inspiration

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With Hedi Slimane debuting his first Saint Laurent collection last October, it quickly became clear the collection was to be dictated by Slimane’s L.A. sojourn.

The pared-to-the-bone rock-chick look was one facet, the other, deeper reference was the L.A’s plaintive, obscure pull. Though still pure Saint Laurent, Slimane created a modern recreation of Yves’ ideas of the Young Bohemian, but now having a cool, masculin element of Seventies Rock. Stevie Nicks, is it you?

With this being Slimane’s first collection for Saint Laurent, it was clear that Slimane felt the need to pay hommage to the “religion” that was YSL. Hence why the collection wasn’t very groundbreaking or unique. The only thing that might bridge the long time until S/S 2013, are the typical Saint Laurent smokings. Sorry Hedi!

Les Deux Plateaux, a famous installation piece by Daniel Buren, with columns arranged in a grid, gave Marc Jacobs his starting point for Louis Vuitton S/S 2013.

The columns’ three different heights suggested the show’s three lengths—mini, midi, and maxi. The clothing was all about the message of repetition and the repetition of patterns. Something not unfamiliar in the world of Louis Vuitton  The checks gave this collection a graphic immediacy not unlike that of Jacobs’ signature line in New York, where stripes ruled.  “After the romance of the train and the storytelling of last season, this felt like something very powerful without telling a story. I was like, yeah, let’s have a grid.” Get ready forspring, because with Marc giving Damier a modern twist, he has given the perfect response to the excesses of last season.

Skin was the word at Balenciaga’s SS 2013 show. All the talk during the season was about the rivalry heating up between the new guys at Dior and YSL. So much, one could easily forget about Nicolas – Mr. Reinvention -Ghesquière.

This is a man who, if he didn’t invent reinventing a heritage brand, certainly mastered the art of it. Ghesquières collection was a case study in how he’s done it season in and season out for the last decade, by putting an utterly modern gloss on intense study of the house’s archives. Before the show, Ghesquière said this was to be one of the most sensual collections he has ever created for the House of B, then proceeding to rattle off a string of references that prove it was every inch as thoroughly researched as his more conceptual outings: stiff ruffles from a Cristobal dress circa 1968, the mythology of antiquity and a nymph and faun window display Janine Janet made for the store’s windows in ’57.

During Fashion Week the Proenza Boys celebrated the opening of their first-ever store, on no place less than Madison Avenue! For those who’ve tracked the boys and their brand since their graduation from Parsons just 10 years ago, it signified one thing. Well, two things actually.. One, we’re old. Two, it’s official: The Proenza Schouler boys are grown-ups.

With the ante sufficiently upped, the show moved on from jean vests patchworked from different colours of python to sleeveless dresses collaged from squares of exotic skins and leather.  The most energetic pieces came toward the end. Photoprints were  a dime a dozen on the runways during SS ’13, but J&L found a new way to work them. By cutting them into strips and then stitching them diagonally across the torso. Pushing their experiments even further, some of those dresses were embroidered with flat colored studs on the bodice and silver grommets at the hem.

Backstage J&L claimed the website Tumblr as the starting point of their collection, citing its random associations and the delight-producing effects of chance. The boys may be card-carrying members of this new digital generation, but they’re also incredibly hard workers. I love them.

Once upon a time, there was a quiet little girl who would collect stamps, or gather the money that relatives brought back from foreign travel. She would dream about what each piece of paper represented, where it might have been and who had touched it on its journey around the world. For that child these stamps and banknotes weren’t mere paper. They were small passports to an exotic otherness. They were instruments connecting cultures. The girls name? Mary Katrantzou.

All the melancholy, the romance and the beauty of those stamps and banknotes were swept up in Katrantzou’s latest collection, an absolute fashion tour de force. MK has already proved she can make a ravishing print out of almost anything, but form and content blended so effortlessly during this collection that one can only imagine that this is the point she’d been aspiring to since she started. The innate two-dimensional symmetry of stamps and banknotes lend itself to abstraction in accessible shapes: A-lines, shirtdresses and shifts and sheaths.

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With white being the new black and minimalism basically being the it-word of 2013, it was only a matter of time before this trend would find its way into our excessively decorated houses. So, what are you waiting for: out with the old and in with the.. well, nothing really! As seen during Hermes, Jil Sander and Calvin Klein.

       

If the elegance of pure, white, clean minimalism isn’t really your thing, you can always go for monochrome, as seen during Louis Vuitton, Philip Lim, Alexander Wang and Michael Kors. Let’s be honest; who doesn’t like a game of chess?

   

And if you really can not seem to function, let alone breathe in a stripped or monochromed room, that’s okay. Go excessive! Go floral! YOLO! As seen during Paul & Joe, Moschino and Preen

  

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With streetstyle-photographers being this generation’s casting directors, it was only a matter of time before things would get out of hand. Just because you know how to handle a camera, does not mean you’re a photographer honey! Let me show you how it’s done..

While in Paris, I spotted this guy wearing the most amazing pair of sunglasses! Also,  I immediately fell in love with his coat. You can’t go wrong with vintage, and he knew it. Oversized + vintage + statement colour = love.

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Every now and then I like to go shopping somewhere else than in Paris or Milan. Just to keep myself grounded, you know? As I was wallking through Groningen (of all places..) I noticed these girls owning the streets. At first I thought it was Florence Welch with some friend, but as I got closer, my assistent told me that these girls are just some famous Dutch models! I think I just found my cover for the September issue! I love how all black is still a thing up north! And don’t you just love the haircolor on that girl on the right? Talking about a STATEMENT! Although, Donnatella called, she want’s her studs back..

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As we where walking through The City, we came across some rather interesting windows. I love how the Dutchies do minimalism. Like, it’s not even minimalism, but it still is, you know? This is a window from a shop that sells clothes, but you can’t even tell, because there’s so much non-clothing at display! AMAZING.

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This is a window from a MANGO store. I adore the wigs, they are so cool and over the top! I love how this shop is featuring white in it’s windows. It almost feels expensive..

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I don’t even know where to begin talking about this picture. It’s a window from Zara, which is basically Prada for the poor.. and it’s by far the best Groningen has to offer. ZARA knows what’s happening in Fashion, and they know how to translate it to main street, more affordable pieces of clothing. I’m a huge fan of their minimalistic approach towards visual merchandising.
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In France the term Haute Couture is protected by law and is defined by the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie, based in Paris. Although the Chambre de Commerce is rather quite important, the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture is the commission that determines which fashion houses are good enough to be called true Haute Couture houses.

The Chambre Syndicale state that only those companies that are mentioned on a list drawn up each year by a commission, are allowed to avail themselves.

The Couture Criteria were established in 1945 and updated in 1992.

To earn the right to call itself a Couture House and to use the term in advertising and any other way, members of the Chambre must follow a few simple rules:

  • One must manufacture the clothing inhouse, meaning that the clothes are not to be made in China or India.
  • One must own a workshop in Paris that employs at least twelve people full-time.
  • One must present a collection to the Paris press with at least fifty different, new garments per model. This has to happen twice a year.
  • One must show the clothes via at least 3 models
  • One must have a special room where clothes can be displayed to the clientèle.

Noted members of the Chambre are Maison Martin Margiela, Iris van Herpen, Viktor & Rolf, Chanel and Jean Paul Gaultier.

Maison Martin Margiela was founded by Belgian designer Martin Margiela. He attented the Royal Academy of Arts in Antwerp, along the inimitable Antwerpse Zes. Margiela had his connections with The Six, but never really became part of the group. After graduating in 1980, Margiela started working as a freelance designer. Between 1985 and 1987 he worked for Jean Paul Gaultier.

In october 2009, it became known that Margiela had withdrawn from his Maison. Margiela never did any personal appearances. He never met with journalists, talked to them, or communicated directly with them. The brand Margiela communicates as a company, never as a person. For example, they would never say “Margiela chose to recycle and reconstructed old jeans this season”, they would say “Maison Martin Margiela has recycled and reconstructed old jeans this season.” It is always the “Maison”, not the individual. As of 2010 Margiela has been replaced by a creative team of designers.

The brand is very impersonal on all levels, the models often have their faces hidden or the catwalks feature few well-known faces (as not to distract from the clothing), and the labels have no name on them (they have numbers instead.) The stores also don’t have signs outside. This strategy is part of the house’s signature.

As one should know, Margiela is known for it’s conceptual and abstract designs.

A more recent member of the Chambre is Dutch wunderkind Iris van Herpen. Van Herpen graduated from ArtEz, where she interned at none other than Alexander McQueen. After graduating, van Herpen designed shoes for United Nude. Van Herpen started her own fashionlabel in 2007. Known for her deeply conceptual and artsy clothes, van Herpen herself defines her clothes as ‘fashion wherein normal rules do not apply.’ Van Herpen prefers interdisciplinary research and often collaborates with other artists or scientists.

The essence of van Herpen is expressing the character  and emotions of a woman and to extend the shape of the feminine body in detail. She mixes craftsmanship- using old and forgotten techniques- with innovation and materials inspired on the world to come.
“For me fashion is an expression of art that is very close related to me and to my body. I see it as my expression of identity combined with desire, moods and cultural setting.”