“Gentle” may not be the most fashionable adjective in the intense, often harsh fashion world. Dries Van Noten, though is an exception: he, and his clothes, are most definitely gentle. Cacophony is not his thing. The subtle blend of romanticism, exoticism and eccentricity that exudes from any piece of clothing with his label on it; the cozy atmosphere of his eclectic shops, conceived not as temples but as houses or bazaars; the dreamy air of his shows, which are forays into a parallel dimension of pure, multi sensory joy: all of this comes from someone who expresses himself in whispers rather than shouts. “There is so much of myself as a person in the things I create, it’s almost scary,” he says with a laugh. “Sometimes I feel like I am baring it all in front of the audience.” The serene flow of his speech is accented by a piercing Belgian “r”. When he talks, he looks straight into my eyes. This is the first time I have met the famously reserved Van Noten in person, and it is the man, not the designer, who I hope to get to know. Continue reading “Dries Van Noten Is A Romantic”→
Rick Owens is probably the only designer in Paris who can be classed as a genuine phenomenon. Although he is never seen in any act of socializing, commercial networking or frivolous appearance, he is always somehow at the top of the list. Fashion loves Owens, as do many men and women. He is a loyal servant of style, and his loyal customers grow wiser out of each collection every season. His furniture and garments recall elliptic, curving typography; Bauhaus; darkness. Every time I talk to him, it is a new experience. Teach me, Rick. Continue reading “Rick Owens talks to Filep Motwary”→
Over a lengthy career, Ari Marcopoulos has continually shed his skin, like a serpent, to reveal another, shinier skin underneath. His photographs are naked and honest – what you see is what you get. He has been documenting American culture, and subculture, since the early 1980s, and has collaborated with Warhol and Basquiat. While not precisely mainstream, Marcopoulos’ still and moving images are evocative markers of the times we are living through. Over a prolonged inter- continental telephone call, he discusses his three new projects: the camera bag he has designed for INCASE alongside a limited- edition book of unpublished photographs, Now is Forever; a forthcoming show at the Confort Moderne gallery in Poitiers, and a film that features the spring/summer 2011 Yves Saint Laurent collection. Continue reading “Ari Marcopoulos talks to Filep Motwary”→
As with any urban subculture, to really understand what the Mangas (as featured in Dapper Dan‘s second issue) is about, one has to dive into his music. Rebetika (the plural of rebetiko) were folk songs of the urban Greek underclass that had been played and sung at least the first half of the 20th century. Starting around the late 20s and through the early 40s, a style came out into full power in the port cities of Greece, especially Pireaus, as part of the culture of Mangas, who circulated through the the taverns and small illegal hashish dens. The music favored by the demimonde were elegant and unpretentious songs which spoke directly to the heart of the listeners, often referring directly to lives of crime, getting stoned, heartbreak, getting arrested, and the search of peace and autonomy outside the mainstream society. Continue reading “Seriousness, Consequence and Prudence”→
“A mangas is distinguished by three basic principles: seriousness, consequence and prudence,” Takis Binis, the famed rebetiko musician, has said. The mangas’ street philosophy is based on the calculable relativity of life. He has a good time and takes his pleasure very seriously. He knows when to open his mouth and when to keep it shut. He keeps a low profile – he does not need the limelight. He is “heavy”. He respects others and commands respect in turn. He does not bother and does not like to be bothered. He will not hesitate to speak his mind, nor to take the law into his own hands, when it is the only way. He smokes his hashish in a waterpipe and rolls his tobacco in newspaper. He has a double-edged knife. He dances, alone. He is of the night. Continue reading “A Study of the Mangas”→
More from Dapper Dan 02: Ari Marcopoulos presents a self-portrait with death mask, Dries Van Noten admits he’s a romantic, Kacper Kazprzyk shoots Rick Owens’ autumn/winter 2010 collection, and neon artist Keith Sonnier lights a wire. There’s also fiction from Richard Wirick, an interview with psych-garage legend Jim Sclavunos, a studio visit with Martino Gamper, wearable Braille from Blind Adam, the first-ever retrospective of the out-of-print, cult magazine Kitsch, and Jackie Nickerson’s bold photographic documentation of African farmer fashion. On the cover: the history of the manges, the Greek hash-den wideboys from the 1930s.
Dapper Dan 02 is already out in Paris, and will soon be available worldwide at selected newsstands, bookstores and fashion boutiques. Follow this link for more stockist details.
The long wait is over. Coming out next week in Paris and London, followed by the rest of Europe and the world; the second issue of Dapper Dan magazine features among others interviews from Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens, Ari Marcopoulos and Jim Sclavounos. More from our A/W 2010 issue soon.