Appropriation is the use of borrowed elements of preexisting objects with little or no transformation to create a new work. It can been found in all forms of art – from a musician sampling an old composition, or a milliner like Philip Treacy creating a new place for a lobster or soda cans atop a woman’s head – but it has been most popularized through the work of visual artists.
One of the first, and most celebrated, examples of appropriation in art came in the early 20th century with Dada artist’s Marcel Duchamp’s series of found, un-altered objects dubbed Readymades. Duchamp’s Readymades were classified into different categories depending on their complexity – Readymades, Assisted Readymades, Rectified Readymades, Corrected Readymades and Reciprocal Readymades. Fountain (pictured below) from 1917 is Duchamp’s most famous gesture of mockery, while a few years later in 1919 came his equally popularized Rectified Readymade, L.H.O.O.Q. (pictured below).
Since Duchamp, hundreds of other artists have utilized appropriation in their work. Andy Warhol capitalized on the iconic Campbell’s Soup Can (pictured above) throughout his career while Damien Hirst is the modern day king of appropriation by way of his work with butterflies and prescription pills (pictured below).
Hurricane Sandy has quarantined me to my apartment, forcing me to be crafty using found objects in my closet. Behold, my ode to appropriation in my new Proenza Schouler Planters (pictured at top), Alaia Trash Can and Chanel Piggy Bank (pictured below).
Tags: Alexander McQueen, Art, Designers, Fashion Week, Inspiration, Photography, Retail
While Georgia O’Keeffe may have pioneered deer-art, so to speak, artists and fashion designers alike have been embracing the woodsy animal for a few seasons now. An ode to deer can be seen on the runways of McQueen dating back to the mid-nineties and have continued through to today – mainly in the world of accessory design. Artists from Japanese sculptor Kohei Nawa and sculptor Sherrie Levine to photographer Ryan McGinley have taken notice and featured the rustic animal in their respective mediums.
I have recently fallen for the work of Ryan McGinley. Although I think his use of color and natural light is what makes his photographs so stunning, there was something about this black and white (pictured below) that captured my attention. Maybe it is the simplicity of the image or the striking resemblance – in the most flattering way – between India and the fawn. Beautiful.
McGinley even cast Bambi to star alongside Sigrid Agren in his F/W 2009 ad campaign for Stella McCartney (pictured below).
Artist Sherrie Levine featured the skulls of two related animals – a steer and an antelope – in her series of skulls cast in bronze, while jewelry designer Aurélie Bidermann accomplished a similar look – for one of my favorite pieces in her collection – using a taurus head.
From Left: Steer Skull, Horned, 2002 by Sherrie Levine – Aurélie Bidermann’s Wild West Taurus Ring – Antelope Skull, 2006 by Sherrie Levine
Alexander McQueen was a longtime patron of deer and antlers. He first paid homage to the animal by way of a Phillip Tracy headpiece in his F/W 1996-97 collection, Dante. Then, for F/W 1997-98, he sent out a horn-blazer in It’s a Jungle Out There and almost ten years later, for F/W 2006-07, one of his most celebrate looks from Widows of Culloden was an entirely lace and ruffle gown complete with a veil held in place by antlers (all pictured below).
My love of deer this season can in large part be attributed to the seven bags below. Proenza Shouler, Lanvin and Alexander Wang all utilized the unique, sometimes spotted fur in their FW 2012 accessory collections. It is hard to choose a favorite although I have had my sights set on the black clutch by Proenza since first spotting furry the beauty in Barneys.
1. Proenza Schouler’s Large Chieko Gazelle Clutch
2. Proenza Schouler’s Large Chieko Deer Clutch
3. Proenza Schouler’s Large Chieko Gazelle Clutch
4. Lanvin’s Patchwork Shearling East/West Folding Bag
5. Alexander Wang’s Pelican Calf Hair Clutch Bag
6. Alexander Wang’s Pelican Natural Deer Hair Clutch Bag
7. Proenza Schouler’s Akira Gazelle Bowler Bag
Thursday evening marked Bergdorf Goodman’s one-hundred-and-eleventh anniversary soirée. Today, Bergdorf’s is thought of as more than a retail store. When it came to honoring their past 111 years of ruling luxury in New York City, BG chose to celebrate at another iconic New York venue, The Plaza – the same place, in fact, that their fiftieth anniversary party was held sixty one years ago. While a lot has changed since its founding in 1901, The Bergdorf’s institution still lays claim to some of the most valuable real estate in New York City, with iconic windows spanning an entire city block on 5th avenue. The unveiling of their much-anticipated holiday windows is just a few weeks away, but I am hoping their over-the-top fete was an indication of the extravagance that is to come next month. The party was filled with Bergdrof’s friends, family, local and global vendors, models, celebrities, artists and everyone in between. As if my never-ending instagrams were not enough, see some of my additional photos from the perfect night of celebrating fashion!
There is no denying I love a good Prada moment. Whether worn by men, women and children or on mannequins behind glass partitions – a la Impossible Conversations – the genius of Miuccia Prada in the world of ready-to-wear is irrefutable. Through her quirky designs, Ms.Prada has forever changed the industry and has carved out a place for herself in fashion history – having impacted, as a female, how women today dress comparable in magnitude only to Coco Chanel.
Ms.Prada’s presence in fashion each season spans further than the Prada runway in Milan and Miu Miu in Paris. Her designs, past and present, dictate movements in fashion that have greater longevity than, say, “Red is the color for spring”. Her ability to withstand seasonal trends while spotting what the fashion world will be yearning for in a year or two and giving it to them in the present is the trait of a true fashion genius. Just you watch, in a few seasons everyone will be doing fur for spring and silver leather socks with split-toe boots. Regardless of whether designers have caught on to Ms.Prada’s ways, plenty fashion houses looked to past Prada collections for inspiration this season. For Spring/Summer 2013 we saw references through cut, fabric, color and pattern to Prada shows dating back six years. Take a look at a few of my favorites below…
It is hard to talk art and fashion and not mention one of the three Olympia’s above. Each has captured a niche in their specific field that has changed the industry over the past few seasons.
Few pieces are higher on my wish list right now than an Olympia Le-Tan book clutch (pictured below). The designer launched her namesake accessories label in 2009 combining her love for literature and embroidery. There are too many amazing options to choose from but the pieces are produced in such limited quantity the problem is tracking one down.
Charlotte Olympia, AKA Charlotte Dellal, is the queen of footwear. Her designs (pictured below) whether printed or solid, heels or flats are always whimsical in nature and have been embraced by the fashion elite.
This past September the two British-born accessory queens partnered together for a limited edition Charlotte’s Web-inspired collaboration. The footwear designer created a collection of pumps to go with Le-Tan’s embroidered clutch version of the book (pictured below).
The fashion and art worlds alike seem to be enamored by Swiss artist, Olympia Scarry. Scarry primarily works in large-scale sculptures, photographs and performance art and the occasional fashion piece – such as a project with the House of Dior (pictured below) which was part of a traveling exhibition that opened in Shanghai in 2011.
A few more works by Olympia Scarry…
Tags: Art, Designers, Fashion Week, Inspiration, Paris, The Art of...
I didn’t think there was any bit of surrealism left to reference in fashion, but leave it to Phoebe Philo to explore yet another fresh idea, fur heels – which have hardly been attempted since Elsa Schiaparelli’s 1938 Monkey Boots. Though reviews have been mixed regarding Philo’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection for Céline, I went gaga over her runway accessories because they are so clearly inspired by German-born, surrealist artist, Méret Oppenheim. Oppenheim’s most celebrated work, Object (pictured above) – consisting of a fur-lined teacup, saucer and spoon – is a sculpture from 1936 that now belongs to the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.
Céline SS13 Runway Heels
Whether you love or hate of the $4,000+ mink heels (pictured above) or sandals (pictured below), there is no denying that they have been the most talked about shoes to walk down any SS13 runway. The act of using a fur-lined utensil is an ode to excess and somewhat sexual like a woman’s high-heel, yet so grotesque, similar to the thought of those amazing shoes ever encountering the sidewalk, or – gasp – a nasty puddle amidst the rainy months of spring.
Céline SS13 Runway Sandals
Céline SS13 Runway Heels
The surrealist-inspiration didn’t stop at fur shoes, Philo also sent out red toenail-pumps with wooden heels (pictured above) that had to have been inspired by Oppenheim’s Fur Gloves With Wooden Fingers (pictured below), also from 1936. Yes, I know what you’re thinking, “But what about those toenail loafers Comme des Garçons launched just a few season’s back?” Those are yet another genius creation to come from the mind of Kooky-Kawakubo rather than a direct reference to Oppenehim’s Fur Gloves. But I like where your head is.
Philo is no stranger to wood. Some of my favorite looks to date from her time at Céline have been the three wooden ensembles she showed for Fall/Winter 2011 (pictured below)
Céline Fall/Winter 2011
Similarly, Kate and Laura Mulleavy also explored wooden fabrics for their Spring/Summer 2011 Rodarte collection.
On the topic of wood – and in keeping with the theme of German artists – I am so excited to final share these pieces by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani (pictured below). I discovered the duos’ work this past May at the Hamburger Bahnhof museum during my trip to Berlin and I have been waiting for the perfect opportunity to post them. I think their use of wood as opposed to canvas is innovative – to the extent of fur as opposed to leather – as refreshing. I love the simplicity of their etchings against the natural texture of the backdrop. Simply beautiful.
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani
Atelier Swarovski by Michael Kaplan – Spring/Summer 2011
In keeping with Swarovski’s century-long tradition of couture collaborations, in 2007 the House of Swarovski launched Atelier Swarovski. Atelier Swarovski is a luxury crystal accessories collection that partners with a new set of forward-thinking designers, artists and architects each season to each create a limited edition Atelier Swarovski capsule collection. Each season offers a variety of styles at a range of prices all in keeping with the individual designer’s aesthetic. You can shop the current collection online and see my favorite pieces from the last four seasons above and below.
Renowned costume designer Michael Kaplan is to thank for some of contemporary cinema’s most iconic characters. Kaplan has worked on films such as Blade Runner and Fight Club (both pictured above) among many others, and has partnered with Atelier Swarovski on a capsule jewelry collection. For Spring/Summer 2011 Kaplan turned to science fiction and fantasy for inspiration to create cut crystal and metalwork pieces (pictured above).
Arik Levy for Atelier Swarovski – Autumn/Winter 2011
Designer, artist, architect and filmmaker Arik Levy worked with Atelier Swarovski on a set of pieces for Autumn/Winter 2011. Levy’s multidimensional skill set and artistic style led him to create a ‘RockCrater’ collection that explored the natural world through jewelry with exposed crystal-encrusted interiors.
Atelier Swarovski by Zaldy – Spring/Summer 2012
Famed costume designer Zaldy has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger and the Scissor Sisters and has designed two collections with Atelier Swarovski. His first, for Spring/Summer 2012, focused on the form of dynamic concave and convex shapes all made of baguette crystals.
Atelier Swarovski by Greg Lynn – Autumn/Winter 2012
Architect Greg Lynn worked with Atelier Swarovski on their most recent set of collaborations for Autumn/Winter 2012. He is celebrated for breaking boundaries through unconventional architectural figures and his debut jewelry collection plays with the idea of old and new, setting clusters of raw stones in smooth, contoured forms.
Atelier Swarovski by Hariri & Hariri – Autumn/Winter 2012
Architects Hariri & Hariri’s sensual modernism aesthetic has been celebrated through their conceptual, residential, commercial and institutional projects but never before through jewelry. Their Parametric Collection for Atelier Swarovski plays with the relationship of nature and technology similar to their architectural designs; you will find countless similar shapes and lines when comparing the two.
Atelier Swarovski by Kostas Murkudis – Autumn/Winter 2012
Designer Kostas Murkudis designs for an edgy, sophisticated woman. For Autumn/Winter 2012 his use of bullet shape settings serves as the perfect contrast to the beautiful colored crystals and beads to offer a hard, feminine feel.
We’re approaching the end of fashion month and while spring ready-to-wear trends have taken shape, one thing is for sure in the world of accessories, SS13 is the season for Donald Judd-inspired footwear. Famed minimalist sculptor Donald Judd’s most celebrated body of work, Stacks (pictured above) uses spare geometric forms to create a unified whole, similar to the cutouts of his boot counterparts. Judd depends on blank space to inhabit the nature of his work just as the boots below rely on the wearer’s foot and leg to maintain appropriate form.
Few designers have attempted a proper gladiator sandal since Mr.Lagerfeld nailed the style in his 2007 Chanel resort collection – a shoe that my mother made clear was entirely inappropriate for a fourteen year old to own yet I yearned for nonetheless. It seems to me that spring/summer 2013 is my season for footwear redemption. In addition to a pair of the boots below all you need is Alexander Wang’s SS13 look 27 and fingers full of Repossi’s Berbère rings to truly do Judd justice.
Acne spring/summer 2013
Alexander Wang spring/summer 2013
Altuzarra spring/summer 2013
Edun spring/summer 2013
Jean Paul Gaultier spring/summer 2013
Narciso Rodriguez spring/summer 2013
Proenza Schouler spring/summer 2013
Rebecca Minkoff spring/summer 2013
Roberto Cavalli spring/summer 2013
Versace spring/summer 2013