Watch out Damien Hirst – Yves Klein has Armani on his side!

When I changed my FB status this week to “in a relationship” (long, long overdue), I received a throng of “likes.” Little did GAD know that I was really talking about Yves Klein, my official Fall 2011 boyfriend, artist of the moment, and heart throb in a bow tie.

Yves Klein,  is all over the place this Fall. When I mentioned in a previous post that Yves Klein blue was going to be all the rage this season, I had no idea how right the prediction was.  Klein, the veritable James Dean of the art world (death at 34, disarming good looks, creative genius, and provocative works), is known for his monochromatic pieces, particularly those in the blue family. His use of blue as the single color in a large canvas caused some head scratching at the time (if you want to know what that is all about, let me know). Later, when he orchestrated large, performance art pieces where nude models painted themselves in Klein blue and pressed themselves against vast canvases in front of an audience, no less, you could say that there was even more head scratching.  Below is a video of Klein in a tux, conducting a small group of musicians and working with his models as they perform their art-making. I am certain that a frat house somewhere in Raleigh-Durham tried to do this same thing during a rush party and were suspended because of it. Please remember this is “art.”

Very rarely do I find any sort of intellectual resonance in fashion. And that is, in large part, why I like it so much. No Heidegger lurking in Vogue. No Jean-Jeacques Rousseau at Neimans. (Damn! I just talk about fashion, JJR and Marie Antoinette this week!) But Klein as an artist-turned color – turned fashion inspiration is really interesting to me. I am intrigued by how retail is going to spit out Klein for our glorious consumption and so since Klein blue has been everywhere, I found it best to give my new boyfriend, or stalker I might say, the forum that he needs to demonstrate that it’s not just Damien Hirst that can get mad web coverage, he’s still got it after 50+ years.

And so the remainder of this post are examples of Yves Klein. To get into the spirit of things, I thought I would include  “Blue Rondo ala Turk” by Dave Brubeck. This is Klein-era music and, well, the name just fit too perfectly.

Going to the Chapel, already? Nordstroms, Level 2: I know we’re going steady but, entering the 2nd level of Nordstroms this evening, I was immediately struck by Klein and his strong desire to take our relationship to the next level. There he was in the Wedding Shop but, like any other good artist with committment issues and throngs of naked chicks on stand-by that he could paint at a moment’s notice, he opted for the not-so-“forever” naughty bridesmaid dress over blushing princess bride. Figures! Anita Cheramie, fashionista extraordinaire, showed me several dresses in Klein blue that she is carrying and confirmed that her department is definitely seeing this shade as the “it” color for the season. Darling! (Alexia Admor, Ultra Violet, $168. If you are interested in seeing the dress or others, you can go to The Wedding Shop at Nordstroms or call Anita at 832.201.2700 ext. 1730)


If it looks pirate-related, do you think we could get product placement? Nordstrom, Level 1: Klein likes publicity just like the next girl and so when we walked down to Nordstrom’s shoe department, he told me that he worked with his friend Christian Louboutin (Parisian shoe designer and cause for maxing out credit cards around the globe)  to make the Lissie shoe ($895). It’s pirate, swashbuckling feel could surely get placed in Pirates of the Caribbean No. 10, couldn’t it? I reminded him that, unfortunately, Damien Hirst and his Swavorski skull probably had that market cornered already. Oh well!

Klein, a feminist? Armani Exchange: Walking hand in hand past Ninfa’s, a gelato store, and the Aveda store whose product bottles look very close to Klein blue, we happened upon Armani Exchange.  There in the window was Rosie the Riveter, 50 pounds lighter in a cropped jumpsuit that would had never stayed strategically placed while working on an airplane.  I told him that I was impressed with the flexibility of his color. I thought that he only approved of naked women painted in blue not naked women clothed in blue.  He paused and said, if you notice the neckline, I can have her top unstrung in 10 seconds. Spontaneous acts of art! Well, there goes feminism. (Armani Exchange, $125)

Imposters everywhere, The Limited:  Please note, even though Yves is an abstract painter, it doesn’t mean that he is a drip painter. It’s best if we don’t talk about Jackson Pollock right now. We are walking, walking, walking…

An Yves tattoo ? Neiman Marcus: Moving to Neiman Marcus where I love to shop but can’t actually buy anything because I have the good sense not to open a NM account, I point out these beautiful delicious shoes. These definitely straddle the divide between office appropriate and inappropriate, in the same way that Yves challenged what should and should not be shown in a gallery. The cut-out work on the vamp which will translate into a busted capillary tatoo on my foot after standing in these 4.75 inch monsters for more than 15 minutes will be remarkably similar to the imprint that his models put on a canvas, though more permanent, I fear. Do you have insurance to cover this? (Christian Louboutin Chalumo, Indigo Suede)  

Victoire! Contemplating the walk back to the car, I decided to head home. As I feasted on my dinner, thinking about Klein blue, I looked through Luxe Magazine and found that Yves had left me a note. Well, actually an article. Earlier this year, Lalique issued a sculpture, inspired by Yves, La Victoire de Samothrace.  He just wanted me to know.

6 responses to “Watch out Damien Hirst – Yves Klein has Armani on his side!”

  1. This made me giggle: “He paused and said, if you notice the neckline, I can have her top unstrung in 10 seconds.”

    Though my education as it relates to Klein began…oh…five minutes ago, I’m VERY excited that this is the “it” color for the season, because I. LOVE. IT! Way to call that one!

    (If any friend of mine ever asked me to stand next to her at her wedding, in that dress, I would seriously re-evaluate the friendship. Seriously.)

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