Geoffrey and I happened to be at Grand Central Station recently, waiting to board a train out of the city for the afternoon, when we happily discovered that we had an interesting opportunity to pass the time other than exploring the terminal’s impressive food court: we went to see a Brooks Brothers fashion exhibit.
Established in New York City in 1818, Brooks Brothers — America’s oldest clothing brand, and the place where my late father bought virtually all of his suits — celebrated its 200th anniversary with an immersive special exhibition staged right in Grand Central Terminal’s Vanderbilt Hall. The exhibit traced the accomplishments, cultural significance, and global influence of the brand. It was fun to discover the company’s rich history, notable innovations and iconic fashion items that are still relevant, and seen everywhere, today.
Alongside examples of formalwear ensembles created by Brooks Brothers for the 2013 film, The Great Gatsby(which won two Academy Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design for Catherine Martin) we admired this classic Pink Stripe Linen Suit. Inspired by the film’s costumes, and in collaboration with Martin, the limited-edition suit was sold at Brooks Brothers stores in 2013 as part of its Gatsby Collection. The line has since been discontinued.
Geoffrey and I finally made it out to the Museum of the Moving Image today to see the amazing new Jim Henson exhibit, which was all kinds of crazy fun and well worth the haul out to Queens.
As soon as you enter the exhibit, just to the left there is a huge glass case full of assorted Muppets that aren’t necessarily the best known characters — but whom you would know if you are a diehard fan and have seen all of the shows — and one of them is this little gal whose name is Pink Stalk. She is kind of hard see because there is purposely not much light on the display, and I didn’t want to get kicked out for using my flash. To me, Pink Stalk looks like a Shrimp, but that seems to not be the case. Pink Stalk is just a stalk.
Here is the back story on Pink Stalk from a Muppet Wiki I found on my vey first Google Search attempt!:
“Two really gross clumps of crud – fabric – feathers and foam – maybe just mouths – realistic red interior and teeth. One has a club, which he smashes the others with from time to time. The other hits with his fist. They just make guttural sounds to each other – dialogue is to show inflection only and is completely unintelligible.”
After the Heaps beat each other up for a bit, two Stalks enter. The Pink Stalk prompts the Gold Stalk to get acquainted with the Heaps. However, when the Stalk pokes one of the Heaps to get their attention, they both attack him. The Pink Stalk tries to pacify her injured friend, who survived the blow with a twisted nose.The characters featured are listed in the script as Green Heap, Purple Heap, Pink Stalk, and Gold Stalk (although the stalks refer to each other in the script as George and Martha).
The Flying Saucer Dress from Miyake Design Studio (Spring/Summer 1994, prêt-à-porter collection) represents a continuation of Japanese fashion design legend Issey Miyake’s exploration of pleating garments with a playful element. He explains, “The Flying Saucer was a search for what could be done with different sorts of pleating — in this case, accordion pleats — and to see what could be done by combining fabric, design and movement. Why not make brightly-colored, wearable accordion?”
Flying Saucer Dress, Flat (Detail)
The dress is made from machine-sewn polychrome polyester plain weave, and is machine-garment-pleated.
Flying Saucer Dress, Expanded (Detail)
Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Manus x Machina Fashion Exhibit in the Summer of 2016.
This disquieting dress is 3-D printed, and the 3-D file was developed by designer Iris van Herpen along with architect Isaie Bloch. The file-making took two months of intense drawing and a full week of printing in a very sophisticated machine. According to van Herpen, “People often think that when you create something by machine, it is perfect, but this dress is a good example of the opposite. While the dress was printing, many small ‘faults’ happened because of the intense heating of the material. This makes the bones irregular, and makes it look even more real.”
There’s only one drawback when The Met allows photography at one of their fashion exhibits, and that is that I have way too many great photos to choose from, and simply cannot distill the show down to a single blog post. So, it’s extremely fortunate — for me, for you — that Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, which has been up since May, was extended to September 5th, 2016, or I’d once again be scrambling to throw something together a day before the show ends.
Just to get you up to speed, the Costume Institute’s spring 2016 exhibition explores how fashion designers are reconciling the handmade and the machine-made in the creation of haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear. With more than 170 ensembles dating from the early 20th century to the present, the exhibition addresses the founding of the haute couture in the 19th century, when the sewing machine was invented, and the emergence of a distinction between the hand (manus) and the machine (machina) at the onset of mass production. Manus x Machina explores this ongoing dichotomy, in which hand and machine are presented as discordant tools in the creative process, and questions the relationship and distinction between haute couture and ready-to-wear.
I managed to cull ten favorite images — plus one bonus image — for this post. Enjoy!
Various Designs in Sequined and Metallic Finishes
(Left) Boué Soeurs, Court Presentation Ensemble, 1928. (Right) Designs by Alexander McQueen
Hussein Chalayan, Floating Dress
Feathered Cape and Dress By Alexander McQueen
Designs by Alexander McQueen and Iris van Herpen
Pleated Skirts by House of Dior
Miyake Design Studio
Designs by Mariano Fortuny
Designs by Madame Gres (Alix Barton, Rear) and Iris van Herpen (Front)
Designs by Commes De Garçons
And here’s your bonus image:
Don’t you want to go right now? Better hurry, you’ve got about three more weeks!
Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, will be on Exhibit at The Met Fifth Avenue in Galleries 955, 961–962 and 964–965 Through September 5th, 2016!
While Meg Webster’s Solar Grow Room — which is just one section of her current, eponymous exhibit at the Paula Cooper Gallery — could easily stand in for a Pink Thing of the Day, I’m going to let it flourish on its own, because it is just so darn rad.
In this installation, Webster turns the Greenhouse Pink! First created for 2015’s Natura Naturans, a joint show with Roxy Paine held at Villa Panza in Milan, Solar Grow Room is an ecosystem sustained by making solar pannel on the gallery exterior. Bathed in pink light, raised planters are cultivated with moss, grass, flowers and other vegetation.
Meg Webster’s work finds inspiration in the intrinsic beauty of natural materials. Using metal, glass and organic elements like salt, soil, twigs and moss, the artist creates large-scale installations and precise structures rooted in the traditions of Land Art of the 1970s. Also highly influenced by Minimalist artists like Donald Judd, Carl Andre and Robert Morris, Webster draws on their rigorous formal vocabulary to create simple, geometric forms that directly and perceptually engage the body and its senses.
The walls of the gallery room look like Fun House Mirrors.
A lifelong environmentalist, Meg Webster draws awareness to nature as an ever-evolving force, as well as mankind’s careless destruction of the earth’s resources and energies. We very much enjoyed this exhibit!
Meg Webster’s Solar Grow Roomwill be on Exhibit Through June 24th Exhibit Has Been Extended Through July 12th, 2016 at Paula Cooper Gallery, Located at 534 West 21st Street in the Chelsea Gallery District.
L to R: Dee Dee, Tommy, Joey, and Johnny. Portraits of the Original Ramones by Shepard Fairey (All Photos By Gail)
Hey, do you love The Ramones? I sure do; so much so, that I even made the trek, by subway train and foot, all the way out to Flushing Meadows, Corona Park (a long, long ass way) to visit the Queens Museum, where there is a newly-opened exhibit that is all about Forest Hills, Queens favorite sons, the legendary Ramones. Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk, as you can imagine by the title, is pretty sweet.
This is Just The Crowd Waiting to Get In to the Exhibit
On the exhibit’s opening day (April 10th) I journeyed out to Queens with an aggregate group of enthusiastic Ramones Fans, and when we arrived at the museum there was one line to buy tickets to get into the museum, and then another line just to get into the galleries that are showcasing the Ramones exhibit. Holy Mother of god, do I hate waiting on line(s). Fortunately, I know the right people, and one of those people is my friend Anne, who is good pals with Vera Ramone King (Dee Dee Ramone’s first wife, who is a lovely lady) and so we were able to get some Hot VIP Action and skip at least 90 minutes in “The Line Ride,” as I will call it. Mad props to Anne and Vera!
Here I am with Vera, and musician/songwriter Jana Peri!
Art By Yoshitomo Nara That was Commissioned For This Exhibit
In this expansive exhibit, the four original Ramones — Joey, Johnny, Tommy and Dee Dee — are most widely represented, along with Tommy’s replacement, drummer Marky Ramone (who had the longest tenure with the band outside of the original four founders), and to a lesser extent members who came along later in the band’s career, CJ and Richie, who show up in a few places. Not unexpectedly, the exhibit’s opening day was a complete madhouse and total party scene. You will learn so much about The Ramones as a group, and about each of them as people, when you visit this exhibit, but I’m going to skip all of that, because I know that everyone really only wants to see the photos. Enjoy!
One of the first things you will see when you enter the first of four galleries is this fun, specially commissioned cartoon map by Punk Magazine co-founder John Holmstrom, tracing the band’s path from Forest Hills to the downtown nightclub CBGB.
Covers of All of the Ramones Albums
The first gallery is dedicated to the band’s songs and records, as well as memorabilia, swag, props, photos and magazines documenting the very first articles ever written on the band. The exhibit also celebrates the 40th Anniversary of the release of the first Ramones album!
Installation View of First Gallery
Johnny Ramone’s Red T Shirt from the Cover of End of the Century