Words and fashion are like two peas in a pod – acres of blogs and magazine articles dedicated to decoding the will of designers, seeking to read between the lines and discover the garment’s hidden agenda. This season fashion is returning the favour as the alphabet appears to provide inspiration to some of fashion’s biggest names and a whole trend is dedicated to typography.
Mary Katranzou pays homage to the crimson curves of the Olivetti Lettera 35 typewriter and in another dress she incorporates what looks like the keypad of an old fashioned mobile phone into her digitally printed garments. This dress is also featured in the November 2012 issue of British Vogue in an article dedicated to that glorious, very British past time – the car boot sale.
A more playful take on the trend appears in the Stella McCartney’s Autum 2012 Resort Collection, which includes elaborate calligraphy and crested initials creating a fusion of clean, modern cuts with classic country manor heritage fonts.
Versace’s heavily religous iconography plays tribute to Gianni Versace’s gothic themed final collection and features biblical block capitals as well as Byzantine crosses appearing on dresses and bags.
But it’s not just the catwalk that adopts the written word and typography – watch this space as Trésor prepares to launch a new collection on Trésor Shop !
Trésor have been looking at packaging in response to a recent creative brief. We found these rather inspirational.
The coated paper bag by Jil Sander for the Fall 2012 menswear collection – with stitched seams on each side, two gold-coloured metal eyelets and a stamped logo at its base. It is a take on the brown paper lunch bag and it costs $290 and it is therefore an interesting juxtaposition of the throw-away and the keepsake. The bag is named ‘Vasari’, which, with its ‘long rectangular silhouette’ perhaps alludes to the the painter and architect Giorgio Vasari or the ‘Vasari Corridor’ connecting two Palazzos in Florence – the Palazzo Vecchio to the Palazzo Pitti.
The image below featuring Chanel packaging is from a Tim Walker shoot for the April 2012 issue of American Vogue shot with Kate Moss at the Ritz Hotel in Paris, just before it closed for refurbishement. The Chanel brand stands for understated elegance, the use of black and white, straight lines, and rectangular designs represent purity. When a customer opens up a Chanel box, they see the product right away so they can experience it immediately.
We, at Trésor, are always concerned about the well-being of businesses when we get a creative brief. At a recent talk, Sir John Hegarty gave some examples on how a company’s visual output is a great window into a business. Marketing and advertising needs to stay consistent, confident and communicate what the business is about.
His favourite example is to contrast Nike and Reebok. Nike came up with a brilliant slogan: ‘Just Do It’ in 1987 that was confident and stayed consistent even as the brand refreshed its advertising campaigns. Reebok changed its marketing slogan 14 times since 1987. Nike’s US market share grew to be twice the size of Reebok’s.
Another example he sites comes from the manufacturing industry, he’s disappointed how the manufacturing industry on occasions failed to capitalies on the creative force that was out there. He gives the example of Lord Stokes, sometime boss of Mini cars, who dismissed suggestions that the firm should build a hatchback because it would mean trouble with the trade unions and anyway Mini was selling enough cars as it was. Fast forward a generation and Mini is owned by the Germans who now make a hatchback.
Above is an advertising campaign that is a clear testament to his genius and one of his personal favourites. The client instantly liked the idea and the final ad ended up just as his agency (BBH) imagined it and it’s the commercial in his career that he wouldn’t change a thing about.
Fendi’s Spring Summer 2013 ready-to-wear collection is a great feat of Karl Lagerfeld and Silvia Venturini Fendi. Notions of spatial geometry and dimensionality are fused with the house’s traditional and time-honoured skills in a very intelligent way.
Fendi’s garments and accessories traditionally have an artisanal touch applied to every single item. In this collection for the house’s 87th anniversary they are using a technique called ‘saldatura’ to bind materials with a kind of electrical welding, instead of stitching, which is still done by hand – almost as if they are bringing ‘hand-made’ notions into the digital-era.
As for inspiration Lagerfeld sites the Sistine Chapel frescos, more specifically for the shared use of perspective: the black and coloured borders framing the inner panels gave them a 3-dimensional quality, but there was also a 2-dimensional layering of architectural shapes and multiple lengths – “Three dimensions, two lengths” as Mr Lagerfeld put it.
The accessories had a kind of sculptural and playful aesthetic to them. Some of the upper panels of footwear come as a kit of parts, that allows the end-user to assemble them, Lego-like and again places an emphasis on the hand-made quality. Some of the handbags remind us of Rubik’s cubes. (see above).
Finally what makes it such a graphic collection are the large interlocking F’s of the Fendi logo on some of the jackets (not pictured) and the interesting colour palette. The colours make references to the colour theory of Josef Albers. One of the studies visible in the collection is the ‘relativity of colour’ – a theory that investigates how the same colour can be made to appear as two different colours. In the Albers example above the ochre square is the same colour at the top as at the bottom, but it appears as two different colours – lighter at the top and much darker, almost brown at the bottom and no normal human eye is able to see both squares alike.
This means that using the same colours in different contexts and garments will give them new meaning and this results in immense versatility and intellectual depth in the collection.