Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

IMG_1447

Photo: Richard Aiello

When I think of Pierre Cardin I think of the sweet scented Pierre Cardin aftershave in the Space Needle bottle that sat on top of my dad’s dresser. I think of the cream ribbed sweater with a scoop neck, which I bought for myself back in the 1990s. Also what immediately comes to mind is Cardin’s 1960s space-age fashion for which he is best known. But there is so much more to know.

On now through January 5, 2020 at the Brooklyn Museum is Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion, a retrospective of this iconic designer’s work.

 

IMG_20191108_120555404

Mod Cardin, 1960s.

Cardin was born in Italy in 1922. Two years later the family immigrated to France to escape fascism. Cardin began his career in fashion as a tailor’s apprentice. After working with Schiaparelli and Christian Dior, he opened his own house in 1950.

Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion features over 170 pieces from the Cardin archive, exploring all of Cardin’s phases from his more conventional beginnings to his other worldly creations. Included are men’s, women’s, and even children’s clothing as well as furniture, hats, and jewelry. Still photos and videos add to the viewing experience.

IMG_20191108_120152694

An early Cardin design. Circa 1950.

 

Cardin was among the first to licence his name but he always kept control, which allowed him to make some big bucks without diluting his brand. He bought the famous Parisian restaurant Maxims’s in 1981 and still owns it today along with several other well-known properties, including the Bubble Palace. At 97, Cardin still works and maintains his fashion house showing up at the office every day.

 

Cardin was fearless in experimenting with fabrics, silhouettes, and pattern which helped him get and stay ahead of (sometimes step outside of) the fashion curve. In 1968 he used a synthetic fiber he called “Cardine” (also known as Dynel)  to create molded dresses.

There is much to see in, and learn from this exhibit. A must for any fashion history enthusiast.

On a side note – the museum restaurant, The Norm changes its menu and decor with each major exhibit. To go along with the Cardin exhibit they have recreated Maxim’s. My partner and I decided to treat ourselves. It was lovely to sit in this elegant, quiet environment and feast on delicious soup, salad, and a cocktail of course, while discussing what we just saw in the exhibit. I recommend any visitor to do the same.

If you’re in the Brooklyn area or are planning a visit soon, make sure to see Pierre Cardin: Future Fashion, on through January 5, 2020.

 

Read Full Post »

That’s always the challenge. You have to bring it back so that a person can walk down the street and not look like she walked out of a costume epic or a time machine. It’s got to fit how people are dressing today. 

Anna Sui, American Fashion designer.

I found this quote while viewing The World of Anna Sui, a fashion exhibit at the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan. She was speaking about the influence vintage fashion has on her designs.

 

 

 

“I guess I’m known for for Bohemian Fashion …” says Sui. Here are some of her vintage inspired looks included in the exhibition. She has made these designs modern by styling with layers, boots and chunky accessories. Each outfit is worn unexpectedly. Photo courtesy of The Museum of Arts and Design.

 

Originally from Detroit, Sui knew when she was four years old that she wanted to be a fashion designer. To pursue her dream, as a young adult she moved to New York City to attend Parsons School of Design. Since then Sui has developed a unique voice, inspired by everything from history to rock and roll to fairy tales. She says storytelling is important to her in every collection and accessories are key to her overall style – hats, big jewelry, belts, and handbags. The more, the bigger, the better. Color and pattern, too. Sui loves it all!

I’d say her work is busy but fascinating in that there is so much to look at in any one outfit. Of course I’m drawn to her vintage inspired pieces and I agree that vintage has to be made modern to avoid looking like a costume. I really like how Sui does it.

The World of Anna Sui is on now through February 23, 2020 at The Museum of Arts and Design, 2 Columbus Circle, NYC. I highly recommend this exhibit to anyone in or visiting NYC.

 

 

Read Full Post »

22_TissotInstall_Sexton_10_10_19

Image: Legion of Honor.

On now at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco is James Tissot: Fashion & Faith, an exhibition of the French artist’s works from the mid-1800s.

IMG_20191025_144722275

Detail of The Artists’ Wives, 1885.

James Tissot (1836-1902) is known for his depiction of modern society in France and England. He captured moments of time of everyday society life with such vivid detail that it’s as if the viewer might be able to walk right into the scene.

IMG_20191025_135230823

Too Early, 1873. Image: Legion of Honor.

Featured in this exhibition are approximately 60 works including portraits and illustrations. From a fashion perspective Tissot is a visual treat of color, pattern, and style. The ladies and the gentlemen in his pieces are fully fashioned with each ruffle and drape, every layer and wrinkle documented so precisely one just wants to stand and stare.

 

Friends with the artist Edgar Degas, Tissot declined an invitation to exhibit with the Impressionists and instead moved to London where he began a relationship with his muse and model Kathleen Newton. Tissot returned to Paris 10 years later after Newton’s death of consumption.

At this point he was captivated by the popular spiritualism movement and his work took a turn toward his Catholic faith, as he focused on stories in the Old Testament. His approach to the stories were unique at the time –  for example in What Our Lord Saw from the Cross (1894) shows the crucifixion from the perspective of Jesus on the cross.

shot in studio, polarized light

James Tissot self portrait, 1865. Image: Legion of Honor.

 

A unique talent in his era but little known today, Tissot is a worthwhile discovery particularly for those of us who enjoy fashion history.

James Tissot: Fashion & Faith is on at the Legion of Honor through February 9, 2020.

Read Full Post »

IMG_20191004_155810

Halo headpiece by Jennifer Behr. Photo from the book, Brooklyn Street style: The No- Rules Guide to Fashion.

You have to be a bit brave to put something on your head. It’s something unexpected, a mark of individuality. It sets you apart from the average woman on the street. 

Jennifer Behr, Brooklyn-Based headpiece designer. 

A hat, a scarf, a flower, a bejeweled headpiece … anything atop the head is indeed something different. I agree that you have to be up for donning anything that is unusual. Hats, maybe not so much unless it’s a really dramatic hat. But a headpiece is unusual and will for sure provoke a few stares and comments.

To get ready for a visit to Brooklyn, NY I read Brooklyn Street Style by Anya Sacharow and Shawn Dahl. This is a fun book about the changing and diverse styles of  modern Brooklyn. Certainly nothing like corporate high fashion New York City, Brooklyn is a city of individuals.

Read Full Post »

David_E_Scherman-_Lee_Miller_1944

Lee Miller, war correspondent for Vogue, WWII.

… Lee has put herself together. She wears her new panne velvet* dress, peacock blue, tight through the hips and flaring out in graduated pleats that twirl around her legs as she walks. She worried before she arrived that it was too dressy, but now that she is here she doesn’t mind standing out. If there is one way to make herself feel better, it is by getting dressed up.

Whitney Scharer, author of The Age of Light (Little, Brown and Company).

* Panne velvet is velvet fabric with a particular finish that creates luster.

The Age of Light is a fictional account of Lee Miller’s time in Paris in the 1920s when she, an American former model and aspiring photographer, meets and starts a professional and personal relationship with Surrealist Man Ray.

I have read a lot about Lee Miller (1907-1977), who was a unique woman in her time and who led an interesting life of fashion and art, travel and war. She was hired by US Vogue magazine to photograph and write about what she was witnessing in Europe during WWII.  I must say that I prefer the non-fiction books on Miller. Although The Age of Light is well written, I found that I didn’t enjoy reading what Scharer thinks were Miller’s thoughts and feelings. It kind of spoils my own view of her. But I do like this quote.

I would recommend the biographies –  Lee Miller: A Life by Carolyn Burke and Lee Miller in Fashion by Becky E. Conekin.

 

 

Read Full Post »

IMG_20191004_141736

Dress & skirt inspired by traditional Korean embroidered wedding robe with peony, phoenix, and butterfly motifs and combined with denim. Jin Teok, 1995. This piece was part of the Couture Korea exhibit.

My mother’s generation greatly valued tradition in fashion. Until the day she died, she kept her hair in a bun, as women did in the Joseon Period (1392-1910). She made her own clothes with different materials for each of the four seasons. She wore durumagi, a traditional Korean overcoat, made of silk fabrics called myeongju and jamisa in jade green. In winter she wore cotton-padded durumagi, a scarf made of silk, and rubber shoes, which I used to wipe clean whenever she was about to go out. I grew up in such a traditional family. 

Jin Teok, renowned South Korean fashion designer.

This quote is from the essay, Creating Contrasts in Korean Fashion by Jin Teok from the catalogue for Couture Korea, the exhibit at the San Francisco Asian Art Museum in 2017.

One of the things I noticed when I visited Seoul, South Korea was the contrast of traditional and modern – in the architecture, the food, the old and the young people – existing side by side. Seoul is very much a mixture and in that way it’s fascinating.

Jin Teok started her fashion career in 1965 and has been called a “pioneer of Korean fashion.” Known for blending the silhouettes and motifs of traditional Korean clothing with modern fashion, Teok designed the uniforms for the Korean 1988 Olympic teams and a few years later she designed the Asiana Airlines flight attendant uniforms. She has participated in many international fashion shows, putting Korean fashion in a global spotlight.

Read Full Post »

IMG_20190930_164901288

Youngmin Lee and Steph Rue.

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the opening reception of From Fabric to Paper, an exhibit of works by bojagi artist Youngmin Lee and hanji artist Steph Rue at The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco.

 

IMG_20190930_164418255

The two artists were recipients of the Alliance for California Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program. This exhibit features both their individual work and the pieces they worked on together over the summer.

 

 

Bojagi is traditional Korean wrapping fabric and hanji is traditional Korean handmade paper. Ms. Rue says when she was in South Korea studying hanji she constantly saw bojagi, which is made of fabric scraps and used to wrap gifts, store things, and carry objects. Once something common and used every day, it has now become an art form. Intrigued, she wanted to learn more.

IMG_20190930_161249307

Indigo Study. These are traditional pouches men would have carried in the Joseon Period (1392-1910) in Korea. These are made with mulberry paper, silk, and ramie fabric.

She says she was excited to have the opportunity to work with Ms. Lee, who is considered a master in bojagi making. With a degree in fashion design Ms. Lee came to the craft after moving here from South Korea more that twenty years ago. She says that living in another country moved her to the traditions of her own culture. Now, she shares her knowledge of, and passion for bojagi by teaching classes all over the Bay Area.

This is a lovely exhibit and well worth a visit to The Consulate General of the Republic of Korea in San Francisco, 3500 Clay St. @ Laurel. On now through December 27, 2019. Open hours are Monday-Friday 9-5. And it’s free.

On another related topic: today (October 9th) is Hangul Day in South Korea. Hangul is the Korean alphabet. Koreans celebrate their alphabet because at one time there was no written Korean language and only scholars could read and write Chinese characters. Hangul was created by King Sejong in the 1400s to allow everyone the opportunity to read and write in their own language.

Hangul Day is a national holiday in South Korea.

Happy Hangul Day!!

 

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »