Monday, 29 July 2013

the honorable medicine

Once again traditional African craftsmanship meets our markets
through a sustainable-oriented fashion label, strangely involving
anew 'the city of angels', and Ghana (as in Della's post here).
I'm so glad to see more and more multicutural collaborations
between Africa and the Western world: it's only a matter of
time before African fashion will spread its wings (London's
African fashion week is gearing up for next week's launch).

Ethical fashion label 'Osei-Duro' was founded by Vancouver
born designer and mkgt. teacher Maryanne Mathias and
L.A. based costume stylist Molly Keogh after Mathias left
home for a yearlong textile sourcing trip. Noticing that many
cultures seem to lose their ability in creating traditional
handicrafts, the designers aimed at producing 
contemporary clothing with a sustainable vocation.

Osei-Duro is a compound name from the Ghanian Twi language,
where 'Osei' means noble or honorable while 'Duro' comes from
'Oduro' meaning medicine or magic so the label can be aptly
called the ”honorable medicine” for its right-minded, cure-all
style that incorporates timeless textile techniques and patterns.
The label's fall-winter 2013-14 capsule collection, ”Light on Dark”,
is entirely designed and produced in Ghana, a country known
for its hand-woven textiles and its hand-dyeing techniques,
by the network of local artisans and makers they came to
establish in the past ten years. Maryanne and Molly also
seek to create employment for women in emerging 
countries providing them job skills and tuition.

”Light on Dark” shows the designers' attention for quality details
through hand-dyed and batiked cottons, silks and rayon as well
as several hand-crocheted items, such as the eye-catching
cardigan made from hand-dyed merino wool crocheted by the
label's lead craftsperson in the Accra branch, Ayishetu Yussif
Bulley, featuring brass buttons made from recycled water pipes.
Ethic, ethnic, graphic and townie at the same time.

> all lookbook images © by Colin Leaman via Fashionising <

Saturday, 27 July 2013

wedded bliss

image credit: Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters™
I'm deeply in love with this picture by Reuters™ staff
photographer Ognen Teofilovski showing bride-to-be 
Aleksandra Krstevska looking at her groom through
her wedding ring during a traditional ritual in the village
of Galičnik in Macedonia. The Galičnik Wedding is a
three-day celebration held each 'Petrovden' or
St. Peter's Day encompassing magnificent traditional
costumes and dances. Fantasizing about walking her
down the aisle to gaze at her dress in astonishment.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Viennese classical funk

Vienna's got talent! The glorious capital city of Austria has
long been a hub of flair playing a pivotal role in the arts
(not only in music, though) and lately it's winning acclaim
anew for its commitment to a high quality artistic approach
that briskly turned it into a focus of fashion design.

Bradaric-Ohmae can be definitely listed among Austria's
most interesting designer labels. Founded by Tanja Bradaric
and Taro Ohmae who studied fashion design together at the
University for Applied Arts in Vienna (Tanja was trained under
Raf Simons and Veronique Branquinho while Taro studied
under Veronique Branquinho and Bernhard Willhelm)
B-O's womenswear is polished and charming and
it comes with superb accessories.

They both gained significant experience working for brands
such as Balenciaga and Chloe before establishing their own
label combining their family names: the gifted duo came to
debut in Vienna in June 2011with their ”Pictures Seen”
collection which evolved as a migratory dialogue exploring
the existing pre-conceptions of the designers' native 
countries, Croatia and Japan.

Bradaric-Ohmae collections ”seek to translate the turbulence
of the present day into a raw creative energy, which expresses
the potential for a bright future. Taking as their starting point
stereotypical representations, they experiment with technique,
texture and pattern to create an innovative hybrid style. Playing
with the idea that something wholly unique can mutate from
cliché, their designs embody and explode their own ethnic
and cultural origins...” their website statement reads.

B-O's latest AW 2013-14 collection, ”Classical>Funk” shows
the label's signature blend of Oriental and European backgrounds
through simple yet sophisticated garments that fully represent the
Viennese take on high-end fashion: classical looks and shapes
have been widely redefined through colors and proportions subtly
adding a funky sense of rhythm. Not by chance, the up-and-coming
label was featured in 'Another Austria', the exhibition curated by
Austrian Fashion's editorial director Claudia Rosa Lukas last
February within London fashion week's framework to ”present
a vivid picture of the Austrian fashion scene” as she wrote,
showcasing their work to set up connections with a broader
milieu that I dare say they wholly deserve.

> all images © by Jork Weismann via the label's fb page <

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

urban jungle éclat

Ethnic style went through countless summer interpretations
and we'll patently see it again next winter, maybe through a
peculiar psychedelic touch as in 'Poison', the latest collection
by Maria Escoté, the Catalan designer I came to have a soft
spot for since she turned 'pop' with her 'Sweet Cannibals'
collection (previous post here).

Maria stays true to her urban-tribal style with this dazzling
AW 2013-14 collection full of gorgeous digital prints creating
vivid trippy textures through sort of ink blots of different shapes
and colors that smartly mimick the multi-colored skin of poison
dart frogs living in Meso-American lush jungles.

Impressive colorful garments, mostly in bright vinyl materials,
that don't look like belonging to a winter collection, with
flared skirts, mini dresses, tight jackets and an appealing
'Carnaby street style' black & yellow trench, always
accompanied by leather caps bearing the same print 
of the outfit. They all seem to bawl: ”Look at me, 
I can be quite poisonous but you don't have 
to eat me, just to put me on!”

> all images from the designer's website <

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

dog days soothing

These hot and sultry days of summer need to be soothed
by the invigorating burst of colors coming from the Netherlands
where Amsterdam-based photographer Carmen Kemmink
took gorgeous editorial shots of bold color outfits 
for Glamour NL's April issue.

Carmen graduated as a fashion designer from the Royal
Colleges of Arts in Arnhem and The Hague, developed
her natural sense for clothes, fabrics, colors and shapes
eclectically capturing strong and detailed images including
portrait and advertising for the past fifteen years.

Carmen is represented by the 'House of Orange': founded
back in 1995 by leading hair and make-up artist John
Kattenberg, House of Orange ”...serves the international
fashion industry, from high end to cutting edge, with it's top
talent league of 45 stylists, hair and make-up artists and 10
photographers and an ambitious production team for 
projects running from catwalk shows to campaigns.”  
Colorblocking can be refreshing like a homemade 
fruit juice in these dog days of summer!

> all images © by Carmen Kemmink, style by Roel Schagen <

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Siberian candy dandy

DIY has definitely a new frontier: Siberia. I was taken aback
by the artistic and upcycling abilities of women from the taiga
region (here) but a new take on zero-waste fashion really makes
me mad. Four-year-old Arina Tarasova walks the streets of
Tigritskoye village, some 300 miles south of Russia's Siberian
city of Krasnoyarsk, with her aunt Yelena Tretiakova wearing
gorgeous glossy dresses. Tretiakova is a kindergarten teacher
who makes awesome dresses out of candy wrappers as a
hobby sewing together hundreds of them to create gleaming
textures. Eye candy and mind candy at the same time, Yelena's
dresses stand like a modern twist on traditional costumes in the
sunny images by Reuters™ photographer Ilya Naymushin who's
widely known for her daily life images capturing unique and
intimate moments as well as colorful festivals and breathtaking
landscapes of Siberia. Have an attractive folkish weekend!

> both images © by Ilya Naymushin/Reuters™ <

Friday, 19 July 2013

finger lickin' book

When I stumbled upon Pawel Piotrowski's ”The Sandwich
Book” the words of chef and food writer James Beard, the
builder of a gourmet American food identity who brought
French cooking to middle and upper classes right before
Julia Child, came to my mind: he wisely said that ”too few
people understand a really good sandwich” because Pawel's
conceptual book in spite of looking simply delicious is
still waiting for an editor to publish it.

Echoing the experimental books mixing textual and sensory
communication conceived by legendary Italian all-around
designer Bruno Munari, ”The Sandwich Book” plays with
holes, foldings and pop-up effects to create the different
layers of a rich, tasty sandwich. Pawel Piotrowski is a young
graphic designer and freelance photographer who graduated
in graphics & media art from the Academy of Fine Arts in
Wroclav, Poland, ”seeking inspiration in everyday life and
what surrounds me - it's like the force in Star Wars ;-)”
he wittily says. Bon appétit!

> all artworks and images © by Pawel Piotrowski <

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

brushstroke therapy

Kirandeep Bassan is a fashion and print designer
(and a blogger, too) who's currently studying fashion
design in southeast central England, at the University
of Northampton. ”I'm passionate about prints which
focus on the use of vivid colours and bold shapes” she
introduces herself, ”florals and geometrics are themes
which can be seen throughout my recent work...”

She showed her knack for textile with this year's final
collection that made waves soon after being showcased
in June at Graduate Fashion Week through eye-catching
vibrant prints with brushstroke effects in bold primary
colors on billowing chiffon fabrics skillfully draped and
layered to fully convey a 'wearable art' effect.

Kirandeep ”was lucky enough” as she writes, to be
chosen for the Gala show and to win the Zandra Rhodes
Textile Award, named in the ”once outrageous” designer's
honor and presented by Zandra in person who acknowledged 
the collection not only for its colorful prints, yet for the range 
of textures Kirandeep was able to create juxtaposing different
lighweight fabrics. Rainbow garments bursting with joy.

> all images via <

Monday, 15 July 2013

Seraka's Afro pop

In many African nations more than half the population
is under 25, so it's no surprise that young gifted artists
are mushrooming all over the continent covering a
variety of languages in the different fields of art.
Senegal is currently experiencing a sudden increase
in creative activities - composing, playing, visual and
political expression as well as fashion design.

 > images 1 & 2 © by Layeprophotos <
'Seraka' is the name of a RTW label founded by 'the
unconventional' Senegalese designer Selly Raby Kane
whose good-humored personality is constantly fed by
music, street art and cartoons in creating a free-spirited
urban style. Pop and sophisticatedly Afro, her s/s 2013
collection shows trends and influences from ethnic style
and digital prints: Selly skillfully mixes tribal motifs with
modern patterns in her dresses making explicit
 her natty approach.

Seraka's collection has been selected in the top five
for this season's womenswear by Okayafrica, ”the
multi-faceted hub capturing the spirit of this unprece-
dented boom in youth culture, focusing on emerging
and progressive artists, blending traditional 
aesthetics with a futuristic lifestyle”.

 > lookbook images © by Eduardo Acevedo, style by Quanasia Graham <
But to tell you the truth, I'm eager to see her upcoming
collection: Selly chose to make it known through a
superb teaser video called ”Inner Cruise”, styled by
herself and directed by Tom Escarmelle of White Owl
Prod. with twin amateur actresses Amy and Bintou
Sonko traipsing around the city of Dakar wearing the
designer's futuristic black & white combo dresses
with an eye-catching rounded small cape, voluminous
experimental shapes, mirrored corsets and platform
heels that looks like a natural evolution of 
her own ironic yet detailed style.

> screen shots from ”Inner Cruise” short movie <
 > portrait of designer Selly Raby Kane © by Omar Victor Diop <

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

bleu en français

Catalan born gifted designer Manuel Bolaño took me
aback with the theatrical style of his ”A little about me”
s/s 2011 womenswear collection (previous post here),
yet his 'd'après McQueen' style steadily evolved into 
a more cool and sophisticated approach.

Born in Barcelona, Manuel grew up in northern Galicia
coming back to his magnificent hometown to study at the
College of Design & Fashion Felicidad Duce graduating
in 2007. After a brief experience as part of Mango's design
team, Manuel decided to establish his own label unveiling
since 2008 his collections at 080 Barcelona fashion week
where he won hands down the prize for the best 
female collection twice in a row.

Bolaño considers himself an artisan, in fact his tailoring skills
are evident as well as his distinctive taste: his latest s/s 2014
collection called ”Bleu en français”, shows snazzy outfits for
both men's and womenswear made with the very same fabrics,
prints and color combinations; nonetheless his style can't
be labeled as androgynous. Interesting sartorial details are
paired with easy on the eye sporty touches such as cords
and carabiners while pleated little dresses, checked fabrics
and oversized backpacks evoke a college feel in a chic color
palette where black & white match pastel tones. A cute stuffed
bear puppet drops a hint to fond childhood memories.

> all images © by 080 Barcelona fashion week <

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

the body and its dress

I'm impressed by the strongly conceptual approach of
Finnish born, Berlin-based young designer Emilia Tikka
whose work investigates the human body as an entity
and as the media of our time. Tikka's latest collection,
'External Body', has been inspired by French post-structural
philosophy (mainly by Jacques Derrida's texts) and natural
science history showing deconstructed experimental shapes
and cuts. ”The main idea of the collection is fading of borders
between the organic body and its dress. In the past, our choice
of dress was a way to express individuality. Now the body in
itself has become a form of expression, a text that can be
re-written and re-shaped by technologies and performance.
In the 90's the technological cyborg body of machines and
computers inspired fashion. Twenty years later, the cyborg
has changed into a biotechnological complex, where
technologies appear organic and natural” as she puts into
words while the captivating images taken in Berlin's
Zionskirche by young photographer Zuzanna Kaluzna,
a former graduate from Ostkreuz School of Photography,
focus the attention on the designer's unceasing dialogue
between the body and its dress being Emilia fully aware
that, to paraphrase Coco Chanel, if there's 
no body, there's no dress.

> all images © by Zuzanna Kaluzna <