Fashion Archive

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    We can all pretend that we don’t care that much about design awards but the truth is that it’s always interesting to see who wins what; particularly when it comes to the Design Museum’s prestigious Designs of the Year. This morning the seven category winners were announced and they are as below; the overall winner will be announced on 30 June and the show continues until 25 August.

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    This month we’ve invited four speakers who are working in exciting ways within contemporary fashion. Joining us is London based fashion designer Kit Neale to tell us how how his colourful clothing and playfully animated graphic prints explore themes of British life and humour, and mens fashion critic for the Financial Times Charlie Porter will discuss his journalistic approach for leading fashion publications and his own personal blog.

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    Nigel Shafran’s approach to photography is utterly unlike anything else I’ve ever seen. Taking often mundane aspects of every day life, Nigel captures them in a way that they’ve never been seen before, turning what we know about photography on its head and presenting something brilliantly enthralling.

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    Most fashion designers tend to prefer needle and thread to 3D printing, but it’s slap bang in the middle of that grey area, where clothing overlaps with science and technology, that Iris van Herpen is happiest. She often uses 3D printing, high-tech fabrics and scientific studies to create her garments, experimenting with technology, electricity and biology to achieve boundary-pushing visual effects.

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    Creative directors of Paris-based fashion house Kenzo Humberto Leon and Carol Lim decided to take the usually vibrant brand in a more surreal and sinister direction with their Autumn Winter 2014 collection, and who better to help them with such an endeavour than David Lynch? They enlisted the idiosyncratic director to collaborate with them for the collection, which they consider to be the third in a trilogy which references his work. David mixed the soundtrack using his characteristic surreal influences, as well as designing the set, sculpting the howling head sculpture which is reflected in countless mirrors bearing over the catwalk.

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    London Fashion Week: the Autumn/Winter 2014 edition came to a screeching halt yesterday afternoon after a four day roller-coaster ride through all the creative and sartorially-inclined talent that the UK has to offer. In between the flouncing and pouting some very impressive threads came marching down catwalks citywide, and as is our custom we thought it only reasonable to take some of our absolute favourites and pop them all on the site. Without further ado then, here’s our round-up!

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    Just when I thought I had seen enough fashion to last me until the next London Fashion Week (which seems to happen about every five weeks) BAM! Here comes a collection that totally blew me away. I can honestly say I have never seen anything like this before, it was like a match was struck in my brain and sparked nostalgia for early episodes of Blackadder and that cute lil’ Childlike Empress from The NeverEnding Story. Dreamy!

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    Super trendy brand Dent de Man know what’s up when it comes to the imagery that accompanies their Javanese and Batik-influenced garments, so they wisely picked set designer Thomas Bird to magic up a backdrop worthy of an 80s music video for their Spring Summer 2014 lookbook. Working to a brief that suggested something “mystical yet current,” Thomas created a set of abstract temples complete with pastel colours, classical sculpture and mottled marble columns to make even the the mandals (man-sandals) a natural fit.

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    Photographer Qiu Yang’s bright, blocky aesthetic lends itself easily to fashion house KENZO, the brand which has been ruling the fashion roost since it was taken over by Carol Lim and Humberto Leon three years ago. The duo resurrected the clashing prints, colours and trademark lion which have been integral to the brand since its inception by Kenzo Takada in 1970, and you can’t walk for more than five minutes these days without spotting a hint of their vibrant colour palette.

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    Elena Stonaker is part fine artist, part fashion designer with the sensibilities of a quilter thrown in for good measure. She makes dolls, paints pictures, and fashions bizarre wearable sculptures from amalgamations of fabric, jewels and imagery that sit somewhere between tapestry and garments. In short, she is one of a kind.

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    Sometimes when we do something new, like put a magazine or a T-shirt in the shop we get a bit overexcited and waffle on about how good that new thing is. But this time we’re doing things differently. We’ve just released a brand-spanking new T-shirt designed by illustrator Tim Lahan and you can get your hands on it here, here and here. The pictures down below do all the talking we need them to (observe how awesome we look hiding by the cheese plant) so all that remains to be said is what a great guy Tim is for taking the time to do some drawing for us, and that we hope you enjoy these tees as much as we do. Now go get one over here!

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    It takes a seriously design-oriented brain to be able to count illustration, art direction, photography, video and graphic design among its gifts, but Paulo Melo does so. The jack of all trades has proven the “master of none” part of that fabled expression to be entirely untrue, as he really does have fingers in several creative pies.

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    Messing around with paper folding at school didn’t get me much further than a ratty looking origami rose for my mum on Mother’s Day, so Jule Waibel’s incredible dress creations have got me absolutely stunned. The RCA graduate first won us over back in August with her project Enfaltung, and this brand new time-lapse film – which shows the making of one of her Tyvek skirts for Bershka’s 25 Dresses for 25 Cities project – proves that she’s got plenty more ideas tucked away now that she’s out of uni. We can’t wait to see what she’ll magic up next.

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    Young Berlin-based photographer Phillip Koll’s ability to blend fashion photography with sporadic blocks of vibrant colour has a distinctly collage-like effect, which makes his work seem almost multi-media. It’s a clever illusion, created through inventive set design and careful composition, and one that’s very effective.

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    If you’re a dedicated It’s Nice That podcast listener then you may have heard a disgruntled Rob Alderson utter the words “it’s all just a bit confusing really, isn’t it?” in last night’s instalment, midway through our chat about London Collections: Men, the mens’ fashion spectacular which is currently sweeping through London. To rectify not only the general bewilderment about what exactly LC:M is, then, and to bring to your attention the shows we thought stood out the most, we thought we’d bring you roundup of our five favourite shows and the designers creating them.

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    By all accounts Tigersushi Furs is one heck of a cool boutique store in Paris hawking the finest patterned clothing money can buy and an eclectic mix of other curated products (they’re also a small record label). For their Winter 2013 range they enlisted the help of fellow Parisians L’Etiquette to help them create a campaign for their patterned finery that makes all wearers of their clothing look like they’re having THE BEST time. The premise is simple: man and woman battle furiously over a pile of lovely clothes, cavorting around a plush modernist building complete with grand piano, mid-century furniture and brutalist stairways while a quizzical ginger cat looks on in confusion. Works for me. I’m off to buy a cardigan.

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    Between them, Ed Meadham and Ben Kirchhoff create that rarest of creatures in the British fashion industry – the designer duo that combines references as diverse as Wednesday Addams, Queen Elizabeth I, disco aliens and Courtney Love and squashes them into one gloriously theatrical creative vision like they were always meant to be together. At London Fashion Week, it’s only the models that Meadham Kirchhoff send out who are allowed to pick flowers out from giant bouquets, eat cupcakes and throw handfuls of glitter into the air as they dance down the catwalk. Likewise, they’re the only ones capable of making a comparatively sombre fashion crowd laugh and clap along with their frolics.

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    I don’t usually go in for fashion editorials, or even just photographs of models wearing clothes. It’s so rare that I actually find clothing that fits in the way it’s displayed in an advert that I’ve given up on looking. And yet I keep getting lured into Outlier’s online shop because of the sensational photographs that Emiliano Granado takes of each of their new products. The method is simple; take a single garment, highlight its cut and functionality and then show it off in a handful of excellent photos. No allusion to a ‘scene’ that these clothes will allow you to immediately be part of, no aspirational setting (there is one shoot that takes place on a motorbike that slightly breaks this rule) and only one or two pictures of washboard abs. Perfect. So perfect they’ve lured me into making actual purchases (see those bright red shorts? Bought ’em). Job done.

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    This is exciting. If, like me, you’ve always fantasised about what the inside of issue 1 of i-D magazine looks like, and your wallet does not allow you to buy one off eBay then THIS IS FOR YOU. Since the new i-D site was unveiled a few weeks back by proud new owners Vice it has been providing the art and design and fashion community with the publication’s extensive archive of colourful, wild fashion content from the biggest names in the industry.

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    Word has it that Dutch fabric manufacturer Vlisco is to Africa’s fashion landscape what Swedish schoolbags and high-waisted leggings currently are to London’s. The company has been producing and selling Indonesian-style batik cloth on an industrial scale since 1846, and their incredible jazzy prints and flamboyant colours have a resonating presence in central and west Africa, where originality takes precedent over following the latest fad.

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    Lisbon-born, Barcelona-based designer Margarida Borges has some super nice design work under her belt for one so young. Among the many projects in her portfolio is her collaboration with Catalan fashion designer Sita Murt; creating succinct and innovative design solutions, Margarida encapsulates the designer’s sensual, feminine aesthetic in the form of seasonal press releases.

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    Even for the most seasoned of show-goers fashion week can be a lot to take in; between four different cities, several international flights and thousands of camera clicks to every outfit, it’s easy to get confused just reading about it. It’s a good job then that multi-talented illustrator-cum-designer-cum-artist Lauren Rolwing has taken key looks by some of the most exciting designers around, and rendered them in her own highly recognisable style.

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    As one of the UK’s foremost fashion designers, Sir Paul Smith is a major figure in the cultural landscape. As a new show at the Design Museum celebrates this singular talent and restlessly creative personality, we went to spend some time with him in his office to get behind some of the headlines.

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    How joyous and naughty it is when a large, classic fashion house takes a risk with an exciting studio to create something like you’ve never seen before. I mean, did you ever expect legendary scarf-makers Hermès to allow their shop to be turned into what looks like a cross between an abattoir and something out of Jeepers Creepers? Studio Toogood decided that the store needed to be “an antidote to West End slickness” and set about coating murdery gloves and tools in red resin to give a nod to the ways in which the Hermès products are made. This is a triumphant step forward for Hermès and should be a red warning to all the other shops in the area: start doing something exciting and new or risk being left behind.

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    Here’s a textile designer certain to earn you a second glance from your neighbours when you pop to the cornershop for a pint of milk. Ning Wang studied in Beijing and Glasgow before moving to London to continue with fashion and textile design. Her designs, which are strongly influenced by her illustration, are colourful and flamboyant with no small dollop of pop culture mixed in among what seem to be classical references. Above all else, her look book consists mainly of pouty boys in long pink silky shorts surrounded by classical sculpture, which is a suitably weird juxtaposition to meet our very acquired taste.

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    Cheekbones, eyebrows and some shameless blue steel are the key to successful eyewear campaigns, and the Haw-Lin guys have got bucketloads of this. What they have added to this medley of good-genes is an eye for sharp aesthetics and bold colours that can really make a look book sing. It seems that everything Nathan and Jacob touch turns to eye candy, and this look book for RTCO sunglasses is no exception. Bright, fun and with a perfect pinch of 80s shopping catalogue, this is an example of why everyone should be queuing up to ask Haw-Lin Services to contribute to literally any project they are working on.

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    A journalist at the press conference for the hotly-anticipated Hello My Name is Paul Smith at the Design Museum made a very interesting point. Paul Smith makes stripy socks and nice suits, like many other designers, what is it about his stripy socks that people buy into? Simple answer: it’s him. It’s his fun, his energy, his silly faces, his flowery shirts, his bandy legs and his unabashed cheerfulness that makes us want to buy his clothes! This is also precisely why this exhibition of his career to date has to be one of the most enjoyable in the history of shows, it’s 100% infused with happiness and celebration. From the walls covered in framed miscellany taken from Paul’s own staircase (only a tiny fraction of the complete archive), to the recreation of his infamous stuff-filled office, this show had journalists and photographers go all squishy and giddy with joy whilst ambling around.

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    As far as outlets for a fashion brand’s creative expression go a seasonal lookbook lends itself pretty niftily to portraying the overarching theme of a collection, and for their fall/winter 2013 lookbook Austrian menswear brand Grundtner & Söhne have utilised this grey area between editorial design and fashion to the nth degree.

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    Teenage years are often glamourised as a time of exploration, passion, sex and discovery – which is true in some cases. But amidst the excitement brewing for a long life ahead, there’s often a lot of waiting around. Waiting for a lift, waiting for your friends to get ready, waiting to be legally allowed to buy alcohol, waiting for someone to have a crush on you…I mean, it’s long! That’s why these photos by Petra Collins are so great, they totally capture the sheer drawn-out nature of teenage years.

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    Have you ever seen a stylist work alongside an estranged artist to collaborate on a pig-themed fashion feature? Well, if you picked up issue 5 of Hot and Cool magazine you will have done, as Alice Goddard and Sally Cruikshank collaborated together to make one of the most original mag features we’ve ever seen.

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    Fish and chips, beer and a jolly good laugh, beaches and great weather; all examples of things which are great on their own but BRILLIANT in combination. Add to that list photographer Jenny van Sommers and art director Rachel Thomas who wowed us earlier this year with their super project lampooning the over-the-top promises on the back of shampoo bottles. Now the pair are back with an excellent series for the Anya Hindmarch Autumn/Winter collection which captures the idea of obsession through our relationship with classic games like chess, dominoes and backgammon.

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    I think we can all agree that no part of the world does prints quite like the kind of tropical, kaleidoscopic patterns that Africa provide us with, and it seems to be only in recent years that people have really started to sit up and take notice. KISUA is an online fashion brand that scouts out some of Africa’s most talented textile and fashion designers and gives them the financial support and tools they need to create their garments. A portion of the profit goes straight to the designer and the clothes are sold to the rest of Africa and all over the world to pattern-hungry fashion lovers. Judging by these pretty outstanding press shots by Misha Taylor combined with KISUA’s seriously procrastination-worthy Tumblrs, we’re pretty sure this is going to take off like nobody’s business.

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    It’s sad these days to walk around the streets of the United Kingdom and see so few people wearing real statement items of clothing that define their interests. And I don’t mean someone on the Kingsland Road wearing an M&S bag as a dress, I mean real uniforms of taste like the old days. This blog, What We Wore, allows members of the public to submit photographs of themselves in their glory days wearing pieces of clothing they feel defined them at the time. From the guy who wore love beads in the 90s because they were “compulsory” to the girl who didn’t feel her crop-top outfit was complete without Tommy Girl perfume, all these stories are funny, touching and reminiscent of people who just wanted to have fun and be cool.

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    Here’s what Marta Veludo taught us today: if you’re a dab hand at creating an aesthetically pleasing image, why not print it on a silk scarf? In fact, why not print a whole collection of scarves, photograph them really nicely and then compile them into an equally fun lookbook?

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    Fashion illustration is something of an overlooked art when it comes to sartorially-led projects, but TASCHEN’s beautiful new tome Illustration Now! Fashion is a weighty (literally) testament to its importance both to the creative process and as its own art form.

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    We’re not ashamed to say that we’re huge champions of what those shape-spotting, geometry-loving pattern-finders over at Patternity get up to (we even featured them in Printed Pages a while back) so when they came together with COS to collaborate on a short film which combines sartorial excellence with a stop-motion sequence of circles, squares, angles and objects, we knew they couldn’t go far wrong.

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    Window dressers often go unnoticed, don’t you think? Involved in their own unique brand of set design, they create micro-universes designed both to frame and to contextualise a fashion designer or retail outlet’s vision, and yet unless they’re dressing the enormous storefronts of Louis Vuitton or transforming Selfridges into a submarine they rarely get the credit they deserve.

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    Like my films, foods and taste in music , I like my fashion with a good helping of unsubtle and comic references to history. As you can see from these exuberant pictures fresh off the catwalk, this S/S 14 collection from sartorial cuties Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana is taking all the best bits of ancient history and injecting them with concentrated SASSY.

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    Angelo Pennetta’s outtakes have been sitting in our reference files since he first got put on the site back in 2012. Back then, his appeal stemmed from the fact that he seemed to be the only photographer online who A: dared to put his outtakes online as equals to his commissioned work, and B: as someone who could make even the surliest of models crack a toothy smile.

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    Just when we were getting used to editorial fashion shoots being filled with the refined bodies of models clad in expensive materials moodily shot, Brighton based photographer Joseph Ford appeared, throwing aerial landscape shots into the mix. And it is here that we see great talent meet a great idea and witness just how brilliant it can become.