updated website


take a look! check back for updates as march fashion week approaches...

Corrine Day

Corrine Day is known for transforming the editorial fashion industry with her raw and natural approach to fashion phtography. With Kate Moss as the perfect imperfect muse, she was able to achieve a reality that was a close to real as any set can produce. But that was not always what people wanted- reality can be sad, as she said, and sometimes people just want fantasy. Turning her career down a documentary road she had that freedom. But in the spirit of grunge and unconventional transitions in the 90s in particular, I think it is appropriate to give a quick nod to Day. Here are some of her fashion contributions, recent and old.

Images from Chinese Vogue November 2008- here for their outdoor amazing chic use of tall grass and century old wooden shackled house
Two early shots from various spreads, for their whimsy

These from British Vogue October 2003- Geoff Dyer Haute Couture prep, for the rawness of the 'behind the scenes'
Since her death in 2010, several blogs, newspapers, and other publications paid homage to her life and career. Here are a couple that I wanted to share:
Really awesome selection of images on Focus on to Film Blog
Corrine Day Obituary in the telegraph

grunge expansion

A few more images I was moved to do a quick search for
My sister once described me as 'more grungy' in comparison to her when describing our styles to someone. my response was a quick "I am not grungy." I didn't really know what it meant at the time except I had the idea it meant dirty. And since I regularly washed my hair and my jeans, I figured it couldn't be true. Not that those things are less true now (maybe a little less true) but at least I get what she was saying now. I have very few memories from when I was younger...so I'm glad that is one of them.
there is credit due to the musicians and fans who created the movement:
 Veronica Webb in Stephen Sprouse FW 1985 via corbis
 On the Street in Seatle 1993 by Mauro Carraro via corbis
Kurt Cobain in Studio Image via eyeball.fm

And there is credit due to the designer who was able to channel and market it to a high end consumer. Did they know they were wearing clothes inspired by drug addicted, chain and ripped jean wearing, long haired dudes who screamed into microphones and smashed guitars in front of audiences of angst-y young people who felt these musicians were the only people who could possibly understand what they were going through?
Not when it has a Perry Ellis label in it (thank you young Marc Jacobs)

 Perry Ellis spring 1993 backstage via corbis

+ article on the 'rules of grunge'

Grunge Heroes

At the Rock en Seine music festival Renaud Montfourny was the honored photographer, with a photo expo combining aerials of dead animals in city streets, and, of course, portraits of Rock Stars. The man, who also founded the french magazine Inrockuptables (the French Rolling Stone), has an eye for the greats and how to create an image of them as real people, full on with in their iconic attitudes.
Hung up next to each other:
These are my two grunge heroes-

Ernst Haeckel

Mixing art and Science can be a beautiful thing:
From Art Forms of Nature  by Ernst Haeekel released at the turn of the 20th century- These illustrations are based off of Haeckel's notes and sketches, and hugely influenced the science of documenting species, and also the artists of the era- namely the art nouveau movement. Nature is capable of the most simple, and the most complex of phenomenons- and all art can do is try to recreate the same kind of harmony that nature produces by instinct and grand design.
see the whole work here (in German)
Images via Wikipedia
And from quite the other end of the art spectrum: this weekend in Belgium (Brussels and Antwerp) there was plenty of inspiration- mostly conceptual- enough to exhaust you- and continue to exhaust from the long trails of thought still meandering...
To the end that I don't know what to do with them- do they translate to fashion? In very conceptual ways definitely; but in a more understated voice it's a less obvious solution. So is it a fine art response? In some kind of photo project or series of paintings?

I think that part of the reason I was (am?) so exhausted is from all the notes I scribbled during my visits. Can I read the words now? Maybe enough to grasp the thought that would have been so fleeting if I had not documented it in the moment.* It makes me feel safer. Like I don't have to run home and produce an artwork of my reaction before I forget what I saw (I already can't remember what I saw in Brussels...24 hours ago..!) But I can put the notebook back in my purse, and then filed on my shelf when it's filled, and read through it in the future and be RE-inspired. Or maybe the mental filing is all I need- the critical information accessible to be triggered by some new visual/musical/tactile stimuli. Well who knows...For now, about some of the art:

That's right!! Jeff Wall! At the museum of contemporary art in Brussels, the Jeff Wall exhibit was a compilation of his work, mixed among the work of other artists (painters, filmmakers, sculptors, photographers) that influence(d) his photography. So much more insightful than a solo retrospective, in my opinion, these clues into the artist's process are really so crucial to the understanding of their work. A couple things I noted:

*I want to site an observation on the great effort it takes in moments of inspiration that are ruled by the right brain, the telescopic perspective side, make it hugely difficult to accomplish the simple task of picking up the pencil and jotting down the note. That left brain activity, the organizational microscopic perspective side, seems trivial in this moment of clarity. but how often do we forget those things we wanted to remember because we neglected to respond to that demand of the left brain. I'm looking for the exact passage from Colin Wilson's Starseekers where he puts it much more concisely and eloquently.

Winslow Homer

In The Spirit of American Naturalism: Winslow Homer

 The Water Fan, 1898
Sailing The Catboat, 1875

Feeling the difference in the chill of the water from the paintings from the north, and the warmth of the paintings from the tropics, and the darkness of the sea after a storm.
It is like different shades of gray, that react to the colors around it in a way that transforms it. Warm or cool gray, heather or matte...

John James Audubon

the book Birds of North America is one of his life's achievements. And throughout his ornithological career documenting known and unknown species, he aimed to capture them in their natural environments. I love depictions of animals whose purpose is to serve science just as much as they are artistic contributions. What I love about JJ Audubon's is the attitude he injects into the subjects. More like characters personified than wild animals. Also the dreamy water color landscape backdrops.
white headed eagle from Birds of America by John James Audubon London: 1827-38

Hussein Chalayan in Paris

This really fantastic exhibit was all about technology and exploiting the possible overlaps within Chalayan's vision of fashion. A brilliant designer who could have chosen any medium, he often incorporates those diverse design sensibilities in his runway instillations and video presentations. Also in his garments, as they super conceptual extreme is sculptural and not at all conventional clothing. What makes it distinctly about fashion is the role that the body and identity play in his creative commentary. By using the body as a foundation for his creations, there is an implied set of ideas that are connect to the idea of the body and the self. But in the context of his very thoughtful concepts he is able to send a different message each season. Part of that is thanks to the experimentation with new materials and processes which are often of a scientific or technologocal nature. Even his more rustic, raw, hand-made references come together in the form of some kind of modern hybrid, and never exist solely on ideas of the past.

this image is from my favorite Chalayan collection (one I cited in my first project design at SCAD) and the image if from the museum's website
Here is my coverage for TheFashionList

Tim Walker

Fantastical worlds captured in one frame- so believable your mind sees beyond the picture plane...real people transformed into fictional characters with supernatural qualities and eccentric mannerisms- they must actually exist in their strange world...colors that seem to be pulled out from the ground where he wishes them to be- like his camera interprets the visions of his mind's eye
Here are some recent editorial shots to demonstrate that introduction...

Take a look at his website there's much more to see
+ he works in collage sometimes as well- which I love because it is like he continues building onto these fabricated worlds with elements of our own world that still somehow enhance the fantasy.

Old Research

I was recently going through some old research files. Every once in a while a folder goes unorganized for quite a while. As in these cases, I don't really remember any more where I got the images or what I was looking for when I found them. Here are some that I held on to because I find they still have some kind of relevance...
Robert Frank
Woman dressed as angel, circa 1918 via corbis

Edward Curtis
The Angel of Mons Valse Score Cover by Paul Paree, 1914
Golden Eagle Wing by Niall Benvie circa 1990
From Numéro 82 by Camilla Akrans
an editorial page that I got from the much missed website (HFGL)
Pati Smith by Lynn Goldsmith 1977 via corbis

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

I am sadly going to miss this exhibit. Part of the surrounding enticement is due to the too-early death of the designer, making the garments on display like relics of his life.

Because I can't be there, I was so thrilled to find that the MET had put together this site with images, videos, a guide through each themed room, and beautiful photographs.
The best thing short of going myself. It is rare to find so much information shared surrounding an exhibit, ("you have to visit if you want to see...!") But in this case the digital element makes a really great complement (I imagine) to the actual visit. It is, however, clear from the videos and images that the richness of the spaces and textures and garments themselves just aren't done justice via digital reproductions.
But about the exhibit: I have admired Alexander McQueen (a fellow Lee) for seemingly forever. But I was never in the McQueen fan club. I also took his collections for granted. I don't think I really ever looked at his collections in the big picture sense. I saw the spectacle and appreciated his theatrics- saying that he was doing things differently. An industry that has so many codes of conduct and 'how tos' needs people who break some of those rules- boldly; no toe-dipping in the water.
The themes of nature, the future, his heritage, mysticism, goth, and current social climates are manifest in his collections. The literal interpretations might be considered costume-y if it weren't for the refined color palette, and masterful and tasteful couture approach. His design hand is was so refined; maybe as result of the time he spent learning the skills of tailoring on Saville Row.
Lastly, I have only recently awakened in myself an interest in and love for the idea of the future. While I have lived most of my life lamenting the past, dreaming of living in an America of pre-western expansion: "Oh give me a home, where the buffalo roam" kind of nostalgia. This has revealed itself as a limiting mindset, where little can be expanded upon without getting into modern territory. And those same sources of inspiration I have seen exploding as trends all up and down the apparel market. Which puts into question every sense of identity and purpose. It is an emotional thing, creating.
And that is exactly what McQueen used to his advantage. For people who can't escape the power of strong emotions- emotions that can sometimes feel debilitating- to be able to channel them, and fabricate them, is one way of learning to control them- or at least make them work for you.

And so I'll live vicariously through everyone who gets to go see and visit the exhibit this closing weekend or who has visited it over the past months.
enjoy and appreciate
And for those of you like me who can't visit: here is a preview of the beautiful images the website shares