Thursday, 31 January 2013

backlit by the winter sky

I'm not a fan of winter yet I adore to take long strolls during
the handful of warm and sunny days in it when shafts of
sunlight enhance the dramatic nature even of the most
familiar landscapes like my hometown's river parks that
appear to be unbounded against the grayclouded sky. 
Winter weather looks worse through a window!

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Chimaera reloaded

Leyre Valiente is a gifted young Spanish designer whose
sculptural works kept my attention in a flash thanks to
simmetrically stitched armor-like black leather garments
(previous post here) uncannily inspired by the Chimaera,
the female monster of Greek mythology.

Leyre is a motion-picture devotee (her latest capsule
collection was called 'Santa Sangre' or 'Holy Blood'
from the 1989 Mexican-Italian avant-garde movie
directed by Alejandro Jodorowsky), blond-haired and
with the face of an angel that makes me think of a
Mark Ryden's character, who makes manifest a
surprising dark, gothic aesthetic.

”For me fashion is a way to express myself as an artist
expresses himself through his paintings. Sew in place
of paint, but it's the same. It's art. As a lover of cinema
and art, my designs are heavily influenced by both”

she declares introducing her peculiar style.

Her s/s 2013 Chimaera collection 'take two' updates
and improves her ”fantastic and metaphorical journey
from fetus (when we all are pure and simple) to
chimaera; the complicate yet beautiful monster we 

 get to be when we grow up” and Leyre's fully able
to illustrate the metamorphosis of women from
childhood innocence to unfriendly adulthood.

Her couturesque approach depicts the concept through
gauze and organza, silk chiffon and taffetta contrasting
with the rigidity of thick leather; her signature stitchings,
inserts and nervations made with cords to simulate
veins and tendons while armored structures and bulky
golden neckpieces testify to strength and character,
though never neglecting the sensual form 
of the female body.

> all images © by Miralla y Calf <
To paraphrase a line that Leyre wrote about the
chimaera, I dare say that the inky eyes in her delicate
countenance are evidence of a soul that's dark 
because she saw the light!

> images compiled from the designer's facebook page <

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Barbie dolls and pit bulls

Interviewed by 'Bast' magazine, Copenhagen-based designer
Anne Sofie Madsen came out with a curious and strongly
evocative statement introducing her latest 'Cherrilee' s/s 2013
collection: ”Everything in this collection should look like a Malibu
beach Barbie who's been buried in the playground for about
a year 
and then picked up by a pit bull” she said referring
to the 'go to rack and ruin' mood behind it.

Anne Sofie, the gifted illustrator and clothier I came to admire
ever since her motherland debut show, was strongly inspired
for 'Cherrilee' by Miracle Strip, the decayed amusement park
in Panama City beach, Florida, and its demolished attractions
(you can take a tour through the images taken by 
Steve Sobczuk on Flickr to fully grasp the vibe of disrepair).

”Barbie” models wearing skeletal gloves and white trainers
showcased the designer's signature dyed silk dresses,
a bit gloomy yet extremely wearable, embellished with
leather-cuts and three-dimensional appliqués while detailed
digital prints (some featuring her own watercolor drawings),
layerings, pleated skirts, tassels and fringes definitely
expressing her 'melancholically posh' point of view.

> all catwalk images © by Jens Langkjaer <

Monday, 28 January 2013

Marni's tomboyish girl

Marni's worldly woman doesn't lose her femininity despite
the mannish look of the latest pre-fall 2013 trans-seasonal
collection that still bears the typical aura of sophistication
of the Milan-based brand.

Eye-catching looks providing stylistic comfort devised in
a constant play of opposites: tailored and deconstructed,
feminine and masculine: 'all-purpose' comfortable and
practical outfits, suited both for urban and office mores,
in which the boxy shapes of double-breasted blazers,
duffle coats and cabans (not to mention a lovely sheepskin
sleeveless peacoat covered with a gold foil) are paired
with school girl features such as pleated skirts, 
high on waist belts and knee-high stockings.

Marni's 'jack of almost all trades' Consuelo Castiglioni
who created the brand's innovative charm through her
distinctive approach, for once goes androgynous juxtaposing
menswear silhouettes with feminine belted dresses
interpreting the ever recurring military theme using large
floral motifs, half the way between camouflage and 
jungle, on plain and boldly striped bases.

A uniform-inspired attire where sportswear functionalism
meets a girlish elegance made of twisted wool, leather,
cotton gabardine and polyester with a careful use of fur
in which Consuelo's signature color blocking is made of
dark hues ranging from army green and greenish brown,
charcoal and burgundy lightened by ivory, orange and gold.

Bags and shoes are obviously excellent as in all Marni's
collections showing double-strap boots, fringed loafers
and sneakers going with oversized tote bags and clutches,
often with fuzzy fur mittens or suede gauntlets.
Marni turns on the charm with its 'boy-meet-girl' pre-fall
collection; can't wait to see the winter collection 
in the months to come.

all lookbook images from Fashionising, uncredited photographer

Saturday, 26 January 2013

ceci n'est pas une pipe

image credit: Amir Cohen/Reuters
This is not a pipe nor a swan taking flight, but a flock of starlings
morphing in the early evening sky over the southern Israeli town
of Netivot taken by Reuters' staff photographer Amir Cohen a few
days ago. While roosting, starlings can assume curious shapes
flying en masse so if you have a liking for the shape-shifting
starling flocks, do not miss the mesmerizing ”Birds of a Feather”
gallery curated by Col Underhill on Flickr: you'll go bonkers!

Friday, 25 January 2013

Louise's wooly head

Unfortunately, I'm not keeping my promise to let you in
the knitwear galore of Pitti Filati 72, the main international
event for the knitting yarn industry held twice a year in
Florence that came to an end this evening, because I've
spent the last two days laying in bed with a nasty cold
with sore-throat and nonstop sneezing.

I must keep myself warm, gulp down some homeopathic
drops from time to time and hence devise a snappy post:
that's the reason why I selected a bunch of head-warming
knitted wigs from the photography series ”Wooly Head”
by London-based young knitter, photographer and blogger
Louise Walker who created playful woolen wigs 
in sweet pastel shades with precise hints 
to the hairdos of the past.

Louise, a graduate from the Arts University College at
Bournemouth where she studied commercial photography
while falling in love with knitting, is ”interested in the past
and the future” as she introduces herself adding that
”you can usually find me on the Hammersmith and City 
line knitting away.” Doubtless just a few women may have
the audacity to wear them yet I suppose I'd soon be better
putting on one of Louise's wigs as a tea cozy.
Never mind, a good sleep will restore me.

> all images © by Louise Walker, make up & styling by Louise Ashton <

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

high voltage: keep in!

Iris van Herpen, the acclaimed Dutch designer who's
known for injecting undaunted ideas able to revolutionize
the face of fashion through pioneering molding techniques
and an exquisite taste for sculptural garments, this time
ignites our interest through a double whammy of toned
down volumes and flexible 3-D printed materials.

Voltage', her latest 11-piece couture collection, shows
the designer's experimental touch through compelling
sort of icicle-covered outfits, crystals and tendrils (her
work on the transformation of water into steady
structures reaches new heights)
, laser-cut suits and
overcoats with two gorgeous innovative 3-D 
printed ensembles.

Iris collaborated with MIT's Media Lab designer and
professor Neri Oxman and 3-D print specialist Stratasys
to create a black & white cape and skirt dress while a
stunningly elaborate lace-like dress was developed with
Austrian architect Julia Koerner and Belgium-based
additive manufacturing software and solutions 
Materialise firm (an earlier close associate, though).

Stratasys' unique multi-material three-dimensional
printing technology allows both hard and soft materials
to be incorporated within the design, crucial to the
movement and texture of the piece. Prof. Oxman
declared that ”the incredible possibilities afforded by
these new technologies allowed us to reinterpret the
tradition of couture as ”tech-couture” where delicate
handmade embroidery and needlework is replaced 

 by code”: it may sound a bit unemotional yet 
the result is quite impressive.

The ravishing semi-transparent black dress realized
by the Dutch wunderkind with Julia Koerner and
Materialise ”reveals a highly complex, parametrically
generated, geometrical structure. The architectural
structure aims to superimpose multiple layers of thin
woven lines which animate the body in an organic 

 way...” Koerner explains introducing the so-called
'laser sintering' process behind it.

Van Herpen declares, ”I feel it's important that fashion can
be about much more than consumerism, but also about
new beginnings and self-expression, so my work very much 
comes from abstract ideas and using new techniques,
not the re-invention of old ideas. I find the process of
3-D printing fascinating because I believe it will only be
a matter of time before we see the clothing we wear
today produced with this technology, and it's because
it's such a different way of manufacturing, adding
layer-by-layer, it will be a great source 
of inspiration for new ideas”.
We can only wonder at such showmanship!

> all images from the designer's website <

Monday, 21 January 2013

nimbly knitted in Copenhagen

Don't get fooled by the visual illusion in the opening pic,
it's just a funny coincidence happened juxtaposing two
different views of the same garment's top created by
Copenhagen born & based designer Stine Ladefoged
who's nimble-minded enough to deserve a pat on the back
for displaying the true grit of an accomplished designer.

Graduated from Danmarks Designskole, she soon
established her eponymous label in 2009 starting off her
line with a process-oriented approach focused on visual
expression through materials, structures and shapes fully
showing her great affection for knitwear and, in all likelihood,
to the work of Swedish fellow Sandra Backlund.

Inspired by postmodernism and architecture, Stine made
a name for herself ever since her 'Narcissism is Calling'
graduate collection and later on she was short-listed for
the DANSK fashion awards, Best Danish Design Talent
of the Year 2011 thanks to her simple yet innovative
take on unswerving knitwear.

Her latest collection, the s/s 2013, comprises sculptural and
detailed wool and jersey knitted pieces in which ”the detailing
come to life through both draping and experimenting with
different techniques on the knitting machine. She works with
combining different gauges, such as fine gauge and bulky
gauge to get more variation in the volume and structure of
the knit...” her website's about reads introducing her practice.

Mostly black outfits (with interesting black & white textured
pieces and crisp dresses in pastel shades) with a peculiar
appeal and great attention to details combining Nordic
simplicity with more or less structured silhouettes with
openworks, knots, fancy woven braids, waves and layers
denoting the upcoming designer's adroitness.

light blackground catwalk pics © by Fashionising
black blackground catwalk pics © by Dark Light Color