Thursday, December 14, 2006

Basel Mania

There was a mass exodus last week from Chelsea to South Beach for the annual Art Basel conference in Miami, Florida. Artists, dealers, collectors and hangers-on flocked south to buy, see and be seen at the largest art shows in the world. Bred in the fashion industry, I had difficulty transitioning from fashionista to art connoisseur ogling more outfits than oeuvres d’art.

The men's uniform ranged from candy-colored khakis to psychadelic printed 3-piece suits. The girls were far more muted, clad in charcoal grays and blacks with ubiquitous blunt bangs and torn Converse. Skinny jeans were a must for both sexes, as was the snotty indifference only someone from the art world has perfected.

Basel is a never ending buffet of delicacies from Picasso to Basquiat, but one cannot gorge with price tags starting at $5M. Much easier on the portefeuille was the Scope fair in the design district. The Rubell Family Collection (of Studio 54 fame) also located in the trendy design district housed controversial works including genius Barbara Kruger and a less controversial outdoor space that would be perfect for private soirees.

Final Word: Personal Art Discoveries? Julian Opie and Kyung Jeon. Best party? Jalouse @ Mynt. Worst Party? NADA Rave @ Sagamore. Best dinner? Tapas @ Social. Best drinks? Setai lobby. Best Club? Fridays at Mokai with DJ Berrie, of course.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Dakota Does Marc

Known for his rockabilly aesthetic coupled with grainy, voyeuristic ad campaigns shot by the slightly disturbing Juregen Teller, Marc Jacobs has constructed a public image famous for its hipster persona- paradoxically tied to a mainstream fashion customer. With muses like Sofia Coppola, Parker Posey and Meg White, these social outcasts were considered brilliant and beautiful by Mr. Jacobs. In his eyes, we yearned to dress like them. Suddenly we were in ballerina flats, opaque tights and baby dolls before you could say Mia Farrow mania.

So why has Mr. Jacobs set his sights on Miss Fanning, the sweetheart of America, for his Spring 2007 campaign? Perhaps he sees something beyond the fair-skinned, blue eyed “I Am Sam” outspoken little girl. In Marc’s eyes, and in Mr. Teller’s, she is an adult, a woman. Dressed in lace, minks and turbans, she is a sophisticate. Still animated as ever, we see a different Dakota beyond the kid genius that has made more movies than the years she’s been alive (12 to be exact), we see a girl that is chillingly not her age.

It’s not Jon Benet, but there remains something a bit creepy about the photos. Perhaps Mr. Teller wanted us to feel uncomfortable, as if we were peering into the life of a child with lost innocence. Or perhaps it’s just another cute girl selling clothes.

Final Word: Either way, Mr. Jacobs continues to push the envelope, makes us question conventions and always look for what’s new. They're right to say that Dakota is one smart cookie, she’ll be decked in Marc duds for life!