A retrospective of Jean Paul Gaultier’s 40 year career in fashion design has just opened at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, and is already wowing the crowds – mainly thanks to a set of freaky deaky mannequins with creepy virtual faces.
The living dolls, whose faces are beamed on from distant projectors, actually talk, and recite poetry. So far, so creepy. The first one is JPG himself, while the rest are female mannequins dolled up in his designs (including the infamous conical corset he designed for Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour in 1990).
At Ff we love vintage clothes, vintage jewellery, vintage interiors… why not vintage men? Yes yes, you could point out that it’s for the simple reason that we don’t lust after hot gay men either: unattainable targets of lust = misplaced energy.
Oh for a time machine
But these retro hotties are another thing altogether. Collected together by the inspired tumblr page My Daguerreotype Boyfriend, this is a veritable feast of men from yesteryear or, as they put it, ‘where early photography meets extreme hotness’. Makes us yearn for a more innocent time… or maybe it just makes us yearn for a man with a moustache and a cravat. Bally heck! Visit the tumblr for hundreds more…
Need a hand grooming that handlebar?
You just can't pose like that with no hint of irony these days
Mihai Eminescu… poet, novelist, journalist, hottie… dead
Inspired: The Upcycled Bicycle lamp by Andre Wagner and Jen Turner (photograph via New York Times)
It’s always a little bit sad to see a once-fine bicycle rusting away, abandoned, locked to a fence somewhere to end its days rusting slowly while scavengers pick over the best parts, leaving the mangled, corroding remains (well, as a cyclist with a soft heart, I find it sad anyway…). But in New York, two artists have found a way to reinstate the majesty of the two-wheeler, by salvaging its parts and turning them into art.
INSPIRATION#1: The ‘skeletons’ of abandoned bicycles left to rust around NYC
Inspired by Japanese sculptor Isamo Noguchi’s Akari pendant light and those of George Nelson, Andrew Wagner and Jen Turner saw a resemblance between the rusting wheels of abandoned bikes, and the former’s arthouse lighting designs.
INSPIRATION#2: Noguchi’s Akari lights
They set about creating their own tribute, using pieces they salvaged from unwanted bike wreckages from neighbourhoods they found were fertile hunting ground for these abandoned treasures – Williamsburg, East Village, SoHo.
INSPIRATION#3: George Nelson’s pendant bubble light
The result? A resounding success, that as the artists put it, are a sweet reminder of cycling as children through the neighbourhoods where they found the bikes.
“Materials collected, we set about devising a simple fixture with an air of 1960s cool. The design was straightforward: We took two de-spoked rims, one slightly larger than the other, and inserted the smaller into the larger, securing them at one junction with a screw, nut and washer.
Once the structure was in place, it was time to install the light. An old lamp socket and cord would work beautifully, though you can find something similar at any lighting store (we got ours at Canal Lighting for $20). With at least 20 feet of cord, the lamp can be adapted to virtually any setup.
We ran the cord through one junction of the structure, leaving the plug on the outside, then we attached the light socket to the end of the cord inside the lamp, using a plastic cable grip to hold the wire and bulb at the right level.
We then wove ribbon through the spoke holes (though you could also use sliced, discarded bike tubes), to provide structural support for the final phase of construction — the application of ripstop nylon, often used as parachute fabric.
The entire project — from collecting the material to building the lamp — could easily be done in a day. (Ours took a little over two weeks, but only because we kept tweaking the design.)
And once complete, it’s a surprisingly beautiful and mildly cheeky reminder of the leafy suburbs where many of us first learned to pedal.”
From Trash to Treasure: A Workshop Exploring Transformation, with Andrew Wagner and Jen Turner, will be held in conjunction with the “Found” show, at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, in Ridgefield, Conn., on March 31. Information: (203) 438-4519 or aldrichart.org/events.
Love this piece by London-based artist Inge Jacobsen exploring the link between the objectification of the female form in pornography and in women’s magazines.
Porn Sewn on Yves Saint Laurent Advert, Inge Jacobsen, 2011
Using embroidery with coloured threads sewn onto glossy magazine ads, she plays with the portrayal of women in porn and the media, inviting the viewer to associate the two in some way.
This most traditional craft of cross-stitch appropriated for use in a most untraditional and risque way makes this all the more interesting.
Jacobsen says she likes to keep her artworks open to interpretation. ’I like to allow the viewer to decide whether the work is a critique of the fashion industry or pornography, or something more celebratory,’ she says.
About as much fun as you can have with a needle and thread
Karlie Kloss: Powers of seduction way beyond her 19 years
Karlie Kloss: Victoria’s Secret Angel; Vogue cover girl, owner of a body like a thoroughbred racehorse. Now she can add another string to her already impressive bow: star of a rather raunchy sex flick.
The 19-year-old model explores her fetishistic side in a short film called Fuck Me, part of a six-part series called Fashion Fetish created for SHOWstudio‘s Selling Sex exhibition.
The series, developed by an all-female collective from the fashion industry including Liberty Ross, Lily Donaldson, Lady Amanda Harlech, Daphne Guinness and Dasha Zhukova, aspires to present sex from a female perspective through the exploration of fashion and fetish. Each week from 22 March to 1 June will see the release of a new film, with Karlie’s, directed by Ruth Hogben, being the first.
It’s a fast-paced film Karlie plays a selection of vixens: there are whips, there are suspenders, there is bondage. Have a watch and let us know what you think. Next stop, Agent Provocateur.
On the topic of fashion and fetish, SHOWstudio say:
‘If, historically speaking, a fetish is a manufactured object which has magical powers, or one that people are irrationally devoted to, fashion is a veritable fetish-factory of ‘It’ shoes, ‘Now’ bags, and garments that magically propose to make your life indefinably better.
‘On a less abstract level, fashion has been obsessed with sexual fetishism for centuries. The subtle constraint of the corset, the snugly-gloved hand, a shiny boot of leather – all staples of the well-dressed man or woman, and equally the well-equipped Sado-Masochist.
‘At the turn of the twentieth century, the Pandora’s Box of fashion fetish was blown apart – from Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s proposal of ‘rubberwear for the office’ in their seminal London boutique SEX, to Gianni Versace’s sanitised ‘Bondage Chic’ of 1992, to the power of John Galliano’s ‘Sado-Maso’ haute couture collection for Christian Dior in 2000, designers articulated the sexual peccadilloes of a select few across the international catwalks. It’s fetish as fashion.
When fetish meets fashion
‘Fashion Fetish hands the power entirely to female fashion professionals, asking them to address the notion of Fashion Fetish and examining their individual visions of women. In contrast with Selling Sex, which reimagines the female relationship with sex, Fashion Fetish focuses on a woman’s relationship with clothing.
‘Although as fashion historian Anne Hollander has asserted, the nude in art always wears ‘The fashion of her time’ – fashion’s influence can be felt across the naked flesh, her body as ‘fashioned’ as a corseted ball-gown. Dressed or undressed, this project offers a clear field, a blank canvas and an open mind to a selection of some of the most important women working in fashion today – designers, stylists, models and image-makers – inviting them to present their own interpretation of Fashion Fetish.
Coming of age: Karlie’s first nude shoot, with Steven Meisel for Vogue Italia December 2011 issue:
The Duchess of Cambridge carried out her first solo engagement tonight, appearing at the National Portrait Gallery for a private viewing of the Lucian Freud exhibition.
With Wills in the Falklands for six weeks, Kate has thrown herself into her royal duties with enthusiasm – proving that the lessons in becoming a working royal she’s learnt during her dual engagements with Wills have paid off.
The Duchess of Cambridge arrives at the National Portrait Gallery to view the Lucian Freud exhibition
For the occasion, Kate wore a Jesire dress with full skirt and shawl collar (which would have eaten up a very modest £150 from the taxpayers’ coffers, thanks Kate!) with her now trademark sheer tights, worn with Jimmy Choo shoes (Wot no LK Bennett?? *secretly pleased*), and a diamond bracelet, a suspected Christmas gift from Wills. Nice touch if so.
Ff is quite surprised at the Jesire shout out – it’s a thoroughly midmarket brand only really available in department store concessions. It is far from glitzy – a move no doubt carefully choreographed by Kate and her royal advisors.
Whatever, she looked sophisticated enough to represent royalty, but stylish enough to mix with the cool art folk (the likes of Jefferson Hack, Bella Freud and Mary McCartney were also in attendance).
She was given a tour of the Freud portraits by gallery director Sandy Nairne – who hinted that soon there might be the possibility of a portrait of Kate’s own in the making.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, gallery director Sandy Nairne said: ‘It’s very early days, but we’ve started a discussion. It will be at least the summer before there’s anything concrete and we can start to look for an artist.
Kate wore a Jesire dress with shawl collar, sheer tights and Jimmy Choo shoes
‘It’s very exciting. She came to see us last September when she was deciding which organisations to support. She was fizzing with intelligent questions.’
Fizzing indeed! We can’t wait. Hope it’s a bit more flattering than Freud’s painting of the Queen though… Can’t imagine Her Maj was entirely over the moon about this grotesque beast (see below).
At the time it was painted in 2001/2, there were some who bravely called it ‘honest, uncompromising, stoic.’ Others said she looked like a rugby prop forward with a six o’clock shadow. And like HM had had not just one annus horribilis, but a whole reign of them… And that Freud should have been sent to the Tower.
Somehow we think Kate’s will be a lot more flattering.
Wonder what Kate made of the painting of her grandmother-in-law?
Lucian Freud's Self Portait, Reflection. Painted in 2002
Glaswegian artist David Shrigley’s first major London show has just opened at the Hayward Gallery on the city’s South Bank. We know him best for his wryly witty cartoons, but his bread and butter is apparently fine art (that’s where he gets paid the big bucks), and he also dips his artistic toe into photography, books, sculpture, animation and music. It’s all there to view across 240 pieces. Ff has not yet visited so cannot give an appraisal, but here are a few of our favourite Shrigley classics.
Time to choose….
Cup of tea for sale
What the hell are you doing?
He was wearing my boots
When Yoda was young and handsome
Ants have sex in your beer
I am dead
David Shrigley: Brain Activity at the Hayward Gallery until Sunday 13 May 2012.
2) The fact we hear Mossy speak on the ‘making of’ video (see below for the link). For some reason, always fascinating to hear her voice.
3) The mystery of the full clothes rail you see in said video, which must be the most redundant rack of garments in history of time.
4) The dodgy airbrushing job done on the models’ lady jardins. One of them actually looks webbed (see below).
5) Corsica, where it was shot. FF simply must visit. But we will most definitely be fully dressed at all times.
Photoshop fail: Webbed, or is it just us?
Things we hate about the Pirelli calendar:
1) All the BS surrounding it. Photographer Mario Sorrenti: ‘It reminded me how much more special it is when it’s just you and your subject…When I was modelling I did a lot of nudes. I associate that with the closest thing to artistic expression that I could have achieved intellectually.’
C’mon Mario, who are you kidding… It’s 12 hot chicks taking their clothes off.
2) More BS: The calendar is not for sale, and is only given out to ‘celebrities, royals and VIPs,’ and the shipment was closely guarded before its release in an armoured vehicle in New York. Gawd help us.
3) Is it art, or porn? The shots are beautiful, but is posing nude in photographs that will mostly be leered over by blokes really empowering? Does getting their kit off assist women in the quest for equality, or are the shots ultimately there to titillate men? FF suspects the latter.
4) That we don’t look like any of the Pirelli girls.