Archive for the ‘art’ Category

Dresses from Alexander McQueen's final Fall 2010 Collection with a painting by Jean Fouquet of the Virgin and Child (1450)

Alexander McQueen and I had a favorite painting in common: Jean Fouquet’s Virgin and Child from 1450.  While his spring 2010 collection embraced the computer age, the collection he was working on before his suicide was a reflection on the Dark Ages.

He literally incorporated medieval art by printing Northern Renaissance paintings onto fabric.  One dress featured details from various Bosch works, including The Garden of Earthly Delights and the Temptation of St. Anthony.

Another dress was printed with part of Stefan Lochner’s Altarpiece of the Patron Saints of Cologne.

One of my favorite features of early Netherlandish is grisaille, monochromatic paintings which were usually put on the outside of altarpiece wings.  While I’m not usually a fan of photo-printed fabrics, I love the grisaille dresses in this collection.  The figures become an almost-abstract print.

For these dresses McQueen used Hugo van der Goes’ Annunciation scenes from the Portinari Altarpiece.

Even the non-printed dresses were fit for a Virgin from a Van Eyck.

McQueen said in a 2008 interview that he was inspired by the red and blue angels of Fouquet’s painting which represented the darker and lighter sides of heaven.  While some reviews point out that the wings in the final look were a reference to his first collection at Givenchy, it is hard not to wonder what else he was thinking of as he designed these clothes.

Note 1: I picked out the references to paintings as best I could given the small size of the photos on Style.com so if I missed any please let me know.  The collection pictures are from Style.com and most of the painting images are from the Web Gallery of Art.

Note 2: As far as I know, Alexander McQueen was not a fan of Polvo, but everyone should own their EP Celebrate the New Dark Age.


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Surrealism Part 2

I just came across this in the latest issue of Lucky – an entire page devoted to surrealism-inspired pieces.

I’m not crazy about the Dali watch, but the Dali museum store has a lot of other nice (and pretty cheap!) reproductions.

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Chie Mihara shoes, H&M dress, Dali cup and saucer, Surreal Things catalog

Having finally purchased the catalog from the amazing Surreal Things: Surrealism and Design exhibition, I now see surrealist influences everywhere I look.

My Chie Mihara shoes always make me think of Man Ray’s A l’heure de l’observatoire, les Amoureux.


The bodysuit that Lady Gaga wore during last week’s American Music Awards immediately reminded me of Elsa Schiaparelli’s Skeleton Dress.

Lady Gaga at the AMAs, 2009. Schiaparelli Skeleton Dress, 1938.

Simonetta Ravizza’s fur cuffs are like embellished versions of Meret Oppenheim’s beaver fur bracelet.

Simonetta Ravizza bracelet, available at luisaviaroma.com

Meret Oppenheim bracelet, 1935

If you are in the New York City area there are two surrealism shows going on right now:  Alias Man Ray: The Art of Reinvention at the Jewish Museum (through March 2010) and The Erotic Object: Surrealist Sculpture from the Collection at MoMA (ends January 4th).

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