La Planète sauvage, René Laloux, 1973

Publié dans Uncategorized | Laisser un commentaire


Publié dans Uncategorized | Laisser un commentaire

Valentino ss16













Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli were thinking deeply about Africa when they were designing for Spring, and not on a whim. For more than a year, tens of thousands of refugees from Senegal, Nigeria, Eritrea, Mali, Gambia, and elsewhere have been making the harrowing journey across the Mediterranean to southern Italy. Packed into unseaworthy vessels, many are dying in appalling circumstances before they reach shore, a humanitarian crisis Italy has been dealing with by patrolling the seas, saving survivors, and giving them sanctuary. As in Germany, which has been receiving hundreds of thousands fleeing from the war in Syria, there has been a backlash against the new arrivals from some quarters. And this is what the Valentino designers want to counteract. “We probably feel that the greatest privilege in doing our work is that fashion can give a message,” said Chiuri. “We think every person coming here is an individual, and we can show that we can improve ourselves by understanding other cultures.”

“The message,” added Piccioli, “is tolerance. And the beauty that comes out of cross-cultural expression.”

On appearances, you would not necessarily guess at the very real and fraught situation running in the background of this serene and heartfelt Valentino collection, but the research, and the lengths the designers had gone to to educate themselves, resulted in some gorgeous fusions between Italian and African traditions. They met in the textiles and the way the Roman influences Chiuri and Piccioli had used in their couture show segued into tribal treatments—the strips of leather that began as a gladiator reference became studded; the Roman sandals gained carved ebony heels; the pagan necklaces of their former show now appeared in white ceramic, suggesting abstracted teeth or shells; and the house expertise in embroidery produced tiny beaded Masai-derived patterns and bold peacock feather trims.

Both designers pointed out that their respectful borrowings are hardly new; they are part of a history of Western assimilation that goes back to Picasso and Braque’s embrace of African art in the 1920s, which, Chiuri said, “was the birth of modernism in art.” It came over as most modern in this show when it was at its most subtle, as in the black dress embellished with multiple layers of suede fringing, or in the manipulation of tie-dye patterns used as a camouflage-like material for summer utility jackets and cargo pants. In the end, though, while customers may not even notice the roots of the simple, breezy cotton printed Valentino dresses they are buying, the important thing is that the designers have used this opportunity to spell out where they stand on an issue very close to home. It will definitely be heard in Italy. Fashion is a frivolous and joyful thing, but that doesn’t prevent some of the people who are making it from having inquiring minds and a public conscience.

Publié dans Uncategorized | Laisser un commentaire


You get on a train, you disappear.
You write your name on the window,
you disappear.

There are places like this everywhere,
places you enter as a young girl,
from which you never return.


Louise Glück, from “Averno” (Averno)
Publié dans Uncategorized | Laisser un commentaire

Hermés ss16








It wove a good story, not just a good crochet minidress, a narrative hook that is still missing from Ms. Vanhee-Cybulski’s work at Hermès. Though her second collection was lighter and looser than the first (and more flattering), on a spare white runway the checkerboard rompers in silk twill, calfskin and silk pleated sleeveless dresses, and long blue-black waistcoats appeared ineffably (and expensively) appropriate, but bland. 



Publié dans Uncategorized | Laisser un commentaire




... this summer.

Publié dans Uncategorized | Laisser un commentaire



Factory Fox

Publié dans Uncategorized | Laisser un commentaire