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Simone Rocha is H&M’s next designer collaboration

Filed by Lucire staff/January 14, 2021/15.28




H&M

London-based Irish designer Simone Rocha is the next collaborator with H&M, with a collection launching March 11, comprising clothing for women, men and children—the first time Rocha has completed a collection for the entire family. Each category includes a full wardrobe. Also under the Simone Rocha × H&M banner are jewellery and pearl-embellished footwear.
   As with previous designers, the collection makes references to previous work, especially Rocha’s mixed heritage of Hong Kong and Ireland, but with new twists.
   H&M says in a release, ‘We see glimmers of Tudor courtiers, wild florals, portraits and photographs, dolls and trinkets. There is tartan, beading, florals, pinks, reds, and bespoke fabrications, developed in-house, exclusively for this collaboration.’
   The launch date coincides with Rocha’s 10th anniversary.
   ‘I am so thrilled to be working with H&M on this very special collection,’ she says. ‘It truly is a celebration of the signatures of my brand, and the influences that have shaped me. As a designer, and as a customer, I’ve been such a fan of the H&M collaboration concept. Margiela, Alber Elbaz, Comme des Garçons—it’s such an amazing list of alumni to be a part of.’
   Rocha says she is pleased that she can offer her designs to a wider audience, and for those who may have missed a piece the first time.
   Ann-Sofie Johansson, creative adviser for Hennes & Mauritz, adds, ‘Simone Rocha has been on the H&M wish list for some time. This collaboration offers a new audience the chance to own a very special piece of design history. All of us at H&M have been so inspired to work with a female designer who spends so much time thinking about contemporary femininity, and womanhood, and who is so committed to excellence in craft and design, from the process of developing special fabrications, to pushing silhouettes, shapes and embellishments. Every garment within this collection is unique, special and the result of years of work and meticulous research.’
   Daisy Edgar-Jones, Adwon and Jesewa Aboah, Robbie Spencer, and Tess McMillan appear in the campaign.


H&M

 


Future imperfect

Filed by Jack Yan/December 15, 2020/10.59




Adi Constantin/Unsplash

Above, from top: The real 2015 and one photo that summarizes the decade: Kendall and Kylie Jenner go shopping for Ugg shoes in New York, and take a selfie. The 2015 of fiction: Michael J. Fox outside a cinema in Back to the Future Part II (1989). Still from Ridley Scott’s 1982 film Blade Runner, set in a Los Angeles of 2019, in some ways mirrored more by the metropolises of China. Unpredictable to most: few in the 20th century, with perhaps the exception of Norman Macrae, foresaw the rise of China to this extent—Shanghai’s cityscape could have been the stuff of science fiction 30 years ago. Below right: Twins Alan and Alex Stokes with another TikTok video.

Travel editor Stanley Moss sent me a news item on twin brothers who staged a mock bank robbery on public streets for their social media accounts. The brothers, Alan and Alex Stokes, have nearly 28 million followers on TikTok, and over 5½ million on YouTube. One prank saw an Über driver, not involved with them, held at gunpoint by police. Now, Orange County, California district attorney Todd Spitzer says the brothers could face criminal charges for putting the public and the police in danger.
   While social media have done a lot of good, there are those who take things to an unhealthy extreme for the sake of an audience. Once upon a time, there would be a controlled set and paid actors, but the Stokes brothers decided to do their stunts in the real world.
   They’re not alone in doing outrageous things for an audience, and this isn’t a piece about the decline or the dangers of social media influencers, a topic that Lucire has covered for some time. It’s whether this environment—the incident took place in 2019—could have been something that any of us foresaw in earlier times.
   People are notoriously bad at predicting decades into the future. This magazine has attempted to look a few months forward, such as our recent story about what a post-COVID world might look like, with China as an example (Lucire issue 42; Lucire KSA September 2020). However, once we begin looking at years and decades things look fuzzier.
   The twins’ pranks could have been foreseen mid-decade: people have been seeking attention for social media since they became the norm, and those who potentially make a living from it—with 28 million followers it’s likely that they do—might wish to see just how far boundaries could be pushed. In societies which are less outwardly focused, it is possible that they did not consider the consequences or the harm to others.
   But could this world have been foreseen in, say, 2010? Or 2000? A glance back through our culture shows predictions of our time looking very different the further back you go.
   In Blade Runner (1982), Ridley Scott foresaw a crowded technological world where androids (‘replicants’) walk among humans. Set in 2019, Scott’s vision is dystopian, with human colonies on other planets, flying cars, and overcrowding. The last point is probably accurate in terms of our global population; Scott envisaged skyscrapers and street scenes devoid of natural light. Down on the streets of his 2019 Los Angeles is a mixture of cultures, with English used alongside other languages. Blade Runner’s Los Angeles is a dirty place, with lots of old stuff that lacks the sheen of the latest signage and advertisements, just as our urban world is today. Science fiction films often make the mistake of giving everything a modern, new sheen, but "blanket newness" doesn’t ever exist in real life: visual futurist and conceptual artist Syd Mead understood this well.
   The protagonist in the film, Deckard, is disenchanted with the technologist society that places little emphasis on human emotion; in some ways it illustrates how humans have become slaves to technology rather than having technology improve their lives. Memories can be implanted into replicants; today one supposes that editing photos on social media paint an idealistic and not always real story about our humanity. Once upon a time a photo album was private, with stories attached to them; today social media and online photos are often offered without explanation, to show one side of life—no wonder studies reveal that social media can make some people more depressed as they gaze at their friends’ seemingly perfect existences.
   Blade Runner might not look like 2019, nor was it right on androids and planetary colonization, but in many ways Scott identified the themes that make humans lonely because of technology.
   Later in the 1980s, Back to the Future Part II (1989) also had flying cars in its world of 2015. Robert Zemeckis, the director and co-writer of the film, said that the future could not be predicted so he and Bob Gale, who co-wrote, decided to have fun with it. Their 2015 is an intentional parody: an antagonist with microchip implants in his brain, hover boards, which are wheel-less skateboards that defy gravity, and a nostalgic hangout for young people called Café ’80s. In the cinema yet another Jaws sequel played, with a holographic projection coming out into the street as part of its promotion. Light switches at home are voice-activated, while what was once a posh neighbourhood was, in 2015, considered a lower-class area. Faxes hung on walls while videophones and multiple tv screens on a wall were part of the 2015 household.
   There’s less cerebral thinking here as it’s played for laughs, though video calls and voice activation are reasonably on the mark, as is the theme of urban decay. It’s not unusual to see a society nostalgic for the past—in fashion we saw our share of 1980s, even 1990s, revivals during the 2010s. An obsession with screens, as the teenage Marty McFly, Jr has in 2015, is accurate, even if those screens weren’t all on the wall, but hand-held.
   Wim Wenders’ 1991 film Bis ans Ende der Welt (Until the End of the World) only had to go as far as 1999, and is more accurate what it predicted: a highly digital society, with hand-held assistants, search engines, and consumer GPS. Wenders foresaw a commercialized East Berlin—a reasonable prediction given the Wall had recently come down—and a San Francisco with a massive income disparity. However, the new invention where brainwaves can be read and dreams can be turned into digital images remains the realm of science fiction. Its main character, Claire, lives an empty life of endless parties before she decides to return to Europe to spend time with friends.
   The films are correct in some respects, illustrating that the human condition hasn’t changed much: it’s always possible to feel lonely and outcast from the world, and it is up to the filmmaker to identify causes. A designer must make similar predictions if a collection or a product is to be a hit: what is it about the human condition in the coming year that we expect to be highlighted? As we stand on the verge of 2021, is it a sense of optimism, that things will get better now that two companies have announced COVID-19 vaccines? Or is it a sense of caution? And how are these expressed? Those that somehow address human feelings, no matter how they are expressed, tend to do better than high concepts that are divorced from what people are going through.
   Some of it will come down to instinct—what are termed intuitive predictions. The more experience one has, the better the prediction one might make. Students of history are often well equipped to look into the future based on their knowledge of the past; our older citizens may well have witnessed phenomena similar to what they see today.
   Statistical predictions, meanwhile, rely on data and algorithms, and the more data one has, and the more reliable they are, the better the prediction. Factor in external events and their impact. Meteorologists rely on these for their forecasts, and designers might be in a position to do the same.
   One individual who had a better record than most was the former deputy chief editor of The Economist, Norman Macrae. He foresaw the rise of China, the ubiquity of the internet, and growing income inequality decades before they hit, all through hard, economic analysis.
   Norman Macrae is an anomaly in how accurate he was, as it is rare to allow for those external events accurately. The further out your prediction is going to be, the more external events you face, with increasing potential to render them inaccurate—just as we had with Blade Runner. Its sequel, naturally, had to take place in 2049 for the world it created to remain just out of reach of us.
   And while some events are cyclical, it can be tricky predicting just how long that cycle is. Economics is one field where smarter practitioners could work it out, but lay people might not see the cycles when they are living it.
   The 1980s were regarded by marketers as a "me decade": in the west this was fuelled by consumerism and free-market ideologies, but more than one author then predicted that the 1990s would be more a "we decade", more caring and more collective. It didn’t happen: the cycle was far longer than any of them expected, to the point where we have just been through a selfie decade aided by cellphones whose forward-facing cameras are often better than the backward-facing ones.
   The decade we have left behind was one that might be remembered for the Kardashians, who shot to fame precisely because the sight of self-indulgent celebrities caught the Zeitgeist. Many a successful Instagram account, especially in the modelling and glamour modelling fields, are founded on selfies, as everyone wants to be seen to be living their glamorous best. The Stokes twins took this to the next, dangerous, and selfish level, in a country that seems to encourage it.
   In 2021, it might be fair to ask if “weism” has finally arrived. Countries that have managed to push the COVID-19 curve down—e.g. China, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia—have done so with an eye on the collective good, demonstrating that we are stronger together. Have we tired of selfies? Certainly Facebook and Instagram engagement continues to fall each year. TikTok may be on the rise because of its novelty, but are enough of us now beginning to enjoy what nature has for us that we can put down the phones?
   In earlier issues (see Lucire KSA June 2020) we covered how some of nature has returned because of our lockdowns, and it seems the countries that respect nature more are the ones who have come out the other side more quickly.
   That’s perhaps an easy one to forecast. But it will still depend on how we see the human experience—just what mood will we, as people, possess in the year ahead.
   Additionally, Simon Sinek, in his book The Infinite Game, believes that having a just cause can overcome those unexpected external factors. It isn’t about having a finite position in the future, or some defined endgame; instead, it’s about understanding what you stand for and nurturing that for the long term. Here at Lucire, for instance, we have never stopped looking to the whole world for our stories, in the belief that the world can come together if we are exposed to more of it. We believe our readers are intelligent, hence we run stories like this: we are not in the business of dumbing down, and never have been. The quest for knowledge—the human thirst for it, and to gain an advantage as evolution would have us do—is part of the condition that doesn’t go away. And in the 2020s, we’re hoping people might want to pursue depth again, coming out of the selfie and Kardashian decade.
   Those that remained sure of their purpose through COVID-19 in 2020 have probably endured without facing some crisis over what they stand for. That’s ultimately what we have to create: a sense of purpose within us. We can look to the future as much as we like, and we can make an educated guess about what people will be going through, but the most sure thing is what we can do about ourselves.—Jack Yan, Founder and Publisher

 


British Fashion Council announces the Fashion Awards 2020, with Beijing, Shanghai screenings

Filed by Lucire staff/December 3, 2020/23.01



With the UK continuing to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, the British Fashion Council’s Fashion Awards (formerly the British Fashion Awards) announced its 20 winners with a digital film première.
   The 30-minute film went live at www.fashionawards.com today and on YouTube on the BFC’s account, and was screened in selected cities, including Beijing and Shanghai. It features some of the year’s events as well as opinion leaders and young creatives giving their thoughts on its impact. Physically appearing in the film voicing their ideas were photographer Jermaine Francis (on the work of NHS workers), entertainer Miss Jason (on the impact on younger queer people), model Salem Mitchell (on Black Lives Matter, and why activism is important), photographer Lauren Woods (that Black Lives Matter is not a hashtag, but real lives are involved), and photographer Myles Loftin (people of colour are still not represented sufficiently). Wilson Oryema, a writer and activist, followed in a later set (on building a better world for future generations), along with Kasper Kapica, a model and content manager (who recalled doing a Miu Miu campaign in the forest), Bohan Qui, communications director (China in its post-COVID mode and the world’s added interest there), Choom, magazine editor (community in the age of COVID-19), Harry Fisher, store owner (selling virtually this year), and from the class of 2020, Bradley Sharpe (Central St Martin’s), who learned he would not get a graduation show, but it turned into an opportunity.
   In the first set of award presentations for communities, Priyanka Chopra Jonas noted that people’s expectations have shifted and that the industry can directly help communities. First to be honoured was the Emergency Designer Network, set up by Bethany Williams, Cozette McCreary, Holly Fulton and Phoebe English. The Network helped create 50,000 surgical gowns and 10,000 sets of scrubs for UK health workers.
   Secondly, Michael Halpern eschewed a London Fashion Week show in favour of a tribute to frontline workers, capturing eight women from the public services in film and portraits, and contributed to the production of PPE for the Royal Brompton Hospital.
   Chanel has committed to improving the economic and social conditions of women worldwide. Its Foundation Chanel has developed a racial justice fund to support grass roots’ organizations led by people of colour. It has also committed to supporting independent artisans and ateliers. As reported earlier in Lucire, Chanel has also produced PPE. Finally, its climate strategy, Chanel Mission 1·5° aims to reduce its carbon footprint.
   Kenneth Ize has supported the communities of weavers, artisans and design groups across Nigeria, placing the country’s heritage on a global stage. He has also celebrated his Blackness and the LGBTQIA+ community with his work.
   A Sai Ta, who tells the stories from his east Asian culture through a British lens, has called for the end to discrimination against marginalized communities. His eponymous brand, A Sai, has committed profits to organizations that support the end of systemic discrimination and racism. The brand supported Black Lives Matter, in a manner which the Council labelled ‘exemplary.’
   Formula 1 racing driver Lewis Hamilton highlighted the protests against systemic racism in many countries, and believes the fashion industry has a platform on which to make change and creating a more equal society. Hamilton’s set of recipients were people who have led change by encouraging equal, diverse and empowered workforces at all levels of the business.
   Edward Enninful was the first recipient in the category, for his work contributing to diversity at British Vogue. The magazine’s covers have featured frontline workers, activists and Black Girl Magic.
   Lindsay Peoples Wagner and Sandrine Charles for Black in Fashion Council were next: launched in June 2020, the Council’s aim is to build a foundation for inclusion. It has organized a creatives in the sector to foster the change and create diversity.
   Menswear designer Samuel Ross, behind the label A-Cold-Wall, created the Black Lives Matter Financial Aid Scheme, pledging £10,000 to the organizations and people on the frontline supporting the movement. He also awarded grants of £25,000 to black-owned businesses across a diverse range of areas.
   Aurora James called on retailers to dedicate 15 per cent of their shelf space to black-owned brands. A controversial winner as far as this magazine is concerned, as James has yet to respond in depth to questions we posed to her in 2017 over a Moroccan artisan’s account, having missed her own deadline by which she promised to provide us with answers.
   Finally in this category, Priya Ahluwalia has been a pioneer in sustainable fashion, and a tireless advocate for the black community, especially this year in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.
   Maisie Williams and Aja Barber presented the awards for the environment, calling on a united effort to making the planet better.
   First up among the winners was Stella McCartney, whose record is already well known among consumers and industry alike. She has stayed true to her brand, promoting and practising sustainability, with innovation and circularity.
   Anya Hindmarch has worked hard to reduce waste in the fashion supply chain in her business, adopting new techniques and practices. She also supported the NHS with the creation of a holster for frontline staff, as well as reusable and washable hospital gowns.
   Christopher Raeburn is a pioneer in the upcycling of surplus fabrics, proving that the designs can still be creative, premium and desirable. He believes that innovation, creativity, technical excellence and partnerships can solve current issues in sustainability.
   The Fashion Pact united top-tier fashion CEOs toward collective action on biodiversity and this year, doubled its number of signatories. It represents 200 brands and a third of the industry. It has made its first strides, notably with a digital dashboard of KPIs to measure impact, and with its first collaborative activity on biodiversity.
   Gabriela Hearst has sourced materials carefully, looking at where they come from, who makes them, and what impact they have. Her spring–summer 2020 show was the first carbon-neutral catwalk presentation. Hearst wants to make the highest-quality product with the lowest environmental impact.
   The last set of awards were for creativity, introduced by Rosalía. Jonathan Anderson was awarded for his innovative approaches to showing fashion for J. W. Anderson and Loewe during the COVID-19 pandemic, with show-in-a-box and show-on-the-wall concepts, as well as inviting people to become part of the show experience.
   Grace Wales Bonner’s fashion designs celebrated black culture, evoking its history, and challenged the norms surrounding black masculinity and identity.
   Third up were Prada, Miuccia Prada and Raf Simons, demonstrating the importance of conversation, collaboration and dialogue in reimagining fashion for the future.
   Riccardo Tisci and Burberry were honoured for their inclusivity and sustainability. The Council noted the label’s innovative use of technology at London Fashion Week in September 2020 and in campaigns and launches. In addition, Burberry donated 160,000 pieces of PPE to the NHS and health care charities, repurposing its trench coat factory in Castleford. It has also donated to aid vaccine research, and to food charities.
   Menswear designer Kim Jones, introduced by David Beckham, was recognized for his creativity. He said he felt it was important to bring joy to people in a tough year, and he intended to do so with his fashion.
   The Awards were supported by Getty Images, Lavazza, Rosewood London and Royal Salute. The trophy was designed by Nagami and created by Parley for the Oceans using Parley Ocean Plastic.

 


Intimissimi shows staples for autumn–winter 2020–1

Filed by Lucire staff/November 20, 2020/6.20





Above: Intimissimi’s cashmere looks for autumn–winter 2020–1.

Intimissimi has shown its staples for autumn–winter 2020–1, with designs that can be worn year-wound. There are two series: an ultra-light cashmere range, and a wool–silk blend range.
   The cashmere range is extremely soft and can be worn next to the skin. There are four basic styles, and they can be paired with a casual jacket, a cardigan, or jeans. A long shirt is modelled on a men’s style, but with an injection of femininity. A high-necked cashmere sweater can be complemented by a thicker one during colder weather.
   The wool–silk blend range sees 85 per cent wool, 15 per cent silk, and is available in either a plain or ribbed knit. The designs are inspired by sportswear and include a long-sleeved polo shirt, a high-neck sweater, a deep V-neck shirt, a V-neck knitted vest, and a classic round-neck sweater.
   The range is now available at Intimissimi stores, official websites and select Tmall stores.





Above: Designs in the warmer wool–silk blend.

 


Huang Xiaoming launches Tissot’s T-Touch Connect Solar in China

Filed by Lucire staff/November 10, 2020/11.27


The watchmakers are really pushing their wares in China, one of the few countries who could claim to have a post-COVID economy. It’s now Tissot‘s turn, releasing its latest T-Touch Connect Solar touchscreen watches at the third China International Import Expo (CIIE), with spokesman and actor Huang Xiaoming (黃曉明).
   At the Tissot booth, Huang was hosted by Dai Junjun, the vice-president of Tissot China. Dai told the audience of Tissot’s history, beginning in 1853, tapping into the longevity that Chinese consumers respect and which many of their own brands do not yet have.
   Huang said at the event, ‘The spirit of Tissot is one that is brave to create and climb high. Just like a good actor will not be tied to a role, Tissot has been constantly breaking boundaries, exploring new areas, and making new achievements.’
   On the new T-Touch Connect Solar watches, Dai said, alluding to the times, ‘We want to break the ground for outdoor enthusiasts who have the courage to climb. Concerns about time, space, and safety reduce the burden of travel, allowing them to better enjoy the journey, enjoy nature, and enjoy life.’
   The watches have a low power consumption with capacity for solar charging. When exposed to the sun, they can run for months.
   They are Android, Iphone and Huawei Harmony-compatible, and can be connected to a mobile app interface. Others cannot access the watches readily, with a high level of privacy built in. The case is made of titanium, with a ceramic bezel. The watches are waterproof, withstanding pressure equivalent to 10 bar.

 


Movado holds Shanghai event with singer Li Ronghao and actor Jerry Chengjie Yuan

Filed by Lucire staff/November 5, 2020/10.25




Movado’s Shanghai event saw actor Jerry Chengjie Yuan, singer Li Ronghao, and Movado China general manager Danni Hammer.

Movado held its Music Time Journey event in Shanghai on October 29, with an interview format featuring its spokesman, singer–songwriter Li Ronghao (李榮浩) and host, actor Jerry Chengjie Yuan (袁成傑).
   Movado China general manager Danni Hammer, discussed the philosophy behind the brand, and how it used simple design to convey the attributes of independence and confidence. He noted that beneath the design, Movado used superior watchmaking technology.
   Movado sees Li as a good match for the brand, as an artist with a unique style, and creativity that follows his heart. The event linked Li’s latest album to Movado’s Museum Dial Modern 47 watch, featuring the company’s iconic design created by Nathan George Horwitt in 1947.
   The watch design is an example of Bauhaus simplicity, with no markers on the dials, and a single circle at the top signifying the sun—a piece of functional art. Movado had been producing the Horwitt design without permission originally, and only settled with him in 1975 for a minor sum.
   The Museum name came from the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), to which Horwitt had sold one of three watches he had privately commissioned in the mid-1950s. MoMA produced wall-clock versions of the design, originating the term ‘Museum Dial’.
   Li says this is his favourite design: ‘This dial reminds me that music and time have their own melody and rhythm, so I don’t forget to stick to my original aspirations and find the origin of life.’
   The event also promoted Movado’s 1881 series, targeted at older customers, linking it to Li’s new album Sparrow.

 


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