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.
At times the Japanese artist Takashi Murakami has irritated me to no end. My first major encounter with his work was at the highly irritating (see?!) 2008 Brooklyn Museum exhibition that was so sponsored by Louis Vuitton. Well, it was more like highjacked by Louis Vuitton, which put a stand with its bags, some of which were for sale, in the middle of the exhibit, and staged a mock Canal street style fake bag stand that sold real $2000 LV bags that long presaged the similar antics by the likes of Vetements and Diesel today. This vulgar display of commercialism tarnished the whole thing. Before that, of course was the much-hyped collaboration with Louis Vuitton (obviously they did not sponsor the exhibit out of the goodness of their capitalist hearts), which, like that with Stephen Sprouse, presaged the avalanche of fashion-artis collabs. Recently, there was an even more questionable collaboration with the ubiquitous Off-White, brokered by Larry Gagosian, the Bernard Arnault of the art world. Murakami’s constant self-knowing smirk that accompanied these crassly commercial stunts told of his complicity more than of anything else. Any attempt of defending him with the usual tropes of “subverting” or “reclaiming” was annulled by his knowing what he was doing. He might as well had put a big “SELLOUT” sign on his back. Some of the work looked crowd-pleasing, sometimes downright infantile, its popularity proving the truism that adults are the new children, chucking out all pretenses at the seriousness of art. Murakami seemed to find his success equally at selling art to hip-hop billionaires and selling incredibly overpriced plush toys at museum shop. And yet. And yet.
For the aesthetically inclined and designed conscious there is probably no better place on earth than Tokyo. And for science fiction fans it’s probably the closest thing to encountering another humanoid civilization – things are similar enough and foreign enough in Tokyo to make it all the more exciting, even though in the last couple of years the intractable march of globalization of culture has left an indelible stamp on the city. I’ve been to Tokyo three times and by now feel confident enough to write a guide of sorts. Because there is so much to do and see here, I decided that the best approach is to break it down by neighborhood rather than the list of places, because there are too many of them. Tokyo is vast – don’t even think about spending less than a week here. I’ll list the neighborhoods more or less in order of preference or proximity to each other. Aside from these recommendations, the best advice I can give you is to get lost in the wonderful maze of Tokyo’s streets – because the best spots are often in the back alleys off the main thoroughfares. You’ll need your GPS.
For Yang Li, the London-based fashion designer, music has always been front and center.
Last week the influential streetwear and youth culture news website Highsnobiety published an article claiming that Vetements has been losing clout with fashion forward consumers. It cited several store buyers, who wished to remain anonymous, about lukewarm customer demand that has led to slashing orders and putting the once hyped brand’s goods on sale, something that Vetements tried to avoid by keeping their production runs small. The buyers blamed the overinflated pricing on Vetements’ part, and consumers’ shifting their taste towards Balenciaga.
“David Bowie is” is a visionary exhibit. Conceived and launched by the Victoria & Albert Museum in London in 2013, several years before Bowie’s death, it was the first comprehensive retrospective for a popular musician.
When two and a half years ago Balenciaga hired the unproven but exciting (at the time) Demna Gvasalia, Alex Fury, the respected fashion critic, wrote that Gvasalia’s appointment marked an important victory for design over marketing hype.
Paolo Roversi’s dreamy images have sent this reviewer’s heart aflutter for many a year, so if this review is biased, don’t shoot the messenger. The painterly quality with which Roversi imbues his soft-focus photos takes them out of our age and puts them in one not so much defined in historical terms, but in terms of literary fiction, of worlds made up by the sheer force of human fantasy.
This Italian – and according to Roversi himself, he is very Italian in the art historical sense – has produced a stunning number of stunning photos in publications ranging from Vogue Italia to Another. A source of constant consternation for me has always been the lack of books about Roversi’s work. This past January, during my visit to a Roversi’s exhibit at 10 Corso Como in Milan, I spent a significant amount of time in nail-biting anxiety in front of a table strewn with Roversi’s books, some rare ones, weighing the heft of my wallet and the capacity of my luggage. What I am trying to say is that any time a Roversi book comes out, it’s an event. And so the new book of Roversi’s images of Dior’s haute couture, newly published by Rizzoli is a welcome gift, incredibly well executed to give Roversi’s otherworldly images their due.
Tomorrow, the Belgian designer Olivier Theyskens will sign copies of his new book, “She Walks In Beauty,” at the Rizzoli store in New York City.