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September 2 2014

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2 posts tagged "Standard Hotel"

Maria ke Fisherman’s Existential Experiment

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Maria Ke Fisherman

The story of the techy, nineties club-inspired, sports-cum-ready-to-wear brand Maria ke Fisherman (ke means “and” in Greek) is more romantic than most. It began at an after-party in Madrid. “We realized we could do something big together,” recalled Victor Alonso, the street-art-educated, fashion self-trained half of the design duo, of his late-night introduction to his Badajoz, Spain-raised partner, Maria Lemus. Soon after, the pair moved to Greece together—Thessaloniki, to be exact—with no real plan other than to live as “complete unknowns.”

“It was an existential exploration,” explained Alonso, who had just finished a degree in environmental science at the time. “We needed some time to think about how we could contribute to the world.”

During visits to Crete, Lemus fell in love with an elderly fisherman. “He was lonely and melancholic and always wore a red geranium behind his ear,” said Alonso. Lemus began scribbling “Maria ke fisherman” again and again on the nautical tablecloth of their local bar; the pair also started sketching early designs.

Preview

Eventually, they came to their own brand of futuristic, primary-colored separates that debuted for Spring ’11 in Madrid. “Our work is a product of our lives. The design is within ourselves and is nourished by our experiences. It usually comes as a surprise, as an explosion, until it becomes our obsession,” the two said of their Madrid-based design process. They looked to cyberpunk, nineties Spanish techno culture, and neo-yakuza movies for the past Spring ’14 collection, which featured zipper and mesh-lined sweatsuits and separates.

Their Fall ’14 range—which they will show at New York’s Standard Hotel with the help of Made Talent on February 12—will be softer than what we’ve seen in the past. “After our last two collections, in which sharp styles, flat surfaces, and futuristic concepts were predominant, we drew a collection with classical intentions and rounded silhouettes,” they asserted. But it isn’t all a diversion. “We haven’t given up our logo mania nor the idea of designing clothes that make you feel really special,” explained the pair of the outing, a preview of which debuts above. For instance, there will be slack seams made of custom, pastel-toned 3-D synthetic hair that the duo brought over from Korea. “Embroidered optic white denim will accentuate the figure and bring out a magical sharpness against the blurred hair,” they said.

The forthcoming range caters to “a very shy girl having her best day.” Lemus and Alonso mention Japanese actress and model Kiko Mizuhara as a new muse. “Our aesthetic is toy, bold, mogul, sweet, future-is-now,” they offered. No doubt, these looks would bring out the bold in anyone.

Models We Stand

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“For too long, the modeling industry has been like the Wild West,” said Coco Rocha at last night’s launch party for the Model Alliance, a new nonprofit group organized by models, for models. Top models including Doutzen Kroes, Crystal Renn, Missy Rayder, and Ajak Deng stopped by the Standard Hotel to toast the cause. The Alliance started as an idea established by model Sara Ziff (the filmmaker behind the revealing documentary Picture Me), explored in a paper she wrote while studying community organizing at Columbia University. Ziff, who at 29 has now been modeling half her life, understands firsthand how young girls are often mistreated in an industry without real labor regulations. For example, catwalkers often begin working in their mid-teens, and many never get the chance to finish high school. They can go through an entire day of walking back-to-back runway shows without actually making any money, getting paid in “trade” (a.k.a. designer clothes) instead. And, there are still a great deal of complaints about backstage photographers taking unauthorized pictures of the girls changing. Typically, the models don’t speak up about these inequities because they know they’re highly replaceable. “Most models’ clout is as tiny as our size zero frames,” Ziff told Style.com. So she teamed up with former model and current fashion writer Jenna Sauers to give these girls a voice, and developed the Alliance along with the support of the CFDA and the new Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School. “Having experienced the highs and lows of this industry, I am ultra-excited about this,” said Rocha. “But we’ve still got a long way to go.”

Photo: Wendell Teodoro / Getty Images