Collaboration Flashback: Versace + Julie Verhoeven

I think “Flashback Friday” has a nice ring to it, so maybe I will start to make this a weekly thing…

Julie Verhoeven’s whimsical fashion illustrations have caught the attention of a number of high end designers, including Louis Vuitton and Mulberry. Both brands have collaborated the artist to design capsule collections for their lines, as did Donatella Versace for her Spring 2009 collection. Versace commissioned Verhoeven to rework the Versace iconography, and the artist designed a bright, colorful medusa pattern that Versace scrawled across handbags, clothing and swimwear. I wish I could find one of these gowns in a vintage shop!

A dress from the collection

Bag and Bathing Suit

Hot Mini

Bag closeup

Print Design for the collection by the artist (image via


Surrealist-Inspired Accessories

Much like Philip Lim’s Pop Art-inspired fall collection, art’s influence on fashion is everywhere this season. Another trend? Dali-esque lips are having a moment.  From jewelry to handbags to sky-high heels, the pouty look is splattered all over fall’s hottest accessories.  Pucker up!

Lulu Guiness Lips Bag

DVF Carolina Lips Satin Clutch

Prada Shoes

Delfina Delettrez Earrings

Mae West Lips Sofa, Salvador Dali, 1937


Matthew Williamson x Havianas

Havianas may be known for their multi-colored flip flops, but for the brand’s 50th anniversary they are launching limited edition rainboots designed by Matthew Williamson.  The fashion designer – who coincidentally happens to be celebrating the 15th anniversary of his own eponymous label – took inspiration from his British roots when creating the boldly-patterned foot gear.  “In England, it’s always raining and I feel like I’m expert in that field,” he told Vogue UK. “I wanted to bring some sunshine to the rainier season.” The two styles clearly pull from the vibrant prints in his clothing collections – and they would certainly brighten up a gloomy day!

The Peacock Rain Boots

The Digital Rain Boots


Brooklyn’s Newest Additions: Basketball and Big Scale Art

So we are all well aware (at least us New Yorkers) that the Nets will soon become the Brooklyn Nets, and will play their games in the monstrous new Barclays Center on Atlantic Avenue. The arena will open to much fanfare and hype with a Jay-Z concert on September 28th, which seems only appropriate considering that Beyonce’s other half is a (small) owner of the team. But what you may not know is that in addition to this enormous – though very impressive – piece of architecture, Brooklyn will also be erecting a few ambitious art projects around the new home of the Nets. One such project is a giant vinyl mural by artist Mickalene Thomas depicting Brooklyn’s cityscape. The site will also be the home of a 70-foot-long painting by local artist José Parlá. Last but not least is an artistic collaboration of three digital artists — Marc Downie, Shelley Eshkar and Paul Kaiser — collectively known as OpenEndedGroup, which will receive prime placement on the center’s 3,000-square-foot, 360-degree LED marquee outside the main entrance. According to co-owner Bruce Ratner, these three works are “just the beginning” of artistic creations that will be commissioned for the Barclays Center. They have brought on Arnold L. Lehman, director of the Brooklyn Museum, and Eugenie Tsai, the museum’s curator of contemporary art, to serveas advisers for the center’s arts program.

So just remember when you are on your way to the Justin Bieber, Barbra Streisand, or John Legend concert (or perhaps actually going to watch a basketball game), to take a moment and appreciate the art at the Barclays Center as well!

A detail of Mickalene Thomas’s mural (image via Lehmann Maupin)

Art I’m Loving… Diana Al-Hadid

Earlier this week I had the opportunity to tour the newest exhibition, “The Vanishing Point,” at Marianne Boesky Gallery, guided by none other than the artist herself: Diana Al-Hadid. I was not very familiar with the artist’s work prior to my visit, but I was blown away by the scale and thoughtfulness behind her art. It first reminded me of the fantastical, sculptural creations of Rachel Feinstein (who I talked about in my post here), but Al-Hadid’s ideas were truly unique and inspired. When describing the process behind the creation of Suspended After Imageit was hard not to feel like I was a part of that development, as if I was there with her in her studio and in Austin (where pieces of the work were constructed and where the work first displayed), as she tested ways to obtain the perfect drip paint technique. Hearing the passion behind an artist’s vision always makes me love their work more, and such was the case here.

For an in-depth analysis of the exhibition, you can read the press release on the gallery website. Or, you can let the pictures below speak for themselves (although pictures cannot possibly do these sculptures justice – I highly recommend visiting the show before it closes on October 20th).

At The Vanishing Point, 2012, steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, aluminum foil, paint

Divided Line, 2012, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, gypsum board, plaster, wood, steel, paint

Suspended After Image, 2012, wood, steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, high density foam, plaster, paint

Antonym, 2012, steel, polymer gypsum, fiberglass, wood, foam, paint


Images via Marianne Boesky Gallery

Nancy Gonzalez: Two x Two for AIDS and Art

Two x Two for AIDS and Art was an organization built around collaboration from the beginning, with proceeds of each initiative benefiting both amFAR and the Dallas Museum of Art. This year, after a grand meeting of fashion, art, and philanthropic minds, emerged 10 incredibly beautiful, unique handbags designed by 10 artists for the Nancy Gonzalez company entitled Two x Two 2012. The sales of these one of a kind works will benefit both organizations.

So how did artists like Jim Hodges, Will Cotton, and Jenny Holzer come to partner with a luxury handbag line? The President of Nancy Gonzalez, Santiago Barberi Gonzalez, was visiting Dallas last year when Jim Gold, the President of Neiman Marcus, suggested he take some time for himself on his visit and see some incredible art. Gonzalez, himself a collector, happily visited museums and private collections, including that of Howard and Cindy Rachovsky, the philanthropic masterminds behind Two x Two. The rest is history. As you can see from the images below, the passionate spirits of all those involved commissioned 10 noteworthy Contemporary Artists to design unique handbags to benefit the charitable cause. The bags will be auctioned off October 20, 2012 at the annual gala, however you do NOT have to be present to place a bid (or win a bag!!). Bids will be accepted online on Paddle8 (where you can also view all 10 works) from October 4-18.

Friendly reminder: my birthday is October 11th 🙂

Lawrence Weiner


Richard Phillips

Josephine Meckseper

Will Cotton

And Next Year’s Costume Institute Exhibition Is….

Drumroll, please! The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute has announced that they will stage “Punk: Chaos to Couture” next May for its big Spring exhibition. Women’s Wear Daily reports that the premise of the show is to highlight the origins of the punk movement and draw direct connections to haute couture and ready-to-wear creations that it has inspired for the past three decades. Pinpointing the origin of punk designs in the early to mid-1970s in both New York and London, the show will trace the influence of punk stylings throughout the decades. The annual Costume Institute Gala will be held on May 6th to inaugurate the exhibition, and will be co-chaired by Rooney Mara, Givenchy’s Riccardo Tisci, Lauren Santo Domingo and Vogue editor-in-chief Anna Wintour.

This particular exhibition will differ from the previous two, which featured designer retrospectives of Alexander McQueen and Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli. Instead, the 2013 exhibition will include looks from an array of designers, such as Azzedine Alaia, Ann Demeulemeester, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, Rei Kawakubo, Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang and Rodarte. The show’s main sponsor is Moda Operandi, the of-the-moment fashion website co-founded by Santo Domingo.

Chanel does Punk, 2011

Rodarte, 2008

The Ramones, often cited as the first Punk Rock group

Cynthia Rowley + Olaf Breuning

Last week, I wrote about Cynthia Rowley’s Gagosian collection. But the designer didn’t stop there when looking to the art world for inspiration for her designs. Rowley has also created a dress entitled “Damien Hirst Dot Dress,” which she designed for Paris boutique Colette after seeing Olaf Breuning’s exhibition, “The Art Freaks.” The exhibit featured a series of 22 large-scale color photographs depicting nude male and female bodies, which Breuning had painted in the style of various 20th century artists’ defining works. One of those artists was Damien Hirst, and Breuning painted that particular woman with Hirst’s famous “spots” print. Rowley took Olaf’s interpretation one step further, designing a silk jersey t-shirt dress, screen-printed with the faint image of the nude figure, overlaid with Hirst’s colorful spots, as portrayed by Breuning. The dress is now available on Grey Area’s website.

Front View

Back View

Images via Grey Area

Collaboration Flashback: Issey Miyake + Aya Takano

For his 2004-5 Autumn/Winter collection, avant-garde designer Issey Miyake collaborated with artist Aya Takano on a complete collection of clothing, accessories, handbags and luggage, shoes, and [insert some article of clothing that’s wearable or totable and they made it].  Takano is a Japanese artist who lives and works in Japan, but whose art has been shown in galleries all over the world. She was part of the Takashi Murakami-curated exhibition “Superflat” in 2000, which commented on the flattening of life and art by commerce.  She is known for her daydream-like landscape paintings of the modern city and imaginative designs.

Miyake, for his part, is often considered an artist just as equally is a fashion designer. His famous “Pleats Please” line stems from his interest in the creation of forms and process. His collaboration with Takano involved taking her whimsical designs and plastering them over his fashions in every way possible (including rain boots and umbrellas, carry-on luggage, scarves, bathing suits, gloves, etc.). I would die to get my hands on that rain gear today!

Fall/Winter 2004/5 RTW Collection Runway

Excuse me, what time is my flight boarding?

It could rain any day of the week if I were wearing these!


Lanvin for Ladurée

What better way to eat Ladurée macaroons than in a customized, limited edition box designed by Lanvin’s creative director Alber Elbaz?? As if taking a bite of those scrumptious little morsels that remind me of Paris wasn’t delightful enough, I can now do so while viewing Elbaz’s whimsical, colorful designs of women. All wrapped up in a perfect red grosgrain ribbon. They really didn’t spare any details, did they? Inside this special set are eight multicolored, bubblegum-flavored macaroons, which Elbaz chose because they remind him of “the bubble of childhood.”  Hmmm… a fashionable way to eat sweets that remind me of Paris designed by one of my favorite fashion houses? Don’t mind if I do!

Everything is better with a bow

close up – yum!