You cannot deconstruct unless you know how to construct. - Alexander McQueen

archive for August, 2006

Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts: Final Year Collections - Koji Arai

Wednesday, August 30th, 2006

Koji Arai’s highly conceptual final year collection, “Last Supper”, highlights the intellectual possibilities of transitioning from a background in architecture to garment construction. Perhaps the most well-known example of this type is Miuccia Prada. A lesser-known but equally engaging example is Vincenzo de Cotiis, designer and founder of the “powerfully disciplined” label, Haute. The transition from architecture to fashion unifies these artistic disciplines, resulting in collections that provoke much thought.

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Koji Arai’s “Last Supper”


Delilah Crown: A Jewel in San Francisco

Tuesday, August 29th, 2006

Delilah Crown is a puzzle piece that fits perfectly into the larger picture of North Beach, San Francisco. Otherwise known as Little Italy and a casual home to the Beat Generation, North Beach and its tradition of eclecticism is as authentically San Franciscan as it gets. Owner of Delilah Crown and designer of the namesake label, Kristina De Pizzol, says of her shop, “I fell in love with the space. The original small paned window from the early 1900s and the fact that it was next to Danilo’s Bakery - a fixture in North Beach for 40 years - sealed the deal. I love coming in early in the morning and smelling the bread and then going up to my loft studio to work.” With an atmosphere such as this it isn’t difficult to understand why the shop and its creations are irresistible.

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Delilah Crown - 524 Green St., San Francisco



Friday, August 25th, 2006

The Icelandic label Spaksmannsspjarir translates to, “wise men’s clothing”. The allure of Spaksmannsspjarir is a result of the mutual interaction between the clothes and the environment - a relationship where each enhances the other.

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Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts: Final Year Collections - Mikio Sakabe

Thursday, August 24th, 2006

The Antwerp Royal Academy of Fine Arts fashion show turned out brilliant collections this last June 15 – 17. It is near impossible to select favored collections over others - outside of technical considerations - because in the end it is a matter of taste. The following selections from the final year collections are favorites of mine. The first is Mikio Sakabe.

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Mikio Sakabe


The Owls Are Not What They Seem

Tuesday, August 22nd, 2006

David Lynch’s television series, “Twins Peaks” embraces the noir of the Pacific Northwest with its mood, mythos and style. A foil exists between the Pacific Northwest logger/grunge type and the classic detective with a Brylcreem coiffure. Pale skin with red lips, pencil skirts and classic Pendleton plaids establish the Twin Peaks style.

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Audrey at One-Eyed Jack’s, from David Lynch’s “Twin Peaks”


Update: Asagi Maeda

Monday, August 21st, 2006

In my first mention of Asagi Maeda, I neglected to include her blog address, which features some of her more current work: The stunning collections of her “art jewelry” can be accessed in the right-hand column.

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Asagi Maeda a/w 2005, “the breathing earth” bracelet

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Asagi Maeda a/w 2005, “the breathing earth” bracelet

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Asagi Maeda a/w 2005, “the breathing earth” bracelet

The Contrast of Klaus Haapaniemi

Friday, August 18th, 2006

A person may come across the designs of Klaus Haapaniemi in a variety of ways, but always the effect is the same: absolute fascination. Fashion in particular is a good fit for Haapaniemi’s work, as he admits to me, “I’ve grown up with fabrics and prints, when I was a child my grandmother was designing garments for theatre plays. I always wanted to do huge prints for people to wear.” Indeed, the impression he makes in any medium is huge.

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Klaus Haapaniemi for Givy


The Fennofolkist Manifesto

Wednesday, August 16th, 2006

“If something is too perfect, it is not perfect anymore, it is boring. There has to be some edge to grab on. There always has to be something unexpected, weird and absurd. Something that should not be there.” This is the Fennofolkist Manifesto, and IVANAhelsinki has been very busy representing it.

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IVANAhelsinki, Loghouse Lover collection


English Rosie

Monday, August 14th, 2006

Rosie Huntington-Whiteley is a British model with great potential. Though she has shot campaigns for Tommy Hilfiger, SportMax, fellow countryman Paul Smith and has done some catwalking, she’s a girl I would like to see more of. As with all models who have successful careers, she has the gift of transforming herself in front of the camera.

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image: Rosie Huntington-Whiteley


Olivier Theyskens Against Global Vulgarity

Thursday, August 10th, 2006

The news became public on July 18th that the Rochas atelier in Paris is finished. At the helm was Olivier Theyskens, a 29-year-old designer that inspires both longing and jealousy among his community. My intention in writing this commentary is to augment the article by Lynn Herschberg entitled, “Is There a Place for Olivier Theyskens?” in the New York Times Magazine.

It is difficult to pinpoint why news of the closure affected me so much. Perhaps it is because Mr. Theyskens is my age and represents uncompromising ideals that I like to think reflect my own. These ideals encase the creative vision he intended for the reawakening of Rochas; an incredible responsibility he shouldered with grace. Then there is the matter of his endearing persona seemingly resurrected from the past: the broody, androgynous youth so reminiscent of a 19th century poet. (It is a presence, incidentally, which tends to confuse models – they don’t know whether to cuddle him maternally or have a crush on him.) Perhaps most of the disturbance is due to confusion. Confusion shared by Ms. Herschberg and no doubt many others in the fashion community. How can such rare talent be reduced to a bottom line? Surely this event is symbolic of a greater issue at hand: megabranding and its appeal to the lowest common denominator. This is the beast to which most fashion designers today bow to. If they do, they float and if they don’t, the beast swallows them whole. As misanthropic as I have become as a result of this reality as well as the reality of current events around the world, I maintain hope. I refuse to believe Olivier Theyskens is an anachronism.

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image: Olivier Theyskens backstage at the Rochas a/w 2005 show