Tradeshow season part 1: Berlin
By Elisa, Founder and Chief Wanderer
The Wandering Minds team - co-founder James, web analytics stud Denny and I (Elisa), just came back from a few fun days in one of our favourite up-and-coming style capitals - Berlin. The Berlin Bread & Butter tradeshow is always tremendous fun, as it never is just about the clothes and the brands, but about the parties, the atmosphere, the decor and the city as a whole.
Bread and Butter is held in an airport no longer in use, and the cool 1930s architecture is in itself a great source of inspiration. It has the most spectacular design features that make you feel like you’re in one of these cool airports from a 1960s James Bond movie.
For Spring-Summer 13, I believe the theme of the show had something to do with planet earth, but what stood out for me was the colour blue and tie-dying. A massive blue, tie-dyed piece of fabric was hanging from the ceiling, and everybody was queuing for a tie-dye workshop where you could tie-dye t-shirts. Having been to a tie-dye themed house party in Dalston just a few weeks ago, this tie-dye fervor came as no surprise (I realise I’ve said the word tie-dye an awful lot).
We found two great brands that we hopefully will start to work with next season, one from Denmark and one from the Netherlands, both championing paired-down aesthetics with a hint of sexiness. I’ll keep you guys updated on when/what we order from them, but I can just say that it will include the coolest parkas and the greatest leather skirt you’ve ever seen. We also found a nice bag brand (modeled by yours truly in one of the photos below), which was way too expensive, but we’ll keep them in mind.
Style Inspiration: American high-schools in 1969
By Elisa Eymery, Wandering Minds founder
James, our co-founder and genius ‘digital mechanic’ guy, may be a huge geek but he also has an extremely good eye for style. He recently sent me a link to a series of photos which had been taken in an American high-school in 1969, and we were both struck by how cool these people looked. To me, it highlighted what our style direction at Wandering Minds is all about: simple but well-made pieces which put together in an interesting way create effortless, quietly confident looks with a bit of an edge. The edge doesn’t scream at you though, it just sings in a whisper (I’m in a poetic mood today, as you can see).
The thing that I love the most in the photos is the play with proportions and lengths. High-waisted bottoms were teamed with very simple jersey t-shirts or tank tops, tucked in so as to create volume and structure. Outfits were completed by knee-high socks, reasonable but cool-looking shoes and slightly crazy accessories.
The prints were unexpected, the fabrics contrasted and the pops of colour vibrant and full of joy. The silhouettes were tailored, but in a very relaxed way, with easy shift dresses, softly structured blouses and buttoned-down shirts made funky and fun.
These young people dressed in a spontaneous and joyful way, and I think we all ought to recapture this fun, experimental and individual way of dressing everyday.
Micro-shoot 1: Elevated street wear
By Elisa, Wandering Minds founder
A few days ago we did a ‘micro-photoshoot’ with two of my stunningly beautiful friends. The idea of the micro-shoots - we’ll do a lot more of these in the future - is that we put a cool outfit together and shoot it very quickly, just to get our creativity going and have some fun.The models, Olivia and Tonya, went to the same school as the Wandering Minds crew. It is rather lucky that I happen to be surrounded by amazing looking girls - when you’re a broke entrepreneur, it’s all about exploiting your network.
We put the girls in our oversized pleated sweaters by Seoul designer Grace Raiment. Olivia was wearing her own Levi’s shorts, and Tonya was wearing our high waisted red wool shorts. It was actually Roxane’s (Wandering Minds social media queen) idea to have them wear the same outfits in contrasting colours. I had reservations at first, but turns out the outfits worked amazingly well together, giving a cool 1990s team-supermodel look to the girls, which was a bit cheesy in the best possible way.
The photoshoot made me fall in love with these sweaters even more. Their oversized shape and cropped length make them move in a very inadvertently sexy way, revealing little bits of skin every time you raise an arm. The pleats make them look completely unique, in fact I’ve never seen anything quite like it, anywhere. We teamed the sweaters with high-waisted shorts, the contrasts in volumes and lengths bringing the whole outfit to another level. This is what I called elevated casual street wear.
Recreate the Look: Eva Mendes in NYC
By Lucie Goulet, Wandering Minds strategy and PR guru
We’re not saying wearing our bright red Grace Raiment cotton sweater will bag you a Ryan Gosling, but, Hey Girl, Eva Mendes’ outfit is just too cool for boyfriend envy. The perennial movie hot girl, Mendes was spotted strolling alongside actor-of-the-moment Gosling in New York City last week. We love how she teamed her top with contrasting combat trousers, funky sunglasses and towering wedges for a great casual look.
With such a stunning top, the trick is to keep other items of clothing simple and minimalist. Emerging Korean designer Raiment likes pairing her own design with tailored white short for an effective and demure preppy play on proportions. You can achieve a similar effect with dark stone wash skinny jeans. If you’re looking for a more polished, work-appropriate look, wear the tomato red sweater with a pencil skirt, killer heels and clean-line accessories.
Designer focus: Grace Raiment
Today is going to be epic for Wandering Minds, as 1) we are receiving the first part of the collection of a great designer that we discovered on our latest trip to Seoul in February and 2) finding space for the new stock in the start-up flat will be more than a little challenging.
I met Sojung Kim, the designer and founder of Korean brand Grace Raiment in her tiny and magical office in one of the up-and-coming creative areas of Seoul. Lost in a sea of moodboards, fabric swatches, samples, drawings, hangers, and Korean chitchat, I instantly fell in love with her style and her collection. Sojung graduated in fashion design at the renowed Seoul Ehwa Women’s University, famous in the whole of Asia for training some amazingly talented young designers. Sojung can’t be much older than 27, and yet she has developed a strong individual aesthetics, along with outstanding tailoring skills, which you can see consistently across her SS12 collection.
The brand is about youthful and effortless feminity, with touches of androgyny, creating relaxed and minimal silhouettes. They’re clothes for girls who can pull off simple looks. What also stands out for me is the soft tailoring, incredible fabrics and detailing that makes all the difference.
This season, Sojung Kim created timeless and subtly flirtatious pieces, with unique detailing, in faux innocent white and accents of tomato red. Think posh girl goes to Wimbledon and seduces everyone around her without even trying. We’ll be stocking little summer dresses - one with a cool bow at the back and one with wide pleats - in a beautiful white cotton fabric with thin red stripes; effortless white blouses with unique and subtle detailing - a high neckline, or a thin striped textured fabric in a loose shape; simple but striking breton stripe tops in red or blue and white; an oversized but slightly short sweater top with horizontal pleats, in tomato red or preppy navy. And the list goes on!
Boys and girls, we’re no longer in the high-street, find-anywhere domain, this is designer stuff (at a great mid-range price point), the type of clothes that you will keep for years and that will become part of you.
Grace Raiment office in trendy Seoul
Loose-fit pleated sweater top in tomato red
Wimbledon pleated striped dress
Relaxed white stripe textured blouse
Relaxed white stripe textured blouse
Red and white breton stripe top
Forget-me-not white textured dress
Denny’s column - A gay guy’s guide to dress stylishly: khaki and navy hunting gear
by Denny Lv, Wandering Minds Web Analytics specialist.
I’m a big believer in the idea that truly stylish men and women essentially dress in the same way. The slightly utilitarian, posh hunter look is one of these looks that work brilliantly on both men and women. You can either go khaki or navy, depending on whether you want to go for the lion hunter or hot sailor look.
Back in January 2011, Elisa and I went on our first ‘routine’ Paris sales trip - she’d been doing that for years while I lost my Paris Winter Sales virginity on this occasion. We stopped at what would become our absolute favourite sales spot in Paris, the flagship APC store on Rue Madame. That year, Elisa and I both found great hunting clothes: I found a pair of slightly quirky but definitely lovely forest green trousers; Elisa got a great coat in the same colour, with a brown collar and brown leather buttons and detailing, which had a distinct I’m-on-my-way-to-shoot-foxes flavour, but in a cool way - despite James ‘Testino’ Haydon’s comment - our brilliant mathematical brain at Wandering Minds - that Elisa looked like a hunting dog in that coat.
Me, not being a big fan of girls who dress like pretty little dolls, love it when girls pull off casual looks like the ones pictures below. I’ve seen many uber-stylish girls - including our lovely CEO at wandering minds - wearing slightly oversized shirts/cardigans/jumpers either from their boyfriends or from products branded as “boyfriend’s [xx]”. I particularly like our navy spring parka at Wandering Minds - completely androgynous but oh-so-cute - in fact I could quite see myself wearing it. The shape and fit of menswear adds the perfect amount of ease and cool and perfect for creating off-duty looks for cool girls. In some occasion, men can also borrow their women’s wardrobe, which is more rare but can work equally brilliantly; Jonathan - see picture below - featured in one of my favourite sites - Hel looks - looks awesome wearing his girl friend’s ragged olive shorts. Good style is most definitely genderless.
Elisa in her APC hunting coat - Brick Lane, London
Oversized navy parkas are hot
Boyish parkas work brilliantly for women too. Navy Spring Parka, from Wandering Minds
Guys can also steal their girl friend’s clothes for a great hunting look