Icons, Iconoclasm, and Innovation
IAC’s 15th Annual New York Fashion Conference
December 6 – 7, 2013
The Graduate Center, The City University of New York
In every domain there is that which is truly exceptional, standing head and shoulders above the rest. This, the extraordinary, was the subject of the 2013 New York Fashion Conference. In the conference, we considered iconic individuals and, at the same time, the iconoclasts, those who refuse to be governed by received wisdom, prevailing taste, or custom and who, in their successful commitment to the new and different, can themselves become iconic. Artisanry and artisans figured prominently in our discussion, since true excellence in any applied art draws invariably from the creative and skillful fusion of art, technique, and precision. The fusion of art and precision is epitomized by exceptional timepieces. We also look at materials, both at new ways of using the old and at how novel materials have transformed fashion. Among these materials, we considered stones, precious metals, and traditional textiles. Color was also an important focus, and we explored it not only from the perspective of the object, how a given color places an object or speaks for it, but how the choice of color reflects on and expresses the artistic vision of the maker. Last, we addressed how fashion photography and film convey to us the objects they capture and, at the same, time, how they reflect and embody the conventions of a particular era and speak to the sensibility of the photographer or filmmaker. We never lost sight of the question: what makes something “extraordinary” and address the paradox that sometimes that which most distinctive and valuable is not the most costly. The Lena and Louis Minkoff Foundation and Glasgow Caledonian University are gratefully acknowledged for their generosity. We are deeply appreciative of the generous support from Bulgari. We also express our sincere thanks to The Kay Unger Family Foundation, Platinum Guild International, Project Gravitas, Scottish Development International, Wempe, and to anonymous donors for their financial support, as well as to Fifth and Pacific for matching funds. We are deeply grateful to Holland & Sherry, MYB Textiles, Alex Begg & Company, Kara Ross LLC, and Leslie Hindman Auctioneers for their support.