Craig Green’s Fall 2017 collection show left a mark on whoever attended. A seamless amalgamation of texture, tone and design. We were immersed into the depths, and yes the irony is not lost on me seeing as Craig himself stated he was thinking about the sea, and its connotations of peril, fear and isolation.
Now, I am not here to discuss the collection itself in length, that is for another time. I am here specifically to highlight my favourite piece of the collection. A piece I can confidently say is amongst my top grails. It is their scuba jacket. Ah yes, an item perfectly suitable to where nowhere but the sea. Nevertheless, its cropped fit, heavy-duty wear and customizable fit are some of the few features of this piece I find myself falling in love with.
The price of this masterpiece is currently anywhere between $1500 and $6000 as it is a highly coveted piece. Only a select few can be found on sites such as grailed and middleman store along with other archive and consignment stores.
The texture of the tubes lining the jacket gives it a delicate yet rough look, with the metal buckles elevating the jacket. Likewise, as I mentioned before the cropped fit serves the ideal proportions of an outfit to me. With this jacket, we can tell that Craig did not sacrifice the form nor the design, rather he combined them cohesively throughout his collection and this piece. This jacket may be unappealing to others or not as good, however, I believe this is a pivotal part of Craig Green’s fashion history and one that proves how deserving he was of his British Fashion Award.
What are some of your grails? Let me know in the comments.
The rebellious reform of basics. “Subversive Basics”, a term coined in April 2021 by Agus Panzoni (thealgorythm on tiktok) in a TikTok video. In this video, she explains the change in how we use basic clothing, such as tank tops, black dresses and so on. Simple garments becoming complex pieces of clothing. This change brought upon the fashion industry was said to be a reflection of the times. Uncertainty and anxiety become our rulers and the restructure of basic clothing was our escape. I will not be giving an in-depth look at this microtrend, however, this article will pose as an introduction and base insight into it.
Now, amongst other growing trends, I have to say that this trend caught my eye the most. You see multiple people every day attempting to make a simple knit top a masterpiece, utilizing creative skills never used by them till today in a bid to follow a trend. Subversive basics pose more utility than previously perceived. A trend said to rebel against the utility, bringing about artistic change to the fashion industry. Likewise, this same trend allows everyone to part take in it as it employs the basic clothes we all have in our wardrobes. In the same manner, that feature, in turn, creates a sense of community amongst all niches of the fashion industry, be it streetwear, luxury and anything in between. In a twist of fate, a rebel of utility becomes one of its biggest supporters.
Some of my favourite brands utilizing this trend are Hyein Seo, Spencer Badu and Dion Lee. These brands have turned basics into statement pieces in an unexpected shift.
I suggest you take a look at these brands if you plan on shopping for said trend. Although, I urge everyone to take a shot at making subversive basics themselves. It is an innovative way of elevating your style. As a result, I believe this trend is here to stay.
Heliot Emil is a Danish luxury streetwear brand based out of Copenhagen. The brand got its name from the two founders’ great-grandfathers, as homage to him. Co-founded by the brothers Julius and Victor Juul in 2017. Julius being the creative director and art visionary of the brand. Meanwhile, Victor handles the business and operations of the brand. In recent years, the brand has become more popularly known for their innovative tailoring, rebellious approach to the fashion industry and their unique materials.
Heliot Emil became a brand known for pushing the limits of gendered clothing as they produce unisex clothing, while breaking the preconceptions of menswear. Menswear known for its “manly” tailoring and monotone cuts and fittings is challenged by this new era and Heliot Emil is taking the reins on this movement. Although, they are not the first to challenge the boundaries of “gender” in clothing, they are the first to do it in their specific approach. Heliot Emil is accomplishing this by using unheard of materials, oversized cuts, bizarre tailoring and questionable proportions to construe the image of man. “Liquid Metal”, a term for one of their more popular materials made into pants and a jacket released in 2020 that showcases the brands unique material creation ability.
Their ethos is one of innovation, supported by the belief that there will always be multiple ways to accomplish a task. They even went as far as to state that their work is open to interpretation by the consumers, leaving the final evaluation to us as an artist would do.
A line that will forever resonate with me, stated by Julius, “The Heliot Emil universe is not linear”. Possibly the best description of their brand and fashion as a whole, their approach to their label, consisting of blurring the lines between streetwear and high fashion. People tend to forget that fashion is at its base art, in this retail world, prioritizing sales over art, they are the malcontent. They continually push the boundaries with each collection seemingly shifting away from streetwear and closer to avant-garde and high fashion. However, this shift can be interpreted in a singular manner, it is more than that. It is a move to industrial elegance, one where functionality and fashion coexist, something rarely seen in the past and a merge achieved by few. The most similar instance I could think of A-COLD-WALL*.
In the first Fall Winter 17 collection we see the first collection by the Danish brand, straight off the bat we understand that it is a purely streetwear based brand. However, we progress to their Spring/Summer 18 collection and see military underlining’s and full military wear which changes our previous notion. Likewise, with their Spring/Summer 19 collection we see another shift to techwear, and a pattern emerges. The growth becomes evident. Fall/Winter 20 would be a defining collection as we now see the direction of the brand, the perfection of art in formality, “industrial elegance” arises. Now, Spring/Summer 21 we are fully immersed in this vision and moving with the Heliot Emil universe Julius Juul spoke of. It can be noted that with each collection, though the theme changed, the designs still improved and so did the tailoring and material.
Heliot Emil is not only a brand, it is a mindset. I believe it is the perfect amalgamation of skill and effort for a sole purpose. This purpose is change. Menswear has become stagnant, to be honest, it has been stagnant for a while. The patriarchy dominates the perception and mindset of too many, preventing the growth of menswear. We see anything outside of pants and tailored fits as feminine and taboo, thus, keeping us in a box, unchanged and unproductive. Heliot Emil possesses the progressive thinking and unique approach needed to break these chains of monotony. To reiterate, this is not overlooking previous brands that have made this effort, it is a highlight of a current brand attempting the same. Similarly, they possess the traits required to accomplish this feat, such as ; rejection of the retail, honesty, artistic mindset and experimentation. You seldom find a brand that possesses all these traits, now all they need is time and support.
I leave you with this question, what is fashion without functionality? I am not only referring to utility, but the concept of fashion to us as humans and its use to us.
I previously wrote an article that touched on how to build your style. In a full circle moment, I will be building on said previous article. Note, this will be based on my view of style and experiences. At this point you at least have a base level understanding of how to build your style and are looking to make advancements on that.
Ways To Elevate Your Style:
Define Your Aesthetic
Adopt Statement Pieces
Know Your Sizes
Proportions and Silhouettes
Understand and Apply Color Theory
Defining Your Aesthetic:
In fashion, aesthetic in simplest terms is how you choose to portray yourself and how you want to look to others in a specific niche or context with regards to dressing. How do you get dressed every day? You throw on random clothes and go out. Some may go a little further and choose to follow a trend which at least highlights their individuality to an extent.
Defining your aesthetic is paramount to elevating your style. The easiest way to understand this is when you define your look, you reduce your scope of clothes, spending and time. You are now able to spend more time on developing that look. It would be equivalent to an artist dropping out of school to pursue their art fully, you eliminate the distractions that were hindering your growth. Be it Rick Sith Lord or Y2K Fiend, your style will drastically improve once you set your eyes on a look and stick with it.
Accessories! You see them everywhere, on everything and employed by everyone. It can be defined as a thing which can be added to something else in order to make it more useful, versatile, or attractive. Key words, “versatile” and “attractive”. Two things with which you strive to in your style journey. From rings to hats, scarves to glasses. Accessories give your outfit completeness while raising the level of your outfits.
There is not much to talk about regarding accessories. I advise you to experiment with which accessories you like. However, keep in mind, colors and patterns. Accessories are meant to add to an outfit, but they should also match the colors and patterns of your outfit. It can be a signature accessory or multiple accessories, its your choice.
Adopt Statement Pieces:
A statement piece is simply an attractive or unique piece of your outfit. It does not have to fulfill any criteria aside from those, it could be something as small as an oddly shaped ring to Maison Margiela Tabi Boots. Statement pieces are normally only one piece for each outfit as the term “statement” would be redundant otherwise.
Once you adopt statement pieces your outfits and personal style rise by a level. It is what differentiates a basic outfit from a sophisticated one. Remember to build these pieces over time as they tend to be pricey. Don’t be rushed to get multiple items, style is not built overnight.
Know Your Sizes:
Getting the wrong sized clothing item could destroy your outfit, in the same way that getting the right sized clothing item could make your outfit. Proportions are aesthetically pleasing to the human eye. That is why you could have an extremely questionable outfit, but if it fits you well no one thinks twice about it.
I cannot emphasize how important it is to know your sizes. It saves you heartbreak, money and time. You don’t have to return pieces for not fitting well, lose money on clothes that don’t fit well or waste time figuring out what size a clothing piece would be for you because you have your sizes down. It literally gives you peace of mind while improving your looks.
Proportions and Silhouette:
Proportions refer to how your clothes should be proportioned to your body. In as much as that is the case, in order to elevate your style with proportions you need to aim for an unbalanced proportion. Why? Simply because it is appealing to the eye, which an important aspect of style.
There is a rule of thirds regarding proportions. It says,” With regards to proportion, look at yourself as cut in thirds from your shoulders to your toes. You want either one-third on top and two-thirds on bottom (as in a shirt and pants) or two-thirds on top and one-third on bottom (as in a dress). Never divide yourself in half!”
Silhouette simply states the basic outline of the body or the garment that it takes shape in. Wear clothes that compliment your body structure, its as simple as that. This will in turn advance your style.
Understand And Apply Color Theory:
Understanding how to combine colors and wear them individually is one of the simplest concepts people confuse themselves with. It is often due to their impatience or lack of effort.
There are five color combinations:
Analogous: colors are hues that are adjacent to (next to) each other on the color wheel.
Complementary: colors are colors exactly opposite each other on the color wheel.
Triadic: colors are three colors spaced equally apart on the color wheel.
Tonal: colors are different shades of the same hue, the same color.
Monochromatic: color scheme is similar to tonal but even more selective in color.
I won’t go in depth on this topic as there is a site that perfectly explains this better than I could have. I will have it in the references. Likewise, as I was saying, once you have these color basics down, not only will you be able to boost your style but you’ll also increase your fashion knowledge and understanding by degrees.
Now, with these tips and insight down, get back to the drawing board! Experiment. Create. Discover.
Anti-fashion is a term that has become more prominent these days with the sudden collective disdain of society for current fashion norms and meaning. There are two terms which I believe accurately describe the two sides of Anti-fashion amalgamating it into one definition. Firstly, anti-fashion is any fashion that is intentionally contrary to the mainstream. Anti-fashion is the protest of fashions impact on society and the environment. Plainly it is radical creativity in apparel.
Anti-fashion originated in the 1950s with the dawn of rock and roll, specifically with young women. These women would dress in militaristic apparel and designs rebelling against feminine gender roles and societal norms held at the time. They would later be the inspiration for punk and grunge, additionally, propelling anti-fashion forward. However, it was in the 1990’s that anti-fashion gained its renown.
Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Martin Margiela can be seen as the progenitors of modern anti-fashion. With their attitudes, designs and ethos opposing fashion, they formed the weapon that would note the end of fashion norms. Both Rei and Yohji originated from Japan where they used their individual experiences to define their craft which was displayed in Paris, thus starting the movement. Meanwhile, Martin is a Belgian fashion designer who in the same fashion employed his roots in his craft. Although they each possessed a different ethos, they all impacted anti-fashion collectively.
Now, why was there a need for anti-fashion? You see fashion died in the 1950s, reduced from an art form to mass production and consumption. This was due to the need for designers to sell their pieces. As a result, they all pandered to trends and abandoned their identities. Anti-fashion was a phoenix born from the ashes of fashion, a signal for change. Anti-fashion tackled both the pollution fashion was causing, as well as the trends. Sustainability became the creed for everyone, and at the same time experimentation and going against the grain of trends was the goal. Consequently, the need for anti-fashion was made apparent.
Unfortunately, anti-fashion today is still not as big as it could be, although there have been great designers inspired by this movement who have all made significant contributions to the industry. Some examples of said fashion designers are: Miuccia Prada, Christopher Kane, Rick Owens and many more.
Though anti-fashion can be viewed as negative, in reality it is the contrary. Fashion has never needed a movement as much as it needs anti-fashion. Thus, the revolt of an industry becomes the advancement of it.
Launched in 2016 by founder and designer Terry Shin, Black Merle is a brand that tackles anti-fashion like none other. Black Merle is a noun defined as a dark-coated dog with irregular streaks and specks. Through their apocalyptic, neo-maximalist theme of “more is more” as stated by Shin himself they succeeded in releasing fashion from the shackles of its definition.
With an emphasis on usability, recreation and deconstruction they are a new take on anti-fashion with a military-like theme never seen before. What I mean is, although the titans of anti-fashion Yohji Yamamoto and Rei Kawakubo defined what anti-fashion is today, Terry Shin took said definition and dare I say…elevated it with Black Merle.
A Vancouver and Seoul based brand that prides itself on its ability to customize and its emphasis on blackness, though these two attributes may narrow their variety in the eyes of some, they have been able to break the preconceived notion everyone had of them with their newer collections. Previously, with their FW 17 collection, “Incarnate”, I could liken them more to Takahiro Miyashita The Soloist, Undercover and Raf Simons with a focus on military and tactical wear. This is not to say that they did not properly execute this collection, their clothes were literal pieces of art. I am only stating the relation to the ethos of this collection with other brands. I particularly loved his first collection more as he incorporated the most black pieces into it.
However, with their newer garments of F/W 19 and F/W 20 they were able to embody the values they stood by. Displaying out of the world clothing that cannot be likened to any designer past or present. Seeing the relative fame they have garnered in the past two years, Black Merle has just begun and there is no sign of them stopping. Terry Shin has his hand on the pulse of the industry and is unwilling to let go.
Post Archive Faction, a name that is currently being echoed in the fashion scene. From their deconstructed garments, futuristic set designs and anti-fashion persona they hit the floor running with their launch in 2018. A Korean based menswear label designed by Dongjoon Lim and Sookyo Jeong. Dongjoon Lim started out as a user experience designer for fashion companies, after studying industrial and spatial design. He later taught himself menswear design, incorporating his experience and degree into his garments. Specializing in avant-garde sportswear and futuristic outerwear.
“Rejecting the conventions of fashion”, the title of their Fall Winter 2018 collection that brought them into the limelight. A rebellious presence, their induction into the fashion scene, their F/W 2018 collection signaled the death of the old fashion norms and a new beginning.
“Centered around disassembly and assembly, the title of their Fall Winter 2019 collection continued with their previous theme of fashion deconstruction and rebellion. They seamlessly combined mismatched proportions, asymmetrical pieces and utility into this collection, breaking down preconceived notions of what fashion is and could be.
“Filled with intentionally damaged designs”, the title of their Spring Summer 2020 collection represented the broken and fragmented human. A representation of the fragility of man, physically, emotionally and perhaps even mentally. The blueprint of the pieces follows the brands creed of fabricating new structural formula through evolving archives.
“Exploring physical movements through function, asymmetric form and collapsing shapes”, their Spring Summer 2021 collection can be seen as the epitome of avant-garde sportswear. With a stronger approach to the unknown, they are able to incorporate practical clothing into moving art pieces which caters to a greater target audience. The set design can be understood as a treadmill, with a cloak draped over it to portray movement in clothing. Though that is my individual interpretation of it.
In 2021, PAF has become a semi-finalist for LVMH’s prize for young designers which notes the first instance their work has been recognized on a global scale for its beauty. I believe this is the first in a plethora of awards and recognitions for the brand. Post Archive Faction continues till this day to push the norms, perspectives and definition of fashion with its outlandish designs, creative pieces and otherworldly set designs. In the short span of 4 years, PAF has come a long way, and as a big fan of the brand myself, it is only natural I dedicate this article to them.