Azzedine Alaïa & Naomi Campbell, Arthur Elgort (1987)

Arthur Elgort and The Big Picture

Despite opening up fashion imagery in the 1980s and embracing supermodels of the '90s, capturing many of the era's most iconic and enduring images, Arthur Elgort remains one of the industry's more underrated talents. An upcoming exhibition, The Big Picture, at Galleria Carla Sozzani aims to change that. The show encompasses five decades of his work, including several original 'snapshots,' a candid and natural style Elgort introduced into the fashion vocabulary. His ideas of what a ‘fashion’ photo was, opened up the possibilities of what fashion photography could be to the next generation.

Elgort attributes much of his liberated direction to his lifelong love of music and dance, particularly jazz and ballet from the '30s to '40s. "Some of my best pictures were taken when I wasn't 'working' — models getting ready, people on the street, the little moments in between shots," he writes in a new book, published in conjunction with the exhibit. "That's when you can really capture people as they truly are and see what's underneath. It's those real moments that just can't be faked."

Arthur Elgort: The Big Picture, February 6 - April 6, 2015, Galleria Carla Sozzani, Galleria Carla Sozzani, 10 Corso Como, Milan

Jan 04, 2015 21:10:00
Björk, Debut, photo Jean Baptiste Mondino (1993)

Björk to Have Her Head Examined at MoMA

The Icelandic virtuosa known by one name is getting a major retrospective of the same name at MoMA. Opening in March 2015 and not scheduled to travel to other institutions, Björk is dedicated to the multifaceted, multimedia work of the composer, musician, and artist. It will span more than 20 years of pioneering projects and albums, from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011), the app for which — made with M/M Paris — was MoMA's first acquisition of its kind. Her pursuits in the realm of sound, film, visuals, costumes, and performance will be highlighted.

The installation will present a narrative — part fact and part fiction — co-written by Björk and the Icelandic writer Sjón Sigurdsson. Björk’s collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists will be featured, culminating with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience.

Björk, March 7 - June 7, 2015, MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street, NYC

Björk, Homogenic, photo Nick Knight (1997)

Björk, photo Danny Clinch

Björk, still from All Is Full of Love, directed by Chris Cunningham (1999)

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Dec 18, 2014 17:19:00
Whiskers Between My Legs

Julie Verhoeven Has a Go at Society's Notions of Femininity

Known mostly as a fashion illustrator and collaborator (Louis Vuitton, Versace), Julie Verhoeven has channeled her inner satirist to create Whiskers Between My Legs at the ICA in London. In the immersive installation, Verhoeven explores notions of femininity and its (mis)representation in popular culture by draping collaged fabrics and other mixed media throughout the space.

In addition, a new short film addressing female seduction and so-called perversion will also screen on monitors, some placed within toilet seats, thereby creating a playfully ironic environment that defies and questions perceptions of gender, etiquette, and taste.

Whiskers Between My Legs, December 9 - January 18, 2015, Institute for Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London

Dec 12, 2014 20:46:00
Beard at Somerset House

Beard Watching

If beards haven't been growing on you, an upcoming exhibit of the hirsute pursuit may change your mind. Eighty portraits of assorted whiskery wonders by London photographer Brock Elbank will open at Somerset House in March. The exhibit, Beard, is the latest in Project60, an ongoing series that began when Elbank teamed up with Jimmy Niggles, founder of Beard Season. The Australian organization raises awareness about skin cancer by encouraging men to let their facial hair run wild — the ultimate sun block. 

The diverse group of participants includes actor John Hurt, fashion editor Nick Wooster, tattoo artist Miles Better, and models Ricki Hall and Billy Huxley. Perhaps the most striking image is that of bearded lady Harnaam Kaur, who started growing facial hair at the age of 16, due to a hormonal imbalance caused by polycystic ovary syndrome. After various attempts at removal, she was eventually baptized a Sikh, which forbids the cutting of body hair. Et voila, problem solved.

Beard, March 5 – 29, 2015, Terrace Rooms at Somerset House, Strand London WC2R 1LA

The moving story of how Beard Season came to be... 

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Dec 12, 2014 09:33:00
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 ©

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

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