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styles around the world

A worldwide tour of styles that Jules Verne would have loved

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Letting go.


Two words that read like a welcome combination in response to an excess of pressure. Two words that are almost militant in these hyper-connected days. This is the impression that Marcela Makarova and her companion Philippe-Henry offer us in their travelling exhibition (and soon to be book) Around the World in 80 Styles. The idea? Navigate across continents in search of new styles, but also to tell the stories belonging to the many people they met. This interview with Marcela and Philippe-Henry took place at a rest stop between two destinations. We talked about photography, travel, and modern narratives…

“Street-style” sounds like a hackneyed discipline, especially given the glut of content available online and the circus of the hundreds of different Fashion Weeks. And yet, in your world tour, every style is striking. Is this more of an ethnographic study than a work about fashion?
Of course, our approach focuses on travel and discovery, so our editorial angle is very open in terms of the styles that we want to capture. Our only criteria was that the person’s style must call out to us, whether it is eccentric, traditional or fashionable. The originality of our photos also comes from our desire to capture both the person and the setting where we found them. To do this, we chose a wide-angle lens, allowing us to have the background and the person in the foreground both in focus. Each photograph is thus both a portrait – an encounter – and an invitation to travel, given the environment and the context.

What were the criteria to keep the best portraits?

It depended on each part of our project. During the trip, we were writing columns for a couple of web magazines and the choice of pictures was quite large in order to illustrate our impressions of each country. From one photo to another, a journey would unfold in front of the readers’ eyes.

In the book, the series takes on its full meaning; the portraits resonate with each other and allow for a glimpse of the world through clothing style.

Finally, for the exhibition, we privileged the photos that were the most striking visually.


You show that there is still room for original stories. What advice would you give aspiring photographers?

I’m not sure that we are legitimate enough to give advice. We wanted to have a project to complete throughout our trip, but in conditions that suited us. And we wanted it to remain fun. Telling a trip, or rather having people travel through portraits, or photos, seemed like an interesting and feasible idea.


Does working as a couple bring a different perspective to the photographs you take?

For us, working as a duo was essential from the earliest stages of the project. When we’re shooting, it allows for a second opinion, and thus helps us avoid certain errors related to the urgency of shooting on the street. It also allowed us to divide up tasks: one of us was taking photos while the other was asking questions and taking notes, leaving us the opportunity to create a link and make real encounters. For everything else, working together also provides two complementary perspectives, and therefore inevitably enriches the content and result.


When are you hitting the road again ?
Every time we travel, we naturally continue to make portraits. However, right now, we are focussing on our exhibitions in France and putting a book together. We’re also already working on some new ideas… to be continued.


The LED shoes phenomenon: when dance meets Instagram

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Remember L.A. Gear shoes? The “street” brand with funny LED that would enlighten kids’ walks?


The light-shoes phenomenon is back on track, thanks to the so-called “LED shoes”. Highly popular in Germany, but also in Asia, it’s booming since last November. Apparently, Soulja Boy was one of the very first to launch some cool products, but got a pretty tough review from Complex.


Dance meets Instagram

basket-ledLED shoes are made for Instagram

Dancers love LED shoes, as it’s a way to promote their amazing moves in social networks. The energy of their steps is sublimed by LED, which can really highlight on small screens what they’re doing. An easy and DIY FX, so to say.


Chill #girlsthatshuffle #cuttingshapes #shufflenyc #globalshapes #ledshoes A video posted by Natasha Ashby (@tashanaomi) on

The most popular item seems to be a white pair of sneakers; white is cool as it’s better to “absorb” the LED colours. The shoes have a USB system to charge their batteries. Smart shoes for smart people.

DIY communities love them

It’s possible to buy LED online, to customize the sneakers. On YouTube, there are tons of tutorials to make the most amazing LED sneakers.


Many websites are launching, so customize more classic sneakers like Nike Air.

It’s funny to see that LED is a sort of fashion phoenix, appearing many times in the recent history, from Tecktonik to Smurf.

It you’re fan of LED shoes and have some cool Instagram pictures, share them!


KENZO gregg araki

“Here now”, by Gregg Araki for KENZO

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It’s unbelievable how Kenzo is now a visionary compared to its competitors. While a lot of brands keep doing the same old boring ads, highlighting bored models in a bored black and white city, or sometimes showcasing some celebrities du moment, Kenzo dares to highlight a short-documentary led by one of the icons of gay and lesbian culture.

Nous avons fait appel au réalisateur américain Gregg Araki, un des pionniers du cinéma indépendant gay et lesbien, pour …

Posted by KENZO on Sunday, 6 September 2015

yeezy kany west

Yeezy, SEASON 2, is coming

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A hardcore developer matching a hardcore brand…enjoy the only info we go in the code:

________ ____ __________ ____ |__ \
/ ___/ _ \/ __ `/ ___/ __ \/ __ \ __/ /
(__ ) __/ /_/ (__ ) /_/ / / / / / __/
/____/\___/\__,_/____/\____/_/ /_/ /____/ x ϟ made in brooklyn




















miroir de muses

A history of modern lingerie with Margot Pagès, designer of Miroir de Muses

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The world of ladies’ underwear has managed to find a unique niche all of its own, continually adapting to women’s everyday needs so that it can seduce in the boudoir with a thousand layers of lace while winning friends in the gym by providing comfortable clothing for sporty women.  It would be a mistake to think of lingerie as something that is only made for a woman’s partner; first and foremost, it is made for women.  Does it serve to build women’s self-confidence, show their true personalities or just act as a small indulgence?  Surely, it’s a little of all three!  We were lucky enough to meet with Margot Pagès, the founder of Miroir de Muses to learn a little more about this delightful topic.

You refer to a link between the feminist revolution and lingerie: what connects the two worlds?

Lingerie is much more than a mere item of clothing: it is a symbol of femininity.  Just a few centimetres of cloth can still have a lot to say!  Lingerie also says as much about our most intimate relationship – that with ourselves – as much as it does about seduction and our relationships with others.  It’s hardly surprising therefore that underwear has always been closely linked with the history of women’s liberation, acting either as a catalyst for change or reflecting that social change.  In the 1920s, the bra became a symbol of women’s emancipation because it freed women from imprisonment in corsets.  The tomboy look was in fashion and the bra was used to “conceal” the chest with a view to covering up the differences between the genders in an act of rebellion against the constraints that society imposed on women.  This quest for women’s independence was, however, put on the back burner during the austere periods of the Great Depression followed by World War II, but from the 1950s onward women once again turned to their bras as “tools” of emancipation.  The push-up bra and the conical bra were invented to propagate the look of Hollywood icons such as Marilyn Monroe, Sophia Lauren and Elizabeth Taylor, who embodied the image of liberated women who embraced and enjoyed their seductive power.

miroir de muses

By the 1970s however, the bra had come to be seen as an enemy, as a tool that allowed women to be objectified as part of men’s fantasies.  Feminists burned their bras on the barricades (in reality, they just threw their bras in a rubbish bin as a symbol of freedom).  As ever in this world of constant change, the bra returned in the 1980s in force, at a time when Chantal Thomas launched ultra-sexy, ultra-feminine corsets and other decorative lingerie as a potent symbol of femininity.  Since then, brands have gone all out to emphasise eroticism and seduction.

This was the start of the fashion for padded and push-up bras, when advertising began to feature images of a demanding woman who was comfortable about putting her own needs first and who was in control of her sexuality.  However, it seems that the media once again went too far in focusing on men’s satisfaction and today’s women have distanced themselves from this depiction of women.  They no longer recognise themselves in the ultra-sexy, artificial image that some advertising depicts, to the extent that some women will have lost interest altogether.

What we are observing today is a new turning point in the movement, which moves in a spiral rather than abruptly switching direction, as it shifts from celebrating femininity to downplaying it.  Today’s women identify with a kind of sensuality that is more authentic but just as clearly expressed.  Lessons in the art of seduction are over.  There’s no need to challenge, to provoke, or to prove anything: women feel fulfilled in their sexuality and naturally know how to be sexy.  Lingerie only needs to connect her with her innate sensuality.

Modern women can pick and choose from different forms of femininity at will to express themselves, and can enjoy lingerie for its own sake and not just as a tool of seduction.  They can, for instance, select a suspender belt and wear it to work simply for the pleasure of feeling like a woman – without anyone knowing it.  They can wear a body and jeans at weekends and reveal a delicate lacy number underneath a blouse in the evening – always maintaining a cheeky sense of freedom!

When putting together the Miroir de Muses fine lingerie concept store, I selected pieces that were in harmony with this new way of experiencing femininity.  The designs always feature a theme of subtlety and seductiveness with delicate, comfortable material and a perfect finish to give a piece that enables women to combine elegance, sensuality and dynamism.

There’s been a resurgence in the world of designer lingerie: what’s behind this explosion in the numbers of labels and designers?

This resurgence is closely linked with this desire to express this new impetus, this new way of experiencing femininity.  Lingerie is increasingly gaining recognition as a fashion accessory in its own right, which has attracted young, talented designers.  These new designers draw their inspiration more from the world of ready-to-wear fashion than from traditional lingerie labels.  In any event, I’m happy to have the opportunity to discover new talents on such a regular basis.  The sector is booming and that makes it exciting!

How is designing lingerie different from creating other items?

Items of lingerie are highly technical pieces.  They demand a lot more precision to ensure a comfortable, flattering and precise fit.  The designer has to get it right down to the last millimetre!  That is why, as a buyer, I have to be sure that the label has complete mastery of the specific techniques involved in lingerie manufacture, and the only way to do that is to test the products by having several women try them on.  Only pieces that meet my standards of comfort and style are chosen.

What should ideally be worn with your products?

The hyper-eroticism surrounding lingerie that I’ve just described has contributed to the underwear drawer being split into two sections: one side reserved for seductive, alluring and whimsical pieces, and another for simple everyday pieces that have little to commend them.  It is as if there were two women: by day, a woman who is devoted to work and in the evening, a woman who is devoted to her man.  On the other hand, lingerie from Miroir de Muses can be worn in the day or at night as a constant reminder to women of their beauty and their allure.

One of my criteria for choosing a product is whether it is easy to wear underneath outer clothes.  There shouldn’t be any pointless (and outmoded) ribbons or froufrou that would confine the item to the bedroom.  It is important to understand that lingerie is the foundation for the figure and that the shape of the bra should suit the style of clothing worn above it.  For example, a conical bra looks stunning beneath a blouse, while a balconette shape looks beautiful underneath a square neckline, while a push-up bra makes a big difference beneath a sweater.  The Miroir de Muses blog is full of fashion tips to help you achieve zero fashion faux pas where lingerie is concerned!

What would you like to achieve in the future?

I’d like to continue to be able to do what I love, and to continue to pursue my project.  I’m right at the start of my business adventure at the moment and I’d like to be able to put a team together quite quickly.  I’ve already identified some talented, enthusiastic people, so please join me in hoping that sales take off and I can start hiring quickly!  I’d also like to see the Muse community grow, so that there can be real discussions and sharing of ideas around the values that shape our concepts of fashion and femininity.


Hana Tajima x Uniqlo: modest fashion with spirited designs

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On 3 July 2015, UNIQLO launched a special modest wear collection, elaborated in collaboration with designer and fashion magician, Hana Tajima. The UNIQLO X Hana Tajima Collection is available exclusively at UNIQLO 313@Somerset and the online store.

We had a chance to meet and interview Hana Tajima in 2013, when she declared that “there has been a reawakening of personal creative expression in young Muslim women“.

In line with UNIQLO’s LifeWear concept, the collection is designed to meet the needs of women who value comfortable and relaxed wear.

“The Hana Tajima collection is an extension of our LifeWear concept in making fashionable, high quality products for all to wear, while enhancing their lifestyle at the same time. We worked with Hana to determine what would be internationally appealing while keeping to the concept of modest wear. We are thrilled with the results of this unique collaboration which produced a desirable collection that does not sacrifice style for utmost comfort!”

Mr. Taku MORIKAWA, Chief Executive Officer, UNIQLO Singapore

This inaugural collection takes inspiration from an international approach in appreciation of diverse culture and style. There’s also a certain focus on technology for this range of outfits; for instance TENCEL, “a soft, botanically derived, wrinkle-resistant fiber is also used, as well as AIRism, which is a quick drying, odour minimising fabric which was developed by Uniqlo in collaboration with Toray“.

Modest fashion: challenging conservative rules

It’s been written everywhere that modest fashion target conservative young Muslims. To my mind, it’s somehow wrong; in a recent documentary on the BBC “Hight Street Hijabis“, we follow YouTube sensation Nabiilabee with her friends, discussing about modest fashion, religion and lifestyle. It’s far more complex than just a style for religious people; actually, in this documentary, Nabiilabee is facing Fatima Barkatulla, Islamic Scholar and Director of Seeds of Change Women’s conference, who warns V-loggers of pushing the limit of fashion vs faith.

“Hijab is an act of worship”

A real generation divide who doesn’t want to be dictated what one’s faith is about. The group of young women all have a different definition of what “modest” means: is it ok to have bright colours or not? What’s the normal size for a modest shirt?

And actually, the only consensus is to mention that “modest” is more a lifestyle than a set of outfits: at the end, it’s all a question of attitude towards others and life than any mandatory guideline.

uniqlo hana tajima collaboration modest fashion


JORD Wood Watch Delmar closeup 2

JORD Wood Watch review: pleasure for the eyes and for the skin

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When it comes to watches, men are extremely demanding. It’s probably one of the few accessories we dare to wear.

A watch is highly personal; an immediate contact with our skin. An object we like to see changing with time, with our special moments. A companion of our love, encounters, meetings, pains and hopes.

So, when JORD suggested a review of their wooden watches, I was initially very surprised. Wood? And watch? How is that even possible. And actually, few other bloggers had already expressed a positive opinion on that matter.

I can now confess: they were right.
JORD Wood Watch Delmar closeup

The wood of the Delmar model is extremely comfortable. It’s very light, gives a non-aggressive look and feel to your daily outfits. I also love putting my watch out of my wrist on my desk when I work. It’s a very nice and elegant object, which can totally match a nice Moleskine. I also like the fact it’s pretty similar to the design furniture we have in our loft, made of recycled wood and garment.

JORD Wood Watch Delmar watch

The display is very clear; despite a pretty big surface for this model, it doesn’t seem “bling”.

JORD Wood Watch Delmar


I also like the fact that this kind of watch can go vintage pretty well. Wood tends to change its colour with time, and will later give this little something that makes your object and its history really yours.

Watches Made From 100% Natural Wood by JORD

ayumi lanoire

Instagram account to follow: @agentlanoire – Ayumi LaNoire

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There’s beauty and mystery on Instagram.

One of our last crushes is Ayumi LaNoire. Officially “The Pole Dancing Geisha“, “ultimate entertainer of Pole, Fire, Modelling & Acting“, her Instagram feed is an ode to subcultures, empathic night and fantasies.

Her snapshots are a tender escape; not aggressive sexuality there: just this nice feeling that whatever happens, tomorrow deserves to be seen.




Luxury Trends report: being anti-social to win in social media?

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With the NET-A-PORTER and Yoox merger, all luxury brands need to quickly embrace new e-commerce strategies and develop a unique social media experience. An interesting pivot that needs to be quickly mastered by luxury brands, in a very competitive market. That’s the sense of this takeaway report: opening the club while closing down the curtains to keep exclusivity and build up new value proposals.

From anti-social behaviors to re-generate exclusivity, to new approaches regarding customers’ journeys, the opportunity is big for luxury brands.

“Word-of-mouth’s impact is almost 20% of sales in higher price-point categories.” (WOMMA, November 2014).

What was previously perceived as a sort of useless territory to reach very demanding and high profile customers is now one of the main battlefields for the luxury industry. Word-of-mouth which is now accelerated through digital channels, basically means to be literally everywhere and at any time. Chanel got it right, releasing an agenda for e-commerce, with 2016 as their business objective.

New customers’ journeys

Luxury marketing used to be pretty “simple” when elaborated: high-profile customers were to be brought forward into bespoke retail experience. Details mattered, as real-life service could not suffer any bug in the journey.


But now, digital revolution changed the entry-points to retail, therefore the social function attributed to the brick and mortar temple; some very sophisticated and well-travelled customers already know what they want and just want to pick up a product they’ve seen online – they no longer accept that an item is not available straight away. Other customers are more digital wanderers, who only discovered a tiny part of the brand; the classic Kenzo Tiger sweatshirt is a very good example: there were queues of customers who were not initially in the “luxury” segment but happened to regroup and bring a new light to Kenzo. Now plugged into the “Kenzodiac” experiment, the brand starts to uplift its new customers into a more subtle and comprehensive understanding of the brand.

“Along with each horoscope is a product that relates to the advice included in the text.Those under the Sagittarius sign are told they need to express their feelings, and stop worrying so much about other people’s expectations of them, so Kenzo suggests a tiger sweatshirt to “roar your heart out.”

In the meantime, traditional high-profile customers don’t want to mix with the crowd, while embracing new ways of consuming luxury through visual networks like Instagram. This high-profile customer does not hesitate to buy from the high street – wearing a pair of Converse while holding a Chloé bag is the new normal.

Digital interfaces totally broke the traditional path to purchase; the smartest brands like Hermès created a whole new tone of voice to face this challenge to again become the information-maker instead of suffering from this dilution through billions of new digital touch-points.

Growing with new communities of luxury customers

What’s even more interesting is that in some less mature markets, customers discovered luxury universes first and foremost through their favorite social networks – like Weibo, but also through celebrities’ pages and on-going “daily-telling.” In order to grow with these thirsty customers, luxury brands now need to adapt: social channels are now no longer an accessory in the marketing mix but the key hub of influence.