Thursday, 26 June 2014

Quinn's first cracked canvases

Today's the day of Richard Quinn's floral abundance:
the young designer to be with a natural aesthetic who
conceives his creations like the canvas of a painter
comes from London, namely from Central Saint Martins,
the one and only college with a fashion course deemed
seasoned enough to stage its own show during
 London fashion week.

Fashion print graduate Richard Quinn proves to know
how to create something bold by pushing his design skills
forward: his BA final capsule collection, recently showcased
together with all of this year's graduates at the degree show,
is actually a completely revised tailoring project from his
second year at CSM, a carefree take on couture that has
been wittily hailed as ”cracked couture” by BA fashion
course director Willie Walters. Richard's still a neophyte
yet he gained a noteworthy experience interning at Dior 
in Paris and Richard James in Saville Row while studying
to dare to submit eye-catching dresses with frayed 
edges, some of them courageously ripped in half, 
with large floral motifs and broad stripes 
made with strokes of cobalt blue.


Quinn clearly aimed at producing a subtle hand painted
look by carefully balancing pure white tones with the
screen printing in order to make his freehand drawn
flowers and the glued calico ones on top to come out.
That's why I'm nuts about the photo shoot carried out
for 1 Granary - blog and magazine run ”by the students
of Central Saint Martins” - by a gifted crew made by
photographer Nikolay Biryukov together with stylist
Marina de Magalhaes (in truth, thanks to her website
where I took the gorgeous pics) with make up artist
Marina Keri and hair by Fumihito Maehara.
Kudos to all of them!

> all images © by Nikolay Biryukov, style by Marina de Magalhaes <

Monday, 23 June 2014

Dutch winter in Paris

'Léo Paris' is the name of an interesting womenswear
label obviously based in the Ville Lumière founded by
young designers Matthias Medaer and Leonneke Derksen,
both graduates of Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts,
one of Europe's leading fashion insitutions. Born in the
Netherlands, Leonneke is the brains of the label who
went to New York to work for Sea-NY before moving to
Paris where she toiled for Balenciaga, Cacharel and
Carven before joining forces with Medaer 
in their own Léo Paris.

The label's fourth collection for fall-winter 2014-15 started
with the idea of going back to Leonneke's roots who envi-
sioned a quintessential Dutch winter landscape through
rusty tones, leafless trees and icy patches on the road.
”Inspired by old Dutch primitive paintings we searched for
Van Gogh landscapes and scenes of Vermeer's portraits
to find a small village right outside Paris, called Chevreuse,
that struck us as an ancient Middle Ages town (...) The
first input for the clothes were typical Dutch embroidered
canvasses that my family resourced at flea markets that
are worked into sweaters” Leonneke declares adding that
she was also inspired by the decor of the 'True Detective'
tv drama series and by the images of twenty-something
Chicagoan surreal photographer Kyle Thompson whose
work is mainly composed of self portraits, often taking
place in empty forests or abandoned buildings.

The elegantly bucolic/melancholic mood of both the
collection's lookbook (titled 'From the dusty sun') and the
campaign - shot by renowned French-Belgian photographer
duo Hannah and Joel - recaptures a bygone era free of the
hurly-burly of modern society that emphasizes the Parisian
label's polished silhouettes with absorbing printed shirts
and sweatshirts, covetable jackets, knits and skater skirts.
Could winter look more attractive?

> all images © by Hannah and Joel <

Friday, 20 June 2014

in a state of mindfulness

I always knew the acronym AWOL in its original meaning,
Absent Without Official Leave, but now Singaporean
practiced designer Alfie Leong - the mastermind behind
'A.W.O.L.' and 'Mu' labels - gives a new signification with his
'All Walks Of Life', referring I presume, to the different type
of women who fall in love with his youthful idea of clothing.

Leong graduated in 1998 from Raffles LaSalle Int'l School
of Design soon setting up his own label to create by 2004
a company called 'The Little Voice Pte Ltd' with its two
labels, Mu and A.W.O.L.: the first offering unique yet
affordable looks in a genuine East meets West style,
while A.W.O.L. embodies refined yet extremely wearable
garments in a very contemporary design. Alfie Leong
believes in fashion as a way of life in which everyone
deserves to make his voice heard, regardless of gender,
race, religion or age, producing cozy garments meant
for people from all walks of life merging ”the boundaries
between creativity and practicality fusing a diverse world
inspirations and cultures...” as the label's statement goes. 

All my doubts about meaning went AWOL when I
stumbled upon the label's fall-winter 2014-15 collection
called 'State of Mindfulness' that has been showcased
together with the collections by three other emerging 
Singaporean talents at Seoul fashion week's brand
new venue, the Dongdaemun Design Park designed
by archistar Zaha Hadid, and lately at the Audi Fashion
Festival, one of the most iconic lifestyle events in
Singapore that brings under one roof exciting Asian
designers alongside world-class fashion houses.

Playing with volumes, layerings and drapings, Leong
brings into being original designs and shapes for his
all-purpose outfits with riveting silhouettes, enveloping
necklines and a striking combination of sophisticated
fabrics and technical materials, graphic patterns and
functional details subtly highlighting the label's expertise
in draping techniques. Optical dresses, shiny puffer and
comfy patterned woollen coats, cropped jackets in
which zippers help create the shape are accessorized
with gloves and stunning hats and fascinators of different
materials, from feathers to metallic bands. 
I'm indeed mindful of A.W.O.L.'s distinctive style.

> all images © by Fashion Snap <

Tuesday, 17 June 2014

Ioana Ciolacu's elegant paradox

'Ioana Ciolacu' is a RTW womenswear label based
in Bucharest, Romania, whose creations blur ”the
lines between femininity and masculinity, with an
emphasis on tailoring, a personal use of materials
and custom developed techniques” as its namesake
founder, London-based Romanian designer Ioana
Ciolacu Miron, proudly states.

Born and raised in Iaşi, Ioana is a fashion designer
with a background in architecture and art, a former
graduate of Bucharest's University of Architecture
and Urban Planning, she gained her BA in fashion
design a year later from Unarte before getting a
scholarship at London College of Fashion in 2013
where she's currently attending a womenswear
MA course and where she's sharpening up her skills
while gaining self-confidence both as a designer
and a businesswoman.

Ioana Ciolacu continues to explore the relationship
between the static nature of buildings and the fluid
structure of outfits and blurs the line between luxury 

 and street walk in each of her collections”, the label's
statement reads introducing ”a signature style of
architectural input”. Called 'Paradox 2.0', the label's
latest AW 2014-15 collection skillfully investigates
the idea of a contradictory statement by juxtaposing
fabrics and prints on extremely feminine shapes
applying men's wear tailoring techniques for the
jackets. I have to confess that I came to rearrange
all the pictures in order to keep a close eye on Ioana's
exquisite garments in truth altering the significance of
the round-shaped images (thus beggin' her mercy).

> all images from Ioana Ciolacu's website <

Saturday, 14 June 2014

mind-blowing knickknackery

”That's for sure a fresh take on recycling!” I said to
myself stumbling across the impressive portraits of
richly adorned she-warriors wearing suits made with
objects of everyday life. Fully amazed by their strong
stylistic approach keenly investigating the idea of power,
its ambiguity and attractiveness, and the thought of losing
personal identity, I waded through the jaw-dropping
images conceived by Marie Rime.

Born in Charmey, Switzerland, young gifted photographer
Marie Rime graduated from the Ecole Cantonale d'Art
(ECAL) in Lausanne, the beautiful town on Lake Geneva's
northern shore where she currently lives and works, soon
making waves with her conceptual approach to portraiture
and her carefully constructed masks and costumes.
Her striking photo series actually began as an art school
project briskly evolving into a wider exploration of the
concept of power and hence the status of women.

Two of Rime's photographic series made last year
and called 'Armures' (suits of armor) and 'Symètrie de
Pouvoir' (symmetry of power) show eye-catching visuals
made with a quirky set of ordinary objects [strange how,
while browsing through them, I was listening to Matmos
live from Barcelona's Sónar Festival, the 'sampladelic' duo 

from San Francisco whose 'songs' are often played using 
objects as unconventional instruments]. 'Armures'
represent women wearing armor-like creations produced
with daily life stuff that ”are the starting points of a
reflection of the relationship between power, war and
ornament. These women loose their identity and 

become the carrier of their clothing” Marie states.

The 'Symètrie de Pouvoir' series shows Rime's exploration
of power, ”its means of representations and their relation
to symmetry. The butterfly has been chosen for its natural
symmetrical state. These have been painted and placed on
the top of portraits and thus creating a multi-layered 

image that shows the excess of decoration” she declared. 

Marie won the people's choice award at the 29th Interna-
tional Festival of Fashion and Photography annually held 
in Hyères, France, with her theatrical outfits and colorful
geometries made by using the most common household
objects such as party straws, toothpicks, tweezers, board
games pieces or with fake buttefly wings of different sizes
whose brightly colored scales provide otherwordly 
textures concealing the wearer's individuality.

> all images © by Marie Rime <

Thursday, 12 June 2014

at the crossroads of stylishness

Let's meet again (after more than three years, though)
the delicate feminine style of Croatian-born, Australian
designer Karla Spetic who wanted to become a fashion
designer ever since her chidhood fullfilling her dream in
Australia where she launched her namesake label just
two years after graduating from Sydney's Fashion
Design Studio (as mentioned here).

Karla declared that her greatest challenge is producing a
collection every season: she doesn't search for inspiring
sources, she always looks at the world around her aiming
at capturing what's beautiful (she adores unusual color
combinations, floral patterns and prints that briskly 
became her distinctive features) through simplicity 
and a convincing unpretentious style.

Karla unveiled her AW 2014-15 'Crossroads' collection in
which she enlightens basic black & white outfits with 
bright pink and lime green combining I-shaped longuettes 
with cropped tops or black bodysuits with sleeveless sheer
dresses in a game of transparencies, half the way between
petticoat and tutu, and cozy knitted cardigans. 
Karla's delightful tongue-in-cheek élan at its best.

> all images © by Bowen Arico, style by jamesrncampbell <