Feminist Art and Fashion at Frieze Art Fair 2013

susieAt this year’s Frieze Art Fair, horrified by recent women in art figures, I wanted to find as many women artists as possible to show alongside the stylish women I usually see. You have to look quite hard to find the women artists, but they are there and this year it did seem as if there were a few feminist artists being highlighted, including Judy Chicago and Anna Zemankova who were both wonderful new discoveries for me.

I also spotted a few fashion slebs this year, including – excited face!- HRH Suzy Menkes, queen of everything fashion as well as fashion editor for the International New York Times. Suzy is a wee bit terrifying and I was nervous at asking her for a quick snap, but she was charming and posed like a trouper but i was too nervous to ask where her gorgeous coat came from, looks quite Dries Van Noten-ish.


Above is Joan Mitchell, one of my favourite artists, her colour mash-ups are easy to get lost in and she works on big canvases so they make a big impact. There was a lot of colour mixing going on in clothes too, with some lovely combinations of lemons and blues. On the right below is the stylish curator Valerie Napoleone, who wrote this book we featured recently. I LOVE her shoes.

frieze 08Now, I know Lucinda Chambers, Vogue’s Fashion Editor, doesn’t look too happy about me photographing her, but she was -and always is – extremely happy to be snapped and always looks amazing. She is one of our favourite style icons because she wears her fashion with such a light touch, she never looks like she’s tried too hard and her clothes never wear her. Her shirt and wide leg trousers looked perfect, the gold patent sandals and gold trim on her belt just adding a bit of stylish sparkle.

The beautiful stainless steel, mesh and bronze sculpture is by Lynda Benglis.

frieze 26One of my favourite new female artist finds was Anna Zemankova, who made these beautiful pastel and embroidered pictures below. Her colours and flower shapes looked fresh and slightly magical, apparently she would start drawing just before dawn, in that sleepy state between dreaming and waking to create the right atmosphere. I’d’ve liked to bring some of her work home but there were way too many noughts involved.

frieze 35I stalked the woman on the left below because I saw her lovely long hair, which looked so elegant worn simply tied back in a pony tail. It was only as I edited the photos later that I realised it was Kristen McMenamy, the model who can often be seen in Vogue Italia. No wonder she looked good, I loved her velvety plum coloured jeans. The art below right, is another Anna Zemankova.

frieze31Below is our friend Lucille Lewin, who always looks beautifully turned out, this time in a symphony of blues. Below right is a detail of work by abstract artist  Maria Helena Vieira Da Silva from 1953.

lucilleI love the layered shades of blues worn together, it looks so much more chic and interesting than all black.

frieze 12Below more lovely long grey hair, worn with more layer-on-layer colour, this time greys.  The picture is an edited detail of work by Elizabeth Magill, it’s aptly named Marooned. I am slightly obsessed with Elizabeth’s work now, she uses such beautiful colours.

dhMore lemon, worn here with pale caramels and browns. Love it. Also, cute boot length, works really well on skinny legs.

frieze 09The most exciting artist discovery was the active feminist artist Judy Chicago and some of her colourful earlier work, done on the 60s. The juxtaposition of the macho car hood and abstract female wombs caused much derision from male critics back in the day…today she’s being celebrated, thank goodness. The colours are gorgeous.

judy chicagoAt Judy’s gallery, Riflemaker, the enthusiastic gallery head (below) was wearing fabulous harem trousers that she’d made herself. They are extremely comfortable, she told me and perfect for long days selling art.

frieze39Shoe envy here below, these are Church’s spangly brogues, I can’t justify another pair of brogues, but if I could, I’d have these. Also, I love the school-girl grey socks and perfectly turned up jean hems.

frieze 21More shots on Thursday! Plus a final couple of Joan Mitchell’s below.

joan mitchell 0

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