style brick road

Monday, 20 October 2014

Coolness(T)

There have been several moments when I absolutely hated the fact I was part of social media, some including personal and others including very non-personal moments, but the moment when I realise how great that virtual galaxy really helps and means to me are much more long-lasting. One of those appeared recently, while a past school-mate shared a photo of the project she started. To be honest, I always knew she was into design and fashion (hence her chic school styles), but has never really realised she was into creating fashion. How clueless I were...

I get quite frustrated when I try to explain how this project went on (which is definitely not a good thing for an aspiring writer), just because it is an exhibition within a platform within a project within an association. Quite boring, and very Croatian.
So, basically Croatian Designer's Association (HDD) has launched a platform named Design Tourism back in 2012, to encourage the most lucrative sector in Croatia (hello, sea!) and team up interesting design ideas to freshen things up a bit. Interestingly, this year's inspiration came from the fact that Sun and sea are the most dominant touristic factors, so they asked product designers to come up with a 'work in progress' project that is either a creative and solution for an existing problem or a new product on its own, inspired by the Sun.

So, inspired by the (over)exposure to the sun and all its effects, Luka Šola, a Vienna-based Fine Arts student (and that high-school colleague of mine), teamed up with a fellow Viennese-Croat Matea Ban into a duo named SoBa to develop a both visually stunning and useful product of the future. Probably every person that has been going to the seaside remembers the fridge-bags that were a must-have on its way to the beach - to have a fresh bottle of water or a cooled out apple/watermelon/insert a fruit, or maybe just so the chocolate doesn't melt. Everyone must have experienced the moment when your lip-balm melted because it was exposed to the sun. Well, those kind of situations transcribed themselves into a truly original idea of elevating that vanished piece of 'accessory' and creating a true fashion statement. 

With a vibe of a Chanel-backpack and those hand-woven Etsy bracelets, yet with a true utility factor in mind, they created Coolness(T), a bag that acts like an insulation for anything you can fit in it. Cold stays cold, and hot stays hot - the three layers (including a double-sided aluminium foil as the interchangeable middle factor) make sure the content doesn't change it's temperature or consistency. Yes, all this tech-y convo makes you think of something very basic looking - just because it's useful. Well, the girls didn't stop after creating something useful, but played around with its design, embracing the utility side of it, yet playing against it in the colourful weaving and a tiny buoy that is once again both useful and an animated touch. It's also important to mention that the bag is very resistant and waterproof due to its plastic textile, and good in size. The images for this proto-product also have my high-school written all over it, as Luka was the photographer and her (and mine!) colleague Kristina Vrdoljak quite professionally modelled through this stellar set of shots that showcased the abilities of the Coolness(T) bag (which is also intelligently named, so kudos for the branding bit as well) to the fullest.

In the end, it's important to say this product is still in the 'final prototype' phase, yet I definitely expect of SoBa to develop it fully. It would be a true waste not to complete such an interesting idea and create a cool fashion souvenir of the Croatian coast that would be worn around to world. Good luck girls!! PS. If you are interested in these or have any kind of enquiries, you can find their contact sat Coolness(T) project page & their facebook page.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Just Press Play

Once again, I am remembering the words of the old-school editors saying 'London was all about bringing the elite to the underground' - both literally and figuratively speaking. And Fyodor Golan brought back a little bit of that old London to Spring/Summer 2015.

Graffitis in a semi-dark passage were the way to Waterloo Vaults, a venue filled with good energy but not with enough air (I was dripping sweat after the third look came out). For SS15 this British-based duo was inspired by the digital era and collaborated with Microsoft as a digital hero of theirs (this is their second time around) on creating a reversed pyramid in the middle of the room - projecting clouds and an instant moving image of the models walking on the runway (check the video out to get the idea). Clothes wise - the new romantics 2.0 vibe took over the entire look: neon colours joined with florals and pastels, reinventing the reinvention of the rave scene, hyper-modern textiles mixed with interesting furs. Crinoline-like silhouette really gave another dimension - throwing a bit of Marie Antoinette in the bunch, yet with the super-shoe (it looks like it has magical powers - besides looking awesome) it didn't look retro at all. It just looked like bunch of nu-rave youngsters whose parents are into classical music and going to galleries around Kensington. Like Made in Chelsea meets Skins, in TV-show language.

Whoever has been passing by this blog for quite some time now (3rd birthday coming up soon!) knows I'm a sucker for maximalism - a lot of stuff at the same place, all big, bold and out-there. That's exactly why I responded so positively to this collection that ended up with me wishing I had a penny to spare and buy myself one of their fur jackets or a holographic twinset (shown in both a male and female version, already worn by poppy diva Rita Ora). In the lack of pennies, I put together an outfit myself - taking inspiration from the textiles and silhouettes, but most importantly - the spirit of this collection which showed just how much Fyodor Podgorny & Golan Frydman know about textiles, and are not afraid to show that knowledge.

Viva la technology!
Thankies for the outfit photos go to my new UK-Cro-friend Roza Zanini
I'm wearing a Starstyling t-shirt, adidas Originals x Opening Ceremony faux fur jacket, Toywatch watch, Nike trainers, Cheap Monday jeans, Replay Vintage sunglasses and ebay hair scrunchie

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Transparency International

I believe every person that has a love for clothes/shoes/accessories and 'fashion' in general (in terms of personal dressing) also has that one piece of clothing/pair of shoes/accessory that they didn't get when they could.

Something of that kind has happened to me, and this is probably the first time I'm 'saying it out loud'. My one that got away is a black transparent organza parka by Link by Ogi Antunac and Zoran Mrvoš, from their SS13 collection  I can still remember the moment I saw it hanging on the rack in the studio of ELLE Croatia, waiting for the beautiful Tamara (today Tabitha) Pernar to put it on and let the genius Bruna Kazinoti shoot her. I kept touching the fine material, and constantly had to remind myself 'it's too small'. Another thing that stopped me from going in a bit deeper and finding out more about it was the fact that it was womenswear. There was a problem with grasping the fact that clothes are made for people to wear, not their genitalia. Still, something did stop me from getting my hands on it (besides those few hours in the studio). But as with everything in life, I got a second chance. And a good one indeed. This past April was the time when the talented Sonja Lamut showed her Spring/Summer 2014 collection at Cro-a-porter, was my second chance. This action-packed show served her best work to date and made me wish I was a size 2, just so I could get into those wonderful outerwear right off the runway. Thankfully, Sonja is a friend so she said yes to making me a custom-made - wait for it - transparent topcoat. It was completely different in spirit and style than the one by Ogi and Zoran, yet it somehow had a feeling of the first one. What a fantastic feeling.

Transparency has since (finally) entered my life, and as a proper tumblr geek, I have since been scrapbooking all of my favourite see-through fashion moments. Back in 1968 when Barbra Streisand picked up her best-actress Oscar in a Arnold Scassi twinset it was the beginning of naked dressing. Although Marilyn Monroe's see-my-everything dresses were literally her performance uniforms, but Barbra truly showed a middle finger to everyone with this black,white and sparkly fashion statement. A skip, hop and we're in the 90's, when nipples were cool and wearing a bra was not. Naomi Campbell pulled out her thin knit dress, while Kate Moss went all-on-display in a iridescent slip, that was brought back to life with the last H&M Studio collection. Few years later, more accurately in 1998, Rose McGowan wore a dab more than nothing to the MTV Movie Awards. Literally. Nothing. She was there with her then-boyfriend Marilyn Manson (who wore a multi-coloured cheetah suite to contrast his monochromatic face) and mooned everyone. A bit more sophisticated (yet it's hard to define sophisticated while you're focusing on one's exposed nipples) twist was Rihanna's Adam Selman outfit she wore to pick up her Fashion Icon award at this year's CFDA awards. That head-to-toe fabulous coordination reminded me of the awards back in the 60's and 70's when Cher was wearing Bob Mackey and costume designers were dressing the actresses.

Runway-wise, there were many shows that saw through their textiles - Miucca Prada for Miu Miu's AW14 and the see-through heeled wellies, and Italo Zuccheli's Calvin Klein's SS15 work has pushed the naked PVC to the limits of combining those textiles with flesh-coloured ones, and focusing on a muscular silhouette of the 90's male models, yet not in that SEXSEXSEX Versace way. For Zuccheli, it was more about the shapes, waists and shoulders, rather than being all about the six packs. A whole group of young menswear designers has embraced the translucency as the new thing for SS15 - Angelos-Frentzos combined the flowy material with the shapes of classic American sportswear into an almost haunting scheme of fashionable giants, while Jean Phillip captured the sporty factor in a more literal and layered way with pumping red mesh going all in. Berlin's menswear scene was also powerful on the mesh front - Franziska Michael had boxy overgarments over the feminine printed basics, while Julian Zigleri and Vektor by Kristina Puljan and Martin Eichler  did white transparency in a way that somehow ended up being both retro-gentleman and highly feminine. Vektor's whites were my favourites - sharp and crisp, the collection ended up with neoprene and metallics that are to die for. Two of the shows I went to during this September's SS15 London Fashion Week whose clear moments I absolutely loved were Christopher Raeburn, a (too) chilled sporty vibe I was at moments disappointed with but at moments were clapping with joy, and TOGA's  abstract-art infused collection (which will definitely be in a seperate post soon) which transparency was such a light contrast to the heavy painted textiles infused throughout the looks.
Left: LINK lookbook by Franjo Matkovic, Right: ELLE photo by Bruna Kazinoti
Celebrity photos from Google, Getty etc.
Calvin Klein Collection SS15 backstage by Essential Homme, ftape.com
Angelos-Frentzos SS15, photos from The Kinsky
Jean Phillip SS15, photos from Simone Munari
Vektor by Kristina Puljan and Martin Eichler, all Berlin Fashion Week photos from Those Pieri Twins
Julian Zigerli SS15, Berlin Fashion Week
Franziska Michael SS15, Berlin Fashion Week
Christopher Raeburn SS15
TOGA SS15
I'm wearing custom made SOEL by Sonja Lamut transparent overcoat, Primark t-shirt (find similar t-shirt), H&M tapered striped trousers, Zara studded oxfords (find similar shoes), Jeepers Peepers sunglasses (find similar sunglasses), Daniel Wellington watch and Rebecca Minkoff backpack (also find in navy) +  my H&M DIY jumper around the waist