Orchids and Etymology of Desire

‘The overwhelming sensuality of the natural world, whose life force is one of pure desire”

Marc Quinn

 

Etymology of Desire, Marc Quinn, 2010. Quinn began his first series of orchids in 2008

 

Alexander McQueen by Sarah Burton, Spring/Summer 2015 collection

 

Etymology Of Desire and Prehistory Of Desire (2010) were the centerpiece of the Alexander McQueen women’s ready-to-wear Spring/Summer 2015 show in Paris Fashion Week. Cast from real flowers and parading, the orchids meditate on the human obsession of ideal beauty, achieved through the manipulation, modification and control of nature.

They were gargantuan, even dwarfing the typically attenuated McQueen models, hiked up on platform boots with a curving calligraphic heel. And they got the point across concisely – exotic, oriental, feminine. All pointers Sarah Burton wanted you to pick up in the clothes.

Maybe Burton was juxtaposing her fashion with art to assert the difference between the two. McQueen is one label that’s often lumped into that “art” category, and her last collection provoked criticism from some quarters for a degree of preciousness that pushed it beyond the realm of ready-to-wear.

 

The Diary of a Dress: Alexander McQueen Shares the Saga of How One of His Inspirations – A Peter Arnold’s Orchid Photograph – Evolved from Simple Sketch to Production Nightmare to a Stunning Gown Fit for Supermodel Naomi Campbell. Writer: Lisa Armstrong, Harper’s Bazaar, 2004

 

Kate Moss wearing an orchid printed Cheongsan by unidentified brand. Vogue USA, January 1997

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Van Gogh Girls

 

For their Spring Summer 2015 collection,Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren, the Dutch design duo known as Viktor & Rolf, presented A-line dresses with floral patterns and appliquéd petals that were inspired by Vincent van Gogh‘s paintings.

“The essence of the countryside is translated into unexpected, sculptural looks that combine abstract graphic volumes with organic elements,” said the designers.

The show began with the most demure outfits, featuring black flowers outlined on white babydoll dresses. These were worn with straw boater hats with stalks extended from their brims.Every outfit shown in the Van Gogh Girls collection was more elaborate than the one before, with silhouettes becoming more dramatic and pastel tones introduced.

The hats also gained size and volume, with longer strands arranged into different splayed forms or woven into intricate patterns.Gradually the two-dimensional flower motifs were turned into 3D adornments on the edges and shoulders of the dresses.The headgear and dresses continued to merge, as colours became more intense and the decorative fabric flowers reached further from the garments.

White hems interwoven with thick black ribbon accompanied the floral embellishments, paired with sandals in matching prints.

Bright summer hues gave way to earthy autumnal tones, culminating in a final look where the dress itself curved out to become integrated with the giant straw headpiece.

All of the fabrics were wax-dyed and block-printed using a batik technique by Dutch fabric company VLISCO.

“This ensures an unique high quality print with craquelé indigo lines and intense vibrant colours on both sides of the cloth,” the designers said.

And On the Dachshunds Go

Fashion illustrations by René Gruau

 

“The deer and the dachshund are one”

Wallace Stevens

Loneliness in New Jersey

 

DACHSHUNDS

“The Dachshund leads a quiet life
Not far above the ground;

He takes an elongated wife,
They travel all around.

 

Lady Rendlesham With Her Daughter, Antonia, by The Serpentine, Walking Tess D’Erlanger’s Dachshund. Photo by Norman Parkinson. Vogue, May 1959

 

They leave the lighted metropole;
Nor turn to look behind
Upon the headlands of the soul,
The tundras of the mind.

They climb together through the dusk
To ask the Lost-and-Found
For information on the stars
Not far above the ground.

 

Photograph by Robert Doisneau

 

The Dachshunds seem to journey on:
And following them, I
Take up my monocle, the Moon,
And gaze into the sky.

Pursuing them with comic art
Beyond the cosmic goal,
I see the whole within the part,
The part within the whole;

 

Coiffure for Harper’s Bazaar. Photo by Lillian Bassman, c. 1954

 

See planets wheeling overhead,
Mysterious and slow,
While morning buckles on his red,
And on the Dachshunds go.”

William Jay Smith

Jacques Fath’s Muse

Geneviève and Jacques Fath. Photos by Nina Leen, 1946

 
 

 Photo by Maurice Jarnoux

 
 

Jacques Fath, who has been described by Italian journalist Bonaventuro Calora as “extremely effeminate” and a former lover of the French film director Léonide Moguy, married, in 1939, Geneviève Boucher de la Bruyère. The bride was a former model from an aristocratic family who had been a secretary to Coco Chanel. They had one son, Philippe (born 1943). According to Fath’s friend Princess Giovanna Pignatelli Aragona Cortés, Geneviève Fath, who directed the business side of her husband’s firm during his lifetime, was a lesbian.

Mrs Jacques Fath travelled the US with a $12, 000 wardrobe — almost $116.000 in today’s currency — all created by her husband, the legendary Jacques Fath. This included 17 hats, 16 pairs of shoes, 10 handbags, four umbrellas, and other accessories, not including 12 trunks full of suits and dresses.

 
 

Life Magazine, April 19, 1948

Fath on Stairs

Jacques Fath Leaning on Stair Railing. Image by © Bettmann/CORBIS

 
 

Alan Band Photos

 
 

Lisa Fonssagrives photographed by her first husband, Fernand Fonssagrives, c. 1949

 
 

Simone Micheline Bodin, better known as “Bettina”, and Frances McLaughlin-Gill. Photo by Gordon Parks, 1950

 
 

The model Patricia Donald Smith is wearing Jacques Fath. Photo by Walde Huth, 1955

IMAGINE

From left: Anne (Russia) in dress and hat, Nina Ricci. Blouse, Miguel Adrover. Natasha (former Yugoslavia) in bodice, Imitation of Christ. Blouse, Prada. Petticoat, What Comes Around Goes Around. Jeans, Levi’s. Headscarf, Dolce & Gabbana. Socks, Gaultier Paris. Liliana (Mexico) in jacket, Dolce & Gabbana. Stripped jeans, Christian Dior. Hair pieces, M.S. Schmalberg. Kae (Japan) in  kimono Jean-Paul Gaultier. Dress, Salvatore Ferragamo. Aline (Japan and Brazil) in top and pants  Gaultier Paris. Audrey (France) in dress Yves Saint Laurent Haute Couture. Stella (UK) in jacket Dolce & Gabbana. Tank Michael Stars. kilt, Gold Label by Vivienne Westwood. Carmen (Estonia) in dress Miu Miu. Alek (Sudan) in pants Giorgio Armani. Jewelry, Craft Caravan. Karolina (Czech Republic) in dress, Marc Jacobs.

 
 

From left: Lya (Ethiopia) in dress, Christian Dior Haute Couture.  Anouck (Belgium) in jacket and skirt, Veronique Branquinho. Madelaine (Spain) in jacket and dress, Gaultier Paris. Sharon (Israel) in caftan, Missoni. Marcelle (Brazil) in bikini Tom Ford for Gucci. Headdress, Pau Brasil. Rohini (India) in skirt OMO Norma Kamali. Rings, Chanel Haute Couture. Bracelets, Erickson Beamon. Maggie (USA) in top OMO Norma Kamali. Miniskirt, Dolce & Gabbana. Mariacarla (Italy) in dress Dolce & Gabbana. Pin, J.M. Schmalberg. Mini (Sweden) in blouse, Dolce & Gabbana. Corset, OMO Norma Kamali. Skirt, Miguel Adrover. Boots, Prada.

 
 

Fashion editorial inspired by John Lennon‘s song. Photos by Patrick Demarchelier. Harper’s Bazaar, December 2001

I’m Loving Moschino

Ad Campaign: Moschino F/W 2014-15

 
 

The Moschino first advertising campaign with Jeremy Scott as the brand’s new creative director, Scott call upon some of the top names in the business; Linda Evangelista, Stella Tennant, Carolyn Murphy, Saskia de Brauw, Karen Elson and Raquel Zimmerman whom pose in black and white imagery by Steven Meisel. Make-Up by Pat McGrath, Hair by Guido Palau, Styled by Carlyne Cerf De Dudzeele

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The Sense of Breaking Through Something

 Photo credit: New York Times

 
 

For eight consecutive seasons, Stefano Pilati released a Yves Saint Laurent Manifesto, distributed across cities globally. Working with photographers Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin, Pilati’s Manifesto is intended to ‘bring the brand back to the streets’.An innovative initiative, which continues the succession of revolutionary moves Mr Saint Laurent made: he was the first French couturier to release a ready-to-wear line.

 
 

Daria Werbowy photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin. YSL by Stefano Pilati Fall/Winter 2010-2011 collection.

 
 

The YSL Manifesto is much more than an en masse distribution of the seasonal campaign shots. Staying true to the idea of a ‘manifesto’ – a public written declaration of the intentions, opinion, or motives of a leader – it is a powerful, multi-layered message which goes a long way to explain Pilati’s thinking and visual iconography for the season.

“I fell in love with the idea of manifestos and with the term itself, because the word ‘manifesto’ implied a sense of breaking through something while still being connected to and aware of how things are today. In terms of the format, I didn’t really relate to any historical manifestos I’ve seen because my medium is fashion… There is fashion photography in the manifesto so even the idea of showing the pictures larger than they appear in normal magazines was part of the act of manifesting. First of all you need to question whether it’s interesting or not to be political about fashion, or instead you wish to reinforce a message to people that is simply about looking good and projecting a positive energy about yourself. I was no longer interested in thinking of fashion in an elitist way. Everything I picked up from the manifestos in the past suggested that they were trying to create energy around an ideology that was considered, in its time, underground. So I thought for today I would offer another perspective of a luxury brand to a broad demographic that doesn’t necessarily relate to fashion in the way that a more privileged layer of people do. I wanted to create a wider influence for the message that was being sent from the catwalk, by taking imagery of a collection and giving it to people on environmentally friendly paper in the street without targeting a specific demographic. One of my visions for Saint Laurent is about giving back, so that even if you can’t afford it, you can still pick up the essence of the message, the elements of fashion that might be considered increasingly irrelevant but remain for me its main aspects: the silhouette, the way the clothes are cut, the fabrics, a special pattern. It’s to say – “These are my thoughts and this is my message – you can pick up something from this and do it yourself. The Yves Saint Laurent manifestos are against aggressively, against exclusivity, against classification, against isolation, against introversion, against always looking at oneself. This is what it comes to in the end. Fashion can give rise to all of these things and it shouldn’t, especially today.”

 
 

To watch Manifesto Edition VII (Fall/Winter 2010-2011 collection), please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogy-of-Style/597542157001228?ref=hl

Flower Bouquet For Head

Vogue cover illustrated by Salvador Dalí, June, 1939

 
 

Ivy Nicholson photographed by Louise Dahl-Wolfe

 
 

Harper’s Bazaar, April 1958 issue

 
 

Harper’s Bazaar UK, April 1965 issue

 
 

Page from Harper’s Bazaar USA, April 1965. Photo by Richard Avedon

 
 

Elle Fanning photographed by Will Cotton

 
 

New York magazine, February 2013

Tilda Swinton’s Surreal Fashion Fantasy

Tim Walker and actress Tilda Swinton created a series of phantasmagorias inspired by artists Salvador Dalí, Giorgio de Chirico, Remedios Varo, Leonora Carrington, and other muses and collaborators of English eccentric, poet, and surrealist collector Edward James.

 
 

Cover of W magazine. Modern Beauty issue. May 2013

 
 

Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci dress; Cornelia James gloves

 
 

Vera Wang Collection dress; Vicki Beamon lips and fingertips; Cornelia James gloves

 
 

Acne Studios gown

 
 

Maison Martin Margiela dress and gloves

 
 

 Rick Owens jacket and dress

 
 

 Ann Demeulemeester dress; Cornelia James gloves

 
 

Balmain jacket; Max Mara jacket; Swinton’s own Olivier Saillard gloves

 
 

Rochas dress; National Theatre Costume Hire underskirt; Cornelia James gloves; Céline pumps

 
 

Angels the Costumiers cape; Gucci gown; Vicki Beamon mask; Cornelia James gloves

 
 

Azzedine Alaïa top, skirt, and shoes; Emilio Cavallini bodysuit; Alexander McQueen headpiece

 
 

 Louis Vuitton dress and shoes; Cornelia James gloves; Emilio Cavallini tights

 
 

 Haider Ackermann shirt and trousers

 
 

Mary Katrantzou dress; Cornelia James gloves

 
 

Giorgio Armani blouse, skirt, and pants; Haider Ackermann dress; Ann Demeulemeester top; Cornelia James gloves; Prada gaiters and socks

 
 

Francesco Scognamiglio dress

The Pumpkin Sensation

 
 

Jane Russell and Marilyn Monroe enter the ship ball room for dinner and everyone gasps. That’s not just in the film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (Howard Hawks, 1953). This orange dress became a prototype for a personal dress Marilyn had made, in salmon pink. Both were made of chiffon, with boning over the hip and the waist, that finished under the arm. The pumpkin dress had beading down the center and on the bust line, with a wonderful pumpkin beaded stole. The zip was in the front.