Thursday, June 19, 2008

Un Homage Pour Marlene

Of all the Hollywood sirens that have inspired gazillion of fashion designers, Marlene Dietrich is known to be as one of them.

A woman with substance, she was not only known for her fatalistic roles in the film noir movies, but the German-born actress was also known for her take in fashion, which could be best describe as something controversial.

Before Coco Chanel made women wear jackets and pants but softened it with a string of pearls around their necks, Marlene had long started that sort of fashion revolution, sans the pearl necklace. In fact, it was said that her fondness in wearing menswear in the public, underneath the broad daylight, almost landed her in jail after being caught by the French policemen while she was in Paris.

To the conservative minds of her days, Marlene’s action would be likely labelled as something immoral and against the norms of the society. But if Internet does exist at that time, and so with fashion bloggers, I bet it will be a field day for all the bloggers to report on the incident. The same way that happened to Kate Moss when her vintage Dior dress train was accidentally ripped on the red carpet and had it tied around her legs as mini party dress!

Though John Galliano from Dior has taken Marlene as one of his muse for his previous spring/summer collection like ages ago, her iconic style and charm never fail to impress and inspire other fashion designers from around the world. Also paying the actress’s impeccable yet unique style a highly deserved homage were European fashion-designing duo from Slovenia by the name of MEM Couture.

Founded by young fashion designers Eric Maj Potočnik and Matjaž Plotšinjak in Ljubljana, Slovenia, MEM Couture immortalized the chic style of Marlene Dietrich by creating a series of haute couture clothing called Homage á Marlene (Homage to Marlene).

A collection that truly reflects Marlene’s nostalgic style, several elements adopted from the 50’s styling such as narrowed waistlines, tailoring, and exposed hips were incorporated into the collection.

To resurrect Marlene’s infectious yet timeless style into the collection, a potent combination of strong black with contrasting colours were used as the working colour palette. As reminiscence was the name of the game, materials from silk or wool with different structures were used to relive the glamorous period of the 50’s, where Marlene once dominated as the queen of all femme fatales.

In April 2006, the collection was presented to the fashion authorities of Bosnia Herzegovina during the country’s Fashion Week, and later at the Museum Fashion Day, held by Contemporary Art Museum Casoria-Napoli in Naples, Italy.

To their liking, the European fashion sphere was impressed by their reinterpretation on Marlene Dietrich’s legendary fashion sense and the collection was presented for another three times, with the last one being presented during Slovenia’s Evening of the Lion Clubs last year.

Though MEM Couture is yet to be available commercially, its designs have garnered media attentions from all over Europe. Among others, MEM Couture designs have been featured on the hallowed pages of conceptual fashion and lifestyle glossies namely LOOKdeBOOK, Eurodesign, as well as on the online British fashion magazine called

Early this year, the brand also made its appearance at one of the top fashion expos in the world, which is the Bread and Butter trade show in Barcelona.

Therefore fashion fans, do expect for more to come in MEM Couture way as they are on their way to conquer the fashion world, and perchance, would give couture big boys (think John Galliano and his ilk) a run on their money. After all, who knows that someday, Ljubljana will be the new Paris or Milan in the future?

*Photos courtesy of MEM Couture

MEM Couture – Prisojna Ulica 3, SI-1000, Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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