Davis Ayer, Photographer, Up-and-coming, Analog, Dada, The Girl
To be honest, I wasn't very impressed with much from designers Pre-Fall 2015 fashion Ready to Wear collections. I would like one or two looks or a pair of pants and a jacket but that was about it. Thank goodness for Chloe's Pre Fall Collection. Honestly, I usually don't vibe with the bohemian sort of style, I am more classic, but I could wear this entire collection and be VERY happy.
It’s tempting to imagine that Clare Waight Keller came to her inspiration for this season’s Chloé collection by accident: playing music alphabetically off iTunes, David Bowie's Best of Bowie serendipitously gave way to Kate Bush's The Sensual World, and lo and behold, a collection was conceived. That probably isn’t what happened, but however it did, Waight Keller was onto something, drawing a line between Bush’s rural, gypsy romanticism and Bowie’s urbane, androgynous glam. And I think that's the key to why I like this designers collection as I wouldn't normally fall for a bohemian look - it's that the bohemian style is equally balanced by a metropolitan, urban, and glam details and shapes so as to make ver sophisticated pieces that you can't really put into any "category."
You could imagine either artist, at a certain point in his or her career, donning one of the designer’s silk poet-sleeve blouses or throwing on a cape-like coat in a madcap combination of shearling and Mongolian fur. There was a nigh-on louche opulence here, witnessed in everything from the touch of Lurex on a pair of fantastic, low-slung boot-cut pants to the Aubrey Beardsley-esque prints and the nub of longhair pony on a bag or miniskirt. Nowhere was that opulence better exemplified than in a diaphanous gown of Lurex-dabbed printed silk: Slit vertiginously, the dress was largely comprised of ribbons of the silk that had been sewn onto a sheer backing, and it conjured nothing so much as butterfly wings. Very sexy butterfly wings, it must be noted—and that sensuality operated throughout the collection as a whole. Chloé is usually associated with a kind of virginal, gamine look, but Waight Keller chucked it this time—some of these clothes were intensely womanly, others rather boyish, and a good deal of them were borderline feral. Lolita was missing this season. But she wasn’t missed.
Exercises for the girl on the go. The Burpee, Bicycle, and Lunge.
My favorite sneakers for Spring Summer Fall Winter. For ways to wear see Liz Ash Pinterest.
Filippo Minelli's Shape of Silence.
What does Silence Look like?
What does Silence Sound Like?
What does Silence Smell Like?
What does Silence Feel like?
Art photographer Filippo Minelli explored this discourse by way of colored smoke bombs and his incredible images.
‘goodbye animals’ began with a curiosity as to how the psychology of hunting has changed from necessity to sport over time. It has evolved into a series of reactive illustrations that journey through the primitive history and modern day of six animal species. Using ink and a collage format, the illustrations tell these animals’ stories in a visual narrative.
We all carry stories. The experiences that we have, and our memories of them, are what make us who we are. What are the experiences of these nearly endangered animals? If they could tell their stories what would they say? Would we even listen? ‘goodbye animals’ serves as a testament to these animals from the perspective of an artist who also knows how it feels to be hunted.
The desires that motivate the compulsive hunter nowadays differ from the need driven actions of the Paleolithic hunter – especially with Big Game animals. Just as a serial killer or rapist would the modern safari hunter often takes a trophy from his victim. The head or skin are preserved for display in the home as a permanent symbol of their accomplishment. I asked myself, how could I create art that could hang in the place of these animals, to tell their stories, yet still give the viewer an exhilarating experience similar to hunting? ‘goodbye animals’ uses monochromatic pen and ink to fill in the physiognomy of each of these endangered animals with their (species) stories: historical anecdotes, childhood relics, ritualistic lure, famous animals, habitat facts, cultural references, etc. This series aims to educate and engage the viewer. The longer that one looks at each drawing, the more information their eyes will begin to uncover. The final product seeks to serve as a different kind of the trophy, an alternative to the hunting and killing of these animals via a symbolic representation of them as art.
I hope these drawings aren't just passively viewed but are engaged with. I will be holding a contest for viewers to list the first 5-10 things that they notice inside the animals, and each contestant will have the chance for their discoveries/initial impressions to be featured in an upcoming show and online. Enter using the form to the right! Thank you!
All illustrations are copyright by Liz Ash LLC. Any re-posting should indicate the author: Liz Ash and this website, feel free to contact for permission as well!. Thank you!
DC Commission of Fashion Arts & Event, Dupont Underground, and National Cherry Blossom Festival, hosted the first underground fashion show EVER in Washington DC's Dupont Underground - an old subway stop that's been converted into an art space. I attended the show and had a front row seat. I'm still writing down my full review so I will come back and add it later. For now, just know, I loved a few of the designers, but unfortunatly, they didn't give us a programme so I don't have their names! You can see me in this video as I take notes and pics. I really loved one designer - she did a lot of two piece sets, focused heavily on head-to-toe looks whether they be matching patterned shorts, top, and shawl - I have some pictures here of her designs. Def wearable pieces. I will come back with names later! For now, here's what I got!
Decoration, Frames, Artwork, Animal Artwork, for sale, Liz Ash, Art Installation, Fine Art, Canvas, Prints, Decor, Home, Animals, Goodbye Animals, Custom, Made-to-Order, Up-and-coming, Collection, Artist, 2016, Endangered Animals, White, Black, Frames, Collage, Cool, New, Now, Turtle, Bear, Lion, Elephant, Rhino. Fall 2016 Best of Animal Art.
Drawn to the point where fashion replaces the body with something abstract – an idea or ideal instead of an organism, Anne Sofie Madsen’s designs are built on contrasts and ambivalence.
The woman is both inviting and out of reach. She is streetwise and ladylike, boyish and feminine, at the same time. Resulting in designs that straddle between fanciful fun and a serious intricacy of detail.
“I like to challenge and push the boundaries for everyday wear and at the same time it is really important to me that the garments are in their own way functional and wearable. It’s not about garments for princesses in a fantasy world, but I do wish to bring magic into reality and preciousness into fashion," she comments.
I love her collections. And her exploration of the Girl as trope and a cultural deity is spot on. By the Girl I mean the one you see on the cover of magazines - our modern Mother...but she is not human. Superficially, magazines airbrush images to the point of abstraction; moreover, what is meant to look real is in fact a complete fabrication and illusion. Could the Girl be an symbol of capitalism in our post-modern era? I think Anne Sophie Madsen is exploring this in her collection subconsciously. A skeleton printed on a dress makes us question what lies beneath the Surface.
Anne Sofie Madsen graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts and trained under John Galliano in Paris, before moving to London to work for Alexander McQueen as a Junior Designer. In 2011, she started her own label and presented her first collection at London Fashion Week in February. The following season she opened Copenhagen Fashion Week and has been showing there ever since.
Madsen won Danish Fashion Award and GenArt’s Fresh Faces in 2012 and was chosen to exhibit with Italian Vogue during Milan Fashion Week the same year. In 2013, she won the prestigious DANSK Design Talent prize. In 2014, the brand presented its first fashion show at Paris Ready-to-Wear Fashion Week.
Images and biographical information from here.
Resort 2017 runways were packed with amazingness and, to my dismay, a lot more non-amazingness. After perusing approximately forty shows and collections, I decided I'd do an edit of my favorite looks across different designers. Overall, I'd say the season was characterized by a balance between more playful and fluid pieces with serious structures and complicated detailing.
Antonio Berardi's resort collection was gushing with a modern feminine poise and grace. Mirroring the designers "split" background (British and Sicilian), his collection illuminated looks that balanced passion and sensuality with strict and precise detailing. (pic 1-8).
Balmain's multihued macrame, intricate crochets and body-con mini's straddled fluidy and cascading drapery (pic 9-15).
Elizabeth & James kept it essential and I truly appreciate that about their collections. Minimal and retro yet still drawing the balance between flowing skirts and more fitted knits (pic 16-19).
Fendi's playful balance of feminine ruffles and military tailoring was on par with Lagerfeld's usual (pic 20-22). The macro netted coat adorned with furry (wish was faux) blossoms, butterflies, and bugs was for sure a WOW factor. Betting on this as a celeb-coveted piece (pic 22).
Hermes came in with its ever-alluring head-to-toe wearability, sophistication and classiness. The resort collection's color palette was inspired by 17th-century Dutch flower paintings and the clothes women wear daily. I'd say Nadège Vanhee-Cybulski has made Hermes' most intelligent and beautiful Resort collection yet (pic 23-27).
Last, but not least, and to my delight, Versace was on it this season. Chalk it up to the change in management (CEO) or maybe Donatella's spending less time in the sun, regardless I am LOVING it. This departure from - excuse my language - gaudiness to a new found balance of linear silhouettes made of a sexy mix of sport and chic is brilliant. Inspired by the Americana and road trips, the clothes reveal a patriotic color palette and the use of colorblocking/stripes (28-end). Brava!
These are just a handful of selects from a few shows. And it looks like sneakers are here to stay ... for the next few seasons anyway. At least this generation of feet will not have half the problems our foremother's did :p.
Photos from here.
Ernest Haeckel (1834-1919) was a great biologist, naturalist, professor, philosopher, physician, and artist, who was obsessed with capturing and illustrating the organic symmetry, order, and organization found in nature. You may recognize his work from "Kunstformen der Natur” (“Artforms of Nature”), a book of lithographic plates which constructs and portrays animal and plant architecture. During his career Haeckel produced over a thousand engravings based on the watercolors and sketches he made in his travels.. One hundred of those engravings were used in Artforms of Nature. The plates/pages reveal microscopic organisms juxtaposed with highly developed plants and animals with a geometric and visual soundness that is both breathtaking and poetic. His exquisite form mimics the very orderliness he sensed in his natural subjects. Illuminated is Haeckel's monistic notion of the unity of all things and a oneness of the world in its most diversified forms.
These unique still-life polaroids were taken by Andy Warhol between 1977 and 1983. He referred to his Polaroid Big Shot camera, which he purchased in 1970, as his “pencil and paper.” I love how he became so obsessed with certain symbols - guns, knives, Campbell soup cans, dollar signs, etc - and then used those symbols repeatedly throughout his career. I mean, I knew the Warhol banana before I knew the person Warhol. It reminds me how important the Mere Exposure Effect is in present-day branding, personal and corporate. The more we see the same image, or hear the same sound, the more we become familiar with it and tend to like it. It’s like those songs you’re not sure you like at first but then once you’ve heard them 30254894 times, you’re like ‘hey, this isn’t all bad.” Granted, that doesn’t always happen, but it’s interesting to think about. If I post the LIZ ASH logo 30254894 times, will you like it then? Or, maybe you’ll hate it? But at least, you’ll remember it, right? Who knows?
The six animals in Goodbye Animals: Goodbye Sea Turtle, Goodbye Bear, Goodbye Rhino, Goodbye Gorilla, Goodbye Elephant, Goodbye Lion.
Blackshaw, whose concentration is Embroidery, graduated with honors from the Manchester Metropolitan University just last year (2013). The British artist specializes in hand embroidery, digital print, and fashion illustration, and creates collections of textile fabrics. Inspired by audacious colours, bold patterns and a range of artists, she describes her work as "remixing ideas and spontaneously blurting them out on to paper and fabric." While I have not seen any of her textile work in person, I am in love with her lively croquis that seem to navigate the space between serious fashion-designer and abstract fine artist in a novel and bright way.
Within a simple framework of line drawings appears a multi-dimensional, layered presentation of living textures (from glitter to beads to thread) creating a tactile and visual tension in all her works. Actual photographs of models heads/faces ground us in reality and yet her raw and sharp way of clipping them seems to foreshadow the whimsical, stunning world which we see from the neck down, where the modern shapes of her garments are adorned with funky, re-mixed patterns, hand-embroidered elements , and bright colors.
Dramatic yet comedic; complicated yet simple; serious yet whimsical; realistic yet abstract; Blackshaw seems to balance stylistic polarities with the skill and finesse of a well-versed pro. Her illustrations reveal a well-defined sense of drama, depth, and passion that draws us in and swallows us whole. We enter the world of Elyse Blackshaw where nothing can be taken too seriously and yet everything makes perfect sense.
All images used with permission from Elyse Blackshaw.
Fragments of Inspiration:
Fashion, Street Style, Art, Dance, Photography, Color, Mood, Monochromatic, Technology, Nature, Cool, Love, Styling, Style, Wardrobe, Concepts, Conceptual art, Fit, Form, Function, Quotes, Words, Celebrity, Now, Newness, Current, Trending, Trendsetters, Street, NYC, London, Tokyo, Portland, Miami, City, Space, White, Black, Gray, Blue, Instagram, Twitter, Liz Ash, Branding, Brand Bibles, Drawing, Graphics, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Production, Organization, Visual Aesthetic, etc.
WUNDERKIND FW15 Collection
WUNDERKIND is the wunderchild of German-born artist Wolfgang Joop (1944). If you're unfamiliar with his name, remember the "JOOP!" brand? He was responsible for its creation.
In 2004, Joop unveiled WUNDERKIND. The Collection launched with a small FW show in Joop's native Germany. That same year Joop was invited to introduce the collection internationally at the CFDA awards show in NYC. By 2006, Wunderkind was in Paris Fashion Week. And the rest - as they say - is history...
I love the shapes most of all. While my closet consists predominantly of monochromatic garments, I really vibe with WUNDERKIND. The form of each piece and the way it lays on the body is sophisticated and yet the palette of patterns bring a playfulness and fearlessness that I can't help but be inspired by.
WUNDERKIND's FW15 collection seems to have nailed down its styles and silouettes - the belted blazer, the belted half-vest, the trouser, the full skirt, etc. - which is an accomplishment in itself.
Designers and brands today are way over assorted. Too many styles and shapes create too much ambivalence; an over assorted store, or designer's collection not only reeks of fear, it has a muddled artistic argument. Yet, Joop shows us none of that; he's got the confession and the argument nailed down; he's trimmed the "fat" with the precision of a plastic surgeon. His statement pieces show confidence, intelligence, and an anti-commercial vibe. Most of all that sort of "live in the now" message. LOVE
Images from here.
My current obsession: Jason Brinkerhoff.
California-born Brinkerhoff and his Untitled nudes take us into a world of surreal and convoluted beauty, where swooping lines of charcoal, fuzzy clouds of color, and distortions (cuts and substitutions of body parts) explore art’s exploration of western femininity, and western femininity itself. De Kooning’s brushwork and Klimt’s modest nymphs lie side by side with the deconstructed physiognomy of Picasso.
Before 2011, the self-taught painter from Menlo Park had never had his work on display. Nobody knows what he did, apart from collecting non-professional photographs and accumulating old fashion magazines that were displayed in 2012 at the Chelsea gallery ZieherSmith. His works take form on aged paper and pages of antique books, as if his language, that rather resembles the process of street art, were challenging history, searching for its position within it. Employing diverse materials, he captures not only the seduction latent in select poses, but also the sensuality of dynamic line work in graphite, ink, colored pencil, wax pastel and acrylic.
“Jason obsessively reworks his images; often times producing hundreds of drawings inspired by one simple pose in a Picasso painting. It’s as if he is curating an image, drawing from historical references, or from his own point of view, allowing all of these histories to co-exist.” - Matthew Higgs (Director who discovered Brinkerhoff)
I'm not sure if it's his subject [the nude woman - in all it's history], or his technique that could almost be Dada-inspired, or the fact that he is so humble as was making art alone in his home with no real intention to become a famous artist, that gets me most. But, regardless, I'm in LOVE.
See more of his work on his website here.
A few days ago, I was walking down the street in Brooklyn and I stumbled upon a book from PHILLIPS Gallery from the early 1990s. It's got some amazing artistss in it - some I've heard of, others I have not - rare work too. Anyway, I found Andrea Zittel.
She is brilliance.
Four years after graduating from RISD (undergrd & masters), Andrea Zittel set up A–Z Administrative Services, a company aimed to streamline domestic objects and everyday rituals. Zittel made conceptual objects - essentially furniture - and gave them to a group of volunteers who then recorded their experiences of using them. Each object was designed to be as multi-functional as possible. [This is why I think I am so obsessed ... it relates to my current pulse of art/fashion/music.]
Zittel explains, "For me, making objects is as fundamental as eating and breathing-and so is theorizing about the way that world works, or at least how it could be better. There is probably some part of me which still thinks that by finding a better system of order for the kitchen junk drawer, I'll also figure out how to stop pain and suffering in the world at large."
Scrolling thru show after show of Pre-Fall 2015 Collections on Style.com, I had high expectations. There wasn't one collection - aside from Chloe - that felt "new," wearable, and inspiring. Am I the only one? Or, maybe, my expectations were too high. As they say expectations lead to pre-meditated resentments. So much easier preached than practiced, but, alas, I am stubborn as a mule in my efforts.
Here's a mixed-bag of outfits/looks that I was drawn too from a bunch of different designers: Adam Lippes, Burberry Prorsum, Cavalli, Just Cavalli, MSGM, Co, Cut25, Alexander Wang, Fendi, Christian Sirano.
Images from here.
May your coming year be filled with magic
and dreams and good madness.
I hope you read some fine books and
Kiss someone who thinks
you're wonderful, and don't forget
to make some art-
write or draw or build or sing or
live as you only can. And I hope
somewhere in the next year,
you surprise yourself. -neil garman