31 January 2009

Sunday Self Pic


Since it's Chinese New Year and all, I decided to wear Serge Lutens's Mandarine Mandarin for my night out last night. Mandarine Mandarin was launched by Serge Lutens in 2006; like most of the Palais Royale Exclusives, it was created in collaboration with perfumer Christopher Sheldrake. The notes include Chinese orange, nutmeg, clove, candied mandarin orange peel, smoky tea, rock rose, labdanum, tonka bean, musk and ambergris: As the name suggests, self-consciously oriental. It opens on citrus, and for an instant is sparkling and juicy. And then, the citrus darkens into something more honeyed (think orange candy or crystallized peel, not fresh juice) and we move into an ambery liquer of spiced florals with a wisp of smoky tea running through the center. It sort of implodes with a dark sweetness, just the thing to wear on a sultry night. When others think fresh, I think indolic tuberose. I wore this with a navy silk shirt, dark jeans and brown plaited leather Hermes sandals.

30 January 2009

Weekend Reading List

I had lots of mags dumped on me over the week, including Elle Decor, Time, Men's Health (yes, very unlikely, but I share them with my father). I'm also reading What Is Remembered by Alice Babette Toklas. Ms Toklas is known for her relationship with Gertrude Stein, whom she met in Paris on September 8, 1907, on the first day that she arrived. Together they hosted a salon, with Ms Toklas playing 'wife': She was Ms Stein's confidante, lover, cook, secretary, muse, editor, critic, and house keeper, remaining firmly in the shadow of Ms Stein. They lived as a couple until Gertrude Stein's death in 1946. Yes, Edwardian muff-divers. Not very auspicious for the new year, but there you go!

Simon Nessman 1990

Fabien Baron

Just a year after being hired as co-editorial director (with Glen O'Brien), Fabien Baron is leaving Interview. He exits with ­creative director Karl Templer. Mr Baron joined Interview to revamp the title under new management — replacing editor in chief Ingrid Sischy. The title is owned by Peter Brant. M/M Paris, the French duo known for their work with magazines including Vogue Paris and Purple, is said to be taking over the creative direction of Interview.

29 January 2009

Things I Detest

1. People who get on/ off the lift on the third floor.
2. People who get on/off the lift on the second floor.
3. People who press the going up and going down buttons when they need the lift.
4. Strollers festooned with shopping.
5. Strollers.
6. People who are not looking at where they are pushing thier supermarket carts.
7. Children at adult parties.
8. Taxi drivers who don't know the way; It's like a chef who can't cook.
9. Rich people who only talk about money.
10. Rich people who know that no one will talk to them if they were not rich.
11. Unimaginative people.
12. Unproductive people.
13. Homes with no books in them.
14. People who don't use the serving spoon, double-dipping delightedly.
15. People who cough/ sneeze without covering their mouths/ noses.

spring 2009 Couture: Christian Lacroix

One of my all-time faves, his sense of colour is, like Yves Saint Laurent's, heightened. This isn't his best work, precisely because it's so typical, it has a 'best of compilation' feeling. It's fine, nonetheless, just not as joyous as Lacroix can be. 

CK Jeans SS09

Steven Meisel is far superior to Steven Klein in my books. Watch the commercial here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtzZBZaC2Ps 

Lose Myself

"I love to lose myself for a good while,
Like animals in forests and the sea,
To sit and think on some abandoned isle,
And lure myself back home from far away,
Seducing myself to come back to me."
- Nietzsche
Before I knew it, over the period of two years, I had gradually, unknowingly, dropped out of my own life, and dropped into his. I didn’t see any of my friends anymore; It had become increasingly weird to explain my actions and absences to them. I had no time for them. I was too busy cleaning the window, mopping the floor, answering the phone, serving the customers, wiping the counter, re-stocking, packing, counting, buying coffee, clearing his ashtrays, which were always full. He smoked in the shop. It was so tucked away in a corner, and the building was so full of cooking fumes anyway that it didn’t make a difference. I would go home exhausted, smelling of fried food and cigarettes everyday. But happy. Or so I thought at the time.

28 January 2009

Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky

Anna Mouglalis is too fashion model-pretty to be believable as Chanel. She doesn't have the essential meanness. 
She could wear a dress, but make a dress? I don't think so.

Coco Avant Chanel

Quite convincing. Audrey Tatou has that androgynous, nasty edge to her. She's not too pretty, and has Chanel's simian features. 




Everyone wants to be a fashion icon... even Shirley MacLaine! Aren't the stills hilarious? From the tv movie Coco Chanel. Love it!

Alber Elbaz

Images: Sarah Moon

"Artists have no boundaries. I do not think of myself as that kind of artist. I have to think about a body, a season, a price, a store, a hanger. The hardest part of designing is finding a balance between fantasy and construction. It's like salt - too much is terrible and not enought leaves you without flavour."

"It's like baking: I can never make a cake because they tell you 10 grams of this and 1o minutes here. I can't follow those kinds of rules. And I do not crave that kind of perfection."

- Alber Elbaz

To Myself

Even when I forget you
I go on looking for you
I believe I would know you
I keep remembering you

27 January 2009

Spring 2009 Couture: Chanel

Nothing needs to be said. I love Chanel, and Karl Lagerfeld is genius. Long live Karl!

Mid Week Self Pic

Totally fat-free!

New Year, New Night Cream

I've finished the heavy navy glass pot of Helena Rubinstein Prodigy Night Tissular, every last dense, ultra rich apricot dab and I'm now wondering what I'm going to do with the cannonball bottle. It feels too important to throw away. Anyone who needs a heavy duty night cream should get this. It's reassuringly old world and really effective. I even use it on my hands. On my neck, I'm using Bulgari's Serum Precieux. It was a bit sharp around my eyes and I got red, but it seems to work fine on the neck, in truth, I prefer something a bit heavier in feel. Tonight, I'm starting on Cle de Peau's la Creme. I love anything that comes with its own little gold spatula.

Men's Collection Fall 2009: The Rest in Paris

Despite disappointed reviews from commentators and bloggers, this men's season wasn't a total washout. In my opinion, these were very good efforts indeed. A lot of the hyperbolic conceits have been trimmed to fit these leaner times, in the process revealing real thinking and some really desirable clothes. Dries van Noten, Hermes and Louis Vuitton presented solid, chic collections, humourlessly, but politely elegant clothes that effectively do their job. On the other hand, Number (N)ine, Ann Dem, Gaultier (it's instructive to contrast what he does with the works of Dolce, and Dsquared, to see how gay clothes designed by gay men can still amount to anything), Kris Van Assche (and Dior Homme) have shown that romance and imagination are still relevant, with a bit of editing. All in all, an unexpectedly satisfying season, not full of thrills, but interesting and relevant.

26 January 2009

Spring 2009 Couture: Dior

I picked these five looks as being more Monsieur Dior than Flemish Masters, the inspirations cited by John Galliano for this collection. It's a return to fine form, from some suspicious recent outings. I love the swiftly scrolling skirts, which are like swoops of a painterly brush, I love the ravishing colours, and the lack of all stiffness. Bravo!

The Features On A Face

The features on a face continues to thrill me even after I know a person well, and see this person every day. It's quite different with objects, even with a work of art, a fine drawing for instance. If I look at a painting too often, it loses all its appeal, and I begin not to notice it, even if it's the beautiful painting, or the finely patterned shawl, or a Ming chair. There is something deeply fascinating about beautiful features on a face: The slant of an eye, the curve of a puffy upper lip, a nose that starts at the brow like the prow of a ship, ears delicately carved, vigorous and stormy or faint and barely-there eyebrows all fascinate me endlessly.
Alas, an ugly face frightens me, and seems a kind of impoliteness.

Men's Collection Fall 2009: Lanvin

Can something so breezy also be elegant? Lucas Ossendrijver under the direction of Alber Elbaz has been presenting some really stunning collections, and even if this season's may not be the most brilliant, the essentials are strongly present. It's Lanvin-lite: But confidant, believable, effecient, nothing extraneous. It brings to mind my friend Brainwave's formula 'five easy pieces'. But what pieces!

Jon Kortajarena 1985

"The only thing that matters is to have someone who really loves me, makes me happy and laugh." http://www.jon-k.net/