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Perou’s Dirty, sexy… Jeans

"I am the guy that flies around the world photographing the rich, beautiful and famous people" With those words photographer Perou introduced himself at the beginning of each episode of "Dirty, Sexy things" (you can still catch it on Channel 4 OD if you missed it) and those were the words that first came to my mind when the people from Levi’s told me about their Curve ID events involving a photo shoot with Perou and a chance to interview him. After a few seconds of meeting him, I could have extended that definition to much more: Perou is also a rather approachable and easy to talk to guy from Newick, Sussex, who owns a farm where he lives with his wife and kids and has a genuine interest in people. What makes him such a talented photographer is his ability to bring all that into iconic photographs.

“You have to try on the jeans and then I’ll take a photo of you or two… if you want” he says with a smile knowing that no one in their right mind will refuse a chance to get a photo taken by his expert eye. But how was it for him, the idea of working with normal people, when his day by day glamorous endeavours are full of models and celebrities?

"I was a bit scared at the beginning of the idea of doing public photo shoots but the photos we already took in Italy look amazing and it’s been so far a wonderful experience.  Yes I am used to working with professional models, but these Levi’s jeans make girls look great and girls that look great feel sexy and therefore look beautiful which makes it so easy for me. To be honest the jeans have helped me a lot in this process. My wife never used to wear jeans but she got a pair of Curve ID and now she wears them all the time… she even wears them to bed! which make things a bit complicated for me, but she looks amazing." 

How did you get involved with this campaign and what attracted you most to the project?

"I think this project and I were really meant for each other. I am interested in real people and I love this concept of jeans that can make women feel sexy and comfortable with the way they look… it is a democratized appeal and it’s great. The idea is to make women look fantastic and make them realise they don’t need to be celebrities or models to feel good with themselves. I usually get asked on interviews who I would like to photograph, and I always say "people". Each person makes the experience."

 Tell me about your project of photographing homeless kids.

"The whole idea comes from talking to homeless people and finding out how they feel invisible, so I’m planning to make them visible. I want to photograph them as whole people, part of society: in the same way as I might photograph a celebrity or an actor for a magazine"

After being part in several TV shows (Make me a Supermodel; Dirty, Sexy things) and directing videos and commercials, which of your jobs do you find yourself more comfortable with?

"Definitely photographing. Directing is something I do more because I have to, but doing photos is what I enjoy the most"

What makes a Perou photograph?

"I always say I’m more interested in the content than anything else: function over form. What I bring into my photographs is beauty but it is internal more than external. I’ve worked with incredibly attractive models who were standing in front of me and I couldn’t see them as being as beautiful as the normal people that usually don’t stand in front of a camera. Even during these photo shoots for Levi’s, a lot of people have told me they were afraid to be photographed in jeans but afterwards they felt great and I could see that. I’m simply taking a photograph of how beautiful they feel"

Last but not least, do you have a Sketchbook and what’s on it?

"I do have a Sketchbook. It’s a Moleskine I take everywhere and where I sketch all my ideas for photo shoots. I usually show my clients what I drew and everybody looks at it like “what the hell is that?” I am actually terrible at drawing but that’s why I take photos, because I can’t draw”

Find out more about Perou’s iconic photographs here: 

Words: Mariana Moyano Menta

Photos: Perou



Françoise Nielly x IRMDESIGN - Paris

The recent Françoise Nielly x IRMDESIGN collaboration opened at la Galerie Menouar in Paris to a well dressed crowd greeted with champagne and canapés.

The collection was based on the literal interpretation of Françoise Neilly’s bright canvas paintings into a series of dresses by Marion Lalanne and Pierre Hermet, the up and coming duo behind IRMDESIGN.

The exhibition also featured IRMDESIGN’s own rope accessories and some of Nielly’s framed paintings, as opposed to the ones used to make the collection.

Check out more of Francoise Nielly’s work at la Galerie Menouar, 75003 Paris, between 27th November and 10 January, visit for the full collection.

Words: Frederic Bourgoin

Images:  Frederic Bourgoin, Coutesy of IRMDESIGN



Levi’s® raising the curve

I have been a fan of Levi’s my entire life. You can’t help but admire a brand whose name became synonym for denim; for coolness and design; a brand that was born amongst the needs of hard working classes and turned an item of practical use into a timeless fashion grail. Even back in the day, when my interest in fashion wouldn’t go any further than pink coloured trainers and a highly questionable hair style; I longed to own a pair of Levi’s jeans. It was on my 12th or 13th birthday that I finally got them: black, straight leg, modern rise. The LEVI’S & CO tag in the back of the waist line was considerably bigger than the delicate and more elegant ones Levi’s jeans sport today; but I couldn’t care any less for demure demonstrations of branding: I had a pair of Levi’s at last!

Sadly, as I grew up and my shape changed, I could never find a pair of Levi’s that fit me that well. Eventually I gave up on my search, resigning to the indisputable fact that my body was never gonna be the same as it was when I was 13; and that maybe Levi’s jeans simply weren’t cut for women with Latin American curves. Don’t get me wrong, I’m no Beyoncé, but no matter what model or size I tried, they were always more flattening than flattering. You can imagine then my joy when I received an invitation to try the new LEVI’s Curve ID line. Could my love for Levi’s finally be restored?

In the last couple of years, as consumers have fully stepped into on line shopping era; more and more effort has been put on teaching us how to fit into the perfect jeans. Net a Porter has a whole measuring guide that explains in detail how to find your correct size and My Wardrobe launched the Denim Bar last year, offering the same concept. Never an easy task, choosing the wrong size or style for our loyal denims has a big impact on customers’ experience: delivery costs; lack of immediacy; detriment on interest and ultimately the decision that jeans are still one of those things that you have to buy in person.

LEVI’S is offering its customers the chance to be fitted by their in-store fitting specialist and advised about what style and size is the perfect for them. It takes only a few minutes to measure your waist, seat and hips but if you wish you can book an appointment in advance. The result will determine if your curve is Slight (for straight figures), Demi (shapes with even proportions), Bold (more pronounced curve, usually the one that creates a gap in the back), or Supreme (curviest shapes that will require a higher rise). This is taking shopping experience to a new level, and in times of recession, when every item purchased involves a money conscious decision for most people, offering expert advice that what you are buying is an intelligent purchase, it’s crucial.


The fact is, it’s not YOU who need to fit into your jeans, but YOUR JEANS that need to fit YOU perfectly. That’s CURVE ID it’s about: know your body, appreciate your shape, chose your style and you will love your jeans again. Levi’s promise is that you will love them so much; that you will wish to be photographed in them so they invited celebrity photographer Perou, who has photographed the likes of Jessie J; Justin Timberlake; Katy Perry and Jeff Bridges to be part of the “Mirror, Mirror what’s my Curve ID?” events. Buy a pair of jeans; get styled by a team from Gazia Magazine, and your picture will appear in the LEVI’s CURVE ID photo gallery. The only part missing now is you, bringing your curves into the pot, to prove if Levi’s has finally created jeans for everybody.

And I have found my perfect Levi’s® once again.

Catch up with the “Mirror, Mirror what’s my Curve ID” events and get photographed by Perou

House of Fraser – London October 18th and 19th

Levi’s Flagship Store – Regent Street, London October 20th

Words & pictures 1,2 & 3: Mariana Moyano Menta

Pictures 4,5,6 & 7 : Perou



Orla Kiely SS12 - LFW Day 1

Someone said on twitter she could have spent the entire day at the Orla Kiely presentation, and once there, I could totally relate to that feeling.Models came in and out posing in rotating pedestals or resting in sun loungers in a nonchalant manner, almost as if overwhelmed by a heatwave of a season that only belonged to the Portico Rooms of Somerset house.Everything was utterly wearable and feminine with very chic details. I felt in love with the accessories and the general aesthetic of the collection. Here’s a clip of the presentation. Hope you enjoy it.

Words & photos Mariana Moyano Menta 

Video clip by Righster



Thomas Sabo AW11 - Press Day

Thomas Sabo has gone Oriental with the fine jewellery collection for AW11, taking inspiration from all the traditional Asian symbols: from pandas and dragons, to fans and lanterns.   Sparkling zirconia gems adorned stirling silver pieces, which were decorated with shining red and black enamel, giving the collection the allure of an Oriental night. 

Necklaces with bejewelled lantern pendants and rings with a subtle colour reference to the Oriental theme were more sophisticated, while the panda charms were reminiscent of the Japanese Harajuku girls’ style: fun, cute and appealing to a younger market.

As I wandered round Bam Bou, (delicately) munching on the pan-Asian canapés, I was pleased to see that Thomas Sabo had decided to include a sub-collection of jewellery for those who prefer a more timeless look.  This “Classic Collection” was inspired by the opulent 1930s, using silver, deep purple and black as its palette.  A stand-out piece was the silver feather pendant, which was feminine without being too delicate, and classic without being old-fashioned.  There was also a matching ring and earrings, which I would happily make my own!

Words & Images : Imogen Webb



Paris Fashion Week Men SS12 - Qasimi

One of the most surprising shows during Paris Fashion Week, Emirati designer Khalid Qasimi presents an aggressive, extravagant and contemporary SS12 ready-to-wear collection.

Covered faces, military uniform-wear and what looks like parachute fabric are accompanied by 17th century Baroque prints, a particularly flamboyant camouflage, and bright orange florals.

The whole collection comes together as a kind of ‘modern-city warrior’, with the sombre, military inspired colour scheme interrupted by highlights of bright orange. It also seems to carry some strong Middle Eastern influences; a lot of uniform black, covered faces and what looks like veil embroidery. Nonetheless, the masks don’t seem to be referencing Middle Eastern ‘niqabs’, but are instead reminiscent of the images of Middle Eastern protesters and soldiers with cloths tied around their faces that have saturated the news over the past few months.

In this way the collection seems to suggest rebellion, aggression, and war. Yet all the dark undertones and black colour schemes are contrasted by baroque prints on silk shirts and shiny white suits, creating an interesting relationship between the aristocracy associated with Baroque and the aggression and violence associated with urban warfare.

Words: Frederic Bourgoin, Paris Correspondent

Images: Courtesy of Relative MO, Paris



Paris Fashion Week Men SS12 - Boris Bidjan Saberi

German-Iranian designer Boris Bidjan Saberi presents his latest collection comprised entirely of neutral tones; beige, grey and black. The clothes champion a kind of deconstructed simplicity, or rather sophisticated primacy; something reminiscent of a scene from a post-apocalyptic film.

The SS12 ready-to-wear collection show began with pitch black silence, quickly shattered by models marching to the what sounded like war drums. Long tunics, robes and hoods formed the body of the collection, accompanied by a combination of tight fitting leg wraps and oversize trousers, always adhering to a strict palette of neutral tones.

The collection showed off some strong oriental influences, whilst staying true to Saberi’s unique blend of ‘gothic-industrial’ & ‘ninja-glam’. Even more unique, however was the model’s hair styling, quite a remarkable feat in itself; each model seemed to have had their hair replaced by some sort of alien-esque cling film-skin, making it hard to tell where skin or hair began and plastic ended.

The simplicity of both the show and collection was also remarkable, creating an interesting relationship between something very primitive, and at the same time very sophisticated; a kind of understated violence. The collection mixed post-gothic, industrial, oriental and military references to create a dark, refreshing and sophisticated collection.

Words: Frederic Bourgoin, Paris Correspondent

Images: Courtesy of Relative MO, Paris



The Wolf, the Badger and the new designers

No spring in London is complete without an evening party hosted by the most fashionable characters of Notting Hill. Wolf and Badger presented their new affiliate designers and Sketchbook was there represented by Romain Casella to have a sneaky look and enjoy their always entertaining and inviting clientele.

Here are some of the new names you can see and enjoy during the next 3 months at their boutique or online at 

Mika Bashan: specialised in leather pieces with lining 100% Italian silk, Mika Bashan presented a collection that reflects her 30 years of experience in the fashion industry

U.MI-1: Japanese menswear that juxtaposes tailoring with casual fabrics for a modern aesthetic. The collaboration of Japanese artists add to the pieces an original and sophisticated look. 

Didi Ilse: Inspired in nature, antique pieces and her travels around the world, German jeweler Didi Ilse will be showcasing provoking designs all handcrafted in her London studio. 

Capulet: Luxury women’s accessories, specialised in cases and bags for laptops, IPads and tablets. All the designs are created in London and hand-crafted by expert leather artisans in the Andalucia region. 

Glassing: hand finished sunglasses, that offer a unique piece each time. Glassing was born in 2009 in Italy and since its creation has shown a steady success. 

Manley: Dublin born Emma Manley designs powerful yet delicate women’s wear. Her influences come from working with amongst others, Alexander McQueen. All the pieces are produced in Ireland. 

Anthony Peto: British born, Paris based milliner Anthony Peto brings handmade hats with outstanding quality that are already a raging success. 

Havva: Using luxurious leathers and feminine silhouettes, Havva gives shape to her footwear passion passed from generation to generation of her family. All pieces are created by footwear artisans in Italy. 

Mariana Moyano Menta / Romain Casella

Photos: Romain Casella 



Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival – 2011

Erwin Blumenfeld - Modern Beauty

Last week was held the 26th edition of the Hyères International Fashion and Photography Festival (29th April- 2nd May). As in previous years since its creation by Jean-Pierre Blanc, the villa Noailles is the Mediterranean shell where artists, designers, photographers, journalists and other curious creatives gather to discover tomorrow’s promising talents in Fashion and Photography.

A certain laid-back and nostalgic feel reigns in the modern villa, with its shaded pink facades and ascetic cubist lines, that echoe the intriguing life of its owners, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles. As active patrons and art commissioners, they played an active role in supporting avant-garde artists from the 1920s to the late 1960s. Picasso, Dali, Cocteau, César, Giacometti and the like were part of their large pioneering, intellectual and artistic circle of friends and acquaintances.

Today, the villa Noailles hosts Fashion, Photography, Design and Architecture festivals with the continuous purpose of supporting up-and-comers. Fashion designers Gaspard Yurkievich, Viktor & Rolf, Christian Wijnants, Felipe Oliveira Baptista and Charles Anastase distinguished themselves at Hyères.

The involvement of prestigious jury members participated in building up the recognition of the festival around the world. In the past, Azzedine Alaïa, John Galliano, Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester, Helmut Lang, Karl Lagerfeld, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Riccardo Tisci, Dries Van Noten and Christian Lacroix were part of the Hyères jury.

Following the tradition of getting “la crème de la crème”, this year’s jury consisted of:

Raf Simons, designer, Antwerp - President of the Jury

Tim Blanks, journalist,, London

Floriane de Saint Pierre, CEO Floriane de Saint Pierre & Associés, Paris

Michel Gaubert, musician, sound designer, Paris

Lazaro Hernandez & Jack McCollough, designers, Proenza Schouler, New York

Cathy Horyn, journalist, The New York Times, New York

Christopher Kane, designer London

Carla Sozzani, founder of Corso Como, Milan

And the 10 shortlisted fashion designers were:

Juliette alleaume and Marie Vial, France, Womenswear collection

Mads Dinesen, Denmark, Menswear collection

Michael Kampe, Germany, Menswear collection

Maryam Kordbacheh, The Netherlands, Womenswear collection

Oriane Leclercq, Belgium, Womenswear collection

Janosch Mallwitz, Germany, Menswear collection

Emilie Meldem, Switzerland, Womenswear collection

Céline Méteil, France, Womenswear collection

Oda Pausma, The Netherlands, Womenswear collection

Léa Peckre, France, Womenswear collection

The designers were exhibiting their collections in the back gardens of the villa, where they could chat with the visitors and discuss their work, inspirations and plans for the future. It served as a great opportunity for guests to take the time to appreciate the collections’ pieces remote from the catwalks.

On the Sunday night, Léa Peckre was awarded the Hyères 2011 prize; Emilie Meldem received the Special Jury Prize and Céline Méteil won the “Prix du Public” as well as the Première Vision Prize.

Léa Peckre – Winner of the Hyères 2011 prize

Léa Peckre drew her inspiration from cemeteries for her collection “Cemeteries Are Fields of Flowers”. Neither macabre nor gothic connotations prevailed in her work which was “polished in its execution, and intriguing in its fabrication” as Tim Blanks described it. On the contrary, she was interested in cemeteries for the special energies that emanate from these scenes and the isolation from technology.

As she explained, she extracted elements and graphic details that could be found there such as vines, gravestones, mausoleums, eccentric architectural pieces, wrought iron and wood. This led her to dig deeper into the realization of the materials and to develop her own kind of sequins. Seven types of sequins were created to illustrate seven different wood species and to achieve this, she spent a month in India working 24/7 with embroiderers.

Fascinated by the reflection and refraction of light, Léa Peckre combined opaque, see through and reflective materials in order to magnify the skin and allow the body to be perceived. And this contrasts with the architectural silhouettes consisting of stiff curves and lines.

Moved by Bill Viola’s powerful video/sound installations, she wanted her show to be an experience that goes beyond the garments. “Godspeed You Black Emperor!” as her show music. Very emotional!

Céline Méteil – Winner of the Public and Première Vision Prizes

Céline Méteil created a collection of airy and structured origami-dresses made from jaconas. This stiff and transparent cotton plain weave is ordinarily employed to create a three-dimensional muslin prototype of a garment. Her highly architectural clothing entertains a dialogue with the body, building on layers of transparency and lace, shaped in subtle balance with fluid knits.

Baptized “Plié‐Backstage”, the collection is mainly inspired by fitting sessions when prototypes are presented. It is a special moment when the attention is only focused on the garment. “It is pure, without any twirls. And going back to the use of this raw material doesn’t allow any mistake which challenged my creative thinking” she told us.

For the first time this year, Première Vision, the World’s Premier Fabric Show, has partnered with the Hyères Festival and sponsored one of its prizes but went beyond the awarding of the prize money. “As an incubator of encounters, we are keen to support the young designers by sharing our knowledge, contacts and passion for textiles” Pascaline Wilhelm, Director of the Première Vision Fashion Team says.

Well ahead of the Prize itself, the 10 finalists were welcomed at the show to meet with exhibiting weavers, professionals in the accessory, textile design and other sectors who signed up for providing the contestants with materials. Céline Méteil, the winner of the Première Vision Prize will see her whole collection exhibited during the shows in New York and Paris alongside some pieces of the other contestants’ collections.

Pascaline insists that “the harmony between the idea and the materials is instrumental and Hyères puts the spotlight on it once again making us want to go further and help young creative energies to better develop”.

To conclude the Hyères chapter, I had the pleasure of interviewing Jean-Pierre Blanc, founder of the Festival, a few minutes after the show officially closed and whilst people started dismantling the installations.

What is the story of the festival?

The festival aims at accompanying the career debut of promising young talents in the best way possible. We provide them with a unique platform to present their realizations to a panel of International actors. It all started in 1986 and we were lucky enough to count Françoise Chassagnac on board. She founded the very high-end Victoire boutiques in Paris. After she returned to Paris and started promoting the festival, things quickly speeded up. Many big names joined the movement and supported us which makes this a very human adventure! And we are trying to keep this human scale for the visitors as well as for the designers.

How do you manage to mix such professionalism, proximity and fun at the festival?

Our goal is to meet the people, discover quality works and share these with the professionals to help the new talents to thrive. There is no hidden communication purposes and I am sure both designers and visitors know that which makes the whole experience special and beneficial to everybody. On top of that, our sponsors trust us and respect the spirit of the festival. We have a clear idea of what we want to preserve. So, with a solid direction, we will not lose the soul of the festival.

How old were you when you started the festival?

I was 20 years old and the festival was my final year project at university…

What is your goal for the festival?

We believe in the festival as a necessary talent incubator and our role today is to make this a sustainable institution that will survive all of us.

What’s next?

On the same principle, the 6th edition of the Design Parade will take place at the villa in July and will reward the best young talents in design. Throughout the year, festivals and exhibitions in Architecture, Music and Cinema are held here, too.

The villa Noailles is more than ever a unique rendez-vous for emerging talents in various fields, following the tradition initiated by its owners, Charles and Marie-Laure de Noailles. A fantastic heritage!

Discover Hyères 2011 Live by The Stimuleye

Words & Images : Romain Casella



Ones to Watch: FAUN

Faun is the latest new women’s wear brand to hit the UK and currently the name on everyone’s lips.  Much more grown up and luxurious than your average high street brand but without the price tag of designer, Faun is bridging the gap between quality and affordability. As someone who has just entered the ‘late 20’s’ bracket this is something I find myself searching for more and more. With their debut collection a feast of punchy colours, flattering cuts and unique detailing, not only do they have our summer wardrobe more than covered but they are providing a whole new set of choices for those who have outgrown the fast fashion market.

One sunny afternoon in London, over a cup of coffee, I caught up with the man behind the designs, George Singleton, to discuss inspirations, celeb muses and what we can expect from this exciting brand to watch.

George you are the brains behind the new women’s wear brand Faun, what inspired you to set up your own label?

While I was at Central Saint Martins, I had my own label in Topshop for a while as part of a project we were set in our final year. I had a taste of the potential and success that you could have with your own company. When I graduated, I knew that I didn’t want to go and work for a ‘designer’ because of how little they paid (if at all!). I realised that I wanted to learn everything about the industry from design through to the garments getting into stores, so I went on to work for a series of suppliers and retailers to the high street. For the last 10 years, I’ve been lucky enough to travel the world and see the capabilities of each country in manufacturing of both garments and fabrics.  I now feel like I have got to a certain point in my career where it feels like a natural progression to go out on my own with confidence.

 Faun is launching for SS11, tell us what we need to know about the brand

The essence of Faun is to be placed at a point in the market where design and quality are not compromised, but also most importantly, where the prices aren’t inflated to the ridiculous levels of some ‘designer’ brands. I really feel that people are a lot more discerning than ever, due to the state of the economy but also because of the vast choice of things available. For ss11, I’ve tried to create a range that is incredibly wearable and appeals to people’s sense of style. For those who want to be able to shop in a place where they can buy for their day wardrobe, but also pick up that killer dress for the evening.

If you could describe the debut collection in 3 words what would they be?Confident, Elegant, Versatile

What are the key pieces from the SS11 collection that we should all be coveting for summer?

The embroidered dress is a statement piece and also key to the future direction of the brand. The contemporary beadwork is stunning and reflects the quality of the collection. The colour-block dress in the plain and printed option is also really impactful and will add a power-dressing element to any wardrobe

How would you describe the Faun woman?

She is confident in her own sense of style and not dictated to buy trends. She has money to spend but is also a fan of vintage and appreciates a bargain. She has a creative spirit and is not afraid to try new things.

If you could dress anyone in Faun who would you love to see wearing it?

January Jones – classically beautiful with a modern edge. Zooey Deschanel – for her playfulness and sense of humour and Fearne Cotton for her sense of individuality and seemingly effortless sense of style.


Are there any designers/ brands to which you aspire to when creating your designs?

I don’t really look at any specific designers as such. I tend to appreciate individual items more and elements of each collection. Although I think the innovation at places like Balenciaga is inspiring, as is the assured, timeless style at Lanvin. In terms of businesses I aspire to, I would have to say a company like Acne. They seem to go about things in their own way and have built a very successful business that seems to be more influential each year. I love their concept of being a creative collective across the arts.

How does Faun differ from other women’s wear brands on the market?

The thing that will hopefully distinguish the brand is the place that we sit in the market – as a bridge between the catwalk and high street. Faun aims to be directional and still wearable at a price that is accessible to a much wider market.

What can we expect from Faun in the future and what do we have to look forward to in the next collection?

I’m confident that the launch of my new website will help build a strong foundation for the brand to grow from. For Autumn/Winter I would like to see the brand stocked with a few key retailers and boutiques. For the next collection I’m taking a lot of inspiration from Billie Holiday and the period between 30-50’s in America but keeping an element of street style and attitude. Aw12 will focus more on eveningwear and is a lot darker in mood.

And finally what’s in your sketchbook?

 I’m getting really inspired by music at the moment and seem to be going through a blues phase! I discovered the Black Keys recently and think they are fantastic! Also been listening to some old Muddy Waters stuff. In a similar vain, I’m loving the new album by Ghost Poet (kind of a new Roots Manuva)– think this is going someway to influencing the basis of my next collection.


After viewing the electric colours and soft mood of the SS11 collection I was already a fan, but the thought of one of my favourite modern day style setters, Zooey Deschanel channelling 50’s Billie Holiday well and truly has me hooked.

The Faun online shop will be launching at the end of March

And follow them on Facebook and twitter

Words By Jaclyn Craig