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Posts Tagged ‘Dapper Dan

Faux Logo…

 

Luis Gispert was photographing car interiors when he stumbled upon a kitschy white Cadillac Escalade, its seats upholstered in fake material from Takashi Murakami’s 2009 collaboration with Louis Vuitton. While the owner showed off his pimped-out ride, the wheels turned in Gispert’s head. “I figured there had to be so many cars with counterfeit interiors”…

This inspired a two-year “obsessive quest” to document a subculture of people crafting custom designs from counterfeit materials. Gispert attended car shows across the country and captured interiors bedazzled with logos, from a Burberry-upholstered BMW to a Gucci-themed Mercedes. Honing in on the culture itself brought Gispert to more-intimate spaces, like the home of a Florida-based drug dealer, whose bedroom was decorated with Versace’s signature Greek Key motif. Gispert’s photographic journey is the subject of an upcoming solo exhibition, Decepcion, at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York [open now]…

He spent a year capturing cars before turning his lens on the owners themselves—many of whom had closets filled with backpacks, sneakers, and jackets custom-made from fake designer materials. Gispert’s project evolved to incorporate portraits of men and women modeling counterfeit fashion, such as a DJ clad in a pleather MCM jumpsuit…

Designer customization was born in the early 1980s, when a haberdasher named Dapper Dan began selling one-of-a-kind Louis Vuitton boots and $8,000 custom Gucci jackets out of his boutique in Harlem. “He was likely cutting up actual Gucci bags and using the materials to make jackets and luxury car interiors,” said Gispert. Dapper Dan’s clientele consisted of drug dealers—until LL Cool J and Mike Tyson took the street trend mainstream…

Unlike Canal Street vendors, Gispert’s subjects aren’t trying to pass off their creations as authentic. “These people are appropriating the material, the actual logos and fabrics, but they’re not trying to mimic high fashion,” he explained. One photograph from the series features a woman wearing a Louis Vuitton dress that Gispert described as “some kind of nightgown, flamenco hybrid.” It looks nothing like Louis Vuitton couture, yet it’s splattered with the designer’s cult logo. “In a way these people are hijacking signs of wealth, bastardizing logos and turning them into something completely unique.”

Read the entire tale at The Daily Beast, and see a selection of Gispert’s arresting photos on his site.

 

As we reckon with the collision of High and Low, we might wish a fashionable Happy Birthday to Coco Chanel’s greatest rival, Elsa Schiaparelli; she was born in Rome on this date in 1890.  Schiaparelli, who collaborated with artists including Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, and Alberto Giacometti to dress socialites (like Daisy Fellowes) and celebrities (like Mae West) was frequently dismissed by Chanel as “that Italian artist who makes clothes.”  While Schiaparelli is not as well remembered as Chanel, Schiaparelli made lasting contributions to fashion:  she created wraparound dresses decades before Diane von Furstenberg and crumpled up rayon 50 years before Issey Miyake’s pleats and crinkles; she created the first evening-dress with a jacket and the first clothes with visible zippers.  But her most fundamental contribution to couture was surely the sense of fun– of playfulness and “anything goes”– that she shared with her Dadaist and Surrealist friends.

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