Daniel Blechman - Head of design of SOPOPULAR - was born in Tel Aviv, Israel, in 1971. In his early childhood, he moved to Berlin with his family and his sister, where he grew up. Attracted by the cultural gush rising in London, Daniel Blechman moved to UK in the 90ies, where he graduated from Richmond University, with a bachelor of Interior Design in 1996. Back in Berlin, he guided his sensibility toward fashion and started to work as a Managing Director for the Public Image Store, introducing the first collections of edgy designers such as Raf Simons or Alexander McQueen.
In 2000 he started to work as a stylist for international agencies such as Gimme 5 from London, House of Orange from Amsterdam or M4 from Berlin.
During this time, the desire rised in him to start his own label.
In 2008 he launched SOPOPULAR. The label stands for a reduced and pragmatic style of men's fashion. Classic cuts and narrow silhouettes are broken with edgy streetwear elements and futuristic design details. Collections that reflect the desire for fashion and individual needs of the designer Daniel Blechman. His creativity is influenced by many and diverse artistic fields and is constantly enriched by everyday life and the simple things in life, but especially by friendships and family....
DanielBlechman: My love for fashion already existed since I was a child. Before, I decided to start a brand I had long time experience in the fashion industry in different areas which helped me later to shape my own aesthetics.
When I was living in London, next to my studies in interior design, I worked in fashion for the agency Gimme 5 which was specialised in Japanese streetwear like Bathing Ape and Hysteric Glamour. This was a most creative space, where I learned a lot from the love of the Japanese for fashion and detailing. Next to this, I worked as a fashion buyer for a store called Public Image in Berlin. For which I scouted brands like Raf Simons with his first collection or the likes of Alexander McQueen and Hussein Chalayan.
This also was an integral experience. After my time there, I worked as a stylist for a couple of years which gave me the understanding of how to put a complete outfit together from head to toe. Therefore I also like to design through conceptualising complete outfits. It is always my intention for each collection to be inter changeable with your existing wardrobe.
FM: What is your new collection for SS14 about?
DB: The collection is about architecture, which means to me, clear lines and hidden details. The main inspiration for this collection was the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, which I admire. Henceforth, another big influence for each collection is my passion for music in this specific case 90ties grunge music, with the intention not to do refer to this too obviously. The collection therefore is called “Black Hole Sun”. The whole range is maintained in different shades of grey; black and white.
DB: I chose menswear for several reasons. First of all, I wanted to fulfil my own desire for good quality garments. Next to this, there are still a lot of possibilities in the menswear market. I’m a bit uninspired by the huge plethora of street-wear brands where 90% look identical to me. For SOPOPULAR, I wanted to approach the urban elements differently, presenting a sartorial mix of high fashion in terms of quality; fit and textile.
DB: First of all women are more willing to suffer for fashion, than just aiming to achieve looking good. Personally, I think to design for men you need to be more precise and uncompromising. People don’t understand that an impeccable suit jacket is much more difficult to design than an evening gown, yet the jacket maybe doesn’t have the same ‘wow’ factor. Clothes for men need to have a superb fit and need to be constructed of good quality fabrics. Everything simply needs to be on point.
DB: This lies within the patience to perform each collection. Development also means finding new ways for construction, usage of fabrics and textures. To me, collections need to capture their audience, without excluding anyone. The key is in presenting garments that are well made and that have a sense of lasting identity imbedded within them.
FM: How did you form the hero – the man you dress?
DB: At the studio, we do not work with a single image or role model. It is more a general concept of manhood we adhere too. Men need to dress impeccably, without loosing a sense of self and their confidence. The SOPOPULAR man can be anyone, anyone roaming the streets and exploring life. We aim to design for men who appreciate quality and lasting garments that fit well.
DB: In times of restraint and challenging economics, I always find, fashion has a way of bouncing back. After years of rather demure collections, designers have rekindled their original creative ways of developing garments. Especially in menswear, the crises led to reflection and composure. A return to quality over quantity if you well. This also goes hand in hand with a sense of reinvented free creativity.
FM: How relevant is creativity to the way the fashion industry today?
DB: It is paramount to maintain a sense of creativity within fashion. Garments are worn by people, hence they are art pieces coming to life, shielding us from the element. It is within this personal interaction between cloth and humanity, creativity thrives.
DB: Fashion is always evolving. Yet it is hard to predict, which makes it so fascinating. In the menswear market a lot more freedom and possibilities can be noted over the past seasons. Quality and precise tailoring are valued and embraced by men all over the world. In many ways, such statements allow for an intelligent reflection on what fashion actually stands for. In many ways it is irreverent.
Credits Art Direction: Floor 5 Fotograf: Vincenzo Laera Styling: Dennis Blys Stylingassistenz: Katja Barth Haare & Make-Up: Dirk Neuhöfer (Nina Klein) Model: Bastian Thiery (Nest Model Management)
Dear Filep and iDEALS,I'm sure you've read – somewhere, sometime - about that 'emotional shock' fashion people (Irène Silvagni or Carla Sozzani, just to mention a few) felt, back in 1981.
I think I actually felt the same, on Friday October 11th, at the opening of '80s 90s Facing Beauties'. I’m talking about the exhibition set in Rimini, Italy; 5 rooms of Italian prêt-à-porter and Japanese radical fashion, from the 80’s and 90’s.
Not to mention the soft shape of the Futon Coat (F/W 1995-96) or the plissé touch of the Zig Zag gown (F/W 1994-95), both in room n° 1; where Miyake’s experiments with pleating are confronted with Armani’s deconstructed jacket.
The room after was quite surprising: a catwalk covered with spoiled and ripped shirts and uniforms and gowns; those which were criticised first in the 80’s by international press (do you remember so called ‘Fashion’s Pearl Harbour’ and its bag-lady?) and then loved, with all their heart, by fashion ‘black crows’.
Looking up, you could see Dolce&Gabbana mermaid gowns, elegant Prada and Valentino silk cocktail dresses and wonderful Fendi evening’s ones, all hanging on the walls, ready for you to get changed in, at any moment for a party or a ball.
But the room I fell in love with was the third one: a black wall with black art pieces of Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto, versus a coloured one, with three ‘paintings’ created by Moschino, Missoni, Genny, Byblos, Ferrè and Krizia; the absence of Japanese non-colour versus the exuberance of Italian prints and decorations.
I then felt attracted to another smaller room, no wonder; because as soon as I got close I could see medusas, gold, bright flowers and provocative models posing naked. And then the explosion! A Versace explosion! A homage to Gianni Versace and his great work.
After room n° 5, the last one, everything was clear and bright. A divine contamination between fantastic occidental creatures and arcane oriental tales; west meets east with the eclectic works of the Italian designer who changed the course of fashion history: Romeo Gigli. 8 outfits made of dreamy amusement and cultivated quotations, where craftsmanship and genius are enclosed in one-off pieces.
You’re probably dying to know where all these archive treasures came from. It’s a magical, timeless luxury haven; one of the best kept fashion secret until now: for the first time, the Archivio di Ricerca Mazzini (www.archividiricercamazzini.it) opened up, allowing you to look and discover the precious uniqueness it has to offer.
Luca Casarotto Romer
80S 90S Facing Beauties [Rimini, Museo della Città – Ala Nuova]
Ph: Giulia Ripalti
Dear iDEALS, Greece's top model and founder of Fashion Workshop Athens, Vicky Kaya was Splash's guest of honor for the presentation of this season's garments and accessories available in the boutique based in Limassol. I was there and so was my camera...
Statuesque tall shadows stand composed along the corridors. Clinical, pure and emblematic they seem effortlessly stern, profoundly aligned with their fixated exterior shell. As they commence to interact with their surroundings, a pristine and tranquil silence fills the abandoned buildings. Intellectually freed from societal restraints, fitted with clear perceptions, they are expressing their inner mindsets unequivocally.
The women's collection explores the relationship between vision and a strong sense towards the exterior. It is in this crossing; harmony, pulse and atmosphere collide. Tall, narrow elongate silhouettes are presented as statuesque observers of our times. Their shells are constructed with light cottons, pliable grey smudged leather and lush silks; cocooning their advanced spirits.
SOSNOVSKA: This formation occurs continuously, as it was first initiated by your birth. Everything you see and feel is reflected by your aesthetic expression. How you see it, how you realize and how you express yourself, are dependent on what you invested and explored in the first place. This is what guides you to the future.
S: Both the man and woman collection explore the subject of detachment, inner freedom and being in complete harmony with the environment. Each silhouette adapts a particular form of expression of personal qualities. Overall, the collection is build around clinically clean shapes, muted colors and is devoid of superfluous, therefore eliminating any distraction from the individuality of the inner world.
S: Initially, we focused on only creating menswear. The male image, is central in this development. Our views were directed to the formation of the male line, as well to our internal mindset and vision that certain regards on society may transfer into reality.
Next to this, we had the desire and ideas to shape our individual female image. Our original male focus slowly moved onto our women's line, which we started to create only a few seasons ago.
These are two different lines, which share a similar story and mood.
S: For us they are two spatial opposites. The presence of some similarities makes them even more different.
S: I think that this process is continuous. This is how one can draw energy from the universe and get ideas and inspiration for the continuity of the process of creation. Sometimes you just have to look around, see what is going on the sidelines. Longevity shows your ability to use these qualities and possess a level of composed unity of your ideas.
S: Initially, I have a feeling that converts mentally traced image. Then it becomes part of the art and is embodied in the sketch. Determined by the colors, selected textures, fabrics, materials, technology and design techniques. Gradually he finds his features and becomes who he is.
FM: How do you think fashion responds to the financial crisis-if there is one? Is this the moment of great creativity?
S: Personally, I believe that fashion responds to changes, including different types of crises. The financial crisis is really a time to reflect on many of the important things is that you're doing. It seems to me, in spite of some difficulties, it can be influenced positively and can open new doors and perspectives. Furthermore, it makes you more agile and to some extent it adds on to the development of great creative ideas.
S: Creativity is a process which cannot be separated from the concept of fashion. It’s somehow included integrally and has a direct impact on the industry as a whole. Therefore, especially now we experience times when creativity has a pronounced effect on the features of our sartorial space of existence.
FM: Is Fashion changing? Towards which direction?
S: Indeed, fashion is changing. According to me, there seems to be a movement addressing the personality and strontium of individuality. Directionally, this means a forces that compounds this relationship within the highly personal individuality of fashion.
Pleasant springlike winds sweep the city clean. The first signs of summer have arrived. Positive souls appear from the city’s dusty alleys and stuffy office buildings, keen to step onto the cities many parks, roaring beach parties and cozy strands of green. As the light captures their expressive faces, the winter is cleansed away from them. They all unite in leisurely activities, idling away the time, frittering around sparkling fountains and buzzy promenades, fully embracing the summery city pulse.
For SS14, WACKERHAUS aims to provide women with a sense of reclaimed freshness, leaving the dark morose winter months behind. Equipped with a sense that time is on their side, they aim to reach for new heights. The new collection invites women to wholly embrace the spring and its many opportunities. Gallery openings, work gatherings and wine vernissages part of their summery pallet.
The collection is divided into two sections, a leisurely socializing part, featuring lightweight garments, casual knits, boxy sporty jackets and breezy long garments. In turn, these are contrasted by a more formal business section with structured blousons, fitted dresses and elongated layers such as a tailored trench and lengthy throw over cardigans.
FilepMotwary: Which experiences helped you form your own aesthetics?
WACKERHAUS: As a designer, I am quite a sensible person, so I am much aware of what clothes can do to give you a feeling of comfort and confidence. Next to this, I strive to make clothes that are accessable, uncomplicated yet with a pensive dimension. For me, small but important details, for example the meticulous process on how to incorporate pockets nicely in party dresses, in order to add a functional edge to them, have always interested me. My aesthetic is centred around the creation of sartorial solutions that are both beautiful and practical.
FM: What is the POLO CITY SS14 collection about?
W:The collection embraces happiness and optimism. I felt like grasping that special feeling which tingles inside ones body when spring arrives. It is a sentiment of anything being possible. Pure joy. Which is also connected with the long winters we suffer here in the North, thusly spring marks a fresh beginning each time.
W: As an admirer of masculine tailoring, I have always loved suits and oversized stuff, yet in an effeminate manner. Subtle detailing, good tailoring and structured fabrics inspire me. Principally, I must admit I feel very much inspired by mens wear. On the other hand, being a woman I also have this soft side that gradually gets more and more visible in my collections. Especially the SS14 is very feminine compared to my previous collections. In womenswear, I am allowed to explore both sides of me - which would not work that easily for me as a menswear designer.
FM: In your opinion what are the differences between men and women?
W: The sensibility and mood of women is well translated into our way of dressing. I think women are way more controlled and in touch with their feelings when they dress.
FM: What makes a designer important in your opinion in order to last?
W: Style and taste are individual and some times the wind luckily blows in your direction and some times it doesn’t. As I always say ''We can all shoot wrong for a season, but that doesn’t hurt anyone. On the other hand by avoiding risks or choosing the safe road of mediocrity, you will devalue your brand slowly but surely'' How does really longevity mean in this business? A good design will make both the actual garment and the brand last longer, so in different ways the longevity lies very much in the design itself.
W: This is constructed by looking at many different women. Dissecting their moves, expressions and general appearance – I love helping women feeling comfortable and powerful in my designs. When talking to our customers, I feel so proud when I am told that my designs actually builds their confidence.
W: Personally, I actually think it has been an interesting time the past years - most of us have had to rethink and trim our business making it more sustainable and in a way more sympathetic. The crisis has forced the creatives to invent designs within some new dogmas and I believe that limits are good for creativity - when you can have it all you don't really need to twist your mind.
FM: Is this the moment of great creativity? How relevant is creativity to the way the fashion industry functions today?
W: It depends on how you define great creativity. If there is an expression such as great creativity for wearability, I think we do wonders right now! I have never seen so many cool and interesting outfits as today, that I would actually wear.
Portrait of head designer/creative director Trine Wackerhausen. Portrait byTrine,
Thank you Marlo Saalmink
Dear iDEALS, the "Atlas" project was born by connecting a family sentimental memory of spices and herbs and the mythological story of Atlas. The idea behind this series was to give rebirth to the ancient myth and create naturalistic sensational feelings,under the beautiful light of a Greek island.
Atlas was the primordial Titan, the most powerful and skillful ,who after a fight with Dias was punished forever to hold on his shoulders the celestial sphere. Because he endured this sacred punishment with admirable patience he received the name Atlas which means : endure everything.
For Atlas his adjective is durus, "hard, enduring".
Note: The ΘΑΒΜΑ (THAVMA) collective group (THAnasis, Vangelis, MArilia) consists on the collaboration of three artists interested in photography as well as new media. The idea behind their projects is to express the animal instinct, the morals of freedom and the limits withing human being. They are interested in taboos, metaphysics and they believe in the dynamic of the artists that consist a project and the power of the moment that creates things magical, exactly like a miracle.
As ATLAS, model Simos.
All photos THAVMA ©
Credits - Photographer : Victor Demarchelier - Creative & Fashion Direction : Yann Weber - Models : Nadja Bender, Malgosia Bela, Liu Wen, Cora Emmanuel, Karlie Kloss, Toni Garrn, Constance Jablonski, Mirte Maas, Karlina Caune
Born and raised in rural Germany, 27-year-old Katharina Gruber studied womenswear design at the international fashion school, Esmod, between Munich and Tokyo, before joining the Parisian couture house of Anne Valérie Hash. From there, Gruber designed for Balenciaga, under the direction of Nicolas Ghesquière, as well as collaborating on various film and dance projects, such as "IRON“ by Woodkid with Yoann Lemoine or Valentino by Johan Renck.
Giving rise to fluid sophistication, Gruber’s work blends the forms of sculptural shapes with grand, unrestricted movements. With her second collection, she was presented by Agence74, which has a strong focus on ‚specialty designers’ all over the world. Atelier produced in France, with a focus on Artisanal dyed Twill’s and Cotton’s or on fine japanese tri-acetates, Gruber’s clothes are intended to be lived in and last, while evoking the force and sensitivity of the woman wearing them.
For Spring / Summer 14 collection she was focusing on special japanese, draped Tri- Acetate fabrics, which is a raw material of wood pulp ( It releases sweat and dampness and achieves an elegant and cooling silhouette ), bonded Twill, Satin and Cot- ton, subtle color’s block’s and 60’s Cristobal Balenciaga’s gown’s inspired 3D shapes to give a bodily awareness at the moment of receptions.
Photography Spela Kasal.
“Love is a battle, love is a
war; love is a growing up”
Since the new world began, people feel completely isolated; they think the only place outside heaven where you be perfectly safe from all the dangers and perturbations of love is Hell. Once you love anything, your heart will certainly be wrung and possibly be broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact, you must give your heart to no one, not even to an animal. Wrapping it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements; lock it up safely in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. Inspired by the abstract artist, Niko Luoma, SS14 collection is mainly focused on showing the complicated feeling between to love oneself or not to love at all. Gun, knife and ghost are three main symbolic elements in developing the print for this collection. These represent the feeling of being hurt and getting pain.
Different shades of blue have also been used for developing the color, which represents the sophisticated mood and emotion deep inside of our A focal interest in the 19th century fine tailoring of the English aristocracy gets combined with the worker clothes as well as zoo suits with a lot of oversize shape represents the protection you need when you are being in love. All silhouettes are showcasing the sharpness of the British tailoring; but at the same time, having a lot of layering reserves the reserved elegances.
Waterproof is the main element on developing the fabric - coated wool, cotton, and polyurethane finished fabrics are widely used in every single piece of this collection. Spring/Summer 2014 collection is all about classical tailoring tradition with a new level of protection elements. Having the typical SixLee characteristics - elegantly tailored silhouettes in rich materials, clothes cannot just protect your physical self but your mental self – Your SOUL.
“We‘re all accepting the love
we think we deserve…”
“Take all my loves, my love, yea, take them all; What hast thou then more than thou hadst before? No love, my love, that thou mayst true love call; All mine was thine before thou hadst this more. Then if for my love thou my love receivest, I cannot blame thee for my love thou usest; But yet be blamed, if thou thyself deceivest By wilful taste of what thyself refusest. I do forgive thy robbery, gentle thief, Although thou steal thee all my poverty; And yet, love knows, it is a greater grief To bear love's wrong than hate's known injury. Lascivious grace, in whom all ill well shows, Kill me with spites; yet we must not be foes.--By William Shakespeare.