Tag Archive | Fashion Designer

Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion (Seventh Nightmare) at Kianga Ellis Projects

Sebastian Masuda's Colorful Rebellion Teddy Bear
Does This Teddy Bear Remind You Of Anything? (All Photos By Gail)

If you pay attention to global pop culture, then you’ve probably heard of the Japanese Harajuku style and Kawaii (Cuteness) culture, where the adorable has an undercurrent of rebellious edge. For just a short time you can immerse yourself in a kind of Cuteness Overload at Tokyo-based Artist and Fashion Designer Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion (Seventh Nightmare) installation, through March 29th only at Kianga Ellis Projects. Geoffrey and I paid the space a visit yesterday and it was positively disorienting.

Sebastian Masuda's Colorful Rebellion
Detail of Walls and Ceiling

According to the Artist’s statement, Masuda has, “created this work as if I was writing my own autobiography.” The small room (about 150 SF), covered on all sides with the collage of multicolored material speaks to his different reflections on “the various mortal sins I have committed, or to which I have fallen prey, through my life thus far.”

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The only props in the room besides the wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling ocean of multicolored brick-a-brack is a twin size bed, which evokes the feeling that you are entering child’s fantasy bedroom.

Sebastian Masuda's Colorful Rebellion

Since the space is so small, it gets crowded with, say, more that five people in the gallery at one time, especially of you are trying to get photos that show a good section of the space. But fortunately, people were being very courteous about waiting out in the hall of it got too crowded, since many visitors (including several Asian girls dressed in their full-0n Harajuku Babydoll Lolita fashions) wanted to get their photos taken against the colorful backgrounds. And who could blame them?

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Details of Colorful Rebellion

You probably won’t see another exhibit quite like this again in your life, so if this seems like your thing, don’t waste any time in checking it out.

Sebastian Masuda’s Colorful Rebellion is on Exhibit only through through March 29th at Kianga Ellis Projects, Located at 516 West 25th Street, Studio 306B (when you get to the Third Floor Landing, walk through the door marked “3” and the exhibit is down the hall on the right) in the Chelsea Gallery District. Hours are Wednesday to Saturday, 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

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Alexander McQueen Show Nears Closing Date, MET Extends Exhibit Hours


Image Source

The New York Times’ Arts Beat Blog reports that the Metropolitan Museum of Art is extending the hours of the wildly popular Costume Institute exhibition Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which opened on May 4th.

The exhibit, which I saw a couple of weeks after it opened and was completely wowed by, was originally due to close on July 31st but it has been extended through August 7th due to overwhelming demand. Starting July 22nd The Met will allow members to enter the museum at 8:30 AM, an hour before the show opens to the public, via the museum’s 81st Street entrance and 80th Street garage. Additionally, from August 4th to the 7th, the exhibition will remain open until 9:00 PM, and hours for the show are now offered on Mondays, when the museum is generally closed to the public. Monday tickets, which cost $50, are available at the Met and on its website at This Link.

According to the Times, over 440,000 people have come to see the retrospective of the British fashion designer’s outrageous Haute Couture since it opened in May. Alexander McQueen committed suicide last year at the age of 40, but the Savage Beauty of his work lives on.

Must See Art: Alexander McQueen’s Savage Beauty at the MET

Alexander McQueen was not so much a fashion designer as he was an artist who created wearable works of art. When McQueen died by his own hand at the age of 40 in February of 2010, the world lost a staggering genius whose contribution to the art world was, at that point, already unfathomably huge. Thanks to curator Andrew Bolton, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has installed a phenomenal retrospective exhibit called Savage Beauty that showcases the Haute Couture collections of McQueen in a way that will undoubtedly touch the heart and stir the mind of everyone who sees it, making the tragedy of his early death almost unbearably poignant.

All Images Courtesy of The Met. Click on Each Image to Enlarge for Detail

Savage Beauty is divided into six consecutive galleries entitled The Romantic Mind, Romantic Gothic and the Cabinet of Curiosities, Romantic Exoticism, Romantic Nationalism, Romantic Primitivism and Romantic Naturalism, and each one is a mind blowing experience on its own. On display you will see garments made not only of traditional fabrics such as silk, wool and synthetics but also many natural materials including feathers, horsehair, metal, glass, fresh and fabric flowers, wood, and even razor clam and muscle shells. McQueen also created unique, thematic accessories to accent his garments, such as elaborate headdresses made of carved wood, metal, animal horns, and butterflies among many other materials. His signature “Armadillo shoe” can be seen in a variety of styles and is easily recognizable as a style of footwear that Lady Gaga has made popular just recently.

While McQueen also designed ready-to-wear clothing, as stated previously, the clothing on display here dwells in the realm of exotic costuming and wearable art that was not really made for everyday use. Much of it also borders on fetishistic, and that adds to its incredible beauty and enigma. For example, there is one striking headpiece on display called the Crown of Thorns Headdress that must really be seen to be believed. Further, Savage Beauty is a multi-sensory experience, consisting not only of the stunning visuals created by McQueen’s clothing and accessories but also by the design aspects of the individual galleries in which the garments are displayed. One gallery is decorated in a surface treatment of ancient mirrors while another is contained amid walls of grey concrete, and yet another collection is displayed in a room with walls made of rusted metal. In one of the final galleries you’ll see the walls adorned in McQueen’s own drawings, which were blown up to create wall treatments.

The exhibit  takes on an almost Disneyland-esque feeling, where it seems like you are on more of a theme park ride than walking through a staid art museum. Each gallery has accompanying visuals such as video screens on the walls or embedded in the ceiling and there is an amazing 3-D hologram of Kate Moss from one of McQueen’s later shows on display in one of the final galleries. Of course, no fashion show would be complete without a soundtrack, and there is music that ranges from modern abstract rock to tribal rhythms to Mozart, as well as sound effects such as the sounds of a beating heart and shallow breathing in one gallery while another gallery is filled with the low rumbling of an excited crowd. All of these different sensory aspects come together to make Savage Beauty’s “Oh Wow” factor leap off the charts.

You can watch an eight-minute video about McQueen that also previews the exhibit at this link. I cannot recommend this exhibit highly enough. In fact, I loved it so much, I actually bought the catalog ($45, on sale in the gift shop).

Savage Beauty runs through July 31, 2011 at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located at 1000 Fifth Avenue, near 85th St. in New York City. The entrance line for the McQueen exhibit closes at 4:30 PM on weekdays and at 8 PM on Fridays and Saturdays. Expect to wait at least one hour in line for entrance to the exhibit, but be assured that it will be very well worth it.

RIP Alexander McQueen

Wow, talk about sad and shocking news: Fashion designer Alexander McQueen was found dead this morning at his home in west London. He was 40 years old. McQueen designed simply amazing clothes that were often more like works of art than wearable fashion. He will be missed.


Alexander McQueen’s Titanic Ballerina Pump

“Walking on Gucci Wearing Yves Saint Laurent"

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RIP Yves Saint Laurent

Fashion Designer legend Yves Saint Laurent passed away in Paris over the weekend at age 71. God knows I never wore any of his designs nor did I carry one of the many YSL knockoff handbags available for purchase every five feet along Canal Street. But I do recall that Aerosmith name-checked him in a song called “Combination” off Rocks…which is one of their better albums from the ’70s. RIP YSL.