Thursday, 30 January 2014

TVDB's crazilicious safari

You're about to undertake a sort of garden-adventure,
an urban safari beyond the ordinary, color-soaked and
introspective where you can be... naked as a jaybird.
”A Naked Safari” is the rip-roaring collection by TVDB.

TVDB stands for Tom Van Der Borght, a young Belgian
designer living and working in Ghent, the capital of East
Flanders, where he studied at the Stedelijke Academie
Voor Schone Kunsten Sint Niklaas and soon after an
internship at Maureen De Clerq started developing his
idea of fashion by challenging conventional notions of
beauty: he proved to have both brains and guts to boldly
cross them while establishing his own standard of beauty.

As he points up - always talking about himself in the
third person - Tom ”is not in search of traditional beauty
or honey-sweet cutiness. Bold combinations of bright
colors, psychedelic graphics and textures make for a
true bombardment of the senses.”
TVDB is an idealist
who questions through his work the underpinning of
social structures and human behavior giving birth to
his own universe as the passionate daydreamer 
he actually is.

TVDB's AW 2014-15 ”A Naked Safari” collection is a
new landmark in Van Der Borght's personal universe,
he ”returns to the human side, the naked skin, the basic
needs and the core of home. Entering the safe zone
of his own domestic environment, he investigates the
hidden layers of restlessness, lust for adventure and
need for exploration”
moreover, ”his garments serve
as armor for strong superhumans in an urban setting”

(look at the oversized jacket covered with black-buttoned 
pockets that turns model Debbie Declerc into a posh
Ninja Turtle to grasp the assertion).

Colorblocking at its best through glossy, energetic basic
outfits with clashing elements like techno-tribal motifs
paired with prints of wild animals; digital knitting with
lasercutting; handmade pieces with striking 3-D printed
helmets and accessories. But ”A Naked Safari” isn't only
playful: a closer look to its vibrant looks reveals dark,
freaky and kinky features as well as a skilled combination
of industrial techniques and craftwork.

A true funkadelic collection for the next generation in
which street culture leads the way, where homewear
becomes utility wear: clothes for metropolitan tribes
coping day after day with the challenges of a harsh
environment but finally released from traditional canons
of clothing and gender and therefore noticeably jolly.
As Tom wittily recommends, ”please DO feed the
animals and let your wild side run free!”

all images © by Alexander Popelier/

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

flower-patterned spring to come

Yesterday Lane Crawford - Hong Kong's department
store group - unveiled the company's floral-inspired
s/s 14 campaign - called 'Botanica' - featuring an
exclusive collaboration between five-star fashion and
visual pros. The campaign is an outburst of bright,
vibrant hues embracing the world of plants for the
approaching spring with collections full of life, 
color and energy.

Founded in 1850, Lane Crawford is an iconic luxury
department store offering a seamless shopping
experience in stores as well as online with more than
800 coveted international brands across fashion, home,
lifestyle, fine jewelry and cosmetics and it's proudly one
of the most talked about fashion and lifestyle 
destination of Greater China.

> campaign images © Laurent Segretier <
Utterly shot in studio by Hong Kong-based French photo-
grapher Laurent Segretier whose uniqueness comes from
his search that combines state-of-the-art digital photography
and videography techniques, Lane Crawford's hard-hitting
ad campaign shows Chinese supermodel Xiao Wen Ju
dressed in featherweight sheers, flourishing supersized
prints and petal-like layers (styled by Jeff Lee) with superb
elaborate headpieces created by visionary Japanese hair
designer and make up artist Katsuya Kamo with feathers,
flowers, paper and lace.

”Entwined with surreal fantasies, Botanica is an immersive,
vibrant tribute to everything that is new and teeming with
colour and life” Lane Crawford states also revealing suggestive 
behind-the-scene images that brilliantly tell the great
teamwork behind it. A forceful visual campaign that's worth
a thousand words, positioning the retail company at the level
of the much coveted brands it sells. Full marks for creativity!

> backstage images via Lane Crawford Ltd. <

Monday, 27 January 2014

a field of monsters

'Field of Ponies' is the name of Julie Bérubé's latest fashion
project: born and raised in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, where
she graduated from Lasalle College in 2000, Julie crossed
the Atlantic establishing her eponympus label in London,
showcasing her clothes at London fashion week and
selling them to independent boutiques.

The London-based young womenswear designer who came to 
declare that she was ”currently working on a small genderless
range of luxurious sweatshirts due to launch in early 2014”
now unveils her 'Field of Ponies' first collection for fall/winter
2014-15 called ”Monsters!!!”, a range of 8 ”insane” sweatshirts
and 2 trouser shapes whose ”aesthetic stems from a web-based
artistic project, in which the designer creates one pony a day,
using everyday materials found in her immediate environment.
Thus, homemade/crafty techniques have been developed to
offer a modern version of quilting, stuffing as well as hand and 

 machine embroidery” Julie declares introducing FoP's unisex
garments, adding that they're actually ”cut for men but 
girls can wear them too, as long as they dig it.”

Julie isn't particularly attracted by ponies, she simply became
fascinated with the expression used by 'The Apprentice' TV
show's contestant Stuart Baggs who announced to have a
field of ponies waiting to run towards the decision to kick him
out of the program; registered the name and a few years later
decided to start a daily project ”to put some ponies into 
that field” through an endless moodboard made of 
colorful inspirational images.

”Made from organic cotton mixed with fake fur, real human
hair, glow in the dark threads, reycled leftover materials and
other groomy trims”
, the capsule collection that has been
mainly inspired by Haitian carnival's characters, monster
figures usually created in haste with found materials,
thoroughly depicts FoP's approach to fashion: ”as a raw,
primitive and available form of self-expression”
as she states.
Needless to say, Julie designs also costumes for contemporary
dance and visual art projects with outfits providing a pillow-like
feel through the use of soft, comfortable materials following
reflections around modern nomadic behaviors. Every 
sweatshirt is proudly handmade in London while the visuals 
are crafted in Montreal.  Bérubé's monsters are 
a breed apart from the usual.

> all images © by Pier Alexandre Gagné, style by Julie Bérubé <

Thursday, 23 January 2014

form & function in the raw

”Obscur is a return to innocence and purity, fused by raw
fabrics and the cleanest production treatments”
as Richard
Söderberg - founder, creative director and chief designer of
'Obscur'- declares introducing his experimental approach to
clothing design. Söderberg is a young Swedish designer
who's constantly developing his personal language through
constructed and almost monochrome garments bearing a
distinctive rough, Nordic aesthetic made of clean 
lines and high quality materials.

Always focused on the crafting side of clothing, Söderberg
made a name for himself thanks to Obscur's menswear line,
actually his forte since the label's beginnings, introducing
womens' collections only with the s/s 2012. Inspired by the
roughness of objects and ”essentially predisposed to liking
the distressed and the different”
as Nasty magazine wrote
about Söderberg, ”fashion for him is a genuine impulse
that comes from within, is torment, is fevered 
participation, is length, width, height and depth.”

”Influenced by the wave, goth, techno, he is devoted to Berlin
for its raw, pure musical scene...”
, Söderberg founded 'Obscur'
in Helsingborg soon crossing the Øresund to settle down in
Copenhagen for a year before moving to Berlin where his
atelier is currently based. The label's latest womenswear 
collection for s/s 2014 shows its signature garments reinter-
preting classic silhouettes through minimal, lightweight and
gorgeously accessorized outfits (oh, the shoes!) by way
of a false simplicity that skillfully mixes tailoring, active
style and technology bringing into being true avant-garde 
statements. Söderberg's clothing is more and more 
about form and function.

> all images © by Richard Söderberg <

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

like a fairy in Toyland

Kiev-based photographer Tasya Kudryk signed a daydreaming
editorial for the Vienna/Berlin-based 'C-Heads' magazine that
”shows a snapshot of youth culture, bringing together only the 
most talented people” since 2006: a delicate reverie with
colorful silhouettes of animals and clothes by LES' label.

LES' stands for Lesia Paramonova, the Russian young designer
based in Moscow whose nature-inspired debut collection caught
my attention for its gorgeous floral prints (here). Lesia stays true
to her natural world with surreal and fairy-like prints plenty of
fantastic animals such as mice growing on blackberry bushes:
she turned as usual her own illustrations into dainty prints that
look like they've been directly designed on the fabric with a pencil.

concept & style by Lesia Paramonova
all images and collage © by Tasya Kudryk

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

I woke up gleaming

Let's get dazzled by the latest fluorescent creations of
renowned Bordeaux-born, East London-based hairstylist
and designer Charlie Le Mindu, a fashion celebrity whose
work achieved the status of 'haute coiffure'. Eccentricity
had always been his strong point with beautifully bizarre
haistyles, wigs and headpieces bearing unique features
as well as an uncompromising loyalty to tradition.

Le Mindu showcased his s/s 2014 ”Stronger” seapunk
collection at Paris Haute Couture a few days ago with
a gripping show: more a style dance party than a catwalk
where models wore wigs and headpieces gleaming with 
phosphorescence on black latex dresses by Berlin-based
'Très Bonjour' like mysterious denizens of the deep.

Gorgeous glimmering pieces that made me think to the
'new world transparent specimens' of Japanese artist
Iori Tomita who helps people feeling closer with the wonders
of life through glistening x-ray-like images. Refining forms
and coloration require time and perseverance for both
the designers: Le Mindu actually spent weeks working in
the dark to adjust the vivid neon hues of his otherworldly
creations that glimmer both under UV light and daylight
and I bet it wasn't a child play even for fashion and portrait
photographer Valerio Mezzanotti and fellow associate
Thibault Pradet to report on this pitch-dark runway show.

> all images © by Valerio Mezzanotti <

Sunday, 19 January 2014

rainy day poetry

Luckily winter has been merciful so far with temperatures
highly above the season's average and even if rain is
teeming down these days we can still enjoy long walks
on the outskirts of town where stumbling across 
momentary tokens of poetry is quite ordinary.

Unique moments in which the sun is hidden behind
ominous black clouds while rainwater on the ground
creates bewildering arabesques and mirror images and
my camera is irresistibly drawn to drops and 
puddles the way moths are drawn to light.
Call them the mo(i)st inspiring moments.

Friday, 17 January 2014

'Equinoxe' in Berlin

Here they come again! Complementing their quintessential
totally black with nude tones, the French-German design duo
made by Odély Teboul and Annelie Augustin - better known as
'Augustin Teboul' - unveiled the label's latest collection a few
days ago at Mercedes-Benz Berlin fashion week making the
Galerie Judin's audience spellbound. The rising designers
know how to strike the right chord in our brittle hearts  
(it's little wonder that my latest post about 'em, 
'paint it, black', briskly became one of the most viewed).

Augustin Teboul's fall-winter collection is on its way to leave
a mark on next season: called 'Equinoxe' referencing the
eponymous album by French musician Jean Michel Jarre,
the collection - just like the record - reflects a day in the life of
a human being, from morning to night, showcasing tantalizing
outfits in a wide range of materials and combinations.
'Equinoxe' is the moment at which the sun crosses the celestial
equator, when day and night are equally long, and the collection
is skillfully played on the dualism between light and shadow
that subtly recalls the dichotomy between Augustin's 
cultured style and Teboul's fine craftsmanship.

The gifted designers are actually cooking with gas showing
a gorgeous parade of ensembles matching severe cuts with
futuristic hints, traditional weaving techniques with dainty
see-throughs to explore the polarity of transformation.
Models wearing necklace masks, sidecut hairstyles and glossy
red lips strut through the runway with billowing curtains as a
backdrop that highlighted the collection's otherworldliness to
cluster on white pedestals at the end of the show.

> all images © Dunja Antic <
I wasn't there yet I can almost feel their heartbeat: despite
the reduced color palette, 'Equinoxe' is awe-inspiring.
Tailored outfits in velvet, neoprene and black leather are
paired with flimsy dresses in silk and tulle; delicate transpa-
rencies and openworks with chunky knitted pieces, often
embellished with elaborate beaded appliqués, sequins
and embroideries as well as dazzling headpieces.
'Augustin Teboul' is putting its name on the 
fashion map, season after season.

image credits: Trevor Good, style by Niki Pauls