And so, as we are wont to do, Jamie and I raided Robert Lee Morris’s treasure chest, turning Taylor into the quintessential ideal of RLM’s post-apocolyptic warrior princess…|ABOVE| Robert created 12 of these headdresses, one for each model in the Kansai Yamamoto Fall 1982 shows in Paris, New York, and Tokyo. He told us: “The inspiration was futuristic armor, and it turned out to be one of the most beloved of my major headpieces for Kansai, very well-photographed for years after. This bubble collar was a version of the one that graced my very first cover of Vogue…this was one of the iconic pieces that helped build my early brand image.”
Taylor wears two belts in the shot above, and of the one laced with leather and layered on top, Robert explained: “That belt is a brass disc with a square center ~ inspired by Chinese coins ~ and I made it as part of my belt license in the early 90′s. I believed in a form of body language, where a big disc at the waist was protection for the belly, the third chakra, the power of action and doing.” (So apropos for an modern-day urban warrior, no?!)|ABOVE| “This green patina jumbo disc belt was made for the Calvin Klein Fall 1981 show; the inspiration was moss-colored river stones, Ireland, and the emeralds of Africa. I have kept this piece very safe and in mint condition since that show.”|ABOVE| “The long earring was a handmade, one-of-a-kind construction meant to evoke the feel of a water spout, or Ginko leaf.”
|BELOW| From 1977-1995, Robert Lee Morris founded and ran Artwear Gallery, dedicated to showcasing wearable sculptures in the same sort of context as contemporary art. He told Jamie and me: “The mask was made from a mannequin of Sayoko Yamaguchi, the supermodel of the early 80′s and the muse of Kansai Yamamoto. I love this one because of the unique green patina and how the area of the eyes is left brass. This was part of a limited production of masks that I sold at Artwear.”|ABOVE + BELOW| Another headpiece designed for a Kansai Yamamoto show, this stunner (made of natural blonde horsehair) was worn by every model on his Spring 1983 runway at once ~ a staggering scene I’d do anything to have witnessed!
Robert Lee Morris has not only received two CFDA awards for accessory design, but was also awarded the CFDA’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007, and the Coty Award in 1981 for his collection for Calvin Klein. A true artist and master of his craft, he said of the origin of this iconic breastplate: “I made it to form fit the body of Sayoko, which she wore as the bride, the finale look, under a massive embroidered coat while also wearing a very high crown I made of golden wings, formed from the reconfigured struts of a Japanese umbrella, set on a metal headband and sprayed with gold dust. This piece is incredibly special as it was the one item that I showed at the FIT museum show called IMPACT, which commemorated the 50 year anniversary of the CFDA.”|THROUGHOUT| Taylor wears jewelry by Robert Lee Morris and dresses by TOME
|CLICK HERE| to revisit Part I of this story.
|CLICK ANY IMAGE| to view fullscreen // Reimagining Robert’s World starring Taylor Livingston // photography: Jamie Beck & Kevin Burg // styling: Kelly Framel