Thursday, April 28, 2011

A girl, a style : Tank Girl

 These days, I'm a bit tired of the girls I see in the magazines and in the streets. They are all replicas of each others, with stripes, colours and vintage clothes. Conversely, some prefers a rock attitude, implying the addiction to some very trendy brands which have little to do with rock but with a clever marketing, such as The Kooples or Zadig&Voltaire. I didn't want to focus on one of those grunge trainee, and suddenly, I've thought about the comic's heroine, Tank Girl. This odd creature was created by Jamie Hewlett and Alan Martin at the end of the 80's. Set in a post-apocalyptic world, the comic focus on a nonconformist (it's the very least you can say...) tank pilot (hence her name, Tank Girl) whose adventures are mostly absurd, but hilarious. Now, Hewlett takes care of music band Gorillaz, and his punk heroine has quite fallen to oblivion. But her unique style still influence many indie girls, and could seriously kick the ass of all the punk-wanabees out there, starting with Taylor Momsen : Girl, dressing with black underwear is not original and cool as you suppose, so at least, put a mischievous smile on your drunkard head ...
Boots Nicolas Andreas Taralis £705 - Jean Eleven Paris 89euros - Sweater AllSaints £63
As a resident of an Australian desert, Tank Girl is not really keen on covering clothes, but she sometimes slips on tees and sweaters. If she would make some shopping, I'm sure she would fall for British designer Eudon Choi, whose designs seem to fit a post-apocalyptic world a la Luis Royo, another artist who could have a fresh influences on all those neo-punks. I also imagine that Tank Girl would not resist to the clothes of brands Obesity&Speed (they have an hilarious t-shirt with 70s former punk goddess Poly Styrene, and many other destroy garments), DimePiece (I'm in love with their collars, slightly less with their shipping costs) or French brand Eleven Paris, whose ambassadors are Lizzy Jagger, daughter of Mike, and Zoe Krawitz, daughter of Lenny, two potential Tank girls.
Charm Helen Ficalora $35 - Bra Urban Outfitter 24euros - Belt Boy London $8 on Ebay - Short Bitching&Junkfood 72euros - Boots AllSaints £185 - Watch La Mer Collections $198
But, most of the times, Tank Girl is hanging out with crosses taped on her boobs, or if she wants to be a bit classier, in some dark bras. She howled with laughter when she saw Katy Perry's video California Gurls, because, obviously, rockets bras are outweighing chantilly cream bottles ones ... For the bottom, she would certainly fancy a legging by Aguri Sagimori, but her preference would mostly head for a destroyed jean short, such as those of Evil Twin. Also, she is a bit fetishistic when it comes to crosses, and jewels in general. She has got a lot of them, badges, bangles, rosaries, and she would certainly love the cuffes and belts of Givenchy by Riccardo Tischi and the bullets pendants of Akillis. And if she wanted to be a bit sexy for her boyfriend Booga, she could puts fake suspenders panty hoses by Henry Holland.
Ellery Fall 2011
A tank is definitely classier than a motorbike, but if you would like to channel your inner Rebecca Buck (her real name) in a colder country, you would adopt the brand Ellery, which made a very appealing campaign for its Fall collection. A bit too aristocratic for Tank Girl though, but she would steal the  belts for sure. She would also kidnap Britney Spears and forces her to give her the Burberry Prorsum jacket she's wearing in her latest video, Liv Tyler, for her Givenchy dog sweater and obviously Kate Lanphear, for her integral wardrobe. I guess she would also appreciate the editor's do. Singer Cassie and Brit It girl Alice Dellal have also tried the Tank Girl's hairdo, in a more feminine version. Alice, incidentally, would be a recommended cast for the role of Tank Girl in a movie (one which doesn't suck, as the previous attempts did), much more than Ellen Page, as some geeks have suggested.
Alice Dellal
Courtney Love and Kate Moss have their adepts, so why not Tank Girl ? At least, her attitude is much more real and funky than all those IT girls who think that wearing a dark tee at the last MTV Push Party with CK One would make you a rock star. Neither does a Schott jacket, even a great red one. First, it is in the head. In the freedom of your thought. That's why a look at the Tank Girl's comic could not kill you (remastered edition from £6,48 at Alcohol and drugs could, however, so remember that you're not a comic heroine.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Shopping : Zen Garden

Ring Gaia Repossi for Zadig&Voltaire 320euros - Gareth Pugh Fall 2011 - Pendant Kenneth Jay Lane $132 - Blayde £488 (click to enlarge)
To fight the stress of our modern world with all the angsts related to modernity (nuclear power stations, airwaves, planes, traffic jams, Suri Cruise and other children ...) and the frenzy of the fashion Industry which drives many people to burnouts (Galliano, Decarnin, Lohan...), some people have found a solution. We all saw Diane Von Furstenberg doing her yoga in Le Jour d'Avant of Loic Pringent. Likewise, Karl Lagerfeld never seems so zen now he is almost ubiquitous, the Beckhams, Kate Bosworth, Miranda Kerr and Naomi Watts have all turned to Buddhism and many celebrities are lauding the return to nature and to a more spiritual life. Don't kid ourselves, most of them are doing that to give themselves a most mysterious, intellectual side. But the idea is there and it never sounds that good. 
Bangles Chan Luu 175euros - Bangle All Saints £45 - Kimono jacket Zara 79,90euros - Skirt Topshop £35 - Top Topshop £38
Minimalism carries on fascinating designers, even if they prefer luxury and colours this season. But some of them are thinking in another direction : it is the case of New Yorkers Donna Karan who have launched an intermediate collection called "Urban Zen" and Michael Kors who created minimalistic zen shoes. Both Gareth Pugh and Haider Ackermann have been inspired by Asian soft kimonos and we can find many loose-fitting items in shops. So, if you wish to bring some Zen in your life and in your wardrobe, here are some tips ...  
Dress Mango 129euros - Donna Karan Urban Zen collection
One of the most famous exercise of Chinese gymnastics, Qi Gong, is called Baduanjin, which can be translated by the Eight Pieces of Brocarde. Brocade is incidentally a luxurious fabric, so the connection between Zen and fashion is not only a fancy of the mind ... If you think that kimonos are too clichés, or too much related to geishas, choose large and soft garments, preferably of soft colours related to stone and sand, the two key elements of a zen garden. Orange is trendy, but for meditation, leave it to Buddhist monks, because you will have more chance to look like a convict at Pelican Bay ... You can also find many stone washed blouses, t-shirts and dresses, to continue the metaphor. Topshop has got a lot of great nude items that fit both bohos (it's the 70s revival) and our purpose.   
Brook&Lyn $352 - Maison Michel for Opening Ceremony $975
On the side of the accessories, flats have definitely their place in the fashionista's wardrobe and stones are still very present. The star of the season is turquoise, but I've chosen more natural examples. Californian brand Chan Luu, the darling of celebrities, drew its inspiration from Buddhist prayers' bangles, while online retailer Shopbop offers a range of stone jewels and accessories of great originality, such as the body roped necklaces of Brook&Lyn. More zen, you die and the price is also a small death. If you think that stones and ropes are not worth so much money, you would prefer the collection of Monaco jeweller Gaia Repossi, which reminds of Native American dreamcatchers. Nature is international, and the more important is the interior peace those items bring you.   
Just Female 75euros - Paolo Errico 450euros
Now, you are ready. You've got an ethereal silhouette, gracious gesture, a free mind. You can do what you want, draw lines in the sand, cut a bonsai, do tai chi, sunbath at Coachella, ... Talking of music, I could have chosen something from Chinese or Japanese music, but I will take something more rock from my stock. No, not the Rolling Stones, but the idea is here ...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Interview : Yiqing Yin, the Perfect Harmony

No, I didn't disappear since the beginning of April. My apology for the absence of articles. I was concentrating all my energy on my work of freelance editor and I had the opportunity to get many interesting articles. One of them was a report on the young generation of designers. For it, I have interviewed many of those young talents, but one has particularly striken me : fashion designer Yiqing Yin. So, I really wanted to introduce her to you. 
"To me Fashion is not only about a garment but also striving to create an emotion, to tell a story and to relate to others."She states.
Yiqing is a twenty-six years old young woman from China who grew up in Paris, France. Of her two cultures, she had formed a very personal universe, made of natural elegance, grace and harmony, in one side, and of prestige, magnificence and details in the other. This mix is also present in the work of Madeleine Vionnet and Madame Grès, two French classic designers she quotes as her inspiration. Madame Grès is, incidentally, honoured by an exhibition at the Musée Bourdelle, in Paris. We can find this legacy in Yiqing's work.

Yiqing decided to launch her own label after the International Festival of Couture of Hyeres, in France, where she was a finalist. Since then, the success was always here and she won the Great Prize of the city of Paris and has been exhibited in a gallery. She will soon show her first collection in public, in July.
"I have a very sculptural approach to garment and couture, which i try to modernise by reinterpreting various techniques based on pleating draping, cording, smocks ... It s a sensitive and instinctive approach. My main focus and starting point in creation is the encounter with the fabric, its texture and its movement." She says.
Her catchwords are quality, emotions and moderation, and thus, she rejects trends, fast fashion and consumerism. She is proud to make products of quality, of an extreme luxury, even if it means that she would only sell to an elit.

Already spotted by famous magazines (Vogue, for example), the young woman is yet easy to access and she has answered my questions with politeness and concern, which is always very remarkable in the Industry. It is also very rare to see someone that young being that wise, able to think about big issues and to have a very philosophical and sensible view on the present and the future. A pearl in that world of celebrities-obsessed designers. Yiqing never quotes an actress, she dresses real women, like you and I ( if we can afford her creations of course !). Sure, he is not famous herself yet, but her vision of her work should prevents her to get a big-head :
"I love my job so much because of the reality behind it, the notion of intimacy to a person and the absolute necessity that is intrinsic to the very idea of clothing."

"The stylistic directions of my design are very personal, but I never had the feeling that I had to compromise creatively, quite on the contrary people from the industry and the public have always encouraged me to dig deeper into what I instinctively desire. I m not interested in proposing a vision that everyone likes, it wouldn’t be “honest”, and again it’s all about emotions and I much rather have people hate it or love it."

Let's hope that she will get the attention she deserves, without losing this integrity which is so refreshing in that world of attention-seekers. For the moment, her website is a bit empty, but if you want to take a look, click here :

For the rest of Yiqing's interview and those of the other designers, you will have to wait for the publication of the article. I will keep you updated.