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Art Digest: January 11—17

By Januar 17, 2021 No Comments
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Julia Kryshevich

Art Digest (December 14—20)

Yoo-hoo! We’ve barged into 2021, waking up from the New Year holidays nap. I hope you all had a great celebration and a powerful break, getting back to work with your batteries recharged. Who knows what this year holds? Rather than guessing, it’s better to be ready for action, changing the world for the better as far as we can. A few beautiful endeavors that took place on the rise of January might inspire you to move in the right direction. 

F A S H I O N 

Enjoy Emilio Pucci and Alberta Ferretti 2021 Pre-Fall collections 

No sooner had the year begun, that the world’s leading fashion houses jumped into battle. Discover pre-fall campaigns by Emilio Pucci and Alberta Ferretti by the break of the year. One might say, the two brands have something in common: apart from being Italian (obviously) and coming as early birds in 2021, Pucci and Ferretti traditionally emphasize genuine tenderness in their collections. The difference is that Pucci has celebrated girliness during the latest seasons, while Ferretti stays loyal to the concept of mature femininity.

Emilio Pucci models welcome 2021 dressed in a-la-harlequin jumpsuits with sleeves puffed, crop tops, and high-waisted pants, wearing sensual neck-wraps. The choice of colour comes as no surprise this time: pastel shades like rose, peach, gentle lilac, and cream are so in line with the brand’s identity. Alberta Ferretti rather focuses on complex looks, which seem perfectly complete. Overcoats and jackets above sweatshirts, long sleeves, straight slacks, fitted silhouettes — the garments are created for those who want to feel lady-like, no matter what the weather is. The colour palette is still soft, yet more vivid than in the colleague’s campaign: shades of moss, clay, almond, and caramel add ripeness to the look.

Australian agencies call to stop making models’ measurements public

Pursuing the very interesting topic of body positivity (to which we at Purplehaze devoted the entire print issue to be released in early March), here is the news that perfectly fills in the gap. Australian community of modeling agencies has called to stop publishing measurements of the mannequins in public profiles. New-Zealand N Management run by the veteran model Ngahuia Williams​ has already tried ceasing the practice, which they find irrelevant and stressful to date.

The initiative seems to have resonated with many representatives from the world of vogue. Fashion commentator and former editor of Fashion Quarterly Sally-Ann Mullinclaims including measurements is a common thing for the industry, which aspires models to fit a ‘cookie cutter standard of beauty’. Models have also welcomed the N Management’s statement, commenting they hoped agents would stop disclosing their data for all to see. However, the challenge that might occur is that the clients will have to require fittings, which might come as extra work for them. At the same time, removing online measurements can not only reduce pressure put on mannequins, but also contribute to a greater diversity representation. ‘No longer is it acceptable to showcase one type of beauty in any way,’ says Mullin, urging other modeling agencies to follow the N Management’s suit. 

A R T 

Actress Cate Blanchett to try her hand at art collecting 

It would be an exaggeration to say that Hollywood actress Cate Blanchett is far from the world of arts: the 2019 exhibition ‘Manifesto: Art x Agency’ and ‘The Four Temperaments‘ video installation (2020) with her participation is an excellent contrario reasoning. This is not to mention some of the films the actress starred in like The Aviator (2004), The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008), Blue Jasmine (2013), and Carol (2015), which may be deemed art themselves. Yet Cate Blanchett has no previous experience in gallery management. Well, a start of the year is a perfect time for new plans and ideas. 

Blanchett’s new gallery space is located at her remote estate in southeastern England, in the place where an oast house once stood. The future gallery visitors might enjoy the views, thanks to the gorgeous nature of East Sussex, which can be perfectly seen from the construction windows. As for the choice of the artists, the actress hit the ten ring here as well. Among others, her collection features works by Guan Wei, Paula Rego, Howard Hodgkin, Bill Hammond, Zhang Huan and Tim Maguire. The documentation for the newly-minted enterprise was ready in October, 2020. Looking forward to the gallery opening! Wish it would be as beautiful and successful as its owner’s career. 

Rihanna embellishes new cover of Essence Magazine shot by artist Lorna Simpson 

Essence Magazine wouldn’t dream of such a cover in its 50-year history. The January/February issue of the periodical features Barbados-born singer and businesswoman Rihanna both on its cover and inside, on the 12 pages of the portfolio. The shooting has been performed by Lorna Simpson, American photographer and multimedia artist who became famous in the 1980-1990s, primarily for her photo-text installations and collages. 

Essence works by Simpson consist of photos of Rihanna placed within the background of the source materials from the artist’s archive. Balancing between fantasy and photographic realism, they feature the legendary singer as she is (at least, in the eyes of the author) — graceful, charismatic, and extremely powerful. This collaboration is another part of the ongoing project by Lorna Simpson, which aims at reinterpreting images of Black women. Working with the celebrity, Simpson meets her self-interest, too — her daughter, Zora, who is an actress and a model, wrote an essay on that occasion expressing gratitude to Rihanna for the positive influence her art had on Simpson Jr. maturation. The essay is included in the Essence January/February issue as well. 

Soho after dark through the lens of photographer Joshua K. Jackson

Invigorated by the beginning of the new year, we still have to face some restrictions, to everyone’s great sadness. We still don’t feel safe enough to live our old lives, roaming aimlessly at the streets, seeing tons of people, and just hanging out in bars because… you know the reason. Yet there is a remedy — arts can rescue people from the blues filling their hearts with nice nostalgia (some types of arts, of course). 

British photographer Joshua K. Jackson focuses on capturing city life. Three years ago he started his Soho series photographing the fluorescent-lit streets of London after dark. ‘Sleepless in Soho’ (2020) is a photobook immortalizing the mood of how it feels like to be awake in the heart of the city past midnight. Alluring lights of the places, which make one think of romance, taboos, and just comfort, illuminate the maze of empty streets and lanes. Diurnal busy life tires London, but the second wind comes with the night. Jackson finished his project in December 2019, just before COVID-19 broke out. Like he knew we were going to miss that very soon. 

On the cover: ‘Sleepless in Soho’ (2020) by Joshua K. Jackson. Courtesy of the Artist