A Mini Drama
Many a time I’ve been stuck on some god forsaken journey, where minutes turn into hours with nothing but random ad posters to read. As much as I enjoy ‘poems on the underground’ more often than not I am gormlessly staring at some ludicrously embellished copy ranting on about cosmetic surgery or car insurance. At times like these I can only praise the power of technology. OK, I must admit surfing the web on your mobile is rather hit or miss and entirely unfeasible on most of the underground, but super slick fashion slash arts mag Drama have come up with a cunning solution. You can now download the entire magazine on your iPhone and iPod Touch and peruse whenever you like. On the tube, at the office, on the beach, Drama will always be in your pocket; thankfully we can’t say the same for those dreaded car insurance ads.
Curtain up, the latest 3rd issue of Drama is available to download now for an insightful fix of style, culture and performance.
Coming Soon…‘SIR HARDY AMIES: A Century of Couture’
Fashionista’s will no doubt be heading over to Savile Row throughout November as the extensive and largely unseen Sir Hardy Amies archive will, for one month only, become available to the public. The newly re-furbished No.14 Savile Row in London, is the original home of the business that Sir Hardy Amies set up back in 1946. Widely known as dressmaker to HM Queen Elizabeth II, the archive curated by Austin Mutti-Mewse will pay homage to Sir Hardy Amies’ life and work, from sketches to suits to diaries and photographs. Coinciding with the 100th Anniversary of the birth of Sir Hardy Amies 1909 – 2009, the exhibition will prove monumental as it will be the first British couture house to unlock its doors to the public.
The Hardy Amies Archive will be open November at No. 14 Savile Row, London, W1.
Trend Focus: The Short Shift – Hemlines on the Up
Ever since economist George Taylor concocted the Hemline Index in 1926 there has been much debate over skirt lengths reflecting the state of the economy. Taylor’s theory suggests that hemlines rise when financial markets are good and can rapidly fall when they are poor. Apply this theory to the S/S 2010 collections and it appears designers are very optimistic indeed. From Prada in Milan to Karl Lagerfeld in Paris time to get your pins in gear as hemlines will be short, short, short come spring. How’s that for a dose of optimism? Forget all those mutterings of ‘minimal’ and ‘pared down’ when the credit crunch first hit, designers are blinging up the new season by piling on the embellishment and slashing hemlines to sky-high proportions.
Of course there is also talk of a somewhat influential Lady GaGa kick-starting the trend with her large knickers worn as outerwear antics. Loved and loathed for her style in equal measure Lady GaGa has been credited for boosting knicker sales across the UK. And while most of us might give the knickers worn as hotpants look a miss the general gist is a shift towards a higher hemline.
Back to Paris and the latest batch of shows, and it is perhaps apt that another pivotal trend coming through is lingerie. Jean Paul Gaultier referenced his iconic cone bras of yesteryear while transparent slips, corsetry and feminine lace-trims featured through-out the Christian Dior show. Elsewhere off the catwalk the fashion pack seem determined to stick two-fingers up to the recession by donning sequins, heavy duty jewellery and impossibly high-heels.
Now On: Pop Life – Art in a Material World
When a friend suggest I check out the ‘dirty’ rooms at the latest Tate Modern exhibition Pop Life I must admit, I became a little intrigued.
The exhibition centres around Andy Warhol’s provocative quote “good business is the best art” and brings together a bunch of artists that have embraced the media game and the commerce of art. Warhol, of course, was no stranger to whoring himself out to the press, he knew only too well how to work his self-image and his art to gain mass exposure.
Whatever your view this exhibition clearly displays the various ways artists have cultivated their artistic personas and created their very own signature brands. In fact, this exhibition could have easily been called ‘Me, Myself and I’ due to the flagrant amount of self-immortalisation on display.
Alongside Warhol’s Pop Icons and Gem prints you can find works by the likes of Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Jeff Koons, Martin Kippenberger and Takashi Murakami. By harnessing the power of the celebrity system these artists have reached beyond the inner sanctum of the art world to engage audiences both inside and outside the gallery. From Damien Hirst’s (aka Britain’s richest living artist) Golden Calf to Keith Haring’s Pop Shop room – the works on show are far from subtle. Sometimes brash, sometimes challenging the by-line for this exhibition could be ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity.’
While Keith Haring and Takashi Murakami took the mass merchandising route the likes of Jeff Koons and Andrea Fraser blatantly used sex to provoke media and public opinion. Hence the reference to the ‘dirty rooms’ with cocks and copulation aplenty.
Pop Life looks at the commercialisation; some might say degradation, of art over the past 30 years. It’s no coincidence that the show is doing brisk business bringing all walks of life through those Tate Modern doors. Ironically, however, the idea of making art accessible to the masses doesn’t extend to the exhibition’s photography policy.
Pop Life, Art in a Material World is on at the Tate Modern, Bankside, London until 17th January 2010
Pop Life: Art in a Material World will travel to the Hamburger Kunsthalle from 6 February – 9 May 2010 and then to the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa from 11 June – 19 September 2010
By JoJo Iles