I've so enjoyed hearing from all of you about your favourite posts. As the writer, I've taken great pleasure in trying to present a fresh and unbiased perspective on art, books, exhibitions, and other creative works that sit on the boundary between fashion and art. I've had a lot of time to reflect on what I've written here (having been quite ill this past month), and there are some clear favourites that I thought I'd share with you.
I've learned so much from other artists. Two of my favourite profiles include Lessons from Yves Saint Laurent and Lessons from Doris McCarthy.
Favourite Book Review:
I always have a stack of books beside my bed and on my desk. I read in every spare moment and I've even plowed through some indecipherable Phd theses, trying to deepen my knowledge of costume history. And so it is always a pleasant surprise when a non-fiction book is written with a light-hand, making it a delight instead of a chore to read. Two books come to mind: The Anatomy of Fashion by Susan J. Vincent and The Courtiers by Lucy Worsley. And if the most beautiful book to cross my desk would have to be Fashioning Fashion by LACMA.
Favourite Author Interview:
Over the years, I've done my share of author interviews and I have to say I always remember the authors who made me laugh. And even though Lucy Worsley has one of the most serious jobs around as curator of the Royal Historic Palaces, she has a wicked sense of humour. Lucy even invited me for a private tour of the palaces followed by tea and cakes in Kensington. I was tempted to hop on a plane the very next day to take her up on it!
Last May, I travelled to London to see three fashion related exhibitions, including The Enchanted Palace at Kensington Palace, The Concise Dictionary of Dress at Blythe House, and Grace Kelly: Style Icon at the Victoria and Albert Museum. These were the first major exhibitions for which I had press status giving me access to materials that I would not otherwise have had. This material gave me a much deeper understanding and appreciation for the exhibits, particularly Artangel's presentation of The Concise Dictionary of Dress, in which no talking was allowed and for which there was no labeling of any kind. As a cross between a contemporary art installation and a fashion exhibition, it truly was ground breaking and with so few tickets available, it was an unforgettable experience.
Although I am a huge fan of the Victoria and Albert Museum and the Museum at FIT, the Bata Shoe Museum is tops for me. This is one of Toronto's finest gems with an extraordinary collection of footwear spanning centuries. With beautifully presented exhibitions that are rotated regularly, it is truly a Shoeaholic's Fantasy. And to make it even better, the curators and staff are as nice as they come.
When I have a camera in hand, I generally like to take my time with lighting and set-up, striving to capture that perfect composition. Although I found it incredibly stressful at the time, two of my favourite photo-ops were ones where I had to work on the fly: photographing Angela Chen's show at Toronto Fashion Week in the spring and a performance of the Opera Atelier's School of Ballet. The light was poor and I could not use a flash. I did not know where people would be or what would happen next.
This is a tough one. When I first began this blog, I had great fun writing about Marie Antoinette and those posts continue to draw a large amount of traffic even today. But my favourite post has to be a quiz I created (which probably only a few people ever read) called Do you have Marie Antoinette Style?