Right now fashion favors the thin, skin-hugging, emo-influenced look, but amazingly it also favors...or at least tolerates...the opposite (above): the luxurious, wrinkly, over-size, sort of designer baggy look. Baggy's the wrong word but I don't know what else to call it.
Friday, September 02, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
The tiny house movement appears to be here to stay. Even people with money to spend want houses that are thin and cramped.
Thin exteriors could bring about a civil war in the home design industry. Minimalism still dominates interior design and that requires big, empty spaces. The only way to reconcile these two opposing philosophies is to have a house with only one big room that combines all functions. In a room like the one above you would eat off the sofa and take a shower in the planter.
It looks like the interior faction is going to be on the losing side. That's too bad because there's been some minimalist innovations that even a maximalist like me can get behind. I kinda like interiors like the one above, though they might be better suited for offices than homes.
The hot furniture designer now is Tom Dixon. That's his work above. He likes the digital look. I dunno. It's not my taste.
The table above might work if it could be made sturdy.
Tuesday, March 15, 2016
That's Diana Vreeland above, the editor of Harper's Bazaar and Vogue in their peak years from 1936 to 1944 when those magazines were undergoing a Golden Age. Theory Corner owes a lot to her influence, although I almost never read her magazines, and I only discovered her name a couple of weeks ago.
My connection with her comes from the magazine editors she might have influenced, and who in turn influenced me: Harold Hayes (Esquire), Hugh Hefner (Playboy) and Harvey Kurtzman (Mad).
I discovered Vreeland while researching Horst, the photographer. Horst credits Vreeland and Alexey Brodovitch with introducing Surrealism (above) to American women's magazines.
She had a vision that fashion photography could be elegant and lighthearted at the same time.
She favored models (above) with personality.
She also had a taste for the mystical and eerie, as in this photo (above) by Cecil Beaton. It reminds me of the female vampires in the film, "Dracula."
Her photo essays frequently told a story, or rather they suggested a possible story which the reader was invited to construct. Her dramatic models were often thoughtful and in the throws of moral choice. The photo above is by Dahl-Wolfe.
Most impressive, in my opinion, was how she inspired the great photographers she worked with. The examples above and below are from a photo shoot she commissioned, where the models were to pose in furs in far away Japan. For any other fashion magazine that would be a simple matter of photographing models in front of temples. Not so for Vreeland. She wanted more.
Vreeland wanted an indescribable fantasy that exceeded what was possible in the real world. To underline the unreality of it, she chose models who were incredibly tall and lean and, in the case of the man, philosophical. The shoot took place on a plain field of snow-covered black volcanic pebbles...no temples, no cherry trees.
I'm guessing that this approach influenced Hugh Hefner whose fantasies were equally audacious and unreal.
This is a room in Vreeland's apartment. Haw! I wonder what her husband thought of it. It's right out of her outrageous "Why Don't You...?" column in the 30s Harper's Bazaar.
She got it because she had the good fortune to social dance at a night spot where Harper's editor Carmel Snow was in attendance. Snow was the rare executive who realized that her business was operating far beneath its potential and needed fresh blood. In Vreeland, a total stranger up to then, she saw someone who was passionate, theatrical, charismatic, poised, well-dressed, danced well, etc., etc.
Snow offered Vreeland the job of fashion editor the very next day on the condition that Vreeland work her way up through the ranks, albeit on a fast track. The rest was history.
BTW: There's some nice books about Vreeland, but the one essential thing to see is the documentary film: "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel."
Wednesday, December 16, 2015
Most animation cartoonists who come to Theory Corner probably aren't interested in fashion illustration, I guess because animation is acting intensive and requires an emphasis on simpler color. That's understandable, but I'd argue that a study of that medium, fashion I mean, is still useful for our trade, regardless of whether what we do ends up being on the screen or not. It's simply a good training ground for a certain kind of color and line. Of course I'm a guy so I'd choose more masculine subject matter.
It's a style that encourages doodling in color, as in these Christian Lacroix sketches.
Lacroix was one of the creators of the Cindi Lauper style in the 80s.
His sketches are reproduced in a few books. They'd make great Christmas gifts for artists.
I did a search for Lacroix posters but I didn't turn up anything first rate. To judge from pictures on the net, the posters he puts on his own walls are colorful prints from other media.
That's all I have to say about Lacroix, but I'll add that my hits have diminished in the last couple of weeks, maybe because people are focused on the holiday. That's okay, so am I. I think I'll take this opportunity to post on a reduced schedule for a couple of weeks. I'll be back on a full schedule soon after Christmas.
Wednesday, August 26, 2015
Schools probably have to do this...it makes parents and regulators feel good and you can't disregard people like that. Some schools solve the problem by keeping the minimalist lobby...
Saturday, July 18, 2015
Here's what I'm reading now, or rather will read when I finish Mike Barrier's book about Dell comics. I know nothing about the Aztecs but the illustrations in the book are so beautiful and the stories so enticing that I can't help but jump the gun and write about the subject anyway.
BTW, the illustration above is a cheat, inspired by the later Aztecs who fought differently and massacred large numbers of captives. Amazingly we know the name of the man who convinced everyone to do that.
BTW: I'll digress for a moment to marvel at the fact that the Aztecs enthusiasm for architecture never made its way into their drawn art. I'm not aware that any culture in the West thought landscapes were worth an artist's time. Maybe the Chinese and Japanese valued it but I'm not aware that anyone else in the ancient world did.
If there were lots of beautifully carved wooden structures maybe they wouldn't have survived the conquest. Both the Spanish and their vengeful allies would have had reasons to destroy them. But this is conjecture. A counter argument might be that Mexico didn't have much hard wood.