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Monday, April 30, 2012


I swear there was no accessory more ubiquitous at the festival than the neck scarf, and not just on men either. But I really do dig them on men, there's not very many menswear accessories that are easy to pull off. A Frenchie friend tells me it's a very Frenchie thing to do, i just like it and i wanna get a whole lotta scarves. Anyway, my time here is almost over, i leave tomorrow evening :-(. But what's really fucked up though is that i got a really shitty case of hayfever and I had to spend today in bed and i had planned on getting on my scooter and riding to St Tropez, instead i'm a horizontal mucous machine and i'm feeling sorry for myself, so of course i'm stuffing myself with the biggest and tastiest macaroons I have ever seen. Anyway, back to it.

Sunday, April 29, 2012


Shades are by far my most favourite accessory, no bullshit, the more dramatic the better. And these three pairs fucking killed me dead.

Saturday, April 28, 2012





Skattie it goes without saying, but i'll say it anyway, I am having an absolute blast here at Hyeres. So far I've been to see the young designers present their stuff to the fashion press as per the pics above, and the off to a picnic on a rooftop terrace at the Villa Noailles where the festival is being held and now i am chilling (and there is a lot of chilling being done here), doing what I do best, drinking. After spending Friday walking everywhere because there are so few taxis, I eventually decided to hire a scooter which I must say ia totally making my time here. thankfully so far the French have turned out not to be as I've been told, quite the opposite actually, even the ones who do not speak a word of english (and there are many, espescially here in the south) are kind enough to draw me little maps for directions, well except that rude bitch of a taxi driver who sighed and threw his hands up in the air when he found out i couldn't speak french but he managed to speak enough english to shout out "I don't speak english hey!", thankfully he spoke Euros and he took me where I needed to be, which was the scooter hire place. At first I thought it might be tricky learning to ride on the "wrong" side of the road, thankfully after a few drinks it was a breeze (the drinks were recommended by the scooter hire people, s'true!)

Disclaimer: I am in a hurry, I have not had a chance to double check this post for spelling and grammar, so for today please just deal. Dankie skat.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


                                                                                                                     photo by Elise Toide

With one of the longest careers in the industry, Irène Silvagni is considered as one the master-keys that open every door in fashion. 
As creative director of Vogue Paris in the late 80's, she initiated collaborations with Peter Lindbergh, Paolo Roversi, Steven Meisel and Ellen von Unwerth.
One of the 2012 Hyères festival fashion jury members, picked by president Yohji Yamamoto, for whom she does creative direction, we asked for her view on ethics, talent and achievement, 

What are the ethics a young designer should have?

The most important is the "freedom". One needs to follow what ever what he/she believes in.
Stick to your style.

In your career you have introduced to the industry and the world a lot of new talent. Do you still find yourself as excited by the new crop of talent today? And do you find there is a lot of progression in terms of work that is coming out today?

I remember the time when we were a few editors fighting to have Azzedine Alaia recognized, wearing his clothes at the shows, fighting to have editors and buyers get to rue de Bellechasse; and those were moments of intense happiness. 
I also remember when the Japanese designers arrived in Paris, Rei Kawakubo and Yohji Yamamoto. It was a shock, a new kind beauty, a page was turned but in a way it seemed like a battle against a certain form of journalism which did not understand and accept this evolution.
A revolution that opened all the Belgian movement, which is to this day still at the top.

What do you think is the most challenging thing for young designers to conquer to achieve success today?

The main problem is of course to resist the pressure of economics and the space given to big advertisers in magazines, also to be able to produce and deliver.  The success of Carven, Rochas, Giambattista Valli, all of the independent designers has given a new energy to fashion... The placement of Raf Simons at Dior, the return of Slimane at YSL will bring new challenges in term of aesthetics...

How do you relate fashion with elegance?

I do think that elegance is related to the woman or the man wearing clothes. 
Though, some clothing are not supposed to be "elegant", they have style, magic, they are strong or soft, black or white all and its contrary. A piece of cloth wrapped around the body is elegant. I could go on and on talking on elegance. Sometimes I cross some girls in the street and I feel amazed by their creativity in putting clothes together. It's amazing, inspiring and elegant!!

There are more magazines then ever, yet the paper publishing is in crisis. How do you see fashion magazine publishing today? What excites you or you are missing to see?

I miss the space given to young designers and new talents, I miss being surprised, I miss the adrenaline. 
These days, while turning the pages I often know what I am going to see, I read the same news on every magazine, see always the same people. As a professional and a reader I am disappointed most of the time, although there are still some magazines that I find exciting!

What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?

The last Azzedine Alaia fashion show...
Olivier Saillard exhibitions and performances.

Monday, April 23, 2012


If you’ve been a semi-regular visitor of the blog for the last couple of months you probably know about the 27th Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival to be held in the town of Hyères on the French Riviera this weekend, starting on April 27th. (If you have not seen my previous posts, you can Hyères into the search box just below the header to see them). You might also know that I will be leaving on Wednesday evening to attend the festival, where I plan to shoot shitloads of pics for the blog, in between fashion shows, exhibitions and drinks. So I am officially declaring this week Hyères week on this blog, for the rest of the week I will bring you interviews with the designers, jury members and other interesting people, and once I get to France the pics will follow. So let’s start off Hyères Week with this interview with Pascale Mussard. She is the Director of the Petit h line at Hermès, she is also the great-great-great granddaughter of Thierry Hermès. Along with her cousin Pierre-Alexis Dumas, she was also co-artistic director at Hermès. She is also one of the jury members for Hyères 2012. 

•    How should luxury be interpreted within a young creator’s work?
 At Hermes, an object, a creation, must "speak". It is nourished by the soul and hand of craftsman. It is designed, created, pampered, shaped, dreamed, ennobled, sublimated. It is made with respect, love, passion. Young creators work must inscribe beauty in use, and use in beauty. Nothing superfluous, only honesty every step of the way: from design to production.  

As heirs of a noble tradition of craftsmanship, our initiatives must be loyal and the innovative expression of this tradition. 
It must show our optimism and wonderful ingenuity, that last long and leave all horizons open.

•    What would you say is key to sustaining a fashion brand in a world like ours which is ever changing?
“L’obligation ardente de toute culture” Hélène Ahrweiller
[the impassioned obligation of any culture]

Integrity : Never  forget our values, from where you come from and invent objects that will last long, be transmitted and bring joy.

Continue to give testament to the relationship between man and the wisdom flowing from acceptance of nature and the unchangeable beauty of usefulness, by reflecting through craftmanship on the meaning of objects and the importance of the ties within mankind.

•    The art at Petit h is so colourful, fun, happy. Do you feel that ‘happy’ is a keyword for our fashion era now? For our Hyeres contest, would you look for ‘happiness’ to be an aspect in choosing the winner?

My oncle Jean Louis Dumas was saying “où que vous soyez , refusez de vous embêter, dans un milieu de qualité , ce serait du gâchis.»
[wherever you may be, refuse to be bored, in a place of quality it would be a waste.]

Petit h : May be not happy as « youthful» Petit h is indeed linked to childhood, particularly in the way to perceive objects and materials, in a new way without preconceptions or prejudice. It is a light, constant, free creation process which makes this petit  “h” the legitimate child of Hermès: though sometimes impertinent, a child that does not cease to grow while learning on the materials, the hands that create, and the values of Hermès. For Hyères, it is a “team” judgment under a very innovative President: Mr Y Yamamoto. 

Happiness is always a positive value for me, but innovation, fantasy and talent are more important.

•    Working for a house as historic and of great heritage as Hermès, how do you encounter the challenge to align new ideas with the skills of traditional craftsmanship?

“During a long time I worked on a one-on-one basis with artists and designers. Then, in 2009, the project truly took off and we started working with a cabinet of accumulated materials and craftsmen who worked closely with the artists (at the time Gilles Joneman, Christian Astuguevielle and Godefroy de Vireu) in the recreation process.  The pieces created were then submitted to the family and the artistic direction, and the project was approved for a first sale which went very well, allowing us to keep growing.”

“An artist, designer, “geotrouvetout” [inventor] is invited by me to come to the atelier and to dive into the cabinet of materials – the materials are the source of inspiration for all creations, They must work with what is available. These materials will spark the creative process and discussion between the craftsmen and designers to find a solution that is concrete, realizable and esthetic according to Hermes values and procedures. The creation at Petit h comes primarily from a dialogue between the hands of the craftsmen, the materials and the ideas of the designer.”

Craftsmen and designers do not necessarily have the same priorities. What is the collaboration like? 

Si vous écoutez vous finissez par entendre. Et un bon entendeur est plus facilement entendu…
[if you listen you will hear. and a good hearer is more easily heard...]

They have to be able to work together well, be able to respond to their partner. I frequently act as a middle person or a kind of midwife. I encourage the team members and say: “We have never done anything like this before, but why don’t we try it out?” If the designer knows exactly what he wants, then the craftsman has to use all his memory, skill and bring out all the techniques that he knows. Currently, we are working on a life-sized bear which is intended for the exhibition in Berlin (23 April - 12 May). The leather is folded using the origami technique – which is something that is for us completely without precedent. The designer Charles Kaisin calls up frequently to find out how we’re getting on. Last week, one of our craftsmen said he thought he would never be able to realize the idea. But eventually everyone in the studio found a method which works. 
An inner connection must be forged between the designer and the craftsman. If this happens then I am prepared to defend their work within the company like a lionness.

•    What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?
Recently  I had the chance , the luck to visit really inspiring places, Naoshima (Japan), Inhotim (Brazil) two sites that offer a unique combination of major contemporary art collection and nature. 
Two wonderful projects:  A DREAM.
Brazil and Japan, two countries very energetic and inspiring for me. 
A great encounter in Brazil: the architect Marcio Kogan ( Sao Paulo)

This summer a beautiful and peaceful trip: Ladakh.


Thursday, April 19, 2012

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Hello skat, I think I’ve mentioned before that I’ve been obsessing over video editing software, ever since I started shooting video a couple of months ago. and I’ve been teaching myself some corny editing tricks. Cloning, which is the technique used in this video is one of my favourites.

I’ve been wanting to sort of profile friends whose work and creative outlook inspires me, and it was the perfect excuse to play with video editing software. So I had a chat with Lindi about being the first to feature in this profile series and thankfully she is always open to a bit of creative fun, and the video below  is the result. I think she did a brilliant job of it. I must apologize however because I fucked up a bit, I had my cellphone in my pocket and you’ll hear about 15seconds of cellphone interference, and I just did not have the heart to edit it out because I also liked what Lindi was saying at the time, but I’ve learnt my lesson and I’ll keep the cell away from the camera next time, but for now it is what it is. One more thing, shortly after I started working on this cloning vibe someone showed me a clip that Karl Lagerfeld made where he interviewed himself. This is not meant to be a copy of that, but rather a tribute to the technique. and here is a link to the KarlLagerfeld video if you have not yet seen it. Enjoy.

And after watching the video above and hearing about all the designers that Lindiwe worked with on her new video, check her do her thing on the video,  presenting Lindiwe's new single Man Made Moon:

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


btw, I must plug my friend Maria McCloy [@MariaPodesta] who Sharon tells me is responsible for this skirt. Check her out if you are looking for vintage goodies. Okay, enuff friend plugging, enjoy.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012



Firstly before we go on to the interview, I have great news. My flight ticket to attend the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival which will be held in the town of Hyères, in the south of France is finally booked. So come month end I will be spending 5 days there and will blog directly from the festival. I am very fucking excited about that. Now as I have told before, as a partner blog for the festival I will be bringing you interviews that I and the other partner bloggers have done with the jury members. Today I bring you an interview with Olivier Saillard, curator, performer, current Director of the Galliera Fashion Museum and festival jury member. I recommend that you read his very insightful interview below and then google him and his work, especially the fashion-based performances that he puts together for an invited audience during Paris Couture Week. Me, I simply cannot wait to feed on all the creative inspiration at the festival. Enjoy.

 Hyères 2012 jury member, Olivier Saillard, Director of the Galliera Fashion Museum. Photo by  René Habermacher.
Olivier Saillard at "18th Century Up to Date", by Antoine Asseraf, part of "Vogue à Versailles".

1) Why should a garment be considered as important?

At the risk of appearing a bit primal, because we'd be a bit cold if we had to live naked,
unless we all moved to warmer pastures ! 

Beyond climatic considerations, I love to see a garment as a solution, 
and to note that some designers are, to this day, still preoccupied by the idea of solving, through a way of dressing, our natural morning wardrobe.

2) You have produced works that straddle the line between fashion and performance. Or maybe there is no line. When looking at the collections for the festival, 
how important is the element of presentation to you? Would a poor presentation of a great garment influence how you score it?

Now more than ever, presentation interests me less than the garment itself. I skip fashion shows and rather appreciate presentations in show rooms. 
Thus, there is no way of cheating. Presentation involves the image.

Today a fashion show lasts on average 7 to 11 minutes.
In the 80's, it lasted 40 minutes, and in the 50's, over an hour and a half.
That means that means that the live fashion takes as long to watch as what you'd see on the internet. 
This tyranny of the image, which is killing ambition in dressing at the profit of sensationalism, must be avoided, except when it is claimed as part of a project.

A bad presentation cannot influence my perception of the garment, but can make me doubt as to the ability of the designer.

3) You have seen up close so many historical costumes and clothing that were at the forefront of fashion techniques and technology of their era. 
On the flipside, what do you think the is the most advanced or intriguing technique or aspect in fashion that is available now that wasn't in the past?

It seems to me that only Azzedine Alaia is technically a virtuoso.

Comme des Garçons, Rei Kawakubo and Junya Watanabe seem to always open new paths of research which, without having to do with Haute Couture, enrich the formal and technical vocabulary of fashion. I also see in Nicolas Ghesquière an obtuse talent to renew textile research, to make it contemporary for good.

But I must admit that it's in the realm of athletic clothing that the research is pioneering and democratic.  It is regrettable that the stylistic vocabulary is subpar to these discoveries, which make the garment thinner, lighter and more efficient. The motifs, as well as the cuts, are awe-inspiring.

4) Fashion has been an immediate transmitter for new ideas and a proof of social and cultural evolution.
for quite a while now we experience fashion is recycling itself in an ever faster cycle, to a point where almost anything goes.
looking at history, how would you analyse the role of fashion today?

This constant renewal, whose sole function is to develop sales, doesn't affect the silhouette as we would think.
It takes in fact years for a trend to register and take root.  It probably took over 10 years for the low waist to make its way in everyone's closet.
It will take as many years for the waistline to return to normal.

Fads seem as epiphenomena in comparison to the constrained silhouette of our current wardrobe, and which was born at the end of the 90's.

There is a paradox between a "fashion for all" universe made possible by big democratic brands who follow very closely the shows of influential designers (who may also be watching) 
and on the opposing end, a sort of disavowal of the mainstream public for fashion creation (fed by the media who are tied hands and feet to the advertisers).
As in other disciplines, there is an abundance of shows and designers whose creative ambition is relative. Truly interesting collections are drowned out and deprived of the attention they deserve.

As an aside, there are no "damned" designers whose talent is being ignored. That is one thing worth celebrating.

5) Could you comment the extent to which today's fashion apparently is getting more influences from within fashion than, for example, other realms such as history or history of art?

It is true that there is in fashion, as in other artistic disciplines I must say, a sort of inbreeding, 
By dint of quoting and holding up mirrors through internet and twitter, fashion houses are disappearing into their own reflection, and in the end are making interchangeable creation a standard.

That will be probably be the identified "evil" of the 2000's and 2010's. The monopoly of luxury brands and groups has brought to light their formula.
I believe in the return to the designer as creator as I believe in the sovereignty of the author.
There are in fashion some immediate boomerang effects which protect fashion from the mechanics which businessmen would want to duplicate.
On the other hand, I am wary of the proliferation on each street of boutiques which are destroying the determined gaze which we could have on fashion creation.
This over-abundance is the source of its own disgust. 

6) What is the last thing that you experienced, saw or heard that stimulated you?

Generally speaking, only the past stimulates me.
The tyranny of now, as it is fed by the internet, puts me off.
I find all the people who live off novelty a bit sad, because I recognize nevertheless a lot of wasted work and energy.
What stimulates me are positions of resistance such as Azzedine Alaia. That is what fashion history will keep. There is a deep necessity to break all the commercial molds to favor the growth of new names and new talents. 

Reading is always a stimulating element to me. Recently, "Aurelien" by Aragon brought me much pleasure. 
The book is, more than ever for me, a way to sweeten these considerations and a way to remind ourselves that thinking can still be a creative program.  

Far removed from this, what stimulated me more than anything is my sister's recent move to Saintes Marie de la Mer [in the Camargue region in the south of France near Arles].
Everything morning she crosses the road to go swim. Right now I see no better wild project to be happy.


“I have the social disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay at home one night I start spreading rumours to my dogs” Andy Warhol. That quote came to mind tonight whilst sitting at home contemplating whether of not to go and check the #fomo party out. I was feeling super exhausted from a week of low productivity, so I wanted to continue the chill and just stay at home and hopefully catch an episode of the Kardashians. Athi who has no problem with staying at home kinda caught me out and he was like “Look at you, you’ve got the social disease”. Whatevs. I left home to join fellow disease sufferers and to enjoy the Easter weekend. I’m not much of a believer so my weekend was unlikely to be about the undead. I subscribe to a more atheistic/humanist world view, a view my mother is convinced is no different to Satanism, but that’s another story for another day. 



belowR300 photos by Thina Zibi


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