Sunday, October 19, 2008

Eco Chic: Nicolas Ghesquière Likes His Latex

"I'm not saying I'm Stella McCartney or anything... but although it's not seen that way, latex is, in fact, very noble because it comes from trees. It's a natural texture," says Balenciaga's Nicolas Ghesquière in a recent article in the Independent. As if the designer's SS09 collection--one rife with drool-worthy futuristic metallic jackets and motorcross pants--wasn't enough reason to love the man, he's considerate of his ecological imprint as well.

While Ghesquière isn't the first to work with the fabric that's traditionally seen as more S&M than serious fashion (the aforementioned article cites Giles Deacon's SS08 collection as precedence), with Balenciaga's SS09 line, as the Independent so wonderfully puts it, Ghesquière "has taken this fashion bull by its none-too-salubrious horns and run with it." According to the designer, the division between kink and couture lies in a layer of silk separating the latex from ones flesh. "It's a softer image, not about fetishism at all," he explains. At this rate, maybe non-sustainable garments really will be a thing of the past. Regardless, going green never looked so chic.

That's A Wrap: Yokoo's Otherwordly Knits

A big thank you to Susie Bubble for turning me on to Yokoo--the eye-catching knitwear line that's currently up for grabs via Etsy. From over-sized, tightly-knit mufflers, to loose-fitting neckwarmers that double as hoods, the line is chock-full of covetable pieces. In addition to highly-functional knits there are also chain necklaces, which look like the love child of Flavor Flav and a needle-wielding octogenarian. One of our favorites is the Braided Spice chain (no doubt named for its paprika coloring), which works as both necklace and neckwarmer. As if it couldn't get any better, most of the pieces are priced well under $100. For more from the Woody Allen-obsessed designer behind Yokoo, check out her Flickr account, which likewise showcases her non-knit photography and a spattering of fun 'inspiration' images.

Factory Fashion: Legendary Photographer Paul Jasmin Does Band of Outsiders

Band of Outsiders and Boy--the men's and womenswear collections, respectively, from LA-based Scott Sternberg--are synonymous with innovative seasonal presentations (in the past Sternberg has employed Kirsten Dunst, Michelle Williams and Max Minghella as models, traded the catwalk for video installations, not to mention Band of Outsider's site consists solely of a bare-boned blog). Not surprisingly, for Band of Outsiders' holiday collection, Sternberg is at it again. This time around he's enlisted photographer Paul Jasmin (who was once romantically linked to Bruce Weber, worked in Warhol's factory, and provided the eery voice behind Hitchcock's Mrs. Bates) as the model for looks that include a three-piece, mustard yellow velvet suit and sumptuous cashmere topcoat with raccoon collar. In typical Band of Outsiders fashion, the look book is entirely shot on Polaroid film and pictures Jasmin in a stylishly-outfitted bachelor pad. Another favorite from the collection: a silk Jacquard Dinner Jacket that screams 'talk of the Christmas party.'

October Anniversary: Eco-Friendly Jewelry With Inborn Fashion Cred

Like most good traits—prominent cheekbones and a full pout included—a sixth sense about fashion tends to fun in the family. Want proof? Just look to models Missy and Frankie Rayder, Twenty8Twelve’s Savannah and Sienna Miller, and designer Richard Chai and Odin co-owner Edward Chai. And, now, joining the ranks of siblings sharing the fashion gene are Petra and Olga Nemcova.

The latter (the younger sister of model Petra) is one-half of the team behind the recently launched jewelry line, October Anniversary. The brainchild of Nemcova and partner Alexandra Tavel, the collection is made from recycled metals sourced from eco-friendly factories--10% of profits of which are donated to Happy Hearts Fund. Currently, October Anniversary includes three collections of rings inspired by different natural settings—the seashore, the garden and the wild (think snakes and elephants). The metal working is in some cases unbelievably intricate, and each piece comes in either gold or silver. October Anniversary also includes key necklaces so nominally priced ($30) you may not stop at snapping up just one.

Bladerunner: EGR Channels Ridley Scott's Classic

A Shaded View on Fashion's Diane Pernet just featured a few shots from a recent photoshoot for EGR--a fledgling Mexico City-based fashion line--with photographer Jamie Luca. The styling is overtly inspired by Rachel from Ridley Scott's epic Bladerunner. Given the fact that Halloween is just around the bend, not to mention our appetite for fresh, imaginative fashion editorials is insatiable, we've included a few outtakes for your viewing pleasure. For the full SS09 line, check here.

Artful Fashion: Curators Pose For Yohji

In recent years the art world has offered endless inspiration for fashion designers from all walks of the industry. Louis Vuitton has partnered with both Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince, printmaking maven Diane Von Furstenberg incorporated iconic Warhol images into her last collection, while Adam Kimmel has enlisted famous artist faces (and friends) like Dan Colen and Hope Atherton as his look book models for years. Now, Yohji Yamamoto is following suit with the spring look book, Exhibit Y, for his more affordable line, Y's, says T's The Moment (which itself took part in furthering the trend with the past fashion spread, "Hang Time," that substituted art handlers for models).

Yamamoto hand-picked half a dozen leading curators, including Hans Ulrich Obrist and Angeline Scherf, to showcase his pared-down collection of classic trousers, trenchcoats and an updated take on the tuxedo jacket (tails and all). As in the past, the look book will take the place of a collection presentation, which means you can spend the rest of this season guessing what non-fashion industry faces will guest star as models next.

Mug Shots: Magazines Put Their Best Face Forward

In a recent post, resident Manila-based fashion blogger and Marc Jacobs muse, Brianboy, points to the recent trend of fashion rags using closely cropped photos of models faces as covers. The phenomenon doesn’t exactly translate to the likes of stateside glossies such as Glamour, Elle and Vogue, which have all subscribed to a slightly different prescription for covers season after season (the 3/4, hand-on-hip body shot topped off with a blow-out). While the look is nothing new, Bryanboy asks: why the resurgence now? And, more specifically, is the trend’s resurfacing during the current financial crisis coincidence, or not?

“The world is going through a crazy financial turmoil. Are these ‘face-only’ covers a result of a cost-cutting move? It’s cheaper to shoot in a studio rather than an elaborate set…” he writes. And, if that’s the case, given the increasingly temperamental print industry, can “magazines sell issues based on faces and just faces alone?” The answer remains to be seen, but in the meantime we take no issue with the trend as long as covers like this Liv Tyler stunner are kept in the mix.
Alisa Gould-Simon is a freelance writer based in Brooklyn.