August 27 2014

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11 posts tagged "Neville Wakefield"

The Final Countdown: Style File’s Top Stories of 2013


Catherine Baba

The fashion biz has had quite a year. 2013 was jam-packed with major designer shakeups, groundbreaking ad campaigns, celebrity collaborations, and pop star performance wardrobes filled with custom-made designer duds. In the final days leading up to 2014, we’re counting down Style File’s most popular twenty stories of the year. So sit back, relax, and relive 2013′s unforgettable moments. Let’s kick things off with numbers twenty through sixteen, below.

20. Rihanna and River Island Take London Fashion Week
Rihanna stirred up some anarchy in the U.K. when she and Adam Selman debuted their risqué River Island collection at London fashion week in February. had a front-row-seat to the star’s design debut.

19. Maison Kitsuné’s Retro Pop Experience
Gildas Loaëc and Masaya Kuroki, the talents behind cult fashion brand-cum-record label Maison Kitsuné, were Pitti W’s Fall ’13 guest designers. And in keeping with their quirky, multidisciplinary roots, the pair put on a riotous musical fashion presentation. was on the scene to document their sixties-themed extravaganza.

18. Dior Walks the Red Square
Last July, for the second time in history, Dior staged a show in Moscow’s Red Square. As you can imagine, the festivities, which were hosted inside a purpose-built mirrored pavilion, were brimming with glitz and glamour—albeit of Dior’s sleek and tasteful variety. Designer and Style Map contributor Vika Gazinskaya took us inside the memorable affair.

17. Playboy‘s Artist Pals Are Rethinking Sexy—But Is It Porn or Art?
Playboy has had a big year, what with Kate Moss covering its sixtieth anniversary issue and Richard Phillips’ controversial Playboy Marfa installation. Back in May, the magazine’s new director of special projects, curator Neville Wakefield, asked artists Aaron Young, Malerie Marder, and Alex Israel to create works featuring Playmate of the Year Raquel Pomplun. So we asked the question—were the results porn or art?

16. Bike Like Baba
In 2013, just six years after Paris inaugurated its shared vélo program, New York finally caught up and launched its ever-popular Citi Bikes. But traffic-inducing tourists aren’t the only ones using the vehicles—the bicycles were a popular mode of transport at New York fashion week. During the Spring ’14 shows, we talked to eccentric stylist and cyclist extraordinaire Catherine Baba about the dos and don’ts of biking about town.

Photo: Tommy Ton

Close Encounters of the Jeweled Kind


David Yurman installation

“It’s mysterious stuff from outer space,” said curator and Playboy‘s director of special projects, Neville Wakefield, at David Yurman’s Vestry street studio last night. He was referring to a piece of Gibeon meteorite, which, named for Gibeon, Namibia, where it struck a billion years prior, was on display. The occasion was the unveiling of Yurman’s new menswear collection, aptly dubbed Meteorite. To fete the launch, Evan Yurman—the jewelry brand’s heir apparent—asked Wakefield to create a presentation that highlighted the lineup’s overarching intergalactic feel. “I wanted to narrate the story of [transforming] the raw material from space into product,” Wakefield told The room was staged with a projection of the moon on one end and the meteor on the other, with the label’s pieces raised on pedestals in between. The electronic sounds of French band Air played ever so softly in the background. Continue Reading “Close Encounters of the Jeweled Kind” »

Playboy‘s Artist Pals Are Rethinking Sexy—But Is It Porn Or Art?


Aaron Young for PlayboyThe famous old dodge—”I read Playboy for the articles”—is getting a contemporary update. Thanks to a revamp and a prominent new hire, you can now look at Playboy for the art.

The magazine recently signed curator Neville Wakefield as its special projects director, and he’s been working on some highbrow—albeit playful—extensions. His first official venture involved commissioning three artists (Aaron Young—left, Malerie Marder, and Alex Israel) to create work presenting the 2013 Playmate of the Year, Raquel Pomplun, within the context of art. “I think it’s a reimagining of what Playboy can be,” said Wakefield, who’s working on another art-centric supplement for November.

The effort got us wondering: When is a picture art, and when is it erotica? “I think it has a lot to do with context,” offered Wakefield. “Porn has an efficacy when it comes to arousal, but [these works] are meditations on a person and a condition, so in that respect, they are art.” We put the question to the artists themselves; their original works debut exclusively here.

Aaron Young:
Aaron Young for Playboy

Playmates are “always working with their bodies,” said Aaron Young, so he covered a nude Pomplun neck-to-toe in paint and had her press her body (in one case, dragging her) across canvas for a series inspired by Yves Klein’s press paintings. “This definitely has rich and deep connections to art history,” he said. “I mean, there have been so many different kinds of nudes, why not work with the most popular nude in America?

The bottom line: Is it erotica? “If somebody has a good enough imagination, I’m sure it probably could be. But I think that expressing an idea through any medium can be sexy. I mean, I find dry conceptualism sexy, sometimes.” Continue Reading “Playboy‘s Artist Pals Are Rethinking Sexy—But Is It Porn Or Art?” »

Master Class


It might have been a balmy after-work Friday evening, but an impressive fashion lot made their way to Washington Square to preview Helmut Lang’s latest show, titled simply Helmut Lang: Sculptures. The power players in the room, including Barneys’ Mark Lee, Ed Filipowski, and Cecilia Dean, were a testament to the designer-turned-artist’s lasting draw. “It’s really a confirmation of Helmut’s style,” said Giambattista Valli, who was in town for the Met gala and was taking in the rubber, foam, sheepskin, and tar stacked sculptures—modern totems of a sort (pictured). Valli, who has never met Lang, admitted he had long been an admirer. “He came into fashion and completely changed the aesthetic,” he said. “It went from the over-the-top eighties to his own clean and spare aesthetic. If you look around, his aesthetic continues to today.”

Lang’s forward-thinking, stark work contrasted particularly nicely with the classic parlor-floor town house space, including vintage moldings. The viewing venue came courtesy of art veteran Mark Fletcher, who co-curated the exhibit with Neville Wakefield. “It’s not easy to make the transition from fashion to art,” Fletcher said. “But when Helmut shredded his fashion archive, I thought ‘This guy is really serious.’ ” Fletcher was also quick to point out, though, that those with vision shouldn’t be restricted. “People like to keep people in specific arenas, whether it’s art, music, film, or fashion,” he said. “But transgressing cultural boundaries is what’s interesting. Look at Tom Ford.”

Helmut Lang: Sculptures, 24 Washington Square North, is on view until June 15.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Helmut Lang Returns—Sculpturally, At Least


Since his retirement from the world of fashion, Helmut Lang has devoted himself full-time to art—often art that devotes itself to literally tearing up his fashion. For his latest show, the archive seems a bit safer from the scissors; the more than 20 new pieces in Helmut Lang: Sculptures, opening May 5 in New York, are mostly created from rubber, foam, plaster, sheepskin, and tar. Co-curated by Mark Fletcher—recently honored at the Art Production Fund’s annual gala—and Neville Wakefield, the show features both wall-hung works and freestanding monochrome sculptures, which Lang describes as his most figurative work yet. Judge for yourself, left. And if you’re inclined to make a weekend of it, the first New York installment of London’s Frieze Art Fair arrives that same weekend, erecting what its founders claim is the largest temporary structure ever built on Randall’s Island, complete with a pop-up art world hangout (that’d be a Sant Ambroeus café) and parties thrown by Mulberry and Net-a-Porter.

Helmut Lang: Sculptures runs May 5 through June 15 at 24 Washington Square North, NYC. Frieze Art Fair runs May 4 through 7 on Randall’s Island, NYC; for more information, visit

Photo: Courtesy Photo