of 9 /9
1 YEAR AFTER THE DEATH OF THE GREAT ZAC POSEN 2011 & YVES SAINT LAURENT MAR/11 ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Behance magazine

Embed Size (px)

DESCRIPTION

Behance Magazine

Citation preview

Page 1: Behance magazine

1 YEAR AFTER THE DEATH OF THEGREAT

ZAC POSEN 2011

&YVES SAINT

LAURENT

MAR/11

ALEXANDER MCQUEEN

Page 2: Behance magazine

R E M E B E R I N G

A L E X A N D E RM C Q U E E N

Page 3: Behance magazine

It’s been year since Lee “Alexander” McQueen’s passing. Inhonor of his legacy, here’s a brief biography of the man who

changed Modern fashion as we know it.

Page 4: Behance magazine

the interest of fairness, I should let you know that some

people think Madonna’s new album, MDNA, is pretty

good. Even if you exclude the obvious outliers (those

who get worked up and claim it’s her best since Like a

Prayer) and partisans (who’ll ride and die for anything

with her name on it) — even if you take into account

the low standards set by the album’s singles — even

after all that, there’s a definite streak of appreciation

for this release. People crave and root for the all-caps

version of Madonna who’s meant to be appearing here,

confident and cutting loose, eyes and ears focused on

the dance floor, ready to be bad. This should be a per-

fect moment for the regal reemergence of that person.

Not only is the pop world near-obsessively fixated on

dance music (and the intersection of dance music and

sexual/religious theater where Madonna once set up

shop), but it seems to be shot through with a sudden

wide-eyed reverence for the icons of the pre Internet

world, the stars who were titans back when titans were

well and truly titanic.

Also, the album is called MDNA, a three-way pun

whose every arm seems promising: The album should

(a) be very Madonna, (b) reengage with her stunning

musical history, her (so to speak) DNA, and (c) sound

like it’s on ecstasy. This should be exactly the Madonna

the world wants, the one who controls the universe.

I’m glad there are listeners savvy, sensitive, and invest-

ed enough to actually locate that version of Madonna

on MDNA, because the record I’m hearing spends most

of its time pinballing from “decent” to “wan” to “okay.”

Dispiritingly enough, the one element that doesn’t fit into

it is Madonna’s own voice, which has never been the

most robust or expressive in the world — it can feel

flat and flimsy — but she’s made decades’ worth of

fabulous music that’s perfectly tailored to it. Matched

with luxurious nineties house beats, it could be a

steamy moan, or sound flinty and tough. On ballads it

seems small, brave, and lonesome. For a while she had

producer William Orbit — who returns to the fold on

MDNA, joining a fleet of others — to make whooshing,

propulsive tracks she could skip her high voice over

like a stone on water. She’s found countless sounds

that welcome her, but the dance-pop of 2012 is not

one of them. It’s hard-edged, dense, shiny, and mecha-

nistic, a harsh and unforgiving environment for an instru-

ment that’s always fared better in sonic hothouses. Put

MDNA’s production and her vocals together and every-

thing’s flat, colorless, and blocky — as if made out of

Legos and photographed in black and white — and no

number of chirpy hooks can combat that.

Okay, a few can: the gleamy rush on “Turn Up the

Radio”; Madonna and Orbit both echoing their own

“Beautiful Stranger” on “I’m a Sinner”; a solid shot of

electro machinery on “I’m Addicted.” Those all work

well enough; they’re likable, especially if you have rea-

son to want to like them. But a lot of the music here

feels hollow and strained, and all the lyrical and sonic

references to Madonna’s history — lines about lucky

stars and getting into grooves, a winking reuse of the

Abba sample from “Hung Up” — only underline that

fact. There is much expensive workmanship and

machine-tooling around here, but not much … Madonna.

It’s frustrating, because there are things toward the end

of MDNA that suggest the project could have been more

interesting. The last few tracks — like “Love Spent” and

“Masterpiece” (from Madonna’s film project, W.E.) — circle

back toward that brave-and-lonely ballad voice: It’s

the sound of Madonna singing songs, as opposed to

the sound of Madonna making awkward small talk with

machines. And the bonus tracks, naturally, include ideas

many times better than anything on the album. (“B-Day

Song” sees Madonna and M.I.A. doing a gleeful duet

that evokes Sonny and Cher, and “Best Friend” has an

ominous, fluttering beat I dearly wish I could hear on

the radio sometime.) It’s odd: If there’s one thing MDNA

is extraordinarily good at, it’s reminding you of all the

less businesslike and perfunctory music you could be

listening to instead.

- Nitsuh Abebe

IN

THE APATHY AND ECSTASY OF MADONNA’S MDNA

“This should be a perfect moment for the regal reemergence.”

4

Page 5: Behance magazine

the interest of fairness, I should let you know that some

people think Madonna’s new album, MDNA, is pretty

good. Even if you exclude the obvious outliers (those

who get worked up and claim it’s her best since Like a

Prayer) and partisans (who’ll ride and die for anything

with her name on it) — even if you take into account

the low standards set by the album’s singles — even

after all that, there’s a definite streak of appreciation

for this release. People crave and root for the all-caps

version of Madonna who’s meant to be appearing here,

confident and cutting loose, eyes and ears focused on

the dance floor, ready to be bad. This should be a per-

fect moment for the regal reemergence of that person.

Not only is the pop world near-obsessively fixated on

dance music (and the intersection of dance music and

sexual/religious theater where Madonna once set up

shop), but it seems to be shot through with a sudden

wide-eyed reverence for the icons of the pre Internet

world, the stars who were titans back when titans were

well and truly titanic.

Also, the album is called MDNA, a three-way pun

whose every arm seems promising: The album should

(a) be very Madonna, (b) reengage with her stunning

musical history, her (so to speak) DNA, and (c) sound

like it’s on ecstasy. This should be exactly the Madonna

the world wants, the one who controls the universe.

I’m glad there are listeners savvy, sensitive, and invest-

ed enough to actually locate that version of Madonna

on MDNA, because the record I’m hearing spends most

of its time pinballing from “decent” to “wan” to “okay.”

Dispiritingly enough, the one element that doesn’t fit into

it is Madonna’s own voice, which has never been the

most robust or expressive in the world — it can feel

flat and flimsy — but she’s made decades’ worth of

fabulous music that’s perfectly tailored to it. Matched

with luxurious nineties house beats, it could be a

steamy moan, or sound flinty and tough. On ballads it

seems small, brave, and lonesome. For a while she had

producer William Orbit — who returns to the fold on

MDNA, joining a fleet of others — to make whooshing,

propulsive tracks she could skip her high voice over

like a stone on water. She’s found countless sounds

that welcome her, but the dance-pop of 2012 is not

one of them. It’s hard-edged, dense, shiny, and mecha-

nistic, a harsh and unforgiving environment for an instru-

ment that’s always fared better in sonic hothouses. Put

MDNA’s production and her vocals together and every-

thing’s flat, colorless, and blocky — as if made out of

Legos and photographed in black and white — and no

number of chirpy hooks can combat that.

Okay, a few can: the gleamy rush on “Turn Up the

Radio”; Madonna and Orbit both echoing their own

“Beautiful Stranger” on “I’m a Sinner”; a solid shot of

electro machinery on “I’m Addicted.” Those all work

well enough; they’re likable, especially if you have rea-

son to want to like them. But a lot of the music here

feels hollow and strained, and all the lyrical and sonic

references to Madonna’s history — lines about lucky

stars and getting into grooves, a winking reuse of the

Abba sample from “Hung Up” — only underline that

fact. There is much expensive workmanship and

machine-tooling around here, but not much … Madonna.

It’s frustrating, because there are things toward the end

of MDNA that suggest the project could have been more

interesting. The last few tracks — like “Love Spent” and

“Masterpiece” (from Madonna’s film project, W.E.) — circle

back toward that brave-and-lonely ballad voice: It’s

the sound of Madonna singing songs, as opposed to

the sound of Madonna making awkward small talk with

machines. And the bonus tracks, naturally, include ideas

many times better than anything on the album. (“B-Day

Song” sees Madonna and M.I.A. doing a gleeful duet

that evokes Sonny and Cher, and “Best Friend” has an

ominous, fluttering beat I dearly wish I could hear on

the radio sometime.) It’s odd: If there’s one thing MDNA

is extraordinarily good at, it’s reminding you of all the

less businesslike and perfunctory music you could be

listening to instead.

- Nitsuh Abebe

IN

THE APATHY AND ECSTASY OF MADONNA’S MDNA

“This should be a perfect moment for the regal reemergence.”

5

Page 6: Behance magazine

6

Page 7: Behance magazine

ves Saint Laurent, who exploded on the fashion scene in 1958 as the boy-wonder successor to Chris-tian Dior and endured as one of

the best-known and most influential coutu-riers of the second half of the 20th century, died on June 1, 2008, in Paris. He was 71.

The designer who arguably did more to advance fashion than any other of his gen-eration pointed the way to the future by consistently reviving the past. His endur-ing fascination with more gracious or, per-haps, more vital times, informed his re-fined, theatrical aesthetic and made him the most influential designer of his day. His celebrated fashions of the ‘60s and the ‘70s continue to inspire younger generations.

Saint Laurent achieved his greatest triumphs in the midst of a notoriously turbulent emo-tional life, giving him mythical stature in his own time. Born Yves Henri Donat Mathieu-Saint-Laurent in Oran, Algeria, he seemed intent on burnishing that myth from an early age. Precociously, he entered a design contest while still in his teens and won the attention of Christian Dior, who eventu-ally tapped him to take over his legendary fashion house. In 1958, shortly after Dior’s death, Saint Laurent, then 21, was credited with saving the moribund house of Dior with his Trapeze line, displaying a daring that would flourish through much of his career. The beat-inspired biker jackets and turtleneck sweaters of his next, and last, col-lection for Dior were widely disparaged yet sealed his reputation as a designer who el-evated the look of the streets to haute couture.

In 1962, he opened his own fashion house, and during the next decades de-signed androgynous looks like his sa-fari jacket with tight pants and thigh-high boots and, most memorably, Le Smoking, the classic tuxedo suit for women.

Throughout his career, Saint Laurent was visibly indebted to the work of mid-20th-century painters including Braque, Picasso and Mondrian and the flamboyant fashions of earlier eras. He reinterpreted the belle époque, the ‘30s and ‘40s, incensing crit-ics in 1971 by unveiling his ‘40s-inflected square-shouldered silhouette, which became a dominant look of the decade. His inter-pretation of the pantsuit has been credited with revolutionizing the way women dress.

“Chanel gave liberation of the body to wom-en,” said Pierre Bergé, “and Saint Laurent gave power to women with the men’s clothes.”

In 1966, Saint Laurent introduced Rive Gauche,

a ready-to-wear collection, and a boutique of the same name. He was the first designer to use black models in his runway shows.

He was embraced by the haute monde; his clients and muses included aristocratic young women like Loulou de la Falaise and Parisian social pillars like Marie-Hélène de Roths-child, and the iconic French actress Cath-erine Deneuve. In 1983 he became the first living fashion designer to be honored with a show at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Saint Laurent’s career was famously marred by repeated episodes of substance abuse that in-jured his health. By the ‘90s, his designs were often little more than reprises of his greatest hits. In 1998, he sold his ready-to-wear house to Gucci Group, leaving him and Mr. Bergé with only the couture. With Mr. Bergé, he created a foundation in Paris to commemo-rate the history of the house of YSL, an ar-chive of 15,000 objects and 5,000 pieces of clothing. He retired in 2002 and had become increasingly reclusive, spending much of his time at his house in Marrakech, in Morocco.

Y...And Saint Laurent gave power to women with the men’s clothes.”

The Mondrian DressVery inspired by Pop-Art, Yves Saint Laurent

lead the Mod movement in fashion throughout the 60’s

7

Page 8: Behance magazine

DUP

ZAC POSEN

8

Page 9: Behance magazine

ZAC POSENac Posen has had a meteoric ca-reer since founding his company in 2001, around the time of his 21st birthday. His brashness was

a refreshing change in New York fashion, which had been dominated by a handful of aging mega-brands until Mr. Posen planted his flag in the biggest, most expensive tent in Bryant Park.

But his extravagant success came so quickly, perhaps faster than his limited experience should have allowed, that his setbacks echo all the more loudly. He became unpredict-able, lashing out at the news media as his company struggled with layoffs, a revolving door of executives and an investor pulling back the reins.

Sales declined last year by a double-digit percentage, and the company’s fast growth prior to the recession made it look to luxury experts like the kind of business most vulnerable in a downturn.

Mr. Posen, like many of his young peers, began designing under his own label directly out of college (Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, in his case), rather than working for an established fashion house. He also aggressively pursued financial deals at an early age, securing licenses for jeans and hosiery, and the backing of the rap mogul Sean Combs, to give his brand a high profile.

Z “If Karl Lagerfeld can sell a dress at H&M and still make Chanel couture -- well, I’m

fascinated and I’m not worried about it,” Mr. Posen said in an interview in Vogue in 2005.

“I don’t believe in the conservatism of fashion. Fashion is a thrill.”

Mr. Posen grew up in New York, the son of a lawyer, Susan Posen, who manages his

business, and the painter Stephen Posen. Through family friends, he was introduced to the fashion world and in his teens began

internships with Nicole Miller and the Cos-tume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum

of Art. At college, he gained early fame when the model Naomi Campbell asked for one of

his dresses.

Mr. Posen’s signature collections have evolved from vampish, old-Hollywood-style bias-cut silk dresses and flirty butterfly chif-fons into intricately themed gowns that take their inspiration from something simple in

nature -- seashells, raffia or tumbleweed, for example.

9