4 posts tagged "Anh Duong"
Anh Duong was in Chelsea last night, surrounded by a gallery full of Anh Duongs. The painter’s new show, at New York’s Sonnabend Gallery, was devoted exclusively to self-portraits. “I decided I’m going to paint myself because I’m always available and on time,” Duong deadpanned. “So it started as an excuse, basically, and then it became a sort of diary. I’ve been painting myself for the last 20 years.” The portraits, which have the slightly off-kilter fluidity of Alice Neel’s (and the liquid eyes of Margaret Keane’s), show the artist nude and clothed, outdoors and in, with cameo appearances by dogs and stuffed toys. They also offer Duong an ample opportunity to dress up for her sittings, spotlighting a killer collection of frocks, accessories, and jewels. “I think they are also great excuses to use a color or shape or to add something to the painting, to the composition,” she explained. “That’s why I’m interested in painting objects, the bag, the shoes, whatever. I think also the clothes have a personal significance. As I child I would always dress up; I felt like it was some sort of make-believe world, where if the clothes were perfectly put together, then I was safe. It was a response to a chaos around me…I felt like it was this ideal world, so it came naturally that I would use that in my portraits.” A fashion-heavy crowd, including Barry Diller, Carlos de Souza, Calvin Klein’s Francisco Costa, and Phillip Lim, came by for a look. Lim, a friend of the artist, found an especially good reason to keep a sharp eye open. “I think one of our trenches is in here,” he said, before spinning off to have a look. But Duong herself said she preferred to see her paintings as expressions of emotion and technique, rather than portraits, per se. After all, she added, “I really think that every work of an artist is a self-portrait—I just push it further.”
At Paul Kasmin Gallery nearby, the new show by Walton Ford was testing that hypothesis. Ford is known for his large-scale watercolors inspired by the animal paintings of J.J. Audubon and others, but several of the enormous pieces in the new show had no history at all: wall-sized paintings of gorillas mid-scream, without the context of time or place. A portrait of the beast within? The gallery was as thronged with stampeding visitors—Daphne Guinness, Salman Rushdie, Padma Lakshmi, and Olivia Wilde among them—but the artist himself was the picture of civility in a sharply tailored three-piece suit.
The first Tod’s shoe was the famous driving moc, and decades later, the pebble-soled loafer is still going strong. The label recently commissioned photographer Elliott Erwitt to shoot a few of its own personal style icons wearing Tod’s for an exhibition called Icons by an Icon. (It’s too modest to add “Wearing an Icon” to the end of that title.) Erwitt shot the likes of Amanda Brooks and family, Ahn Duong and Bart Quillen, the Rowley-Powers clan, and more, each at their homes. (“Like shooting fish in a barrel,” Erwitt said of the difficulty in making beautiful people look good in their beautiful homes—though as for the moc, he’s more of a sneaker man himself.) Brooks and Duong joined Tod’s creative director Derek Lam for a lunch at Berdgorf Goodman today, where several versions of the moc in exclusive new colors and fabrications (including crocodile and python) are now on sale.
“It kind of speaks for itself,” Lam said of the evergreen style. (He prefers his in navy blue.) But does it go with Derek Lam? “If people know that I’m designing for both, they want to see the thread of what I do: softness, femininity, a sense of relaxed, laid-back spirit. They want to see that in everything I design,” the designer continued. “I think every customer I have mixes and matches. I was just at an event at Barneys and was talking to one of their top personal shoppers, who was saying they don’t really sell it head to toe. I said that’s great, because I don’t really design head to toe—I think of things very much as isolated items. Then I put them together to make a proposal about how it can look, but that’s, I think, very different from the European designers, who think very much, this is a total look. I’m about the item—what makes the item valid again, what makes it cool, what makes it interesting for the season. Then it’s really up to the customer to integrate in terms of their lifestyle. I think that’s why it works with my work at Tod’s. I look at things from a very itemized place. I think that’s the only modern way to dress. I look at the women here and everybody’s mixing brands.” He gestured around the room and laughed. “Yeah, I wish everybody would just buy just Derek Lam, but…”
None of the looks from Lanvin‘s Fall collection that Alber Elbaz showed to the likes of Anh Duong, Lauren Remington Platt, and Olivia Chantecaille at a private Upper East Side club on Thursday night would break the organization’s strictly enforced dress code—each of them whispered elegance. “This was the closest I’ve come to Paris in New York,” one observer dreamily mused after taking in the mini-show, which was hosted by Bergdorf Goodman. That was exactly the point of the exercise: to showcase Lanvin’s personal and Parisian touch—as well as “to bring back the pleasure of shopping.” Gotham was the second and final stop on Elbaz’s “tour”; he touched down in London last week for the opening of Lanvin’s new boutique there. “We want to show not just the what, but the how and why of what we do,” the designer said.