Monday, June 14, 2010

Hollywood Forever

Typically if a guy asked to take me on a date in a cemetery my response would go something like this: ummm... ya know actually, I just realized I have to wash my hair that night. And every night for the rest of my life (Insert dial tone here).

However yesterday when said question was proposed, I thought, hmmm, this is weird, but its so weird, that I think I just might be into it. So being the brave dater I am, I agreed and decided to just be open. Well as it turns out, when I told a couple people that I was going to the Hollywood Forever Cemetery to watch a movie, I wasn't met with the furrowed eyebrows I had forseen coming my way. But rather, oh ya! Ive heard of that, its supposed to be really cool. Ok, so clearly their on whatever homedude is on, and I'm just gonna have to judge this one for myself.

Well low and behold, when we arrived, blankets and bottles in hand, I felt like I had been time warped to 1967 woodstock, and somewhere along the way the time machine went haywire and brought along some familiar faces from Coachella to make a general vibe of awesomeness! A sea of people with blankets and boose, a DJ pumping out the best of the early 70's and against the backwall of the mosaleum, beautiful vintage movie posters are projected in a steady stream, with the unmistakeable smell of a certain 3 leaf plant floating throughout the crowd of silverlake hipsters on a warm summer night. Amaaaazing.

Last night they screened the movie "Blow Up" featuring a young Vanessa Redgrave, about a fashion photographer who mistakenly photographs a murder. Trust me it sounds better than it is- we left the movie still unsure of what exactly had just happened. But visually a really beautiful film, as most of them were back then. Next weeks feature- Phillip Kaufman's "Invasion of the Body Snatchers", followed the next week by "Midnight Cowboy" featuring a couple of young actors you may have heard of once or twice.

Even though I now realize that Cinespia is in its 10th season, I figure if I'm from this town and have never heard of it, maybe some of you haven't either. And if youre living in LA or just passing through, this is definitely worth checking out on a Sunday night. See you there! :)

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Go-Go Gaga

Ok- its official. I have crossed over to the dark side. The dark side being the Lady Gaga side. And yes, its pretty shady over here. But after watching this video I just couldn't fight it anymore... and trust me, I tried. But truth be told this is the best music video I've seen since probably the early 90's when the inspirations for this video were in full spin and MTV was still playing music videos. That is, the video's I grew up watching and emulating with my cousins and sisters were in rotation, not the least of which was Janet Jackson, who in my opinion ruled the music video world in conjunction with big brother Michael. Not to knock Madonna of course, because we all know she reigned supreme in pushing the limits of sexuality and "societal regulations" of "appropriateness".  Well between the two of those ladies the envelope was pushed pretty much off the edge. And now Lady Gaga has come along to pick up where those ladies left off, and she didn't skimp on paying homage to her predecessors. Whether intentional or not almost all of the images in this video bring back a memory of Janet Jackson's "Rythym Nation", and where those leave off, the wide spectrum of Madonna references pick up.

I'm not saying its a totally original concept but its about time someone has come along to take the reigns that Madonna and Janet held, and force people to question their ideas of right and wrong, and challenge the religiosity that has formed societies rules. Yes we've had our share of Brittany's and Xtina's, but its not just about "getting dirty" and grinding on poles. Its about the message being conveyed in the lyrics, and in this particular song Gaga is bringing the militaries 'Dont ask Dont tell' policy to the light and exposing it for how truly ridiculous, out-dated, and prejudice it is. And it does that with thanks in no small part to the genius of both legendary photographer-come-music-video-director Steven Klein, and Gaga's costume designer/stylist Nicola Formichetti. The video reminds me of what motion picture is meant to be, this video looks like a beautiful editorial story literally put into motion. Every frame is rich and interesting and the styling is done to perfection in every detail. The rubber nun habit's, the opening scene of chiseled men dressed in fishnets and military hats with pumps, the leather shirt, tie, and trench on the antagonist at the end, and the set design to detail is unattended to.

There will always be some people with negative things to say about anything untraditional. But lets face it, its pretty sad, that 25 years after Madonna kicked off the crusade, people are still as up-in-arms as they were then about a video where ADULTS freely express their sexuality... I thought this was 2010 people. I may not plan to show this to my 6 year old neice any time soon, but lets stop with the shock and awe act everytime a woman does a pelvic thrust. Anyway, I'll get off my soap box now. Check it for yourself.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Crowning Glory: CFDA's big winner's and losers

So as I'm sure you have all heard by now the big night has finally arrived. That's right tonight the CFDA crowned its royal court. And although many of my personal picks went home empty handed, there were, no doubt, some great moments, and some really great designers who did take home awards, and deservingly so.

SJP in Alexander McQueen

The shows most memorable moment went to Sarah Jessica Parker giving a tribute to Alexander McQueen in front of a choked up celeb encrusted audience, dressed in a gown personally picked for her by the houses new designer and former McQueen assistant Sarah Burton. She did look lovely, I will give it to SJP, but then again how could you not in such a beautiful creation like the one she wore?

Michael Kors accepted his lifetime achievement award, which although the thought a Michael Kors frock might normally give me the heeves, even I will admit that Michael really has accomplished a great deal in his career. He reminds me of a young Ralph Lauren, with all of those glossy ads featuring a suped up Carmen Kass, Kors has mastered selling people not just a label but a lifestyle, one that now includes everything from fragrance to shoes and accessories... next stop paint? Well I hope not, thats pushing it, even for Ralph. But you get my point. He does what he does well. Again, not for me, but if you're looking for glam yet classic, sophisticated womenswear you'd be hard pressed to find a designer in Kors' league. So congrats Michael. Now, moving right along to something I can stomache...
Gwyneth Paltrow in Michael Kors

GUESS WHO WON WOMENSWEAR DESIGNER OF THE YEAR??!!!!! Ok ok Ill tell you! The one the only, the man who presented a collection for fall that brought a single tear to my eye... you guessed it, MARC JACOBS! Yay! Now, let me just say, the people that I called to win were not so much predictions as they were favorites... I dont wanna split hairs here people but it is different. And out of all of those that I picked, the only one I thought might throw me into a violent tantrum if snubbed was Marc. That collection deserves another award. I don't even know what other fashion awards there are but I wish there were more so he could go around collecting like Meryl Streep during movie awards season. But alas the one will have to do. I have a sneaking suspicion Marc might be ok with that.
Alexa Chung in Marc Jacobs Collection

As far as Swarovski goes, its all about emerging talent, and generally I think whoever wins, its great. Because when youre a young designer you can use all the help you can get so I'm the first to say congratulations to anyone who recieves the honor and the financial backing this award provides. HOWEVER, I feel a liiiiiiiittle bit irritated that Joseph Altuzarra didn't take this award for womenswear. I thought he was a shoe-in (haha no pun intended). But seriously, I did, and not because I love him personally, I do but thats not the point. But because I really thought he deserved it. Am I shocked that Jason Wu took it? Considering he's won the favor of the first lady and American Vogue? No. But I had hopes that this award would go to a designer who was truly an emerging talent, meaning one who is bringing something edgy, new and different to the fashion world and those aren't words that are synonymous with Jason Wu's collections as far as I'm concerned. That said however, I am happy for Wu, he wasn't my pick, but he's done very well for himself being such a new designer and I am happy for any young designer who gets the support that comes with this award.

Ok enough about me already... here's the total wrap up of the nights big winners...

Menswear Designer of the Year-

Tom Ford

Michael Bastian

Marcus Wainwright and David Neville for Rag and Bone

Womenswear Designer of the Year-

Alexander Wang

Marc Jacobs

Donna Karan

Accessory Designer of the Year-

Marc Jacobs

Alexis Bittar

Jack McCoulough and Lazaro Hernandez for Proenza Schouler

Swarovski Award for Womenswear-

Jason Wu

Prabal Gurung

Josheph Altuzarra

Swarovski Award for Menswear-

Simon Spurr

Richard Chai

Patrick Ervell

Swarovski Award for Accessory Design-

Eddie Borgo

Alexander Wang

Dana Lorenz

Eugenia Sheppard Award – Kim Hastreiter, Paper
International Award – Christopher Bailey for Burberry
Fashion Icon Award – Iman
Eleanor Lambert Award – Tonne Goodman, Vogue
Geoffrey Beene Lifetime Achievment Award- Michael Kors
CFDA Special Tribute Award- Alexander McQueen

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Listen Up

So over the past two days I have been in sunny Palm Springs California ringing in my bff's birthday with lots of sun and relaxation. Generally on trips to Palm Springs there's not much to do except lay by the pool, swim, and eat. And in this case, listen to music. Which brings to my point. And that is, Drake's much anticipated "first" album entitled "Thank Me Later". I started listening to it on Friday night because a friend had the leaked version on his ipod and have spent practically the whole weekend listening to it on repeat ever since. I just could not get enough of this album. My favorite tracks which include "You can Thank me now" ( a bit of a Jay-Z vibe on the hook I think), and "Fireworks" feat Alicia Keys are just 2 of the 14 tracks on this album and I don't think there is one that I don't love. Truth be told I don't have anything particulary witty to say about this album, all I know is I could not wait to get back to civilization and internet so that I could share how good it is.

Although some may comment that Drake sings too much or his music is generally for girls because of the lyrical content, (often focused on past love and relationship woes), I personally couldn't disagree more. Yes he sings on some of the tracks, but considering he sings well I dont see why thats a problem. There are always those people who want to keep hip-hop in a box and criticize anyone who steps outside of it, but I think you have to allow music to grow, no matter what genre, and allow artists to experiment and try new things for the sake of the music itself. There are some of those heart felt tracks centered around love and relationships but he doesn't skimp on the grit and street talk so don't worry, hard core hip-hop fans won't be dissapointed, there's plenty of the mixtape Drake we all know. His smoothe delivery and witty lyrics are everpresent and combined with strong production that will have you bopping your head in unison with every beat. On top of that you really feel his passion, his pain, and connect with the music, which for me is what music is all about anyways. My final answer- This is one of the best hip hop albums from beginning to end I've heard in a while and im sure all of those critics will be playing it on repeat come tuesday. Run don't walk.