Category Archives: Celebrities

Editorial Films

Recently, I have been looking at how the fashion world has kept progressing forward through its choices of media: films. The concept isn’t extremely new, but plenty of designers, magazines, and fashion houses are joining the trend and creating editorial films along with fashion editorials. Now… I have a few to share. I will go from least favorite… to favorite.

4. The Tale of a Fairy – Chanel

Sadly… this was really dreadful. Karl Lagerfeld gave a stab at… directing? He had good intentions, an amazing art direction, and flawless clothing to sell, but in all reality (punnel, watch the film to get what I mean with “reality”) the acting and the plot fell short. The actresses were Kristen McMenamy, Anna Mouglalis and Amanda Harlech prancing around an ornate mansion located in France with male models for lovers and a fairy (Freja Beha) in their midst bringing the millionaire heiresses to and fro from fantasy. The acting will make any one feel uncomfortable and on edge. Although… out of all the characters I think Freja executed her character better than the others. The one redeeming quality of this fashion film is the fact that you can pause any shot… and bring forth an amazing movie still that can easily be seen as a photograph. Stunning art direction, beautiful clothes, but awful actresses and confusing plots.  Props to Lagerfeld for trying, maybe he saw Tom Ford’s work in film and thought “Maybe I can do something just as good?” Maybe? Watch for intriguing cinematography, and an ornate collection of clothing,  folks.

“The Tale of a Fairy” Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NcWR8nqdqoI&feature=related

Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zz5x_4fbVuU&feature=related

3. Lanvin Paris – Alber Elbaz

A corny, but altogether enjoyable message to the public that Lanvin’s Fall 2011 Ready-to-wear collection is a smash hit! Featuring  female beauties Raquel Zimmerman, Karen Elson, and strapping boys Lowell Tautchin with Milo Spijkers. Of course it’s intended to be awkward… but they are having fun in high-class, pricy, and altogether beautiful ensembles! Who wouldn’t want to be in a fancy hotel room dancing with Karen Elson or Raquel Zimmerman to Pitbull?! I don’t give a damn if the models can’t dance like professionals either, I just want to be with a girl wearing one of those pieces and dress myself up in one of those suits. I thoroughly enjoy it, even if others don’t. It gave me a smile, which is appreciated every now and then!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KyG0xKTDJs&feature=related

2. Prada, Spring/Summer 2011 RTW

This one had me when the music started. Featuring the odd yet exquisite body movements of  Tati Cotliar, , Kinga Rajzak, Zuzanna Bijoch, Mariacarla Boscono, and Arizona Muse! This collection was memorable due to the stripes and ornate prints, so with the simple editorial such as this, is shined out brightest compared to the other collections featured last season. Great visuals and it truly does make the eye… dance. And the fact that I have been listening to this song by Ratatat the last week has made it a grand week!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wBBGE7vz02s&NR=1

1. The Curve of Forgotten things – Rodarte (Kate & Laura Mulleavy)

Directed by Todd Cole, The Curve of Forgotten Things, deserves an Oscar for…. best picture! Which would be groundbreaking history in the film industry due to the fact that this film has no speaking at all! Featuring the delightful nonverbal talents of Elle Fanning, the fashion film made me think about what really has been left behind through the years. The film focuses on how old things such as farming, ornate interior furnishings, and quaint memories have been left behind to remain alone, still, and beautiful. To begin on a homely note, the music will take the viewer to an entire world, if only deerhunter did more scores for films like this… if only! I have an eye (so I like to think) for cinematography and this takes the cake. Every split second, the viewer’s eyes have the privilege to see film come to life by simply pausing it and soaking in all of the angles, colors, shapes, lines, and textures. Whether those shots be through the clothing, the landscape, the lone house, or Elle itself, well that is up for the viewer to decide. And those clothes that were featured… they are my favorites Rodarte has ever produced. Moving art that can be wearable for all sorts of women in all sorts of environments. What would  fashion be if the industry didn’t sell wearable items to customers in need of rich yet polished silhouettes? Nothing. Now, please, if you are reading and want to watch one of these items, and only one, do watch the link beneath. Your creative thinking will be enlightened.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jL5a0Z6MKsk

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Grace Coddington’s 70th Birthday & Her Time At Vogue

  When people ask me who inspires me the most this present day, I tell them its Grace Coddington! And most of them don’t know who this marvelous woman is! There have only been two or so folks, that I know, who actually know and follow her work. She has been the creative director at American Vogue for 23 years! Anna Wintour and her have been  partners at Vogue for almost the same amount of time, because Wintour actually needed a diverse woman working at Vogue! She is the woman behind the scenes that makes a lot of the key items to getting the magazine out the door. People hardly knew who she was until R.J. Culter’s “The September Issue” came out.  With the April issue of Vogue featuring Rihanna on the cover, Wintour dedicated her editor’s letter to Coddington. And by the looks of these pictures, it seems as though she was thrown quite a smashing party.

Grace’s work at Vogue has and always will be astonishing to the public. Her photos always make the eyes dance across the glossy pages of each issue. Now, I only began following Vogue… three years ago. Credit goes to my godmother and godsister for introducing me to… well, fashion in general. Of course I knew what Vogue was… back then, I always saw it as another heavy magazine on the stands at the local grocery store. My godsister, Morrow, gave me the 2009 September issue when we were just chilling out in Starbucks one day. It was already the end of September The one with Charlize Theron on the cover? Yeh, I devoured that puppy within minutes and then looked through it a few more times. From all of the ads to the glorious editorials, I knew I had found something I could sink my teeth into. Out of all of the numerous spreads in that September issue… the one that caught me eye was Grace’s shoot on “Little Red Riding Hood”. Seeing the whole fantasy, the interpretation, the whimsy Natalia Vodianova prancing around in a red poncho & the 2009 must have over-the-knee boots. Asked Morrow who had the concept behind it all. And then I heard her name. Googled her work. FOUND EVERYTHING THE GENIUS HAS EVER MADE. Once the “September Issue” came out I got to see her in action, and you could say that film confirmed my dream of pursuing a career(preferably stylist or an editor) in the fashion industry. Since then I have been an arduous follower of her current and past work.

To honor Coddington’s seasoned years at Vogue… I present some of my favorite photographs that Grace Coddington has made. Each tell a story, showcasing not only the clothing but the model. Some of the more extreme editiorials portray fantasy at its best and most expensive form. It’s not all of her work, but these are the ones that stuck out to me the most. Enjoy!

OH, and Happy Birthday, Grace! May you have many more years to come at Vogue!

Image credit goes www.vogue.com

Thanks for reading and getting down this far! Comments are appreciated!  And this is more of her recnt-ish work, couple older ones here and there on this, but mainly within the range of the last 10 or so years.

Grace, if you do ever read this… know that you remind me to keep my eyes open during everyday life. I wish I could meet you someday. Thank you for being an inspiration. – Daniel Shapiro

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Alexander McQueen Remembered: An Ode and Memoriam for the Artist

Sarah Burton has indeed so kept McQueen's idea of avant-garde in mind...

On this day exactly one year ago… Lee Alexander McQueen killed himself. Found dead in his apartment… hung by what actually was his favorite belt. He was depressed and people suspect it was possibly due to his mother’s recent death and the fact that he was on drugs.  The fashion industry mourned for the loss of a genius. Countless magazines have done multiple spreads and editorials with his more recent clothing  ever since he died, it really has been a “field day” of a year due to his death. Alas, Sarah Burton (McQueen’s assistant) took over the label after his death. She truly sticks by to what his aesthetic represented with her first collection for Spring 2011. People were doubtful of the dedicated assistant  but, she did not fail! It was obvious that Burton had her mentor in mind when designing. Taking inspiration from the environment like monarch butterflies, snake scales, intense flowers and clashing all of these things into a couture-esque medieval array of clothing… she birthed a successful masterpiece. I think McQueen is looking down on Burton as she is taking over his label… and I have a feeling he is proud of her.

Notorious, theatric rebel... Lee Alexander McQueen

Back to the main man. Lee Alexander McQueen was always an addict for haute couture, I mean come on… he was the chief of Givenchy for a while. And he was actually a rebel while working for the infamous French couture house. He labored over his work for a good period of his life. Some of his early work was considered awful, he really did have to work his way to the top with many against him. A lot of controversy came out of his work truth be told. Known for unconventional runway shows and too extreme clothing. He had myriads of people on his back. Not every artist makes his way to the top so easy, you know? But in all honest truth… I look back on these so-called odd runway shows and I see stunning and inspirational surrealism. He had a diverse theme and always put something different on the table  every season. Was it too over the top for him to do these things? Yeh, but… isn’t that what makes any artist? Seems like all the great ones are surrounded by loads of controversy. Anyway, it took everyone a while to warm up to McQueen. Looking back at all of his collections… you never know if they were really tamed or not. I think some his most memorable moments in fashion are:

HORN OF PLENTY

1) Fall 09′, his intense couture show with all of the intense black/red/white gowns and all of the large puffy voluptuous red lips. And  his army of hardcore models stomping around the elegant pile of trash. This is one for the books, no doubt.

IT’S ONLY A GAME

2) Fashion Chess Spring 2005 for his ready to wear collection. I mentioned it earlier. But no one else in the world would have thought of REAL-HUMAN-FASHION-CHESS! He organized the models based on diverse loads of skin color, hair color, and the color of their outfit. Then at the last moment… you realized that he set them up into a chess board. Genius. The crowns on the two queens are a perfect touch as well.

WIDOWS OF CULLODEN

3) For Autumn 2006… the Widows of Culloden. A life-size Kate Moss ( who was stunningly draped/dressed in yards and yards of fabric…) hologram appeared and danced and people were shocked and amazed. And the entire collection. Truly inspiring and it had this literate sense to it. Beautiful.

SARABANDE

4) Spring 2007, McQueen was inspired by the classical and 18/19th century elegance. The man got a whole orchestra playing in the middle of the runway. This dress is renowned for its floral likeness. And the orchestra played Saranbande by Handel, his favorite song!

5) Back in 1999… McQueen held a special collaboration of technology and fashion. He spray painted a model with robots in a trapeze dress while having her spin on a floor wheel. McQueen actually hired a  model/athlete named Aimee Mullins, who actually walked on his runway with wooden prosthetic legs…. McQueen made those “wooden boots”… and no one knew that they were fake legs! She has come a long way with those legs… but that is for another time.

VOSS

6) Nicknamed the “Asylum Collection” for Spring 2001… he captured the essences and motifs of a lunatic. Stunning shoulder pieces if I might add….

DELIVERANCE

7) Ballroom stumbling and catching within a dance floor orgy for Spring 2004. Whew. Probably one of his more theatric/explicit shows!

LA POUPÉE

8 ) Back in 97′ he was inspired by geometric/creepy dolls with curving and sparkling headpieces. He made them stomp through water, which  wasn’t as popular back then. BUT he did with it good finesse.

THE OVERLOOK

9) McQueen took to doing a skating show. Ice skating that is, and very winter inspired. I am thinking he might of have a hard time finding models that could skate decently… oh and this was for Winter (no duh) 1999.

PLATO'S ATLANTIS

10) His last runway show before his death. Now Lady Gaga was actually featured in one of these outfits and he used her as one of his many muses. This show really reminded me of aliens… strangers with snake scales and intense heels gracing down the runway. AND, this was another one of his collaboration shows with a twist in technology. He filmed it with robotic cameras that followed the models as they walked down the runway.

These are not at all in favorite order. I enjoy all of them. And he has many more fashion shows that were extraordinary… these ones just stuck out to me. He was a genius to be reckoned with. Now… I know I could have given a brief history on him… but you can easily do that yourself. I wanted to bring together some of the moments that defined Lee Alexander McQueen as a fashion designer. He was daring. He had moxy. He took risks like no one else. He had an eye like none other. He is remembered through people like Sarah Burton, Vogue, Elle, the entire fashion industry. He inspired me. Having to work his way to the top… and getting crud from many people on his way there. He is remembered. R.I.P Lee McQueen. Rest in peace…. and long live McQueen.

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“A Single Man” Swoons the Hearts of Film-ish Artists

Well, well, well. What to say? I watched “A Single Man” the other night. Phenominal, stunning, beautiful, and controversial are some of few words that can accurately describe the movie. I know I am a tad bit late to the punch on this film. It came out longer than a year ago. Back in 09′. But oh well. Moving on! The renowned Tom Ford, former Gucci designer, took to creating a film company called Fade to Black. The man knew what he was doing when he put himself into the business, no doubt! With stunning cinematography, choosing the cast, acting, writing, and effects… the film is impacable. Apparently it is also a novel written by Christopher Isherwood, “A Single Man”. I should have read it before I watched it! Shame on me! Julianne Moore won my heart with her small appearnance in 30 Rock season 4 with her stereotypical heavy Boston accent and cheesy but believable role. As my friend, Melynda, said “She has been in a lot of gay movies lately…” I realized that what she says is true! “The Hours”, “The Kids are all Right”, this one… any that I am missing? But if she was in the sixties… Moore would have fit in perfectly! Colin Firth is on fire with his recent role in “The King’s Speech”, but I would say “A Single Man” is his second best role. He acted the role as a depressed gay professor very well. He did not make the stereotypical gay voice or dress in extreme fashion-forward clothing. His role was subtle and very believable. Now the entire setting… beautiful. LA is visually stunning, and yes it could have been the makers doing to make it that exquisite… but I wanted to be there. And I have been to LA, some parts are nice… but this was like icing on cake! I would have loved to live in LA during the 60’s with Charley’s extreme house that has an orange tree boulevard hallway type thing! And the supporting characters really make the viewer think about how people would really react to homosexuality back then.

The setting takes place in LA in the sixties. George(Firth) is a professor whose decease lover is Jim. Charley(Moore), an old friend of George’s, is this gorgeous lonely single lady who is head over heels for George. He is depressed about the death of his lover, Jim, who died in a car crash. He finds himself being reminded of Jim’s death through other men, Charley, and the beauty in everyday life. All of these calamities make him sadly depressed and suicidal.

It is the best film I have ever seen, cinematography wise. EVER. And that is a big thing, cause I keep my eye on the camera movement in films, and in this… it impacted me. Now whenever George found something beautiful or attractive in the film… the lighting immediatley became saturated and full of color. And once his mind is taken away from that beauty it subtly goes back to the dull-ish colors. I think that this represents George’s longing for love and for his diceased Jim. Twas a sad film. A lot of symbolism in bits like the neighborhood child crushing the monarch butterfly, a repeated motif of guns and the color blue. And the eye. Classic directors move as my film teacher taught me. When their is a closeup of an eye in a film, it portrays the sense of sight and what that character sees in their eyes. I pitied George, in the end. I won’t give it away. I feel for the homosexual community. To be judged by everyone as a “freak” is hard and should not happen. Both Ford and Isherwood display the background of that really well.

It could be a love story between a man and a woman. Or it could be a love story between two men. Depends on how the viewer takes it all in. For those of you who have not seen it and are nervous… I warn you about nudity. Nothing perverse, but there is some definite uncomfortable nudity in the film. No sex or anything… just nudes, some suicidal issues and a controversial topic. OH, and it is Rated R, just in case if the excessive word “nude” didn’t clear that up.  It is a definite high fav just because of the cinematography. That really made it for me. Ford displays the 60’s perfectly.  They chose the right actors. Chose the right stylists and costume design. Chose the right special effects people. EVERYTHING. It is sensuous art! Impacable indeed. 5/5 stars for “A Single Man”! If only I had read the book before I saw the movie….

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