Tags: Art, Designers, Fashion Week, Inspiration, New York, Paris, Photography, The Art of...
Before I attempt to address some of the fall/winter 2013 fashions shown over the past month, there was one exciting trend that literally shined brighter – in Marc Jacob’s case – than the clothing on the runway. From Rodarte and Marc in New York, to Christian Dior and Chanel in Paris, fashion designers turned to art as the backdrop for their latest collections.
Kate and Laura’s Fall/Winter 2013 collection for Rodarte was my favorite of their’s to date. In addition to the perfectly layered looks and barbed wire accessories, their runway was scattered with Dan Flavin-esque light sculptures, the ideal compliments to a clean yet edgy show.
Marc Jacobs closed New York fashion week this season at the Lexington Avenue Armory with a groundbreaking collection, per usual, and an even more unbelievable backdrop. Marc took a cue from Danish artist Olafur Eliasson’s 2003 installation, The Weather Project, at London’s Tate Modern. Eliasson took over Turbine Hall at the Tate and installed a radiating yellow sun-like disk. In turn, Marc showed on a round runway amidst a yellow, glowing circular backdrop. The perfect sunset to the New York shows.
For Raf Simons’ second ready-to-wear collection for Christian Dior he drew inspiration from Andy Warhol’s fashion illustrations and devised a setting to compliment the delicately painted runway looks. Simons transformed the show’s backdrop with large shiny spheres similar to the legendary silver clouds that filled Warhol’s ever-famous factory.
To celebrate the 100th anniversary of Coco Chanel’s first boutique and Karl’s 30th year designing for the house, Mr.Lagerfeld went global. The spinning sphere amidst the Grand Palais was covered in Chanel flags, each signifying a modern-day Chanel boutique or retailer. While the globe may not have been directly linked to the work of photographer Andres Gursky, it brought me back to the ocean images in Gursky’s Satellite Series that were shown at Gagosian New York in the fall of 2011.
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: 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.
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.
I am always awestruck looking back at the hair and makeup in Jean Paul Gaultier runway shows. Between the hair top hats from Fall/Winter 2006 couture or the hair crowns that adorned a few lucky models’ heads walking in Gaultier’s Fall/Winter 2007 couture show, nothing screams couture quite like a custom hat or crown of hair.
Similarly, late Japanese pop artist Nagi Noda was made famous by her hair sculpture hats. The unisex headpieces were most notably featured in her AMAZING Poodle Workout Video and then in multiple collaborations thereafter. Noda’s animal hair hats is her most famous series, including a lion, bear, birds and a dog among many others.
Whether you wear a crown atop your head or are eating a bowl of hair spaghetti Nagi Noda-style, no one likes frizz. Luckily, Paul Mitchell’s Ultimate Wave Gel Cream (pictured below) is here for your hair’s every need. Beachy waves are no longer solely for the summer months but can now be achieved during the driest winter days thanks to a great product. There is nothing better than a head of texture-filled frizz-free hair all year round. Once you use Paul Mitchell’s Ultimate Wave Cream-Gel to achieve summer-like waves sans the beach it is time to go social. Submit a pic of your Curl Confession on facebook HERE or to twitter using the hashtag #curlconfession.
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…
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
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
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.
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…
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 Always major Givenchy…