“It was one of those days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold:
when it is summer in the light and winter in the shade”
German performance artist Anne Imhof blew away the artworld with her fashion-infused performance at this year’s Venice Biennale. Here, art critic Justin Polera reflects on this remarkable work of art, and how it touches on everything from Berlin hipsterism to the death drive of adolescence.
From Hunan, China, to New York’s downtown via Chicago, Covey Gong defies any easy categorization. His intricate work spans fashion, sculpture, and installation, and investigates our deep emotional attachment to clothes and other everyday commodities. A surrealist twist marks his approach to object making, skillfully producing objects lost in translation between the wearable, the exhibited, and the trashed. We sit down to speak to Gong about mentors, craftsmanship, and story-telling, and why all you need sometimes is some empty coconut juice containers.
Lots of mystery has surrounded ARKET since it was announced in March as H&M’s new retail brand, then described as a “modern-day market that will offer essential products for men, women, children and home.” ARKET follows the mega-retailer’s previous expansion & Other Stories, which quickly has become a high street favorite for upscale beauty and fashion garments for high-street prices – but with this new brand, H&M seems to be moving specifically into the territory of interiors and homeware. First, a Regent Street location was announced to open in London in autumn 2017 – and now, amazingly, it was revealed this week that ARKET will open their first store in Copenhagen too.
Live from the picturesque Miho Museum outside Kyoto, Japan, Louis Vuitton’s ever-touring cruise collection is ready to show their take on the sartorial future of the best travel life. Central to the 2018 collection, which is designed by chief designer Nicolas Ghesquière, is a collaborative celebration of Japanese fashion maestro Kansaï Yamamoto, who was central in defining avant-garde Japanese fashion in the 70s and and 80s. Yamamoto still lives on today as an understated icon, and his global appreciation is way overdue. Click below to tune in for the full story.
Last night, the famous Hyères Fashion Festival went down in the picturesque French resort of Hyères, celebrating the brightest design talents of the future. Previous alums include Viktor & Rolf, Anthony Vaccarello, Julien Dossena, and Felipe Oliveira Baptista – a bit of a star factory, in other words. This year, the Grand Prize went to Geneva design student and former Balenciaga intern Vanessa Schindler, whose master’s collection “Urethane Pool, Chapitre 2″ skillfully merged traditional textile craftsmanship with liquid polymer, a radical technology that gives off the appearance of dripping honey. As the grand winner, Schindler snatched a €15,000 award, and will also collaborate with Chanel’s Métiers d’Art division on a project to be sold by the brand, worth €10,000 plus royalties. Not the worst graduation prize! The smaller but equally well-regarded Chloé prize went to German designer Gesine Försterling, while Finnish Maria Korkeila. Check out the runner-up designers here, and look out for these names in the future.
If we can gather anything from this week’s Met Gala, it’s the resurgence of the party boot. Priyanka and Solange both rocked low-cut boots on the red carpet, but the ultimate winners of the evening when it comes to shoes were model Lily Aldridge and our beloved Salma Hayek. Both showed up in the show-stopping 80s-revival spandex thigh boot from last season’s Balenciaga, just one of the many meta-kitsch-chic tropes implemented by head designer Demna Gvasalia since his appointment at the French fashion house last year. In bright neon colors ranging from violet to crimson red, the boots brings any dress, pant, or skirt to new dimensions – adding a surreal twist to contemporary luxury in their blatant celebration of the lycra hey-days of the 80s we thought were best forgotten. If Salma can rock a Spandex look, so can we – so see you on the dancefloor.
We’re usually pretty excited about the annual Met Gala looks, but last night, we couldn’t help but feel deflated. The hyped event marks the opening of the annual fashion exhibition at the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of fashion’s most observed institutions that have given us some of the best museum memories in recent years – think last year’s China Through the Looking Glass, or Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty – while the gala opening itself is a well thought-out fundraiser for the museum masterminded by US Vogue Editor and Met Patron Anna Wintour. The red carpet usually attracts clever and creative sartorial responses from celebs to the exhibition in question, and with this year being devoted to the work of Rei Kawakubo, ultimate doyenne of deconstruction and everything avant-garde, and arguably the most important living designer, it could hardly get any better. Or could it? Once again, the world of celebrity showed that style is nothing more than a walking advertising opportunity for brands desperately seeking red carpet credibility. What could have been a ravishing evening of collectively questioning the very nature of fashion and its (mis-)uses, the Met Gala instead – with the couragous exception of Rihanna, Michèle Lamy, Helen Lasichanh, and Tracee Ellis Ross – ended at some odd no-man’s land between the Oscar’s and New York Fashion Week. Not the kind of “in-between state” we were looking for. While the Oscars is not necessarily a bad thing (we did, for example, love Gwyneth Palthrow‘s revival of the iconic baby pink one-shoulder), we still dream of a fashion world who dare to wear the fashion that expands our idea of clothes, instead of calling Carolina Herrera on first impulse. Boycotting our own coverage of the evening’s best looks, here’s instead 10 outfits – sources from the past three seasons of Commes Des Garçons – we wished we had seen last night on the likes of Priyanka, Kim, and Cara. Stylists, take note.
We admittedly have a hard time finding a good pair of speakers. If they’re good, they’re usually monstrous-looking and impossible to integrate into our post-minimal Scandi homes, and if they’re pretty, they usually give out a sound comparable to playing Justin Bieber off your 2009 cell-phone. Why can’t we have our cake and eat it too – have our Bieber and look good while doing it? Music nerds are aesthetes too, and fashionability is no longer something reserved for the chosen few. Enter Urbanears Connected Speakers, the monochrome plastic cube you didn’t know you’ve always needed.