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27 posts tagged "Andy Warhol"

When Andy Met Halston: Looking at a Visionary Friendship



Photo: Andy Warhol, Halston, 1974; Andy Warhol, Fashion: Halston, 1979

With his movie-star good looks and all-American charisma, it’s no wonder that Halston would have appealed to the perennially celebrity-obsessed Andy Warhol. But what might easily have been a fleeting fixation would grow from their first meeting in the 1960s into an enduring friendship that lasted until Warhol’s death in 1987. This bond—and its far-reaching creative ripples—is the subject of the upcoming Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede, a multimedia exhibit opening this weekend at Pittsburgh’s Andy Warhol Museum.


Photo: Halston, Evening dress with print based on Warhol’s Flowers painting 1964–72, Silk knit

Consider the 1972 Coty Awards, the duo’s first formal—and most riotous—collaboration, where the great designer tasked Warhol with producing his catwalk finale. Starring the “Halstonettes,” the extravaganza boasted a motley crew of ladies both up- and downtown, including zaftig model and Halston muse Pat Ast, who popped out of a cake (wheeled in by Halston), and Factory vedette Baby Jane Holzer, who tap-danced for the assembled crowd at Lincoln Center. Socialite Lily Auchincloss did her part cooking up bacon on the catwalk. Despite the duo’s occasionally humorless milieus of fashion and art, a shared irreverence made for a fruitful partnership. “There’s a democratic, Pop sensibility running through both of their work,” says Nicholas Chambers, a Warhol Museum curator. “It’s this kind of response to the world, but on the other hand, there’s this absolute embrace of glamour.” The latter is evidenced by better-known mergings of the two men’s visionary talents, like Halston’s Fall 1974 gown in an acid-hued print of Warhol’s famed Flowers.

The pair were bound together by a common entrepreneurial spirit, as much the product of their Depression-era childhoods as an element of otherness; both were gay men from less-than-cosmopolitan cities (Halston from Des Moines, Warhol from Pittsburgh), who hit the ground running on their arrivals in Manhattan. “They were both workaholics,” says Lesley Frowick, Halston’s niece, who had a major hand in the exhibit’s curation. “They had to work hard and make it on their own. Halston always had a pen and a pad of paper to sketch and take notes. Warhol always had Interview magazines with him that he would hand out. He was always circulating—they both did that to keep on top of the pulse of pop culture. Halston used to say, ‘Oh, yeah, Andy. He would go to the opening of a drawer.’”


Photo: Andy Warhol, Lesley Frowick, 1985

The designer featured Warhol’s works almost exclusively on the walls of his lavish East 63rd Street Paul Rudolph town house, where Frowick lived for a year while attending photography school. Encounters with her uncle’s friend Andy were commonplace. “Halston encouraged a lot of his friends to have their portraits done by Warhol, and he thought, Well, let me have Warhol do my family’s portraits, too. I went to the Factory and he did the portrait. It might sound spoiled, but that was just the way life was. Yet in hindsight, I wish I had paid more attention and taken notes and been able to take more photos myself and kind of record it all,” says Frowick. Fortunately, there’s no shortage of ephemera. Halston was an immaculate archivist and Warhol something of a pack rat, leaving behind more than 610 time capsules of Warhol memorabilia. One, whose contents are on display in the exhibit, brims over with Muppets merchandise. Sent by Jim Henson to Halston around the time of Warhol’s birthday, Halston regifted the pieces, inscribing them in marker: “To Andy, Happy Birthday, Love Halston.”

Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede opens at The Andy Warhol Museum on May 18. For more information, visit


Photo: Andy Warhol, Time Capsule 471, 1980–83

Photos: Courtesy of the Warhol Museum

Halston and Warhol, Together Again


Liza Minnelli; Martha Graham; Andy Warhol; Halston

What better means to fete the Andy Warhol Museum’s twentieth birthday than with some help from another American icon? Halston and Warhol: Silver and Suede, which opens on May 18, takes a look at the two men’s friendship and creative processes. Curated with the help of Halston’s niece Lesley Frowick, the exhibit will juxtapose forty of the designer’s most iconic pieces with Warhol’s films, paintings, and, of course, photos of Studio 54 glitterati (Halston included). Time to take a cue from Liza’s Oscars look, break out the flowing jewel-toned ensembles, and head to Pittsburgh.

Photo: Getty Images

Remembering Basquiat—Nude and Otherwise



“It wasn’t my idea to do this,” explained photographer and curator Paige Powell. “I didn’t want to face it.” The artist is talking about her new exhibition, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Reclining Nude, which opened at the Suzanne Geiss Company on Grand Street last night. The photographs on display, grainy black-and-whites blown up to massive scale from negatives that were untouched for three decades, depict Basquiat lounging nude while sketching in his Upper West Side apartment. Powell’s work captures a moment of intimacy between she and Basquiat—one of many the pair shared during their two-year relationship at a time when Powell ran with Andy Warhol (she started working at Interview magazine just a couple of weeks after moving to New York in 1980) and his crowd of Factory regulars.

“I had so many photographs—prints, video, Polaroids—and they had all gone into boxes, so nothing was referenced, very little was dated,” continued Powell, stopping to greet friends including Gus Van Sant, David LaChapelle, Rufus Wainwright, and Isabel Toledo. “When I came across these, I wasn’t sure if I should show them. I thought, ‘What would Jean-Michel think? He would love these.’”

“Paige was always wired to be a little more conscious of the moment at hand or what it meant—with Andy, with everything,” mused longtime pal, curator and fellow Warholite Carlo McCormick. “I never hung out with Jean naked,” he added. “I only hung out with him doing drugs. But I think it’s nice that she’s conveyed something really intimate on a big scale. It’s a space that you don’t often share.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat, Reclining Nude is on view at Suzanne Geiss Company in New York through February 22.

Photo: Patrick McMullan Company

In Memoriam: Remembering Those Who Passed in 2013


The new year is just around the corner, but before we move on to 2014, we pause to celebrate a few of the innovators who passed away this year. Below are some of the legends to whom we say good-bye.

In Memoriam: Remembering those who passed in 2013

Ottavio and Vittorio Missoni
There’s no denying the colorful imprint that Missoni has had, and continues to leave, on Italian fashion since it was first created by Italian impresario Ottavio Missoni and his wife, Rosita, in 1958. Having contributed to the rise of Italian ready-to-wear, Ottavio, ever the patriarch, peacefully passed this May at 92, having bequeathed the reigns of the family empire to his children, Angela, Luca, and the late Vittorio, in the nineties. Vittorio, formerly the CEO of Missoni, who was credited with bringing the brand and its signature zigzag knits global, tragically disappeared, at age 58, with his partner in a plane crash off the coast of Venezuela in January of this year.
Related: Ottavio Missoni R.I.P. and Vittorio Missoni Missing Off Coast Of Venezuela

Lou Reed Lou Reed, the dark horse of rock ‘n’ roll whose artistry and lyricism profoundly influenced various generations of musicians, came into the limelight in the sixties with the Velvet Underground. Reed’s prolific work, which extended into a solo career up until the point of his death (this October, in Long Island, of liver disease at 71), grasped the attention of artists and politicians, like Andy Warhol and Czech leader Václav Havel, as well as his contemporaries, from Bob Dylan to Metallica.

Peter Kaplan
As’s editor in chief, Dirk Standen, wrote, Peter Kaplan was inimitable. Kaplan was best recognized for his editorial prowess as the single longest-standing editor (fifteen years) of The New York Observer, and he set the tone for the media industry to follow by covering the cultish intrigue of New York City’s elite, politicians, and power brokers. His extensive career, which included working at Time magazine, The New York Times, and Charlie Rose, prior to his tenure at the Observer, last saw him as the editorial director of Condé Nast’s Fairchild Fashion Group, of which is a part. Kaplan, age 59, passed of lymphoma.
Related: Peter Kaplan, R.I.P.

Lilly Pulitzer
At 81, Lilly Pulitzer Rousseau, known simply as Lilly Pulitzer, which was also the name for her fashion line of chintzy, preppy print looks prevalent in Palm Beach, Florida (her base), and abroad, passed this April. The socialite-cum-designer began creating her tropical-inspired looks in the sixties and was oft quoted as saying, “It’s always summer somewhere.”
Related: Lilly Pulitzer Dies at 81

Deborah Turbeville
Deborah Turbeville, who passed in Manhattan at 81, in October of lung cancer, was one of fashion’s great photographic legends. Having assisted the late great lensman Richard Avedon, Turbeville worked as a fit model for Claire McCardell and saw a brief editorial stint at Harper’s Bazaar, before building her creative oeuvre on a commanding yet soft aesthetic with a dark and feminine mystique. Appearing everywhere from Vogue to W to The New York Times, her work radically defined imagery in the seventies.
Related: R.I.P. Deborah Turbeville and The Image Makers: Deborah Turbeville Continue Reading “In Memoriam: Remembering Those Who Passed in 2013″ »

Draw Something: Fashion Illustration Takes the Spotlight


Illustrations by David Downton, Gary Card, Zoe Taylor, and Antonio Lopez

Last night in London, Christie’s South Kensington auction house played host to an exhibition and discussion orchestrated by the Fashion Illustration Gallery (FIG). And while the audience sat through the Issa London-sponsored talk, whose panel included Christie’s Meredith Etherington-Smith, illustrator David Downton (whose work is pictured above, top left), and’s Tim Blanks, they were left wondering: Should astute art investors buy up fashion illustration in the same way the world should have snatched up early Basquiat or Koons? “Before Andy Warhol was Andy Warhol, he was a fashion illustrator,” said Etherington-Smith. “Fifty years ago, the art world debated whether photography was a bona fide art form, and the same is happening now with fashion illustration. I believe there is no doubt fashion illustration is an art, but a vastly underappreciated one.”

The art on display last night represented the old guard like Cecil Beaton, Antonio Lopez (above, bottom left), and Andy Warhol, as well as such new talents as Gary Card (above, top right), Zoë Taylor (above, bottom right), and Tanya Ling. Strange bedfellows? Not according to Downton. “Some of the younger fashion illustrators out there are the most skilled draftsmen,” he said. “They very much should take their place alongside the great artists of days gone.”

Among the questions thrown out to an audience that included Suzy Menkes, Camilla Al Fayed, and Susie Bubble: Will fashion illustration ever be accepted as an art form? And will magazine editors ever replace celebs for illustrations? Downton, perhaps, answered these queries best. “The illustration I did a few years back of Cate Blanchett for Australian Vogue was, against all odds, the fastest-selling issue of the year. It also won the Maggie’s Magazine Cover of the Year. After that, there was no doubt for me that there is a place in the art world for fashion illustration.”

FIG’s exhibition at Christie’s South Kensington runs through December 19.

Illustrations: David Downton, Gary Card, Zoe Taylor, and Antonio Lopez