Istanbul-based designer and painter Serra Turker launched Misela four years ago with the idea that handbags ought to be like works of art. Now she’s applying the same principle to home decor. Her new collection includes vibrant handpainted pillows and lacquered trays, lamps, and boxes with elegant brass details and geometric designs. As she puts it, “It’s about transforming everyday accessories into objects of desire” (miselaistanbul.com; $150–$550).
Illustrations by Cecilia Carstedt
Photo: Devon Jarvis
Model, creative director, and veritable sex kitten Julia Restoin Roitfeld (pictured) has fused her talents into a capsule collection for ultraluxe lingerie brand Kiki de Montparnasse. The seven-piece silk and French-lace lineup includes a bodysuit, a corselette bra, and a high-waist panty complete with a belt that doubles as a blindfold (kikidm.com; $195–$595).Photo: Devon Jarvis
It’s one of the most exciting aspects of an exotic holiday: hunting the local markets for wearable treasures (and then showing them off to friends back home). That sense of discovery is what Kiyan Foroughi and Avid Larizadeh aim to capture with their website, Boticca.com, an international marketplace selling the goods of more than 220 accessory designers hailing from nearly 40 countries. The idea sprang from a 2008 trip Foroughi took to Marrakech, where he met a jeweler who traveled four hours round-trip every day to sell her wares. “I realized the distribution issues designers have and how hard it is for them to make the most of the economics,” explains Foroughi, a former investment banker whose Iranian grandfather was a distributor for Cartier and Piaget. He enlisted his friend Larizadeh, who had worked for eBay and Skype, and Boticca (derived from the 18th-century French word for “boutique”) was born. Among their recent discoveries: a leather and woven-metal tote from the Dubai-based Poupée Couture and a hand-embroidered necklace made of vintage textiles and rhinestones (above) from the Estonian designer Krista R—both far cheaper than a vacation and just as envy-inducing.
Only begrudgingly, and at the behest of his then girlfriend, did renowned filmmaker Wim Wenders take in a Pina Bausch retrospective while vacationing in Venice, Italy, in 1985. “I was completely shattered from the experience,” recalls the director, who soon after approached the famed German choreographer about making a documentary. “She had the most piercing eyes I’d ever seen,” he recalls. “And when she looked at you, you thought she was looking right through to your soul—but it wasn’t scary.” Their project, however, took two decades to get off the ground after Wenders discovered that conventional filmmaking couldn’t capture Bausch’s orgiastic body language and unorthodox use of natural elements like water, rocks, and dirt. But after seeing the 2007 concert film U2 3D at Cannes, Wenders decided that 3-D was the way to go and spent the next two years developing special cranes and single-lens setups that could move with Bausch’s dancers during the Wuppertal Dance Theater’s 2009–2010 season. When Bausch died unexpectedly (five days after being diagnosed with cancer in 2009), her dancers persuaded Wenders to press on. The resulting tribute, Pina—which includes excerpts from four signature works: Le Sacre Du Printemps (1975); Cafe Muller (1978); Kontakthof (1978); and Vollmond (2006)—explodes off the screen with the same fragile strength that her live performances once conjured. Says Wenders: “The impetus to make the film was to share it with as many people as possible—not necessarily aficionados, but people like me before I saw my first piece: people who think dance is not for them.”—Michael Slenske
W spoke with the director to discuss the allure of working in 3-D and the story behind Pina, in theaters December 23:
Café Muller was your first experience with Pina Bausch. You cared very little about dance, but this put you on the edge of your seat, moved and crying.
If you have no idea what you’re going to see, you think, “Well this is going to be modern dance, so this isn’t necessarily going to concern me.” And then you look at the stage and watch these six characters doing amazing things; it’s not what I envisioned dance to be and my prejudice was in no way confirmed. I felt, from the beginning, very attracted to these dancers. This unknown choreographer by the name of Pina Bausch was telling me things about men and women with the stage.
What do you think she was trying to say about men and women?
She was telling an incredible metaphor about the search for love and the fear of loss, dependency and how to hold on to somebody and how to let go. I had never seen something so deep about the relationship between men and women before, even in a movie theater. Actually, the entire history of cinema had not made me feel that I had seen something so complete about relationships like this 40-minute play. There was not even a single word spoken, yet it said everything there was to be said about men and women - their human condition as couples and their sometimes desperation attraction and desperate rejection of each other.
The trailer for Pina
Do you think all these emotions were conveyed more clearly because of the lack of dialogue?
Yes. It slowly dawned on me that I was watching something very big, where somebody was making me understand the language of bodies. This is a common language that we all know, except we aren’t so much aware that we speak the language.
What do you think is this “language of bodies?”
It means, if we couldn’t speak or if we didn’t have the same language, we could still communicate with gestures, with movement, with dance. With our arms and hands, we could still tell each other who were are and what we want. The revolution for me, with Pina’s dance, was how precise this language was. I sat there in the audience, and I felt I could just as well be one of the dancers on stage. At the end of it, it was almost like I had cramps—I was so engaged.
Pina was famous for saying that she was not interested in how people move, but rather what makes them move. Do you agree?
That was her credo and she said it very early on in her career, to make people understand that her approach was radically difference. She really put dance upside down—or back on its feet. Pina, who was never so much a fan of words, finally found a way to tell people, “Look, I’m doing something very different. I’m trying to find out how dance defines us and what dance tells us about ourselves, what drives us and what are the forces in us that make us move and express ourselves.” It’s not an aesthetic experience, like that in traditional ballet.
Fabian Prioville and Azusa Seyama in Wim Wenders' Pina
Tell me about the first time you met her. You said you felt like she could read your heart and mind and soul.
I had never been in a situation that I felt totally naked. We were sitting next to each other, around a little coffee table on a piazza in Venice, Italy. There she was. She drank her coffee, smoked one cigarette after another, and didn’t say much. She just had this mysterious way to see through you. I was a little scared, but her look was very gentle. She knew so much about me without actually knowing me, just by looking. She was just so mysterious, and it had this affect where I just kept blabbering on. I felt obliged to.
How did things change with the passing of Pina? I know you were unclear about pressing on with the film.
In fact, I was very clear that I was not going to go on. The film was supposed to be with Pina. We dreamt it up together for over 20 years; without her, there would be no more movie, period. But in September 2009, more than 2 months after Pina passed away, all her friends and dancers came to this official eulogy in her honor. I realized that these dancers were beautiful people and that I loved them very much. They all felt they needed to do something to deal with the loss and that terrible feeling that none of them had been able to say goodbye, or thank you, to Pina. We had to find a way to make an homage to Pina.
Let’s talk a little about 3-D versus traditional film. You said you felt lucky that you discovered 3-D out of necessity, because dance needs it.
It’s not obvious that 3-D is a language that a film really needs. Quite often, I see a movie in 3-D and I’m a little sick and tired of all these effects. Are they really a necessity for this or not? Very often I think not. I do think 3-D still needs to be explored in storytelling as a medium that is necessary, and I want to see the movie that shows me that the use of 3-D and that additional space is fully explored and realized.
I was really hooked to this procedure; it’s a huge step and a new language that needs to be explored. I’m working on a new long-term project, a documentary film about architecture that by its very nature is predestined to be shot in 3-D.
Photos: Top, Ditta Miranda Jasjfi in “Vollmond” in Wim Wenders’ Pina. All images: ©Neue Road Movies GmbH, Photo by Donata Wenders. A Sundance Selects release.
From left: Chinati's exterior; Hiroshi Sugimoto, Five Elements, 2011, detail.
Consisting principally of miniature crystal pagodas embedded in photo negatives of seascapes from around the world, the exhibition echoes Judd’s interest in creating a context for works of art that are in harmony with architecture and natural landscapes. (If you can’t catch the show before it closes next summer, a sister show of Sugimoto’s work from the same series, Surface of the Third Order, is currently on display at the Pace Gallery’s West 25th location.) Chinati isn’t Marfa’s only offering for art fans. In addition to several galleries, there’s a world-class art bookstore, the Marfa Book Co., and the Judd Foundation’s offices, which offer tours of his former studios and residence.
From the Autobody show, from top: Jonathan Schipper, The Slow Inevitable Death of American Muscle, 2008; Bottom: Liz Cohen, Trabantimino, 2002-2010.
The town’s generously-termed ‘downtown’ features Ballroom Marfa, an exhibition space and arts center currently exhibiting the Neville Wakefield-curated show Autobody, which explores another all-American obsession: car culture. With only four works on display, the show is modest in scope, but it exhibits a kinetic appeal—Liz Cohen’s hydraulic sculpture, “Trabantimino,” comes to jerky life at the push of a button, while Jonathan Schipper’s installation features two cars on hydraulic tracks, engaged in a slow-motion crash set to unfold over the duration of the show.
The interior of Tienda M
A three-hour drive from El Paso, Marfa’s desert location has saved it from overdevelopment, but change is still afoot. Marianne Stockebrand, Chinati’s director from 1993 to 2010, and now the owner of Tienda M, an elegant boutique that offers accessories sourced from across the Mexican border and a curated selection of clothing from Dosa, recalls that, “five years ago, you couldn't find a drop of olive oil or Italian pasta. People now can make a living here at things which didn't exist then.” She adds, “There’s a certain freedom. There's a guy that shows movies and if people come, good. If not, fine. That's the beauty—it's not to make a big impact in the art world or to be written about in blogs. It's simply because people want to do it.”
Hiroshi Sugimoto, Five Elements on display until July 15. Visit chinati.org for more information.
Credits: Sugimoto: 6 inches. Temporary exhibition, the Chinati Foundation, Marfa, Texas. Photo courtesy of the Chinati Foundation. Art © Sugimoto Studio, New York. Schipper: 1983 Chevy Camaro, 1993 Pontiac Firebird. Steel hydraulic track, 193 x 48 x 66 inches. Edition of three; Courtesy of The West Collection, Oaks, PA Photography © Fredrik Nilsen. Cohen: Modified Trabant 601 Deluxe, Chevrolet 305 V8, Chevrolet 350 turbo transmission, custom drive train. Retracted 154 x 70 x 55 inches, extended 226 x 70 x 55 inches. Courtesy of Salon 94, New York, NY. Photography © Fredrik Nilsen
A scene from Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston
The documentary offers few revelations for fashion-philes (“It was hard because people were pretty reticent to talk about Halston after the book [Simply Halston: The Untold Story] in the early ’90s by Steven Gaines,” Sudler-Smith said of difficulties with production. “Some people thought it was going to be another tabloid look into his life”), but it represents a solid primer complete with classic footage, including a drive in the designer’s Trans Am down to faith-based Lipscomb University in Tennessee, where the Halston archives are housed.
In the film, Liza Minnelli tells Sudler-Smith that Halston “was daring and unstoppable. He was an all-American kid who could make it in New York because he understood what people wanted. He used to disturb ’em. He used to fuck ’em up.” Andre Leon Talley says, “From the beginning, he stood for American simplicity,” later describing a girl wearing a Halston dress as “like the lights came on.” Harold Koda, Curator in Charge at the Met’s Costume Institute, regrets “that he never talked about the making of things, only the women wearing them.” Cathy Horyn recalls Halston’s meeting with the French at the 1973 fashion show at Versailles, Anjelica Huston recounts her time as a Halstonette, and Billy Joel remembers the panic at the original disco.
If Sudler-Smith is successful in reviving the image of the man, the label’s future is still uncertain.
“I think it’s terrible,” legendary model Pat Cleveland said on Friday during a talk after the screening. “I’m so upset because Bill Dugan, who recently passed away, was [Halston’s] right-hand man, and he should have taken over Halston. But people at the top think business and just want to get that name, but they don’t realize the work that goes into designing. You can’t just be a name. [Former Chief Creative Officer Sarah Jessica Parker] really appreciated Halston, and she was very respectful of the company, but you have to be a designer.”
Cleveland imagines a different future for the design house she once called home. “I think it should be a foundation, the Halston Foundation, and have a series of designers that come through to make their footing in the world of fashion. They should go to the schools and hire ten or twenty designers to do one line, each one can do sports or evening, and that would be the future of it—to serve a purpose. It still has value.”
Ultrasuede: In Search of Halston will be available on Video on Demand December 26 and in select theaters beginning February 2012.
A Lola Schnabel work from “Love Before Intimacy”
The experience left the 30 year-old artist, filmmaker, and eldest daughter of Julian contemplating what it would be like to have such a profound relationship with the universe. “As someone who’s grown up in the city, I found it intriguing—this idea of connecting to otherworldy things,” she says. Subsequently, Schnabel has been on a spiritual quest of late, practicing celibacy for the past six months, and spending three hours a day doing yoga and meditation in preparation for a 10-day silent retreat in India. And from the looks of “Love Before Intimacy,” her first solo painting show, which opens tonight at The Hole, she has been channeling all her energy onto the canvas.
Oversized and sweepingly expressive, the five works on view depict mystical scenes of young love set against the striking landscape of a remote Greek isle. “It’s about giving yourself over to another person,” says Schnabel, who, inspired by the Spanish Romantics, worked with a limited palette of five colors. In addition to paint, she also used strokes of plaster weld and copper plating solution to create unusual textural and alchemic effects. “I wanted there to be an element of not being in control,” she explains. “An element of magic.”
“Love Before Intimacy” is on view December 16 - February 4, 2012 at The Hole, 312 Bowery St., theholenyc.com