Thursday, January 23, 2020

BEAUTY: Interior--Erin Martin

Interior designer Erin Martin created a gorgeous home for an ex-Argentinian couple, now relocated to Beverly Hills. I love how she limited the color palette to black and white yet the end result looks rich and sumptuous (I wish my own interior design clients were not so fearful of saturated hues). The Latin American pieces look exquisite in black and the Mediterranean tile speaks to that California-style vernacular that exemplifies what design is all about here in my state.

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

BEAUTY: Painting--Stephen Magsig

Stephen Magsig's small canvases evoke the concept of lights--tail lights, head lights, traffic lights, neon lights--at night in the city. I love the simplicity of these images...and they really do look like such lights when seen through half-closed lids or rain-soaked windshields.

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Pete For President 2020!

"Virile" by Moses Sumney

Wow. Just...WOW.

Blown away by this incredible song and video from Moses Sumney. The song is "Virile." Out on his double album "græ"...part one is released this month and part two will hit in May.

Amazing visuals and even more amazing choreography.

Masculinity is a prison.

Ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah, ah!
On a long hike through Blue Ridge mountains
I can feel the earth overtake my skin (Yeah)
And I realize none of this matters
'Cause I will return to dust and matter

Cheers to the patriarchs
And the marble arch
Playin' their part
The gatekeeper's march

Desperate for passing grades
The virility fades
You've got the wrong guy
You wanna slip right in
Amp up the masculine
You've got the wrong idea, son
Dear son
We pick our own prisons, oh ah

To stake dominion over all that one surveys
Is the virile, viral way

Here's to the boys
And the noise
Playin' the part
The gatekeeper's march

Desperate for passing grades
The virility fades
You've got the wrong guy
You wanna fit right in
Amp up the masculine
You've got the wrong "I"
Too much is not enough
Too much is not enough
You've got the wrong idea, son
Dear son
You pick your own prison

You want dominion to make minions of the stars
Made up of what you are
Are, are, are, are, are
You are, are, are, are, are, hey
Oh! Hey!

Desperate for passing grades
The virility fades
You've got the wrong guy
You wanna fit right in
Amp up the masculine
You've got the wrong idea, son

Monday, January 20, 2020

BEAUTY: Clothing--Misc. Paris Fashion Week

Here are some details from the Fall-Winter '20-'21 shows at Paris Fashion Week I did not want to miss sharing...

Jun Takahashi at Undercover has taken inspiration in the past from films like "A Clockwork Orange" and the cult film "The Warriors" but this collection's inspiration came from Akira Kurosawa's 1957 adaptation of Shakespeare's "Macbeth" called "Throne of Blood." This is the first time Takahashi has made reference to his Japanese heritage and the results are quite lovely. There were some shirts and puffer jackets printed with stills from the Kurosawa film but mostly the looks were interpretations of Samurai armour or Japanese dress rendered in knits and nylon. But it is the combination of color and pattern as well as some of the embellishment that makes these garments stand out...yet each piece as a separate is totally wearable.

The cloud suits designer-cum-conceptual artist Virgil Abloh sent out at Louis Vuitton are fun and light. They feel slightly Dada-esque and psychedelic, like a scene from The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine."

Dries Van Noten made extensive use of faux fox furs in a collection that he said is "about enjoying clothes, dressing: using your sexual power to feel great." The foxes might make one feel foxy, but I really love the platforms, especially the snake pair in the last look below. I know from experience that platforms make one feel sexier...taller, more powerful...and they change your stride into something sexier.

I love a good over-scaled, voluminous scarf like the ones Pierre Maheo showed for Officine Générale:

Rei Kawakubo at Comme des Garçons showed a riot of color and pattern in a show that was a swirl of youthful exuberance. "Color resistance—fighting back with color" were the words Kawakubo attached to it, in an emailed post-release. You get what she means: clothes as a mood-enhancing tool in dark times. But there was an unfortunate backlash against the use of cornrow wigs. Cries of cultural appropriation were hurled at the house. The stylist for the show, Julien d’Ys, said his inspiration was the look of an Egyptian prince, like Tutankhamen. See how the wigs are worn low over the hairline, like they are Egyptian headdresses. D'Ys said the hairstyle choice was an homage to something he personally finds beautiful. I see it...

Gorgeous tall croc boots at Sies Marjan.

And really tall, thigh-high puffer boots at White Mountaineering!

And finally, I always approve of mature and unconventional models on the runway and Junya Watanabe has been an early and consistent proponent of such casting.

Sunday, January 19, 2020

BEAUTY: Clothing--Casablanca

Charaf Tajer, creative director at Casablanca Paris recently took a trip to the Lake Garda region of Northern Italy and came away enthralled with the luxury of the area. This Fall-Winter '20-'21 collection at Paris Fashion Week features many charming images inspired by the place and sense of the culture there. We can see images that invoke vintage ski posters for Italy, Switzerland, and France. We see Dalmatian dogs: a dog sits sweetly in a bucolic mountain setting, outerwear sports black spots on white ground, and an unexpected pattern of a butler walking a Dalmatian shows up on suits and pants. Chanel-esque suits, pearls, and furs invoke a certain type of retro-wealth. And because Tajer is from Morocco, he uses patterns reminiscent of the kind of geometric tiles one finds in Marrakesh, Fes, or yes, Casablanca on coats, suits, and jackets. The whole thing is rather sweetly nostalgic.

Saturday, January 18, 2020

BEAUTY: Clothing--Dior

For Dior Homme's Fall-Winter '20-'21 collection at Paris Fashion Week, creative director Kim Jones mined the Dior archives to bring elements and materials from 1950's haute-couture collections to this current menswear show. Of this collection, journalist Sarah Mower pointedly asks, "What if the 2020s are a time when it becomes completely anachronistic to think of clothes and fabrics being assigned by gender?" I hope she is right and I hope this is the last time I have to draw attention to the fact that men in this collection are wearing things like silk taffeta, pearl earrings, and opera gloves. They are not women's clothes, they are men's clothes because men are wearing them. A fabric is not gendered, it just is.

This glorious, stately collection is beautiful not only for the political and cultural statement I just outlined (and which we hope will normalize) but because of the simply gorgeous cuts of the garments themselves. This is one of those collections that require study since we are only able to see photos--but do click on each set and look at the exquisite detail of silhouette and material.

Equally as important is the deeper inspiration for Jones' collection: fashion stylist and jewelry designer Judy Blame (née Christopher Barnes) who had a fascinating and varied career. He ran a fashion-forward night club called Cha-Cha, helped shape the look and feel of the 1980s British magazines The Face and i-D, collaborated with club icon Leigh Bowery, was a stylist for Neneh Cherry, Boy George, Björk and Kylie Minogue, and worked with the fashion houses of John Galliano, Louis Vuitton, Gareth Pugh, and Comme des Garçons. But he was best known for his fantastical jewelry creations in which he extensively used found objects. To him, a safety pin was as beautiful as a diamond. Blame died two years ago this February and Jones created a special print for this collection in his honor. Instead of a Toile de Jouy, the traditional French fabric that shows bucolic, pastoral scenes from the 1700's, he blew it up and named it Toile de Judy. And there are some lovely pieces of jewelry that Blame would approve of. Take a look at the long, intriguing trinkets hanging off lapels and over pockets on jackets, or as necklaces, or dangling from belts.

Jones squeezed in one more homage: designer Marc Bohan had a 30-year career at the house (he even stepped in when then-creative director of Dior Yves Saint Laurent was called up for military service in 1960); a dazzling, show-closing bejeweled jacket of a pattern that looks like feathers was based on a dress from Bohan’s 1969 autumn-winter collection.