Category Clothing

An Essay on Hedi Slimane and the Saint Laurent Paris Fall 2013 Collection

Saint Laurent Paris Fall 2013

If you’re looking at the above photos wondering what this mishmash of Courtney Love circa Hole attire is all about, I ask you to read on. If, conversely, you don’t care and think these gals need a hug and a five dollar bill, I feel you. And if you’ve ever wished a fashion designer would give a giant middle finger to the fashion industry, the photos above prove that it actually happened at the Saint Laurent Paris runway show yesterday.

Designer Hedi Slimane recently took over The Fashion House Formerly Known as YSL and has set about transforming it from top to bottom ever since. Though this is only his second collection, he is hinting at something old, pushing against something new, and resurrecting the ghosts of rock and roll past for a reason (I think). He’s doing it all from Los Angeles, not from Paris or New York either. And this is all very important from a contemporary design perspective.

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A Spring Collection by COSMIC WONDER Light Source

Cosmic Wonder Light Source Spring 2013

Cosmic Wonder Light Source Womenswear 2013

Cosmic Wonder Light Source Menswear 2013

Japanese fashion house, COSMIC WONDER Light Source, is as its name suggests, all about light. It might be difficult to decipher while bestowing their brilliantly tailored pieces, but the brand’s inspiration comes from studying light and weaving the idea of it into clothing. The resulting collections often resemble avant garde pieces of art that are flattering and wearable.

For the spring/summer 2013 collection, entitled “Diamond Equinox”, COSMIC WONDER looks to prism light, silver refraction, and “polyhedral spark”. I love the elegance of the double-breasted short suit and the simplicity of the zig zag black slip dress. The multi-pocketed grey men’s jacket is modern yet functional. Past collections have referenced everything from minerals to sun printing, and one collection even featured a series of shirts, dresses, and hats made to look like rocks. CMLS doesn’t just do clothing, either; they also produce art books as COSMIC WONDER Free Press and run an ecological project called The Solar Garden utilizing organic cotton and natural dyes.

I Love Camo

Amazing Camouflage Products

The idea of camouflage can be traced back to the notes of Charles Darwin who recognized the patterns of animals and insects served as a survival mechanism.

When we see leaf-eating insects green, and bark-feeders mottled-grey; the alpine ptarmigan white in winter, the red-grouse the colour of heather, and the black-grouse that of peaty earth, we must believe that these tints are of service to these birds and insects in preserving them from danger.

My first passionate encounter came in the form of a pair of camo trainers that were made by XLarge. I think I purchased them in 2002 in a strip mall in Downtown Sacramento. They still sit in a box underneath my bed and they’re one of my prized possessions. But before that I had no affinity to camo. If anything I had grown an aversion thanks to years of high school classmates in baggy camo cargo pants. Over time though I’ve certainly grown quite an affection for camo, which was certainly fueled by Hardy Blechman’s immense compendium DPM: Disruptive Pattern Material. In it he covers not only the history and variety of camouflage patterns but also their occurrences in pop culture. It’s the holy grail of camo.

So I thought I’d put together a collection of camo objects that I’ve been gathering over the last few weeks. Hopefully you find some that you like. Just remember to dress sparingly with your camo. Too much camo and you might end up looking like a crazy war vet.

A.P.C. Camouflage Chinos
Jack Spade Swedish M90 Cordura Dipped Coal Bag
Camouflage Word Notebooks
Camo Nike Air Force 1’s
London Undercover City Gent British Woodland Camouflage Umbrella

Orley Knitwear: Not your grandfather’s sweaters

Orley Knitwear

Orley Knitwear

While I was in New York a few months back I had the opportunity to meet up with a fellow named Matthew Orley. Along with his brother Alex Orley and his girlfriend Samantha Florence the three of them have started a knitwear line called Orley which is defying the genres usual standards. With Orley you have a line of knits that are infused with bright and bold colors, interesting and sometimes disarming patterns, all made with the highest of quality in mind.

The pieces above are from their Fall/Winter 2012 collection, I’m in love with the sweater at the top, but their Spring/Summer 2013 collection is looking fantastic as well. I was able to see the collection in person last night and while the palettes are more muted, definitely suitable for spring, there’s still plenty of bold patterns as well as interesting knitting techniques. The line has a certain asexuality to it which I feel like I’m seeing a lot these days and I’m really liking. They’ve really only just begun, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more from this daring trio in the near future.

Young Jerks brings light to the Lands’ End logo

Young Jerks brings light to the new Lands' End logo

Young Jerks brings light to the new Lands' End logo

Young Jerks brings light to the new Lands' End logo

Lands’ End is a clothing brand that’s been around since 1963, offering up… well, they offer up clothes. I’m not sure who exactly shops at Lands’ End. That said, their branding was beginning to feel a bit stale, so they asked Young Jerks, the nom de plume of Dan Cassaro, to come in and revitalize the logo. In an interview with Imprint, Dan mentions some specific influences on the logo.

Do you know how long Lands’ End’s previous logo had been in use? What was the company looking for in the new identity?

I believe the current logo has been in use since Sears acquired them in 2002, with some slight variations. Further back, the company has a very rich design history including some really lovely marks, like the iconic “direct merchants” logo from the ’80s. I grew up with that and was really happy to be able to reference that in the new design. The misplaced apostrophe is pulled directly from that logo and the lighthouse was rescued from an old icon they used back in the ’70s. The company has some really great history, and we did our best to respect that while making it feel current.

What I think is most important about Dan’s new design of the logo is that it still retains his design style. If you know Dan’s work (see here) he has a distinct style and is so talented with typography. I also like that he was able to integrate the lighthouse into the logo, and how the ground plane there connects to the L and D. It really unites the whole logo quite nicely. The other awesome element is the last image up there, “A beacon for what’s real.” Such a great image and statement for the brand. Hopefully they start using it in more places.

Nike’s 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket, a shining collaboration with Marcus Gaab

Nike's 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket, a shining collaboration with Marcus Gaab

Nike's 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket, a shining collaboration with Marcus Gaab

Nike's 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket, a shining collaboration with Marcus Gaab

Nike's 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket, a shining collaboration with Marcus Gaab

Nike's 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket, a shining collaboration with Marcus Gaab

Every time I see something new from Nike it feels like they’re helping to usher in the future, as least where clothing design is concerned. The 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket is a perfect example of that, tailor made for the American gold, silver, and bronze medalists at the London Olympics.

Nike worked with renowned artist Marcus Gaab to explore the 21st C. Windrunner V. jacket and it’s highly reflective properties. Modeled after a sportswear staple, the Windrunner is detailed with the trademark V-shaped chevron across the chest, dotted with ventilation perforations across the back and finished off with a hyper reflective shell that burns bright under the most subtle lights. Serving function and aesthetic, The “United States of America” is applied with precision laser technology, while the lower back is detailed with 50 perforations — one for each state. A badge on the inside of the jacket, placed over the heart reads “Team USA.” The jacket will be worn, along with two other key styles, by athletes from different sports on the podium as the world watches on.

It really is a beautiful jacket, and the way they’ve integrated the technology is so interesting. I love the idea of the 50 laser perforations for all the states, and the reflective material used will be pretty amazing when it’s photographed, as you can see in the video below. If you’re interested in getting a jacket like this for yourself, look up Nike’s Vapor Flash jacket, it’s pretty close to the same thing.

Beautiful fabric prints by Kaye Blegvad x Leah Goren

Tote by Kaye Blegvad

Clutch by Kaye Blegvad

Tote by Kaye Blegvad

New York-based illustrators Kaye Blegvad and Leah Goren have recently worked together on a wonderful collaboration and produced some really beautful textiles and jewelry.

The two combined their drawings and created a fab looking bouquet grapic and a floral pattern. They then printed them onto these cool tote bags as well as a great looking clutch purse. Each item also came accompanied by a lovely brass pin. Unfortunately it seems that these items are currently sold out, but both illustrators still have plenty more amazing things for sale in their shops’. You can check out Kaye’s Etsy shop here and Leah’s here. Also make sure to check out the rest of their work in their portfolios – they’re filled with so many beautiful things!

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

I’m hanging out in New York for the next week or so, so I’m trying to go out and about and see some rad things going on while I’m here. Last night I ventured over to Partners & Spade for their new exhibit with M.Nii and Mark Cunningham, a show dedicated to the glory of surfing. It was funny because it certainly felt like a very L.A. show was placed down in New York, like we walked into a bit of home. The show was an eclectic collection of crusty surfboard fins, vintage surf books, barnacled found watches and designer swim trunks.

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

What was great about the show to me was how laid back it was. It’s hard to put my finger on it, but I loved that they were selling crust tailfins for $145, that art is in the eye of the beholder. A part of that feeling comes from the Partners & Spade space itself, which feels like an antique store meets museum. That’s a good thing, in my mind. I think that’s a part of what makes Andy Spade such an interesting guy, that he can easily see the beauty in ordinary objects.

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

Partners & Spade + M.Nii: An exhibit of found pieces and art by Mark Cunningham

If you’re in New York you should definitely check out the show. I’m sure it should be up for the next few weeks or so. If you’re not then check out the rest of the photos down below.

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Nike and Tom Sachs present Tom Sachs: NIKECraft

Nike and Tom Sachs present Tom Sachs: NIKECraft - Marsfly Jacket

Nike and Tom Sachs present Tom Sachs: NIKECraft - Marsfly Jacket

Nike and Tom Sachs present Tom Sachs: NIKECraft - Mars Yard Shoe

Nike and Tom Sachs present Tom Sachs: NIKECraft - Mars Yard Shoe

Over the last few months I’ve become a big fan of Tom Sachs. If you’re not familiar you could describe him as an artist, a jack-of-all-trades, a thinker and a dreamer. You could also read his Wikipedia page to get the full rundown, it’s a good read. Tomorrow night he’s opening up a show called SPACE PROGRAM: MARS which seems pretty rad.

Artist Tom Sachs takes his SPACE PROGRAM to the next level with a four week mission to Mars that recasts the 55,000 square foot Wade Thompson Drill Hall as an immersive space odyssey with an installation of dynamic and meticulously crafted sculptures. Using his signature bricolage technique and simple materials that comprise the daily surrounds of his New York studio, Sachs engineers the component parts of the mission—exploratory vehicles, mission control, launch platforms, suiting stations, special effects, recreational amenities, and Mars landscape—exposing as much the process of their making as the complexities of the culture they reference.

At the same time he’s got this amazing collaboration with Nike called Tom Sachs: NIKECraft. The collab features an eclectic range of products – The Mars Yard Shoe, the Trench, The Marsfly Jacket, and the Lightweight Tote.

Nike design and Sachs applied materials that have never been used in sportswear, taken from automotive air bags, mainsails for boats and the space suit itself. Each piece is packed with functionality that would prove useful in the voyage through space. Zipper pulls that double as storage containers, paracord that can be fashioned as a tourniquet and embellishments like the periodic table of elements screened on the inside of a jacket – they all merge visual interest with purpose.

To say I want this whole collection would be an understatement. How cool would it be to walk around in space shoes?

Urban Outdoorsy: The Aetherstream At Field Study

Urban Outdoorsy: The Aetherstream At Field Study

Urban Outdoorsy: The Aetherstream At Field Study

Urban Outdoorsy: The Aetherstream At Field Study

Urban Outdoorsy: The Aetherstream At Field Study

Aether are in a league of their own in creating products but, even more than that, in how they sell products. Late last year they introduced their Aetherstream, which is a traveling showcase of their products, a store on the go. It’s sleek and sexy and cool and does everything a store could do and then some. It’s definitely the most unique and novel way of selling clothes that we’ve ever encountered and we’re pumped that it’s parked in Los Angeles for a bit.

Currently (as in, today and tomorrow), they are camped out at Space15Twenty as a part of their Field Study pop up shop, which is AMAZING. The pop up is a collection of psychedelic outdoor clothes and items that are perfect for us city people who think we’re outdoorsmen and women. Along with Aether, the store is selling brands from Farm Tactics to Rogue Territory to Snow Peak to fjallraven to Outlier to lots others. They’ve also built it out to feel like you’re somewhere in between the city and the desert and a mountain and a beach. It’s really great.

If you’re in Los Angeles, the pop up will be open through June 12 and the ‘stream will be camped out at Space15Twenty today and tomorrow (and, if you stop by tonight, you can learn how to build a teepee). You can see more photos of the Aetherstream and Field Study here.