Monday, November 3, 2008

A Woman Under the Influence

Wearing a Six Six Sick breastplate made from a cutup mannequin body and purple twill tape, a Christian Lacroix skirt, and a Cheap Monday T-shirt.  We made the breastplate last summer, and were inspired by the Alexander McQueen show, as well as Robert Lee Morris's gold version.

When the Olsen twins recently announced that they were releasing Influence, a book about fashion, I initially scoffed.  While I do admire their eclectic style, I'm not a fan of celebrity endorsed fashion lines, and even more skeptical when said celebrities attempt to extend their (usually limited) creative reach into penning their own books and self-indulgent memoirs.  However, when I found that the book was less about the girls themselves, and instead, focused on interviews with fashion designers, artists, and other creative people that have influenced them, I became a little more interested.  My interest peaked when I found out that they had chosen to interview one of my favorite jewelry designers of all time, Robert Lee Morris.

I had the pleasure of meeting Robert as a jewelry design student at F.I.T. two years ago, where he graciously presented us with a history of his work, and allowed us to examine and try on samples of his earliest armor styled pieces that, to this day, leave me speechless.  Molded breastplates, futuristic metal sunglasses, giant cuffs that appear to be shot through with arrows---these are the pieces that jewelry designers dream of designing.  Completely non-functional, almost unwearable, but so completely out-of-this-world, and crafted with incredible artistry, and a genuine love for the medium.  The pieces have an old world feel of a coat of armor from the Metropolitan Museum, yet are so designed in such a modern and timeless style that they still attract attention today, and last year appeared in a V Magazine editorial.

Two pages from Influence featuring the inspirational early work of Robert Lee Morris.

In addition to Robert, Influence features interviews with fashion greats Karl Lagerfeld and John Galliano, as well as completely inspiring conversations with one of the founding editors of Interview Magazine under Andy Warhol, Bob Colacello, fashion show and event producer Alexander Betak, and infamous photographer Terry Richardson. Nothing means more to a designer, or any creative person for that matter, than inspiration, and this book is full of it. Even if I felt embarrassed to buy something emblazoned with twin Olsen faces on the cover, and Jimmy has warned me that I have to hide the book when guests come over, the content is filled with inspirational treasures I plan on drawing from for a long time.

Another spread from Influence featuring photographs from Bob Colacello's time as the Editor of Interview Magazine


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