December 30, 2012

"Hug Me" by Si Chan

Macao-based designer Si Chan got a little handsy with his latest collection, wittily titled "Hug Me." His small men's collection explores series of hand movements as an expression of different interpersonal relationships. The designer emphasizes a variety of keywords as the foci of the collection: hugs, communication, happiness, comfort, childhood, warmth (the list continues).

Perhaps the main reason as to why this autumn/winter 2012 collection is arresting is that it is sourced directly from the heart. These are not designs created solely for the sake of avant-garde identity but rather serve as an embodiment of Chan's colorful emotions. As singers translate heartache into lyrical poetry, Chan brings his human vulnerability to fashion design. It's rare to see such a portrayal of feeling in an art form often designated as strictly commercial. He wants his audiences to truly think.

The London College of Fashion alumnus sums up his work as thus: "I'm creating, not making."

Images from Showtime: London College of Fashion
Photography by Sara Pista

Visit the designer's London College of Fashion page for more.

December 21, 2012

Into the Color Chasm

I recently stumbled upon the work of Antwerp-born graphic designer and mixed-media artist Jonathan Lichtfeld on Tumblr. While Photoshop has come to evoke negative connotations in the fashion world for its airbrushing notoriety, the program has spawned a growing population of artists expanding on the idea of digital manipulation.

Illusions have always been part of the photography world. (I recently saw the photography exhibition Faking It: Manipulated Photography Before Photoshop at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and I was astounded by the many tricks photographers had up their sleeves.) I really love the ways artists have been able to transform their photography into avant-garde collages or surrealist images reminiscent of our most fantastical dreams.

Out of the Lichtfeld images I have explored over the past couple of days, the following work is my definite favorite. What could be more perfect for my blog than a black-and-white image of a figure falling into a whirlpool of color and pattern? I've deemed this final destination the color chasm, and I strongly believe that every fashionably-inclined individual should find his or her way into it.

Christopher Kane rainbow shift dress (available here), BCBGMAXAZRIA evening clutch (available here), Iosselliani necklace (similar style here), Erdem x Nicholas Kirkwood floral print pumps (available here).
My outfit interpretation contains its color chasm within the black panels of a Christopher Kane shift dress. Pumps from the Erdem x Nicholas Kirkwood collaboration represent the vibrant floral stripes, yet there is no risk of falling here with sturdy embellished heels.

View more of Lichtfeld's work on his Flickr.
Image rights belong to Jonathan Lichtfeld; image found via Tumblr.

December 11, 2012

Best Foot Forward

There seems to be a gap in our overflowing fashion emporiums. While our feet receive a myriad of sculptural blessings, which arch them infinitely upwards in a perhaps unnatural form of contortions, there have been few resources for those endearing fabrics that coat our feet within their hives. 
Decode the poetry and it is clear that I have not yet been satisfied in the way of socks and stockings. So much attention is put on footwear that it is shocking to see this lack of hosiery. There is so much freedom within the range of these small pieces of textile: whether scrunched atop a heel or pulled taut from within the neck of a leather boot, socks are a haven of color and pattern for even the most ordinary of dressers. Even when they are hidden from the naked eye, we often opt for pair with unabashed whimsy. 
When it comes to socks, we are unafraid.

Enter Strathcona Stockings, specializing in fine hand-printed socks and stockings. Each print is completely original, whether collaged or photographed, and each stocking is printed by hand in the Strathcona studio.
The vivid prints meet even my color cravings. The selection includes a combination of abstract designs and wallpaper-esque patterns for the imaginative dreamer and quintessential vintage-lover alike. Each pair has a sort of homebody quality about it, as if from a local store that remains your town's best-kept secret. 

I'd love to have a pair of Strathconas peering out of my shoes.

Images from Strathcona Stockings
Available for purchase here

December 09, 2012

JAU Label's Fashion Galaxy

JAU Label launched only last year, but designer Jessica Au has already garnered much attention for her  East London-based brand's conceptual aesthetic. Straying fashion's oft-consuming need for purpose, Au's work revels in its lack of a deeper meaning.

The Spring/Summer 2013 collection is entitled νέον - Greek for new one - and is built out of experimentation with new techniques and recycled fabrics in conjunction with VVVintage. Influences ranging from Die Antwoord's "Zef Style" to Japanese street style merged with Au's passions for illustration and intricate artistic concepts for a truly avant-garde collection.
The clothing combines comic-book elements with a space-age vibe, yet the output feels modern rather than kitschy. Perhaps it's because the futuristic qualities call upon the past: a long-sleeved aqua top feels reminiscent of Art Deco, while graphic bottoms are distinctly Pop Art.

JAU Label has enlivened the upcoming collection in a corresponding fashion film, entitled "Schizolog" and produced by Rob Heppell. The video captures a digital dystopia, where a model clad in various neon-tinged ensembles defies the laws of gravity amongst a variety of trippy computer-generated galaxies. The result, it could be said, adds an extra dimension to the clothing.

Visit the JAU Label website at
See more of Rob Heppell's work at 

Images courtesy of Jessica Au