Looking Out

December Culture Round-Up

Staying in is not an option during this last month of the year. Head out for these things to do in December.

by Siska Lyssens
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One would think that everything has been said and shown about Marilyn Monroe. We know about the tragedy of her life, we know that Sam Shaw image of Monroe standing above the subway vent, white dress flying high. One exhibition in Paris’ La Galerie de l’Instant takes a different route. Focusing on Monroe in the spring of 1957, during the first year of her marriage to the playwright Arthur Miller, the Marilyn we encounter in these images is happy, resplendent, and enjoying the best moments of her life. Far from the distant, glamorous movie star we often see, here Monroe is natural and in love – with her tragic side seeping in only sporadically.

M A R I L Y N at Galerie de l'Instant, from 7th December 2017 until 31st of January 2018
Marilyn Monroe, during the filming of Something's Got to Give, Hollywood, May 1962, © Lawrence Schiller, Courtesy Galerie de l'Instant, Paris.

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Christmas month in Miami Beach does not mean snow and turkey per se. For many contemporary art professionals, it means that the decadent parties with knowledgeable curators and big-name artists descend upon the Floridian capital once again, more precisely, in the Miami Beach Convention Centre for Art Basel Miami. Known as the most lavish contemporary art fair on the globe, expect a fair amount of bling-bling, along with a decent dose of professional expertise and a barrage of galleries showing editioned pieces by young artists and museum-quality masterpieces.

Art Basel Miami, from December 7th until December 10th

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New York

New York City can boast of many iconic buildings, but the Seagram Building, completed in 1958 and designed by the modernist architect and designer Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, is one of its finest. This masterpiece of corporate modernism can now pride itself on containing a restaurant designed by fashion’s favourite architect: Peter Marino. Keeping its mid-century details as well as completing the space with contemporary elements, Marino also added in his characteristic eccentric personal style to The Lobster Club, which features black leather walls and red leather seating. Go here for Japanese-inflected fusion cuisine.

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On the German fashion firmament, there are only a handful of resounding names. Jil Sander is without question one of the most important ones – a principled designer who’s unrelenting in her vision and has always held on to her ideal women’s wardrobe of elegant and minimal separates that are respectful and functional with regards to real women’s lives and bodies. A solo exhibition in Frankfurt’s Museum Angewandte Kunst – her first ever of the kind – celebrates the German designer’s aesthetic and approach to fashion design with a multifaceted presentation that illustrates how Jil Sander became synonymous with modern minimalism.

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The famous Dutch design movement De Stijl is enjoying a bit of a revival lately – what with its combination of avant-garde minimalism and pops of colour feeling especially relevant today. Taking influences from De Stijl is Dutch designer Sabine Marcelis, who has been making waves on the design circuit for a few years now, with her light sculptures and resin objects that manipulate colour and light. In the modernist Sonneveld House in Rotterdam, Marcelis will have a conversation with architecture historian Hetty Berens to discuss the way De Stijl has a continuing resonance today. Go take a look at Marcelis’ installations at Het Nieuwe Instituut as well, for an up-close encounter with Marcelis' atmospheric work.

14th of December at Sonneveld House and Het Nieuwe Instituut

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A Margiela Moment

A new documentary takes us time travelling, back to the iconic brand’s seminal Eighties moments. We dissect a few of Maison Margiela’s most recognisable signature elements.


Fashion From The Extreme

New York’s Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) dives into the subject of extreme fashion with the force of a Polar expedition.


The White Shirt

A tribute to the classic white shirt, the first resort to ease our minds. It's a timeless symbol of modern femininity, essential in every woman's wardrobe.