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.

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Pattern, the new volume aiming to survey contemporary fashion from Phaidon ($79.95) is quite a tome to behold, with over 400 gorgeously laid out pages, printed on high-quality paper and with a beautiful cover, embossed and gold-foiled. It also comes in a paper Tyvek tote (no, you cannot rip Tyvek, ask me how I know). The book follows the same format as the previous survey, Sample (Phaidon, 2005), in which ten influential fashion figures served as curators, each picking ten designers to feature in the book. Each of the one hundred designers got a two-spread overview with a blurb and some photos.

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M to M of M/M (Paris)

That graphic design can unite fashion, art, and music is an unusual proposition, certainly one I haven’t thought about, but going through the new book M to M of M/M (Paris) (Rizolli, $85) was an eye-opening experience. It makes sense on a basic creative level. All three disciplines demand visual representation and M/M, the design firm that has worked with the likes of Bjork, Yohji Yamamoto, and Hans Ulrich Olbrist since 1992 does it by putting the three disciplines through their own stylistic prism.


InAisce Installation/Trunk Show at Atelier

Yesterday I stopped by the installation/trunk show of the New York label InAisce held in West SoHo at the menswear boutique Atelier. It is a first event of this kind for InAisce, where you can view the entire Fall/Winter 2013 men’s and women’s collections, pre-order the garments that you like, and chat with the entire InAisce team. You can also check out the remarkable wool felt pieces by the Dutch artist Claudy Yongstra.  The trunk show will go on through today.


Book Review: Dark Romanticism

“Romanticism is a grace, celestial or infernal, that bestows us eternal stigmata.”
Charles Baudelaire

In recent years museums have paid quite a bit of attention to the dark side of human emotion, from the brilliant 2006 Czech exhibit “In Morbid Colors,” to the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the Met in New York, where McQueen’s own darkness was cloaked in an aura of romanticism by the curator Andrew Bolton, to this year’s “Death: A Self-Portrait” at the Welcomme Collection in London.

As part of the ongoing exhibition series called “Romantic Impulse,” the Stadel Museum in Frankfurt au Main, Germany recently held an exhibit called “Dark Romanticism: From Goya to Max Ernst,” which finished last month. But don’t worry if you missed it – the exhibit was accompanied by a three hundred-page catalog, published by Hatje-Cantz, that is hitting the shelves on this side of the pond (the exhibit itself will travel to Musee d’Orsay in Paris this spring).


Studio Visit: Alexandre Plokhov

Yesterday I visited Alexandre Plokhov’s studio in New York’s Flatiron district to check out his Fall/Winter 2013 collection. Plokhov was in a pretty serene mood despite his mind-boggling schedule (he was hopping on the plane the same afternoon to go to Premiere Vision in Paris.).

The collection reflected Plokhov’s continuous refinement of his style. In a way Plokhov presented a full wardrobe, from the most casual to the most sophisticated looks – there was even his version of a tuxedo (perhaps for our fist black tie party?).


Tobias Wistisen Jewelry

Two days ago, Daniel and I were sitting in a cafe in Paris and he said, “We should’ve tracked down Tobias Wistisen since we are here; he makes great jewelry.” That’s why I was pleasantly surprised to find Wistisen a few hours later at the Tranoi fair. The Danish designer cut his teeth assisting John Galliano, but he was inevitably drawn to jewelry design. “Paris has a deep tradition of jewelry making,” he told me. Wistisen works with artisans many of whom are well into their 60s and 70s, and he is taking full advantage of their skills. “They get so excited when you ask them to experiment,” said Wistisen, “because they are tired of making wedding bands.” That’s where Wistisen comes in with his unconventional designs and unusual metal treatments.

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Atelier New York 10 Year Anniversary

Last Saturday we were honored to be a part of another important celebration. Atelier New York, the cutting edge menswear boutique, feted their ten year anniversary. It was an intimate gathering, with designers and representatives from various labels the shop carries flying in from Europe. To mark the occasion, designers from Yohji Yamamoto to Boris Bidjan Saberi produced exclusive pieces for Atelier (my favorite was a version of Ann Demeulemeester’s feather necklace, dipped in silver and stamped “A NY X 10”).

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Thank you everyone for making yesterday an overwhelming success: to all those who came and packed the place full, to Jennifer Tzar and her musicians for putting on a kick-ass performance, to teams from Boris Bidjan Saberi, _Julius, Guidi,  M.A.+, Augusta and Werkstatt Munchen for coming half the way across the world to be there with us, and to the gracious staff at TriBeCa Grand.


Deborah Turbeville | Unseen Versailles

As I was packing for Europe last Monday I got an email about the opening of Deborah Turbeville’s new show “Unseen Versailles.” It was to be on the one full day I was in Paris, and Turbeville would be attending. There is something especially joyful about meeting someone half way across the world from whom you are normally separated by a subway ride. Needless to say, I went.

The exhibit is quintessential Turbeville in its feeling of intimacy. It is held in the Galerie Serge Aboukrat, which must be the smallest gallery in the world (two people holding hands would be able to span its perimeter). Tucked away in a postcard-picturesque and postage stamp-sized Parisian square complete with a roundabout that can barely fit a car and an ornamented lamppost straight out of a fairy tale, the gallery is not easy to find, but the exhibit is well worth the trouble, as was evidenced by the intimate gathering that included the singer Charlotte Gainsbourg and the designer Haider Ackermann.