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maison margiela margielamonday
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John Galliano, maybe back on track but not freed from fashion zoo

Remember when Suzy Menkes was lecturing us on the fact that fashion bloggers were strange animals in a strange fashion circus? And that we were bringing it down?

LAUGHING OUT LOUD.

Because you really had to see the 100 ultra-VIPs, who were invited to see John Galliano’s come back in London for (or through shall we say!?) Maison Martin Margiela. Most of them were obviously already present when John Galliano was found guilty of anti-Semitic Paris rants few years ago. Once fired by Dior, they did not hesitate to shoot again on this “anti-Semetic drunk”.

That was the spirit of the fashion entre soi, up until  Anna Wintour decided that she had so much power that she could revert any fashion journalist mind in a minute. We’re not talking champagne thus, but really influence. And fear. Thanks to her, John Galliano was then re-accepted among a selected bunch of fashionistas. And in a certain way, imposed in the media timeline. House of Cards is not very far…Aye aye! The fact is that the circus might have accepted this come-back…but that the lion is still pacing up like a lion in a cage.

Forgiving does not mean breaking creative knees

We were personally expecting a lot from John Galliano: because he made us dream a lot with his theatrical shows; in 2000s, Galliano had already understood that fashion is not about catwalk but about entertainment. And that fashion has a very important role to play at the society level. Something highly important as he was playing his game during super models’ era.

Galliano the iconoclast did not hesitate to compare a dress made of newsprint with beggars, in an ultra cheeky way ”Some of these people are like impresarios, their coats worn over their shoulders and their hats worn at a certain angle. It’s fantastic” and to mock Parisian bourgeois of the 20s and 30s who were trying to dress like them. Hipster-bashing was born with the kid of Gibraltar.

 

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So what remains from this irreverence which made him flirt with the worst? Let’s face it: we’re not convinced. The proof is that every single article or report about this collection talk about…the business context in which Maison Martin Margiela (renamed Maison Margiela between! RIP Martin!) instead of analyzing the pieces. The collection is neither Galliano, neither Margiela. It’s a conservative balance. Do we need that in fashion at the moment? After a super-flat LC:M, we wonder.

We need to mention – again – this good old Kanye West. Maison Margiela did an amazing collaboration with the “5th Element” of the new fashion loop of influence for his Tour:

Whereas it’s no longer just a trend to repeat that since 2011, fashion appears in the street, then street feeds fashion design, it’s like if the Fashion Circus Establishment still prefers to focus on fallen faces of another century than highlighting current outsiders. Or maybe they just don’t get them.

Print press is at the very core of this fashion embargo: pop culture is no longer just a gimmick but the essence of fashion and design.

 

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I Can’t Breathe. With Comic or Sans?

While the #icantbreathe protest campaign gets traction following NBA superstars involvement and a hint of Jay Z support, some observers have started issuing judgements on the quality of the action. This Hypebeast post will attest to the extent of the “outrage”. (Haters gotta hate)

Everyone will have to admit – well, apparently not these guys – that Comic Sans was not the best font to convey the message protesting the aftermath of the sad and upsetting Eric Garner affair. While notorious stars such as Jay Z and LeBron James have invested heavily money or their name into designed collaborations with clothing/sportswear brands (Rocawear, Nike…) resulting in quite decent and even outstanding design and impact on the communities, one can admittedly raise a (uni)brow at this quite amateur roll-out. Proof here:

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But designers with an engaged will to make the world better have decided to help, and have come up with alternate visuals to vehiculate the cause. I Can’t Breathe is a serious social affair, and obviously deserves an appropriate effort. Here it is. Guys and girls out there, please share. Surpassing the style, the context and the political statement at hand matters. Black lives matter. All lives matter. We hope to contribute to change, somehow, here, now. #fashioncanchangetheworld

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blonde redhead
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AllSaints, Dripping by Blonde Redhead: a blend of beats, outfits and underground vibes

Every morning, I walk through Commercial Street, where AllSaints Spitalfields faces a legendary pub, and a very sought-after fish-n-shop boutique. In the middle of this East London corner, you can smell leather, rock’n roll, and this thirst for more.

Actually, people wearing AllSaints clothing can’t be that bad; despite the mystic fuss around the brand these days; his godfathers keep the edgy traits, as this collaboration with Blonde Redhead illustrates. The 21-year long career of the trio demonstrates that AllSaints don’t invest in shouting stars but in talents who deeply mean something more. The latest album of the trio, Barragán (same name as Luis Barragán, known for his clean lines and raw materials) is a tribute to a dreamy art-punk, hypnotic music. Guitarist/vocalist Amedeo Pace, drummer Simone Pace, and guitarist/vocalist Kazu Makino bring us off tempo for a nice journey.

 

 

KAZU WEARS: Elm Leather Legging, £498, Elise Shirt, £138, Reya Blazer, £258 and Camden Boot, £158 // AMEDEO WEARS: Conroy Leather Biker Jacket, £358, Stove Chinos, £78 and Refute Crew T-shirt, £30

// SIMONE WEARS: Monceau Shirt, £118, Crow Cigarette Jeans, £88

 

More about Blonde Redhead:

website: http://blonde-redhead.com/barragan/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blonderedhea

Instagram: http://instagram.com/harrymakino

Barragán: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/bar…

Watch more from AllSaints Studios: http://www.allsaints.com/studios/

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Is this the most boring fashion film ever?

Chanel just released a video called Reincarnation, directed by You-Know-Who, featuring Happy Hat and Hot Brows (no, not Anthony Davis, come on!) as well as little Charlotte. Karl is name-dropping faster than Jay-Z now…

Here are three reasons to save 7:46 minutes of your day and skip this “buzzful” video showing Pharrell Williams and Cara Delevingne perform a contemporary musical number.

1) The intro scene looks like a cheap version of what Wes Anderson would have pulled as the most symmetrical and perfectly set back-travelling movement in the history of cinema.

2) Editing and framing gimmicks feel like borrowed from french and british tv shows. Meaning too many close-up shots of unseasoned comedians (maybe a play to make the most of the money put into them famous faces?), and hazardous cuts.

3) And maybe what will be remembered as the most anecdotical piece of musical work from Pharrell Williams. Let’s admit the CC loop gives it a groove, but the overall commissioned track sounds like Christmas music for a mall somewhere in Vermont.

You don’t believe us? Suit yourself, here is the most boring fashion film ever.

 

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Superdry Varsity Track t-shirt: London inspiration (and win a T-shirt!)

Superdry men’s Varsity Track t-shirt is inspired by classic college sports design. And as a former UCLA student, it reminded me great memories. Learning to play “American football” (while we were supposed to play “soccer”, uh!), chilling down the dorms with great folks from all over the world. Doing some sports, 24h/7.

So when Superdry asked us to do a product review, we said yes! Oh and between: you can win one t-shirt if you comment and explain who was (or is) your favourite mate at College!

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The famous Superdry men’s Varsity Track t-shirt, some vintage Nike sneakers, few accessories for a good session..

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Detail of the box.

 

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Sunset in London: track & field changed a lot as you can see. The crew neck t-shirt features a rubberised chest print and is finished with a three-colour Superdry logo tab on the sleeve. And the quality is pretty high, so expect to keep for a very long time!

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Sweatpants sold 175 euros. Swagger has a price.

So sitting here in Ho Chi Minh City, I’m finally back online shopping as my stock of pants is running dangerously low and old. A couple of raw denim picks from A.P.C. later, I’m stumbling on AMI sweatpants – most regular: cotton and polyester, black, no special feature whatsoever, tagged at 170 euros. Seriously. These.

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Sure, designer Alexandre Mattiussi won the Grand Prize at ANDAM in 2013, but does it make a black pair of sweatpants worth 170 euros?

I’m still wondering how the menswear market went from blooming with authenticity, craft, proper added value to pure commercial premium based on trends influence – heavily shelled by online behemoths such as Hypebeast of course…

Anyhow, another pair slightly justifies its price better. 140 euros for the coolness of the Etudes Studio oversized inscription. Fair enough. The game is the game.

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The “matching outfit” trend: the new fashion couples?

Since February 2012 and Valentine’s day in Korea, a massive trend is booming: couples are now wearing the same outfits. Led by K-drama, the “matching couples” are everywhere on Instagram or an popular Asian social networks.

A love game

Making a pullover “match” with our lover’s one is obviously cute. But not only: it’s also a way to diffuse a certain softness, a nice attitude to your close friends. In France, youth magazine Néon explains that it’s a way to create a sort of moving bubble, protective from the surrounding world. As this matching is very appealing and very visual, it’s also a way to exacerbate the individualities of the two lovers.

Tatto culture, an inspiration for “matching couples”

The matching outfits phenomenon is very influenced by tattoo culture. Without promoting clichés, tattoos can be a “mark”, a footprint of someone we love. In this case, outfits are temporary demonstration of attachment to someone; everyday, patterns can change, rejuvenating the couple image…therefore its fuel. Isolated, one of the two lovers might just be an original chap. But together, the couple becomes a motif.

© Jessicahtliang Instagram

Instagram: self-reinvention, couple-reinvention

As we daily tell our lives and highlight a lot of our selves, this “matching outfits” game is very Instagram-friendly; the couple can become a digital mosaic for friends or followers. This little world can like the couple, taking part in the love project to a certain extent. It’s also a form of loyalty: an individual can therefore feed this couple culture. In 2014, Pharell Williams and his wife Helen Lasichanh were probably one the most visible “matching couple”.

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The Barbour Archive: when a brand teaches us why their products matter

I need to confess: I am not particularly the typical Barbour customer. Because intuitively, it does not fit my own style, my identity. And because I’ve been exposed to a lot of communications that are not promoting diversity and mash-ups. So when we received this morning a message from the PR department about their mysterious archives, it was like a shock.

I’ve suddenly realized that Barbour is far more diverse than I thought. Margaret Barbour taking the lead in 1968 after the death of her husband and how she managed to get, in 1974, a first Royal Warrant.

A focus of 2007, when the Barbour made its mark as a festival stalwart when Lily Allen, Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys, TV presenter Alexa Chung and Peaches Geldof . Or when the Barbour achieved to reach a level of standard in any fashion wardrobe, as the Burberry trench can be.

The last years have been very rich in terms of widening what Barbour has to say; more feminine designs, more emphasis on collaboration with pop culture blog-busters like Pantone.

Run to The Barbour Archive: it’s an exquisite breakthrough into a brand new world.

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A Selective Attention Test With The Free Help Guy

Before reading the interview, do this test. Do it. Seriously.

How did you get on? Did you get it right?

This illustration of our selective attention (originally developed by Daniel Simons and Christopher Chabris) represents an interesting psychology and an almost unnerving duping of the brain.

In this video, The Free Help Guy created a version a bit bolder, a bit deeper. And it’s true: busy we are, busy we claim to be. Whereas very important people and topics are around us, we might lose ourselves in the daily bread.

We had the chance to interview T., the man behind The Free Help Guy, a very interesting platform, connecting free helpers. In a world where we don’t talk much to our neighbours, there might be a need to re-shape social links…

Many experts talk about the fact that attention economy is the new playground for humans; time should be more valuable than money itself. Do you think that basic reactions like empathy, trust, caring, are dismantled by the noise which tries to grab our mind?

I think you’re right. Attention economics looks at our attention as a scarce resource which is exactly what it is, increasingly so, in modern society. As with anything scarce, its value is increasing but I fear we’re most likely to spend this attention on short term gain and instant gratification, whether it be box sets or booze. Empathy, trust development and the act of caring for one another is not a short term game and it’s rarely instantly gratifying, so they’re demoted down our attentive ‘to do’ lists. The aim of our film is to challenge this. To suggest to the viewer that our attention selection can be duped and that there’s often a cost to this – in our case the cost of ignoring the issue of suicide in the UK.

Suicide is a social issue; it’s not that easy to properly identify when someone’s about to commit it. What should we do in order to help, or at least be more vigilant?

Each case of suicide is as individual and unique as one person is from another. But as a foundation to it all, we have to be more aware of the problem and consequently much more open, accepting and pragmatic about its many influencing factors. I think this starts with the everyday person. I’ve heard too many people say whilst shrugging their shoulders that it’s an ‘irrational act’, yet I’ve heard from people who have described the most detailed, measured and rational means by which loved ones have taken their lives. Assuming it’s irrational is a way for that person to shirk their potential to empathize and understand and without this there’s no openness, accepting or pragmatism. If society as a whole started paying attention then there’d be a greater likelihood of people considering committing suicide coming forward and seeking help before they do.

This initiative is part of a more global goal for the Free Help Guy: could you describe your purpose?

I have a hunch that traditional social enterprise and charity work the wrong way round. Organisations develop solutions and then find beneficiaries for them. They but be right and it’s certainly a more obviously scalable approach but the cost is that each issue is dehumanized. I want to explore the alternative, which is taking one person and their problem (or request for help) and creating something that works for them but hopefully helps more in the process at the very least through informing and inspiring a wider audience through documenting each instance of helping. Whether you’re me, a collaborator or simply just a reader of my blog, there’s a real person with a real problem to engage you with each issue and I think this is powerful. Either way, my goal is to do all I can for those who approach me needing help whilst mobilising others to do good in the process – and doing this anonymously!

What can we wish you?

Collaboration. This is what I wish! Individuals, agencies, charities, whoever you are, if you believe in doing good differently then I’d love to hear from you.

To know more how you can help, go visit the dedicated page.

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