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Who’s Out of the Box this Fashion Week?

February 17, 2012

Model from Three As Four show/Shot by Susan Kirschbaum

What’s left to say?

At artist and Le Baron owner Andre Saraiva’s opening — a show called “Love Letters” — at the Half Gallery last weekend, a girl clad in black posed for Purple editor Olivier Zahm. She announced. “I’m so ready for next season. Aren’t you?”  Oz laughed and tucked in toward her ear, seeming to whisper some affirmation.

Whatever her jaded perspective, since we’ve all seen and done it all, Saraiva’s art work impressed with  novelty and nostalgia. He painted authentic mail boxes– bright canary yellow with blue and red detailing–  from  “la Poste Francaise.” Yes, the actual French mail. Coupled with his illustrative poetry  lining the walls — actual love notes, along with blatant colorful ads for his club Le Baron– they evoked a warmth for a time when people traveled (myself included) all over Europe and sent  post cards to family, friends, and perhaps, poignantly, that lover you met spontaneously  by “couchette” (or overnight cot) on a train. These souvenirs — the notes not only meticulously crafted on cards but also written on bar napkins at places like Les Bains Douches — filled the fabrics of our youths and awakening, whereas now people blog and Twitter and send Facebook thumbs up.

Not sexy.  And much less intimate.

Some of the best things are still found in corners tucked away  and in moments where people are willing to risk emotion or expression privately, not just for show on a public forum. As for those who did manifest beautiful things outwardly this week, I still scream out support for the friends who continue to create unique outfits in which we can express ourselves: Zac Posen’s best ever  sophisticated (possibly) Asian inspired body hugging frocks in electric colors; Proenza Schouler’s cherry blossom dress (let’s nod to health in Japan after last year’s disaster); VPL’s always `hot’  clothes you can move/dance in; Tara Subkoff’s brilliant shirt of the season — constructed with Jake Mueser of Doyle Mueser– a tailored number with a peekaboo shoulder that I now name the “one-armed bandit;” and my personal favorites for their consistent vision to art on the body, Three As Four. (See video, below.)

Moving forward, some inspiration:

Cut yourself out the box you believe society has put you in. Wear some color. Show some skin. Make love in a hidden place. Write a postcard afterward. Send it. And don’t post it on f***ing Facebook.

I DARE YOU.

(**Until March 3rd, you can check out “Love Letters,” Andre Saraiva, at Half Gallery, 208 Forsyth Street.)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. ffapi permalink
    February 17, 2012 3:15 pm

    Sorry, but Andre is not even uniqe for Hallmark, where these balatantly cliche illustrations more likely belong, at best. And at best, this gallerys name really reflects the half “art” they usually show…who’s next for art, another rich or famous people kid, a bar or night club owner, restaurateur, fashion stylist, hair person, hangaround or maybe they’re all too busy with their jewellry lines?

    • itsthattimeagain permalink*
      February 17, 2012 6:45 pm

      You read the piece as an art critique whereas I was commenting on the exhibit as a sign of nostalgia for a time when people were more romantic and spontaneous. I don’t think Andre is attempting to be the next George Condo, but he does have a certain skill for capturing the zeitgeist and creating a FUN environment through an almost childlike curiosity and enthusiasm. A lot of that has gone out of our society, not just in fashion — since this article reflected on the past show week in NYC — but also in how we relate to each other.

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