Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
The organic feel, plus the celestial overall designs, it's really special. I adore his color palette and his craftsmanship; his pieces feel honest and have such a slight of hand quality that I'm so attracted to. They are not over-the-top at all or shocking aesthetically, but the amount of magic that lies within the materials, detailing, proportions - it's enough to leave one in awe. I hope that the brand will start seeing a surge in retail interest soon, much like I do with Takayuki's.
Though the styling on his collections is always special and does a nice job of showcasing just how amazing his work looks layered upon itself, sometimes Takayuki's work is best admired in a solitary manner. He is a rare soul; it is few and far between when a designer comes along and has such an undeniable enchantment, dripping off of their every garment.
While I'm a huge fan of the element of protection within clothing, the vulnerability and delicate overtones in Takayuki's work are eternally endearing and comforting in their own right. The fabrics and techniques he employs are thoughtful on every level, yet emit such a dreamy ease. His pieces feel amazing on the skin and look gorgeous when layered... but the most special aspect is that even in their solitude, the garments tell their own eloquent story.
Friday, December 18, 2009
I always wonder if the switching of aesthetics and if the shifting down their overwhelming creativity is a conscious one or just a natural progression for the designer. I understand all too well the need to shed an old skin and move in a new direction, so perhaps it is trite to question the switch in a designer's output. Even if she never revisits this style, I guess I can only appreciate and be thankful to be able to look back upon the collections like this that she's graced us with.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Ms. Kokosalaki’s latest collections have left me cold. It’s not that they’re that bad, it’s just that this stuff was that good. Her old collections really captured me – they were so severe, so spot on. Her ubiquitous details, signature shapes, overlapping panels and and just the overall brilliance of her concepts… it was all so directional and unmistakable. I wish I could get my claws on a ton of her older work as the pieces are so unique and relatively timeless. The basic pieces are tailored perfectly and I love the proportions on them… and of course, the geometric dresses and tops are obviously to die for. Perhaps some day she’ll return to making stuff in this vein but if not, it’s always nice to reflect upon anyway.
Monday, November 2, 2009
For more information on the designer, please visit his website.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Furuhashi’s immense talent for mixing different materials and textures together is really unique; she has knack for harnessing it all and making everything her own, no matter the theme or presentation. The whimsical silhouettes comprised of beautiful deconstruction, the unusual and beautiful accessories – it’s all so distinct and it’s a treasure to witness the progression of her techniques as each season passes.
If it wasn’t already wildly apparent that this man is pure genius, then hopefully after this collection, it will be. Looking at any one of his pieces always sends me into a string of amorous adjectives and this season is no different, in that regard. His work is so magnificent, aesthetically and beyond. Some brands just have a presence where you’re drawn in directly to the designer’s vision and in Takayuki’s case, that vision is one of utter enchantment.
I like the fact that there is a great counterbalance of structure this season, styled beautifully with the more ruffled and tiered pieces. The belted looks are really beyond fantastic and the silhouettes are insane. He uses primarily organic materials (he’s even got a separate line specializing in organic cotton) and I think the materials he so carefully chooses for his pieces really do them justice as far as providing the clothing with sort of animate qualities.
The cardigan I have by him is really something; though it looked beautiful online and I thought I knew what to expect, when I actually got it I was blown away by the amount of detailing and obvious thought and consideration that had gone into it. His pieces are incredibly detailed but have such an effortless feel overall, they’re a dream really. Anyway I’ll cut the worship short but as you may have guessed, I just adore this guy.
Friday, October 9, 2009
The silhouettes are stunning and I love the fit of everything. He knows so well how to dress a woman, how to take advantage of her form, curves and allure and how to enhance them brilliantly. The contradictions within his work are really beautiful to me – the hard and the soft, the structured and the fluid, the revealing and the mysterious. So much complexity and thoughtfulness yet the result is so pure. I also like the details in this collection a lot; the unusual overlapping of fabric, the exaggerated and uniquely placed pockets, etc. Basically everything is really nicely done and couldn’t be more attractive, distinguished or divine.
I find the color palette so beautiful, I love these muted tones paired with the crisp white and structured black. There are countless covetable pieces throughout the collection and the styling of the show was perfection, really. She manages off-kilter cuts with finesse, such as the trousers pictured above which I’m in love with.
The accessories are so disarming and feminine and act as a beautiful compliment to the garments, rather than how most designers are leaning toward ultra-severe footwear and jewelry. So not only is this a beautiful collection but it’s definitely a breath of fresh air.
How despicable that he reckons we are so stupid that he can wipe out Margiela’s essence and sell this gimmicky bullshit and have it be as successful. This is not Diesel, man. They didn’t even manage to get the silhouettes right, never mind all of the precision, grace and integrity that Margiela had. They should have just shut the house down when he stepped down; do we really need to witness another sad slaughtering of someone’s good name, à la Helmut Lang?
P.S. – while I’m ranting here: hey Gareth, please return to what made you so special in the first place. Don’t sell yourself short by becoming a bad gothic parody of Rick Owens. Still love you, though. <3
Monday, October 5, 2009
Two words: fucking perfect. After the incredibly tough act to follow that was her Autumn collection, she’s back with another magical one. It’s hard to really comment on everything or else I’d be here all day, but of course the patchwork is the standout technique here and she’s executed it so flawlessly, so admirably. Amidst the masterful deconstruction and patchworking, there are a ton of great basics and other covetable pieces, which truly make the collection a home run on the whole.
The dresses are beyond beautiful, the trousers are cut to perfection, the shoes are a dream; this collection really thrives in all aspects. I am most obsessed with the trenches. I adore beyond words how she substitutes severe fabrics for very ethereal ones within her structured garments. The idea alone of using these delicate fabrics on outerwear is so precious, and the finished products are almost heartbreakingly beautiful.
The craftsmanship that goes into Rei’s collections is no doubt amazing but what is most touching to me is how she manages to convey and depict so clearly her messages of nostalgia, sentimentality and guarded beauty… it’s really something special.
Sunday, October 4, 2009
For me personally, Jun Takahashi’s sportswear collections are, albeit not as whimsical as some of his others, just as interesting as far as detail is concerned and even more so in their amazing functionality. Granted, one of the parkas from his FW07 collection is probably the most impressive garment I own in terms of its purposeful detailing, custom fabrics, numerous options for interchangeability. So I guess my fascination with that thing probably fuels my excitement toward his collections of this persuasion, but really his active/outerwear is just as thoughtful as any of his other types of pieces.
I love how he consistently cycles his collections, giving each of his aesthetics a season of it’s own to shine, instead of trying to over-diversify with a mix of everything in each one. It’s great not only that he has multiple styles, but for how one never suffers for or due to the other. Not to mention his menswear has been staggeringly good the past few seasons and I am loving how he’s created a cohesion in theme and color palette between the two lines.
This collection is current yet inventive and contains so many fantastic pieces. The progressive nature of his design works so well when he applies it toward function. Undercover’s aesthetic is so untainted, so devoid of trends and outside influence, yet manages to keep it exciting each season, while slowly reworking and refining the key pieces of the brand.This season’s simple presentation is really lovely with the sea of lights as the backdrop. If I had to pick something to replace it’d definitely be those clutches and bring back these bags instead. Otherwise… amazing pieces and proportions throughout, as always, and I am especially loving some of the jackets… which I’m sure are going to be to die for in person.
Saturday, October 3, 2009
I am loving Ann so much this season for implementing things that dreams are made of – zippers, straps, headpieces, facial bindings, etc… well, my dreams, anyway. Aside from the accessories, there is so much happening within the clothing alone, yet the effect seems effortless. The proportions are nothing short of amazing and the maxi skirts are too perfect. She’s worked with the leather so well here and though there is a lot of it, I don’t find it overwhelming at all. Her choice of a print as well as her use of white couldn’t have been better as they are the perfect contrast to the overall rigidity. Another great element are the jackets which are slightly overpowered by the presentation, but look completely amazing. Overall I really like the sexiness that it exudes while maintaining her usual integrity.
Add another one on to the list of unexpectedness, but this one is most intriguing to me. As any long time TAO worshipper would be, I was sort of taken aback by the presentation alone. Not in a bad way, it is just so different than her usual runway vibe that it was a definite surprise. Looking beyond the styling, though, you can easily find a number of beautiful pieces and see the complex and inventive spirit that she is known for. There are a lot of nice basics as well as some really stand out pieces, which I’m sure the craftsmanship is amazing on, as always. The best parts for me this season are definitely the range of amazing textures, and of course… the boots.
Willhelm is undoubtedly one of the best in the game at working with prints and volume, particularly simultaneously. Decidedly toned down, or perhaps matured from his seasons of the past, this is a really refined BW aesthetic but not devoid of any creativity or execution. His print work is so original and inspired and he always shows us things we’ve not seen before. The patterns he creates, whether by way of dyeing or his progressive knitwear, are truly something to be admired. It is sort of annoying that a lot of people write his stuff off as not being serious, because really, he is such an innovator whose ideas are filled with integrity and ingenuity – and his work totally crushes most others who try their hand in the same aesthetic.
Friday, October 2, 2009
Staying true to herself 100% but in the same token, Limi introduces some really pivotal elements this season and it’s definitely an overall win. The classic silhouettes, the styling, her signature flair… not only is it all present, but there is a more polished feel to it all, without having lost any of the fun spirit that makes her work so endearing.
In the midst of this balancing act of maintaining and advancing her look, she goes one step further and unveils some menswear looks like it ain’t no thing. It was only a matter of time, I guess, but I love her nonchalant introduction of the menswear and also how it just blends right in. Some designers’ women’s and menswear are horses of a completely different color, which can be either impressive or detrimental, but I have a soft spot for those who can interchange and translate their signature aesthetic between their different lines.
It is great that she invested in a retail space that doubles as a venue for her shows, not only for sake of personalization but obviously also from the standpoint of frugality. Everything about this season was a smart move by Limi – from the practicality and effortless beauty of the looks, to the thoughtful new ideas; the pieces all fit and the result is a treat for us all.
It is probably not surprising to read that I am in love with this, but with good reason, no? Conjuring up a perfect marriage of classic and new concepts, Mr. Owens brings forth a flawless and super fresh Spring collection for us to feast our eyes and wallets on. Well, at least being broke will have seldom looked so good.
He’s shed some new light on his ubiquitous basics by changing up the cuts and shifting even further into a geometrical realm and tastefully evolving away from the fairly formless territory that he was becoming notorious for. He’s always had great structured jackets, but it’s lovely to see the structure and form making a powerful presence in his work as a whole. I guess when the world is on your coattails, it’s as good a time as ever to morph into something even more exciting. The shapes here are so stunning and the silhouettes are wildly intriguing as a result.
The footwear is also really interesting; some brand new ideas, along with some in the same vein of the recent past collections. The thing I like the most is that they strike a nice balance between the ultra dramatic footwear he’s done and something more minimal… but without losing any of the magic that makes his footwear so unique in the first place.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
I’ll admit off the bat that I am biased in my love for this collection, as this is pretty much in the vein of the aesthetic I gravitate toward most and is also how I like to dress… however, I think it’s beautiful from an objective standpoint as well. The gathering and pintucking are my favorite bits, but there are also so many unique details such as the trousers with zippers down the front. The difference contrast between certain fabrics used, plus the brilliant runway styling really grab the attention. I adore the bag so much and how it echoes the design of some of the clothing here as well. Really liking this as a whole and will definitely be picking up a thing or two.
After what was an uncharacteristic, let down of a collection last season, in my opinion anyways, Charles is BACK and as good as ever. This collection screams his name; all of the attributes we know and love from this brand are representing here and intertwined with a bunch of fresh concepts that all come together so beautifully. He has a real knack for designing fresh, young clothing without crossing the line in to tacky/trashy territory… meanwhile keeping it enticing, just in a more modest way… and after all, as far as I am concerned, modesty is beauty. His silhouettes never falter but this season they’re even more enhanced and exaggerated while remaining slightly off kilter, which of course, I love. The colors are to die for as well – crisp neutrals with the splashes of yellow/orange/red-ish tones. It goes without saying that the dresses are amazing, but the outerwear is right up to par with them.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
My favorite kinfolk duo (and fellow anime lovers!), Rodarte, are back and suffice to say they’ve brought along with them a beautiful collection. Darkness for Spring? Yes, please. These ladies are doing remarkable things and I love that they’re cultivating and fine-tuning their trademarks as each season rolls around. I love that their vision never falters, though they bring on new elements and overtones with each collection.
This one is so dramatic and has so much to feast the eyes on that it’s hard to keep your sight on one thing for very long. The textures that are happening within each piece is nothing short of mind blowing! Construction-wise, they are one of the most exciting brands for me – in person, their pieces are intense and unusual in the most lovely of ways and the intricacy is just so impressive.
The rich, deep color story this season was gorgeous as well and I adore their printwork. The contrast of elements in these pieces and how they masterfully overlap, intertwine and marry the different materials within each garment is such a beautiful thing. Truly sensational.
Their influences are always present but they translate and incorporate them with such nonchalance that they only add fuel to the already dramatic and visually orgasmic aesthetic that is the foundation of their label. It is a delight to witness the Mulleavy sisters continually flourish each season, enchanting us all along the way.
Thank heavens for Rad Hourani, this season especially. I am enamored with his directional progression; there’s little better than a designer with an original look that just gets better and better over the years, à la Rick Owens and Hourani is certainly on a similar path. The fact that his work just is what it is and is timeless in the sense that it transcends trends and has a distinct aesthetic, that he’s able to rework his look is showing that he has the potential to be a diligent and consistent force to be reckoned with.
I also applaud, not only the aesthetic progression in terms of detailing and updated versions of his signature pieces, but the fact that the construction and materials he’s using are evolving right along with it. Everything looks so clean and attractive and the different textures, contrasting panels and zipper detailing only further the appeal.
Monday, September 14, 2009
Carrying over from his very nicely done and well-received autumn collection, Jeremy Laing is back with another one. I am really loving the range of fabrics he chose and worked into this one and the array of detailing that the collection possesses overall. Each piece is something special, when broken down, in addition to them all working as a cohesive unit. Laing’s work always feels so young and vibrant with a nice edge, to me – but it also has so many mature and impressive elements that it makes him someone who’s interesting and well worth following the work of.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
In a time where finances are so tight that fashion greats such as Veronique Branquinho have to completely shut down their houses and inexplicably talented geniuses such as Yohji Yamamoto’s are also being threatened – it is terrible that this shallow crap is selling like hotcakes and is running rampant on the runways – the place where trends are meant to be set… not regurgitated upon.
At this point, these gimmicky ‘designers’ are basically pulling a Fight Club on their clientele, by selling back to them their own veritable excrement in shiny new packages each season – and according to sales, people are buying it right up. It seems innovation has gone down in priority and I hope that will change.
:straps on Optimist hat:
back to regularly scheduled programming:
Gary Graham is definitely a designer who deserves much more praise and recognition than he’s gotten so far. But in addition to his diligent talent, the feature he just shot for an upcoming issue Vogue (featuring his favorite model Ms. Pivovarova) should definitely help expose him.
I think this collection right here is such a breath of fresh air; from the clothing to the setting – I love to see such thoughtfulness. My favorite aspect is probably the unusual and varying waistlines, it’s a beautiful play on proportions and was furthered beautifully by the great styling. The dresses are all lovely but what really won me over were the structured pieces sprinkled throughout… they add just the right amount of rigidity to counterbalance the whimsical overtone and not to mention the proportions are amazing on them and I love how he uses them to subtly distort the silhouette. All in all, it’s just really well done, attractive and has real subtance, which is something a lot of collections this week are severely lacking. Well done, Mr. Graham!
Friday, September 4, 2009
Monday, August 31, 2009
Rick Owens has created some new furniture for an upcoming exhibit, which will be showcased alongside some of his previous works. He seems to employ many of the same inspirations he does with his clothing, into his furniture. It, like his garments, is very structured and animalistic. I wish I could pop over to check out the exhibit but that’s definitely not happening in less than 2 weeks. But anyone in the London area who stops by – I’d love to hear what you think of it!
PS – Rick… when will you come out with a bedding line? I’m trying to sleep on some Lilies sheets!
Sunday, August 30, 2009
As we all know, the US is severely impaired when it comes to shops which carry some of the more obscure brands we love, but fortunately a new one has surfaced, A Mini Shop. They carry some of my favorite labels, and hopefully yours as well, if you like the aesthetic of my blog. They’ve been kind enough to offer you 30% off (as well as free shipping for US customers!) on their array of Yohji Yamamoto, Undercover, Limi Feu, Junya Watanabe and much more, so take a look at what they’ve got in stock when you get the chance.
Iris Van Herpen is someone who really holds my interest. There are so many different elements to her work and philosophies that I find really beautiful. Her work is obviously brilliant and within it, there is so many different things to admire… her pieces are really a visual feast. The structures are so intricate and the shapes of her dresses are nothing short of divine. The metallics she incorporates are so complimentary; unlike many other designers who work with metallics, they don’t overwhelm, but rather enhance the overall effect.
The fact that she uses leather as the material for such complex and detailed designs is so fantastic. Using a material that basically has a mind of it’s own and will inevitably evolve and for each owner, will have a slightly different outcome… I find it really endearing and sort of selfless to a degree on the designer’s part. To let the wearer complete the process of the evolution of the garment, it sort of reminds me of Marcel Duchamp’s philosophy concerning his works of art – that they were not ‘finished’ until the viewer has come into play. He reckoned that art was incomplete until the viewer got a hold of it and perceived it from their own objective point of view. I always draw the parallel to designers such as Iris who believe in using materials that are not stagnant and which will personalize with each wearer.
I’m probably rambling again but suffice to say I like this lady. She has said she takes on a different technique each collection – and lucky for us all she does a fantastic job at it and we get to see some really progressive, refined and gorgeous clothes from her. Very much looking forward to what her next collection will be like.
Friday, August 28, 2009
Some of the skirts, which appear from the outside to be comprised of descending tiers, connected to one another… are actually all separated from each other on the inside of the garment. For instance, some layers are only for one leg to go through, and don’t connect to the waist or any of the other layers – so, if someone lifts up even the top tier of your skirt, they’re greeted with a nice money shot. The humor of Rei’s work certainly exists beyond the surface, but aside from amusement, it makes you rethink an entirely common garment in a whole new light.
I figured I could start posting more of my own pieces to go along with some of the older collections I put in here, especially since they’re usually the inspiration for the posts… so here goes.
Last year I was lucky enough to pick up one of my favorite pieces from the collection and was really surprised at the versatility of the piece (it is the all-white version of this one on the runway ). As I described above, each layer is not connected to the one above it, and this one has 2 separate leg holes, so it can look like a pair of bloomers in a way… but the upper thighs and crotch are totally bare, if you were to peek under the first or second skirt layer, in the front or back.
Also, the fabric is very thick and able to be worn in multiple ways; you can lay it flat, as pictured on the photo above, where you can see how it sort of has a deconstructed spiral design to it. Or as seen below, you can “open” the fabric in different ways to create entirely new shapes. It’s a very fun piece but also very thoughtfully constructed.