Two years since Lauren Bander was crowned as Winner of Project: Design! during STLFW 2012 with her LBSS13 collection, the St. Louis-native designer has been celebrating her outré aesthetics from Kansas City Fashion Week to New York Fashion Week.
Throwing back to FW2013, LB all-black couture collection features regal evening gowns so ornate that they remind us of the Dior femme relique - the woman mummified by her opulence. There was plenty of cerebral whimsy to offset the noirish femme fatale appeal. The LB woman is the baroness who disdains the familiarity of inferiors, flaunts her diamonds but never her discretions.
Bander’s most favorite designer is, conceivably, Christian Dior, whose brushstrokes very heavily influenced LB early collections. Bander’s couture has hit the runway in waves of staggering beauty and a little perverse extravagance. The designer’s talent lies in her ability to purge tulle and lace of the materials’ fussy, bourgeois gestures, creating a mermaid nonchalance that is touchingly glamorous. “I wanted to try and turn something ugly into something beautiful,” she explains. “So while the color story is very dark, the designs are beautiful and feminine,” answered Bander in an interview with ALIVE Magazine.
Having studied at The Paris American Academy and lived in the haute couture capital of the world, Bander forever holds Paris dear in her heart. The globe-trotting young designer has certainly paid homage to the Parisian scenes: art, elegance, snobbery, nostalgia, and vice distilled with purity make an eau-de-vie that goes straight to the head.
All images courtesy of Lauren Bander at www.laurenbander.com
A version of this article appears on GEMINIJUNEMOON.com on November 14, 2014.
Without a doubt, Cashmere Cat has quickly become one of the most exciting faces in experimental music, and mostly notably, collaborated with Ludacris, Wiz Khalifa, Banks and Ariana Grande early this year. Having come off a long stretch of remixes, radio shows and club sets, Norwegian producer Magnus Høiberg has polarized the critical community with his latest EP Wedding Bells, with pseudo-tastemaker Pitchfork notably calling it a failed effort to evolve on his genre-bending debut Mirror Maru. However, these criticisms couldn’t be more off point. The whole EP is terrifyingly accomplished, with genius at work in every nanosecond of detail. To anyone weary of all the fanfare given to the chart-topping DJs, this might just be your lifeboat.
While experimenting with the lifelike timbres, he stretches his wordless vocal samples to breaking point. The effect is disorienting and queasy - on "Pearls," the layered high-and-low voices sound like something from a horror movie, in complete contrast to the fanfare of flutes and brass around it.
In spite of these eccentric touches, Wedding Bells has an air of opulence. It is refreshing to see an artist, especially who has achieved EDM stardom, to be more about delaying pleasure rather than instant gratification. Right down to the choice of his stage name, Cashmere Cat seems to be invested in making music that is luxurious yet accessible, original yet unafraid of its cutesy pop inclinations and all the while confident in its own idiosyncrasies. How long this approach will remain fresh or whether Hoiberg can maintain the quality of his productions after the novelty wears off are questions for later records.
looking at fashion as fine arts, architecture, anthropology, an extreme form of human performance.