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September 1 2014

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2 posts tagged "Frank Lloyd Wright"

James Goldstein: The Man, The Legend, The Designer?

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James Goldstein

If you’ve been attending fashion shows these past few decades—or even have just been spectating along as others have—you will have noticed James Goldstein. It’s hard to miss a man dripping in python, always in his signature hat. He visits maybe a dozen fashion weeks a year—a practice he began at the encouragement of his close friend Tommy Perse, owner of Los Angeles’ Maxfield—and has been on the kind of fashion-buying binge for the last twenty-five years that would do Buzz Bissinger proud. He goes for the boldest and most extravagant pieces, including that famous [hyperlink] red leather safety-pin jacket from Balmain (“the most sensational piece I’ve ever owned,” he says). At the time of my visit he was debating the camo moto jacket in python that Alexander McQueen sent him, thinking he might like it, but ultimately he decided on the iridescent silver version Belstaff made especially for him. He also likes the work of his close friend Gaultier. His custom closet, with a dry cleaner’s mechanical revolving rack, holds a collection the Met might like.

This season, Goldstein is making the leap from customer to designer with the launch of his line James Goldstein Couture, which will be revealed in Milan this week (though an exclusive sneak peek debuts below). Style.com stopped by his astonishing space-age house—designed by John Lautner, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright—to hear a little bit about why he’s throwing his famous hat in the ring.

Before we begin, I have to say that this house is extraordinary. Had you been a Lautner fan and enthusiast before you bought it?
Because I grew up in Wisconsin, my parents made me very aware of Frank Lloyd Wright. They were big fans of his. On top of that, one of my best friends in school lived about a block away from me in a Frank Lloyd Wright house—I was there all the time. As a teenager I was immersed in that kind of architecture. At a pretty young age I was living in a high-rise apartment, here in L.A., and I started looking for a house because I’d gotten an Afghan dog who needed lots of room to run. My dream was to find an attractive modern house with a view and a pool. After a long search I found this house, which was in horrible condition at the time.

James Goldstein CoutureHas your interest in fashion been there as long as the appreciation of modernist architecture?

It has. My father owned a department store in Racine, Wisconsin, so he was clothes-conscious, even though he didn’t take it in the direction that I personally have gone—he was a really well dressed, conservative businessman. He tried to start me at a very young age wearing things like that. He took me to New York when I was 6 and I had an overcoat and a hat, you know. When I got to high school I was always trying to be the leader of my class when it came to dress. Everyone would jump on the latest trend and end up wearing the same thing. I would try to be one step ahead. When everybody started getting pink shirts, I got a pink suit. Though I was pretty limited at that age in terms of what was available in Wisconsin. But I tried to stay aware of everything, reading magazines. Then in my early twenties I started going to Europe and that really changed my whole mentality.

You’ve certainly become a presence on the fashion week scene, such as it is.

For years now I have been attending all the fashion weeks and doing what I have always done: trying to find unique pieces to wear every season. I try to get a whole new wardrobe for each season. I like to be seen in unusual, high-quality, well-designed pieces no one else has. For years I have been wearing those to the shows…As a result of that I have gotten, not by design, pretty well known in the fashion world. For years people have been coming up to me and telling me I should start my own line. I would say, at this point in my life, I don’t want to start a new career; I don’t have any formal training in design… Continue Reading “James Goldstein: The Man, The Legend, The Designer?” »

Light Bright: James Turrell Opens at the Guggenheim

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James Turrell's Aten ReignFor the past fifty-some years, James Turrell has been manipulating light to dramatic—and quite often hallucinatory—effect. His magnum opus, for instance, the thirty-five-years-in-the-making (and counting) Roden Crater , turns Flagstaff’s volcanic crater into a celestial observatory. A recent work in Las Vegas gives CityCenter’s Louis Vuitton boutique a neon-lit makeover, and his latest effort, dubbed Aten Reign, converts Frank Lloyd Wright’s iconic Guggenheim Museum into a mesmerizing neon-lit vortex.

“The show has been in development for about six years, and it was a very complicated construction and design process,” explained associate curator Nat Trotman from the base of the Guggenheim’s rotunda, which has been transformed into a spiraling, shimmering kaleidoscope of shifting color-fields. “This building is very idiosyncratic—you can’t just build anything here.”

The installation makes specific use of the Guggenheim’s soaring, elliptical curves and skylight, adding aluminum plates encased with PVC-covered LED lights to Wright’s base to give the space the feel of a giant, tripped-out lamp. Usually covered with art, the walls are stripped bare, and the viewer is left to look up and take in a seductive, hypnotizing loop of vibrant, alternating blues, greens, pinks, purples, and so on. And at the exhibition’s opening last night, guests such as Ralph Lauren, Francesco Clemente, Jenny Holzer, Laurie Simmons, and Agathe Snow wandered the museum’s ramps, sipping champagne while taking in the multicolored glow.

“Light is a powerful substance,” said Turrell. “We have a primal connection to it. I form it as much as the material allows…. My desire is to set up a situation to which I take you and let you see. It becomes your experience.”

James Turrell opens today at New York’s Guggenheim Museum and will run through September 25.

Photo: Scott Rudd