Outside Fundamentalists Fashion – With Hope I Transform Everything

I thought I could watch the Virgil show but I can’t. Today they show what will now be Virgil final presentation. There’s so much about fashion that is about the wonder and the enjoyment of culture. today it gives me the feeling of sour candy apples, you know it’s the last but it’s for the wrong reason and you know it’s by him but nothing will be again

I remember coming into the fashion world post McQueen. I would be in University/College wondering if I would see anything new. Sitting in my dorm room researching the Antwerp 6 Rei Kawakubo and Yohji all the while making 3D models practicing my animation. Late nights with my people on Skype (yes that old) talking about the new thing I learned and telling my friend ‘They used to call Balenciaga, ‘Master of Us All’.

Later down the line I would see the Anti Fashion Movement was more of a representation of an amalgamation of underground culture from the youth. Simply the beauty of the youth and essence of Us in clothes. Then I hear the guys who ASAP Rocky were wearing [HBA x Been Trill] have a new show coming up. It’s called something like ‘Pyrex Vision 23’…

Yo bro this is about to a vibe I wonder if I can buy one …

I genuinely thought. Maybe I could afford one. I would end up selling blanks and graphic tees much later but the point is I had to see this video as soon as it dropped – this guy named VIRGIL ABLOH – say swear my man is Ghanaian and worked with Kanye. Makes sense he’s an architect right. African like me and did what I like to do. Technical design. The discipline of real world application of your art skills using human cantered design principles, this guy even knew about Dieter Rams

Little did I know Virgil would be the biggest thing in fashion for America and for European fashion

Long story short the parallels between him and I played into all my biases. I just want to put you all in a space where someone who looked like me and lived in a way I was living would create to represent me and where I come from. From what I could see they start and end with design and want to inspire the youth and express myself through design.

A way I can explain it in short is. The way in which Vivienne Westwood encapsulated punk and the way the Antwerp 6 Grunge we got Virgil Kerby Sam and Shayne developing with akin concepts based on black experience.

For 2 years indirectly and 9 years directly I followed Virgil’s story. As it was one where you know when it’s history, tell a lie, my intuition told me to look, the references told me to keep looking and the misrepresentation of what Off White and Hood By Air created made me stay. I knew for a while there needed to be someone who could translate to people what we really were looking at. Not what you thought it was because if you were as young as I was looking at this OG create for you. You’d want to protect it in the same way Europeans protect the Antwerp 6 Comme and Yohji.

Not that I don’t relate equally to European fashion but that this is the first interaction for many people of what Virgil is doing and he was unlike Sean Jean or Jordan he was the guy who watched and lived through what they did and wanted what they created (much like I to his clothes) and wanted to develop the cycle of inspiration entrenched in the fashion community.

Knowing what I knew and feeling as I did. Being in a position where all I could do was write that is very much what I did and once I saw how it was all going I would write about Virgil. I have wrote about Virgil consistently for 4 years, for one it deserved it and 2 it became a meme to entangle his essence in bounds of knots and not care for what you were creating a jest about.

So I spent hours trying to create critique and thesis around Virgil’s thesis, because it deserved it. The more the essence was understood the less I felt the need to intercede. Without those hours of streaming talking about Virgil to swing guys to neutral it would just be me writing review and reactions.

Virgil as a celebrity induced attention however he moved. As a man he could be living his life, as a celebrity he would inspire a generation, cultivate disciples and create a language of design for those who followed him can walk for years to come.

The fluidity of how he moved in business and consciousness he gave to a culture of you that that didn’t think that Fashion was for them vitalised a healthy amount of curiosity in the next generation

Outside Fundamentalists Fashion – With Hope I Transform Everything

#VintageBlackGlamour – Damilare Debut as Curatorial Editor of Voices In Fashion

There was a time when I noticed that I was the first instance someone was seeing a black person not fed to them on the media. I remember when I was a teen and I was the token black friend and dealt with terrible behaviour because of it.

Then I went to university and saw a different world, intermingling with people of different regions cities counties socioeconomic background ethics and different classes who had never met a black person before. All they saw was what was shown to them on the news, this was a time before social media.

Now we have social media to amplify the stickiest subject matter that happens to be disturbing imagery. I’m still seen as one of the good ones, so at best I’m guessing it isn’t the most endearing imagery of blacks people they have seen, to have this opinion and have never met one.

That being said I discover that imagery and media are a drastic factor in how people will perceive entire communities they have zero interaction with in the real life. So in many ways I’m a token non threatening avatar. There were many instances where I hated that part of my life, legitimately felt like Pinocchio ‘trying to be a real boy’ and not have the standard of what people think of a black person on me. it’s hard frustrating and restrictive, as no matter what if you show you’re human, who makes mistakes, one time, they wipe out your whole history and initiate the “I always knew there was something…”

I say that to say, dealing in black imagery is very agonising to live through, extremely dense characters are part of your audience and many black people feel like the have to shuck and jive till the make it home. There are others now who welcome the challenge and endear themselves to the ideal of, only black person in the room, ‘my presence is representation’, ‘I am one of the good ones’, ‘black people are sluggish lazy, stupid and unconcerned but not me’. Which is enough to make this a very political game at every phase of life, this goes all the way to the top.

This is all my understanding, before I really cared about fashion writing and black supermodels. What hits the most to me is the monotony of the monopoly of black womens imagery. It upset me enough to start my career out talking about needing more black supermodels then doubling down and speaking up about the fetishisation of our extremes of either light or dark skin. Black people with albinism and those with hyperpigmentation, namely Sudan models.

How I developed interest was in part protest and just knowing better, over time images I have saved and curated around black imagery that has a multifaceted appeal quality and diversity.

I call it vintage black glamour as it is more than just Black people in fashion or in books that are out of print it is the worlds worth of Africans that are who they are and someone has taken a snapshot of them doing it, being themselves. Some of the best works I can say conceived surrounding black people. I had wondered if I should make a page about this but there’s enough. My pages are built with this ethos regardless. So this isn’t about an @ it’s about a life choice, to share black people as is. Beauty splendour rugged Curt firm coarse gritty bright and everything in between.

My enemy is peoples decision to not have quality control in their lifestyle choices of media they share. Nobodies perfect and there are some amazing pages out there there’s just a story that needs to be told and I want to teach and open myself up to that journal properly. If you’re with me follow Voicesin Fashion on Instagram and Twitter

Meet with me on this journey every week on the voices in fashion page for updates

Dynamism of New Bottega |Bottega Veneta Flashy designs under Daniel Lee

bless up from your feet to your head top

we go again,

Daniel Lee’s Bottega Veneta is a lesson in creating a look without saying you’re creating a look.

It was fun to say Bottega is doing this and that. As in being hidden with the logos and not having ads and not paying influencers etc etc.. for a while. Bottega is known for being a stealthy brand that us seen and not heard, however under daniel lee, it was both for the full tenure in a head line or celebrity post constantly.

Daniel lee created collection after collection built with an aesthetic and an expressionist brush, as he sees it.

After the pandemic, (if there is even such a thing) Daniel Lee gave us the biggest post-pandemic vibes with FALL 2021 RTW. this latest collection. Creating a Bottega in his own image. A loud and experimental decision that paid in visibility.

Looking closely at the tapestry he is building he is seen to create a design language of expressionism in his designs. Giving us something new, with Bottega we are under the presupposition it has the foundation of minimalism, pushing the feeling of luxury and craftsmanship. What we see with Daniel Lee’s design is a progression I’m seeing with his ready to wear collections as one in all a continuity of storytelling that is telling a story that doesn’t live under the presupposition when we see Bottega Veneta. First I thought it was just the bags.  And him creating an ‘IT-BAG’ then I was like… that’s weird… that’s suspicious. Bottega bags aren’t supposed to be loud or ostentatious, in two minds, seeing him pushing the intrecciato to the extreme at the same time, is this Bottega.

Now let us think… the point of the ‘IT-BAG’ is for it to let you know it exists. Bottega prides itself on not having a logo using its masterful leather work do the talking – Italian excellence as per. Okay Daniel Lee Bags are doing that, it’s very clear, yet it’s an ‘IT BAG’ – (what a cool revelation) – it almost sounds oxymoronic to say a Bottega bag is an IT BAG when the definition endears itself to everyone knowing it exists. Then you look at the Bottega GREEN the most loud and clear sign of Bottega and we see the “New Bottega” ads, all these would not mean all that much if it wasn’t the phrase, ‘pride itself on fitting seamlessly into the owner’s wardrobe’ and the Bottega bags TODAY are loud statement items that are now IT BAGS which also translate to the 2001 definition of letting everyone knows it exists. 

The techniques are such today you can do so much with the intrecciato technique that it can be the most bold statement in fashion today winning awards, and every write up calling it an IT BAG, the design distinction doesn’t just stay there it also is prevalent in the ready-to-wear. Being a product of its times translating into today’s aesthetic of design which gets little to no awareness. It isn’t even a product of Phoebe Philo school of design. It’s a whole new schema using Italian futurism and likening itself to the Neo Futurism of today sensual lines and appealing details. An Art-Deco design aesthetic that is grandiose lets you know it’s here from a company that people are constantly writing about it’s minimalism.

The next thing everyone with sense will say is minimal isn’t simple designs they’re stripped down. Well, I’m counting multiple design elements that speak to New Bottega’s eccentricity, aesthetic and expressionism. The colours and silhouettes are inventive, renovating the shapes we can see today and adding a colourful lens to it. 

Bottega Veneta today expresses a culture of feeling possible futurism (looking directly at the colours) and the angular nature of the constructive elements of these garments. True Italian Vetement – boldly executed under the guise of minimalism… texture – colour – fit – cut all considerations in cultivating this “New Bottega” – seriously, people keep speaking about minimalism and post-pandemic woes and Daniel Lee for the past several years has been delivering a direct execution of expressionist art-deco of his making and futurism with an Italian artisan flare and intuitive style lines.

I can picture Daniel Lee staring at Umberto Boccioni  – ‘FUTURISTIC MAN’ – Forms Uniche Della Continuità Nello Spazio (Unique forms of continuity in space). The dynamism of a car but make it fashion, make it Neo-Futurist make it Bottega. I see the aerodynamic we will see in space-age mid-century architecture, function isn’t without beauty. 

The relevance of the 1930’s Aero DYNAMIC vehicles I can speak to the puddle boot directly taking reference from works like streamline KJ Henderson motorcycle. You can pull a car from that era and see the gratifying expression of sensual lines in the puddle boot giving it a distinctive not like the other designs today. That GT (Grand Tourer) vibe.

I am talking about the bags and the ready-to-wear in the same breath. Daniel lee’s design language indicates and expresses the need for futurism ‘In the Hardest of Times, it is important to still dream’ Daniel Lee said that, fathoming what he meant in terms of expression and futurism puts the aptest lens on the ‘so-called’ minimalist brands’ Bottega Veneta’s DNA.

This thorough direction gave me time to ruminate on why possibly Daniel Lee would execute this. Chewing on these ideas and design sentiment is one thing. The latitude to execute on design principles like these while the rules of the house stipulate a more stealthier approach, all that is left is conjecture at this point. Daniel lee’s tenure is over and his work is in a capsule, the reason for the mutual parting is in the air. The question I am readily asking is, with a stealth wealth, conspicuous consumption house like bottega why are the designs so loud, to me mixed messages were sent when being the most talked-about creative house – in Italy and being a leader in Kering’s top 3 Gucci Balenciaga and Bottega – why delete your social media. And digital footprint. Regardless of all that Bottega is still popular amongst Americas Hip-Hop Millionaires, and Nouveau Riche. There’s a complicated relationship with the consumer Bottega needs to control or go with. Changing with the times or sticking to your guns.

Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

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Reference articles

How Bottega Veneta became the most hyped brand of 2019
History of Intrecciato from Bottega Veneta – PURSE BLOG
Daniel lee wiki
Fashion Awards 2019: The full winners list- vogue Australia
Is It No Longer Cool To Look Rich? -READ A
Bottega Veneta Launches Fall-Winter 2011/2012 Advertising Campaign
Advertising, Fall/Winter 2002. Photography by Robin Broadbent.