Mary Katrantzou X Current/Elliott

Back in September, master pattern designer Mary Katrantzou seamlessly wove pieces from her denim collaboration with Current/Elliott into her Spring 2013 runway show in London. Now, these looks are finally hitting stores, and I could not be more excited to don the bold, innovative patterns as soon as the temperature here in NYC decides to surpass 40 degrees. Reflecting the motifs of Katrantzou’s Spring 2013 collection, the limited-edition capsule touts foreign stamp and banknote prints, providing some foreign flare to pants, tops and other separates, as well as Katrantzou’s coveted dress silhouettes. In case, like me, you were a little late to the party (aka Moda Operandi’s pre-sale back in October), you can now shop a few of the looks on Nordstrom.com.

An array of separates from the collection. My pick: #5, The Carbon Blue Boyfriend Short & The Boarding Tee

An array of separates from the collection. My pick: #5, The Carbon Blue Boyfriend Short & The Boarding Tee

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Dresses from the collection. My pick: #3, the Tiller Magenta Apollo Dress

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My fave jeans from the collection: The Lorikeet Blue Ankle Skinny Jeans

Looks from Katrantzou's Spring 2013 Runway Show

Looks from Katrantzou’s Spring 2013 Runway Show

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Stella McCartney’s Art-Themed Pre-Fall Presentation

Very rarely does a fashion event attract so many art world notables, as did Stella McCartney’s Pre-Fall 2013 Presentation, held at an Upper East Side townhouse earlier this month. The designer had her models mingling with guests, with the goal of creating an theatrical, out-of-the-ordinary “happening” in which she could show her new collection. In one room, Grey Area (a company that I often write about as a result of their goal to promote works that intersect the worlds of art, fashion and design) created a studio-like setting in which models served as muses to artists John Gordon Gauld, Miky Fábrega, and Catherine Delphia, who painted the models on easels during the presentation. Whereas the typical fashion presentation involves models standing still in an organized lineup as viewers walk by examining the clothing, McCartney’s interactive affair was rather unique. Hence the attendance of said art world notables, including Jeff Koons, Rachel Feinstein, Rob Pruitt, Ingrid Sischy, and Gavin Brown. As if I needed more evidence I need to start an art and fashion event company…!

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Justine Koons, Rachel Feinstein, Stella McCartney, Sandy Brant, Ingrid Sischy, and Jeff Koons

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Looks from the collection

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Models mingling and interacting within the event setting

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More looks from the collection

Models posing as artists muses

Models posing as artists’ muses

all images via David X Prutting/BFAnyc.com

Collaboration Flashback: Zac Posen + Rosen Crown

It’s time for another Flashback Friday. In 2010, Luxury Fashion designer Zac Posen commissioned multiple works from American painter Rosson Crow for inspiration for four collections: Spring, Pre-Fall, Fall, and Resort. For Spring, the designer took images directly from Crow’s paintings, including a lion that seemed to jump right off a halter-neck silk gown as the model strutted down the runway. For Fall, Posen requested a series of floral textiles, which he used to inspire his prints for that collection. For a designer, coming up with themes and sources of inspiration for multiple collections each year can be challenging, and it is common for a fashion designer to look at a specific artist’s oeuvre or even a single work as the basis of an entire season’s collection. The works Crow created pushed Posen to exercise different facets of his creative thinking, and the result was spectacular.

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A look from the Spring 2010 Collection

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A look from the Spring 2010 Collection

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A look from the Fall 2010 RTW Collection

Jackie's Strength, 2011 Acrylic and oil on canvas 78 x 151

Jackie’s Strength, by Rosson Crow, 2011 Acrylic and oil on canvas, 78 x 151 (via Honor Fraser)

Casa Dragones + Gabriel Orozco

Casa Dragones, an independent, small batch distiller of a single, perfected style of tequila, has tastemakers in all areas of the culture and entertainment industry buzzing (both verbally and physically). Chefs such as Bobby Flay and Eric Ripert are huge fans, Oprah promoted it as her favorite tequila brand in a live on Facebook, and artist Gabriel Orozco tapped Casa Dragones to accompany him on his retrospective tour in 2011, which traveled from the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, to Kunstmuseum in Basel, Switzerland, to the Tate Modern in London, and then to Centre Pompidou in Paris.

Each crystal bottle is engraved with Gabriel Orozco’s notorious Black Kites motif, featuring a human skull covered in an intricate graphic checkerboard that represents two sides of life that are constantly at odds. Each bottle is hand-signed, numbered and dated by the artist. Only 400 of the limited-edition bottles – which launched this past November – were produced. If you are interested in acquiring one of these bad boys, it will set you back $1,850, but in comparison to the market value of many of Orozco’s works, this is a huge steel. You can find out more or inquire to purchase here.

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The limited edition bottle of Casa Dragones, designed by Gabriel Orozco

Image via casadragones.com

Happy Socks + Curtis Kulig

I love Sundays. Particularly Sundays during which I sleep in, make a big breakfast, and then curl up on the couch with a big cup of coffee and The New York Times. My standard outfit while completing the aforementioned routine is a big fluffy bathrobe and socks. Yes, socks. I always wear socks around my apartment because 1. I swear I have no circulation in my extremities and 2. I just feel more cozy and relaxed wearing them. Thus, I get really excited whenever I see cute, creative ones.

Within this context, you can better understand my excitement over a new artist and fashion brand collaboration between Sweden-based Happy Socks and American artist Curtis Kulig. Kulng started his artistic career working for Shepard Fairey as a teenager, and has since made a name for himself in the art world, most known for his raw, black and white lifestyle and portraiture photography, as well as his iconic “Love Me” campaign. The artist is no stranger to collaborations, having worked with brands such as Nike, Smashbox Cosmetics, Vans, Catherine Malandrino, Obey Clothing, and Bobbi Brown in the past.

For his latest partnership with Happy Socks, Kuling incorporated his signature “Love Me” stylized script on three sock styles, just in time for Valentines Day. I cannot think of a more fitting, perfect present for a holiday I generally find [unfortunate, cheesy, forced, insert like-minded adjective here]. Hopefully my husband will take this subtle hint and skip the card and chocolates this year.

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Valentine’s Day-ready socks from Happy Socks + Curtis Kulig

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Two of the styles from the collaboration

The artist next to one of his notorious Love Me paintings

The artist next to one of his notorious Love Me paintings

Love Me Eye Shadow Palette from the Spring 2013 collaboration with Smashbox Cosmetics

Love Me Eye Shadow Palette from Kulig’s Spring 2013 collaboration with Smashbox Cosmetics

Favorite Looks from the Golden Globes

Sunday night was a bit hectic – both for myself and for my DVR. The Golden Globe Awards aired at the same time as many of my favorite series, including Girls, Revenge, and Downton Abbey. Needless to say, I more than managed, taking in all the red carpet looks for the second-most important awards show of the season. Overall I thought the fashion was kind of … meh, which was fine, because that meant nothing could distract me from endlessly gawking over Ben Affleck or laughing at Tina and Amy, who, I might add, did not get enough air time if you ask me. A few looks left me puzzled, such as Jennifer Lawrence’s Dior boobs that ruined an otherwise gorgeous dress and Rachel Weisz’s polka dot bed skirt look, and very few looks “wowed” me, but that just leaves so much to be desired for with the Oscars next month. So here we go, my personal fashion awards for the 2013 Golden Globes:

Best Color – Jessica Alba (in Oscar de la Renta)

Honorable Mention – Jennifer Garner (in Vivienne Westwood), Naomi Watts (in Zac Posen)

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Best Black – Kate Hudson (in Alexander McQueen)

Honorable Mention – Allison Williams (in J. Mendel – google image the back!), Amy Phoeler (in Stella McCartney)

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Best Hot Momma – Claire Danes (in Versace)

Honorable Mention – Megan Fox (in Dolce & Gabbana)

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Best White – Michelle Dockery (in Alexandre Vauthier Couture)

Honorable Mention – Amanda Seyfried (in Givenchy Haute Couture), Alicia Vikander (in Chanel — WHY ISN’T ANYBODY TALKING ABOUT THIS DRESS???)

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Best Sparkle – Kerry Washington (in Miu Miu)

Honorable Mention – Emily Blunt (in Michael Kors), Helen Hunt (in Dolce & Gabbana)

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Art I’m Loving: Mickalene Thomas

Today, everyone is going to be talking about the fashion from the Golden Globes. But I am talking about art, and the oh-so-talented Mickalene Thomas (have no fear, I will post my favorite looks from the award show tomorrow). The artist has been featured in multiple solo shows, including “How to Organize a Room Around A Striking Piece of Art” at Lehmann Maupin in New York, which closed on January 5th, “Origin of the Universe,” which was on view at the Santa Monica Museum of Art and is now at the Brooklyn Museum through the 20th, and an exhibition at the ICA Boston through April 7th.

As if helping to organize these solo shows wasn’t enough, the artist spent last year working on a mural commissioned for the new Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn (which you can read about in my post here) and incorporating actress Jessica Chastain into a work of art for W Magazine’s annual Art and Fashion Issue, on newsstands now.

Thomas is best known for her elaborate, collage-inspired paintings, embellished with rhinestones, enamel, and colorful acrylics. Her depictions of African American women explore a spectrum of black female beauty and sexual identity while constructing images of femininity and power. She often draws on images from art history, inspired by genres that range from the Hudson River School to Impressionism to contemporary popular culture. Her work is a glammed-up, multicolor retinal blast that is both shocking and smart. It is no wonder she is highly sought after by top museums and notable collectors alike. I look forward to watching her career blossom even more over the next decade.

Three Graces: Les Trois Femmes Noires, 2011; Rhinestones, acrylic and enamel on wood

Three Graces: Les Trois Femmes Noires, 2011; Rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel on wood

Din, Une Tres Belle Negresse 2, 2012; Rhinestones, acrylic, and oil on wood panel

Din, Une Tres Belle Negresse 2, 2012; Rhinestones, acrylic, and oil on wood panel

interior- Zebra with two chairs and funky fur, 2012

Interior: Zebra With Two Chairs And Funky Fur, 2012; Rhinestone, acrylic, oil, and enamel on wood panel

What's Love Got to Do With It? 2008; Mixed media installation at Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum

What’s Love Got to Do With It? 2008; Mixed media installation at Santa Barbara Contemporary Arts Forum

Chastain in Thomas's Tamika, 2012

Jessica Chastain in Thomas’s Tamika, 2012 for W Magazine

images via MickaleneThomas.com, ICA Boston website, and Wmagazine.com

Fresh + R. Nichols

Sometimes brands don’t need to collaborate with big name artists to create a smart, unique campaign. Take Fresh, the mid-priced bath and skincare line that you can find at stores like Sephora or Bluemercury. In honor of Fresh’s 21st birthday this past Fall, they enlisted artist/illustrator R. Nichols to design limited edition soaps and stationary inspired by three of the brand’s signature scents.

What I loved about this campaign is that R. Nichols is a huge fan of the brand, and so was able to easily translate the brand essence into a commemorative design that blended the Fresh aesthetic and personality perfectly. Nichols is known for his colorful cut-out designs and graphic collages that have been featured on shelves at Barney’s and Neiman Marcus (as well as for his Oprah-approved candles which appeared on the icon’s Favorite Things list, sending sales into a frenzy!).

You can purchase Fresh’s new “Fresh Turns 21 Oval Soaps” and Stationery on their website. Both items are going on my list for the perfect hostess gift!

Limited edition soaps for Fresh designed by R. Nichols

Limited edition Fresh soaps

Limited Edition Fresh Stationery by R. Nichols

Limited Edition Fresh Stationery

R. Nichols Candles

R. Nichols Candles

A whimsical illustration by R. Nichols

A whimsical illustration by R. Nichols

Gucci + Hirohiko Araki

For the new year and in honor of their Spring 2013 collection, Gucci has tapped Japanese Manga artist Hirohiko Araki to design the brand’s new store windows, which launched worldwide last week.

The artist created a Manga, or comic strip, story called “Jolyne, Fly High with Gucci” for the conceptual designs. The story is centered around Jolyne Cujoh, a student who inherits a Gucci keepsake from her mom and goes on a journey to discover its mystery. Various interpretations and scenes from the story appear in 70 Gucci store windows across the globe. The color palette of the artwork was inspired by Gucci’s Cruise 2013 collection, incorporating the collection’s graphic prints, the brand’s signature flora motifs, and iconic brand merchandise throughout the storyline.

Gucci has extended the collaboration into a full-on multimedia campaign, which includes videos that will be broadcasted in-store and online. The brand also plans to release Araki’s Manga story in full in the Japanese publication Spur as well as on their Facebook page. If you live near one of their retail locations, I highly recommend a viewing!

an image from Hirohiko Araki's story "

An image from Hirohiko Araki’s story “Jolyne, Fly High with Gucci”

Fashion Crush: Poppy Delevingne

While sister Cara definitely had quite a year in 2012, modeling in the biggest runway shows, starring as the face of numerous ad campaigns, and being named model of the year at the British Fashion Awards, my style obsession lies with the older Delevigne. She can transition from street style to boho chic to glitz and glam so effortlessly, all the while making the look her own. This natural beauty was one of my favorites to watch in 2012 and I expect a lot more from her in 2013.

One of my favorite looks. Topshop pants

One of my favorite looks. Topshop pants

How many people do you know who can pull off cat ears? In Chanel.

How many people do you know who can pull off cat ears? In Chanel.

In Chanel at the Met Gala.

In Chanel at the Met Gala.

In Louis Vuitton.

In Louis Vuitton.

Street style hero.

Street style hero.

In Dior.

In Dior.