PARIS FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS: GASPARD YURKIEVICH

Taking opulence to new levels was Paris-based Gaspard Yurkievich, showing his SS12 ‘Counterpoint’ collection in the astounding venue of Le Grand Hotel on Right-bank Paris. Yurkievich joined the world of prêt-à-porter with his first women’s collection in 1998, before branching into a career in menswear and footwear back in 2003. With ‘Counterpoint’, it was a true spectacle to note womenswear and menswear were in equal measure.

For women, Yurkievich has a new take on prep; smart button-down collars and tuxedo shirts are given flair with eye-popping citrus colours. Butter-softness was brought to the table with mauve, peach and spring-fresh makeup. Menswear irked on the sensible side with navy and beige, but were interjected with panelling and inspired button fastenings.

\DEMAIN edit:

http://www.gaspardyurkievich.com/

JACK OF HEART: drugs, tights and breeches

French band Jack of Heart are singing garage rock songs about your girlfriend and will one day emigrate to Montreal. It’s not often that we can say that this is a band are literally, clad in their grandmother’s fintest lingerie, causing chaos across Europe.

What is the message of Jack of Heart?

LOVE IS OUR WAY TO LIVE SO PLEASE, PRAY WITH US COMING TO OUR LIVE SHOWS and WHILE LISTENING OUR RECORDS LOUD !

Are all band members originally from Paris?

Nope, only I was justborn there. We’re Mainly from South France.

What music are you inspired by?

Your Girlfriend…

Do you feel your sound is representative of something new, or something more nostalgic and classic?

It’s something new, classic and original. Like All the music in the 60’s and 70’s. We love 80’s, 90’s and contemporary music too.

How do you write lyrics to the songs, collectively as a band in the studio, is it one person in the band?

I’m resonposible for the lyrics and songwriting.

Where do you record your songs?

I’m responible for the recordings… at “JOH HQ” and “At Mama’s Place Studio”, South France. Anologic recordings!

You mention Jay Reatard, Black Lips, Demon’s Claws are the music of now till 2015- what makes Jack of Heart part of this story?

Inspiring more rockin bands to be like us. Marie Laveau xxx may have helped all those bands to develop… just like us … Marie Laveau xxx is our Queen … our Voodoo Queen For ever.

Do you prefer playing big stages or smaller, more intimate shows?

We love live shows. Smaller places have most of times… better sound, but we love both.

Apart from your instruments, what are your favourite things to take with you on tour?

Drugs, tights, handy groomer set, breeches of my girl… nothing special

What are your favourite cities in the world?

Montreal! To rock ? Montreal, NYC, Chicago, Memphis, Atlanta etc … in Europe we Love Brussels, Belgium, they love us back a lot so …

To live ? 

Montreal

we might all move there next year

Where do you buy your famous lingerie you wear on stage?

Tights everywhere they sell tights, breeches, etc, chemise from our mothers in the 60’s (Cacharel 50’s, 60’s, 70′ etc …)

What do you expect the band will be doing in 2012?

We might tour Spain, USA (east, middle east), Scandinavia, then Australia & New Zealand, and maybe Europ Festivals in summer.

Can we expect a new JOH record to be coming out soon?

Even two! Our second album “IN YER MOUTH” is out now on Born Bad Records, and a new LP on Teenage Menopause Records (Paris/Brussels) “ONLY SEVEN INCHES FOR YOUR GIRLFRIEND”is coming…”

http://fr-fr.facebook.com/pages/JACK-OF-HEART/243613670686

 

INGRID VERHOEVEN: I DO WHAT I SAY ON THE TIN

Have you ever not been able to communicate yourself properly? Forget beating around the bush, bumbling and mincing your words- jewellery designer Ingrid Verhoeven’s name tags have ‘I never do anything unusual’, ‘I prefer red wine’ and ‘I like more than you think’ written on them. For a more direct approach.

If you’d like to reveal to that certain love interest what type of person you are- you could also try the ‘Choices of Life’ bracelets daubed with ‘Married Woman’, ‘Girl with Bright Future’ and ‘Career Girl’. Verhoeven also makes some interesting silver trinkets evoking old film slides and spilled ink.

Verhoeven name tags’Choices of Life’ name tags

Verhoeven name tags’Choices of Life’ bracelets

http://www.ingridverhoeven.com/

PARIS FASHION WEEK: VALENTIN YUDASHKIN

Yudashkin dazzled his way through Paris Fashion Week for SS12, sending models down the runway in shimmering silk and evening gowns dripping in jewels. Dramatic floor length tuille dressed swept the floor in a myriad of pale shades- pastel blue, dusky pink and ash grey. However, this is no saccharine romance collection; street-smart styling of sharp suiting, clean-lined blazers and city shorts are all poised for the workplace. Angular white shirts are tucked neatly into floral print pencil skirts, balancing an otherwise severe look out with flattering feminine chic.

 

A letter from EMA: our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us”. Who better to write us an open letter than rising star EMA (aka Erika Anderson)?

You may recognise her as the guitarist in legendary folk/noise outfit Amps For Christ or more recently in the genre-defying cult duo Gowns with Ezra Buchla. It’s been an interesting year for the South Dakota singer/ songwriter; her first album as EMA ‘Past Life Martyred Saints’ came to fruition and received rave reviews. Over to you EMA…

“HOLA!  I’m a gawky Midwest girl who has listened to a lot of classic rock radio.  I’m interested in sonic fidelity and technology, which is partially a front for big emotional risk-taking.  I’m a combination of loose and obsessive.  My music reflects that.

EMA is more about songs that a lot of the things I have done in the past.  I wanted to kind of say fuck the idea of letting a melody get buried in textures.  I love songs, I love voices and I love melodies and harmonies.  I knew I could craft a sonic texture but could I also write a well-crafted song.

Actually that’s only half-true. Nothing was all that conscious. I just keep pushing myself to always do what I want to do and make what I like listening to. I wanted to make something smart and really multi-faceted. Alot of these melodies are pretty grunge-damaged.  It’s almost like water to me, I can barely hear it (taste it). But I know it’s there. People have told me.

I do a lot of improvisation in my writing process and then I do a ton of mixing and editing.  I don’t have any formal audio training but I really love to pretend I’ve got mad Pro Tools skillz.  For “The Grey Ship” I recorded the first part on a 4 track at home and then the second half we multi-tracked to a newer program called REAPER, which I would definitely recommend for anyone who is interested in audio production but doesn’t want to throw down Pro Tools cash. Overall, I would like to be a producer. I don’t have training but I’ve got instincts.  I think anyone can learn as long as you are patient and willing to use your ears.  In many ways I think some of the early things I mixed are the most raw and brilliant, because I had no clue what I was doing. 

These songs are actually pretty different from one another.  I think there is kind of a wistfulness, and also perhaps a knowing quality. I strive to bring a sense of calm, even if perhaps that’s not the obvious thing that comes across. I want to collaborate with a rapper and/or a hip hop producer in the future. Even if they only let me sing the hook, that is my big goal for 2011.

My birthplace of Sioux Falls is not actually that hoppin. They do have a Jazzfest but it’s mostly for old white people who go and drink a lot of beer and eat BBQ ribs.  BUT Sioux Falls is right on a major freeway that goes through the country and there is basically nowhere else for bands to stop for miles around, so for a while when I was a teenager we had really awesome shows where like 300 people would show up because there was nothing else to do.  Everyone was really excited, and that definitely had an impact on me.  I feel really lucky in that regard.  No one was jaded, and people turned out for live shows no matter what the genre.  I saw punk rock, hardcore, ska bands, metal, whatever.  Half the time I hadn’t even heard the band that was playing and knew nothing about them, but it was an event, and so everyone just responded to the performance.

I think blogging and the internet is well…  as everyone will say, good and bad. I think there has always been a warring sense of private ownership vs. camaraderie when it comes to a personal relationship with your favourite album, even when it was released on CD or record.  With the internet those things just become amplified, and happen really quickly.  On one hand there is a part of you that wants to have a one-on-one relationship with the records that you love, because no one else will ever love them in exactly the same way that you do!  And then on the other hand, loving an album that other people love means that you can sing along to it together when you’re drunk, which is also really powerful.

Perhaps this sounds lazy but I sleep til noon when I’m not working a job. I’m a super night owl!  But I’ll work until 4am because that’s when I’m most creative. Other than that, I spend more time on the computer than I would like and not enough time walking in the woods.  I drink wine with dinner. And sometimes much past dinner.  

I love this quote:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.”

This one is oft-attributed to Nelson Mandela, but in fact comes from a woman named Marianne Williamson, who is apparently most famous for writing a quote oft-attributed to Nelson Mandela. It was painted on the wall of a high school I worked in in West Oakland.”

-Erika (of EMA)

http://cameouttanowhere.com/ 

THUNDERBIRD GERARD: MAKING MUSIC AT 4AM

Thunderbird Gerard is the new project from New Yorker Trevor Gerard- the former frontman of London-based EzraBang & Hot Machine. Since splitting the band, Gerard moved to Berlin and hasn’t looked back. Berlin. A country seeped deep in history, matched with a bubbling underground culture and alternative ways of thinking. Currently in the studio recording his first album as Thunderbird Gerard, he muses on what went on in those initial days of making music in another country:

“The first time I came to Berlin wasn’t actually by choice.  I did a show in Amsterdam and was refused entry back into the UK. The border guards took my passport and escorted me on to a ferry back to Holland. I was terrified. I sat down on the cabin bed and cried.  Luckily, an old friend from Liverpool had just moved to Berlin, so I bought myself a very expensive ticket and got on the train.  To be honest, I decided to move here from the first moment. I fell in love with the city… the high ceilings, the alt-bau design, the sprawling streets… the faded grandeur of a dictator’s vision never realised. Months later, when my girlfriend Carina was offered a job here, we jumped at the opportunity.

The first year and a half was rough.  The language barrier meant that I hardly spoke to anybody.  My girlfriend and I bought a little street-mix terrier from an animal shelter and she became my only friend.  I quit my former band, set up a studio in the basement of our little house and this is where the Thunderbird Gerard project was born.  During the winter, I’d wake up at 4 a.m. and record until the evening.

Berlin’s a big party city, between Berghain and the whole club culture, cheap rents, cheap food etc, there’s a lot of room to get distracted.  I have to confess, I still haven’t been to Panorama Bar. We live in a little house tucked away in a hinterhof in the middle of Kreuzberg.  We’ve gained a bit of a reputation for our epic BBQ’s during the summer. We know all our neighbors and their kids.  When it’s warm, we can hear them having sex.  I think Berlin’s best, when you come with really clear goals. We’ve said yes to things we would’ve never before.  Worked with people we wouldn’t have before. “Leave It All Behind” was Carina’s directorial debut and to me it encapsulates both of our times here.  We built a home and any success we should find now, I owe to that.”

photo by Reuben Wu

http://www.facebook.com/thunderbirdgerard

PARIS FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS: A.F. Vandervorst

Haughty, militarian chich rode high at the A.F. Vanderhorst show for SS12. Cropped soldier boy jackets with asymmetric buttoning and frogging were paired with dandyish capes and flowing robes. Gothic fairytale style headdresses made of jet black feathers, stood tall to add impact to the miliatrian look whilst golden embelishment on more wearable pieces glistened in comparison. The collection did not lose momentum, with sharp notes of further symmetry seen adding drama to skirts and dresses in light beige. At the finale, the models bowed as if they were demomstrating knightly respect, which fit perfectly with their regimental pieces.

http://www.afvandevorst.be/

LONDON: A look back at MACHINE-A

Machine-A was a platform for emerging talented designers and concept store based in Soho, London. Designers were selected to showcase their work with a dynamic approach, using window spaces, and gallery space. Meet Stavros Karelis, the Creative Director of the now defunct MACHINE-A who explains why the of-a-kind MACHINE-A kepts pushing the boundaries of the fashion industry

Machine-A was the name of the wildly unpredictable store and was one of the few independent hubs for London creativity. The designers the brand worked with were presented in different ways, and in early 2011 Machine-A completed window installations for SELFRIDGES. MACHINE-A also operated as a PR- consultation agency for young designers with a great team of creatives focusing on how the designers can create successful brands. Stavros Karelis, Creative Director, gives us an insight into the brand:

Please give us some insight into your personal background within fashion/ art/ trade…

I started working in the fashion industry during my college years. I started as an assistant stylist then moved to fashion editor, then to fashion journalism before then consultant for different labels and shops. I then moved to London to complete my MA; that was the period when I started thinking to create a platform of young emerging designers. I was working with MACHINE-A for two years, and at the same time I joined a selection panels in different fashion show organizations and lectured for CSM.

Did you have a team of creatives who worked alongside you?

It was team work. I often say that no matter what is your vision if you don’t have the right team players you cannot achieve what you want. After a very hard process I considered myself lucky that I have created an amazing team of creatives, such as Anna Trevelyan the uber cool stylist that consulted for the store, and PR machines Ella Dror and Ashley Smith. Richie Kuncyusz was web developer for our online shop. Even the store assistants were one of a kind- such as Millie Cocton- an amazing young designer who’s collections were one of the most wanted- Aaron Frew- a model who recently did the campaign for Calvin Klein and Yasu, a Japanese fashion blogger.

What was the initial starting point for Machine-A?

To create a platform and push the boundaries.

What was your favourite event or highlight of the store’s history?

Each one of our events was completely different from each other, and as result I enjoyed them all. From Charlie Le Mindu’s infamous pop up salons, Anna Trevelyan’s graveyard, Craig Lawrence’s V.I.P. party, Dominic Jones’ ‘save the planet’ amazing window installations, Asger Juel Larsen ‘The Welding Man’ where we presented his s/s 11 collection with live performance from models for three days, and the Piers Atkinson exclusive pre-collection together with PLANarama.

Who were your favourite visitors at the store?

The curious, the ones that are willing to explore a different way to dress, they ones that they have a unique dress code. And of course, Lady Gaga.

Why did you choose to create the space within Soho?

I love Soho. Berwick St. Is one of my favourite streets in London. You have the buzz of Central London, you have the cool people, and still this street reminds you of how London used to be. Every corner used to be a hidden treasure.

Describe a typical day working with Machine-A…

There were no typical days at MACHINE-A. Usually it was a meeting point with all the creatives of London. New designers showcased their work to me, or we had PR meetings with our designers, consulting meetings with Anna, assisting clients, preparing and planning new events and window installations, meetings, and lots of emails!

What kept you and your team creatively driven?

Our passion for fashion.

Above: Karelis in Machine-A London store

What role do you think Machine-A played in London life?

To my understanding, it was a vital one. Many people in the beginning didn’t understand what we were doing. Some others told me that it will never work just with emerging designers. I had the feeling that I had to go against the usual, and create my own space within fashion. And it worked. After people seeing that it worked for us, they were more willing to take emerging designers seriously, and give them the opportunity that they need. Many shops after MACHINE-A opened, had a focus on young designers. When designers telling me that they wouldn’t exist if MACHINE-A didn’t take a chance on them I don’t need to say anything else because this is my biggest achievement. It was great that many fashion experts considered us as trendsetting boutique, and has give us more gravity to do what we do.

Do you love the new and ever-evolving face of London, or do you miss some of the more independent fashion boutiques/ concept stores shutting down?

We have to look in the future. Having said that I miss the independent fashion boutiques where things used to be differently. And this is not just a dreamer’s thought. It is vital for the economy as well. Government and financial institutions should create specific projects to help independent people to create their own space, and business otherwise London will lose its creativity, its unique identity, and as result tourists, and people who move in London to feel this energy will choose to go somewhere else. That happened with New York in the past. So I hope that the representatives are aware of this and they try to resolve this matter. It is sad to see that in the street that MACHINE-A was in the last year more than 5 shops had to shut down.

What books and music are inspiring you at the moment?

Anything goes. It depends from my mood, the time of the day, and the people that I am with. Lately I enjoy 90s rave – club music because I remembered when I grew up and the dreams I had. This makes me happy. Also a couple of weeks ago I watched again the movie ‘Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo’, that I haven’t seen for years and I really enjoyed it and started to read the book again. But my all time classic is ‘I AM A BEAUTIFUL MONSTER’ of Francis Picabia.

Shop online: www.machine-a.com

PARIS FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS: Issey Miyake

Fashion house of the unexpected Issey Miyake drew us into another world where nature met science fiction, into Yoshiyuki Miyamae’s first SS12 collection ‘Bloom Skin’. Models walked down the catwalk in a flurry of popping colours to ambient music of chimes. Often when Modernity is a central theme, designers let their imagination go a little too wild- but Miyake contained his excitement well to produce a collection both wearable and directional.

Purple mesh panel leggings were offset with draped white shirts to reference relaxed sporty stylings. A variety of other neons were muted down with stone beige, canary yellow and sea blues.

Models wore intimidating bird-head shapes in striking orange and bubble-like headdresses, with hair slicked back into an inverted bun akin to alien creatures from a science fiction movie.

The theatrics of the show were a big talking point; poles were lit up like Star Wars light-sabers poles and bolts of blue strobe lighting scattered the runway- taking this collection well into the future.

PARIS FASHION WEEK HIGHLIGHTS: Manish Arora

Manish Arora unveiled a very exotic look for fashion week SS12; the jewel coloured dress was a central theme- sometimes heavily encrusted with sequins, sometimes with a bold bird’s feather prints. The ethic colourful theme was offset with futuristic metallics that glistened with fine embroidery, the models looked like birds of paradise, as they marched the runway to a mechanical back beat. Bold neon stripes were painted onto the face, and long hair was slicked back from the forehead, creating new age drama.

http://www.manisharora.ws/