30 April 2009

Model As Muse

Jean Shrimpton in British Vogue, January 1964. By David Bailey.

The No 5 Trailer

It's sick when perfume commercials have trailers.
I can't wait.

29 April 2009

Three Hundred and Seventeen and Counting

That's the new Steven Meisel book title, a retrospective of all his Vogue Italia covers (he shot every last one of them for editor Franca Sozzani of for the last 20 years and nine months). That's got to be something of an achievement right? I still think his work with Linda is the most memorable of all. Anyway I heart Meisel, but I'm not sure if this is a book to keep. 

V's Summer Issue

Yes, it's a slow day for fashion mags.

Mid Week Self Pic

I'm obsessed with self pics, not only because I'm prurient, but because I think this is a totally new genre. It's totally 21st century:
1. The technology is widely available, as never before.
2. The net is now full of places where you can post these pictures and for the pictures to find an audience.
3. Heterosexual men are objectifying themselves - as sex objects, this is entirely new.
4. Unprecedented narcissicism.
5. Unprecedented worship of youth.

28 April 2009

Making Faces

Paloma Picasso, 9 years old, making faces on garden leaves, in a photo by David Douglas Duncan. Duncan's book, Goodbye Picasso, is one of my all-time favourite inspirations. It has influenced my style alot.

27 April 2009

We Spoke on the Phone

Today we spoke about:
White blood cell count, and if laughing increases it.
Was Empress Josephine an over-sexed creole?
Alvin, how pale and tattooed he is.
Sexual vs natural selection.
Who has more fat deposits. Did men notice or just the drags?
GG's voice. Does its low register mean he is well hung?
MSN: 'He nudged and the whole screen wobbles'.
Gerard is not virile and his voice sounds dumb.
Old furniture from the smelly shop, the smelly man and his China wife.
Fort road, Mr Rambo and the couple who lived in the tree house.
Hip to waist ratio.
Dr C and the medication he gives us. His assistant Judy, and how rude she is.
The cat that lept onto the compressor at 4am: "It meowed at me."
About whether the cat wanted to come into the room.
The Hyatt in Roponggi Hills: "Hate it."
BBC and why it's lovley to listen to the Queen's English.
W said that all tri-coloured cats are male. "Why would he lie about something like this?"
If aliens saw the cereal in the containers ranged in the kitchen what would they think?

26 April 2009

Manet for Monday

                                                        The Lemon, Edouard Manet, 1880

25 April 2009

Sunday Self Pic

From busy Little J, thanks!

Paris Vogue

June's Paris Vogue cover - they do like Daria over there! I totally heart this cover... it reminds me of that iconic Veruschka picture for some reason: The safari theme I suppose, and the styling from the other picture.

24 April 2009

Weekend Reading List

Although I don't cook, I fantasize about this often, and in my mind's eye, I can whip up clever and delicious dinners for 16 at the drop of a hat. I know, when I eventually pick up this life skill(I like to think I have this in my genes as Mom is a genius cook), I will have a library of cooking literature at the ready. My latest, "culled" from Joe's desk (he's in Milan, poor thing) at the office is Nigella Lawson's How To Eat: The Pleasures And Principles Of Good Food. I love the voluptuous Ms Lawson, don't you? This book is quite unlike her though: Textbookish with hardly any lush pictures - and none of her! I also printed out scads from links sent to me by friends, a few lengthy pieces by Gail Sheehy from the archives of New York, thanks to Kay, and a Salon.com review of HBO's Grey Gardens, thanks to CCF, all are about Big and Little Edie, which is just the thing to read in my current personal downturn. I just want to lie in my darkened room read about decayed glamour and imaginery feasts.
I also bought the latest Fantastic Man - $22.90 - can you believe it? Ouch! and other mags so I really don't need to leave my room all weekend, if ever.

23 April 2009


                                 Portrait of a Youth, Sandro Botticelli (1445 - 1510)

Smile All The Time

How to fight loneliness?
Smile all the time
Shine your teeth 'til meaningless
And sharpen them with lies
And whatever's going down
Will follow you around
That's how you fight loneliness
You laugh at every joke
Drag your blanket blindly
And fill your heart with smoke
And the first thing that you want
Will be the last thing you ever need
That's how you fight it
Just smile all the time just smile all the time just smile all the time
Just smile all the time

21 April 2009

Beauty World

"...When I finally fall
Every sound is
Her call
And when I answer running
I find no one there
At all.
If I just could know
whether being alone
could be better than loving?
'Cos in the end you're own your own.
I suppose I'll see,
if it's meant to be.
Why did I fall in love?
Maybe it wasn't meant for me."
- Dick Lee

Mid Week Self Pic

Cover Girl

Emma Watson is May's Interview cover girl.

19 April 2009

Just Another Manet Monday

        Illustrated Letter to Albert Hecht, with plums and cherries, Edouard Manet, 1880

One Sunday

The hottest day, one Sunday.
Take the rosaries, choose one you like, you keep.
Marvis toothpaste, he took and hid the the rose flavoured one.
Rubber slippers, wear them with anything.
Diet Coke, a tumbler full of ice cubes.
"He went to her block of flats, and wanted to stay over."
Durian puffs from Goodwood Park Hotel.
"Should I shower, do I smell?"
Pretended to shower, the shower floor was dry (when I checked).

His flat got no fan.
Ciara. I danced and danced.
Salsa. The people of Argentina.
Wearing black heels, looking so natural.
He had crabs, kept scratching. "There was blood under his nails."
The boy with the bleached hair looks so special.
He looks old, he looks young.
The white rosary looks better, take that.
Then a week later, he said "It broke".
Drink the beer.
Herbal chicken is good on hot days.
Daddy behaviour is a sort of possessiveness.
Smoking Marlboro menthols incessantly.
Then they broke up.

17 April 2009

Weekend Reading List

I went to the library to pay my fines (total: $3.65) and picked up two more Agatha Christie books, After the Funeral and Nemesis. The former is a Hercule Poirot, which is one of her best I think, I felt chills reading it, and finished it in a day and half. The latter is a Jane Marple, and I find it rather a struggle and am tempted to abandon it. I'm also reading Marina Warner's Fantastic Metamorphoses, Other Worlds: Ways of Telling the Self (yes, a clumsy title). It's full of vengeful gods turning people into she-bears and woodpeckers. Love it. I met Maddie, and she gave me a two-volume book of photos by Jean-Louis Dumas, whom I gather is rather ill. It's a beautiful book, and looking at it is like my eyes are drinking a glass of cool water. I'm also looking at the new Le Monde D'Hermes which has lots of lovely Tim Walker pictures and divine new Hermes merch. Yes, you can picture me reading like the girl in the Fragonard. Don't you just love the pillow?

16 April 2009

A Fragonard for Friday

                   A Young Woman Reading, Jean Honore Fragonard, 1776

15 April 2009

Little Edie, Big Edie

Drew Barrymore and Jessica Lange in HBO's Grey Gardens. Drew looks fab in this shot right? I think having no eyebrows is key. Here also, the originals.

14 April 2009

On Zara and Bebe Comparisons

Frida Gianini on her critics: "When someone wants to offend me by saying I'm copied by the high street - well, for me, it's a huge compliment." Surely Miss Gianini misunderstands. I don't think people are saying she's being copied by Zara or Bebe. It's not true. And besides, why would that be insulting? Let me try to express what is being said quite clearly: I think people are saying that her work is of a pedestrian standard, and her imagination is limited and inferior and she presents fashion at a prestige price point similar to that which is already long available, and common at street level. I think people mean that she isn't producing 'fashion' when she has the financial means to, and which she ought since she represents Gucci; Instead, season after season, what is shown is merely overpriced clothes, styles common at Zara and Bebe etc, at believable prices. I believe these are the things leveled at Ms Gianini. Is my interpretation right? What do people think?

Mid Week Self Pic

Still Life With Lemons

I love this still life by Francisco Zurbarán (1598 - 1664), the Spanish master better known for his religious work depicting sumptuously attired saints and martyrs. Look at the tender rose on the silver plate, look at the polished table. Nice right?

18-Hour High

This is essential reading, and has left me panting with excitement. Just the Steven Meisel profile by Jonathan Van Meter The Godfather is well worth the $8.90 price of May's Vogue, plus the cab fare to and from Kinokuniya. It's truly a rare treat. Now what is it about model girls that keeps me giddy with delight (everyone except Agyness)? What do you think of the cover? Where's Claudia, Stephanie, Shalom? This should keep people talking for a while I think. The story on Marc Jacobs, honorary chair of the Met's May "blockbuster" The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion at the Costume Institute tries hard to portray Mr Jacobs as some sort of fashion visionary, and fails. Try reading this patchy piece of typing. At best, Mr Jacobs is a moderately attractive gay man (argueable, I know) awash in LVMH euros. Won the lottery? Big time. Fashion talent? So seriously not it's not funny.

13 April 2009

A History of Mildness

I'm not blessed with a hardy complexion. I can't go into the sun for 15 minutes without turning bright pink. If I breeze through a dusty room I get a rash. A glance at a fur ball, and a pimple appears. It's very tragic that I can't use half the cosmetics that I am given to try, especially when I so love new stuff! I can't just put anything on my face, especially now, when I've done such a lot of (non-invasive) things at Dr Lee. I use the mildest of cleansers: There are days when I'm so red and blotchy I can only splash water to cleanse, so I know about mildness! The occasion for my writing this is that I've come to the end of the giant bar of Clinique soap (which I've used down to a dot the size of a dollar coin) and now have to start on something mild else. Herewith, my top five options:
1. Clinique Mild Face Soap. I do like soap more than any other formulation, because nothing feels quite clean like a good soap. This one is pretty well made so it never dissolves into a gooey puddle and lasts forever. Plus, it smells wonderfully... of nothing.
2. Shu Uemura Cleansing Beauty Oil Premium. Cleans superbly, even if you don't usually think an oil can. It's wonderfully mild, and smells calming. Plus it's such a pretty bottle.
3. Sisley Cleansing Milk with White Lily. Anything Sisley is yummy and this really mild cleanser is a true revelation. Plus it smells Sisley. 
4. Cle de Peau Gentle Cleansing Foam. My latest discovery. You really only need to use a dot of this for major foaming action, but I can't use this daily as it's quite drying for me so I use this only twice a week when I need a good scrub. Good in hot/ humid weather. 
5. Clarins Eau de Comfort One-Step Cleanser. Great for travel, you don't even need water just wipe with cotton pad or tissue. Easy. Not terribly drying but not truly mild either.

11 April 2009

Sunday Self Pic

Kate in Love

...In Love Magazine that is. She looks so so nice right? But I must say she has the worst taste in men.

Ho Ho Ho

I totally heart Arena Homme Plus. I can't wait.
Thanks, hohoho.

Photoshop Awards

No photoshop? Refreshing! French Elle this week (yes, it is a weekly), features Eva Herzigova, Inès de la Fressange, and actresses Monica Bellucci, Sophie Marceau, Anne Parillaud, Karin Viard, Charlotte Rampling, and Chiara Mastroianni, sans makeup or retouching. Peter Lindbergh did the photos. I always liked the no makeup look. I certainly like that the women look grown up and a little frail... But I don't believe there was no retouching. So rare for Elle to make a ripple right?

10 April 2009

Weekend Reading List

Above, 1955, by Norman Parkinson
Let's do Truman Capote this weekend shall we? I've got a touch of the sniffles (everyone is losing their voices) and there's nothing gayer to read in bed with the blinds down and sipping hot ginger tea like a dowager than some good old Capote. He's like Enid Blython for the desolute. Answered Prayers I can read over and over, when I'm missing some real-life juicy gossip, because it's gossip spun with gossamer art, quite thrilling stuff. There's the movie classic Breakfast at Tiffany's. The movie is very unlike the novella (the movie has Audrey Hepburn so that's always so relevant), but both are addictive. I also like reading the George Plimpton bio Truman Capote. Mr Plimpton's such an old-fashioned jock, and I'm wondering what his fascination for Capote is? He's written quite a few books on Capote you know, including the collection of Capote letters deliciously entitled Too Brief a Treat. Yummy!

Sugary Summery Colours

The Swiss-born, 18th century artist Jean-Étienne Liotard (1702-89) parlayed his skill, chiefly in pastel, to become portraitist to royalty (and the merely rich) in half a dozen countries. In his portraits Archduchess Maria Karolina of Austria (1762, bottom) and Archduchess Marie-Antoinette of Austria (1762), you can sense the different personalities of the two sisters. Maria Karolina, calm and resolute (age 10!), became the wife of Ferdinand IV, king of Naples, and made a more determined monarch than her negligent spouse, meanwhile bearing 17 children.
Her sister, Marie Antoinette, pictured imperiously sewing, and arrogant, became queen of France... and then off with her head!