I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur
700 free movies. You’re guaranteed there will be something you’ve not seen. And if you start one and don’t like it, just drop it, it’s free!
A look into the workings of one of our favorite magazines in the world, and for which we’ve proclaimed our love before.
What will be the next hot thing in tech? Consult this 27-year-old.
Let these pieces be your inspiration to head out the door and see the world on your own!
Saying you’re a “creative director” today is as easy as labeling yourself a “curator”. Both are too often thrown around, but here a major retailer calls her their Director of Creative Projects, and in this case the title is valid.
Baby pandas being adorable. There is nothing else to say.
For all of us (which is nearly everyone) who use it everyday but don’t think twice about it (unless we’re complaining because of a poor connection): the internet is amazing! Seeing it physically might as well be like exploring space (again, to nearly every one of us.)
The State of the Book, the best from all 50 of them.
The thing that was ringing through my head when I tried on some of the Alexander Wang x H&M samples for funzies last week was an old Industrie magazine story that asked whether Alexander Wang could be the next Giorgio Armani – in other words, become an independently owned lifestyle brand that people know globally as a household name.
As I pulled myself taut into printed socks and body con dresses and got box fresh with a pair of AW-branded boxing gloves, the repetition of the Alexander Wang logo and typography on a lot of the pieces felt like an appropriate expression of how far Wang has come in nearly a decade of helming his own brand (2015 will mark AW’s ten year anniversary) and now steering Balenciaga. Wang”s collaboration with H&M wouldn’t have come as any surprise despite the guerilla announcement earlier this year at Coachella, precisely because his built up universe and brand is so ripe for collaboration. In my mind, unlike some of the pairings that H&M have come up with over the years (incidentally it’s also been ten years since H&M revolutionised high-low collaborations by working with Karl Lagerfeld), this one felt pitch perfect. Logos flying all over your chest, thighs and legs are both tongue in cheek references to youth-ridden logomania and yesteryear sportswear but also an assertion on Wang’s part that his brand had come of age.
Despite Wang’s ever expanding empire of collections – mainline, lingerie, T line – and of course, his work at Balenciaga, it seemed plausible that he’d carve out another niche for this particular collaboration. And so he went for performance wear, a category that hadn’t been explored in previous H&M collabs. At a press conference yesterday, moderated by Sally Singer of US Vogue, Wang was quick to emphasise why it was important to introduce something new as opposed to rehashing archival Wang. “How do we really excite the consumer again?,” said Wang. “What can we do? It was important for me not to just reintroduce kind of things I’ve done in the past but to really have a new mind and statement to what we were offering.” And it cleverly gives both H&M and Wang to express their chops at a sector of clothing that has grown exponentially in the past few years. “I felt it was a genre of clothing that wasn’t discriminatory by price point. It doesn’t matter if you’re a luxury customer, advance designer customer, everyone I know works out, is active, is running around. But I like the versatility of clothes if you’re going out, going dancing, you sweat as well, you need to move and be active.”
The performance aspect was something that Wang and the team at H&M took seriously. You can’t call it performance wear and for it not to have any substance. For instance qualities such as fabric breathability or waterproofing are tagged on to the pieces because they mean it. “When you’re saying something is waterproof, it has to be waterproof, it can’t be water‑resistant,” asserted Wang. “There’s so much technicality in how you word things. A lot of the pieces are also made in Italy where knitwear factories were employed to create stand out pieces like the viscose mesh knits and the logo-ed stretch pieces. It subverts the idea that you have to compromise on quality when you’re buying into these collabs. “When you do the quantities that H&M does, you can produce in Italy because they give you good prices for higher quantity, et cetera, et cetera. So the pieces were elevated,” explained Wang.
Neat tricks such as t-shirts with magically appearing graphics when you sweat and technical knits further the sort of techie fabrication angle that Wang has been getting into both at his own line and also at Balenciaga. “I’ve always had an infatuation with how performance and active wear is made. I felt like it’s the most advanced in terms of fabrication, in terms of make, the way things are welded, that knits are seamlessly knit. It’s a completely different fitting process, approval process as well. Things really have to perform. It’s not fashion clothes where it has to just look good, it really has to have functionality.”
Photograph from Billy Farrell Agency – wearing Meadham Kirchhoff coat with Louis Vuitton boots and Mansur Gavriel bag and looking distinctly prim for what would be a hi-energy sweaty affair inside a track and field coliseum up in Harlem.
Of course the reality is that the majority of people buying the pieces probably won’t be seriously working out or doing 30k runs in these clothes. Wang hit the nail on the head when he himself admitted “I don’t do sports but I wear sportswear.” The collection is a culmination of the stylistic meeting point between sportswear and fashion. The fashion show with its sports core styling said as much. The girls might have been wielding hockey sticks and swinging boxing gloves whilst strapped up in lace-up baseball and American football gear but they were stylistic props to what was essentially a collection of badass sportswear-tinged clothes that people can easily layer up, make their own, and of course afford to get their Wang on (literally what with all the text). No doubt about it, they’ll be queuing up for the name and the “dopeness” of it all as opposed to the functionality come November 6th.
Wang’s inclusion of items such as boxing gloves, yoga mats and swimming goggles is on-theme but also on-message in the lifestyle aspect of Alexander Wang. They already create an Objects collection, which coats everyday items with a Wang-like sheen. These novelty (although they are fully functional) items are a natural extension of his objects and further re-iterates the potential of a future Alexander Wang that might have its own range of towels or bedding a la Ralph Lauren or indeed Giorgio Armani.
The H&M x Alexander Wang extravaganza last night was the important jigsaw puzzle piece to explaining why Wang goes far beyond just designing product and why this will probably be the main jewel of H&M’s collaboration crown. He is the sort of designer that is heavily involved in every aspect from ensuring that the bass line and grimy horns of a soundtrack throb in your brain long after a show, to creating bespoke boxing glove sponge fingers for people to root for Team Wang. That’s before we get to the actual clothes where extreme styling and spot-on casting convey more than just garments on a back – it’s that intangible attitude. The thing I’ve always found fascinating with Wang is, whether you dig his aesthetic or not, at the very least, you can’t NOT believe in it because of the pure dedication to what is a thorough vision. That’s what we got last night. An energetic assertion of the Wang’s brand values, heightened and amplified with H&M’s support.
As per every H&M collaboration launch event, following the show, we fashion peeps get all uncivilised and pushy in the pop-up shop where we can buy the collection three weeks before it hits stores. Well noted that the cut-out asymmetric crop tops with yellow edging and the spongey WANG neoprene sweatshirts were the hits of the night.
After sweating it out in the pop-up shop, we went over to the stage where the rumours that Missy Eliott were stormily swirling around, half-confirmed by the American press who had gotten the heads up beforehand. Sharaya J’s appearance confirmed it and for want of a better word, werked the AW X H&M pieces she was wearing. She emboded exactly what Wang was saying about the clothes really performing, whether you’re running on the streets or dancing in a club.
I reverted back to teenage me and was basically screaming like a gerbil for pretty much the whole time Missy Elliott was on stage. With my big DSLR, I somehow got mistaken as the pit media so I was right next to the stage, within touching distance of the great Missy. After telling us to put our phones down so that we could move (I did try to abstain but I couldn’t quite get rid of my social media itch), she broke out all the faves… Gossip Folk, Work It, Pass that Dutch, Get Ur Freak On. Not to gush or anything. Ok, actually I will because it was truly epic. A real deal legend performance that didn’t feel shoe-horned for effect at a fashion event. The synergy was even clearer when Wang himself got up on stage and was shaking his thing next to Missy.
Holler!!! Get ur freak on…. #alexanderwangxhm View on Instagram
I’m going to put forward one minor quibble. The inclusion of Andy Caroll in the ad campaign. Forgetting the fact that I’m an Arsenal fan with biased opinions on players, H&M and Wang could have picked a better footballer who’s equally easy on the eye. It’s still mega LOLZ to see an English Premier League footballer being part of the print and TV campaign lineup that includes Isabeli Fontana, Raquel Zimmermann and Joan Smalls. Speaking of which, we got a sneak preview of the slick TV campaign, which resembled a trailer for a 21st century espionage film. When the TV spots start rolling at the end of this month, it will only build up the anticipation of what will probably be one of H&M’s most successful collaborations to date. Who’s lining up come November 6th? Why, the many many folks out there that wear sportswear but don’t do sports of course…
It’s official, still a bit strange to say but… I moved to Los Angeles.
I know, it’s already been a year and a half going back and forth and I will always go back to Europe every month and a half/two months for work (my own company still is in Milano for now), in addition to travel the world in the meanwhile.
Where’s the big change then? This time everything is getting more real: I found a place in Hollywood and I’m ready to live my personal Californian dream, spending most of my time here.
Super excited and a bit scared at the same time. Wish me good luck
E’ ufficiale, è ancora un po’ strano da dire ma.. Mi sono trasferita a Los Angeles.
Lo so, è ormai un anno e mezzo che faccio avanti ed indietro e tornerò in Europa ogni mese e mezzo/due mesi per lavoro (la mia società è per ora ancora a Milano), oltre a continuare a viaggiare in giro per il mondo nel frattempo.
Qual è il cambiamento quindi? Questa volta è tutto più reale: ho preso una casa a Hollywood e sono pronta a vivere il mio personale sogno Californiano, passando qui la maggior parte del mio tempo.
Iper entusiasta ed un pò spaventata allo stesso tempo. Fatemi un grosso in bocca al lupo
I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur
The Coveteur and I back together: after they took a sneak peek in my New York suitcase and discovered my Milano house (and wardrobe) here we are this time in Paris, at Elie Saab’s appartment, playing the modern princess with my favourite dresses of the libanese designer.
Discover the whole story on The Coveteur.
Io e The Coveteur di nuovo insieme: dopo essersi intrufolati nella mia valigia a New York e nella mia casa milanese eccoci questa volta a Parigi, più precisamente nell’appartamento di Elie Saab, giocando a fare la moderna principessa con i miei abiti preferiti del designer libanese.
Scoprite tutta la storia su The Coveteur.
PARIS, October 2014
Wearing ELIE SAAB
Shot by Jake Rosenberg for THE COVETEUR
Paris as a background, wearing a Dior vintage dress and the new iconic Fendi sandals.
Parigi come sfondo, indossando un abito vintage di Dior e i nuovi iconici sandali di Fendi.
I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur
When in Paris… Try red lips, shiny glitter shoes and the most beautiful Mary Katrantzou dress.
E quando ti trovi a Parigi… Prova rossetto rosso sulle labbra, scarpe scintillanti ed il più bel vestito di Mary Katrantzou.
I was wearing:
Photos by Gregorio Capineri Tosetti
It’s been a while since our last Paris City Guide and for this one I thought Lolita would be perfect! I always ask her about the cool new spots when I come to visit and she never disappoints! So, here is Lolita’s Paris!
What are three words that define Paris?
Electric, character and grey.
What makes someone a Parisienne?
A girl who doesn’t brush her hair and is polite enough to get her way.
How do you get around the city? Metro, bike, walk, scooter?
I love the bus! I know all bus lines… it’s scary.
Any secrets to navigating the Paris streets?
If your not a native to Paris, I’d suggest an iPhone
What is your favorite arrondissement and why?
The 6th, Rive Gauche always, because it’s the most refined.
What hotel do you recommend to visiting friends?
Hotel l’Hotel on rue des Beaux arts or Relais Christine on rue Christine, both in the 6th.
The best place for…
A café: Telescope, rue Villedo, 75002
A baguette: Any boulangerie that has hot baguette just out of the oven. Boulangerie Carton, rue de Buci.
A glass of champagne: I prefer a glass of cold wine but I’d say Cafe de Flore or La Palette.
What is one restaurant you must eat at while in Paris?
Ferdi on rue du Mont-Thabor in the 1st, Le Dauphin on Avenue Parmentier in the 11th or Chez George, rue du Mail in the 2nd.
What’s the best thing you can get at Picard?
I havent been in a while, but I remember their fondant au chocolat like it was yesterday!
Where do you like to go out with friends?
I like an apartment party otherwise any club where my friend Clara 3000 is DJing.
I have to ask, because of a bit of a Studio obsession with French hair, where do you get yours done?
I get mine done at David Mallet, rue Notre Dame des Victoires. It is the best! My color is done by the wonderful Louis, supervised by genius, Remi.
Do you have a favorite spa? What do you get done there?
My favorite spa is Maison Popincourt on rue de Verneuil for the Iyashi Dome, a Japanese sauna.
Where is the best place to get a manicure?
Le Bon Marche at the OPI corner.
Where do you go to get in a good work out?
I’ve started boxing recently but otherwise aqua biking at Maison Popincourt.
What are some of your favorite places to shop?
Le Bon Marche and Chez Moi.
Where can you find the best vintage? (And by best vintage, we mean all the Birkins…)
Les 3 Marches, rue Guisarde in the 6th or the flea market of Saint Ouen.
The best park to spend an afternoon in?
Jardin du Luxembourg.
Is it ever okay to wear a beret in Paris?
Unless its worn ironically, then non, merci.
What is one souvenir to bring back from Paris?
Pharmacie must haves?
1. Créaline Bioderma
2. Doliprane, for headaches.
3. Magnesium Vials by Oligosol for energy.
4. Botot tooth paste
The best view of the Tour Eiffel?
Trocadero I’d say, even if I hardly ever go.
One thing you can do when visiting Paris to look like a Parisian and not a tourist?
No backpacks, no deliberate comfortable clothing, no socks with sneakers, no map and make an effort to speak French.
Okay, now some really hard questions…
Left Bank or Right Bank? Left
Louvre or d’Orsay? Louvre
Croque Madame or Croque Monsieur? Madame
Coco or Karl? Karl
Macaron or Chouquette? Chouquette
Monoprix or Monoprix? Monoprix or la Grande Epicerie, obviously.
Click here for more city guides.
I couldn’t believe this was my second trip to Hong Kong this summer (totalling 4 or 5 trips by December), it was probably the most relaxing trip I’ve ever had despite the burning oven temperature, high humidity and sweating buckets 24/7, I resorted to wearing wardrobe basics (think loose tee, hot pants and untrendy flip flops), but I love going back to my motherland. This part of the trip was partly a collaboration with IHG Rewards Club (see the post on Disneyland Hong Kong) and an extended holiday for myself, picking up where I left off from June. I chose to stay at Hotel Indigo* in Wan Chai for 3 nights because of its location and it’s close to my favourite hangout spots in Sheung Wan and Central, I’ve never had a chance to explore the neighbourhood of Wan Chai properly hence why I picked the area for this particular reason…great vibe, architecture, cafes and restaurants and local market! Wan Chai district is one of the busiest commercial areas and certainly one most of the first developed in HK.
One morning, I woke up early before sunrise and decided to explore the area to beat the jet lag, the temperature was around 28’C, goodness it was baking and humid outside, I had to walk around the neighbourhood with an umbrella just like any other locals. After spending 2 hours snapping away from Queen’s Road East to the Expo Promenade, I arrived back at the hotel with new clusters of freckles on my face, I even applied layers of SPF40 sunscreen before hand. Oh boo. Without further ado, enjoy the photos!
The Old Wan Chai Post Office, it’s the oldest surviving building in Hong Kong located on Queen’s Road East, opposite Hotel Indigo. The building is now an Environmental Resource Centre.
The infamous Blue House on Stone Nullah Lane.
Early morning at Wan Chai street market.
Empty street at 8am on Johnston Road.
A double decker tram covered with overall advertising livery outside The Pawn on Johnston Road.
I love Hong Kong red taxis!
Left: More tram spotting on Johnston Road.
Before: Before morning rush hour on Hennessey Road.
Early morning tai chi at Grand Hyatt.
Expo Promenade overlooking Central District.
*Info on Hotel Indigo: Opened in April 2013, Hotel Indigo is an upscale contemporary boutique hotel located in Wan Chai, part of the InterContinental Hotel Group. The hotel has 29 floors, with 138 rooms and 6 suites, it has a glass-bottomed rooftop infinity pool adjacent to the Skybar.
In collaboration with IHG Rewards Club, the stay included a 1 night stay (from 45,000 points) at Hotel Indigo using reward points provided by IHG Rewards Club as part of the travel project to conclude with the Disneyland HK trip, and additional 2 nights at a reduced media rate. Thanks to Hotel Indigo for accommodating me!
The post HK visual diary: Exploring the neighbourhood of Wan Chai appeared first on STYLE SLICKER.
Ahhhh my carry-on…
I already told you I was able to minimize my packing for this fashion week, but my carry-on is the same every season. It’s the most important bag I pack every trip, because inside I have my camera, my computer, and all of the essentials for getting me through a long flight…. So, here are a few of them!
Eye mask: So I can get a little bit of rest– this one is extra comfy on the eyes!
Headphones: They are noise cancelling, so when I am sleeping (or watching a movie) it’s perfect.
Cashmere scarf & socks: I always get SO cold on planes (which I hate) so I always pack a big cozy wrap. And a pair of socks to go with it!
Beauty products: I try to keep this pretty minimal. In here I keep some lipbalm, face lotion, hand cream, an eye serum, hand sanitizer and a red lipstick for when I get to my destination.
A snack: Sometimes that airplane food is well…not the best… so I try to have a healthy snack with me (okay and I also bring some chocolate…)
What are some of your carry-on essentials?
Suitcase, Rimowa; Eye mask, Muji; Scarf and socks, White + Warren; Pouch, Comme de Garçons; Passport cover, Smythson; Headphones, Monster; Avène Eau Thermale; Face Lotion, Kahina Giving Beauty; All About Eyes Serum, Clinique.
>> I just left St Pancras station about an hour ago to head over to Paris in what the last leg of what has been a whirlwind month. I know I say I’m frightfully busy every time I’m fashion-weeking and you’re all rolling your eyes at me when street style images make it look like I’m just loitering around on the streets with my phone, but this season, I promise, I REALLY have been busy. This BBC iPlayer thing happened (I haven’t yet watched it – I can’t actually listen to myself speak because it’s too excruciating) where you see me dosing up on eye drops because the night before I was at Somerset House doing a shoot for the The Daily having just got off a plane from New York an hour before. And so and so forth. Yadda yadda yadda, I’ve been busy.
But anyhow, back to St. Pancras. just as I was on the platform, I peered over into the space at the very grand St Pancras Renaisssance Hotel where Japanese label Toga had their second presentation in London. This time, it felt like they had made more of an inroad on an international audience beyond the core of people will have always known about Toga. I love watching these Japanese secrets being unleashed and impressing. As I was leaving, it was cool to overhear people go, “That was quite good wasn’t it?” as if they were surprised that it should be so. My first show in Paris will be Anrealage, who are showing for the first time. Having been to three of their shows in Tokyo, I’m hoping it will be as mesmerising an experience in the city of lights as it is in designer Kunihiko Morinaga’s hometown. He will sure to be another Japanese revelation, following in mega success stories like Sacai.
But I digress again. Toga was a whole lotta good. It had a whole lotto things going on but it was all good. They have a real knack of making the unexpected look convincing. A neon pink organza ruffle poking out of a maroon sweater paired with a sheer knife pleat skirt is a odd take on prim but it works. As does a demi jacket hybridised with a tailored shirt adorned with mirrored panels. There’s contradiction and contrast aplenty – my kind of c words. For every satin corset work, for frou ruffle or pretty plisse pleat, there’s a juxtaposing foil in a voluminous silhouette, a pair of jeans (beautifully patchworked together with invisible thread), or a wide buckled belt to weight things down. The asymmetric metal earrings, the patent tasselled clutches and the netting sandals also gave the collection the sort of chaotic feeling that is at the centre of designer Yasuko Furata’s entire ethos for Toga. There is a deliberate awkwardness to the way the silhouettes are mashed together but taken apart, Toga still excels. Whenever I’ve seen Toga on rails in a shop or int he showroom, it’s always all too easy to beeline for individual statement making pieces that are interesting all by themselves. Toga may not be an editorial secret anymore but the tactile touch of the product all is still something that only a few get to experience. I urge people to go and try and get ye into some Toga if you can and feel it for yourself.
A twenty minute walk on foot from the Marni show this morning, along which I got to pat a cute dog, see a more quiet and residential side to Milan and then arrive at Marni’s Flower Market, was enough to perk my entire Milan Fashion Week up. When you’re funnelled around shows and appointments for hours on end, stuck in traffic, it’s a pretty distorted view of Mllan. Therefore Marni’s Flower Market on the one day of full one sunshine we got during the week was respite indeed.
Marni gently kickstarted celebrations for its 20th anniversary, not with a private exclusive party in the murky depths of night time but an open-to-the-public flower market held in the beautiful Rotonda della Besana with proceeds going to children’s charity Vimala, aiding Tibetan children in India. The product, created exclusively for the market for all your dream garden needs, had a similarly global humanitarian approach. Brightly coloured with zebra’s faces came from Zambia and animal wire sculptures of giraffes and flamingoes were made by women in Colombia.
Virgin green-fingered me is just beginning to get stuck into the process of nurturing an outdoor space. If I was living in Milan, I would have gone buck wild at the market, buying up enticing packets of seeds, bulbs, garden chairs, PVC bags with primary hued gardening tools. The biggest sellers of the day were definitely the printed PVC tote bags, in various sizes, displayed as vase and bouquet holders. Through the totes and throughout the market as seen on the bouquet wrapping paper, and at the craft stations set up for children, where you could make yourself a printed kite or, some beaded and floral jewellery, Marni’s aesthetic could be seen everywhere. It really asserted a lifestyle element that you can see glimpses off through Marni’s clothes and the stores and in their participations at events like Salone Mobile but here was fleshed out completely, down to the stall selling various kinds of carrot cake or the uniforms the market stall staff were wearing (layered boat neck top, a perfectly tied neckchief, cropped trousers, a navy apron and hand painted canvas shoes). It was a real generous act of giving, not just in the charity aspect but in the aesthetics and the fact that you felt like you could stay there for a while and really enjoy it as opposed to stopping by five minutes just to make some mandatory appearance.
Seen in tandem with the S/S 15 collection that Marni sent out before the market opened up and you could see the correlation between the two. What started off in neutral jutes and linens built up to a floral crescendo where prints of daffodils, lilies and daisies – the recognisable heroes of a garden – are blown up, abstracted and given a strong textural treatment in different ways be it through metallic jacquards, a crepe-embroidered fluffy technique or printed leather. Marni has always excelled at flower power but here it was also the asymmetric shapes, built up by petal-like curves and added swathes of pleating that gave the collection some substance, weighted down by the Teva-esque sandals and circular pipe heels. And the swinging drawstring bags and fringed totes? Big enough for a shop and a gander at Marni’s Flower Market for sure. The show to market experience was a treat. Just wish my garden could have benefited from Marni’s act of generosity.
My current occupation as a freelance photographer and blogger allows me to travel all over the world (and I haven’t been to America yet!), for business or pleasure I view it as a pleasurable and invaluable experience, and I’m willing to take a chance at something totally worthwhile for my life and work opportunity.
It wasn’t long until after I returned to London from my business-holiday trip to Hong Kong this summer, IHG Rewards Club* has offered me an opportunity that I couldn’t resist and I was suffering post-holiday blues, who wouldn’t want another holiday! IHG Rewards Club has given me 289,000 points to tailor-made my own trip and experience, my immediate thought was I wanted to return to HK, my holiday there was incomplete due to work commitment. Using the rewards points to spend on any IHG partners, I was able to book a return flights from London to Hong Kong with Virgin Atlantic in combined with my frequent flyer air miles from Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, an overnight stay at Hotel Indigo** in Wan Chai, and three tickets to Disneyland HK with my lovely duo, Winnie Nip of Diamond Canopy from London who was visiting in HK at the same week as me, and the loveliest Sam Wong of Sam Is Home.
So what is IHG Rewards Club? IHG Rewards Club (part of the Intercontinental Hotels Group) is the first and largest hotel loyalty programme, with more 77 million members globally and it’s free to sign up. There are over 4,000 hotels worldwide, you then start earning points on your stays that convert to rewards club points, redeem points on flights, free nights at a hotel of your choice, and perhaps spend the points on a spa-cation for two!
Guess what? The IHG Rewards Club points does not expire!
Stay tuned for my next post on Hotel Indigo and the neighbourhood of Wan Chai.
* In collaboration with IHG Rewards Club, they provided me with points to use to create a unique experience.
**I stayed additional 2 nights at Hotel Indigo (with media rate) before returning to my family home in North Territories.
Day three of my New York fashionweek: as first look of the day I opted for a total black outfit.
The focus obviously was on the hair that, thanks to the Redken team and Sara Weinstock diamond headpieces, shined even more than usual
Giorno tre della mia fashionweek newyorkese: come primo look ho optato per un outfit total black.
Il focus era naturalmente sui capelli che, grazie al team di Redken ed ai diamanti di Sara Weinstock, hanno brillato ancora più del solito
I was wearing:
Here is another look from my second day of NYFW: total black and white contrasts with a giant hat and the funny Karlito.
PS: Watch how my day looked like on TheScene.com!
Ecco qui un altro look dal mio secondo giorno della NYFW: total bianco e nero con un maxi cappello e il funny Karlito.
PS: Guardate come è stata la mia giornata su TheScene.com!
Photos by Leslie Kirchhof
Hair by Redken and make up by Nikki De Roest
The perfect guide if your going to Paris for Fashion Week later this month.
Photographic diary of my four days spent in Beijing at the end of July, dedicated to my “babies”, Chiara Ferragni shoes, that were officially launched in the chinese market with two big events at Attos and Shanping (you can also find them online with worldwide shipping on www.chiaraferragnicollection.com)
Diario fotografico dei miei quattro giorni passati a Pechino a fine luglio, dedicati principalmente alle mie “figliolette”, le scarpe della mia linea, Chiara Ferragni, che sono state ufficialmente lanciate nel mercato cinese con due eventi da Attos e Shanping (potete trovarle anche online su www.chiaraferragnicollection.com)
BEIJING, 25th-28th July 2014
FIND CHIARA FERRAGNI SHOES ON www.chiaraferragnicollection.com
Photos by Angelo Tropea and Chiara Ferragni
1. J.G Melon. An upper east side classic. 1291 3rd ave, NY 100212. 90’s Patti Smith
3. Ghostbusters film scene, NYC 1984
4. Madonna, rooftop 80’s NY
5. Ralph Lauren 1970
6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961 starring Audrey Hepburn and George Peppard
7. Alexander Wang by Craig McDean, NY journal
8. Calvin Klein
9. Annie Hall film Scene, Brooklyn Bridge
10. Screaming Mimi’s, Designer Vintage Clothes, 382 Lafayette St, New York, NY 10003
11. Tommy Hilfiger12. Taxi Driver Film, NY 197613. Blind Barber Bar, East Village, 339 E 10th St, New York, NY 1000914. ABC Kitchen Restaurant, NY. 35 E 19th St, New York, NY 1000315. Hotel Americano Rooftop Bar,518 W 27th St, New York, NY 1000116. American Artist, Andy Warhol17. King Kong film 1976, NY18. Bob Dylan, American singer songwriter19. American Psyco film, 2000 NY20. Leon Film scene, 1994 NY21. Marc Jacobs Designer, NY22. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 10005th Ave NY 1002823. Balthazar Restaurant 80 Spring St, New York, Ny 1001224. Pearl River store, cool chinese Bazaar in Soho, 477 Broadway, New York, NY 1001325. Paula Rubenstein NY: is a veritable treasure trove of antiques, interesting objects and unique items26. Fame Film, 1970 NYC27. The best place to have a coffee with “FRIENDS” at the Central Perk, NYC28. Studio 54, Manhattan, NY29. Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen30. La Esquina, try the mexican taste in NYC. 114 Kenmare St, New York, NY 1001231. Anna Wintour editor in chief of Vogue America32. Catch, a seafood restaurant in Meatpacking district, 21 9th Ave, New York, NY 1001433. Sarah Jessica Parker in her Girls Just Want to Have Fun look, 80’s mood34. The Ramones portrait: a Punk rock american music band born in the 197435. 1985: the first collection of the american designer Donna Karan36. Time square from Andrew Moore’s point of view, NYC37. Bill Cunningham, famous street style photographer, NYC38. The Waverly Inn, 16 Bank St, New York, NY 1001439. Grace Coddington model and english journalist, creative director of Vogue America
Whilst I’ve largely been in Tokyo and Hong Kong purely as a tourist with my rambunctious and demanding family (there’s been more than a few cultural faux pas in Japan and cringe attacks), my sisters and I did manage to escape to go and see the excellent Image Makers exhibition at 21_21 Design Sight Museum. Jean Paul Goude is the major billing here as a whole exhibition floor is dedicated to both retrospective and new work, with the rare chance to see the infamous Grace Jones Constructivist Maternity Dress installation, created in 1979 in collaboration with the illustrator Antonio Lopez. Its presence dominates your peripheral vision as it moves mechanically from one end of the room to the other. It’s eerie, childlike and powerful all at the same time.
The total sum of Goude’s creative output is hard to sum up in one room but curator Hélène Kelmachter does it admirably and with one stellar example illustrates how multi-displinarian image making creatives don’t have to be defined by one field or skill. The likes of Goude is a photographer, illustrator, film maker, set designer, art director and graphic designer all at once. It’s why he has done everything from creating impactful stills of muses like Grace Jones and Farida to designing the Bicentennial Parade in Paris in 1989. And his latest work, which a highlight of this exhibition, sees three figures, inspired by the wise monkeys (“see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”) of the Nikko Toshogu Shrine moving in circular motion, accompanied by interpretative waltz by Jun Miyake. It’s a spell binding installation, intriguing and inspirational for people interested in any spectrum of design.
Dotted around the exhibition are examples of other multi-talented image makers. David Lynch is represented not by his film work but by a series of lithographs, created with the studio Idem in Paris, which gives Lynch and opportunity to explore a hands-on and tactile technique.
Theatre and visual artist Robert Wilson‘s video portraits appear out of nowhere, moving with subtle motion. Subjects like the actor Steve Buscemi, the writer Gao Xingjian and a porcupine named Boris root you to the spot because of their HD (literally) definition and surreal set-ups.
I discovered the work of Photographer Hal as the exhibition included his series entitled “Flesh Love” and “Zatsuran” – photographs of couples shrink wrapped with all kinds of themed paraphernalia. There was something quite grotesque and hilarious about them that dazzled the eye.
It was great to see shoe visionist Noritaka Tatehana have nearly a floor to himself as his infamous heel-less shoes are displayed alongside several sculptural works that take his obsession with manipulating the way a woman’s walk to new levels. The crystal boots which would encase the legs as if in frozen ice were particularly arresting as was the series of stacked platform geta heels, a reminder of Tatehana’s upbringing in Tokyo’s old theatre district Kabukicho.
With three creatively minded siblings all working in set design, illustration and art direction, we all got to take away something different from Image Makers. The exhibition is on until October 5th if you’re a Tokyite or in town for a trip.
Photographic diary of our three days at Grand Canyon and Red Rock Canyon with Lovers + Friends, between pools between the rocks, rides on the smallest plane I’ve ever tried and cowboy hats
Diario fotografico dei nostri tre giorni al Grand Canyon e Red Rock Canyon insieme a Lovers + Friends, tra piscine immerse tra le montagne, giri nell’aereo più piccolo che io abbia mai preso e cappelli da cowboy
GRAND CANYON, 15th-17th August 2014
I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur and Chiara Ferragni
In the same photos two of my secret dreams: a pair of vintage roller skates (found in our South California roadtrip) and Volkswagen hippie van (that I wanna buy after I find a house in Los Angeles).
Nelle stesse fotografie due dei miei sogni proibiti: un paio di pattini vintage (trovati nel nostro roadtrip nel sud della California) ed il furgoncino Volkswagen (che voglio comprare non appena troverò casa a Los Angeles).
I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur
Photographic diary of our stay at The Parker Hotel in Palm Springs: palm trees, swimming pools, flamingo dress and super cool furniture included
Diario fotografico del nostro soggiorno al The Parker Hotel a Palm Springs: palme, piscine, abito con fenicotteri ed arredamento super cool incluso
I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur
During our California roadtrip we couldn’t miss visiting Salvation Mountain: an art installation that covers an entire hill of the Colorado desert.
The artist who created it, Leonard Knight (who died last February) spent the last 40 years of his life to enlarge and paint his artificial mountain, sharing a love message and showing the tourists around.
A magnificent place that is definitely worth a visit.
Durante il nostro roadtrip in California una delle tappe che non potevo perdermi era Salvation Mountain: un’installazione d’arte che ricopre un’intera collina del deserto del Colorado.
L’artista che l’ha creata, Leonard Knight (morto lo scorso Febbraio), ha impiegato gli ultimi 40 anni della sua vita a perfezionare ed ingrandire la sua “montagna artificiale”, condividendo un messaggio d’amore e accogliendo i turisti in prima persona.
Un posto spettacolare che merita sicuramente una visita se siete nella zona.
I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur
New York and a walk sunset on the High Line. Wearing a sequined striped dress and the new slipons from my shoeline, Chiara Ferragni.
New York ed una passeggiata al tramonto sull’High Line. Indossando un abitino a righe di paillettes e le nuove slipons della mia linea, Chiara Ferragni.
I was wearing:
It’s beautiful isn’t it? This was my first visit to a mosque in Arab world, the stunning Hassan ll Mosque in Casablanca. The Hassan ll Mosque is known to be one of the most beautiful and the largest mosque in Morocco and Africa, and the 7th largest in the world. It was designed by Michel Pinseau and built by Bouygues, the construction lasted 6 years which involved 35,000 volunteered workers and 6,000 traditional Moroccan artisans to create the embellished interior and exterior to the finest finish, it’s definitely world class. My favourite tour was the ablution hall located in the basement, it’s where Muslims perform a cleansing ritual before entering the mosque for prayer. It’s a worth a visit and the experience the true marvel of Moroccan craftsmanship.
Kit Lee was a guest of Morocco Tourist Board.
The post Morocco visual diary: This magical feeling, part 4 appeared first on STYLE SLICKER.
Here are a few photos of the hotel where I spent my Mykonos week, the San Giorgio. I loved it. It’s sublime and without showing off, exactly what I like. The staff is adorable and there a little sea access where we spent hours.
You can be lazy there for a whole day without being bored, going from the restaurant to the sea. I would probably go back there, but I think I should mention that even if all the rooms have adorable terrasses, most of them are pretty small (except for the suites, of course – those are wonderful) and the bathrooms are pretty… minimal.
Another important thing to know if you’re going there – the hotel is located near a few of the most important clubs of the island, so in the evening, depending on the wind, you could find yourself falling asleep to the rhythm (very distant for sure, but I am crazy sensitive so I thought I should mention it) of techno music.
I still totally adored it, and came back with a thousand decor ideas… And an idea to adopt a cat, too ;)
Click on the arrows to see more images…
I’m going to talk to you one last time about Mykonos, ok one second-to-last time, and then I promise to stop annoying you until next year.
Yeah, seriously – because I’ve obviously decided to go back.
I came home from Mykonos feeling inspired, in great shape, and with lots of wonderful memories…
It’s kind of surprising at first — the dry, grassy hills that drop into the blue sea. It’s a kind of pure, almost severe, beauty that you learn to love, and once it wins you over, it’s deeply relaxing for the soul.
The Greeks are known for their art of living, of course. They’re super welcoming, they like to party, and they love to share.
And then there are the hoards of tourists. I mean, it’s not like I discovered the island myself — it’s a VERY touristy place where you can’t find parking and you hear all kinds of different languages spoken around you. But in Mykonos, it doesn’t bother me at all.
It’s summer, it’s fun, it’s busy. It’s all part of the ambiance.
Especially since there’s a real nightlife in Mykonos, people take style very seriously. And people get dressed up to go out in the evening — they bring out the dresses and heels.
It’s a thing that’s disappearing at an alarming rate, which makes me sad, because I really love it — spending the day at the beach, going back to take a shower, getting dressed up to go out for the evening, and then staying out all night until early morning.
In Mykonos, people still do that, and I love it.
When someone said “meet you at the restaurant at 10:30!” for the first time, it didn’t quite register. In New York, it’s not uncommon to meet for dinner at 7:00 and to be in bed by 10:30.
In Mykonos, you learn to take your time, and you get used to it really really fast. Shops are open until 3:00 in the morning. You can stay at the beach until 7:00, no problem (my favorite time to go to the beach is between 5:00 and 7:00 or 8:00 to see the sunset). You get to the restaurant around 10:00, you start eating around midnight, and leave the restaurant at about 1:30 or 2:00. Then you go out dancing if you feel like it.
Honestly, having long days like that really changes your life.
You’ve probably already heard this, since every time I said I was going to Mykonos, people gave me a funny look, but it’s really The Party Island.
You run into tons of kids risking their lives on scooters to get to the clubs, and depending on which kind of beach you go to, you might end up at a kind of rave party with girls dancing in their bathing suits and guys with big cigars. Not exactly my thing, but hey. The good news is, it’s easy to avoid them if you want to. There are also plenty of very very peaceful beaches.
And the other good news is that the party spirit is kind of contagious. People dance in restaurants and bars, the music is good, people want to have a good time and share — getting together for a drink can quickly turn into a party.
I even almost went to see Bob Sinclar’s DJ set one night. Oh, I also almost went to see Julio Iglesias in concert on a beach on another night. Come on, I said almost.
I don’t think I have to describe it to you in detail, everyone already knows — you eat amazingly well in Greece, and plus it’s very healthy, very fresh, and very simple.
It’s very relaxing, actually, just like the landscapes.
Between that and my daily swim, I came back with tons of energy. And a little thinner too.
There was not even one day of bad weather, and apparently it’s like that all the time. The only thing is, it can be windy pretty often. At first, it’s a little strange, but you get used to it. It cools you off when it’s too hot, and it keeps the clouds from sticking around too long.
It makes the weather kind of like this:
There’s not a single jellyfish in the sea, and as a Corsican who was depressed to not be able to go swimming in Ajaccio the week before, I have to say, it changes everything. The sea is as calm as a swimming pool, the way I like it (if you like waves, be on your way) and you can go for really long swims with a snorkel and fins. Sublime, cool, relaxing — pure joy.
If you know me very well, you know that the white houses in Mykonos, painted white inside and out, with very simple furnishings, are kind of my ideal decor. Tomorrow, I’ll post photos of the hotel where I stayed and it will give you an idea of the style I want for my next house. Total and complete inspiration.
I didn’t go to all the islands, but obviously, a lot of people who are looking for a quieter vacation choose a different island than Mykonos. I only visited Delos, a mythical island where you can visit ancient ruins. We went there in a lovely little fisherman’s boat and then went to see the ruins and we went swimming in the clear waters.
Now I want to visit all the islands one by one, of course.
So that was my vacation! What about you? Where did you go?
Translated by Andrea Perdue.
Una giornata con il seno maggiorato, per cambiare un po’.
Insieme alle slipper Hollywood della mia linea (che potete trovare online qui), indossate nella città più appropriata per eccellenza, Los Angeles.
I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur
Here I am back: after some days roadtrippg in California, with these photos shot in San Diego, on Coronado Island on a sunny summer sunset.
Eccomi di nuovo: dopo qualche giorno di roadtrip in California, con queste foto scattate a San Diego, a Coronado Island in una soleggiato tramonto estivo.
I was wearing:
Photos by Andrew Arthur
For my summer vacation, I headed to Whitefish, Montana…
…(along with 28 of my family members!) for some mountain view relaxation!
It was the kind of trip that combined relaxing by the lake with some serious activity– exactly what I love. Here are my favorite things to do, eat and see in Montana!
Road trip: The closest airport to Whitefish is in Kalispell, but if you’re feeling extra adventurous, I say make your journey a road trip. We drove from Minnesota (18 hours each way!) and it was really half the fun. You can hit a few different national parks on your way out no matter what direction you’re coming from. We passed through Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota. The badlands (and bison!) are not to be missed.
Take a hike: Head over to Big Mountain and hike the Danny On Trail. The 3.8 mile loop gives you some of the best views of the town and the surrounding mountain landscape. Once you get to the top, take the chairlift back down for more breathtaking views (while giving your legs a rest). If you have extra time, make sure you go to Glacier National Park for some more intense hiking trails.
Hit the beach: I spent most of my time in the water on my trip. Whitefish Lake is gorgeous and the perfect way to cool down in the afternoon (it was 90 degrees everyday). We brought along our kayaks from home and rented paddle boards from Paddlefish Sports in town. The lake is great for swimming, boating and just floating in the sun. The bottom is pretty rocky, so as un-chic as they may be, bring along a pair of water shoes. The soles of your feet with thank you.
Get your raft on: It wasn’t my first whitewater rafting adventure, but it’s definitely my most memorable. We booked a trip with Glacier Raft Company (try to get Jesse as your guide, he was great) and 15 of us headed out on the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. I fell halfway out of the raft on some wild rapids, but it was by far the most fun I had on my trip!
Eat, drink, be merry: We cooked most of our meals at our cabins but walked in to town for breakfast each morning. The Red Caboose makes scones the size of your head and they serve Stumptown Coffee. Grab a burger at the Bulldog Saloon (a perfect stop after your rafting adventure) and take some time to check out all the photos on the walls (see if you can find my cousin Patrick on the wall by the bar!). If you’re into beer, the Great Northern Brewing Company is a must. Get the Wild Huckleberry Wheat Beer. Speaking of huckleberries… you can’t go without trying some. My dad and I picked them wild while hiking Big Mountain, but you can buy huckleberry everything (taffy, jam, hot sauce) at most shops in Whitefish!
Fruition. I’m pretty sure that’s one of my top ten most overused words in speech and in writing. It is after all an uplifting word that neatly sums up the process of design, development and final product and in on this occasion, I finally got to see the “Fruition” of Sammy Jo Alonso, Val Julian and business partner Chris Julian’s eponymous store that is coming up to its ten year anniversary. The trio started Fruition in their beloved hometown of Las Vegas because they wanted to shake things up in sin city. Sammy has been reflecting on her close-to-a-decade Fruition journey on Instagram and had this to say: “To many of you, Las Vegas may seem like a barren desert. But to me, Las Vegas is a city with boundless untouched treasures. Treasures and undeveloped talents found within myself these past 9 years.”
From Fruition’s seemingly in-the-middle-of-nowhere LV locale, they’ve expanded to Los Angeles with a store in Echo Park as well as collaborating left, right and centre with brands, like Nike, along the way to spread not just the Fruition gospel but Sammy and Val’s own mantras of living life to the full (see this post for motivating words that will make you get off your arse and well… just do it!). On my trip to Los Angeles which also included a one day reccie to Las Vegas last month, seeing Fruition in both cities was on my agenda, just so that I could see this store that I talked up on the basis of their look book styling, which popped off the computer screen. Hearing Virgil Abloh talk about these “Celine and Supreme” modern times, where one can mix and match street, high-end and other sources all together; it made me think of the aesthetic of Fruition. Back in 2005, they were already recontextualising vintage to mix up authentically crafted “ethnic” pieces from all over the world, with vintage Chanel and Versace and then both new and deadstock streetwear and sportswear. Back then, that mix would have been a zany one. Now, we almost take mixing up style genres for granted. Case in point, I came away from the Los Angeles store with a destroyed and ripped Chinese robe (no ridic London prices here – I paid USD30) and a Phoebe Philo concert tour t-shirt by the brand Modern Man Paris. I’m not sure how Ms. Philo will feel about her image cut ‘n’ pasted this way but this t-shirt is certainly representative of the way designers are probably a bit uneasy about the way consumer mixes their collections up, styling and restyling until it is very far removed from the original catwalk context. It’s why brands and houses instruct editors and stylists to showcase head-to-toe looks in magazines. The very idea of designers ceding control so that “people” can remix brands in their own way is what makes stores like Fruition so refreshing. They point out the roots of brands with their themed displays of military jackets, bleached-out denim and 80s windbreakers and pair them up with brand new streetwear or designers that link up to these references. In the background of the LA store in particular, glitched up images of Celine and Margiela collections are spliced with their own references and we’re invited to “surf” the store and “instamoment” a selfie. Fruition reflects the same kind of glitched up present, whilst recognising the weight of the fruitful past where so many of the clothes in the store come from. But what of the future?
“We live in a google generation. A microwave culture where we’ve been conditioned to expect instant results and instant solutions. We’re led by bottom line expectations to produce, coupled with our internal pressure to succeed. These circumstances can easily take the life out of living if not pursued with balance and meaning. With patience and discipline, we can learn to run the race we have been called to run. Life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured. I promise you, we will surpass our own expectations and set the pace towards our best days ahead.” From Sammy’s Instagram
Almost the end of our trip, we couldn’t leave Morocco without visiting this delightful traditional riad belonging to our guide’s friend. Riad de luxe Dar El Kebira is a small luxury, elegant riad located within the Medina a short walk from the Kasbah des Oudaias. The rooms are tiny but the use of exquisite Moroccan decoration, traditional furnitures, and lavish textiles balance the space in a refined fashion between Berber influence and fine architecture, totally my ideal Moroccan palace. However stunning in all angle like your own personal gallery space, it’s so Elle Decoration, you wouldn’t sleep in it, I would just stand there admiring its beauty all day long wishing they were mine. I’ve never stayed in a riad before, I really hope to experience it one day.
Kit Lee was a guest of Morocco Tourist Board.
The post Morocco visual diary: A riad worth visiting, part 3 appeared first on STYLE SLICKER.
I’ve been spoilt with festivals on grounds of English stately homes this summer. Ok, spoilt might be a stretch but following Port Eliot a fortnight ago with a day trip to Wilderness, in a comparison of two festivals that try to outdo one another with how British and middle-class they can get, does seem indulgent. I have Mulberry to thank for my Saturday sojourn to the pictoresque lush countryside of Cornbury Park in Oxfordshire, which played host to the fourth Wilderness festival. And luckily I was there in the sunny nick of time before being lashed by gale force winds and rain today.
It’s the first time Mulberry have had presence at a UK festival (they previously hosted events at Coachella a few years ago) and it seems like a significant time to rock up at a festival like Wilderness, engage with customers in an endearingly adorned tent and a handy hashtag #MulberryLovesCraft. Wilderness is multi-faceted, on the one hand revelling in neon-spandex, sequins and feather attired debauchery, best seen late at night when children are tucked in boutique camping tents and adults come out to play in woodland raves and bonfire parties. And yet on the other hand, it promotes genteel vibes with yoga classes, Swedish lakeside saunas and crafting stands aplenty.
That’s where Mulberry came in with their Mulberry Loves Craft tent, set up with workshops to teach people to stitch or monogram their own leather bracelets in countryside-derived shades of pheasant green, oak and flame. Festival goers could also speak to Mulberry craftsmen from the Bridgewater factory (otherwise known as The Willows) about the processes of making one of Mulberry’s iconic Bayswater bags. Mulberry’s attempt to reshore their production back to England is not to be sniffed at as they’ve invested over £7.5 million towards The Willows as well as using a government Regional Growth Fund towards recruitment and training in the local Somerset area. With over 700 craftsmen and craftswomen working at both factories (The Rookery is Mulberry’s premier flagship factory) and an ongoing apprenticeship programme, it’s definitely a positive step towards the overall process of reshoring in the UK, as pointed out in this recent Business of Fashion article.
Over in a beautiful walled garden, away from the hub of Wilderness, Mulberry and their AW14 ambassador and collaborator Cara Delevigne hosted a picture perfect picnic complete with haybales, shabby chic blankets and custom-made hampers filled with cobnuts, heritage tomatoes and cucumber juice (we grazed like rabbits for lunch but feasted like kings later at night at the Hix banquet – two whole chickens between four people? More food with fashion displays please…).
I never know what the crap to wear at a festival. Hunter wellies and sundress person I am not not. Opted for my marabou-festooned t-shirt from Bubbles Tokyo, Romance was Born top, vintage skirt, a Nike Tech windrunner, Christopher Kane belt, PAM glitter boots, Ray Ban velvet sunnies and of course, a Mulberry bag.
And of course the woman of the hour Cara Deleveigne was presnet to pull some funny faces, leap about the long grass around her “Cara-van” (geddit?) and get intimate with her own bag by hugging, biting and kissing it. It is a bag worth lavishing some love on as a nifty three-in-one style that can be worn on the shoulder, as a rucksack or as a hand-held satchel. I’m particularly into the monochrome camouflage version.
Cara, lush picnic and craft at Wilderness – what does it all project about Mulberry? It all speaks of a gentle rebuilding of sorts. Mulberry’s recent dropping profits, the stepping down of ex-CEO Guillon who was previously tasked to make Mulberry more exclusive, and thus expensive, and then departure of creative director Emma Hill doesn’t make for positive reading. Back in February, it was then announced that a range of £500-700 priced bags would be introduced to entice back loyal customers (which already has had a positive effect on the share prices). This is a new chapter at Mulberry as they also seek to reshore their manufacture, investing heavily in their two factories, as the Made in England tag becomes a communicable asset for the brand. Then of course Mulberry are hoping that Cara’s bag will be an Alexa-esque turning point in the brand’s fortunes, as this former trophy bag helped the brand buck the last recession . At Wilderness, Mulberry were given the opportunity to re-emphasise their core brand values – craftsmanship, Englishness and in their words “inspired by the cool of the city and the craft of the countryside.” Mulberry’s participation in Wilderness is not just a jolly opportunity to roll around in bales and blankets, quaffing champers and canapes, but a sign that Mulberry perhaps are out of the woodland wilderness and into a once-again captivating clearing.
Picnic Posers… via @TheOfficialSelfridges Instagram
If you think about our world nowadays and how we’re living and how we’re acting and if you think about our history and how it is repeating itself in the most obvious and horrible manner, it is something to really take seriously and talk about. I know this sounds very dramatic but I find fashion especially a place where we need to talk about these things because fashion is a global language. We all speak it more and more. Less and less people read the news, less and less people are taking alarming news seriously. In this language and this culture we are all so global and globalised and we’re all so well educated we need to start talking about these things in our time where we actually are and not just see it through a video screen and that’s something I want to do in my way.
Wali Mohammed Barrech, a designer with a mouthful of a name also talked up a mouthful after his tension-strung S/S 15 show held in a car park during Copenhagen Fashion Week two days ago. It wasn’t just backstage post-show waffle though. Barrech’s Facebook page is dotted with current affairs concerns - namely the crisis in Gaza – events that are shocking in the extreme, but for most of us, our participation is merely restricted to watching it on the news, reading stories online and retweeting/FB-ing links accompanied by a sad-faced emoji. Barrech wants to use his collections as a form of dialogue to reflect the world we live in and S/S 15 was an S.O.S. cry for caution on all fronts. We’re being watched everywhere and our privacy is constantly at risk, hence the surveillance printed imagery on unitards, where cars are seen from an aerial view just as Google street view will one day probably be a 24 hour live camera stream. We need to be rescued from ourselves and the actions of others, hence the primary hued jackets equipped with elements derived from rescue and survival gear. The majority of the models were deliberately blonde and tanned. Barrech, as a Pakistani-born, Croatian-raised designer living in Denmark perhaps was probing into matters of racial supremacy, which ignore as we might, still lingers in strands all over the world. The words S.S. emblazoned on nylon packaway jackets sends a shiver down your spine at first glance but look again and there’s a tiny “o” in the middle. It’s an S.o.S. call that is meant to instill fear. Barrech wanted to establish a sense of alarm at the show and so mid-way through, the lights in the already dim city car park went out as we watched shadow-y figures stomping about, catching flashes of those S.o.S. and not much more. Then a Toyota Yaris suddenly swerved in and parked itself in the middle of the runway. An overhead sprinkler came on and smoky gas tore through. For different people that danger-filled environment will evoke different things. I was taken back to 7/7 in London when not too far behind me, the number 30 bus had exploded near Tavistock Square and the air was thick with smoke and an acrid smell. Most of us are cocooned and safe in our living rooms and on our laptops consuming news from afar. We can’t even begin to imagine what a bombed-out war scene could even be like. Barrech’s show pulsed through a difficult subject matter to make us think but moreover maintains a strand of fashion that increasingly, more and more people shy away from - fashion as a medium that can probe and disturb.
Barrech is seeking to join an impressive pantheon of designers who have done this in the past – Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Rei Kawakubo, Vivienne Westwood to name but a few. And there’s no getting away from the shades of Raf that can be seen in Barrech’s work. But what was commendable was the fact that he tried and suceeded, for the most part to combine the aesthetically pleasing with pertinent messaging. At the end of the day, the main takeaway for most people, who didn’t get to hear Barrech speak about the collection after the show, will be “Wow, cool show.” or “I want those shoes.” Is that the ideal end conclusion? Perhaps not. But what Barrech is critiquing can’t be remedied with one singular fashion show. We will still be in our safe and comforting shells, passively retweeting and observing. Engaging in this way and being aware is the most we can do for now. Barrech’s S.o.S. at the very least is trying to thrust the conversation in your face.
A fashion trade show that is as enormous as CIFF in Copenhagen might seem like an odd place to house a comprehensive exhibition dedicated to one of Britain’s most well-known, multi-talented and culture zeitgeist informing provocateurs. As you enter Crystal Hall, Virgil Abloh is pitted next to Malcolm McLaren – past and present colliding. The exhibition Let it Rock: The Look of Music The Sound of Fashion, is really a first and proper look at McLaren’s fashion output and how it interwove with the various musical epochs that McLaren championed. Structured as a journey through the various guises and guerilla changes 430 Kings Road underwent, we got to see unseen and rare original clothing, photographs, films and audio soundtrack and experience a concise yet simultaneously comprehensive look at how McLaren figured into this ultimately groundbreaking partnership between himself and Vivienne Westwood.
The exhibition is co-curated by Young Kim, McLaren’s partner who lived with him for the last twelve years of his life and the creator of my go-to resource about all things sub-culture, British and London, Paul Gorman. After a slow process of organising an archive of sorts, gathering up information and ephemera, they’re now ready to pipe up and let it be known what McLaren treated. In mainstream consciousness, Westwood’s fame has far outstripped her former partner, as her solo career in fashion took flight beyond 1984, when her and McLaren officially dissolved their partnership. Those formative years between 1970 and 1984 though is easily one of the most fascinating time in British fashion history where political climate, music, youth culture and a do-it-yourself, grassroots level creative expression all came together, centred on that infamous shop on Kings Road. That’s what this exhibition is focused on and that’s where McLaren can be discussed, not just as a svengali/manager type figure, but as an artistic/creative director with a hand on everything from the collaborators to the clothes to the store design to the show soundtracks and even on what was written on the programme notes. Much like a modern day creative director at a house, tasked with overseeing all aspects. Only McLaren got to have the final say in every matter.
The daily rags are quick to pick up on the more tawdry aspects of the less-than-acromonious fallout between McLaren and Westwood, exacerbated by McLaren’s death four years ago and ensuing dispute about his will. With Westwood still alive and kicking and with Young Kim fighting for a lasting legacy for McLaren, it can be a deeply touchy subject to dissect the work of the two.
But let’s put down the nit picking “who did what” and just get our heads round the fact it was an equal partnership. There were two names on those clothing labels – from the Seditionaries period onwards through to the more formal collections they showed under the label World’s End up – and that’s a good enough reason to celebrate and highlight the fact that Malcolm McLaren wasn’t just a “shop manager” as Gorman puts it. “For some people, as Vivienne continued in fashion they dismiss Malcolm’s design role,” says Kim. “I want people to understand everything from Malcolm’s point of view. Everything came from the mind of an artist, there was a reason for it, it was entrenched in pop culture and in terms of the clothes themselves, he had real knowledge.”
The first surprising fact to stake claim to McLaren’s fashion nous. His grandfather was a Savile Row tailor and his mother had a dress factory. He carried a knowledge of how clothes should be made. At the age of twenty-five, wearing his bright blue lame suit, which he designed, he happened to hap upon a shop called Paradise Garage. He was offered the backspace to sell his stash of rock ‘n’ roll records. Later the front shop was deserted and that became Let it Rock, a retrogazing haven for rock ‘n’ roll aficionados, but more importantly this was McLaren’s expression of recontextualising the past as something “cool” and relevant. Together with Westwood they sold rock ‘n’ gear, such as some ace ties that could slot right into Prada today, but selling wasn’t the point. “We agreed that it was our intention to fail in business and to fail as flamboyantly as possible, and only if we failed in a truly fabulous fashion, would we ever have a chance of succeeding.”*
Just as publications like the Sunday Times Style were picking up on this rockabilly/teddy boy vibe, McLaren and Westwood volte faced and opened in 1972-4 as Too Fast to Live, Too Young to Die, where printed slogan and graphic t-shirts were deliberately trampled on and messed up as much as possible. In the context of early 70s fashion mainstream mod/hippie hybrids, happing upon this Kings Road spot must have felt like a discombobulated trip. “I created something new by destroying the old,” said McLaren.
“It’s collaging, and combining different influences to create something new,” asserts Kim. Gorman then adds, “It’s postmodern. Today, we can place him as an artist within the narrative. There’s certain principles that define postmodernism and Malcolm ticks all of them. It was revolutionary at the time.”
Then came SEX in 1974, probably one of most monumental shake-ups to the store and one that would coincide with of course, McLaren’s management and creation of the Sex Pistols as SEX customers like John Lydon, Paul Cook and Steve Jones and shop assistant Glen Matlock would come together in this uneasy, sleaze-filled store, fronted by giant pink rubber letters spelling out SEX. The motto underneath was “Craft Must have Clothes – But the Truth Loves to Go Naked.” Westwood’s adapted lingerie, fetish and bondage wear were presented on climbing wall bars, adorned with nipple clamps and whips. “You didn’t know what the fuck was going on,” remembers Gorman about the store. There was reason behind the provocation though. “Black expressed the denouncement of the frill. Nihilism. Boredom. Emptiness. How do you dress an array of disaffected youth?,” said McLaren. The things we take for granted today as standard “trend” items like a pair of spike-backed black shoes or a printed graphic t-shirt displaying nudity were ground breaking then. They did shake up the system. That street fashion of boredom would of course accompany probably McLaren’s biggest claim to fame – the birth of punk – although Kim and Gorman were keen to stress they didn’t want to focus on punk, around which there are so many misconceptions anyway.
SEX closed and reopened in 1976 as Seditionaries – Clothes for Heroes. It was to be the store’s most menacing manifestation yet designed by Ben Kelly of Hacienda fame, with a caged-up stark shop front, bombed-out ceiling and walls depicting the Dresden ruins. This was war. Jamie Reid’s graphics came into their own and the bondage trouser was born. From disorder and chaos came commercial cohesion though. Gorman observed that Seditionaries was a real “commercial” and on the back of Sex Pistols blowing up and media attention, those t-shirts and trousers were commodities. Sure, the label read “For Soldiers, prostitutes, dykes and punks” but at £30 a tee, these clothes weren’t cheap. From anti-establishment, Westwood and McLaren were slowly coming into the fold of the establishment, even as people from Vogue were being chase out of the store, as Kim recalled.
In 1981, McLaren and Westwood volte-faced again, buoyed by Westwood’s own desire to destroy punk and to sail away from the Kings Road. The store floated on waves and time went backwards on a thirteen-hour giant clock on the store front. This was also the beginning of the end for McLaren and Westwood’s partnership even though they arguably created their most cohesive and stirring fashion moments through showed like the Pirate, Savage and Buffalo collections – their originality still looking utterly captivating today as you look at the pieces in glass vitrines or hung up flat in-between perspex. This wild with abandon, layered and multi-ethnic collaged look was the product of Westwood’s buoyant creativity as well as McLaren’s own interest in influences from the third world. He connected 18th century men’s shirts to pirates and then to modern day piracy in music, where McLaren was having his own explosion of creation with records like Duck Rock.
McLaren’s final expression in retail and fashion resulted in Nostalgia of Mud, a short-lived store in town that pushed the idea that the roots of our culture lay in primitive societies. It sounds like an extraordinary interiors feat with a formal Regency-style foyer and then a collapsed floor so that you descend into a basement as if on an archaeological dig. Collections like Nostalgia of Mud, Hobo-Punkature and Witches were to be housed here.
The final vitrine showcasing the hat dubbed the buffalo hat, now so intrinsically attached to Pharrell’s image is a pertinent ending. Whilst Pharrell did credit McLaren at the Grammys, it’s Westwood who has profited from the association. As an idea, it was born out of McLaren’s research of traditional Peruvian dress but it was also a combined realisation, as so much of Westwood and McLaren’s work from 1970 until 1984 was. As a final item in the exhibition, it leaves us to ponder how do we move forward with this discussion of about this partnership as it can so easily descend into a “Who designed what?” quagmire.
That discussion wasn’t fully resolved in this exhibition but it did present a somewhat revisionist perspective to the tale, one that not many people will know about. Is there an absolute and categoric truth to be found in all of this? Probably not. But that the conversation about it is carried on by Gorman and Kim’s work is definitely encouraging. The exhibition will travel to Grenoble in France later this year and to other countries beyond that, hopefully with a book in the pipeline too. The historian in me says that it will take probably decades after this to uncover an even deeper understanding of this explosive and ultimately game-changing partnership. For now we can just fully appreciate the importance of their collective output at a time before fashion became product.
I thought I’d end this post beautifully not with a probing question but with McLaren’s 1984 masterpiece Madame Butterfly collaging opera with electro, deftly mixing and recontextualising styles and genres, just as he did with Westwood previously.
*All Malcolm McLaren quotes in the exhibition were said to Gorman in 2006 for his seminal book The Look: Adventures in Rock & Pop Fashion.
The code name of this post was “drunk at the bar” but I chose to call it “Le rêve” (the dream) because this place instantly became my favorite in the world to have drinks.
We went there with my friends Carole and Marilena, the evening before we left. The Caprice is in Little Venice, Mykonos. The design is sublime, minimalist and happy, very Greek. The music is perfect, from Billie Holiday to Pharrell, and you find yourself dancing on the tables without even realizing. I mean even more so if you ordered delicious cocktails before.
The Caprice is located exactly in front of the sunset. The idea is to get there a little before and to take your time. When the colors turn to orange and red and the atmosphere becomes softer, everyone gets in the windows or on the small pathway between the bar and the sea and takes pictures, chats and shares drinks. It’s really the best moment ever.
you’re totally drunk and you dance on the tables.
Le Caprice, Little Venice, Mykonos.
Marilena and Carole are wearing tops and shirts from Wildwood, our friend Melissa’s brand that I will tell you about very soon. I am wearing a dress from Ten over Six.
Say what you want. Like it or hate it. Call it hyped up bullshit. But if you’re ignoring what a collective wave of designers like Shayne Oliver at Hood by Air, Marcelo Burlon’s County of Milan and now Virgil Abloh’s Off-White is, as a cultural comment on the state of fashion today, then you’re sort of missing the point. Business of Fashion recently called these trio of designers “Streetwear’s New Guard” much to the predictable umbrage of “for real” streetcar aficionados, who felt that these brands hadn’t been around long enough to earn the label of the much-vaulted name of streetwear. Rather than referring to it as a new guard, it might be better to give this off-shoot a new term of categorisation. People wagging their fingers at these designers who apparently don’t yet have the “gravitas” of heavyweights like Supreme of Stussy, perhaps don’t remember that those brands also had their own beginnings.
We should look at these brands and think about what they’re contributing to the present rather than their value in the future. And at present, the bottom line is, people are drawn to them in a big way – in numbers, in levels of interaction and in a showing of appreciation and loyalty when supposedly we’re in a fashion landscape where people are fickle about their choices, mixing and matching and well… being a bit blasé about everything. I think of the way a whole posse of people turn up wearing Hood by Air t-shirts and sweatshirts at their shows, united as thought they were diehard followers of a football team. As a physical entity they looked like a proper style tribe – as solid as the groups of visual-kei fans in Tokyo. I look at Abloh’s instagram and you have people pleading with him to make bigger sizes because..”I was barely able to get Pyrex and this vision is so much more focused. So defined. BREAKING THROUGH SHIT. Don’t deny me a consumer the opportunity to be apart of the movement because I don’t wear a small or medium.“ Movement. Break-through. Those are big words to be throwing around in the age of a the fair-weather fashion consumer.
At Copenhagen International Fashion Fair, otherwise known as CIFF, there’s an intriguing pairing of exhibitions on until tomorrow (if you’re in town please try and make it over to see this!). On one side of Crystal Hall (open to the public) at the Bella Center, Malcolm McLaren looms large in an incredibly detailed and well-put together overview about specifically his fusion of music and fashion – Let it Rock: The Look of Music, The Sound of Fashion is the exhibition title name, coined by curators Paul Gorman, the expert of all things Brit-sub-culture and McLaren’s partner Young Kim. This deserves a separate and detailed post.
Then on the other side in a darkened corner, Abloh’s wave is presented as a physical video projection with loud crashing audio and a handy metaphor for what Abloh’s label Off White is about. It’s an installation that goes hand in hand with Abloh’s S/S 15 collection entitled “Moving Still” made up of blacked-out graphics, sewn on badges used like clusters of icons on a desktop and a Baja-inspired floral print. Here in this industrial space, you do feel a wave crashing over you but it’s not salty or wet. It’s the feeling of the unknown.
When I spoke to Abloh, he used Tumblr as a reference over and over again – it almost became like an adjective to define a generation of people he feels are likely to understand what he is doing with Off-White. “If you squint your eyes at it, it might just look like streetwear,” said Abloh. “Clothes with graphics on it. But if you can see the layers underneath, there is a high level of design. I’m making current culture clothes for Tumblr kids that can mix high and low. I’m from that generation. They know about Raf and Balmain but they also know about the kid down the road printing their own t-shirts. It’s Supreme and Celine. That juxtaposition is what Off-White is based upon – it’s being a young designer who is in tune with reality as well as being able to extract reality and create an artistic statement.”
Juxtaposition is another word Abloh uses a lot. The installation is about that “crash” or “clash”, if you will. “High, low. Cheap, chic,” said Abloh. ” I love it when those things crash. Even the name Off-White is a juxtaposition. Or like here. I’m honoured to even be here paired next to Malcolm McLaren – it’s a trip!”
When Abloh speaks, it can often sound lofty and imbued with a slight hint of arrogance even. But it’s the heightened ambition that is intriguing about this self-confessed fashion consumer turned creative. Abloh came from a background of having trained as an architect and then of course became Kanye West’s creative/art director but his own path into fashion is a familiar one that most of us can relate to. It was seeing a Kris van Assche collection in 2003 that sent Abloh spiralling down the rabbit hole of Style.com and then on to collecting Raf Simons. From observer to hardcore consumer and collector to creator. You could say that path has been well-trodden by many a person in the industry and certainly by the “interlopers” of this industry (ahem ahem) that have stirred up so much debate in recent years.
“This is a crazy time in fashion. Editors have to compete with popular opinion. Before, it was like you’re either on the page or not. Now you have a genre like streetwear, which literally means “from the people” colliding with fashion.” When asked whether he thought the current vogue for streetwear within high fashion was a passing thing, Abloh was lucid. “It’s only going to be relevant for so long – but is it going to be remembered or forgotten about? Is it credible or is it like Canal Street?”
It becomes tricky when you try and define what Abloh and the likes of Oliver and Burlon are doing but Abloh is adamant that he wants to do is to push a multi-layered and faceted notion of streetwear. Which to hardcore streetwear enthusiasts might seem ludicrous because to them, it is already at the highest level it can be. But from a fashion aesthetic perspective, stripping back the attachment of an attitude or lifestyle, streetwear is often reduced to a visual 2D flat planed graphic t-shirt. “Within fashion, the idea of streetwear is still up for debate of whether it’s credible because it’s generally one-note,” said Abloh. “I want to still be within streetwear but not be one-note, to have layers of reason and concept. I want it upgraded on every level from concept to make. As a designer, you don’t pore over just the ‘look of it’ but the fit and the quality.”
When I poked around Selfridges earlier this year, I touched up Off-White’s inaugural collection and was definitely taken aback by the “upgrade” in quality and also in stylistic detailing in comparison to say Abloh’s previous Pyrex line (which was basically a line of printed t-shirts and tops). The debut womenswear for AW14 is similarly souped-up. Entitled “I only smoke when I drink” (how many times have we heard that old chestnut before…?) is again full of contrasts and yes, juxtapositions. “Chic, plus Air Force 1′s” is how Abloh summed it up to Style.com. That in itself is a summary of how many women I know dress because they don’t want to be boxed into a cliche or a style trope. Similarly, Abloh is not keen on just trussing up women in Off-White’s menswear that has been sized down. “It isn’t a girl dressing as a guy,” said Abloh. “It’s steeped in the same water but not the same thing.” Ultimately it’s pieces you’d want to take out Off-White’s equation and into your own. Like so much of fashion today. Cut and paste. Mix and match. It might feel like it’s all surface for some but at the very least, it’s a jagged and unpredictable surface. And it’s changing all the time. That’s the now.
I would sit on the beach for hours watching the rolling waves break on the beach with the sun reflecting off the ocean, and listening to the soothing sounds of swirling waves crashing against the rocks, though not as epic as the ones in Azure Window in Gozo Island, nor as stunning as the golden beach in Karpaz, North Cyprus. I prefer the calmness with its rich seaside culture like the scene-stealing fishing port in Essaouira, I loved it there. Here are some images of the beaches from Skhirat and Bouznika Bay.
Stay tuned for part 3!
Kit Lee was a guest of Morocco Tourist Board.
The ruins of Delos, Greece.