IAC’s 21st New York Fashion Conference
November 14 – 16, 2019
The New School, University Center, 63 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY
Why blue? Why not? Or better: How not? After all, “L’amour Est Bleu” so Vicky told us; so too the moon, and it is inarguable that the hottest stars burn blue. Thus, into the wild blue yonder in IAC’s 2019 metaphorically mixed deep dive into this primary color—its uses, historical significance, and startling beauty—cutting a broad swath across materials and categories of objects, all unified by hue. Blue sits astride the entirety of adornment, from the purely functional Breton fisherman’s shirt to the prescribed color of the Virgin Mary’s robes to Mainbocher’s duck-egg wedding dress for Wallis Simpson. When it comes to beauty, blue is unconfined and unconstrained. That blue of the Virgin’s robes? Precious ultramarine from powdered lapis lazuli. Lapis, diamonds, sapphires, tanzanite, opals: blue knows no boundaries when it comes to precious substances and gems; and, many of the most legendary stones—the Hope Diamond, for instance—are blue. We considered not only these precious substances, but the social and economic impact of their extraction and transformation into objects of beauty. Blue is a story (dare ask Amanda Priestley about cerulean). The primary color of the American Revolution, it uniquely resonates, and because it does, it is the preferred color of branding. From Planet Blue to Blue Note to jetBlue. Blue sky, blue waters, blue planet. Blue is thus the color of travel, rebirth, and creativity, and in the last case, is at the core of artisanal craft and endeavor. And if there is a colored thread linking the entirety of the sustainable fashion supply chain, it too must be blue. Uniquely fitting then that blue plastic water bottles are transformed into textile by Converse, not least given the continent-sized plastic mass floating in the Pacific. When Vicky told us that love is blue, she sang of the heavens, at play in her lover’s eyes. No blue note for Vicky, apparently, but we thought we had a right (and an obligation) to sing the blues, and so we did, we explored the role of this color in jazz, the most singularly American art form. Blue is in almost everything. It is virtually everywhere. And so it was here, the focus of IAC’s 21st Fashion, Jewels + Design Conference. In partnership with the School of Fashion at Parsons School of Design. The Lena and Louis Minkoff Foundation was gratefully acknowledged for its generosity. IAC expressed sincere thanks to Piaget, JCK, Salon Art + Design, Trusted Gems Inc., and Panjshir Valley Emeralds too for their generous sponsorship (as of October 7, 2019).