Posts Tagged ‘chic’

Go ahead and cut yourself for a good cause (Note to cutters: DON’T DO IT , MAN!) because Cynthia Rowley has designed this really chic band-aids where proceeds go to Design Ignites Change. I went through a phase where I wore band-aids as a fashion statement. No, I wasn’t a toddler.. it was only a few years ago, sadly. But, I wore leopard, Barbie, Hello Kitty, bacon (!) band aids so it’s not all bad. The sequined band-aid has captured my heart, as well as the jewel band-aids (naturally, in pink). Those could have been  a part of Tom Binns collection a while back, actually. These run $10, by the way.

photos: James St. James WOW

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A fascinating exhibit in the Morono Kiang GalleryTraces of Being: Iran in the Passage of Memories showcases mixed media and installations by Pantea Karimi, Hushi Mortezaie, Amitis Motevalli, and Fereshteh Toosi. All these artists share one thing in common- their memories of the Persian culture, Iranian history and how it was and how it has been perceived through their young eyes and how it inspired their enthralling creations.

Through the eyes of artist/designer Hushi Mortezaie, fashion and his passion for the pop culture is translated in his pieces for this exhibit, aptly called ‘Chic Boutique’. Silhouette life-size cut outs of the women in traditional Persian dress decorated with high fashion labels, money, newspapers, and yes, a Metallica patch proved to be a interesting take on the traditional vs. modern. With faces of superstar singer, Googoosh and Michael Jackson among others, the Pop culture knows no cultural boundaries in Mortezaie’s works. Beautiful vintage pieces from his avant-garde Michael & Hushi collection were on display linking the gap between fashion, self expression, art and the traditional Persian attire popular in the many quaint often mountainous villages of Iran. One stunning piece features a leather bomber jacket with a painting of ancient Persian miniatures made popular in poetry books by Hafez. A belt made of bullets, a Chanel bag as a hat and to die for heels with a curled up toe that would make a genie jealous. Nationalistic slogans written in Farsi proved his love for Iran and the freedom it deserves. Beautiful, thought provoking, kitschy, and at times, political, Mortezaie knows how to balance it all in the name of fashion.

Other installations included an installation of marble slabs in pastels with Farsi written phrases in gold, intricate sketched drawings and a particularly colorful installation by Fereshteh Toosi involving yarn, neon plastic strings, and the formation of spheres and squares.

An interactive installation was created on one wall of the gallery. Historic images and happenings translate differently to different people. This installation explores those translations by the way of a timeline on the side of one wall of the gallery. You may post and read other people’s recollections at different points of history. Of course, the most filled point was 1979. However, this year is filling up fast. 

Here is my memory:

As a Persian-American, I have not actually been to Iran. I speak Farsi, well enough to drop f-bombs when needed, (I’ve been told with a New England accent!) and celebrate Persian customs. My family came to America to attend university nine years before the revolution. At the time of the overthrow of the Shah, I was 2 going on 3. I remember watching the 1979 Islamic Revolution unfolding on the evening news unaware of the huge impact it would have on Iran’s future, my family, and how it would shape me as a person.

One vivid memory I had was when I would finish bathing, I would put a towel on my head and baby talk “Ma-sha-shaw’, throwing my fist in the air Arsenio Hall –style. I’ll be my own translator: ‘Margh bar Shah’= ‘Death to the Shah.’ Heavy words for a 3 year old, but I was merely a parrot mimicking the images on the nightly news. After all, The Muppet Show was coming up after the news so I was hyper and excited!

me waiting for The Muppet Show at saying 'Ma-sha-shaw'

me waiting for The Muppet Show at saying 'Ma-sha-shaw'

As history repeats itself, I wonder if my son notices the green flags, the frenzy on Twitter, and the brave Iranian people chanting the chants for freedom. I bet he does, but he probably still wonders when Yo Gabba Gabba will come on. One day he’ll remember, too.

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Sept 10-Nov. 21, 2009

MoronoKiang Gallery

Los Angeles, CA

photos: Me!

PS- ‘TEACUPS & COUTURE’ TURNS ONE YEAR TODAY! I’m gonna celebrate with a cupcake and lots of kitty hugs. 😀


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