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!
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
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!
My continuing fascination with technology, fashion and art makes me really really want to design (and wear!) my own digital printed pencil skirt. The Wall Street Journal recently wrote an article on Spring’s current wardrobe staple, title “Pencil In Some Fun!” You can read it here.
From the article: “The pencil skirt has the perfect shape to highlight a print because it’s a really clean surface,” said designer Joseph Altuzarra of the high-waisted, nipped-in style to which he returns season after season. The skirt below by Zero Maria Cornejo was based on an iPhone photo of the metal fence at the DeYoung Museum in San Francisco!
Here are just a few others… search the web and you will definitely find one for you.
And below is a mock-up of a digital printed pencil skirt made from one of my altered photographs. I can wear my own sexy version of the Eiffel Tower!
And just to round it all out, a palette of “happy color” coffee cups in my favorite brights. Just in case you’d rather drink your bold color than wear it!
I’ve been seeing some very interesting new fashion for Fall 2013, among those are the voluminous and luxurious styles from Rochas. The looks are both retro and modern at the same time, recalling the shapes of the 1950s yet looking very new. Delicious! And who could not love the mosaic bejewelled treasures from Dolce and Gabbana? Early Christian byzantine art brought to life to be seen anew. I LOVE the colors and the complexity and I find them inspiring and very creative. There is so much inspiration in the fashion world.
I particularly like the Patchwork dresses I’ve been seeing.. they remind me of collage and layering in art forms. It is something tricky to achieve in both fashion and art. What clashes… and what is harmonious together?
I think the use of black and white makes it much easier to pattern clash. It is something I should try as I usually use a lot of color.
Below is one of my newer more “earthy” patchwork pieces. For now it is only available in my Etsy store (click on the image to visit my store!) as I have too many industrious activities going on and keeping up with them is exhausting (my life functions as a patchwork as well!) I think it is most beautiful as a canvas.
But please take your time to peruse my website, where I have many images not on etsy:
And as Autumn is near, of course I think of Paris, and this seems to represent a piece of a patchwork memory of Paris… It is time to go again. YAY!
Today Helen Gurley-Brown, THE woman… the woman behind Cosmo magazine, the woman who told many many generations of other women that it was ok to enjoy being single…that it was ok for women to have sex without guilt, has died. All I could think about today though, was the luminous Natalie Wood, who starred in the movie based on Helen’s famous book, “Sex and the Single Woman.” The book was written in 1962, and if you are a fan of Mad Men, then you already know how it was for women in that pre- feminism era.
In retrospect, maybe the movie doesn’t have the impact or importance of the book. The incredibly beautiful Natalie is a “Sex Therapist”; she is a working woman- an educated woman. In the end of course, the inevitable happens and she falls for Tony Curtis. I haven’t seen it in a long time, so I can only reflect on these two thoughts… the death of a important cultural icon and feminist Helen Gurley-Brown, and the incandescent and unforgetable Natalie Wood. (Tony Curtis – meh!)
Rest in Peace, and thank you Helen!