New York’s Museum of Natural History always has one or two special exhibits that require purchase of an extra ticket above the standard price of admission, but that’s because they are worth it. One of the museum’s current special exhibits is called The Nature of Color, and it is just fantastic. The exhibit is immersive and contains many different galleries and rooms. For example, the Red Room highlights how the color red can mean status, power, and fertility while simultaneously representing sports teams, political parties, and religions. The centerpiece of this room is a flowing Red Silk Chiffon and Organza Gown created especially for the The Nature of Color by fashion designer Brandon Maxwell.
The Spring 2018 exhibition from The Met’s Costume Institute, entitled Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, ended its five-month run on October 8th, and broke all kinds attendance records, surpassing even that of 2011’sAlexander McQueen exhibition. Over these past few months, I’ve enjoyed bringing you design posts featuring some of my favorite highlights from the exhibit, seen at both its Met Fifth Avenue and Met Cloisters locations. I still have many photos that have not been publicshed, so I may be bringing you #MetHeavenlyBodies designs well into 2019! You’re welcome!
One of my vary favorite outfits, photographed over at the Met Cloisters is this Thom Browne-designed Wedding Ensemble with its cloud-like skirt, from his Spring/Summer 2018 collection. Created from a variety of materials including white mink, white silk organza, ribbons of white nylon tulle, embroidered white silk thread, gold bullion, pearls, crystals, clear glass, and mother-of-pearl, it was quite the show stopper!
It’s no accident that this piece was installed near the museum’s famous Unicorn tapestries, as you can see in the above photo where a Unicorn Head and Horn are formed with twisted tulle and gold bullion on the garment’s bodice.
Wedding Ensemble By Thom Browne with Unicorn Tapestries In Background
And on the back, yes, there they are, the subtle stab wounds that we see in the tapestries.
What may be even more striking than this ornate dress is the mannequin’s vibrant red hairpiece by celebrated hair stylist and wig-maker Shay Ashual, who designed all of the wigs for the exhibit. To quote Catherine Addington for Weekly Standard Dot Com, “In Ashual’s most stunning work, red-violet streaks matted to the face of the mannequin wearing a Thom Browne wedding dress conjure blood and beauty at once. Set against The Unicorn in Captivity, a tapestry that has often been interpreted as Passion symbolism, the hairpiece turns an otherwise enigmatic ensemble into the heavenly wedding garment of a martyr.”
By the end of the 17th Century, high heels were considered women’s shoes. Indeed, so strong was the connection between shoes and gender that a man wearing high heels could be arrested in New York under a law that forbade people from congregating in public while “disguised by unusual or unnatural attire.” First passed in 1845 to suppress masked political protests, this law was later used to justify the arrest of cross-dressing performers and bar patrons. Many similar laws persisted until the late twentieth century, when changing fashions and cultural norms rendered them unenforceable
Kinky Boots Worn By Actor Billy Porter
Today, high-heeled shoes have appeared everywhere, from boardrooms to bedrooms to courtrooms. They have been called many things: Ultra-feminine, aggressive, provocative, misogynistic, glamorous, fetishistic, immobilizing, erotic, empowering, stylish — just about everything but comfortable.
Gregg Barnes designed these patent metallic leather high-heeled platform lace-up boots in 2013 for the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, which is based on the true story of a struggling shoe factory that survived by producing high-heeled fetish footwear in men’s sizes.
Photographed as Part of Walk This Way: Footwear from the Stuart Weitzman Collection of Historic Shoes, on Exhibit Through October 8th, 2018, at the New York Historical Society, Located at 77th Street and CPW in NYC.
I love a happy accident, which is what I have to call my discovery of this fun new exhibit by artist John Monti, which I spotted in the 42nd Street Lobby of The Grace Building as I walked past on the way to the F Train.
The installation, which is made up of seven amorphous-shaped bright Red and Lime Green sculptures, is called Beauties and it actually opens with a reception on Thursday, September 15th from 6 – 8 PM, which means there will probably be free wine!
Up close, you can see that the sculptures’ surfaces are covered with fine, sparkly glitter!
I enjoyed looking at them.
I know that if Geoffrey sees this photo he will say that they look like Sex Toys. Because they do.
Beauties will be on Exhibit through November 11th, 2016, at The Grace Building Lobby, Located at 1114 Avenue of the Americas (AKA Sixth Avenue), But the Main Entrance is on 42nd Street, between 5th and 6th Avenues, just across the street from Bryant Park and New York Public Library. This exhibit is sponsored by Arts Brookfield.
Red Alert (2007): Three-channel digital video, color, sound, three 30-inch flat-screen monitors, three Apple Mac minis, mounting system and connecting hardware (All Photos By Gail)
Despite their appearance as static images, these three screen’s all display a video of frame after frame of the color red played on a loop. Red Alert (2007) was inspired by the Russian Constructivist painter Alexander Rodchenko’s Pure Red Color, Pure Yellow Color, Pure Blue Color (1921), a work that consists of monochromes paintings in each of the three primary colors.
Like Rodchenko, Hito Stereyl wanted to push her medium — in this case, video — to its most simplified, reduced form. her focus here on the color Red is a reference to both the highest level of the now-discontinued, color-coded terror threat system that was implemented in the United States in the aftermath of 9/11, as well as red light’s connotations as signaling something seedy and pornographic.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art.
On the way from one event to another this past week, we passed by the Mave Hotel, located on Madison Avenue at the corner of 27th Street, and were instantly attracted to this display of inflated red and white balloons they have strewn across the floor in an inaccessible part of the hotel lobby, just off the main entrance from the street. Charming!
I found this amazing lamp on the second floor of Pear River Mart, on Broadway near Grand Street in downtown Manhattan. The price tag says $299.50, but it has 50% off sticker on it, so this is some kind of incredible bargain, if you ask me. If this seems like something you might want to own, I suggest you bring a friend with you, to help carry it to the street, because it probably weighs a few pounds.