Tiny gloves for Whoopi Goldberg

Recently Riina O had the incredible occasion to collaborate on the pair of shoes made by the very talented Caroline Groves for the wonderful Hollywood actress Whoopi Goldberg!

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Whoopi Goldberg, best known for starring in a ´90s movie “Sister Act“, now a co-hostess of the TV talk show “The View” on ABC site, she is known to be a huge footwear fan.

These shoes by Caroline Groves are rather unique. Eash shoe is in contrasting monochrome colour. In addition to the tiny pair of Riina O gloves one of the shoes, it is also bearing a little top hat and a walking stick, while another sports a veiled bowler hat with a little scarf.

Caroline says, the inspiration for the shoes came from her earlier work that Whoopi was infatuated with. She suggested the one white and one black shoe. One with top hat to represent her show business background and a bowler hat on the other toe in memory of her mother who used to wear a bowler.

The other collaborators on this pair of shoes were the milliner Louise Pocock  and a silversmith Jessica Hickman-Woolcott , who made the tiny cane.

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Riina O mini gloves, seen in several of our recent Instagram posts, made it to the top of the shoes and onto the screen at “The View”.

See them live:

Oksana Tandit show collaboration

Meanwhile in Estonia…

While the nights are slowly getting darker and longer, Estonian designer Oksana Tandit has been thinking about the midsummer “White Nights”, presenting her gorgeous new same-titled resort collection.
The créme de la créme of Tallinn fashion crew was transported nearly 100km out of town to the historical Vihula Manor. The show was accompanied by a gourmet dinner along orchestral music from internationally well known musician Andres Mustonen and his orchestra.

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For her latest show Oksana was inspired by symbiosis between nature, fashion and music. The collection paints a picture of a weekend escape from the busy everyday life to relax and rejuvenate in the countryside. Soft feminine silhouettes, luxurious materials from cashmere to silk come in pastel shades inspired by nature. Inherent to her signature style, a lot of attention is paid to the details and femininity is skillfully joined with masculine elements.

Riina O has collaborated with Oksana Tandit over a few recent years and it has been a true pleasure to do so. Our collections seem to telepathically speak the same language, without having to coordinate the creation process before it is finalised. Riina O latest collection happened to similarly wander out of town in search for the inspiration, heading for the desert instead.

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Matthew Miller show collaboration

London Collections Men is in full swing and this season we had an amazing opportunity to do a show collaboration with London-based designer Matthew Miller.
He has previously referred to the freedom of speech being the last authentic art form and has used this medium in his collections, turning the wearer of his clothes into a walking piece of Socialist Youth art that gains more value and relevance with every mark it picks up, adding user-generated worth with wearing.
I quite like this idea of item becoming more valuable with memories gained along the way. This also applies to leather gloves that form to the shape of the wearers hands with wear, becoming their own and one of a kind.

Matthew Miller´s collection for AW16 is mainly inspired by “Nouveau Riche” and Caravaggio´s painting of “David and Goliath”, with details of oil on canvas draped around the models. His clothes adhere to classical silhouettes, adding modern touch and utilitarian details. Men´s clothes were elegantly mixed with rather masculine-looking women´s ensembles. I personally really loved the whole collection.

Riina O men´s  and women´s gloves added the final touch to the looks.

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View Riina O show collaboration with Matthew Miller in full here.

Alexander McQueen “Savage Beauty”

“I want to be the purveyor of a certain silhouette or a way of cutting, so that when i´m dead and gone people will know that the 21st century was started by Alexander McQueen.”

The retrospective exhibition of Alexander McQueen´s works called “Savage Beauty” finally came home to London. When “Savage Beauty” first showed at New York Metropolitan Museum in 2011 it became one of the most successful exhibitions in the Museum´s history. I think of the same fate for this exhibition at V&A.

You can feel tension in the air as you walk in through the doors into the exhibition room. Muzzled mannequins at one wall, with Lee McQueen himself talking on tape about making his first collections off his dole money. Creating gorgeous clothing pieces off absolutely no budget.
Shows were his playground to do whatever he wanted, go wild and stage a performance – never dull.
As you walk through the rooms of perfectly tailored jackets – a skill he learned while apprenticing at Savile Row even before starting his career as a fashion designer – you enter another room titled “Romantic Gothic” followed by the sound of classical music with mannequins wearing gimp masks and couture. The keywords here are: Victorian Gothic inspirations, Edgar-Allan Poe, dealing with dark side of his personality through fashion.
“There is blood beneath every layer of skin.”
McQueen´s women are never naive and innocent, they are dominating, aggressive, tough, someone who won´t go down without a fight and often come out as a winners.

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Then you continue to  the darkened corridor into the room with walls covered in bones, like Parisian catacombs. It is a fully engaging exhibition space with aquarium-looking screen in the ceiling, inspired by his “Irere” collection. “Romantic Primitivism” room explores tribalism in McQueen´s collections. Primitivism of noble savage, Yoruba mythology is used as inspiration for mannequins with horns in the middle of their face. Exotic pieces include beaded pony skin evening dress, a coat made out of hair, crocodile heads on the shoulders of a garment, etc.

4. Romantic Primitivism Installation view of London gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. Victoria and Albert Museum London

And you proceed to another room accompanied by the sound of classical music again that leads you to experience his “Romantic Nationalism” of his last, post mortem collection. Utterly royal. McQueen tartan mixed with lace and crystals.
“It was time to come out of the dark and into the light”.

5. Romantic Nationalism Installation view of London gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. Victoria and Albert Museum London

“I want to create pieces that can be handed down, like a heirloom”.
“The Cabinet of Curiosities” filled with a selection of his most creatively outrageous pieces and collaborations with other craftsmen and designers. Wooden dresses, leather molded body pieces, tops made of sea shells, metal pipes or crystals, unbelievable 3D-printed shoes.
“I find beauty in grotesque, like most artists. I have to force people to look at things.”

6. The Cabinet of Curiosities Installation view of London gallery Alexander McQueen Savage Beauty. Victoria and Albert Museum London

The maze of the exhibition continues into the dark room with a glass pyramid in the middle with a hologram of Kate Moss “dancing”. This was created not digitally, as one can assume, but using a “Pepper´s Ghost” technique from the 19th century, involving projectors and mirrors that at a time was believed that real ghosts were being called back from beyond the grave.

Kate Moss hologram

Just when you expect it to be the end you step out into the mirrored room of pastels inspired by the Far East, Japan in particular. It is easy to spend hours there looking at every stitch and guessing the source of inspiration for every pattern or detail.
This is followed by a room of “Romantic Naturalism” with real(or probably artificial) flower dresses from “Sarabande” collection, sea shell dress and feather dresses. McQueen´s love for ornitology and savagery of animal world and nature. You can only wonder which unusual materials did McQueen not use in his collections…
The final room displays his arguably best collection of “Plato´s Atlantis” early era of digital print, and 3D-printed footwear, perfectly captured and evolved within itself.
“There is no way back for me now. I´m going to take you on journeys you never dreamed possible”.

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5 years since his death McQueen´s star shines brightly. During his short life he gave so much to the world of fashion. He was without a doubt one of the most talented, creative and masterous designers of our times.

Utterly inspiring exhibition! I would recommend going there alone to fully experience it, breathe in all the details of his craftsmanship and absorb dark and savage concept.

This story was also published in Estonian web magazine Femme.

Jean-Pierre Braganza show collaboration

This year again we had an amazing opportunity to collaborate with Jean-Pierre Braganza for his London Fashion Week catwalk show.
Jean-Pierre, who just launched a collaboration with River Island, presented his high end ready to wear AW15 collection “Excelsiora” in Somerset House courtyard showspace.
JPB woman is a modern incarnation of exacting film noir vixen and a war-time heroine. Designer referred to the terrifying beauty of fighter jets, symmetrical as human body on the outside and asymmetrical mechanics on the inside.

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Riina O presented our view on the same subject, just from another angle. The glance at our new collection “Tempus Loquendi”,  that derives from the same terrifying source, softening the impact by exploring contrasts and making them work together. Soft hairy ponyskin gloves embody cosiness, safety and protection, while bearing encrypted laser cut messages.
More details to come…