From A Piece Of Fabric

If you were living in the middle of Mississippi and have no remote idea what a fashion designer does, this short clip would give you a glimpse of what the job entails. There is always a secretive allure to forthcoming collections, designers become reclusive in the confinements of their ateliers to concentrate on their work. I was pleasantly surprised when I unearthed the video above. Thailand-born, New York-based designer Thakoon Panichgul let cameras infiltrate his studio and record his creative process. He's working on his 2011 Fall/Winter collection, which was shown during New York Fashion Week last February. 

There is a model walking back and forth wearing what seems to be a Masai print blanket, she resembles a Kenyan tribe member. Thakoon, along with the help oh his team proceed to cut, nip and tuck the fabric. The draped dress slowly starts taking shape, and when it hits the runway, it evokes a relax chic sensibility that he's known for. I think it's also important to point out the fact that he's draping on a real woman, not on a mannequin form. This is a method that has been used by the likes of Christian Dior to Oscar de la Renta, and everybody in between. It's clear to see that Thakoon devotes preeminence to how the fabric falls on the body, and most importantly, how the woman in it feels. 

Sometimes, you have to touch your heart with one hand, and reach your pockets with the other one. He's releasing a limited edition Masai print scarfs which 100% of the proceeds would go directly to a children's relief efforts in Africa. Go help


Pin-Up Girls

In the past, I've expressed my sentiments on the objectification of women in fashion. Although this may not be a matter of concern for fashion only, music, cinema and media also do so. As a society, we have come to a state of fetichism where women, at times, are just blatantly seen as a marketing tool or sex toy. We have come to focus on sexuality rather than brains. Obviously, sexuality, as often said (and proven to be true) sells. It seems to me that society have unwittingly filtrated through various mediums to my generation mixed messaged on the prevalence on our appearance over intellectual value. We live in an era based on looks and fashion does nothing to discredit it. At the same time, rather complexing, fashion offers an idea of tasteful fashion imagery of women and their sexuality. That's Helmut Newton territory. I can appreciate a beautiful picture, a beautiful woman, a beautiful men. Beauty in general (brings memories of a scene in "The Last Emperor" when a reporter asks, "What do women want?" and Valentino, in his iconic italian accent, casually replies, "women just want to be beautiful" - so simple, yet so poignant). 

Muse, a fashionart Italian (provides translation in English) magazine boasts sex-driven, artistically inclined imagery that resonates with the visually stimulated crowd (including me). I've purchased a couple of past issues, but I can't quite pin-point at what exactly piqued my interest while looking at these photographs, including the cover photographed by Harri Peccinotti. The images elicit a vintage, voyeuristic, Lolita-esque attitude. The cover features Russian mannequin Anne Vyalitsyna wearing a ripped collegiate t-shirt, exposing part of her bosom. There is an innocence to her eyes, yet it seems like, through body language, she's inviting you to have a good time (if you know what I mean). The rest of the editorial boasts the same type of innocent sensuality. The models look as if they just stepped out of the pool, with their damp hair and sun-kissed lips. Something tells me that at least one of them is dating a surfer. 

Yes, you can argue these photographs objectifies them, but there is a certain aesthetic here that separate this Muse story from banal raunchy porn.