Eugene Rabkin is the founder of 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.

Comme des Garçons: Gilding the Flagship

This is the Comme des Garcons weekend in New York. The opening of the local Dover Street Market branch has been the talk of the town, but in addition to that the Comme des Garcons flagship boutique has reopened this weekend as well, with a completely new interior and concept.

I stopped by for a preview Thursday night. The crowd milled around the new, golden interior, checking out the freshly arrived S/S 14 merchandise. Rei Kawakubo was present, adjusting the mannequins just so.

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Guillermo del Toro: Cabinet of Curiosities

Recently there has been a surge of books about the macabre side of our world, particularly about cabinets of curiosities. Usually, they are mere collections of photographs of weird things that sit on dusty shelves in some corner of Europe we associate with aristocracy and adventure.

The new title, Guillermo del Toro Cabinet of Curiosities (Harper Design, $60), is an entirely different thing. It offers a rare glimpse into the mind of an auteur. By definition the mind of an auteur is a singular thing and del Toro is the poster boy for this notion. Anyone who has seen his Oscar-winning film, Pan’s Labyrinth, will understand what I’m talking about. The sheer level of fantasy that permeates just this one of his movies has made its mark on the history of cinema.


Daniel Andresen

When I met the German-born designer Daniel Andresen in his studio in Antwerp last month, he was looking at yak hair. The hair, spun into wool yarn at a cooperative in Mongolia, was a new experiment for this young designer whose understated knitwear is quietly sold at directional stores like Lift in Tokyo and DAAD Dantone in Milan.

Andresen is understated himself, a quiet, contemplative man who approaches his work without fanfare. “The yak might not work for the knitting machines,” he thought out loud, “it’s too uneven.”

This is the kind of know-how that shows Andresen’s hands-on nature of work. And when I say “hands-on,” I mean exactly that. Everything Andresen makes he makes himself using a couple of old knitwear Brother machines that are “programmed” by punch cards. “This is my production team,” Andresen pointed at his girlfriend, when I asked him where his knitwear is produced.


Burtynsky: WATER

The Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is known for his sweeping, panoramic photographs of human industry. And by industry I mean our antlike insistence on building things coupled with our desire to beat this planet into submission.

His new book, Water (Steidl/NoMa, $125), continues where his previous titles, Oil, Quarries, and China, left off. Burtynsky likes to tackle our complicated relationship with things we depend, that improve our quality of life and ensure our survival, often at the expense of everything else on earth, but he does it without any moralizing or sensationalism. He documents, we do the judging (and the lamenting). And, boy, does he know how to document.


Anselm Kiefer: Studios

One of the most powerful art exhibits I have ever seen was Brancusi’s reconstructed studio at the Pompidou center in Paris. The heaviness of the rough-hewn space was balanced by the ethereal light that permeated it through the skylight, which literally made me see Brancusi’s elemental sculpture in new light.

One of the most memorable things my friend Damien has seen was the fully reconstructed studio of Francis Bacon in Dublin. He wrote about the new insights into Bacon’s work that the exhibit allowed him. What impressed us both was the sense of being transported into a place where the artists worked, which in turn made sense of the artists’ work. Of course, Brancusi’s studio looked the way it looked. Of course, so did Bacon’s. That the workspace matches the art makes sense especially for those artists who try to tease out the essence of their worldview and embed it into their work.


Deborah Turbeville, In Memoriam

Dear readers,

We have never shared an article that appeared in our print edition, but today is a specially dark day. The photographer Deborah Turbeville has passed away after succumbing to lung cancer. I initially approached Turbeville for a profile for our second volume two years ago.  After, she became a dear friend. It is sad to see anyone go before their time, but especially her. Rest in peace, Deborah, wherever you may be.


The New Antwerp Shopping Guide

Last month I had the pleasure of visiting Antwerp, one of my favorite cities in Europe, for the N-th time. What keeps pulling me back, besides professional obligations, to this city that in Europe has an unjust reputation of a place that’s not worth visiting? Fashion, obviously, as well as a mix of medieval and…

Park Ave. Armory

Massive Attack V Adam Curtis

I’m at that age where concerts don’t impress me much, having seen everyone I have wanted to see a few times over. But when by chance I saw a Facebook post about Massive Attack, whom I have never seen play, I bought a ticket right away. I did not realize that it’s not a straightforward concert. What I witnessed was something infinitely better. Massive Attack has teamed up with the documentary filmmaker Adam Curtis to create a performance that will undoubtedly be etched in the minds of those who witnessed it for years to come. It was a combination of film and music, not exactly a documentary and not exactly a concert, but flawlessly executed fusion of image and sound.


Holy Bible

“…and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth.” Genesis {7:4}

History of human conflict is a history of religious conflict. Pick up any history textbook and you will be benumbed by death and atrocities that humans have inflicted (and continue to inflict) on each other in the name of religion.

Holy Bible, by Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin (MACK, $80) literally fuses the histories of violence and religion together. The tome itself is a direct copy of the King James bible. Its text, however, is carefully overlayed with images from The Archive of Modern Conflict, an entity that collects photos whose subject is self-explanatory and that purposefully shrouds itself in mystery.