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!
Today I came across two different items related to the iconic Gustav Klimt. Having been to Vienna, which I love (where I swear his spirit lives on!) one is often caught by surprise when suddenly, looming around any corner, is an Art Deco architectural wonder. Of course it is a modern, bustling city, but it literally sings with music and art. I can’t help but love Klimt; of course I love his lyrical line and sense of the decorative, and gold leaf is always special to me (anything that is glittery works for me!) But also, he was a true lover of women and their sensuality, and he always messed and annoyed the establishment of his day, a character trait I admire. No shrinking violet was Gustav! And he produced some seriously beautiful art.
There is a review in The Wall Street Journal “Forever Between Two Worlds” for an exhibition at the Neue Gallery in New York, in honor of the 150th aniversary of his birth. And at the Getty Museum here in Los Angeles, we have “Gustav Klimt: The Magic of Line” which will showcase his drawings. An excerpt:
Discover the beautiful and evocative drawings of Gustav Klimt in this major retrospective, which explores the stylistic evolution of his drawings as well as their centrality to his work. Klimt’s drawings are characterized by an unsurpassed mastery of line, from his earliest days as a student to his maturity as an avant-garde master.
I am lucky enough to be able to see both, as I will soon be in New York (YAY!!) so I will get to absorb some Gustav magic.
Here is a Photo illustration collage I did that includes an image on Klimts very famous “The Kiss”. I no longer sell this image, but maybe I should revisit it! I love being inspired from other artist’s and incorporating them in my work.
All the pastel dyed jeans this season are affecting my color preferences. I quite like them… but what to wear with them? Batik-dyed skinny jeans also sound fab. For sure, the big platform wood shoes are a must for either!
I did buy this eyelet top from Banana Republic, I think it could work…
In any and ALL cases, though, the pastel clothing extravaganza will certainly work in the colorful city of Positano Italy, where I want to be wearing them SOON!
The Rolling Stones are celebrating their 50 years in show business, as I recently read in the Wall Street Journal. It was interesting to be reminded that the Stones’ early style was very natural, as in, one could almost say JCrew-ish? I have to say that I prefer Mr. Jaggar in those clothes in that era. A most beautiful English lad! Here is what phtographer Gered Mankovitz said about their dtyle in the early days:
“In late 1965, when I first shot them, it was against the band ethos to dress up too much,” said rock photographer Gered Mankowitz, who toured with the band that year, and shot Stones album covers such as 1965′s “Out of Our Heads” and ’67′s “Between the Buttons.” “There wasn’t a lot of difference between their off- and onstage style, really. The look was natural, real—not flashy. Part of their visual strength was their individuality. And each had their own look.”
Although I also must say I love their jumpsuit and cape wearing in the years that were to follow, I think their classic look fit their youth well.
Click to view more fabulous Rolling Stones looks! May they Rock and Roll forever!!!
It’s been a long time between blog posts for me. I’ve had a bit of computer burn-out. Time always runs short, and I need to replenish by thinking and making things. Sometimes making things that have no use at all. There is a beauty in that, like the beauty of Bjork. I am so thrilled and grateful each and everytime I sell something, but getting it out there in cyberland takes many hours sitting in front of the computer. In fact, right now, instead of working, I read this fascinating article on what inspires Bjork; everything from music to the rain forests. I think it is well worth the time to find out about what inspires Bjork, because she is a true original creative force. I don’t always love all of her music, but I always love her and her strange beauty. She inspires me!
Click on this image to read and listen to some of the many things that inspire Bjork from this fabulous article on the guardian.uk website, written by Rebecca Nicholson.
You can also find images of her best fashion choices! Of course, the famous “Swan Dress” is there!
Quoted from Wikipedia’s entry on Coco Chanel:
In 1926 Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel published a picture of a short, simple black dress in American Vogue. It was calf-length, straight, and decorated only by a few diagonal lines. Vogue called it “Chanel’s Ford.” Like the Model T, the little black dress was simple and accessible for women of all social classes. Vogue also said that the LBD would become “a sort of uniform for all women of taste.”
In homage to the classic and iconic dress (like it’s creator!) I recently added a canvas art print of my own rendition of “Little Black Dresses.” You can buy it in my etsy shop now (I will soon be adding it to my website.) It is a lovely 8 X 10 X .75″ canvas print, ready to hang on the wall or place anywhere you want color (and black!) Of course, it is based on older fashion image and all gussied up. Click on the image to see more views.
Here are more images, just food for thought on the classic and immortal “Little Black Dress.” I actually own the last image, the book based entirely on the theme. Available on Amazon.com, of course!
I always thought it would be great fun to be a costume designer, since it combines art, fashion and geekery (all that research!) and I love all of those things. Fashion has quicky turned out some very cool retro styles base on the recent popular movies “The Help,” “My Week With Marilyn” and “The Artist.” These photos are from the Wall Sreet Journal’s article “Costume Drama.” I particularly love the very girly and colorful combo shown first below; “Mississippi Marvelous!”
Recently, I watched “The Prince and the Showgirl” on Turner Movie classics, which “My Week With Marilyn” was based on. I found Marilyn to be so much more alive and electric on screen than the storied Sir Laurence Olivier. I remember reading that was a very tough shoot for her, as Mr. Olivier was very bothered by her current interest in Method Acting. In spite of the troubles on set, she far outshines him. And, she is at her most gorgeous. Rent it!
As I write this post on my iPad, I acknowledge that I love the digital age as much as we all do, and there is no doubt that digital photography is one of the most important advances ever. Well, except for maybe the release of the Kodak “Brownie” camera. It was the first portable camera; the first to bring photography to everyone. You just took your photos, and sent the whole camera in, then Kodak sent you back your photos and a newly loaded camera!
I loved learning the challenge of film photography; the chemistry, the skill, the tricks of a double exposure, and sadly, it is now basically extinct. I own quite a few expensive cameras that are now worthless! (a short meditation on the nature of acquiring “things!”) and in reality, digital pixels don’t really replicate a true analog image. Somehow, something is missing!
It looks like Kodak will soon be no more, so here are some retro memories to honor “The Eastman Kodak Co.”
Lastly, I have included a COLOR FILM ANALOG photograph I took about 3 years ago, when I went around my local area taking pictures of old California style Bungalows at night. Sadly, they too, are dissapearing!!!! And NO, NOT ANY Photoshopping!!!!
It’s been long time between posts lately … you know, the holidays and all that. I’ve been enjoying my downtime and reading my iPad, watching movies (loved loved “The Artist”!), filling orders for my stores and generally being lazy! I recently have been perusing the Life Magazine app, which is just beautiful. They have organized their incredible iconic photos into slideshow-based themes and I discovered Françoise Sagan, (under the “romantic-drunken-mad-literary-artist category”) who by all accounts was a hard living, larger than life, precocious artist. Her first, and most famous book, “Bonjour Tristesse” was published when she was 18 years old. She was an eccentric, and I love her for that!
Here she is with some of her more famous quotes:
“To jealousy, nothing is more frightful than laughter.”
When asked if she believed in love: “Are you joking? I believe in passion. Nothing else. Two years, no more. All right, then: three.”
“A dress makes no sense unless it inspires men to want to take it off you.”
“I have loved to the point of madness, that which is called madness, that which to me is the only sensible way to love.”
“One can never speak enough of the virtues, the dangers, the power of shared laughter.”
“Art must take reality by surprise.”
I know it appears I am in love with all things French …and I am! Only the French would make the new silent movie “The Artist”, and possess the effortless style of everyday Parisiens, speak the lovely language that I now master fairly well, not to mention the great bread, the butter, and Brigitte Bardot.
In French, “window shopping” is translated literally as “licking the windows” (leche-vitrines) as in, Je adore faire du lèche-vitrines pendant la période de Noël (I adore window shopping at Christmas time.) But after taking a break from my blog (and work) to have an extended stay in the City of Light, I can tell you that they have the BEST window displays there, bar none. You WILL want to lick the windows. The most amazing little stores, remarkably small and perhaps largely unnoticed, design a small feast for the senses for those who take the time to stop and look. It’s just how they do things in France (I never thought taking art education out of the public schools was a good idea. Ask the French about it!)
One late Sunday night (yes, I said Sunday) around midnight, I was walking back to my apartment in the 6eme and I saw a women, working alone late in her little hat boutique, designing her new window display for the following week. She would make the most incremental adjustments of the hats, then walk in the street to take a look, then go back and move things a teeny bit more. It was very late, but apparently, very important. That is why it is worth “licking the windows” in Paris! Thank God the French don’t like to change!
Here are just a few of the windows I photographed; mostly I was focused on photographing small Parisians scenes to embellish for my store. Take a look, they will be added soon!
And here is a photo of the flowers in bloom at the Jardin du Luxembourg (in October, no less) that will giving me endless inspiration for happy, joyous color.