Visual Tales

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The New York magazine Visual Tales dedicates a large editorial to a promising young talent - XIMON LEE. His graduation collection this year from Parsons titled  Children of Leningradsky was unanimously acclaimed, gaining enthusiastic reviews everywhere. Recently, Ximon Lee was announced as one of the eight finalists for the H&M Design Award 2015.

Ximon is from Hong Kong but now lives in New York. His diploma collection inspired by the documentary “Children of Leningradsky” approaches menswear design in a very particular way. Taking inspiration from the oversized clothes worn by homeless children in Russian suburbs, he experimented with layered fabrics and exaggerated shapes, exploring the contrast between synthetic and organic textures, between glossy and raw. The outstanding sandwiched pieces in Ximon Lee’s collection are based especially on recycled denim. Working a lot with found materials, he deconstructed and re-patterned many garments from Salvation Army, experimenting various techniques and surface treatments. The result is clean, bold, unisex, global, timeless, emotional. A body of work interesting not just in terms of fabrics and shapes proposed, but also in the way designer chooses to formulate his personal approach to the world of fashion: simple, smart, genuine. Perfect!

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Editorial in New York City magazine Visual Tales / Photographer: Jennifer Livingston / Styling: Haidee Findlay-Levin / Model Jeremy Matos (Red Citizen) /  Featured designs: Ximon Lee / images via thefashionisto.com

 

Rotten Salad

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Originally from Geneva, Kosuke Araki is a Japanese designer living in Tokyo. He studied at Tama Art University Tokio and he also has a MA degree in Design Products from Royal College of Art London. Kosuke Araki interned at Nike and his projects were displayed in various exhibitions. His work covers different areas, questioning the values and sensitivities of our age, dealing with consumerism and the process of rapid modernisation.

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Kosuke Araki – FOOD WASTE WARE -in Kitchen (2013)

With his project Food Waste Ware, Kosuke Araki gives new life to food waste. Food waste is a global problem and Araki puts it in a very personal way. And it’s not only about sustainability. Designer uses food waste from local markets, shops and his own kitchen to create a wide range of tableware – food waste bowls crafted from rotten vegetables, leftover bones and even tea bags. He also delivers a booklet called A New Life for Food Waste that teach us how to replicate the results at home.

These photos show how much food is discarded from food markets, shops or kitchens on a daily basis. Araki asked food shops to put aside some organic waste for him so he went to collected the pieces after the closure. According to one report, even people who believe that their household wasted no food were shown to be discarding 88 kg of avoidable food waste per year. As he says:

“I could imagine that most of us are unaware of the amount of food we throw away, so I took a one-month record of food waste from my kitchen. I am living alone and cook only for dinner, but even so, every week I could have around 1 kg. Every day, food waste is produced at a huge industrial scale as well as a small domestic scale. Although some of it is processed into something useful, most is disposed of in landfills, contributing to environmental problems.”

The idea of Araki’s project was to revive wasted lives by giving them new roles. Designing the set of bowls, he researched alternative ways of reshaping the material trying to avoid the usage of a silicone mould, which is derived from petroleum, and to make all the process done only by natural materials. Aiming to enable users to design their own tableware out of the food waste they produce daily, he also invites the audience to become more aware of the amount of food waste they generate day by day.

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Kosuke Araki – food waste bowls + manual

TOGA

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TOGA‘s Fall 2014 collection entitled “Crudity, Durability, Roughness” explores the American West in a very peculiar way. There’s a lot of buzz around Americana style lately, but fortunately there are also plenty of creative resources to be found in designers’ collections. Especially when we’re talking about Japan versus America (via Europe) the result might be even more interesting.

Japanese designer Yasuko Furata graduated from Esmod in Paris before going on to work as a freelance costume maker. She launched her label Toga back in 1997. In 2004, TOGA opened its first boutique in the Ebisu district of Tokyo. Today, TOGA has over 30 shops all around the world. Distinguished by its exclusive fabrics research and experimental volumes, the Toga silhouette is urban, deconstructed and avant-garde. Defining her design as “Toughness and unique sexiness, hidden in elegance that uses complex female images to evoke all the senses”  Yasuko likes contradictions such as the combination of conflicting materials, interpretation of classic elements into casual styles, and the elegant presentation of sportswear elements.”

Indeed, these pieces are beautiful and provoking in terms of silhouettes, fabrics and associations, resulting in an efortless chic layerings of apparently contrastant elements. Addresing to a free-minded, contemporary, global woman, TOGA is a a label that certainly deserves un certain regard.

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catwalk images via style.com

Fringed

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Anna Kocsis – diploma collection 2010

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Anton Wirjono x Fred Perry 60th anniversary (Dover Street Market)

Denim Reloaded

Denim is cool, denim is classic, denim is democratic. It is also a permissive canvas for a wide range of creative interventions. While a good pair of jeans will always be a good pair of jeans, the famous serge de Nîmes continues to be reinvented, sometimes evolving in surprising ways. Every respected designer, from Martin Margiela to Karl Lagerfeld, from Hedi Slimane to Christophe Lemaire and Isabel Marant , had dealt at one point with denim. Moreover, we noticed lately an interesting revival in denim redesign. Whether we refer to the work of established designers like Raf Simons and Phillip Lim or newer talents like Faustine Steinmetz or Xiao Li, denim variations remain a prominent trend of the moment.

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Faustine Steinmetz

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Faustine Steinmetz

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Xiao Li x Diesel capsule collection

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Ximon Lee

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Marques Almeida

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Raf Simons x Sterling Ruby

Relevant fashion label – HOOD BY AIR

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What is Hood by Air?

Hood By Air is a New York based streetwear label created by Shayne Oliver and Raul Lopez in 2006. Inspired by hip-hop culture the line features edgy garments and graphic tees printed in bold colors, usually bearing the signature HBA logo. Started as menswear with a collection based on sweatshirts and T-shirts, Hood by Air gradually evolved to more complex constructions. The outfits tend to be rather unisex.

Key words: T-shirts, sweatshirts, logo, prints, Centaur bootsbolddenim, leather, genderlesspowerwear.

While the classic HBA tees play a lot with graphics and logos (such as Paramount-inspired logo), more recent collections introduce daring cutouts, bold accessories, lace-up details and sophisticated layering. After Oliver Shayne was awarded with the LVMH Young Fashion Designers special prize there was a significant shift in label’s evolution, which obviously became more luxurious.

Hood By Air items can be purchased online  (check VFiles), as well as from famous boutiques like Opening Ceremony and Colette.

Why is it so relevant?

Firstly, because it is an example of American design at its best! Hood by Air delivers extremely clean and wearable clothes, re-imagining Americana style and giving it a fresh allure. The collaboration with Italian footwear brand Forfex resulted in a line of amazing boots, another great addition to the HBA overall look. Although the clothes per se are neither artsy nor emotional, they have instead an experimental component and an evident sexual charge.

Then, because it succeeds to be avant-garde being in the same time ’normal’. Actually, Hood by Air is a smart hybrid between streetwear and high-end fashion, better said an avant-garde streetstyle. In the context of boredom and indifference which dominates fashion lately (see normcore), HBA delivers something new.

Finally, HBA already means much more than clothing. Exploring notions as body, identity, gender, Hood by Air aims to grow its influence as international lifestyle brand. Indeed, working across different creative mediums, they succeeded to build an entire world around these garments. And that’s precisely what makes the difference between ’another label’ and  a powerful force in contemporary culture.

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A prominent event in their work it’s the recent ‘HBA trilogy’ conceived for the  S/S 2015 collection. Having the exploration of the male self – id, superego, ego – as the main theme, the collection has been exposed in three parts:

Part 1 (EGO), presented at NYFW introduced some cool kids wearing signature cut out pieces and amazing plexi choker necklaces; Part 2, (SUPEREGO), which took place in  an abandoned office space in Paris focused mainly on  ”refashioned versions of men’s tailoring, meant for a world where the codes transmitted by a traditional suit no longer exist“(Maya Singer); Part 3 (ID), back in New York at MoMA did not present a new collection, but a party performance and multimedia installation. Bringing together costumes and elements of the previous two collections, with the participation of artists as Mykki Blanco, Boychild, Venus X, Fatima Al Qadiri, Leilah Weinraub, SSION, Total Freedom, HBA’s PopRally event at MoMa delivered an unified view on brand philosophy.

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Hood By Air – SS 2015, Part 1, NYFW / images via style.com

 

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Hood By Air, SS 2015 – Part 2, Paris Fashion Week/ photo via mtv.com

 

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Hood By Air – SS 2015, Part 3, MoMa , New York/ photo via i-d.vice.com

 

 

‘This is not a love song’

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Franco-Portuguese artist and architect Didier Faustino is already renowned for his intriguing projects which debate alternative relationships between body and architecture. Founder of  Bureau des Mésarchitectures, Didier Faustino is the author of DoppelgangerSky is the Limit(G)HOST IN THE (S)HELLWe Can’t Go Home Again to name just a few projects.

His latest art project displays a personal interaction with a particular space - Villa Bloc (designed by French sculptor André Bloc in the 50s). At Villa Bloc Didier Faustino has implemented a semi-architectural installation entitled ‘This Is Not a Love Song’. I love both red explosive entrance and  the light arrows-installation placed inside. And especially the way these landmarks interact with the whole environment.

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Didier Faustino installation at Villa Bloc Paris/ photos: Felipe Ribon/ images via designboom.com