STAR/DUST—NABA’s Fashion Graduate Show

Category: Fashion Design

Liquid Mezzanine (Sofia Arango and Alice Maiolini)


Tough Talking (Laura La Marca, Elena Turchi, Camilla Locatelli, Federica Roncan, Giulia Bacco)


Palomar (Benedetta Giorcelli and Giulia Curti)


Wrapped (Elisabetta Menegon and Carlotta Colombo)


Paracelso (Ornella Sofia Raineri and Stefania Laurenziello)

STAR/DUST is the name, and overarching theme, of NABA’s final show for graduates from the Bachelor of Arts in Fashion Design. It’s a huge event, with over 100 students completing their studies. The show took place on 10th July, and I have finally had a good look through the lengthy list of talent on display. Over 90 outfits were exhibited, with over 20 taking to the catwalk. This year a group of students from Tsinghua University, with whom NABA has worked with for years, took part in the show.

Students collaborated on collections in response to the 2014 theme STAR/DUST in different ways—some very literal, others drawing more tenuous connections to the words. Here is a small selection of favourites that have caught my eye.

Liquid Mezzanine’s beautifully tailored pieces are just asking to hop into my wardrobe. The perfect white shirt, the classic black blazer complete with a double collar, but disrupted by ruptures at the seams in the back and around the elbows. The collection oozes confidence and, at the same time, shows it’s vulnerable side, and indeed, it is inspired by our shifting identities, understanding and tastes as we move through life.

Tough Talking has some nice pieces influenced by street-wear and street art. They manage to maintain an elegance, while utilizing sporty materials that allow for speedy, agile movements around the urban playground. Palomar is all about detail, soft felted wool and ethereal swathes of silky organza. I love the woven coat sleeves and the sheer shirt-dress that veils waterfalls of delicate thread behind a loose outer shell. Gorgeous craftsmanship! Wrapped is another collection that demonstrates impeccable attention to detail. Inspired by artist Makoto Kobayashi, it pairs beautifully structured garments in heavy fabrics with looser, more fluid pieces. The contrasts between smooth satin and wool make for a deliciously sensuous collection. Who wouldn’t love to be wrapped up in that cocoon coat?

I also enjoyed Paracelso, a playful collection inspired by the colourful strips of paper used for transmitting prayers and wishes during the Japanese Tanabata festival. The collection sports glitchy prints, colourful weaving with volumous pieces. I think the supporting identity, collateral, photoshoot and video have come together really successfully and you can see it all together here.

You can find more images of these collections, and others, on NABA’s STAR/DUST website.

Anna Tokareva

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NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Fashion Design
Masters of Art in Fashion and Textile Design

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Paris Mens Fashion Week: Highlights

Category: Fashion Design

Well. I hate to say it, but I think Milan won this time round. Not that it’s a competition but this season in Paris, the best of the best happened in the first few days, with the remainder of the week feeling rather bland showing ranges that were hard to get excited about. That said, at the time of this writing Lanvin had yet to happen, and like always, I’m sure they’ll be good. But the rest? I don’t know, there seemed to be an absence of the punch that Paris usually brings.

Thank God then for Walter Van Beirendonck who randomly combined fighter pilot uniforms with napoleon gallantry, with oriental prints, with lycra ski gear, with neolithic cave paintings, with sharks! That man never disappoints and I’m glad that once again he didn’t. Yes, many pieces are completely unwearable, but isn’t that what we want to see in Paris? The tame versions can be picked up in any high street store, but on the catwalk, give us a bit of glam or a bit of chaos I say. Van Beirendonck continually pushes aesthetic and gender boundaries with his collections, this one pulling in satellite discs of fabric referencing CCTV, AK-47′s, epaulettes, gold fringing, dazzle camouflage and spliced suits that all were meant to confuse and confound, just as this crazy world that we live in does. The collection could be read as random or as meaningful as we decide it to be and that is what makes it all so good.

On the complete flip side to this was Louis Vuitton. Here the classic tailored outfit reigned as it should from a house with this much heritage. Designer Kim Jones is known for his intrepid journeys and love of travel, this range focused on that aspect but as with WVB, from a  military point of view. I’ve never thought of pairing camels, khaki’s and fluoro’s together, but after viewing this stuff I can’t wait to use that palette somewhere. The crispness of structure in this collection is really something to behold. Even the jumpsuits are extraordinarily cut, giving a flattering silhouette to something that usually could be viewed as one big sack of clothing. And those glasses. Hook me up!

But all in all, Paris you showed too many velcro shoes and birkenstock-esque slip-on’s for my liking.

One more thing to add though, I forgot to look at Dries Van Noten until this article was written. What an idiot! Dries once again nailed it from every direction, and be sure that if I’d remembered to look, he would’ve knocked old Louis from his throne. Click here to look at my third highlight, the ever perfect DVN.

Logan Bradley

Photographs: Style.com

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NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Fashion Design
Masters of Art in Fashion and Textile Design

Get in touch now:

 

Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

Relevant Courses:

Masters in Fashion Design
Masters in Fashion Management
Masters in Fashion Styling and Visual Merchandising

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Meteorites and Watches

Category: Design, Interior Design

Last week Anna brought us her review on Art Basel. As an art fair, it’s easy to forget about the business side of things, however that is indeed what the event is really about. So much so that luxury brands go to great lengths to design exhibits and displays to lure the wealthy patrons of the fair.

Such an exhibit was constructed for watch company Audemars Piguet and was housed at Art Basel and Art Basel Hong Kong in The Collectors’ Lounge. Designed by Mathieu Lehanneur, the showroom consisted of clean lines and illuminated, laboratory white workspaces. This was then boldly obstructed by giant papier-mâché boulders referencing the violent nature of the Vallée de Joux, the location where Audemars Piguet watches are fabricated. The idea of this rough, brutal nature paired against the precise, clean and expensive pieces of Audemars Piquet is a nice one, a contrast that is echoed by the rich blacks and the crisp whites within the display.

I really enjoyed watching the video of Lehanneur explaining his design process, and especially, how the rocks were constructed. Going out into Vallée de Joux to paint giant boulders with silicon sounds and looks like a one big design adventure, but how funny to see that take shape and resolve as an end product for designer, boutique timepieces. There’s something quite odd about it, and a little scary. From a process point of view I love it, and there’s no doubt that end result is gorgeous, but there’s something about a ‘collectors lounge’ and designer goods surrounded by art, that somehow puts a damper on what would otherwise be a beautiful designed showroom. Maybe Lehanneur’s crashing meteorites are actually a secret artistic attack on the designer, money driven world we live in. I’d like to think so, and for me would make the whole display just that little bit more successful!

You can see more from Mathieu Lehanneur by clicking here.

Logan Bradley

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Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

Relevant Courses:

Masters in Service and Experience Design

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Casa no Tempo

Category: Architecture, Landscape design

Put your hand up if you are in the mood for a getaway! I know I would quite happily hide away in some remote wilderness for a while! Well, if you have a few thousand euro to spare, then a week in the Portuguese countryside might just do the trick. Casa no Tempo, based in Alentejo, the South-Central part of Portugal, is looking mighty tempting. Peacefully rooted in vast grassy plains, dotted with oak and olive trees, it’s only an hour south of Lisbon. The house has been in the family for generations, and the current keepers of the home have been tasked to take good care of it by the will of their late grandfather. They have done so beautifully, with the help of Manuel Aires Mateus from renowned architecture studio Aires Matues, which is run by him and his brother Francisco.

The house is a starkly white, unassuming figure in the landscape. A swimming pool sits nearby—probably my favourite feature. Its brilliantly ingenious design comprises of a concrete block, the top angled in such as way as to give the pool depth on one end and create an irregular pseudo-shore line on the other. I think that pools can often look terrible and forcibly imposed upon their surroundings, but here is blends in perfectly. The interior of the house is just as simple, with clean white walls and sparse furnishings. Thick slabs of wood, locally made clay floor tiles and a few well-placed ceramics and books achieve the perfect balance between spaciousness and coziness. I love the receding fireplace in the lounge—another clever, minimalist feature.

Casa no Tempo is the perfect place to come to with a few books and sketchpads, leaving the suite of Apple products behind and focusing on being present. And if you get bored, you can go horse riding, fishing in the nearby lakes, or make trips out to local wildlife sanctuaries or restaurants suggested on their website. Be sure to check out a couple of stunning earlier collaborations with Manuel Aires Mateus, Cabanas no Rio and Casas na Areia. I’ll be here, dreaming on!

Anna Tokareva

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Study options

NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Masters in Landscape Design

Get in touch now:

 

Domus Academy

Design and Fashion School in Milan, Italy
http://www.domusacademy.com/

Relevant Courses:

Masters in Interior and Living Design

Get in touch now:

 

NewSchool of Architecture + Design

San Diego, California
http://www.newschoolarch.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Architecture
Bachelor of Landscape Architecture
Bachelor of Arts in Architecture
Bachelor of Science in Construction Management
Master of Construction Management
Master of Architecture
Master of Science in Architecture
Master of Landscape Architecture
Masters in Interior and Living Design

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Art Basel: Unlimited

Category: Fine Arts, Installation

Sam Falls @ Galerie Eva Presenhuber. Images: Art Basel.

Rosemarie Trockel @ Gladstone Gallery, Sprueth Magers Berlin London. Images: Art Basel and Conceptual Fine Arts

Sabine Hornig @ Cristina Guerra Contemporary Art. Images: Art Basel.

Xu Zhen @ Long March Space. Images: Art Basel and We Find WildnessAlice Channer @ The Approach. Images: Art Basel.

Art Basel has been dubbed the Olympics of the art world, being one of the most anticipated art fairs. Held at three separate locations over the year: Basel, Miami and Hong Kong, the 2014 season has began with Basel, Switzerland. With over 300 galleries showcasing artwork over four days, it can all get a bit overwhelming. So, I am focusing on Art Basel Unlimited—the section dedicated to presenting artwork that fails to fit into the standard art fair cubicle format. Unlimited is curated by Gianni Jetzer and includes installation work, sculpture, video projection and performance.

A few artworks have caught my eye, for different reasons. Alice Channer’s long crisp drop of fabric, printed with a snakeskin texture looks like a giant stocking, or deflated python, ready to pull you in and eat you up. Sam Falls’ huge orange canvas sheet carves up the grey gallery space like a smily beam of the sunshine that was used to create the artwork. An irregular pattern has been created on the fabric by placing dozens of wooden pallets along its length, letting the spaces between fade in the sun. Falls’ abstract art is earthy and process-based, a welcome departure form the norm in this category.

Frontier favourite Rosemarie Trockel disrupted the space on a smaller scale, but with no less impact. Her 2012 installation, “As far as possible” includes an upside-down plastic palm tree, hanging from the ceiling, along with a monochrome copy of Courbet’s “Origin of the World,” adorned with a hairy tarantula. It’s brilliant and humorous, but also delightfully creepy. The sterile white-tiled walls and a cage of mechanical singing birds add to the unease. Xu Zhen has also turned things on their head, literally in his case. In an effortlessly clever move, Zhen has married replicas of classical Hellinistic and Buddhist sculptures by physically placing the figures of the East upon the headless bodies of the West. The result is both ridiculous and thought provoking.

More of an immersive work, Sabine Hornig’s installation creates a superficial but dislocating environment. Wooden frames, resembling architectural substructures are stretched with sheer polyester fabric that’s printed with overlapping photographs of interior and exterior elements of buildings. The appearance is that of a reflective surface, but soon the gaze travels beyond the thin material, adding further layers to image, in the form of the physical surroundings of the exhibition space.

Art Basel may run over a brief period of time, but it’s a great way to find new exciting artists, and be reminded of the masters of the 20th century. You can see the full list of participating galleries and artists here.

Anna Tokareva

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Santa Fe University of Art and Design

Santa Fe, New Mexico
http://www.santafeuniversity.edu/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Studio Arts
Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) in Studio Arts
Creative Writing and Literature Bachelor of Arts (BA)

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NABA Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

Milan, Italy
http://www.naba.it/

Relevant Courses:

Bachelor of Art in Painting and Visual Arts
Masters of Art in Visual Arts and Curatorial Studies

Get in touch now: