Tuesday, December 7, 2010

To top it all off

Fall classes are over, the semester is coming to a close and I think I'm about to start myself a new weekly tradition... Two weeks ago I did a post called The New News, and it got me thinking: For now I probably wont be the daily poster because it's hard to keep up with all that goes on in our wild and wonderful world. So, I propose that every Friday I'll do a type of 'news' roundup of events that fall under my 'jurisdiction' as it lies: art, fashion and random ish that you need to know about! Forgive me that this one lands mid-week (I started last week I swear).

No news yet on what I'm gonna call it... but we'll see. 

So to begin with: Vogue announced that Fashion's Night Out will return for a third year in 2011. Good times eh? It's probably one of the biggest nights in fashion and last year's was the biggest runway show New York had ever seen. It's all about promoting new brands and bringing exposure to stores and products so as to encourage lots of green to be spent. No problem there, I'm sure. Plus for all you Gossip Girl addicts it made for a hell of an episode, when I saw it I screamed so loud my housemates almost retracted my TV privileges. 
Bookmark this day on your calendars ladies and gents
Hey, isn't that? No way, it can't be: Naomi Campbell? Between throwing cellphones and testifying in conflict diamond court cases I guess she has time to party with the new generation of models at FNO. - Info and images from NY Magazine and Vogue.com

The art world was shocked this week when Pierre Le Guennec, 71, a former electrician to Pablo Picasso came forward with a whopping 271 piece cache of never-before seen Picasso originals. We know of many lost works by Picasso, who created many thousands, but this trove is special because these are works we never knew existed. There's a bit of confusion over how Guennec received these lithographs, portraits, watercolors and sketches and Picasso's heirs are entering into a lawsuit claiming theft... I can understand the criticism,  I mean, why come forward with these treasures now and not earlier? Investment? Dunno, all I care about is when are we gonna be able to see them?! 
 Drawing of  guitar
 Nature Morte Verre
Papier colle pipe et bouteille - Images and info courtesy of the Associated Press and Succession Picasso

It's around this time in December that I get slightly emotional because the year in review stuff begins. I'm sure you've all been subject to television specials on the top songs of the year, or lists of the top news stories, the best gossip... etc. However much I like to hold onto the closing year I love love love calendars. 12 and sometimes 18 images to get me through the next year and one day I'll own a Pirelli Calendar courtesy of Karl Lagerfeld. He was in Moscow showcasing some of his talented models and releasing several images. The theme is Greek gods and goddesses, perfect for someone who has her Classics exam a week from yesterday.
As to be expected there are many calendars out there toting images of naked men and women but I have to say, I think Karl's photographs are classy and not at all risque because A) it is art and B) geez, it's Lagerfeld for Pete's sake, he runs the show. Maybe I'm just used to it because of all the nudes we study in Renaissance class. You really can't be a prude if you're going to study Art History, just saying (hope I don't get in trouble for that.)
Here we have Athena - goddess of wisdom and war, Ajax - technically one of the Greek heros who fought in the Trojan war, but hey, androgyny is not frowned upon in these times and Hera - goddess of women and wife of Zeus. (Yes that is Julianne Moore.)
Apollo and Artemis - brother and sister deities. God and goddess of the sun and moon respectively, among other things.
Here we have Bacchus and two Bacchantes - the god of celebration and festivals and the women who forced into a frenzy.
You know you've made it when... so explicitly jealous.

In more art news prominent Chinese artist Ai Weiwei was stopped from leaving China last week. He was en route to South Korea when the police detained him in the airport stating that his departure was being stopped in order to maintain national security... shifty much? Wei is one of the most famed contemporary artists of China, but also one of the most outspoken. This comes at an interesting time because the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony takes place this week in Norway and the award is going to the 'jailed Chinese dissident' Liu Xiaobo. China is not extremely excited that this award is going to one of their more controversial figures and they have made an effort to stop other such figures from attending the ceremony.

One of Wei's most famed achievements is helping to design the Bird's Nest Stadium for the Beijing 2008 Olympics. His latest work, currently displayed in the Turbine hall of the Tate Modern (as part of the Unilever Series) is the absolutely monumental Sunflower Seeds. Get this, the Turbine hall has been filled with 100,000,000 (yeah, 100 million) hand painted, life sized, handmade, porcelain sunflower seeds, no mean feat at any rate. The work is meant to be a commentary on the 'Made in China' economy and China's globalization. Juliet Bingham, Curator, Tate Modern stated that:"Each piece is a part of the whole, a commentary on the relationship between the individual and the masses. The work continues to pose challenging questions: What does it mean to be an individual in today's society? Are we insignificant or powerless unless we act together? What do our increasing desires, materialism and number mean for society, the environment and the future?"
 Promotional picture for the exhibition which I hope to go see in person when I get home.
I'm really sad that visitors are no longer allowed to walk on the surface of the work... I really wanted to pick one up and potentially forget that I pocketed it and take it home with me. - Info and images courtesy of Reuters and the Tate website

Anyway, back to studying, ciao all!

- Life is good

Listening to: 'Losing my Religion' - Glee version and the original R.E.M.
Observations: SNOW, everywhere
Craving: Study snacks... but I will resist

Thursday, December 2, 2010

A free show

I'd like to dedicate this post to a friend of a friend: I'm thinking of you, S.

So about once a week I love to take a trip to the Apple movies website to sift through all the new trailers, and there are some really good films coming out! I'm really stoked about all the potential movie watching I will be engaged in once exams are over and I can't believe that two weeks from now I'll be back home in England. This term has flown by... major swiftness.

Anyway I decided to celebrate my love for movies by doing alittle digging to find runway looks that compliment some of the up & coming films and also some of my older favorites... and let us away!

The upcoming

#1... I want to begin with this image that I was ever so lucky to snap, at the Rialto market in Venice this past summer
I apologize for the quality, but that man there... is Johnny Depp. Yes, I am fortunate enough to have seen him in the flesh although not as close as I would have liked. I was probably 15 feet away... give or take.

So what is the occasion then? Well Johnny boy is in this film called The Tourist, set in Venice (duh), co-starring the cool as a cucumber Angelina Jolie and the ever so fly Paul Bettany. It's an action something or other that I can't wait to sink my teeth into. IMPORTANT: Pay attention to the scene at 1:04...

Ok.... apart from the fact that A) 'Map of the Problematique' by Muse is one of my favorite songs of all time, B) I spent a month 'living' in Venice and could tell you were many of those scenes were shot and C) It stars Johnny Depp, this film actually looks pretty good.

Oh, I saved the best for last... so yes, I hope you were watching closely at 1:04 because...
We were there :) No big deal right?! Sorry, for this, I need to claim bragging rights. Alot of people in my class didn't think he was actually performing the stunt, but I definitely think it's him.

So I kinda had a hard time finding runway inspiration for this film cause all the clothes are so normal... except for his wonderful blue pinstriped pajamas, but luckily I found something. Here (from left to right) we have a spot on Etro Spring '09 pantsuit that looks as though they could be the female version of Johnny's, a Max Mara Spring '08 silky suit and lastly a classy and definitely not pajama worthy, but still cool for running around Venice, Armani Prive Couture '10 suit.

#2 Ok ok ok. It has a really really unfortunate name, but I think it looks absolutely unreal especially because it totes the acting chops of both Daniel Craig (yum) and Harrison Ford. Here we have... Cowboys and Aliens (major cringe, but at least you know what to expect, right?)

COOL! Defo looking forward to that... whatever it may be. And on the fashion front... easy peasy non? We've got D&G whose Spring '10 collection was heavy on the western and the denim. Derek Lam went pretty literal with cowboy hats and fringe for an '09 show, loving the metallic booties though. And the all American hero Ralph Lauren put the chic back into the ole West for this upcoming Spring '11 collection. I've never owned anything fringy or a big buckled belt, and now I really want one.

More stunning Ralph Lauren (left) and D&G (right) but they bookend a spectacular Diesel Black Gold Spring '11 leather mini that to me screams desert trekking and gun slinging.
For fun I wanna speculate about what the aliens will look like... I mean, will they be weird reptilian beings, slimey, goopey and amorphous or futuristic and sci fi? I leave you to ponder with examples by Rick Owens '11, Alexander McQueen '10 and Gareth Pugh '09 creations.

#3 A new take on a classic fairy tale, but with the director of the first Twilight film, who knows what this will be like. This new Red Riding Hood film will probably draw huge crowds of adolescent girls, but I'm actually alittle excited for it:

My family and I used to listen to Roald Dahl's 'Revolting Rhymes' when were were younger and our favorite was the version Red Riding Hood... the best part by far is:
"That's wrong" cried Wolf. "Have you forgot
To tell me what BIG TEETH I've got?
Ah well, no matter what you say,
I'm going to eat you anyway."
The small girl smiles. One eyelid flickers
She whips a pistol from her knickers.
She aims it at the creature's head
And bang bang bang, she shoots him dead.

Hours of endless fun off those tapes. Dahl is one of my all time favorite authors. My kids will read his books with relish. Anyway, here are my runway counterparts... So it's purple, but you can't mistake the imagery of the giant hood & cape combo, plus she's walking a pair of wolves: who else but Alexander McQueen from '02. Next is a wonderful crimson cape by Giambattista Valli from '08 and lastly is one of Pierrot's fairy tale themed looks from the '02 show.
We have another Valli creation and an awesome Zac Posen' 07 gown for when Miss Hood wants to go out and celebrate her cunning and survival.

#4 When introducing this film I need to clarify that these numbers are not a reflection of my personal favorites because if this were so, this film would be number one by far. Black Swan is what I can only describe as a psychological thriller, a ballerina film on acid. I remember when I first saw the trailer there were so many emotions running through me, I was totally electrified with excitement. Add I'm so excited that Natalie Portman is garnering Oscar buzz. I hope the film lives up to my expectations, especially because the Mulleavy sisters, who are behind Rodarte, designed the ballerina costumes!

Brilliant eh? I rustled (couldn't help a feather related joke) up some images of ballerina type dresses bordering on the cliche, but that's my job. Here we have an Alexander McQueen '08 dress that is not meant to recall a ballerina's tutu but with all its bunched up tulle how can you not think about that. Jil Stuart makes great wearable clothes and this look reminds me of great sportwear and the type of loose dress a ballerina wears to train in. Comfy. And then we have the full swan lake regalia (although I'm not sure they have pale green swans)... the feathery skirt looks like feathers or wings and could totally pass as a costume for the Royal Ballet.
Next we have a David Koma '11 swan lake-esque dress perfect for 'good girl' Portman, a rich, vibrant Lowe '10 figure hugging mini that is perfect for the 'bad girl' Kunis because it's sensual as opposed to the clean cut lines of the Koma dress. And Lastly I found an actual ballerina at a runway show from Talbot Runhof last season... pretty sweet stuff especially the ballerina haha, I'm kidding. I love the vibrant colors of the dress and the exquisite red ballet shoes, being on pointe in those would actually be fun.

#5 Last year a Colin Firth film graced screens everywhere and it blew my mind (Tom Ford behind the lens of a camera is just incredible.) Well this year he gets another chance at greatness in a period film about King George VI who suffered from a debilitating stammer and sought help to cure it.

Gee golly, the cast is brilliant, music is already making me teary and it seems to be right up my Dad's alley, that of inspirational films. So with all that you need excellent costuming, and I have that. It comes in the collections of three of my favorite designers: Jean Paul Gaultier, whose Fall '07 Couture show was all about princes of different nations and embraced royal culture with uses purple, crowns, epaulettes etc... Next comes Alexander McQueen's Fall '08 show whose themes included English royalty, militarism and the English dominion over India. Coincidentally King George VI was the last Emperor of India. And Mary Katrantzou wraps up these three heavy hitters with her Fall '10 collection with graphic military inspired prints.

Other honorable mentions are: Tron Legacy, a wicked looking sci-fi film continuing from where the first left off back in 1982. A Winnie the Pooh remake, my childhood is back! Jane Eyre, another retelling of the classic book. And The Eagle about a disappeared Roman legion and one young man's journey to find the gold standard.

Moving on to The Classics

#1... I only saw this at the end of my senior year, but it's the first sci fi classic:... The Matrix

Who else would I go to for over the top Gothic and leather... well Gareth Pugh of course. He nails the long trench coat, S&M leather, psychological mind bender look for both the guys: Neo and Morpheus and the ladies: Trinity. 
And if there was any need for fabulous footwear, well then we could always turn to Givenchy.

#2 I love Tim Burton because he's not afraid to take risks and make eccentric decisions in film and this past spring his Alice in Wonderland was one of those risks. Need I remind you?
Let's dress up the characters! So here we've got a version of the Red Queen, Alice & the White Queen all found in Marchesa's Fall '10 show...
One of my favorite characters is the White Queen and I especially love her metal minions in the film... again I turned to Gareth Pugh who in '09 created some very Medieval characters that look like knights in armor... exactly the type that the queen (middle) has by her side.
And just incase you thought I forgot: here we have the Caterpillar a la Jean Paul Gaultier, she even comes with her own turban and pipe. Next we have Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum who came to life through Donatella Versace last spring (incidentally this entire collection as inspired by Alice in Wonderland). And last but not least is the Rabbit, impeccably dressed by Just Cavalli
Loads of people were excited for the Alice in Wonderland film as you can see by this Stella McCartney necklace. All the major motifs on one gold chain.

Unfortunately I couldn't find looks for the Cheshire Cat or the Mad Hatter... I know right, two of the best characters. But, when in Brighton trolling the lanes this past summer I stumbled upon a store called Pretty Eccentric whose artful fashion and eccentricities make for some awesome headgear. Here's an awesome top hat that I think any Mad Hatter would be proud of. I apologize of the lackluster quality cause I shot it through the glass.
Cool eh?

#3 Last but not least... we thought it was going to be a trilogy but On Stranger Tides will be released next year. Yep, I'm talking about Pirates of the Caribbean 
Now I couldn't tell if this was the original trailer cause it's been so long, but not to worry. I've got your costumes covered by none other than Mr. Jean Paul Gaultier and his Spring 09 collection... yeah it's pretty obvious what it's about.
Arrr matey. Where be my rum.... or my bed. It's late. Anyway, that's all folks

- Life is good

Listening to: sadly nothing I want to hear
Observations: The Prince of Egypt is one of my favorite animated films and I will make a pact to watch it at least once every year 
Craving: The eleven days left of my 'sentence' a.k.a first semester to be over and to go home