Saturday, August 9, 2014

Ann Demeulemeester

Fall 2013 Ready-To-Wear

A while ago, I was told I was entering an age of practicality. What a draconian idea, I thought then. How dreary. But, in hindsight, I have found this time cleansing.

Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear

I don't really go in for androgyny. But each season, Ann Demeulemeester made me rethink that statement. Last fall, she abruptly announced that she was leaving her namesake label. Bummer.

Spring 2014 Ready-To-Wear

Demeulemeester broke out in 1986 as a member of the "Antwerp Six," a group of forward-thinking Belgian designers with a deconstructed, radical view of fashion. Dries Van Noten and Martin Margiela were also part of this renegade crew.

Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear

Her designs, androgynous and color-phobic, are nevertheless detailed and distinctive. The emphasis on a long lean line lends a sense of body-consciousness. It's restrained yet alluring. Her aesthetic draws influence from Japan, as well as punk, goth, and Victoriana, yet calls out with clear modernity.

Fall 2013 Ready to Wear

Patti Smith, who has always seemed to exist beyond traditional gender aesthetics, is Demuelemeester's long-time friend and muse. Her lyrics have even been used as a detail on the garments.

Spring 2014 Ready-To-Wear

Demuelemeester's clothes have an appealing bleakness, a sense of deconstruction amid whiffs of traditional tailoring. Militaristic touches blend harmoniously with romantic drapery. A lost future, perhaps. This sense of contrast, of materials like leather and silk, of male and female silhouettes, of stricture and dishabille, is a Demueulemeester signature.

Spring 2013 Ready-To-Wear

I often wonder how much we're in control of crafting our identity, particularly our aesthetics. Do I have original ideas or am I simply inundated with images based upon my near-constant connectedness to media? I love that in this age of the mash-up, of messiness, of surface, that Demueulemeester can find depth in contradiction.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The Winter Without Milk

Via The Boat Lullabies

Things change. Priorities shift. Seeing inward takes the place of setting hands to a keyboard. But it's time to stretch the muscles.

I only read six books in 2013. Fortunately one of them was The Winter Without Milk by Jane Avrich. This collection of stories uses artifice to highlight real hunger. The characters are a collection of those who all a bit slant, a bit out-of-step.

. . . the one who lives in Evelyn-Mews who curates her life in vintage kid gloves and doesn't know she's disposable

. . . the one lured by a polished stone to a gypsy cave by the sea

. . . the albino thief-child who crawls Paris rooftops by night

. . . the one who hears the banshee's song

And yet for all these fantastical tropes, the effect was a bitter and real tonic. The magic just shone a light on humans.

I acquire faster than I read. This book sat on my shelf for 10 years before I picked it up.

What a delight to remember how transporting fiction can be. What a shame this is Avrich's only book.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, July 1974. Photo by Danny Lyon/NARA via Business Insider   
Summer is becoming hazy.  
The layers we shed months ago are waiting to embrace us again.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Rain Dance

 TurF FeinZ via Picture Year

More TurF FeinZ here.

I once read an article about how it isn't uncommon to see someone quietly weeping on the subways and streets of New York. Unless the person is calling out for help, most people will demurely look away and pretend that they don't notice. And this isn't necessarily a sign of callousness; it's actually a kindness. In a city with so little personal space, we manufacture and grant room for private moments even if the walls around us are just made of air.