Monday, October 21, 2013

TMI Valentino

Harper's Bazaar September 2013
Valentino. You would do better to keep your uber-lifestyle to yourself, and not list a day out for readers of magazines. It's not only arrogant, though I know it is probably not entirely your decision as Bazaar highlights someone's day in each issue, but it also is not very interesting.

Of course, anymore, everyone wants their lives to be documented and on display for all to see. I don't really understand the attraction of it. How is: 10:30 A.M. I really love to sleep late. Now that I am working much less, I prefer to stay up at night, reading or watching TV ... interesting? Does it give us any idea of what makes Valentino, one of the world's more beloved designers, creates? Or what inspires him? Do we even need to know what is behind the process? Do we have to know, for another instance, that at 7 P.M.: After the the TV news it's time to change for dinner. I put on something more casual if I am by myself, a sweater from Malo and pants from Brunello Cucinelli or a knit shirt, and comfortable slippers from Jimmy Choo or Belgian shoes.

It's just silly. And no, I don't want to see an Instagram of it either. Let the work speak for itself. Your private life should be just that ... private. Especially one that is as mundane as my own as an hourly report.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Karl Lagerfeld and His Cloud

Harper's Bazaar September 2013
Dutch artist and cloud conjurer Berndnaut Smilde created clouds for this editorial that features Karl Lagerfeld, among others.

Lagerfeld chose the Grand Palais in Paris where he has shown his collections since 2005. The photograph is really spectacular as is the formation of the cloud. Lagerfeld says of the cloud: I love the old saying and the idea that clouds have a silver lining. I would love it to be true. A cloudy day can be inspiring, because just blue can be tired and boring in the end. Clouds are the most beautiful installations of ever-changing abstract modern art in movement.

I agree. Though a cold blue winter sky is welcome, skies are so much more interesting to meditate on. I particularly love driving toward work to see the wall of clouds that form over the lake that my city is situated on. Maybe not a wall, but more like a shelf. The sky immediately above me could be all blue, or dark as we head toward winter, and out in the distance, a mile a way, is a cloud-full sky. Just the other day as storms roared in during the day, they as soon dissipated. And when the storm crawled out over the lake, it left the skyline with a cloud cap that was remarkable to see in its stormy drama.

Naturally, if I were to have been the one chosen to be photographed, Mr. Smilde would have to conjure his cloud over my head. It is my mother who reminds me that if she were to needlepoint a portrait of her children, all four of us, that she would have to include the little black clouds that follow us each. I would, in my portrait, look up and smile knowing that it was there, my good friend that isn't all bad ... just mindful of what we, as Irish people particularly I believe, understand to be the equilibrium that must be maintained between happiness and sorrow in order to live profoundly.

Lagerfeld, naturally, has no storm cloud, rather his is a nice fluffy one that is saved for days where they are useful only in that they are decorative. It's an accessory. Mine, I imagine, is more of a statement piece. A fine cashmere or twill that is enduring and never out-of-season.

Monday, October 14, 2013

John Waters and the Sack Dress

Harper's Bazaar September 2014
Several celebrities were asked to write about "The Dress That Changed My Life,"  in Harper's Bazaar and most were ... so silly that I didn't read to the end of their musings. Except for this one ... the one man asked to the party: John Waters.

His inspiration: the sack dress. 1957 Balenciaga. What I love most about the remembrance is that it isn't that Waters wanted to wear the dress as some might suppose; rather, he adored it because it gave him the courage to exercise his own fashion sensibility. As he said, "as a preteen I didn't want to wear a sack dress myself; I just wanted to be friends with a woman who did. She'd be smart, sophisticated, witty, and brave, and together we'd bond over this haute hoot." The sack dress, apparently, was an affront to men. Songs were sung, surveys were taken, as the sack was ridiculed. In an AP survey, one young man said, "I'd strangle my girl if she ever bought one of those things. Worse, I'd ask for my ring back."

It all sort of sounds like it's come straight from a John Water's film. Could it be that one dress would be the inspiration for a lifetime of pushing the envelope, embracing and exploding stereotypes, and celebrating groups often themselves ridiculed. Waters put a sack dress on Divine in all his movies. It is a symbol of what made 'adults angry.' And that reaction is exactly the point of it all ... in a sack.

Thursday, October 10, 2013


Miley who? Rhinna's new video is the HOT video. Dang gurl. That's about all that I can say. Well, and that it doesn't creep me out the way that Miley's tongue does.

Interestingly, as I submit this explicit video to my blog, while my mother was in the hospital recently, I tried to blog, and was DENIED ACCESS to it. Apparently it is pornographic. Really? Well, I'm trying to give the description of my blog according to the UIC hospital system its due by posting Rhinna's Pour It Up.

Dang gurl.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Painterly Impression

Bazaar September 2013
Vogue isn't the only one showing painterly gowns on their editorial pages. This multi-media seeming faux kimono is in this month's Bazaar. The dress is by Mary Katrantzou. I don't think that I've ever heard of her ... but she created quite a statement with this dress. I love trees, and particularly ones that are unleaved. I like to consider the life that lives in the dormantcy of a winter tree. A quiet power. I would like to have seen this look without the rainbow. It isn't true. On cold winter days, the sky is cold with blue, and I've never seen a rainbow in a snowstorm.

The skirt is puzzling. Is the graphic really on the dress? The boat on a steamed river looks like photo shopped play. No word is mentioned that the skirt isn't that  ... I look at the background for clues, but it as well seems fabricated. A beautiful pattern has been generated with what seems like a real wintry, forested scene, but a pattern has been added. At first, I thought that the color came from frozen berries, or dead leaves that never fell. But instead, I think, a pointillist wash was made to create what could be, in my estimation, a textile on in and of itself. I would like to see what a gown with that as its 'scene' would look like.

Bazaar September 2013
Another look on the pages is the one right. I was immediately drawn to it, not for the coat by Valentino, although it's lovely. It looks almost Delft. The evergreens are amazing in the background too, but ... this summer while I was at the University of Iowa, I walked across campus to check it out. One of the buildings that I ran across was the art building. Its structure drew me to it. And I found this:

Universityof Iowa's Art School
I don't know how long I stood and was enraptured by the figure on the pier looking out over the water. And this model reminds of the same. She's nearly as still, the sculpture is nearly as alive. When I saw it in Iowa, I immediately thought of the lovely water gardens that I visited in Japan. And here, on the pages of Bazaar, the same moment, for me, is captured. While in Japan, the weather rivaled that of a midwestern bake, and it was hard for me to imagine that it is ever cold or snowy there, or in Japan for that matter. But this picture gives me a sense of it. And whether hot or cold, the same holds true for the figure on the pier looking out over the water.