Thursday, 28 February 2013

runway physiognomy

a creation by Nana Aganovich during Paris fashion week
photo © by Fashionising

backstage at Vivienne Westwood Red Label's show, London fashion week
photo © by Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
I couldn't resist peeping in the last catwalk shows browsing
through the stunning details that can hardly be seen even
from the front row seats: makeups, hairstyles and faces
representing, whether they are elaborate, funny, futuristic
or gothic, the perfect complement to the clothes 
of next fall-winter collections (not included).

Sort of Princess Leia buns at Maya Hansen's show during Madrid fashion week
photo © by Juan Medina/Reuters
a look from Haizhen Wang's AW 13-14 collection during London fashion week
photo © by Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
Louise Gray's playful approach on display at London fashion week
photo © by Fashionising
feline masks in Jun Takahashi's Undercover show at Paris fashion week
photo © by Nowfashion
gothic mood on Gareth Pugh's runway show at Paris fashion week
photo © by Fashionising
crowned beauty at Dolce & Gabbana at Milan fashion week's show
photo © by Fashionising

Wednesday, 27 February 2013

when opposites attract

The Icelandic clear sky is quite unique providing a soft
glowing light which is not only caused by the scattering
of the sun's rays at northern latitudes, yet by the
surrounding refractions of a barren wonderland made
of glaciers, waterfalls, snowy deserts and geothermals
offering unceasing dramatic changes (not to mention
the breathtaking streamers of reddish or greenish 

light of nighttime auroras) so it's small wonder that the
other-wordly experience came to inspire the work
of a young knitwear designer.

Magnea Einarsdóttir is an Icelandic designer who studied
drawing and pattern cutting at Parsons Paris before applying
for London's Central Saint Martins where she was offered
a place in the knitwear course since her tutors saw potential
in her portfolio, graduating last year with a BA Honors degree.
She has been conceptually exploring opposites and how
they attract, namely looking at what happens between
daylight and darkness in different places such her native
island and London skies; black & white, soft and hard.

”When you design knitwear, the focus is on the fabric.
You begin with experimenting with the textiles and
designing the shapes and silhouettes of the clothes
comes later. I usually keep my shapes simple so the
knitting stands out. It's all about the knit.” she 
declared in an interview by renowned London-based 
stylist and blogger Ines Fravezzi.

'Opposite Attract' is an impressive handmade collection
combining the Scandinavian heritage with her love for
knitting implementing traditional methods working with
contrasting materials such as Icelandic wool, cotton
and rubber. She developed a remarkable technique
interweaving rubber with organic yarns creating graphic,
geometrical effects gleaming in the reflected light.
There's nothing like talent to widen the endless
possibilities of knitwear.

> all images © by MUUSE™ <

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

the chemistry of talent

Martina Spetlova is a Prague-born young designer who
studied chemistry before becoming aware that there was
a chemistry between her and fashion design, she moved
to London experimenting with colors and textiles discovering 
similitudes with her preceding studies and eventually
graduating from Central Saint Martins where her final
collection was selected for the College's catwalk show,
part of official London fashion week.

Martina is also the winner of Chloe Awards 2009, received
L'Oreal scholarship and took part as a finalist at ITS#9,
the International Talent Support competition for final year
students held in Trieste, Italy, and soon established her
own label in London ”solidifying her signature patchwork
approach” as she writes, proving her versatility and ease
in combining bold color blocks, leather and textiles.

The young designer's third collection for AW 2013-14
has been showcased in ZipZone tradeshow in Paris
revealing a gripping play of contrasts through symmetries,
textures and inserts with simple geometric forms 
and perfect pleats adding volume and liveliness.
I really dig her black & white jackets and tops, the way
she introduces colors, always soft yet on view, her
plissé leather pants bearing a masculine lure as well
as the fact that she creates her pieces in her London
studio with household machines.

> all images from the designer's website <

Sunday, 24 February 2013

about a bunting boy

Banksy's 'Slave Labour' close-up view
I couldn't believe my eyes when I read that a mural
by elusive guerrilla artist Banksy, actually the world's
most famous graffiti artist, has been chiseled out of
the wall to be sold for auction in Miami despite pleas
from people back in Wood Green, north London, where
it appeared last May, right before the Queen's Diamond
Jubilee celebrations, outside a Poundland shop.

The original 'Slave Labour' mural in Turnpike Lane
Called 'Slave Labour', the artwork depicts a barefoot
young sweatshop worker hunced over an old sewing
machine making Union Jack bunting (smartly hinting
at the opulent Jubilee's commemorations) and it was
gouged out last weekend to be sold to the highest bidder
by Fine Arts Auctions Miami together with 'Wet Dog',
another mural by Banksy.

Before the removal, photo © by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images
FAAM's director Frederic Thut who had been due to
sell both artworks, declared that he has ”done all the
necessary due diligence about the ownership of the
work” but the Haringey Council soon started backing
a campaign to bring the mural back to where it belongs.
Anyway, yesterday FAAM convinced its consignors
to withdraw both Banksy murals, lots six and seven,
from the auction and take back power of authority of
these works. Slave Labour alone was estimated to
fetch from $ 500,000 to $700,000!

Wood Green residents' protest,  photo © Justin Tallis/Afp
The whole dispute has been postponed yet I wonder
how such a work of art could be removed to be sold
by an auction house on the other side of the world
when it was given for free to the Haringey community
soon becoming a source of public pride? Don't get
me wrong, probably there's nothing illegal in it, yet
I find it morally wrong. Besides, is a decontextualized
Banksy still a true Banksy? The whole meaning of
street art fails to exist this way. Let's bring back Banksy
for the sake of keeping street art where it belongs!

The former site of the Banksy these days, via

Saturday, 23 February 2013

Welsh coastal aesthetics

A grounded ship that was left rusting in a dry dock in the
Dee estuary, Flintshire, North Wales, has been decked
out by a crew of European street artists who spray-painted
the hull of the Duke of Lancaster with impressive designs.
Artists from UK, Russia, Latvia and Hungary named
themselves the 'DuDug' collective playing on Welsh
'black duke', transformed the wrecked steamer into a
landmark for drivers and walkers along the Wales 
coast longing for the ship to become a 
unique open air public art gallery.

> both images © by ANNAR50 via Daily Mail <
The ship's owners welcomed the project letting the gifted
crew gain access to the dry dock for days to create their
striking artworks. Among them, I'm nuts about this gorgeous
Japanese woman with a spitted red mask covering her eyes
spray-painted on the ship's stern by urban artist Fin DAC
who lives in London where he refined ”a paint style that
ignores the accepted visual language of street art - I call it 

Urban Aesthetics - a modern-day take on the 19th century 
 art movement” as he proudly declares. Art for art's sake.

Friday, 22 February 2013

knits 4 fun

Let me indulge my passion for knitwear with the colorful
and playful crocheted galore of the AW 2013-14 'Sister'
collection by Sibling with its vibrant oversized chunky knits,
king-sized accessories and a unique vitality: the one the
East London-based label founded and run by designers
Joe Bates, Sid Bryan and Cozette McCreery is known
for, both in men's ('Brother') and womenswear.

Recently showcased at London fashion week, Sibling's
latest collection is full of fun and smart ideas in the
brand's signature style, reinterpreting traditional designs
while playing with silhouettes and volumes yet so feminine
and trailblazing. Striking floral-patterned woolen creations
inspired by late lamented British tv presenter Paula Yates'
energy, fun and Englishness (English Rose with a punky
edge as the designers introduced it) suggesting that the
watchword for next winter is 'stay warm and have fun'.

Huge Fair Isle designs, complex knitted geometrical
jacquards and floral appliqués, giant block dots as a
subtle reference to the work of Illinois-based visual
artist, designer and writer Chad Wys, are streamlined
through softer shapes and twinsets with flip frilled skirts
and lace cut-outs while huge, smartly exaggerated
accessories such as scarves, bobble hats and rib collars
(often in matching colors to the garments), furry arm 
warmers and high top black sneakers emphasize all looks.
Englishness, energy and having fun!

> all images © by Christopher Dadey via Fashionising <

Thursday, 21 February 2013

Jackie Lee's chic minimalism

Jackie JS Lee is a warmhearted designer born in Seoul,
South Korea, where she worked as senior pattern cutter
before moving to London completing the post graduate
'innovative pattern cutting' course at Central Saint Martins,
working at Russian luxury label KISA for a couple of years
as master pattern cutter while finishing her MA in 
womenswear at CSM in 2010.

Her graduate collection was awarded the revered Harrods'
Award and was displayed in Knightsbridge store's windows
right before the launch of her ”J JS LEE” label in March 2010
featuring minimalist, neatly constructed pieces, a bit
androgynous yet indeed superbly tailored.

Making reference to her previous collection, Jackie plays
anew for fall-winter 2013-14 with asymmetrical lengths,
high-low skirts and fluid, comfortable silhouettes in dusty
pastel shades. Among them, elegant bouclé wool coats
that look comfy despite the squared shape and oversized
knits with masculine stitches: clothes for women who
want to look sharp without being gaudy.

> all images © by Jackie JS Lee via <

Monday, 18 February 2013

twilight melancholical mood

Mary Katrantzou is universally known for the gripping
colorful prints of her extremely realistic aesthetic and
she deservedly reached a fashion whiz status in 
just a bunch of years.

Hailed as the 'queen of digital prints', the Greek native
colourist expert aims at breaking new ground each season,
often taking her broad audience by surprise as in her latest
London show that looks restrained at a first glance.

Mary showcased a fall/winter 2013-14 collection which
is unquestionably less catchy than the previous ones
denoting a different approach more focused on shapes
and silhouettes, introducing drappings and foldings while
stepping away from colors with painterly prints of shadowy
landscapes subtly evoking the mysterious, fatalistic mood
of film noir and namely the early twentieth century 
photogravures by Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen and 
Clarence Hudson White, visual masters who helped 
advance the cause of photography as a true art form.

 A melancholic mood made of almost monochrome images
referencing the American photographers with imposing iron
bridges seen through the misty air above the river, wet
cobblestones reflectling a tall streetlight, garden walkaways
bathed by moonlight and cherry trees in blossom turning 
as usual the body into a dreamy canvas with the 
intensity of detailed etchings.

But the black & white prints do not only represent Katrantzou's
step forward: she introduces asymmetrical elongated and even
flat angular shapes, rounded shoulders, origami foldings, 

bondings, laminates and overprints while manipulating 
jersey to make it look like knitted, mixing iridescent prints, 
intarsia knits and structured jacquards, 
blurring chiffon overlays with the brand new
addition of embossed black leather.
Mary may be weary of colors yet her artistry remains 

as seductive as ever: I just wonder where 
she will head to next.

> all images © by Fashionising <

Saturday, 16 February 2013

Hurrah Giovanni!

image © by Bjoern Kils
Let me shout my enthusiastical ”Wow!” for the amazing
performance by the international team led by Italian skipper
Giovanni Soldini who, on board 70-foot monohull Maserati,
set the new record on the historic nautical 'Golden Route'
from New York to San Francisco via Cape Horn, 
actually one of the hardest sailing records.

Soldini and his crew sailed on New Year's Eve from New
York and they have just crossed Golden Gate Bridge covering
the 13,225 nautical miles in 47 days, 2 hours and a half
non-stop at sea while the previous record was held by French
skipper Yves Parlier aboard Aquitaine Innovations who,
in 1998, covered the distance in 57 days, 3 hours and 
2 minutes. Such a great achievement for seldom
snubbed Italy (which was once known to be 
home of poets and sailors, after all)!

images 2,3 © by Maserati.Soldini website