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spring/summer 2010

Neo-pop dresses, Jeff Koons, Herb Ritts, and a travel to the African continent

During London Fashion Week, the London based designers Christopher Brooke (born in UK) and Bruno Basso (born in Brazil) presented the new spring/summer 2010 women's wear collection 'Neo-Pop' with the label's signature digital prints; this year the illustrations are inspired by the art of two US artists: the provocative art made of pop-kitsch by Jeff Koons and the sexy black/white images of photographer Herb Ritts.

For the spring/summer 2010 collection, the press release opens with a statement by the Scotsman David Livingstone (1813-1874): “I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward.” The explorer was on medical mission especially in southern and central Africa. The name of the Victoria Falls was given by him. One of his obsessions was to find the sources of the River Nile.

Jeff Koons' art became so successful, because he transformed kitsch - such as everyday objects, into high-art. Under this aspect, Jeff Koons and African textile designers, who illustrate the textiles often with everyday objects like cars, mobile phones etc., have something in common.

fig.: Dress by Basso & Brooke SS2010, catwalk during the London Fashion Week, 22 September 2009. The detail shows the spokes of a wheel from a motorcycle or a car on her hip, along her leg black/white chrome water-bubbles, on the other a noisy waterfall, the zebra pattern covers one of her breasts. For spring/summer 2010, the fabrics get the ‘wet look’ not only by the pattern, but by using shiny materials like silk jersey, lurex jacquards or stretch nets as well as by the models' styling with glossy body, hair and face make up by L’Oreal Paris; Stephanie Seymour après swim was the inspiration for this look.

"... this season’s prints (with such emotive titles as “Faraway from the Arctic Sea”, “Of the Mountains”; “Stardust” and “Zig Zag Lily”) have all the hyperreal hit and seductive sugar-rush of a post-millenial Koons canvas shot through with dream-like fantastical landscapes – boldly counterposed by the deceptively simple, yet strongly structural black and white graphic motif." Basso & Brooke, spring/summer 2010

In the last years, a constant can be monitored at the work of the designers Basso & Brooke: the theme 'traveling' or 'meeting other cultures'. For example the Basso & Brooke SS2007 collection was an invitation to travel through the exotique world with images of endangered species, luxury graphic fur and skins on fabrics. Therefore Basso & Brooke had been inspired by different times and places: the girl who dances Charleston in the 20ies or the Masaiwitchdoctor in a West-European dress - prepared for the Empire Ballroom in colonial times. For Basso & Brooke SS2009, the designers packed the mathematical logic of technology and the asymmetrical essence of natural elements into a fashionable "High-Tech Romance" that plays in the Far East. Japan and the well organized, urban chaos was the inspirational stimulus for the collection.

Video: Chris Brooke from Basso & Brooke speaks on the channel of the digital broadcaster t5m during London Fashion Week, September 2009.

Basso & Brooke, who come from very different cultures, started to work together in 2003. They are the winners of the prestigious London’s Fashion Fringe 2004 Award. In 2005 they presented their first on-schedule show at London Fashion Week with the title 'The Succubus and Other Tales', a collection which used mediaeval elements, soft drapery and streamlined tailoring to express repressed eroticism. The collection also marked Basso & Brooke’s debut collaboration with Swarovski.

Christopher Brooke, born in Newark, Nottinghamshire UK in 1974, studied fashion at the Kingston University from 1992 to 1995, graduated with 1st class Honours before completing an MA in womenswear at Central Saint Martins between 1995 and 1997. The year after, he went on to assist Joe Casely-Hayford before meeting Bruno Basso in 2002 and setting up the label.

Bruno Basso, born in 1978 in Santos, SP, BRAZIL, has been working since 1998 as graphic designer, art director, curator, producer. He studied Journalism at the Catholic University of Santos between 1996-1999 and then Advertising in the University of St. Cecilia, Santos 2000-2001.

In November 2004 they signed the contract with luxury goods manufacturer Aeffe, initially for two seasons to manufacture and distribute the womenswear collection. Aeffe produce collections for Alberta Ferretti, Moschino, Jean Paul Gaultier, Narciso Rodriquez & Pollini. Basso & Brooke sell in stores worldwide

Source: Original article with images and video on


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