Fashion’s Feast

Antwerp Six

Anne Demeulemeester's boys

Wild young fabulous life in super retro style, Antwerp, Belgium city of the antique and the architectural permanence; by the 80s six designers -plus le seventh – took over  the city’s old-fellow trademark and turn it into the piece of couture heaven it’s nowadays.

Graduated between 1980 and 1981, Dries Van Noten, Ann Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene, Walt Van Beirendonck, Dirk Bikkembergs and Marina Yee where studding fabric’s magic  at the right place in perfect time. Despite actual history, it was in the 60s when the rigorous fashion department of The Royal Academy of Fine Arts was (re) born. Linda Loppa, talented fashion designer showed multitasking while directing, inspiring and becoming the head behind the storm created by the barricades her six poster students set in the streets in 1986’s London Fashion Week.

Poster Atwerp AcademyPoster Atwerp Academy

Go with your five bf4e and hire an enormous truck and stay on camp site while London celebrates the best part of weather change; spent all your money, as little and insignificant it might seem, in publicity; and welcome to success and to getting tagged by international press.

Collaboration with Marina Yee

Collaboration with Marina Yee

The phenomenon was unique, as a whole country could finally find itself in fashion’s geographies; a Belgian identity in fashion and the Antwerp Six’s first international glance. Their style wasn’t one, but several lines of creation and inventive brought together by a place which’s style grew with and because of them. There were lots of delicious differences between the seven designers – Martin Margiela can be considered part of the crew, not joining them in their adventures though- but they converge in a conceptual type of fashion emerging from strong identity and tradition, the mirror in which the system of fashion could see itself reflected. It was not only a matter of talent managing fabrics, but also the bending and stretching of reality; the clothes were not lost in abstraction or artistry, but were kept pending between realism and imagination; the place where appealing surrealism lives in.

Where is extreme beauty found? Saints by Rubens, the deepest Congo and perverse S&M clubbing; fashion was feeding it self and was doing it grandly. Why not worldwide? Why hasn’t any of the original six built a global brand to compete in the conspicuous consumption of our time? Because none of them have wanted to. Small, purposeful business, very limited distribution and fewer licensing deals; high quality privately owned niche fashion; vision, creativity and humanity above the too loud economical sound of some big over rated brands. Is unique just it?

Walter Van Beirendonck's F/W 2010 2011

Dries Van Noten

Dries Van Noten spring-2008-ready-to-wear

Dries Van Noten spring-2008-ready-to-wear

American Vogue found many years ago the accurate amount of words to describe Van Noten’s style: “poetic, ethnic-eclectic aesthetic” Intricate embroidery, dynamic prints, the use of the so called “exotic fabrics”, beaded saris and dyed skirt that are the result of the transformation of the traditional practices followed in the most colourful cultures in the world.

Ann Demeulemeester

Ann Demeulemeester's fall 2008 ready to wear

Introvert clothes and narrative silhouette, clothes are for Ann to frame the history of the person wearing them.  “I want to meet the woman, not the fashion designer who dresses her. I think is better for women to be free in that sense. I hate when everyone looks the same”

Ann Demeulemeester's F/W 2010 2011

Ann Demeulemeester's F/W 2010 2011

Dirk Van Saene

Dirk Van Saene

Dirk van Saene

Opened his boutique “Beauties and Heroes” he decided to only sell his awarded winning designs, which was not hard to do as he won almost every possible Gouden Spoel. His collections, inspiration and show schedules are always changing, leaving fans and fashionistas only to wonder. He’s into pottery now.

"Ceramics" by Dirk van Saene

Walt Van Beirendonck

Walter Van Beirendonck's F/W 2010 2011

Playful and sometimes daring lets mix it all designer. Old graphics and disconcerting designs originated in a sci/fi futuristic concept of fashion. Theatrical and challenging are both adequate expressions for his view.

Walter van Beirendonck F/W 2010 2011

Dirk Bikkembergs

Dirk Bikkembergs spring/summer 1997 collection

Distinctive personality that mixes glamour and strength. He has been presenting in Milan’s fashion week since 1998, though when the line is not up in a FW is not rare to spot his creation in football stadiums. The one and only capable of confronting fashion and football (referring to the sport you actually play with your feet), as he considered both of been for excellence universal languages.


Dirk Bikkembergsk for football

Marina Yee

By Marina and Margiela

She pays attention to details, combining delicately rough and fine materials. The cloth for Marina Yee more than an accessory is a possibility of transgression and change, she wants her silhouettes looking taller or smaller, but always building the images of strong women. She has  been in and out fashion through the years.

By Marina Yee

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Des Choses Bleu

Armani’s Eyes to Kill: Granite turquoise

Giorgio Armani Cosmetics launcher new colours for his Eyes to Kill summer collection. The one here  -the blue one pointing out the obvious- is the outline, highlight and shadow called Granite Lunar Tuquoise, combination inspired by the Italian Mediterranean’s sea shades and nature.

Armani's Eyes to Kill Granite turquoise for Lunar hues

Palette 5- Granite Turquoise

Centre: rock marine (satine fish)

Middle: Granite grey (metallic fish)

Exterior: pure turquoise (satin fish)

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Sally Singer is T

Vogue’s Sally Singer leaves fashion’s wonderland for T, the NYTimes’ Style Magazine. Singer, considered by many one of the ladies in line for Anna’s current position-certainly the strongest in house candidate – leaves the mother ship to take over, on July5, T as at last in her dreams the editor in chief.

Meanwhile in Vogue, Eve MacSweeney,  current associate editor will fill as features editor; and Mark Holgate- senior fashion writer- will be  fashion news director.

Sally Singer by Todd Selby

Sally Singer by Todd Selby

Singer, now former fashion news and features director at Vogue, was well-known by smart-fashion lovers but had not and did not look for a fashion profile as public as other fashion editor’s like Andre Leon Talley or Mrs IceQueen herself. Reason for leaving? Ostensible T’s crowd’s sophistication and Sally’s love for a wider and newer approach of fashion that the one the centenary magazine has.

Vogue's feature on Kim Noorda by Sally Singer

After Vogue’s spokesperson, Nick Axelrod, declared the magazine happiness with Sally and a hopeful reciprocity -“We are very pleased that Sally is here at Vogue, and we understand that she feels pleased to be here.”; Singer was congratulated for her brand new position by T’s digital director Horacio Silva, who announced the, at least for Vogue-Singer lovers, heart-aching news via twitter.

Vogue has not yet made any comments of the subject, however, with a resume like Mrs Singer’s- which, aside from been a Vogue member since 1999, includes been fashion editor at New York Magazine, editor of the London Review of Books and columnist for The Economist and The Atlantic Monthly- the lost is surely to be painful.

Sally Singer by Todd Selby

Now this University of California at Berkeley and Yale graduate is joining T Magazine, luxury paper wrap on women’s or men’s fashion, traveling and design. The magazine that comes out 15 times each year is already showing delight: on Sally executive editor of the New York Times, Bill Keller declared “As her résumé — and her successes at Vogue — will testify, she has the combination of aesthetic sense and intellectual curiosity suited to a style magazine that wears the name of The New York Times,”

Michelle Williams by Testino. Editorial by Sally Singer

Sally’s expected to guide the magazine through the post-crisis period as, after a sharp drop in advertisements last year, T seems to be getting back on runway.
With her new position in T, Sally actually completes a swap of editors between almighty Condé Nast –Vogue’s home- and The Times, which started when Stefano Tonchi moved from T to W in April

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Des Choses Bleu

Lancôme Aroma Blue

Aroma Blue -Lancôme’s Aroma Experience new edition; mineral-enriched eau de soin with incredible benefits for the skin: magnesium to motivate dynamism and potassium to reinforce skin’s hydration. Aroma Blue features notes of mandarin, citrus, ginger, white flowers, peony, osmanthus, cedar and white musk

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Rough lens

Le Filles en Vogue

Catwalking over the globe; FWs everywhere calling for their presence to light up the local fashion scene: Sasha Pivovarova, Freja Beha, Natasha Poly, Constance Jablonski and Sessilée Lopez are the tops getting all the attention and living inside the dream.

Vogue and Paris Première presents the five of them in “Les filles en vogue”, a 52 minutes long documentary on these girls’ work and wonders.

Freja Beha

Freja Beha Photographed by Boo George

Spotted from a taxi by a modeling agent in her native Denmark, Freja now 22, models since she was 18 years-old, walking in that time for almost every designer that matters. From Chanel to Sonia Rykiel – imagine the names in between- Freja is on top and loving it.

Freja Beha for Vogue UK march 2010

Constance Jablonski

Constance Jablonski by Chadwick Tyler, forGREY Magazine

19 year old French girl living the fashion NY life; only this march she has walked for 22 NY houses, 11 Milan’s, 14 in Paris. Not twenty yet, there’s still a lot to be seen.

Constance for Vogue US feb 2010

Natasha Poly

The 24 year-old Russian has 10 years on the catwalk, and a French Vogue issue dedicated to her, magazine that also declared her one of the top 30 models of the 2000s.

Natasha Poly in Vogue China (august 2009 issue)

Sessilee Lopez

Sessilee Lopez by Steve Meisel 2008

Versatile Sessilee, from haut-couture to Victoria’s Secret, the American 21 year-old model has been both Karl’s and Marc’s muse, and has appeared in almost every magazine in the business.

Sessilee Lopez for Hermes Spring Summer 2010 campaign Le Monde d'Hermes

Sasha Pivovarova

A Muscovite Madam, Sasha started modeling at the age of twenty, while she was an art history student at the University of Moscow. Married at 18, Sasha is now, at 26, one of the most talented models in the industry. 1 mètre 73 of pure histrionic and elegant talent.

Sasha P in Photo Shoot Vogue August 2008

An inside vision of fashion magazines portrait girls, muses of many including some of the greater mode creators of our time. Clarisse Verrier -the film réalisateur- wants to show fashion world from 1 mètre 80 high, the continuous traveling, the striking hotels and the price and benefits of the runway lifestyle.

Perhaps is not like before, Cindy, Linda, Claudia or Naomi like, still followed and admired by the general public; but its, I hope, to be a closer look to beauty and its way to struggle against time, rising and becoming iconic

Paris fashion week, capture through the lens of five runway divas, arriving to the fashion mecca after the weeks spent in character during the three other FWs that completes the top season’s cycle: New York, London and Milan.

The objective is the same always – to walk, posse and wear for the most astonishing maisons in the world- but each has her own way through the 4 am wardrobe rehearsals, the make-up put in and out, the never ending hair styling, the nervousness before each runway and so on.

Carine Roitfeld, French Vogue editor in chief, ends the pic explaining of the charming life of a model, and of the definitely not so charming side of it. She also talks a little on the girls’ personalities, strengths, weaknesses, best career moments and the phases they have passed and that define their current trademarks

Sasha Pivovarova and Freja Beha by Mario Sorrenti. "Live from NY" for V Magazine

“What interests me through these girls is to understand how they live their fragile beauty while building their lives as women. All are aware of growing season after season; all look to the future like another world and are quite alone. Not lost. But alone.

It’s in a particular moment of their daily model life, twirling on the runway, in a hairstyle pause, in a car or just before a show; that tops sway their confidences and  we glance the rarity of the present moment and their true personality.

It is no coincidence that Carine Roitfeld has elected these tops, ‘Filles en Vogue’: they are great professionals. Walk like shooting stars on the podium before hundreds of people and teleobjectives makes them powerful and beautiful but also vulnerable.

And each has its own way to relax, as if to protect herself: Sasha draws, Freha has her method of “floating”, Sessilee brought has her boyfriend come to Paris, Constance invites her childhood friend to the Crillon …

It is also aware of this strange paradox: “the life of a star” that leads these tops do not necessarily mean “recognition of star. All the ambiguity of our time …” Clarisse Verrier for Paris Première

June the 5th is the chosen date for the release, at exactly 10.30 in the night.

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Turquoise Vague

Old news, but nice ones. Not even thinking of it for my nails,  just wanted to have its darling picture here. Chanel‘s nail colour « Nouvelle Vague » n°527

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Birkin Girl

Indescribable long skinny French musique, Long hair Brit Jane Birkin turned French at some point, and really knew how to enjoy it. It could be doing the Je t’aime…moi non plus moans and groans or just wearing a pair of lousy old jeans, but always ethereal, the flower Jane Birkin moves like, was always in a revolution, sexual, fashion, beauty revolution where the flat chested boyish girl would play and create,

Music, starting with Serge but ongoing with compositions of her own, was one of the talents of always young Jane. Ella Fitzgerald is a star, but the Birkin girl singing Love for Sale -sensually asking who’d like to sample my supplies- was unmistakably glowing harder; sexy innocence that became her trademark, androgynous type of girl that at some point became Hermès most wanted bag.

Traveling to Paris from London, Jane found herself dropping things out of her overflowing  Hermès organizer. The guy sitting next to her told her she should put things in the pockets.

–       “If Hermès put pockets in, I would.”

One month later, the guy, who was Hermès’s CEO Jean-Louis Laden, sent her a design and asked if he could name it after her. The two year waiting list bag and its useful pockets was approved by the muse, who was probably the only girl not having to wait to have it.

It is hard to talk about Jane Birkin, the complexity of her looks can led to a simplicity indescribable in its perfect design. As beuty itself, Birkin remains in shadows and the appreciation of both her looks and her personality can only be esthetic.

Before her appearance in Antonioni’s Blow Up, she just didn’t think of her part as a very big deal; the same while recording Je t’aime… Her reason for taking such parts, as most of her reasons or of her way of living, was men. “The truth is I did all those things to please the men I liked at the time. I always did what they wanted, as I was scared of losing them.” Blow up resulted of first husband John Barry “I was besotted with John,” she says. “I was offered a role in Blow Up and he said I wouldn’t have the courage to go naked, so I thought: ‘Well, I’ll do it and that will thrill him.'”

On Gainsbourg’s Je t’aime…moi non plus, the decision-making was the same “All these beautiful actresses were begging him to do it, so when he asked me I thought I’d better say yes, or he’d drop me.”

The unkempt hair and insecure complexity. Nowadays Birkin has become a Madam and has a broken heart due to it – “It broke my heart/Like a slap in the face” says a song inspired in what she feels on aging and getting all this having a bunch of years respect. She is not only older, but a mother of three, Charlotte, Lou and Kate, all involve in artistic careers and been as talented as their mother.

Yet, it is the 60s Jane I’d like to homage. At some point, in the middle of the revolution she was capable, with her skinny long body, to make the 68 may look smaller. Jane Birkin embraced the dreams, embraced innocence as it would never be seen again, in the centre of “perversion” After confessing  that he had been scared of BB’s breasts, Gainsbourg of 36 married the 19 year old Brit girl.

Jane moved like a flower, and was sensual, androgynous, complex ingénue and loving. Imagine a long skinny girl getting ready after a long bath. She softly massage herself with her stolen mom’s skin care, and she’s wondering around her room naked, till is time to go out and behave wild, but always coming back to her pink bedroom, to sleep among stuffed animals and men.

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