I can’t say that I have ever found taxidermy terribly fashionable. The process is fascinatingly odd, but the end result is not necessarily something I would want lurking around the empty corners of your home. Trust Opening Ceremony to change my mind; their collaboration with legendary Parisian taxidermy boutique Deyrolle breathes life into the somewhat antiquated craft with their new collection. Bastien Lattanzio’s accompanying short film brilliantly showcases the clothes in the rustic setting of the shop, thereby juxtaposing the natural and botanical prints with the creatures that inspired them.
Featuring foxes, cats and beetles, the designs make up a small menagerie transposed to shirts, skirts and dresses. Now that is the kind of taxidermy I can live with.
The weather here in Los Angeles lately has been so amazingly beautiful, I feel like this new video by Todd Cole for Rodarte does a great job capturing the feeling of what it’s been like. Titled The Curve of Forgotten Things, the short film features Elle Fanning, the younger sister of Dakota Fanning, and in my opinion, a huge up-and-coming actress who will be making waves in the very near future. You may have seen her in Somewhere, Sofia Coppola’s most recent and you’ll be seeing her in Super 8 over the summer, J.J. Abrams next directorial endeavor.
Director Todd Cole has Elle Fanning traipsing around the hills of Baldwin Hills, which is about 20 to 30 minutes south of Beverly Hills. I like that the film is really simple and does a great job of making the beautiful dresses by Rodarte shine. If you’re not familiar with Rodarte they’re a pair of sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, who’s work you might have seen in Darren Aranofsky’s Black Swan. Rounding out this immensely talented group is the band Deerhunter, who made the music for the short. A ton of talented people coming together to make something beautiful.
Creating “poetic yet humble” garments, Thomsen Paris predominantly specialise in unisex pieces that possess an understated sexiness. Keeping their designs simple, they favour clean silhouettes, classic details and printed fabrics. Oozing Parisian cool and tailored androgyny, the Thomsen Paris look wouldn’t look out of place on style mavens such as Charlotte Gainsbourg and Sofia Coppola. I love the check and Liberty prints, as well as their obvious devotion to perfecting the buttoned blouse. If the Spring Summer lookbook is anything to go by, their clothes will be favoured by bookish blondes and men sporting dandy-esque pencil moustaches. Who knew that facial hair trend would come back into fashion? Classic, indeed.
Early yesterday I spotted a tweet from Steven Alan saying that he’d posted some new photos from his new Fall 2011 collection. I’m a big fan of Steven Alan, a chunk of his clothes fill my closet, and I’m definitely excited by what I see. Funny enough someone on his team took a bunch of photos with Hipstamatic and posted them to their Facebook, which I thought was a cool way of sharing the collection. I get kind of a early 70’s, bohemian, hippy vibe from this collection, though everywhere I’ve seen it written up they’ve declared prep chic. Ponchos, floppy brim hats and floral pattern pants don’t scream preppy to me, I guess. Anyhow, check out the photos below and if you want some more legit product shots pop over to Fashionologie.
Every now and then I come across something I really like but don’t think I could pull off, and this Universal Works jacket is one of those. It’s a beautiful jacket, I love the way they used the tan with red to give some contrast, it kind of looks like a vest over a coat. I also think the black buttons compliment the red and tan well. Totally random post, but I spotted this over on Goodhood and I thought I’d share it.
Over the weekend I was catching up GQ’s coverage of the men’s fashion shows from Milan, seeing what sort of weirdness the big designers were coming up with. There’s a lot of interesting ideas out there but in my opinion Junya Watanabe, the ex-Comme Des Garçons designer, was doing some of the most interesting and wearable pieces that I saw.
It’s no secret that the Japanese have a soft spot for Americana when it comes to clothing, but it seems like Junya has been able to take that style and evolve it from it’s current place. For example, the larger photos show jackets that are inspired by ski sweaters, ornate patterns and bright colors and all. It’s such a clever idea that seems so simple and smart. These heavy patterns and plaids are used all throughout the collection, but in new ways with refined touches.
I wasn’t sure if it was just me, that I was just excited about the collection because it reflects a progression of how I kind of dress. But then I saw The Sartorialist was in the front row of the show snapping photos and I realized I wasn’t crazy. His photos are the larger ones above, the smaller come from GQ. Seeing his photo gave such a human and personal look to the clothes, he did a great job of capturing the personalities of the models, thus making the clothes look even better. Or at least, that’s how I see it.
I always enjoy when you take two seemingly opposing ideas and bring them together, just like this video starring Kilian Martin for Man About Town magazine. I had never heard of him before but Kilian Martin is one of the best freestyle skateboarders in the world. His style of of skatin reminds me of Gene Kelly and some kind of gun slinger at the same time. He’s quick and precise and does things you’d never expect.
The video was put together by Atelier Franck Durand who showcases his natural talents decked out in a blend of Cerruti, Dior Homme, Giorgio Armani among other brands to give a high class look to his artful style. It’s a very well put together video that’s made even classier by their use of the Tommy Edwards classic, It’s All in the Game, a song I used to love when I was a kid.
Pop-up shops are one of those rare spaces that can be whatever it wants wherever it wants. It’s a temporary place whose goal is to excite and dazzle people for a short amount of time and can then bi whisked away at a moments notice. For example the space above created by Snarkitechture for Richard Chai. The shop, which is nestled underneath the High Line, was made “to create an experience rather than create a store”, a feat I’m quite certain they accomplished. The entire space was carved from a truckload of styrofoam offsite and then brought into the space and fitted and customized as needed. The space personally reminds me of the ice cave from Fight Club, minus the penguin asking you to “Slide!”
Earlier tonight Twitter started exploding with the news that Gap, American clothing retailer, had debuted a brand new logo on their website. For the last year or so the company has been using a ton of Helvetica Neue in their storewide branding and advertising so when I saw the logo it made sense that they would make the move towards the same look. But what absolutely boggled my mind was the tiny, blue, gradient square that sits awkwardly behind the letter “p”. Where before you had a classic, even if it was an outdated logo, now in it’s place is something that looks like some kinda’ online bank.
This is some shabby work in my opinion. There was a lot of brand equity in that big blue square and they didn’t move far away enough from the source for this logo to even begin to feel new or exciting. To the right I came up with my own little example of how they could have made a simple tweak to give the impression of a freshening up. Like I said before, I liked the use of Helvetica Neue, which is actually slightly modified on the tail of the “a”, so I kept it. My only change would be to add some color the logo to make it feel like it can change and adapt. My inspiration was the logo that The Strange Attractor uses, which you can see by clicking here. It’s exciting, dynamic and interactive. Is this right for a clothing brand? Not sure, but it’s a hell of a lot better than an oddly placed gradient square.
I think the bigger problem that Gap faces is the fact that they’ve lost their style identity. When I look at the front page of Gap.com I see J.Crew knockoffs but without the attention to details in the product shots or styling. Gap was once known for their basics, but even that title has been taken away by younger upstart American Apparel, which isn’t such great shape either. A sad refresh of a logo and confused style direction, things aren’t looking good for the Gap.
A few weeks back I went to the opening of the Free City, a Los Angeles based clothing company that sells some… interesting garments. To be honest, the clothes they sell aren’t really my style, I don’t need a $300 sweatshirt with a gradient bird logo on it. That said, the new space they created on Fairfax is an amazing burst of color. The space looks like an old warehouse that’s had a few walls built into along with about a million pieces of color stuff.
As you can see in the photos this place is jam packed with stuff. I love the Kevin Cyr-esque bicycle with tons of packages on the back and a rickshaw that looks like it’s been blinged out by hippies. They even sell bread and drinks and stuff like that, it’s pretty amazing. I can’t say that I would ever recommend the clothes, but if you’re in town you should definitely check out the space.