Tag Archives: fashion

Spending my 25th with Alexander McQueen at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

20 Jul

I turned 25 this year, it’s hard to believe I am a quarter of a century old, or think of all the things I have seen in my life thus far and what I will be able to witness in my coming years. I can only hope its amazing!

For my birthday this year my mom and I took the Megabus up to New York City for the day. It was her first time visiting the big apple. We went to all the girly places: the Hello Kitty store, Sephora and finally The Metropolitan Museum of Art, to see the retrospective show celebrating the mad genius that was Lee Alexander McQueen. To say Alexander McQueen was a major influence on me as an artist would be a major understatement, he was like the big bang to my tiny solar system of ideas and influences, everything kind of fell into place with him in the middle of them. He had a clear vision, he knew what story he wanted to tell and when I looked at his clothing I was always able to get it, get his story and understand what he was trying to put out into the world. This is something as an artist I struggle to do, I’m sure Alexander McQueen struggled with his vision(s) and how to make them come alive, and It’s something that I have to work on…..very hard on.

The line for the exhibition was an hour-long and wound around all the way to the ancient near east section. It was a long but totally worth while wait. The exhibition had everything from his masters collection to his time at Givenchy to his last collection: Plato’s Atlantis. I was in sensory overload just walking into the first gallery and completely overwhelmed by the time I reached the Kate Moss hologram recreation.

But the clothes the clothes. I would have killed for those clothes. I especially loved the coat with gold bullion detail from his Dante collection once owned and worn by the late Isabella Blow (who discovered and helped cultivate McQueen’s career).

Coat from McQueen's Dante collection

Another item I was really excited to see was The Oyster Dress. I have been in love with the Oyster Dress since 2003ish when I saw it featured in Vogue. The story behind the Irere collection the Oyster Dress is from, is one of a shipwreck. However when I first saw the dress all I could think about was Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus for some reason. The way the dress was constructed is just amazing. It was created from hundreds of thousands of organza circles stitched together to give the skirt an oyster shell detail. This dress gives a whole new meaning to time-consuming detail work. I want to wear it soo bad. Occasionally I daydream what my wedding dress will look like and The Oyster Dress always, always, always comes to mind. The dress is romantic, it ripples and moves like water. I have no other words to describe the Oyster Dress other than beautiful perfection. I want it, I would even be happy with a Barbie sized version of it, at least my Barbie will look fabulous.

Oyster Dress from Alexander McQueen's 2003 Spring/Summer Irere Collection

The exhibition ended with five ensembles from Plato’s Atlantis, the last collection Alexander McQueen showed before his death. It was a good ending to his retrospective.  I would have liked for them to carry it on though, through to present day, to see how Sarah Burton has continued to carry McQueen’s torch. Staying both true to his sense of design and  her’s. Maybe mentioning that Kate Middleton’s wedding dress is a McQueen, and how it has set bridal trends for a new generation of women who want to look like a princess.

The  rest of the trip was good, other than the fact that I did not realize NYC subway stations are not all handicap accessible. I think my mom just about killed herself trying to climb all those stairs. It was rough. I guess I have just been spoiled by the Baltimore and Washington D.C. subway stations. The ride home was okay, Megabus was late by like and hour and a half and then the bathroom on the bus was broken and sloshing…can you say gross?

Misty Gamble

12 Oct

Last Friday, the ceramics department hosted a demo/workshop of how our artist in residence Misty Gamble works, she demoed for us her techniques in building large structures as well as how she achieves the textures and finishes. She showed us her source images and she is totally right when she says that the child beauty pageant queens are always the scariest ( as well as have the ugliest cup cakiest gown). Here are some images from Friday.

I consider myself an artist and yet i am labeled a craftsmen

5 Sep

  I waver on the word of craft and what I think crafts are, usually when i think of the word crafts, i think of home projects you make on saturday afternoons at the dinner table with your mom and siblings. And when I entered art school I never imagined the word craft being used in a context to descibe a type of work, like ceramics, printmaking and fiber arts, all forms of “crafts” that I work in and make work in. maybe it was my art world naiveity. But in art school I learned that the type of work I like to make is contextualized as crafts, and are part of the crafts movement, which always left me with a dirty taste in my mouth and a demeening feeling about my work, which made me start questioning who the hell are these people that have the ability to catagorize fine art and craft art?

What makes a craft a craft, and who says so? When I think of the word craft I always think about how that work is made, the detail and treatment paid to it. Why are ceramics and prints considered “crafts” and painting and scultpting considered fine arts, is there not craft in that type of work? Are there not technical aspects in painting, like there are in ceramics? And why is anything involving fiber cinsidered a craft? Is making clothing not a fine art form? I’m sure Coco Chanel and Cristobal Balenciaga thought of themselves as fine artists with excellent craftsmenship. Or are these art forms considered “crafts” because they tend to be mainly utilitarian? Or is it because they can be associated with women, and the things that our mothers and grandmothers liked to do in the basement while the we their children were at school. 

I understand or at least am trying to understand the history of craft, the region of art making that I have been placed into. I can see the giant strides of artists and the art world towards accepting crafts into the fine art world, yet I don’t understand why money is the main divider, and is the object of affection by not only the art world but the dealers and historians as well. It bothers me that terrible drawings on xerox paper can be consider fine art and are sold for tons of money yet when ceramics, jewellery and hand made books are up for sale it seems outrageous to ask for a far price, that considers, materials used and time taken. And while yes many things in the craft world can be mass produced, someone originally designed them and made them, and then they were copied. For example at target there is a dinner set that I like, it is stoneware, 16 pieces, square plates blue and brown. I know I’ve seen pieces like it at craft fares, and ceramics conventions, and yet I am too cheap to buy them(well i would im just poor) a set like this hand made should and would coat something upwards of 2-300 dollars, at target I can get it for 60. Big difference. 

 

Why is it that money dictates the art world just like it dictates the rest of the world? 
In my time spent in the crafts world, I sometimes think I am okay with being labeled as crafts and yet at other times not so much. I have realized though that at looking at grad schools, generally the “crafts” areas have better facilities and more students. As well special names for their departments.