Let's Play

It is no secret I am a huge fan of Rei Kawakubo and the entire Comme des Garçons empire. Her FW12 collection was nothing short of perfection so imagine my excitement when discovering this weekend that a few pieces, like the looks shown above, are now available for purchase on Barneys New York.com!

Rei is so inspiring, in large part, because of her artistic vision. Comme has worked with incredible artists in the past like Ai Weiwei, Eli Sudbrack, Quay Brothers, and Cindy Sherman (pictured below), yet Kawakubo’s most celebrated collaboration to date came with the launch of PLAY by Comme des Garçons in 2002.

Lets Play
Cindy Sherman for Comme des Garçons, 1994

Thanks to artist Filip Pagowski’s logo, PLAY has amassed a cult-like following similar to that of Polo circa the 1980’s. The small street-wear line has grown immensely in the past decade, making it increasingly difficult to find a piece in my closet without two perfectly inward-slanting eyes.

Lets Play
PLAY by Comme des Garçons logo designed by Filip Pagowski

I typically loathe a logo, preferring my clothes to only reveal their make on the inside tag, but, there is something about Pagowski’s whimsical design granting it an exception. I am a bit of a striped shirt snob and since discovering the perfectly aligned horizontal pattern on Kawakubo’s shirts I have hardly looked back. Find my favorite striped top and all the PLAY basics (shown below) on Farfetch.com.

Lets Play
All PLAY by Comme des Garçons

Allen Jones Style

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Allen Jones Style

From Left: Allen Jones Chair, Hat Stand and Table.

It was great fun to flip through The Gunter Sachs Collection catalogue a few weeks ago before the lot was actioned in late May by Sotheby’s London. Sachs, who was known as a playboy, had a sizably amount of erotic art to match his reputation. The sale well exceeded expectations (fetching over 56 million dollars) and three of the biggest surprises of the evening ended up being three of my favorite pieces. The Allen Jones works (shown above) were expected to garner around sixty thousand dollars a piece when in actuality they sold for 1.32 million, 1.23 million and 1.53 million dollars, respectively. Each work was an addition of six total that the artist made in 1969. I had known little about Jones prior to seeing the Sachs collection and I wasn’t an immediate fan, but after imagining the pieces scattered around Peter Marino’s office or in the film A Clockwork Orange they quickly grew on me.

I really hope a magazine that next profiles Peter Marino (possibly for his upcoming documentary set to be released in 2013) will use Jones’ work as inspiration for a shoot; I’d love to see the world’s greatest architect mimicking the the sculptures in his entirely leather ensemble. All the talk of Peter and his uniform got me thinking of which leather pieces I am most excited to bring out once the weather cools. I came up with a few, below, that will be wardrobe staples come September.

Allen Jones Style

1. Rick Owens and Junya Watanabe are the two masters of leather. Rick’s classic black leather jacket is the first piece I take out in the fall and the last to get put away come summer.
2. I have worn Alexander Wang’s black velvet backpack for two years now and I hope to soon add The Row’s leather backpack to my collection.
3. There’s nothing wrong with a woman in men’s clothes. This Givenchy jacket is the perfect example of a piece made for either sex.
4. I am not typically a fan of Louboutin’s unless it is a clean black leather pump, which he does so well.
5. Lanvin’s perfect long leather gloves.
6. The Row’s black pencil skirt is number one on my wish-list for fall.
7. Shorts give you the perfect excuse to wear leather even when the weather is still warm, this pair is by Alexander Aang.
8. Alexander Wang’s chic leather answer to a ski jacket.
9. The perfect clutch for fall, by Alexander Wang.
10. Givenchy’s long leather gloves with pony hair detailing are perfect for day.
11. These leather shorts, by Haute Hippie, are another solution for the warm weather.
12. The Row’s leather sleeveless top can be worn alone or will be great with a top underneath come winter.
13. Finally, the reason why I am so excited for fall, Givenchy’s black leather shark tooth boot.

The Struth Effect
Givenchy SS11 Couture

I love how Riccardo Tisci shows Givenchy Couture because Couture is an art that should be an intimate experience. Tisci first made the changeover from a traditional runway show to showing presentation-style for his fall 2010 collection. Each subsequent Couture collection has been shown in the same format and as the clothes get more exquisite each season so does how the collection is photographed. Nothing gets my heart racing quite like clicking through the front and back views of the tenth look of the presentation in anticipation of the concluding ‘family portrait’. Each season I find further similarities between this final portrait and the work of German photographer Thomas Struth.

Struth’s work is vast. He is best known for his museum photographs, in addition to his jungle series, cityscapes and family portraits. Each Givenchy Couture collection since fall 2010 has had a different hint of Struth; most notably, for fall 2012 Tisci staged the shoot with a Struth-like jungle backdrop. Now, after shooting portraits for the Queen of England and artist Gerhard Richter, it is about time for Struth to photograph a family all outfitted in straight-off-the-‘runway’ Givenchy Couture.

The Hirose Family, Hiroshima 1987 © Thomas Struth
The Hirose Family, Hiroshima 1987 © Thomas Struth

The Struth Effect
Givenchy FW10 Couture

Milan Cathedral, Milan 1998 © Thomas Struth
Milan Cathedral, Milan 1998 by © Thomas Struth

The Struth Effect
Givenchy FW11 Couture

Pergamon Museum 3, Berlin 2001 © Thomas Struth
Pergamon Museum 3, Berlin 2001 by © Thomas Struth

The Struth Effect
Givenchy FW12 Couture

Paradise 27, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru 2005 © Thomas Struth
Paradise 27, Rio Madre de Dios, Peru 2005 by © Thomas Struth

Spiral Jetty

Reviewing the Resort 13 collections this past weekend got me thinking… Where will Karl hold his Chanel R14 show?? He has done posh venues season after season – Versailles, Du Cap, St.Tropez, Venice, Etc. – that I think next year it is time for Chanel to go rugged; moreover, hiking clothes may be the only market left for Mr.Lagerfeld to explore. The beautiful landmass pictured above (and below) is sculptor Robert Smithson’s most famous work, the Spiral Jetty. Located just off the coast of Utah in the Great Salt Lake, the Jetty was completed in 1970 and has evolved overtime with the changing climate. It has seen every season and, at points, has been completely submerged under water due to the changing lake levels. Although the structure may be manmade, it has grown to look entirely organic in it’s environment. I find it to be one of the most beautiful sites in the world. Assuming the Jetty is dry and walkable next spring, I think it would make for the most spectacular runway.

Smithson and his wife put out the most amazing short film, appropriately entitled Spiral Jetty, which I saw last Fall and highly recommend. It documents how the Jetty was constructed and offers footage of the structure from each and every angle. I have yet to visit the land-art, but hope to one day walk it’s spiral.

Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty

Spiral Jetty

Fashion's Favorite Films
Stills from Blade Runner and Un Chien Andalou

As you may have seen from this week’s tweets, I made the unfortunate mistake of leaving my laptop in East Hampton while I spent the week in the city. Being without a computer for the past few days has freed time for activities – like watching movies – that are usually compromised to allow for my massive internet browsing habit. I decided on two films that I think historically have had the greatest influence on fashion, Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner and Luis Bruñel and Salvador Dalí’s short film Un Chien Andalou.

Blade Runner has served as inspiration to designers for years, but the character Pris‘ makeup is unquestionably the most replicated aspect of the film. Fashion has seen this trademark black line over the eyes on both men and women every season and FW12 was no exception.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from: Jean Paul Gaultier FW09 Couture, Armani FW12 Couture, Christian Dior FW06 Couture, Alexander McQueen FW04 Ready-to-Wear, and Thom Browne FW12 Menswear

The Balenciaga runway, along with countless others, have been invaded by sic-fi-inspired looks for seasons now. Ghesquière used Blade Runner as a reference most notably in his collections for FW 2007 and FW 2012, pictured below.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from Balenciaga FW12 and middle look from Balenciaga FW07

The opening of Impossible Conversations and the relaunch of the House of Schiaparelli have brought surrealism back to the forefront of fashion. I watched Bruñel and Dalí’s short film Un Chien Andalou this week and got totally inspired. His use of the human face and bugs, while at times gruesome, was equally exciting. His influence outside of the art community was apparent in the days of the surrealists and still holds true today.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Stills from Un Chien Andalou

Elsa Schiaparelli was the first to commission Dalí to design jewelry. His fascination with nature and humanistic features, as exhibited in his film, was later incorporated into his designs (pictured below). Who knew Dalií was the originator of grillz?

Fashion's Favorite Films
Salvador Dalí’s Surrealist jewelry

Season after season designers have turned to Dalí and other surrealists for inspiration. It was particularly evident at both the Ready-to-Wear and FW12 Couture shows. Giambattista Valli adorned his models in gold branch necklaces and butterflies while Alber turned Dalí’s delicate pieces into statement costume jewelry at Lanvin.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Looks from Giambattista Valli FW12 Couture and Lanvin FW12 Ready-to-Wear

My all-time favorite example of surrealism invading the runway was a product of the always offbeat Rei Kawakubo. Her use of lips as an accessory to the face in addition to the model’s own was striking.

Fashion's Favorite Films
Comme des Garçons FW09 over a Damien Hirst butterfly background.

The Art of... Couture
(Chanel and Maison Martin Margiela)

Nothing makes me happier than such a successful couture week. A disappointing show is always hard to take, but considering the massive amount of work that goes in to producing each piece of couture, a failed collection is that much more upsetting. Surprisingly, all of my favorites blew me away. I chose my standout looks to feature below…

The Art of... Couture

Raf Simmons’ long awaited premier Dior collection (pictured above) was well worth the 18-months of mediocrity at the house. Simmons’ use of couture techniques while staying true to his minimalist nature showed extreme self control. I’m a fan. Not to mention, many of his silhouettes brought back fond memories of my all time favorite Balenciaga collection, FW 2006 (pictured below). The final exciting surprise of the week was waking up to see photos from Maison Martin Margiela’s first couture runway show! Looks like the Antwerp crew is taking over.

The Art of... Couture

The Always major Givenchy

The Art of... Couture

A few more favorites from couture…

The Art of... Couture
(From Left: Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Giambattista Valli and Jean Paul Gaultier)

Chanel Fireworks

Happy 4th everyone! In honor of Independence Day I spent last night constructing fireworks out of my mom’s spare Chanel buttons. She keeps her entire back stock in a baggie and cherishes them nearly as much as the garments they come from. Why, you might ask? Few people know that just as Chanel reinvents ready-to-wear each season, they also entirely redesign their trademark buttons. No button is ever repeated. Meaning, she isn’t all that crazy for keeping such a close watch on her collection. I’m hoping one day to fashion a necklace out of them. Until then, I’ll just have to admire their intricacies from a far. Can’t wait to see what little beauties adorn each jacket in Karl’s futuristic, Marie Antoinette Cruise 13′ collection. I look forward to watching fireworks tonight and imaging that each falling light is a different, new button design.

Flower Power

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Flower Power
Dustin Yellin

I have been so intrigued by Dustin Yellin’s work since meeting him a few weeks ago at Chanel’s Black Jacket dinner. Yellin’s glass pieces excite me in so many ways. His creative process and use of space is new and exciting. To produce one sculpture, Yellin creates countless two-dimensional images on layers of glass and proceeds to create a glass cube with images inside that appears three-dimensional. The resulting sculptures appear so raw and untouched. I am particularly drawn to his pieces inspired by nature.

Flower Power
All work by Dustin Yellin

Whenever I get excited about an artist I always think about how their style can be used to showcase fashion. I can’t help but fantasize about Yellin creating a series of work, in keeping with his nature sculptures, inspired by all the flower pieces shown for fall. Imagine the amazing floral looks from Comme and Dolce frozen in glass cubes looking as if they are growing from some psychedelic grass (inspired by Reyle’s Disco Hay). I tried my best to bring this dream gallery show to life in the images below…

Flower Power
Dustin Yellin x Comme des Garçons

Flower Power
Dustin Yellin x Dolce & Gabbana

Flower Power
Dustin Yellin x Marc Jacobs

Flower Power
Dustin Yellin x Balmain

Flower Power
Dustin Yellin x Alexander McQueen

Flower Power
Dustin Yellin x Christopher Kane