Smiling and Vomiting at New York Fashion Week
Fashion Week has hit New York City again, and big, fancy designers are showing their latest collections for fall/winter 2014. So we went to a few shows to figure out what all the Tumblr goofballs, twinks, and trust-funders will be wearing in autumn. Keep checking back frequently throughout the week for our reviews of the shows at Milk Studios, Lincoln Center, and more.
The influences behind Robert Geller’s collections are always super fascinating. The press releases for his shows are like rabbit holes that have you crawling through obscure Wikipedia pages and loading up your Amazon shopping cart with very rare goodies. This time around, however, the genesis for Robert’s fall 2014 looks lie with a rock star we’re all pretty familiar with: David Bowie. It’s not super surprising that Robert would find a muse in the Thin White Duke. David has long been a bastion of style (just check out the feature we did this month on Kansai Yamamoto, the designer behind many of David’s iconic looks). Not to mention, David’s a master at walking the thin line between being tough and elegant, just like Robert’s eponymous brand. Surprisingly, Robert opted to mine one of David’s lesser-known personae. Instead of aping low-hanging fruit like Ziggy Stardust, Robert looked to the big and boxy suits David wore in The Man Who Fell to Earth as a springboard for his collection. Robert’s models took to the runway in everything from neoprene overcoats and tall military caps to Chelsea boots and elongated tops. In the context of his previous work, it wasn’t revelatory. Everything from the warm hues of purple to the layered silhouettes was well within his wheelhouse and felt very familiar to me. Even so, it was refined to the point that his looks are becoming so pure and distinctive they’re bordering on the iconic.
—By Wilbert L. Cooper
The jungle-drum music and the “exotic” prints on the clothes made it apparent that Mara Hoffman was channeling the Dark Continent with her latest collection, which is weird because she’s never even been there before. Though I’m usually very suspicious of cultural reappropriation by old white people, I was at least pleased to see that Mara had the Rainbow Coalition do her casting. Models of all different races and complexions were clad in flowy dresses that were decorated in vibrantly colored sequins and patterns. There were definitely some great looks, and the styling of dark-skinned models in white was especially striking. But at the end of the day, this stuff is what a WASPy mom would wear to an Invisible Children fundraising event.
—By Wilbert L. Cooper
A True Rip-Off Artist
In 2009, I moved from St. Louis, Missouri, to New York City to “make it” as a photographer, a process that involved living in an apartment the size of a hallway with a view of a brick wall. I was broke, lonely, and desperate for work, when out of the blue I was contacted on Twitter by someone who went by the name C. S. Leigh.
Through the omniscient and infallible knowledge database that is Google, I learned that C. S. Leigh was a film director and a curator. An image search revealed photos of a balding, almost spherical man with black-rimmed glasses and a double chin. He told me he liked my stuff, and before long, I had agreed to take some photos for an art magazine he was putting out.
It seemed like the best thing that had ever happened to me. I did a fashion shoot featuring models in clothes from threeASFOUR and Chado Ralph Rucci and portraits of world-renowned perfumer Frédéric Malle and artist Meredyth Sparks. There was talk of my going to Paris and London for the Frieze Art Fair and Fashion Week, or perhaps attending Coachella to photograph bands for his magazine. It was as if C. S. had opened a door to the exclusive world of art and fashion and quietly slipped me into the front seat.
VICE: You grew up in New York. What do you think of how the city has changed?
Art Spiegelman: Don’t get me started. If there was another New York, I’d move to it.
Is New York still a place where a young artist can get started?
You can’t. Go to Germany kids. Maybe Budapest if you’re not Jewish. But this is something that I’m remembering from interviewing Al Hirschfeld. He had lived in Paris for a number of years when he was just out of college.
I asked “Did you know Picasso?” And he says, “Yeah. I’d see him at Gertrude’s House.”
So we were off and running and I said, “What was it in Paris? The graphic design was good, the painting was good, the writing was good, the architecture was good. Was there something in the water?” He goes, “Nah. Cheap real estate. I got that place I was living in for the equivalent of $300 a year.” At those rates, you can find out if you’re an artist or not.
That’s what’s gone from New York and that’s an irreconcilable loss. Though in New York one should always be grateful for the rapid degree of change. Maybe SoHo will become a slum. It’s possible.
The Great and God Awful Trends of New York Fashion Week Spring 2014
Marc by Marc Jacobs, Prabal Gurung, Philosophy, Alexander Wang, MM6, DKNY, Adam Selman
New York Fashion Week has been over for a little bit. Every season, we try to prepare our mind, body, and soul for it, only to find at the end of the week that our entire world has been flipped on its side and we have to scramble to piece our lives back together. It can take weeks to regain any level of normalcy—which is why our fashion week roundup is a little late this season. We also just wanted to take our time, sans hangover, to really go through everything we’d seen and bitterly browse through the shows we didn’t get invited to, to compile for you the best, worst, and unavoidable trends that will be forced in front of your faces come spring 2014.
J. Mendel, Brandon Sun, Sophie Theallet, Michael Kors, Jeremy Laing, Philosophy, Milly, Lacoste
Of all the trends we saw for next year, the “sheer fabric/no bra/I actually paid money for this shirt so you can see my titties trend” is by far our #1 favorite. This isn’t necessarily a new thing, nearly every season someone tries to pull off this look and normally it goes unnoticed. But the number of labels that decided to go this route for spring is a little overwhelming. In fact, I didn’t even include all of them in our post because we kept getting everyone’s shows mixed up and got sick and tired of having to re-make our stupid little collage every time we found someone else made exactly the same barely-there item.
Boobs are great and all, but we can’t help but be a little concerned about this—like, why is everyone suddenly making items that leave nothing to the imagination? Is everyone secretly way sluttier than we thought? Are we so wasteful as a society that we’re now OK with spending tons of money on clothing that technically isn’t really clothing? Is global warming worsening at such a rapid rate that by next season we won’t even be able to survive unless our asses are hanging out? Are we about to die? ARE WE DYING IN 2014?!
Ralph Lauren is one of those designers that’s been around, creating the exact same thing every season for so freakin’ long that we normally expect to be really unimpressed by his shows. His collections always seem to have some sickeningly romantic back-story to them. The kind that could be found in a trashy romance novel a neglected Upper East Side trophy wife would sit and cry over if her face wasn’t so frozen from all of the Botox and collagen she’s injected in order to “stay young” for her fat, ugly, cheater of a husband.
However, after seeing the spring 2014 collection, we think she might need to find a new go-to designer. This season, the clothing Ralph made was for a much younger audience. Instead of throwing a bunch of berets on chicks clad in dusty rose equestrian pants with periwinkle detailing or whatever the hell he typically tries to push, it appears as that he finally realized he needed to knock that shit off. This time around he designed the collection of our wildest 90s childhood fantasies—the perfect Clueless-fangirl wardrobe. Mini skirts, knee-high socks, neckties, and neons. We can finally all dress like Cher and Dionne. We’ve only been waiting for this collection for like half our goddamn lives!
Fashion Week has hit New York City again and big, fancy designers are showing their latest collections for spring/summer 2014. So, we went to a few shows to figure out what all the Tumblr goofballs, twinks, and trust-funders will be wearing when it’s nice outside again. Enjoy!
At this point, everybody on the internet has already slobbed on Humberto Leon and Carol Lim’s knobs for the amazing presentation they put together for Opening Ceremony’s first ever runway show. So, I’m not going to bore you talking about the dope-ass clothes or the killer cars or Rihanna. The reason the OC show was the highlight of my NYFW experience was because it’s the only one that got my rocks off.
You get all kinds of free stuff at fashion shows, and most of it is useless. This year I got some nail polish, a pair of sunglasses that I regrettably lost, and a nifty key chain. But none of that swag even came close to the self-pleasuring device gifted to me by OC. The vacuum cup designed by Tenga with the sweet psychedelic packaging inspired by OC’s latest collection was exactly what the doctor ordered after a long week of fashion-model-induced blue balls. I’m a creature of habit, so I’ve spanking my monkey the same way for the past 20-odd years. But now that I’ve had the pleasure of ejaculating into an oblong plastic tube with squishy cold stuff inside and a fancy designer label on the outside, I must say I am never going back. I’ll be coping handfuls of OC-branded Tengas every time my girl goes on family vacation or I just need some “me time.” Thank you, OC, for being amazing and giving me something that I’ll remember long after all of the other brand’s collections fade in my memory—a toe-curling nut buster.
—By Wilbert L. Cooper
JUNK FOOD VINTAGE NFL CURATED BY KRISTIN CAVALLARI
“Confusing” doesn’t even begin to describe a collection of “NFL vintage” by a brand called Junk Food, curated by the (recently arrested) Kristin Cavallari. But here’s everything I witnessed within five minutes of walking into this carnival show: three break-dancing teenagers, a bitchy cat in a photo booth licking “gourmet cat food” from a silver spoon, an obscenely large disco ball, and a veritable tsunami of leopard-print skirts. And that’s just what was happening on the sidelines. The crowd was a teeming mass of bottle-blond The Hills rejects and potbellied creeps waiting anxiously for the kickoff. And when the clothes actually came streaming down the runway… Well, let’s just say that the only person who could work cropped jersey sweaters with glittery sleeves and golden-chain belts is Peyton Manning in drag.
—By Michelle Lhooq
What a strange crowd. Over half the attendees who showed up didn’t look like they belonged there. Did they even know what Public School was? I sure do, and think it’s how a fashionable man should dress every day. Neutral colors and simple silhouettes are the way to go if you are a guy. The two-toned, black-and-white sneakers were the jam, too. Oh, and the model selection was impeccable. The group of models at this show was the best I’ve seen all fashion week. The women who came were just gawking at all the hot guys the whole time, but so was I, so I can’t hate.
—By Miyako Bellizzi
We Spoke to Innocent Men Who Were Stopped-and-Frisked
Recently, Steve Ferdman commented on a Reddit thread about stop-and-frisk. We emailed him, and he agreed to tell us more about what had happened to him.
When were you stopped-and-frisked?
Steve Ferdman: Last summer.
What happened when the police approached you?
A plain-clothes cop tapped me on the shoulder from behind and said, “Hi.” Three other plain-clothes cops surrounded me and pulled their badges over their shirts—they were tucked away as they initially approached. One reached into my pocket grabbing my Leatherman pocket tool. They then asked me where I was from, if I had ID, and why I had or needed a Leatherman pocket tool. Bewildered, I explained that I often use the tools to tune the carburetor on my motorbike and to take the seat off my bicycle when I park outside. Then, I asked for clarification as to why he was reaching into my pockets without my consent for something that is readily available at 100 percent of hardware stores in America. Rather than answering, they quickly finished running my ID, handed it back to me along with my multi-tool, and said, “Have a nice day.” They then all stood there mean-mugging me as I walked away.
Do you think stop-and-frisk is racial profiling?
With regards to stop-and-frisk, it’s obviously a racial profiling issue. I think people would be less offended by stop-and-frisk if it were enforced in all areas equally—I’d actually have a blast watching tourists and wealthy folks get stopped-and-frisked. If you can arrest a black teenager for a dime bag of weed, why not stop an investment banker and lock him up for the bag of cocaine in his pocket? Sadly, you’ll never see random searches on Madison Avenue. It’s an uptown and outer-boroughs thing—which is why it’s deplorable.
New York Fashion Week is a peculiar happening filled with angry PR people, overworked baristas, poor people masquerading as the rich, and rich people masquerading as the poor. Basically, it’s a mindfuck that can’t be described by words, so instead here are some pictures. Keep up with this column throughout the week for more NYFW photo updates!
A$AP Ferg, Bodega BAMZ, the Underachievers, and the Flatbush Zombies
Hip-hop is having a renaissance right now in the city of New York, where it seems like every other day a new MC rises up out of the five boroughs with an even more unique style and approach to the music than what we thought was possible before. Motley crews like the A$AP Mob, the Beast Coast, and World’s Fair have given us a reason to love rhymes again. We’ve written a lot about this stuff, but sometimes words don’t do it justice. So, we’ve linked up with scene insider Verena Stefanie Grotto to document the new New York movement as it happens in real time, with intimate shots of rappers, scenesters, artists, and fashion fiends.
For this installment, Verena caught up with A$AP Ferg, Marty Balla, the Underachievers, and Bodega BAMZ. She then shot photos of the Flatbush Zombies during their headlining set on Brooklyn’s Summer Stage, where she came across a mysterious pile of one-dollar bills.
Homophobic Killings Won’t Dampen New York’s Gay Pride
Above: Mark Carson
At the end of this month, New York will celebrate its annual gay pride march. But the parties and marches—a moment in the year when the city asserts a stand against discrimination against LGBT people—will be shadowed with an increased police presence and tarnished by the string of recent hate crimes that prompted that presence. The most notorious of those recent crimes being the murder of 32-year-old Mark Carson last month in the city’s apparently gay-friendly Greenwich Village.
“Look at you gay faggots, you look like wrestlers,” is a snippet of the homophobic tirade aimed at Mark Carson before his killer, 33-year-old Elliot Morales, aimed his revolver at the Brooklyn resident’s cheek and shot him point blank. The wrestler comment is a little confusing, but then so is homophobia in a supposedly progressive country where around 11.7 million people are openly gay.
I called up New York writer and activist Darnell Moore to speak about Carson’s death, the rising homophobia in New York, and where the future lies for gay tolerance in the city. Moore is a co-managing editor of The Feminist Wire and currently a visiting scholar at the Institute on Research in African American Studies at Columbia University. He was also the inaugural Chair of the city of Newark, New Jersey’s LGBT Concerns Advisory Board and, like Mark Carson, black, gay, and from Brooklyn.
VICE: Following Mark Carson’s death, what’s the mood right now in New York’s gay community?
Darnell Moore: People are angry. Marches, rallies, and protests have been planned. Christine Quinn—our City Council president, who happens to be a lesbian—organized a rally in response about three days after Mark was murdered. It was estimated that 1,500 people attended. The day after he was murdered, residents from the neighborhood held a silent vigil on the corner. People are raising their voices. That’s generally the mood right now.
With Mark Carson being African American, do you feel especially connected to this story, being both black and gay in New York yourself?
I do. But the questions that came to mind as I stood at the rally were: Would this protest be taking place if Mark Carson wasn’t gay? What if we didn’t know his sexual identity and he was murdered in the same gay, queer part of the city? Would people still be angry? Black young men are dying all the time in New York. We’re not only dying, but we’re being stopped and frisked by police officers. We are the majority of the people being locked up within the prison system. And it seems like there doesn’t appear to be a public outcry. Moments like this really remind me that sometimes we are so invested in the sexual identity of individuals that we forget all the other parts that define them.
Yeah, it seems that when there’s a homophobic crime on a black man in New York, it receives so much more attention. For example, the Michael Sandy case in 2006.
Yes, the “gay” aspect of the victims’ identities seems to make both cases exceptional to some. Black death is mundane. It’s common. And I think that’s problematic. It’s problematic, one, when anybody is murdered, whether it’s a hate crime perpetrated because of someone’s sexual identity or race. Any crime that results in the death of someone should similarly provoke people. All of the folk who showed up to Mark’s memorial should also show up to a protest if any non-gay identified black man in New York City was shot down.