Thursday, 31 January 2013

Valentino Camouflage Collection in Collaboration with Liu Bolin

Fashion label Valentino’s creative directors Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have collaborated with renowned disappearing artist Liu Bolin to promote a new camouflage collection of garments, footwear and accessories for men. The camouflage patterns come in a colour palette that comprises green, camel, blue, black, grey and ivory with splashes of rust, red and acid green.

Photographs courtesy of Valentino

Introducing Diego Vanassibara Footwear

There is little doubt that 2013 will be a good year for Diego Vanassibara. After showing his footwear designs during the fashion showcase London Collections: Men (the British capital’s equivalent of a men’s fashion week) in January 2013, the young Brazilian designer has deservedly caught the attention of fashion buyers and journalists. A graduate of footwear design and product development from the Cordwainers programme in association with the London College of Fashion, Vanassibara has produced shoes and boots characterised by a hybrid approach to design and production that blends high-quality leather with mahogany and New Guinea rosewood through artisanal manufacturing methods.

The hides used in the Diego Vanassibara shoes and boots come from Italy, where production also takes place. In order to guarantee quality to his footwear line, the designer chose to trust the manufacture of his designs to a small family-run company that has been making shoes for three generations. Similarly, the wood pieces used in the collection come from a man-grown plantation of 100% legal and certified sustainable trees in the island of Java and are produced by the Rohim family, who have carved wood and been involved in carpentry for more than a century.

I had the opportunity to examine these shoes closely and speak to the designer in London and was very impressed with the attention to detail and high quality of his shoes. Diego Vanassibara footwear is most certainly a label that deserves swift expansion and further admiration by men.

Photographs courtesy of Diego Vanassibara

Contract Magazine Announces 2013 Interiors Awards Winners

Contract magazine announced the winners on the 34th Annual Interiors Awards on 25 January 2013. The winning projects were chosen from approximately 400 submissions by judges Alan Ricks (2012 Designer of the Year), Dina Griffin, Nancy Keatinge, Margaret Sullivan, and Stephen Apkin for revealing excellence and innovation across 13 categories of interior design projects, including education, corporate, retail, hospitality, healthcare, and a new sustainable project category. The Designer of the Year award was given to Joey Shimoda of Shimoda Design Group, and Michael Graves was honoured as the 2013 Legend. 

The 2013 Interiors Awards winners are:
Large Office: Microsoft Vienna in Vienna by INNOCAD 
Photograph by Paul Ott

Small Office: XAL Competence Center in Graz, Austria by INNOCA
Photograph by Paul Ott

Hotel: Grand Hyatt New York in New York by Bentel & Bentel Planners/Architects
Photograph by Eduard Hueber

Restaurant: Untitled in New York by the Rockwell Group
Photograph by Paul Warchol

Healthcare: Randall Children’s Hospital in Portland, Oregon by ZGF Architects
Photograph by Nick Merrick/Hedrich Blessing

Education: Cranbrook Art Museum Renovation and Collections Wing in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan by SmithGroupJJR
Photograph by James Haefner

Public Space: Lakewood Cemetery Garden Mausoleum in Minneapolis by HGA
Photograph by Paul Crosby Photography

Showroom: Chongqing Mountain & City Sales Office in Chongqing, China by One Plus Partnership
Photograph by Ajax Law Ling Kit

Entertainment: Wuhan Pixel Box Cinema in Wuhan, China by One Plus Partnership
Photograph by Ajax Law Ling Kit

Adaptive Reuse: Confidential Multimedia Entertainment Company in New York by FXFOWLE Architects
Photograph by Frank Oudeman

Retail: Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Museum Store in Bentonville, Arkansas by Marlon Blackwell Architect
Photograph by Timothy Hursley

Sustainable: 22squared in Atlanta by Gensler
Photograph by Michael Moran

Student: Play Lab by Nicole Germano
Rendering by Nicole Germano

Stone Island Shadow Project Spring/Summer 2013*

Since it was founded in Italy in 1982, Stone Island has grown to become one of the most respectable men’s fashion brands in the world. Growing out of C.P. Company, considered the forefather of Italian casual wear brands, Stone Island was the creative brainchild of Massimo, a graphic designer inspired by designs found in military and army surplus stores.

Massimo was always drawn to the technology and functionality involved in the production of fabrics and the actual military garments. However, when he experimented with such fabrics and designs for C.P. Company, he realised that the garments that he created did not fit in with the brand’s vision. To address this, he created Stone Island to market these designs. Today, Stone Island’s garments vary between innovative jackets to functional and fashion forward Stone Island jeans and everyday wear garments.

Now in its tenth generation, Stone Island’s Shadow Project is the result of an ongoing collaboration between the owner and creative director Carlo Rivetti and designers Michaela Sachenbacher and Errolson Hugh, also known as ACRONYM. The project has roots in experimentation and in the fusion between technical functionality and the performance of form. The latest incarnation of the Shadow Project has been foregrounded by a video found here

For Autumn/Winter 2012, the Shadow Project collection used empty urban locations and pieces falling slowly from the ceiling to distil the concept of interplay between form and function. The Spring/Summer 2013 collection, which is just now upon us, features a very exciting garment that glows in the dark. Not one to shy away from experimentation, Stone Island has called this ‘the luminescence technique’. The fabric is wind and water resistant, and also has the ability to capture light and emit it back when it is dark. This technology has been applied to twelve different garments, either in parts (such as the hood or a zip) or to the whole item. 

*Guest Post

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Prabal Gurung Spring 2013 Campaign

New York-based fashion designer Prabal Gurung has unveiled its digital campaign for Spring 2013. Featuring model Joan Smalls photographed by Daniel Jackson, the campaign illustrates Gurung’s designs which had been inspired by Anish Kapoor’s geometric and biomorphic sculptures.

Photographs courtesy of Prabal Gurung

ECCO Shoes: Ethical Designs and Innovative Processes*

ECCO shoes are a particularly interesting case study in the footwear industry; if anything, from the standpoint of how the company functions and operates. Founded in the early 1960s by Karl Toosbuy in Denmark, ECCO has always strived to create high-quality, beautifully crafted leather shoes and accessories in a variety of styles, ranging from Chelsea to desert to walking boots, for men, women and children. 

ECCO is unique in being the only shoe manufacturer that owns and controls every step of the shoe-making process, allowing them monitor the impact of their actions at every level and change them accordingly. This means that they can integrate their environmental and ethical practices into every manufacturing stage of their shoes. In addition, the company tries to employ local talent to help create meaningful work for people in the community.

As examples of ECCO’s commitment to improving their ethical and environmental practices, the company has installed a new lighting concept in their stores that reduced electricity consumption by 35%, opened an energy efficient tannery where the energy consumption is 20% lower than the average tannery, began to install energy-efficient tannery drums in their tanneries, which cut electricity consumption by 48%, and began using tannery waste as bio-fuel, cutting the amount of waste by 50%. 

ECCO’s products have been designed with functionality in mind as well as aiming to achieve a satisfying level of design. As well as producing high-end design footwear for formal situations, the brand invests their efforts in creating practical and comfortable footwear. Each type of design is developed separately from other designs and developed on a standalone basis, so a hiking boot will be approached with a need to make it durable, protective and supportive, but also light, cool and comfortable to wear.

*Guest Post

Guide London: Designer Menswear*

Guide London is an established men’s designer clothing retailer that, since it was founded in the 1980s, has been catering for those looking for the traditional British look with a combination of smart, casual and basic collections. Located in East London’s Petticoat Lane, a market famous for its trade of clothes and household goods since 1790 and for being the birthplace of Alan Sugar’s career as a market stall owner, Guide London has captured the London eccentric style very adroitly.

Over the years, Guide London has grown steadily. Its branded products were so successful that they started being commercialised on a wholesale basis to retailers both in the UK and internationally, a development that saw Guide London winning the BKCEC British Apparel Export Award in the mid-1990s. In 2005, new managing director Isaac Benson reformed the business and re-established Guide London as a brand that focused on marketing its own designer products.

With their roots firmly in British ground and all their garments designed in-house, it’s quite unsurprising that they are now defined as a British design house. Attention to detail and little quirks that make British design individual and unique to consumers as far afield as New York or Paris is what is distilled in Guide London’s clothes. 

The cutaway and double collars on their shirts add interest and a degree of the unusual into everyday office wear. Crisply cut blazers and trousers, waistcoats to match, and three-piece suits in a variety of materials are all designed by the company. Made from high-quality fabrics, their collections are intended to reach the target audience of the stylish professional man. As well as smart office wear, they also design casual wear including polo shirts, casual long sleeve and short sleeve shirts, as well as knitwear and winter coats to cover all seasons.

*Guest post

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

The Style Examiner Needs YOU!

Unlike most blogs out there, The Style Examiner is not the veiled work of a corporation but the product of one sole individual who really enjoys writing about fashion, art, design, architecture and lifestyle in general. Please support this blog by voting for the founder and editor João Paulo Nunes as 'Fashion Blogger of the Year' for the publication in the Fashion Monitor awards HERE. Many, many thanks!

Nicholas Kirkwood Wins 2013 BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund

The British Fashion Council (BFC) today announced Nicholas Kirkwood as the winner of this year’s BFC/Vogue Designer Fashion Fund. The prize of £200,000, now in its fourth year, was established to further enhance the reputation of London’s rising stars and assist in the development of their businesses. 

Nicholas Kirkwood at the Britain Creates 2012 Gala; photograph by Darren Gerrish

The choice to award Kikwood was based on his and business partner Christopher Suarez’s professional three-year plan and presentation at interview that demonstrated, according to the BFC, “exceptional skill in building a modern, individual and recognisable accessories line and was very clear on his business growth strategy and the key challenges he would like to address with the support of the Fund and its advisors”.

Illustration by David Downton

The BFC will develop a bespoke mentoring programme tailored specifically to assist Kirkwood to achieve his business goals for the next 18 months, with the aspiration that the network developed during this mentoring year will endure throughout his career as he makes the transition from a developing creative business into a global fashion brand.

An alumnus of London design schools Central Saint Martins and Cordwainers, Kirkwood’s architecturally inspired collection launched in the Spring of 2005 and won the attention of the fashion industry and clients such as Sarah Jessica Parker, Grace Jones, Daphne Guinness and Cecilia Dean. Kirkwood has recently opened flagship stores in London and New York and other stockists include 10 Corso Como (Milan), Barneys (New York) and Lane Crawford (Hong Kong).

Sarah Jessica Parker wearing Nicholas Kirkwood

Minju Kim Wins 2013 H&M Design Award

The winner of the 2013 H&M Design Award is Minju Kim, a 26-year-old student from South Korea who is now in her final masters year studying Fashion at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp. The €50,000 prize also includes the chance for Minju to present her collection with her own show at the Mercedes-Benz Stockholm Fashion Week, and the opportunity to develop pieces from her collection to be sold in selected H&M stores during Autumn 2013. 

Minju Kim Wins 2013 H&M Design Award

Minju won the H&M Design Award 2013 with her BA collection titled ‘Dear My Friend’ inspired by Japanese Manga cartoonist Junji Ito. She was elected winner by a judging panel that included fashion designer Jonathan Saunders, fashion journalist Tim Blanks, stylist Leith Clark, photographer Sølve Sundsbø, blogger and photographer Hanneli Mustaparta, fashion journalist Kristopher Arden Houser, H&M’s Creative Advisor Margareta van den Bosch, and H&M’s Head of Design Ann-Sofie Johansson.

For more information about the H&M Design Award 2013, visit

Photographs courtesy of H&M