Current museum exhibitions can be good clues into what designers will be presenting come next season. This month, we selected the following art and design exhibits:
Vassily Kandinksy at the Centre Pompidou, Paris
A retrospective of Kandinsky's work in chronological order. 100 paintings, plus drawings and sketches from the three biggest collections of his work: the Pompidou, the Guggenheim in New York, and the Städtische Galerie im Lenbachhaus of Munich. As one of the first abstract painters of the 20th century, Kandinsky revolutionized modern art.
Expect designers to be inspired by his dynamism, energy, and strong primary colour palette. Abstract and graphic prints are evident as well.
The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
This fashion exhibition explores the relationship between high fashion and fashion models in the latter half of the 20th century. Model's such as Suzy Parker, Twiggy, Marisa Berenson, and Kate Moss were able to personify their eras. The connection of the model to the photographer, designer and society as a whole is expressed with reproductions of various iconographic fashion moments. These include the William Klein's 1966 movie Qui ête-vous, Polly Maggoo? and the Richard Prince and Marc Jacobs collaboration of masked nurses in Louis Vuitton.
Expect designers to be re-inspired by the supermodel of the late 80s, early 90s. Also, more homages to Alaïa, their favourite designer, whose work was scandalously absent from the exhibition.
Avedon Fashion 1944-2000 International Center of Photography, New York
Photographer Richard Avedon revolutionized fashion photography after the Second World War and was the first internationally renowned American fashion photographer. His style continues to be imitated today. There are 175 photographs on display from his work at Harper's Bazaar, Vogue, and The New Yorker.
Expect designers to be inspired by the energizing glamour of Avedon's photos. We're hoping for a homage to his 1995 New Yorker feature"In Memory of the Late Mr. and Mrs. Comfort” - a post-apocalyptic fashion story which would his last great narrative. Taking it in another direction, perhaps an ode to Audrey Hepburn's Funny Face where Fred Astaire's character was largely based on Avedon.
Stevie Nicks is another fashion icon that has had more than one great style period. Today, we would like to celebrate her during the early 80s, particularly her first solo tour in 1981, Bella Donna. At this time, Stevie was really embracing the ballet leotard + drape-y layer look. She wasn't wearing very much black, as she would later embrace, but rather lots of white and pink. We cannot stress enough the body-conscious jersey pieces (including legwarmers) mixed with kimonos, ponchos, shawls, etc. Bonus points if fringe was involved.
Wind was definitely her friend:
Stevie Nicks singing Wild Heart in her dressing room before a show in 1981:
Musical Act (and Fashion Darlings), Fritz Helder and The Phantoms have teamed up with Fashion Cares, ACT (AIDS Committee of Toronto) and 10 Toronto fashion designers to create Platinum: a line of special edition concert merchandise. Platinum will be auctioned off during their concert on May 22, 2009 in Toronto. A portion of the proceeds go to Fashion Cares and ACT. For more information and to check out the entire lookbook, go to their blog.
Our favourite pieces include:
Jeremy Laing's Swarovski crystal transfer t-shirt dresses inspired by skid-proof metal flooring.
Label's black tank dress with silk fringe and silver-plated chain attached to the neckline.
And just for fun, Fritz Helder and The Phantoms music video for Lagerfeld Lady, shot in Paris.
Octavia Saint Laurent passed away a few days ago. She was one of the stars of the 1990 documentary, Paris is Burning, so it seems fitting to post some of that documentary today.
Director Jennie Livingston spent seven years following and filming the underground New York scene of drag balls. These competitions, half beauty pageants, half dance contest, attracted young gay black and latino men to fulfill their glamour fantasies. Houses, or 'families' formed including House of Ninja, House of Xtravaganza and House of Saint Laurent. Octavia was the mother figure of the Saint Laurent group.
The film also documents the origins of 'voguing'. A style of dance that Madonna would adopt and record a song about.
The documentary really delves into the social issues these men face in America in the 1980s, and the envy they have of the rich white woman. Just look at some of the categories a ball would have: Town and Country, Executive Realness, High Fashion Eveningwear and Realness (looking as straight as possible). These men are very aware of the fact that they face a lot of difficulties in their society, and it's inspiring to see them find a forum to celebrate themselves.
Paris is Burning is on Youtube in it's entirety, or is available on DVD.
On The Cosby Show (1984 - 1992), Bill Cosby became a fashion icon for the sweaters he wore every episode, now commonly known as the 'Cosby Sweater'.
The sweaters were designed by Dutch fashion designer, Koos van den Akker. Koos himself says of the sweaters "that there is a very thin line between something awful and something of genius". Vice has an amazing interview with him in their 2009 Fashion Issue, as well as a Behind the Seams documentary on VBS. He's super cool, talking frankly about his creations.
Designer Katsuhiro Makino founded his label Aski Kataski in 2003 after receiving the Grand Prix at his graduation show at l'Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. He earlier attended renowned Tokyo school, Bunka Fashion College, earning many awards there that made his Parisian education possible.
His collection is based on the nostalgia for his childhood, a time that was spent in an old house by the sea in Japan. Sticking with mainly antique fabrics and trims, he creates romantic collections in muted colour stories. 'Classic' garments are revisited time after time: the motorcycle jacket, the corset, the artist's smock to name a few. The collection is entirely produced by hand in Katsu's Paris atelier.
Aski Kataski Fall 09 is titled "Les Elfes et Le Cordonnier" (The Elves and the Shoemaker)
Katsu answered the Glamour and Glitter questionnaire:
City/Cities?Paris and a little bit Japan, small seaside village…
Breakfast? Lunch? Dinner? Drinks? Homemade,usually at home. I am nearly always in front of my sewing machine, rarely go out except to the brocante (flea market) …
Dancing? I spend a lot of time with the sewing machine, dance with the needle…
Coffee? hand ground by a 1900's peugeot G2 hand grinder…
What do you do for fun? repair antique sewing machine use for my creation, play with my cat…
Where do you go to get inspiration? brocante in paris & the suburbs and my archive of antique materials…
Inspirational Images from Aski Kataski:
Aski Kataski Stockroom and Archive
Katsu's cat and his main sewing machine: a 1915 Singer 45K25