Julia Chaplin Talks Gypset Style at Phoenix Art Museum

Categories: Fashion
Julia Chaplin_surfer.jpg
juliachaplin.com
Despite Julia Chaplin's seemingly constant globe-trotting (she's recently spent time in Uruguay and Brazil, and travels to Mexico today), the writer insists she's an interloper -- a sort of Margaret Mead when it comes to understanding and documenting gypset culture.

What's "gypset"? It's pretty simple actually. Combine the roaming lifestyle of Gypsies with the dawn of '60s jetsetting air travel. 

Think The Beatles meditating with Maharishi Maresh Yogi ... and Mia Farrow, who'd recently divorced Frank Sinatra. Think trust fund twenty-somethings buying a jalopy in western Europe and driving the hippy trail to Asia. It's a marrying of privilege with the low-end and earthy.


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On a recent adventure, Chaplin encountered a male model who lives in a remote South American town in a sort of treehouse without electricity or running water. But here's what it does have: a solar panel so that said male model can charge his cell phone and receive calls from his manager. Uh-huh. That's gypset style.

Chaplin, a journalist, who's contributed to Elle, Vogue, and New York Times and specializes in alternative lifestyles and counterculture, spoke last night at Phoenix Art Museum about her research into gypset culture and how it relates to the work of fashion designer Giorgio di Sant' Angelo, the subject of a currently-on-view retrospective.

Chaplin traced Sant' Angelo's use of tribal prints, bold colors, and peasant shapes to a hitchhiking trip he took, in the vein Jack Kerouac's On The Road. That spirit of setting out to discover uncharted territory carried into his experimental designs and innovative silhouettes, which easily fit into the lifestyle of semi-nomadic creative types, like surfers, artists, and bon vivants.

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Phoenix Art Museum

1625 N. Central Ave., Phoenix, AZ

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