Style Yourself

“Style can be cultivated along the way, or it can be mimicked. With a little skillfulness, you can simulate style. But the ones that truly have style are usually the ones who don’t care much about clothes. They are comfortable with themselves, and know themselves well, so style comes naturally to them. And this kind of easiness is something you are born with.” This is one of the many interesting and consistent statements that Ovidiu Buta, one of the most preeminent figures from the Romanian fashion industry has made throughout his career. His vast knowledge in the industry is confirmed by every creative project he initiates or takes part in. This is why the opportunity to meet and interact with him during the event organized by Vestige in Cluj-Napoca is something to look forward to.

Style Yourself is a compact styling course where Ovidiu Buta will share the most interesting and important styling tips and tricks, used by the industry’s specialists. Those who register to the event will have the chance to find out how to properly use colors, lengths, accessories, fabrics, and specific clothing items in order to highlight their natural beauty, as well as how to efficiently organize their wardrobe, and many more interesting facts.

The styling courses will take place this Friday and Saturday, starting from 6:00 pm at the new Vestige beauty center, Vestige Centre Ville, in the center of Cluj-Napoca. For more information, and for reservations, you can call these numbers: 0364 110 220 / 0364 102 914.

See you there!1461019_962470537118577_3979384866563592542_n

Advertisements

Fashion is dead, long live fashion

 

1aThe more I think about today’s fashion, the more I realize it’s defined by a kind of fear of empty spaces, or horror vacui in fancier terms. From the number of shows/year, the number of pieces in a runway collection, the number of people attending the shows, or lurking outside the shows, the infinite number of tweets, retweets, to the absurd number of clothing items displayed in stores, the fashion industry is desperately trying to feed us content, to fill every inch of our news feed with its creations. Not a single pixel left unused. It almost seems as if it is trying to keep us distracted from what is actually happening…the end of fashion as we know it.

Li Edelkoort, one of the most prominent trend forecaster published recently an Anti_Fashion manifesto in which she argues why she believes the fashion industry “is going to implode”. Throughout the ten chapters that constitute the manifesto, she tackles different issues of the fashion industry, like the educational system, manufacturing, designers, consumers, marketing, and others.  Unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to read the manifesto in its original form, but in the article published on dezeen.com, there was a phrase that caught my attention: “Clothes will become the answer to our industries’ prayers”, due to the marketing’s demand for sellable products, not innovation, or experimentation in the field of fashion design. Slaves to financial institutions, hostage of shareholder interest, designers are recycling trends from the past, fearful of not disappointing the brand owners, and being replaced.

This perspective sheds light on the curious case of Hedi Slimane and his current success in rebranding the YSL brand. In a recent article published on Business of Fashion we are informed about the commercial success of his Saint Laurent experiment. According to recent analysis on sales at different major department stores and multi-brand boutiques, the brand has more than doubled its sales revenue in the three years since he took the creative reins. Despite the negative feedback of fashion critics, Hedi Slimane’s collections proved he has the ability to create clothes that sell. The secret behind this success? “It’s luxury but super basic items such as tailored jackets, bikers, bombers, denims”. Slimane seems to have been a designer ahead of his times, realizing what his consumers want: digestible fashion, perfectly executed, impeccably made ordinary clothes.2aBut where does this change in fashion leave designers that are still trying to innovate, not generate products? Li Edelkoort predicts that couture will make a comeback. “After all it is in the atelier of couture that we will find the laboratory of this labor of love. Suddenly the profession of couturier will become coveted and the exclusive way of crafting couture will be inspiring all others.” It’s almost like an overweight fashion system is slowly realizing that fast fashion is not the answer to its problems, and it’s willing to try a detox program. I really hope it succeeds, and I really hope Li Edelkoort’s predictions will come true: “This is the end of fashion as we know it. Fashion with a big F is no longer there. And maybe it’s not a problem; maybe it’s actually a good moment to rethink. Actually the comeback of couture, which I’m predicting, could bring us a host of new ideas of how to handle the idea of clothes. And maybe from these ashes another system will be born.”FotoFlexer_Photo

photo source:

A Cloakroom of One’s Own

Olivier Saillard, one of the most renowned fashion historians and curators, together with the talented Tilda Swinton have orchestrated a new fashion performance. It premiered a few months ago in Paris during the Festival d’Automne à Paris, and was staged for the second time in Florence, during the Pitti Immagine Uomo event. Entitled “Cloakroom – Vestiaire Obligatoire”, the performance represents a visual reflection on the importance of personal interaction between clothes and their wearers.  In order to do that, Saillard separated the clothes from their owners, and used as symbolic space the cloakroom. The cloakrooms from theaters, restaurants, and clubs are temporary spaces, ephemeral places where clothes are kept while their owners are away. They are, in a way, heterotopic spaces, where clothes can gain new meanings. Alienated from their wearer, and from any status or affiliation with a specific brand, clothes become anonymous canvases waiting for someone to give them meaning. Cloakroom_3

Cloakroom_33Tilde Swinton and Olivier Saillard are the cloakroom keepers. But they do not only watch over the clothes while their owners are gone, they interact with them at a very emotional level. Tilda whispers secret words into the pockets of a coat; she gently caresses a scarf, and tries to resuscitate the meaning out of a blue blazer. Olivier sits quite in the background and subtly intervenes in the performance when he is needed. He is sometimes guiding her, other times helping her, and most of the time just watching. His presence is more subtle than Tilda’s, while her improvisation is almost hypnotizing. The artistic dynamic between the two of them is impeccable, and their performance is not at all pretentious. As Tilda said in an interview, “it is something quite ephemeral, you can’t quite describe it, you can’t write about it, although it’s nice for people to try and write about it, it’s an hour spent in a space…playing”. As I am writing this article, and listening to Tilda’s words, I’m realizing that she is actually right. Sometimes words are just not enough, they just disturb a more meaningful silence. Cloakroom_12

Cloakroom_23

Cloakroom_31Through his performances, Saillard has always tried to tackle different aspects of fashion. Whether it’s “The Impossible Wardrobe”, or “Eternity Dress”, his focus seems to be on the importance of clothes perceived as bearers of history, identity, and personal stories. With “Cloakroom – Vestiaire Obligatoire” he wanted to remind us the importance of humanity in fashion in a time when we are witnessing the objectification of objects through commerce. The fast paced life of a contemporary garment does not allow it to acquire identity, to form a relationship with its wearer, because there is always a new and more interesting garment waiting to be bought and consumed. Olivier Saillard and Tilda Swinton are trying to offer the clothes a space where they can rest, where they can be pampered and talked to, where they can be more than simple commodities.

images source:

ATELIER – The New Online Shopping Experience

This week, during the Romanian Fashion Trends and Brands Salon, a revolutionary application was presented for the first time to the public. ATELIER is an online application which provides a new way of discovering and experimenting with fashion styles. Tulemod, the company that envisioned and created this application is specialized in digital services, whose mission is to create a platform that uses cutting edge technology, from 3D scanning to database analytics, to re-imagining how users, designers, and retailers connect with fashion. Tulemod is a Romanian start-up company having research and development departments in Cluj-Napoca and Seattle.

ATELIER is basically a virtual fitting room where the customer with the help of a 3D avatar can access a wardrobe available for purchase. After trying on different products, the customers can also share their favorite outfits on different social networks, asking  their friends for advice before purchasing the clothes. ATELIER also allows you to see how the outfit moves on your body, it shows a more accurate fit, offering you a more reliable online shopping experience.22ATELIER is more than a virtual fitting room, because it also provides market insight for industry’s professional who can access stats, trend forecasting and predict forensics based on the customer’s preferences. The app can be used by online customers, as well as designers and supply chains. By using this app and selecting different items from the ones that are available on stock, the customer takes part in the decisional process and offers the distributor, or the designer the advantage of knowing which products have a higher demand, thus minimizing the investment risks.

Tulemod has teamed up with the online boutique Molecule F, the first online shop selling exclusively Romanian designs, to offer their customers a brand new shopping experience. This collaboration will offer the Romanian fashion designers the opportunity to interact in a new and strategic way with their potential clients, and hopefully it will increase the demand for Romanian designs among fashion consumers. I am anxious to try the ATELIER shopping experience, and I hope it will succeed in reinventing the dialogue between consumer, fashion, and technology.