Book Review: On Fashion Criticism

On Fashion Criticism Francesca Granata, Editor Fashion Projects (Issue #4, February 2013)   Fashion Projects, a non-profit magazine devoted to fashion theory and reflection, has come out with an issue on fashion criticism itself (available in print, with select sections online), screened through interviews with some of the most well-known and well-respected names in the field, including Robin Givhan, Guy Trebay, Judith Thurman, and Suzy …

Must Disaster Fashion Photoshoots be Disastrous?

I’m frankly bored by a lot of blogosphere outrage about insensitive fashion magazine spreads, Photoshopping (see my thoughts on this here), etc., but recent Huffington Post article Vogue’s Hurricane Sandy Spread: Crossing The Line? sparked my interest in spite of its typically incendiary headline. Shot by Annie Leibovitz, the “Storm Troupers” shoot from February’s Vogue depicts various storm first responders (ConEd employees, NYPD and FDNY, …

Video Lecture: Aileen Ribeiro

Enjoy this Alex Gordon Lecture in the History of Art: “Renoir and the Democracy of Fashion,” delivered by the formidable Aileen Ribeiro (author of Ingres in Fashion, Fashion and Fiction, Dress and Morality, and Facing Beauty) at the Courtauld Institute of Art in London, March 28, 2012″ Renoir and the Democracy of Fashion from The Frick Collection on FORA.tv

The Buzz About Insect Fashion

The recent announcement of MoMA’s website devoted to Louise Bourgeois: The Complete Prints & Books, got me thinking about insects. I adore Ms. Bourgeois’ sculptures and installations, and her continued use of spider imagery over her long career (she died at age 98 in 2010) to explore issues of the feminine experience never ceased to astonish and touch me with their haunting beauty. She returned …

From the Archives: The Authentic Artist Myth

My Godmother sent me this brief article on David Hockney‘s withering opinion on artists such as Damien Hirst who rely upon assistants to “do the work” — Hirst has only painted five of the 14,00 “spot paintings” in existence, and he was quoted as saying that many of his spot paintings are produced by others “because he finds it boring to do the detailed work.” …

Book Give-Away Contest!

In honor of the holiday season I will be gifting some lucky and talented Worn Through reader a full-color, bound review copy of Deborah Nadoolman Landis’ most recent book Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration (Harper Design, November 2012). Read my full review of this fabulous book, with sample images, here. To win this meaty book, I invite you to submit your favorite example …

Book Review: Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration

Hollywood Sketchbook: A Century of Costume Illustration By Deborah Nadoolman Landis Harper Design (November, 2012) At 7.5 pounds, this hefty book is in danger of tipping your coffee table. All but 100 pages or so are composed of 500+ glossy, full-color images of film costume sketches by some 75+ designers, some of whom you will certainly be familiar (Adrian, Helen Rose), some more obscure, and …

Virtual Exhibit: Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes, 1909-1929

The ‘La Caixa’ Foundation has created an online exhibition exploring how dance, music, design, scenery and literature converged in the work of the Ballets Russes, the avant-garde ballet company created in 1909 by Serge Diaghilev. Movement controls include mouse gestures for veering left, right, and up and down; mouse-scrolling to zoom in (it took me awhile to realize how to get close enough to read …

Book Review: Couture Hats

Couture Hats: From the Outrageous to the Refined By Louis Bou Harper Design (September, 2012) Dominantly visual and scant on text, this book is 220 pages of 400-ish photographs. The Table of Contents prepares the reader for this focus on imagery as a double-spread of the 21 contemporary milliners featured, with an example photo for each — a nice touch, I thought. The book feels …

Manipulations of Images & The Body

I recently came upon a light news item that caught my eye: following a partnership between Disney and Barneys department store, beloved Disney cartoon characters have been augmented to resemble fashion sketches: Though many of us in the fashion world are used to seeing these hyper-elongated bodies, impossibly willowy limbs, bodies whose legs consume 3/4 of the entire body, in various stances of elegant / …

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