It's been nearly two years since Benjamin John Hall birthed his first shoe collection, a high-concept affair involving ersatz umbilical cords and amniotic sacs. Now he's back with another labor-intensive, intentionally messy collection, this time exploring experimental dyeing techniques employed by the wearer. Who better? Think user-generated spray-dyeing and hammering porcelain cartridges at toe's end.
For his new shoe art, the British cobbler says he was influenced by the Destructivists of the 1960s, artists who destroyed objects during live performances. He cites the New York artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz, who played piano with an axe, and the K Foundation (formerly the acid-house band KLF), who, in the 90s, burned a million British pounds in cash. The difference being, as Benjamin points out, that his shoes aren't fully destroyed, but live on in their "newly tainted forms."
Michael Alig is being released from prison in less than two weeks, after serving 17 years behind bars for killing Angel Melendez. It was a particularly gruesome murder. By his own admission, a drug-addled Michael injected Angel with Drano after Michael's friend, Freeze, bashed his head with a hammer, following an argument over a drug debt. Michael proceeded to hack off Angel's limbs and dump the rest of the body in the Hudson River.
Now 47, Michael is plotting a post-incarceration comeback having to do with his as-yet-unfinished memoirs (called Aligula — get it?). But so far his attempts to mythologize himself and glamorize the dark side of 90s clubland has been falling on deaf ears. The sad truth is, there is a permanent pall surrounding Michael that no amount of faux contrition, clown paintings or funny tweets can clear away. Michael represents all that was corrupt, loathsome, and unoriginal about the 90s. Not even these other 90s things are more revolting...
Justin's frosted hair
LA Gear workout sneakers
White guys with dreads
Turns out, the annoyingness that is Coachella is newly annoying with the addition of a second annoying weekend. To go along with the fresh pile of annoyingness, here are the most annoying celebrities — reality starlets, celebrity spawn, has-been headliners — of said second weekend, perhaps surpassing the annoyingness of the first...
Jaden Smith & Kylie Jenner
Today came irrefutable proof that Lady Gaga's obviously airbrushed campaign images for Versace were, in fact, airbrushed. A site called Gagafreshnews got a hold of the unretouched images and a collective "How very dare!" roared from the usual faux-outrage sites.
Call us crazy, but we expect every campaign and every cover to get nips, tucks, porcelain complexion, and overall etherealness. Please believe us when we say you'd be a lot more horrified if Gaga's knee bruises, hangover eyes, straw hair, and pre-vomit expression were left as is.
Joyce, the retail pride of Hong Kong, made a video interview with one of the bold-faced designers it carries, Haider Ackermann, who came prepared with plenty of bons mots. On everyone's favorite topic, his friend Tilda Swinton, he says:
"I'm surrounded by all these strong women. All of them are very opinion-minded. It's good; they make you think. Tilda makes me think. She makes me doubt. She pushes me a little bit further. When [I dress her for the] red carpet and I try to be a little secure, she's like, Oh no, let's go for it. What's very nice with Tilda is there's a faithfulness, there is a loyalty. We met years ago, I think ten years ago. We have the same thoughts, the same opinions. We are each other's companion. When she's nervous, I'm there. When I'm nervous, she's there."
While Alexander Wang's show in the farflung Brooklyn Navy Yards on a particularly blizzardy night in February worked many a last nerve, he may have been on to something. It would seem someone at Dior, most likely Raf Simons, has warmed to the idea of using the venue for the house's pre-spring show — and it would indeed be much warmer in May.
Needless to say, Dior isn't leaving anything to chance. According to WWD, they'll provide a round-trip, door-to-door car and ferry service from 34th Street and the FDR Drive. Of course, there will still be those who bemoan having to trek to 34th Street.
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.