Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fashion Flashback: The Flapper

J'adore Paris: Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson take a stroll through Paris

The City of Lights isn't the only thing that mesmerizes in Woody Allen's latest and most successful box office film, the sweet and charming "Midnight in Paris." Just as Owen Wilson's writer character is taken by Marion Cotillard's '20s flapper, so is the audience. It must have something to do with the bobbed hair, shimmering dresses and girlish charm. Sonia Grande, the film's costume designer, scoured the world to find pieces and looks for Cotillard's character, the free-spirited and romantic Adriana. Grande searched for antiques everywhere from Paris itself to Madrid and Buenos Aires, and result is stunning, low-waist beaded dresses and accessories. The characters come alive, with its magical portrayals of It Girls of the day, including Josephine Baker and Zelda Fitzgerald. Actress Alison Pill's portrayal of the feisty and manic wife of F. Scott is further enhanced by her glamorous garb.

Ralph Lauren's Fall 2011 collection included '20s-inspired styles, with cloche hats and fur-lined coats.  The Jazz Age never ceases to inspire, even today. Kate Moss told Vogue that her Galliano wedding dress was inspired by "The Great Gatsby."  It should be interesting to see the costumes in Baz Luhrmann's upcoming adaptation of the film starring Leonardo DiCaprio and Carey Mulligan as Gatsby and Daisy.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Style Inspiration: Alexi Wasser + The Coveteur

imboycrazy.com's Alexi Wasser is funny, cute and has great taste.  I wonder if any of this can be accredited to her hip parents -- photographer Julian Wasser and '70s musician Leslie Knauer of the group Promises.  Her L.A. home is featured in the Elle.com + The Coveteur collaboration and I love the various items she shared -- from a Lil' Wayne t-shirt to her black Elkin lingerie and Bond girl-inspired Ashley Paige bathing suit.

More photos here

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Through the Lens: Kate Bosworth in C Magazine

Jacket and skirt, the Row; necklace worn as a pin, JewelMint

Kate Bosworth looks like one classy broad in the September issue of C Magazine, exuding old Hollywood glamour in gorgeous sheer dresses and classic pieces by the Row (sidenote: Mary Kate and Ashley's line never ceases to impress me).  According to the JewelMint blog, Kate's stylist, business partner and friend Cher Coulter styled the entire shoot "with ladylike 40s looks in mind."  I love it -- she looks like a heroine from an old film noir.


Dress, Tom Ford; Ring & Necklace, Jewelmint

Dress, Chanel; Boots, Miu Miu; Ring & earrings, Jewelmint

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Design Inspiration: Arne Jacobsen's Model 3107

Christine Keeler in a 1963 portrait by Lewis Morley - sitting in a knockoff of the Arne Jacobsen model 3107 chair

Arne Jacobsen was a Danish architect and designer best known for his contributions to the Danish Modern movement.  He is known for one of the most popular chairs in Danish design history, the Model 3107, which was designed in 1955.

The story behind how the Model 3107 was propelled to popularity is an interesting one.  A knockoff of the chair was used in an iconic 1963 photograph by Lewis Morley of British model and showgirl Christine Keeler, who was embroiled in a scandal at the time -- she was having an affair with the British Secretary of War John Profumo.  Discovery of the affair eventually led to the resignation of Profumo, damaged the government of conservative Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and turned Keeler into a celebrity.

Morley recalls the photo session:
"This photograph was one of a series of publicity shots for an intended film which never saw the light of day.  The first two rolls had Christine sitting in various positions on the chair and on the floor, dressed in a small leather jerkin. It was at this point that the film producers who were in attendance demanded she strip for some nude photos.  Christine was reluctant to do so, but the producers insisted, saying that it was written in her contract. The situation became rather tense and reached an impasse. I suggested that everyone, including my assistant leave the studio. I turned my back to Christine, telling her to disrobe, sit back to front on the chair. She was now nude, fulfilling the conditions of the contract, but was at the same time hidden. 
We repeated some of the poses used on the previous two rolls of film...I felt that I had shot enough and took a couple of paces back. Looking up I saw what appeared to be a perfect positioning. I released the shutter one more time, in fact, it was the last exposure on the roll of film. 
Looking at the contact sheet, one can see that this image is smaller than the rest because I had stepped back. It was this pose that became the first published and most used image. The nude session had taken less than five minutes to complete. It wasn't until I developed the film that I discovered that somehow I had misfired one shot and there were only eleven images on a twelve exposure film. How this came about is a mystery to me. (Source)

Monday, August 22, 2011

Through the Lens: Louise Dahl-Wolfe

"Natelie by Pool," 1950

Monday's inspiration is celebrated American photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe, who was best known for her work for Harper's Bazaar (she worked at the magazine from 1936 to 1958, with editors Carmel Snow and Diana Vreeland).  In the later years of her career, she freelanced for Vogue and Sports Illustrated.  She influenced such noted photographers as Irving Penn and Richard Avedon.

Dahl-Wolfe preferred portraits to fashion photography, and taking photographs outdoor, with natural light.  She explains her fascination with light, and compares photography with painting:
I believe that the camera is a medium of light, that one actually paints with light. In using the spotlights with reflecting lights, I could control the quality of the forms revealed to build a composition. Photography, to my mind, is not a fine art. It is splendid for recording a period of time, but it has definite limitations, and the photographer certainly hasn’t the freedom of the painter. One can work with taste and emotion and create an exciting arrangement of significant form, a meaningful photograph, but a painter has the advantage of putting something in the picture that isn’t there or taking something out that is there. I think this makes painting a more creative medium. (Source)
The full archive of her work can be found at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, gifted by the artist herself.  Some of the other works were acquired from the estate at Dahl-Wolfe's death in 1989.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Music: Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow

I decided to do something a little different for the second installation of song of the week -- I covered one of my favorite songs, "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow."

I remember the first time I heard it: I was six years-old and my dad had a mix tape he played in the car that had the Shirelles' 1960 version.  It was written by the extremely talented duo of Carole King and her then-husband Gerry Goffin.  The song was their breakthrough hit, reaching #1 on the Billboard charts.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Music: Feist covers the Velvet Underground

All Tomorrow's Parties: (L) The Velvet Underground & Nico, (R) Feist ft. Nigel Godrich, Colin Greenwood & Hot Rats

Audio of singer Feist covering the Velvet Underground's "Femme Fatale" from a July concert in Paris, "The Velvet Underground Revisited," has recently leaked online -- and she did a great job of capturing Nico's essence.  Take a listen below.

A little history behind the song -- it was featured on the 1967 album The Velvet Underground  & Nico and has previously been covered by an array of artists, from the Tom Tom Club to R.E.M.  Nico was introduced to the band by Andy Warhol, and though the album wasn't successful upon its initial release, it has gained much acclaim since then, including being ranked #13 in Rolling Stones' 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.  Lou Reed wrote the song about Warhol superstar Edie Sedgwick:

According to Reed:
Andy said I should write a song about Edie Sedgwick. I said 'Like what?' and he said, 'Oh, don't you think she's a femme fatale, Lou?' So I wrote 'Femme Fatale' and we gave it to Nico.

Feist ft. Nigel Godrich, Colin Greenwood, Hot Rats) Femme Fatale (Velvet Underground Cover) by TwentyFourBit.com

Photo Source: Cite de la Musique

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Fashion Flashback: Leopard Print

Just like a woman: Tragic '60s icon Edie Sedgwick

I've never been much of a fan of leopard print, but recently saw a pair of leopard print heels at Nordstrom that I imagine would look amazing with an all-black ensemble.  I also think a leopard print coat could look rather chic if worn right, so I'm not completely closed-off to that idea now...

Style icon and Warhol muse Edie Sedgwick said of her leopard print coat: "It's the most beautiful coat in the world!"  Bob Dylan's song "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" is widely rumored to have been written about Sedgwick, though it has never been confirmed.  A few others of note: Anne Bancroft as Mrs. Robinson in The Graduate is also quite a sexy and iconic look, Christian Dior designed some seriously fierce leopard print dresses back in the late 40s, and Audrey Hepburn was effortlessly chic in a leopard-skin pill-box hat in one of my favorite movies, Charade. I seriously need one of those.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Through the Lens: Lovers in Rock

Bob Dylan and Joan Baez, 1965

I don't think there are rock n' roll couples today that quite capture the same essence as couples of the past.  Sonic Editions has a great gallery devoted to iconic lovers in rock, so I've posted a few of my favorites.

 Marianne Faithfull and Mick Jagger, 1967

Linda and Paul McCartney, 1971

 Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg, 1969

Sid and Nancy, 1977

 John and Yoko, 1969

Photo Source: Sonic Editions

Monday, August 15, 2011

Music: Warpaint's "Billie Holiday"

 Birds of a Feather: The ladies of Warpaint -- Theresa, Jenny, Emily and Stella

I was listening to my iPod and a song came up by Warpaint that I just have to write about.  It's a song I never skip over, always listen to all the way through.  Warpaint is an amazingly talented band from L.A. consisting of Emily Kokal, Jenny Lee Lindberg, Theresa Wayman and Stella Mogzawa.  Actress Shannyn Sossamon (who also happens to be Lindberg's sister) was a part of the original line-up.  I've been a fan since their first EP, Exquisite Corpse, which was released in 2008, produced by the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante and featured some truly excellent tunes -- I would highly recommend "Beetles," "Elephants" and "Billie Holiday."

"Billie Holiday" is a particularly interesting track because it samples Mary Wells' hit 1964 single "My Guy" in a rather unexpected and morose way.

Lead singer Emily Kokal explains the song's inspiration, from an interview in Angel City, September 2008:
When Shannyn was in the band we went to Vancouver, where she was doing a movie, and she had a house on a beautiful cove. It was the first real chunk of time when we spent together playing music. I had written a guitar part that I would play as a warmup -- and one time I looked up at the wall and there was a picture of Billie Holiday on the wall. I started singing the letters to her name. Then one day Theresa was flipping through a songbook and found 'My Guy' and started singing that -- then we had the second part to the song.
 They released their first full-length album last fall, and I would highly recommend it.

Download the song:
"Billie Holiday" mp3

Friday, August 12, 2011

Music: I Thought About You

"I took a trip on a train, and I thought about you..."

This song has been covered by many artists, from Frank Sinatra to Miles Davis to Ella Fitzgerald, but I'd have to say my favorite version is Mildred Bailey's.  Her collaboration with Benny Goodman was the only version to make the charts, reaching #17 in 1940.

The song was composed in 1939 by Jimmy Heusen, with lyrics by the famous songwriter, lyricist and composer Johnny Mercer (fun fact: he co-founded Capitol Records).  Mercer found inspiration for the words during a particularly restless train ride from Denver to Chicago.

From Jazz Standards:
Unable to sleep, Mercer found inspiration for the song from the train trip, seeing the little towns, the moon and landscape along the way. Mercer admitted his writing style was to paint pictures with lyrics, to “transport people to someplace they don’t know.”
It's a song definitely worth listening to and sharing, so if you haven't heard this version before -- enjoy.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Style Inspiration: Chantal Goya

Une Belle Fille: '60s singer and actress Chantal Goya

I'm a fan of French films and music of the '60s, so I tend to draw a lot of inspiration from that era.  French women just seem to exude a certain joie de vivre (or mystery and sadness, depending on what film you're watching -- hello Jeanne Moreau in Elevator to the Gallows).

Chantal Goya is a beautiful French singer an actress who enjoyed popularity in the '60s as part of the French New Wave movement (she is probably best-known for the role of Madeleine in Jean-Luc Godard's Masculin, feminin).  Later in her career, she became known as a children's singer, working with her husband to produce shows.

Chantal Goya's blunt and girlish fringed bob is a look that has returned.  Another popular French actress of the time, Anna Karina, also wore this look well.  A couple of modern day girls who have this cut are Lisa Mayock of Vena Cava, Annie Monroe of The Like, and imboycrazy.com's Alexi Wasser.  And aside from having the haircut in common, these three ladies each have their own kind of inexplicable allure -- it can't all just be the haircut...can it?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fashion Flashback: The Fitted Leather Jacket

Masculin FĂ©minin: '60s French pop chanteuse Francoise Hardy

Apologies for the lack of updates.  I have returned from Lollapalooza in one piece!  It went by in a blur, and it's strange to think that fall is now right around the corner.  Summer was a blink of an eye.

A staple I'm going to invest in for the fall is a fitted leather jacket a la '60s icon Francoise Hardy, who was effortlessly chic.  The leather jacket gained popularity with the younger crowd when the swingin' 60s fashion movement swept London, thanks to the Mods (short for Modernist, used to describe modern jazz music fans of the '50s).

I particularly like the idea of pairing the leather jacket with something flowy, like a long, pleated skirt.  I love the contrast between the masculine and feminine.

Photo Sources: Vanessa JackmanHanneli Mustaparta, The Fashion Spot, FashionSquad.com, TheGlamourai.com

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Through the Lens: Yudi Ela

A photo from Yudi Ela's Swimming Pool series

I stumbled upon photographer Yudi Ela's blog by happenstance and completely fell in love with her aesthetic -- particularly the 1950s-inspired swimming pool series she shot featuring bathing suits from one of my favorite clothing lines, Jenny Reyes' Geronimo Collection.  The fashions and the styling are totally retro and absolutely stunning.  I'm enamored.  I wish I could look this glamorous every day.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Style Inspiration: Maria Duenas Jacobs

 Effortless Beauty: Maria Duenas Jacobs

Today's fashion inspiration is Glamour magazine's Accessories Editor, Maria Duenas Jacobs, who was recently featured on two of my favorite sites, The Coveteur and Into the Gloss.  She is truly a natural beauty --  Maria revealed to Emily Weiss of ITG just how she gets that enviably dewy glow:
I like to look natural. I have the same makeup routine night and day. I start with moisturizer—different ones, depending on what I got from the beauty closet…I’m not skin care loyal. But what I am loyal to is Dior Hydra Life tinted moisturizer. I like it because it has SPF 20, and it smoothes out my skin—I feel like it gives my face a kind of porcelain look.
Maria also had a beautiful destination wedding in Rome that was featured in Martha Stewart Living.  Her taste is impeccable.  Before working at Glamour, this stylish lady spent time at Proenza Schouler, Vogue and PR Consulting.

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