'Tis the season.
Provided nothing outrageously exciting happens with this project in the new year, I promise to stop talking about it. (Oh, did I mention it's a great Christmas present?). Given it's the season to be thankful, I thought I'd share some of the things that I'm grateful for this year: good press. Yep, that's right. I was always proud of this book - Alison, my co-author, and I worked ourselves to the bone for it - so to have that reaffirmed by some of the magazines, newspapers and editors I look up to as a writer is incredibly humbling. Herewith, I share some of the reviews.
"Art and fashion have always gone hand in hand, but recent years have seen such a flurry of brilliant creative collaborations between the two worlds, it's hard to keep track of who's doing what. Even when artists and designers are not making beautiful music together, they're never entirely separate disciplines. Just look at Dutch label Viktor & Rolf and its sculptural approach to clothing, or artist Cindy Sherman's use of clothing as disguise in her conceptual self portraits. New book Art / Fashion in the 21st Century (Thames & Hudson) is stuffed with photography showcasing the most impressive art and fashion collaborations from the last decade, with work from fashion houses Balenciaga, Chanel and Prada, and artists Zaha Hadid, Takashi Murakami and Richard Prince, and a foreword by famous fashion muse and art lover Daphne Guinness."
"A handsomely illustrated exploration of the increasingly blurry borders between fashion and fine art, with provocative, beautiful and occasionally preposterous images."
"The forward slash in the title Art / Fashion in the 21st Century suggests the complexity of the book’s subject, because to address the relationship and mutual nourishment between art and fashion is to identify and value how each respective discipline inhabits the other’s context. Nonetheless, the convergence between art and fashion is highly accomplished in Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler ravishing tome."
THE COURIER MAIL
"Does fashion influence art or does art influence fashion? It's a bit of both, according to Brisbane art historian Alison Kubler, co-author of a new book exploring the correlation between the two worlds. Art/Fashion in the 21st Century shows, though a series of essays and a swag of colourful photos, how art and fashion work together."
HARPER'S BAZAAR AUSTRALIA
"An insightful new book that explores the perfect-storm relationship of art and fashion. This concise book of essays, profiles and imagery is a must-read for any fashion and art addict."
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
"A stunning new book book by Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler, Art/Fashion in the 21st Century explores the symbiotic relationship between fashion and art. Featuring interviews with leading figures from the worlds of art and fashion and 238 colour illustrations, this is one for the Eames coffee table."
"Chart the close relationship between international artists and major fashion houses with this stylish work."
"Australia-based Oakley Smith and Kubler chart the rise of the rapidly growing interplay between fashion and art over the past decade with 250 colour photographs of cool collaborations. Does fashion want to be taken seriously? Does art want an invite to all the best parties? Who knows. In the fashion corner we have the likes of Marc Jacobs, Miuccia Prada, Hussein Chalayan and Viktor & Rolf – and for art’s sake, names such as Richard Prince, Cindy Sherman, Jeff Koons, Tracey Emin and Zaha Hadid. Living, breathing art/fashion collaboration Daphne Guinness has written the foreword."
"Fashion has been spinning out of its box to play witty and exciting games with art and architecture, new media, photography, who and what you will. Daphne Guinness, enmeshed in the most engaging aspects of fashion, writes the foreword. Discover fashion's reinventive dance. Take your partners for the no-holds-barred ways to be 21st-century eye candy. Method: make fashion art and art fashion. Mix with the historic perfectionists of Paris. And rediscover Walter Van Beirendonck."
HARPER'S BAZAAR UK
"Prada and James Jean; Stella McCartney and Jeff Koons; Louis Vuitton and Stephen Sprouse: art and fashion have long gone hand in hand, and from these collaborations to the synchronicity between fashion and architecture, Art/Fashion in the 21st Century is a fascinating look at the relationship between interlocking worlds."
"2 creative industries (art and fashion) + 1 great quote by Oscar Wilde: "One should either be a work of art or wear a work of art" + 1 foreword by Daphne Guinness + 2 Jeff Koons dresses x 6 designers 'in conversation' + 4 Louis Vuitton artist collaborations + 1 horse x 32 catwalk photographs + 1 Prada installation in the Texan desert = Art / Fashion in the 21st Century."
"Catwalk fashion is often barmy, but to consider it unwearable may be missing the point. Art/Fashion in the 21st Century, a new book by Mitchell Oakley Smith and Alison Kubler, explores how collaborations between designers and artists have merged the spheres of fashion and art. "Fashion is staking a claim to the rarefied world of fine art via blockbuster museum exhibitions, since the phenomenal Alexander McQueen retrospective at the Metropolitan Museum in 2011," Oakley Smith explains. For Kubler: "Fashion is as enduring as art for what it might tell us about history and how it might describe the zeitgeist."
MARIE CLAIRE UK
"An inspirational overview of innovative designers (Alexander McQueen) and hot collaborations (Liam Gillick for Pringle of Scotland). It's a masterpiece."
"This book focuses on the lines between art and fashion, considering not just the garments themselves but also their place in the galleries, editorial and new media. As Daphne Guinness writes in her forward, 'The question is not whether an item is created to be interpreted as art, but whether its designer is considered to be deserving of an artist's status.'"
"According to Oscar Wilde "one should either be a work of art or wear a work of art". But can they be one and the same thing? Certainly there's long been a crossover between art and fashion. Coco Chanel worked with artists such as Jean Cocteau and Pablo Picasso. The interconnections have increased if anything, with fashion houses involving artists to refresh their imager, as Art/Fashion in the 21st Century proves. Think Richard Prince customising Louis Vuitton. Which leads to the ultimate question: can fashion designers be artists in themselves? Belgian designer Walter Van Beirendonck thinks so: 'It's all about communication, and that's something fashion and art have in common.'"
"After a season heavily inspired by art – Miuccia’s murals, Karl’s Chanel gallery, Marc’s memorable exit from LV was very artistic in it’s own right - timing couldn’t really be more appropriate for a book launch of art slash fashion. Mitchell Oakley Smith (more affectionately known as MOS) and Alison Kublers Art/Fashion in the 21st Century is an impressive archive of designers slash artists and their relationships, of course their are lots of colour pictures – what is an art slash fashion book without. A foreword by the human embodiment of art slash fashion, Daphne Guinness is just so appropriate – love a right good slashy."
Top image: Romance Was Born spring 2013, photographed by Lucas Dawson.