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more than a dress; a work of art.

photo from huffington post.

unplugged

photos from look

a is for angie

b is for blond bombshell

c is for corset

d is for dark beauty

e is for editorial

f is for freckles

g is for garland

h is for hollywood hotspot

i is for iconic

j is for jewels

k is for kate

l is for long locks

m is for mesh

n is for nails

o is for opulent

p is for pocket puppy

q is for quirky

r is for ruby lips

s is for spots

t is for tats

u is for underwear

v is for veil

w is for wallpaper

x is for criss cross

y is for yellow gold

z is for zipper

and not a thing to watch. i miss the television shows of yore. madeline hayes and david addison anyone?

photo from yimmy’s yayo

that, she is. the documentary allows the viewer to see joan rivers beyond the red carpet. you get a sense that a deep pain lies behind those (botoxed) eyes. a life filled with success, fame and family is not without disappointment, rejection and loss. i wouldn’t say i’m a fan of her work, but i find her drive and persona fascinating. she certainly is a comedic icon, especially in a male dominated industry.

i enjoy reading social q’s in the ny times’ style section each week. today’s column focuses on wedding etiquette. some quotes that gave me a chuckle:

here comes the brid(al fever), during which perfectly normal couples lose their grip on reality, become completely narcissistic, and crave attention 24/7 — sort of like liza minnelli at radio city music hall.

wedding receptions require flexibility on the part of guests, no doubt about it: so-so food, cheesy music and corny toasts – all to let other people play king and queen for a day. but seating plans are as hard as rubik’s cubes, and we’ve all pulled a lousy table assignment in our day.

i’m afraid the wedding bells have made you a little tone deaf, lauren. if I were granny, i’d much rather hear from you than from some johnny-come-lately who may turn out to be ex-husband no. 1.

i just watched hbo’s grey gardens, after viewing the 1975 documentary last year. i am amazed, saddened, disgusted and mostly fascinated with the lives of edith bouvier beale and daughter edie. the film is centered on the aunt and first cousin of jacqueline kennedy, whose demise leads them to living in squalor and filth in their east hampton mansion.

surprisingly, i prefer the modern film over the documentary. the film travels back and forth between the ’30s and ’70s, giving the viewer a back story and fuller context of their lives. the documentary, grittier of course, left me at times squirming and a little bored. nevertheless, a truly fascinating story.

i came across a great blog that features all things grey gardens. with illustrations, theatre depictions, commentary and more. go here to explore the gardens.

illustrations from cinema faustus and grey gardens news.

my husband was reminiscing about tv shows he grew up watching, including that girl, starring marlo thomas. he revealed a boyhood crush on ms. thomas and i discovered a current crush on her fabulous look from the 70s. these photos were taken in her beverly hills home in 1970.

photos from imdb

all from w magazine

stone barns, where i got married, was recently featured on sesame street. i got a little teary when i heard that – my childhood and present converging. in the segment, a girl and her friends collect eggs from the chickens and prepare scrambled eggs. “o” is for organic!

if you have the interest (and $1.99), download the “elmo finds a baby bird” episode from iTunes. or if you are resourceful and find it on the internet for free, let me know!

knowing little about patti smith, i bought just kids, her new book about life with robert mapplethorpe. unable to put it down, i entered the magical world of new york city in the late 60s and 70s. this is my favorite time period to read about, and i devour books such as just kids and please kill me, fully romanticizing this era.

when smith and mapplethorpe share a hot dog at coney island because it’s all they can afford, my heart leapt. when standing outside in the cold, debating on whether their remaining dollar goes to a grilled cheese or art supplies, i cheered when the paint brushes won. and nothing seems more blissful than nights at their first apartment near pratt in brooklyn, playing the same record over and over, creating art and making lettuce soup.

but hunger is hunger which is never fun, especially for a tall, thin, speedy girl like smith. speedy, but not in a drug related way. smith was not into drugs and although mapplethorpe took the occasional acid hit, their lives were dedicated to art, which requires clarity and focus. the duo seems relatively grounded considering their presence at the chelsea hotel and max’s kansas city. beyond art, their devotion to each other, as only true soul mates have, is beautiful:

“robert and i were always ourselves – ’til the day he died, we were just exactly as we were when we met. and we loved each other. everybody wants to define everything. is it necessary to define love?”

here are some excerpts from christopher bollen’s interview with smith in interview magazine. to read the entire article, go here. better yet, pick up just kids.

Robert had different goals. He came from a different upbringing. His upbringing was Catholic, middle class, precise, military, well ordered, spanking clean. I came from a very chaotic household. I really believe that Robert sought not to destroy order, but to reorder, to reinvent, and to create a new order. I know that he always wanted to do something that no one else had done. That was very important to him. I was a little different. I always wanted to do what somebody else had already done—I wanted to write the next Peter Pan, the next Alice in Wonderland. I loved history, and I wanted to be a part of it. Robert wanted to break from history.

It’s very unfair to young struggling people. When I came to New York in the late ’60s, you could find an apartment for $50 or $60 a month. You could get a job in a bookstore or be a waitress and still live as an artist. You could have raw space. That’s been rendered impossible. I mean, my band lost its practice space and had to move out of town. They’re all fancy galleries. CBGB is now a fancy clothing store. The Bowery used to be home to winos, William Burroughs, and punk rockers. Now it’s a whole other scene. That’s part of New York’s tragedy and beauty. It’s a city of continual reinvention and transformation. I think the way things are going now is good for commerce, bad for art. Bad for the common man. [Mayor Michael] Bloomberg does not serve the common man. He serves the image of the city as a new shopping center. A place to get great meals. Little parks that make no sense. Places like Union Square, as if we were in Paris. We’re not Paris. We’re New York City. It’s a gritty city. It’s a place where you have all races and all walks of life, and that has always been its beauty. It’s the city of immigrants. It’s the city where you can start at the bottom. I feel the Bloomberg administration has reinvented the city as the new hip suburbia. It’s a tourist city. It’s really safe for tourists. I guess I liked it when it was a little less safe. Or I liked it when it was safer for artists. Now it’s unsafe for artists. I’m not saying this for myself. I’m saying this for the future of creative communities. Because, one day, all the people who have driven out the artists and have only these fancy condos left are going to turn around and say, “Why do I live here? There’s nothing happening!”

photo credits: interview magazine; smashbox studios

image from castletroy college

a gorgeous film,
detailed to perfection.

posters from flickr

the next movie in your netflix queue should be breaking away. shot entirely in indiana, it won an academy award for best screen play in 1979. the film features the classic showdown between the townie “cutters” and the big man on campus frat boys.

among the cutters is dave stoller, a teenager obsessed with all things italian, especially cinzano cycling. his passion comes tumbling down when the revered italian cyclists cheat him out of a win during a race. he redeems himself in the little 500, despite an injury and little help from his teammates. although the ending is predictable, you can’t help but smile. also of note – a young dennis quaid and paul dooley as dave’s father (or poppa as he is called).

a feel good movie, with a great message…update your queue.

every winter when the new york temperatures plummet, i consider my state of residency. why do i live here? why wouldn’t i live somewhere warm, like i don’t know, santa barbara? sb may seem a bit random but i’ve been coming across it recently. it was the picture perfect backdrop for the film, it’s complicated and in a recent sunset magazine spread, there was a feature on santa barbara architecture.

architect jeff shelton was featured in this article. i love his spanish / california style: the bright colors, tiles and iron are so warm and inviting. i can just imagine the bright community feel that this courtyard would offer. to see more of his gorgeous work, go here.

the dynasty ladies are:
a) strutting their stuff on the runway; sammy jo in a precursor to balmain
b) on their way to a denver-carrington holiday party
c) bunkering down for some friday night majong

linda evans, joan collins, diahann carroll and heather locklear courtesy of nistagmus.

clare owen’s illustration of jean seberg’s getup in breathless is adorable. to purchase this piece and others, visit her esty shop.

taylor swift looking very cute in the new york times style magazine holiday issue:

i just watched the pool aka la piscine, a picture perfect french glossy film. take inventory: a beautiful villa in saint tropez, silky keyhole dresses worn by romy schneider (sans bra, naturally), and a sullen, nubile, jane birkin. despite the eye candy, i oscillated between two opposing feelings:

1. excitement and fascination
2. total boredom

the pool

the more i think about it, many foreign films have a dichotomy of being both intriguing and dull. the prime proof is often in the dialogue – deep and substantial, yet mundane and phony. and i quote:

i don’t really like the summer; i only like in between seasons
are you hungry?

some nights anything goes.
i’m afraid. i do not know why.

you don’t find good rice very often

you’re pisces aquarius rising, you were born to be loved

you know, a case is never definitely closed.

and the ultimate question: what does this all mean? nothing….everything?

photo from i.bp.blogspot.com

foodinc

as many times as i have heard the terms ‘free range’ and ‘grass fed,’ i don’t think i fully grasped what that meant until i watched food inc. i guess i shouldn’t be stunned by dispicable farming practices and the mega corporations that control it, but i never understood the implications that it has – on the immigrant worker trying to survive, the small farmer who is imprisoned (basically) by corporate greed – even me ordering a burger at my favorite joint. you can bet i will be asking questions before i order my food from now on.

the film is jarring, scary and real. some farmers even feed corn to fish! fish! that is not right. food inc contains some positive messages, however. awareness. companies becoming more conscious and mindful (even if their motivations aren’t completely pure). and the fact that i (one person) was touched enough to tell you (many people) to watch it. so what are you waiting for? netlix…blockbuster…joe’s video den…enlighten yourself!

the dress that grace kelly wore in to catch a thief is jaw dropping. she honestly takes my breath away. paired with cary grant, they are a force to be reckoned with.

is there a comparable style icon or actress today? who rivals grant….clooney? the grace and class of that age seems to be absent in modern day times. i quite like the suavity of that era – there is almost something magical to it. in a world where robert pattison is revered (granted i read twilight and new moon), i think many of us crave polished style.

grace kelly

grace kelly and cary grant

photos via zimbio and dancefloortragedy respectively.

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