Have you ever imagined what a child’s imagination would look like if it came to life? What if a child’s imaginary friend sprung from their head and began to dance around the room? That was the beauty of Viktor & Rolf’s spring 2016 couture show. Childhood memories came out to dance and play among the very adult world of fashion. Unfortunately, in today’s fashion world, we rarely get to see whimsy and childhood charm walk the runway. Designers have created brands and taken them from the realm of imagination into the realm of industry, creating an engine hell-bent on pumping the world with constant doses of trends, fast fashion, and see-now-buy-now collections whose sole purpose is profit, not wonder.
Luckily for fashion lovers around the world, the haute couture house of Viktor & Rolfhas for years been associated with design that reaches beyond traditional fashion. While some houses’, like Chanel’s or Dior’s, primary focus was to modernize tradition, Viktor & Rolf are renowned for reinventing traditional haute couture values rather than modernizing of something that has been held dearly.
Viktor & Rolf have created a brand that delves into some of Europe’s most important design niches. On one hand, V&R embraces deconstruction; they embrace the art of taking a garment apart and putting it back together in new and exciting ways. On the other hand, the brand is also deeply rooted in detail and high fashion prestige. This intense marriage of raw design and refined beauty encompassed their spring 2016 couture show. It was a dance between the cut and paste imagination of a child and the rigidness and simplicity of adult life.
When we first see the collection, the clothing presented seem simple enough. A utilitarian shirtdress with a few paste on appliqués in white. A secret sprinkled here and there. Soon after, the dresses become more elaborate and more abstract. Audiences are left watching as the imagination of a child takes a simple idea and allows it to grow and blossom into something far more magical than just a cut out of an eye on a dress.
As the collection progresses, the dreams of a child’s unchained mind come face to face with the stern rules of adult life. But the clash of the two isn’t what makes this collection so memorable. It’s the sheer dominance nostalgia and childhood imagination have over our adult lives. Even though the collection still adheres to its strict couture guidelines, the childhood dream world that began as a simple eye on a stark white dress grew into something more extravagant — something far more important than just fashion. The idea that Viktor & Rolf wanted to get had more to do with the flame of wonder that is ignited in childhood never truly going out than trying to parade models around in towering polo shirt totem poles for the sake of “fashion.” For both Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, creating fashion for the sake of fashion doesn’t seem to be the name of the game. Bringing dreams to life by taking inspiration from the world around them has always been the motive and lesson at V&R couture. And it’s a lesson in creativity all future designers should be listening too.
Fashion and art have always worked hand in hand like a hall of mirrors. When one creates something, the other reflects it. For centuries, art and fashion have danced with one another. Creating memorable images in either fabric or paint form. When I chose to venture into art and fashion in the first “Art x Fashion” article, the comparisons made between the artwork’s and the clothing was based on colour, print, pattern, etc. Now, the comparisons are based on some of the most stunning gowns ever painted throughout history.
Ann Demeulemeester x Thomas Hudson
Until recently, black was a coloured reserved for mourning, not elegance. So when it came to finding a gown that matched today’s modern obsessions with the shade, a deep dive into the world of classical art was the only way to go about it. Luckily, I stumbled upon Thomas Hudson‘s beautiful painting “Portrait of Lady Frances Courtenay, wife of William Courtenay, 1st Viscount Courtenay” which showcases its main subject wearing a beautiful black gown. The sheen on the black fabric, white ruffled collar, and sleeves was mirrored by a look that walked the runway at Ann Demeulemeester this season, which featured a black dress and white shirt. The two gowns almost look like doorways. One leading to the past, the other, the future.
Loewe x Giovanni Boldini
Powder blue, not only was it named the colour of the year last year (along with rose quartz) It has steadily filtered its way through everything from fashion, to home decor, and even car colours. What sets this colour apart from other blues on the lighter spectrum is its softness, its cleanliness, its elegance, and it’s ability to remain an extremely dominant colour without looking juvenile. At Loewe, a stunning powder blue gown came down the runway looking like a clown in the wind. Immediately Giovanni Boldini came to mind. The effortless brush strokes of the blue dress in Boldini’s “Madame Charles Max” look as light as air, mirroring the billowing blue gown on the runway.
Calvin Klein x Thomas Cooper Gotch
Gold is one of those colours that will always be associated with royalty. It represents the thrown, the sun, wealth, extravagance, and the God-given right to rule a kingdom. In Thomas Coop Gotch‘s painting “The Lady in Gold,” we can see how gold plays a vital role in creating an elegant and domineering atmosphere. Not only is the dress itself a beautiful hue of yellow gold, the entire painting itself is painted in various hues of warm yellow. Giving the woman in the painting a sense of sheer importance and status. At Calvin Klein, A stunning gold coat walked the runway. The gold fabric and cleave PVC overlay looked made the garment look like liquid gold. Twisting and swirling onto itself. Truly a modern take on an old royal favourite.
Gucci x Frans Verhas
Call it lilac, periwinkle, or lavender, or aubergine, but no colour can match the unbridled intensity of purple. Which screams “look at me!” regardless of which hue is being shown. In Frans Verhas “The New Bracelet,” a soft lilac jumps out from the canvas against a neutral background. It’s clear that the intention of the painting was o put the gown itself into focus while letting the background fade away. And what a perfect colour to do just that. However, at Gucci, this purple gown was one of the only colours that was featured entirely by itself. The dominant colour creates a mesmerising look that needs little more than a lustre in the fabric itself to stand out. Just like Frans Painting, this Gucci dress captures the eye and lets the background fade away.
Chika Kisada x William Ross
What do you think of when you think of pink? For me, I see candy, extravagance, sugar, delicateness, and power. Now, most people would agree with candy and delicateness, but why power and extravagance? It’s simple, pink is one of the strongest colours on the colour wheel. It gives off an intensity without ever experiencing any muteness in its hues. Whether it’s baby pink or fuschia, pink lights a fire unlike any other colour on the spectrum. In William Ross‘ “Princess Feodora of Hohenlohe-Langenburg,” we can see that even though the pink chosen for the gown is the softest imaginable, it still draws the eye to it. Dominating everything around it in the painting. This is also the case with this stunning pink dress at Chika Kisada aw17. The mix of bubblegum pink and dusty rose creates levels of excitement and interest in the dress. Pulling your eyes towards the harness on the model’s chest, and drawing it all the way down to the train.
One of the greatest perks of living in Spain is that you get to enjoy sunny weather almost all year round. When April arrives, spring has sprung and the city is an explosion of color and joy. The temperature is warm enough to even wear full-on summer clothes, but in cities like Madrid, where it gets chilly in the first and last hours of the day, throwing on a jacket is a must — plus, it adds an extra fashion touch to our look. Here are my 5 favorite spring items that we are already styling here in Spain.
Transitioning from cold and dark winter to warm and sunny spring might not be easy for one reason: we are not yet ready to show some flesh. If you feel like you need more time to get rid of the winter layers, there is no hurry to wear mini dresses this season. Maxi lengths, inspired by Coachella’s festive spirit, are flattering and elegant and at the same time allow you to gradually adapt to higher temperatures. If you want to add an extra sexy vibe to the look, slits that go up your leg are a good choice.
Denim never goes out of style, and it is a must-have in every wardrobe. For the past seasons, we’ve witnessed an evolution in classical denim pieces — playing with hems, cutouts, and lengths that surprise both the wearer and the viewer. This spring, embroidery has blossomed as the favourite trend, and it takes form as beautiful flowers that recreate a magical garden in denim pieces from jeans to jackets.
CITY OF STARS
When we think about our spring looks, florals come to mind. Although this always will be the print of the season (we’ll talk about it later), stars are actually the ones that are going to brighten up our spring and summer looks. They mostly come in gold, as on this bomber jacket, and grey, and some of them even have an extra sparkly touch with glitter. The perfect print to shine with this season!
This is one of favourite items for the season. The classic aviator style comes back this spring but with an unexpected shift: see-through lenses in bright yellow. It automatically upgrades any look, giving an extra cool vibe to the overall outfit. It matches with everything — colors, textures, and styles — but the winning combo is a total white look like this one.
As Miranda Priestly would say, “Florals? For spring? Groundbreaking.” However, there is no other print that has conquered everyone’s wardrobe and that keeps coming back every spring — from small and colorful flowers against bright backgrounds such as yellow or green, to big ones that dramatically blossom in every piece you can imagine.
Whether he’s teaching a dance class or sketching in his notebook, Shawn Bracke always uses his art to support charities. Now he creates sweaters with faces of celebrities on them and donates 35% of the proceeds to a different charity each month. Founded in September 2016, his online clothing brand1Club stands for the idea of “all for one and one for all”.
Sveta: Hi Shawn! It’s exciting to learn a new artistic side of you besides dancing. How did you come up with the idea of creating your brand?
Shawn: The idea was always charity, donations. But not all. I was sketching a lot for the last five years or so, and I started putting it on clothing myself. People really liked that. On top of that, I was donating once a month from classes that I teach to different charities. So I kind of just fused the two ideas together. I thought, instead of donating from the classes I would start a brand.
Sveta: Did you have any background in fashion?
Shawn: Yep, I used to be a stylist. I used to live in London, U.K. I was a stylist there for two years, mostly just like on set for music videos, TV, and films. So it’s not the most creative because you can’t do really much with film and TV — you literally give them like this template —, but I definitely had an understanding of the industry. Honestly, fashion doesn’t really apply to my brand. The whole goal for it is to be comfortable and wearable and easy.
Sveta: How does the design of your brand express its idea?
Shawn: We stand forall for one and one for all. So the goal of the brand is essentially to create all-inclusive type of company, something comfortable and supporting. Originally, they [sweaters] are just faces of people that really inspired me. People who are using their celebrity styles to make a change in the world. There are pretty big names, like Beyoncé and Rihanna, Gigi Hadid, Victoria Beckham. They all are known for what they do either as musicians or designers, but I love all of them because they are affiliated with charities. And obviously, I know that people would love to wear a Beyonce sweater or Rihanna [sweater]. And I like that it’s all strong women. A lot of charities that I focus on are geared towards helping women.
Sveta: What are some charitable organization you work or have worked with?
Shawn: Right now we are with Red Door Family Shelter. We’ve worked with Covenant House. They are cool. They are like a shelter for the homeless slash for people who are distressed. So they help a lot of women who are in bad situations with their husbands or who are trying to escape.
Sveta: What is exciting for you about working with charities?
Shawn: I’ve always loved donating to charities, but as a dancer I would just do it with my credit card online. With the company there’s different formatting. You obviously have to build relationships with them [charities]. It’s been very cool to see their responses and meet different people within the charity. And also, knowing where the money goes is comforting. I was kind of nervous going into it, that these different charities wouldn’t be that interested and would just kind of take a donation, but they all have been so lovely and so caring. Just hearing the cool things they do to change people’s lives is awesome.
Sveta: Does anyone help you to run the business?
Shawn: Yeah, so the sketches I do myself, and then I have a company, actually, a friend, who prints all the clothing. He works in film and TV, so it’s cool we have that relationship. And I also have some friends who help me to run the company. Primarily, it’s just me, but we do a lot of events. We go to different markets, so I have a crew who sometimes writes the emails and does the administrating.
Sveta:What is the most difficult part of running a clothing company?
Shawn: I would say, continuously promoting our brand. The more promotion you do, the more you need new people. And it’s not even bad. The most difficult is the most fun in a weird sense. I think it’s just the nature of any creative person: anything that’s difficult, you like doing because you know that it’s a challenge for you. I don’t know if as a journalist and a dancer you can agree with me. I hope that answers the question.
Sveta: I think I agree with that. Would people who wear your sweaters be creative as well?
Shawn: Obviously, I would love everyone to wear the sweaters. The goal is to benefit charitiesand feel comfortable and cool, yeah? But, generally speaking, the people, who have been gravitating towards it, are people like us, who work during the day and take a dance class or a yoga class or go to the gym at night… Or maybe they just wanna have like a Sunday-cozy sweater to go to a brunch and go for a walk after. My mum and her friends wear it too. They wear it on Saturdays if they go out for a show or something.
Sveta:Do you have your favourite sweater?
Shawn: Right now the Beyonce-embroidered is my favourite just cause I haven’t seen anyone do an embroidered sweater and I just love the texture of it. I’m excited that my drawing can be transmitted into an embroidered sweater.
Sveta: How do you build your collections in terms of frequency, colours…?
Shawn: As we partner with a different charity every month, the goal is to do a new sweater every one to two months. The first collection is all white, and the second collection had like that salt-pepper and safari [shades]. And then for the next one we are gonna go back to straight one colour. I definitely want to keep them neutral. For me, as a dancer, rehearsing, I like to wear very basic colours or shades rather. And my clients love that kind of neutral shades, so… We might play with colours later, but for now we are gonna keep it.
Sveta: Are you planning to add more items to your collections in the future?
Shawn: In September we have few other things coming. T-shirts and some other stuff, which I’m gonna keep secret.
Sveta: Were you thinking about creating 1Club physical store?
Shawn: Right now it’s an online-brand. I think we are gonna keep it there for a while. I don’t really have any goals to make it a physical shop… like in the near future.
Sveta: What does 1Club mean to you personally?
Shawn: 1Club for me is a nice escape from the dance world [we both laugh]. That sounds terrible! I couldn’t live without it [dance]. It’s like who I am, but there’s so many sides of me. Just like there’s so many sides of you. So it’s like a break from always focusing on like, Oh, I need to do this with dance. I need to focus on this with dance. For me it’s to meet different types of people with 1 Club that I would never be able to meet in the dance world.
Even as a crazed fashion lover (is there really such a thing?) I have humbly accepted the fact that I cannot reach a healthy and plentiful “blogger status”, mostly because I don’t have the funds, a round the clock photographer, or a Gucci belt to do so. Because of this, I worshipfully scroll through the feeds of some of my favourite style bloggers simply admitting a modest defeat from their standards of fashion looks. However, upon my scrolling, a new breed of fashion Instagrammer’s have come about, one that is just as fashionable, just as sassy but is about 20 years younger than their OG counterparts. Yes— we are talking about tiny humans setting the fashion standards high for us Zara lovers and thrift store chasers. Here are some kids who will have you questioning your current wardrobe and will inspire you to think out of the box. Even though they are true fashion lovers, kids remind us not to take fashion so seriously, and to have fun with it.
Eight year old, Haileigh is a fashion designer, model, and actor. With such a busy repertoire of activities it’s hard to believe she has time to fit in some inspirational fashion looks on her Instagram page. What is unique about this Instagram blogger is her take on a classic look. Haileigh blends her fun and childish flare with some very classic looking pieces. She almost has a mini Michelle Obama thing going for her in her pattern choices, and classy necklines and tailoring. There are some “street style” looks’s that show off her edge as well but her elegant, girly flare is what stands out on Haileigh’s page.
Adorable, Elle has an Instagram account run by her mom but her fashion choices seem to be made all by herself. Elle has the blogger pose down and has a very unique collection of fun bags and sunglasses! What sets this account apart from others is that many of the outfits are made for the reality of being a kid. Take this first look, this is what Elle wears to play baseball—both stylish and practical.
Another account run by a modern mommy (realistically SOMEONE has to take these photos). These brothers and their matching hair cuts have a great flare that embodies current men’s street style. There is definitely no hand-me-downs worn by these fashionable little lads. Their poses suggest that they truly love to be photographed (which, from what I hear is very rare to come by for most kids). With their sleek accessories, their wide denim collection, and their intricate detailing (just look at those skull knee covers!) there is no doubt that these brothers are totally worthy of being fashion inspo on Instagram!
This eight year old is definitely inspired by modern Americana fashion! In fact, in many of her posts, she does a side by side recreation of a celebrity outfit (she’s cop’ed Selena Gomez, Kylie Jenner and more) and NEVER fails to impress. This account puts together outfits that are not only appreciated by older fashion lovers, but can actually be used as real fashion inspiration as she truly has the wardrobe of a classic 20-somethings dream! Follow @txuamy if you’re interested in how to utilize your own wardrobe to the max!
There is no competition when is comes to @Coco_pinkprincess. This 6-year old from Tokyo is a true fashion icon with the sass to match. Her Burberry, Chanel, and Supreme collection is on point but brands aside, this account is a true inspiration for how to mix and match pieces and patterns to create outfit’s that are art-worthy. With Coco’s aesthetic, fashionable flare and attitude, it will be exciting to see where this growing platform will take her!