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Mad Americans

Mad Americans: Tom Browne and Marc Jacobs SS08 at style.comMad Americans: Tom Browne and Marc Jacobs SS08 at

I think upon seeing a designer's collection, whether at a preview, on the runway or in re-see, you should walk out , shut your mouth, go home and think really carefully about what you have seen before saying a thing. Because the powerful collections will stay in your mind, imprinted so to speak , while the bad ones will mercifully evaporate, having had no impact on you visually or emotionally.
Do you buy it? That's the obvious question, as obvious and vulgar as “Will it sell?” But did you buy the collection as being honest and felt and compelling. Only two collections after the long calvacade of two weeks of NY shows and presentations linger. One was for men, the other for women. You can guess them before I announce them: Tom Browne and Marc Jacobs. Not very original choices but really, think about any other designers who went there and put out a collection that was personal and committed and visually challenging.
That is not to say they were good collections. Or bad. What those collections did however was to take the consistent and central ideas of these designers and push them until they came apart. And for all the tut-tutting about their "crypto-European" pretentiousness these two collections were beautifully American in their peculiar and mad way.

Ah Helmut! We Hardly Knew You.

Helmut Lang Fragrances Ad IconographyHelmut Lang Fragrances Ad Iconography

It has been a very Proustian weekend, one about nostalgia and the realization that moments that you lived through with complete frivolity, were actually powerful turning points in your life. And now these moments are lost forever, except for maybe the memory of a smell. The time that is haunting me is the late 90's and the scent? Helmut Lang. In 2000, just at the time the tides were turning against them, the Helmut Lang company introduced a line of fragrances, starting with the unisex duo Eau de Cologne and Eau de Parfum created by perfumer Maurice Roucel and then shortly afterwards Cuiron composed by Françoise Caron. Like Lang's clothes Eau de Cologne was clean and simple yet lush and sexual at the same time. It was sweet and powdery enough for women with a strong base of amber and almond, so much so that some cultists were comparing it to the long lost Belle Epoque masterpiece, Jicky. But like a classic fougère, (the fresh citrus, the herbal lavender) it was complex too with touches of oakmoss and coumarin so that it perfectly suited a man. Especially a man in a suit. Its as if Roucel has created a masterpiece of musk .

The House Of Jansen

The Dining Room Of Chateau Solevig from Jansen: Acanthus PressThe Dining Room Of Chateau Solevig from Jansen: Acanthus Press

Maison Jansen was just about the most haute of Paris based decorating housing in the 20th century with a client list that ranged from the Duke and Duchess Of Windsor to the President and Mrs. John F Kennedy to the Shah of Iran. And obviously if you were a client of theirs, your decorating budget tended to be on the far end of the no-limit scale with awe inducing spectacle a key ideal for your interiors. So what's modern or relevant about that? The work of Gaston Schwartz who became the President of Jansen in1928 is . He's the one responsible for the decoration of that eccentric concept: a modern country house reveling in Arte Moderne glamour.

The house in question, Chateau Solveig in Switzerland looms incongrously in Jansen's oevure in that it departs radically from the firm's solidly traditional aesthetic. Chateau Solevig's interior is a beautifully contained exploration of what was then modern, played out in decadently luxurious materials. There was tons of mirrored glass veneering, a dramatic foyer in matching bronze panels and a three story central staircase of white marble with hand railings and balusters of clear crystal.

March In The Name Of Art

Voloptuous Horror In Full EffectVoloptuous Horror In Full Effect

They Became Instant Classics

Chiffre Rouge A0 Series: Dior HommeChiffre Rouge A0 Series: Dior Homme

Of all the very good products Hedi Slimane left behind at Dior Homme, our favorite will always be the Chiffre Rouge A0 watch line. It is inspiring us to be completists and get them all, before it is too late.

The one's with the quarter scatter of diamonds are especially hot, no? Betting the house that 10 years from now these rigorously thought out, "sportif" yet refined timepieces will rank as modern classics. Ranking...hmmm now there's an idea.

Supreme Serendipity

Pilar  from the Supreme SS08 showpackage as seen exclusively at MDCPilar from the Supreme SS08 showpackage as seen exclusively at MDC

I spent much of the morning of August 23rd circling the Soho/Chinatown district that surrounded the Women/Supreme offices, intent on being the first client to nab the Supreme show package. I was literally sitting in La Esquina, downstairs when I got the text that the damn thing had finally arrived. When I got to Paul Rowland's office, the scale of the production left me gobsmacked. An army of assistants were compiling these massive cards into huge black photographer's boxes, neatly wrapping the whole proposition with a black grosgain ribbon. "Now this is what you called boutique," I thought. I fled like a thief to the MDC offices to make sure that package got a priority scanning and uploading!
Sure enough, next day, the phone rings and its a symphony of dismissal and sniping. "Unnecassary" "pretentious" "over-done" were some of the more polite bleating that went one. But I love excess as much as I love discipline and was moved as to how commited and also how mad the whole production Paul had wrought, really was.

Sex Sells Art!

Sex In The City: Sept 15th opening . 6-9pm  Dumbo Art CenterSex In The City: Sept 15th opening . 6-9pm Dumbo Art Center

Because art with sex always clears TI's calender: The Sex In The City group show. Curated by Dean Daderko and Marina Adams. September 15-December 2, 2007
Opening Reception: Saturday, September 15th, 6-9 PM

Dumbo Art Center
30 Washington Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
Tel. 718-694-0831

Voila a contextualization of the show from one of its curators Dean Daderko :

In an age dominated by digital connectivity and networking, Dean Daderko and Marina Adams present an exhibition that addresses our most fundamental human connection activity: sex. “The City” of the title is New York, or Montreal, or San Antonio - anywhere you are, the locus of connection and community. And with its potential for sensual potency, it is no surprise that Sex in the City is also a celebration of painting and the myriad forms with which it tangles.

Dean Daderko writes: "Sex in the City was born when Marina Adams approached me and asked me to collaborate with her to make an exhibition. I remember her saying “I already have a title” and as soon as the words came out of her mouth, I was hooked. I couldn’t say no. Rather than narrowing our options, we chose to cast a broad net inflected with the specific, personal grain of sexuality. Loose framework. So many ways to say “yes.”


Toni/Women: The Only Calvin Klein SS 08 exclusive that countsToni/Women: The Only Calvin Klein SS 08 exclusive that counts

Instant sensation Toni Garrn opens AND closes Calvin Klein SS 2008.


Black Kids Meets Last Years Model. Ha ha!Black Kids Meets Last Years Model. Ha ha!

Ladies and gentlemen, the culture of music blogs has spun a new star. Hailing from Jacksonville Florida (not as you think from the sound, Glasgow in the mid 80's) meet Black Kids . Via blogs like cable and tweed, the gospel has spread across the earth with NME recently converting to the cause. The lead singer has a fantastic curly Afro, a big "My Bloody Valentines" vocal inflection and wicked tastes in graphic design. Which means they'll be massive with imagists. And they're not yet signed to a label! Check em out on myspace while we really get into their flyer design!

On Your Marcs !

Marc by Marc Bus campaignMarc by Marc Bus campaign

TI's been gathering intelligence on the 600 pound gorilla of NY Fashion Week, tommorow night's Marc Jacobs. The celebrity jammed front row, the peripheral vision b*tch scan by competing fashionistas, the who's who of who's new in models and a backstage that is the ultimate NY VIP room. With almost 60 spots lined up, girls who fail to book Big Marc, or for that matter Little Marc should really get ready to flee for Milan, under the pretense of a Prada exclusive. And don't bother hustling Marc himself for a front row perch. He's leaving all that up to Robert, absolving himself of any responsibility for that piece of politics.
Then there is the three hour dress rehersal tonight (9-midnight), cause the catwalk that's complicated, as well as the requisite 3am fitting sessions.And where will Marc go after last season's stroll through retro-Deco. Back to the future we sense. But whose future? Pierre Cardin future? Mugler/Montana future? A plastic fantastic fanatsia? We'll just have to wait another 12...0r 13..0r 14 hours no?
The shoes at Marc btw are also sick sick sick. Very looking-one-size-too-small in a kinda of teenaged tranny tradition. But the dye's not set yet, (though there was another Manic Panic green/purple/pink hair experiment at baby Marc a few days back.) Maybe this conceit will stick. Maybe it won't. And the boys probably won't be coming out in the girl's looks afterall. But that would have given the kids something to talk about. Cue Magnetic Fields "When My Boy Walks Down The Street" and fade!

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