I came across Donna Karan's foundation and new label Urban Zen on one of my ventures out into the big world wide web. I was immediately attracted to the fashion, the same thing that used to happen to me in the early nineties, most of what I saw of her work was inspiring and intelligent, made for a woman's body, I was so glad to know she was over there in New York. I feel like with this label she's gone into the core of her style and heart. And then to make things even more enthralling, ten percent of sales from the Urban Zen stores goes to the people in Haiti. It reminds me a bit of the inspirational Anita Roddick. Thank God for powerful, humanitarian, and creative women like this, they give the rest of us such an excellent reference point.
This morning I read an article on 'The Daily Beast' titled: 'Fashion's Arab Spring' about my favorite designer of the moment, Haider Ackermann. I read more about him and his life. And then I understood why I feel such resonance with him. He was born in Colombia (where I grew up for several years of my childhood, in Bogota), and he was brought up by French parents, and then proceeded to live all over the place. My parents weren't French, my father Dutch and my mother English, but we did live all over the place, including Iran. (this is back in the fifties!) So I have things in common with his background. But apart from that, I am an advocate of being free to be who you are,
and enjoying your beauty and sensuality.
His work is about freedom. Freedom to envelope your body in beautiful draping fabrics, freedom to be feminine without having to display your body packaged and bound up so tight, layers of stiffening and hype, your flesh sort of squeezes out of the gaps, and you can't breathe, you can't walk properly, because you should done have a course on stilt walking before wearing those shoes, which may make you feel tall and powerful, but compromise your back, and your natural rhythm, and actually disconnect you from your real power, that of being a woman standing on Earth now, in these times. How can this be 'cool' or 'hot'? You're not free to just enjoy and revel in the beauty of being in a feminine body, who's natural rhythm is like that of nature, sensual and gracefully shifting between spaces, the senses alive and open.
A friend just came back from Japan and told me that she had to do a whole review about her idea of what 'culture' actually is. She basically had her mind blown by the culture and civilisation of Japan. She hadn't really grown up with the idea that it is actually culture which immortalises a civilization, not Australian rules football, as so many Australians believe I'm afraid!
I always get a really good feeling about a culture/time/values etc from the photographers who live and work in that place/time etc. So I just went surfing on the web, and found this wonderful Japanese photographer who it looks like, has just had a book published called 'half awake and half asleep in the water', from the exhibition which happened at the Yossi Milo Gallery in NY.
Even though there is a darkness in the dencontructed chic of this great Belgian designer, there is a dreaming there too. And lately in my interest in Innana, the Sumerian Goddess of dark and light, this ensemble just makes stopped me in my tracks. Timeless and a classical signature look (this season she showed a lot of chiffons and transparents in amongst the structured unstructures.
Below is my Innana necklace (black/white agate, vintage cut garnet) which I made several months ago.
A friend bought it straight off my bench, I hadn't even snipped off the loose ends.
So I think dark and light is an important archetype at the moment, as we face up to the dark, to allow more light in.