Michael Schmidt has made clothing out of Legos, crystal, and razor blades. Now he's set himself the challenge of creating a 3-D printed, powdered plastic dress that moves with the body -- the body of Dita Von Teese. Rose Apodaca talks to the designer about his life and amazing costumes. And a "Wilshire Boulevard Story" looks at a landmark in transition: the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Edward Lifson and Michael Govan talk about Peter Zumthor's plans for an "inkblot" on the landscape.
FROM THIS EPISODE
Michael Schmidt has spent decades cladding Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga and other supernovas in stunning costumes made of materials that don’t fit the usual definition of fabric: from Legos to chain mail of sterling silver links to razor blades. Now he's testing the possibilities of printed powdered plastic, in a dress designed with architect Francis Bitonti, for burlesque artist Dita Von Teese. He says wanted to take the "inherently rigid material" and render it "supple." That dress -- made of thousands of components covered in Swarovski crystals -- and some of his others will be on show at LACMA Wednesday night in an event produced by the Costume Council.
And there he will also talk to fashion journalist and A+R owner Rose Apodaca about his work and life. Apodaca also interviewed Schmidt for DnA, as they prepared for their night at LACMA. He explained that his career got started when he moved from Kansas City to New York and he got his first big break when Cher bought a creation of his.
If you head West on that ride, the endpoint will be the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which right now is itself the subject of a PSTP exhibit, "The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA." The exhibit's restrained title masks the surprise you get on seeing the show. In addition to plans and models telling the story of the site, dating back to prehistory and the tar pits, the main event is towards the back of the Resnick Pavilion -- a huge dark gray concrete model of a dramatic new building being proposed for the site, by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, that has been described variously as an "inkblot," an "amoeba" and a "black flower."
In the first of an ongoing look at this project, architecture reporter Edward Lifson and LACMA director Michael Govan give us a brief history of the site and how the new building would remake this part of Wilshire.
More From Design and Architecture
The creative economy rises in California A decade after the Great Recession, how is Los Angeles doing? A new study out this week looks at creative economy jobs in California, and finds they now exceed the pre-recession peak in 2007. That’s just one finding from the annual Otis Report on the Creative Economy. But costs of participating in the creative economy are growing too.
Electric Jaguar, Venice Biennale, rethinking Yamashiro Saturday's royal wedding ended with the newly married Duke and Duchess of Sussex driving off in an electric car: a retrofitted 1968 E-Type Jaguar. Can all classic sports cars go clean? We also get a preview of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Architecture Biennale. And we hike up to Yamashiro, the faux-Japanese hilltop restaurant in Hollywood, as part of our ongoing look at identity in design.
Homeless in Koreatown, Deconstructing Kanye Koreatown residents are fighting to keep homeless housing out of their neighborhood. What does this mean for efforts to build a shelter in every LA council district? And hip-hop mogul Kanye West has huge ambitions that include his own design and architecture businesses. But could his recent controversial statements about race and politics derail these ambitions?
LATEST BLOG POSTS
5 design things to do this week This week: See a new public artwork waving in the sea breeze by Patrick Shearn, say Yes to ADUs, find out how Luis Barragán’s ashes became a diamond ring, follow artists as they make “place” in four unincorporated LA County neighborhoods, and check out the work of 200 zine-makers in Pasadena. Read More
Deconstructing Kanye Kanye West loves architecture. Is that good news for a profession little understood by the general public, and long lacking in diversity? Or do his recent provocations about slavery and President Trump complicate his interest in the built environment? Read More