>> I'm a cartoonish simpleton.  I like ridiculously literal things.  I like cho-kawaiiiiii!  I like mega cute.  Therefore prints with little emojis all lined up as per Antipodium's pre spring/summer 2013 hero print, designed by British Vogue's art director Jaime Perlman, with googly eyes, tiny bows and roses cooing at me with their cuteness are always going to be instant pleasers.  In Sydney, I picked up another print that has a slightly more twisted edge but is nonetheless in a similar vein of verbatim bluntness. Illustration power duo Craig & Karl, who just keep adding to their varied and rich portfolio (and incidentally have worked with Antipodium on many of their prints), teamed up with another duo Lyn and Tony, a jewellery label that I discovered whilst out in Sydney, to collaborate on a print.  Eyeballs, pills, Cluedo weapons of murder, keys, bones, molars and skulls come together in a pop macabre arrangement, which graces a range of shirts, collars, scarves, ties and charm pieces.  A skull or an eyeball thrown about can be a cliched sentiment but it's hard not to like them here in its composition.  Like I said, I loves me a memorable motif.  

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There hasn't been a new-new name knocking around the blog for a while now and so it's time to rectify that with a look at the Korean-born, London-based Rejina Pyo, whose exhibition "Structural Mode" at the Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen grabbed me instantly.  Her MA collection of ceremonial colour-blocked gowns and wooden totem sculptures that sometimes obscured the face led her to work with Roksanda Ilincic as first assistant as well as do a filtered small collaboration for the Swedish store Weekday (hurrah – they're now shipping to Europe).  As a winner of the Nefkens Fashion Award 2012, judged by Penny Martin of The Gentlewoman and Viktor & Rolf, Pyo created seven pieces that deliberately traversed the lines between sculpture and fashion, using metal and plastic.  The use of colour was a brilliant continuation from her bold MA collection but it's the starkly curved dress form shapes – rigid and purposefully unwearable – which remind me a little of the "magnifique" metal forms in the opening sequence of the William Klein film Qui √™tes-vous Polly Maggoo?, that really make this such a memorable fashion/art crossover.  

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Rejina Pyo for Weekday

From that exhibition last year, Pyo has since presented her S/S 13 and A/W 13-4 collections which are a deliberate departure from her previous exercising of stark form and colour use.  Her S/S 13 collection is a dip into the infinitely more wearable with sheer fabrics, pale prints and sturdy chambray.  Her A/W 13-4 collection however meets somewhere in the middle where Pyo plays with proportions, dropping and rounding off the shoulders as well as fiddling around with odd fabric choices.  With the rich jacquards, faux mink and classic sombre colour combinations, much of the collections feels like a reinterpretation of prim n' proper 1950s code of elegant attire.  They're like updated versions of moth-bitten coats that you might find on old estate sales.  Where real fur has emerged as a dominant material for the A/W season, it's nice to see the fake stuff used in a way that gives you the illusion of clothes that might be seen on the upper East Side crust, but make you giggle a bit when laminated cotton panels or circles of faux fur come curving in at the chest area (never fails to amuse me how a boob cut-out/panel insertion instantly brings up Regina George's from Mean Girls).  It's that controlled and rigorous attitude towards silhouette, which runs throughout Pyo's work from her MA to her current collections, that puts her in good stead for the future though.   

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Rpss8Rejina Pyo S/S 13

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Rpaw12Rejina Pyo A/W 13-4

Maybe it's all this talk of gemstones, beads and luxury that I'm hearing at the IHT LINK Jewellery Summit, here in Vienna, where I'm at right now (I was here to give my bum of a talk about social media to a crowd of 300+ blank faces – yay me!).  Maybe it's all the opulence of Palais Liechtenstein where we were last night for the LINK Summit gala and was surrounded by a heady mix of Swarovski jewellery, Rubens paintings and 18th century carriages.  Maybe it's just Vienna itself, in that wherever you look you get beauty and proportion of the highest order in the architecture.  For whatever reason, I decided to revisit these mind blowingdetails of the A/W 13-4 collection taken at the Alexander McQueen showroom in Paris back in March.

Sarah Burton could well have took it easy, made a simple collection and devoted more time to her newborn twins.  Instead she orchestrated the creation of a ten piece collection that warrants every bit of hyperbolic praise it has garnered.  "Go lavish or go home" was what I was thinking when I was in the showroom taking every single embroidered pearl in the collection.  Only one of the ten ensembles will actually go into production.  The point was therefore…?  Aside from the fact that Alexander McQueen has a wide-ranging sales collections filtered from this ten piece extravaganza, you kind of peversely hoped that there was no concrete or practical point really.  That this was a pure showcase of the very height of what the ateliers of McQueen can achieve.  That labouring two weeks on each ensemble was a holistic act of devotion to craftsmenship, intricate detailing and the very notion of adornment itself – something which more and more designers are resisting in favour of ease, simplicity and perceived minimalism.  Even the supposed Catholic references – there were five pairs of outfits entitled Communion, nuns, cardinals, popes, and angels – was really only surface deep.  I read no overt subversive comment on the Catholic church and god knows (excuse the reference) there's enough to get your teeth into to really let rip and get angry at in that religious context.  Instead it's the associations of pomp, pageantry and display in Catholicism that really got an outing here.  It's surface for surface's sake and that's a glorious thing to be in the presence of.  All you can do is… exclaim, exult and then finally exhale.    

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>> Key, statement or show piece – that's the sort of language that peppers fash-journo speak when it comes to describing that one item of clothing which is decreed more special than the others because of its visual appeal.  You can add "hero piece" to that pile of jargon.  I've annoyingly taken to calling this Christopher Kane gaffered, laced and crystal-adorned pink organza jacket my hero piece, as if it were saving me from a daily bufuddlement of not knowing what ot put on.  Even the act of using exaggerated dialogue in person when it comes to clothing makes me cringe a little (this doesn't excuse me from the sort of people that say things like "I die I die I die I die!" of "OMG THAT'S SO MAJ!") but there's no denying that this is magnificent as items of clothing go.  It's the sort of thing that sits in your wardrobe and you can't help but take it out more often than necessary just to look at it.  That's what I did when I first got my hands on it.  Just look at it.  Take it in.  Oh, and check how I was going to iron the damn thing with all that black vinyl tape.   

I've also now fulfilled my wish of wanting to be wrapped up like a Chrissy Kane sick n' twisted pressie as I paired the coat with an equally intriguing ruffled plastic clutch, the crystallised bow top by Toga, a pair of I've-not-washed-these-for-months J Brand jeans and some more Chris Kane going back a previous S/S collection when his vision for prettiness was a little more innocent.  A pair of pink Sheriff & Cherry glasses and the Ryan Storer crystal earcuff completes this saccharine ode to pinky punky ambition.          

Susiebubblembfwa2013Tommy Ton for Style.com

3944-Le-21eme-Adam-Katz-Sinding-Susie-Lau-Mercedes-Benz-Fashion-Week-Australia-Sydney-Spring-Summer-2013-2014_AKS2683Le 21√®me | Adam Katz Sinding

1304100060_hg_full_lStreetFSN for Grazia.it

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Photograph by Diego Zuko for Harper's Bazaar US