Aaaah, the Smiths! As a late convert I cannot claim allegiance to the good old formative days when meat was murder and the queen was dead. But, the more I listen to the Smiths as of late the more their music overtakes my consciousness.
I did not know that one of the most impressive modern buildings is in Pyongyang, the capital of North Korea, until I saw its photo in This Brutal World (Phaidon, $49.95). The jaw-dropping structure is a testament to the human aspirations and follies. If architecture, like art, should reflect our world, the still-unfinished (inside) Ryugyong Hotel is it.
Thamanyah, the fashion label designed by Ahmed Abdelrahman, has been on my radar for quite a long time. There is uniqueness in Abdelrahman’s approach to taking the traditional Middle Eastern dress, making it modern, and mixing it with Western sartorial codes. In his hands a white kandora turns black and gets paired with a fine wool bomber jacket. Not only such a combination results in a new menswear silhouette, but also both the Middle Eastern and the Western staples acquire a new meaning. It is no wonder then that Thamanyah has acquired a cult following in both worlds.
Vestoj and StyleZeitgeist have teamed up in a dialogue and series of critiques of recent events in fashion media to raise more wide-reaching questions about the state of contemporary fashion media – and what that says about our industry at large. In our second installment of this collaboration, we examine the recent political faux pas of the Chanel and Louis Vuitton resort collections, and the fashion media’s sycophancy.
Each season the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture (CSHC) meets to decide which guest designers get to show during the haute couture calendar in Paris. These designers, while not being formally accepted into the rarefied couture club, are considered as worthy of showing alongside the likes of Chanel and Dior. Its selection process is supposed to be rigorous and extremely selective, in order to reflect that haute couture is the pinnacle of fashion design and craftsmanship.
It is hard to believe that it will soon be ten years since I started my first venture www.stylezeitgeist.com, a forum platform for discussing avant-garde and artisanal fashion. It is equally hard to believe that StyleZeitgeist magazine, which began as its extension, but has took on a life all of its own, will turn five.
The new fashion exhibit Manus x Machina at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York explores the relationship between fashion made by hand and by machine. One of its sub themes is the marriage of the most traditional handwork couture methods and the most advanced technological methods of clothes-making. Amongst its selection are seven dresses by the Dutch designer Iris van Herpen, who stands peerless in doing just that.
There is a depth to her work that results in garments that are often called “otherworldly” or “futuristic,” though van Herpen will be the first to tell you that she sees them firmly rooted in reality. Another misconception, perpetuated by the fashion media that runs after trendy stories and by the general media that runs after sensationalist ones, is that van Herpen’s work centers on 3D printing. In reality, her work traverses a wide variety of techniques and materials in service only to two things; to give free reign to van Herpen’s imagination, and to transcend fashion itself.
This week the new fashion exhibition “Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology” opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. It aims to challenge the notion, usually found in the popular imagination, that handwork and machine work somehow exist in the state of opposition.
The new online jewelry shop Arguros is the brainchild of Karlo Steel, the former co-owner and mastermind behind the iconic New York menswear boutique Atelier, which played a major role in promoting the menswear avant-garde since its inception in 2002.
We would like to announce our collaboration with Vestoj – the Platform for Critical Thinking on Fashion. Through an ongoing exchange of articles about recent fashion developments we will aim to delve deeper into the state of fashion and the fashion media today. In our first exchange we share reactions to a major piece published in T-Magazine of the New York Times. Stay tuned for the response from Vestoj to the article below.