There are many lives exposed online. Through Clarendon and Lark filters, most of them appear pretty glamorous, if not just prettily posed. But few can compete with the world of Megan Hess. Hess is a fashion illustrator, that once common but now rare art form that depicts lithe ladies wearing the latest styles. During the ’40s and ’50s, and even into the ’90s for many European magazines, illustration was the primary visual expression for designers like Oleg Cassini and Pierre Cardin to showcase their creations. Hess’s modern-day illustrations for Fendi, Chanel, Prada and Christian Louboutin have taken her around the globe on enviable projects–you can see the pictures of these trips on her insanely lovely Instagram account.
However, her latest project puts Hess in the designer’s role. Shoes of Prey selected the artist to collaborate on a new collection of shoes. We spoke with Hess about her dream job, drawing Michelle Obama and the shiny shoes she created, which you can shop now.
Who doesn’t want to design a shoe collection? It was really exciting. In terms of the brands I work with, you know, I illustrate for everyone from Fendi to Prada to Dior; I’ve only worked with really high-end brands. So when I spoke with Shoes of Prey, their attention to detail, the way in which they were going to be making the shoes and promoting the shoes, everything from production to creative was really in sync with things that I work on. So I felt it was a great fit in terms collaboration. And then the fact that I could really start from scratch.
Some people are just more pleasant to speak to, it’s true. After a recent conversation with the Paris-based fashion designer Jérôme Dreyfuss, several reasons for this were clear. For one, the thoughtfully cheerful Dreyfuss exhibits interest in a variety of topics. Secondly, his passion seems sincere. And he doesn’t take himself or fashion too seriously, which isn’t to say that he approaches his craft lightly.
Known predominantly for his luxurious handbags that project personality, Dreyfuss has a reputation for being a bit of a rebel. He worked with John Galliano in the early part of his career and has since cut a streak across the industry both for his unique designs (his fall-winter collection includes bags made of deer and goatskin leather; some come with interior flashlights for finding your keys or phone at night) and his wildly artistic methods for presenting them.
Read on for our chat, which covered architecture, Le Marais, what “cool” really is and why fashion snobbishness is out of style.
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.”
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.
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.
“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.
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.
The four friends behind Public Supply have a passion for design, an ardent belief in keeping art and music in schools—and a simple method for taking the guesswork out of giving back:
1) Buy one of their USA-made notebooks (25% of profits benefit public schools).
2) Check the batch number on the back.
3) Go to their website and match your number to the specific classroom on the receiving end of your good deed.
Once there, you’ll find a precise breakdown of the supplies you helped fund (ranging from printer ink to sheet music to robotics kits). But the best part has to be the heartfelt words of gratitude typed up by each dedicated teacher, explaining the cognitive value of their new teaching tools and just how ecstatic his or her students will be.
Keep reading to see eight of our favorite thank-you notes—plus a Q&A with Public Supply cofounder Russell Daiber.
“We wanted to recognize all the different ways that being ‘socially responsible’ can be interpreted,” Pop-In@Nordstrom curator Olivia Kim said in reference to our latest limited-time shop: a collection of eco-friendly, upcycled, artisanal and community-focused goods titled TMRW TGTHR.
“If we can provide these organizations with a platform to tell their stories,” Kim continued, “I feel like we’re helping spread their purpose to a larger audience.”
One of the most inspiring stories we came across was that of Creative Growth, an art center in Oakland that serves adult artists with developmental, mental and physical disabilities. Check out our visit to their campus in the video above, shop at selected stores for one-of-a-kind artworks by Creative Growth artists—and keep reading to learn about the four artists whose work we’re honored to showcase on a series of tote bags (free with any in-store Pop-In purchase).
To help simplify your summer-fun choices, we hand-selected a few art, food, music and film events across the country for you—and paired up two different go-to looks for each category. Find out what’s happening near you this summer, as well as the perfect outfit to arrive in style!
From revolutionizing basketball in the 1920s to igniting punk rock counterculture to becoming the go-to shoe for men, women and kids of all ages, the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star has seen it all—until now.
To celebrate this month’s Pop-In @ Nordstrom, which is devoted to all things Converse, we’ve invited local artists from every corner of the USA to put their own unique spin on the ultimate blank canvas: a pristine pair of white high-top Chucks. Keep reading to see 14 hand-painted sneakers—and find out where you can nab these limited-edition kicks while supplies last.
Walking into a presentation for Alice + Olivia during New York Fashion Week is much like entering a one-of-a-kind aesthetic experience. The imaginative world of Stacey Bendet envelops you, allowing the colorful textures and architectural shapes of her designs to converge into an installation of art. In celebration of Art Basel invading the shores and streets of Miami Beach, today through December 8, we asked the avid collector of culture to shed some light on the many artful objects of her affection.
THE THREAD: What first motivated you to begin building a collection of art? STACEY BENDET: Art is really inspiration for me. I started casually collecting things when I was younger. Each year I’ll buy one or two pieces that are really special to me because of the artist, or because of the collaboration we’re doing, or just because I’m really inspired by their work. It’s a range of things. I have a table in my office by artist Liana Yaroslavsky, who creates beautiful, unique pieces from antique chandeliers. Also I collect, obviously, paintings and other things too, sculptures, all different kinds of stuff.