Friday, June 27, 2008

March ? - June 17, 2008

Against Fashion
Clothing as Art 1850-1930
Radu Stern
Hardcover, 2003
27 cards

I learned about the Deutscher Werkbund and the Dress Reform movement in Germany last year and this book offered the perfect next step in reading about fashion and dress reform ideas from that period as well as my current thoughts about clothing and clothing production. While artists today like Andrea Zittel are exploring changing clothing habits with the Smock Shop, reading essays from 1850-1930 allow one some space from which to consider what she is doing, and form one's own ideas about fashion, clothing and the forces surrounding it all. While this book covers a period on the brink and within the Industrial Revolution, today from the other side it seems we're in need of another dose of dress reform and rebellion against fashion, particularly when companies like the GAP use child slaves to make clothes today still.

Selections from the cards:
2- " appears to be not just a consequence of capitalism, but one of the factors that contributed to its rise."
3- "The historical avant-garde would appropriate dress design as a privileged field in which the artist could overstep the limits of 'pure' art and act directly on daily life."
4- Romanticism- first important reaction against fashion
-Louis Magron on the true Romantic, "...He does not acquiesce to an accepted fashion, he creates his own. Instead of resembling everyone else, he aspires to be himself."
5- William Morris, "Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful."
8- Greek dress- hanging of garments from the shoulders
19- Kandinsky, dress for Gabrielle Munter
44- giberna portatutto- bag attached to a belt
45- Productivists- "utility the only valid criterion that could give legitimacy to artistic activity"
-"'pure' art- no social utility, considered unacceptable"
-1921, Nokolai Tarabukin, "The last painting has been painted."
-Rodchenko- "constructive life is the art of the future. Art that fails to become a part of life will be catalogued in the museum of archaeological antiquities."
-Varvara Stepanova "our task is to find ourselves a place in life"
46- Aleksei Filippov, "artists in varying ways have merely depicted the world but their task is to change it."
48- Tatlin- constructed dress
49- color- chosen for the ability to conceal dirt
50- modular concept for clothes
61- Suprematist dress
67- Ramon Gomez de la Serna- poem on dresses
94- archaeology
96- George H. Darwin's Development in Dress
100- pockets
102- "why do we black and polish our boots?"
103- "patent-leather is an imitation of common blacking"
111- Oscar Wilde- Slaves of Fashion
113- Oscar Wilde- Woman's Dress
-(high heels) "...but what I object to is that the height should be given to the heel only and not to the sole of the foot also."
-warmth, material made of
116- "Ruins, again, may be picturesque, but beautiful they never can be, because their lives are meaningless."
118- "There is a divine economy about beauty; it gives us just what is needful and no more, whereas ugliness is always extravagant..."
119- "...every right article of apparel belongs equally to both sexes, and there is absolutely no such things as a definitely feminine garment."
122- Josef Hoffman- original vs. en masse
123- "One can recognize someone from far away by their personal way of walking or by their movements...In the same way, we would like an element of dress and the way in which dress is worn to be as familiar as the elements mentioned above so that we can recognize it as being in accord with the wearer's character."
131- Henry Van De Velde- visible seams
-"Everything we do to express our personality will strengthen the units of force that we represent, which will then converge to elevate the level of community life as a result of our individual efforts."
144- Friedrich Deneken- seams "make use of them as natural decorative elements"
152- Lilly Reich "Clothes are utilitarian objects and not works of art."
155- Giacomo Balla- Male Futurist Dress A Manifesto
158- no black and yellow
170- Futurist Italian tie- metal
184- Sonia Delaunay- Cezanne- "In an attempt to create volume, he enlarged his strokes of color and destroyed the outline of the object, the drawing. He began to destroy outlines, just as that the Impressionists had destroyed color and it is through him that dependence on academic rules finally disappeared."
-Matisse- inspiration
185- Robert Delaunay and Sonia Delaunay- "Geometric patterns will never become old-fashioned, simply because they have never been fashionable."
186- Sonia Delaunay, "Rather than adapting dresses to the way we walk, we have had to adapt our gait to the dresses, which is absurd."
-"ideas shouldn't be taken from the past"

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