Design

How Rihanna Won the Met Gala — and Surpassed Its Awful Theme

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When the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute announced the subject of its spring 2015 exhibit, the media collectively cringed. China: Through the Looking Glass — which, according to the Met, “will explore the impact of Chinese aesthetics on Western fashion, and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries” — is a perfectly suitable topic for a museum dedicated to the history of fashion; after all, excising Western influence by, or appropriation of, other cultures would wipe out the bulk of art history. But the show’s theme doubled as the theme of last night’s Vogue-hosted opening gala, an event so intertwined with the actual exhibit that the Costume Institute’s official name (The Anna Wintour Costume Center, as of last year) is essentially a formality.
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Here Are All the Celebrities Who Defied Anna Wintour’s Met Ball Social Media Ban

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She may have put Kim Kardashian (and a hashtag!) on the cover of her magazine, but make no mistake: Anna Wintour’s not exactly a digital convert. According to Page Six, guests at last night’s ultra-exclusive Met Gala were sent the following mandate: “The use of phones for photography and social media will not be permitted inside the gala.” That worked out… about as well as one would expect, so in lieu of a red carpet roundup, we’ve collected evidence of the rich and powerful doing what they do best: whatever the hell they want. Click through for last night’s best Instagram selfies and Twitter updates, with our apologies to Ms. Wintour.
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“What’s Underneath” Video Series Uses Fashion Culture to Uncover Rape Culture

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The mother-daughter team behind eclectic personal style website StyleLikeU, Elisa Goodkind and Lily Mandelbaum, have produced a remarkable series called “The What’s Underneath Project,” a series of short videos in which fashion-forward people — artists, musicians, and others — sit in a studio and take off their clothes. Eventually clad in their underwear, but softly lit and beautifully styled, the subjects talk about their journeys, mostly focusing on the contrast between inner and outer conceptions of style and beauty.
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Clever Illustrations of Fashion Designers as Their Own Logos

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Fewer industries take themselves more seriously than fashion, and thus fewer industries leave themselves open wider to talented pranksters like illustrator Mike Frederiqo. In his latest series, which we spotted via Beautiful/Decay, the 23-year-old artist has drawn iconic designers like Yves Saint Laurent and fashion personalities like Anna Wintour, contorted into the logos that mark their work. One could interpret the series as a jab at fashion’s relationship with body image, or even the dominance of global mega-brands over the individual artistic voice… or one could simply laugh at the sight of Karl Lagerfeld flipping himself into a backwards “C.” Click through for more.
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20 Iconic Fashion Moments From Jane Austen Adaptations

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“Our abuse of our gowns amuses but does not discourage me; I shall take mine to be made up next week, and the more I look at it the better it pleases me,” Jane Austen wrote to her sister. “My cloak came on Tuesday, and, though I expected a good deal, the beauty of the lace astonished me. It is too handsome to be worn — almost too handsome to be looked at.”

Although Austen’s novels almost all deal with the themes of self-knowledge, growing up, and the nature of romantic love, she was hardly above loving or thinking about fashion.
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Stylish Illustrations of Every Single Woman Don Draper Has Slept With

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We’ve spent six and a half seasons of Mad Men trying to answer the question, “Who is Don Draper?” At this point, we have enough information to guess that the point is, we’ll never know — that Don might not even have a core self after all. But for those still collecting clues, the women with whom Don (increasingly briefly) shares his life (or just his bed) provide a fascinating negative-space portrait of a self-destructive womanizer. So it’s only fitting that artist, illustrator, and art director Hannah Choi has, in turn, created a series of stylish portraits that immortalize every single woman Don has slept with — from Betty and Megan to “Candace the escort” and the nameless beauties he meets in bars. Click through for some highlights from The Women of Don Draper, and follow the project on Tumblr for inevitable updates.
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The Best Eye-Popping Office Designs of the 1970s

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The 1970s are often remembered for a garish palette, but it was a decade of great change — especially in terms of design. With the last season of Mad Men premiering tomorrow, set during the start of the 1970s, we have office design on the brain. “Office design in the 1960s and 1970s actually became more humanistic, with greater concern for the ability of the individual worker to have some freedom in the design and specification of his or her work area,” state the authors of Designing Commercial Interiors. Ergonomic designs were an essential part of the ’70s office environment. Many companies started recycling efforts and championed sustainable building design as a response to the ongoing energy crises. Experimental furniture, high-tech materials, and eye-popping colors were all the rage. We’ve highlighted some of the finest office designs from the ‘70s, which tease a look at Mad Men’s updated digs, below.
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Awesome ’80s-Style VHS Covers for Current Movies and TV

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Look, nobody really misses VHS. Sure, there’s a small and weird movement of VHS artisans whose nostalgia for their childhood and an apparent love for tracking lines has convinced them that the ugly, low-res analog mainstay is a superior format, and some note that a lot of movies never made the DVD crossover so it’s not a bad idea to keep a VHS deck around (and this is true) — but generally speaking, VHS died because DVD is superior in every way, end of story. But that doesn’t mean those of us who came of age in the VHS era don’t have some leftover affection for the ugly packaging and pre-Photoshop artwork that lined our video store shelves (see, it was this place you went, and you picked out tapes, and took them home and watched them, and came back and paid an exorbitant late fee), which is why so many movie geeks have flipped for “Stan VHS.” According to “Stan”’s Tumblr page, he got the idea of making old-school VHS covers for new movies and TV shows, and posted them on April Fool’s Day, claiming them to be the work of “a Parisian hipster named ‘Stan’ [who] only watched modern films and TV series on VHS.” You can read his full article here, if you speak French; otherwise, here are the clever covers he put together for the project.
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