At Bottletop a large portion of our work takes place in Latin America. It is in Brazil that our accessories are produced and here that the benefits from funding though the Bottletop Foundation are also felt, with our health education programmes for young people in Salvador and Sao Paulo.
It is therefore with pride and gratitude that we recently accepted the award for Best Sustainable Luxury Performance in Latin America for fashion and accessories in 2012, which was kindly given to us by the Center for Studies on Sustainable Luxury.
The centre, based in Buenos Aires, looks at paradigm shifts in the luxury market – that is how conceptions of luxury are changing. This is one of our main interests at Bottletop (as you can see from our previous blog posts) so we are happy to be seen as contributing to positive progress in the luxury industries.
As the production and consumption of luxury products continues to move towards a more responsible, sustainable and honest approach, we intend to remain at the fore of full-circle thinking about giving something back without giving up the little things that we love.
Brazilian artist Adriana Varejao is collected by Tate Modern, the Guggenheim and MoCA, and has also exhibited at some of the world’s most respected galleries, including MoMa, Victoria Miro and Fondation Cartier. This puts her up there with the leading artists of our time and makes her one of the most recognised female Latin American artists of her generation. She has a pavilion dedicated entirely to her work at the Centro de Arte Contemporânea Inhotim, outside Belo Horizonte, 200 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. The artist was born in Rio in 1964 and still lives there today.
Varejao is one of the three women who top the sale price records in Brazilian art auctions. Earlier this month her work was included in the Spotlight exhibition at Frieze Masters, this year’s new section of Frieze art fair. Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, Spotlight focused on the work of established female artists, many of whose work has previously missed the level of recognition it deserves.
Varejao’s sculptures and installations look at identity issues – those of race, gender, and politics – in the Post-Colonial and Feminist traditions that defined the later 20th century. Her contemporaries in Spotlight address similar concerns, suggesting that the art world is at last ready to consider these important female voices on a par with their male counterparts.
Cindy Sherman, Marina Abramović and Yoko Ono have all been rewarded with significant solo shows in 2011 and 2012. Following the attention given to those most widely celebrated female art stars of our time Louise Bourgeois and Tracey Emin, this points towards today’s resurgent cultural interest in looking seriously at feminine identity and thinking about how it continues to change.
It was with pride and gratitude, therefore, that we were able to include a fantastic Varejao piece in our last auction at Full Circle 2011. Generously donated by the artist, the sculpture contributed a significant amount towards the Bottletop Foundation, which proceeds from the auction supported.
Here at Bottletop we are excited to see the new label ‘Honest by. Bruno Pieters’ receiving the attention that it so thoroughly deserves. The former creative director of Hugo Boss and previously a designer at Martin Margiela, Bruno Pieters shares our approach to luxury fashion by creating a company that is 100% transparent – that means it is socially, ecologically and ethically honest about the entire design, production and shopping process.
Honest by. dares to confront the disturbing practices behind the fashion industry head on, whereas the majority of brands take one-dimensional steps towards developing a sustainable future. Pieters’ combination of high design and elegant branding with a traceable production system renders eco-fashion desirable as a genuinely luxurious product.
The Belgian designer launched the label this year and Spring Summer 12/13 is the second collection the brand has shown, debuting at London Fashion Week and currently showing in Paris. Graphic prints and boldly coloured pieces sit next to classic staples like white shirts and nautical-striped jackets. The collection seems perfect for a tuned-in 21st-century generation of hard working, clean living professionals; it is contemporary, wearable, androgynous and sophisticated.
For this season (AW12) his trademark architectural shapes have been translated into super-modern pencil skirts and chunky knitwear with leg-o-mutton sleeves and button-down details. The tailored range includes womenswear and menswear and extends to casual tops, tapered trousers and an ethereal white evening gown of organic silk chiffon.
Starring fellow Belgian Anouk Lepere in the last advertising campaign, this collection is set to be the stealth star of the coming season following a swathe of praise from the fashion press including respected critics Lisa Armstrong at the Daily Telegraph and Vanessa Friedman at the Financial Times. You can even search the website by categories such as Organic, Vegan, Skin Friendly, Recycled and European. There is even a Mind tab that leads to inspiring quotes encouraging confidence and clarity – holistic fashion indeed.
‘Would you discriminate against me?’
This is the question being explored at a compelling event hosted in Brighton, England, next Saturday. The Art of Discrimination, an ambitious collaboration of art, film and music from leading artists and activists, communicates narratives of life, illness and disability through personal stories of triumph over stigmatisation.
The exhibition features striking photographs from Nadia Bettega’s collection Changing the Face of Human Rights and Through Positive Eyes, a collaboration by South African photographer Gideon Mendel and UCLA, which presents themes of HIV/AIDS and extreme social inequality. Live speakers include Independent journalist and HIV activist Winnie Sseruma and Sam Thomas, founder of Men Get Eating Disorders Too.
Putting an end to stigma and discrimination is a goal we truly believe in. Like the Bottletop Foundation, The Art of Discrimination is setting out to break down cultural boundaries and give a voice to those so often marginalised in everyday society.
Images: Nadia Bettega, Gideon Mendell
Brazil is a country close to our hearts – its flamboyance, warmth and party spirit are second to none, not to mention its supermodels! Up-and-coming stylist Nura Khan, who is half Brazilian herself, tapped into the nation’s bold glamour in her fashion story for Vogue Brazil that featured rebel model Alice Dellal at the London Pavillion of Art and Design.
“I love baby colours and decorative patterns and can’t resist adding funny details”, chirps the beautiful Nura, who is Junior Fashion Editor at Sunday Times Style. She’s not just a pretty face either: this clever chick was educated at Camberwell College of Art and Oxford University, and speaks fluent French and Portuguese no less. Fashion Parlance is her first language though, and her eloquent grasp of the lingo currently has her popping up on super new site Art Wednesday and lighting up the blogosphere with appearances on the Topshop Tumblr and Garance Doré.
Hers is a name you are sure to see more of… Miss NK has arrived!