Art meets fashion, Round MDCCXVIII

jcrew2.jpgBubble alert! I was reminded that we must have passed some kind of cultural milepost when I opened my mail the other night, only to find that the current issue of the J. Crew clothing catalog prominently features on its front cover two young “artists” – or are they art school students? – lounging in their studio. The “art,” arranged in an elegantly orchestrated clutter behind the two fresh-faced models, looks vaguely 1930s and reassuringly familiar.

If memory serves, when Jean Michel Basquiat appeared on the cover of The New York Times Magazine, in 1985, at least he had some paint splatters on his suit. Not so for these J. Crew artists. Unsullied by evidence of contact with artists’ materials, they are the appropriate icons for these confidently professional, post-bohemian times.

1 thought on “Art meets fashion, Round MDCCXVIII”

  1. Shena Jones, Sotheby’s Institute of Art in New York masters student, emailed us this:

    Black charcoal sketches are on the wall behind the J.Crew models and, for those who don’t know, using charcoal creates a black dust merely impossible to remove from clothing, especially crisp white sleeves and collars. J.Crew doesn’t exactly scream authentic creative expression, at most it says, “I’m a Banana Republican!”. It reminds me of The Gap and last season’s pop-culture appropriated commercial featuring Audrey Hepburn dancing to Back in Black by AC/DC. I wanted the Gap to know their interest-specific propaganda worked and I bought the damn black pants because Back in Black is a really good song. But I know J.Crew’s uninvolved paintbrushes used as props, even extending from the side pocket of over-priced khaki pants, probably can’t afford an edge.

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