If you come anywhere near Northern Europe in the last five years, you know that the Birkenstock craze is real. Your soon-to-retire father, your driving teacher, your 8-year old niece, the guy you slept with last night: everyone is sporting a pair of the German sandals, known for their superior comfort and 70s-humanist vibes. We thank the heavens that this somehow became the acceptable shoe across the fashion, art, and media world, instead of boat shoes or Manolo Blahniks like in the 2000s. However, that’s not to say that Birkenstock is outside fashion’s crazed temporality: even a 250 year-old sandal brand can surprise with innovation. Most recently, the brand has teamed up with three notable collaborators for limited edition sandals: Colette, the bygone concept store of all concept stores; Opening Ceremony, the go-to destination for avant-garde fashion in New York; and Ms Min, the hyped Shanghai label.
Before all of the world’s high society portraiture was conducted by Annie Leibovitz (no hate, Annie – but it’s time to move over), there were other stellar female photographers who captured the world with elegance and strength. Particularly the infamous Madame D’Ora made her mark on the photographic medium at the very cusp of its emergence, working between Vienna and Paris from the early to the mid 1900s. A new exhibition in Vienna traces the life and work of the pioneering image maker.
It’s not just American politics that feels surreal, otherwordly, eerie: so does its fashion. Like a Salvador Dalí painting, Calvin Klein’s new Fall 18 campaign takes us to the strange landscape of Utah, inhabited by long-limbed top models dressed in home-knitted balaclavas. The fever dream of a PTSD fashion assistant? No, you’re looking at the vision of Raf Simons and Willy Vanderperre, the dynamic West-European duo that have been shaking things up with their new interpretation of the American heritage brand.
The heatwave currently roasting the Nordic region from the inside (see: forest fires in Sweden, agricultural drought in Denmark) is making it hard, very hard to continue to focus. Who wants to think about fashion when all you want is to walk the streets au naturel? OK, we know that in 60% of the world, 29°C is pretty standard during summer time, but you’re talking to people who saw the sun for a total of 4 times last year – at this point, SAD is not a seasonal disorder, it’s a cultural philosophy. We couldn’t be happier about the current tropical climate, so in celebration, we’ve round up some tunes that will match our incessant consumption of rosé for the weeks to come. Now take off that knitted Jil Sander jacket, can’t you see it’s summer!
The distinction between art and life is a notoriously treacherous one, as we often see these worlds overlapping in photography, cinema, and fine art. 50 years later, we’re still arguing if the moon landing was, in fact, just an elaborate scam executed in a Hollywood recording studio; when things are to good to be true, we as humans seem happy to spend the rest of our lives trying to prove that they’re false. We promise you, however, that this week’s art recommendation is very real (if quite surreal): a series of fahionable, life-size sets seemingly taken from films, fashion shoots, or fake news production sites have landed at the National Art Center in Tokyo, Japan.
The elephant is an alluring creature, one of the most majestic to traverse the globe – a plumb guardian of the forest who keeps a strictly vegan diet (not unlike fashion people on vacation!). From Dumbo to Dr. Seuss’ Horton, this giant mammal carries with it a wealth of cultural iconographies, so one could wonder why the elephant is still subject to poaching that threatens its future existence. In recent years, ambitious international task forces have made efforts to stop the global ivory trade, but even so, the elephant remains a vulnerable creature in our ecosystem. Enter Knot on my Planet, the activist campaign working to protect the habitat and future of the big-eared animals by launching high-profile partnerships with corporations and influencers in and outside of the fashion world. The name of the initiative plays on the age old act of tying knots to remember and elephants’ uncanny ability to remember; probably the only time we like to be compared to any dull-skinned giant is when getting compliments about how well we recall the past. Anyway, the latest partnership involves Spanish-Parisian luxury house Loewe, and this is where you come in.
There are certain things we always make sure to stock up on when we travel to the US – melatonin capsules, for example (for those anxiety-inducing bright Nordic nights), Marlboro Lights in their original Carrie Bradshaw packaging, and a couple of actually ripe avocados. Our habitual peruse through the wonders of American consumerism usually also involves Glossier in some shape or size.
She’s woke, she’s gifted, she’s prepared. Rhea Dillon is a young black multitasker based in London where she currently studies fashion communication and promotion at Central Saint Martins. Dillon scouts, casts, and photographs models for projects championing diversity. Most recently, she released Black Angel, a short film in collaboration with No Sesso, the gender-bending fashion label started four years ago by Pierre Davis in Los Angeles. The short film is a touching commemoration of Juneteeth, the American holiday celebrating the abolition of slavery in Texas and the emancipation of slaves in the Confederacy.
Black Angel is a serene and poignant rendering of black culture in America. At a time when black voices are louder but sometimes inaudible or acrimonious, young creative like Dillon and Davis are culture leaders. But the outcome is also a clinched fist silently breaking the air in a post-Trump world. They are in formation.
High street shoppers, rejoice! Copenhagen will soon welcome a new member to its family of accessible fashion, one that constitutes a personal favorite here at DANSK. Originating in Japan, Uniqlo is the unrivaled master of casualwear, as exemplified in their wide range of tees, shirts, and chinos that make us look like we just walked out of the Shibuya shopping district. But beyond Eastern normcore minimalism (a go-to look for most of the art world), the Japanese retailer is also known for its HEATTECH apparel, featuring specially-knitted breathable fabrics ideal for any winter spent in the Northern hemisphere. To top it off, Uniqlo’s design team has shown a strategic eye for much-wanted collaborations: the king of utilitarian luxury Christophe Lemaire designs lauded biannual collections, just as London’s golden boy JW Anderson recently released his second collaboration with the store. All at very agreeable prices. As for Copenhagen, you’ll have to wait til Spring 2019, where an ambitious, 3-floor flagship is set to be unveiled bang in the center of the city, by Vimmelskaftet. Until then, we suggest you browse their UK webstore to take note exactly which ankle socks, wife beaters, and windbreakers you’ll be sporting this coming season.
JORDANLUCA is a London based contemporary menswear brand launched by Jordan Bowen and Luca Marchetto.