Featured Post

2D to 3D: Artist Room Studies, Jennifer Hawkins Hock

To emphasize a captured moment in the daily life and environment of these artists is my goal ; to spotlight their appreciation for the art f...

Friday, June 3, 2016

The Glass of Fashion

Cecil Beaton's The Glass of Fashion allows a long look into some of the most fashionable lives.  There's Gabrielle Ray - a "small work of art" whose macquillage takes a cue from Pointillism's dots of color and whose self-presentation is as studied as the selfie. There's Madame Eugenia Huici Errazuriz, constantly transforming her surroundings into a work of art - deeming a house dead if it does not alter. "Elegance means elimination," says Madame E, as she - with sleight-of-hand magic presents a ladder and coat hangers, painted grey, into objets d'art points of interest. Shielding her eyes from the appearance of clutter, Errazuriz presents her photographs, knick knacks, and bric-a-brac mounted within the drawers of a cupboard. And wouldn't you like to accompany Beaton to Charles de Beistegui's Champs Elysees rooftop terrace - a hodgepodge of "modernism, mechanism, and surrealism". Let's go there now, to that terrace. Up the white spiral staircase. Now press the button to activate the glass wall, which rolls away to reveal a view of the lights and traffic below - reflected and refracted by many mirrored surfaces past, present, and futuristic - Napoleonic and Louis XV furniture painted white under the open sky - on a carpet of grass!

Odd to think these personalities and their places occurred close to a century ago! Perhaps not so odd, considering Beaton's observation:

Literature, parties, pastimes, flowers, scent, clothing, decor - all, says Beaton - "reflect the same continuum of change that rides through any given age and are, indeed, related in the sense that they often express, in their different media, the tone of an epoch." He continues - "It seems obvious that changes in fashion correspond with the subtle and hidden network of forces that operate on society - political, economic, and psychological factors all play their part. In this sense fashion is a symbol.... In art as in fashion, new styles or forms seem only a ceaseless and urgent search for some ultimate form of expression."