Tuesday, August 19, 2014

meet Tomasso Aquilano.. Roberto Rimondi.. AQUILANO.RIMONDI..

There has been a great deal of shuffling around within the Milanese fashion community but few have been singled out as survivors as well as genuine talents. Many of these designers may have held lead positions for reimagined brands and many have fallen by the wayside due to a dwindling retail economy and a lack luster media acceptance. Today it is about a team of two have and are more than just surviving the fashion wars; they are winning the war!

Today is about (Tomasso) Aquilano and (Roberto) Rimondi who are collectively recognized as their eponymous brand Aquilano.Rimondi. This talented team of 2 has worked their way up through the ranks of Italian fashion and weathered the fickle tides of the business  to have surfaced as possibly the “face” of the modern Italian fashion industry.

They exude a warmth that seems to be genetic, yet their talent may be steeped in the traditions of the great Italian designers who came before them but their product is anything but nostalgic. To my eyes, they are designers who strive to expose the evolution of Italian fashion by offering their vision of 21st century International fashion. Today’s world of fashion is not as secular as it once was as is evidenced by the growth of fashion  publications on a worldwide basis and Aquilano.Rimondi rises to fulfill  that agenda.

So please get to know these 2 designers and have a look at what is possible when designers step away from a preconceived idea of what fashion “should” be! Say Ciao to Tomasso and Roberto….

What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
2 blue cashmere sweaters we use all the time as a jolly
What is your bliss?
What is your guilty secret?
If it’s a secret, then we are not supposed to tell it J
Where is your ideal home?
Roberto: Bologna, Tommaso: Ireland
What would you say is your greatest accomplishment to date?
Being still able to work together as a team
What is on your bedside table right now?
Tommaso: a picture of Roberto and Ugo the dog, Roberto: a picture of Tommaso and Ugo the dog
What do you wear to bed?
J! We would like to answer like a famous actress, but we prefer not to
What if any, book are you reading now or last read?
The biography of the Savoia family, Inchiesta su Maria – Corrado Augias, Il treno dell’ultima notte – Dacia Maraina
What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
Collaboration, responsibility, constancy
Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
People from the streets and art in all its form
What is the best advice you ever received?
We have never made a distinction between the designers that left their mark or still do leave their mark, we do recognize the talent of each one, it’s difficult to make a list
In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
…NEXT! Just kidding, it is a moment of transition, but also a time when new ideas are approaching a system that is changing
If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do? 
Regarding our private life, we prefer not to reveal too much, but naturally we would be interested in travelling the world over and buy a lot of art
If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, which would they be…dead or alive?
It’s difficult to answer this question: we would need to invite people over for dinner every day in order to get to know all the persons that we would like to know
What is your favorite movie /or movie star? 
Le relazioni pericolose with Michelle Pfeiffer, Glenn Close and John Malkovich, Schindler’s List, Barry Lyndon, La caduta degli dei – Luchino Visconti – to name a few
What is the one thing you would change about yourself? 
Whose opinion do you value most and why? 
If the opinion is positive or negative, but constructive then it is well accepted from whomever, because it has been expressed in a professional way
What store or which designer do you most like to shop in or wear? 
Resurrection, Anouska, Lily Et Cie, Mazzini Vintage, Angelo…please don’t make us open our agenda…J
What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
Print media still has ist own charm but internet as well because you have an immediate confrontation with the world, they are both the same side of the medal
Do you have a dream collaborator? 
We live together since 16 years, should we prefer someone else? Maybe 2 are already sufficient, what do you think?
What’s your music library like? 
We range a lot in all different kind of music genres which moreover reflects our taste to mix > imput and very different styles
What and where is your favorite meal?
Do you want to come to dinner at our house? ;) since we often eat outside, perhaps our favorite dish is made with our proper hands and in a moment of relax…we are Italians > for us it is important to eat well 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

The collision of Fashion & Art.. Marc-Antoine Coulon.. Dean Rhys Morgan

Today it is this writer’s pleasure to write about a friend who happens to be an extraordinary talent. His amazing artistic gifts are most often unleashed within the world of fashion including its inhabitants. Marc-Antoine Coulon is carving a niche for himself as being the go to artist for the cognoscenti of fashion whether you are a publication, gallery or luminary. His portraits and illustrations are extraordinary as he captures the essence of his subject in just a few meaningful strokes.

Monsieur Coulon has teamed with Dean Rhys Morgan to create a signed limited edition of prints that is aimed at introducing the artist to the world collectible illustration. If Mr. Morgan’s name is familiar it might be because of his brilliant paean to illustrator and artist Tony Viramontes, Bold, Beautiful And Damned: The World Of 1980’s Fashion Illustrator Tony Viramontes or possibly his association with Isabella Blow and the Tattler.

www.deanrhysmorgan.com/ap-coulon.php might be the best way to find out much more about both the artist and the person responsible for shining a light on the art of Marc-Antoine Coulon. Keep in mind that this collection of exquisite prints will have their premiere showing August 17-20 at the Javits Centre in NYC...  booth 2049 and then will become available at international sales points. Don’t forget these are personally signed by the artist and only offered in very limited editions.

If you are a lover of fashion or the art of illustration, you will want to own a piece of work by an artist who might be considered a 21st century Rene Gruau!

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Philip Treacy.. master of design

Philip Treacy is one of the most prolific, creative and imaginative designers that our present world of fashion has ever produced. While his responses may be brief they are none the less quite potent in their content.

Mr. Treacy will always be remembered for his longtime friendship with Isabella Blow and perhaps it is she who catapulted him into the white hot light of fashion. He has endured far longer than most designers and he is still very much the go to resource for some of the greatest designers of our era. Mr. Treacy stands alone in this arena of fashion and one of the very few who can proudly be referred to as “trendless!”

My oft used phrase of “designers who design” is possibly more applicable here with him than with 95% of the population who inhabit this milieu. He is above all a createur with boundless imagination and infinite capabilities. He has created the millinery needs of some of the world’s greatest luminaries whether they be the English royals or the royals of the music business. 
Marc-Antoine Coulon

While you may not have known his name, you have surely seen his mastery on display in countless magazines and on the heads of the cognoscenti of fashion. Words of praise fall short in properly describing the prodigious output of this man. He is one of the very very few who one might call truly deem as a fashion genius!

My advice is to listen up to what he has to say and to revel in the beauty that belongs to Philip Treacy.

JF--What is the most treasured possession in your wardrobe?
PT-My Alexander McQueen suits, he gave me.
JF-What is your most sterling trait and what trait do you treasure most in your friendships? Loyalty
JF-What is your bliss?
PT-Inventing hats

JF-What is your guilty secret?
PT-I think about new hats all day long
JF-Where is your ideal home?
PT-London, it’s a fantasy.
JF-What do you wear to bed?
PT-Not much
JF-What’s your advice to the “newcomer?”
JF-Who or what is your inspiration/style icon?
PT-Isabella Blow
JF-What is the best advice you ever received?
PT-Make hats.
JF-In 3 words or less, describe the current state of fashion.
PT-Trendless, open, marketing
14-If you were a retailer; would you wear your own designs or shop in your own store?
or where would you shop?
JF-If you won a $200,000,000 power ball (lottery), what is the first thing you would buy or do?
PT-Plants. I love gardening
JF-If you could invite up to 4 people for dinner, who would they be…dead or alive?
Marilyn PT-Monroe and Michael Jackson
JF-What is your favorite movie /or movie star?
PT-Legend / Tom Cruise
JF-Whose opinion do you value most and why?
PT-The people I work with, I trust them
JF-What’s your take on magazines, books versus the internet?
PT-It’s all legible
JF-Do you have a dream collaborator?
PT-Marlene Dietrich
JF-What is your crowning achievement thus far in your career?
PT-Surviving as a hat designer in the 21st century

JF-What’s your music library like?
JF-What and where is your favorite meal?
PT-Anything my partner Stefan cooks

Monday, August 4, 2014

meet Marcus Teo.. creative director Georg Jensen

Once upon a time Georg Jensen was known as the ultimate resource for modern contemporary sterling silver jewelry and home accessories. Into its second century of life, the company has decided to recapture the luster of what once was with the hiring of David Chu as CEO and now with the addition of Marcus Teo.  The globetrotting  Marcus Teo is the subject of today’s meet and greet and he has been extremely forthcoming via the series of question posed to him. He tells us of what we can expect from him in the future and some of his past and some of his private life.
First is the press release announcing his arrival to the fabled brand which is sort of a mission statement  and then we get to know him in deeper detail, the slideshow offers a small glimpse in to his past  and what makes him tick as a creative force in fashion.
Please meet Marcus Teo..

Marcus Teo Joining Georg Jenson
Vogue contributing sittings editor and prior editor of W magazine’s men’s portfolio, Marcus Teo will collaborate with David Chu, Georg Jensen’s chief executive officer and chief creative officer, to launch a men’s jewellery and watch collection. He will take on the title of vice president and creative director. “I’ll be working on all aspects of creative,” Teo told press. He will continue in his freelance role at American Vogue, as “it keeps my interest and inspiration going,” he said. The Collaboration is not to only to introduce a men’s collection (not only jewelry but leather goods, accessories etc.) but to shine the spotlight on all Jewelry, Home, Silverware and the hallowed Holloware collection

Q-What is your big picture plan for Georg Jensen? And who are you targeting as your customer?
The House of Georg Jensen is a House of Art & Design. It is not only a store for beautiful jewelry, or a purveyor of fine home d├ęcor or a gallery of collectible silver. It is all that as well as an active participant in the vital and vibrant world of Art and Design. Georg Jensen himself was an artist; a sculptor who was also a great silversmith. Back in 1904, before artists even thought of collaborations, Jensen invited his artist friends to design and he turned their work into masterpieces. It was the beginning of a fruitful practice. This became the Georg Jensen tradition, working with artists through every Design Period, from Art Nouveau to Art Deco, through the Danish golden age of design during the mid-century. All the way through the 70s, 80s and now. The tradition continues with some of the world’s best Design powerhouses. My big picture is to continue this tradition of collaboration – to shed light on the rich heritage and also to create a constant and current dialogue with the Art and Design world.
The Jensen customer has always been someone who appreciates art and craft, who values the beauty of design and creation. Our jewelry customer knows that they are investing in wearable art and our Home and Silver customers are welcoming art into their homes. My target is to extend our culture of value in art and design to the vast demographic that appreciates design. Through social media like Pinterest and various blogs, the design aficionados have grown in huge numbers. I want them to be participants in the Georg Jensen culture – as both customers and collaborators.

Q-Do you believe that Georg Jensen can be restored to its once reverential status among international luxury retailers? And why?
A little dusting can uncover huge treasure troves. Our archives hold some of the giants in Design and art. We have produced and created some of the most reverential pieces as well as the most modern objects of their time. Living in an age where the Design periods co-exist seamlessly, our vast trove of goods have become modern collector’s gold. My task is to reintroduce these vibrant items of jewelry and Home design goods as well as our Silver treasures. In addition, we continue the ongoing conversation as we collaborate with the design powerhouses of now. In this two prong approach, we speak to international luxury retailers with our desirable goods as well as create a modern dialogue with a new and growing luxury-appreciating audience.

Q- What was your most favorite assignment during your career and why?
There have been so many! One that had left a lasting impression was my very first shoot as the Fashion Director of W Magazine’s Men’s portfolio. Dennis Freedman had commissioned fine art photographer Rodney Smith to shoot for us. I was doing my first sitting – shooting at Parc de Sceaux a little south of Paris. The handsome clothes, the great models, the almost mathematical structure of the park – all came together with precision through Rodney’s lens. The moment when all the effort and work behind the scenes culminate on one perfect photo, that is the moment I pine for. When it happens as it did for the first time on this shoot, everything is as it should be.

Q- What are your current observations about fashion? men’s .. women’s??
I have always been interested in Fashion, but by way of Film School. My appreciation has been for the craft of making clothes and the effect it creates, like what costume does in movies and theatre. It creates characters. Fashion is interesting to me because men and women become characters when they put clothes on. I have been an accidental tourist in the rise of menswear because of W’s Men’s Portfolio. I was interested in fashion but I was more interested in creating a general interest book. Art, Design, Sport, the Lives of others – that’s what I am interested in. Currently in fashion, I applaud the drive that the young designers still have in making it. The world of fashion has made more friends and fans in the last 10 years. It used to be so far removed. But, it has also become ore competitive and big business. For every Nicholas Ghesquiere or Alexander Wang out there making it, there’s a lot more struggling to get their amazing collections out. I think I am a fan of the designers. I think it takes guts to put yourself in this arena. Obviously, there are good collections and bad ones. There always have been.
It is comforting to know that Zoran is out there somewhere not giving a hoot about how commercial he could have been but sticking to his instincts.

Q- Can you explain what a sittings editor does and as a stylist how much of the finished product are you responsible for?
I studied Film.  That is a highly collaborative field. It takes the sum of different parts to make the perfect image. In portraiture and fashion photography, one is always trying to achieve the perfect shot. This could be bringing out the personality in portraiture or creating the Decisive or Indecisive moment. A great sittings editor pulls together the different elements – the right clothes, the models, the subjects, the location, the time of day and collaborates closely with the Photographer – who is the Director and who is the Cinematographer? The roles vary with the Photographer. I always go in excited to collaborate, to work with a few to create the image. When it all falls in place, my job as a sittings editor is done. My role as a stylist uses Fashion and costume to elicit an emotion, to tell a story. Depending on the day and the photographer, I have been surprised and moved to tears. On other days, I have to take control of the situation and act as a director. The point is to stay collaborative. I am Always responsible for my finished product!
Q-Who are your style icons/idols/inspirations and why?
On a personal style level, Bryan Ferry and Michael Chow. Look at Bryan Ferry! Rock Star with sartorial tendencies. Never the pretty boy but always a chic Man. Michael Chow is an icon of Food, Art and Design. A quick study into his esthetic life will reveal the most sublime choices. And Never Boring. Always keep it interesting. A couple of years ago, I did a Mr. Chow inspired story for GQ. I had permission and was shooting in his restaurant. He was in the neigbourhood and decided to drop by. While my model was evocating Chow’s sharply-dressed persona, the real Mr. Chow showed up in black t-shirt, light linen shorts, black socks and black canvas sneakers – the antithesis of dressed up but startlingly perfect.

Q-What advice would you offer to those who are just starting their career in the fashion business?
Absorb Culture. Study Sociology. Devour History. Learn about Design. In fact, study anything but fashion. Unless you are planning to be a designer, then make sure you learn the craft.
Q- Where is your ideal home and why?
Everywhere I have lived seems to lead the way to the ideal home. From the Colonial home in Malaysia to the Corbusier shrine in London to my own undertakings in New York City. They all contain traces of the past and also elements of where they are. I am quite adaptable but I cannot wait to adapt to a house near water. The Ocean or a Lake is what I find rapturous.
Q-what is your most treasured possession in terms of wardrobe?
A pair of Helmut Lang jeans that was given to me by Helmut. It has gone through several Weights of me!
Q-if you could rewrite your own history, how would you alter it and why?
I wouldn’t. I have lived in 3 continents and have learnt so much. If I was wiser back then, I still would have been learning something during that time.
I suppose I would be a tad taller if I could rewrite something!