Saturday, 15 July 2017

miu miu resort 2018

Miu Miu’s Resort 2018 collection mixes high and low, pairing boiler suits with luxe fur coats, keeping in line with the brand’s reinvention of classics and their candy cute image.

Miuccia Prada injects utility into the jumpsuit at Miu Miu Resort 2018, which took place in the Paris Automobile Club. The retro details were not lost, but forget the reinterpretation of headscarves, sunglasses and 1940s style dresses and kitten heels that are frankly impractical for driving across France. Miu Miu’s Resort collection is about comfort, fresh fun with colour and the experimentation of youth; channelling practicality without losing any of the brand's femininity. These are ideal summer city break clothes, for women who want to walk the streets all day, but still be able to relax in a sun-drenched café whenever they want- free from sore feet or restricting clothes. From playsuits to silk coats, this style can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, with no need to spend hours getting ready in the hotel in the evening. Just throw on an elegant patterned coat and you will be ready to take on the Paris night. The Miu Miu girl values style, but doesn’t let it get in the way of living her life at 100 miles an hour, or 80 (the speed limit on French motorways.)

Saturday, 8 July 2017

where's the chaos gone?

An interview with Fleur, Editor of Arcca magazine.

“We want to rebel against what we grew up knowing” editor of Arcca magazine, Fleur Adderley explains. We are sitting in a dimly lit Tudor café on Tonbridge High Street, a town situated just close enough to London for it to be known for its sad commuters. However, there is nothing at all sad or provincial about Adderley, or the magazine that she founded and edits. Arcca began in 2015, when Adderley was just sixteen years old. What started as a project between friends has expanded into a celebration of youth, art and beautiful chaos. It went into print earlier this year, joining the brigade of independent publications rejecting the accessibility of digital media. Magazines like Polyester and Sunday Girl have revived print culture for the internet generation, and Arcca has followed suit. “Everything is so easy to access now, so it starts to lose its sense of importance. Print keeps things precious” Adderley tells me, reflecting the thoughts of many young people today. This obsession with keeping things precious can be seen in Generation Z’s love for vinyl records and film photography; both of which are cherished by the archetypal reader of Adderley’s magazine.

The latest issue of Arcca
Arcca is an organised chaos; a collage of voices pieced together by Adderley to create a mosaic-like finished product. It lets people say what they want to say and isn’t afraid to be unconventional. “I think there should be more artists who are confronting political ideas with a really controversial approach” Adderley states. Being inspired by the 1960s and well-read in philosophy, it is easy to see why she feels this way. The current political climate is so chaotic it seems that the art world is still figuring out how to respond to it. Through Arcca, Adderley wants to actively challenge beauty standards and the way we confront the world. Her ambitious business mind keeps Arcca’s creative chaos in check. “I’m going to have to have no fear and just go into independent shops in London and show them the magazine and if that’s a success then that’s how I’ll start making it grow in other cities” she says boldly. This fearlessness drives Arcca in both a business sense and a creative one. Adderley’s confidence is backed up by the daring articles and photographs that define Arcca. Her vision for the magazine is outstanding considering she is still studying for her A-Levels, with hope to study English and Philosophy at Bristol next Autumn. However, the rise of Arcca is also peppered with much more unconventional marketing techniques. Adderley recounts how her and her friend ripped up sugar packets in a coffee shop to make business cards to hand out to people around East Dulwich. Anecdotes like these are reminders of the magazine’s authentic beginnings.
Fleur's photography in Arcca Issue 4
Adderley’s first inspiration was her big sister, who used to make up games for them to play together. “We played this amazing fairy game that I’ll never forget where we were all warrior fairies. I couldn’t get over how she could come up with all these ideas on the spot. We wrote a whole story about the game we played.” There has been a creative thread running through Adderley’s life ever since. Not only does she work on Arcca, but she makes films and music too. It seems of growing importance for millennials to take a multimedia approach to creativity. Occupations no longer fall into such neat categories, and instead there are a growing number of people who fit into the vague bracket of being a creative. This umbrella term aptly describes the sort of people that Arcca gives a voice to. “I’m really proud to have created something that does unite so many young people” says Adderley, who dreams of creating a Warhol style Factory to nurture young creatives.
Fleur's photography in Arcca Issue 3
Keeping motivated to pursue every creative avenue must be hard work, but Adderley takes it all in her stride by finding inspiration in the simplest fragments of the world around her. “I always force myself to look up because I always see people walking around and looking at the floor and I just can’t get my head round that” she explains. Adderley finds inspiration everywhere she looks, if she looks at it in the right way. We are satiated with images and writing that aims to inspire us, but it is important to be able to step back and look at the things in your life that you might not expect to inspire you.
When I ask Adderley where she hopes to be in five years’ time, she replies, “I’m going to carry on dreaming.” She may have asked, “Where’s the chaos gone?”, but if you look closely you can see that it is all around us. Arcca creates a space for people to harness that chaos and turn it into something thought provoking and beautiful. 
Check out Arcca here.

Thursday, 6 July 2017

tu es vraie, vraie, vraie: margiela the hermès years

Classic luxury and Avant Garde individualism play off against each other in Antwerp's Mode Museum's latest exhibition, Margiela: The Hermès Years.

Last month I went to Antwerp, a European city slightly more under the radar than its neighbours Paris and Amsterdam. The main factor that drew me towards the Belgian city was its position as a fashion capital. The Mode Museum (MoMu) is an essential tourist destination for any fashion fan. Since the 1980s, when the Antwerp Six rebelled against convention and conformity, Antwerp has been well and truly planted on the fashion map. A visit to Flanders Fashion Institute and the fashion district is even included in the city's walking tours. Their current exhibition, 'Margiela: The Hermès Years' runs until 27th August.

The latest MoMu exhibition spans the career of Belgian designer Martin Margiela at his own label and later as creative director of Hermès. It features iconic Margiela creations, such as the tabi shoe and the duvet coat. These Avant Garde pieces redefined the wardrobe staple before being toned down for the everyday wearer in Margiela's collections for Hermès. 

My dad wearing white socks and loafers in one of Europe's fashion capitals #fashun

'Margiela: The Hermès Years' presents work from two very different labels side-by-side. This creates a thought-provoking contrast between art and function. Fashion frequently debates whether whether it can be called an art because it is also functional. Seeing both answers presented in such close proximity raises the question: is art or function more valuable in fashion?

Duvet coat trend by Bill Cunningham
New York Times, 2000 (via  blindface)
Function surely has more monetary value. Ready-to-wear collections are much more profitable than couture. People will always need to buy clothes that they can comfortably wear. This straightforward assumption is complicated when we are discussing a luxury brand like Hermès. There are few people who can afford to wear Hermès, so does it even matter if it conforms to codes of wearability of not? Seeing Hermès clothes up-close proves that it is quality that you are paying for when you buy from the brand. The excellent tailoring and versatility of Hermès jumpers, coats and accessories confirms that, if you have the money, they are worth investing in. 

When clothes are placed in the context of a gallery, however, they have more value as art. An Hermès silk crepe tunic and trousers pales next to a Margiela dress made entirely from vintage engagement rings. The Margiela pieces undoubtedly hold exhibition goers' attention for longer. How could a mirror-ball jacket not grab attention? The reaction to the Hermès pieces is more akin to phrases like, "That's nice. I'd wear that." This meant that the exhibition was hardly 'Savage Beauty', but it did have it subtle charms.

At first glance, the brands are so different that it is hard to believe they are designed by the same designer. Margiela makes clothes for art students and weekend parties. Hermès is for wealthy middle-aged women. That isn't to say that Hermès lacked innovation. Margiela's experimentation with his own brand gave the designer an intricate understanding of how garments work. At a closer look, the exhibition is arranged to highlight the similarities between Margiela's work at both labels. The designer's work for Hermès is incredibly creative, but in a way that increases its functionality. The exhibition is dotted with videos of women in Hermès coats, showing how they can be put on a removed with great ease. The porté par deux coat, for example can be worn in single or double layers.

Ease is a central theme for Hermès. Ease and femininity are at the forefront of the exhibition. Whilst it is by no means original or revolutionary to aim to make clothes that women are comfortable wearing, Hermès has a unique twist. The porté par deux coat is just one example of Margiela's introduction of fresh ideas to the classic brand. The designer also introduced coats with openings under the sleeve inset and sleeves that could be tucked in, transforming the coat into a cape.

The exhibition opens with a voice over reading out a list of compliments for women in French. This addition summarises Margiela's aim at Hermès; to create clothes that make women feel confident. The aim is generic, but the clothes are not. Furthermore, the exhibition reflects this aim by casting older women as the models in the videos, showing that the compliments are directed at all women, not just the under-25s that the fashion industry usually worships.

The Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp

I will always be a bigger fan of Maison Margiela than Hermès, but the MoMu exhibition shows that Margiela never abandoned his innovative creativity despite designing for such a major fashion house. The Belgian designer himself has always been shrouded in mystery, and it is hard to find information about his work online, so the exhibition gives a really eye opening insight into Margiela's world. Despite the tradition associated with Hermès, Margiela managed to inject a subtle newness to the brand. The clothes are fluid and liberating. Instead of just exploring new concepts and images, over his time at Hermès, Margiela showed that there are always new ways to wear garments and new shapes to explore.

If you visit Antwerp, the Mode Museum is definitely worth a visit. I would love to visit again when they have an exhibition on the Antwerp Six.