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August 30 2014

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4 posts tagged "Haiti"

Helping Haiti, One Brushstroke At A Time

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“I was in Haiti for my very first time,” says the designer and big-time Haiti activist Donna Karan, “and I got back to my hotel one day and saw this amazing artwork on the walls. I said, Oh my God, who did this?” As it turned out, the artist was leading contemporary Haitian artist Philippe Dodard, and he happened to be standing right behind her at that moment. (Apparently, timing really is everything.)

After that chance meeting, Dodard’s strong graphic ink wash paintings became the inspiration for Karan’s Spring 2012 graphic collection of body-hugging dresses and full skirts (of which a portion of the sales benefited the artisans of Haiti). More recently, the pair combined their artistic efforts for a new exhibition at North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), entitled The Luminous Breath of the Human Spirit. On display, there are six dresses from Karan’s Spring collection (pictured, left) and 37 works by Dodard (who now serves as the general director of the National School of Arts in Haiti). “I want to create art that awakens rather than satisfies the mundane desires of the clientele—art that embodies different answers to our human problems,” Dodard tells Style.com of his work. That is the bigger picture to this ongoing partnership between Karan and Dodard (they have collaborated on design and metal projects through initiatives of her Urban Zen foundation, and both contributed to photographer Russell James’ Nomad Two Worlds multimedia project, which has been showcased around the world and is now on display at Urban Zen)—the duo is revitalizing and rebuilding Haiti through art.

“I have always said that the answer to Haiti is in the hands of the people,” says Karan, who, since meeting Dodard, has been back to the country countless times. “It’s the artists, the most creative people, who will revive it.”

The Luminous Breath of the Human Spirit is on display through June 20 at MOCA, 770 Northeast 125th St., Miami, Fla., (305) 893-6211. To learn more about Karan and Dodard’s collaborative efforts, visit UrbanZen.org.

Photos: Courtesy Photos

Beyoncé Joins DVF And The CFDA To Benefit Haiti

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There have been about as many Haiti benefits as there have been nights since the tragic earthquake hit, but the latest from the CFDA won’t require a spot on your dance card—just $25 (which goes to the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund) and your shirt size. The organization’s new To Haiti With Love tees—a project initiated by Diane von Furstenberg, Ralph Lauren, Tory Burch, and Andrew Rosen, along with the rest of the CFDA—will look, we can safely say, good with anything. And CFDA prez DVF has one very high-profile fellow fashion mogul signed on as the face of the initiative: Beyoncé.

The shirts go on sale February 16 at retailers nationwide. For more information, visit www.cfda.com/fashion-for-haiti.

On The Beaton Trail

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When Vogue asked Cecil Beaton to travel to Haiti in 1935, the result was a portfolio of indelible images of the island, its architecture, and its people. To help benefit the American Red Cross’ relief efforts in the earthquake-devastated nation, a selection of Beaton’s photos of what he called the “extraordinary isle” are now being offered for purchase. Please visit Vogue.com to learn more.

Photo: Cecil Beaton / Conde Nast Archive

Your Weekend Plan: Helping Haiti

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In the wake of the devastating earthquake in Haiti, the digital generation has risen to do its part: The Red Cross’ donation-by-text-message program has so far raised $10 million for disaster relief, much of it thanks to the tireless efforts of the Twitterverse to raise awareness. (That oughta shut up the anti-tweet camp for a minute or two.) We’re all for a little digital philanthropy, but if you’re in New York and want to do a little good in the flesh, here’s a fashion-friendly event you’ll want to check out.

This Sunday, January 17, GrandLife joins forces with Style.com’s Eleanor Banco, Teen Vogue‘s Mary Kate Steinmiller, downtown DJs Harley & Cassie, the MisShapes, and Sophomore’s Chrissie Miller (and even a few others, but we ran out of breath!) for a Port-au-Prince relief party at the Soho Grand. A $20 admission—100 percent of it donated to the Red Cross—gets you open bar from 6 to 8 p.m. and dancing till 10.

We’ll keep you posted on this and other relief events, and of course we’ll tweet the info, too. As should go without saying at this point: Retweet away.