Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cut & Wear

Keeping in the crazy-fashion mood, I cam upon Issey Miyake's practical blouse/shirt for the masses.As you can see, it's as easy as 1, 2, 3, 4. But is it as creative as Dior, or Balenciaga? And most of all, why make such a blouse, in the first place?!
This is the A-POC = "a piece of cloth". It refers to both the fashion label and the manufacturing process behind it. That process breaks one of the fundamental laws of fashion physics: cut and sew. Normally, clothes are made by weaving thread or yarn into fabric, which is then snipped and stitched to create, say, a dress. The A-POC method requires no sewing. Thread goes into the loom, the dress comes out. Specifically, a flattened tube of material emerges that contains the finished shirt, skirt, or pants. Moreover, the material can be snipped anywhere without unraveling, a feature that allows for complete customization. A pair of scissors and a flirtatious spirit can turn a turtleneck into a plunging V-neck.

Miyake has so far kept the patent-pending process a closely guarded secret. But fashion insiders recognize that the technology behind A-POC - the process of melding thread into clothing, seamlessly - represents an entirely new way of making clothes, one that has less to do with the needles and bobbins of a garment factory than with rapid prototyping methods used in manufacturing. The real effect of A-POC has yet to be felt.

So, I guess it's really a combination between fashion and product design.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Got the Time?

The newest must have watch for the all so populat geeks, comes from Tokyoflash, a Japanese brand.
The watches name is Infectious, probable because of the bacteria lookalike pattern. The timepiece features a unique pulsating three color LED display - once again with the characteristic hard-to-tell-the-time look. So, this is an accessory for all of you who have plenty time...on your hand. But is can also be a plus, for those moments you just feel like being a big - outrageous show off.
Featuring a creatively designed full face mirrored lens and an innovative way to view time, no one is immune to Infection. Finished with a matching leather band and stainless steel clasp. Manufactured in a smart new case, Infection is ergonomically designed to neatly fit the contours of your wrist, the tapered edges providing a smooth transition between the case and lens.
So, just in case you didn't get how do you read the time on the Infection (this sound stupid, I know...just bear with me), here is a simple sketch that will give you all the information you need.
It has twenty seven multi-colored LEDs pulsate and move like cells across the curved face to present the time from beneath the attractive mirrored mineral crystal lens. Twelve red LEDs indicate hours, eleven yellow LEDs represent the progression of time in groups of five minutes and four green LEDs show single minutes. A single touch of the upper button animates the LEDs, a single touch of the lower button shows the time immediately.
Infection is about $135 USD, which is pretty expensive, considering you usually get it for free. OK, I just have to say it: BAD name idea!!! But I love Tokyoflash, with all it's geeky stuff!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Why I Can't Wait for Winter to Come...

Meet Andreea Musat! She is a Romanian fashion designer at the beginning of a long, but rewording road.

A few weeks ago, she presented her collection (I think it was her first one) at the Romanian Fashion Week - Iasi. Needless to say, it was a success! But that's not the reason why I wanted to talk about her (at the Fashion Week, there were many great shows). She is the winner of Elle Romania contest: Young Fashion Designers.

When her sketches appeared in the magazine, there were many that simply didn't understand what Andreea wanted to express - I admit, I was one of those people. The sketches were very artistic, in watery grays. Unfortunately I don't have a picture of them, in order to make my self clear...sorry. Anyways! The result: a great collection, a great designer. The geometry of shapes, the clean cuts, the impeccable fabric - you know I go cu-cu about all of them! Just a beautiful (in the word's true meaning) collection! I just love it!
Andreea: Congratulation! You blew me away with your designs and I am so grateful to ELLE, for discovering you! Good luck and...when can we see your next collection?

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Mail Me Fashion

Hussein Chalayan designed a paper email dress which is wearable and washable. It's a dress made out of paper that folds up to fit inside an airmail envelope. The flap can simply be opened, unfolded, and the dress can be put on. On the other hand you can write on the dress, put it in the post, and send it to a friend.
The dress can also be a great support for street art. Just imagine it printed with the works of Banksy, ERPS, Color, or IRLO (just to name a few Romanian street artists, except the first).

Artist, or Designer?

For me, that is the question.
It all started a few days ago, before the Student Fashion Festival, in Cluj. I was trying to relax on the Internet, loosing myself among the pixels when I cam upon an interesting blog (here is the link for you Romanian speakers). Octavian was raising a disturbing issue: are we, the clothes creators designers, or artists?
I agree, there is a point where art and fashion are one and the same, but just a point. Even so, at the university we are educated on using alternative fabrics/materials for making clothes, like paper, wood...we are being encouraged expressing our creativity as much as possible (this sometimes becomes boring and meaningless).
For me, I'm more practical. So I guess I'm somewhere at the border. But what if there is no border, or even more, one must chose. To be an artist, or a designer? It's a great thing to believe we are given a choice. But let's be fair, WE will never be seen as artists by painters, sculptors etc, and never as designers by graphic designers.
WE are freaks and that isn't really a bad thing. Just remember what Carry said (in the first season of Sex and the City, even if she was talking about relationships): We will find our own group of freaks, that will kiss our little freaky horns and make everything better.

Designers Recreate Esquire History

To celebrate Esquire magazine's 75th birthday, they asked some of the worlds best and most influential fashion designers to recreate some of Esquires most iconic front covers. The results are brilliant.
Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana photo by Julian Broad based on Floyd Patterson and Muhammad Ali photo by Carl Fischer (August 1966 cover)
Karl Lagerfeld photo by Karl Lagerfeld based on Richard Nixon and cultural icons photo by George Lois and Carl Fischer(June 1969 cover)
Sir. Paul Smith photo by Nadav Kander based on Andy Warhol photo by Carl Fischer (May 1969 cover)
Vivienne Westwood photo by Jurgen Teller based on army portrait of George Lois (December 1962 cover)
Giorgio Armani photo by Alice Hawkins based on Marcello Mastroianni photo by Timothy Galfas (February 1965 cover)
Tommy Hilfiger photo by Douglas Friedman based on Dustin Hoffman photo by Carl Fischer (July 1970 cover)
John Galliano photo by Jean-Baptiste Mondino based on Muhammad Ali photo by Carl Fischer (April 1968 cover)
Donatella Versace photo by Lorenzo Agius based on Roy Cohn photo by Carl Fischer (February 1968 cover)
Christopher Bailey photo by Bryan Adams based on model and pig photo by Carl Fischer (September 1969 cover)
Alber Elbaz (self-portrait) and Luscus Ossendrijver of Lanvin photo by Desmond Muckian based on models, photographed by Carl Fischer (march 1968 cover)
Miuccia Prada photo by Ilan Rubin and 2x4 based on esky cover by Henry Wolf and Dan Wynn (March 1955 cover)

Toys for Fashion Addicts

There is a new toy collection in town. Here are 10 designer-made toys that will blow your mind and excite you imagination.
on top: Gucci, Vivienne Westwood, Comme Des Garçons, Lacroix, Martin Margiela
on bottom: Galliano, Helmut Lang, Gaultier, St Laurent, Armani

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Banksy's Cans

With work on display from the likes of famous graffiti artist Banksy and others, the Cans Festival was a riot of color and street style urban expression.

Covering a tunnel right next to Waterloo Station are hundreds of stencil works created especially for the Cans Festival exhibition which are still on show now. Bansky and 30 other artists have been busy creating works of urban art for this unusual show, transforming a piece of dull city landscape into a vibrant and exciting art gallery.Located on Leake Street in SE1, the Cans Festival London exhibition is a chance for graffiti and art lovers to sneak a peak at a fabulous collection of stencil work. With other a whole host of other urban artists joining Banksy in having their work exhibited in this unusual location, you will find there is plenty of exiting new work to be seen on the street still to be seen.Described as a stencil only exhibition, other graffiti artists were invited to contribute their work to the Cans Festival to make it a truly open and community based event over the Bank Holiday weekend. Making the art less about restrictive and sometimes elitist art galleries, and more about art on the street that means something to the people that see it everyday, the exhibition was an opportunity for any urban artists who are into stenciling to add their work to the collection.

Whether you are a secret Banksy style graffiti artist or someone who appreciates the humor and political nature of street art, the Cans Festival London event should certainly be on your exhibition list.Artists that took part in the Cans Festival at Leak Street were Bsas Stencil, Run Don't Walk, James Dodd, Tom Civil, Vexta, Prism, Daniel Meli, Altocontraste, Bandit, Roadsworth, 3D Del Naja, Artiste-Ouvrier, Blek, Sten, Sadhu, C215, Lucamaleonte, Lex, Orticancvoodles, kaagman, Dolk, ccPobel, M-City, Vhils, Btoy, Coolture, Schhh, Borbo, Sam3, Faile, Eine, John Grider, Logan Hicks, Pure Evil, Dot Masters, Dan, Eelus and of course Banksy.

If you fancy seeing who added their own stencil creation to the Cans Festival exhibition, simply turn up at Leake Street find out whose work is on show alongside Banksy's. I certainly won't miss it!

PS. Here is a great fashion must have: the I am Banksy T-shirt. It's cool, funny and it also makes a political statement (for all you Vivian Westwood lovers).

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Hidden Messages

Here is a great image from Virgina Records. What's great about it? The way it looks, the colors...? No. The twist: try guessing as many bands as you can, from the image! Click here to see a list of answers. Good luck, have fun, exercise you music muscles!

Eugenio Recuenco: Catches Souls With Camera Lenses

There are a lot of things to say about this great photographer. Too many, as far as I'm concerned! Even so, talking about him (and not his works), wouldn't do him any good. I'm just going to say he is Spanish. Enough?

Just like LaChapelle, Eugenio creates his own, easy to recognize style. For him, it's all about the Carnivale look, the dirty - creepy - glamor. That's why he is a favorite of the publishing and advertising fields, that had called his style: cinematographic and pictorial.

So, Eugenio Recuenco is more then a photographer. He is a story taller and his pictures seem to capture the models soul! There's something mystical, a weird combination between the characters from Silent Hill, Lolita, Lord of the Rings and so on! But the result is fantastic!

Now that you see the pictures, you'll noticed you know him. From where? Well...from the Bible... VOGUE.

Great & gorgeous mirror effects!

A few pages of tails (Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast etc.)

Spanish spirit...with a twist
Bubbles and Stripes. For me, it looks like retro chic. Plus, the window stripes shadow on the model is a great looking effect!

Clown mania lately (remember the Tony&Guy pictorial)!
Bits and pieces

Monday, May 12, 2008

P - is for PRADA

One of the most well known names in high end fashion, Miuccia Prada is known for taking a small-time family business and building a formidable fashion empire. Maria Bianchi Prada (catwalk name: Miuccia Prada) was born May 10, 1949. Her parents were Luigi Bianchi and Luisia Prada, although she was eventually adopted by her maternal aunt. Her grandfather was Mario Prada, noted for founding the first retail line bearing the name Prada - it dealt in leather goods and was known as Fratelli Prada.

Pursuing her education in political science, Prada secured a PhD in a field far removed from the glitz and glamor of the fashion world. Making her an even more unlikely choice for the business, she also attended Teatro Piccolo for five years, where she studied and performed mime. Eyebrows were also raised when she became publicly known as a member of the Communist Party. In addition to her political views, Prada was an outspoken proponent of women’s rights in Milan throughout the 70s.

Miuccia’s future in fashion, however, began in 1978 when she inherited the company, Prada, from her mother. With her husband, Patrizio Bertelli, Prada expanded the company’s output from its previous luxury goods to high end clothing. Prada credits Bertelli with much of her drive to continue and push towards international recognition. 1985 marked her first important benchmark when she scored her largest professional success to date. She released what would ultimately become the signature Prada handbag. A classic, black nylon bag - it was simultaneously delicate but sturdy. An instant hit, it was quickly seen hanging on the arms of supermodels and the international fashion elite such as Marie Helvin and Jerry Hall.

While the line was becoming a must have, the prices were prohibiting all but the rich and famous from owning them. Replicas began flooding the market, which only served to make the authentic products of the Prada line all the more desirable. 1989 brought the first ready-to-wear collection to the runway. Composed of dark tones, classic cuts, and simple designs, the line stood in stark contrast to the bright, overtly sensual lines of its competitors. Prada was instantaneously raised to the upper echelons of high fashion.

The success continued to go higher and higher, and 1992 saw the release of Miu Miu, a slightly cheaper bridge line. With lowered prices and looks that were less austere. All the hard work culminated in 1993 when Prada was honored with a Council of Fashion Designers of America International Award. Prada is currently revered for her heavy financial support of various artistic endeavors.
(Spring-Summer 2008 - Prada collection)

A few years ago, I think in 2006, there was a rumor about a collaboration between Prada and H&M. I really don’t understand why people thought it could become a reality! We are talking about Miuccia, the billion dollar Fashion Empire owner! Here’s what she had to say about the so called collaboration: They’ve asked me. I always said no, not because I don’t like the idea, I just don’t like the idea of doing bad copies of what I’m doing. And I don’t have the time, and maybe even the ability, to do a collection with them. If you want to do a collection that costs less, you have to do it with different materials and different ideas.

I agree with her. Great brands should stay that way. H&M, Mango, Zara should be more focused on young designers and give them a change to show what they are made of!

Resort collection, 2008:

There's Something About Samuel Casal...

Here is a great illustrator! I love the fact that you can see his native latino heritage in the lines of his works, in the colors that he uses. It's not that often you get to see, so clearly, the artist in it's works!

For me, Samuel Casal's works are the exact representation of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's world. Everything seems worm, crazy, dirty...all covered in a familiar feeling! He brings something interesting in each illustration, reminding us of the childhood joyfulness.

So, if you want to find out more about this Brazilian (or about his works), just visit his site, where you can also see his blog (direct contact!). From there, you can go directly to an on-line store, that offers Samuel's art!

Great Hair - Great Style

The most popular brand in the hairstyle world is for sure Tony&Guy. No matter how you are, you surely had some contact with their products, or works. You can find them on our favorite place in the world: the catwalk!

Tony&Guy, the company, got the name from it's founders: the Mascolo brothers, in 1963 (Clapham, South London). Since then, the company became more and more popular, becoming a powerful family business. This days, Tony&Guy means high-quality products, great education in the hairdressing domain and especially fabulous hair styling!

Their style goes great with fashion and designers go crazy about them. Here is a beautiful photo shoot:

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Isabella Blow

Just a reminder...

Balenciaga Love

It's time for a little fashion-history lesson! For our first class, we will meet the man that (according to many) invented haute couture. Here he is, the King of Parisian couture, Cristobal Balenciaga:

Born in 1895 in Guetaria in the Spanish Basque Country, Cristobal Balenciaga devoted his entire life exploring the techniques of haute couture, which he elevated to perfection by a relentless simplification of cut that becomes legendary. At the age of 23, he opened his first couture house at San Sebastian (Spain), then two others in Madrid and Barcelona. He came regularly to Paris, where he bought creations from couturiers such as Elsa Schiaparelli and Madeleine Vionnet, whose construction techniques and secrets he studied in detail. Self-taught, he learned and assimilated the methods of the great names of Parisian haute couture, patiently building the foundations of his art until he fled the Spanish Civil War and settled in Paris in 1937. From the outset, in his very first collections, he asserted his style in the perfection of his cut and his fascination for jet black. He created a line that instated a new interplay between body and garment, yet whose fluidity had classic foundations. Profoundly influenced by his native culture, he constantly drew inspiration from it : toreadors’ capes, infanta-style dresses, vivid colors and black lace mantillas. Balenciaga pursued a sumptuous line and pure spirit.He softened the waist and exaggerated the shoulders drawing the eye towards the bust and neck. Mastering the techniques he had acquired, he used a wide variety of materials, especially thick, stiff, ribbed woolen cloths and irregularly textured fabrics, which he chose for their interaction with light. In February 1968, Balenciaga presented his last collection, closed his Paris couture house and retired to Spain. He was fond of saying : ‘A good couturier has to be an architect for the plans, a sculptor for the form, a painter for the color, a musician for the harmony and the philosopher for the measure’. His successors had their work cut out...Once called “the master of us all” by Christian Dior, Cristobal Balenciaga inspired (with his odd, feminine designs) designers such as Ungaro and Givenchy. Balenciaga died in March of 1972. Though the House of Balenciaga is now apart of the Gucci Group, his spirit is still apparent in every design.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

A Sight for Sore Eyes

While looking at this collection I realized that some people, really must see the world differenty. What is yellow for me, for them it must be green and so on...I think this usually happens whit Japanese designers - every season they surprise us (in a good way!). Say HELLO! to this little part, of Lie Sang Bong's 2008 fall/winter collection.

Even tough winter is a cold season, that inspires stiffens, grayness and death (nature), whit this clothes everything seems to blossom! So yes, the prime color is gray, but the sewing techniques compensate that. It's amazing how Lie Sang Bong transforms the rough fabrics in silky-soft looking ones.

What I mostly appreciate at this collection is the volume-game and the ever-so-popular origami (a reminder of the Japaneses meticulousness). It's not so often you get to see clothes that are at the same time artsy and practical (but it will take a brave little Harajuku girl to pull them off).
A beautiful collection with beautiful details. Everything was taken into consideration! I love it and I hope you do too!