BOSTON — Presumably, airline baggage screeners don’t often handle valuable ancient textiles in carry-on luggage, but that didn’t stop Mary McFadden from arriving with last-minute additions for “Mary McFadden: Goddesses,” running through Dec. 5 at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design here.
Pulled from McFadden’s archives, the show features about 40 ensembles spanning her career, including four runway finale wedding dresses; roughly 50 pieces of gold jewelry, much of it pre-Columbian, and 14 source textiles collected worldwide. With pale skin and inky bobbed hair stopping ruler-precise at her chin, McFadden, 71, reviewed the show several days before its opening wearing a skirt purchased at a thrift store topped with a 300-year-old jacket from Isfahan, Iran.
But for all her love of ancient textiles, McFadden’s designs still look current. Without peeking at the date, it’s impossible to peg individual work to an era. The show ranges from Grecian gowns from the Seventies, done in her signature Marii pleated polyester charmeuse, to gowns created for the Fire Pavilion at the 2000 World’s Fair in Hanover, Germany, and featuring ombré hand-painting, gold macramé and ropy fringe.
Over a 30-plus-year career, McFadden returned often to the column, using the lean, simple silhouette as a blank slate for handcrafted details, motifs and colors from whatever ancient civilization she was currently studying. Harold Koda, curator in charge of the Metropolitan’s Costume Institute, once called her a “design archaeologist,” a label she says is apt.
“To a curator, she’s exciting because she embraces multiple disciplines,” said show curator Lorie Mertes, visiting from her role as director of the Galleries at Moore College of Art and Design. Mertes will host a gala in McFadden’s honor in Boston on Nov. 19.
Along with her Marii pleated fabric, the show highlights a quilting technique McFadden developed using dense, narrow, horizontal rows to create a barely perceptible ridging, like sand pressed by the tide. Still, as the exhibit took shape around her, McFadden was clearly more interested in the items she collected for inspiration than with reexamining her own work.
“It’s remarkable to see these things in this context,” McFadden said, wandering among centuries-old Indian mandalas, Buddhist keisei and Japanese Noh theater robes. “I have no more space in my apartment, so these things are never shown. They’re rolled up, or in stacks. My friends think I’m a barbarian.”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye