28 January 2011
25 January 2011
24 January 2011
Kirsten Dunst wore one of my favorite dresses of the year to the recent Art of Elysium Heaven Gala. The dress by Rodarte is an ethereal blend of colors, patterns, and textures: mint green mixed with jade and turquoise, heavy fabrics encased by soft satin, and bold prints balanced out by faded details. The Mulleavy Sisters are always quick to say that the idea for a dress came to them in a dream, but this beautiful frock looked like it truly was inspired by a heavenly deep slumber. Absolute perfection!
She can usually be found jet-setting around the world, staying in fabulous luxury hotels, and visiting the best of what the planet has to offer. This past weekend, however, Samantha Brown came to Columbus, Ohio. She spoke at the AAA Travel Expo, which was located downtown. My friend Leah, who is both a travel agent and avid traveler, invited me to attend the Expo with her.
20 January 2011
19 January 2011
Visitors to the new beauty website, "Into the Gloss," can be forgiven for thinking that the page resembles the clean, organized layout of that other fashion powerhouse website, Vogue.com, for the site was created by Vogue alumna, Emily Weiss. What makes Into the Gloss such a unique site is that it combines elements of beauty, style, and personal adornment with a high-fashion, yet relaxed feel. There aren't many websites run by individuals that can attract the likes of Sally Singer, Anna Della Russo, Karlie Kloss, Genevieve Jones, and Arizona Muse, just to name a few. Yet, Into the Gloss provides interviews, photos, and commentary from some of the fashion industry's leading professionals. I've also noticed that Derek Lam has commented on the site. Not too shabby, eh?
18 January 2011
17 January 2011
14 January 2011
After reading several very catty comments on personal style blogs like "What I Wore" (a terrific blog, by the way!), I started thinking about the role of criticism in fashion and the value of those opinions. Does every opinion matter? Can opinions carry factual statements with them? Can we qualify certain opinions above others? And does criticism add value to the canon of fashion, meaning does certain criticism cause us to look at fashion or art in a new way?
11 January 2011
One of my favorite new features on vogue.com is "Apt with LSD," where Lauren Santo Domingo takes readers inside the homes of such people as Amanda Brooks, Samantha Boardman, Coca Rocha, and now herself. This week's installment of the popular series included a look at the glamorous Flatiron loft of LSD and her husband, with photos by Vogue alumna Claiborne Swanson Frank.
10 January 2011
By now, I'm sure just about everyone has seen Tatler's February cover of Kate Middleton receiving, artistically, what has been dubbed "the Andy Warhol treatment." (I think the Daily Mail first came up with that one?) I googled the phrase "Kate Middleton Tatler cover" in images and was overwhelmed with a screen of Kate's lovely faces in pink, yellow, and green. This image is everywhere.
08 January 2011
The article that I look forward to every year in the Times is finally out: their round-up of the best places to visit for the year. For 2011, they have selected a combination of 41 up-and-coming destinations, familiar cities that are suddenly "hot" again, and some rather unexpected and exotic places. The cities they choose never fail to surprise me. Here are a few of the destinations that the NYT recommends travelers visit in 2011:
06 January 2011
In the future, I want to avoid re-posting articles that have already been published on the web, but this article on collecting fashion in Fashion Projects is just too important to miss. It also features commentary from some fashion heavy-hitters I truly admire (Valerie Steele, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada, and Amy de la Haye). Read and enjoy!
By Marco Pecorari
Fashion as ephemeral artwork is daily narrated in temporary exhibitions. As hosting institutions, museums have started questioning the way they react to this new dimension within the museum. Collecting dress is already a duty of ethnographic and decorative arts museums. But at the same time, these institutions are conceiving dress as social testimony, or serial object. In these museological contexts, the dress is hardly ever contextualized in its visual process of creation that coincides with a representation of contemporary fashion. In order to explore this topic more in depth, we talked to the curator Amy de la Haye, the Director of the Museum at FIT Valerie Steele, the director of the Galleria del Costume, Caterina Chiarelli and with fashion designers, Agatha Ruiz de la Prada and Antonio Marras.
Marco Pecorari: First of all, thanks for participating. Let’s start with an ‘easy’ issue: what’s the difference between fashion and costume? fashion museum and costume museum?
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada: We had to face this issue with Madrid’s costume museum when we propose to call it ‘Costume Museum’ but I guess, a fashion museum should cover more than mechanics and elements of fashion, such as representing fashion’s relation to society.
Antonio Marras: In my opinion, the gap is huge. Costume is identified as obsolete, retro and not contemporary. Fashion is escaping from this. Wrongly. Personally I love visiting costume museums.
Caterina Chiarelli: I love costume museums, too. But I think we should delimit costume museum to an ethnographic field, based more on the study of dress as a tradition than on its changing nature.
Amy de la Haye: Traditionally collections of dress and fashion were generically described as ‘costume’, a term that could embrace different kind of dress. It was inclusive. Fashion and the museum were not paired explicitly until the early 1970s when the V&A (London) and the Costume Institute at the Met (New York) started to actively embrace contemporary fashion. However, the terminology of museum collections and institutions has only started to change very recently to more accurately reflect the type of garments housed/exhibited and, where appropriate, to reflect growing interests in fashion and attract wider audiences.
MP: so that’s also a commercial side…
Valerie Steele: Yes. But I use the word “fashion” rather than “costume” because I want to emphasize that even in the past, people wore fashion – not fancy-dress costumes. The word “costume” should be restricted to theatrical/film costume or folk costume. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) is a fashion museum – meaning that we look at fashion, not as “art” (like in an art museum, where they tend to focus just on haute couture) or “history” (like a history museum, where clothing is used to document or illustrate other aspects of the past) but as a legitimate type of design that has both artistic and historical elements – and that has its own history.
CC: Very true. In my opinion, a fashion museum should exhibit the changing of this type of design, with more freedom.
MP: What kind of restrictions could a fashion museum have?
VS: There are restrictions on conservation and exposition of dress, and also from fashion designers and the fashion system in general….
MP: What kind of links should we have between fashion museums and the fashion system?
ARP: A museum is a place for exhibiting art, creativity, whereas the fashion commercial machine has to deal with money and productions…
VS: I don’t agree… I think that a fashion museum is a part of the fashion system. Fashion designers know that the museum is a medium (like runway, the fashion magazine and the department store) that presents fashion to the public. Therefore, designers seek to control exhibitions of their work: here’s one restriction which doesn’t have to be accepted by curators.
MP: An example is the one with Lagerfeld and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, in which case Lagerfeld’s interference caused the exhibition to be cancelled
AM: I’m a fashion designer and I would never dare to interfere in the interpretation of my work. I would put my self in the curator’s hands. I would consider it an honour.
dlH: It’s understandable. Designers in turn recognize that having their work represented in a museum collection provides cultural cachet today and will ensure their place in history in the future. But it’s not only that. Sometimes there are amazing connections made. When he had just launched his own label in London, John Galliano studied an 18th century man’s coat in the collection and presented his interpretation to the Collection as a gift. When fashion looks to history, the Museum can become especially relevant.
AM: Definitely. “fashion people” have very little memory and they don’t look at the past as much as they should, and museums could help close this gap, if they could provide an easy access…
MP: Many museums are starting to catalogue on line their collections, which would make for a lot easier access and would also be helpful in terms of conservation.
AM: Great. I think it would also be important to create a close relation between fashion designers factories and museums, in order to catalogue the most significant clothes, which are being produced. Just think about what we could have done in Italy: from Albino or Capucci to the first Max Mara and Romeo Gigli…
CC: Sure, we should promote this collaboration but we need also to be careful to not get too involved. The museum could end up becoming a company’s archive.
MP: Could fashion museums represent the new step in museology or influence it? A new form of museum?
dlH: We have to say two things about this. First, as we have trends in fashion there are also trends in fashion curation and in curation in general. Fashion curation has to be analyzed because it can be seen as an important step for the role of curators in museum. Second, we have to underline that fashion is one of the most immediately accessible of all museum collections. When I worked at the V&A I used to say that you could find your way to the Dress Gallery (which at the time showed a chronology of western fashion) blindfolded as it was the noisiest – everyone, all ages and both genders, had something to say and felt confident to express an opinion.
Clothing of all types is inextricably entwined with our biographies and we leave imprints on the clothes we wear.
VS: It’s true, but I also think that it’s too soon to know what fashion museums will ultimately contribute to museology as a whole. But we must strive to move beyond designer hagiography and crowd-pleasing displays of “pretty” dresses worn by celebrities.
CC: I do believe that a fashion museum is inherently different and has great potentials for the future of museums. It is a dynamic museum.
Amy de la Haye is reader in Fashion Curation and Material Culture London College of Fashion.Joint Course Director (with Judith Clark) M.A. Fashion Curation, London College of Fashion. Formerly Curator of 20th Century Dress at the Victoria & Albert Museum (1991-1999). She will publish a book (co-curated with Judith Clark) on Curating Fashion for Yale University Press.
Valerie Steele Ph.D., (Yale University) is Director and Chief Curator of The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT)
Caterina Chiarelli is Director of the Galleria del Costume – Palazzo Pitti di Firenze.
Antonio Marras is the designer of his own brand Antonio Marras and Artistic Director of Maison Kenzo
Agatha Ruiz de la Prada is a Madrid-base fashion designer
Marco Pecorari is completing his Phd in Contemporary Fashion Theory at the Centre for Fashion Studies – Stockholm University – with a thesis entitled “The Show is not Enough: new trajectories for reading contemporary fashion”. He writes for several fashion, arts and cultural independent magazines.
(**content and photo from fashionprojects.org**)
Much like the rest of the world, I have resolved to exercise and/ or eat well in the new year. Making the resolution to hit the gym was easy, but actually going is quite another thing. I, like 99% of the population, rather abhor working out and exercising. In order to keep my resolution (for whatever it's worth), I am going to turn to that most sophisticated and chic sport that was recently made popular again by Natalie Portman's stand-out performance in "Black Swan." Yes, I am referring to ballet.
05 January 2011
04 January 2011
If you're not a member of the website Goodreads, I highly recommend that you join. This is currently the only social networking site that I use and it is a fantastic site with multiple social and intellectual benefits. Goodreads allows you to share the books that you have read, are currently reading, and want to read. There are also literary quizzes, polls, lists, reviews, ratings, and other networking possibilities. In my opinion, it's a much better way to spend one's time than trolling on those other social networking sites.