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An inteview with JUDY WU: “Creating a collection is like a trip into the unknown”

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Americana – London. A journey through Woodzee eyes

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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.

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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

 

Places:

– secret rooftop East London

– The Standard, East Village, NYC

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What’s It Like to Work In The Fashion Industry? #BoF500

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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.

Inspiring.

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55DSL x 686 Snowboarding Collection Launches With ‘Moshpit’ Short Film

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Denim, leather: the two elements of rock culture are still highly present in today’s minds. What if action sports roots could meet an imagery from 80s metal culture?

That’s the challenge that 55DSL and 686 figured out, with this brilliant collaboration. 686 exclusive infiDRY® waterproof fabric and 55DSL signature graphics are guaranteed to keep you rocking while on the hill at all times.

55DSL x 686 – Moshpit from 55DSL on Vimeo.

The campaign is shot by director Stephen Agnew, who is responsible for music videos for the likes of Drenge and The Vaccines, with the help of graphic artist Ruff Mercy (know for his projects for Disclosure and Mary J Blige).

As the guys describe:

The 55DSL x 686 ‘Moshpit’ video turns the gaze of ultra-slow motion cameras to a wild, un-hinged circle pit, set to doomy guitar riffs and reverb-laden drums. Shot in a South-London warehouse space, ‘Moshpit’ is an examination of what happens when bodies collide in the midst of the heaviest hardcore punk gigs – every detail from beads of sweat to rippling guitar stings are caught in super high-definition slow motion.

55DSL x 686

An interesting move for technical outerwear to explore fashion. We can only approve.

Discover the whole collection on diesel.com/55DSLx686

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Pietà Project, collection #2: [EXISTING… THEN GONE]

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Remember this fashion and social good project called Pieta Project? The team has just released a second collection.

Created in Lurigancho prison, the inmates created the craft themselves, as well as the design.

A masterpiece of what fashion can bring in terms of attention to the public; and which raises many interesting questions: aesthetics in prison? Irreverence?

Whatever your position is, it’s definitely worth checking the last collection.

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pieta l'action directe

 

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Reductress: badass magazine for badass women

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Imagine a bunch of women who would like to change the  way “women media” are made. Fed up with diet articles, celebration of the same stars, tips to be  “perfect”? Well, you have to read Reductress, a sort of hybrid webzine; as if Reddit had met a DIY group on Pinterest (yes, we wrote that). We had a chance to ask 5 fire questions to their founders. And they rock.

 

Reductress seems pretty cheeky and pretty badass: do you already have some enemies?

We made a point of bringing enemies to the table right from the start. The mistake a lot of people make is trying make enemies along the way en route to success. The sooner you make enemies, the sooner you have the searing motivation of hate to guide you. Some of our enemies include: the patriarchy, harem pants, climate change, carbohydrates, and Josh Groban. Just kidding, we love Josh Groban and the patriarchy.

Do you consider yourself as feminist? How could we guys help feminism? 

We’re feminists with a capital ‘F,’ by which we mean we’re the pretty kind that people like. Just think of a cool woman you know who’s doing cool things for womankind and we’re basically that. Some ways that guys could help feminism would be: giving us more compliments on the street, telling us what we want, and taking care of all those boring jobs in society by being CEOs and politicians so we don’t have to be. Thanks men! XOXOXO

What was your biggest achievement so far with Reductress?

This interview is up there. Also, one time we were eating at a restaurant and Alec Baldwin sat down at the table next to us. True story. Call his agent.

Fashion can change the world: do you agree?

Yes, theoretically if someone “fashioned” a device to resolve poverty, global warming, and corporate greed, then yeah, fashion could change the world. And if you think about it, chambray shirts come pretty close to achieving all of those things. But seriously, all you have to do is look at Beyoncé or Lupita Nyong’o and it’s like, “Fashion is worn by people who are making change in the world.” And if we’re still talking about them, let’s throw Michelle Obama’s arms in there.

Last words?

Visit our website at reductress.com and click on all the advertisements while you’re there. You won’t regret it.

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Color Code, “I LIKE DAT”. Nicola Formichetti’s new Haus of Gaga.

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The multi-talented fashion designer Nicola Formichetti has recently launched the Pop Icon Project Tokyo. The aim is to spot Japanese talents and to then try to reach a global audience.

An interesting move; not so many people in Europe or in Americas really know what’s going on in Japan; we have an approximate knowledge, and we can often dive into clichés. And it’s a shame, because amazing artists like Sputniko! reveal breaking works and ideas. There are interesting forums about J-Pop for instance, but it’s not that easy to get to know the codes, rituals.

Formichetti’s attempt is not to create a confidential, subcultural band: it’s to hit big. Following what he’s done with Lady Gaga, the Italian designer (who has a Japanese mother, between) released today on his instagram account the first music video by his new whim: Color Code.

Three energetic cool girls who will probably make us dance in the coming months.

Let’s follow the vibes…

 

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Tess Rees: fun clothing for the fanciful

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London has this bubbly energy you can’t defeat. And when it comes to fashion meeting culture, the British capital is massive.

We’ve recently met Tess Rees for a secret project (we swear we’ll share the secret soon :) ) and we’ve discovered a very interesting designer. Student at Central Saint Martins, Tess is a Fine Artist who says that she “creates fun clothing for the fanciful“.

Something we’re very, very keen to buy as we think that fashion can change the world. And that smiling and dreaming should be written in the fashion Bill of Rights.

All pieces are 100% lovingly handmade, unless otherwise stated as vintage and all fabrics are sourced in London. All tops are one size only at the moment, this size fits a Size 10 snugly and a Size 8 loosely. As well as producing handmade clothes, Tess aims to find and sell vintage clothes at affordable prices. About 75% of the vintage pieces are found in Charity shops. So whilst spending your money in our online shop you can have peace of mind in knowing you have made a donation to a worthwhile cause.

How do you create “fun” clothing? Do you need to enter a specific state of mind?

Working creatively everyday makes generating ideas and designs seem like second nature so I wouldn’t say It’s a specific state of mind, it’s more when I think of something I want to wear and can’t find it!
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Where does your inspiration come from?

So so many places, I’m constantly doing research for my Fine Art degree so colour and form are always on my mind and this definitely feeds into my clothing and the vintage I search for. Inspiration also comes from my friends and the people around me, I often take what I love most about their styles and try to create something I love and hopefully they would want to wear too! My Granny is also a major influence, she gave me an Ostrich feather fan and a gold chain mail handbag last Christmas! An enormous stack of Vogue Paris’ sit in the corner of my bedroom that remain as a souvenir of a subscription she gave me years ago and I still look through them occasionally.

 

Your T-shirt can give a super-power to a customer: what is it?

Oooh if I could create a top that doubles as an invisibility cloak I would be one very happy lady.

What’s next for your young brand?

I’m currently working on some content for the  website which will hopefully be launching very soon. Long term plans are to develop a recognisable visual style that will hopefully result in a collection rather than sporadic designs being made here and there!
Thanks Tess! you can follow her on Instagram, buy on her website, fall in love on Twitter, like her on Facebook.
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Barbie Lagerfeld. You can’t stop Karl.

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Karl. Lagerfeld. Karl. Lagerfeld.

I’ve tried to hate him, seriously. I’ve tried and it can’t last very long.

Because Karl Lagerfeld is too much; he is. And it’s SO too much that it becomes attaching. That’s the same relationship I have with Barbie dolls. I’ve tried to hate them. And I’ve actually figured out how to make it last for at least 20 years. But now, imagining a world without this disproportionate pink absurdity might be weird. It’s part of pop culture; and as any object of pop culture, you have detractors and ambassadors. Pros and cons. Plastic pro, and dodgy cons. Fashion is about matchmaking, mismatching, misfitting. This new doll is part of the long history of fashion.

Even the name is a marketing coup. It’s not Barbie Karl. It’s Barbie Lagerfeld. It’s about mixing two brands, not personalities. It’s an arrogant then genius collaboration: people are not going to buy a creator or the iconic Barbie (who could recognize it’s a Barbie doll anyway): they will buy a state of mind. Again, genius.

The “Platinum-label Barbie doll” (we told you it’s TOO much) will be available through exclusive retail channels including; NET-A-PORTER.COM, select KARL LAGERFELD retail stores, TheBarbieCollection.com, and Colette in Paris. The worldwide retail launch is set for Monday, September 29, 2014. It costs between 200 USD or €200 Euro.

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Paris Fashion Week Street Style – H&M Life: catching value chain, not people

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It’s always a tough job to try to capture the style of a city.

City dwellers swinging on the streets.

Commuters defeating the infernal time machine.

Fast movers challenging peace-keepers after 8am.

And suddenly, when offices grab their inhabitants, the city reveals a brand new face.

It can be this guy sitting on a terrace; breathing the calm wind of summer. Or this girl, finishing her late-night work and going to sleep. Or again this civil servant or banker, off for the day.

There are daily artists and on-going plasticine.

H&M shot some people of Paris; I’m not totally convinced: it could have been shot in NYC, London or Milan in any high-street.

That’s probably the only problem with super-retailer like H&M: grabbing so much inspirations to recycle them on our t-shirts that at the end, we don’t know anymore where we belong.

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