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.
Nigerian-British fashion designer Tokyo James is part of a new wave of multicultural creatives that challenges the visual perception of Africa. Born and raised in London, James studied mathematics at university before dedicating himself to fashion. Since then, the young designer has been navigating through the industry, first making a name for himself as a stylist. The young designer’s latest collection focuses on sharp, innovative tailoring in an attempt to rewrite the traditional men’s wardrobe. Pierre A. M’Pelé caught up with the young designer to discuss his brand, his customers and his story.
History is only cemented when it is written down; and for fashion, which so often is dismissed as fleeting and ephemeral, the importance of historical writing cannot be overstated. Furthermore, when fashion’s histories are recounted it is often limited to that of its central capitals and epicenters such as Paris, Milan and New York; as a result, little effort is made to preserve the sartorial narratives of other regions – including the Nordic region! Thank God then, for this newly published lexicon of everything Danish fashion, edited by the fashionable Copenhagenites, designer Mads Nørgaard and CEO Anne Christine Persson.
As fashion month comes to a close, the art world is ready to saddle up for a season of frantic activity, beginning with last week’s Frieze Art Fair in London and running all the way until Art Basel Miami in December. For the next two months, the world’s prime gallerists, artists, and collectors will roam across the Earth in the search for the best showcases and sales – and this week, it’s all about Paris, who hosts its annual FIAC art fair. While FIAC is one of the older fairs of the European continent, it’s only in recent years it’s really re-established itself as a leader in the industry, attracting a great variety of blue chip and emerging names from around the world. Its international importance has made the FIAC week the most important of the year for the city’s museums and galleries, as proven by the wealth of exhibitions that can be experienced in the city. Should you be an uninitiated outsider – or frankly, just more concerned with the latest droppings on Vogue Runway, but still down for some painting-watching – despair not; here are four shows not to miss this week in the French Capital.
As summer turns to fall, Netflix offers a wide selection range of interesting, watch worthy fashion documentaries. Dries, Manolo and Jeremy Scott; The Peoples Designer (watch it! You will never again think Moschino without also thinking Scott’s adorable parents). In the series The Social Fabric, streetwear designer Kyle Ng travels the world to discover the origins and meanings of iconic accessories and garment pieces. The t-shirt, the cowboy boot, the leather jacket, even the fedora is up for examination on the show that provides its viewers with a wider knowledge on some of fashions recurring items. But, as we have learned the later years, there are other – and less fun – sides of the industry, on which we have to keep educating ourselves. A new documentary produced by BBC Three picks up the thread from Andrew Morgans The True Cost (2015), by bringing focus to some of fashions dirtiest secrets.
The center of the 19th century universe was undoubtedly Paris – the city of lights, the pioneer of couture, and the historical cradle of what we today know as art. From the founding of the public museum Louvre in the wake of the French Revolution, to the rise of the art salons and annual exhibitions that promoted the newest avant-garde frontier, it’s in Paris that art finds its modern rendition. Since, the city’s art world has taken a few tumbles, overwhelmed by a dominating fashion industry, expensive real estate, and a cultural localism due to language barriers. However, in recent years a momentum has been building once more for the city’s cultural frontier, aided by the success of art fair FIAC (opening 18th of October) and a recent expansion beyond the notorious highway periphery by several galleries and artists. One of the strongest voices in this new generation of art intermediaries is Nordic Contemporary, devoted to showcasing the best of Scandinavian art in the French capital. Co-founded by fellow Scandis Jacob Valdemar and Andreas Emenius in 2014, Nordic Contemporary has moved across the city in nomadic fashion until they in 2018 finally moved into their permanent gallery space near Republique. The aim of the space is to create long-term visibility for Nordic art and showcase internationally the Nordic region’s increasing importance on the global art scene. Opening the group show DARKEST BEFORE DAWN next week – responding to dystopian and dualist modes of critical thinking, and featuring Norwegian, Finnish and Danish artists –we sat down with Emanius to learn more about the project.
It’s no coincidence that in the current moment of social and political crisis in America, where bigots and abuse of power prevails over democracy and transparency, fashion sees a retreat to an older, more romanticized idea of the USA – open pastures, college towns, road trips, deserts, and so forth. Leading the way is Raf Simons – a European – at Calvin Klein, but also Acne Studios, Luar and Telfar can be seen to reference the iconography of Americana, riffing Western movies while lovingly mocking it, critiquing it, and making it queer (don’t forget, idealized images of “old” America is also the political rhetoric of fascist Trump!). Our current favorite, however, is Wrangler, an apparel brand that doesn’t have to be “inspired” by America of yesteryear because they actually helped establish it (or, at least, dress it): since 1947, the company has been crafting the sharpest jeans for utilitarian workers as much as fashionistas, gaining them popularity across the world. Their F/W collection sees a group of kids running around in the woods of Idaho, while the collection features aesthetic cues from 1970s and 80s silhuettes. What’s more American than that? While Wrangler might not be able to single-highhandedly solve the political crisis in Washington DC, we’re feeling inspired by their reclaiming of an American identity.
The world is built on opposites, and controversies make the world go around, but the ditch between renewal and originality has grown too wide for me to overlook. While the industries strive for revolutionary techniques and innovative products, they also want history, authenticity and originality. The ditch makes the long contradictory and difficult to satisfy, and I wonder if it too wide for the industries to overcome. In search for an answer to this, Swedish fashion brand, Acne Studio’s autumn/winter campaign, is worth noticing.
Secrets do not last very long in fashion. Among lost secrets are bare ankles, calves and cleavages. Once they were hidden, tucked away in all sorts of materials, but through history they have been exposed – and today, they are known to every man and woman walking the streets. A shame? Perhaps. Secrets aren’t all bad, and nothing triggers curiosity and fantasy as much as a secret that you know is within your reach, but still escapes you. Fashion is, in that way, very much like a game of hide and seek, and what makes us play is our own curiosity. Whenever our curiosity is satisfied, the game is over. It is in other words, it is the balance of cleavage and not cleavage itself that gives pleasure. Going through the SS19 collections, it seems that secrets are making their way back. Silk wrapped around cores and necks, calves put into stockings and faces hidden away behind knitted balaclavas; skin is creeping back under the fabrics – and better yet, it’s doing it right in front of our noses.