THE FIRST PROOF
Every experience has a visual and experiential representation through photography, illustration, product, video, digital, and physical environments. THE FIRST PROOF is another look at the formation of these experiences, focusing equally on creation and creator. It serves as an analysis of the creative inputs and outputs, and its influence.

Observations on fashion, art, design, and creativity. 

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Friday
Oct062017

Womens S '18 Global Trends

Maybe it is just the Instagram and Alessandro Michele effect. More is more is more. More adornments mean that one will get photographed more and it means more followers. Maybe it is the effects of more fashion - more shows, more reviews, more seasons which is adding up to what seems to be fewer ideas, less change. There is a dulling of the senses with the overload. And that is our most significant report for the season. The most prominent trend is the pile-on of details which is starting to reach levels of excess. In The September Issue documentary, didn't Anna Wintour say "less is more."
 
But what do some of these trends say? With shimmer, ruffles and saturated color palettes, fashion is possibly looking for a bright spot, a little escape, and some fantasy. We do not comment on politics at The First Proof, but let's acknowledge the world isn’t in a positive of place. So bring on the distractions if that is what fashion has to fulfill at this moment in time. We should be clear that there are other ways to bring joy without having to resort to the idea of “more.” During a time when womens rights and empowerment is top of mind, the industry wants to create a hyper-feminized female image. Maybe the past few seasons emphasis on suits and jackets just didn’t go over well at retail.
 
The tide is turning though. There is a sobriety that is growing in a few collections, and this may work its way into future stories (see Calvin Klein, Jil Sander, Ports, and The Row). They all are starting to stand out for doing what everyone else isn’t. A few collections nodded to the Prada ‘90s - a quiet conservatism, a stricter modesty, and yes, the silhouettes of a uniform. But how would this all play with the overload of Instagram addicts or the current infatuation with Kira Kira? The answer is only six months away.
 
Here are the global trends from New York, London, Milan, and Paris. See all the selected looks on our Pinterest Collections Trend: Women S ’18 Board.
  • It has been two seasons of romance and flounce, and this has multiplied this season. After three seasons in a row, it may be time to start pulling back on this. Everyone from Isabel Marant to Louis Vuitton had an iteration. Nicolas Ghuesquiere managed to update the trend by exaggerating the proportions and pairing something very feminine with utility - the sneaker. 
  • Another trend that is overstaying its welcome is sequins, beading, embellishments - any form of shine. Maybe it is creatives fascination with the Kira Kira app that gives more sparkle to social images. Or everyone just hopes to be partying instead of worrying about current events. Monse and Valentino changed the perspective juxtapositioning this with sport and more casual details.
  • Denim and Trenchcoats are recut, spliced, reworked. These did look fresh in the hands of some of the best such as Mugler and Alexander McQueen.
  • Two trends that we would like to call the Raf Simons effect - Layered transparencies and Art. Last season Mr. Simons for Calvin Klein presented transparent overlays, and it seems to have caught on in a few iterations - clear plastics were present, but there were other versions. This idea wasn’t transparency to reveal the body but to reveal clothing underneath. As for Art, Mr. Simons for his label partnered with the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation for S ’17. Art was in abundance during the S ‘18 season with the likes of Cindy Sherman, Keith Haring, and Niki de Saint Phalle working their way into the collections.
  • The 80s bubbles made popular by Christian Lacroix make a return. Saint Laurent did it best.
 
See all the selected looks on our Pinterest Collections Trend: Women S'18 Board.
 
Trenches
Maison Margiela
 
Transparent Layers
Fendi
 
Wearable Art
Undercover

A Shoulder
Monse
 
The Kira Kira Effect
Gucci
 
Ruffles & Frills
Louis Vuitton

Denim
Mugler

Bubbles
Saint Laurent
 
Brights
Fenty Puma
 
See all the selected looks on our Pinterest Collections Trend: Women S'18 Board.
Image Courtesy: Vogue.com
Thursday
Oct052017

#TBT: Robert Longo & Bottega Veneta F ’10, Art of Collaboration

thefirstproof#TBT - Robert Longo & Bottega Veneta F ’10, Art of Collaboration. “I have always admired the strength and individuality of Robert Longo’s ‘Men In The Cities’ images. This collection, with its dark palette and emphasis on line and movement, seemed well-suited to his graphic approach.” - @tomasmaier@bottegaveneta.

#fashion #art #advertising #artoffashion#creativeinspiration #bottegaveneta #robertlongo

 

Robert Longo (born January 7, 1953) is an American painter and sculptor. Mr. Longo became a rising star in the 1980s for his "Men in the Cities" series, which depicted sharply dressed men and women writhing in contorted emotion. Mr. Longo uses graphite like clay, molding it to create images like the writhing, dancing figures in his seminal "Men in the Cities" series. For that series, Mr. Longo photographed his friends lurching backward, collapsing forward or sprawled on invisible pavement. After enlarging the pictures through a projector, he and an artist assistant drew them in sizes ranging from three-quarter scale to larger than life-size. In the process, Longo often dramatized poses and always standardized attire into quite formal, black-and-white clothing.

Working on themes of power and authority, Mr. Longo produced a series of blackened American flags ("Black Flags" 1989–91) as well as oversized hand guns ("Bodyhammers" 1993–95). From 1995 to 1996 he worked on his "Magellan" project, 366 drawings (one per day) that formed an archive of the artist's life and surrounding cultural images. "Magellan" was followed by 2002's "Freud Drawings", which reinterpreted Edmund Engelman's famous documentary images of Sigmund Freud's flat, moments before his flight from the Nazis. In 2002 and 2004 he presented "Monsters", Bernini-esque renderings of massive breaking waves and "The Sickness of Reason", baroque renderings of atomic bomb blasts. "Monsters" was included in the 2004 Whitney Biennial.

Read More: https://www.robertlongo.com/

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Wednesday
Oct042017

Blade Runner's Fashion Influence

It is undeniable that Ridley Scott’s 1981 sci-fi movie Blade Runner is not only a classic in the genre but also as a constant fashion reference. The film based on Philip K. Dick's novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep” tells the story of a corporation that creates androids, “replicants,” nearly identical to human beings. With the release of Blade Runner 2049, there will be renewed interest in the original’s stylistic approach to visions of the future.
 
During New York Men’s Fashion Week S '18 season, the Raf Simons show captured the spirit of the movie's dark, rainy, grungy in neon atmosphere, one that mixed the past and the future.
 
 
 
Blade Runner is a study in set decoration and art design. Every single set and location in the movie is filled with props and art decoration, resulting in a dense frame with little to no “blank space” — or “white walls” as they’re called in the industry. The street life is dense with people, and likewise, the sets are dense with props and items. Every aspect of the world in Blade Runner is overcrowded, which makes it that much more enticing to leave for one of the off-world colonies, as the massive blimps advertise throughout the film.
 
While three main characters have become inspirations in fashion, it was the look that costume designer Michael Kaplan created for Sean Young’s Rachael that is the most enduring. Mr. Kaplan’s film credits include Flashdance, Se7en, Fight Club, Pearl Harbor, Star Wars: The Force Awakens. His work in Blade Runner won him BAFTA Award for Best Costume Design. Though set in future, Blade Runner has a uniquely period element to costume design. On his approach to the movie’s wardrobe: "I wanted to create a futuristic heroine who was believable in the future, but with her feet firmly planted in film noir past.” (AnOther Magazine.) 
 
The costume designers and their workers spent months creating hundreds of unique costumes and outfits for the characters in the film, from Rachael’s stunning dresses to the dirty and disheveled outfits of some of the many pedestrians on the streets. To give the costumes a futuristic spin, Kaplan and Knodes added sharp and exaggerated angles, mostly seen on Rachael’s outfits. The sharp angles were added “so that it was a bit of a whacked-out take that pushed the clothes into the future”, as Kaplan puts it.
 
Rachael's look was achieved by taking particular elements of the 1940s - tailored suits, squared shoulders, narrow hips, and skirts that ended just below the knee. If anyone captured the image of that era, it would be Joan Crawford with the exaggerated shoulders (attributed to the designer Adrian) and liberty roll styled hair. It fell right in place when the first film was released, as the padded shoulder was also a major part of the 1980s.
 
And it wasn’t just a look that Rachael character's created; it was also a persona and type of woman. As a replicant, she is cold and confident, a little distant. There is an untouchable quality to this woman, a lurking danger. No one knows if she will turn. Maybe this mystique is also what made her an attractive persona - wanting to be with her and be her. Years after the film’s release Mr. Kaplan’s work remained a point of inspiration for many collections. Looking at the list of creative directors who have taken inspiration from the movie (McQueen, Pugh, Pilati, Ford) the persona fits right in - the Yves Saint Laurent and Gareth Pugh show locations echo The Bradbury Building from the original film. See their collections below, which also stand the test of time:
 
 
 
 
 
Blade Runner 2049 opens this Friday. Only time will tell how this will influence fashion creatives in the future.
 
Thursday
Sep282017

TBT: Helmut Lang Advertising

#TBT - A brilliant moment in advertising. The story and emotion outweighs seeing the product. Fragrance campaign by @marcatlandesign for @helmutlang with artist #‪jennyholzer‬

#fashion #art #advertising #artoffashion #creativeinspiration#helmutlang

About Jenny Holzer (Artsy):

Jenny Holzer’s truisms, such as “Abuse of power comes as no surprise” and “Protect me from what I want,” have appeared on posters, billboards, and even condoms, and as LED signs and monumental light projections. Whether questioning consumerism, describing torture, or lamenting death and disease, her use of language (sometimes mistaken for advertising when installed in public spaces) is designed to agitate and disturb. Holzer’s recent work ranges from silk-screened paintings of declassified government memos to a large-scale poetry and light installation in the lobby of 7 World Trade Center, New York. In 1990, Holzer received the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale.

More About the Artist: Artsy and Jenny Holzer

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Wednesday
Sep272017

Gucci, Dapper Dan, & @Diet_Prada: Inspiration and Inspired

There were  reports that Gucci would collaborate with Dapper Dan and the brand has fulfilled on it’s promise. They just launched the collaboration and campaign for the men’s tailoring collection, shot in Harlem with Dapper Dan appearing in the images. 
 
It has been a long road to this story, here is a timeline:
  • Throughout the eighties and nineties, Dapper Dan, sometimes known as the Hip Hop tailor of Harlem, clothed rappers, drug dealers, boxers and anyone else who could afford it, in designs that bootlegged high fashion brands, including Gucci, Fendi, and Louis Vuitton. As might be expected, these brands were less than thrilled. (The Guardian)
  • At a cruise collection show in Florence, Italy, Alessandro Michele, the creative director of Gucci, sent out a mink jacket that was, in essence, a stitch-by-stitch remake of one Mr. Day had designed for (and in collaboration with) the Olympian Diane Dixon in 1989. The most significant change was that the Louis Vuitton-logo puff sleeves of the original had been converted into Gucci Gs. (The New York Times)
  • "Legendary tailor Dapper Dan @dapperdanharlem influenced the trend by making such custom pieces for his rapper and athlete clients out of logos from famous fashion houses, including #Gucci," reads a statement on the @Gucci Instagram account. "In a homage to Dapper Dan, this jacket worn with jeans and a lurex headpiece is flanked with a striped knit with cross-stitch embroidery, cotton shorts and a georgette gown with trompe l'oeil details.” (@gucci)
  • It has been reported that not only will he be the face of the campaign but that there will be a collaboration planned for next spring. Reports state that Gucci will sponsor the reopening of Dapper Dan’s atelier as they attempt to go above and beyond acknowledgment. (The Business of Fashion)

While there was much clamor about what was considered “copying,” the move to partner with what was potentially the inspiration can be seen in two ways - righting a wrong or keeping your enemies close. So far with Gucci funding the new Dapper Dan atelier it may be perceived as the former, that they are mending the relationship with the person they referenced while protecting its standing with an increasingly informed audience.
 
A recent follow-up to this “appropriation" story, during the Spring ’18 season Gucci partnered with @diet_prada to create content for their Instagram stories, letting the feed identify the collection’s inspiration. Is this a case of “if one outs themselves, there is nothing to out” transparency? Was Gucci’s partnership with these fashion police a preemptive move to ensure that no conversation erupt regarding sources of inspiration? What is there to call out if it has already been called out? Just speculation here.

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Sep 20, 2017 at 7:53am PDT

@diet_prada Instagram account taking over @gucci insta stories!! They invited us to analyze the collection and spot their references, and we are finding their transparency refreshing... this is the way to go! #gucci #transparency #inspiration #design #guccieltonjohn #credit #inspo #sponsored #🕵️ #dietprada
 
If you are unfamiliar with the feed, they have a straightforward premise: look out for copies and showing each side by side. And @diet_prada does their homework. 
 

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Sep 15, 2017 at 4:20pm PDT

diet_prada @pamandgela invented #Californiastyle, dontchaknow? Weird that they found the same motif as the famous @ashish_uk Brexit collection, huh? 
 

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Sep 10, 2017 at 5:36am PDT

diet_prada "Sorry I couldn't make the afterparty, I couldn't read the poor feathercraft you call an invite" Who made these headpieces for @alexanderwangny? Cuz it sure doesn't look like @philiptreacy.... EDIT: headpieces by Stephen Jones('s interns?) 
 

A post shared by Diet Prada ™ (@diet_prada) on Aug 17, 2017 at 8:45am PDT

diet_prada It's Thursday, let's throw it back to @anthonyvaccarello for @ysl AW17 taking some major inspo from the legendary Tina Turner in the Private Dancer video, and obscure Japanese label Gomme. Thanks to @stormpederson for the Tina spotting 
 
It 's hard these days to say what is the inspiration (we purposely avoid the word copy). Everything has been done. Brands are connecting and nodding to artists, reference periods, and following universal trends. If someone builds on the athleisure theme, are they mopping Nike? If they create a cape, are they taking from Valentino? Well, better to partner with someone to avoid any confusion seems to be Gucci’s answer. But the @diet_prada feed does make a good case. There is a fine line here, and it will boil down to details.
 
Recently, the small UK designer Cimone called out Oscar de la Renta on their Instagram feed:

A post shared by CIMONE (@cimoneuk) on Sep 21, 2017 at 4:54am PDT

cimoneuk  First off, please feel free to share this image if you feel this is wrong! Read on…

  • We would say that @oscardelarenta is so last season, but on this occasion its so two seasons ago… here are our all-white looks from Cimone’s SS17 catwalk collection shown @fashionscoutlondon vs @Oscardelarenta SS18 collection. How can young brands compete with the big names when this happens? We are sure shops will be clamouring to stock these looks, but did anyone even comment on the Cimone SS17 embroidered paint splashes?

    The reason that our CD, Carli, ever started her own brand was because every time she presented an idea like this at any of the big companies in which she worked, she was shunned. Now, it seems, we can present these more off piste ideas that she has been saving up throughout her career, and they are now adopted by the mainstream that rejected them in the first place. This idea was particularly personal and sentimental – as with this Carli won the seal of approval from the late, great, Louise Wilson on her MA. 
    How can young brands hope to survive when we have to compete against the theft of ideas, the theft of aesthetic, of colour, of sensibility.

  • This season we skipped LFW to concentrate on a new strategy to allow us to offer what big brands cannot – a truly bespoke service and unique brand experience. If there was ever a reason to believe that this departure from fashion week is the right move, then this Oscar de la Renta ‘rip’ highlights more than ever the struggle that young labels face. How can we compete, or have a unique voice, when those with a huge following on their side claim our creativity as their originality. If this was intentional, it is a disaster. If it was unintentional, it just goes to show that no matter what we do to put ourselves out there, or how much of our budget goes on a showcase, unless we are a big name already we shouldn’t bother. Are good ideas only validated if they come from the ‘right’ place?If editors don’t attend our shows, and don’t pay attention to what is happening with young brands, then yes, Oscar de la Renta might seem new and exciting – but maybe, just maybe, young brands are worth looking at...
  •  
  • A post shared by CIMONE (@cimoneuk) on Sep 21, 2017 at 4:53am PDT

  •  
While the silhouettes may differ, the details are pretty close. It is hard not to say that there are similarities in the color and patterns. The release of the collection was only seasons apart. On the flip side, it can be stated that they both are inspired by Jackson Pollock or Yayoi Kusama. There is no record of the origins of these ideas. Cimone reached out to Oscar de la Renta, and they did not respond and removed any tags that connected them to their Instagram posts which does place doubt in anyone's mind. It should be noted that @diet_prada had already called out Oscar de la Renta for designs that look too similar to other collections. Ignoring the situation may not help them in the future. As for Cimone, hopefully just like Dapper Dan the controversy brings more attention to their work.
 
So what does a brand do? Do they connect with the claimed source before a collection is presented or just pretend they never saw the input? There is a much broader audience for fashion these days; the critics are the least of their worries because everyone is a critic. And it all starts with the research and inspiration. Knowing the source and distilling this into their own thing would be the beginning of everything. If they cannot find that newness, just drop the idea. But little transparency with the source for the season’s collection may also preempt any concerns that may arise. With so much fashion and so many people watching, one thing is sure - it is getting harder to be a creative, and only the truly ingenious will stand out.
Wednesday
Sep272017

Loewe Advertising

 

Does fashion advertising need clothes? What it needs is a compelling image that stops the viewer and captures their imagination.
 
For S'18, Loewe Creative Director Jonathan Anderson's images show no clothing, no hints. But do these pictures make the audience wonder? Yes. Shot by the amazing Steven Meisel, the photographs are compelling, intriguing, and create wonder - all the objectives of great advertising.
Photographer: Steven Meisel

Model: Vittoria Ceretti

Save & CloseA post shared by LOEWE (@loewe) on Oct 4, 2017 at 8:03am PDT

 

 

A post shared by LOEWE (@loewe) on Oct 4, 2017 at 11:15am PDT

 

 

A post shared by LOEWE (@loewe) on Oct 9, 2017 at 7:35am PDT

 

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