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Amber dress, Alessandra jumpsuit and Anila dress, Velveteen.jpg
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Fashion


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Fashion


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Salad Days


Bonpoint emphasises fun in its seasonal range for the little ones

Salad Days


Bonpoint emphasises fun in its seasonal range for the little ones

Lifestyle > Fashion


Salad Days

July 18, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

 
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Inspired by the warm daylight of Provence, the white sands of Zanzibar and an English garden romance, Bonpoint’s summer 2018 collection brings garden party fashion to your children’s wardrobes. These extremely cute designs consist of rich colours, gorgeous printing and classic folds; tie-dye, stripes and plaid also star. Famed for its unique French style and top-quality materials, the Parisian house’s new range of lovely summer dresses and light skirts is a pleasant surprise. Let your young children enjoy their summer fun in a comfortable and fashionable way with Bonpoint.

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Under the Sun


Get the right kit to accessorise the beach in style

Under the Sun


Get the right kit to accessorise the beach in style

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Under the Sun

July 18, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

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Style Express


A selection of the hottest items to enhance your latest look

Style Express


A selection of the hottest items to enhance your latest look

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Style Express

July 18, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Amber dress, Alessandra jumpsuit and Anila dress, Velveteen.jpg

Fountain of Youth


There’s plenty in store for children’s fashion this summer

Fountain of Youth


There’s plenty in store for children’s fashion this summer

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Fountain of Youth

July 18, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Image above: Amber dress, Alessandra jumpsuit and Anila dress, Velveteen

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Secure Footing


Imagine no possessions... and no fretting about losing things poolside

Secure Footing


Imagine no possessions... and no fretting about losing things poolside

Lifestyle > Fashion


 

Secure Footing

July 18, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

 

Fretting over a wallet or purse when hanging out at a resort or a summer festival is a hassle we could all do without. Well, Nike has stepped up to tackle the issue with its bumbag slides. The new collection of Benassi JDIs has the brand’s typical open-toe and textured footbed, but comes with a zip pocket attached to the strap, wherein you can store keys, cash, cards, medicine and any other small items you just can’t do without. Oh, and did we mention that there’s a pocket on each slide for added intrigue?

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Periodic Table of Style


In 2012, Chinese student Jennifer Lee graduated from Columbia University with a psychology degree. That same year, she enrolled at Parsons School of Design, where she decided to start her own fashion label. After working with international brands including Marchesa and Marc Jacobs, she launched Jn:Dn in 2017

Periodic Table of Style


In 2012, Chinese student Jennifer Lee graduated from Columbia University with a psychology degree. That same year, she enrolled at Parsons School of Design, where she decided to start her own fashion label. After working with international brands including Marchesa and Marc Jacobs, she launched Jn:Dn in 2017

Lifestyle > Fashion


Periodic Table of Style

July 4, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

How would you define the millennial style in China? 

The only unifying feature is that they are all trying to find their own voices. Some look to vintage, nostalgically admiring a time before they were born. Others dress very simply, in oversized clothes of natural fibres. In contrast, many are also influenced by hip-hop culture. 

When did you decide it was time to start your own brand? 

The summer after I graduated from Parsons, I planned on doing a small capsule collection to test the waters and see what the market’s reaction would be. But after a month, I realised that I had to immerse myself in the water in order to build a brand. 

How did you come up with the name?  

The Jn comes from my English name, Jennifer, and the Dn comes from my Chinese name, Dening. I wanted to create a brand identity that isn’t bound to a specific culture. If anything, it looks like elements from the periodic table. 

Who do you design for?

I design for women who are grown up, but who haven’t grown old. The clothes are playful, but not immature. The Jn:Dn girl stands out, but doesn’t stick out.

So far, Jn:Dn has launched three collections. How did you come up with the initial lookbooks?

17FW was inspired by the static on old-school TV sets, when our favourite show would be suddenly interrupted by rows of colourful rectangles. To capture this contrast, we painted large canvases and set them in front of a busy industrial landscape. 18SS [pictured here] was photographed by Xiaoyang Jin, a friend of mine that I met years ago in New York. We’d worked together several times before, so I trusted him with the creative execution of the photo shoot after discussing the general direction – something playful but clean. 

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What’s one important lesson you learned at Parsons?

Be yourself.

What was it like to work with Marchesa and Marc Jacobs?

It was very hands-on. Besides researching concepts and sourcing materials, I worked a lot on embellishments and fabric manipulations. This included dyeing, beading, screen-printing, et cetera.

In the first year, the brand built an impressive presence in major Chinese cities. How did you make that happen? 

After moving to Shanghai, I did a lot of research on young Chinese designer labels. I spent a lot of time going through the stockists of brands that were successful and similar to mine in some way, such as price range and age range.

What’s the biggest challenge? 

Balancing all the different parts of running a business, including design, sourcing, production, management and so on.

How do you market the brand?

We have been collaborating with the wardrobe departments for a couple of TV series and are currently in discussion for a few crossover opportunities with industries outside of fashion. 

Have your design sensibilities evolved since you started Jn:Dn?

I think I have become braver in my use of colours. I never really noticed my sense of that before buyers commented on how it was different and unique to my brand. Since then, I’ve been trying to express myself better with colour.    

Where do you see Jn:Dn in five years? 

I hope that in five years, Jn:Dn will be stocked internationally, especially in New York. Besides being a fashion capital, New York is also a nostalgic place for me. I also plan to open at least one flagship store – a space where people can really experience the brand vision.

Images: Photographer: Xiaoyang Jin; hair and make-up: QiQi; model: Alina O

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Plumes of Smoke


Traditionally in silk or velvet, the smoking jacket is a leisurely after-dinner eveningwear piece for men

Plumes of Smoke


Traditionally in silk or velvet, the smoking jacket is a leisurely after-dinner eveningwear piece for men

Lifestyle > Fashion


  Hugh Hefner and Crystal Hefner attend the Playboy Mansion's annual Halloween Bash on October 25, 2014 in Los Angeles

Hugh Hefner and Crystal Hefner attend the Playboy Mansion's annual Halloween Bash on October 25, 2014 in Los Angeles

Plumes of Smoke

June 20, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Image above: Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy in Woman of the Year (1942)

In the 17th century, when silk was widely traded along the Silk Road, the delicate material originating from China was adored by the European upper classes as a luxurious fabric for clothing. Men, in particular, wanted to be depicted in paintings wearing a silk robe-de-chambre or a long banyan gown as a symbol of their status and wealth.

Tobacco was popular, too; it was brought to Europe primarily from the Americas. Though its use was extensively regulated during the era, smoking was still considered a fashionable act for men. In England, George Latimer Apperson’s 1914 book The Social History of Smoking satirically lists “taking tobacco with a grace” as one of the accomplishments of “a complete, well-qualified gentleman”.

Enter the smoking jacket, designed to protect the proper gentleman’s attire from odours or stains. The dual notions of luxury and comfort made silk and velvet ideal for fabrics; other wool-blended fabrics such as cashmere, merino and plush were also commonly used. Donning this jacket after dinner, men would retreat to the garden or the smoking room with their pipe or a cigar in hand.   

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  Justin Timberlake in Tom Ford at the 9th Annual Governors Awards

Justin Timberlake in Tom Ford at the 9th Annual Governors Awards

In 1926, British businessman Lou Rose designed men’s nightwear garments using fine fabrics, creating a more relaxed version of the smoking jacket; the brand is still active today and is now named for Derek Rose, Lou’s son. In the US, smoking jackets became a popular item for outerwear among celebrities, from Cary Grant and Frank Sinatra to Katharine Hepburn; the acclaimed actress wore a structured velvet smoking jacket with silk shawl lapels and an adorned belt in the 1942 film Woman of the Year. Other famous figures to wear the style included Playboy magazine creator Hugh Hefner – and Fred Astaire, the legendary Hollywood musical dancer and singer, was allegedly buried in his favourite smoking jacket. 

In 1966, Yves Saint Laurent created the famous tuxedo-style suit for women, Le Smoking, as part of his autumn/winter Pop Art collection. Aside from playing with traditional gender roles, it was also controversial at the time because of its sexual implications – relying not on exposure of bare skin, but a more subtle, smouldering look. The collar and shoulder line were adjusted to be more feminine, the curve was emphasised with a narrow waistline and the perfectly cut trousers helped give women’s legs an elongated appearance.   

Today, Le Smoking, or any piece resembling it, has become a staple in many women’s wardrobes, just like the little black dress. For men, the smoking jacket has stepped out of smoky rooms into a variety of occasions, from black-tie affairs to fashion soirees.

Images: Instagram: @tomford; Charley Gallay/Getty Images North America/AFP; Reg Lancaster/Stringer/Getty Images; George Rinhart/Corbis via Getty Images

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  A model showcases a masculine look in a pinstripe trouser suit by Yves Saint Laurent. His Le Smoking suit became a signature piece for the designer

A model showcases a masculine look in a pinstripe trouser suit by Yves Saint Laurent. His Le Smoking suit became a signature piece for the designer

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Going Green


Explore the colour of life, growth and renewal

Going Green


Explore the colour of life, growth and renewal

Lifestyle > Fashion


Going Green

June 20, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

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Avant-Garde Approach


Miuccia Prada invites four architects to create items using black nylon fabric: the ultimate icon of the brand

Avant-Garde Approach


Miuccia Prada invites four architects to create items using black nylon fabric: the ultimate icon of the brand

Lifestyle > Fashion


Avant-Garde Approach

June 6, 2018 / by Sonia Altshuler

The language we encounter here is like an archaeological find, as fascinating to us as ancient scrolls or coins, because we sense that its time is running out

— Jacques Herzog
  The reinterpreted frontal backpack by Rem Koolhaas for Prada Invites

The reinterpreted frontal backpack by Rem Koolhaas for Prada Invites

Italian designer Miuccia Prada has always been at the cutting edge of fashion’s drive. From countercultural fabric choices and subverting definitions of beauty to hiring architects to design her stores, as well as the brand’s foundations in Milan and Venice that show constantly revolving art exhibitions, Prada’s offerings have been ambitious and, in their finest manifestations, avant-garde. 

Now, the woman with the “ugly beauty” mantra has surprised the market again by inviting four celebrated creative minds to work on a unique item for her autumn/winter 2018 menswear collection. True to form, on this occasion Mrs Prada (as she’s called in-house) has switched the focus to the industrial side of the multifaceted Prada identity. Globally renowned architects Rem Koolhaas, Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec, Herzog & de Meuron and Konstantin Grcic have been enlisted to work with a simple brief: to create an item using the black nylon fabric, considered a Prada icon. 

In 1984, Mrs Prada first introduced black nylon with the brand’s backpack. It served as the perfect representation of the designer’s nomadic, exploratory sensibilities, but also of her understanding of the principle of utilitarianism. Totem of style and travel piece combined, the fashion-meets-function item became the It-bag overnight. It was minimal, too, emblazoned only with Prada’s iconic triangular logo. The black nylon backpack was a high-low stunt of prescient proportions, a game-changer that is still coveted today.

Prada Invites – as the new initiative is called – brings together the architects to manifest four radically different approaches that investigate the poetic, practical, technical and aesthetic aspects of nylon. The Paris-based Bouroullec brothers have collaborated with a wide range of companies such as Cassina, Alessi, Samsung, Flos and more; their work covers a broad stretch from jewellery to structures, and from drawings to videos and photography. But this is their first time trying their hand at fashion design, so how did they find the project? 

“I’ve always liked the profiles of people – architects, painters and students – walking around with their art folders,” says Ronan Bouroullec. “The movement of that rectangle… its clear-cut, fixed geometry contrasting with the moving bodies. This project takes that geometry and instils it in a shoulder bag, with its inside gusset, low-fastening elastic bands and eyelets, and use of a single colour, which produces a subtle graphical playfulness.”

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The Munich-based Grcic has won numerous design awards and has curated exhibitions such as Design Real for London’s Serpentine Gallery, as well as building pavilions for the Venice and London Biennales. His style is pared down and minimal – “simplicity”, as he calls it – and for this project, he used maritime inspiration for his contribution. “The key reference for my proposal is the fishing vest, representing the idea of a bag, which is what the nylon material has been primarily used for, as a garment,” he explains. “My first thought was to recreate [German Fluxus artist] Joseph Beuys’ famous fishing vest in Prada black nylon. Later, I worked on two models that interpret the theme in a more abstract way: Apron and Hood.”

  Sketch for the shoulder bag designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

Sketch for the shoulder bag designed by Ronan & Erwan Bouroullec

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Swiss phenoms Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron received the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 2001 and have assembled a veritable greatest-hits of work: Beijing’s National Stadium, aka the Bird’s Nest; the Tate Modern in London; the Pérez Art Museum Miami; and M+ in Hong Kong, due to open next year. Prada is a regular collaborator with Herzog & de Meuron, who build stores for the brand, but this was the inaugural fashion crossover. 

For the duo’s entry, Herzog has invoked language and its changing identity. “Language has lost its power – to persuade people with arguments or to enchant them with the poetry of words,” explains Herzog. “It was a weapon of enlightenment.” He argues that language has lost its seduction, becoming an empty vehicle of information. As such, he uses text as a design element, like a pattern or decoration, with entire passages almost like ornamental tattoos. “The language we encounter here is like an archaeological find, as fascinating to us as ancient scrolls or coins, because we sense that its time is running out,” he says. 

  Herzog & de Meuron’s contributions to the project are called Language Restraint

Herzog & de Meuron’s contributions to the project are called Language Restraint

  Konstantin Grcic’s design is inspired by Fluxus artist Joseph Beuys’ fishing vest

Konstantin Grcic’s design is inspired by Fluxus artist Joseph Beuys’ fishing vest

Last but not least is the towering figure of the Rotterdam-born Koolhaas, who runs Dutch architectural firm OMA. Currently a professor at Harvard, he has built the Fondazione Prada in Milan, the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow and the headquarters of China Central Television in Beijing, amongst others. 

Koolhaas has taken the same deconstructive approach to the Prada commission as he does on a building. “This project proposes a reinterpretation of the backpack, more suitable for the contemporary urban citizen,” he explains. “It is carried on the front so its contents are at any time accessible to the wearer. It is dimensioned to accommodate the devices that enable modern life to unfold, easily unpacked through convenient openings.” The smart countercultural thinking of back-to-front “gives a more intimate sense of ownership”, he adds. Which sounds a lot like Mrs Prada’s entire blueprint for design, doesn’t it?


Images: Courtesy of Prada

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Flower Power


A collection of artefacts from the illustrious Mexican artist Frida Kahlo
goes on display in London

Flower Power


A collection of artefacts from the illustrious Mexican artist Frida Kahlo
goes on display in London

Lifestyle > Fashion


Flower Power

June 6, 2018 / by China Daily Lifestyle Premium

Image above: Frida Kahlo on a bench, 1939

  Necklace of silver, enamel, turquoise and coral with hinged compartment, made by Matilde Poulat, Mexico City, c.1950, from the Museo Frida Kahlo

Necklace of silver, enamel, turquoise and coral with hinged compartment, made by Matilde Poulat, Mexico City, c.1950, from the Museo Frida Kahlo

Showing at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum (V&A) this summer is the monumental exhibition Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up, which will present an extraordinary collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist. Locked away for 50 years after her death, this collection has never before been exhibited outside Mexico. As part of the legacy and endurance of Kahlo’s influence, activist and model Adwoa Aboah will also chair a discussion on her experience of female representation in media and the importance of women creating their own image; Aboah is known not only for her individual style that has graced innumerable magazine covers and catwalks, but also for her passionate support of women, which led her to create online platform Gurls Talk. The exhibition opens on June 16. (vam.ac.uk)

 
  V&A exhibition book for  Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up 

V&A exhibition book for Frida Kahlo: Making Her Self Up 


Frida Style Express

Images: © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives (Frida Kahlo); Javier Hinojosa/© Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Archives, Banco de México, Fiduciary of the Trust of the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo Museums (necklace); © Victoria and Albert Museum, London 2018

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