Inspired by…Michal Batory

Ever since living in Poland in my early twenties, I have been fascinated by Polish poster artists.  Their work was plastered on kiosks from Warsaw to Krakow, and every town in between.  I spent hours in little poster shops, purchasing limited editions for next-to-nothing (the złoty to the dollar was definitely in my favor).  I managed to swipe a few that were hanging precariously from backstreet alleys.  I found them deeply artistic, not simply a visual, but rather a whole drama or comedy told through an image.  Whether using illustrations or photography, there was always a tongue-in-cheek feel to them, or at least a wicked sense of humor.

It was with great pleasure then that I stumbled across the Michal Batory exhibit at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris after visiting the ’90s Fashion Exhibit. Made to resemble Batory’s studio, it was at once immediate, an intimate look into a man that has used his art to advertise anything from dance to theater. And the advertising, in turn, becomes art.

More information on the exhibit.

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To Edit or Not to Edit…

I came across the short video (a naturist commercial for French TV, in fact) a few days ago and thought that it was quite effective in questioning our sense of modesty and immodesty. And perhaps on an even more philosophical (or comedic) level, I thought it was an interesting play on our willingness to show anything these days as long as the “naughty bits” are pixelated, blacked-out, smiley-faced…and the list goes on.  The same goes with music.  The well-placed bleep or silence, seems to be de rigeur today.  Pink’s alternately titled “F-in Perfect” is a prime example.  And while I’m not necessarily condoning explicit language on the radio, I sometimes wonder if the silence just brings more attention to the word than otherwise.  After all, the word goes through our mind anyway, just as we imagine what’s behind the pixelation.

I was reminded of the absurdity of this when reading the magazine Wonderland on my iPad yesterday via Other Edition. There was a photo of a female and male model facing each other, both very androgynous (see below the cut). The nipples of the female were covered with a white dot, while the male’s nipples were left untouched. The same photo was left untouched in the actual magazine and via Other Edition’s desktop reader. I doubt it was the photographer’s intent when considering the story as a whole, but this particular photo and it’s juxtaposition of male and female makes you wonder why we sexualize body parts, particular ones we all have in common. This was never so obvious as when Doctor 90210, the show about plastic surgeons, showed a man’s pre-op nipples and pixelated his, now her, post-op nipples. Within an hours time, the same nipples went from OK to wrong.

I realize when dealing with images of any kind, and especially in fashion, that the subtext is often sexual and therefore somewhat difficult to extract when talking about nudity in general. However, I have to wonder if the potent sexuality that exists in these types of images are only really effective because we are willing to sexualize the nude body, or the body in it’s natural state.

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What Makes a Good Creative Director?

Andrea Linett, Liza Deyrmenjian, Joe Zee & Joshua Williams (Photo: Smiljana Peros)

It was my pleasure to moderate a recent panel on “What Makes a Good Creative Director?” with Andrea Linett (eBay Fahsion), Liza Deyrmenjian (Afingo) and Joe Zee (Elle) at the Fashion Institute of Technology.
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What Makes a Good Creative Director?

I’d love to see you all there!  These series are a wonderful way to hear directly from the movers and shakers in fashion.

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Faces & Places in Fashion

I was recently asked to teach “Faces & Places in Fashion,” at the Fashion Institute of Technology.  It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet and speak with movers and shakers in the Fashion Industry.  And it’s open to the public!   Speakers will include Garance Doré, Mayaan Zilberman (The Lake & Stars) and Nigel Barker, just to name a few.  For more information and a full list of speakers, visit the Facebook Page.

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FIT’s Department of Design is proud to offer the “Faces & Places in Fashion” lecture series, part of course CL-112.  The lecture series is a forum for prominent fashion professionals, including executives, designers and marketers to discuss their trade, their experience and their perspective on the business.  Part presentation, part Q&A, it is an opportunity to connect students and the public alike to the pulse of the fashion industry in an open and conversational setting.Held in the Katie Murphy Amphitheater (D Building, Corner of 27th Street and 7th Avenue), the series is also open to the general public.  Mondays, 4pm-5pm.

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Inspired by Paris

It’s not hard to be inspired by Paris, even in the dead of winter when the trees are stark and the sky is grey.  The buildings, with their layers of history, seem to take on a different life.  And the Parisians are not easily stopped by the cold.  The streets, especially Rue Montorgueil where I stayed, were especially lively with outdoor cafes, fish and vegetable stalls and animated shoppers.  A few snapshots I took, I think say it all…from the cobblestone streets to the dark blue night sky behind the Notre Dame.

More images under the cut.

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Inspired by Eco Boudoir

I am currently working on a very exciting (and for now, hush) project related to eco fashion and lingerie.  More information will be coming soon, but in the meantime, I came across this great “teaching” moment created by director Verity White and produced by Eco Boudoir (designer Jenny White).

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Miguel Androver Speaks Out

I was recently reading Fashion Copious blog, always a cornucopia of great, up-to-date fashion information, and came across an interview with the very talented Miguel Androver which is in the current issue of Industrie magazine.  All I can say is…it’s about time that someone said it out loud!  While I certainly don’t have a problem with heritage brands, they should be part of the fashion landscape, why is it that we look so much to the past for our present, rather than looking at our present and considering our future?  What’s more, in our day and age of fast fashion and ever-changing technology, do new designers even have the chance to even come full stride?  Do we discount them (literally and metaphorically) before they even have a chance to peak, to come into their own as an artist?

Visit Miguel Androver’s site for more information.  And see below the cut for a snippet of the interview.

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The amazing Emilie Simon

This weekend, I had the pleasure to work with singer Emilie Simon on a special photo shoot that will be appearing in the next few months (more info soon!) featuring looks by Mandy Coon.  A big thank you to a great team led by photographer Kah Poon.    In the meantime, check out a selection from Emilie’s Bedford Avenue Sessions, available on YouTube.

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Loft Life

Some things are so serendipitous.  I had a shoot planned with Ejaz Khan, but the model dropped out at the last minute and I was left with a whole slew of clothes from Catherine Malandrino, Oscar de la Renta, Yigal Azrouël, Prabal Gurung, Wayne and so many more great New York designers.  At the last minute, I received a call from make-up artist, Sergey Logvinov, who was shooting with photographer Maxim Repin, and who needed a stylist for a Russian magazine, Domovoi.  The theme, “New York Girl” living it up in a Union Square loft.

The shoot was a breeze, so simple and even a bit nonchalant in large part to Maxim’s no-fuss style–all natural light, no set-up required.  In fact, it was the first time in a long while that I was able to spend more time with the model than the photographer!  I think the final product feels effortless.

More images below the cut.

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