Designers

The Margiela AIDS tee



Margiela AIDS tee

“[Sontag’s 1989 book] ‘AIDS and Its Metaphors’ was such an important work. It shoved us along in our grudging recognition and understanding of H.I.V. and the isolation it brings. It is numbing how that virus has tricked, mutated and infiltrated. We always feared it would become a pandemic, yet who in 1987 could have predicted the desolation and devastation it would reap in Africa?” Martin Margiela, T Magazine, 2005

It’s 25 years since Martin Margiela designed his cult AIDS T-shirt, a crudely stencilled screen printed tee with an important message. “There is more action to be done to fight AIDS than wear this T-shirt but it’s a good start”, is a classic example of the power of fashion in social commentary. (more…)



Twenty years later: the Hermes tan trainer



Hermes aw98 trainers Vogue Runway

Ten years ago I would have been all over the Sacai x Nike trainer collab (a kind of double-everything monster trainer with a retro vibe). Today? Not so much. I’m well over super-statement trainers and prefer a Nike Air Max shape or a utilitarian gym shoe like a Converse Jack Purcell. (Currently seeking a JP in white – why so elusive, Converse?)

However, I’m feeling the return of the luxe tan trainer, an understated gender-neutral number that kicks the post-ironic, hypebeast trainer roundly in the butt. Do you remember when Hermès did its first trainer? It was in 1998 and part of Martin Margiela’s first collection for the house. A rich conker brown affair, Hermès was the first luxury brand to design a trainer made entirely of leather and thus the ‘Quick’ caused quite the stir. (more…)



Trend report: What to wear and do for SS19



Givenchy ss19 by Corey Tenold

Even though people are sniffy about trends, I still quite like tracking them. The trick is just to pay attention to the ones that work for you. So in this wee SS19 round-up, I’m deliberately ignoring anything overstatementy or hype-y that will have disappeared in a year. And instead homing in on the classics that have been reinvented or lifestyle movements that will impact how we live.

NOGO We’ve reached peak logo (sorry Gucci) and now it’s about deliberately unbranded products. I signed up to Italic last year, which is a membership-based direct-to-consumer company selling unbranded, yet high quality products that come straight from the factory. (more…)



Raf Simons leaves Calvin Klein :(



Raf Simons leaves Calvin Klein

Yes, it’s true. In news that most fashion insiders saw coming, Raf Simons and Calvin Klein are parting ways.

It all started promisingly, with Raf’s arty Americana-themed debut well received by critics back in 2016. High points for me were the American quilts, Warhol collaborations, Western-influenced denim and those off-beat balaclavas. The Kardashians campaign lost me a bit and may well have been the point where Raf realised, maybe he wasn’t cut out for this level of commerciality. (more…)