“Nude” is one of those nebulous fashion terms, a “color” in its own right supposed to correspond to the “color” of a person’s skin. Not surprisingly, most things nude, from nude underwear to nude lipstick, tend to base its shade on Caucasian skin, blatantly ignoring the ethnic and racial diversity of our globe. “Nude is the fashion colour du jour,” wrote The Guardian in 2010 – “But it’s only nude if you’re white, not if you’re black.”
We can track the current influx of designer collaborations, in which two brands collaborate on a capsule collection, back to the launch of H&M’s first collection with Karl Lagerfeld in 2006. The recipe has remained the same in essence: high street brands acquire the cool-factor and dedicated fan-base of a high fashion designer; the designer’s, in exchange, get to experience producing in vast quantities and reach previously unattainable clients globally.
This year’s Paris Couture Week featured a very special presentation – an ethereal exercise in Gothic detailing, leather tailoring, and organza draping. Hyun Mi Nielsen, the ambitious contemporary fashion brand founded by Danish designer Christine Nielsen, received the great(est) honor of being invited by the French Fashion Federation to show amongst the most conceptually and technically daring, and she rose skillfully to the occasion, stunning international press on the way. Cutting her teeth at renowned fashion houses like Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, and Givenchy as head womenswear designer, Nielsen is more than equipped to take the world. What’s next? DANSK sits down with Christine to learn more.
It’s July and if you’re located anywhere south of Stockholm, you may not have been able to imagine closing your windows, preventing the aromatic scent of the summer to infuse your living quarters. Sure, what better smell than nature – that’s until nature turns into hazardous down-pour, storm, and freezing temperatures. We’re already preparing ourselves for an autumn indoors, but would like it to be as olfactorily pleasing as the dog days of summer. Aesop, the incredibly crafted and superiorly branded beauty brand with its origins in Australia, has long been a stable in our beauty cabinet, bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms, so we were thrilled to hear of the new extension to the well-smelling family.
In the dog-days of summer, the beach, the BBQs and the boys easily get to our heads, carried away as we are in streams of Aperol Spritz and countless sunrises. No e-mails to answer; no fashion week to attend; what better way to train our intellectual abilities, then, than to head to the museum? Fashion curation is still an emerging field as a distinctive genre from more traditional costume history exhibitions – pointing to the increased academic attention paid to modern fashion design. More interestingly, fashion is also seen increasingly incorporated into more art historical survey exhibitions, in the same way that art increasingly finds a place in the fashion museum. Fashion curation is not just great entertainment for the fashion obsessed, but a healthy counter-weight to an accelerated industry that tends to forget its own history – including the aesthetic, economic, and ideological specifics of fashion as a concept. Below, we choose five must-see fashion exhibitions around the world this summer, spanning the hairy surrealist jewellery by Meret Oppenheim to Margiela’s mythologized tenure at French luxury house Hermès. Enjoy!
Copenhagen is known for many things: hotdogs, tall-legged blondes, and visionary urban planning, if you ask most people. But Denmark’s capital and DANSK’s home town also sports an ambitious fashion and textile industry, which constitutes the third biggest export of the country, and is celebrated world wide for its minimalist sensibilities and democratic price tag. Textile manufacturer Kvadrat is one of the bastions of this field, producing high-quality textiles since the 60s, with collaborators including Miriam Bäckström, Raf Simons, Peter Saville, and artist Olafur Eliasson. Now, Kvadrat has teamed up with sportswear giant adidas to pay homage to the city in which he city where utilitarian design, Japanese aesthetic and modernist values collide,” as they put it in their recent release. The result is three new colorful editions of the brand’s classic Stan Smith shoe in fabric by Danish textile designer and artist Vibeke Rohland, countered with embroidered details of the 3-stripes mark and a constrast leader heel patch. Released on the 6th of July, it’s the perfect shoe to break in the summer sales hot-dog in hand, but if you have chicer plans for yourself this summer, that would work too.
Living in a time of extreme social division and political unrest in Europe and beyond, it may feel just slightly meaningless to go shopping and adorn yourself in the latest season of your favorite high street brand. True, shopping solves many things – but contrary to what some politicians would have you believe, political crises or global conflict is not one of them. Does that mean, however, that fashion cannot be political – that what we wear has no agency to change minds, initiate discussion, or visually protest? The Berlin-based art/fashion agency and brand König Souvenir recently joined this discussion with the launch of their latest souvenir: a circular star-studded classic hoodie in a bright navy blue that effectively makes its wearer a walking, fashionable EU flag – with a 24-hour hotline printed in the back.
Raf Simon’s glorious descent onto New York has in just a few months given a revolutionized new identity both to Calvin Klein and American fashion as a whole (ironic, considering that he is as Belgian as french fries). The austere European has a panache for art and pop culture, balancing elegantly the different sub-milieus that fashion intersects with. As of today, that includes music, with the announcement that Simons recently teamed up with photographer Alisdair McLellan to oversee the creative direction and concepualization of the XX’s most recent single, “I Dare You”.