A Dozen Roses, Robert Melee

The Mother of All Meltdowns

Last chance to see Robert Melee's elderly mother — drunk, naked, and caked in make-up — in A Dozen Roses at Higher Pictures gallery. The twelve photographs in the small exhibit showcase the artist's mother, Rose, in staged shoots made between 1993 and 2004 and shown in various multimedia installations since then. Her greatest hits, if you will.

It's unknown whether or not the real Rose is the witchy wretch she appears to be in these images, stumbling around sans skirt or pants and wearing enough hastily applied cosmetics to put a drag queen to shame. As she's only on gallery walls, the point is rather moot. However, Melee — who's often compared to John Waters or Andy Warhol — routinely recruits Rose to appear at his openings. Here's how the art critic Jerry Saltz described a 2002 opening for The Village Voice:

On the night of Melee's opening, his show was guarded by a gorgon, and the gorgon was Mom. You had to get by her to see the rest of the exhibition, which wasn't so easy. With thick rings painted around each eye, her face caked in pancake makeup, and hair out to here, Mumsy was a cross between Divine, a Kabuki demon and a witchy Liz Taylor. Mrs. Melee sat on a folding chair in a large raised glass box, wearing only fishnet pantyhose and a feather boa. She peered over the crowd, smoked, drank beer, and, startlingly, exposed her breasts or stood up to show that she wore no panties under her panty hose. She was all the freaks Diane Arbus ever photographed as seen by Francis Bacon. It was amazing, it was sick, and to top it all off, the artist says you can rent Mom for $6,000 an hour and "do anything you want to her."

A Dozen Roses, through August 1, 2014, Higher Pictures, 980 Madison Avenue, NYC

Jul 28, 2014 15:20:00

AnOther and the Design Museum Give Fashion Logos Their Due

“'I just thought I’d clean it up, make it strong and powerful — a kind of contemporary minimalism,' said Phoebe Philo when she joined the French design house in 2008. The same approach was applied to the logo." So starts a thoughtful piece on anothermag.com about the provenance of fashion's favorite logos — which, along with Céline, surely everyone can agree includes YSL, Yohji Yamamoto, Lacoste, and Comme des Garçons Play.

Today is the first of a seven-day celebration — #wordweek on Twitter — by AnOther that examines the origins of words, language and typography in fashion, in partnership with the Design Museum. Additionally, on Tuesday 29, the museum will hold a discussion with AnOther editor Laura Bradley; Gareth Hague, Prada typographer and co-founder of font studio Alias; and Caroline Murray, director of the British Academy of Graphology and AnOther’s graphologist.

Jul 27, 2014 13:36:00
Raf Simons for Adidas

Rubbernecking at Raf Simons

These all-orange, all-rubber high-tops by Raf Simons for Adidas, shown on his otherworldly fall 14 runway, are called Bunny Rising Star 2 Sneaker Boots — although we'll always fondly think of them as Marvin the Martian boots. The dark navy boots are also all rubber, but patent. Patent rubber! They're both available for pre-order ($1,222.44) at Sneakerboy with an expected delivery date mere weeks away. Other fall styles are available, too, as are previous seasons — on sale! So go on, splurge.

Jul 26, 2014 20:37:00
Still from Saint Laurent

Finally, a Trailer for the Unauthorized Yves Saint Laurent Biopic

Saint Laurent, the biopic we've been breathlessly posting about, has finally popped out a trailer. (This is separate from a concurrent film, Yves Saint Laurent, which seems to be a more anodyne look at his early years at Dior.) And judging from fleeting glimpses of Gaspard Ulliel as the young to middle-aged designer and Louis Garrel as his forbidden boytoy Jacques de Bascher, the final feature film, when it hits French theaters in September, is going to be full of all le smoking hot sex scenes you could ask for — nay, demand.

The trailer has been a long time coming, as the film already premiered at Cannes (competing for the Palme d'Or prize). And it isn't subtitled, but you don't need to know French to recognize on-screen sizzle, even if it is a little melodramatic. Willem Dafoe (as Andy Warhol) and Léa Seydoux (as Saint Laurent's muse, Loulou de la Falaise) will no doubt balance out the histrionics. Indeed, the fact that it isn't authorized — by the brand in its current state — suggests that a fair amount artistic license has been utilized. All the sexier!

Jul 25, 2014 21:19:00
Virginia Woolf by George Charles Beresford, 1902

Shallow Not Stupid

When Virginia Woolf was fed up with the Bloomsbury world and everyone in it, she wrote two suicide notes — only a weirdo (or a writer!) leaves two drafts — and jumped into the river wearing her husband's raincoat weighted down with bricks. The notes, scrawled in sinister, spidery handwriting, are on display at the National Portrait Gallery in Virginia Woolf: Art, Life and Vision (July 10 - October 26, 2014).

Virginia had such a nice life. Why did she want to leave that room of her own for the damp riverbed and say goodbye to being sucked up to at parties by T. S. Eliot and Lady Ottoline Morrell, she of the famous 'bird's beak vagina.' The great thing about being a novelist is that you get to diss your ex's genitalia and call it fiction — but the lady is dead, let's not rake over old bags.

Woolf started as a blue-stocking but turned into a fashion junkie after her affair with Vita Sackville-West. Like Princess Diana after her, she was dressed by Vogue, whose editor sourced Matisse print dresses and mannish tailoring for her to wear with her big flat shoes.

To be fair, Mrs. Woolf had lost all her teeth by the time she ruined her hair jumping into the River Ouse. So many parties, so little sanity! She left the gossipy Bloomsbury world behind to be cruelly treated in death, being played by Nicole Kidman and a big prosthetic nose in The Hours. The exaggerated nose was supposed to make Kidman look intelligent, but instead it dominated the film, leaving the audience to wonder if Sam Taylor-Wood was her stand-in.

While poring over Woolf's suicide notes at the NPG, a lady wrapped in mink — despite the heat wave — shouted in my ear, "I knew her...and her sister. That one ran off with a poufta." Well, I doubt if Vanessa Bell ran anywhere, not in those Victorian skirts. But my new crumblie friend is at least 124 — she probs knows lots of dead people. Stinky Minky pressed her nose to the glass, trying to sniff Woolf's suicide note while I tried to avoid inhaling her. Why do old people whiff? Does everyone over 40 go off? I couldn't resist holding a mirror up to check if she was a vampire.

Dying is a good career move. Sylvia Plath wasn't a best-seller until after her suicide. Marilyn was immortalized after dying in her Chanel No 5 — though we only have Karl Lagerfeld's word on that. She might have been wearing mascara as well.

Jumping and hanging are seen as male deaths, while pills and razors are considered more feminine. Dorothy Parker bandaged her slashed wrists in pink ribbons before deciding she 'might as well live.'

Death is something that can't be controlled. It's as unpredictable as walking in Vivienne Westwood platforms or falling in love with someone evil. But at least you can decide how and where to be buried. There are worse ways to spend a holiday than visiting the dead glamorous graveyards of Europe full of celebrity corpses. A cemetery is sexier than cremation, which is so suburban. Glamorous graveyards are as hard to get into as Upper East Side mansion blocks.

It's almost worth buying Byron's leaky palazzo on the Grand Canal to qualify for burial in San Michele with Stravinsky and Diaghilev. Venice's Island of the Dead has more famous creatives in it than Florians. Though top art slut and Venice resident Peggy Guggenheim rejected the offer of a plot in San Michele, preferring to be buried with her dogs in her palazzo's garden. Ah well, at least Peg had good taste in art.

Lighting a candle for jowly Jim Morrison in Pere Lachaise is a bit too American-tourist for me, but I do take lilies to the pure and impure Colette's grave nearby and absinthe to Oscar Wilde — in case he's bored in hell. And I can never resist a trip to the cemetery in the ancient village of Heptonstall, near Wuthering Heights, to see Sylvia Plath. Did Sivvy leave a suicide note? Was it destroyed, like her last diary, by her troll husband Ted?

Would I write my suicide note in lipstick or blood? Or leave a cryptic tweet like L'Wren Scott and Peaches Geldof? But of course I'm too shallow for suicide. I've missed the deadline for dying young, but I can still have old boyfriends crying over my glossy white coffin. It's just a shame that so many undertakers are necrophiliacs.

Being fitted for a coffin is probs easier than being fitted for a dress. You don't have to hold your breath. And deciding what to wear to my own funeral is just another thing that's not my problem. But I will probs leave strict instructions with the manservant anyway. Of course the audience is all that matters. A funeral without a crowd is like a celebrity without a stalker. Naturally, the inscription on my tombstone that so many disciples will cry over: Shallow Not Stupid.

Read more Vivien Lash in the new e-book version of Spying on Strange Men — at less than half the price of a classic martini cocktail.

Jul 24, 2014 22:39:00

Perfecting the Artfully Bored Man

Marc Jacobs has always done adolescence very well, and his Marc by Marc Jacobs men's spring 2015 collection was no exception. Co-designed by Luella Bartley and Katie Hillier, the show plunged a relaxed Polynesian vibe, with its "surf punk" aesthetic and recurring "angry tiki man" graphic. (Read our complete show review at Style.com)

The collection video went a decidedly more languid direction, emphasizing an artfully bored look, the well-practiced kind so often on display at today's music festivals. You can practically hear what they think: Will the band ever start? Will the molly ever kick in? Will my celebrity girlfriend ever stop posing for any camera shoved in her face?...

Jul 22, 2014 17:42:00

GIFted: Raf Simons for Adidas Sneakers

Illustrator Lauren Rolwing puts pep in Raf Simons' step for Adidas with these colorful renditions of the spring 2015 men's collaboration...

Jul 22, 2014 11:47:00

Video Fix: Dior Homme's Notes Of a Day

Willy Vanderperre's latest video for Dior Homme, Notes of a Day, explores that louche place between Savile Row and the street, featuring Thibaud Charon, Louis Bauvir, Laurie Harding, and Jake Lucas...

Jul 11, 2014 22:34:00

Playtime with MSGM and Toilet Paper

Fun is the name of the game for MSGM designer Massimo Giorgetti. It permeates every thread of the street-influenced Milan label, extending even to its extracurricular activities. Giorgetti's second and latest collaboration with Toilet Paper — the image-driven cult magazine by (former) artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari — is so colorful, so bright, so pop that you might think you're in a Skittles commercial. "When Maurizio and Pierpaolo work," Giorgetti told Hint, "they are like two children. They get excited, they get thrilled, and they show a lot of passion for what they’re doing."

For the new collaboration, the threesome built upon the first, rounding out those sweatshirts with beachwear and bedwear splashed with prints, prints, and more prints, reinterpreted in acid colors. "When I saw the Toilet Paper image of the rose with an eye inside" says Giorgetti, "I thought there couldn’t be anything more MSGM than that." But after playing around some more, they added still more prints to the capsule. "The picture of the apple with the picnic tablecloth is colorful and nostalgic — perfect. Then I saw prints with the wings of birds — also perfect. Everything we do is fun. It should make you smile!"

Jul 17, 2014 17:36:00

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