FAULT Focus: International Designer Sophie Zinga

 

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What was your primary inspiration when you started the Sophie Zinga label?

When I first launched the line my primary inspiration came from my country, Senegal. I remember sourcing fabrics and creating intricate designs with Senegalese hand woven fabrics.

How would you describe the brand in 3 words?

Feminine. Classic. Minimal.

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Congratulations on your first show at Paris Fashion Week! You displayed your AW’14-15 collection – what/who were the main influences behind that (if any)?

Thank you. Even though New York is my base and it’s an untraditional approach, I think my international fan base appreciated it. I think it was important to show in Paris, which is the original fashion capital of the world.

Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?

Yes my favourite piece is the gold metallic lame dress. It is glamorous silk metallic lame but at the same time keeps Sophie Zinga’s minimal quality and focus on lavish fabrics and clean lines.

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You have such a cosmopolitan background – from Dakar (Senegal) to New York via Paris and Lagos – how do these disparate influences manifest themselves in your designs?

It comes naturally. Sophie Zinga is named after myself so it reflects parts of personality, my reality and myself, which translates into my designs.

Can you tell us about some of the unique features of the label?

The label is 100% made in Senegal (West Africa).

We love Animals. No real fur policy.

We only use silks, brocades or hand woven fabrics.

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Is there a particular process you follow when designing?

I travel a lot. My parents travel a lot so I get a lot of my inspiration from traveling or from my parents’ trips. My mother is a great storyteller so she has an amazing way of giving people details about her trips that makes you feel like you were there. Other than that, it starts with sketches in my red little to-go red book I keep with me at all times. Picking out fabrics is my favourite part! I sometimes source fabrics depending on how I’m feeling.

You describe the label as “socially conscious”. Could you expand on that?

When I first thought about creating the label, giving back and creating jobs in West Africa was my biggest motivation. I have a background in development and economics and I’ve extensively volunteered and worked in development issues regarding Africa so naturally I always wanted to incorporate that in the label’s DNA. I made the conscious move of keeping the manufacturing done in 100% in West Africa. I am currently working with different multinational entities to improve to livelihoods women and girls and to give workers from disadvantaged communities the opportunities to have a dignified job in fashion, which in return benefits the whole community.

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Who would be your dream client to design for/work with?

Lupita Nyongo. She perfectly nails the essence of style in an effortless way, without trying too hard. Angelina Jolie would be an amazing client as well. She can do no wrong on the red carpet.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on my Spring/Summer 15 collection, which is going to be the most extensive collection yet to date. Excitement is an understatement!

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What are your plans to expand the line?

I would love to expand the line and ultimately create a diffusion line 5 years down the road. In 2016 I plan on developing accessories.

What is your FAULT?

Procrastinating. LOL.

 

Images: Ibra Ake; Mambu Bayoh

Art Attack! Rachell Smith’s FAULT

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Dress Paule Ka
Necklace Vicki Sarge

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Necklace from Mawi
Bralet and trousers from Fyodor Golan
Shoes Sophia Webster

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dress Tata-Naka
Shoes Miu Miu
Heart shape sunglasses from Jeremy Scott for Linda Farrow

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Top and skirt from Peter Pilotto
Bangle from Alexander Mcqueen @ Harvey Nichols
Shoes Vivienne Westwood

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Coat from Prada

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Full look from Prada

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Full look from Miu Miu

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Dress by Jil Sander

Photographer: Rachell Smith
Stylist: Alexandria Reid @ Frank Agency
Makeup: Harriet Hadfield Using MAC
Hair: Aaron Carlo @ Frank Agency

Truls Qvale’s FAULT – EXCLUSIVE EDITORIAL FOR FAULT ONLINE

Leather Bra: no9.com Leather skirt: Acne Archive Shoes: Zara

Leather Bra: no9.com
Leather skirt: Acne Archive
Shoes: Zara

Cardigan: Helmut Lang Bandau bikini top: Wolford Jeans Acne Archive. Sh

Cardigan: Helmut Lang
Bandau Bikini Top: Wolford

 

Dress: NLY trend. 7+8. Malin.  Shirt Sleeve Shirt: FWSS

Dress: NLY trend. 7+8. Malin.
Shirt Sleeve Shirt: FWSS

Skirt: Helmut Lang   Earring: Maria Nilsdotter.

Skirt: Helmut Lang
Earring: Maria Nilsdotter

Denim jacket: Acne Archive Leather Pants: Helmut Lang/ Den Dama

Denim jacket: Acne Archive
Leather Pants: Helmut Lang/ Den Dama

 

Denim jacket: Acne Archive

Denim jacket: Acne Archive

 

Photographer: Truls Qvale www.trulsmqvale.com

Styling: Margrethe Gilboe/PudderAgency

Hair and makeup: Sissel Fylling using Armani/ shu uemura Aoh/La prairie / Pudder Agency

Photo Assistant: Marius Viken

Models: Malin and Rebekka /Heartbreak

‘Two Heads are Better than One’ – Oscar Alexander’s FAULT

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Photography: Woland
Hair: OscarAlexander @ ERA Management using Fudge
Makeup: Natasha Lakic using MAC
Models: Kit @ & Ieva @ Elite London
Photographers assistant: Dan Korkelia

Fault Reviews: Yves Saint Laurent

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Tournage YSL

Set against the beautiful backdrop of Paris in 1957, the film tells the heady story of Yves Saint Laurent, played by Pierre Niney, and his lover Pierre Bergé, played by Guillaume Gallienne. Together as both business partners, soul-mates and eventually Pierre taking the role of carer to the troubled and reckless Yves, the film delves into the personal and creative life of the young designer.

The imagery is as stunning as you can imagine, featuring the original YSL garden in Marrakech, Morocco and various evocative scenes across Paris.  Original couture pieces from the YSL archives feature throughout the film, with a cast decked-out in a film wardrobe to die for. The full effect of the movie, creates a rich and idealistic story of the making of an internationally acclaimed fashion brand and how a designers relationship with their models, staff, friends and the people surrounding him / her can make or break a career.

Yves Saint Laurent, is portrayed as a creative genius, a tortured artist and a revolutionary designer, with Pierre as the rock that held the entire show (and Yves life) together season after season. Although this story sometimes glosses over some of Yves’ life and fails to explore what happens after he and Pierre separated, it’s worth seeing for the beautiful scenery, the costumes, and a deeper understanding into one of the greatest designers of our time.

Directed by Jalil Lespert

With Pierre Niney de La Comédie-Française, Guillaume Gallienne de la Comédie-Française, Charlotte Le Bon, Laura Smet and Marie de Villepin

YVES SAINT LAURENT is released in cinemas across the UK on 21st March 2014

 

 

 

 

Part 2: Paris Fashion Week Roundup, AW14 Womenswear

Following on from PART 1 of our Paris Fashion Week roundup, here’s our review from some of our favourite fashion designers;  CélineBalmain, ACNE, Margiela, Rick Owens and more.

 

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At Céline and Balmain, animal prints were presented with a similar luxurious subtlety as at Givenchy. Céline’s Phoebe Philo worked the prints into a collection that was beautifully restrained, with a palette of black, grey, cream and camel, woven into which were a muted leopard print, hints of enlarged gingham and textiles like feathered wool and Astrakhan. Balmain’s collection was a much more clear reference to safari, with riffs on safari suits and camo colours, amidst abstracted zebra and leopard print. Zebra print also made an appearance at Acne Studios, in a collection that seemed to also draw on the safari influence, with a nod to Yves Saint Laurent’s famous collection in the Seventies. This retro inspiration was clear in the swirling print patterns, the candied colour palette and wide-legged trousers. This Seventies influence was as potent as ever in the actual Saint Laurent collection, with Hedi Slimane’s ongoing tribute to glam rock androgyny helped along by Alex Turner and Miles Kane sipping champagne in the front row. From the fur and sparkles, to the miniskirts and floppy hats, amidst prints of paisley and plaid, this was a veritable feast of retro style and it is testament to Slimane’s electric modernity and eye for youth that the references didn’t feel tired.

 

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Vivienne Westwood’s collection was a true celebration of her label, possessing much more impact than her relatively tame Red Label show in London the other week. This show exploded in colour and print, combining label signatures of silhouette and shape with a youthful, almost riotous energy. At Maison Martin Margiela, there was a similar sense of heritage and label hallmarks, but here these were in the treatment of tweed, merged with the silhouettes and tailoring upon which Margiela made its name. The result was an incredibly beautiful and subtle collection that was at once feminine and finely detailed, yet effortless and utterly wearable.

 

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At the opposite end of the spectrum to the candy colours, decorative detailing and concept prints of labels like Chanel and Kenzo, some collections offered the avant-garde minimalism that has been central to Paris since the arrival of the Japanese designers to the city in the 1980s. Rick Owens, who has made this kind of punky minimalism a hallmark all of his own, delivered looks in total blocks of either black, oxblood or grey. The shapes were oversized and, again, biomorphic, with curvilinear sleeves and shell-like drapery. Pleats and variations of textile allowed for a considered experimentation, fully expressing Owens’ unique and intelligent eye.  Gareth Pugh’s collection was in a vein that was at once similar, and entirely different. Whilst minimalist in terms of being rendered entirely in white and silver, this collection was extravagant in silhouette and cut, with Pugh’s tailoring of a breathtaking standard. Consistently eye-catching, he continues to push his label forward with intricate detailing. Rei Kawakubo’s collection for Comme des Garçons was again a pushing of the boundaries of fashion, in line with her desire to make ‘objects of the body’ as declared last season. The result was in biomorphic, tubular knits that hung like literal sculptures , protruding from the body.

 

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In terms of the influence of the Paris shows, it will surely be the clever treatment of colour and print that filters into the mainstream; the broken animal prints, the neon inserts, the ongoing block-colouring filtered through pleats and trouser-suits. With your local supermarket and McDonald’s now firmly absorbed into the fashion domain, perhaps the industry’s influence will be more pervasive than ever.

Words by Will Ballantyne-Reid

Part 1: Paris Fashion Week Roundup, AW14 Womenswear

The Paris collections of  A/W 14 veered between a beautiful aesthetic restraint and a highly ornamental treatment of textile. When designers pared it back, they hit upon a class, luxury and elegance that not only reminded the world of the French standard for ultimate quality and design, but provided a respite to the more brazen bling of Milan. Next to Karl Lagerfeld’s post-modern riff on supermarket-chic, with a brilliant supermodel-populated suburbia at Chanel, Jeremy Scott’s brash, comic take on McDonald’s uniforms for Moschino suddenly seemed a bit under-developed.

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There was a decidedly ‘street’ element to the looks on show at Chanel, with the appearance of crop-tops, leggings (complete with ladders and holes in them), puffa-tweeds and trainers. Lagerfeld never allows the show concept to overwhelm the clothes, and the most the supermarket theme really infiltrated the collection was in brilliant bouclé-bound shopping baskets and, perhaps, the food packaging candy-colours of some of the prints. This intelligent consideration of colour was key to the Paris collections, such as at Kenzo, where prints were measured and brilliantly composed, in jewel tones and off-kilter neon shades (ochre and burnt orange.) Like Lagerfeld, the designers balanced proportions and shapes to balance this treatment of print, with cinched waists and unusually cropped hemlines acting as counter-weights for bold sleeves and volume in skirts and trousers. Givenchy also tread this balance, with Riccardo Tisci breaking down animal prints and loud colour across refined geometric detailing, from obi belts and pockets to inserts and cuffs. In this careful and measured treatment of materials like leopard print and fur, Tisci epitomised a very French approach to luxury; effortless, elegant, intelligent.

 

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Stella McCartney also used this approach, with knitwear and comfortable, easy silhouettes providing a vehicle for experimental, even ornamental, colour and print detailing. By blocking the colour out, McCartney was able to maintain her trademark balance of masculine tailoring and feminine aesthetic, layering prints and textiles without losing the utility so central to her label. Under Alexander Wang’s guidance, Balenciaga used colour in much the same way as at Givenchy, with bold geometric inserts and thick bands of colour on cuffs, collars and waistbands. Wang’s Balenciaga is a consistently brilliant, aligning the house’s tradition of chic tailoring and experiment, with a modern, almost underground energy. As the collection unfolded there was an almost biomorphic quality to the silhouettes on display, rendered in heavy leather, knit and silk. At Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, these biomorphic silhouettes also prevailed, with Miyake’s pleats ballooning in curvilinear shapes with beautiful drapery and scalloped detailing. Colour was bold but relatively restrained, either in colour-blocking or in geometric, mosaic prints. At Yamamoto, colour was highly decorative, exploding in intricately-detailed drawn prints or in fine detailing and trim.

 

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Yohji Yamamoto

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READ PART 2 HERE

Words by Will Ballantyne-Reid

FAULT Dressing Room: Denim dreams

Since its first appearance in fashion all the way back in 1873, denim has undergone massive transformations, while remaining a wardrobe staple season after season. Transcending various eras of fashion, denim has long been known for its durability and functionality. It has long been seen as one of the go-to materials for well established brands; and recently,. with the reinvention of how consumers buy and wear denim, it has increasingly been reworked to incorporate new technology, ingenious styles and form-fitting cuts.

For the recent Spring/Summer 2014 runway shows, denim was seen across every major fashion capital, with rising trends such as sports luxe, streetwear and patchwork denim taking center stage. Acclaimed designers such as Acne, Alexander McQueen and Chloé have been on the forefront of creating innovative denim styles for womenswear, and most recently have produced key denim pieces for the upcoming SS ’14 season. Here, FAULT take a look at some of our favourite looks:

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Acne SS’14 denim

Acne:

Referencing workwear and his childhood experiences of living by the water, Acne’s creative director, Jonny Johansson, took a subtle and minimalistic approach to denim in the brand’s most recent collection. Echoing the wide-leg trousers of the seventies, to the patchwork denim vests of the nineties, Acne’s Spring/Summer 2014 line is reminiscent of the rugged and gritty sartorial choices of blue collar workers. While the sports luxe trends seems to be omnipresent throughout the collection, the brand remained true to nature by using raw and natural fibers for the overall sustainability of their products. Additionally, by presenting the denim pieces with splashes of color, the brand showcases denim’s interchangeability with various colors and styles.

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Alexander McQueen (McQ) SS’14 denim

Alexander McQueen:

In Alexander McQueen‘s ready to wear line, McQ, the brand remixes some old classics. Evoking street wear throughout the entire collection, the brands takes traditional masculine garments and presents them with subtle feminine twist, which can be seen in the tailoring. Princess seams on the denim dress accentuate the female form, while the high waisted jean takes work wear and streetwear influence by the use of raw indigo denim. Taking a cue from the impending weather shift, the denim dress and denim high waisted jeans in the collection serve as a way a two way street to dress up or down on a warm spring or summer day.

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J Brand SS’14 denim

J Brand:

Giving jeggings a run for their money, J Brand has revolutionized the fit of one of their well known silhouettes by implementing forward-thinking technology for their new stocking jean. In their own words, “the stocking jean fits like a stocking yet looks like a jean,” since it features modern stretch technology to fit the body of its wearer. Coming in classic colors such as blue and black, the stocking jean is suitable for a myriad of customers looking for comfortable and form-fitting denim.

 

Words: Shammara Lawrence; images courtesy of insdividual labels