Sunday, November 29, 2015

Under the Sea

This time of year always brings with it mild fall temperatures with a touch of sunshine that beckon you to come outside. Day’s like today have perfect weather for exploring a park, hiking trails and forests. 

But what if the park was underwater? Parks are no longer limited to dry land thanks to artist Jason deCaires Taylor. He was the first artist to create an underwater sculpture park. 

His most recent sculpture was in the London’s River Thames. The installation was titled “Rising Tide.” The rise of the tide slowly covers the sculptures, revealing the frailty of man. 

The works are designed to allow humans to interact with underwater habitats. Scuba diving in these parks can bring you face to face with man made art, as well as the natural art of the sea life that begin to call these sculptures home. 

The sculptures transform from inanimate objects to pieces that provide the foundation for new life. 

You can visit a museum of over 500 works submerged off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. 

Saturday, November 21, 2015

The Scandalous Empress

Inspired by the spirit of Rome, the Fall 2015 couture collection for Valentino showcased designs worthy of a Roman Empress. 

The tunic dress styles, flowing fabrics and gilded jewelry were reminiscent of the controversial Empress Messalina.
Scandal is nothing new, and Messalina was at the heart of many controversies in the world of ancient Rome. Noted as quite a beauty, it's said that her soon-to-be husband, Claudius, was left drooling in her presence. 

When Claudius is Away, Messalina will Play, 1911 by A. Pigma

After marrying Claudius, Messalina, did anything necessary to protect her position. Rumors of affairs, adultery and murder were left in her wake. There was even speculation that she ran a brothel under a secret name and forced upper class women to work in the establishment.

Messalina has inspired the imaginations of many, including this 1951 Italian film and 1960s novel. 

An Empress is a far cry from a gladiator, but the collections gives gladiators the royal treatment in rich fabrics and detailing. We can easily imagine Messalina wearing garments like these as she interacted with the gladiators in the Colosseum. 

 Messalina may not have been the most admirable of women, but she does show how colorful history can be. Though we don't aspire to her scandalous intrigue, we can imagine the power and beauty she exuded and translate it to modern day through the lens of Valentino. 
Charlotte Wolter as Messalina, 1875 by Hans Makart

Melting Beauty

Imagine kayaking through a glacier filled landscape, taking in the scenery, to suddenly find a woman emerging from the depths of the water. It might be a little scary, maybe slightly eerie.
Now imagine a world of vast oceans. The glaciers are gone, as are the animals that called them home. This too would be a little scary and slightly eerie. 

With glaciers melting and ecosystems threatened, surfer turned artist Sean Yoro decided to speak about the subject through his art. Words are not necessary as the art's lifespan draws attention to the state of climate change. The pieces are painted on the sides of glaciers. After hours of work, he knows the art will soon melt back into the ocean water. 
Located in remote areas, Yoro presents them to "ignite a sense of urgency toward climate change in those who stumble upon the murals," as he told CNN Style

Though we may never stumble upon one of his murals in the natural setting, we can still appreciate their beauty and the strength of their message. 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Barbie Girl

She's one of the most recognizable fashion icons. She travels from the beach house, to the boardroom, to the operating room. She makes rocket science and landing on the moon look easy. Her name is known across the globe…Barbie. 
In recent years her name has become less known as the top choice of doll and more known as potentially spreading a negative body image message. However, the tide seems to be turning as people begin to recognize the fact that Barbie has promoted over 150 careers. Take a look at this amazing new commercial from Mattel. 
Not just about looking a certain way, Barbie shows that girls can do anything.

She even proved to be an inspiration from Moschino designer, Jeremy Scott, in a recent collection
Models sauntered down the runway in bubblegum pink and platinum wigs. The designer even played with the font of the iconic Barbie logo, but instead, plaster the designs with the Moschino name. 
The collection blended classic Barbie reference with Moschino details like the chain belts and cheeky accessories. 

If you can't picture yourself in head-to-toe pink a la Barbie, you can get a piece of the Moschino style with the Barbie collection that hit earlier this week. 
Fifty years after her debut, Barbie proves to be an everlasting icon and that this truly is a Barbie world.

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The Art of Fashion

Is fashion art? Certain types of art can be in fashion, but is the reverse also true? These are just a couple of questions that swirl between the fashion and art worlds. 
Designers Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren decided to further the conversation with a recent couture collection for their Viktor & Rolf label. Canvases collapsed into multi-dimensional designs that were worn by the models on the runway. By the end of the show, these sculptural pieces adorned the walls of the gallery. 
The fabric of the skirts and gowns acted as the canvas for painterly interpretations of fine art. Instead of trims and standard stitched edges, the designs were trimmed in structural materials to serve as the frames of the art work. 
Not only artistic in their designs, Viktor and Rolf also produced the runway show as a type of performance art. They displayed the stages of putting on the piece and then removing it to hang on a gallery wall, which questions the point at which the fashion can become art. 

Is it more valuable as a garment on a couture runway, or does it only gain artistic value once it hangs on a wall in the museum? 
It's an interesting notion of not only how we treat fashion, but also how we view fine art. The collection certainly serves as a conversation starter for these thoughts and questions, but the answers remain to be seen. 

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