Lately I’ve been coming across Lee Grant a lot. A great (and underrated) retro icon! She has published a memoir, “I Said Yes to Everything.” LOVE the title. I always enjoyed her mix of sultry beauty mixed with intelligence, her excellent acting, and her signature look – bob with bangs in a fiery auburn hue. She won an academy award for her part in that 1970s classic movie, “Shampoo” with Warren Beatty, and was nominated for her first and second movie roles. This week TurnerClassic Movies has the fabulous Ms Grant as a guest, and is screening many of her movies. How delicious! She is now 87 years old, and she has a lot to say about her life in Hollywood in an era when an actress was not allowed to grow old (they barely are allowed now!) She really DID say yes to everything, including a facelift in her 20s!(?)
Here is a great quote from an article in the New York Post on July 5, 2014,
She might be forgiven for worrying about her looks: Because of husband Arnie Manoff’s membership in the Communist Party, Grant was blacklisted in 1952 by the House Un-American Activities Committee and banned from performing in TV or film until 1964. That career hiatus, spanning her most marketable years (ages 24 to 36), made the striking Grant agonizingly conscious of her sell-by date.
I am so enamored of these wonderful women in the coolest eras! If you get a chance, watch or record her on TMC. She is still as sharp and feisty and auburn as ever!
It all started with a guitar riff! I love this article in the Wall Street Journal, as Jimmy Page reminisces about the creation of that song. Led Zeppelin is reissuing their first three albums on Atlantic Records, and Jimmy tells all about the creation of the classic “Whole Lotta Love”. As Jimmy says about the unforgettable riff,
“I knew it was strong enough to drive the entire song, not just open it. When I played the riff for the band in my living room several weeks later during rehearsals for our first album, the excitement was immediate and collective. We felt the riff was addictive, like a forbidden thing.”
It turns out competition between Robert Plant and Jimmy Page was an important element behind so much of their great sound… Jimmy creating the riffs, Robert echoing the instruments with his voice. I’m not sure if they could know how long-lastingly awesome their music would become! And the photos from the article are retro heaven…
Visit the Wall Street Journal page for a quick link to the song!
A new great reason to go to New York! I really don’t need any, but this gives me a good excuse to hop on a plane. The Metropolitan Museum of Art is having a retrospective of the forgotten fashion designer Charles James through August 10, 2014. I have to admit, after a career in both fashion and art, I was not familiar with him. So sad he has been forgotten because he was a great eccentric, like most artists. An article on the exhibition by Laura Jones states that he was “scathingly articulate, wildly arrogant, probably bipolar” and he once said that “all my seams have meaning.” What is most intersting to me is that Charles thought his dresses to be sculptures, and looking back at them in the era that they were made and photographed (by such luminaries as Cecil Beaton!) makes them spectacularly unique and beautiful. Once again, another reason to celebrate retro ~ and the style, class and taste of the designers, and artists of that era! Oh, to have an occasion to wear these dresses… sigh
Last night I watched the 1976 movie “Network”. I forgot what a good movie it was, with great cinematography and cool, creative lighting. And who wouldn’t work hard on lighting the shots if you were framing the face of the glorious Faye Dunaway? She won the Academy Award for her performance, and she is perfect as the hard-driving career-climbing 1970s television visionary. The movie still rings true about the evils chasing the beast of ratings, especially now with the endless parade of reality shows.
But it was the unique and extraordinary beauty of Faye that struck me… I went googleing to see more images of her, and she literally took my breath away! Oh my, could there have been anyone as beautiful? Particularly in Bonnie and Clyde… poor Warren Beatty, no slouch himself, he had to compete with such a fabulous thing of nature!
Here are some images of her, and once again I know why I am in love with all things retro! If my hair was straight, I would get a “Bonnie” bob straight away and pull out my berets! Now she is on my list to add to my shop… click on the “shop” link above to see my retro homages and perhaps soon she will be there!
If you get a chance make sure to watch (and record!) the Smithsonian Channel’s presentation of “Blondies New York.” So great to see Debbie and Chris Stein carousing down memory lane of New York in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s. She HAD to be the most beautiful Punk Princess ever… ripped up clothes and thrift store t-shirts never looked so good… They talk a lot about creating the music and building the tracks, the last thing to come was Debbie’s unique voice. Debbie was interviewed saying that in that era she had to point out that her name wasn’t “Blondie” and that it was a band! I can’t even think of the word without thinking of that face and those cheekbones. Rapture!
I made a collaged image of her to add to the shop. Click here or on the image to see it in the store! I want it super large over a fabulous turquoise love seat, like the one below. I guess it’s time to redecorate!
Go to my web store here!
“Terry was everywhere in the 60s – he knew everything and everyone that was happening” Keith Richards
Before the annual Academy Awards show each year here in Los Angeles, there are many nostalgia – themed shows and articles remembering stars and icons from previous eras. It’s almost as if the past is more glamorous and impossibly cool than the present, and the stars of today are just waiting for enough time to pass when they too, will immortalized by one or two memorable photographs. Arguably, there is no greater documenter of cool than the amazing Terry O’Neill. His snap of Brigitte Bardot with the wind whipping her hair is one of the most famous shots of one of the most famous icons. There is a new reprint out with hundreds of his mesmerizing photographs, “Terry O’Neill, Introduction by Dylan Jones” published by ACC Editions. I want it! I could look at his photos endlessly. He is 75 years old and still going strong. Oh, the stories he could tell… but he won’t…
“I’ve been repeatedly asked to write my autobiography – I have seen an awful lot of famous people at their best and worst – but I’m not interested in making money trading their secrets or mine. I want my pictures to tell a story not sell a story.” Terry O’Neill
I dearly love my blog… and there are always so many cool things I want to write about, but sadly I have been absent from posting. Well, this is a new year, and there are always those resolutions to keep
I went to see “American Hustle” and they played that great movie trailer for the Jean Luc-Godard film with Brigitte Bardot “Le Mepris” (“Contempt” in English) as an advertisement to the films 50th anniversary release (FIFTY years… can you believe it?) It is considered one of the greatest film trailers of all time, and I have to say, it does the film proud. It is as stark, modern, bizarre, beautiful, and confusing as the film itself. I LOVE that film, and I love Bardot in it. Some things just have their right place and time, some things don’t need to have a lot said for them, they stand for themselves.
Watch it here!
Some film stills (omg how great were the sets!)
I think it is safe to say that blue is for many, their favorite color… and there is no better shade of it than “Yves Klein International Blue”. The intense and deeply pigmented cobalt blue became synonomous with it’s equally intense and eccentric creator, Yves Klein. I fell in love with Yves after watching a documentary on him. Many of his famous abstract paintings done in “Yves Klein Blue” were made by nude women, who rolled themselves in the heavy cobalt pigment and flung themselves wholeheartedly onto a life-sized canvas (all under Mr. Klein’s strict supervision, of course.) I thought perhaps Andy Warhol was influenced by him, as Andy continued to champion the idea of art being created by the “mind” of the artist, and not the “hand” of the artist. It didn’t matter who made the art, it mattered who thought of the idea. But then I saw the documentary, and I learned that Yves was so classy and well-dressed that he didn’t want his tuxedo to be sullied while painting. You can find many pictures of him dressed for high society while his nude female models act as paintbrushes, eagerly waiting to fling themselves onto his canvas! Tragically, he died too young, and we missed out on all that Yves had in store for us, in all that magical cobalt blue.
I was happy to read that Etnia Barcelona, the hip Spanish eyewear maker, is releasing a “Yves Klein International Blue” sunglass line this spring and summer. Their line of frames and sunglasses are as chic as Mr. Klein himself. Check out their website… wow, racy! And thanks to Mr. Klein for putting his “international blue” on our palette!
There is a new book out by Taschen Publishing, the amazing art book publishing house, on Emilio Pucci. Pucci, if you do not know already, was the absolute master of intricate kaleidoscope colors and prints. He liked to boast that no one with the surname of “Pucci” had held a working job for the last 1000 years! Hence, his first foray into business was called “Emilio of Capri” to hide the fact from the other Pucci family members that he was “working.”
By the early 1950s, Pucci was achieving international recognition for his bold and colorful prints, which were worn by the biggest celebrities of the era. His beautiful silk scarves are collectors items. I’m glad he decided to work!
I love Lucky Mag for it’s titalating captions…“we’re obsessed over!!!”… “pretend pink is beige!!” and it’s over-use of exclamation points. But mostly I love it for always referencing retro style and icons in every issue. They are right on with that! So much cool style, so many great eras, so many impossibly beautiful boys and girls. I fell in love with their photo of Francois Hardy, so I’m adding it, and a few more here. I’m in love with this 1960s and 70s French actress/musician/style icon! She is perfection. I’m SURE she still is.