S&X By Rankin: a fragrance that dares

S&X is an exciting collaboration between iconic photographer Rankin and award winning fragrance designer, Azzi Glasser created under her own label, The Perfumer’s Story by Azzi.

The perfume is the translation of images and perceptions: what Rankin manages to do with the lens, capture the essence in frames, Azzi can do it with the olfactory sense, by enclosing in a bottle the desire for something provocative, mysterious and exciting. “S&X is also naughty and humorous. I love it.” Said the talented Ph. S&X will be available globally with key retailers Net-A-Porter, Liberty, The Conran Shop, Fortnum and Mason and Harvey Nichols as well as www.theperfumersstory.com.


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Junya Watanabe launches a hyper-innovative trench

Combining fashion, design, eco-friendliness and functionality in the same item is not easy, but the Comme des Garcons alumnus, Junya Watanabe, the always eclectic and visionary designer, has succeeded perfectly: the trench coat he has designed has four small solar panels positioned on the back, two on the front and a special internal coating tool that allows you to recharge the battery of your mobile phone.
The aesthetics of the trench lack nothing in beauty or style but the functionality of the item remains its real trademark. The Watanabe coat is available from July 2016 also on the e-tailer ssense.com.

Images: Kenta Cobayashi


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Ámadāi (2015)

Politics, emotions, feminism, womanliness, strength and courage, meet and fight within her fantasies and her talent. Interview with SORAYA SHARGHI, Iranian artist living in San Francisco.

V :How would you describe your art making?
S: An important theme for my work over the years has continued to revolve around drawing myself as small, cartoonlike characters, reminiscent of my childhood. I create aggressive, “cute” characters that explore the tension I feel between religion and my understanding of the stereotypes associated with Muslim culture. In my artwork, I am playing with these two realities through humor. Exploring concept such as “Otherness”.

V: I find your work quite impressive, rich in expressiveness, the use of color you adopt is shocking, the subjects evoke strong emotional conditions and I see plenty of fine symbols, and dreamlike images tossed by your brush on canvasses….I see some of Jonas Wood, with more fantasticism, or Tom Wesselmann and some vague references to pop American art from the ’70. I see your characters like tenants of Kara Walker’s canvasses, like her cut-paper silhouettes, or the colors and texture from Wangechi Mutu……Do you often get inspired by other paintings?
S: Of course! Movies, books and other artists inspire me to make art. I love Kara Walker. I appreciate Wangechi Mutu. I learn from the beauty and ideas of others, and act for myself with open eyes. Among my favourite artists are Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Frida Kahlo, Yayoi Kusama, Laylah Ali, Mathew Barney, Katharina Grosse and Mike Kelley. Also, Barry McGee, Cindy Sherman, Shahzia Sikandar, James Turrell, Takashi Murakami and Paul McCarthy………!!!

V: Do you think that being an artist always implies a controversial and difficult process? Or is that a linear and spontaneous process?
S: It is always difficult, It has never been a linear process. You need to take risks and deal with whatever comes from those risks. Art has a huge power to affect people, the culture, and the world. It brings a lot of responsibility for the artist. As far as controversy, I think it depends on the definition of the art. So the controversy is the personal struggle to stay with their passion, despite pressure from family or society. The act of making art is everything. It is the most awesome challenge and rewards are great. Art itself is not always a struggle; the situation of life is struggle. You struggle to make your work done. As a young artist the struggle of needing money to transfer my ideas into art is the hardest part and it takes a lot of time. So it is not easy to be an artist.

V: How do you face the political situation of your country, Iran, as painter, sculptor, artist, woman…. as a communicator?
S: I moved out from my country one year and a half ago, I was 25. Concepts such as “Postcolonial Gaze” and “Otherness,” as Edward Said mentions in his book ORIENTALISM, have been subjects of my studies, and being deepened, changed, challenged, called me into play. Also, things are happening rapidly right now related to the nuclear deal between Iran and the world powers. In my country people got fear of war. The terrible perspective of a Third World War is lurking. We want Peace. I can’t stay in silence and shout my mouth. I talk through my art and making my art, as Iranian, as woman, as artist. I hope one day to see Peace in the World.

V: It seems you are in love with philosophy, and politics…. what kind of reading do you prioritize?
S: I like novelists such Kafka, philosophers like Walter Benjamin, Sigmund Freud, Heidegger, Lacan, Michel Foucault, Judith Butler, Edward Said, and Spivak. Right now, I am reading Joseph Campbell’s THE POWER OF MYTH: HEROES OF A THOUSAND FACES.

V: How does it feel to be in San Francisco?
S: It is great to have the chance to create my art and see other diverse people’s interpretations about my work in this very different socio-cultural context. Maybe this is my strength, in fact, I think sometimes those limitations brings more creativity now. It was really challenging to get here. But I am so glad to just be here, taking it all in.

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JCRT: the new adventure of Jeffrey Costello and Robert Tagliapietra

Can you tell me how did you develop this project? How everything was born? Is it clearly related to the way you dressed, in a way to how people have always recognized…am I wrong?
Upon closing our womenswear brand, Costello Tagliapietra last year we decided to take some time to revaluate what we wanted to do and where we wanted to be. We had a couple of offers to creative direct for other brands when this opportunity presented itself. We met our partners and they asked us what would you like to do and our answer was immediately plaid shirts. We both come from families of tailors and because of this we are just as in love with process as we are with design. We both wear plaid all the time, we even met wearing it and we love the history of plaid and the opportunity of bringing it into the future.

How did it come the idea to relate colours and type of shirt to old records?
We have a very large vinyl collection and we both enjoy finding record shops when we travel-spending hours flipping through records and discovering a record we have searched for years. There is magic to those album covers that we wanted to capture in these shirts. There is also something beautiful about picking up a shirt and having that emotional connection to it and the knowledge of that throughout your day. These shirts transport us to the first time we picked up those albums and turned them around in our hands and that is something we hope others will feel as well.

And why an e-commerce?
Cutting out the stores allows us to sell things at the cost of what we used to sell to those stores. We are able to give our customer a 125 dollar shirt that might costs anywhere between 250 and 550 at retail by cutting this middle man out. We did not want to make sacrifices in fabric or construction- each of our shirts is hand cut individually and then sewn with care using top quality interfacing, buttons and fabrics. With JCRT we can also do these large scale plaids that if made traditionally would eat up upwards of seven yards of fabric in order to match fully… with a twelve dollar a yard fabric you are already close to our selling price with fabric alone! When selling at retail you are always worried about cutting corners in all of the above so that you can meet their needs rather than the customers, at JCRT it goes right from under the machine to the customer so there is never any cutting of corners!

How can you wear a check shirt in a contemporary way? With what you should wear them? And on which occasions?
A plaid shirt can be worn anywhere when paired with the right jacket, suit or pant. They all look great with chinos or jeans but they look equally great with a suit and tie. We really wanted to create a plaid shirt that felt like a dress shirt in terms of cut and finish so that you could be just as comfortable in the office as you would on the weekend.

A male adventure after so many years in the female fashion industry and something that, to me, is very personal..so…should we think that this adventure was also born from a delusion from the previous path?
We very much still love what we did and are very proud of what we accomplished. Our decision to shutter Costello Tagliapietra was determined more by the way the industry itself was working and where it was headed. We both are really inspired by process and craft which for us informs what and how we design. The industry’s need for a constant stream of products and its general lack of care for quality, made what we did a very difficult thing to achieve. It was also disheartening to see the industry rally around poorly crafted clothing when the brands we loved did not get the same credit.

Will you continue with some female proposals?
We will in fact be introducing more and more pieces over time. We see them as laying somewhere between what we did at Costello Tagliapietra and what we did with our collaborations with Uniqlo and Barneys Co-op.

When can a man be defined as elegant? What is elegance to you?
Elegance comes through when the person is confident and holds him or herself in a way that exudes that confidence. To us, the Italian term sprezzatura exemplifies this and is a much more modern way to show elegance.
Does the word luxury have still sense nowadays?
Luxury today has changed. I am not sure that I am qualified to really say what it has become but in the past it stood for a superior quality and craft. It was something more than just trend, it was a heirloom from the onset and it was a way of life. Luxury stood for something aspirational not because a reality star wore it, but because it was something to cherish and love.
What must not be missing in a male wardrobe?
Of course plaid shirts!
Plans and dreams for the future?
We are really excited to see JCRT grow, to offer new products including pants and outerwear, and to realize the full potential of this brand.


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Perceptive Variations: do not miss the exhibition in Milan

Photo by Jill Schweber

In front of the multiplicity of existence, we can not help but ask ourselves an important question: what does it mean “I” today?
Perceptive Variations, the second photo exhibition of the project THIS IS ME NOT BEING YOU – TIMNBY, curated by Micaela Flenda in collaboration with The Candy Box, Studio modulo and Graficartiere, investigates how the contemporary world, technology and the social media have created new human beings, bodies, icons, fictitious gods, which contain in themselves the esoteric need for collective identification. The fierce desire for identity is back urgent and necessary and the collective exhibition,m composed of 8 international authors: Linda Brownlee, Cristina Coral, Can Dagarlsani, Parker Day, Polly Penrose, Katrin Olafs, Camille Rouzaud and Jill Schweber, beautifully demonstrates it.
Perceptive variations awaits you at the opening on Wednesday 23 November from 18.30 to 21.00.

From 23 to 26 November 2016
via Circo, 1 Milan
Opening 23 November, 06.30 pm – 09.00 18.30 pm

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Spring Series: the challenge signed by Issey Miyake

Homme Plissé by Issey Miyake rediscovers the charm of Japanese erotic prints Shunga and of Ukiyo-e style, very popular during the Edo period (1603-1867) and it takes inspiration from the provocative, irreverent graphics of this movement, in order to print them over coats, kimonos and t-shirts, by giving the male look a highly iconic and ironic accent. Not only in the lines, but also in the graphics with an emphasis on the different forms of erotism, you can find the smart playfulness, typical of Miyake, and a will to surprise, starting from the reality, the truth: a sort of artistic movement, that has been often subject of exhibitions (like that in the British Museum in 2013) and that has involved famous international painters and artists.


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Eleventy presents its S/S 17 campaign

For its SS 2017 menswear and womenswear campaign, Eleventy chooses the set of Henraux’s Cervaiole quarry, located on the spurs of Monte Altissimo in Tuscany. The quarry, which was explored by Michelangelo Buonarroti in 1517, has become over the years a destination for international artists. Its choice was motivated by the wish to promote the locations and specializations that express Italian values abroad. A choice suggested by the will to promote the locations and specializations that express the Italian value abroad: 78 coloured pictures by Stefano Guindani portray the models who “come to the surface” of the marble walls and reveal the refined elegance of the new Eleventy’s menswear and womenswear collections, being suspended in the moonscape of the quarry. The new campaign is accompanied by a short movie shot by Andrea Piu, under the creative direction of Andrea Mauro, with music by Andrea Yazee Production, created for the occasion.


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Stella Mc Cartney launches its first menswear collection between functionality and sustainability

For its first menswear collection, Stella Mc Cartney got inspiration from the iconic art and the subcultures of different periods: the classic models of clothes maintain the traditional menswear’s shades, but they are also revisited with a vintage twist and with modern details and materials, by creating comfortable items with unexpected proportions. This new line declines the quintessential British style, combined with functionality and aesthetic twist, both for formal dress and sporty items. The link among all the proposals consists in the use of eco-friendly materials, according to a precise ethical choice of the brand: from the sneakers made of organic cotton and recycled nylon to the travel bags in eco-friendly nylon, even the event has been organized under the sign of sustainability.


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Sport, with style – Collaborations not to be missed

In collaboration with Orsola Amadeo

A sporty look will always be cool, but this time around it comes an extra touch. A unique mix of contrasting and harmonious flavours results from the coexistence of sportswear and fashion. That’s how a really unique item can be created, with both technical and stylish elements; simply starting from a shoe, a sweater or a bomber jacket. MANINTOWN has hand-picked for you some of the coolest and up-to-date collaborations.

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ETQ Amsterdam: Class Shoes

ETQ was founded in 2010 in Amsterdam, driven by the idea of eliminating the superfluous and focus solely on the quality and design of the products themselves. Today, these principles have evolved in a selected range of hand-made luxury shoes, accessories for men and a flagship store that perfectly represents the minimal concept of the brand.
ETQ Amsterdam only works with premium leather: every single piece of footwear plays with textures and materials in a perfect eclecticism. The FW16 collection incorporates monochrome gray, blue and white, with warm brown and nude shades that add movement of unexpected color but well managed. The collection also includes two new models: the low 4 and 5. These additions, long-awaited, refletc the evolution of the brand: a sober and original mix, shoes with a round shape and clean, minimalist style, and at the same time sophisticated.
The collection will have a unique pop-up in the prestigious department store Liberty of London and special collaborations with Barneys New York, END and SSENSE.


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