19 posts tagged "SHOWstudio"
Nearly a hundred years ago, a famous lady of London dreamt of a room of her own. But times change and dreams get bigger. “I’ve always wanted a big house,” said the Brazilian-born, London-based designer Barbara Casasola, “with a red room, a blue room…” With an invitation to present a collection at Pitti Uomo and a little sponsorship funding from the fair, suddenly, like a wish on a bottle, it was so. She divided a crumbling but impressive structure on the Via Dello Studio—just off the city’s historic center and steps from the Duomo—into an apartment the likes of which have rarely been seen outside of fever dreams. One room was all brilliant fuchsia. Another, connected to the first by a long runway, was a teal-tinted blue. And everywhere, in lieu of windows, were screens projecting a Nouvelle Vague-inspired short film Casasola created with SHOWStudio’s Marie Schuller and Jamie Bochert (below). Bochert is a muse for Casasola, and this, the designer said, gesturing around, “is her house.” The sense was very much of peeking behind the blinds, not least because Bochert spends much of the film nearly nude. (Admittedly, that’s a magnanimous and somewhat curious decision for a designer to make for a film devoted to showcasing her own collection.)
The collection Casasola showed in her new digs was technically her first Pre-Fall, but she disliked the idea of a whole collection dedicated to commercializing her runway looks. Instead, she conceived of it as a capsule collection of, as she called it, menswear for women. It was a striking change, given that she’s known primarily for dresses. But for a first attempt—especially one boldly undertaken at a menswear fair—it was a strong showing. She custom-developed fabrics, including wools, wool-silks, and cady, to create monochrome suits with boxy jackets and deep-pleated palazzo pants, structured enough to retain the strict lines she prefers but pliant enough to swing like skirts when her models strode the catwalk from the pink room to the blue. Each was worn against bare skin, which lent an androgynous sex appeal not usually associated with tailoring. There were a few dresses and looser interpretations of her men’s-for-women’s theme—like jumpsuits whose backs had cutouts resembling lapels—but Casasola herself was in a suit of her own design (the prototype, she admitted), which suggested where her own sympathies lie, at least at the moment.
Womenswear designers at Pitti Uomo can sometimes seem adrift in the unfamiliar crowd of men’s buyers and editors, but Casasola is no stranger to Florence. Before launching her label, she worked here for Roberto Cavalli, and she produces her own collection here. “I invited the whole office,” she said with a smile. “All my seamstresses are here, and my patternmakers.” So the presentation was full of friends. She’d bargained for a house and wound up with a home.
“I don’t like practical jewelry,” said Bali-born, Antwerp-based Heaven Tanudiredja. “I don’t like jewelry that’s normal or classic, either,” he continued. That would explain the designer’s hyper-sculptural necklaces, cuffs, and harnesses, which, as we’re sure you’ve now gathered, are none of the above. Having launched his range in 2007 while working with Dries Van Noten (he also did a stint at John Galliano’s Dior after graduating from the Royal Academy in Antwerp), Tanudiredja sees jewelry as a form of armor. “And I think it’s a way of telling a story—you have to discover all the details to understand it,” he offered.
Last season, his story began in a particularly unexpected place. The Fall 2013 collection was inspired by mental illness—specifically, autism. After diving into research, Tanudiredja felt that those who suffer from such disorders are seemingly trapped in a mental cage. “But if you stay inside your head,” he said, “there can be a beautiful chaos. I tried to put that beautiful [aspect] into the collection.” The result was weighty brass, gold, and vintage crystal wares covered with tiny, empty chairs, metallic wheels (representative of the constantly spinning psychological gears), and small hands that can’t quite touch. “It’s intense,” said the 30-year-old designer. No kidding. Continue Reading “A Little Bit of Heaven” »
It would seem that Barbie and co. can’t get enough of the London fashion scene. After receiving a rainbow dye job from East London salon Bleach, as well as a graffitied makeover from Louise Gray, last year, and sending Ken to get some new Gareth Pugh threads in 2009, Barbie has tapped Roksanda Ilincic and Nick Knight’s Showstudio to design her new virtual Dreamhouse. Considering Ilincic, who created a frock for Barbie four years ago in honor of her fiftieth anniversary (left), has a background in architecture, we assume she’s more than qualified for the job. Introduced in 1962, Barbie’s Dreamhouses have, of course, traditionally had a Malibu twist, but the new mini-mansion—set to be revealed later this summer—will pull inspiration from London’s gritty streets. Expect a harder, more subversive edge than the previous plastic abodes, but, knowing Ilincic, no less pink.
Artist, producer, muse—all words that describe Daphne Guinness. But soprano? Well, there’s a bolt from the blue. Last night, Guinness unveiled her first single (on vinyl, no less), “Fatal Flaw,” at Nick Knight’s SHOWstudio in London’s Belgravia neighborhood—a fitting setting for the reveal, as Knight actually filmed and live-streamed Guinness singing opera last year. (The shoot resulted in five short films that were played in the windows of the French department store Printemps.) Yesterday evening’s event also served as the opening of SHOWcabinet, an intensely personal display case within the SHOWstudio gallery (consider it like an old-time curiosity cabinet) where artists present objects that have mattered throughout their lives.
Guinness is the first to take a turn in Knight’s SHOWcabinet, and the pieces on view indeed tell the story of her life: an ornate armored glove that she created over the span of five years in collaboration with Shaun Leane, a beloved Gareth Pugh leather cage jacket, and some works from Percy Bysshe Shelley and Shakespeare—her constant companions over the years.
Here, in an exclusive interview, Guinness and Knight speak with Style.com about why she decided to bare her soul—and her vocal chords.
Daphne, who knew you were a singer, and a soprano no less. Did you have any formal training?
Daphne Guinness: I wasn’t trained at all—I just made the song up, by mistake actually. If anything, I probably trained myself by listening over the years. I have a four-and-a-half-, nearly five-octave range. I probably should have had extra lessons as a child, as I am certain my family heard my potential, but I didn’t. I was in the choir as a schoolgirl, but really, it is all self-taught.
Why music now?
DG: After children, I had a break in my top range, as my diaphragm dropped because it naturally stretched out. I couldn’t make that jump to singing smoothly. Holding a note is a very difficult thing—you have to use your whole body to achieve a perfect pitch. So my singing languished a bit, but it has always been there. I know it sounds ridiculous when I say I am not a fashion person, because of course I am, but music has a complete effect on me, and the time was ripe to reacquaint myself with it. I suppose I am known for being very visual, but I realized that, for me, it’s all about sound.
Nick Knight: What is interesting is that very few people know that music and sound are really a fundamental part of you. But I do think there is a lot of crossover in the senses, especially with sound and sight. For instance, when I am creating an image, I am actually subliminally looking for a tone or sound, which I don’t hear, but see. So when I get a great picture, in fact I am hearing this perfectly harmonious sound. It’s almost like I am tuning one of my pictures like an instrument. So there is a lot of swap-over between the senses. Unfortunately, we are so conditioned to use one sense for one thing, when actually it is a whole mixture of senses at play in an artistic process. Continue Reading “Daphne Guinness Sings the Blues” »
On February 15, Phaidon Press will release Pattern, a book that highlights one hundred compelling fashion designers on the rise. Phaidon handed over the book’s curatorial duties to a group of ten designers and industry insiders (including stylist Keegan Singh, Preen’s Justin Thornton and Thea Bregazzi, the SHOWstudio team, and Business of Fashion‘s founder Imran Amed, just to name a few), each of whom chose ten talents to fill Pattern‘s pages.
The book (which is a follow-up to the 2005 fashion tome SAMPLE) features established designers (Phillip Lim, Alexander Wang, Christopher Kane, Sarah Burton), well-known emerging labels (Eddie Borgo, Thomas Tait, Creatures of the Wind, Mary Katrantzou, whose work is pictured above), and proper newbies (Simone Rocha, Marques’ Almeida, Phoebe English, Maarten van der Horst). The designers’ diverse aesthetics, techniques and outlooks are presented via detailed introductions, backstage, campaign and editorial photographs, and never-before-seen sketches, all of which serve to give readers an in-depth understanding of their work. “For me, seeing that the designers had a consistent point of view that’s true to their style was important,” said Singh, whose picks include Cushnie et Ochs (left), Olivier Rousteing of Balmain, Tabitha Simmons, Dominic Jones, and Gianvito Rossi, among others. “You know, it’s like Azzedine Alaïa. He has his thing, and he always sticks to it,” he added. So does Singh think the next Alaïa is somewhere between Pattern‘s covers? “It’s a possibility!” he laughed. At the very least, he notes, “the book gives the young designers a chance to reach broader audiences; it exposes them to a whole new group of people.”
Pattern: 100 Fashion Designers, 10 Curators will be available on February 15, on phaidon.com.