Wang, deconstructed.

A few years ago, when I first visited Hong Kong, I discovered Joyce – the HK version of Barneys. I was going around looking for a birthday present from myself to myself.. finally got a black leather shoulder bag without knowing anything about the brand. That was the day i put Alexander Wang on my watchlist.

A true master of garments – his cuts, structures, textures, shapes… so beautifully crafted. Talented, intelligent and most certainly inspirational to many. Here are some fave pieces from his Resort 2013 Collection.

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Stéphane Rolland

Here’s a new designer I came accross while checking the Fall 2012 shows. With no doubt, Stéphane Rolland seems to be an impeccable couturier – he was trained in the Balenciaga and Jean-Louis Scherrer schools. In 2006/2007, he was awarded the Molière Award of best costume design for Amadeus.

Here are a few of my faves from his Fall show.

PS – that black jumpsuit is one of the most impressing pieces of clothing i’ve seen for some time.

Don’t squeeze it, spray it!

Talking about design.. I randomly ran into an industrial design website presenting quite interesting products w/ pending patents. Here’s one of them.

Here is Stem – as they call it – designed to allow the cook to spray the juice directly from a citrus fruit. No need to cut and squeeze your fruit to get the juice out. It sprays and distributes the juice evenly.

Would be great to use on finger food like baby carrots, cucumbers etc. Or you could even put it on the table just like salt and pepper – so anything lacking lemon zest, you could simply spray some. Aaand without the risk of overdoing it!

Nice, right?

CÉLINE. J’adore.

CÉLINE has been constantly impressing me since its new creative director debuted three years ago.  In a world where designers contend to show off creativity and inspiration on the runway, where textiles wow us, designs surprise us.. there is also Phoebe Philo who – I believe – actually cares about building a wardrobe for women. Each collection presents a wardrobe concept – there are basics and then some more. No unneccessary extras. These shoes are the shoes to wear, these bags the bags to carry.

Here’s some snaps from the RTW 2012 Collection. It’s all about the shapes and proportions – kind of reminding me of 50s/60s silhouettes. It’s beautiful. Every piece is wearable. So simple yet so elegant. Basic colors, suddenly surprising yellows, reds, stripes, leather, belts, pleated tops, super-wide pants, envelope clutches, those heels.. vraiment chouette. Simply great-great-great-looking.

Take a look!

as Haute as Couture can get

Quite unusual for a Fall/Winter collection, Givency’s Ricardo Tisci does it again. Naming “purity” as his inspiration, Tisci presents light, airy, heavenly pieces of art. Beige, ivory, white.. tulles, chiffons, shimmering pearls, feathers, crystal drops, ankle straps, white China beads, waterfall of fine golden chains.. his world is heavenly, his work is sculpture-like. 

Pieces made entirely by hand in the Givenchy workshop (one piece took over one month to make in working hours), these pieces looks like what angels would keep in their wardrobes.

coolness in a podshell

Speaking of design – Domenic Fiorello, a truly gifted furniture designer, came up with these plant pods, as he calls them. ” After researching the care needed for succulent plants”, he says, he designed this “pod-like planter to be created on a CNC router.”

Coolness in a podshell. Isn’t it?

Inspirations: Elie Saab

There is not much to say about Elie Saab and his Haute Couture world. The Lebanese designer has long been a leading name with his romantic, crystal-encrusted gowns. His couture signature is brightly colored silks, chiffons, pearl beading, flounces, fringes…  and of course sequins.

Below are some snaps from the Elie Saab Fall 2011 Couture Show. From his signature sequin textured gowns to colors, from the U-shaped décolletés to the embroidered lace, it’s breathtaking and dreamlike.

Inspirations: Dries Van Noten

Belgian fashion designer Dries Van Noten presented his debut collection in 1986. Garnered so much international press that Barneys New York immediately picked the brand up.

Here are some snaps from the Fall 2011 Collection. Textures, layers, art-inspired signature prints – all developed in-house, menswear tailoring, military fabrics, 50s and 60s ladylike shapes, sweatshirts. Wide legged trousers, incredible coats.. rich colors, lush textures, brilliant prints. And of course, the socks! It’s all about the socks.

Dries Van Noten will give you what you want. And effortless. Casual yet formal enough – completely wearable fashion. Shuffle as much as you can.

Inside My Dream: Château de Moissac

Built in early 17th century, Château de Moissac was owned by a noble family from Provence. Located in a hill-top village, where provencial beauty meets history, it’s dreamlike and sublime. It’s magical. It’s theatrical. It’s majestic.

Wait.. before I forget – the château is available for private receptions. So inside my dream, I was there with a group of close friends.. a tiny wedding. A weekend of wine & dine. Music and all.. White napkins, chiffon dresses, candlelight.. The smell of lavender all around. 

So tell me now – do fairytales come true? 

Misela: In Between the East and the West

To a dearest friend who has always been a true inspiration to me…

A journey between East and West, a smooth mix between chic and casual, a perfect blend of colors and textures.. Misela is all about details. Founded by Serra Turker, a textile design grad from RISD and an ex-New Yorker, the brand aims to transform its collection into timeless art pieces that are not meant to be on the wall but could as well be carried.

Rich colors and textures that combine the ethnic touch of the East as well as the modern look of the West, influenced by Moroccan tiles, New York interiors and the antique soul of Istanbul, blend in perfectly to give a bold feminine look. The collection, with a diverse range of designs, textures and colors, can accomodate any style and event.

Sea snakes, leathers, furs, vintage trims, special-cast metal accessories, handmade antique chains, custom interiors, zipper pockets… I don’t want to tell you all about it. Here, discover Misela yourself. (You can also shop online at http://www.shopmisela.com/ )

In addition to the accessories line, Misela also offers a home collection consisting of pillows, trays and other decorative objects. Again, colors, textures and signature prints dominate the line. In addition to taking custom orders for the home line, Misela also works on personalized interior design projects.

The Up! House That Really Flies

If I told you it’d only take 300 helium-filled balloons to turn imagination into reality.. would you believe it?

National Geographic put together a team of scientists, engineers and two balloon pilots to launch a 16′ X 16′ house with weather balloons from a private airfield east of Los Angeles. The Up! house reached 10,000 feet and flew for about one hour. The filming will be part of a new NatGeo series called How Hard Can it Be?, to be premiered in fall 2011. 

Surely this 16-by-16 house is not a real house – but who cares? It is a house that flies for real! It is the Up! house! So if you want to avoid going somewhere and want to be really inaccessible.. this would be great. If you’re feeling blue.. or simply if you want to spare some time for yourself.. Or how about staying in on a Saturday evening with friends.. with a nice movie and a glass of wine. But wait – you can also stay Up!

Dream people, dream big. 

An Alpine Dream

You’re now officially in my Alpine dream.

We’re in Verbier, southwest of Switzerland. You, me and some friends..  We wake up early in the morning.. around 8.30sh, prepare a nice and rich breakfast to have a good start to our day. Some freshly brewed coffee, a cheese platter with some charcuterie, a light omlette, warm bread and of course.. freshly squeezed OJ. Wrapping up our breakfast, we part into our rooms, get ready to ski. The upbeat music is making me already excited. The snow is just like we dreamt of, the sun is shining and the fresh mountain air is so crisp. We go around the mountain until around 1 – 1.30pm. Then grab lunch – accompanied with a nice glass of wine – and enjoy being exposed to the sun for a few minutes before we resume skiing. Which chaise-longue are you taking? I’ll take the one in front.

Around 3.30 – 4.00pm, we get ready to go back home.. La Vallée Blanche is located just off the slopes, a few minutes stroll down from Medran the ski lift. Hey can you please plug in the ipod? I’ll go ahead and open a fresh bottle of wine.. let’s get on one of the chaise-longues outside to enjoy the last minutes of sunshine. I know it’s cold.. but bear with me for a few minutes. Enjoyed your wine? Alright, I’ll go take a shower. Taking a bath in that bathtub filled with some warm water is the best way of taking a break. I love the smell of that magnolia scented foaming bath milk!

With the fatigue kicking on you as minutes go by.. maybe a few mins of a nap? Or lay down with friends.. another glass of wine? How about dinner? What do you wanna have? Some steak and wine? Or something lobsterish? How about some pasta? You know we have a Top Chef with us here – maybe with truffle, her expertise? The Chef is already working on the menu.. a dreamlike smell is coming out of the kitchen.. here I am on this chaise longue again.. enjoying the track the ipod is playing. Dinner is ready, she says! Bon appétit. A few more drinks, laughing, dancing on the sofas is all I remember.. I love you guys.

Night night.

Seventies with a Touch of Forties Glamour

Rainbow of colors, energy, vibrance, ethereal, fur, emerald green, lime, teal, rust, exotic skins, chiffon, organza, citron, polka dots, feminine belts, red lips, brimmed hats, croco clutches, fedoras, draped gowns…

Welcome to the overwhelmingly sexy Gucci Fall 2011 RTW. Every single piece is to be adored.  Vraiment chic.

 

One Thousand and One Nights

Welcome to Riad Enija, one of the most beautiful of all Riads in Marrakech, Morocco. A 280 year-old Riad, it used to belong to a wealthy Moroccan silk merchant. Wooden doors, Berber carpets, local craftwork, beautifully textured ceilings, Moorish-shaped doorways, refined colors, hand-painted tiles, candles, motives.. it’s beautiful and exotic. It’s dreamlike.

If you happen to visit Morocco anytime soon, you can check this beautiful boutique hotel out. Visit Welcome Beyond for more info, a website offering you a collection of vacation homes and boutique hotels with distinctive architecture and design in 23 countries – ranging from Italy to Panama, from Brazil to Tanzania.

 

Proenza Schouler: An Uber-Cool Kaleidoscope

Definitely among my greatest discoveries during my time in NYC, Proenza Schouler is my definition of cool. It’s young, it’s comfy.. yet still edgy. Textiles are stuning, motives are genius, graphics are bold, color palette is extremely accessible. It is spec-ta-cu-lar.

Although the talented duo, Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez, has been in business only since 2002, they’ve come a long long way. Inspired by a road trip they took to Santa Fe, where they were attracted to the beauty of Native American blankets, they designed their own prints on the computer. Obsessed over Japanese shibori dyeing techniques and the process of making guipure lace, they then “exploded and pixelated” these prints themselves.

The result: kaleidoscopic.

I’m head over heels in love with their Autumn RTW 2011 Collection.

And some snaps from the Pre-Fall 2011 Collection..

Andreas Verheijen: A Master Florist

Born in the Dutch dahlia town of Zundert, Andreas Verheijen spent 15 years in charge of floral sales at Harrods in London, in addition to running his own flower shop. He’s currently working as a freelance floral designer in Europe.

Exhibitions, events (anything that ranges from weddings to James Bond parties, from store openings to symposiums), shows, demonstrations, workshops, displays… theatrical floral extravaganza. It’s impossible not to be vowed by the work of this flower engineer. What impresses me most are his hybrids. In addition to arranging flowers, Andreas is also creating them per his wish!

To see more, check this out: http://www.andreasverheijen.com

Have a colorful weekend!

From the Front Row: Elif Cigizoglu

Some people, through their vision, have the ability to take you somewhere else.. to make you imagine, to make you dream. Well, Elif Cigizoglu is surely one of them.

I won’t be telling you about Elif Cigizoglu only as a part the audience who watched her fascinating 2011-2012 Autumn/Winter Collection last night, but also as a friend. It is not surprising for such a lively person – full of laughter, joy, courage, compassion, determination, imagination – to put together a collection that is a journey of colors, textures, shapes, curves, waves, forms.. simplicity yet details.

Her collection last night not only amazed me, but without a doubt impressed everybody present at the show. Colors started off from different tones of brown, khakis.. ranging to red, orange.. and concluded with white. The collection offered skirts, pants, dresses, coats, blazers, half-pant-half-skirt pieces.. The orange eye make up of the models looked amazing on their pale skin – was in line with the khakis and oranges, yet shouted silently with the whites. The music was two thumbs up – one moment the upbeat highlighted the motion of the curves and textures, the next, the downtempo electronica slowed the movement of the eyes. Not to mention, Oliver Koletzki ft Fran – Hypnotized was a great choice of track at the very beginning. Rather difficult to put it into words, I would simply like you to get a glimpse of the Elif Cigizoglu runway with the below slide show.

But before that, here is my favorite piece of the show.

And the ravishing finale…

A friend that is a true inspiration to me, and a designer that is able to create different worlds at once.. Elif is a true artist.

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For more information on Elif Cigizoglu, her designs and contact information, visit http://www.elifcigizoglu.com/.



Must be the Money?

What you’re about to see below is not the product of your imagination. Don’t scroll up and down, checking whether the photos you see belong to the article you think they do. This is a bank. Yes, you read it right. It’s BNP Paribas on 2, Place de l’Opéra.

Designed by Paris-based architect Fabrice Ausset of Zoevox, this is the first bank concept store. Full of un-bank features, the almost-1,000-square-meter space also has a smooth retro touch. This is a funhouse of colors, shapes, textures and forms. In addition to custom furniture and furnishings, Zoevox used furniture by Christophe Delcourt, Philippe Hurel, Paola Lenti, Christian Liaigre, India Mahdavi, Antonio Lupi, Karim Rashid and Philippe Starck.

Now if this was your neighborhood bank, would you be less lazy to visit the ATM inside?