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July 22 2014

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3 posts tagged "Taschen"

Great Exhibitions

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In Manhattan, where a walk-in closet is a covetable luxury, finding the space to house over 50,000 garments and accessories is no small feat. Over the course of several years, that’s exactly what the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) has managed to do. Now, a hand-picked selection of looks are coming out of storage for two consecutive exhibitions, The Great Designers: Part One (opened yesterday) and Part Two, along with a pair of books to match (due out next year).

“For the general public it’s going to be the big names—Armani, Chanel, Dior—that are the attraction, but personally, I’m really excited about the opportunity it gave us to build out our contemporary collection,” Valerie Steele, the museum’s director and chief curator, said at the press preview of the Part One exhibition (co-curated by Jennifer Farley and Colleen Hill) this morning. Of the tomes, highlighting 500 looks by 100 designers from the twentieth century onward, Steele added, “I have wanted to do a book for the museum with Taschen for a long time, ever since they did a fantastic publication for the Kyoto Costume Institute.”

Both the exhibitions and books gave Steele a fun excuse to “shop”—two of the most exciting purchases are a black wool coat with delicate gold embroidery from Alexander McQueen’s Fall 1997 collection for Givenchy and a liquid silver Thierry Mugler mermaid dress from 1987. Part One features approximately 50 garments from several generations of designers. It was surprising to see how easily current looks by designers like Prada (a black and baby blue guipure lace and cotton frock from the memorable Fall 2008 collection) blended with early-twentieth-century pieces. The black Paul Poiret silk faille coat from 1908, trimmed with fine black and gold fringe that doubled for fur at a distance, is great for today’s pelt-wary. An Elsa Schiaparelli gown in black rayon, cut on the bias and with a swirling flower print, had an asymmetrical shoulder seen on many of the gowns in recent runway seasons.

The Great Designers, Part One at the Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue at 27th Street. On view November 29 to May 8, 2012.

Photo: Courtesy of The Museum at FIT

Behind The Lens With Moss Lipow

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Designer Moss Lipow is determined to give eyewear the fashion credit it deserves. The optical designer, who was named a CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund finalist in 2010, has spent the last few years researching the history of the industry of the form for a new book, Eyewear: A Visual History ($60). “No other accessory gives you as much power to control the persona you project,” he says in the afterword to the tome. “Eyewear has always been a remarkable medium, but few have fully understood its scope or potential for beauty.” Here, Lipow talks to Style.com about the evolution of the industry and reveals his vision for the future of eyewear.

As a kid, you weren’t pleased to discover you had to wear glasses. When did your attitude toward eyewear shift?
It was in my later teens—I thought I was never going to get laid. However, I had an innate sense of style and I was really able to turn glasses to my advantage and look cooler than I did before.

At the time, who was wearing cool glasses and inspiring your eyewear choices?
Marcello Mastroianni, Jean-Paul Belmondo—take your pick of movies, really. I’m not sure if it was Breathless or another movie, but Jean Seberg was wearing a really cool pair. Also, the Chocolate Watchband guitarist had a great pair and I was going for the same look. It wasn’t a mod look, exactly, but it was a look that had a lot of modernist influence.

You have amassed a very large collection of vintage frames, many of which appear in your book. Why were you so focused on collecting, specifically?
If you are going to be a serious designer you have to be a serious scholar of your medium. It was about knowing my field as thoroughly as possible so I could have a strong command of what hadn’t been done. Nothing I do looks all that much like things that have been done before. I quit collecting a while ago and then decided to generate some projects with it. It was the larval stage of my development as a designer. It’s like a grad school and the book is a doctoral thesis.

Your book is focused on the history of eyewear through the years. What glasses, in your opinion, have been the biggest game changers for the industry?
I draw connections between the flow of culture and what eyewear looks like. Licensing has become, for the time being, a very pivotal force. The first collaboration between Schiaparelli and American Optical started an industry paradigm that continued indefinitely. Probably the most important modern one was the Armani deal with Luxottica—that was huge. Continue Reading “Behind The Lens With Moss Lipow” »

Von Unwerth, Unearthed

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Ellen von Unwerth doesn’t pick and choose. She loves all women. “There are many who are my favorites, from Claudia Schiffer to Eva Herzigova to Elizabeth Hurley to Lindsay Lohan,” said von Unwerth last night at Sloane Square’s Michael Hoppen Gallery during a private viewing of Fraulein, a collection of her rarely seen or published photographs. Von Unwerth continued, “They are all fun and they give a lot.”

That was evident in the sexy, girly photographs of von Unwerth’s array of beautiful subjects, all in various stages of undress with lots of lingerie, toys, and even the odd vegetable thrown in. There was Claudia with big hair in her underwear—an image eventually used for a Guess campaign; Kate Moss making horn-rimmed glasses sexy; and Monica Bellucci in nipple tassels. In “What recession?” news, several prints of Heidi, Kitzbuhel, the photographer’s racy take on the Alpine Miss in red stockings and garters, as well as Nadja Auermann in a mask, have all but sold out. (More images after the jump.) Continue Reading “Von Unwerth, Unearthed” »