Style Suggestions: Homecoming

Fashion Weeks are coming to an end and after a month of fashionable traveling between NYC, London, Milan & Paris, we’re getting on a flight home. It’s time to take a couple of days off, change the heels for a pair of sneakers and revel in the comfortable pieces from our wardrobes.

Pants Paul and Joe, jacket J Crew, watch Casio, bag Les Essentiels de la Vie, shirt Cecile, shoes Converse.
Styling by Vanessa Cocchiaro
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The Bitrot Project by Valentino Bellini

In her latest book, “Hello World. Where Design Meets Life”, Alice Rawsthorn speaks about the qualities of ‘good design’. For Rawsthorn, the definition of good design gets down to one thing: integrity. In fact, she writes: “Unless it has integrity, no design project can be deemed to be good, however useful, beautiful or innovative it may be. ‘Good design enables honest and effective engagement with the world’, wrote the American philosopher Robert Grudin in his book Design and Truth. ‘If good design tells the truth, poor design tells a lie; a lie usually related, in one way or another, to the getting or abusing of power.’”

If this is the criteria that separates good design from bad, then we must not only take into account the use, the physical aspect or the manufacturing process of a design object to evaluate it. One fundamental component of that equation is also how the objects we use are later disposed of, and it does not only concern the ecological implications of such disposal, but also the human condition it involves. Thus, if we consider the idea of good design from this point of view, many of our praised products, mainly the electronic ones, will immediately step on the other side of the equation.

In fact, it is exactly what Valentino Bellini, a young Italian photographer, tries to point out with his Bitrot Project. Bellini has delved into the world of hazardous e-waste disposal, which, mainly produced in developed countries, is not disposed of in situ, but shipped, most of the time illegally, to developing countries on cargo ships, where it is illegally disposed. Containing dozens of substances dangerous to human health and to the environment, our lovely electronic products are hard to be sustainably disposed of and they need a costly processing technique to make it recyclable. His photographic research focuses on the extreme consumerism of the society we live in, enquired through the images of e-waste disposal sites, contemporarily showing how ‘bad design’ can be really, really bad.

Rujana Rebernjak – Images courtesy of Valentino Bellini 
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Tracks for the Weekend

Yuck – Memorial Fields
New single titled “Memorial Fields”, for the indie shoegaze band Yuck (orphans of frontman Daniel Blumberg).
 Extracted from their last album: Glow & Behold, to be released on September 30, this ballad doesn’t miss anything and also fits in the song of the trumpets. With a single like this, the album certainly does not disappoint.

The Creases – I Will not Wait
The Creases debut for the British label Rough Trade, with a song that will be released on November 11; ramshackle, drunk, easy and even pop, the track reminds sounds more American (see HARLEM, THE STRANGE BOYS, GIRLS) than Australian, which is also the origin of these guys. 
At the moment they are planning a tour in their homeland with few more dates in England.

MØ – Never Want to Know
After the collaboration with Diplo, reveals more details of his upcoming EP out on October 20th: Bikini Daze. We may be used to her danceable tracks, but with this single she shows a more melancholy side (in the chorus, MØ sings “I never wanna know / the name of your new girlfriend”). For the entire month of October and November, MØ will be around Europe for her tour.

Ta-Ku – Love Krule
Having nothing to do with the Chinese nevertheless the seemingly asian name, 
Ta-Ku, a young Australian beatmaker, pays a tribute to another young artist: King Krule. 
The result is “Krule Love” a sample of the song “Cementality”. Ta-Ku turned it into a mix of hip-hop, drum & bass and house with sounds reminiscent of artists such as Mount Kimbie. The track is part of Songs to break up to be released on October 8.

Movement – Us
In this song, the trio from Sydney mixes R&B and dance music in an exceptional way. With its seductive vocals, it’s a perfect song for relaxing at home after a tiring day.
 The “Us” single came out September 24 for Modular rec.

Enrico Chinellato 
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Trailer vs Film

“Gripping and breathtaking…Every scene, every frame, is executed with pure brilliance” says one of the reviews for Only God Forgives. Certainly, the UK trailer for Nicolas Winding Refn’s Ryan Gosling-led hellish crime thriller is exactly that. Seductively pumping with dark electro-pop beats by Sunns, the 1:26 sneak montage outdoes its duty as a mere preview of the film and becomes something entirely of its own.

Stylistically, the tone and pace of the trailer captures a mood that feels very contemporary. Sharp photographic character profile shots and moody neon-red Bangkok cityscapes are weaved together with crystal clear slow-mo action moments and Julian (Gosling) marching towards the camera carrying a determined sociopathic look on his face. A gritty post-modern anti-hero pop flair, something in between Refn’s Valhalla Rising and Drive, is alluded at. The trailer hits climax with Julian asking his arch-nemesis if he wants to fight. Traditionally, action movie one-liners are cringe-inducing cheesefests, but here Julian’s composed ‘Wanna fight?’ is satisfying and effectively timed because of the charisma and momentum built up by the trailer. Simply, it knows what it wants to be – a very cool hyper stylised music/fashion clip – and executes it flawlessly. The film, on the other hand, is entirely different, and has garnered wildly mixed reviews.

The teaser trailer for Man of Steel is another recent example, hinting towards a dark low-budget drama, a character study with a documentary feel. Instead, the film delivers an action packed extravaganza of mega-Hollywood proportions.

This discontinuity (between trailer and film) is becoming more and more common and may be due to the rise in quality of short internet films, music videos and clips. Across Youtube and Vimeo thousands of beautifully directed short films are posted every day. Fashion labels and brands have started promoting their new collections and products using short internet-based films, with the intention of going viral.

The introduction of affordable DSLR cameras that capture near-cinema quality HD footage and the viral potential of short clips have influenced the production of film trailers towards becoming more than just previews of the main feature. Compare the previous trailers with the one for Casablanca, for example. The result is that trailers have come to stand as short pieces in themselves, which makes for the introduction of a new exciting art form that may, in some cases, be quite misleading.

Peter Eramian 
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Style Suggestions: Dressing French

Paris Fashion Week is a perfect occasion to visit the city of love, passion and – most of all – couture. While we want to fit in, we also want to stand out, so what to wear?

Bag Lanvin, shirt A.P.C, shoes Pierre Hardy, skirt Chloe
Styling by Vanessa Cocchiaro
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The Last Sartorialist

Tailoring is a long-lasted tradition often closely connected to a meticulous care for details. Going to Italy, that also regards the care for the finest of fabrics and a constant fight to protect what is left of the pride in the label of ‘Made in Italy’. In our quest for quality we encountered a few of the grand names who still talk about sartorialism with their deepest affection.

In today’s mass productive society, a brand that can carry out a complete production process – from the selection of raw material to a made to measure suit – is worth a mention. Ermenegildo Zegna might be a well-known luxury brand and one of the most famous – still family-driven – enterprises in Italy but the name of Zegna is also known for Zegna Wool Mill. It’s the absolute basis of the Zegna Group and has been passed down through four generations of ‘Zegnas’, often credited as pioneers when it comes to the refinements of menswear fabrics.

Another company that knows quite a lot about doing it from scratch, and doing it well, is Vitale Barberis Canonico. “If a job’s worth doing, do it yourself”, are the words meeting you when entering this brand’s universe. For those who know, Vitale Barberis Canonico is a prestigious name when talking about Made in Italy, and as true sartorialists, they don’t only provide their clients with fabrics specially produced for tailor-made suits, they also educate them in the art of wearing a suit. The section on the website dedicated to Q&A’s, answers to the questions of when to wear a pocket square, which colours are allowed on which occasions and how to find the perfect tie-knot for your character.

Talking about fine fabrics, one cannot leave out the name of Loro Piana. The company has been one of the leading manufacturers of cashmere and wool since 1924 (and under other name combinations before that). If the recent 80% take-over by the giant LVMH is a sign of an attractive business or a need of economical funding can be discussed but the fact that the many high level brands to which Loro Piana sells its fabrics, happily announce the usage of it, should be a quality mark in itself.

The trip through the mills should also mention names such as Angelico and Colombo, two other major players in the world of wool, cashmere, cotton, linen, silk and suits. Knowledge and craftsmanship working alongside science and the assets of the nature have set the standard high, and we dare to say that these Italian market players have had more than one finger in that game. What unites them all is their mission to offer the finest of fabrics with a promise to never compromise on quality – or on a perfect tie-knot.

Lisa Olsson Hjerpe – Stills from the movie about Vitale Barberis Canonico directed by Gianluca Migliarotti 
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New York Art Book Fair 2013

If you were anywhere near New York this weekend and you didn’t stop by MoMA PS1, you might have missed one of the greatest publishing events of the year. Yes, it is the fabulous New York Art Book Fair we are talking about and, yes, beyond the trendy people, beyond the myriad of not-so-great publications and a few dozens of only so-so books, we still do love it.

Organized by Printed Matter, an institution that does not need a special introduction, the NY Art Book Fair was presented for the eighth year in a row. This year, the event featured a series of particularly delightful presentations and a beautiful exhibition of an Italian design master, Bruno Munari, who was at the centre of this year’s edition with a series of classic books he has made throughout his extraordinary career. Brought to New York in collaboration with Corraini, the publishing house which edited most of his books, this show was a comprehensive survey of his influential career, including a collection of rare and out-of-print artist and design books by Munari.

Other featured events of this year’s edition were a small exhibition of drawings, diagrams and notes made by Hans Ulrich Obrist brought together by Badlands, Paperwork, an exhibition of artists’ scrapbooks featuring works by Brigid Berlin, Jimmy de Sana, John Evans, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Al Hansen, Richard Hawkins, Geoffrey Hendricks, Ray Johnson, Leigh Ledare, Gerhard Richter and Jean-Michel Wicker, a presentation of Ray Johnson’s “Book of Death” and a satellite exhibition, hosted by See.Me, containing more than 200 posters spanning 40 years, including work by Ed Ruscha, Kathryn Andrews, Peter Coffin, Eve Fowler and Allen Ruppersberg.

If you weren’t anywhere near New York this weekend, but are still desperate to see such an amazing group of young creatives, artists, illustrators, designers and photographers all in one place, you may find them in a few months (precisely January 31st) in Los Angeles, since Printed Matter is currently working on the second edition of this amazing event in the sunny land of California.

Rujana Rebernjak 
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Cut It Out

In the midst of fashion weeks from well-established fashion cities it’s easy to let slip the growing fashionable stance of other cities. For some time now, Copenhagen has been a trend hub for both sleek minimalism as well as for innovative and artistic prêt-à-porter. During Copenhagen Fashion Week SS14 “cut outs” was among the strongest trends that was spotted and interpreted through the Danish runways.

At Stine Ladefoged a collection dedicated to the futuristic cut outs was presented giving takes on not only cut out knitwear but also the classic black and white combinations. A simplistic black skirt was in combination with a cut out black top updating a timeless classic. Nevertheless the innovative approach, there was still an implicit Pierre Cardin reference to be found for the trained eye.

The cut out trend was presented also for the male audience. Both Barbara í Gongini and Designers’ Nest presented male trousers, both cut out by the knee, bringing the mind to extremely distressed jeans as seen on street style royals, but in a more urban Beau Brummell way.

Designers’ Nest was also giving a Danish demonstration of the sheer overlay for cut outs, a trend seen on the SS14 runways around the fashion world. Here the trend was influenced by the 90s sporty chic. The designer transformed the delicate fabric into a sweatshirt-like shape and by styling it with a baseball cap made it right for the upcoming spring. At Designers Remix the cut out was barely noticeable, letting just a sliver of skin peek out allowing the design to still give an element of surprise to the beholder.

In retrospect one can argue that the cut out trend has been around for several seasons due to its ability to give sensuality to garments and modernize already used trends. An unexpected and somewhat thrilling twist is bestowed upon them. However, in the rather exhibitionistic society we live today, perhaps the twist lies in the part that remains covered.

Victoria Edman 
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Style Suggestions: 3 Outfits for a Day Out

As the industry preps for the Spring/Summer 2014 shows, we are busy planning our fashion week looks that give us a great chance to pull out those challenging pieces in our wardrobe and take them for a spin. Cool and casual, chic and elegant, these 3 looks can prepare you for any fashion week event that is thrown your way.

Shoes Del Toro, necklace Charlotte Martyr, bag Anya Hindmarch, vintage Levi’s shorts, jacket Helmut Lang, belt Isabel Marant, bracelet Noot, shirt R13.

Shirt Mother of Pearl, skirt Burberry, shoe Céline, bag Givenchy, sunglasses Ellery.

Shoe Sophie Webster, shirt Peter Pilotto, skirt Givenchy, earrings Chloé, bag Saint Laurent.

Styling and words by Vanessa Cocchiaro 
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Milano Fashion Week SS14: Angelos Bratis

From the backstage of the grand and established to the backstage of the eponymous and promising brand of designer Angelos Bratis. Saturday, The Blogazine entered the beautiful hall of Palazzo Reale in Milan to attend a Greek summer dream, and get the insights from the designer himself.

Hi Angelos! Tell me, what’s the first thing you’d like to say after the show?
I’m more curious about your feelings! Did you feel like you were in Greece? Was it summer?

It definitely was summer, and I think Greece came to mind for all of us. It felt ethereous, close to nature.
Did you feel ease?

I felt like I could go from the beach to lunch and then straight off to dinner and a cocktail!
That was exactly what I wanted to transmit so if you perceived that, I think I succeeded! I have to see the show video, but I think I felt it.

I’m letting you ask all the questions! Let’s talk about the absolute basic idea of the collection.
I wanted to do volumes that are more free, that you don’t have to care so much about. You shouldn’t have to think about if it fits or if you have to iron it, you just put it in your suitcase, go on holiday, unpack and head out!

And what about the materials and the forms?
We wanted to experiment with masculine effects even though keeping it feminine. We worked with the typical masculine stripes but asked our factories to do it all on silk poplin. It was all poplin, but not cotton! I worked a lot on geometries and the draperies within the stripes to create a feeling of a ‘pareo-kimono-peplum’ dress, that is guided by the wind – when you walk against the wind, the dress forms itself!

There’s been a lot of talk about your technique to drape your dresses directly on the mannequin. Is it still a technique you use a lot?
Yes, it’s something very important to me, it’s a way of finding the shapes, and in the end of the day, those are the dresses that I love the most.

How important is the story around the collection?

Without the story, the clothes are just clothes. I think you need that sentiment, that little tale, so that when the collection goes out in stores, even if I’ll only have a small rack, someone can feel that this is what they want to bring with them to Greece!

Your greek heritage follows you in your creative process. Is it a conscious choice or something that comes from within?

The more I grow, as a person and as a designer, I feel it is something that more and more grows within me. It works like a memory. I don’t look at a greek sculpture and say “OK let’s do this” but it’s in my DNA and it’s with me when I fold, when I pleat, when I drape.

It’s been two years since you won Vogue Italia’s “Who Is On Next?” award and obviously a lot has happened since that. What’s the next step for the Angelos Bratis brand?
For sure to make the brand more known, more established. It’s still a very young brand but only this, being here today, is a big step. We’re now on the Milan Fashion Week official calendar, in this beautiful venue with a lot of important people. Now it’s time to grow, publicly!

Interview Lisa Olsson Hjerpe – Images by Piotr Niepsuj 
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