Archive for March 2011

Fashion Object by Issey Miyake

We love to talk about fashion, styles, trends, fashion Dos and fashion Don’ts… but ultimately these are only marginal topics. We realize that only when we meet something unexpected and brilliant, something like pure/authentic design.

After a long ‘absence’ from the fashion scene (some people love their lab more then they love the limelight), Miyake is back, and brings out something very special. The new clothing line launched by Issey Miyake is titled “132 5”, and contains 10 bi-dimensional objects, whose final form is given by their fitting on the body. The project was launched by Miyake Realty Lab, a research team formed by Issey Miyake- the designer, Manabu Kikuchi- the textile engineer, Sachiko Yamamoto- the pattern maker. Super team& super project!

132 5 was revealed in the Japanese Exhibition at the Barbican. Defined as a successful connection between math and fashion design, it develops the idea of alternative clothing, recycling, regeneration, evolution. A perfect balance between aesthetics and practical clothing, an alternative solution for constructing outfits, a perfect mix between technology and creativity. That means ‘design’, huh?

Why do I find it so amazing? First of all, it’s the idea of a folded piece of clothing looking like a fabric square. When you pull the headband of the folded square end, it reveals a three-dimensional shape, ready to be dressed. The garment shape is described by various folds, angles and triangles that are structured to function simultaneously as folding edges. Then, the 3D shapes can be easily retreated back and return to the initial stage. A challenge like this excited Martin Margiela once, generating his famous “Flat Collection.” The solving technique was, of course, very different.
Now, why 132 5? According to the designer, 1 refers to “a single piece of fabric”, 2 and 3 are related to the garment dimensions, and 5 leaves room for experimentation and new dimensions. But above all, as an extra argument, the materials themselves have been produced through a sophisticated technology, by recycling PET – the project also has a strong Environmental core. Are we witnessing a new revolution in fashion in pure Japanese way?


Some Kind of Fashion Salads

Mixed Salad – Nicola Formichetti styling versus Arcimboldo

Perforated, fretted, lasered


I’ve always, but always, been fascinated by broken and fretted stuff, incisions and steep compositions, and I’ve always loved Lucio Fontana. I was thinking about it a few days ago, while I was wearing a shirt full of holes. The new trends carry out increasingly more interesting materials, more textured, even damaged or broken. Especially the leather variations – fretted, embossed or lasered.

I appreciate the lasered leather dresses created by Haider Ackermann, but, frankly, I prefer rawer versions.

I have recently seen some of Mihaela Cirlugea’s dresses (she’s a Romanian fashion designer from Cluj). I appreciate the originality of her fashion technique – her dresses have undergone a thorough process of cauterization… and the holes were forming some kind of drawings.

Here is a close-up from Mihaela’s SS 2011 collection – “Dreams”.

Knitting (again and again)

For some time now, knitwear has made its way to the top of the “must haves” list of any fashionista. Interesting how people regularly discover a technique as old as mankind, and start praising it, bringing it back into the limelight, and populating the pages of magazines with it!
What seems waaaay more interesting though, is that, starting from knitwear, designers can make wonders. Simply look at the clothes created by Mark Fast, Sandra Backlund and Craig Lawrence. For me, what they are doing is a kind of contemporary manifesto, an alternative to traditional tailoring (which unfairly monopolized the landscape of current clothing).

Mark Fast is the designer who developed the technique of braiding threads in a very personal manner and whose clothes can only get my eternal admiration. The wires are distributed ingeniously on the body surface, creating a story about volume, knots and tensions, full and empty, texture and creative “accident”.

Sandra Backlund’s clothes reflect her concerns – her structured body garments revived the avant-garde fashion scene. The Swedish artist explores the combined resources of handmade garments with futuristic aesthetics. Approaching fashion like a textile sculpture, Sandra’s clothes are objects of pure art. Winner of the Hyeres Festival (2007), Sandra Backlund is continuing her creative path, reinventing the image of traditional knitting.

Craig Lawrence, like Mark Fast, is a graduate of St. Martins. After a long collaboration with Gareth Pugh, Lawrence develops his personal collections, continuing to knit garments from unconventional materials, to obtain new structures and forms. His experiments go beyond commercial fashion design, and his knitted clothes gain theatricality (and they’re wearable anyway!).

Building from scratch your clothes (your own clothes or your own fashion line) seems a very fair job to me, and it bears a strong artistic sense. But fashion (and even art) can be created like this as well, the garment is created in the personal ambience of your own workshop, thus short-circuiting the complicated systems of fashion industry and mechanisms.

Renaissance en Vogue

What can I say on such a picture?
I can only admit that artist Matthew Stone is worth more than a simple bookmark. Actually, this stunning pictorial named “The Creator of Devotion” and published in Vogue Hommes Japan, MUST be full printed and pasted on the walls!

Optimism is the Vital Force that Entangles itself with and then Shapes the Future.”    Matthew Stone

(see the full pictorial, with photographs by Matthew Stone and styling by Matthew Josephs from Vogue Hommes Japan, probably the most creative and contemporary avant-garde fashion magazine!)