I tend to be late on churning out these opinion/reflection pieces because I also tend to watch movies late — usually once their hype is over. I do this partly because I have school (yes, thaaat inevitable excuse), and also because watching it months (or even years!) after its release somewhat gives me permission to eschew reviews and critics’ opinions, and just have an uninfluenced opinion of it.
My heart is still aching as I write this piece, as I have just finished Mark Romanek’s Never Let Me Go. Watching this film was incredibly painful; I was clutching my right wrist with my left hand so hard whilst hugging a fluffy pillow, as if I was watching a thriller movie. Was this position my defense mechanism from the pain? From the inevitable sad ending of the movie? Or from the hurt caused by Kathy H.’s (Carey Mulligan) repressed love for Tommy D. (Andrew Garfield) [*heart melts*]? Well, it probably was from all of that.
I don’t exactly know what this movie is all about: is it about love? Is it a question of ethics? Or does it simply aim to highlight the fleeting/ephemeral nature of life? So many questions, but I’ve no answers, and no well-formed opinions…Just teary eyes, and a broken heart.
This is probably the most amusing and original concept/content I have seen so far. Miss Moss takes recent fashion and street style images and juxtaposes them with images of Old Masters, vintage posters and fabrics, photographs from another era, and basically any image that she can find that mimics a similar colour palette as the first photo that she posted. It really is interesting. She either has an exceptional visual memory, or an exceptional knack (and luck) for google-ing images. Either way, I am thoroughly impressed.
The piece really captures the avant-garde and eccentric nature of Isabella Blow. Her aesthetic reminds me of a tamer, more modern Marchesa Casati, minus the occult-like factor. Isabella Blow was a woman who was always impeccably dressed ("My style icon is anyone who makes a bloody effort”); and she always wore her trademark overtly decorative hats, that at times obscured half of her face. Her great “eye”, her undeniable creativity, infinite passion/support for fashion, the arts and culture, and her good heart was truly admirable. Read a wonderful snapshot portrait of her life (written by Amy Larocca, published by NY Magazine) of her here.
THE SAD HATTER Isabella Blow, discoverer of Alexander McQueen and Philip Treacy (and — let me intrude — Stella Tennant), wearer of the extravagant, darling of the beau monde, loved fashion more than life. But by the end, even fashion couldn’t save her. By Amy Larocca, Published Jul 15, 2007.
Hats off to you, Ms Blow. You were one of the few true culture/taste-makers.
This shot was my first introduction to Taylor Tomasi. I stared at this photograph for hours. I didn’t even know who she was, and I can’t quite remember when and where I found this photograph (probably at The Sartorialist, but I’m not entirely sure). All I can recall was, when I saw this photo, I was instantly drawn to her fiery red hair, and obsessively admired what she was wearing; particularly, the shape/proportions of her straight button-down shirt to to her semi-balloon-y skirt. I even tried to copy this outfit once, but failed. I wasn’t chic enough to pull it off.
I thought Taylor Tomasi was fashionable and chic before, but now her style has evolved, and she is slowly becoming my style saint (sorry Kate Lanphear).
*Photos from all over the Internet
There are lots of elements in her outfit that I already have, and would wear on a regular basis: that International Klein Blue Celine purse, the leopard print scarf, and the green utility jacket. I also love that she’s wearing this new longer skirt length because it suits her amazingly. She’s so edgy, yet she still remains feminine at the same time! How lovely!
Okay, call me late but I just listened to Dirty Projectors’Bitte Orca today, in its entirety. I’ve listened to more than a couple of songs in the album two months ago (I think), but I have not yet experienced the whole album…until today. EMBARRASSING, considering it was released in 2009 (YIKES!) and received critical acclaim and tons and tons of praise and applause. By the way, by “critical acclaim”, I mean Pitchfork acclaim. Now, if you don’t consider Pitchfork a legitimate critic/musical taste-maker, well…I don’t know who else you consider as the musical taste-maker of this generation. Pitchfork gave the album a nine-point-two out of ten, and now I can definitely understand why they put this experimental, post-modern musical product on a pedestal.
For those who have not heard the album yet, this commentary is (partly) for you. For those who have heard it and have formed solid opinions about it, you can skip this very late commentary and give Bitte Orca a re-listen (just so that my efforts of writing this post would not go to waste).
This is one album you definitely have to be in the mood to listen to. It’s NOT one of those albums you put on while you’re reading your cultural theory book or the assigned novel for your Critical Thinking to Narrative course. If you ever attempt to give this a passive first listen, it will turn you off immediately — like that "WTF-IS-THIS?!" kind-of-turn-off (definitely did, the first time I listened to Remade Horizon). The album does not require hard concentration though; not the type of concentration you’d need to listen to Beethoven’s sonatas, but enough concentration to hear everything that is going on because there is a lot: the incredible textures and chaotic, shifting melodies will truly daze. It is conceptual and it will puzzle, but it grows on you HARD, and heck, all of it is satisfying.
There’s this one luscious track that is slowly catching up and becoming one of my favourites (apart from Cannibal Resource and No Intention): Temecula Sunrise. I like it because it’s like that song that can’t make up its mind; once you think you got the beat, the song switches gears, and plays with a different kind of melody, with a different tempo. The smooth, playful melody of the electric guitars, the sudden random blasts of drums, plus the touch of simplistic lyrics all add up to one eccentric, head-bobbing/finger-tapping track (albeit a complex beat). There is chaotic beauty all throughout the song, but for me, the most luscious parts are the start, and that instrumental part towards the end, approximately 20 seconds after the 3-minute mark. Anyway, give it a listen here, if you haven’t yet.
Also, listen to the whole album (if you haven’t yet), and for best, most satisfying, 9.2/10-worthy results, remember: NO PASSIVE LISTENING.
Jan Erik Svendsen's extrrrremely well-designed website is making me go crazy. GOOD crazy, as you can tell. It looks SO NICE! I am such a fan of this aesthetic. It looks clean, cohesive and professional, minus the boring factor.
The website was designed by HEYDAYS (whose .com is equally as super) — a design studio based in Oslo. Seriously, all the good design work/pieces come from that part of the world.
The Curve of Forgotten Things — A film by Todd Cole for Rodarte
The previous fashion film that I saw of Rodarte (Aanteni) was incomprehensible, too aggressive and quite boring; but this one…THIS FASHION FILM IS BEYOND BEAUTIFUL. That dreamy, early to mid-afternoon light that plays so softly on the eyes; the untouched, raw beauty of the rural setting balanced out by a little touch of masculine, industrial activity; the rich earth colours that paint the film with a sense of humility; and the innocence, unreal beauty of Elle Fanning (Is she really Dakota’s sister?!) — all these make the film so perfect. The beauty consumed/overwhelmed me, just like how Elle Fanning got eaten by that piercing ball of light at the end of the film.
I’ve been seeing an awful lot of this colour lately all throughout the course of New York Fashion Week [F/W ‘11]. Not that I’m complaining; I love the International Klein Blue — one glance and it sends electric pulses straight into the eyes. I have a few Yves Klein blue pieces in my closet myself, which I wear sparingly just because it’s so memorable that when I wear it twice, people notice. I love wearing those items though because I feel like the colour carries with it a vibe of eccentricity sans the “strange” factor, if you know what I mean.
Of course, a discussion about this colour would not be complete without the mention of its roots: Yves Klein’s performance art piece, where he asked naked women to paint their bodies with this colour and use themselves as paintbrushes. Quite an offensive piece, if you ask me.
But anyway, I am looking forward to seeing more of this colour in other shows.