>> Alright I don't really deserve your Blog Lovin' right now when I've been a little off the chart with blogs going up at ridiculous hours with random dotted lines everywhere mirroring my dotty state of mind. I'm also so used to the idea of being a loser (Blue Peter competitions, egg and spoon races, piano recital competitions), that I shouldn't really be entertaining the notion of actually winning this…
But still, I just couldn't bloody stop myself. I'm up for the Most Original Blog on Bloglovin's first ever blog awards. There are numerous other blog awards but none specifically catering to fashion and seeing as there'll be a physical awards ceremony in New York during fashion week, I can work on my "gracious loser" face.
It's STIFF competition beginning with Gala Darling, the clever and erudite Julia Frakes of Bunny Bisous, the laugh-out-loud funny Leandra Medine of The Man Repeller and of course Bryanboy. It's GLOSSY MERINGUE EGG WHITE MIX STIFF.
Read them all, judge as you will and we'll see what happens eh?
P.S. Oh righty, The Man Repeller has thrown the gauntlet down with a "Who Wore It Best" question to her readers. Another loser moment coming right up – now where is that bronze certificate I got in that maths challenge when I was 12. I can tell myself that third place was not so bad… right? It's a prettier colour than gold… and silver… bah…
P.S.S. Errr… the dots on the screenshots isn't actually my vote choice by the way. I voted yesterday in Paris. No egging please.
>> Alright, I've been far, far and away from the normal posting routine. It's been a weirdly scheduled bout of selfish me time in Paris that involves real eye-to-eye chatting with friends I haven't seen in an age, reading books in cliched cafes, riffling through depot vente stores – I say weird because of course the haute couture shows have been going on and I'm hardly partaking in the activities. I was curious to see Iris Van Herpen, Dutch material wizardess presenting her latest collection in Paris. She doesn't have an official haute couture appellation but I suppose doing it off-schedule in what is a sparse and spread out 'week', is apt for Van Herpen whose work is most definitely NOT ready to wear. In fact, wear may not apply at all for Iris Van Herpen's designs, which as far as I know don't have any stockists and it seems as her collections have progressed, the real intent of Van Herpen is to continue to research and push the levels of using unusual materials.
There were many things you could marvel at as the show moved at a slow pace to allow the models to move properly but in particular, I was most interested in the use of 3D printing, created in collaboration with architect Daniel Widrig and the company .MGX by Materialise. The company specialises in creating prototypes for furniture or cars and this is the first time they have engaged with a fashion designer to created these 3D printed pieces that are completely without any seams, requiring no sewing machine/handiwork.
These pieces are generated from a .MGX file that renders a design created originally from CAD, printable. Hence why I've shoved .MGX file in the title, imagining a time when designs could conceivably be PRINTED out to create 3-D garments – you can read more about the science of it here. Of course the rigidness is a factor that perhaps will change in the future allowing for softer materials to also be 'printed' out making Van Herpen's work here something of a starting point from which further exploration needs to be carried out.
In other collaborative efforts, Van Herpen worked with Stephen Jones to create six hats that represent the five senses and an additional 6th sense. I particularly loved the speaker box hat that had sound trailing out of it, running in tandem with the main soundtrack. Plus it's also wonderful to know that when Van Herpen approached Jones to work with her at his exhibition at the Momu in Antwerp, he had already known about her work – good to know that the big guns keep track of what's going on across the board…
Van Herpen is also working with United Nude again with the scattered plastic embellishment created by artist Bart Hess…
Tim Hamilton belongs to a vaguely burgeoning set of established menswear designers turning their hand to developing their own womenswear designers – Damir Doma and Thom Browne are beginning to establish their womenswear codes and Hamilton now has four seasons under his belt. However, with this S/S 11 collection, he has purposely co-ordinated both of his womenswear and menswear collections together to present a cohesive message. This isn't to be confused with unisex clothes swapping but that the themes, motifs and aesthetics are matched up in the menswear and womenswear.
It was never going to be a typically feminine vision from Hamilton but this collection rigorously enforces what Hamilton explores in his menswear collection which is a gradual and subtle build up of texture in tones that are soothing for a season rife with brights. I suppose I'm balancing out my love of the acid hues with something calmed down – in this instance, it's Hamilton's white on white pairing, tones of navy, grey, khaki and green.
These tones are livened up though with the textures and fabrics that Hamilton has chosen, something I guess I can only appreciate for now at a distance. Going by text descriptions though is enough to stir up imagination – paper, linen, gauze, silk, Cupro (a lightweight material that is like rayon) and dry cotton – are worked into cuts that are deliberately assymetrical. Belgian artist Micha√´l Borremans provides the initial starting point for the collection's juxtaposition between being utilitarian and luxurious. I particularly like the diagonal lines which cut into pieces with geometric precision.
The palette is streamlined, the better to explore its extremes. Hamilton speaks of the beauty of neutral tonal pairing: the cleansing, almost blinding purity of layering white on white. At the opposite end of the spectrum, there is the blackest of blacks, the result of research at a Japanese mill that specializes in dark dyeing. Primal Navy and white are complemented by grays, khakis and greens.
Hamilton not showing his womenswear collection in an official capacity has much to answer for this development. "It has progressed in a paired down sort of way, I knew I was not doing a show this season so in nature it become more utility and accessible. It really is a way of simple dressing. I also never worked with such a light clean palette which took me out of my black moments. I've heard lots of positive feedback on how less is more from the assortment of the collection to the clean lines." Hopefully that feedback is reflected in his work becoming more available.
When the womenswear is seen side by side with its men's counterpart, the story becomes even more complete and in a perverse way, I'm kind of buying into wearing head to toe Tim Hamilton with Steve at my side doing the same – stop me before this mad act comes to pass.
>> I'm rushing around in a bit of a hunger-filled frenzy in Paris. Today is therefore a bit of a write-off unfortunately. On the go though, this image has been staring back at me from my desktop screen and I can't quite explain why it's so enticing. I'm not exactly sure whether I am actually into the idea of having what look to be banister/drawer knobs carved at the heels of my feet. Nonetheless this image of shoes by Japanese label Tyake Tyoke has been staring right back at me whenever I'm out and about and seeing as I'm Tumblr-less, this seems like the exact lethargic moment to put it up…