The Autumn Winter 2015 collection by Singapore based avant-garde label Max. Tan goes by the name of XY. It combines floating handkerchief cuts with strict skirts and collapsing silhouettes with masculine textiles. Max. Tan considers XY to not be a distinction of opposites, but a seamless flow between them. It’s not just simply… women in menswear, or men in frocks. It is a collection that reconstructs her boyfriend’s wardrobe, a state of gender neutralising. I’m delighted by the balance and flow of the current Max. Tan collection. The combination of classic tailoring and deconstructed draping does not only lead towards a refreshingly androgynous design, but also adds a vivid energetic vibe to an avant-garde set of clothing. Especially the black pieces express a great sensitivity for the history and cultural background of fashion: always in motion.
Fall 2015 in New York will come with a new warmth for American fashion designer Narciso Rodriguez. In design, especially fashion, appropriation and interpretation of cultures share a fine thin line. However, the India-inspired collection for Fall Winter 2015 of the Rodriguez’s namesake label was carefully tailored (both literally and figuratively) to positively reflect the taken elements. Colors like saffron and peach were so visually effective that I could taste the sun in my mouth, only to have my palette thrown off by the gorgeous iris blue coats. The story was a brief travel to another land, minimally delivered through embroideries and elongated silhouettes. Deep cuts and transparency layer a new depth to the method of color blocking, adding another dimension to the garments. I simply enjoy the classical approach toward construction, especially the creases along the high-waisted trousers that adorn the models. Rodriguez’s method does remind me of Francisco Costa’s early work for Calvin Klein, but not out of coincidence; simply out of the mutual respect for minimalism itself. Photography courtesy of Style.com.
The Protagonist’s latest, Collection No.4, is a crisp and clean addition to the portfolio. Based in New York City, the label is mused by the ideal to elevate the modern wardrobe. There are nuances of traditional tailoring and subtleties of form, fit and fabrication that add depth beyond form to each of the pieces. The collection sees a line of monochromatic shapes for women, emphasizing minimally-shaped profiles. There is an obvious and overt emphasis on the classic and structured, which is brought forward through tapping into current shapes. This unique balance of restraint and distinction results in refined silhouettes that evolve from season to season. The Protagonist is a creative, with determination, to watch. Photography courtesy of Matthew Sprout.
GOBLANK is an independent design label established in 2013 by Meerim Kim. A sombre appearance in its all black répertoire, the 2015 Spring Summer collection is partly influenced by Japanese avant-garde designers. Its lithe, feminine forms of bell sleeve tops and cocoon coats; 60s mod and bat-winged dresses; A-line and accordion skirts are all familiar yet the inherent beauty of GOBLANK’s story lies in the details that sit quietly in the folds, layers and silhouettes of the entirely black collection. When asked about her inspiration behind the brand and the collection, the Seoul-based designer shared in a heavy yet beautiful realization of her own mortality upon turning 30 years of age. It is a manifestation of all the emotions Meerim experienced in isolating herself from her feelings: the fear comes from becoming an adult, every process of life and death, the feeling that wants to disappear and the emptiness. Basically my looks are simple, have not much details but they have dark and heavy atmosphere with only a few lines. It’s about a square and the compositions of a square, in some way they comfort me. The idea that minimalism as an expression can be a providence that relieves and reassures through design is what makes this brand and collection so poignant and beautiful.
Inspirationally and geographically nested deeply in the heart of Danish contemporary design, Copenhagen based fashion designer Anne Vest created an amazingly feminine and functional collection for Spring Summer 2015. It is, in her own words, a definition of a femme, proud and composed: Emotions lead us to interaction… Expression and mixing styles is encouraged, to challenge sartorial mannerisms within our modern wardrobes. I am not only impressed by the amazing imagery directed by Marlo Saalmink and photographed by Hordur Ingason; I am also smitten by the impeccable way Anne Vest’s designs blend very natural and sometimes even classic material with contemporary and avant-garde silhouettes. Rough edges meet graphic shapes, contrasting length silhouettes are built by organic wrap-around dresses and fitted waistcoats. In the end it all comes together in a perfectly coherent collection. Model: Julier Bugge at Scoop Models MUA: Louise Polano
Eunhyuk Choi’s Deconstruction series of hand pieces are minimalist adornment at its best. Based in London, Choi is a jeweler, maker, designer and artist. His work is an intriguing portfolio of silversmithing at its best, and his techniques are most explorative. His pieces include rings, neckpieces, bracelets and tableware. Originally from Korea, his background and reference to rituals and traditions is clear and beautifully executed. Deconstruction sees a series of simplified lines brought together with the cleanest and well-articulated goldsmithing techniques. The seams are ironically, seamless. This is beautiful. These pieces add an element of sophistication to the wearer; a sculptural and understated statement. Eunhyuk Choi is emerging, and definitely worth following. Photography courtesy of Eunhyuk Choi.
Born from the three-way collaboration between Tucson, Arizona-based apparel shops Bon Boutique and Desert Vintage and the sensitive eye of photographer Krysta Jabczenski, this Spring Summer 2015 lookbook is a fun, sunny photoshoot with stylish colour-blocked clothes and clean, simple surroundings. Bon is a small mother-and-daughter enterprise, with a love of things that are well designed and well made and a lovely curatorial eye for mixing the unexpected. Joining their wares with Desert Vintage’s tulle skirts, jewellery and sombreros, the lookbook manages to be soft and jovial, yet pared down and sophisticated. Shot in Barrio Viejo, Tucson, AZ, by Krysta Jabczenski.
We are now halfway through winter in the Northern Hemisphere and one needs quality apparel to face the elements. The Styrman is a waterproof topcoat by San Francisco based Mission Workshop. Their aim is to help you cover the most ground possible. The Styrman, made in Vancouver, British Columbia, is their take on the classic topcoat improved with all the advantages of modern technical outerwear. The jacket is constructed of c_change fabric developed by Schoeller from Switzerland. This membrane reacts to different prevailing conditions. It does not only take temperature into account but also humidity and body moisture. The waterproof-breathable membrane, with taped seams, gives full protection against rain, wind and snow. The storm hood is removable if you prefer. The wool exterior of this smart jacket gives a tailored appearance. The Styrman is available in charcoal or grey. A great jacket for daily commute and outdoor use!
South African born fashion designer Alex Koutny already looked back on an extensive career in consulting and working for international luxury brands before he created his namesake label in New York. However, it wasn’t just good experiences that led to this decision. His goal today is to establish a retreat from overly designed and needlessly decorated garments. In addition, he wants his work to be more hands-on, from beginning to end, from creation to production. This results in a back to basics attitude, precisely rendered in beautiful silk pieces, carefully layered and constructed to look flowing but sharp at the same time. The only embellishment is separate jewelry, made of sterling silver in graphic shapes, which subtly shifts the collection in to a rougher, colder direction. As the designer himself claims: Not too much, not too little. It’s a finely tuned sense. — Interview magazine
Merryn Kelly has leaped out on her own to create fashion child, Third Form. The collection is one of overt sophistication, minimalism and once that embraces fresh cuts and understated tailoring. The nuances in detailing and designed accessories are a nice touch. The palette is one of crisp and bold definition; one that is strictly monochromatic. There is an obvious intentionality with the versatility of the pieces with a focus on fit, form and functionality. Heralding from Sydney, Kelly’s portfolio consists of working alongside some of Australia’s fashion finest. Labels such as Zimmerman and Lee Jeans have been the foundations from which her label grew. Her dedication to her brand is strengthened through her blog, Zine, which draws on her inspiration and musings. There seems to be a perfect balance between street style and femininity, which is beautifully curated. Photography courtesy of Jake Terrey.
Youjia Jin is a Chinese born London based fashion designer and fashion buyer specialising in womenswear. Inspired by anatomy, the designer’s impeccably tailored and purely coloured collections focus on menswear tailoring and the surreal body arts developed from anatomy. Due to my interest in human body structure, I’ve been exercising unisex pattern cutting on my womenswear collections in recent years. Youjia Jin has presented collections in London Fashion Week and Beijing Fashion Week, and been nominated One To Watch by Fashion Scout and more since graduating from the London College of Fashion, Centrail Saint Martins and the Beijing Institute of Fashion and Technology.
The D3 traveller is an ultralight, strong and discreet duffel whittled down to its barest of components. The duffel was commisioned for field work in diverse and challenging environment. The creators know what they are talking about. One of them, Jan Chipchase, is a well respected design researcher who helps organisations gather insights to inform, inspire and affect change. The D3 is a 42L volume bag for the global traveller who is looking for a strong, versatile and simple luggage solution. The D3 is made of two layers of Cuben Fiber (four times stronger than Kevlar at almost half its weight) with one layer suspended inside the other. Cuben Fiber is a cool material: it can be crinkled, or rolled up without losing structural integrity. The D3 has an “oil black” finish and nicely wears over time. Like the shell the zips are water resistant. The strap and tri glide, created from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium, and Petzl Ange S carabiners make that various carrying styles are possible. There is no exterior branding but the outer zip pulls include a pebble from Kyi Chu, a river that starts in the Chenthangula Mountains in Tibet. A fantastic bag I...