Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Hipsters, Hustlers and Handball Players.

Leon Levinstein exhibition at The Met is sooooo good. Based around NY streets from the 1950's-80's -Levinstein had street style photography down before any sort of Sartorialist or Face Hunter existed! Not a fashion photography exhibit, more of a look back in time and seeing how things have changed which is definitely refreshing. Love the way he works; quite dark and grungey, lots of unflattering angles, people out and about doing their every day things and hardly any posing (and if there is, no hands on the hips or awkward skinny poses). While he was a student he apparently became obsessed with photographing strangers; devoting nights and weekends to the streets; and ultimately continued to do so for the next thirty years of his life. Yowzas.

The photographs are taken from inner city NY to the outer boroughs with a broad spectrum of people; different nationalities, ages, colour etc. Here are a few of my favs;

I walk, I look, I see, I stop, I photograph.

(I think Johnny Borrell may have been sneaking around the Levinstein Archives! Oh Johnny get outta there.)

See what I mean about the no awkward posing? There is something so brilliant about this photo (and not just for the obvious reasons of the slightly rounder notso happy woman sitting in the sand with towel on her head) but she looks so content with herself. And relaxed? I don't know. It just makes me smile, and then think for a minute or two. About what I'm not sure.

Night bloggatrons!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Japan Fashion Now! Pow!


So this is a long over-due post on the Japanese fashion exhibition that’s being held in FIT until January 8th. Went about three weeks ago with Babz and Libby and have been meaning to blog about it a lot earlier than now but at least it's better late than never! With my neighbour singing Lionel Ritchie’s All Night Long at the top of his lungs I can’t think of a more perfect time to blog. Oh New York you random place you! For those who don’t know (which I imagine is very few), FIT is a huge fashion school in New York, and I mean huge. I pass by it every morning on my way to work and it easily covers three-four blocks. -Oh to have a few hundred grand in the bank and I’d be on my way…sigh. It’s not a huge exhibition space but big enough to make you get a good sense of all the major Japanese designers that have turned Japan into a creative mecca.

The first section is the introductory gallery; a clean cut, laboratory style setting where work from Issey Miyake, Yohji Yamamoto, Rei Kawakubo and Commes De Garcon (..haawww) displayed such acclaimed pieces like the rubber bodice by Rei Kawakubu and the deconstructed denim dress by Junya Wantanabe for Commes De Garcon- to name a few. While I browsed through the gallery, it was only a few hours later I thought -Jesus, that was surreal. I wrote my thesis on these designers!!

(Let's just have a moment and appreciate Yamamoto.)

The main gallery is more of a step into Japanese street style and sub-culture movements that have been made famous today by Gwen Stefani's harajuku girls and Katy Perry&Lady Gaga love of Hello Kitty. One side dedicated to the ultra-trend setting Japanese designers of today; Loved the menswear section of the main gallery! Tokyo is more risk-taking in the menswear stakes, hence a good place to be if you were a menswear designer. (Totally want the A/W 2010-11 Phenomen jacket all for myself.)

The other side of the space reflects on the subcultural movements in Harajuku and Shibuya who literally take fashion to another level. Treated like (an almost competitive?) form of dress-up within cultural groupings such as Lolita, Angelic Pretty, Baby etc. (One would be forgiven to mistake the outfits for the children costume section in Toys r Us) Needless to say all of this effort has not gone unnoticed in the western world, inspiring heavyweights like Jean Paul Gaultier and Marc Jacobs- just to name two.

One of my fav parts of the exhibition is by Jun Takahashi S/S collection; the skull manipulation in three pieces were constructed in such an elegant and sophisticated way. The 3D skull dress especially. It took me a minute to realise that in fact it was skulls, made in a silk patent I think? Another highlight is the googly eye dress -so ridiculously cool! Tongue-in-cheek fashion projected at the highest quality of construction and innovation. Yowzas. But I can't find a picture! eek.
Jun Takahashi S/S 2007

Annnyway it’s a definite recommendation! It won’t take you longer than an hour to have a proper look and appreciate the craftsmanship of these innovative designers on display. I, myself, found it really inspiring, just to see the fabrics up close, the construction of each piece and the fabric manipulation/embellishments of each look. –These are designers I would have referenced throughout college for their innate ability to capture innovation so effortlessly. Loved. A lot.

(All photos from google. Apologies for the size, flickr and I will be friends again soon.)

Monday, October 18, 2010


Hi bloggsters!

Just a quick post before I hit the sack. I'm alive. Just incase you think anything has happened to me on the mean streets of New York -which by the way are more polite and friendly that yee old Irlanda. So I've had a busy few days with my internship and general city life, which seems to fly by faster than you want it to. But I luckily had a long weekend of exhibitions the weekend before last; went to see Yoshitomo Nara; Nobody's Fool at the Asia Society Museum which made me feel like I was in a creche (and I mean that in the most flattering way), or maybe more back at school doodling? If only I was able to doodle like that. I'll give it a proper few lines when I'm more awake. Leon Levinstein's photography journal at the MET was another cracker, came acoss it casually on the New York bible, Time Out, and knew immediately that I'd love it. But again, I think they both deserve their individual posts, so I'm just going to post a few photos of the pieces I liked at the MET -not that you could possibly venture around the MET in one day, it is so huge! I got lost at least three times, I trusted a french woman to point me towards the Exit and ended up at the toilets. So annnyway.

El Anatsui, African Sculptor, a recycled wall hanging completely constructed of aluminium bottle tops flattened, perforated and connected together with wire. Absolutely love this piece!

A 3D eagle anyone? Just a tad dark and mysterious, but that's not my favourite apect of the Robert Rauchenberg painting/ installation. In fact I was standing there for a good three minutes looking at this piece and wondering why I was standing there? But it's a taxidermy eagle after all. Really, I so love the different use of media and the collage technique. I want the work to be cut up into pieces and made into a sketchbook (or just given to me for an hour or so to figure out how many layers or paint, oil, pencil, fabric, metal went into it ).

A close up of abstract artist Conrad Marca-Relli, The Battle. Another collage piece that caught my eye for inspiration reasons. Patchwork quilt anyone? I'll get started right now! Oil cloth, tinted canvas, enamel paint, and oil on canvas. Just lovely.

Here's a fun one, which will soon be taking a spot on my (jumbo-sized) fridge once I get to a print shop. Looks like Napolean was around in 1978. Except his name is Mark, not Napolean, and the artist is Chuck Close. I think Mark looks more like a Chuck though.

More posts to follow bloggatron's! No more excuses. Sorry about the smaller photos, apparently I've exceeded my limit on my flickr account, I didn't even know that was possible?

Saturday, October 9, 2010


Here are a few little purchases I bought since I got here, nothing too splurge-ful but loving them all the same.
Polaroid camera bought a few doors down at a stoop sale for $6, hello bargain central! Granted I'm not sure if it works yet as I need to get film, but if this was bought in London you'd easily be paying 20-25 pounds just for the body of it. I love the old-school chunky shape, and the push-up flash is possibly the best piece of technology I have ever come across.
Real leather satchel, $8, bought at the granny market. This hasn't come off my arm for the past three weeks. Absolutely love it! Perfect storage for all my pens and penny's. The arm strap is detachable so if I'm feeling a little 60's; it'll be shift dress, faux fur, knee highs and satchel! Ya-haw.
Knuckle-duster (as babz calls it) $12 prince street market. I've had my eye on this since I got here but I've been trying to do that; "Go away and think about it" mantra, so I did and bought it a week later. Love it on it's own, I know you can do that bulky build-up with other pieces but I don't really have the patience; y'know like trying to find keys, fixing hair, sewing etc. I'm also after mysteriously ripping off half my nail the other day so who knows what kind of damage could be caused by an immensely bling'd-up hand. eek!
Hope you like!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Forget all the things that I took with me..

Greetings bloggatrons!

So this week has been pretty hectic, I did a run through my cv and online portfolio on monday and tuesday -making sure it was all intact and looking glorious- e-mailed a few designers that I was interested in and scored an interview with a young and upcoming designer the following wednesday! Started work the next day in chelsea which by the way is V.fancy; already spotted Cynthia Nixon, Marilyn Manson and that extremely yummy r'n'b guy from gym class heros (not 100% sure it was infact him, but what the hell). Now I'm on the hunt for a paying job so I can actually support my glamourous NY lifestyle consisting of bagels, metro cards, underground gigs and v+t's. Oh and the best place for v+t's you ask? That would be Mars bar, a total dive! Literally. A minute walk from Spring St. exit, so cheap with the greatest juke box ever! Well granted it's our first dive bar jukebox experience, but I imagine it would be hard to beat (Bowie, Animals, MBV etc). However, the toilets are horrendous, Libster was brave enough to find the toilet flusher. -It really isn't a place where you want to touch anything. Can't believe I didn't take any proper photos of the place (let alone the toilets -seeing is believing), it's definitely one to record in the NYC archive!
This is from google; the daytime look..eh.. does nothing for the place.

On sunday Babz and I went see The Dust Busters, a fantastic southern band, in a venue called Jalopy, near carroll street I think? Lobster and I saw the violinist play on Shop St in Galway and were absolutely blown away by him. After a little youtube research, I found out he and his band were actually from Brooklyn and were regulars in Jalopy. What's even better; they not only perform in the tiny 40 seater theatre there, they also teach lessons and half of the venue is used by an instrument maker? (Not sure if that's the right word.) How tweedle di is that? I move all the way from Ireland to come across a band and a place that encapsulates Old Ireland. It was such a fantastic night, one might say Toe-Tapping Good! Maybe not.
The music is like a step back in time, not only with the musical instruments like the banjo, fiddle, harmonica, guitar but even their voices have that kind of scratchy off pitch sound. I'll definitely be going back.
Two photos so you can capture the atmosphere! And my bad photography.
Hiiting a local market near my street now, the granny one. Oh the joys!
Snogs and Blogs xxx

P.s. Can't stop listening to Groove Armada and Will young's History (hence the post title); so bad-ass. Most definitely recommend!