Month: May 2015

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DIALOG Architects designed this beautiful Southlands Residence in Vancouver, Canada. The house is nestled into a corner of Vancouver’s historical Dunbar-Southlands neighborhood. A stream that flows year-round fills the basin below the house providing a wonderful landscape.

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The digital works of designer and web wizard Gustavo Torres (Kidmograph) are quite the spectacle.

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Although powered by simple rotary engines, these kinetic sculptures by Netherlands-based sculptor Jennifer Townley are dizzying in complexity.

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Kinetic sculptor Anthony Howe lives and works in a rural area in Eastsound, Washington surrounded by little more than trees, wind, and other natural elements that inspire his incredible kinetic sculptures.

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Industrial Design student Tomek Michalski drafted this cabin in the forest as a retreat for people who need rest, seclusion from other people, the world and daily life.

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Hungarian/German graphic designer David Szakaly has taken zeitgeist to a whole other level, creating the Web’s most hypnotic, artist gifs on the web since 2008.

He began experimenting with Flash in 1999 and nearly a decade later found that Tumblr was a great platform to share his quirky gifs.

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What is luxury? A fur coat, a silk Hermes scarf, a vintage Chanel 2.55, or a Guerlain lipstick? Or is luxury time, or even knowledge? Ultimately, everyone has their own version of luxury, but the V&A’s new exhibitionexplores the history of the subject and questions the traditional norms of what is usually thought of as luxurious. By collecting a highly curated selection of objects—from furniture made of human hair, to a classic Hermes saddle—the exhibition investigates the future of luxury through culture, economics, art, fashion and design.

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Below, BAZAAR talks with one of the curators, Leanne Wierzba.

HB: How do you define luxury in terms of fashion?

LW: In terms of fashion, we’re really looking at the motivations of the designer and also thinking about the investment, time and application of skills that’s involved in the production or making of an object. So, it would be difficult to say that any one type of material could be considered universally luxurious. One of the fashion designers we included in the exhibition that we think epitomizes luxury is Carol Christian Poell. He’s Austrian by birth but based in Milan and does menswear, primarily. What’s interesting about Carol is that, unlike most designers who begin with the fabric, he begins with the thread. He spends a lot of time and puts in a lot of research in developing textiles himself. He’s developed a textile that is 15% glass beads—they reflect light in a particular way. Another interesting thing about his work is that he doesn’t use lining. You can actual see all the internal seams. All though there’s a very raw aesthetic, it’s completely precise because the lining typically hides a lot of mistakes or other fabric that hasn’t really been dealt with.

HB: Which fashion objects throughout time have represented luxury?

LW: One of the objects we have in the exhibition is a 17th Venetian lace chasuble, of course used in the church. Another fashion example that we have in the exhibition is Iris Van Herpen’s work. What we think is interesting about her is her compulsion to innovate and collaborate. Most of her work is done collaboratively, people from different fields—architecture, industrial design, or music, and she is bringing in knowledge and expertise and disciplines from other industries and applying them to fashion. We have a Savile Row suit in the exhibition, but it’s actually a military uniform. We thought that was incredible that the object is so heavily codified and it has so much cultural meaning—that’s luxury as well.

Snuffbox, Jean Guillaume George Krueger, Berlin 1775-1780

HB: Can luxury be inexpensive?

LW: One of the increasingly recognized luxuries in busy cities like London is time. Regularly, when we speak to people about luxury they say time is their biggest luxury. Time for yourself, time to spend with loved ones and family, and also time to develop knowledge and to become a connoisseur of luxury.

HB: Does sustainability play into luxury?

LW: One of the resources that will continue to grow will be human hair. In the exhibition, we have a project where they’ve created furniture and accessories using human hair, and resin. They’re quite beautiful, but once you look closely and realize its human hair, people are quite disturbed by that—which is interesting, because there’s a huge global hair trade at the moment. Having it re-contextualized as furniture is a really strong statement.

HB: What does the future of luxury fashion look like?

LW: It’s really tied up in supply chains and thinking of production. That’s really the focus of the exhibition. I think the supply chain will have to be more adapted to resolve ecological and ethical issues related to current fashion models. We agree that the future of fashion, especially pertaining to luxury is about small batch production and imbuing the kind of objects you’re creating with meaning and intention. Something that you would really want to invest in, value and hold on to. Luxury is something you’d want to repair rather than discard and replace.

What is Luxury is on view at the Victoria and Albert Museum from April 25th-September 27thand is in partnership with the Crafts Council and sponsored by Northacre.

Floral patterns, Hawaiian t-shirts, laced sandals and an abundance of crystal jewelry drape from young people’s necks, their faces are painted bright and henna patterns are drawn on their hands.

City College student Monica Davis, 20, posts an Instagram picture taken of her wearing leggings designed by art student Marty Leyhe, the weekend of April 10, at Live Oak Campground in the mountains of Santa Barbara County. 'Humans are walking pieces of art,' says Davis. 'Why fit in when you can stand out?' Photo Courtesy of Monica Davis.

Moments are free from parental control and responsibilities for a weekend, it’s a land of leisure and drug-induced dancing. This is the world of a music festival.

Spring is festival season, and outfits for many are a crucial part of the experience.

Festival fashion is no new concept, headbands of foraged sunflowers fill girls hair and long, paisley-printed pants hang off their legs.

Clothing companies, such as Free Peoplehave an entire line dedicated to this, called “Festival Muse,” with the statement “follow the music in these perfectly effortless picks.”

Embroidered ponchos, graphic tees and vintage mini dresses fill the desert grounds.

City College student and music festivalgoer, Moorea Kern enjoys dressing up for different festivals for a variety of reasons.

“For EDC (Electric Daisy Carnival) orhigher consciousness festivals, it’s more about bright colors and things that sparkle, often time it’s because drugs are involved,” said Kern. “They also make people happy.”

In a recent Cosmopolitan article, they declared the “27 Music Festival Must-Haves,” including magic carpets, straw hats, environmentally-friendly water bottles and neutral-toned sandals.

Lucidity, a transformational festival in the mountains of Santa Barbara, recently took place with the theme of an artistic community in mind.

A statement on the festivals says that they believe in all expressive aspects. “When we become lucid in our dreams, we realize ourselves as infinite potential, we let go of fear, and we are free to create that which we want to see in the world. Bring those visions, those possibilities, and that delicious conscious energy with you to Lucidity and wake up in the dream.”

Martin Leyhe, art student and clothing designer, is a fanatic for music festivals where his love of designing can mingle with his passion for music.

“I love the hippie-fresh kind of style that goes along with a festival,” said Leyhe. “You just don’t get judged, that’s really the best part about it.”

Dream states and art seem to go hand-in-hand with vintage and hippie clothing. Whether going to websites like Free People or making imaginative homemade clothing, young people from all over the world seem to be participating.

While Coachella, EDC and Lucidity are more recently developed concerts, the theme of dressing up has always been around.

On a dairy farm in New York, a wave of conscious-raising music swept young people, the “Three Days of Peace and Music” event captured the lives of young people in 1969.

Old photos show people dressed in American flag printed denim, fur vests and floppy sun hats.

It seems the overall passion for music festivals is more than just for the music but the energy of the festivalgoers can be expressed through their clothing and accessories.

“You can be as free as you want to be,” said Kern.

Pre-collections, which began May 4 with this Chanel Cruise show in Seoul, South Korea, will have a formal schedule in London next month.

Hot on the heels of its successful introduction of London Collections: Men, the men’s wear week whose success has become the envy of all other fashion weeks and spurred the Council of Fashion Designers of America to introduce its own men’s week, the British Fashion Council has announced yet another formalized presentation period: London Pre-Collections.

Scheduled for June 15 to 17, the event will include a special centralized showroom — the Hoxton Collective — featuring designers such as Huishan Zhang, Marques’Almeida and Zoë Jordan. There will also be listed presentations by names including Burberry, Roland Mouret, Anya Hindmarch and Peter Pilotto.

O.K., that’s not a week of events, precisely. But in fashion terms, it counts.

“This season is a pilot for us to learn from and improve moving forward,” Caroline Rush, the chief executive of the British Fashion Council, or B.F.C., said in an email. “The aim is to help buyers, press and brands to coordinate London dates, rather than overcrowding a schedule or duplicating activity.”

There is no arguing that the pre-collections, which began May 4 with the Chanel Cruise show in Seoul, South Korea, and run through mid-June, are formless and confusing.

The simple fact that designers can’t agree on what to call it — Cruise? Resort? Pre-Spring? Spring? — is an indication of its messiness. And yet I am not sure I agree that adding another fashion period is the answer.

After all, for those on the show circuit — and those being fed information about the show circuit this summer — that period of supposed professional slowdown will now be:

London Men’s: June 12 to 15

London Pre-Collections: June 15 to 17

Milan Men’s: June 20 to 23

Paris Men’s: June 24 to 28

Couture: July 5 to 10

New York Men’s: July 13 to 16

Fun!

But is this really efficient? Ms. Rush says that during the pre-collections shows the B.F.C. would be “focusing on domestic women’s wear buyers, press and some European outreach,” so it is not assuming that people will come from overseas — but that ignores fashion’s very palpable herd instinct.

For an example, see street-style photographers outside shows, who are supposed to be curating their own choices but run like lemmings toward anyone they see their peers photographing. Or toward pretty much any runway trend.

Of course, Milan also created a formal pre-collection period in 2010 —Milano Moda Pre-collezioni — and it did not really draw international attention. Indeed, although Carlo Capasa, the new president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana, emailed that pre-collections remains an important selling period, it lasts from June 11 to July 18 and is not listed on the show schedule of the organization’s website. Meanwhile, major Italian brands such as Gucci still hold pre-collection presentations in New York.

Which makes me wonder if the lesson should be: The answer is not more shows that become optional stops on the circuit and put even more pressure on designers (because let’s face it, as soon as a collection becomes an official “thing,” it implies someone is creating a statement worthy of being noted), but fewer shows with a bigger impact.

That’s just me, though.