Thursday, January 23, 2014

Baartmans and Siegel AW14 - London Collections: Men

Baartmans and Siegel's winter collection is portraying a strong, confident and adventurous man taking on the outdoors in style. The inspiration for the brand's latest AW14 collection came from the isolated and challenging arctic landscapes that have been reinterpreted by the design duo through the use of a cold palette of colours, shades of blue and grey.

There is an obvious emphasis on durability and comfort in the looks presented, but the elegant twist to it all is not to be ignored. The utilitarian and functional side of clothing is reinforced and infused in classic tailored pieces. But for this collection in particular, the details make all the difference: hidden seams, pockets and zippers, fur trims and linings outline the quality and luxurious aesthetic of the brand.

Coming up … fashion's own version of "Into the Wild" 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Symphony of Light - The Four Seasons and The Universe

"Symphony of Light" is Itchiku Kubota's most significant work, inspired by the ever-changing effects of light and his reverence for nature. The success of its initial five pieces in 1981 encouraged Kubota to envision an ambitious project in which "Symphony of Light" could express his worldview through 80 kimonos representing The Four Seasons and The Universe. He completed 29 kimonos capturing Autumn and Winter and five from The Universe, for a total of 36 "Symphony of Light" kimonos, all exhibited at the Manezh in Moscow.

Autumn and Winter form a mesmerising linked landscape that sweeps from one kimono to the next, emerging as a continuous whole in which vermillion leads shimmering in the light of an autumn sun gradually give way to an austere winter landscape veiled by pervasive snow. The brilliant kimonos of the Universe represent both the burning core of Mount Fuji and Kubota's own flaming creative powers.

Although Kubota could not finish his masterwork as envisioned, "Symphony of Light" remains an effective demonstration of his ability to recast kimonos into a transformative art form. He once said it would be impossible to capture the precise flow of nature's grand design, but in these compositions of colour, light and energy he has indeed come close to achieving the impossible.

Monday, January 20, 2014

YMC's Understated Luxury - London Collections Men AW14

The best thing about London Collections: Men is that most of the collections presented during the schedule are the result of a successful collaboration between designers and other brands with the aim of improving the functionality, tailoring, quality and wearability of the end products, without compromising on the innovative design.

So this is how YMC London brought yet another exciting collection on the catwalk, a combination of smart tailoring and sporty casual pieces. In a colour palette of navy, jade, black and burnt red and an array of light-hearted prints including stars, stripes, florals and spiral prints, the collection offers an entire wardrobe for the YMC man (p.r.).

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

"HELLO, my name is Paul Smith" exhibition at the Design Museum, London

To celebrate the name, the brand and the beautiful human being that is Paul Smith, Design Museum London has opened a truly wonderful exhibition to show the world of the designer in the smallest detail. His office and design studio in Covent Garden, as well as the first ever showroom he had in Paris (a hotel room) have been created to resemble the real ones and filled with Smith's own collectibles and objects.
Drawing from Paul Smith's personal archive, this exhibition charts the development of the company, from its beginnings in Nottingham through to its global presence today. It explores how Smith's unique and intuitive take on design, together with an understanding of the important roles of the designer and retailer, have laid the foundations for the company's lasting success. 
This is where is work in Covent Garden, London. 

My office is crammed full of objects - I have a desk which I have never sat at because it is totally covered in things. The only tidy surface in my office is a huge rosewood table that is always empty. The rest of my office is a madhouse - there are books, bicycles, cameras, rabbits, robots, kitsch things, letters, bills and bits and bobs all over the place. (…) The office is the equivalent of my brain. From all the things accumulated in my office, one idea will form and be the inspiration for a new collection or for the design of a new design. P.S
 This is where ideas are created.

We are famous for our print, and in particular, our stripes which are all developed in our design studio in Covent Garden. We develop our stripes by winding coloured yarn around cardboard which slowly builds up to create a stripe. In this way we can see how colours work together and how the balance of the stripe will work on a garment.

This was my first showroom.

It was a bedroom in a Paris hotel. My first collection comprised of just six shirts, two jumpers and two suits, which I laid out on a bed covered in black felt. Only one person turned up at the end of the final day but they placed an order - that was the beginning of my business.