31 July 2009

These Bunnies

These bunnies remind of my ex art director Leef. I just had a long chat with her last week, over MSN, about those silly days. I once bought a vintage tin wind up bunny toy for her from a toy shop in Palais Royale in Paris. All bunny pictures make me think of her, and all bunny figurines (but not Bugs Bunny!), just like all elephant figures and representations remind me of my ex fashion editor. They are such talented ladies! I feel blessed to have worked with such talents, really.

Weekend Reading List

I'm totally engrossed by this coffee-table book from Assouline called Maharajas' Jewels (Katherine Prior/ John Adamson), studying (jaw-dropped) the gorgeously reproduced photos, drawings, paintings, studies of some truly fabulous jewels actually worn by a (literarily) glittering array of maharajas, ranas, nawabs and nizams that stretched back for thousands of years. It's fascinating to see the jewels in context, the pearls that were larger than eyeballs, the turban ornaments bigger than the head, diamonds truly bigger than the Ritz. Some fo these Indian men looked so aristocratic and refined, some of them looked savage, but all were weighted down with jewels to make a taitai weep. Do people read coffee-table books? I was so fascinated that I tried to read this one, but it's not very comfortable is it, to lift this heavy thing up reclined on the sofa? For my art class, I'm studying a pretty little book Sara Midda's South of France: A Sketchbook, filled with pretty and neat water colour drawings, writings and studies journal-style. It would take a lot of practice to be so fluent, and I can only pray for the patience. I'm just so not-neat. Straying through youtube, I came across a Maggie Smith clip that made me nostalgic so I dug up E M Forster's A Room With a View to read. Miss Smith made such a very strong impact on me, when I was so little, as the fussy, passive-aggressive Aunty Charlotte in the Merchant Ivory movie of this classic! Does anyone have the DVD of this?

30 July 2009

These Boots Were Made For Walking

Aren't these brothers the cat's meow? This is like a fashion photograph, down to the hair, the clothes, the pose, the shoes!
Lord John Stuart and His Brother Lord Bernard Stuart, 1638, Anthony Van Dyck

29 July 2009

He Said She Said

"Personality is an unbroken series of successful gestures."
F Scott Fitzgerald

28 July 2009

Lillian Bassman

                                                                          Dior Hat, 1949
                                                               Mary Jane Russell, 1950
                                                               Sunny Harnett, 1956
                                                                    By Night, 1954

                                                         Across The Restaurant, 1949

Super Mario

Asian looking!...
The smile!...
The neck!...
The hands!...
That nose!... Mario Maurer (born December 1988) is my July crush.

Mid Week Self Pic

Courtesy of Shallon Hobbledehoy Kutcher ... Thanks Shallzzz! 

At Lunch

I went to lunch at a Chinese restaurant. It was a grand old place, hushed, glittering with gilt and mirrors and white cloth that bounced circles of light.
But facing the entrance a wall of aquariums, alive with seafood-to-be. The tanks were dressed with an illusion of an underwater paradise, photos of lush green vegetation wallpaper the fish's cell which is lit brightly, the streams of oxygen bubbles sparkling and swirtling like clouds.
In one tank, three fishes, elegantly white, look almost luminous. But they are attacking each other furiously.
As the lunch drones on, I watch the three fishes fighting and fleeing within their narrow, magical confines, wondering why they fight and struggle so, when they all suffer the same sad fate?

26 July 2009

Monday's Matisse

Fruit and Coffee Pot, Henri Matisse, 1899

25 July 2009

Sunday Self Pic

The Love of Siam

I finally watched The Love of Siam, the last of anyone I know, so this might strike you as being rather old, but here's what I think. First, let me get this out of the way: I watched it mostly because I'd seen pictures of Mario Maurer (German/Thai), and I think he's too perfect for words, so shockingly beautiful. I think he carried the movie, not only because he looks model perfect (the Caucasian frame, the impossibly small head with Asian eyes) but because he can actually act. All he had to do was stand on the pavement of Siam Square and look meaningful. Does Mr Maurer qualify as a special effect? Because unlike any movie these days, this 2007 movie has no CGI, a competant, old-fashioned tear-jerker with its familiar conventions: Misunderstood mom and terminally ill dad, feel-good love songs, noble girl friend, deaths, orphans, you name it. You could see the same in any Taiwanese idol soap, actually. The styling/ art direction is uncontrived, not arty, the acting is good enough (the young actors are all exceptionally confidant) to elevate The Love beyound average. It got rave reviews and won nearly every film award there was in Thailand as well as the region. I wish I understood why writer/ directer Chukiat Sakweerakul ended the plot this way, but perhaps it really doesn't matter. The Love allows us to stare at Mr Maurer undisturbed for almost three hours.
I'd rather this, than The Half Blood Prince, to be perfectly honest.

24 July 2009

Leaf, 1790

Leaf (left) may be the oldest photograph ever found - and worth millions. The image was sold by Sotheby's in London in 1984 for £6,000 as a striking historical photograph, creator unknown. When it came back up for sale in New York last month it was expected to fetch as much as £70,000. Expert Larry Schaaf, examined the image and found the letter W, which he believes could stand for Thomas Wedgwood, a member of the pottery dynasty who was carrying out photography experiments.
Chris Mahoney, senior vice-president in the photography department of Sotheby's, New York, said it had been thought that no examples of Wedgwood's early experiments remained.
"There's always been the hope that at some point a piece by Wedgwood would have miraculously survived."
Experts will spend months poring over Leaf and looking at documentation from Wedgwood's time to try to pin down whether it is his work. - The Guardian

He Said She Said

"There can be no absolute in canons of taste; there are only standards, and although these should always be high they should never remain rigid."
Vita Sackville-West (1892-1962)

Beauty Spot: Supremya La Nuit by Sisley

Anyone who knows me knows I'm a huge fan of Sisley. They're French. They are independent and uncompromising with ingredients. They're classy. And they are not cheap. Their latest product is the supreme Supremya (were they referring to their price point?), so good I was inspired to blog about it. This night cream has it's own patented complex, Phyto-complex LC12, that's said to extend skin cell life and stimulates their capacity to repair themselves; I think it's destined to be a front runner in the anti-ageing products category. It worked instantly, I'm telling you. And for something so amazingly efficacious, it was light, smooth and smelled glorious (as all Sisley things do). My hyper sensitive skin, so prone to rashes from new products, did not react to it and that's how miraculous it is. Available in September.

Weekend Reading List

It's the weekend! I'm reading the funny, fluffy Where Angels Fear to Tread, wishing I could write like this. It's E M Forster at his sparkling and silly best. Why am I attracted silliness? This weakness has led me to no end of trouble, let me be frank. For instance, instead of scanning for a flat to buy on propertyguru.com, or indeed, blogging, I've wasted hours at the online forum Blowing Wind. When BG told me about it (lying in gutter and gazing at I-S classifieds, no doubt), I squeaked in delight, logged on and was instantly engrossed: My goodness, these people know how to have fun! I had no idea that our little city was such a hotbead of vice, what would E M make of it? There's plenty of unintended comedy of course (the very best kind), and the Singlish here is first-rate, and I laughed out loud alot. I suggest you ladies click over there for a good cackle. On a serious note: To prepare for my art class, I'm studying Goya, by Werner Hoffman, quite dark and chilling, and worlds apart from E M, BG and all the other rubbish.

23 July 2009

A New Bruce Weber

Doesn't this have die die must have written all over it? Cartier I Love You celebrates 100 years of Cartier in America. The only drawback is that it contains an essay by Ingrid Sischy. I mean, when I read that, I paused on my tippy toes immediately and all the bells went clang clang clang. This woman, along with Andre Leon Talley, lost her marbles way back in the '80s. That she continues to find work is all that is wrong with traditonal media. Really.

Candle In The Wind

It's certainly hard to find pictures of an icon like Marilyn Monroe that one hasn't seen before, or that places her in a new perspective. We are simply soaked in images of this blonde bombshell, aren't we, and used to thinking of her as this hourglass divinity with taffy hair and babydoll voice. But here she is in her home, surrounded with stuff that looks untypical: For one she's reading, a proper little lady. And the furnishing in this hacienda-style abode seems all with her kittenish image. Someone, quick, do a fashion shoot based on this idea...

21 July 2009

Cecil Beaton's India

I've never seen this book, but it looks like something to have! I must say I like Cecil Beaton's photography, but I'm often put off by his very difficult, heavily catty persona, which comes across strongly in his ponderous writing. The very definition of a killer queen.

Mid Week Self Pic

Hogwarts Casts a Spell

Can you imagine Steven Meisel watching a Harry Potter movie? It seems he has and was inspired. This is rather a nice ad don't you think? And so very fall...

And Then, Before the Sleeping Pills

And then, before the sleeping pills could do their weary work, D crawled up and wrote this letter. In it, he said all he could not say when he thought he was going to die, because the pain was so extreme, and he thought he was dying of a heart attack, or a stroke; His heart had crashed open, and he couldn’t breathe; He couldn't even sit still and had to get up to walk. He walked around his empty flat and was terrified at the sounds he seemed to be making, and which he never heard before, echoing back at him.
What did he sound like now?
What did he look like now?
Where did he have to go now?
Where were all these tears coming from, the hot cascade?
D cried like this for hours, and hours.
In the letter, which he tried to keep dry, he wrote all that was unsaid, all the fear, all the sadness, all the horror, all the truth, the big truths and the little truths, all the anger and all the hurt, but nothing made sense because, for once, elegant language failed him.
The sentences were incomplete, and words scrawls and scratches.
And then he took another pill, and then another.

19 July 2009

Not Another Birkin Bag

I think it's refreshing, new and timely for a nothing bag, if you need to carry a bag at all. Aren't those humuorless, unironical, ponderously ubiquitous Hermes bags just a yawn? They are so five years ago, don't you think?

Painting Classes

Painting classes are romantic. Some use water colour, some use oil.

18 July 2009

Sunday Self Pic

Jane Austen Sells Coffee

Listen: http://www.cartenoire.co.uk/pride-and-prejudice
Dominic West, Dan Stevens and Greg Wise do readings... Quite agreeable right?

Weekend Reading List

I'm studying Lonely Planet's Thailand's Islands and Beaches (which I borrowed from the National Library) as well as a pile of travel magazines because I'm desperate to take a mini break. I need a getaway/ vacation/ holiday! Any suggestions, people? I also found a 1972 book about Virginia Woolf, written and drawn by Richard Kennedy A Boy at the Hogarth Press. Mr Kennedy worked with the Woolfs as an intern in the 1928, and the book is wonderfully gossipy: Did you know that Leonard Woolf used proofs as toilet paper? Ewww... very British right? On a different note, I'm goggling at all the pretty stuff inside the huge Bulgari coffee table book. Liz Taylor really had some jewels I must say. Men were simply throwing diamonds at her!

16 July 2009

So Vogue

The much-awaited Vogue Paris August issue. Really, this looks sooo promising!

Harry Potter And The Half Blood Prince

Well, do you guys think Rupert Grint is cute? 
This question dogged me throughout the screening of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the sixth chapter in a now eight-part franchise. Grint is set up as the heartthrob of the series, and I'm thinking why? The movie certainly needed something, because, like its star Daniel Radcliffe, it feels fatigued and soul-less. I'm not sure if it needed sex appeal. In the end, I decided not. Grint is merely young. His colouring is gorgeous, but that's it. 
The movie: Director, David Yates keeps the action moving rapidly, but humourlessly, and in the end, I thought rather pointlessly. Did I need to spend two hours after work shivering with cold at Lido? I don't think so. The series is now feels worn and old (or is it just me?) -  but then it took off spectacularly in 2001, teeming with wondrous creatures, and an embarrassment of lavishly talented British actors. The veterans still gave terrifc performances, Allan Rickman, is wonderfully slithery as Severus Snape, Jim Broadbent is really good. I just wish there was more Maggie Smith! Better wait for the DVD compilation, and then you can skip all the dreary teenage stuff. 

Lara Stone

Original Bardot
Lara Stone as Brigitte Bardot? I totally heart: So genius! 

12 July 2009

Delight In Disorder

A sweet disorder in the dress

Kindles in clothes a wantonness:

A lawn about the shoulders thrown

Into a fine distraction:

An erring lace, which here and there

Enthrals the crimson stomacher:

A cuff neglectful, and thereby

Ribbands to flow confusedly:

A winning wave, deserving note,

In the tempestuous petticoat:

A careless shoe-string, in whose tie

I see a wild civility:

Do more bewitch me than when art

Is too precise in every part.

- Robert Herrick (1591 -1674)

11 July 2009

Sunday Self Pic

2009 Fall Couture: Jean Paul Gaultier

Although I would have liked to say that Gaultier redeemed a dismal mens showing with a brilliant couture collection, I can't. Half of it is passably nice (nice, just isn't enough in couture, now is it?) half of it headscratchers of the hackeneyed variety. The stuff he makes well are excellent, the corset numbers and the pantsuits, but the drag numbers are quite a drag and cease to be amusing, just dreary.