Not exactly a big fan of the Internet, Miuccia Prada let her view of the digital realm be known today with the screening of the latest in Miu Miu's short-film series, Women's Tales, at the Venice Film Festival. Called Somebody, the ten-minute short tells the story of an app that lets users text emotional messages to each other, but delivered verbally by the nearest stranger, thereby rehumanizing communication between people.
The brainchild of Miranda July, the short captures the cockeyed, ironic tone of the actress-screenwriter's work, particularly her feature-length film Me and You and Everyone We Know, which won the Caméra d'Or prize at Cannes in 2005.
Naturally, pieces by Miu Miu appear throughout, a motley selection of items from the fall 2014 collection mixed with vintage and streetwear. “With this collection Miuccia Prada seemed to be drawing from the everyday, utilitarian world around her," says july. "I fantasized that I was reverse-engineering the clothes back to their origins.”
In the biggest twist of all — a meta-twist, if you will — the Somebody app has been made for real users in the real world in real time. With support from Miu Miu, July worked with a team of developers to create the free app, downloadable here. It's hard to imagine anyone using it for more than novelty reasons, but it's at least good for a few laughs in Venice today. Let's see, what could we get Lena Dunham to say to Ed Norton, both of whom are expected at the post-screening dinner at Ca’ Corner della Regina.
Fergus Purcell, aka Fergadelic, is the go-to artist for a number of houses that rely on his street-influenced graphics to spruce up their collections around the periphery — which is to say, not the collections themselves. The spring men's collections from Marc by Marc Jacobs and McQ Alexander McQueen are but two houses that come to mind.
Now Fergadelic is venturing into fashion with a collaborative men's capsule for McQ, consisting of two custom designs for fall: the 'Scarred McQ' (on jersey tees or as knitwear) and the 'Frankenman.' The conjured images of unrefined, imperfect cretins are a seamless fit with Fergadelic's fetish for retro comics and homemade tattoos and with the brand's recurring themes of destruction and regeneration.
Available from August at select stockists globally and Alexander McQueen
If you happen to need a leather case custom-made to the dimensions of, say, your favorite recliner, trophy collection, kitchen sink, the letter L — anything, basically — Sarah Williams is there for you. With her company, Williams Handmade, the graduate of the London College of Art (who majored in Fashion Artefact, hmmm) harnesses the power of age-old craftsmanship to concoct hand-held marvels of engineering, some of which look like they belong in a museum. Well, in fact, Williams exhibited in the recent Power of Craft exhibition at the V&A.
Williams' futuro-artisanal cases and bags aren't just for moneyed eccentrics whose every move is made-to-measure. Aside from her bespoke service, she crafts of-this-earth satchels, wallets, and, most recently, sandals. They may not get as many gawks as a U-shaped suitcase or an S-shaped briefcase, but they'll last just as long because her leather, all of it, is only the finest. In the end, each piece is truly handmade, usually by Sarah Williams herself.
For artist José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros, nothing is sacred, not even the princesses and wizards of universally adored fairy tales. In "Profanity Pop" at La Luz de Jesus gallery in L.A., he portrays an alternate magic kingdom, where Minnie Mouse tokes on a bong and a plus-sized Snow White takes a very immodest selfie, and where princes and the seven dwarves are free to kiss openly. So, progress.
Profanity Pop, José Rodolfo Loaiza Ontiveros, La Luz de Jesus, L.A. thru Aug 31
You can never start too early teaching your kids the value of acquiring art. That's one message — probably not the right one — behind Bugaboo's three limited-edition Andy Warhol strollers adorned with the artist's 1980 portrait of Debbie Harry, circa Blondie. Starting next week, in partnership with the Andy Warhol Foundation, Bugaboo — the Dutch baby-mobility company — will auction them off, with all profits going to the UK charity Kids Company.
This is just the latest art-minded collab for Bugaboo, who've previously created Warhol-created strollers, and who've previously partnered with Marc Jacobs, Missoni, Henrik Vibskov, and Viktor & Rolf. The latter came up with My First Car, a gray-drab stroller costing in the four digits, souped up with hand-stitched leatherette and a separate footmuff. The allusion to Victorian-era baby pushers was no doubt lost on the little tykes who rode in them. But pop art, on the other hand — even adult babies are dazzled by that.
Fun is the name of the game for MSGM designer Massimo Giorgetti. It permeates every thread of the street-influenced Milan label, extending even to its extracurricular activities. Giorgetti's second and latest collaboration with Toilet Paper — the image-driven cult magazine by (former) artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari — is so colorful, so bright, so pop that you might think you're in a Skittles commercial. "When Maurizio and Pierpaolo work," Giorgetti told Hint, "they are like two children. They get excited, they get thrilled, and they show a lot of passion for what they’re doing."
For the new collaboration, the threesome built upon the first, rounding out those sweatshirts with beachwear and bedwear splashed with prints, prints, and more prints, reinterpreted in acid colors. "When I saw the Toilet Paper image of the rose with an eye inside" says Giorgetti, "I thought there couldn’t be anything more MSGM than that." But after playing around some more, they added still more prints to the capsule. "The picture of the apple with the picnic tablecloth is colorful and nostalgic — perfect. Then I saw prints with the wings of birds — also perfect. Everything we do is fun. It should make you smile!"
Designed by lions and tigers and bears, oh my! To help raise money to renovate a zoo in Hitachi, Japan, admirers of the animals (particularly of the sharp-toothed predator kind) have launched Zoo Jeans, using denim gnawed and mauled — aka distressed — by the zoo's residents. Jeanius! Like something out of Rei Kawakubo's wild imagination....
Few designers have blurred the lines between fashion and art as seamlessly as Comme des Garçons' Rei Kawakubo. So it's hardly a surprise that the designer's retail wonderland Dover Street Market — which has outposts in London, Tokyo, and New York — is as filled with artistic inspiration as it is covetable clothing.
This summer, the New York shop has two exhibitions that highlight DSM's holistic approach to style with a bit of merchandising magic. On the megastore's first floor, architects Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham have created a homage to Stool 60 by Finnish furniture brand Artek. To celebrate the 80th anniversary of this icon of modern design, Klein and Dytham have reimagined the stackable stool in a variety of sizes with stretched-out legs in grassy shades of green, forming a miniature indoor jungle. Two versions of the stool's original size — medium green and yellow — are available at DSM for $390 each.
"The stool looks great in any color and manages to rise above any graphic design applied to the seat or legs. It simply takes anything that is thrown at it," the designers told Hint about Stool 60's enduring appeal. "It's also amazing that the stool was shipped flat-packed from day one and really shows how advanced [architect] Alvar Aalto and Artek were in their thinking, predating by 50 years that other Nordic country that flat-packs its entire furniture collection!"
Upstairs, meanwhile, British artist and set designer Gary Card has an even more colorful contribution to the store this season. In the shop's emerging designer showroom on the fourth floor, Card has installed forty of the his Talking Heads to show off sunglasses from the likes of Mykita and Cutler & Gross. Made for masking tape and covered in splashes of neon paint, these madcap clowns paradoxically provide the perfect canvas for showing off the store's chic sunnies.
How's this for brain-frying, eyes-crossing craftsmanship? The house of Lanvin has designed the official uniform for Alain-Charles Perrot, the newest academician at the French Académie des Beaux-Arts and the architect-in-chief of French historical monuments. The jacket's olive-branch embroidery alone (drawn by Perrot) took 600 hours.
Clearly, neither expense nor detail was spared for France's top dog for all things architectural. Handmade in Lanvin's Paris workshops at 15 Faubourg Saint Honoré (above the boutique), the jacket and pants required 80 hours, while the shirt took only 12 hours. That's on top of the 600 hours to hand-stitch those olive branches. For a bit of perspective, Lanvin says a bespoke suit typically requires 80 hours to complete. All told, this particularly laborious project consumed the house for six months.
But really, it's par for the course for Lanvin, which this year has revived its 113-year-old bespoke tradition. In 1901, founder Jeanne Lanvin designed the outfit for her first academician client, Cyrano de Bergerac author Edmond Rostand. Other esteemed dignitaries soon followed, including Paul Valéry, Georges Duhamel, André Maurois, and the great Jean Cocteau, author of Les Enfants Terribles.