Undercover was the special guest at Pitti Uomo the first time I attended the Florentine fashion fair. I took a video of Jun Takahashi and his team making a Grace doll, which, in the typical, lightly sinister Undercover signature, is made by gutting teddy bears. It was one of the most unforgettable fashion moments and I wanted to share it with you. The phenomenal music was a live performance by Kan Takagi and Atsuhiro Ito. File under nostalgia…
It is no big secret that “perfume” is a bit of a dirty word in fashion. Often, it is seen, not without justification, as an easy way to make money by capitalizing on one’s brand name. The typical arrangement is to license out one’s name to a big perfume conglomerate, tell them what you want it to smell like, and sit back while the money rolls in. A successful perfume can be immensely profitable. Thierry Mugler, to take one example, has not designed a garment in decades, but his enormously successful perfume “Angel” has made him a millionaire many times over. All you need is a brand name and a good formula. It is no wonder then that every newly minted fashion designer and celebrity is eager to sign a perfume deal.
One day, back in the 80s, the German filmmaker Wim Wenders saw pictures of the Brazilian-born photographer Sebastiao Salgado at a gallery in Los Angeles. He was so impressed that he bought two prints on the spot. Since, Salgado has quickly become his favorite photographer. Wenders continued to follow his work, and one day, being who he is, Wenders decided to simply knock on Salgado’s door.
This past January during the men’s fashion week in Paris I, as is my habit, visited the showroom of forme d’expression. The label, which recently celebrated its tenth year anniversary, is designed by Koeun Park, who quietly works in Perugia, Italy on her men’s and women’s collections.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Dear readers – this Saturday we would be happy to see you at the Yang Li & Genesis P-Orridge event, presented by Atelier New York
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.