No designer wants to be compared to another, but when such a comparison becomes the highest form of praise, it may be warranted.
Fifty year ago, on November 25, 1970, Yukio Mishima, the most prominent author and the first bona fide celebrity figure of post-war Japan, delivered the final installment of his literary magnum opus The Sea of Fertility to his Tokyo publisher.
In a wide-ranging interview the designer talks to us about his two new books, his body of work, the role of irony and politics in it, his fanbase, and the current generation of fashion.
The first thing you notice leafing through the new monograph of Rankin, the fashion photographer who co-founded Dazed & Confused with Jefferson Hack, and then went on to found Hunger magazine, is how uneven his work is.
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.
Chances are you have not heard of Studio KO unless you keep a very close ear to the ground when it comes to architecture.
It is hard to believe that that the perennially young Japanese label UNDERCOVER turned 25 last year. As part of the anniversary, the publisher Rizzoli is releasing a 256-page book on the brand ($65). It is the first comprehensive overview of UNDERCOVER’s body of work and the first book on the brand available in the West (if you can find it, hunt down the fantastic “The Shepherd,” which documented UNDERCOVER’s first Parisian shows.)
Aaaah, the Smiths! As a late convert I cannot claim allegiance to the good old formative days when meat was murder and the queen was dead. But, the more I listen to the Smiths as of late the more their music overtakes my consciousness.
The closest I got to Tilda Swinton was almost a year ago in Florence, when I gave her my sleeveless jacket. She gave me a cloakroom ticket, took the jacket, touched it gingerly, put it on a table, dragged it around, fixing it with her trademark, hypnotizing gaze. Then she put it on a hanger and hung it on a garment rack. True story. What was I doing with Ms. Swinton is that I was part of a select group of fashion editors at the Pitti Uomo trade fair that got to witness a performance art piece by Swinton, masterminded by Olivier Saillard, the director of the Palais Galleria, Paris’s fashion museum.
Despite her commercial success and critical acclaim Chitose Abe and her Tokyo label sacai are still a pretty well kept secret among the fashion industry’s cognoscenti. A product of the Comme des Garcons design lab that is adept at turning out prodigies, Abe has launched sacai in 1999, while she was at home nursing her child (Chitose is married to Junichi Abe, also a CdG alumni, whose label is kolor).