Sunday, February 28, 2016

Balenciaga Spring 2016


The mail carrier has a tendency to stuff my magazines into the box without care. February's Elle was torn to shreds, and I nearly didn't it get out as it was caught on the door's hinge. The tears and rips are evident in this Balenciaga advertisement, and if I dare say it ... the carelessness is what makes the dresses that much more delightful.

Deconstruction. Ripped. Torn. I wonder if these would last even one evening out. Or one wedding as delicate as they appear to be. The silk is too bright to imagine a Miss Havisham experience ... these are not fades of a disappointment.  The tip-off are the delicate, evenly spaced, not a one missing, seed pearls that are the frame for the construction of the dress, and the bric-a-brac on the top dress that doesn't have a stitch missing or a stray thread.

The soft palette and easy etherealness is the perfect remedy for what was winter. I'm ready for my strap to fall off of my shoulder, lay back, and let it happen.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

Isaac Mizrahi

In Style March 2016
When a very dear friend of mine would visit my city, he loved to treat me to dinners. His pocketbook was definitely bigger than mine, so the restaurants were grander than I would typically go to. On one evening, after a delicious French meal, a particular favorite of ours, and several bottles of Chateau de Beaucastle, we walked into the night, and he went to get the car ... I'm guessing.

It was a lovely evening and the wine gaze made the city even more spectacular. I turned to face the skyline and saw a familiar face walking my way. The face belonged to Isaac Mizrahi. I had recently viewed "Unzipped," the documentary of his life in a fashion season and knew him to be a friend.

"Unzipped" is remarkable. If you like fashion, and especially in its heyday of the supermodels like Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, and a bitchy Linda Evangelista, you have to see this movie. I was still working retail at that time of my meet-cute, and though I didn't work in apparel perse, I was in the environment of it. One of my work colleagues and friends had just recently moved to Dallas to work as the couture buyer for Niemann Marcus, and I knew that he was also in town with Mizrahi for a Niemann's event. The film has nothing to do with retail directly, but it examines the life of the designer in his process. And it is the process that I find so fascinating. Mizrahi is a natural performer, who articulates his season from inspiration to runway brilliantly. As bold and neurotic, fashion's Woody Allen, as he seems to be, he is almost fragile. Will this work? How did this guy get what I was doing before I showed? And one of my favorite moments, aside from his season's inspirational nod to "Nanook of the North," is when he flies to Paris and waxes poetic about all that Paris has to offer when, in the end, he says to himself ... you know, I just want to fly in, get a good cup of coffee, and get out. Mizrahi is a homeboy. And his world is NYC ... not really anywhere else.

So when he walked up toward me, I exclaimed, 'Isaac!' He said, 'HELLO!' and embraced me. I whispered, actually shouted, "I loved "Unzipped!" And he yelled in my ear, "I LOVE YOU!" It was magical, and it seems from then on, we were best friends forever.

When I had the chance to tell my buyer friend of the exchange, he said, 'Oh! that queen.'  Yes, he is.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Burberry's Christopher Bailey

UK Vogue March 2015
Oh, look what I found in the drafts' folder. Here it is nearly a year later, and I still find the pictures pretty. Here's to March 2015 and Christopher Bailey's fine taste.

Friday, February 5, 2016

A Night with Deafheaven, Anthrax, and Lamb of God

George Clarke of Deafheaven
My brother-in-law is a metal head. He asked my sister, 'hey, if I buy your sister a ticket, will she come with us to see a metal concert?' How could I resist the invitation.

I nearly forgot that I had said agreed to go when I was told that the big day had arrived. Before the show, we went to a burger place in the neighborhood that along with the most delicious burgers made on earth, heavy metal was served up on all of the television monitors in the place. Wearing his Lamb of God t-shirt, Rob, my brother-in-law, chatted with all of the servers in the place about their shared affection for loud, screaming music. He was in heaven.

The first band onstage was Deafheaven. The music was crap. George Clarke, the lead singer, screeched sounds into his mic that I could only ever imagine to be lyrics. My ears did everything it could to kick the sound out. But ... Mr. Clarke was wildly sexy. I was mesmerized. He did not bang his head as much as what I saw later; rather, he posed with his foot up on the speaker in his tight, black ankle pants. When he stood straight, he conducted the music in an elegantly poised, deliberate motion. He was beautiful to watch, but so horrible to listen to. I wonder what his speaking voice sounds like? I didn't get any sense of it from the screams that emitted from his mouth. And his other peculiar habit was a bit offsetting ... he spit waterfalls of fluid from his mouth. I don't know if he had spit cups or just hocked it up on the floor. It was hard to tell. It was gross, but he was gorgeous.

The next band up was Antrhrax. Now, I had heard of them. As soon as they came up on the stage, the crowd swelled. It dug a hole into the middle of the floor, and I threw my arms around my tiny, little sister to hold on for dear life as the metal heads moshed-out. Rob lunged in as we tried to stay close enough to watch the circus, but far enough away to avoid full frontal take-down. Anthrax wasn't bad. The lead singer, Joey Belladonna, has a powerful voice, and I could understand actual words that he sang. The guitar player, Scott Ian, was a character to watch, and unlike Deadheaven's guitarists, he did more than just slash his guitar. The pit was raucous throughout. Dudes threw their shirts into the air and skipped violently 'round and 'round in the pool. Sentinels, who we stood right behind, stood guard around the circumference of it all. One tall man came up behind me, grabbed me by the shoulders, and whispered to me, 'be careful.' For real.

When Anthrax finished their set, I had had enough. I got the metal experience. I was good to go. Naturally, Rob was no where to be found. We had predetermined a meet point if we did in fact get separated. It looked like we were in it to the end. Fortunately, the venue had a balcony and seats. I convinced my sister that we could hang out there and watch the action without mortal threat to our bodies or sanity. Seated, I really got a chance to check out the audience. It was a rough crowd to be sure. I was surprised at the number of old dudes. One guy that we had met before we lost Rob was one of these older guys who told us that he attends up to 40 metal shows a year. Say what? Another part of the crowd were hipsters. They were vaping week, which I had never seen before. Huge plumes of vaporized marijuana rose their throats to look like cloud-colored hot air balloons floating over the crowd. And the brothers! Who knew?! Girls were represented at the concert, but I will tell you this, there wasn't any line in the bathroom at any time, so you know that there weren't many of them in attendance. So what is this attraction to ... nonsense. Lamb of God came on the stage and played the same songs with the same screech as Deafheaven.

What is the attraction of it? As we waited at the meeting place for Rob, we watched the masses leave the show. Dudes were shirt-less. Their chests were red and marked with scratches and red blotches. They hollered through the hall to the exit like a massive dose of adrenaline. I suppose it's their primitive release of angst that men must do so to beat the war out of them. I don't know. All I felt was deaf and tired. 

Monday, February 1, 2016

Buddy Guy

Rolling Stone
The new year started out sunshiney with a visit to Buddy Guy's Legends to see the man himself: Mr. Buddy Guy. I had read in Rolling Stone that Buddy sits in residence every January, four nights a week, and I thought that I needed to see this cat before all of the blues' greats have faded into their good night. Buddy has been coming up in conversation having seen him in the recent Netflix/Keith Richards' documentary and several mentions in Rolling Stone. I've lost track of the article that the photo above is torn from in my pile. But what I remember most about the article itself is the joy that is the heir apparent, grandfather of the blues. He totally embodies it. And that he represents what is a truly American art form, I had to go.
Going to see Buddy Guy was an experience that I will not soon forget. Not understanding the significance of the event, my party arrived after he had started to play at 10 p.m. and discovered that most of the seating was standing room only. And those pilgrims who stood, lined up happily and respectfully behind velvet ropes. To sit at a Buddy Guy show, one must arrive to the club, as it happens, at noon. One of the delightful bouncers ... and I mean it; everyone who works at Guy's club is as warm and engaging like the man himself ... told us that they line up early and pass the time at their seats playing cards. Some hunker down and taking turns returning to the hotel across the street. It is apparent that people travel from across the country, and probably around the world, to see Buddy.
We were late. Unfamiliar. And had drank some beer before going, so we didn't quite follow the rules and snuck in behind the tables to get a close-up look. After a while, we were shown to the ropes, but that worked out fine because Buddy took off with his guitar to weave his magic through the crowd. He stood right in front me and dazzled. He filled me up with a feeling of pure delight and goodness. Any edges or worry were taken away with the movement of his fingers across the strings of his guitar.
The show was over in a flash. The club emptied, but we sat at the now available table absorbing the vibe. We finally got up to leave and around the corner, Buddy was meeting and greeting all of the patrons. What a treat! And if you bought a poster, or a brought in your guitar, he signed it for you. My buddy bought a poster for me to have Buddy sign it for me. You can see me, and my friend Sue, mugging for the camera with our new friend. And look at him. It's gotta be 2 a.m., and he is grinning ear to ear.
Buddy may sing the blues, but his heart and soul is anything but, and he is happy to share it with anyone who will listen. I gotcha. And I believe.