Art and Toys

Berlin was filled with so many unexpected surprises, the most memorable of which happened on our final day in the city. After hearing that Collectors Room Berlin has opened its doors to Selim Varol, a 39 year old native of Düsseldorf and lover of toys, we were determined to get a sneak peak of the Art & Toys show before heading back to New York. Turns out our relentless attitudes paid off and we were lucky enough to get a private tour of the gallery space on Friday, our last day in Berlin and just 24 hours before the show opened to the public. There were still a few works to be hung and toys to be placed, but considering in total there are more than 3,000 pieces on display, the space looked amazing even with a few bare spots on the colossal walls.

The modern simplicity of the gallery space is a perfect compliment to Varol’s collection. He has been amassing toys and street art since purchasing his first piece by KAWS almost fifteen years ago. Since then, his collection has grown exponentially and has become less of a hobby and more of a lifestyle. Varol now calls many of the artists his close friends, some of whom made the trip to Berlin for the opening and produced special works in honor of the show.

Art & Toys will be up at Collectors Room Berlin through September 16th. I highly recommend you check it out if want an excuse to start a toy collection; I have already added a few more small Bearbricks to my ever growing windowsill of trinkets.

The toy that started it all. Varol began his collection after purchasing this piece, by KAWS, in Japan in the late 90s.

Art and Toys

Toys by various artists

Art and Toys

Toys by Joe Ledbetter

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

Visionaire’s designer toys

Art and Toys

Selim Varol working on his Joe Ledbetter installation…

Art and Toys

… Finished product

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

Skateboard wall

Art and Toys

Shepard Fairey Gallery

Art and Toys

Piece by Zevs

Art and Toys

Majority of work by Blek Le Rat

Art and Toys

American Depress by Dface

Art and Toys

All work by JR

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

Patriotism Buff Monster Style

Art and Toys

Various Artists

Art and Toys

Complete Bearbrick collection

Art and Toys

Art and Toys

All pieces by KAWS

Art and Toys

Final gallery

Art and Toys

Tomorrow at this time I will be well on my way to arguably the coolest city on the planet – Berlin. This will be my first time visiting Germany but judging by all of my research I already know I will love it. I am taking a girls trip with my mom and one of her best friends, so between art museums and meals there are sure to be a lot of laughs. Ironically, I’ve been putting off packing for the past few hours by making my packing list. Take a look below at what I am taking (if I ever manage to get these things in a suitcase) and my latest art inspiration board in honor of the contemporary art capital of the world. Can’t wait to share photos from my journey!

Packing List

1. Berlin is a city for walking, but even so I can’t totally drop the fashion ball. These NIKECraft’s by Tom Sachs and black Isabel Marant’s will be my answer to walking shoes.
2. I don’t often wear big necklaces during the winter because I always have scarves on and they tend to snag. Now that the weather has warmed up I can bring out my go-tos from Marni and Tom Binns.
3. These Prada turbans and headbands are a favorite accessory of mine. Add them to any look as a fun alternative to jewelry.
4. I am a firm believer that black is just as much a summer color as it is for winter. This T by Alexander Wang canvas and leather jacket has been a staple in my closet for weeks. It is the perfect piece to take you from day to a casual evening.
5. I really hope Chanel puts this amazing quilted watering can, shown at last week’s Versailles resort 2013 show, into production. While I don’t plan on carrying around any gardening paraphernalia, I do hope to see some equally quirky fashions during my trip.
6. Isabel Marant makes the best fitting jeans, no question. I love these confetti Roxy shorts for day and these distressed black jeans for night.
7. Heels can make any outfit ‘dinner appropriate’. These Alaïa wedges and Céline’s are perfection.
8. I can’t totally abandon my favorite scarves just because the weather is heating up. They are still great to carry with your purse as an added pattern.
9. There is no denying I love my PS1′s, but Proenza’s Keep All is the best travel bag. The Céline Box bag is still a favorite of mine for any occasion. It is perfect compliment to any outfit at any time of day.
10. Despite the perfect forecast spring showers are never far away, that is why I always carry an umbrella with me, this Lanvin one is my favorite.
11. No packing jobs is complete without a few stripped shirts. They are the perfect basics without being too boring, also a great way to add color to an outfit.

Art Inspiration Board

Art Inspiration Board

1. Artist Tom Sachs’ take on high-end (Chanel, Tiffany, Prada and Hermes) vs. popular consumer products.
2. David Hockney’s iPad art is amazing. Always fun to see such an established artist embrace technology.
3. I am a huge fan of Katarina Fritsch’s monochromatic sculptures. I love the colors she uses especially considering they have a very matte finish. Beautiful.
4. The vacation home of artist’s Carsten Höller and Marcel Odenbach in Ghana is extraordinary. I bet Höller could make a sick water slide.
5. A stuffed animal installation at last year’s Art Basel by the late Mike Kelly.
6. The great artist and Tisci muse, Marina Abramovic.
7. A neon light chair sculpture by Ivan Navarro.
8. Such a fun way to use Damien Hirst as inspiration. I’d much prefer this Lego piece over a real animal’s carcass.
9. The Hamburger Bahnhof is a former railway station turned contemporary art museum in Berlin. Will be one of my first stops.
10. Cindy Sherman, a woman who truly transcends art and fashion, in Chanel Couture. This image and many others will be up at her gallery Metro Pictures come Fall.

Miuccia and Moi
Photo courtesy of BFAnyc.com

Following the MET Gala last week there were a few other small events I attended in celebration of Impossible Conversations. The first was a very intimate evening at the Tisch residence with Ms.Prada – hence the picture above. I was floored/honored after asking for a photo with the notoriously camera shy designer that she agreed without hesitation (I suppose the great lengths I went to to obtain the look from FW12 worn that evening turned out to be well worth it). It was surreal to see the designer in a relaxed environment with such few people.

The following morning I attended the curator-lead walkthrough of the exhibition for the Friends of The Costume Institute. Like the occasional spaz that I am – or possibly I was still on a mental cloud from the prior evening – I showed up without a memory card in my camera. Thus, I have no photos to attest to what a wonderful morning it was, but I do have a few special anecdotes. Andrew and Harold (Head Curator and Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute) spoke about the process of designing the exhibition from when it was a mere idea to when Miuccia herself walked through for the first time.

The exhibit opens with the Impossible Conversations short film by Baz Lurhmann. In it, actress Judy Davis portrays Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia plays herself. All of Miuccia’s dialogue was written using her own words from countless conversations with Andrew to which he compiled into a script. The filming was done by Mr.Lurhmann at The Carlyle hotel on two separate occasions. For the first, he was there in person to read Sciaparelli’s lines across the table from Miuccia, but for the second he was in Australia filming Gatsby and thus was virtually there by way of Skype.

After the film comes the clothes. In the gallery Waist Up/Waist Down – Head Up/Knee down, they highlight Prada’s amazing skirts and shoes while juxtaposing them against Schiaparelli’s beautiful jackets and famous hats. Harold told a great story about how Ms.Prada requested that a pair of shoes be changed because without the contrast of the blouse she originally put with the look it appears too lady like and thus not Prada.

Later, they pay homage to Miuccia’s ealr years designing women’s wear. Andrew mentioned it was a dark period for Ms.Prada both literally and figuratively, she used minimalism to hide behind; the basic, black Prada dresses of the early 90s were certainly worlds apart from this fall’s colorful, patterned-filled collection.

While Miuccia denies looking to Schiaparelli’s work for inspiration there are undeniable similarities between the two thanks to the great Yves Saint Laurent; he used Schiaparelli as a muse and Ms.Prada looks to Yves’ work season after season. Andrew and Harold discussed how both women’s work are a bit oxymoronic. Schiaparelli was constantly praised for her craftsmanship while most of her techniques are those of someone who is not really interested in technique. Similarly, Prada is a woman who is fixated on the idea of ‘Ugly Chic’ and sees a beautiful woman in a beautiful dress as a cliché.

The final gallery in the exhibition showcases looks from some of Schiaparelli’s and Prada’s most career-defining collections. The pieces on display serve as the perfect final impression of the exhibit celebrating two of fashion’s most prized female designers.

Sarah Burton Luncheon

Take a cue from Sarah Burton and forget tradition this Mother’s Day. Skip the simple bouquet and instead go for a flower that will never die and will always maintain its shine. I am referring to the two petal dresses and metal flower belts (pictured below) from Alexander McQueen’s FW12 runway collection. These Fall looks, along with a few others, were on display at a Luncheon hosted by Burton last Wednesday in NYC. The small party showcased the best looks from FW12 runway as well as the entire Pre-Fall collection, which was shown in an intimate presentation. It was incredible to see upclose the craftsmanship and attention to detail that embodies Alexander McQueen.

Burton is not only an unbelievable talent but equally as kind and humble. She is the female Alber Elbaz in terms of her amazing generosity and genuine interest in others. It was a surreal moment to walk through the collection by her side and hear personal stories about each look. Check out pictures from my day with Burton below…

Sarah Burton Luncheon

Sarah Burton Luncheon

Sarah Burton Luncheon

Sarah Burton Luncheon

Sarah Burton Luncheon

Sarah Burton Luncheon

With Sarah next to one of her favorite looks from Fall 12…

Sarah Burton Luncheon

Sarah Burton Luncheon

Impossible Conversation

Despite my plan to focus my MET post around where the party really happens – which, oddly enough, is typically in the bathroom – the museum finally caught on and placed guards in both restrooms this year. It was a relief to not have to walk through plumes of smoke and navigate around the likes of Ricardo Tisci and Giambattista Valli in the ladies room, but nevertheless not as entertaining. Regardless, the party still lived up to its reputation as Party of the Year. Impossible Conversations is a complete departure from the dramatic aesthetic of last year’s Savage Beauty exhibit. It always excites me to learn more about somewhat mysterious designers, like Schiaparelli, especially when using such a celebrated female, such as Miuccia Prada, as a basis for comparison. The exhibition is geared towards those who love and appreciate both current fashion and its history. More to come on specifics of the exhibit but for now check out some highlights from Monday evening below…

My sister, wearing Roland Mouret, and me, in Prada

Impossible Conversation

Each year the crowd outside grows bigger and bigger, the new entrance this year, however, made it nearly impossible to catch a glimpse of anyone.

Impossible Conversation

Schiaparelli Lips…

Impossible Conversation

Receiving line…

Impossible Conversation

The always cheerful Suzy Menkes

Impossible Conversation

With Stella Tennant in Chanel

Impossible Conversation

I don’t quite get it…

Impossible Conversation

Was hoping Grace would take a cue from Anna Dello Russo’s Gareth Pugh helmut and rock one of her prada-inspired headpieces…

Impossible Conversation

With MET Gala virgin Haider Ackermann

Impossible Conversation

Dolce Dolls vs. Mugler Mafia

Impossible Conversation

Jeff Koons

Impossible Conversation

Mark and Lorenzo

Impossible Conversation

At least he didn’t go commando

Impossible Conversation

Linda’s beautiful Elsa Schiaparelli-inspired Naeem Khan creation…

Impossible Conversation

Even non-Vogue staffers (who were told to wear pink/red) embraced the color of the evening

Impossible Conversation

Impossible Conversation

Impossible Conversation

Dinner…

Impossible Conversation

Prada SoHo

Get ready for a whole lot of Prada! I feel like I can’t escape talk of the Italian fashion house in anticipation of Ms.Prada’s soon-to-open exhibition at the MET’s Costume Institute. But not to forget people, Miuccia is only half of the equation, Elsa Schiaparelli’s work will also be on view in the exhibit which opens May 10th and runs through August 19th (all assuming no one ‘pulls a McQueen’ and requires an extension to keep up with the enormous demand). Nonetheless, in honor of tomorrow night’s fête, or as some know it, The Party of the Year, Prada enlisted American Vogue’s Creative director Grace Coddington to curate the FW12 looks on display in all of their New York boutiques. Special fall samples were brought in specifically for display and each store even received an early delivery of a limited amount of Pre-Fall pieces. In addition, I was told Grace brought the styrofoam head pieces on the mannequins (pictured below) with her from Vogue. The orange one bares a slight resemblance to Grace, no??

Prada SoHo

Prada SoHo

Prada SoHo

Prada SoHo

Prada SoHo

Prada SoHo

Prada SoHo

Cindy For Celine
Photo by Nicolas Guevara

I was browsing through the Cindy Sherman MoMA exhibition catalogue the other day and came across a few of my favorite images from the exhibit. The two photographs below are some of Cindy’s earliest prints on display and some of her best. Both images – Untitled #488 and Untitled #489 – (or as I like to call them: Cindy Cornucopias) are works from 1976. There was a really great piece written in reference to her career before photoshop and the techniques she had to utilize to produce images with with more than one of her. My boyfriend and I were bored one day and decided to use her 1976 works as inspiration for a shoot. Taking into account Cindy’s many fashion-related projects – an image from her Spring 2005 Marc Jacobs campaign is currently my phone background – we, or rather I, wondered what Cindy might do if she collaborated with a house like Céline, for example. The product of our/my inquiry is pictured above. I am wearing all SS12 Céline with the exception of my favorite leather pants from The Row.

And don’t forget, if you have yet to visit the MoMA the exhibition runs through June 11th so head on over.

Cindy For Celine
Untitled #488.1976

Cindy For Celine
Untitled #489.1976