#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

Pre Millennium Bottega Veneta

Bless up from your feet to your head top

we go again,

To Honour the Youtube video that gives an overview of Bottega Veneta, this article is to deliver further context in the first phase of Bottega Veneta, prior to the acquisition by Gucci group

At the time Michele and Renzo made the decision to create Bottega Veneta, what I understand about this era is the Disco and Electronic music at the time all the colour that comes with the FREE LOVE MOVEMENT – Cocaine psychedelics and prosperity.

While in Italy going through the ebbs and flows of socialism fascism and anarchy. even after founding, terror attacks took place; 15 December 1969 then again in 1986 – due to civil unrest in the streets. Cultural divides and social classes have defined Italy for 2000 years.

Stealth Wealth was the answer for Michele and Renzo, prosperity in Europe has been met with Riots and Civil attacks. Creating something that is meaningful to an audience that wants something but can’t say they have it would be the keys to success

Bottega was founded in 1966 by Michele Taddei and Renzo Zengiaro in Vicenza, Italy in 1966. The company began manufacturing in the ready-to-wear district, to where the sewing machines’ were not appropriate to work with leather.  This had the artisans come up with the intrecciato technique. that would be come the signature of Bottega – featuring in leather goods clothing and even glass-wear techniques, the Murano glassware features an intrecciato pattern hand-etched on the bottom of each piece. – and then on the parfum bottles also.

Due to the high quality of craftsmanship and the addition of the discreet no label design, popularity for the label grew. Intrecciato became synonymous with Bottega. Leading to an advertising campaign showcasing it’s discretion with a tag line of; ‘When your own initials are enough’.

The press around Bottega at these times is minimal probably based on the reasons stated above – The Clear lines of distinction between people like Gucci the celebrities of Italy and Bottega were clearly formed in these times. Gucci was Gaudy and Bottega was Chic. This would power Bottega through the 70’s and 80’s In a time till the loud and powerful became even more powerful and money was redistributed to the Jet setters of Tom Ford’s Gucci or Avant-garde of Japan and Antwerp in the late 80’s through to the 90’s

the topsy-turvey times of this period would have Bottega succumb to trend-led society away from their more stealthier roots which would come back after the 15 year period of Tom Ford’s reign heading Gucci. Which is more prevalent after Tomas took over the house where he brought it back to Bottega Veneta’s more stealthier conspicuous roots and created a motif fit for Bottega.

Bottega the quiet Giant at Kering had its day for 17 years under Tomas and then came back the days post stock market crash and depression where celebrity and flash would be in. Under Daniel Lee Bottega was flash and very well seen by the masses a far cry from its roots or how it was under Tomas’ tenure.

Bottega Veneta lives in a slippery place in fashion where it’s either their season or it’s not. The Culture truly decides whether consumption should be conspicuous or highly visible. Bottega Veneta seems to be in a constant negotiation with the consumer to see what they should bring as a leather goods company

Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

If you want to donate to help out this growing platform all patronage is welcome https://www.paypal.me/DYusuff

Follow my socials Instagram: @NYTypical Twitter: @ARAHofNYT

To learn more about Owning Your Own Ship – OYOS  

Please check out Some of my Thoughts On:

For some longer form write-ups Read some of My Dialogues

Click here for my Essays 

 On My series work

Spring Of The Rookie

Sickle Cell Companion

Reference articles

How Bottega Veneta became the most hyped brand of 2019
History of Intrecciato from Bottega Veneta – PURSE BLOG
Daniel lee wiki
ALL BOTTEGA VENETA COLLECTIONS – vogue runway
BOTTEGA HISTORY -PRET A VOI
Fashion Awards 2019: The full winners list- vogue Australia
BOTTEGA VENETA 101: A HISTORY – rebag 
THE BOTTEGA VENETA BIBLE – vintage bar
BOTTEGA VENETA -CATWALK YOURSELF
STEALTH WEALTH A SPOTTERS GUIDE – NEWS WEEK
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.

Spring of The Rookie Kiko Kostadinov – The way of the Dark Stallion

Bless up from your feet to your head top

We go again

I first encountered Kiko after his SS18 collection but in 2019 I wasn’t sure if I was late or early to the party but I was sure he was doing the right thing. This relative unknown then became the dark horse in the race to evolve menswear.

Kiko and his ASICS collab have had him in the sights of many men in fashion wanting more from him and wanting well of him, he seems to provoke in men what Chanel was said to have provoked in women back in her day. We see Kiko garner the attention of men all over wanting the uniform of ‘a man’, this really interests me as I have been working on my menswear thesis for quite some time Kiko seems to design in alignment to some of my brief. And as a relatively new and fairly obscure designer it seems he has a formula to bring more men into fashion.

This is why he is part of the Spring of the Rookie, I pick my rookies due to years in the game, Kiko Debut in 2017 and if you aren’t looking for him you may not find him but much like Sam Ross I feel his vigour and his energy is oxygen to the flame of the new Menswear ethos. Reason being you see Kiko here, I enjoy being on the right side of history and this man is my second gamble he may become a pillar of the community or a slab that lay the foundation this is my lot to say the former. I see him as someone that can grow into potentially one of the top designers of our generation given time and guidance

Kiko began his journey in Belgium of all places moving to the U.K. as a teen and going to Central Saint Martins. Already his story is quite interesting as an immigrant coming to London to study fashion is nary a thing you hear of, the creative arts is something that’s feared by immigrant families because its nature is due to a gamble not everyone is here to make it. My guess is Kiko bet on himself enough to get the funds to educate himself in fashion, as hard as it may be he done it as a man. I rarely hear stories of people coming to the U.K. to make it in Creative industries let alone business these stories are usually reserved for America. I believe this start is what draws certain men to Kiko that understanding of someone who decided to go for his dream and achieve it in a land he didn’t know. Whether he will stay here due to the U.K. laws on art and entrepreneurship, that’s a conversation for a different day. Kiko is here and men love him right now.

As a designer Kiko Kostadinov focuses highly on tailoring using his eye for utility his garments are very structured and he seems to challenge himself pushing the way he references and the kind of garments he constructs. The type of shapes and patterns he uses as details remind me of 70’s Abstract Modernism work, found in his beloved Belgium maybe Thomas Kapsalis morso Karel Maes if I do say so myself the shapes and colours certainly do seem inspired in that direction and that to me has me tip my hat of to him as someone drawing from his home and creating work that is representative of all things that are him.

Functionally his clothes seem to focus heavily on masculine aesthetic shows me so much about himself, his ethos certainly shows itself through his clothes and it is fair to say he enjoys his work. He seems to consider so much from his references in art to the designers and film. He doesn’t romanticise men but sees them how they are and enjoys being one, if that is an honest turn of phrase. So when we say he’s utilitarian it’s to mean he makes what is of use and when we say abstract modernist it’s to say he creates a design language recognisable to him without compromising the garment the wearer or himself.

I have to note he covers himself in controversy being so soon out as he is prone to profane outbursts calling out designers like Virgil Abloh for instance, turning his nose up at designers who may not be like him, you would think as an artist he would be more considerate of others feelings, yet he’s not. He leaves room for him to be memed as a tyrant that feels more prestige because of his pedigree having been to CSM and worked for certain labels. As an artist that talks about other artists as well I refrain from sending harsh or profane language someone’s way and if I critique its to be constructive because I want there to be a better intention for great work. I do see he is a whole person as an artist you buy into him and if you are cool with him you can be cool with his clothes. Maybe he comes from a space of love for the craft but I don’t see it as a valuable use of time talking about other designers this way as you are trying to come out of relative obscurity, not that I think it hurt or helps but that’s how I see it.

He shares a space with no one and may be here to define a new way or new lane for designers as a whole and create a language for men at mass, we are looking forward to something new as he has laid a foundation with these firsts collections, his work seems to have some sort of factory setting so it would be fun to see something different pushing his boundaries but there is something to be said for someone who is consistently showing greatness within the bounds they laid for themselves.

This is my Rookie Kiko

Whatever Moves Your Dial

Damilare. Not Your Typical

If you want to donate to help out this growing platform all patronage is welcome https://www.paypal.me/DYusuff

Follow my socials Instagram: @NYTypical Twitter: @ARAHofNYT

To learn more about Owning Your Own Ship – OYOS  

Please check out Some of my Thoughts On:

For some longer form write ups Read some of My Dialogues

Click here for my Essays 

 On My series work

Spring Of The Rookie

Sickle Cell Companion