Tuesday, January 31, 2023

At The Library

From Wim Wenders' masterpiece "Wings of Desire" previously here.

Friday, January 27, 2023

"And Back" by Lutrell

I have become quite a fan of Lutrell's particular kind of electronic music. His tracks usually have some element or sound that is unique, some approach that is just enough off the beaten path to make me cock my head and say, "What is that?" And this song, "And Back" certainly does that for me. I love the glitchy vocal samples that include what could be a Michael Jackson hiccup. I love the sizzling electric sounds and that guttural wahwah line...wow.


Thursday, January 26, 2023

BEAUTY: Interiors--Hubert Zandberg

I have just run across collector and interior designer Hubert Zandberg's work and I am smitten. As an interior designer myself, I greatly admire his skill...he seems to be untethered to any design styles or periods and instead utilizes his imagination to create wholly unique, rich interiors. I love his intricate, fascinating approach to layering: not only color, pattern, shape, and texture but objects as well. Antiques and indeed objects of true antiquity mix with contemporary pieces to form a sort a highly personal, highly detailed application of design principles. I want to visit each of these rooms below and study all the art, sculptures, and fabrics. Each space seems ready to tell incredible stories.


Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Monday, January 23, 2023

BEAUTY: Clothing--Misc. Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week has wrapped. Pitti Uomo, Milano, and Paris...check. Just London to go in February. Meanwhile, here are some dribs and drabs from PFW for Fall-Winter '23-'24 I found interesting, or humorous...or both.

Lazoschmidl is a brand co-helmed by business and life partners Josef Lazo and Andreas Schmidl who cite the legendary artists Gilbert and George, also business and life partners, as a model. Lazoschmidl is dedicated to non-binary clothing for men, and summed up their philosophy for Metal Magazine in one sentence: "Liberation, sensuality, body, rebellion, glamour, freedom." This collection certainly revolves around the body, sensuality, and freedom. Another one of their mottos is "Taste the forbidden fruit" and fruit is a central motif here. Fruit, flowers, an abstracted butterfly, and a leopard print show up on patterns but incongruously printed on sportswear and gymwear. The show itself was set in what looks like a gym with mats piled up in the corners. Is this a message for the traditional masculine trope of wrestler-swimmer-cyclist-runner to let go of restrictive ways of being and embrace something different, a new set of images and colors, in order to be freed from the socially-prescribed prison of masculinity?

Doublet created a humorous collection clearly based on the Furry phenomenon. Full body costumes were paired with causal pieces...the one that tickles me the most is the Wookie in a leather motorcycle jacket! Also on display: references to a fictional theme park called Doubland. Kudos to Doublet founder Masayuki Ino for including models of non-standard body shape and size.

And working our way down to the feet, Sankuanz showed some pretty sharp shoes...I don't think I've ever seen a pointed toe so pointy! They look like daggers...they might be able to inflict serious injury.


Sunday, January 22, 2023

BEAUTY: Clothing--Rick Owens

I think from now on, when I speak about Rick Owens I am not going to call him "the fashion designer" Rick Owens, but "the sculptor" Rick Owens. Take one look at his catalog of collections over the years and it easy to see why: he functions and creates more like a sculptor, able to use fabric, leather, metal, and other miscellaneous materials (like pirarucu!) to create pieces of volume, scale, and heft...pieces that certainly exist in three dimensions independent of a wearer. I greatly admire his approach to clothing as wearable art.

I admire his intellectual rigor in creating collections as well. Owens always seems to be studying some obscure artist or time period, educating himself and us along with him, interpreting abstract ideas into his sculptures, and expressing those ideas in his own unique vocabulary. So for this Fall-Winter '23-'24 collection at Paris Fashion Week, titled Luxor, he looked to Egypt and that ancient civilization's architecture, an updated version of which can be seen in Brutalism, the monumental architectural style popular in the 1950s to the 1980s which often used raw concrete...and Owens' sartorial perspective has often been compared to Brutalism.

But he also mentions in passing "an almost Victorian silhouette." At first glance, it might seem odd, this mix of Victoriana and Rick Owens. But it works when one realizes that the Victorians were so named because the era was overseen by Queen Victoria, a widow queen in perpetual mourning. Black was the only acceptable hue for much of the Victorian era. And of course the prim and prudish nature and aversion to sensuality much less outright sexuality is a hallmark of the time. Owens has already mastered the black palette, and the expression of such rigid restriction is part of the Owens vocabulary as well. Look at how he accomplishes this with pieces that squeeze and restrain the body, along with cloaks, skirts, and details that paradoxically emphasize the body. Psychologically speaking, anytime someone (or a whole culture) ignores, denies, and tamps something down, the more it seeks an avenue of release, often in inappropriate ways. Owens said, "It’s a Victorian silhouette. There’s a prudishness. We remember that era so much for suppressing sensuality, but doing it in such an elaborate way that you couldn’t help but think about it."

And he introduced a new variation on the Larry Kiss boot...with a sort of rigid structure going up the shin, and closed with thick straps, it resembles a platform version of the type of boot one wears when one has a foot injury. They look fantastic.

His show notes cover a lot of wonderful information about the multi-generational artisans with whom he collaborates to create his garments including their aggressive actions to reduce their impact on the climate. But most importantly, he closed with a mention of the war in Ukraine, the only designer to do so thus far: