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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

When I hear 'GG' I don't think 'Gossip Girl'

I think 'Grey Gardens'.

This post was originally going to be an examination of female relationships through clothing in Grey Gardens and Ghost world, with a focus on Little Edie and Enid and the clothes they wear.  Then I realised that this is a fashion blog and I don't want people falling asleep in the middle of my verbal contortions on how Edie is like Enid because of how they dress and... eh... yeah.  I still have that post in my mind, but I have to make it workable on paper before I go and confuse myself by writing a post.









I bought Grey Gardens a few weeks ago and loved everything about it.  The Maysles Brothers and the editing unit were masterful with their material and the Bouvier Beales are knowingly entertaining, funny, sly and vulnerable all at the same time.

The fashion fascination with Little Edie stems from her identity defining headscarves, canny knack for colour co-ordination and her ability to turn fashion inside out and upside down, often literally.  I wonder how much of this ingenuity stems from living with such amazingly limited means, and how much of it stems from her relationship with her mother.  When Grey Gardens was filmed, Little Edie was in her fifties, but you can barely tell.  Not because of her face, but because of her flirting with the Maysles, singing, dancing and exclamations and affirmations of her own character.

Her boundary testing stretches to her wardrobe.  Her shirts are turned upside down and pinned and gathered in an avant-garde way, she wears net curtains as skirts and a swimsuit as a top.  Her sweaters are pinned with a gold brooch over her head to disguise her baldness.  And like a woman who is still finding her identity, she is continually experimenting with what she has, placing one item over another, casually knotting skirts and shirts, blending colours together and fixing what's broken. She's a teenager in a middle-aged woman's body - that's what makes her such an inspiration despite the dismal settings..

You can read Little Edie's obituary and some interesting GG tidbits here.
And if you want to know even more, visit this Grey Gardens blog here.

R.I.P Corinne Day


L - The Face, 1990.  R - British Vogue, 1993

Channeling Richard Avedon in British Vogue, October 2007

Although I knew that Corinne Day was battling a particularly aggressive brain tumour, it still came as a horrible shock to see that Italian Vogue had confirmed this morning that she died on Saturday.

Corinne Day was a photographic visionary, a woman who was not afraid to tear up the rulebook and invent something new, brave in both her professional and personal outlook.  Although she is widely credited for discovering Kate Moss and popularising heroin chic, she will be remembered more for her photography, which blew away the 80's look of pneumatic, heavily made-up, over coiffed supermodels right out of the water.

Day's early work was clean in many respects, models were freshly scrubbed, colour palettes were monochromatic or kept to a minimum and lines were totally fuss free.  Her autobiographical aspects and knack with portraiture, the subjects often exposing a rawness or vulnerability, makes her comparable to Nan Goldin or Larry Clark.  In truth, her work reminds me of Edgar Degas, who was obsessed with photography and often included aspects of it in his paintings.  Both Degas and Day were masters and innovators of the 'unposed' pose - something that is now widely copied by many photographers.

Before she died Day was in talks with the V&A to show a retrospective of her work.  I sincerely hope that this goes ahead, because it's the kind of tribute that a photographer of her calibre truly deserves.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Hot models in dark places

I might be incredibly facetious here but it seems that the underlying trends when it comes to the new waves of promotional fashion film are dirty sub-bass dubstep sounds and flashing your boobs.  When you think about it, this all makes sense.  No, really, it does.

Fashion videos are about movement and highlighting contrast.  The dark of Gareth Pugh's matt leathers and Alexander Wang's rich velvets contrast with harsh bright light on pale skin.  The baring of more skin provides more of a contrast.  The whirling, the dancing and the lady parts on parade all provide part of the initial aesthetic experience.

Dubstep has a lot of bass.  A LOT of vibration.  What better music to pair with hot models in dark places?  There's no real point in me explaining any further.  Watch the videos and make up your own mind (NSFW, in case you didn't already know).

Music by Lukid

Music - The XX - Infinity (flufftronic remix)

P.S - The Licentiate column is out today in The Cork Independent. You can read here .


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

A taste of London

It amazing what pops up when you google 'Swinging London', isn't it?  I was looking for something suitably Carnaby Street-esque and when I stumbled upon this gem.  Below are stills from the film Smashing Time, which I've never seen but will probably now make it my life's work to get a copy based just on captions of these pictures alone.

The film stars Lynn Redgrave and Rita Tushingham (now regrettably forgotten star of totally amazing Brit film, A Taste of Honey - add it to your download list and weep) as two Northern Lasses who move to London Town as get into all sorts of now iconic comical mishaps.  Captions are taken from the Tushington webpage so *spoiler alert* ahoy!

Brenda and Yvonne, two naive lasses from the north of England, arrive in Swinging London.

"If you're bold, you'll spend your gold, As I do ... On new ... CLOTHES!"
Brenda makes the scene, looking grand in her fashionably trendy new clothes – secondhand, of course!

Still wearing their nightclub-hostess clothes, Yvonne and Brenda drag themselves home at dawn...

Brenda inspects the mod merchandise at her new job at the Too Much boutique.

With Tom's help, Brenda becomes a successful model.

But anyway, I'm getting over what was supposed to be the original point of my post.  I'll be going to London for a few days in September with the boyfriend for some art, some shopping and lots and lots of eating.  So, if anyone has any suggestions of places to go, people to see and things to eat that might be slightly off the beaten track, please leave a comment and let me know!  All Londoninium-related feedback is incredibly welcome.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

Well, I'm a nerd.

It's been a hectic weekend at the Rose of Tralee, and my liver is threatening to jump ship if I don't lug my bum and several pounds of my mothers baked goods back up to Cork as soon as possible, So here's a quick one before I have to run for the bus.

I look around on Flickr when I get bored, so I've been on photo viewing overload over the past few days.  I've also been watching Rebecca and Jamaica Inn, but that's beside the point (and to go off on anothet tangent, how good are those films?  I love Rebecca so very, very much).  In short, it's been all about the black and white.

Joey Harrison's Flickr folder, Mom's World is a chronicling of his mother and father's early married life, with commentary by his mother.  What she was wearing, where they were and the events that were happening in her life dring the late forties and early fifties.  It doesn't hurt that his mother looks like Lauren Bacall either.  I love looking at the photos with an interest that borders on voyeurism, but I love the tailored suits, the saddle shoes and the pointy bras most of all.

He's disabled downloading of these photos, so out of respect I won't post them here.  But you can see my favourites here, here, here, here and here.

Friday, August 20, 2010

This scares me.

From here

Not Kate Moss and Johnny Depp. They don't scare me.

I wonder what kind of love they had that made them able to open themselves up to the world, to show such intimacy to everyone with such ease.

I'm the opposite of the ideal woman, in that I'm very vocal, but seldom seen and I have a serious aversion to photographs. You'll probably find about three pictures of me on this blog. I'm also not a huge Moss or Depp devotee.

But there's just something about this picture. It perplexes me. I just don't understand how pictures like this come about. But I'm glad that they do.

P.S - In direct contravention to what I just said, you can follow me very publicly on Bloglovin!  Just click on the wee icon on the right.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

A massive roundup (with bonus giveaway section!)

I've been pretty much incommunicado due to travel and 'fat finger' syndrome from eating too many of my sister's delish cookies, cakes and brownies from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook.  That, and I'm spending the next week in the hometown, clearing out my old room and attending the excuse for drinking on the street that is this monstrosity.

So, here are a few things I missed in the past week or so.

The trailer for The Black Swan, starring Natalie Portman and a hell of a lot of Rodarte costumes.  It's got high fashion, psychological intrigue and slightly gross bird transmogrification going on, so something for everyone...


Speaking of birds, Cheap Monday have gone for an 'oil-on-water' look at Stockholm Fashion week.  I'm not a massive fan of the jeans on the catwalk, but the cuts are great and the tops are a perfect mix of sheer and slouchy.  Mostly, I just want to know where I can get those plazmoid boots.  Waterproof and I have to force myself to wear matching socks?  Excellent. (Fashion Gone Rogue)


New favourite editorials ; Josephine de la Baume gets sacrelicious for Oyster, German Vogue's massive triumvirate trend spread and Cintia Dicker having a modern West Side Story moment for Marie Claire France.

Moschino - one of my absolute, all-time, top 5 favourite labels, cross my heart and hope to die (exhale... phew) has collaborated with Gabriele Muccino on a short film, titled Senzo Tempo.  And it's only beautiful.


You can throw a load of blood diamonds at Naomi Campbell via Super Fashion Stars.  Unfortunately, it's just a flash game and not real life.


Ok, less of that.  Typing in caps makes me feel like I've just climbed a hill.

1)  The lovely Ms LolaDee of Things I Fell in Love With Today is hosting a giveaway of her incredibly cute handmade accessories for her 300th commenter.  Just go to http://www.loladee.com/ and leave a comment.  It's that easy.

2) If you happen to be in Cork, the Lewis Glucksman Gallery is giving away free posters from the Mixtapes exhibition to all it's twitter followers today.  There's three designs - I really want to get a hand on the Linder Sterling punk ladies poster - don't suppose anyone wants to pick one up for me?

3) I'm a big fan of Nina Chakrabharti and her whimsical illustrations and have blogged about her amazing book, My Wonderful World of Fashion before.  You can win a signed illustration and a copy of the book just by displaying your best colouring efforts here.

P.S You can read my newest Licentiate column, only in The Cork Independent, out today!  It's about leggings - they're not trousers, so cover your shame.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Decades Festival Inspiration

This weekends marks the second year of the Decades Festival, a massive dress-up weekend that is centred around the many pubs and clubs in Cork City.  The premise is simple - pick a decade in the 20th century, dress according to that decade and see which pubs are putting events to which decade.  Events include 80's raves, dignified dos with flappers and cocktails and (my favourite) a 50's bowling event with milkshake cocktails.  Mmm, cloying...

I've been fantasising about what I might dress up as and, as usual, I've picked the two decades most unforgiving to a real body type, the 60's and the 20's.  Here are some shots from some great magazine editorials.  The first is Face Of '66 for September's L'Officiel Singapore, which is all lithe limbs, Vidal Sassoon hair and meticulously outlined eyes.





Here are a few pages from a much larger spread in TEST.  Shot by Nicholas Lawn using vintage photo effects, it's atypical of the 20's styling we'd usually see (like OTT almost baroque Galliano homages to the Bright Young Things) but it's a good source for inspiration for those who want to do the twenties a little bit differently.




Images via Fashion Gone Rogue

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Anyone seen this?

The new M.I.A video for XXXO, which is being hailed by some as a new height in retro 80's cheese or a damning indictment of social networking sites (depending on whoever's overblown Youtube comment you want to believe).

Personally though, I like the video and have to give serious props to M.I.A for her style chops, She knows what she likes and doesn't listen to anyone else's opinion, which can only be commended.

What do you think? Retro throwback or MySpace circa 2007 nightmare?

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Allie Brosh x Fashion = Genius

I might be the only person in the world who hasn't read Hyperbole and a Half, judging by the amount of comments after every post.

I was having one of those lazy Sundays on the internet (because this is where I live; on the internet, clicking intermittently and letting my eyes glaze over), chatting to one of my friends, who forwarded on the link to Allie Brosh's blog.  I went onto the Facebook page and from there to Brosh's MS Paint-y drawings and articles for The Gloss (not to be confused with the Irish Magazine of the same name).  And I laughed.  And laughed some more.  Then I had some dinner.  Then I did some more laughing.  You get the picture.

Pic from 4 Totally Legitimite Uses For Sequins

Total, piss-taking, funniness.  I urge you to check it out.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Good things come in threes

...Or so the saying goes.

Sometimes. when I'm browsing through magazines, I'll come across a name and type it into my phone or as an email draft for future reference.  Sometimes these things reveal my emotional patterns before I really know them (so a page full of links for fondue recipes means... eh, you can fill in the blanks).

Sometimes these patterns are just coincidence.  Going through my phone, I stumbled across three shoe labels, all of which start with a K.  I'm not sure if that's enough of a coincidence to be a sign, but we're talking shoes so it's coincidence enough for me.

First Up, Kate Kanzier. A double whammy of K's. Apologies to the blogger whose post I found this on, your blog name has definitely slipped my mind.  If I remember, I'll post up a link.  Great brogues, loafers and ballerina flats, all at reasonable prices.


Next up, Kandee, who do shoes of such sickly sorbet shades (more alliteration, waaay) that they're so wrong it's right.  It's only too fitting that the shoes are all named after the sweets of my youth.  Particular favourite; the Refresher wedge and this beaut of a studded t-bar shoe that Fiona Of Save Our Shoes did a wee post on.


Last, but definitely not least, Kat Maconie, whose beautiful boots will definitely be tempting me this Autumn.  Her autumnally-hued shoes with reassuringly sturdy heels were featured in this months Vogue and if I can't get them, by gum, I'll probably end up sticking my horseriding rosettes to my old boots.  Top marks for possible the most perfect deep shade of red of my dreams.  The boots in the middle just may be my first proper shoe investment, pending financial improvement.


Fingers crossed.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

A short post on, eh, shorts


Since I was a child I had a morbid obsession with the tuba, specifically it's rumbling bass tones. What can I say, it moved me.

So, with the current vogue for leather shorts and the bass obsession, I should probably join a Teutonic Oompah band. Or maybe just buy some vintage lederhosen. Like the pair below.


There's a method to this though. The leather shorts I find in the shop are poofy around the hips and quite a lot have gathered waists and broad, voluminous turn-ups or perforated motifs. This will look suitably amazing on Alexa Chung, but I'm five foot nothing with a biggish bum. Buying vintage boys clothes means that the hips are narrower, ergo slightly slimmer arse and a silhouette that looks more like actual shorts and less like I've stepped into an extra-durable binbag stretched with starch.  This pair is also nice and worn, so I won't actually look like I'm in an oompah band (more's the pity)

Here's a bonus track for you. I'm going to listen to it with a stein of Weissbier.

P.S  The new Licentiate column for The Cork Independent can be read here.