Did you know that there are already 40 fashion weeks in the world? That the first fashion week happened in NYC in 1943 and that London joined Milan, Paris and New York in 1983? Do you also know the minimum age for a runway model? And how much models earn for that?
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.
More about Blonde Redhead:
Watch more from AllSaints Studios: http://www.allsaints.com/studios/
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!
The famous Superdry men’s Varsity Track t-shirt, some vintage Nike sneakers, few accessories for a good session..
Detail of the box.
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!
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.
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”.
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.
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.
We’ve been following a lot the last developments of Louis Vuitton as we know the brand is trying to rejuvenate what used to be its creative magnificence before 2010.
Louis Vuitton has started a new celebration of the classic Monogram.
“It is within this context that Louis Vuitton’s ‘Celebrating Monogram’ project appears this year. It is a collection of works that shows the distinctly personal side of the Monogram; re-presenting something we think we all know in an extraordinary, individual and idiosyncratic way. Six creative iconoclasts – the best in their individual fields – who blur the lines between fashion, art, architecture and product design, have been given carte blanche to dictate and make whatever they see fit in the patterned canvas.”
In the video below, photographer Jennifer Livingston creates a special campaign for Rei Kawakubo’s creation with model Saskia de Brauw.
The result is impressive. we can actually be “taught” with this sort of contents. The emotional impact is of course brilliant. And for whoever knows a bit about Comme des Garçons magician, it might make sense…
Anyway, enjoy the video and don’t hesitate to share your views!
In a less “fashion luxury” interpretation, we adore Cindy Sherman by Johnny Dufort’s interpretation. Clowns challenge badges and stickers on the monogram. It reminds us a Sundance film.
Give us more, Louis Vuitton!
If you haven’t heard yet about JUDY WU, mind the gap.
Raised in Shanghai, before graduating from Central Saint Martins, the rising talent then developed her techniques for House of Holland among other great Maisons. She’s part of this new “Born in China” / “New Made in China” trend (like SIMONGAO) that you’d better watch carefully as this bunch of creators is changing the fashion rules. An arty interpretation of a strong womanhood we adore.
Let’s chit-chat with JUDY WU.
There are new designers coming from China, who are definitely changing the game in fashion: do you consider yourself as part of this movement?
It is great to see quite a few Chinese faces at LFW this season. I am always proud of my cultural background which provides me a great source of inspiration and strength, although the brand JUDY WU has always being based in London. Chinese designers are definitely gaining more and more exposure on the international stage. There are many very talented Chinese designers who are working extremely hard to make their voice heard and I am glad to be able to contribute to it.
London seems to be the perfect place for rising talents to launch their collections: what’s the secret weapon of London?
London is a very international and multi-cultural city which provides many platforms for talents regardless where you are from. The creative industry here allows young talents to fully express their creativity. The industry and media here are always looking for new ideas instead of only driving the big names. There are also some great art and design schools such as Central Saint Martins, Royal College of Arts, London College of Fashion… etc. Those schools bring up young talents at a very high standard for the creative industry all over the world. London is a magical place!
Your collection is both a mix of traditional tailoring, with a twist of fantasy, and in the meantime it’s very wearable by women on a daily basis: how do you manage this tricky balance between style and “ready-to-wear”?
My aim is to create a lifestyle wardrobe for a modern independent woman who also has a free spirit. Having the image of my muse in mind, keep adding or deleting to each of her looks until they reach a balance.
Where do you find your inspirations?
There are a lot of things that are inspiring to me such as art, music, nature, movies…etc. There is always something new to learn about this world which sometimes makes me feel rather ignorant. Creating a collection is like a trip into the unknown. Learning is the fun part of the journey.
Fashion can change the world: do you agree?
Designers are quite sensitive to the world that is around them. They express their thoughts through their work and hope to change the world to if not better then to a prettier place.
What are the next steps of your story as a designer?
Focusing on my next collection and telling my story to the world.
America. When you’re a European, obviously French and Londoner, many pictures come to mind. Road signs, hip-hop culture, Obama, McDonalds, California girls, NYC girls.
Energy, flights and jet-lag. A pack of sleepless talks and infatuation for parallel timelines.
The guys at Woodzee had the good idea to send me a gorgeous pair of Bamboo black Sierra, made of wood and eco-friendly process. And those shades quickly became my best allies from Commercial Road, London, to East Village, NYC.
Shades are not any fashion accessory; they are a sort of protection for the solo traveller. An ally which helps you when you arrive in a bar, and that you try to fuse with the locals. Yes, shades can surprisingly enough be the big difference between tourists who will always look tourists. And guys who are afraid of being associated to them. It’s OK being a foreigner, and in my case a Frenchman in New York. But as time runs fast, it might sound absurd, but a style or an attitude can help in meeting interesting people. Or at least connecting with a local mood or environment.
Some people have a drink to feel better and start chatting. Some others are too scared to leave their hotel room. In my case, if you give me nice sunglasses, I can feel more confident.
If you’ve ever read the Smurfs, there’s this episode when a pretty shy guy puts some marmalade on his nose…and because of this artefact, he wins the Olympic Games. Shades are my marmalade.
There’s something cool when you wear cool shades: the world become slightly different; colours change, become more intense. Or at least you perceive what’s more intense than the other buildings or urban elements.
Putting down your glasses on a table is also a key element of one’s personality. Some guys put them on their head; some others hang them on their shirt. Some others sort them in their boxes. And some guys like me let them live their lives in a Japanese restaurant. You’re intimately attached to what you left behind…and forefront.
Flying back to London, I had this doubt in my mind; did I really live this American journey? Did I meet this American girl wearing stars and stripes? Did I lose myself in some shady bars?
For sure not. I think I’ve lived a lot in few hours there. And no doubt I had a good filter to protect my steps.
Thank you Woodzee for this collaboration! Oh and guys, you can discover their new skateboard collection…
– secret rooftop East London
– The Standard, East Village, NYC
Imagine interviewing some of the most influential people in fashion. And imagine if they were sitting in your office, for a bit. Sharing thoughts ideas, inspirations, eccentricity.
It’s now done. Fashion at Work, the new i-D film, supports the new #BoF500 rankings; on the platform, you can discover every day a new interview; we can’t wait for Alexandre de Betak one, on October 7.
Whether you like or hate Alexa Chung, Carine Roitfeld, Katie Grand, Renzo Rosso, Binx Walton etc. you can have a look at influential people.