Look book

Sneaker Freaker

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Sometimes it takes a well-designed infographic to fully comprehend a subject over time. Pop Chart Lab’s great new Visual Compendium of Sneakers is a perfect summation of the evolution of the iconic comfortable & functional shoe: the sneaker. With graphic illustrations of sneaker highlights from each year since Converse’ Chuck Taylor All-Star in 1917, the chart is a view into a great shoe closet. Many of the earliest designs, like the All-Star, Adidas’ Samba, and Nike’s Cortex, are all still appreciated and in production today.

Sci-Fi Millinery

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Japanese milliner Maiko Takeda creates beautifully futuristic, sci-fi headware, taking the artform to a new exploration of 3 dimensional space. Her latest collection, “Atmospheric Re-entry,” consists of headpieces with multiple quills in shades of peacocks, all expertly hand-created in clear film, perspex, and silver. Her designs are simultaneously otherworldly and clearly inspired by nature, with their grand forms and animalistic textures. A recent grad of the RCA’s millinery MFA program, having worked with Issey Miyake, Stephen Jones, Philip Treacy and Erickson Beamon, Takeda’s work will be interesting to follow in the couture world.

Fruit of Fashion

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For Kenzo’s launch of their Men’s Spring/Summer 2014 line, Brussels-based set designers Villa Eugénie rolled out a giant carpet made entirely of fruit. Oranges, apples, bananas, lemons, strawberries, limes, etc made up the colorful pattern of the rug centerpiece. Fruit stands serving fresh-made juice were also covered in edible goodies, and guests were allowed to snack on samples of the interactive piece, with the remainder being donated to the Red Cross at the end of the night.

Hide Your Stuff

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Hide your goods in cute bags with seeking eyes. Illustrators Craig & Karl collaborated with bag company MCM, covering the classic leathergoods with their fun, quirky, colorful style. The duo, based in New York and London, gave a set of be-speckled eyes to each bag, some winking in bright patterns, others donning polka-dotted or striped lids in various colors. All are a playful, summer-y take on a timeless brand.

Zaha’s Endeavors

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Never one to shy away from new endeavors, architect Zaha Hadid recently created a very architectural shoe for United Nude, housing the foot in a vertical building of sorts with shifting planes. The shoes are made of metallic chromed vinyl rubber, with a fiberglass platform and nappa leather lining. Hadid also just opened a gallery in London, displaying her furniture, jewelry, lighting, and paintings. Architectural models are on view on the second floor of the space, by appointment only.

Couture Jewels

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While those in London get to see the inspiring collection of Isabella Blow this coming fall, in New York this summer we get the incredible jewelry collection of Barbara Berger, at the MAD Museum’s “Fashion Jewelry,” that opened last week. The show will display over 450 pieces of Berger’s renowned collection, considered one of the finest in the world. With designers like Miriam Haskell, Balenciaga, and Kenneth Jay Lane represented, “many of the works were expressly made to be worn with haute couture clothing by fashion designers that range from Chanel to Yves Saint Laurent, and Dior to Dolce & Gabbana.” On view through September 22.

Read + Shop

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Great blogs curate news and information, developing their own style and eye as they go – so why not curate a complementary shop of goods as well? Two of our favorite blogs recently made this leap – with the “Colossal” Shop and “This is Paper” Shop, each with its own well-rounded selection of items recommended by the site. The Colossal Shop is a collection of art and quirky objects, like an adorably-squeezable cloud eraser, and wooden skyscrapers by artist James McNabb. This is Paper’s shop is a representation of the blogs’ belief in simple, well-made and sourced items, created for longevity. They designed and created their own line of bags, and include useful everyday goods like wool slippers and wooden kitchen tools.

Vuitton Atelier

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Our neighboring Louis Vuitton store recently expanded into the space next door, providing a little more transparency into their hand-crafted process with an atelier. In an upscale workshop-like atmosphere, visitors can watch as artisans hand-detail the brand’s famous luggage. Leather trunks and bag can be personalized with hand-painted or hot-stamped initials, bags can be expertly repaired by hand, and the overall care and focus that go into each piece is on display.

Visionary Blow

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Sure to be fabulous in its entirety, an exhibition of fashion maven Isabella Blow’s wardrobe is set to go on view at Somerset House in England in the fall. Opening November 20, Blow’s daring and visionary collection, purchased in its entirety by Daphne Guinness, will show a range of pieces from Philip Treacy-designed hats to items showing her love and support of Alexander McQueen (whose entire 2008 spring/summer collection was dedicated to Blow). Bespoke mannequins will don entire outfits of the late fashion muse, and her gigantic shoe and hat collection will be a highlight.

More than Fashion

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Amsterdam-based fashion designer Femke Agema creates much more than a collection of clothes each season, crafting an entire fantastical world of wonder with each group of  designs. Her most recent collection, Elders, “a vision of the world springing into life after winter…made to be explored, bursting with colours and textures, where the only limit is your imagination.” Agema created both a traditional collection of clothing for the line – fun, bright, spring-y dresses, tops, and skirts – along with a range of more couture accessories like string-ladder necklaces and hats and vests of wood chips. Going even further, she created a series of playful costumes as an installation to accompany the themes of Elders, all supported by great, quirky photography and video.

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