Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
as one of the designers who spearheaded the knitwear renaissance, it is no surprise that it is the vanguard of the movement who continues to push the art of turning spools of thread into architectural masterpieces for the body. while the space-age futurism is inherently part of goldin's DNA, most of her collections start off by looking into the past. this season it was the work of two highly influential designers of the early nineties that became the starting point of the collection. the late gianni versace and blonde ambition era jean paul gaultier. however, by the time she has digested her references and it gets sent down the catwalk, her initial inspirational points merely becomes a faint echo. the versace influence came out in the soft pastels and baby doll dresses, and gauliter was the cage like construction that framed her pieces, and yes, the cone bra. the genius of goldin is how she is able to personalize such influences through her technique. even the minutest detail which appears to look like lace is, just like everything else she presents, knitted. achieved through a computer program written by the designer herself. there is the obvious sci-fi element with her collections, but unlike many designers who create pieces in the same vein, her's is actually, and tangibly achieved through using the most forward technology. the surprising twist was, that although this collection bears all the hallmarks of goldin's sensibilities, it also evoked a past more distant than the early nineties. the ethereally beautiful creatures that came down the runway with their flowing, wavy golden locks could've been a thirty first century version of botticelli's venus. the fan like details on the diaphanous dresses and skirts mimicked the lines of the clam venus stood on in botticelli's famous "the birth of venus" painting. there was something more poetic, more lyrical with this collection that wasn't as pronounced with her previous work. and that is the most promising sign that a talented designer is evolving into a great one.
egyptian silent film epics and erin brokovich? these were the two things that mark fast claimed to have inspired his most recent collection. disparate as those two references are it still produced a collection stamped with fast's trademark cobweb like knits that continues to display fast's ability to fully exploit the flexibility of knitwear. his signature body con dresses came as usual, short and tight but instead of just showing it on traditional size 2 models, he also cast three larger size women to walk down the runway. an act that is rumored to have made his stylist so irate that he quit. an event that has gotten a lot of attention and has in a certain degree overshadowed this brilliant collection which saw fast adding new elements to his expanding repetoire. dresses and skirts were finished with feathery fringe and cascading ruffles added an unexpected girlish femininity and playfulness to his sexually potent peekaboo dresses that manages to finely thread the line of good/bad taste. now that he has proven that he can add new elements to his work it would be interesting to see how he can continue to move into that direction and hopefully not fall into the trap of being a one trick pony.
to celebrate the twenty fifth anniversary of london fashion week, houses such as burberry, jonathan saunders, antonio berardi and matthew williamson all decided to honour the occasion by returning to london for the silver jubilee. the return of these highly recognizable designers have caused a great deal of excitement and received massive media attention. marcus constable, a central saint martins graduate who returned to london after a ten year absence might not have gotten the same amount of attention as christopher bailey or matthew williamson but he delivered a collection that was so precise in its execution that was more successful than some of the returning expats. there is an architectural element in constable's design that has traceable references to claude montana. the iconic french designer who constable worked for early in his career. unlike montana who preferred a stricter form, constable has a more rhythmic feel with the curved lines, his choice in fabrication and how he manipulates the materials to drape a certain way. with london in an especially jubilant mood where bright colours and computer generated graphics have been key trends, constable was a refreshing palette cleanser where the colours were more muted, the presentation more serene and with a minimalist sensibility with just the right amount of experimentation to give it that electric surge that made it so exciting. when he graduated ten years ago there was a lot of interest that surrounded the designer but he waited until the moment felt right to launch a label under his own name. and if there is one intangible trait that can make a designer successful is intuition. marcus constable seems to posses that exact quality.
the eighties is an era that although many consider to be a faux pas in fashion memory, it nevertheless continues to be an inspiration for many young designers. but considering all the eighties references that went down the catwalk last season as designers sought to respond to the global economic climate, one would be hard pressed to find something about that decade and interpret it into something new once again. fortunately hannah marshall didn't take the literal route and instead offered a collection that while based on the idea of eighties power dressing with the sharp shoulders and menswear inspired suiting, gave it a contemporary twist by subduing her colour palette and injecting it with references from vintage lingerie. the result was an architectural sexiness where the dresses were tailored with a peplumed waist achieved by ruffles that started out at the hips and tapered down towards the knee. while oversized blazers and men's inspired shirts in chiffon feminized the tailoring. after so much regurgitating of eighties ideas it was refreshing to see it done without carbon copying the past but giving it a new relevance for the present.
Friday, September 18, 2009
meaning "one wolf" in ukranian, designer austin sherbanenko could be easily described as the lone wolf of american gothic. now with rick owens showing in paris, and who like sherbanenko founded their respected houses in los ageles, the designer shares the same obsession with the dark and the macabre with the godfather of modern american gothic. inspired by industrial landscapes and polluted urban streets, odyn vovk was a stand out in a season where prints and colours dominated the new york catwalks. with the gothic theme heightened even more so by presenting his collection at the historic st. marc's church. while the vocabulary of the collection, the deconstruction, layered draping, the streamlined silhouette, a predominantly black colour palette, and down to the model casting had all the ingredients that could be identified with highly romantic, goth influenced designers such as owens or haider ackermann, what sets him apart however is how he controls that dark romanticism into something practical and not weighed down by the theatricality that is inseparable from the gothic sensibility. there were straight forward leather jackets that could easily appeal to a broad audience yet specifically target those who share's the designer's aesthetic. whether he took into consideration the taste of middle america one cannot know, but this collection will undoubtedly make this lone wolf the leader of a growing pack.
photo: odynvovk.com via thefashionisto.com
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
patrick ervell is on the verge of being the archetypal american men's label. there is a comfortable familiarity with his work with just enough wit and humour with the boyish proportions, naive colour palette, the almost geeky prints that culminates into a collection that is both endearingly charming, yet totally contemporary. this season ervell sourced his inspirations from a place familiar to his childhood, california. the state he grew up and where he first became enamored with the lifestyle and uniform of american workers. the rusted colour palette came from railways and dilapidated buildings and was transformed into prints that gave off a tactile expression in the opening jacket followed by shirts, trousers, and even a tie. the rusty colours soon gave way to washed out pastels that seemed to have been bleached out by the californian sun. there is a casualness, and easyness in how he creates clothes that evokes a sort of postcard of a different side of america. a country built through hard work and perseverance. ervell and his american contemporary menswear designers have managed to tap into the core of blue collar workers yet they've managed to elevate it's quality without mocking the history of the men who helped build the country despite their meager earnings. it is this respect and gratitude for the past that is helping re-write a new tradition for american men's fashion. it is something more tangible, more honest, and most importantly the most unmistakably american.
rad hourani's singular vision continues with his most recent collection. his aesthetic is so defined and it evolves with such subtlety that you would think he would be constantly criticized for being redundant. he escapes this criticism mainly because his point of view is so individual that it never becomes tiresome. no one else does what he does. it is a melange of sci-fi and goth references that he is able to translate into a new form of urban minimalism that manages to hit a zeitgeist that defines a contemporary climate. continuing with his experimentation with volume with his previous collection, this season it evolved into a cape. fabrics that billowed out from the back against hourani's trademark narrow silhouette with flashes of silver courtesy of metallic straps and zippers that injected the collection with that subtle newness one can expect of hourani season after season. the positive reaction to this collection and his recently launched secondary line "rad by rad hourani", which will undoubtedly acquire him even more devout followers, hourani is quietly evolving into a brand that is proof that one can still succeed in this industry without compromising their vision. and with new york's lackluster show season, at least there are still some designers showing at the big apple still worth getting excited about.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
in this struggling economy, more and more designers are trying to reach out to as much potential customers as they can. some have opted to release secondary lines with a lower price point to lure in consumers and not alienate existing ones. many young designers however, have chosen to reach another target entirely. in richard chai's case it is the men who's attention he is fishing for. already established as a womenswear designer, chai debuted his first menswear collection last season. since then he has been building a reputation as a designer that manages to combine an american sensibility with european sophistication and eccentricity. as a product of a more culture sensitive society, chai has mastered the ability of filtering various reference points and re-interpreting it in his own vocabulary. which in turn is the sensibility of the young, urban male whether he be in new york, buenos aires, or london. a man who is aware of fashion, but has a life that dictates that his clothes serve a purpose higher than just mere decoration. and being from the u.s., where utilitarian fashion was conceived, many of his clothes delved into historic americana but with a twist. denim, the fabric that defines america was cut into a double breasted jacket paired with cuffed shorts and worn over bicycle shorts which demonstrated chai's awareness of current global trends and still retain the designer's identity. yet full legged trousers that epitomizes the very spirit of american sportswear was a direct contrast to the ubiquitous slim silhouette that has dominated menswear for the better part of this decade. it shows an individuality that isn't afraid to go against the grain. while this is only his second menswear collection, it displayed an intriguing, individual point of view that is sure to warrant more attention in the future.
since launching ohne titel almost three years ago, designers flora gill and alexa adams has since established the new york based label as a brand that can stand on its own creatively, and technically in the international market. while american sportswear can often suffer from too much commercial consideration, gill and adams are part of a new generation of american designers such as the mulleavy sisters of rodarte, that can harmonize conceptual ideas without sacrificing the essence of american design, practicality. inspired by ancient egyptian wall paintings, the designers found a perfect launchpad to demonstrate their highly adept way with experimental tailoring. the way the garments wrapped and draped around the body elicited images of mummy wrappings. heightened even more so by the prints that seemed to follow the figures natural curves. they also continued their fascination with textures. best exemplified by body con dresses in white with shots of red and azure blues in highly texturized fabrics. there are few designers showing in new york that has an extremely pronounced identity. even more so for a brand as young as ohne titel, but what gill and adams have managed to accomplish in such a short period of time reminds the world that there is still a spark of hope that can once again ignite new york's reputation as a fashion capital that is capable of delivering creative ideas, and commercial success.
young new york designers could pretty much be divided into two parts. the first follows the tradition of new york's fashion aristocracy such as oscar de la renta or bill blass, and the second has a sensibility that is rooted on the city's urban environment. wayne lee belongs to the latter. and just like many of her contemporaries who belongs to this new school, her work brings a new treatment to the idea of minimalism. a minimalism that is defined by a strict, lean line which when juxtaposed with draping provides something new and current to a familiar idea. there is obviously some helmut lang references to this collection. the strategically placed slashes, the fluid way she layered pieces and the sudden bursts of lemon yellow against the black and whites gives it a dynamic visual punch that echoes the work of the highly influential austrian. but lee isn't just a regurgitator of lang's formula. she is also able to bring her own influences, which this season happens to be sculptor richard serra, and translate the artist's arabesque pieces into clothes that contours the woman's figure. there is a sensuality in the way she cuts and wraps fabric around the body that threads the thin line of being sexually evocative, but never sacrificing the femininity of the clothes. this acute awareness to that fact is perhaps lee's most powerful weapon in her arsenal.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
i think we're all pretty old enough to know that there are certain episodes in life that are inescapable. break-ups, getting old....death. landmarks that happens during our lifetime that is consistent with everyone else. but what do you do when all those things occur in a span of a week? a day even? are we in a position in our lives now that we are able to absorb all those experiences and regurgitate it into something positive in a small bracket of time that is allotted to us?
last summer my grandfather died. to be honest, and i feel horribly guilty about it, i've never thought much about my family back in the philippines. i was so young when i left that my childhood memories never really got nourished until i went back almost a decade ago. but when i did land back to the country of my birth all these memories, long since dormant because of the bitter winters spent in canada came rushing back to me. and when my mother called me at work telling me that my beloved grandfather passed away just a week shy of his one hundredth birthday, i couldn't wait to get a bag check and run to a quiet corner outside work and break the dam that held my tear ducks dormant for so many years.
i couldn't help but feel guilty for being so nonchalant about not making any effort to go back home. i guess i just thought that death will wait for me. but it didn't. and till now not a day goes by that i don't regret putting in the effort to see the people who invested and hoped for so much love to be returned that i've ignored.
a good friend of mine experienced two deaths in a span of a day today. one which isn't corporal, and one which is very much physical.
when i heard about the unhappy news i couldn't wait to rush out of my house and just be beside one of my bestie's side, but for the life of me i couldn't find my keys. as i rummaged and turned my room upside down all i could keep on saying was "god..please not today. my friend needs me". and it reminded me of a simpson's episode when bart was in really big trouble and lisa caught him praying and in her always brilliant soliloquies said "prayer is the last refuge of a scoundrel". a few moments later i found my keys and i didn't know what to say to god.
- dolce & gabbana - spring/summer 2010
- gucci - spring/summer 2010
- prada - spring/summer 2010
- j.w. anderson - spring/summer 2010
- christopher kane - spring/summer 2010
- meadham kirchhoff - spring/summer 2010
- marios schwab - spring/summer 2010
- todd lynn - spring/summer 2010
- eley kishimoto - spring/summer 2010
- louise goldin - spring/summer 2010
- mark fast - spring/summer 2010
- marcus constable- spring/summer 2010
- hannah marshall - spring/summer 2010
- odyn vovk - spring/summer 2010
- patrick ervell - spring/summer 2010
- rad hourani - spring/summer 2010
- richard chai (man) - spring/summer 2010
- ohne titel - spring/summer 2010
- wayne - spring/summer 2010
- an unhappy circumstance
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