Eugene Rabkin is the founder of stylezeitgeist.com. He has contributed articles on fashion and culture to The Business of Fashion, Vogue Russia, Buro247, the Haaretz Daily Newspaper, and other publications. He has taught critical writing and fashion writing courses at Parsons the New School for Design.

1990s

Op-Ed: Why The 90s Matter

Everyone who goes through his formative years in a certain decade considers it the golden age. Obviously, the 90s were the best decade ever.

But let’s go beyond facetiousness. In terms of cultural production it is obvious that every decade has the good and the bad. What is more interesting is how much of the good and how much of the bad the zeitgeist of every decade produces, and what gets to hit the mainstream. Why 90s matter is that it was the decade when culture, and fashion as part of culture, took the last stand before succumbing to pure, unapologetic commerce.

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The Rebirth of Atelier New York

Atelier New York, an iconic menswear boutique that shuttered its doors in 2013, has reinvented itself, re-opening under new ownership as an eclectic shop for men and women. Since the rumor mill surrounding its rebirth has gone into overdrive, I decided to speak with Lu Han, the new owner, and Karlo Steel, the former co-owner who has remained at Atelier as head buyer.

We met in the lobby of Hotel Americano in West Chelsea, around the corner from where Atelier is now located on the tenth floor of a building in which other tenants are art galleries and fashion companies.

McQueen

Op-Ed: Fashion’s Postmodernist Phase

New York – From the numerous editorial reports underscoring the end of the fashion season in Paris one of the leitmotifs was the lack of originality on designers’ part.

Paris is usually the cherry on the cake in terms of creativity, a critic’s reward for having to sit through the commercial blandness of New York’s shows, the campy antics of London’s, and the vulgar luxury of Milan’s. Not this time, at least according to Angelo Flaccavento and Robin Givhan, two of the most powerful fashion commentators.

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Dries Van Noten at MoMu

Two weeks ago I got to see the Dries Van Noten: Inspirations exhibit at MoMu, Antwerp’s fashion museum. As the title suggests, the exhibit provides a glimpse into Van Noten’s world, and the influences that feed the wellspring of his creativity.

I have already seen the initial version of the exhibit at the Musee des Arts Decoratifs in Paris. It was received with typical fanfare that the fashion press is all too ready to dispense. But while I liked it overall, I was so exhausted by the two floors of continuous explosion of color and ornament that I was happy to get some fresh Parisian air when I finally got out.

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Bjork at MoMa

This Sunday a new exhibit devoted to the work of the Icelandic singer Bjork will open at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Since Bjork’s first solo album Debut (1993) she has occupied that portion of cultural space that is hard to define except as an oxymoron – pop avant-garde.

The exhibit comes on the heels of the one devoted to another pop avant-gardist, David Bowie. This crowd-pleaser was first shown at the V&A museum in London, went on to Chicago, and opened in Paris this Tuesday.

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Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg

If you find yourself in Munich, Germany, you might visit the Nymphenburg Palace, which was built in 1679. But you could easily miss one of its hidden treasures, Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, which has been producing porcelain wares since 1747.

The manufactory still belongs to the Bavarian crown. Although calling it a manufactory is misleading, because today the word implies mechanized production on industrial scale.

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Showroom: Mad et Len

On a recent trip to Paris I visited the showroom our favorite perfumer, Mad et Len. Moving to a dedicated showroom has allowed the brand to fully showcase its universe, which includes candles, lava rock home scents, and blackened iron objects hammered by hand. At the core of Mad et Len’s ethos is combining the light and the ethereal  (scent) with the dark and earthy (hammered iron).

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WORK:SPACE – GUIDI

Some time ago I visited the GUIDI tannery in Italy, nestled among the hills of Tuscany.​ GUIDI is one of the best tanneries that still employ traditional tanning methods, such as vegetable tanning. I witnessed the processing of the hides and the finishing applied to GUIDI’s footwear and bags. Below is my photo reportage.

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Work:Space – Werkstatt:Munchen

Recently I visited the workspace of the German jewelery maker Werkstatt:Munchen. Their studio is located in the center of Munich in the former foundry. Keeping with his label’s ethos of craftsmanship, Klaus Lohmeyer left the raw space intact. Hidden in a courtyard behind closed doors, this hidden gem of industrial space contrasts greatly with its clean-cut surroundings.