Prada + Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst – former YBA’er and frequent fashion collaborator (read past posts here and here) – recently collaborated with Miucia Prada on an installation entitled  “Prada Oasis and Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy Juice Bar” as part of a major retrospective of the artist’s work in Doha, Qatar. The pop-up is based on a modern-day pharmacy, though the structure takes inspiration from a Bedouin tent and is thus a little more appropriate for its erection in the Qatari desert.

The installation – which remain open only temporarily to mark the opening of the retrospective – served as a representational revival of Hirst’s Pharmacy restaurant, which opened in 1998 and eventually closed in 2003 due to mismanagement. The “Prada Oasis” portion of the pop-up referred to a connecting store capsule collection of bags co-designed by Prada and Hirst. Each of the “Entomology” series of clear Plexiglas totes contains live insects and were made in editions of 20, with sales proceeds benefitting Reach Out to Asia, an organization focused on improving youth’s access to education in the Middle East and Asia.

The retrospective, entitled Relics, is being held in the Al Riwaq exhibition space and assembles the largest collection ever of Hirst’s work. The show will be on view through January 22, 2014.


Prada Oasis and Damien Hirst’s Pharmacy Juice Bar

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The “Entomology” Handbags

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.


A view of Jeanne Detallante’s “Beauty Masks”


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


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

Wear It / Hang It: Art Embodying Spring Fashion Trends

Yesterday marked the first installment of a new editorial column I will be writing on, entitled “On Trend.” I am so excited that Artspace asked me to write about the various crossovers between art and fashion, and it was only fitting that my first article (which you can read here) provide a brief history of art and fashion collaborations. For today’s On Trend, and in honor of Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, I pulled together a roundup of some of Spring’s chicest looks—and the artworks that echo them. Below, I expanded upon that theme. Happy New York Fashion Week!!

TREND: Black-and-White Graphic Prints

After a year of color blocking and bold, bright hues, designers this season went back to the basics with mod looks in black and white.


The Clothes: Balmain / Celine … The Art: Franz Kline

Trend: Cutouts

The midriff-bearing trend of 2012 has evolved into a new obsession with all-over cutouts this spring, with exposed patches of skin peeking out in almost every runway show.

The clothes: The art:

The Clothes: Alexander Wang / Sass & Bide … The Art: Lucio Fontana

TrendOversized Ruffles

The ruffle—often used in sweet, demure ensembles—can be seen this season adding architectural flares and lots of impact to monotone looks.

The Clothes:

The Clothes: Gucci / Balenciaga … The Art: Richard Serra

TrendBold Stripes

We now know that striples come in all shapes and sizes, with various iterations of this classic pattern highlighting a multitude of runway looks. This season’s trend focuses on big, bold stripes for a statement look.

The Clothes

The Clothes: Marc Jacobs / Michael Kors … The Art: Ian Davenport

Trend: White Hot

Generally a summer staple, white is staking its claim early this year. This season, the monochromatic neutral is appearing in all shapes and sizes, including structural dresses, menswear looks, and lacy-delicate fabrics. Pair it with a lucite heel, and your clean crisp look will be utter perfection.

The Clothes: The Art:

The Clothes: Dior / Valentino … The Art: Agnes Martin

Trend: Electric Colors

Neons are everywhere this season despite the fact that black and white continued its reign. The bright hues are lighting up both clothing and accessories—which is perfect for anyone hoping for an attention-grabbing outfit.

The clothes: The art:

The Clothes: Carolina Herrera / Reem Acra … The Art: Mark Rothko

Trend: Floral Delights

All things are blooming this spring, with the perennial favorite print making both a romantic and graphic revival. Raf Simons transformed his entire runway debut for Dior into a blossoming garden, with the walls of each room packed floor to ceiling with a different colored flower.

The Clothes:

The Clothes: Paul and Joe / Erdem … The Art: Peter Dayton

Trend: Global Influences

Designers often look abroad for inspiration, but this season is ripe with influences from the Far East in terms of color palettes, patterns, and embellishments. Asian-influenced prints made their rounds this season, with bold reds as a central component.

The Clothes:

The Clothes: Miu Miu / Prada … The Art: Raqib Shaw

Trend: Emerald Green

Pantone has labeled this jewel-like hue the 2013 Color of the Year, and the sartorial set has taken note, donning the shade of green from head to toe.

The Clothes:

The Clothes: Gucci / Reem Acra … The Art: Josef Albers

Artist James Jean Launches Fine Jewelry Line

Flashback to summer 2007.  That was when Prada commissioned artist James Jean to create a stretch of wallpaper for the brand’s New York Flagship.  Prada was so inspired she asked Jean to create an additional mural for her runway show in Milan. We all know how designers often find inspiration in art. This case was no different. The result was the now infamous collection that included the Prada Fairy Bag, and many pieces from the collection are on display at the Met’s “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” exhibition.

Jean saw his art transformed into the three-dimensional, and decided he wanted to try that for himself. Working with artisans and fabricators in Tokyo, he utilized motifs from his past works to reinterpret for a handcrafted fine jewelry collection entitled OVM. Four individual series in total were created: Drip, Butterfly, Bone, and Strata. The collection will launch in Hong Kong in October at Blitz, a conceptual shop-in-a-shop from Lane Crawford. You can check out the entire collection on the OVM website or browse through a few looks below.

Butterfly Bangle

Butterfly Loop necklace in B&W

Constellation Earrings from the Drip series

Lotus War Day limited edition print, available here

The infamous Prada Fairy Bag ad




The Met Gala

Ah, the Met Gala. Though the seminal, annual event in which the worlds of art and fashion collide occurred last month, I thought it only appropriate that the first post of this blog be dedicated to the festivities.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art first hosted the affair in 1948 (when the Costume Institute was founded), and it has evolved into what is often called “The Fashion Oscars” over the years.  Hosted by Vogue magazine, designers start luring models and actresses months in advance to be their dates at the event and don their most fabulous ensembles on the red carpet.  The fashion world is abuzz weeks before the event as designers announces their dates.  Yet, amidst all the fashion hoopla of who is wearing what and who is accompanying whom, the media often forgets about the real purpose of the event, which is to announce the opening of the exhibit at the Costume Institute: Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (exhibit to be reviewed in a later post).  Accordingly, Miuccia Prada was on hand and dressed many lucky attendants.  Below are just a few favorites from the Red Carpet.


Carey Mulligan in Prada


Bee Shafer in Erdem


Solange Knowles in Rachel Roy


Diane Kruger in Prada


Cameron Diaz in Stella McCartney