Punk by agnès b., not Vivienne Westwood

Punk by agnès b., not Vivienne Westwood

Always a nice surprise to see exhibitions by fashion labels. The last one I visited was Chanel’s The Little Black Jacket and that was more than a year ago!

One would immediately associated punk with Vivienne Westwood and perhaps be pleasantly surprised by this agnès b. exhibition. In reality, agnès b. has been collaborating with various art mediums including photography for decades. I’ve always been fascinated by the agnès b. CINEMA in Hong Kong and I applaud their support for the arts community.

Agnès worked closely with photographer Sheila Rock to launch this travelling exhibition, which began in London and Paris in 2013 and is making its rounds across Asia this year. With a last name like Rock, it’s no wonder she is able to capture the unpretentious, raw and creative energy of the punk movement in her photographs.

Of course, there is a pop-up store and you may find me hanging out (permanently) there! Punk+: A Photo Exhibition by Sheila Rock is presented by agnès b and opens today at the Substation Gallery at 45 Armenian Street, Singapore 179936. The exhibition runs through 26 October and is open daily from 12 noon to 9 pm. Admission is free.

x Sybil

(Image from sagg)

Iris Van herpen: Biopiracy

I am a big fan of Iris Van Herpen. I think she is one of the greatest visionaries alive and someone who truly blends art and fashion with ease.

As someone who also asks questions that becomes the spine of the collection, her question for her Biopiracy collection is
” In the recent past, patents on our genes have been purchased. Are we still the sole proprietor of our bodies?”

The collection now mixed with ready to wear and couture pieces is presented with artist Lawrence Malstaf to create a powerful visual that reminded me of Alexander McQueen’s theatrical presentations.

Models suspended in air tight plastics, fed with oxygen through a tube. Surreal and attention grabbing.

The mysterious sci-fi scene might just draw your attention away from the clothes had the clothes not been amazing. But they are just as beautifully crafted as ever.

This time, Van Herpen has included wearable pieces citing her move towards ready to wear. I love that the pieces, though wearable, are not mainstream, with her signature textures and 3D elements.

I think she is genius to start with couture and move to ready to wear without losing the essence of her brand. Looking forward to more.

Meanwhile, you have a great week ahead!

X Alex

(Images from Iris Van Herpen)

Vilsbøl de Arce and more

Sorry for the lack of writing. It has been a busy season packing up and moving out of our label’s birthplace at PARCO, while attending a business plan writing workshop with some of the other fashion incubators. PARCO Singapore has officially closed and with that, it marks a closure and a new beginning. My personal life wise, I have been working on renovating my new place so it’s truly a case of moving forward to a new environment and beginning.

Thank you for everyone’s support so far. It has been such a privilege to get support through so many channels and to know so many talented creatives with an amazing drive. Just a quick heads-up to you that the alexandria chen label will be undergoing a change in direction. Do keep a look out on our new directives!

Anyway, on a different note, I happened to chance upon Vilsbøl de Arce today. They share the same philosophy of fashion being an art form and it is no wonder I just love them.

Founded in 2002, Vilsbøl de Arce creates avant-garde fashion with strong ties to art and performance. The designers, Prisca Vilsbøl and Pia de Arce, believes that fashion is art revolving around human form.

The duo often creates in collaboration with other artists, their talent shooting off in a myriad of creative expressions: modern dance, industrial design, jewellery, art installations, headpieces and uniforms. Artistic projects serve as the inspiration and framework for the Vilsbøl de Arce collections, and the resulting pieces are intricate fashion constructions with unconventional silhouettes and sculptural characteristics.

One of the last projects on their news page was the social knitting project ‘Kaffeslabberas’ involving designers/artists such as Henrik Vibskov, AIAIAI, Huskmitnavn, Mads Norgaard, CAN.


(Photo: Oliver Stalmans)

But this was the image that caught my eye, one from their earlier collection.

And one of my favorite artistes Leigh Lezark in VDA.

Check out their news site for more interesting information!

Keep in touch!

X Alex

(Images from Vilsbøl de Arce News and DazedDigital)

Maiko Takeda: The Poetic Milliner

Logic + geometry + space form the common denominator in all Maiko Takeda pieces.

Tokyo born Maiko Takeda studied Jewellery Design BA(Hons) at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design and is currently doing a Masters in Millinery at the Royal College of Art. Her portfolio is extensive, having worked with Issey Miyake, Stephen Jones, Philip Treacy and Erickson Beamon. Juxtaposing environmental influences such as shadow, wind and gravity, her pieces are statically beautiful with a quiet voice that seems to narrate a story.

Here are some of her project pieces that are so poetic.


Formless (2012)

By Royal appointment (2012)

Some pieces from her past collection Cinematography:

But my favorites are her latest headpieces from her Collection- Atmospheric Reentry:

Somehow it reminded me of a mutated caterpillar with spikes. So eye-catchingly gorgeous.

It seems that Takeda has moved to a state of brighter colour palettes and a more extreme silhouette that perhaps indicate that her voice is getting louder, asking to be seen. Something she will definitely be if she keeps up her great work.

To see more, check out her site here.

Have a great week ahead & a Merry blessed Christmas.

 

X Alex
(All images from Maiko Takeda)

Hair obsession: Sarah Ama Duah

It’s been a while since I wrote but I wanted to share this new discovery.

If you have been following this blog for a while, you may notice a few recurring themes that fascinates me and one of them is my obsession with hair. Not hair styles but the use of hair in innovative ways and it seems Sarah Ama Duah has that same obsession.

A womenswear designer based in Hamburg, she uses artificial hair to create pieces of garments that move and sway just as hair does when you’re walking.
Now, let’s allow the images to do all the talking:

The pieces come in bright vibrant colours too; a plus point considering the impression people usually have of hair.

Will be keeping my eyes on her future pieces!

 

X Alex

(Images from O-Ama & O-Ama FB)

Kerry Howley: Hair on your neck

Hi everyone! I’m back, you may not realize that I haven’t been writing any entry for the past month or more because Sybil did such a great job holding up the fort. A million thank you’s and a heart full of gratitude!

BLUEPRINT was a great experience meeting buyers and like-minded creators, there was just so much energy and insight, making friends and getting feedback. After rushing for BLUEPRINT, I spent some time figuring what I want to do after hearing feedback from the buyers. I am still in the process of serious soul searching which includes a lot of ups and downs but once the direction is set, it will be a full sprint forward.

Anyway, I’ve learnt so many things about myself since I started my label and one of them has been my strange obsession with hair. There’s just something about knowing that there is someone’s DNA inside which makes it so mysterious and probably repelling to some at the same time. Here’s someone who seems to share my obsession.

Kerry Howley, a contemporary jeweller and jewellery artist who graduated from Middlesex University, London, creates intriguing neck pieces woven with human hair. She is fascinated by the power materials have to influence our emotional response to jewellery, with a particular interest in how these emotions can be conflicting.

“Attraction/Aversion is a material exploration of how people can feel seemingly opposing emotional responses simultaneously. The necklaces are made of human hair, a familiar material that we take pride in. However once off the body, hair becomes an innate source of aversion. Kerry wanted to see if she could make discarded hair attractive again. Through the familiar form of a necklace, and using patterns and symmetry that are instinctively pleasing, Kerry has created a delicate balance between the viewer/wearer’s feelings of aversion and attraction.”- Kerry Howley’s Homepage

That is the exact same thought I have. I love that it looks so beautiful aesthetically but yet, the fact that it is hair kind of makes your hair stand.

These works were done in 2011, but it would definitely be interesting to see what else she can come up with!

 

X Alex

(Images from Kerry Howley)

See for yourself: Fashion is an art

Former creative director of Kenzo, Antonio Marras is as much of an artist, as a fashion designer.  He is known for his sketches and his collaborations with artists.  Marras’ notebooks are filled with drawings and collages with lots of references to his exploration of fabrics and materials used in his creations.  He is a leading figure in the fashion industry and has shown his artistic projects in museums worldwide.  We enter his world through his notebooks. Antonio Marras Antonio Marras Antonio Marras
“Notebooks are my companions. Without them I am lost. And with them, I am never lonely.”
~ Antonio Marras
Antonio Marras Antonio Marras Antonio Marras

When asked about the border between art and fashion, he says “Today we have to bring into question this categorization; it’s not simply a matter of mutual influence or lending: the border between art and fashion is more and more faded to the point that an entire range of intermediate experiences is difficult to classify in one field or in the other. Personally, I have always been interested in working on spaces of creative autonomy. Freedom is a luxury but I want to create something crossing pure fashion, something born out of independent moments of life, as I did when I worked with Maria Lai and Carol Rama. Their approach naturally matches with what I have always created. For sure, I am lucky, I do what I love, my work allows me to mix everything: clothes, music, theatre, cinema… I remember a story about Maria Lai. Once, I confessed her I had stolen one of her drawings. She answered: “Art is stealing, continuously. Don’t worry: I’m always stealing too. When you steal it, the artwork becomes yours”: well, we can say that I steal something from a context to give it to the other and vice versa…”

x Sybil

(Images from Style.com)

%d bloggers like this: