Even before the practice of lavishing wads of money on celebs — and we use the term loosely — to wear a certain label came to light (Lea Michele is worth $20,000 to Lacoste? Uh, ok), Coachella was flirting with obsolescence. The specter of pre-adolescent Nickelodeon stars crashing what was once a legit music festival with their denim micro-whatevers and faces full of bindi dots can be a hard pill to swallow, even for the most impressionable of teen-blogger audiences. As it turns out, even those bloggers are demanding payment.
So here they are, the most annoying celebrities of Coachella 2014, for reasons either abundantly clear or that we can't put into words. So far! We're just two days in, folks...
Kendall & Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner & Selena Gomez
Tallulah & Scout Willis
Soko & Lindsay Lohan
James Franco must really like his self-portraits in drag; specifically, his recreations of Cindy Sherman from her Untitled Film Stills from nearly 30 years ago. He originally previewed them at Costume National's Soho store during Fashion Week a year and a half ago, in a group show called NEW NO DARK WAVE. Now he's opened a show at Pace Gallery, New Film Stills, exhibiting the same images along with a poem he's penned for each.
Here's what he had to say about the double chameleon approach: “Cindy is an artist who used cinema as a source for her work; she ‘played’ at being an actress. I am an actor who inserts himself into his work. Where Cindy used cinema as a starting place, I use art as a starting place. She, like so many of my favorite artists (Douglas Gordon, Richard Prince, Dan Colen, Nate Lowman, Paul McCarthy) uses cinema in her work, but she comes at it from a position outside of Hollywood. I am fully embedded in Hollywood, but these photos allow me to take a step to the side, look back, and refashion the work I do in Hollywood. I am at the same time actor, critic, artist, and character.”
New Film Stills, April 11 - May 3, 2014, Pace, 508 West 25th Street, NYC
The notion of John Galliano taking over for Oscar de la Renta, the 70-something American designer who's surely thinking about a successor, seemed too good to be true. Alas, it was.
While the thought of the fallen angel finding redemption at one of the few legacy houses in New York seemed picture-perfect, particularly in light of the two's successful collaboration for the fall 2013 collection, it has apparently been scrapped. And the reason is the oldest reason in the book: money.
"It is categorically not happening," a source told Page Six. "Oscar de la Renta is still looking for a new creative director. Money was the biggest factor which held up the negotiations, and they couldn’t reach an agreement, although John and Oscar remain very good friends."
The article goes on to explain that Galliano wanted to expand the design team and add specialists, but de la Renta declined to make that kind of investment. For now, at least. In the meantime, Galliano is reportedly focusing on his recovery and mentoring fashion students at Central Saint Martins in London.
A deep-pocketed advocate of fine art, Prada continues to make overtures to the literary set. Today the house put the call out for submissions to its second Prada Journal prize to recognize emerging writers and authors, in collaboration with the Italian publisher Giangiacomo Feltrinelli Editore.
Following last year’s focus on daily life, this year the Prada Journal asks the question: "What are the signs of a changing world? And what situations can we envision? Taking a good look at the details might give us the answer." Of course it's a visual exercise and of course there's a fashion tie-in, which is, like last year, Prada's eyewear partnership with Luxottica. Which is to say, don't forget to place the product.
Writers from around the world are invited to submit their work through June 10. Visit Prada Journal for more details.
A concept jewelry brand has just launched in the Netherlands, but don't let the playful name fool you. The label, called & Sparkles, has the potential to revolutionize jewelry design.
& Sparkles was founded by cousins Daniel and Ronald Schipper, who have recently fused successful corporate careers with the Dutch diamond and jewelry legacy that can be traced back generations in their family, turning the traditional business model on its head. They merged their corporate experience with the expertise of designers and artists all over the world, whose backgrounds range from art and fashion to architecture and interior design. Thus, a true partnership between art and commerce was born.
Working closely with customers, who are given creative freedom to customize their pieces as they see fit, the skilled artisans handcraft designer rings and such in gold or platinum, using only conflict-free gems. It's a unique arrangement that draws heavily from the eye and hand of the commissioned craftsmen, so let's meet them...
One of a prominent group of Dutch ceramicists who came of age in the late 1970s, Barbara Nanning's work is particularly celebrated for its organic, natural shapes and robust colors. Over the years, she has researched and experimented with virtually every type of pottery there is, from Japanese terracotta to, most recently, glassblowing. Her collaboration with & Sparkles is expected to push the limits of proportion, color, and quirk.
Jewelry designer Sayaka Yamamoto was born in Japan but moved to the Netherlands in 2005, after graduating from the Hiko Mizuno Jewelry College in Tokyo. Known for using unconventional materials, she often finds inspiration in nature, which she brings to her work with & Sparkles. “I was very happy to be asked,” she says. “I liked the idea of working with high-end luxury jewelry, but with a different approach. With & Sparkles I got the chance to be completely free with materials and techniques. It is ideal.”
Product designer Henk Stallinga founded his studio in 1993 to work on a broad variety of projects ranging from clocks to public spaces. His work can be found in the permanent collections of museums around the world, including MOMA in New York, and he often works for blue-chip brands like Sony, Heineken, and Levi’s. It's precisely because he doesn't have much experience in jewelry design that he jumped at the chance to collaborate with & Sparkles.
Based in Switzerland, goldsmith Christoph Blatter has a long and distinguished history working for major jewelry brands, including Blancpain, Breguet, Jaquet Droz, Léon Hatot, and Gubelin. Now establishing his own aesthetic, Blatter employs an ancient goldsmithing technique practiced by the West African Ashanti people, characterized by a union of purity and antiquity, architecture and ethnology.
Vasily Beglaenko grew up in Russia, the son of jeweler for a father. He always knew jewelry would be his future and from an early age collaborated with companies in Spain, where he now lives. He draws inspiration from literature and likes to blend traditional and conceptual methods. "I often turn to the biographies of great characters," he says. "It is through reading about their tales that I am inspired."
“My jewelry is all designed to follow the body in a natural way," says Zoe Stork, a goldsmith who graduated from Rietveld Academy in Amsterdam. "A ring, for example, is always in contact with the fingers next to it. This notion became the focus of my design process."
Caren Pardovitch found her way to jewelry design by way of interior design. She draws much of her inspiration from Central Park and its scenic combination of nature and architecture. While her next project is designing the interior of a five-star boutique hotel in Amsterdam, she promises won't be too preoccupied to create smalls treasures for her clients at & Sparkles.
Growing up in an idyllic town in the south of Holland, Lidy Peters describes herself as a dreamer. She trained to be classical ballerina from a young age, before turning her sights to interior design. She started a company importing high-end Belgian linens and Italian fabrics woven from traditional techniques. While jewelry design is a new endeavor, she clearly has a vision compatible with & Sparkles.
Born in the Middle East and moving to Holland at 15, conceptual artist Melody Deldjou Fard combines her two cultural backgrounds in hr three collections for & Sparkles. "I knew immediately that I wanted to mix a Persian atmosphere with Dutch design," she says. "Connecting a rational Dutch design with a Persian 'One Thousand and One Nights' feeling was my biggest challenge. I’m happy with the results because all three of the collections I designed for & Sparkles reveal a story about my life, from childhood to now."
Suzon Ingber is an established interior specialist who studied at the Henry Van de Velde Institute in Antwerp in the late 60s, before opening her own studio. She's known for imbuing her work with a strong association between concept and narrative. “I think imagining a house, furniture, a dress, or an object entails a similar creative process,” she says. “It is all about finding something that people feel comfortable with, like a second skin."
Congratulations are in order for Tom Ford and Richard Buckley. The designer, now based in London, revealed in a conversation at the Apple store on Regent Street that he and his life partner have wed — by way of explaining tougher times. “I lost so many friends in college, I would say more than half of my closest friends," he said, speaking onstage with journalist Kinvara Balfour. "Richard, my partner of 27 years, had also gone through something quite tough in his life. We are now married, which is nice. I know that was just made legal in the UK, which is great, but we were married in the States.”
The two met at a fashion show in the late 80s, when Ford was 25 and Buckley, a fashion editor, was 38. Two years ago, the couple welcomed their first child, Alexander "Jack" John Buckley Ford. “He lays his toys out. It’s so genius. He’s so organized," said Ford, "I don’t know where it came from.”
News of the nuptials comes on the heels of marriage equality in England and Wales — without much fanfare, it should be noted — and just days after England's reigning gay couple, Elton John and David Furnish, announced plans to take advantage of the new law, ratcheting up their longstanding civil union.
At the Salone del Mobile furniture show in Milan, the Swedish handmade rug company Henzel Studio is teasing show-goers with its new collection of walkable art. The collaborators are a stellar bunch, artists and designers who include Helmut Lang (whose rug resembles his ongoing fashion-as-art shredded sculptures), Anselm Reyle, Richard Prince, Juergen Teller, Assume Vivid Astro Focus, Scott Campbell, Marilyn Minter, and Jack Pierson.
Each art rug takes five months to hand-weave in Tibet using centuries-old techniques. Clearly this is high-end stuff, costing more than you can imagine, probably. Following the preview at Salone del Mobile, the debut collection will launch at Barneys New York during the Frieze Art Fair (May 9 - 12), while the pieces by Helmut Lang and Anselm Reyle will go on view at Milan’s Temporary Museum for New Design (April 8 - 13).
Helmut Lang, Untitled, 2013
Anselm Reyle, Untitled, 2012
Richard Prince, 1-234-567-8910, 2013
Mickalene Thomas, Candy Crush, 2013
In 1946, a little travel magazine with big ideas made its newsstand debut. With vim, vigor, and vivid colors, Holiday showed Americans what the good life arising from the post-war boom years looked like — which is to say, recreational, sun-kissed, and flush with disposable income. Flourishing into the 70s, Holiday amassed the best writers (Ernest Hemingway, Jack Kerouac) and photographers (Cartier Bresson, Slim Aarons), and famously spared no expense in the pursuit of its lavish stories.
Sorely missed for 30-something years, Holiday is now returning for spring/summer 2014. This time the travel bible is based in Paris and spearheaded by artistic director Franck Durand (Balmain, Isabel Marant, Giuseppe Zanotti) — who so happens to be partners with French Vogue editor-in-chief Emmanuelle Alt — and journalist Marc Beaugé. The first issue, numbered 373, picking up where the magazine left off in 1977, includes a profile of Spanish artist Remed (who also contributed the cover art), a feature on Aston Martin with photos by Hedi Slimane, and a visit to the Nolita home of Inez & Vinoodh.
Holiday won't end with a print revival. A café in Paris' 16th arrondissement and a clothing line are said to be in the works.
Barbara Nitke is an American photographer whose career began around the end of the so-called Golden Age of Porn, before the advent of home videos made furtive jaunts to a theater obsolete. By the early 80s, these skin flicks featured relatively known stars and a semblance of plotlines, requiring at least some direction and reshoots. As a set photographer for many of these films, Nitke was able to capture not just the hot and heavy action but also the humorously mundane moments in between — dozing off between takes, a fit of the giggles, the director giving instruction mid-copulation, and so on.
A selection of these images will go on view at One Eyed Jack Gallery in Brighton, England. But for Nitke, these images represent more than an opportunity to marvel at Ron Jeremy's pre-Viagra prowess or chuckle at bad 80s perms. Now a faculty member of the School of Visual Arts in New York, Nitke is a staunch champion of the First Amendment and freedom of speech. In 2001, she filed a lawsuit, along with the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom, challenging the Communications Decency Act, a law prohibiting the publication of obscenity on the Internet. The case went to the U.S. Supreme Court and, although she lost, porn is clearly thriving.