September 28, 2003 Absolut Metamorphosis – The Creators

An acknowledgement of the designers – and photographic team whose creativity has made this another tremendous ABSOLUT campaign. ABSOLUT METAMORPHOSIS was conceived and created by Sophie Guyon, Creative Director of TBWA.
Blinkk is a trio of photographers from Britain, France and the Lebanon that has gained an enviable reputation for innovatively-styled advertising shoots and strong art direction. Working with clients in London, Paris, Hamburg and Tokyo they have developed a unique vision of fashion, still life and a very personal vision of cars.

Blaak is a design duo established in 1998 by Sachiko Okada and Aaron Sharif whilst both were studying at Central St. Martins. The raison d’etre of Blaak is to explore the intensity, the meaning and the identity of the colour black: why certain people wear it, how they wear it and how they feel wearing it. The results – not always in black – have been shown three times during London Fashion Week.

Bettina Menditeguy for Sangre Argentina. This fashion house, specializing in leather accessories – bags, shoes, suitcases – displays both craftsmanship and innovation and has featured in Wallpaper, perfect proof of its cutting-edge design profile. Betina Menditeguy is the lead designer at Sangre Argentina. Her football bag, created for the 2002 World Cup was eagerly snapped up.

Hamish Morrow is becoming known for his innovatively-styled accessories which often consist of geometric layers. Born and raised in South Africa, he graduated from Central St. Martin’s and the Royal College of Art and designed for Byblos in Milan. Morrow won the Marks & Spencer New Generation award in 2001 and is now working as a consultant for Louis Feraud with Yvan Mispelaere. His collections are a feature of London Fashion Week and his work has appeared in Vogue. Bjork is a Hamish Morrow fan.

Patrik Soderstam is one of the most exciting designers around and his experiments with colour and shape are worth watching – and waiting for. His holed T-shirts are especially sought after. He left his native Sweden to study at Central St. Martin’s, where he was awarded the prize for best menswear designer of his year. Soderstam shows are now a regular feature of London Fashion Week and his clothes retail in London, Tokyo, Paris, New York and Hong Kong.

Denis Simachev is widely regarded as the best of the current crop of Russian designers and the most Russian of them. He graduated from the Kosygin State Textile Academy as a footwear production engineer. At the Academy – Russia’s top school for designers – he met the five who now design with him under the name Denis Simachev. The brand cheerfully uses a Soviet theme and no Russian fashion editor is worthy of the title if he/she hasn’t been photographed wearing a Denis Simachev “I’m from the USSR” T-shirt.

Rafael Lopez has gained a reputation as one of Spain’s edgiest designers and pays homage to that classic icon of his homeland: the matador. Trained at Central St. Martin’s, Lopez specializes in intricate detail such as tiny pin-tucks and lace insets. His elegant, gypsy-inspired spring 2002 collection was highly appreciated. January’s chrysalis-to- butterfly features a vividly-coloured matador cape with an intricately-worked motif in the lining.

Richard Nicoll is a talented Australian designer, selected for his avant-garde fashion. He mixes panels of bright colour and finishes outfits with total professionalism. Another Central St. Martin’s graduate, he has already won the Lancome Colour Award and the Chloe Young Design competition.

H.Stern takes the concept of jewellery to another level using gold mesh, fine chain links and filaments. This Brazilian design studio searches the past for inspiration and interprets its findings in a most contemporary way.

Georgina Goodman puts enough style into her shoes to turn anyone into a shoe fetichist. A rising star on the British fashion scene, she is an outstanding experimentalist, combining traditional shoemaking with cutting-edge shapes and colours. Each collection is a real event. Goodman learned her craft at the Royal College of Art in London and went on to win awards such as United Arrows 2000 and Manolo Blahnik 2000. Her designs feature regularly in titles such as Elle and I-D magazine.

Katarzyna Szczotarska was selected for her highly experimental style. Her talent lies in going beyond the material to the conceptual and the resulting designs almost fall within the realm of haute couture. Szczotarska began her training in fashion in her native Poland and she continued at the London College of Fashion. She now works in Paris as principal assistant to Belgian designer Martin Margiela at Hermes and shows in her own name at the London Fashion Week.

Sophia Kokosalaki is the hottest designer on the Greek fashion scene and now considered a rising star on the London scene. She is reputed for her draped accessories and finely-worked leather, and her designs always carry strong references to her native Greece. Kokosalaki freely uses references from folk culture such as hand-worked embroidery.

Markus Lupfer studied fashion design in his native Germany before transferring to the University of Westminster. Now permanently based in London, Lupfer has earned a reputation for his intricate work with leather and readiness to experiment with colour. He is naturally attracted by high quality fabrics such as cashmere and uses them in highly unusual ways, making him a regular on the London Fashion Week schedule since 1999.

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