The trouble with going to Provence…

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 12th, 2010

…is that you don’t ever want to come home!I know everyone says it but seriously, I did not want to come home. Provence gets me every time; I just love it there, everything agrees with me: the weather, the food and as for the wine, oh la la, heaven.

I sunbathed, splashed around in the pool, made friends with a donkey, played boules, swung on a swing as if I were five, danced in the garden, explored the beautiful local village oh, and my husband was there too! Did I mention it was our honeymoon….

I got a bit carried away with the hipstamatic application so please forgive me, but so much fun!!!

Have you been to Provence?

Did you like it?

Jackie Dixon

 
 

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 Dictionary of Dress

by United Blogs of Benetton on: June 5th, 2010

There aren’t that many ‘quiet’ fashion-related exhibitions in London. We’re lucky that we have institutions that curate some amazing exhibitions to do with fashion but of course the media love to make a big noise about everything resulting in queues, sold out tickets and packed-out exhibitions.

However, I think I’ve come across the QUIETEST exhibition there is and it’s very very hidden away. Well actually it’s more like a walk than an exhibition. Famed fashion curator Judith Clark and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips have come together to create a series of definitions with accompanying installations entitled The Concise Dictionary of Dress.
These installations have been set up in Blythe House which was originally the Post Office Savings Bank and now houses V&A’s Archive of Art and Design.

These definitions are supposed to re-describe clothing in terms of anxiety, wish and desire and so it isn’t a conventional ‘dictionary of dress’ as you would expect and along with the installations, it really explores the psyche of how we as human beings relate to dress and all its codes of conduct.

For example, to illustrated the term ‘Armoured’, there is this resin sculpture sitting on top of Blythe House

A series of images and pieces illustrated the term ‘Essential’… mostly depicting Grecian draped pieces and the classicism of those lines…

Then to illustrate the term “Pretentious” you get a collection of antique gowns (Chanel, Vionnet, Madame Gres…) from the early part of the 20th century and across from it is a plaster impression of the dresses…a comment on the ‘hollowness’ of fashion perhaps?


You’re taken through a derelict Blythe House up through industrial goods lift and through staircases, eerily silent corridors and so I deem this the quietest exhibition I have ever encountered which of course gives you the opportunity to think and reflect.

Here is a video trailer of the exhibition to give you a better idea…

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 All Mapped Out

by United Blogs of Benetton on: May 31st, 2010

I’ve had an obsession lately with any sort of garments printed with maps. It started with my Acne limited edition scarf printed with an old map of Stockholm (the label is Swedish…) which never ceases to get compliments because of the unique nature of the print… and should I ever be in Stockholm, I can proudly name the different islands if I wish!

Then I’ve been trying to hunt down this Balenciaga scarf which is printed with the map of Tbilisi… I admit – I had to look that up on Google to know that is the capital of Georgia… SHAME on me!

Looking further to garments printed with maps and it becomes a trickier territory. Instead though artists have fused the physical object of actual real maps with garment shapes which means none of these pieces are fully wearable but at least they do fulfil my crush on map garments…

The award winning recycling artist Jennifer Collier from the UK has been using maps as part of her commissioned work for years… using ones that depict London especially to make anything from gloves to little babies shoes…



Upgraded a scale, the French-born, London-based artist Elisabeth Lecourt’s play with maps have seen her dresses, based on a little girl puff-sleeve shape style with pleats, exhibited all over the world. They also quite literally depict “all over the world” too as Lecourt uses a variety of maps that are global or more local in scale…



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 I am in love with I am love

by United Blogs of Benetton on: April 20th, 2010

I Am Love (Io Sono L’Amore) finally got its release in the UK and given that I’ve been hearing about the virtues of this film by Luca Guadagnino for months beforehand, it was possible that I could have been crestfallen upon seeing it.

Starring Tilda Swinton (who was also involved with the production and conception of the film…), this is a film set at the turn of the millennium in Milan which depicts an upper class family and follows Emma Recchi (played by Swinton) and her pressure to uphold a powerful dynasty and subsequently, her new found love and freedom via an affair with her son’s chef friend Antonio (played by Edoardo Gabbriellini). Ultimately, it’s about love lost and found as well as family values that is tied to wealth.

It is the aesthetics of this film that separates it from any other Lady Chatterley’s Lover-type storyline. Guadagnino, with the help of costume choices such as Recchi’s character being entirely dressed in Raf Simons’ Jil Sander clothes and production consulting from style figures such as Silvia Venturini Fendi (creative director for the accessories at Fendi), has created a sumptuous visual gorgefest where everything from the interiors of the Recchi house, the carefully shot Milanese backdrop, the clothes, the food cooked by Antonio and the characters themselves hold a raw and visceral kind of beauty.

Recchi’s character particularly resonated with me. Her life as a bourgeoisie housewife may have trapped her spiritually but her natural sense of style and taste conveyed, connecting, food, fashion and interiors made me wonder whether the three are intrinsically linked. If you love one, do you also take care in those other two areas? I’d like to think this is the case, just because it seems silly not to try and apply one’s taste levels to your surroundings and what you eat. I may not be able to consume all three to the highest of levels like Recchi but I can try with all my might.

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 Seeing patterns everywhere

by United Blogs of Benetton on: April 10th, 2010

I’m one of those hyper-observant people in a way where it becomes almost like a nervous tick because in everything i see, I might spy something that makes it aesthetically interesting.

This could be cracks in pavements, broken glass, typography in old signs. Sadly, I’ve never put my eye to any good use given that I stupidly don’t document these occurrences where I see some form of beauty.

Thankfully, there are diligent people out there that have enough patience to go around for all of us. Which is why sites such as Patternity exist. Founded by art director Anna Murray and textiles designer Grace Winteringham, they have put together an online resource which is a scrapbook of everything and anything where a discoverable ‘pattern’ can be seen.

In buildings, interiors, cult/couture fashion, vintage materials as well as daily discoveries, patterns are all around us. I’m thinking more than a handful of creatives would get a thorough kick out of Patternity’s wonderful free-for-all resource.

It goes without saying that a lot of the things that Patternity unearth also seem to run in tandem with a lot that is going on within fashion which is why I’m most excited that they will be opening an e-store selling carefully selected vintage pieces that are of course patterned. A taster of these vintage pieces can currently be seen on Supermarket Sarah‘s paternity wall.

Patternity will also be presenting an exhibition as part of the Land of Kings festival in Dalston in East London celebrating the vibrant and creative scene of this cool pocket of the city. ‘The Tapestry of Dalston’ brings together Hackney-based creatives such as illustrator Colin Henderson (has worked for brands like Nike and Urban Outfitters) as well as Daniel Brereton who has worked for bands like Late of the Piere and These New Purtians. Weighing in from a fashion perspective, Audrey Roger will also be exhibiting having worked for Chloe in Paris.

Patternity presents A Tapestry Of Dalston at The Print House Gallery, 18 Ashwin Street, London E8 3DL from the 24th April until the 4th May.

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 Chained in

by United Blogs of Benetton on: March 15th, 2010

The pearl, the jewels and the attire.

It had to be that either my eyes were playing a trick or I had just witnessed a very clever photoshop technique. Apparently it’s neither seeing as Rese from Germany managed to very convincingly recreate the famous Johannes Vermeer painting Girl with a Pearl Earring looking more like the subject than Scarlett Johansson actually. Those particular Dutch master painting hues infiltrated a particular S/S 09 Dior Haute Couture collection by John Galliano and these painterly colours have since been filtering down exemplified most recently by Richard Nicoll’s texture rich, dusty coloured collection.

  • Rese

    Rese

    20-year-old girl from Germany

I had to do a double take when I saw Laura from Switzerland’s profile. First off, she’s a dead ringer for Bat for Lashes front lady Natasha Khan. That can only be a good thing of course to channel a little of Khan’s whimsical carefree attitude. Except Laura, whilst bearing some physical resemblance, looks to have a more streamlined style, accentuated by these pared down photos where black dominates and only a glint of embellishment is displayed through the chains on her shoulders. Jewellery designer Bliss Lau is probably responsible for all the ensuing similar designs of body chains that are part jewellery, part attire. Chains of Love has dissected the idea further with a chain that slips off the shoulder in a multitude of ways that reminds me of the shoulders Laura is bearing.

  • Laura

    Laura

    16-year-old girl from Switzerland

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