Picasso, French style icon
The French have more style icons than any other culture, but as if that weren’t enough, when they choose, they take on “foreigners” and make them their own. If they want you, they’ll take you! Such was the case with Picasso. That rotund, Spanish phenomenon of a man and artist who became a French style icon, spent the better part of his life there, died and was buried there, and most certainly fit the Gallic stereotype of the bohemian lover of many younger women: his muses, every one. The largest collection of Picasso’s work is in France, where from his berét to his tan, from his shirts to his espadrilles, Picasso was stylish.
Not unlike Jane Birkin and her basket, Picasso took the simple clothes of peasants and elevated them. I believe that if he would have been born later, he would have embraced jeans. Jeans, as we know but maybe have forgotten, were once just laborer’s pants…
I knew that haute couture was art. Ever since my mother first introduced me to designers like Balmain, Cardin, Chanel and Dior; from the time I saw my first Vogue magazine, with its voluptuous, beguiling layouts, the stories like fantasies as good as any romantic novel — I knew it was art. Many people did, but those people weren’t always taken seriously. Couture was seen as mere craft, and haute couture clever craft at best.
But with time, slowly, haute couture started to gain the respect it deserved. “Real” artists themselves began to pay attention, to acknowledge the eye, training, and skill it took to be a couturier. Still, in 2011, when the Alexander McQueen exhibit, Savage Beauty, came to New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, there were people who wondered what this “high dressmaking” was doing in a palace of high art. But I, and the thousands of other people who stood in line for hours, didn’t wonder. We knew that Alexander McQueen belonged at the Met, or any other palace for that matter. Perhaps the Victoria and Albert Museum in London?
Savage Beauty is going to be at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2015, from March 14 – July 19. This awesome graphic was made accessible to me by a company called Farfetch. To see what else they have to offer look here. Feast your eyes on some more couture, buy yourself a McQueen skull ring! In any case, thanks for this opportunity to spread the word, Farfetch!