Inside Voices

In the second to last episode of this last season of Project Runway, Tim Gunn made his customary home visits and then the designers showed mini collections on the runway and one more designer, was eliminated.  The next day, the online chatter was about the homes of the designers, Mondo’s black and white tiled studio, Andy’s Hawaiian fish farm, Gretchen’s boxes etc etc.

While it is true that so much of the fashion in this season’s episodes was really quite unremarkable, it felt like a distinct shift, we were watching a fashion reality competition and we were contemplating how these designers lived and what that meant for their work.  Somehow, the home was now interesting.

In March, Nicholas Ghesquiere showed Balenciaga’s Fall Winter 10 collection which recreated domestic textures like quilted potholders, magazine pages and formica counters on clothes in materials like cotton knits, shaved fur and leather.

photos of Balenciaga: style.com

The take was certainly bracingly modern, but, given the inspiration, nostalgic at the same time.  Personally, it made me think of the times I played dress-up with various household textiles and paper.  Except I ended up in costumes that were much more draped and much less constructed.

Soon after this showed, BBH unveiled their new offices in Shanghai, designed by Asylum.  Asylum chose to reflect on the rapid construction going on in Shanghai and chose a visual language of construction and makeshift spaces throughout the office.  This includes a double story bank of meeting rooms designed to look as if a home had been hacked in half.  Each meeting room is decorated like a room in a house, a kitchen, a bedroom, a bathroom and so on.

All photos of BBH offices from theartistandhismodel.

This juxtaposition of strangely intimate spaces with a glass wall exposed to the entire office would probably leave me feeling quite naked.  Or like a very kitsch version of a Marina Abramovic performance.

Did anyone else reading this follow the Spring Summer 11 fashion week with the intensity I did?  It used to be that there was only one website to go to: style.com. Then this season, every house and their mother was live streaming shows and to figure out where to see them, you had to go to the Mercedes Benz fashion week website, unless of course the designer was showing with Mac at Milk, in which case you had to go to their website.  It was complicated.  Also vogue.com started their thing and you had to go  see their videos.  Too too much.  There was a lot in New York that I was not excited about, mostly I just wanted to stare at the very delicious Prabal Gurung and Joseph Altuzara.  But Rodarte showed, and mostly wearable things too.  With prints inspired by wood paneling and delftware and such.

photos of Rodarte: vogue.com

You know it’s weird, this collection was hailed in the fashion press as being a huge breakthrough for Rodarte and I have to admit, it doesn’t feel that way to me, it feels heavy and somehow not as magical as previous collections inspired by such wildly divergent themes as Japanese horror movies and the town of Juarez.

When New York Fashion Week ended and the show moved to London, the chase for information changed, no longer was it about figuring out where to get the best and earliest information, the chase moved to finding the website that would have ANY information at all.

And I’m glad I found Mary Katrantzou.  treat your eyes to the pretty:

photos of Mary Katrantzou: style.com

Actual photos of interiors from Architectural Digest printed on fabrics, cut into outfits with bits of fabric added to create 3-d effect!  So Fracking Cute!

I love it when different people seem to be riffing on an idea in wildly disparate ways.  I love it when what they produce are so beautiful and capture the imagination.

Interiors and specifically home interiors.  Nesting and foreclosures.  Obviously, a selective picking through of cultural ephemera can put anything into focus as a trend, I mean, black is huge all the time  But this seems specific and perhaps not a trend, but to borrow from Rachel Zoe, “a moment”

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