Monday, January 31, 2011

Interview With Andrew Jeffrey Wright

Tees That Are Just Too Good

Rose Luardo and Crystal Kovacs model t-shirts here, and embody how Andrew would look if only he was a girl.

I was so excited when I saw artist Andrew Jeffrey Wright's most recent art project, hilarious and wearable t-shirts, replete with one of the most awesome photo shoots I've seen in a while. with fellow artists Crystal Kovacs and Rose Luardo. I am always watching how fashion and art combine and this is a great example. In the spirit of full disclosure I must admit I know Andrew personally, and have been an admirer for a long time. I used to live with his girlfriend, and during visits I would often be there to say good bye as he left. One morning as he was leaving I noticed he was wearing bright red parachute pants with a matching red t-shirt.

It was blazing hot that day, and in the sunshine the outfit turned into one of the brightest florescent reds I have ever seen. He proceeded to ride off (via bike) through one of the most notorious ghettos in Philadelphia. Most people may think riding through a ghetto completely aglow in florescent red parachute pants is a bad idea, but Andrew did not. I'm sure made it home unscathed based on his good looks alone. A few years later I saw Penelope Cruz wearing almost the same outfit. Believe me when I say it: this guy is legions ahead of his time. He's also a killer d.j. and can out dance any fool. I encourage you to check out any of his current projects if you are prepared to be delighted and amazed. I was privileged enough to get this short interview with him. Read below:

I love these t-shirts. What inspired you to create wearable art?
I've been screen printing my own t-shirts since I was in high school. My art takes form in a lot of different ways. Sometimes I make a painting that would also be interesting as something you wear. It's like having the t-shirt version of a play or band or movie you like, but the t-shirt is also an end and it's own piece of art. You don't have to know the shirt image is also a painting. I also make shirts that only work as shirts. That is usually my favorite type of t-shirt to make, one that makes sense only as a t-shirt. Like if t-shirts didn't exist the concept could not be communicated effectively.

How are they made? Do you screen them yourself? How much time does the process take (from concept to creation)?
The shirts I sell on are all designed and screen printed by me. I don't know how long it takes to create a t-shirt. I've never timed it. The amount of time does vary with each design. When I print them I usually have an intern help me to cut down on printing time.

The photos I saw on Facebook look amazing! I love how you got Rose (Luardo) and Crystal (Kovacs) to model for you (also members of 1026, right?). Would you say they both act as your muse? How does that play into the art you create?
I'm glad you you like the shirts. Crystal is a Space 1026 member and Rose is part of the friends and family contingent. Rose has been around 1026 since near the beginning. I would definitely say Crystal and Rose both act as my muse. I love the art that comes out of both of them and I love making stuff with them. Rose and I perform and make videos together as The New Dreamz ( and we host Comedy Dreamz ( together which is a comedy night in Philly that has a dance crew called Body Dreamz and Crystal dances in that crew. Crystal and I also draw and have art shows together among other things. I really enjoyed making the t-shirt photos with Rose and Crystal. Modeling is performing, it's putting on a show. Rose and Crystal look like what I would want to look like if I was a girl.
I know you do comedy as well. How is that going? What other projects are next for you, comedy or otherwise? Any upcoming events you want to plug while we're at it?
Comedy is fun. I have opened up on tour for Man Man, Sweatheart and Narwhalz of Sound. I opened for Lighting Bolt and Rose and I have opened for Fred Armisen. It is so much fun. Comedy become a part of my art output a few years back and now it is as important to me as making zines and drawing and painting. I have my first solo LA art show coming up in June at THIS LA ( The show will be titled DOWN FOR WHATEVER FOREVER. When I am out there Rose and I are going to do a mini LA comedy tour.

Where are t-shirts sold? How can my readers get their hands on them?
The best way to get them is this link: Thanks!

No--thank you Andrew! ;)
Ok, so I know it's corny to admit that you like butterflies, but I'm corny and admitting it. Any-hoo, felt really inspired by this photo on NPR so I created this color story, replete with Pantone chips. You can go and appreciate in secret, I won't tell anyone you were looking at butterflies.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Rodarte For Black Swan

I was impressed with the visual aspect of the costumes for Black Swan, and I am now even more impressed with the workmanship. Here is a video I found on New York Times today detailing the work Rodarte did on the costumes, which were all made by hand. Where ever do they find the time to create such beauty?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Spring 2011 Couture: The Recession Is Over and Dior Brings the New Look Back!

Even though it's not the end of a war, as when Dior created the new look, reports do recently say the recession is over. Galliano reacted by ending our own self-imposed austerity and creating full, vivacious looks for the runway. Galliano sent models swishing down in miles of tulle said to be representantive of the work of René Gruau, Christian Dior's original illustrator. Ahhh, yes, Spring is in the air. I can feel it now, in the breeze from the rustle of the layers and layers of floaty chiffon Galliano used on the runways. See a typical example, below:

Christian Dior by John Galliano, photo Style.Com

And Accessories...It's A Cinch:
And the accessory du jour? While many designers dared this season to send models down the runway with nary an accessory in sight (except for shoes, of course), the belt seemed to shift to center stage for those who dared to be different. Waists continue to be accentuated this season, and the belt provides no better way to do this. Definitely a trend I see reflected in RTW. I love the juxtaosition of something considered to be casual worked into couture. Observe below:

Alexis Mabille, Style.Com

Christian Dior, Photo From Style.Com

Bouchra Jarrar, photo Style.Com

Silouette: Lets Get Wasted:
Like previous seasons, emphasis seemed to stay firmly put on the waist. Karl Lagerfeld from Chanel was one of the few designers to diverge from this idea with examples of drop waist dresses reminiscent of the 60's. This style I felt may be suggestion of styles yet to come (after all, how many seasons can one look at look after look of high-waist styles?),and I felt it to be the most refreshing. Surely more than accentuated wasted styles are out there for dresses. Examples of one of Karl's drop-waist dresses is below:

Chanel, photo from Style.Com

And the favorite designer is: Givenchy
The collection from Roberto Tisci for Givenchy literally made me gasp in delight. Frothy whites were puncuation by raver brights, bringing modernity to an otherise staid pallette. Apparently the colors were inspired by dried flowers, which I completely don't see, but hey, the collection was amazing, so who am I to judge? He was one of the only designers to diverge from the normal pallette of pastelles, red, white, and black, and I just loved the route he decided to take.

Givenchy photo from Style.Com

According to the Givenchy collection was based on Kazuo Ohno, a Japanese dancer, and robots. What an delightful combination of influences! The collection took an unbelievable amount of work, up to 6,000 hourse for one dress, and the workmanship completely paid off:

All Pictures of Givenchy, from

Prints: Smear Campaign
Prints certainly weren't a focus in the shows, but the few I saw seemed to be polka-dots and florals blurred out, fuzzed out, and out of focus. A consistent theme, see some below:

Gaultier, Picture from Style.Com

Elie Saab, picture from Style.Com

Armani Privé, picture from

Color: What's Black, White, and Red all over?
Why, Spring 2011 Couture of course. What else did you think I was going to say?
The first thing I noticed this season was the shift in color from pale make-up colors and nudes to jewels and primaries. Black has returned (just as I was begining to really, really fall for neutrals, they disapear. C'est la vie.), and red slashes of reds intespresed with virginal whites were prevalant.

See this example from Boucha Jarrar:

Photo from Style.Com

Sure, there were still whispers of the clayed down, drab pastelles of yesteryear, but the shift to primaries was evident. Here is an example of how this was excecuted at Valentino, where they used pastelles to do a slow build to a bright red:

Photos from Style.Com

And not mentioned, but great and I had to share, was the collection from Armani Privé. According to the inspiration was gemstones, but what I saw was quite an alien effect. After reading a new article on the theory of parallel universes I felt sure Armani had visited one before creating this jewel of a collecton. A few photos from below:

I guess I must be on a Sci-Fi bender because the two collections with Sci-Fi influences (his and Givenchy) inspired me the most. His use of color is completely in line with the shift to primaries I saw repeated over and over. Also interesting was the prevalant use of leggings, here and also at Chanel and Galliano. I thought we would be moving away from this silouette, but I suppose I thought wrong. This is an excellent example of how street fashions trickle up into couture.

'Our Destiny Remains Our Choice'

Obama remains as poignant as ever during State of The Union Address...

Photo of Obama during the State of the Union address from, Brendan Smialowski/Getty Images.

It's no secret that I admire Obama and deeply respect the way he has commanded many of the hurdles during his presidency. Last night was no exception. During his State of the Union last night Obama made a number of profound statements that really spoke to me. These statements spoke of the current economic changes underfoot. According to today's New York Times one of the many things Obama did during his State of the Union was "challenge Americans to unleash their creative spirit...and come together around a common goal of outcompeting other nations..." Hell yes. It's about time someone said it.

Among all the hullaboo about jobs going to China, I can't help but think about how much we underestimate our abilities to create suitable employment for ourselves. It may not be the same types of jobs Americans have held before, but they are still respectable ways to make a living nonetheless. What I see rather than manufacturing is the emergence of the sole entrepreneur. This trend will be our comeuppance to out-compete China. While China is known for it's legions of cheap workers, it is also known for being short on innovation. This is the area where us Americans have a chance to succeed.

Photo of 2010 Bust Craftacular from Loop of the Loom blog.

This is a concept that can cross all social boundaries, classes, and education levels. You don't necessarily need a higher education to develop a skill and sell it. It can be as simple as making baked goods and using a website to advertise them. I will never argue higher education doesn't help, but I don't believe it to be necessary to succeed with this business model. This year I went to the Bust Craftacular, a one day craft fair that takes place in New York City in December, and saw many examples of this type of business model. Here, people who created things as simple as illustrated cards, soaps, and beaded jewelry sold it for a low over-head. Many folks left that day profitable. When I looked around that day I saw jobs that won't be outsourced to China.

I see the potential of employment for all if we stop focusing on what we have lost in manufacturing and learn to innovate. Instead of competition I see that more workers in China create a larger market for us to sell our products. Besides craft fairs, we almost every household now has access to the internet, our most powerful global selling tool. Obama is right, it is America's creativity that will save the day. Lets embrace the advantages globalization give us, and not what we have lost. It will be America's creativity be what that picks up the pieces of our fractured economy. I know we can do it. To quote Obama again, "Our destiny remains our choice".

Friday, January 21, 2011

I had this photo sitting around for a while and created another color story with, this time with Pantone chips. Photo is from, I unfortunately do not have the link any longer.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I loved the colors of this photograph found on today's

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

2011 Golden Globes

Nothing makes me swoon more than beautiful actresses strutting down a red carpet in even more beautiful gowns. Overall this season the actresses made terrific chooses with gowns. Silhouettes were a bit closer to the body this season and colors followed recent runway trends with the majority of the dresses in nudes and blushes (yawn on that). Fashion editors the world over heralded the display of emerald green, there was also blues and oranges worn to great effect. Notable dresses are below with pictures and a bit of my commentary. The photos are from

Catherine Zeta-Jones in Monique Lhullier. Great choice of color.

Megan Fox, I saw Transformers, and must admit I am starting to like you. Great Armani Prive dress. The fit is sophisticated, yet fresh, and I love this soft color on you.

Yvonne Strahovski in Pamela Rolland. One of a few actresses who chose blue. I love this soft grayed-down shade.

Love Katey Sagal's color choice for her custom Douglas Hannant gown.

Honorary member of the Secret Society whether she likes it or not, Tilda Swinton wore Jil Sander. Oh Tilda, you always delight and surprise. Nothing epitomizes the mood of current fashion sensibilities more than your minimalist cream and white gown. I love the play of the idea of a crisp white shirt turned into a dress. Tilda, will you marry me?

Olivia Wilde breaking the mold with one of the only full skirted skirts of the night. I love her Marchesa dress and her adventurous Christian Louboutin booties.

Nicole Kidman plays it safe in Prada sequins. I love the choice of cream as opposed to blush.

Close up of sequins. I know what you're thinking, and I, too, wish I could see that shoulder detail better.

Sorry Natalie. While I commend you for wearing the unusual and unexpected, I am not sure how I feel about your Victor and Rolf dress. That being said, tell Laura and Kate I said hi (more honorary members), and keep daring to be different. Better dress next time!

I love the color of Kyra Sedgwick's Emilio Pucci dress. I also love everything else about it, including the stunning way it accentuates her figure. Well done!

Julianne Moore wore a most controversial dress by Lanvin that I will defend to the death. I love her adventurous choice. She absolutely glows in this powerful color. The jeweled necklace balances the powerful shoulder beautifully, and I love the contrast of the jewels against the satin. It hugs her figure beautifully. My only gripe is the wrinkled skirt, which makes her look a bit disheveled, and makes you wonder if Alber Elbaz thought the dress all the way through. Still, that is the fault of the designer's fabric choice and not Julianne's.

Close up of the jeweled neckline. I still like it, even up close. And no, I don't care what you think.

I hate to rant and rave about Angeline Jolie since everyone always does, but I must say I simply loved her Atelier Versace dress. It was again refreshing to see such a powerful color against the sea of nudes. I love how she played on her sexiness in such an understated way. Although the dress offers a lot of coverage the neckline, powerful shoulders, and accented waist all play up her assets. Bravo Angie!

Scar-Jo in Elie Saab. Yawn. Getting sick of this Old Hollywood vibe she always has going on. Still, I the dress is quite pretty. I love the gentle flutter of the sleeve.

Dame Helen Mirren in Badgley Mishka. Great choice for her figure.

January Jones in Versace Atelier. Bravo for stepping out in red, the only red dress I saw that night. However, I have mixed feelings about this dress. I find the overt display of boobs a bit vulgar, but love the bandaging and fringed skirt. January, is there any way to see this dress without your boobies sticking out? Thanks. I'd appreciate that.