Category Archives: Zine

Patrick Kelly, 1988

Two years after this show was staged its designer, Patrick Kelly, would die at the age of 35. Another victim lost to the AIDS epidemic, another name in fashion lost to time. At his peak Kelly was the ultimate American in Paris, born and raised in the deep south, designing and showing his collections in the French capitol to great fanfare and excitement. That he was an American working in French fashion and was regarded with the same esteem as Sonia Rykiel and Karl Lagerfeld is noteworthy. That he was a black American is even more so.

Accounts of his life suggest Kelly found an acceptance and understanding overseas that he never could have had in the U.S., it’s a sentiment echoed by performer Josephine Baker and writer James Baldwin, both of whom had tremendous experiences living in the city of lights where they could escape a troubling history of racism and prejudice. In 1988 Kelly stood out as an ironic foil to the status quo; working in the upper echelons of a class-centric industry, setting standards of taste and beauty that would ultimately filter back to his native country — a land that would so easily dismiss him as “black” and nothing more. Kelly would however use his black identity as a theme and play off racist stereotypes of Black Americans that have plagued and haunted them. He adopted the Golliwog, a children’s character popular in the late 19th century, a frighteningly dehumanized black boy, as his talisman. He would flirt with stereotypes, re-appropriate them, recast them as tongue-in-cheek fashion, as if to suggest that embracing these memes  could serve to render them powerless.

Never really known for being a great cutter or technician, Kelly’s charm was in his use of bold colors, punchy prints, and witty embellishment. Multicolored buttons sewn in various motifs were his most famous signature; a nod to his childhood in the south. His shows were humorous affairs. Models smiled and audiences laughed, fashion was to be fun and Kelly represented this idea in the French fashion landscape. Having begun by selling his clothes on the street he had worked his way to the top. And with backing by clothing conglomerate Warnaco and increasing exposure in the media, Kelly was poised to become the next big American designer. But like many stories from the ’80s his time was cut short well before he could make a lasting impact. Kelly died due to complications of AIDS on New Years day, 1990.

“Other People” Screening at Jack Chiles

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Garmento Issue 3 Out Now!


Featuring  Andre Walker, Shayne Oliver, Juliana Huxtable, Geoffrey Beene, Charles James, Shamask and more!

Cover image shot by Benjamin Fredrickson with other contributions by Felix Burrichter, Michael Bullock, Kevin Amato, and Milan Zrnic.









The new issue is currently available at Project No.8 at the Ace Hotel and Around The World. More stockists coming soon!

NY Art Book Fair, 2012

Tomorrow kicks off Printed Matter’s annual NY Art Book Fair. Garmento won’t be participating this year but copies of the 1st and 2nd issue will be for sale at the PIN- UP  magazine table. If you’re in town, be sure to come by and see the fair!

Utopia, 2001

 “This show was about what the word ‘utopia’ means. It was an imaginary world where everybody lives in harmony. And all the cultures melt together. It was really about trying to create this perfect world. Also in clothing, the tailoring, the precision, the purity of everything. But I always kind of try to go with the reality of what I see. Thirty-six hours later were the attacks of September 11th.”

-Miguel Adrover, Encens Magazine

Video courtesy of Matthew Ames

Garmento Issue 2 Launch/Anton Perich Screening at Jack Chiles

Photography by Joe Jagos

Garmento Presents: “Issey Miyake at FIT”

Janice Dickinson

Sara Kapp

Bethann Hardison and Toukie Smith

To celebrate the release of its second issue, Garmento presents a special viewing of Anton Perich’s ISSEY MIYAKE AT FIT, a rare short film of the designer’s legendary 1976 fashion show featuring performances by Pat Cleveland, Janice Dickinson, Sara Kapp, and Toukie Smith, with appearances by Issey Miyake, Victor Hugo, and Diana Vreeland. It was and remains to be one of the most considerable fashion moments, when Miyake’s startling avant-garde discourse and Utopian aspirations were expressed through the joyous and energetic optimism of New York City in the mid-‘70s. A significant documentation of its era, the film is as much a testament to Miyake’s virtuosity and genius as it is to the spirit of the New York fashion community that reveled in it.

Garmento Issue 2, entitled “Days of Future Past”, features Tom Scott, Peggy Moffitt, Rudi Gernreich, Pierre Cardin, Issey Miyake, and Miguel Adrover.
Please join us to view the film and receive a copy of the new issue.

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012
6:00 – 9:00 p.m.
Jack Chiles, 208 Bowery, New York
Kindly RSVP at

The American Look

She has been dismissed as a designer of homemaker frocks: plaid shirtwaist dresses worn by Betty Crocker moms and Mrs. Cleaver clones — the domestic uniform of the 1950s — a fallacy jimmy-rigged by an unwanted and unwarranted marketing campaign intent to tame her earnest appeal to the modern American woman, obscuring what was one of the most radical and innovative talents that post-war fashion, either American or European, had ever seen.

Claire McCardell is considered the mother of American fashion, and rightly so. As individualistic as her forbearers, Elizabeth Hawes and Valentina, she managed where they could not: in ready-to-wear, recognizing that market as a means to innovation in the same manner as Charles and Ray Eames who re-envisioned architecture and industrial design; unapologetically pragmatic, distinctly American, poetic in its succinctness, enlightened in its push towards the future.

She eschewed Paris fashion, and fashion altogether, and like her peer Bonnie Cashin, she sought to define a new code informed by the real lives and needs of an emerging and active modern American woman, not by the affected residue of Parisian chic, an impulse that at the time was widely obliged but nonetheless ineffective.

She established the blueprint for American fashion, its own semantics and epistemology, a system of beliefs based not on function, but purpose, not simplicity but an effortless beauty; an elegance requiring no frills and thrills, only the dramatic impact of point, line and plane, of humble fabrics and perfect proportions; supposing that that is all a woman really needs. Her ways were as radical then as they are perhaps now, favoring ease over extravagance, triumphant in her design solutions, discarding the most familiar references for the sake of progress. She was avant-garde in the truest sense of the word, she forged the path forward.

If contemporary American fashion has lost sight of what McCardell once ardently fought for, what she almost lost her career and her life to pursue, one needs only to consider the fantastic minimalism of Halston, the bold futurism of Rudi Gernreich, the feminism of Norma Kamali, the virtuosity of Mizrahi, the sensuality of Donna Karan, the intellect of Geoffrey Beene, the matter-o-factness of Anne Klein, the rebellion of Stephen Sprouse, the perfection of Matthew Ames, the purity of Calvin Klein, the sincerity of Ralph Lauren, the wit of Perry Ellis, all of whom are indebted to her ouvre, to her fascinations with modern femininity, intwined with true blue contemporary life, as she created the American Look and as it finally dawned on a country desperate to find its own identity and startled to realize it had one.

Basic Black, 1967

“I got very interested in modeling because I could use dance and acting, you could do anything at all except talk, you could use every other way of communicating.”


Garmento Issue 2 Out Now!

Featuring Tom Scott, Peggy Moffitt, Rudi Gernreich, Issey Miyake, Miguel Adrover, and Star Trek

Available now at Project No.8 at the Ace Hotel. More locations coming soon…

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