Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cello Duel

Gorgeous fellows (Stjepan Hauser and Luka Sulic) with cellos...playing Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal!"

BEAUTY: Clothing and Art--Gareth Pugh and Ruth Hogben

Gareth Pugh was the Pitti Guest Women's Wear designer in Florence this month where he showcased his designs for an upcoming F-W '11-'12 collection via a short film made in collaboration with Ruth Hogben; the two of them collaborated on an equally stunning and mesmerizing short film for his S-S '11 collection that I blogged about here.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Currently listening to...

...and reveling in this jaw-dropping performance of "Collapsing New People" by the legendary Fad Gadget. Although Fad Gadget (Frank Tovey) died in 2002 at the entirely-too-young age of 46 from a heart attack, his music lives on.

Friday, January 28, 2011

BEAUTY: Art--Daniel Gamelas

Portuguese artist Daniel Gamelas works in resin and bronze to create startling anthropomorphic figures. I love when creatures in art have human bodies and animal heads. There is something satisfying and primal about it...

Cellphone Evolution Nesting Dolls

This is a marvelous and very clever art project by British artist Kyle Bean.

I've owned numbers six, seven and nine (my current iPhone). I must say that the number seven model drove me nuts. It was a Nokia: hard to navigate because the screen menu was indecipherable. But I do love my iPhone.

One Step Closer To Black Holes

For Fully Mature Black Holes, Time Stands Still

By Clara Moskowitz, Senior Writer – Thu Jan 27, 3:30 pm ET

The end of a black hole’s evolution may be a mind-bending kind of space-time independent of time. A new study proposes a method to tell how far any black hole is from reaching this end state.

Black holes are some of the weirdest things in the universe. They occur when mass is packed into a tiny volume, squished to its ultimate density.

Though observations suggest black holes are prevalent in the universe, scientists still don't really understand what goes on inside them. The equations of general relativity usually used to understand the physics of the universe break down in these cases.

"It is really beyond the physics we know," said Juan Antonio Valiente Kroon, a mathematician at Queen Mary, University of London. "To understand what happens inside a black hole, we need to invent new physics."

Mercifully, the physics for the end state of a black hole is somewhat simpler. A solution to the equations of general relativity was found that produced a situation called "Kerr spacetime." Scientists now think Kerr spacetime is what happens when a black hole has reached its final evolutionary state.

"Mainly the equations of relativity are so complex that for relativistic systems, the only way you can probe these equations is by means of computer," Valiente Kroon told "Solutions like this Kerr solution are really exceptional. The Kerr solution is one of the few explicitly known solutions to general relativity that have a direct physical meaning."

Kerr spacetime is time-independent, meaning that nothing in Kerr spacetime changes over time. In effect, time stands still. A black hole in such a state is essentially stationary.

"One could say once it has reached this stage, there are no further processes taking place," Valiente Kroon said.

In their new study, Valiente Kroon and Thomas Backdahl, his colleague at Queen Mary, have calculated a formula to determine how close a black hole is to reaching the Kerr state.

This can happen very quickly – even in seconds – depending on the object's mass.

To apply the formula, scientists would examine the region around a black hole called its event horizon. Once mass, or even light, passes within the event horizon of a black hole, it cannot escape the black hole's gravitational clutches.

The researchers think their development could aid scientists who are building computer simulations of black holes and aiming to align them with observations of actual black holes.

Astronomers think most galaxies, including our own Milky Way, host supermassive black holes in their centers. Some researchers suspect that these are actually Kerr black holes.

Valiente Kroon and Backdahl detail their work in the Jan. 19 issue of the journal Proceedings of the Royal Society A.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Currently listening to...

...and totally hypnotized by Active Child's (Pat Grossi) haunting live performance of the song "Wilderness." Wow.
I posted Active Child's fantastical and surreal "I'm In Your Church At Night" video here.

BEAUTY: Painting--Zack Zdrale

The breathtaking work of San Francisco artist Zack Zdrale; reminiscent of Old Masters in his beautiful and skillful use of chiaroscuro and pose.

Top to bottom: Steve; In The Light; Triumph; Draped; Portrait Of A Man Turning On Himself; Forward Backwards; Debate

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Septemberists

Now that I am paying closer attention to Thom Browne, I came across this amazing, evocative video collaboration between Thom Browne and controversial artist Anthony Goicolea whose work I have known and liked for quite a while. It features a heart wrenching song by one of my favorite bands, Sigur Ros, along with clothing from Browne's S-S '07 collection.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Currently listening to...

...the sweeping, operatic "The Voice" by Ultravox.

BEAUTY: Clothing--John Galliano

Paris Fashion week.
Galliano loses his mind. Again.

I love fashion designers who weave together themes, places, art, culture and make me ask, “What the hell was he/she thinking?” And John Galliano seems to be the king of “what the hell was he thinking.” His shows and collections are always so inspired and inspiring. They are a collage, a pastiche of ideas and thoughts that must represent how Galliano thinks… rapid ideas and connections, references, knowledge and a thirst for… well, for the world itself. Galliano’s world seems stuffed to bursting with amazing people, places, colors, epochs and societies.

And for his Fall-Winter ’11-’12 showing at Paris Fashion Week this week, his thematic references included a risky elan vers dieu… émigrés from the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the stylistic iconography of Rudolph Nureyev. Now, I am not sure exactly what it says about me that I can actually follow that train of thought, but it makes oblique sense to me. Thousands fled the Revolution… and Nureyev fled Russia by defecting to France in 1961. Russian = Russian, fleeing = defecting. The ideas seem linked. It all works. And the change from Rasputin-looking men in huge wool coats, enormous chunky cable-knit hats and matted and snow-covered beards to slim androgynous Nureyev in swinging 60s silhouettes and then in sweaty rehearsals could have been a disaster in anyone else’s hands. But Galliano finds the bravado and grand gesture connecting them and makes fireworks. Topping off the collection is a section of embroidered Russian evening pieces that seem breathtaking.

BEAUTY: Clothing--Thom Browne

Thom Browne is a designer I have watched from afar but now I think I need to pay much closer attention. His last few runway shows have been thematic and theatrical spectacles—just how I like them. And his Fall-Winter collection for ’11-’12, shown at Paris Fashion Week, was a spectacle indeed. Not a traditional runway show at all, the models were seated at a fifty foot long gilded dining table in the grand ballroom of the Westin Hotel on Place Vendome in Paris. After waiters in grey jackets and mohair aprons brought out platters of turkeys, the show began. Sections of seated models then got up to take a turn, slowly, around the table, parading their coats and trains. With silhouettes and pieces of clothing reminiscent of France in the 1700s (cream colored cable knit caps turn into facsimiles for the classic white powdered wig!)as well as the 1800s, crossed with a certain modern sense of Edwardian England, the clothing was a dizzying mix of eras and cultures.

Long Ngyung, co-founder and style director of FLAUNT writes of Thom Browne for
"Since he started making suits in 2001, Mr. Browne has pushed the boundary of men’s fashion first by altering the basic proportion of structure and fit–his extra small-looking suits–then by toying with the nature of defined gender garments, often mixing the elements considered basic to womenswear–like ball-gowns and tulle–into his clothes. In a sense, his shows make us realize how limited we are in our thinking about fashion. Even if he hasn’t liberated men from these limitations, he has managed an on-going discourse."

BEAUTY: Clothing

At Paris Fashion Week, Junya Watanabe showed some marvelous notch-lapel and shawl collared blazers that look like Fair Isle sweaters!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

BEAUTY: Clothing--Alexander McQueen

I still miss McQueen terribly, but I am glad the house goes on; Sarah Burton seems to be skillfully channeling the tone and direction of McQueen's spirit. And this week in Milan for Men's Fashion Week, she showed us a wonderfully evocative Fall-Winter '11-'12 collection based on antique military silhouettes and influences. I know Lee was a great devotee of a certain British sensibility, and Burton has shown a fondness for this style as well with her first menswear collection for McQueen (the marvelous "Pomp and Circumstance" Spring-Summer '11 collection which I blogged about here), but this current collection sure feels a bit Russian to me as well as British. I see ANNA KARENINA swirling around in the regimented jackets and coats. Sashes, referencing an old style military honor or military parade dress, appear here and there. But gold braiding on zip-front jackets, slashed sleeve seams, and track suit pants place the collection in the twenty first century.