Focus On: Nicholas Daley

In support for the Black community, I continue celebrating and highlighting the talented individuals that shape fashion today. Take notes! Nicholas Daley’s keen sense for fashion is matched by his taste in music. After spring-summer 2020’s live jazz performance, he upped the ante for the autumn-winter 2020 line-up with a fashion show that kicked off an entire night of events at Earth, the landmark East London venue. His musician girlfriend Nabihah Iqbal came up with the title of the new collection, “The Abstract Truth,” and shared billing with U.K. dub legend Mala among other artists at the after-party. “I like my shows to be about community, it’s always a friends and family affair,” said Daley speaking backstage between sets. To warm up the crowd for the fashion portion of the evening, he enlisted a trio of young South London musicians – Rago Foot, Kwake Bass and Wu-Lu – to perform a live score. Borrowing from the world of experimental jazz and psychedelic rock, the music gave song to the wide-ranging references in the new collection, including afro-futurism and the black abstract art movement of the 1970s. He was particularly drawn to the work of Frank Bowler whose first major retrospective opened at the Tate this time last year. The Guyanese-born artist’s vibrant “pour paintings” came through most vividly in a show-stopping hooded poncho. Daley has a knack for spinning utility clothing with a sense of specialness. In place of camo, he used a handsome khaki green jacquard patterned with hand-drawn lines to elevate his fishing-style vests and Crombie coats. The designer’s commitment to supporting local craftspeople is ongoing. In addition to working with an English mill on the custom jacquard, he dug into the archives of Scottish tartan maker Loch Carron, unearthing two particularly striking mohair checks, both of which added a rich hand to slouchy button-down jackets and peg-leg pants. Those traditional British tropes were remixed with handfuls of neo-boho accessories – coin-trimmed necklaces and scarves, knitted crossbody bags and berets – and that magpie eclecticism felt fresh and contemporary. With models sporting Jimi Hendrix–inspired coifs, the groovier elements of the collection were nicely amplified. The musicians looked just as cool, dressed in all black and with Daley’s new oversize baker boy hats and genius coin-trimmed sneakers both made in partnership with Adidas.

Collage by Edward Kanarecki.

There’s Only One Kylie

There’s only one Kylie. I mean Kylie Minogue – the singer that continues to bless us with her voice for three decades already. I literally grew up to her songs, starting from 1999 up to now. My mom knows every single album and  used to dance to the crazy Locomotion as a teenager. Basically speaking, Kylie is an icon. So going to her concert in Berlin, on the occasion of her Golden Tour, was an experience I won’t forget for a long, long time. Her slow Slow killed us, the viewers, with all the sexiness. Can’t Get You Out of My Head went totally rock & roll. All The Lovers was a moment we all felt the love, while Fever set the audience on fire. Kylie also sang Where the Wild Roses Grow, without any instrumental background, which was especially beautiful. If she’s coming to your town – her tour ends in the summer of 2019 I think – buy the tickets. I tell you, wou won’t regret that!

Overpowered. Love.

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There are many reasons to adore Róisín Murphy. From her days with Moloko to the Italian-disco inspired EP titled Mi senti, this idiosyncratic Irish singer is a true gem. Even if you’re not a total sucker for her electronic tunes, you’ve got to admit that her style is bomb. While today she rather wears Vetements tea-dresses and garments coming fresh from graduate designers’ studios, back in her Overpowered period Murphy wore the most extravagant garments coming from, for example, Viktor & Rolf (she had a life performance at the brand’s spring-summer 2010 fashion show as well). But also, she had the most memorable Gareth Pugh coat moment in the video-clip of the album’s namesake track. Later, in Let Me Know, Róisín graciously danced and messed around in a cheesy bistro, wearing a Maison Margiela cape and bold fuchsia gloves (that was the moment I fell in love with fashion, really, at age of eight). And today, when I listen to Dear Miami or You Know Me Better, it’s unbelievable that Murphy was more ‘2017’ than any other musician today. Back in 2007!

Madonna Day

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Although Madonna‘s birthday happens only once in a year, and it’s today, I wouldn’t mind celebrating her personality everyday. So if you’re one of those people who ‘hate’ Madonna for her being her, then you better leave this spot, as it’s a heavy appreciation post. Whether photographed by Steven Klein, Steven Meisel or Rankin; whether posing in boudoir, going dirty with Tony Ward or confessing her love on the dance floor; whether dressed in Italianesque black lace or an all-American gear – she’s Madonna. While exploring blogs like this one, fully dedicated to her persona, I’m awestruck with the way she has changed and keeps on changing. Just like in music, where she’s can be fully soaked with emotions and then become ecstatically happy. A style maverick and an extraordinary artist.

Happy Birthday!

Men’s / Lemaire SS18

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A two-piece band from Berlin named Die Wilde Jagd performed during Lemaire‘s spring-summer 2018 fahion show, which was staged in an industrial garage space. Music, and specifically the one coming from Germany, played an important role for Christophe Lemaire‘s and Sarah Linh Tran‘s creative process this season. In a line of black and navy looks, suddenly a red cotton poplin overshirt emerged. “It’s super minimal,” Christophe said backstage. “I was really driven by all those German bands I loved from the ’70s and early ’80s, like Kraftwerk, this kind of stylish, German, super-normal thing.” Ah!  The idea behind the unprecedented red came from “the cover of The Man-Machine. And the all-white look, that oversize zippered blouson and the sneaker boots, is a reference to La Düsseldorf.” Cultural context is all in fashion.

Back to the collection, Lemaire delivers its all time signatures for men, like perfectly tailored blazers, tank-tops for heatwave periods and spring-ready coats. The designers invited Portuguese craftsmen to produce the semi-closed sandals, making your grandpa’s footwear a thing to steal.

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Collage by Edward Kanarecki.