Footnotes: Gerlan Marcel

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Footnotes is the section in our magazine where we take a deeper look at the music surrounding our feature artists. Read Amber Bravo’s FADER #78 cover feature on Gerlan Marcel here, and check out our notes below.

Jean-Charles de Castelbajac’s Teddy Bear Coat, 1974
In 1974, Jean-Charles de Castelbajac debuted a coat composed of 38 individual teddy bears sewn together. Later, as artistic director of Italian fashion house Iceberg in the ’90s, de Castelbajac designed sweaters with likenesses of Snoopy, Goofy and Popeye—a precursor to streetwear. Everyone in New York had an Iceberg joint. De Castelbajac continues to work in both high fashion and cartoon realms—his most recent collection featured Mickey Mouse emblazoned on sparkly evening dresses. But it’s de Castelbajac’s teddy bear coat that’s the true origin story of high/low fashion: 76 teddy bear eyes locked in a staring contest with all the editors in the front row of a Paris runway show. DD

Patrick Kelly’s Beaded Heart Dress, 1986
Hailing from Vicksburg, Mississippi, Patrick Kelly was an African-American designer who upended Paris fashion by poking fun at the city’s self-serious fashion heritage, sending over-the-top, bedazzled leopard print outfits on models with giant hair down the runways. His beaded dresses with hearts shaped out of mismatched, vintage buttons are Kelly’s most famous pieces, an ode to his grandmother’s mending methods tacked onto the chicest cut black dresses. Recognizable symbols like yin-yangs, peace signs and smiley faces are modern day stalwarts of teenage girls’ wardrobes, and Kelly was early in anticipating how fashion brands could learn from and appeal to teen tastes, turning candy hearts into haute couture. If he hadn’t died at 35 from an AIDS-related illness in 1990, he probably would’ve had a collaboration with Target. DD

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POSTED March 1, 2012 10:00AM IN FEATURES, STYLE TAGS: , , , , , ,

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