Narrett describes her working habits as nocturnal. She sews into the Santa seems sus to me ugly christmas sweater also I will do this smaller hours of the night at her studio, which has an antique charm; there are glass-knobbed doors and knotty hardwood floors below. All around are bins teeming with a colorful chaos of threads dyed every hue possible, along with embroidery hoops in various sizes; some could be mistaken for hula hoops. While she works, she fills the space with media—music, television, podcasts—and sometimes, that content directly informs her embroideries. In a previous series, she incorporated imagery pulled from The Bachelor.“It’s a way of processing popular culture, and this language of images that we’re all inundated with,” she says. “It can be beautiful or funny or problematic or even really disturbing, but I use this visual vocabulary to illustrate my own stories. I repurpose these images in a way that they bring the residue of their initial contexts, but also become something new.”Speaking to the characters that make cameos in her work, Narrett maintains that she’s “making the images she needs to see.” She calls out one work, Whisper Like a Magnet, a piece with all the melodramatic complexities and moody color stories of a Hieronymus Bosch triptych. A woman in a flowing white dress kisses her suitor, while a bare-bottomed woman is positioned to leave nothing to the imagination. Nearby, a panda is similarly postured, crashing waves meld into cloudy skies, and flowers blossom throughout. All at once, it’s perplexing, beautiful, uncomfortable, and perfectly harmonious. Narrett says the various poses of her figures—however sexualized—are meant to evoke the teetering balance of power that romantic relationships are built upon.“What does it mean when one figure is clothed and one is naked?” she asks.“What does it mean when one seems to be in a position of either submission or dominance?” Her new works also bares traces of the pandemic and our contemporary visual culture. In one piece, Through Closed Eyes, she includes windows (an emblem of our housebound state), caution tape, and a face mask.
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Before she begins her work, Narrett mostly plans it out. She collages collected imagery and maps out where the Santa seems sus to me ugly christmas sweater also I will do this story will take her, but she also leaves a bit of room for serendipity. “I think of it almost as word choice for rhyming in songs or poetry,” she says. “You start out looking for a word that, of course, fits the meaning that you intend, but the selection is also based on its phonetic qualities. So some of the meaning of the poem is shaped because it works formally.” It’s a lengthy process; Whisper Like a Magnet took one month to plan and six months to create.Another factor distinguishing her work from the traditional tapestry is its shape. Her work is not rectangular, but amorphous, with loose threads cascading like dripping candle wax. It has the effect of making the worlds that she creates—which commemorate her lived experiences as well as her fantasies—seem boundless. For that reason, you could call her a dream weaver, though she might correct you on a technicality.“Soul Kiss” is on view at Kohn Gallery November 13 through December 15.If there’s a look that’s defined 2020 so far, it’s the sweatsuit. At first, it was something of a humbling, democratic unifier: In March, we were all curled up on the couch, too overwhelmed by anxiety and news alerts to reach for anything but the frayed sweatshirts and stretched-out pants we’ve owned for who knows how long. The concept of a “work-from-home wardrobe” had yet to crystallize.By April and May, things looked a lot different. With remote work and social distancing in effect for a few more months (or, for some, closer to a year), apparel spending picked up—particularly on that couch-friendly loungewear. We convinced ourselves that we needed some new leggings, and maybe a matching sweatshirt-jogger set, or maybe five sets. They were an easy sell because they checked every box in our consumer conscience: practical, comfortable, and, in many cases, quite affordable. Or not—the range in price and prestige is eye-popping when it comes to sweats. You can buy a full tie-dyed set on Amazon for $30 or a Loro Piana cashmere zip-up for just under $2,000.In between, there are roughly one zillion options, and it’s safe to say many of them weren’t made with integrity. If, in the spring, we saw sweatshirts as outliers in our closets, one-off cheap thrills to help us survive quarantine, their permanence in our wardrobe suggests we should be as thoughtful about them as anything else we buy. Fortunately, we’re here to tell you there are plenty of cozy, well-made options in the sea of questionable poly-blends—and we’ve outlined the best ones hereMaggie Marilyn’s new Somewhere sport line is made of organic cotton on a traceable supply chain, for instance; Pangaia’s sweats are made with recycled cotton and eco-friendly dyes; Entireworld uses recycled polyester stretch; and Girlfriend Collective’s joggers and pullovers are made from post-consumer plastic bottles. When you’ve thoroughly worn them out, you can even send them back to be recycled through its take-back program, ReGirlfriend. Shop these and more of the best sustainable sweats, below.No bag is quite as festive as a clutch. This year the holiday fêtes may be virtual, but tiny, decorative purses still add a sense of fantasy to any occasion. No one understands this better than Renaud Pellegrino, fashion’s ‘sculptor of the bag’ who served as Yves Saint Laurent’s leather goods designer at the height of Saint Laurent’s couture dominance. Thirty-six years ago, Pellegrino founded his label Pellegrino Paris creating distinctive handbags that made their way onto the arm of friends like Catherine Deneuve, Isabelle Adjani, and the late Lauren Bacall. The ultimate insiders accessories, Pellegrino’s designs challenge the idea of flash in the pan it-bags or flashy status purses. Of all his creations, the sleek minaudière named Julia is perhaps the most iconic. A deceptively simple rectangular clutch that opens to reveal a satin-lined compartment, it’s been a mainstay within the brand since its inception. That’s precisely why Pellegrino sought to update it for 2020. This year, his clients will have the special treat of a Julia, bag detailed with Marc-Antoine Coulon’s illustrations, the prolific Parisian considered one of fashion’s preeminent artists. His instantly recognizable images of notables from the worlds of entertainment and style have featured on gallery walls and in the pages of Vogue. Now Pellegrino’s bags serve as the canvas for an impressive collection devoted to artistry, one that will allow buyer to select a piece with a famous face or commission a design for themselves. From November onwards, it will be possible to purchase a bag with custom Coulon portrait—a one-of-a-kind gift. “Above all, it’s a tribute to beauty,” shared Pellegrino via email from Paris. “All the women featured embody the spirit of Pellegrino Paris.”