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Isabella Blow, photo courtesy of Somerset House

Isabella Blow, photo courtesy of Somerset House

It touched me to read the piece by Andrew O’ Hagan, appeared today on T magazine, the blog by New York Times, announcing the exhibition “Isabella Bow, Fashion Galore!”, organized by the Isabella Blow Foundation in collaboration with the Central Saint Martins which will be held in London at the Somerset House from the 20th November 2013 to 2nd March 2014. The article I am glad to share with you dear FBFers features a private memory of Isabella Blow told by Jeremy Langmead along with precious remarks about the essence of eccentricity, its core, what separates style and uniqueness from fashion, what represents an icon, a dandy and distinguishes it from an aesthete, modern Des Esseintes (leading character of “Against the grain”, the novel by Joris-Karl Huysmans) with more or less successful results in terms of surface(though the surface often justifies and substitutes the lack of contents and ideas). Genuineness in the way of being, thinking, acting and doing. That is the way I remember and celebrate Isabella Blow, a real eccentric, her work, as well as the one made by others legendary eccentrics as Vivienne Westwood, Leigh Bowery, Anna Piaggi, Yves Saint Laurent and Quentin Crisp who gave us a lot in terms of emotions and ideas, ways to look at reality, to be, by considering another side, using another point of view, nullifying the clichés of conventional way of thinking.

The meaning of a true eccentric isn’t in the costume — it’s in the soul.

Jeremy Langmead tells a memorable story about Isabella Blow. “Imagine the office at News International, all the male journalists sitting around in shirt sleeves,” Langmead says. Now the editor in chief of the online men’s wear retailer Mr Porter, Langmead was the editor who hired Isabella Blow as fashion director of the Sunday Times Style Magazine in London in 1997. “In comes Isabella wearing giant mink antlers sticking out from the top of a coat. It was absolutely about who she was in her soul. At lunchtime she would sit among all the printers, eating her roast beef dressed like that, as if it was the most natural thing in the world.”

The outlandish, deeply unusual former assistant at Vogue who became mentor to a generation of fashion designers, editors and photographers, Isabella Blow is the subject of a new exhibition set amid the Neo-Classical splendor of London’s Somerset House. The surroundings are appropriate, for this is not just a show but an acknowledgement of how her sense of style opened the minds of her peers. She is hereby raised into the pantheon, lauded for the very personal vision that once disgusted the establishment.

Blow was eccentric from her top feathers to the paint that adorned her toes. I used to see her at parties sometimes, and she was a fantastically alarming person; when she smiled, throwing her head back, you saw a sneering mouth so red with lipstick that it was like an open wound. She never seemed like just another one of the fashion crowd: she was a visionary who ripened with new ideas every morning, not every season, and was a genuine muse in a world of phonies.

Leigh Bowery, photo by Nick Knight

Leigh Bowery, photo by Nick Knight

Yves Saint Laurent, photo by Richard Avedon

Yves Saint Laurent, photo by Richard Avedon

Quentin Crisp, photo courtesy of  Crisperanto: the Quentin Crisp Archives (crisperanto.org)

Quentin Crisp, photo courtesy of Crisperanto: the Quentin Crisp Archives (crisperanto.org)

True eccentrics — the Isabella Blows, the Vivienne Westwoods, the Anna Piaggis and the Stephen Tennants, as if there could ever be more than one of each — are the kind of people whose entire existence is devoted to individuality and innovation. That’s what makes a real eccentric: they really mean it, and they’re willing to suffer for it. Their social function is to explode our preconceptions about what beauty is and what good taste means. Eccentrics raise the bar on the impossible.

Yet, unfortunately, there are a few too many fake ones out there now. These are the imitators, the publicity scavengers, the ones who think it’s merely about fame or attention. They seem to be working not from a brilliant fund of ideas or from a conviction that their outer selves must be used to express a fascinating inner landscape. On the contrary, they’re just showoffs who dress up for the cameras. For people interested in our contemporary times, this is an important distinction: the true eccentric gives us more mystery, more wonder about being human, a new side to beauty, while the faux-eccentric gives us less of everything.

ECCENTRICITÀ & AUTENTICITÀ COME STILE DI VITA: ISABELLA BLOW

Isabella Blow, photo by Sean Ellis, courtesy of tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/

Isabella Blow, photo by Sean Ellis, courtesy of tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/

Mi ha emozionato leggere il pezzo di Andrew O’ Hagan, apparso oggi su T magazine, il blog del New York Times che annuncia la mostra “Isabella Bow, Fashion Galore!”, organizzata dalla Isabella Blow Foundation in collaborazione con la Central Saint Martins che si terrà a Londra presso la Somerset House dal 20 novembre 2013 al 2 marzo 2014. L’ articolo che sono lieta di condividere con voi, cari FBFers, ha quale protagonista un ricordo Isabella Blow raccontato Jeremy Langmead unitamente a preziose delucidazioni sull’ essenza dell’ eccentricità, il suo cuore, ciò che separa lo stile e l’ unicità dalla moda, ciò che rappresenta un icona, un dandy e lo distingue da un esteta, dai moderni Des Esseintes ( protagonista di “A ritroso”, il romanzo di Joris-Karl Huysmans) con più o meno felici risultati in termini di superficie (benché la superficie spesso giustifichi e sostituisca la mancanza di contenuti ed idee). Genuinità nell’ essere, pensare, agire e fare. Così mi piace ricordare e celebrare Isabella Blow, una vera eccentrica, il suo lavoro e quello di altri leggendari eccentrici quali Vivienne Westwood, Leigh Bowery, Anna Piaggi, Yves Saint Laurent e Quentin Crisp che ci hanno dato tanto in termini di emozione ed idee, modi di guardare la realtà, di essere, considerando un’ altra dimensione, avvalendosi di un altro punto di vista, vanificando i clichés del pensiero convenzionale.

Il significato di un vero eccentrico non si trova nell’ abito – è nell’ anima.

Jeremy Langmead racconta una memorabile storia su Isabella Blow. “Immagina l’ufficio di News International, tutti i giornalisti uomini che bighellonano in camicia,” Langmead racconta. Adesso l’ editor in chief del rivenditore di abbigliamento uomo Mr Porter, Langmead era l’ editore che ha assunto Isabella Blow come fashion director del Sunday Times Style Magazine a Londra nel 1997. “Entra Isabella che indossa  gigantesche corna di visone che spuntano fuori dalla parte superiore di un cappotto. Assolutamente era tutta una questione di chi ella fosse nella sua anima. All’ ora di pranzo stava seduta in mezzo a tutti i tipografi, a mangiare il suo roast beef condito in quel modo, come se fosse la cosa più naturale al mondo.”

La stravagante, profondamente fuori dal comune ex assistente di Vogue che è diventata il mentore di una generazione di fashion designers, editori e fotografi, Isabella Blow è il soggetto di una nuova mostra allestita tra lo splendore neoclassico della Somerset House di Londra. Gli ambienti sono appropriati, per ciò che non è soltanto una mostra, ma un riconoscimento di come il suo senso di stile abbia aperto le menti dei suoi pari. È con questo elevata all’ interno del pantheon, lodata per la sua personale visione che una volta disgustava l’ establishment.

La Blow era una eccentrica dalla cima delle sue piume al colore che adornava le dita dei piedi.  Ero solito incontrarla alle feste qualche volta ed era una persona fantasticamente allarmante, quando sorrideva, sbattendo indietro la testa, vedevi una bocca beffarda talmente rossa di rossetto che sembrava una ferita aperta. Non era mai simile a nessun altro della gente della moda: era una visionaria che maturava nuove idee ogni giorno, non ogni stagione, ed era una musa vera in un mondo di falsi.

Vivienne Westwood, photo courtesy viviennewestwood.co.uk

Vivienne Westwood, photo courtesy viviennewestwood.co.uk

Anna Piaggi, photo by N

Anna Piaggi, photo by N

I veri eccentrici — le Isabella Blow, le Vivienne Westwood, le Anna Piaggi e gli Stephen Tennant, come se ci potesse mai essere più di uno di loro – sono il tipo di persone la cui intera esistenza è dedicata all’ individualità e all’ innovazione. Questo è ciò che rende tale un vero eccentrico: essi intendono davvero ciò e sono disposti a soffrire per questo. La loro funzione sociale è distruggere i nostri preconcetti su ciò che la bellezza sia e su ciò che si intenda per buon gusto. Gli eccentrici alzano il tiro sull’ impossibile.

Finora, sfortunatamente, ce ne è qualcuno, troppi i finti che sono adesso là fuori. Questi sono gli imitatori, i predatori di pubblicità, quelli che pensano che sia meramente una questione di fama o attenzione. Sembrano intenti a operare non partendo da un brillante deposito di idee o dalla convinzione che la loro esteriorità debba essere usata per esprimere un affascinante panorama interiore. Al contrario sono soltanto gente che si esibisce, si veste per esporsi dinanzi ai flash delle macchine fotografiche. Per la gente interessata alla nostra contemporaneità, questo è un importante tratto distintivo: il vero eccentrico ci regala più mistero, più meraviglia riguardo all’ essere umano, una nuova dimensione di bellezza, mentre i finti eccentrici ci regalano meno di tutto.”

http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com

http://www.somersethouse.org.uk

Altewai Saome, photo by Viola Galassi

Altewai Saome, photo by Viola Galassi

Another smashing initiative, successfully making concrete that glocal – global and local – approach in making and promoting fashion I celebrate ( and I would love it would shared mostly around the world), featuring in the latest edition of London Fashion Week, has been the International Fashion Showcase 2013 Scandinavia show-room, exhibition event which was held at the Somerset House, where it was hosted and presented the collections made by the most visionary and cutting edge fashion designers coming from Scandinavia – Anne Sofie Madsen and many others – as well as from Denmark as Henrik Vibskov.

LO SCANDINAVIAN SHOWROOM PRESSO LA LONDON FASHION WEEK

Altewai Saome, photo by Viola Galassi

Altewai Saome, photo by Viola Galassi

Un’ altra formidabile iniziativa che felicemente concretizza quell’ approccio glocal – globale and locale – nel fare e promuovere la moda che celebro ( e mi piacerebbe che fosse condiviso maggiormente nel mondo), protagonista dell’ ultima edizione della London Fashion Week, è stata la International Fashion Showcase 2013 Scandinavia show-room, evento espositivo che si è tenuto presso la Somerset House, in cui sono state presentate le collezioni realizzate dai più visionari e cutting edge fashion designers provenienti dalla Scandinavia – Anne Sofie Madsen e molti altri – come anche dalla Danimarca quali Henrik Vibskov.

scandinavia anne sofie madsen 3

Anne Sofie Madsen, foto by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Anne Sofie Madsen, photo by Viola Galassi

Freya Dalsjo, photo by Viola Galassi

Freya Dalsjo, photo by Viola Galassi

Freya Dalsjo, photo by Viola Galassi

Freya Dalsjo, photo by Viola Galassi

Freya Dalsjo, photo by Viola Galassi

Freya Dalsjo, photo by Viola Galassi

Freya Dalsjo, photo by Viola Galassi

Freya Dalsjo, photo by Viola Galassi

Gugrun & Gudrun, photo by Viola Galassi

Gugrun & Gudrun, photo by Viola Galassi

Haaning & Hatoon, photo by Viola Galassi

Haaning & Hatoon, photo by Viola Galassi

Henrik Vibskov, photo by Viola Galassi

Henrik Vibskov, photo by Viola Galassi

Kristofer Kongshaung, photo by Viola Galassi

Kristofer Kongshaung, photo by Viola Galassi

Kristofer Kongshaung, photo by Viola Galassi

Kristofer Kongshaung, photo by Viola Galassi

Pal Luis Sanchez, photo by Viola Galassi

Pal Luis Sanchez, photo by Viola Galassi

Sofia Bahlner, photo by Viola Galassi

Sofia Bahlner, photo by Viola Galassi

Sofia Bahlner, photo by Viola Galassi

Sofia Bahlner, photo by Viola Galassi

Stine Goya, photo by Viola Galassi

Stine Goya, photo by Viola Galassi

Stine Goya, photo by Viola Galassi

Stine Goya, photo by Viola Galassi

Trami Ngo, photo by Viola Galassi

Trami Ngo, photo by Viola Galassi

www.londonfashionweek.co.uk

Aurora Ozma, photo by Viola Galassi

Aurora Ozma, photo by Viola Galassi

It was recently held in London at the Somerset HouseHeadonism”, smashing exhibition – event featuring in the latest edition of London Fashion Week -, curated by Stephen Jones, paying homage to a British attitude, the art of making hats and showcasing the work of brilliant milliners as Aurora Ozma, Emma Yeo, Moody & Farrel, Piers Atkinson and William Chambers.

LE MERAVIGLIE DEL CAPPELLO: “HEADONISM”

Aurora Ozma, photo by Viola Galassi

Aurora Ozma, photo by Viola Galassi

Si è recentemente tenuta a Londra presso la Somerset HouseHeadonism”, formidabile mostra – evento protagonista dell’ ultima edizione della London Fashion Week -, curate da Stephen Jones che rende omaggio a un’ attitudine inglese, l’ arte di realizzare cappelli e presenta le opere di brillanti designer di cappelli quali Aurora Ozma, Emma Yeo, Moody & Farrel, Piers Atkinson e William Chambers.

Aurora Ozma, photo by Viola Galassi

Aurora Ozma, photo by Viola Galassi

h emma yeo

Emma Yeo, photo by Viola Galassi

Emma Yeo, photo by Viola Galassi

Emma Yeo, photo by Viola Galassi

Emma Yeo, photo by Viola Galassi

Moody & Farrel, photo by Viola Galassi

Moody & Farrel, photo by Viola Galassi

h4 moody &farrel

Moody & Farrel, photo by Viola Galassi

Moody & Farrel, photo by Viola Galassi

Moody & Farrel, photo by Viola Galassi

Pierre Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

Piers Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

Pierre Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

Piers Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

Pierre Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

Piers Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

Pierre Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

Piers Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

www.londonfashionweek.co.uk

J Smith Esquire, photo by Viola Galassi

It is held in London at the Somerset House during the London Fashion Week Haedonism, the exhibition curated by the legendary Stephen Jones, featuring the creations of five smashing and innovative milliners – Piers Atkinson, Charlie Le Mindu, William Chambers, J Smith Esquire and Noel Stewart – that are genuine artworks to enjoy and wear.

LONDON FASHION WEEK: I CAPOLAVORI PROTAGONISTI DI HEADONISM A CURA DI VIOLA GALASSI

J Smith Esquire, photo by Viola Galassi

Si tiene a Londra presso la Somerset House in occasione della London Fashion Week Haedonism, la mostra curate dal leggendario Stephen Jones di cui sono protagoniste le creazioni di cinque formidabili e innovativi designer di cappelli – Piers Atkinson, Charlie Le Mindu, William Chambers, J Smith Esquire e Noel Stewart – che sono autentiche opere d’ arte da apprezzare e indossare.

Noel Stewart, photo by Viola Galassi

Noel Stewart, photo by Viola Galassi

Noel Stewart, photo by Viola Galassi

Piers Atkinson. photo by Viola Galassi

Piers Atkinson, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

William Chambers, photo by Viola Galassi

Charlie Le Mindu, photo by Viola Galassi

Charlie Le Mindu, photo by Viola Galassi

www.londonfashionweek.co.uk

 

Aza Zanditon Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

The sixth edition of Estethica, ethical fashion event which was held in London at the Somerset House presented the Fall/Winter 2012-2012 collections of brands as Ada Zanditon, Charini, Reclaim to wear, Pachacuti, Victim Fashion Street and many other ones, embodying the idea of producing and working under the sign of sustainability. A successful chance to evidence the connection between fashion and ethic perfectly works.

ESTETHICA, L’ EVENTO DI MODA ETHICAL ALLA SOMERSET HOUSE DI LONDRA DI VIOLA GALASSI

Charini Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

La sesta edizione di  Estethica, evento di moda ethical che si é tenuta a Londra presso la Somerset House ha esposto le collezioni autubbo/inverno 2012-2013 di brand quali Ada Zandinton, Charini, Reclaim to wear, Pachacuti, Victim Fashion Street e molti altri che incorporano l’ idea di produrre e lavorare all’ insegna della sostenibilità. Una felice occasione per dimostrare che il connubio tra moda e etica funziona alla perfezione.

Charini Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

Pachacuti Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

Pachacuti Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

Victim Fashion Street Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

Reclaim to wear Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

www.londonfashionweek.co.uk

J Smith Esquire Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

 
 

It was recently opened in London at the Somerset House, the exhibition “Headonism”, curated by Stephen Jones, event coinciding with the latest edition of London Fashion Week showcasing the Fall/Winter 2012-2013 collections of five bright young hat designers as Justin Smith Esquire – of whose creations has been presented along with the dresses of Es* Artisanal by Fabrizio Talia -, Charlie Le Mindu, Piers Atkinson, Noel Stewart and William Chambers, a not to be missed event to discover and enjoy vibrant creatives.

 

“HEADONISM”, LA MOSTRA CURATA DA STEPHEN JONES AT THE LONDON SOMERSET HOUSE

J Smith Esquire Fall/Winter 2012/2013, photo by Viola Galassi

 

È stata recentemente inaugurata a Londra presso la Somerset House, la mostra “Headonism”, curata da Stephen Jones, evento che coincide con l’ ultima edizione della London Fashion Week, espone le collezioni autunno/inverno 2012-2013 di cinque brillanti designer di cappelli quali Justin Smith Esquire – le cui creazioni sono state presentate unitamente agli abiti di Es* Artisanal di Fabrizio Talia -, Charlie Le Mindu, Piers Atkinson, Noel Stewart e William Chambers, un evento imperdibile per scoprire e apprezzare vibranti creativi.

J Smith Esquire Fall/Winter 2012-2013 along with the dresses of Es* Artisanal by Fabrizio Talia, photo by Viola Galassi

 

Charlie Le Mindu Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

 

Noel Stewart Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

 

Noel Stewart Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

 

Piers Atkinson Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

 

William Chambers Fall/Winter 2012-2013, photo by Viola Galassi

 

William Chambers Fall/Winter 2012-2013, Viola Galassi

 

William Chambers Fall/Winter 2012-2013, Viola Galassi

 

William Chambers Fall/Winter 2012-2013, Viola Galassi

 

William Chambers fall/Winter 2012-2013, Viola Galassi