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April 21 2014

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Obscure References, Hot Belts at Phi

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As artists go, Richard Lindner is hardly a household name. The painter, born in Hamburg in 1905, put a geometric spin on Expressionism, taught at Pratt and at the Yale School of Art and Architecture, and died in comfort—if relative obscurity—in 1978. All that to say, Lindner isn’t exactly a go-to for designers, but that didn’t stop Andreas Melbostad from building his Fall ’09 Phi collection around the painter’s work. “There’s an interesting corseted quality to Lindner,” explained Melbostad, who said he’d never heard of Lindner until coming across a photo of one of his canvases in a magazine a few months ago. “He had a very compelling take on the female form, as well. So that’s where I started.” Going from obscurity to obscurity, Melbostad next seized on the Willem Dafoe movie The Loveless—a touchstone film for anybody obsessed with black leather or the director Kathryn Bigelow, but kind of a “Huh?” inducer for everyone else. “It’s all about bikers,” Melbostad noted. “So you can see where I got the idea to do motorcycle jackets and bandana prints.” And corset belts and high-heel buckled creeper shoes, both of which moved the Phi crowd to a swoon of desire. Richard Lindner and The Loveless may not be hot cultural commodities, but expect the Phi accessories inspired by them to come to some fame.

Photo: Thomas Concordia / WireImage

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