Art has always and will always imitate life - as well as other art. Fashion and art are one in the same; fashion will forever be a medium for expression, interpretation and serve as an extension of ourselves.


Adding a Colorful Gloss to a Black-and-White World

Random observations upon strolling through a new exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery here:
“I Love Lucy” wouldn’t have been as funny in color.
Gen. George S. Patton wouldn’t have been as fearsome in color.
Charlie McCarthy wouldn’t have been as believable in color.
Cowboys ought always to be photographed in black and white after the age of 30.

The exhibition is called “In Vibrant Color: Vintage Celebrity Portraits From the Harry Warnecke Studio,” and it consists of color photographic portraits of 24 noteworthy people from the last century whom we’re more accustomed to seeing in black and white.

Lucille Ball is there, and Jimmy Durante, and Laurel and Hardy. An assortment of military heroes from World War II pose in uniform. Literary and sports figures are represented. Yeah, it’s true: Ted Williams’s socks really were red.

Warnecke, who died in 1984, was a photographer for The Daily News in New York who understood early — in the 1930s — that a newspaper with a color photograph in it would have an edge over the competition.

“Warnecke designed and built a one-shot camera that yielded the red, blue and green separations needed for color reproduction,” the exhibition explains, and he persuaded the newspaper to build him a studio suitable for the complex process of creating the images.

Though various forms of color photography had existed for decades, the Everyman color snapshot was still a ways off, and certainly a color print in a newspaper was a rarity. People expected to see images in black and white, and though movies had begun the shift to color (“The Wizard of Oz,” of course, came out in 1939), newsreels and then early television would define how the public imagined most of the people seen in this show. Many would live and work well into the color age — Durante died in 1980, Ball in 1989 after starring in several color series — but they’re forever black and white to me and others. more: NYT

Jeremiah Goodman’s painting of Diana Vreeland’s living room
Photo By Courtesy Photo
Drawing Dreams Foundation to Host Online Auction

IN THE NAME OF ART: A Bonnie Cashin self-portrait, a glimpse of Bill Blass’ bedroom and an “Eloise” original by Hilary Knight are a few of the unexpected art finds going under the gavel in the Drawing Dreams Foundation’s first online auction. The 60 offerings also include a Peter Max-commissioned portrait, and Jeremiah Goodman’s painting of Diana Vreeland’s living room called “Garden in Hell,” as well as his signed print of the room where Blass slept.

Knight, the illustrator of more than 50 books and the author of nine, is expected at Thursday’s preview at the New York School of Interior Design. Michael Vollbracht, who has also lent a hand to the fund-raiser by donating a collage, will be at the Upper East Side event, where singer-songwriter Cory Chisel will perform.

The Berkeley Calif.-based DDF provides art supplies to hospitalized children and, to date, has had 1,200-plus artists from 71 countries support its mission. The auction will run from Thursday through March 21 via

Elle magazine has created a special spread for their February 2012 issue featuring the ladies from Glee and American Horror Story for their Women in TV spread.

Alexander MCQueen, Art of Fashion

WINDOWS OF CULLODEN, FALL 2006, Alexander MCQueen, Art of Fashion
“The collection was about the 1745 massacre of the Scottish Jacobites by the English, which Lee felt so passionately about because of his Scottish family heritage, which his mother had researched. The women were the widows of the slaughtered army. This dress was actually based on my wedding dress—I got married two years earlier. We had to figure out how to make lace work in the round with those ruffles because Lee hated gathering.So we cut out all of the flowers from the lace  it on tulle to make our own fabric. This is the collection most people remember as the one with Kate Moss in a hologram. Oh, my God, it was so beautiful. He loved that show.”

Art of Fashion: History

Art and design were more closely tied at the turn of the twentieth century than they are today. Artists did not see the difference between creating an original work of art, such as a painting, and designing a textile pattern that would be reproduced many times over. Each was a valid creative act in their eyes.The famed French couturier Paul Poiret moved in artistic circles, employed Parisian artists, and collected their work.
Poiret became very interested in modern art and said, "I have always liked painters. It seems to me that we are in the same trade and that they are my colleagues."The Fauvist painter Francis Picabia was his friend, and they shared a love of bright color with other painters Maurice Vlaminck and Andre Derain, whom he knew from sailing excursions on the Seine in Chatou. Among other artists whose work he collected were Picasso, Matisse, Dufy, Rouault, and Utrillo.  Poiret’s theatrical background explains his great interest in the Ballet Russes, whose first appearance in Paris in 1909 impressed Poiret so much. With their colorful designs by Leon Bakst, echoing Russian peasant art, the costumes and sets expressed for Poiret not only the exoticism celebrated by painters like Picasso, but the appeal of spontaneity, a concept at the heart of much modern art. Immediately he began including "oriental" motifs in his dress designs.

Inspire:Paul Poiret

The fashion press employed fine artists to illustrate the designs of the day. A new technique in printing–pochoir–allowed fashion illustrators to show broad, abstract expanses of bright color and a simple line. The interest of artists in fashion was not restricted to France. From the artists of the Glasgow School in the nineteenth century, to the Russian Constructivists, Bakst, the Wiener Werkstatte, many participated in other aspects of art and design–including illustration, theater design, decorative arts, and even advertising art. Couturiers traditionally participated in events that showcased the decorative arts, taking part in international expositions since the first appearance of the designer Charles Worth at the Crystal Palace Exhibition in London in 1851.
The designers of these garments–and by extension Anna and Laura Tirocchi and their clientele–were reflecting the developing aesthetic of the early twentieth century and asking the question, "What does it mean to be modern?" The Twentieth Century felt "new" to people. Advances in technology increased the speed of life and the speed of change. Artists and designers responded to this new age with their work. The Tirocchis and their customers watched modern trends with interest, and did their best to wrap themselves in clothes of a new age.

Yves Saint Laurent's Mondrian Shift Derss

Pop Art had a huge influence on fashion during the mid 1960s with the graphic work of Pop artists such as Andy Warhol being printed onto clothing.
The most iconic example of art meeting fashion in the1960s is Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian shift dress. It was featured on the cover of French Vogue in September 1965; cheaper mass market copies inevitably followed.

Also not to be confused with Op Art: geometric styles were usually made up of panels of fabric in boldly contrasting colours such as black and white or bright primary colours juxtaposed. Op Art was all about the print.


The Rise of Fashion

The Rise of Fashion:A Book Reveals the Secrets of Bergdorf Goodman
The best New York City department stores are part retail mecca, part hallowed institution. As they say, "if these walls could talk." Ira Neimark, a longstanding leader of fashion luxury retail, is letting Bergdorf Goodman's open up a bit. In, "The Rise of Fashion and Lessons Learned at Bergdorf Goodman," Neimark lets the reader in on how he and his team helped make the store one of the preeminent shopping destinations in the world. From legendary events that drew names like Princess Diana, Jackie O. and Yves Saint Laurent to newer ventures with the likes of Marc Jacobs, the author provides insights into creating the ideal retail environment and upholding customer service, learned though his tenure in the business from the late '60s to the early '90s.

Oscar de la Renta and André Leon Talley Collaborate on New "Spanish Dress" Exhibit

This exhibition analyzes the rich history of Spain’s regional clothing styles through the monumental paintings of Valencian artist Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida (1863–1923). For the first time, Sorolla’s vivid depictions of Spanish life will be shown side by side with the types of costumes they portray.

Conceived by Oscar de la Renta and curated by Vogue’s André Leon Talley, the show features more than 10 paintings and over 30 rare examples of men’s and women’s clothing and accessories. In an unprecedented partnership with the Ministry of Culture of Spain, the exhibition will highlight costumes and artwork never before exhibited in the United States. In addition, a selection of pieces from important contemporary designers will demonstrate Spain’s enduring influence on fashion.

In 1911, Sorolla was commissioned by The Hispanic Society of America to paint the mural Vision of Spain. Groundbreaking in both scope and scale, the massive painting cycle focuses on rural life and its customs. The artist dedicated eight incredibly productive years to this ethnographic study, and the resulting work, along with the hundreds of preparatory studies it generated, has become an important map of diverse regional identity, representing Spain in all its glory.

Mantón de Manila (shawl), 19th century

Joaquín Sorolla's Flamenco Dancer, 1914

Joaquín Sorolla's Characters from Lagartera or Lagartera Bride, 1912

Traje de luces (bullfighter’s suit) by Fermín, 1950s-1960s
Capote de paseo (bullfighter’s ceremonial cape), 1940s