By Sara Darling
Nulla Dies Sine Linea: No day without drawing a line
This is not something that would cross the conscience of most 'fashion' stylists. However, Antonio Marras is a visionary of the fashion world. A ‘darling’ if you like, who has worked as a stylist, creative director and link between cinema, poetry and visual art, and has never compromised throughout his career.
Celebrated as “the most intellectual of Italian stylists,” he is respected all over the globe, and it is his access all areas approach to creating that makes him a master across all disciplines.
His latest coffee table book ‘Nulla Dies Sine Linea’ is a personal expression of the mind behind the mastermind. Fusing poetry with sketches, photographs and lyrics, it is a tumultuous, chaotic and intimate insight into what excites Marras.
As an expression of creative collaborations he has undertaken throughout his vast career, his influences come from poets, musicians, writers, artists and intellectuals, the book diversifies and morphs seamlessly between languages, and techniques which summarise his work ethic.
This volume offers installations, drawings, sketches, and snippets that Marras has created over the years, and is more of a journal than a moodboard. Memories, maps, thoughts, notebooks, photographs and vocabulary have been recorded in this beautiful, stimulating book.
Describing Marras is impossible- he is an influencer across all creative methods, and demonstrates how intricately they link.
Even the title is representative of how fused the realms of styling and art collide and overlap as it refers to the Roman author, Pliny the Elder who stated he “never let a day pass without tracing a line”. Art meets fashion. Fashion is art. Emotions always win!
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Article: Nicola Rachel Colyer
Students of the University of Westminster’s BA in Fashion Design made a spectacular debut on the London Fashion Week schedule as the first ever undergraduate course to be invited to show at a major fashion week.
Showcasing the work of final year students from an institution that has nurtured some of the leading names in the industry, including Ashley Williams, Liam Hodges, Vivienne Westwood and Christopher Bailey, the BA show has been a longstanding favourite on June’s Graduate Fashion Week schedule. However, in a bid to reform fashion education to better prepare students for a future in the field, course director Andrew Groves restructured the programme to allow his students to align their collections with the international fashion calendar.
“I have long believed that fashion education needs to provide our students with the most realistic and industry-ready educational experience,” Groves explained. “By showing their collections in February rather than June, it enables our accomplished final year students to become truly part of the industry.”
The collections presented the very best of emerging talent, with an exciting array of designs inspired by both real-life and hypothetical society and culture. Suzi Lee’s soft silhouettes in a vibrant palette of orange, teal, rust, and navy took inspiration from the last remaining Haenyeo Divers of Jeju Island on the South Korean peninsula, while Lauren Audrey’s high glamour designs celebrated the current climate in the West with a display of female empowerment in a riotous mélange of clashing tones and rich textures.
Meanwhile, non-binary designer William Dill-Russell explored the rise of gender fluidity in fashion with a dark and voluminous collection reminiscent of a child’s game of dress-up, and Savannah Avery imagined a desiccated desert land punctuated with brightly coloured, fringed designs in a number of hand-crafted fabrics in homage to the traditional craftsmanship of the Tuareg People, a nomadic tribe of the Sahara.
Elsewhere, students explored subjects ranging from corruption and the abuse of power to the changing stages of grief, while others found inspiration in everything from space pioneers to social change in the North of England. Raising the stakes for design institutions around the world, we look forward to what is sure to be a London Fashion Week highlight for years to come.
A sneaky peek of the anticipated exhibition at the V& A by Sara Darling
This summer’s blockbuster exhibition at the V & A museum will be a well timed 100 years retrospective, which was founded by of Spanish fashion designer Cristóbal Balenciaga, whose groundbreaking designs changed fashion forever.
Showcasing pieces that you might recognise, but not realise were Balenciaga, such as the tulip skirt, shift dress, raglan sleeve and and boxy shoulders, he was noted by his contemporaries as being a genius, and setting the rules for 20th century high fashion.
Christian Dior called him “conductor to the haute couture’s orchestra”, and the ‘Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion’ show is a homage to much of his seen and unseen work. Allowing visitors to closely explore the complicated craftsmanship and attention to detail that went into his creations, and radically, the V & A have x-rayed one of his gowns to expose the underlying workmanship that keeps it in shape.
Balenciaga shaped fashion in the mid 20th century, like no other, and his influence has filtered through to designs today- with JW Andersen, Simone Rocha and Erdem as noticeable devotees. Interestingly, now Balenciaga is under the art direction of experimental nous of Demna Gvasalia, (from Vetements) and the house is gaining a new cult following for it’s creative and forward thinking designs.
The exhibition will showcase over 100 designs and drawings, alongside photographs of the some of the world’s most famous women who he dressed and is a must see for anyone who has a love of fashion.
Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion will be on show at the V&A, London May 27th 2017–February 18th 2018
More details here
London Fashion Week Men AW18
By 55's Fashion Editor Sara Darling
Every January just as I am getting over the excess of Christmas I know I am in for a double treat as January brings not doom and gloom but a whole new season of clothes and lots of pretty boys to look at.
Even though London Fashion Week Mens has had a rebrand (now known affectionately as LFWM) it seemed to have had a bit of its stuffing knocked out of it as the big players were nowhere to be seen. But there was still plenty of what London does best- twisted tailoring and lots of personality.
Burberry shows a joint mens and womens collection in February, and there was no sign of the Savile Row tailoring, Chester Barrie, Richard James, Agi and Sam and Harrys of London were noticeably missing. But it did have authentic Northern Soul dancing, Craig Green’s sculptural human kite, and dancing on ice, so I guess that’s just fashion progress!
Choosing key looks, is me choosing my favourites, so these are the trends that I am hoping any man worth any fashion kudos will be dipping into next AW.
Real men will be wearing knits, shearling, corduroy and velvet!!! The leaders of the pack are JW Anderson, who went oversized gran knit- chic! Using crochet for backpacks and overcoats with crochet sleeves; Astrid Andersen indulged in street knits, fusing Argyle patterns with classic polo shirts (metallic robe optional). And if you fancy stocking up for any extracurricular outdoors activities, take note of winter woolies specialists, Band of Outsiders, whose models ice danced at Somerset House.
Vivienne Westwood, E Tautz and Oliver Spencer are the go to names for cord, keep it dainty and not not jumbo- there is no need to reference your cheesy raver days! But of course, Westwood has added a punk twist.
Oliver Spencer as usual showed on his celebrity friends and my jey picks are the snazzy velvet bombers- perfect for bringing a dash of dandy to your daywear. Velvet took main stage at Casely-Hayford too- if you are in the market for patterned velvet trousers or shirts, you will make a statement at the Christmas party in these. Even designers on the edgier scale, Liam Hodges and Alex Mullins introduced a splash of the luxe fabric in their collections,
Streetwear is always going to be big for boys. Matthew Miller and YMC do their own version for grown up boys ranging from burnt orange to darker hues. And Maharishi added African-inspired print to his military looks, whilst Tinie Tempah's second collection for What We Wear, is perfect for men who like to glow. In day glow!
Craig Green has been on the tip of the fash pack tongue for several season’s now, and his latest collection consisted of highly technical fabrics and sportswear looks, including denim pants, worker-wear jackets and ribbed windbreakers.
Christopher Raeburn is a man who knows his customer, and although his collections are always highly wearable, this season was mostly bright orange. Inspired by the sea rescue service, this ultimately became a lot more street- unless you count the lobster mittens, which might be too Shoreditch for some.
With more emerging talent showcasing, Daniel W Fletcher is one to watch. This season, he celebrated what it means to be young, male and British. Concentrating on classic schoolboy staples of the seventies like the Mackintosh, he added wrestling singlets and extra-clingy cycling shorts.
For the more flamboyant, Wales Bonner is the designer to know. Working a collection inspired by Afro-American artist Jacob Lawrence, her deconstructed sportswear and tailored suiting was simplistic, yet luxuriously beautiful.
Tourne de Transmission showcased their first ever runway show which provided laid back layers perfect for skater boys; Whereas WoodWood offered a unisex presentation, perfect for a transition into adulthood. With classic American youth culture references such as varsity jackets, double denim and slogan tops, the result was perfectly normcore.
Fashion Week wouldn't be fashion week without heritage brand Belstaff. Always decadently British, this season saw plenty of army surplus-style over coats styled with hoodies and lots of leather. The collection as a whole not just for bikers, but took inspiration from mods, punks, rockers and skins- and was a mash up of subcultures. This year is also a landmark year for the brand, which is celebrating the 70th anniversary of its iconic four-pocket Trialmaster jacket. Here's to another 70 years.