Friday, December 30, 2011

Rising Stars: Designers, Sonia Agostino and Nicole Jordan of Tableaux Vivants

If you skipped Art History 101, the significance of Sonia Agostino’s and Nicole Jordan’s fashion-forward label, Tableaux Vivants might be lost on you. A tableau vivant or, “living picture” was a popular art form in the 19th century, before film and television could bring life and color to images. Costumed actors and artist’s models theatrically lit in a drawing room, at a lavish wedding, or coronation, would act out a famous painting, drawing, or sculpture for an audience. A century later, Agostino and Jordan breathe new life into the idea of the “living picture” with Tableaux Vivants, a line of luxe latex garments, each one handmade. Says Jordan, “Our clientele is interested in having people look at them, so they become a living picture. At a party, wearing one of our garments, you’re elevated from being a human.”

It’s no wonder that some of Tableaux Vivants’ celeb clients, including the fashion house VPL, Kate Lanphear, and Lady Gaga are often described as otherworldly. “We’re fashion, not fetish,” adds Agostino. “Latex is a sexy fabric, but this is high fashion, not street wear.” The designers like it when clients mix their latex garments with other fabrics in their wardrobe. “This type of styling makes it easier to incorporate latex into everyday wear,” says Agostino. “It looks totally sexy to pair some latex leggings with a casual shirt. Add some heels and viola!”

One look at the label’s FA 11 and SP 12 lines, and you’ll see that the aesthetic is on par with Givenchy or McQueen and not something you’d find at a sex shop. And although by nature, latex is made to fit the body, not all pieces are skintight. In fact, many include elegant drape work or are takes on classic fashion staples, like the trench coat Tableaux Vivants made for VPL’s FA 11 runway show finale, which Tilda Swinton was photographed wearing in W Magazine
Graduates of The Fashion Institute of Technology, Agostino and Jordan started Tableaux Vivants in 2009. They were able to finance the operation themselves because they had low overhead costs due to the special way the garments need to be constructed – by hand. “Because everything is handmade,” explains Agostino, “I was able to transform my dining and living room into our studio when it’s time to work.” They work with suppliers for materials in the UK and throughout Europe, sourcing the best suppliers for the intense labor they put into each latex garment. There’s no factory, just the two designers and their avant-garde fashion-forward aesthetic. Once word hit the streets about their label, stylists like Keegan Singh, Joe Zee, Patti Wilson and Victoria Bartlett started pulling pieces. Bartlett was so taken with the design team that she commissioned 8 latex garments that were shown on her FA 11 runway for the finale. 

In addition to being the avant-garde darlings of top stylists, Agostino and Jordan made savvy collaborations early on with talent that fit the label’s aesthetic. One of their first projects was commissioned by US Elle Style Director, Kate Lanphear, who asked Agostino and Jordan to participate in Lane Crawford’s Heritage Collection “Tribute to the Trench.” “We worked for five straight days on those hand-rolled tubes for our coat,” explains Jordan. “When Kate came to our studio, here is this fashion icon, and we hadn’t slept for days!” 
Then came an unlikely client: Disney. The duo was commissioned to create pieces for a TRON LEGACY pop-up shop in Los Angeles that was open for a month before the movie came out. “This was to get people excited about the movie,” explains Agostino. “Furthermore, Disney felt that incorporating women’s fashion would get a larger female clientele interested in the movie.” Along with designing 7 garments for the pop up, Agostino and Jordan created a fashion film to showcase the designs as they had interpreted them – commissioned by Disney. 

In addition to being a client-based fashion label, the designers hope to make Tableaux Vivants a “go-to company for custom costumes and garments for TV, movies, and commercials.” Video lookbooks, which are all the rage these days, are a perfect vehicle for houses like Tableax Vivants, because viewers can see how the garments move on the body. Recently, the designers teamed up with stylist Tom Van Dorpe for VMan Magazine to create items worn by Adriana Lima; the shoot was documented in a fashion video that’s candy for the eyes.

But you don’t have to be a supermodel or Gaga (who has made it her mission to promote her favorite up-and-coming designers) to wear Tableaux Vivants. Says Jordan, “Everybody has that feeling when you’re out and about and you feel like you’re in a music video doing something for the fabulous moments in life.” Agostino adds, “And there are so many opportunities to have a surreal day in New York City.”

When wearing your latex garment, the designers suggest applying Eros Bodyglide
because it goes on clear, and is kind to the latex, although baby powder works as well. To care for your garment, they recommend washing it in a tub with lukewarm water every time you wear it, especially if you use a lot of lotions or self-tanner. People can view the designers’ guidelines for caring for their latex on their website. Agostino says, “Our garments require you to love and care for them, but if you do, they will love and care for you.”

Thanks, Tableaux Vivants! (to all my readers, J’adore the boned corset and pink pencil skirt from SP 12 … and my birthday is coming up) xox BG!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide

My rule of thumb for giving gifts ... Give something the recipient would love, but wouldn't normally get him or herself

Here are some of my favorite picks

  • Mink Earmuffs from the Fur Salon at Saks … A little luxury for the ears
  • Agent Provocateur … Fantasy lingerie with ranges for all tastes, naughty and nice
  • J.Crew Cashmere Socks … Warm tootsies are a must
  • Kate’s Paperie Eco-Friendly Letterpress Journal … For taking stock and saving trees  
  • Fresh Sugar Body Polish … The best body scrub for all your parts 
  • Ernest Sewn Custom Made Jeans … The perfect fit guaranteed 
  • Judi Rosen Unearthened Large Necklace … Because crystals continue to rock, and this one comes on a 24-inch silver chain
  •  Diana F Lomography 1960s Cult Camera … So retro! (don’t forget the 35 mm film) 
  • Illustrado: A Novel by Miguel Syjuco … This prize-winning novel about art and identity is seductive, lushly written, oh, and brilliant 
  • Jo Malone Bath Oil Set … A talc-free fragrance that as earthy as it is luxe

  • TOMS One for One – New Eye wear Collection … Not only cool shades, but this is philanthropic gift giving
  • The Art of Shaving Travel Kit … Because he loves his baby face when he’s on-the-go
  • iPhone 4 Birdseye Maple Custom Case … 300 limited edition cases by a fantastic artist – not your ordinary skin
  • Ricky Powell’s Public Access: Ricky Powell Photographs 1985-2005 … Just cause
  • Chrome Soyuz Waterproof Laptop and More Bag … Women aren’t the only ones who carry their wares around the city
  • Ben Sherman Achilles Boot ... Because Jay-Z is over Timberland
  • Mad Men Seasons 1-4 Disc Set … Every man dreams of being Don Draper, and Season 5 doesn’t premiere til March
  • WeSC Voodoo Revenge Te-shirt … Because you LOVE his friends
  • Tribe Skateboard … Follow the Tribe, the finest wood from this Brooklyn-based company
  • Dave’s WEAR House Cheap and Unique Valve Caps for Your Bike Rims … Stocking stuffers with style and function
  • ecofö synthetic-fur Belgium made Bearskin rug … Faux fur never felt this good first thing in the morning on cold feet
  • Chic Shop by Hillary Thomas Design Large Telephone Wire Platter in Rainbow … Never lose the car keys again
  • Photo Session with Fashion/Portrait Photographer, Charity de Meer
  • Photo Session with Photojournalist/Candid Portrait Artist, Peter Pabon
  • petit h by Hermès … Upcycled discards from the fashion house’s production facility turned into offbeat, whimsical collectibles
  • We-Vibe … Because adults like unwrapping toys just as much as kids, and this one has guaranteed “buzz”
  • IN GOD WE TRUST Crosley Spinerette Turntable … Plays records and easily converts vinyl into digital audio files; software suite and audio editing available
  • s[edition] … This online art shop sells prints of today’s most notable artists’ works, like Shepard Fairey’s Peace Guard

happy holidays from Beautiful Garbage xox

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Pamela Love Trunk Show at Reformation LES

This Saturday, 12/3 from 3-6 PM, Check out artist/jeweler/designer Pamela Love's Trunk Show at the LES REFORMATION, 156 Ludlow.

New York native Pamela Love received her BFA from New York University Tisch School of the Arts, majoring in film production with a concentration in art and public policy. After graduating, Love applied her studies and creativity as an artist’s assistant and as an art director and stylist for photo shoots, music videos, and films. Throughout these projects, Love often had difficulty finding jewelry that suited her taste. As a result, in 2006, she began making her own pieces, working primarily out of the basement of her own Brooklyn apartment.

It wasn’t long before her innovative, distinctive creations caught the attention of trendsetters worldwide, and her newfound passion became a full-time business. Now working from a studio on 29th Street in New York, Love works with an in-house team who manage all production, public relations, online, and retail sales.

Pamela Love draws her inspiration from many of her favorite artists, including Joseph Cornell, Lee Bontecou, Hieronymous Bosch, Alejandro Jodorowsky, and Francesco Clemente. Her creativity is further fueled by her passion for nature and science, as well as astronomy, astrology, religion, magic and folk jewelry. Her deep connection to the American Southwest also continues to be a driving inspiration behind her artistry and craft. Passionate about both her design and practice, she continues to experiment with unique and exotic materials, while exploring new techniques to make her challenging and extravagant designs a reality. Love defies traditional categories of fine or costume jewelry through the use of materials ranging from brass and leather to 14-karat gold and precious stones. Her collections, like Love herself, blend mystery with romance, reminiscent of stories both whimsical and dark.

Beyond the success of her own individual line, Pamela Love has collaborated with designers such as Marchesa, Twenty8Twelve, Yigal Azrouel, Frank Tell, and Zac Posen for their runway shows and presentations. She worked with Opening Ceremony and Spike Jonze to create a jewelry line inspired by his film Where The Wild Things Are, and has produced custom jewelry for HBO's hit TV show, True Blood. In an effort to become more eco-friendly, Love has worked with designer Rogan Gregory to create the sustainable jewelry line Rogan vs. Love.