Friday, 27 February 2009
As details of the Colophon 2009 International Magazine Symposium just popped into our inbox (it's a three day event where loads of small, independent magazines come together - sounds like an amazing event to cover, too bad we can't make it to Luxembourg where it's held), we thought we'd take the opportunity to explore some interesting independent/obscure magazines:
Hailing from Spain, Metal takes an interesting look at contemporary European fashion, art, and design, focusing particularly on smaller brands and designers. It's available online from American Apparel (where you can see some more scans of their spreads). revistametal.com
"The short story of a burger and a diet coke bottle who wanted to be supermodels for Vogue." And if you're still not convinced, it's a magazine that celebrates "democratic design and avant-garde food," and has had the seal of approval from Colette and Paul Smith:
Cederteg are a series of limited edition magazines, from Sweden (like many cool things), which contain the work of cutting-edge writers, photographers and artists. cederteg.blogspot.com
4) Vs Magazine
Vs is a cool high fashion magazine with a minimalist layout (similar to 10/10 Men's, which we also love), which comes out twice a year, and is edited from Copenhagen, New York, and Paris. vspublications.com
5) Acne Paper
Despite sounding like something medicinal, Acne Paper is actually the magazine from the Swedish denim brand/design collective. It's ".. an eclectic yet coherent mix of portrait, fashion, and art photography as well as interviews, memoirs, and prose.. by moving effortlessly between high and popular culture Acne Paper is a glamorous and intelligent magazine celebrating personality, authenticity, and style." acnepaper.com
Slurp is a striking entirely black-and-white fashion magazine, which is a rather exciting idea. slurpmagazine.com
Apartamento documents creative people's chaotic living spaces, along with essays about how these people interact with their homes, and why they love them. apartamentomagazine.com
8) Electric Youth
Hot from Spain, the deliberately trashy looking (and rather homoerotic) Electric Youth magazine (or "magateen" because of its age demographic) contains pictures of the beautiful, cool kids in town (both girls and boys, though the editors seem most keen on the latter). Interestingly, it almost inadvertently parodies its subjects and their 'cool' lives, exposing a sort of fickleness and lack of substance that exists behind its bright, hyperactive spreads. Sold online at American Apparel.
Tel-Aviv based Picnic comes out twice a year and it contains no writing, instead communicating a series of visual messages through photography, fashion, architecture, astronomy, graphics design, baking.. it's like a slightly odd assorted look book, which links "logical thinking with fantasy and the sub-concious." picnicmagazine.net
10) Meat Paper
Likely to upset vegetarians, Meat Paper is a magazine all about... meat! Not literally, of course, ("We like metaphors more than marinating tips. We are your journal of meat culture."). What we like is the fact that it's wonderfully quirky and original, and it's an 'art' piece in itself. In issue 6: "... a world-famous Belgian artist tells us what it's like inside a suit made of steaks, and where the bulls go after the matador has struck. And we tackle the thorny issue of whether bacon and chocolate really belong together."
Don't get us wrong, Meat Paper does 'gross us out' a bit, but it's pretty cool at the same time (albeit in a slightly troubling way). meatpaper.com
This is by no means an exhaustive list of interesting smaller magazines, just some that have caught our eye. There are SO many of them, covering art, fashion, architecture, photography... if only we had the funds/time to buy and read more. Are there any obscure magazines that you read which we haven't mentioned? Anything else we should check out?
In other magazine news, POP (which was Katie Grand's fashion mag before she left, along with her entire team, to start LOVE) is apparently not defunct, and is going to be revived by its publishers with Dasha Zhukova as its editor. Zhukova, the partner of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, has no experience in magazine editing, and is better known as an art collector. In an interview with the Guardian newspaper Zhukova embarrassingly couldn't name a single artist she liked (claiming she was bad at remembering names), despite having spend hundreds of millions buying up art AND even opened her own gallery in Moscow! Let's hope her fashion knowledge is a little more up to scratch..
The Colophon 2009 website has information about the event, and a useful directory where you can look up independent magazines and see interviews with their creators.
Colette and American Apparel are good places to buy independent magazines (including many of the ones mentioned here) online. You can see more scans from some of the magazines here on the Apparel web store newsstand area.
Thursday, 26 February 2009
We love this editorial from the March 2009 British Vogue which is chic yet modern, edgy yet sophisticated. British Vogue keep on coming up trumps with their editorials at the moment (and those Gareth Pugh platforms...)
2) Kate Moss at the Prada Double Club at London Fashion Week
Doesn't she look amazing? There's so much bitching about how she parties too hard/might be pregnant/has gained weight/has had a possible breast enlargement/looks bad without make up etc. etc. but it's shots like this that remind us why she's a supermodel and why we still love her (and why we still love those AW08 YSL shoes). Last year we were outside a club when she emerged from a car like that, surrounded by bodyguards and mobbed by about 50 paparazzi, most of whom had been following her car on scooters. Honestly we'd never seen anything like it (that is until we got back inside the club and found ourselves about a foot away from her, and billionaire Sir Philip Green, aka Mr Topshop, but more about our inadvertent celeb spotting another time..)
3) Giuseppe Zanotti SS09 Advertising Campaign
We love the kitsch factor of Zanotti's spring/summer ad campaign, which reminds us of an artist we like, the little known pop artist Wayne Thiebaud, who painted food and other consumer goods (sometimes as props held by female figures) in a bright, wonderfully kitsch style:
4) Kanye West + Fashion Weeks = :(
For people who follow these things, it has been impossible to miss Kanye West's presence at almost every fashion show recently (men's, Haute Couture, London and NY women's, Milan and Paris next presumably..) Sure he wants to start a fashion brand or do something in fashion now his music career's slowing, but we feel it's wrong and unnecessary how he uses his celebrity status to barge, often unwanted it would seem, into fashion shows.
We could just about bear it if he behaved respectfully towards this world which he's effectively trying to buy his way into with his celebrity status but, judging from a growing number of online reports, he has been rude and arrogant towards a number of people who work in the fashion industry, who actually have a reason and a right to be at the shows. If these reports are true, he's only shooting himself in the foot because the impression we get at the moment is that most people in fashion are laughing at him, and are not about to embrace him as one of their own.
From Grazia Magazine:
- "..we decided to go with the flow and ask him [Kanye] how he's enjoying LFW so far. ‘It's cool man. It's cool...' was his reply. And want to know how he tells you he's done with your questions: a raised palm to your face and the words ‘enough now'. Oh and a pout at the next person who takes his fancy. Nice."
- "Can we offer you [Kanye West] some Fashion Week etiquette advice? One: it's rude to RSVP to a party and then not attend. So we salute the host who publicly screamed Kanye down at a show for going MIA. Two: it's really not kind to make Fashion Week publicists cry. And that's what happens when you crash a show [Christopher Kane] 30 seconds before it ends and demand a front-row seat*. And when you do the same 30 seconds before a show starts [Giles] the very next day. Three: when you're front row at a show, it's kind to actually pay attention to the clothes – not just sing along to your own track and snog your girlfriend." (*apparently he made a front-row editor get up and move!!)
- "Kanye West made the rounds at London Fashion Week like he's a high-powered editor. Seriously, this guy is going to everything — it's out of control."
- "Mr. West continued his Fashion Week whirlwind today, but this time, it actually hurt. Instead of entering through the door like a normal person, he entered from backstage onto the runway. Fine, many people do this. But we're pretty sure they don't enter, avec entourage, while the lights are dimming (single file) so that everyone and their Blackberry can make a mental note, "Oh, Kanye's here, and so are all his friends." At first we thought, "Ok, maybe he just wanted to avoid having his photo taken, or maybe he was just so busy checking out the collection that he lost track of time." But then he sat there through the whole show, not with this eyes absolutely glued to the runway as one might assume is the only polite thing to do having stolen the thunder of the very designer you're there to see, but snapping his fingers to the music, and alternating between staring into space, talking with the man next to him, and looking at the clothes only when the model was finally smack in front of his face."
- "We witnessed a small exchange between Kanye and Scott [The Sartorialist] outside of Band of Outsiders earlier today. Kanye strutting up to Scott, Scott not caring, then Kanye tapping Scott on the stomach like old friends. Still, no shot..."
Two related things:
Some great comments on this Fashionista post - the issue of Kanye in fashion sure gets people going..
From NY Magazine: Vivienne Westwood Doesn't Know Who Kanye West Is - God bless you, Vivienne!
Enough of the celebrity drama. Back to fashion:
5) Shoe Moment: Chrissie Morris
They may not be Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte, but we rather love British shoe designer Chrissie Morris' shoes. She isn't that well known at the moment, but we think she's a name to look out for, now and in the future. See more on her website.
6) Obsession: Raf Simons Beach Towels
Because they're beach towels! ... by Raf Simons! ... one with a very meaningful message on! Why do we always fall for stuff like this? We do like the idea of black beach towels, though.. much more 'fashion' than the usual bright ones (though perhaps a little depressing for holidays? We think it's all about laying these out by some obscure Soviet-era concrete swimming pool you're visiting, semi-ironically, of course, in the lastest hip Eastern European destination.. so much more culturally advanced and cool than bright orange print on the beach of a Caribbean resort!)
Available online (€125) from Colette, and various other Raf Simons stockists.
Wednesday, 25 February 2009
1) Christopher Kane
Touted as the reason why big international buyers and editors still come to London Fashion Week (when most big Brit designers have eloped to Paris and Milan), 26 year old Kane has built an extraordinary reputation for himself in just a few years. In our eyes, he can do little wrong (even if this collection was somewhat less exciting and vibrant than previous ones), particularly with regard to his now-trademark, incredible structured dresses. And given that his SS09 dresses recently sold out within moments of their arrival at Browns and Net-a-Porter, despite their high prices and current economic woes, it seems we're not the only ones who agree.
2) Richard Nicoll
We enjoyed the sci-fi elements of Nicoll's collection (which had a definite hint of Nicolas Ghesquière at Balenciaga about it, although it still felt fresh in its own right), and the very close garment construction, with strong emphasis on piping (which sometimes brought to mind a rather sinister psychiatric nurse from the future). It was also interesting to see the subversive, bondage elements (the small straps and fastenings, the masks, the cut-outs and general body restraint) played out against such a light colour pallet. Overall, a strong collection which we liked.
Following Luella's very strong SS09 showing, of great tailoring in vibrant colours, we had high hopes that the brand might be going in an interesting new direction (while continuing its seemingly core role of supplying pretty-party-dresses-with-attitude to the increasingly over-exposed coterie of London 'It' girls, like Daisy Lowe, Alexa Chung, and the Geldofs), but this collection had us confused as to what the message or direction was and, visually, we found it somewhat unappealing.
4) Marios Schwab
Marios Schwab's unusual (and unpromising sounding) starting point of exploring geological expansion (when rocks and crystals crack open under environmental stresses - sounds terrifingly like school geography..), actually translated into a very sound collection, which we enjoyed a lot. The only false note came at the end of the show when two enormous fluffy fur coats, one in red, another in blue, incongruous with the rest of the collection, were sent down the runway - almost as an unnecessary last-ditch attempt to make an otherwise slightly summery feeling collection look more autumn/winter like.
We found it hard to extract any overall cohesive message or look from the Giles show, but in a way Giles Deacon is one of those designers where it doesn't really matter, and you just go with the flow. It had the sinister edge which has characterised a lot of his work, with spikes, dark colours, and copious use of fur (which almost turned some of the models into wild beasts). We loved Stephen Jones' flying saucer hats, and the sci-fi shine that crept in at times - overall, a strong, if random, collection which we liked (ridiculous egg-with-a-bobble-on-top outfit notwithstanding...)
Erdem Moralioglu is a rising star on the London fashion scene, known for his skillful way with colour and floral patterns. The way Erdem gives an edge to pattern, particularly floral, and makes it seem modern and relevant is indeed something to behold - US Vogue have even lauded him as a potential "Christian Lacroix of London".
7) Meadham Kirchhoff
Designers Ed Meadham and Benjamin Kirchhoff's latest collection may not jump out at you and say 'WOW' (indeed understatement seems to be the name of the game, just occasionally verging on dullness), but there were definitely interesting elements: the well-done bomber/motorcycle jackets, the subtly frayed edges, the gold rococo embellishments that cleverly manage to look subtle, the occasional mannish tailoring and fits, the deconstruction.. We really enjoyed these touches, but felt overall it could have been much more of a knock-out collection had there been a more cohesive feel overall, and more energy present.
8) Julien Macdonald
Despite a stint as creative director of Givenchy (post Alexander McQueen, pre Riccardo Tisci), recently Julien Macdonald has almost completely dropped off the high fashion radar, having been overly associated with dressing celebrities in a rather tacky 'bling' style. Now, with a new financial backer, he's aiming to change all that. His latest collection still has a very high dose of the high-octane glamour, more often associated with Milan collections (to the extent that it didn't feel at all like a London collection - far too shiny, not nearly offbeat enough!), but it should keep his original fans happy. At the same time, there were more interesting design touches too like the wide rock chick shoulders, which should help to add a greater design integrity.
9) Charles Anastase
Having excited us last season with his SS09 collection, and having returned to showing in London after several seasons in Paris, we had high hopes for Anastase, but frankly this collection was all over the place. Heavily redolent of 90s grunge, Anastase claimed the collection was not nostalgic, but rather an autobiographical exploration of his adolescent customisation of second-hand, charity shop clothes. There was a lot of energy, and you could probably pick out some good pieces, but overall we couldn't help but wonder why there's a good reason that most move on from such youthful customisations, and if they look back at all it is merely with a twinge of mild embarrassment/horror.
10) Roksanda Ilincic
There was something about Ilincic's collection that didn't feel very fresh, some of it felt a bit seen-before (Lanvin? Dolce & Gabbana?), but nonetheless she's skilled at designing pretty clothes of the type that many women actually like to wear, and her vision definitely seemed more refined than in previous seasons.
11) Paul Smith
In many ways, and this is quite a rare occurrence in fashion, Paul Smith's men's collections (which are his forte, particularly when tailoring is involved) outshine his women's collections. That's not to say we dislike his women's collections, which provide some great pieces for creative women with a slightly quirky dress sense, it's just overall there doesn't seem to be much going on with them in terms of a look or message, perhaps because Sir Paul's inimitable style is better suited to menswear.
12) House of Holland
Henry Holland's shows seem to produce a sort of infectious energy that lifts everyone's spirits during heavy-going show seasons (sadly we weren't there to enjoy the Dulux colour chart explosion first hand), with great sense of humour and lots of cool attitude. Sure, it's not very 'serious' stuff, but it's cool, it's fun, it's now, and this season there was more emphasis on tailoring, demonstrating another side of HH's design skills. Style.com were dubious ("Henry Holland and Aggy Deyn have turned the gossamer web of media celebrity into the safety net of a substantial career...The problem with that kind of success is that it's almost always the triumph of style over substance"), but it seems to us as if they're missing the point.. there may not be any intricate tailoring details or unusual cuts to coo over, but it's all so alive and fun.
What are your thoughts on these collections, and the others from London Fashion Week that we haven't mentioned (but which you can see on Style.com or Vogue.co.uk)? If you agree/disagree with us, by all means leave a comment and let us know.
Monday, 23 February 2009
Versace + Street Art = :(
Street Art - Slinkachu
Lego Street Art
(If a pop-up blocker is preventing you from opening these links, select "Street Art" from the Labels menu on the right instead).
Sunday, 22 February 2009
Apologies for the slight lack of updates this weekend, we've been busy gathering London Fashion Week news/gossip.. more proper posts soon!
PS. Outside the Richard Nicoll show today (no invite for us, though!) we briefly met Tommy of Jak & Jil (see above), undisputed taker of the best shoe shots, and some of the coolest fashion pics, in the world. We go on about his blog and site quite a lot, and rightly so, because it's amazing (but you probably already knew that). Anyway, it was just cool to see the man behind the lense, responsible for the pictures that we seriously obsess over.
Friday, 20 February 2009
According to the New York Magazine, Anna Wintour's reaction to this collection was “The best thing about the Marc Jacobs show was that it started two minutes early” (we love it, because in these post Devil Wears Prada days that's exactly the sort of thing you expect, and want, Anna Wintour to say) and even though we weren't there, we can emphasise. The lurid neon 80s revival Marc Jacobs went for wasn't easy on the eye, and we can't help but feel the whole neon, 80s, nu rave, thing has been done to death recently. Still, we wouldn't write-off this collection because Marc Jacobs usually knows exactly what he's doing, and by the time the collection hits the stores there will probably be lots of people clamouring for it.
2) The September Issue
More on Anna Wintour - we're insanely behind schedule with this incredibly exciting fashion news, but still here goes: for the Sundance Festival director R.J Cutler produced a documentary film, The September Issue, following Anna Wintour and the Vogue team as they put together the September issue of Vogue. When/if those of us who didn't attend the Sundance festival in Jaunary will be able to see this film remains unclear, but we really, really hope that we will be able to, because it's probably about as close to a real Devil Wears Prada as we're going to get.
The only clip on the internet we've been able to find is this:
The moment where Anna's discussing the accessories story is so brilliant, to the extent that it's almost a parody of The Devil Wears Prada. We.must.see.more..
3) Viktor and Rolf for Samsonite Black Label
We love the quirky, fun design, reminiscent of 50s and 60s jet setting, of the Dutch design duo's collaboration with Samsonite - certainly more than we liked the slightly unsettling Alexander McQueen collection, with its suitcase with protruding rib cage. The collection is available to buy online at Colette, and the prices aren't too horrific (everything is €850 and under). We're not sure if we prefer the glamorous black or the playful aeroplane design, but if we could justify new luggage (and didn't have serious, but unrealistic, Goyard cravings ever present in the back of our minds), we'd go for it.
4) Ladurée Home Fragrances and Beauty Products
We were just recently alerted to the fact that Ladurée, purveyor of expensive macaroons, and beloved tourist shopping destination in Paris (second only to Louis Vuitton in terms of rich Japanese tourists queueing outside), have a small range of home fragrances and beauty products, which had us wondering if it's just a shameless spin-off range, or if the fragrances bear any resemblance to the sweet, sugary smell of their macaroons. Either way, they're probably preferable to the Play-Doh fragrance that we reported on in this post.
5) Victoria Beckham FW09 collection
Following her SS09 collection which took critics by surprise, despite rumours that Roland Mouret had 'assisted' with its design, Victoria Beckham has returned with another collection which is, how can we put this.. surprisingly good for a celebrity range, and coming from a woman who you perhaps wouldn't expect to be a good designer.
We like the minimalism, the sharp tailoring (which still has the strong nods towards Mouret's designs), the choice of (most) of the fabrics, the fact that it's 'fierce'.. We have two concerns though: the first is that it is essentially a dress-up-as-Posh range, which very much mirrors her own distinctive personal style. We're not sure how many women want that look (Kate Moss did a similar thing when she designed for Topshop, although her style is more popular and more accessible), and it would perhaps seem a little odd to be so clearly wearing a celebrity's own look. The second concern is the prices, which are said to range from £850 - £4,000 for a dress, which are on par with long-established high fashion brands. Can the new celebrity designer, whose name was previously associated with tacky jeans and cheap fragrances, command prices like that? As good as some of her designs are, if you were going to spend £1,000+ on a dress wouldn't you prefer to be in the established, safe hands of a name like Lanvin or Prada, or buying into an edgy brand with lots of fashion cachet, like Gareth Pugh or Christopher Kane?
6) Rodarte x Nicholas Kirkwood FW09 boots
First Rodarte teamed up with Christian Louboutin to create those incredible (and lethal) spiky platforms, that are featured in the Hapsical banner, and now their latest collection has included these boots by young British shoe supremo, Nicholas Kirkwood. Although we preferred the FW08 Louboutins (we're gonna have to update the banner soon with something from SS09), these are certainly interesting with the 'mummification' effect, and they more than fulfill the 'fierce' criteria.. (we are trying to stop using the f-word..)
7) WWD Spoof Newsletter
An amusing spoof newsletter email has been doing the rounds, which parodies the fashion world quite successfully (unlike most attempts, which rely on cheap-shot gags, like everyone in fashion being superficial dim blondes). Named WWWWD, as opposed to WWD, the fashion industry news site, stories include:
"THE PARENT TRAP: Bee Shaffer* shocked to learn most parents don’t have yearly hug limits"
*Anna Wintour's daughter
"Disoriented Palestinian Refugee Walks Chanel by Mistake, Becomes Official Karl Lagerfeld Muse"
"Henry Holland Upbeat Despite CAPS Lock Malfunction: British Designer Recalls Unfortunate Batch of Lowercase Neon T-shirts"
Via New York Magazine. Follow this link to download the full 8 page newspaper.