Fashion Archive

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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.

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    Finally it has arrived! Manga camouflage! Don’t know what it is? Well you definitely will before the month is out as descending on the European fashion market are these spectacularly designed outfits lined with quite possibly the brightest prints you will have seen in a long while. Working in collaboration with the Japanese government to promote Japanese creatives, internationally acclaimed textile compant Komatsu Seiren and leading art director/illustrator Fantasia Utamaro are setting up pop-up shops across Europe to display and sell their collaborative textile garments, products limited edition goods. Launched on Tuesday at the Premier Vision textile fair in Paris, the project is already off to a strong start and we cannot wait for them to arrive at 39.39 shop, London at the end of the month!

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    There’s nothing like a photographer with an instantly recognisable style for a dose of mid-week inspiration, and Czech Republic-based photographer Michal Pudelka has just that. His very beautiful, almost eerily perfect shots have more than a hint of Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Virgin Suicides about them, with their subjects dressed in matching outfits and posed in girlband-esque stances – look too long and you get the impression that he might have dumped a whole bottle of irony in with the developing fluid in his darkroom.

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    Excited though we may be about the veritable extravaganza of fantastic art and design which is London Design Festival beginning this week, we couldn’t allow ourselves to let the capital’s equally deserved celebration of Britain’s creativity, London Fashion Week, slip by unnoticed. Today will see the final round of shows from the five day fashion marathon, so as fashion’s elite escape on the Eurostar leaving a fine veil of lost sequins and discarded freebies scattered across Somerset House’s courtyard we thought it was the perfect time to bring you a round-up of our five favourite offerings from Britain’s much applauded fashion designers. Without further ado then, here they are…

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    It’s surprisingly easy to forget just how rich British heritage is when the glossy window displays and ad campaigns with which we come face-to-face on a daily basis only skim the surface of a long and arduous chain of production. And increasingly it’s fashion brands that we have to thank these days, for plucking gems of craftsmanship from the British provinces where they usually hide away and dragging them out into the spotlight for us all to be proud of.

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    When it comes to campaigns, COS very, very often get it right. To usher in the new season with all of their usual pizzazz, they’re recruited the likes of furniture designer Fredrik Paulsen, men’s fashion critic Charlie Porter, creative director and co-founder of Apartamento Nacho Alegre, restaurateur David Waddington and graphic designer Zak Kyes. Quite a line-up, no? The five men are considered to be pioneering culture across a broad range of disciplines, so in a celebration of their personalities each was photographed in his home city with one of his favourite things (a fact that makes Nacho’s shot with his dog all the more charming).

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    Early morning, prising your eyes open, you reach into your clothes drawers and pull out those cycling shorts. No, it is not sleep deprived eyes tricking you, they really are that small and you really will have to squeeze your resistant limbs into them. Some can pull it off; those fully covered lycra bodies speeding on their bicycles, but let’s face it, under a dress or fitted jeans, that extra padding ain’t so svelte.

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    I used to work in Mayfair for a while, a period of my life I chiefly remember for prohibitively high lunch costs and an introduction to what plastic surgery actually looks like in real life. But its combination of high fashion, history and wealth throws up its fair share of interesting buildings and the new Paul Smith shop designed in conjunction with 6a architects is sure to join that roster.

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    Has a Margaret Howell look-book ever looked anything less than astonishingly appealing? I don’t think any other fashion brand has come close to making clothes look so tantalising as they have over the years. In typical Howell fashion, the latest collection has been revealed in a stunning series of monochrome shots of the clothes half-made in their studios, or finished and draped on to suitably moody models.

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    Stop right there – we need to talk about Julia Noni. If it’s not a name familiar to you, she’s the photographer creating images which, in a sea of fashion editorials, jump immediately from the page with a startling, cinematic beauty to make the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end. From her electric use of colour – opulent jewel tones set against pale foliage in a photo-shoot with Jeneil William for the September issue of Vogue Germany – to the ethereal otherworldly juxtaposition of models against still life images in On a Clear Day for Vogue Japan, her inimitable style means her photography is immediately identifiable in only the best way. Watch out, world.

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    Seetal has come a long way since being an exceptional Central Saint Martins grad. She now runs her very own studio which does everything from styling to screenprinting workshops, from menswear design to creative direction. What they really specialise in however is textile design – and what textile designs! Seetal has a serious talent when it comes to designing some of the most beautiful, well-informed repeat pattern you may ever have come across. No wonder she’s got the entire fashion world queueing up to collaborate with her. Her bookshelf is, unsurprisingly, injected with fashion, style and a big ol’ dose of craft. Enjoy!

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    Roll up roll up one and all. To celebrate this prolonged summer of clement weather (it’s not often we get to say that) we’ve restocked the Company Of Parrots shop with all our most popular products. The last lot sold out super fast and we know we left some of you disappointed, but put all that heartache behind you because now you can get your greedy little mitts on the very finest T-Shirts we have to offer. That means more cheerful multi-coloured suns, more dancing couples and yes, more of that cheeky little chap we use as our logo. There’s also more totes in stock too so you can carry the It’s Nice That smile and Company Of Parrots parrot about your person all the time. Chop chop though, these guys are hot to trot and once they’re gone, well, they’re gone!

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    Brace yourself London – it’s time to get techie. For the first time ever the O2 Campus Party heads to the capital next month for a whole week of talks, events and workshops based around the idea that “the internet is not a network of computers, it’s a network of people.”

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    Never one to follow the crowd that Miuccia Prada. On first watch, Real Fantasies, a short produced with long-term collaborator AMO to advertise the Fall Winter 2013 collection, looks like nothing short of a bad dream about a dystopian society which has been thrown into a time-warp and then emerged the other side only to be cut into tiny pieces and stuck back together again. What’s more, it’s oddly transfixing. The disjointed music, two-dimensionality and surrealist influence all come together with an absurd kind of harmony which shows the collection in its absolute best light.

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    Back in April we sent out a call for all you creative types to start sending your beautifully designed envelopes to the new Paul Smith store at 46 Beak Street, and send them you did, in droves! As of today, you’ll be pleased to hear, Beak Street’s door are officially open and not only do the envelopes take pride of place on a wall for customers to examine at their leisure, but we were honoured to be invited to co-host the opening party last night.

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    So many beautiful things we don’t know where to begin. The new collection of jewellery from “illustrator, designer and general maker-of-things” Kaye Blegvad is stunning. Adorning necks with diving gulls or staring eyes, fingers with strands of laurel, posies or moonstones and wrists with tiny, tiny hands, they are beyond wonderful and we want them all.

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    Take the coolest photographer right now, put him with the coolest shop there is, and then let them shoot a collection they’ve made all about one of the coolest men who ever lived, Elvis Presley. I’d like to have been in the boardroom when they were discussing this new collection: “Gimme more rhinestones! I want some love hearts! Where are those cheeseburger motifs?” You name it, if it looks like it could have been on a shelf in Graceland then it’s inspired this collection. Getting Jamie to photograph it was genius; his knack for transforming otherwise run-of-the-mill kids into superstars using just his lens is second to none, and with the help of the trendy clothes, the transformation is ten-fold.

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    Inspired by Mary Poppins’ seemingly never-ending bag, Royal College of Art student Jule Waibel’s post-graduate project Enfaltung, meaning unfolding, was based around a range of garments created using intricate folding techniques. Incorporating the concept of collapsible structures into her design process, Jule toys with ideas of dimensionality to create clothes which expand and contract with the movement of the wearer, placing emphasis on transformation and growth. She uses Tyvek, a lightweight waterproof, tearproof synthetic paper to make her pieces, onto which a gradient is printed before the garment is made. Even better, you can watch a time-lapse film of the whole arduous process below. As she explains, “the project celebrates the beauty to be found between geometry, transformation and play.” I’d say she’s done Mary Poppins proud, wouldn’t you?

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    In an overwhelming ocean of fashion photography full of carefully polished pretty girls taking care not to dirty their clothes, French photographer Fanny Latour-Lambert’s work is like a little wooden fishing boat bobbing happily along doing its own thing. Her careful combination of models who look like actual people getting a bit grubby and trying to catch rain in their mouths, in places that are neither urban and gritty nor fairytale dreamworlds, explains exactly why the super young and very talented photographer has already been published in Vogue Italia, L’Officiel Hommes and i-D. She might well be treading a delicate line between styling, direction and seemingly improvised brilliance, but she is doing it it with aplomb.

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    We’re more than happy to admit that we are enduring fans of Patternity and all that they conjure up – it’s an admiration we made manifest in a feature in the Summer 2013 issue of Printed Pages. So when we found out that they were collaborating with clothing brand Chinti and Parker on a knitwear collection inspired by images of buildings and interlacing architectural structures, we were right up there on the bandwagon.

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    Barriobajero are Silvia Bianchi & Ricardo Juárez, two creatives working at the forefront of experimental creativity across a whole host of disciplines. The Stockholm studio art direct, design, style and curate, producing work that’s predominantly defined by web culture; from the proliferation of streams of disparate imagery to the rise of digital textures. In fact they’ve compiled a tasty riso-printed book that explores these textures in physical form, taking strange metallic waves and CGI marble and solidifying them in good old-fashioned ink.

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    We’ve all been there, arriving at a hotel for an every-expense-spared, luxury-free holiday bought with some newspaper coupons and a pocketful of spare change only to find that there’s no mini bar, the beds are wrapped in plastic and you can practically see through the walls into the next room. Before you know it your profanities are being overdubbed with white noise, your genitals pixellated and obscene hand gestures blurred beyond recognition. Alright, so that doesn’t happen in the actual real world, but it does in Danny Sangra’s. Watch and learn…

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    London’s V&A has long been curating exhibitions which showcase otherwise overlooked elements of British history, and their latest offering is no exception, placing the huge outburst of creative energy which took place in London’s club scene in the 1980s at the very centre of the museum’s focus. Showing 85 outfits, from Katharine Hamnett’s slogan tees to Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s era-defining Pirate collection, the show looks at the way 1980s club culture, from New Romantic to High Camp and Goth styles all moved out of underground culture to infiltrate mainstream fashion, with London at its core.

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    It’s not often that we feature fashion illustration on It’s Nice That, but that’s largely to do with the fact that in a sea of leggy models and oversize pink satin bows it’s not often that something jumps out at us in quite the way Lovisa Burfitt’s work does. The Swedish, France-based artist’s balance of graphite line and heavy watercolour shades is just expressive enough to give life to her characters without drowning them with too much over-thought. She draws other things than pretty frocks, too; her skeletal buildings are especially lovely.

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    Since Hedi Slimane took over from Stefano Pilati as creative director of Yves Saint Laurent early last year, he’s made a whole heap of divisive changes – not least shortening the name of the iconic fashion house to Saint Laurent – and his debut of the Resort 2014 collection this week stands as solid proof that he doesn’t intend to slow down any time soon.

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    Look out US fashionistas (sorry, I’ll NEVER use that word again) there are some new kids on the block ready to knock off your (cashmere) socks. gg-ll are Grace Glass and Lucas Lefler, graduates of the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design – in Graphic Design and Architecture respectively – two individuals with shared creative goals and a complementary array of skills. Together they’re producing the kind of luxurious fashion editorial and photographic campaigns that we’re always happy to lust over; think overexposed shots, carefully placed plants, geometric abstraction and a whole Pantone library worth of pastel shades. And with projects for Levi’s Made & Crafted, Duckie Brown and BULLETT under their belts already, we’re anticipating a stratospheric rise to the big time. The sky’s the limit!