Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Heatherwick: Designing the Extraordinary

42 year old Thomas Heatherwick spans the disciplines of architecture, funriture, engineering, sculpture and urban planning.  From mobile bridges to rocking seats  Heatherwic Stuio engages passionately with a multitude of materias and fabrication.  The man and Studio behind the magnificent Olympic Cauldron, uniting 204 countries, is celebrated with an exhibition at the V&A in London.  Catch it if you can.  Ends September 30 2012.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Bond - age Japanese Style

Pleasure principle

Kinbaku-bi, anyone?

Titillating images of Japanese women in various bonded poses are on the verge of pornographic but oddly beautiful and inoffensive.

Meaning literally, “the beauty of tight binding,” Kinbaku-bi, the Japanese art of erotic bondage, has long fascinated Nobuyoshi Araki, who has made it one of his most important subjects. He’s been called a genius and a poet, and also a misogynist, a pornographer, a monster, but Araki’s work transcends simplistic moralistic classifications; he has said of his work, “There is no conclusion. It's completely open. It doesn't go anywhere.” Whether literally or figuratively, his bound subjects are certainly immobilized, yet in the most tantalizing ways.

This Collector's Edition is limited to 845 copies, each numbered and signed by Nobuyoshi Araki. It consists of three volumes, enticingly hand-bound in the Japanese tradition and packaged in a wooden box, featuring Araki’s selection of his favorite bondage photos from over his entire career.

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Madonna Playing Pussy

Putin's recent contretemp and sentencing of the girl band Pussy Riot has created the worst PR for Russia in more than a decade. Their two year sentences reflect badly on the State and are laughable whilst Assange - unwilling to stand fair trial in Sweden for abuse - languishes in the luxury of the Ecuador embassy.  Visit Amnesty to send a message of solidarity for Pussy Riot.. 

Who? Today, the world’s eyes fell upon a packed Moscow court as three members of Russian punk band Pussy Riot were found guilty of hooliganism aimed at inciting religious hatred. Judge Marina Syrovya sentenced them to two years in prison for an impromptu forty-second church performance of their anti-Putin ‘prayer’ in February this year.

What? For most people watching the trial, it was a macabre and surreal experience. Encased in a small glass box, their hands manacled together and guarded by armed prison officers, Maria Alekhina, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Ekaterina Samutsevich appeared calm and dignified, leagues away from the ingrained social notion most of us have of a ‘hooligan’. For someone living in Britain watching the drama unfold with the London riots still fresh in our minds, it’s a verdict that’s hard to grasp. We know all about hooligans and we’d definitely be able to spot one.

"We can say everything we want, and they have their mouths shut, and are puppets"

Why? As Syrovya delivered their sentence they laughed and joked with each other, a reaction the court seemed to find offensive, but their smiles and headshakes reflected the incredulity most people who have followed the trial have felt. “We are freer than those who are prosecuting us," Tolokonnikova said in an impassioned speech given at their hearing. "We can say everything we want, and they have their mouths shut, and are puppets."

As the police vans led the trio away, supporters across the globe united in protest, from home grown Russian supporters outside the court, to a topless chainsaw wielding member of Ukrainian women’s rights activists Femen hacking down a cross in Kiev, whilst in London hundreds of people flocked to the Royal Court theatre where live translations of the trial were performed by actresses.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Supermodels Finale

Loved this article found on The Business of Fashion and felt it was worth reproducing for the benefit of Fashion Bloggers followers.  Made me LOL:

But what of British fashion’s role in these London Olympic Games?
Stella McCartney created the kit for Team GB. And Tom Ford and Thom Sweeney dressed Daniel Craig and David Beckham, respectively, in tuxedos for their James Bond cameos in the Opening Ceremony. But apart from that, British fashion was noticeably absent…until the Closing Ceremony.
Along with appearances from more than thirty artists from the past 50 years of British pop music, a gaggle of British supermodels, including Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell and David Gandy, the famous face of Dolce & Gabbana’s Blue fragrance, appeared in a brief segment showcasing British fashion brands including Alexander McQueen, Burberry, Christopher Kane, Jonathan Saunders, Erdem, Paul Smith, Victoria Beckham and Vivienne Westwood. To the soundtrack of ‘Fashion’ by David Bowie, who reportedly declined to participate in the event, huge trailers rolled onto the Olympic stadium track, covered in giant billboard-sized fashion images shot by Nick Knight for the pages of British Vogue’s September issue, which then dropped to reveal the models themselves, who strutted their way to the centre of the massive set, and then promptly turned around and walked off.
“What was that about?” asked my seatmate. I shrugged my shoulders. Ostensibly, the intention was to show the inextricable links between British fashion and music. But while it may have made for powerful imagery in the pages of Vogue, on the global stage of the Olympic stadium, it simply wasn’t impactful.
“The segment seemed to be stuck in a generic timewarped view of fashion that didn’t seem to connect with what’s actually going on in fashion today,” wrote Susie Bubble. “Oh, strutty models. Oh, strike a fierce pose at end of catwalk. Oh, credits read out loud in manner of a catwalk show at The Clothes Show at NEC Birmingham.”
The clothing itself was stunning and there were name checks for all of the designers involved, which certainly amounts to some well-deserved publicity for British fashion. But this was surely a missed opportunity to make an indelible and truly modern statement about the role of fashion in global culture and the walk-up-and-down, catwalk-like presentation was just not enough. Indeed, if fashion is going to communicate on a global stage this size, this format needs a rethink. Perhaps the organizers would have done well to study Burberry World Live, an immersive media experience the brand launched in Taipei earlier this year.
Ultimately, I agree with Hadley Freeman who wrote in The Guardian: “Seeing models strut in six-inch heels looked a little less impressive after a fortnight of watching extraordinary athletic feats, not least because those who performed them had to stand on the sidelines and watch some women walk about in clothes.”
Will anyone remember the fashion segment 20 years from now? Not likely. But we will always remember the athletes. Or maybe, I’m just a sucker for the Olympics.
Imran Amed is founder and editor-in-chief of The Business of Fashion

Friday, 10 August 2012


Exhibition of Stefano Nicolini images at the Richard Young Gallery in Kensington ends on 11th August.  Catch it while you can.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

Style Icon Dies

Story taken from the Groaniad:
Anna Piaggi, a fashion journalist known as much for her exuberant outfits as for her writing, has died aged 81.

Piaggi, a native Italian, rose through the ranks at Vogue Italia but became well-known for her eccentric and colourful approach fashion. Often described as a muse for fashion designers, she was creatively close to Karl Lagerfeld and was well know for wearing hats by milliner Stephen Jones. In 2006, the Victoria & Albert museum in London exhibited clothes from her personal wardrobe, dresses from which were said to number in their thousands.

Her passing provoked a number of tributes from around the world. Vogue tweeted: "Our deepest sympathy to the family and fans of one of the world's grandest style icons", while Ari Seth Cohen, who runs the blog Advanced Style, said: "Anna Piaggi was a great inspiration on me. What a brilliant and original woman. May she rest in peace."

Piaggi died at her home in Milan. More on Piaggi's remarkable life to follow.

Monday, 6 August 2012

Vreeland Unveiled

Catch the V&A Museum's Utterly Elegant event, a celebration of British style, elegance and creativity.  If you miss this then look out for one of this year's most highly-anticipated fashion documentaries  -Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel. The film,  is due out in the UK on September 21 .  It is a study of the legendary former US Vogue editor's incredible career - directed by the wife of Vreeland's grandson, Lisa Immordino Vreeland.
Image and story courtesy of

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Rowing for Gold

Can't help but be patriotic during the London Olympics and watching our flag being raised and the national anthem played brings tears to our eyes!  Loved the girls rowing for gold this morning bringing GB into third place for medals.  Congratulations Team GB.  And what do we think about the national sportwear by Stella?  V disappointed.  Love the Americans ... and the Polish! The Chinese women's Hockey team looked well fashionable too.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Marilyn in the Swim

Sadly, this is the month that Marilyn Munroe lost her life 50 years ago.  But her legend and her legacy live on.  What better way to salute the coming of Summer than with an image of Marilyn at her best.