Even though it doesn’t hit newsstands until Thursday, V magazine’s summer issue has already inspired a ruckus—that’s what happens when you put a scantily clad Miley Cyrus on your cover. However, the issue, which is aptly titled “Drawn to Fashion,” boasts more than saucy Mario Testino-lensed snaps of Hannah Montana. Perhaps appealing to our taste for nostalgia, V has revived the craft of fashion illustration, turning out an edition that almost entirely consists of hand-drawn imagery and graphic art. Take, for instance, its “Face of the Future” spread, which, featuring the work of Spanish-born, London-based artist Ricardo Fumanal, debuts exclusively above. The subjects of his six-page story are some of contemporary fashion’s greatest female designers (Miuccia Prada, Rei Kawakubo, Sarah Burton, and Phoebe Philo among them), and their best looks from Fall 2013. Don’t get us wrong, we love the digital world, but now and again it’s nice to revisit the old school.
By now, you’ve no doubt already heard about—or even seen—the facsimile of CBGB’s bathroom that Andrew Bolton included in the opening gallery of the Met’s Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibition, which opens to the public on Thursday, following tonight’s red-carpet festivities. “CBGB was the heart of punk in New York,” said Bolton at a preview this morning. “Punk was all about shock and provocation, and so to start off an exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art with a toilet—well, I thought was the ultimate punk statement,” the curator told Style.com.
The exhibition juxtaposes original (and contemporary) punk wares by Vivienne Westwood against luxury and haute couture looks from the likes of Dolce & Gabbana (who are featured in the Graffiti room, above), Maison Martin Margiela, Comme des Garçons, Dior Haute Couture by John Galliano, and Gianni Versace (yes, the 1994 safety-pin dress is on display). One might be hard-pressed to differentiate between Vivienne Westwood’s destroyed seventies sweaters and Rodarte’s Fall 2008 knit dress, which are on display side by side. The same gallery boasts Westwood and Malcolm McLaren’s lewd T-shirts (for instance, her famed “Tits” top hangs against a black PVC curtain). “I love that we start off with T-shirts with very obscene political and sexual slogans,” said Bolton. “They’re still shocking thirty-seven years later—in a way, more shocking, because of our political correctness.” Beyond the T-shirts lies a reproduction of McLaren and Westwood’s infamous—and iconic—shop, Seditionaries, which stood at 430 King’s Road. The remainder of the show was divided into DIY categories, like Hardware, Graffiti and Agitprop, Bricolage, and Destroy—and each room was punctuated by a film by Nick Knight.
“No other subcultural movement has a greater or more enduring influence on how we dress today,” Bolton noted in his opening remarks. Consider, as evidence, the fact that there is a slew of Fall 2013 looks in the show, from such houses as Viktor & Rolf, Saint Laurent, and Gareth Pugh—whose Fall 2013 trash-bag dresses are arranged into a veritable mob in the center of the Bricolage installation.
Bolton made sure to steer away from clichés—for instance, he noted that hairstylist Guido Paulo, who created the spiky Technicolor mops that topped each mannequin’s head, avoided Mohawks, and instead pulled inspiration from Richard Hell’s signature ’do.
“I wanted to present punk in a respectful, and even reverential, manner,” said Bolton. That’s already earning the show some mixed reviews. And of course, there are those who protest discussing punk in a high-fashion context—or, for that matter, paying couture prices for a punk-tinged look. “I think that’s completely punk,” said Bolton in response. “People seem to forget that punk really was a commercial movement. Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, in a way, created what we know as the punk look. And they commodified it,” he explained.
As for why consumers and designers, from Karl Lagerfeld to Met Ball host Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, are still drawn to the seventies subculture, Bolton offers, “Punk endures today because it reflects our longing for a time when originality and creativity were celebrated, a time when fashion was provocative and confrontational. And, above all, a time when fashion championed the individual and self-expression.”
Punk: Chaos to Couture opens at the Metropolitan Museum of Art this Thursday, May 9.
Between the Met’s upcoming Punk: Chaos to Couture exhibition and the rebellion-infused Fall ’13 runways, it’s no secret that punk is having a major moment. Resurrection New York—the Nolita vintage store known for its highly edited collection of sixties Pucci and seventies Halston—decided to celebrate the revival with What Are You Looking At, an in-store installation featuring pieces from Resurrection’s enviable archive. “The Met has their way—they feature certain things and have a lot of the high-fashion derivatives of punk rock and fashion—but we have our own approach [to punk] that’s really special,” explained Resurrection archivist and manager Maria Ayala. “We thought, This is all happening. Let’s show people where this actually came from.”
The pieces on view range from iconic King’s Road staples (polka-dot mini-crinis, Seditionaries’ Sid Vicious Chaos tees) to rare personal items like a pair of shredded bondage pants that Gaye Advert gave owner Katy Rodriguez in London. A selection of wares are for purchase—a pastel camo Stephen Sprouse blazer, for example—while others, like a Westwood x Keith Haring knit skirt and some original, and very ribald, Boy London T-shirts, are for ogling only. “We actually have a top like that, as well,” commented Ayala in reference to the Haring skirt. “But today, M.I.A. came in and rented it because she’s doing promo pictures for her album. Maybe we’ll see it on her album cover, maybe not. But that’s pretty exciting.”
What Are You Looking At is on view through May 8 at Resurrection New York, 217 Mott Street, New York, NY; (212) 625-1374.
“If we’re presenting this project for a bunch of 30- to 80-year-olds, I’m not going to go crazy and show some sort of Thierry Mugler suit,” said Gabi Asfour at Parsons The New School for Design. “What we’re proposing is an update on the orchestra’s classical wardrobe.”
Asfour was referring to a yearlong project between Parsons and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, in which the latter’s musical director Marin Alsop challenged students to reimagine the future of symphonic showcasing. Asfour—who, in addition to teaching, runs his own label, Threeasfour—oversaw the initiative’s fashion and design development in collaboration with Sabine Seymour, the director of the Fashionable Technology Lab at Parsons.
“We have three performances, starting with projection mappings on a pianist,” he said. Asfour and his student team have created a diaphanous ivory gown (“You’d better have white stockings on show day!” Asfour told the performer), on which animations of waves and wiggling digi-worms dance in tandem with the performer’s keystrokes. The second act applies sensory technology directly in the clothing. Two percussionists will wear reflective-sleeved oxfords, embedded with transmitters that generate projections based on rhythm. Asfour and co. also streamlined traditional orchestra garb. For instance, there’s a repurposed men’s Halston jacket with mesh vent insets, and a bow tie grafted from cutaway shirt fabric.
Eco-friendly practices—like using repurposed materials—were a focus, too. “It’s really trying to look at fashion from a different perspective, one that doesn’t have as many limits,” said graduating senior and student project manager Renee Sunden. “And we try to push the sustainability standpoint.” Music to our ears (and eyes), indeed.
The Future of Orchestral Garments will be presented on Sunday, May 5 at The New School’s Arnhold Hall, 55 W. 13th St. It’s free to the public but requires advance registration.
“I wanted the audience to feel like the people who read Gatsby in the twenties,” said director Baz Luhrmann during yesterday’s intimate luncheon and discussion of The Great Gatsby at the New York Public Library. “Back then, it was dangerous and of the moment.” Following a string of stylish events and a splashy New York premiere worthy of any Fitzgerald novel, the event was a scholarly affair hosted by Anna Wintour, NYPL President Tony Marx, and editor in chief of The New Yorker, David Remnick. The latter moderated a Q&A with the film’s star-studded cast and crew.
Just steps from the library’s trove of Fitzgerald first editions, the film’s stars, Tobey Maguire, Joel Edgerton, Isla Fisher, and Carey Mulligan (DiCaprio was absent), offered insight into playing some of literature’s most memorable characters. “Daisy became a cocktail of a lot of research,” revealed Mulligan, who plumbed Princeton’s archives for the author’s intimate correspondence with muses Zelda Fitzgerald and Ginevra King. “I fell in love with these two women. The more I read their words, the more real Daisy became.” Fisher, who plays the down-on-her-luck Myrtle Wilson, admitted that her character’s capricious tendencies were hardly far-fetched. “I often play a floozy,” the Australian starlet deadpanned in a Chloé ensemble.
But perhaps the keenest observation came from the film’s scorer, Jay-Z, who was the first to see a rough cut. “We went to lunch afterward, and Jay told me, ‘The thing about this movie is that it’s aspirational,’” recalled Luhrmann. “I think he really nailed it. With Gatsby, everybody thinks of the parties, the fashion, and the champagne. I do hope the movie has a lot of razzle-dazzle, but ultimately it’s a book about hope.”