When it comes to Communist countries, their image in aesthetic terms is uniformly bleak.
It is no news that museums have been staging fashion exhibitions left and right in order to prop-up the numbers of museum goers and stay (pop)culturally relevant.
At the beginning of “McQueen,” the mostly polite, deferential documentary on Alexander McQueen, the designer says off camera that he does not care what others think, and that his creativity depends on his honesty.
The Dutch artist Maurits Cornelius Escher is a bit of a strange figure. Not exactly a mainstay of art history, certainly outside of the main art movements of the 20th Century, he is not known for any grandiose statement or gesture or a moment-defining work.
The fashion calendar is getting weirder and weirder.
Kei Shigenaga decided to become a jewelry maker because he saw it as an intersection of fashion and sculpture, two things he’s been interested in for a long time. “I feel that jewelry is not simply something fashionable, but it can be an art object you can have with you every day,” says the Japanese silversmith, who makes everything by hand in his Tokyo studio. He often goes back to traditional Japanese culture for inspiration, trying to make it modern in his own way. Lately he’s been interested in “kintsugi,” a traditional form of art where broken ceramics are mended back together using lacquer covered with gold dust, only Shigenaga uses melted gold instead. In a way, the combination of destruction and creation is the crux of his work.” In my work I try to concentrate on the roughness of precious metals,” says he. He is interested in tension between the image of fine jewelry as something delicate, yet tough.
When you talk to the Canadian architect Philipp Beesley, a long time collaborator of the designer Iris van Herpen, you must rewire yourself. Beesley talks in abstractions – instead of walls and floors and ceilings, you get planes, and motion, and thermodynamics. This isn’t because he’s trying to obfuscate anything, it’s just the way his mind works. In a way it’s a requirement for Beesley, because he has moved on past the traditional architecture of making buildings, which he has done exceedingly well in his career. Instead he creates spaces and environments that operate on a level above the basic requirements of architecture, such as protection from the elements. It’s not that it’s not his concern, but these problems have been thoroughly solved. Instead, he’s more concerned how space interacts with human beings on a philosophical level – freedom, community, interaction. Abstraction is the language that’s required.
The recent scandal involving the staff at a Balenciaga corner at Printemps, the Paris department store, in which it allegedly discriminated against a Chinese shopper, is reprehensible in its own right.
If you cannot make it to the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination exhibit at the Met Museum in New York, you can still get the accompanying catalog, published by Yale University Press in association with the museum.
Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, the new fashion exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is marketed as the biggest one its Costume Institute has put on to date.