Mar 4, 2019

Armani Plagiarism


By Frédéric Forest, from his series "Waiting"  (via his website)


What was going to be a post about Giorgio Armani's piece above, will now be a quick feature of his plagiarism.

I skated past the top image as I was scrolling through my Tumblr feed one night (via). I really like it! I don't usually pay attention to Armani's work because there isn't a ton of appeal there for me. I am sort-of frightened of his 'cigarette-girl / bellhop turned into objects donning ridiculous opulence and luxury' thing, but this jacket really thrilled me!

The caption on the post stated that it was from the 2018 Fall Couture collection, so I went to find the look in the runway presentation. I wanted to see what the other pieces were like. The jacket had such a strong and appealing Schiaparelli influence! Oddly, the piece was conspicuously missing from the Vogue Runway re-cap.

As it turns out, there was more "influence" to this piece than I originally imagined.

I compared the background of the runway set to establish that this look was indeed from that season. A Google reverse-image search showed a few results to Twitter posts that had been deleted - and one article from the Dutch publication of Harpers Bazaar by Door Willemijn Schilten that I translated. (Original version here).

The author's research shows that Armani's piece was directly copied from a drawing by French artist Frédéric Forest! They present a screenshot of the Instagram fashion-law account @thefashionlaw which has also since been deleted from their feed.

Mamma Mia, Gio! This is exactly the sort of crap that I hate about massive fashion threshing machines that plow through fields of cultural sanctity and art - while shitting out bricks of appropriated luxury garbage for the uber wealthy.

I will compliment the hands and minds of those who were tasked with the construction and assembly of this jacket. The work is exquisite!

Why did they not simply approach Frédéric Forest to collaborate? What a headache for him to have to recon with this. As I continue to study pattern-making, sewing and design, I need also be looking into fashion law case studies to fuel my fire and know my rights as an illustrator and creator.

Concerning the fashion industry: why isn't there a common decency and respect for one another, and a reverence to observe and appreciate the sacred dress of other cultures without appropriating it for your own capitalist agenda.

Concerning my creation of clothing: I refuse to participate in these rampant practices.

Concerning resources and exploitation of people: Will my participation in this industry harm anyone? It's taken me so long to get started because I've pondered this for years and years. The sped-up seasonal presentations of high-fashion trickle down into the consumerism of classes who cannot afford such luxuries, but can spend their cash at massive retail giants with truly diabolical labor and ecological practices.

If I am not able to make it doing things my way, than I refuse to make it at all. I am shrewd at being poor and responsible. I can stay this way forever if I need to.



Feb 28, 2019

Eckhaus Latta 2019






















Odelaly! Check out the Fall/Winter collection from Eckhaus Latta! (Entire collection can be viewed here, as well as their complete catalogue).

I really like their experimentation with shapes, architecture, zippers and the various weights and stiffness of materials. The collection feels a bit "all over the place" somehow, but there is still a magic thread pulling them all together like beads on a necklace.

They don't seem to give a crap about trying to appeal to cautious dressers.

Their overcoat that creates massively sloped shoulders is really cool. I am also fascinated with their execution of the dual-toned pattern dress. The way that they have ruched the fabric in the front seam to combine the two patterns is kind-of breathtaking.

I also really like the echo of the lampshade construction in the two parachute dresses and the stiff jacket and pants set with forest pattern.

Lastly, the two padded fencing jacket-esque ensembles with orange piping and florescent floral patterns are just plain awesome and I could see them being standard issue guard-duty uniforms in a futuristic kingdom.

It's awesome that they are totally normal and consistent with casting diverse and gender-fluid ensembles of people to show their collections.

I'll definitely have to pay attention to Eckhaus Latta more often to see what they are up to.

Last time I thought about them before this collection was in 2017, when they debuted a controversial ad campaign featuring couples have real sex (with pixelated blurs).

Jan 31, 2019

1997/1998 Strenesse










Advertising for Strenesse, 1997 / 1998.

Milla Jovovich photographed by Mario Sorrenti and, I believe, advert layout in bottom-most photo by the Thomas Elsner Studio.

The lighting and photography in this collection of photos is so beyond awesome. They are dark, warm and have so much intrigue and depth! The angles and gestures Jovovich poses to the viewer are so naturally captured by Sorrenti. It's really cool that Strenesse was into presenting their clothes like this. The chemistry that these two had in this shoot is so loud.

I really like Thomas Elsner Studio's layouts for Strenesse in the 90's. This is one that I particularly love. The inclusion of a warm wood frame with the vibrant lemony blue background is entrancing!

Jan 23, 2019

Jade Lai's Creatures of Comfort
















Photos by Alessandro Garofalo (via)


One of my favorite designers, Jade Lai, has shuttered her brand: Creatures of Comfort. This post is a tribute to one of my favorite fashion collections.

(Photos above are 15 of 34 presentations. Full show here.)

The photos from the collection above are from the Creatures of Comfort Fall 2014 Ready-to-wear collection. It's one of my favorites ever.

I love Lai's reductive design sensibility and rejection of luxury materials!

These designs feel like clothes from an adventure in which the wearer is a character. The presentation suggests to my imagination that some elements were improvised by this character due to the circumstances of their quest — a hat tumbled over the side of a bridge in pursuit and was scooped up by our hero, a sash of fabric belts up the tailor's old trousers in a pinch. 

-And speaking of tailoring, I love how some pieces fit perfectly and some do not. The dropped sleeve caps and slouched shoulder silhouettes are wonderful. The tailored jackets with padded shoulders that extend the slope and line of the shoulders down until they fall into the sleeve are so good. These choices seem to suggest that these pieces are men's garments that have been adapted by women and altered to fit their missions and lives in such a cool and unique way. It's an awesome statement.

I love the toothy appearance of the wools and fabrics. These clothes feel dependable and rugged, as if they could be patched up and used forever. This sensibility is one that I have always appreciated about Jade Lai's designs.

Lastly, her combinations of fabrics and textures is really awesome.
  1. Silky or gauzy-thin fabric next to the skin with a bulky outer shell of wool. 
  2. Slouchy socks, practical shoes, warm turtle-necks, high collars.
  3. Layers! 

Maybe it's the climate that I live in that gives me an appreciation for the reliability and practicality of these ensembles.

Additionally, I like the styling of the models with their choppy bangs, raw skin, wet hair and wax/paint-capped fingertips. It's such a shame that there is little-to-no diversity in the casting.

I haven't been able to find runway footage of this show. I think it would be really cool to see how everything moves.

Jan 7, 2019

Twins 双子のあんじ

Twins editoral from 1998 Zipper Magazine. Japan, Japanese fashion, 90's fashion, cyper-punk, adventure-punk, futuristic hoodies, red hair, anime clothes, 90's fashion photography, BA-TSU fashion

Twins editoral from 1998 Zipper Magazine. Japan, Japanese fashion, 90's fashion, cyper-punk, adventure-punk, futuristic hoodies, red hair, anime clothes, 90's fashion photography, BA-TSU fashion
Published in Japan's Zipper Magazine. November 1998. (via)


These magazine scans are from the Japanese magazine Zipper, which dedicatedly chronicled the fashions coming out of the 1990s' street-fashion "Shangri-La": the Harajuku district in Tokyo, Japan. I am not sure who did the clothes in this editorial, but I think that the brand BA-TSU may be the feature designers. I wish that I could read the details in the footer of the layout.

BA-TSU is famous for their gothic lolita creations and costume design for the film Battle Royale (2000). I can't really find any huge source of their work. A translation of the characters in the title of the editorial reads: "twin anshi" -Anshi, perhaps, being a Japanese girl's name?

(Also check out Shoichi Aoki's magazine FRUiTS and Fresh FRUiTS photo books for awesome 90's Harajuku fashion)!

---

ANYWAYS. These pictures are awesome and the clothes are too.

The thing that sticks with me is that everything looks so durable. The details of exposed skin feel perfectly functional for the very specific mission that these twins are on. If you wore these clothes it would be impossible not to pretend you were on a similar mission.  

"We're infiltrating the robot dragon library and it is imperative that I keep my right knee cool".

 I see some materials that look like neoprene SCUBA suit fabric and others that look like flannel, fleece and leather. I love the little flags of color sewn in the seams at the bottom of the gaiters and the zipper that also parts from the bottom of the jacket in the top photo.

Most of all, I really like the shape of both hoodie jackets. This presentation is so cool because it feels like the twins are inseparable in life and expert in their mission because of the way each outfit is similar but with its own unique shaping, details and colors!

Dec 18, 2017

Guinevere Has Blue Eyes

Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli
Guinevere van Seenus for Jil Sander's Spring/Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns. Bleached eyebrows, minimal makeup, quintessentially 90's fashion photography. Creative team: Craig Mcdean, Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath, Marc Ascoli


Jil Sander
Spring / Summer 1996 catalogue and ad campaigns.


PHOTOGRAPHER: Craig McDean
MODEL: Guinevere van Seenus
HAIR: Eugene Souleiman
MAKEUP: Pat McGrath 
LAYOUT / ART DIRECTION: Marc Ascoli

Simple, personal, different.
I love this photo shoot. Before I went and looked for information about the creative process of this project, I knew it was special. These pictures have an everlasting intrigue. The work between photographer and subject escalates these photos into another dimension - I can hear/feel the conversation between the creative team when I look at this campaign.

Photographer Nick Knight has produced an interesting series of films for SHOWstudio called Subjective, which highlight model's perspectives on iconic photo shoots. I'm so thankful for this interview he did with van Seenus. In it, Guinevere talks about what made this photo shoot so unique and how the industry has changed since that time. She provides fascinating insights into Craig McDean's methods, artistic collaboration and shares her personal experience of inclusion as a member of the creative team on this project. I am grateful for productions like these that talk about creative processes and mention the people who have contributed to a project.




Nick Knight has also produced a series called Transformative, similarly highlighting the work of stylists, make-up artists and hairdressers. In this video, he interviews hairdresser Eugene Souleiman about his work on this shoot:





Makeup artist Pat Mcgrath's work here is so fresh and interesting. Taking down Guinevere's eyebrows a bit with bleach tips the scales towards Botticelli. Her treatment of the face and skin is not immediately evident, yet, her traces of shimmer, hollows and glossy creases show you that something special has happened.

Marc Ascoli's project vision and layouts are totally compelling. I wish I could find photos of the entire catalogue. He has arranged and cropped everything in such an interesting way - adding a stuck-and-torn-apart-page effect to the outer bottom corners of each picture along with an occasional collage of images. You can catch a flip-through of the catalogue in the video posted below (an excerpt from Souleiman's interview starting at the 5 minute mark):






Published in 2013 by Rizzoli, New York. (via)

Lastly, an excerpt from the book Amber, Guinevere, and Kate Photographed by Craig McDean: 1993-2005 in which Guinevere van Seenus is interviewed by Glenn O'Brien on March 1st, 2013:


GO: Tell  me about your first meeting with Craig?

GvS: I remember my first job with him—a Japanese or Korean editorial—and it went really well. I remember really understanding what he was doing. It was different for me because I hadn't worked with people yet that were doing something different and unique.


... 

GO: Was there anything about the way the way that Craig worked or in his manner that seemed different to you? 

GvS: I'm not sure I'll be able to clearly explain it, but for me he brings his own quirks and individuality into it. It helps you explore or be comfortable with these parts of yourself that most people think are a little awkward or weird. They become beautiful in his pictures. He carries that through with his body—he shows you positions or he does things to help it make a lot of sense. You jump right in with it, and then you work together to bring it further, to develop it from there. Most people, they wouldn't ask you for those types of awkward in-between moments or expressions. And if you gave them to them, they wouldn't really understand what you were doing. 

GO: And when you saw the pictures what did you think of them?

GvS: I loved them. I didn't really get to see the pictures of that first job we did. I was probably too shy at the time to ask. But later with Jil Sander, it was very much like we were there together for four days. I think we totaled about fifteen hours of overtime. We would work until two in the morning. It became like a fun family thing and we were just exploring, so I really got to see everything. And the more he liked something, like a weird expression I might have done as a child, the more I just pushed and explored more.

GO: You said that Craig would act something out, or strike a position. Is that unusual?

GvS: Yes. Some people do it slightly. Some people just ask verbally for something and then they let you have your own interpretation. But the way Craig starts it, you really get an interpretation of the energy he wants behind it. Some people don't really even know how to ask for what they want. Craig makes it really clear. We would explore for hours and hours every day. I don't think I've ever had another experience quite like that.

...


GO: Did it seem more collaborative in nature than the usual modeling job?

GvS: Very, very much so.

GO: So when you look at those pictures do you think: I came up with that?

GvS: Sometimes you come up with something from feedback someone gives, but it's also the entire energy in the room. How comfortable do I feel around these people? How vulnerable do I feel like being? Do I trust them with the parts of myself that I don't necessarily think are beautiful? Having Eugene Souleiman, Pat McGrath and Marc Ascolithat was the team you could just do anything with.

Dec 11, 2017

Fantasy Walking

"In the Haze of the Winter Sun". Photograph by Jerdess. February 12, 2016. (via)
"Когда туманы глубоки" (translation: "When the fogs are deep").
Vladimir Region in Russia, village of Krutovo. Photograph by Roman Lunin. August, 2015. (via)
"Alpine Forest". Photograph by Jerdess. December 6, 2017. (via)

Imagine being the sort of photographer who rambles and treks to capture your shots. Early mornings, wet feet, cold ears... You would have to be so patient and prepared, and it takes more than just being there. It takes more than having a nice camera too. These photos are full of curiosity, imagination and skill. Majick!

Jerdess describes themselves as "An amateur landscape photographer, mainly located in the Eifel".
There is little I can tell about the photographer Roman Lunin from his Russian photo-sharing feed.

Dec 8, 2017

Pairs | Part 1

From the National Geographic photo-book Rarely Seen (2015). Photographed by Joel Sartore. Behind the scenes, taxidermy, museaum exhibit, dusting collection, a rare glimpse of museum exhibit maintaince
Restoring a big statue, green lift
TOP: From the National Geographic photo-book Rarely Seen (2015). Photographed by Joel Sartore. (via)
BOTTOM: Details unknown. (via)


Cat sitting on Constantine's Foot at the Palatine Museum, Rome.   From the "Gatti di Roma" photo series, photographed by Giancarlo Gasponi, street cat in an odd place, aincent sculpture, cat does what it wants
The Foot of the Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan, China, 1980." Photographed by Bruno Barbey. Man sitting on the enormous foot of a giant buddah statue, having a moment of reflection, photographed from overhead

TOP: Cat sitting on Constantine's Foot at the Palatine Museum, Rome
From the "Gatti di Roma" photo series, photographed by Giancarlo Gasponi. (via)
BOTTOM: "The Foot of the Leshan Giant Buddha, Sichuan, China, 1980." Photographed by Bruno Barbey. (via)



Four doberman retrievers guarding a baby in a pram, baby carriage
Three doberman retrievers sitting next to a motorcycle. White pomeranian dog sitting on motorcycle. Dog gang.
TOP: Details unknown. (via)
BOTTOM: Details unknown. (via)


Photograph by Ernst Haas. Woman walking her dog past a massive mural on the side of a building, a beautiful fantasy scene in the midst of average life. 1950's, Europe.
'Untitled' photographed by Steven Brooks. 7-11 at twilight. Dusk, gloaming, vacant parking lot, glowing shop lights, outdoor redbox, midwestern America. Mural of a mountain pond on the side of building.

TOP: Photograph by Ernst Haas (via)
BOTTOM: 'Untitled' photographed by Steven Brooks (via)