Friday, 31 August 2012

the nature of good & evil

Young fashion designer, German graduate
Karin Brettmeister, has always been fascinated
by the ambivalence between good and evil and
the eternal dichotomy stirs up her own creativity
in a remarkable way.

An ESMOD Munich graduate, Karin has gained a
significant experience and noteworthy rewards
in the past few years such as the 20th Hempel
excellence award from Beijing's China fashion
week and ESMOD's ”Aiguille d'Or”, the best
performance in 'Modellisme Femme'.

Her latest collection aptly called 'Elements' shows
an apparently wild look which is quite the contrary:
correct in all details, both in terms of shapes and
materials. Karin explored the concept of good and
evil through the four elements of nature (which is
neither good nor evil yet can be harmless and
deadly at the same time) cleverly representing
each one of them: long threads suggest water,
leather for earth, provoking pattern cuts for fire
with airy knitted wool and light jersey for air.

Karin's braided looks are made with great attention
to fabric treatments and full of cut-out details; her
chunky knitted dresses and her leather and fur
jackets in pale white hues are well-matched with
oatmeal and gray evoking a cool winter mood.

No wonder she's now part of MUUSE, the Copenhagen
based online platform bringing the works of talented
young couturiers to people who love design by selling
unique, limited edition tailor-made pieces conceived
by carefully selected fledgling designers from top
fashion schools (tomorrow's trendsetters they 
proudly say) sharing revenues with them.
Sylvan and urban charm go together.

all images © by Jakub Gessler and Yannick Kornprobst
via the designer's website

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Nordic black line

Up-and-coming Danish designer Barbara i Gongini
is famed for her edgy artistry as well as for the
sustainable principles she strives to follow within
the production process: her environmental concerns
are expressed through the use of organic fibers,
fair-trade methods and recycling.

Graduated in 1996 from Danmarks Designskole,
Barbara launched her eponymous label in 2005
and briskly made waves as a budding talent for
her experimental and highly conceptual approach
to clothing design (she has been involved besides
in several design-related activities receiving awards
and grants, has been a member of several design
adjudicating boards and worked side by side 
with photographers, filmmakers and musicians).

Barbara i Gongini comprises two womenswear lines,
the eponymous main line and the diffusion one called 
”The Black Line”, a more basic and commercial 
range yet in the designer's unequivocal style.
The Black Line's s/s 2013 ”Collection 17” that came
to debut at Copenhagen fashion week appears to be
minimally rough yet rich in textures with almost
monochrome urban looks in gray, black and white
with unexpected neon yellow bursts.

Bold shapes are obtained through folds and slick
asymmetric cuts while the monochromatic game
of dissimilar textures shows ethereal white jersey
vests paired with geometric zipped over-sized
blouses and handmade knits shrouding the body
like a giant spider web, all of them bearing a
peculiar raw charm. Furthermore, the riveting
collection shows no accessories except for
some knotted necklaces smartly highlighting
its hybrid aesthetic.

> all images © by Barbara i Gongini via CFW website <
Earlier this month, the designer displayed her
”Collection 17” at Gallery in Copenhagen in a special
show presentation made in collaboration with Pure
Flavour records, musician Flemming Olsen and
choreographer Sara Gaardo, frankly pointing out
how her inspiration is constantly driven by
knowledge sharing and artistic exchange.

Gallery's show invitation, photo © by Karina Jonson

Saturday, 25 August 2012

summer night wordplay

image credit: © by Jon Nazca/Reuters
The astounding image with a dancing dragonfly taken
on a hot summer night by Jon Nazca, the award-winning
photojournalist and Reuters™ staff photographer based
in southern Spain, puts me in mind of the famous Latin
sentence used to describe the behavior of moths that
reads ”In girum imus nocte et consumimur igni”.
It can be translated as ”we wander aimlessly at night
and are consumed by fire” yet it amazingly may be
read backwards being the longest palindrome
sentence of the past. If you're interested in the witty
exploitation of meanings and ambiguities of words
as well in reading much longer phrases, keep a
check on Mark Saltveit's 'The Palindromist' website:
he's a real expert on this classic wordplay.
Have a great and safe summer weekend!

Friday, 24 August 2012

iron-melted pot

French-born, Shanghai-based designer Sabine Ducasse
had a literal take on 'melting' devising her ”Melting Pot”
capsule collection whose 8-bit pixel patterns are made
ironing melty plastic beads together creating psychedelic
toreador-like shouldered garments.

Colorful beaded looks, trendy and outdated at the same
time with pixelated plastic collars and corsets, a clever
mix of plissés, melted wires and quirky prints smartly
translating the idea of the ”salad bowl” by mixing traditional
Chinese iconography together with Western elements
in a kaleidoscopic arrangement (she also created a video
with a constantly changing sequence of vivid images
to express the concept of culture merging 
to a greater degree).

Sabine spent the last four years in China and strongly
wanted her collection to speak about it, I confess I hold
in high regard the small collection's preliminary drawings
showing at first glance her coolheaded knack for design.
Unhappily, the imposing headpieces and wigs of the
drawings didn't find the way to get in the photo 
shooting nor in the catwalk show.

It's small wonder she came to win Shanghai's 'IFA Paris'
Golden Prize whose theme opportunely was 'East meets
West', receiving a full scholarship in Paris for the
postgraduate in fashion design and management
program at the International Fashion Academy,
the 10th arrondissement's school established 30
years ago ”to combine the French fashion heritage
with the modern globalized world”.

> images © by Matthias Hossann/Sabine Ducasse, 2012 <
Sabine Ducasse's Sino-French collection proves how
eager she could be to start her career in fashion,
so 'bonne chance' to her!

model Ding Rouyin with Sabine Ducasse © IFA Paris 2012

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

winding up Winde

Inspired by renowned Greek poet, journalist and civil
servant Constantine P. Cavafy's (better known as
Konstantin Petrou Kavafis in the countries bordering 

 the Mediterranean Sea) poem ”Ithaca” and conceived
as a journey through different cultures in search of a
personal identity, young Dutch fashion designer
Winde Rienstra realized her s/s 2013 collection.

Showcased at Amsterdam fashion week in July,
the sort of avant-garde couture collection bears
a charming romantic appeal through a range of
flowing peplums and evening dresses in pastel
tones adorned with handmade silkscreen prints,
fine wooden inlays with embroideries 
and crocheted details.

Born and raised in The Netherlands, Winde
graduated from Utrecht's Design School of the
Arts and made a name for herself thanks to modern
geometric outfits subtly interpreting traditional
craftsmanship techniques through a distinctive
personal twist. The garments structural detailing
is juxtaposed with their silky neatness while
self-designed loose accessories like collars,
jewels and belts and the astonishing shoes
made of Lego™ white bricks tied with knitted
laces decorated with pom-poms 
add a resolute original touch. 

The gifted designer has been deeply involved in
'Spinning a Yarn', the multicultural social project
sponsored by the Province of Utrecht where she
held workshops for women from different walks
of life and different cultural backgrounds who
helped her creating handcrafted elements for the 
'Ithaca' collection and that will be showcased
in the upcoming month of September at 
Utrecht's Academy Gallery

> images © by Peter Stigter and © by Richard van Herwaarden <
 Winde Rienstra is patently winding up the Dutch
fashion's engine on her own!

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Eid days rejoicing

image credit: © by Boryana Katsarova, 2010 (part)
Let's celebrate Eid al Fitr, the three-day holiday
marking the end of this year's Ramadan, the
Muslim Holy month characterized by dawn-to-dusk
fasting, extended prayers and heightened piety
with the stunning picture of women worshippers
taken in Instanbul's Eyüp Sultan Mosque by
Boryana Katsarova, a Bulgarian multi-awarded
freelance photographer specialized in documentary
and portrait photography.
Eid Mubarak everybody!

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Margot's offbeat argot

Margot Bowman is a young visual artist, designer and
DJ living in ever-swinging London, an all-around talent
inspired by a sustainable mentality who's at ease working
on fashion design, illustration, homewear or packaging
and always eager to try new mediums and different
ways to express her gift.

She studied graphic design at Central Saint Martins
graduating in 2011 but she gained a significant
experience working as an illustrator and art director
for Kielh's, Topshop, AnOther magazine and WGSN
to name a few and she's also the creative director
of The Estethica Review, a ”publication focused on
ethical fashion published biannualy in conjunction
with the British Fashion Council”.

Margot lately came to show her exuberant capsule
s/s 12 collection called ”Albion 2080 - Clothes for
British Women of the Future” cleverly exploring the
sense of individuality and community in the years to
come through her own graphic style: bold, original
urban looks in red, white and blue in a heartfelt tribute
to Britain with her signature hand painted pieces.

Margot investigates the clash between the subconscious
and reality demonstrating her pretty good grip on 
what's going on in Brit fashion.

all images © by Margot Bowman via not just a label

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Copenhagen's whimsical takes on spring

Getting a peek from behind the curtains of latest
Copenhagen fashion week which ended two days
ago, I could not resist drawing a comparison between
the most interesting takes on next spring, namely the
new collections by Tabernacle Twins and Ivan Grundahl.

Former London's Royal College of Art graduate Vibe
Lundemark whose label ”Tabernacle Twins” made
a name for itself thanks to a bracing sartorial approach
made of bold colors, detailed digital prints and 
graphic knitwear with a distinctive comfy flavor,
showcased its remarkable features through
ethno-deco looks with gorgeous black prints
upon light turquoise and tangerine backgrounds.

images 1 > 4 Tabernacle Twins' s/s 2013
 Ivan Grundahl's design looks cool as ever, less
baroque and more sartorial this time: cozy urban
outfits with draped and loose-fitting silhouettes in
the label's signature mix of fabrics, knits and belts.
The eye-catching color palette is made of several
gray shades, powder reds with soft touches of
mauve like in the tulle skirt that seems to 
be made with flowers.

Traditional Scandinavian clean-cut elegance at its best.

images 5 > 8 Ivan Grundahl's s/s 2013
all images compiled via

Sunday, 12 August 2012

WED, World Elephant Day

Today marks the first World Elephant Day, the international 
initiative supported by the Elephant Reintroduction 
Foundation and Canazwest Pictures Inc.'s Producer and Director
Patricia Sims to raise public awareness and act on solutions
to the worsening plight of Asian and African elephants.
The Elephant Reintroduction Foundation is a charitable
non-profit organization based in Thailand with the
praiseworthy mission to reintroduce captive elephants
into the wild: let's help protect these revered animals
from the countless threats they face each single 
day all around the world.

Saturday, 11 August 2012

from Rome with love

Don't be fooled by the title, this post has nothing to do
with the latest movie by Woody Allen, anyhow it's about
the ancient city of Rome where Romanian visual artists
and designers Mirela Pribac and Dina Dancu established
the 'O' brand creating ”objects that grow from or around
the body, we call them objects, they can be used in
various ways, we're open to talk about them and
to give them roles. We know they become bags and
jewels and other more or less practical things...”

their shrewd statement reads.

The Rome-based Transylvanian born artists realize
contemporary jewelry and bags able to change form
and function ”where texture is primordial” as they say,
”creations featuring longitudinal forms, egg shaped
curves here and there, minimal shapes and an earth
tones palette”. 'O' or 'O-Pose' is a young brand as well
as an experimental lab ”sailing through the forgetful
present and globalized world of fashion on a boat
of ideas about craftsmanship and research in form”.

Objects conceived and designed to be perceived
by touch (tactility is actually the keyword), they start
creating shapes by folding different kind of fabrics and
having fun while juxtaposing materials able to give
a characteristic feel. The AW 2012 collection is
amazingly made only with felt and carefully picked
leather with innovative shapes reiventing the whole
concept of handbag always playing with opposites.
This play of opposites fully tells the endless source
of inspiration provided by the rich heritage of their
homeland and the Italian style in craftsmanship.
Brave ragazze!

> all images from the 'O' website <

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Anna leaves the stage

original illustration © by Taipei-based artist Chung-Chiao Tai via her blog
Anna Piaggi, the Italian fashion writer, muse and
style icon widely known for her colorful eccentric
looks usually paired with a hat by milliner Stephen
Jones, passed away today in Milan aged 81.
Hailed as ”a fine poet in clothes” by New York's
living legend fashion photographer Bill Cunningham,
she was undoubtedly one of our greatest style icons.
Ciao Anna, we'll miss your jaunty approach 
as well as your accurate writing!

Monday, 6 August 2012

shaping the void

'Exp. N° I - VOID' is the title of the graduation
project by young Danish fashion designer
Yvonne Laufer who aptly adopted the role of
a scientist creating her own rules and methods
to investigate the presence of negative space.

Fascinated by the world of science, ”a world
that I know little about surrounded by a mysterious

 aura”, Yvonne came to create her universe of
imaginary spaces exploring the boundaries
between form and formless through the abstract
concept of void translating it into experimental,
long flowing layered garments.

Yvonne studied fashion design and illustration
at Copenhagen's Kunstakademiets Designskole,
the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts committed
to developing Danish design and crafts for more
than 135 years, where her knowledge in cut out
techniques and fabrics layering thrived.

Trying to give a shape to the unknown through
an amazing combination of laser cut techniques,
Yvonne conceived edgy yet extremely wearable
outfits whose making process is fully documented
on 'Made in School' website, the ”ever-evolving
online portfolio adventure for those who study
work in the creative fields” dreamed up by
”...four poor and skinny design students 
in the cold and dark ice winter of 2010”.

> all images © by Julio Clavijo via the designer's website <