from the designer's website <

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fam's idea of fun

Every collection from Oslo's most eccentric designer
Fam Irvoll comes as a real outburst of color and joie
de vivre because everything she does is full of fun and
energy and her shows always playful and upbeat.
She came to present her AW 11-12 collection smartly
called ”Sooner Rather Than Later” at the latest Oslo
fashion week (where she came to introduce menswear
for the first time) showing her own unshrinking looks
made of mammoth polka dots, sequins, knitwear and
colorful dresses decorated with 'smoking doll' prints
in a tonal palette where shocking shades are 
mitigated by black and white.

Fam proved for the nth time her own iconoclastic creativity,
this time with prints and shapes much more wearable than
her previous collections: even if she has been inspired
by cartoons and toys especially by the 40's American
character Dick Tracy, her models remind me 
advertising shots of the 80's.

all images via Blow.co.uk

Fam's zany humor is always a boost of enthusiasm!

Monday, 22 August 2011

oppressive heat outside

image © Omniroma agenzia di stampa
From the Alps to Mount Etna, Italy's basking under
this summer's hottest sun experiencing harsh heat
waves and even wild animals in parks and zoos
are fed many a time with fresh fruits to help them
cooling down like this thirsty Madagascar lemur
dealing with a half watermelon bigger than 
himself in Rome's Bioparco.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

memory of the Netherlands

Memory of the Netherlands” is such a fascinating
and well-done website project to preserve and
make known Netherlands' past with masterly
reproduced and stored digital sources of all kind,
whose client-sided technology allows viewers to
precisely browse through over half a million objects
from 100 different collections: a cache of cultural
gems offering an exquisite picture of the country's
history and culture: a true must-see.

Gracieuse. Geïllustreerde Aglaja, 1873
Gracieuse. Geïllustreerde Aglaja, 1883
”Geheugen van Nederland” is coordinated by
The Hague-based Koninklijke Bibliotheek
(National Library of the Netherlands) which
was founded in 1798, aiming at providing
access to the knowledge and culture of past
and present times by supplying an extensive
array of services and documental sources.

Gracieuse. Geïllustreerde Aglaja, 1909
Gracieuse. Geïllustreerde Aglaja, 1933
Let's take a stroll down Holland's memory lane
with snippets from the project's fashion section,
first through the 74 years editions of 'De Gracieuse'
fashion magazine which, needless to say, was
strongly inspired by Paris' latest fashions.
Gemeentemuseum Den Haag's costume dept.
holds a large collection of the magazine, published
from 1862 to 1936, which came to present a wide
range of suggestions, from simple robes to fancy
evening gowns and also needlework, knitting 
and embroidery examples.

Deken blanket, 1796
Vlisco has been a market leader in printed fabrics
for clothing since the second half of nineteenth
century gathering throughout the time a sumptuous
collection of over 33,000 items that 50 years ago
was entrusted to the company's museum, the
Pieter Fentener van Vlissingen Foundation.
Breathtaking textile swatches, original batiks
and ikats from the so called Dutch East Indies
(present day Indonesia), Japanese katagamis
and also woven cloths and blankets: 
a feast for all eyes.

Herdenkingsdoek, commemorative cloth, 1898
Katoen batik
English cretonne, 1875
The Felix Tal's collection comprises 145 unique
fans dating back to the 17th and 18th century,
when fans were popular with men and women
alike and not only as fashion accessories but
simply as objects of everyday life.
Amsterdam's Koninklijk Oudheidkundig
Genootschap received the jaw-dropping collection
of decorated fans from the municipality of Velsen,
in the province of North Holland, to look 
after these priceless works of art.

Parasolwaaier, ca. 1890
Parasolwaaier, part.
A fantastic journey through understanding
and recollection: erg bedankt Nederland!

Asymmetric 'bloemenpatroon', 1910, part.
all images © Het Geheugen van Nederland/Koninklijke 
Bibliotheek Nationale bibliotheek van Nederland, 2003

Saturday, 20 August 2011

daydreaming couture

I'd always loved Iris Van Herpen's notion
of fashion, her anything-but-ready-to-wear
architectural dresses (click the Van Herpen
tag to read previous posts) but, most of all,
her desire to change the whole fashion 
design canon by injecting provocative 
fresh-blooded ideas into it.

Iris' dramatic eye for experimental, constructed
clothing design makes use of industrial materials
to create stiff and sculptural mises with a distinctive
armor-like effect amazingly combining hand-worked
components with innovative digital printing or
molding techniques.

That's why she briskly made her name, anyway
it was quite a surprise when Paris' Chambre
syndicale de la Haute Couture embraced her
talent electing the Dutch designer together with
Giambattista Valli as new guest members
to show their peculiar works on July last.

She came to present her debut couture collection,
actually a ”best of” selection with some of her
famed sculptured dresses from the past seasons
together with new designs from her latest
A/W 11-12 collection ”Capriole”.

A daydream collection where welded out metal
piping in copper, gold and silver shades; black
and white plastic tubes or triangles vests and 
fish bone-looking shouldered tops envelop the
body in a stunning line-up of sheer cfraftsmanship
pieces fully showing the designer's original standpoint.

Iris is such a forward-looking designer for whom
fashion is entirely an artistic expression, a
dressmaker who certainly doesn't see form
following function, yet its antithesis: form goes
with the body, altering it thereby changing
the emotion and the whole dressing experience.

all photos © Iris Van Herpen

Thursday, 18 August 2011

out now: Rodarte for OC

Pasadena's celebrated ready-to-wear fashion label
Rodarte came to unveil the fall/winter 11-12 collection
designed for Opening Ceremony, the multifaced retail
environment which is known for having broadened
its brick-and-mortar belief to a globally available
shopping experience with a horde of collaborations
and partnerships with international designers.

Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the talented sister designers
behind Rodarte, had always shown their penchant for
countryfied yet extremely feminine looks wowing fashion
audiences worldwide and their latest OC's 
collection was eagerly awaited.

An exquisite, Nordic-inspired romantic collection
plenty of charm and simplicity, with bucolic and
Scandinavian hints showing appealing puffed
silk dresses with a dash of ruffle, Fair Isle-patterned
woolen sweaters and attractive printed shirting
in a soft color palette of mint green, blush, ochre
and turquoise. Simply wondrous!

all lookbook images © Autumn de Wilde/Rodarte