Tag Archives: fashion

The Worlds First 3D Printed Dress

The First Fully-Articulated 3D Printed Gown, Featuring Dita Von Teese

Although dutch designer Iris van Herpen debuted two 3D-printed outfits made in collaboration with US-based designer Neri Oxman and Austrian architect Julia Koerner during her runway show at Paris Fashion Week in January, the worlds first ‘fully-articulated’ 3D printed gown was showcased recently by the stunning burlesque dancer and model  Dita Von Teese.

Designed by Michael Schmidt Studios in collaboration with Francis Bitoni Studio and Shapeways, the 3D printing service provider, the gown was conceived based on a numerical formula that quantifies the ideals of beauty, known as the golden ratio, which was developed in the 13th century by Italian mathematician Fibonacci.

 The gown is wearable, fluid and is made entirely of 3D printed pieces composed of articulated joints that expand and contract with the undulations of the body.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cFdbxMhtoA

Roundup: Salone Internazionale del Mobile Milan 2014

With another amazing showcase of what’s trending in the design world, it wasn’t easy to choose our favourites from last weeks Salone Internazionale del Mobile in Milan. We noticed a distinct trend and emphasis toward natural woods, marble and stainless-steel pieces with clean, modern lines and geometric forms. There was a touch of luxury to most of the displays and, as we saw at Maison et Object in Paris in February, lots of colour – specifically monochrome with pops of bright yellow. 

Here are our edited highlights;

Salone del Mobile 2014 Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 MilanSalone del Mobile 2014 Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 MilanSalone del Mobile 2014 Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 MilanSalone del Mobile 2014 Milan Salone del Mobile 2014 Milan 

 

Help Ban Angora Rabbit Fur

Before Christmas, when we were all getting ready for the winter weather, you could easily find angora rabbit fur jumpers, coats, gilets and collars in a number of stores. Now, after agony of what the angora rabbit endures in the name of fashion has been publicised, highstreet stores such as New Look, Marks & Spencer, ASOS and H&M have banned these products from their stores. Why? Take a look at these horrifying images-

Rabbits are kept in dirty, cramped cages with little access to clean water.

cages-500x280

The rabbit is stretched as it is cut with an electric shear.

Ban Angora Rabbit Fur PETA

The rabbits are plucked while still alive and scream in agony during the process.

Ban Angora Rabbit Fur PETA

The process is repeated on one rabbit over a few years until it’s throat is slit.

This process in not unique to the angora rabbit. All fur products come from similar manufacturing roots. Wearing fur cannot and should not be likened to wearing leather or eating meat sourced from ethically farmed animals. The real issue here is that the animal is kept alive during the process and that the wearing of fur, unlike leather, does not serve a purpose other than vanity.

No one is perfect and no one likes to be told their decision is wrong and immoral. I am guilty of wearing clothes that have probably been produced in sweat shops, wearing leather and sticking to vegetarianism for 6 months at a time, but once images such as these cause even the highstreet fat cats to ban the product, can anyone really wear angora fur guilt free?

Being obsessed with fashion has meant I have toyed with the idea of ditching the faux and wearing real fur. I’ve tried to justify it by telling myself it is okay because I eat meat and wear leather, but knowing and fully understanding the difference in fur production should be enough to stop anyone.

In an age where the vast majority of the western world has access to central heating, double glazing and good quality faux fur garments, and where animal cruelty is a criminal offence, should  any of us really be wearing fur at all?

 Stop the use of angora rabbit fur by signing the PETAUK petition:

 http://action.peta.org.uk/ea-action/action?ea.client.id=5&ea.campaign.id=23870

Super Human Style: How The Alternative Limb Project Challenges Fashion

Written by Leyla Keskin

I remember when my mother decided to become a foster carer. I remember the visits from social workers and the endless forms she had to complete, and the time it took for her to be approved. I remember very clearly when she received her first placement – a 4-year-old boy was coming to live with us for a while. I also remember vividly how I felt when I was told that he had one leg. I instantly felt uneasy as I imagined a Charles Dickens Tiny Tim type character. I imagined him having a sad look in his eyes, being quiet and withdrawn and struggling to walk on his crutches.

As I walked home from school the next day I was reluctant to go home because this poor child would be waiting, probably crying and saying “please sir, may I have some more” after each meal. Except I walked in through the door to laughter, finding a little blonde boy rolling around the living room floor, playing with our big gentle dog. He saw me, smiled, and shouted “hiya”!

For the three years he lived with us he was always laughing, running, playing, chatting. He was interested in, and enthusiastic about, everything and not once do I remember him having a tantrum or complaining.

A boy with one leg became normal for us. In the evening he would take off his leg and hop happily around the house. It didn’t bother or disturb us to see him like that. Why would it? He wasn’t bothered.

But it did bother other people. I quickly realised that his disability upset others and made them feel awkward. Once, on a shopping trip, he was sat in the shopping trolley’s child seat. My mother asked me to help him out of the chair while she paid. As I pulled him out, his leg fell off. He found it funny and I found funnier, and eventually we were laughing so hard that I struggled to get it back on. Passers-by looked on in horror as a teenage girl laughed uncontrollably at this poor boy with no leg.

I also remember a day we spent at the beach when he decided to use his leg, instead of a spade, to build a sandcastle. Onlookers were shocked, mortified, didn’t know where to look. It was as though they expected him to act like a character from a victorian novel, just like I had not so long ago.

My past experiences are probably the reason I was so in awe when I heard about The Alternative Limb Project. Every morning, on my 6:38am commute, I join other commuters in reading the metro while sipping a much needed latte and rubbing my sleepy eyes. Last week, an article woke me up from my usual dazed journey like an injected shot of caffeine. The topic? Bespoke limbs. The designer? Sophie de Oliveria Barata.

 

Viktoria Modesta Alternative Limb Project

Sophie de Oliveria Barata, a London based designer and director of Alternative Limbs, creates beautiful bespoke limbs for amputees.

The image which accompanied the article was of Viktoria Modesta, who had a custom made leg with an in built stereo. The image was stunning, striking and unique.

I wanted to find out more about The Alterative Limb project and more about the stories behind the people involved. Viktoria Modesta, a leg amputee, provides an empowering account of her journey and what losing her leg ‘added’ to her life.

Viktoria Modesta Alternative Limb Project

Viktoria, born in Soviet Lativa, had her leg damaged at birth due to the negligence of a doctor. Her leg was set in a caste but left too long resulting in nerve damage. By the age of 6 she was left with one leg 7cm shorter than the other and considerably thinner.

She underwent several operations to correct the mistake but each made the injury worse. In 2007, Viktoria took the decision to have a below the knee amputation – something society typically deems tragic, traumatic and devastating. However, Viktoria describes her decision as empowering and exciting – her leg was unhealthy and her choice gave her the power to take ownership and control over the situation. She felt she had to hide her disfigured leg, unable to wear heels and short skirts in the summer. Her new leg however, is so obviously bionic and challenges society’s perception of amputees and disabilities, it pushes the boundaries of fashion and altered beauty.

Viktoria Modesta Alternative Limb Project

But despite the fact that society has, in the past, been challenged about it’s perception of beauty and disabilities, it’s only recently that this message has started to sink in.

Way back in 1998, Alexander McQueen used double leg amputee, Aimee Mullins, to open his London show, wearing a pair of hand-carved wooden prosthetic legs made from solid ash. Not a surprising move by McQueen who was always able to find beauty where others cannot, however this was the only disabled model to be used in a high fashion campaign, ever. But, despite McQueen’s status in the fashion world, it unfortunately did not break down any barriers for disabled models.

 

Alexander McQueen Amiee Mullins

Alexander McQueen Amiee Mullins

10 years later in 2008, Britain’s Missing Top Model was aired which once again aimed to break down the misconceptions about disabilities and challenge the fashions world’s mindset. It was interesting, different and certainly raised some vital questions about the fashion world, but again nothing seemed to change and, apart from McQueen who could always be counted on to mix things up, most previous attempts have tried to hide a disability rather than embrace it. Comments such as ‘you can hardly notice it’ are seen as a compliment.

This is what is so remarkable about The Alternative Limb project. Rather than trying to camouflage a disability, it puts it out there for everyone to see. Does this show that perceptions are changing? Is society beginning not only to accept difference and alternative beauty, but actually embrace it?

“A prosthetic limb doesn’t represent the need to replace loss anymore. It can stand as a symbol that the wearer has the power to create whatever it is they want to create.” Aimee Mullins

Fashion is, and always will be, inspired by social issues. The last decade has been marked by economic deprivation, terrorism and the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan. We have sent our service men and women off to war and some have returned with serious, life changing injuries. We have watched devastating bombings on the London Underground which have touched us all in some way. From all these events we have heard horrendous, gut retching stories that would make only the coldest heart feel nothing.

But from these events we have also heard awe inspiring stories that would make anyone question why they complained about the bus being late this morning. The London Paralympics further challenged our ideas about disabilities with Channel 4’s notion of The Superhuman, rather than the disabled. The Paralympics encouraged us to see disabilities in a different light. Martine Wright lost both legs in the London Underground bombings in 2005. She was running late for work and jumped on the tube. She sat next to the suicide bomber. Wright now sees what happened as part of her journey rather than angrily reliving the events of 7/7 and states that she loves sitting volleyball because it gives her a sense of freedom. She fully embraces her disability.

 

Alternative Limb Project

That boy that came to live with us all those years ago is still as enthusiastic and upbeat as he was when he was 4 years old. Despite the problems he has faced as a child in care, he has embraced his disability by competing in various kickboxing tournaments and representing the Welsh wheelchair basketball team. I think it’s time that society got over its awkwardness towards disabilities and started to accept it as a normal part of the world we live in because really, these misconceptions and preconceived ideas are just our own insecurities being forced upon others, something I managed to get over when I was fourteen thanks to an inspiring little blonde boy with one leg.

Picture credit: The Alternative Limb Project

Visit The Alternative Limb Project for more information.

Follow Leyla Keskin on twitter @LeylaKeskin

Damien Hirst and Alexander McQueen Exclusive Scarf Collection

Damien Hirst and Alexander McQueen Exclusive Scarf Collection

Have you managed to get your hands on one of these exclusive scarfs yet? Most stores aren’t stocking all 30 designs, and, of the designs they do have, only one or two pieces are available. Considering its a fashion art collaboration made in heaven, it’s no surprise that a mere week after their launch they are already difficult to come by.

The Alexander McQueen skull scarf was first seen in the SS03 Irere collection and since it launching has become not only a signature accessory of the house, but started the skull trend that is still going strong 10 years later.

The Damien Hirst and Alexander McQueen scarf collection consists of 30 one-off designs.  Each is adapted from Hirst’s Entomology series – butterflies, bugs, spiders and other insects have been worked to form kaleidoscopic geometric shapes, laid out to create the signature McQueen skull motif.  The collaboration seamlessly plays on the shared aesthetic vision of Hirst and McQueen, in which an interest in symmetrical design is combined with strong references to the natural world.

And the haunting short film created by photographer Sølve Sundsbø promoting the collection is nothing short of a work of art within its own right.

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=wK_-Ycn69sg

The scarves are available in Chiffon, Pongé, Twill and Cashmere with prices ranging from £315/ €340/ $515 to £715/ €785/ $1175.

All 30 designs are limited and have been available from 15th November 2013 at Alexander McQueen stores worldwide and from the scarf boutique of www.alexandermcqueen.com.

Which is you favourite?

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Alexander McQueen Damian Hirst Skull Butterfly Collaboration

Images via: Damien Hirst & Alexander McQueen

 

Take Me To River Island

My 18 year old, pink haired, nose ring and ripped jeans wearing self would probably disown me for writing this. I remember the rare occasions I would wonder into River Island and shudder at the glitter covered jackets, white jeans and tacky heavily bejewelled bags. I would leave shaking my head, glaring at innocent shoppers in disgust. For many years I simply avoided River Island completely, until fairly recently that is.

While on my way to Zara, I walked past River Island and a beautiful Kimono jacket caught my eye. Obviously, I thought, as I entered the shop, this must be a one off. I picked up the Kimono and started browsing the rails. To my disbelief I found myself picking up more and more items to try on, so many items that the shop assistant had to hand me two tags as I entered the changing rooms. Since that day I have found myself checking the ‘Just Arrived’ section on the River Island website regularly and even downloading the app. The store that I once found trashy has either changed its image or I have become what River Island once was!

Now, a few days ago when I was searching for my weekly fix of Grazia Magazine I spotted something that appeared far too good to be true – a 25% discount voucher with a copy of Elle. I stood for a while and tried to work this out…….so I could buy a copy of Elle and get a 25% discount voucher for River Island?  The two didn’t seem to add up. Elle, with it’s pages full of Dior, Chanel and Valentino, were offering 25% off at River Island? Now, I would expect 10% off with a copy of LOOK or even 5% off with a copy of Grazia, but 25% with a copy of Elle? My 18 year old socialist self told me to walk away magazine-less because there must be some sort of catch but the fastionista within told me to buy it NOW! And after ripping off the cellophane it became apparent that there was no catch and I walked happily away with my River Island voucher.

So it appears that River Island have evolved into a white denim free zone but never fear, if you want a little trashy number in your wardrobe you will still be able to find it at River Island. After all, we all need to realise our inner ghetto princess from time to time.

river-island-2-500x396

Remembering British Fashion

It’s that time of year when the days become shorter, the chill in the air begins to bite, pumpkins are carved, fireworks brighten up the night sky and we Brits buy and wear Poppies to remember and honour the service men and women who have fought for our green little island.

During the Remembrance Sunday service and parade, World War I and II veterans stand proud in beautifully presented suits displaying their array of medals. Despite the hardships faced in the 1940’s, men always appeared smart and respectful while women, classy and glamorous.

Fashion is dictated by social trends and the economy in the 1940’s was certainly no exception. With worldwide suffering, poverty and hardship, fashion had to be approached in a different way. Fabrics were rationed in order to supply the men on the frontline with uniforms and blankets. Official material restrictions were put in place meaning hem lines became shorter and skirts became more fitted to save fabric. In contrast to the 20’s and 30’s where women hid beneath lose fitting flapper girl dresses and full clave length skirts, those womanly curves had no choice but to be on display.

British Fashion 1940's       British Fashion 1940's

With the majority of men enlisted in the army, women took to the factories to produce weaponry, artillery and aircrafts. Women began to wear jeans and, because trips to the hairdressers were an unnecessary luxury, women began to tie their long hair back or up in a turban for safety. Service women had to wear their hair above their collar while on duty and would also add victory curls to create a more feminine look.

British Fashion 1940's

1940’s make up was all about the natural look with dark eyelashes, a little eyeliner on the top lid, long eyebrows and striking red lips. Make up was so important because it was one of the only ways working factory women could reclaim their femininity.

British Fashion 1940's   British Fashion 1940's

With women taking on a more masculine role in society, shoulder pads became fashionable and proved striking when paired against the figure hugging skirts.

British Fashion 1940's   British Fashion 1940's

The material restrictions and need for practically meant that women also started to wear shorts.

British Fashion 1940's

With the end of the war and rationing Christian Dior brought out his New Look in 1947. This was an outrageous contrast to the short hem and figure hugging silhouette of the war. This New Look was full bodied and long, using loads of material which many women still could not afford. This radical New Look paved the way for the rebellious fashion of the 1950’s.

Fashion 1950's  Fashion 1950's

To get the perfect 1940’s look you need to think- pencil skirts, peplums, red lipstick, victory rolls and anything high waisted topped off with the November’s most important accessory – a red poppy with all donations going to the British Legion.

Interior Inspiration: Día de Muertos

Día de Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is the Mexican festival that falls on the 31st October and is celebrated over two days. Family and friends gather together to remember and honour those who have deceased – the first day is spent remembering babies and children and the second day is dedicated to adults. Rather than dressing up as a well groomed cat or promiscuous devil, Mexicans spend the holiday celebrating the life of the dead by decorating their homes with shrines, sugar skulls and clay skeletons.

Skulls and skeletons, for most people, have negative connotations and, although common on the catwalk and now the high street, the majority of us would not dare to place them in our homes. However, the spirit of Día de Muertos is not one of sadness as this is considered as insulting to the dead. Instead it is a joyous, happy time dedicated to contemplating the beauty of life rather than tragedy of death.

By using this approach you can re-create the uplifting spirit of Día de Muertos in your home with a colourful gothic edge.

These quirky porcelain floral skulls by Iggy and Lou Lou are the perfect oxymoron.

Iggy & Lou Lou Skull

Iggy & Lou Lou Skull

Iggy & Lou Lou Skull

Graham Brown’s skull wallpaper by Barbara Hulanicki is ideal for a Día de Muertos inspired feature wall.

This range skull wall art by Magnus Gjoen, a designer for Vivienne Westwood, is available at artrepublic and adds edge to any room.

Magnus Gjoel Skull Print

Celebrate Día de Muertos in the most British way possible with this elegant tea set by Melody Rose.

Melody Rose tea set

Melody Rose tea set

Original 1920s occasional table is the ultimate upcycle piece by Figa & Co.

 Table by Figa & Co

 Table by Figa & Co

*All brands/products mentioned either ship internationally or are available through global distributors.

Paramount Hotels & Resorts launches DAMAC Towers in Dubai

Five-star hotel launches can quite often be looked over in Dubai, but when Paramount Pictures puts its name to something we pay attention, interested in understanding how a major Hollywood film studio is going to approach the design of such a project.

Joining forces with DAMAC properties, who have produced residences by Versace Home and FENDI CASA, Paramount Hotels & Resorts announced the major joint development to be called DAMAC Towers by Paramount. The project, which houses four towers located in Downtown Dubai, will be home to the first ever Paramount Hotel and Paramount Residences. The project is due for completion and opening in 2016.

And yet, what is going to be different about this development? When a luxury fashion brand puts its name to a property – be it residences by Versace Home, FENDI CASA or Baccarat, a hotel by Armani, or a nightclub by Armani or Cavalli – you pretty much know what you’re going to get. It’ll be luxurious and impeccably designed, but it’ll reflect the fashion brand so closely that from a design perspective there aren’t going to be any surprises. This isn’t to say the above mentioned interiors aren’t amazing, they are! The Armani Hotel’s sleek black and grey minimalist interior exudes class and luxurious simplicity, and only a genius (we’re talking Roberto Cavalli here) could combine zebra print, purple lighting, black crushed velvet with enormous chandeliers all in one space, and still keep it sophisticated. It’s just that, as the properties are an extension of what is already a design brand, you know they are going to be, well, an interior version of a couture dress.

But how does one of the oldest, most recognized Hollywood film studios decide to design its hotels? We spoke to Thomas Van Vliet, CEO of Paramount Hotels & Resorts, back in December 2012, and he explained that he didn’t want the design to be obvious or tacky by including features such as a ‘Marlon Brando’ Cigar Lounge, and we agree. It was refreshing to hear a brand developing a hotel in Dubai and still wanting to maintain an element of innovation and creativity.

And at the launch we weren’t disappointed. The brand values – creativity, simplicity, collaboration, mystery and escape – show that Paramount Hotels & Resorts will be developed using the same creative process perfected by Paramount Pictures itself. The promise was to focus on innovative design and energizing concepts using the development to showcase media, music, design, fashion and the arts, “For the creative. By the creative.”

The designs were elegant and playful, hinting at the California lifestyle, with a definite yet subtle Hollywood film influence – floor lamps resembling studio lights, a dramatic installation made from light umbrellas. The lobby boasts theatrical high ceilings and celluloid themed structures and curves. The design concept is neither so obscure that film buffs will be disappointed or so apparent that design enthusiasts will cringe – and considering where our passions lie, all we can say is roll on 2016.

Diamonds Are Forever: Bert Stern | Marilyn @ JAMM Gallery

A beautiful exhibition of Bert Stern’s photographs of Marilyn Monroe is being hosted at JAMM art gallery located in Al Quoz, Dubai. The exhibition will last until 18th April so if you haven’t had a chance to visit yet you most definitely should.

In late June 1962, just six weeks before Marilyn Monroe’s untimely death, Bert Stern took almost 2,600 photographs of the American star over three daily sessions at the Bel-Air Hotel in Los Angeles for the popular Vogue magazine; this photo shoot later became known as The Last Sitting.

Stern’s photographs carry a rare sensual and human vibrancy. Never before had the star allowed a photographer such intimate access, and Stern’s camera captures a revealing, naked portrait of Marilyn the person – a fragile, lonely, flawed woman who would die tragically a few weeks later.

“Marilyn Monroe was great, sexy, beautiful and funny- the perfect all American girl. I loved her. I am very excited to be having a show for the first time in the fabulous city of Dubai”, said Bert Stern

Here are some of our favourites.

Marilyn with Veil

 

Marilyn with Chinchilla

 

Marilyn with Nikon

 

Marilyn Pink Roses

Images courtesy of Z7 Communications.