Jazz And Surrealism: Paris In The 1920s

I’m off to Portland, Oregon on Saturday for Bizarrocon and donuts. I’ll be gone for about three weeks but when I return I’ll be full of writerly information and other helpful things.

I’ve read in a couple of different places that Portland is “becoming like Paris in the 1920s,” all the writers and artists are flocking there. I don’t expect it to look the same as 1920s Paris, even Paris doesn’t look the same as 1920s Paris, but I hope to be inspired by a similar artistic atmosphere.

The Années folles (crazy years) was a time between wars where everyone who wanted to make art, dance to jazz or just get a drink (America was under Prohibition) converged on the city. Gertrude Stein held court at her artistic salon (described in her book The Autobiography of Alice B Toklas), Andre Breton was leading the Surrealist movement, and Anais Nin was a brief fixture of the Montparnasse cafe scene.

A Surrealist Ball, by Man Ray
A Montparnasse Cafe

If you wanted to get a glimpse of dancing girls (*whisper* in the nude) you could pop off to The Folies Bergère. One of the headliners at the time was Josephine Baker, a woman of colour treated like a second class citizen in her native America and a star in Paris.

Tracking shot in the 1927 Clara Bow movie Wings:

Below is a promotional film for Josephine Baker’s ‘new’ show. Contains 1920s boobies:

Paris was known for the latest fashions:

And finally, a silent travelogue through all the city had to offer. Toodle pip, and I’ll see you on the other side of my own adventures!

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When Surrealism And Fashion Collide In Extremely Bizarre Ways

Hello my little bowls of granola secretly filled with chocolate treats!

Continuing the Surrealism theme from last week I thought we’d have a look at some fun instances of the fashion world absorbing the world of surrealist art, with varying degrees of oddity. Now, I want to explain, I love so-called avant-garde fashion, the weirder the better. I’m fascinated by the point at which it becomes art in pictures and performance art on the runway. That said, let The Weirdening begin!

First off we’ll have a look at ‘real’ surrealist artists entering the fashion world. Man Ray is one of my favourite photographers and you can see every one of his fashion photographs in this book (which of course I own).

 

Next is a clip of Salvador Dali’s swimwear line. Did you know he did a swimwear line? Neither did I!

Nightmare Beachwear (1965)

 

Here’s a line of hats with a kitchen theme, because you know how us girls get nervous when we’re too far away from our safety bubble! (1950s)

 

Shilpa Chavan of Little Shilpa is an eccentric designer and milliner who’s latest collection is heavily influenced by Alice in Wonderland, and you can’t get much more surreal than Wonderland.

Shilpa Chavan (2016)

 

Next up is Vogue photographer Tim Walker. His photoshoots are like fantasy film sets. He’s taken pictures of various celebrities as well as major magazines and you can own his work in this amazing book.

Mechanical Dolls, Vogue Italia (2011)

 

Comme des Garcons is led by Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo and have been known for their eccentric style since 1973.

Spring Summer Collection (2017)

Autumn/Winter (2016/2017)

 

Viktor and Rolf began their career in the 90s. You can watch a year of their working lives in the documentary Because We’re Worth It. It’s interesting but it doesn’t get close to showing how weird they can be.

Spring/Summer (2016)

 

Finally here are some living dolls circa 1985 showing off Gareth Pugh‘s designs. Creepy!

Spring/Summer (2016)

Bauhaus Ballet, Or The Triadic Ballet, Is 100 Years Old (And It’s Very Strange)

Good morning sandwich relishes! I’ll just leave you with this half hour video of the Bauhaus Ballet, or Triadic Ballet as it was more commonly known. It’s truly weird and wonderful!

Here’s some background information on the ‘most widely performed avant-garde artistic dance’ which was developed by Oskar Schlemmer.

6 Weird And Avant Garde Fashion Documentaries

Hello my little sausage sandwiches. I’ve got lots of exciting things coming up which I shall share with you when the time has risen from her bed chambers for her morning fry up.

You may have noticed that, as well as weird fiction, I also like weird fashion, art and films etc. Fashion is an art too so let’s celebrate it with a a few full length video treats, some short and some quite a bit longer.

1. The Artist Is Absent: A Short Film On Martin Margiela is a ten minute film on a designer who liked to hide his model’s faces with fabric masks, lending the show a rather unsettling feeling:

2. The Legend of Leigh Bowery. When it came to fashion or art or… pretty much anything you couldn’t get much weirder than Leigh Bowery. This documentary contains some things not suitable for children or people with delicate eyes:

3. Style Out There – What Do Harajuku Girls Really Look Like? The modern crazy dressing Japanese girl is explored in this eye-meltingly colourful short:

4. Mcqueen and I. Alexander Mcqueen was known for his bizarre shows and tendency to shock and Isabella Blow was the first one to spot his potential. She also wore crazy hats:

5. Notebook On Cities And Clothes is a documentary by Wim Wenders on designer Yohji Yamamoto. I don’t have the full thing but here’s a small clip and the IMDB is here.

6. Dutch Profiles: Iris Van Herpen shows the designer’s hypnotically bizarre and alienesque designs, enjoyed by the likes of Bjork and Lady Gaga:

Pip and Pop’s Fantastical Psychedelic Rainbow Candy Fashion Runway

Australian artist Pip and Pop, aka Tanya Schultz, creates installations and artworks out of candy (sweeties), plastic and all kinds of bits and bobs. Just one look at a piece by her is enough to melt both your eyes and half your nose. It’s worth it though.

These pictures (and video) are what happened when she collaborated with fashion label Romance Was Born in 2013 for the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, Australia:

pip-and-pop-romance-was-born Romance-Was-Born-SpringSummer-20134 romance-was-born-spring-summer-pip-pop romance was born pip-and-pop romance-was-born romance-was-born-pip-pop

Weird, Horror Or Rave Valentine’s Nail Art With Professional DQ

This nail lady is brilliant! Visit her youtube channel here and see what other stuff you can find. In the meantime here are a few Valentine’s Day tutorials from Professional DQ:

Voodoo and hearts? Of course!

Pirates and hearts? Why not!

Skulls and hearts? Hooray!

Black and white striped gothic hearts? Woo hoo!

More gothic hearts? Goodness!

Sparkly pink heart pendant (but still cool, don’t panic)

A Few New (To Me) Innovative And Alternative Fashion Designers

I was perusing clips of London Alternative Fashion Week (admittedly a couple of years old now) and Brighton Fashion Week and happened upon a few I found very interesting.

Love these new (ish) clothes kittens or hate them, you can’t deny they’ll stick in your mind.

First is Jylle Navarro, somehow bringing punk, zombies and 90s rave to knitwear. This first clip is from Alternative Fashion Week and the beginning features a lot of standing around so you may want to skip on a bit:

This next clip from Brighton Fashion Week is probably the liveliest runway/rave/alien/fashion thing I’ve seen, however I’ve not seen many so let me know of any others:

And lastly here she is being interviewed at the London art cafe and shop for groovy kids Cult Mountain:

Next is the rather cute Wonderland collection from Victoria Bramwell, seen a bit first at London Alternative Fashion Week:

And more fully at The El Rey Theatre. The camera’s vantage point is a little unfortunate, almost looking up the model’s dresses, but at least you can see all the outfits:

Freya Von Bulow makes apocalyptic dresses out of tissue paper! Here’s a short interview with her:

And her show:

Here are some vintage frills and embroidered gas masks by Gemma McDonald:

And lastly here are some angry industrial aliens by Katarzyna Konieczka