What were the defining moments of 2017 fashion journalism and critique? As the New Year approaches, and we’re permanently couched on the sofa of our parents-in-law for the coming weeks, there seems no better time than to re-visit our favorite fashion writing of the past year. Critical fashion writing is still in its nascent stage, particularly due to the lack of platforms to support it. The current corporatization of fashion inevitably impedes publishing too, where the profound dependence on ever-slimmer advertising budgets forces magazine editors to curve, bend, and jump for the whims and wishes of clients. That being said, 2017 has offered some absolutely critical moments of fashion writing, from academic fashion journals to lectures and art magazines. Brew yourself that matcha latte, sit down, and have a stroll through the fashion year of 2017.
Too rarely does the world of technology meet that of craftsmanship, as the Age of Apple seems insatiable for streamlined and futuristic design. Sure, none of us like cables and wires and other techno-crap of yesteryear, but that doesn’t mean we like all our products to look like something coming out of Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Artistry, as a matter of fact, often happens in the scrunchy, organic, morphological space of natural matter, touched by the human hand rather than some self-cleaning 3D-printer that might kill you in your sleep. The visionary brand Urbanears, specializing in making sound accessories better more aesthetically relevant, seems to have realized this in their most recent collaboration with Swedish designer Sandra Backlund.
We get that you might feel fatigued after a rather rampant Black Friday and equally distressing Cyber Monday – but it’s our duty to make you aware of new fashion commodities as they become available. We never did believe in over-consumption – but we do believe in a pair of sturdy, classic sunglasses, which is exactly what Seymoure has been steadily supplying since their launch earlier this year. The German brand, headed by founder Olaf Kramolowsky and creative director David Mallon, combines the pragmatism of German industrial design with the quality of handmade manufacturing from Portugal – each frame encapsulates a contemporary aesthetic sensibility somewhere between 90s nostalgia and a cheeky 2010 malaise. Grandiose as much as they are simple, these frames leave a strong impact for your chosen on-looker – while UV light keeps your sensitive eyes protected. Seymoure just launched their online shop, just in time for the holidays – we suggest a careful browse, as you might never need to follow guides like this ever again.
When Lou Doillon swept into the fashion world in the late 2000s, she took everyone by storm by her heavy bangs and indescribable French elegance “au naturele”. The singer/songwriter, artist, actress, model and all-around fashion muse is the daughter of actress Jane Birkin and, thus, half-sister of Charlotte Gainsbourg – quite a family, which explains how she so effortlessly epitomizes French glamour. She began her acting career as her mother’s daughter in Kung-Fu Master (1988) at the age of one, and then went on to star in films such as Gigola (2010) and Un enfant de toi (2012). Lou also fell into modelling in her teens, with high-profile catwalk and advertising jobs for Chanel, Givenchy and Missoni, and she even made a brief return to acting in 2016 for a new series of short films by Gia Coppola for Gucci. Her last album, Lay Low (2015), was awarded Golds certification – and she is set to release her third studio album during 2018. A muse to many, she was the inspiration for a capsule collection by the Swedish upscale high street brand & Other Stories for the coming festive season, designed in the brand’s Parisian atelier in close dialogue with the star. We took the chance to speak to Doillon about her fashion sensibilities, which, believe it or not, ended up in an associative citing of philosopher Roland Barthes. We expect nothing less from Doillon.
Today we bring light on Robert Wun, a London College of Fashion graduate who’s been on the London scene since his graduation, back in 2014. A Hong-Kong native, Wun has established his brand in London but enjoys quite a success in Asia. Never straying away from his aesthetic, Wun has proven that creative consistency pays off. His S/S 2018 collection, dubbed “Laboratory Diamond” is a regal offering, with ruffles-for-days, heels that would drive any fashion editor mad with love, and a real sense of silhouetting. Styled by London based stylist Oscar Chik, each look is an ode to grandeur. The collection was inspired by the conscience of the modern consumer, someone in need of individuality and a bit of pizzazz. Show pieces? Indeed, it takes a bit of courage to wear Robert Wun daily, they’re made for the show girls of the world. Yet, Wun toned down his artistry with pieces like a re-worked trench-coat that is a definite statement or asymmetrical skirts that exude chic. Wun wants to dress his sophisticated, fashion conscious audience. Another point of reference comes from a recent trip to Peru, where the designer discovered the country’s incredible geology. Indeed, he brought back minerals like Pyrites, Augelites, and Atacamites to his London based studio where he used them as the principal stimuli for the collection. Should you feel brave and fabulous, Robert Wun is stocked at several concept stores including Henrik Vibskov, both in New-York City and Copenhagen.
From fashion to modern art, our authoritative art guide turns its face towards photography, a liminal artform that nonetheless has an interesting double-life in exhibitions and in the printed pages of books and magazines. This synergy, between art and documentation, is encapsulated in the work of British photographer Haley Louisa Brown, the most recent recipient of the Ace & Tate Creative Fund and subject to a new exhibition at Protein Studios in London. As the editor of hiphop biannual Brick, Brown has been a trailblazing force in the British fashion world for a number of years, lauded for capturing style as it intersects with youth culture, politics, and diverse identity expression. It was this sensibility that attracted the Ace & Tate Creative Fund, the charity founded by the Dutch eyewear design firm with the goal to provide funding and expertise to creatives in order to bring their brilliant ideas to life and break new ground. With a committee consisting of editors, film-makers, and and Ace & Tate CEO Mark de Lange, receiving the annual fund is more than a pad on the shoulder by the British creative industry.
A steady hum of 100,000 glass marbles is the first thing you’ll sense as you enter Loop, an ambitious new installation by New York-based design studio Snarkitecture that opened yesterday in Gana Art Center in Seoul, South Korea. Partnering with Swedish fashion stable COS, Snarkitecture has constructed an mesmerizing, 400-meter long intertwining track within the Seoul museum, where a new marble is introduced every five seconds to fire through the futuristic installation. The effect is a multi-sensory experience of sound, material, and space, equally nerve-wrecking as it is meditative. “Our intention was to create a contemplative environment with Loop,” commented Daniel Arsham, co-founder of Snarkitecture, whose practice moves across art, design, and architecture – “a space that was not immediately understood upon entering. While we wanted the design to be playful, we were mindful of creating a work that provided an escape. It was important to offer a setting and feeling that were completely new and inspiring to visitors.” The ethereal installation doubles as a perfect set design for COS’s minimalist fashion, which long has echoed the shared simplicity of both Scandinavian and Japanese design. While successful art and fashion collaborations are rare, COS’ patronizing of Snarkitecture is an experience not to miss.
Jewellery is a basic constituent of modern day dress, and something that plays a role in all of our lives. Butwhile it is one of the most ancient and universal forms of human expression, jewellery has an ambiguous status as an object, mid-way between fashion and sculpture, and is rarely considered to be a work of art. Not surprisingly, jewellery has been taken up by plenty of artists and designers over the years, attracted as they are to the sensual, precious, and at times dangerous connotations of diamonds and pearls in relation to sexuality. Salvador Dali’s Lips Brooch (pictured above), for example, encapsulates the allegorical mysticism of precious stones – while fellow surrealist artist Meret Oppenheim’s Fur Bracelet takes self-adornment into a world of dreams (or, should we say, nightmares). For the first time ever, an exhibition has been devoted to the expanded field of jewellery – from the luxurious world of high end jewellery to the experimental installations of contemporary designers, and the cryptic bodily adornments of ancient cultures. Medusa – Jewellery and Taboos, currently up at The Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris, brings together over 400 pieces of jewellery, including those by Louise Bourgeois and Niki de Saint Phalle, René Lalique, BLESS, and Cartier. “These pieces,” the curator Anne Dressen writes, “well-known, little-known, unique, familiar, handmade, massproduced, or computer made, mix some refined, hand-wrought, amateur and even futuristic aesthetics which are rarely associated together. They sometimes go far beyond simple jewellery and explore other means of engaging with, and putting on, jewellery.” Catch Medusa for it’s last weeks up in Paris – or get your hands on a catalogue later this fall.
Photographer Nataliya Kogan
Fashion Editor Victoria Gogh
Make Up Artist Kate Gorelova
Hair Artist Marina Vaskina
Fashion assistant Anna Popova
Talent Masha Palamarchuk
Special thanks to Apollo Studios and Ilya Nemirovsky