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Michael Schmidt has made clothing out of legos, crystal, and razorblades. Now he’s set himself the challenge of creating a 3D printed, powdered plastic dress that moves with the body — the body of Dita Von Teese. On this showRose Apodaca talks to the designer about his life and amazing costumes. A “Wilshire Boulevard Story” looks at a landmark in transition: the Los Angeles County Museum of ArtEdward Lifson and Michael Govan talk about Peter Zumthor’s plans for an “inkblot” on the landscape.

Michael Schmidt Makes a 3D Printed Dress

Michael Schmidt and Rose ApodacaMichael Schmidt has spent decades cladding Cher, Madonna, Lady Gaga and other supernovas in stunning costumes made of materials that don’t fit the usual definition of fabric: from legos to chain mail of sterling silver links to razor blades.

Now he’s testing the possibilities of printed powdered plastic, in a dress designed with architect Francis Bitonti, for burlesque artist Dita Von Teese. He says wanted to take the “inherently rigid material” and render it “supple.” That dress — made of thousands of components covered in Swarovski crystals — and some of his others will be on show at LACMA Wednesday night in an event produced by the Costume Council.

Dita Von TeeseAnd there he will also talk to fashion journalist and A+R owner Rose Apodaca about his work and life. Rose also interviewed Michael for this DnA, as they prepared for their night at LACMA (they are shown, above right, in the foyer of the Bing Theater). He explained that his sparkling career took off when he moved from Kansas City to New York in 1983, and he got his first big break when Cher bought a creation of his. Read more about him here.

LACMA by Zumthor: An “Inkblot” on the Landscape

People look at wood modelFor several weeks now we have been airing “Stories” about Wilshire Boulevard, produced by Edward Lifson as part of Pacific Standard Time Presents: Modern Architecture in L.A. and a cicLAvia on June 23rd that will take place on Wilshire Boulevard, from downtown to Fairfax Avenue.

If you head West on that ride, the endpoint will be the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which right now is itself the subject of a PSTP exhibit: “The Presence of the Past: Peter Zumthor Reconsiders LACMA.”

But the exhibit’s restrained title masks the surprise you get on seeing the show. In addition to plans and models telling the story of the site, dating back to prehistory and the tar pits, the main event is towards the back of the Resnick Pavilion — a huge dark gray concrete model of a dramatic new building being proposed for the site, by Swiss architect Peter Zumthor, left, that has been described variously as an “inkblot,” an “amoeba”  and a “black flower.”

Peter ZumthorIn the first of an ongoing look at this project, architecture reporter Edward Lifson and LACMA director Michael Govan give us a brief history of the site and how the new building would remake this part of Wilshire.

Read and hear more about the project here. If you have seen the model, let us know what you think.

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