Saturday, 21 July 2012

urban warriors in style

Turkish young designer Zeynep Tosun is not a
johnny-come-lately to the world of fashion: born
in Istanbul, she studied illustration, digital fashion,
pattern design and fashion history in Italy at the
Marangoni Institute in Milan and held her debut
show in London on July 2006 following her graduation.
She was soon hired to Alberta Ferretti's design team
and therefore came to Rimini where she improved
her knowledge in haute couture.

catwalk photos 1 > 3 © by Alan Christopher Parker/ACP/Stylogasm 2012
After a year, Zeynep moved back to Turkey working
as a design consultant for local brands, took part in
young designers contests as well as in Esin Maraslioglu's
'Designloft' project (through which she had the opportunity
to conceive a 15-look collection) and came to establish
her own label designing custom-made couture pieces
as well her RTW collections that have been showcased
at Istanbul fashion week and also in London and Paris.

Zeynep's edgy AW 12-13 collection is strongly inspired
by a female warrior character, sort of a futuristic samurai
girl roaming the streets of the city in her menacing icy make
up, and it's smartly played on the contrast between stiff and
free-flowing shapes in a clever juxtaposition of old and
yet-to-come. A mythical aesthetic skillfully balanced
between Asian traditional clothing with eloquent tribal
hints and a super-modern urban androgynous heroine
in buttoned-up looks.

The whole collection is well accessorized, mostly
with beautiful bags ranging from small belt bags to huge 
knapsacks (the burgundy one with black cord straps
drives me bonkers)
complemented with silver 
collars and tooth-shaped fasteners.
A girl who won't definitely go unnoticed!

> all other images from the collection's lookbook <

Friday, 20 July 2012

'Ramadan Kareem' more than ever

> image from the designer's website - El Maha collection <
Muslim people all around the world began fasting
today in the first day of the Holy Month of Ramadan
that this year will be tougher than ever falling in
between the hottest months of July and August.
Jogging my memory back to my summer days in
Dubai when winds coming from the Empty Quarter,
or Rub'al Khali, the largest sand desert covering a
third of the Arabian Peninsula, brought the temperature
up to 50°C with 90% of humidity, I can understand
perfectly well how harsh it's actually going to be.
Let me voice my 'Ramadan Kareem' through the
work of a gifted Emirati designer, Iman Al Midfa,
founder of Ghizlan Fashion House who recently
won the award for the most successful Young
Entrepreneur in Fashion and Design as part of
International Young Design Entrepreneur Awards
(IYDEA) by the British Council, mixing Eastern and
Western design elements with her personal
twist on tradition and heritage.

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

roaring talents protected area

ITS stands for International Talent Support, the
Italian fashion platform dedicated to the scouting and
support of young creative minds from all over the
world, held annually in the notheastern town of Trieste.
Conceived and developed by the EVE agency in close
collaboration with three main partners, Diesel, YKK
and Swarovski Elements which significantly feed
the platform's different areas, the ITS' final event took
place last weekend showing the work of 
the hardly selected finalists.

The enormous amount of proposals (mostly in
womenswear) showed the major trends influencing
young designers, their thoughts and their dreams.
Each finalist of the three contests will provide an
item for the ITS Creative Archive, the so-called
protected reserve for talent that ITS carefully
built throughout the years: such collection, located
in the restored attic of its headquarters, preserves
and showcases almost 10,000 portfolios, 160
original outfits, accessories and jewelry pieces
as well as 630 photography projects.

Ichiro Suzuki's collection images © by Dominic Tschudin/RCA
The ITS Fashion competition for final year students
reached its eleventh edition awarding Japanese-born
designer Ichiro Suzuki, a graduate from London's 
College of Fashion who gained remarkable experience
joining Saville Row bespoke tailors Henry Poole & Co.,
for his eccentric menswear collection which is a triumph
of intricate patchworks in different shades of gray such
as the bulging lion's head opening image upon 
the most traditional British tailoring.

”Woven Bird” is the name of Mark Goldenberg's collection
that came to win the Vogue Talents Award: the young Israeli
designer created handmade pieces, intricate, dainty fringed
dresses inspired by the wing structure of birds as well 
by the work of Russian sculptor and constructive 
art pioneer Naum Gabo (1890-1977).
”In my work I use fine metal rods on which wool and cotton
yarns are stretched in a circular motion, the colors I use
express the color distribution of an exotic bird wing.
(...) The dresses were woven manually and some 
of them with a hand-weaving loom” he stated.

Mark Goldenberg's images from the designer's website
Marius Janusauskas, a Lithuanian designer studying and
working in Belgium's fashion capital Antwerp, received the
Diesel Award and a six months internship for his extremely
feminine collection called ”Sleeping Beauties” showing
delicate dresses and smart ideas such as the red plastic
tubing top appliquéd with flowers and the protruding
'bones' of the tops mimicking the chest of exotic birds.
The collection bears a sort of fairy-tale aura declined in
a cool way with sharp lines and sophisticated color 
combinations such as lime, orange and cobalt blue.
Elegantly romantic without being syrupy.

Marius Janusauskas images via
ITS confirmed its role as the bridge between schools
and the fashion industry giving students and graduates
the opportunities they crave through a noteworthy set
of prizes, internships and job offers.

Janusauskas' presentation to the jury, images via

Thursday, 12 July 2012

shaggy-haired inspiration

© Sabi van Hemert, untitled, 2007
After two consecutive posts about winter knits
I'm still in the mood for hairy works of art like
the humorous ones by Dutch artist Sabi van Hemert
who creates unique sculptures smartly evoking
the associations between children and animals
to, as she says ”get opposing emotions with a
surreal, sensual, tough yet vulnerable character”.
Sabi starts creating each image from clay or
synthetic material letting herself be led by thoughts,
associations and emotions and when she's able
to see the shape, she covers it with an exclusive
skin. A bit eerie yet quite inspirational.

Tuesday, 10 July 2012

Renaissance in the offing

by lanificio Dell'Olivo
Florence's Pitti Immagine Filati 71 came to an end
before the sultry long weekend showing at the Spazio
Ricerca ”Renaissance”, a knitwear trend presentation
dedicated to what made Italy great, the culture of
designing and manual craftsmanship.

by Lineapiù

With an ongoing dialogue between tradition and
innovation, ”Renaissance” feeds on history while
looking to the future: chromatic suggestions ranging
from Leonardo's sanguine studies, Bramante's
translucent black as well the chalky gray softened
by pink highlights of Leon Battista Alberti and the
jade tones of Michaelangelo's semiprecious stone
mosaics are reinterpreted through the style of the
great masters of Italian industrial design such as
Scarpa, Mollino and the Memphis studio and the
well-known stars of automotive design: Bertone,
Zagato, Pininfarina (recently passed on), Giugiaro.

By the way, the great star for the 2013-14 fall/winter
season will be cashmere, pure or blended with other
yarns, with new shades, hi-tech blends and new
frothy wavy 3-D effects. Super light, airy yarns will
be wafting through the season in a multitude of
mixtures with unusual combinations and mosaic
blends, brilliant camouflage and 'handmade in 
the handmade' effects.

And of course lots of eco-vegetable ideas, evoking
roots, leaves and bark with yarns from bio materials
to 100% naturals, eco-friendly dyeing systems with
shades obtained only from grasses, flowers, berries
and roots of medicinal herbs, actually a comeback
of a traditional old technique now looking cool 
and modern as never before.
Once again Florence opened a riveting window on
neo-global knitting and the trends to come.

> all other pics from the trend area <

Friday, 6 July 2012

recycling matters

Feel the yarn” is the training project and contest aimed
at helping aspiring knitwear designers from prestigious
international fashion and design schools increasing their
knowledge on yarns held annualy in Florence 
duringPitti Immagine Filati” Fair.

Back in March twenty young designers from nine different
countries had a training visit to Tuscany getting introduced
to the local world of fibers and yarns by Ornella Bignami,
the project's tutor and coordinator who's valued worldwide
as one of the leading expert in yarns and fabrics.
Each student came to design and produce three knitted
outfits inspired by the theme ”From material to immaterial”
using yarns from the participating Tuscan spinners.

This morning I was present at the third edition's winner
announcement: Xiao Li, a Chinese young girl from London's
Royal College of Arts, was awarded the first prize for,
as juror David Shah pointed out ”her modernity, her
search for unusual shapes and color application (...)
having worked with recycled denim yarn that 
emphasizes a philosophy in which the concept 
of sustainability is crucial”.

”In my work I'm often influenced by ecological and sustainable
 issues, particularly recycling” she declared, ”I have combined
the recycled denim yarns with other yarns in a modern way to
produce fresh and innovative knitted fabrics. The word 'recycle'
does not have to mean old or handcrafted. I have knitted

 recycled denim fabrics (produced by Pinori), made molds 
of them, produced a soft silicone material from 
these molds and applied these to and combined 
them with my real knitted fabrics.”

Xiao Li, ”Feel the Yarn” 2012 winner

Thursday, 5 July 2012

tailored symbolism

I must admit I'm no longer able to consider myself a minimalist
because I can be nutty about excessive decorative designs
and prints galore when I'm in the mood for any of them or
when a stroke of luck makes me stumble across unheard
of talents like Ekaterina Gerasimova, a graduate from London's
College of Fashion where she recently achieved a BA (Hons)
in the womenswear course of fashion design and technology.

Born in Russia, Ekaterina studied knitwear and illustration
before moving to London that soon became her inspiring
muse, where she learned day after day how to whet her
sense for illustration into fully developed garments also
gaining experience working as a technical intern in 
print studios and completing a job placement at 
Alexander McQueen last year.

Her AW 12/13 graduate collection shows 8 decorative
pieces in which fine fabrics play the leading role through
a host of layers and techniques such as felting, devoré,
appliqué and embroidery skillfully highlighting
the symbolic meaning of motifs and designs.

> all images © by Hill & Aubrey, 2012 <
A capsule collection with a peculiar symbolic allure
made of dated (or should I say classic?) tattoo imagery
with traditional religious themes (Latin crosses, angel wings,
bleeding eyes, hearts into flames) paired with deconstructed
Sailor Jerry motifs and elements of indigenous cultures
deftly reconstructed with her illustrations, all bearing a
soothing retro feel. A true celebration of diversity
echoing crafts, rituals, cults and superstitions.

Wednesday, 4 July 2012

beach and sportswear forebears

After 6 long years and more than 18 million euros spent
on, the Villa Romana del Casale, the ancient imperial villa
hosting the largest collection of artistic Roman mosaics
in the world, reopens tonight in Piazza Armerina, Sicily,
to proudly show its unique treasures.

Built on the 4th century by a wealthy retired man who
hired several African artists mastering the art of mosaic,
the villa is one of the 44 UNESCO World Heritage sites in
Italy and it's universally known for the ”Chamber of the
Ten Maidens” where the so-called  ”bikini girls” are
depicted playing ball games and exercising in clothing
that can be only described as bikinis in the earliest
visual documentation of the precursor of both 
sportswear and beachwear.

The focus of censorship for centuries, the first two-piece
swimsuit dates back to 1913 when Carl Jantzen designed
it for the brand he came to found in Portland, Oregon,
while the modern bikini was reinvented only after World
War II by French engineer Louis Réard who named
it after the atoll where an atomic bomb was tested
presuming its coming would be as turbulent 
as a bomb explosion.

The oldest swimsuits, or better, workout sportswear items
shine back after the hard work of cleaning and color
restoring done by a team of fifty restores from all over
Europe that came to remove debris and algae from
the 4,100 square meters floor mosaics.
Art, history and fashion stride hand in hand 
throughout time.

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

alien skin textures

There's a a young creator born and based in Barcelona
who had the courage of using repugnance, fear and
dregadation as a methodology for investigating the concept
of visual impact creating unique clothing out of the nude
body by turning its sinister forms into beautiful,
rendering the aesthetic effect of unpleasant feelings.

Georgina Santiago's ”...purpose is to use the mental process
generated by being exposed to a sinister image as a 
seduction method to create a new and disturbing aesthetic.
This aesthetic emerges from the most real element, my body,
and specifically my left hand (the sinister) and it reaches 

the most synthetic extreme” she declared 
introducing her placenta-like garments.

Paying close attention to her left hand whose skin appeared
to look like from a strange unfamiliar creature, Georgina
started working on the epidermis texture, run-of-the-mill
and extraterrestrial at the same time, constructing
anatomic volumes interacting directly with the body
in which ”transparent membranes show the bluish color
of the veins, abstracting the wrist and letting blue textures
create venous fabrics, and digital prints reproduce at
large-scale images of the human body they dress.”

Georgina studied fashion design at ESDI in Barcelona
and fashion branding at AMFI in Amsterdam and worked
as forecaster and designer in the multidisciplinary team
of Estudi Gloria Jover in her hometown before realizing
her graduate collection called ”MINUTIAE, bad weeds
grow tall” smartly emphasizing the tiny and trivial details
of our body through pellucid cocooning shapes.
Extreme, not so pleasant yet quite enthralling.

> all images © by Daniel Armengol <