Prada’s SS14 Artist-Designed Runway

Miuccia Prada, a long-time champion of contemporary art, commissioned women’s portraits from six contemporary artists to line the runway of her Spring/Summer 2014 show in Milan last week. Muralists Miles “El Mac” Gregor, Mesa, Gabriel Specter, and Stinkfish, and illustrators Jeanne Detallante and Pierre Mornet were selected because of their distinctive  street art style and approach to figurative representation. The designer imposed no constraints on the artists other than asking that they interpret themes of “femininity, representation, power and multiplicity” in their pieces, together titled In the Heart of the Multitude.

Taking the theme of the urban street a step further, the runway—designed by longtime collaborator Rem Koolhaas’ AMO—was surfaced with industrial rubber. The audience was seated centrally, looking outward at the murals and the models walking down the runway that encircled them. The murals, conceptually inspired by the political street art of L.A., Mexico, and South America, were in turn used to inspire Prada’s clothes and accessories as well. Some of the images were used directly to accent sheath dresses, skirts and coats. Oh, and if there was one other thing to take away from the show aside from the political commentary on women and power, it is that come spring, we will all be sporting (no pun intended) tube socks. I, for one, can’t wait.

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A view of Jeanne Detallante’s “Beauty Masks”

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Another view, with Gabriel Specter’s “Colorful Women” in the foreground

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The final walk, tube socks in full force

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A look from the collection

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Murals clearly incorporated

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A bright, bold coat for Spring

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Jeremy Scott + Kenny Scharf

For his SS ’14 collection, titled “Teenagers from Mars,” designer Jeremy Scott found the ultimate collaborator in artist Kenny Scarf. Scott—whose signature style blends elements of the punk club-kid with a penchant for spectacle—found inspiration for his newest collection in a familiar source: Manhattan’s Lower East Side ’80s art scene. “I wanted to represent its characters—Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Kenny Scharf—and bring them to life,” explained the designer about the collection. And with the help of one of the most notorious pop artist working today, Scott did just that.

Alongside the typical t-shirts you would expect on a Jeremy Scott runway—emblazoned with phrases like “Earth Sucks” and “Mars or Bust”—were bathing suits, dresses, and two-piece outfits featuring a number of prints designed by Scarf. The artist’s most iconic motifs, such as squiggles, shapeless blobs and cartoon faces, were incorporated seamlessly into Scott’s silhouettes so that the collection equally represented both artist and designer.

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For the love of the crop (top)

It took me a little while to fall in love with the crop. It crept up on me slowly, starting with a few cutouts on the side at the waist, slowly transitioning into all-over cutouts, until all of a sudden outfits were ripped in half into two completely separate pieces. I was hesitant at first, but have recently come to re-embrace the midriff-bearing look I championed 10 years ago in college. And thus I was dreading the impending Spring Fashion Week because I was sure my late adoption of the trend would only lead to disappointment when I learned that fashion had changed its mind and had become too high brow for exposed tummies.

But alas, here I am—giggling with glee as I see crop after crop walk down the Spring runways. And while we are only half way through NYFW, below is a selection of my favorite cropped (or basically cropped) looks so far. Cheers to many more exposed belly buttons to come!

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From left: Monique Lhuillier, Peter Som, Alexander Wang, Rag and Bone

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All white is totally a thing: Cushnie et Ochs, Helmut Lang, Lisa Perry, Alice and Olivia

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Mara Hoffman, Ohne Titel, Richard Chai Love, Cynthia Rowley

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Cynthia Rowley, Derek Lam, 3.1 Philip Lim, Vivienne Tam

Alexander McQueen + Damien Hirst

Ladies and Gents, it has been too long. I have spent the past three weeks working crazy hours at work and then taking a much-needed vacation hiking through the Dolomites in Italy. Talk about a breathtaking part of the world. But now it’s back to reality, with Fashion Week already in full force here in New York, and galleries preparing for their fall show openings. And me, I’m back to blogging, starting with a major art + fashion collaboration for the Fall season.

Alexander McQueen has enlisted British artist Damien Hirst (who, you might remember, recently collaborated with the Row on a line of handbags) to create 30 limited-edition scarves in celebration of the 10th anniversary of the brand’s signature skull print scarf. The collaboration consists of one-off designs adapted from Hirst’s famous “Entomology” series, featuring butterflies, bugs, and spiders all worked into the shape of the geometric McQueen skull motif.

The McQueen skull print became an iconic piece almost immediately upon introduction by the brand’s late founder in the SS’03 collection.  According to WWD, the brand tapped Hirst “because of his shared aesthetic vision, “in which an interest in symmetrical design is combined with strong references to the natural world.” Hirst is also well-known for using skull imagery in his artwork, most notably his 2007 For the Love of God, a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 diamonds. The scarves will be available in November at Alexander McQueen boutiques and online at alexandermcqueen.com. I am sure these will be coveted by fashionistas and art enthusiasts alike, so mark your calendars!

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The artist in front of one of his Entomology pieces

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A look from McQueen’s SS’03 show featuring the iconic skull scarf