Sunday, March 30, 2014

Crystal Visions: Dana Williams + Leighton Meester Cover Fleetwood Mac

Flower Power: Leighton Meester and Dana Williams, photographed by Ian Maxion.

Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Dana Williams teamed up with her pal, the actress and former tourmate Leighton Meester, for a lovely cover of Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams." Their voices complement each other beautifully. Though Dana cites jazz legends Ella Fitzgerald and Billie Holiday as inspirations, I like the chill, folksy vibe of this cover. You can find out more about Dana's music and other collaborations with her friends on her site.

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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

The Two Faces of January

Viggo Mortenson, Oscar Isaac and Kirsten Dunst star in the crime thriller "The Two Faces of January."

Patricia Highsmith is one of my favorite writers, and one who has had her stories adapted into well-known films -- including Alfred Hitchock's Strangers on the Train and Anthony Minghella's The Talented Mr. Ripley. The adaptation is The Two Faces of January, a thriller set in 1962 in the exotic locales of Greece and Turkey and tells the story of a con artist (Oscar Isaac) and the wealthy American couple (Viggo Mortenson and Kirsten Dunst) he becomes entangled with when a murder is committed.

The film marks the directorial debut of Hossein Amini and premiered at the Berlin Film Festival and will be released this spring in the UK and Belgium. No word on an American release date yet.

I love the costumes by Steven Noble, who also worked on such excellent films as Trainspotting and Never Let Me Go.

Photo Sources:
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Friday, February 28, 2014

Soul Singer: Nick Waterhouse at Bowery Ballroom

Nick Waterhouse and his band bring rhythm and soul to the Bowery Ballroom.

Last night Nick Waterhouse played the Bowery Ballroom and as to be expected, it was a tight set. I've written a number of times about Nick; he's one of my favorite artists lately. He's touring to promote his new album Holly, which will be released on March 4. 

He describes it as a concept album about a fictional character named Holly, who is an amalgamation of women he's met, particularly around his native Los Angeles. He compares the record to being his Madame Bovary or Mulholland Drive.
I'm looking forward to people's interpretations. It's a work of fiction so it's silly when people are like "Who is Holly?" because it's not exactly an allegory. It's a character. Her details are out of sequence, but that's intentionally so. Then there's also just the atmosphere of the album. When I first started reading Raymond Chandler I just wanted to wallow around in his atmosphere. I didn't like the guns or any of that stuff. It was more just his descriptions like the details in the room, or the soft rain on the foothills that I enjoyed. (Source)
You can stream the full album here. I'm glad he's recorded a studio version of "Sleeping Pills," and I also love the jazzy vibes of "Dead Room."

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Lucky Lady: Zooey Deschanel

 Zooey Deschanel in a Eugenia Kim turban. Styled by Lawren Howell and photographed by Sebastian Kim.

I don't know if anyone can remember a time before Zooey Deschanel was, well... everywhere. Whether you heard her band She & Him on the airwaves or tuned into New Girl (and maybe while you're at it, even saw her during a commercial break in an ad for Cotton, Rimmel or Pantene), the allure of Zooey Deschanel, love her or hate her, runs strong. I personally loved her best as the Simon and Garfunkel-loving sister of Patrick Fugit in Almost Famous and the sardonic Retail Rodeo employee in The Good Girl.

She graces the cover of not only the February issue of Elle magazine, but also Lucky magazine, where she is styled in looks that suit her best -- something a little sweet and a little vintagey, with a touch of Old Hollywood glamour. This April, her fashion collaboration with Tommy Hilfiger launches at Macy's and includes looks inspired by 1960s London and icons like Twiggy and Jean Shrimpton. What doesn't Zooey Deschanel do these days? Given her track record, I feel I could be posing the question too soon.

You can read the full Lucky magazine interview here.

Photo Sources:
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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

California Dreamin': Gia Coppola's "Palo Alto"

Gia Coppola photographed by Lauren Dukoff for Lula Magazine.

Gia Coppola has had her fair share of time both in front of and behind the lens, as a model (most recently for the Gap and Coach) and director of short fashion films (for the likes of Zac Posen and Diane Von Furstenberg). She makes her feature film directorial and screenwriting debut with the teen drama Palo Alto, based on a collection of short stories by James Franco that centers around the troubles and travails of teens growing up in Southern California.  The film, which stars Franco, Emma Roberts, Claudia Levy, Jack Kilmer and Zoe Levin, has had its festival run and is slated for a spring release date.

Coppola told Dazed she felt inspired to take on the project because she "hadn’t really read anything or seen anything that felt truthful to what it’s like to be a teenager...the dialogue was also really spot on. It felt real." At a panel at the Venice Film Festival, Franco explained how the collaboration came together:
I didn't want to adapt it [the book] myself... if I did that it would just be one more iteration of what I'd already done and I liked the idea that I could give it to somebody else and that it would be, you know, transformed or somehow filtered through someone else's vision.  
Gia had the right spirit...we were in-sync aesthetically.  That she was doing stuff with youth and really bringing out the spirit of youth in a way that kind of transcended teen genre stuff and I thought that was perfect and that was exactly what I was trying to do with the book.  So I contacted her and I think I said 'this might be crazy but I think you should direct the movie version of this book and she read it and she said she was interested. It took a little while, it took a couple years, I guess, but she put it together.  And I had faith -- she hadn't done a feature -- but I had faith that she was the right person and that she would be able to do it. And I think I was right.
Check out the trailer, which features a new song by Dev Hynes of Blood Orange written for the movie (he also wrote the score, which is something to look forward to):

1, 2, 3

Monday, January 13, 2014

Style Inspiration: Suki Waterhouse

Suki Waterhouse for the January issue of Elle UK.  Photographs by David Vasiljevic.

These days Suki Waterhouse is probably best known as the object of many a Bradley Cooper fan's envy, but there's no denying that the girl has style.  Suki has mentioned in interviews that she draws major inspiration from the 1960s and enjoys reading biographies from icons of the time -- citing the Eric Clapton, George Harrison and Pattie Boyd love triangle as a point of interest for her (oddly enough, she sometimes very much resembles Pattie).  Most of the time, she looks straight out of the Youthquake generation, with her perfect fringe and penchant for vintage styles and colors.

She's the cover girl for this month's issue of Elle UK and the mod looks by Anne-Marie Curtis are not too far off from her personal style.

A little Pattie Boyd inspiration board - the style inspiration is definitely there.

Photo Sources:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
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