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July 25 2014

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2 posts tagged "RISD"

RISD’s Feeling Fine and Dandy

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The dandy: It’s a term we hear on loop, it seems, when it comes to horn-rim-wearing street-style stars and all things bespoke or buttoned-up. But the dandy has a far richer history than the current zeitgeist lets on; one that includes the likes of George “Beau” Brummell—an arbiter of men’s fashion in eighteenth-century England who was known for being “extremely neat”—King George IV, Oscar Wilde, and Andy Warhol (whose paint-splattered shoes are pictured below). On April 28, Providence’s RISD Museum of Art will celebrate the term with the opening of its summer exhibition, Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion.

“As we delved into the subject of the dandy in art, literature, and history on an intellectual level, we felt a strong need to focus on the tangible garments worn by dandies past and present,” said Kate Irvin, the museum’s curator of costume and textiles. The selection runs the full temporal gamut—with current provocateurs such as Thom Browne and Waris Ahluwalia featured alongside more archival names, like Stephen Tennant (above, left), Charles Baudelaire, Richard Merkin, and Malcolm McLaren.

As assistant curator Laurie Brewer details, dandyism is as diverse as it is distinct, and it’s not strictly limited to one bracket of dressing. “I am always smitten with the extraordinary feat of what a bespoke suit can be—but I also fully appreciate Rick Owens’ radical take on menswear—hard and romantic, masculine and feminine.” Owens is also featured in the exhibit, lending credence to the sartorial vastness encompassed by the term. Expanding on the subject, the curators concluded, “there may be boundaries and rules that one feels compelled to follow when dressing, but one must always recognize that they are elastic.” Alongside the exhibition comes the release of a corresponding illustrated book, which features essays by the likes of Thom Browne, Glenn O’Brien, and Style.com’s editor in chief, Dirk Standen.

Artist/Rebel/Dandy: Men of Fashion will run from April 28 through August 18 at the RISD Museum of Art .

Photos: Cecil Beaton (Stephen Tennant); Courtesy of the RISD Museum of Art (Warhol shoes)

Rafael de Cardenas Won’t Reveal His Secret Wallpaper Source

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You may not know the name Rafael de Cárdenas, but if you’ve visited Miami lately, chances are you’ve seen his handiwork. (Or if you’re model-obsessed and pored over the gorgeous spreads of Jessica Stam’s apartment in the October issue of Elle Decor.) De Cárdenas is the architect behind new exhibition space O.H.W.O.W. (short for Our House West of Wynwood). Conceived by Aaron Bondaroff and Miami collector Al Moran, O.H.W.O.W. put itself on the Miami Art Basel flock’s map of must-sees when it played host to It Ain’t Fair, a group show staged by Bondaroff in conjunction with Deitch Projects’ Kathy Grayson and Nicola Vassell, Javier Peres, Terence Koh, and a handful of other art world nabobs. But even Miami locals who wouldn’t know a Dearraindrop from a Dash Snow have taken note of O.H.W.O.W., thanks to the Op Art-inspired design de Cárdenas dreamed up for the venue (interior pictured here). “Cabbies have started calling it ‘The Black and White Building,’ ” de Cárdenas remarks. “It’s funny that they’ve already come up with a nickname.” Instant landmark aside, de Cárdenas made his reputation on intimate spaces—his firm, Architecture at Large, was responsible for the interior of Charlotte Ronson’s Nolita boutique and Waverly-esque West Village restaurant Charles, for example, and helmed the renovations of Jessica Stam’s Manhattan and East Hampton abodes. Here, de Cárdenas talks to Style.com about model homes (pun intended), Our House West of Wynwood, and why style is overrated when it comes to design.

How did you get involved with O.H.W.O.W.?

I grew up in New York, and Aaron Bondaroff and I have been friends for a long time. We’ve collaborated quite a bit. I designed his Wreck Center pop-up last year, for instance, so it was kind of natural that I work on O.H.W.O.W., too.

On the one hand, that seems like kind of a dream project—a huge space, an open-minded client, and a building that was, in essence, a blank slate. But on the other hand, it must be hard to know where to start on a project with so few built-in constraints. Was that a challenge?

When you’ve been designing for a while, you come to each new project with a bag of tricks. There are ideas you like, that you know tend to work for you. O.H.W.O.W. was kind of like a playground. I got to take my favorite ideas out for a run—like, the whole black and white motif, for example. I love that contrast. But in a way, my approach to design operates as its own control. I’m very invested in the way spaces are experienced. So that leads to things like the pattern on the O.H.W.O.W. floors suggesting pathways through the galleries.

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