What to steal from Louis Vuitton menswear SS17

Louis Vuitton menswear ss17

If you’re concerned about Joe Corre’s threat to burn his entire stash of punk memorabilia, don’t fret so. Kim Jones has a sizable chunk of the archive in his possession, being an avid collector of Sex, Seditionaries Westwood and the rest. Thus his collection for Louis Vuitton menswear SS17 was peppered with a smattering of punkish references, from kinky plastic macs, to stencil-print boilersuits, to my favourite old standby, the razzy mohair sweater. All with a veneer of grown up polish, naturally.

Jones took part of his inspo from South Africa (Vuitton is, of course, rooted in travel, and Jones spent much of his childhood in various parts of Africa) which lent the collection an Afro-punk vibe, thanks to the Jake and Dinos Chapman-illustrated animal prints and generous use of exotic skins.

The irony is that youngsters don’t seem that bothered about starting new youth cults. It’s the old folk who love revisiting the punkish past and they’re the only ones likely to be able to afford these uber-luxe renditions. Oldsters rejoice!

 Louis Vuitton menswear ss17 by Chloe Le Drezen for Dazed
Louis Vuitton menswear ss17 Vogue Runway
Louis Vuitton menswear ss17 by Chloe Le Drezen for Dazed
Louis Vuitton menswear ss17 Vogue Runway

7 Louis Vuitton ss17 by Chloe Le Drezen for Dazed 3

8 Louis Vuitton Vogue Runway 9

9 Louis Vuitton ss17 by Chloe Le Drezen for Dazed 5

9 Louis Vuitton Vogue Runway

10 Louis Vuitton Vogue Runway 16

Louis Vuitton ss17 by Chloe Le Drezen for Dazed

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Vogue Runway; Chloe Le Drezen for Dazed
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here.

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Graduate Fashion Week – the New Media Award

Graduate fashion week 2016

While the spotlight of Graduate Fashion Week tends to shine mainly on the design graduates, it’s easy to forget all the other talent waiting to be discovered. The world of fashion media has changed beyond recognition in the last 5-10 years and I was tasked along with Jessica Bumpus (former Vogue.co.uk staffer, now a freelance whizz writing for everyone from the New York Times to Snapchat’s Sweet channel) to judge the Graduate Fashion Week New Media Award a couple of weeks ago.

The pre-judging had been done for us, so our job was to focus on the presentations of the ten finalists. Their final projects ranged from apps to editorial sites to a very ambitious content-meets-ecommerce proposition that aims to let you shop the entire lifestyle of your favourite movies.

Our winner though was Vanessa Cuffy (UCA Epsom), whose site Model Issue is a destination for model-focused insights and editorial (think The Business of Fashion with a model-centric slant). We liked its simplicity and effectiveness and could see it becoming a viable commercial destination for people interested in the fashion model business and all the issues that surround it.

Model Issue
Model Issue website about the modelling industry
Model Issue website about the modelling industry

From talking to the other finalists, who presented some very creative and thoroughly-researched concepts, a couple of things became clear. First, the pitch. It’s essential to get your top line pitch down pat, so find a sentence that sums up your business/brand/app/site and learn it by heart. A name that says what it does on the tin helps. If you can get the what and the why in first, you can always follow with a few more lines that expand on the concept. E.g, “(Name of site) is an online destination that (does what?) for (who?).”

I find that if someone waffles on without going into specifics early on, my interest is lost quite rapidly. So it’s best to keep ideas as simple as possible. Some ideas had so many extra bells and whistles that it became quite hard work keeping up. Obviously, nerves do come into play but that’s another reason to keep things (concepts, presentations) pared back. There’s less to remember so you’re less likely to forget a crucial component.

The second thing is viability. Why does your product (app/zine/ecom site) need to exist? Is it really fulfilling a need or is it a vanity project? It’s a good idea to ask yourself this early on, along with the related (and equally important) question, how will this make money or help my business?

It’s an interesting time to be working in fashion media. It’s a crowded market, there is so much content out there and it’s consumed at speed. And yet, it seems the appetite is insatiable. Which is good news; it means there are definitely opportunities out there to shake things up. I do a little bit of teaching and the students (and graduates) who do well are those who are constantly curious and looking to disrupt the status quo. Now is a great time to do that.

I took a look at some of the photography and styling portfolios on my GFW rounds and I noticed certain trends. For example, Hot & Cool magazine is an overriding influence, visible in the abundance of raw ‘bad’ photography and normcore styling. That’s not a criticism, more an interesting trend that harks back to the early 90s recession and a similar raw aesthetic. It’s like Juergen Teller and Melanie Ward all over again! But now more than ever, an original point of view is valued. So don’t be afraid to push your creativity. Even if you’re still figuring out what you want to say, it pays to be bold and challenge yourself. Get the message out in some shape or form and polish it later if you need to.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here.

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Gri Gri perfume for tattooed skin

Gri Gri perfume for tattooed skin

I’m sooo not the tattoo type; I’ve never got the attraction and I’m scared of needles. But there’s something intriguing about this new fragrance brand, created ‘for tattooed skin’.

Gri Gri was launched by perfumer Anais Biguine and takes its creative lead from tattoo history and culture. It’s quite clever because god knows tattoos are a mainstream trend now, yet of course they have a historical significance too. The branding is clean and elegant and very French (it’s a Parisian brand), while the scents sound spiritual and exotic.

So far there are three ‘masculine’ scents. Tara Mantra is a blend of saffron, cardamom and jasmine that’s described as woody and animallic (yes please). Moko Maori sounds more fresh and green with fern and grass notes, while Ukiyo-E sounds suitably Japanese with its combo of green tea, yuzu and cherry blossom.

I discovered the brand on my friend Amanda’s perfume site We Wear Perfume, which is all about fragrance and storytelling (you can find out all sorts of things, such as why Gri Gri’s Anais Biguine wears perfume on her heels). If you’re interested in fragrance and are a little bit nosy (ahem), do check it out. And for info on Gri Gri, head to the brand’s Facebook page.

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGE: Gri Gri perfume
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here.

 

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Raf loves Robert

Raf Simons ss17
Generally positive reactions to Raf Simons’ ode to Robert Mapplethorpe last week in Florence. The revered 80s photographer is having a moment, after his retrospective exhibitions at LACMA and The Getty Center in Los Angeles (and the HBO documentary Mapplethorpe: Look at the Pictures) reminded us of the breadth of his output. As with Gosha, Raf is well versed in finding ways to demonstrate his passions while keeping to his signature house codes.

So, haphazardly oversized silhouettes continue to dominate, as do the cut-and-paste, collagy motifs familiar to any Raf fan-boy (or girl). The collaboration was initiated by the Mapplethorpe camp and eagerly embraced by Raf. As well as recognisable portraits of Debbie Harry, Patti Smith and Robert Sherman, other recurring Mapplethorpe themes included male nudes, antique statues and elegant flower photographs.

These were artfully and respectfully placed by Raf, framed in the open neckline of a slouchy sweater, on the bib of a dungaree, or arranged in triplicate down the side of a shirt. As Raf commented to the FT (registration required), “I wanted to approach it like when you do an exhibition at a museum or a gallery, but of course the medium is so different. Which was a big challenge, because otherwise you have T-shirt with prints which is what most people do but which I don’t find very respectful.”

Raf Simons ss17 - a collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe estate
Raf Simons ss17 - a collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe estate
Raf Simons ss17 - a collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe estate

While the naked male member glimpsed on a shirt was seen by some as deliberately provocative, it was the flower prints that grabbed my attention. They reminded me of my Raf-for-Dior flower placement sweatshirt from SS14 along with an orchid-print silk square scarf. But to anyone unfamiliar with Mapplethorpe’s work, they just represented covetable, wearable pieces.

To accompany the show, Raf produced an exhibition of his 20-year-old archive, which helped to reinforce his recurrent themes. The oversized white shirts and layered, cropped knits, the peekaboo photo placements, they’re all Raf signatures that we know and love. Yet how perfectly they translate as canvases for Mapplethorpe’s work…
Raf Simons ss17
6 Raf Simons ss17
7 Raf Simons ss17 Vogue Runway
Raf Simons ss17 - a collaboration with the Robert Mapplethorpe estate
Raf Simons Robert Mapplethorpe collaboration SS17
Raf Simons ss17 Vogue Runway

WORDS: Disneyrollergirl/Navaz Batliwalla
IMAGES: Vogue Runway; Yu Fujiwara for W magazine
NOTE: Some posts use affiliate links and PR samples. Please read my cookies policy here.

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