The great Herb Ritts stumbled into photography when, on something of a lark, he shot his aspiring-actor friend and soon-to-be global beefcake Richard Gere. Those photos went viral for their time, the early '80s, simultaneously launching Ritts' career. He soon began doing what he's most known for, immortalizing supes, musicians, and celebs in artful and often bare repose. (Funny story: he played matchmaker for Gere and that original '90s supermodel, Cindy Crawford, introducing them at a BBQ at his mother's house.)
Now, a new exhibit at Boston's Museum of Fine Arts showcases many of these modern classics. It's intended to be a posthumous revisit (he died in 2002) of his 1996 exhibition, WORK, a mini-blockbuster for the museum. The Ritts Foundation provided a print of every image in that retrospective and later, in 2007, supported the museum's first gallery dedicated to photography, which will of course house the new show.
Herb Ritts, March 14 – November 8, 2015, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Jump, Paradise Cove © Herb Ritts Foundation
Madonna © Herb Ritts Foundation
For Inspirations, the first exhibition devoted to his nearly 30-year career, Dries Van Noten looked back on decades of influences, handpicked more than 400 garments and objects, and arranged them just so at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris last year. Now, that very retrospective is being recreated inside MoMu (Antwerp's Fashion Museum), opening this Friday.
The sprawling new exhibition will again offer a stunning glimpse into the creative process of one of fashion’s most fertile minds. The core of the show remains visually dense grouped themes — e.g. gold, butterflies, Francis Bacon, punk, uniforms, marble, Bollywood — that will now include several new themes, among them Pierre Balmain, Elizabeth Peyton, and Ryan McGinley. Looks from past collections are juxtaposed with film clips or significant artworks lent by other museums, among them pieces by Pablo Picasso, Agnolo Bronzino, and Damien Hirst. As before, the walls and ceiling will spell out Van Noten’s far-flung references, from obscure arias and the now-defunct French fashion magazine Le Jardin des Modes to the films E.T. and Desperately Seeking Susan.
The carefully considered effect is not unlike a cabinet of curiosities, tapping into historical, ethnic, cinematic, and musical references. As such, the show merges fashion design with the world of fine art, illustrating the Belgian designer's unparalleled artistic vision.
Dires Van Noten: Inspirations, February 13 - July 19, 2015, MoMu
Hood By Air, designed by Shayne Oliver, was the latest special guest of Pitti Uomo trade show in Italy, following the likes of Kenzo, Band of Outsiders, and Haider Ackermann. The runway show — at Villa di Maiano, just outside Florence — featured the kind of evocative, gritty, androgynous looks the Brooklyn-based label has been showing in New York for several years, to much populist acclaim.
As supporting material, Hood By Air also commissioned a kind of journal depicting of the evolution of the brand. Photos of the collection as preliminary 'toile' garments are meant to show the process and details of the pieces, while photos of a road trip through England by twins Sam and Joe O'Neil, clad in archival HBA, convey the kind of dishabille and disregard that defines the brand.
Despite opening up fashion imagery in the 1980s and embracing supermodels of the '90s, capturing many of the era's most iconic and enduring images, Arthur Elgort remains one of the industry's more underrated talents. An upcoming exhibition, The Big Picture, at Galleria Carla Sozzani aims to change that. The show encompasses five decades of his work, including several original 'snapshots,' a candid and natural style Elgort introduced into the fashion vocabulary. His ideas of what a ‘fashion’ photo was, opened up the possibilities of what fashion photography could be to the next generation.
Elgort attributes much of his liberated direction to his lifelong love of music and dance, particularly jazz and ballet from the '30s to '40s. "Some of my best pictures were taken when I wasn't 'working' — models getting ready, people on the street, the little moments in between shots," he writes in a new book, published in conjunction with the exhibit. "That's when you can really capture people as they truly are and see what's underneath. It's those real moments that just can't be faked."
Arthur Elgort: The Big Picture, ￼February 6 - April 6, 2015, Galleria Carla Sozzani, Galleria Carla Sozzani, 10 Corso Como, Milan
John Waters knows the built-in absurdity of any situation, whether he's hanging out with Beth Ditto at Coachella or hosting the CFDA Awards. So when the master of camp makes art of the gallery kind, which is a common occurrence, it invariably deals with the same sordid, preposterous themes as his films: faded (or never achieved) glamour, over-the-top sadism, geek love, extreme slapstick, anti-hero worship. In other words, not family fare. Which is odd, thinks Waters, because if you strip the sex, violence, and obscenities from his films, you have solidly funny stories that kids would love.
That's exactly what he'll screen at his new exhibition at Marianne Boesky gallery, among his photographic odes to bad taste. On loop will be a 74-minute video, Kiddie Flamingos, that riffs on Waters' notorious Pink Flamingos of 1972, starring Divine as a degenerate sociopath whose only goal in life is to be named "the filthiest person alive" by a tabloid. The new G-rated version is a table read of the Pink Flamingos script, but recast with child actors — in bright wigs and cat-eye glasses to evoke their original counterparts — and all explicit content removed or rewritten. It's still quite perverse — even more so, attests Waters.
John Waters, January 9 - February 14, 2015, Marianne Boesky, 509 West 24th Street, NYC
Pink Flamingos poster
John Waters, A Passion for Audrey
John Waters, Hollywood Smile Train
John Waters, Haunted
John Waters, Stalker
The Icelandic virtuosa known by one name is getting a major retrospective of the same name at MoMA. Opening in March 2015 and not scheduled to travel to other institutions, Björk is dedicated to the multifaceted, multimedia work of the composer, musician, and artist. It will span more than 20 years of pioneering projects and albums, from Debut (1993) to Biophilia (2011), the app for which — made with M/M Paris — was MoMA's first acquisition of its kind. Her pursuits in the realm of sound, film, visuals, costumes, and performance will be highlighted.
The installation will present a narrative — part fact and part fiction — co-written by Björk and the Icelandic writer Sjón Sigurdsson. Björk’s collaborations with video directors, photographers, fashion designers, and artists will be featured, culminating with a newly commissioned, immersive music and film experience.
Björk, March 7 - June 7, 2015, MoMA, 11 West 53rd Street, NYC
Björk, Homogenic, photo Nick Knight (1997)
Björk, photo Danny Clinch
Björk, still from All Is Full of Love, directed by Chris Cunningham (1999)
Lorde had a sensational year — and wore it well. Here, a look back at her greatest style hits...
Lorde in New Zealand designer Karen Walker
Lorde in Balenciaga at the Grammy Awards
Lorde in Vionnet to perform at Nirvana's induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Lorde in Lanvin at the Billboard Music Awards
Lorde in Prada to launch Pradasphere in Hong Kong
Known mostly as a fashion illustrator and collaborator (Louis Vuitton, Versace), Julie Verhoeven has channeled her inner satirist to create Whiskers Between My Legs at the ICA in London. In the immersive installation, Verhoeven explores notions of femininity and its (mis)representation in popular culture by draping collaged fabrics and other mixed media throughout the space.
In addition, a new short film addressing female seduction and so-called perversion will also screen on monitors, some placed within toilet seats, thereby creating a playfully ironic environment that defies and questions perceptions of gender, etiquette, and taste.
Whiskers Between My Legs, December 9 - January 18, 2015, Institute for Contemporary Arts, The Mall, London
If beards haven't been growing on you, an upcoming exhibit of mankind's hirsute pursuit may change your mind. Eighty portraits of assorted whiskery wonders by London photographer Brock Elbank will open at Somerset House in March. The exhibit, Beard, is the latest in Project60, an ongoing series that began when Elbank teamed up with Jimmy Niggles, founder of Beard Season. The Australian organization raises awareness about skin cancer by encouraging men to let their facial hair run wild — the ultimate sun block.
The diverse group of participants includes actor John Hurt, Nick Wooster, tattoo artist Miles Better, and models Ricki Hall and Billy Huxley. Perhaps the most striking image is that of bearded lady Harnaam Kaur, who started growing facial hair at the age of 16, due to a hormonal imbalance caused by polycystic ovary syndrome. After various attempts at removal, she was eventually baptized a Sikh, which forbids the cutting of body hair. Et voila, problem solved.
Beard, March 5 – 29, 2015, Terrace Rooms at Somerset House, Strand London WC2R 1LA
The moving story of how Beard Season came to be...