14 posts tagged "Kim Gordon"
Before she met Thurston Moore, before Sonic Youth and any inklings of the quake she would make in noise/art rock history (and before she had any connection to the fashion world, for that matter), Kim Gordon was an art student studying at the Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles. She moved to New York after graduating in the late seventies, and started waiting tables and working in a couple of galleries as she made her own work on the side. Not long after, she had her first show at White Columns, then a “Deco building that looked like a showroom” in Soho, in 1981. “I started this thing with a friend of mine called Design Office—the idea was to do an intervention with private spaces: alter them in some physical, decorative way,” explained Gordon, who took over the gallery with household items from friends’ apartments. “It wasn’t really meant to be high design. It was more psychological—dealing with the idea of switching private and public.”
More than thirty years later, Gordon is once again showing at White Columns, this time presenting a retrospective of her work from 1980 to today. Design Office, which references the original early-eighties project and show, opens on September 7 with an exhibition of photographs, videos, sculptures, writings, and paintings. Many of the works have only been seen by a handful of people. “There are really early text pieces like small proposals for stories, paintings of noise bands, watercolors of guys in noise bands, and pictures of Paris Hilton, [as well as] more recent paintings of tweets that I took off Twitter,” explained the artist. “They look kind of minimal, and tie together by way of production value—like, not very good, poor production values. [I used] impure elements like glitter or canvases that are pretty cheap.”
Tweet paintings, like All Animals Have the Same Parts’ Pamela Anderson Retweeted by Richard Prince (top left,) are composed on ripped notebook paper and rest alongside electric-blue-covered twigs and painted jean skirts. A limited-edition solo vinyl recording by Gordon will accompany the exhibition.
The show opens just before the release of Gordon’s new album with noise experimentalist Bill Nace, titled Coming Apart, on September 10. “It’s kind of freer and more textural,” said Gordon, who will perform with Nace at Brooklyn’s Union Pool that night. “Some of it is sort of early Velvet-y…but it’s really like nothing I’ve heard.”
Design Office will be on exhibit from September 7 to October 19 at White Columns Gallery, 320 West 13th Street, New York.
Spring ’13 marks a full-on nineties revival. So it’s appropriate that the new fashion-media site VFILES would choose this week to relaunch X-Girl, the indie, New York-based clothing line started by Kim Gordon (of Sonic Youth fame) and stylist Daisy von Furth in 1993. Inspired by X-Large, the L.A.-based men’s skatewear brand founded by Eli Bonerz, Adam Silverman, and the Beastie Boys’ Mike D, X-Girl offered fitted streetwear and provided a preppy, sixties-style alternative to the baggy grunge look of the decade. The duo’s first collection debuted via a guerrilla fashion show in Soho—naturally, it was broadcast by MTV’s House of Style; it was the nineties, after all—and after the designers’ pals joined in on the fun (Sofia Coppola was involved, and Chloë Sevigny was their first fit model), the line reached cult status. As von Furth explained in Paper magazine’s “An Oral History of X-Girl,” “It was all about being cool and having stuff that other people didn’t have. We had no official style background. The first thing we did was a T-shirt that said ‘X-Girl’ in Agnès B. font. We got a quick cease and desist.”
The brand was bought by a Japanese company in 1998 and hasn’t been seen stateside since. Until now, of course. The revived range—which includes X-Girl logo T-shirts, chip clips, and other kitschy swag—isn’t designed by Gordon and von Furth, but it definitely induces some much-appreciated nineties nostalgia.
X-Girl is available now exclusively on VFiles.com.
“She was asking for toiles!” said Surface to Air menswear designer Aldric Speer, during a fête at the label’s Marais store yesterday evening. The “she” in question is Sonic Youth front woman Kim Gordon. And the toiles were for her recently released collaboration with the cult French design collective. “It’s the first time we’ve ever sent toiles to someone. We were like, really? She was very hands-on,” raved the designer. But what else would one expect from the rock goddess, who’s known not only for her groundbreaking vocals and guitar riffs but for championing a young Marc Jacobs and briefly running her own lines in the nineties?
Along with Surface to Air co-founder Jeremie Rozan, who cites Sonic Youth’s nineties tour with Nirvana as a pivotal moment in his creative development, Gordon hosted not one, but two soirées in celebration of her fashion feat. The first was a cozy but jam-packed in-store event, where fashion and music folk, including Strokes drummer Fabrizio Moretti, sipped Champagne and previewed the graphic orange, white, and gray collection. “I think fashion really feeds off music and has a lot to do with attitude. And rock music is all about attitude,” said Gordon, looking rock star cool in a pair of leather pants and one of her printed Surface to Air silk tops. “We’re always inspired by music. It’s one of the specificities of our company. Music is every day for us, both professionally and personally,” said Rozan. (His favorite Sonic Youth song, for the record? “Sunday.”)
Later that evening, the likes of Julie Gilhart, who arrived with silver confetti still in her hair from Alber Elbaz’s Lanvin celebration, Pamela Love, and Irina Lazareanu packed into Silencio for the after-party, which featured a live performance by Gordon. Peering out from beneath her aubergine Maison Michel fedora, Lazareanu noted, “Kim’s obviously an icon. This is such an eclectic collaboration and I think fashion and music are always a good combination. They go hand in hand.” A musician in her own right, Lazareanu revealed that she’ll be playing a new single at the Purple magazine party on the 7th.
Around midnight, Gordon took the stage for a performance complete with a model crawling backward across the stage in one of the collaboration’s easy orange frocks, to a pit of screaming fans. After the show, a trio of admirers shared a cigarette and discussed Gordon’s on-stage antics. “That was epic! She’s legendary!’ yelled one boy between puffs. From the clothes to the show, Gordon’s definitely still got it.
Surface to Air has spent years honing its Gallic cool (and rock star collaborations with the likes of Justice, Kings of Leon, Kim Gordon, and Kid Cudi), selling to boutiques worldwide and opening its own flagships in Paris and Brazil. The brand finally lands a home of its own in New York with its first U.S. flagship, opening tomorrow (after tonight’s opening bash, naturally). Its new home? Mercer Street—”still a discreet part of Soho, and still developing,” according to womenswear creative director Dorothée Loermann. The label promises NYC-exclusive product to come, as well as more collaborations. On Loermann’s wish list: “SoKo, Coco Summer, or Charlotte Qvale.”
Tess Giberson has been riding high since she relaunched her eponymous collection (after a three-year hiatus during which she was design director of TSE) for Spring 2010. Earlier this year, she opened her first boutique on New York’s Crosby Street, and to launch her Fall ’11 collection, she nabbed Sonic Youth frontwoman Kim Gordon to star in a video directed by artist Alia Raza.
“Kim was the first person that came to mind,” Giberson says of the rocker. “I am a huge fan of hers, both as a musician and now as an artist. I chose her for her strength and great style. She embodies the characteristics of the woman I imagine when designing: strong, creative, beautiful, and cool.”
The video marks Giberson’s second collaboration with Raza, who also created a short for her Spring ’11 collection. (It was screened at the collection’s presentation.) For the new piece, Raza shot Gordon in the woods near her Northampton, Mass., home. Although she enjoys nature, Gordon admits, “I was never into goth; it’s far from my persona and music to play a forest, witchy person.”
There’s no plot, per se, but the mood is ominous; as Giberson puts it, “the attention to detail and tension that [Raza] builds up in her characters is really intriguing.” So, according to the designer, is the medium. “Video is a very exciting format to work with,” Giberson explains. “It’s a less seasonal format, and there is also a different type of emotional connection to the clothing itself by showing it through video, so I’m finding it is becoming one of my most valuable tools for reaching out to a wider audience.” She’ll broaden it still further when she screens the two-minute film at the Lexington W in New York tomorrow night. Before then, you can catch it above.