Category Archives: Trend

Speaks for itself.

JOHN VARVATOS WEARS GREAT BOOTS, TALKS ROCK STAR STYLE

John Varvatos, one of the world’s best-known menswear designers, came to FIT the other day to discuss and show slides from his new book, Rock in Fashion. It’s a smashing compilation of the coolest looks from classic rock bands, and also serves as his design inspiration notebook. The book’s title is something of a misnomer though, because, as Varvatos pointed out, he’s more interested in style than fashion: “Style for me is how you carry yourself. Fashion passes, style evolves.”

Check out the boots!

Winner of three awards from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, including Best Menswear Designer, Varvatos is famous for designing sneakers without laces for Converse. He wore brown boots with side-button detailing and was demonstrating his unique way with a scarf. His conversation was all about rock stars, mostly acts he loved from the late ’60s-early ’70s, when he was growing up in Detroit—Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Jimi Hendrix, The Clash, Patti Smith, Keith Richards. Of Lou Reed, who died the day before, Varvatos said, “Lou was somebody who pushed the boundaries every day of his life, musically and stylistically.”

In general, Varvatos prefers bands with a consistent look over chameleons who change their appearance with each new album. There was one notable exception: David Bowie. Hue’s managing editor, Alex Joseph MA ’13, who introduced Varvatos and conducted the interview, asked whether he thought menswear tended to be more resistant to change than women’s wear. Varvatos seemed to think it did. With menswear, he said, “It’s all about the great details—the finesse, the little hidden treasure. Great fabrics, fit, and leathers.”

Appearances are paramount for rock stars. That conclusion seemed inarguable from the photographs Varvatos showed of performers like Sly Stone, Rod Stewart and The Faces, and The New York Dolls. Even if they play great music at a concert, the designer remarked, “If they’re only wearing shorts and T-shirts, it’s not as great.”

In a short question-and-answer session after the interview, a student asked about the future for menswear. “Menswear is evolving faster than ever before in its history,” Varvatos said. “Women’s wear is getting stale. Men’s has much more newness.”

HUE GETS REALLY REALLY CLOSE TO 35,000 BEES

In the latest issue of Hue, Nick Parisse, Photography and the Digital Image ’09, takes readers on a tour of his beehive. Flip through the issue online here; the bee feature appears on page 14-15.

Hue got up close and personal with the bees over the summer. Check out this video by Alex Joseph, Hue‘s managing editor, as, bare-handed (!!), he goes “into the hive” with Parisse. Note: Turn up the volume on your speakers to hear dialogue at the beginning.)

Watch as, at approximately 1:30, Parisse taps 30 bees onto his bare hand. And, at about 2:50, a special appearance by the queen bee herself!

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Lexi Parisse, Fashion Design ’09, who owns her own green fiber business, can also be glimpsed, standing at a safe remove.

And here’s a mesmerizing closeup video of Nick’s bees. The queen has a yellow dot painted on her back.

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These bees are amazing creatures, but Hue will probably wait in the car next time.

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.
 

HUE EMBARKS ON A LOVE AFFAIR WITH AN APP CALLED INSTAGRAM

It’s July.  Hue’s mind is melting.  We feel like our attention span has turned into a formless, oozy substance.  We drizzle it over things.

We have discovered a photography app called Instagram.  Yesterday, we walked around FIT and experienced the college through the app’s various filters.

This rather testy individual was spotted on 27 Street. He wore fur, which he came by honestly.

Instagram makes us nostalgic for everything, even that which is occurring in the present.

Someone in FIT’s library made this collage featuring the queen, versions old and new.

We actually find ourselves nostalgic about our current reading material:

“The Dentist,” a story from Mary Gaitskill’s Because They Wanted To. Truly remarkable.

 

Or this whorl of gelato, which tempted us:  (We didn’t give in.)

Hue’s new iPhone lets us crop photos for the first time. Very exciting.

There’s so much beauty to pluck and savor.  Instagram shows that you can find it quite nearby—even on a co-worker’s desk:

This particular co-worker has a degree in horticulture.

What’s on your mind right now?  What’s beautiful?  Take a picture of it with your cell phone, and send it to Hue.  If we get enough entries, we’ll do a roundup on the blog; if we’re overwhelmed with submissions, we’ll do a feature in the magazine.

 

FINALLY, FIDO HAS SOMETHING DECENT TO WEAR TO THE OSCARS

Hue thinks the one thing missing from Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week is outfits for dogs. Fortunately, FIT filled the gap on April 18 with its Fourth Annual Pet Fashion Show, when dogs took the runway in outfits so fashionable they need a warning label. The designs came out of FIT’s Pet Product Design and Marketing certificate program.

A dog in a blue dress

Vivi the Pomeranian in a blue feather harness by Coty Farkas

Form and function don’t exactly intersect with these stunners–but form and cuteness make a sturdy bond.

A dog in a pink dress

Lily the Papillon in a pink taffeta dress by Cheryl Jackson

Hue is quite taken with dog fashions but wants to know where the cat and hamster fashions are.

A Shih Tzu in a black and silver dress

Phoebe the Shih Tzu in a black taffeta dress by Cheryl Jackson

And the winner of the Best of Fashion Show Award is…

The winning dog garment

Chewee, a Leonberger, wearing a suede leash and matching suede-and-boa-embossed leather patchwork coat, by Dawn Deisler