Friday File – Mid-Semester

Another busy Friday ends another busy week. The fashion study collection I manage is getting a much better workout this semester than it did in the fall, which is great, but also a bit tiring.

I’m spending this morning prepping for a lecture on how fashion theory and history can be applied in interdisciplinary ways for a freshman intro course next week. I’m kind of excited about it. If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you’ll know that I value fashion far above fashion just for fashion’s sake. It is a product of its time and culture, and I really enjoying exposing students in other disciplines to the collection. You can see their minds working as they find connections amongst their own fields and the garments in my collection.

Now let’s get to the links:

The very smart Raquel Laneri directed me to a fashion shoot by Eugenio Recuenco — it’s an homage to Picasso. Look at the series of images in the second row from the top. Which is timely, because there is a Picasso exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago right now, so I’ve got Picasso on the brain. Eugenio’s photos are rather clever, and whoever did the styling, the makeup, and the hair did a fantastic job capturing the essence of Picasso’s paintings.

Did you know the nuclear bomb has helped experts identify forgeries more easily? It has to do with the creation of isotopes that didn’t exist before 1945 when the first nuclear bomb was detonated. Scientists can test the paint of a work to determine if those isotopes were present in the paint when a painting was created, and, if they are, then scientists know the painting had to be created after 1945. Not so easy to pass off a new painting as an old master’s now.

The First Bangs will grace the cover of Vogue next month. I’m picking up my copy as soon as it hits the shelves.

Two Nerdy Girls had a most fantastic piece this week on “How Many Tradespeople Does It Take to Dress an 18th C. Lady?” With the help of the Janea Whitacre, mistress of millinery and mantua maker at Colonial Williamsburg, they compiled a list of every person involved in making the items that an upperclass woman wore — those who made her dress and its embellishments to her hair to her accouterments.

Have a great weekend!

Mixing Whimsy and the Avant-Garde

Iris Apfel is just the best. You must check out this shoot featuring her in Dazed Digital.

Wearing avant-garde Comme des Garçons from autumn/winter 2012, she brings whimsy and humor to this shoot. I love that she doesn’t take fashion too seriously. More people should embrace her take on dressing.

If you need some cheering, these photos shot by Jeff Bark should do the ticket.

Under the Sea

Giorgio Armani Dress & Alexis Bittar necklace | Alexander McQueen dress, mask, and cape & Carolee Necklaces — photos by Richard Burbridge, styled by Robbie Spencer for The New York Times Style Magazine

Many designers used the sea as inspiration for their spring 2012 looks. And The New York Times Style Magazine took this idea literally when styling these gowns from Giorgio Armani and Alexander McQueen.

I really like these two concepts. They both have a little whimsy, are well executed, but could not be accused of being cute or boring. If only we could get this much imagination on a regular basis in fashion shoots.