Thursday, December 23, 2010

VOI DANSA CU TINE

I was over at a friend's house a few days ago, after my lunch plans with two other friends got canceled after hours of waiting for them. We decided to have a chill afternoon, nibbling on sandwiches and munching on cookies while drinking coffee. All of this went on while we watched Casino Royale. Now, you might think I'm talking about the James Bond movie starring Daniel Craig, but no, this was a 60's satire based on Ian Fleming's famous character.




The movie had an incredible cast, including former Bond girl Ursula Andress, David Niven, Deborah Kerr, Peter Sellers, and even Woody Allen. The main reason why we chose to watch it was because my friend held it as something really close to his childhood, especially because of the movie's soundtrack, composed by Mr. Burt Bacharach himself. Though I wouldn't label the movie as a must-see, it does have certain visual and musical highlights (like the sultry Look Of Love sung by Dusty Sprinfield).




However, what was most important was the fact that my friend was able to share this film with me.
Getting to know your friends through what they like and what made them happy during their childhood years is probably one of the things I cherish the most, it's like catching up with them in retrospect. Photographs, movies, and music among other elements have the incredible ability to take us back and forth through time. I have just been witness to that today when I found a video of one of my favorite Romanian singers from when I was a kid. Though I didn't recognize it at first, once I heard the chorus I could not help myself from letting out a HUGE sigh. I remembered I actually owned this tape, that she -Angela Similea- had a daughter that went to the American school together with my older sister, and that I had spotted her on the street once.




I'm so happy I found this video. To top it off, she is introduced by none other that Corina Chiriac, my other super-duper favorite Romanian singer, whom I managed to see live at a concert back then (until I got an upset stomach and had to be taken out of the venue, ruining the moment for my parents). That's why I'm not having kids. Here it goes:




Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

SANTA BABY

So, Christmas is only a few days away and I'm not in a very Christmas-y spirit yet, though I am looking forward to cheating on my diet on the year's cheat-day par excellence. I had been thinking about what I'd want to get this year (somewhat inspired by the HILARIOUS videos by Drew Droege's impersonation of Chloë Sevigny) and so I came up with a list of things I would like to get and then narrowed them down to the following five (in no particular order):


NUMBER 1 : A TALL, DARK AND HANDSOME VEGETARIAN.
Santa MUST know I've been single for quite a while (insert Dalí's The Persistence of Memory here, or a video of a tumbleweed, or a cricket sound...or...never mind, I think I made it clear), and though I have broadened my standards, a friend recently reminded me that, once upon a time, being a vegetarian was an essential requirement.


EXAMPLE: CHRISTIAN BALE.





NUMBER 2: DINNER WITH MADONNA. Or lunch, or breakfast or brunch! Whatever it may be. Oh, and I need to be able to bring my friend Paloma along as well to make it complete. You see Santa?! I'm learning to share! (But let me figure out whether she really neeeeeds to sit with us at the same table or if she can just watch from afar).


I CAN SETTLE FOR PIZZA.


NUMBER 3: THE FABERGÉ EGG I'VE BEEN WAITING FOR SINCE I WAS 8.
I SO behaved that year, and I still didn't get it. I was so distraught. Of course, maybe Santa had a hard time deciding WHICH Fabergé egg to bring me. I was never able to make up my mind as to which one was my favorite and I never specified, so I'll give him that, but today I feel like I should probably have the one with the lily of the valley theme since they were, together with narcissus, my favorite flowers in my garden in Moscow (I think I'm just going to have to rush to the closest perfume shop and sniff some Diorissimo for nostalgia's sake).
Seriously, Santa, it's been 22 years...


(SIGH)


TINY PORTRAITS OF NICHOLAS II AND HIS FIRST TWO DAUGHTERS, OLGA AND TATIANA



NUMBER 4: MATTHEW MORRISON'S ABS.
No further explanation necessary.




NUMBER 5: NO MORE BULLFIGHTS.
This might sound like a party pooper to many, but it would make me SO happy. I would give up all of my other gifts just for this one.





So Santa, I've kept it VERY short this year. I'm not asking for much. Here's a little video that will help you realize how insignificant the things I'm asking for are. Please don't let me down...AGAIN.
Tootles.
ROGER


Saturday, December 4, 2010

SMILE

I was writing on my friend Paul's Wall on Facebook for his birthday, I always call him Paulette. Though this pseudo-nickname is not exclusively mine, whenever I do call him this way I always think of Paulette Godard. So I thought of her and then couldn't help but search for one of the most touching scenes in movie history (according to me): the ending of Modern Times.
This has been an EXTREMELY sensitive week. Blame it on the rain, the stars, the planets, the moon - or maybe just the lack of sugar- but it's been hard to deal with these past seven days. It's been somewhat comforting to watch this scene, even though it always manages to bring me to tears, just like the first time I saw it when I was about 8. The music, which you most likely will recognize, is just the best.




Friday, December 3, 2010

HAPPY 50TH DARYL!

More on Daryl:
I have NEVER seen this movie, I've been hypnotized by this scene since I saw it a couple of years ago. I wanna dance like this.


PIRATE CHIC

This is a post from quite a while ago that remained in draft-status instead of getting published for some unknown reason. Today is Daryl Hannah's 50th birthday, so I guess it's the perfect excuse to publish it, here it goes:

I'm in the last day of a four-day photoshoot, God knows I'm exhausted by now (missed the ABSOLUT GLIMMER party last night...) and I'm about to be officially sick, which will probably jeopardize my gym attendance yet another week (I went there last night after a 6-day absence and 6-day binge).
Two days ago, no, wait, was it yesterday? You see, this is what being locked up in a studio does to you (together with listening to Mariah Carey or other inhabitants of my iTunes whose presence I'm also ashamed to confess). Well anyway, whenever it was, I accidentally sprayed some cologne into my eyes that morning and I obviously had to tweet about it. Since my Twitter account is linked to my Facebook, two friends of mine decided to comment on my temporary cyclops-state. Though I had thought I'd go for Madonna's eyepatch look in the V Magazine editorial, one of my friends suggested a more Elle Driver kind of look and posted the famous trailer-fight scene from Kill Bill 2.







That reminded me of how much I was fascinated by Daryl Hannah back in the 80s. I bet almost everyone loved her in SPLASH, but the first time I saw her and where she really caught my attention was in the 1986 movie LEGAL EAGLES, where she starred alongside Robert Redford, Debra Winger, Brian Dennehy and the fabulous Terence Stamp. Her character was really intriguing, sort of like a previous version of Catherine Trammel: attractive blonde, possible murderer, gets involved with her lawyer. I also remember I was a bit disturbed by a pair of opera gloves she wore with a cocktail dress in one of the scenes, I never really liked that match, though I was hypnotized by her looks (loooong legs included).

BLONDE BEAUTY


OPERA GLOVE DRESS (THOUGH YOU CAN'T REALLY SEE THEM)



TERENCE STAMP LOOKING TERRIBLY DAPPER







LAWYER/DEFENDANT ROMANCE




After all these ideas went through my brain, the next inevitable thought was plastic surgery. I don't really like what's she's had done (though I really can't tell what precise touch-ups she has been through) but she's one of those celebrities whom you have sympathy for so you cover one eye, or squint, just so that you are not affected by the obvious changes.
I have to say, once again, that I'm not against plastic surgery AT ALL. I think it's totally worth it, especially if some doctor can keep you looking like Gloria Vanderbilt at EIGHTY SIX (!!!) :

GLORIA VANDERBILT TODAY.


Now back to Daryl, here's one of my favorite scenes from Legal Eagles:




Sunday, October 31, 2010

ALL HALLOW'S EVE

I have just come back from dressing a bride, a client of mine whose older sister also got married in one of my dresses and whose mother is a client as well, and I'm getting ready to go to the party, but I still wanted to write this post before I left.
This has been quite a touching morning.  This HAS been a hectic week - I am well aware it is the month of Scorpio by now- so I guess I'm also extra sensitive, and therefore, the slightest things can affect me, like remembering Gianni Versace's violent death out of the blue.  A friend of mine commented she'd be dressing up as a witch to go treat or treating with two other friends, one of them dressed up as Perseus.  I couldn't help but suggest that she should dress up as Medusa and even said it would be "SO Gianni".
Though I could go on for quite a long while talking about Gianni Versace, I think he deserves a post of his own, so I'll save that idea for the future.
So after thinking about his death, how "you only live once" and questioning whether I will actually leave a footprint on this earth, I came across the following performance.



Just when you thought my mood could not descend any further, the final nerve in my system got struck by this girl's voice and this beautiful song.


CHER LLOYD PERFORMING "STAY" ON X-FACTOR LAST NIGHT
(picture from www.dailymail.co.uk)


 Though I had heard of Shakespeare's Sister back in the 90's, I don't think I was ever exposed to any of their music, so I was pleasantly surprised when I heard Cher Lloyd perform their song STAY (thank you Perez Hilton once again) on X Factor.

SHAKESPEAR'S SISTER

 After watching her amazing performance I had to check out the original version and I loved it as well.  A powerful, haunting, goosebump-inducing song and an equally striking video.  I NEED A DRINK NOW.


Thursday, October 28, 2010

DANCING IS MY REMEDY

After quite an uninspiring morning here are two music videos that have managed to cheer me up a bit Robyn's INDESTRUCTIBLE ( http://vids.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=vids.individual&videoid=106911853#pm_cmp=vid_OEV_P_P  ) and Katy Perry's FIREWORK. I have to say I loved Robyn's dress, it reminded me a bit of a dress and purse collection I made when I made it through to the Paris finals of the Jeunes Créateurs de Mode contest. I also have to confess my eyes got a little watery while watching Katy Perry's video.  I loved that it was filmed in Budapest.
Though I owe the title of this post to Little Boots, you know who was the first one to say you could dance for inspiration...





Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

OCTOBER 20th: ARE YOU WEARING PURPLE TODAY?

A tie, a scarf, a pin.  Anything goes to show your support.
Here's an interesting link : http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-504083_162-20020164-504083.html
(I'm also wearing purple corduroy jeans just in case you were wondering).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

CARDIO ANTHEMS

BARBRA STREISAND by DUCK SAUCE


HOW RETRO



I've talked about the 80's many times, I myself was one of those that thought they'd never be back and then fell for almost every single trend from that decade that has sneaked back into our lives.  This morning's newspaper had the headline featured above, it reads "THE KREMLIN CONDECORATED SPIES WHO WERE EXPELLED".  Isn't this just a bit TOO 80's?
I remember a whole family of kids from the U.S. at my school in Moscow were expelled and had to leave the country in a short time's notice when their parents had been accused of being spies (one of them was a really good friend of my sister's).  We found it so unfair and thought it was just some sort of retaliation for a Soviet family that had been expelled from Washington weeks before.  Their American nanny stayed and became a teacher's assistant at our school.
I also remember how our house there had been completely wired (is this the correct term?).  A few months before we arrived in 1987, the Embassy had detected the places where the microphones had been placed, and when my sister and I found out where they were, we decided we place ourselves close enough in order to say nasty comments about the Russians and about living in the Soviet Union (God knows we actually LOVED it there).  Even the staff at the house was in on this game.  Our cook, Valia, was fluent in Spanish, yet she pretended to barely know the language.
We know fashion and its trends come up as a result or echo of our times, but today it just felt like it was the other way around.

IF YOU'RE IN LONDON THIS WEEK...

Just got this delivered to my mailbox so...take a peek:
MANOLO'S NEW SHOES

Thursday 21st October
6pm - 8pm
The World of Manolo Room
Ground Floor


Cancel any plans you might have this Thursday and head down to Liberty for the unique chance to meet fashion’s most illustrious shoe designer, Manolo Blahnik. To celebrate the launch of his new book, 'Manolo’s New Shoes', Blahnik will be in store signing purchases. Don't miss this rare opportunity to see the man behind some of the most well renowned and iconic shoes ever produced.

'Manolo’s New Shoes', published by Thames & Hudson, collects together previously unpublished sketches and designs including those for Sofia Coppola’s celebrated Marie Antoinette biopic, with accompanying text from fashion’s best known names including Suzy Menkes and Grace Coddington.



GET MANOLO'S
NEW SHOES

Monday, October 18, 2010

Friday, October 1, 2010

SHOW THEM YOU CARE

I thought I'd be able to keep myself from posting other videos regarding Julie Andrews on the day of her birthday, but it's been impossible. I just watched the following bit from Mary Poppins three times straight, and though Feed The Birds is probably one of the saddest songs in the movie, it is also one of my favorites. The music is beautiful, as well as her voice and interpretation, but above all, the imagery and lyrics, are probably the most touching ingredients of this powerful combination. I guess they must have spoken to the young animal activist in me.

Early each day to the steps of Saint Paul's
The little old bird woman comes
In her own special way to the people she call,
"Come, buy my bags full of crumbs;
Come feed the little birds,
Show them you care
And you'll be glad if you do
Their young ones are hungry
Their nests are so bare
All it takes is tuppence from you
Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag
Feed the birds," that's what she cries
While overhead, her birds fill the skies

All around the cathedral the saints and apostles
Look down as she sells her wares
Although you can't see it,
You know they are smiling
Each time someone shows that he cares

Though her words are simple and few
Listen, listen, she's calling to you
"Feed the birds, tuppence a bag
Tuppence, tuppence, tuppence a bag"

Having lived in Eastern Europe as a child, I never felt the urge to travel to London (like I did for Paris), so my first time there was when I was 27, and I have to say I fell in love with the city.
Though stalking Madonna and a trip to her house in Marylebone were within my plans, they were not as important as going to Saint Paul's Here it goes.

A SPOONFUL OF JULIE

What would our world be without Julie Andrews? I really don't know. So many people's childhood memories are inevitably linked to her I can't possibly think of anyone who doesn't hold a special place for her in their heart. Unlike what was said about Singin' In The Rain's Lina Lamont, she CAN act, she CAN dance and she CAN sing, she is perhaps the embodiment of the word "talent".
I was thinking about the videos I should post regarding her but there's an endless list in Mary Poppins alone, and then there's The Sound of Music, Victor Victoria, etc. etc.
Though we associate her name mostly to films that belong to the comedy and musical genres, what's special about Julie Andrews is that she is also an actress with range. Just a couple of weeks ago I was over a couple of friends' house and we were about to watch her in Hitchcock's Torn Curtain, alongside Paul Newman, but something, I dont' recall what, got in the way and we ended up watching something else.
I'm having a sort of hectic week, but I had to take a minute or two to sit down and write about her today. Happy 75th Birthday!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

TWENTY




Yes, it's been twenty years since Vogue came out as a single, though it was also included in the soundtrack for the movie Dick Tracy : I'm Breathless, and later that same year in the Immaculate Collection.




I became absolutely obsessed with this song and especially the video as soon as it came out. I was ten, but it just spoke to me, I've no idea what it was that captivated me, but in hindsight, the collection of Lempicka images and references to Horst and Mainbocher all put together and coming to life through a fabulous and intricate choreography were something that could just not go by unnoticed, even for my (yet) untrained eye.






Inspiration has become quite a frequent word lately, especially regarding current pop-stars' videos: How much is "inspired by" and how much of their work is just a blatant copy. I think Vogue is the perfect example of how to take references from different artists (the aforementioned ones), no matter how explicit they might be, to then mix them with something as current and not-so-mainstream as "voguing" was back in the day. I think it takes a lot of vision to be able to mix things that are so distant and that apparently have nothing in common (hedonism is the obvious common denominator) into something so new and unique, and what's even more difficult, into something of Madonna's own: it is virtually impossible to separate Madonna from voguing nowadays.
In 2004, I went to my first-ever Madonna concert. Vogue was the opening song, and she performed in a corset, not designed by Mainbocher, but by Monsieur Christian Lacroix himself.






However, I feel my favorite Vogue performances will always be the one at the 1990 MTV Music Awards and ESPECIALLY the one from The Girlie Show.




Here's the performance from the latter, and despite the cliché, here it goes : STRIKE A POSE!


Sunday, August 22, 2010

BREAKING UP IS HARD TO DO

I was thinking about those VERY inspiring Robert Palmer videos with the beautiful girls, all uniformed in the same slick hair, red lipstick and skintight dresses. All so pretty. I had suggested the look for a styling project I have next week but my client didn't approve of it. Too bad.
A friend of mine on Facebook posted the videos a couple of days ago and I thought it was funny coincidence. Then this morning, I remembered the following video. Enjoy.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

WHAT IF FEELS LIKE FOR A FAN



"Because she's a non-conformist"
BLESS the girl who I'm quoting, whomever she may be. It's a phrase my best friend and I always go back to and that makes us giggle at first to then eventually break up into MAD laughter when we realize how silly we can be when it comes to our love for the one and only Queen of Pop.
The phrase comes from a teenager outside a Madonna performance in the 80's, most probably at a Virgin Tour concert, when asked by a news reporter WHY she loves Madonna. I've been asked that question myself and I haven't been able to answer it without going into an endless list of reasons which actually don't manage to express what it feels like for a fan.
It will be Madonna's birthday in about two minutes , and I could begin posting thousands of quotes, videos, pictures, etc. in order to celebrate, but this time I will limit my posting to two pieces.
Number one: a picture of myself and my newly acquired Interview magazine (brought to me by a dear friend) where she looks absolutely fantastic.




Number two: a video of Madonna at MTV'S New Music Seminar in 1984.
I love this video. There's no dancing, no singing, none of her usual physical abilities are exposed, but what we manage to see is one of Madonna's greatest talents: her vision. PLEASE watch, at least until the 1:26 mark, and OBSERVE how this newcomer gives the established artists of the time a huge lesson. I recently watched it for the nth time and I could not help but cheer, jump and clap. It makes me smile.
It makes me proud to be a fan.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MADONNA!


Saturday, August 14, 2010

YOU BETTER KNOW WHAT YOU'RE FIGHTING FOR

LOVING this.
I guess this is one of the examples when less is DEFINITELY more.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

AN AFFAIR TO REMEMBER

It's half past midnight and although I have to be up early tomorrow and should be asleep by now, I can't avoid the fact that today is the fourth anniversary of the day Madonna grabbed my hand. Yes, four years ago I became one lucky fan. I travelled to Boston especially for this concert, I bought a ticket on ticketmaster and though I knew I had a pretty good seat, I had no idea I was to be located just by the end of the catwalk where the disco ball where Madonna would come out of would descend at the beginning of the show.
The minute the mirrored ball opened, right after she sang : Connect to the sky/Future lovers ride/There in mission style/Would you like to try, she turned to her left and stared at me, and I almost fainted. I had had a t-shirt made especially for the occasion, in black and white stripes and with the words "I CONFESS" emblazoned in fuchsia and purple sequins. I could hardly contain myself throughout the entire show, I had never been this close to her (I had been to the Reinvention Tour a couple of years before, but the stage design wasn't this fan friendly).
I was happy. Just too happy. I though my trip had been worth every bit, but little did I know that the best was yet to come. While singing La Isla Bonita, right when she went down the catwalk followed by her entourage of dancers, she knelt RIGHT in front of me towards the end of the song, and then it happened. A few seconds that have now become one of my most cherished memories ever. SHE grabbed my hand. MADONNA. The same person I'd been following since I was 5. The same person who danced on a Venetian gondola. The same person who walked up a staircase in a striped t-shirt and jeans while holding a leather jacket over her shoulder . The same girl whose voguing I tried to imitate at 10. The same woman who inspired my curiosity for Tamara de Lempicka (the subject of my first collection ever). Most importantly, the one whose voice had been the background music to much of my life. It was as if HER life had flashed before my eyes.
Though I held on, she let go, and I have to admit it was sort of a let-down. It was as if I expected her to recognize me or something. I know it sounds delusional, but I guess most fans feel we've had some sort of relationship with her for the past thirty years.
Though I thought everything I could possibly expect from this amazing experience had already happened, I was to be extremely and pleasantly surprised when I got back to Lima. Though I had taken my camera to the concert, I only took pictures of her and was too excited to even think about taking pictures of myself, so the last thing I expected was to find pictures where I show up jumping and dancing next to the stage, posted on flick.com by two guys to whom I'll be eternally grateful.
Here's my photographic homage on our 4th anniversary and the tiny clip I managed to film right before IT happened. Happy Anniversary darling.


THE HAND

THE TICKET

THE OUTFIT

THE SOUVENIR


THE MOMENT

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

MADONNA MOMENT



YOU'RE SO FINE, AND YOU'RE MINE

Last look at Chanel Couture Fall 2010- July 6, 2010



Sunday, July 4, 2010

COLOR ME BADD

I'm kind of sick of people's so-called "re-interpretation" of pop art, especially in the local art scene. I mean, if I see another artist painting him/herself in the light of a pop star, a pin-up girl or painting comic icons and cartoons and calling them art by giving them a lousy twist, I'm seriously going to throw up (which given the few pounds I want to shed, might come in handy, ha!).
So when I came across the following video, I should have probably closed the window, but instead, I was caught up in it. Like I think I've mentioned before, beautiful or cool looking visuals rarely get away with being good enough unless they have an essence to them and a concept to back them up. In Marina and the Diamonds' new video for her song Oh No!, the lyrics, the song title and everything make a perfect match with the pop aesthetic given to it. Thank GOD for music videos. Had I heard the song on the radio I would have probably liked it but not paid much attention to it. This video actually enhances the power of the song by creating a living cartoon out of the lyrics, adding a much-to-my-delight comical drama (is that an oxymoron?). I KNOW I've mentioned thoughts on my life as a musical about a thousand times by now, and that's probably why I'm in love with the video. I felt it was a mix between Ally McBeal and Björk's It's Oh So Quiet in a Lichtenstein world.
I have to say I LOVE the choices in wardrobe, they are just perfect, both for her and the back-up dancers. I think they manage to give the video a more contemporary feel. I also love those Pantone-inspired outfits, which many might think were probably designed especially for this video, but they are actually part of Henry Holland's Fall collection.  I just love when fashion and music share the same spirit and come together in work of art like this.




I'll watch the video again while I begin to write a letter asking her if she'll consider a name-change, it just happens to be shared by a most unfortunate person.
Here it is,  enjoy:

Saturday, July 3, 2010

HEAR HER ROAR


So, after a couple of days or weeks of not posting anything, here I am again. I've actually had longer pauses than this, but the fact that this blog and myself were featured in widely read magazine, here in Lima, has added a litte more pressure to keep the posts coming up more frequently.

http://www.popculturemadness.com/interview/pics/Lolene.jpg


In my usual search for new music, I've become obsessed with an new song by a new artist, but the problem is I've only heard about a minute (precisely 58 seconds) of it, but I am HOOKED on it. I've been searching for a full version all over the web and I could find nothing, learning the album won't be released until August didn't help my anxiety much, until finally, last night, I found a little something: the full version in a video on youtube where sound quality is terrible because the song serves as the musical backdrop for a tiny little girl's performance. She actually knows some of the lyrics and is really into the whole thing, she even manages to imitate some of the gestures Lolene (Ooops! Just realized I never mentioned the song I'm talking about : Lion Heart by British newcomer Lolene http://www.lolenemusic.com) does in one live performance I also found on youtube. Watching this girl and her improvised, all-over-the-place but definitely heartfelt choreography reminded me of myself at her age.


When I lived in the former Soviet Union and my parents had to throw official dinner parties, my sister and I would have to stay upstairs all night, unable to go down, just like prisoners. Well, "prisoners" might be a bit of a stretch, but let's just say that my father wasn't too fond of the few occasions when I sneaked into the main living room and my 8 year-old self began to chat with some diplomat's wife out of the blue. The second reason why I am definitely exaggerating is because I hold some of the sweetest memories from those moments of "confinement". I remember we'd watch lots of movies, especially ones with plenty of music and dancing involved, while munching on the same food the grown-ups were having thanks to our cook who'd keep sending up the plates (I guess this is the moment when I began to put on weight). Then we'd create our own little dancefloor by rolling up the carpets in order to provide for a slippery and gliding-friendly surface. Many Flashdance moments were recreated there, soon to be followed during winter on the ice-skating rink.
So JUST because she's managed to take me back to this moment, I think Sydney deserves to be posted on my blog. Here she is, enjoy, while I keep on singing and waiting for this single to come out:  This is the eeeeeeeend of the wooooooorld as we know iiiit...


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

SHE'S A GIRL

Meryl Streep turns 61 today.  As I have mentioned in previous posts, I think her greatest asset has been her versatility as an actress, it has been essential to becoming the icon she is today.  With so many movies to choose from, here's a clip from one of my favorites:

Monday, June 21, 2010

BEAUTY IS WHERE YOU FIND IT PART II



Part II of the show:

BEAUTY IS WHERE YOU FIND IT

Or sometimes it's in your face, unavoidable and overwhelming. Such was the case at the Dolce & Gabbana Men's Spring show this week. It is rarely often that we see a men's show that is beautifully staged and that manages to carry the drama a women's show usually does, though, in comparison, a women's couture show is a very difficult rival when it comes to showtime. Unlike the lucky ones who managed to view the show LIVE through the Italian duo's website, I managed to catch it on youtube later on that day, but we were all witness to a moving show that was exquisitely orchestrated both visually and musically.
Opening the show to Mascagni's Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana was probably the best way to have the audience on the verge of tears. Those strings manage to strike every nerve in a person's body, and if it doesn't, have you asked yourself if you're alive at all? I hold this musical piece as one of my favorites and I've had it on repeat after the show. It brings memories from a recent trip to Buenos Aires, when I watched Raging Bull with a close friend (though we never made it to the end of the film). The movie opens with the same music, so when I heard it on the show, it immediately made me think of Italian immigrants in the U.S. and their background, and how Dolce&Gabbana have always worked on the heritage of Italian culture.

After this extremely touching introduction with the screens flashing images of Domenico and Stefano giving the finishing touches on the gorgeous models that were about to walk the runway, the curtains opened and there was Annie Lennox, sitting majestically at the piano, seconds before playing No More I Love You's. Later came Why, A Whiter Shade Of Pale and Must Be Talking To An Angel for the finale. Not only was the music beautiful, but everyone participating in this event, be it front row or backstage, was being treated to the presence of a great musical icon. As you can tell, this show was definitely designed to touch our hearts from beginning to end.
This gives you a clue on the musical beauty of the show, but then visually, the clothes, the models, everything was perfect. It was great to see Evandro Soldati (gorgeous), David Gandy (godly), André Ziehe though the major highlight for me was Enrique Palacios walking down the runway after quite a long time. They all strutted wearing outfits that just breathed ease. Who can resist such beauty?


ENRIQUE PALACIOS




EVANDRO SOLDATI




ANDRÉ ZIEHE






DAVID GANDY









JUSTIFY MY TONY WARD






STEFANO GABBANA AND DOMENICO DOLCE


I have written about beauty before, and it's power, and the thought struck me again. Here are these kids, young models, selected because of their physical features, becoming part of a memorable moment in fashion history where Annie Lennox was playing live while celebrating the 20th anniversary of the design team's men's line.
It has been a VERY touching show (and a true inspiration to working to be fit this summer). Here's the link to the show on the official Dolce & Gabbana website. The videos on youtube follow.
http://www.dolcegabbana.com/dg/fashion-show/man/video_runway

(Pics via style.com)





Part II of the show is in the next post.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

MY HEART BELONGS TO DADDY

So, I've been listening to a lot of Marilyn Monroe songs lately, I don't know why, but I've been in the mood for them, especially in the mornings. I think I first became aware of who she was after watching Madonna's Material Girl video back in the day and my parents explained where my beloved M had drawn the idea of wearing that pink dress and choreography. Given the recent controversy in the blogosphere regarding what is an "homage" and what is simply ripping-off another artist after Lady GaGa's Alejandro video, all I can say is Material Girl was definitely an homage, and a great one too.




To me the biggest difference between ripping-off and taking inspiration is that the first one uses/copies similar imagery just for the sake of a visual effect while taking actual inspiration requires further work and effort so that there is an actual purpose/message from this "borrowing of ideas". Material Girl wasn't based on just any Marilyn Monroe performance, it was based on her rendition of Diamonds Are A Girl's Best Friend in her 1953 movie Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. The reference to that song was a perfect match and essential to the final message in the video : Boys may come and boys may go but that's alright you see, experience has made me rich and now they're after me.




Back to Monroe now, it is Father's Day today, and like every year, I can't help but start singing My Heart Belongs To Daddy. Though this Cole Porter piece has been sung by many artists, the only version I've ever heard is Marilyn's.  I remember how much my mom despised her singing skills when my dad used to play this when I was a kid, but there is such charm to her performance of this song that you just can't help but love it, especially because of the double-entendre and more so after you see the bit where she sings it in the movie Let's Make Love.
I love her outfit. I love the simplicity of it.  60's chic. A sweater and black tights. Isn't a sweater the typical Fathers' Day gift?




Here's the video, enjoy.