Christian Dior’s “New Look” was central to the postwar revival of the Paris couture system. In addition to selling individual couture dresses to private clients, Dior also sold licensed copies, like this one of his Columbine dress, which was produced in the US for American department stores. The number of such high-end reproductions was limited, but there were also mass-produced garments that catered to the desire for at least “a copy of a copy of a Dior.”
The Dress Pictured Here is a Licensed Copy of Dior’s Columbine Dress by I. Magnin and Lord & Taylor circa 1947. Photographed as Part of the Exhibit, Paris, Capital of Fashion at the Museum at FIT in Manhattan.
This Pink and Black Sequined Mini Dress (autumn / winter 1983 – 84) is characteristic of paradoxical charm of the work of Stephen Sprouse (1953 – 2004). He often sited the cutout, mini-skirted styles that designers like Andre Courreges and Rudi Gernreich introduced in the 1960s, yet he reartciluated these silhouettes within the distinct cultural context of 1980s New York. From his debut collection, he established a unique look, artfully integrating pop culture and street style into youthful fashions executed in luxurious materials.
Sprouse was particularly known for his ability to sketch: the graffiti motifs developed for his textiles were frequently drawn by his own hand. The scrawled neon print of this dress has been skillfully engineered and embroidered with a gleaming layer if clear paillettes, lending a patina of glamour to an otherwise edgy garment.
Photographed as part of the exhibit In Pursuit of Fashion: The Sandy Schreier Collection, on view through May 17th, 2020 at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in NYC.
If you haven’t yet discovered the coolest hotel in downtown NYC — also know as the citizenM Hotel located at 185 Bowery — then you need to head over there and have a cocktail or three in their immersive, in-house Museum of Street Art (MOSA). Intended as a tribute to the late, great 5 Pointz, 20 artists were commissioned to create the artworks that line the walls of hotel’s lobby/cafe, extending across 21 stories of the 300-room hotel’s stairwell, and even out into the public plaza in the front of the building, which is where I spotted this Hot Pink Mannequin Torso covered with names of famous cosmopolitan cities. I don’t know whose work this is, but maybe he or she will see this post and claim credit for this fun and provocative piece!
Note: The piece was created by Ja’akov for Yab Design
In line with other surrealist artists’ engagements with the ready-made, Wilhelm Freddie’sobjets-mannequins, such as Sex-Paralysappeal (1936, shown here as a 1961 artist’s copy) were scandalous in their day for their explicit references to sex. With a prominently painted penis, both the 1936 and 1961 versions of this work were confiscated by the Danish authorities soon after they were exhibited.
In Sex-Paralysappeal, Freddie transforms the classical bust into a surrealist object by treating it like a mannequin head and adorning it with various accessories. Placing the head inside an incomplete picture frame, he indicates the desire for the image to become dimensional, more lifelike. The work’s composite title vacillates between sex appeal and paralysis, amplifying the incongruity of its constituent elements.
Photographed in The Met Breuer as Part of the Exhibit, Like Life: Sculpture Color and The Body.