Monthly Archives: August 2012

WE’RE NOT GIVING AWAY A SECRET. WE’RE JUST SAYING WE HAVE ONE

We're just going to Instagram everything, darn it.

We know who that tiger is.  We know what that tiger is going to look like. We know what immortal hand and eye framed its fearful symmetry.
 
Hue still does not quite understand why “eye” is supposed to rhyme with “symmetry” there.
 
All secrets will be revealed, in detail, with the next Hue, due in November.  Hold your breath!

HUE WENT TO MOMA TO LOOK AT ART, BUT ALL WE FOUND WERE CLOTHES

Every now and then, Hue stumbles onto the vexing question of fashion versus art. Like, is Alexander McQueen’s jellyfish ensemble art? Or Yves Saint Laurent’s Mondrian dress? What if something is just really exceptionally crafted? Is exacting, painstaking craft itself an art form? Hue goes back and forth on this.

Balenciaga suit, 1948: Fabulous, but is it the "A" word?

Recently, Hue found itself on the opposite side of the question when we took a little field trip to the Museum of Modern Art. Here we noticed that the artists (we’re confident that they’re artists because we found them in an art museum) were trying to horn in on fashion’s act.

We took lots of very bad pictures.  Here’s one:

Hue thinks a Rootstein mannequin would do wonders for this, er, sculpture.

We liked Andrea Zittel’s “Lavender Corduroy Personal Panel” (above) from 1995.  On the MoMA’s website, Zittel explains, “I think the whole point of my work is to pay more attention to using things in a conscious way and observing your reactions to objects.”  I know, right?

 

It's hard to go shopping when you have eggshells stuck all over your bag.

 
We wandered upstairs. There we encountered “Maria” (above), a piece from 1966 by Belgian artist (that word again!) Marcel Broodthaers (1924-1976).  The didactic label told us that Broodthaers incorporated humble found objects in direct conversation with Pop Art.  But we think it’s a nice dress anyway.
 
Then there’s this fellow:
 

Hue doesn't have to tell you this is by German conceptual artist Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), do we?

The artist created this suit out of felt, a fabric of which we happen to be very fond.  We found the didactic label puzzling:  “Felt can provide protection and warmth as well as detachment and isolation.”  Detachment and isolation?  We can’t think of anything that would make us want to cuddle up more.  We were happy to find out that Beuys modeled this piece on his own suits.  We wanted to take this one down from its austere, cold place on the wall, put it on, and walk away, thus becoming, perhaps, a piece of performance art.
 
 
On the other hand, maybe we’ll just buy something bespoke.  We want a good fit, and, frankly, we’re starting to suspect these categories are just in our heads.
 

FIT STUDENTS TOUR EUROPE, INSPIRE JEALOUSY

The verdict is in: Fashion Merchandising Management students have all the fun.

Earlier this summer, Professor Jane  Werner and the 16 students in her FM 226 class crossed the pond and spent almost a month soaking up the sights of London, Paris, Barcelona, and Florence.

Their drool-worthy itinerary could not have been more glamorous. They met with Topshop’s designers; toured a distribution plant run by robots; met fashion forecasters from Stylesight and WGSN; presented marketing and merchandising plans to Spanish women’s wear company Encuentro; explored Pitti Uomo, a massive menswear trade show in Florence; watched leather workers and silk weavers make their product; and cooked with an Italian chef. Among many other equally impressive activities.

“The students finally got to see things they studied in class,” Professor Werner said. “And they learned not to be afraid of a place where they don’t speak the language.”

Behold, the slideshow.

NEW DEAN DIGS CLASSIC ROCK

In July, Dr. Mary Davis started as dean of FIT’s School of Graduate Studies. She used to chair the music department at Case Western Reserve University—and she was the university liaison to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Hue is jealous.

Davis loves rock and roll, and she knows how to talk about it. Hue asked her to name her three favorite songs of all time. This is what she said.

1. “Aretha Franklin plays a role in American History—as a woman, in the civil rights movement, and, over the arc of her career, for the evolution of music. Think is an empowerment song. It’s got a great vibe. She always had an incredibly tight band, and she’s a total perfectionist in keeping everything solid and well controlled. The freedom you hear in her voice—what comes across as pure, raw power and spontaneity—there’s something way more complicated going on behind that.”

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“Without Aretha, we wouldn’t have Lady Gaga. Aretha pioneered wigs and crazy theatricality. Though Aretha never wore a meat dress—to my knowledge, at least.”

2. “Bring it On Home to Me by Sam Cooke is a soulful late-night song from 1962. It’s a pop song, but it’s also very sexy. The song marks the moment when pop music shifted over from an orchestral sound to the roots of rock and roll. You can hear the orchestra interacting with him—he’s got an incredible voice—and then you hear a sax section. The classical strings and the low-down, raunchy club music find a meeting place in the song.”

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“When I worked with the Rock Hall, we honored an important figure in rock and pop for a week every year. Sam Cooke was our American Music Master for 2005. I’ll never forget this: During the tribute concert, Morgan Freeman was singing Bring it On Home to Me in my ear during the performance.”

3. “Tom Petty is one of my favorite artists of all time. His lyrics are compelling narratives, all condensed into three minutes. He really understands the human condition. Like Aretha, he is a total perfectionist, and he has a driving band influenced by early ’70s rock and a little bit of punk. The juxtaposition of personal lyrics and kick-ass music comes through in a lot in his songs.”

“It’s hard for me to pick one song. I love Free Fallin’. It’s built out of three chords, over and over again. Out of nothing more than the most basic elements of music, he built a whole world.”

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