Saturday, February 28, 2009

Belgian Invasion- A Little History Lesson

One may or may not be surprised at the amount of influential Belgian fashion designers. Some of the most famous being known as the Antwerp Six, a group of influential avantgarde fashion designers graduating from Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts between 1980-1981. The Antwerp Six are:

-Walter Van Beirendonck
-Ann Demeulemeester
-Dries Van Noten
-Dirk Van Saene
-Dirk Bikkembergs
-Marina Yee

Walter Van Beirendonck:
A menswear designer, Van Beirendonck graduated in 1980 and is known for his bold taste. He mixes bright colors with graphic designs and a humorous spin.

Dirk Van Saene:
In March 1990 Dirk Van Saene organized his first show in Paris with his own collection. If imagery is used in his collections it is ironic. At his first Winter 1990-1991 show in Paris, his staff wore T-shirts bearing his name, misspelt in different ways. Picture After some quiet years he made a remarkable comeback with his collection “Black Sissi”. Picture People looking for some fixed, logical development in his collections will not find it. Dirk Van Saene is a man capable of change. Over the years he has also drawn inspiration from the fine arts, citing the work of Louise Bourgeois, Ellsworth Kelly and Diane Arbus as starting points for various collections. source source

Dirk Bikkembergs:
Dirk Bikkembergs has developed an energetic distinct style . His designs differ from all other fashion creators. In particular, his men's designs have an uncomplicated self-confidence.
The colours that Dirk Bikkembergs use are simple and strong: black, white and classic tones such as khaki, midnight blue and grey illuminated by bright, even fluorescent colours. Rough materials predominate and solid shapes are built up in leather, felt and thick, almost architectural, knitwear.
Many details in his collections suggest “heavy-duty” functionality. This impression is created by little details. For example, in the 1997-98 Winter collection a classically tailored suit, with an extreme sharp, modern cut, was worn with a tie knot which was replaced by a similarly shaped metal ring. source

Marina Yee:

Marina Yee pays a lot of attention to details, using rough materials combined with fine materials such as bright coloured satins. She wants her silhouettes to seem taller and smaller. The life of Nomads is an important source of inspiration for her work. In her own way Marina Yee builds images of strong modern women. source

and of course

Ann Demeulemeester: describes her as :

Perfectly cut, monochromatic pieces with a blunt edginess and a punky femininity are Belgian designer Ann Demeulemeester's hallmarks. Women with a strong sense of personal style, who don't pay much heed to passing trends, have been coming back for years to her brand of slouchy, layered, menswear-inspired modernity: T-shirt dresses, asymmetric vests, and leather outerwear (not to mention those stompin' black leather boots). Still, Demeulemeester does appreciate the play of opposites, which accounts for a certain romance that flows through her collections, chains and all.

Looks from her Spring 09 collection:

Dries Van Noten: describes him as:

Van Noten continually balances it with what Vogue refers to as his "poetic, ethnic-eclectic" aesthetic. His loyal following remains so thanks to his artful and dynamic prints, intricate embroidery, and the wearable nature of his designs. His signature looks include the floral tent dress, the iris-print blouse, and a chunky sweater layered over pants or a skirt in contrasting patterns.

His Spring 09 collection recieved rave reviews and was one of the most well-recieved collections of the season. His geometric patterns and thought-provoking accessories combined for one of the most wearable collections as well. Van Noten (along with Demeulemeester) also creates a popular line of shoes.

Often considered the 7th member of the Antwerp Six, and replaced by Marina Yee, is Martin Margiela. Margiela graduated in 1980 before working under Jean Paul Gaultier. One of the most mysterious figures in fashion, Margiela lets his clothes speak for him and has never had his picture taken nor granted an interview. Like Rei Kawakubo of Comme Des Garcons, Margiela is not known for the wearability of his clothes or even "beautiful" clothing, but rather the cuts and shapes. It has been said that the cuts and shapes that Margiela uses will be toned down and made mainstream the next year. He has become one of the most influental designers of his day and famously labels his different lines 0-23.

his Spring 09 line:

looks from past collections: (my personal favorite collection is spring 07)

Other well-known Belgian designers:

Raf Simmons (for Jil Sander):

Olivier Theyskens (for Nina Ricci):

Unexpected Inspiration

Completely inspired by Raf Simons' latest collection for Jil Sander, I was interested in what had inspired him. So, as I'm sure many others are doing, I set out to do some research on ceramist Pol Chambost, of whom Simons drew his inspiration from.

"Graduate from "l'Ecole des Arts Appliques de Paris" Pol Chambost chose ceramic and in 1925 began to design dinner sets and dishes for the Parisian department stores.

After WWII, his collaboration with Georges Jouve liberated his creativity, and he was an admirable interpreter of free forms. He worked also in Vallauris with Roger Capron for the conception and colors of firing glazing.

In 1956 he designed its bamboo line, a whole set of ceramic dishes and vases imitating bamboo. He gave up his complex forms and headed toward very pure and simple designs.

In 1965, at 59 he settled in Perigord and worked on his research about enamel. There he made his famous enameled eggs.

The rating of this artist climbs regularly." source

From seeing these photos, it is easy to see that Simons was not speaking lightly in saying that he was inspired by Chambost. He was able to take this identifiable work of art and make it into identifiable works of art as clothing. He is proving to be a true artist and seems to have the the fashion world in awe.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Why I almost died

Why I almost died:

Reason #1:
Trying on this Givenchy dress last week at South Coast (Alena almost died from the Zac Posen she tried on). For some reason I forgot to look at the price tag, but it wouldn't have changed anything... It was so perfect. It fit me perfectly, and was so perfectly ruffle-y and classic at the same time. Sigh...

Others I tried on, including a Chloe scallop skirt (so amazing) and a Marc by Marc Jacobs exposed zipper party dress

Reason #2:
Raf Simmons latest Jil Sander collection. Yeah.


Reason #3
some key looks from some key shows that I will hopefully share tomorrow. Favorites so far: Everything Rodarte, Alexander Wang, the end dresses at Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, Erdem, the tights at Doo.Ri, Calvin Klein, and more.
(first to last: Rodarte, Proenza Schouler, Christopher Kane, Alexander Wang, Doo.Ri)

Reason #4 updated their iPod application and now I get EVERY SINGLE show from EVERY season since 2001. I've been having fun reminiscing at the old Pheobe Philo Chloe days..

Reason #5
I need to find a way to get the new Lula... and its very possible I won't :(


Oh and Reason #6
freaking CHRISTIAN LOUBOUTIN was at South Coast Plaza, a high end mall about 30-45 minutes, depending on traffic, away from my house signing shoes and I did not get to go but Jessica did and got her Influence book signed and got TO MEET HIM AND TAKE PICTURES WITH HIM. I hate my life. not really but my life would be much better if I had gotten to meet Christian Louboutin

OH and Reason #7

Penelope Cruz. At the Academy Awards. In VINTAGE PIERRE BALAIN. from the 1950's. that she saw 8 years ago and no one had bought it and it magically fit her. Oh to be Penelope Cruz. (by the way, as I am an old movie obsessive, and I have poured over my Academy Award book, I can honestly say that this was the best show in a LONG time! The opening number, Ben Stiller's Jaquin Pheonix, the Pineapple Express video, the "musicals are back" -I'm a theatre geek- at least until high school musical showed up, what the hell? haha And how they presented the acting awards! Amazing! Oh and Heath Ledger's family AND the Paul Newman tribute video, beautiful)

Before I shut up... I actually DID almost die last week. Well kind of. I got into an accident. It was COMPLETELY my fault as I am an idiot and wasn't paying attention for a minute, but no one was hurt, except for the cars. Mine is being fixed (just the front bumper) so I won't get in back for about 2 weeks. :(

Sorry it has taken me so long to post! Hope everyone has a great weekend!