Fashion

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 A Warped World of Sad-Eyed Beauties

Last month, as supermodels and fashion designers elbowed their way through New York Fashion Week, with high glamour swamping the city and spotlights illuminating the beautiful and famous people, a small gallery in Chelsea opened a show by an exceptional Italian artist who depicts contemporary society, especially the fashion world, from the other side of the coin.

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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 What Is James Turrell Doing in a Las Vegas Louis Vuitton Store?

SAN FRANCISCO — On a hot desert afternoon nothing sounds better than the arctic blast of a shopping center. Yes, it is a “dry heat,” but at 110 degrees, the relevance of humidity levels dissipates. So what store should you go to? If it were me, I’d call Louis Vuitton at City Center and make an appointment to see the new James Turrell! Number one: yes, you read that right — there is a permanent installation by Turrell at Louis Vuitton City Center. Number two: yes, you read that right — you will have to make an appointment to see the work.

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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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Post image for The World’s First Fully Articulated 3D-Printed Gown

3D-printed dresses might not be anything new — they’ve shown up on Paris runways already, covering models in intricate meshes and surreal shapes. But the new 3D-printed gown designed by Michael Schmidt and Francis Bitoni with the help of Shapeways is on another level.

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Post image for Yoko Ono Offers Impossible Make-Up Tips for Men

Yoko Ono is usually a bit much for me: I find things like smile apps and instruction pieces that tell you to “Make a wish” and “Keep wishing” cloyingly precious. (Maybe I’m just a cranky, cynical New Yorker.) But Ono has a new video called “Make-Up Tips for Men” (made as part of her clothing line for Opening Ceremony) that I actually adore, precisely because it cuts the sweetness with camp.

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Post image for The Age of Constricting Glamor: A Preview of Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity at the Met

Compared to other portraits of 19th century ladies, Édouard Manet’s painting of poet Nina de Callias was scandalously exotic, with her golden bangles, bolero jacket, Algerian shirt, and flourish of a feather in her curled hair, not to mention her open, sensual pose. A little scruffy dog rests its head on her flurry of skirts from which emerges an exposed ankle, and a tumult of colorful fans decorate the wall behind her. While the shock has totally subsided for contemporary audiences, the portrait drove her estranged husband to demand Manet not show it anywhere. Fashion and the identities it offered or constrained in the mid-1860s to mid-1880s (centering on Paris) is an undercurrent in the works by the top Impressionists, along with examples of period clothing caged in glass display boxes, in Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity, opening February 26 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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