The untold story of the ripped T-shirt that made Rebecca Minkoff famou
Two decades ago, I designed a shirt—we soon started calling it The Shirt—that mixed ideas from my favorite tourist-destination T-shirts to create an ode to my favorite city: New York City. An actress wore it on The Tonight Show, and the next day people everywhere knew my name. It’s the kind of story that, looking in from the outside, makes it seem like it just takes a little bit of luck to become an overnight success.
In actuality, I had been living in New York, in a tiny walk-up shoebox that was advertised as an apartment, and working long hours for little more than minimum wage in the fashion industry for two years before this moment. There was nothing overnight about it.
I had made it to New York and had landed my first real job in fashion. My tastes were very different from those of the designer I worked for, but I needed to learn about how to build a brand with a strong foundation from both a business and a collection perspective.
Two years in, I had designed a five-piece collection. This little capsule included a silk blouse with a cummerbund permanently attached, a denim tuxedo (the pants were low-rise with a slight boot-cut flare), a basic T-shirt, and The Shirt. The “look book” itself? Expensive green iridescent paper with metallic binder clips. It had 10 shots in the whole entire thing.
By day, I worked. By night, I worked too. While I didn’t have the capital to produce anything outside of my five-piece collection, I did have enough money to make a few versions of The Shirt. The cheapest option was to buy the existing tops and make them my own. My inspiration was that escapist energy of a tourist beach T-shirt—think of those acid-washed neon tees available up and down the Atlantic coast or those island-style tanks customized with fringe and beads, which I had fallen for during my first trip to the Caribbean. I wanted to take that energy and make it cool, make it about my new home. I had been cutting up and knotting T-shirts since my dance-class days back in middle school, so taking a tee from basic and boring to meet-me-at-the-barre with a trusty pair of scissors was second nature to me.
Whenever I had the chance, I would play around with different techniques of cutting, tying, and customizing the T-shirts. I really tried everything: asymmetrical necklines, asymmetrical hemlines, asymmetrical sleeves; cutting sleeves off, tying them back on, cutting them shorter. I couldn’t afford to let any shirt go to waste, so if one came out a little odd, I’d keep playing around with it until it worked. (Some would get cut and reshaped, getting smaller and smaller, so many times that I was worried I’d have to start a kids’ line.) I wore one myself and gave them away to a few friends.
One of the people I gave a T-shirt to was my then friend, now sister-in-law, Stephanie. She’s just one of those people who can wear anything and look amazing. One night in Los Angeles, Steph threw on the shirt with a pair of jeans and a blazer and went to dinner with her friend Jenna Elfman. Jenna asked if Steph could get her a shirt. Of course Dharma of the early aughts hit sitcom Dharma & Greg could have a shirt! I was such a big fan that I sent it to her the very next day. It was September 9, 2001.
[Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images]It was around this time that I was introduced to a publicist who had just started out. A few weeks after meeting, he asked if I wanted to participate in a small group show of emerging designers that he was curating. The answer was a big, resounding yes. At the time it felt like a big deal. The show was on September 10, 2001.
Early the next morning on September 11, still on a high from the show the night before, I went to a fabric seminar to learn about cotton. It seemed like just another day. Before the presenter even took the stage, the organizer ran in, so upset, and announced that there had been an attack on the World Trade Center.
The 9/11 tragedy rocked the city, the country, and the world.
But New York and New Yorkers are nothing if not resilient. After a few weeks, despite the devastation and heartbreak, people were continuing to come together and starting to find new rhythms in that new normal. My fashion show felt like it had happened in another lifetime.
In early October, my phone rang. It was Jenna Elfman’s assistant calling to let me know that Jenna had filmed a segment for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. She had worn the I Heart New York shirt that I had customized for her on the show. It was going to air that night. It seemed surreal. I couldn’t let myself believe it until I saw it with my own eyes: a white T-shirt with the iconic graphic that I had slashed, snipped, shredded, fringed, knotted, tied, and sewn back together into the ultimate tribute to the city that the whole world loved.
The Shirt was truly an homage to the city that I had idealized and dreamed about from afar. It had welcomed me, my dreams, and my crappy old suitcases with its inspiration, palpable energy, and endless possibilities. The 9/11 tragedy broke my heart, but I was grateful I had created something to celebrate my new hometown, even if it was as trivial as a customized tee that banded people together and lifted their spirits.
The morning after Jenna wore The Shirt on TV, I woke up to a ringing phone and an inbox full of messages. For the first time in my life, people wanted to buy something that I had made. I had to pinch myself more than once. A day later, all of the popular gossip weeklies ran shots of Jenna from the show, and the demand grew tenfold. I needed some I Heart New York shirts, and I had to start customizing them fast.
[Image: courtesy HarperCollins]I rode all over the city—to Times Square, through Chinatown—to every tourist kiosk, buying as many T-shirts as possible: five for $80 here, two for $30 there. Twenty for $100 at one memorable stop. I honestly believe that I have bought more I Heart New York T-shirts than anyone else in the entire world. I scanned, saved, and printed every mention that I got in any magazine. I had made a list of the boutiques that I thought were incredibly cool, and then I printed out my line sheets and press kit and hand-delivered them to each store. A few shops placed orders or took a few shirts on consignment. Every time I got a new order, it felt like another piece of the puzzle falling into place.
In order to make sure that these pieces didn’t just sit on the racks and that people actually bought them, I had postcards printed with a picture of The Shirt and the addresses of where it could be found. I was one of those people who would stand in Union Square for hours passing out postcards to college kids and tourists. Most people blew past me; some people asked me if I knew the designer. It didn’t feel good to see my name trampled on the sidewalk at the end of the day—I ain’t gonna lie—but all of that promotion worked, because my stuff sold.
It wasn’t until four years later that I designed my first handbag, the Morning After Bag, a.k.a. the MAB, and my business actually took off. But The Shirt was the start of Rebecca Minkoff as you know it today.
From Fearless: The New Rules for Unlocking Creativity, Courage, and Success by Rebecca Minkoff, published by HarperCollins Leadership.
Original Rebecca Jersey – Southern Marsh Collection
Melon with Purple Seersucker
Electric Lime with Pink Seersucker
Navy with Blue Seersucker
Maroon with Black Seersucker
Strawberry Fizz with Blue Seersucker
Bimini Green with Pink Seersucker
Asparagus with Pink Seersucker
Melon with Blue Seersucker
Neon Coral with Blue Seersucker
Crimson with Houndstooth Jersey
This Rebecca Minkoff and America Ferrera Election T-Shirt Is Amazing
With the presidential election less than a month away, the Rebecca Minkoff and America Ferrera election T-shirt might be perfect to wear every day until November 8. OK, maybe not every day but at least on debate nights. You’ve probably already registered to vote and are living and breathing the details of this wild election. And you’ve also probably seen the map going around the Internet showing what the election results would look like if only women voted. Well, if those map results look good to you—or even if they seem terrible—it shows the importance of women voting now more than ever.
Ferrera, who currently stars in the comedy Superstore, has always been politically outspoken. She’s campaigned for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and even spoke in support of Clinton with friend Lena Dunham at the Democratic National Convention this past June. (Her first name is just an incredible—and patriotic—coincidence.) The Rebecca Minkoff and America Ferrera election T-Shirt takes Ferrera’s name and plays off Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again.” The tee is emblazoned with “Make America Ferrera Again 2016” and features a drawing of Ferrera’s face. We never thought we would see Rebecca Minkoff and America Ferrera collaborate on anything really, but we’re so glad they did. Ferrera’s friends, such as comedian Amy Schumer, are already wearing the shirt out and about while encouraging women to register to vote.
Watch Jourdan Dunn’s view from the fashion closet:
If you want to pick up the Make America Ferrera Again Tee, it’s available for $48 on rebeccaminkoff.com and in select Rebecca Minkoff stores. The best part: 20 percent of the proceeds will be donated to Rock the Vote to support its efforts to get everyone to do their part in the upcoming election.
Rebecca Minkoff’s Biggest Regret – Jenna Kutcher
I felt a little star struck with today’s interview with Rebecca Minkoff. You may know her for her subtly edgy designs and her industry leading luxury handbags, accessories, footwear and apparel around the world. She launched her brand in 2001 with an iconic capsule collection that landed her on The Tonight Show and she became an overnight sensation. Goal Diggers, Meet Rebecca Minkoff!
Today, Rebecca Minkoff is a global lifestyle brand that spans ready-to-wear, handbags and accessories, footwear, jewelry and watches, as well as men’s clothing under the label Uri Minkoff, in over 900 stores worldwide.
An industry leader, she is also an industry disruptor, pushing the boundaries of fashion and tech. Today I want to hear the REAL STORY of how this woman took her name and her talent… and turned it into an empire.
Rebecca Minkoff got the sewing bug when she was about 8-years old. She wanted a dress that her mother wouldn’t buy it for her. Instead she taught Rebecca how to sew. This skill came in handy while Rebecca was a teenager, too. She described herself as very thin and “scrawny”, and she had a hard time finding clothing to fit her, so she would go to thrift stores and do her own adjustments on clothes. Soon she was sewing all the time.
She attended performing arts high school as a dancer, but her teachers told her she was too tall and needed to be in the back of the group for performances. Rebecca decided to take her elective classes in the costume room where she learned how to use patterns and new techniques. That’s when she learned sewing wasn’t just a hobby, it was a career.
College after high school wasn’t her first priority, but she got connected with a friend of her brother’s who introduced her to an internship opportunity with a designer in New York. With a paycheck of $4.95 an hour and her parents unwilling to help her pay for an apartment, Rebecca decided to figure things out on her own. A friend at Fordham University would sneak Rebecca into his dorm after work and that’s where she stayed while she started her internship.
The CEO of the company was tired of the usual interns that the designer often hired, so she was especially hard on Rebecca at first. Rebecca worked to prove herself, and eventually the CEO noticed that Rebecca wasn’t “just dumb and pretty,” but a dedicated worker who wanted to learn the business. The CEO taught her the ins and outs of the business and gave her a view of all aspects of the fashion industry. It only took six months for Rebecca to land a full time job with the company as an associate designer.
There was a finite amount of work for Rebecca to complete, and when she was finished her boss allowed her to work on her own collection. Rebecca created a five piece collection and even featured her collection in a mini fashion show on September 10, 2001. With the tragic events of September 11, everything changed.
One of the pieces of her collection was an “I Love New York” t-shirt she had cut up and customized. She sent it to an actress prior to her fashion show, and days after the attacks on September 13, that actress wore it on Jay Leno and name dropped Rebecca Minkoff. Suddenly, everyone wanted Rebecca’s shirt. She could barely keep up with demand, but kept creating shirts and gave all the profits to charity. That shirt became her life for about nine months.
She sold the customized bedazzled “I Love New York” t-shirts online, making it one of the first e-commerce clothing sites for women. Rebecca’s name was now out in the world, and when her shirt sold well in stores, she pitched her entire collection. For four years she plugged along and worked hard, not making much money, but making plenty of mistakes.
In 2005, Rebecca decided she wanted to add a handbag as an accessory to her collection. She had no idea that it would become what it did. A friend wrote about Rebecca’s handbag on DailyCandy (remember that?) After the feature, the store sold out of all 12 pieces… And ordered 75 more. Not knowing where to begin to afford to pay for 75 bags, she called her father for help, who basically said, “Go ask your brother.”
Rebecca’s brother helped her build the business at the beginning (and mentored her on the basics like setting up a bank account and getting a tax ID number). She kept creating bags, and the buzz around them grew. She was eventually able to hire an intern, and she convinced her landlord to rent her another apartment just for office space. It was a fun, exciting time for Rebecca and her handbags.
Fast forward several years and Rebecca has since launched ready to wear, jewelry, timepieces, and eyewear. She admits it was an aggressive growth plan, but her brother really felt that expanding quickly was important to ensure Rebecca’s brand stood for more than just bags in the customer’s eyes.
Rebecca may not have anticipated the success of that t-shirt, or the handbag line, but she says it doesn’t really matter that the customer chose to love a product that wasn’t necessarily the “star” in Rebecca’s eyes. She explained, “We do a lot to ensure that we’re listening to the customer, and her opinion is far more important than mine. If she likes it and she’s happy with it, then I’m happy.”
Working with Her Brother
Rebecca’s brother is the CEO of the company, but his role and partnership with Rebecca has evolved from the humble beginnings. At first, he offered advice. Then, he started flying up to New York once a month… And then every five days. When the company hit $10 million in sales, Rebecca started asking her brother to move to New York and take on a bigger role running the business side of things.
Now that she’s been running the company with her brother for 13 years, they both have strong ideas and opinions in each other’s areas of expertise. “Business partners fight, and brothers and sisters definitely fight, but we try to put everything for the business first and sort out our differences when we can.”
Learning from Her Mistakes
When Rebecca launched apparel she believed that to have any clout in the industry that her collection needed to be runway worthy and in the pages of a magazine… But she learned that people don’t buy that clothing.
“We spent and wasted a lot of money…” trying to keep up with the rat race of the industry, when the catwalk-ready clothing didn’t align with her affordable, saleable handbags. Rebecca pushed hard for the runway collection though, until she received her personal order and it clicked: Where would she wear the dress? It’s the same question her customers were asking when they saw the clothing line. The customer felt alienated by the clothing, so Rebecca decided to pivot into clothing for women to wear in their everyday. That’s when it started working.
Her biggest regret? Trying to fit into that catwalk club. “What was I holding onto? This idea that I was going to be a Vogue darling? I’m not on Anna’s List and that is okay, but holding onto that too long was something I wish I hadn’t done.”
Picking the Ideal Customer
Who is the Rebecca Minkoff girl? Every woman.
“There isn’t just one woman for our brand. We try to make products that fit all women and facets of life that they need a great crossbody or a great backpack, or a great leather jacket, all the things we’re known for. My goal is to speak to lots of women and not pigeonhole, not say ‘if you don’t fit into my mold, you don’t get to be part of the club.’”
Rebecca keeps herself in mind, and her humble beginnings in New York City not being able to afford a night out with friends, when designing and pricing her products. While she offers handbags and jackets and other items at a higher price point, her prices generally do not alienate the girl who is just like Rebecca once was, just trying to make her way in NYC.
Tying Impact into Your Business Model
It all started with the “I Love New York” shirt with all proceeds going to charity after 9/11. After that, she paused the charitable efforts of the business (while maintaining her own personal involvement in charities) because she knew the business wasn’t yet at a place where it could begin to give back.
When she became a mom, and when the business had grown to a point that it could support giving back, Rebecca thought a lot about the world her children would inherit. She partnered with Jessica Alba to create a diaper bag with all proceeds benefiting an organization for mothers. Rebecca supported a donation of 100,000 diapers to NYC moms who couldn’t afford them otherwise. She designed a bra in partnership with another company, with $500,000 worth of bras donated to breastfeeding mothers.
In an ongoing effort to support many different causes, Rebecca Minkoff partners with a new charity each season to support with the proceeds of a selected piece.
Her New Podcast
Rebecca launched her new podcast, “Superwomen with Rebecca Minkoff” with the same innocence as many newbie podcasters… This is going to be so easy, right?!
Well, she was quick to learn podcasting wasn’t quite easy, but it was a welcome challenge for a woman who had been doing essentially the same thing for the last 13 years. Rebecca modeled the show off the fireside chats she has at her New York City store where she aims to inspire women with interviews with leaders and changemakers.
More from this Episode
Misconceptions of the fashion industry: Why do handbags cost so much? When will fashion become more inclusive across the board? Listen to today’s episode to hear Rebecca’s take on the behind the scenes of the industry.
The Mindset Battle: Rebecca battled mindset struggles early on. In an industry when you want to be part of the “cool girl’s club”, how do you battle these limiting mindsets? Rebecca gets into how she overcame negative mindset to grow her business.
Getting What She Wanted with Confidence: How did Rebecca handle not one but TWO famous actresses nearly refusing to wear her bag on the red carpet, despite it being part of the original agreement? You have to hear the story.
Advice for Maternity Leave: Why not hire someone who can do your job, and do it better, so you can take a true leave? Hear Rebecca’s honest take.
And so much more. You gotta tune in for all the Rebecca Minkoff realness. This woman does not mince words, and tells stories of the years grinding in the industry and building a brand she believes in, while making plenty of mistakes to learn (and teach) from along the way. What are you biggest takeaways from today’s episode?
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Photo by Paul Maffi
’90 Day Fiancé’ Fans ‘Don’t Understand’ Rebecca and Zied’s Obsession with Photo Memorabilia
Zied Hakimi famously wore a shirt with Rebecca Parrot’s filtered face on season 3 of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days. And in their new season, the couple is taking their love of photo gifts to another level. After seeing Rebecca put Zied’s face on her credit card, blanket, and clothing, some fans are trying to understand why.
Rebecca and Zied on ’90 Day Fiancé’ | TLC
The ’90 Day Fiancé’ couple loves photo gifts
Viewers first saw Zied when Rebecca flew to Tunis, Tunisia, to meet him on the 2019 season of 90 Day Fiancé: Before the 90 Days. When he came to receive her at the airport, Zied wore a t-shirt featuring Rebecca’s face. And when fans got a look at Rebecca’s apartment, they noticed it was full of Zied-faced memorabilia.
But things have only escalated from there. On this season of 90 Day Fiancé, Rebecca’s home is decorated with pictures and mugs of Zied. But she also whipped out a credit card with his face on it, slept under a blanket printed with their image, and hung out with her friend wearing a Zied-photo collage t-shirt.
RELATED: ’90 Day Fiancé’: Why Rebecca’s Daughter Doesn’t Fully Support Her Decision to Marry Zied
Rebecca also got a tattoo for Zied
With all the photos she surrounds herself with, it’s clear Rebecca truly loves Zied. But the 90 Day Fiancé star took her commitment a step further by getting a tattoo in his honor.
“I’m covered in ink, and today’s tattoo is really special,” she told producers. “Because it’s in honor of my 27-year-old fiancé. This is actually something that me and Zied say all the time. It’s Arabic, ‘I am yours, and you are mine.’”
The purple ink tattoo is on Rebecca’s wrist. And when talking to the tattoo artist, she joked that she hoped it said what Zied told her it did.
Some ’90 Day Fiancé’ fans are confused by all the memorabilia
After seeing Rebecca’s credit card and tattoo, some 90 Day Fiancé fans were a little taken aback by the couple’s need for memorabilia. “I really just don’t understand the t-shirts printed with their faces,” one Reddit user wrote.
“The mugs were cute, and the bedside picture was fine, seemed like a common thing for some people to do, but the rest is too much,” another Redditor shared. “Of course, everyone is different, and they might just be super into stuff like this, but it seems to me that no one could genuinely enjoy it to such an extent. It’s over the top.”
Other fans were more understanding. One pointed out that being in a long-distance relationship can be challenging, so it helps to have pictures of your loved one around you.
“Do I think this is all excessive and silly? Yes,” the Redditor wrote. “But also, I kind of understand it. Being in a long-distance relationship for a long period of time is hard, and if seeing each other’s faces makes them happy, then there’s truly no harm in it!”
Rebecca and Zied will move in together on this season of 90 Day Fiancé. So fans can continue to spot any new photo memorabilia the couple has created.
90,000 Review of the film “Memories” with Hugh Jackman and Rebecca Ferguson
Miami. The near future, in which cities, due to climate change, are gradually sinking under water, and in the daytime it is so hot that humanity has switched to a nocturnal lifestyle. Former military man Nick Bannister (Hugh Jackman ), together with his partner Watts Sanders (Tendive Newton ), keep an office where an unusual service is offered: using a special device to plunge into the memories of any experienced moment.The same technology is used by local law enforcement agencies during interrogations.
Nick’s measured life is turned upside down when he meets the singer May (Rebecca Ferguson ). At first, the heroes have a passionate romance, but after a while the girl disappears without a trace. Bannister embarks on a quest – and gets involved in a cycle of dangerous conspiracies, criminal showdowns and dark secrets.
Still from the film “Memories” (2021)
“Memories” – directorial and screenwriting debut in full film by Lisa Joy, one of the creators of “Westworld”.This is an important circumstance, since, on the one hand, the story of Joy, whose filmography was limited to three series, and now has been replenished with an expensive studio blockbuster, is an important case of professional female success in the industrial sense ). On the other hand, her picture is a cinema that is surprisingly masculine and old-fashioned, devoid of even a bit of “female gaze”. Something similar happened 11 years ago with Katherine Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker.
Formally, the total archaism of “Memories” is justified by the plot and setting. Jackman coos erotically about nostalgia, which “has become a way of life”, even at the fifth minute. So the next two hours of classic neo-noir about a gloomy heterosexual man in search of a disappeared singer with a wardrobe of evening dresses and his shirt looks quite natural. Moreover, as a neo-noir about a gloomy man in search of a disappeared singer (the main mystery, of course, is the degree of her insidiousness), Joy’s picture is almost excellent.
Still from the film “Memories” (2021)
One can easily give a damn about its hopeless secondary nature in relation to some “Maltese Falcon” and the oakiness of the local dialogues that strive to burn out the brain (and they sound especially creepy in dubbing). Jackman is outrageously attractive, Ferguson is bottomlessly charming.In an amicable way, it would not be worth being guided by such categories, but the tape itself does not give much room for maneuver: in essence, this is just a scary beautiful movie about scary beautiful people.
Yes, naive, yes, full of holes. Why, one wonders, is there a memory visualizer in a private office? Why is the most obvious, it would seem, guess occurs mockingly late, under the curtain? Isn’t it strange that Bannister gets the key lead by accident?
However, let’s return to the reasons to close our eyes to something.The film benefits from the impressive world-building that historically characterized the entire Nolan coalition. Many things here are nothing more than artistic assumptions. But in this case, they seem eerily logical: “Memories” unfolds in an extremely believable future, which is much closer than we would like. And something, on the contrary, is offensively utopian – like an active expression of social dissatisfaction with the oppressed “lower classes”. Separately, I also want to admit that Miami, flooded to the current state of Venice, looks terribly stylish.
Still from the film “Memories” (2021)
Even more, perhaps, pleasant is the fact that Joy, despite his unwillingness to dissect the patriarchal component of his own cinema, refuses to imitate his visionary brother-in-law. Since the director’s unique style is still hard to guess behind the homage to the genre, we will move from the opposite.”Memories” are much less arrogant and ambitious than the same “Inception” or “Argument”, and as a result they only win (God forbid, instead of Ramin Javadi, Hans Zimmer would be called here to rumble). This seems to be a deliberate decision – at least, Jackman’s phrase about linear time, with which our heroes do not deal, must be an ironic wink to a relative with a passion for airplane explosions.
The main difference between “Memories” and Nolan’s works is that they are not entirely subordinated to the brain-cracking high-concept, they do not resemble a screen version of a blackboard from a physics classroom.It’s a little easier to breathe here: the characters are flat, but they are not rubbed with sandpaper to the status of functions, and the entire safay about immersive nostalgia serves as a tool for promoting the plot (and is rather elegantly used for editing purposes).
“Memories”, in a word, as befits memories, a rather pleasant thing, and over time it slightly dissolves in the depths of consciousness. Although, in our case, you don’t need to wait for the invention of the reminiscence machine to refresh it: the TV will do too.
90,000 Part 4 – Chapter 18 – Confusion of Feelings – Mary Balou
– Me too, – he said.- Then it means that we should be together, because we need each other? Truth? None of us will take or give more than the other?
David felt his heart beat faster.
He raised his hands to touch her. He was not sure that he had not gone much further in his reasoning than he ever intended. After all, they promised so much to each other. Will they be able to deliver on this promise?
David was determined not to think about it yet.Rebecca needs him. Oh God, she really needs him,
As it seemed to Rebecca, she didn’t quite understand what she had agreed to. For some reason, she was seized with deep concern. She felt some unconscious need. And she began to beg David to stay, to make love to her. But she firmly learned that in a married life, the desires and feelings of a woman should in no way be taken into account.
God created man and woman equal. That’s what David said. They must be equal in everything.He cannot be her husband if she is just a submissive wife. But Rebecca didn’t know how a wife could behave otherwise — that’s the whole problem. David only said that her behavior was not correct, and hinted what her duty was. And she will have to obey her husband. She promised this sincerely during the wedding. The wife’s first duty is to be submissive.
Her nightgown was fastened in the front and buttons were sewn on from the high collar to the navel. When David stroked her shoulders and began to unfasten the buttons, Rebecca suggested that he would limit himself to the top ones.Apparently in order to kiss her neck? But David didn’t stop.
She realized what was happening only when he pulled the nightgown off her shoulders and pressed her arms to her sides. She was horrified as the nightgown slipped from her arms and chest, dropped from her waist and hips, and fell to the floor.
Their eyes were accustomed to the darkness, and through the window, the light of a bright moon and twinkling stars penetrated into the room. Rebecca stood facing the window. She didn’t want her husband to see her. She closed her eyes tightly as he took a step back.
Then David took both of her hands in his palms and brought them to the top button of his nightgown. No, Rebecca thought, and tried to free her hands.
“Yes,” he said harshly. – Yes, Rebecca.
She did not open her eyes. Her fingers seemed to be numb. She unbuttoned the bottom button with difficulty. But Rebecca understood what her husband wanted from her. It took a lot of effort for her to take a breath.
Rebecca touched David’s warm, strong, muscular shoulders.The fingers of her left hand bumped into some kind of hard scar – apparently a scar obtained in battle. She opened her eyes. David shrugged his shoulders, and his shirt slid off them and fell to the floor. Oh God, how handsome her husband is! Amazingly handsome. Rebecca felt herself about to scream and bit her lip.
David has so far only touched his wife’s head. He held the back of her head with one hand, and raised his chin with the other to make it easier to kiss.
Rebecca opened her mouth, not waiting for David’s tongue to demand it, and consciously resisted the instinctive urge to suppress the sensation that had arisen and out of habit to show submission. She allowed herself to plunge into feelings. Feel the soft warmth of his wet mouth. Feel the hardness of David’s tongue intruding into her mouth, and with your tongue caress the walls of his mouth and the sensitive palate. The unusual sensation frightened Rebecca for a moment. She heard her own groan.
Lady with a single horn – Newspaper Kommersant No. 206 (6686) dated 09.11.2019
In the French city of Metz, in the branch of the Center Pompidou, until January 13, an exhibition of the German artist Rebecca Horn “Theater of Metamorphoses” is being held.In Russia, her work was shown in 2013 by the Moscow Multimedia Art Museum (MAMM). In France, Rebecca Horn found herself in a special company – here Buster Keaton, Constantin Brancusi, Meret Oppenheim, Man Ray became her associates. The correspondent of Kommersant in France tells Alexei Tarkhanov.
Those who have known about Rebecca Horn for a long time, and those who are hit in the head by her art for the first time, can be discerned in the most spectacular work of the exhibition. This is “Concert for Anarchy” (1983-1990) – a grand piano hanging from the ceiling with a jaw dropped.From time to time, infrequently, the piano gathers its strength, tightens the keyboard, closes the lid more tightly and holds for a few moments, like a pensioner on a horizontal bar, and then falls apart again in exhaustion. The last chord fades. Those who saw this are in happy bewilderment mixed with fear. Connoisseurs of the artist’s work approach the museum worker with a direct question “When is the concert?” Order, no anarchy.
Rebecca Horn’s art is not limited to this spectacular performance.The exhibition also contains other works of hers that come to life from time to time. From the corners suddenly come the noise of movement, rustling, grumbling of motors. For this reason, it is impossible to run through the gallery at once. The artist seems to insist that we linger and take a closer look not only her cars, but also less spectacular, but no less profound works. After all, Rebecca Horn is not the author of pop miniatures for a mechanical circus. The girl, born in 1944, who lost her brother in the Crimea, was punished after the war along with all of Germany, was looking for a new vocabulary for a long time.“We couldn’t speak German, we hated the Germans,” she said. Art was an international language that could be spoken without betraying your own.
The body tried to kill her in the late 1960s: when, due to work with plastic, her lungs were clogged with glass wool, she lay in the hospital for a long time, as if in captivity. Hence the “artistic” straitjackets invented by her and films where polite doctors persuade these shirts to try on. Her spirit felt cramped within the boundaries of her body. She imagined that a horn would grow on her head, a “horn”, that she would be able to draw not with her hands, but with her face, that with her long fingers, like those of a spider, she would scratch the opposite walls of the room.This became the theme of the performances. She had dresses that turned her into a fan, or circles made of feathers, now opening, now covering her body. With a horn on her head, dressed as a unicorn (1970), she led her friend naked through the fields.
Filming art actions led her to the idea of making a movie. Warhol’s experimental films, Bunuel’s surrealism, Keaton’s eccentric became a model for her. She played Geraldine Chaplin and Donald Sutherland, these were serious full-length films: “The Lonely Dancer” (1978), “Ferdinando: Sonata for the Medici Villa” (1982), “Buster’s Bedroom” (1990) – you could hardly watch them from start to finish, but even the excerpts shown in Metz are impressive.Replacing actors with automata, she came up with the idea of machines that act out scenes. Mechanical hands-hooks wave their knives, binoculars on metal sticks follow those passing through the exhibition, butterflies begin to beat their wings on the armored bed. What this means – the mechanistic nature of violence, total surveillance or love experiences – everyone will come up with for himself. Rebecca Horn creates these amazing freaks and gives them life, after which critics can compete in interpretation.
We saw many of these machines in Moscow, but there are many more of them than one could imagine.And most importantly, the very modern art of Rebecca Horn at the exhibition turns out to be not an accident of evolution, but an obvious continuation of a huge tradition. This is underlined by the well-chosen second row, the art commentary of the exhibition. One screen plays out a hilarious scene from The Electric House, directed by the mad mechanic Buster Keaton; on the other, a Rebecca Horn film is played, where a gust of wind blows music into the room of a madly playing musician. Horn’s wiggling tree branches end in claws, and next to it lie stacks crowned with snake heads, made by Swiss artist Meret Oppenheim – we remember her for the “fur teacup” that is included in all art history.Oppenheim’s work, and they are rarely shown, is the same lure of the exhibition, put together by the former director of the Pompidou Center Emma Lavigne (now head of the Paris Palace of Tokyo) and her co-author Alexandra Müller.