style brick road: April 2014

Friday, 25 April 2014

Jump and Have Fun!

When the first sentence a brands sends out in its Press Release is ‘Why take everything so serious?’ – I can’t help myself but fall in love. Aside from Jump From Paper, that particular point of view is owned by a big artist named Peter Lindbergh (whom I’ve met a month or so ago), which was quite clear when he said - ‘fashion industry is taking itself too seriously’. To be honest, it doesn't get clearer than that.

Jokes aside, I truly stand by the fact that arts (including music, films, paintig etc.) and fashion (and its’ pears) became too pretentious per se – it stopped being about the love for it, but about the right to love it, and that kind of elitist worldview is what I’d love to avoid on this blog. It’s tacky as sh*t, but I believe it’s not about how much money you have, where do you come from or who’s your grandpa – if you’re really, really, REALLY into something – that's enough to make it happen.

That kind of idea was behind Chay SuRika Lin, two Taiwanese designers who started up their fashion company JumpFromPaper in 2010. You know I always say how a healthy dose of comedy is a must in fashion, and I try to incorporate that part of my personality into my personal style most of the time – so JFP was a brand that made me laugh and scream ‘IWANNA’ (with fists stretching like those of a 9-month-old) in seconds. They started off with a handful of fresh designs, all with the same drawn, 2D vibe – on a product photo, you just can’t say if it’s a real bag or just a sketch of one. The queen of cartoon style Katy Perry wore one herself, as part of her Daria costume for Halloween, which perfectly depicts the aesthetic – like it fell out of an episode of Daria. 

Today, the bags are sold in 25 countries in over 250 stores, and of course are available online – (there are really numerous designs, be sure to check it out). Thanks to the lovely girls at Jump From Paper, as I was wanting to write about the brand, and get to know more – they surprised me with an actual bag from their collection. I was extatic enough to see it was on of my favourites, one mimicking a retro luggage vibe. Honestly – can’t wait to put some 'travel' stickers on it.

As for the quality of the bags... I was preparing to write this, I Youtubed (yes, it’s a verb) through numerous video reviews – just to be sure different models have the same opinion pinned onto them – and yes – they all are made out of really high-quality canvas that’s thick but easy to wash, they are definitely not the roomiest bags you own, (though they have an extension zip) – but what they lack in space, they make up in charm. The fact is – their main purpose is to make you feel good, visually trick other people, and make both yourself and others laugh (and still carrying stuff!!). On my few trips with my JFP bag – people do stare, but with a big ol’ smile on their face – and that’s what fashion is all about!

PS. I'm very excited to be going to Poland tomorrow - I'm visiting Auschwitz camp as part of the March of the Living global academic event there, so I won't be back until Tuesday (which means blog content is doomed until the end of next week since I want my trip to be a true experience as this is truly a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity). It's a place I've always wanted to see, from the first time I read The diary of a Young Girl by Anna Frank - a cliché, but a good one to have.
Chay Su & Rika Lin with their first models, back in 2010
Jump From Paper's moodboard - right about what I expected - a mixture of everything
My outfit was the result of a personal aspiration to become a time traveller, so I wore a vintage trench-coat & white button up, H&M military chinos, Minelli moccasins, Asos cap, vintage Seiko watch, a pair of vintage sunglasses, my new favourite piece of jewelry – golden MiniMal bracelet by Trska jewellery (link) and of course the Travel Fever tote from Jump From Paper (find it here).

Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Circles, Lines and Neon Signs

I tend to cherish my free moments to carefully, not letting anything spontaneous-ish taking away from it. It's probably due to the fact I have very little of it, so my preferable free time consists of sitting AT HOME and reading a book/googling away/sleeping. And before you think of me as a home-worm, I need to stop you - it's not like I don't go out, drink coffees, hang out or visit galleries/museums - it's more that I plan these stuff. Damn, this makes me sound like such a granny and the least fun/spontaneous person out there - but the hell, I'll maybe even agree.

But the point is - few days ago, my class finished earlier so I had a bit more than an hour before I was supposed to be at the opening of the first women's Marc'o Polo in Croatia, and I though - yay, an hour to go browsing through H&M. But as I was driving in the tramway, I passed the Graphical Cabinet (a space which is part of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts) and saw a big colourful poster with the name of Ivan Picelj, whom I listened lectures about during my Visual Culture class on the first year of Uni. I went out of the tram, and headed right in - not knowing what was it about nor if it's opened (of course poster said the details, but I was to excited to care). So, I went in, payed mere 5 kunas (a bit less than $1) and my eyes went on a roller-coaster ride.

Ivan Picelj was part of the Croatian's new-wave artistic group named EXAT51 which was later developed into the New Tendencies movement. He was a painter, graphic designer, sculptor and an all-round artist who takes the 'blame' for some of the most interesting changes in art (especially visual recognition) - he was one of the first Croatian artists who encouraged artistic freedom in academics and promoted the value of individual aesthetics.

His work in graphic design mostly consists of serigraphy (silk-printing), collage-work and drawing and is based on the existence of lines - geometry that's free in its space and lines. I've been a fan of his work since I saw them a year or so ago in the Museum of Contemporary Arts in Zagreb - where I was obviously astonished by his neon colours used in such a proficient and non-obvious way. Oval and square shapes are juxtapositioned in a way that's humourus and inspiring - but without any iconography or numeral highlights. 

His work inspires me in many ways, but it was quite fun putting together an outfit with some of my favourites in mind - creating circles with straight lines, balancing neon hues with neutrals in an almost non-existing way, and the amazing textures created solely out of contrasting different materials. Plus, the amazing space my mother took photos of me was created about the same time as Picelj's great work. A different spirit, but my contemporary interpretation of his aesthetic.

If you've got an hour and you're in Zagreb do visit the Ivan Picelj retrospective at the HAZU space, it's opened until the May 20th. Check all the deets on the exhibition here (link).
After seeing the  I've been hunting for a perfect neon leather bag so these amazing Classic Cambridge satchels seem just about perfect - find them here (yellow), here (orange), here (green) & here (pink)

H&M jacket & jeans, Starstyling oversized foiled t-shirt, DIY necklace, Nike trainers, Toywatch neon watch, C&A sunglasses, crochet shopping bag bought at Dolac market.