• 365 Days Around the Sun: Ingmar Bergman´s Centenary

    Written by pari

    Written by Elena Tyushova

    Ingmar Bergman (1918-2007) would have celebrated a century of life this year. Director and writer, who worked in film, theatre, opera and radio, Bergman has created his own universe, which has been widely resonating in the Swedish and international cultures not only during the maestro’s lifetime but with a new force since his death in 2007. These unexpected dimensions have become brilliantly unpacked in the exhibition project Ingmar Bergman and his Legacy in Fashion and Art.

    The exhibition takes its beginning from an intriguing proposal to re-introduce the iconic film director Ingmar Bergman through Swedish fashion brands. According to Marie Nyrerörd’s documentary Bergman: Style Icon (2018), the film director would wear the same knitted jersey down to the holes, while the curator of the exhibition Ingmar Bergman and his Legacy in Fashion and Art - Louise Wallenberg - who comes from the film and fashion academia studies – would brand it as the Bergman style, bringing several exciting examples from the Swedish fashion scene.  Together with the fashion artist and producer Ludmila Christeseva, she extracts pieces from contemporary Swedish fashion designers and includes them in the touring exhibition project for the Swedish Institute, suggesting that fashion should become the main component on the way to inspire and connect with other cultures on the worlds tour.
    In my interview with Louise Wallenberg, I wondered how she came up with the idea to connect Ingmar Bergman and fashion. In my opinion, he has never been a so-called trendsetter in fashion. Louise Wallenberg explained that she has been previously studying fashion and film costume in Bergman's work - focusing on the creations of costume designer Mago (Max Goldstein): “Working with the curator Anna Bergman for a costume and fashion show Costume versus fashion, which was shown in 2017 at the Slakthusets area in Stockholm, I included both the fashion in Bergman's films, the director’s own style and how Swedish fashion houses refer to him in some specific garments or throughout collections. This was an intriguing part of a larger exhibition on the costume in performing arts (theatre and film) in Sweden, which I later got translated into an international project, thanks to the vision of the exhibition producer Ludmila Christeseva. Beyond fashion, the exhibition’s thematic sections include dance, plastic arts, and films, inspired by the director’s life and art. This is how Ingmar Bergman and his legacy in fashion and art was born”.

    Louise Wallenberg said that Bergman's history of film costume is really exciting: “Bergman himself was extremely interested in costume. He was aware of the important role it played in the narrative and visual language of the movies. That Swedish fashion companies explicitly refer to the costumes in his films and praise him, makes it all more exciting”.

    Louise Wallenberg and Stutterheim raincoat at the opening of the exhibition.
    Photographer: Alexander, Russia.
    Further, Louise Wallenberg, introduced the creative process behind Ingmar Bergman’s costume collection: “Bergman paid a lot of attention to the costume design and carefully described his films’ characters in manuscripts. The costume maker knew at an early stage what the characters would look like. In conversation with Bergman, the picture became even more clear. Both Mago and Marik Vos-Lundh, his two main costume designers, have written about it in their memoirs. Mago designed costumes for thirteen movies in the Bergman’s filmography, including the modern and superbly fashionable Persona (1966). Vos-Lundh made costumes for four films, including Fanny and Alexander (1982), which included a great number of historical costumes and is a true Oscars winner.
    The exhibition Ingmar Bergman and his Legacy in Fashion and Art includes several fashion garments with the reference to Bergman legacy, as the curator explains. Louise Wallenberg has selected a male jacket from the AW2017 Whyred collection, which Roland Hjort, the creative director and co-founder of the fashion brand, calls the 'Bergman jacket' - a slim cut, stylish coat in navy felted wool. As classical, elegant, and timeless, it perfectly describes the style of the film director. Another Swedish brand, Hope, made a whole fashion collection a few years ago devoting it to Ingmar Bergman and not least to his one of the most iconic films The Seventh Seal (1957). The list of the Swedish fashion brands who refer to Ingmar Bergman’s oeuvre includes Stutterheim, Indigofera and even sunglasses from Sun Buddies. Stutterheim’s black shining rain cape is so very much like the one worn by Death (Bengt Ekerot) in The Seventh Seal. Wearing Sun Buddies sunglasses called “Bibi” one can become as stylish as Bibi Andersson in the film Persona. Hopefully, it does not stop anyone expressing themselves verbally as it happens in the film, in which a famous stage actress, Elisabeth Vogler (Liv Ullmann) has suddenly fallen mute. But it definitely suggests a distinctive way for any woman to express their beauty and style in a mysterious way.

    Indigofera has designed a checkered shirt with reference to Ingmar Bergman and cinematographer Sven Nykvist, who would together oftentimes wear this kind of comfortable wear during their work.
    The installation view of the exhibition in Paris, 18 October 2018.

    Indigofera’s checkered shirt.
    Photo: Ludmila Christeseva

    With the inspiration from the film, Scenes from a Marriage (1973), the curator selects a randy nightgown from Marimekko, almost the same as Marianne (Liv Ullmann) worries wears that night when her weak-willed husband Johan (Erland Josephson) announces to her that he is leaving her for a younger woman. Besides the fashion visuals, the exhibition Ingmar Bergman and his Legacy in Fashion and Art takes the visitor on a journey through Bergman’s artistic and intellectual heritage, offering a number of thematic evenings with film screenings, workshops, and seminars. The main purpose of the cross-fertilization between the arts, which describes the curatorial idea behind the exhibition, is to unite and inspire in the same manner as Ingmar Bergman’s films do. When this exhibition opened in the capital of fashion, Paris, on the 18th of October, it got the French nickname “Ingmar Bergman: La Suite”. It is still on display at The Swedish Institute in Paris. Choosing Paris seemed to be the proper angle to reintroduce Ingmar Bergman and invite Parisians to discuss Ingmar Bergman’s legacy in contemporary culture.  The different themes in the show are separated from each other by wooden fences, which hide at the same time as they let see through, much like the one we see in Bergman’s The Magician (1958). The travelling magician Albert Emanuel Vogler (Max von Sydow) is hiding behind such a fence and plays with the imagination of the disbeliever Dr. Vergerus, Minister of Health (Gunnar Björnstrand). The play of light and shadow, that the careful choreography of the exhibition offers, ends up in the dialogue with the unforgettable images of the master filmmaker’s film.  In fact, behind these fences, there is a great work invested by a scenographer Marie Strömberg and a group of students from the Jonköping University, which she invited to participate in the workshop in Paris. In a creative dialogue, the students have re-created the director´s home on Fårö Island in the Gotland region of Sweden, and invited Parisians to experience it.

    A lecture of Marie Strömberg with the students of Shirokov’s Institute of contemporary knowledge, 27 November 2018, Art Belarus gallery, Minsk.
    Photo: Ludmila Christeseva

    The same exhibition has also recently opened in Minsk, where Marie Strömberg met Ludmila Christeseva in order to inspire Belarussian students through the works of Bergman’s films. Together with the students from the Shirokov’s Institute of Contemporary Knowledge, they watched the Christmas film, Fanny and Alexander, and reflected on the role of traditions in the contemporary culture.  In the middle of the exhibition space in Minsk, Christmas trees were planted as a result of the workshop with the students, curated by the artist Ludmila Christeseva, to symbolize five different female characters of the film. The workshop included Swedish Christmas treats such as christmas must and gingerbreads, preparing the Belarussian audience for the yearly celebration, foreshadowing a good mood and dream come true. The curator’s dream is to bring Belarusian and Swedish students together in a creative dialogue in the upcoming year, started through the Bergman project 2018, said Ludmila Christeseva and Louise Wallenberg.
    Bergman project by ”Historia Naturalis”.

    Photographer: Lidya Zinovich.

    The opening in Minsk included a fashion show of the Belarussian fashion brand, Historia Naturalis, a young female design duo Polina Voronova and Larisa Atamanova. Inspired by Ingmar Bergman, the Belarussian couturiers developed a collection with the ingenious use of Bergman's femininity and his “non-male” and rather “homoerotic” gaze. Exploiting the fact of being women themselves and daring to witness both challenge and success, Larisa and Polina have a clear vision of what contemporary woman needs and how she wants to dress her body. While interpreting Bergman's cinematographic prescriptions into their collection, the Belarusians have chosen to address quite an opposite color palette. It bestowed collection with shades of tenderness and sensuality, which created an intriguing dialogue between modern times and postmodern cultures.
    Inauguration of the exhibition at the Art Belarus gallery. Here: Sweden’s ambassador in Minsk Christina Johansson and the producer of the exhibition Ludmila Christeseva, styled as Emilie Ekdahl in Fanny and Alexander.

    Successfully displayed in more than 60 countries around the world, the exhibition Ingmar Bergman and his Legacy in Fashion and Art has inspired many artistic souls around the world to re-visit the vast and abundant filmography of Ingmar Bergman to collaborate and create together.

  • Autre Marque


    Written by Ksenia Rundin

    Vintage today is more alive than ever,” says Head of Vintage at Vestiaire Collective Marie Blanchet. The clear evidence for that we see in Vestiaire Collective’s latest collaboration with the Editor At Lage for Japan Vogue, Anna Dello Russo, who has carefully chosen 38 unique pieces from her personal jewellery archive to sell on vestiairecollective.com. Being launched on November 15, the collaboration constituted a certain mini exhibition of rare jewellery pieces, we practically could study fashion history through.

    Browsing through the vintage department of Vestiaire Collective’s webpage is a true experience, where innovation has carefully embraced the knowledge of the past, offering the consumer the best fruits of inspiration and skilfully leading the latter to new ideas. eBay was under a long time the most popular global market for online vintage dealers. Seemingly, Marie Blanchet has achieved a significant change in that field by creating a new “vintage” oasis with a pure and exclusive touch of expertise and fashion history completed by playful aesthetics opening up for a wide range of style experiments. Marie and her team have put physical vintage shops on the digital map by engaging them in online activities and giving the consumer pieces the one would hardly find on his/her own. Pieces we would never be able to discover without spending many hours at flea markets or vintage shops, can now be carefully studied and purchased at a reasonable price at on vestiairecollective.com.

    Whether you are a cool teenager or a stylish lady with an eye for vintage, you will always find something to add to your collection and spark your imagination with. By wearing vintage pieces you create a new stylistic reality, where a few different époques can all of a sudden devolve into a new entirely unique style. It could be an intriguing game of knowledge and fantasy, where you practically learning history by creating an art work of your own. Odalisque Magazine have met vintage expert Marie Blanchet during her visit to Stockholm and talked vintage with her.

    Could you please tell me about yourself and how did you come to the position you are at today?
    My name is Marie Blanchet and I am la parisienne, who has always being living in Paris. Being brought up in a very intellectual family, I was early introduced to the art-house cinema, which later defined my interest for clothes, tailoring and vintage. The film has had a deep impression on me. Ingmar Bergman is my favourite filmmaker of all times. When I was around sixteen, I started buying vintage for myself, wearing pieces none else was wearing. It was also a certain bargain for me as a teenager, because I could afford buying beautiful pieces at a quite low price. My first vintage purchase, which I still have in my closet, actually was a flower dress, dated 1917, which I found at a flea market in New York for forty dollars. It was such a pleasure wearing that dress, feeling different and bold as if I were in a movie. At that time John Cassavetes’ films were popular, where for example Gena Rowlands was wearing Emanuel Ungaro’s dresses with flowers and prints. I felt almost like her.

    Later I studied films and went on to be a costume designer for a TV drama, which was about La Belle Époque. Thus I had to dress women the way they used to be dressed in 1910, what made me very interested in fashion history of the 20th Century, especially the female emancipation in our society. I found it very compelling connected to the way you dress and express yourself as a woman. I am not interested in fashion per se but I am interested in style, which is all basically about personality. My feeling is that by exploring vintage, I explore my personality, coming across unique things. Women and their style is a big source of inspiration for me. I also noticed that women, who choose to take risk in their style do not have to be eccentric but they are merely themselves.

    I also worked together with one of the vintage experts in France, who was my great mentor, teaching me a lot about what I know today. Already a few years ago, I started realising that all those vintage shops I loved, were having fewer and fewer visitors; people were not opening the doors of the shops anymore. Practically it meant that many beautiful and amazing pieces would simply disappear. It made me think that the future of vintage should be online. And then I met that incredibly inspiring woman, co-founder of Vestiaire Collective Sophie Hersan, who trusted me from the beginning, when I was creating that vintage category. She let me express myself freely, what is very rare in such a big company as Vestiaire Collective. Then I did that catalogue from scratch. And what I loved, besides of doing that job, was to work with all those vintage sellers, who now sell to us. Although the future of vintage is online, we helping those shops to stay alive by selling their pieces on our webpage.

    How do you actually define the word “vintage”?
    It is a very significant question, where we have to start from separating second hand and vintage. Second hand is something that has been worn by someone or owned by someone and afterwards sold. It can by anything. Meanwhile, vintage is the essence of second hands. The word itself started being used in fashion in the 1980s. “Vintage” is a French word originally used in the wine industry. It means “millésime”, referring to the date in which grapes are harvested and while put on the label, defining a high-quality vintage wine. We started using that word in the 1980s because the entire triangular silhouettes were inspired by the 1940s. In other words, the 1980s were the best years when we started getting influence from a decade within the same century. Basically, vintage is pieces from previous decades that are already a part of fashion history. Consequently, vintage is about classic timeless pieces. What we are trying to do at Vestiaire Collecitve is to find modern vintage, mixing timeless pieces, which never will go out of fashion with pieces, which are influencing fashion now. We also have a selection of vintage for young and cool fashion girls. There is no limitation for how old a piece should be in order to be considered vintage.

    What is the most popular sought-after vintage item today, according to your opinion?
    I would say that the most sought-after item today, in accordance with our sales, is Audemars Piguet’s Royal Oak watches in plain gold and entire gold. We also sell some rare Chanel-bags which always are sought-after and sell within a very short period of time. Today it is also a big phenomenon of Dior’s saddle bag that sells quickly. Nicolas Ghesquière’s Balenicaga pieces are very coveted by collectors.

    Do you think that today’s Balenciaga will become vintage pieces one day?
    I cannot answer that question. I am very impressed by the way Demna Gvasalia actually cuts. His pieces are really well cut. Vetements is more about style, a sort of own idea, obviously very inspired by Margiela.  Demna Gvasalia is a master of cut and designer of his time. Whether his creations are going to last in fashion history in the same way as Ghesquière’s do, I do not really know.

    Where should anyone interested in starting to wear vintage begin?
    Just go on Vestiaire Collective and choose the “vintage” tab we have today. There you are able to take a part of editorial picks. It could be a good start. Men can for example start with watches, travel bags or wallets and accessories. We have a great catalogue with exceptional pieces at good prices. Women could start with the bags. I personally wear only vintage bags. It is a very good way to start your vintage path with. The best way of wearing vintage is to mix it with seasonal pieces.

    How would you describe the relationship between vintage and sustainability?
    The best way to be sustainable is to participate in the circular economy when you purchasing fashion and the optimal way to do it is to buy vintage. Vintage pieces used to be made to last. Therefore, those pieces of the high quality that cannot be compared to the quality we have today. Obviously, we have a clear link to sustainability whereby. If you acquire a vintage Chanel bag from the 1980s or 1990s, the quality of lamb leather is incomparable to the today’s quality.

    Who would you consider to be the best vintage collector in the world?
    Recently we had a collaboration with the granddaughter of Samuel Goldwyn Liz Goldwyn, who was selling 300 pieces out of her extensive fashion archive with Vestiaire Collective to support Dress for Success, a charity that empowers women by offering support, tools and professional attire. We are very lucky to be able to have this collaboration. Liz Goldwyn lived in Hollywood and has collected her vintage pieces since she was thirteen years old. Liz provided a few pieces from Balenciaga’s White Collection within a price range between € 200 and the most expensive dress of € 20.000. I would name her as one of the most amazing vintage collectors. There are still some pieces left in our “Archive Series”.

    AdR clutch
    Liz Goldwyn wearing Autre Marque and Maison Martin Margiela
    Maison Martin Margiela
    Dolce & Gabbana
    Jean Paul Gaultier
    Autre Marque
    Ear cuff, unsigned
    Sonia Rykiel
    Victor & Rolf
    Pierre Hardy cuff
    Sonia Rykiel
    Vintage, unsigned
    Vintage, unsinged
    Chanel vintage earrings
    Pic of Marie Blanchet, Head of Vintage at Vestiaire Collective x
    Photgraphy by Roman de Kermadec

    Pic of Marie Blanchet, Head of Vintage at Vestiaire Collective x
    Photgraphy by Roman de Kermadec

  • When in Grasse making perfume with Chanel

    Written by Pari Damani

    In celebrating the 1-year anniversary of the ‘Gabrielle’ perfume I was invited to go to Grasse to the Chanel flower fields and experience the art of perfume making.
    We arrived at the Chanel Bastide early morning in the late september heat, a kind of temperature I was not used to at that time of the day being from Sweden, it felt like my makeup was melting down my entire face and my hair was getting frizzy. I imagined this is where legendary No.5 was born.

    The scent of the flowers hit you in the air and breathing has never been so luxurious and I saw Gabrielle Chanel walking the fields finding inspiration for her first perfume. At first I found it hard to focus, where should I go first -this is the Chanel Bastide in Grasse! The surroundings are beautiful by the mountains of Grasse, rows and rows of Jasmine flowers, Tuberose, May Rose and Geranium all grow there just for making perfumes for Chanel. Still in shock we were warmly welcomed as I was having a coffee, yet again I remind myself to breathe and take in all the impressions. The Bastide truly lives the essence of Gabrielle Coco Chanel, a stone house with a soft blend of beiges, an interior of beige, white and black. Simple and elegant.

    Grasse has a long history of perfume making. Since the end of the 1800- century Grasse has been the center of creating oils from flowers and fruit surrounding the city and is the main provider for the French perfume industry. It is also where Chanel has it’s fields of flowers and the distillation factory just a few minutes from where the flowers are grown and picked. I had before this trip never quite understood the process of perfume making, how a flower ends up in a bottle was a mystery and very hard to grasp. But the process was very fascinating to see. 

    Wearing black shiny Chanel rubber boots and beige apron we walked through the Jasmine and the Tuberose fields with the land owner mr Joseph Mul. His love really shows through the quality of the flowers, where no chemical fertilizers are used,  and his passion for the twenty hectares which he inherited from his great grandfather.
    The scent of Jasmine was mildly in the air when we walked through the field with Mr. Mul. He encouraged us to pick a few flowers hold them tightly in our hands for a minute to experience how the aroma develops from the warmth of our palms, during this minute the scent is amazingly much stronger as if I had just sprayed myself with ‘Gabrielle’.

    Gabrielle’’ is composed out of four white flowers; Jasmine, Tuberose, Orange Blossom and Ylang-Ylang by Chanel perfumer Olivier Polge. With inspiration true to the legacy of Mademoiselle Chanel ‘Gabrielle’ is the only perfume created bearing the name of the legend herself. It is no secret Mademoiselle Coco had a special relationship with white flowers. Camellia was also a favourite and a repeated inspiration through her jewellery and fashion designs. Jasmine Oil ‘Huile de Jasmin’ has been in the Chanel beauty range since it first launched in the 1920’s and remains as a key ingredient creating beauty products and perfumes.

    Each flower has their own appointed teams  when harvesting, for example the Jasmine is a small fragile flower and requires delicate fingers and a light touch, Mr Mul explained, so therefor experienced people are chosen for picking. Tuberose grows to be a long beautiful stem with flower bulbs at the top, white petals with a yellow center makes it very elegant, but the scent from this flower is strong and very mysterious, earthy yet sweet. Put a few of the bulbs in water and the scent will intensify day by day as if living in a Tuberose oil. I was given the chance picking a few flowers and during that time wondering how these tiny flowers become oil or an ingredient in a perfume.

    The Jasmine flowers are carefully weighted, put in metallic crates with a solvent. Being cooked in high temperature the solvent soaks up all the fragrance from the flowers, then magically turned into a wax called a concrete. This is what becomes oil and an absolute to make Chanel perfume. Absolute is a concentrated liquid in which the alcohol is removed from the concrete used in the Chanel No5 perfume, as requested from the Chanel perfumers, to get the most and the ultimate scent of the Jasmine flowers.

    Perfume making really is a true form of art that I now have a greater understanding of the process. The four white flowers composing ‘Gabrielle’ makes it a true floral perfume. I feel like I am swimming in a pool of perfect jasmine, ylang-ylang and tuberose while eating the most zestiest orange, get out of my flower pool and have a rest on sweet sandalwood. The scent is intense and long lasting and truly speaks the DNA of Gabrielle Coco Chanel. I will not even begin to explain the feel of the bottle, except that it is a genius design, cool and modern inspired by Paris and Gabrielle, that would be an article in its own right. Everytime I look at my perfume or whenever I use it now I will be reminded of my experience at the flower fields, constantly in a Chanel state of mind.