Month: December 2017

The Sixties, a love affair between music and fashion

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Between 1965 and 1972, political activists around the globe prepared to mount a revolution. While the Vietnam War raged, calls for black power grew louder and liberation movements erupted everywhere from Berkeley, Detroit, and Newark, to Paris, Berlin, Ghana, and Peking.
Rock and soul music fueled the revolutionary movement with anthems and iconic imagery. Soon the musicians themselves, from John Lennon and Bob Dylan to James Brown and Fela Kuti, were being dragged into the fray. From Mick Jagger’s legendary appearance in Grosvenor Square standing on the sidelines and snapping pictures, to the infamous incident during the Woodstock Festival when Pete Townshend kicked yippie Abbie Hoffman off the stage while he tried to make a speech about an imprisoned comrade.

The Sixties was also an important decade for fashion because it was the first time in history that clothing was geared toward the youth market. Previously, fashion houses designed for the mature and elite members of society; however, during the enormous social and political revolution that transpired in the mid-Sixties, the power of the teenage and young adult was too great to ignore. The music scene was the voice of this generation and heavily influenced the iconic fashions that were created during this decade.

“Why do you wear those outlandish clothes?” That was the provocative question asked of Bob Dylan during his 1966 Australian tour. “I look very normal where I live,” was his reply. 

During the second half of the Sixties, the infamous Woodstock festival and artists like Jimi Hendrix and Janis Joplin influenced the “Hippie” movement that originated in San Francisco, Calif. The prevalence of free love, recreational drugs and psychedelic music became apparent in fashion. Clothes for men and women became loose and relaxed, with brightly colored prints and patterns influenced by other cultures.

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Rick Owens Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman

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December 14  until March 25, 2018,  the Triennale Di Milano, Viale Alemagna 6

On December 15, 2017 the Triennale di Milano will inaugurate a unique exhibition dedicated to visionary designer Rick Owens. Entitled Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman, the exhibition will be presented as a total work of art. The Triennale’s signature exhibition space, will be transformed by Rick Owens into an involving pathway through two decades of endless creativity. The show will trace various themes and influences found throughout Owens’s work like Pierre Molinier, Marcel Duchamp and more.

The Azzedine Alaïa Retrospective at London’s New Design Museum

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May 10 to October 7 2018,  The Design Museum London

London’s Design Museum will honor the iconic couturier’s career, that earned him the nickname “The King of Cling”, with a forthcoming exhibition, titled “Azzedine Alaïa: The Couturier” set to open in May. This unique exhibition will feature over than 60 of his own pieces from his archive (hand-picked by Alaïa), spanning the past 35 years.

Linda Loppa “I AM A BUILDER OF BRIDGES.”

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Behind some of the industry’s foremost talents stands Linda Loppa; the influential Belgian tutor who put Belgium’s progressive fashion apex on a global stage for the first time, while simultaneously reinstating its prowess. Loppa has established a superlative reputation for educating design students with a collaborative, solution based ethos and commercial savvy  attained from a solid grounding in retail. In 45 years, she has undoubtedly taken more different routes through the fashion industry than most of the contemporaries. She graduated from the Royal Academy in 1971; worked as a designer for a Belgian company; launched a high-end boutique in 1978 that sold fashion from designers like Helmut Lang and Comme des Garçons; was the head of the fashion department at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts for twenty-five years.

What advice does Loppa have for the students’ self-self-representation without losing integrity? Integrity is key! First one has to work on integrity, understanding this means saying no to 99% of the requests you receive – in other words, saying no to losing your integrity and honesty. Then it becomes an automatic reaction in your body and mind. You will know what to do and when it is right…simple.”

Ann Demeulemeester

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When we talk about great painters, we talk about the integrity of the line –- the confidence, clarity and personality in their brushwork.  The same is true of a really singular designer. Ann Demeulemeester is one of these artists.

Born in 1959, Demeulemeester graduated from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1981. Shortly after, she joined the avant-garde fashion collective Antwerp Six, adding a little artiness to fashion. The Antwerp Six includes Belgium’s six most influential avant-garde fashion designers: Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walter Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs, and Marina Yee. In the 1980s, they all received their diploma from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts of Antwerp. There they learned to create fashion under the supervision of Linda Loppa. At the time of the collective’s creation, the six designers’ work represented a radical breakthrough. Their vision was so different and unusual that it transformed Antwerp into a reputable destination in the fashion world, especially after their participation in the London fashion fair in the late 1980s. In 1985, Ann Demeulemeester started her own line of clothing, which was soon recognised as experimental but also wearable. Renowned for a poetic balance of shadow and light, the collections for women and men evoke romance, poeticism and a melancholic mood nuanced with a rock spirit. Entwined with classicism and the radical touch of music and contemporary art, each design captures strength and sensitivity in equal parts.

Hotel Sanders, Copenhagen

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Nestled in the historic centre on a quiet neighbourhood street, directly behind the Royal Danish Theatre, where Hotel Sanders’ owner Alexander Kolpin worked as principal dancer in The Royal Danish Ballet, the third oldest ballet company in the world (after French and Russian). Alexander Kolpin was considered the world’s best ballet dancer in 1993 when he was awarded the “Benoir Prize of Dance” and his illustrious career in the dance world continued before he retired to concentrate entirely on his hotel business.

 Entering Sanders is like stepping into a theatre. Guests will always remain centre stage, but the scenography and carefully curated interiors will be the elegant and exquisite backdrop for their experience.

 

Rick Owens

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In the last 15 years, there are few people who have captivated the worlds of fashion, art, and design as strongly as Rick Owens. Richard Saturnino Owens, better known as Rick Owens, has turned his darkly glamorous, post-apocalyptic take on gothic grunge into a globally-renowned fashion business, built largely around his signature leather jackets. Owens’ menswear collections always feel like a work of art on their own: distancing himself from regular ready-to-wear and tailoring codes and traditions, Owens analyzes, dissects and intellectualizes the garment and the design result is often something completely new, unexpected – and unique.

The designer has been honoured by the CFDA twice, first with the New Talent Award in 2002 after his debut catwalk show in New York, and again in 2017 with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Other accolades include the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s Perry Ellis Emerging Talent Award, which he took home in 2002, as well as the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award and the Fashion Group International’s Rule Breaking Award, both of which he was awarded in 2007.

“Le Smoking” Suit

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Watching from the front row, the fashion editors attending Yves St Laurent’s “Pop Art” collection in August 1966 weren’t overtly enamored with what they saw.

The slim-line fur coats and dresses inspired by the contemporaneous art of Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol drew the most attention with a lukewarm response. Fast-forward 45 years, and it’s clear that what was actually unveiled that day at 5 Avenue Marceau, Paris was one of the most influential and iconic designs in 20th century fashion history.

We’re talking about Le Smoking, the first tuxedo tailored for women which was debuted by Saint Laurent  in 1966 – it became an instant classic for women who wanted to appear equal parts glamorous and strong. Entering the cultural consciousness at a time when many second-wave feminists avoided discussing fashion directly, it radicalised eveningwear and irrevocably transformed the way women dressed. Made iconic by famous devotees like Nan Kempner, Betty Catroux and Bianca Jagger, the look told the world that if women are ever going to wear the trousers, they should be able to wear them to their wedding day and Studio 54 alike.