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If It’s Not Wearable, It’s Not Fashion
We have the duty to bring beauty to the world, to make women feel better, to make women feel good, to uplift them.
Every time I think about modern, I always think about something awful and ugly, and all I am trying to do is think that modern can be beautiful.
Style is the only thing you can’t buy. It’s not in a shopping bag, a label, or a price tag. It’s something reflected from our soul to the outside world—an emotion.
Success is like a perfume, we can smell it but never drink it.
To be a fashion critic is easy because you just say, ‘I love it, I hate it,’ but life is more than love and hate.
I prefer whispering. I think it goes deeper and lasts longer.
François-Hubert Drouais (1727-1775) belonged to a dynasty of French painters that included his father, Hubert Drouais (1699-1767), and his son, Jean Germain (1763-1788). During his relatively short career, he established himself as one of the leading portrait painters of the age of Louis XV. He mastered the rules governing portrait painting in the ultra-refined society with graceful poses, sumptuous costumes, richly and decorated interiors. It became very fashionable in the Paris of the late 1750s and the 1760s to have one’s portrait painted by François-Hubert Drouais. His art epitomizes the rococo at the moment of its decline.
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Entitled Metal Couture fall 2021 ready-to-wear collection by Kei Ninomiya initially majored on stainless-steel spikes (great for nonnegotiable social distancing).
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It’s no secret that fashion loves leaders. Throughout the history of fashion, new trends have been born under the influence of an authority that has either power, or frenzied energy, or an unconditional influence on the minds of contemporaries. Perhaps that is why King Louis XIV of France (1638-1715) became one of the most influential trendsetters of the 17th century.
Louis XIV was nicknamed “God-given” because Queen Anne of Austria gave birth to him relatively late, at 37 years old, having previously lived in a marriage with Louis XIII for 20 years. The God-given-son sat on the throne for a surprisingly long time – 72 years – and managed to organize his rule so well that the country rose to an unprecedented height, and his time was called the “Great Age”.
Louis, although he became a king only five years old, was under the care of his mother. The mother solved all the cases until the moment when her son turned 14. And then Louis took the reins firmly in his own hands.
Winning wars, developing industry, and trade, France became one of the most powerful countries in Europe, both in politics and in culture. In 1661, Louis laid out his new residence – the Versailles, and here he lived most of his life. Inspired by his brilliant finance minister, Jean-Baptiste Colbert, the king put luxury literally on stream by opening state-owned enterprises for the production of clothing. And he raised fashion to the rank of law, creating his own royal etiquette, which became an example to follow in many European countries.
The French fashion system became an influential element of French politics and culture and Louis XIV naturally received all the rights of a trendsetter.
Louis XIV attended a military parade in 1663 in honor of the victory over the Turkish troops. It involved Croatian mounted regiments fighting the Turks. And the king saw that the horsemen wore bright neckerchiefs, which he liked very much. Louis immediately gave an order: “Make sure that tomorrow I have a dozen of the same handkerchiefs!”.
Croats ‘”ties” were squares of cloth with large and small tassels, the ends of which were tied with a rosette and hung on the chest. Of course, the king got what he wanted. From the king, the fashion for ties passed to other courtiers and then went for a walk in European courts. During this period, the name of the tie was born, which is now mostly accepted in Europe: “cravate”, from the word “croate” (Croat).
However, it would still be a mistake to attribute the birth of ties to Croatian horsemen or even to Louis – they came to us from ancient times. Scarves around the neck, so-called “focales”, were worn by Roman legionaries in the first century, so that iron armor did not rub the neck. Similar headscarves were also in Ancient Egypt, they have been known since time immemorial in China. In these countries, they emphasized a certain social status of a person.
Louis XIV used fashion not only to enrich the treasury and spread the cultural influence of France but also as a kind of carrot and stick. With its help, he deftly manipulated his courtiers. Some things were required to be worn by everyone without exception, otherwise, it was threatened with ex-communication from the royal court, some, on the contrary, could only be worn by the highest permission.
It was Louis who introduced the so-called justacorps or justaucorps, which is translated from French “exactly on the body”. It was a type of men’s caftan, without a collar, close to the waist, rather narrow at the top, but expanding to the floors, with short sleeves and pockets. From justacorps later, in the XVIII century, a frock coat grew, and from a frock coat in the XIX century – a tailcoat, which is still popular today, as well as a jacket, without which no man can do today. So the “great-grandfather” of the modern jacket was Louis XIV.
In the times of Louis XIV, justacorps could only be worn by the authorities, nobles. It was made of very expensive fabrics – brocade, velvet, decorated with precious stones. The king himself appointed who exactly was given the honor to wear justacorps. In all, there were no more than fifty of them at court. In 1660, the ” justacorps by privilege” appeared, intended only for the king and members of the royal family – blue on a red lining, with gold and silver embroidery.
And only after a few decades, this caftan gradually made its way into “mass production”, became available to other mortals and an obligatory element of the European court costume. And since the middle of the XVIII century, it, decorated with an epaulet on the right shoulder, turned into a part of a female hunting costume, which was worn with a wide-open skirt.
In addition to the costume itself, Louis XIV clearly regulated the colors of clothes and even the forms of decoration. Fashion was based on a class basis and had to maintain the social status of the subjects. Gold braid and expensive buttons were allowed only to the rich aristocrats, brocade clothes were worn only by the king, princes of the blood, and those to whom the king himself allowed such a favor.
In the French legislative acts of the 1660s, all the details are regulated: how many ribbons and how wide to sew on collars, hems of raincoats, on the sides of pantaloons, on the sleeves, armholes.
By this time, the “French brand” was so promoted that the whole of Europe came to a consensus: fashion novelties can only be obtained from France.
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Ballooning, colorful shapes (turquoise, orange, lilac, pink, red, yellow), vast volumes here, gigantic collars there; flower-power-y prints on 1970s flavored tailoring – all that is about Patou FW2021/2022 collection. Designer Guillaume Henry reinterpret French regional costume, the Provençal embroidery, the Parisan-girl suiting, and the playful, jaunty accessories. In addition collection is about 70 percent organic or recycled.
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In general, the last week of Haute Couture did not cause me any positive emotions. Most collections are boring: no skill in cutting and sewing, no new ideas, no interesting images at the art level.
The Viktor and Rolf Spring 2021 Couture Collection is no exception – nothing new. Aesthetically, the collection reminded me of the kitschy fashion of the 1830s, when young (and especially not young) ladies did not know how to emphasize their own personality, made stupid hairstyles, ugly hats and clung to bows, a lot of ridiculous bows.
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Ibrahim Kamara was born in Sierra Leone and spent his childhood in Gambia before moving to London at the age of 11. He later landed a position in Central Saint-Martins, where he studied fashion communication and promotion.
Ibrahim has radical and innovative approach to fashion. His work with photographers such as Ruth Ossai, Kristin-Lee Mulman, Campbell Addy, and Tim Walker can be described as “unapologetically black” and it’s filled with the energy and authenticity.
His style and collaboration soon caught the attention of the fashion industry, and after graduating, he began working with many well-known fashion houses, including Stella McCartney, Burberry, and Dior.
Ibrahim has also shared his artistic leadership with the likes of Beyonce, Samfa and Robin, and has worked with a number of publications such as British Vogue and iD.
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Matthew Stone is a London-based artist, whose notable projects include the cover work for FKA Twigs’ recent ‘Magdalene’ album. His style is a balance between “traditional brush strokes and digital manipulation,” signifying an interesting technique.
Matthew Stone’s latest work includes an editorial for Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster who debuted its Spring/Summer 2020 ‘MY MARS’ collection. The styles featured in this launch include the ‘Makina,’ the ‘Kalo,’ the ‘Circle T,’ the ‘Krow’ and the ‘Regina.’ Both Gentle Monster’s products, as well as the creative lookbook by Matthew Stone, betray “surreal and futuristic” vibes, facilitating an interesting aesthetic.
The whole composition brings to mind Hellenistic bas-reliefs, heroic images of the Renaissance. Drawing on the graphic possibilities offered by the latest technology, Matthew Stone breaks the genre divisions and removes the riddle of what the art of the future will look like. It makes painting, sculpture and photography no longer exist, as they are replaced by a spectacular multidisciplinary hybrid.