Tags: Art, Couture, Designers, Fall/Winter 2013, Fashion Week, Inspiration, New York, Paris, Photography, Retail
Miu Miu Spring/Summer 2011 and Roy Lichtenstein’s Wall Explosion II, 1965
While the spring/summer 2014 fashion season is well underway, nothing shown thus far is sure to stick in consumers’ minds for the next six months until the collections are available for purchase.
For fall 2013, top honors went to Tom Ford’s explosive appliqués that, regardless of their commercial appeal, made quite the impact. The buzz surrounding Mr.Ford’s fall collection could have been in part due to it being his first full-scale runway show since his return to womenswear, however his designs impressed nonetheless. The evening looks, complete with Lichtenstein-eque explosions, are featured in the Tom Ford fall ad campaign and have graced the pages of countless high fashion editorials since their runway debut. Looking back, it was Miuccia Prada who used a similar in-your-face approach to ready-to-wear for spring/summer 2011 with her firecracker leather skirts and jackets at Miu Miu (pictured above).
Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2013 Advertisement
Soon after, Phillip Lim made an even more obvious ode to Lichtenstein for pre-fall 2012, mimicking the pop artist’s famous style similar to how Spanish pop art team, Equipo Cronica, has done in the past.
3.1 Phillip Lim Pre-Fall 2012 and Equipo Cronica’s Guernica, 1971
For fall/winter 2009 couture, Karl Lagerfeld took a more abstract approach to fireworks and explosions at Chanel. Two standout looks from the collection bared striking similarities to the works by artists Wassily Kandinsky and Robert Delaunay; entitled Squares with Concentric Circles, 1913, and Le Premier Disque, 134 cm, 52.7 inches, 1912-13, respectively.
Lastly, no reference to explosive fashion would be complete without mentioning Christopher Kane’s 2010 resort collection. The atomic bomb dresses and separates were unforgettable and almost identical to images in Robert Longo’s series of charcoal, bomb drawings, The Sickness of Reason.
No matter what the season – fall, resort, spring or pre-fall – ready-to-wear or couture, designers are more than capable of making an impact. Now it is your turn spring/summer 2014, wow us.
Christopher Kane Resort 2010 and Atomic Bomb charcoal drawing by Robert Longo
Tags: Art, Designers, Fall/Winter 2013, Fashion Week, New York, Paris, Photography, Retail
The fall 2013 shopping season is well under way. Collections shown almost six months ago are finally hitting stores and available for purchase. In an effort to re-familiarize myself with pre-fall I have been flipping through shows style.com and noticed a pattern amongst the collections. Designers from Narciso Rodriguez to Erdem as well as Parisian houses like Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior showed multiple, if not all, of their 2013 pre-fall looks in pairs.
This latest pre-fall development is hardly the first time the fashion world has experienced the impact of a twosome. Could this trend have come about as a result of the continuing success of designer pairs from Dolce & Gabbana and Viktor & Rolf, to Valentino’s Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli? Just this past June the CFDA awards for womenswear designer of the year and the Swarovski award for womenswear were presented to American duos Proenza Shoulder and Suno, respectively, and in 2012 Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen were awarded top honors for The Row.
The art world, however, recognized the power of pairs far before John Galliano sent obscure couples down the runway for his namesake spring/summer 2006 ready-to-wear show and prior to Lagerfeld’s double bride finale for Chanel spring/summer 2013 couture.
Artists such as Dan Flavin and Donald Judd as well as Peter Fischli & David Weiss began collaborating in the 1970s while modern day duos from Elmgreen and Dragset to Kelley Walker and Wade Guyton have made names for themselves as twosomes.
Countless solo artists have explored the concept of duality within their personal work. One of photographer Diane Arbus’ most celebrated images – Identical Twins, Roselle, New Jersey, 1967 – famously depicts identical young females and by happenchance began a cultural revolution; is it said that the pair were the inspiration behind the twins in Stanley Kubrick’s surrealist horror film, The Shining. Arbus herself even worked in collaboration with her husband, Allan, although he is rarely mentioned.
Likewise, more contemporary female photographers, from Sarah Jones to Cindy Sherman, have embraced twosomes in their individual work; the latter elevated her trademark self-portraits during the photo-shop revolution of the early 2000’s and began appearing multiple times in one image.
Regardless of seasonal trends, fashion and art duos continue to prove themselves unstoppable.
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.
Tags: Art, Designers, Fall/Winter 2013, Inspiration, New York, Paris
Art by Kehinde Wiley, inspired by Givenchy Fall/Winter 2013
Looking back at the Minnie Muse archive, one of my all-time favorite posts to date is Between The Lines from April 2012. It was through the Between The Lines coloring book that I was first introduced to the unbelievable organization RxArt all while rediscovering one of my favorite pastimes as a child, coloring. This year, I once again flipped through the pages of Between The Lines and chose different works to color using the fall/winter 2013 collections as my inspiration. My self-constructed fantasy land includes Givenchy’s FW13 runway hair in form of a baseball cap, a Rodarte rose garden and tie-dye sky, a Jeremy Scott-patterned Giraffe and some sultry/gothic Thom Browne-inspired Murakami flowers. What a world it would be…
Art by Marc Swanson, inspired by Miu Miu Fall/Winter 2013
Art by Mike Bayne, inspired by Rodarte Fall/Winter 2013
Art by Tom Slaughter, inspired by Jeremy Scott Fall/Winter 2013
Art by Ben Jones, inspired by Fendi Fall/Winter 2013
Art by Nicholas Digenova, inspired by Comme des Garçons Fall/Winter 2013
Art by Takashi Murakami, inspired by Thom Browne Fall/Winter 2013
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.
Happy 4th of July to all! This year I took a slightly more patriotic route than my makeshift Chanel Fireworks from 2012 and reconstructed Jasper John’s favorite flag out of red, white and blue runway looks. Behold, my fashion flag. A special thanks to designers who show blue jean-on-blue jean, head-to-toe white for spring and to Mr.Valentino for pronouncing red his signature color all those years ago; I couldn’t have done it without you. Here’s to independence and monochromatic dressing. Have a fashionable 4th!
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.
Tags: Art, Designers, Fall/Winter 2013, Inspiration, Interviews, New York, Parties, Photography
Work by Njideka Akunyili
I was initially attracted to Njideka’s work because of its collage-like imagery. Her ability to mix patterns and images all while putting a strong focus on a single color-way gives her work an added dimension. Her creative process is an extensive one, often, “Beginning each piece from one of such varied points of inspiration, [she] approaches different facets of themes [she] has been investigating for several years. Next, [she] does multiple initial sketches to plan the overall compositional shapes, rhythm, value and colors of the piece.”
The most defining characteristic of her work is, “The synergy between its form and content. [She] transfers photographic images of Nigeria into larger painted compositions in order to create a space that fluctuates between traditional Western perspectival illusion and a flat picture plane. This flux recapitulates the phenomenon of syncretism and the people who live in this third space of constant negotiation and fluidity.”
Her tremendous support of the Brooklyn Museum is evident through her involvement in the event and the high praises she gives the art institution. In her words, “It is a museum that has something for everyone and speaks to the diversity of Brooklyn, as evidenced by its exhibition Connecting Cultures: A World in Brooklyn. The museum does a laudable job of engaging and celebrating Brooklyn artists through the Raw/Cooked program, the recent Go Brooklyn open studios and the Artist Ball.” The constant mix of iconic pieces by both young and established artists is the perfect compliment to Njideka’s continuous efforts to incorporate elements that are both old and new into her work.
Like the very museum she is honoring next Wednesday, Njideka’s table design for the evening blurs the line between the past and present while breaking down cultural boundaries. Her table, Compound Transplant, “Was inspired by a striking display of plastic containers for sale along the side of a highway in Eastern Nigeria [… and] evokes themes of cultural fluidity and globalization by restaging features characteristic of Nigerian houses and roadside retail stalls.”
Immediately upon seeing Njideka’s work, two fall 2013 collections came to mind – Junya Watanabe and Givenchy. First, Junya Watanabe’s on account of his always effortless mix of contrasting patterns and textures. Both Akunyili and Watanabe play with layering – Junya on the body and Njideka on a canvas – and often counterbalance extensive use of patterns with bold, bright, solid colors.
Work by Njideka Akunyili
Of Njideka’s work featured, I am most drawn to those that bare monochromatic qualities. Her two paintings below – one primarily red and one yellow – resemble two of the color stories Ricardo Tisci played with for fall. Both sets of looks and Njideka’s paintings get a majority of their depth through the mixing of complex patterns and a strong focus on a single color way. Can’t wait to see which runway looks are perfect compliments to her table design come Wednesday!
Work by Njideka Akunyili
Work by Njideka Akunyili
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.
Tags: Art, Designers, Inspiration, Interviews, New York, Proenza Schouler, Retail
Bergdorf Goodman is the epitome of luxury, located on one of the busiest blocks in New York City and most iconic corners of any city in the world. When I was a young girl the first thing I would make my mom do each visit to New York was take me over to Bergdorf’s to see what the fantastical window displays had in store. Like the always-ornate windows sprawling the 5th Avenue storefront, Bergdorf’s is more than just about fashion. From a shopper’s perspective, no other retailer in New York, let alone the world, provides the same experience as one gets at Bergdorf Goodman. As a retailer, BG transports shoppers to a fashion wonderland that doesn’t feel like a store; take the homey-vibe of the second floor shoe salon or the BG restaurant on 7 that seems like a mere extension of your own dining room. Luckily, the retail powerhouse is now moving from its trademark location of the past 111 years and onto the big screen.
Filmmaker Matthew Miele has been working on the documentary – appropriately entitled, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf’s – for over two years. Over the course of several months Miele interviewed everyone from fashion legends such as Iris Apfel to actors, socialites and countless of Bergdorf’s top vendors – from established, international fashion gods like Karl Lagerfeld and Giorgio Armani to members of New York’s new guard such as Thakoon, the Proenza boys and the Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen. I saw a rough cut of the film in September but after six additional months of editing the completed piece is finally coming to New York theatres on May 3rd.
My favorite storyline of the film has to be the piece centered around one of Bergdorf’s unstoppable forces who is fairly unknown by the public – senior director of visual presentation, David Hoey. Matthew was lucky enough to get full access to Hoey and his creative team as they spent months designing and prepping the install of Bergdorf’s 2011 Holiday Windows – dubbed Carnival of Animals. There is nothing like the day right around Thanksgiving when the purple curtains come down and the windows are revealed. Crowds of people gather all day in the freezing cold to get a glimpse of each window’s opulence. The excitement transports me back to my childhood when I would make visits to store and not even go inside. There is no doubt a similarly enthusiastic crowed will be gathered around theatres come the film’s release in less than one month!