6.24.2011

between James Franco and Yves Klein

"If you bake some bread in a museum space it becomes art, but if you do it at home you're a baker." M. Abramovic via wsj.com
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James and Terry, via gossipando.it
Fair enough now, James Franco is making art. That makes sense. Is nothing new really, for a hit actor to get bored, and the Wikipedia article for James already states him as actor, film director, screenwriter, film producer, author, painter, and performance artist. He has been the face of Gucci and on the cover of Candy, and I've been told he's teaching at New York University and has plans for music too. So well, I pleasantly visited his first solo exhibition in Berlin during Easter, and found myself curiously well-disposed. It was a very simple, undeniably seasoned Freudian concept, but it was explored; and shapes were pure without getting conceptual, which is something an improvised artist should always avoid. It didn't give me an impression of haughtiness, and I thought he must really have cared about the subject if he carried it out when he didn't really need to, when people loved him anyway and despite all the critics that he must have received (and should, because that's just how it works. there's a price for fame and that's not to do things light-heartedly anymore. Being worshiped entails responsibility). Or maybe he just did it because he could but I'd respect that even more. There are a lot of people who do things they care about, few of us instead do things just because they can. Feelings are just so easy to follow. So yeah, I found myself more condescending than I would have want while walking through Peres Gallery, here's just a bit of what I found:
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Then came the whole invisible-art thing, and that was harder. Not because of the thing itself because obviously, Yves Klein was selling empty spaces back in 1959. And that was art, it was. It's harder now not to feel some kind of arrogance behind this. Before something like that one would expect some kind of strong belief, a philosophy, a faith even. And it's sad to say, but it just feels like James doesn't have the time to do that. Doing without caring about critics is good, is brave, is rebellious. Sometimes though, it comes to hint to some supposed self-superiority, which is disturbingly unjustified.

Now let's just forgive James as we always do with pretty people and move on to think a bit about MONA itself. Their website says:

"The Non-Visible Museum is an extravaganza of imagination, a museum that reminds us that we live in two worlds: the physical world of sight and the non-visible world of thought. Composed entirely of ideas, the Non-Visible Museum redefines the concept of what is real. Although the artworks themselves are not visible, the descriptions open our eyes to a parallel world built of images and words. This world is not visible, but it is real, perhaps more real, in many ways, than the world of matter, and it is also for sale."

"As these non-visible works of art are bought, exchanged, and resold, they open our eyes to the unseen universe that exists at every moment, and we can share that universe. It is like finding the code beneath. We exchange ideas and dreams as currency in the New Economy."

I'm afraid it won't work. I feel like this unfortunately lacks the poetry and dignity it carried 50 years ago; I feel we're not ready for this anymore. Where once there was nobility, there is now some kind of creepy Second Life economic heritage. It isn't about the money though, and it's not really about ethics. This is still a fashion blog; nobody could convince me that these aren't worth $ 1,275 and I think we all know by now how expensive could be cultural value. The difference though, is that with a fashion item as well as with Yves's spaces what interest and excites the buyer and the seller too it is and was still the purchase, overpriced, invisible, but there, that. With MONA's buyers instead it all seems more political if I may say, more like business. They are supporting, defending, sponsoring, promoting; has this anything to do with art?

"Also, I wanted to note that I bought Franco et al's art because I want to promote the benefits of bigger brands sponsoring new media artists and social media art (or Internet projects). My patronage is funding Franco's project but it is equally a sponsorship; it is a marketing tool to publicize my own projects. Sponsoring a social media art project allows a brand or individual to attach their name to a project wherever it appears online, co-create, gain agency and credibility in the social media sphere and share in the buzz, audience, and cultural impact of a work."

"I hope that my purchase of "Fresh Air" will provide support to my thesis about the economic value of Internet projects and self-publishing in the "New Economy," as well as provide additional exposure to my projects and artwork."

She just spent $10,000 on fresh air and still she can barely breath.
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Yves Klein Zone de sensibilité picturale immatérielle 1961, both pictures via tumblr

Now, just to bring all this back to fashion, few images from a long editorial on Ponystep Magazine, an homage to Yves Klein's blue Anthropometries (and what's smarter than blue nowadays?):
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Sophia Lie, Emily Senko, Julia Dunstall, Petey Wright, Eric Watts, Bryce Mathias, Sam Waldman by Phil Poynter; see the whole editorial here
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6.22.2011

John Malkovich designs and Prada inspiration

So I've been off to London for a few days. I went to check on a couple of exhibitions and Current 93 concert in Queen Elizabeth Hall, which was amazing as I discovered there is a way to enjoy a gig without having to weave between pools of vomit and floundering studded arms. There was a Greek boy sitting next to me (yes, we were sitting! on small armchairs!) whom I talked to about my performance. I made it sound really professional and I may tell he was impressed. Well, he better be. David Tibet's voice is like Neptune's out of a seashell by the way, way beyond spiritual. And I went to see The Infernal Comedy which was quite impressive too even if I'm not too much into opera, because I thought it was such a hard subject. It proved to me once again that John Malkovich is too good a actor to play good characters, and I am almost sure Jack Unterweger persona was for him an amusing challenge. It reminded me a bit of his Tom Ripley, with the seduction mastery of Vicomte Sébastien de Valmont. Dangerous Liaisons was in fact shown in the afternoon, followed by a screen talk which i found extremely moving. John was about to climb up on stage and yet he was so calm, so very down to earth. I learned he designs his own fashion line, Technobohemian (not the brightest of names perhaps, but let's not judge a fashion label from its title, shall we?).
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Some of these designs are pretty good, very Italian in a way Miuccia would appreciate (or did she already, maybe?)
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Prada ss 12 via style.com
Anyway, John's interest in fashion is nothing new: in 1999 he directed Strap-hanging, followed by Lady Behave in 2000 and Hideous Man in 2002, fashion films to showcase Bella Freud's collections as soon as she got bored with the catwalk:
He sounded so wise while he talked to us, and not wise in an alarming dramatic way, much more in a self-confident accepting way, like someone who really knows himself so far. He is still ready to take part in so many projects, he looked certainly more lively than I do. And when asked which advice would he give to young people (it was an advice to his young self to be exact, but I guess it was directed to everyone who hasn't found his own way in life yet; because becoming John Malkovich still remains quite a dream) he said not to feel so badly when we feel badly about something. He also said this is not an advice that could work. But it made me feel better in a way I'm now going to try to explain. It made me feel that this annoying juvenile heightened sensibility will end one day, and what comes with elderly may not be all bad.
Talking about operas, for your time 1995 Heiner Müller's Tristan und Isolde with costumes by Yohji Yamamoto:
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6.13.2011

Thoughts on pants.

So, although I expressed my concerns before about the announced Capri pants comeback, and although we all can already see in these streets of June the dawning of the gloomy slaughter that is about to happen; still knowing that it's going to be a failure won't stop what has already started and isn't really in our power to avoid. Acceptance that you're going to wear them will make it easier. I spent some time thinking about a way of escape, in order to keep some dignity through the summer (just to give it away in September, I guess you know by now there is really few to be remembered from fall runaways.); and came out with the following results. Still don't let these fool you, and don't get excited, Capri pants remain a very bad idea. but we've got to do what we've got to do.
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Alexander Wang ss 2011, Agathe Mougin in Purple ss 2011 by Collier Schorr, see the whole editorial here, buy the pants here.
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Daria Stokous  In Bergdorf Goodman ss 2011 Lookbook by Kacper Kasprzyk, via fashionlover
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via style.com
So maybe I was being blinded by all this unexpected white, but I actually thought these pants looked fresh and bright, and I found the doodle print idea very sweet, nothing new maybe but never so polished before.

But if you're not ready yet for the all white,
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from i-D the living loud issue, pre-spring 2011, Carolyn Murphy by Amy Troost
obviously with these shoes you could wear whatever you want and still look gorgeous, even if you're not Carolyn maybe

Then if you agree just for a moment to forget about this dangerous Spring 2011, I'm going to show you probably the best Capri ever made.
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Hexa by Kuho fw 2010, buy the pants here.
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That collection was just stunning. This last look on Tao is still one of my favourites.

Oh, look at me, we've seen a lot of colour all over the place and I'm still suggesting black and white stuff getting all excited when a bit of gray comes out for a change. If you fell braver than me, and you better do, then you could also cut the Capri shorter and welcome whatever comes next.
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Alexander Wang ss 2011 Parachute Shorts, buy them here, and Comme des Garcons fw 2009 via thefashionpolice

And just because we're talking pants, the only brand I'd wear if I was a boy (and when I see these believe me, I wish I was)
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6.09.2011

Guess what? Shoes.

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Martin Margiela candle shoe via popbee
You know these shoes you never bought, you should have had though, and now they're haunting you? Yes, these. I've been haunted myself by quite several pairs through the years and now let me name a few just to complain.
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Martin Margiela, ss 1997. I wanted it so bad, tape and everything. I could find so many implications in just a shoe, you'd be surprised. via metmuseum
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Comme des Garcons, if you can afford these please buy them now.
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Lanvin, it's been some time
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Camper Toðer and Bernhard Willhelm, probably fw 2011, via refinery29 
these seem to be available but I haven't found them anywhere so far. I guess they are coming out for fall, since Bernhard and Camper cooperation sadly brought pretty lame results for spring. Now you may think I'm kidding but if you ask me, these cartoon-like pumps are exactly what we all should wear and very soon indeed. This is just the right way to play down that big blue trend that Armani started and no wonder then that it's so dramatic.
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via style, most likely tumblr and thestylishwanderer
unfortunately I have no idea where some of these pictures are from, if you do then let me know, I'll be happy to edit. I'm now unearthing my oldest folders and revealing painful regrets here, so please be gentle.
Now not to forget, from Spring 2010:
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Nicholas Kirkwood for Rodarte, Miu Miu, and Vivienne Westwood for Melissa. via could be style.com, or jakandjill 
now, having missed the Apollo Winged in 1988 is bad but almost understandable since I wasn't born yet, but how could I have missed the Melissa's remake too, well that's really annoying. I might save from now on and buy them from here. That's what I really might do.
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Vivienne Westwood, 1988 via broadwayworld
Not to forget, from Fall 2010:
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glowing, seriously? I could conquer the moon in these shoes.
 

Not to forget, from Spring 2011:
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Balenciaga, via tesswien
and here we are, so these are probably the best thing ever created EVER, I love them so much it's just exhausting, and even if I could afford them I would think that I don't deserve them (or maybe not)
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Balenciaga, Comme des Garcons, Alexander Wang, Prada, via style.com
you can customize them! Now, HOW cool is that!

To look forward to, from Fall 2011:
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Damir Doma, Miu Miu and Calvin Klein via fashin and style.com

ok, Calvin Kleins look quite a bit too much like, but that's a huge improvement still.

Ok, now, boys, let's have a word with you. These are the shoes that made me wish I was a man so that I could just wish I was rich enough to afford these. Buy them if you can, but don't do it light heartedly: knowing they are on the wrong feet would break my heart.
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J.W. Anderson fw 10 and ss 11, via corridor40 and 18karatgold
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