Last week, a scandal ensued around the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabbana, founded and directed by the unapologetic Italians, Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana, after a series of videos, promoting their upcoming fashion event in Shanghai, were accused of containing racist content. If a sparsely dressed Chinese girl trying to eat a giant cannolo with a pair of chop sticks, while a narrator intones, “Is it too huge for you?” (see below) wouldn’t substantiate those claims – Stefano Gabbana’s SoMe feud in the DM’s of Instagram page @dietprada certainly did the job – launching derogatory attacks on China and the Chinese people in a grotesque cascade (“eat dog shit” and “Dirty Smelling Mafia”, to give you a sample). In less than 24 hours, almost all of the show’s Chinese supermodels and celebrity A-list guests cancelled their participation, the Shanghai City Government shut the event down, and Yoox pulled all Dolce & Gabbana from their e-commerce platform. The brand themselves issued a statement that they had been hacked (although there’s proof of the opposite), and later released an excruciating apology video with the design duo, exclaiming the already iconic words: “We want to apologize to the Chinese people … Because there are so many of them!” At least D&G puts their money where their mouth is. In the aftermath of the scandal, leading to calls to boycott the brand altogether, has lead to a revived conversation about consumer power, the morals of fashion media, and how to assert politics in fashion. We guide you to some of the best reads right here.
Have you ever wondered how your favorite perfume would sound, if it was a song? What about, say, a 1-hour mixtape? Well, we have. But as of today, we no longer need to dream and imagine; a click to Soundcloud should do the job. We fell in love with London-based scent wizards IIUVO when they launched their Soigné scent last year – with notes of sandalwood, crystal violet, cyclamen and nutmeg, it’s a sensation that’s as concrete as it is abstract – and one that’s resulted in many a compliment in 2018. Their lush scented candles are equally alluring – atmospheric, rather; inspired by affective memories, the scents crawl under your skin like a long-lost lover. To further represent their aesthetic universe, they recently tapped Berlin-based designer, shop owner (and DANSK friend) Andreas Murkudis to house a sonic landscape of their various scents, matching each fragrance concept with a state of the heart, measured by its BPM. This has resulted in a mixtape that crawls ambiently from Soigné’s familiar 60-90 BPM to Gilot‘s more up-beat terrain – and ending with Fonteyn‘s 120+ BPM bangers. Perfect for your morning, your day, your evening. We’ve fallen in love once again. Listen below.
This November, jewellery brand Ole Lynggaard Copenhagen provides their customers with an early Christmas present: an insight into their spellbound universe. The Sketchbook, it is called, and it is best described – as the brand’s creative director Charlotte Lynggaard does it – “a crucible of ideas”. It centres round the elements of inspiration that Charlotte and father Ole have used through their ongoing work and collaboration. Squiggles and sketches, raw materials and book pressed flowers, anything that might serve as an element in a future piece of jewellery, is represented in the book, because as, the one half of the duo said herself, “new ideas don’t know the clock”.
The current dynamics of the fashion industry – increasingly manifesting online – are producing perfect habitats for young labels with a great creative potential to reach a global market. With an avant-garde aesthetic, Ximon Lee has spawned a distinct profile in just a few years, with each collection emerging from in-depth research. Before XIMONLEE, and even before finishing his degree at Parsons Design School in New York, Ximon won Parsons Menswear Designer of the Year Award with his graduation collection. Further still, he went on to win the H&M Design Award, garnering international attention. He’s known for making avant-garde wearables, brilliant craftsmanship, and critically exploring important topics such as cultural heritage and senses of belonging. Creativity and authenticity often lose their value as a brand begins to grow. What does it take, then, to be part of an international form of cultural production that constantly struggles between being a from of art or being labeled as mere branding? Ximon Lee has been through all these different stages within his short but impressive career. This provided him with an unique experience that created XIMONLEE, where his knowledge of a consumer driven market is combined with an belief in high-concept design. Thus, his garments are characterised by an interplay of exaggerated shapes that are not assigned to a certain gender. His work imposes a constant exchange of traditional refinement and context with a postmodern philosophy that deconstructs the purpose and aesthetic of the pieces. It’s always discussed what fashion should be, could become. Today, young fashion’s biggest hurdle is facing the increasingly corporatized industry, where conglomerates sit heavily on the market. What is the right way to sustain a fashion brand? DANSK had the opportunity to meet with Ximon in Shanghai to get a glimpse into the label that is not easily put in a box, lead by a tremendous design talent and a global citizen.
Fashion’s got archive fever – a brief look at the contemporary fashion world will easily prove that to you. From the research-driven fashion Instagram accounts of archivings.stack (for all the Margiela looks you’re too young to have ever encountered), rarebooksparis (for an endless stream of fashion books you didn’t realize you needed) and of course dietprada (reminding everyone of fashion’s tendency to copy shamelessly), it’s clear that fashion loves research. No, Kanye West wasn’t crazy when he published 99 looks from an old Margiela lookbook during a breakdown in 2016 – he was obsessing over a better time of dress! Our own favorite archivist is David Casavant, the self-made stylist and accumulator of precious menswear based in New York (we featured him in and old issue – off you go, researcher!). What began as a fad during his adolescent has turned into a successful business, lending frequently to the industry’s top stylists as well as to celebs like Rihanna, Kim Kardashian, and, well, Kanye. Deeply connected to the city’s art and fashion worlds, Casavant has used his extraordinary archive to work with artists, stylists and photographers to re-interpret and communicate the invaluable material history on which he sits; and now, this has materialized into a beautiful coffee-table book.
Contrary to popular belief, “Scandi chic” does not hail from the DNA of the Nordic people – in fact, we have a generation of designers to thank from that, most of all Filippa K. For 25 years, the Stockholm label have been produced effortlessly chic and comfortable clothing that feels seasonless and timeless – factors that are important not only for great taste, but a sustainable wardrobe. Having long been an upper high-street favorite (the brand boasts 50 brand stores around the world), it is indeed sustainability that has become Filippa K’s new point of pride, radically transforming the way they produce, distribute and recycle clothing, while aiming for a 100% sustainable collection by 2030. Earlier this year, the brand saw the return of their founder and creative director Filippa Knutsson to steer its creative future. What’s life like at 25? Find our conversation below.
Calling all European forces. The Berlin based label SOUVENIR has launched a new collection of EU-positive merchandise to add to their project EUnify. The project was launched last year in March in the wake of Great Britain leaving the European Union. Back then the projected consisted merely of a hoodie with the emblem of the union on the front (notably, with one star missing) and the phone number to the union hotline on the back, a lucid reminder of what unique privileges a democratic unions also is. The hoodie quickly became a statement piece worn by strong characters across art and fashion such as Juergen Teller, Isa Genzken, Virgil Abloh, Adwoa Aboah, Lars Eidinger and Kristin Scott Thomas. EUnify is the result of a continuous effort to represent the profound and by many shared wish for a joint engagement in a world ridden by crisis. This year the collection offers a wide range of items including a beanie, a fanny pack, and a lighter. So what? Let’s joint faults and flaws? Yes, let’s do that too and regardless of one’s conviction, politics is hot and the climate is cold so might as well jump into something that’ll keep you warm – a community, for instance.
We all know how fantasy has a tendency to inform our choice of dress – particular fantasies derived from TV, cinema, art and comic books. Who hasn’t thought of owning one of those well-fitted fighting robes from Dragon Ball Z – or Uma Thurman’s yellow leather biker jacket in Kill Bill for that matter? Is it coincidental that some of Warhol’s best works of art are those that feature his fashionable friends (hi, Edie!) – or that the heavy-handed costume design of Desperately Seeking Susan ended up triggering a style revolution in the late 1980s? Obviously not. And today, the universe of one of our sexier idols – Tom of Finland – has finally become part reality, with the launch of an underwear line with CDLP.
The latest addition to Paris’ revived young fashion scene is ioannes, the near-eponymous brand by the recent Central Saint Martins graduate Johannes Boehl Cronau. Born in Germany, but trained in the fashion capitals of Paris, Antwerp and London, Cronau has in just a few seasons displayed a confident know-how of constructing contemporary female silhouettes that evoke emotion, timelessness and surprisingly technical attention to detail. His SS19 collection, ‘Walz’, gathers nostalgia, tradition and past-time habits to present a collection which honors skill, patience and the female form – inspired by the figure of the flâneuse, the collection wanders maturely through a variety of narrative threads, effortlessly pairing wearability with couture detailing. What began as a video installation post-grad is now an ambitious womenswear label on the rise – we caught up with ioannes to discuss his recent move to Paris and navigating today’s fashion industry.
Autumn is art and travel season, and we might as well combine the two. For this, we have gathered the top 5 exhibitions that will run this fall in Europe, and since they are all equally exquisite we suggest that you spare yourself the trouble of choosing and simply visit all five.