Thursday, September 21, 2006
I HEART JEFFREY FULVIMARI
I loved Jeffrey's style from the moment I saw his first Barney's ad, and anyone who's read my blog for any period of time knows that Jeffrey Fulvimari is my all-time favorite fashion illustrationist. So when his agency, CWC/CWC International (the same super cool people who put on the Blythe fashion show), suggested that I might want to write about the new line that Jeffrey designed in collaboration with the Belgium designer Verlaine, of course I was thrilled.
For those of you who are not design geeks (like myself), you may not be aware that Jeffrey is a SUPER STAR in Japan. Chances are that you've probably seen Jeffrey's work--whether it was on one of those ubiquitous Barney's billboards or you caught Madonna promoting her English Roses book on Oprah (which Jeffrey illustrated). His list of accomplishments is too long to list here, but includes doing Tori Amos' Scarlet Walk Box Set; designing his own super cute label BOBBYPIN by Jeffrey Fulvimari (which unfortunately is not available in the U.S.); he's also worked with Anna Sui, Helmut Lang and Marc Jacobs.
Oh, and as if that's not enough, Jeffrey casually mentioned that he worked as a model and has been "photographed by David Lachapelle, Steven Klein, Richard Burbridge, Stephen Meisel, and a bunch of others, appeared in Interview, Calvin Klein Billboards, and alot of other crazy places." I love that Jeffrey is someone so talented that it never even occurred to me to wonder or care about what he might look like!
Back a few years ago when I was just designing tiny flowered handbags, I was sure Jeffrey must've drawn one of mine...of course, I'm delusional since tons of people knocked them off, however that's another story...
If you follow all things fashion, then you also know that Jeffrey just did the much anticipated limited-edition Louis Vuitton scarf collection, which I was dying to see all summer. The collection just hit the stores and style.com did a nice write up in their "Focus On" section. Click here to read.
The recent Verlaine show in New York featured Jeffrey's art both on the walls and in the designs--Verlaine used Jeffrey's illustrations as a bold print fabric for three fabulous dresses in different cuts. The Verlaine website does not have the new Spring/Summer collection up yet, but inquiries can be directed to www.verlaine.com. Every garment in the collection will be available by special order in the limited Jeffrey print. Also coming up: a solo exhibition of Jeffrey's newest works in October 2006 in Tokyo.
Now that he's becoming a big star in the US fashion world, I'm thrilled--although perversely, I feel a little sad--it's like having a favorite gem of a restaurant that not everyone knows about and wanting to keep it all to yourself.
If you've ever admired someone and then actually met them and they were 10x nicer and funnier than you ever expected...that's kind of what this interview felt like to me...I had so many questions for him and will share some of his thoughtful and philosophical responses in this posting, but there's a lot that I can't include yet, like Jeffrey's favorite projects, details about his wonderful collaboration with Verlaine, the story of how he ended up working in Japan and ultimately leaving the NY scene. Plus he had some very interesting musings on illustration, textiles, becoming an artist, and his personal style...That part of this wonderful interview will be coming out in different print venues, so I will let all you JF fans know when that happens.
In the meantime, here are A FEW THINGS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW ABOUT JEFFREY FULVIMARI:
A) THE FOUR MOST STYLISH PEOPLE THAT INFLUENCED ME:
1. Madonna, of course...hasn't she influenced everyone?
2. Anna Sui
3. Maxfield Parrish...I love the way his models are dressed, and the styles of his locales and the architecture in his paintings
4. The illustrator Edmund Dulac
B) FOUR WAYS THAT STYLE MAKES THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE
1. I always think that style or fashion is a good thing as long as we don't forget that the people wearing the clothes are ALWAYS more important than the clothes themselves. In this way, it beautifies the world...particularly in this industrial age of strip malls and land fills. Anyone that says fashion or style is unimportant or trivial should take a trip to the New Jersey Landfill. What could be wrong with putting on a nice looking pair of pants or a dress, or grooming yourself to present the best vision of what we can look like. It's really for the benefit of those looking. It's only a problem, I think, when we obsess over it or make it more important than it really is. There is a healthy way of looking at it, and an unhealthy way. The unhealthy way involves elitism, and snobbism.
2. I also think that fashion is a great way of self expression, for people who don't draw, sing or paint. It's everyone's personal creative project, putting together colors and styles and shapes to represent themselves to the world. Anyone who says they don't think about what they wear or how they comb their hair isn't being honest. I think even people who don't seem to care think about it.
3. Style also connotes "progress" in the way that certain styles identify their time frames. It's a collective project that is always going forward, always being honed and improved.
4. Sometimes people say "Oh, everyone is doing the same thing, no one is original anymore," but I think it's great sometimes when there is a trend, and you get to see all the different interpretations of it. I sometimes prefer style that is not in a vacuum, and I allow myself to enjoy the collective aspects of it. I think this way it promotes good social interaction, you know, like loving your neighbor.
C) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE DESIGNERS
1. Ralph Lauren Menswear
3. Anna Sui
4. Marc Jacobs
D) FOUR JOBS I HAVE HAD IN MY LIFE:
2.Paste up and Mechanical Artist
4. worked in a french fry stand in a mall, don't know what it was called, but I cleaned the grease traps.
E) FOUR MOVIES I WOULD WATCH OVER AND OVER (AND DO):
1. Zardoz...a 70s sci fi film directed by John Boorman, starring Sean Connery and Charlotte Rampling
2. I am a sucker for Jane Austen and Dickens adaptions of any kind
3. Heidi (I love the grandfather's house, and I always study it because I wish to live there one day...I sort of already do. I call my cabin in the woods Heidi's Grandfather's Bachelor Pad).
Most movies I know well I hardly follow the story line anymore...I get immersed in the sets and atmosphere, and study the art direction and costumes and furniture and general mood and lighting. For instance, I love the old Midsummer Night's dream with Mickey Rooney, for the lighting alone. I can watch that on an infinite loop. Sorry, I guess I am squeezing in a fifth film there, am I disqualified? Did I lose the prize. Oh, there is no prize? Nevermind...
4. Gosh this is a difficult question, there are too many, and conversely not enough. Um, let's say The recent Chronicles of Narnia. I love the snow. I really like any movie with beautiful scenes of snow. I sometimes like seeing pictures of snow better than real snow.
F) FOUR PLACES WHERE I HAVE LIVED:
1. New York City
2. Akron Ohio
4. I lived in South Beach for 8 months once, does that count?
G) FOUR TV SHOWS I LOVE TO WATCH:
1. Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman
2. Three Non Blondes (BBC)
3.French and Saunders
4.The Little Rascals
H) FOUR PLACES I HAVE BEEN ON VACATION IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS:
1. Yufuin Prefecture in Japan...wonderful Onsen area in the mountains outside of Fukuoka. I want to retire here.
2. Dorset in the English Countryside
4. Inverness, Florida (I keep vowing to return to Italy one day, but it never seems to happen. Oh, the regrets of the workaholic).
I) FOUR WEBSITES I VISIT DAILY (Or at least Weekly):
1. Nothing too regularly, except the usual Amazon.com
2. The Itunes store (does this count as an actual website?)
3. I have quit all gossip sites, they SUCK. They eat your soul, and suck out the contents of your mind, and steal your life, and everything else horrible. This means you Jossip, Defamer, and Perez Hilton. My friends would refer me to them, and for
a period of a few months I would read them (My Dad always had the National Enquirer in the house), but after a point I kept feeling like I had to take a shower everytime I read one of them, so I quit cold turkey...it's been about a year.
4. Netbabyworld.com. Well, not anymore, since I mastered all the games on it a long time ago. But it's really a cute site, and I pass it on to all the kids I know. I like the way it's drawn. It's inspiring. I'm a little embarrassed because it's a bit juvenile, but hey, I AM a cartoonist after all...so I guess I'm allowed.
J) FOUR OF MY FAVORITE FOODS:
1. Beef Nekamaki
2. The Galley Boy hamburger from Swenson's in Akron (It's like Mel's in American Graffitti, without the rollerskates).
3. Shrimp cocktail...raw seafood of any kind, basically. The colder the better.
4.Pasta, of course.
K) FOUR PLACES I WOULD RATHER BE RIGHT NOW:
2. Italy, anywhere in Italy
4. At a traditional Onsen in Japan (in the snow preferably)