As if I didn’t have enough (black and white) stripes in my closet, I still can’t get my mind off this Buzz Tee by WHiT. Loose-knit cotton, tiny front panel detailing, and the boatneck cut make it an effortless, timeless garment. I just think it’s so charming.
THE Met Gala, one of few remaining places where theatricality in fashion is not only welcomed, it’s encouraged. The fashion party of the year brings out the most outrageous in fashion design, but is bold and extravagant design dying out, as we see minimalism and ready-to-wear concepts becoming more prominent?
In Nostalgic for Theatrical Fashion, writer JULIA PARFENYUK takes a look at the history of theatrical design, questioning whether the emotional thrill and dramatic concepts explored by Alexander McQueen, Karl Lagerfield, John Galliano and Viktor&Rolf, are being extinguished by industry forces.
Workspaces: The Violin Sisters - Angela and Jennifer Chun
IN Workspaces, frank visits the creative spaces of contemporary cultural, artistic and fashion influencers to photo-document where the magic happens.
We met Angela and Jennifer Chun in New York City’s Chinatown for a Chinese New Year dinner - Peking duck and all. The sisters have forged a place for themselves in the music industry as an intense violin duo. They have played for many of the world’s most prominent conductors and orchestras, including Ivan Fischer, Andre Previn, the London Bach Orchestra and Camerata Salzburg, to name a (very) few. Their enigmatic musical talent is conveyed in their personalities. It’s no wonder that The Strings magazine raved about them:
The Chuns have gobs of style and glamour, and play with an intensity and sense of purpose that few music lovers an resist.
Later on in the week, we met up with Angela and Jennifer at the ET Modern Gallery in New York (one of their favourite places to get inspired and where they’ve played several collaborative concerts), for a private mini-concert, a cup of tea and chocolates!
The violin cases protect our precious violins! Angela plays a 1734 Domenico Montagnana violin and Jennifer plays a 1662 Nicoli Amati named “Goding”. We are so lucky to have these violins. It’s the equivalent to finding your soulmate, in this case - a lifetime of music making. The violin is your voice.
The insides of our violin cases, which we’ve been traveling with for the past 20 years, reminds us how unusual of a life we’ve lived so far. Music carried us to so many places and allowed us to meet so many exceptional people, from the Dalai Lama to Margaret Thatcher to Prince Charles, and even UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon.
Looking back, it makes us smile thinking about how much fun we’ve had. Through our performances, we deliver our hearts and souls to the audiences.
For us, work places are the concert stages all over the world. From Carnegie Hall in New York, The Kennedy Center in Washington, Royal Opera House in London, to small place like the “Culture Club” in Budapest, Hungary.
Our most recent performance was at the ET Modern Gallery in New York, where we collaborate with world famous statistician Edward Tufte’s video art “Wavefields” with our Arvo Part music. We have long been enthusiastic of modern art - especially modern sculpture - and as soon as we walked into the Tufte space, we felt an odd sense of comfort.
frank’s note: Inside the E. Tufte Gallery, one of his metal sculptures that incorporates movement, light and nature - in three dimensions!
Over the years in our career we became best known for contemporary music - we are always trying new works and new sounds.
We also became quite selective of the concerts and repertiore we play. We recorded “Bartok 44 Duos” with Harmoina Mundi which was released in 2010 - with a pleasant surprise it became best seller that year. We also love to collaborate with other genres and visual artists to create multimedia concerts.
“Unforgettable”, Concerto for Two violins and Orchestra, commissioned by philanthropist and close friend of ours George Soros. Composed by Grawemeyer Award-winner American composer George Tsontakis, premiered for Aspen Music Festival 60th Anniversary.
Angela & Jennifer Chun - Bartok 44 Violin Duos - Harmonia Mundi
If you love what you hear, you can buy their CD on their website.
Or better yet, catch the Chun sisters this summer in Venice Biennale 2013, at the Aspen Music Festival, in Colorado and at the Salzberg Music Festival in Austria (where they have also been teaching for ten years!).
Previous on Workspaces: We visit Uhuru Design’s headquarters in lively Brooklyn, New York and meet Haylee and Gordo - their friendly office dogs!
Photographs by Alina Kulesh and Irene Kim.
Videos, Cover Photo, and CD Photo courtesy of Angela and Jennifer Chun.
TAKING a page from the UK’s Graduate Fashion Week, which launched talents such as Christopher Bailey and Stella McCartney, China presented its first ever Graduate Fashion Week in Beijing. Organized by the China Fashion Association, China Textile and Apparel Education Society, and China National Garment Association, the inaugural event featured the work of 610 graduates from 22 universities across the country. Despite the general feeling that China has fallen behind in creativity in comparison to other countries, this new crop of fashion students seem well on their way to putting China back on the fashion map.
Mary McCartney’s Unreserved and Tender Moments - “Developing”
MARY McCartney’s “Developing” exhibition is a striking visual treat that delivers on the talented fashion and portrait photographer’s “insider’s” perspective. The eldest daughter of Paul and Linda, Mary has been capturing intimate and candid moments behind the scenes at fashion shows and ballets since 1995.
Mary McCartney, One, 2004.
Toronto is lucky to see this small but tightly curated exhibition of McCartney’s fashion photographs, hand-picked by owner Izzy Sulejmani of Izzy Gallery in Yorkville. The large black and white photographs (except for the one colour print of Kate Moss hung at the back of the gallery, behind Izzy’s desk) seem charged with depth and intimacy, a style that is now McCartney’s signature. All her subjects inhabit the central space of each image, boldly commanding the viewer’s attention – whether it’s a shot of two models sharing a backstage moment, surreally quiet and serene in Giles 11, 2010 or a model with her breast exposed, propped against a brick wall in One, 2004.
Mary McCartney, Kate II, 2004.
Mary McCartney, Top Hat, 2010.
Mary McCartney, Victoria Plays Pool, 2004.
And just as McCartney’s fashion work is at times bold and unreserved (see that woman’s balanced and sprawling pose on a pool table in Victoria Plays Pool, 2004 or the luring Couture, 2010), it is delicate and effervescent too. Glancing at the photo of Kate Moss in a white and transparent dress captured with arms outstretched on both sides of a doorway, or Moss at the end of a Chloe runway (Fashion Show One, 1997), I couldn’t help but feel the lightness, and even tenderness, of these moments. And it’s a small wonder how McCartney manages to make a busy runway setting feel intimate and delicate.
Mary McCartney, Fashion Show One, 1997.
Mary McCartney, Snappers.
Photographs for sale and on display until June 14, 2013.
THE future of fabrics is taking an unusual route; in fact your next outfit could be found in your refrigerator, or at the bottom of the ocean. Really.
There are many far-reaching and innovative developments in the materials that are becoming available to contemporary fashion designers, some of which include fish slime, sour milk and biodegradable sequins. Despite the limitations caused by production costs, designers are dabbling in new concepts and constructing new pieces that could potentially hit markets, and your wardrobe, in the future.
Writer FLO MILLS LYLE takes a look at what the slimy and milky future of fashion construction holds for us in Fabrics of the Future.
“They’re such beautiful shirts,” she sobbed, her voice muffled in the thick folds. “It makes me sad because I’ve never seen such - such beautiful shirts before”. Enchanted by the “linen throwing” scene in Gatsby’s bedroom, I chose these very elegant Irish Handkerchiefs from Brooks Brothers to feature in The Thing this week. The Gatsby collection was inspired by the film’s costumes, reinterpreting the iconic pieces from the era.
THE Museum of Chinese in America’s (MOCA) latest exhibit,Front Row: Chinese American Designers, is a celebration of Chinese-American designers and their accomplishments in the fashion industry.From Alexander Wang’s appointment as creative director of the house ofBalenciagato Jason Wu’s inaugural gowns forFirst Lady Michelle Obama, young Chinese-American designers are taking on prominent roles in the industry. Rather than assisting or working behind-the-scenes, as in the past, Chinese-American designers are taking the fashion industry head-on, flaunting their talents.
As Zang Toi confidently put, “I really don’t want to be one of the 20 assistant designers for Calvin Klein. I want to be Zang Toi.”
STILL-LIFE polaroids by Andy Warhol (taken between 1977 - 1838). Interestingly, some of Warhol’s most famous artworks also include these objects - particularly, the banana, gun, and Campbell’s soup can.
WELCOME Sweetly Inked! A new lingerie company that we can definitely get behind. The label launched today exclusively online at http://sweetlyinked.com. So far they plan to release one new collection a year, with supplements of limited-edition garments.
Book Recommendation | Arthur & George by Julian Barnes
Have you ever wondered why some people prefer fiction to non-fiction or vice versa? For as long as I can remember, I’ve been firmly in Camp Non-Fiction. It’s not that I don’t try to read novels – I certainly do – but, over time, very few have managed to keep my interest the whole way through. As frank’s editor, Alina Kulesh, pointed out, I have a tendency to notice the most minor inconsistencies - perhaps they deflate the story for me? Or maybe it was her nice of way of telling me that I lack imagination…
So, I was quite surprised at how affected I was by my first encounter with Julian Barnes in his Man Booker Prize winning book, The Sense of an Ending. The beauty and sorrow of his prose had me wanting more, and after I recovered from the sincere sadness at the fate of the characters, I picked up another Barnes’ novel: Arthur & George. Set during turn-of-the-century Britain, I almost fell out of my bed when I realized Arthur & George is based on a true story involving Sir Arthur Conan Doyle of Sherlockian fame and an obscure Scottish-Parsi English solicitor named George Edalji.
Switching between first-person narrators, Barnes gradually reveals the character of the two protagonists to his reader until their inevitable meeting halfway through the novel. Edalji and his family are the target of a long-term smear campaign (believed to be race-related), which leads to Edalji being wrongfully convicted of a horse slashing which occurs nearby his family home. Edalji appeals to Doyle for help; having examined the facts and determining that Edalji could not have been guilty, Doyle throws himself into a public campaign to have Edalji’s conviction overturned. Significantly, Edalji’s wrongful conviction leads to the creation of England’s Criminal Court of Appeal in 1907.
Part detective novel, part social commentary, Barnes richly details the real-life relationships and main events in the lives of Doyle and Edalji (with creative liberties, no doubt). Arthur & George is one more point for Team Fiction (and Team Barnes), but who knows, perhaps the novel’s success has something to do with real life being as good as fiction.
AS a designer, know you’ve made it when you have names like Hamish Bowles and the Moda Operandi team on your side. That’s the case for Vancouver-born, London-based designer Edeline Lee, who captured the heart of The Genteel’s Editor-in-Chief IRENE KIM.
Kim chats with Lee about her design process, career trajectory and aesthetic in the latest Designer Profile.