October 21st, 2013
1920′s silent screen goddess Louise Brooks stands as a beacon of individuality that is still mimicked today.
Her two best-known movies, Pandora’s Box and Diary of a Lost Girl, detail complex characters and stories that hold up to any movie 90 years later. Both films were shot in Germany by G.W. Pabst, the very controversial Austrian director. They are both amazing examples of black and white, pre-talkie New Objectivity Art.
Louise’s style has been endlessly mimicked, both in her unique look and haircut, but also in her renegade character studies. Some would argue it was the genius of Pabst himself, Louise surely played a big part. Even though Louise was never able to transition to the world of talking film, she had already made her mark on the world.
If you haven’t guessed what I’m trying to say yet…watch these films!!
Or…in other words…please watch these films!
October 17th, 2013
The second World’s fair in New York was held in 1939/1940 in Queens in a spot that had been a massive ash dump until then. The site, which later became Flushing Meadows-Corona Park, was filled with massive structures that were only utilized for the few months the fair was open. These structures were built in the height of deco influence and they represent that period.
This World’s fair, dubbed “the world of tomorrow,” was a representation of where we were going in the future – of all things modern. Millions of people came from all over the world to see it.
The site was used again for the 1964/1965 World’s fair, and since then stadiums have gone up in parts of the park, but the structures created for the World’s fair never found new uses. A lot of the buildings have been demolished over the years and the area stands mostly abandoned now. It’s one of those sights you only see whizzing by in a taxi from JFK or LaGuardia Airport. I went with a group the other day to explore…
October 10th, 2013
In Brooklyn, near Shea Stadium, there’s this long cratered street scattered with auto repair shops that almost resembles a barrio.
Every Sunday, the boys assemble on the street with their biggest car speakers to hang out and blast house music. They were the biggest speakers I have seen and their force created such power that it felt like a breeze.
Incredible New York moment.
October 4th, 2013
I think it’s time to take a second out for breast cancer. The women that are affected by this disease inspire me year-round with their unbelievable strength and courage. And every October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I’m completely moved by the amount of family and friends so deeply committed to supporting them.
This year, I’m partnering with City of Hope to support their fight against breast cancer. I love this organization’s roots. It’s actually their 100th anniversary, and it all started in an effort to stop the tuberculosis outbreak in LA in 1913.
A group of women got together and threw a benefit concert to raise $2,500 for a few acres of land east of LA to set up a sanatorium. The sanatorium was essentially two tents and got nicknamed “the city of hope.” Today, City of Hope is one of the leading hospitals and clinical research centers in the country, and one of the founding members of the National Comprehensive Cancer Network. They are behind major breakthroughs in the treatment of cancer, diabetes, and HIV-AIDS. Check out more about what they do here: cityofhope.org
10% of all sales October 4th – October 7th in stores and online at alexisbittar.com will be donated to City of Hope’s fight against breast cancer.
October 2nd, 2013
Céline took a dramatic turn from the minimalist aesthetic they’ve been dominating in with their past season’s collections this Spring. The Spring collection is a vibrant fusion of bold Memphis graffiti art and African modernism.
It’s impressive to see another designer take such a leap of artistic faith. Not to mention, the accessories in the collection included these large Masai necklaces and primary bangles that I’m always a fan of…
October 1st, 2013
After most of the designers in New York delivered minimalism one after another, Prada slams it with Surrealist art.
Miuccia Prada brought in six contemporary artists known for their street art style to create murals for the set for her Spring runway show. The artists, Miles “El Mac” Gregor, Mesa, Gabriel Specter, Stinkfish, Jeanne Detallante, and Pierre Mornet, were told to interpret themes of “femininity, representation, power, and multiplicity” in their murals.
She used these powerful images of women’s faces from the murals to create prints from, giving the line a neo -Warhol feeling but one that seemed unique by layering in a naughty 60′s school girl, with a hint of Wiener Werkstätte. Most people will probably never dream of wearing the key items when they view the collection, but they’ll buy all the surrounding basics.
I find it endlessly frustrating watching the New York fashion shows, when more and more of them seem to take a safe and formulaic approach to design and fashion/runway. I understand the need to sell in business, as I too will always design the majority of a collection to be more wearable and practical. Without selling the business can’t survive to do the other.
I think what gets lost in the New York shows is predominantly the sense of exploration, showmanship, and art. It’s the excitement that builds a brand – as well as the mechanics and the accessibility of the items. Without pushing the boundaries you land in the middle. In the middle it’s always safer, but a lot less exciting and easily forgotten.
September 26th, 2013
My friend Jeanine Payer was just in town from San Francisco visiting me for a few days with her 5 year old son William. It was William’s first trip to New York, so like any good host I insisted on the full sightseeing trip around NYC. We wanted to cram in all the sites and were going to be running all over the city, so somehow it impulsively occurred to me that it would be awesome if we were doing it all dressed up in costumes…
William decided to be a ninja turtle, Jeanine was a princess, and I was half a pirate. I finally found a dress up buddy. He happens to be 5 years old, not sure what that says about me……here are some shots from the ferry:
PS – we weren’t the only ones to dress up…our fellow passenger, dressed up as a bear. William was psyched!