“Scandi Minimalism” has been a trope in fashion for well over a decade, a label that has garnered previously unmatched attention to Scandinavian fashion, boosting the industry if not at times oppressing its aesthetic potentiality. It seems that while most designers across the world works to distill their artistic vision into one of sartorial simplicity, Nordic designers are faced with the opposite challenge: to differentiate from simplicity. For both loud and quiet fashion, pure style moves beyond questions of adornment. No one knows this more than Filippa Knutsson, the Swedish powerhouse designer who established the RTW label Filippa K almost 25 years ago.
Something exciting happens the moment fashion leaves its usual system of retail system, in which a designer’s vision is produced in far-away factories and sold in mass in stores around the world. The garment has a different life and status than a work of art – at least in the past two hundred years of industrial capitalism, which very much was born through fashion consumption. But when these economic parameters are lifted from the practice of dress, it unfolds as something much more abstract, ethereal, and complex. This is clear with Women’s History Museum, the New York-bsed fashion duo who since their founding in the mid 2010s have consciously steered away from fashion’s intolerable production system. For WHM, clothing constitutes instead a realm of experience, where questions of identity, feminitity, collectivity, and adornment come together in fantastical and mysterious ways. Their work, which until now has spanned sculpture, performance, workshops, and lots of couture-level garments, invites viewers and wearers to dream and to consider fashion as a social and aesthetic experience in its own right. A recent exhibition at NY gallery Gavin Brown gathers the diverse projects of the duo for the first time, and will function as a functional pop-up store throughout the duration of the exhibition with garments available for purchase. Entitled Otma’s Body, it refers to the self-given acronym of the Grand Duchesses Olga, Tatiana, Maria and Anastasia Nikolieva, the last princesses of the Russian Empire that were executed in 1918 at the onset of the revolution. Expect a vestiary universe as eclectic and dreamy as Russian Monarchy – and bring cash.
New York Fashion Week roars on, and while rumors speak of a drastic structural change for the American industry week (who’ve experienced drop-outs by notable names such as Proenza Schouler in recent years), Aw18 is business as usual. New York has always been characterized by its proximity between the fringe and the corporate, and designers navigate the landscape of art, commerce, and play in always inventive ways. Here, our man in the street, Jonas Huckstorf, goes behind the scenes of Kim Shui, the Italian-American designer, cherished by the industry and celebrities alike for her smart interrogation of “good” vs. “bad” taste in the near-history of female dress. Presenting with V-Files in 2016, and sponsored by Vogue Italia, Shui has gone on to dress the it-girls of her generation (including Solange, Cardi B, and Kylie Jenner!) – and presented her latest collection, an outré take on winter power dressing, Saturday noon.
When we think of Diesel, we think denim, leathers, and a quintessential rebelliousness that has shaped the Italian fashion brand into an iconic, modern classic. Dubbed ‘Diesel’ by founder Renzo Rosso as an ode to ‘diesel’ being the alternative fuel during the oil crisis of the late 1970s, it is a brand that has continued to stay true to its rich history while still giving way to constant interpretation. Enter Diesel Black Gold; incepted in 2008 as the luxury fashion extension of it’s namesake mother brand, the label has become synonymous with an elevated, edgy elegance that speaks for a new generation of Diesel wearers. Fast forward to the first month of 2018 and Norwegian-born Andreas Molbestead presents his tribe of libertarian leather-clad warriors to the world, strutting battle-ready, one after another down a concrete runway.
For AW 18, Molstead places Chinese and Vietnamese multicolor Hmong skirts alongside classic denim silhouettes, embellished with traditional Navajo patterns. Military garments are given an Eskimo twist, complemented by modern interpretations of Mexican and Peruvian Baja sweaters. Moldestead’s new global tribe has one mission in mind; to join together in harmony against the dividing uncertainty of our times. Dansk met up with the self-proclaimed “man of few words” after the show during Milan Fashion Week Men’s to discuss what it means to be part of a tribe today, the new definition of gender fluid dressing, and where he sees the future of fashion in the Instagram era.
New York Fashion Week F/W 18 takes off amidst blizzard warnings and a dwindling economy; what better reason, then, to dress up fiercely for the front row? Follow our man in the streets, Jonas Huckstorf, as he goes backstage of some of fashion week’s freshest talents, beginning with the unmistakable Feng Chen, who since graduating from London’s Royal College of Art in 2015, has developed a highly original menswear silhouette through her namesake brand.
When one thinks about Yves Saint Laurent‘s muses, numerous incredible women come to mind: his original in-house model Victoire Doutreleau, the fantastic Catherine Deneuve, the voluptuous Laetitia Casta, the flaming Amalia Vairelli, and of course Betty Catroux and Loulou de la Falaise. But one must not forget about Dakar born Guinean model Katoucha Niane, otherwise known as the Peule Princess.
Iconic 90s actress Juliette Lewis in a bunch of separates from Acne Studios, photographed by Talia Chetrit and styled by Vanessa Reid. The whole thing looks like an impromptu fashion improv exercise at the shoot of Natural Born Killers (1994). Who could possibly forget Lewis acting out love-infused psychopathy down Route 66 with a couple of guns, and boo Woody Harrelson, by her side? Cinema hasn’t been the same since, and neither has oversized silk shirts in vector patterns. “For SS18 I was thinking about the strong women of 90s cinema. When Juliette Lewis arrived on set and saw the collection, she started to interpret the pieces by creating a character. During the shoot Talia mirrored Juliette, creating this amazing and direct energy,” Johnny Johansson said. We’re staying right here (more pictures after the jump).