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Susan Cianciolo

Susan Cianciolo is an artist and fashion designer who lives and works in New York. Since the early 1990s she has been collaborating with friends and other artists on projects such as her Run clothing label (1995–2001), Run Restaurant at New York’s former Alleged Gallery, and The Lilac Spaceship Fanzine. This month during New York Fashion Week, Cianciolo will launch her new ready-to-wear line, SC3, as well as a special couture collection featuring textile collaborations with Hinaya and Akira Minagawa.

  1. HINAYA (KYOTO)

    Founded by living textile master Akihiko Izukura, who inherited generations of technical knowledge from his family, Hinaya is one of the few manufacturers that handle the entire process of garment design and production under their own roofs. Here brilliant kimonos are made from bare fibers dyed with pigment derived from raw sources (seed pods, plant extracts, minerals) and woven on wooden machines that Izukura designed to run at the same pace as a person. While Hinaya’s techniques are highly sophisticated, each process remains tactile, the individual elements never abstracted too far from their origins.

    *Fabric being hung to dry after the dyeing process, Hinaya textile factory. Kyoto, 2010*. © Hinaya Inc. Fabric being hung to dry after the dyeing process, Hinaya textile factory. Kyoto, 2010. © Hinaya Inc.
  2. HONKE OWARIYA (KYOTO)

    I have had the honor and pleasure of eating at this centuries-old noodle house many times, often dining with my friend Ariko Inaoka—a photographer known for her dreamy shots of domestic interiors and faraway places. Recently, Ariko has become more involved with the restaurant. Of course, her relationship to it is a special one: As pastry chefs to the royal court (when Kyoto was still the capital of Japan), it was her family that founded the operation more than five hundred years ago. I am very lucky to have been their guest, watching and smelling their famous soba cookies being made as I climbed the stairs to their home above the shop.

    Ariko Anaoka, Twins, Iceland, 8mm (Part I)

  3. OCCULTER (NEW YORK)

    Honeycomb necklaces made of gold, scrimshaw pendants fashioned from salvaged piano keys, a rare book collection installed to seemingly defy gravity—the things that Derrick Cruz creates look like they come from some magical old-world place. But in discussing his newly opened store at 83 1/2 Orchard Street, the artist and jewelry designer explained that occulter is in fact the term for “an instrument used to block the view of a bright celestial object, allowing the careful observation of a fainter one.” Such a description could just as easily describe Cruz himself, his vision always clearing space for others to expand theirs.

  4. RITA ACKERMANN AND HARMONY KORINE, “SHADOW FUX” (SWISS INSTITUTE, NEW YORK, 2010)

    Rita and I lived together, sharing a studio for a few years in the mid-1990s. Each day I’d watch her work grow and would always get a good feeling inside seeing what new things she’d made. At the Swiss Institute, her paintings on blown-up stills from Harmony’s recent film Trash Humpers generated the same—a deep sense of mystery, excitement, and always love.

    *Rita Ackermann and Harmony Korine, _Trouble Is Coming_, 2010,* acrylic on vinyl, enamel spray paint, ink on canvas, 117 x 60". Rita Ackermann and Harmony Korine, Trouble Is Coming, 2010, acrylic on vinyl, enamel spray paint, ink on canvas, 117 x 60".
  5. ANDREA DIODATI

    A young performance artist, filmmaker, and designer with no fear of color or shape, Diodati creates things that are fresh and so alive. She makes clothes from other clothes and scraps that she finds, letting her seams be crooked and her stitching show. She wears these garments every day but also uses them in her performances—which makes sense, as Diodati’s art, far from showing the practiced stoicism of someone like Marina Abramović, is a direct extension of her everyday effervescent self.

    Andrea Diodati, She Came from the Sea, 2009

  6. TAKASHI HOMMA AT GALLERY 360º (TOKYO)

    When it opened in the early ’80s, Gallery 360º made a latter-day home for Fluxus in Japan. The husband-and-wife team that run it have since taken on many other artists (both old-school and contemporary), including my friend Takashi Homma, who spent the early ’90s shooting for i-D magazine and the rest of the decade recording Tokyo’s periphery, its crevices, and the people who pass through these spaces. Homma’s presence is so gentle; through his lens you can see humanity in what might at first appear to be the bleakest places.

    *Spread from Takashi Homma, _Tokyo and My Daughter_ (Nieves, 2006).* Spread from Takashi Homma, Tokyo and My Daughter (Nieves, 2006).
  7. “NOT IN FASHION: FASHION AND PHOTOGRAPHY IN THE 1990S” (MUSEUM FÜR MODERNE KUNST, FRANKFURT, 2010)

    A kind of imagemaking came about in the ’90s that was more than just photography; it embodied an aesthetic that extended to an entire contemporary ethos—a new way in which we understood ourselves as travelers, writers, and social bodies. In Frankfurt the selection of work represented this powerfully: photos by Anders Edström of Martin Margiela’s models standing around, Helmut Lang’s backstage shot by Juergen Teller, an installation of Mark Borthwick’s portraits that extended onto the floor with lit candles and food . . . I staged a performance showing my work too, and revisiting everyone else’s during the week I spent working in MMK’s galleries brought me back to a very beautiful time.

    *View of “Not in Fashion,” 2010, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt.* On wall: Nigel Shafran, Moonflower Concert Onboard the Thekla Bristol, 1991. Photo: Axel Schneider. View of “Not in Fashion,” 2010, Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt. On wall: Nigel Shafran, Moonflower Concert Onboard the Thekla Bristol, 1991. Photo: Axel Schneider.
  8. KRISTEN STEWART IN JAKE SCOTT’S WELCOME TO THE RILEYS, 2010

    I am mesmerized by Kristen Stewart’s style. In The Runaways (2010) she wasn’t just dressed as Joan Jett—she channeled her. In Welcome to the Rileys, Stewart plays an underage hooker. Most of the time, though, we just see her in baggy jeans and T-shirts. Yet there’s a way in which even that nonstyle style truly becomes her. Her sense of realness, of a naturally defensive elegance, inspires me.

    Jake Scott, Welcome to the Rileys, 2010

  9. HERE AND THERE MAGAZINE

    One of Japan’s most thoughtful and innovative writers, Nakako Hayashi has been single-handedly directing Here and There since its first issue in 2002, asking many of the people who were involved with the early issues of Purple and Purple Prose to contribute. Nakako is also a mother, and the themes of Here and There come from her life experience—“Unexpected Traveling,” “Blue Moments”—things that tend to reflect raw beauty more than gloss.

  10. THE TEXTILES OF AKIRA MINAGAWA

    I came to know this designer’s work when we taped a talk show together (organized by Nakako Hayashi) at Kyoto’s Café Bibliotic Hello. Working mainly under the label name Minä Perhonen, Minagawa makes garments and coverings with the most exquisite prints, many of which are narrative—depicting a zoo, a nap (the way the sky might look if you were just waking up from one), or a forest, and all in the most brilliant colors. Both of us got our start in 1995, and I’m in complete awe of how he produces what he produces.

    *Two looks by Minä Perhonen (Akira Minagawa) for the 2010–11 autumn/winter collection.* Two looks by Minä Perhonen (Akira Minagawa) for the 2010–11 autumn/winter collection.