Exploding eyepieces

Boudicca aw 2005-06 – Animate – ‘exploding’ eyepieces.

Right on the border of make-up and accessory there are these amazing cyber-eyelids with aggressively exploding crystallized eyelashes. A perfect example of what I might call a punk luxury. A flower of frozen needles. There’s something harsh and violent about it but at the same time it looks so elegant and high-class. Thanks to this feature models look like heroines of some sci-fi blockbuster. As it is always with Boudicca I wonder from where the idea came, because with this designer duo there’s always some reference hidden in every detail.


Future is now-now-now)

I just had my very first time with ZBrush – the digital sculpting software. It’s been a while since I started wondering about different 3D programs – I was always fascinated by all these future-technologies staff so decided to try to learn one of the programs and see what I could do with it) Couple of weeks ago I tried Sculptris, free and relatively simple 3D sculpting software. After a few days of using it I became quite familiar with it’s interface and tools so I decided to go for a next level and tried to make something in ZBrush.

So here are my first attempts at creating some 3D – actually I should wait till my new graphic tablet will be delivered but I couldn’t resist) So I’ve made something – not sure how to describe it). The strange headpiece was made in seconds, while the actual ‘work’ was done on the features of the face – nose, ears, forehead, cheekbones etc. because the basic model looks quite unattractive and has not very well detailed features and fine proportions. By these first bits you could definitely see that Star Wars/Babylon 5 seen in my childhood had somehow affected my tastes) Now I’m just excited to learn how to make fine details, different surfaces and textures, and everything else.

Dream item #1

Helmut Lang, spring-summer 2004 – skirt and belt – metallic leather, plastic and metal

/ Another magazine

One of the key items of one of my favorite Helmut collections – somehow it’s posh, cool and abstract all at the same time. And it represents one of the principles of his work. It seems to me that the idea for this piece came from the jacket tied at the waist, with the sleeves knotted and dangling, but it was re-created in a minimalist way with all the details ‘cleared’ so the final result has only a slight resemblance to the original source. That’s what I liked so much about Lang – he always could pick up some ordinary, even banal things and turn them into something fresh, cool, and completely unexpected.

Power of couture

Stunning late 90s editorial from Vogue Italia’s couture supplement, shot by Steven Meisel and styled by Nicoletta Santoro. Looking at these photos I think again about appearance and power – how we could add power to our image through body language, glance, clothes, make-up and accessories and how often we use our wardrobe/style in order to look more powerful than we are.

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Rhyme again

Chanel feather headdress, Irving Penn, New York, 1994


Thistle Preliminary course under Johannes Itten Bauhaus Weimar, 1921 26.5×37 cm Private collection

Beauty in lines

Here’s my new fascination – works by Tsuguharu Foujita, especially his ink portraits and nudes. I like their exquisite, sinuous lines, pearlescent colors, beautifully disproportioned faces and bodies. He knew well what exactly he liked and could picture it perfectly, with a unique combination of eastern and western techniques and aesthetics. Hope one day I could get something from Jil Sander s/s 2010 collection featuring Foujita’s works. I remember how at first I didn’t like it at all probably because it was quite far from the style which I used to associated with mr. Simons but soon after the runway show the collection started to grow on me and now I consider it to be one of the Raf’s best for JS menswear.

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Portraits of style

I continue to observe and admire 90s fashion editorials such as this one from Vogue Italia shot by Peter Lindbergh and styled by Nicoletta Santoro. I like that it’s so minimalist – nothing distracts you from the beauty of the clothes and models. It features looks from Yohji Yamamoto (that famous spring/summer’99 collection), Helmut Lang, Comme des Garçons, and many others.

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Three flowers

Looking at these photos it’s strange to know that these are actually flowers – three different sorts of tulips. I like the abstract quality of these images, the petals look like swirls and splashes of some ‘substance’ – there’s nothing sweet or pretty about them. Writing this I just remembered a certain passage from ‘Au rebours’ where Des Essaints muses about his  love for the plants that don’t look like ‘real’ plants – ‘His purpose was achieved. Not one single specimen seemed real; the cloth, paper, porcelain and metal seemed to have been loaned by man to nature to enable her to create her monstrosities. When unable to imitate man’s handiwork, nature had been reduced to copying the inner membranes of animals, to borrowing the vivid tints of their rotting flesh, their magnificent corruptions.’

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead

‘Mad girl’s love song’ – a poem by Sylvia Plath:

I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead;
I lift my lids and all is born again.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

The stars go waltzing out in blue and red,
And arbitrary blackness gallops in:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I dreamed that you bewitched me into bed
And sung me moon-struck, kissed me quite insane.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

God topples from the sky, hell’s fires fade:
Exit seraphim and Satan’s men:
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.

I fancied you’d return the way you said,
But I grow old and I forget your name.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

I should have loved a thunderbird instead;
At least when spring comes they roar back again.
I shut my eyes and all the world drops dead.
(I think I made you up inside my head.)

the way I like it – ‘Blue velvet’ opening credits along with the page from Russian Vogue’03 (kind of an opening credits for the fashion ed)

if only it was real – just imagine what a texture combination – deep-blue crushed velvet against the thin white coated paper. fonts also fit nicely to my taste)

The Group

The Group – shot by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia, July 1999

Now working closely with professional retouchers I realize just how much photoshop-polishing goes into production of every image we see. I mean of course I knew it before but to know and to see with your own eyes is a different thing. Knowing to what extent images are edited there is no wonder that in the magazines now everybody is slim and sexy, with glowing skin, pretty faces and shiny hair. All beautiful and all boring. For me it feels like there is something wrong with the way what models are now being picked for the shoots and how they are being depicted in the editorials. It’s not a matter of size or prevailing of the exact type of beauty – anorexic or plus-size, eastern european or asian, there’s something missing from all these girls and boys.

Despite of the the triumph of prettiness it has nothing to do with over the top glamour of the mid 00s which had in itself a sort of joie de vivre quality. What I’m talking about is just depersonalisation of some kind. When all the little things that make one unique are wiped out in order to create an ideal face/body. Thinking of it I could probably link it to, for example, ancient Greek’s sculptures. There were very strict rules according to which every statue had to be made. The ancient Greek’s pantheon consisted of ideal beings – ageless and flawless, with perfect bodies and faces. Often you couldn’t tell apart one god or goddess from another judging only by their looks unless there are their ‘key accessories’ like Heracle’s lion pelt, Athena’s helmet or Hermes’s sandals. Ancient sculptors used real people as their models and turned them into gods because of the demands of their religion. Today photographers and retouchers turn models into otherworldly ideal creatures because of the demands of fashion. Also adds to the similarity recent popularity of the androgynous look which is also a quite familiar concept for the ancient Greek’s culture.

All in all I find such images to be quite dull, they fail to make an impression on me and even in those ‘provocative’ editorials there are all these languid poses and blank expressions. Speaking about the faces. Maybe that’s the point – ‘standard’ faces don’t distract from the clothes which is good for advertising.

Blame it on magazines, casting agencies, advertisers or ourselves (because maybe we want fashion to be projection of our dreams, not the reflection of reality) but I feel the lack of ‘realness’ in modern editorials.

Truth be told all I wanted to say is how refreshing for me was to see this photos made more than ten years ago by Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia. Amazing colour palette and texture combinations – styling was done by Brana Wolf, and notice the furniture used, it’s also a perfect match for this ed. And what a faces – I can’t stop watching them. I certainly miss photoshoots like this – in fashion there should be a place for imperfect, diverse, real and random)

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One of the reasons to love Olivier Theyskens – ‘dead birds shoes’, early 00s