Tuesday, 29 November 2011

'hellofashion' nonstop collection

model Ellen Rooijakkers, fashion designer, 2008
Each one of us has long-cherished clothes, garments
we aren't able to ged rid of or simply put out of our
mind wearing them over and over until the inescapable
change of season and that's why Monique van Heist's
trans-seasonal idea of fashion is driving me bonkers.

model Yke Schotten, illustrator, 2009
Monique is a Dutch fashion designer who established
her eponymous label, 'moniquevanheist', in 2004
after studying at Enschede's AKI academy of fine arts
and receiving her master degree from Fashion Institute
Arnhem ever since exploring ”the grey areas of our
dress culture while applying a god dose of humor.”

model Milou van Rossum, fashion journalist, 2008
alphabet necklace with Martine Viergever, 2009
Two years ago she launched ”hellofashion”, her own
constantly growing collection of garments, accessories
and lifestyle products smartly challenging fashion's ritual
cycle by adding new items at any given time.
Monique proudly declares that fashion ain't a throwaway:
”...I thought it was strange that all my designs disappeared
after a single season simply because you had to make 
a new collection so it came down to me wanting 
to work on one large collection which continually 
grows and will always exist...”.

model Charlotte Kan, fashion designer, 2009
model Siriane, photographer & stylist, 2007-10
Monique wants her customers to be able to buy new stuff
when they truly need them, presenting 'for all seasons'
designs where basically the shapes are the same while 
materials vary per season: would it be hard for you 
to wear out your dearest wollen coat? Don't worry, 
you'll find the same 'moniquevanheist'
design as a cotton cardi!

model Noortje Zijlstra, designer, 2010
safety-pin with Martine Viergever, 2010
I really love the whole idea of it, the fact that it never 
runs out of season with old items always available 
as well having shot the lookbook with models from 
the real world, women from all walks of life 
photographed with the dress from ”hellofashion”
collection paired with some from their own wardrobe, 
as to say à la mode and against it in her 
own peculiar way to sustainability.
Sheer genius!

model Corry Okkinga, retired gymnastics teacher, 2010
> all portrait images styled by Caroline Fuchs, photo by Daan Brand <
> still life photos by Ingmar Swalue <

Sunday, 27 November 2011

biofashion rendezvous

hat by Victor Romero, photo © by J. A. Saldarriaga/Reuters
Back in Cali's traditional eco-friendly event, the 
'Biofashion Habitat Show' where Colombian designers 
showcase as usual their creations made with natural 
elements such as seeds, leaves, living plants and 
flowers to promote environmental awareness 
while letting loose their imagination.

dress by Reinaldo Giraldo, photo © by C.J. Martinez/AFP

dress by Angelo Restrepo, photo © by C.J. Martinez/AFP
Needless to say most of the garments had to be completed
at the last minute due to the organic composition 
yet once again the Valley of Cauca river proved to 
be the ideal habitat of environment-friendly 
fashion suggestions.

green skirt by Jefferson Poveda, photo © by Luis Robayo/AFP
yellow seed dress by Daniela Arevalo, photo © by Luis Robayo/AFP

Saturday, 26 November 2011

an eye for an eye style

photo © Attila Kisbendek/AFP/Getty Images
Dancers of Szeged Contemporary Dance Company
in their plain black suit for latest Budapest production,
the dance drama 'Avengers - Electra, Medea, the
Women of Trachis' by Hungarian Tamás Juronics and 
Portuguese Pedro Goucha Gomes choreographers.
The basic look of vengeance.

Thursday, 24 November 2011

one more chance

There's a place in Brooklyn Navy Yard, the famous NYC's
landmark, where old worn leather jackets come back to life
exactly like the area did: once known as America's first
shipbuilding facility it's now home of innovative business
companies among which reMade USA, the design firm
founded by Shannon South converting with sheer 
artistry used materials into one-of-a-kind bags.

Born and raised in south Florida where she got a BFA
in Electronic Media she started designing clothes and
accessories in college after an inspiring summer 
studying at London's Royal College of Art.
She moved to New York in 1999 and since then worked
in northern Europe and San Francisco though the Big Apple
remained her home base where she obtained her Master's
Degree in Industrial Design at Pratt Institute.

Two years ago Shannon launched reMade USA focusing
on repurposing shabby leather jackets into showy handbags
while creating awareness of products overproduction and
appreciation of what can be done with discarded 
materials (and a large dose of talent in her case).
Beautiful, well-crafted handbags re-made with the tiniest
footprint possible so it's small wonder that Shannon's work
is supported by the Pratt Design Incubator for Sustainable
Innovation, launched back in 2002 to sustain and 
expand social/environmental enterprise.

The smooth feel of old worn leather, often sentimentally
valuable objects like the decrepit jacket you've never been
able to get rid of slowly comes to a new life in honor of 
its previous one: unique bags and home accessories 
telling memories even though brand new.
Check out the 'before' and 'after' images in the 'send 
your jacket' website's section, it's truly tantalizing!

> all images © Shannon South design inc. <

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

colorful body & soul

> photo by Emi Momota <
Japanese performing artist Kofuneko Tomoko is
widely known in the avant-garde milieu for being both 
the artist and the model of her body expression works. 
The Kanazawa-based body artist previously graduated
in oil painting from the local college then started working
on her body to expand the physical expression conveying
the vibrations of her soul to many people sharing 
joy, excitement and energy.

> photo by Chiaki Takayama <
Strongly fascinated by ethnic elements, she began
practising African dance in her sophomore year,
collaborated after graduation with West Papua natives
in Indonesia and keeps on travelling the world: maybe
she's still painting and performing, not to mention
posing for pictures, in Vanuatu, ”the land of body
art” or even in Bhutan as she wrote in her weblog.

> photo by Keita Kojima <
> photo by Makiko Furuichi <
Kofuneko Tomoko has been featured in many exhibitions,
mostly in Japan but also in Europe like in last year's Berlin
To-Be which smartly stands for Tokyo+Berlin communication
art, the multidisciplinary exhibition that came to highlight
works by 28 artists from Japan and Germany researching
spheres of common ground in the ”Being and 
Becoming” in both cultures.

> both pictures by Katsuwo for Wowza magazine <
Her work appeared in the acclaimed and much reviewed
cover story with images taken by photographer and graphic
designer Katsuwo (Akira Takashi Matsunaga) for Wowza
magazine, or ”everything that's a visual wow”, the au courant
Canadian magazine celebrating creativity in all of its modern
manifestations and earlier this year received the Taro
Okamoto award for contemporary art succeeding the
challenging spirit of the avant-garde artist. 

Kofuneko's a real artist under her painted skin!

> photo by Katsuwo <

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Snow White and the poised queens

Yesterday I was watching the trailers of two upcoming
movies upon Snow White (you know, I'm a dreamer with
a strong penchant for fairy tales), namely ”Snow White
and the huntsman” and ”Mirror, mirror” and they suddenly
jogged my memory back to the images of London-based
designer Inbar Spector and the 'Poised Queens' she
presented at the latest Vauxhall Fashion Scout.

After a couple of seasons off, Inbar came back with a gritty
s/s 2012 collection strangely inspired by 'living nightmares'
and 'visions of violence' referring to her homeland threatened
life, a collection that stays true to the Israeli-born 
designer's sophisticated style mixing painstakingly 
constructed dresses, crinolines and corsetry.

A riveting collection which isn't dark at all, yet a bright
exercise on contrast and texture with clever hints to the 
gothic aesthetic: heavily manipulated sheer fabrics 
give birth to structured dresses among which a stunning 
golden metallic beehive-shaped piece.

Lace, silks and metallic faux leather in a monochrome palette
are paired with sculptural oversized jackets and amazing
ruffled dresses in light pink and green while punkish
mohawks, heeled black Mary Janes, chains and zippers
underline the futuristic flavor of the collection.
Dreamlike, edgy clothes that look highly wearable 
at the same time.

> all images © by Tony Wellington photography <

Monday, 21 November 2011

that's Life!

photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time-Life pictures, October 1937
Life, the first all-photographic American news magazine,
celebrates its 75th anniversary this month showcasing 
the most striking covers in chronological order 
as chosen by the website's editors (the magazine 
definitely ceased publication with April 2007 
issue and keeps going exclusively online).
I've just selected some of them among the fashion-related
ones: they're still a gripping source of inspiration through
pivotal events, changing trends and timeless style icons.
Hope you enjoy Life's life's work.

photo by Philippe Halsman/Life mag, October 1942
photo by Sharland/Life mag, December 1951
photo by Milton H. Greene/Life mag, September 1952
photo by Mark Shaw/Life mag, December 1953
photo by Bill Eppridge//Time-Life pictures, May 1965
photo by Alfred Eisenstaedt/Time-Life pictures, May 1967
photo by Milton H. Greene/Life mag, March 1970
photo by Douglas Kirkland/Life mag, July 1972

Sunday, 20 November 2011

strike me pink

image credit: Muhammed Muheisen/AP
This image caught my eyes like a bolt out of the blue:
a brave young Afghan woman, Meena Rahmani, aged 26,
made the intrepid decision to open the very first 
bowling center in decades-long war-torn Kabul.
Called 'The Strikers' the bowling alley, although shielded
by blast-proof steel doors and gun-toting burly watchmen
represents a peaceful oasis for family gatherings, a token
of the country's hope for the future and a brainy challenge.
Meena uniquely strikes a blow for freedom!

Friday, 18 November 2011

steampunk couture

Haute couture's custom-fitted exclusiveness always
required a theatrical display to point out its own essential
qualities setting up throughout the last two centuries
multiple tie-ins with theatre for its dramatical potential,
a close relationship that has been unerringly 
hailed as 'theatre in fashion'.

A plot-less techno-drama, a dark and creepy show
held the complete attention of Dubai's fashion week
guests at the World Trade Center when lionized
Philippines-born, Dubai-based couturier Furne One,
owner and chief designer of Amato couture brand
(previous post here) unveiled his s/s 2012 collection.

Partially inspired by a horror movie of the 70's and
therefore called ”It's alive”, the dazzling performance
showcased pale and stiff models, sort of cyborg
goddesses robotically walking the aisle wearing
steampunk high-collared looks with oversized 
sleeves and hugely padded shoulders.

A great parade of layered tulle, laces and see-through
mises in pastel shades mostly in pink as well in ivory,
light green and powder blue shades with opulent
embellishments made of exquisite beadworks and
embroideries bewilderingly accessorized with chains,
kitchen tools, light bulbs and electrical hardware.

Both the show and the collection confirmed Furne as
a master showman and a first-rate designer placing
emphasis on his umblemished crafstmanship and
his unique penchant for drama. Bravo!

> all images © by Elmer Magallanes Jr. / Amato Haute Couture <