Tuesday, November 26, 2013


Talking mannequin at the Jean Paul Gaultier show at the Brooklyn Museum

For New Yorkers, two incredible shows are going on at the moment: a retrospective of the work of Jean Paul Gaultier at the Brooklyn Museum, and Jewels by JAR at the Met.

The first show is hardly a secret, as evidenced by the mile long ticket lines without, and the awestruck and view-obscuring crowds within.  While I admit, I previously was not an ardent admirer of Jean Paul Gaultier, and was only familiar with his more recent work, I was a quick convert after the show, which presented an expansive life survey of his work.  The show ranged from the earliest paper cone-bra that a child Gaultier had made for his teddybear, going on to touch on the various recurring motifs in his work (S&M, bondage, sailor stripes, punks, saints, sinners, etc.), while paying special attention to his jaw-dropping couture pieces.  The show was also impressive in its forward thinking curation and exhibition design, which featured mannequins with video taped faces of models projected onto their heads, batting their eye lashes, chatting, and singing to the spectators.  The show, which was organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, has been on tour for the last two years, so some may have seen it already.  Nonetheless, if you haven't, it is well worth the ticket price.

The second show, Jewels by JAR, features the mesmerizing work of the Bronx-born, Paris-based cult jeweler Joel A. Rosenthal. JAR is notoriously curmudgeonly, and only crafts a few dozen of his ultra-elaborate, phantasmagorical pieces a year.  Each piece fetches well into the tens of thousands of dollars, and mostly are exclusively viewed by the impressive list of famous ladies who collect them.  It is therefore an incredible treat to have four-hundred pieces of JAR jewelry culled together in one place, allowing viewers an up close look at the tedious amount of man-hours and painstaking craftsmanship that go into assembling the over-the-top pieces.  Of course, photos were not allowed at the exhibition, but I did find pictures of two of my favorite pieces from the show: a zebra brooch wearing a diamond feather plume, and a parrot-tulip broach with articulated unfurling petals made of diamonds, garnets, and rubies, and an enameled stamen. 

JAR Tulip brooch, photo by JAR

JAR Zebra brooch

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Sunday, November 24, 2013

Lines and Dots

Leg Luxury tights, Marni x H&M coat, Topshop Jacket, Fifth Avenue Shoe Repair tunic, Messeca NYC boots,  Margiela x H&M necklace, Norma Kamali sunglasses

Fall (which at the moment feels like deep winter) requires the digging out of heavy knits, winter jackets, and of course, tights and leggings.  I hate just about everything else about the change of seasons after my six-month-long cold-weather endurance test in Stockholm, but I do love the change in wardrobe.  Every jacket has been getting an equal amount of time in rotation, but I've been wearing my Leg Luxury striped tights nonstop.  They go with just about everything, but I've taken to pairing them with clashing stripes and dots.  Perfect for a ride on my Citibike down to the Lower East Side for high tea and chocolate at Tache, and a peek at the set of Steven Soderbergh's new television series, The Knick, which made over Orchard Street and temporarily took it back a century back in time.


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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Nice Threads

Jumpsuit by Natalie Deryer

I have become accustomed to reading about young designer collaborations in both the U.K. and Sweden, and am constantly cursing the fact that none of the designs ever make it stateside.  Therefore you can imagine how happy it made me to find out that Urban Outfitters has chosen to team up with some young unknowns, with the help of Arts Thread, a creative network for students and recent graduates.  While I had never heard of the site before, one look makes me wish that such a forum had been established while I was still in school. In addition to offering information on jobs, internships, and design grants, the site also hosts design contests.  The five winners of the U.O. and Arts Thread contest, all fashion students based in the U.K., saw their designs put into production as part of the winter 2013 collection.  My personal favorite?  A mesh-inset jumpsuit by Natalie Deryer, perfect for lounging. 

Jacket by Joanne Miller

Plaid dress by Nicolette Nadimi

Fringe maxi dress by Charlotte Sowerby

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Psychedelic Fleurs

One of my favorite discoveries this season is Skotison, a newly launched New York based label from Chelsea Goldman and Alyssa Lesser.  The debut collection is full of all the fun and fabulous things that make my heart beat a little faster: custom designed prints featuring ogling eyeballs, holographic floral decals, and most impressively, a denim 3D textured print that the girls custom developed by molding the fabric and then filling it with gel.  The results are wild, including a pair of 80's style high-waisted jeans adorned with puffy stars and moons (which all have a pleasant spongy feel when poked), and an acid-trippy looking full length dress adorned with holographic flowers batting their eyelashes. Beyond all the kooky and kawaii elements, the items are impressively well made, and also speak to the incredible innovation of Goldman and Lesser.  Though the 3D textured fabric is apparently very expensive, I expect that someday in the not-to-far-off future, we will be seeing it all over.


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Corpse Bride

I haven't made a costume in ages, but decided to go all out for the dual costume holidays of Halloween and Day of the Dead.  After all, I had two grand parties to attend: Screaming Mimi's Halloween dinner, and E.R. Butler's Day of the Dead celebration.  I already had many of the pieces assembled from previous Six Six Sick DIY costumes, including a 'porcelain' floral skirt, a Helle Mardahl hand painted dress, and a harlequin ruff collar.  The final piece was the veil, which I decided would be Comme Des Garcon Fall 2009 inspired.

I got a head start making the floral headpiece at the She and Reverie party over the summer, gluing plenty of fake flowers to a thin metal headband.  Since I wanted the off-white flowers to match the painted white flowers of my porcelain dress, I painted all of the flowers with white acrylic paint and let them dry.  I then took two yards of white tulle and cut it into thirds, affixing two layers in the back and one layer in the front with a glue gun, and securing it to the headband with another layer of felt.  I also wrapped the raw ends of the metal headband in off-white Mokuba ribbon. I finished by embroidering a pair of black trompe-l'oeil lips to the front, for that little Comme-inspired touch.

Of course, a corpse bride wouldn't be complete without a corpse groom, and Jimmy ended up being my best accessory.

My corpse groom

The Day of the Dead Crew!

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