By Marina Rybak
I was only waiting for the right moment to highlight one of my inspirational influences – Edward Steichen (1879–1973), a 20th century artist, renowned for his groundbreaking photography. His iconic Chantilly lace-veiled portrait of Gloria Swanson is one of my favorites.
As an award-winning horticulturist with an experience in combat aerial photography Steichen once stated that he was “a painter first, last, and all the time” and photography was “only a side issue”. But it is a fine artist behind the lens, who excelled and captured a worldwide fame.
Steichen’s images reflected a true original, versatile and prolific in his expression. They ranged from the natural world to celebrity portraiture and fashion, unified in a similar poetic grace. A master sensualist, he did not shy away from the advertisement campaigns either, asserting that even Michelangelo wanted to be paid well for his work. He gave this venue … ...Read more
By Marina Rybak
When I embark on a new design adventure, it is the artist in me that leads the way. As one of the first steps, I often enjoy the tactile experience of assembling a collage of inspirational images, as if I am constructing an art piece. For intimate apparel, I focus on the environment, seeking out the image of that ideal bedroom and the sumptuous bed in it. This will spark the mood for the collection to come. The essence of lingerie begins in bed.
I used to escape into the bedding department of Takashimaya department store on Fifth Avenue just to pick up the right vibes and maybe, that special gift for myself. I would immerse into the setting where a beautiful bed, delicate lingerie and intoxicating scents co-existed on the same palatial floor. This pleasure of mingling among such lovely things would turn into a euphoric … ...Read more
by Marina Rybak
Rubin Museum Auspicious Stitches embroidery studio is not only a venue to learn about needlework and fiber arts, influenced by the treasures in the Museum collections, but an enlightened hub for the creative types to join, mingle and reboot their inner spirit.
While being welcomed to the workshop by my friend Sharon Slowik, who teaches and coordinates this urban retreat, I was introduced to another fellow artist – Lani Kennefick, whose solo exhibit in Williamsburg we visited afterwards.
Upon arrival the observer immediately immerses into a velvety-smooth, pool of color. Silk-screened Color-aid paper is chosen as a painting’s backdrop and it lures you into an invigorating pause, animating storybook animals on view. A subject matter, applied masterfully with Flashe Paints, is rendered with a meditative precision of a Renaissance artist. The titles like Initiate, Alchemist, and Leap of Faith offer a glimpse into Lani Kennefick mythology … ...Read more
by Marina Rybak
The trail-blazing star of Tony Viramontes brightens the skies once again, spotlighting hand-drawn fashion illustration during the Instagram-obsessed fashion month of September. Fashion illustration on the center stage is quite timely.
Viramontes was hailed as a creative visionary during his meteoric life. His prolific artistic talent unfolded in the late 70’s and 80’s, seizing intense vibrancy and the glamorous pulse of the era. He collaborated with renowned fashion, music and pop culture icons of the time and his illustrations appeared in the editorials and ad campaigns worldwide.
Inspired by Egon Schiele, Viramontes charcoal angular line smoldered, accentuated with a lush splash of color. It was direct, graphic and decisive. It seems his models were portrayed a breath away from erotic meltdown – tough, alluring, wrapped in transgender ambiguity. His energetic style was fluid, spontaneous and emotionally seductive. And to add a personal perspective, the illustrations are still … ...Read more
by Marina Rybak
The Morgan Library is an inspirational oasis, located only a step away from the lingerie companies, clustered nearby on Madison Avenue. An afternoon escape into the mansion’s otherworldly beauty is well worth it. The Museum exhibits always guarantee a quick “pick-me-up” and infuse a bit of creative oxygen into a tedious daily routine. “The Treasures From The Vault” showcase, presently on view, is no exception. The ongoing popular series continue to highlight the literary jewels from the Museum’s collections in its spectacular marble rotunda.
I was pulled to a hundred-year-old photo-portrait of Belle da Costa Green, Pierpont Morgan eccentric librarian. The dreamy luminosity of the photograph, taken by Baron Adolf de Meyer was created in the Pictorialist style, which I love and admire. Flourished at the end of 19th, beginning of the 20th century, this aesthetic movement focused on the emotional content of the new medium and … ...Read more