When the 30-year old Japanese designer Taichi Murakami was not yet a designer but a student in Tokyo, he worked at Lift, a multi-brand boutique in Daikyanyama that carries a lot of artisanal brands like Carol Christian Poell and m.a.+.
When Frederic Malle, the French perfumer who lives in New York, launched his brand, Editions du Parfums Frederic Malle, in 2000, he was set to fight an uphill battle.
If this past menswear season showed anything it was that the logo, that constant companion of fashion that periodically goes in and out of style, is now firmly back.
This Wednesday the first comprehensive retrospective of Raymond Pettibon’s work opened at the New Museum in New York. Pettibon’s name has been long familiar to all who have followed the Los Angeles punk scene.
Two weeks ago I met with Takahira Miyashita, the Japanese fashion designer of the mens brand TAKAHIRAMIYASHITATheSoloist. Miyashita’s original brand Number (N)ine made a mark on men’s fashion during the past decade when menswear was at its height in terms of reinterpreting youth culture.
When last year the Belgian designer Raf Simons was finally officially appointed as the creative director of Calvin Klein, the American brand known for its minimalist aesthetic, the fashion world was elated, and those of us in New York doubly so. The New York fashion scene has long been starved of creative talent of Simons’s caliber.
It seems somewhat silly to write about fashion these days, given the disgraceful political situation in the US, and I’ve probably had more conversations about the Orangutan in the Oval Office than about fashion proper over the week I spent in Paris. But, write I must, and so here are my impressions of a season that was mostly flat and that made me think that menswear is just spinning its wheels.
Five years ago, a colleague of mine told me about a young Belgian designer in New York who worked at RLX, the Ralph Lauren’s technical sportswear collection, and who was showing his first collection under his name at his apartment. I made an appointment, which got derailed by a blizzard. The designer’s name was Tim Coppens, and though we didn’t meet then, I have closely followed evolution of his work.
Last month Joe Corre, the son of Malcom McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, publicly burned his punk memorabilia collection (and, of course, told the world about it), for the umpteenth time declaring that punk is dead. The month before the publisher Rizzoli released a new book simply titled SEX PISTOLS, essentially begging to differ. The 320-page tome holds as many photographs documenting the meteoric rise and crash and burn of the seminal English punk band. Besides the photos of the band, there are many pictures of the now iconic Sex Pistols DIY concert posters and other graphics, as well as correspondence and song lyrics.
If art is supposed to reflect the world around us, than the American artist Robert Rauschenberg is an artist par excellence. Rauschenberg was one of the most important artists in the burgeoning, energetic New York art scene of the mid-2oth Century. His ability to gather materials from the dilapidated, grim streets of New York and morphing them into art remains unparalleled, and his influence on the likes of Andy Warhol, who was heavily influenced by Rauschenberg’s silk-screening techniques, is undeniable.