August 22 2014

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3 posts tagged "Gabi Asfour"

Threeasfour’s Food for Thought


Threeasfour When most people think of food as fashion, images of Ring Pops, candy necklaces, or even edible panties may pop into their heads. Yet when Threeasfour’s Gabi Asfour considers the eatable sartorial, he comes up with techno-wire dresses crusted in fresh-baked challah bread. Go figure.

Last night at New York City’s Jewish Museum, Asfour, along with his Threeasfour co-designers Angela Donhauser and Adi Gil, showed just that: a trio of models in custom “fractal” garments coated in carbohydrates, for a performance piece dubbed Fest. “Tonight was great for this,” Asfour told “It got cold, and now when you come in it smells even better, all this bread!”

The twist here was that the audience could look and also touch—patrons were invited to literally pluck their roll of choice off one of the girls, season it, and eat it. “We are using this as a unifying medium,” explained Asfour. “Almost everybody in the world has bread in their culture. It’s a unifying theme.” Kind of puts the term food for thought in a whole new context.

Though Fest was a one-night-only affair, Threeasfour is currently airing an exhibition at The Jewish Museum (where the label also presented its Spring ’14 collection in September) through February 2014 called Mer Ka Ba. Showcasing commonalities in language and text between such religions as Judaism and Islam, the exhibit also seeks to convey a unifying message. For more information, visit the museum’s Web site.

Photo: Da Ping Luo, Courtesy of the Jewish Museum

A Lot Can Happen on La Divanee


Jessica Mitrani and Rossy de Palma

Last night, director Jessica Mitrani invited such pals as Threeasfour’s Gabriel Asfour, Adi Gil, and Angela Donhauser, Glenn O’Brien, and Victoria Bartlett to an intimate gathering at her exotic (think zebra-skin rugs and a grand white peacock) Tribeca apartment. The occasion was the completion of her new short film—La Divanee, starring Fatimah Azzahra—

De Palma's voice-over helps tell the story of Mitrani's heroine, who chooses to spend her entire life actively reclining on a chaise longue. “It came from a few ideas—the first being when I wake up in the morning and can just contemplate in my bed. I think those moments are quite special. And the other idea was about a reclining nude,” Mitrani explained, noting that she felt classical female nude artworks focused on women of leisure and were geared toward the male gaze. “I thought, What if I make a recline that’s very productive?” Indeed, the leading lady is just that—during the movie she gives birth, writes seven novels, and hosts a salon every Wednesday. In keeping with Mitrani’s artistic inspiration, the film’s star is nude, save what appears to be a giant strip of snakeskin draped over her body. But the director—who won last year’s ASVOFF festival with her religious hat-centric short, Headpieces for Peace—asserted that clothes, and what they represent, are essential to her films. “Fashion is narrative; it’s part of the dialogue. All my films have a fashion element because fashion is a mode of communication.”

Speaking of clothes, de Palma, who was decked out in Dolce & Gabbana, Miu Miu, and Armani, offered, “This is a very special film. Jessica has an amazing energy and sense of humor.” When asked where she’d choose to perma-lounge, de Palma responded that she wouldn’t mind spending the rest of her days in New York perched “somewhere on the High Line.”

Bartlett, whose one-eyed cat, i-D (named for the mag), has a supporting role in the film, quipped that she’s not the “reclining” type. “I’m too active. I’m not a couch potato…” That may have something to do with her latest project—a reimagining of the VPL aesthetic via high-fashion gym clothes. “We’re converting everything into activewear. It’s going to be gymwear, but it’s going to have a life that can cross from day gym to night.” The sporty endeavor is set to launch this July.

Photo: Carly Otness/BFAnyc.comĀ 

Parsons’ Electronic Symphony


“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.

Photo: Courtesy of Parsons