Tuesday, 30 March 2010

'When The Sky Fell Down' - the myth of Guy Bourdin


Soooo excited!

Photo of the Day: Bob Richardson

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Bob Richardson, 1976.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Photo of the Day: Paco Rabanne Cologne, 1986

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Paco Rabanne advertisement, shot by Joel Baldwin. Vogue June 1986.

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Beautiful Blogger Award

I just realized that the lovely Becka, of Smashing Bird, nominated me for a Beautiful Blogger Award. Awww, thank you!

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To Accept this Award I have to:

1. Thank the person who nominated you.
2. Copy the award and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who nominated you.
4. Tell seven things about yourself.
5. Nominate seven bloggers, if you choose.
6. Post links to the seven blogs if you do choose to nominate others.

Here we go...

1. I'm a graduate student in Fashion History.
2. I would give anything to have Raquel Welch's body.
3. I don't know how to drive but I am forcing myself to get my license this year
4. I am completely obsessed with my three cats.
5. I have around sixty Ossie Clark's, but I'm always trying to find more!
6. I find nothing more enjoyable than being holed up in a library doing research on something interesting all day.
7. I want to live on a farm at least part-time within the next few years.

I'm never very good at things like that, but I'd like to pass this award on to:

* Liz at Miss Peelpants
* Joanne at Chromium Dumb Belle
* Sally Jane at Sally Jane Vintage
* Chelsea at Cat Party
* Jaja at July Stars
* Krystal at What is Reality Anyway?
* Kelly at The Glamourai

Photo of the Day: Jodie Foster & Helmut Newton

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Jodie Foster. Photographed by Helmut Newton, Vogue April 1987.

Is this the best she ever looked? The spitting image of Tamara Lempicka, Jodie Foster is both sultry and classy here. What was it about Newton that made him capable of making all of the women he photographed look strong and sexy? No other photographer has been able to accomplish that feat so consistently. I've been pondering this subject for the last few days as the scandal around Terry Richardson has been picking up steam. Terry is often, erroneously, compared to Newton, but Terry's work has none of the delicacy and beauty that even Newton's most extreme work did. Yes, Newton sought to shock at times, but that was secondary to creating a beautiful image and having the woman look beautiful in it. With Terry Richardson's work it seems all about shock value, and there has been no evolution in the style or quality of his work over the last ten years. I never look at one of his photos and think that the model looks beautiful, even if it is a model I adore- his aesthetic is one based on the lowest form of photography, at home porn taken with a point and shoot, and the attempts by him and the industry to raise it to art have failed.

Thursday, 18 March 2010

Photo of the Day: Adrienne Dore

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Adrienne Dore, 1920s.

It finally feels like spring here in New York, but it's been so long that I've forgotten how to dress for it. At the moment I can't stand any of my warm weather clothes, so I need to start looking through my old magazines and inspiration files for some ideas to freshen up my looks. What are you looking to wear this season? I'd rather love Adrienne Dore's non-existent flower frock, if I had a slim flapper's body.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Photo of the Day: Lanvin, 1936

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Lanvin gown. Photographed by André Durst for Vogue October 1, 1936.

Monday, 15 March 2010

Photo of the Day: Anjelica Huston, 1976

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Francesco Scavullo, Anjelica Huston, 1976.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Photo of the Day: Miss Penelope Dudley-Ward

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George Platt Lynes, Miss Penelope Dudley-Ward, Harper's Bazaar November 1937.


Miss Penelope Dudley-Ward, the English heroine of the London-Paris-New York hit, "French Without Tears," in a rose, turquoise and gold brocaded lame jacket and a full satin skirt in a deep rosy red. From Mabel McIlvain Downs, a designer who just opened her own shop overlooking the river on Sutton Place. I. Magnin, California, also has this dress.

Could this be the most most perfect dress ever? Its faint historicizing is kept modern by the lean cut of the jacket, which is juxtaposed with the flowing satin to make for a captivating ensemble.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Photo of the Day: Alla Nazimova

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Arthur Rice, Alla Nazimova as Camille, 1921.


My heart skipped a beat when I found this photo in Lost Hollywood while doing research at the Costume Institute Library today. Camille, based on Alexandre Dumas, fils' La Dame aux Camélias, is a classic of silent film. It contains all of the key ingredients- a handsome hero (actually, the handsomest- Rudolph Valentino), a beautiful heroine and a tragic romance. It seems that the whole movie can now be watched on YouTube, a nice change from watching it in an over-packed classroom so I would definitely recommend spending an hour with this deco gem. While I've seen photos from this same set before, I had not seen this one which exquisitely shows Nazimova's brittle beauty to such effect.

Photo from: Woody, Jack. Lost Hollywood. Santa Fe, NM: Twin Palms Publishers.

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Adoration of Alexander McQueen

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My love of Alexander McQueen's designs and my despair over his death has been well documented on this site- I've been a passionate fan of his since early in his career when iD and The Face were the only magazines covering his wild antics. Though I have never been able to afford many of his pieces, those that I own have been well loved. To say that I was moved by his final collection would be putting it very mildly. Hauntingly beautiful the pieces in this collection were made from the sixteen patterns he had finished and the fabrics he had chosen prior to his death. McQueen's interest in Medieval and Renaissance paintings formed the basis of the collection from the hand-loomed jacquard fabrics of angels and demons from van der Goes and Bosch, to the soft gray chiffon gowns with Boticelli cartoons floating over the body. Every aspect seems so well thought out and purposeful that it seems incredible that this is an unfinished collection- what else would McQueen have been able to do had he lived?
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The video above, from Fashionista.com, vividly captures many of the details of the collection that are lost in the photos. His runway pieces rarely went into production so this will likely be the only opportunity to see these designs so close up, though I would love for this collection to be put up as an exhibition or given to a museum. Now that PPR has decided to keep the Alexander McQueen label alive it will be interesting to see what happens with it. Gareth Pugh has been put forward as a possible replacement, but, while I like and would wear his clothes, they do not inspire me. He also lacks McQueen's exquisite understanding of colour and embellishment, which brought his already immaculate tailoring and draping to another level. Olivier Theyskens could possibly work, but I honestly hope one of McQueen's assistants, someone who truly understands his vision, is chosen to be head designer.

All photos from Style.com; video from Fashionista.com.

Monday, 8 March 2010

Photo of the Day: Mad Carpentier

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Genevieve Naylor, Mad Carpentier chiffon evening gown, 1946.


Sunday, 7 March 2010

Photos of the Day: Anna Dell Russo

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Anna Dell Russo's apartment in Milan, from jak&jil.

Many of you have probably already seen these photos of Anna Dell Russo's apartments in Milan, as I'm sure they are all over the blogosphere by now. I started putting together this post the minute I saw them the other day, but life got the best of me- they are still completely worth posting though. Anna is the fashion editor at large for Vogue Nippon and has become a star due to her constant appearances on street style blogs every fashion week. Notorious for changing her outfit several times a day, Anna has two apartments in Milan, one exclusively for her clothing archive. Tommy Ton, of jak and jil, was invited to photograph her at home and these are a few of his exclusive photos of the über-luxury of her world. Anyone who has seen my own photos will know that I love looking at peoples' homes, especially the little details and it is these details that attract me to this set. The mix of colours and textures with a heavy dose of gold and leopard print create a feeling of extreme luxe, which is further enhanced by the blown-up Versailles photographs that are used as wallpaper. The true maximalism of her abode is entrancing, reminding one of a Horst interior gone Pop. I'm not always a huge fan of her outfits, though I love her attention to detail and unchanging devotion to perfecting her style, but from what I see of her home I would happily move in immediately. I especially love her Catholic teacups and would love to know where they are from.
All photos by Tommy Ton, from jak and jil.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Photos of the Day: The Gobbler Motel

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"The Place That Made Turkeys Famous 365 Days a Year..."

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When You Enter The Lobby, It's a Whole New World.

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Passion Pit- Round Bed.

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Happiness is a Bridal Suite with a Sunken Bath and Round Water Bed.

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Countryside Rooms Have Manner All of Their Own.

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The Sweetheart Room with King-Sized Water Bed.

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Still Another Warm and Inviting Bridal Suite with regular bath.

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The Romantic, Purple Luxury Room with King-Sized Bed.

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Half of the Executive Suite Where Business is a Pleasure.

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Other Half of Suite, With Stereo, 8 Track Tape Deck and Record Player.

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With Regular Bed, In Blue or Red, It Still Says "I Love You..."

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One of the Colorful Poolside Rooms Dressed in Gobbler Red.

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Cupid's Hide-A-Way with King Size Water Bed.

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Motel Pool- Swimming in All Seasons, Including a Kiddie's Pool.

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It is Sauna Time at the Motel and a Time for Leisure Living.

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Shuffleboard, Tennis and the Spectacular Gobbler Pool.

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Fun for Everyone in the Motel Game Room.

Judging by the comments and emails I received about yesterday's post, everyone loves The Gobbler Supper Club just as much as I do. Since The Gobbler, in all of it's plush carpeted glory, went over so well I decided that you might all enjoy its partner, The Gobbler Motel. Local turkey baron Clarence Hartwig built the motel just a little down the road from his supper club, and had it decorated in the same kitsch baroque style. Supposedly his wife and her decorator were in charge of the restaurant's memorable decor, and it looks likely they were let loose in here as well. As with the restaurant every possible surface is carpeted, and if it isn't possible for it to be carpeted, a fake stone wall is used instead. Hartwig's son, Clarence Jr., has been quoted as saying, "My mom and dad just liked the color pink," and it is in strong evidence here, along with bright reds and blues. I know that many women want to be taken somewhere tropical and exotic for their honeymoon, but nothing would make me happier than if my future husband could find a way to take me back in time to stay here- the only problem would be, which room? The Passion Pit? Or the round water bed enclosed in red carpeting?

I've been asked several times about the current state of The Gobbler. Sadly, the motel is completely gone- it was abandoned for years and was burnt down as a "practice fire" for the local firefighters around 2001. The Gobbler Supper Club has been empty since 2002, after having gone through several incarnations, and was for sale for years. Even though it has been renovated a few times, most of the original interior remains. It went up for auction in December, and the building, its contents and the petrified wood that covered the entry way and lobby all were to be sold separately. I haven't been able to find out the results of the auction, and whether the building will be re-opened or will be demolished. I only wish I had found this place sooner as I might have sent Violetville to pick me up a set of lavender and pink chairs for my apartment- true pieces of Wisconsin history! Regardless, this summer when I head to Wisconsin I will force her to drive me to see, and photograph, whatever remains.

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Petrified wood being removed from The Gobbler.

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The bar area.

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Chairs at supper club are original and cost $114 each in the 1960s.

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The interior of the Gobbler Supper Club.

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Original wallpaper at The Gobbler supper club in Johnson Creek.

First set of photos and captions from The Gobbler. Second set by Mike DeVries for the Wisconsin State Journal.

Photos of the Day: The Gobbler Supper Club

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The Gobbler Supper Club.

Possibly my favourite place that I've never been, The Gobbler Motel and Supper Club was a roadside stop by I-94 in Johnson Creek, Wisconsin. These photos of the Supper Club are all taken from an original brochure published around the time it was built in 1967. Designed by Helmut Ajango, the Supper Club was built to resembles a turkey's head when viewed from the sky and also had turkey print carpeting. By far the best feature, though, is the rotating bar that made a full revolution every eighty minutes and had a hanging "roost" overhead for drinks and dancing. The quirky architecture and decor look like a pastiche of every bad idea of the era, yet the whole place is taken to such an extreme that I can't help but think that this is where Americana motel culture reached its zenith. Many other roadside attractions from the 50s might be sleeker and more glamorous, but there's no bar I'd rather be drinking at than The Gobbler Supper Club.

All photos from The Gobbler.

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