What’s Hong Kong without it’s neon signs? Well, it wouldn’t be HK. Now, there’s an online exhibit celebrating the artwork at www.neonsigns.hk, and it’s got this awesome interactive map that lets you see neon signs around town.
Alongside curatorially-produced essays, videos, slideshows and artist commissions, over 4,000 photos were submitted by the public from 21 March to 30 June 2014 to collectively create a unique neon map of Hong Kong. The site will remain as a lasting record and examination of Hong Kong’s fast disappearing neon signs.
I never thought about the people behind the signs, but after taking 12 minutes out of my day, I have new found respect for the creators of the light instalments. It’s sad to hear that it’s a dying art form, and that new regulations mean the signs will slowly but surely disappear from the landscape.
In Toronto, it’s rare to see neon signs. I think they used to exist and I do know that some newer restaurants are bringing them back, but I distinctly remember as a kid, the first few times I travelled to Asia, I was so enthralled by all the bright signs: some were blinking, some included different colours, some were in English, some not.
Love learning new things.
One of my absolute favourite models, Daria Werbowy, recorded a selfie video for Equipment’s Fall 2014 campaign.
A model who shies away from the limelight and rarely makes appearances anymore, I always do a double take whenever I see her in a new campaign. A true chameleon, she’s appeared in campaigns for Céline, Prada, Yves St. Laurent, Hermès, Chanel and Lancôme, just to name a few. A consummate professional, photographers have always praised her for her ability in front of the camera.
“Shooting Daria is like shooting LeBron James,” Bird explains. “She gives you 30 minutes of pure heaven and ecstasy, and that’s it. She’s over it, bored, and we’re done.”
Her cat eyes are her signature, along with her tomboy, laid-back personal style. Effortlessly cool and someone who’s always wanted more than to just be a model, her Insta shows her talent behind the camera.
There are many things that make Daria iconic. She has sailed the Atlantic and lived to tell the tale. She was the last person to be photographed by Helmut Newton before he died. She snowboards as well as she catwalks. And apparently holds the record for opening and closing the most shows in a season, but she doesn’t know if that’s true and doesn’t much care either. She is unbelievably cool, unachievably tall and unassumingly nice.
Funny enough, for someone who’s been in front of the camera as much as she has, she noted she was really nervous for this Equipment selfie campaign.
“I went kind of mental and just kept shooting to get over the nerves of the whole process. It definitely brought up things for me emotionally. I saw certain qualities about myself in the creative process and even some control issues I had. I think it is more of a true representation of myself than people have ever seen before.”
I think the coolest thing about Daria has always been how honest she is. She gives you 110% in front of the camera, she’s brutally honest in her interviews, and she disappears and does her own thing in her own spare time. She is who she is and that’s always the sexiest and most attractive thing anyone can be.
It’s all these things that makes her one of my favourite models and why she has longevity.
Kei Kagami has been designing shoes for over 10 years, but most people – even shoe lovers – have probably never heard of him. Kagami’s designs are not created to appeal to a wide audience, they are sold in very few retail outlets, and the designer himself does nothing to court media attention. Still, his footwear is worth knowing because it is awesome.
Kagami knew as a teen he would eventually design shoes after seeing an exhibition by Japanese designer Tokio Kumagai showcasing shoes that were made to look like they were fashioned out of food items. Later on, Kagami simultaneously studied architecture and tailoring. An opportunity to work with John Galliano in the 80s, whom Kagami revered, moved him from his native Japan to London. After three seasons working with Galliano, he enrolled in an MA of design program at Central St. Martins with Alexander McQueen as a classmate.
Where Kagami really excels and what sets him apart as a designer are the themes he draws influence from, and the unique materials from which he crafts his shoes with. His pieces are truly unique as Kagami avoids any forms of imitation.
One of the most dynamic aspects of his designs comes from his interest in the space between the heel of the foot and the floor; this space is shaped, filled, and framed to create original and intriguing silhouettes.
The following three points about Kagami were taken from a Dazed article and perfectly show why anyone who cares about fashion, art, and/or craftsmanship should know about Kagami as a designer.
A LOVE OF CRAFTMANSHIP
Kagami describes his love for handmade and unusual creations as “a matter of craftsmanship. I don’t want to have a boundary between thinking and actual making. Intrinsic, genuine creation is both. I have always had that kind of spirit.” When it comes to this introverted style of production, the designer literally calls his studio home. “I have a favourite area in the back of my studio, surrounded by many machineries, which I love. Usually we work on shoes there. Sometimes when things are busy, I will sleep in my studio upstairs and often go to this space on my own before I go to bed,” he says.
His creation over a corporate way of thinking struck a chord with YKK, who began their collaboration with the designer when he proposed a design to them in 1998. Said piece was a dress constructed entirely of zippers. “The idea was about using zips as a textile but still each piece had a function. I don’t like using things just for decoration. Each part has a meaning. That functional beauty is an important element for me,” Kagami states. Since then, the international manufacturer has continued to work closely with the designer. “I like working for YKK because it has an educational value and is not business-minded,” he says. With the company’s backing, he has been able to create radical designs like resin fibreglass and mechanically constructed metal footwear, but Kagami is quick to admit that his avant-garde ideas don’t come easily. “To do something new in fashion is very, very difficult, so many things have already been done. I do struggle each time, to be honest. That’s why I try to use different materials, I believe it is still possible to create something new,” the designer explains.
DO SOMETHING RADICAL
This concept of the new seems to become all the more difficult in the frantic pace of today’s fashion cycle. “Nowadays things are too mass-produced, too commercial and everyone basically works in fashion as a business for money. To break it, you have to do something extraordinary and extreme. If someone doesn’t do something creative, eventually culture will stop developing. I’m more interested in contributing to culture or education in the end. If I could be an influential designer to someone else, that would make me more than happy,” Kagami notes. His words of advice to young designers starting out? “Do something radical and truly express yourself rather than thinking about what other people are doing. The power of the trend vector in fashion is too strong, new designers should break it to keep their identity.”
La’akea Shorts by Wonderland Honolulu for Of a Kind
How delightful is it when you can wear pom-poms and not look like a child? Very.
These chic and cheerful shorts from Of a Kind are perfect for the summer and that transition season into fall. Here, in these promo photos, the shorts are paired with a slim fitting sweatshirt, but it could easily be paired with a silk blouse, or sleeveless top. I love how the shorts also curve upwards to draw the eye up too.
A definite good buy at $63. Plus, only 40 are made…and I’m
You can’t learn how to be elegant; you can only learn how to avoid mistakes. The rest is instinct. Elegance is about the way you cross your legs, not the label or the newest clothes from the latest collection.