Tag Archives: beauty

The 09/17/13 Joy Jar

17 Sep

New copper is bright and shiny, just like babies. As it ages, copper acquires a patina. American cities on the left coast don’t have the patina of age as many of the cities in Europe do. People who have aged gracefully acquire an elegant patina. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is an elegant patina.

Fewer and fewer Americans possess objects that have a patina, old furniture, grandparents pots and pans / the used things, warm with generations of human touch, essential to a human landscape. Instead, we have our paper phantoms, transistorized landscapes. A featherweight portable museum.
Susan Sontag (January 16, 1933 – December 28, 2004)
.

We don’t know exactly how they were built, presumably people who worked on site were asked to just build them. Sometimes, like in the studios, we just accepted the patina of paint that had accrued over time and just left it as a kind of found surface, which distinguishes and differentiates the rooms.
Thomas Payne

“In a global capital like New York, neither people nor buildings have the chance to accumulate the patina of age. Most residents are not born there, neither do they live in the same house for generations, and the physical fabric of the city is constantly changing around them.”
Sharon Zukin, Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places

“Stories are a kind of thing, too. Stories and objects share something, a patina. I thought I had this clear, two years ago before I started, but I am no longer sure how this works. Perhaps a patina is a process of rubbing back so that the essential is revealed, the way that a striated stone tumbled in a river feels irreducible, the way that this netsuke of a fox has become little more than a memory of a nose and a tail. But it also seems additive, in the way that a piece of oak furniture gains over years and years of polishing, and the way the leaves of my medlar shine.”
― Edmund de Waal, The Hare With Amber Eyes: A Family’s Century of Art and Loss

After that I could never pass a dead man without stopping to gaze on his face, stripped by death of that earthly patina which masks the living soul. And I would ask, who were you? Where was your home? Who is mourning for you now?
(Ernst Toller)

“Patina is the value that age puts on an object”
John Yemma, editor of the Christian Science Monitor, in his “open source” column for November 22, 2009, “On Thanksgiving: the memorial that time forgot”

The 08/25/13 Joy Jar

25 Aug

The #8 bus winds through Seattle and tells one a lot about the evolution of Seattle. Depending upon your perspective, it either starts at Seattle Center where the Space Needle is located and ends at Rainier Beach or starts at Rainier Beach and ends at Seattle Center. Along the way it goes through Southeast Seattle which is probably one of the most diverse areas in the country through neighborhoods who are now gentrifying along the back of Capital Hill to Seattle Center. Young people tend to display what a culture thinks is beautiful or hip. It is interesting that one observes that there is a cultural perspective to what is seen as beautiful. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the many facets of beauty.

Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it.
Confucius

Of life’s two chief prizes, beauty and truth, I found the first in a loving heart and the second in a laborer’s hand.
Khalil Gibran

A thing of beauty is a joy forever: its loveliness increases; it will never pass into nothingness.
John Keats

Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God’s handwriting.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy.
Anne Frank

Beauty has a lot to do with character.
Kevyn Aucoin

Beauty is not caused. It is.
Emily Dickinson

There is no cosmetic for beauty like happiness.
Maria Mitchell

Beauty is indeed a good gift of God; but that the good may not think it a great good, God dispenses it even to the wicked.
Saint Augustine

Beauty in things exists in the mind which contemplates them.
David Hume

The 07/07/13 Joy Jar

7 Jul

Moi went to the salon this weekend and got a conditioning treatment. One of the women who worked there was wearing a sequined tank top. That wardrobe choice brightened up the salon and everyone there commented on how much they liked it, particularly because the sequins were worn in the daytime. Really, why not brighten your world and the world of others. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar are sequins.

Personality is the glitter that sends your little gleam across the footlights and the orchestra pit into that big black space where the audience is.
Mae West

When you’re around me, you’re going to get glitter on you.
Kesha

“Note to self: Never leave home without glitter.”
Adrienne Kress, The Friday Society

I always try to balance the light with the heavy – a few tears of human spirit in with the sequins and the fringes.
Bette Midler

They are the literary equivalent of sequins on an evening dress.
Stefan Kanfer

“And now, I’m just trying to change the world, one sequin at a time.”
Lady Gaga

Dr. Wilda Reviews: Seattle Art Museum’s ‘Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion’

30 Jun

Moi had the great pleasure of attending the Seattle Art Museum’s (SAM) press preview for Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion which runs June 27 – September 8 at SAM Downtown in Simonyi Special Exhibition Galleries. This exhibit was organized by the Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI) and London’s Barbican Art Gallery in collaboration with SAM Seattle whichis one of two U.S. cities which will host this exhibit. After leaving Seattle, the exhibit will go to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts. Japanese fashion historian, Akiko Fukai , who is the Chief Curator of the KCI is the curator. All moi can say is, we are so very blessed. For fashionistas on the West Coast, it is definitely worth traveling to Seattle to see. Moi would describe the experience as being treated to some very expensive Cognac. It is not something one gets every day, but once treated to the experience, the Cognac is savored. Once the Cognac is drunk, you know that you might not have appreciated all the subtle notes.

The exhibit is “ structured in a combination of thematic and monographic sections.” The first section is influenced by In Praise of Shadows:

.an essay on Japanese aesthetics by the Japanese author and novelist Jun’ichirō Tanizaki. It was translated into English by the academic students of Japanese literature Thomas Harper and Edward Seidensticker.

The essay consists of 16 sections that discuss traditional Japanese aesthetics in contrast with change. Comparisons of light with darkness are used to contrast Western and Asian cultures. The West, in its striving for progress, is presented as continuously searching for light and clarity, while the subtle and subdued forms of oriental art and literature are seen by Tanizaki to represent an appreciation of shadow and subtlety, closely relating to the traditional Japanese concept of sabi. In addition to contrasting light and dark, Tanizaki further considers the layered tones of various kinds of shadows and their power to reflect low sheen materials like gold embroidery, patina and cloudy crystals. In addition, he distinguishes between the values of gleam and shine.              ttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/In_Praise_of_Shadows

The other sections have the themes of Flatness, Tradition and Innovation, and Cool Japan. One is of course wowed by the designs, but the real story is CREATIVITY and INNOVATION in the imagining of how fabrics can be used in design. Another thought moi had was that those who wear these fashions are probably very confident and sure of themselves and their relationship to the world.

This show is really one of those that you have to see in person because one will not be able to grasp the subtle and nuanced way in which some very exceptional fabrics are used in design. Sometimes fashion is simply eye candy and there certainly are those pieces in the collection. There are also those pieces that jar the senses and ask one to think about what role fashion has or should have. Is fashion important and what does beauty really mean? This is a beautifully displayed collection of designs displaying a particularly cultural take on the question of what is good design. Moi highly recommends this show.

The Japanese External Trade Organization describes the Fashion History of Japan:

Japanese fashion reached a turning point in the 70’s. Pr?t-a-porter (ready-made clothing) which people could wear more easily than haute couture, became widely available and that drastically changed Japanese fashion. Japan was in the middle of a high economic growth period and strong personal consumption backed the situation. Hanae Mori, Kenzo Takada, and Issei Miyake received attention internationally in the 1970’s.

Kenzo Takada established The House of KENZO in Paris in 1970 and opened his own boutique “Jangle Jap” there. He then started participating in the Paris Pr?t-a-porter Collection and his colorful, pretty and dynamic folklore look, big look, and layered look quickly became popular. Issei Miyake also started showing in Paris the Pret-a-porter Collection in 1973. Hanae Mori had her first show in New York in 1965 and then opened her maison de haute couture in Paris in 1977 and joined the Paris Haute Couture Collection. At the same time, Sayoko Yamaguchi, a Japanese fashion model, became very popular in the Paris Collection with her bob hair and makeup which emphasized her long-slitted eyes.

In the 80’s, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto received high recognition internationally. Their “boro look” which was loose black clothes ripped and frayed, brought sensational controversy in Paris, but their clothes then gave influence to the fashion after the period. Kawakubo and Yamamoto’s clothes matched to the mood of the 80’s when clothes with strong impressions were considered to be interesting. Their avant garde and dress-down approach had carved out new possibilities of fashion. It was an era when Japanese fashion bolstered a unique and original image which would shake the general idea of Western clothes. Kawakubo and Yamamoto’s deconstructed and sexless clothes later influenced designers in Belgium such as Martin Margiela.

In 1985, the Council of Fashion Designers, Tokyo (CFD) was established with 32 designers and then the Tokyo Collection was started. The DC (Designer Character) boom in the 80’s helped to energize the Tokyo Collection. In addition to designer’s brands which had been recognized internationally as high-end brands since the 70’s, character brands referred to brands which were more affordable yet very fashion trend conscious. Many character brands such as Bigi, Nicole, Atelier Sab, Pink House, and Takeo Kikuchi swept the Japanese market. Strong economic growth referred to as a “bubble” intensified the movement.

Noritaka TatehanaShortly after the 90’s started, the economic bubble burst and casual fashion became the mainstream fashion trend. In addition to “Shibukaji” which meant casual fashion originated from Shibuya in Tokyo in the end of the 80’s, “kogyaru” which referred to high school girls with loose socks, “chapatsu” ( brown hair), and “ganguro” (face with black foundation or strongly tanned) gained power in Shibuya. Street fashion in Tokyo started to get attention even from the international media and Shibuya and Harajuku especially became recognized as sources for fashion trend. “Ura Hara” which referred to the back streets in Harajuku, also became popular as a trendy fashion area. Jun Takahashi who is the designer of Under Cover originated from “Ura Hara” and he joined the Tokyo Collection in the middle of the 90’s and later started showing in Paris with the 2003 Spring Summer collection. Shibuya 109 (ichi maru kyuu), which is a building with many fashion brand tenants such as Egoist, Cocolulu, Moussy and Cecil McBEE, became very popular among young women in their teens and 20’s and the sexy and pretty fashion was called “maru kyuu fashion.”

When 21st Century started, more Japanese designers such as Chisato Tsumori, Junya Watanabe, Chitose Abe (Sacai), Limi Yamamoto (Limi Feu) started showing in the Paris Collection. In New York, “Japan Fashion Now” which was started in September in 2010 at the FIT Museum extended the term for three more months to the beginning of April in 2011 due to the popular demand. Among the featured designers in the exhibition, Under Cover, designed by Jun Takahashi was particularly favorite among the visitors. Noritaka Tatehana, who launched his shoes brand “NORITAKA TATEHANA” in 2010 quickly became famous as the pop singer Lady Gaga wore his highly distinctive shoes with no heels. His collection pieces are all handmade by the designer himself who has a back ground of creating kimono and wooden clogs utilizing yu-zen dying. Among the veteran designers, Rei Kawakubo of Comme des Garçons still actively inspires the world of fashion not only with her collection each season, but also her concept stores Dover Street Market, which are in London as well as in Ginza, Tokyo. Rei Kawakubo was chosen to be awarded for the international design from CFDA, Council of Fashion Designers of America in June, 2012. http://www.jetro.org/fashion_history_of_japan

Here is the press release from Seattle Art Museum:

For Immediate Release

Contact: Wendy Malloy, SAM Public Relations
(206) 654-3151; email:
PR@SeattleArtMuseum.org

Seattle Art Museum Presents Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion

Comprehensive survey of avant-garde Japanese fashion
Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion
June 27–September 8, 2013


SEATTLE, May 6, 2013 – This summer Seattle Art Museum (SAM) presents
Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion featuring more than 100 costumes by celebrated and original designers including Issey Miyake, Rei Kawakubo, and Yohji Yamamoto as well as younger designers influenced by popular culture and the dynamic street life of Tokyo.

This exciting exhibition, on view at the Seattle Art Museum June 27–September 8, 2013, highlights the tremendous innovation of Japanese fashion designers from the early 1980s to the present who revolutionized the way we think of fashion today. The designs reflect a range of influences from Japanese aesthetics, reinterpretations of Western couture, punk aesthetics and Japanese street fashion.

I am delighted that the Seattle Art Museum is the first museum in the United States to share this fascinating and influential period in design history and to present this stunning collection from the Kyoto Costume Institute.” said Kimerly Rorschach, SAM’s Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director.

Curated by the eminent Japanese fashion historian Akiko Fukai, Director/Chief Curator, the Kyoto Costume Institute (KCI), the exhibition explores the distinctive sensibility of Japanese design and its sense of beauty embodied in clothing. Bringing together over 100 garments from the last three decades—some never seen before in the United States—the exhibition also includes films of notable catwalk shows and documentaries.

The exhibition shows how Japanese fashion design launched itself on the world stage in the 1980s,” said Catharina Manchanda, SAM’s Jon & Mary Shirley Curator of Modern & Contemporary Art.

Japanese fashion designers at that time developed breathtaking aesthetic positions that subsequently influenced a younger generation of Western designers including Martin Margiela, Ann Demeulemeester and Alexander McQueen.”

The first Japanese designers who gained recognition in the West were Kenzo Takada and Issey Miyake in the 1970s. But the 1980s were the decade when Japanese designers forcefully made their mark. Traditionally, Western women’s fashion was and still is concerned with seductively packaging and unveiling the body.

Symmetry of the silhouette is one of Western fashion’s defining characteristics. But a legendary spring/summer show in Paris for the 1983 collection was a stark departure from such familiar positions. Rei Kawakubo for Comme des Garçons and Yohji Yamamoto were the designers who put forth a stark new aesthetic based on monochrome black and white colors and they presented asymmetrical, and above all artfully perforated and ripped designs that were deconstructive and the antithesis of a fitted gown.

The exhibition is structured in a combination of thematic and monographic sections:

The first thematic section, In Praise of Shadows, explores the Japanese designers’ interest in materials, textures and forms, and consciousness of light and shade. Most of the designs in this section are in black and white and revisit the moment when these minimal aesthetic proposals were first introduced to European audiences in the early 1980s. The costumes in this section include designs by Rei Kawakubo, Yohji Yamamoto, and Junya Watanabe.

The second section is Flatness and explores the simple geometries and interplay of flatness and volume in the work of Issey Miyake and Rei Kawakubo. This section includes a series of specially commissioned striking photographs by Japanese artist and photographer Naoya Hatakeyama.

In the next section the relationship between Tradition and Innovation is considered—from the radical reinvention of traditional Japanese garments and techniques, such as kimono and origami, to the technological advances in textile fabrication and treatment. It includes a series of paper garments by OhYa and Mintdesigns; Watanabe’s seminal autumn/winter 2000 collection Techno Couture; examples of Kawakubo’s deconstructionist work; as well as modern takes on traditional Japanese techniques and garments by Yamamoto, Kenzo and Matohu.

The final section focuses on the phenomenon that is Cool Japan. Featuring works by Tao Kurihara, Jun Takahashi for Undercover and Naoki Takizawa, among others. Cool Japan examines the symbiotic relationship between street style, popular culture and high fashion.

The exhibition also includes monographic presentations on each of the principle designers in the show featuring a range of archive and recent works: Rei Kawakubo (Comme des Garçons), Yohji Yamamoto, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe, and Jun Takahashi (Undercover).

Following its visit to Seattle, Future Beauty: 30 Years of Japanese Fashion will travel to the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Mass., where it will be on view November 16, 2013 through January 26, 2014.

Seattle Art Museum

SAM is one museum in three locations: SAM Downtown, Seattle Asian Art Museum at Volunteer Park, and the Olympic Sculpture Park on the downtown waterfront. SAM collects, preserves and exhibits objects from across time and across cultures, exploring the dynamic connections between past and present.

Kyoto Costume Institue (KCI)

Established in 1978 by Wacoal Corp., KCI is one of Japan’s leading repositories of historical costumes and contemporary fashion with a collection of over eleven thousand works. KCI has organized critically acclaimed fashion exhibitions around the world, including Ancien Régime and Japonism in Fashion, and generated important publications such as Fashion: A History from the 18th to the 20th Century; Collection of the Kyoto Costume Institute (Taschen, 2002).

Exhibition originally conceived by the Kyoto Costume Institute and Barbican Art Gallery, London. Seattle Exhibition organized by Kyoto Costume Institute in collaboration with the Seattle Art Museum. Exhibition supported by Wacoal Corp.

Presenting sponsor is Seattle Art Museum Supporters. Major sponsor is 4Culture King County Lodging Tax. Additional support provided by the Japan Foundation and the Max and Helen Gurvich Exhibition Endowment. Print media sponsor is Seattle Weekly. Retail partner is Pacific Place.

Contemporary and modern art programs at SAM are supported by a generous group of donors in honor of Bagley Wright.

Moi highly recommends this show. It is worth traveling to see.

Resources:

Brief History of Japanese Clothing                           http://www.reconstructinghistory.com/articles/japanese-articles/a-brief-history-of-japanese-clothing.html

Elements of Japanese Design                              http://www.thecultureconcept.com/circle/elements-of-japanese-design

FASHION JAPAN

Magazine on Japanese street fashion, runway fashion and street culture.

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The 06/09/13 Joy Jar

9 Jun

 

Moi will be going to the ’30 Years of Japanese Fashion’ exhibit at Seattle Art Museum at the end of the month. To beef up her fashion chops moi went to the movie, ‘Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorfs’ which was a hoot and really showed the creativity of high fashion and those famous windows at Bergdorfs. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ is the creativity of high fashion.

“I think there is beauty in everything. What ‘normal’ people would perceive as ugly, I can usually see something of beauty in it.”

Alexander McQueen

“The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it.”

Diana Vreeland

“Fashions fade, style is eternal.”

Yves Saint-Laurent

“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way you live.”

Gianni Versace

Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only. Fashion is in the sky, in the street, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.”

Coco Chanel

“Elegance is the only beauty that never fades.”

Audrey Hepburn

“I have always believed that fashion was not only to make women more beautiful, but also to reassure them, give them confidence.”

Yves Saint Laurent

You can never be overdressed or overeducated.”
Oscar Wilde

The 06/06/13 Joy Jar

6 Jun

 

One thing that one notices when the sun comes out in Seattle is that there are more people with smiles. Of course, a smile is good rain or shine, but there are definitely more smiles during sunny days. A smile can bring a sunny day to a face that telegraphs they are in the midst of a gray day. Smiles are free. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are smiles.

True humor springs not more from the head than from the heart. It is not contempt; its essence is love. It issues not in laughter, but in still smiles, which lie far deeper.
Thomas Carlyle

A kind heart is a fountain of gladness, making everything in its vicinity freshen into smiles.
Washington Irving

Most smiles are started by another smile.
Frank A. Clark

A smile confuses an approaching frown.

Unknown

People seldom notice old clothes if you wear a big smile.

Lee Mildon

A smile is a curve that sets everything straight.

Phyllis Diller

What sunshine is to flowers, smiles are to humanity. These are but trifles, to be sure; but scattered along life’s pathway, the good they do is inconceivable.
Joseph Addison

The 05/04/13 Joy Jar

3 May

 

The weather is heating up in Seattle. For many parts of the country that have vary defined seasons with high temperatures and high humidity, Seattle warm would be no big deal. Still, warm weather means a warm weather beauty routine. Tie the hair back to get it off one’s face. Moi went to the dollar store and got a bunch of hair ties in various colors. Today’s deposit into the ‘Joy Jar’ are hair ties.

If truth is beauty, how come no one has their hair done in the library?
Lily Tomlin

Beauty is about perception, not about make-up. I think the beginning of all beauty is knowing and liking oneself. You can’t put on make-up, or dress yourself, or do you hair with any sort of fun or joy if you’re doing it from a position of correction.
Kevyn Aucoin

Beauty isn’t seen throughout the makeup brushes or hair products; beauty is seen by those who choose not to see imperfections, and by those who you love and those who love you. Everyone is beautiful, but some people choose to hate on others for things they don’t like. Forget about those who make your days miserable, and live for those who make your life beautiful.

Unknown

I’m far from perfect. I could have a flatter stomach, clearer skin, whiter teeth, better hair, etc. But at least I don’t have an ugly heart.

Unknown

There’s many a man has more hair than wit.
William Shakespeare