Balmain Spring/Summer 2014

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!

Installation by Jean Pierre Raynaud

Louis Vuitton Spring/Summer 2014

Works by Pablo Picasso

Left: work by Horst P. Horst and Right: La Perla Spring/Summer 2014 campaign

Missoni Spring/Summer 2014

Works by Anish Kapoor

Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014

Left: Louise Dahl-Wolfe and Christian Dior Beauty Campaign

Portraits by Thomas Struth

Prada Spring/Summer 2014

Prada Spring/Summer 2014

Dior Spring/Summer 2014

I have returned to blogging with one of my favorite posts from last season – The Art of… A Runway Show. The spring/summer 2014 collections were filled with art references both in looks presented and the runway backdrops. Christian Dior, once again, makes the list thanks to Raf Simon’s enchanted secret garden with flowers hanging in a Hew Locke-fashion. Hedi Slimane brightened up the Saint Laurent runway with a series of suspended light sculptures similar in style to the work of artist Ivan Navarro. Dries Van Noten and Rodarte paid homage to my two favorite minimalists, Donald Judd and Dan Flavin, respectively. Dries lined his runway with a series of Judd-esque Stacks while Kate and Laura took a cue from their spring/summer 2013 show and scattered the runway, yet again, with Flavin’s neon light beams. Ricardo Tisci staged a car crash on the Givenchy runway similar to the work Short Cut, 2003, by Elmgreen and Dragset. Above the runway at Chloe hung a single gold inverted plate almost identical to Untitled, 2012, by Anish Kapoor while photos from Anya Hindmarch’s Cirque du Soleil-inspired show resembled James Rosenquist’s Multiple Universe works from 2012. Both Alexander Wang and Felipe Oliveira Baptista for Lacoste created backdrops mimicking Sol Lewitt’s Costruzione Cubica, 1971.

Lastly, this wouldn’t be a proper spring/summer 2014 art and fashion post without mentioning Prada and Chanel. This season Miuccia Prada commissioned street artists and illustrators to provide designs for the both the clothing and accessories as well as runway backdrop for Prada while at Chanel Karl Lagerfeld constructed his very own high fashion art gallery within the walls of the Grand Palais.

Excited to see who chooses an artistic setting to compliment the fall/winter 2014 collections in the weeks to come!

Left: Christian Dior Spring/Summer 2014 and Right: artwork by Hew Locke

Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 2014

Work by Ivan Navarro

Left: Dries Van Noten Spring/Summer 2014 and Right: work by Donald Judd

Left: Rodarte Spring/Summer 2014 and Right: work by Dan Flavin

Right: Givenchy Spring/Summer 2014 and Right: Short Cut, 2003 by Elmgreen and Dragset

Left: Chloe Spring/Summer 2014 and Right: Untitled, 2012, by Anish Kapoor

Left and Right: Anya Hindmarch Spring/Summer 2014 and Middle: James Rosenquist, 2012

Left: Alexander Wang Spring/Summer 2014 and Right: Lacoste Spring/Summer 2014

Sol Lewitt, Costruzione Cubica, 1971

Prada Spring/Summer 2014

Chanel Spring/Summer 2014

Dior Fall/Winter 2013

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).

Edouard Manet, Luncheon on the Grass, 1863

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.

Left: Maurizio Cattelan’s highline billboard and Right: KENZO Fall/Winter 2013

KENZO Fall/Winter 2013

Left: Robert Longo image and Right: McQ Fall/Winter 2013

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.

Lanvin Spring/Summer 2010

Bottega Veneta Fall/Winter 2010

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.

Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2007 by Marilyn Minter

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.

Tom Ford Fall/Winter 2007 by Marilyn Minter

Left: Rene Magritte, The False Mirror, 1928 and Right: Diane Von Furstenberg

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).

All work by Martin Munkacsi

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.

Prada Spring/Summer 2001

Prada Spring/Summer 2001

Prada Spring/Summer 2001

Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2013

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.

Rodarte Fall/Winter 2013

Dan Flavin

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.

Marc Jacobs Fall/Winter 2013

Olafur Eliasson

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.

Christian Dior Fall/Winter 2013

Andy Warhol’s 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.

Chanel Fall/Winter 2013

Andres Gursky

Andres Gursky

Appropriation - Proenza Planters
Proenza Schouler Planters, 2012

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).

Appropriation - Duchamp Readymades
From Left: Fountain, 1917 and L.H.O.O.Q., 1919, both works by Marcel Duchamp

Appropriation - Warhol Campbell's Soup Can
Campbell’s Soup Cans, 1962 by Andy Warhol

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).

Appropriation - Hirst Pills
Lullaby, the Seasons Spring, 2002 by Damien Hirst

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).

Appropriation - Alaia Trash Can
Alaia Trash Can, 2012

Appropriation - Chanel Piggy Bank
Chanel Piggy Bank, 2012

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Object by Méret Oppenheim
Object, 1936 by Meret Oppenheim

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.

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Celine SS13 Runway Heels
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.

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Celine SS13 Runway Flats
Céline SS13 Runway Sandals

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Celine SS13 Runway Heels
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.

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Fur Gloves with Wooden Fingers by Méret Oppenheim
Fur Gloves With Wooden Fingers, 1936 by Meret Oppenheim

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)

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Celine FW11
Céline Fall/Winter 2011

Similarly, Kate and Laura Mulleavy also explored wooden fabrics for their Spring/Summer 2011 Rodarte collection.

Spring/Summer 2011

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.

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Work by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Work by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Work by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

The Art of... Fur and Wood - Work by Nina Fischer and Maroan el Sani
Work by Nina Fischer & Maroan el Sani

The Art of... Paper - Gucci Cut and Craft
Gucci Cut & Craft Project – The Jackie, The New Bamboo and The Stirrup

This past summer Gucci decided to ‘go-green’ in the windows of their New York City Flagship store on 5th avenue. On display were three of their most iconic handbags – The Jackie, The New Bamboo and The Stirrup – in massive form made entirely out of recycled paper (pictured below). This window display garnered so much attention that Gucci launched a Cut & Craft contest on their Facebook Page. I was so intrigued by this project that I had to have a go at it. Gucci provides the stencils for these three iconic styles leaving it up to the individuals to color and construct. I, however, couldn’t find my crayons so I decided to dedicate each bag to a different artist and use their work as the foundation for each mini purse (pictured above). The Jackie (far left) is constructed using Andy Warhol’s camouflage prints, The New Bamboo (middle), is made of patterns by Ellsworth Kelly and The Stirrup (far right) is the work of Chicago-based artist, Dzine. Click HERE to fashion your own minis and a chance to win a spot on the cover of the Gucci Facebook page.

The Art of... Paper - Gucci Flagship
Gucci Flagship Store, New York City

Gucci isn’t the only fashion house exploring the art of paper, however. One of John Galliano’s most celebrated collections while at the House of Dior was for spring/summer 2007 couture, in which he was inspired by origami, the art of paper folding. Just a few seasons later, Karl Lagerfeld constructed an oasis of paper flowers as the backdrop for his spring/summer 2009 Chanel couture show. Each look in the entirely black and white collection was paired with a paper headpiece, ranging from delicate tiaras to a helmet of paper flower petals (pictured below).

The Art of... Paper - SS09 Chanel Couture
Spring/summer 2009 Chanel Couture

Marc Jacobs is known for providing an ever-present bridge between art and fashion. In this instance, that bridge happens to be made of paper and was part of the fantastical set artist Rachel Feinstein dreamed up for Jacobs’ fall/winter 2012 show. Feinstein collaborated with the designer on the dreary, Tim Burton-esque set (pictured below) made entirely out of construction paper as the backdrop for his fall, Anna Piaggi-inspired collection.

The Art of... Paper - Marc Jacobs FW12
Fall/winter 2012 Marc Jacobs

Photographer and sculptor Thomas Demand is a pioneer in exposing the art of paper. Demand’s photographs (pictured below) are merely the byproducts of weeks spent constructing full-scale sets out of paper and cardboard. His work is extraordinary; especially considering the life-size environments he erects are immediately destroyed after a photo is captured. In the right hands, paper has the power to transform. Now that I’ve completed the Gucci bags it’s time to start work on my dream setting…

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Studio, 1997
Studio, 1997 © Thomas Demand

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Control Room, 2011
Control Room, 2011 © Thomas Demand

The Art of... Paper - Thomas Demand, Junior Suite, 2012
Junior Suite, 2012 © Thomas Demand

The Art of... Couture
(Chanel and Maison Martin Margiela)

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…

The Art of... Couture

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 Art of... Couture

The Always major Givenchy

The Art of... Couture

A few more favorites from couture…

The Art of... Couture
(From Left: Jean Paul Gaultier, Christian Dior, Giambattista Valli and Jean Paul Gaultier)

The Art of Shopping

I’ve decided to start a category within Minnie Muse called The Art of… as yet another way to share some musings concerning everything art and fashion; and what better a time to launch than now that Spring 12 sale season has begun. Sure, there are some basic shopping tips that every one, even online shopping armatures, should know – such as taking advantage of sites like Polyvore and ShopStyle come sale time– but there is one trick that I discovered that revolutionized internet shopping for me.

When looking back on my quest in Spring 2010 to try and track down Alexander Wang’s much-coveted cheetah wedges, I realize how tricky the Internet can be. I remember finding the spotted pieces of perfection on during English class one morning. Within minutes the shoes were sold out and the light at the end of the football-dome shaped tunnel (keeping with the theme of Wang’s SS10 show) was slowly fading. That story has a happy ending but I was put in a similar situation this past January when finding my dream belt by Isabel Marant on Net-a-Porter. It was a few days into the start of the sale and my size was already gone. Although I was checking daily to see if anyone had made a return, nothing had changed. It wasn’t until my trip to Europe later in the month that the belt became mine. When I logged on to the Internet in Paris to check Net-a-Porter, unbeknownst to me, my computer recognized I was over seas and thus connected me to the European Net-a-Porter site. Not only did I find my belt in the correct size, but a few other key pieces that had been sold out in the states for weeks. What a simple change that could, and did, make all the difference.

Since then I have been making sure to check on occasion to see if they carry anything major in Europe that wasn’t bought for – or is available in – the states. Now that sale time has commenced on both the US and International site, I thought it time to share my little trick with my readers. There are still plenty of pieces of perfection available here and in the newly launched European sale on Net-a-Porter, so act fast and happy shopping.

Here is a quick tutorial on how to change your location:
Begin by signing into you account and clicking on your current location in the upper left hand corner…

The Art of Shopping

Click on the International Site drop down menu…

The Art of Shopping

Choose your country and begin browsing…

The Art of Shopping