Save The Date: “Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between” at The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Exhibition Dates: May 4–September 4, 2017

Member Previews: May 2–May 3, 2017

Exhibition Location: The Met Fifth Avenue, Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Exhibition Hall, Floor 2

The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute spring 2017 exhibition, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, on view from May 4 through September 4, will examine Kawakubo’s fascination with the space between boundaries. This in-between space is revealed in Kawakubo’s work as an aesthetic sensibility, establishing an unsettling zone of oscillating visual ambiguity that challenges conventional notions of beauty, good taste, and fashionability. Not a traditional retrospective, this thematic exhibition will be The Costume Institute’s first monographic show on a living designer since the Yves Saint Laurent exhibition in 1983.

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Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969). Cubisme, spring/summer 2007; Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Craig McDean

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Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969). 18th-Century Punk, autumn/winter 2016–17; Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi

In blurring the art/fashion divide, Kawakubo asks us to think differently about clothing,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director of The Met. “Curator Andrew Bolton will explore work that often looks like sculpture in an exhibition that will challenge our ideas about fashion’s role in contemporary culture.”

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Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969). Inside Decoration, autumn/winter 2010–11; Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Craig McDean

The exhibition will feature approximately 150 examples of Kawakubo’s womenswear designs for Comme des Garçons, dating from the early 1980s to her most recent collection. Objects will be organized into eight dominant and recurring aesthetic expressions of interstitiality in Kawakubo’s work: Fashion/Anti-Fashion, Design/Not Design, Model/Multiple, Then/Now, High/Low, Self/Other, Object/Subject, and Clothes/Not Clothes. Kawakubo breaks down the imaginary walls between these dualisms, exposing their artificiality and arbitrariness. Her fashions demonstrate that interstices are places of meaningful connection and coexistence as well as revolutionary innovation and transformation, providing Kawakubo with endless possibilities to rethink the female body and feminine identity.

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Rei Kawakubo (Japanese, born 1942) for Comme des Garçons (Japanese, founded 1969); Courtesy of Comme des Garçons. Photograph by © Paolo Roversi

Rei Kawakubo is one of the most important and influential designers of the past 40 years,” said Andrew Bolton, Curator in Charge of The Costume Institute. “By inviting us to rethink fashion as a site of constant creation, recreation, and hybridity, she has defined the aesthetics of our time. Continue reading

Now It Can Be Told: “Black Fashion Designers” At The Museum at FIT

Without dwelling too deeply on the root cause (for the moment), it’s very rare to find black fashion designers represented in a great many of the recent costume exhibitions at museums great and small across the United States. At this moment, if you want to see a decent and wide-ranging look at black fashion designers, you would have to visit the recently opened National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington D.C., where designs from Tracy Reese,  other black fashion designers and other creative men and women are on permanent display. The Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology (The Museum at FIT, Seventh Avenue at 27 Street, New York City 10001-5992), since 1975, has continuously work to create exhibitions, programs, and publications that are both entertaining and educational. Black Fashion Designer is eye-opening, entertaining and above all else, quite educational. It’s a good start.

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Mimi Plange, dress, Spring 2013, USA, Gift of Mimi Plange, 2016.49.1

Black Fashion Designers, opening December 6, 2016 (Fashion & Textile History Gallery, December 6 – May 16, 2017) at The Museum at FIT, examines the significant, but often unrecognized, impact that designers of African descent have had on fashion. The exhibition features approximately 75 fashions by more than 60 designers. Although there have been exhibitions (few and far between) on individual black designers, this is the first major exhibition in many years that highlights the global history of black fashion designers from the 1950s to the present. All of the objects on display are part of the permanent collection of The Museum at FIT.

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Patrick Kelly, dress, Fall/Winter 1986, France, Museum purchase, 2016.48.1

Black Fashion Designers opens with a fall 1986 evening dress by Patrick Kelly, embellished with vintage buttons. Buttons were a recurring motif for Kelly, whose grandmother would mend the family’s clothing. Alongside it is a fall 2012 ensemble by Nigerian-born, British designer Duro Olowu, whose knowledge of international textiles and affinity for mixing prints is evident in an intricate lace cape.

The introductory section of the exhibition also includes a beautiful wedding gown by society dressmaker Ann Lowe, who is best known for designing Jacqueline Kennedy’s wedding dress. Lawrence Steele, a Milan-based African-American designer, is represented by a stunning black evening dress accented with Swarovski crystals. Lagos-based designer Amaka Osakwe was inspired by the rich history of Nigerian story-telling when creating her contemporary, cut-fringe dress. Another highlight is Laura Smalls’s red-and-white floral print dress—famously worn by First Lady Michelle Obama when she sang with rapper Missy Elliot on James Corden’s carpool karaoke.

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Ann Lowe, wedding dress, 1968, USA, Gift of Judith A. Tabler, 2009.70.2

Black Fashion Designers is organized into eight themes, beginning with “Breaking Into the Industry,” which examines black designers working in New York. During the 1950s and early 1960s, Arthur McGee and Wesley Tann challenged discrimination in the industry. Other designers followed in their footsteps, playing a major role in building New York as a fashion capital. During the 1970s and 1980s, for example, Willi Smith built a large, international fashion house from his quirky twists on classic sportswear, seen in a multicolored, striped ensemble. Today, Tracy Reese is an indispensable mainstay. Her multicolored striped gown shows her feminine and elegant style.

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Lawrence Steele, dress, Spring 2002, Italy, Gift of Lawrence Steele, 2016.62.1

The next theme, “The Rise of the Black Designer,” focuses on the period from the late 1960s to the mid-1970s, when disco music and dance clubs inspired fashion. Stephen Burrows’s gold evening pajamas and Scott Barrie’s black-and-red silk jersey wrap dress, defined the era’s glamorous, body-conscious style. The fashion and mainstream press of the 1970s celebrated black designers such as Burrows and Barrie, in contrast to today, when only one percent of the designers shown on VogueRunway.com are black. Continue reading

Olivia Munn And Jason Segel To Host Academy’s Sci-Tech Awards

David Hill and Reginald Hudlin Announces First Slate Of Presenters And Performers For 88th Oscars®

Actors Olivia Munn and Jason Segel will host the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation on Saturday, February 13, at the Beverly Wilshire in Beverly Hills. They will present 11 awards to 33 individual recipients and the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers during the evening.2000x1000sci_tech

The Sci-Tech Awards Presentation is one of our special events during Oscar® season, and we’re thrilled to have Olivia and Jason as this year’s hosts,” said Academy President Cheryl Boone Isaacs. “Their humor and charm will be terrific complements to the brilliance of our colleagues and their outstanding scientific and technical achievements.”

Munn’s feature film credits include “Ride Along 2,” now in theaters, as well as “Mortdecai,” “Deliver Us from Evil” and “Magic Mike.” She also starred in the critically acclaimed series “The Newsroom” for three seasons. Munn will appear as Psylocke in the upcoming X-Men sequel “X-Men: Apocalypse.”

Segel currently stars in James Ponsoldt’s dramatic biopic, “The End of the Tour,” in which he plays David Foster Wallace. His other film credits include “Forgetting Sarah Marshall” (writer), “The Muppets” (writer, producer), “Get Him to the Greek” (writer, co-producer), “I Love You, Man” and “Knocked Up.” On television, Segel starred in “How I Met Your Mother” and “Freaks and Geeks.” Additionally, Segel is an author for a children’s middle-grade fiction series titled “Nightmares!

Portions of the Scientific and Technical Awards Presentation will be included in the Oscar telecast. Popular Mechanics is a proud supporter of the Scientific and Technical Awards.87th

Oscars® producers David Hill and Reginald Hudlin also announced the first slate of presenters for the 88th Oscars telecast. The Oscars, hosted by Chris Rock, will air live Oscar® Sunday, February 28, on ABC.

The presenters and performers, including past Oscar winners and nominees, are: Benicio Del Toro, Tina Fey, Whoopi Goldberg, Ryan Gosling, Kevin Hart, Lady Gaga, Sam Smith, Charlize Theron, Jacob Tremblay, The Weeknd and Pharrell Williams

Each of these artists brings a wonderfully distinctive element to the Oscars stage,” said Hill and Hudlin. “Together they represent the many thrilling ways stories can be shared about the human experience, and we’re honored they will be part of the celebration.”

Pantone Unveil Industry’s First-ever Character-branded Color inspired by Illumination’s Minions

PANTONE Minion Yellow to Debut this Summer

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In an industry first, Pantone, the global color authority, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Partnerships & Licensing announced the creation of an official new PANTONE Color, Minion Yellow, based on the Minions from Universal Pictures and Illumination’s Despicable Me global film franchise, including the upcoming prequel Minions, opening in theaters July 10, 2015. The development of PANTONE Minion Yellow, marks the first time in the global color authority’s history that a color has been created and named after a character.

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Pantone, Illumination Entertainment and Universal Partnerships & Licensing unveil industry’s first-ever character-branded color inspired by Illumination’s Minions

(The story of Minions begins at the dawn of time. Starting as single-celled yellow organisms, Minions evolve through the ages, perpetually serving the most despicable of masters. Continuously unsuccessful at keeping these masters—from T. rex to Napoleon—the Minions find themselves without someone to serve and fall into a deep depression.

But one Minion named Kevin has a plan, and he—alongside teenage rebel Stuart and lovable little Bob—ventures out into the world to find a new evil boss for his brethren to follow. The trio embarks upon a thrilling journey that ultimately leads them to their next potential master, Scarlet Overkill (Academy Award® winner Sandra Bullock), the world’s first-ever female super-villain. They travel from frigid Antarctica to 1960s New York City, ending in mod London, where they must face their biggest challenge to date: saving all of Minionkind…from annihilation.)

Featuring a soundtrack of hit music from the ’60s that still permeates our culture today, Minions is produced by Illumination’s Chris Meledandri and Janet Healy, and is directed by Pierre Coffin and Kyle Balda. Brian Lynch has written the screenplay for the 3D-CG comedy adventure, and Chris Renaud serves as executive producer of the film.

The partnership was born when Pharrell Williams, who helped create the music for the Despicable Me franchise, came up with the idea while the Pantone Color Institute®, the research arm of the company that charts global color trends and studies how color influences human thought processes, emotions and physical reactions, noted the desire of the consumer to add more energizing color into their lives. Pantone noticed that the Minions, created and designed by Illumination, have become a global phenomenon by doing just that across movies, theme parks and video games. Looking to add to its PANTONE Fashion, Home + Interiors color palette, Pantone worked minionclosely with the animation team at Illumination to review the existing color range and to identify the most pure representation of the Minions’ iconic yellow color. The resulting PANTONE Minion Yellow is a custom color designed to represent the sweet and subversive characters. An extroverted hue, it projects playfulness and warmth and is suggestive of intellectual curiosity and enlightenment. The custom PANTONE Minion Yellow color will be added to the PANTONE Fashion, Home + Interiors color palette with the next color addition.

Color is contextual and right now there is a desire for colors that are more vibrant and uplifting. This is especially the case with the yellows, so given the worldwide popularity of the Minions, it seemed only natural to name a color after a character for the first time in our history,” said Laurie Pressman, Vice President, Pantone Color Institute. “When developing the color, we worked directly with the animation team at Illumination, and we thoughtfully considered the characters’ aura to ensure PANTONE Minion Yellow is the exact right hue.

Pantone has long established its reputation as the global color authority,” said Jamie Stevens, Executive Vice President, Global Retail Development, Universal Partnerships & Licensing. “We are thrilled that their color experts saw market demand for yellow and looked to the Minions, as global pop culture icons, to add into its yellow spectrum.

PANTONE Minion Yellow is a color that heightens awareness and creates clarity, lighting the way to the intelligence, originality and the resourcefulness of an open mind – this is the color of hope, joy and optimism,” said Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director,Pantone Color Institute.

The color has already served as inspiration for a designer capsule collection based on the Minions that was also announced. The collection features limited-edition apparel and accessories from UK-based designers Rupert Sanderson, Giles Deacon, Piers Atkinson, Tatty Devine and Criminal Damage and also includes denim designs from SJYP, a new label out of South Korea. The “Minions Bello Yellow Collection” will debut exclusively at Selfridges in June 2015, followed by roll out to global retail partners including Parisian retailer Colette in July 2015.

Pantone LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of X-Rite, Incorporated, is the global color authority and provider of professional color standards for the design industries. Pantone products have encouraged colorful exploration and expressions of creativity from inspiration to implementation for more than 50 years. Through the Pantone Color Institute, Pantone continues to chart future color direction and study how color influences human thought processes, emotions and physical reactions. Pantone furthers its commitment to providing professionals with a greater understanding of color and to help them utilize color more effectively. Always a source for color inspiration, Pantone also offers designer-inspired products and services for consumers. (More information is available at www.pantone.com. For the latest news, trends, information and conversations, connect with Pantone on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagramand the Pantone Blog.) For more information on the upcoming Minions movie, visit: www.minionsmovie.com. For more information on the new color Minion Yellow or Pantone’s color intelligence and systems, visit: www.pantone.com.

adidas Originals and PHARRELL WILLIAMS Launches Holiday “Polka Dot Pack” Limited Edition Collection

Multifaceted musician and cultural icon, Pharrell Williams (NBC’s The Voice,) continues his highly successful collaboration with adidas with the new Polka Dot Pack Collection. Using his ongoing love affair with two of adidas’ most celebrated design icons: the Superstar Track Jacket and the Stan Smith sneaker, Williams imbues the collection with the classic polka dot: a bold, fun print motif that signals high energy. This the final adidas Originals = PHARRELL WILLIAMS collection for 2014 – with additional pieces to follow in 2015.

On November 28th, two different ‘Polka Dot Packs’ are being launched in-stores worldwide, with both assortments experimenting with different colors; fabrics and dot size proportions. One, showcasing a larger size polka dot throughout, offers Track Jackets and Stan Smith sneakers in 3 different shades each cut from fine leathers, with white dots are spread across both the footwear and jackets, applied over a background of red, blue or black.

The other, simultaneously timed ‘dot’ delivery features a smaller scale dot, printed in red. While the Stan Smith shoes in this assortment are leather, the track jackets are offered in satin. Both jackets and sneakers are ranged in a palette of yellow with red micro-dots; blue with red micro-dots; and a fresh white, also featuring the smaller sized red dots.

The campaign artwork accompanying these deliveries plays off the same optimistic and playful spirit of the spotted product. The campaign is once again captured by photographer, Ryan McGinley, with a production team led by art director Lloyd & Co. and styled by editor, Jay Massacret, and the campaign visuals intend to express the most profound joy of all: love. Aerial shots of the same group of millennials – first seen in the Tennis Campaign / Equal Sign images – reveal the group has united once more, this time in the shape of a heart.

Pharrell Williams To Release New Album “G I R L” Monday, March 3

Global superstar Pharrell Williams has just announced the release of his Columbia Records debut album, G  I  R  L.  Highlighted by his Oscar-nominated hit single “Happy,” G  I  R  L will be released worldwide Monday, March 3. Pre-order the album here: http://smarturl.it/GIRLalbum.

Pharrell Williams To Release New Album "G  I  R  L" Monday, March 3.  (PRNewsFoto/Columbia Records)

Pharrell Williams To Release New Album “G I R L” Monday, March 3. (PRNewsFoto/Columbia Records)

Redefining cool for a new generation, Williams is a creative force, using music, fashion, and design to express his distinctive style. From his beginnings as a teenage prodigy and multi-instrumentalist in Virginia Beach back in the early ’90s, through enough hits to earn him Billboard’s Producer of the Decade in 2010, to his current status as multi-media superstar, Williams has never stopped creating. Starting his producing career as one half of The Neptunes with Chad Hugo, Williams has helped create such classics as Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,”Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give It 2 Me),” Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U,” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.”

When Columbia Records presented me with the opportunity to make an album, three things came to mind,” says Pharrell. “One was the sense of overwhelming honor that I felt when I realized that they were interested in partnering with me on the album that I had always dreamt of making.  Two, it would have to feel festive and urgent.  And three, I instantly knew it would be called G  I  R  L. I hope you like it.”

Pharrell is currently in London, where he will perform “Happy” at the BRIT Awards this evening, and on Sunday, March 2, Pharrell is slated to perform the song on the 86th Annual Academy Awards. Pharrell will also perform on Germany’s Wetten Das and France’s Le Grand Journal later this month. This past Sunday, Pharrell kicked off the NBA All-Star Game with an incredible–and well-received–retrospective performance of some of his greatest hits.

Happy,” which was first featured on Despicable Me 2 (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack), has become an international phenomenon and radio smash. Currently #1 on the iTunes’ Songs chart in the U.S., the song has topped the chart in more than 175 countries, selling more than 2.3 million downloads worldwide. In addition to jumping to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 this week, “Happy” has also become the highest-charting Oscar-nominated song in more than a decade. With more than 120 million in audience, the song is currently charting at seven U.S. radio formats—Top 40, Rhythm, AC, Hot AC, Urban, Urban AC, and AAA. Around the world, “Happy” tops radio charts in 14 countries including Australia, France, Germany, U.K., Belgium, Denmark, Hungary,Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Switzerland, and Poland.

Just last month, Pharrell took home four GRAMMY® awards, including Producer of the Year, Album of the Year for Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories, and Record of the Year as well as Best Pop Duo/Performance for Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky.” Pharrell has won a career-spanning total of seven GRAMMYs

With over 100 million copies of his productions sold, his music sounds like something no one else has thought of just yet. He’s also created a new way of looking at established stars like Snoop Dogg, Madonna, and even the Rolling Stones. Over four albums, Williams and Hugo along with Shae Haley created an unpredictable hybrid as part of the alt-rock/hip-hop group N.E.R.D. His prolific body of work also ranges from designing a sculpture withTokyo-born artist Takashi Murakami to accessories and jewelry for luxury goods brands Louis Vuitton and Moncler. Now, with his latest venture i am OTHER — a multi-media creative collective that serves as an umbrella for all his endeavors, including Billionaire Boys Club & ICECREAM apparel, textile company Bionic Yarn and dedicated YouTube channel — Williams’ vision continues to push pop culture forward.

Pharrell Williams To Perform On The Oscars®

Singer-songwriter-producer Pharrell Williams will perform his Oscar®-nominated song “Happy” at the Oscars®, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.

Singer-songwriter-producer Pharrell Williams will perform his Oscar®-nominated song “Happy” at the Oscars®, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.

Singer-songwriter-producer Pharrell Williams will perform his Oscar®-nominated song “Happy” at the Oscars®, show producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron announced today. The Oscars, hosted by Ellen DeGeneres, will air on Sunday, March 2, live on ABC.

Happy,” which Williams wrote and produced for “Despicable Me 2,” is nominated for Original Song. The three other nominated songs are “Ordinary Love” from “Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom,” “Let It Go” from “Frozen” and “The Moon Song” from “Her.”

Williams has won seven Grammy Awards®, two (in 2004 and 2014) for Producer of the Year. Named Billboard’s Producer of the Decade in 2010, his productions have sold over 100 million copies. Williams collaborated on two of 2013’s most ubiquitous anthems: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” which he co-wrote and produced and Daft Punk’s “Get Lucky,” which he co-wrote and also sang.  As a solo producer and as part of the prolific producing team The Neptunes, Williams has played a key role in creating a string of hits over more than two decades, including Jay-Z’s “I Just Wanna Love U (Give it 2 Me),” Nelly’s “Hot in Herre,” Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl,” Snoop Dogg’s “Drop it Like it’s Hot,” Britney Spears’ “I’m A Slave 4 U” and Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You.”