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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

New York Fashion Week: Fall 2011


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TThe Birth of Venus, Sandro Botticelli, c. 1486


 with colors from Boticelli's "The Birth of Venus"

Is it just me? Or do you also see art as inspiration for fashion. It's time for the New York Fall 2011 Fashion Shows. A woman's beauty as muse and mannequin. It's been going on for a long time. Did you know that since classical times female nudes in painting and sculpture came to be called Venus'es? Painters in the Renaissance got away with painting nude women since they were Venuses and were supposed to be nude, since Venus is the goddess of love, desire, sexuality, and all that. 

But you can't get away with having Venuses walking all over the place. So artist-designers can cover them up with their imaginations. I had a little fun browsing the thumbnails of the Fall collections for inspiration from a few pieces of art. I could do this all day (well, I did), but my mouse finger started hurting all the way up my arm.

The names of the designers under the fashion photos have links to their Fall collections.


Four expressions of Jacqueline by Picasso;
Jacqueline was Picasso's second wife

These dresses remind me of Picasso's Jacquelines.

Clockwise from top left: Caroline Herrera

This white Jason Wu dress with black lace embellishments reminds me
of Audrey Hepburn's dress in "Sabrina."



Audrey Hepburn in Givenchy with William Holden, for "Sabrina"

Klimt and Betsey Johnson. Betsey Johnson and so many artists, really.

Gustave Klimt


Degas and Carolina Herrera.

"The Rehearsal" by Edgar Degas


Monet and Lela Rose. I see Monet's haystacks and Houses of Parliament whenever I go to the Art Institute in Chicago. I thought of them when I saw this Lela Rose dress, which is fantastic.

"Haystack Thaw" by Claude Monet

"Houses of Parliament" by Claude Monet


Mark Rothko and Diane von Furstenberg.

Blues by Mark Rothko


Paul Klee and Betsey Johnson. After doing this for a while -- looking at fashion thumbnails for artist inspiration, I wanted more color. How drab most of our fashion is, I thought.
Brava! to Betsey Johnson, offering vibrant colors and patterns year after year.

"Rose Wind" by Paul Klee


But sometimes "drab" is good, very good.
Frederic Leighton and Donna Karan.


"Venus Disrobing for the Bath" 
by Frederic Leighton


Prabal Gurung's collection was my favorite. Gurung was born in Singapore, raised in Kathmandu, Nepal, and began his career in design in New Delhi, India. He moved to NYC and worked with Donna Karan as an intern and then launched his first collection under his own name two years ago. He designed Michelle Obama's simply fantastic red dress for the White House Correspondents' Dinner last May. For his Fall collection he said ". . . he was dually inspired by John Singer Sargent’s "A Parisian Beggar Girl" and Miss Havisham from Great Expectations."

John Singer Sargent's "A Parisian Beggar Girl" 
and Marcus Stone's "Pip Waits on Miss Havisham"
Stone's image scanned by Philip V. Allingham



Prabal Gurung
I think she and her dress
are worthy of a painting.

I think fashion design is art, wearable art. 

Do you like fashion, or merely tolerate it?



All fashion photos found at Fashionologie.
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78 comments:

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

In answer to your question, what's for lunch?

Only joking, only joking. I love art and generally ignore fashion, but after reading this beautiful post and with my eyes still delighted by the bursting chromatic connections your draw between the world of great paintings and fashion, I may try to change my ill-clad lackluster ways ...

Nawh! What's for lunch?

Ruth said...

Lorenzo, perhaps when you retire from translation, you should venture into a career in diplomacy.

Or food critic!

:-)

Looking for Siddhartha said...

oh, I never did think about fashion in relation to art. Very interesting and very beautiful people!
Sorry not to be able to comment regularly. It is due to lack of time...
Have a nice day, dear Ruth!
Renée

Bonnie said...

What fun! Remarkable pairings of art and fashion. Genius! Now I must go back and reconsider them, choosing one little frock for the weekend ...

erin said...

The Klimt to Johnson had me clapping and barking like a seal! What I wouldn't have found interesting is fascinating to me this instant. I think you did a brilliant job drawing the forms of art together.

Perhaps all inspiration, regardless the art form, comes from the same place, the same humming and vibrating spheres. Yup, after this, I'm pretty sure of it.

xo
erin

Bruce Barone said...

Beautiful post!

Do you follow "Little Augury."

Char said...

beautiful pairings - i always love carolina herrera (is that spelled right? anyway

and of course anything to remind me of audrey is a bonus.

Pauline said...

I dress for comfort - who said, " I wear whatever doesn't itch?"

I never thought of fashion as wearable art but I have to agree. Thanks for a new way to look at something I previously gave little thought to.

Susan said...

As one who has never dressed fashionably, and in the last 15 years, only for comfort, I suppose I tolerate and possibly even appreciate fashion. I do like a bit of color and I'm not fond of the washed out look; i.e. Nicole Kidman in any of her very elegant evening gowns.

That first Herrera gown is stunning! I love those colors together. I also like the turquoise suit/dress one of hers. I usually like Donna Karan, but that disturbing model ruins that dress, IMO. Betsey Johnson is a little over the top for me, but she is definitely colorful and playful.

The Jason Wu dress is a perfect match for Audrey's dress in Sabrina...swoon.

I love your Fashion Show posts! :)

Oliag said...

I do see fashion as art and love to look through the style section and always check out any fashion exhibits when at a museum...but you would not know any of this if you saw me or peeked into my closet! I am very drab and dress for comfort and economy:)

This post is beautiful and I can imagine the fun you had and time you spent finding these pairings! If I could take one home? I think the Lela Rose...

ellen abbott said...

what wonderful pairings. I enjoyed this very much.

rosaria said...

Beautiful, inspirational, revealing, stunning in form and color. A beautiful day in the city of art and fashion. Thank you.

Shari Sunday said...

I loved this post. Lingered over every picture. I could feast on these images all day. I'm not a fashion plate myself, but have developed a real taste for it in others. My daughter and my sister-in-law are always an inspiration. As are you. The art added another delicious layer. You have an eye for beauty, Ruth. Thank you.

Maureen said...

Great post, Ruth, and a lot of fun. Your pairing of Klimt with Johnson was inspired. The image of the last designer's dress recalls Paris and Marie Antoinette, perhaps "Les' Miz".The color of the impressionistic Lela Rose gown and its weave pattern drew my attention.

Margaret said...

How totally inspiring. Makes me want to paint! And that is what I am going to go do now! Can't wait to show my daughter this post! Fantastically fun, Ruth.

California Girl said...

i love fashion! miss dressing up for work and going out at night. the weather is so cold in winter, you just bundle up. in summer, everyone is in shorts. in between we have mud season so you don't dare wear nice shoes. fall is the best time to dress nicely here in the great north.

Barb said...

I was sitting at an outdoor cafe in the sunshine yesterday and watched many gorgeous, thin, young women float by in all manner of fashionable boots and short clingy dresses that they had to tug down over their bottoms periodically. It was like watching a beautiful flock of muted birds preening. After bit, I raised my black warmup clad butt off the seat and flinging my (Target) scarf around my neck, strutted home. PS I will not be wearing Betsey Johnson anytime soon.

Cusp said...

Lovely post. I think there has, of course, always been a very strong dialogue between art and fashion. What interests me is the way it works in the opposite direction too...when artists and makers work with garments...the sort of thing that Miriam Schapiro and Robert Kushner were doing in the 70s or now

http://www.fiberarts.com/back_issues/01_08/scottsdale-wearable-artwalk.asp

http://www.artnet.com/magazineus/features/spivy/spivy1-9-08.asp

Cusp said...

This too :

http://greendragonladyvintage.wordpress.com/

Friko said...

I seriously miss buying clothes. Living deep in the country, being retired and hardly ever going to any grand occasion I really have no need of fancy clothes.
I wear jackets and trousers or skirts when I go out of which I have plenty.

It is quite sad, now that I come to think of it.
Not that I could afford any of your designers but I love the clothes and most of the dresses look wearable.

Montag said...

This is rather stunning. It never ceases to amaze me that I prattle
on about the limits of language, and you create these kaleidoscopes of images that are filled with meaning, not to mention being easy on the eyes...

I think you should make films; I really do. You have an iconic mind.

freefalling said...

LOVE IT!

This post must have taken you ages to put together but I'm so glad you did, it's just beautiful.
I especially love the Monet/Lela Rose combination - isn't that dress simply DIVINE??

In a similar vein - at the Aust Nat. Gallery there is an exhibition of the costumes of the Ballets Russes with designs by Picasso and Matisse and de Chirico and others.
I hadn't planned on going but looking at it again - I can hear it calling me - must see if Mum and my sister will meet me in Canberra for a squiz.
You wanna come too?

http://nga.gov.au/Exhibition/BalletsRusses/

Shaista said...

freefalling - go to the exhibition! It showed in London, and I went especially to see it - Diaghilev and the Ballet Russes...
You would have loved it Ruth! The way it was staged at the Victoria and Albert, was confusing at first... I thought it was terribly small and confined and then there was another room, and another, and I ran out of time, eating it all up!
I love this post. I feel just exactly the same way - about fashion as art. Because in hospital, the high intensity of colour and glamour transports me to other worlds, a melding of dreams and imagination, and helful healing visualization :) A shoe can make me believe utterly in wellness!

Happy belated Valentine's beloved one!

Shaista said...

Oh also, don't you like the whole Green Carpet idea for the awards seasons? Colin Firth's wife Livia is very Eco-inspired (she has a store in London producing and packaging ecologically designed everything)... she always wears something carefully and tenderly created with the souls of silkworms taken into account!

M.L. Gallagher said...

What beautiful blues -- and all the other colours too!

I have a little Betsy Johnson dress -- blue floral prints -- that I love.

Being a 'black dress' mostly kind of gal, the colours are inspiring.

and yes, I like fashion. I like to eat too and sometimes, fashion of this couture is too costly for my palate! :)

Great post.

Thanks.

ds said...

Here I am, in the echo chorus again: fashion is not my "thing," but i love the way you paired the colors & patterns of the paintings with the various designers and their dresses, especially the "Botticelli" dress. You do have quite an eye. How lucky that you share its visions with us!

Terresa said...

I'm a sucker for clothes, fashion. While I haven't been to NYC for several years (at least outside of JFK), I love London for their hip urban punk fashion. I saw the most beautiful short (short!) haircuts on women, and their boots! And leggings! And short shorts! Makes me wish I was friends with the Sartorialist (of the fashion blog by the same name)!!

George said...

Great fun and very creative, Ruth! I kept expecting that I would come across a fashion that is reflective of the women in De Kooning's controversial paintings. Perhaps we can discuss that over coffee one of these days.

The Solitary Walker said...

Hell. All this makes me feel positively grungy in my jeans and grubby T-shirt. I think, though, you may have already suspected I'm a fashion ignoramus. (Love the last pic of that gorgeous girl in the red, bohemian-gypsy number - reminds me of flamenco dancers in Seville.)

Marcie said...

Oh..I'm just loving how you've put this together - the color palettes and how the 'masters' have inspired the colors and styles of today's fashion art. Me too - I'm fascinated by 'fashion week' and the concept of 'fashion as high art'!!!

Ruth said...

Oh thank you, Renée, and please don't apologize. We give our lives what and where we can and are. It is a delight when you are present here. I'm glad you found beauty here today.

Ruth said...

Bonnie, hmm, I wonder which you will pick. I can't seem to take my eyes off the first Caroline Herrera number. The colorszzzz . . . ohhh man.

Ruth said...

erin . . . ! :D Yes, my dear clapping and barking seal, I agree! Inspiration is a spark from the bonfire of life . . . or so someone said ...

xo

Ruth said...

Thanks, Bruce, I'm glad you liked it.

No about "Little Augury" -- but I am now! INSPIRATION and CONNECTION.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Char. Yes, Carolina Herrera comes up with very feminine, very beautiful, very wearable designs year after year. The first dress posted here, I can't take my eyes off it!

Ruth said...

Thanks, Pauline. I think we are very fortunate to live in a time when we can pretty much wear whatever we want. I remember in the 60s it was all mini skirts and bell bottoms, and nothing else available in the stores. Now it's nice too that comfort can be stylish. :)

Ruth said...

Thank you, Susie. To think back on ages before ours when women were corseted and girdled (and feet-bound) just gives me incredible gratitude for ours. I do wonder about these models (and Lady Gaga) and their poor shoed feet and wonder . . . why?

The first Herrera gown is so glorious for its color that I can't take my eyes off it. As I browsed I began to realize it was color I wanted, even though I tend to wear brown, gray and black a lot. Betsey is really out there, and I might not wear the combinations as she shows them, but I do like the floral prints.

These runway shows are entertainment as much as anything. What will wow the critics? I remember a designer one year with a theme of wood nymphs, and all the models wore false eyelashes that were about three inches long. Fun to be swept away by all that.

Yes, I thought you would like my Audrey-Wu pair. :)

Ruth said...

Oliag, thank you. I think your comment accentuates my point that fashion is art. We can appreciate it without adorning ourselves with the color and style we appreciate in the design world.

Yes, I had a blast, and I could have gone on and on. I was so mesmerized in the connections of colors and textures that I was truly mindless and time disappeared.

That Lela Rose, wow.

Ruth said...

Thank you so much, Ellen. It was a lot of fun.

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

omg lela rose and d karen designs are so spectacular. you are so lucky you get to experience those shows. i'm just a farm girl now but when i was young and thin i was a wwd fan and followed all of those 80's models and fashion...evangelista and tayor, etc. oh how time changes.

Kritter Keeper at Farm Tails said...

and no the comparisons with the paintings did not escape me...which were awe inspiring in themselves. btw, your baby bishop looks identical to our daddy cat. come see! you will laugh!

Babs-beetle said...

I was very much into fashion when I was young, but now I pretty much ignore it ;)

I love the way you paired fashion and paintings up!

Ruth said...

Thank you, Rosaria. Isn't color a great gift?

Ruth said...

Shari, you sound like me. I am drawn to these colors, patterns, shapes to the point of obsession at times. The colors, together, in "The Birth of Venus" and Caroline Herrera's dress are blissful.

Thank you for your kind comment, my friend.

Ruth said...

Maureen, yes, the red finale by Gurung does conjure Les Miz and all that voluptuous draping and cinching, just terribly lovely and romantic. Ahhhh.

Thank you.

Ginnie said...

This is so YOU, sister! I wonder if you got out your pencils and started drawing your own designs. When you doodle, do you come up with fashion designs, I wonder. :) I love how you have connected the artists with high fashion. Most provocative and well done!

Ruth said...

Margaret, yippee for inspiration!

Ruth said...

California Girl, since I was a girl I've liked dressing up. Now, walking on campus I notice when someone is dressed colorfully and differently than all the other students. It's refreshing!

Ruth said...

Barb, yes, poor beautiful birds.

I do not enjoy shopping, in fact I can hardly stand it. It would be nice to have a stylist take care of everything for me. I buy Target, TJMaxx, Marshalls, and Goodwill, or sale stuff at nice stores. But it's rare. My goal is to find something that will stand the test of time, both fashion-wise and quality-wise, so that I don't have to shop again any time soon!

Thank you.

M said...

Ruth:

Gorgeous post! I love the connections you popped off the runway! You might really enjoy a thoughtful blogger's take on academic fashion: rags against the machine.

Mary

Ruth said...

Cusp, thank you. The wearable art at that first site is just beautiful. Thanks so much for these interesting links.

Ruth said...

Friko, no I couldn't afford the designer duds either, any more than I could afford a Klimt or Klee on my wall. Funny how we look forward to the comforts of retirement and then miss a bit of what going to work involved. I understand it.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Montag, how kind of you.

Ruth said...

Oh, Letty, those costumes by artists are simply stunning. They are lifetime works of art. I do hope you'll go, as Shaista urges. It looks absolutely extraordinary. I can feel my insides melting ...

Ruth said...

Shaista, oh it's so gorgeous, so sumptuous. The craftsmanship, the design, the colors, patterns. Just fabulous.

Your comment did me so much good I can't really explain it to you. Knowing you receive healing from this sort of thing, well yes, I feel it too, but knowing you do, I just feel . . . happy.

I did not know about Livia's Eco-inspired store or the Green Carpet, but I am glad to hear it. When celebrities urge good practice, it can really help take hold.

Much love, my soft, tough, silken friend.

Ruth said...

Louise, I love the bright colors too, and Betsey Johnson florals. I tend to be more sober when I dress though. Thank you for your comment.

Ruth said...

ds, thank you for tolerating me so graciously. :-)

Isn't that Herrera-Botticelli dress just delicious?

Ruth said...

Terresa, I watched a video of the Sartorialist at work, and he seems to enjoy it a lot, the way Bill Cunningham does on the streets of NYC. We could have a lot of fun trudging around together, you and I.

Ruth said...

George, I didn't even think of De Kooning, well nothing at the show came close! Thanks for your kind visit, always.

Ruth said...

Robert, what else are you supposed to wear when you're retired and taking a course in proofreading? I think you wore suits on the road long enough to deserve your own version of fashionable or unfashionable grunge.

Oh yes, I can see that lady in red getting passionate in a flamenco dance. Wow.

Ruth said...

Marcie, thanks so much. We are all inspired by different things, and I am certainly enjoying your still life inspirations!

Ruth said...

Hi, Kritter Keeper, thank you. I only got to experience the shows via the very stylish and easy to maneuver fashionologie web site. Yes WWD, a periodical we got at the store where I worked. I went to market with my boss at the Chicago Merchandise Mart then, so great. I will come see your daddy cat right away.

Thanks for your enthusiastic visit!

Ruth said...

Babs, me too, as far as what I wear goes. And frankly I'm not sure how much I'd be into these shows if I weren't blogging about them. :-)

Ruth said...

Boots, thank you. When I doodle, it's usually in meetings, and I either doodle flowers or a person in the room. :)

Ruth said...

Hi, Mary! Thanks. And thank you for another cool blog recommendation! I think it's fun to put things together adventurously, picking up second-hand things here and there and creating good outfits.

Julie said...

Ruth, I love the way you think! Comparing the photos to the artwork is fantastic, and I love that you noticed Botticelli's colors in that first dress. Oh, my gosh...those colors are so awesome. I also love the red Prabal Gurung dress, and the model is gorgeous. I tend to be attracted to bold colors. Your post also reminds me of an old movie I saw recently called "Pandora and the Flying Dutchman" with Ava Gardner. The movie was predictable, but I couldn't stop watching, because of Ava Gardner's clothes. I wish I had the money to go shopping now...haha! You have inspired me, as you always do. This is a lovely and wonderful presentation!

Jeanie said...

Great photos and wonderful correlation with art! I saw what you saw as you described it! (And I love that pic of Hepburn and Holden!) All that color. Happy Jeanie.

Fashion -- I more than tolerate it. I just don't get into it for me.

Maybe when they come up with better designs for the Rubenesque and Botticelli-esque woman with bad feet, I'll like it more!

Ruth said...

Julie, oh Ava Gardner is so gorgeous and clothes love her. I can totally see why you thought of her from that red dress. She had a figure!

I suppose if I had money, and if I had a need, I would want to go shopping too. Too bad the furnace just fritzed and cost my arm and leg . . . maybe I should go as Venus de Milo. :)

Thanks so much, Julie.

Ruth said...

Jeanie, I like how the craze for Mad Men has made full figured girls popular . . . not that men ever thought they weren't. Mannequin thin (and thinner) is ridiculous and unhealthy. But since when does our western culture care about that?

Sorry about your feet though.

Thanks for your comment!

Arti said...

Of course, fashion can be wearable art. Yes, I'm afraid from these two words "can be", you can tell I'm not a die-hard fashion fan. But your post here is brilliant, you've chosen well you know. The fashion represented here are aesthetically pleasing. From the design of your layout, I can see the linkage and evidence that fashion can indeed be inspired by art.

Ruth said...

Arti, thank you for seeing. You have a wonderful eye yourself, for art in all media.

Anonymous said...

Jacqueline was Picasso's last wife...

Nathalie said...

Ruth what a fantastic post!
I was mesmerized by your finds and associations, I found them so apt and clever and relevant and inspiring and FUN !!!

I'm usually no fashionista but seeing fashion through your eyes has been an inspiring experience. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS !

deb colarossi said...

I can't tell you how much I need this hit of art and beauty.
You are a genius and a marvel .
I am all over the map with clothing. I am at home in gardening boots and buy one get non tummy tailor t-shirts as I am in colour or a black dress even when I'm the only one dressed up, my old coat when I could have put on the nicer one with a scarf, and borrowing my daughters fabulous bags and wearing leggings and a sweater dress and my brown riding boots.

Be one with the Fro said...

I love every single picture that you posted! I absolutely adore fashion and I agree that it's wearable art. The artist puts the same amount of thought, creativity, and time into their pieces ... just like a painter, a poet, a dancer, etc.

Stratoz said...

that was ambitious! If I had one vote I would say the Rothko is my fave

Peter said...

Really impressed! Some perfect comparisons! Fashion like this is defintely great art - also! Whether you would (be able to) buy something and wear it, is another question. But, I guess that the original paintings were not pictured from your walls either (or there are fakes in the museums)! :-)

Dutchbaby said...

I saw this from my reader way back when you first posted this. This is genius, Ruth! Your comparisons are spot-on. I was going to wear Audrey's Sabrina dress for Willow Ball until I found the Dior. I would love Jason Wu's version and I also the Degas/Herrera ensemble. Stunning!