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Category: Good Reads

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WWD: Fashion Advertising: Controversy — Where Has It Gone?



Controversy09Outrageous, edgy fashion ads that get everybody talking. Where did they go?

Gone are the scandalous days of Calvin’s rippling abs and come-hither youth; Abercrombie’s S&M Santa; the full-frontal Saint Laurent; Benetton’s kissing clergy, and Jenny McCarthy doing her business on Candie’s toilet.

It wasn’t controversy that killed them. On the contrary, such controversy successfully put these and other brands squarely into the limelight, for better or worse.

But after shifts from the shocking and sexually suggestive to the socially conscious and lifestyle aspirational, the fashion industry has entered a new state: tame.

Blame it on the media. With so much corporate emphasis on having the right social campaign, Instagram, Twitter feeds, videos, Web sites and the goal of accumulating “likes” on Facebook, not to mention global, cross-cultural sensitivities, the edge that cuts through the advertising clutter has been dulled.

To be sure, there’s no shortage of talented photographers who take beautiful pictures, but some observers argue that intensely image-conscious companies, public or otherwise, are so intent on controlling how they’re perceived, advertising has simply become too safe. And safe equates with boring.

Stoya by Molly Matalon for DIS Magazine

Stoya by Molly Matalon for DIS Magazine

DIS Magazine:



Ada: Are there any porn films you would call art?

Stoya: Nowadays,  the production and release schedule for films  is so fast that there’s usually not much room to be creative. A porn film that definitely transcends the genre is Café Flesh, an incredible  adult film from the ‘80s. The plot is basically a metaphor for porn, and the film is so centered around the theme of pornography; it folds onto itself and becomes art almost by accident.

Good Reads | Gareth Pugh

Gp

Dazed: Gareth Pugh's Labyrinth


Fashion's dark provocateur is hitting the reset button. He opens up about his virtual reality experiments and attraction to opposite forces

Good Reads | Issey Miyake

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Fast Company: How Fashion Legend Issey Miyake Stays Creative


Japanese designer Issey Miyake retired many years ago from catwalk shows and seasonal collections, leaving a team of disciples to take care of the clothes. But Miyake, who is as famous for engineering the perfect pleat as he is for producing Steve Jobs’s signature black turtlenecks, remains startlingly creative. Since handing over runway duties in 1999 to Naoki Takizawa (and now Yoshiyuki Miyamae), he has designed everything from collapsible lamps to living room chairs.

Good Reads | Alasdair McLellan

Business of Fashion:



BoF talks to photographer Alasdair McLellan about his personal and professional path, from DJing and taking pictures of friends in the South Yorkshire village where he grew up to shooting covers for Vogue.

Good Reads | Nicolas Ouchenir

BoF: The Creative Class | Nicolas Ouchenir, Calligrapher



Nicolas OuchenirNicolas Ouchenir set up his calligraphy practise eleven years ago in a former Parisian butchery. Today, the charming man of letters creates some of the most coveted invitations in the world for leading fashion and luxury brands.

...

Ouchenir is the go-to calligrapher for a list of clients that reads like a who’s who of the fashion industry: Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Christian Dior, Gucci, Miu Miu, Chloé and Cartier are among the brands that regularly commission Ouchenir to create invitations, logotypes, original signatures and other customised designs that involve beautiful letters.

Copenhagen Fashion Summit 2014: Vanessa Friedman


Friedman


Today fashion is disposable – and it is supposed to be. And it seems to me that should be unsustainable. Because what the situation we are in now — more and more and faster and faster — sounds like, more than anything, is a runaway train. And you know what happens to runaway trains: they crash.



OM: Why NYTimes’ Vanessa Friedman is the best fashion writer today

Terry Richardson NY Magazine Profile

Terry Richardson by Cass Bird for NY Magazine 1 Terry Richardson by Cass Bird for NY Magazine 1Terry Richardson by Cass Bird


NY Magazine: Is Terry Richardson an Artist or a Predator?



Terry Richardson, displaced from his old photography studio on the Bowery by a high-end fitness chain, was at his new space, an unadorned floor-through loft down the street. Wood floor, tin ceiling, brick walls interrupted by white swaths of Sheetrock. Four employees sat working quietly on Macs. Pandora was tuned to Elvis Presley Radio. “It’s insane, the internet,” Richardson was saying. “Totally craziness. Like a little cancer. People can just do whatever they want, say whatever they want, be totally anonymous. It’s totally out of control.”



NY Times: Should Modeling Be Treated Like Driving, or Drinking?



There’s a very good piece on the Terry Richardson is-he-a-sexual-predator-or-not scandal in this week’s New York magazine. I think it’s worth reading not simply because it lays out a very hot-button issue fairly dispassionately, but because it also highlights one of the problems with modeling that is related to the recent skinny-models controversy, yet may actually be more essential than both: namely, the young-models problem.

Because modeling is a profession with such a short life span (Kate Moss and Christy Turlington aside), which generally begins in the midteens and ends in the early 20s, it hits girls at their most emotionally vulnerable, when their self-esteem is the most uncertain and their judgment, certainly about themselves, the least informed. Thus far, the industry has focused on the effect that can have on their weight issues, but as the New York article demonstrates, it also has repercussions vis-à-vis their relationships with photographers.

Ezra Petronio

Models.com interviewing one of my favorites, Ezra Petronio



Let’s step back for a second. Your father was also an art director, was he not?

EP: Yes, he was an art director for the New York Times as well as different agencies. I was taken on shoots quite often very early on — the Kenzo shoots in the 80s, with Paolo Roversi, Patrick Demarchelier, Hans Feurer, Gilles Bensimon — and I got to see how they would work. In the same sense that a young butcher will follow the steps of his father, in a way, I did learn that way a lot, too.

Tom Ford:

Style File:



The customer reads reviews.

Something new is happening that I'm just clueing into now—this probably won't go down well—but customers don't care any more about reviews or hard-copy publications. They care what picture Rihanna just Instagrammed while she's naked in bed, what new shoes she has on, how she's talking about them. That's what they respond to.

And how do you respond to that?

I'm starting to. Maybe I'm late to the party, but for my age, I'm becoming much more connected in that way. I hope that didn't sound too abrupt. It doesn't mean I don't care about reviews, but today a lot of people who are reviewing are bloggers. There's no longer the hierarchy of an editor in chief on top who hires people with a knowledge and a history and an ability to write and disseminate that information to the rest of the population. Everyone has a voice now, so the person with the loudest voice is the one people listen to.

Good Reads | The Deeper Meaning of 'True Detective'

True Detective

Yesterday we had news on season 2 (here & here & here) but circling back to season one, and for those of you who are fanatic fans, a great point of view and analysis on the show (thanks Nathan):



“True Detective” is a TV series about the investigation of satanic ritual murders carried out by mysterious men. While the season ended in a rather straight-forward matter, the plethora of symbols and references peppered throughout the episodes send out profound messages about forces subtly influencing society. We’ll look at the deeper meaning of the first season of “True Detective”.

How Good Is Matthew McConaughey?

True_detective

Daily Beast: Inside the Obsessive, Strange Mind of True Detective’s Nic Pizzolatto



Let’s start with Matthew McConaughey. As Rust Cohle, McConaughey gives what I consider the best performance of his career.

Matthew just got it—the dialogue especially, as baroque as it is. He was like, “No, no, this is the way this man talks.” And the 2012 Cohle talks differently than the 1995 Cohle. Matthew has this incredibly complicated chart of where Rust Cohle is emotionally and physically at every beat of those 17 years.

A written chart?

A map of his mental and emotional state. That’s why you notice that Cohle’s delivery in 2012 and 1995 is different. And that’s significant.  If we’d had a lesser actor than Matthew playing Cohle, I would have had to rewrite the role. Not every actor can handle dialogue of this verbal complexity, and even fewer actors can understand the ideas and intentions hiding behind those verbal complexities.

But if you have thoroughbreds, let ‘em run. You don’t try to make your dialogue more common. You gauge exactly how great their skill is and you try to use that skill. To me, it would have been misuse of actors like Matthew and Woody to do something safer—to not give these guys steak to chew all the time.