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:
There’s something about the idea of a live, or even filmed, artistic portrait which excites my brain. Is it the blend of real and unreal? Is it the idea of a human being as an art piece? Clearly it’s something that’s interested artists for quite some time too from Piero Manzoni, who signed a live girl in the sixties, to Gilbert and George (see video below).
Let’s have a quick look at Warhol’s portraits, filmed in the 60s, also known as screen tests although they weren’t being tested for any films. Screentest.warhol.org says “Many of Warhol’s Screen Tests fit the standard formula—the subject and the camera almost motionless for the duration of the film, with the result as close to a “living portrait” as possible.
However, within this format, there are subtle variations. Starkly lit with a single lamp, a glowering Paul America and the intense Susan Bottomly are sharply contrasted by the dark background, while Ann Buchanan and Edie Sedgwick’s Screen Tests were fully lit, allowing the viewer to notice every subtle change in their almost unmoving faces.”
In a way, by candidly filming his followers, Warhol created not only the first reality stars but turned their often crazy and turbulent existences into lifelong portraits.
Also in the sixties playful British and German artists Gilbert and George, who have never quite been accepted by the establishment, became living, singing sculptures. Whitecube.com says “in their films and ‘living sculpture’ they appeared as figures in their own work. The artists believe that everything is a potential subject matter for their work, and they have always addressed social issues, taboos and artistic conventions.”
Avant garde artist and theatre director Robert Wilson, who has worked the likes of Tom Waits and Willem Dafoe (and now Lady Gaga), filmed his Voom Portraits in 2007. The actors used, including Steve Buscemi, Johnny Depp, Winona Rider and Isabella Rossellini, were told to “think of nothing and move slowly and steadily to collaborate in Wilson’s vision of who they might be.”
Winona Rider apparently appeared as “Winnie, the main female character in Samuel Beckett’s Happy Days, buried up to her neck in sand” while Robert Downey Jr was “a dreaming corpse in a Rembrandt painting.”
William Pope L:
In 2009 Antony Gormley was to create something for the fourth plinth, a stand in Trafalgar Square, London, which sports a different sculpture each year. He decided to make his piece us, to “see through a lens what the UK is really like.”
One and Other was a project which saw the public apply to stand at the top of the plinth for an hour each, for “100 consecutive days, 24 hours a day.” We became the artwork. One lady threw affirmations down as paper airplanes, another did science experiments, another blew bubbles, others made art while another did a burlesque routine. The possibilities were endless and apparently 2,400 people took part.
Man booing BNP:
This lady…wore pink and drank pink champagne. And why not?
Here’s a dancer and choreographer:
Ekow Eshun is the artistic director of the ICA and chairman of the Fourth Plinth commissioning group. He’s also quite hot (apologies for my objectifying eyes). Here he talks about why he chose the project:
Which brings us up to the Pageant of the Masters, which I only heard about the other day. Sounds like my cup of tea though. Apparently paintings have been re-created for two months each summer in Laguna Beach, California, since 1933.
The Festival of Arts website says “Over 500 volunteers from Laguna Beach and surrounding communities are transformed into life-sized re-creations of some of the world’s most famous paintings, sculptures, and other works of art.” Have a look at the video:
Right, I’m off to paint myself green and stand nude in the garden. Bye!
I really love freaky fashion as I’ve said many times, and this definitely falls under that category, have a look at plenty more on this link. I’d really like to see Britain’s Next Top Model do stuff like this (no, I actually would, I’m not ashamed to admit I love that programme).
I watched a rather peculiar documentary today called Party Monster, The Shockumentary. It’s quite a deliberately bad taste film about the Club Kids in late 80s New York – young people who dressed outlandishly and included fashion designer James St. James– and their party organiser Michael Alig who ended up murdering someone and putting the chopped up body in a trunk. Obviously it got me thinking about fashion. And murder I suppose but that’s no change.
I love art from Francis Bacon to Lempicka to photographers of the unusual like Diane Arbus, but I also love fashion. The outfits at the Bizarre Magazine Ball for example are truly bizarre and great, so here I shall include some of the things that make me weep with joy and perhaps you will find something of interest.
Most people complain that catwalks are full of designs people would never wear in the street, but to be honest that’s the thing I enjoy seeing, mainstream or underground. Regular fashion bores me but anything a bit fantastical, gothic, odd or grunge I love.
First off I have to include my favourite online shop, Joe Brown’s, as its something people will actually be able to afford. There’s some regular stuff but look around, you’ll be very pleasantly surprised.
The fashion pics of artist Man Ray are beautiful – as shown here on author Matthew Revert’s blog. They’re very imaginative of course.
Newish designer Jared Gold’s gothic and historical clothes are great, they have a similar Alice in Wonderland feel to Bill Gibb.
Tokyo is known for its ‘avant garde’ fashion and I’d love to go there. I particularly like the punk and Gothic Lolita styles.
Keeping in the fantastical realm I definitely recommend looking out for alternative models/designers out there such as Ophelia Overdose and Audrey Kitching. Also have a look at Bizarre magazine’s alternative model website Ultra Vixens for more ladies of the odd and artistic variety, or become one of them if you like. Plus Spitalfields market in London is host to the annual Alternative Fashion Week (presented by Alternative Arts), 16-21st April. Exciting! Colourful! Imaginative!
I have a book I love containing alt glamour/pin up pictures (piercings, tattoos etc) taken by Octavio Winkytiki and Lithium Picnic (my favourite). They’re pretty and unusual, but be warned, some of the content on their sites is not for children’s eyes.
My good friend Emma Bailey is a photographer in Brighton and has done a number of burlesque shoots. Burlesque is fun, the women often have normal sized bodies and I love vintage glamour. Fancy Chance is very funny to watch live and Banbury Cross is lovely too.
I’m also drawn to the pictures of a model known as Scar, they’re creative and apparently she makes headresses too, which is nice. Another artistic model is Allison Harvard, who reminds me of a Tim Burton character, and gothic model Apnea is jolly too.
Finally, I know it’s such a cliche that a person who likes Neil Gaiman and alternative models such as the Suicide Girls would also like the outfits in Tim Burton films but I do, so there. I’m not a goth but Alice in Wonderland and the White Queen had me searching for my dark lipstick, as did Lilly Cole in Terry Gilliam’s Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.
Here’s a video of a creepy mechanical doll themed photo shoot by Tim Walker for Vogue Italia 2011
Here’s a video of a Jared Gold fashion show in 2008: