BLOG ARCHIVE FOR September 2011
I’ll be revealing the various trends for the Winter 2012-2013 season in the weeks to come. We’ll be travelling through the landscape of our history and experiencing different aspects of the world, in all its cultural diversity, and the natural beauty of our earth as tremendous sources of inspiration. As a result of the impending crisis, falling euro and national debt – in other words, major financial uncertainty – the coming seasons will feature a retrospective of precious periods of the past century on the one hand and, on the other, extremely creative, innovative and sustainable trends that provide a response to uncertainty and change.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
This is a theme in which we wrap ourselves up in skins, feathers, fur, ultra-shaggy knits and ingenious knit constructions. The overall goal is to create volume, warmth and cosiness. We use beautiful fake furs, almost impossible to distinguish from the real thing, in natural shades or, alternatively, in deep reds, briques, curry yellows, deep blues, olive and soft pastels. There are also new developments involving the use of real fur, primarily derived from goats and sheep. This is what I like to call “edible fur” and, instead of spinning and knitting these yarns or using them in extravagant weaves, we use the entire sheep and goat skin in its natural colour, coloured or with two-tone effects. All that really matters is lots of volume and furriness.
Danish designer JULIE EILENBERGER was one of sixteen participants of the Cutting Edge platform at Modefabriek. For her graduation collection, entitled Naked As We Came, the designer drew her inspiration from the naive, isolated and imaginative world of both children and adults.
She apologises for the fact that she has lost her voice, the result of long nights working on her collection, which must be finished a week from now. Fortunately, she can still be understood. “It’s sheer madness right now. I have a small studio where I work around the clock with friends, family and trainees. The collection involves a great deal of handiwork, so all help is welcome.” This young designer is studying fashion at the Universität der Künste Berlin (UdK). “The most important thing I’ve learned is to cut myself off from the world and follow my gut. The analysis part comes afterwards,” she explains. At the UdK, the focus is on the personal development of students. External influences are avoided as much as possible. “We do not receive much information about the fashion industry or what other designers are doing. This results in a sort of isolated world. It makes you a lot more creative.” But that doesn’t mean she’s afraid to leave her familiar cocoon and face the real world of fashion. “I grew up with hardworking parents, each with their own business. I’m not naïve. Throughout the creative process, I enjoy excluding myself from the world and, afterwards, find it particularly interesting to see how people respond to my work.”
Although her mother worked as a graphic designer and her father as a photographer, Julie knew from a very young age that her path would be a different one. “I was always a bit of an outsider, a ‘hippie’ if you like. My parents’ work was very commercial. I saw fashion as something experimental and without boundaries.” Following in the footsteps of her parents has never been an option. “What child wants to be their parents anyway?!”, she laughs. Eilenberger has never had a style icon or favourite designer. Her fascination with fashion is based purely out of her own interest. “When I was growing up, I couldn’t wait to be old enough to wear women’s clothing. I was very small and thin and looked forward to the day my mother’s clothing would fit me.” Memories from the past have an important influence on the designer’s work. “When I was little I lived in my own world. Most of my inspiration is derived from my personal experiences and the people around me.” Eilenberger is unable to name a favourite designer. “I don’t want to limit myself. I admire designers who come up with something different every season and continuously reinvent themselves without losing sight of their personal values. A good example is PRADA, which, amazingly, remains true to itself every season.”
Her graduation collection Naked As We Came is inspired by the overlapping world of children and adults. “I am fascinated by the naive yet eccentric world in which they both live, the fact that older people often regress to a childlike state, once again becoming isolated from the world outside and creating their own world.” Eilenberger combines old and new in the collection. This includes the use of the old-fashioned zigzag, which she has printed digitally. Traditional knitwear techniques are also used in a new way by working with cotton instead of wool. “I’ve sought out a balance between old-fashioned and childlike. I’ve always been fascinated by old people. I spent a year living inItaly and loved how the older women get all dressed up there, with a look that is simultaneously traditional and eccentrically cool.” Eilenberger hopes to break through with her collection. “A lot depends on this. If there is enough interest, the collection can be put into production and ultimately sold.” The designer tends to avoid contemplating the commercial aspects of the profession. “A large fashion house is not my ambition. I work very hard to keep doing what I am doing, without committing myself to a commercial label.”
Although she very much enjoys living in Berlin, Eilenberger looks forward to moving back to Londonafter graduation. This has been her favourite city since she worked at CHRISTOPHER KANE during an internship. “Hard work but fun. I was there the entire season, so I got a very good idea about the way things work in this world.” The mentality of the designers and the fashion scene in the city are what appeal to her most. “People are not afraid to take risks. Fashion is much more reserved and commercially oriented in Denmark.” All the same, she visits her home country often. “I’m constantly on the go and feel most at home in a combination of different places. I love the big city; there’s always something to do, lots of people, and you never get bored. But I also love to go home and sit and watch the sea. That makes me feel a bit calmer, healthier.” There is little chance of a future inParis. “I’m crazy aboutParis but, as far as fashion is concerned, it’s a bit more traditional and conservative. Give meLondon’s spirit of freedom any day.”
According to the designer herself, a Julie Eilenberger design is difficult to categorise. “The inspiration for my past collections was always different and very specific.” Whereas her My Inner Outer Space collection was influenced by her favourite science fiction film, Barbarella, she drew her inspiration from the abstract landscapes of nature films for the Marry Me Nature collection. “My inspiration changes with the time. I love to throw myself into a project and live in that world for a few months.” And yet, the use of handiwork, nostalgic influences and a play of colours are elements found in every collection. “It’s always a mix between yesterday and tomorrow.”
By STEFFIE HENDERSON
Photography by STELLA SCHWENDNER
The talented illustrator Rop van Mierlo has been nominated for this years prestigious Dutch Design Awards with his work Wild Animals. This book with vivid illustrations is currently available all over the globe and internationally design lovers have embraced his illustrations with great enthusiasm.
Prior to the elections of the award Rop has created a truly marvelous poster exclusively for my website. On FOUNDBYJAMES.com I will offer a very limited run of only 9 numbered prints. This poster is Rop’s only work in between his first (nominated) book and his promising upcoming second. As of the 17th of October, 2011 right before the Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, the poster will be for sale. Stay updated via Facebook and Twitter
Read my interview with Mr. Rop van Mierlo about the things that inspire him, his thoughts about the DDA 2011 nomination, his future plans and his dreams.
For press inquiries please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Selling his vampire paintings as a little kid in his little self-made open-air gallery in front of Art Cologne (Germany) back in 1970, Benedikt Taschen already sensed on that books could open doors to different worlds. Ten years later he opened his first store TASCHEN COMICS. This, including Bene’s huge desire to be part of a world full of artist and free-minded spirits, turned into a publishing house starting with the realization of the first TASCHEN original publication: Picasso, 1985.
This all happening in the eighties, Benedikt got a helping hand from his talented punk mates, and together they laid foundation for the team that is now responsible for selling more than two thousand subsequent titles all over the world.
After Paris, New York, Los Angeles, London, Berlin, Copenhagen, Hamburg, Miami and Brussels, at last the city of Amsterdam will be enriched by a brand new TASCHEN store. A place where one can hang out for visual pleasures, absorb, ponder, and get absorbed. A place where one can meet Mario Testino and Kate Moss, LaChapelle, Helmut Newton, 100 contemporary fashion designers…
Books really, still are the best thing you can buy for yourself or anyone else. Who ever tries to convince you that books will disappear only to become scrolling pages on screens is forgetting about a few things. Let’s think for a second about the smell of new paper and ink, the sound of flipping pages. The feeling of tiny little bumps when you move your fingers from left to right reading about your favorite artist, or the texture whilst discovering a photograph so beautifully printed that you forget for a few seconds that you’re standing in a quiet shop, on a very busy shopping street, in a big buzzing city saturated by people, hurdy-gurdy’s, manic shoppers, car horns, bicycle bells, city noises and din. And there you stand, hot and sweaty. With the huge desire of taking that book with you so you can discover it again when no one is around.
…Ahum. I do have to admit, I have a huge weakness for art books. As well because they are clean in their aesthetics. Completed and done. No links to other books, no menu bars, un-expected sounds and adverts, poker competition pop-ups and other visual noises and din. No distractions at all. Everything you see is suppose to be exactly at that certain place. Shot, edited, designed, produced, printed and published. Ready to be lived and loved.
TASCHEN opened the twelfth store on 19th of September 2011 on P.C. Hooftstraat 44, Amsterdam.
Recently I have been visiting Proef (literally: taste); a small restaurant located at the Westergasfabriek in Amsterdam. Not only because it is conveniently located; they serve some mean desserts and there is a nice garden to enjoy it in.
Proef only serves what is available in season and they don’t just serve it; they serve it well. With an ever-changing menu, chances are you won’t have the same dish twice.
Organic and delicious are the keywords at this inner city farm where herbs are homegrown and farm Lindenhoff in Baambrugge supplies meat, cheeses and fresh organic vegetables. I haven’t tried any cocktails yet, but if they are as good as the food; you are in for a treat.
Proef is a concept by Marije Vogelzang, a Design Academy graduate and considered an authority in the field of eating design. Her book EAT LOVE has won the award for Best Designed Cookbook of the Netherlands AND is shortlisted to become The Best Designed Cookbook in the world.
While the women’s wardrobe has a lot of possibilities – skirts, pants, jeans, suits- the fashion choices for men are way more limited. Skirts are a no- go area, as well as dresses or a pink pants combined with a pink shirt. The biggest reason for this non- development is that men generally have a very conservative view of their own and each other’s identity: they have to be tough, strong and brave. The biggest insult you can give a straight man is to call him gay.
It is this theme where Dutch- Surinam designer Samira Algoe is contemplating about with her label Zem. She makes delicate, androgynous menswear in pastels or to put it in her own words: ‘my label explores the boundaries between male and female identity’. In addition Zem- Men, which her label is also called, is often interpreted as a variation on Zemmel- the Arabic name for a faggot. It makes Algoe’s label a daring and poignant one since it reflects the core of our stagnation in men’s emancipation. We expect only the bravest, strongest and toughest of men wearing her beautiful garments.
Photography by; Peter Stigter
Not being a huge fan of outlets, I always think twice before I decide to head over to one. Thus, I make an exception sometimes… During my stay in Tuscany on two consecutive holidays, I managed to discretely plan my little daytrip to The Mall in Leccio Regello.
I had to convince my at-the-time boyfriend to be the chauffeur, but the perspective of facing some of his favourite luxury brands for an affordable price made him drive the car in a Ferrari-like speed.
Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Stella McCartney, Dior, YSL, Burberry…you name it, are assembled here. Don’t expect too much from the setting. It has nothing charming, the busses with Japanese shopping-tourists await, but the premises are clean and well organized. The food isn’t even that bad (hey, we’re in Italy), and when I got home with a pair of Sergio Rossi boots for just € 70 on my first visit, it confirmed that my outlet-shopping exception was righteous.
True fashion-addicts may be familiar with this Tuscan Triangle. Not far from where the Mall is located, a Prada and Dolce&Gabbana/Fendi factory outlet pop their noses.
Though you’ll have to operate more strategically as I did if you want to visit them all on the same day. One of my convincing methods for the hungry chauffeur, was to combine The Mall with some culture and pasta in Florence. The hometown of the world’s greatest artists, is just a stone’s throw away. It’s all about getting best of both worlds.
The Mall: Via Europa 8 |50060 Leccio| Reggello (Fl)
Prada Outlet: Via Levanella Becorpi | 52025 Montevarchi (AR)
DOLCE AND GABBANA INDUSTRIA S.P.A.- Spaccio Aziendale: Localita S.Maria Maddalena| 49-Pian Dell’Isola |Incisa in Val A’arno (FI)
Best tip: plan your trip in the low season. (September/October/November) Tuscany looks wonderful in Fall, and the outlets are less crowded.
It has been a while since I have been to New York, one of my favourite cities. The last time, my colleague and I were there for the NY Fashionweek. We stayed for 10 days, and almost felt like New Yorkers. We filled our days with hard work -running to shows and directly writing our reports so our readers could be updated without noticing the time difference- and shopping (I worked as a fashion editor for the website Shopgirl.nl at the time, so shopping was a major part of my job).
We were on a quest to find good vintage adresses that wouldn’t be too much over-budget. Most uptown shops that sell vintage propose qualitative pieces and present them in stylish colour-ranged racks, but it is very expensive and more suitable for the lazy –and not really vintage loving- customer.
Therefore we ended up in East village (the area is known for its bohemian, arty and punkrock-vibe), where you can find those typical vintage shops where Patricia Field would buy her props. Messy, narrow boutiques, but where unique pieces could just pop-up from a corner.
In one of them, a friendly shopkeeper advised us to take a look at the Manhattan Vintage Clothing show , where all of the US continent’s best vintage was presented. Almost every decade of style, and antique clothing, is gathered in the Manhattan Pavillion. Collectors, models and actresses come do their vintage shopping here.
For us, and many designers (this is one of the places they buy archive pieces or swatches of fabric they can use to base their collections on), it’s merely an inspirational injection. But who knows, you just might find that one of a kind, second hand Hermès Birkin bag or Chanel 2:55 – slightly more affordable than a new one, and without a waiting list.
The next Manhattan Vintage Clothing show will be on October the 21st and 22nd 2011.
written by Kalinka Hählen
After many seasons that were reigned by rigid, minimal designs, we’re suddenly lusting after prints again, illustrated for instance by the rave reviews Mary Katrantzou gets for her sublime designs. There is a renewed interest in iconic prints from well-established designers and houses. Seventies icon Celia Birtwell, former partner of designer Ossie Clark, generated fashion interest again with her 2006 collaboration with Topshop. Its Oxford Street flagship store sold out of 1000 special-edition garments in just six minutes.
Check out the the newly launched website (2010) www.celiabirtwell.com where one can buy her fabulous and often classicly inspired and romantic printed fabric and stationery, as well as vintage Ossie Clark dresses and tops. Brands with a great deal of heritage and history, like Liberty of London and Cacharel are generating the same interest because of their history in prints. The Liberty-watches with printed fabric straps and scarfs are extremely sought after by a younger, cool an underground crowd these days. The same goes for the classic French Cacharel-blouses with mille fleur-prints. Belgian designer Cédric Charlier brought back some of Cacharel’s signature, and now Chinese stylists Dawei Sun and Ling Liu are at the helm of Cacharel, trying to fully bring back it’s former mojo, hopefully with printed designs in abundance. Their first collection will be for spring/summer 2012.
Relatively new compared to these old cats are the quirky cool masters of print Eley Kishimoto, and certainly not to be missed when searching for fresh designs. Youngsters like the London-based David David, who is doing little collections and a few accessories with his colourfull and strong graphic printdesigns, and the Dutch Nomi who carved a niche for herself with her hooded scarfs made of globally sourced fabrics and is now expanding into clothes as well, are all the rage in the nearby future, with several prices and interesting collaborations under their belts.
As the iPad 2 continues to flood the market, and those with the first generation iPad are trying to sell it off for as much as possible, companies have started to come with some great cases for Apples´ latest device. Like the original iPad, known brands have again started to sell cases that personalize the iPad 2.
I am a fan of cases that are simple and beautiful, and have fallen for iPad 2 cases from both Hermès and Travelteq. The question is, which one is the best?Let’s start with the Hermès Swift (left), a slipcase that is available is the 10 different colours, including the iconic Hermès orange. The slipcase is made from calfskin leather and has the Hermès logo embossed in it.
If like me you are a person who loves the natural feeling of the iPad 2, then a simple slipcase is the thing for you. If you need a case that also doubles as a stand, then the Hermès Station (pictured above) is more your thing. The book-style cover, made from the same material as the Swift, is reminiscent of the original apple cover and is available in four colours. I love this simplicity of the Station and how the use of it emphasizes its material. But is this the only leather case that is both beautiful, functional, and easy to use?
I would have forked out the €580 for the Swift or even asked a €990 loan needed for the Station, but then last week I came across the new iPad 2 case from Travelteq. Travelteq is a company known for it’s bags and the materials used to make them, so it was no surprise to see such a great product come out of their workshop, that is made of Florentine Vachetta leather with high quality alcantara lining.
I love the detail put into this product, but don’t feel they really took the time to create something new. I feel as if they took the Apple iPad case, and just reworked it with the vegetable tanned Italian leather. Yes it is handmade, and I love that, but Travelteq is known for their innovation and innovating it is not. I do have to admit I haven’t held the case in my hand, so I could be wrong, but there is one big advantage Travelteq has versus the Hermes products, the price. Retailing at just €225, you don’t have to take out a double mortgage on your house to buy one.
That is what it comes down to, price versus quality. I do prefer a slip case instead of a book case, but I don’t believe in paying twice as much just because it has a French brands name embossed in it. So if I was to advise on of the three cases, the handmade Travleteq case is worth the €225, and by this time next year you would probably be looking for a new case for the iPad 3.