Thursday, April 19, 2012
Friday, April 29, 2011
And my opinion on Kate's dress? Absolutely perfect. It just represented everything a Royal Dress should be. It exuded class. It was refined and elegant. I loved the simplicity of the skirt, the weight of the train. Her veil framed her face beautifully. It was exquisitely made. It looked unusual and traditional all at once. To learn more about the dress's construction I highly recommend checking out this post from NYmag.
Although most fashion insiders agreed that her dress was 'da bomb', apparently not everyone agrees. For example, here's what Daniel Orszewski, a 31 year old head of styling for Top Shop, had to say during his conversation with "The Times" Christine Haughney:
Hmm...black Union Jack t-shirt? Royal lession number one Kate: you can't please everybody.
(He)...leaned back in his booth at G-A-Y Bar, sipped champagne and expressed his concerns about Ms. Middleton's fashion choice saying that the dress was too plain. "I thought Pippa looked better," he said while dressed in a tight black Union Jack t-shirt.
Monday, April 18, 2011
Saturday, April 9, 2011
The first is Sheila Hicks, showing in Philly at the Institute of Contemporary Art. Here the artist is exhibiting 50 years of her work. Her work seamlessly merges the disciplines of art, design, and crafts. She works with objects as unconventional as toothpicks, razor-clam shells, rubber bands and hair. According the New York Times it was a picture of Peruvian mummy bundles that ignited Ms. Hicks’s interest in textiles. Later, she studied under Josef Albers (of Bauhaus fame). When took her home to meet his wife, Anni, the renown Bauhaus weaver, her focus on what became her lives work was cemented. I find her work to unbelievably mysterious and beautiful.
Another artist who dappled in textiles has an exhibit that I am pining to see is Sonia Delauney at Cooper Hewitt. She is another artist who crossed boundaries. From goauche paintings, to textiles, to clothing created by her own atelier she was a veritable 1920's fashion sensation. Her exhibit is oddly prescient considering all the art deco motifs on current runways. I think the series of pictures below show beautifully how she could create a gouache painting, then turn that into a textile, which would later be created into a garment.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
One of the few good things that now disgraced designer John Galliano has brought to the forefront is the importance of the petites mains, the people who physically create the clothes in an atelier. They are an integral, but usually hidden, part of the fashion presentations each season. When it was decided it was they rather than he who should take a bow at the end of his Fall 2011 presentation last week it may have marked the first time in fashion that this important group of people were applauded post-show.
This is important to note since it ties in with an an emergence of an era where the artisan (as in the person who makes the object) is just as important as the designer. It also ties with foodie culture, where there has been a similar shift. Educated consumers now want closer ties to their producer in almost all areas of production. This consumer wants to consume a more individualized, ethically source object. Constantly in fashion I see the following words repeated: artisan, artisan details, family-owned and produced, hand-made. The "hands" that produce the designs are now just as important as the person who conceptualizes the project.
Some designers following suit with this model are Osborn Design , Edith E. Miller t-shirts, and Suno Clothing. These designers, among other things, are emphasizing the hand-made, and making an attempt to connect with local economies through their design work. For example, at Osborn design their mission is "to do good with design". One way they accomplish that is by teaming with local artisans in Guatemala to manufacture their shoes. To quote their website "Each shoe is signed by its maker, as a testament to the sense of pride for the maker, as well as its wearer." Osborn is stating themselves that knowing who makes their objects is obviously should be a source of pride to their end consumer. Their business model also connects the consumer with the source of their product.
Also, there is Edith E. Miller t-shirts, who makes tees from a family-owned factory in Pennsylvania, and designer Logan Neitzal who proudly hand-stitches each of the leather pieces in eponymous line himself. The line Suno has been developing an atelier in a remote area of Kenya, and working with communities in India. The examples are countless, and they mark the next wave of ambitious young designers slated to influence fashion. I also see a correlation with the continued success of Etsy, the one of the first purveyors of "handmade goods". They were one of the originals who emphasized knowing who is producing the products you buy.
Photo of Mary's Grange Hall, center of social life for young farmers in Oregon, picture Leah Nash for the NyTimes.
These businesses all serve as alternative models to large-scale production, and reflect the future of fashion. Who is going to replace Galliano? No one knows, but one can be sure it will continue to be the artisans in his atelier doing much of the work.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I loved Missoni's use of snakeskin.
Prada, of course, scored the fashion double whammy with Art Deco and snakeskin.
Versus by Versace proves it's still hip to be square
Also of interest is a return to a certain type of formality, pulled together, perfectly matched, prim and proper, suits. Maybe old lady, yes, but I love it. As far as new ideas, this old one seems as fresh to me as ideas go. Both Donna Karan with her Grace Kelly inspired collection and Jean Paul Gaultier totally seemed to understand this. I felt as if it was a reference to an old-fashioned sort of glam that I would like to see returned to fashion. How far can we take this era of casual dress, jeans and t-shirts?
And lets not forget Stella McCartney, who reinvents power dressing with her version of the masculine/feminine mix:
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I recently watched Kate Bush's "The Line, The Cross, & The Curve" and and can't get over the prescience of Kate Bush. Those of you who aren't familiar with Kate Bush's short film it is basically an extended video in which a frustrated singer dancer is enticed by Miranda Richardson's character to wear her red shoes. The shoes then take on a life of their own, and take Kate on a wild journey. There are many fashion "yes" moments through out the video, starting below with these stills that capture the mystery of the red shoes:
Excerpt from opening song Rubberband Girl below. It's very cool and 80's, I love the work out wear on Kate and the cool band in the back. Definitely play and listen to as you read the rest of my post:
Her final scene, African Dancers amongst luscious fruit, predicates the fruit-as-fashion trend seen on Spring 2011 runways. Not bad for a video Kate later called "a load of bollocks " according to Tom Doyle's 2005 article in the Guardian. Although lo-fi, I found the video to be a weird and wonderful expression for her music and love this scene. It's admittedly a bit wacky, but the colors are sensational. The mix of the graphic fruit with African textiles make for a bold visual choice. And needless to say I love the print on her dress:
And if you think you couldn't interpret this into high fashion, Prada proves you wrong:
Kate Bush is such a genius seamlessly combines dance, music, and fashion and film into a unforgettable experience and is clearly years ahead of her time.
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Sunday, February 13, 2011
My source reported a profusion of hand embroidery and hand stitched lace backstage at Jason Wu this season. Each piece for Fall 2011 contained intricate details. Pictures above are backstage shots with Jourdan Dunn and Karlie Kloss, a picture of the model card, and a shot of the lace head pieces worn in the show. Thanks so much to my source, who I haven't named to protect his privacy. What a great glimpse into the behind the scenes stuff that make these shows so great!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
At the Honey Exhibition opening at Liloeve gallery on Grand Street this weekend and saw some amazing works. The gallery was small and intimate, and tinged with an air of exotica. Candles burned and orchid displays perched in the corners gave the gallery an almost jungley sorta vibe. The exhibit included well curated work from some of my favorite designers (including Lara Kurtzman and Skye Phaebl) as well as other fine artists. As I am a fan when all the arts combine I was especially excited to see this belly dancer there. It was an unexpected surprise, and the way she managed to writhe, contort, and shake her body in time to the music was a splendid sight. I especially loved the crescendo at the end with candles on her head (lower picture). And what color did she choose to wear? Why, pink of course!
Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Just in time for Valentines day magazines covers barrage us with pink and I kind of love it. Never has the taupey shades of pink out there on the market felt more right. After a recession full of beige this feminine color provides a sweet relief. Among the covers that featured pink details were Art News, House Beautiful, and Lucky.
This time I agree that this is a color with momentum, unlike last year when they selected turquoise (yikes).
Pink has been inspiring me too. Some Pink things that have gotten my juices flowing lately: