A new batch of campaigns has hit print which means its time for The Art of… Advertising – Spring/Summer 2014 edition. Last season top honors went to Dior for recreating Edouard Manet’s 1863 masterpiece, Luncheon on the Grass, while spring belongs to Balmain for the obvious ode to the late Jean Pierre Raynaud. Marc’s ultimate Louis Vuitton collection was photographed on his favorite muses in what appeared to be an Irving Penn-esque take on Picasso’s Blue Period while La Perla took a cue from another great, Horst P. Horst, and referenced his most famous corset image. The Missoni ads used a similar backdrop as this season’s Chloe runway show, but rather an orange and blue version of Anish Kapoor’s circular sky plates. A season of advertisements would not be complete without two of fashion’s favorite references, George Longo and Louise Dahl-Wolfe. Saint Laurent and Dior Beauty, respectively, filled the void this season with strikingly obvious odes. Last but not least, my favorite campaign goes to Prada who took the concept of Thomas Struth’s family portraits to greater heights. I want to be part of Miuccia’s wacky, colorful, gem-encrusted art family.
And while the references may not have been as obvious as the campaigns pictured above and below, honorable mention goes to Kenzo, Miu Miu, Dior and Alexander McQueen. The Kenzo campaign was yet again done in collaboration with Toilet Paper Magazine and art directed by the amazing Maurizio Cattelan and Pierpaolo Ferrari. Miu Miu’s girls this season gave off an Egon Schiele vibe while the Dior ads placed models atop a sea of Magritte-like clouds. Lastly, the McQueen ads were shot by Steven Klein and had Kate the Great posing with a matching Barbie which brought the concept of Laurie Simmons’ doll series to a new level. Excited to see what is to come of the fall 2014 shows and subsequent campaigns!
In the spirit of Throwback Thursdays, Thursdays on Minnie Muse are now devoted to rediscovering some of fashion’s favorite collections in a series of posts dubbed The Vault. It only feels right to launch The Vault with VOSS, the spring/summer 2001 show by the king of the runway, Alexander McQueen.
VOSS was the collection where some of McQueen’s most celebrated looks and mind-blowing accessories made their runway debut; from the razor-clam dress and mussel shell pieces to the red and black feather and medical slide dress. Not to mention, some key elements of the collection – menswear, feathers, and exaggerated silhouettes – are as relevant today as they were when they walked the runway in 2000. Even the staging has been copied; such was the case at Prabal Gurung’s spring 2014 runway show where models were presented inside a transparent, box-like structure that was strikingly similar to the setup of VOSS. A fashion lovers fantasy world.
August is underway meaning that any day now September fashion issues the size of telephone books will be hitting newsstands. Last year I shed light on editorial content vs. ad pages and, while I can imagine 2013 will be much of the same, something excites me about what I have seen thus far on the fall/winter ad circuit. More designers have taken inspiration from art for their latest set of campaigns.
For starters, Inez and Vinoodh captured Raf Simmons’ fall 2013 collection for Dior and one image in particular (pictured above) was a direct reference to Edouard Manet’s 1863 masterpiece, Luncheon on the Grass (below).
While Dior took inspiration from the past, at KENZO, Carol Lim and Huberto Leon enlisted the help of present-day artist Maurizio Cattelan to think up a fantastic, surrealist-inspired campaign.
Similarly, one of fashion’s ‘go-to’ artists, Robert Longo, is once again invading fashion magazines by way of the McQ campaign (above). In the past, Lanvin showed Longo-inspired images for spring/summer 2010 while the following season the entire Bottega Veneta campaign was shot Longo-style.
In the past, fashion houses have partnered with artists to produce original editorial content. Cindy Sherman is always the premier example of the intersection of art and fashion; take her post card series for Comme des Garçons in 1994 or her Marc Jacobs advertisements in 2006. Rather than a brand using an artist to promote a collaboration between the two creative forces, it is most intriguing when designers seek out artists to highlight their existing products.
Taking this philosophy and looking back at past year’s fashion advertisements, Tom Ford’s fall/winter 2007 campaign by Marilyn Minter immediately comes to mind. The images represented the Tom Ford brand through the eyes of Marilyn Minter – pure genius.
Just last year Diane Von Furstenberg showed a series of surrealist ads for spring/summer 2012 with countless references to the work of Salvador Dali and Rene Magritte (above).
Last but not least, my favorite ode to an artist was Prada’s spring/summer 2001 ad campaign inspired by the amazing Martin Munkacsi (the same man who captured the puddle jumper in 1934, well before Avadon). Munkacsi was famous for his high-energy, identifiable images when, at the time, almost all fashion photographs were being shot on a large format camera inside a studio. His series of beach photographs from the late 1920’s to early 1930’s are still some of his most celebrated to date and served as the inspiration behind Ms.Prada’s spring/summer campaign.
Is imitation truly the highest form of flattery? Or is it merely a lack of originality? Another couture season has come and gone, this time, with countless designers referencing their contemporaries in a big way. It wasn’t a pattern here or appliqué there, however many houses took direct inspiration from the past, similar to how Joseph Altuzarra famously paid homage to Tom Ford’s fall/winter 2003 ready-to-wear Gucci show for fall/winter 2010. Looking at this most recent couture season, Raf Simons’ global collection for Dior showed a few undeniable similarities to Pheobe Philo’s FW 2012 collection for Céline while Giambattista Valli also looked to FW ’12 and mimicked much of what Sarah Burton showed that season at Alexander McQueen. The first show of the week, Versace, relied on classic underpinnings to serve as the basis on a majority of the looks much like Jason Wu did for spring/summer 2013 and this season, Jean Paul Gaultier sent his bride down in the runway in a gown almost identical to the final few looks in Viktor & Rolf’s spring/summer 2011 show. Similarly, the Dutch duo made subtle references to past collections by the equally avant-garde Rei Kawakubo for their premier couture presentation. Seeing as how this season marked the return of the house of Schiaparelli, maybe designers took that as their cue to make this couture season all about taking something old and making it new again.
Odore di Femmina – Ecto, 2012 (Image courtesy of Galerie Perrotin & Johan Creten. Photograph by Guillaume Ziccarelli)
I was first introduced to the work of sculptor Johan Creten last month when visiting Galerie Perrotin in Paris. Ironically, that same evening I had the pleasure of sitting next to monsieur Creten at the Sidaction Gala. Johan is of Belgium decent but currently resides and works in Paris. His ceramic sculptures have been widely exhibited in major cities and galleries around the world – his show at Perrotin will be up through the 23rd of February. While Johan’s work spans a variety of subject matters, I am particularly drawn to his series of female torsos. Though the torsos themselves are odorless, Johan’s decision to use certain flowers and colors is to allude to a woman’s natural scent.
Odore de Femmina – Strands, 2010 (Images courtesy of Galerie Perrotin & Johan Creten. Photographs by Guillaume Ziccarelli)
Camelia – 2007 (Left) and Torso – Shanghai Gold (Right)
Although Johan’s work resides in a number of Chanel boutiques across the world – such as a sculptures made of white ceramic camellia flowers in Beverly Hills and a rose gold-plated bronze piece in Shanghai (pictured above) – his torso’s remind me so much of the intricate bodices’ of certain Alexander McQueen gowns (pictured below). Johan began constructing his series of flower torsos in the late nineties, preceding McQueen’s work of a similar style, but still fun to compare nonetheless!
Alexander McQueen – ‘Voss’ Spring/Summer 2001
Alexander McQueen – ‘Sarabande’ Spring/Summer 2007
Alexander McQueen – Spring/Summer 2011
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
Then (2002) and Now (Photo by Nicolas Guevara)
Before Riccardo Tisci launched the massively successful Great White-T at Givenchy I was rocking sea creature-inspired t-shirts from my local aquarium. Yes, that blonde bombshell in the upper left hand photo is Minnie Muse circa 2002, just moments after putting the final staple into my very own homemade hammerhead. Just recently did I trade in the massive six-foot long paper shark sculpture for a more manageable pair of Givenchy’s Shark Lock Fold Over Wedge Boots. I am proud to say my love of sharks dates back to the late 90s, even before Tisci made Great Whites the ‘it’ animal for fall.
The fact of the matter is that as of late it seems both the art and fashion worlds alike have been bitten by a Great White. While Damien Hirst’s 1991 work The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living (pictured below) featuring a 14-foot Tiger Shark preserved in formaldehyde may be historically the most celebrated example of ‘shark art’ countless other artists have explored the underwater creatures since.
In 2003, towards the end of François-Xavier Lalanne’s life, the famous French duo, Les Lalanne, unveiled a collection of painted bronze sharks ranging in size from petite to life size (pictured above). The world of street art is not missing out either thanks to the work of cantstopgoodboy. The California-based artist has adapted his acrylic and mixed media techniques in a series of shark-driven works (pictured below). Lastly, New York-based artist Cordy Ryman’s work Shark Fin Soup (pictured two below) is amongst the lot of works being auctioned off at Dallas’ 2×2 for Aids and Art benefit in October.
Shark Attack !@#$ (1) and Shark Attack !@#$ (2) by cantstopgoodboy
Although Givenchy spearheaded the shark-trend in fashion, countless other ready-to-wear and accessory designers have turned to these same sea dwellers for inspiration. Check out my shark-inspired must haves below…
1. Petite Fin Stud Earrings by Dezso by Sarah Beltran
2. Single Shark’s Tooth Necklace and Multi-Shark’s Tooth Necklace both by Aurélie Bidermann
3. Bear Trap Bangle by Eddie Borgo
4. Shark’s Teeth Skull Ring by Alexander McQueen
5. Shark-print Sweatshirt by Givenchy
6. Gold Nophobia Double Bite Shark Tooth Cuff by Tom Binns
7. Gold Shark’s Tooth Pendant Necklace and Black Ponyhair Mini Shark’s Tooth Pendant Necklace both by Givenchy
8. Shark Teeth Skull-Clasp Clutch by Alexander McQueen
9. Gold Baby Shark Tooth Necklace by Dezso by Sarah Beltran
10. Shark Tooth Tanzanite Earrings by Dezso by Sarah Beltran
11. Large Shark Tooth Closure Shoulder Bag by Givenchy
12. Brown Shark Lock Leather Bracelet and Orange Shark Lock Leather Bracelet both by Givenchy
13. Bronze Shark Teeth Print Shirt by Paul Smith
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
Comme des Garçons FW09 over a Damien Hirst butterfly background.
Tags: Alexander McQueen, Art, Designers, New York, Parties, Photography
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…
Tags: Alexander McQueen, Art, Daphne Guinness, Designers, New York, Parties, Photography
I hope you have seen the Daphne Guinness exhibit at FIT already, but in the event you haven’t, I hope these photographs make you want to go. Even if you have already walked through, you’re in need of a re-visit. I have never been in the presence of so much couture before, there isn’t even this much shown in Paris in January and July. Ok, maybe that’s a bit of an overstatement, but it is not an exaggeration to say that Daphne’s clothing collection is truly extraordinary. I remember back to last August when I was interviewing her and she described the process she and Valerie Steele -Director of the Museum at FIT- went through to curate the exhibit. The roughly 100 looks were styled by Ms.Guinness in one sitting during a trip to her clothing archive. Once you get past being in utter disbelief that a single woman can own such exquisite garments, you see the garments for what they truly are, pieces of art. I was pleasantly surprised to discover the wearability of her collection. Yes, the practical pieces were offset by some Gareth Pugh madness, but it was refreshing to see a classic, black velvet Alaia gown or Chanel jacket amidst the craziness that is couture. The exhibit is on display at the Museum at FIT until January 7th – appropriately, my birthday. I think that is some sort of sign. I don’t quite know yet what it indicates, but it has to mean something… Please go see it and let me know what you think!