Thursday, 31 October 2013

spooktacular All Hallows' Eve

'Dream of the soft look', 2013 © by Jason Bard Yarmosky
It's Halloween night folks so you'd better keep an eye
on the spooky dangers lurking around like this couple
of dressed up elders roaming the streets hand in hand
trick or treating or, you may never know, egging some
random cars and houses. Joking aside, I chose this
frightfully fun image, named 'Dream of the Soft Look',
which is not a photograph yet a breathtaking hyperrealistic
painting by New York artist Jason Bard Yarmosky who
focused on portraying his grandparents to explore the
concept of aging. 'Dream of the Soft Look' is actually
Yarmosky's new solo exhibition investigating both physical
and psychological features of human life cycle capturing
on canvas unique moments of humor, sorrow, wonderment
or discontent. Have a spooktacular nite tonite!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Jezebel's sins

The spooky mood of Halloween gets going (I'm
about to sew skull, jack-o'-lantern and bat-shaped
patches on my niece's black cape)
so what about
a new take on the infamous 'Sins of Jezebel' to
warm us up? The idolatrous Phoenician princess'
deeds became a symbol of wickedness and sexual
promiscuity inspiring songs, novels and movies such
as the famed American drama film starring Paulette
Goddard and Isaac Asimov's 'The Caves of Steel' novel 
that both celebrate their 60th anniversary this year. 

Visionary image-maker TOMAAS took a dramatic
photo shoot obviously called 'Sins of Jezebel' with
his edgy signature style summoning up Jez's last act: 
dressed in full regalia with make-up and jewelry
to symbolically show the dignity of her status, 
she left life as a queen.

The New York-based, German-born photographer
teamed up with illustrator and fine artist Januz Miralles
from Laguna, Philippines, to create bold thespian
two-toned portraits where fashion, digital photography
and illustration merge with a peculiar uncanny flavor.
Model Lilya Polokhova of Muse Models - her hair
raised, plastered in floral fabric or adorned with a
wreath of silk layers - artfully evokes the fallen
human nature looking gorgeous and spine-tingling
at the same time.

> all images © by TOMAAS <

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

never odd or even

You can read this post's title backwards being it a
palindrome like 'nurses run' or 'step on no pets'
because this phrase was chosen by Athens-based
designer Eleftheria Arapoglou as the name of her
label's latest womenswear collection.

Eleftheria studied fashion design at London's 
Surrey Institute of Art and Design before moving 
back to Greece where she worked as fashion editor 
for the renowned 'Ozon' mag before launching LACQNE,
an avant-garde women's label that had some 
success taking part in alternative fashion fairs 
in Berlin and Stockholm.

In 2008 she established the innovative fashion label
she always dreamed of, 'Digitaria', offering high-end
bespoke tailoring to men and women looking for a
distinctive style; a label that's proudly open to
”exchange ideas and interact with different
creative partners.”

Digitaria's 'Never Odd or Even' s/s 2014 collection
shows the label's signature strong, a bit androgynous
silhouettes through wearable garments with a minimalist
attitude, interesting layerings, accurate cuts and openings
and unisex accessories in a basic palette made of black,
white, blue and Veronese green with a sudden baby
pink hue paired with black. When it comes to personal
style, nothing's more suited than a never odd statement
piece to even things out. Do not bob to nod!

> all images © by Christos Tzimas, style by Manos Jojos
both @ This is not another agency <

Monday, 28 October 2013

a matter of Size

'Anrealage' as someone said before me, ”is a small brand
with massive ideas” that since its debut aims at stirring the
fashion world: more a think tank lab than a design label,
Anrealage is a coined word that sounds like 'un-real-age'
meaning 'everyday extraordinary'.

Established in Tokyo in 2003 by Japanese designer
Kunihiko Morinaga - a graduate of Waseda University
and the Vantan Design Academy whose imagination
proved to be larger than life and in all likelihood triggered
by the work of masters such as Rei Kawakubo - Anrealage
made a name for itself through a conceptual approach
and a highly experimental use of materials.

Each season Morinaga and his fellows love to explore
a peculiar concept of dressmaking: they came to create
innovative garments shifting from pale to vivid pastel
tones when placed under UV lights, plastic molds pushing
the silhouette out or pixel-patterned outfits composed of
colorful square blocks of different fabrics to name a few.

This time they looked into size through a histrionic show
in which models wearing masks made of black and white
square pieces walked the runway introducing the RTW
s/s 2014 'Size' collection at the Laforet Museum in Tokyo's
Roppongi district instantly setting a melodramatic mood
to put on display the contrast between big and small,
broad and narrow through ”the Empire stripes back”
beginning theme with black & white stripes of different
widths fighting over who's better fitting.

The show proceeded emphasizing the polarity between
small and huge bags, mini and oversized white shirts,
wide-legged trousers and tapered capri pants but the
coup de théâtre was about to come: three models
wearing the same black dress were lifted up on a
platform above the runway where their garments
gradually shrinked into minidresses with asymmetric
gathers. Actually Anrealage developed a size adjuste-
ment system that thanks to an inside crank changes
it around the body and it's fully self re-sizable.
Style is also a matter of size.

> all images © by Giovanni Giannoni via WWD <

Sunday, 27 October 2013

magic & loss

'Transformer' album cover, image credit: Mick Rock
In my teenage years I fell in love with the songs of
Brooklyn-born songwriter, singer and guitarist Lou Reed
who passed away today (at first it looked like the nth
celebrity death hoax spread on the web but later on
it sadly came to be true)
and this is my chance to say 
goodbye. He helped define New York City as well as
to shape rock music and its own poetry since the mid
1960s with Andy Warhol's Velvet Underground reaching
stardom with 'Transformer' - the 1972 solo album
produced by his 'disciples' David Bowie and Mick
Ronson - but he was quite an unpredictable genius
who came to challenge his fans record after record.
Now the forefather of punk and alternative rock is gone:
he will be missed but not forgotten because the magic
of his music will live forever. So long Lou, 
may you walk on the soothing side of life.

Saturday, 26 October 2013

I went into a dream

I went into a dream
”I went into a dream” when I came across the vibrant
artworks by Spanish artist Mercedes Lagunas, that's
why I stole one of her titles to begin with. Mercedes
studied art history at Madrid's much esteemed 
Complutense University and has been working as
a graphic designer but she has been painting her
whole life (although between flights: she traveled
the world as a flight attendant) recently focusing
her vocation into illustration.

Tree of life

Demasiado corazón

In the city

Bright acrylic paintings showing her skillfulness
as well as her knowledge and love for art history;
she made waves with her 'Boho Garden', a
color-infused portrait series with lush natural
elements in the background that instantly calls
to mind the art of legendary Mexican painter
Frida Kahlo yet the influence of old masters
such as German-American draughtsman and
painter George Grosz and even Picasso 
is easily discernible.

Flowers, animals and love

Happy New Year

At ease with different techniques, Mercedes
creates gorgeous floral patterns skillfully mixing 
techniques and materials: vivid acrylic colors
exalting graphic shapes of flowers, birds and
sprouting leaves with a strong symbolic allure
are often collage-made while fabrics and beads
are occasionaly glued to the canvas. Her art
is able to exude an otherworldly beauty seen
through the informal and unconventional 
vision of a true artist-at-heart.

all artworks © by Mercedes Lagunas

Thursday, 24 October 2013

Sorronda's 'just like honey'

Aussie leading designer Gail Sorronda whose career
I've been following since her involvment in 'Milano
Loves Fashion' event three years ago when I 
surrendered myself to her conceptual dark-romantic 
dualism, unveiled her latest collection featuring 
an unprecedented collaboration.

The Brisbane-born and educated talent who came to add
splashes of color to her signature black and white palette,
brings in prints teaming up with fellow countryman, visual
artist Michael Zavros in her ”Just Like Honey” s/s 2014
collection. Michael's original drawing of a swarm of killer
bees (Australia is home to some of the world's deadliest
animals, after all) became the print featured throughout
the collection in a gripping clash between the designer's
dark romanticism and Zavros' hyperrealistic technique.

Gail fell in love with Zavros' artworks she became familiar
with at a mutual friend's home: ”there was something about
his work - there was the hyperrealism but also a dark
undercurrent and humor, some melancholy and his
referencing to popular culture - there was this duality
that I could relate to”
she declared to the press right
before the collection's catwalk debut at 

Bees envelope the body swarming over ten pieces while
Gail surprisingly didn't show her passion for sculptural
headpieces here; barely a hair net or the hat and veil
of the beekeeper suit comes to cover the head of Olivia,
model at Vivien's Model Management, in the sun-drenched
photo shoot taken in a broken-down industrial setting
with dust and debris all around by Perth-born,
Melbourne-based photographer Megan Cullen to
emphasize the contrast between the clothes' 
romantic sheerness and the harsh environment.

> all images © by Megan Cullen Photo, style by Gail Sorronda <

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Neptune's daughter

Cassandra Verity Green is a young gifted graduate
who gets into the swing of things with the confidence
of an accomplished designer: born in the open spaces
of London's Hampstead Heath, Cassandra shows her
still vivid girlhood memories through brightly textured
outfits. A recent Central Saint Martins graduate comple-
ting a four-year degree in fashion design and knitwear,
Cassandra showcased her final project collection that
strongly echoes 1950s swimwear and Esther 
Williams aquatic movies.

Aptly called 'Neptune's Daughter', the colorful artsy
collection shows gripping textures evoking a sunny
underwater universe through labor-intensive rubber
beading techniques, swimming caps with Plexiglas
spikes and fuzzy knits mimicking water movements
and algae: Poseidon's daughter has never been 
so free-spirited and natty.

I'm not worried about the goldfishes trapped in her
handbags and knapsacks, it's just a showy runway
trick made with a little help from her friends - small
fishes quitely living in her kitchen - that proves the
young designer's ability: she has what it takes to
confirm her fresh knack for fashion with forthcoming
collections by her own label CVG

> all images © by Jarek Kotomski, styled by Madeleine Østlie <

Tuesday, 22 October 2013

a (tasty) slice of Africa

As you may know, large swathes of African farmland
are being allocated to foreign investors on long-term
leases to secure their food and fuel future needs.
China's engagement in Africa has briskly grown
in the last decade becoming quite a hot topic: it's small
wonder that the Western media tend to define this
large-scale land deals as 'land grabbing' depicting
China as the neo-colonialist power.

Hazel Eki Aggrey-Orleans, the mastermind behind
London-based womenswear 'Eki Orleans' label, is
factually optimistic about the Sino-African cooperation
on agriculture that actually dates back to the early
1960s. The confident designer who was born in
Germany, raised in Lagos, Nigeria, and educated in
London, draws inspirations from her mixed cultural
experiences and mostly from her own West African heritage.

The label's s/s 2014 collection, called 'A Slice of Africa',
is all played as a symbolic fusion of African and Chinese
design elements by juxtaposing two different colorful
prints on the same flattering silhouette through
diaphanous day and evening dresses.

The first print ”was inspired by the hustle and bustle of
African markets. I created a design using some of my
previous prints and certain African symbols in a pattern
to create the illusion of rows and rows of market stalls
and the resulting electricity and energy found in 
traditional African markets” she explains.

The second print ”was inspired by traditional Chinese
florals. I chose these Chinese and African (Ghanaian)
symbols, as they both mean 'friendship'. With the
growing Chinese interest in Africa, it is important
that both continents work together in partnership”

she declares manifesting her positive point of view.

”Where other fashion designers find fabrics to suit their
visions of a dress, Hazel decides on the dress to suit
her vision of a fabric design” she states, ”I'm passionate
about mixing and matching colours and I love nothing
more than to make a stunning entrance. My collection
accentuates the feminine, the brave and the sexy within
all of us and it's my mission to bring out the colourful
goddess in every woman” introducing her label's identity.

Another slice anyone?

> all images © by Jean-Christophe Hermier <