Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Winter is coming

Red Gauntlets by Dolce & Gabbana
Take a deep breath, and there you are, back in the XIIIth century. A cold winter is coming, one of these, where you have to wear enough layers in order to survive, to lead on the war you started centuries ago. Winter is coming and this garrison dressed by Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana, is not here to boast. Bearing their believes on them, they walk straight forward to show their persistence and determination. Inspired by this settings, where the Church was the most famous Department Store, the orders were only their confederates, Dolce & Gabbana made this holy spirit alive once again. Saints and Knights on a delicious architecture are, here, designed like stained glass, beaming their desires of conquest. Few oversize sweaters along the well fitted pieces, describe perfectly this Italian sense of perfection in the man's silhouette. This dark display comes across what we saw in their previous (recent) collections, only the snow were missing to dive the assembly into the deepest era of mankind, Middle Age. Dark colours are well chosen, the luxurious green is only here to remind to the people the ostentation life of powerful men at that time, tainted by this crimson red, as a shadow of sins covering their lost souls. The theme along the show can be seen as ironic, a light refreshment from the court, brought by trouvères and troubadours, as a parade to show off the power of this garrison.
Dolce & Gabbana mastered this collection through details, to soften the collection, they designed some fabulous accessories, especially gloves and slippers. This second party of the show take the audience back down to its chair, cosy and safe, to imitate the lords, hidden in their castles, next to the fire to keep them alive.

Style 1 // Style 2 // Style 3

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

阿部千登勢 - Chitose Abe

Today I wanted to present you a designer that I really like, Chitose Abe, born in 1965, she started at Comme des Garçons with Junya Watanbe and worked along Rei Kawakubo until 1998 when she decided to set up her own label, Tokyo based - Sacai. She does what she wants, that is what I like the most, like Thom Browne or CDG, those few designers are doing what they like, following their instincts and own tastes rather than a trend.

Chitose says that she designs with her mood and follows it along the process of making her collections. Through her clothes she wants us to feel happy, rich in emotions, selling a piece of garment is one thing, selling emotions is another. Since 16 years in business now, with her own label Sacai, she is under the spotlight with a very sharp mind, doing what she wants, offering her a fresh freedom on the catwalk rather than showing another commun collection which will go with the perfect trend analysis done by StyleSight or WGSN. I share with you three styles of her last collections that I really like the most and whatever she says about her Japanese inspiration, I do believe we can feel that Japanese touch through her collection. This lightness in the design and fabric, even if it is a winter look with a heavy coat, there is this calming feeling of perfection, making you feel at ease and warm.

Style 1 // Style 2 // Style 3

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Thom Browne Fall 2014/15 - The Deepest Fantasy

As the Fall is approaching and the light is fading away, the setting around this double-act play by Thom Browne was perfect. Separated into two distinct sides; the Animal Kingdom and the Nobles; the hunter and the hunted. This play was a disturbing parade. The first part was the animals in multiple shades of grey, walking around the squared-park, all grey. The garments were all messy with topstitched seams, to reflect the wild and raw nature of the animals in front of the spectators. The prey was being watched alongside a delightful Prologue by Alexandre Desplat, carrying us away to a wonderland emphasised by the elephant’s head with a well-known similarity. The head of Cthulhu, who is a "source of constant anxiety for mankind at a subconscious level", here, genuinely transplanted into the animals’s mind.

The second part; the Nobles, blowing hard with their magnificent outfits, on a military rhythm along the Rendez Vous by the same compositor as the prologue. Like a milice showing off their weapons and armour before running after their prey. Bearing an imposing silhouette, with a oak-leaves camouflage covering the faces and almost all of the outfits, intertwining a royal tapestry and the colours of Alice in her wonderland. This surreal catwalk, is a great representation of the mankind's mind. The perception of our surroundings is always a matter of apprehension, here the dominance claimed by the hunters are nothing less than a mask, a mask of fantasy, a bleak fantasy of superciliousness.

Friday, 25 April 2014

コム・デ・ギャルソン SS14

Designed by Rei Kawakubo, this new collection from Comme des Garçons is the result of the house, unstructured and totally apart form the human body. Sometimes you can feel an harmony with the body like a symbiosis but not on this catwalk. Each outfit is only carried by a model and there is no accord, the model is like a prisoner, like a doll from her dress. At some points she reminds me of Thom Browne, they both don't really think about ease and "wearability", they just do what they like, what they think about how to achieve what they want to show. This is a huge advantage that Rei holds, because she does not play with the whole marketing and trendy thing that remains outside the catwalk and in the street, she does not play with money. Of course she mades loads of money, but like an artist she will do her job first and see after that if it works like she thought it would, and like an accomplished artist it will work perfectly. Therefore she did not follow the trend of printed jumpers which invaded the catwalk since at least two years by now, and I am quite happy with that because we need some defiant, who will not give in just because of the greedy marketing aspect of the "brand", and who will carry on the arty way of thinking of the designers.

Créé par Rei Kawakubo, cette nouvelle collection de Comme Des Garçons n'est que la suite logique de cette maison, dé-structurée et complètement mise à part du corps humain. Parfois il nous arrive de sentir une harmonie entre le corps et la tenue comme une symbiose mais pas dans ce défilé. Chaque tenue est portée par le mannequin et il n'y a pas d'accord, le mannequin est comme prisonnière, un peu comme une poupée de sa robe. Quelque part, elle me rappelle Thom Browne, tous deux ne pensent pas vraiment aux termes d'aisance et de "portabilité", ils ne font juste que ce qu'ils aiment, ce qu'ils pensent afin de pouvoir obtenir ce qu'ils souhaitent montrer. C'est un énorme avantage que Rei garde, parce que elle ne joue pas avec l'aspect marketing et les tendances qui restent dans la rue et en dehors du défilé, elle ne joue pas avec l'argent. Bien sûr elle en engrange énormément, mais comme un artiste elle va d'abord faire son boulot en premier et observera les conséquences après, et tout comme un artiste accompli ça marchera. De ce fait, elle n'a pas suivi les tendances des imprimés sur les pulls qui n'ont fait qu'envahir les défilés depuis au moins deux ans maintenant, et j'en suis assez content car il faut bien quelques réfractaires, qui ne se plieront pas à une tendance juste pour suivre un plan marketing avide, et qui vont perpétuer l'aspect artistique des créateurs.

Monday, 21 October 2013

The fashionable social runner

A decade ago, running was synonym of efforts, a lot of efforts and just by the idea of running you could get tired or bored already. Recently we see a new trend coming up, brought by Nike with its Nike fuel, and Nike + technology and "social" application. All of that mixed with a really strong trend of running "club", because people do care a lot more about their health and want to have a good one therefore running is one of the easiest way to get a good health and to get fit. They also call themselves more a family or a crew rather than a club, they do run together sharing this amazing experience of running with friends among the city's street, often at night time. Recently around two years now, Nike introduced Nike+, an application recording and gathering your performances during your runs through your devices, iPhone, iPod, or Nike+ SportWatch GPS.

“We continue to innovate around the Nike+ ecosystem to deliver the very best experiences for our consumers, motivating and inspiring athletes at all levels,” said Stefan Olander, Nike’s VP of Digital Sport. “The Nike+ Fuel Lab, along with new Nike+ FuelBand SE and Nike+ Apps significantly enhance our NikeFuel platform.”

It is a bit geeky to wear a FuelBand I have to admit but it helped a lot of people to mix effort and game as Nike+ allows you to challenge your friend and to record everything you do even when you walk. I do not use the FuelBand I only use Nike+ to record my run with my iPhone at the moment, but soon with my SportWatch! To even be more social since the last update you can even take picture during your run and share them with your friend, quite interesting during a night run when you explore your town.

We also all know the hype around Nike shoes, Blazer, AM, Roshe, FreeRun, and now Footscape (I would kill to find my red/black again and this time I will not even wonder if I should buy them or not, I will definitely buy them). Nike is really good at Fashion by offering all kind of sneakers we may need during the day, to run, to a daily use to be worn as a proper outfit, therefore we find the same scheme for their clothes, new collection each summer/winter (roughly) and also collaboration and the most recent one is the one with Undercover Gyakusou which gave us some amazing pieces that I really would like to own.

But also do check the Fleece line by Nike which give us a good idea of what is trendy as streetwear, also use in darker outfit mixed with some brands as silent, RO, julius, visvim, damir doma, ...