Wednesday, March 31, 2010

...make sure to wear some tulips in your shoes...

To my delight, the newest 'issue' of NJAL features some of my absolute favorite designers who have been featured here on kOs: Alexandra Groover, Dori TomcsanyibARBARA Í gONGINI, Awareness & Consciousness, and Anneloes Van Osselaer. I can only conclude that I have excellent taste. Anyway, mark your calendars for May 5th, as Dori's full S/S 10 collection will be posted on that date. Until then, here are some wonderfully springy photos to tide you over. I wish I had some tulips to stick in my shoes for my walk to get a quad-shot iced venti soy caramel macchiato.

Photos: Peter Hencz
Styling: Angie Palmai
Model: Anita/ Visage
Hair: Kaszon Hortobagyi

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I've had London-based designer Rachel Freire's site in my bookmark bar for the past few days since seeing a few of her new pieces on OutsaPop. I had also immediately emailed to get the full new lookbook to post for your viewing pleasure, but received only a busy signal. So thanks to Queen Michelle for letting me know that all the images from the A/W 10 collection are now posted on Rachel's site, where I can now pine after these pants. I discovered long ago that my dream pair of pants would have some form of those wrap around hip panels. Also, it seems I've found plenty of pants to quench my perfect trouser thirst, and yet none have yet fallen into my lap, so to speak. So these shall join the list of pants my legs shall never go through. Sigh.

 I also gasped when I saw this crystal headpiece/mask. I would seek out a masked ball just so I could wear this out. It reminds me of MirrorMask and Ever After. And I love the ruffled and zippered bodysuit/shorts/what have you. That's my version of the perfect something to dance around the house and eat delicious cookies and cream soy ice cream in.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Awareness & Consciousness

I'm currently going through some sort of existential crisis concerning my feelings toward a once beloved band of mine, so I'm afraid I can't fire off a nice little coherent post today. Good thing Christiane Gruber just recently posted her Awareness & Consciousness S/S 10 collection on NJAL, as these photographs quite succinctly summarize both how my mind would look if you took a picture of its churning insides, and what I'd like to be wearing today, posed beside my new rootbeer coloured bike (yes, I decided that the best way to exorcise the demons from my bad bike crash last summer was to buy an even prettier bike). Thank you, Christiane. Oh, and thank you beautiful neighbourhood cat for being named Pandora. The world almost made sense when I read your name tag today.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Stacey Grant - Digital drape

Here's the second installment of updates on Stacey Grant's fascinating MA studies. This one in particular really caught my eye, as I've never seen anything quite like it before seeing photos of it on Stacey's blog. Here's what Stacey has to say about 'this one', being digital draping:

Digital draping is a new form of pattern cutting and body draping using light and projections to determine cut, texture, pattern, integration, and future silhouettes. This unique technique was introduced to me by my course director Nancy Tilbury at Kingston University, where I am working towards my MA in Fashion. 

By using a projector and selected images I project onto a model, I can alter the scale and placement easily of my imagery. I personally use digital drape for design development in the form of silhouette, print ideas, and design shape. It really helps when working from abstracted design inspiration which I frequently do to create from my digital drape work. 

For my final show, I will use it a lot to determine scale of accessories which will be a key part of my work, print ideas, embellishment placement and beading, silhouette and seaming. By working with a model in a basic white body, I can draw from my projections onto the body to determine shape and so on.

Top row: Digitally draped images of Stacey's father's hands working, spiral staircase, and great grandfather
2nd row: Stacey's locket necklace, father working, Stacey's first pair of shoes

I know that right now it's being used by at Kingston more as a working tool, but I have a feeling this will be popping up in a few more places in the future. For instance, Michael Jackson had been planning on using something quite similar to this (ie. videos projected on his space suit) for his This Is It tour, although that was of course for entertainment and visual spectacle value than for technological fashion. I think it could also be a fascinating technique to incorporate into a runway show, somewhat reminiscent of Alexander McQueen's S/S 1999 show, in which robotic arms spray painted a white dress on a spinning Shalom Harlow (below).

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Nuit Comme Oui

Danish label Nuit Comme Oui is only one year old, founded in 2009 by designer Natasja Qvitzau Lund. And yet there are already two glorious, albeit small, collections, complete with some great photographs. Every piece is one size, and every design incorporates origami, as each piece is essentially a square, experimentally folded to create some gorgeous draping. The above photos are from NCO's first collection, 'Unspoken Folded Stories', which is available to buy at Art Rebels. I personally am quite drawn to the beautiful short jumpsuit (above, bottom right). In fact, I think it might just have to go in My Top 3 Want List. I'm sure I could quite effortlessly incorporate it into my wardrobe, even though it would be the lone jumpsuit in my entire closet/house/life, aside from my blue monkey suit from working at a machine shop summers ago...

And these photos are a few of the pieces from the 'Fleeing Boastful Creatures' collection. This A/W 10 collection is technically from the 'Nuit Comme Oui et Segall' label, being a collaboration between Natasja and Karen Segall, who did the illustrations on the pieces. Cold, but lovely. Reminds me of the Caribou video for 'Odessa'.

Visit Nuit Comme Oui's blog for some more origami, and her Facebook page for updates!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pasta creation...and Fnubbu

Mmm...isn't this S/S 10 'outfit' by Danish loungewear and accessories label Fnubbu just delicious looking? If the model was wearing some red flip flops, this would look just like the lovely meal I just ate tasted. I had planned to make it yesterday for our anniversary dinner, but we ended up going out to our secret date cafe. So for tonight, I tossed together:

- one package of organic whole wheat rotini, cooked during the last minute with 2 cups of thinly sliced red pepper
- 1 tub of light herb and garlic cream cheese, stirred with 1 cup of organic skim milk and some salt and ground mixed peppercorns until smooth and bubbly
- 2 cups of lightly packed organic baby arugula leaves ('arugula' fun/difficult to say)
- 2 teaspoons of lemon juice
- grated parmesan cheese

Paired with some fresh organic calabrese bread and butter, and followed by a triple chocolate cupcake afterwards, the end result was simply: 'yum'.

Anyhow, the photos above are from Fnubbu's A/W 09 collection. Though I just told my mother that I have a hard time 'doing colours', after such a light springy meal, I think I could definitely do these.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Oh to be Rad

Remember that amazing wool jacket from Rad Hourani? Well, it's available in the most perfect version I could imagine, being wonderfully drapey bamboo jersey from his Rad by Rad Hourani line. It's listed as an online exclusive, so it may only exist on OAK's site. Sigh.

Or, for those of you needing more structure in your life, it's also available in a unisex denim version in the Rad by Rad Hourani e-shop. Seriously.

In other news, I've been a Mrs for 5 whole years today. Hurray!

Interview with Konrad Parol

If you're a regular reader, you may be wondering why I'm posting an interview today, as I tend to post them on Sundays or Mondays (or perhaps you haven't noticed before...). But today's interview is special, and so I'm breaking my non-existent rules. You see, this is my very first interview with a designer of the opposite sex. You may have noticed that not a lot of male designers are featured here, although this isn't a conscious decision on my part. Also, I have only sparingly featured menswear, and only then when it's something that I would wear myself. And so, after featuring some lovely pants by young Polish designer Konrad Parol, I got to thinking about how exactly both a male designer and a designer of menswear may be different from the usual suspects on this blog. Mr. Parol himself was kind enough to entertain my questions, giving you and I both a look into the inner-workings of a lovely individual who knows a bit about both of these categories...


How did you first become interested in design, and what is your formal background?
I don’t remember how it exactly started. I was always manually gifted, but my focus on fashion started in high school. I wanted to create something that combined high-art and everyday art, for people...something that would live it’s own life and evolve... After graduating high school, I finished a two-year degree at a school that didn’t give me a strong technical background and didn’t really shape my individual style as a designer. While studying at Art Studio, I did a one-year internship at the Atelier of Maciej Zien, one of the most famous Polish fashion designers. I also worked as a costume designer for Polish music videos. Although I was working in the fashion industry, I had a strong feeling that I could do more, be more creative. I designed two womenswear collections, which were noticed in Poland and Japan. After finishing the internship, I worked for two years as a designer and producer of sport shoes in China, and after that I worked as a womenswear designer at a big fashion house in Warsaw. I am currently a womenswear designer for a young contemporary Polish brand and a creative director at my own company. I have been creating menswear collections for almost a year, what gives me much more satisfaction than womenswear. Moreover, I am the first faithful customer of my own brand.

What is the very first piece you remember designing?
The first garment I ever designed was a dress made from ping-pong balls. I don’t remember what inspired me, but probably I was just really bored with all the other classes and needed to focus my mind on something else than studying…

Do you wear your own designs?
Of course, totally! As I said earlier, I am my first customer and I love it! I wear everything I design because until now, whenever I went shopping, I couldn’t find interesting menswear anywhere. Since I started designing for guys, I don’t need to worry about what I’m going to wear.  ;)

What is your favorite: ...piece of clothing?
Lately I have been obsessed with sweatshirts, coats, and t-shirts, and everything that comes with a hood. I am absolutely addicted to hoods. I design with myself in mind, because what I can find in stores is very predictable, and I need something unique.

...material to work with?
My favourite fabrics for the current collections are all types of jersey. I feel bewitched by jersey, it is very fluid and easy to drape. A big plus is the fact that it is natural, bio-degradable, and consequently environmently-friendly, what is very important nowadays. to work to?
Music is always present when I create my collections. My recent favourite is Caribou – his latest CD. It is absolutely marvelous - its psychedelic, funky, dreampop vibe will strongly influence my new collection. Lately I mixed Caribou with Nina Simone and got my favourite cocktail...yummy.

It is really hard for me to pick one, there are so many fantastic designers I admire. Especially Damir Doma, Gareth Pugh, Nicolas Ghesquière, Raf Simons, and many others.

What inspires you most while creating?
I am my own greatest inspiration; more precisely, I am the focal point of everything that surrounds me. Everything depends on the moment, time of the day, my mood. My needs are what's most important and they are the ones that push me in the right direction and bring me ideas of what to design next. I am also really inspired by the street life, its rhythm and heartbeat.

Do you think that it is more or less challenging as a male to be a fashion designer?
I don’t know what it feels like to be a female designer, so I can’t really compare. ;) I know that fashion design is not an easy profession: every season you have to prove to yourself and to others how good you are, and you’re only as good as your most recent collection. Only a few chosen people will manage to be successful in the fashion world, you need to work really hard to reach your goals. The most important things are: passion, determination, and a bit of luck.

Do you prefer to design womenswear or menswear?
I was designing womenswear for many years and I definitely prefer designing for men. It is much more fun and gives me more satisfaction, especially the fact that I get to make clothes for myself. Moreover, I think that menswear is generally a niche market, not only in Poland. I feel that designing for men is a bigger challenge and also gives me a greater satisfaction because men are much more demanding than women. I still design for women sometimes, but only made-to-order single items.

What do you think about women (like me!) wanting to wear your menswear?
Hahahaha…this is really funny. Since I started designing menswear, I have more female than male customers. Women think that my designs are unisex and enjoy wearing them. For me it is definitely not a problem, but another reason to be happy that my designs are above sex differences, they’re universal. I want more women like you around me. ;)

What is your favorite experience so far as a designer?
It is really hard to say... The two years of work in China are probably my nicest memory. It was then when I started being fascinated with Asia. The food, art, fashion, and society is so completely different from ours. I am absolutely in love with Chinese culture. I hope that my best fashion experiences are still to come.

What is your favorite piece from your newest collection?
I am at a stage of creating the new collection, so it is difficult for me to say what will be my favourite piece. For the moment it is a GIGANTIC sweatshirt with a huge hood. The whole front is covered with metal eyelets. It is absolutely incredible, I can hide in it completely and escape reality.

What is up next for your label?
I want to present the collection during Fashion Week Poland at the beginning of May. I am also planning a fashion show in July and possibly another one abroad. I don’t want to give away all the details, as not everything has been confirmed yet. Right now I want to focus on getting closer to the moment, in which I will be able to focus completely on my own brand and will not have to work for someone else. Constant growth and worldwide expansion is my main goal and dream. For now, keep watching my progress and cross your fingers for all my dreams to come true.


So, does that answer any questions for you? My curiosity is satiated for a bit. And I still want Konrad's pants. Keep an eye on this one by regularly clicking here and here.

Top photo: Designer's own
2nd row: Photographs by Krzysztof Wyzynski
3rd row: Photographs by Olga Szynkarczuk
Last photos: Photographs by Pawel Kowalik

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Bibi Ghost

I feel that the above pieces from Danish designer Bibi Ghost's A/W 10 'After Tea' collection might be better suited to The door in my wardrobe's daily fare. But after a morning of good old fashioned blogger clothing swappage, my mind seems to be on the look for clothing different from what I'd normally gravitate towards. And who doesn't love a good spot of tea.

Bibi's S/S 10 'The Secret Garden' collection, on the other hand, I can definitely get behind, no matter what frame of mind I'm in. The collection's description says it all:

The Secret Garden is an enchanted place, hidden beneath the surface of the city, where good meets evil and where the line between reality and the fantastical and magical is forever blurred. A queen governs a swarm of underlings without mercy. Sylph-like figures glide slowly through the garden, seeking an escape from reality by shapeshifting from mere humans to otherworldly creatures. They leave a trail of darkness in their search for the light and the supernatural marries realism as the figures evolve and transform. The pieces of the collection are soft, organic and dreamlike, but with references to the stark world of military and the restricted life at the Russian court.

I'll even take one of those goth Princess Leia headpieces, and a fringed veil too, if you please.