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▲ 3/24/12 —  dressedundressed A/W 2012

  

dressedundressed A/W 2012 

Like many brands born from the fashionable streets of Tokyo, dressundressed already holds an impressive following in the city. Endorsed by influential buyers and select shops, the designers Takeshi Kitazawa and Emiko Sato have produced two past seasons in their signature style. Their latest A/W collection its the first to be presented formally on the runway at Japan Fashion Week. The result is thus far the peak of the brand’s simple, refined aesthetic. 

Fashion in monochrome is an uncompromising style. Shifting focus from decoration to refined design, the aesthetic is a triumph for androgyny. Gender is lost in the dualism of black/white, in the unconstrained forms, and in the shadows.  

  

The approach to aesthetics in Tokyo fashion is often dialectic. Considering the kitsch the typically dominates the fashion narrative, dressedundressed is the opposing force, the antithesis to the cute. Aesthetically the brand is not minimal in that it seeks to engage in whatever essence or identity at hand. Instead, the emphasis lies in dualisms. 

The A/W 2012 collection is a testament to what can be gain from restrain in style. While shirts wash white, waistlines rise high. Belts are prolific, even pulling over shoulders to create harnesses. The final result is a bold, unnerving style. The collection is the intersection between simplicity and dress. 

  


▲ 3/22/12 —  Bernhard Willhelm A/W 2012 Men



Bernhard Willhelm A/W 2012 Men


Fashion is at times radical. This is true especially in the context of menswear where conventions based on masculinity and modernity continue to dictate aestheticー and what is socially appropriate for men to wear or not to wear. However, thanks to increasing trends in Tokyo and elsewhere in Europe, the bounds of menswear continue to be challenged. One such designer is Austria’s Bernhard Willhelm.

    

The Bernhard Willhelm A/W 2012 Men collection is an obvious burst of color and mixed pattern. In a time when minimal and conservative design has become synonymous with ‘good’ design, the use of such color is radical. Particularly in menswear, there is unease when aesthetic embraces contemporary silhouettes andー worst of allー unapologetic camp. 

The strength of Willhelm is the designer’s indifference to gender. Considering the companion A/W 2012 Women collection, there are evident similarities between the two ‘separate’ lines. In fact, one could move between the collections without serious notice. It is this indifference that liberates the menswear collection’s design from convention.

Like Willhelm, recent menswear designers are crafting the contemporary man. It is a man uprooted from history, essentialist category, and modernity. The post-modern man has never looked better.

    

▲ 3/10/12 —  Sophie Hulme Autumn/Winter 2012



Sophie Hulme is paragon not only in her London scene, but internationally as well. The designer made her first formal runway show during last month’s London Fashion Week. The result was nothing less than astounding. Even weeks after her exhibition, Hulme’s grip remains.

Conceptuallyー Hulme’s strength is the ability to articulate a sense of British colonialism in her garments past and present. The latest collection is authoritative by way of a commanding subtlety. The use of this colonial impression is not meant to affirm Britain’s unfortunate legacy, but instead, reflect its resonance in the former empire’s post-colonial identity. Remnants may be found in the usage of heavy hardware that shields the models. Armed like soldiers, there is an authority to the designs not just in visual likeness, but in sophistication. Hulme’s aesthetic is so on point it coerces and pacifies.

  
  

Imperial subtleties aside, Hulme is stylish womenswear. In the Autumn/Winter 2012 collection, the designer continues to evade a conventional separation between femininity and masculinity within fashion. Instead, it negotiates the ‘two’ without the typical duality. There are knitted jumpers, coats with leather details, signature tote bags with an additional briefcase, and lace-work in dresses and throughout.  

The collection is also playful with a dinosaur motif. Taken almost directly from a toy box, the dinosaurs hang as necklacesー and in gold, no less. Elsewhere the creatures march in uniform across knitted and laced tops. The dinosaurs may also be cleverly seen in a resemblance in shaped heelsー styled nicely with ankle-high socks. The motif is a welcomed companion to the Hulme’s brazen refinement.

  
  

The growing Sophie Hulme brand is a testament to the authority and legacy of London fashion. As the designer continues to unfold collection after collection, she only strengthens. Hulme is fashion at its very best. 

▲ 2/01/12 —  Rene Gurskov Autumn/Winter 2012-13 1 note



Rene Gurskov Autumn/Winter 2012-13 “Little Monster”

Copenhagen menswear designer Rene Gurskov delivers another collection as testament to youth for his Autumn/Winter 2012-13 showcase. With the allusion to American pop culture aside, the collection’s title “Little Monster” is a proper characterization for Gurskov’s thematic aimー youth in revolt. While past seasons by the designer have bridged the gap between adolescence and adulthood, the current collection embraces the juvenile to intriguing results. 

"Little Monster" builds upon a triumph of sorts after last season’s impressive spring/summer collection. In December, Gurskov was featured in the fashion show "Digital Gods" by the famous Tokyo shop Wut Berlin via HP France even being modeled by style icon Joey Ma. Gurskov continued on this wave of regard to showrooms in Paris. And this week, he formally presents “Little Monster” at Copenhagen Fashion Week. 

 
 

"Little Monster" places masculinity at the forefront with provocative imagery. It intergrates an assortment of color and prints that aid in ensuring a youthful edge. In Gurskov style, garments range from lengthened proportions on casual-wear to more fitted coats and pants elsewhere. The designer also notably conjures a ghostly mood with strikes of lightning, bats, and a heavy use of seizing polka dots. In a final surprising innovation, Gurksov appears to reinvent his signature scarves this season. 

With building success, Rene Gurskov contributes to a rising Copenhagen scene in progressive fashion design. Long past the need for an introduction, the designer continues to construct menswear that is at once stylish and invitingly wearable. 

 

▲ 1/25/12 —  Anntian A/W 2012 ー “Crystal Inside”

Anntian A/W 2012 ー “Crystal Inside” 

Anntian is the Berlin based label by designers Anne Hiken and Christian Kurt. Since their premiere collection in 2006, the two have been hand crafting unique garments that are now the model for contemporary Berlin fashion. As Anntian prepares to further showcase their latest A/W 2012-13 after the reveal at Berlin Fashion Week, the label’s current collection “Crystal Inside” is a testament to the thematic designs still to come from the ambitious designers.

In representative Anntian style, “Crystal Inside” is another onslaught of color and print coming from the brand. Utilizing warm tones and complimenting grays, the seasonal style of the garments is apparent in the grouping of knits, use of wool, and heavy layering. This warmth helps convey the collection’s overarching theme of the terrestrial or quaint worldliness. 

On the eve of the next release, “Crystal Inside” speaks to the success of Anntian as a brand. There is a complexity that surpasses engaging print and colorー but instead rests in the thoughtful production, the quality of Berlin-based construction, and an idiosyncratic element to each collection.

These characteristics link season old to season new, offering an originality that distinguishes Anntian from competitors. For this reason, the brand achieves its own unique narrative on fashion which allows patrons to find warmth and comfort in the garments season after season. As with “Crystal Inside,” there will always be an enthusiasm for designs to come. 

▲ 1/24/12 —  Julian Zigerli Autumn/Winter 2012 1 note



Julian Zigerli Autumn/Winter 2012 ー “To Infinity & Beyond”

Julian Zigerli is a rising Swiss designer known for his thoughtful representations of youth and inventive textiles. Since graduating in fashion design from the University of Art Berlin, Zigerli has been at work developing his own self-titled labelー even garnering a nomination for the Swiss Design Prize last year. Zigerli’s latest A/W 2012 collection is a continued investigation of adolescence through subtle innovation. 

The A/W 2012 collection is suitably named “To Infinity & Beyond”ー encapsulating the youthful sport that strings through the brand at-large. While the garments maintain an ease in design that is familiar to the Berlin scene and the northern European aesthetic, cheerful prints and colors of blue and amber develop the exploratory theme of the collection. 




Concretely, the line has juxtaposed prints, ample jackets, perforated gloves, knits, elastics, and even the Zigerli’s signature transforming rucksacksー jackpacks. For Zigerli, utility promotes wearability. When considering this, it is no surprise that the season’s collection has continued on the designer’s mash-up of technical construction and sportswear.

It’s apparent not just in the hybridity of design, but also in the painless capability of the garments. From clothes rack to back, Julian Zigerli is smart menswear equipped for both the elements and whatever may lie beyond.

▲ 1/22/12 —  HOPE - RIP 17 notes



HOPE ー “RIP” Performance & Installation

HOPE is the moniker of the multimedia art project borne from the streets of Greece. Well-known for his collages plastered upon facades about Athens, the artist continues to expand into mediums of sculpture and performance. Last September, HOPE presented a performance and installation piece titled “RIP” at the Thessaloniki Performance Festival to provoking results.  

The “RIP” performance creates stark visual connections between contemporary subcultures and an ancient Grecian past. Bleached sculptures merge with a symphonic arrangement of neon lights to create an installation that feels at once archaic in its ceremony and modern in its presentation. By employing occult imagery through the march of the cloaked performers, the viewers engage with the “RIP” exhibition as it progresses.

While the installation itself is created, the spacial distinction between HOPE the artist, the work itself, and the viewer is blurred. Because of these uncertain boundaries, “RIP” cleverly seizes attention. As the sculptures are set aflame by the cult, the audience concurrently transforms from simple voyeurs of the ceremony to partisans themselves.

Before the exhibition in Thessaloniki, the thirty-four year old artist began to rise locally in his home of Athens. With the support for The Breeder gallery in the district of Metaxourgeio, HOPE exhibited an installation of collages back in 2010 at the Kunsthalle Athena art space.

Since the exhibition, the artist has aided in defining the contemporary art scene in Athens. In addition to his prolific collages, HOPE has experimented with canvas works, posters, and even fanzines. As Greece continues to capture international attention due to the financial crisis within the European Union, the artists remains an interesting figure to watch during developing national turmoil. 

▲ 1/11/12 —  Street Fashion Snap 9 notes






Name:
 Zesheng
Age: 21
Occupation:  Student
Jacket:
 Phenomenon
Shirt: Boy London x Long Clothing
Skirt: dressedundressed
Leggings: ACV
Hood: Horace
Accessory: Andy Gilmore
Area: Greater Detroit

▲ 1/09/12 —  Natsumi Hayashi “Today’s Levitation”



Natsumi Hayashi is a Tokyo-based photographer whose most recent project “Today’s Levitation” chronicles her life suspended in air for nearly two years between 2010-11. From the commute in downtown Shibuya to the the quaint parks of suburban Kichijoji, the photographer floats throughout the Tokyo metropolis almost naturally. Published via her daily blog, Hayashi’s levitations progress from initial unearthliness to the common and everyday.
 

Although exceptional in their style and presentation, Hayashi’s concept of a floating world is not unique to the photographer. Instead, she follows the tradition of many Japanese artists before her. Whether it be Hokusai’s Nihonbashi of Edo in ukiyo-e style or Akira Yamaguchi’s New Nihonbashi of post-modern Tokyo in super flat style (both below), life in the metropolis has often been captured in the framework of a floating world. 

However, the etymology of the Japanese word for floating (浮く) is contradictoryー deviating as both floating and sinking based on the context. The floating-sinking spaces of Edo/Tokyo date back to the period of a popularized Yoshiwaraー or pleasure quarters where educated courtesans entertained the samurai and merchant elite. Considering this, Tokyo is best envisioned as both a floating and sinking worldー a world not entirely escapist, but presupposed as a place of suffering. 

  

When compared to the works of Hokusai and Yamaguchi, Hayashi’s levitiaton series prevails as a familiar approach to capturing Tokyo life. For this reason, the photographs stand as more natural and authentic rather than other-wordly. And as Hayashi floats throughout the city, one can not help but anticipate her ultimate fall. 

  

▲ 1/07/12 —  Romain Blot Lookbook



In his latest collection, French designer Romain Blot crafts pieces that are at once effortless and complex. The designs manipulate one’s perspective with uneven hems, quarreling proportions, and amalgamated fabrics. This thoughtful construction tricks the gaze by articulating a handsome elegance in the garments despite incongruities.

  

The garments challenge a simple dichotomy of femininity versus masculinity. The collection fits the model Han Wen without spotlighting her gender. Inflated sleeves style with skirts; oxfords pair with long shirts; collars straighten high while piece lengths cut short. The subtle color choice further pronounces this indifference to gender. This sophisticated manner of construction permits wide wearability.

In the vein of this gender neutral framework, designer Romain Blot communicates his perspective on the mental condition of schizophrenia. However, rather than simply creating clothes that restate the “disorder,” Blot questions the intolerance and mythology associated with the condition by society. Ultimately the garments can not so easily be characterized as schizophrenic. Instead, they question sentiments against asymmetry, irregularity, and disorder. 

  

▲ 11/29/11 —  Nyte Spring/Summer 2012 6 notes



Nyte Spring/Summer 2012 

Nyte is the newest addition to Japanese minimalism emerging from the sleek streets of Tokyo. The label is headed by twenty five year old Daichi Enohara. After graduating from the prestigious Bunka Fashion College in Tokyo, the desinger began freelance work as a patterner while laying the groundwork for his own label. For his Spring/Summer 2012 collection, Enohara reminds that even in the superflat world of Japan minimal fashion is alive and thriving.


   

The Spring/Summer 2012 collection does not range significantly in color. Black and white are expected favorites with few pieces falling outside this continuum. Enohara compensates for the lack of color stimulus by developing construction, size proportions, and geometric symmetry. The designer’s attention is fixed to details and effortless fittings. The garments have a distinct gender-neutral look— a welcomed trend that is steadily growing among stylish Tokyo youth.

Nyte embodies a sense of sophistication. For a young designer like Enohara, such an early capacity for urbanity is impressive. The collection works harder to articulate aesthetic than what is typically expected. The designer demands consideration for his garments. It is this deferential characteristic that allows minimal design like Enohara’s Nyte to continue to flourish in Tokyo. 

As a label, Nyte is the antithesis to the kitsch that so often dominates the fashion narrative. It is the retreat from an explosion of layering, color, and print that crowds the streets of Harajuku. Rather than essentializing to such a simple dichotomy, the scene may be better described by its fragmentation— where diverse styles preform alongside side one another in almost harmonic contradiction. In this vein, Nyte develops well as a more gender-neutral, minimal, and balanced alternative.  

▲ 11/27/11 —  Katie Eary Spring/Summer 2012 4 notes

  

Katie Eary Spring/Summer 2012

Already renowned for her street influenced aesthetic abroad in Tokyo, Katie Eary is the center of progressive fashion. Marked by Eary’s recent aid in Kanye West’s premier womenswear showing in Paris, the designer has garnered new attention this season. Despite her connection to West’s irrelevant fashion celebrity, Katie Eary’s most recent Spring/Summer 2012 menswear collection is another showcase of the designer’s established prominence. 

  

For this season, Eary has cleverly reined in her brazen aesthetic. With military style as a distinct detail, there are trench coats, knits, silk shirts, and eagle-head prints. The simple trousers act as the must-have pieces from the menswear collection, even available in alligator-embossed leather. The collection employs a reserved color palette for the designerー a range of golds, oranges, and blues. 

In part by applying the narrative from 1998’s Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Eary’s latest collection combines images of hallucinogens, French colonialism, andー of courseー cheetahs. Such an amalgam of influences appears to be the designer’s quality and crux in the fashion world. While progressive Japan has been more than welcoming for the designer, scenes in the West remain fleeting.

In the end, the marketability of Katie Eary’s collections in New York or elsewhere is besides the point. The designer is essential for the fearless few in Europe/North Americaー or the many in Asiaー who embrace her. 

   

▲ 11/26/11 —  Jungeun Lee : Nuue 2011 1 note


Jungue Lee - Nuue 2011 : Textiles

Jungeun Lee is the London based designer and textile engineer. Graduating from Tama Art University in Tokyo in 2008, Lee moved on for her MA in mixed arts and textiles at the Royal College of Art. Lee’s latest project is titled Nuue— or ‘Cocoon’ in her native Korean. With a strong showroom debut at this past London Fashion week, the young designer is already pioneering experimental approaches to garment-making. 

In the Nuue project Lee strings fibers into complex and elegant webs. Ultimately shaping garments from the constructed fabric, the designer’s technique begins by wrapping synthetic fiber around a wooden mannequin. Heat and pressure is next applied to sculpt unique silhouettes out of the moldable textile. Although still in development, Lee’s novel textile carries impressive possibilities for fashion. 


  

The Nuue project’s garments appropriately brings to mind the likeness of a cocoon. Creating an attractive web of interconnections, the synthetic strings are skillfully formableoffering an almost endless range of pattern-work. This transformative quality is fundamental to the textile’s development as a functioning fabric. 

Lee’s Nuue garments are borne from a greater design project with fellow designer Shota Aoyagi of Japan. Together the two make up Studio Koya. With products ranging from fashion to interior, Studio Koya creations will be exciting to watch as the company continues to grow. If the initial Nuue project is any indication, Lee & Aoyagi are poised to help reinvent the fabric of contemporary design.

▲ 11/21/11 —  twenty(2)too Spring/Summer 2012 3 notes

  

twenty(2)too Spring/Summer 2012 : Lookbook

Two decades after the fall of the iron curtain, the label twenty(2)too is developing minimal, utilitarian aesthetic in the former Eastern Bloc country of Romania. Emerging with its first proper collection in Paris two years ago, the label most recently exhibited their Spring/Summer 2012 menswear collection in Amsterdam. Characterized by an attention to fine tailoring and youthful utility, twenty(2)too represents a new trajectory for the post-communist fashion scene.


   

The Bucharest-based designer Mihai Dan Zarug crafts adaptable pieces that add classic style to the everyday. Inspired by both rural country and the growing urban life in Romania, Zarug’s label name— twenty(2)too— is a testament to the youthfulness his collections aim to embody.

The Spring/Summer 2012 collection is a refined minimalism that is surprising to see sprouting out from Eastern Europe. Whether fashioned in leather or more simple in colors of red and navy, the pieces incorporate loose fittings allowing for everyday adaptability. It’s a style that is seen elsewhere in Europe, but here in the Romanian context, it is holds a polite and well honed edge.

While pants are rolled to just below the knees, muted shirts run long— acting as near dresses for the menswear line. The numerous coats stand as the distinctive feature to this season’s collection. Finely tailored, the construction is intriguing with playful sleeve-work. In the end, Zarug has produced a modern collection that rests on the threshold unto adulthood— a period well titled at twenty(2)too.

   

▲ 11/20/11 —  Martine Rose Spring/Summer 2012

 

Martine Rose Spring/Summer 2012

In an uncharacteristicly poor showing, Martine Rose faults with her most recent Spring/Summer 2012 menswear collection in London. Drawing on broad influences from street culture, the unimaginative collection parrots trend, overlooks aesthetic, and lacks cohesion in its many misplaced pieces.

Despite the underwhelming season for the emerging designer, Martine Rose remains a favorite in the London scene. Although now marred with apprehension due to this forgettable collection, Rose gestures to her potential still.

 

Beginning with detailed sheer shirts, Rose presented a layering approach to the collection’s style. Juxtaposing with the more harsh street influences, the rich pastel colors layered beneath the sheer softened the overall looks. The shirts were best when decorated by stripes of print. Otherwise, the sheer dragged along underdeveloped. 

Nextー Rose crafted a few over-sized shirts that stood out both in color and construction. Draping down past the elbows and waist, the shirts re-shaped the body nicely with exaggerated dimensions. The shirts were a welcomed look for the menswear line. Yet elsewhere the Mexican-inspired fabric was mimetic of now commonplace trends in print.

The most interesting detail in the collection was easily found in the collection’s signature textile. Almost tarp-like, the textile excelled whether fashioned into a coat or shorts. Gridded by stitches of connected black lines, Rose mapped color well throughout the progressive tarp-pieces. 

 

While exhibiting a limited collection this season, Martine Rose is still a fashion voice that demands attention. In London’s ambitiously progressive scene, the designer’s opportunities to articulate on-point aesthetic may be unfortunately limited. But judging from past seasons and the details of the current collection, Rose is more than capable of a hasty recovery.