From the streets crowded streets of Shanghai to the vibrant boroughs of La Havana, Parisian street artist JR has showed us “The Wrinkles of the City.”
Originally started in 2008, according to JR’s site, “The Wrinkles of the City is a world-scale project aimed to be presented in various cities around the world where ‘wrinkles’, human as well as architectural, can be found.” From the finish of his first piece in Cartagena, Spain, JR has successfully put up masterpieces in Shanghai, La Havana, Los Angeles, and last week he finished a new piece in Berlin.
With a global approach to design and a compassion for humanity, he continues to effortlessly work on “The Wrinkles of the City” and other projects that are a voice for a generation of street artists and cultures across the globe.
Check out his latest piece in Berlin, as well as the other series within “The Wrinkles of the City.”
All pictures are from JR’s website. http://www.jr-art.net/projects/the-wrinkles-of-the-city-los-angeles
Today has been a lazy Sunday. Taking into consideration I danced till 5 in the morning at Deep Sugar (monthly house music event in Baltimore @ The Paradox,) I think a relaxing day is well-deserved before the weekly grind begins. Continue reading
Dries Van Noten
Dries Van Noten has an incredible knack for creating consistently comfortable glamour, and his Spring RTW 2013 collection was no exception. Van Noten’s grunge-inspired plaid prints may pay some homage to the good ol’ early 1990s rocker days, but the term “hard-edged” certainly does not describe his approach to fabrics. Integrating delicate organza, comfortable crepe, and lustrous taffeta, along with a variety of floral prints and simulated “floral” treatments, Van Noten creates a beautiful dance of masculinity and femininity—more than a playful dance really, but rather, a harmonious marriage of softness and hardness. While the late Kurt Cobain might trigger images of dark, sullen garage bands and angst-ridden, emotionally overcharged teens, Dries Van Noten’s ambiguous mixture of prints and texture is neither irreverently grotesque nor a tired cliché. His ever-refreshing, effortlessly “cool” collection exudes a casual elegance, making us constantly redefine what constitutes the term “elegant.”
Louis Vuitton’s “needs-no-introductions” creative director, Marc Jacobs, clearly sees nothing wrong, old, or hindering about looking towards the past in order to re-discover something new. Jacobs’ Spring 2013 RTW collection for Louis Vuitton is a perfect example of taking little bits and pieces of history–such iconic images and ideas (in this case, the ever popular Pop Art movement)–that we have seen over and over again—and really dissecting, analyzing, and reconstructing it to create something groundbreaking—er, well, in this case, rejuvenating, uplifting, experimental, and revived. Jacobs definitely delivered a breath of fresh air, showing a variety of flattering lengths and expanding but not exhausting the limits of the “checkerboard” through color, cut, and transparency. His end result was a whimsical, daring, and playful presentation of visual excitement, youthful spirit, and modern elegance.
Skin was definitely “in” this season at Balenciaga. Yet, for Nicolas Ghesquière, skin wasn’t about the stereotypical, scantily clad and outrageously tight party dress, nor the plunging, sheer JLO sarong, or even the ultra femme fatale-Sharon Stone-red carpet slit. No, Balenciaga’s collection bore a futuristic artistry (most noted to Ghesquière) that is graphic and severe, yet investigative and purposeful. In particular, his boxy white midriff top, worn by Liya Kebede, paired with a dramatic black and white skirt with oversized ruffles almost harks back to the structural, yet streamlined elegance of vintage Cristobal, with its exploration of shape and linearity. A string of Ghesquière’s suits and tailored looks, which consist of either a cropped or “bra-like” top, again achieve an unadorned, streamlined appeal, but are strong and confident due to their contradictory pairing. He maintains his Ghesquière rawness, but with a finesse that is visually sharp and a courage of conviction that is noticeable throughout. His curious amalgam of replicated tweeds incorporated through crop tops and mini skirt-jacket “twinsets,” is in fact, ambiguous—on a good level, upholding a worthy promise of innovation. Towards the latter half of the show, his artistic flavor and bold graphicness extends exceedingly so into a more delicate and technically intricate arrangement of geometric patterns.
Despite delving into an undeniably darker palette, Haider Ackermann did not necessarily plunge into the pits of despair—rather, his black, chocolate brown, white, and navy color story felt ultra luxurious, rich–in more ways than one–and inspiring. The thick, graphic black belt (bordering on the edge of a harness) proved to be a dominant feature throughout the collection, pulling together several looks that featured a beautiful mix of both structural and slinky stripes, polka dots, and geometric prints. One could say that the color scheme actually helped to achieve this understated elegance. Even his all-black pieces—effortless in movement—commanded attention, showing the range of what his collection had to offer. Though quite the majority layered, Ackermann’s looks, particularly his outerwear, are organically fluid and exquisitely draped, adding to the power and luxury of the clothes. Haider Ackermann’s collection overall maintained an admirable balance of strength and grace.
Not too long ago I did a blog post on the history of house music and a documentary that I highly recommend people watch. It’s important to truly understand the history of the things you love, so if you appreciate house as much as I do, then be sure to check out my blog post on the documentary Pump Up the Volume: The History of House.
Since I’m such a huge fan of house music and the vibe of universal love within the house community, I’m a huge advocate of learning the history of the culture. But for those of you who may or may not know the history of house, a large portion of the culture began with the LGBT community. Frankie Knuckles, Larry Levan, and many other prominent figures in the community were openly gay men who just wanted to spread the love of good music. So that’s one of the reasons why I get really upset when I meet people that are anti-gay and just so close-minded to the community; acting as if those who are in the LGBT are weird, gross, and should be ostracized or treated like crap. That’s not cool.
This stigma associated with house, vogueing, and the LGBT isn’t just prevalent in our current society, but it’s been around since the early foundations of house music. Not only has it been around since the creation of house, but also since the creation of the ballroom subculture. It’s easy to think that this hatred & ambiguity is just around today, but the documentary film Paris Is Burning reminded me that the stigma of “gay culture” has been around since the early 80s.
The documentary Paris Is Burning is a riveting film that was released in 1990. Throughout the course of the documentary, filmmaker Jennie Livingston gives viewers an insight on the gay culture and the evolution of “houses.” If you know anything about vogue-ing and the gay community, then you’ll know that within the community their is a subculture that hosts “balls.” At these balls usually different “houses” -groups of gay men that are “family”-compete against other houses. But it’s not just about the rivalries amongst the houses. The ballroom events are a place for openly gay men (including transgenders, transexuals) to come into an environment where they can feel accepted, feel at home, and show off their “assets” that might not be so celebrated in the straight world. What I mean is, they can dress up and flaunt themselves as women or anything they want to be, and its okay. At the balls, your at home. It’s a safe haven.
Even though I’m a straight female, I’m a huge fan of the vogueing culture. I mean, it is definitely apart of the early days of house music and a lot of the ballroom events play house, so I can’t hate on it. It just wouldn’t be right. I may not be good at the art of vogue, but I still appreciate the culture & love learning the history of it. And Paris Is Burning gave me even more insight on the history of vogue. It was amazing to see the legendary Willi Ninja, the mother of House of Ninja (he passed away in 2006) and hear him explaining how he first got started vogue-ing.
The documentary is absolutely fierce! Of course it focuses on vogue-ing, but the film brings together all aspects of the underground ballroom culture during the 80s. It’s a refreshing look at the Black & Latino gay community in New York during the early 80s, and how the balls were a place for them to feel at home. Of course there was the usual drama & rivalries between the houses, but there was still a sense of community that bonded everyone together.