Finding success in life is a difficult path, and they’re different for each of us. In a recent interview with Viktor & Rolf over on The Talk, they mentioned how they started out and how they continued to thrive.
When you started out as young designers, did you ever think you would achieve the amount of success that you have?
Viktor: Of course it’s pretty great to be successful. But when we started out we didn’t have a blueprint of how we imagined our career going. On the one hand there was this ambition and conviction that we wanted to work at the highest level possible and then on the other hand a very pragmatic approach, being very aware of what we could and could not do. You immediately assess the risks you can and cannot take. That doesn’t sound like a business plan, but that was, and still is, the approach we have to our work. We control everything.
Viktor: Everything. Not just exhibitions, also collections, perfumes, everything. Of course we work with a team, but we’re very involved in everything we do.
The idea of maintaining control in everything you do is a really great point. It’s extremely hard to keep control of your creative world, especially when money starts to become involved, and it’s oftentimes that much harder because you’re forced to do so much yourself. The joys of having things your way and to your liking far outweigh the struggles you may face.
Photo by Nicolas Guerin/Contour by Getty Images
I was reading an interview with Yohji Yamamoto over on the The Talks and found this particular part inspiring. Have you found something of your own?
I simply cannot stand people’s tendency to become conservative. There’s always a move back to established conventions, otherwise upcoming waves would be soon categorized as common sense. Even the term avant-garde – avant-garde is now just a tiny fashion category. It became so cheap and pretentious. I hate it. But still, I strongly believe in the avant-garde spirit: to voice opposition to traditional values. It is not just a youthful sentiment; I live my life by it. Rebellion. You will only be able to oppose something and find something of your own after traveling the long road of tradition.
Earlier this year, a collection of 1920s Australian mug shots surfaced and made the rounds on the Internet, where people were taken aback by how visually beautiful and even “cool” these mug shots looked. As you see above, there are a few of the 1920s mug shots and…a few impostors! Two of the above are actually shots from the current RRL lookbook. Can you spot which are authentic and which are imitation?
The rugged Ralph Lauren lifestyle brand currently features these looks on their website, showcasing this season’s styles for the brand. The concept is genius, as their aesthetic lends itself so brilliantly to their look. Of course these are admittedly a little silly as they are recycling an idea that was used to document criminals, but the execution of the idea in such a truly authentic looking manner is quite a feat. I really did have trouble figuring out which were from the 1920s and which were from 2011 when inserting these photos, but–if you haven’t figured it out already–the second and fourth photo are the impostors.
Catch more 1920s mug shot inspired photos on their website and, if you have a few extra Benjamins in your pocket, be sure to pick up some of the looks.
Launched today by Chris Kaskie & my studiomate Mike Renaud, Nothing Major is a cheeky & irreverent line of artist-commissioned, gender neutral tees & accessories made with careful attention to quality, responsible production & aesthetic integrity. So many small details to fall in love with: surprising typography elements, a random pocket, or specific illustration style. I love the logo too, those chunky round serifs fell me every damn time. The website is well worth the trip, especially the extra-thoughtful section that features interviews with each of the contributing artists. I’m eagle eyeing that smart little tote bag! So many pockets it has!
We live in a very interesting time where art and fashion are colliding to create some really stupid and some really interesting things. Yet, one era of art that is constantly getting beat down by its own nature is Pop Art. Low brow fashion retailers like Forever 21, H&M, and Urban Outfitters are constantly recycling the catalogues and concepts of Warhol and Lichtenstein for new t-shirt material, bringing nothing new to either the clothing nor the art beyond creating a bastardized cheap product.
Thankfully, people have stepped in to rectify what is happening to Pop Art and have even created new collisions with fashion and art. UK based fashion retailer Fred Perry has collaborated with living British Pop Artist legend, Peter Blake. Together they have have created a little collaboration entitled Blank Canvas, which ties Blake’s aesthetic with Perry’s rich polos as the “blank canvas.”
In the above video, Hint sits down with Blake himself to speak about Pop Art and its influence on fashion (particularly, British fashion). Blake has some really remarkable things to say, explaining his intention behind a lot of his imagery (the target being commentary on Jasper Johns’ Target), the Mod movement and its relationship to fashion, his work as an artist (and current work!), and how he has contributed to Pop Art. Blake is a fascinating man and is remarkably sharp and busy for a near octogenarian.
Although I must say the clothing coming out of the collaboration are not mind-blowing, they really are a great representative of Blake and Perry, two creators who have a distinct voice in the visual world. Take a minute and watch this interview with Blake and, by all means, pass it around to anyone who may in fact be bastardizing his visual lexicon for cheap fashion hounds.
A few days ago, I caught a bite sized article on New York Magazine’s The Cut about the new Rodarte for Opening Ceremony line. As always, Rodarte is constantly creating compelling, interesting, and beautiful clothing that seems to have been pulled from both the 19th century fashion world as well as the 25th century fashion world, then smashed together for wonderful clothes.
This combination in their new collection spins their trademark decaying garments with (sometimes disconnected) graphic patterns and the aesthetic of a woman in a Degas painting. The resulting pieces are, of course, very modern and surprisingly light. The womenswear are all composed from lightweight, crepe-like fabrics for their dresses and tops. Yet, although a decidedly lighter line, they still retain their gothic points with coats that look like something a crow would wear and deep, blood red stockings. It seems that, when they aren’t using a Degas-like graphic pattern for the collection, they are in fact updating and beautifying the woman in his The Absinthe Drinker or the women in his Women On A Cafe Terrace.
The Mulleavy sisters are also bringing some great things to menswear, my favorite being the shirt seen in the top photo which–again–seems to be sampling from Degas’ visual vocabulary. Being as they’ve only been doing menswear for a little less than two years, the efforts in their newest collection are very well done: wonderful shirts, smart pants, smart suit jackets–very Rodarte, while not being Rodarte. I’m very interested to see where they keep heading with their menswear as this is, you know, not whole-y (or holy?) sweaters as they had previously been offering men.
If you’d like to see more of their looks, take a peek at their official Facebook page. You can preview the collection with only the admission of a Like. And, for larger photos, take a hop over We Are Selecters, where I grabbed these photos from.
I’ve written about SHOWstudio before, but I wanted to share a new project they have that is looking like it’s going to be really cool. The project is called In Fashion and is the brainchild of SHOWstudio Fashion Director Alex Fury.
The project is an intimate documentary series where Fury sits down with some of fashion’s biggest, most progressive names to ask them about fashion–how they feel about fashion, their history with fashion, and what they do in fashion. The documentaries aren’t necessarily process pieces, but are instead really nice thought bubbles from the designers and tastemakers themselves just talking about the industry that they are so belovedly entrenched in. The interviews are shot in high contrast black and white with occasional complimentary set pieces (a fainting couch, some flowers, a purse, etc.), providing a stark, somewhat fashion devoid space for conversation. Instead of Anna Dello Russo’s iconic bright red cherry hat stealing your attention, you are busy listening to her heavy Italian accent espouse her thoughts on her own image.
The series has gathered some amazing creatives. Among those selected are Jason Wu, Daphne Guinness, Walter Van Beirendonck, Proenza Schouler, Sam McKnight, Gareth Pugh, and many, many others. Above you will find the trailer for the series, which gives you bites from many of the people they’ve already spoken with. SHOWstudio seems to be updating the project fairly regularly and encourage you to follow them on Twitter to get updates on new entries.
Around a month ago I was invited to Nudie’s showroom in NYC to view the Swedish brand’s fall/winter collection. I happily accepted and sauntered down to their Chelsea office along with Marisa Zupan of The Significant Other, both of us keen to see what the brand had to offer for the upcoming colder seasons.
Even prior to this visit I had such fondness for Nudie, particularly their denim. I first came across the brand in my late teens not long after their 2001 launch – a time when I’d begun to challenge my stale buying habits; waking to the prospect of life after High School’s insular pack mentality. Discovering Nudie’s denim provided a much needed stepping stone to defining my own style. They were one of the first brands (outside of the realms of Levi’s et al) that I understood to offer a truly expansive range of fits and washes, expressing a rare enthusiasm for individuality within an over-saturated market.
In stark contrast to my appreciation of the denim line, Nudie’s other attempts at clothing failed to have such an impact on me. Though there was never anything ‘wrong’ with their efforts beyond denim, the clothing consistently felt like a detached, an underwhelming addition to their indigo interests. Upon walking into their showroom, I was immediately met by a collection of attire that no longer felt forced, but rather united by simplicity and a previously unseen sense of confidence.
The denim was great as always, offering an interesting range of washes that seem very believable. Often brands over-distress their washed denim, leaving it with a cheap, artificial feel, yet Nudie have always had a solid sense of awareness when it came to manipulating their denim, with F/W demonstrating their continued investment in creating an authentic wash that appears true to the trials of daily wear.
The clothing benefits from a palette made up of various charcoals and indigos with several sparks of vibrant pastel colour, the later breaking up the darkness without marring the slumber of the calmer shades. The collection also includes quality shirting that lends itself perfectly to layering; items such as a light cotton henley sat alongside more a dense wool overshirts, with their signature denim jackets making an appearance in new washes with beautiful textured knitwear.
Overall the collection provides insight into a maturing brand, showing a drive to evolve that can only be realised with time. They look to have grown up from an early grunge aesthetic into a brand that can provide clothing for a wider more discerning audience.