Jeremy Everett and the Transcendent Earth

February 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

 

As he travels Jeremy Everett leaves a trail of pictures buried in the ground in his wake. Destined to be unearthed after a period of time, the result is what the artist refers to as “decay drawings.” Whole newspapers and magazines are drowned in chemical solutions, the result a pillowy mass of crystalline forms, and vast sheets of vinyl area rubbed with printers CMYK.

Everett’s recent solo exhibition at the Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York, and the work he showed at Terence Kohs “Asian Song Society,” combined all of his various processes into what could be called transcendent earth art, in which the sheets are transformed through exposure to earthly matter.

There is something melancholy about both the work itself, and the process by which it is achieved. As if the immersion of the materials achieves a sort of chrysalis-like transcendence. The title of his solo show at the Edlin Gallery, “Buried Sky” is suggestive of such a change, as if something has been irrevocably altered, forcing the viewer to attempt to redefine what they already know.

Raf, Over and Out

February 29, 2012 § Leave a comment

I figured the man who gave us some of the greatest work of the last decade, and who is probably one of the most influential and intelligent designers in the world at the moment, deserved a post in homage to his final collection at Jil Sander, who announced his departure from the house on Saturday. Much to the collective horror of anyone who’s ever owned one of his pieces for the house.

And just in case you’d like to see it all in motion, I thought I’d include the video from Style.com. Look for Anna Dello Russo waxing lyrical on the man himself.

http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1

Call Yourself a Designer?

February 29, 2012 § 1 Comment

What makes a Designer?

According to the fount of all knowledge Wikipedia, ‘a designer is a person who designs’.

Really… you don’t say…

More formally, a designer is an agent that “specifies the structural properties of a design object.” Traditionally the main areas of design were Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture, which were understood to be the major classical arts. The creation of clothing, furniture, and other such artefacts or objects, was left to artisans.

But things change. I’d hardly consider Architecture a classical artform any more, the masses of hideous high-rises and identikit suburban homes, not to mention pretty much anything built in the 70’s, have managed to basically drain any artistry from that discipline and also far outnumber the buildings that could be considered works of art.

Fashion too has changed, no longer an artisanal craft, but rather an industry that churns out millions of products (and dollars) each year. Most of which products, like 70’s Architecture, are damn ugly. It has become the sad truth that in the face of consumption designer’s no longer truly design, but rather recreate or restyle what already exists.

When I walk through a store, or look at the designer collections on the runway each season, a softly nagging doubt plagues my thoughts. There is something wrong here it says to me. And then recently, I realised what that ‘something wrong’ was.

Nothing was new. There were no challenges being made by most of the designers, no questions asked or statements made. I hate to point this out, and it may just be the obvious, but deciding to do cropped cable knits in “citrus” is not designing. It barely even falls into the realm of styling. If anything it’s the sort of decision that the consumer can make, without paying a bomb to do it.

Of course it’s mostly high street and lower level brands that are guilty of this sort of methodology, which in some cases is fair enough, their customers aren’t looking for exciting, interesting, or particularly creative or innovative clothes.

Though they aren’t looking for landfill either, or are they? do they even know what they are looking for? would they know a garment destined for landfill if it hit them in the face?

That said there are definitely “Designer” labels who are guilty of just endlessly producing the same wardrobe in different colours and fabrics. Just because the fabric is nice, and that particular shade of mint green is so ‘in’ this summer, does not mean your customer needs the same pair of jeans she already owns. Especially not considering said customer has probably already been sucked into buying more than one pair already. (Thats right, I’m looking at you Mr Jacobs).

Of course it doesn’t help that there are people like Anna Wintour breathing down designers necks to make sure they’re making what the retailers want to be selling.

Of course customers are smarter than we think in most cases, and the industry and consumer in my opinion are equally at fault. The designers make to meet demand, and the consumers create the demand. However the demand is something else altogether. who tells the consumer what they need is the guilty party. It’s a vicious cycle, and  if The September Issue told us anything, it’s that Ms Wintour is in control of just that, telling us what we need, which translates into demand, which translates into pointless trend and fad products produced by inspired-less designers, which in the end adds to landfill.

I guess what I’m trying to ask, is what happened to the days when designers just did what they wanted and if people didn’t like it then too bad, they could go somewhere else.

I guarantee if Wintour had told the Coco Chanel that her collection seemed a little too heavy for the season, she would have copped some heavy to the face. Why do we now allow what we do to be dictated by trends and sales? And more importantly by business? It seems almost worse that the true driving force of the Fashion Industry is now a group of faceless CEO’s and investment bankers who understand only bottom lines and profit margins.

That’s business baby

Fashion, in fact, ALL Design should be fearless and groundbreaking. If the ‘right’ people don’t like it, is it fair enough to say that there is sure to be someone else who will, somewhere…

Talking Over Ages

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

There are occasions when I see or hear something so awesome (or disappointing) that I need a minute to sit back and take it in. A good example of this would be the sudden departure of Raf Simons from Jil Sander. Have I been completely clueless, or was everyone else as shocked?

On a sunnier note it looks like Miuccia Prada (she of the steel slide from office to carpark) is going to sit down at the Met, and have a chat with Elsa Schiapparelli (she of lobster hats and jackets with drawers for pockets). The exhibition, which will be shown at the Met in New York from May 10 to August 19, was previewed at the Palazzo Reale in Milan during Fashion Week.

Not that a verbal conversation would be possible, considering not only that Schiapparelli passed in 1973, and her period of work lies far back in the annals of history, and Prada is rooted firmly in the present.

But it makes sense to pair the two, Prada’s collections after all exhibit the same surreal take on dress and the codes in fashion that Schiapparelli so gleefully employed in the 20’s and 30’s. And although some of the similarities in the use of pattern and reference are quite remarkable, Miuccia claims that she takes no influence from the past, and I’m inclined to believe her.

The exhibition includes garments archived at the Brooklyn Museum, once belonging to socialites like Pauline de Rothschild. The show will also blend the many recorded words and commentaries by Schiapparelli, including those in her own book, with Prada questioned by director Baz Luhrmann who will also design the show.

Based on the 1930’s Vanity Fair series of I“Impossible conversations,” the Costume Institute will create a digital discussion between the two women.

Now theres something worth going to NY for.

Ten by Ten

February 27, 2012 § Leave a comment

This editorial was featured in Attitude Magazine’s January issue of this year. Ten vintage denim jackets customised and re-vamped but ten designers and artists, including Cassette Playa, House of Holland, Sarah Baker, and Danny Sangra.

Apart from the Jackets themselves, which are pretty cool, I really liked the styling in this. Though I get the feeling the stylist watched Drive recently…

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Birds of a Feather Flock Together, Birds of Paradise Are Best Alone

February 25, 2012 § Leave a comment

What can I say, I’m a sucker for print…

 

The above shots are taken from the January 2012 issue of Dazed&Confused. Styling by Robbie Spencer and captured by Ben Toms.

If you want to know who the clothes are by, you should probably buy the magazine.

Shaun Samson Autumn/Winter 2012

February 24, 2012 § Leave a comment

Holy. Mother. Of God….

I’m not really sure how to convey how much I dig this guy at the moment. At least not in words. Suffice to say, each collection he’s shown in the last season has been amazing. The oversized silhouettes, the way he uses colour and embellishment…

If you can look through this and not want one of the printed fur front sweatshirts (or fur trimmed oversized mesh tee’s and knee length varsity jackets), it’s possible there is something wrong and you should get yourself looked at pronto!

Where Am I?

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