The Costume Bleg

05May09

A bleg = blog + beg — i.e., using a blog to beg for information.

Note: I beg here for what inspires YOU…MINIMAL OR MAXIMAL?

GIve me silence, a white snowy expanse, an open infinity pool, a Rothko, a clear blue sky and sea and I am full or overstimulate me to the point of fainting from a cacophony of senses.  Anything in between, forced, half-baked, adopted without reason or humor or complete abandon will annoy me.  

What appears on the red-carpets of Galas and Award events usually falls into the “annoy” category and yet many women do actually understand how to work the formula for good taste and spontaneity.  For New York City’s Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute’s “The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion” opening last night, May 4th, there were many inspiring muses and I especially appreciate the annoyance of the not so beautiful ones which has inspired this BLEG from me to make events like this more inspiring and legendary.

FIRST…THE WINNER.

THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS…ALEK WEK

alex-wek1

BEG ONE.  PLEASE WAKE ME UP!

I beg you…Vogue…is it not time to wake up and shake in your “inside-of-a-codfish-blue” sweater set that influences millions… that maybe actually the street, style bloggers and underground dandies and performers have much more influence on fashion than models?  If last year’s Superheroes exhibit left me with my head shaking the theme alone of this event is already making me quiver to see the inside of the museum. 

The official wording of exhibition says it will examine “the reciprocal relationship between high fashion and evolving ideals of beauty and will focus on iconic fashion models of the 20th century and their roles in projecting, and sometimes inspiring, the fashion of their respective eras.”  

HO-HUM.

“We are trying to sell magazines today kidz.”

 

OK, I take off my “annoyed” turban to comment upon Kate.  The Moss, here dressed by her co-host Marc Jacobs in role of Queen Muse.  Her turban was custom designed by Stephan Burrows.  I like it. She wins, where Lopez and others have failed.

mark-jacobs-and-kate1

oluchi

Oluchi Onweagba in Oscar de la Renta is like a bold illustration, this is a model whose red carpet does inspire.  This is the look of a muse.

One color looks like Kate’s or the classic power of black and white done well will go a long way on the carpet. Thanks go to the legendary muse Coco Chanel for adopting the black and white power colors and emblems of men and their boyish interplay with the female body and attitude.  This is classic good stuff.  I guess Coco’s trousers and cigarette back in the day = Kate’s candy.  (Coming to the screen soon, muse Audrey Tautou as Coco Chanel)

 

Coco Chanel

Coco Chanel

BEG TWO: PLEASE INVITE THE REAL NEW MUSES!

As a publicist who works with many designers, editors and stylists I completely understand the beauty of models and their personal style.  But if there is anyway to position yourself as old-fashioned and perhaps not viable, it would be to ignore what has always driven fashion and style and now more than ever…individuals way outside of the comfort zone of class and race and society’s red carpets.  Brands like Vogue do just that and it’s becoming so boring.

The legendary models in the exhibit, Lisa Fonssagrives-Penn, Dovima, Suzy Parker, Sunny Harnett, and Dorian Leigh are highlighted in the exhibit but this was another era when all it took was beauty, a visionary photographer (and maybe some dramatic elephants) to make one sheath come alive. 

avedon

What if there were 50 random invites sent to street style experts like those bloggers I so admire such as the Queens at The Kingdom of Style, some random invites to the best Harajuku kids plus the winners of  The Alertnative Miss World contest.  (hmm… interesting typo: Alert-native for Alternative…) Everyone knows this is where looks originate that end up on Paris and London runways.  Now that would be an inspiring Costume Gala.  Legendary.  A model of ingenuity, perfect for the times.

BEG THREE: THE COLLABORATION OF TALENT IS KINDA THE NEW NEWS!

While it is true that anyone with the goods can be a model, it is still the the art directors and designers who are the actual muses and visionaries who determine the face of the moment.

Fashion historian and co-curator Kohle Yohannan,(whom I met while he was Mary McFadden’s muse/boyfriend, sporting tennis whites), who worked with the Met’s curator-in-charge Harold Koda,  commented:  “You look at those women and you understand what it meant to be modern in that time.” 

 “I think that any woman that inspires other women to want to lead the life that she lives – that’s a muse.” 

That inspiration comes from the team of talent and before all that from the artists, designers and culture makers themselves who use the model as their canvas.  If she or he is smart and is winking through the canvas…then you have a Muse.  Kohle, yes, your explanation PLUS mystery, interplay of tension and seduction…an interplay between creators and models.

BEG FOUR: KEEP IT SIMPLE!

THE MINIMALS

Ashley Olsen attends "The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion" Cost

So if personality is a blank canvas…I beg you…is this what Ashley Olsen was thinking?

flavia-and-chanel Flavia de Oliveira and Chanel Iman in Zac Posendaria-werbowy1    Daria Werbowy in Balmain

anna-jagodzinska                                                         Anna Jagodzinska in Altuzarra and…

carmen-kass3                         Carmen Kass here in black Michael Kors are Muses of Minimal Sexy                                                  

natalia4
kate-bosworthA flash of pink or skin always works, Natalia Vodianova in pink Fortuny and Kate Bosworth in Stella McCartneypatrick-robinson-virginia-smithDesigner, Patrick Robinson and Virginia Smith Of Vogue

ciara

Ciara in Emilio Pucci, the last word in black and white simplicity, with Peter Dunder

BEG FIVE: GIVE ME INTELLIGENCE AND STIMULATION AND BANJI-REALNESS!

THE MAXIMALS

liya-kebedeDerek Lam dress on Liya Kebede.  Her husband Kassy, behind her is also a favorite gentleman of mine…

 

anja-rubik1 Anja Rubik in Balmain

claudia-schiffer1 Caudia Schiffer in Atelier Versace

lou-doillonHaute Lou Doillon goes bezerk yet it works.  With Oliver Theyskens on her arm and wearing Nina Ricci

lauren-hutton1Lauren Hutton with and in Michael Kors, accessorized in Imperfection.  Skiing accident remains, famous imperfect teeth and sexy realness.  SHE WINS TOO!

BEG FIVE: CAN WE FINALLY APPRECIATE THE NUANCES THAT MAKE US LAUGH AND MAKE US NOT BELONG TO ANYTHING , BUT BE WEIRDLY AND SMARTLY TOSSED INTO ORIGINALITY?

andrew-logn-and

MY FINAL BEG.  

Make sure you see Andrew Logan’s Alternative Miss World. In 1976, he hosted the Valentine’s Ball at which the Sex Pistols first got noticed and counts among his close friends and fans some of the world’s best Muses…Brian Eno, Derek Jarman, David Hockney, Zandra Rhodes, Divine and Anita Roderick.

Miss Alternative World video.

CAN WE HAVE MORE FUN AND LESS PLASTIC SURGERY?

BEG FINALE: WHAT INSPIRES YOU?  MINIMAL, MAXIMAL, FOREIGN LANDS AND PEOPLE, MUSEUMS, TINY FLOWERS IN THE DIRT, GLOWING COMPUTER SCREENS, REALLY GOOD COCKTAILS?  TELL ME.  I BEG YOU!

written by Jade Dressler


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3 Responses to “The Costume Bleg”

  1. 1 Michelle Barge

    Great arm chair traveling to the Met. Lauren is awesome; post awesome.
    Did you coin a phrase “bleg”?!? love it.
    MB

  2. Glad you enjoyed the trip darlin. Bleg is not mine, but it’s so cute.


  1. 1 The Costume Bleg

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