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Punch-Hole Love
Posted by richard | April 2, 2014
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If your underwear has holes in it, that usually means it’s time to go shopping.

Unless you’re wearing something from the upcoming fall collection by NYC lingerie label Unforeseen Circumstances, which has turned hole-y underwear into a kind of pop art fashion statement.

Several pieces in the new collection are riddled with punched holes of various sizes — drive-by-shooting chic, perhaps?

Actually, the point is not to create a gangsta look or to offer peekaboo opportunities to your admirers, but to enhance the visual impact when layering garments.

You can see this effect best in the double-layered open front bodysuit (below), where the the dark underlayer pops beneath the neutral top layer. The same kind of visual drama unfolds when these piece lie against your skin.

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The punch-holes are just one of the distinguishing features of this very tactile collection from designer Teo Griscom, collaborating once again with NYC print artist Reed Anderson.

Griscom prefers to work with natural fabrics and a muted, natural color palette. Almost all the pieces in this collection are fashioned from linen, cotton and a washed silk that gives it all a lived-in look.

Smart fashionistas who have already discovered Unforeseen Circumstances will gush over new styles like the open-sided linen bodysuit (which cries out for layering), a cotton robe and the funky lounge pant shown below.

And if you love these casual looks but aren’t sold on the punched-holes idea, no worry: all pieces are available without holes, too.

Look for this made-in-USA brand online at Lille Boutique and Steven Alan.

The campaign images below were shot in Peru by frequent UC collaborator Eric Kvatek.

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Unforeseen Signs Of Spring
Posted by Lingerie Talk | February 24, 2014
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New York boutique label Unforeseen Circumstances enjoyed some gains last year, thanks to a fortuitous collaboration with artist Reed Anderson that resulted in several memorably original prints. For 2014, designer Teo Griscom continues to hone what has become her signature look: rootsy, urban underfashions in muted monotones with occasional exclamations of pop-art color.

The new spring collection includes a couple of swimwear pieces, the hip bodysuits and T-shirt pullunders that UC is known for and, best of all, a couple of light dresses.

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The piece above is the kind of thing you dream of wearing when you’re still up to your ankles in winter slush. Buy it now and wear it to your next gallery opening.

Unforeseen Circumstances is now available online through Lille Boutique and Steven Alan.

The lookbook images below were shot at the modernist gallery/store Mondo Cane in New York by Eric Kvatek, with Jess Novias modeling UC‘s spring line.

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Other Shades Of Grey
Posted by richard | October 15, 2013
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The moodboard that inspired the fall collection from indie label Unforeseen Circumstances is full of images of pavement, sidewalks and slate-colored skies.

Not the sort of thing that typically inspires a lingerie collection, but it’s not out of character for the arty New York label. Designer Teo Griscom looks for patterns in both the natural and built worlds, and is fascinated with unconventional uses of color.

This time, the result is a small and unpredictable range of unique looks in steely autumnal hues. If you thought grey was a lousy choice for lingerie, think again: UC offers some other ways of looking at this most industrial and utilitarian palette.

The collection aims for comfort with very wearable pieces like a crinkled cotton pull-under T-shirt (top photo) and matching charcoal trousers, silvery tap shorts and even a two-tone grey shift dress.

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Griscom also revives her collaboration with artist Reed Anderson that was introduced in last spring’s colorful pop-art range. She’s offering several limited-edition artist prints that feature Anderson’s designs, and the most memorable item in this series is bound to be the striped print crop-tank shown above.

And, as you can see below, you can offset the ashen tones and create a very modern graphic look by adding a splash of color from one of UC‘s belts and harnesses.

Unforeseen Circumstances typically has small production runs, so don’t wait for any of these pieces to reach the discount bins. You can find then on the brand’s webshop, at Lille Boutique online and at Steven Alan in New York.

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Changing Circumstances
Posted by richard | March 7, 2013
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Teo Griscom is one of those rare lingerie designers who truly express themselves through their work, the way painters pour their feelings onto a canvas.

She weaves together inspirations from her travels, her studies and her interactions with the art and fashion worlds, resulting in brainy collisions of color and form that are impossible to replicate and miles removed from any current trends.

Teo’s small New York label, Unforeseen Circumstances, creates the kind of avant-garde looks that everyone in fashion school wishes they’d thought of first, and everyone in art school wishes they owned. (Teo famously created a line of rough linen undies in 2011 and, last year, built a lingerie collection around the primitive color blotches of abstract painter Cy Twombly.)

But there is also a personal subtext throughout Teo’s work, and the new spring collection from UC hints at — pardon the pun — changing circumstances in the life of the label and its founder.

The bold, expressionistic new range is all about “courage and surrendering,” Teo told Lingerie Talk. And it’s not just theoretical posturing: Teo, a longtime New Yorker, recently packed up and relocated to Zurich, Switzerland, to be with her new partner.

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Given that monumental change, the latest offering from Unforeseen Circumstances is more personal and emotionally resonant than anything Teo has done with her label to date.

“It’s about taking risk, standing out or standing up. And the sort of symmetry that comes with that,” she said. “But in order to find that symmetry you have to fall apart.

“It’s about moving, traveling and letting go. Falling off the edge into the pool, so to speak.”

The photoshoot that accompanies the new collection — shot by Eric Kvatek in a pool in Oahu — dramatizes the themes of risk and surrender and is also, Teo said, “a play on being ready for ‘unforeseen circumstances’ [like] an unplanned swim.”

There are eight new pieces in the collection as well as four bodysuits from earlier UC collections, most of it fabricated from a silk noil that gives the pieces a warm texture.

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Design-wise, there’s a lot going on here too. Teo worked with NYC artist Reed Anderson — known for his intricate abstractions made from overlapping paper cuts — to create the dramatic prints seen here.

“I’ve aways wanted to work with Reed,” said Teo. “And because of my art background, I enjoy working with others, I think there is a lot to be gained in collaboration.

“He created the fabric, but had no idea what I would then transform it into,” she said. “[It] was a fun experiment for both of us.”

Reed is responsible for the graphic slashes of color in this collection, which contrast with Teo’s soothing palette of washed-out neutrals and pastels that were inspired by trips to Paris and Malta. You can trace the evolution of her palette on UC’s website, which always presents one of the most interesting and revealing moodboards in the industry.

“Both of our work reflects having a hand clearly visible in what we create,” Teo says of her collaboration with Reed, a longtime friend. “Our combined interest [is] in craftspeople and artists who are less associated with the digital age.”

Despite Teo’s recent move to Europe, Unforeseen Circumstances remains in business and a fall collection is promised that will offer “an answer or resolution” to the themes depicted in the spring collection.

The new range will arrive in May and is distributed through Lille Boutique and Kapital Japan.

Here are more images from UC’s very effective, and evocative, photoshoot.

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Poignant Tribute to a Modern Master
Posted by richard | February 28, 2012

Last year’s lingerie creations from the artistic New York label Unforeseen Circumstances were all about fabric — specifically, the airy linen netting that was used in many of designer Teo Griscom‘s pieces. Was there a more original idea in designer lingerie all year?

For 2012, Teo continues her intriguing explorations, although this time her focus is on color — specifically, the desert palette of umbers and bleached neutrals you can see in these images. (To get an authentic look for these pieces, the photos were shot in a bullring in San Miguel Allende, Mexico!)

But there’s more going on here than just on-trend, color-blocked styles.

Teo, who also works as a clothing designer and a color trends consultant, is a longtime fan of the modern artist/sculptor Cy Twombly, whose deceptively primitive scrawls often seemed like experiments in color dynamics and composition. Twombly is probably best known for his duotone ‘blackboard’ paintings, but he also spent decades playing with color combinations.

Teo’s appreciation for Twombly is reflected in her spring palette choices, and particularly in the print shown in the main photo above — a seemingly random pattern drawn on sand-washed silk that evokes the primal appeal of cave drawings. It goes without saying you won’t see anything else like it this year.

Twombly spent most of his career living in Italy, where he died last summer at age 83, right around the time that Teo Griscom was putting together her Twombly-inspired spring line.

“It was so strange he died just as I was working on that collection,” said Teo, who has included Twombly artworks and companion swatches on her online moodboard for some time. “I can only hope he saw it.”

Twombly’s child-like drawings were often maligned by critics who were too lazy to explore their complex symbolic subtext and mythological references. But they could provoke deep passions in his admirers — in one famous incident in 2007, a French artist who claimed to be overcome with emotion left a lipstick imprint on one of Twombly’s massive canvases when she kissed it in a gallery.

Teo’s posthumous tribute conveys a similar ardor, but without damaging the artist’s legacy! He would, no doubt, be touched by the gesture.

Unforeseen Circumstances is available in only a handful of boutiques that specialize in designer labels, such as Jumelle, Lille and Kapital Japan later this year.

The color images below show UC’s spring line; below that, the B&W shots and the color swatches are a preview of what’s coming for fall, including more of that cool silk linen.

Unforeseen Circumstances – Spring 2012

Unforeseen Circumstances – Fall 2012

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