Tag Archive | Eye on Design

Eye On Design: Unisex Jumpsuit By Rudi Gernreich

Unisex Jumpsuit
All Photos By Gail

In 1970, Life magazine invited Rudi Gernreich (1922 – 1985) to envision what people would wear a decade in the future. He extended his prediction to the year 2000, illustrating men and women in matching ensembles with heads either shaved or wigged. Unlike other contemporaneous unisex styles, Gernreich’s designs did not use menswear as a baseline for women’s garments. “Women will wear pants and men will wear skits interchangeably,” he predicted. “The aesthetics of fashion are going to involve the body itself. We will train the body to grown beautifully rather than cover it to produce beauty.”

Unisex Jumpsuit Magazine Ad

Gernreich brought his concept to life for the U.S. Pavillion’s Art and Technology Program at Expo ’70, a memorable World’s Fair in Osaka, Japan. He eliminated stylistic markers of gender on his models. “Our notion of masculine and feminine are being challenged as never before.” he asserted. “The basic masculine – feminine appeal is in people, not in clothes.” These sentiments are echoed today, as fashion continues to shift its understanding of gender as fluid.

Unisex Jumpsuits with Boots Installation View
Unisex Jumpsuits with White Boots, Installation View

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Advertisements

Eye On Design: Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara, A-POC Queen

APOC Queen
All Photos By Gail

Issey Miyake and Dai Fujiwara’s A-POC Queen (1997) is a textile generated from a single thread by a computer-programmed industrial knitting machine. The resulting openwork knit tube bears a repeating pattern of woven  seams that create a patchwork of shapes whose outlines suggest dresses, shirts, socks, gloves and hats. The customer can cut along the seams without destroying the tubular structure of each individual item, and virtually no material is wasted in the process of creating — without needle or thread — a complete monochromatic outfit from this single swath of cloth.

APOC Queen Detail

For Miyake, the A-POC technique is an extension of the technological advances begun during the Industrial Revolution, which ultimately made ready-to-wear clothing possible. While automation has made fashion more accessible in some respects, it has also fostered overconsumption and waste. A-POC, an acronym for “A Piece of Cloth,” is also a play on the word epoch, a call to all to look to the next century with a sense of responsibility. “Will fashion be able to afford to keep the same old methodology?” asks Miyake. “I have endeavored to experiment to make fundamental changes to the system of making clothes.”

APOC Queen

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: Cabinet De Curiosité By Shiro Kuramata

Cabinet De Curiosite 2
All Photos By Gail

Shiro Kuramata (1934 – 1991) a member of The Memphis Group and among the most innovative designers of the late twentieth century, was fascinated by the visual possibilities of acrylic. The artist stated that his ideal objective was to see objects floating in air. Named for the Wunderkammern owned by Renaissance princes that displayed natural and man-made curiosities, Cabinet De Curiosité (1988) offers the magical impression of suspending its contents in midair. Kuramata explored the phenomenological effects of acrylic — light and lightness, invisibility and reflectivity, weight and weightlessness – and the material has become the poetic signature of his work. Kuramata used the term Neiro, or “sound-color,” to describe the synesthetic effect that acrylic has it both its physical presence and the spectral color-shadows it casts as light passes through it. Its prismatic luminosity changes with light and viewpoint, exploiting the optical effects of the material. Shown here alongside Flower Vase #3 (1989).

Photographed in the Met Breuer in NYC.

Eye On Design: Karl Lagerfeld’s Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket

Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket
All Photos By Gail

The spring 1991 collection by Karl Lagerfeld for Chanel was clearly inspired by surfing wet-suits. The Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket was one of several brightly-colored versions covered in shimmering sequins that glistened like wet neoprene, and the lines of black, grosgrain trim are similar to the seams of a wet-suit. Lagerfeld called this jacket “the city surfer” look and noted that it was “perfect for diving into the nightlife from Paris to Rome to London to New York.”

Blue and Black Sequined Grosgrain Jacket

Photographed as part of the Exhibit Expedition: Fashion from the Extreme which Runs Through at January 6, 2018 the Museum at FIT In Manhattan.

Eye On Design: Burkini By Aheda Zanetti

Burkini
All Photos By Gail

The Burkini is an amalgamation of two different garments: the Burqa, a garment covering the face and body worn by Muslim women, and the two-piece Bikini bathing suit. Australian designer Aheda Zanetti designed the Burkini — trademarking it as the Burqini — in the early 2000’s to help her niece participate in school sports and beach culture, while adhering to Islamic modesty tenets. The ensemble combines loose leggings and a roomy tunic top with an attached, close-fitting head covering; colored stripes or transfers decorate the bust to further camouflage the body’s shape. The Burkini has proved popular not only with Muslim women but also with women from other cultural and religious backgrounds who feel disenchanted by other forms of swimwear, are concerned with modesty from other perspectives, or who wear it as a precaution against sun exposure.

Burkini Headpiece Detail
Burkini Headpiece Detail

Burkini Installation View

The Burkini has bean a lightning rod for larger tensions between Islamic and Western cultures. Since August 2016, following a terrorist attack in Nice, for example, some cities in southern France banned the garment on public beaches.

Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Items: Is Fashion Modern, on View Through January 28th, 2018 at The Museum of Modern Art in NYC.

Eye on Design: Ettore Sottsass, Yellow Furniture

Ettore Sottsass Yellow Furniture
All Photos By Gail

Cross-shaped and studded with golden dots, Ettore Sottsass’ Yellow Furniture reads as an homage to Otto Wagner’s Steinhof Church, which is also cruciform in plan and features golden dots as the leitmotif. Both Yellow Furniture and the Steinhof Church transfer religious concepts into material form, specifically the spiritual association in Christian iconography of gold as a material and symbol of the heavens. Consistent with Christian ideals, Sottsass intended this piece for production by Indian craftsman as a way of addressing the poverty he witnessed during his travels.

Otto Wagner Steinhof Church Plan Drawings
Otto Wagner Steinhof Church Photos and Plan Drawings

Ettore Sottsass Yellow Furniture
Installation View

Photographed in the Met Breuer in NYC. as part of the Exhibit, Ettore Sottsass: Design Radical.

Eye On Design: Carved Rosewood Sofa By John Henry Belter

Rosewood Sofa
All Photos By Gail

In the mid- 1800s, German immigrant John Henry Belter was New York City’s most important cabinetmaker, producing Rococo Revival style furniture for the luxury market. Belter garnered an international reputation for the suites of drawing-room furniture he manufactured, many of laminated and deeply carved rosewood. This large and exuberant sofa, embellished with bountiful carved bouquets of naturalistic blooms, epitomizes his best work. The modern damask covering was chosen because fragments of the original dark red sill upholstery were found on the sofa’s frame during recent conservation

Photographed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.

Rosewood Sofa Installation View
Installation View