The exhibition “Gender Bending Fashion” (opened last week at MFA) features a unique collection of examples that reveal the ground and history of fusion between previously strictly separated gender-centered clothes. As timely as it is, this idea did not appear overnight, instead we already made centuries-long way to the point where it doesn’t matter what gender you are or prefer to be, it matters what you personally like or dislike to wear. This point of freedom does not eliminate your gender identity, but adds the possibilities to the way you would like to highlight yourself. The exhibition begins with a chronological outline, however items are grouped based on the themes. Most of garments are contemporary but there are a few older items that highlight the historical roots of this phenomenon. The first opening dress of “Gender Bending Fashion” is a dress created by an Italian-born designer with Japanese experience and inspiration, Alessandro Trincone. The dress comes from his “Vfiles runaway 7” award- winning collection Annodami that was later used in an album cover photoshoot of rapper Young Thug, thus sparking public debates about men wearing dresses. The novelty of Trincone (@alessandrotrincone ) work is in usage of typical feminine fabrics like shiffon, to dress up men. In my opinion, his work also brings a significant portion of traditions and cultural notes into this high quality fusion. This takes an interesting turn, as with times, conservative traditional clothes is almost gone from wardrobe of our houses. Blending traditions with contemporary concept gives fresh vibes and reminds society about the fact that traditions have more value in our life’s in their contemporary reincarnation instead of their passive existence outside of a daily context. One of the most appreciated dresses at “Gender Bending fashion” is look32 from Viktor & Rolf (@viktorandrolf ) 2003 “One women show” collection. The show was inspired by their muse Tilda Swindon. At the time of show, the collection aimed to dress a modern women in a high couture men-style clothes. “It’s our tenth anniversary already,” said Viktor Horsting. “We wanted to do all our signatures, with the menswear and the couture influences, for an ageless modern woman.” The layered collars are simply timeless. Retrospective look at the show let me think about the idea that was in the air of exhibition but was not said loudly: women began to dress in men- styled clothes way before men began to dress in women- inspired ones. There are many social reasons behind this phenomenon, but I would like to believe that now as a society, we are more flexible in acceptance of new things. At that time, masculine suits for women were intended to create a classic power-suit in order to open doors to men-dominated professional world, hence the androgenic ageless beauty. Indeed, power-suits add seriousness. However, we should keep in mind that in reality, this trend tends to emphasize feminine nature often working as a contrast with shapes of fuller figures. Looks great, but I guess the result is different from the initial intention. What does it means and what we will see in men with women-inspired styles? Will it highlight masculinity or tone down the aggression? Just asking – time will show! •
P.S. dress presentation is one of the key components of the experience, was done by @chelsea_garunay •
So how an artwork influences dressing sense and style? For me, it is first of all the interplay between harmony of colors. The artwork provides amazing examples f how crossing the limits can be interesting or not at all. Kind of a study material to deal with my reactions. Here I would like to discuss a specific example of an impressionist artwork that I enjoy. I choose impressionist Paul Signac`s work as a first painting to discuss because of bright colors that I adore.
Inspired by Instagram posts from @denis_gardari, I aim to pay more attention to how I observe paintings. In addition, I felt like clarifying a question about pointillism – what kind of style is this?
So here is a work from Paul Signac “Golfe Juan” (1896) as an example of pointillistic style. The painting is currently a part of a armament collection in Worcester art museum. The specifics about this particular painting is in different from classical Impressionism structure: the canvas is “framed “ by bay and trees. This work was painted in the South of France, showing St Tropes in the opposite side of the bay.
Many of current SS18 collections present pink-green combination. However, no matter how naturally these two colors look in nature, it is hard to incorporate them in everyday personal style without going over-the-board. And by this I mean not the brightness of the colors but the fine borderline between a great taste and kitsch. I found this particular painting to be the gemstone that provides a guidance for a very tasteful combination of these colors that are expressed in painting but are taken from nature. If you take a closer look, you ll notice that the ratio between green and pink is far away from being 50:50. There are dark green shades that rather serve as a frame and add accent. I think, this would be a great example of how to blend green and pink into an outfit. Little accents of darker green are just enough.
Discussing this painting further, lets talk about pointillism and how it is related to impressionism. Pointillism was invented by French (any doubts about it?:)) impressionist George Seurat. Intriguingly, he studied a book that was written by a French chemist Eugène Chevreul, who worked on developing oils and dyes; Charles Henry and American physicist Ogden Rood, who worked a lot on color theory. Interestingly, color theory at first was an idea of de Vinci 9 Circle: artist-scientist-artist?:)). Anyways, the work from scientists influenced impressionists in a way that lead Seurat to come up with a new technique that he termed a “ separation of colors”- divisionism. The quintessence of this technique is in use of pointed application of pure color that results in optical mixture for a person who looks at the painting from a certain distance. The main advantage of this technique is the possibility to achieve more vibrant colors.
Signac was establishing Salon des Independents where he met Seurat. Signac followed and helped to develop Seurat’s technique and he named it a pointillism. Not so long after, however, Felix Feneon ( a writer and an art critic) renamed this style one more time and referred to it as neo-impressionism. Therefore, divisionism, pointillism and neo-impressionism is the same technique.
In accordance to impressionniste.net, “Seurat’s first large painting (206x305cm) “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” – 1884-1886 may be considered as the founding masterpiece of Divisionism.”