blechman

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Tigerstripe Camouflage

Of all the camouflage patterns, tigerstripe is probably the most instantly recognizable and visually attractive design there is. Produced in South-East Asia during the Vietnam war in a variety of versions, it was initially issued to US Army Special Forces troops who valued its functionality and concealment properties in jungle environments, and regarded it as a kind of status symbol.

Later, tigerstripe suits became available from local tailor shops, and were privately purchased by other personnel – pilots, reporters, photographers etc – as a distinctive and fashionable alternative to the standard olive-green uniform. Tigerstripe has also gained notoriety in popular culture, being worn by Dennis Hopper’s photojournalist character in Apocalypse Now, and on stage by Joe Strummer.

Tigerstripe Zig Zag

US Army Special forces recruited tribal villagers to assist them in the more inhospitable regions of South Vietnam, and issued them with tigerstripe uniforms. One of the rarest and most interesting patterns has been christened the Zig Zag pattern, because of the way the background colours move diagonally across the horizontal black stripes. Legend has it that it also includes a phallic symbol as a sign of bravado for the ethnic tribesmen.

Maharishi Reproduction Tigerstripe Zig Zag

Nowadays, it is extremely hard to find original tigerstripe garments, and even harder for those of a larger build to find wearable sizes, as the majority were manufactured in small Asian size ranges. Maharishi have faithfully reproduced one of the rarest and most desirable tigerstripes, the Zig Zag pattern, in authentic colours, fabric and cut and incorporated the phallic symbol found in the original pattern.

Specific styles of cut associated with this pattern are the two pocket shirt with straight cuffs, pants with two thigh pockets and boonie hat with foliage loops around the crown. These authentic reproductions are a limited edition of 500 sets only worldwide, and have never been reproduced before. Whilst nobody would doubt Blechman’s camouflage knowledge is bordering the perverse in its depth, he has acknowledged the still deeper artist and re-enactor Neil Holdom as the inspiration and resident expert for this project.

Maharishi SS/2008

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     Once again, the obituary of another creative giant has sent me spinning back through time and into my archives. This week Hermann Zapf, arguably the world’s greatest type designer, died in Germany at the age of 96. Creator of some of the world’s most famous and enduring typefaces, his work is subliminally etched into the minds of hundreds of millions of people worldwide. His Optima face is etched into both the Vietnam memorial in Washington and the 911 memorial in New York. His Palatino face ships with Microsoft Word and his sweeping calligraphic face Zapfino ships with every Mac. He was the reigning giant of a world that few outside the graphic arts industry knew, but his influence is felt everywhere the printed word occurs.

      Like most of the world, when I shot my first job for the International Typeface Corporation, I was pretty oblivious to type design. I had been obsessively studying the work of all the great photographers, but had paid scant attention to how their work was being used in print and the type that surrounded them.

    That all changed sometime around 1980 when I was hired to photograph Herb Lubalin for the ITC. I can’t remember how the job came my way, but it was a life changer. Herb Lubalin, along with Aaron Burns and Ed Rondthaler, had founded the ITC in 1970, and was himself, a huge presence in the type and graphic design world. He had designed the famous PBS logo that’s still in use, as well as the ground breaking typeface Avant Garde. He had also been responsible for the creation and design of the seminal type and graphic arts magazine known as U+lc (Upper and lower case). I shot him first in the converted fire station that was his studio, and again not long before his death in 1981.

     From that point on I became a regular presence at the ITC, shooting their gallery shows and openings, features for U+lc and all manner of special projects. The gallery and the regular shows  there became a magnet for all the great talents of the New York graphics world and I met and photographed many of them over the years : The great cartoonist Lou Myers, the illustrators R.O. Blechman and Seymour Chwast, type designers like Ed Benguiat, Matt Carter and Herman Zapf, and even the royal scribe, Donald Jackson. I was young, and these guys were huge in their fields, and a huge influence on me as well. With the influence of the ITC, type for me was no longer just a field of letters that surrounded my photographs, but an integral part of every design I looked at for the next 35 years.

    Ironically, Matt Carter now lives in my neighborhood and I run into him regularly. A 2010 MacArthur “genius” Grant winner and a major player in the typography world, he was quoted in the N.Y. Times after Herman Zapf’s death:  “Last Thursday, all of us moved up one. That’s my way of saying Herman was on top.”

      A few from that period; mostly 1980′s……

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Hardy Blechman on Norman Wilkinson’s WWI ‘Damdazzle’ camouflage

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Vintage Alka Seltzer ad by illustrator R.O. Blechman, who is being honored with the 25th annual Masters Series Award and exhibition at SVA. Exhibition up from October 2nd – November 2nd at the SVA Chelsea Gallery; reception next Thursday, October 3rd.

NY Times Book Review: Medicine Walk

A quick spot for the review of a novel in the NY Times Book Review. I’m always happy when I can pivot to landscape drawing in an assignment. I probably spent 80% of the time on this one trying to get those little silhouettes to feel right. Still want to go back in and tweak them now, but I will let them be. Thanks to Nicholas Blechman for the assignment!

'Dear James - Letters to a Young Illustrator'

Lunch is always best eaten standing up… at least that’s the way I do it. After having been sitting down all morning, it just makes sense.

Today’s lunch was also prepared whilst crouched over the toaster. Even though the first camellias have opened their bright pink petals, the weather is on the freezing side. Huddling over the glowing coils of the toaster with the heavenly scent of baking herb bread brings out the writer in me.

I’ve finished reading the great book, ‘Dear James - Letters to a Young Illustrator’ by R.O. Blechman. It’s sort of the illustrator’s equivalent of the E.B. White book 'Elements of Style’. It is chock full of spot-on observations about illustration and publishing and art directors and all… like these:

“I think it’s such a disservice to the public that galleries and museums display only artists’ successes, but never their failures. There should be a Museum of Failed Art. It would exhibit all the terrible art that would have ended up in trash bins and garbage cans, lost and unknown to the public. My museum would give a true picture of the artist’s life and provide much consolation to fellow artists.”

“You’ll find that getting a commission puts you on the fast and easy track. You’re given a format, a subject, a deadline, so your boundaries are set. How much more difficult it is to self-start a project! You can get overwhelmed with possibilities, like a car whose engine is too flooded to start.”

I guess the part that bothered me is the ending though, where Blechman felt like he was done in by digital art and the changing tastes in illustration. I wonder if every illustrator is destined to end up like last week’s newspaper?… done in by changing tastes and the endless quest for novelty?

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi's 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi’s 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Known to combine inspirations found throughout his global cavort with the grit of London streets, Hardy Blechman never falls short in presentation when showcasing maharishi at London Collections: Men. The season’s Spring/Summer 2016 repertoire was no different. The creative director took the runway by storm, and once more proved his deftness as a designer and creative visionary. Hardy’s…

View On WordPress

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi's 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi’s 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Known to combine inspirations found throughout his global cavort with the grit of London streets, Hardy Blechman never falls short in presentation when showcasing maharishi at London Collections: Men. The season’s Spring/Summer 2016 repertoire was no different. The creative director took the runway by storm, and once more proved his deftness as a designer and creative visionary. Hardy’s knowledge…

View On WordPress

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi's 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi’s 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Known to combine inspirations found throughout his global cavort with the grit of London streets, Hardy Blechman never falls short in presentation when showcasing maharishi at London Collections: Men. The season’s Spring/Summer 2016 repertoire was no different. The creative director took the runway by storm, and once more proved his deftness as a designer and creative visionary. Hardy’s knowledge…

View On WordPress

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi's 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi’s 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Known to combine inspirations found throughout his global cavort with the grit of London streets, Hardy Blechman never falls short in presentation when showcasing maharishi at London Collections: Men. The season’s Spring/Summer 2016 repertoire was no different. The creative director took the runway by storm, and once more proved his deftness as a designer and creative visionary. Hardy’s knowledge…

View On WordPress

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi's 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Known to combine inspirations found throughout his global cavort with the grit of London streets, Hardy Blechman never falls short in presentation when showcasing maharishi at London Collections: Men. The season’s Spring/Summer 2016 repertoire was no different. The creative director took the runway by storm, and once more proved his deftness as a designer and creative visionary. Hardy’s knowledge for military apparel and the evolution of DPM runs deep. His discernment for the genre is reflected in the brand’s constant evolution of the camouflage print. Both functional and innovative, maharishi caters to the urban, street-ready audience looking for modern iterations of military garbs, while also provides a platform for Hardy to flex his offbeat concepts.

The 2016 spring/summer collection comprises of comprehensive utilitarian designs. One the one hand, subtle muted colors take on oversized kimonos and voluminous button-downs, on the other, loud bonsai prints intersperse across M65 coats and paired with varsity jackets with oriental stitch emblems. Merging motifs seen in combat, religion and military, the brand unites themes otherwise disparate. We caught up with Hardy after the maharishi show at London Collections Men to learn more about his latest offerings and his favorite design in the range.

The models that don maharishi’s runway shows are often a mix of high-end models and street-casted figures. How do each of these models help bring out maharishi’s aesthetic? What’s the casting process like?

The models we choose in a way reflect the brand’s journey. In the early days we purely street casted, but its not really that simple as some models aren’t very experienced on the runway. So I started using professional models. Now I find myself somewhere between the two. The truth is, the mix between street cast and regular cast in a good reflection of maharishi’s aesthetic as we toy with some street elements along with traditional cues.

Military-inspired motifs continue to lend themselves to the streetwear landscape, how do you continually reinvent military themes without being redundant?

The Spring/Summer 2015 show is a good example of how we’ve reinvented military themes yet again. I haven’t seen too much camouflage made of white and orange, or woodland prints with riffs of purple. I’ve been making camouflage for the last 20 years and there’s still so much in my archive that I want to showcase. Yet, I’m only allowed to exhibit a certain amount a year. There’s unlimited resource out there, and you can reiterate in so many different ways just by playing with colorways, scales and techniques. Camouflage represents nature, art and design. There’s no limitations in the way it can be reinterpreted.

maharishi’s designs are crafted from a mix of various textiles, colors and prints. What’s the balance between these elements in your 2016 spring/summer collection?

Spring/Summer 2016 camouflage have been built as a variation of the house bonsai pattern. This time, the color palette was inspired by the uniform of various devotional habits. The purple and gold resemble Catholics and the orange nods at Buddhist attire.

“The color palette was inspired by the uniform of various devotional habits. The purple and gold resemble Catholics and the orange nods at Buddhist attire.”

Is there a standout piece from the collection for which you’ve developed a special affinity? Whether through design or a particular story?

I particularly like the 3XDRY Sweat Cape. The cape is designed to be a crossover of buddhist and catholic dress, yet its water repellent and moisture wicking qualities give it’s a fresh variation. No matter how hard it rains or how much you sweat, the wearer will stay comfortable and dry.

Functionality, utility, wearability and durability are all found in maharishi designs. Do any of these elements take precedence?

I like to ensure that everything is durable and well-crafted. It would be ideal that every piece is functional, but it isn’t the only thing we consider in the game. Nonetheless the elements mentioned are all generally there and are the basics we build off of in all maharishi releases.

Click here to view full gallery at Hypebeast.com

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi’s 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show: http://RedCarpetDeals.info Known to combine inspirations found throughout his global cavort with the grit of London streets, Hardy Blechman never falls short in presentation when showcasing maharishi at London Collections: Men. The season’s Spring/Summer 2016 repertoire was no different. The creative director took the runway by storm, and once more proved his deftness as a designer and creative visionary. Hardy’s knowledge for military apparel and the evolution of DPM runs deep. His discernment for the genre is reflected in the brand’s constant evolution of the camouflage print. Both functional and innovative, maharishi caters to the urban, street-ready audience looking for modern iterations of military garbs, while also provides a platform for Hardy to flex his offbeat concepts. The 2016 spring/summer collection comprises of comprehensive utilitarian designs. One the one hand, subtle muted colors take on oversized kimonos and voluminous button-downs, on the other, loud bonsai prints intersperse across M65 coats and paired with varsity jackets with oriental stitch emblems. Merging motifs seen in combat, religion and military, the brand unites themes otherwise disparate. We caught up with Hardy after the maharishi show at London Collections Men to learn more about his latest offerings and his favorite design in the range. The models that don maharishi’s runway shows are often a mix of high-end models and street-casted figures. How do each of these models help bring out maharishi’s aesthetic? What’s the casting process like? The models we choose in a way reflect the brand’s journey. In the early days we purely street casted, but its not really that simple as some models aren’t very experienced on the runway. So I started using professional models. Now I find myself somewhere between the two. The truth is, the mix between street cast and regular cast in a good reflection of maharishi’s aesthetic as we toy with some street elements along with traditional cues. Military-inspired motifs continue to lend themselves to the streetwear landscape, how do you continually reinvent military themes without being redundant? The Spring/Summer 2015 show is a good example of how we’ve reinvented military themes yet again. I haven’t seen too much camouflage made of white and orange, or woodland prints with riffs of purple. I’ve been making camouflage for the last 20 years and there’s still so much in my archive that I want to showcase. Yet, I’m only allowed to exhibit a certain amount a year. There’s unlimited resource out there, and you can reiterate in so many different ways just by playing with colorways, scales and techniques. Camouflage represents nature, art and design. There’s no limitations in the way it can be reinterpreted. maharishi’s designs are crafted from a mix of various textiles, colors and prints. What’s the balance between these elements in your 2016 spring/summer collection? Spring/Summer 2016 camouflage have been built as a variation of the house bonsai pattern. This time, the color palette was inspired by the uniform of various devotional habits. The purple and gold resemble Catholics and the orange nods at Buddhist attire. “The color palette was inspired by the uniform of various devotional habits. The purple and gold resemble Catholics and the orange nods at Buddhist attire.” Is there a standout piece from the collection for which you’ve developed a special affinity? Whether through design or a particular story? I particularly like the 3XDRY Sweat Cape. The cape is designed to be a crossover of buddhist and catholic dress, yet its water repellent and moisture wicking qualities give it’s a fresh variation. No matter how hard it rains or how much you sweat, the wearer will stay comfortable and dry. Functionality, utility, wearability and durability are all found in maharishi designs. Do any of these elements take precedence? I like to ensure that everything is durable and well-crafted. It would be ideal that every piece is functional, but it isn’t the only thing we consider in the game. Nonetheless the elements mentioned are all generally there and are the basics we build off of in all maharishi releases.

Click here to view full gallery at Hypebeast.com http://dlvr.it/BG17Lt #Style #Fashion

Hardy Blechman on the Versatility of Camouflage and the Religious Motifs in maharishi's 2016 Spring/Summer LC:M Show

Known to combine inspirations found throughout his global cavort with the grit of London streets, Hardy Blechman never falls short in presentation when showcasing maharishi at London Collections: Men. The season’s Spring/Summer 2016 repertoire was no different. The creative director took the runway by storm, and once more proved his deftness as a designer and creative visionary. Hardy’s knowledge for military apparel and the evolution of DPM runs deep. His discernment for the genre is reflected in the brand’s constant evolution of the camouflage print. Both functional and innovative, maharishi caters to the urban, street-ready audience looking for modern iterations of military garbs, while also provides a platform for Hardy to flex his offbeat concepts.

The 2016 spring/summer collection comprises of comprehensive utilitarian designs. One the one hand, subtle muted colors take on oversized kimonos and voluminous button-downs, on the other, loud bonsai prints intersperse across M65 coats and paired with varsity jackets with oriental stitch emblems. Merging motifs seen in combat, religion and military, the brand unites themes otherwise disparate. We caught up with Hardy after the maharishi show at London Collections Men to learn more about his latest offerings and his favorite design in the range.

The models that don maharishi’s runway shows are often a mix of high-end models and street-casted figures. How do each of these models help bring out maharishi’s aesthetic? What’s the casting process like?

The models we choose in a way reflect the brand’s journey. In the early days we purely street casted, but its not really that simple as some models aren’t very experienced on the runway. So I started using professional models. Now I find myself somewhere between the two. The truth is, the mix between street cast and regular cast in a good reflection of maharishi’s aesthetic as we toy with some street elements along with traditional cues.

Military-inspired motifs continue to lend themselves to the streetwear landscape, how do you continually reinvent military themes without being redundant?

The Spring/Summer 2015 show is a good example of how we’ve reinvented military themes yet again. I haven’t seen too much camouflage made of white and orange, or woodland prints with riffs of purple. I’ve been making camouflage for the last 20 years and there’s still so much in my archive that I want to showcase. Yet, I’m only allowed to exhibit a certain amount a year. There’s unlimited resource out there, and you can reiterate in so many different ways just by playing with colorways, scales and techniques. Camouflage represents nature, art and design. There’s no limitations in the way it can be reinterpreted.

maharishi’s designs are crafted from a mix of various textiles, colors and prints. What’s the balance between these elements in your 2016 spring/summer collection?

Spring/Summer 2016 camouflage have been built as a variation of the house bonsai pattern. This time, the color palette was inspired by the uniform of various devotional habits. The purple and gold resemble Catholics and the orange nods at Buddhist attire.

“The color palette was inspired by the uniform of various devotional habits. The purple and gold resemble Catholics and the orange nods at Buddhist attire.”

Is there a standout piece from the collection for which you’ve developed a special affinity? Whether through design or a particular story?

I particularly like the 3XDRY Sweat Cape. The cape is designed to be a crossover of buddhist and catholic dress, yet its water repellent and moisture wicking qualities give it’s a fresh variation. No matter how hard it rains or how much you sweat, the wearer will stay comfortable and dry.

Functionality, utility, wearability and durability are all found in maharishi designs. Do any of these elements take precedence?

I like to ensure that everything is durable and well-crafted. It would be ideal that every piece is functional, but it isn’t the only thing we consider in the game. Nonetheless the elements mentioned are all generally there and are the basics we build off of in all maharishi releases.

Click here to view full gallery at Hypebeast.com



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