Thursday, August 27, 2009

antony gormley - total strangers (1997)

its been a while since i posted anything remotely attached to the art world. while i did study art in college and focused on it all throughout high school, i must admit that my contemporary art sensitivity has been extremely, how do i say it, rather pathetic. i haven't even been to the AGO since frank gehry renovated it. since i'm on vacation and too poor to actually go anywhere all i've been doing is cleaning like a maniac and surfing the digital wave. so i just happen to randomly click on an art link from someone's blog and was wowed by british sculptor antony gormley's work. i ain't gonna lie i'm pretty old school when it comes to my taste in art. i find most art instillation dull and boring, and quite honestly pretentious but i love it when it uses the space to engage the viewer. and this is exactly what total strangers does. not only does it use the confines of the gallery, but to take it beyond the walls into the real world is fuckin bonkers. its such a simple thing, but then you begin to think that in the extremely fast pased world we live in where we cross paths with gajillions of people, it comes to a point where those strangers are no different from a faceless, lifeless, bronze sculpture. i pretty much have tunnel vision when i'm walking down the street, today i went out, went for a walk, ran some errands, had pho by myself and i took the time to look at the people around me.

the t-shirt issue

t-shirts are probably my favorite thing ever. and yes i know i talk an insane amount about fashion but in reality i'm a jeans and t-shirt kinda guy. while my t-shirt collection is pretty diverse when it comes to cut, collar type, volume, length, colour, fundamentally they are still just humble t-shirts. so when i saw the t-shirts issue for the first time i'll admit, i cried a little down there. i've always liked the idea of taking something simple as the basic inspiration and through the simplicity of that come up with something such as the results of this project.
i can't really explain the process of making these t-shirts without plagiarizing the entire content of the website. so just click here to get a better understanding of the project and the designers involved.

p.s. if anyone ever gives me that wolf t-shirt, i will carry your child. i don't know how since i don't have a uterus, but i'll figure something out.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

where the wild things are

i want to be twelve again and feel like i can have the world at my fingertips.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

future couture

the couture debate has been going on for ages. is it relevant? do people actually shell out a gajillion dollars on dresses they will probably only wear once? is spending ridiculous amounts of money on clothes very un-p.c. during times of economic stress when so many people are struggling to support their basic human needs? while many will answer yes to those questions, i however am an unabashed lover and supporter of couture. if the purpose of fashion, the industry i should say, is to provide a sense of dreamlike fantasy realized through the sheer beauty of the craft, then isn't couture the archetype of what we perceive fashion to be?
the times we're living in right now is totally different from couture's heyday of the fifties, and let's face facts, the days of women like nan kempner, mona von bismarck and c.z. guest isn't likely to happen again any time soon. sure there are still women like mouna al ayoub, daphne guinnes, or becca cason thrash that are still perennial front row personalities and continue to order one of a kind creations, but what happens when they too are gone? if couture is to survive another generation, then it needs a new generation of designers to inject the tradition with a youthfulness and modernity that will attract a new generation of clients.
clients which hails from countries not traditionally associated with couture. they come from russia, china, or india. places that are suddenly becoming economic power houses with a growing population of billionaires that suddenly have an abundance of disposable income and are not afraid of flaunting their new found wealth. what these women want aren't demure suits or extravagant ballgowns, they want something young and sexy and the exclusivity of knowing that they own something nobody else has.
coverage during couture week usually only shines the spotlight on venerated houses such as dior, chanel, or valentino, but sandwiched during the three days the collections are presented are a slew of relatively unknown young designers who are redefining what couture is in twenty first century. the craftsmanship and innovation is still present, but what sets them apart from the lacroixs and lagerfelds are their unique interpretation to the traditions of couture.
their point of view is focused towards pushing the concept of hand made clothes into garments that are meticulously crafted, yet doesn't have the obvious grandiose opulence of its predecessors. the cut is the focus rather than the ornamentation. it takes into account the needs and wants of the modern woman of today. and it is that sensitivity and consideration to meet the requirements of today's woman that might extend or even resurrect the life of the cornerstone of fashion.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


an adequate name for a brand who amidst a sea of generic and mass marketed creations, design duo hervé and alice presents a collection that manages to thread confidently between an avant garde sensibility and real world practicality and offer a respite from all the blandness that pollutes today's fashion industry. as the label's name suggest, heal is able to mend the lack of confidence many fashion followers have on the current state of the fashion. while many can admire and be immensely inspired by the most outré designers, heal is a perfect example of how to apply directional ideas into clothes that can still be sensible without any hint of banality. a dress decorated with a giant crawfish that seems to embrace the woman's body gives a clue as to what their fall/winter 2009 collection is about. like the shellfish's exposed exoskeleton, the designers have created creations that mimics the reticulation of the animal in the way they have pleated, piped, paneled the clothes or how the cut-outs followed the natural lines of the body. simple design details that achieves maximum results and allows the viewer to fully comprehend the designers' vision. giving the clothes a type of symbiotic relationship with the wearer that gives it life and in turn turns the girl into the hottest babe in the room.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

j.w. anderson

menswear is on the verge of entering a new renaissance. propelled by designers who's sensibility is rooted and respectful of the past, yet are filled with an urgency to push the idea of masculine beauty into territories it has never been before. where else but in england, the country responsible for the sartorial codes of the modern man's wardrobe, can the new messiah of men's fashion come from.
born in northern ireland in 1984, j.w. anderson first gained the attention of the fashion world in 2007 when he participated during london fashion week and presented a collection with a few pieces of jewelry using real insects as an element of his design. that collection ignited a buzz around the young designer and his following collection for fall/winter 2008 cemented the all the hype that preceded him.
based around the mythology surrounding the infamous grigori rasputin and his relationship with the royal romanov family of turn of the century russia, anderson delved into the psyche of the historically sinister character and explored on the themes of sexuality, vulnerability and isolation. the effect of layering and coats that wrapped around the body gave it a false sense of protection. betrayed by the shell fish and crabs that decorated the garments. creatures with exposed skeletons that signified the vulnerability of the czar in the company of rasputin. he further elucidated on this parasitic relationship by creating rings with real insects trapped inside resin balls. an omen of the czar's inescapable and brutal future.
his following collection for spring/summer 2009 is regarded by many as his landmark collection. although this was not his sophomore presentation, it was the one that proved that he can not just live up to the hype, he can surpass previous expectations of him. a talent that has the ability to bring a new perspective on men's fashion and do it in a conceptual way that doesn't get buried beneath the story line.
his spring/summer 2009 collection was mainly focused on the tension brought about by the brutality of adulthood, and the naivete of youth. wicker voodoo dolls inserted on the button holes of jackets reflected anderson's fascination with the sinister and the macabre. such symbolisms penetrate throughout anderson's work. there are three dimensional lions embroidered on trousers that represented the protection of the archangel saint michael. or acorns, representations of eternal life adorning garlands made of straw that crowns the head. every detail acts as a puzzling hieroglyph that needs to be deciphered which then pieces together a complex story. the clothes however never suffers from such indulgent fantasies. he managed to attain a perfect balance of english eccentricism and british practicality. school boy brideshead revisted references anchored this collection to reality and provided a protagonist against the evils of growing up.
his past two collections might have earned him a reputation as one of fashion's most competent historical researcher following on the footsteps of his fellow british designers vivienne westwood and john galliano, but his last collection, compared to the everything else he showed previously, didn't seem to be as heavy with conceptual narratives like its predecessors. instead it was a re-interpretation of old world ideas of masculinity and the primal need to explore new territories. again he displayed a capacity to marry his avant garde sensibilities with the backbone of men's fashion, tailoring. giving his affinity for volume and edwardian loungewear, this time it was a more controlled. more disciplined. it was masculinity stripped to its simplest form. through anderson's interpretation of course. this level of control signals a maturity that separates him from other fashion enfant terribles.
for a designer as young as j.w. anderson to not only manage to animate his elaborate thought process through his craft, but to do it exceedingly well and not fall into cliches of avant garde pretention, proves that he is a designer who is on the cusp towards achieving great things.

photos: spring summer 2010 preview - coute que coute, runway -

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

my spring/summer 2009 collection

yeah i know i don't blog as much as i used to but try living in canada where winters are brutal, daylight savings time equals 5:30 pm sunsets, windchill factors, a million layers of clothes, so much hassle actually that you couldn't be arsed to go out. hence the spike of bloggin activity between the months of november and february. and then march rolls around and your seasonal affective disorder miraculously vanishes, the temperature finally starts to hover over five degrees celsius and suddenly all you want is to be is outside. and by outside i mean the park. where else can you spend countless hours with your best mates drinking two dollar tall cans from the beer store all for under ten dollars!!! and be proper knackered at the end?? i'm not gonna lie i do sob like a baby when the leaves at the park start turning orange. its the gloomiest harbinger of the unavoidable that is to come. but for now i'm enjoying the sun (the little bit of it we're getting because its raining every other day here), enjoying the company of my besties, having an excuse the dress like a slut because its hot out, and always up to carry the party on because i can walk everywhere since my toes aren't about to fall off. oh summer, you never fail to lift my spirits up. although as a consequence i have been perpetually bloated the past couple of months because of the insane amount of lager in my stomach. but its well worth it yeah.
the last two pictures below aren't from the summer. it was actually from the winter time. summer might be my favorite time of the year, but last winter gave me two of my favorite memories of the year. they were these two lads from durham in northern england. they became really good friends and i still feel gutted everytime i think of them. but they're family now and who knows, maybe if i actually save some money i can go visit them next year. but there you have it. a little corny snippet of my life. hope you guys are having as awesome a summer as i am. peace out!!

givenchy - haute couture autumn/winter 2009

the validity of couture, its contemporary relevance, has been strongly debated and garners impassioned acclamations from those that staunchly support it, and a sly cynicism from those who no longer believes in the values and traditions couture stands for.
it takes someone like ricardo tisci to open a dialogue about the current state of the dying art. to remind the world about the fantastical, transportive quality that can only be accomplished through the craftsmanship and boundless imagination of the designer and the ateliers that work towards realizing that vision.
what tisci is able to bring to the table is couture that isn't lamed by traditions. it isn't by any means a vulgar disrespect towards the old masters that came before him. quite the contrary. what he is doing is following the footsteps of balenciaga, schiaparelli, and givenchy himself. which is having faith in his own ideas. there is no compromise with his work. it is his vision. a romanticism that although not aesthetically comparable to that of monsieur givenchy, it has the same romantic spirit that makes him an obvious heir apparent for the house and the one who successfully gave givenchy a new, modern identity that his predecessors alexander mcqueen and julien macdonald never really accomplished.

this season tisci continued his exploration on ideas that he presented for givenchy homme a few weeks ago. the references to indigenous costumes of north african berber tribes, morroco, and muslim veils and using the same pattern that can be found on the keffiyehs worn by palestinian men that he printed on shirts, t-shirts, and trousers for his male customers resurfaced again, but this time in tulle done in white that was so transparent it only whispered as a fine detail on the hem of the closing dress. it is these little touches that demonstrates tisci's couture sensitivity. the gold face masks and the spike crowns and cuffs might be a bit much for real life, but the delicate way he draped the dresses in the middle sequence with feminine, but never heavy embroidery, and the way he manages to make the ombre hem of a dress dance is a testament that despite all the pomp and drama, there is a valid couturier behind the avant garde facade.
despite being critically acclaimed by many, tisci also garners criticisms accusing him of being exploitive and insensitively pirating other cultures. critics aside no one can argue the fact that his work evokes a powerful reaction. it triggers an intense emotions. a feat that is becomingly increasingly impossible to do given the current state of fashion where its pace has become too fast many barely take a second look. tisci's work is able to stop anyone dead in its track.