Kunsthal Rotterdam is Reopening With the ‘Extra Large’ Exhibition – Featuring Rare Tapestries by Picasso, Miró + Corbusier

Pablo Picasso, Women at Their Toilette, 1971 – 1977

 

 

We’ve been reporting on virtual touring opportunities at European museums. But cities and towns are now beginning to open up in earnest, so we will shift our focus to physical museum experiences…cautiously.

Now, all but the most devoted art enthusiasts are likely to regard tapestry as an ancient art form, most often found gathering dust on the walls of drafty medieval castles or “classical” European museums. But a delayed exhibition, scheduled to open March 8, now opening June 1 at the Kunsthal Rotterdam, is intending to upend those stereotypes, and demonstrate how tapestry is still absolutely relevant.

Indeed, the new exhibition Extra Large presents a large-scale retrospective of imposing tapestries based on designs by Picasso, Le Corbusier, Miró, Vasarely, Alain Séchas and Louise Bourgeois. Created post-World War I, these little-known masterpieces represent a virtually unknown aspect in the bodies of work of these giants of modern and contemporary art.

Joan Miró, Composition No. 1 Woman at the Mirror, 1966

 

It turns out that since the beginning of the seventeenth century, the French State has been commissioning renowned artists to design tapestries that are brought to life in national weaving workshops. While the art itself originated for decorative purposes, the works often conveyed a sociopolitical message, or represented a historical revolution.

Although the French government may have been motivated to create these works to preserve the history and art of weaving, the complex designs of modern-day artists have resulted in technical innovation in technique and craft. For example, Picasso’s design, Les Femmes a leur toilette, was shelved for thirty years until weavers became experienced enough to begin working on the tapestry, which then took six years to complete.

 

Le Corbusier, Canapé II, 1963

 

The majority of the sixty-showcased works was produced at the historical institute Manufacture des Gobelins in Paris, and demonstrate the multi-dimensional aspects of the craft through the eyes of some of history’s most revered avant-garde masters.

Extra Large will be on view from June 1 through January 3, 2021 at the Kunsthal Rotterdam (just an hour by rail from Amsterdam), a museum which has in recent years gained international acclaim for its high-profile fashion exhibitions, including the recent Thierry Mugler: Couturissime.

 

From top: Alain Jean Messagier, The Uniformity of the Beautiful Weather, 1969 – 1971; Jean Lurçat, The Seasons, Summer, 1940-1941

‘Fendi Icons’ Short Film Fêtes the Peekaboo + Baguette Bags

 

 

 

With travel, nightlife and fashion having been particularly interrupted by the pandemic, we’ve been relegated to dreaming of future jaunts to Paris, Milan and Rome. In fact, there are few things we’d rather be doing right now than window shopping along the Via Condotti in the Italian capital.

 

 

But while a less glamorous reality has found many of us passing the time by stress-baking sourdough loaves, our friends at the storied Roma fashion house Fendi have been busy filming an ode to some of their truly iconic accessories. Indeed, in this 34-second homage to the Peekaboo and Baguette handbags, curvaceous Colibri heels, and punky FF Boots, bellicose-but-beauteous, fishnet-clad models (who, apparently, haven’t nibbled even a crumb of those aforementioned baked goods) strike yoga poses, while showing off footwear and tightly gripping bags.

And, who can blame them, really? The handbags are pretty fabulous.

 

‘Inside CHANEL’ Explores the Designer’s Iconic Collaborations w/ Art + Film

 

 

If you’re seeking a binge-worthy alternative to sociopathic big cat collectors or soulless Ozark-based money launderers, take a peek at the House of Chanel’s Inside CHANEL collection of micro-documentaries. The series, which began in 2013, explores the world of legendary founder/designer Coco Chanel from every imaginable angle.

The newest additions to the series explore the special relationship that (real name) Gabrielle Chanel maintained with the creative world. The first episode, Chapter 27: Gabrielle Chanel and the Arts, sketches a portrait of a woman who was both an observer and a collaborator, and who played an integral part in an incredible cultural revolution. The documentary highlights her relationships with Cocteau, Dali and Picasso, amongst other artists, and how they influenced her perspective, and ultimately her work.

The second episode in the arts series, Chapter 28: Gabrielle Chanel and Cinema, illuminates her contributions to film as both a costume designer, muse, and champion of some of the era’s most notable filmmakers. From Hollywood’s golden age to the French New Wave and on to the edges of the avant-garde (and including Jean Renoir’s exalted 1939 masterpiece The Rules of the Game), Gabrielle Chanel’s imprint has stamped modern cinema icons with the indelible mark of modernity. And thusly, the Chanel aesthetic and philosophy remain forever imprinted in the credits of women’s lives, both onstage and in the streets.

Upcoming episodes will discuss contributions to the worlds of dance, literature, and music. Start binging at inside.chanel.com.

 

 

First Images: New Dior Men Boutique in Soho, NYC

Images by Kristen Pelou

 

 

If the fate of fashion is a confusing muddle these days, New Yorkers now at least have more Dior to adore—which is never a bad thing.

Indeed, the exalted fashion house has just unveiled a new Dior Men boutique adjacent to its women’s SoHo location. In addition to its ready-to-wear line, the shop offers an assortment of Dior Men’s leather goods and accessories—and we’re all-in on the reimagined iconic Saddle Bag that can be worn over the shoulder or around the waist as a suddenly-chic-again fanny pack. (Man bag!)

 

 

The boutique’s modern open floor environment is outfitted in off-white textured walls and decorated with white onyx panels and sleek brushed metal blade shelving. In contrast to the shop’s soothing interior, a bold line and dot work commissioned by the brand, Sound of Friday 6, by Seoul-born artist, Yoon Hyup, provides a colorful focal point and backdrop to the interior environment.

While the inviting storefront is sure to lure in NYC fashion fiends and style-aware tourists alike, those with enough cachet (or cash) can access a luxurious VIP suite complete with a personalized concierge experience. And these days, we do need every opportunity to feel special.

Visit the Dior Men shop at 107 Greene Street, Monday to Saturday 11am to 7pm, and Sunday 12pm-6pm.

 

 

Harley Weir Hots Up the Winter w/ New Ferragamo S/S 2020 Campaign

 

 

 

Fashion has long been rightly criticized for perpetuating narrow beauty ideals—though in response, encouragingly, we’ve seen an increasingly more inclusive approach being taken both on the runway and in advertising campaigns. And in an ode to the glories of individuality, Ferragamo has tapped beautifully into the diversity zeitgeist with its stunningly shot Spring/Summer 2020 campaign.

Under the watchful eye of newly installed, Berkshire born Creative Director Paul Andrew (his dad, btw, was a royal upholsterer to Windsor Castle), photographer Harley Weir captured the wild freedom of unfettered self-expression against the sun-drenched hues of an unidentified—to us at least—desert landscape.

“We showed this collection outdoors in Milan last September,” Andrew recalls, “as a way to emphasize that these are clothes designed to be worn for pleasure, during the summer, and with friends.”

 

 

And indeed, models Malgosia Bela, Abby Champion, Sora Choi, Alpha Dia and David Kammenos do seem to be genuinely chumming it up, as Weir snaps them strikingly against the dusty landscape.

Andrew continues, “We used the campaign to highlight certain items, including the new Viva pump and some of the gorgeous hand-kit crochet work—as complements to a summer spent roaming free in the company of people you love.”

While your summer may actually involve more time spent in an overly-air conditioned office than throwing shapes against enigmatic rock formations (with a coterie of astonishingly good-looking friends), you may just find the campaign’s evocative images whisking you away to there…even if just for a few blissfully delicious moments.

 

 

New Exhibit ‘Photographers…Artists and the Snap Cardigan’ Pays Homage to the agnès b. Fashion Classic

Image by Claude Lévêque

 

 

Almost every magazine has published (at least) one article promising to reveal the secrets of “French-girl style”—and they all, inevitably, get it wrong. Simply outfitting oneself in a striped tee and crimson lip gloss won’t instantly result in the je ne se quoi that so many French women effortlessly exude.

While the answers to Paris’ sartorial mysteries may remain locked in a vault several meters beneath the Louvre (or perhaps the former Colette flagship space), one simple garment—the agnès b. Snap Cardigan—has proved to be more art-worthy than the simple French wardrobe inspiration.

 

Image by Ed Templeton

 

Now, in an ode to the 40th anniversary this timeless garment, more than 70 luminaries in art, film, and photography have come together to offer their interpretation of said garment. The exhibit, pithily titled Photographers … Artists and the Snap Cardigan, features contributions by cultural luminaries such as Juergen Teller, David Lynch, Ryan McGinness, Jim Jarmusch and Carly Steinbrunn. This show echoes previous snap cardigan exhibitions at the Galerie du Jour in Paris in 1986, and at the Centre Pompidou in 1996.

“I had the idea for the exhibition when I saw people making the garment their own,” agnès b. herself explains, “adapting it to their personal style. It occurred to me that photographers are never given the same subject, and that they would each have their own vision of the [Snap Cardigan]. Their response was enthusiastic, and the result is beautiful. I am extremely grateful.”

Photographers … Artists and the Snap Cardigan opens in New York on February 8th at 195 Chrystie Street, and remains on show through March 1st, before making stops in Tokyo and Hong Kong.

 

Above images from top: David Lynch, Juergen Teller, Kenta Cobayashi

Whimsical New Fendi #BaguetteFriendsForever Short Stars Tommy Dorfman and Naomi Watanabe

 

 

We’ve been seriously loving the Fendi #BaguetteFriendsForever series, especially the one where Christian Coppola and Kiernan Shipka were to be found zipping around Rome Gregory Peck / Audrey Hepburn style on a powder blue Vespa. After all, who doesn’t want to zip around Roma head-to-toe in Fendi with a very special and fashionable friend?

The newest installment gets a bit wackier, which, of course, is also totally cool by us. In it, Japanese designer/comedian/provocateur Naomi Watanabe (she of the infamously cheeky Beyonce homage) meets up with American actor Tommy Dorfman (13 Reasons Why) at the Fendi Women’s SS20 Fashion Show in Milan. They instantly bond over their shared adoration of the exalted Fendi Baguette Bag.

“This is not a bag,” they exclaim in unison, “it’s a Baguette!”

It’s appropriately titled BFF at First Sight, a phenomenon that, frankly, we’ve never stopped believing in. Here’s the clip…

 

First Images: Model Ruth Bell Channels Audrey Hepburn in Dior’s S/S 2020 Campaign

 

 

Although winter’s chill is just beginning to descend upon New York (and Paris), the Dior Spring/Summer 2020 Ready-To-Wear advertising campaign is already in full bloom. Artistic director Maria Grazia Chiuri (a creative juggernaut since taking the reins at the French fashion house) once again partnered with acclaimed fashion photographer Brigitte Niedermair—who was honored in 2019 with a solo exhibition at the Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo, as part of the Venice Biennale—to showcase the somewhat “sylvan” collection.

Niedermair’s images vividly highlight the collection’s rich textures, lush floral embroidery, and precious accessories, that pop when against a botanically patterned grey background.

And perfectly cast, gamine model Ruth Bell captivatingly conjures the whimsically sexy spirit of Audrey Hepburn, a la Funny Face, in a raffia bucket hat and oversized sunglasses. Ladylike floral embroidery is contrasted with punk-inspired lug-sole boots (which we predict will easily make our 2020 top ten fashion items), capturing that ever rebellious couture spirit of Dior.

 

Why You Really Need a Scented Fendi Baguette

 

 

We somehow managed to survive yet another two month stretch of pumpkin spice everything (we swear, we even smelled it on a cat sweater), and are now gleefully taking in the pleasures of everything being scented with gingerbread and balsam – a particular sort of happy place for us.

But now comes word that our friends at Fendi will be dazzling us with the introduction of a new…wait for it…scented leather Baguette bag. A playful collaboration with venerable parfumeur Maison Francis Kurkdjian, the FENDIFRENESIA Baguette ensures that even if you forgot to spritz a little behind the ears in the morning, you’ll walk the city streets confident of your considerable olfactory appeal.

 

The FENDIFRENESIA scent itself (a 4ml sample is included with purchase) is characterized by leathery / musky notes which emphasize the textural qualities of the Selleria leather from which the bag is made. But this is certainly not just some fancy scratch and sniff – the scent is applied in a way to last up to four years on each bag. At which time they are guaranteed to still be in fashion.

The bags will debut the evening of December 4 at Fendi’s Miami Design District boutique, as part of Design Miami – though you can be pretty sure a few will also be spotted around Art Basel. As well, Christelle Boulé’s photographs of the fragrance being dropped onto colored film paper will give the opening event a frisson of cultural gravitas.

FENDIFRENESIA Baguette will be available only at the Miami shop as of December 5, while the nano baguette is available now at Fendi.com.