September 2019 fashion month

A whole month in pictures.

  • Dries Van Noten's surprise collab with Christian Lacroix, which, for the kids, has nothing to do with the millennial canned sparkling flavored drink,

  • Junya Watanabe's trench, always the best idea,

  • Maison Margiela and John Galliano's unsurpassed sartorial mastery,

  • Pierpaolo Piccioli the only living proof that heritage can coexist with newness,

  • #inmiucciawetrust

As for the rest: it’s business as usual, the tale of selling clothes and the tragic yet expected fall of Gucci sales, the disillusion of the first woman at the helm of the house of Dior not up to par, it’s chaos, Celine that looks like YSL, or viceversa, Karl is utterly missed.

New talents are rising and need all our support to bring Fashion as we know it back to what Fashion knows best: creativity.

NYFW as seen from Miami

It’s September, back to school, there’s always a hurricane lingering like in February a catastrophic snow storm, still, the call to duty is urgent.

This season I have a top-3 designer list, in no particular order (not really)

Marc Jacobs,

The Row

Christopher John Rogers

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They are top top, but it doesn’t mean I haven’t liked anyone else, it’s just that talent, originality, creativity, out-of-the-box reactionary mood never happens in NY. I think that for so many years, Americans have sold clothes, not fashion, have paid attention to styling and merchandizing, not at the incredible primary sparkle that sets Fashion on fire.

Anyways, Oscar de la Renta was good, (always holds a special place in my heart), Ralph Lauren the master of ceremonies of all things NY, Batsheva does her own thing, modest meets uniform meets moody, and I loved the story telling, it was staged at NUY Law, looked like a classic college class, Proenza Schouler and Pyer Moss for his deep American roots.

I saw more sustainability discussed, attempted, and put in practice.

Gabriela Hearts produced a carbon neutral fashion show, Zero Maria Cornejo upcycled car-seat waste in a collaboration with Hyundai, Zac Posen and Rodarte each did a presentation without fuss, concentrating on the magnificence of their inspirations and collections. Bravo.

Overall seemed that things got streamlined, , shorter week, but still events that were going through the night, editors made ferry rides as fashun as that episode of SATC (remember that white fur coat that Carrie wore on the ferry when she was dating the politician?)

Oh, also, like Vanessa Friedman noticed, no graphic t-shirts this time around, we have been spared.

Couture Week AW 2019

It’s been hot, fast and intense.

Fashion, especially Haute Couture, is for me what Rimbaud was for Patti Smith, that Troy’s horse that transports me to a different dimension and makes me forget of the routine, a one-way ticket to my own heaven. I go through the shows online like Celine Dion does in person.

The beauty is so breathtaking that the fast sequence and the accelerated paste make them the equivalent of a good espresso: enough to give you the sprint for the day, but too little not to want to indulge throughout the day at every occasion in which someone shares their own makeshift video during the défilé.

I was reading about Jean Cocteau inThe Paris Review , the essay described him as “living in a world of accelerated images” because of his “vivacity of intelligence” - “a rapidity of intelligence accounted for the multiplication, juxtaposition, proliferation, and mixing of experience and its exterior face, behavior—as well as for what was often called a certain superficiality or légèreté.”

“He who sees further renders less of what he sees, however much he renders”

I indulge in that légèreté and watch again, and look at the details, and zoom and look at the entire sequence of the runway after having read the notes and reviews. It’s my Netflix & chill.

A note: all opinions are mine, unless otherwise noted; MIU MIU is not couture, but Miuccia is relevant at all times and the collection was shown the same week; FENDI Alta Moda isn’t appointed by la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture

Givenchy by Clare Waight Keller was the epitome of Haute Couture, according to my taste, I will not concede, so you may want to consider trying to convince me otherwise a waste of time. With the words of Vanessa Friedman:

The collection was about as cool as couture gets in its elaborate insouciance and it had an energy that has been largely missing in a week where safe and stately has been the rule.

PS: “the week” being the 4th of July and also the one when the US Women Soccer team beat the UK.

Chanel, the first Haute Couture by Virginie Viard, Karl’s undiscussed successor, in the library, what better subtle dedication?

This season was another first, Daniel Roseberry for Schiaparelli, who went fearless, smoking cigarettes and all, took his distance from his predecessor. I mean: look at the first look.

Alexandre Vauthier, a first for me, showed us how to wear couture pour le jour, in Paris.

Photo from vogue.com

Photo from vogue.com

Fendi was a tribute to Karl Lagerfeld, 54 looks, one for each of the 54 years he co-designed the alta moda with the Fendi house because while revolutionizing the design of fur, pushing boundaries he also brought the company to become the powerhouse it is now.

Armani Prive’ always means that reassuring feeling that il re Giorgio is still there, it’s home, it’s a point of reference.

Pierpaolo Piccioli at Valentino keeps scoring standing ovations because he found the secret, it’s like that friend you see after 20 years and still looks the same, that makes you at ease with her warm smile, he cracked the code: Fashion is a dream that permeates the collective imaginary, it is different for everyone, but it tingles the senses, it pleases the eye, it empowers the wearer, mood boosting and uplifting the spirits. He makes Haute Couture, a rigorously structured art, so tangible and reachable that we all feel we can wear it. The explosive creativity, the buoyancy of colors, the surprising combination of clashing nuances, the intricacies that required thousands of hours of la Maison petites mains

“The only way to make couture alive today is to embrace different women’s identities and cultures”

John Galliano is always been a favorite, rebel, he was given a second chance after falling pray to the oppressive system. I guess he reminds me of the period when my passion for fashion blossomed, a true designer, trained in sartorial, inspired by the times that are long gone, lover of opera and classical music, still a pure rebel. For Maison Margiela he explored

desire without reason, my intentions are impulsive and anarchic


Miu Miu Resort was presented at the racetracks, le Hippodrome, a sport that for la Signora is conservative, elitist. Miuccia Prada has always been influenced by the political situation, and this wave of conservatism “affects me” she says, as per Nicole Phelps, High waisted shorts, double breasted blazers, tea dresses with a collar that is called Chelsea, which we have seen worn by Lady Diana in the ‘80s and in Vauthier’s collection (scroll up). Volumes and proportions are exaggerated, from platforms to socks to hats., and contrasting like extra shoulder pads blazers and miniskirts.

A note: all opinions are mine, unless otherwise noted; MIU MIU is not couture, but Miuccia is relevant at all times, the collection carries elements that will sign our lives or the next months; FENDI isn’t appointed by la Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture, nevertheless …



Pitti Uomo 96/ CAREER AWARD, FERRAGAMO AND LUNAROSSA

CAREER MERIT AWARD TO LUIGI SETTEMBRINI

This is a short note to virtually participate to this career award to Luigi Settembrini. He was il “relatore” and god help me translate it in English, he sponsored my thesis and he introduced to the commission before I discussed my final thesis.

It was a big deal then, my thesis was in 1993, at the apex of the (r)evolution he led for Pitti Immagine. He prepared the grounds, the terroir for what is now known as Pitti. From a fashion fair, it became “The leading global trade fair dedicated to menswear and contemporary lifestyles” an intersection of art, culture, and fashions, moods, research, collaborations, innovation. Florence isn’t really just any other city, it’s been an ally, as nothing compares to La Sala Bianca in Palazzo Pitti (where Italian Fashion as we know it was born in 1957), la Fortezza, il calcio in costume, la Stazione Leopolda. Style exudes everywhere you look at

Who knows if our paths will cross again in the near future, but I am elated, honored and proud of being one of rather minuscule tassel of the mosaic of his illustrious career. He certainly holds a massive brick in my rather modest career and I virtually raise a coupe of champagne in his (and mine) honor.

Ad maiora.

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THE TIME IS NOW: Istituto Europeo di Design + DETOX, the Greenpeace campaign.

Because the new talents, the students, the new generation of fashion professionals are the ones that will lift us outta this mess.


FLORENCE CALLING - SALVATORE FERRAGAMO

The collection, a cohort of woman and men, designed by Paul Andrew was shown in Piazza della Signoria, right in front of il Davide e il Ratto delle Sabine.

Florence is our heart, a part of our history, and we are enthusiastic to be back here as “Florence Calling” at Pitti Uomo. At a moment of great consolidation for our brand’s style and identity, we believe that Pitti is the ideal setting for highlighting the direction taken as we move forward, showcasing a strong menswear collection outside the co-ed environment.
— Ferruccio Ferragamo

LUNA ROSSA + THE WOOLMARK COMPANY


A technical, innovative collab between the best and the best, merino wool studied for endurance and extreme sport like the Luna Rossa Challenge.

Tomorrow is another day of discoveries.

Pitti Uomo 96/ A SHORT NOVEL OF MEN'S FASHION

An exhibition curated by Olivier Saillard.

A novel is a story easier to tell.

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30 years of fashion through the eyes and the platform of Pitti Uomo isn’t the full universal history of fashion, it’s a shortened version, the evolution of menswear, the Made in Italy and its guest designers, a story made of its principal characters, what Saillard considers the authors, or actors.

Garments are abandoned like what we do after we wear them, we hang them, we throw them on the floor, they have been worn, used, animated, left and they wait to be worn again. They are like books to be discovered: without the reader a book doesn’t exist, a garment without the wearer is like it didn’t exist. Whether the designer or the wearer, the author, the man or woman that finds the garment and gives it life, affection, care, attention.

If this is a novel the author is the 30 years of men’s fashion and their creators, it’s Pitti Uomo that served as the book cover and created the calligraphy of the novel and the visitors that will give with their participation, memories, thoughts and experiences a new life to all these garments.

A wish: after this Short Novel exhibit and the Ephemeral Museum, I think that Italy should invent the museum of fashion it doesn’t exist in any other part of the world, is the place of the museum of fashion societies, where, without taking away from the designer and the collections, the clothes exude the life of men and women.

“Many of the men, but also the women, who transformed men’s clothing into creative works have passed through Florence. In constantly changing settings, classic or bold, and hand-in-hand with the city of Florence and its prestigious locations, these creators of fashion were able to conceive the most over-the-top fashion shows to best serve their collections.”
— Olivier Saillard


Arcadia Earth shuffled the foundations of living as we know it

Do you have that sensation that you hear “sustainable” everywhere and it’s becoming that meaningless word that sooner or later will be deemed to represent what’s not? You know, like people tell you “amazing” just to open their mouth but not their brain?

Well, I have bad news: a sustainable living is the ONLY way out of this mess, so what are we going todo with all this sustainability?

We better DO, conscientiously undo all that we have been pushed to do the past 2 decades, start from something and build the way up. It’s like reaching the top of the mountain (in this case it’s a landfill of trash) and then say: “Nope, I am bored, how am I going to go down? Someone send an helicopter. I want to go to THAT hill, it’s clean, it has the beach and smells good”

Just DO.

Arcadia Earth was just that: an all immersive, experiential art installation that made you the main character of the world, with caves made of paper, chandeliers made of plastic collected from the beach, where your dinner table was sitting on a green beautiful pile of trash and ocean waves were waves of plastic bottles not water.

Arcadia Earth was a unique and innovative experiential environment where guests were inspired to make simple behavioral shifts and conscious actions. The experience featured different installations curated by ARCADIA in partnership with artists Tamara Kostianovsky, Cindy Pease Roe, Etty Yaniv and Samuelle Green that explore how from eating less meat to reducing plastic use will help us live and embrace a more responsible lifestyle.

ARCADIA is an invitation to embrace a new lifestyle, the good ol’ slow living with a forward thinking twist. Each installation was developed using upcycled materials, augmented reality animations and reusable elements in the effort to reuse - recycle and reduce waste at the end of each show. I

Founded and designed by award winning experiential designer, Valentino Vettori, Arcadia Earth was born of a growing awareness of the ecological and environmental challenges we face and a desire to create a hub where brands, communities, activism, and innovative technologies come together to explore, enjoy and engage in being part of the solution.

I had the pleasure of a personal tour of the installation with Valentino and asked him a few questions. Be ready for the ride: he is unstoppable, resourceful, a disruptor, a doer, a believer, because if there’s a problem that we have created there must be a solution. With more than 20 years’ experience of working with leading fashion institutions, Valentino Vettori is passionate about restructuring how customers interact with brand environments. Vettori’s main objective has always been to inspire and engage the emotions of those visiting his installations.

FB - You believe in disrupting retail as is

VV - Retail, as physical space, needs to evolve from its commercial value (defined by the dollar x sqft formula) to a storytelling value (emotions per sqft). The future of retail is the ability to trigger sales via emotional connections and leave the e-comm to serve effectiveness and convenience

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FB - How can we give life again to a rack of clothes

VV - A rack of clothes is no longer needed as it represents the old way of shopping full sized and color options. The future is to have 1 sample reference and use digital technology to serve physical needs. In addition, the sample should be featured at the end of an immersive storytelling experience describing its meaning and values ( like in a museum when you buy a book after seeing the exhibit .. exit trough the gift shop)

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FB - Customers are ready for responsible consumption, or at least receptive and available to be inspired again, how do we prepare designers?

VV - Designers are unaware of solutions and alternative materials.. someone, (like YKK for the hardware, Supima for the cotton or TENCEL for the yarn) should create a new line of sustainable alternatives to the most difficult fabrics like Lycra, nylon or leather. Those solutions should receive tax brakes and government grands to incentivize their use (right now they are too expensive and not price competitive)

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FB - It’s a revolution, the rules of consumption are fast changing, not many understand them, can you predict who will be winning?

VV - The demand for better products will force the change. Like the ORGANIC movement, consumers will become aware of the problem associated with the current fast fashion industry and polluted processes and will demand solutions. The winner may end up be the fast fashion itself as this new trend its already started and they are normally quick to own it

lisu vega solo exhibition: you'll never look at fashion the same


Continuing the conversation started with Design Miami/ of blending different visual languages into a global discourse and a larger spectrum of reach, I had the honor of visiting the studio of Lisu Vega and attending the opening of her solo exhibition El Cuerpo de la Obra

Lisu comes from an education in fine arts and experiential graphic design, a practice that involves the manipulation of typography, color, imagery, form, texture, technology to create environments that communicate. I was caught by one of her bib/necklaces made of recycled nautical ropes, in the literal sense of the word and found out that her fashion has a greater cause. An enormous body or work that doesn’t reflect her small figure, but her limitless passion, strength and believe in her mission to use fashion for a social and political purpose, her pieces become wearable art.

ONE LOVE

The social phase is called One Love from pictures of people she took randomly in the streets of the world, she combined two faces at the time creating a non-existent identity that overcomes geographical and political borders, since the only thing that unites everybody is love.

RECYCLE

The Recycle has the intention of manipulating abandoned ropes from useless corpses infesting the oceans and landfills into a new identity, in whimsical necklaces/bib/vest. What happened: she was wearing one of those at the reception where we first met and all I wanted was to wear one.

RESISTENCIA

The political phase of her body of work is called Resistencia and it consists of her efforts of raising awareness and funds through the sales and exhibitions of her creations for the people of Venezuela, her country of origin which has been experiencing one of the worst political, economic and social crisis of all times.

WHAT NOW?

All you want to do is “do something” right?

Lisu’s motivation is a call, a mix of mission and passion, she wants to leave her children a better life and, more than anything else, she wants to lead by example.  As an expat she has the advantages of using her artistic skills and her voice to bring awareness and interrupt the silence. There’s the corporeal element that calls and draws attention to the concept, always, in all of her pieces, it something that comes from within and, as such, it cannot not move to action.

What’s your call?

What do you want to do to leave to your children?

THE SUSTAINABLE CHIC FILES - VOL.1

I think I found what I want to do with all this sustainability.

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The word is used so much that if you don’t stop and think when and how you use it, it becomes meaningless like amazing that from being amazing it became an artifice when someone doesn’t really know what to say and blurts it out to fill a space or a silence. A miserable destiny that we cannot afford.

How I do contribute to a sustainable world? It’s the 1 mill $ question that paralyzes many because it seems insurmountable. A sustainable business, a sustainable world, the UN has defined 17 goals, it’s a kaleidoscope. If you look at it as a puzzle, adopt a technique and follow the plan. It’s a lifestyle, some changes are minimal, some consist of more efforts. Somewhere you must start from and the answer is: it starts from one or it won’t never become collective.

Is production what your business is about? Labor laws, gender equality, innovation you have plenty

Are you a designer? There you go, from blockchain to sourcing, from carbon footprint to climate change to pollution to water usage.

I am a writer, possibly a professor soon, so how can I contribute to making the fashion world more sustainable? Story telling is my best bet, it comes natural. While I am working on The Sustainable Chic Manifesto there are 2 statements that I aspire to make collide:

sustainable is already built in luxury + Fashion is an essential element of being human

As a result, if we try to conduct a sustainable chic life, one person at a time, the world will become a better place.

And here are some inspirational images that represent freedom, luxury, moods, elegance to give you an idea where we will be going with these files.

There are also gossip and BS to throw in the equation, it’s not all violets and roses, you’ll find in the naysayers your major strength. Those who say “it’s useless” “I don’t believe in it” “You are wasting your time” will come around asking you how you did it when you are so ahead of the game. So here a mood-board, because, honestly, life’s too short and you have to laugh. I also suggest following Fuckology and Gary Janetti on Instagram, they’ll liberate your instincts once a day.

1- “I miss you but you can very well go fuck yourself”

2- May this be your morning call.

3- wear silk undies, and not giving a f&*k will never be more chic