David Colman

  • diary September 29, 2017

    Medium Cool

    WHEN YOU THINK ABOUT IT, it’s kind of presumptuous for someone to declare that your memorial is “what you would have wanted,” when probably what you really would have wanted was to be there for it, basking in the praise and chuckling at the euphemisms.

    There are very few times when anyone could dare speak for Glenn O’Brien, but I feel confident saying he would have both approved of and attended the glamorously depressing memorial for him held earlier this month at the SVA Theater in Chelsea. For one, the evening was more akin to a greatest-hits tribute than a parade of black crêpe. This was

  • Style to Come

    ONE NEED ONLY hear the terse incantation by which a disciple of the fashion religion summons the daemon (e.g., “It’s all about marabou”) to appreciate the abracadabra through which a trend can be set in motion. While fashion’s biannual pronouncements may have lost a bit of their power where the business of selling clothes is concerned, the spell of their cyclical epiphanies remains as bewitching as ever for industry initiates. Of course, the high church of the new, however obscure its commandments, has an undeniable charisma. Whether inside the industry or on the street, we all like to stay a

  • Hard-Core Culture

    THE IMAGE ON the July 3, 1995, cover of Time magazine struck a chord with the public as few do: a boy stares, wide-eyed, at the blue-green triple-X glow of a computer monitor. The accompanying article—and resulting furor over its accuracy—trumpeted cyberporn as Public Leviathan No. 1. For some time the pornography issue has been a Gordian knot in which free speech, feminism, free enterprise, violence against women, child sexuality, and gay rights are knitted into a tightly balled mess. Add in the accessibility of the Internet—with its promise of porn dumped right into the home—and it becomes

  • on the Toronto Film Festival

    WHILE A PRIZE AT Utah’s Sundance Film Festival adds instant wattage to a filmmaker’s aura, the lower-profile Toronto Film Festival has emerged, in the words of Miramax head Harvey Weinstein, as “the premier North American festival.” October Films’ Bingham Ray thinks it’s the best in the world. “It doesn’t have the glitz and glam and bullshit of Cannes,” says Ray, “and Venice is for purists.” Open to the public in a city of cineasts, Toronto provides a unique gauge of both industry and nonindustry reaction. A noncompetitive annual festival with nearly 300 films this year (twice that of Sundance),

  • the Radical Face of Fashion

    FASHION AS “the last gritty, gutsy avant-garde”? The words are those of the Metropolitan Museum Costume Institute’s Richard Martin. Writing in the Los Angeles Times this past February, Martin argued, “In a more tranquil world for art, only fashion insists on acting out dissonance and stirring up the kinds of social ruckus that art once lived by.” In a 1994 New Yorker piece, Ingrid Sischy, though somewhat more temperate in her claims on fashion’s behalf, compared the buzz around fashion in the ’90s to that surrounding art in the ’80s: “For a while art was the center of cultural attention. Now

  • Cybersalons

    THE ELUSIVE AND PROTEAN entity known as the Internet is straining to be more things to more people with every passing moment, and it is now metamorphosing into a gallery space as well. In New York this summer, the Dia Center for the Arts, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Museum of Modern Art all inaugurated spaces on-line, to promote exhibitions and to exhibit artwork created for the Internet. At this writing, Digitalogue, a gallery devoted exclusively to digital art, was scheduled to open in Santa Monica in September. New York companies called Tractor and Artix are helping artists,

  • David Colman

    RUNWAY HIT

    A photo taken in 1958 shows Joan Crawford holding the definitive status symbol of that year of years: A SMALL AIRLINE BAG emblazoned with the Sabena logo, which despite its cheapness conjured all the glamour associated with jet travel, but which 20-odd years later was about as glamorous as the worn polyester seats of a 747. But the airline bag, the sturdiness of its nylon reminiscent of a Prada knapsack, was born again this year at the hands of Comme des Garçons’ Rei Kawakubo. At first glance, the resurrection suggests the ’60s references seen in so many designers’ collections;