The Bodylovers Is Not Your Father's Couture Tracksuits

With the audacious mission of giving style to comfort, the Italian men's line The Bodylovers debuts for spring. And these aren't your father's couture tracksuits either. Hailing from Armani, Fabio De Felice designs artisanal knitwear, transforming the finest-grade cotton, silk and cashmere into daringly simple shapes inspired by nature, the kind we imagine a monk of the future might wear. A deep-V hoodie? Who would've thought that was even possible?


Oct 31, 2011 18:23:00
Daphne Guinness & Hogan McLaughlin, photo Patrick McMullan

Meet Hogan McLaughlin, Twitter Stalker and Daphne Guinness Protege

You know a big break is coming when Daphne Guinness, the avant-heiress and fashion fanatic, decides she wants to make your sketches a reality. It may sound as out-there as Guinness’s towering footwear, but that’s exactly what happened to Hogan McLaughlin, a former dancer from Chicago who had never sewn a stitch in his 22 years. And it all started on Twitter.

This past summer, the upstart designer was able to turn his somewhat macabre, Edward Gorey-esque drawings into a mini-collection of eight romantically gothic pieces and present them during New York Fashion Week. Among them was a sequined sheath with the look of modern-day armor that Guinness wore to the opening of a self-curated exhibition of her clothing at the Museum at FIT, placing the first-timer alongside the likes of Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, and Gareth Pugh.

From his parents' house in Chicago, McLaughlin talked to Hint about his Twitter adventure, his upcoming move to Brooklyn and his plans to follow up on a stellar first act...

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Oct 03, 2011 09:46:00

It's All Greek to Mastori*Motwary

An all-over flower print dress by Mastori*Motwari Studio—aka Maria Mastori and Filep Motwary—features all over the poster for a fashion exhibit currently on view at the Mode Museum Hasselt in Belgium. In very good company, the duo counts Hermès, Pucci, Dries Van Noten and Lanvin as fellow contributors. It's just the latest triumph for the Athens-born, Paris-based designers. Here, they discuss their Grecian formula...

The two of you are well-known as a Greek fashion partnership. Can you describe how you got together?
Filep: It was never planned, really. We were both working for a designer [in Athens]. Maria was responsible for the jewelry and I was working as the first assistant designer. We would only say hi or smile to each other. Then I left for Paris to see if I was meant for this business. Maria supported me in this decision. I decided to stay in Paris, working as an intern for John Galliano, Dior, Chloé and as a sales boy for Erotokritos. Two years later I went back to Athens. Maria wanted some costumes to present her new jewelry pieces with. I guess the rest is history.

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Jul 28, 2011 19:31:00
Jan-Jan Van Essche, photo Tom Merckx

Jan-Jan Van Essche Makes Men's Clothes as Chill-Pilled and Dreadlocked as He Is

I met Jan-Jan Van Essche at his studio-cum-store, the Atelier Solarshop, tucked away in a non-gentrified neighborhood of Antwerp. Chill-pilled and dreadlocked, Jan-Jan was accompanied by his better half, Pietro Celestino, who likens himself to a cheerleader ("Go, Jan-Jan, Go!") "Pietro is the first person who sees my collection," Jan-Jan clarifies, to which Pietro replies, "Yeah, someone who gives him the first objective view," eliciting from Jan-Jan: "What are you saying? You're never objective."

It's a miracle anything gets done, which may explain Jan-Jan's one-collection-per-year maxim. "It's my philosophy and a way of life," he says. "It means I can concentrate on one collection at a time. I would go crazy if I had to design three times a year. Besides, I don't wear different stuff throughout the year. Winter or summer clothes are not so different for me. You just pile on more clothes during the winter and take some off in the summer."

Primarily a line of high-end basics for men, Jan-Jan's clothes also possess a vaguely ethnic, urban nomad, unisex appeal. "In fact," he says, "half of my customers are women and the fit is just as good, where the female body flows." To prove his point, when a woman came in and tried on a shirt, on her it became a loose shirt-dress that, when worn with a luxurious wool leggings, looked fantastic.

Not everyone could be equally inspired by Mali and Madeleine Vionnet, but Jan-Jan isn't like everyone. "I was in Mali and loved the fluidity in the way they wear their clothes. Everything had a perfect place when draped. So I decided not to design in sizes; my pieces are cut to fit. Madeleine Vionnet has also been a huge inspiration for me, especially the early years. I like the way she used ethnic patterns and draping to let the body speak for itself. She did this in a very avant-garde way and I can only imagine how liberating her clothes must have been for women in the 1920s."

After only two collections, there is already a cult following of early adopters who share a penchant for his unaffected, Muji-esque looks (albeit with a more sophisticated price range). "I am quite lucky. I know a lot of my customers. I see them and talk to them. It's growing steadily. It's worth all those long dark years."

Visit Jan-Jan Van Essche

Jun 30, 2011 00:00:00
Delfina Delettrez, fall '11

Delfina Delettrez Makes Conceptual, Cheeky Jewelry Far Removed from Her Fendi Roots

At only 24, jewelry designer Delfina Delettrez, who happens to be daughter of Silvia Fendi, proves with her latest and perhaps cheekiest collection that she's blazing a trail all her own. It was just a few years ago that the fashion crowd first became smitten with her surreal, conceptual, gothic, sometimes morbid sensibility. We caught up with the junior jeweler to talk stones, collaborations and phobias…

Your latest collection, Roll in Stones, seems to be built around the idea of motion. What sparked this curiosity?
I was deeply inspired by movement and would define the jewels as kinetic. I was also inspired by the idea that pieces could transform into other shapes. I love the idea that a rigid cuff can become soft by morphing into a fringe, or that a flat and skinny bangle can open up and blossom like a flower.

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May 08, 2011 00:00:00
Jordan Askill

Jewelry Designer Jordan Askill Isn't Horsing Around

A horse stampede may not make the most traditional of jewelry, but Jordan Askill isn't your typical jewelry designer. The Australian native bolted out of the gate after graduating from fashion school in Sydney, scoring a stint at Ksubi—the designers happen to be close, personal friends—before spending three years at Dior Homme in Paris.

Askill has since moved away from fashion, but his high-concept jewelry, which he describes as "portable miniatures" of his large-scale sculpture, has captured the attention of retailers, designers, and tastemakers alike. “I start with objects that I find,” says Askill of his unique design process. “This gives my work more resonance and a strong point from which a shape can change and manifest. I re-sculpt the object to my desired form using both artisanal and 3D techniques.”

A second jewelry line, Jordy by Jordan Askill, integrates the same motifs in a more wearable manner. “The understanding behind my more accessible range is they are of more universally understood motifs. We situate these pieces in a wider selection of boutiques [Rick Owens in Paris, Dover Street Market in London] and they can there for touch, and filter through to a wider audience.”

“Fashion to me is about constantly creating something desirable that can be shared with others as fashion constantly races forward,” he continues. “I’ve realized it is important for me to create work that can harness this element.”

Apr 21, 2011 00:00:00
Reid Peppard, ph Tom Houser

Reid Peppard Makes Taxidermy Accessories That Aren't As Revolting As They Sound

Call it macabre or plain crazy, but Reid Peppard is gaining quite the following for her taxidermy accessories and animal-based jewelry. But this is no play for morbid curiosity. Approaching taxidermy from an artistic angle, the London designer elevates the practice to a level of luxury. Besides, someone has to clear roadkill...

What made you start looking at dead animals and seeing their potential as accessories?
I had been using taxidermy in my art practice for a while before I began on taxidermy accessories. I learnt taxidermy under a master taxidermist in Yorkshire while completing my degree in fine art at Central Saint Martins. With the accessories, I wanted to find a way to take the same concepts that drove my art installations or static sculptures and make something that could exist as an artwork outside the constraints of a traditional gallery setting. When you wear one of these works, people approach you to talk about the concept behind the piece, making it both a sculpture and a performance. It makes people think.

What's the worst thing you've ever found when preparing an animal for its next life as a purse?
The squirrel clutch I made for the Park collection was a particularly sad case. The squirrel had been run over in Finsbury Park near the station. When it came time to skin her I was treated to my first ever experience with curdled milky breasts. The scent didn't leave me for a few days. But I think the worst thing is knowing that when she was run over it wasn't just she who died. Her babies probably passed away, too.

Where do you look for roadkill and what's the craziest thing you've done to get your hands on a carcass?
I ride a bike, so I see roadkill all the time. I also have an amazing network of friends, all of whom are on constant lookout for roadkill. Probably the craziest thing I did for roadkill was take a massive dead fox on the bus. He was in a bin liner, or two, but he was fucking heavy, and when I got back to the studio I realized a few claws had poked their way through the plastic, exposing a single bloody paw. Nice.

Couldn't you catch a disease when, for example, making a necklace out of a squirrel's heart?
No, it's pretty hard to catch anything while making taxidermy. Unless you're licking a ten-day-old corpse, you're really going to be fine. I freeze everything I work with before skinning, which is going to kill off 99% of any nasties, and I always wear gloves. Also, the sterling silver jewelry is made entirely of sterling silver. No little squirrel heart is set within the jewelry—a common misconception. So the only risk there is that you'll scratch up your fingers when you're hand-filling silver, which does happen but isn't fatal.

When you die, what would you like to be made into?
I'm a registered donor, so slice and dice me as you please when I'm gone. I do have plans for a lovely breastplate that I would like to have made from my scalp, but otherwise I'm pretty open minded.

Apr 11, 2011 00:00:00
Iris van Herpen, spring '11

Iris van Herpen Is the Future—and Futurism—of Couture

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen can't find the right words for her work, her aesthetic or the exquisite humanoids she's creating. As protean as it gets, she morphs away from description, defying its constraints. It is, after all, very complex, highly elaborate stuff. She uses materials more often associated with architecture or computers, as was the case with her spring 2011 collection, shown among the Paris haute couture collections. If couture needed something new, and now, this could be it...

How do you describe this decadent world you're creating?
For me, personally, every collection is such a different world and yet it is my entire world. So it’s difficult to give one name to all these places. I start with a certain bit of inspiration, but I collect more as I work on the collection, so it’s quite a journey I take.

Tell us about your collaboration with milliner Stephen Jones for spring.
I went to the exhibition of his work at the MoMu in Antwerp. It was the first time I’d seen so much of his work together in one place. I met him there, at the opening, and we just clicked. His vision, the way he designs and thinks of things is so interesting to me. We decided to do something for my collection.

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Mar 30, 2011 00:00:00
Lapidus, spring '11

The Reclaiming of Lapidus

Of all the brand revivals, one house remains a family affair. For his return to fashion, Olivier Lapidus is picking up where his father left off. A man of firsts, Ted Lapidus is credited with inventing the unisex look, the safari jacket and designer jeans. He's also known for his work with icons from Brigitte Bardot to John Lennon. Olivier talks to Hint about his father's greatest hits...

Tell me about Lapidus Vintage.
Last winter’s debut collection was born of an homage for my father. It was an idea I had a year ago, about a year after his death. When I started, I considered it a timely homage to his greatest years, the seventies. I was 9 or 10 at the time. But I did not necessarily consider doing a line unto itself. So I saw people in Paris, including [fashion doyenne] Maria Luisa, who said I should really do a collection.

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Jan 15, 2011 00:00:00

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