High Holborn Street, London

Holiday Greetings to all my Friends!

Image by Robert Dolsneau 1912-1994 (Photoshop additions of text by Ingrid Mida)
It won't be a white Christmas in Toronto this year but you don't need snow to have a merry spirit and a happy heart! Here is wishing all my friends a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or happy holiday! See you in 2012!

Blogging and Baudelaire

Gaga's Boudoir Window at Barney's New York by Ingrid Mida 2011
Poet Charles Baudelaire and theorist Walter Benjamin were fascinated by the concept of the flaneur, a figure who anonymously strolled through the city streets gazing into windows, embodying the concept of modernity in the specular relationship to urban space and consumer goods. I felt a bit like a flaneuse myself during my weekend jaunt to New York, strolling the city from the Museum at FIT (at 7th and 27th) up to the Metropolitan Museum of Art (at 5th and 82) and stopping to admire the windows like this fabulous Gaga display at Barneys. The weather was glorious and I drank in the sunshine as if I'd recently been released from prison (which is what I equate the library I've been living in of late).

Stepping away from for a weekend was refreshing in so many ways and it re-energized me.  I also thought of all the good things that have come my way from being a blogger -  the people I've met, the exhibitions I've seen, the friends I've made.... I recently submitted an abstract for a paper called "Blogging, Benjamin and Foucault" to the Fashion Tales 2012 conference in Milan. In equating bloggers to Baudelaire’s and Benjamin's concept of the flaneur and drawing on Foucault’s theories on the aesthetics of existence, I hope to recast the blog as a creative portal and a form of conversational erudition. Call me crazy.... I don't know if it will fly, but sometimes you just have to jump off the cliff....

Doo.Ri S/S 12 NY

Doo.Ri, S/S 2012, New York, Juju Lvanyuk and Mila Krasnoiarova.
Drapey directional amazingness. The purples in this collection were grdat too.

Derek Lam S/S 12 NY

Derek Lam, S/S 2012, New York, Aline Weber and Mirte Maas.
California! Cowboy meets Palm Springs. Those prints were amazing!

Alexander Wang S/S 12 NY

Alexander Wang, S/S 2012, New York, Mirte Maas and Magdalena Langrova.
Die for Mirte's look. She was the definition of Alexander Wang S/S 12.

Jill Stuart S/S 12 NY

Jill Stuart, S/S 2012, New York, Julia Nobis and Julia Nobis!
Dreamy sorbet collection all my favorite colours.

Richard Chai S/S 12 NY

Richard Chai, S/S 2012, New York, Codie Young and Lindsey Wixson.
A rose print made to look tropical, not an easy feat but pulled off beautifully!

Pausing to Reflect

It is my birthday tomorrow and I find myself in the midst of an existential crisis...  Although I've been so busy of late that I've hardly had time to breathe, I find myself questioning the choices I've made and what I want for the future. Sometimes I wonder why I push so hard and then there are times I wonder if I'm doing enough.... I know this means it is time to step away from the fray and take some time to reflect. I wish you all a happy holiday season, filled with love and laughter, joy and delight!

But if you have nothing at all to create, then perhaps you create yourself.
Carl Jung

Norwegian sweater, Paris

Prabal Gurung S/S 12 NY

Prabal Gurung, S/S 2012, New York, Josephine Skriver and Frida Gustavsson.
Top three shows on NY. That purple was lurex. LUREX! Amazing.

Jason Wu S/S 12 NY

Jason Wu, S/S 2012, New York, Karlie Kloss and Milou.
Had to draw Karlie, she was just gorgeous in this show. Plus LOVE pastel and acid!

Rachel Comey S/S 12 NY

Rachel Comey, S/S 2012, New York, Katia Selinger and Svieta Nenkova.
A bobble jacket?! I want! And double splits making their way back? Hmm...yep!

Peter Som S/S 2012 NY

Peter Som, S/S 2012, New York, Cris Urena and Melissa Tammerijn.
Perfect pairing of the right colours with the right fabrics.

BCBG Max Azria S/S 2012 NY

BCBG Max Azria, SS 2012. New York, Sara Blomqvist and Valeria.
Good colour blocking show, although I'm over that trend now;)

Creative Process Journal: If Marie Antoinette was a Blogger

If Marie Antoinette was a Blogger II by Ingrid Mida (Copyright 2011)

In this work, a dress once worn by Marie Antoinette from the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum is reimagined and recreated from a mash up of toile de jouey fabrics which depict an appropriated version of Fraggonard’s painting The Swing. This post-modern pastiche of the original dress is embellished with hot pink ribbons, a colour associated with third wave feminism. Instead of the panier and petticoat normally worn with a robe a la francaise, the dress is styled in a contemporary way with jeans and brogues to further emphasize the post-modern aspect of its creation.

In a nod to the construction of identity reflected in the phenomena of personal style blogs, the artist photographs herself wearing the dress while holding a mirror over her face. The mirror, a tool used by style bloggers to hide their identity, also symbolizes femininity. With further manipulation in Photoshop, multiple selves are depicted in the ballroom of the Palais Garnier in Paris as a play on the myth of photographic truth.

The title of the work, If Marie Antoinette was a Blogger, signifies the irony with which this project was conceived. In the post that would accompany the image, Marie Antoinette would quote theorist Michel Foucault on the aesthetics of existence from his 1984 work On the Genealogy of Ethics as follows:

What strikes me is the fact that in our society, art has become something which is related only to objects and not to individuals, or to life. That art is something which is specialized or which is done by experts who are artists. But couldn’t everyone’s life become a work of art?...From the idea that the self is not given to us, I think that there is only one practical consequence: we have to create ourselves as a work of art” (350-1).

With a blog, everyone’s life can become a work of art today and therein lies the ultimate irony of Foucault's statement.  

For further reading:
"Personal Fashion Blog: Screens and Mirrors in Digital Self-portraits" by Agnes Rocamora in Fashion Theory, Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2011

On the Genealogy of Ethics: An overview of work in Progress. In P. Rabinow (ed.), The Foucault Reader. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1984.

Project Clock: +12 hours for final embellishments and finishing of dress, photographs, manipulation in photoshop and preparation of artist statement
Total to date: 65 hours
P.S. This is the final post of the Creative Process Journal for this project. I hope you enjoyed the journey!

What's on the Fashion Calendar for December

In a month filled with holiday parties and festivities (not to mention a raft of deadlines), I find the reflective nature of art to be a balm to the soul. Here are some of the exhibitions I hope to visit this month:

Cecil Beaton 1948
The Museum of the City of New York presents the work of British-born photographer and designer Cecil Beaton (1904-80). The exhibition Cecil Beaton: The New York Years brings together extraordinary photographs, drawings, and costumes by Beaton to chronicle his impact on the city’s cultural life.
Museum of the City of New York, 1220 Fifth Avenue, New York

Daphne Guiness
Tom Ford once said: “Daphne is one of – if not the – most stylish women living." In an exhibition at the Museum at FIT, curator Valerie Steele collaborated with this fashion icon to present a selection of Daphne Guiness' collection of couture. Divided into six sections, the garments are organized into six themes including Dandyism, Armor, Chic, Evening Chic, Exoticism and Sparkle. 
Museum at FIT, 7th Avenue at 27th, New York 

In the exhibition Stieglitz and his artists: Matisse to O'Keeffe, the Metropolitan Museum of Art presents over 200 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints from Alfred Stieglitz's collection. These artworks were acquired by the Metropolitan in 1949 from Georgia O'Keefe. After reading the book "How Georgia Became O'Keeffe" by Karen Karbo and learning about their stormy relationship, I'm keen to see this exhibition, especially since many of the works were acquired by Stieglitz when the artists were relatively unknown.
Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Avenue (at 82nd Street), New York

Blue Circus by Marc Chagall
The Art Gallery of Ontario presents Chagall and the Russian Avant-Garde: Masterpieces from the Collection of the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and features the work of Marc Chagall alongside his contemporaries of Russian modernism, including Wassily Kandinsky and Sonia Delaunay.
The exhibition of 118 works comes from the Centre Pompidou and features 32 works by Chagall and eight works by Kandinsky.
Art Gallery of Ontario, 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto

Oude Spiegelstraat, Amsterdam

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