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I Can’t Breathe. With Comic or Sans?

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

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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?

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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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Sweatpants sold 175 euros. Swagger has a price.

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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?

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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.

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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

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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

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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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Louis Vuitton Celebrating Monogram Creative Story

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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!

A holy matter: the #LouisVuitton #CelebratingMonogram Collection by Rei Kawakubo through the eyes of Jennifer Livingston.

A photo posted by Louis Vuitton Official (@louisvuitton) on

 

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.

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Give us more, Louis Vuitton!

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To Be Parisian is to be “Fuckable”, really???

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You’ve probably read some interviews of Caroline de Maigret this week, who’s promoting her new book “How to be a Parisian”. It’s already a best-seller, apparently surfing on this French “je ne sais quoi” that seems to attract American women. According to CdM, to be Parisian involves to look always “fuckable“.   In Style.com, the argument is highly explicit:

“always be fuckable. When standing in line at the bakery on Sunday morning, buying champagne in the middle of the night or even picking the kids up from school. You never know”

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One month today and still a Best Seller in the US thanks to all of you! Thank you all for your amazing support and kind words. Much love from the 4 of us! ❤️❤️❤️@howtobeparisian

View on Instagram

 

We could start by condemning the women’s objectification: we’re not really sure that judging a woman’s style through her capability to get a d*** (to keep the same semantics) is, indeed, relevant. And we’re surprized that not many journalists or bloggers reacted before on that matter. But we do thank Amazon customers’ reviews who did this job.

We could also be very angry against Style.com: why haven’t they called other Parisian women to balance this quote and get a better sense of what a Parisian woman might be (if ever there’s ONE Parisian woman who could summarize the diversity of the French capital…)? We could also ask them if they’re not fed up with a book which takes Joséphine Baker, Marie-Antoinette or Romy Schneider as examples of foreigners who suddenly became supposed-Parisian myths (hum hum)…but no mention of modern icons of femininity or inspiring women. Except if CdM wants to keep all for her and considers herself as the heir of la Parisienne. We could also ask them if they’re not bored to always take the same clichés: do you seriously think that all Parisian listen to jazz at St Germain, drink a glass of Pinot Noir, are free but in love. And on and on…

It’s an intellectual snacking; as a lot of fashion advertising films are at the moment: we can’t recall how many times we’ve seen the same two bridges in Paris displaying the exact same sort of Parisienne without any spark of genius. In this book, no mention about hip hop or street culture: is South Pigalle (SoPi) really where Parisian trends do emerge?

We could be provocative and ambiguous like Karl Lagerfeld faux feminism can be when it comes to women, suddenly declaring that CdM is right in promoting this unique asset of women: her beauty and her charms. But it would be very mediocre, and another attempt to attract publicity by trolling.

Let’s really ask THE question: to be fuckable means to be fucked by someone, right? And this “fuckability” can’t rely on which cream or powder a woman picks, as the book tries to suggest.

The American woman could teach many lessons to this “fuckable Parisian”: when it comes to fusing sex, social status and life choices, we tend to respect more Mindy Kaling or Beyoncé than another style guru. This Parisianism has very strong problems when it comes to creativity; shall we repeat that the last fashion week was mostly saved by…American designers? This non-existing Parisian face no longer interests a lot of consumers…except the publisher of Nutella recipes (yes, for real). We told you it was all about snacking.

On the other hand, Alicia Florrick, the Games of Thrones women, Amy Dune (Rosamund Pike): they all represent a new femininity which inspire us.

Are we angry against CdM? Not at all; her book is like a chocolate bar, you know you indulge yourself with too much calories in too many layers. Style snacking is a business that works, and when it does work, it deserves some interest. But we dream about new feminine books to represent a better idea of Paris beyond the Seine river.

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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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