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 ©

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
Kate Moss by Jurgen Ostarhild (1991)

Photos of Young Kate Moss to Go on View

Since her discovery in 1988, at 14, Kate Moss has become the world's ultimate fashion model, easily surviving any blight that's come her way, whether a drug scandal, body-image fury, or the obsolescence threatening her supermodel compatriots.

Later this month, an exhibition in Berlin will bring together early-90s portraits of the doe-eyed, baby-faced icon, when no one could have foreseen her global domination some 25 years later — and counting. Noticeably absent are her seminal photographs with Corinne Day, her earliest champion. Aside from that, the list of early adopters is fairly exhaustive: Albert Watson, Jurgen Ostarhild, Pamela Hanson, Michel Haddi, Marc Hispard, Roxanne Lowit, Satoshi Saikusa, and David Ross Elliott, who created Moss's first test shots.

Kate Moss: The Icon, November 28, 2014 - February 21, 2015, Galerie Hiltawsky, Berlin

Kate Moss by Jurgen Osterhild, Camber Sands, South England (1991)

Kate Moss by Albert Watson, Morocco (1993)

Kate Moss by Satoshi Saikusa

Kate Moss by Satoshi Saikusa

Nov 05, 2014 13:53:00
Picasso, 1957 (photo David Douglas Duncan)

Selfies and Studies: Pablo Picasso at Gagosian Gallery

It's no coincidence that the most famous artist of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso, was also its most photographed. The Spaniard himself used the medium extensively. You could say that, after painting and his many mistresses, it was a great passion of his. The Cubist took an enormous amount of photos, not only to create studies for artworks in other media, but also to court celebrity and document his colorful life and career.

This intricate relationship with the camera is the focus of a revealing retrospective at the redesigned Gagosian Gallery on 21st Street, in partnership with his grandson, Bernard Ruiz-Picasso, who only began exhibiting his collection of original Picassos (the largest in the world) in 2000. The show includes some 200 never-before-seen photographs taken by the artist, as well as related sculptures, paintings, drawings, and films spanning his sixty years of production. In addition, curator John Richardson — nonagenarian Picasso biographer and close friend of the family — was brought on board.

Films also played a central role in Picasso's life. He filmed home movies of his family and friends, and worked with celebrated filmmakers Luciano Emmer and Henri-Georges Clouzot to capture his artistic process, as well as Jean Cocteau, Cecil Beaton, Man Ray, and Lee Miller. The resulting body of photographs and films have left a legacy far richer than most dearly departed artists of the last century — exactly as Picasso intended.

Picasso and the Camera, October 28, 2014 – January 3, 2015, Gagosian Gallery, 522 W. 21st Street, NYC

Nov 03, 2014 14:24:00

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