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!

The artist in front of

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

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Is Fashion Art? The Ongoing Debate

In the latest installment of my monthly column, On Trend, on Artspace.com, I address the long-debated status of fashion within the sphere of fine art. Where do I stand on the topic? Click here to read my full article.

In the meantime, here are a few avant-garde ensembles that are undeniably deserving of placement on a museum pedestal:

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Commes Des Garcons Fall/Winter 2012

hussein chalayan spring 2007 combined small

Hussein Chalayan Spring 2007

mcqueen autumn winter 2009-2010

Alexander McQueen Autumn/Winter 2009-2010

Victor and Rolf spring 2010

Viktor & Rolf Spring 2010

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Yohji Yamamoto Fall 2011

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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The Museum at FIT Relaunches Online Collections

The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology has just relaunched its online collections, an amazing online resource allowing fashion lovers to search through the museum’s holdings from anywhere in the world. More than 600 objects are viewable online, which only accounts for a small percentage of the museum’s total archive of around 50,000 garments. The collection includes objects that date back to the 18th century and span every decade up to the present (the most current item I spotted was a Spring 2011 evening ensemble by Rick Owens).

The new digital site allows you to browse by designer, decade or time period, or type of clothing or accessory. I had some fun browsing through the looks, and hope the below images inspire you to get lost in the fashions on your own (click here for your daily dose of procrastination!)

Balenciaga, 1938

Salvatore Ferragamo, 1949

André Courrèges, 1968

Thierry Mugler, 1987-89

Jean Paul Gaultier, Fall 1984

Alexander McQueen, Spring 2010

Christie’s Daphne Guinness Sale

Multiple auction records for fashion designers were broken last night at the Daphne Guinness Christie’s auction in London. 102 lots were up for sale from the heiress’ famed fashion collection, some of which were included in her exhibition at the Museum at FIT late last year.  Proceeds from the auction benefited Guinness’ charity she founded in memory of her friend, fashion editor Isabella Blow. In total, the sale brought in $744,285, far surpassing the pre-sale estimate of about $155,000.  Giving up a few of her couture pieces was hard, Guinness said, as “Ninety-five percent of fashion is trend; these are works of art.”

Highlights of the sale included a photo of Guinness by Mario Testino for the March 2008 issue of British Vogue, which went for $208,000 – a record for a Testino image at auction. Dresses by Christian Lacroix and Alexander McQueen also set world record prices.  Lady Gaga showed her support for the foundation by adding a new item to her closet of avant-garde fashion ensembles. According to WWD, it was Gaga who purchased the record-breaking McQueen dress, an ivory silk tulle empire line gown from “The Girl Who Lived In The Tree” collection from autumn/winter 2008-09, for $133,075.

All items that were up for sale can be found on the Christie’s website, highlights below.

Mario Testino for British Vogue, March 2008

Metallic Silver Mini Dress by Alexander McQueen, 2008 (accompanied by photo of Guiness by Mat Collishaw for Harper’s Bazaar UK)

Ivory SIlk Tulle Empire Line Gown by Alexander McQueen, A/W 2008-9 (Purchased by Lady Gaga)

White Azzedine Alaia day dress, probably 2011

Black leather studded Alexander McQueen Boots, 2000s