Tag Archive | Wizard of Oz

Modern Art Monday Presents: Andy Warhol, Myths

Andy Warhol Myths
All Photos By Gail

“More than anything, people just want stars, Andy Warhol once remarked. In Myths (1981) he depicts Superman, the Wicked Witch from Wizard of Oz, and other heroes and villains of American culture (including, on the far right, himself). Silver paint alludes to the “silver screen,” and the vertical rows of mechanically reproduced head shots suggest filmstrips or contact sheets, the sources feeding our obsession with celebrity. Yet Warhol’s title is more complex: “myths” could refer to the “mythic” status of movie stars but it also connotes falseness, the distortion of truth, and the fleeting nature of fame.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum in NYC

Andy Warhol Myths Detail

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Yellow Brick Abbey Road T-Shirt

Yellow Brick Abbey Road

They walked side by side down that road built out of yellow bricks, heading to their fate in the emerald colored city, off to see a wizard who would make them superstars.

They had visual appeal, they had individual backstories, they were a band of heroes headed straight to the top in a magical land where the worst critics were flying monkeys.

The mania started when they crossed the street, Dorothy in the front with the man made of metal bringing up the rear, and that one artsy munchkin was there to capture the scene and memorialize the moment they said “we’re off!”

Available on T-Shirts, Long-Sleeved Ts, Hoodies and other Swag for as low at $19.95 at This Link!

Pictures From the Fairy Tale Fashion Exhibit at The Museum at FIT, NYC

Fairytale Fashion Lobby
All Photos By Gail

The Museum at NYC’s Fashion Institute of Technology has been known to host some pretty fabulous special exhibits, and the only bummer about them is that you usually are not allowed to take photographs of the clothes. This restriction can really take the fun out of it, because if i can’t take pictures, it’s like I wasn’t even there.  Fortunately, at the Museum’s current exhibit, Fairy Tale Fashion, photography is not only allow, it is encouraged. And that is a fantastic thing, because this exhibit is just insane.

Kirsty Mitchell The Storyteller
Kirsty Mitchell, The Storyteller (from the Wonderland Series)

Fairy Tale Fashion is a unique and imaginative exhibition that examines fairy tales through the lens of high fashion. In versions of numerous fairy tales by authors such as Charles Perrault, the Brothers Grimm, and Hans Christian Andersen, it is evident that dress is often used to symbolize a character’s transformation, vanity, power, or privilege. The importance of Cinderella’s glass slippers is widely known, for example, yet these shoes represent only a fraction of the many references to clothing in fairy tales.

Charlotte Olympia Storybook Clutch Bag
Charlotte Olympia Storybook Clutch Bag (2013) Once Upon a Time Collection

Organized by associate curator Colleen Hill, Fairy Tale Fashion features more than 80 objects placed within dramatic, fantasy-like settings designed by architect Kim Ackert. Since fairy tales are not often set in a specific time period, Fairy Tale Fashion includes garments and accessories dating from the 18th century to the present. There is a particular emphasis on extraordinary 21st-century fashions by designers such as Thom Browne, Dolce and Gabbana, Tom Ford, Giles, Mary Katrantzou, Marchesa, Alexander McQueen, Rick Owens, Prada, Rodarte, and Walter Van Beirendonck, among others.

Kirsty Mitchell Wonderland Series
Photograph from Kirsty Mitchell’s Wonderland Series

Here are some of our favorite pieces from the show!

Snow White Inspired Designs

Snow White inspired designs.

Crystal Apple Handbag

Minadiere Crystal Apple Handbag By Judith Leiber, inspired by Snow White’s Poison Apple.

Bear Prince and Rose Red by Thom Browne

Designs inspired by Snow White & Rose Red, by the Brothers Grimm. Above: Bear Prince Suit and Rose Red Dress Designed by Thom Browne.

Below, Snow White Evening Gown by Dolce and Gabbana (2012).

Snow White Evening Gown

Most of the clothes are displayed in the near dark to protect them from the harmful effects of excessive light exposure, and since flash photography is a big no no, it takes a super steady hand and a pretty good camera to get decent shots. I think mine came out OK; your mileage may vary.

Dress Inspired By Rapunzel
Alexander McQueen Dress Inspired By Rapunzel

Rapunzel's Court

Hans Christian Andersens the Snow Queen

Designs inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s The Snow Queen.

Snow Queen
Center: Snow Queen Snowflake Evening Dress by Alexander McQueen (2008)

Mirrored Dress By Tom Ford

Mirrored Dress By Tom Ford (2014).

Mirrored Shoes

Mirrored Shoes

Invisible Shoes By Andreia Chaves (2011).

Wizard of Oz Dresses
Left: Altazurra Spring Dress (2015); Right: Gingham Dress By Adrian (1942)

The Wizard of Oz has had a huge influence on fashion as you can see by these eclectic designs, all  inspired by the beloved fantasy by L. Frank Baum.

Rodarte Ruby Gown
The Ruby Gown, Red Dress by Rodarte (Fall 2011)

Molyneux Emerald Evening Gown
Molyneux Emerald Evening Gown (1930)

Noritaka Crystal Rose Shoes

Noritaka Crystal Rose Shoes Back

Two different takes on the Ruby Slippers. Above: Crystal Rose Shoes by Noritaka Tatehana (2010)

Christian Louboutin Lady Lynch Stillettos (2009)
Christian Louboutin Lady Lynch Stillettos (2009)

Red Riding Hood
Little Red Riding Hood: Comme des Garçons Ensemble (Spring 2015) Japan

Little Red Riding Hood is also well-represented!

Riding Cloaks
Riding Cloaks

Red Cloak and White Nightdress
Red Cloak (Late 18th Century) and White Nightdress (Circa 1885)

Beauty and The Beast Gallery
Inspiration: Beauty and The Beast

Beauty and The Beast

Rodarte Spring Dress 2007
Rodarte Spring Dress (2007) Inspired by Beauty and the Beast

Queen of Hearts by Hideki Seo
Queen of Hearts by Hideki Seo

I didn’t get too many good photos of any of the Alice in Wonderland-inspired outfits, because it was just too dark!

Playing Card Dress and Waistcoat
Playing Card Dress by Manish Arora (2010), Go Ask Alice Waistcoat By Audrey Buckner (Fall 1992)

Nicholas Kirkwood Alice Shoe
Nicholas Kirkwood Alice Shoe
Nicholas Kirkwood, Alice Shoe

Swan Lake

Above and Below: Swan Lake

Swan Lake

Court Gown By Vivienne Westwood
Court Gown By Vivienne Westwood, Inspired by Cinderella.

Below: Cinderella Stepsister’s Dresses By Anne Fogarty and Bluemarine.

Cinderella Step Sisters Dresses

Christian Louboutin Cinderella Shoes
Christian Louboutin, Cinderella Shoes

Furrypelts Three Dresses

In this exhibit, I was introduced to one Grimm’s fairy tale that I previously was completely unfamiliar with: Furrypelts. The story goes that, in an effort to deter her father’s proposal of marriage, a beautiful young princess demands that he provide her with four seemingly impossible garments: dresses that shine like the sun, the moon and the stars, and a fur cloak made from the pelts of every animal in the kingdom. When the king manages to obtain theses clothes, the princess flees into the woods, disguising herself in the cloak and packing her three magnificent gowns.

Gold Dress By Zandra Rhodes
Gold Sun Dress By Zandra Rhodes

She later uses the gowns to awe a king in another land.

Moon Dress Detail
Moon Dress, Detail

The princess is wearing her glittering star dress when she finally wins the king’s affection. The silver bead-and-sequined Star gown pictured two photos above, far left, is from the early 1930s.

Sleeping Beauty's Court
Fashions inspired by Sleeping Beauty’s Court

Dresses Inspired By The Little Mermaid
Gowns Inspired By The Little Mermaid

As you can see, Fairy Tale Fashions is worth making more than one trip to see everything in the exhibit, and the galleries do get very crowded on Saturdays, so maybe try to plan your visit for a weeknight, when the museum is open late. Enjoy!

Fairy Tale Fashion will be on Exhibit Through April 16th, 2016 at the Museum at FIT, Located at Seventh Avenue and 27th Street. Hours are Tuesday through Friday, Noon to 8:00 PM, and Saturday 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM. Admission is Free.

 Exhbition Signage

Movie Review: The Little Tin Man

The Little Tin Man Poster

Being different is much easier to deal with when the characteristic that sets you apart isn’t immediately visible. In Matthew Perkins‘ very entertaining and heartfelt first film, The Little Tin Man, Herman (Aaron Beelner) is a struggling actor who works as a waiter in his family’s NYC restaurant. Herman also happens to be a little person, something that makes the typecasting he often finds himself up against even more glaring when he auditions for a Martin Scorsese remake of the Wizard of Oz.

While casting directors are enthusiastic about Herman’s chance of landing the part of the Mayor of Munchkin Land, Herman has his sights set on the role of the Tin Man – a part that, due to his height, he is not even allowed to audition for. When his mother passes away suddenly, leaving the restaurant to his flamboyant older half-brother, Gregg (played brilliantly by the hilarious Jeff Hiller, who steals every scene he is in) while Herman’s only “inheritance” is the advice that he get serious about his acting career, he is forced to undertake an ingenious plan to make his dream of playing the Tin Man come true.

The Little Tin Man finds its unique humor and heart when Herman enlists the help of his restaurant co-workers including his brother, best gal-pal Miller (played by comedy writer Kay Cannon), whom he also has a secret crush on, Dishwasher Juan (Emmanual Maldonado) and bartender Pete (Chris Henry Coffey, who reminds me very much of Greg Kinnear) to help him make an audition tape that he can then sneak in to Scorcese while he is guesting on the Rachel Ray Show (don’t ask).

Despite its heavier message of prejudices we all have against people who look different, and serious plot undertones, this is a very sweet, funny and uplifting film. The Little Tin Man has the engaging, laid back feel of a cable TV sitcom similar to Curb Your Enthusiasm or Stephen Merchant’s Hello Ladies, and the appealing ensemble cast shares such a good chemistry, I really felt like I could watch a weekly adventure with these characters. Very highly recommended!

The Little Tin Man now is screening locally at the Williamsburg Cinemas in Brooklyn and is available via Video On Demand nationwide.

The Worley Gig Gives The Little Tin Man Four out of Five Stars

Must See Attraction: Seattle’s Experience Music Project

EMP Building Exterior
All Photos By Gail

When I was planning my recent four-day stay in Seattle, one of the attractions I knew I couldn’t miss was the Experience Music Project pop culture Museum. I’ve been curious about visiting the EMP. since it was first in construction, which was about 15 years ago. Originally, it’s my understanding that the museum was being built and funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen to house his extensive Jimi Hendrix memorabilia collection. But obviously, it’s expanded quite a bit since that original, rather narrow concept.

Space Needle Reflected in EMP Building Exterior
Space Needle Reflected in the Exterior of the EMP

Conveniently located in the Seattle Center, literally in the shadow of the Space Needle, and adjacent to several other top tourist attractions, the EMP is certainly one of the most unusual examples of modern architecture I’ve ever seen. When viewed from the top of the Space Needle, this Frank Gehry-designed structure looks like a Giant took a handful of various boxes of different shapes and colors, and stuck them all together. But this unique approach to modern design has created a fantastic space that provides exhibit halls for not only local music history and an extensive trip down memory lane with the Jimi Hendrix Experience in London, but separate wings for science fiction, fantasy film and literature, horror movies, and the current temporary exhibit highlighting Women Who Rock. Here are a few photos I took during my visit this past July.

Hendrix Experience in London

Any Jimi Hendrix fan is going to be blown away by the Hendrix Experience Hits London section, which fills several ground floor galleries.

Hendrix Experience Costumes

Not only will you see vintage, authentic stage costumes worn by Jimi, Noel Redding and Mitch Mitchell, but the walls of the galleries are plastered with photographs, news clippings, magazine articles, vinyl albums and posters that telegraph the band’s rise to stardom after their initial visit to the UK. All I can say is, it must be nice to be Paul Allen.

Nirvana In Utero Prop

Around the corner from the Hendrix exhibit is an exhaustive documentation of the Nirvana’s impact on the Seattle grunge punk music scene during the 90s. You could easily spend a couple of hours in this section, just reading all about some of the best bands that came from this genre-defining region of the country such as Mudhoney, Soundgarden, Pearl Jam and many other Sub Pop signings as well as projects from legendary genre producers such as Jack Endino.

Kurt Cobain Green Sweater

In addition to extensive documentation, Photos, Personal Letters, CD covers, magazine articles, costumes and props, there’s also one of Dave Grohl’s drum kits and other one-of-a-kind memorabilia. Whoever created this part of the museum did so with a good deal of love.

David Bowie Costume from Labyrinth

Fantasy film enthusiasts will not want to miss the Fantasy: Worlds of Myth and Magic exhibit where I enjoyed seeing costumes such as those worn by David Bowie in the film Labyrinth as well as many other props and costumes from classic films such as The Hobbit, the Wizard of Oz and Clash of the Titans, to name but a few.

Wizard of Oz Guard Uniform

Captain Kirk Chair and Tribbles
Captain Kirk’s Enterprise Command Chair and Tribbles

On another floor there’s an exhibit dedicated to Icons of Science Fiction. Not only are there props and costumes from science-fiction films, but also there are small exhibits on popular books of the genre that laid the foundation for much of the visual media that came in their wake.

Dalek from Dr. Who
Dalek from Dr. Who

Lure of Horror Films Signage

Can’t Look Away: The Lure of Horror Film is also a very fun exhibit. Aside from the expected props and costumes, you can personalize your experience by participating in interactive exhibits including the Scream Booth and Philip Worthington’s interactive shadow monster installation – which is just insane.

Creature from Black Lagoon Mask

Rest your weary feet with time spent in a dozen video kiosks where you can sit in near darkness and watch horror film clips (commentary included) curated by directors Roger Corman, John Landis and Eli Roth. Super fun and also very educational!

Pretenders Kim Gordon EMP
Outfits Worn by Chrissie Hynde and Kim Gordon (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The museum’s top floor is home to a large interactive studio recording exhibit, where you can actually play instruments and record your own music. It’s also where you’ll find the museums latest exhibit, Women Who Rock, which just opened in June. Women Who Rock does an ambitious job of documenting female artists from the 50s through to present including pioneers such as Brenda Lee, Leslie Gore, Loretta Lynn, Ronnie Specter and many of the girl groups through to the punk rock movement, groundbreaking all-female rock groups such as The Runaways and The GoGos and on to superstar solo artists from Madonna to Shakira and, of course Lady Gaga. Unfortunately, my camera battery ran out just as we were entering this particular exhibit, so the only photos I have are ones I pulled from EMP’s website.

Rihanna Awards Outfit EMP
Rihanna Music Awards Outfit (Image Courtesy of the EMP)

The Experience Music Project is a must-see destination for any music and film fan’s trip to the beautiful and vibrant city of Seattle. Exhibits change from time to time so make sure you consult the museum’s website to find out what they have in house during your planned visit.

If Six Was Nine Guitar Sculpture
If Six Was Nine Kinetic Guitar Sculpture

The EMP Museum is located at 325 5th Avenue N, Seattle Center, WA, convenient to the Seattle Center Monorail. Hours are 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM Daily. Visit This Link for additional exhibit schedule and admission information.

Wizard of Oz Cake

Wizard of Oz Cake Front
Image Source

That new James Franco Wizard of Oz film may be getting universally panned by the critics, but I am sure this magnificent Cake, inspired by imagery from the original film, would receive rave reviews! Created by Mike’s Amazing Cakes of Redmond, Washington, the back of the cake (below) is also quite impressive!

Wizard of Oz Cake Back
Image Source