Homiés (2014) by Brian Lichtenberg Studio

An Exhibit Examines the History of Fashion Fakes

'Fake it till you make it' is a well-worn refrain. But counterfeits and parodies have been a hot-button topic long before those notorious orange 'Homies' T-shirts — a barely disguised reference to Hermès — flooded the streets of L.A. or Hedi Slimane pulled Saint Laurent from Colette for selling sweatshirts emblazoned with "Ain't Laurent Without Yves." A new exhibit at the FIT museum traces sartorial copying back to early 20th-century European houses — Dior, Vionnet, Poiret, Balmain — and follows its long arc through the logomania craze of the 80s, the fast-fashion phenomenon of the aughts, and the clever, if controversial, wordplay of today.

The exhibit, Faking It, begins with a 1903 Charles Frederick Worth gown with a label the couturier had signed as an artist would sign a canvas, giving rise to the practice of sewn-in labels. The demand for counterfeits mushroomed in the ensuing decades, reaching a feverpitch with Christian Dior’s New Look collection of 1947 that launched countless imitations of the wasp silhouette. As a result, couturiers shrewdly began licensing their designs, earning a princely sum from American department stores in particular.

Several pieces by Chanel from the 1960s to the 1980s are also on view, alongside their corresponding copies. Yet surprisingly, or perhaps not, Coco Chanel remained relatively unperturbed by counterfeits. Ever the savvy marketer, she considered copies of her signature tweed suits — and there were a lot — as free publicity. “The very idea of protecting the seasonal arts is childish," she said. "One should not bother to protect that which dies the minute it is born.”

Faking It: Originals, Copies, and Counterfeits, Dec 2, 2014 – Apr 25, 2015, FIT Museum, Seventh Avenue at 27 Street, NYC

left: Chanel (1966) / right: licensed copy, Chanel (1967)

House of Worth (1903)

Moschino Cheap and Chic with Roy Lichtenstein print

Unlicensed copy of Madeleine Vionnet (1925)

Catherine Malendrino, eBay x CFDA anti-counterfeit campaign (2013)

Fake Louis Vuitton coat by Dapper Dan of Harlem

Dec 07, 2014 20:35:00
Daniel Arsham, Welcome to the Future

Guess Who's Coming to Art Basel: Daniel Arsham

New York artist Daniel Arsham's MO is to fossilize everyday objects, particularly communication devices, as a comment on the transient nature of media, and of art itself. At Art Basel, he's transformed Locust Projects into an excavation site deep in the gallery's floor, where thousands of calcified, petrified artifacts of the 20th century have been buried: boomboxes, cameras, electric guitars, game controllers, cell phones, VHS tapes, Walkmans, film projectors, and so on — all rendered in crystal, volcanic ash, and other minerals.

The site-specific installation derives from Arsham's childhood, specifically the year 1986, when he survived Hurricane Andrew huddled in a closet of his family's Miami home. The wreckage he discovered in the storm's wake had a profound impact on his perception of space and time, which leaves the viewer with the impression that a century has passed in a moment.

Daniel Arsham: Welcome to the Future, Locust Projects, 3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami


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Dec 03, 2014 13:55:00

Guess Who's Coming to Art Basel: SANKUANZ

Casa de Costa isn't one to sit on the sidelines. The New York gallery will make its Art Basel presence known — via Miami Arts Week — with something no one else has: SANKUANZ. Designed by Zhe Shangguan, the provocative Shanghai men's label is straight-up "bonkers," a term used by the gallery.

To wit, for SANKUANZ's last outing (spring '15 in London), Shangguan sent enormous Popeye-like plastic hands down the runway, citing inspiration ranging from boxing and Russian prisoners to teenage street style and Japanese manga — hence the models' preternaturally large eyes.

"This is a revolutionary time for art, culture, and fashion in China," says the gallery, "and SANKUANZ is at the center of it all."


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Dec 02, 2014 20:34:00
Christian Lacroix for the Musée Cognacq-Jay

Christian Lacroix's Great Art Jumble

Since shuttering his house in 2009, Christian Lacroix seems to have found his next act by returning to his first love, museum curation. At the behest of the Musée Cognacq-Jay in Paris, the couturier has reimagined the institution's impressive 18th-century permanent collection by way of juxtaposition with contemporary pieces. He's invited more than 40 artists to reflect upon Ernest Cognacq’s acquisitions and loan pieces that either work in concert with or contrast to them, thereby deepening a non-chronological understanding of the Age of Enlightenment and its similarities with our own Information Age.

Lumières: Carte Blanche à Christian Lacroix, November 19, 2014 – April 19, 2015, Musée Cognacq-Jay, Paris

Christian Lacroix for the Musée Cognacq-Jay

Christian Lacroix for the Musée Cognacq-Jay

Christian Lacroix for the Musée Cognacq-Jay

Christian Lacroix for the Musée Cognacq-Jay

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Nov 26, 2014 10:59:00
Guy Bourdin

Guy Bourdin, One of the Photographic Greats of the 20th Century, Gets a Major Retrospective

French photographer Guy Bourdin's influence on fashion imagery is almost impossible to overstate. His darkly humorous, color-drenched, proto-Pop magazine images throughout much of the 20th century have given rise to David LaChapelle, Nick Knight, Tim Walker, and a host of similarly high-impact lensmen for whom the product is secondary to story. Yet during his lifetime he never sought fame or fortune, almost to a pathological degree. Thus there have been very few books and exhibits devoted to his oeuvre.

So it's with intense anticipation that the Somerset House will soon stage a major retrospective, in fact the UK's largest exhibition of his work to date. Over 100 images and previously unseen material will go on view, spanning his 40-year career, which started as Man Ray’s protégé and including his seminal work for Vogue Paris in particular, as well as campaigns for Charles Jourdan, Chanel, Issey Miyake, Ungaro, and Versace. This is complemented by Polaroid test shots, contact sheets, and transparencies, as well as rarely seen Super-8 films he shot on set.

Guy Bourdin: Image-Maker, November 27, 2014 – March 15, 2015, Somerset House, London

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Nov 25, 2014 09:30:00
Tilda Swinton in Cloakroom, photo © IMAGEAGENCY.com

An Annual Happening, Tilda Swinton Blends Performance Art and Fashion

Tilda Swinton is nothing if not a creature of curiosity and study. Last night, beginning a week-long performative collaboration with fashion curator Olivier Saillard, director of Palais Galliera in Paris, the actress communed with the jackets and coats left for her by the audience before taking their seats. Silently, she gently stroked, folded, cradled, and crawled under or laid beside them for nearly an hour, contemplating their stories and channeling their "spirits," she said later.

Handling each piece with forensic care, Swinton would occasionally leave a keepsake. These included a scented envelope in a pocket, a lipstick-blotted tissue in a biker jacket, and a strand of her hair on a lapel. She thereby insinuated a little of herself in the item's life story, to the delight of the objects' owners, who included Alber Elbaz, Pierre Bergé, Charlotte Rampling, Haider Ackermann, Christian Lacroix, and Stella Tennant.

Cloakroom is the latest performance conceived by Swinton and Saillard as part of the annual Festival d’Automne in Paris. Last year their performance, Eternity Dress, consisted of Saillard measuring the actress onstage and the two constructing a garment for her to wear on the spot. In the Impossible Wardrobe the year before that, Swinton donned several items of historical dress — sometimes centuries old — from the Palais Galliera’s archives.

Cloakroom — Vestiaire Obligatoire, November 22-29, 2014, Palais Galliera, 10 avenue Pierre, Paris

Nov 25, 2014 08:37:00
Bettina in Givenchy, photo Willy Rizzo (1952)

Bettina Arrives at Azzedine Alaïa

Perhaps the most photographed (and expensive) model of the 1950s, Bettina Graziani — née Simone Micheline Bodin, but rechristened by Jacques Fath — is the subject of a photo exhibition at Azzedine Alaïa's gallery in Paris, after first opening at Galleria Carla Sozzani in Milan. Launched last night, the show includes well-known and lesser known works lensed by the highest echelons of glamour photography: Irving Penn, Willy Rizzo, Henry Clarke, Gordon Parks, Horst P. Horst, Erwin Blumenfeld, Henri Cartier-Bresson, and Robert Doisneau, among many more.

A social butterfly if ever there were, Bettina was friendly with or worked with just about everyone in the industry (Coco Chanel, Emmanuel Ungaro, Valentino), although she's most closely associated with Hubert de Givenchy. She began as a press agent at the house, but soon became its primary model and the couturier's muse. Givenchy named his first postwar collection after her. Later she became pals with Azzedine Alaïa, to whom she donated many of the photographs in the collection on view.

Bettina is still a social butterfly. Everyone wanted to meet the Titian-haired woman, now in her 80s, who commanded the room in a burgundy Alaïa gown. She stuck close to Alaïa, whom she was among the first to support when he was just starting out. The mutual affection showed.

November 13, 2014 – January 11, 2015, Galerie Azzedine Alaïa, 18 rue de la Verrerie, Paris

Bettina on Vogue (1956)

Bettina by Jean Philippe Charbonnier (1953)

Bettina by Henri Cartier-Bresson

Bettina by Georges Dambier

Bettina by Arik Nepo (1951)

Bettina in Révillon, by Emile Savitry (1952)

Nov 14, 2014 12:29:00
US Vogue, Monaco, 1996 © Helmut Newton Estate

Helmut Newton's Foundation to Exhibit a Major Retrospective

Newton nuts, rejoice! When the photographic master established his foundation in Berlin a decade ago, he donated several hundred original photographs for the foundation's permanent collection. Later this month, for its tenth anniversary, the Helmut Newton Foundation will exhibit roughly 200 of them, in all their glorious sensuality and dramatic seductiveness.

Organized by the three main genres of Newton's oeuvre — portraits, nudes, fashion — the works on display will consist of personalities Catherine Deneuve, David Bowie, and Karl Lagerfeld, as well as magazine editorials primarily from the 1970s and 1980s. The much-anticipated nudes, meanwhile, hail from a specific time and place: 1980 Paris. These Big Nudes, as they're affectionately called, are considered the best examples of the artist's renowned erotic-urban style. Some of them will be life-sized, for the full uncensored, unapologetic Newton experience.

Permanent Loan Selection, Nov 27, 2014 - May 17, 2015, Helmut Newton Foundation, Jebensstrasse 2, Berlin

Helmut Newton, David Lynch and Isabella Rossellini, Los Angeles, 1983 © Helmut Newton Estate

Helmut Newton, Catherine Deneuve for a Photo-Essay in Nouvel Observateur, Paris, 1983 © Helmut Newton Estate

Helmut Newton, David Bowie, Monte Carlo, 1983 © Helmut Newton Estate

Helmut Newton, Arielle After a Haircut, Paris, 1982 © Helmut Newton Estate

Helmut Newton, Sigourney Weaver, Los Angeles, 1983 © Helmut Newton Estate

Nov 13, 2014 10:47:00
Sofia Coppola & Naomi Campbell

How Sofia Coppola, With the Help of Jeff Koons, Came to Terms with an Old Birkin Bag

At least Sofia Coppola has a sprinkle of humility and a dash of humor about her privileged early adulthood. Recently, she and other celebs like Naomi Campbell, Drew Barrymore, Marc Jacobs, and Princess Caroline of Hanover were persuaded by Jeff Koons to let go of old Birkin bags, which the ubiquitous artist souped up in his own pop way. Last night the bags were auctioned off to benefit Project Perpetual, a children's charity started by art collector (and wife of a Russian oligarch) Svetlana Kuzmicheva-Uspenskaya, as well as the United Nations Foundation and the Shot@Life Campaign. Coppola addressed the crowd and related the following anecdote:

When I was in my early 20s, my dad was in Paris, and he said, “Do you want anything?” It was my birthday, and I said I would love a Birkin bag from Hermès. I was way too young to have one, but I wanted one. He took out cash and went to the store, but he got the zeros wrong. They said, “Oh, no, no, it’s not that, it’s one more zero.” So I was tortured for years because he always told me, “I can’t believe the price of a handbag you asked me for.” And so he got me the bag and I carried it when I was too young to have one. And then I kept it in my closet because it felt like too much to have. It’s been in my closet, and when Svetlana asked me for a bag I was happy that it would become an art piece and help this cause.

Coppola's early 20s were also the time of another hand-out from her dad, when he cast her in The Godfather Part III. But unfortunately her thick valley-girl accent prevented her from correctly articulating the name Corleone (thereby earning her a Razzie for Worst Supporting Actress and Worst New Star). But nepotism and privilege isn't all bad because the bag pulled a cool $175,000, while the auction raked in $5.5 million.

Nov 10, 2014 20:50:00

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