Yesterday the Metropolitan Museum of Art hosted the press preview for the upcoming annual Costume Institute exhibition (the institute was recently renamed the Anna Wintour Center for Costume). This year the exhibition focuses on the career of the Anglo-American couturier Charles James. Entitled Charles James: Beyond Fashion, the exhibit “will explore James’s design process, focusing on his use of sculptural, scientific, and mathematical approaches to construct revolutionary ball gowns and innovative tailoring that continue to influence designers today” and feature approximately seventy-five of James’s most notable designs. The preview yesterday showcased several of the designs that will be on display and featured model Elettra Wiedemann walking in a facsimile of James’ iconic Clover Leaf gown. Continue reading to view additional images.
Located on West 27th street in the heart of Manhattan’s gallery district Hôtel Americano is the latest concept from Mexican hospitality firm Grupo Habita. The hotel was designed by New York-based Mexican architect Enrique Norten, principal of Ten Arqitectos, and features a sleek but inviting interior design scheme. The cafe and adjoining in-house restaurant offer what is billed as ‘French fare with Latin flair’ and offer a great setting to decamp to on a winter afternoon. See Hotel-Americano.com for additional information.
Watch hosts Andy Cohen and Coco Rocha live from the red carpet opening of the new Diane von Furstenberg exhibition DVF Journey of a Dress along with Diane and friends! Plus, go behind the scenes for a sneak peek at the Journey of a Dress exhibition currently on display at the Wilshire May Company building in Los Angeles next to the LACMA campus.
* * * *
Unknown artist. Bill Cunningham Photographing Models, New York County Court House, ca.1975.
In 1968, photographer Bill Cunningham embarked on an eight-year project to document the architectural riches and fashion history of New York City. Scouring the city’s thrift stores, auction houses, and street fairs for vintage clothing, and scouting sites on his bicycle, Cunningham generated a photographic essay entitledFaçades, which paired models—in particular his muse, fellow photographer Editta Sherman—in period costumes with historic settings. Bill Cunningham: Façades will be on display at the New-York Historical Society Museum and Library from March 14, 2014 - June 15, 2014. See NYHistory.com for additional information.
* * * *
William Kent: Designing Georgian Britain, on view at the Bard Graduate Center: Decorative Arts, Design History, Material Culture from September 20, 2013 to February 9, 2014, is the first major exhibition to examine the life and career of one of the most influential designers in eighteenth-century Britain. Visitors will discover Kent’s genius, through nearly 200 examples of his elaborate drawings for architecture, gardens, and sculpture, along with furniture, silver, paintings, illustrated books, and through new documentary films. As most of his best-known surviving works are in Britain’s great country houses, the exhibition is rich in loans from private as well as public collections. Organized by the Bard Graduate Center in collaboration with the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the exhibition is curated by Susan Weber (BGC) and Julius Bryant (V&A). It will travel to the V&A where it will be on view from March 22 to July 13, 2014. See bcg.Bard.edu.com for additional information.
* * * *
Gjelina is the quintessential chic but cool Venice beach restaurant manned by chef Travis Lett. Serving a menu of American bistro dishes, the restaurant is located on one of L.A.’s most famous shopping streets making it a great destination while in town. 1429 Abbott Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA. www.gjelina.com.
* * * *
Comme des Garçons designer Rei Kawakubo is bringing her London-based concept store Dover Street Market to New York later this month. Located at 160 Lexington Avenue (at the corner of Lex & E.30th St.), the new DSM is housed in a classic Manhattan Beaux-Arts style building. Due to open a just a few days before Christmas on December 21st, collections to be expected range from Kawakubo’s own to Saint Laurent, Prada and skatewear label Supreme. The cafe will be operated by Rose and Jean-Charles Carrarini, the owner’s of Paris’ acclaimed Anglo-French restaurant Rose Bakery. Visit NewYork.DoverStreetMarket.com for Additional Information.
* * * *
The upscale contemporary label Henry Beguelin has recently rebranded to élu, a chain of multi-brand boutiques carefully curated by owner Cristina Nicoletti. Long an admirer of the brand’s casual luxury look, the aesthetic of élu’s offerings remain similar to that of the Henry Beguelin line. Below is some of the new élu lookbook and an old interview with Cristina Nicoletti beyond the page break.
“Avedon: Women,” is an exhibition that spans six decades of Richard Avedon’s photography. This is the first solo exhibition of Avedon’s work in the Los Angeles area since 1976.
From the beginning of his career as a fashion photographer in the 1940s, Avedon was renowned for his distinctive and transformative imagery of women. His inventiveness, humor, and versatile talent flourished throughout sixty years of capturing both well-known and anonymous female subjects, ranging from celebrities and models to his friends and family. His images were imbued with an unconventional beauty and formidable intelligence.
More than 100 silver gelatin photographs form the core of the exhibition. Ranging from oversized exhibition prints dating from the artist’s 1978 showing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, to more intimately scaled photographs that he printed and editioned throughout his lifetime, the exhibition emphasizes the striking visual connections that lie beyond chronology or subject matter. It opens with a portrait of Cheryl Crane, the daughter of actress Lana Turner, who Avedon photographed in 1963 after she was exonerated for the killing of her mother’s abusive boyfriend. A 1959 portrait of Brigitte Bardot, printed on a monumental scale, presents her as serious and mysterious. In counterpoint is the large-scale print of artist June Leaf (1975), equally beautiful in her earthy understatedness. A salon-style hanging juxtaposes images such as the elegant Vicomtesse Jacqueline de Ribes (1955) and socialite Elsa Maxwell, lying in bed with her pet skunk (1957).
Approximately 300 contact prints, drawn from the Foundation’s extensive archive of sittings, reveal the tremendous range of subjects that Avedon photographed: musician Ella Fitzgerald; Avedon’s adored sister, Louise; and the young actress Elizabeth Taylor, among many. An additional room is devoted to his unprinted color work, with dozens of transparencies displayed in wall-mounted light boxes. Subjects range from 1958–59 advertisements featuring Carmen Dell’Orefice to supermodels Stephanie Seymour and Christy Turlington.
The accompanying exhibition catalogue features an essay by Joan Juliet Buck that describes the experience of modeling for Avedon via interviews with his subjects, including Anjelica Huston, Lauren Hutton, Veruschka, and Andrea D’Amato, one of the many women from Avedon’s In the American West series. Art historian Abigail Solomon-Godeau discusses how Avedon’s depictions of the feminine extended beyond traditional notions of beauty to convey the deeper significance of his female subjects. View additional information about the exhibition on Gagosian.com.
* * * *
This exhibition will feature more than four hundred works by one of the most acclaimed jewelry designers of the last thirty-five years, Joel A. Rosenthal, who works in Paris under the name JAR. A notoriously private individual, the exhibition will be the first retrospective of Rosenthal’s work in America; the only other major exhibition of Rosenthal’s work was held in 2002 at Somerset House in London. Continue reading to view additional details.