Inspiring us right now: Michael & Gerlinde's World, a book of collaged photos by Michael Costiff, who, with his late wife Gerlinde, was the epitome of London cool in the 70s and 80s. Costiff could and did do anything, from designing album covers for Siouxsie and The Banshees and The Cure to running the nightspot Kinky Gerlinky and the West End boutique World. He stocked the shop in part with his fashion line, World Archive, which found fans in the likes of a young John Galliano and Zaha Hadid. In the course of showing his collections in Japan in the wee 80s, Costiff became lifelong friends with Rei Kawakubo and for years modeled in Comme des Garçons shows, as well as Martin Margiela collections. Which is why the book, independently published by Louis Vuitton men's designer Kim Jones, is only carried in Dover Street Market in London and Tokyo.
Inspiring us right now: this unabashed image of Vivienne Westwood taken three years ago by Juergen Teller, who may be the only sideburn-less photographer alive capable of convincing her to disrobe. It's like clothes just fall off people wherever he goes. See Dame Viv—Titian-haired and Raphael-posed—in Woo, a survey of Teller's fashion, commercial, and personal work at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), London, opening today. Believe it or not, this isn't the nakedest of portraits from the series. Let's just say, the carpet and drapes, they match.
Typically, those who don't pay much attention to Paris men's week are keenly interested in what immediately follows: haute couture! This season, it begins the very next day. So we thought, with both of them coming up, now would be a good time to tell you about a little exhibition at MoMu in Antwerp—even if it doesn't open until March.
During the 1950s and 60s, the most elite of elite couturiers—Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, Yves Saint Laurent, Cristóbal Balenciaga—got their finest fabrics from Abraham, a Swiss company whose particular métier was printing silk. MoMu's exhibition, Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archives: Couture in Colour, tells the vibrant story of the not-so-neutrals Swiss firm, as well as European couture as a whole, through some of the most exquisite fabrics of the 20th Century. Complementing the old guard is an array of pieces by contemporary designers, including print masters Dries Van Noten and Diane von Furstenberg.
Silks & Prints from the Abraham Archives: Couture in Colour, March 13 - August 11, 2013, MoMu, Nationalestraat 28, 2000 Antwerp, Belgium
Inspiring us right now: Mastaba, a proposed sculpture in the United Arab Emirates by the artist Christo. A pyramid made from 410,000 oil barrels and standing 150 meters high, it may be the largest work of art in the world. Christo—famous for wrapping the Berlin Reichstag in fabric 17 years ago and more recently erecting 7,500 saffron-colored gates in Central Park—says he started planning Mastaba in the late 70s with his wife, Jeanne-Claude, but could only begin work on it with the recent approval of Abu Dhabi's royal family and their donation of land.
Inspiring us right now: these incredible posters—made between 1962 and 1985, aka Cold War years—showing very happy and cherubic Chinese children in space. Propaganda was never so cute. (Hats off to Retronaut for finding them.) Please, someone make a collection based on this. We're looking at you, Sarah Burton.
Now that GIF is officially a word, having been inducted into the Oxford American Dictionary this year (beating out Yolo, whatever that is), it seems everyone is rediscovering the nearly lost art form. Born in the 80s, the rudimentary animation usually consists of only a few frames that loop endlessly and hypnotically. Who knows what accounts for the sudden revival (perhaps the advent of memes?), but there's no question the particular genre of net art is having a moment.
Digital artist Geoffrey Lillemon is taking full advantage of the moment, creating an action-packed page for Bernhard Willhelm's women's spring 13 collection plastered with all kinds of seemingly electric, moving GIFs. Meanwhile, on the homepage there's a robotic head that twists and spouts curious statements that seem to come from Willhelm himself: "I decided I will not die, so it is inevitable that I will realize my dream, which is to be an ex-asshole and to be a rich, contented bum." Apparently the technology used for that bit of animation is called Faceshift—surely the word on everyone's lips as it enters the dictionary next year.
Inspiring us right now: these hand-knotted, foot-averse wool rugs by M/M (Paris). To celebrate 20 years, the graphic-design duo and fashion collaborators (think Balenciaga, Givenchy, Hermès) sought out the loom guru Abhishek Poddar to create, in India, the four large-scale masterpieces of carpeting that will never see the filthy sole of a shoe. On view through December 15 at Libby Sellers gallery, 41-42 Berners Street, London, W1T 3NB.
Inspiring us right now: the lesbian bite scene between Catherine Deneuve and Susan Sarandon in Tony Scott's The Hunger. An anomaly among the director's later blockbusters—Top Gun, Crimson Tide, Days of Thunder—the 1983 vampire thriller, which also stars David Bowie, became an enduring cult classic, not only for its sapphic theme, but also, among designers especially, Deneuve's super-chic 1940s-harking costumes. (By contrast, as the non-vampire, Sarandon was stuck with an instantly dated 80s look and 'do.)
Tragically, Tony Scott (brother of Ridley Scott) jumped to his death from a Los Angeles bridge yesterday. Though unconfirmed, it's believed he was battling inoperable brain cancer, which may have precipitated the suicide.
In spite of the loss, we'll always have The Hunger, which, like its beautiful vampires, is ageless.