Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
The unveilings and the subsequent photos elicited tears, defiant glares, and expressions of fear. The set of photos that resulted is now considered a strong testament to the less obvious perils of war, the more psychological torture that can occur when ignorant cultures clash. There is no blood in these photos, no open wounds, but if those faces aren't signs of injury, nothing is.
Wednesday, June 16, 2010
If the trailer for Sofia Coppola's latest film Somewhere is any indication, it's filled with the diminutive director's signature soft colors. Sofia's pale palate is the perfect embodiment of a femininity that isn't quite girlie (it's not frilly, not pink per se) and definitely isn't fierce. Her pretty protagonists, Elle Fanning included, have the most natural beauty. At the same time her male leads have that boyish-grown-man charm that makes them soft too, in the most beautiful way.
Any film by Coppala is a fashion film. Her sense of clothing has been evident since her Milkfed days in the '90s. Yes--lest anyone forget--Coppola's pre-Oscar days were spent designing clothing. The girl's got a sartorial pedigree that includes having interned for Karl Lagerfeld at Chanel as a high schooler. When she launched Milkfed with a friend in '98, she'd already had top tier training. Sofia is that rare breed of style star that actually understands clothing construction, color choice, print, and pattern making, and it shows. Her personal wardrobe is always simple and chic, and her costume department is always impeccably run. Somewhere isn't the grand couture fete that was Marie Antoinette (although my favorite part of that movie doesn't really involve much clothing...le sigh), but the subtle side of Coppola's aesthetic a'la Lost in Translation is just as enjoyable. You'll have plenty of time to ponder whether the clothing will make the film, it's not released until December 22nd. Until then, you can shop Sofia's still-going Milkfed line out of its Japan store.
Monday, June 14, 2010
The coolest kids on the skateboard block--the folks at New York's Supreme--have a talent for reigniting my adolescent envy. I had an intense love affair with skater girl style back in the 7th grade (purple hair, baggy everything, x-Girl tees, and most of all, Bikini Kill blastin' in my ears) but never had the guts or the coordination to actually get on board. Now, I wish I had stuck with it so that I could weave down the streets or kick sick tricks on rails (or whatever the youngsters are doing these days) just so I could be in rightful possession of the amazing decks the company has released over the years. Supreme has collaborated with some of the art world's top contemporary artists to create supercool art infused boards: Marilyn Minter, Damien Hirst, Takashi Murakami, Ryan McGinness, skate artist extraordinaire Sean Cliver have all put their stamp on Supreme skate gear.
Ryan McGinness' Pantone Paint series.
The catch is that the boards are produced in limited editions and cost more than a pretty penny, in fact it would take a lot of ciggy re-selling to rack up enough bills for a sweet one. If you are dedicated you can find resold editions on Ebay for the equivalent of a shitty used car, but think of how much cooler you'll look traversing the concrete jungle on a Minter rather than behind the seat of a clunker. Also, if you are like me and still have no coordination, nothing says the boards can't be hung on the wall like the art they are.
Sunday, June 13, 2010
Ad-man and photography fanatic Erik Kessels is a partner in communications/publishing company KesselsKramer. It's a Dutch house dedicated to producing unique media products and also printing limited edition books featuring found photography. One of the company's ongoing series is called In Almost Every Picture which assembles estate sale, flea market, or gifted photos in single-subject books. With eight issues, the subject matter has been as varied as a rabbit with a flat, object-balancing head (the pre-cursor to those wacky Stuff on Cats pic books), to a carnival gun toting woman who rigged a camera to snap her photo whenever she shot at a target at the fair game booth.
The photos are always part of a series that tells a story over time. The first issue published many of the hundreds of pictures snapped by an unknown husband of his fetching, anonymous wife over their loving marriage. Kessels found the 400 or so photos in a box at a Barcelona flea market and saved them from the rain. He held on to them for years before printing them up in the premier In Almost Every Picture. The brisk sales of the now sold out issue, and a well-attended gallery exhibition of the book's contents proved that people love to look at others' memories on paper.
In Almost Every Picture #4 a set of twins are shown on their vacations, holidays, special occasions, and photo worthy days dressed nearly identically over a number of years. In the WWII time frame, the series takes a mysterious and seemingly tragic twist when the photos become portraits of one sister, an empty space marking the absence of her other half.
A slide show of the fair game femme from issue #7.
The simple notion of this series is so richly engaging. Boxes and boxes of photos are ubiquitous sights at flea markets and antique shops. I love thumbing through them, and you all know how much I enjoy the Flickr universe. Looking at others' photos is the ultimate in people watching, but having little to no information beyond the images themselves make the activity of photo viewing a lovely foray into storytelling. Who? Why? What happened? It is what you think it is. Open endings from beautiful beginnings.
All images from the KesselsKramer website.
Friday, June 11, 2010
I'm officially obsessed with People's Pops, and while you should avoid wearing them, you should definitely eat them.
I admitted my obsession to the lovely fedora-ed pop seller behind the counter (who I'm sure politely pretended not to recognize me) at the Chelsea Market bar, and he said, "Well it could be worse, at least it's not drugs." Believe me buddy, if I could mainline those pops, I would. My ultimate justification for my new near-daily cold treat is that it licks the fro-yo competition by miles. At least I can enjoy these with the knowledge that they are full of organic fruit and not polysyllabic isolated starch filler things. My previous Tasti-D-Lite habit (I know, it's inexcusably bad) had me worried for my unborn children. I'm not worried anymore, but let's just say I wouldn't be surprised if my first baby popped out on a stick.
Visit the People's Pops website or take a trip to the Chelsea Market to get your daily yum. See ya there.
All images grabbed from the People's Pops website.
Madge has been disappointing her long time fans for years now. Her product has been undone by her ego and her refusal to grow old. She's not a twenty-something pop princess anymore and while I encourage any woman of any age to do whatever they want, the repeated close-up, jumbotron shots of her crotch humping the air (then a guitar, then a few backup dancers) during her Hard Candy Tour that I witnessed at MSG was more than a little cringe worthy. It wasn't sexual age-defying rebellion, it was debasing convention that reeked of "Hey, Rhianna, I can do that too." desperation. But, the sight of Gaga mounting a dancer from behind in her Alejandro video is, well, radical and titillating.
Gaga is the continuation of the seeds that Madonna sowed. She progresses beyond the mere button-pushing and eroticism to something a little more accessible and democratic. Madonna made way for ubiquitous female sexpressionism, but Gaga embraces the freaks among us and isn't afraid to look weird. Madonna was adored by a pretty public. Gaga is the LES glamgoth princess gone mainstream. Madonna licked, Gaga bites. Careful.
But, there too is another thing worth mentioning. Madonna is legendary for her epic ego. Her mountainous "I'm gonna rule the world" ego that created a library of stories of demands, quirky behaviors, and big-headed bitchiness. Again, in order to create the path she did, most of this empathy-blind bulldozing was necessary, and it was her bitchiness that made way for Gaga--the pop star with a heart of gold. My love for the Gaga was sealed, and then resealed in two separate instances. First up was the Bad Romance video which still thrills me, second was the moment she cried on Oprah thanking her Little Monsters for their support and fandom. Heart-felt tears never tipped over the lids of Madonna's bot-eyes. They didn't have to, but I'm happy to have a softer version of my hero to watch. Gaga can keep biting, because she's doing it for all of us who love art, fashion, music, dance because it makes us smile and maybe well up. Is it weird that Gaga makes me cry as an adult? She certainly woulnd't think so. I feel like if I cried in front of Madonna she'd smack me. Which I'd take like a woman raised on her, but I wouldn't prefer it. That's just my girlie truth. Ok, enough. Watch the video.
Madonna should be proud.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
If it was good enough for Bardot, it'll do me just fine. Also, the Breton stripe isn't your typical simple shirt, it has a histiore all it's own. In 1858 the shirt became an official part of the French sailors' uniform through an act of law. The blue and white stripes were seen as an overboard man's best bet for visibility and rescue. As Ms. Chanel (that's Coco to you) brought her clothing revolution to the masses in the '20s, her most resounding message was that of comfort and suitability rather than etiquette and pinching formality. The work-wear clothing of sailors became perfect resort wear for her fans--trendy St. Tropez beach goers that sported their stripes as freedom fashion in the '30s and '40s. The '50s and '60s saw the shirt adopted by the avant-garde, like many symbols of the working class. Next up was Warhol, who made a habit of donning stripes because he thought they were pretty. From Sartre to Picasso to Warhol to Gaultier to you, the thread of the Breton is knotted all through pop and practical history. It never loses it's hip. There should be one on your back, or at least in your closet. Get the real deal from French purveyor Brittany Boutique, or pick up one of a million striped facsimiles and make it a staple of your clothing stable.