30 September 2009

Mid Week Self Pic

Broken Embraces

It was a toss-up between going to Fann and Chris's wedding do with a hacking cough and a red nose or staying in bed to watch Broken Embraces. No prizes for guessing what I chose, with the aircon up and a pot of cammomile steaming. I can't resist a Pedro Almodóvar movie, especially one that stars Penelope Cruz. Mr Almodovar is so talented that even when repetitive and not entirely resolved, as here, the result is nonetheless effortlessly superior to most (I was tempted to say all) Hollywood movies. Reunited with Volver (2006)star, Penélope Cruz, in many guises as Lena, secretary/ daughter/ callgirl/mistress/ actress/ lover, and in as many wonderful wigs and designer dresses, the movie made me forget my cold entirely. The plot twists are more unnecessary than ever, and too obviously an excuse for Almodóvar to explore his own obsessions, including references to his favourite movies, ruminations on the nature of film (and art) and a parody of his own early works with a film-within-the-film. In fact, Almodóvar pads Cruz’s (always) knockout turn with so many arch distractions that the story feels disappointingly less than great. Sigh. Next, please.

28 September 2009

He Said She Said: Anna Piaggi

"I dress the way I do because it is a way of giving something to somebody. When you do not have any other attribute - I can't cook well, I'm not particularly brilliant in other fields - one must contribute somehow."
- Anna Piaggi

Robert Pattinson in AnOther Man

Strictly for Twilight fans, Robert Pattinson shot by Hedi Slimane for AnOther Man Magazine.

Milan Spring 2010: Jil Sander

At 55 exits, there really is plenty to like about this collection: From polished suits and dresses to romantic deconstruction (and two 'disco' foil dresses!) Raf Simons really covered it. I'm sure you will be able to pick up his references to Rei Kawakubo and Miuccia Prada, John Galliano and  Jil Sander, there are even references to his own men's collection (but reworked, advanced, refined using his own vision - perhaps this is a collection Marc Jacobs dreamed he was doing?), so if there is any criticism at all, it would be that the collection lacked a cohesive direction, being a mishmash of styles, albeit a beautiful mishmash. Times are not easy, and expectations remain high.

27 September 2009

Milan Spring 2010: Marni

I'm so over Grey Gardens aren't you? 
Is Consuelo Castiglioni the Marc Jacobs of Milan? 
No, wait. I take that back. 
It's too high a praise for Marc Jacobs.

Milan Spring 2010: Fendi

There was a passage here I didn't get: The black looks and the transparent boudoir tents. Otherwise, I liked the collection alot, with the easy shapes and manner, the pretty, antique pastels I have come to associate with Bottega Veneta. I like the calm sensuality, the subtlety of the stylistic plot twists and just when you thought Karl Lagerfeld might have run out tricks, he shows something that proves that he is alive to the cross currents of the times.

Milan Spring 2010: Bottega Veneta

Looking at this collection, it Spring 2010 quite suddenly makes sense. In this collection, one of Tomas Maier's best in recent memory, a wave of positive energy blows through; It's optimistic, fresh, flattering, intelligent, and classic, and I don't know if you could want any more from any collection of clothes. But if you are, here's more: It defines the way a modern woman should look now and in the future, and it defines the themes of Bottega Veneta with confidence, it redefines the character of white and why we love it so, and Spring and all the renewal it promises.

26 September 2009

Sunday Self Pic

Gaspard in GQ

My fave Gaspard Ulliel in GQ Italy... So cute!

He Said She Said

"We succeed in enterprises which demand the positive qualities we possess, but we excell in those which can also make use of our defects."
- Alexis de Tocqueville

Weekend Reading List

I can hear the Formula 1 race cars roar their rounds (how many?) from my living room, so, this being the hottest of weekends, I've decided to up the aircon and settle luxuriously down in the room, duvet to chin, Laduree candle burning. While Singapore is in an uproar with a sense of festivity (as well as traffic woes), yours truly has decided that it's all buzz (literally too: The 'roar' of the race sounds like nothing so much as a persistent fly buzzing - I simply can't understand the taitai set wanting to get all dressed up and going out in this heat. Do they have so little inner resource?). I've started to re-read Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, an old favourite; I've forgotten the plot entirely. I've also got a huge stack of newspapers my friend PH collected for me - the Finacial Times are the same lovely colour as my sheets, and the writing is superb. I've dug up an old scrap book to look at. I used to make bulging scrap books filled with notes, cards, clippings, drawings, pressed flowers, polaroids (yes, we used those then!) and looking through it feels like time travel to a more innocent, optimistic time.
In it, I found a note from TLS, my editor that year, it said: "Keep text short pse - we'd be loath to cut your witty prose!"
Those were the good old days indeed.
(Photo of Edith Wharton in 1905)

Kate, Always

Kate looks lovely, doesn't she? And Carine always delivers! To me, it doesn't make sense that the 'G' in Vogue is missing entirely; What do people think? Nonetheless I heart!!!
(Vogue Paris, Oct)

25 September 2009

Milan Spring 2010: Prada

Although this collection has not garnered unreserved praise, I really like it. It's Miuccia Prada's minimalist, back-to-basics, clean slate collection, and a true vintage season. All the Prada hallmarks are here, and beautifully shorn of all excess. It's as if Mrs Prada has laid bare the foundation stones of her house, the (familiar) building blocks of her work, her themes, all reduced, made plain without embellishment. It's a spare elegance, not exciting, but sublime.

24 September 2009

Numero Homme

And in what way is this Matthias Vriens story considered a fashion spread? Any excuse will do, I suppose...

The Groaning Shelf

Is Chanel the most famous of all couturiers?
She very well may be, what with the many movies and books she spawns, it would seem, almost weekly. Next up is Rhonda Garelick's biography, Antigone in Vogue; Professor Garelick says:“Chanel is a successful poseur who came from nothing and blasted her way into society and celebrity, tapping into desires that are far more than sartorial.”
Interest in the couturier has never really waned, but 2009 seems a banner year for all things Chanel. Let's see, there was the movie Coco Avant Chanel, before that was Coco Chanel, the Emmy-nominated television miniseries, with the couturier played by Shirley MacLaine. Then there is the Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky, a biopic that closed the Cannes Film Fest. This fall another bio, Coco Chanel by Justine Picardie will be published, concentrating on Chanel’s affair with a Nazi officer during the occupation of Paris, one in a series of morally compromising choices she made to ensure that even in wartime. More light-hearted is The Gospel According to Coco Chanel, a self-help guide masquerading as an irreverent biography.
“If she was just a demimondaine who had a little millinery shop, even though she had wildly notorious affairs we wouldn’t remember her,” said Michael Koda of the Costume Institute. "She owes her presence in the contemporary consciousness to the continuing vigor of the brand.”

23 September 2009

Redeeming Features

Lord Snowdon (photographer/ ex-husband of Princess Margaret) had two gay affairs, claims society interior designer Nicky Haslam, 69. In his new memoir, Redeeming Features, he says he and Snowdon had 'a very brief romance' a year before the latter's 1960 wedding to Princess Margaret. The other gay affair, Haslam claims, was in the 1950s when the peer - then photographer Antony Armstrong-Jones, was in a relationship with Tom Parr, later head of the luxury-goods firm Colefax and Fowler.
During Snowdon's marriages to Princess Margaret and the society beauty Lucy Lindsay-Hogg, he also seduced an array of mistresses; Two of his five children were born out of wedlock.
The new memoir casts the distinguished photographer, now 79, as a self-centred social climber who conducted two homosexual romances before winning the hand of Queen Elizabeth's sister.
Asked about the claims, Snowdon said: 'It's not true as far as I'm concerned - and I should know.'
Lord Snowdon has spent a lifetime fending off rumours that he is bisexual. His parties, before and after he married, were always well-attended by homosexual friends. Haslam was present at many of these gatherings: ‘I had a very brief romance with Tony Armstrong-Jones, somewhat one-sided on my part as Tony was dazzlingly attractive'.
It was not a deep or meaningful relationship, Haslam admits.
Haslam’s revelation comes after years of speculation about Snowdon’s personal life. Snowdon’s sexual ambiguity was such that when Princess Margaret first met him at a private dinner in 1958, she was struck by his good looks but was not sure that he was interested in women. After they were married, she is reputed to have made reference to him being one of several ‘Queens’ in her family.
(Source: The Daily Mail)

He Said She Said

"Anything good in the world is elitist".
- Reinaldo Herrera y Ladrón de Guevara, Marqués de Torre Casa

22 September 2009

Mid Week Self Pic

LonDon't Spring 2010: Christopher Kane

I quite like this collection, actually. The use of gingham feels fresh, and ought to be trendsetting. Did you know that the origins of gingham is Indonesian?

Note: Gingham is a medium-weight balanced plain-woven fabric made from dyed cotton or cotton-blend yarn. The name is Indonesian in origin, assimilated into Dutch. Gingham may be distinguished because it is almost always a checkered pattern. When originally imported from Indonesia (in the 17th century), it was a striped fabric, but from the mid 18th century, when it was being produced in the mills of Manchester, England, it had become woven into checked patterns (often in blue and white). The name comes from the Malay word genggang, meaning “striped,” and thence from the French guingan, used by the Bretons to signify cloth made from striped colouring.

20 September 2009

Mondrian On Monday

1920, Composition A
1918, Composition with Colour Planes and Gray Lines