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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

synchronizing art & fashion continued: New York Fashion Week Spring 2012

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I painted and designed clothes for fun when I was young. I should have done more with it. Maybe it’s not too late. One way I get my fill of art and fashion now is during the fashion shows when I challenge myself with a visual matching game between pieces of art and new clothes designs. I become a junky looking for color and pattern every day at Fashionologie to see when the next designer’s photos get loaded, and then I go scour online art galleries for matches. It’s creative hedonism. I ignore the news. I forget about poetry. It’s also creative masochism, as my right arm, shoulder and wrist ache with mouse overuse.

My arm will recover, and the somber and complex tapestries of the world will go on being spun without me paying attention for a week. Poems will keep. (But the pears wouldn’t, so Don and I canned six quarts of them after we got home from work last night; bruises and soft spots were spreading.) Of course I was also with our son Peter in spirit through his scary accident when our world did stand still. Thank you for your caring wishes, he is on his way to recovery after reconstructive surgery Monday.

Truly, I look forward to these creations as much as I look forward to morel mushrooms sprouting overnight after April rains when we practically crawl through the woods by the pond and the fallen apple tree scouting for their weirdly beautiful brainy patterns.

I am especially excited by one pairing today. You'll see why in a minute.


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Sometimes a girl just really gets lucky. I don't know how Zac Posen could have designed a suit to look any more Picasso-esque. That peplum on Posen's jacket: serious cubistic hips! Zac Posen, a Manhattanite, first began designing clothes as a boy when he stole yarmulkes from his grandparents' synagogue to make ball dresses for dolls. If you're into clothes like Zac, browse his entire collection of ball gowns, it's simply gorgeous.

Don't you wonder what's happening in this painting?

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 "Interior with a girl drawing" by Pablo Picasso

 Zac Posen suit with Picasso Peplum


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More cubism from Carolina Herrera. Every season this woman's designs knock me out with simple elegance, and this spring collection she does it again. There are actually many cubist paintings of gray that this dress reminded me of, by Braque and Picasso. I settled on Juan Gris.


Painting by Juan Gris



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Another designer who never fails to satisfy with her confident sense of design and beauty is Donna Karan. She manages to be playful with pattern without being silly. Some of her fabulous collection had pattern, like this, which instantly reminded me of this textile by Lucienne Day, though I had a time finding it, since I didn't know the artist's name. Now that I do, I have learned that Lucienne Day (who just died last year) was a British textile designer who was inspired by abstract art by the likes of Joan Miró, Wassily Kandinsky and Paul Klee. Hellooo! After the print pairing, see the graphic browns and blacks Donna Karan designed, which reminded me of Paul Klee's painting "Intention."


Lucienne Day's textile "Calyx"



"Intention" by Paul Klee


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Now here are my favorite pairings. My charming friend George is one of those people who does many things very well. He ponders, writes, travels, walks, paints, photographs and blogs with utter grace and beauty. If you are not yet familiar with his posts at Transit Notes, you are in for a treat for the eyes, mind and spirit. On his sidebar, George has posted a few of his stunning abstract paintings, and it suddenly occurred to me in my last fashion post a few days ago that I might be able to match his paintings with fashion this season. Although I'd hoped to match clothes with more paintings of George's than one (I'll keep looking), I confess I didn't expect to find anything this well matched, by two different designers: Timo Weiland and Peter Som. "Subterranean" is among my favorites of George's work, partly because it represents an invisible world where life swarms and vibrates, like the inner realms we discuss at his blog, the Rilke blog, and elsewhere.



 "Subterranean" by George McHenry of Transit Notes

Peter Som dress

Suit by Peter Som


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Consider the lilies how they grow: they toil not, they spin not; 
and yet I say unto you, that Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

~ Luke 12:27


And now for the local show room. These simple jewels around the farm are beautiful in color, form and pattern. Any designer would be envious, and I imagine that songwriter Solomon himself would compare them with his beloved . . . 

My beloved is unto me as a cluster of pokeberries . . .




As the goldenrod in the field glows like the sun, so my beloved's love is to me . . .



My beloved's lips are the color of the sumac blossom, and as soft . . .


You have stunned my eyes, my beloved, with even one of your lips,
red like the sumac leaf . . .



I have come to your garden, my beloved, and gathered your peppers, as colorful as the jewels of my temple, as sweet as flowers and as fiery as the days of our youth . . .



All fashion photos from Fashionologie.
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40 comments:

Marcie said...

These pairings of the artists' paintings and the fashion they've inspired are amazing. Each and every one - perfect! And thanks for the link to George's work. Truly a feast for the eyes!!!

Shari Sunday said...

Ruth, you are a genius at this. I see a beautiful and fascinating slick coffee table book. I would look at it again and again.

I'm sorry in my last comment that I somehow missed the part about Peter's accident. I hope he is OK soon.

Shari Sunday said...

BWT, The Picasso painting makes me think of a therapist sitting on the floor and taking notes about her distraught patient.

Margaret said...

With my flavored coffee and the smell of bacon (I didn't eat any, but the smell is a treat) swirling around me, I enjoyed your posts and caught up on all the ones I have missed. I adore your creativity with the fashions and art ... I think it would make a fantastic coffee table book! And I love George's painting!

I hope Peter is feeling better - broken bones are not fun. I have entered a whole new stage of "worry" ... children away from home and developing a mind of their own and saying "Mom, I'm 19 now..." I hold my tongue on SO many things I want to say, to advice them, caution them... HARDEST thing I have ever done!

Now I'm off for a walk with my son and maybe a trip to the Farmers Market... Those vegetables on the tray are gorgeous!

George said...

Thanks, Ruth, for your very kind words and your use of my painting in this wonderful post. I am both flattered and honored.

These pairings are a veritable feast for the eyes, and they remind me of one of the core principles of art: The human eye is always looking for good design, regardless of the thing being observed or experienced.

George said...

P.S. — I forgot to mention that I love your photos of the treasures found in your own backyard gallery. The tray of colorful vegetables is wonderful from many perspectives, not the least of which is the prospect that they might be dowsed with a little olive oil, sprinkled with a few herbs, and roasted for a fine dinner.

hedgewitch said...

Just delightful, Ruth, and I am virtually massaging your right arm and shoulder so they can go on compiling these visual treats. I enjoyed the comparisons while finding some of this round of offerings a bit grotesque(and the alien lady modeling the brown and black ones rather deliberately ugly,) but the dresses were all interesting to look at as creations of the imagination and visions of the feminine, particularly the last ones compared to your friend's lovely painting. Your own garden photographs and their captions was frosting on the drip-dry, cool-iron-only linen cake.

Good to know the surgery went well--best wishes for your son's quick recovery, and thanks for all the work that went into assembling these fascinating combinations. Greatly enjoyed them.

Maureen said...

What marvelous pairings! You have a great eye.

So pleased to know your son's surgery went all. Wishing him a speedy and full recovery.

Shattered said...

Those pairings are amazing! You have a wonderful eye for color. I dabble in sewing clothes (mainly for my daughter). Quilting is my first love and my fabric stash is something I'm both proud and ashamed of. ;) I could look at beautiful textiles all day long; thanks for sharing today!

Jennifer

Elizabeth said...

What a magical post!
How clever ( and right!) you are in your pairings.
I also enjoyed your splendidly rich nature photos.
Wonderful indeed.

Grandmother said...

Your choices are a visual feast- the fashion and the art. These are such a unique, gorgeous, creative pairings. One enhances the other and makes up look at both differently. I love this!
Glad your son's surgery went well. Quick healing to him.

steven said...

ruth - this is what i call a "saturday post" because it will be a dream to look at and read on a saturday morning soon, over coffee that can be stretched over whatever amount of time i wish it to. i wished to be a clothes and show designer long ago. but other bits of life grabbed me first! steven

Barb said...

I love when you do these pairings, Ruth - so creative. AND - I admire George's abstracts but never thought of wearing them. Perhaps he'll start a new career?

Jeanie said...

I love how you connect the art to the fashion -- these are just fascinating. (Cubism might be the best -- or George's!).

Pears, sound divine. And I'm very concerned about Peter. Will this affect his musicianship? Don't you love the fall harvest? I sure do!

Oliag said...

So much fun again Ruth! Such perfect matches! I can imagine you looking through museum sites to find the perfect fit:) I thought my favorite was going to be the Herrera again(I think it was last year)...but then I saw the Donna Karan/Lucienne Day and fell in love. Good thing I have no where to wear it:)

Happy to read that Peter is doing well...ah youth!

erin said...

you, my dear ruth, and your excitement, your fascination, makes me smile so deeply. i feel your fervor. and i am startled once again by what can only be a common vein that runs through us all.

xo
erin

Arti said...

Ruth, this is just marvellous... juxtaposing fashion with art and artists, colors and composition, even Cubism, Biblical allusions, not only that, with the verses from Song of Solomon. I've enjoyed your 'fashions' posts. To me, they're educational. :) And of course, the photos of your farm and its fruits are nature's beauty manifest.

nathalie (Avignon) said...

Ruth, I LOVE the work you do, pairing clothing and paintings, there's something intensely inspiring about your work. It seems so RIGHT every time, you are amazingly talented. Thanks for this, it's just wonderful.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Marcie! And I'm so glad you visited George's place. His photographs of nature, architecture and anything really, are fine art. The times he does photographic abstracts are remarkable. With your photographic eye, I knew you would be pleased!

Ruth said...

Shari, thanks for your enthusiasm over my little matching game! It tells me that maybe we all get great pleasure from pattern, color and form. There's something about the serendipity of it that really delights me too.

Thank you so much for your well wishes for Peter. No worries that you didn't see it at first. He is doing very well, feeling much better (which makes me feel much better, of course).

Interesting take on the Picasso! Whatever the girl in green is doing (drawing, or therapy, or both), her feet look more comfortable than Zac Posen's model's.

Ruth said...

Yikes, Margaret . . . bacon. Mmmm.

I'm glad you enjoyed my little match game, my color puzzle, my pattern patchouli. Isn't George's painting gorgeous? He has quite an eye for placing just the right elements at just the right space. As an artist, I'm glad you enjoy his paintings . . . but how could you not?

Peter is much better, thank you. He says as long as you don't touch his jaw, he's fine. :-)

I had never seen brown peppers before. Don's garden produce is fabulous this year.

Ruth said...

Dear George, you are welcome, and thank you in turn for the use of your beautiful painting here. I must say that while the patterns and colors Peter Som and Timo Weiland used are wonderfully matched with your painting, I like your painting more than I like those dresses. "Subterranean" is simply gorgeous! and it is almost as if they used it as fabric. I spent so much time with your other paintings on your blog that I became disappointed that no designers had drawn inspiration from them as I had! But I envision what they could be . . . my eye always looking for good design.

Thanks for your comments about my photos. The peppers really are incredible. I stuffed six of them the other evening, and they were delicious. Roasting the others as you describe sounds delicious. This is a busy time of harvest and preserving the fruits of this farm. I'm exhausted! :-)

Ruth said...

Thank you, Hedge, on all counts. My arm feels better!

I am often either abhorred or bemused by the styles designers use for hair, face, legs in these shows. These sleek, almost bald heads seem to try to minimize any individuality, letting the dresses take the stage. I remember one designer one year who created a woodsy fairy-fawn theme, and the models wore three-inch false eyelashes. One day I'd love to sit by the runway and just feel the entertainment of the scene.

Thank you [ever] for your good wishes for Peter's recuperation. He seems to be doing very well, and as a result I can feel my sighs lessening and my shoulders relaxing. While we were in the thick of anxiety about it all, I had to be busy with these matches, and it really helped to be so occupied. Thanks for your appreciation so much.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Maureen, I'm glad you like these matches. And thank you so much for your wishes for Peter's recuperation, which is going well, better than we could have hoped.

Ruth said...

Thanks, Jennifer! I used to sew for my daughter too, and I sewed quilts, and my fabric stash is also a thing of wonder and shame! :-) In fact my daughter was a fibers minor in art school, and we have her pieces all around the house, weavings, batik, etc. I love it all! And now I am using fabric for sewing something for her baby on his way . . . !

Ruth said...

Oh Elizabeth, abundant thanks for your enthusiasm!

Ruth said...

Mary, thanks so much for enjoying my matches. They are delightful serendipity to me, and knowing you like seeing them too makes me happier! Thanks also for your well wishes for Peter. He is doing so well!

Ruth said...

steven, you made me smile, and I thought of the Saturday Evening Post. It's fun knowing you wanted to be a clothes and show designer too. Your artistic eye is very evident at your blogs and in your writing where you infuse beauty every day.

Ruth said...

Barb, thank you much, and wonderful idea for George! I see so many possibilities, which is a sure sign that when an artist is truly inspired, he inspires others.

Brendan said...

You sure have a fantastic eye for seeing nature in culture and culture in nature. A rare degree of synethesia. And that it carries over so well from image to word, well ... Goody for us. - Brendan

Ruth said...

Dear Jeanie, well I have since emailed you about Peter, but he is doing well. He will need to recover a while, and hopefully next month he can perform.

I'm glad you love these matches, and George's glorious colors and forms.

Ruth said...

Oliag, you and I are so well matched in taste. :D The Karan/Day pair are my faves too.

Thanks much for your concerns for Peter. He has felt well loved, and that can't help but promote healing.

Ruth said...

erin, it is beautiful, to feel the beating enthusiasm of another, and harmonize. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Arti, I think if I had to describe my avocation in this life in one word, it would be: connection. I seem them constantly, and it gives me great pleasure. Thank you.

Ruth said...

Hi, Nathalie! How great to see you, and smell Paris and France and Avignon in the autumn air today. Thanks for your enthusiastic encouragement.

Ruth said...

Brendan, thanks for imbibing. I can only mourn somewhat that we don't, and can't possibly, express and share all the beauty and connections we see and feel. As erin says, she would like to give everyone voice. Maybe I would like to give everyone visual displays. There is so much inspiration all around.

amy@ Souldipper said...

The abundance of colour, design, artforms, poetic text - it must be the outward celebration of your delight that Peter is well.

Susan said...

As beautiful and brilliant as your pairings of fashion and art, I have to say that the pairings of nature's beauty with Solomon's sensual writings nearly bring me to tears. You have a way about you, my friend.

Ginnie said...

When you do these pairings, Ruth, I get the biggest smile! I can see how much fun it is for you...like time standing still. You really could make a great art book out of this idea. I love it.

I also love how you added the delicacies from your yard to Solomon's glory, outstripping him!

Lesley Anne said...

i love it when you do the fashionista posts!! i just picture you searching for hours for the perfect paintings to match the gorgeous outfits. i would wear ALL of those dresses! can you picture me picking my son up from school wearing that last Peter Som outfit? i would totally wear that. :)

i also LOVE the photo of the peppers and currently have it as my wallpaper. that would be so beautiful printed and framed in your kitchen! and maybe my kitchen too!

much love.