If you’re looking at the above photos wondering what this mishmash of Courtney Love circa Hole attire is all about, I ask you to read on. If, conversely, you don’t care and think these gals need a hug and a five dollar bill, I feel you. And if you’ve ever wished a fashion designer would give a giant middle finger to the fashion industry, the photos above prove that it actually happened at the Saint Laurent Paris runway show yesterday.
Designer Hedi Slimane recently took over The Fashion House Formerly Known as YSL and has set about transforming it from top to bottom ever since. Though this is only his second collection, he is hinting at something old, pushing against something new, and resurrecting the ghosts of rock and roll past for a reason (I think). He’s doing it all from Los Angeles, not from Paris or New York either. And this is all very important from a contemporary design perspective.
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Japanese fashion house, COSMIC WONDER Light Source, is as its name suggests, all about light. It might be difficult to decipher while bestowing their brilliantly tailored pieces, but the brand’s inspiration comes from studying light and weaving the idea of it into clothing. The resulting collections often resemble avant garde pieces of art that are flattering and wearable.
For the spring/summer 2013 collection, entitled “Diamond Equinox”, COSMIC WONDER looks to prism light, silver refraction, and “polyhedral spark”. I love the elegance of the double-breasted short suit and the simplicity of the zig zag black slip dress. The multi-pocketed grey men’s jacket is modern yet functional. Past collections have referenced everything from minerals to sun printing, and one collection even featured a series of shirts, dresses, and hats made to look like rocks. CMLS doesn’t just do clothing, either; they also produce art books as COSMIC WONDER Free Press and run an ecological project called The Solar Garden utilizing organic cotton and natural dyes.
The idea of camouflage can be traced back to the notes of Charles Darwin who recognized the patterns of animals and insects served as a survival mechanism.
When we see leaf-eating insects green, and bark-feeders mottled-grey; the alpine ptarmigan white in winter, the red-grouse the colour of heather, and the black-grouse that of peaty earth, we must believe that these tints are of service to these birds and insects in preserving them from danger.
My first passionate encounter came in the form of a pair of camo trainers that were made by XLarge. I think I purchased them in 2002 in a strip mall in Downtown Sacramento. They still sit in a box underneath my bed and they’re one of my prized possessions. But before that I had no affinity to camo. If anything I had grown an aversion thanks to years of high school classmates in baggy camo cargo pants. Over time though I’ve certainly grown quite an affection for camo, which was certainly fueled by Hardy Blechman’s immense compendium DPM: Disruptive Pattern Material. In it he covers not only the history and variety of camouflage patterns but also their occurrences in pop culture. It’s the holy grail of camo.
So I thought I’d put together a collection of camo objects that I’ve been gathering over the last few weeks. Hopefully you find some that you like. Just remember to dress sparingly with your camo. Too much camo and you might end up looking like a crazy war vet.
• A.P.C. Camouflage Chinos
• Jack Spade Swedish M90 Cordura Dipped Coal Bag
• Camouflage Word Notebooks
• Camo Nike Air Force 1′s
• London Undercover City Gent British Woodland Camouflage Umbrella
While I was in New York a few months back I had the opportunity to meet up with a fellow named Matthew Orley. Along with his brother Alex Orley and his girlfriend Samantha Florence the three of them have started a knitwear line called Orley which is defying the genres usual standards. With Orley you have a line of knits that are infused with bright and bold colors, interesting and sometimes disarming patterns, all made with the highest of quality in mind.
The pieces above are from their Fall/Winter 2012 collection, I’m in love with the sweater at the top, but their Spring/Summer 2013 collection is looking fantastic as well. I was able to see the collection in person last night and while the palettes are more muted, definitely suitable for spring, there’s still plenty of bold patterns as well as interesting knitting techniques. The line has a certain asexuality to it which I feel like I’m seeing a lot these days and I’m really liking. They’ve really only just begun, but I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more from this daring trio in the near future.
Lands’ End is a clothing brand that’s been around since 1963, offering up… well, they offer up clothes. I’m not sure who exactly shops at Lands’ End. That said, their branding was beginning to feel a bit stale, so they asked Young Jerks, the nom de plume of Dan Cassaro, to come in and revitalize the logo. In an interview with Imprint, Dan mentions some specific influences on the logo.
Do you know how long Lands’ End’s previous logo had been in use? What was the company looking for in the new identity?
I believe the current logo has been in use since Sears acquired them in 2002, with some slight variations. Further back, the company has a very rich design history including some really lovely marks, like the iconic “direct merchants” logo from the ’80s. I grew up with that and was really happy to be able to reference that in the new design. The misplaced apostrophe is pulled directly from that logo and the lighthouse was rescued from an old icon they used back in the ’70s. The company has some really great history, and we did our best to respect that while making it feel current.
What I think is most important about Dan’s new design of the logo is that it still retains his design style. If you know Dan’s work (see here) he has a distinct style and is so talented with typography. I also like that he was able to integrate the lighthouse into the logo, and how the ground plane there connects to the L and D. It really unites the whole logo quite nicely. The other awesome element is the last image up there, “A beacon for what’s real.” Such a great image and statement for the brand. Hopefully they start using it in more places.