Versace is typically not one to quickly hop onto trends or care much about the shifts in consumer tastes. It marches to its own beat—coming up with a new-ish monogram, La Greca, only in 2021 (well after other brands) but relatively sticking to its signature Barocco prints, Medusa logo, and sexually charged designs.
It's surprising then that for Spring/Summer 2024, Donatella Versace decided to do a 180 with a collection that's representative of a return to minimalism—or that often misused phrase, "quiet luxury"—but done the Versace way. To be fair, this wasn't the first instance of Donatella going rogue with a rather minimalist collection. This is, however, perhaps her most successful execution yet.
The fit: The show opened with luxurious duchess silks adorned with the Versace Contrasto Checkerboard—a pattern that debuted in Spring/Summer 1982—in varying sizes and later paired with utilitarian pieces the likes of a perfectly cut trench and multi-pocketed gilet. They were simply teasers of what's to come: a skilful combination of tailoring and Versace motifs rendered in pastel hues.
The checked and square motifs continued on in multiple fabrications including wool crepe tweed. In some instances, checkerboard prints were layered with signature Barocco prints as well as a Versace Rose motif but in quite muted monochromatic renderings such that they weren't fighting for attention.
The focus on cut and tailoring were evident for the Versace Spring/Summer 2024 collection. Lines were sharp and clean with nipped in waists and three-dimensional sculptural shoulder moments that elevated the level of craft and construction further. In look 69 (the most minimal menswear look of the lot) for example, an impeccably tailored jacket with flared trousers showcased the peak of Versace tailoring but at the same time exuded a timeless aesthetic. It's highly edited and pared back, yes; yet the Versace man still exudes a sexy confidence.
The details: There's no denying that there were semblances of Miu Miu and Prada stylings—it's difficult to not reference the of-the-moment combinations, especially when taking on a minimalist approach. But again, Donatella made them her own. The peeking of underwear under trousers, scoop-neck tanks and fine gauge knit cardigans (both interpreted with gorgeous macramé Barocco borders) were reworked codes of Versace sensuality.
There were hints of a feminine-masculine tension that skewed in neither direction yet showed that the Versace man wouldn't be fazed even if it did. He's that confident.
Three exceptional looks: Look 12's maroon leather suit that's a stunning showcase of leather tailoring; the pastel blue mod-tailoring in look 23 with that clever styling of unbuttoning the last few buttons to show a hint of skin and underwear; and look 73's excellent tailoring.
The takeaway: This is how you do timeless, elegant minimalism while evolving house codes without looking like the next Zara collection.
View the full Versace Spring/Summer 2024 runway collection in the gallery below.
There was no doubt that Burberry chief creative officer Daniel Lee's first showing for the British brand was a stark departure from predecessor Riccardo Tisci's.
The debut—a collection that we're finally able to experience in boutiques now—was a return to Burberry's Britishness, replete with elements and motifs ripped from Lee's lived experiences as a Brit as well as from the brand's archives. The Burberry check was rendered at a slant and blown up (a simple but effective way of modernising the brand signifier) and the Equestrian Knight Design (EKD) revived as a complementary branding device.
For the Burberry Summer 2024 collection, Lee continued to reimagine the brand's heritage with an even more focused lens. Building a new visual vocabulary for a brand like Burberry is no mean feat. With the second runway collection, we're starting to see the fruits of that labour.
If the Winter 2024 collection was a foundational collection that at times may have seemed a bit chaotic—a mallard beanie and a cacophony of visuals ranging from roses to more mallards to the EKD—the Summer 2024 collection felt more intentional and evolved. Surprisingly, the latter was more subdued and less colourful than the debut. In fact, the 'knight blue' that Lee has adopted for Burberry was little to be seen on the runway.
The fit: The overall colour palette for the collection was relatively quite dark. Instead of knight blue, colours graduated from black to a dark green before branching off to richer hues.
Yet, at the same time, prints were a key focus of the collection. What appeared as though vintage scarf prints lifted from the Burberry archives were actually prints of metal hardware in the shape of a horse—part of the Knight bag introduced for Winter 2023—and chains. Similarly, a repeated motif of the clasp of the Rocking Horse bag too appeared as a print. Both prints adorned a number of ready-to-wear pieces, including a new take on the classic Burberry trench. Lee's intent was to reimagine the trench for the summer and that included making it more lightweight than ever—in look 47, the trench could be seen hung by the neck simply by a thin chain.
What I especially liked about Burberry Summer 2024 was how Lee doubled down on the brand's military past. And while that could have resulted in quite costume-y creations, the ready-to-wear looked simply at home. Epaulettes on shirting as well as outerwear extended well beyond the shoulder line, while the trench coats cut a sharp, regimental silhouette while still retaining a sense of modernity with a dropped waist and exaggerated belt.
The details: Lee may have kept the tailoring sharp but he injected off-kilter semblances in the styling as well as accessories. The collection's slip-ons for example (looks 41 and 45) were doused in rhinestones with the EKD fixed like one would a Crocs Jibbitz. Leather loafers were crafted with an extended leather buckle in the shape of the Burberry Shield bag and topped with the EKD. It's these constant details that help drive the message of the new subtle visual vocabulary of Lee's Burberry.
Three exceptional looks: The ease and simplicity of look 16's black fit embellished with cleverly printed trousers; look 23's printed coordinates that could easily be broken up into pieces that could stand on their own; and look 45's new take of dressed up casual in classic Christopher Bailey-era hues.
The takeaway: Burberry is back to being refined with doses of unexpected quirks—a truly Brit aesthetic.
View the full Burberry Summer 2024 runway collection in the gallery below.
If the Riccardo Tisci-era saw Burberry taking over beach clubs with the TB Monogram, Daniel Lee’s appears to be more subdued and tastefully so. As part of the brand’s announced "Burberry Streets" takeover series, the British brand has kicked things off right at home during London Fashion Week. In partnership with Transport for London—the government body responsible for the transport network in London—Bond Street station has been completely transformed into Burberry Street, complete with signs rendered in Lee's knight blue hue. The takeover will last until 19 September 2023. “Burberry Streets” is set to be an immersive brand experience consisting of events and installations in cities around the world. The series will make its rounds in Seoul and Shanghai this October.
In what would be any fashion designer's foremost nightmare, Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing revealed on Instagram that pieces from the house's upcoming Spring/Summer 2024 runway show have been stolen. "More than 50 Balmain pieces stolen," Rousteing says, expressing his anger and disappointment at the loss of the hard work by his team. With just 10 days to go to the show during Paris Fashion Week, it does seem like Rousteing and his team will have to, in his words, "work days and night" to ensure that everything turns out as planned.
A new take on adidas' iconic Stan Smiths has been revealed, courtesy of British fashion designer Craig Green. The CG SPLIT STAN retains the original silhouette of the shoe save for the "splitting" right down the middle—a rubber protrusion that's seemingly inserted between the two segments. The new design has dropped in three monochromatic colourways: white, black, and khaki.
The adidas Originals and Craig Green CG SPLIT STAN sneakers are now available through the adidas App and online.
Stone Island is embarking on a multi-year partnership with Frieze. Starting with Frieze London 2023—happening this 11 to 15 October—the brand will be the Official Partner of Focus, a fixture dedicated to younger galleries at Frieze London, Los Angeles, New York, and Seoul. Participating emerging galleries of Focus will each receive a bursary from Stone Island amounting to 30 per cent of each exhibitor's stand fee (in addition to Frieze's ongoing subsidies) as well as overall amplification of Focus through a dedicated content series. Stone Island will also become the Official Partner of Frieze 91, the organisation's membership programme. Frieze 91 allows members so gain exclusive access to art and artists through curated experiences as well as members-only content and benefits.
As part of Moncler's RE/ICONS series—an annual celebration of the brand's iconic achievements of the past while looking to the future—the brand has revived its 1954 Karakorum duvet jacket. Worn by climbers in 1954, the Moncler Karakorum is known for its unparalleled warmth as well as technical excellence. Just how excellent, you ask? Achille Compagnoni and Lino Lacedelli each wore the Moncler Karakorum while scaling K2 and becoming the very first people to reach the summit in 1954. For the RE/ICONS series, the Moncler Karakorum has been reenvisioned in three designs (with a range of colours) varying in length and fit.
In Coach's latest campaign, Dove Cameron, Yanfei Song, Lil Buck, and newly appointed global ambassador Youngji Lee battle their inner demons. It might sound a bit too dark for a fashion campaign but the "demons" in question are doppelgängers criticising their choice of wearing the Coach Shine collection—a range of metallic and patent leather pieces. The individual duos battle it off in fast-paced choreography before the expressive selves eventually triumphs. Basically, no one should ever dull your shine, Coach Shine or not.
A two-for-one deal is one of the little treats that can make a mundane day feel a little less so—whatever tax bracket you sit within. For most, that will likely be an extra Dairy Milk bar from your local Tesco. But for those taking home six figures, it's a bit more luxe. Think: a hand-made automative that comes with a unique watch as part of one astronomically large fee. Two mechanical masterpieces for the price of one, what a steal!
It was what caught the attention of petrolheads at this year’s Monterey Car Week, as Rolls-Royce unveiled the La Rose Noire Droptail. It's a coachbuild car—a bespoke service so exclusive the manufacturer's website describes it as “the automotive equivalent of haute couture”—that’s been fitted with pièce unique Audemars Piguet Royal Oak Concept Split-Seconds Chronograph on its dashboard. It's estimated to be worth around $30 million.
As to be expected, this timepiece is as gobsmacking as the car’s price. Press a button on the left-hand side of the dashboard, and the 43mm titanium case will rise for the wearer to slip onto their wrist. AP artisans have hand-sculptured a solution to the bare holder, by way of a watch head fitted with a white-gold coin to put in place of the dashboard clock when it's out and about.
Inside the watch is an open-worked and self-winding calibre 4407, while custom red counters and a red inner bezel matches the car’s La Rose Noire colourway. Just like the original Concept that was launched earlier this year, the model comes with interchangeable straps that can be stored in its own leather pouch for when it’s not in use.
The type of customer who has opted for such an extravagant car modification will be pleased to know that dashboard watches of such intricate detail are generally a rare addition. That was until last week, when Vacheron Constantin announced that they too had designed a ‘one-of-a-kind’ dashboard watch for another custom Rolls-Royce Droptail—this time, in Amethyst.
Of course, just because it’s being made for the same-but-different-colour car doesn’t mean it’s the same-but-different-colour dashboard watch. The Swiss marque has equipped the single-edition Les Cabinotiers Armillary Tourbillon with the calibre 1990, a hand-wound in-house complication movement incorporating certain technical features deriving from Reference 57260—the most complicated timepiece in the world, presented by the maison in 2015.
A bi-axil tourbillon nods to the work of 18th century French watchmaker Antide Janvier, who invented a moving sphere with a planetary gear known as an armillary. Visually, it mimics the interlocking circles and armillas (graduated metal discs) of the famous scientific instrument modelling the celestial sphere.
Marking Vacheron Constantin’s first dashboard watch since 1928, their engineers worked hard to build a holder that would fit into the fascia of the car. Unlike the AP, this has been designed to look more like a pocket watch when taken out of its wooden house. Still, its speedometer-esque minutes display reminds you that it belongs within your car instead of your suit trousers.
As two very expensive, very intricately made dashboard watches are released in close succession of each other, it's clearly a good time to be a collector of watches and cars. And if you're not, it's a good time to start—expect more watch and Roller pairings in the future, as this trend is only just beginning. They're a bit like busses for people who don’t have to take busses; you wait ages for one, then two come along at once.
It’s been a decade since Nicholas Daley graduated from Central Saint Martins, and he feels “blessed” to have plenty of notches on his hand-crocheted belt already. “If someone told me back then that during the next ten years I’d be an LVMH Prize finalist, recipient of the BFC Designer Fashion Fund, and continuously working with some of the best stores in the world, I think I’d be pretty happy,” says the 33-year-old designer, in the upbeat yet unassuming manner that turns out to be his neutral gear. “I’m very fortunate to have experienced these sorts of successes.”
Over iced tea at his studio—a vibrant space in a converted warehouse in Tottenham, north London—I meet Daley to talk about his newest notch: a one-night takeover of London’s Southbank Centre on September 15. The Leicestershire-born designer, his hair in dreadlocks, wears an earthy ensemble of his own creation, right down to the vest—a collaboration with esteemed Suffolk jacket brand Lavenham—as he goes over the lineup for Woven Rhythms, comprising live music, talks, a club night, fashion, art and—“hopefully”—food. “We’re looking into that,” he promises.
He intends the night to be a celebration of his story so far, but also to act as his contribution to London Fashion Week—starting that same day—in lieu of a traditional show. “It’s not economical for us independent brands to do runway, repeatedly, over several seasons,” he says.
It was the Southbank Centre that reached out to Daley, who has put on shows in working-men’s clubs, gig venues, and churches. “I’m an advocate for multiculturalism, and the Southbank is a place where people from different ethnicities, generations, and cultural backgrounds meet and congregate. We’re very lucky to have an institution like that here in London that celebrates British culture and identity, so I want to make sure the night is a great success, not just for my journey, but for the centre’s legacy.”
When we meet in May, Daley is designing bespoke looks for the talent enlisted, many of whom are musicians of his parents’ generation. These include Barbados-born, London-based reggae icon Dennis Bovell; Pauline Black, founding member of Coventry two-tone pioneers The Selecter; and newer artists Delilah Holliday and Wu-Lu. His interest in music-industry veterans is nothing new: Don Letts—the influential London DJ who introduced reggae to punk, and vice versa—walked in Daley’s graduate show back in 2013. “He was the muse of my BA collection; I have an affinity for the way he blurred the lines between two different music scenes.”
Hosting a night also connects to his personal history: in the late 1970s and early 1980s, his Scottish mother Maureen and Jamaican father Jeffrey ran the Reggae Klub, a series of club nights held across Scotland and the Midlands that championed Black British music. Daley’s dad DJ’d as I-man Slygo, playing eclectic genres, but specialising in UK roots reggae. “It’s so cool to me that this is what he was doing at the age that I am now, 40-plus years ago.”
The designer pays homage to his heritage in every collection of his namesake label, which he established eight years ago, whether it’s by dint of a bespoke tartan (“there’s always a check or plaid to nod to my Scottish identity”), knitted and crocheted pieces (“knitting and crocheting is a big part of Jamaican culture”) or the Reggae Klub logo (“that’s pretty much our family crest”).
His Autumn/Winter 2023 line, Roots to Rebel, is no exception. “Did you see the lookbook?” he asks, sliding his iPhone across the table. Patterned co-ord sets are paired with knitted headwear and punky sunglasses; a mohair kilt is layered over straight-leg trousers, styled with a Reggae Klub tee and GH Bass x Nicholas Daley loafers.
The collection honors the soundscapes of the Midlands: his birthplace, and the cradle of two-tone, that distinctive fusion of Jamaican ska, punk, and new wave that aimed to unite Black, white, and Asian youth in early 1980s Britain. “It pays homage to the people who laid the foundation for my generation—those who used culture to push messages about what’s important.”
With Woven Rhythms, Nicholas Daley would like to lay some foundations of his own. “I hope this marks the start of more diverse, curatorial moments where I can combine mediums and artists who I think are doing amazing work and pushing boundaries,” he explains. “There’s definitely still more work to be done, and I still have a lot more to say.”
Woven Rhythms is on 15 September at Southbank Centre, London SE1; southbankcentre.co.uk.
Metamorphosis is an often risky process—successful examples within the horological context are finely balanced along the double-edged sword of mass opinion. With the release of the Bell & Ross' latest BR 03 collection, however, the brand demonstrates a comprehensive understanding of this balance by preserving the elements that made the collection a cornerstone of the manufacture’s offerings, while paying heed to modern design sensibilities.
The most visible change within the BR 03 is the watch's reduced dimensions. The cosmetic changes are subtle. The case diameter is reduced from 42mm to 41mm, while the lugs have been downsized from 4.5mm to 4mm, contributing to a marked change in the timepiece's wear and presence on the wrist. In an era where smaller watches are once again gaining traction, these changes reflect the brand’s recognition of contemporary watchmaking trends and preferences.
More significantly, the BR 03 has a new movement under its hood: the BR-CAL.302. Based on the Swiss Sellita SW 300-1, the movement itself is a reflection of the manufacture's delicate balancing act between trends and heritage. While it is (for the most part) still the same reliable, workhorse movement widely used across other Bell & Ross timepieces, it also crucially introduces an extended power reserve of 54 hours—a significant upgrade on the previous 38 hours of power reserve.
The BR 03 may have undergone a subtle metamorphosis in the dimension and movement department, but Bell & Ross has elected to retain the elements that made the BR 03 a success. The 'circle within a square' case shape embellished with screws and highly-legible, flight instrument-inspired font, for example, ensures that the timepiece still possesses much of the tool watch charm that made it a unique design proposition when it first landed in 2006.
Offered in two case materials—black ceramic and brushed steel—Bell & Ross offers a choice between a muted, utilitarian look more synonymous with a tool watch, and a more sophisticated, dressier appearance.
Amongst the ceramic offerings, a new union of the matte black ceramic case with a khaki dial and matching rubber strap functions as the manufacture’s homage to its military-inspired design language. As for the polished steel option, the newest kid on the block takes the form of a retro-styled, brushed, copper/salmon dial offering. Engraved, jet black Arabic numerals and indices are paired with eye-catching blued steel hands, with the contrast between the satin-brushed finishing and smooth chamfered edges of the case a refined touch on a handsome timepiece.
Overall, the new edition of the BR 03 is a great horological example of the tricky act of balancing oft-fickle and transient trends, while staying true to brand philosophy.
It's the official end of an era. Creative director Sarah Burton is parting ways from Alexander McQueen—a fashion house that she's worked for for close to three decades, of which the past 13 years had been at its creative helm.
"I am so proud of everything I've done and of my incredible team at Alexander McQueen. They are my family, and this has been my home for the past 26 years. I want to thank Francois-Henri Pinault for believing in me and offering me this amazing opportunity. Above all I want to thank Lee Alexander McQueen. He taught me so much and I am eternally grateful to him. I am looking forward to the future and my next chapter and will always carry this treasured time with me," reads Burton's statement.
The end of Burton's time with Alexander McQueen means that, for the first time, the creative reins could potentially be handed over to someone outside of Lee McQueen's circle. Before being appointed as creative director, Burton was considered to be McQueen's right-hand person and the only one possible to carry on the legacy of the house as well as its founder.
McQueen may be more famously known for his otherworldly and provocative creations on the runway (more so evident on his womenswear collections) but Savile Row techniques and constructions were key tenets of his menswear. Tailoring was often the foundation of every McQueen-designed Alexander McQueen menswear collection that were then embellished with disparate elements and flourishes. Burton continued the execution. Eventually, the menswear evolved in tandem with its womenswear counterpart, creating a cohesive vision that partly contributed to Alexander McQueen becoming one of Kering's big moneymakers.
Burton is scheduled to take her final bow during Paris Fashion Week later this month. But before that, we look back at her evolution of Alexander McQueen's menswear aesthetic to become the force of craftsmanship and creativity that we know today.
The early collections of Burton's Alexander McQueen menswear focused on McQueen's Scottish roots as well as elements of Britishness. The silhouettes were kept quite conventional but often peppered with instances of exaggerated volume and deconstruction.
Flora and fauna were highly favoured elements of McQueen. Burton started incorporating them into the menswear universe through prints and embroidery—the former gave rise to insect wings that adorned suiting in a myriad of colours and combinations.
Suiting and tailoring began to take a turn with conventional colours and minimalism substituted for mosaic-like prints as well as traditional jacquard and heritage patterns. This was the beginning of a more vibrant interpretation of tailoring.
While embellishments weren't completely new for Alexander McQueen menswear, Burton began to include more metallic beading and embroidery—amping up the level of craftsmanship in the house's menswear pieces. They were starkly employed against dark fabrications and often juxtaposed with streamlined cuts.
Tailoring evolved to include bolder prints that seemed to envelope the entirety of a look. At the same time, Burton nipped waists and offered elegance in the form of cuttingly sharp tailoring.
The house's Britishness was never lost, however. Opting to continuously include typically British motifs—elements of regimental military uniforms as well as fabrications—Burton grounded them with sneakers and more contemporary touches.
The level of craftsmanship exploded with embroidery becoming a key focus. Not only were they employed throughout each and every piece, they were styled with accessories and jewellery to match—a sort of more-is-more aesthetic that came across as haute-couture punk.
Sportier elements of dress were given the Alexander McQueen treatment of exploding sleeves and deconstructed-constructions. Everyday pieces like knitwear and function-first utilitywear took on avant-garde forms that added on to the creative vision of the house.
Gender lines may not have been a consideration for any Alexander McQueen creation—pre- and post-McQueen—but it became increasingly evident with the inclusion of dress-like ensembles incorporated into menswear. Softer elements of flou became quite commonplace too, running in tandem with an increased focus on couture-level embellishments.
Burton's final few menswear collections capture the essence of her time at Alexander McQueen. The blurring of gender, a steely focus on craft techniques as well tailoring at the heart of it all have been continuously refined. There's a certain element of timelessness to the creations, marked by distinctive leitmotifs—the harness and the streamlined silhouette, for example—that have become characteristically Alexander McQueen.
When a design is as revered as the Dior Saddle, any attempts at refreshing its look could be potentially contentious. But Dior Men artistic director Kim Jones is not one to stay on the side of convention. After all, this is the man who has been tapping into the House’s more feminine-centric haute couture history to build and expand its menswear universe. And with the Dior Saddle, Jones continues to revisit the fundamentals of its design and to transmute them into inspired accessories.
The Dior Saddle bag was first conceived more than two decades ago by former artistic director John Galliano. It’s essentially a shoulder purse, meant to be worn tight right in the armpit with its short top handle sitting on one’s—typically a woman’s—shoulder. It wasn’t until Jones’ debut collection for Dior Men that the bag was officially de-genderised. The top handle strap was replaced by a more industrial-looking adjustable one that adapts for crossbody wear and differentiated from its women’s counterpart by a Matthew M. Williams-designed buckle.
If the Saddle bag designed for men captures a more defiant spirit from the original, the latest inspired creation refines the look further. For the Dior Men winter 2023 collection, Jones opts to pay tribute to the elegance of the equestrian world—the origins of the Saddle bag.
The Dior Saddle Boxy bag looks more simplified from the outside. The leather tails attached to the magnetic flap of the original have been removed altogether for a more graphic focus on the curved lines of the bag. With this new iteration, what you’re getting is pretty much a storage upgrade—the Dior Saddle Boxy features an extended body acting as the main compartment topped with a zipper. The original Dior Saddle silhouette then becomes the bag’s smaller front compartment. The dimensions of the Dior Saddle Boxy are about the same as the Dior Saddle but now divided into two compartments for better organisation.
Instead of grained calfskin, the Dior Saddle Boxy is dressed in the house’s new Dior Oblique Gravity leather. Not only is the entire body embossed with the signature Dior Oblique motif, it’s also done in a cloudy effect that is further emphasised through the patent treatment. The straps—a top handle as well as an adjustable shoulder strap that are both detachable—have too been refined. They’re cut from leather and are intentionally thin in width to reflect the more elegant profile.
Regard this latest take as the more grown up, elevated version—one you could easily pair with a suit without feeling as though you’re making the entire outfit a touch more casual. The look of the Dior Saddle Boxy may be a slight departure from the original, yet the functionality and versatility remain. And that’s exactly how you rework an icon.
The Dior Saddle Boxy is now available in boutiques and online.
It was a year ago that Kiehl's recreated a New York City Subway station at ION Orchard—complete with musical performances too. The brand makes a return to the very same spot with another Subway-themed pop-up installation, but this time, as a driver to instil the importance of sustainability as well as to highlight its own efforts in the cause.
The Kiehl’s NYC Subway: Trash To Art installation provides visitors with the full-suite of experience one would expect of a typical Kiehl's pop-up. In addition to a range of activities dedicated to educating visitors on key skincare products as well as a personalised skin consultation, the pop-up highlights Kiehl's sustainability efforts which includes its refillable solutions in its skincare, hair and body categories. Like the name suggests, a number of art installations have been crafted from post-consumer materials—mainly Kielh's-related products, of course—such as the "Kiehl's Super Tree" and the "UFC Waterfall". The latter is positioned right above an empties drop-off point that encourages visitors to discard their empty and cleaned beauty empties. The goal is for Kiehl's to reach its target of collecting 60,000 empties for the month of September.
The brand has taken it a step further. A trio of Singaporean artists were commissioned to interpret trash into art that are now displayed as part of Kiehl’s NYC Subway: Trash To Art. In their own words, they share with us more about the process of recreating something out of trash as well as their thoughts on sustainability as part of artistic expressions.
The concept for the artwork was born from my fascination with discovering beauty in overlooked places. I became captivated by the idea of transforming everyday plastic bottles and containers, such as those from Kiehl's products, into a representation of the iconic Empire State Building, symbolising New York and embodying Kiehl's essence. As I worked on the project, it also made me think about how we often overlook the value of things we consider as waste. This led the artwork to take on a deeper meaning, becoming a statement about reusing and repurposing materials.
The primary challenge in creating this artwork was in the cleaning of the interior of the bottles, as there are often residues left. Additionally, sourcing suitable found wood and metals to complement the sculpture presented another hurdle. The journey encompassed everything from achieving cleanliness to meticulously selecting various types of plastic bottles/containers, ranging from Kiehl's products, to incorporate into the artwork. The diverse array of shapes, textures, and colours further contributed to the complexity of the task. Therefore, this creative endeavour wasn't a linear process, but rather one that opened up a multitude of possibilities demanding careful consideration and decision-making.
Seeing beauty in unexpected places is a big part of how I make art. I think there's something special in things that we usually don't notice. This way of thinking doesn't just apply to one artwork—it's in all my creations. I like to make art that surprises people, using different materials or showing things in new ways.
Every artist should think about using sustainable methods because of the current state of the world and environment. Artists possess a unique way of highlighting important issues in ways that make people think. When artists use sustainable methods to make art, they're showing that they care about the Earth. This can inspire others to do the same. It's like being part of a collective effort to stop problems like climate change and waste—even small changes can add up to a big positive impact.
One sustainable skincare hack that I highly recommend is opting for refillable products instead of purchasing new plastic bottles or containers. By opting to buy refills, you significantly decrease the amount of plastic waste generated. This small change not only reduces your environmental footprint but also encourages companies to offer more eco-friendly options.
I was inspired by the nickname of New York being "The Big Apple" which has become an iconic symbol of the city. I utilised old Keihl’s tubs to create "The Big Apple".
Planning the initial outline and working with Sketchup to design each layer of the apple structure were some of the challenges I faced while conceptualising "The Big Apple". I had to calculate the dimensions of each tub and how many would fit per layer in the structure.
I usually work with found materials or upcycle my previous materials into new works. Sustainability is a big factor in the repurposing of discarded materials, turning them into a language for my art practice.
I think that artists are self-aware and have a deep understanding of the way they engage with the environment and the world. Having respect for the way they treat materials and engage with them should be key components of their practice.
I like using water from rinsed rice as a toner for my skin.
My artwork is inspired by the main ingredient of the Calendula Toner, which is the calendula plant. Starting from the base: As a business owner of Chokmah, I do a lot of importing and therefore have accumulated pellets from shippings. The flowers on the base are from a previous Kiehl’s pop up. The stems are made from fabric rolls that were thrown away—I collected them from Chinatown. The strong base for the stem are made from my kid’s formula cans held by an eco-friendly material called jesmonite, a mixture of the remnants from the workshops that I run. The beautiful big petals are made from the offcuts of my photobooths decorations and dance costumes. The big calendula toner is from the decorations of a previous Kiehl’s pop up too—I asked if they had any past "trash" that they wanted to throw away that I could use to integrate into my installation.
One of the challenges I had was, because my installation was going to be a big artwork, worrying if I'd have enough trash to use to construct it. Thankfully, I have a community who believes in sustainability so when I requested for items to be used, there was no lack of it.
Art and education are equally important to me, therefore I believe in educating the community through my art in the hopes that they will be encouraged to also be sustainable in creating their own art.
I encourage every artist to have an element of sustainability in their art forms. But art is subjective; every artist has a different point of view and I respect that too.
Sustainability in skincare is so important to me that I would research on the ingredients used. That is why I love Kiehl’s skincare because the calendula flower petals are now sourced from a hydroponic farm. This system uses 96 per cent less water and 98 per cent less land than conventional farming, and allows the flowers to be harvested in two-month cycles versus the traditional eight-month cycle.
Interview answers have been edited for length and clarity.
The Kiehl’s NYC Subway: Trash To Art pop-up installation is now running until 13 September at B4 Atrium ION Orchard.
First seen on the Autumn/Winter 2016 menswear runway, the Hermès Bolide Shark makes a return seven years later. This time it’s been shrunk to the size of a bag charm with the shark’s teeth-baring smile appearing as playfully menacing as ever. It could probably fit a few coins and some keys if you need, but amusing design—coupled with Hermès craftsmanship—takes priority over functionality with this one.
Think of the Morning Machine as an automated professional coffee maker. It’s been thoughtfully designed to maximise the extraction and flavour in every brew—no matter the capsules used. The design is sleek with an interactive interface that allows one to customise settings ranging from brewing methods to temperature and amount of water used. Or simply select from a gamut of built-in recipes created by baristas from specialty roasteries the world over, to experience artisanal coffee right in the comfort of your own home.
There’s decadent and then there’s Celine perfumed soap level of decadence. Does anyone actually need soaps infused with Hedi Slimane’s curation of olfactory sensations for Celine? Maybe not, but if you’re already a fan of the scents, the soaps enhance the experience, packaged in a dodecagon shape topped with the Celine Triomphe motif. It’s a throwback to bar soaps and helps to promote a more sensorial routine, whether that’s for washing your hands or body.
We’re getting ready for hat season once again. It’s still somewhat cold down south and getting colder in some parts of the world—a good time to have some sartorial fun with hats. Zegna’s collaboration with Los Angeles-based The Elder Statesman revolves around the former’s traceable Oasi Cashmere material, which only means that everything’s made from carefully sourced cashmere of the highest quality. This bucket hat will keep you warm, no doubt, but will also add panache to any fit.
It’s all about being a first adopter with this one. The mini Shield Sling bag is one of Daniel Lee’s first designs for Burberry, named after the shield seen on the brand’s revived Equestrian Knight Design logo. It’s definitely on the small side but with almost everything now available in a digital wallet on your mobile device, no one needs to carry much around these days. The bell charm is a curious addition and thankfully, is not designed with a ball bearing inside to jingle with every movement.
If it hasn’t been said enough: sunblock is essential. Even if you’re not interested in skincare (it is 2023 though, gents), at least slap on some sunblock on your face. Grail’s Daily SPF has a formulation that feels more like a serum so the skin feels hydrated without experiencing any stickiness associated with most sunblocks. It’s also free from harmful chemicals, leaves no white cast residue and is water-resistant—perfect for everyday sunny conditions.
Gentle Monster may be better known for its futuristic designs but its more classic offerings take on a similar slant while remaining wearable in day-to- day settings. The OBOE 01 for example, features a slight cat-eye shape that differentiates it from other sunglasses of its ilk. It’s also set against a black acetate frame that is multifaceted for an elevated design language.
This seminal work of fiction by George Orwell is a perennial favourite. Not only does it deal with themes that remain relatable to this day—mind-blowing considering that it was originally published in 1949—1984 changed culture by popularising terms the likes of “Big Brother” and “Thought Police”. This anniversary edition features stunning cover artwork by Jon Gray that catches the eye on the shelf as well as on the commute.
The Maison Margiela Tabis are perhaps one of the most contentious pair of shoes out there—you either love them or hate them. This new-in-season lace-up version takes the crazy down a few notches. It’s a familiar derby silhouette—save for the split-toe design, of course—fitted with a chunky cleated sole that grounds the entire look together. Wear a pair with pretty much anything and we guarantee you would at least be given credit for the brave footwear choice.
Packing eight hours of battery life on a single full charge—and at full volume too—Kipsch’s Gig XL portable speaker is one mighty audio companion. It weighs slightly more than 4kg but is easily portable without getting in the way. And because it’s splash-proof, those pool parties are about to go harder than before. Oh and did we mention the speaker also lights up in multiple colour modes to dance to whatever tunes you have on the party playlist.
Photography: Jaya Khidir
Styling: Asri Jasman
Photography Assistant: Chuen Kah Jun
RIMOWA expands its "Never Still" campaign with the introduction of three more faces to its fold: Blackpink's Rosé, French footballer Kylian Mbappé, and Formula One athlete Lewis Hamilton. The three global icons embody the campaign's latest chapter of travel being more than just for personal advancement, but also an impetus for inner transformation. The campaign's film is scored by Hans Zimmer who created four bespoke tracks in total—one for a collective campaign video, and one for each solo short film.
The nominees for The Fashion Awards 2023—formerly known as the British Fashion Awards—are in. The list of nominees for "Model of the Year", "British Menswear Designer", "British Womenswear Designer", "New Establishment Menswear" and "New Establishment Womenswear" awards were shortlisted by the British Fashion Council together with key press and buyers with in-depth knowledge of the industry. The winners will then be decided by a committee of 1,000 members, with the "Model of the Year" winner determined by public voting for the first time. Up for "British Menswear Designer" are Kim Jones for Dior Men, Martine Rose, Steven Stokey-Daley for S.S. DALEY, Grace Wales Bonner for Wales Bonner, and Kiko Kostadinov.
The Fashion Awards 2023 is scheduled to happen on 4 December 2023 at London's The Royal Albert Hall.
Le Bristol Paris has announced another fashion collaboration. This time, the Parisian hotel is partnering up with Californian brand Sporty & Rich on a range of co-branded ready-to-wear and accessories. Find a a selection of timeless apparel from tees to jumpers and sweatpants as well as caps, socks and other accessories. Each piece is crafted from premium, natural materials and reflects the elegant and sophisticated aesthetic of both brands.
The Le Bristol Paris x Sporty & Rich capsule collection launches 27 September 2023 at Le Bristol Paris Boutique as well as on sportyandrich.com.
The Givenchy boutique in Paragon has officially reopened to reveal a renovated aesthetic that matches current artistic director Matthew M. Williams' vision for the luxury fashion house. Two sculptures in collaboration with British artist Ewan MacFarlane (this is not the first time that Givenchy has collaborated with the artist) add dynamism to the boutique's windows with their atypical postures positioned alongside the house's pieces. The boutique stocks the full range of both the men's and women's collections as well as exclusive capsule collections.
Former Dior artistic director Marc Bohan died on Wednesday in Châtillon-sur-Seine, France. He was 97. Bohan served as artistic director for nearly three decades, succeeding Yves Saint Laurent in 1960. Prior to that, he was already designing for the house since 1958. It was during his time as artistic director that the first iteration of menswear for Dior, Christian Dior Monsieur, was conceived in 1970.
Walk into the Suitsupply store at ION Orchard and the tailor's station positioned in the middle would immediately catch your attention. There's no mistaking that Suitsupply is serious about suits—an affordable range of everyday and occasion-ready tailoring made from Italian mills-sourced fabrics. The tailor's station is a key asset to ensure that the made-to-measure pieces fit perfectly. Surrounding it however, are the brand's ready-to-wear pieces and accessories that complement its main tailored options.
The overall look doesn't stray too far from Suitsupply's elegant tailoring. The ready-to-wear collection is made from the same quality Italian fabrics as its suits with the cut and make meant to work seamlessly with the made-to-measure tailoring. At the same time, they're contemporary enough to be integrated into one's existing wardrobe. Consider them as elevated wardrobe staples—easy to wear and classically stylish all the same.
With plenty of events lined up in the coming months—whether you're sitting at the grandstand of the Singapore Grand Prix or watching acts the likes of Kodaline and Charlie Puth—here's an edit of just some Suitsupply pieces to look and feel good for exact those moments.
Leave the navies, blacks and whites. Choose between a dark brown or mint green slim-fit shirt to make a statement without opting for something completely out of the norm. Or, you know, get them both because they're made from pure linen—you'd put them on rotation for everything from the beach to a dinner party.
The perfect pair of sneakers doesn't exist. But Suitsupply gets it close with this suede pair that's made to be worn with sartorial-laced pieces. The details are kept minimal but when you're looking for something that sits stylishly between formal and casual, this would be it.
Even if you won't be making use of the thoughtfully roomy patch pockets on this pair of shorts, the detail adds a utilitarian touch perfect to be paired with the plainest of tops. The subtle Herringbone pattern ensures that it's still a sartorial piece dressy enough for most situations.
This buttonless polo shirt—in a mint blue that's a key colour for Suitsupply this season—simplifies the look of the humble polo, with the ribbed detailing offering visual interest and comfort. Wear this on its own or layered under a denim jacket and you're good to go.
You'd need a pair of these whether you're standing for hours on end at the standing pen or making that quick dash from meetings to meetings in the city. The calf suede and mesh detailing ensures that the level of sophistication remains no matter the outfit pairing.
Not only is this pair of shorts made from stretch cotton (giving you that little bit of give for extra comfort), the cuffed hem and double pleats offer a more elevated look even when you're just sitting poolside. Wear this with anything from your favourite leather sandals to a well-beaten pair of sneakers.
A camp collar shirt has become a quintessential part of a man's wardrobe. This Suitsupply version is made out of a seersucker fabric perfect for all-year-round humidity. Style one as is or over a tank and complete with a pair of black tailored trousers for an undoubtedly chic look.
For the full Suitsupply range, visit the boutique at 03-15 ION Orchard.