31 October 2010

Stag Crazy

Gorgeous Nil Butler horsing around in a set of very dubious pictures (Vogue Paris) by the always dubious Steven Klein. Of course I need to say that Mr Butler is more lupine, than equine - do I quibble? I do so like the lupine.Of course nothing is quite as dubious as this 'art' video Mr Klein made called Stag Film, which is truly dubious. You can see it at http://theimagist.com/node/5231 and judge for yourself whether Mr Klein's fascination with 'horse studding' is indeed art or merely prurient.
Stag Film is alsothe title of Mr Klein’s second photographic artist book, following his 2003 collaboration with Madonna. Stag Film is issued in an edition of 2,000 copies and a limited, signed edition of 100 copies.
The book reproduces and sequences 60 black-and-white images culled from a larger photographic series on horse studding produced by the photographer. The process of horse studding fascinates Mr Klein, and in Stag Film he trains his camera on the practice of horse breeding which involves collecting a stallion’s semen for implanting in mares. A stallion is led into the paddock and introduced to a “phantom” mare and using a combination of artificial inducements the stallion is drawn to mount and penetrate the dummy, into which its semen is projected.Mr Klein is supposedly seeking to expand traditional horse portraiture by "blending an appreciation of the stallion’s beauty with an awareness of the provocative physicality of the breeding act." Mr Klein designed every element of the book, creating a folio sized digest of printed images hidden within a fragile, hand assembled paper box. The box has a cut out window on its cover to reveal the head of the phantom mare.But as for me, give me a good old fashioned Chinese horse, like this Eastern Wei (534–550), ceramic sculpture, any day! Isn't it a truly beautiful thing?And this lovely T'ang Dynasty (618-906) ceramic... I want!

Jane Austen in the News

A flurry of articles featuring Jane Austen scholar Kathryn Sutherland has been in the news. Ms Sutherland is claiming that Austen was barely literate, and an editor rewrote all her books. Here are some sensational headlines and leads:
The Daily Mail: How Jane Austen failed at spelling: Study shows author wrote in a ‘regional accent’ and used poor punctuation
The Telegraph: Jane Austen’s famous prose may not be hers after all
Reuters: Austen’s “polished prose” not so polished: academic claims.
As if this wasn't undignified enough, there's a new Austen mashup Emma and the Vampires by Wayne Josephson. Happy Halloween!

30 October 2010

Weekend Reading List

My friend HHH gave me a copy of Electric Youth, my first, somewhere between drinking a large carrot and orange juice in the basement of the Paragon, and drinking a large Mosburger iced tea in the basement of Takashimaya. In between we looked at Bally shoes and Zegna sunglasses, Lego bricks and wooden picture frames, a gold Cartier pendant in the shape of a screw ("It's a pendant for a top!" I said) and a Bulgari gold chain that's just the right length. It's my first Electric Youth, a large-format collectible, as it is one of 1,000 copies, and comes with a medium sized swim trunk in navy blue printed over with tiny silver stars. This latter I've stowed away in the drawer where I keep my briefs and shorts, still in its plastic bag. The magazine I cracked open that night and greedily skimmed through. This occasional, limited publication by American Apparel, part Tiger Beat, part Bel Ami, is an interesting concept on first encounter, but I quite quickly wearied of it, and before I turned the last page, was bored.Part of HHH's routine of an afternoon is a stroll through Kinokuniya , alighting with feathery quickness on this and that magazine, dipping into the fresh glossy pages, very much like those sparrows downstairs flitting and dipping and pecking on this and that all along the shop houses of Chander Road. This afternoon, after a protracted chat with a young lady at the magazines section, about essentially nothing really, he led us to the fashion books section, where we stood a long time looking at every page of the new Jurgen Teller book; I felt like a horse standing in its stable. This is where I bought David Downton's Masters of Fashion Illustration which is simply a must have, and Paul Morand's The Allure of Chanel (with illustrations by Karl Lagerfeld), which appears to be a transcript of a long conversation with Mademoiselle herself. It's fascinating of course, she does say so many eccentric things.MC gave me a book (we had dim sum at The Cathay overlooking Handy Road) because he said that the title reminded him of me - Memories of my Melancholy Whores by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. What can he mean? In it, he wrote: "Stay every bit as silly, unpredictable and wonderful as you've always been. Love, M".
Silly? Yes, undoubtedly. Unpredictable? Surely not. I'm one of the most predictable people ever.

What Becomes A Legend Most?

Unless you've been hiding under a furball for the season, you would already know that Janet Jackson is the latest 'legend' to be featured in the iconic Blackglama fur ads.Ms Jackson has joined a group of legendary fashion figures that have been photographed, wrapped in the famous furs. The list of stars to pose in the ads over the years include Bette Davis, Audrey Hepburn, Ray Charles, Sophia Loren, Marlene Dietrich, Elizabeth Taylor, Diana Ross, Lauren Bacall, Lena Horne, Liza Minelli, Judy Garland, Faye Dunaway, Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell and many more. With each famous face featured in the ad, the slogan reads:"What becomes a Legend most?"Ms Jackson said: "What makes a legend, to me, is someone who has made a major mark on the world that lasts forever. Not just with their art, but for example, Elizabeth Taylor is a legendary actor, but [there is] also her humanitarian efforts, working with AIDS and AIDS research," she says. "That, to me, is what really makes someone a legend. I have too much to accomplish to consider myself a legend."Rocco (who?) Laspata (huh?) was the photographer, not a good follow up to the legends of yore, who were shot by the legendary Richard Avedon. The legends were never named in the ads; And they were paid with the Avedon portrait and one fur coat of their choice. The first in this series of ads ran in 1967.

29 October 2010

He Said She Said

"A magazine is a place of dialogue, questioning, experimenting, ranting, namedropping, quoting, arguing, a place for flattery and iconoclasm. A magazine is like a party in print." - Marc Valli, the editor of Elephant.Talking about elephants, the baby elephants wearing Chanel couture are so cute! The photo is by Bruce Weber, of course.

Chinese Girls

Chinese model Liu Wen’s first Estee Lauder ad image: The makeup, by Tom Pecheux, looks terrible. The eyebrows look like they were drawn with a marker, do they not?Fei Fei and Du Juan in their holiday ads. Pretty!

28 October 2010

Blow Out

Swedish filmmaker Anders Palm has optioned Lauren Goldstein Crowe’s upcoming book, Isabella Blow: A Life in Fashion (out Nov 9) to produce as a film. The screenplay has already been written by Max Newsom and Nicola Brighton, according to Ms Goldstein Crowe, who has also been hired as a consultant on the film. Interestingly, the book Blow By Blow, co-written by Blow's widower, Detmar Blow, which comes out around the same time as Goldstein Crowe's, will not be as heavily consulted. Detmar had previously suggested Rachel Weisz play Blow (queer choice) in the film. [Source: WWD]

27 October 2010

Working Girl

Poor Linda in the good old days! Her brows were still where brows should be. Vogue August 1987 A New Working Advantage by Steven Meisel. Male models: John Pearson, Todd Bentley. Hair: Oribe

Twenty Five Years

The Fahey/Klein Gallery (in Los Angeles) has mounted an exhibition dedicated to Herb Ritts (1952 – 2002) with many never-seen pictures of the archives (including many nudes of Tony Ward, as well as out takes from the iconic Fred With Tires). The many fashion shots feature the supermodels of the 1990s in their innocent prime. The exhibition is called HERB RITTS - TWENTY-FIVE YEARS.

26 October 2010

Olympia

Kate is on the cover of the Bryan Ferry new album Olympia. Below is a picture of Kate in 1992 L'Uomo Vogue, way before she bacame an avatar of herself. The photo was by Fabrizio Ferri.

Now Burning: Diptyque Lilas

For the rainy nights, I'm now burning Diptyque's Lilas (Lilac) candle. It's indolent and sweet, yet crisp and fresh. And though it's floral, it's not heavy, touched as it is by a green note. I bought this the last time I was in Paris, and I remember taking a taxi down the Boulevard Saint Germain from the Bon Marche and then walking back to the apartment on rue du Seine. I bought a fan-shaped banana and Nutella crepe from a streetcart and ate it greedily, the Diptyque paper bag heavy with perfumed treasures.
On that note, and still thinking perfumed candles, Tom Ford is now making candles.
HHH said: "I wish he would make underwear!" Which left me wondering if he would wanted to buy and wear Tom Ford underwear or was anticipating the underwear ads. It's quite ambiguous, you have to agree.

25 October 2010

News: LVMH/ Hermes

LVMH said that it does not want to take control or seek board representation at Hermes after announcing it owns 14.2 percent of Hermes, with the option to increase the stake to 17.1 percent (for 1.45 billion euros). LVMH didn’t say who sold the holding in Hermes, whose stock is mainly held by members of the founding family. About 73 percent of Hermes is still held by the family.

24 October 2010

Pottery Has Saved My Life

"Pottery has saved my life! It stops me from using ink, which has become too dangerous, since everything we write is systematically deformed by our readers." - Jean Cocteau

23 October 2010

Gorgeous Decadence

Arena Homme + has an outstanding story that feels so perfect for now - completely tasteless, sinister, decadent, perverse, and weirdly celebratory it references include the Pre Raphaelites, Serge Lutens, Antonio, Sadao Hasagawa, Aubrey Beardsley, Pierre and Gilles and many more I'm unable to place a finger on (that air-brushed Funky Town makeup from the 1980s?)... Inspired and inspiring.