24 posts tagged "Dita Von Teese"
“I think people respond to the fact that they’re not just drawings, but sort of hidden cultural moments,” revealed Donald Robertson (a.k.a. Donald Drawbertson) at luxury retailer Curve‘s new gallery on Bond Street. The suburban dad-cum-Warholian artist (and head of creative development at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics by day) is talking about the Pop appeal of his loose-sketched, candy-colored fashion illustrations, a selection of which were placed on view with the help of host Carine Roitfeld at Nevena Borissova’s subterranean gallery last night.
The images, painted in sweeping, affection-laden lines on a single piece of paper that spans the entire length of the gallery space, are meant to lead the viewer from one fashion moment to another. “I’ll do Dita [Von Teese] and Zac Posen, whom I really love, in bright magenta, then to leave this color palette altogether and get into black and yellow. Then I’ll go into just black lines. And I usually do skinny chicks, then I’ll do full booty,” explained Robertson as we walked down the line.
Figures represent specific looks (a yellow streak on a willowy woman may reference Acne Studios’ boxy sunset Fall outerwear, for instance), as well as friends (Lisa Perry and Roitfeld are regulars) and the more-than-occasional style world moment. “I’ll see that Kanye West got married, and I’ll do a Kanye West post right away,” said Robertson, explaining that Instagram is both a major source of inspiration and a forum for his work. (He was nominated for the CFDA’s Instagrammer of the Year Award.) “It allows me to react to things as they happen.” The illustrations at Curve are an extension of this desire for instantaneous dialogue. Viewers at the shop and gallery can interact immediately: All of the sketches at Curve are shoppable—just scan the image and scan through a selection of corresponding looks.
“I’m constantly being bombarded by concepts and ideas,” said Robertson as the likes of Leandra Medine, Brian Atwood, and Ryan Korban milled in the background. “It’s not a political statement but a style statement through illustration.”
Smythson’s Panama diary has some seriously impressive cred. Launched in 1908, it’s been used by everyone from Sigmund Freud and Katharine Hepburn to Jonathan Saunders and Dita Von Teese. For Spring ’14, Smythson is releasing a full-on Panama collection, comprising diaries, address books, manuscript books, and beyond. In celebration of the new range, the brand has called in young British artist Quentin Jones to create a series of pretty wild works. The set of ten pieces will feature the aforementioned influencers, as well as Hardy Amies, Waris Ahluwalia, Erdem Moralioglu, Bryan Ferry, Kylie Minogue, and Laura Bailey. The works—done in Jones’ signature, surreal style of mixed media—will explore the subjects’ relationships with their Panamas. An exhibition of the art, as well as the new Panama line, will be unveiled during a special event at Smythson’s New Bond Street store today, and the show will be open to the public from Monday. In the meantime, get your Smythson x Jones fix with a gif teasing the star-studded artworks, which debuts exclusively here.
“I can get out of a lot of things, but this dress is not one of them,” said burlesque star Dita Von Teese of the gown she donned to last night’s party at the Ace Hotel. The dress in question was the first fully articulated 3-D printed garment, which was conceptualized by designer Michael Schmidt. And the party, which drew the likes of Debbie Harry, Bob Gruen, and Andrej Pejic, served to toast its unveiling. “I was interested in finding the middle ground between the world of mathematics and the world of ephemeral beauty,” Schmidt told Style.com. The L.A.-based designer, who has crafted looks for stars like Madonna, Cher, and Lady Gaga (the latter wore his glass-bubble costume on the cover of Rolling Stone in 2009), conceived Von Teese’s frock with Fibonacci’s Golden Ratio in mind.
With the help of computational designer and architect Francis Bitonti, Schmidt used 3-D software to realize his space-age gown (think cinched waist and steroidal shoulders). The dress began as a digital rendering, which was then engineered in powdered nylon by high-tech collaborator Shapeways. “As an architect, it’s all about dealing with facades, and this was just about making a curvy one,” mused Bitonti. The body-skimming dress featured an undulating mesh silhouette of three thousand articulated joints fashioned out of layered nylon powder. As if that weren’t complicated enough, it also boasted twelve thousand Swarovski black crystals, which were painstakingly placed by hand after printing. “It’s obviously very futuristic, but I tried to retain a level of old-world glamour that was befitting of Dita,” added Schmidt. Indeed, the Blade Runner-meets-Bettie Page ensemble was worthy of the millennial pinup. “It’s superlight,” Von Teese mused later that evening after slipping into a demure Roland Mouret shift. But was it comfortable? “The only uncomfortable part is that I needed to be very cautious about how I walked. I had to make sure my heels wouldn’t get stuck in the hem.” Even in the future, glamour’s got its obstacles.
Antwerp’s A Magazine has always been much more than a magazine. The key to its cultish allure lies in the subtitle: Curated by. The first issue, in 2004, was curated by Martin Margiela, the most recent by Rodarte. And in between, the likes of Yohji Yamamoto, Haider Ackermann, Riccardo Tisci, and Proenza Schouler have corralled their favorite photographers, artists, and writers to make A Magazine.
Issue Number 12, which launches at Bookmarc during Paris Fashion Week, belongs to Stephen Jones, fashion’s favorite hatter. “I like a magazine that looks like a magazine,” he said yesterday. “It’s not a book. I didn’t want it to be page after page of slightly meaningless photographs. That’s why I thought illustration. I love illustration, I draw every day. And that’s the way designers communicate, through drawing.”
Jones’ choice of medium couldn’t be more timely, with the revival of interest in the work of Antonio Lopez and the spotlight that Anna Piaggi’s recent death threw on Vanity, the mythic magazine she produced with Antonio in the eighties. Piaggi was a close friend of Jones’. It was actually Vanity that brought them together. (Jones’ single interaction with Antonio was when he asked if he could see the picture the artist was drawing of him. Antonio crumpled it, threw it in the trash, and offered a flat “No!”). And Jones sees this current project as a kind of tribute to his late friend and inspiratrice.
There’s no theme, unusual for Jones, whose hat collections usually revolve around a story. “When I saw the work coming in, it was very much about the illustrators themselves.” The roster of talent includes David Downton, one of whose pet subjects, Dita Von Teese, models accessories semi-naked and centerfold-style; Peter Turner, Galliano’s illustrator at Dior, who contributes a story on men’s underwear (Jones advertises, “Entirely gratuitous nudity”); and the legendary Howard Tangye, head of womenswear at Central Saint Martins, who illustrates spring for A Magazine‘s pullout calendar.
Jones’ sole brief to the illustrators was that they could draw whatever they wanted. At least half the images are of hats. “It’s you, Stephen,” they told him when he complained that he wanted his magazine to be about everything. He had to shut up and take the compliment. Anyway, there’s always Donald Urquhart’s images of Leigh Bowery to balance the hattage. He drew them with his own genitalia, dipped in ink.
Jones’ own contribution is a selection of ten favorite drawings, which he spent the Christmas holiday picking out of the thousands he’s made since he launched himself as a milliner in 1979. There are also some “conversations in drawing”: Jones would send Mugler or Montana or Kawakubo a suggestion to accessorize a collection, they’d send it back with comments. He’s also included drawings from industrial designers like Zaha Hadid and Marc Newson, as well as some of Raf Simons’ college work. None of it has been seen before.
“I did try to feel like, ‘Think Pink,’ ” says Jones of his guest stint as a magazine editor. “Editing things down is what an editor does. I wanted to edit things up, make it a fantastic showcase. I didn’t want to be restricted by this season’s story. But I didn’t want to be timeless, either. Always what’s interesting for me is doing an amazing hat for Marc or Raf, but then making a baseball cap for a young Japanese guy who comes into the shop. I love variety. That’s what the magazine is about.”
Click here for an exclusive preview of a few illustrations from A Magazine Curated by Stephen Jones >