About style

Haider Ackermann FW17

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There’s a belief in Japan, called wabi sabi, that the smallest flaw, crack or imperfection only adds to the beauty and uniqueness of an object. Haider Ackermann must be a devoted student. In one of the most beautifully diverse runways, Haider Ackermann quietly yet effectively proved the power of a tuxedo and precision tailoring featuring a single graphic line that looked like cracks.

He gave himself a strict palette to work within – black an white, with a shot of electric blue and metallic details. Ackermann wanted to be graceful, and on the whole he succeeded with a collection that had a sense of something simmering under the surface. A Liberated Haider Ackerman.

Bianca Jagger

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The enduring style legacy of David Lynch’s Wild at Heart

via dazeddigital.com

After it makes it mark on the NYFW runways, we explore how Lynch’s road movie is his most stylish.

What David Lynch’s Wild At Heart has is style, man. From the opening scene where Sailor (in a monochrome blazer) and Lula (wearing a coral dress with choker and Ariana Grande hair) cut through the samey crowds, the lovesick duo dish out lewk after lewk all while thwarting the clutches of Lula’s disapproving mum Marietta. Wild At Heart is a road movie. It’s about a Bonnie & Clyde twosome with a few screws loose and their larking about to elude the hitmen sent after them. More than the illogical non-sequiturs and legit barking by some characters, the film is Lynch’s perfect marriage of weird characters and weirder threads. Much like the passionate screams of Lula Fortune in that first of many gruesome murders on the stairs of the opening gala, Wild At Heart has an enduring style that rings loud and true long after you watch it. It’s without a doubt David Lynch’s most stylish film.

Recently, designers have tapped into that retina-searing style for their own collections. New York designer Joseph Altuzarra cited Wild at Heart as one of the main touch points of his SS17 collection, saying the collection was “a modern take on romance and kitsch.” He interpreted Sailor’s snakeskin jacket with the python coat one of his models wore – the same one that spawned the unforgettable Nic Cage line: “Did I ever tell ya that this here jacket represents a symbol of my individuality, and my belief in personal freedom?” Many of the girls in the show were facsimiles of Lula Fortune.

Belle de Jour

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This month London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts is celebrating one of cinema’s most beloved surrealists. From sliced eyeballs to women having mud slung at them, the dark imagery of Luis Buñuel’s work troubled the lines of taste, blending the blasphemous or straight up banal with deviant sexuality. No more so was this true than in his 1967 film Belle de Jour, where iconic beauty Catherine Deneuve plays Séverine, bored housewife and sexual masochist who takes a job working afternoons at a brothel to satisfy the darker desires left unfulfilled by her picture perfect marriage. Her costumes, key in the creation of her character, were designed by Yves Saint Laurent, marking out the start of a long relationship between the pair.

Neat, stylish and even borderline prim, Séverine’s outfits are the pinnacle of feminine, Parisian taste – there are none of YSL’s famous Le Smoking suits here. From the ski resort (where she’s in knitwear, with precisely rolled cuffs) to the tennis court (pristine whites, complete with a girlish headband) and even the home (a bubblegum pink dressing gown) her wardrobe speaks of a bourgeois domestication, finished off with neat blonde hair and perfectly applied make up. In one scene shortly after she first arrives in the brothel, she wears a shapeless beige creation, which strangely enough is quickly admired by her new co-workers, the contrast between her buttoned up good taste and their lacy lingerie a visual virgin/whore parallel – until they help shed her bourgeois skin by stripping her to her underwear, undressing her not only of her clothes but also of any remaining sexual propriety. After all, Saint Laurent (according to longterm partner Pierre Bergé) was himself in possession of a “contempt for all that is bourgeois” – making his consciously proper clothing a perfect fit for the film.

Belle de Jour remains to be a film decades before its time, especially when it comes to female sexuality (really, it’s only let down by the implications that our heroine’s lusts are the results of childhood abuse). Saint Laurent and Deneuve became close friends, and the designer would go on to create costumes for several of her later films, from New Wave director Francois Truffaut’s La Sirène du Mississipi (1969) to 1983 vampire flick The Hunger, where she starred opposite David Bowie. Deneuve became an icon of French fashion in her own right, starring in campaigns for Chanel and, more recently, Louis Vuitton. At his final, triumphant fashion farewell in 2002 before his retirement, she appeared on stage with the designer, clasping hands. They remained friends until his death in 2008.

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Changing Fashion Campaigns

The power of the fashion advertising campaign is not to be underestimated. While we may often leaf past them idly while thumbing through a magazine, there are some campaigns that have had a more serious impact over the years. Certain images are destined to define a particular mood, or to reflect a new idea, in a way that only truly iconic pictures could do, thanks to the creativity of some of the world’s most talented fashion insiders. Delve back through style history with us as we revisit some of the most influential fashion campaigns.

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Patrick Demarchelier’s first campaign for Calvin Klein, after Bruce Weber’s long tenure shooting for the brand, would be an important debut. But the job only fell to Kate Moss after Klein’s first choice, Vanessa Paradis, turned it down. So it became Kate’s ticket to stardom, beginning a long and illustrious career that included eight years working with Klein.

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Kate Moss for Calvin Klein, 1992 Photography by Patrick Demarchelier, Courtesy of Calvin Klein

349322 Louise Pedersen for Gucci S/S03 Photography by Mario Testino, Courtesy of Gucci

Never one to shy away from a scandal, Tom Ford again turned heads with his Gucci campaign for Spring 2003, styled by Carine Roitfeld and shot by Mario Testino, in which Louise Pedersen pulls down her blue knickers to reveal a Gucci G manicured carefully into her pubic hair. Ford later maintained in an interview with Tina Brown that he was personally responsible for the manicuring on set. “Why? Because we like to do things, we like to be in control,” he explained. “I even had to fill it in with an eyebrow pencil so that we could read it on camera.”

Jane Birkin, Parisian-meets-boyish style

The legendary Jane Birkin is the free-spirited ’60s sex kitten whose casually eclectic chic, androgynous style has influenced generation after generation. She made us dream with her incomparable Parisian-meets-boyish style. Her approach to dressing was never ostenanious or overdone. Whether it was a metallic Glomesh dress or a pair of faded blue flares worn with a t-shirt and bare feet, Jane managed everything look perfectly appropriate. Her style is timeless; her choice of garments can be worn in any decade. She continues to inspire designers today with her minimalistic, elegant bohemian and Parisian style.

Black is the only genuine color

Van Gogh noted that Frans Hals painted with 27 shades of black. In terms of fashion, no wardrobe is complete without the black color.Every woman should own a simple elegant black dress. This opinion is staple since the 1920s,when Coco Chanel published a picture of a short, calf-length, straight dress decorated only by few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford”. Later, in the 50s and 60s Audrey Hepburn was dressed by Givenchy in Breakfast at Tiffany’s in trousers and evening gowns all in black. Black was the color of the end of the twentieth century and its popularity goes from strength to strength. Designers such as Yohji Yamamoto, Helmund Lang, Nicole Farhi have black at the heart of their colors. After all, Black is an absence not a presence.

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Minimal & Classic

In the 1990s it was no longer the done thing to follow fashion slavishly, a share contrast to the highly a la mode 1970s and 1980s. The phobia of being undressed was finally completely displaced by the fear of overdressing. When the designers Yohji Yamamoto, Issaye Miyake and Rei Kawakubo, founder of Comme des Garcons, became the toast of Paris fashion week in the early 1980s, their relentlessly monochrome, asymmetric and intellectual vision of clothing was a revelation. Since the early 1990s the collections of Martin Margiela, Helmut Lang, Hussein Chalayan, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons have emphasized simplicity of shape and realistic form, focused of aesthetics over function and employed repetitive structures and serial systems or progressions. The principles materialize in the designers’ interpretations of deconstruction fashion, defined by Barbara Vinken as the demonstration of constructedness.Today’s Minimalism movement in fashion continues its futuristic slant, with a stronger emphasis on geometric structures and artificiality. Where the old Minimalism sees the human body as a primary structure, it has now become a network of fractured places dissected by lines. There is also a stronger focus on the creation of futuristic beings, or cyborg lookalikes, inhibiting a post-gender world, continuing the conversation of removing gender out of clothing. Aesthetic still trumps function, but with an emphasis on fluidity and simplicity over intricacies.

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