In large part, fashion history tends to cast its focus on the privileged echelons of couture, as well as its mythologized cast of designers, stylists, models and business owners. Sure, Coco/Yves/Karl were/are interesting, alluring, fascinating makers of fashion – but it’s delusional to think that style only trickles down from above. Particularly in the last 50 years, street culture has invented, transformed, and revitalized the way we think of fashionability – far beyond the gilded runways of Paris. Fashion historians are better to begin to take note of Harlem, Berlin, and the outskirts of Paris as places of style-making – god knows that the industry already is! A nice recent contribution is the documentary Fresh Dress by African-American filmmaker and musician Sacha Jenkins. The film unfolds as a magical chronicle of hip hop’s relationship to dress, starting at the Southern plantations of pre-Civil Rights America to the black church and Little Richard. Through an incredible line-up that includes Kanye West, Pharell Williams, Nas Jones and Andre Leon Talley, Fresh Dress traces the development of hip hop dress up to today, where its influence is felt more than ever. The best part is, the whole thing is already up on Netflix for you to binge on this fashion month. Who needs the runway when you have the streets!
Watch Fresh Dress here.
Happy news. Model, collage creator and creative mind, Hanni Gohr, and jewellery and accessory brand HVISK are joining forces in a new collaboration launching this august. The result is a collection of three different sweatshirts inspired by Gohr’s creative universe and her year-long tradition #FridayFactsFromHan. The hashtag is used on Gohr’s Instagram post each Friday, and offers her followers just one little fact about any given theme – from whale’s farts to coastlines’ lengths. The sweatshirts come in three different colours; pink, blue and red, and each has its own fun fact written unedited on the back. On the front is a word linking to the back printed in block letters. ‘Cheeky’ doesn’t appear on any of the sweatshirts, but it doesn’t have to; it’s written all over the campaign, shot by Petra Kleis, a photographer with the same easy-goingness about her as both Gohr and Hvisk (what makes all three of them damn cute too). Washed denim, puffed sweatshirts and socks in sandals are what the models (Gohr’s best girl gang and step daughter) are wearing, and they look exquisite. Oozing well-being and surplus, I doubt they would do better in a cocktail dress. The collection launches the 30th of August with a celebration courtesy of Hanni and HVISK. The launch is held in the HVISK flagship store at 4 pm – 6pm, Pilestræde 36, 1112 CPH K.
Words by Mathilde Nielsen
For more information, see Hvisk
When she received the L’Oréal Prize at the Central Saint Martins’s BA Fashion Show of 2018, Paolina Russo became an instant hit. Her graduate collection was one of a kind, mixing sports with sultry and couture-like craftsmanship. She’s now blown up on social media, with both celebrities and fashion editors craving her aesthetic. Pierre A. M’Pelé caught up with the young talent to talk about her upbringing in Canada, her singular approach to design and where she places herself in a slightly overcrowded industry.
Generation X, characterized by a shared cynical, slacker, and laissez-faire mentality, is often referred to as the MTV Generation, as the early music video channel first launched in 1981. Who would have guessed that a cable channel would become symptomatic of a whole generation of consumers and cultural producers who would rather listen to atmosphere-heavy r n’ b than participate in politics? MTV didn’t only provide the soundtrack to a new global youth culture, but its style, visuality, and fashion. The baggy, clunky, and trashy silhuettes of the era hold a cherished place in fashion even today – and Acne Studios knows this. Just have a look at their latest campaign for their sneakers, featuring Grace Ahlbom.
Somewhere between playfulness and elegance, delicacy and destruction, you find Gentle Monster – a Korean eyewear brand and concept concretized in stores spread wide over Asia, US and now also Europe, as they announce the opening of their first flagship store in London. The store is called ‘KUNG FU’ and the interior setting will draw upon a mixture of martial arts and extra-terrestrial creatures (!). It may sound as a bit of a foreign cocktail, but it does exactly what a cocktail sets out to do: expands your eyes and makes you order another. It’s a true delight to walk into KUNG FU, an experience far from regular shopping, and exactly that stands as one of the key goals for Gentle Monster: to revive the shopping experience.
Some brands are so ubiquitous across the globe that they reach a sort of gilded hall of fashion consumption – Burberry, Gucci, Louis Vuitton – and in it is definitely in this roster that Dunhill finds its home too. The historic British menswear label (founded in 1893!) has long championed the art of bespoke tailoring, elegant ready-to-wear and luxurious leather accessories – a lifestyle brand reveling in a quintessentially English classicism, somewhere between Bond Street and the hunting estates of Oxfordshire.
Fashion is much more than just exclusive runway shows and never-ending trade fairs: it’s one of the world’s most prevalent cultural forms, a type of art, and a societal praxis that involves everyone from Anna Wintour to your grandma. This can be easy to forget at Copenhagen Fashion Week, which this week is unfolding in the overheated cobbled streets of the Danish capital. Thankfully, we can rely on vanguard boutique owner Sabine Poupinel to expand fashion beyond its own most pragmatic commercialism, as she invites for another chapter of her exhibition project FAN OUT. Featuring leading names in fashion design, research, critique, and curation, FAN OUT acts as a physical discursive space for the duration of fashion week, with an ambitious program of talks, performances, and workshops. “The thinking behind this year program stems from the original idea behind FAN OUT: Creating an alternative space for fashion beyond the shows and trade fairs, that includes more nuances and perspectives on wat fashion is and can be,” the show’s organizer Mette Ohlendorff explains. “Fashion is a field that borders on so many others. At FAN OUT we strive to encapsulate this by also including art, performance, music, talks and much more. This year in particular we notice themes such as sustainability, the environment, sexuality and functionality being explored.” From new performances by Barbara í Gongini to a talk by DANSK editor Jeppe Ugelvig on the relationship between art and fashion, you’re guaranteed a mind-expanding and intellectually invigorating fashion experience – not the most common at fashion week events.
For full program, see FAN OUT
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.