Fashion 156 Blog

12.08.11's Weekly 'We Love' List

This week on our Love List we share the artwork that's inspiring us, the accessories we can't wait to get our hands on and the sights and sounds we're loving right now.

Fed up scrambling for my phone every time I want to know the time. Finding this watch strangely attractive.

This week I'm loving Zaiba Jabbar's new music video featuring Jaime Winston: ART DEPARTMENT - We Call Love (feat. Soul Clap & Osunlade)

Completely in awe of Elise Morin's artwork - this landscape is made from over 60,000 CDs.

These glasses by Shwood are crafted from - you guessed it - wood, and make getting in touch with nature a stylish affair. 

I love when a simple activity like watching a film becomes an environmentally-aware adventure. Inspired by the 'Fridge Mountain' that occupied London's 2012 Olympic site, the last chance to catch 'Films on Fridges' is this weekend.

How badly do I want this Junya Watanabe jacket/cardigan hybrid. Luckily for my credit card it is already sold out.

Love this eerie portrait from Chad Wys' 'Nocturne' series.

The untamed beauty of this Gisele Ganne's 'Bird of Prey' necklace makes me look forward to winter. 

These Christian Louboutin loafers tick all the right boxes when it comes to casual shoes that still make a design statement.

I love the cheekiness of this vintage-inspired illustration by Zoe Austin.

Posted by Fashion156 team

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog weekly 'we love' list

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Photographer - Julia Hetta

Julia Hetta

Swedish photographer Julia Hetta creates romantic images with a disturbingly haunting undertone. Her models appear like the ghosts who drift into scene on a horror film, roaming helplessly to find what it is they are searching for. 

I love the shot of the girl dressed in white reaching for a vase of water, the drenched model contains such an intense emotion that she begins to resemble a subject from a Renaissance painting. In the photos taken in front of a black screen, Julia keeps one of her subjects prominent, while the other fades slightly into the background as if they are a visiting spirit. 

Her images leave me feeling confused as to wether to be compelled by their innocence or chilled by their darkness.

Images by Julia Hetta.

Posted by Anna Tatton

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog photographer photography Julia Hetta

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Illustrator - Masaki Mizuno

Masaki Mizuno

Japanese artist Masaki Mizuno's images are strangely enticing to me. They have the typical dimensions of a fashion illustration but there's something about the glassy eyes of his protagonists that give a slightly ghostly feel to his work.

With the intense detail and laser-cut lines I expected these images to be digitally created, but Masaki prides himself on the fact that all his work is hand painted with acrylic, air-brush or rollers. From his whole portfolio, the undercurrent of all his work is of a level of sensuality almost verging on eroticism created by girls that appear both elusive and mysterious.

Ultimately I think his work resonates because it’s so personal. His work is about discovery and is inspired by the thinkers that provoke questions and disturb social belief. And with influences like that you know whatever he creates is going to be something unique.

Images by Masaki Mizuno

Posted by Lauren Whitehead

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog illustrator Masaki Mizuno

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Photographer - Ben Weller

Ben Weller

Ben Weller's lens is perfectly tuned to the world of editorial. Regardless of the wardrobe featured his imagery is affirmatively luxe. His pictures are rich in texture with a preference for a more refined minimal set where the clothes are the central focus.

Photos veer from ‘New Kids on the Block’ casual cool to fisherman who would not be out of place in William Richard Green's SS11 collection. A picnic with a natural, raw Swedish flair reminds me of our retro inspired black and white Summer Issue.

I adore Weller's interpretation of aquatic adventures in the Marni SS11 vein, which he captures in a vintage 1930's fashion. I love how he approaches tailored androgyny in a distinctly Nordic manner. And I long to be transported into his disco bloodbath dress-up decadence scenes, which exemplify Studio 54 grandeur. 

Images by Ben Weller

Posted by Susan Walsh

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog photographer photography Ben Weller

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Illustrator- Jocelyn Hobbie

Jocelyn Hobbie

I'm totally in love with the concealed decadence of Jocelyn Hobbie's women and her lush, nearly grotesque style. Sultry and virginal at the same time, the characters she depicts are hyper-stylized fashionistas that combine pin-up tattoos with luxurious, ultra-feminine dresses and impeccable, vintage hair.

You can't really see but you instantly feel the thick silky fabrics, the soft, shiny fur and exquisite lace her subjects wear, you come to smell their paralyzing perfume; it's clear that Jocelyn knows a thing or two about excess and hedonism.   Inspired by the elitism and greed of the Jazz Age, the hyper-realism of the 50's lesbian pulp fiction books and the unparalleled glamour of the Golden Age of Hollywood, her motifs are aesthetically appealing and emotionally unsettling at the same time.

Impeccably dressed but stiff, with either crazed or empty eyes, Jocelyn's women are an ode to the vulgarity of popular female representations in history.

Images by Bellwether

Posted by Natascha Chtena

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog illustrator artist Jocelyn Hobbie

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Artist - Augusta Atla

Augusta Atla

I first encountered Augusta Atla's work during her recent residency in Athens. While initially dragged down to the Danish Institute for her performance by a (trusted) friend, my reaction to what I experienced there amidst a climate of national seclusion, lethargy and irrationality was instantly one of engagement, acceptance and surrender.  

Sharp and well-informed observations on feminine stereotypes inspired by anthropological methods and executed in a style which perfectly accentuated the prickly aesthetic of her very personal, almost intrusive work, I was instantly captivated by the importance she attributed to emotional and emotive responses.  

An artist that works between different mediums (e.g. performance, video-work, installation, photo-work, collage, costume, lithography), Augusta also has an eye for uncomfortably familiar garments and props which are meant to ridicule the idea of "femininity", a strong component of any creation baring her signature.

Images by Augusta Atla

Posted by Natascha Chtena

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog artist conceptual art installation art Augusta Atla

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Illustrator - Maren Esdar

Maren Esdar

Studying as both a stylist and illustrator in London and Germany, Maren Esdar composes her wonderful illustrations by hand and on the computer. She creates an air of surrealism in her unique collages by incorporating odd objects into clothing, whilst the distortion of the model's faces make them appear slightly abstract.

In her recent exhibition labelled 'Phobia', Maren Esdar transforms a woman's fear into wonderful items of clothing. When taking a quick glance at these illustrations, they appear delicate yet surreal - it's only when you study them closer that you discover their true bizarreness. For example the image entitled 'arachnophobia'  showcases an innocent women wearing a sculptured black dress but on further inspection you see how it is actually constructed from various parts of a spider.

I love her ability to see the beauty within something which could be considered ugly. Working for top magazines including W, Esquire and Vogue her clear references to literature, nature and philosophy allow me to view her work more as narrations than illustrations.

Images by Maren Esdar

Posted by Anna Tatton

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog illustrator Maren Esdar

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Artist - Natalie Rognsøy

Natalie Rognsøy

Norwegian conceptual artist Natalie Rognsøy reminds me of rock icon Patti Smith in the sense that both employ a directness in their art that hits you right in the face. Both also remind me of the irreplaceable value of absolute simplicity: a mere "thank you" or "you mean the world to me" can touch you deeper than the most exquisite and complex of poems.

I mention this because the first artwork of hers I ever encountered was an installation entitled "If You Move I'll Fall I'm Leaning On You" (2009), which exceptionally incorporated text and perfectly set the tone for her more minimalist creations that followed.

Nowadays Natalie is experimenting with the aesthetic and emotional aspects of found materials, especially clothes and fabrics. The way they are folded, lit, ripped and even 'dumped' in her photos, sculptures and installations is fascinating to me, because it brings them to life, it provides them with a mood, a prevailing emotion and a back story. They often appear sad, abandoned or abused, like the old, stained shirt of that special someone you discover in a dusty cupboard when moving out or the ripped scarf you find on the bathroom floor after a drunken night out. 

 I think what I love most about her work is that without much fuss it manages to highlight the sentimental value of clothing which is irrevocably linked to the spirit of their initial owner like very few material things ever are.  

images by Natalie Rognsøy

Posted by Natascha Chtena

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog artist conceptual art installation art Natalie Rognsøy

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Photographer - Giselle Behrens

Giselle Behrens

Giselle Behrens has definitely established herself as a photographer with a preference for the surreal, often dabbling in creating animated photographic images in a Reed + Radar fashion. 

In her 'La Femenina' series she creates worlds that remind you of the fantastical, harsh landscape of Julie Taymor's The Tempest and the decadent absurdity of a David LaChapelle image. Her protagonists are reminiscent of Greek goddesses, both docile and brazen at once. She approaches fashion editorial from a Tim Burton, Alice in Wonderland angle. Using New York City as her playground she unleashes a Godzilla model, making the towering buildings seem like model sets. The subject positions herself atop and scales buildings in a part Ann Darrow, part King Kong manner.

Her refusal to adhere to the parameters of reality is why I find myself so enthralled with Giselle's works. 

Images by Giselle Behrens

Posted by Susan Walsh

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog photographer photography Giselle Behrens

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Photographer - Ami Sioux

Ami Sioux

''Each time I photograph someone, I see it as sort of a dance,'' says Ami Sioux, which partly explains why the elements of rock, folk and punk that strongly characterize her own personality and taste are so prevalent in all her work, be it a fashion editorial for Nylon, an ad campaign for Nike or a portrait for the New York Times.

It could easily be seen as a weakness or a lack of flexibility in the world of commercial fashion, but I'm really fond of her ever-present rawness and trademark snapshot aesthetic. Particularly when it comes to her women, I like how strong and aware of themselves they are, represented as seductresses who know how to both exaggerate and treasure their independence. 

Born in California, she grew up in a family of Jehovah's Witnesses who frowned on liberal education, joined art school aged 19 and later moved through New York, Berlin and Paris; to call her free-spirited would be fitting for sure. And free-spirited is also her photographic vision, blended with a modern, off-beat style which stems from her aesthetic influences that range from William Klein to Syd Barrett. Unsurprisingly, she's also a musician who shoots weird, static videos that simultaneously intrigue and repulse with their rawness.

Images by Ami Soux

Posted by Natascha Chtena

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog photographer photography Ami Soux

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09.08.11's Fashion Hero of the Week - Pauline De Rothschild

Pauline De Rothschild

There are times when an obscure name, face or place inexplicably accompany you throughout the years, submerged in your memory. Pauline Fairfax Potter, later known as Baroness Pauline De Rothschild, has been for me that fey ghost.

I stumbled upon her name on several curiously unrelated occasions. The latest being a retrospective Balenciaga exhibit, set in ‘The Young’ San Francisco, and initially in an outdated Vogue issue stashed away between my mother’s archived journals. Flicking through the pages, Pauline De Rothschild appeared under a long list of fashion icons from past decades, between countless black and white shots of extravagantly dressed, influential women. Contoured by arched brows, her piercing gaze beguiled me with its unsullied frankness, and permanently etched itself in my mind.

When further investigating my subject, I discovered a modern-age Cinderella story (she even had two step sisters and ended her tale as a chatelaine of a world famous Bordeaux castle/winery) which surpassed any expectations I may have had. A direct descendant of Thomas Jefferson and Pocahontas on her mothers’ side and related to a renowned line of bishop ancestry on her father’s, Pauline spent her childhood in varying degrees of extreme poverty and the highest riches at the whim of her flamboyant father’s spending.

Carried by misfortune and occasional opulence, she grew up travelling between New York, Paris, Biarritz, and Baltimore. On the way to becoming one of the iconic style icons of the early 20th century, mentioned in the same breath as the duchess of Windsor and Princess Grace of Monaco, she didn’t merely assist the establishment of emerging designers of that era (such as Balenciaga and Saint Laurent). Pauline also offered her aesthetic vision to a more practical outlet, working for her friend, Elsa Schiaparelli’s couture house and later opening her own firm with Louise Macy, a former editor of Harper's Bazaar.

She was also an avid costume designer, whose creations can be seen in museums today. An esteemed writer, her fashion and design articles were often published in Vogue. Pauline’s style was a refreshing combination of classic feminine couturier pieces, exemplified by a timeless funnel-shape stiff satin Balenciaga gown, and more eccentric Avant-garde garments that included masculine tailoring.

My favourite pieces are perhaps her thigh-high suede riding boots. These might seem untypical of her but I believe they reflect the audacious twists this lady successfully introduced to elegance and class. 

Images by The Esoteric Curiosa

Posted by Tuli Litvak

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog fashion hero of the week Pauline De Rothschild

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Designer - Studio Sober

Studio Sober AW 11/12

An interesting name is ‘Studio Sober’ but after picking apart their Autumn/Winter collection it completely makes sense. The Dutch brand who pledge to deliver quality workmanship with their timeless collections really are sobering, but in the best possible way.

It may be age or it may be the over-exposure to so many throw-away fashion trends but I find myself in a bit of a dither. Since I can remember I’ve always been blown away by designers that create quirky, in your face and over the top ensembles and in turn I’ve been in awe of everyday people that pull it off, but I really think that it’s reached breaking point. I feel like it’s more of a competition now than a form of self expression, perhaps we have the media and celebrities to thank for that?

I don’t want to sound bitter and miserable, but I feel like I need a detox, and Studio Sober are definitely inspiring me. Their clothes are “subtle and elegant, and simultaneously represents modern luxury.” I’m absolutely obsessed with the suit, blood red shirt and olive green leather gloves combo; it’s the definition of pure sophistication. The earth tones are so rich and luxurious that I can imagine living in them, getting back to basics and listening to Beatles records.

Images by Studio Sober       

Posted by Leanne Jay Brookes

Tags: fashion fashion156 designer AW11/12 Studio Sober daily blog.

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Photographer - Sigurd Grunberger

Sigurd Grunberger

On a recent trip to Paris I found myself looking to kill some time and began to flick through an issue of Novembre magazine. I instantly stopped when i reached an editorial labelled 'losing my faith'. The models in these images seemed to be brimming with emotion, and I began to feel almost pained by their sadness.

When i reached the end I instinctively scanned the pages to find the name of the photographer who made me feel such empathy. I then found myself on the website of Copenhagen's Sigurd Grünberger where the rest of his work lived up to the same high standard. Every story he has shot seems to be as gripping as the last - among my favourites is one labelled 'meet me in the dark'.

These images manage to steer clear of being simple and slightly boring, as typical studio shots can sometimes be. I found myself captivated by the energy of this young girl, and the shots of her sometimes even appear self-taken. These images look so personal that I could almost believe Sigurd and the model to be the best of friends. With work like his I find myself growing impatient to find out what he will produce next. 

Images by Sigurd Grunberger

Posted by Anna Tatton

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog photographer photography Sigurd Grunberger

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Illustrator - Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

I’ve never been a huge lover of digital based art, possibly because of my love of all things old. I get satisfaction out of art that has been produced with the eye and the hand that combine as one unit to create a masterpiece. Although I’m aware a lot of art these days, particularly photography, uses a fair amount of digital technology, there is something so miraculous about the notion of someone with a pencil and paper creating thoughts and emotions through imagery.

So, when I came across the work of Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo, my usual taste went flying out of the nearest window. Aside from my penchant for all things old, I'm usually averse to overly bright and vibrant art. However, I’m absolutely infatuated with these eye popping and hard hitting portraits; they’ve got a depth and an appeal that really speaks to me.

What I seem to be drawn to are the eyes - the window to the soul as they are often referred to. In these images though, they are non-descript and blank but at the same time they convey horror and disbelief. The ink splatters which seem to be laid over quite a few of his pieces are a nice break away from the hard lines and create a charming contrast. Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo may have just converted me to the bright side.  

Images by Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

Posted by Leanne Jay Brookes

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog illustrator Alvaro Tapia Hidalgo

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Designer - Tim Rhys-Evans

Tim Rhys-Evans

Tim Rhys-Evans is a London College of Fashion grad designer who has sparked considerable interest in the fashion world. Awards from the British Fashion Council at Graduate Fashion Week and a spread in Elle magazine seem to be just the beginning of the media buzz around this young designer.

What shows through in Rhys-Evan’s AW collection is his background in pattern cutting and womenswear technology, with pieces that sculpt the female form as if each garment were made-to-measure. As a woman, I can see immediately that women are truly at the centre of this collection. Building from an understanding of the body, Rhys-Evan’s pieces go on to play with our expectations of silhouettes. I particularly like how much of the sculptural focus of his clothing draws our attention to the face in a gesture of female empowerment.

The suggestion of power is again played out in Rhys-Evan’s choice of colour – or rather, lack of. The stark, black palette evokes something of the gothic, and the veil even brings to mind a woman-in-mourning. The harshness of the colour palette makes the collection as a whole rather imposing, and this is emphasised through the structured, definite lines of his silhouettes. The textures incorporated into the collection, particularly the lace, satin and fur, harness the underlying sexuality of the aesthetic, as well as adding detail and depth to the monotone palette.

Most striking about the collection is the pervasive use of high-neck cuts and ruffs. The historical influence is evident, but I like how the exaggerated proportions and unexpected textures are unmistakeably Rhys-Evan’s stamp on the design detail.

Images by Christopher Moore for Catwalking

Posted by Jasmin Watts

Tags: fashion fashion156 daily blog graduate designer Tim Rhys-Evans

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