Sunday, October 04, 2015

True Blue

Since 2012, the RICHMOND MURAL PROJECT has been sponsoring talented artists from all over the world in an effort to establish Richmond, Virginia as an international destination for art. The founder, Shane Pomajambo, believes that the many murals around the city will help promote tourism and support local business. It is currently the largest grouping of murals in the U.S.

After being introduced to the project by a friend and wanting to support the arts, I headed out to explore what the city had to offer. I wore my STELLA MCCARTNEY Ridley Stretch Cady Dress from the Resort 2012 collection. When I came across the frock in store, it didn't have much hanger appeal, but the striking blue did appeal to me in a way that meant I had to try it on. The classic seam work and subtle top stitching was a winning combination. I couldn't decide if the dress seemed more azure or perhaps cerulean, but I did decide that it was coming home with me. My only alteration was a shortened hem. I paired the dress with my beige GUCCI Noah half D'orsay patent leather heels and LULU FROST jewelry. The necklace features two chains, one gold, one silver, several small diamond like studs, and an interwoven yellow ribbon.

I discovered this impressive mural by TAYLOR WHITE. Located at 100 S. Addison Street in the Carytown neighborhood, it appears to be a human body in shades of blue and purple intertwined with what I interpreted as life in the form of stranded ropes. Life being something that consistently keeps us enveloped and is inescapable. White states that her "work is an unending pursuit of the delicate harmony that exist in that sweet spot between order and chaos." This statement easily holds true for me by simply replacing her "work" for fashion. My love for the art of fashion is something that sometimes manifests as chaotic, but it never fails to provide a sense of order in my life. But, I wouldn't want it any other way...


Saturday, August 29, 2015

From The Fashion Library - Gods And Kings The Rise and Fall of Alexander McQueen and John Galliano

GODS AND KINGS THE RISE AND FALL OF ALEXANDER MCQUEEN AND JOHN GALLIANO is the latest book from Dana Thomas, author of DELUXE: HOW LUXURY LOST ITS LUSTER. It is an in depth look at the lives and work of two of the most gifted and skilled designers London has ever produced. Lee Alexander McQueen was and will always be one of my favorite designers and I often read about his life and work however, this was my first time reading about John Galliano. While his aesthetic doesn't always speak to me personally, I still very much appreciate his art and craftsmanship.

Initially upon hearing about this book, I wondered why Thomas chose to write about these two designers together, but after just reading the introduction, it was very clear. The similarities these two shared were many; supportive mothers, romantic theatricalism, and an undeniable talent. Unfortunately, they also shared a substance abuse problem, destructive behaviors, and sometimes violent tempers. Their timelines mirrored each other so closely that it made me wonder were the similarities, both good and bad, the real recipe for their genius?

In the end, both would succumb to the pressures of commerce and profits. In 2010, McQueen hung himself with a belt in his wardrobe and nearly a year later Galliano had a series of very public drunken episodes in restaurants and cafes. Thomas points out that several other prominent designers have endured nervous breakdowns, drug overdoses, and bouts of depression. The businesses of fashion and the people who run them demand a constant stream of creative production and unfortunately, the artists suffer. When the artist suffers, so does the art.

With GODS AND KINGS, Thomas does an extraordinary job of shedding light on the darker side of the fashion industry, much like she did with DELUXE, and tells the stories of two brilliant artists that is equally beautiful as it is tragic.


Sunday, June 28, 2015

The True Cost

Two thousand and fifteen is proving to be an excellent year for fashionable films. So far there have been stories of haute couture, stylish icons who collect jewelry, and now a film about the clothes we wear and the people who make them. Over the last couple of years, I've read several books about ethical production and sustainability, but none of them have had the visual impact that this does. After watching THE TRUE COST I only had one question. How has something as necessary and beautiful as fashion become so ugly? 

Fashion is a $3 trillion dollar industry with one 1 in every 6 people alive in the world today working in some part of the global fashion game. This makes it the most labor dependent industry on earth. The economic and social importance can not be denied and shouldn't be thought of as trivial. 

Fast Fashion however, is a culture of disposable excess. Companies knowingly distribute poor quality merchandise at low prices in hopes that you will buy more. This type of excess has produced landfills full of non-biodegradable waste, contaminated water supplies, and poor working conditions in developing countries. In 2013, Bangladesh suffered the worst garment factory disaster in history. Unsafe working conditions at Rana Plaza cost over 1,100 people their lives. This is a price that no one can afford to pay. 

Directed by Andrew Morgan and produced by Livia FirthTHE TRUE COST is a powerful documentary that will help everyone understand the perils and realities associated with fast fashion's abuse of cheap labor. The plain truth is fashion isn't always pretty, but we can no longer afford to continue turning a blind eye and absolve ourselves of any responsibility. Become an educated consumer and learn to be more discerning with your purchases. It's okay to care about the people who make your clothes and the impact it has on our environment. This isn't just a film for fashion people, this is a film for anyone who puts on clothes in the morning. This means you.