Art & Design

Have you ever had a bouquet so pretty that you hated to see it go? We all have. One of the seductions of fresh flowers is that their presence is fleeting. Fresh-cut blooms are to be momentarily possessed, experienced and then sadly discarded. It is a kind of luxury.

But what if you didn’t have to part with a particularly sentimental bouquet? Paper florist and artist Quynh Nguyen has a very precise talent for replicating flora with reams of crepe paper. Her work has been displayed in store windows, at weddings and in restaurants. Brides who are keen to keep their bouquets beyond their wedding day would be wise to contact her business, Pink & Posey.

Pink and Posey flowers

We spoke with Quynh about the extreme precision and delicacy of her work, how she got started and how we can too (although our results might more closely mimic those sad tissue flowers of our youth). Turns out she teaches workshops!

WATCH HER WORK: SEE THE VIDEO

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adidas boots by Jeremy Scott, at LACMAMen’s fashion has experienced a renaissance in recent years. Responding to demand, reportedly, the New York Times introduced its Men’s Style section last spring. Capitalizing on the frenzy around the international Fashion Weeks, this spring designer du jour Alessandro Michele announced that all future Gucci fashion shows would feature coed collections. Design houses including Tom Ford and Vetements seem to agree, also opting to mix their runways with male and female models. These moves can be seen as a leveling of the runway that acknowledges the growing menswear market. Designers like Stella McCartney, Christopher Kane and Jonathan Saunders have taken note and jumped into the men’s fashion game.

French coat, LACMAAlthough the last three decades haven’t witnessed major revolutions in the way men dress, there’s no doubt that the world is paying attention to, and reporting on, the fact that men do. It’s no longer fair to say that fashion is a women’s-interest topic—or even that the gender division in fashion collections is relevant. A new exhibit at LACMA opening April 10 provides rooms of historical evidence to counter the claim that fashion was ever singly a feminine pursuit.

Reigning Men: Fashion in Menswear, 1715-2015 examines history and culture through three centuries of men’s styles. The exhibit is divided into five areas for contemplation.

One example from the Revolution/Evolution section shows how the sans-culotte pants of the French revolutionaries and the tartan trousers of the Malcolm McLaren-era punks were both identifiers of a rebellious tribe. This room also includes a rare complete zoot suit. The suits were outlawed during World War II ostensibly because of the exorbitant amount of fabric they required. Mention of the Los Angeles Zoot Suit Riots of 1943 shows how clothing marks marginalized and youth groups for social stigmatization and persecution.

WEAR THE PANTS OR DON’T: BUT READ MORE

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Globalism is part of the art and life of 19-year-old painter and model Rubina Dyan. The Armenian-born beauty seems to approach both her craft and her profession as a world tour of happy accidents.

“It does look like a map sometimes and it has faces in it,” she reflects on her current series of paintings. “It’s kind of a colorful, continental style.”

Rubina Dyan painting on set of the Nordstrom shoot

Dyan’s recent artwork contains closely cropped visages of various ethnicities in rainbow paints that sometimes resemble a topographical pattern. They are at once ethereal and aggressive: the eyes stare directly back at the viewer and mouths hang agape as if about to speak.

Artist and model Rubina Dyan on set at the Nordstrom shoot

Dyan herself speaks four languages fluently: Armenian, Spanish, Catalan and English. She is conversant in French and Russian as well. Born in Yerevan, Armenia, Dyan moved to Barcelona where she spent her teen years before moving to Los Angeles in 2007.

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Kirsty Mitchell, The Storyteller, from the Wonderland series. Photograph © Kirsty Mitchell,

Kirsty Mitchell, The Storyteller, from “The Wonderland” series. Photograph © Kirsty Mitchell.

“Once upon a time the fairy tales begin. But then they end and often you don’t know really what has happened, what was meant to happen, you only know what you’ve been told, what the words suggest,” wrote Joyce Carol Oates. Perhaps it is for this reason, because they are both malleable and imposing, that these old stories have woven themselves thoroughly into our cultures. Again and again, they are revisited and reinterpreted and rewritten to reflect—or rebuke—the present.

Usually we puzzle over their endings; they seem arbitrary and sudden, not at all circumstances conducive to the stability of a Happily Ever After. That end is often where our fantasies begin. In revivals and epilogues—written by great writers like Roald Dahl, Stephen Sondheim and Margaret Atwood—the characters live on to confront new challenges.

Clothing illustrating ͞Little Red Riding Hood.͟ From left to right: 18th-cetury cloak, 19th-century nightgown, 1970s cloak by Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, cloak by Altuzarra, dress by Dolce and Gabbana, ensemble by Comme des Garçons. Chanel No. 5 video courtesy of Chanel. Photograph © 2016 The Museum at FIT

Clothing illustrating “Little Red Riding Hood”. From left to right: 18th century cloak, 19th century nightgown, 1970s cloak by Giorgio di Sant’Angelo, cloak by Altuzarra, dress by Dolce&Gabbana, ensemble by Comme des Garçons. CHANEL No. 5 video courtesy of CHANEL. Photograph © 2016 The Museum at FIT.

Cinderella’s glass slipper, the Mirror on the Wall, Red Riding Hood’s cape: fashion often provides a plot point in fairy tales. Great designers, too, have reinterpreted these tales. The newest exhibit at the Museum at FIT/Fashion Institute of Technology, Fairy Tale Fashion, opening January 15, explores how designers have visited these classic stories in clothes. A peek inside this storybook collection of couture and historical pieces is at the link.

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converse andy warhol

Andy Warhol
Converse Extra Special Value
c. 1985-86
Synthetic polymer paint on canvas
116 x 180 inches

Check out Converse Extra Special Value, above. That’s artwork featuring classic Converse All Stars by the late pop master Andy Warhol, mimicking his own early work in advertising. As an illustrator and graphic designer, Warhol sometimes drew shoes for ads. As an artist, he brought elements of ads into his pieces shown in galleries and museums, challenging people to see them in a different light.

If that were the only link, Converse’s new Chuck Taylor All Star Andy Warhol Collection sneakers would make sense by themselves. But it gets deeper. Adorned with Warhol’s beloved Campbell’s Soup cans, the Converse X Warhol sneakers are a swirl of classic American products-for-the-people.

In conversation with Carrie Dedon, assistant curator at  Seattle Art Museum, we go even further. Among other things, we learn from Dedon that Warhol definitely saw himself as a product, and we find out what his exaltation of logo design had to do with his concept of democracy.

Images courtesy The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Converse

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