Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Sandal Selfie

Sandals and slides have been going on for a while now - and selfies even longer. Put both together and what do you get? An instagram post beloved by those who care about footwear to such an extreme that they'd rather take pictures of their feet than their face. Works for me...

left - right, top - bottom:
Pernille in Stine Goya, Camille Charriere in Zara, Lucy Williams in Birkenstocks, India Rose in Adidas, Marine Guergova in Gurkees and Charlie May in Isabel Marant

3D printing at Topman Designs SS15

I know it feels like a while ago now, but it was London Collections: Men last week in London, and whilst I'm usually interested and involved with the shows themselves, this season was slightly different. Working together with My 3D Twin and Topman, the creative 3D printing agency I work with ran a brilliant project, in which models straight off the catwalk were 3D scanned and 3D printed.

After checking out the technology (more about this in a previous post), we were convinced the idea would run as a fantastic marketing campaign for Topman, whose SS15 Topman Design collection was in question. Not only has this initiative allowed for people who weren't present at the show to digitally interact with the collection, but it also illustrates a step in the right direction in terms of future uses of 3D technology for retail.

Leading British online retailer ASOS has this month announced a project using a similar technique. SIZE ASOS will run as a three day initiative, in which members of the public will be 3D scanned as a way of taking their exact bodily measurements, creating a database of true dimensions which will be used to improve the e-tailer's sizing structure. Whilst the technology is being used differently than how we implemented it for Topman Designs, its clear to see that people are recognising increasing value in the ability to bridge the gap between digital and IRL.

All that's left now is to wait until someone thinks of a seriously game-changing idea that will completely change how we look at the fashion industry on a digital platform. Exciting stuff, right?

 backstage at Topman Designs SS15, some of the 3D printed looks from the collection

Arcadia Missa & Preteen

I'm a freelance writer, and I write about things like fashion, tech and art. When I'm asked to review art shows, it's expected to see something 'new': an interesting new aesthetic, material, or take on a concept usually suffices. Despite all these original visuals, it's kind of rare to actually feel something new. But that's exactly what happened when I went to review 'It Been Four Years Since 2014' at Arcadia Missa with Preteen Gallery in Peckham earlier this month. The initial reaction of "huh?"/"wtf is going on" slowly evolved into a realisation that the work presented in the show was not art as I knew it. At uni, we learnt about 'movements' and about how new, paradigm-shifting shows happened in the art world - yet I have never experienced that feeling of excitement at a show myself. Until now. It's weird, but check out my article on aqnb.com about the show, and if you can, you should go and see it.


Thursday, 12 June 2014

flat textures

I've got a real thing for materials, materiality and textures - and I love how these (rather general) concepts can be explored on a flat plane. Painting and photography have a lot in common, and while the internet continues to establish itself as (probably) the most important platform for aesthetic and visual discovery, we're all going back to flat. What I mean by this is that what we see on a computer screen does not have a texture: it stands as a flat image. Despite this, an understanding of lighting, texture and movement can still be achieved. A few weeks ago, my friend Will and I took some photographs of the inner, reflective surface of a photography lighting umbrella. Placed in a totally white studio (a shelf space painted white on all sides), we added some different coloured cards to change the appearance of the otherwise silver material, and the results are stunning.

Along the same lines, I recently came across these incredible paintings by artist Yrjö Edelmann. His magic conjurings of trompe-l'oeil images are deceptively placed in a realm somewhere between reality and fantasty - but the images of his work look incredible on a computer screen. The evident textures aren't entirely dissimilar to the images of some shiny material that we produced, and of course, both share a very particular flatness in contrast to their textures.

The black leather reign

It may be summer already here in the UK, but for those of you looking forward to covering up already: don't panic. As usual, expect the leather jacket to return as it does season after season - and despite the power of the plain, high quality, black biker, every brand has (at some point) imagined their own version. Resort SS15 has provided us with all sorts of looks over the past couple of days, delivering everything you'd expect (crops, mules, slides and trousers) and more (is camo print still relevant?). Yet the two looks I've picked to discuss from the collections that I've remembered most so far (Fendi and Acne) are built upon the timeless shape of the leather biker jacket - and I'm fascinated (if a little baffled) to know why we still want them so badly.

Both are similar lengths, and both begin with that blank, black leather canvas. Embellished print patches or grungy purple pop? Wide, flappy arms or slim without hardware? The decisions are endless, one but thing is for sure. The leather jacket will not only continue it's reign year after year, but this season (with it's difficult trends: the mannish silhouette, the copious selection of flats, etc), the leather jacket might just be our savior. Balancing the lengths and widths of current key pieces is no doubt a challenge, but this piece - with a length that's fantastic for re-evaluating the small of a woman's back - will certainly help.

BTW - if you're after a plain one because you can't afford a selection of flamboyant leather jackets (like me), go here.

Thursday, 5 June 2014

Block out

Hey - isn't Alexander Wang's Resort 2015 collection reminding you a liiiiiitle bit of Nazir Mazhar F/W14?

Anyway. At the Resort Presentation in NY a few days ago, Wang explained how the collection's inspiration came from being preoccupied with clothing care instructions and how clothes can be ruined by washing. This explains the laundromat location of the collection shoot - but I also think it's an interesting way to create a graphic, kind of sporty look for the clothes, directly referencing the logo tags you get inside the garment. Playing by the rules in terms of a mannish silhouette, the pieces are boxy, full of contrast and also include some tie-dye. Not necessarily what you'd expect from the downtown-cool designer, but they'll almost certainly have as much street cred as those wearable pieces from Nazir Mazhar.

Wednesday, 4 June 2014

Continue developing

I just caught sight of this editorial from a couple of months ago now. Styled by Maiken Winther for Costume Denmark and captured by Dennis Stenild back in January, more of that sexy boyish attitude is coming through these photographs. Powerful tailoring contrasts casual styling, and that matching pink two set is spot on for both shape and tone.

The huge pearl earring has also cropped up a couple of times over the last few months. Find some to shop here by Sophie Bille Brahe, or check out an upcoming project launching something similar on The Haute Pursuit. And what are your thoughts on the bull ring? Nice FKA Twigs vibe, no?