Friday, September 5, 2008

Imitation of Titian

Since I have a little extra time on my paws, (probably the last time you'll hear my say that before Thanksgiving) I figured it was high time for another of my semi-famous art comparison posts!

First off I thought I'd start with a nice challenge: architecture! You always here the "sculptural" quality of a garment being discussed, so I thought I'd put that to the test.

I once read somewhere that Rem Koolhaas and Miuccia Prada were once lovers and that's why he designs so many Prada stores. I have no idea if this has even a grain of truth, but it's certainly interesting. The Dutch architect is probably one of the most well known of the current age, and it's easy to see where his massive, geometric designs (like the magnificent Seattle library, below) could influence fashion.
Gareth Pugh

Everybody, I mean, everybody, knows who Frank Lloyd Wright is. Mysogynist? Yes. Genius? Absolutely. I remember my friend Nick and I once got into a big argument on what influenced the design of Starbucks stores more, the Arts and Crafts movement or Frank Lloyd Wright. Why a mysogynist you ask? He made kitchens inordinately small. There's a Usonian house a couple hours away from here called the Rosenbaum house. The owner's wife had four teenage boys, and I'm sure most of your closets are bigger than this kitchen. Frank Lloyd Wright is arguably best known for the covetable design of his windows.
Windows of the Robie House, Chicago 1906


Hans Holbein the Younger was one of the most prolific portraitists of the 16th century. Though he is most famous for his dominating portrait of Henry VIII in his overwrought Sunday's best (think of him as an early Sartorialist), most of his subjects were downwright austere. Since this season is all about pragmatism and sober lines and economic recession, I wouldn't be surpised if a few designers are taking cues from him.
Woman With A Squirrel, 1526-28


The early to mid-19th century was all about rocking the casbah. Specifically, Orientalism, orient meaning the Middle East, not Asia. Lots of pictures of girls in harem pants, rich coloured silks, paillettes and feather headresses. It might as well read as a "fashion forecast" for 2008.

Pierre-Auguste Renoir "A Woman of Algiers" 1870 (I wrote a term paper on this one)

Alexander McQueen

I was fixated with the Degas ballerinas as a little one. The soft, delicate colours, the pastel tulle and elaborate tutus. God knows I wore a velvet ribbon round my neck for years (though that was partially influenced Anne Boleyn). Every designer has done a "ballerina look". But I think it looks best when it stays away from modern trappings, leotards, wrap sweaters, and far far away from leg warmers, and sticks with Degas' confectionary vision.

On The Stage, Egar Degas 1874



Tavi said...

I was thinking about doing an architecture/fashion post but put it off because it would require too much research for an uneducated twit such as myself and I'm way too lazy. But it doesn't get any better than this! I love FLW (the FLW exhibit is really close to where I live and we've gone for field trips) and I always really liked how geometric and somewhat "modern" the design was, but still felt warm and cozy, like a home. Wow, that's the smartest I've sounded all day. My friend lives in one of his houses >.>
And I really need to get on AIM! Soon! So I can ask you stuff and we can finish casting our movie and you can share your outrages of southern life!

beccajanie said...

This is such a fabulous post! I love love d├ęgas paintings, and I absolutely agree with you on hopefully how it would be interpreted through fashion - aka the "confectionary vision" as opposed to legwarmers.

It might be interesting as well to see a comparison between art and the actual fabric as well, as opposed to simply the design.. hmm

Anonymous said...

i love art, i also wanted to do a blog about it too.
im new too the blogging scene, so please link me, and i will do the same.


KATLIN said...

This was such a cool post! I'm not very up with my artists and art history so I learned something new today!! :)

Mary said...

This post is absolutely fabulous, I really enjoyed how you spotted and matched these things. I feel like people today pay more attention to colour and pattern than the actual architecture of clothes, which is sad because patterns will fade faster than shapes, in my opinion.

And I'm totally humming Simon & Garfunkel now!

K. Inez said...

Aye but it isn't exactly progressive thinking to assume it's only women in those kitchens, is it? ;)


great post, well thought out and nicely researched, A+

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keep up the inspiration

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Jill said...

love your blogg!

Ariel said...

You're exactly right on the Starbucks stores. I love Frank Lloyd Wright's buildings a lot but I think I love the windows of Le Corbusier more. Or maybe if there were a marriage of the two, it would be pretty awesome.

laia. said...

absolutely brilliant.
Love the Robie House/Lanvin comparison best.

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