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DAILY PIC: Two images care of the punk couture show that previewed today at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York – and that I just panned on TheDailyBeast.com. In that cranky review, however, I didn’t have room to mention that, among the talentless couturier copycats of punk who dominate the show, there are also a few designers, such as Rei Kawakubo and Martin Margiela, who are genuine artistic geniuses. The thing is, I think that by including them the curators are guilty of that heinous sin that art historians call pseudomorphism: Imagining that because two artworks look the same, they also mean the same thing and play the same role in our culture. When Sex Pistols drummer Paul Cook wore a Union Jack t-shirt in the late 1970s (left) his brash punk gesture meant something utterly different than when Rei Kawakubo, a Japanese intellectual, reworked the British flag (right) into runway fashion in 2006. Ditto for punk’s rebellious repurposing of junk and the Maison Martin Margiela’s thoughtful recycling of consumer goods in the fabulous Artisanal line it launched a few years ago. (Left, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, © Dennis Morris; right, courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art, photo by Catwalking)
Design by Hussein Chalayan featured in the spring-summer 2003 issue of Dazed and Confused magazine.
Photo by Eric Nehr.
“The Rites of Fashion” Yves St. Laurent
There was an almost macabre air about the pale, gawky young man with the luminous eyes and the slim hands; they were fragile hands, as delicate as the stalks of white iris, and his long, lank hair, carefully tinted in a flat russet, fell down in the back over his starched white collar, and over the templates of his heavy, wide-lensed eyeglasses. He had well-shaped ears, a prominent, almost patrician nose, and a wide, full-lipped, sensual mouth. When he spoke, it was in a hushed and diffident tone, the kind of voice one associates with an undertaker. He said: “Allons, mes enfants, il faut commencer…”
Newsweek August 12, 1963
[Photo: Frédérique Veysset]
Oh, you want more monkeys wearing human clothes? OK, fine.
We were with you until the Barack Obama ears.