Casco Viejo, Panama
The artful weaving of a toquilla palm creates what’s known the world over as a lightweight summer classic – the Panama hat. But calling it an Ecuador hat is slightly more accurate since the hats were all originally woven in Ecuador. Like many other South American goods they shipped first to Panama and then all over the world.

Casco Viejo, Panama

The artful weaving of a toquilla palm creates what’s known the world over as a lightweight summer classic – the Panama hat. But calling it an Ecuador hat is slightly more accurate since the hats were all originally woven in Ecuador. Like many other South American goods they shipped first to Panama and then all over the world.


Casco Viejo, Panama
Panama City’s sixth annual MACROFEST — a grand, multidisciplinary celebration of contemporary culture held in the city’s historical district — is now in full swing in Casco Viejo.
We’re happy to be lending a hand with this year’s festival, whose core initiative engages young artists locally and around the world. We’ll be exhibiting Panamanian artists Jonathan Harker & Donna Conlon's video piece Domino Effect — a portrait of present day Casco Antiguo, in which the camera tracks a succession of antique colonial era bricks in a chain reaction through the neighborhood’s streets. The piece will be projected tonight at 7pm across the surface of the Iglesia La Merced in front of American Trade Hotel.
We are also hosting a photo exhibition through March 15 with Chilean street style photographer Majo Arévalo, whose Viste La Calle blog keeps pulse with the inspired looks of modern South America.

Casco Viejo, Panama

Panama City’s sixth annual MACROFEST — a grand, multidisciplinary celebration of contemporary culture held in the city’s historical district — is now in full swing in Casco Viejo.

We’re happy to be lending a hand with this year’s festival, whose core initiative engages young artists locally and around the world. We’ll be exhibiting Panamanian artists Jonathan Harker & Donna Conlon's video piece Domino Effect — a portrait of present day Casco Antiguo, in which the camera tracks a succession of antique colonial era bricks in a chain reaction through the neighborhood’s streets. The piece will be projected tonight at 7pm across the surface of the Iglesia La Merced in front of American Trade Hotel.

We are also hosting a photo exhibition through March 15 with Chilean street style photographer Majo Arévalo, whose Viste La Calle blog keeps pulse with the inspired looks of modern South America.


London, UK
Beloved UK blog What We Wore is currently preparing an exhibition and book, to be published by Prestel in Autumn 2014. 
We met with co-founder and editor Nina Manandhar to chat about her hunt for the most captivating images and memories about style, and the social and communitarian aspect of one’s personal aesthetic.
The What We Wore Live Archive is in residence at our Gallery bar until tomorrow evening, where everyone’s invited to share their own images and stories about the perception of fashion past.  
How and why did you start the blog? 
'What We Wore' began as format on ISYS, the arts and culture based project and website, which is an exploration of British youth culture. Looking at image sharing websites like flickr a few years back, I noticed that there was a wealth of images that were for the first time being digitized and shared, and there was so much subtlety and nuance in them and the stories attached. The idea is for the images to allow people to tell their stories, to build a community around the stories.
Has your perception of fashion and style evolved?
Although the book is about style and fashion, the project aims to take you on an insiders tour of British youth culture and explore the notion of identity. Style is a key part of the way people belong, form groups, band and disband in youth movements and moments. 
Are you able to define the essence of British style by documenting its evolution between the 50s and today? If so, what is that essence? 
The essence of youth style is the way people reach out to each other to form connections. Style is the answer to an enduring need to affirm oneself. It is not just a British thing — it is the same for youth the world over, because this period of your life is particularly about defining yourself through what you wear on your body. 
Things are more hybrid and fluid now with style, but people have always flowed through scenes and movements. There is still reinvention, new identities emerging in youth culture, not everything is as off the peg as the cynics would suggest.

London, UK

Beloved UK blog What We Wore is currently preparing an exhibition and book, to be published by Prestel in Autumn 2014.

We met with co-founder and editor Nina Manandhar to chat about her hunt for the most captivating images and memories about style, and the social and communitarian aspect of one’s personal aesthetic.

The What We Wore Live Archive is in residence at our Gallery bar until tomorrow evening, where everyone’s invited to share their own images and stories about the perception of fashion past.  

How and why did you start the blog? 

'What We Wore' began as format on ISYS, the arts and culture based project and website, which is an exploration of British youth culture. Looking at image sharing websites like flickr a few years back, I noticed that there was a wealth of images that were for the first time being digitized and shared, and there was so much subtlety and nuance in them and the stories attached. The idea is for the images to allow people to tell their stories, to build a community around the stories.

Has your perception of fashion and style evolved?

Although the book is about style and fashion, the project aims to take you on an insiders tour of British youth culture and explore the notion of identity. Style is a key part of the way people belong, form groups, band and disband in youth movements and moments. 

Are you able to define the essence of British style by documenting its evolution between the 50s and today? If so, what is that essence? 

The essence of youth style is the way people reach out to each other to form connections. Style is the answer to an enduring need to affirm oneself. It is not just a British thing — it is the same for youth the world over, because this period of your life is particularly about defining yourself through what you wear on your body. 

Things are more hybrid and fluid now with style, but people have always flowed through scenes and movements. There is still reinvention, new identities emerging in youth culture, not everything is as off the peg as the cynics would suggest.


Nihon Arupusu, Japan
Iconic model Veruschka photographed by Richard Avedon for the October 1966 issue of Vogue.
Still from the documentary “The Eye Has To Travel,” about the life and times of tenacious visionary Diana Vreeland.

Nihon Arupusu, Japan

Iconic model Veruschka photographed by Richard Avedon for the October 1966 issue of Vogue.

Still from the documentary “The Eye Has To Travel,” about the life and times of tenacious visionary Diana Vreeland.


This weekend, designers took over the second floor of Ace Hotel Portland for Content, creating audible, tactile and scent-based installations and blowing our minds for the fourth year running.

Among the many noteworthy appearances were Bridge and Burn’s clean and classic clothing, Cloth and Goods’ indigo wares and Norwood hats, the latest and greatest project from the inimitable Antonio Brasko. Crazy Wind swept us away with swaths of Japanese kasuri textiles, and OLO Fragrance raised a tent among the pines in which we contemplated their dark and magical scents. 

Bobby Bonaparte of LiFT Label had a good time, too — “Portland is burning with creativity,” he says. “The vibe of Content remains fresh and underground.” 

  

Photos from Lavenda Memory, Jen Vitale, Shelley Buche and Angela Tafoya, respectively. See #content2013 on Instagram for more.


RADIATING SPHERES OF MEANING

GUEST INTERVIEW : TAVI GEVINSON WITH DAVID HILDEBRAND WILSON

The Museum of Jurassic Technology looks like a humble little storefront on a street in Culver City, California. Upon entering, however, you find yourself in a maze of oddities — a row of microscopes on mosaics made of butterfly-wing scales, a hall of flower X-rays, tiny sculptures displayed literally in the eyes of needles (the sculptor timed his carvings by his heartbeat). At first it feels like being transported to another world, until you see what a loving representation it is of the wonders of our own. You might suspect some of the displays are made-up, or that footnotes, names, and the plaques and pamphlets sitting in the gift shop are fictionalized, until you come to love the ways in which the museum inspires that very act of questioning. Lawrence Weschler wrote in his 1995 book about this place, “It’s that very shimmer, the capacity for such delicious confusion, Wilson sometimes seems to suggest, that may constitute the most blessedly wonderful thing about being human.”

If you are among our devoted readership then you know that Tavi Gevinson of Rookie Magazine is a friend and collaborator. Here, she guest interviews David Hildebrand Wilson, the founder of the MoJT, in honor of her stint at Ace Portland during PDX Fashion Week and our upcoming annual Content installations November 9 on the second floor. Tavi will be in town on a book tour to promote Rookie’s second publication, Rookie Yearbook Two, with Reading Frenzy at the Q Center November 8. Read on, get misty-eyed, and remember to leave your house this week for both of these events.

How would you explain or describe the museum to someone who’s never heard of it?

I think typically what we say is that we’re a small museum of natural history, history of science, history of art, and then everything else that comes along. We’re inspired by older museums — 200, 300 years ago, a museum wasn’t a museum of a particular thing, it was a museum of everything. We don’t think all museums should be that, but we think there’s a place for that kind of museum, kind of an encyclopedic museum.

Would you say then that there’s anything in particular that unifies everything you have on display?

There are definitely underlying, unifying principles to what we do, but sometimes they’re kind of hard to discern, or hard to define. We have a motto, which you actually almost never see in the museum, but it’s “Un translatio nature,” which means “nature as metaphor.” That doesn’t really sum things up so much, but it actually is meaningful to us, because the kinds of things we like to put in the museum tend to be either natural phenomena or man-made — which, you know, there’s no real distinction between what’s man-made and what’s natural, because humankind is pretty natural as far as I can tell. We find ourselves gravitating toward material and phenomena that have meaning in and of themselves, and that also suggest other levels of meaning — kind of radiating spheres of meaning.

It’s interesting what you said about the line between man-made and the natural world being sort of blurry. To many people — and I always kind of thought this until I went to your museum — science and art are mutually exclusive. Some say it’s science’s job to tell humans that we’re not important and art’s job to declare that we are. How do you make them work together?

Essentially it goes back to a 17th-century or even earlier designation of artificialia and naturalia — what is artificial and what’s natural. It’s kind of an act of hubris or pride, I think, that things that are made by humankind are in some way out of the natural order. We’re certainly, absolutely, profoundly part of the great glittering chain of being. I mean, look at birds’ nests — are they artificilia or are they naturalia? A bird makes this gorgeous nest, and that’s considered a natural artifact — so why is that different for humans?

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Thank you, Rick Owens.

Thank you, Rick Owens.


On September 6 we celebrated New York Fashion Week with the launch of the i-D Magazine retrospective, now on display in our gallery space. The ongoing exhibit showcases a selection of iconic covers from the always surprising, continuously inspiring magazine.

Started as a London street-style fanzine in 1980 by former Vogue art director Terry Jones, i-D quickly became a staple in avant-garde culture by challenging the imaginative boundaries of its contributors, speaking to a burgeoning and ever-more-connected global creative culture without losing any of that daring, witty and spontaneous British spirit that we love so much. A veritable who’s-who of past and present kings of fashion, photography and art were catapulted into international recognition in the pages of the magazine — and the opportunity to wink at the world from the front cover of i-D has become a coveted badge of honor.
If you find yourself in The City over the next few days, swing by the exhibition and take a look (pun intended) at some of Terry Richardson, Ellen von Unwerth, Juergen Teller’s best cover portraits. It’s free and open 24/7 until September 27.

On September 6 we celebrated New York Fashion Week with the launch of the i-D Magazine retrospective, now on display in our gallery space. The ongoing exhibit showcases a selection of iconic covers from the always surprising, continuously inspiring magazine.

Started as a London street-style fanzine in 1980 by former Vogue art director Terry Jones, i-D quickly became a staple in avant-garde culture by challenging the imaginative boundaries of its contributors, speaking to a burgeoning and ever-more-connected global creative culture without losing any of that daring, witty and spontaneous British spirit that we love so much. A veritable who’s-who of past and present kings of fashion, photography and art were catapulted into international recognition in the pages of the magazine — and the opportunity to wink at the world from the front cover of i-D has become a coveted badge of honor.

If you find yourself in The City over the next few days, swing by the exhibition and take a look (pun intended) at some of Terry Richardson, Ellen von Unwerth, Juergen Teller’s best cover portraits. 
It’s free and open 24/7 until September 27.


LONDON
Recent Central St. Martins graduate and fashion designer Mingki Cheng summons the otherworldly, futuristic and nostalgic in his creation of unprecedented textiles. London-based director Jeff Metal shot him at work in his studio on a collection that incorporates animal defense structures, sportswear and battered plastics.

LONDON

Recent Central St. Martins graduate and fashion designer Mingki Cheng summons the otherworldly, futuristic and nostalgic in his creation of unprecedented textiles. London-based director Jeff Metal shot him at work in his studio on a collection that incorporates animal defense structures, sportswear and battered plastics.


INTERVIEW : DITA VON TEESE
International burlesque guru Dita Von Teese debuted a fully articulated 3D-printed gown designed by Michael Schmidt — longtime Ace friend and creator of wardrobes for luminaries like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Deborah Harry and Madonna — in collaboration with Francis Bitonti and Shapeways at our F/W Fashion Week celebrations in New York City this spring. We caught up with the femme fatale to end all femme fatales to talk body modification, the bionic future and her influencers.
You’ve starred in an episode of CSI and done a turn as a judge RuPaul’s Drag Race, as did Beth Ditto. What does it feel like to come from an ‘underground’ background into the mainstream?
Well, it wasn’t an overnight thing. I have a career that spans twenty years. I spent plenty of time in the underground. I feel glad to have the kind of recognition I have now and to have the opportunity to take what I do to different levels and reach a broader audience, but at the same time retain the integrity of what I first set out to do — which was to become the greatest living striptease artist since Gypsy Rose Lee — and to do it my way and not have to commercialize it or sanitize it or do what other people told me I should do to make it.
You recently did a photo shoot at the United Artists Theater — a place very near and dear to the hearts of the Ace family as we’re inhabiting and rehabbing the theater as part of our new hotel in Downtown LA.
Oh god, I’m so excited. Yeah, I did that shoot with one of my favorite photographers, Ruven Afanador, and when I walked into that room… I’ve performed in a lot of the old theaters in downtown LA and I had never seen that one, it was just magical. I’m so excited about that place being opened up to the public because a lot of the old theaters there are only opened up for special events and you only get to see the lavish decor of these beautiful theaters once in a while for special occasions. The idea that people can drop in to Ace Hotel and see the beauty of that place is really exciting to me.

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It’s exciting for us too, maybe we’ll you see you on stage.
I hope so. I would love to be on that stage. It was my first question — when I heard Ace was going to take it over, I thought, “They better not touch this stage, this stage better remain a stage!” (laughs) So I hope it will.
It’ll be a stage, no doubt about it. Rumor has it you’re a huge fan of Betty Grable. Can you talk some more about your influences from Hollywood’s Golden Era? Is there also a film noir influence on your performance style?
Yes, but Betty Grable was the star of the big Fox Technicolor musicals, and those movies made during WWII to make people forget about their troubles — moments of pure beauty and color and glamour. That’s why I love Betty Grable. I love film noir and black and white films and the emotion that’s conveyed, but I’m probably more influenced by the vivid Technicolor.

You experimented with ‘tightlacing’ earlier in your career. Do you think with technologies like 3D printing the old taboos about body modification are about to be blown away?
Yeah, I think it’s a whole different era… obviously body modification is something that’s interesting to me, I’ve engaged in it in my own way in corsetry and I’ve been following the possibilities of 3D-printed body parts and the like making it possible for us to be bionic. It’s amazing technology and I’m excited that I get to see the beginning of it. Maybe by the time I’m 90 years old I’ll tell my great-grandchildren, (great grandmother voice) “I wore the first 3D-printed dress at the beginning of this sort of thing,” and they’ll probably look at me like I’m crazy, but here we are and history is really being made at Ace Hotel. It’s amazing.
At this point in your career, do you ever get scared with all the lights and eyes on you?
Yes, but one of the things I do is I have a lot of control — especially with my burlesque shows — when I’m up there wearing very little and with a spotlight pointed towards me as I’m nearly nude (laughs), I have a lot of control over the visual and the fantasy that I’m showing to people. So, there’s definitely situations that I feel more vulnerable in. I can be very shy and uncomfortable about different situations but when I’m up there and it’s a fantasy I’ve created I’m not nervous about it all.

Photos by Ruven Afanador at the United Artists Theater in Downtown Los Angeles, home to the new Ace Hotel in LA opening this year.

INTERVIEW : DITA VON TEESE

International burlesque guru Dita Von Teese debuted a fully articulated 3D-printed gown designed by Michael Schmidt — longtime Ace friend and creator of wardrobes for luminaries like Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Deborah Harry and Madonna — in collaboration with Francis Bitonti and Shapeways at our F/W Fashion Week celebrations in New York City this spring. We caught up with the femme fatale to end all femme fatales to talk body modification, the bionic future and her influencers.

You’ve starred in an episode of CSI and done a turn as a judge RuPaul’s Drag Race, as did Beth Ditto. What does it feel like to come from an ‘underground’ background into the mainstream?

Well, it wasn’t an overnight thing. I have a career that spans twenty years. I spent plenty of time in the underground. I feel glad to have the kind of recognition I have now and to have the opportunity to take what I do to different levels and reach a broader audience, but at the same time retain the integrity of what I first set out to do — which was to become the greatest living striptease artist since Gypsy Rose Lee — and to do it my way and not have to commercialize it or sanitize it or do what other people told me I should do to make it.

You recently did a photo shoot at the United Artists Theater — a place very near and dear to the hearts of the Ace family as we’re inhabiting and rehabbing the theater as part of our new hotel in Downtown LA.

Oh god, I’m so excited. Yeah, I did that shoot with one of my favorite photographers, Ruven Afanador, and when I walked into that room… I’ve performed in a lot of the old theaters in downtown LA and I had never seen that one, it was just magical. I’m so excited about that place being opened up to the public because a lot of the old theaters there are only opened up for special events and you only get to see the lavish decor of these beautiful theaters once in a while for special occasions. The idea that people can drop in to Ace Hotel and see the beauty of that place is really exciting to me.

Read More


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