Saturday, June 1, 2013

TED Talks: Johanna Blakley...

A great little TED Talk about copyright protection and fashion design.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Collection Preview 1...

I'm so excited about this collection, and have really been pouring my heart and soul into it. If you have been following my instagram you have probably seen a few snapshots of what I have been working on, but in case you haven't, then consider this your first look. Just playing around with ideas right now for the cover of my collection book. Right now I'm thinking of a sepia detail shot of one of the finished outfits. The picture right now is just for the mockup, but I am imagining the models hand laying casually in the pants pocket with the shirt and jacket slouched up around it - really relaxed and allowing the viewer to see the garments up close. Something like what Helmut Lang used to do in his advertisements. 

The most important thing I think though is going to be the font choices. I've been obsessed with baskerville for the past two years (following 5 very dedicated years to helvetica [I still love you helvetica, its just my once burning passion for you has been reduced to a flickering pile of embers]). I think baskerville is the perfect font for my logo and headers because it has the clean lines that I love about helvetica, but with a slight hint of romance and nostalgia from the serifs - without being stodgy and stale like times new roman. Veranda compliments it very well, and provides good readability so I will probably be using that for the body font. 

We have to use our name for the collection because when we are showing off this collection to potential employers it is important that they can see our name and know who we are. My previous institution encouraged me to use a made up name for the brand, but I have to say it is much more rewarding to use my actual name for this. With my name on the collection, it really pushes me to create something that I am truly proud of, and I have to say right now that I really am. We are reaching the halfway point soon, and things are really starting to come together. I'll try to update this blog a bit more often and let everyone know what I have been up to since I've been rather quiet since moving to not so sunny Italy. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Santa Maria Novella Heating Station...

I've been spending a lot of time lately researching the Italian Futurist movement, and have found myself to be quite inspired by the detailed architectural drawings that were produced. I found out that there was only one such "Futurist" building ever built though and it happens to be right here in Florence. The Heating Station is part of the main train station here, but lies quite a bit aways up the track from the main building. I decided to go see it in person and take some photographs, which turned out to be even more inspiring than the drawings. There is something really beautiful to be found in all the geometric forms and lines that the building has. I also found it interesting that a movement that promoted youth and violence would produce a building that would eventually become abandoned and covered in graffiti. 

Monday, January 21, 2013

The New Wave Pt. 1...

It should be well noted by now my devotion to Hedi Slimane and Raf Simons; Two men who have recently taken over storied French houses with the gargantuan task of making them fashionable once again. While Raf's efforts at Dior have been greeted with much fanfare, Hedi's work has generally underwhelmed critics. Amid the storm of bad reviews surrounding Slimane's first public menswear outing at Saint Laurent Paris (formally Yves Saint Laurent), I felt the need to voice my own (much more positive) view on his current work.

When news broke that Hedi Slimane would be taking over YSL and gaining full control of the company's image, industry professionals expected a dramatic new direction for the brand. Who knows exactly what everyones expectations were, but even a quick look at Hedi Slimanes previous work at Dior Homme should have provided an accurate glimpse of what was to come. The name change to SLP instead of YSL seemed to signal that the house was going to be going back to its roots. What I believe it did instead was give Slimane a blank slate to work from; one free of the past decade where YSL was not designed by YSL.

The rebranding of SLP

Slimane has a defined style. It is a style enslaved to music. It is black and white. It is skinny, and it is youthful. While at Dior Homme, he took full control of ensuring that the brand represented him and his vision (a vision that had nothing to do with Monsieur Dior himself). The fashion world was addicted, and soon after the entire world was consuming his vision. Dior Homme under Hedi Slimane single handedly defined what fashion was in the early to mid 00's.

A look from Dior Homme A/H 2005

When Slimane departed from Dior Homme to pursue a career in photography, his style did not change. It was still all about music, youth, and his minimal vision for presentation. Why would people assume now that he would change his style once he arrived at YSL? He was not hired to continue making safe designs like Pilati. He was hired because his style is like crack cocaine for retail. It is a style that celebrities and rock stars crave. It is a style that the public then imitates in response. It is wildly addicting, and horribly influential. It creates press.

We now come to the point of his first public menswear show. It is the talk of the town, and the most anticipated show of the fashion season. All the hype that used to surround his Dior Homme shows was now surrounding his show for SLP. The lights dim. The music pounds. And out parades a slew of emaciated, androgynous, youth. The clothes; rock and roll, young, and tailored without a millimeter of ease to give. 

The suits were rigorous. 

The denim destroyed. 

The styling blasé. 

Note the similarities to the look from Dior Homme

The looks... 100% Hedi. 

Instantly people were drawing the comparisons to his work at Dior Homme. "How anti-climatic" they would say. Anti-climatic? There was no build up! Ever since he started at SLP his work has been perfectly in line with all the other work he has ever done in every medium. Dior Homme wasn't Dior, it was Hedi. SLP isn't YSL, it is Hedi. Many people say that the clothes shown were too destroyed and disheveled to be demanding luxury pricing at retail. That the boys who walked the runway could put together identical looks just by thrift shopping in LA. That right there though is the glory of what Hedi Slimane does. Not everyone can afford Saint Laurent. It is for a very select few. Rockstars for one, will flock to these looks. And as the trickle down effect takes hold, the retail market will slowly begin to flood with looks that replicate that je ne sais pas that embodies the new SLP man. It is a look that will once again change fashion. 

Brands like Balenciaga and Rick Owens (other favorites of mine) are the opposite of what the new YSL is. They create clothes for the luxury market that stay in the luxury market. They do not trickle down. Replication of their looks cannot be bought on the high street or in thrift shops. There is no aspiration to their designs, so if you cannot afford it, you cannot be a part of it. For SLP though, the ball is already rolling. They say no press is bad press, and that certainly applies to this situation. A year ago, under Pilati, the YSL name was only spoken about in regards to a few retrospective exhibitions that took place in the past few years. Now, it is the name that is on every fashion persons lips and thrown around so much that it has whiplash. It fuels the fire of the brand, the fire that drives consumers to stores to have a piece of it; be it the accessible fragrances, mid priced accessories, or luxury ready-to-wear. Give it a year, but I would put my money on the fact that overly destroyed denim similar to what is seen above, will be in every store once again. It's going to be hot stuff, despite what the neigh-sayers may argue. 

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Firenze Panorama...

Cold and rainy seems to be the norm for this city. 

Friday, January 11, 2013


Went to Pisa today to see the leaning tower. Can't say it is a very exciting city, but the train ride over was really pretty going through the hills.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


If it was the last day on Earth what would you be wearing? Pour Moi...

Hedi Slimane x Dior Homme F/W 2007 - I don't always do print, but when I do... 

Maison Martin Margiela F/W 2008 - The l'incognito sunglasses and barbwire vest are everything.

Rick Owens - F/W 2009 - Basically what I wear every day anyways (big peacoat and big fur).