Fashion September 30, 2011 By Mary Biosic

All images by: Mikael Johansson

Image by Mikael Johansson

title58 Ellinor Malmgren

Newcomer Ellinor Malmgren’s aesthetic often gets called a certain 4-letter word typical of fashion designers who privilege risk over playing it safe: bold. The word seems appropriate enough given the types of materials Malmgren selects for her pieces, like stretch-infused leather and razor-thin metal –– and the very exacting color palette she insists they be (think deep Prussian blue, stark charcoal, and matte gold); if you factor in the extravagant silhouettes taking shape from her imagination, the word seems practically tailor-made.
     The result of such “bold” thinking is a strangely-alluring debut collection that reads equal parts confident and mysterious, slightly futuristic – with a healthy subversive streak hell-bent on dismissing the standard notion of hourglass femininity – rather than yielding to it. Jackets with distorted shoulders and hip pockets wide like hula hoops aren’t exactly synonymous with ladylike style; here, they possess a strong appeal in spite of this (or perhaps because of it). Effortless comes in with what’s intentionally left out: ornamentation. It’s not that detail doesn’t interest Malmgren (her cage-like metal cuffs and neck pieces offer proof); it’s simply that communicating her point of view comes at its most natural when relayed through form rather than content.

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Art, film September 29, 2011 By Derek Peck

Jonas amid his personal archives. Photography by Derek Peck

Jonas amid his personal archives. Photography by Derek Peck

title61 Jonas Mekas

From my regular column in AnOther magazine.

Jonas Mekas is a man who clearly loves a good archive. Besides being a filmmaker, artist, writer and poet, Mekas is probably the most dedicated and genre-conscious pack rat in New York City. Over the last forty years he’s become widely known for being a co-founder and chief guardian of the Anthology Film Archive, the largest collection of underground and experimental film in the world. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise when I arrived at his Brooklyn loft the other week and discovered the entire space filled with loosely stacked boxes, folders, photographs, glassines and slides of cut film reels, writings, poems, magazines, posters, and so on. They covered every available surface. Books and binders lined the walls. Nothing was overly fastidious or ordered – in fact, the stacks were actually rather loosely assembled – but there was nothing messy either. And Jonas knew exactly where everything was. At first, I was confused. I thought perhaps he was housing a portion of the Anthology Film Archives in his own living room. But he assured me he wasn’t. This was his own work, he said, a lifetime of thought and creativity and its artifacts. The next logical thought that came to mind was, How did he live here? There seemed to be no place to relax, recline, or spread out a big feast for family and friends. There was nowhere to not work. But after only a few minutes visiting I realised this is how he lives. Mekas is so consumed with the art of documenting life and collecting its leftovers that it has become entirely second nature to him, as automatic as breathing air.

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Art September 28, 2011 By Sarah Coleman

Paul Cadmus, 1928, by Luigi Lucioni (American, 1900–1988)

Paul Cadmus, 1928, by Luigi Lucioni (American, 1900–1988)

title 22 Youth and Beauty
Thanks to popular television shows like HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and Ken Burns’ new PBS documentary series Prohibition, we’re well informed about what went on socially and politically in the 1920s, from the rise of the Mafia to the new freedoms women enjoyed as voters and flappers. But what about visual art? What did painters, sculptors and photographers produce during the ten years between the Great War and the Great Depression?
     Youth and Beauty (Skira Rizzoli), a beautiful coffee-table book accompanying an exhibition opening at the Brooklyn Museum in October, gives plentiful answers to that question. Of course, we know what happened artistically in postwar Europe: it was the Golden Age of Modernism, when artists like Picasso, Mondrian and Kandinsky were producing some of their best work. Newly mature, Modernism bore its own wild children–Dada, Surrealism and Futurism among them.

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film September 27, 2011 By Marina Zogbi

117 Jeff Nichols Take Sheltertitle57 Jeff Nichols Take Shelter
When Jeff Nichols’ Shotgun Stories was released in early 2008, critics and civilians alike embraced the young filmmaker’s tense, tragic tale of a feud between two sets of half-brothers. Heading the solid, mostly unknown cast was Michael Shannon, who’d previously given an awesomely unhinged performance in William Friedkin’s psychological thriller ‘Bug.’
     Nichols’ current film, Take Shelter, which opens this Friday, also stars Shannon, this time as Curtis, a husband and father whose nightmarish visions of an apocalyptic storm leave both character and audience questioning his sanity. The visually and emotionally intense film won the Critics’ Prize at Cannes and was a Grand Jury Prize nominee at Sundance.
     Take Shelter has a lot in common with Nichols’ debut – spare dialogue, heartland setting, strong family theme, and a solid cast (Jessica Chastain plays Curtis’ wife). But just as Shannon has gained visibility since his scene-stealing (and Oscar-nominated) turn as a troubled neighbor in Sam Mendes’ Revolutionary Road, Nichols himself has become sought after. His next movie, Mud, about two teens who find a fugitive on the Mississippi River, stars Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.

PLANET spoke with Nichols during pre-production for Mud, currently being shot in his home state of Arkansas.

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Architecture, Fashion September 26, 2011 By Sugar Vendil

116 Boffo Building Fashiontitle56 Boffo Building Fashion
Beauty and creativity can emerge in even the thorniest economy, as manifested by BOFFO Building Fashion, an exciting series where architects and fashion designers collaborate to create pop-up shops. With the support of CFDA, Supima Cotton and Architizer, Building Fashion had a successful premiere in 2010 at HL23 underneath the High Line. This year, Building Fashion will feature five installments and take place at Karkula, located at 50 Walker Street in Tribeca.
     A designer’s work is oftentimes presented in a department store or boutique alongside dozens of collections. Building Fashion, however, gives designers the opportunity have their own freestanding store as well as a space that reflects their personalities. According to Nicola Formichetti, the first designer to be featured in the series, “This is the opportunity to look directly into my head.” Nicola’s, by Gage/Clemenceau Architects, literally reflects Formichetti’s style, with mirrored prisms serving as the ceiling and walls.

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Book, Greenspace September 23, 2011 By Jordan Sayle

filler29 Assembled from Scratch

Finished Outside View/Courtesy: Lou Ureneck

Finished Outside View/Courtesy: Lou Ureneck

filler29 Assembled from Scratchtitle55 Assembled from Scratch
For most people, the thought of building a home from scratch would be enough to lay the foundation for a mid-life crisis. For Lou Ureneck, building the framework for a cabin in the woods is precisely the means for avoiding such a breakdown. While he gathers the various items he’ll need to complete the job, he also assembles a story to go along with the assembled structure, in which he tracks the course of the project, from the point of inspiration to his family’s first Thanksgiving dinner inside the cabin’s walls. It makes for a charming new memoir, based on a blog he wrote for The New York Times during the construction process, with the straightforward title Cabin.
     Ureneck’s motives are more complex than simply wanting a place for getting away. He conceives of the idea to build his very own cabin in the deep woods of Maine, not far from his brother Paul’s Portland home, as a response to the spate of bad fortune and difficult transitions taking hold of his life in the midst of his middle aged years – a failed marriage, a recently deceased mother, a newly empty nest, and a health scare of his own to top it off. This new getaway house, he figures, would provide respite from the complications of the outside world. Most likely, it would also reconnect him to his brother’s family after too many years of distance, both geographic and emotional. And having his brother’s family around might also provide some vital manpower from the pouring of the concrete foundation piers to the building of the timber-frame structure, the rafters and ultimately the roof.

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Events, film September 21, 2011 By Sophie Mollart

213 Roman Polanski Repulsion rp 11 Roman Polanski Repulsion
Coinciding with the release of his newest film, Carnage – screening this month at the New York Film Festival (an adaptation of Yasmina Reza’s Tony Award winning play) MoMa is holding a retrospective of Roman Polanski’s work to date. Possibly the most contentious of living filmmakers – I will steer clear of the great Polanski debate – instead, consider one of his best – Repulsion (1965).
     Opening with a claustrophobic, close-up of a glassy retina, displaying all the frenzied paranoia that’s come to be Polanski’s most persistent concern – this heavy lashed, rapid blinking eyeball belongs to Catherine Deneuve, playing the perennially glum ingénue Carole, incongruously transplanted from France into the hubbub of 1960s, swinging London.
     Meandering through the film, in a constant state of crestfallen bewilderment – Carole works by day as a manicurist, attending to an assemblage of wealthy, cranky women. Living with her long-suffering sister, she displays all the qualities of the persnickety roommate from hell – and is otherwise consumed by averting the attention of an abundance of male admirers.

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Architecture September 20, 2011 By Nalina Moses

Phoenix International Media Center, Beijing, China, 2007-2009.  By BIAD_UPo.

Phoenix International Media Center, Beijing, China, 2007-2009. By BIAD_UPo.

title54 Journey to the East
Ten years ago there was a joke that half of the world’s construction cranes were in Dubai. Today the joke might be that half of the world’s construction cranes are in mainland China, and that factories in China are producing more cranes every day. There’s been cataclysmic industrialization there and, along with it, an awesome amount of new construction. Old neighborhoods are being razed and, with incredible speed, gleaming new cities are rising. An exhibit at Rome’s modern art museum MAXXI, “Verso Est: Chinese Architectural Landscape,” takes a closer look at the architecture that’s emerging.
     Because of relatively unregulated city planning and construction, buildings get built in China more quickly than they could ever get built in North America or Europe. So while New Yorkers wait and watch Tower One rise at the World Trade Center site, Beijing’s Central China Television (CCTV) headquarters by Rem Koolhaas, which was designed at the same time, has already been open for over a year. The breakneck pace of construction is impressive and also risky. Before it’s opening in 2010 the entire exterior shell of the CCTV tower went up in flame when some stray fireworks hit it. It’s an accident that probably wouldn’t have happened at an American building site, where federal safety standards ensure that building materials are fire resistant.

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Art, Events September 19, 2011 By Chloe Eichler

John Thomson Itinerant Barbers c. 1868-72

John Thomson Itinerant Barbers c. 1868-72

title53 Sheying
Photography came to China at the start of the 1860s, introduced by foreigners but enthusiastically embraced by natives. In the decades leading up to the twentieth century, every incarnation of the new technology managed to replicate itself in the Chinese popular consciousness: formal landscapes, official portraiture, personal documentation, and architectural and street scenes. These extraordinarily rare images are the meat of Sheying: Shades of China 1850-1900, opening September 15th at Throckmorton Fine Art.
     The black-and-white photos, a mixture of work by transplanted Europeans and fledgling Chinese photographers, have the painterly shades and delicate composition of Europe’s ongoing pictorialism movement. But the pictures are unmistakably Chinese in subject matter. In a cramped Cantonese street, stall banners blot out the sky. Two prisoners pose stoically in cangues. There are countless images of harbors, filled with the bobbing handmade boats that powered the national economy. For all the influence the relatively established European photographers held, China proved itself to be an inimitable sitter. The collection provides a fascinating look at an empire before industrialization.

Click for Slideshow

Features, Music September 16, 2011 By Lily Moayeri

main 1 Theophilus London: This Years Modelfiller29 Theophilus London: This Years Modeltl cover Theophilus London: This Years Model
How many rappers are name-checking Morrissey as an influence and using Smiths song titles for their various outlets? Trinidad-born and Brooklyn-raised, Theophilus London is quite possibly the only one. The twenty-something London, whose debut full-length, Timez Are Weird These Days, dropped in July, is an exemplar for the modern musician. Establishing himself as a persona through social networking and his sense of style long before he released any music, London is creating a blueprint for current artists.
     London is not all about futuristic approaches. He preceded any original material with two, now-classic mixtapes: This Charming Mixtape (a twist on the the Smiths’ “This Charming Man”) and I Want You. And prior to the release of his EP, Love’s Holiday, he had firm ties to high-end fashion brands such as Cole Haan.
     Alongside all this, London is maniacally active on his Twitter feed, his Facebook page, his “This Charming Blog” posts, his numerous Tumblr account posts, and his Hypebeast — not repeating the same information on any of those outlets, keeping the material fresh for today’s media-hungry, short attention span audiences.
filler29 Theophilus London: This Years Model

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