10 years from now, when all things Zeroes are dredged up in the spirit of ironic retro, will they look at the decade's sustained fusion of art and fashion and giggle? Or will the union of the two most compulsive by-products of late capitalism spawn a deadly serious new hybrid, one with an unnatural long life? It is certainly starting to look that way recently with virtually every fashion publication worth its pulp splicing in a heavy dose of "art" to keep the pages crisp and current.
Every time I read the New York Times' T Magazine or their freshly launched blog "The Moment", I'm driven to think that fashion is nothing without art these days. If it weren't for V Magazine's front section I'd have no compass to track the dizzing cross-traffic of hot emerging young artists. W Magazine's art issue is the most obvious case in point. 07's issue didn't have the added sexy of 06's "Making Of Richard Tuttle/Mario Sorrenti" DVD but it did have the au courant Richard Prince covers. Surely you collected them all. Put them in a vitrine and one day you might position yourself as the next feted conceptual artist. Or as a purveyer of blue chip vintage fashion magazines. God bless Dennis Freedman.
Speaking of Richard Prince, I returned to NY to the hot hiss concerning the closing party Louis Vuitton is throwing for the Prince retrospective at The Guggenheim. There are to be LV nurses mingling in the crowd with the Prince/LV SS08 handbags in arm. Alas there won't be an instore boutique , which would have been a genius bookend (LV/Murakami at MOCA on the other end) for the brand. But you get an early slot on the waiting list! Paintings and handbags. It is all interchangeable commodity no?
All this brings to mind that long standing rumor that ex- Conde Nast Editorial Director James Truman left his post in a huff because of CN's reluctance to fund his art magazine proposal. As a singular cause that would a strange reason but as more fashion publications and brands spritz up the dry business of selling "the product" with the compelling aura of A-R-T, Mr Truman is certainly looking like a prophet these days.
I wonder if he ever has late night tete-a-tetes with Dennis Freedman? At night I flick through the pages of James' dream publication in my sleep wondering what it might have looked like. Would it have tons of art gallery ads in the front, art driven luxury brands (Chanel! Prada! Vuitton!) in the middle and a Tom Ford fragrance spot on the back. Half those art gallery ads ironically enough would have featured designers in transition like Hedi and Helmut. Why or why did Jil Sander not come back with a gallery show. Is it too late for her shower of rain? Or maybe we have Raf Simons for that now.
These were the thoughts racing through my mind when I journeyed out to The Journal Gallery in Williamsburg to see the Helmut Lang show I had missed while on vacation. Seeing it was the solid reminder that I was really back in NY . I used to make pilgramages to that Helmut Lang shop and showroom on Greene Street . When I was a stylist I used to love going downstairs to pull Helmut Lang white shirts. They were kept in this massive dark wood unit where each drawer would open to reveal a pile of shirts in the size you requested. I vowed to have one of these in my house one day. I also used to love the fallen giant disco ball that lay so poignantly at the entrance of the store. Well the fallen disco ball is the star of the Helmut Journal show, having found new life as a conceptual art piece. Will it be the chrome rabbit of our times? Probably not. Did Helmut's show re-position him as one the premier conceptual artists of his times as opposed to a sophisticated dilletante biding his time and tending to his name value? That was a loaded sentence I know.
I can see this much about the hazy shimmer of art hovering over handbags and shoes these days. It is a pretty dazzling way to valorize your surplus . Or is that vaporize?