Tuesday, June 27, 2017

BEAUTY: Shoes--Anastasia Radevich

As much an artist as she is a shoe designer, Anastasia Radevich creates ravishing, startling footwear for women.

Her ABOUT page on her website states:

"Of Belarus origin she lives and crafts in Montreal, Canada. Having a distinction diploma from London College of Fashion in footwear design under her belt, she has spent a few years deepening into essence of technical design and art of the shoemaking at such creativity hubs as Alexander McQueen, Nicholas Kirkwood.

Among the knowledge Anastasia attained was also appreciation of free unobstructed expression and creativity which is often uneasy in our profit driven society. This is when she has challenged herself to become not just a designer but a footwear artist and began exploring shoes as a medium. Shoes are her canvas where Anastasia combines art, craft and technology to relay a message, a story or a statement. She is morphing her inner world, inspiration and energy into a sculpture of a pump, open-toe or a boot."

Her stunning Alchemy collection features forms from nature but also the human body. Radevich says, "Alchemy covers several philosophical traditions spanning some four millennia and several continents, and it can be summed up in this way... Alchemy is the philosophy and practice of liberating a physical substance from its 'fixed' physical properties. It was believed that without achieving a form of enlightenment or inner spiritual revelation, alchemy would not be possible to the practitioner. There would be no hope of you transcending the fixed properties of the physical dimension so as to transform something like ordinary metal into gold without gaining access to the higher truths of this universe through spiritual practice and mastery."

For her Lost Civilizations collection, she uses time as a guide and shows us past, present, and future civilizations (ours, naturally).

I love how the past features what looks like stalactites or stalagmites and early geological formations along with bone and horn shapes from extinct animals.

The present is full of oil rigs, chemical waste, broken glass, and industry..."THIS WILL DESTROY YOU."

And if we make it to the future, it could hold some sort of biomorphic forms--maybe combining nature with A.I.

Truly amazing work.


Monday, June 26, 2017

BEAUTY: Clothing--Misc. Paris Fashion Week SS'18

Some interesting things shown at Paris Fashion Week for Spring Summer '18:

Super high waists and drop crotches at Y Project make for a very interesting, eclectic, Vivienne Westwood-esque cut for trousers! I'd love a pair of each.

Luke Meier, the Canadian designer behind the brand OAMC says the name of his company is an acronym for something different every season. For this Spring Summer '18 collection based on the work of Allen Ginsburg including the legendary poem "Howl," Meier says the brand this time stands for "One Always More Conscious." The show notes included a section from Ginsburg's "Song": "The weight of the world is love. Under the burden of solitude, under the burden of dissatisfaction." Poetic phrases on small tags or large patches were sewn onto the pieces, phrases like "Lumière et Veritas" (Light and Truth--OH, how we need BOTH of those things in the world now), "My Way," and the plea "Peaple For Peace." A large, detailed, embroidered version of a signed cover page from Ginsburg's "Howl" graced the back of a nylon flight jacket (seen from the back in the last photo)!

Like the collection by Philip Lim seen here, we saw two more designers send paint spattered garments down the runway. Junya Watanabe sent his usual Carhartts out but this time with paint...

...and designer Jean Touitou at A.P.C. had some paint fun as well, actually dripping paint himself, à la Pollock, onto 100 pairs of jeans!

And finally, I don't think I've ever seen such a pervasive 100th Monkey Moment as this season's preoccupation with...wait for it...the classic Hawaiian shirt! One reviewer said the plethora of shows this year that featured the iconic garment made Hawaiian shirts cool again. But come on, were they ever NOT cool? They embody a fun sense of 1950s nostalgia that never left, a time when air travel became inexpensive and Hawaii turned into a destination when it became a state in 1959. Tiki lounges, surfing, kitschy cocktails...they were there in the 60s and 70s, and even 80s and 90s. A Hawaiian shirt--a good one--is a fun staple in a summer wardrobe.

Louis Vuitton did a colorful take on the Hawaiian shirt...

...as did Paul Smith in amsuing, nearly cartoon-y designs.

Ami chose flashy, fluorescent--yet ultimately pretty--shades (and models walked the show on fuchsia sand!) for their Hawaiian shirts...

...while Cerruti 1881 rendered them in earthy hues.

Dries Van Noten went almost neutral.

Lucien Pellat Finet offered a stark, graphic take with the word ALOHA.

And finally, sartorial celebrity turned fashion designer Justin O'Shea (previously here) started a brand he calls SSS World Cup and this season it featured a collection entitled "Aloha From Hell." Sort of a punk-y, badass take on the Hawaiian shirt...and the show was not a runway show at all but guerrilla fashion. Journalists were invited to a street corner in Paris at a certain time to see Justin O'Shea ride a motorcycle and see a small group of models just walk down the sidewalk... get in, do it, get out...


Saturday, June 24, 2017

BEAUTY: Clothing--Ann Demeulemeester SS'18

From 1967 to 1972, legendary photographer Robert Mapplethorpe lived with his then-girlfriend, singer-songwriter/poet/artist Patti Smith at the Chelsea Hotel (previously here)--a place Smith called "a doll’s house in the Twilight Zone" in JUST KIDS, her 2010 book about her life with Mapplethorpe. Their life together--even after Mapplethorpe came out, they maintained a deep, close friendship--is perfect vintage New York-Bohemian-downtown-rock-and-roll stuff.

Ever since Ann Demeulemeester started her label in 1985, she has looked to the androgynous Patti Smith for style inspiration (Ann and Patti became friends and Smith reports she packs her "trusty Ann Demeulemeester black jackets" to go on tour) and now that the men's line is being overseen by Sébastien Meunier, he is carrying on this inspiration with the addition of the equally androgynous Mapplethorpe. He explains, "It was about Robert Mapplethorpe in his life at the Chelsea Hotel . . . . We wanted to give homage to this bohème period that was very creative in the ’70s and ’80s in New York."

This Spring Summer '18 collection at Paris Fashion Week is typically romantic and flowing, which is why I tend to love what Demeulemeester does. But even with large flower corsages at models' necks, this collection naturally has a bit of a punky edge to it (black, tall-shaft leather boots that look a bit S&M-ish) considering the inspiration. I like the tank top that says simply "Look at my pictures." Some pieces reminiscent of silk pajamas reference the clothing Mapplethorpe wore toward the end of his life, when he was ill. For those unfamiliar, he died of AIDS in 1989 at the too-young age of 42.