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!
Artists across multiple mediums have explored portraiture at points in their careers. The subjects depicted in such works often say as much as the resulting image. Just as designers find inspiration in their contemporaries, artists oftentimes look towards each other for stimulation.
Andy Warhol’s famous Polaroids have captured fellow creative’s from Roy Lichtenstein to Basquiat while Julian Schnabel has in turn painted Warhol in a dark, slightly abstract portrait. Robert Mapplethorpe was a favorite subject of his contemporaries while he himself found inspiration in fellow artists from Warhol and Keith Haring to Cindy Sherman. Ms.Sherman has recently been a subject for Chuck Close, while in the past Chuck was brought to life on canvas by painter Eric Fischl. David Hockney has been painted by both Elizabeth Peyton and Lucien Freud, while one of my favorite photographers, Thomas Struth, captured Gerhard Richter with his wife and children in a family portrait. Modern pop-artist Darcel Disappoints has made caricatures of everyone from Aurel Schmidt to Jeff Koons while KAWS was a subject of Takashi Murakami’s recent series of portraits. The ever-expanding list begs the question of who will be next…
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.
The day has finally come for the Brooklyn Artists Ball and the third and final group of artists that I was lucky enough to speak with who are designing a table for this evening’s festivities is Brooklyn-based duo, FAILE. I am a huge fan of street art and when it comes to the contemporary movement, FAILE are world-wide leaders. Though their work is often exhibited in non-traditional art contexts, their creative process begins much like that of any other artist, with image making; “Whether we’re working on a theme or series or just individual pieces, it all begins with images, pattern and language. Once, we’ve created this visual vocabulary to pull from, these works become the basis for the paintings, printmaking and sculpture.” In the end, their collection of pieced-together images is, “Akin to an urban tapestry where you’re left with fragments of the city – pieces of image and typography that create new narrative meaning through abstraction and juxtaposition.”
FAILE’s art is able to build a heightened connection with the observer oftentimes because of its placement in atypical settings; “Much of that originally comes from working on the street and directly connecting to people in public spaces, that parlays into exposure through social media and hopefully popular culture as a whole.” Their success in doing so is, in part, because of their ability to force onlookers to see somewhat familiar images in an entirely new light, “Also I think the combination of many recognizable elements in a work that all come together to create a greater whole is something that resonates with people in today’s world.”
Although their original creation for the Brooklyn Artists Ball may not be displayed on the streets of New York, they are using familiar design techniques, nonetheless; “Our table at the Brooklyn Museum is based of a style of wood paintings we’ve been doing for a few years now. It really is this combination of many individual painted wood works that create this larger assemblage.” Their inclusion of their trademark quilt-like patterning and, Prayer Wheels – that they started creating in 2008 – “That stem from the question: “What do we pray for in a modern society?” are sure to speak to their artistic aesthetic.
Ultimately, the project for the museum not only makes sense for the pair as artists, but also as individuals, “The Brooklyn Museum represents the part of New York that we call home. It’s basically in our backyard and really feels like it promotes the part of the city that we connect with most. It’s the museum we bring our kids to, and the museum that has inspired us with many amazing shows over the years.” This special bond is one that I can’t wait to see play out this evening at the party and after-party. I hope to see you all there!
When it comes to fashion it feels like the past three runway seasons designers have been emphasizing the art of layering and mixing of patterns. For Fall/Winter 2013 Jeremy Scott and J.W.Anderson, in particular, took the FAILE route through their use of colorful, segmented patters and visual patchwork/overlays. FAILE-like graphics command as much attention walking down the runway as they do hanging buildings or sculptures. Hopefully some street art-lovers will sport similar trends once these looks hit stores in the fall.
Tags: Art, Collaborations, Designers, Fall/Winter 2013, Inspiration, New York, Parties
The second artist in my three-part lead up to Wednesday’s Brooklyn Artist Ball is Alison Elizabeth Taylor. Alison, like Njideka Akunyilli, is designing a table for the evening inspired by the “encyclopedic collection of the Brooklyn Museum.” She will be, “Riffing on various artworks, by abstracting details and fragments into minimal contours and forms.” Then, incorporating her trademark style, she will, “recreate them in marquetry, a medium that usually appears in a museum as a decorative flourish on a princely piece of furniture, in this installation it will be used to interpret a variety of works from many different cultures and eras into a common visual language.” Her admiration for the diversity of the museum’s collection is evident in her well thought-out design and inclusion of others’ works as part of her own.
Oftentimes the most refreshing, forward thinking designs have classical elements – take the fashion world’s revisiting of the single-sole pump, longer hemlines and a more tailored take on feminism; i.e. The New Look-esque construction as shown by Raf Simons at Dior. Just as Ms.Taylor’s use of a classic technique like marquetry helps in creating a unified vision across each of her projects, there are designers who utilize classics season after season to produce a collection that ultimately looks modern and fresh. For fall 2013 Belstaff, The Row and Hermès all utilized classic construction and shapes to produce collections that felt remarkable modern.
First, Belstaff has resurrected their four-pocket jacket in a big way, showing that the classic design has universal appeal for both men and women. Their fall 2013 show was all about elevating staples through texture, color and minute modifications.
Although The Row hasn’t yet amassed an archive similar in scale Belstaff, Mary-Kate and Ashley utilized the same classic tailoring techniques that their clothes will undoubtedly inspire a few years down the line. They challenged themselves in construction of common shapes like the blazer as well as Asian-inspired cuts that have found their way into their collections the past few seasons.
Lastly, Hèrmes – one of my favorite Fall/Winter 2013 shows – a house that specializes leather goods, utilized their trademark skin in every possible way on the runway. Hèrmes designer Christophe Lemaire looked to the brand’s history as masters of cut and craftsmanship to put out one of the most modern looking collections of the Fall/Winter 2013 season.
Just as the weather is warming up leave it to Daphne Guinness to bring the water that one typically finds at the beach or pool into a studio. Last week as the city was getting progressively hotter instgram was on fire with the latest collaboration between Ms. Guinness and photographer Nick Knight.
The two played with the concept of water, transforming the liquid into a solid with the help of designer Iris Van Herpen. For this project, Knight began by photographing the fashion icon as she was being splashed with black and clear water. The resulting images were then passed on to Van Herpen to reference and bring the liquid to life in dress form.
In an effort to make sense to one of the world’s most unpredictable elements, the three joined forces in a project they are calling Splash! Following the initial studio session and the completion of the garment, Knight will shoot Guinness wearing the water-dress, which will then be on display at SHOWcabinet starting in June, and the project will come to a final culmination this fall at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. For more information regarding Splash! click here.
Lately I have been digging deep into the world of video art, which prompted me to rediscover Proenza Schouler’s promotional video, Desert Tide, this weekend. Desert Tide (shown below) was released in November 2012 featuring animated versions of looks from their internet-inspired spring/summer 2013 collection. While the SS13 show, in particular, lends itself extremely well to animation, looking back at past collections I wish they had explored video in spring/summer 2010, collaborating with one of my favorites in the field, Takeshi Murata.
Murata’s work, Cone Eater, from 2004 is a 4-minute abstract digital video (pictured above) featuring a kaleidoscope-esque stream of colors and symmetrical images similar to the patterns used in Proenza’s spring 2010 collection (pictured below).
In the hope that they will continue producing promotional videos there is no better artist to collaborate with for their fall 2013 collection (pictured below) filled with winter white than Jordan Wolfson.
Wolfson’s 22-minute 2009 animation, Con Leche, features milk-filled diet coke bottles marching around abandoned Detroit sidewalks (pictured below). The hand drawn cartoons juxtaposed against raw footage of Detroit, is the perfect compliment to Proenza’s downtown meets uptown aesthetic. Fingers crossed that a collaboration is in the works!
Tags: Art, Collaborations, Designers, Louis Vuitton, New York, Paris, Retail, Street Art
It is hard not to applaud Louis Vuitton for their continuous support of the art world through their never-ending string of collaborations. Despite their mod spring/summer 2013 runway collection, their latest set of partnerships is anything but that. The Parisian house has tapped into the world of street art releasing a limited addition collection of four scarves designed by three graffiti artists – Os Gêmeos, Aiko and RETNA.
Otavio and Gustavo Pandolfo, known as Os Gêmeos, are identical twin brother from São Paulo, Brazil. Their work often features a slew of yellow-skinned characters and in keeping with their signature style (pictured below) the two developed a yellow sun and moon mosaic, signifying equilibrium and balance, for their silk square scarf.
Aiko, a Japanese-born and Brooklyn-based street artist, is known for fusing the old with the new (pictured below). Her scarf features a mix of traditional Japanese icons juxtaposed with contemporary, pop-art elements – one of which being Louis Vuitton’s renowned cheetah print.
RETNA, who has been on the street art scene since the mid-1990s and is based out of California, takes influence from ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics as well as Arabic, Hebrew and Asian calligraphy (pictured below). His cashmere and silk stole, available in two color ways, features his interpretation of the Louis Vuitton motif in his signature style.
It is not the first time RETNA has worked with the fashion house. In October 2012 the artist made his way to Miami to transform the façade of Louis Vuitton’s temporary space in the design district (pictured below).
Louis Vuitton isn’t the only commonality these three artists share. Os Gêmeos, RETNA and Aiko have all had the honor of exhibiting their work on the Bowery Mural Wall located at the corner of Bowery and Houston in New York City – Os Gêmeos in 2009, RETNA in spring 2012 and Aiko just after in July. Currently, the wall is displaying the work of street artists and twin brothers How & Nosm; maybe there will even be a LV scarf of theirs to come!
All four scarves are available through February at select LV stores and online.
The holiday season is well under way and with Christmas next week this is sure to be a busy weekend for last-minute shoppers. For all those present-procrastinators out these I have put together a list of my favorite gifts I have found to give and receive this holiday season.
1. These Takashi Murakami pillows liven up any room and always put a smile on my face.
2. I am obsessed with Ray Geary’s Pill Studies that can be found at Grey Area in NYC. In a pair they make the perfect bookends.
3. Somehow I never knew that the trademark aroma of Colette, Paris was sold as a candle. Ironically, I discovered this while shopping at The Webster in Miami two weeks ago. I am typically not a candle lover but it is the perfect year-round scent.
4. I find myself lately using two or three small money pouches as opposed to a full size wallet. Comme des Garçons makes my favorite alternative and this new star pattern is at the top of my wish list.
5. KRINK‘s Steele Tip Paint Markets are fun to play around with and perfect to decorate holiday gifts.
6. I love collecting films to watch over my holiday break. This season a few on my list are Ai Weiwei’s Never Sorry, Marina Abromovic’s The Artist is Present, In the Mood for Love and The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover.
7. The limited edition Kiehl’s by Kenny Scharf collection is the perfect holiday update of all of my favorite products.
8. I used to love russian dolls as a child and I think these Lanvin ones are the perfect new addition to my collection.
9. As if Eddie Borgo‘s jewelry isn’t already amazing enough, he has outdone himself with his premiere collection of jewelry boxes. They are available online in thirteen different colors and skins, but grey and red croc are my top picks.
10. There is no better time during the year for new books than around the holidays. The Kate Moss book is a must-read as well as Terry Richardson’s Terrywood, and for any art-lover, Taschen’s Art of the 20th Century is a favorite of mine.
11. I am a sucker for patterned scarves, particularly during the cold winter months. Proenza Schouler recently launched a limited edition series of seven patters that are the perfect alternative to my favorite cheetah scarves by Louis Vuitton.
12. I am still obsessing over Olympia Le-Tan’s book-clutches; the pieces in her christmas series are the perfect accessories for the holiday season!
13. I have been longing for a Maison Michel hat or headpiece. Just One Eye has my favorite selection online.
14. Natalia Brilli makes the most amazing leather accessories. I have been eyeing her laptop sleeve and small travel bag.
15. I can’t wait to get my hands on one of these t-shirts or totes from Rop Van Mierlo’s collaboration with Marni. The animal portraits originally come from my favorite picture book by the Dutch illustrator, Wild Animals.
16. These motocycle pants by Belstaff have taken the place of my row leather leggings. They are perfect for any occasion, day or night, during the holidays.
17. Lisa Marie Fernandez bathing suits are my go-to for any vacation. I am obsessed with her black one piece and the collection she did in collaboration with Peter Pilotto.
18. Whose fashion team are you on? Les Plus Dorés t-shirts are the perfect present – I live in my Tisci T – and are now available online at V-Files.
It has bee just over a week since Balenciaga announced that their long-time creative director, Nicolas Ghesquiere, would be moving on. The announcement was harder for me to handle than living without power and water during the hurricane. Needless to say, I have increased my Balenciaga runway archive browsing since hearing the news. It was hard for me to choose favorites in each collection, but I managed to gather some top looks from every runway show dating back to Spring/Summer 2000 (all pictured above and below).
If there were anything that I wish Nicolas had done more of during his time at Balenciaga it would be artist collaborations. He has worked with French artist Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster on countless Balenciaga boutiques (pictured above) and who could forget Cindy Sherman’s portraits featuring looks from Fall/Winter 2007 (pictured below).
Judging by the clear Mondrian references in the video for Balenciaga’s Florabotanica perfume (pictured below), art is everywhere. While any hope of a Ghesquiere for Balenciaga x Wade Guyton partnership is long gone, his clothes will live on.