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Category: Good Reads

Good Reads | Karim Sadli

Interview

BoF: The Creative Class | Karim Sadli, Photographer



Karim Sadli“I preferred Paolo Roversi, Bruce Weber. Those people are true portraitists who were more interested in the person being photographed than in the clothes worn. The clothes participate in the construction of the image, but they are not the image… People, that’s what interest me, fashion came later.”

...

“A good fashion image is an image you believe in — in which you don’t see and feel the efforts,” Sadli continues. “When I look at a picture, if I see or feel the tricks in place to make it happen, it’s going to the trash. I need to believe in it.”


Yep.

Good Reads | Who Was the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa?

Art / Film

Big Think: Who Was the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa?

MissingPiece_filmstill_4--CROP“Unimaginable!” roared Parisian newspaper headlines on August 23, 1911, the day after the Louvre discovered that someone had stolen Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa. Who, everyone asked, took La Joconde, as the French called her? Two years passed before the world learned the thief’s name—Vincenzo Peruggia, an obscure, Italian housepainter. Although Peruggia’s name’s been synonymous with art theft for a century, who Vincenzo was has always remained a mystery. What made him take the painting in the first place? Filmmaker Joe Medeiros tries to solve that puzzle in his charming and eye-opening documentary, The Missing Piece: Mona Lisa, Her Thief, the True Story. Shuttling back and forth between Italy and France, just like Peruggia himself, Medeiros and his crew visit not just the scene of the crime, but also the scenes of Vincenzo’s life before and after the theft in search of the man behind the mask of the thief. The result speaks as much about the power of art as about the way history and its players never truly die.

Rei Kawakubo’s Creative Manifesto

Rei Kawakubo’s Creative Manifesto

As provided to BoF. From the new issue of System, shot by Juergen Teller.

Going around museums and galleries, seeing films, talking to people, seeing new shops, looking at silly magazines, taking an interest in the activities of people in the street, looking at art, travelling: all these things are not useful, all these things do not help me, do not give me any direct stimulation to help my search for something new. And neither does fashion history. The reason for that is that all these things above already exist.

I only can wait for the chance for something completely new to be born within myself.

The way I go about looking for this from within is to start with a provisional ‘theme.’ I make an abstract image in my head. I think paradoxically (oppositely) about patterns I have used before. I put parts of patterns where they don’t usually go. I break the idea of ‘clothes.’ I think about using for everything what one would normally use for one thing. Give myself limitations. I pursue a situation where I am not free. I think about a world of only the tiniest narrowest possibilities. I close myself. I think that everything about the way of making clothes hitherto is no good. This is the rule I always give myself: that nothing new can come from a situation that involves being free or that doesn’t involve suffering.

In order to make this SS14 collection, I wanted to change the usual route within my head. I tried to look at everything I look at in a different way. I thought a way to do this was to start out with the intention of not even trying to make clothes. I tried to think and feel and see as if I wasn’t making clothes.

— Rei Kawakubo, October 2013

NYT On Deborah Turbeville


Note: while Vogue Italia stated Turbeville was 76, The New York Times states shes was 81. 81 it is.

NYT: Deborah Turbeville, Fashion Photographer, Dies at 81

20131026TURBEVILLE-slide-U9NP-articleLargeDeborah Turbeville, who almost single-handedly turned fashion photography from a clean, well-lighted thing into something dark, brooding and suffused with sensual strangeness, died on Thursday in Manhattan. She was 81.

Her death, at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, was from lung cancer, her agent, Marek Milewicz, said.

...

Ms. Turbeville’s photos, by contrast, were unsettling, and they were meant to be. In her fashion work, clothes are almost beside the point. In some images the outfits are barely visible; the same is often true of the models, resulting in an elegiac landscape defined more by absence than by presence.

In a de facto commentary on fashion’s manipulation of women, Ms. Turbeville literally manipulated her negatives — scratching them, tearing them, scattering dust on them and otherwise distressing them — to make the finished images redolent of decay. She employed faded color, black-and-white and sepia tones; prints were often deliberately overexposed, rendering her subjects spectral.

★ Breath Play

Frockwriter: A BOUT DE SOUFFLE

Given the sexually-charged vibe of the story, however, not to mention Kadel's well-documented portrayal of BDSM themes and fetish accessories in his recent fashion work, another possibility swiftly sprang to mind: breath play.

Catherine-mcneil-for-lets-panic-magazine-fall-winter-2013-2014-2-1Officially termed as hypoxyphilia, asphyxiophilia or sexual/erotic asphyxia, breath play or breath control play refers to the intentional restriction of oxygen to the brain for sexual arousal and heightened pleasure via a bewildering array of breath play accessories that are on the market (including this somewhat hilarious jogging suit). Not to mention the cheaper, more easily-accessed devices of ropes, ligatures, plastic bags and yes, cling wrap.

Frockwriter contacted both Kadel and McNeil, one of the world's most high profile models, to enquire if the deliberate inclusion of cling wrap in not one but two photos and, notably, McNeil's simulated (one assumes) gasping was a celebration of breath play? And if so, does either have any concerns about being perceived to be glamorizing same?

McNeil did not respond to our request for comment.

But we did receive the following from Greg Kadel Studios manager Ernesto Qualizza:

"In no way was it our intention to simulate Breathplay and the use of the cling wrap was purely aesthetic. The story is indeed art and as such open to interpretation" - Greg Kadel Studios

So What Makes A Good Fashion Film?

Diane Pernet speaking to BoF:


Some think that great fashion films are driven by exactly the same concerns as great fashion photographs where the visual or stylistic story comes first. But Pernet — who has been uniquely positioned to see the medium evolve from its earliest days — is clear that a successful fashion film needs a narrative. “For me, the criteria of what’s a good film and what’s a good fashion film are really quite the same, except that [with the latter] fashion has to be the protagonist. Just because someone is moving in front of the camera, it doesn’t make it a film. A film has a story.”

One of the key problems with the genre, today, is that there aren’t enough actual filmmakers making fashion films, she continued. “Every photo agent forces their photographers to make a film and they’re not filmmakers. Some make the transition easily. People like Bruce Weber have been doing it for ten to fifteen years — and Ellen von Unwerth. But others don’t understand that just because somebody is moving, it doesn’t make it a film.

Mia Farrow and Eight of Her Children Speak Out

Vanity Fair: Mia Farrow and Eight of Her Children Speak Out on Their Lives, Frank Sinatra, and the Scandals They’ve Endured

I.2.mia-farrow-kids-vanity-fair-prTwenty years after Vanity Fair special correspondent Maureen Orth reported on the sexual-abuse case involving Woody Allen and Mia Farrow’s adopted daughter Dylan, Orth reconnects with Farrow to discuss her human-rights work, her relationship with Frank Sinatra, the home she created for her 14 adopted and biological children, and the scandal that nearly destroyed it, 20 years ago. For her piece in the November issue, Orth talks to eight of Farrow’s children, including the long-silent Dylan, who speaks on the record for the first time about the alleged incident.

Farrow discusses her relationship with Frank Sinatra, telling Orth that Sinatra was the great love of her life, and says, “We never really split up.” When asked point-blank if her biological son with Woody Allen, Ronan Farrow, may actually be the son of Frank Sinatra, Farrow answers, “Possibly.” No DNA tests have been done.

...

Orth speaks to Farrow’s children, including Dylan, who now has another name and who discusses what she remembers about Allen and how his behavior has tormented her. She refuses ever to say his name. She calls her fears “crippling” and says, “I’m scared of him, his image.” Dylan tells Orth, “I have never been asked to testify. If I could talk to the seven-year-old Dylan, I would tell her to be brave, to testify.”

According to Dylan, “There’s a lot I don’t remember, but what happened in the attic I remember. I remember what I was wearing and what I wasn’t wearing.” She tells Orth, “The things making me uncomfortable were making me think I was a bad kid, because I didn’t want to do what my elder told me to do.” The attic, she says, pushed her over the edge. “I was cracking. I had to say something. I was seven. I was doing it because I was scared. I wanted it to stop.” For all she knew, she tells Orth, “this was how fathers treated their daughters. This was normal interaction, and I was not normal for feeling uncomfortable about it.” Woody Allen’s lawyer Elkan Abramowitz says that Allen still denies the allegations of sexual abuse.

Tonchi's Beauty

Into The Gloss: STEFANO TONCHI, EDITOR IN CHIEF, W


IMG_9868-582x387I brush my teeth with Marvis Classic Strong Mint toothpaste, and every other morning, I shave. I don’t look good in a beard, and I find them to be too itchy. I use the classic drugstore shaving cream that comes in a red can—Barbasol—and throw-away Bic razors. I find the razors to be incredibly comfortable, and convenient. You use them once, then throw them away! Recently I’ve been using Baxter of California After-Shave Balm, and I really love it. It’s a cream, rather than an alcohol-based aftershave, so it’s very good on the skin. Plus, it smells lemon-y. I like that.

★ Bethann

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A great interview conducted by Janelle Okwodu, with Bethann Hardison, for Models.com.

My perception of Bethann, especially after reading this interview, is that she's super smart. A woman who understand this industry well, with the historical knowledge of it behind her. She also has a strong perspective and point of view. So for those of us who would dismiss her for her black-model activism is a bit shortsighted. Maybe she was hasty to call certain individuals racists, but she seems to be backtracking on that a little:
I don’t want the people whose names are on the list to think that I think that they’re bad or racist, but the act is definitely.

That being said, I would give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe it's time for us to pause and think this whole issue through.

Thinking this just a little, 3 points that come to mind for the lack of blacks on the runway:

1- Racism.
It exists, let's not be blind fools.

2- Aesthetics.
It's a choice which we should respect.

3- Smaller pool of blacks to choose from, compared to whites/Asians.
Bethann was fair in this point as well:

If you’re going to use a girl of color, don’t just grab a girl of color, you really make sure that girl of color is competitive to her white counterpart. Just the way you scrutinize her, please scrutinize us because I’d rather them use none than use one or two bad ones.

As I'm writing this...what might really be lacking is an effort to acquiring a taste for black models. To look at them in a renewed light. To understand what makes them unique; then accentuate that strength, and celebrate it. A talented casting director can successfully blend a show, made up of whites/blacks/asians/ect.

Alaïa at the Musée Galliera

Interview

Style File: Sculpting Fashion: Olivier Saillard Talks Alaïa at the Musée Galliera


Alaia-2Here, in an exclusive preview, the curator speaks to Style.com about bringing a “new-old” museum back to life, what sets Alaïa apart, and how Swinton has inspired him to take up

How did you approach Alaïa about the exhibition?
I first mentioned it to him years ago. Two years later, he invited me to dinner. I don’t really remember when he said yes, because he never says no, even if that’s what he means. Then, a year ago, he put his collection on hold because this exhibition was coming up. I’ve never met another designer who would do that. What’s interesting about Alaïa is that he takes the time to understand and see things. He approaches his clothes like a sculptor or an architect or a writer, and he often says, “I make clothes; women make fashion.”

1976, Robert Mapplethorpe

1976, Robert Mapplethorpe

Scanned interview with Robert Mapplethorpe, from a 1976 issue of New York Rocker.

Good Reads | 5s Camera

Opinion

minimal mac: Worth A Thousand Words


Forward_hero_mba_11The camera in the iPhone 5S basically moved the needle two years ahead of the entire camera industry. Not just smart phone cameras — all cameras. There is a well known photography adage that states “the best camera is the one that’s with you”. Well, if you have an iPhone 5S that statement will remain true no matter what other camera you may have available. This is largely because the new 64bit processor means that they have all the raw processing power they need to be able to execute features and techniques that not even the most expensive professional SLR cameras can deliver.

And, what is interesting and absolutely marvelous about what Apple is doing here is that, when approaching how to make the best camera available today (and, I feel the need to stress, not just the best phone camera), they knew that did not mean specs. That it was not about who had the most megapixels, or biggest lens, or largest sensor. They know that none of that, at the end of the day matters. What mattered, in fact, was the one thing that, in a race to equate more megapixels with “better”, even most of the camera industry had too long overlooked. Apple focussed solely on how they could use that massive and fast 64bit processor combined with industry first features and ideas to do one thing — give you the best looking photos. And, if you can get that right when you take the photo, you don’t need a bunch of software to “fix it in post”. It’s all about capture.

So, what did they do?