Alexander Cavaluzzo

Post image for A Fashion Mag with Beauty and Brains

There will always be fashion magazines that instruct readers which silk faille caftan is appropriate for lounging on a yacht over Memorial Day weekend, but what about one that traces the sartorial origins of the safety pin as an accessory?

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Post image for Transcending Trends: Charles James at the Anna Wintour Costume Center

Charles James is probably not a name that is as instantly recognizable in fashion as Coco Chanel or Christian Dior, but as the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new exhibition, Charles James: Beyond Fashion shows us, his work and legacy transcend the zeitgeist and ushers us back to a period of supreme, magnificent decadence in American fashion.

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Post image for Nuclear Wintour at the Metropolitan Museum

It’s clear that money is the ticket to fame and success in the world of culture, even — OK, maybe especially — if you’re not an artist. Cue the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s renaming of the newly renovated, soon-to-be-opened Costume Institute as the Anna Wintour Costume Center.

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Post image for The Utopian Vision of Jean Paul Gaultier

Sailor stripes, corsets, and men’s skirts are not just the cheeky trademarks of a brilliant designer, but tools for a deeper excavation of culture.

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Post image for The Art of Nightlife, or Debauchery as Social Practice

“One point of art is that it’s forming something we don’t have the language for yet,” observes Jake Yuzna, Director of Public Programs at the Museum of Arts and Design (MAD), in discussing the FUN Conference on Nightlife as Social Practice.

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Post image for Subversive Style, Straight Out of the Closet

“Through clothing, an inner phantom self becomes visible,” quoth FIT Professor of Art History Anna Blume on a plaque before one of her sartorial signifiers: a relaxedly tailored suit, white shirt and tie.

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Post image for They’re Here, They’re Queer, Get Into It: Dirty Looks

This July, the monthly film series Dirty Looks mounted the second installment of their “On Location” program, an ongoing presentation of art interventions that encroaches everywhere from bars to galleries to the television sets of everyone in the New York area. The series takes on guerrilla tactics of presenting queer experimental underground films.

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Post image for Transgressive Queer Art, Tinged with Nostalgia

Today’s New York art world is painfully nostalgic for the 1980s — a time when rent in the East Village could be paid on tips, syringes littered the streets, and social forces challenged artists to create astounding works. Creativity crackled in the air, as did the impending trauma and transformation of the near future. Social spaces existed before social media supplanted them. It was a time — “post-disco, pre-house,” according to performance artist Jack Waters — when you could both dance and talk in clubs, and those clubs weren’t just filled with $12 cocktails and bridge-and-tunnel riffraff, but exciting creators building a community.

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Post image for God Save the Met and Their Fuckin’ Costume Institute

If there is but one cornerstone of “Punk” as fashion, it is what Dame Vivienne Westwood dubbed “confrontation dressing.” Swastikas, tampons, spray-painted swears, safety pins — these were the tools with which this particular postmodern machine of resistance, youth, and style were forged. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s spring costume exhibition, Punk: From Chaos to Couture, hovered over the essence of this defensive dress, but skirted the issues of subculture to champion superficial style.

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Post image for Eastern Glamour Meets Western Couture

With Chinese Fashion Week rapidly becoming a formidable competitor to Paris and Milan, and figures like Peng Liyuan reaching Carla Bruni levels of icondom (minus the fur bikini), Eastern fashion is dominating conversations of style and commerce. To capitalize on this emerging popularity, The Museum of Chinese in America has focused two of its spring exhibitions towards sino-sartorial oeuvres: Front Row, which takes a look at the exponential growth of Asian-American fashion designers such as Vera Wang and Jason Wu, and Shanghai Glamour, an examination of early twentieth century clothing and culture from the “Paris of the East.”

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