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Molten-dipped magic for 2013

Burberry Prorsum has created a monster! It was all glitz and glamour at their Spring Summer 2013 show as Christopher Bailey showed abundance of metallics, rehashing the sci-fi trend we saw for the season prior. The pinks and blues were standouts for me, as metallics in any form of green looks way too sickly.
Metallics in their softer metal forms are so wearable they can really be considered a form of neutrals. Pair a silver sweater with a boyfriend jeans, or substitute the trench for a soft gold coat and you’re good to go! This is a trend you can keep in your closets, with metallics proving popular into the Fall season, on the catwalks at Marc Jacobs and Paul Smith. There are loads of amazing molten-dipped pieces on the market right now. Shop the trend below:

metallics20131. ASOS PRIOR metallic pointed high heels: (www.asos.com)
2. HAIDER ACKERMANN metallic sateen coat: (www.net-a-porter.com)
3. PROENZA SCHOULER PS11 mirror leather clutch: (www.proenzaschouler.com)
4. SEPHORA Prisma chrome eyeshadow: (www.sephora.com)
5. BURBERRY PRORSUM watersnake-trimmed PVC tote: (www.net-a-porter.com)
6. REED KRAKOFF gold, silver and gunmetal plated ring: (www.net-a-porter.com)
7. SAINT LAURENT metallic shift dress: (www.mytheresa.com)
8. GIVENCHY PVC banded cone heel: (www.bergdorfgoodman.com)
9. NINA RICCI glass marble ring: (www.farfetch.com)
10. JOSEPH Clare metallic pencil skirt (www.net-a-porter.com)
11. ALEXANDER McQUEEN stud leather box clutch: (www.luisaviaroma.com)
12. MAISON MARTIN MARGIELA laminated wool ‘Serge’ blazer: (www.luisaviaroma.com)
13. Marc by Marc Jacobs foil printed cotton jersey sweater: (www.net-a-porter.com)

Images: main images via Burberry.com

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Karlie Kloss by David Sims

The beautiful images for the Hermès Spring Summer 2013 catalogue display a stunning ‘how-to-wear’ for their famous silk scarves, as they dance across your screen. How nice it would be to sleep in a patchwork quilt the size of Europe made from the whimsical prints that make up Hermès’ world.
Hermes

Source: images via Fashiongonerogue.com

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French Revue VS. Richard Prince: Some shameless ‘inspiration’

Creative’s rip-off Richard Prince all the time… he is one of the wonder-boy’s of our generation, so it’s no wonder.
The latest to get inspired by Richard Prince’s iconic GIRLFRIEND’s images (I reported about these a few weeks back) is photographer Thierry Le Goues for issue #22 of French Revue de Modes, featuring buxom blonde bombshell Ashley Smith, and Australia’s fave tomboy Anja Kostantinova with some of the biggest hair I’ve ever seen on her tiny frame.
I’ve placed the French Revue de Modes’ black and white images on the left, next to Richard Prince’s dirty biker images on the right, so you can see the similarities.
FrenchRevueVSRichardPrince
source: RichardPrince.com, Fashiongonerogue.com

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The Pop Asia debate

Just touching on some Spring 13 collections that are in-stores now. 
‘Orientalism’ is a trend that comes around season after season, and it’s a trend that I’ve never really admired. 
Maybe it’s because it’s often too stereotyped and literal (remember Louis Vuitton Spring 2011) or perhaps it’s because it seems too fancy dress. Okay I get that you could (maybe) see a Geisha shuffling through a park at random in Japan, but I’ve travelled through many parts of Asia, and oriental prints and shapes are just not a common form of dress.
Louis Vuitton Spring 2011It's a fail for me...

Louis Vuitton Spring 2011
It’s a fail for me…

Prada and Etro took a much too common approach to win my appreciation this Spring season. 
What was much cooler, was the sporty take on Orientalism seen at Céline and Haider Ackermann that’s so fresh for now. I realised this is the only time that Oriental-inspired fashion has appealed to me even the slightest bit, and I had to write home about it. 

This is how a cheongsam or samurai warrior’s jacket SHOULD be done. Subtly. 
Get a load of these little winner’s below. 
-It’s the kimono jacket at it’s finest, with the cut and sex appeal that it deserves.
 -It’s the origami folded high pants with just a hint of Asia- and not a bath house in sight.
-It’s the Harajuku platforms together with (gasp!) silk satin… and worn by Korean model, Ji Hye Park. But it totally works!  Likely because there’s not an orchid or lotus flower to be seen. And it’s in a palette of mostly black, white or gunmetal. 

Orientalism

 

Images via style.com
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The making of a Prince

Prince1 copyMost fashion followers would know ‘appropriation’ artist Richard Prince best for his collaboration with Marc Jacobs for Louis Vuitton back in Spring 2008. In homage to the artist, Vuitton sent models down the runway dressed as nurses- an obsession of Prince’s. The monogrammed bags and hats designed by the artist were popularised by celebrities and replicated by thousands of Asian sweatshops.

Appropriation (the process of reworking another artists’ work) became popular in the 1970′s. Richard Prince’s main medium is re-photography, a technique criticized by some (Prince lost a court case with one photographer who claimed he pleigerised his original images) But my favourite Richard Prince appropriation series would have to be the famous ‘Cowboys’. Developed from 1980 onwards, the rephotographed series focuses on the Marlboro advertisements, and depict a stereotyped and often idealised American masculinity. The cowboys were painted in different mediums, but always promoted the cowboy, powerful and sometimes horseless,  across a Western landscape, complete with tumbleweed, or with different macho paraphenalia like lassoo’s and spurs. Prince became well known for this obsession with the cowboy and the remaking of the Marlboro advertisements.
But back to the nurses. Richard Prince’s sexualisation of Nurses, all in minimal ‘nursy’ garb including surgical masks,  were superimposed on to canvas via scanning and computer ink jet, then reworked with acrylic paint, similar to the covers of retro books and magazines, and with similar titles . He created characters for his nurses, playing out different fantasies. Some of my favourites are Millionaire nurse, Runaway nurse, and Surf Safari nurse just to mention a few. Richard Prince’s nurses can make some people feel uncomfortable. For me, it makes me question the subject and it’s reality. Prince2 copy

Repeating different versions of artworks of the one subject ie. cowboys or nurses, led to the idea of grouping a bunch of the images together became known as ‘Ganging’ and is a regular practice for Prince. Displaying 9 or 12 of them together makes the viewer draw a relationship between the images. Prince repeated his technique of Ganging by appropriating the images taken from a motorcycle magazine in his series called GIRLFRIENDS which featured sexualised bikie’s girlfriends draped over a chopper. When viewed in a series, the result is a fabulous 80′s mash-up of bikie-trash, the kind you’d see in the ‘Real Girls’ section of Picture.
Prince3 copy
Source: richardprince.com, guggenheim.org, images via RichardPrice.com

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Where the old world is new again.

If you are a home wares fanatic, and especially if you love a ceramic or two, chances are you’ve heard of Ceramiche Dal Prà. They are masters of their craft with years of history and tradition. Domenico Agostinelli and Giuseppe Dal Prà founded the company eons ago, at the end of the 800′s. Years of experience honing their craft and interpreting old-world ceramics for the modern home required a stellar laboratory and showroom to master up such beauties, and it’s based in Nove, Vicenza. One of my favourite parts of Italy.

You can always count on the Italian’s to deliver quality, and not quantity. This is the philosophy of their production. It’s a rarity these days as companies struggle to profit or break even, outsourcing to China and the like. But with these guys, almost everything is handcrafted and hand decorated by Caramiche Dal Prà, and it’s completely made in Italy.

Oh how I would just love to fill a whole house with this stuff. Some of their current collections- modern and sexy- are my favourites:

The Owl collection- more for visual appeal rather than practicality. But perfect for the bedside table as the owl is the night messenger and keeper of wisdom. Just don’t slam your water glass on its head during the night.
The Rome collection- Italy’s capital in all it’s ancient splendour and glory! The statues add superiority and strength to any home setting. Wise to learn who these emperors are before your dinner guests’ curiosity gets the better of you!
The Bamboo collection – inspired by the natural world, bamboo ceramics in the form of vases and lampshade stands in a sexy glossy black, turquoise or white. Modern. Nothing ‘Bali’ about these…
The Mare collection-Fusing the sea and aquatic flora together to form sexy statement home wares like vases and lamp stands.
Ceramiche2Ceramiche1Images supplied by Ceramiche Dal Prà  (www.ceramichedalpra.com)

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Trove: bringing walls to life!

Jee Levin and Randall Buck of Trove wallpapers started their business by designing their ‘art for the walls’ for a small cramped, messy studio space before opening an 18oo square foot showroom in Chelsea NYC to show off their 30+ papers and patterns.  Since then, their designs  have been featured in plenty of respected publications, as well as the homes of some celebrities.

The duo creates their wallpapers featuring motifs of flowers, birds, or graphic shapes inspired by parts of everyday life; (like for example the rushing of  ‘Manhattan-ites’ to work- translated as dashes of blurry scattered colour up the wall).  Their pattern repeats often create the illusion of ongoing space, making the room seem much larger than it is. Some of their single designs can be so large, they can scatter to fill a whole wall.

Some of my favourite designs are the more painterly, almost water-coloured splashes and splurges. I also love the wood veneer finishes which give the illusion of maple, oak, and bamboo in a beautiful silk-like finish. You see cheap versions of this in some bar’s around the city… but it’s so much nicer in the home.

Wallpaper is often given the cold shoulder in favour of trendy paint finishes. The smell of wet paint is so alluring. But wallpaper just seems like the perfect way to spice up a large space that needs that little bit of something… or a small space with minimal fuss. Especially if you’re living in trendy apartments in Manhattan or Paris, (or even Sydney is slowly catching up to having appreciation for apartment living with our ever growing population in dense cities!)
trove1trove2

Order sample sheets from Trove online starting at $2.

Source:www.troveline.com, www.designfieldnotes.com

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There’s nothing ‘fad’ about Chanel

Now there’s no denying that the fashion world has it’s regular seasonal obsessions with the ‘new kid on the block’. Season after season it’s easy to see the way a fresh designer collection is hailed as the ultimate for the length of the season and then seldom heard of with the same level of publicity as soon as the weather changes.

The fashion media will find a new young designer to nurture and will proceed to propel to stardom for 15 minutes by
a) Being the first to tag their name all over social media like a 1970′s pash-rash
b) Jumping on the momentum of said designers’ bandwagon to self-promote themselves (via blog photographers) in the designers’ samples at Fashion Week
and
c) proclaiming that they’re “closet is full of their pieces, daaaaaahling!”

-that is, until the next big thing comes along.

It’s true! I remember it happening with little Thakoon Panichgul after his graduation collection for Parson’s. He was singled out by Anna Wintour and pimped out to GAP and Target faster than you could say ‘Michelle Obama’ (she gave him some well-deserved coverage). Same with Christopher Kane when he was fresh out of Central Saint Martin’s. His name was splashed left, right and centre (beside Donatella Versace’s!) until he just blended in to the fashion stratosphere. I saw it again with the sweet Rodarte sisters- They were all over WWD and had numerous consecutive CFDA nominations and wins through the years, but they’ve gone awfully quiet of late. Mary Katrantzou, similar thing. Fausto Puglisi, Celine’s rebirth, Ostwald Helgasson… they’ve all had little moments.

This week, I must have Chanel on the mind because, repetition aside, I just need to take a moment to declare how undeniably genius Chanel’s new Fall Winter 13/14 collection is. CHANEL is one of those label’s that is obviously tried and tested. There’s nothing ‘fad’ about Chanel. This is one label with craftsmanship and quality that can span generations. It can be appreciated by women of all age groups, and is able to reinvent itself without compromising it’s brand image.  In it’s true to form monochromatic palette of greys, blacks and whites, Chanel sparkled with it’s hints of sci-fi-styling and it’s timeless elegance. I particularly liked the volume and proportions from the house this season, and definitely worth noting are those AMAZING ‘biker-meets-cowboy’ boots worn over tweed and leather gaiters. Genius! Best footwear I’ve seen in ages from Chanel.
One thing I’m not lusting over is the silly little furry eskimo hats scattered through the show- Over-styled for a bit of shock-factor, but not necessary and not chic enough to come from Chanel.

Below are some of my favourite looks from CHANEL Fall winter 2013/14:

ChanelFW2013

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The Chanel jacket, reinvented.

chanel_sketch4“Inside Chanel” celebrates a new short film released by the house, retracing the history of Gabrielle Chanel and the iconic creations that helped her forge the House of CHANEL.
In this newly released video chapter by CHANEL, we discover how the Mademoiselle created the famous CHANEL jacket. The jacket  started with a suit, which she introduced as a way of moving from the 1950′s silhouette which she considered too restrictive and not reflective of the time when women were struggling with modernity. Chanel’s suit was a comfortable, stylish creation made from timeless tweed, which would eventually become the houses’ signature fabric. It was made for active women. It allowed free movement. It was versatile and able to be worn day or night. The jacket came with a refined design; it was boxy, but there was more structure, and it would fit close to the body like a second skin.The centre front would close perfectly at edge to edge.

Since 1983, Karl Lagerfeld has reinvented the tweed jacket over and over again in each collection,  in Gabrielle Chanel’s honour. As an extension to Karl and Carine Roitfeld’s book ‘The Little Black Jacket’ where we saw the timeless piece styled over a hundred different magnificent ways on international celebrities, we can now be part of the journey through time via Karl Lagerfeld’s sketches of the legendary Chanel jacket, below:
chanel_sketch1
chanel_sketch2
chanel_sketch3The CHANEL jacket remains a must-have item in the wardrobe’s of fashion collectors around the globe and one of the fashion worlds most iconic individual pieces. Watch its’ evolution here:

All images supplied courtesy of Chanel.

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Trash as someone’s treasure

Life is a world of vivid colour for multi-media artist Shinique Smith. And a chaotic one at that.
What some would call ‘hording’, holding on to their useless clutter for a rainy day, Shinique Smith uses for her art. Weeding out her own closet, including those of thrift stores like the Salvation Army, she divides her knick-knacks into starting points for a new work, or uses it as a source of inspiration for another.

Born in 1971 and from Brooklyn NYC, Shinique is inspired by what we consume and discard, using this idea as the basis for many of her artworks, for which she’s won many awards. T-shirts are dyed in varying hues and tied together in gradated harmony. Anything that can be recycled, especially second-hand clothing or fabrics, are composed to form a sculpture or installation, strewn together in a variety of forms, including bales, totems, and reclining figures.

Her work is represented by galleries in 4 different countries.
ShiniqueSmith2ShiniqueSmith1

Images sourced from shiniquesmith.com

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