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August 21 2014

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6 posts tagged "G-Star"

The Ever-Expanding Design Influence of Aitor Throup

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Aitor Throup

Aitor Throup’s eerie, anatomical drawings have always been a critical component of his body of work. If you’d ever seen only them, you’d be inclined to label him an artist, though it’s as a menswear designer that Throup has insinuated himself into pop culture. And yet, every time he surfaces on Style.com, it’s with a new project that is as much art as fashion. And so it is with this installment of our semi-regular ThroupWatch.

The blurred lines are amplified by the fact that Throup has never really functioned as a fashion designer. In the eight years since he graduated from the Royal College of Art, he has managed to duck the industry’s swinging seasonal timetable. He’s designed collections—though they are better described as “projects”—without ever actually bringing anything to market, until last year’s “New Object Research,” which was a carefully curated overview of his output to date. The clothes quickly sold out in the handful of stores around the world that carried them.

But if there has never been much with his own label attached, that doesn’t mean Throup hasn’t been shaping a singular and stealthily influential presence. He’s always busy with consultancies, for instance. The latest—for Amsterdam-based denim label G-Star Raw—was announced yesterday. He’s also created the visual identities for Damon Albarn’s new album, Everyday Robots, and he’s designing everything for the band Kasabian, from stage design to album sleeves to videos. The latest, “Eez-Eh,” features a cameo by Noomi Rapace (see it here, above), who gets to unleash her rock ‘n’ roll animal alongside the band. The immediacy of the whole thing suggests Throup is getting a much bigger kick out of this sort of stuff than fashion. The sneaky thought even occurs that he keeps himself so busy with outside projects so he never actually has to face up to his own.

Not at all, he insisted last night at a Q&A in London’s Design Museum. Throup claimed all his projects—whatever, wherever they are—feed into each other. They’re all part of the same curatorial exercise, refining his ideas with the ultimate goal of “creating an intrinsic style that only has itself as a point of reference.” And if that sounds grandiose, consider that it’s a similar obsessive impulse that has shaped the careers of true innovators like Azzedine Alaïa, Rei Kawakubo, and Vivienne Westwood. No surprise, then, that innovation was the key word in G-Star’s announcement. Throup’s own definition of what he does is “deeply charged art in the form of product innovation,” which not only provides a bridge between artist and designer, but also promises plenty more fodder for ThroupWatch.

G-Star and Vs. Magazine Devour Art

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Blurring the boundaries between the worlds of fashion, art, music, and film has always been a focus at G-Star. The denim brand regularly works with noteworthy director Anton Corbijn on its print campaigns, and recently kicked off its new Art of RAW project with a video featuring cool CGI animation and a custom track by Skrillex. Keeping up the cultural momentum, they have collaborated with Vs. Magazine on Devouring Art, a short film directed by and starring Danish multimedia artist Rie Rasmussen. In the Vs. Magazine film, Rasmussen portrays an artist who breaks into a gallery—armed with painting tools and clad in denim overalls—in search of inspiration. Inside, the surrounding art comes to life and consumes her for a raw, and decidedly racy, result.

“I let the tone of the [Art of RAW] collection inspire [me]. So [the film] definitely had to be something with a dark edge to it, while still making an artistic point,” Rasmussen told Style.com. The director—a frequent Vs. collaborator—brought in personal muse and former Givenchy model Marie de Villepin to costar in the film and help with its soundtrack (de Villepin is the frontwoman of the band Pinkmist). “I like sturdy, hard-edged female fashion, and the idea of durable clothing that’s built to last,” Rasmussen continued. “The word raw has always been a huge turn-on to me because it implies no pretense—no refining, no makeup, no facade. That is rare in fashion and why G-Star’s Art of RAW project is so refreshing.”

Vs. and G-Star gave Style.com an exclusive sneak peek at the film and will debut the full version tonight with an event at the Electric Room at Dream Downtown. Catherine McNeil, Dorothea Barth Jorgensen, David Blaine, Lulu Gainsbourg, and Sophie Auster are among the expected guests.

The Latest From Pitti: Less Is More

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The economic news from Italy, Pitti Immagine’s ambassadors admitted at a diplomatic lunch mission today, is not good. But they contend they have every reason to be sanguine. The biannual Pitti trade fairs—menswear Pitti Uomo, womenswear Pitti W, children’s Pitti Bimbi, and the textile fair Pitti Filati—draw a more international crowd season after season; for the 83rd fair, to be held January 8-11 of next year, a full 40 percent of the vendors are international.

The big news so far has been the invited guests: Kenzo, which will present the Fall ’13 menswear collection, and Maison Kitsuné, which will stage its first ever show for women’s pre-collection. At lunch, Kenzo designer Humberto Leon and Carol Lim (left) professed their gratitude for the Pitti invitation, even if accepting it means their hectic international schedules, overseeing Kenzo and Opening Ceremony, became that much more hectic. (Leon estimated that he is now on a plane once every five days, with key stops in Florence, Tokyo, Paris, and L.A.) But in their way, Leon and Lim are shaking up the Pitti orthodoxies: They are, Pitti CEO Raffaello Napoleone said with a gasp, showing during the afternoon instead of the usual evening spot.

Kenzo and Kitsuné both hit a sweet spot a hair below the usual designer price point, which is likely no coincidence. “Smart casual is doing well,” Pitti Chairman Gaetano Marzotto announced in his opening remarks, calling out a bright spot in the market. (And adding, to a mostly tie-less crowd, “Like you are dressed now—you in particular.”) But the main-stage designers won’t be the only ones showing at Pitti. Among the other debuts will be Adidas SLVR, G-Star (which will show its latest collection created in collaboration with industrial designer Marc Newson), the returning Pitti veteran Andrea Pompilio, and the adored Japanese line White Mountaineering.

Photo: Yannis Vlamos/GoRunway.com

Arizona Is G-Star’s New Muse

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After featuring actresses including Clémence Poésy, Gemma Arterton, and Liv Tyler in past campaigns, G-Star went in a different direction and selected model-of-the-moment Arizona Muse as its face for Fall. And while Muse may not have as much movie star cred as the other girls, she’s definitely a leading lady in the fashion industry, having starred in recent ads for Isabel Marant and Louis Vuitton, among others, not to mention the dozens of editorials and covers she’s scored since her breakthrough Spring ’11 runway season. “She has become her name, being today’s muse of fashion,” said G-Star’s global brand director, Shubhankar Ray. Muse appears alongside actor Caleb Landry Jones in the new campaign, lensed by famed music video and film director Anton Corbijn (he’s been collaborating with G-Star the past several seasons). The shoot took place in the French Alps at an altitude of nearly 10,000 feet, but Muse, wearing a head-to-toe raw denim outfit, proved that no mountain is too high for her. “I really loved shooting with Anton. He was really personable and easy to work with,” Muse told Style.com. “G-Star chooses people who I admire and it’s amazing that I’m now in that group of people—including Liv Tyler, who I love.” Here, Style.com has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the campaign shoot.

Photo: Anton Corbijn

G-Star’s Denim of The Future, Today

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For G-Star, wearing raw denim is a highly individual experience. Examine a pair of selvage jeans after a year of wear and you can interpret the various whiskers, distressing, and cell phone imprints as marks of its owner’s personality. After seasons of doing traditional runway shows during the pandemonium of NYFW, G-Star decided to play up the more unique, individual aspect of its line. At Berlin’s Bread and Butter trade show a few months back, they set their jeans in motion with a modern dance performance. Dancers-cum-models demonstrated the flexibility of the clothing, doing acrobatic flips and leaps in the latest Fall collection, which just arrived stateside for previews.

Always looking for ways to stay on the cutting edge of denim innovation while remaining true to its utilitarian DNA, G-Star recently rolled out its Deep Tones line with a specially formulated molecular treatment that prevents fading on signature styles like the sculptural Arc pant, which looks bow-legged when laid flat but is ergonomically designed to contour around the leg for a 3-D effect—check it out on current campaign model Clémence Poéy. The treatment was also applied to its more classic Elwood model, which was inspired 15 years ago by a motorcyclist wearing wet jeans. New experiments with baking denim led to an interesting, delicately crinkled texture on wrap dresses and coveralls.

This season, the ladies got a new pant shape called the Radar, with a high waist (a first for the label) and ultra-slim stovepipe legs. But in general, G-Star eschews trends for a perennial military influence. Along those lines, the boiled wool cavalry cape and men’s neoprene peacoat here seemed particularly modern.

Photo: Courtesy of G-Star