Friday, February 17, 2012

Playing Favourites: The Poetry of Fashion Design

I recently had a chance to pick up a pretty, IMO good book at the local library during my last trip. The library had only just put up a new selection of books for visitors. I'm not sure how much in exact since I was only there to pick up some fashion-related books and was super glad when I saw a bunch of new titles up for grabs. I was torn between this book and a few other new books, but after taking some time to look through the books, I picked this one up.

My verdict and opinion on the book after the jump.(image heavy)

Also made a video showing all the pages & designers in it.

All in all, I'd say if you're interest is to gain a broader scope of fashion designers out there, then you might be interested in this. Other than the great images, which I'm sure you'll be able to scour through the net to get them, hmm, how shall i put this. It's a great coffee table book, but if you plan on getting a whole lot of insight on each designer or brand, I'd suggest a pass, its much more relevant to gain information through the internet. This book basically gives a brief introduction of how each label came about, with some pictures or images from their collection or lookbook, and asks each designer to answer two basic questions:

  • What is their favourite piece of art
  • What is their fetish item, the one piece they will continue to use over and over again in their collection.

I'm stressing again that the pictures however are good, meaning there much much more in HQ than the ones you would find over the net, but then again, this book was published in 2011, and I went to some of the designers websites and there are relatively more gorgeous pieces/looks on their site (IMO) rather than the ones particularly inside the book. Plus its like 2 seasons ago so you'll probably find more interesting pieces in these designers new collections.

Apart from the relatively easy to read meaning non-strenuous (coffee-table book, yo) information passing through your brain for processing and the quality images, there isn't much to this book. However, it may serve as a reference for designers or stylists to creating looks etc..

I did, on the other hand decide to scan some images of my favourite designers, seeing that the preview given by GBooks were um, unsatisfactory to say the least.

Favourite Designers
  • Alejandra Quesada (

    (my absolute favourite, i love her girly, whimsical, yet ethnic infusion into her pieces)

  • c.neeon (www.

    (i am in love with their s/s 2011, its got this earthreal, but like with a hint of frugality in it. enough to make c.neeon first tier just for that collection :D, the others are pretty okay though, but nothing beats s/s2011.)

  • Dora Abodi (

    (When I first looked at Abodi's works in the book, it reminded me of those Fall/Winter Topshop ads you see in the magazines, sequins + black. Then I flipped out when I turned over the next page, what a major difference, the silhouettes were so feminine with all the pleats and ruffles and the smoke concept used in the looks themselves (they're from her s/s 2010 collection. Checked out her website and she has this whole range of things, even swimwear and bags and jewelry!)

  • Maison Martin Margiela

    (not a new name in the fashion world, margiela's works have always been awesome, so there's no doubt that his designs will fall in the first two categories in my favourites)

  • Michael Sontag (

    (I think I've heard of this name before, but I can't quite put a finger to it. I love the minimalist design, sharp and simple.)

  • Natsumi Zama (
    (when i saw her work in the book, honestly, it looked merely satisfactory, sort of like it belonged in tier two; but when i saw her work online, i think its earlier than the one featured in the book, i was enthralled. It reminded me something of Viktor & Rolf circa 2007/2008 (the one where they did the "Fashion Show"-esque thing.)

  • Roberta Furlanetto (

    (the book mispelled Furlanetto as Furnaletto. Clean cut creations for 2012, whimsical ones for S/S 2011. nothing to complain. I do so love the hues of pinks she used, as well as the black & gold combo creations that can be seen in the video i made. I love her usage of textures, even when the cut is simple.)

Tier 2 Favs: (Other great designers worth mentioning)

  • Antonio Azzuolo (
  • My favourite men's designer from this book. Honestly i think it deserves to be in tier one, but I'm not good with menswear and I don't know many designers (for men) so I guess impressing me, but the fact I'm not even good in that category puts it in tier 2. Hey, at least its on the mentioned list. I love the colour combinations in their collections and how their designs aren't like hippie-esque, just the way i want my man to be, smart and sleek, but like not uptight and boring. oh, and a dash of preppieness always scores high too. ^^

  • Capara (

  • (i love their innovative usage of mixing different textures, although i'd say that their pieces are definately not my taste, some of their collections had usage of bold colour-block-ing that im not much a fan of.)

  • El Delgado Buil (
  • (At first sight, their collections didn't seem interesting to me, but then I decided to have a teeny peek at their website and boy, was it ever so different from the looks that were featured in the book itself, much better, undoubtedly.)

  • Gudrun & Gudrun (
  • (Nothing to say except that their knitwear is amazing. The images you'll find in the book do not do justice to their collections, you need to view their entire collection on the website pronto!)

  • Hilda Maha (
  • (Another designer by which the images in the book do not much justice. Just take a look at the lates S/S12 collection. Pieces are slightly matured though, but they tend to look probably just in the F/W collections IMO.)

  • Ksubi (
  • (Another label which isn't a newcomer to the fashion industry. I don't need to give an intro to their denims.)

  • Moi Multiple (

  • (Can I just say that I AM IN LOVE with the SHEER fabrics in their collection!!!!! Ok *shh.. I would so upgrade them to tier 1, but.. why am i even putting them in tier 2??????!!)

  • Saara Lepokorpi (
  • (I don't know how to say this, but their collection in the book reminds me of abstract things, and also a little bit of Rodarte-ness in it, if you don't already notice the fabric wraps and overlaps.)

  • Vladimir Karaleev (
  • (Simple, and clean cut. Would be wearable and a statement piece without going OTT if you ask me.)

    Tier 3 Favourites: (A fine line/grey area between tier 2 and tier 3)

  • Andrea Llosa (
  • (This probably deserves to be a little higher but with it being so near Alejandra, it was no mean feat.)

  • Deryck Walker
  • (I can't properly tell if he should deserve a higher ranking in my favs but he has no website so I can't see le collections and 2. i can't tell if he has a womenswear collection! His pieces do tend to look costume-y/ethnicwear sort of thing, but i do love the flannel-esque quit with pink collar tips on the shirt!)

  • Kristofer Kongshaug (
  • (love the badass vibe on this one.)

  • Kumiko Watari (
  • (Sometimes I think this also deserves a better rank, her collections do spark images of mori girls but with more spunk and attitude. I'm pretty sure they have a subculture for this but I don't know. Her S/S 2012 collection is interesting though, straying away from the japanese-y looks year by year.)

  • Lino Villaventura (
  • (I am throughly enjoying the newer collections after the ones featured in the book, and also some collections prior to the ones in the book as well. It does it no justice. Unless, you're the Galliano fan, type of avant garde thing.)

  • Matohu (
  • (This label was great, I loved the ombre shades seen in their collection. What im happier about is that their collection is gradually becoming more feminine and lightweight, and also their gradual use of more clean-cut silhouettes.)

  • Potipoti (
  • (this deserves to be higher ranked but me no like their past collections. A little unstable with some collections appearing duller than it should be for the season.)

  • Toga (
  • (I'm excited about Toga, because initially when I saw the pieces featured in the book, they looked innovative, but they weren't my cup of tea. But you so need to check out her website as her pieces are becoming much, much, MUCH, more feminine! Her initial pieces (featured in the book reminded me of pieces that fresh fashion design graduates would come up with, frills, asymmetries and jagged hems, but now its getting so much PRETTIER, and clean cut too!)

    Tier 4 Favs:

  • Dino Alves (
  • (Innovative and artistic, but lost points for wearability, and some pieces might not totally flatter short/stout or petites with the fit. But then again, everything always looks better when you're taller. Site was under construction so I had a little peek under G-Images)

  • Iris van Herpen (
  • (Couldn't access her site but i did try looking for her collaboration with United Nude and i love her badass wedges. Not all, but some :D Also, her pieces were a bit too avant garde, but there are some pieces that would be wearable although people might stare.)

  • Karishma Shahani (
  • (This site was also not fully running, but all in all, from the book preview, I love her usage of colour, which reminded me of course of India, and also this editorial i once saw in vogue reminding me that India has always been known for their usage and abundance in colour in their culture. Think ethnic colour, not some safari voyage like Britishindia.)

  • Louisa Parris (
  • (Lost points onto my list for being a bit bland, and I'm a little afraid of straight clean colour-block lines on eveningwear.)

  • Miriam Ponsa (
  • (Another designer worth mentioning.)

  • Robert Geller
  • (Another menswear designer. Pretty okay, but lack sharpness as seen in first tier designer.)

  • Yiorgos Eleftheriades (
  • (Pretty decent, and love the colour harmony in the collections.)

    Other mentions:
  • Femme Maison
  • (They don't own a website, but i do love their structural dress featured in the book.)
  • Friederike von Wedel-Parlow
  • House of Diehl
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