Monday, July 22, 2013

Now, Let's Talk About Punk: MET's "Punk: Chaos to Couture"

Photo by Michelle Falzarano

Photo by Spencer Platt for Getty Images. 

Early in May of this year, The Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (MET) celebrated a continued influence in the fashion industry to this day: punk.  When I heard about the exhibit "Punk: Chaos to Couture," an interest to see it sparked on me. And so, I went to see it.

Since the days that Vivienne Westwood brought into the high fashion world the Punk Subculture, punk has been reinterpreted throughout the 80s, 90s, and 00s.  Most pieces featured in the exhibit are from those time periods. "Punk: Chaos to Couture" definitely shows these reinterpretations.  Every single room goes from dark to light, and then the exhibit ends in a very dark room, with a mannequin wearing a Maison Martin Margiela dress (it seems like a half dress by the way), pointing a middle finger to the top, which gives you a sense of, I guess, punk attitude.

Several written pieces are spread around the exhibit. Here's a quote I got from one of the statements:

"The ethos of do-it-yourself  [D.I.Y.] is Punk's Greatest and most enduring influence on 
haute couture and ready-to-wear, and this exhibition examines four expressions of this 
spirit as originally interpreted by punks in the mid-to late 1970s to the present."

Suzanne DeChillo/The New York Times
Section: “DIY: Bricolage”

Vivienne Westwood (of coure), Dolce & Gabbana, Gareth Pugh, Maison Martin Margiela, Comme Des Garçons, Givenchy, Versace, and Alexander McQueen are among the selective few of designers that are part in the exhibit.  In the last room of the exhibit, Commes Des Garçons has eight pieces: four black and four in beige.  The beige pieces are incredibly interesting since they are more artistic than pieces you can actually wear, although I am sure some people would wear them and have done so. These pieces have attached sleeves hanging as details from, let's say, a dress, and lots of details that shows all the hard work that went into creating these masterpieces.


Gareth Pugh's pieces might be very recent, but his used of "plastic black garbage bags" is amazing.  Every single square piece creates the shape of a dress, making a very distinctive pattern.  It is so well constructed that you cannot even tell at first that it is made out of plastic bags.

Gareth Pugh's dresses made of "plastic garbage bags"

The piece that I liked the most was Maison Martin Margiela's "Artisanal, Spring/Summer 2006" pearls jacket.  It looks so effortlessly and artistically constructed.  It is such a great interpretation of an actual jacket, and definitely follows the punk aesthetic.  This piece is in what I called "the recyclable materials" section of the exhibit.

Pieces by Maison Martin Margiela, from the Met's exhibit "Punk: Chaos to Couture." Photo © Lindsay Comstock - See more at:
Third piece to the right: the Maison Martin Margiela pearls jacket


The exhibit ends with a pop-up mini shop where you can buy some punk-inspired souvenirs including postcards, art prints, shirts and black decorative spike pumps designed by Vivienne Westwood, and even Charlotte Olympia's "Punk Clutch", the one designed in collaboration with Tom Binns.

Every mannequin has a big, crazy wig, unifying the whole exhibit and giving it the finishing touches.  Punk for sure!

PUNK: Chaos to Couture will be on view until August 14th, 2013.

For more on this great exhibit, visit

Also, check the MET's Pinterest Board, PUNK: Chaos to Couture, right this way.

For now, until next time. A+F by AM.

P.S.: You cannot take photos since it is "an special exhibition," as I was told by museum staff.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Daft Punk gets Vogue with Karlie Kloss

Karlie Kloss poses with Daft Punk for the August 2013 issue of Vogue US.  The "All-Ages Show" editorial piece features Kloss at the center of photographs, with Thomas Bangalter and Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo (members of Daft Punk) wearing pieces from the likes of Saint Laurent and Alexander McQueen. Saint Laurent also designed suits for Daft Punk as part of their "Music Project." 

This pairing should not come as a surprise. Karlie Kloss is one of the most sought after models these days and Daft Punk has one of the biggest selling albums this year, Random Access Memories (2013). I actually listened to the album and it definitely has a different take on Dance Music. 

Images were photographed by Craig McDean.

Check out some of the photos below, published by The Front Row View.

As always, Daft Punk kept their signature helmets!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Lady Gaga's "ARTPOP" set to be released on November 2013

Lady Gaga's ARTPOP album is set to be release on November 11th, 2013. The album will also be release in what it seems to be an interactive app created by TechHAUS (a team under HAUS of GAGA). According to Lady Gaga's statement published on Facebook, "...ARTPOP could mean anything." Therefore, it is open for your own interpretations. There will also be collaborations with other world recognized artists including photography duo Inez & Vinoodh, "avant garde visionary" Robert Wilson, performance artist" Marina Abramović (The Artist Is Present), and "banal objects" artist Jeff Koons.  As a big Lady Gaga fan (a.k.a "Little Monster"), I am so excited to hear this.

For more details about this great news, check the statement below that was published on Lady Gaga's Official Website.


Cool Fact: In 2011, Björk released her last album, Biophilia, in an Apps form, the first album ever to be release in that format.

Can't wait to be ARTPOP inspired! You?

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Artistic Minds: Kahlo - Part 1

Art and Fashion have been very important things in my life growing up and still to this date.  I started drawing between the ages of 7-8 and I used to make clothes to my dolls from old fabric that I would find at home. We couldn't afford to buy additional clothes for my barbies, so I had to get creative. I definitely had fun making those tiny miniature pieces.  Then, I started learning about artists and designers and that is when the inspiration started to flow in.  There are two people whose work I truly admire: Frida Kahlo and Alexander McQueen.

From a very young, I fell in love with Frida Kahlo's work and story.  In the years when Lady Gaga became a huge star and her "Poker Face" and "Bad Romance" were everywhere, I fell in love with Alexander McQueen's work.  I was first introduced to Frida Kahlo around the age of 10 or 11 while surfing through the pages of an art textbook and Alexander McQueen around 19 or 20.

I always question how I like such seemingly opposite creative minds. I spent a lot of time trying to find meaning in what attracts me to their work and then it came to me. I realized that for some reason or another, I find so many similarities between them.  You might think: "This is so odd." But, I look at it from a different perspective.

In these series of three parts, first, I will give a little bit of background on both artists, and show and  describe examples of their work. Then, I will explain the connections I find within them to conclude this amazing series of writings. Stay Tuned.

Frida Kahlo


Frida Kahlo was born on July 6th, 1907 in Coyoacan, Mexico to her European Father (who was a photographer) and her Mexican Mother.  As a little girl, she suffered from Polio and in her later teenage years, suffered a dramatic accident on a public bus that caused her several health issues throughout her life, including a few miscarriages.  In the accident, a handrill went from one side of her hip to the other. As a result of spending so many months recovering in bed, she started painting during this period.  The accident changed her life completely. She spent most of her life in a bed and wore different corsets to support her back.   She married married Diego Rivera (well known "Mexican Muralist") in her early 20s and he encouraged her to continue painting.  Her tumultuous and on again-off again marriage to Rivera was also a significant part in her work.  At some point, Kahlo's fame overshadowed her husband's. She is known for painting self portraits of herself and other people that she met throughout her life.  Frida Kahlo was also a fashion icon.  She is known for wearing colorful Mexican cultural outfits, jewelry, and lots of flowers in her braided long black hair.  In recent years, she has been inspiration for several fashion editorial pieces. Although many consider her a "surrealist,"  she never saw herself as one.  Kahlo died in  the summer of 1954, at the age of 47.  Today, her "Casa Azul" ("Blue House" in Spanish), where she grew up and passed away, is a museum. (For more info:

"...I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality." --Frida Kahlo

"The Two Fridas": One of her most famous paintings, "The Two Fridas" symbolized her connections between her European and Mexican roots (I learned this from a documentary I saw years ago while doing reearch for a project I did about her:

"Self Portrait," 1940
The painting that started all: This is the 1st painting I ever saw from Frida Kahlo. It was so intriguing to me and I kept going back to see the page.

"I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best." --Frida Kahlo

"Abrazo Amoroso," 1949
References to Mother Nature and spiritualism can be seen in her paintings. 
This one is particularly very beautiful.

"Henry Ford Hospital," 1932
This painting was created after Kahlo suffered a miscarriage while living in the US. Her inability to have a child was a very difficult source of suffering and sadness for her.  Kahlo was never able to have children.

"I am not sick. I am broken. But I am happy to be alive as long as I can paint."-- Frida Kahlo

"Moisés," 1945
A very complex and detailed painting, in here we can see references of human reproduction, cultural and religious symbols, politics, and society. This is one of my favorite works from her.

"Self Portrait on the Border," 1932
In this painting, she showcases how she sees the United States and how she sees Mexico.
For her, her country represents more nature and more real things while the US represents and artificial and industrialized world.  

"Unos Cuantos Piquetitos," 1935
Perhaps one of Kahlo's most graphic paintings based on true life events. 
It was about the violent murder of a woman.

"Magnolias," 1945

"I paint flowers so they will not die." -- Frida Kahlo

"Tunas (Still Life with Prickly Pear Fruit)," 1938
Throughout her career, Kahlo did several paints about fruits and flowers.  This one in particular seems to show an extension of her painful experiences.

Check out my Pinterest Board "Frida Kahlo":

For now, until next time. Stay Tune for Artistic Minds: McQueen - Part 2.

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