Saturday, March 31, 2007

Kate Moss = Fashion and must have

While Madonna held her collection for H&M, we will still have to wait months to discover the collection of Kate Moss for Topshop.

While waiting, one can visit the site of the English shop company which puts on line mini-documentary on the "model-star apprentice-designer". The podcast, taken again on youtube was filmed during a working session of the model in the Topshop workshops.

Classy as hell, Kate Moss is obviously having fun and does not hesitate to deliver her opinion or to comment on the models. We also learn that some from the 80's clothes : jean, jackets, bags… were/are the starting points of the collection.

Seen in the English Vogue of April, the first parts shows cool models easy to wear, glam and very inspired of the Seventies. A perfect collection for holidays.
Costumes shorts, flowered dresses, printed trousers and stripes are fixed under hat...

Four annual collections are provided by a two year old contract that the English rumour estimates at 3 million pounds. The date of launching may be on May 1 in England. In Paris, it is the following day, at Colette, that we will be able to discover it, right before New York, at Barneys. On March 8, one evening with the designer star is programmed in the department store of Manhattan.

To learn more :

Sunday, March 25, 2007


In their beginning Viktor & Rolf were laughed at, or at least misunderstood, when they were explaining that their vision of fashion would be closer to contemporary art, than couture.
Today Viktor & Rolf are critically acclaimed and every medium needs to create a buzz around them, if they want to stay in. That is definitely because Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren are really talented artists, and therefore fascinating.

I know their artwork and design from a very long time, before flowerbomb, before the Tori Amos’ show, and of course before H&M. Thus so as to get rid of the "frustration" I feel around them getting mainstream, I will try to give them the credit they deserve and explain my vision of their art, with a long and decent post on that blog.

But first thank you Viktor & Rolf for fascinating me.

Tori Amos

In fact those designers have well integrated that the boundary between fashion, design, architecture and fashion is blurred. This can be first seen in the their physical resemblance. They consider themself as a single designer, in the direct line of contemporary artist such as Gilbert and George for example, who they are often compared with. Both born in 1969, as they pretend, in the Netherlands, life put them in the same class at the Arnhem Academy. Since then, Viktor&Rolf have been rethinking what fashion and art should be, mixing absurd element, constantly playing with clothes and fabrics, inventing real shows, and fascinating objects, or visuals of their shop.

Milan shop windows.

Viktor & Rolf made their first trip to Paris with Le Cri Néerlandais, a group of Dutch fashion modernists who were said to be the new Antwerp Six. After the disbandment of the group, Victor & Rolf carried on together, and were launched with remarkable success at the art and fashion festival in Hyères, where they won three prizes. That was in 1993.

The following year, they made their debut at the L'Hiver de L'Amour couture exhibition in Paris. But it was seven years before Viktor & Rolf produced their first commercial collection, Stars and Stripes. In between, they have refined their style with ballooning silhouettes, layered collars and experiments with tuxedos. And from having originally said they wanted to create everything out of nothing, their predilection for sampling fashion history is growing stronger: Dior's starched New Look is traceable in an ironically stiff Barbie skirt in Bells (2000), Balenciaga's cape silhouette is used in Black Hole (2001), and YSL's Le Smoking pops up here and there. Viktor & Rolf celebrated their tenth anniversary as fashion designers in 2003. However making money was necessary so as to have the chance to continue creating, in order to survive. In that context and open to any form of creation, their perfume “FlowerBomb” came out and has been a commercial success. L’Oréal helped them to make that product reality. In 2003 again, they increased their output and myth, moving into menswear.

In 2004, they moved again to the art field, exhibiting in Tokyo and Stockholm. And that is in 2006 that they became stars when they collaborated with H&M presenting a mini-collection around the topic of marriage. That was the first time H&M was selling a wedding dress. The wedding between art and fashion, the wedding between two individuals becoming "the single designer" they are...When one starts a sentence in an interview the other one finishes it, performing again, or just trying to make fun of the asker, as an Andy Warhol would have done...

At the same time of the presentation of the H&M collection and in a logical way, they launched their first perfume for men : "Antidote". The presentation was a real show, where Rufus Wainwright was invited to sing. We can remember that Tori Amos was also invited to one of their haute couture show. The launch show for "Antidote" was fascinating since it was orchestrated around a ballet of men wearing tuxedos and dancing a waltz. The same concept was once again explored : two men becoming one, Viktor & Rolf being the same person, art and fashion too.

The last ready to wear show was presenting models carrying a light structure, highlighting the clothes as paintings would be in a museum.

Find a norm and Viktor & Rolf will break it. They're really worth it !

To learn more :

Because we need to laugh...

Please check ou this funny website where you can also check your knowledge in art through a quick quizz ! Art or rather crap ? you decide.

Hotel: Ever land in design ?

An interesting project has been designed by Swiss artists : an hotel room made to move worldwide and that offers all the modern confort.

From May to October 2002, it was found on the water of Neuchâtel, built on a piles, and has been moved then to Burgdorf, installed on the roof of the "fabrik", house and workshop of the designers.
From June 2006 to August 2007, the Everland hotel will be exhibited on the roof of the "«Gallery für Zeitgenössische Kunst» of Leipzig.
When the gallery is opened all the visitors can come in and take a look at the structure, the furnitures, and everything that makes it special. When the gallery is closed, it only belongs to those that had the privilege to book it for the night.
It will then go to Paris and will stay there from September 2007 for a year, to stay on the roof of the "Palais de Tokyo".

Definitely something to discover !

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Sixties influences...

Art, fashion, design, film and photography
20 January 2007 - 30 April 2007
Gemeentemuseum (Stadhouderslaan, 41, The Hague, Netherlands)

Künstler - J.C.J. van der Heyden Titel Untitled (diptych) Jahr (1966) Medium - Oil on Canvas - Größe17,9 x 24 in. / 45,5 x 61 cm. Bez

This exhibition provides a unique portrait of one of the most turbulent decades of the twentieth century: the 1960s. Alongside Dutch artists like Ger van Elk, Daan van Golden and Jan Schoonhoven, it includes work by international stars like Bill Copley, Roy Lichtenstein, Richard Hamilton, Robert Morris, Dan Flavin and Andy Warhol. The combination of art, fashion, films, photography and design will give visitors an almost tangible impression of the changes, not just in the arts but also in politics and society, that took place during this colourful period. The explosion of events in the 1960s - from student riots to the first man on the moon and the Vietnam war - had a huge impact on artists and designers, triggering the emergence of a host of new movements. Created by the ever more influential art trade, movements like Pop Art, Minimal Art, Fluxus and Happening all came on the scene at this time. By presenting these movements and art forms side by side and in relation to each other, ‘Sixties!’ takes a refreshing new look at the art of the now legendary decade.

Roy Lichtenstein, American, 1923-1997: "Crying Girl," 1963; photomechanical color offset lithograph. Ackland Fund. Ackland Art Museum, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

The exhibition starts in 1958 with the fall of the financially repressive Drees government, leading to an economic boom in the Netherlands which was eventually brought to an abrupt end by the oil crisis of 1973. Thanks to the rise of the mass media, which made it easier for young people to follow emerging trends, a strong youth culture developed, with its own dress codes ranging from hippy to mini. Exponents of ‘Pop Art’ like Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jim Dine and Jasper Johns were inspired by this and played with the fading distinction between high and low culture. This was not the only way in which artists and works of art lost their ‘sacred’ status during this period. Arman emptied waste bins into a series of identical Plexiglas boxes and sold them as unique objets d’art in a limited edition. In painting, Frank Stella went back to basics, eliminating all emotion, intuition and improvisation. This laid the foundation for what was to become Minimal Art. Minimal artists like Donald Judd, Dan Flavin and Carl Andre put paid to the idea of the personal signature of the artist. Their works feature simple, geometrical shapes, which were generally machine-made. Artists like Joseph Beuys and Gilbert & George went on to abandon the studio in favour of projects or happenings executed in public spaces and recorded on film. The Dutch art world was at the forefront of all these developments, but nevertheless preserved its own distinctive identity. For this reason, ‘Sixties!’ includes a separate but adjacent presentation of a number of Dutch artists, such as JCJ Vander Heyden and Anton Heyboer, but also photographers such as Gerard Fieret and Ed van der Elsken. The popular visual icons of the 1960s are many and various: it was the era of the Beatles, Flower Power, Martin Luther King and the death of J.F. Kennedy. Contemporary newsreels and documentary photographs will vividly evoke the atmosphere of this scintillating period. In the course of the 1960s, the Gemeentemuseum held a number of highly influential exhibitions, including one on Minimal Art in 1968 and The New Realists in 1964. Sixties!’ is being organised in close cooperation with the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum and the Spaarnestad Photo archive in Haarlem.

To learn more :

The Circus of Picasso

Pablo Picasso, The Circus, (1933) - Drypoint on Monval Laid Paper.

The Pierre Gianadda Foundation of the city of Martigny, Switzerland, shows Picasso's works from a very uncommon angle. This exhibition will be shown until June 17, 2007.

Indeed, more than 300 paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures or photographs related to the topic of the circus are to be discovered.

Pablo Picasso, The Circus, (1933) - Drypoint on Monval Laid Paper

Send in the Clowns features a selection of video and graphic works exploring the theme of the circus in historical and contemporary art. The exhibition includes pieces by Picasso, Chagall, Dame Laura Knight, along with Columbian artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s highly entertaining video work, Flea Circus, from the AGGV video collection. The exhibition, presented in collaboration with the National Gallery of Canada, parallels the exhibition Circus Magicus, at the Royal BC Museum.
ArtistsPicasso, Chagall, Dame Laura Knight, Cardoso, Maria Fernanda

This exhibition takes part of the understanding process of the Spanish artist born in 1881 in Malaga and who died in 1973. From the blue and pink years until engravings of the 1960 years, the circus was a recurring topic in the life of Picasso. At the turning of the 19th century, Picasso would go to the circus shows in Barcelona. In Paris, for Picasso and his friends, circus would always be an occasion to meet and explore art. But it is only at the end of 1904 and 1905 that the circus would become the central topic of the compositions of this period of his life.

Jean Paul Gaultier and Régine Chopinot

From 1983 to 1994, Jean Paul Gaultier designed the costumes of 18 ballets choreographed by Régine Chopinot. In 2007 Jean Paul Gaultier will soon celebrate his thirty years of fashion career.

For that occasion the dance costumes will leave the choreographic Center of La Rochelle to enter the collections of the museum of the Mode and the Textile. This exhition will also celebrate the precious collaboration between the fashion designer and the choreographer.

To learn more :

Victoria&Albert Museum goes surreal

Antonin Artaud used to say that surrealism was " the scream coming from the mind". The freedom in the design of objects, that is what the exhibition presented at the V&A, intends to explore.

Mae West Lips sofa Salvador Dalí (1938).

In the 20th century the surrealism movementreached every area of creation. Its anti Cartesian aesthetic founded on the association of oniric images and Freudian fantasies overwhelmed our perception of objects. From Dalí to Monty Pythn, the collective unconsciousness has mixed a large range of absurd representations such as giraffe in flames or a tennis match between custards.
Surrealism takes its origins from the Dadaist movement and the artists adopt a radical attitude which aims to develop " the entire emancipation of the Human Being". Their values are the following : Poetry, Love and Freedom. André Breton, pope of the movement, and author of "Manifeste du surréalisme" published in 1924, excomunicates any person that desires to mix business with art. The design is also touched by this scream of the mind. When Max Ernst and Joan Miró create the set of the Russian Ballets of Serge Diaghilev, a group of opposers try to avoid the show to happen. They believe art shouldn't be mixed with business. Art should serve honnest wished, free from money considerations. Besides some artists have well understood the importance of commercial activities : for instance Man Ray also takes pictures for the fashion industry if we can call it so at the time. Therefore there's a little contradiction when Breton, himself, involves its art in the making of surrealist canvas work with the collaboration of the Marie Cuttoli gallery. He was also the private adviser of the collecter Jacques Doucet...

The lobster telephone, Salvador Dalí, (1936)

The great exhibition of the V&A of London, underlines all those paradoxes and reaveals the close collaboration between design and surrealism thanks to symbolic objects such as the lobster telephone. Salvador Dalí, Ernst, Magritte, Oppenheim, Elsa Schiaparelli... are still alive.

More info on :
Surreal Things : Surrealims and Design, at the Victoria&Albert Museum, in London.
From 29th of March to 22 July 2007.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

CHANEL inspired by Godard.

Chanel shows an advertising campaign inspired by the film the Godard called " Le Mépris". The famous scene of opening where Brigitte Bardot, naked on her bed, shells her charms in front of the eyes of Michel Piccoli, was entirely transposed to the purpose of the spot.

Irony, this scene worshipped today, did not appear in the original scenario: it had been invented with by the scenario writer, under the pressure of its producers who wished to strip the star. The famous one “you love me… so you completely love me” in Chanel version will be showed on the screens TV (from March 3) and in cinemas (March 15).

Made by BETTINA Rheims, the film directs Julie Ordon in the role of Brigitte Bardot. The artistic direction was ensured by Jacques Helleu, the A.D of beauty department of the brand. The scenographic adaptation was designed by the collaborator of BETTINA Rheims, the novelist and photography expert Serge Bramly. Of course the star of this film is the lipstick: Allure red which is declined in 32 colours, including six new colors. It will be launched in spring.

More info on :

Friday, March 9, 2007

Designers that love Contemporary Art

HEDI SLIMANE : "Art is a constant movement"

Hedi Slimane in front of "Untitled" an artwork by his friend Anselm Reyle (ont the right)

"Starting point ? I don't really remember a particular movement but very early, with my friend Hervé Mikaeloff, as we were still students of art history, we started to get interested in contemporary art. At the time, we were a group of people, meeting, getting together in galeries such as Emmanuel Perrotin's that had opened in street named Beaubourg street in Paris.

Your most important meeting ? Once, a morning, François Morellet came to my house. I had to take photographies of him and asked him to lend me one of his artwork for a group exhibition. He was about to turn 80 years old. I had been admiring him for so long. At the end of the 50's, he was the instigator of the minimal movement. But there are also my good friends Doug Aitken, Banks Violette, Anselm Reyle...

The quality that you look for in an artist ? Steadiness, especially now, when production can increase very fast so as to give an answer to a too-speculative market .

Your favorite galleries ? in Paris : Almine Rech, Emmanuel Perrotin; in London : Hotel, The Approach, Sadie Coles etc.; in Berlin : Neu Galerie, Johann König, Andt & Partner.

For you, art is ... a constant movement. I don't really like the idea that consist in sacralizing contemporary art, but rather the reflexion and the questionning of a time, out of the institutions..."

Banks Violette

KARL LAGERFELD : "Designers are artists".

"Starting point ? More than 40 years from now. That's where modernity started.

Last crush ? This table (check out the picture). It could be an artwork by Zaha Hadid but it was made in the 60's and I don't know who designed it. Very avant-garde for the time.

Your biggest madness ? I can't answer that question because of the good taste.

What state of mind are you in when you buy artwork ? Lack.

Are you an impulsive collector or rather a wise one ? Sometimes, I'd rather think a little.

The most significant artist you've met ? Jeff Koons; but today, for me designers such as Marc Nexson, Martin Szekely, The Bouroullec brothers or Zaha Hadid and Tadao Ando are artists of the same level.

The quality that you look for in an artist ? Their artwork.

Your favorite galleries ? In Paris : Kreo for the furnitures and design, as well as Perrotin and Thadeus Ropac for art. In Switzerland : gallery Gmurzynska, and in NYC : Place Mac Gill for photography.

What artist would you like to be taken in picture by ? Nowadays, I only like photography, Andy Warhol being dead.

The Bouroullec Brothers.
More info on :

British Council Arts & Business International Award: Max Mara with Whitechapel Art Gallery

Imogen TildenFriday March 9, 2007, The Guardian:

Contemporary art today might be achingly hip, but its intersection with fashion is rarely at the glamorous, luxury end of the scale. Yet the collaboration between the Whitechapel Art Gallery and Italian fashion label Max Mara has produced one of the today's most succesful partnerships, in the shape of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. It's worked well in theory as well as practice, as the Whitechapel's director, Iwona Blazwick, explains.

Max Mara is dedicated to making beautiful clothes for women. They want to celebrate women's creativity - they see it as distinct and particular, and they wanted to focus on that specifically and find a project and nurture new talent."
Guido Guidotti, spokesman for the fashion house, emphasises his company's support of young talent. "We always have young talented students from, say, the Royal College and Kingston College." Both parties' specific support of women's creativity was key to the collaboration. "We liked what the Whitechapel does for women," says Guidotti, simply, whose label manufactures only for women.

London's Whitechapel Gallery has long championed the work of women. Barbara Hepworth's work was championed in the 1950s, and more recently, artists including Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin and Christina Agelias have been shown at the gallery.
"Supporting women artists is part of our history," says Blazwick.
The need for a women-only art prize is self-evident: "If a group exhibition features only men, it passes without comment. If it features only women it is immediately described as 'a women's show'," she says.

The biannual prize has has seen only a single winner so far - the Yorkshire-based film-maker Margaret Salmon; a second shortlist will be announced at this year's Venice Biennale.
Blazwick explains how the initial selection process worked. "Max Mara said 'OK, over to you!'" - giving the Whitechapel total freedom of choice over judges, shortlisted artists, and the eventual winner. "We didn't want to be part of the shortlisting," confirms Guidotti. Four female international judges were chosen and asked to suggest five emerging artists. "It was an extraordinary experience! I found myself looking at work I'd never heard of, and it was really hard to choose five artists only to shortlist," says Blazwick.
Rather than rewarding the winner with a straightforward cash prize, Max Mara were able to bring an extra unusual dimension to the proceedings. The winner is offered a six-month residency in Italy, where she has the opportunity to produce art that will firstly be exhibited at the Whitechapel, and then join the Maramotti collection.

More info on:

Sunday, March 4, 2007

How was the portrait at the age of Picasso?

"The Mirror and the Mask, Portraiture in the Age of Picasso"

From February 6 to May 20, 2007, the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum and the Foundation Caja Madrid present a new exhibition which intends to study the portrait in the art of the 20th century. The portrait takes an important place in art. From the avant-gardists of the beginning of the century to the various artists of modernity, the portrait is an inevitable step in their artistic process.

The exhibition at the Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza in the Spanish capital brings together 166 paintings and sculptures. Hugely influential names like Cezanne, Van Gogh, Matisse, Modigliani, Bacon and Warhol are brought together- offering an unusual chance to compare different approaches from different artistic movements and generations.

More info on:

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Two stolen paintings by Picasso

Two paintings as well as a drawing have been stolen on the night of the 28th in the parisian house of the grand-daughter of the painter. Damage = 50 million dollars !

Will we ever see again "Maya with a doll" or "Portrait of Jacqueline", two paintings of Picasso stolent in the night of Monday to Tuesday in the Parisian residence of Diana Widmaier-Picasso, the grand-daughter of the painter, in the VIIth district of Paris? These works, from “huge”a commercial value, according to Paul Lombard the lawyer of the Picasso family, had “all necessary protections ”. Worldwide known and frequently published, it will be very hard for those who have stolen the pieces to sell them.

The painting representing Maya was stolen with its framework whereas the second painting (a portrait of Jacqueline, the second wife of Picasso, dating 1961) was cut out, according to him. Picasso's paintings, the most expensive artist in the world, has always been the target for robbers, particularly in 1976, when 118 works of Picasso had been stolen in a museum in Avignon. Twelve paintings, estimated at the time for 17 million dollars, had also been stolen on the Riviera in the residence of another grand-daughter of the painter, Marina Picasso, in 1989. They were found. Last year, in a museum of Rio de Janeiro, robbers had also stolen four paintings by Picasso as well as works of other Masters, for a total value of 50 million dollars.
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