Monday, 29 April 2013

GANT Menswear Autumn/Winter 2013

For its menswear collection for Autumn/Winter 2013, GANT found inspiration in the clothes worn by young men in Ivy League colleges and on the streets of New York City, blending casual influences with urban and luxurious looks. The comprehensive collection comprises garments such as sport coats and field jackets, heavy wool officer coats, chinos, oxford cloth button-down shirts, sporty windbreakers, unconstructed blazers, fine knitwear and weekend coats. Fabrics include flannel, corduroy, Shetland wool, washed cotton, lightweight jersey, cashmere blends, nylons and shearling in a diverse colour palette of assorted greys, cream, navy, cobalt, olive green, bright green, burgundy, pink and purple.

Photographs courtesy of

Iris van Herpen Exhibition at the International Centre for Lace and Fashion

The International Centre for Lace and Fashion in Calais, France, is displaying an exhibition on the work of Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen between 15 June and 31 December 2013. The exhibition will explore van Herpen’s career by means of 30 sculptural garments created between 2008 and 2012, as well as photographs and films of runway shows. 

Iris van Herpen was born in Wamel, The Netherlands, in 1984 and trained at the ArtEZ Institute of the Arts in Arnhem. In 2008, and after a period of work experience with Alexander McQueen, she set out to develop and explore her unique combination of traditional craftsmanship and technological innovation that made her attain a reputation as the foremost pioneer of 3D printing in the fashion industry. In July 2011, following and invitation by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute-Couture, she showed for the first time during Paris Haute Couture week and in March 2013 she launched her first ready-to-wear line.

Photographs courtesy of Iris van Herpen

Sunday, 28 April 2013

Lenny Niemeyer Spring/Summer 2014

In most parts of the world, fashion and its associated industries have developed a number of categories that have served to compartmentalise and address the needs and interests of manufacturers and end-users. Over the last few decades, consumers have grown accustomed to a fashion vocabulary that includes words such as menswear, womenswear, footwear, sportswear, swimwear and accessories, to name the most common, that share an understanding of specialised functions that is virtually global. However, beachwear is a classification that has eluded this compendium of categories.

Lenny Niemeyer Spring/Summer 2014

As a collective noun used to define clothes and accessories generally worn on casual occasions (normally holidays) by the swimming pool and the beach or on a boat or yacht at sea, beachwear is normally (and naturally) a more popular concept in seaside resorts that benefit from frequent warm weather. It follows, then, that the nebulous identity of beachwear as a category within the fashion industry is directly related to the geographical location and weather of the places where most fashion is created: consumers of designs originating from cities like London, Paris, Milan or New York (where cold seasons can be prolonged) may not see the need to purchase many items of beachwear; instead, they may only buy one or two swimsuits a year. As a consequence, very few designers tend to focus exclusively on beachwear and, therefore, it is not unusual for the majority of fashion weeks not to include collections devoted entirely to beachwear.

However, markets such as Latin America, Australia and parts of the USA (namely Florida) have witnessed a significant growth in this area, with prolific designers showcasing their beachwear collections during Miami and Rio de Janeiro fashion weeks. In Brazil, where beachwear is a sartorial force to reckon with and an individual consumer can purchase large quantities of different swimsuits and bikinis per season, many designers have focussed their collections on this fashion specialism. However, very few have attained the popularity and esteemed reputation for creativity achieved by Lenny Niemeyer.

Niemeyer started her career as a designer of bikinis and swimsuits for other brands in 1993. Ten years later, she founded her eponymous label and opened her first store in the affluent neighbourhood of Ipanema in Rio de Janeiro. Since then, she has developed a network of stockists that comprise 18 freestanding Lenny Niemeyer stores in Brazil and influential international retailers such as Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, Au Bon Marche, Barneys New York, Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. She started showing her collections on the runway of Fashion Rio in 1997, and has been a regular (and much anticipated) participant ever since.

For her Spring/Summer 2014 collection, shown during Fashion Rio in April 2013, Niemeyer found inspiration in the visual effects that light creates when it reflects on different textures. In addition to single-toned garments where white, black and caramel predominated, the collection featured prints with ombré effects and layers of colours and textures in Lycra fabrics worked across original asymmetric shapes. The result was a highly accomplished range of beachwear pieces with distinctive details such as ruffles on skirts and bikini tops, high collars and voluminous sleeves in swimsuits and dresses. Even though the most common opinion that followed the show was that the pieces displayed had been produced exclusively for the runway and not for her stores, there was no doubt that Lenny Niemeyer’s Spring/Summer 2014 collection went beyond having an advertorial purpose to ultimately confirm her most gifted creative talent as a fashion designer.

Photographs courtesy of