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Oct 7, 2009

American photographer Penn dies

American photographer Irving Penn, who gained fame for his images ranging from fashion and celebrities to ordinary people and still life, has died.

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His assistant Roger Krueger said he died at his home in Manhattan at the age of 92.

Mr Penn began his career in the 1940s at fashion magazine Vogue, later including travel, such as New Guinea mud men, and still life.

read entire article here

Versace is Closing Its Japan Stores


The Wall Street Journal reports that Gianni Versace SpA is closing its three remaining stores in Japan.
In a statement issued Wednesday, the fashion house said it closed its last three stores in Japan, because they "no longer represented the brand image." The statement described the move as part of a broader overhaul of company strategy, adding that Versace wanted "a clean slate" while hunting for "new locations and more suitable distribution channels" in Japan. The statement didn't say when Versace planned to reopen stores in Japan.

The store closures show how Japan's dwindling appetite for luxury goods is forcing brands to reassess their operations in pricey cities such as Tokyo and Osaka. Smaller fashion companies like Versace are under the most pressure, because they lack the financial firepower and economies of scale that larger rivals are tapping to ride out Japan's economic woes.
The WSJ story says a report by the Bain & Company consultancy predicts sales of luxury items to tumble by 10% in Japan this year. The Financial Times says Versace's stores had been in Japan for nearly thirty years.

London Architect Julian Hakes Designs the Mojito Shoe

Mojito Shoe

London architect Julian Hakes has come up with this unusual design for the Mojito shoe, which is made of carbon fibre. There is a way for a foot to fit in this shoe if you look closely but there doesn't appear to be any foot support. Architect Julian Hakes doesn't think support is necessary.
With a high heel providing the heel is supported, even by standing on a wooden block the foot naturally 'spans' the gap naturally, with bones and tendons.

The foot has its own inbuilt strength and support so why duplicate this. You would not have a jumper with rigid arms between elbow and wrist.

So this raised the question, if the design of a shoe was an evolution of the early sandal and how can new materials and design techniques provide new solution?

So I set to exploring this question in a similar way to how I would design a bridge, examining the forces and looking at the most simple, elegant yet poetic expression of the forces at play within the materials used.

Any shoe that offers little or no support will eventually harm the wearer of the shoe. Fashion doesn't always consider pain and comfort. Models have worn crazier things on the runway before.

(via Dezeen,

Dries Van Noten: RTW Spring/Summer 2010

Belgian designer Dries Van Noten's Spring/Summer 2010 collection shown at Paris Fashion Week was all about the exotic print. Dries scoured the globe looking for the most beautiful textiles he could find. The fabrics were rich and luxurious and the prints were beautiful and exotic.

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