the rainbow is a monster

February 13th, 2013

Arrrgh follows Rrrrip.

“Arrrgh – Monsters in Fashion”, a fashion exhibition featuring the clothes of Bernhard Willhelm, Walter Van Beirendonck, Rick Owens, Filep Motwary, Hyères graduates Jean Paul Lespagnard, Mareunrol and Mads Dinesen, and a 360 degree film installation from Bart Hess, is now opening at the Gaîté Lyrique digital center in Paris.

“Arrrgh” follows in the footsteps of “Rrrrip – Paper Fashion”, another internationally touring exhibit by Greek collective Atopos, whose founding member and curator, Vassilis Zidianakis, we met before the exhibit opening.


Left: Pictoplasma "Pictoorphanage Les Petites Bonhommes", 2006.  Right: Manon Kuendig "Collection BLOWJOB", 2011

Antoine Asseraf: What was the starting point for this exhibit ?

Vassilis Zidianakis: In Hyères in 2006, where I was in the fashion jury. One of the designers, Amandine Labidoire, had a sketchbook with characters that started something in my head.

Then I asked Pictoplasma to write a text on character design, they saw my research on the subject and instead proposed to do a whole book about that idea, which became NOT A TOY, and then led to this exhibit.


Craig Green "BA Collection", 2010 & "BA Collection", 2012

When does this phenomenon start, in the 90’s with Leigh Bowery, Margiela, Walter Van Beirendonck… ?

Internet is the real starting point – avatars, different identities. People don’t show their face and instead create a character.

In fashion, you could say it started with Comme Des Garçons for the shape, and Margiela for the face – because when you hide the face you create a monster. But Schiaparelli, who was close to the surrealists, had already tried that, and you find it a lot in ethnographic clothing: each civilisation has costumes to dress up and become someone else. Today, it’s become a bit like Halloween, and clothes that are not meant to be worn on the street, but to go to parties, take pictures, it’s very marketing associated.

Character design as a whole comes from marketing, in the US and Japan – products talk to you, like yogurt, clothes, Michelin…

You also have to see the evolution of what we consider “monstruous”. For example, hoop dresses from the 18th century which are too wide to fit through a door – don’t you find that monstruous ?


Left: Projection by Bart Hess. Right: Bas Kosters "Collection Le Salon Explosif", 2007

Left: Alexis Themistocleus "Freaks", 2010. Right: Heiniek "Foamboys x Hyperbole@ Ludwig- TEDX AMS", 2012

Besides the rise of internet, the 90’s are also a decade of video games becoming mainstream, the emergence of adult animation…

It’s the idea we wanted to explpore with NOT A TOY, which led to this exhibition. If you read vinyl sex objects, it says “THIS IS NOT A TOY”, it’s for grown-ups.

Ultimately I’m very happy to show this outside of a fashion context, in a place like Gaîté Lyrique which is more technology related. The exhibit isn’t directly linked to technology, but shows the influence of technology on our bodies.

What is different about this exhibit than what was shown in Athens ?

After 3 years of research, we made a show at the Benaki Museum in Athens. Since then, a lot of new things have been produced around the idea, so for the Gaîté Lyrique we doubled the number of exhibited pieces on display.

We also commissioned Bart Hess a video for the 360º room, a special costume from Craig Green which serves as visual identity for the exhibtion,
and the fashion show of Jean-Paul Lespagnard which will be part of the parallel program.


The Brainstorm Design "How To Make Friends And Have A Social Life", 2013

Tell me more about the ancient Greek notion of “monster”…

Today “monster” has a negative connotation. But the original Greek word, “teras” (which gave “teratogen” and “teratology”) indicates a physical phenomenon in need of an explanation. So for example, to the ancient Greeks, a rainbow was a “monster”.

A bit like a UFO ?

yes, unidentified, and needing to be explained by us.
the theme of the monster is really about difference, about what we’re capable of accepting, because we’re attracted to strange things, but don’t know how to communicate with them.

ARRRGH ! MONSTERS IN FASHION
February 13 to April 7, 2013
Gaîté Lyrique
3 bis rue Papin, Paris.


Left: Rozalb de Mura "Collection The Remains", SS2010. Right: Mask available at the museum store

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SIREN SUZANNE von AICHINGER

June 21st, 2011

Suzanne von Aichinger is a modern archetype of the Parisian muse, in spite of the fact that she was born in Germany, and grew up in Canada.

She was discovered by the legendary illustrator Antonio Lopez, whom she considers to be one of the great influences in her life, as well as a very close friend. She inspired and collaborated closely in the design studios, with Christian Lacroix, John Galliano and Jean Paul Gaultier. Suzanne von Aichinger posed for iconic photographers Serge Lutens, Paolo Roversi, Mario Testino, Jean Loup Sieff, Ali Madhavi, David Seidner, and strutted down the catwalks of Yves St Laurent, Thierry Mugler, Claude Montana, Gianni Versace, Christian Dior (Galliano) , Hermes, Martin Margiela, John Galliano, Jean Paul Gaultier.

In Greek mythology, the Sirens with the irresistible charm of their song, lured mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island..

In modern mythology, Sirens are dressed in Rick Owens, pose for photographer René Habermacher and share their secrets and thoughts on current and past affairs with Stimuleye Filep Motwary

SUZANNE VON AICHINGER feature, is a collaboration between Un nouVeau iDEAL and THE STIMULEYE
Fashion Editor : Ines Fendri ⎜ Make Up : Akiko Sakamoto ⎜ Hair : Karin Bigler
Production : Lynsey Peisinger for THE STIMULEYE
Special Thanks to Mr Rick Owens and Anne van den Bosche @ Rick Owens Press Office
05_SUZANNE_von_AICHINGER_rene_habermacher
KALI, Suzanne von Aichinger wears a Rick Owens cape and gloves, all FW2011. Photography by René Habermacher

I always liked her and when we finally became friends, I liked her even more. In the following conversation Suzanne shares her thoughts on fashion, music, talent, the water, mythology and other obscurities. You are about to discover the muse, the model, the artist, the stylist..

I caught her leg on her daybreak between styling for a Vogue photo shoot and organizing a major project.

FILEP MOTWARY: Hi beautiful? So it was very difficult to catch you in the past two months. What have you been up to?

SUZANNE von AICHINGER: I know Filep. I’ve been a little like Houdini…escaping. But for a good reason. I had plenty of work and styling projects

Tell me more about it please. It seems you work non-stop.

It’s been good for me lately. I’ve been styling some perfume campaigns, editorials for Russian Vogue, Italian Vanity Fair, doing photos with Dita, and now I’m preparing another perfume campaign, and a major photo shoot with one of the MOST gorgeous women on the planet.

Oh Gosh, indeed its a lot. You mean the actress, Elisa Sednaoui? Ali posted a shot of her on twitter…

Oh what a beauty Elisa is!!! But, I’m referring to another lady…very iconic. I don’t know if I should say who it is. I don’t like to talk about things before they come out…

I understand. How easy it is for you to collaborate with people. What a concept needs to have in order to get you involved in it?

Collaborating with people is my ultimate way of creating. I find the dynamic of working with another or others, stimulating, and proven a successful way of expression for me.

How do you make your choices? Is money an important motive or not always?

There has to be an element that compels me, something that excites my imagination. I also have to feel that I have something relevant to bring to the story. Money is very often not a motive. But, sometimes it is an essential part of creation. We must also live, make a living, etc. You have to know when to give and when to sell!! There is no shame in being paid for a job well done. Andy Warhol considered making money the highest art form. I’m not sure that I adhere to this philosophy, but I don’t love being broke either. I like the freedom that having some cash on hand can procure you.

On the other hand there might be talented people, who would love your contribution but, lets say, cannot afford you. How would you react in such conditions?

I usually say YES to a project, which stimulates me. It’s not about the $$$. It’s about the action. I believe in working with people that I consider talented or kindred spirits. As people of great talent have wanted to work with me, when I had no money to pay them. Just for the sheer joy of seeing an idea become a reality.

I wanted to ask you about the photo shoot you just did with René Habermacher. It’s so iconic, yet in a very special way. How was working with René?

I loved it. We had a beautiful day together, with a great creative team. We wanted to express in this series, something that is based more on personality, than fashion. I feel that there are many stories to be told in my future with René. There is a quality in his vision that is very strong and appealing.

03_SUZANNE_von_AICHINGER_rene_habermacher
CASSANDRA, Suzanne von Aichinger wears a Rick Owens dress, boots and gloves, all FW2011.
Photography by René Habermacher

Exactly my point. The photographs serve our conversation so right! I’m very happy that Rick Owens was so positive when I contacted him for the garments. He is always so nice to me. Also for the fact that we shot his winter collection which is by far my favorite!

So am I! I LOVE Rick! He is one of my favorites. And, his fashion is timeless. I know that this can sound cliché, but if you have some pieces by Rick from 12 years ago, they are as relevant as pieces that he has made 2 days ago. They don’t go in and out of fashion. They have their own essence and place.

Having in mind that Rick’s clothes are so special, yet the 2000’s are the epitome of diversity. Each designer points out a different outline every season, there is so much choice. How do you see fashion now yourself, as a stylist?

It’s hard for me to answer this. I see many great things happening, no doubt. But, I see a lot of nonsense going on as well. There is not enough power any more in the hands of the creators. Now, big design houses change designers like they change their underwear. Just ridiculous. There is no time for the designer in place to create a brand identity, that he is fired. And very often, they find out that they’ve been fired, by reading about it in the papers.

It’s as if the financial/commercial people at the heads of some houses, envied the position of creator, and wished to usurp it. They believe that they are capable of being the creator. WRONG!!!!
Read the rest of this entry »


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NEXT: SUZANNE von AICHINGER

June 20th, 2011

In Greek mythology, the Sirens with the irresistible charm of their song, lured mariners to their destruction on the rocks surrounding their island..

In modern mythology, Sirens are dressed in Rick Owens, pose for photographer Rene Habermacher and share their secrets and thoughts on current and past affairs with Stimuleye Filep Motwary

Stay tuned..

SUZANNEvAICHINGER_rene_habermacher
Siren Suzanne von Aichinger wears Rick Owens FW2011. Photography by René Habermacher.
Fashion Editor : Ines Fendri ⎜ Make Up : Akiko Sakamoto ⎜ Hair : Karin Bigler ⎜ Production : Lynsey Peisinger

What was the last thing that stimulated you?

Suzanne von Aichinger:
Shooting Haider Ackermann’s portrait for Vogue.”


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