Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Art Meets Fashion with Each x Other

Paris based art and fashion brand Each x Other believes clothes should be timeless, genderless and ageless in style. However, this doesn’t mean that they play safe or use a neutral colour palette in order to accomplish their unisex look. In fact the opposite is true as the brand embraces and invites creative talents of the contemporary art world to participate in the making of the designs.

Their brand statement says it all: 'Each x Other is a publishing house for ideas using clothing as a canvas and a platform'.

This ensures every collection becomes an exclusive limited edition due to collaborations from artists, poets, musicians as well as avant-garde craftsmen and fashion designers.

One of the artists asked to make a statement is Robert Montgomery; a London based Scottish artist/poet renowned for his black billboard posters with white letters.  His poetic words are printed on pieces ranging from the discreet lettering around the collar of a crisp white shirt to the bolder letters splashed on jeans and sweatshirts.

From his first major work using solar power and LED, the words ’ The people you love become ghosts inside of you and like this you keep them alive’ is found on the Poetry Collar shirt– wear this shirt and it’ll definitely be a conversation piece. His’ All Palaces are Temporary Palaces’ is emblazoned in black on a white tank top.

British sculptor Douglas White works with found objects and breathes new life into them as sculptures such as the blown out tyres looking magnificent as his black Icarus Palm. For the SS13 collection he uses recycled cork to bring texture to a short trench coat and a biker jacket. Plus it is a great waterproof fabric.

London based French writer and artist Alize Meurisse designs the crinkled leather trench coat and her prints are displayed on sweatshirt and slim jeans.

Italian artist Daniele Innamorato’s colourful splashed and dripping paints artworks are emulated on to slim jeans, knits and the sleeves of denim shirts.

French artist and writer Thomas Lelu uses various painting techniques and has designed the striped straight jeans, bright blue Tuxedo jacket and pants along with the unique t-shirts printed with words from his art : ‘Be the Change’ ‘It Doesn’t Exist’ ‘I Just Want to Get High’ and ‘My High Score is in Heaven’.

Underground French fashion designer Naco Paris goes dotty on tee shirts and jeans. He also updates the nautical stripes on biker jackets, jeans, sweatpants and tops. Plus makes a statement with his slogan ‘Art is Money and Money is Art’.

Other artists include:  American street artist Alec Monopoly with his Monopoly tuxedo man; American photographer Peter Eaton Gurnz, Amsterdam born photographer Ari Marcopoulos and American digital artist Asa Mader.

The brand is set to launch in the UK in January at Selfridges, Harrods and on www.net-a-porter.com

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky http://www.frumpytofunky.com

Monday, 19 November 2012

Hartnell to Amies: Couture by Royal Appointment

If you love vintage couture then this is one London exhibition not to be missed.

The Hartnell to Amies exhibition at the Fashion and Textile Museum in Bermondsey is a retrospective of London couture created by Norman Hartnell, Hardy Amies and milliner Frederick Fox.  It showcases a range of works by these iconic designers who stole the fashion hearts of both British Royalty and socialites and who, with the Queen’s patronage, managed to re-establish Britain as an international fashion centre after WWII.

Up until the 1920’s it was the Parisian designers who reigned supreme, but Hartnell was hot on their polished heels when he opened his first London salon in 1923.

Highlights of his earlier designs on display are:

The romantic embellished silk satin wedding dress for Oonagh Guinness in 1929 - inspired by Botticelli’s paintings and the sparkling evening dress embroidered all over with gold pailettes - worn by H.M. Queen Mary c.1935.

Moving on to the 40s, the garments are less flamboyant due to wartime rationing of fabric, but both Hartnell and Amies used their skills to ensure style and design were not affected, including  practical tailored suits which  emphasised the feminine silhouette.

Highlight by Hardy Amies:

A Prince of Wales checked fine woollen suit worn by Hollywood actress Mildred Shay. We think of slogans/words on attire as a fairly new trend but look closely at the lapels and you will see ‘Made In England’ featured into the exposed selvedge. 

Celebrating the end of the war, the 50’s designs showed a return to the generous use of fabric and glamour. Poster copies of Norman Parkinson’s photographs adorn the exhibition’s walls and immortalise both Royal Couturiers as they pose with models wearing their 1953 spring collections. The originals were commissioned by British Vogue to celebrate the year of Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation.

The exhibition moves on to the swinging 60’s with shorter cocktail dresses; the groovy 70’s with maxi evening dresses and the power style of the 80’s.  For the 80’s, Raine, Countess of Spencer lends her Aimes monochrome abstract floral silk evening dress with its enormous puffed sleeves - so on trend at the time. Whilst Sarah, Duchess of York lends her twinkling Aimes strapless evening dress looking delicate in an off white William Morris pattern. Also on display is a pale blue suit with wide shoulders and deep yolk collar in white with a tie front - replicating the Aimes original worn by Lady Diana Spencer for her engagement photographs.

We must take our hats off to milliner Frederick Fox who has designed hats for the Queen, the late Queen Mother and Diana Princess of Wales. On display are over thirty of his creations plus a specially recreation of the silk crepe hat worn by the Queen for her Silver Jubilee in 1977.

The exhibition is on until 23 Feb 2013 so you have plenty of time to see it.  More details can be found on www.ftmlondon.org/exhibitions

Images credit: © Norman Parkinson Limited/Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive.

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky http://www.frumpytofunky.com

Monday, 12 November 2012

Sorapol SS13 - Euphoria

Sorapol SS13 collection Euphoria tells the tale of Catherine, a wealthy socialite who has it all. But she dreams of a world without struggle and where fantastical extravagance is commonplace. This is when she discovers Sorapol who welcomes her to Euphoria.

Taking place in the stark concrete building of an underground NCP car park, an impressive sleek panther motorbike revved down the runway as though he had just stumbled on to the show.

Enter the first model in a Barbarella-esque flesh coloured body suit stripped of one leg and one sleeve. A long skirt billowed behind like a parachute on a rocket re-entering the earth’s atmosphere – clearly a message to say Sorapol had landed and Europhia begins.
The sci-fi and asymmetry look extended to the footwear as one thigh high silver ‘foil’ leather boot (on the bare leg) was teamed with a silver ankle boot on the pant leg. 

Rather than strutting, the models staggered down the sparkling white powder lined catwalk as if intoxicated from taking so much Sorapol Euphoria.  Their faces were hidden by gauze masks designed by illustrator Achraf Amiri who used Illamasqua make up to mimic a few past and present celebrities. The masks help Catherine morph into her celebrity idols.

The Elizabeth Taylor model wore a mint green peplum dress which was amazingly ‘normal’ amongst this theatrical collection.

The Olsen twin models looked legless (literally) in their matching pant suits designed with just one pant leg.  Reminiscent of Clockwork Orange the twins wore embellished colourful bowler hats.

The Naomi Campbell model glowed in a fluorescent orange chocker and neon orange beads embellishing a split lilac gown.

The finale gown, worn by the Marilyn Manson model, brought a darker rock’n’roll style with a black floor length leather skirt shimmering here and there with metallic blue and a lace up  bodice adorned with a V-shaped double neck electric guitar splattered with violet pink and blue.

Like Euphoria the collection was larger than life and the colour palette bright and vivid. Catching a moment at the end of the show, designer Sorapol Chawaphatnakul explains that he sees the realistic world as dark and this collection transforms Catherine into the colourful world of Sorapol. Take Sorapol and you become your own superstar!

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky http://www.frumpytofunky.com 

Monday, 5 November 2012

Maison Martin Margiela with H&M

We may be counting down the days to Christmas but there is also an earlier date we need to circle on our calendar. And that date is Thursday 15 November, when the new H&M designer collaboration with French fashion house Maison Martin Margiela goes on sale.

This collection is a re-edition of iconic pieces from MMM’s archive which have been reproduced in updated shapes and materials. The key features for both the men and women collection are oversized, ambiguity, transformation and turning the process of tailoring into a look. The colour palette is kept classic with shades of white, black and nude accented with glamorous splashes of red, blue and silver.

For the Women

Oversized – Pea coat, blazers, trousers, turtle neck jumpers are supersized and baggy giving that just borrowed from the boyfriend look.  Accessories also get the oversized treatment with an enlarged key ring necklace and an extended oversized metal watch strap and frame as a belt.

Tailoring Processes – the tailor’s pattern cut becomes the design for jacket and trousers whilst the classic white shirt takes on a circular pattern cut shape.

Ambiguity – is that girl just wearing a bra?  No it’s the nude body with integrated black bra. Trompe l’oeil print transforms a high necked jersey dress into a low cut sequined dress. Clear Perspex wedges on footwear create the illusion of an invisible heel.

Transformation takes place when the duvet becomes an oversized cosy padded coat, the glove an evening coin purse, and an enormous candy wrapper a shiny metallic clutch bag. But it also comes in the guise of two dresses, one long and one short, fused together to create one dress and a knitted socks sewn into a sweater.

For the Men

Oversized - Does my bum look big in this? Well the enormous bum bag definitely does.
Tailoring process - Jackets show fused details of tailoring, an overcoat has inverted lapels and large loose basting stitches are visible around sleeves and shoulders. The sheepskin coat is reversed revealing the shearling wool and inside seams on the outside. Denim jacket and jeans are also turned inside out.

Ambiguity - Trompe l’oeil appears as a shirt on a sweater, confetti on a t-shirt and untied black bow tie on a white shirt. The weekend bag is disguised as a guitar cover.

Transformation - several car coats are deconstructed and reconstructed into one mismatched coat; several leather belts are transformed into a stripy leather jacket whilst jeans, denim waistcoat and footwear are painted white.

Once again H&M are bringing affordable designer labels to the high street, so treat yourself to an early Xmas present and start queuing up early on 15 November.

Look Book images by Paul Wetherell
Campaign shots by Sam Taylor-Johnson

By Karen Grace
Personal Shopper & Image Consultant for Frumpy to Funky http://www.frumpytofunky.com