Wednesday, 30 June 2010

Photos of the Day: Afternoon Stroll

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Eniko Mihalik in Muse Summer 2010. Photographed by Max Farago and styled by Hannes Hetta.

Cinematic in feel, these images feel like screenshots from a beautiful love story, one with a more realistic take on romance and life. Shot by Max Farago for Muse, Eniko Mihalik and Yuri Pleskun play the young lovers and are styled in farm appropriate clothing by Hannes Hetta. Likely shot in upstate New York, this is the kind of romance I would love to see more of.

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Eniko Mihalik in Muse Summer 2010.
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Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Photo of the Day: Donna Jordan Today

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Donna Jordan and Kate Bello in John Patrick Organic resort 2010.

When I was catching up on two weeks of posts on the Vogue.com blog the other day I came across the image above, and it took me a few moments to realize that it was one of my favourite models of all time, Donna Jordan. She is seen here modeling in the resort lookbook for John Patrick Organic alongside her daughter, Kate Ballo, who is also a model. Donna (who I've covered here and here) still looks absolutely gorgeous, much more natural than her days as a platinum pin-up yet still appears to be full of the same energy and spirit that attracted the likes of Antonio Lopez and Karl Lagerfeld to her.

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Monday, 28 June 2010

Dream Home: A Home in the Redwoods

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A south-facing wall of glass overlooks the wooded canyon. The home, designed to blend into the landscape, was built using salvaged materials like rafters from a 19th-century hotel and glass from World War II fighter planes.

I often read interviews where the subject is asked where their ideal holiday or place of relaxation is, and the answers are often "this hidden island beach... this exotic city... this glitzy ski resort..." My answer would be very different. I've always found the forest to be the best place to escape or live, and that being enveloped by trees is the closest to peace we are capable of. Maybe it was visiting my mother's family farm deep in the mountains of North Carolina or my childhood summers spent in the woods of New Hampshire, but my dream has always been to spend at least part of the year in a place like that. I've written on here before about the farm in North Carolina where I, first, want to fix-up my great-grandmother's cottage and, then, build a modern home on the mountain. The New York Times this week published a story on this home in the Redwood forest of California. Originally built in 1958 by Daniel J Liebermann, a pupil of Frank Lloyd Wright, this crescent-shaped home is a great example of how a house can be built to co-exist with the environment, and not compete.

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"I would stare at every angle and reconfigure the space in my mind," Mr. Todd said of the house. "In the end, it was clear the original design was best. We chose to edit and make the home more luxurious."

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The house was designed in 1958 by Daniel J. Liebermann, who favored radial plans and curved walls. Metal tubes at the center support roof beams that fan out like umbrella spokes.

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The guest house is linked to the main house by a fan of wooden beams. It serves as a bedroom for 17-year-old Luke Todd and a home office for his father.

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Mr. Liebermann, who had apprenticed with Frank Lloyd Wright, had sold the house in 1966. But he was living nearby, and both he and Ms. Liebermann advised the Todds during the early stages of the renovation.

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Andrew and Kim Todd, who run a chain of hair salons in the Bay Area, were immediately drawn to their home among the redwood trees in Mill Valley, Calif., despite its modest size — 1,100 square feet — and the need for extensive renovations.

All photos by Joe Fletcher. All photos and captions from the New York Times.

Photo of the Day: Sonia Rykiel, 1975

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Sonia Rykiel dress and trousers, necklace from Dim and shoes by Maud Frizon. Shot by Oliviero Toscani for French Elle, 24 May 1976.

Sunday, 27 June 2010

Pop Doll

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Barbara Palvin, shot by Paul Schmidt. Jalouse, June 2010.

As I've mentioned before, I just got back from a quick jaunt around Europe. The first thing I do every time I go home to London is to visit my hair stylists as I've yet to find anyone I trust in New York. Even though I've repeatedly discussed my desire for really blond hair on here, I only went slightly lighter and I kept almost all of the length. Of course, within a few days I came across this editorial in the June 2010 issue of Jalouse and was filled with hair envy yet again. While I don't think I am ready to go darker, especially since I am still working on getting the guts to go a more all over blond, but the cut and styling here is just adorable- this is further compounded by the almost exclusive use of pieces from my two favourite spring/summer 2010 collections, Miu Miu and Christopher Kane, along with my favourite Chloe blouse.

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Since I saw these photos I've been regretting not getting this kind of long sideswept bangs but I should be able to basically replicate this style, though I doubt my very long hair will be able to keep that kind of height in the crown. Isn't Barbara Palvin gorgeous? Her face is so feline- very exquisite. She reminds me of a younger and prettier Natalia Vodianova. She is definitely someone to keep an eye on as all of her recent editorials have been great, like this one for Vogue Turkey, and she is only 16.

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Cotton Picking with James Wedge

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French Connection wrap-dress. All photos by James Wedge. The Sunday Times magazine, 10 August 1975.

Since I arrived back in New York earlier this week, after two weeks in Europe, the weather has been incredibly hot and steamy. No matter what you wear it is quickly drenched with sweat so it only makes sense to wear the lightest possible fabrics that can be easily washed, which makes cotton the obvious choice. As I've been wearing my vintage 70s maxi dresses with Terry de Havilland wedges day and night finding this 1975 editorial in a pile of magazines made my day. Shot by the inimitable James Wedge, the uniquely saturated images glow and instantly bring to mind the hot summer afternoons in the city. A great example of the 70s does 40s retro trend, this editorial draws more from everyday wear in the war years than from the high octane Hollywood glamour that was usually used for inspiration. Also, the shoes in the last photo are from Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood's Sex boutique, which was open (in that incarnation) from 1972 to 76.

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Top Shop dress and Terry de Havilland wedges.

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Gingham dress by Gordon King and Terry de Havilland wedges.

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Dress by Claude Syger and shoes from Sex.

Saturday, 26 June 2010

Photo of the Day: Zandra Rhodes & Revlon

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Revlon advertisement. Found in French Elle, 24 May 1976.

Love the super glamourous Zandra Rhodes dress in this ad, though I'm not quite sure how her hair is staying like that...

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Photo of the Day: Sam Haskins' Period Fashions

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Chelsea, London, Period Fashions. Photographed by Sam Haskins for the 1979 Pentax Calendar.

Monday, 21 June 2010

Photo of the Day: Jane Fonda

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Jane Fonda. Photographed by Peter Basch in the early 1960s.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Photo of the Day: Yuki

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Yuki gown. Photographed by Jack Penati for British Vogue October 1972.

Dream Woman

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Photographer: Alexi Lubormirski; Stylist: Christiane Arp; Model: Katrin Thormann. Vogue Germany July 2010. Source: Fashion Gone Rogue

Saturday, 19 June 2010

Hubert de Givenchy

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Givenchy gown. Photographed by Henry Clarke, 1952.

In case anyone missed this interview with the rarely seen Hubert de Givenchy, I have extracted the most intriguing sections. He recently curated an exhibition of the work of Cristobal Balenciaga, Philippe Venet and himself that is currently on view at the Château de Haroué, in the Loire valley. I tried to fit a visit to it into my trip to France last week, but it was rather out of the way. If you are in that area, it is on view until August 17th and it is definitely worth a trip as it includes many beautiful pieces including Audrey Hepburn's iconic Givenchy LBD from Breakfast at Tiffany's.

Hubert de Givenchy: 'It was always my dream to be a dress designer'

Extracts from an interview with Carola Long from The Independent, 7 June 2010.

If anyone can offer advice on how to be elegant it's Hubert de Givenchy, but his opening tip isn't entirely encouraging, and lacks the anything-is-achievable democracy that we've come to expect from fashion. "You must, if it's possible, be born with a kind of elegance. It is a part of you, of yourself," he says. Fortunately he also has some more practical hints, saying that "you must keep it simple". He notes that when he goes out in Paris it's the young people who dress in the simplest way who look the best; "and the more pretty you look, the more love affairs you will have," he laughs.

In the half-century since he founded his couture house in Paris, in 1952, the designer has accentuated the natural elegance of some of the prettiest – indeed some of the most beautiful – women of the 20th century, including Grace Kelly, Jackie Kennedy and of course Audrey Hepburn.

The pair met when Givenchy received a phone call saying Miss Hepburn would be coming to see him about the costumes for the 1954 film Sabrina. He assumed the actress would be Katharine Hepburn, because he "did not know who is Audrey Hepburn, because I did not see the first movies". However, when Audrey Hepburn turned up dressed in a knotted T-shirt, flat sandals and a gondolier's hat they had an instant rapport which led to lifelong friendship and her becoming his muse. Initially Givenchy told the actress that "it would be impossible to make the clothes because I have only eight workers and to make 15 or 20 dresses in such a short time is not possible for me". In response "she said, very nicely, 'I want to see your collection, right now,'" he recalls. "It was still in preparation but I showed her and she said, 'this is right for the scene in the station' and so on, and finally we made it possible for me to dress her. From that day on, until she died – too early for me – the friendship was really like a special love affair." The depth of his affection for the actress is quite moving, especially when he gestures skyward and says, not melodramatically, but tenderly, "She is there. Up there."

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Audrey Hepburn in a Givenchy gown in Sabrina, 1954.

Of course, Givenchy's life, born to a prosperous family and becoming one of the most celebrated designers of all time, is more gilded than most – positively-24 carat – but this rapturous passion is infectious. Perhaps it's the optimism of someone who fulfilled his dream. He says, "It was always my dream to be a dress designer and that my mother accepted this decision. You are like a butterfly, in every moment you must have good reception [he mimes antennae]; in every moment you must be attentive and notice the little things to be creative. It's a fabulous thing, to give life to fabric, to make something move well, the harmony of colour."

The starting point for Givenchy's creations was always the cloth. "Fabric is the most extraordinary thing, it has life. You must respect the fabric," he insists. His aesthetic was classical, pure and sometimes slightly severe; with an occasional surprising flourish such as the cutaway, crescent-shaped detail on the back of the dress Hepburn wore in Breakfast at Tiffany's. He says today that "the little black dress is the hardest thing to realise, because you must keep it simple."

Born in Beauvais, north of Paris, in 1927, Givenchy arrived in the capital at the age of 17. He started his career working for the dynamic Jacques Fath, moving on to the more classic Robert Piguet, Lucien Lelong and then Schiaparelli. He remains convinced of the values of learning first-hand, from "a master, an example, a great creator – like with painting. You never finish learning in life." It wasn't long before Givenchy was attracting stellar clients and working with the best models, and achieved his long-cherished aim of befriending his hero, Cristobal Balenciaga, whom he considered, "a great architect", because "all the proportions of Balenciaga are strong, modern, wonderful".

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Givenchy brocade suit, Vogue 1963.

Asked what he thinks of the Givenchy collections now, the founder is tactfully evasive. He starts by saying, "I think when you sell your company, and are no longer the master of driving it, it's quite difficult," then explains that he is concentrating on working with Christie's, and following his interest in "beautiful things, books, silver, furniture". Too busy to look at Givenchy collections, he says, "I don't think I have any interest any more. It's better like that."

It's clear from his (Oxford University) Union lecture that the designer isn't exactly enthralled by the modern fashion world. He doesn't believe that actresses at Cannes have the "great style" of silver-screen legends such as Carole Lombard or Judy Garland, dismisses some collections as just there to sell bags and shoes, and considers many designers out of touch with reality; showing "impossible, crazy clothes" rather than "thinking about the life of a woman".

Instead he is philosophical. "Every epoch is different, and you must accept the reality," he smiles, "C'est la vie. Happily, for many years we had a wonderful time. Beautiful fabric, beautiful people, beautiful memories." In that order it seems. For Hubert de Givenchy, everything starts with the fabric.

Below is a small video showing the exhibition in situ in the Chateau.

Eye Candy: Jeremy Irons

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Jeremy Irons.


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Somewhere


Somewhere, 2010.

Loving the fact that Stephen Dorff was cast as the lead in Sofia Coppola's new film, Somewhere, which will be released in December. Continuing the theme from yesterday's post, he was another childhood crush of mine. It's enough to make me want to dust off my old copy of S.F.W. and remember the time when Hollywood movies made movies about the problems with the media and hype machine without seeing the inherent hypocrisy- oh, the early nineties...


S.F.W., 1994.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Eye Candy: Michael Sarrazin

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Michael Sarrazin, 1970.

Ever since my father showed me The Gumball Rally, the classic seventies film of fast cars, I've had a rather irrational crush on Michael Sarrazin. The Quebecois actor known for his soulful blue eyes hasn't always been known for his acting talent, though he was in some classics of late sixties/ early seventies American cinema, including They Shoot Horses Don't They. With his perfectly shaggy hair it is easy to see why he dated one of the most beautiful women of the era, Jacqueline Bisset, for a period. For those who do not know his work I would definitely recommend all of the movies included in this post, especially Eye of the Cat, The Gumball Rally and They Shoot Horses Don't They.


The Gumball Rally, 1976, trailer.

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Sarrazin in The Gumball Rally, 1976.

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Believe in Me, 1971.


Sarrazin and Julie Christie In Search of Gregory, 1969

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Sarrazin and Fonda in Sydney Pollack's They Shoot Horses Don't They, 1969.

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Sarrazin and Jacqueline Bisset at the Airport premiere, 1970.

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Sarrazin and Jacqueline Bisset at the Airport premiere, 1970.


Sarrazin in Eye of the Cat, 1969.

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Sarrazin in The Pursuit of Happiness, 1971.


Frankenstein: The True Story, 1973, starring Sarrazin and Jane Seymour.

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Sometimes a Great Notion, 1970.

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The Sweet Ride, 1968.

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Sarrazin and Fonda in Sydney Pollack's They Shoot Horses Don't They, 1969.


Sarrazin and Fonda in Sydney Pollack's They Shoot Horses Don't They, 1969.

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Screenshots from Harry in Your Pocket, 1973.

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