“My images are meant to straddle a strange line, where illusion becomes delusion, fact is fiction, and the conscious merges with the unconscious. Dreams become real, the real becomes a dream, the dead is alive, the alive dead,” says the photographer Roger Ballen, who lives in works in South Africa, in a video accompanying his new book, Ballenesque.
Some time ago in Tallinn, Estonia, I went to a Depeche Mode bar. That such a thing exists is emblematic of the deeply devoted fan following that the band has commanded since its inception. That Depeche Mode is a phenomenon that is hard describe is old news – it’s essentially a pop band that has blundered into the zeitgeist, instinctively grasped it and has held it tight to its chest for decades, more often than not not knowing exactly how or why. Depeche Mode is simultaneously surface and depth, lightness and darkness, seriousness and silliness. Its range of work runs from the cringe-inducing to awe-inspiring. It’s a band that has often been bewildered by its wild success, one whose members who for the first time knew they had a sure hit in “Enjoy The Silence,” ten years after they began making music. In other words, Depeche Mode is a band that despite its mostly electronic sound is quintessentially human. Perhaps this is why the world has been so generous to it, so patient with its failures, and so richly rewarding in its successes. Not to mention that the band’s influence on electronic music, from techno to industrial, cannot be underestimated, but that’s a whole different story.
In the following Op-Ed we examine why fashion criticism will always matter.
I am going to assume that you are into fashion photography, and if you are, I am going to assume that you undoubtedly know the groundbreaking work of the French photographer Guy Bourdin. And even if you don’t know the name, you’ve seen the photos, the sexy without being cheap, the playful without being tacky images in which color burst off the page, the perspective questioned the conventional wisdom of your line of sight, and the careful staging let you know that photography is way, way more complicated than simply pressing a shutter button.
This past summer Raf Simons held a show in New York City’s Chinatown that was ostensibly based on the movie Blade Runner. The presentation had plenty of Runner-esque elements; the darkness, the wetness were reflected in the umbrellas and the raincoats that Simons showed. But there was one element in the collection that made no sense at all – the New Order and Joy Division graphics that Simons used liberally throughout have nothing to do with Ridley Scott’s iconic sci-fi film, at least nothing I could discern. Simons showed the same graphics by Peter Saville, whom he is friends with, that he showed in his seminal Fall/Winter 2003 collection, “Closer, “ named after a Joy Divison album.
The Brooklyn-born artist Robert Longo began drawing in charcoal in December 1999.
Undercover by Jun Takahashi and TAKAHIROMIYASHITATheSoloist will be the next Guest Designers at the Pitti Uomo fair in Florence in January 2018. To celebrate their friendship and mutual respect for their work the two designers will stage back-to-back shows on November 18th in a yet-undisclosed location. For more, please read my breaking news article on Business of Fashion.
Chances are you have not heard of Studio KO unless you keep a very close ear to the ground when it comes to architecture.
Don’t have weekend plans yet? This Sunday the Belgian designer Dries Van Noten will be speaking at the New Yorker Festival in New York City with the New Yorker writer Dana Goodyear. Tickets are still available at the link below. And, yes, we will be there.
New York Fashion Week has become such a dispiriting spectacle of banality and celebrity entertainment that I did not go a single show. So, on to Paris, the home of real design, or, more accurately, a place where real design is shown.