As rugs see a revival as true works of art fit for display on the wall, a new exhibition in Milan, timed for Milan Design Week, presents the Boucherouite collection of stunning Berber “Afolki” carpets.
The carpets come from different parts of the Middle Atlas in Morocco. Those created in Azilal are particularly creative, woven by hand by Berber women who expertly select the mix of recycled cotton, wool and synthetic materials. Above: Forbidden Dance – made with Boucherouite recycled yarn
The new Boucherouite collection for 2018 is the result of a careful selection of designs from different localities in the region and lengthy discussion with the female creators themselves.
“The Boucherouite is a universal women’s code. It comes from the heart and develops through the women’s hands with extraordinary creativity,” says Mohamed El Alami, the founder of Afolki. “When I describe the carpets it is as if I am talking about Maliparmi, every creation is like a small and unique story. From this affinity is born the idea of a partnership with the Salone, and it represents a perfect occasion to present our new collection.”
In March, 130 Milliners from around the world will showcase their 200 beautiful creations inspired by a piece of history or culture, crafted with unique technique and creative expertise. The exhibition takes place at The Living Centre, near King’s Cross during London Hat Week (www.londonhatweek.com), a celebration of the art of hats and a showcase of talented designers from around the world. The name of the 2018 London Hat Week exhibition originates from the historical Great Exhibition that took place in London in 1851.
The exhibition is managed and curated by Monique Lee, Founder of X Terrace, a fashion platform tailored to connect creatives in Europe with fast growing fashion companies worldwide. Monique’s designs have been featured on more than 200 covers of the most prestigious fashion and design magazines in the world including Vogue, Vanity Fair and L’Officiel. She has recently become one of the official milliners for Royal Ascot 2018.
In anticipation of the exhibition, a press preview at PINKO flagship store highlighted 32 of the hats in a live presentation with four models. Designers participating included Wendy Scully Millinery, Dorothy Morant Millinery, Monique Lee, and Ana bella.
The Great Hat exhibition takes place from 22nd to 28th March 2018 at The Living Centre, 2 Ossulston Street, London NW1 1DF. For more details and tickets visitwww.xterrace.com/hat18CN
A unique exhibition is currently on display at the elegant Philip Mould Gallery on Pall Mall in London, celebrating the collaboration of hat designer Victoria Grant and portrait artist Lorna May Wadsworth. The two artists are inspired by each other: Wadsworth unveils a large-scale portrait of Grant; and Victoria has created a selection of imaginative headwear influenced by Lorna, history and historical costume. An extra special touch are the charming portrait miniatures in the Philip Mould & Co. collection that accent the beret and top hat designs by Victoria. (Top image: Lorna May Wadsworth and Victoria Grant, with the Wadsworth portrait of Victoria. Photo:Barney Cokeliss)
Long before photography existed, portrait miniatures were love tokens – a very personal item – painted by celebrated artists of the era. The miniatures were often worn on the body by both men and women, and used as accessories on coats, dresses and hats. The exhibition seeks to remind viewers that these highly personal and intimate objects, now generally displayed in cabinets or on walls, were often originally intended to be proudly worn. Philip Mould portrait miniature consultant Emma Rutherford, will also be examining the history of the hat jewel, and its portrayal in various historical pictures.
With a royal wedding in the offing for Prince Harry and Megan Markle in May, the great interest after what dress the bride will wear is about hats. Royal etiquette dictates that all women attending an official royal occasion must wear a head covering. Victoria Grant was one of the top milliners for the royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Among Grant’s many clients are models, fashion luminaries, and superstars. Her hat designs range from luxurious chic to radical avant-garde for couture houses.
The Philip Mould Gallery represents Lorna May Wadsworth, and the award-winning portrait painter’s work runs the spectrum from politicians to priests. She painted former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in five private sittings at her home in 2007, plus David Blunkett during his tenure as Home Secretary, and the Archbishop of Canterbury. This unique event celebrates the enduring cross-pollination between portraiture and fashion in anticipation of London Fashion Week. The Milliner at Philip Mould Gallery continues through 18th February. www.philipmould.com JG
Four hundred years of operatic passion and European history highlight the spectacular exhibition currently on view at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The exhibition – in collaboration with the Royal Opera House – is a splendid, intriguing journey that explores opera on a grand scale. This is the first exhibition staged in the new spacious, subterranean Sainsbury Gallery at the V&A. Opera: Passion, Power and Politics is a musical journey to seven cities, and focuses on seven operatic premiers. It explores how the social, political, artistic and economic factors interact with great moments in opera history, to reveal a story of Europe over hundreds of years.
Never a fan of headphones, this exhibition totally changed my perspective. The sound experience is exquisite – with world-leading performances dynamically changing as the visitor explores cities and objects. The result is an evocative and fully immersive sound performance. The seven cities and premieres in the exhibit include: Venice with Monteverdi’s L’Incoronazione de Poppea in 1642, which made its initial appearance during the Carnival season in Venice, and transitioned opera from private court entertainment to the public realm. The opera tour then continues to London and Handel’s Rinaldo in 1771, one of the first Italian language operas performed in London, as the city emerged as a global trade centre.
Mozart’s Le nozze de Figaro premiered in Vienna in 1786, an opera that is much loved to this day. A piano on which Mozart played when visiting Prague is also on display, the first time the instrument has left Prague since the 18th century, to be shown for this exhibition. Verdi and Milan are synonymous, and the composer’s superb Nabucco premiered at La Scala in 1842. Verdi was a master of the chorus; and Va pensierfo (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves from Nabucco) became Italy’s unofficial nathional anthem.
During the reign of Emperor Napoleon 111, opera in Paris had immense status, and in 1861 Wagner’s Tannhâuser premiered and polarised audiences…as only Wagner can. However, Wagner’s vision for the art form proved inspirational for future writers and artists. The beautiful city of Dresden, with its history of artistic expressionism, was the setting for Richard Strauss’s premiere Salome in 1905. The opera was based on the play Salome, written in French by Oscar Wilde. The final opera explored is Shostakovich’s Lady Macbeth of Mtsensk, that opened in St. Petersburg in 1934. It was banned under political censorship in 1936, and Shostakovich never wrote another opera.
Opera: Passion, Power and Politics introduces more than three hundred amazing objects from the V&A collection, along with creative stage sets; manuscripts; costumes; paintings; important international loans; and compelling not-to-be-missed footage of seminal opera performances. The exhibition is marvellous and mesmerising, for opera fans and the non-opera going public alike. Opera: Passion, Power and Politics in collaboration with the Royal Opera House, and sponsored by Sociétié Génerale continues until 25th February 2018. vam.ac.uk/OperaJG
Top image: Eva Gonzalés (1849-83) oil on canvas, c. 1874 Paris Musée d’Orsay, gift of Jean Guérard, 1927 Musée d’Orsay, Paris France/Bridgeman Images
Since the renowned Spanish couturier created his first fashion collection, it was Balenciaga’s time-honoured tradition to create fine quality designs that inspired, endured and were relished by his customers. This year, two museums have hosted exhibitions celebrating the designer – Musee Bourdelle in Paris, www.eyestylist.com/balenciaga – and currently at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London is Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion. Top image: The Balloon hem silk taffeta evening dress Cristobal Balenciaga Paris 1954 Victoria and Albert Museum London
Diana Vreeland, the iconic editor of American Vogue in the 1960’s and early 70’s proclaimed: “For twenty years, Balenciaga was the prophet of nearly every major change in silhouette.” Christian Dior pronounced: “Haute couture is like an orchestra whose conductor is Balenciaga.”
The designs are characterised by their sculptural quality, deft manipulation of textiles, and dynamic use of colours and textures. Inspiration derived from many sources: his own Spanish heritage; influences from 19th century dress; and the Japanese kimono.
The V&A exhibition showcases over one hundred garments and hats by Balenciaga, his pupils, and contemporary designers inspired by his innovation. Jacqueline Kennedy; Pauline de Rothschild; Gloria Guinness; Greta Garbo; and Mona von Bismarck; were among his notable clients in the 1950’s and 60’s. To view his beautifully tailored suits and exquisite evening dresses is to witness a master class in couture art. Balenciaga: Shaping Fashion is sponsored by American Express at the V&A, and continues until 18th February 2018. www.vam.ac.ukJG
Assouline Publishing will celebrate its collaboration with legendary French fashion designer Pierre Cardin and the launch of their new book, with an exclusive CARDIN pop-up shop from 16th to 28th October at the publishing houses’ flagship store, Maison Assouline (196A Piccadilly in St James’s, London).
A global figure, Cardin remains a vital personality today, with an essential brand established in 110 countries around the world. His unique and futuristic creations, from the Bubble dress to the Cosmocorps line, testify to his fierce appetite for experimentation and avant-garde style. Above: from the archives of Pierre Cardin.
During the pop-up, a selection of the icon’s most recognisable fashion pieces including, one-off items and limited-edition dresses, hats, jewellery, handbags and sunglasses will be available for purchase at Maison Assouline for a limited time period.
Pierre Cardin’s self-titled new book, created in collaboration with Assouline Publishing, celebrates 70 years of creation. Filled with images from the 1950s to today, the book represents the first showcase of the complete vision of Pierre Cardin from fashion to interior design, at a time when his creations are experiencing a resurgence. For more information visit www.pierrecardin.comCN
Luxurious simplicity united with artisan tailoring launched Cristobel Balenciaga into the rarefied world of global haute couture. The Palais Galliera pays homage to the couturiers’ couturier with the Spanish designer being celebrated at the elegant Musée Bourdelle in Paris, a superb museum that is home to extraordinary sculptures, photos and drawings.
The retrospective traces Balenciaga’s Spanish childhood that was the inspiration for many of his designs – particularly those in Black – that reflected the folklore and traditions of his upbringing. Balenciaga’s tailoring skills are legendary: he launched the balloon dress (1950), the tunic dress (1955), and the sack dress (1957).
The exhibition includes stunning examples of his suits, jackets, capes, and quiet understatement in evening outfits and cocktail dresses. Balenciaga’s designs were austere – almost monastic – yet were so powerful because of the construction in silk velvet, lace, silk taffeta and fine wools. Over one hundred pieces from The Galliera Collections and Maison Balenciaga archives are included in the exhibition. Both Balenciaga L’Oeuvre au Noir and Musée Bourdelle are a must see! Through 16 July 2017. www.bourdelle.paris.frJG
Top image: Balenciaga Veste et robe 1965-1966 Collection Palais Galliera – Julien Vidal/Galliera/Roger-Viollet
London’s optical fair 100% has announced the shortlisted designs in its annual design competition in collaboration with the RCA. The finalists are: Tabitha Ringwood (1st Year Womenswear – Footwear); Annie Foo (1st Year Womenswear – Footwear); Hazel Stark (2nd Year Textiles – Print); Louis Alderson-Bythell (2nd Year Womenswear – Footwear); Alice Potts (1st Year Womenswear – Footwear) and Becky Hong (1st Year Millinery).
Visionary 2017 is an eyewear design project directed by Accessories, Footwear & Millinery tutor Flora McLean in collaboration with 100% Optical, to highlight new talent and creativity in the field of eyewear design. This year, the competition asked students to consider the wearer and their activities and lifestyle, by designing one piece for a specific person and specific usage.
Above: Project name: My Tribe – by Becky Hong
In its fourth year, the competition is judged by a panel of eyewear experts from the British eyewear industry including Jason Kirk (of Kirk & Kirk), Tom Broughton (Cubitts) and Lawrence Jenkins (eyewear designer). The RCA finalists’ prototypes will be on display at 100% Optical in February when the winner will also be announced. For more information visit www.100percentoptical.comCN
Art frequently influences eyewear, and frames can be an inspiration for art. Belgian artist Luc Tuymans paints a range of subject matter from major historical events to the everyday. His latest work is the phenomenon of spectacles as his muse. As he says:”I have always enjoyed painting glasses. glasses bring a kind of distortion to the face…it is a strange instrument and practically a universal theme. The banality of glasses receives a different meaning when you paint them. When at a certain point I was looking through all the portraits I’ve painted up to now, I was amazed to discover that there were glasses in three quarters of them. This is certainly not a conscious choice…glasses radically change the physiognomy of a face, but are not perceived as a radical change.” Top image: Portrait by Luc Tuymans, 2000; Private Collection; Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London
A larger exhibition of Tuymans work is concurrently on view at the Museum aan de Stroom in Antwerp. The artist is widely regarded as one of the most significant and influential contemporary painters working today. His work deals with how history and memory is translated into paint, and how we perceive people and things. The exhibition continues through 2 April 2017. www.npg.org.ukJG
A chance visit to the Austrian Museum of Applied Arts – The MAK – produced an unexpected and delightful surprise – a retrospective on Austrian eyewear designer Robert La Roche. From the early 1970’s to the turn of the century, the Vienna-born designer captivated the international fashion, film and eyewear world with his pioneering designs. Robert La Roche: Personal View effectively displays the ingenuity, craftsmanship, and creativity of his eyewear, with the unique colourations, shapes and textures that heralded a new direction in frame design.
In addition to hundreds of La Roche frames on display, design drawings, advertisements, magazine editorials and photographs are also included in the exhibit. Marketing was a forte of Robert La Roche, and some of his campaigns are now as legendary as the glasses themselves.
Another highlight was a series of talks and forums open to the public at the MAK. Participants in one event included Christian Wolf from ROLF Spectacles in The Tyrol. Christian and Christoph Egger from Gloryfy spoke on a panel with La Roche, and gave Austrian insight into creating eyewear in today’s marketplace. Christian commented: “It was an honour to be invited to have a discussion with Robert himself, an icon regarding eyewear design and distribution – not only in Austria. The discussion was very interesting as we sell different markets, the marketing is different, and we had a lot to share. There was also an eyewear show with designers from a Vienna school. For me, as marketing manager of ROLF, the exhibition is great because of his advertising campaigns; the collaborations with his work are inspiring. It was a great chance to get tips and tricks from Robert! For all eyewear addicts, I highly recommend this exhibition.”
On the occasion of the exhibition, La Roche commented: “I’d say I’ve had the pleasure of making four million customers not only see better, but also look better…it’s how I sum up my life’s work. Everyone of those frames bears my name, as well as the word ‘Vienne’ – a little reference to the city of their origin, a metropolis of creativity, culture and design.” Robert La Roche: Personal View continues at the MAK through 24th September. If readers are fortunate to visit Vienna and the MAK, you can also enjoy the enchanting Fashion Utopias: Haute Couture in the Graphic Arts. This is a charming collection of graphic artworks from the late 15th Century to the 1930’s. Haute Couture existed long before the 20th Century! More details on both exhibitions at www.MAK.atwww.rolf-spectacles.com JG
Photo: top image Robert La Roche sunglasses model S-49 Photo Gerhard Heller, ca. 1976
What goes on beneath beautiful designer fashion creations is sometimes even a more sensual, fascinating harmony of sumptuous materials and colours. The Victoria & Albert Museum in London explores the personal, fashionable journey of underwear’s roles in Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear.
More than two hundred examples of underwear for men and women are featured – from the homemade to the fabulously luxurious. On display are corsets (top image), hosiery, lingerie and nightwear, plus contextual fashion plates, photographs, advertisements and packaging.
Rare 18th Century hooped petticoats are also featured alongside crinolines and bustles. Long cotton drawers worn by Queen Victoria’s mother; floral embroidered stockings worn by Queen Alexandra, wife of King Edward VII; and Schiaparelli nylon stockings from 1953 emphasise the practical, as well as the alluring. Designer pieces by Rigby and Peller, La Perla, Stella McCartney and Paul Smith are also highlighted. The exhibition also demonstrates how underclothes and nightclothes morphed into loungewear, with the continuing desire for comfort at home, and a blurring of the line between underwear and outerwear, public and private.
Edwina Ehrman, Curator of Textiles and Fashion at the V&A curated Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear. The intriguing presentation reveals how underwear can be created to transform or provoke, and it is impressive. The exhibition, sponsored by Agent Provocateur and Revlon, continues through 12 March 2017. www.vam.ac.uk/undressedJG
Photos: All images courtesy of Victoria & Albert Museum
The elegant gardens of the Villa Da Schio and its much loved flower show – “Oltre il giardino” – provided the perfect surroundings for designer Lucia Pasin’s collection of Flower Glasses and Sunglasses the weekend before last near Vicenza. LU.PA studio welcomed friends and opticians to the event which takes place in May each year and features flower stalls and exhibitors specialising in antiques, artisan gifts and handmade jewellery.
The original designs by LU.PA Studio, inspired by Pasin’s brightly coloured floral paintings, include statement cateye shapes and bold round frames – for men and women.
LU.PA studio – from Belluno – was created in 2012 and the first collection, Antheia, was launched in February 2015, featuring six individualistic models in 24 colours/patterns. All the frames are designed and produced from start to finish in northern Italy. The 18th century Villa da Schio is a historic Venetian-style villa – home to the Trento and da Schio families for over 300 years – with splendid gardens and sculptures by Orazio Marinali. For more information visit www.lupastudio.it / www.villadaschio.itCN
An antique eyewear collection which includes 62 spectacles from Europe and China through the centuries will go on sale at the London International Antiquarian Book Fair at Olympia later this month. The earliest example in the historic collection is from circa 1790, whilst the latest spectacles included date from the 1940s. A few items described as “very rare examples”, include opticians’ diagnostic and measuring tools. The collection will be available to view on the Voyager Press stand at Olympia from the 26th to 28th May 2016 and carries a price tag of £4,950.
Described as an unique opportunity to purchase a ready made collection of eyewear of the highest standard, it illustrates the history of spectacles from the late 1700s, through the 1800s and up to the mid-1900s. The collection covers the making of optical lenses and frames and the shifts in trends and mindsets towards eyewear over the centuries.
Highlights include some of the earliest tinted glasses and fold up spectacles, glasses which attached to the ear by a string, 10 pince-nez and a very rare pair of early 19th century surgeon’s magnifying glasses with large square lenses. For more information: www.voyager-press.comCN
What devoted fashion follower wouldn’t love to roam in the archives of the Palais Galliera in Paris? Now the next best thing is possible. The Museum opens an exhibition on 14th May displaying a selection of garments with fashion and historical connections. The rich variety reflects the essence of the fashion treasures the museum has collected over the years.
Examples include items worn by Marie-Antoinette; Napoleon’s waistcoat; a dress belonging to George Sand; Sarah Bernhardt’s cape; an outfit by Givenchy for Audrey Hepburn; Tilda Swinton’s pyjama suit; and a dress from the Duchess of Windsor’s wardrobe – among other notable garments with historical associations.
Accessories are also included in this collection, and the identification with people who wore them further highlights these heritage pieces. Anatomy of a Collection is at Palais Galliera 14th May through 23rd October 2016. More info at www.palaisgalliera.paris.fr JG
Top photo: Christian Dior by Yves Stain Laurent wedding dress for Geneviève Page 1959 Collection Palais Galliera Eric Poitevin/ADAGP 2016
An intriguing exhibition – featuring a group of Contemporary Artists – opens Friday 1st April in New York City in trendy TriBeCa. Painting, sculpture, and installations will feature in the event, with contributions by individualistic, international artists. The cultural diversity of the participants brings fresh, original perspective to each presentation. The event is held in collaboration with shhhim (www.shhhim.com) which encourages and supports artists in promoting their work. Mixed-media artist and sculptor Constance Chabieres has been involved with art programmes for UNICEF in Asia and Africa. Her work is inspired by nature, colour, light, street style and people on the streets. Movement and rhythm highlight her creations, including the bronze sculpture above. www.chabrieres.net
Swedish/Lebanese Sara Badr Schmidt is presenting a work that she began ten years ago and continues “as a work in progress”, says the Paris-based artist. The concept is to show the limits of borders, but also the enrichment that different cultures compound. Borderless – the title of the installation project – are photos printed on canvas and mounted on light boxes, with some enhanced by a sound track. www.sarabadrschmidt.com
Among other artists exhibiting are Jerry Atkins, Sami Basbous, Rafik Majzoub and Brett Wallace. The exhibition continues through 18th April at 481 Washington Street, New York City 10013. Tel: +1 917 621 63 89. JG
A new exhibition opened at the V&A this week entitled Silver Speaks: Idea to Object. Curated by Corinne Julius, it celebrates the exceptional level of creativity and skill in British silversmithing. Presenting new works by 18 members of the Contemporary British Silversmiths (CBS), the objective is to offer visitors a snapshot of the craft in Britain today encompassing designs which show a variety of techniques and applications, from the traditional to the cutting edge. Above: Two Bowls – Hand raised and fabricated in Sterling Silver by Juliette Bigley – “Two bowls represents two contrasting interpretations of the archetypal bowl form playing particularly with ideas of inside and outside and the space that lies between these two opposites.”
Silver Speaks: Idea to Object takes place until 31st January 2017, in the Silver Galleries, V&A, London. Silver Speaks: Idea to Object is part of an 11-month programme of events organised by CBS. Further information at www.contemporarybritishsilversmiths.org/ and www.vam.ac.ukCN
British Vogue Magazine – the arbiter of cutting-edge fashion – celebrates its 100th anniversary this year with a major exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery. Beauty and portrait photography are featured with over two hundred and eighty remarkable images from The Condé Nast archive.
Since 1916, British Vogue has continuously been at the forefront of communicating the latest in bon vivant style and elegance, as well as narrating the lively arts and society. Vintage prints from the early twentieth century, photos from renowned fashion shoots, and unpublished works are brought together for an exhilarating retrospective of this iconic magazine.
The twentieth-century shaped the fashion landscape with amazing photographers – including Lee Miller, Cecil Beaton, Irving Penn and Snowdon. Their works are included, along with celebrated photographers Mario Testino, Tim Walker, Patrick Demarchelier, Nick Knight, Herb Ritts and David Bailey. Through the decades, British Vogue reported on the upcoming and creative talents of the time – that defined the century’s progression in fashion, style and social trends. From Henri Matisse to Francis Bacon; Lucian Freud; Marlene Dietrich; Lady Diana Cooper to Lady Diana Spencer; Fred Astaire to David Beckham; and fashion luminaries Christian Dior, Saint Laurent, and Alexander MeQueen, are just a few treasured experiences.
Vogue 100: A Century of Style is a memorable, imaginative journey through ten decades of exceptional photography capturing fashion, people and places with artistic style. Vogue 100: A Century of Style is at the National Portrait Gallery, London, from 11 February – 22 May 2016 sponsored by Leon Max www.npg.org.ukJG
Top image: Kirsi Pyrhonen in Mongolia by Tim Walker, 2001 Copyright Tim Walker
Tall, elegant and aristocratic, Countess Jacqueline de Ribes (born 1929) is recognised as one of the celebrated fashion personas of the 20th Century. Her statuesque silhouette was a designer’s dream; and style was in her genes – as a child de Ribes loved to play “dress up”…and carried this radiant imagination into adulthood.
The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City is staging an exhibition of designs from the Countess’s opulent personal wardrobe, including dresses that she created for her own company from 1982-1995. She was consistently on The Best Dressed List and respected for her originality and superb style and manner.
A multi-faceted woman, de Ribes was also a theatrical impresario, a TV producer, and she helped organise Museum and Charity events. Nature conservation and environmental protection were also among her pioneering projects. The exhibition also includes videos, photos and personal effects. Jacqueline de Ribes: The Art of Style is a fascinating glimpse into the life and boundless style of a truly elegant woman. Continues until 21st February 2016. www.metmuseum.orgJG
Photos: Top image: Jacqueline de Ribes 1955 by Richard Avedon The Richard Avedon Foundation Middle image: Photograph by Victor Skrebneski, Skrebneski Photograph 1983 Bottom image: Photography by David Lees, David Lees/The LIFE Images Collection/Getty Images
The paintings of the celebrated artist Pablo Picasso set world records at auctions. However, now there is a way to enjoy and cherish the master’s work at reasonable prices. Marc de Ladoucette is a porcelain specialist who has the authorisation of Mr Claude Picasso to use the Spanish artists’s work on products created from Limoges, renowned for finely crafted decorative objects since the 18th Century.
Top image: La-Joie-de-Vivre by Picasso – Galerie Marc de Ladoucette
Some of Picasso’s most important works – including “La Magie Picasso” – are translated on vases, plates – from dinner services to beautiful serving platters – candles and teacups. The items are available in Limited Editions – and sold in only a few prestigious shops around the world, including The Gagosian Gallery on Madison Avenue in New York City – www.gagosian.com – and Renby in Tel Aviv – www.renby.co.il Picasso on Porcelain – unique items to bring art, magic and elegance to your table and your home. www.marc-de-ladoucette.comJG
Her wardrobe – as well as her life – was the toast and talk of Paris. Elisabeth, Countess Greffulhe (1860-1952) was the epitome of elegance, with an exquisite, enviable wardrobe, the focus of a stunning exhibition at Palais Galleria in Paris. She was an avid patron of the arts, promoting and encouraging James Whistler; Auguste Rodin and Gustave Moreau; and the ballet impresario Diaghilev and his Ballet Russes. The Countess was also a supporter of composer Gabriel Fauré, and his Pavane was premiered at a garden party in the Bois de Boulogne that she organised. In addition, she produced and promoted operas including Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde and Twilight of the Gods.
Proust immortalised her for posterity as the Duchess of Guermantes in Proust’s novel A La Recherche du Temps Perdu (In Search of Lost Time). The Countess captivated Parisian society with her tireless activities and her glorious wardrobe. She was a fascinating, slender figure in an alluring cloud of tulle, gauze, chiffon and feathers, or in her velvet coats and kimono jackets. The Palais Gallieria displays fifty dresses worn by the Countess, designed by grand couturiers including Fortuny, Worth, Lanvin and Babani.
There are evening and day dresses, coats, accessories, portraits, photographs and films. The exhibition is a marvellous invitation to go “in search of lost fashion”, and to become acquainted with the divine Countess, whose image was inescapably linked with her luxurious wardrobe. La Mode Retrouvée (FashionRegained) Dresses of Elisabeth, Countess Greffulhe opens 7th November and continues until 20th March 2016. www.palaisgalliera.paris.frJG
Top image: Photographie de Otto, la comtesse Greffulhe dans une robe de bal, veers 1887 Copyright Otto/Galliera/Roger-Viollet
Fashion, portrait and still life images by Irving Penn (1917-2009), are among the photography masterpieces in black-and-white and colour on display at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. The exhibition is the first retrospective in twenty years of the photographer who captured street scenes from the American South; fine-art fashion photos; still life and celebrity portraits; and photos made for magazine editorials and commercial advertising; including previously unseen images.
Penn’s photographic career spanned nearly seventy years, and at Vogue magazine, Penn’s portraits and fashion images defined 1950’s elegance. There are approximately one hundred fifty photos, plus Super 8mm films of Penn in Morocco, made by his wife – who was a model – Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn – that add a dynamic insight into the artist at work.
Irving Penn: Beyond Beauty opens at The Smithsonian American Art Museum on 23rd October, and continues through 20th March 2016 – it will then travel to several cities across America. The exhibition beautifully celebrates Penn’s photographic legacy as a modern master of his craft. For info on The Smithsonian click on www. americanart.si.edu. For Exhibition details – www.americanart.si.edu/exhibitions/archive/2015/irving_penn/.JG
Photos: Top image – Irving Penn Leontyne Price New York, 1961 Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation Copyright Condé Nast Ball Dress: Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation Copyright Condé Nast Young Boy: Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of The Irving Penn Foundation Copyright The Irving Penn Foundation
National Portrait Gallery Celebrates Audrey Hepburn
1st September 2015 Actress, humanitarian, and icon – Audrey Hepburn is one of the most fascinating and memorable women of the 20th Century. Born in Holland, she began her career as a dancer and chorus girl in London’s West End. She evolved into an inspiring and glamorous international movie star, and teamed for years with Hubert de Givenchy in a famous style marriage. Her later life culminated in remarkable philanthropic work, including Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations International Children’s Fund (UNICEF).
The National Portrait Gallery pays homage to this extraordinary woman with photos that span her life from a nine-year-old – through to her last major photo shoot in 1991. These are beautiful and reflective photos from leading photographers including Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Irving Penn, Terry O’Neill, and Norman Parkinson.
The exhibition has been organised with support from the Audrey Hepburn Estate and her sons, Luca Dotti and Sean Hepburn Ferrer. Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon is a memorable show that highlights a truly exceptional, iconic woman. Until 18th October. www.npg.org.ukJG
Photos: Top image: Audrey Hepburn dressed in Givenchy with sunglasses by Oliver Goldsmith by Douglas Kirkland 1966 Copyright Iconic Images/Douglas Kirkland Audrey Hepburn in pink Givenchy Copyright Norman Parkinson Ltd/Courtesy Norman Parkinson Archive Audrey Hepburn as Holly Golightly by Howell Conant, published on the cover of Jours de France, 27 January 1962
25th August 2015Opened nearly thirty years ago in New York City, Periyali restaurant continues to gather rave reviews. Proprietor Nicola Kotsoni, originally from the Greek island of Zakynthos, conveyed her love of the island’s cuisine…to the island of Manhattan. All the entrees are individually prepared, and diners can savour classic dishes that include: Spanakopita, Moussaka, and grilled Calamari – along with other Greek specialities. The wine list is extensive – with a wonderful collection of champagnes – including Dom Perignon- and superior Greek wines, plus American and international selections.
The ambience at Periyali (which means “seashore”) welcomes diners to the tranquility and beauty of the Greek Islands, with its fresh décor, and inviting sky lit garden. Nicola loves to entertain – and she personally oversees every detail – including selecting the most beautiful flowers for her famous and original designs. For traditional Greek cuisine, Periyali represents the best of culinary delights from the Hellenic Islands. www.periyali.comJG
1st August 2015Christian Dior revolutionized fashion history in 1947, when he presented his first haute couture collection. In a post-war era, where many countries were still on rations and rebuilding, Dior marked the start of a dramatic era and the triumph of femininity with his “New Look” and legendary silhouette. The Bar suit, with its black full skirt, and wasp waist ecru jacket, became both the manifesto and the icon. Marion Cotillard (above) wearing the Bar suit 2012 features in the museum poster.
Dior’s childhood home – Villa les Rhumbs, in Granville, Normandy – with its beautiful garden and seaside location was an inspiration for him. The villa is now a museum and hosts the exhibition Dior, The New Look Revolution, which include photographs and archives, and reveals the complexity of the silhouette’s architecture. To celebrate the occasion, Laurence Benaïm has written a book Dior, The NewLook Revolution, published by Rizzoli. It’s nearly seventy years since Dior introduced his “New Look” – however, his amazingly engineered silhouette, with its timeless feminine shape, is spot on trend in the latest Dior collection – a 21st Century interpretation of a legacy. The exhibition continues through 1st November 2015. www.musee-dior-granville.com JG
Photo of Marion Cotillard by Jean-Baptiste Mondino.
1st July 2015 Established fashion capitals – Paris, New York, Milan and London – make headlines each season as models strut the catwalk showing the latest creations by leading designers. These destinations and emerging cities that include among others, Berlin, Istanbul, Seoul, Stockholm, Russia, Mexico, and Sao Paulo – are the theme of an intriguing exhibition, Global Fashion Capitals, at The Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in New York City.
The show examines the rise of emerging cities to global prominence, and supports the theory that fashion communicates identity and spreads cultural influence throughout the world. Fashion weeks continue to multiply as cities also realise the economic value of the fashion industry. More than seventy garments and accessories from designers including Coco Chanel, Chrsitian Dior, Prada, Yohji Yamamoto, Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, Dries Van Noten, Alexandre Herchcovitch from Brazil, and Christian Louboutin’s amazing stilettos, demonstrates the scope and power of the fashion industry.
Global Fashion Capitals is a stylish tribute to the international reach of today’s fashion creators. Certainly an exhibition to visit if in New York City. Continues through 14th November 2015. www.fitnyc.edu Top image: Homo Consommatus Ensembles Spring 2015 St. Petersburg Gift of Homo Consommatus JG
1st June 2015“Shoes are one of the most telling aspects of dress. Beautiful, sculptural objects, they are also powerful indicators of gender, status, identity, taste and even sexual preference. Our choice in shoes can help project an image of who we want to be,” says Helen Persson, Exhibition Curator for Shoes: Pleasure and Pain.
Included in this splendid show are shoes from the unrivalled collection at the V& A, plus international collections, and wardrobes of private individuals. Shoes worn by or associated with high profile figures including Queen Victoria, Marilyn Monroe, Sarah Jessica Parker, David Beckham and the Hon Daphne Guinness, among others, are featured. The famous ballet slippers designed for Moira Shearer in the 1948 film The Red Shoes are on display. Footwear for men and women by seventy designers including Manolo Blahnik, Christian Louboutin, Vivienne Westwood and Jimmy Choo will also feature in the more than two-hundred pairs of shoes included in the exhibition.
Shoes from ancient Egypt, men’s shoes from India, shoe fashions from the European royal courts, and today’s trend-setting designers provide amazing examples of footwear through the centuries. Shoes: Pleasure and Pain is the latest in a continuing series of fascinating fashion presentations at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The exhibition opens on 13 June and continues until 31st January 2016. www.vam.ac.uk/shoesJG
Photos: Top image: Freed of London red ballet shoes made for Moira Shearer in The Red Shoes (1948) silk satin, braid and leather, England 1948. Photograph reproduced with the kind permission of Northampton Museums and Art Gallery; Roger Vivier for Christian Dior image Copyrighted Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Chopines: image copyrighted Victoria and Albert Museum, London; Parakeet Shoes: Photography by Dan Lowe
5th May 2015 A new event showcasing exceptional craftsmanship takes place this week around the capital. Well-known luxury brands and lesser known labels will be featured in a journey-of-discovery programme involving specialist workshops, small-scale makers and artisans, famous shops, galleries and luxury brands. Above: Daniel Harris for London Cloth – www.londoncloth.com – who will be scarf-weaving at Daks, Old Bond Street / 7th May).
The line up includes varied events and demonstrations at London’s prestigious department stores including Fortnum & Mason, Selfridges and open studios – an exciting event at Cockpit Arts features independent designers and makers in varied disciplines including wood work, textiles, millinery and jewellery (Cockpit Arts, Cockpit Yard, Northington St, London WC1N 2NP / 9-10th May).
Vacheron Constantin, the founding partner of London Craft Week will show how their luxury watches are made and engraved, with experts demonstrating their craft at the flagship store on Old Bond Street.
1st May 2015The term “luxury” is a fascinating subject, as it can have many different interpretations, depending on the person. The Victoria and Albert Museum explores the concept of luxury with a new exhibition What is Luxury? Exceptional examples of contemporary design and craftsmanship are featured alongside conceptual projects that interrogate fundamental ideas of luxury, its production and future.
Included in the presentation is an entirely handcrafted mechanical watch – The Second Space Travellers’ Watch – by British watch maker George Daniels. Fashion is represented with a laser-cut couture dress by innovative Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen (top photo), and more than 1000 hand-knitted nylon bubbles create the Bubble Bath necklace by Nora Fok.
The exhibition provokes thinking and debate through fictional scenarios that consider issues like privacy, resources and access that could determine present and future ideas of luxury. With over 100 remarkable objects, What is Luxury? takes visitors on a revealing journey, and prompts them to consider what luxury means and how it relates to their own lives. What is Luxury? a V&A and Crafts Council Exhibition, sponsored by Northacre, is at the V&A through 27 September 2015. www.vam.ac.uk/whatisluxuryJG
Photo Credits: Top image: Voltage Dress, Iris van Herpen, 2013 Paris M. Zoeter x Iris van Herpen; Middle photo: The Second Space Travellers Watch George Daniels, 1983 Jasper Gough, Sotheby’s; Bottom photo: Combs, Hair Highway Studio Swine 2014 Studio Swine