The Italian museum is suing the fashion house for the “unauthorized use” of the imagery from “The Birth of Venus,” the famous 15th-century painting by Sandro Botticelli showcased at the Florentine institution.
Jean Paul Gaultier has used the image of the Venus on “some of its clothing, promoting them also on its social media and website, but it has done so without asking for permission, agreeing on the usage and paying the fee, which is expressively provided for by law, instead,” according to an official statement released by the museum on Monday.
The statement refers to a ready-to-wear capsule collection dubbed “Le Musée,” which the brand dropped earlier this year as a tribute to the art world. It included dresses, tops, pants and scarves, all splashed with likenesses of Botticelli’s iconic Renaissance painting, as well as with images from “The Creation of Adam” and “The Three Graces” by Michelangelo and Rubens, respectively.
“According to the Codice dei Beni Culturali [Code of Cultural Heritage] the use of images under the Italian public propriety is compulsorily subjected to a specific authorization and the payment of a fee,” Uffizi’s statement said, adding that the museum’s legal office had dispatched a letter of formal notice to the fashion company back in April, when the capsule collection dropped.
The letter demanded Jean Paul Gaultier to take the items off the market or to get in touch with the museum to sort out a commercial deal. But the notification “has been substantially ignored,” the statement said.
The Jean Paul Gaultier company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Located in the historic center of Florence, Uffizi Gallery is one of the most prominent museums worldwide. In addition to “The Birth of Venus,” it houses also Botticelli’s “Spring” masterpiece as well as artworks from the likes of Giotto, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and Rembrandt. — SANDRA SALIBIAN
ELTON’S EVE: Elton John will be the performer at the 11th annual LACMA Art+Film Gala, co-chaired by Eva Chow and Leonardo DiCaprio and presented by Gucci, on Nov. 5 in Los Angeles, California.
“The Art+Film Gala has showcased many incredibly talented musicians over the years, and to have an icon like Elton on stage this year is beyond exciting. He’s such a legendary entertainer and I know his performance will be unforgettable,” Chow said in a statement.
The performance will be a lead up to the final U.S. dates of John’s “Farewell Yellow Brick Road” retirement tour, which has taken him to five continents for more than 350 performances since September 2018.
Gucci has had a long relationship with the star, who has been a muse for artistic director Alessandro Michele. The spring 2018 Gucci runway show was inspired by John’s onstage looks, with sparkly swimming caps, satin shell suits, rhinestone-studded jumpsuits and chunky platform boots. That year, Gucci introduced “Levon,” a capsule collection inspired by John’s 1971 single of the same name.
Michele also has designed costumes for John’s farewell tour, including an embroidered tailcoat, a printed suit and dressing gown over a tracksuit.
John won’t be the only one in the spotlight at the gala.
Artist Helen Pashgian and filmmaker Park Chan-wook are the honorees at the event.
Living and working in Pasadena, California, 88-year-old Pashgian is an American visual artist and figure in the Light and Space art movement of the ’60s. LACMA presented “Helen Pashgian: Light Invisible” in 2014, the first large-scale sculptural installation by the artist.
Chan-wook, 58, is a South Korean film director, producer, screenwriter and former film critic. He is best known for his films “Joint Security Area,” “Thirst,” “The Handmaiden,” “Decision to Leave” and what fans call “The Vengeance Trilogy” with “Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance,” “Oldboy” and “Lady Vengeance.”
LACMA’s star-studded Art+Film Gala honors artists and filmmakers, and raises funds for the museum’s initiatives, exhibitions and programming. Canceled in 2020 due to COVID-19, last year’s in-person event recognized artists Amy Sherald, Kehinde Wiley and filmmaker Steven Spielberg, raising $5 million and bringing the total to $40 million over the decade. The night brought out the likes of Billie Eilish, Jeff Bezos, Paul Mescal with Phoebe Bridgers, Jake and Maggie Gyllenhaal, Chris Martin, Dakota Johnson, Olivia Wilde and Hailey Bieber. — BOOTH MOORE
MCQUEEN’S CROWD: Alexander McQueen drew a handsome crowd for its spring 2023 show staged under a transparent dome, once again, in the courtyard of the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich, London. The brand first introduced the clear dome concept last year at the Tobacco Dock in East London for its spring 2022 season.
Janet Jackson, who had a fruitful Paris Fashion Week run, sat between British Vogue’s Edward Enninful and Kering chairman Francois-Henri Pinault. She wore a sharp double-breasted tailored jacket with cutout details on the elbow from McQueen, and carried the brand’s signature jeweled satchel bag.
Also in attendance was the “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever” star Letitia Wright. With the highly anticipated Marvel blockbuster coming out in November, Wright said the movie contains “a lot of adventure, fun and love,” and she urged the fans to book their tickets now for an optimal viewing experience. For the show, she styled her silver embellished dress with an oversize jacket and several sparkly rings and earrings.
Wright sat next to Sheila Atim, who also appeared in the Marvel Cinematic Universe as Sara Wolfe in “Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness.” Atim, who won her second Laurence Olivier Award for her performance in the play “Constellations,” looked poised in a pale lime green dress.
Speaking about her latest project “The Woman King,” Atim said she played one of the warriors and the spiritual adviser to the king of the West African kingdom of Dahomey.
“We did a lot of training, weight training and stunt training. We did all of our own stunts. It was a new thing for all of us, and we learned a lot of new skills,” Atim said.
Other notable show attendees included tennis legend Maria Sharapova, model Kristen McMenamy, photojournalist Don McCullin, TikTok sensations Charlotte and Abby Roberts, writer Antwaun Sargent, “Guardians of the Galaxy” actress Pom Klementieff, and actor Hero Fiennes Tiffin.
Klementieff said she has been busy filming the latest “Mission Impossible: Dead Reckoning” part one and part two movies.
“I play a femme fatale, and I kick some ass for sure — but that’s all I can tell you. I can’t say much more,” said the actress who is half-Korean and half-French.
She has been wearing McQueen for a while, and said one of her favorite looks was the leather biker ensemble she wore during a red carpet appearance at the Cannes Film Festival.
Fiennes Tiffin said he is excited about his zombies horror comedy “The Loneliest Boy in the World” hitting Apple TV and cinemas from next week.
The actor also said he is open to explore more stage work when the right project comes along. — TIANWEI ZHANG
FLOWER POWER: La DoubleJ, the Milan-based lifestyle label founded by J.J. Martin, has brought a second spring to Paris with the launch of a furniture and home goods collaboration with French label The Socialite Family.
“Everyone has an inner flower inside them, an inner print, an inner joy,” said Milan-based Martin at the presentation of a range decked out in prints drawn from La DoubleJ’s sizable archive of exuberant graphics.
Martin and Constance Gennari, a cofounder of the Parisian brand, met in 2014 when she went to capture Martin’s stylish Milanese digs for the brand’s decor-centric digital media, which later started to edit its own furniture and home goods.
After their initial meeting, as both brands grew separately, Gennari eventually felt it was time to call up Martin when she started to get a hankering for florals that wouldn’t end up looking like you were moving into your grandma’s place.
“Italy and prints like [La DoubleJ’s] are what Parisians dream of” even when they simply dip a toe with a sole cushion, confessed Gennari.
The result is a seven-piece collaboration of popular The Socialite Family items, ranging from cushions and lamps to seats and a three-seat sofa sized so generously that half a dozen people were piled onto it at the presentation, decked in La DoubleJ’s zesty vintage florals in of-the-moment colorways.
While cushions and plates are slotted alongside La DoubleJ’s fashion, furniture was a category Martin was keen to explore as her label’s “prints lend themselves so well to furniture pieces and statement pieces, especially for people that have [more] minimal environments,” she added.
Imagine, say, a tasteful Parisian apartment with its white plaster moldings and herringbone hardwood floors. That sofa decked out in the pink, white and black “Big Blooms” print with its accents of green and yellow would be “a bit of a flower bomb,” Martin said.
She finds colors to be “so uplifting” as they “work to bring joy into our lives, which makes us feel better, which just puts us in a higher state.”
Don’t think your living space needs a complete floral overhaul. The Milanese designer explained that, like a stylish wardrobe, a home should be “about layering and the mix” of time periods and styles.
Hence why Gennari wanted to apply La DoubleJ’s colorful florals to items with removable covers “because that’s how you can have fun with a motif,” she explained. “When you get bored, you undress it and dress [the item] with something calmer.”
Plus new takes on vintage florals are “something you don’t see anymore and does you a world of good — it’s joyous,” the Parisian entrepreneur said.
Adding a splash of color will start at 105 euros for a Bomboloni cushion, while larger furniture pieces from the Rotonto line, all with changeable covers, will retail from 1,070 euros for a square pouf up to 4,400 euros for the three-seater sofa.
The seven-strong collaboration collection is sold at The Socialite Family’s Parisian store and on its e-store. Selected styles, including quilts, cushion and lamps are also available from the La DoubleJ store in Milan and the Italian label’s website. — LILY TEMPLETON