Iconic

Vogue focus – Saudia Arabia

While the latest issue of Vogue Arabia – June 2018, may seem for many just another Vogue edition featuring a glamorous cover, nice fashion photography and pretty dresses, it is definitely much more than that. Actually Vogue Arabia’s DRIVING FORCE issue can be regarded as an history making issue for several reasons.

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To begin with, this is the first-ever Vogue edition dedicated to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, a country undergoing relevant changes these days. The Vogue issue released this June is somehow symbolic & inspirational, as it celebrates the month when Saudi women start drive as driving ban for women in KSA was recently removed by crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (for those who are not aware, women were not allowed to drive in KSA, yet the driving ban will be lifted on June 24).

Then, the cover star of Vogue Arabia is not an ordinary lady but a Saudi princess. Photographed by Boo George in the desert outside Jeddah, Makkah provence, the Vogue cover is featuring HRH Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud, daughter of the late King Abdullah.

The significance of the Vogue approach can be understood only considering the context of a very specific culture – Saudia Arabia is a unique country in the world, a place where traditionally women don’t have to work, don’t drive cars or practice sports, don’t take strong roles in society, living very private and secure lives under male guardianship laws.

It’s easy to comment on other people’s societies and think that your own society is superior, but people must remember that each country is specific and unique,” says HRH princess Hayfa bint Abdullah Al Saud in the Vogue interview. “We have strengths and weaknesses but, invariably, it’s our culture, and it’s better to try to understand it than to judge it.”

The Vogue Arabia June issue is truly a celebration of pioneering Saudi women featuring a series of role models of the region such as Manal al-Sharif, a prominent exponent of women’s rights movement, Saja Kamal, a footballer working towards establishing the Kingdom’s first-ever women’s football team to take to the FIFA World Cup,  actress Ahd Kamel, the first Saudi star to appear in a Netflix series, Saudi supermodel Shanina Shaik, and so on.

Vogue Arabia cover June 2018 / Photo: Boo George / Fashion director: Katie Trotter / Hair: Talal Tabbara / Makeup: Petros Petrohilos at Streeters using MAC Cosmetics.

FKA Twigs x Calvin Klein Jeans

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Calvin Klein ad campaigns definitely should be referred as visual and conceptual landmarks of the last fashion decades. The recently released Calvin Klein Jeans ad campaign, starring avant-garde artist FKA Twigs (plus dancer Kaner Flex) goes even further, adding more dynamism and sensuality to the image of the American cult label.

The Calvin Klein ad unveils a series of clean & dramatic photos shot by David Sims along with a special video directed by FKA Twigs and related to her latest single “Good to Love”.

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Iconic Inspiration – Margot Tenenbaum

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Margot Tenenbaum – the heroine of The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), directed by Wes Anderson

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The Royal Tenenbaums inspired fashion editorial in All Magazine, November 2015

Pirelli Calendar 2016 – Shifting The Perspective

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Pirelli Calendar 2016 foreword – Chinese actress Yao Chen / Photographer: Annie Leibovitz

Featuring real people in recent fashion imagery is not entirely new. While the new direction has already been drawn (Joan Didion posed for Celine, Marc Jacobs or Lanvin featured real people and role models in their ad-campaigns), the Pirelli calendar 2016 highlights once again an important shift of perspective. The Italian tire company, worldwide renowned for its annual photo series of top models and celebrities, shot by the best fashion photographers, breaks conventions for 2016 and becomes conceptual.

Showcasing ‘women of achievement’ instead of usual semi-naked models, the 2016 Pirelli calendar presents a special gallery of 13 charismatic women of different ages, picked from various fields (actors, bloggers, business women, artists etc.).

In the pages of new Pirelli calendar, Tavi Gevinson and Serena Williams sit next to Patti Smith, Shirin Nehat, Fran Lebowitz or Yoko Ono. Shot by Annie Leibovitz, everything looks quite natural yet incredibly powerful. Fascinating! Focusing on the consistency of persons rather than ideal/desirable/commercial feminine looks, the Pirelli approach succeeds to make a statement on relevant movements in contemporary culture.

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The 12 ladies of Pirelli Calendar 2016: Natalia Vodianova, Kathleen Kennedy, Agnes Gund & Sadie Rain Hope-Gund, Serena Williams, Fran Lebowitz, Mellody Hobson, Ava Duvernay, Tavi Gevinson, Shirin Nehat, Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Amy Schumer / Photographer: Annie Leibovitz

Cool Sporty Embroideries

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Lately, the possible connections that could be traced between fashion and art became the subject of quite interesting discussions. Whether fashion could be linked to the world of arts or whether art could play a fashion role – these questions remain opened for further explorations. On the other hand, we have to admit that we are dealing with two different things that don’t need to be forced to work together. At least not literally, like we saw in Viktor & Rolf demonstration for their last couture show.

In my opinion, the topic deserves a lighter treatment. That is why I picked James Merry’s work for example. His cute embroideries on vintage sweaters and his very personal way to adorn all those iconic sportswear logos with flowers, moss or mushrooms, seems to be a more adequate formula – smart, sincere, clean, honest… and wearable after all! The concept definitely deserves to be developed further while it could be extended at various levels.

James Merry, a very particular artist who spends his life between New York and Iceland, is already known as the creator of exquisite embroidered masks for Bjork’s stage shows or videos. James Merry is also a former collaborator of Damien Hirst and the author of an illustration book. His recent sportswear logo project (see the pictures) shows that he still has plenty to say, whether it would be in the field of art, fashion or something in between.

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Diva Hairstyle

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FKA twigs

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Josephine Baker

NikeEams

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NikeEames‘ model by Ora-Ïto, inspired by the famous Eames Lounge Chair

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Eames Lounge Chair, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for the Herman Miller furniture company(1956)