Pierre Cardin, Fetish for the Bubble

26 Jul
Pierre Cardin
One of the most recognizable names in fashion, Pierre Cardin has been designing elegant and avant-garde creations for over half a century. Born as Pietro Cardin in a small town in Italy on 2 July 1922, Cardin made a name for himself in France after moving to Paris post World War II. In 1946, he was commissioned to design the costumes for legendary film director Jean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast. Cocteau was very impressed with his work and introduced him to designer Christian Dior. At the age of 25, Cardin secured a position as the head of one of Christian Dior’s studios. A few years later in 1953, the House of Cardin was founded and he quickly gained a following of his own.
1946_cocteau_belle-et-bete_cJean Cocteau’s Beauty and the Beast, costumes by Pierre Cardin

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Short Biography

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Beginning his career early, Cardin, aged 14, worked as a clothier’s apprentice, learning the basics of fashion design and construction. In 1939, he left home to work for a tailor in Vichy, where he began making suits for women. During WWII, he worked for the Red Cross.
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Cardin moved to Paris in 1945. There, he studied architecture and worked with the fashion house of Paquin. He worked with Elsa Schiaparelli until he became head of Christian Dior’s tailleure atelier in 1947, but was denied work at Balenciaga.
Cardin founded his own house in 1950. He started out by designing clothing for stage productions, but soon built up a client base. Christian Dior sent Cardin roses as congratulations, and, a much more important gesture of encouragement, directed his overflow clients to Cardin’s new business.
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His career was launched when he designed about 30 of the costumes for “the party of the century”, a masquerade ball at Palazzo Labia in Venice on 3 September 1951, hosted by the palazzo’s owner, Carlos de Beistegui. 
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Cardin says of his company’s beginning, “I started with 20 people. I was successful immediately.” In 1953, Cardin released his first collection of women’s clothing and became a member of the Chambre Syndicale, a French association of haute couture designers. In 1954, he opened his first boutique for women, called Eve. That same year, his bubble dresses became an international success. The design is still popular today: a loose-fitting dress is tightened near the waistline, broadens and then is brought back in at the hem, creating a “bubble” effect.
Pierre Cardin Bubble DressA Pierre Cardin Bubble Dress


Soon, though, Cardin was looking outside France for inspiration. He visited Japan in 1957, becoming one of the first Western designers to seek out Eastern influences. In Japan, he scoped out business opportunities while studying the country’s fashions for new ideas. The Japanese fashion school Bunka Fukusoi made him an honorary professor, and he taught a one-month class there on three-dimensional cuts. Also in 1957, Cardin opened his first boutique for men in Paris, called Adam.

In 1959, he was expelled from the Chambre Syndicale for launching a ready-to-wear collection for the Printemps department store as the first couturier in Paris, but was soon reinstated.

Circles in Pierre Cardin’s Fashion Designs

Pierre Cardin

1966 Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin

1970 Pierre Cardin

1971 Pierre Cardin

During the 1960s, Cardin began a practise that is now commonplace by creating the system of licenses that he was to apply to fashion. A clothing collection launched around this period surprised all by displaying the designer’s logo on the garments for the first time.

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Cardin resigned from the Chambre Syndicale in 1966 and began showing his collections in his own venue, the “Espace Cardin” (opened 1971) in Paris, formerly the “Théâtre des Ambassadeurs”. The Espace Cardin is also used to promote new artistic talents, like theater ensembles, musicians, and others. He was also contacted by Pakistan International Airlines to design uniforms for the flag carrier. The uniforms were introduced in 1966 to 1971 and became an instant hit.

Pierre Cardin for PIAUniforms for Paskistan International Airlines 
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In 1971, Cardin redesigned the Barong Tagalog, a national costume of the Philipines by opening the front, removing the cuffs that needed  cufflinks, flaring the sleeves, and minimizing the embroidery. It was also tapered to the body, in contrast with the traditional loose-fitting design; it also had a thicker collar with sharp and pointed cuffs. 
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Continuously fascinated by geometric shapes, in 1975, Cardin applied his fetish for the bubble to a monumental domestic work which would become Le Palais Bulles (the Bubble House), along with the help of architect Antti Lovag. Cardin furnished the Bubble House with his original creations. The curves of the Bubble House extend over 1,200 square metres and contain ten bedrooms decorated by contemporary artists, as well as a panoramic living room.

The Bubble House

Pierre-Cardin’s-Bubble-House-by-Antti-Lovag-designrulz-1
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Pierre-Cardin’s-Bubble-House-by-Antti-Lovag-designrulz-4
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Cardin was a member of the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture et du Prêt-à-Porter from 1953 to 1993.

Cardin bought Maxim’s restaurants in 1981 and soon opened branches in New York, London, and Beijing (1983). A chain of Maxim’s Hotels are now included in the assets. He has also licensed a wide range of food products under that name..

Like many other designers today, Cardin decided in 1994 to show his collection only to a small circle of selected clients and journalists. After a break of 15 years, he showed a new collection to a group of 150 journalists at his bubble home in Cannes.

1967 Pierre Cardin

 

1967 Pierre Cardin

1971 Pierre Cardin

1968 Pierre Cardin

1973 Pierre Cardin

1968 Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin

Pierre Cardin

 

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 Books

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Pierre Cardin: Fifty Years of Fashion and design

This is the first authorized monograph on Pierre Cardin (b. 1922). Visionary fashion designer and licensing pioneer, Cardin began his career apprenticed to Elsa Schiaparelli and Christian Dior. He quickly launched his own haute couture line, in 1954, followed rapidly by the first women’s and men’s prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) collections from a couture designer. Since the 1960s, Cardin’s cutting-edge, futuristic designs have continually broken new ground and established exciting new trends. And he invented the business of fashion as we know it today, with international brand licensing across a variety of products and media. Pierre Cardin himself made his ambition clear: “I wanted my name to become a brand and not just a label.”

Cardin brought high fashion to the street; he invented the bubble dress and launched the use of cartridge pleating, bright clear colors, as well as vinyl, plastics, metal rings, and oversize buttons. Pierre Cardin has also designed accessories, furniture, and cosmetics. There are now more than 900 licenses in over 140 countries, employing more than 200,000 people under the Pierre Cardin trademark.

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Book cover

 

Pierre Cardin: 60 Years of Innovation

The Cardin fashion house celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2010, an occasion that called for a retrospective of the work of its founder, designer Pierre Cardin. Born in 1922 in Sant’Andrea de Barbarana, Venice province, Pierre Cardin immigrated to Paris in 1924 with his parents, who were thrown into poverty by World War I. After working briefly with Elsa Schiaparelli, Cardin joined Dior in 1946 and opened his own couture house in 1950.

He was a pioneer from the start, creating a design-based, architectural fash ion with a futurist sensibility. Cardin also had a pioneer’s understanding of fashion’s relationship to new audiences, presenting his collections to large crowds. He was the first to demonstrate that fashion can be both a creative process and a business – and that one man can excel as both a business man and an artist.

This volume is a tribute to an iconoclastic – and now iconic – designer, entrepreneur, and visionary.

pierre-candin-and-models-1966

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info: http://www.whatgoesaroundnyc.com/blog/12540 & Wikipedia

The Row, from Celebrity Brand to Womenswear Designers of the Year

19 Jul

 

MARY-KATE-AND-ASHLEY-OLSEN

Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Fuller Olsen (born June 13, 1986), also known as the Olsen twins collectively, are American actresses and fashion designers. The twins made their acting debut as infants playing Michelle Tanner on the television series Full House. At the age of six, they began starring together in TV, film, and video projects, which continued to their teenage years. Through their company Dualstar, the Olsens joined the ranks of the wealthiest women in the entertainment industry at a young age.

The Olsens had a clothing line for girls ages 4–14 in Wal-Mart stores across North America, as well as a beauty line called “Mary-Kate and Ashley: Real fashion for real girls“. In 2004, they made news by signing a pledge to allow full maternity leave to all the workers that sew their line of clothing in Bangladesh. The National Labor Committee, which organized the pledge, praised the twins for their commitment to worker rights.

Mary-Kate & Ashley Boho style

The Olsen twins

Olsen boho style

Olsen twins

As the sisters matured, they expressed greater interest in their fashion choices, with The New York Times declaring Mary-Kate a fashion icon for pioneering her signature (and now popular among celebrities and fans alike) “homeless” look. The style, sometimes referred to by fashion journalists as “ashcan” or “bohemian-bourgeois“, is similar to the boho-chic style popularized in Britain by Kate Moss. The look consists of oversized sunglasses, boots, loose sweaters, and flowing skirts, with an aesthetic of mixing high-end and low-end pieces. The twins were tapped as the faces of upscale fashion line Badgley Mischka in 2006.

In 2006 the Olsens launched their own fashion label, “The Row“, named after Savile Row in London.In 2007, they launched Elizabeth & James, a contemporary collection inspired by many of their unique vintage finds and pieces in their personal wardrobes. They have also released a women’s clothing line for J.C. Penney, called Olsenboye, and a T-shirt line called “StyleMint”. In 2008, the sisters published the book Influence, a compilation of interviews with many of the most prominent people in the field of fashion. In 2012, Mary Kate and Ashley were named Womenswear Designers of the Year by the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) for their brand The Row.

The Row speaks fashion’s language. It’s luxurious, understated and minimalist, without being boring. Now nearly 10 years in the business, they have nailed a sort of loungy minimalism as their aesthetic – a tiny nod to Mary-Kate’s style, but without a floppy fedora in sight. Rather than wanting to look like the founders, fashion insiders just want to wear the clothes. It helps that they’re reassuringly expensive. A backpack this season retails at nearly £2,700, while a white cotton shirt is £690. A previous bag design, an alligator backpack, was famously priced at £22,950. That puts it up there with the priciest of luxury brands, Saint Laurent and Céline and, without shouting about it, that’s a statement of intent. This is the territory that The Row want to enter, going from celebrity brand to the upper positions of the fashion industry.

The Row collections

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

The Row

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Book

Front-back book cover

Influence

Influence

Influence

Influence

Influence is about the Olsen twins’ influences in fashion and style, the book includes interviews with: Karl Lagerfeld Diane Von Furstenberg John Galliano Lauren Hutton Christian Louboutin amongst many others.

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Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen in New York, NY (Photo by Don Parks/WireImage)

Dusty Springfield rocked a Blonde Wig and a Column Dress

12 Jul

Dusty Springfield

Big eyes, big hair and an even bigger voice, Dusty Springfield rocked a blonde wig and a column dress like no other. 

Dusty Springfield, the singer widely acknowledged as responsible for introducing rhythm and blues to British pop music, whose distinctive image made her a definitive figure of the Sixties, and whose personal struggles made her an icon to her legions of fans.

Once dubbed ‘the white negress‘ by Cliff Richard, because of her soulful vocal style, Springfield was described by Sir Elton John as the best white British female singer‘ of her time.

Her first success in 1963 with I Only Want to Be With You was followed by a string of hit singles, including Stay Awhile, I Just Don’t Know What to Do with Myself, and Little by Little. In 1966 she had her first number one, the ballad You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me.

Her image was a striking as her music. The heavily mascaraed ‘panda eyes‘ which became her trademark, coupled with her blond beehive hairstyle, earned her the nickname Queen of the Mods.

From Natural to Panda Eyes & Blond Wigs

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Her perfectionism earned her a reputation for being difficult in the studio, which was matched by her status as a wild party-goer with a taste for throwing food.

She refused to play to segregated audiences in South Africa in 1964, incurring the ire of some on the British music scene, but her popularity was unaffected, and in the same year she was voted Best Female Vocalist in the prestigious NME Awards, an acknowledgement she was to be awarded again in 1965, 1966 1967 and 1969.

But commercial success confused her, while constant rumours about her sexuality left her craving privacy. Alcohol and tranquilizers abuse followed, and the Seventies saw her depressed and losing focus on her music.

Column Dresses

Dusty Springfield

dusty springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

True to her survivor’s reputation, she stormed back into the British charts in 1987 with What Have I Done to Deserve This? a duet recorded with the Eighties pop duo The Pet Shop Boys. The song was a worldwide hit, and was followed by a second collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys, Nothing Has Been Proved, the theme to the film Scandal.

Matt Snow, editor of Mojo, said in bringing rhythm and blues into British pop music, Springfield had proved herself as significant as Lennon and McCartney.

‘She was an unconscious stylistic revolutionary, but a revolutionary none the less. Her emergence symbolised the beginning of a new era, with white singers adopting the emotional range of black artists.

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‘Since the Pet Shop Boys rediscovered and re-presented her, she has been established in the pantheon of significant pop stylists and nothing can remove her from that.

‘The unusual thing about her as big star was that she appeased her hunger for stardom quite quickly, and was not desperate to keep plugging away. She went into semi-retirement with barely a backward glance. Her legacy is the style in which every British singer sings.’

Adam Mattera, editor of the gay men’s magazine Attitude, said Springfield’s personal story had a huge resonance with gay men at the time.

‘When the rumours began about her sexuality, and she actually said that she was attracted to men and women, it was very significant. Her lyrics were all about secret loves, but instead of going into the corner and weeping she stood daring.

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

Dusty Springfield

‘After the lost years, with her Eighties comeback, there was a clever, knowing sense of camp. She was in on the joke, which separated her from traditional gay icons. She understood what made her popular in the gay community and played up to it.’

Springfield bridged the gap between old-school divas like Judy Garland and more modern artists. ‘She paved the way for people like Gloria Gaynor and Donna Summer, through to Debbie Harry and Madonna, who took the defiance further.

‘She broke the mould with her music, her sexuality, by refusing to fit comfortably into the music industry’s expectations. She was subversive.’

Dusty Springfield

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Book

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Dusty Springfield: Looking Good Isn’t Always Easy – A Celebration of an Icon

Written and complied by Paul Howes, “Looking good isn’t always easy” is the luxurious, coffee table-sized photo book fans have been waiting for.

With more than 600 photographs, covering Dusty’s life from her schoolgirl days to her last TV performance, Paul Howes has retrieved hundreds of photos that have never been published before.

The book is available in hard or soft cover, and in a limited edition only. For enquiries and orders, email Paul Howes at dustybulletin@aol.com

 

Dusty Springfield.

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info: http://www.theguardian.com/uk/1999/mar/04/libbybrooks

Martin Margiela, Designer of Intelligent Fashion

5 Jul

Martin Margiela

Martin Margiela first got the fashion world thinking in 1989 with a collection that challenged what luxury could be. Applying ‘grunge’ techniques such as deconstruction, recycling and raw finishes, in an intelligent and sleek manner, his ideas provoked shock and intrigue. In a rejection of mass media culture, Margiela became an anonymous design hand and has hardly ever been photographed or interviewed. Working under the collective ‘Maison Martin Margiela’ for over 20 years, Margiela left the label in 2009.

.Maison Martin Margiela studioMaison Martin Margiela studio photo on invitation show a/w '96'97 
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Short Biography

Martin Margiela was born on April 9 1957 in Genk, Belgium.

In a rare interview with Sphere in 1983, Margiela talked about his first fashion experience. “I was watching the TV news and there was an item about (Paco) Rabanne and (André) Courrèges. As soon as I saw their designs I thought, ‘how wonderful, people are doing the sort of thing I want to do’.”

Margiela graduated from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Antwerp in 1979. Today he is considered an honorary member of the ‘Antwerp Six’, the ground-breaking group of designers that emerged from the academy in 1980, including Ann Demeulemeester and Dries Van Noten. This wave of talent is credited with pushing the fashion industry beyond Paris, New York, London and Milan, kick-starting today’s global marketplace.

Martin Margiela & Jean Paul GaultierMartin Margiela & Jean Paul Gaultier
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In 1984 Martin moved to Paris to work as a design assistant to Jean Paul Gaultier. “I already knew he was good, but I didn’t realise to what extent,” Gaultier later said.

Margiela founded his eponymous label in 1988, provoking instant reaction with his first collection. “It was really a shock for everybody to see Margiela’s first silhouettes… you realised that he was much more advanced than everybody else,” designer Bob Verhelst, told Icon in 2009.

Martin Margiela won the very first ANDAM fellowship in 1989, a now prestigious prize that has since been awarded to Viktor and Rolf, Richard Nicoll, Gareth Pugh and Giles Deacon.

Martin Margiela F/W 1992

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In an unexpected move, iconoclast Margiela became womenswear director of classic design house Hermes in 1997. “When (Jean-Louis Dumas, chairman of Hermes, and I) first met, he asked me anxiously if I was going to cut the Kelly in half because, at the time, the press used the words grunge and destroy to describe my work,” the designer told Grazia in a rare statement.

Margiela for HermesMartin Margiela for Hermes
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Margiela launched his first menswear collection in 1998, known as line 10. Every new product range is given a number from 0 to 23, acting as a referencing code rather than a chronological order. The original tags were blank white labels, hand tacked with four white stitches that could be seen from the outside of the garment – a symbol of cool for those in-the-know. The ranges have expanded to include fine jewellery (12), footwear (22), eyewear (8), objects (13) and fragrance (3).

Maison Martin Margiela  Menswear

Maison Martin Margiela

Maison Martin Margiela Footwear 

MaisonMartinMargiela-TabiBoots

Maison Martin Margiela Fragrance

Maison MArtin Margiela Fragrance

Maison martin Margiela Fine Jewellery

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In 2002 Maison Martin Margiela became a public company with the majority share acquired by Diesel Group owner Renzo Russo.

Margiela stepped down from his role at Hermes in 2003, and was ironically succeeded by his former mentor, Jean Paul Gaultier.

In March 2006, Margiela presented a critically acclaimed collection where perfectly tailored trouser suits were made from seventies upholstery fabrics and car seatbelts were used to draw in silhouettes. His work with unconventional materials is renowned and other hits have included tops patch-worked from vintage leather gloves, cleft-toe boots and jewellery made of coloured ice, dyeing the clothes as it melted. The designer’s presentation methods have been equally brilliant, as one show challenged editors and buyers to seat themselves according to their perceived importance, while another saw models wheeled out on trolleys.

margiela jacket from leather gloves

maison-martin-margiela-recycled-denim

The Chambre Syndicale invited Maison Martin Margiela to show their first haute couture collection on the official Paris schedule in May 2006, an acknowledgement of true excellence and craftsmanship.

In 2008, 20 a retrospective of the Maison’s work opened at the Fashion Museum Province of Antwerp.

In October 2009 it was announced that Margiela had resigned from his position as creative director at the Maison, although insiders suggested that he had been ‘absent’ for a while. Rumours circulated that he had disagreed with the commercial drive of the new Diesel ownership and felt that the Maison was sacrificing its authenticity and exclusivity in favour of becoming a globally recognised brand.

MMM-labels

In the months that followed the question of who could replace Margiela became a hot topic, with Raf Simons and Haider Ackermann reportedly turning down offers to become the successor.

The 20 retrospective moved to London’s Somerset House in June 2010 with a party attended by many of the designer’s more recognisable peers and acolytes. The big question of the evening was whether the ‘invisible’ designer himself was present. ‘Moving freely among (the celebrity-filled crowd) was that balding, grey-haired gent. Was it Margiela? Well, that assumes all Martin had to do was remove his signature cap to pass as One of Us,’ Style.Com’s Tim Blanks reported.

The 20 Retrospective Exhibition

The 20 retrospective

Maison Martin Margiela

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

The 20 retrospective

Margiela’s radical concepts have influenced everybody from Azzedine Alaïa to Alexander McQueen.”Anybody who’s aware of what life is in a contemporary world is influenced by Margiela Marc Jacobs told Women’s Wear Daily in 2008.

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Short Film on Martin Margiela: The Artist Absent

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Books

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Maison Martin Margiela

Graduating from Antwerp’s Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the 1980s, Martin Margiela (and his contemporaries in the Antwerp Six) transformed global fashion with his aggressive restatement of traditional fashion design and a polemical approach to luxury trends. Working first with the house of Gaultier, Margiela absorbed the radical design of Japanese deconstruction, making it wholly his own with the founding of his own label in 1988. Margiela propounds a singular, enigmatic look, moving beyond the recognizable tropes of deconstruction—a monochromatic palette, outsized garments, non-traditional fabrics, exposed seams, or roughly appliquéd details—to develop a fully considered worldview, one with elegance, mystery, and menace in equal measure. This book provides an inside look at the design process from a craftsman who creates pieces prized for their originality, delicacy, and daring. In the spirit of Margiela’s garments, the book is a work of art in itself, designed exclusively by Margiela and complete with silver inks, ribbon markers, a variety of lush paper types, twelve booklets, and an embroidered white-linen cover. This book provides a window onto the intimate, handmade world of a unique designer.

ISBN-13: 978-0847831883 ISBN-10: 0847831884

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Book cover

 

Maison Martin Margiela: 20 Years The Exhibition

Twenty years of Maison Martin Margiela is examined in this unique retrospective exhibition catalogue. Departing from the traditional idea of presenting a comprehensive overview, the catalogue explores the different themes and concepts that have been present in the Maison’s production. This extends to their collections, events, the interior designs of their boutiques and offices, and the unmistakeable approach to their graphics and communication.

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Book cover

Martin Margiela: Street Special 1 & 2

 

In 1995, Tokyo-based Street magazine approached the Paris fashion house of Martin Margiela with an invitation to publish a special edition dedicated to its work. Maison Martin Margiela guest-edited the magazine, and was solely responsible for the selection of images and presentation, which includes many previously unpublished photographs from its archives. The success of the first volume led to the publication of a second instalment in 1999, and together the two special issues cover every Martin Margiela collection from Spring/Summer 1989 through to Spring/Summer 1999. Now both popular volumes have been made available once more in this combined reprint.

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martin margiela Belgium newspaper, dated March 3, 1983.

 

Martin Margiela, Belgium newspaper, dated March 3, 19838
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info:http://www.vogue.co.uk/spy/biographies/martin-margiela

Successful Collaborations between Fashion & Art

28 Jun

Yves Saint Laurent & Piet Mondrian

Yves Saint Laurent & Piet Mondriaan

No art and fashion collaboration list would be complete without the classic and iconic Yves Saint Laurent dress inspired by artist Piet Mondrian. Saint Laurent released the 1965 dress for the Autumn season; its simple A-line, and tidy shift silhouette was typical of the mid-sixties. What was perhaps less typical was the clear allusion Saint Laurent was making to Mondrian in his uses of graphic black lines (running both horizontally and vertically) and white and primary color blocks. Its seamlessness is deceiving—the dress is made up of many of individual pieces of wool jersey and was hand-assembled to hide obvious seaming. This dress is not only an icon for Western fashion but also records the importance of Mondrian’s work during the period of the 1960s.

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Yves Saint Laurent & Andy Warhol

Yves Saint Laurent & Andy Warhol

Yves Saint Laurent and Andy Warhol (two men who need no introduction) collaborated in 1974, Saint Laurent is the subject, and the product is a silkscreen image of a youthful Yves by Warhol himself. The work is done in a style similar to Warhol’s other works-an even square divided into four equal quadrants. The portraits are paired diagonally, but the paired images are painted in decidedly different and fanciful ways. The painting stands today as a commemorative gesture to the great fashion designer. Although the painting itself is not a garment or accessory per se, the object stands a reflection of the intimate ties between the culture of fashion and art.

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Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

Comme Des Garçons & Cindy Sherman

This 1994 collaboration with internationally acclaimed photographer, Cindy Sherman, and Rei Kawakubo, still holds an edge over a lot of the more recent fashion photography campaigns. Sherman is best known for her self-portrait series Untitled Film Stills that feature a number of typified feminine characters. Sherman, inspired by Kawakubo’s already pointedly unconventional fashion sense is driven to create a campaign equally unique. The coquettish personalities of her Film Stills are replaced by the slumped, unhappy and imperfect female persona. These photographs confront the consumer with a model that isn’t particularly ideal at all; she floats in isolated contemplation, caught forever pensive in the frame of Sherman’s photograph. Cindy Sherman would go on to a number of other fashion-related collaborations moving forward with names like Marc Jacobs and Balenciaga.

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Comme Des Garçons & Merce Cunningham

Comme Des Garçons & Merce Cunningham

Rei Kawakubo first started designing under the name Comme des Garçons in 1969, and since then she has been making her name known as one of the foremost avant-garde fashion designers in the world. Merce Cunningham was making himself known under similar terms, but within the dance context. Kawakubo had always “shared similar creative philosophies with Merce Cunningham, including interests in engaging multiple artistic disciplines and aggressively pushing the boundaries of the unknown.” After Cunningham’s initial offer to give her complete freedom in designing the costumes and the set, Kawakubo declined. As myth has it, while working on her notorious spring collection of 1997, titled “Body Meets Dress, Dress Meets Body,” she changed her mind. The collection was an aggressive response to her feelings of boredom with fashion. She padded the dresses in a way to reshape the body under new circumstances—her own circumstances. Similarly to the “Body Meets Dress” collection, the costumes Kawakubo designed for her collaborative work with Cunningham (tilted Scenario) featured the same “irregular bulges on the dancers’ hips, shoulders, chests, and backs.” Wearing these costumes altered the dancers’ proportions, their balance, sense of space, and even their fundamental extent of movement. 

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Marc Jacobs & Juergen Teller

Marc Jacobs & Juergen Teller

Marc Jacobs & Juergen Teller

Marc Jacobs & Juergen Teller

It all began in 1998, and many of us can’t even remember what Marc Jacobs (the brand) looked like before Juergen Teller. Teller’s overexposed and slightly rosy tint make his photographs feel more like adventurous polaroids between friends than esoteric fashion photography. His imagery is playful but always with a little tinge of deflation, grunge or raunchiness—like Jacobs’ clothing. Since the auspicious beginnings of the Teller-Jacobs collaboration in 1998, Marc Jacobs’ ads have become a celebrity fashion yearbook with notable subjects like Winona Ryder, Sofia Coppola, Helen Bonham Carter, Dakota Fanning and photographer Cindy Sherman.

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Alexander McQueen & Björk

Alexander McQueen & Björk

Alexander McQueen & Björk

This epic relationship began when Icelandic native Björk released her fourth record, Homogenic in 1997 – and the image that held the album cover got nearly as much press as the music. The “elfin chanteuse” her fans had come to love had transformed into a different almost unrecognizable creature; a creature that, today we know was borne from her collaborative conversations with then, 26-year old Alexander McQueen. “When I went to Alexander McQueen, I explained to him the person who wrote these songs—someone who was put into an impossible situation, so impossible that she had to become a warrior…a warrior who had to fight not with weapons but with love.” The respective work of these two creative geniuses seemed to discuss similar themes of man, nature and machine. The two went on to collaborate several times: McQueen directed Björk’s video for “Alarm Call,” and in 2003, the pair reunited for a Fashion Rocks! performance, where she sported a McQueen gown and crystal mask for the finale of her performance. McQueen was also responsible for Björk’s fantastical bell-covered dress worn in the 2004 video “Who Is It?” And in a 2003 conversation between Björk and McQueen with Index magazine, he said of his own designs that sound like it could have come from either virtuoso, “my work is always in some way directed by nature. It needs to connect with the earth. Things that are processed and reprocessed lose their substance.”

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Marni & Rop van Mierlo

Marni & Rop van Mierlo

 

Marni & Rop van Mierlo

Italian-based brand, Marni, continues its playful collaborations with artist and illustrators from around the globe. Perhaps one of the most successful choices has been with Dutch artist, Rop van Mierlo. Mierlo, based out of Amsterdam, is best known for his children’s book Wild Animals, which won the Best Dutch Design Award in 2011. The book features pages of blotchy, watery-diffused animals: a snake, a rabbit, a lion, a pig, and a squirrel to name a few. He describes his process as interested in “creating animals he could not control”—how romantic. Though the entirety of Mierlo’s aqueous menagerie is not featured in Marni’s collection—released in mid-January of 2013—his donkey, parrot, ostrich and tiger don the tops, purses, and scarves of many of the most popular looks. In a recent interview with SSENSE Mierlo was asked, “Your animals seem soft, gentle and sweet. In the world of the wild animals you paint, would a tiger ever eat a pig? Would a dog ever bite an ear?” In response he said, “I sure hope so. Otherwise the pig bites the tiger in the rear.”

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Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami

Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami'

Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami'

Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami'

Louis Vuitton & Takashi Murakami'

Amidst the millions of anime eyes and smiling flowers of Tokyo-born pop-artist Takashi Murakami’s 2007 exhibition “Superflat,” was the world’s most indulgent museum shop. Monographs, posters, and key chains were reserved for MOCA’sactual in-house store, a Louis Vuitton pop-up establishment with thousand-dollar totes. The monogrammed merchandise featured familiar characters and motifs of Murakami’s and was specially designed for the in-situ boutique. The gesture was an unprecedented one for any American art museum, and in an interview at the opening of the exhibition, supermodel Linda Evangelista was asked by a reporter, “What do you think of this synergy of art and fashion?” Her response, “Well, it certainly makes fashion more interesting.” The collaboration that began in 2003 as multicolored L’s and V’s had evolved into so much more. 

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Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama

Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama

Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama

Louis Vuitton & Yayoi Kusama

2012 was a good year for Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama. She is best known for her use of polka dots, and a retrospective exhibition of her artwork was shown at two major international museums over the course of one year. If you don’t recognize her name, you may have seen the dotted flower sculpture of Beverly Hills or theYellow Trees that enveloped the Whitney Museum development in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan. Kusama told Women’s Wear Daily, “Marc Jacobs came to see me in Tokyo in 2006, and he asked me if I wanted to come to the States and do fashion. That sort of encouraged me because…Fashion has always attracted me.” From this 2006 encounter, blossomed a series of garments, window fronts and shop designs that—thanks to Jacobs’ collaboration—made Kusama’s artistic visions come alive across the globe. Unfortunately, the clothes paled in comparison to the graphic and hypnotic storefronts. Most notable was London’s Selfridge department store that featured Kusama’s favored giant pumpkins—and subsequently, a completely sold out collection. Printemps in Paris donned mirrored window fronts with polka dotted mannequins and silver baubles reminiscent of Kusama’s 1966 Narcissus Garden work.

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Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Kate Moss wearing Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

Belgian fashion designer, Raf Simons, invited German-born, Los Angeles-based artist, Sterling Ruby, in 2008 to use his “Tokyo boutique as a canvas.” Sterling’s intervention transformed the store’s interior from a clinical white space into something that in some ways is hard to describe. The walls were left white by Ruby, and in his typical style, appears to have haphazardly thrown paint everywhere and ended up with something beautiful, simultaneously minimal, and chaotically expressive. The plinths used to display the clothing are black with bleach splashed across them (a technique favored by Ruby in his textile manipulation work), which creates a seductive and unifying tension between the architecture holding the clothes, and the greater structure holding the entirety of the shop. Simons brought on Ruby to create a unique capsule collection following the same aesthetic theme of Tokyo boutique installation the following year. Simons and Ruby have continued their collaborative relationship as recently as 2012, when Simons created fabric with images of four of Ruby’s recent works. The textiles debuted as a part of Simon’s premiere haute couture collection with design house Christian Dior.

Dior Haute Couture, Raf Simons & Sterling Ruby

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Info: http://www.complex.com/style/2013/04/the-50-best-artist-collaborations-in-fashion/

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