Monday, August 9, 2010

New Phrase of the Week

What is the phrase of the week, you may ask? But it's only Monday...

Ah yes! But I'm sure this one will last more than the week out. It's called "Snow Monkeying".

What the hell does it mean to "snow monkey"? Well, we personally coined it to mean torturing the hell out of a fabric. When one has over-manipulated, fingered around, squeezed, wrinkled, and tortured the hell out of a fabric to the point of it being incredulous; you have "snow-monkeyed" it.

If you don't know what a snow monkey is or what they do, please look it up and you'll know what I'm talking about.

Merci Beau coup!


Sunday, August 1, 2010

Mother Nature; Fashion's Greatest Couturier

Since the beginning of time we as humans have been using a variety of elements for fashion. Of course the obvious reasons for clothing began simply for the purposes of keeping warm and dry. As cultures began to develop it also became the method of covering up one's private parts. That is when man and woman decided they needed to have a sense of privacy and sexual separation. But I didn't post this to start a lesson on the history and mystery of why people began wearing clothes. Actually I wanted to bring attention to a particular kind of fashion and style that still culturally pervades today in Africa.
What was originally intended for protection from the sun's rays, many tribes in Africa have developed unique and stylish ways of decorating their skin. I, having been to Kenya and Tanzania in East Africa, have a particular fascination with the people, their style, traditions, languages, food, and history. Africa is such a vast and anthropologically rich continent with several dozen countries, a myriad of languages, tribes, and regions.
There is a particular area of the lower valley of the Omo which I find really stylish and rich in tradition. This valley borders up with Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan which is home to the Surma and Mursi tribes. This region has vast flowing rivers that run throughout the driest and even desolate landscape. These rivers provide the surrounding land with unique and abundant wild flowers, papyrus and wild fruit trees. The tribe's people in an amazing spectacle, like in most parts of Africa, use nature's fruits and plants to not only eat but also adorn their bodies with. They create a body paint made with plants, berries, powdered stone, and river mud. After the body painting is complete, they use all of nature's splendor to create an infinite wardrobe of accessories ranging from head pieces and earrings to footwear and anklets. Flesh becomes a blank canvas to create extravagant living art. This to me is so fascinating and also serves as proof that it's a humanistic desire to dress (or not) and style however you see fit. Fashion and styling has been around for millions of years in one form or another and constantly evolves. It goes to show that the most well established couture fashion house in the world is indeed Mother Earth.

Photographs are courtesy of Hans Silvester
If you are interested in Hans Silvester's work, I would greatly recommend his book: Natural Fashion, Tribal Decoration from Africa

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Slavery to technique?

Iris Van Herpen S/S 2011 courtesy of
I wanted to add this image because I feel that it's very evocative of the route that many young designers are currently taking. It shows a clear mastery of technical skill and an almost slavish devotion to technique itself. The piece is awe-inspiring to say the least; however, in my opinion the extreme amount of fabric manipulation renders it clinical and overtly calculated. I feel that such extreme fabric torture allows very little room for the audience to create their own sense of fantasy. That's not to say that Ms. Van Herpen isn't a designer of liberated imagination, but my own beliefs in what makes for exciting fashion leaves me feeling that such a garment is more sterile than moving.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Comme des Garçons Spring, white, and blood red

If you haven't had a chance to check out the Comme des Garçons menswear 2011 show, I can't jump up and down saying, "oh god! You simply must check it out!" I just pulled a few pictures off on-line to give you an idea of the feel. Rei Kawakubo did this macabre, yet humorous, one-note salute to the skull print. In fact she called the collection "the skull of life." She did the skull motif prints with an exaggerated twist. At first glance with a lot of the looks you would think that they were all just simple prints. However, some of them were more a trompe l'oile using the skulls as cut-outs and not actually flat prints. I LOVE the black skull blazer and also the innovative use of a printed sock with the shoes. In one the pictures included here, there is a model that has on a printed sock and black shoes that tricks the eye (brilliant Rei!) into making you think it is a spectator high-rise shoe. And please, if you ever want to catch my attention, put a man in a man-skirt or man-dress. I'm half Irish so of course I have a few kilts and love wearing them. In fact, many a time walking on the streets of New York going to a meeting or something, you can catch me wearing a man-skirt. Personally I find it to be very masculine and needless to say, edgy and curious. Wearing clothing like that really shows one's enthusiasm and love of all things fashion. Fashion pieces should be lived, not hung in the back of the closet. If you love it wear it!

The show as a whole had absolutely no colors besides black, white, and "blood red," which I don't mind. I thought it was interesting, and a lot of fashion reporters would probably agree, that it drew a close parallels to Alexander McQueen's frequent use of the skull theme for its morbid romanticism. Archetypal Rei Kawakubo. A tip of the hat to you.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Why no SNL The Best of Maya Rudolph?

Ummm, why haven't the Saturday Night Live (SNL) production company come out with the best of Maya Rudolph??? I think I'm going to start some kind of on-line petition if I cannot find one already. Whoever agrees please pass the message along!
~~ Mac

Friday, April 9, 2010

Victor Dinaire spins the house up

For all those techno/dance (club)/Progressive House fans, if you're not a fan of Victor Dinaire you are truly missing out on a world of intense audio nirvana! Check him out!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Old School Glamour

This fabulous lady we caught a glimpse of walking on Canal Street

Proof that true style is timeless...