Richmond Magazine, Living/Style (September 2018)
Photographer: Jeff Saxman
Stylist: CJ Lancione
Art Director: Sarah Lockwood
Editor: Tharon Giddens
Got Your Back
Move over Jansport. The '90s staple is getting a sophisticated facelift.
Back to Cool
Take note, everyone: Backpack purses are in again. From utilitarian to bedazzled, we've got your covered.
Page 1: Madison West taupe embroidered backpack, $65, Lou Lou
Page 2 (clockwise): black slouchy backpack, $64, Sweetest Stitch; MZ Wallace "Metro" carmine quilted backpack, $225, Monkee's of Richmond; Hello 3am multicolor sequins backpack, $68, Frillseekers at the Shops at 5807; tan mini backpack with handle, $52, Mod&Soul; VereVerto "Macta" white convertible backpack, $483, Verdalina; multi-pocket backpack, $32, Ashby
METAPHYSICAL: past, present, future
moda[physical] addresses the metaphysical essence of existence, seeking to unveil the nature of being and the world that encompasses it. This existence is abstracted through wisdom, consciousness, and intuition via past, present, and future. The juxtaposition of the dynamic and the static of the past induces an unexpected beauty, while mystical romance evokes the lore of nature and fantasy. Stimulated by nature and meditation in the present, space and time evoke an effortless consciousness of thought and self. The search for truth, belief, and justification counterbalances the fragility of the unknown natural world in the future, evoking supernatural responses in the quest for clarity and distinction. Through the evolution and acceptance of wisdom, conscious, and intuition together can a true state of existence can be achieved.
wisdom : past : cosmology
“The only true wisdom is knowing you know nothing.” Socrates
Dark matter and dark energy ignite the sensual mystery of cosmology in wisdom. Embodied in dark and opaque tonal color combinations of blues, reds, and browns, unexpected beauty is induced by the juxtaposition of the dynamic and the static of the past. Embellishment details, dimensional embroidery, and enchanting shimmer evoke mystical romance. The lore of nature and fantasy is visible in plush textures and luxurious shines. Organic textures create layers of complex dimension of shape and volume, symbolic of the universal origin and evolution.
consciousness : present : ontology
“I think therefore I am. [Cogito ergo sum.]” René Descartes
Light and airy earthly elements support the essence of ontology in consciousness. Semi-transparent silhouettes and ultra-soft volume present effortless awareness of reality and senses. Translucent and organic color combinations of diffused pink and neutral hues are inspired by nature and meditation and recall the quieting air of dawn. Ultra-thin, weightless materials with airy finishes, flowy details, and soft shapes embody space and time. The nature of being evokes the presence of thought and self.
intuition : future : epistemology
“When we look out in space, we look back in time.” David N. Spergel
The search for truth, belief, and justification evolve into a futuristic epistemology in intuition. A cool, minimalist aesthetic counterbalances the fragility of the unknown natural world.Omniscience, skepticism, and imagination expose a mix of patterns and proportion play. Crisp folds and tailored shapes build luxuriously architectural dimension. Lustrous, metallic shines and embossing textures surprise otherwise naïve geometric shapes. Angular volumes and amplified silhouettes evoke supernatural, trance-like responses in the quest for clarity and distinction.
In the years following World War I, design styles experienced numerous developments and transformations. The playful Art Moderne style that emerged in France and the geometric Modernism style that emerged in Germany both received international popularity between the 1920s and 1940s. These combined styles later became known as Art Deco. The design was often characterized by rich colors, bold geometric shapes, and lavish ornamentation. Historical influence referenced Egyptian themes following the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922. Unlike the heavy organic motifs of the preceding Art Nouveau style, Art Deco combined traditional craft motifs with Machine Age imagery and materials as a result of the rapid spread of industrialism. Historian Bevis Hillier defined the period as "an assertively modern style [that] ran to symmetry rather than asymmetry, and to the rectilinear rather than the curvilinear; it responded to the demands of the machine and of new material [and] the requirements of mass production."
The term Art Deco derived from the L'Exposition Internationale des Arts Decoratifs et Industriels Moderns exhibition held in Paris in 1925. The popularity of industrialism fueled the movement's early focus on functionalism with designs applicable to mass production. In America, architecture and the decorative arts were strongly influenced by Art Deco during this time. Parisian inspired decoration became the most readily identifiable style of the 1920s and remained prominent in America long after it was out of style in France. In women's fashion, jewelry lines became more streamlined and angular to complement changing dress silhouettes. They were defined by new forms, color combinations, and cuts of stones. Graphic design followed similar lines and was often influenced by the Plakatsil and Cubist styles with simplified silhouettes, geometric shapes, and typography.
The style of Art Deco represented the luxury, extravagance, and glamour of the Machine Age and growth of consumerism. In recent years, there have been repeated periods of revival as the style has been highlighted in graphics, film, and fashion. The 2013 remake of The Great Gatsby influenced numerous designers of evening wear including Versace, Badgley Mischka, J Mendel, and Ralph Lauren. Gown silhouettes were simplified and the details were formed with intricate beading, sequins, and geometric shapes. While the ease of the simple silhouettes evoked a sleek, contemporary feeling, the detail of the shapes and the luxury of the materials conjured a distinctly Art Deco mood. These architectural detail, linear jewelry, and graphical element inspirations were present throughout the 2012 and 2013 fashion weeks and continue to remain current today. Fitting for another turn of a new century, the revival of Art Deco serves as a luxurious reminder of the promise that industrial growth and progress can have on the arts and fashion.
Designer Inspiration: Haider Ackermann
Haider Ackermann is the Colombian-born, Belgian-trained, French designer who quickly became known for the sculptural beauty of his cropped leather jackets and seductively draped dresses. Born in Bogota, Colombia, Ackermann was adopted by a French couple who had already adopted two other children from Vietnam and South Korea. The family traveled to wherever Ackermann's father, a cartographer, was working and lived in Algeria, Chad, Ethiopia, and Iran, before settling in the Netherlands. Ackermann alter studied fashion in Belgium at Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts. His portfolio included work with other designers such as Bernhard Willhelm, Patrick Van Ommeslaeghe, and Mayerline as well as a five month internship at John Galliano.
Since launching his collection in 2002, Ackermann's career has received much success. In 2005, his label was acquired by the Belgian investment group BVBA 32 under chief executive Anne Chapelle. The group later split Ackermann's business into a separate entity from its other fashion holding, Ann Demeulemeester, in recognition of the label's growing prominence. Ackermann was elected as a guest designer at the influential Pitti Immagine showcase in Florence in 2011, where he also unveiled his first menswear collection to critical acclaim. Ackermann has been approached to head up several prominent design houses including Dior and Martin Margiela. He was also named by Karl Lagerfeld as the designer he would like to succeed him at Chanel.
Ackermann takes bohemian dressing to another level through the subliminal influence of his wanderings. "I never take pictures. I absorb things and try to remember them. If they stay in my mind, then it's meant to be," the designer says of his travels. His clothes identify with the person who wears them--unique and artistic--and conjure an image of someone sensual and mysterious. Masculine undertones are a signature of the Ackermann brand as he often plays between strength and fragility in his designs. "You love the idea that she would steal the clothes from her husband," he said, before correcting himself: "Her lover, not her husband." Some of his most successful reoccurring themes of design include Grecian draping, Islamic mosaic, and architectural structure. His inspiration? "The street," Ackermann said simply. "And elegance."