Fashion Week: The Collections from Saturday

The weather this week has been ideal for walking between shows, many of which were situated on Manhattan’s west side.

At Kanye West approved Louise Goldin, athletic gear reigned, though in less literal terms than the clothes shown at Rag & Bone. Still, black and white athletic shorts and a grey tennis dress told that part of the story clearly. Dusty pink and turquoise – California sunset colors – dotted the rest of the collection. As we decline ever so comfortably into a more casual civilization, at least our choices of athletic wear are made to be appropriate for the street.

Alexander Wang’s logomania took hold with the help of technical fabric innovations that weren’t prevalent when the trend first reared its head in the ‘90s. Laser cut leather showcased the designer’s name in repetition on almost every single look in the latter part of the collection, creating a sort of streetwise lace. Though Wang has committed to Balenciaga, this collection was to show us, his dedicated fans, that he has not decamped from downtown cool in his eponymous line.

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photo via @fashionlovebox

Every bit of fabric in the Tibi spring collection flowed beautifully around the body without ever becoming so clingy as to be suggestive, the result of which perhaps had to do with the natural materials used in the collection. From leather, silk, and breezy mesh, modern, minimal, feminine shapes emerged. The embellished shoes, a continuation of the Birkenstock reinvigoration ignited by Celine last season, looked comfortable and covetable. Considering midriffs, logomania, tearaways and Birkenstocks, it seems we’re all longing for the simpler ‘90s in some way. The collection pieces all looked sublimely easy to wear, as if any girl with preference for any style could find a piece from Tibi to love.

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At Altuzarra, liquid gold and silver, or fabric that gave the impression of melted gilding, flowed and poured ethereally over models Maria Bradley, Josephine Le Tutour, and Sasha Luss. The skirts, paired with ultra fine Henley tees, communicated the ease with which Joseph Altuzarra meant the collection to be worn. Luscious materials paired with slight disarray create the perfect combination for a commanding, sensual presence, all the while leaving the wearer extremely comfortable in her garb.

Meanwhile, at Milk, a frenzy of presentations took place. The room that held CFDA Incubator designer Jonathan Simkhai was packed tight; it took some deft navigation to catch a glimpse of the clothes. Once settled in front of the models, visions of perforated leather bombers, easy leather skorts (more evidence the ‘90s are back,) and athletic-inspired shapes (again) unfolded.

New(ish)comer Bellavance seems to understand simple and light layering. A robe-like and weightless jacket floated briefly as the model walked by, creating again the sense that we’d like to wear our indoor clothes out, so make them comfortable and chic, please.

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With almost half of fashion week behind us, there’s still a lot more to see. Keep up with us and go to www.motorola.com/us/home for more.

Main photo: Altuzarra

BlackBook Exclusive: Hear “Prism” the First Single Off Metal Mother’s ‘Ionika’

Like a twitch, twitch, twitching that starts in your toes and crawls up your legs and through your chest and up your neck and into your brain, there are some songs made for writhing around on wooden floors and somber moonless bedroom dancing. And with her avant-pop mix of melancholic vocal layering and analog synth melodies, Metal Mother’s unique sonic worlds worm themselves into your brain, firing off all the right signals.

As the musical project of Oakland-native, Taara Tati, Metal Mother’s sophomore album Ionika, is set to be released later this spring, and with the first single "Prism", we get a taste of what’s to come. Pulsating with heartbeat rhythms and inspired by Druid history and folklore, Tati asserts that the album is a product of an introverted time in her life where she was overcome to learn about both her Celtic ancestry and the art of music production. 

Described by others as everything from a "neon, acid-drenched wood nymph" to a musical phenomena reinventing "metal aesthetics for the sake of dark, tribal folk pop," Metal Mother focuses headily on smooth textures and bass lines. Spurred from a restlessness to create something visceral and ornate, Ionika was created with Oakland-based producer David Earl. You can get the full album April 16th via the artist’s own label Post Primal but for now, take a listen to her dark and lovely first single "Prism."

Photo by Leo Volk Matis

‘Clare Rojas: Inside Bleak’ Opens at LA’s PRISM

The restraint and simplicity of the paintings of Clare Rojas bely a profound emotional kick. Taking inspiration from American Folk Art, Amish quilts, and Native American textiles, the San Francisco-based artist’s designs and forms invite scrutiny, revealing over time a depth and energy that’s only hinted at upon first glance. Visitors to LA’s PRISM will be able to take in every layer of her work this month as the gallery hosts Clare Rojas: Inside Bleak, a collection of what she calls “domestic abstract interiors.”

The show features framed works on panels, linen portraits of female characters, and large-scale installation panels – including some that require slumping over to appreciate from the diminutive artist’s point of view – that transform visitors into artistic subjects. A collection of videos are presented in collaboration with Philadelphia-based artist Andrew Jeffrey Wright, including the award-winning Ich bin ein un manipulator and The manipulators. A bit of a renaissance woman herself, Rojas is also a musician, and she’ll be performing – under the name Peggy Honeywell – a collection of songs she wrote over the past two years, as well as screening a new video called Bower Bird.

Here, Rojas discusses her background, inspirations, and her unique perspective as a short person.

BlackBook: How did you get involved in art? Clare Rojas: I grew up in Columbus, Ohio, studied printmaking at RISD [Rhode Island School of Design], and got a masters in painting from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. I’ve always drawn and painted, since I can remember. I was terrible at sports and passed high school by painting wooden ducks for teachers, along with their portraits. My favorite artist growing up was Matisse, and I also enjoyed visiting science and natural history museums with my mom.

What were some of your inspirations? My biggest inspiration was literature that revolved around humanist and feminist themes. At RISD there were a handful of artists that were influential in instilling within me the idea that you can do anything if you have integrity and work hard. I was influenced by the [former] Fort Thunder warehouse, Brian Chippendale, Mat Brinkman, and Andrew Jeffrey Wright, who is a constant source of laughter and inspiration and makes art no matter what the conditions are. I got hockey skates and went to Brown University’s rink and skated in circles for hours, which was where I sorted through all my ideas. I like certain TV shows too, like Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And, of course, I’m influenced by my awesome, amazingly talented, and genious husband. What are you trying to accomplish through this show? A lot of different things. Inside Bleak is the culmination of everything I’ve thought and wished to do. I am trying to be aware and present with each piece and feel it, so there’s electricity and it becomes sacred art, or at least sacred to me. I’m trying to envelop the viewer like music does.

How long does it take you to create a painting? I plan out my paintings and then they seem to almost form themselves. It’s really about listening to your intuition. Some take forever and some take five hours. The same happens with writing songs – some write themselves and some take a year. The installations start with a concept, and the past couple have been about everything being connected and being aware of your environment, and how it becomes you and you become it. It’s almost performative watching everyone walk around the space slumped over trying to see the world I created from my perspective. If we could all remember to do this daily we would would feel so much more empathy for one another. Now everyone knows what it feels like to be short!

Are you moving away from the use of figures in your paintings? The loss of figures for me is awesome. They are still there, the space is them. Sometimes I even sketch them in for the sake of composition and color and then take them out. Less is more.

Inside Bleak will be on display at PRISM through April 2, 2011.