Tag Archives: Fashion Week

Maison Margiela, Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear


John Galliano for Maison Margiela, Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear

It would take a very long time indeed to describe some of the outfits John Galliano dreamed up at Maison Margiela for Fall—and even then, the words might not help at all. Put simply: It seemed to be an exercise in cutting out pieces of clothing and layering them on top of whole garments. Sometimes only the tracery of seams remained. Nonsensical, you might say—and that’s quite true because Galliano is working at a level where the matter-of-fact language of clothing fails. To piece together what he might be getting at, you have to start opening your eyes: Literally look into the clothes, scan their every angle and texture, and switch on your emotional antennae. It was good to be pushed. This time, his innovation felt less like experimental doodling and more like a fully realized sketch with deep resonances within it.

That it was about America, there could be no doubt. A belted trenchcoat with a bra-top cut into the front turned out to have a message on the back: The Statue of Liberty’s crown was clearly silhouetted in a cutout across the storm flap. (The back view can be seen on the runway retreating in the second photo, just behind the beige pantsuit.) Galliano has never been a political designer. The wavelength he operates on is associative, poetic, and playful; but here was a symbol—liberty—which seemed to stand as a synonym for the creative freedom to mix up metaphors, materials, and fragments of cultures. He’ll look at things from new angles, always. If a furry bag suddenly looks good to him as a hat, then on it goes!

No one asks Galliano for a straightforward look-by-look narrative, but embedded in this collection were references to Marilyn Monroe, the days of the western frontier, blue-collar workers, corporate suiting, the military, and the multiple ethnicities and religions America (and the world) contains. At the beginning, there was Monroe’s oversize sweater, the remnants of Joe DiMaggio’s baseball jacket, and a shadowy blown-up print of her face on a shift dress. Further along: a knitted dress patterned like an American quilt, layered over a dotted organdy dress, and decorated with peacock feathers.

What might have been an over-cheeky mess—this is sometimes the case with Galliano—was calmed down by the presence of so many exceptional, wearable pieces. Along the way, there was a clear view of a pair of jeans with a fabulously sexy high-waist fit, incredible coats, and a brilliant retake on Margiela’s surrealist footwear: boots with half-detached kitten heels. The message, then? Surely a gentle one: that this is (and must remain) an inclusive world. Just one note to Galliano, though: Of 31 girls, there was only one black model on his runway. That is something he (and all designers) needs to rectify.

Text: Sarah Mowerhttp://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/fall-2017-ready-to-wear/maison-martin-margiela.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Hood By Air Menswear Spring 2017, Paris

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Hood By Air Menswear Spring 2017, Paris

Hood By Air makes things difficult. These images were shot days after its Spring 2017 show in Paris, a frenzied cruise in semi-darkness through a gay sauna in a seedy part of the Marais that culminated in a synchronized swim in the hammam’s subterranean pool (don’t think: Busby Berkeley). The clothes were glimpsed only in passing, as models pressed against bystanders and then moved along. “We revisit things that people know about HBA here, like logo placement. Because it’s recognizable in the dark,” said Shayne Oliver postshow. “We push newer ideas forward in the light.”

The light he’s talking about is Hood By Air’s biannual shows that are part of New York women’s Fashion Week, staged with increasingly polished production values (and, indeed, lots of lights). While Oliver himself is loath to put labels like menswear or womenswear on his garments, he understands the demands of presenting collections with those market restrictions. Hence the fact his Paris “shows” boycott the runway in favor of atmospheric locales and unconventional formats. “We just want to celebrate Hood By Air in the men’s market,” said Oliver. “When people are reviewing it against something that is very tailored, it feels weird . . . we’re not competing with them.”

So what are these January and July shows all about for Oliver? Research and development, it seems; he talked about the garments acting as the reference for the show to be staged in September, also acknowledging the very real business behind this creativity—that these clothes will drop earlier, satisfying retailers with an advance delivery. Almost like a Hood By Air recollection then, although the ingenious complexity of Oliver’s work couldn’t be further from bland commercialism. There’s something unsettling about what Oliver shows, often with implications of violence in the slicing, mutilated pieces distorting perceptions of the body within. But he saw these looks as a kind of “positive utilitarianism,” also linking to the military theme that ran through the season. Although Oliver’s utility wound up in hospital garb: Rather than garments slicing apart the body in attack, the outfits were centered around healing, with their trusses, bandages, and even built-in leg braces. What was bandage and what was bondage? The contrast between flesh strapped for pleasure and flesh strapped to cure pain was never quite clear. Oliver said these spaces were about relaxation, about a relaxed attitude to sexuality, and an ease with the body. It wound up like a Netflix-and-chill session watching The Texas Chain Saw Massacre, helped by a decibel-shattering soundtrack. It was uncomfortable, but it also pushed us out of our comfort zone.

What Oliver does is exciting because it speaks to people. His fashion seems progressive, difficult even, due to its odd proportions and strange slogans. Do you know where your children are read one, mimicking scare mongering that preoccupied previous generations and hasn’t entirely been shaken off by our own. These clothes are arresting because they’re a product of our times, of a designer plugged into groundswell movements in culture, rejecting the hierarchy and elitism and creating something that resonates. It also satisfies fashion critics who want to be excited, annoyed, and generally provoked by clothes that challenge. Which means that you don’t mind being crammed into a sweaty bathhouse and barely glimpsing fabric and flesh in the gloom. It’s an experience—inconvenient, but interesting.

At least it feels like Oliver is trying to say something new, to find his own voice rather than join the conversation about the tired language of luxury. That doesn’t even feel relevant when you’re talking about these clothes. They’re something else. And in a world where otherness is rapidly co-opted by a voracious fashion system and forced into its pigeonholes, Hood By Air’s steadfast refusal to kowtow to the system is worthy of plaudits.

Source: Vogue.com.
Text: Alexander Fury, Vogue.com.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Vetements Spring 2017 Ready To Wear, Couture Season Fall 2016, Paris

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Vetements Spring 2017 Ready To Wear, Couture Season Fall 2016, Paris

The Gvasalia brothers, Demna, the designer, and Guram, the business brains behind the Vetements phenomenon, pulled off a coup for the fashion credibility of Paris with a show in the Galeries Lafayette tonight. On many levels, it was an event which satirically contravened half a dozen arcane regulations of what is supposed to be the correct way for a label to operate. It was a collection made entirely with other brands, including Brioni, Schott, Levi’s, Comme des Garçons Shirt, Reebok, Canada Goose, Dr. Martens, Alpha Industries, Eastpak, Lucchesse, and Manolo Blahnik. It was both women’s and menswear, and it was magnanimously welcomed by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture as the big ta-da opener of couture week. Yet it was so far from being traditional haute couture that it was shown, cheekily, in a department store—during regular hours, at that.

Twisting the conventions in terms of pre-existing generic garments—hoodies, trench coats, bomber jackets, jeans—is always Demna Gvasalia’s thing, and this was just one giant logical step further along that path. “We thought we’d go straight to the brands who make all these things best, and ask to do something in our way with each one,” he said. “The people who work at Vetements don’t really wear designer fashion—a lot of these are the labels they wear all the time.” The brands, from Mackintosh in Scotland to Lucchesse cowboy boot manufacturers in Texas, were approached by his CEO brother who set the legal and logistical negotiations to do with manufacturing, joint labelling, and selling. The clothes will mostly be made by the individual brands’ own specialist factories. “I’m explaining it to retailers that this is not one collection, but 18, which they will receive in different drops throughout the season.”

The “best in category” collaborations went to a couple of high-level places as well. One was the classic Italian tailoring company Brioni, who agreed to Vetements’s sacrilegious processes of gigantic oversizing, unpressed seams, and fusing linings to cloth with glue. Another was Manolo Blahnik, who was game for going all the way with exaggerating his duchess satin stiletto boots for them. “We’ve done thigh-high, so we asked, could you go waist-high this time for us?” Demna noted. He was also happy to add a personal touch to the Vetements collab by autographing his classic satin pumps in bleach. More difficult, said Guram, was winning permission from Levi’s to have an embossed Vetements stamp on its label: “This has never been allowed before in its history!”

Still: It was drive and the energy with which this collection of collections came together that actually mattered, and especially at the end, when it moved into innovative high fashion gear with Vetements first real dealings with eveningwear. There was a brilliantly subversive “couture” collab with Juicy Couture, using its signature stretch velvet in skin-tight catsuits and incendiarily sexy long skirts, which are slit all the way up to the bottom and are kept on with an internal thong. Finally, there was a series of chic asymmetric dresses in slinky ’70s jersey or chiffon, and then Lotta Volkova Adam, ending the show in this Winter’s new Vetements floral dress, this time with blue flowers on a white background. That, laughed Demna Gvasalia, was “a collaboration with ourselves!”

Source: Vogue.com.
Text: Sarah Mower, Vogue.com.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Gosha Rubchinskiy Menswear Spring 2017 Florence

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Gosha Rubchinskiy Menswear Spring 2017, Florence

A change of scenery, a change of pace. The menswear designer invited by Pitti Immagine to stage a show in Florence for Spring 2017 is Gosha Rubchinskiy. Moscow born, based, and somewhat obsessed, his collections thus far have unraveled his Soviet identity, nostalgically harking back to the time before the curtain fell, and immediately after. He’s offered branded sportswear like ersatz ’80s Russian Olympic gear, and reclamations of teenage clubbing attire from the mid-’90s. What would Gosha do in Italy, though?

Firstly, he found “the only Soviet-looking building in Florence,” to borrow the words of his stylist Lotta Volkova—a tobacco factory in the high rationalist style, built in the ’30s and abandoned 15 years ago. Most of the building was derelict, the show staged in a courtyard bordered by stained concrete and smashed windows. It also provided the backdrop for a short film by Renata Litvinova—Rubchinskiy and Volkova also featured. The film was dedicated “To Pier Paolo.”

Pasolini was the key inspiration for Rubchinskiy—the life and death of the man himself, as well as his creative output. He was a communist, for one, which no doubt appealed to Rubchinskiy’s Eastern Bloc fascinations (then again, so was Miuccia Prada). The sly undercurrent of sexuality that is so often evident in Rubchinskiy shows was here more explicit: The first model, bare-chested beneath a loose-cut pinstripe suit, could stand in for Pasolini’s teenage lover Ninetto Davoli, or Pino Pelosi, the 17-year-old hustler who confessed to his murder in 1975.

If Rubchinskiy has referenced generations of Soviet youths in seasons past, these Italian ragazzi felt tied intrinsically to the reality of modern streets Rubchinskiy has contributed heavily to—namely, the streetwear-clad legions of contemporary menswear. The designer showcased multiple collaborations with a veritable closet of historically Italian sportswear labels—Fila, Kappa, and Sergio Tacchini. Each iteration, combining classic elements of the brand with Rubchinskiy’s own signature branding, had the feel of black-market counterfeits. Indeed, it was only after the show (upon inspecting labels, and asking the right people the right questions) that you could ascertain if those Canal Street–style sweatshirts with Fila’s serpentine logo and Gosha’s name stitched below in trademark Cyrillic were real or make-believe. Most plumped for the latter camp. More fool them. There was also a hookup with Levi’s to create Gosha-brand denims and corduroy jackets.

More than any of Rubchinskiy’s other collections, this linked to the idea of a wardrobe: sportswear-focused, sure, but aren’t many people’s entire lives geared up to athletic gear? The standouts in Rubchinskiy’s Italian debut were, surprisingly, the tailored pieces, rounding out his guy’s closet, offering his loyal customers something new, and maybe even securing fresh blood. The opening pinstripe, a pair of double-breasted velvet jackets, cut confidently broad of the body and wide in the shoulder, even had a touch of another leading designer to their swaggering shapes. Giorgio Armani. That’s something you never expected of Gosha. It was certainly something he’d never shown before.

Last season, Rubchinskiy cited the end of a cycle, and the beginning of something new. Perhaps that means a move away from his usual stomping ground, both creatively and physically. The shift to Florence seems to have shifted his creativity. It kicked it up a gear.

Source: Vogue.com.
Text: Alexander Fury, Vogue.com.
All images belongs to the respective artist and management.

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Resort 2016: Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière

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Louis Vuitton by Nicolas Ghesquière, Resort 2016, 2015

The Resort season has turned into a mini architecture tour. Karl Lagerfeld set up Chanel operations at Zaha Hadid’s Dongdaemun Design Plaza in Seoul on Monday. Raf Simons will show Dior at Pierre Cardin’s south of France home next week. And today Louis Vuitton had over 800 rooms booked in Palm Springs, California, for the celebrities, international journalists, and clients that assembled here to witness Nicolas Ghesquière’s latest LV collection at the Bob Hope estate. The designer first laid eyes on the Bob Hope house 15 years ago on his earliest trip to this desert city; it made a lasting impression. Driving up to the place this evening, it was easy to understand why. The John Lautner-designed house (which is for sale, by the way, with an asking price of $25 million) is perched on one of Palm Springs’ central peaks. The views of the valley below are breathtaking, but the house itself is a scene-stealer, a hulking 23,000-square-foot marvel that, depending on the vantage point, looks like a grounded spaceship or a volcano but is decorated on the inside in what Ghesquière described as a sweet ’50s style. “The paradox of the brutalism of the architecture and the refinement of the interior was quite inspiring to me,” he said. “I love the idea of sweet and hard at the same time.”

That idea played out in the clothes. But first, a word about the setup, which was choreographed down to the minute. As the 500-odd guests milled around on the lawn, the gong that rings at the Fondation Louis Vuitton could be heard, establishing a connection between Paris and Palm Springs. A drone hovered overhead, capturing footage for the live-stream. And the 6:15-on-the-dot start time capitalized on the magic hour light before the sun dipped below the mountains behind the house. Plywood and Plexiglas stools were arrayed on the terrace below the swooping copper roof, and as the models began their exits, they could be seen walking across the house’s second floor and descending the staircase through well-placed windows. They circled the pool before making a circuitous path in front of a crowd that included Kanye West, Catherine Deneuve, Michelle Williams, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Grimes.

The lineup’s big news was its silhouette. Ghesquière set the current trend for A-line miniskirts in motion with his first Vuitton show 14 months ago, a fact he’s no doubt aware of. He pivoted here, sending out maxi skirts on desert boots paired with blousy cropped tops crisscrossed by leather belts that exposed a triangle of midriff. It was a directional look that had just a touch of the 1930s Hollywood starlet to it. From there, he was off and running, alternating printed and quilted silk housecoats like something a Palm Springs granny would wear with leather motocross jackets that inevitably called to mind the upcoming reboot of Mad Max. A black-tie-ready beaded scuba jacket and sporty, tailored trousers intermingled with printed eyelet prairie dresses that he suggested nodded in the direction of Altman’s classic 3 Women. And then there were the hot pants, cut high on the thigh and worn with everything from an army sweater to zip-front silk blouses to a boxy suede jacket.

Ghesquière has spent his first year and change at the brand developing his signatures, and despite the far-ranging feel of this show, he didn’t abandon them here. The oversized front zips he’s used from season one reappeared, as did the suede color-blocking and the metal studding. As usual, he made the most of the house’s leather know-how, cutting the maxi skirts in a leather so liquid it could be mistaken for silk, choosing a sturdier weight for a dress that he embellished with the four-pointed fleurs of Vuitton’s iconic monogram, and, most spectacularly, embroidering glossy swatches of the stuff in a snakeskin motif on a long, lean column of body mesh. As strategic as he remains, the collection’s lasting impression was its uninhibited sense of play; and the reaction was unanimous, this was Ghesquière at his most Ghesquière: experimental and unconstrained. California suits him.

Written by Nicole Phelps,
http://www.vogue.com/fashion-shows/resort-2016/louis-vuitton

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Fall 2015, Ready-to-Wear: Christian Dior

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Christian Dior, Fall 2015, Ready-to-Wear, Paris, 2015

Throbbing Gristle’s “Hot on the Heels of Love,” the piece of music that soundtracked the Christian Dior show today, has a chilly, slaphappy Fifty Shades quality that seemed tailor-made for a collection whose animal essence was fulsomely described by Raf Simons as “something more liberated, darker, more sexual.” Something more than Dior’s femme fleur, in other words.

But it was also more commercial than anything Simons has offered before, in any of his guises. And saying that is no insult, because it underscores the confidence the designer has acquired in his time at Dior. He could backseat those curvaceous Bar-shaped classics in favor of man-tailored tweed pantsuits—double-breasted jackets and cropped, cuffed pants—and liquid mesh pieces that second-skinned the body. There was a nod to heritage in animal prints—Christian Dior introduced leopard print in 1947—but Simons’ homage was a blown-out reinterpretation that was so abstract as to look psychedelic…or maybe embryonic, emblematic of new life in the jacquard of a body stocking that Simons carried over from Couture.

That actually seemed like an apt metaphor for the whole collection. Simons talked about “a new kind of camouflage,” but what was it that was truly hidden here? Sex, of course. Sublimated under big, desirable tweed coats, in abbreviated coatdresses paired with thigh-high vinyl boots (go there!), in shifts collaged from fox with a tinge of unnatural nature. There was elegance and there was oddity in this collection—exactly what you’d expect from Raf Simons. But salability? Ah, yes, that was the news.

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Jil Sander, Fall 2015, Ready-to-Wear

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Jil Sander, Fall 2015, Ready-to-Wear, Milan, 2015

Frédéric Sanchez’s soundtrack—a blurry, impressionistic, almost atonal mesh of Nico’s and Chet Baker’s versions of “My Funny Valentine”—suggested chaos. But the set was a precisely ordered group of colored pillars, like a geometric Stonehenge. Rodolfo Paglialunga imagined his new collection for Jil Sander forming somewhere between the chaos and the precision. The designer would pluck order from disorder.

It’s all any artist tries to do, but Paglialunga’s challenge was a little more pointy, given the patchiness of his efforts to date. Still, he made huge strides with this collection. It won’t set Planet Fashion alight, but it registered as wearable, real-world, and properly proportioned. Credit the designer’s precision for that coup. Long coats and matching pants made a new kind of elegantly elongated suit. A bone-toned leather coat was a standout. The lines that traced a navy blue coat suggested something military, the most precise association of all. And even when Paglialunga started to mess with precision, he didn’t lose that line; it simply went diagonal. Shaved black mink was diagonally pieced for a coat. Dark green pony got the same treatment in a skirt.

Coatdresses were shadow-striped or crisscrossed with tape, always maximizing the line. You could follow the footwear for a subtext. One look featured correspondents paired with a pencil skirt and a full-sleeved knit top. Joan Crawford? That, at least, underscored Paglialunga’s disdain when he dismissed the ongoing debate about the dialogue between feminine and masculine in Jil Sander’s women’s collection as “banal.” If he could silence that debate, he’d definitely be able to put his own thumbprint on the label. So he showed a lovely, simple slipdress, and he closed the show with Hedvig Palm in a blush-toned coat that was forceful in line but indubitably womanly. Paglialunga is finding his feet.

http://www.style.com/fashion-shows/fall-2015-ready-to-wear/jil-sander

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Céline Fall 2015 Ready-to-Wear

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 Phoebe Philo for Céline, Fall 2015, Paris, 2015

There is allegedly no such thing as coincidence, so presumably there’s some meaning to the fact that Phoebe Philo was showing her new Céline collection on International Women’s Day, even though she conceded that she was very conscious of walking a line between the responsibility that has been bestowed upon her as the Designer Who Knows What Women Want and the borderline irresponsibility of pleasing herself. A challenging balancing act, for sure, except that in addressing her own wants and needs, Philo managed to find a new space for Céline.

“The best part of this job is finding out more about myself,” she said after the show. “It gets deeper and deeper into the roots.” And where those roots went deep today was into a new sense of playfulness. Big, fluffy pom-poms? Otters and foxes and deer as literal animal prints? Duvet coats? All that and more showed a new side of Céline. “Dressed-up-ness,” Philo called it. “I was never in the headspace to approach it before. I find glamour and sexuality awkward. When do they feel authentic? What’s real, what’s not?” Big questions. And Philo addressed them with a collection that, by her own admission, was a little Latin American. “The blood is hotter,” she said. “The approach is more dramatic.”

That was certainly helped by Brazilian musician Caetano Veloso crooning ardently on the soundtrack, and a set that had the flavor of a villa in Rio, with wood-grain pillars and terra-cotta tiles. They cracked as the models walked on them. Why was that erotic? And that was before knits that defined the body, and coats that were fervently trimmed in fox, and shoes whose heels were bejeweled, and a surreal Madonna nod with a knit bustier. And holsters! “There was almost too much going on,” Philo conceded. “That’s why there were other times when it was more gritty, more Northern soul, less passionate.”

Maybe by “less passionate” she meant plain knit dresses worn with high-tops (“Keeping everyone grounded,” she said) but they were a respite in a collection that otherwise shunted boldly into graphic new territory. This wasn’t the first collection this season that has exalted the artisanal work of the hand, but here it had a particularly striking naïveté: boiled-wool pieces with embroidery smashed up, broken down, as well as trims of fur and feather. Those animal prints were hand-drawings based on the illustrations in children’s books. Then there was the fox fur. “Loaded, vulgar, intense,” said Philo. “I’m trying to propose that we women go for it.”

How many times has it been said that design is autobiography? This collection was a testament to that truth: a freer Philo, a Philo in search of fun. Yes, the duvet coats spoke of the protection that was an early Céline signature, but here the sleeves buttoned off and some of them were peeled back, suggesting imminent breakout.

http://www.style.com/fashion-shows/fall-2015-ready-to-wear/celine

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New York Fashion Week: Calvin Klein Collection, Spring / Summer 2014

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Francisco Costa, Calvin Klein Collection, Spring 2014, New York

Francisco Costa is celebrating his tenth anniversary at the helm of Calvin Klein this season. It’s a milestone, and the brand is doing it up: new Tribeca venue, A-list star power in the form of Nicole Kidman and Rooney Mara (the face of the label’s just-launched perfume, Downtown) in the front row, and a glitzy party planned for later this evening. Costa, for his own part, didn’t let the moment slip by. True to the house’s roots, minimalism has long been the designer’s signature here, but you couldn’t call what he did today pared back. If he didn’t exactly play against type, he certainly tried a few things that felt new. “Elevated deconstruction,” he called his Spring experiment afterward. It was a gutsy show for Costa.

The collection started off much as they usually do at Calvin Klein—with white, but the exposed seam allowance on the opening look’s strapless wrap top and skirt flashed pink. Color was the first difference; in addition to that pink, there was the red, mint, and brilliant emerald green of handwoven cotton tweed. A black nylon material he used for a tank top and a full, short skirt was loomed with bright threads. Yarnlike threads also appeared as a deep fringe on a woven black leather jacket. Costa has traditionally been too controlled a designer to embrace something like fringe. Here, he made it a big part of the story, and the three swishy finale dresses especially were an argument for a more freewheeling Francisco.

Not all of Costa’s ideas about deconstruction were as successful. Some of the materials he used were too stiff (we’re thinking in particular of those wide-cuff painter’s pants), and it’s also fair to wonder how many women out there want to wear their seam allowances on the outside of their clothes. But we really liked the look of a pair of dresses patchworked from graphic leather and silk basket weaves. All in all, Costa more than earned all of the celebrating he’ll be doing tonight.

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Books: Neapolis, A poetic look at the world through prism of skateboarding

Neapolis, A poetic look at the world through prism of skateboardingNeapolis, A poetic look at the world through prism of skateboarding

Neapolis, A poetic look at the world through prism of skateboarding

Neapolis, A poetic look at the world through prism of skateboarding, 2013

Self published book featuring works and words by : Rick Owens, Taro Hirano, Jean-Max Colard, Camille Vivier, Jérémie Egry & Aurélien Arbet, Eric Tabuchi, Audrey Corregan & Erik Haberfeld, Yann Gross, Andrew Phelps, Estelle Hanania, Jerry Hsu, Raphaël Zarka, Paul Virilio, and many more. 368 pages, 17×24 cm.

A poetic look at the world through the prism of skateboarding.
The idea of a book as an invitation to wander. A journey through images, essays and interviews from fields as diverse as architecture, contemporary art, choreography, youth studies or the sociology of risk.
The practice of skateboarding has been a big part of our daily lives for many years now. From our childhood to a somewhat prolonged adolescence, it has not only influenced our perception of the city, but of the world at large. Today, we are taking a step back as we contemplate the wide-ranging and seemingly disjointed manner in which this practice has informed our worldviews.

Neapolis is a subjective attempt to connect the dots and explore the imprint left in our lives by skateboarding, through a selection of works and reflections from artists, authors and photographers.

http://www.ill-studio.com/store/view-all/187-neapolis-book.htm

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