Wednesday, 27 November 2013

paint it, black

I see a red door and I want it painted black
No colors anymore I want them to turn black
I see the girls walk by dressed in their summer clothes
I have to turn my head until my darkness goes...

from 'Paint it, Black' by Jagger/Richards/Jones, 1966

”As if the subversive claim ”paint it black” was stitched into
the sophisticated designs, the re-discovery of femininity finds
a post-romantic echo in the luxurious, clear-black clothes of
Augustin Teboul the cutting-edge womenswear label's press
statement reads introducing the latest collection.

”Black as night, black as coal”, Augustin Teboul's s/s 2014
'Holy Me' collection which is strongly inspired by Christianity
and the designers' innate fondness for Surrealism, is a gorgeous 
parade of handicrafts and transparencies through dramatic, 
a bit Goth, statement pieces combining ”poetry and gravity”
through exquisite designs, materials and details in 
extremely impressive creations of sublime craftsmanship 
and faultless sophistication.

”An aesthetic that arises from the conception of two contrasting
personalities: German-born Annelie Augustin with subtle, 

minimal shapes and her sophisticated mind and French-born Odély
Teboul, the rather chaotic, nostalgic craftsman”
. Graduated from
Esmod Paris, the utterly unlike duo underwent different working
experiences: Annelie fine-tuned her skills at Yohji Yamamoto
for Adidas while Odély worked for Jean Paul Gaultier and they
joined forces in 2009 combining their personal visions, briskly
turning the embryonic project into a label positioned
half the way between RTW and couture.

Femininity and sumptuosness are plainly expressed by the
gripping black & white images of the lookbook showing knitted
tops and dresses with crochet & lace: delicate cobweb knits
are put together with fringed leather capes and dresses with
embroidered rounds, tailored leather jackets with lace inserts,
beaded nets and sequined dresses while superb accessories
such as leather gloves, guipure hairbands and headpieces as
well as shoes by Camilla Skovgaard, deftly emphasize the
timeless allure of Augustin Teboul's black spring looks.

Luckily, Black Friday deals are just a couple of days ahead!

> all lookbook images © by Stefan Milev, styled by Theophile Hermand <

Friday, 22 November 2013

Korlekie's glamorous Ophelia

Since Victorian times, Shakespeare's character of Ophelia
retains an exceptional popularity inspiring with her sad
fate and her self-murder by water artists of all kinds and
she looks ideally suited to embody the bold spirit and skill
of womenswear label Korlekie which smartly looks 
at the future with an eye to the past.

Korlekie is the brainchild of Afro-British up-and-coming
designer and creative director Beatrice Korlekie Newman,
the 'graduateacher' of my previous post whose streetwise
idea of clothing combining traditional craft techniques 
with modern glamour took my breath away.

'Ophelia' s/s 2014 collection maintains the label's cutting
edge embracing the designer's passion for Pre-Raphaelite
art, regal Gothicism and intricacies through textile 
manipulation and impeccable craftsmanship cleverly 
mixing smooth and glossy textures with elaborate baroque
handworks. Using the story of Polonius's daughter and
namely Queen Gertrude's monologue announcing Ophelia's
death, Beatrice Korlekie explores ”the meaning behind the
melancholic beauty of Ophelia using her story as a foundation
for creating delicate, womanly shapes that still holds true 
to the Gothic nature of the Korlekie brand”.

I'm mad about the vibrant images of the forthcoming
campaign taken by London based fashion and beauty
photographer Stuart Weston who also has a penchant
for Italian Renaissance and 17th century Dutch masters,
who provides a glitzy take on Ophelia's femininity while
highlighting the sophisticated elegance of the clothes
as well as the exquisite fabrics and techniques they're
made of. Created by Shakespeare, light-painted by
Weston and crafted by Korlekie. Truly amazing!

> all images © by Stuart Weston via Fashionising <

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

idyllic childhood memories

I agree that the whole pleasure of clothing design lies in
its making (of course when you have realistic expectations
it works even better) as the motto of Japanese womenswear
label 'IN-PROCESS by HALL OHARA' reads. 'In-process'
stands for 'progress' and it aims at ”capturing the energy
of a garment that is in the process of being made”.

'Hall Ohara' was established by a gifted duo made
by London-born designer Steven Hall and her wife
Yurika Ohara who was born in Tokyo, after they both
graduated from Central Saint Martins College with first
class degrees. Sharing a unique passion for the surreal
and absurdity that's evident in their approach towards
prints, the designers explore playful techniques such
as Dadaist collage or automatic drawing to ”provide a
play for products and clothes” as they declare.

The label debuted at London fashion week showcasing
the s/s 2006 collection that won British Fashion Council
and Topshop's New Generation Award being exhibited in
Paris and Tokyo as well. It briskly became synonymous
with a unique quirky aesthetic officially changing its name
to 'IN-PROCESS by HALL OHARA' since 2010 to incorpo-
rate the new vision debuting anew at Japan fashion week 
where its creations are regularly exhibited since then.

Steven and Yurika didn't just rebrand the label; they actually
changed the whole approach to design and pattern cutting
achieving great results like in their latest 'Idyllic' collection
showcased on October in Tokyo at the Shibuya Hikarie Hall.
Inspired by cherished memories of voyages, vivid prints
mixing world landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower, Big Ben,
New York's Statue of Liberty and yellow cabs as well as the
top of Fujiyama or a Ferris wheel, are paired with vintage
motifs and flower patterns in outfits that ”are as much 
about aesthetics as they are about sartorial cheekiness” 
as they care to point out.

A slightly modern nostalgic mood spreads through printed
tops and dresses in pastel tones with vivid twisted scarves
expressing jollity while darker shades and gold underline
more refined silhouettes in which floral knits and sequined
flower embroideries stand out as strongly evocative symbols
 of a peaceful idyll. As if to say ”It's never too late to have a
happy childhood but don't forget that the pleasure 
is all in the process of doing it”.

> all catwalk images © by <

Monday, 18 November 2013

make it BIG (Barbara I Gongini)

In Barbara I Gongini's garments you can almost feel the
North Atlantic winds gusting through the rocky and rugged
coastline of the Faroe Islands or gaze at the mist shrouding
the shore in stark contrast with the dark shades of 
cliffs and volcanic rocks towering over.

> 1, 2 backstage b&w images © by Michael Maximillian Hermansen <
The otherworldly features of Barbara's homeland, a place
roughly shaped as an arrowhead where you can never be
more than 5 km. away from the Ocean and whose harsh
weather conditions call for a continuous change of clothes
between outdoor and indoor spaces, came to inspire her
multi-functional garments proudly made out of 
organic and recycled fibers. 

Faroese landscape and climate are skillfully translated in
Barbara I Gongini's avant-garde collections for both men
and women through textures, forms and color shades subtly
epitomizing her own dark universe as well. The forces of
Nature are depicted through shifting shapes; ruffles suggest
sea waves and passing clouds, fog and moist are portraied
as nettings and subtle intricacies while mist is 
represented by diaphanous layerings.

Based in Copenhagen, Barbara I Gongini made waves thanks
to an offbeat Nordic approach (as mentioned before) stemming
from her earlier experience in the art scene: she uses fashion
design to define a distinct sense of identity involving sustaina-
bility as a key issue. Her s/s 2014 womenswear collection is
conceptual and dramatic as usual and with all her signature
hallmarks: almost monochromatic crafted outfits with nettings
and even hyperbolic ruffles; sleek tops and tailored jackets
with asymmetric cuts; long deconstructed frocks 
and shroud-like layerings.

I Gongini's androgynous reading of utility garments made it
big at Copenhagen fashion week where both her mens and
womenswear collections went on display. I chose to begin
with a couple of b&w images taken backstage by photographer
Michael Maximillian Hermansen that poetically pinpoint two
powerful moments in the usual scene of pleasant pandemonium
a runway show is. The audience has been actually shown to
appreciate her garments' versatility: the collection offers different
possibilities in terms of functionality and self-expression encoura-
ging the wearer to interact with shapes, textures and volumes. 
So Nordic and conceptually dark yet composed and 
sustainable: so BIG, Barbara I Gongini.

> all catwalk images © by Copenhagen Fashion Week <

Saturday, 16 November 2013

tights 'n' boots Caturday

Gucci in leopard print tights by H&M and Tretorn boots
image © by Meowtfit

This is Gucci, a natural born model Siamese cat wearing 
boots and tights in one of her 'Meowtfit of the Day': she
briskly became a web sensation nonchalantly posing for
pictures in amazing legwear and shoes. Masterminded
by Swedish freethinker, balloon artist, cookbook author
and fellow blogger Katja Wulff with her partner, digital
art director Dan Sörensen in the Göteborg house they
share with Gucci, Iggy and Zappa (all model kitties),
Meowtfit shows almost daily amusing pictures of these
cover cats often providing useful tips in its own
peculiar way. Have a comfy Caturday!

Friday, 15 November 2013

babies are us

The playful collection you're about to cast an eye
over has been inspired to Ukrainian designer
Yasya Khomenko by her three-year old niece who
drived her at seeing next season from a child's
point of view: - ”You're a little baby now” aunt Yasya
said and she suddenly replied ”No, it's you who's
still a baby!” - providing an unexpected guidance.

Khomenko started to play with the idea as well as
with herself as a designer so serious about her work
conceiving RCR Khomenko's 'Playful Me' s/s 2014
collection. Full of vibrancy and self-ironic cheerfulness
(but I bet it wasn't a child play) the collection is plenty
of tailored outfits in a variety of styles ranging from
feminine shapes to a sportswear aesthetic with
printed and patterned recycled fabrics evoking kids
bedroom wallpapers and tableclothes, a tropical
jungle with cartoonish animals, vintage 
cars and football team emblems.

The catwalk show at Mercedes Benz Kiev Fashion
Days bore Khomenko's typical powerful visual impact
all across dressing up, role-playing and costume party.
Models walked the runway wearing paper masks
disguised as joyously irreverent characters; playful
tomboys who love to dress up like sailor girls, 
soldiers, football players or car saleswomen 
showcasing the limited collection.

Khomenko's penchant for primary colors (as in her
Mondrian-esque AW collection)
finds its way into the
navy gals' striped dresses while the servicewoman
wears a double-breasted jacket over checked shorts; 
the footballer a bomber jacket and the car
saleswoman an over-sized blazer adorned 
with see-through vintage cars.

A true burst of childish fun filtered through expertise
and hopefulness for jolly young women who dare 
to have more fun in everyday's life.

'still a baby' designer Yasya Khomenko
all images © by MBKFD