And now, a note from Faran... Last season, Ann Demeulemeester made some pins inspired by Kara Walker silhouettes (without the racial subtext or the fury or the brilliance, of course). This season, Cynthia Rowley is going one step further, introducing a holiday cocktail dress inspired by the artist's work. It's actually a pretty great dress, and if it were sold with a different name - the Shadow Dress, maybe - I'd love it. But my stomach gets knocked sideways when you say, "Look, it's the Kara Walker dress," because it's not even subversive, or funny. It just seems hollow and kind of misinformed. Kara Walker is an artist whose work is so beautiful that it clashes directly with her subject matter - hate, oppression, victimization, blame, poverty, shame, rape, madness. It's so complicated that I still haven't decided how I feel about it, but I do know this: It feels really oblivious and pretty wrong to make a holiday party frock, and without an ounce of humor, to proclaim it your Kara Walker dress. But maybe I'm just overreacting - I get worked up when I don't get to see the Chloe show in person, you see... Love you guys, xo.
Cynthia Rowley Fall 2012: Leather and Mullet Hemlines Aren’t Going Anywhere
After three seasons of showing in the official Fashion Week tents, Cynthia Rowley went rogue and held her Fall/Winter 2012 show at the Frank Gehry-designed IAC Building (a.k.a. Diane Von Furstenberg’s husband Barry Diller’s offices or that funky white structure, on the West Side Highway, that looks like an odd snow formation.) But once the show started (roughly 30 minutes late—early by fashion standards), it was pretty evident why the venue choice was kind of genius. The New York-based fashion designer is an art aficionado in her spare time and for this showing, she displayed a pretty impressive black and white mosaic of flat screen live-action video from the catwalk as a backdrop to the actual runway show--a perfect match to the building's super sleek and modern facade. The lovely and youthful Rowley can always be depended on for her playful, art-inspired designs and the same can be said for her line-sheets. This time, she listed “mechanics, cobblers, & leathermen”, “women artists making big, strong work” and “Rachel Feinstein’s carriages” as inspirations, plus “Youtube breaks” and “Portlandia clips” as recess activities.