Good Vibes Only.
The L.A.-based painter Cleon Peterson’s work is not for the weak of heart. His depictions of extreme brutality seek to make a commentary on current events often subdued by the media. Rather Peterson’s work finds uncomfortable truths in the violence of the everyday, portraying vivid scenes typically reserved for conflict zones and gory movies.
Peterson has been making paintings and sculptures about violence for years now. He’s not trying to be moralizing; he’s just painting the darkness he sees—what all of us see—from sun up to sun down. His paintings are stark and minimal, like some child of Matisse and Shephard Fairey (whom Peterson worked under for years, and whom he has collaborated with). They’re mostly black-and-white and filled with references to power and struggle. His paintings are as mesmerizing as they are disturbing.
“Everything I do is a reaction to the world we live in,” says the artist. This worldview, if not exactly rose coloured, inspires close and critical readings of modern life. The result: black-and-white figures acting out stabbings and frozen moments of police brutality, their bodies shaped in poses that recall classic Greco-Roman sculpture. They’re complemented by the occasional splash of bright accent colours, the tones of which have been compared to the palette of ’80s punk.
Peterson uses his platform as a celebrated artist to tackle difficult topics through peaceful expression. His work is passionate and generates a conversation. Ultimately regardless of your opinion off Peterson's work it is near impossible not to see truth in the references to some of todays racial and political injustices. Just some food for thought.
He might not make headlines like some of the designers on the closely watched fashion schedule, but if you’re into fashion and you haven’t heard the name Dries Van Noten, you might want to do some homework.
Third-generation couturier and distinctive alum of the “Antwerp Six,” a revolutionary Belgian design collective of the 80’s, Dries is not a designer that craves the spotlight, opting instead to remain quietly confident and allowing his genius creations to speak for themselves. He is a master artist – and fabric is his medium.
In 1986, after graduating from the Fashion Design course at Antwerp’s Royal Academy, Dries Van Noten found instant success producing his own line of shirts, trousers, and blazers that were immediately bought by the likes of Barneys New York, Pauw in Amsterdam, and Whistles London. Decades later Dries Van Noten continues to be one of the most highly regarded fashion designers (whom still remains as an independent label), celebrated for his intelligent designs and unique fashion sensibility.
For FW16, Dries took military and Wes Wilson’s psychedelic theme to its full extent, with medallion and insignia custom embroidery patches over several pieces. Dries Van Noten is an in-store exclusive, please e-mail for inquiries.
A few days ago we had the pleasure of hosting Arnaud Faeh of OAMC. The brands co-founder was only in town for a day and was gracious enough to take some time out of his busy schedule to stop by the store and drop some knowledge for our staff.
Since the brands inception in 2013, OAMC has seen a variety of success - quickly establishing itself in the fashion market by innovating traditional menswear for the contemporary consumer. Every season the brand looks to a unified theme to draw inspiration for each garment. The Fall/Winter 2016 collection from OAMC focuses on the concept of flight and it’s many translations. Quite literally this seasons translation as it's initials stands for Oscar, Alpha, Mike and Charlie, all common identifiers in the military.
Beginning with birds and nature, OAMC works in layering techniques, graphic knits and prints, with real feathers used as accents in the garments and jewellery. Next they look at manned flight and the contributions made by the military, with hand painted WWII decorations, knit jacquard camouflage, and military construction and details.By examining the contributions made from military developments, OAMC then turns their thoughts to peace, with the dove becoming a symbol of the collection, incorporating it into prints, knits, and sculpted metals. The silhouette for the season is oversized and layered with sharp tailoring and custom fabrics accenting the innovative construction techniques and high level of quality that they are known for.
A huge thanks to Arnaud for coming through to share his experience with our staff and to OAMC for continuing to push the boundaries of contemporary mens fashion.
We sat down briefly with our good friend Davidson, designer of Wonders. Peep below for the conversation!
In brief, can you give us a little background as to who you are?
My name is Davidson Manaloto, I currently reside in New York City. Prior to that I lived in Vancouver working for a well-known Vancouver based menswear brand and where I met the Roden Gray family. I am formally trained as a mechanical engineer and chose to pursue fashion design after feeling uninspired. I recently had the chance to create a new brand, Wonders, and I am extremely excited for people to see the garments that I always wanted to create.
What was your first fashion memory?
It’s really hard to pinpoint exactly what my first fashion memory was, but I do remember learning at a young age that the way you dress and carry yourself says a lot about who you are and how people perceive you. My grandpa was a tailor and I think he instilled this in his children and that was also instilled in me.
When did you know that you wanted to start a brand, do you think there’s something missing in the industry when you started Wonders?
When I started in design I thought I wanted a brand, to create clothing I wanted but couldn’t always find. That changed as I worked in the industry. I thought I could be happy with just working for other brands and companies. I transitioned to just doing contract work and consulting and had a change of heart again but I had all these things I needed to have to start a brand. One of the most important was to find someone that trusted me and could handle more of the production. In one of my last contract jobs I met someone that I really clicked with and Wonders was born. My goal for the brand is just to show people my perspective on fashion and hopefully they enjoy it.
How did the name Wonders come up?
The name itself doesn’t have this crazy story behind it, but I was drawn towards it because of the duality of the meanings. The word wonders can be something amazing, but can also mean curiousness. These are things that I strive for as I design for the brand, this desire to learn to create newness as well as something inspiring. This duality also ties to the goal of modernizing classic menswear style and also selfishly wishing women would wear Wonders.
Coming from a small contemporary menswear brand, than moving onto a corporate menswear company - what are the positive and negative aspects of having to work with a design team, a corporate company than to a brand on your own?
In design I think there will always be the same positives and negatives. Trying to create product and clothing that is unique as well as saleable at any level always has the same hurdles. With working on my own brand not only do those design problems exist but I also have to deal with the business side, which is a whole other level of things. On the plus side its always exciting to have people and stores being really excited about what your doing and creating and it being my personal vision just makes it that much better.
Has moving from Vancouver to NYC change or shape your perspective differently in terms of what you view/design in “menswear”?
I’ve been going back and forth between Vancouver and New York for a while now so I can’t really say there’s been a profound change. I would have to say just seeing the diversity of how people dress in New York gives you a little more confidence when creating more designed pieces.
Where do you draw your inspirations, is there a specific person or an era that comes to mind when you’re designing the collection?
Every season is different and our perspective can change from season to season. It could be a person, or movement, or some type of art or graphic that gets the ball rolling. In terms of pieces I’m definitely always looking at vintage pieces, whether that be military, sportswear, etc. We are products of our environment and growing up on hip-hop, skateboarding, and basketball has shaped the way I interpret inspiration season after season.
Wonders is now available in-store, and online here.
We're excited to present our Fall/Winter 16 look book featuring Sacai, John Elliott, Raf Simons, and Dries Van Noten (in store only - email for inquires).
Nostalgia is a constant point of reference for many creatives. The generation before me had MJ (both of them), Pac, Biggie, The Bones Brigade, E30 Beamers and so much more. These are a few of the cultural icons passed down generations. Through the use of nostalgia creatives alike will find inspiration. This is evident in the resurgence of fashion trends, and remakes of movies, artist employ this tactic when appropriating art history and so on and so forth.
This is where Reginald Sylvester II comes in. First engaging with the art world through his passion for streetwear, Sylvester looked to the artists that frequently collaborated with cult brands as guiding figures in developing his own process. In an interview Sylvester said "When I first started, I was more so inspired by Futura, KAWS, Takashi Murakami and the energy that they gave me.”
In the case of Wonderful Place, his first exhibition that really began to interest me, Sylvester plays with his trippy technicolor 90s childhood—smashing Bart into Homer, Arnold into Gerald—for a powerfully vibrant re-imagination of the figures that raised him. You see the artists of our time or artists of the past picking things out of pop culture that relate to them. KAWS did the Kimpsons and Warhol chose figures like Muhammad Ali and Madonna” To Sylvester growing up in 90’s America shows like Hey Arnold relate to his lifestyle and his experiences growing up.
Since seeing early success his style has since changed. Though still within the realm of abstraction his new body of work is darker and more dramatic, rich tones offset hits of saturation, oil sticks and pastel smudges mimic ash and burn marks. Everything is a bit more confusing to the eye while still complementary of each other. I imagine his new process to be reminiscent of Carvagio and Basquiat, brutish yet dynamic. Regardless of where his style is now its clear the path Sylvester took was chalk full of nostalgia. Its a key component of our lives. Its keeps us connected to the past while constantly inspiring the future.
Whether it is powered by youthful dreams or a need for escape, flight seems to be the over-riding theme in OAMC’s Fall/Winter ’16 collection. It is represented in a natural way by the use of bird print motifs on the outerwear and actual feathers on the jewelry and the T’s, and in a more interpretive way through the design of the flight bombers and the military inspired details of the cut and sew garments. The looks this season are decidedly oversized, highlighted by voluminous outerwear layered over sharply tailored shirts and trousers. As always with OAMC, a great blend of utility and luxury.
Hit the image below for a look at our entire OAMC Fall/Winter 2016 editorial
OAMC is now available in-store and online here.
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