Nothing to wear? Stretch the options with a clever mash up of color, print and shape. How to create a harmonious arrangement? Start with a full dose of good humor and plenty of bravado. Keeping the palette thematic is key, plus completing the look by carrying your concept down to the details including balancing the statement with hair and make up–or lack thereof. Managing complex compositions is an experiment in extroverted language and not for the faint of heart. Making people laugh or smile because your look is full of exhuberant good cheer is the goal. To speed the process, lay all the items you are considering out on the bed to quickly see if your composition is working. Take out what clashes, add in what amplifies. A symphony of joy can never be wrong, and it starts with just one good note. Accessories rule in this equation and are often enough to transform the old into new, while doubling your closet queue and transitioning seasons.
Elizabeth Gilpin gets around. After two years of working at American Vogue and a stint at Saint Laurent, she is now pursuing duel passions: art and cultural exploration. Elizabeth partnered with three like-minded women to start Fast Forward- a collective that is involved in documenting the current global youth quake. Their first photo book YOUTH, showcasing 15 emerging global talents, will be out in march and will be followed by an art show of the same name in Russia. In addition Elizabeth also serves as special projects director for Out of Order magazine. Read on for a peek into the life and style of Elizabeth Gilpin.
It’s back. Agressive color, a power surge of tribal influences, voluminous to-the-point-of-unflattering shapes, rebellious good cheer (Frankie says RELAX), in your face intensity. This means A LOT more fun for your wardrobe. Individuality reigned supreme during the decade of excess when experimentation with prints, accessories, and beauty were mandatory. Why is this good news? Let’s start with all those wacky-but-wonderful purchases languishing in the back of your closet. They are hereby free to mix and match with unexpected glee.
Free of the constraints of good taste and subtlety, crazy prints, oddly layered shapes and clashing color works. Bright red tinted hair or platinum highlights or purple lids may be as far as you go, but a permissive extra step is where it’s at. This is what trends are for ladies! I suggest mixing outre pieces with traditional staples for a look that is pumped and luxe . As items recently deemed too loud or showy are suddenly, joyfully edgy again, a high energy closet rotation is blessed by Phoebe Philo, Albert Elbaz, Stella McCartney, and Hedi Slimane. Dover Street Market anyone?
The individualist is duty bound to original creative expression. Every pursuit, including one’s styling, is a boundary-pushing challenge. Born with a unique point of view, weathering criticism becomes second nature to the sensitive souls who aim to tickle our emotions while stirring the pot. Unexpected shapes, bizarro combinations, amped up accessorizing, and questionable fabrication all while the beauty is functioning as a canvas…. these are the tools of original personal style. BE BOLD and you are off to a good start. Study and experiment, but easy does it! Not all on one day, or at one time. Make a study of contemporary art and surrealism while trying hand painting (Holly Fowler), dramatic styling (Thom Browne), vivid color (Opening Ceremony|Creatures of The Wind) and loud gestures (Libertine|Givenchy.
Fashion photography collectors are in for a treat: Carmen Dell’Orefice’s personal collection is up for auction at Phillips on Sept 30th (evening sale at 6pm, lots 1-32) and Oct 1st (day sale, 10am lots 32-139 and 2pm lots 140-264). The exhibition opens this Tuesday the 24th. The Carmen photographs will be 15 lots offered in the afternoon session during the Oct 1st Day Sale. The vast majority were printed around the time of the negative and there are some really wonderful never-before-seen shots of her.
In recalling her foray into the world of modeling in 1944 at the age of 13, Carmen Dell’Orefice confides that her first professional photographs “were not successful. A letter came home from Harper’s Bazaar, [stating] that I was a charming child but at this moment, in my development, totally un-photogenic.” At the time, the world of modeling was still in its nascent stages, decades before it would turn into a multi-billion dollar bonanza whose practitioners were closely scrutinized and idolized.
The disappointment, therefore, did not stem from the denial to enter a world of glamour and style, but rather from the denial to prove her relentless work ethic and unwavering discipline, one that Carmen had been exercising from her childhood, steeped in poverty. The only child of a professional dancer mother and a symphony violinist father, Carmen’s early years were marked by fierce independence and precocious maturity. Like her mother, the young Carmen vigorously pursued dance, and following a year- long bout with rheumatic fever, moved to professional swimming, all the while attending school and contributing where she could to the household. Therefore, when the rejection letter from Harper’s Bazaar arrived, the driven teenager turned to her godparents and their friends for solace. As luck would have it, Carol Phillips, a staff-writer for Vogue at the time, was among those present.
“Well,” commented Ms. Phillips, a visionary in her own right who would later found cosmetics giant Clinique, “I think she would be very photogenic, [and] I can’t imagine why the pictures didn’t turn out. Why don’t we bring her up to Vogue?” The next day, to save on bus fare, Carmen made her way roller-skating to the Vogue offices, where she was photographed by Clifford Coffin. The next day she posed for Horst P. Horst, and it was shortly thereafter that the blooming teenager collaborated with other masters in photography, including Irving Penn and Richard Avedon, whose works are among the photographs offered in this section. By the time she turned 15, the lanky girl from Manhattan was photographed by Erwin Blumenfeld for the cover of Vogue, which would become the first of five covers for the magazine, and one of endless others that she would come to grace over an illustrious career whose end is invisible.
The meteoric rise of Carmen in the fashion world coincided with the booming of the publishing industry and improvements in mass-printing, both of which facilitated the reproduction of photographic images in newspapers, and, in turn, engendered a growing demand for models in commercial and editorial work. Carmen’s success, however, was not merely circumstantial, as the young model was determined to learn from the best. Recalling her experience with the leading photographers of the 1940s and 1950s, she says, “their aesthetic development was so classical and so refined… so I picked up by osmosis their taste, their sense of how to put things together, how to think about what was going on. I was part of their imagination, I was part of something I couldn’t see but I could feel.” The synthesis of model and photographer is wondrously apparent in the works offered in the current selection. In each of the photographs, the iconic supermodel offers a different pose— from whimsical and coy to stately and confident—but still exuding the timeless elegance and supreme polish that she had come to perfect.
Curator and photographer Gaby Ron was born and raised in Tel Aviv in 1982. Having recently graduated from Creative Practice for Narrative Environments MA from Central Saint Martins in London, her work with partner Sari Golan Sarig (below right) is focused on ‘Art Residencies in Areas of Conflict’. Her new venture, a ‘Pelia’, (which means a female form of active, activist; active member, or enthusiastic) is a non-profit organization based in Tel Aviv-Jaffa offering an innovative approach to the production and exhibition of art. Peila’s agenda is based on interaction with the local communities and other non-profits in Tel Aviv and Jaffa along with similar organizations around the world. Peila operates, side-by-side, a residency program allowing cultural operators (artists, curators, designers etc) both local and from around the world, to relate to the fascinating and controversial Israeli reality from a first hand experience. “Art as a means of communication” physically involves communities in hands-on experiences of art and culture making and art exhibiting. Best of all, it’s new workspace is in the heart of the Jaffa flea market. Shalom!