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Creativity Fashion

How Dr. Martens makes its iconic shoes

Made in England

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Creativity Culture Fashion

Helmut Lang’s “Global Taxi Project”

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Helmut Lang became the first fashion brand to advertise on New York City taxicabs in 1998. Such spots were typically reserved for Broadway shows.

Twenty years later, the brand is bringing the mobile ads back on 275 New York City taxis along with an exclusive globally-promoted taxi hoodie on its website.

Check out the video of the Hong Kong cabbie sporting the new top.

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Balenciaga’s $1490 ‘T-Shirt Shirt’ is ugly but awesome

Via @Balenciaga on Instagram
Via @Balenciaga

Luxury fashion house Balenciaga knows how to nail the type of ugly design that gets people talking.

In Fall 2017, it debuted the Bernie Sanders-inspired logo he used for his 2016 campaign. But this time around, the company once referred to as “the master of all” by Christian Dior, will release a double-shirt as part of its Fall 2018 lineup.

Said its creative director Demna Gvasali on the rule-breaking t-shirt shirt:

“I think it’s very interesting, the definition of ugly. I think it’s also very interesting to find this line where ugly becomes beautiful or where beautiful becomes ugly. That’s a challenge I like. I think that’s a part of what fashion stands for and I like that people think my clothes are ugly; I think it’s a compliment.”

Ugly can be beautiful. Prada’s head fashion designer Miuccia Prada agrees: “The investigation of ugliness is, to me, more interesting than the bourgeois idea of beauty. And why? Because ugly is human. It touches the bad and the dirty side of people.”

The rebel in me loves the concept, but not with that hefty price tag.

 

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The H(earring) project turns hearing aids into high-fashion accessories

The H(earring) project turns hearing aids into high-fashion accessories
Image courtesy fanddstudio

Hearing impaired photographer Kate Fichard teamed up with a former design school classmate at the Paris-based F&D studio to create a fashionable hearing aid.

Called the H(earring) project, it just won first prize for accessories at the most prestigious festivals for young designers, The International Festival of Fashion and Photography in Hyères, France. Kudos to the F&D team for injecting some style and design into hearing aids, what some would consider high-fashion.

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Culture Fashion

Get the cool shoeshine!

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gif via Emanuele Colombo

“Broadly speaking, there are two kinds of societies: those where you can get a shoe shine and those where you can’t,” wrote Roger Cohen in a 2008 Op-ed.

Americans love their shoe shines. The opposite is true of egalitarian societies like France where such a cleaning service “rubs the Gallic egalitarian spirit the wrong way.” But in New York and Chicago, shoe shiners are aplenty.

“There’s something about having someone applying polish to a blithe client’s boots that comforts American notions of free enterprise, make-a-buck opportunism and the survival of the fittest.”

Yet, as Thomas Chatterton Williams so wisely notes, there’s a price to pay for brutal capitalism. As an American expat living in France, he writes:  “it’s also nice to live in a society where not everything is for sale. When I landed back in Paris, I placed my heavy bags on a luggage cart, which I unlocked free of charge. It would have set me back $6 in New York.”

Quid pro quo.

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New Gucci jacket gives Dapper Dan his due

“How would he feel if that Louis Vuitton pouch became a whole outfit?” remarked the Harlem fashion designer Dapper Dan, aka Daniel Day. And so he made custom clothing for famed sprinter Diane Dixon and rappers Eric B and Rakim, going on to remix all types of designs from the world’s most renowned brands before they shut down his operations.

New Gucci jacket gives Dapper Dan his due
Photo by Drew Carolan

Dapper Dan’s efforts mimicked the sampling culture which helped give rise to hip-hop at the time. Said Elle Magazine director Samira Nasr, “Sampling was taking existing music and slicing it to recreate new sounds for original lyrics. Dap was sampling in a way. He was taking existing fabrications and breathing new life and beauty into them.”

The urge to remix also came out of Dap’s own experiences growing up poor in Harlem. “My sense of style came from having holes in my shoes. I was in third grade, and I would put cardboard and paper in the bottom of my shoes.”

Remix culture is the foundation of the Internet, the biggest copy-paste machine. But Dapper Dan predates the likes of Nasty Gal and other fashion outlaws looking to recast something new. Thanks to Gucci’s branded version of the jacket and nod to Dapper Dan, the couturier is finally getting the attention he deserves.

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