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A Fairytale Tragedy in the Fashion World
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Alexander McQueen shocked the fashion world. Isabella Blow, a fashion journalist born out of an elite family, supported his journey. McQueen and I is a documentary of their fairy-tale success story that's not so sweet after all.

McQueen started out as a tailor at a small business in England. Being in fashion is what he wanted, so he worked his way up and eventually succeeded. Now, he is one of the most notable influences for many designers.

His collections were daring, dark, and controversial, drawing his inspiration from the night-life experiences of Soho, London. During the 90s, people applauded his unique creativity and still saw it fit to criticize many of his works. Some said he employed misogyny, slavery, and rape imagery in his fashion shows. His shows were like no other, provoking the viewers. In the documentary, models were either described as being a walk of misfits or a group of distorted beings.

Isabella Blow(Izzy) describes McQueen as "A wild bird with a good civil act" and "a showman." When she saw McQueen's work, she became his road to success as well as his close friend.

The documentary in whole felt very much like looking through the tragic life of two people in the fashion industry. Izzy inspired many people to make fashion statements that are head scratching to the public eye, but have also made fashion and media headlines (Like Lady Gaga).  They both left behind their mark in the fashion world, inspiring a range of artists and fashion designers. The documentary struck a good balance between the storytelling of these two connected and influential people.

                                                      
                                      
Experiencing Walk of Art at the No Sesso Fashion Collection
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On November 11 in LA’s Flower District, No Sesso hosted a fashion event showcasing its new SS17 collection. LA based fashion design Pierre Davis chose the brand name No Sesso after an italian phrase meaning "no gender.” It emphasizes and embraces an affinity for fluidity in style.

The show began by entering into a small room painted completely white with a sliding door coming from the wall at the back of the room. Secondly, a video of the muses of the SS17 line gives us a taste of the designs to come. It leaves the audience in the dark upon the video’s end, joyfully interrupted by a model who was featured in the video walking out and lighting up the room by engaging one single plug. The string-lights were laid on the floor with a bunch of fabrics and objects that formed into the sculptural centerpiece of the room.

Each model that walked out of from the sliding door had an interesting interpretation in how to present the clothes they were wearing, accentuating the way they walked and the way they posed. Each individual embodied so much confidence and had their own unique walk, but at the same time it felt they walked to make a statement that the clothes were also portraying. It was very different from watching a traditional style fashion show where models just walked out onto the runway. The No Sesso show was fun to watch and the work that was put into the design of the clothing was admirable, with special attention taken into high quality embroidery work. No Sesso went above and beyond to create an amazing visual and artistic experience and it was far from being just another fashion show.




Our Clothes Doesn't Always Reflect How Much Money We Make
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photo by rt.com
Walking through the rural streets of the Congo, you cross path with a  man dressed in bright red, well tailored suit, with a shiny cane in his hand guiding his strut. That is what you call someone embracing and continuing the Sapeur or La Sape (La Société des Ambianceurs et Personnes Elégantes) or in English (The Society of Ambient People of Elegance) culture.


After WWII ended, serviceman from the Congo had return home from France. They returned with a new way of fashion and adapted to the dandy style into a new culture among the youth. As always, when the youth adapt to a style and with a combination of numerous economic struggle within the country of Congo, the youth culture eventually created what is now known as Sapeur.


When the Sapeur emerged, it is was prevalent during the early 1980s, specifically in the youth southern group of the Bacongo due to the unsuccessful progress in electing appropriate government positions. This became a ritualistic thing that would transform the youth in society from being a regular citizen to this “classy man”.


Sapeurs of today however, are not dominated by the youth anymore, but the generation that adapted to the popularity and strive to keep the culture going. Some have stop others continue the style because not only did it reflect how the people wanted to feel during the 70s and 80s when the Congo was in economic and political battle. Today, still the country is dealing with the financial struggle and there are still urban areas in which some of these people continue the Sapeur way. Often times, they would save up for years to buy certain suites, article of clothing, or particular shoes. The most symbolic garment of clothing is to have a pair of Westin shoes from France. Below is a short documentary about a man who embraced the Sapeur way and tells the audience what it means to him and why he puts in the money to dress they way he does.



            

The Sapeurs reflect not only the people who dress in the Dandy way but also reflects the effect the economic struggle on the country and the big colonial influence. The people wants to dress nicely or to at least afford nice clothing but because of lack of growth in the economy that there is a group that shows somehow reflects that struggle and that history when the style arrived in the Congo and of those who wear them
“I am not a fashion designer, I am a dress maker” - Yohji Yamamoto
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Our identity is constant questioned, whether it is by others or ourselves. What about identity is important for us to know?  In Notebook on Cities and Clothes, German filmmaker, Wim Wenders, goes on this journey in making this short film (or notebook film clips) about the fashion designer, Yohji Yamamoto, instead of discovering this person creates his piece of work and where he finds his inspiration from, Wenders learns that clothes and fashion is more than just something we wear.

Wenders began this project not at all intrigued in filming about fashion stating “I’m interested in the world, not in fashion.” But then discovered more to this world through the eyes of Yamamoto. Learning that the two have common beliefs and curiosities about people and their way of life. Thus leading Wenders to ask more meaningful and genuinely curious questions to Yamamoto on his creative process. Humans are naturally curious beings

Identity and style go hand in hand and sometimes we are often sucked into this giant vortex from mainstream media influencing us on what is the fad in how we dress. In one scene, Yamamoto flips through this book of images of working men during the time period maybe the late 1800 to the early 1900 and in each image Yamamoto talks about how people during those time were intriguing because you were tell what these men professions were and the face matches to what they’re wearing and to their profession whereas during the time this film was made, if you walked in the streets you couldn’t really tell. From his design and in this film you can easily tell that Yamamoto has this unique perspective and appreciation for that particular style and is able to take something from the past and modernize to his eye and to his unique style. Yamamoto does not make clothes for just fashion, it’s his work, his contribution to art. To him, the color he chooses, the types of fabric, he uses and don’t uses is his perspective of on what appropriately shows the human body.

Further in the film, Wenders talks about style and how people often sticks to a general societal style. A common act people unconsciously do and points out that Yamamoto has done the same but, “The moment he learned to accept his own style, suddenly the prisoner open up to a great freedom.” 

Meaning, once a person understand themselves and understand their own style or their own person in this big world theirs then a person can understand that they are more this individually unique and freely being in society. Clothing and fashion is not just something we wear, not only a freedom of expression but a glimpse of our identity (that will always grow and change) our preferences, our history, and appreciation of culture.

This film was really interesting to watch, not only the content and how Yamamoto sees clothes but, how Wenders approaches in the film and the growing interest he gain when documenting the dress maker himself. The film can be watched on Youtube (Warning! There are no subtitles when Yamamoto responds to questions in Japanese)

                                                                       



Dia De Los Muertos
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Every year a celebration of death begins, to honor those who once touched our souls with love. Dia De Los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, is a tradition that is celebrated celebrated on November 1st. Although it is most strongly associated in Mexican culture, it is marked throughout Latin America. It is associated with Aztec rituals that combine with the Spanish conquistadores, Catholicism. Shrines are built for the dead, while honoring the shrine with the deceased favorites food, throwing parties, and drinking. Among the interesting views this holiday shares, the makeup and clothing worn during this holiday are out of the world - literally another dimension. While the main symbol in this tradition is the Calacas and Calaveras, (skeletons and skulls), it can be found in outfits, candied sweets, parade masks, as dolls, and in clothing. Social media has made this holiday very popular, with a mass variety of locations especially with Chicano culture celebrating it. As new generations form, there is always a new take on it, especially with other cultures besides Chicano's celebrating it as well. A quick look in the fashion world, and designers incorporate the sugar skull face paint on models, with flowers to accentuate the look, or even clothing such as bags and shirts with a sugar skull imprinted on them.  A quick look on youtube and hundreds of tutorials on how to do a proper sugar skull will pop up, among with women of every ethnicity behind the camera showing their followers how to accomplish the look. Fancy outfits are worn to accomplish the full look , with either the dresses for women being white or black, and men wearing suits.





(Hoschek's SS 13)
Halloween Should be Everyday
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Photo from goodhousekeeping.com
Obviously Halloween was yesterday, and everyone who celebrated I, dressed up in almost anything and everything. But lately it seems like a whole month celebration. Everyone puts on costumes ranging from a traditionally "scary costume" that fits the theme and atmosphere of Halloween, or a character they admire from TV shows, movies, and cartoons, or trending characters that the public knows (aka a lot of people are dressed up as Harley Quinn) 


Photo from BuyCostumes.com
Photo from CinemaBlend
 A little history behind Halloween, this tradition originated in Northern Europe of deep Celtic heritage was celebrated Celtic day of the dead. The Celtic used their own lunar calendar and between the transition of summer to winter (the Celtic Calendar was divded to two seasons) the spirits of the dead would roam the earth. This transition fell on between October 31 and November 1. Later when Christianity became a big influence the festival transition to a celebration later known as Hallow's Eve. As Europeans started migrating to the Americas, this very rich folk tradition became a growing American tradition as well as and now known as Halloween. Still carry on the tradition of telling spooky stories then early 20th century people and children started wearing costumes to celbrate and symbolize the holiday and then became a common thing to do on Halloween and as years and decades go on people got more creative and very much invested in thinking about what people are capable of dressing up as.

But it can also be a time where people can get really creative, make really cool and unique costumes that shows people personal interests, artistic skills, social and cultural inspiration, and a glimpse to something of people identity. Halloween can be a great excuse to really venture out with style and tap into to interesting characters where everyone won't really judge on your costume choice (unless it is obviously something that offends certain group of people and culture based on history). If it was Halloween everyday and people, chose to be creative in the outfit the world would be very interesting and  almost like the movie Halloweentown. 









Rickyy Wong @LA Fashion Week
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One of the stand-out fashion presentations of Los Angeles Fashion Week at the Hollywood Athletic Club was Rickyy Wong's newest line. He sites the films of Matthew Barney as inspiration for some of his previous works, but this one was thought to focus on fashion that is based in traditionally Asian garment designs.


I really commend his designs because it challenged most men's clothing on the market with its unisex cuts and attention to detail. This clothing may seem like it might only work for a special occasion, but the use of outdoor jika-tabi footwear leads me to believe that the designer's intention is quite the opposite.


Another nod at the hopes of these designs taking a stronghold of the street style world was the fact that the onlookers at the fashion presentation were allowed to walk on the runway to view the models. That closer interaction really changes the performance in many ways, making it less likely for the clothes to be seen as costumes. It also encourages people to make their own news and present these designs to their own personal audience. Unwittingly, we all became a part of the main event.



It's no secret that the fashion of the West takes a front seat in global fashion. I am interested and delighted at the idea of a change in that narrative.


Blending tastes doesn't have to mean forgetting about the past. Fashion has a flexibility in a way that few arts have. It's always reviving and updating designs very easily making it the prime vehicle for cultural meaning and self-expression. I hope to see more media coverage on Rickyy Wong in the near future as well as greater access to his designs.
Subculture in LA: Zoot Suits
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Los Angeles, in the 1940's, was just a growing community of Chicano's and Chicana's looking to get their voice heard, and to find an identity for themselves.  However, with voices being heard, conflicts always arise. Young Chicano men would be harassed, beaten, and disrespected during the 40's in Los Angeles.  



Zoot suits were worn to express the rebellious side of the young chicano men during the 40's. Started by African Americans in the Jazz culture, the zoot suits were suits that consisted of a lot of fabric due the suits being oversized, wide legged, with an oversized draped coat to go along with it. During the time of the war, this fashion was found very disrespectful and unpatriotic for the amount of fabric it contained. Among, with others viewing their fashion as unpatriotic, police brutality towards the Chicanos in Los Angeles was gruesome. Police harassed and arrested many because of their race, and monitored predominantly Chicano areas. Media portrayed Chicanos at this time to be only gang affiliated and dangerous, leaving the world to have this fake idea of them. However, this was just the beginning, over 200 marines and sailors went to East Los Angeles, and whenever they spotted a young ethnic chicano in a zoot suit, they would strip them down from their clothing, and burn it. On June 8th, it was said that sailors and marines were not allowed in the city of Los Angeles to harm anymore Chicanos. Regardless, hundreds were victimized, because they found their voice through fashion, and for once did not feel submerged to a Caucasian society. 



Street Style isn't Coming out of the Streets Anymore
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When "street style" or "street fashion" comes up in a conversation, I tend to think of urban and hip hop fashion or big designer who tend to mimic take the street style and interpret a fancy version of street style and then making their "street style" more mainstream and more into the fashion culture.  

However, street fashion and trends is a big part of the youth culture and is constantly changing as the youth and what they like is a constant shift in time. 

As I started researching more about what is street style (when I mean researching, it's wikipedia giving me a jumpstart), street style is definitely way more than, urban, hip hop, and designer style and more to street style, than I thought. There is Hippy, teddy boy, punk fashion, skinheads, gothic fashion, preppy, trendies, rasta, greaser, urban, feminine, kawaii, and then subcultures and trends that is constantly shifting and changing as years and trends go by and come back.  

For example, grunge fashion is a subculture of punk fashion that developed and was popular during the early 1990s during a time where the US was going through financial struggle and when alternative rock was a growing music style and people began to be minimalistic in fashion. Common pieces of clothing were plaid shirts, combat boots, and not a well groomed look. Some of this style came back in the early 2010 known as soft or pastel grunge , a style people are wearing. You can often see this style as a internet phenomenon originating   tumblr as a hashtag. It's all over tumblr and you can also see many Youtubers and gurus showing off the style trend. Since internet has become a serious influence in youth culture many style trends that would often be categories as a rare and street style are quickly becoming mainstream trends and so the rarity and style is short lived. However more trends and subcultures are emerging because of internet and social media.

A really artsy and eye captivating picture with the right hashtags can make it as the next big trend that our internet culture eats up. Thus is why I say "street style" isn't coming out of the streets anymore.
Music Video Premiere Featuring The Uhuruverse+Niko Suki+Dove A. Watch Now!
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Here's the collaboration we've been raving about, BASIC A$$ FAKE WHITE BYTCH by music artists The Uhuruverse, Niko Suki, and Dove A. It's a multi-media masterpiece that serves us the Black Lives Matter message with our Starbucks coffee, which we can't help but spit out in laughter in its wake. Wipe off your screen and turn up the volume.








There's a lot of things to poke fun at when it comes to American culture, but one of our fatal flaws is the way that we idolize the stars, superimposing Reality TV over reality with acrobatic intensity. Think of this video as an interpretive dance on this topic. No one can bring the truth better than #SnatchPower sage The Uhuruverse, working it out in a pointy bra by L.O. Class Art.




You may not consider yourself to be "into" politics, but don't forget that fashion is a political statement too. Sometimes we love it, and sometimes we just rolls our eyes. Onelle Woods of Niko Suki rolls his eyes at Republican bigots in a faux fur number by Tiffany Maxwell.




Radical self-love is the perfect breeding ground for a cheeky punk rock rager. Part spoken word, part rap chant, BASIC A$$ FAKE WHITE BYCTH will have you calling bullshit on yourself mid twerk.





Because racism and cultural appropriation are not first world problems, but it's kind of hard to see your Chihuahua, TV shows, and mocha lattes as a distraction from these topics until someone makes a joke about it.




And it actually makes you laugh.



Artists: The Uhuruverse×Niko Suki ×Dovelie A.

Produced by: Onelle Woods
Editing by: Onelle & Sasha Gransjean

Art By: LadyLike Collective

Cinematography by: Sasha Gransjean



Jajaka Ivan Gunawan

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While waiting for the next upcoming designer at LA Fashion Week, I was getting smiles from a woman who was garnished with exotic fabrics from head to toe. Staring at her outfit that looked so regal, I felt as if I was in a presence of royalty.  Among her were a couple of ladies dressed similarly, but with different patterns. I built up the courage to say hi in awe of how these women in their middle ages slayed everyone by wearing a elegant outfit called a Kebaya from their home country, Indonesia. They then expressed that they came to Los Angeles to see Jajaka by fashion designer Ivan Gunawan. Ivan Gunawan is famous in Indonesia for his elaborate collections that provide a youth look while giving back to Indonesia roots by adding a tribal feel to his outfits.  The garments like the elegant women who were excited to see Ivan, resembled a lot of a  Kebaya - a traditional outfit in Indonesia. Gunawan expressed his new collection by adding a more tribal feel by marking his models with a face paint similar that the tribe of the Dani in Indonesia do to themselves with the circular dots. Among other tribal features such as piercings, and circular earrings that each model wore. Their hair was elaborately decorated with colorful tassel-like fabric that attracted your eye as each model would have a different hair arrangement from another. In the background of the show, vintage pictures of Indonesia tribes played, that made you feel so connected to Indonesia's roots, and Ivan Gunawan's passion and love he has for his country, fashion, and his roots. 








Downtown LA flocks to Sav Noir rooftop runway show
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After a week or so of being surrounded by glitzy red carpet cocktail dresses, Kardashian wannabes, and boring business suits, it was a breath of fresh air (literally and figuratively) being on top of that roof top overlooking the DTLA skyline amongst the city’s truly most fashionable and stylish.

The attendees to the Sav Noir show were a spectacle of themselves. Each having a unique style from glam rock star to millennial avant casual looks. As it was a Sav Noir show everyone paid homage to the designer in studded, painted, or deconstructed leather clad looks. We were all the props that added to the Sav Noir atmosphere as well as being the spectators of his cool underworld. 

This show rejuvenated my love not for fashion perse but for street fashion. The attendees showed off their own distinct aesthetic that was effortless and intentional all at once and just plain….cool-as cliche as that sounds. It was inspiring and revived the excitement I used to get off from observing candid stylish strangers before “STREET FASHION” was taken over by the internet and watered down. Everyone fed off each other energies and I’m sure made notes of good outfit ideas for future reference. 

All in all a great show, great turn out, and definitely made some mental notes of how to wear a leather jacket.





Maka Buadze, founder of Natty Walk









Sarah Temperelli, founder of Maneater_ & Andre Emery, designer of Andre Emery


Quin, musician Quin Quin

Landra Dulin, talent manager at LAFW