The Divine Mrs. Vreeland

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel" movie poster
The story of a truly remarkable and inventive woman that was the venerable Diana Vreeland, who changed the look, the feel, and ideals of the (fashion) magazine industry and the art world itself was told brilliantly and poignantly in the remarkable fashion documentary, "Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel".

The film takes a candid approach of telling Vreeland's story through archival recorded sittings with author George Plimpton during the writing of her autobiography "D.V" and through the myriad images of her extensive work as fashion editor of Harper's Bazaar and Editor-in-chief of Vogue Magazines. She was known as the 'Empress of Fashion', a fitting title. She was a true visionary; the fashion magazine as we know it today would not be what it is without Diana Vreeland. Her forward-thinking take on the magazine format as a life-of-style features compendium brought readers an unparalleled access to popular and art culture and iconographic imagery through her extraordinary work in fashion editorial storytelling and the discovery of the first generation of fashion supermodels (even before the term was coined) and the celebrity fashion feature. Vreeland took the magazine, which was once a vehicle of idle passing for the women of the time and turned it into something that the masses would read. Her approach aimed to paint the world in a different light of understanding and urged your view of it in an entirely different perspective and made you question what was "style", how it defined and what it meant to you.
She did the same thing for the art world, practically inventing the fashion exhibition with her work that she did with the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. Spinning the idea in everyone's mind that going to an art museum wasn't just a tour of historical relics but something that was alive, that it was living and breathing. Diana knew that art was meant to be an experience for the viewer and something real and visceral and that you the viewer, were a part of.  She created the fashion exhibition into a point a reference into the fantasy/reality world of fashion, educating the Institute's patrons and, in her style, making it into the biggest and most spectacular event ever.  Her aim was to present fashion as art, not just fashion as craft. She created wonderful exhibits that showed us that fashion isn't something that is utilitarian or something we mime through every single day, but something that is crafted with creative thought and with creation of beauty at its very core. Imagine what today's plethora of fashion exhibitions would be like without the spark that Vreeland created with her tenure at the Met, let alone that she was responsible in creating the Costume Institute's Met Ball, the "Oscars" of the fashion industry which is the premiere event of the Art and Fashion worlds.

All in all, this delightful film brings Diana Vreeland back to life for a generation of people who knew her and introduces her to a new generation. Honestly, she was a delightfully eccentric coo coo bird of a woman who in all (sense of the word) fashion really was herself a work of art and an inspiration of so many people.
I will never forget how Vreeland inspired me when I first encountered her through the pages of vintage Vogue and Harper's Bazaar's on quiet afternoons in the public library. I would gawk and gasp at the images in front of my eyes and be transported to places beyond my young imagination, longing to reach out and be there for real. Or how I'd look at the unusual beauty of Anjelica Huston or Penelope Tree, or the timeless perfection of Marisa Berenson or Lauren Hutton, and see myself reflected back in fragments and parts and come to know that I too, in my unique way, were just as beautiful (if not more). And, the first time I ever visited a museum (outside of my hometown, on a family trip to New York) and saw a world of history presented through clothes was at the Met, where art came to life and fashion became art for me. These very fond memories are because of Diana Vreeland, who taught me to always cultivate the eye and let it travel and that you most definitely have got to have...style.

"Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has To Travel" in select theaters now. Please see your local listings.

-fggofstyle

Music vs Style -- A Killer Combination

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Friday, October 12, 2012


Anne and Nancy Wilson of Heart
Siouxsie Sioux of Siouxsie & The Banshees 
If there ever was a match made in creative heaven it is the existential marriage that exists with music and fashion. This union is undeniable because you're dealing with two very strong creative "minds" who are both rooted in image (and movement).

The Annenberg Space for Photography
The perfectly curated exhibition on view now (which has been extend until October 21, 2012) at The Annenberg Space for Photography in Century City entitled "Who Shot Rock & Roll", takes us on a journey through musical history and its co-habitual friend "image", as seen and captured by the top photographers who have been called upon by the music industry to not only document by to image-make and expose the personal side of our favorite musical icons.

Beginning with Elvis Presley, who changed the music business by knowingly exposing the "other side" and giving a "face" to rock and roll and turning a whole new generation on to the swing and sway of not only the music but of their own personal expression (via music, and style), he did  this expertly so by enticing us through the photographic and moving image, and in one sweeping move, turning viewers into fanatics. Yet he wasn't the only one to do so; many many others followed suit and today, music and image are synonymous with each other (just like fashion and image are as well) and the most lasting and indelible music acts are those who have embraced this combination to its hilt and have left us with equally indelible impressions through the image of music.
Tina Turner

The Rolling Stones

The Police

The exhibits moves you through these ideas and more, from the image factory itself to artistic collaborations between photographer and music artist [Anton Corbijn and U2's music videos featurette, Grace Jones and Jean Paul Goude's composites of the fantastic "Island Life" album cover, or Maripol and Madonna's complete image package (fashion styling and costuming) from her early 80s oeuvre for example], to the viewpoint of the fans (an interestingly casual and emotional section, I thought), to the culmination of the exhibit, an engaging 12 minute documentary produced exclusively for the Annenberg.

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"Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film" teaser trailer (via Annenberg Space/YouTube)


Who doesn't remember perusing the record store and looking at the album cover and letting that bold, frontal image coerce you into buying the record and going on an aural journey (or in today's modern speak, doing the same thing by looking at the thumbnails of covers on Amazon or iTunes) and getting just that much closer into the mind of the recording artist? Or seeing a music video or concert film, movement and sound and image all rolled into one, and being taken on a truly visual journey?
A thoroughly enjoyable and definite don't-miss, go check out "Who Shot Rock & Roll" at the Annenberg before it closes on October 21, 2012, and as always, rock on!!

-fggofstyle
(all photos taken by me from images displayed in the center's courtyard/exterior)

**Mark Seliger, chief photographer for Rolling Stone magazine (1992-2002) and whose work is  featured in the show will be speaking at the final live lecture series in conjunction with the exhibition on Thursday Oct 18, 2012. 
For more information please visit the link below.




RELATED LINKS

Exhibitions: "Who Shot Rock & Roll" | The Annenberg Space for Photography

The Spring 2013 Collections: The Best of the Best (As I See 'Em)

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Monday, October 8, 2012

What a whirlwind of a fashion month!

The overall sense of the collections this go round was full of punch and drive and no one, I felt, was off of their game here in my Spring Round Up. I got the overwhelming sense that many designers really found a solid point-of-view that pushed their design aesthetic either forward, laterally, or into and entirely new direction. Also concurrently, all designers seemed to have a real sense of the season for which they were designing for but keeping that sense rooted in a year round vibe, seen in the myriad choice of fabrications and the use of particular prints and textures and darker hues/colors that one would expect to find in a Fall or a Resort collection rather then a warm-weather focused season such as the Spring collections.

The showcase themes of the Spring collections are full of lightheartedness and whimsy, and extremely reminiscent of the spirit of the much channeled 1960's, not only in the use of retro-esque colors but also in silhouettes and details. The Spring collections, despite having this 60's energy are distinctively modern stories of our times. There is a strong sense of casual ease in the collections, almost a "bohemian" feel to many presentations, punched up heavily with a heavy dose of SoCal/coastal vibe, all done with nary a swimsuit or even shorts. Making a huge jump in the "covet me" category are some of the most serious accessories to come down the runways in a very long time. Its almost as if many of my favorites are mini-collections in and of themselves, and will most definitely make you break into a sweat from either running to the boutique to get them or fighting like mad to get one for yourself!

Here is a look at my "best of" from each presentation, in no individually preferenced order, categorized by city of presentation:


New York
Navigating through the urban landscape is not an easy, everyday task. Leave it to the New York collections to show us how it gets done right. Spring feels (as it should) less severe and when it finally arrives, we want that ease to come over us without having to give up the reins of Fall high style. My choices of New York's finest does this by approach the Spring  season almost like a lab experiment, with the focus and play on silhouette and experimental choices. Urban tough looks so good!
BLK DNM 

BLK DNM

BLK DNM

Creatures of the Wind

Creatures of The Wind

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Alexander Wang

Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler



LONDON
In my opinion, no one does "fashion mash up" better than London. This season, I was extremely impressed with the London set: high off the world view focus that was the Royal Jubilee and the Summer Olympics, London's fashion group pulled out all the winning stops for me. Color, prints, texture, tongue-in-cheekiness, and downright flying fantasy-- London excelled this season, going for broke and going for gold!

Acne

Acne

Acne

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane

Christopher Kane
Giles Deacon

Giles Deacon
Julien MacDonald

Julien MacDonald

Julien MacDonald

Julien MacDonald

Julien MacDonald

Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto

Peter Pilotto

MILAN
Italians do sportswear better than anyone else. Wait, make that luxury sportswear, if we can even call what Milan does even that. Its just, simply luxury, and couple that with whimsy and playfulness, and "Ciao Italia...!", Milan makes you want to get dressed in springtime and not flinch or balk at all at the very thought of wearing leather platform Geisha boots in 95 degree heat...

Versus

Versus

Versus

Versus

Versus

Jil Sander 
Jil Sander

Prada

Prada

Prada

Prada

Prada

Gianfranco Ferre

Gianfranco Ferre

Gianfranco Ferre

Gianfranco Ferre
Gucci
Gucci
Gucci
Gucci

Gucci

Gucci
Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce & Gabanna

Dolce & Gabanna

PARIS 
If there is a place called Fashion Heaven here on Earth, its Paris. My mind was blown countless times during Paris Week and it is no wonder, the top tier showcase in Paris, no question. Here is where the idea of dark for light weather met the apex and drove it home for me: I didn't expect to see as much black as I did in Paris but it makes complete sense. It's "night-for-day" instead of the other way around (with which we've gotten very used to). It's back-to-core-classics in the tried and true silhouettes that originated in Paris decades ago, all packaged up in a modern re-telling that is both now and new.

Haider Ackermann

Haider Ackermann

Haider Ackermann

Haider Ackermann

Haider Ackermann

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Kenzo

Lanvin

Lanvin

Lanvin

Lanvin

Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant

Isabel Marant

Alexander McQueen

Alexander McQueen

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Stella McCartney

Saint Laurent Paris

Saint Laurent Paris

Saint Laurent Paris

Saint Laurent Paris

Saint Laurent Paris

Saint Laurent Paris

Saint Laurent Paris

Saint Laurent Paris

Saint Laurent Paris
Balenciaga


Balenciaga

Balenciaga

Balenciaga
Anthony Vaccarello

Anthony Vaccarello

Anthony Vaccarello


-fggofstyle
(all photos via Style.com, except photo of Jil Sander boots via WWD)









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