The prestige of Paris Fashion Week has never been more prominent. This season has seen an unusually high level of creativity, provocation, fun and fetishism, despite political unrest, environmental crisis and economic uncertainty.
Explore the whimsical side of fashion with this recap of moments you can't miss:
BALENCIAGA CREATES FASHION FOR THE 21ST CENTURY.
With a masterly staging, a casting with personality and variety and an even more unexpected and illuminating ending, Creative Director Gvasalia has reflected what he sees on the street and that includes social-media trends. What separates him from the common is that he wraps his designs in impossible and exaggerated forms that qualify him, in capital letters, as FASHION.
ISSEY MIYAKE'S NEW COURSE.
Satoshi Kondo - a close collaborator of Issey Miyake - debuted with his first collection following Yoshiyuki Miyamae. Body and movement are their DNA staples so they played with them, emphasizing the fluidity of the silhouette while still keeping the Miyake aesthetic solid.
“I wanted to express my feeling of joy, and I want this to become the trademark for my collections”
YOHJI YAMAMOTO HIDDEN MESSAGE.
The impossible construction seen on the catwalk of Yohji Yamamoto was a statement regarding the state of the environment: the cuts, slashes, and holes on the garments were an artistic way for him to convey a message about global warming.
Julius Juul and Victor Juul presented a virtual runway influenced by a high level of experimentalism and an exceptional quality that improves each season.
MAISON MARGIELA’S WINS THE MILLENNIAL WORLD WAR.
John Galliano - as Creative Director - elaborated the codes of the 40s with a perverse and digitalized twist. Assembling and disassembling the wardrobe staples from Tarantino-style “Inglourious Basterds” and the Second World War years.
RICK OWENS AZTEC ALIENS.
Rick Owens incredible capacity to create a dream from the most different of sources is unbelievable. Exploring his Mexican-ness with Aztec reminiscences, Owens elaborated pieces aim to mix traditions, such as the china poblana embroideries or the techno tunics with pointed shoulders that turned the models into alien priestesses of an unknown credo in which we all trust.
LANVIN. A FRESH PERSPECTIVE.
Bruno Sialelli’s - as new Creative Director - brought a refreshed elegance inspired and revisited by the 50s and 60s, giving a sense of jollity that we all need.
PACO RABANNE EXPLORES POP CULTURE.
Julien Dossena at Paco Rabanne, explored the unexpected funny side of pop.
“I wanted to explore a part of this world I never went in. I took the French Seventies of Françoise Hardy, along with the movies of those days, and I turned it into a funny and colourful world.”
MCQUEEN RECONNECTS WITH THE ROOTS
The collection was almost all about linen. They went back to the old techniques so the production chain was simple and really sustainable, resulting in a dramatic romance followed by a beautiful and meaningful research related to fabrics and traditions.
“I felt the need to slow down and enjoy the little things, taking back the little beautiful moments that we are missing with the speed of our daily routine”
SAINT LAURENT KEEPS IT TRADITIONAL.
Under the Eiffel Tower, Saint Laurent proposed a stunning open air, all-black set up with dozens of whirling lights pointed to the sky. Anthony Vaccarello, Creative Director of the French Maison, is finally finding his own way delivering a beautiful collection (though a bit repetitive) full of Saint Laurent.
With his own aesthetic language, optical illusions accentuate the woman’ silhouettes and versatility as a means of individual expression, takes over.
LOEWE'S NEW TRADITION.
Jonathan Anderson has highlighted the different handcrafted excellences, at the same time that you have combined them to create a new tradition to show, injecting softly a Spanish touch without being too literal.
AFTER FEMINISM, DIOR GOES INTO SUSTAINABILITY.
At a time when the fashion industry is under more scrutiny than ever, Dior’s creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri was wise to create a collection inspired by the natural world.
A very unique event where two talented and creative minds worked together to design one collection. It was very clear on the catwalk that the Dries Van Noten design was just as fully present as that of Monsieur Lacroix, not just a simple mixing of styles.
MARINE SERRE. THE APOCALYPSE IS ALREADY HERE.
Committed to sustainable production, Serre focused on up-cycling for her latest collection (she reuses second-hand clothes in her collections) and continued her exploration of a highly-protective wardrobe designed to resist any end-day scenario.
MUGLER'S SUPER SEDUCTIVE AND TWISTED GLAMOUR.
The Mugler collection by Casey Cadwallader was, above all, an analysis of the full spectrum and beauty of the body’s shapes, then of the clothing. All the sizes, genders, styles and ages showed off during the catwalk and set everyone free from their daily uniforms.
Inspired by the chaotic nature and beauty of meteor showers, Abloh presented its first women's collection in the fashion capital. Although he's a great sampler of ideas and visions, her collection lacked rational aesthetics. We do not live in the era of coherence, but a collection must be to deserve this name.
Olivier Rousteing stepped into the Sixties with a series of optical decorations. The young designer infused his touch in a very strong way, a skill which has become famous worldwide.
THE LOUIS VUITTON GIRL BRINGS A MODERN EDGE.
Nicolas Ghesquière imagined a modern Belle Époque that seemed to exist in an imaginary future, recreating a new high society related to the revolutionary years in which we are living, which celebrated the enthusiasm of each individual’s unique character.
LACOSTE GETS CARRIED AWAY.
With sporty yet sophisticated looks, Creative Director Louise Trotter pushed more towards mixing heritage and modernity.
SACAI. ONE NATION UNDER A GROOVE.
Abe is part of the second generation of Japanese designers that are taking their modern designs around the world. With a Funkadelic nostalgia, in his designs also came a message of unity and brotherhood as a reaction to the difficult world in which we are living.
CHANEL. “MARIE S’INFILTRE”.
Replacing Lagerfeld isn’t an easy job, but Virginie Viard is trying to inject a sense of freshness that was missing in the past. However, all eyes went to the comedian who crashed the runway at Paris Fashion Week and was kicked out by Gigi Hadid's.
HERMÊS REFUSE TO BECOME A SLAVE TO FASHION TRENDS.
Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski - the brand's Creative Director - presented an unexpected femininity that gave even more lightness to the collection. Fresh, sophisticated and artisanal.
VALENTINO'S FANTASY FORMULA.
Pierpaolo Piccioli pursues the extraordinary until it's trapped forever. The designer has a proven track record for making flounce and feathers seem less rarefied and more real.
GIVENCHY. ROMANCE VS TOUGHNESS.
As a mentality to design this collection, Clare Waight Keller, consolidated that empowerment is not only revealing, jumping back and forth from the bourgeoisie to the masculine.
COMMES DES GARÇONS TURNS STAGE COSTUMES INTO BREATHTAKING DESIGNS.
From Elizabethan era to the future. Kawakubo-san presented a groundbreaking clothing set with unexpected and over-decorated silhouettes, reinventing and turning upside down shapes and proportions.
OTTOLINGER DRESSES THE MILLENNIAL WOMEN.
Christa Bösch and Cosima Gadient presented a collection any millennial woman wouldn’t mind being caught in.
One of the most awaited stops along this busy journey around the most cosmopolitan and stylish cities in the world: Milan. Here is a summary of the highlights of September's SS20 season:
Picasso's works parade in Milan to the rhythm of Rosalía: Moschino brings out his most artistic and Spanish side, reminding us that fashion is a work of art. Better watch.
VERSACE AND HER RENEWED NEONOSTALGIA
The most restrained - but cool - collection of the immortal Italian brand, which gave us the most viral momento of the Milan Fashion Week of this season: the appearance of Jennifer Lopez wearing her iconic dress from the 2000 Grammy red carpet, from which Donatella was inspired to create the collection.
GUCCI BRINGS MILAN FASHION WEEK TO A CLIMAX.
Designer Alessandro Michele revolutionizes the Italian catwalk with a collection that reflects on elegance and sex. Gucci turned the catwalk into a hospital. The first part, with only white outputs, was far from the usual sophistication that characterizes the firm, but in the second part, Alessandro Michele made it again with looks loaded with style and elegance.
Another highlight of Gucci's show was the personal protest of one of the models who showed written in her hands: "mental health is not fashion".
BOTTEGA VENETA HAS BECOME CONTEMPORARY.
It's hard to get the first one right, but Daniel Lee's - as the new Creative Director of the brand - managed to get the audience on their feet. The artist kept the firm's heritage alive, but turning towards more minimalist and clean finishes.
FENDI BETS ON RETRO LOOKS.
Inspired by the blissful feeling most associated with the long summer days and afternoons spent in the sun, the presentation of the remarkable brand has been conquered by the styles where the jackets, coats and trench with geometrical prints occupied most of the outings.
THE ELEGANCE OF THE 1940S SHOWS OFF IN THE CATWALK WITH PRADA.
Simple but sophisticated, that's what the Prada spring-summer 2020 collection has been like. Miucca Prada is beyond trends and has set its sights on elegant 40's, on a sober and fluid silhouette that conceals women's curves.
DOLCE & GABBANA
Inspired by a tropical paradise, Dolce & Gabbana presented a collection full of prints where the leopard and the tiger have taken control (did anyone doubt it?). One more season, the Italian duo launched a collection similar to the previous one but renewing its chromatic palette.
MSGM 10-YEAR ANNIVERSARY
One of Massimo Giorgetti’s best collections. Bright, photogenic and upbeat. MSGM’s came in vivid neon and cat-nipped anyone looking to add insta-pop to their look. The designer undoubtedly managed to illuminate the world.
MISSONI. EL BAGNI MISTERIOSI.
This collection was as good as Missoni gets. The models reemerged carrying Little Sun portable solar-powered lamps by Olafur Eliasson as a manifestation for climate action. As usual, the ingenious and amazing combination of colors were exemplary.
SUSTAINABILITY IS THE EPICENTRE OF MARNI'S PROPOSAL.
Francesco Risso always starts from abstract concepts to create all his collections, and this time it has not been different. Asymmetries and asymmetries were prodigaban in sets made with reused leather and organic cotton.
Exploring a more everyday, utilitarian look, Peter Pilotto and Christopher de Vos - that decamped to Milan this season, swapping their usual London location for a deep dive into the Milanese fashion zeitgeist - presented a gender-neutral collection energized by lysergic colors and symbolist-inspired, smudged-floral prints.
Three blond icons were in charge of opening the Max Mara show. Gigi Hadid, Candice Swanepoel and Doutzen Kroes, who were wrapped in three versions of gray tailors for all tastes. Ian Griffiths once again resorts to sobriety, perhaps more than ever.
The GCDS collection was a nod to manga cosplayers, otaku and gamer culture. The Italian designer follows the same line, doing whatever he wants. Because in this world there is room for any idea and any type of expressive manifestation.
Stay posted and don't miss what's waiting for us in Paris, next stop on the Fashion Week calendar.
Although all expectations were directed towards a dark and pessimistic show due to the current socio-political situation of the country that has established Brexit, the catwalks were manifested with trends that sparked joy rather than sense and gargantuan gowns. This season London Fashion Week, with a focus on sustainability, showcased a heady mix of schedule regulars ,breadth of exciting new and emerging talent alongside established favourites. Here, a recap of what you can't miss:
For the first time, London Fashion Week host public-facing catwalk shows from A-COLD-WALL, AlexaChung, House of Holland and Self-Portrait. Fashion fans could purchased tickets at 135 pounds and Front Row tickets at 245 pounds to the immersive fashion experience.
EXTINCTION REBELLION, ENOUGH IS ENOUGH
The future is quality not quantity and less is more sustainable.The activist group tapped into fashion week’s conscience. Manifesting in the street during London Fashion, they prompted us all to reconsider how and why we consume clothing – and at what expense.
Vivienne Westwood, Asai, Shrimps and Ashley Williams didn't feature on the schedule. Peter Pilotto moved his show to Milan. Mary Katrantzou headed to Athens and Grace Wales Bonner opted for private appointments.
INTRUDERS IN WOMEN'S CLOTHING
Are the genres in fashion becoming unified? Designers like Samuel Ross, Craig Green and Bobby Able - who are mainly dedicated to men's clothing design - were integrated into the women's fashion week parade for greater visibility
Fashion for Relief is a personal charity set up by Naomi Campbell, which is dedicated to fighting poverty, sickness and distress. The all-time supermodel brought her charity runway show back to her hometown to raise money towards disadvantaged communities in London.
For the very first time, the United Nations brought the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, also known as The Global Goals to London Fashion Week. A universal route map and call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that every global citizen enjoys peace and prosperity by 2030.
In addition, Pause Conscious, the global movement that showcases sustainable fashion around the world, came to London for its ninth edition. The pop-up featured 80 sustainable designers and combined shopping with art, live performances, music, and educational experiences.
THE POST BOX MAZE BY ANYA HINDMARCH
To celebrate London Fashion Week, and the launch of its Postbox bag, Anya Hindmarch built an immersive art installation inspired by M. C. Escher’s mural, designed for The Hague Post Office.
“FITTING ROOMS” by IKEA and Virgil Abloh
IKEA unveiled the first look of the new MARKERAD collection with Virgil Abloh, with an interactive pop up open to the public, seeking to get people statement-dressing their homes just as they do with their clothes.
BOBBY ABLE (DEBUT)
Next stop? Paris Fashion Week from 23rd of September. Keep posted!
New York Fashion Week marks the beginning of a month-long sartorial spectacle as designers showcase their latest creations to the world.
While Milan is renowned for its extravagance and London for its emerging talents, New York is known for its progressive social consciousness, often leading the way in terms of body positivity, diversity and powerful political statements. Here, we rounded up highlights from New York Fashion Week Spring 2020:
AVANT-GARDE TO POWER
VFILES exhibited its eleventh show, which featured young talents, musical performances and a front row full of celebrities. Among the creatives, CSM graduate Pierrre-Louis Auvray stood out. The designer earned a spot in the VFILES parade along with Londoner Wesley Harriott and amberinos Di Du and Nico Verhaegen.
This season's calendar was full of Brooklyn locations and non-traditional formats reigned supreme. Gauntlett Cheng and Maryam Nassir Zadeh set their shows outdoors. Hillary Taymour of Collina Strada also set up her show on the street, creating a farmer’s market and inviting guests to take the produce to emphasize her commitment to sustainability.
“This show is my continuing attempt at reconciling the desire we all have to create and consume with the responsibility we all share to be conscious and ethical. I’m doing my best to use my platform to communicate urgent messages with positivity and honesty.”
GREATER DIVERSITY AND INCLUSION
Luxury junior label Lulu et Gigi attracted extra attention for sending nine-year-old double amputee Daisy-May Demetre down the runway. The up-and-coming model, who had both her legs amputated as a baby, is due to appear at Paris Fashion Week later this month.
THE MOST POLITICAL MOMENT OF NYFW
Prabal Gurung’s runway and his collection featuring elements of Americana, the country’s floral emblem red roses and classic blue denim. It culminated in every model being sent down the runway wearing a pageant-style sash with the words, “Who gets to be American?”
GETTING CLOSER TO SUSTAINABILITY
Hairdryers and hot tools were banned by Gabriela Hearst’s as the designer attempted to stage NYFW’s first carbon-neutral show.
Maria Cornejom utilized upcycled textiles and leathers from car interiors in collaboration with Hyundai. The result was a very wearable set of casual dresses and trouser suits dubbed “ReStyle.”
FAVORED SHOW: MARC JACOBS
Fashion favorite Marc Jacobs closed the week with an eclectic show that celebrated life thorough vivid prints, florals and high-volume shapes. A brilliant show with airs of joy, equality, individuality, optimism, happiness, indulgence, dreams and a future unwritten.
The next stop on this year’s fashion week calendar? London from Friday, Sept. 13. Stay tuned!
Sustainability has become the main topic of conversation in the fashion world. Today, almost 10 years after Christopher Raeburn began producing his first garments from recycled materials when hardly anyone was going in that direction, Raeburn is considered a visionary and one of the industry's most promising designers.
His goal, first and foremost, is to raise awareness among consumers, make durable quality garments and try to save the planet through greater transparency in the textile industry. A complicated challenge that is undoubtedly worth fighting for.
Christopher Raeburn grew up in rural Kent on the outskirts of London. There, he played with his father and siblings to collect used items, deconstruct them and over the weekend, rebuild them. A game that years later would become a legacy for the fashion world.
From the age of eleven, Christopher Raeburn - together with his brothers - joined Air Cadet, the junior division of the Royal Air Force. Because of this experience, he developed a fascination for military garments and original functional fabrics.
Fascinated by military materials, utilitarian clothing and essential functionality, Christopher Raeburn decided to join the Royal College of Art in London. There he found something very exciting in going out to look for original objects and then turning them into something new - as he used to do in his childhood - which led him organically to the ethos of his brand: RÆMADE, RÆDUCED, RÆCYCLED and RÆBURN. A spirit and a philosophy to which he remains faithful by channeling his deconstructed garments into pioneering collections that have marked the designer as a true leader in the fashion scene.
Raeburn graduated from the Royal College of Art in London in 2006 with a reconstructed line of reversible military garments entitled "Inverted". After that, he set up his studio in some old Burberry installations in the heart of an old industrial district of East London. To this day, every RÆBURN piece is a limited edition, proudly cut and reconstructed in England.
Rather than contributing to this "endless waste" of materials he denounces, Christopher Raeburn prefers to "remake" and give new life to discarded objects. From protective immersion suits to create women's and men's coats to a rubber boat that ended up transforming into jackets and bags.
He finds his raw materials by tracking the Internet, in flea markets, abroad, making military surpluses or activating contacts he prefers to keep secret.
RÆBURN's business model presents obstacles, because it is difficult to maintain the high competitive pace in this sector by resorting to waste materials, but is not something that discourages him, in fact, quite the opposite.
"Every day is a challenge, but that's the exciting thing, who wants to lead a boring life?"
In 2013 Raeburn not only won the "Designer Business of the Year" at the UK Fashion and Textiles Awards - among many others throughout his career - but also initiated two important collaborations with Rapha and Fred Perry and ended the year being appointed Artistic Director of Victorinox Fashion, as a result of previous collaborations.
Five years later, after numerous excellent collections showcased all around the globe that featured collaborations with Moncler, Barbour, North Face and even Disney - among others - the US brand Timberland announced the appointment of Christopher Raeburn as their first Global Creative Director.
Christopher Raeburn is not only considered the single most radical designer working today, also a leader in the race for sustainability.
The recycling of materials and the use of green technologies is fundamental to the production process. RÆBURN takes into account the impact on the environment, whether recycling materials, minimizing the carbon footprint through local manufacturing or producing smaller batches to reduce waste.
RÆBURN has become a world-renowned and acclaimed firm whose design is characterized by being innovative, responsible, creative, collaborative and sustainable.
Making strong and sustainable decisions that provide us with a completely unique and desirable product - which we personally love - Christopher Raeburn's initiatives inspire young designers to consider their approach to design and serve as a guide and example to all those who want to do things better. Thanks to Christopher Raeburn's contribution, it's clear that even in difficult times, creativity shines through.
Have you ever been in a store to buy a thing and all you had was just that, things to buy? Go in, get it and leave? Well, that kind of transaction is not enough for some brands, especially the big ones, that want you to have a complete and unforgettable experience while you are in the store. Maybe have a beer and draw a picture, watch a DJ do a set, skate on a skating rink.
Is it a coincidence that experimental stores are developing and expanding at a time when traditional retail is dying and online shopping is easier and more popular than ever? We don't think so.
The creativity surrounding the creation of experimental stores is creating a community space where people congregate, where people will socialize, adding extra value to any possible purchase.
We will not mention one after another the advantages and disadvantages of online shopping and the traditional way of buying. We want to give a twist to a futuristic and at the same time current theme that, without a doubt, covers many of the dilemmas of our time. As if the abundant use of new technologies will bring us closer to a transcendent evolution or will keep us away from humanity.
The aspect of online shopping was an interesting pendulum swing, especially when in 2017 and 2018 commercial spaces were dying, people were closing stores, companies were going into bankruptcy. The continuing "apocalypse of retailing" forced all those in the retail business to question the value of their physical stores.
Nike and Adidas - among many others - are some of the great players of sneakers and sportswear producers leading the way in experience-focused retail. Late last year, Nike opened a new giant store in New York that features an indoor mini basketball court, a treadmill in front of monitors that simulate races in amazing places around the world and a small soccer field.
The social aspect of shopping has to be taken into account. People crave human interaction and, as the world becomes more digital, sometimes that need for advice, confidence in decision making and romanticism in the shopping experience are invaluable and not even the most complete online retailer will be able to overcome that.
The brand is no longer just reflected in the product, but the store where it can be found. The physical environment provides added value. Stores serve as showrooms that drive customers to buy online. They serve as fulfillment points for e-commerce operations. Stores are billboards for any fashion brand.
Some ideas follow the trend that physical stores will be logistics centers for online business, but the future is difficult to predict. Perhaps the most likely scenario is a combination of both worlds. The concept of shopping has changed and while technology will mark the evolution of shopping in commerce over the next few years, physical stores will also evolve by providing a closer, warmer type of service focused on the customer experience.
The race is to design the store of the future, with brands investing in innovation labs and launching bold and fantastic retail experiments in their quest for identity in the age of e-commerce.
Growing up in Neo-Tokyo as the land of the future - which exists in the consciousness of entire generations who saw Akira, Blade Runner and Mad Max - Tatsuro Horikawa is an artist shrouded in mystery.
Music, art, sound, atmosphere, travel and emotion are the basis of his main inspirations. For him, the greatest of them is music, especially techno and industrial music, a movement that plays an important and essential role in his creative process, notion of madness and sorrow.
His project, JULIUS - focused not only on fashion but also on audiovisual art - continues to evolve as an enveloping and hypnotic song. Its patterns change slowly while its atmosphere remains consistent and unique, being today, the most important gothic brand in Tokyo.
Born in Kyushu - an isolated island in southwestern Japan - in the early 1970s, Horikawa emigrated to Tokyo at an early age, where he quickly grew up to embrace "pop feeling," courtesy of clandestine movements.
In 1996, Horikawa launched his first label, NUKE, a project that would later develop into an impeccable and successful fashion brand. At this point in his life, Horikawa was dressed exclusively in black. In love with both the simplicity and the inherent complexity that color conveys, he began to develop his own style. An ode to mysticism with a palette of dark colors - where black predominates - masterful finishes, leather abundance and exaggerated lengths.
“Black symbolizes the Avant-Garde and has a deeply spiritual and noble meaning for me. I am obsessed with the image of “Black” in Japanese Religion, in Zen. It represents the crazy darkness hidden in the shadows away from the light. It is the total colour of complete and utter grief.”
NUKE was not only a clothing brand, but it was also an artistic movement. Over its six-year lifespan, NUKE has become an incredibly influential entity among the Japanese underground art community.
In 2001, satisfied with what NUKE had provided, Horikawa launched the first iteration of JULIUS, starting as a collaborative art project to present audio/video presentations for collections and art shows, with which Horikawa elevated his clothing to the forefront of Gothic fashion through luxurious materials and careful finishes.
JULIUS quickly attracted attention for its dark, post-apocalyptic designs. After establishing a presence in Japan, the brand expanded abroad and in 2008 showcased a catwalk as part of Paris Fashion Week.
JULIUS expanded beyond Neo-Tokyo to an international audience, and a cult quickly grew following the entire world. However, Horikawa did not let the new success change his design philosophy; instead, he ignored the outside influence, remaining true to his techno-neo-Tokio aesthetics.
Combining meticulous construction with destroyed aesthetics, Horikawa designs are a declaration of perfection. His garments - simply designed with a surprising level of structure and composition - are regularly composed of torn knees, exaggerated internal seams and hanging threads, giving an appearance of brilliantly executed imperfection.
At the same time, this decadence features a clean, minimalist look, inspired by the industrial, which has much to do with the aesthetics of the music scene the designer contemplated in Berlin, an infinite source of inspiration for him.
"Perfection is ugly. Somewhere in the things that humans do, I want to see scars, failures, disorders, distortions.
To keep inspiration alive, Horikawa believes it is necessary to be permeated - not influenced - by new trends and artistic forms that keep his vision nurtured and alive. One way to achieve this is through collaborations, something to which the designer attaches great importance and which has led him to work with artists, musicians and record labels to create visceral catwalk experiences and presentations, encompassing numerous art streams that have broadened his creative sources.
Horikawa's distant travels have also been a driving force behind his work. Inherently nomadic, the designer embraces tribes and shamans from all over the world, embodying their emotion and dress in his collections, where he combines different elements that initially may seem extravagant, managing to find a chord between the chaotic and the beautiful.
With twenty years of experience in the fashion industry, Horikawa remains relatively hidden from public view. Rather, the designer emphasizes that his team is as important in the design of JULIUS clothing as he is.
Horikawa is committed to maintaining his vision, unwavering in the face of commercial influence and mainstream. His goal is not only to create "clothing", but rather to create and contribute to a person's entire lifestyle and existence.
As something sacred and profane, Horikawa's world of imagination is worn and broken, chaotic and corrupt and the purity and destruction of his designs result in an exceptional and singular beauty that has crossed - to the joy of fashion - the farthest horizons, becoming an inspiring and powerful soul capable of enveloping and transporting not only the gothic-post-punk fashionistas of black urban clothing styles, but also any lover of neo-conceptual art to unrepeatably magical and ancestral worlds.
Who says it's not possible to succeed by remaining true to yourself in an industry as competitive, changing and demanding as fashion?
Founded in the mid-1990s by designer Consuelo Castiglioni and her husband Gianni, Marni has achieved success by remaining true to its vision and identity, as concrete as recognizable. Conceptual and sophisticated. Austere and imaginative. Timeless and avant-garde, Marni - ignoring trends and despising red carpets - has established itself at the epicentre of the fashion landscape.
The Italian brand has become well known - and much appreciated - for its unconventional forms, its shocking prints, its ugly shoes and its fantasy jewellery. Gallerists, Architects and Fashion Creatives such as Mario Testino and Jamie Hawkesworth are among its dedicated fanbase.
With its particular European-inspired aesthetics, Marni has evolved over the years into today's aerodynamic style maintaining its peculiar balance of antagonistic concepts, impregnating modern classics with a peculiar bohemian inflection.
In 2013 Marni became part of OTB, an international group that brings together and promotes the development of alternative brands in the luxury sector such as Diesel and Maison Margiela. Shortly afterwards, the Castiglioni family handed over the creative direction of Marni to Francesco Risso - a former student of the Centre de Saint-Martins and Creative Director for more than ten years at Prada - who renewed and reinforced the brand codes with a spirit of irreverence and anti-conformism.
Inspired by sources as varied as the Dada art movement of the early 20th century, childhood memories and Japanese deconstructionists, Risso expanded the Italian brand's tailoring vocabulary by fusing Castiglioni's radiant colours and uncommon quality with elements of the art world and a total rejection of industry conventions.
Marni has recently stopped working with fur and on the subject of sustainability, Risso believes that as a company, they are taking steps to improve certain areas, particularly in regard to fabrics. They also have a charitable programme, Marni Market, that works with communities making artisanal products.
As one of the most copied brands in the market that seems to be off the radar, Marni has ambitiously expanded internationally by establishing stores in the best areas of cities such as Milan, London, Paris, Los Angeles and Tokyo.
Marni is a mystery box. Is a vortex of extreme influences and playfulness, of contradiction and dynamism. It’s many things and it’s the immense number of possibilities that makes it so exciting.
Although many disliked Risso's entry into Marni, it is visible that the brand's halo of success continues to work well: new boutiques continue to open and all online stores - including us, LABOUTIK - fill with the brand each season, from the commercial pieces to the most eccentric outfits.
Innovative and multifaceted, Marni is recognized all over the world and it has become a symbol of elegance and sophistication. Marni is a beloved lifestyle with an avant-garde spirit that holds a creative ongoing dialogue with the world of art.
Culture is no longer a top-down process: the new paradigm of Internet content platforms has changed the way we establish trends and communities.
Giant platforms seek profits by commodifying our attention and emotions into information gains while isolating and alienating users into addictive and compulsive habits around "buzzing" content.
In recent years, things like the culture of influencers and new perspectives in advertising, have made the online sphere increasingly linked to monetization which, in turn, has fostered a level of dishonesty and inauthenticity.
The good news? It is finally changing.
Imagine a social network driven entirely by aesthetics - no ads, no sponsored messages, no data sold to faceless conglomerates, and no censorship (yes, we are looking at you, Instagram). Sounds too good to be true in this post-capitalist society, doesn't it?
French net-artist Vector Newman has created NEW LIFE AI, a decentralised application that strictly focuses on innovative content. A place for creators to share the same preferences and values as so many others. Vector has anticipated this inevitable mutation and created what the world - despite blindly play the game of followers and likes - really wants, what the world really needs. It's Newman's way to put to good use what the Internet has to offer.
Supported by a network of Internet pioneers such as Johwska, Inés Alpha, Allan Berger and Virgin Mary - NEW LIFE AI works with a virtual currency called New Coin, which represents the value of creativity, curatorship and the influence and rewards of members who contribute to the community by uploading, voting and promoting the platform.
The more interaction you make, the more Newcoins you will have and the more features you will be able to access within the application, which is structured as an eight-level video game so that it is also entertaining. The amount of New Coins also influences your weight in the cultural ecosystem, which will be greater the more you have.
"We want to create the kind of value that is not tangible, not recognized by the economy. There is no boss, no executives. As the founder, I'm federating people but eventually, I want this project to be owned and driven by the community"
The Internet has become a global aesthetics laboratory where everyone can democratically participate in the definition of beauty. Creative disciplines such as fashion, arts and music are constantly being modified and altered, evolving, which is wonderful, as long as it is forward.
Born out of frustration at a society that seems to be recreating Idiocracy, New Life AI - with an aesthetic inspired by Blade Runner and cyborg culture - finally gathers in one place all those creatives who reject the Instagram system and are attracted to the same canon of beauty.
With the birth of NEW LIFE AI, art connects between users to establish consensus without limitations or creative prohibitions. This new reality, which breaks with established parameters that measure social influence, unites decentralized collectives worldwide that now have the capacity to project their ideas and shape a new digital culture in which quality is finally valued over quantity.
As the digital revolution continues to transform everything from politics to music, SELFRIDGES - in an attempt to challenge the way we interact and consume fashion - has established its first palpable contact with the future through its AW19 The New Order campaign.
Composed of some of the world's most innovative digital creatives, such as Cattytay, Jon Emmony, Ines Alpha, Filip Custic and Jamie-Maree Shipton, the groundbreaking proposal will set a new framework for the future of fashion, possibly revitalizing the entire industry.
Jon Emmony - previously Digital Art Director of Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio - is a London-based Digital Artist and Creative Director known for his mind-blowing surrealist 3D-scanned compositions. His film for the 110 years old institution - along with photographer Chris Sutton - follows the models’ exploration of individuality and character; both in a physical world and in the digital realm, where reality is augmented into a world of pure imagination.
One-fifth of the ‘New Order,’ Cattytay, is a major part of this industry revolution. Self-made and self-taught, Cattytay is a visionary in her field, she founded “DigiGal:” an online platform to connect with other female digital designers and increase the number of females in the male-dominated industry of 3-D design.
The collective is pushing the experimental sampling of fabrics into new and unseen territories, influencing a new phase of sustainable development within the fashion industry, while also creating a new wave of digital fashion content.
With zero impact on the environment, it’s a really neat solution to the industry’s overconsumption as when using 3D design, clothing can be sold without having even been created. This could be a huge contribution to reducing waste, as the majority of customers purchase clothes online rather than from a physical shop.
In today's society - and more importantly in tomorrow's - people express an increasing desire to transform themselves through automated social media filters, advanced make-up techniques or, for the more privileged, plastic surgery.
The exaggeration of that, fantasizing about how the complete aesthetic freedom of appearance would be in the future, is what characterizes the work of Inés Alpha, who - born and raised in Paris - is leading the 3D make-up revolution.
Will we soon be able to buy 3D make-up collections for download?
Filip Custic is not just an artist. He is an illusionist, a juggler who enjoys art, gravity and the laws of attraction. His mind, generous and open to the world, explores and plays with pataphysics, the science that studies irregularities, rarities and exceptions. The Spanish-Croatian multidisciplinary artist's work explores the significance to be human in our present and immediate future, as with the impact of digital technology on our conscience and sense of identity.
“The freedom of creation that the virtual world has is generating new questions for the human mind and, with that, comes evolution.”
Jamie-Maree Shipton is a London-based Stylist and Creative Director who has bridged both fashion and technology, incorporating digital artists to expand the realm of editorial. Jamie is the Creative Director of Selfridges’ menswear-focused Instagram account, The Yellow Drop.
Together, ‘the New Order’ and Selfridges are giving design, advertisement, and the shopping experience a look into the future. Designs can be tested and formulated on-screen without wasting fabric or product. Advertising is no longer limited to the props in a studio and department stores can still grow and advance in the new age of shopping (Selfridges will also unveil a new window display for passers-by to purchase, for the first time, digitally rendered products directly from the windows by scanning a QR code).
The project is a fascinating approach to how the Internet and post-millenarian technologies have transformed our ways of seeing and giving birth to a new culture, to how digital media, rather than traditional art forms, allow us to describe the contemporary experience. Those of us who feel that the virtual world moves faster than the physical will finally be able to feel relief from falling into the obsolete. But what is the best way to bring such innovations into society? And how will it influence retail and fashion?