Dior© Copyright 2019
Maria Grazia Chiuri has always had her heart set on establishing creative exchanges with African cultures. With this collection, she sought to dialogue with the real and imagined landscape of Morocco, at the crossroads of the Mediterranean, Europe and Africa, as a dream destination for artists, poets, writers and eternal adventurers.
Showing the 2020 Cruise collection in Marrakesh represents a way of being guided by the memory of the House and Christian Dior’s first successor, Yves Saint Laurent, a native of Oran who was fascinated by Morocco. This show also illustrates the concept of a meeting of ideas, a “common ground” like the one feminist philosopher Naomi Zack describes, in which, despite all differences, exchanges among women can materialize through reflection and action.
This collection is a world map connecting images and ambiances that, on this side of the Mediterranean, have shaped our visual culture. Its original inspiration – and veritable emblem – is Wax print fabric. The anthropologist Anne Grosfilley explores its complex origins and evolution. The incredible story of this fabric unfolds like a family tree, a journey that winds its way from Europe and Asia, extending into Africa. Wax print fabric celebrates and federates diversity; it is the fabric of a cultural melting pot.
Maria Grazia Chiuri collaborated with the Uniwax factory and studio (in Ivory Coast) to reinterpret Dior codes by integrating them into the weave of the fabric for a special edition. Revisited in Wax, new toiles de Jouy come to life, recasting various landscapes or reinventing tarot motifs. The Bar suit, like all the other pieces, exalts the power of fashion as an inclusive, transnational language.
The Dior archives attest to this fascination, in Marc Bohan’s Jungle silhouette or a scarf printed with an African lion that gave life to a savannah bestiary. Landscapes that inspired authors such as Albert Camus, Paul Bowles, Alberto Moravia and Bernardo Bertolucci unfurl across warp prints, jacquards and fils coupés. At the crossroads of culture and emotion, Maria Grazia Chiuri underscores the power of Nature, an evocation punctuated with ecru silk, silk gauze, and shantung that, in shades of sand, indigo or burned red ocher, enhance coats and suits, pleated skirts and trousers.
Through its cultural dialogues, the Cruise collection offers a condensation of diverse realities and temporalities. Fashion itself is a unique fabric inspired by countless places and times that gives rise to a new vision. Through this magical act, Maria Grazia Chiuri projects a collective memory, a common territory that is open to every kind of possibility.
Maria Grazia Chiuri imagined this collection like a map whose topography is filled with sentiments revealed through traditions, places, cultures and savoir-faire, recalling how techniques, gestures and images belong to a collective heritage. This cartography is enriched and animated by various creative collaborations that nourish Maria Grazia Chiuri’s project and enhance Dior’s codes like a multilingual artistic dialogue.
The collaboration with Uniwax was indispensable for bringing to life fabrics infused with the creative imprint of both Dior and Africa. Founded in Abidjan, Uniwax is one of the last remaining factories producing Wax fabrics through mechanized artisanal techniques. Uniwax protects African creativity and cultural heritage. Today, it is one of the rare companies to support and produce African fashions. In keeping with tradition, the edging of fabrics produced for Dior bear the inscription of their origin: Édition Spéciale Christian Dior – Uniwax.
Pathé Ouédraogo – aka Pathé’O – is one of Africa’s leading designers. Through his work, he supports fashion that is entirely Made in Africa. His pride in his roots, combined with Nelson Mandela’s wish to embody a strong and progressive African identity, gave rise to a kinship between his brand and the late president of South Africa. His emblematic shirts in bright colors and bold prints have become symbolic of the African continent and its cultural diversity. For this collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri invited the designer to create a special shirt. Through this exclusive piece, Pathé’O pays tribute to Nelson Mandela.
Maria Grazia Chiuri also wished to collaborate with Grace Wales Bonner and Mickalene Thomas, to reinterpret through their combined creative vision an icon of the New Look, the Bar jacket and a skirt. Stephen Jones, Dior’s milliner, also dreamed up an array of headpieces.
The British-Jamaican designer Grace Wales Bonner was born in London and graduated from Central Saint Martins. In 2016, she won the LVMH Prize. Her work explores questions of personal identity through the construction of tailoring and riffs on masculine and feminine codes. African cultures are often explored in her designs: her graduate collection was entitled Afrique. In 2019, she curated the exhibition Grace Wales Bonner: A Time For New Dreams at the Serpentine Gallery in London, a show that examined ritual, mysticism and magic across the Black Atlantic.
Mickalene Thomas, the African-American artist, pays tribute through her work to pluralistic femininity and diversity, drawing inspiration primarily from her mother, who was a model in the 1970s. Mickalene Thomas refers to the great European masters, such as Ingres and Manet, and creates colorful collages that question social norms and preconceived definitions of female beauty. Mickalene Thomas also collaborated with the House of Dior on the 2018 edition of Dior Lady Art.
Like an ode to travel, the Wax headbands and bandanas designed by Dior’s milliner Stephen Jones in collaboration with the headwear designer Martine Henry topped silhouettes in the 2020 Cruise collection. Their multitude of colors and motifs intermingled with creations by Maria Grazia Chiuri.
The researcher and anthropologist Anne Grosfilley (a specialist in African textiles and fashions) is the world authority on Wax fabrics. In her book African Wax Print Textiles, she refutes simplistic interpretations. Her book presents fabrics like a family tree: her research reveals the multiple origins and constant evolution of Wax, the result of a long history between Europe, Asia and Africa. Above all, Wax fabric represents a cultural melting pot.
Wax is a highly complex print, the result of a painstaking process that combines symbols, technicality and creativity. Around twenty transformative steps are required to achieve the final result. Wax is a true means of communication. The women of Togo were the first to draw on their commercial instincts by choosing to give names to different motifs, creating a language that spread with the distribution of the fabrics and which speaks to different cultures. The complexity of their messages creates a unique mix of ancient symbols and nods to contemporary history: alphabetic characters, stylized florals and animals mix with illustrations of modern-day objects such as cars, fans, light bulbs or phones.
With this collection, Maria Grazia Chiuri wanted to show her commitment to highlighting a textile manufacturer based in Africa, Uniwax, which perpetuates while continually renewing the extraordinary savoir-faire that makes Wax an extremely precious, totally unique and culturally rich fabric.
For the scenography, Maria Grazia Chiuri collaborated with Sumano, an association that aims to revive the traditional women’s crafts of Moroccan tribes, notably painting on pottery, the art of weaving and vegetal dyeing. Its goal is to preserve and promote ancestral practices by creating more visibility around these original pieces. The name Sumano is a tribute to the first names of three women artisans (SUzanne, MAnuela and NOuky), the grandmothers of the association’s founders.
Sumano is a laboratory for creative exchanges where tradition meets contemporary techniques, a source of new savoir-faire. Clay is seen as an expressive and creative medium, opening up infinite possibilities. For the show’s decor, Sumano produced both pottery and fabrics. This collaboration is composed of painted ceramic plates and cushions, as well as a coat that has been woven and painted by hand.
Thu, May 2 2019 » Fashion Blog
Perceptions shift… In the Louvre’s Cour Carrée another emblematic institution rises for a finite, illusory moment. In this museal collaboration, Louis Vuitton converges on the most fascinating of territories: culture. Culture: what we see, what we accept, what we learn. What’s left to us….
Beaubourg is the symbol of a certain culture of fashion, when it takes a stand and expresses itself with a passion. Nicolas Ghesquière gained stature in an atmosphere of revival. And the Centre Pompidou, a fabulous example of generational architecture, represents the most captivating dialogue between a surprising construction and a historic Parisian neighbourhood. Paying homage to the clash of old and now is the very principle of a collection in which debate is deliberately lively, like a reverberation of the museum’s inauguration, in 1977.
The Fall-Winter 2019 collection speaks to a vision of fashion, when one is sure of one’s potential and knows with conviction that this is the path to follow. When everything one discovers in the enthusiasm of youth becomes the foundation of stylistic certainty. This collection is an invitation to cultural references. “Refinery” sweaters and “Carcass” dresses. The Monogram and the Damier oscillate on accessories in equal time.
A graphic juxtaposition that surfaces on the new “Monogram LV Pop” and the beginnings of the “The LV Arch”, a bag as classic as it is knowledgeable. A nod to the monumental clock that counted down four hundred million seconds to the third millennium. The elusive state of being known as the Parisian.
Paris: a centrifuge. Inside/outside silhouettes, the very legitimacy of a starry-eyed young man in Paris, what he’s made of and what he will become. What there is to be seen, sincerely. Just as the the Centre Pompidou was created, with all the functional elements on the outside, the better to dress the inside. The incredible feat of the Centre Pompidou that could also apply to fashion is the ID Code of fluidity, an architect’s glossary that’s both formal and fanciful. Green is water, blue is air, yellow is electricity. Red is human. At Beaubourg, as in fashion, everything’s a matter of flow. Power is identified through the gesture.
Nicolas Ghesquière: “The Centre Pompidou, Beaubourg, Les Halles, Place des Innocents: A fascinating incubator of a neighborhood. An incredible melange, converging in the epicenter. The cliques, the styles, the life… I love that imprvession of a sartorial melting pot. Today, I’ve transposed it at Louis Vuitton: a House of multiple expressions..”
“The Centre Pompidou is a prototype. It’s an artisanal piece. People may laugh, but it’s all handmade! Industrial production starts with a craftsman’s gesture. The great advantage you have when you create an industrial product is that, with the artisanal piece you make, you have the time and the opportunity to make it and remake it time and again. Which is to say that the circularity of the creative process, which means conceiving of something, producing it, re-conceiving it, re-producing it and starting over again, the circularity of the culture of doing, the material, of action… This mix feeds the culture of conceptions. Which has always been the human spirit of creative work.”
Renzo Piano, architect of the Centre Pompidou.
“It took shape, on paper, with places dedicated to all, of all ages and origins, a cross between the British Museum and Times Square. Between culture and the everyday. In a way, that’s what a space for living is. We were very worried at the beginning because I was afraid the building would be too cold and we wanted to create a cultural machine that would be, by turns, culture and machine, something that could evolve. We had five floors, each the size of two football pitches. So the idea was to adapt to the evolution of everyday life.”
Richard Rogers, architect of the Centre Pompidou.
Louis Vuitton thanks Richard Rogers and Renzo Piano, architects of the Centre Pompidou, as well as Serge Lasvignes, President of the Centre Pompidou.
Thu, March 7 2019 » Fashion Blog
Chanel© Copyright 2019
Peaks as far as the eye can see, a street and snow-topped chalets. This season, the Grand Palais is transformed into a peaceful mountain village to welcome the CHANEL Fall-Winter 2019/20 Ready-to-Wear collection. A metamorphosis imagined by Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard, in the atmosphere of a beautiful winter’s day, in the grand nave, a place so dear to the House.
Wearing brogans enhanced with a platform sole, protected beneath tweed fedoras, the elegant mountain dwellers seize the spirit of romantic dandies as they walk through the powdery snow. Created by Karl Lagerfeld and Virginie Viard, the silhouettes of the collection are warmed by a wardrobe marked with masculine/feminine accents, a major stamp of the CHANEL style. A palette of winter white, beige, black and navy blue is punctuated with flashes of purple, fuchsia, brick and emerald green.
With houndstooth, tartan and big check motifs, a dusting of snowflakes, in chevrons or imitating astrakhan, top stitched and quilted, tweed displays its masculinity on suits with wide-cut trousers worn high at the waist, coupled with great overcoats. Fastened with a high collar or a shawl collar and mini cape, enhanced with a trompe-l’œil bolero or a faux fur lapel, sometimes embellished with martingales, straight or double-breasted, trapeze or belted, maxi pockets slit or buttoned and folded down, the coats are different every time.
The tweed jackets are trimmed with a thick wool braid, woven or left almost raw. Others reveal a flared collar and a trompe-l’œil bolero. The big soft knit pullovers alternate with sweaters embroidered with crystals and cardigans with mountain motifs. Ski outfits are mixed with urban wear: a down jacket is sported with wide-cut trousers in big check tweed, while a zip-up ski-suit comes in tri-colour tweed.
Braided or adorned with a patch pocket to slip in a ski-pass, little tweed jackets are combined with a pencil skirt, and an outfit of over-jacket and wide-cut trousers in leather. Knitted scarves in embroidered chiffon worn against bare skin, big blouses with jabots, sautoir necklaces of chains and glass beads, plastron necklaces and white pearl earrings … there’s a great softness about the collection.
The desire for sophisticated comfort emanates from the silhouettes. A very feminine delicacy escapes from these maxi enveloping volumes. It flows over second skin tops, skirts and dresses in white chiffon printed with mini skiers and CC chairlifts, with scalloped collars and flounces that float to the rhythm of the body’s movements.
Romanticism abounds with the great capes in wool, the dresses with Claudine collars and tiers of rounded panels, the skirts in snowy guipure lace and the white tuxedos in duchess satin. Finally, the “snow-ball” skirts and dresses in chiffon and feathers with the bust embroidered with snowflakes in white and gold vinyl, distil the modernity, youth and dash of humour that characterise the CHANEL woman.
The bags match the tones of a season in the mountains: in black or white smooth quilted leather, supple in quilted tweed with a double C clasp interlaced with leather, a flap in faux fur or a camera case in braided shearling. Removable purses are attached to small bags with shoulder straps. Hip bags in faux fur or leather embroidered with glossy camellias alternate with gondola lift minaudières in rhinestoned resin.
The emblematic bags of the House joyfully slalom between the chalet spirit for the CHANEL’s GABRIELLE bag in leather and fluffy checked tweed, a frosted inspiration for the 11.12 embroidered with sequins, and its all schuss energy for the 2.55 in neon orange quilted leather.
Eternal and constantly renewed, identifiable and yet different every time, the allure of CHANEL illuminates winter with its daring and dazzling freshness.
Thu, March 7 2019 » Fashion Blog
A Maison is defined by values, prior than from an aesthetic. The grace of Couture is a real human touch that just like an imprint leaves a sign on everything. It is the Valentino sign, that beyond the Atelier, encounters the street and defines a new code.
Today poetry is in the streets. It appears suddenly when necessary, on walls and it asks for it to be read. An antique art, deeply human and real, changes its contest but not its meaning. It opens and it combines. It becomes an instrument for all.
A gesture of love where Couture and poetry come together, maintaining reality as a horizon. Four contemporary poets – Greta Bellamacina, Mustafa The Poet, Yrsa Daley-Ward, Robert Montgomery – entrust their beliefs on love in a small publication: Valentino ON LOVE.
Jun Takahashi from Undercover, looks to love as well, creating collages, overlapping’s and iconographic puns that in their way act as poems: sharp and immediate.
Pierpaolo Piccioli merges the graphics and the verses with a delicate spirit of synthesis. He embraces the layering of the contents within the short and essential silhouettes, engaging words and prints, intarsias and nuances, matter and jacquards in a composite harmony.
He breaks black with color, uncovers legs to place them on high heels. He defines a code where the lyricism of Couture changes it context but not its meaning. It opens, and it includes.
Love is the bond that connects all. The most simple and most complex of gestures encourages to yield its intricacy in the pureness of a feeling, letting the emotion vibrate spontaneously.
The signs merge, resulting ethereal: they let themselves come upon, impalpable, just as sprouts ready to blossom in everyone’s imaginary, blooming in notions that free fantasies and emotions.
Thu, March 7 2019 » Fashion Blog
Silhouette. Abstraction. Resolution through hybridization. Chitose Abe takes familiar utilitarian clothing forms, super-scaling them to the point of abstraction, then re-scaling them to fit the body by adding elements from other forms to make a new hybrid re-mix.
A giant sized trench coat constrained through the addition of a down jacket piece that makes a new, elegant, feminine shape, with couture-like volume and sensuality.
A conventionally sized sweater used as the outer layer, re-shapes an over-sized men’s coat, with an inverted play on a more familiar approach to layering.
An over-sized men’s denim jacket is resolved and re-sized with pleating to make a new womanly hourglass shape that accentuates the waist. with the surplus fabric of the arms re-appropriated into dramatic cuffs.
Celebrating the master of the abstract, Jackson Pollock, sacai-style, with prints inspired not by his canvases but by the paint left behind on his studio floor.
Thu, March 7 2019 » Fashion Blog
Thu, March 7 2019 » Fashion Blog
This woman knows exactly who she is. She’s travelled all over the world, bringing back images, colours and cultures that have permeated her personality. She could be a reporter, like photographer Marie-Laure de Decker, the icon so dear to Isabel who has captured the reality and beauty of our world for 50 years.
Fed by military inspiration and codes adopted from a masculine wardrobe, celebrates, her adventurer style celebrates cultures, comfort and craft: printed and quilted cotton twills, Indonesian ikats, earthy colours, all-terrain knits, sarong-style draped leather skirts, tie-dye camouflage prints…
The thigh-high boots toy with volumes, the Berber-inspired silver jewellery is worn en masse, the Australian shearling and moleskin down jacket warm up the look, cinched with wide belts in leather and metal. A collection that celebrates freedom, self-confidence and adventure.
Thu, March 7 2019 » Fashion Blog
Vivienne Westwood© Copyright 2019
It is a pleasure to design and I’m fortunate and lucky to work in fashion. In this collection we have reduced the product to its essence. To me and many more, what’s truly sustainable is to repurpose what already exists, materials which lie dormant, also making use of by-products which would normally be thrown away.
Another part which I want to extend is working with Africa and for now, we got some hand-painted fabric made in Burkina Faso, working with the United Nations; and I remembered the skills of the village I grew up in, making house slippers and I used my off-cuts to make these slippers to accompany the collection.
What’s most liberating to me is using fabrics I was collecting, sitting on my treasure for more than 30 years because I loved them and I always thought one day I’ll use them. I’m cooking my leftovers, it’s just a great feeling. The world is constipated, the system needs space, you always need to make room. We over produce, we over consume, we overdo everything. We need space.
We have done a small collection which I find more than eloquent because there is going to be another one in 6 months and one should look forward to that. This is the 7th collection I have done as Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood and I called it that because it was a difficult one – I reached the 7 season hurdle: transfiguration.
Clothes make us feel better, fashion is a tonic, something which refreshes our individuality. There is a sacred value in making beauty. To finish this all off I would like to quote Vivienne and say that, ‘fashion is about eventually being naked.’
Thu, March 7 2019 » Fashion Blog
‘Défilé’ Co-ed Collection
Degeneration is a decadent process through which an entity is reduced to its purest core. At Maison Margiela, collections are composed through a pyramidical structure where ideas developed in the Artisanal ateliers filter into consolidated form. For the Autumn/Winter 2019 Défilé co-ed collection, creative director John Galliano induces the digital decadence identified in the recent Artisanal show and proposes a purified sense of restraint. From one collection to the other, this image of degeneration is demonstrated through the reduction of garments themselves.
The overstimulation created by a computer-generated culture of artifice alters reality and confuses fabrication for truth. With cyclical centennial timing, a new era of decadence sets in: excess inevitably followed by decay. Oversaturated by impressions, the millennial generations native to life in cyberspace begin to search for authenticity. Through the evolved language established at Maison Margiela, John Galliano employs decadent cutting to reduce familiar garments to their most authentic form – their core, their silhouette, their proportion – retaining only the memory of what once was.
Appropriating the inappropriate, traditional wardrobe staples fragmentise and migrate to new areas of the body. A flannel coat transforms into a dress, an equestrian trouser mutates into a bustier with a skirt, and a faux leather trench coat morphs into shorts with decortiqué hems. Trousers cut open and flattened become skirts, dresses or capes, their voids filled in with fabric. Flat cutting appears in jackets and dresses brought to life in strategic cuts from which three- dimensional shapes are raised and back-panelled in contrasting lining.
Through degeneration, conventionally gender-specific garments become truly genderless, heralding the combinaison: a top and bottom in one. Excess rears its head in the decadent symbol of pink flamingos, illustrated in the flamingo sequence print fabricated entirely from computerised textures and forms. Exercised in the juxtaposing panels of black or grey outerwear, its sensory overload highlights the contrast between overflow and degeneration. Through this inverted excess, Maison Margiela proposes a new idea of purity.
The idea of degenerating garments down to their purest core embraces the use of humble fabrics from the classic men’s wardrobe. Here, herringbone, flannel, equestrian and cavalry twills, Harris tweed, felt and coats created in collaboration with Mackintosh represent a feeling of authenticity. Wadding overlaid with chiffon, in outerwear evoking Maison Margiela’s Glam Slam bag, links to the idea of nomadic glamour. The honest character of these materials is contrasted by the over-satiation of a flamingo sequence motif made up of pink flamingos and artificial textures and structures, woven in jacquard as well as printed on nylon. Echoing a sense of excess, embroideries composed of beads, pearls and sequins adorn lace, a glamorous element reflected in plume trims. Organza features in overlay on chunky knitwear and cotton poplin shirting. Next to elements of chiffon, duchesse and tulle, it cements the Maison Margiela codes of unconscious glamour and reverse dressing.
The decadent cutting first proposed in the Spring/Summer 2019 Artisanal collection informs techniques. As classic garments are deconstructed, their components migrate on the body: a trouser becomes a cape, a coat morphs into a short, another coat transforms into a halter-neck dress. Employing the Maison Margiela code of shadow play, one garment is evoked within another through stitching or the placement of components associated with other parts of the body. In flat-cut jackets and skirts, strategic cuts form three-dimensional shapes raised and back-panelled in contrasting lining. Capitonnage jackets – one bonded to bias-cut chiffon – bring to mind Maison Margiela’s signature Glam Slam bag. Reflecting the artisanal vocabulary established by John Galliano at the house, techniques such as decortiqué, unconscious glamour, reverse dressing, dressing in haste, anonymity of the lining, nomadic cutting and the memory of garments are intrinsic parts of the collection’s genetics. Keeping in line with the gender-nonconformist philosophy of the house, every look was fitted without attention to gender.
The palette sees a contrast between excess and degeneration. A multi-coloured sequence motif features bright pink flamingos among a sea of oversaturated hues. It is juxtaposed by the authenticity and purity of blacks, greys and ivory.
Jewellery draws on the futuristic language of cyberspace in silver-plated palladium display rings and cuffs worn on gloves featuring the flamingo sequence motif. Echoing those codes, necklaces and ear cuffs constructed in the image of flattened bicycle chains also draw on the image of inverse excess. Detached collars in flamingo sequence printed neoprene with clear material detailing appear inverted. Mary Janes draw on the unnerving idea of magnified doll shoes introduced in the Artisanal collection, and appear in rubber, leather and patent leather. The Louis 22, a square- toe heeled boot in flamingo sequence print satin, nods at the shoes of Louis XIV and further takes its name from Maison Margiela’s numeric code for shoes. Finally, a round-toe heeled boot features in leather. Alongside the Glam Slam and the NDN, the collection launches a new take on the existing 5AC bag in a fabric that reacts to UV rays and changes colour accordingly.
Wed, March 6 2019 » Fashion Blog
Wed, March 6 2019 » Fashion Blog