Wednesday, December 28, 2011

TOM FORD

Gorgeous documentary on the great Tom Ford.

If you love his work as I do, here's a look at what makes him create all that he does, so beautifully.


Please click on this link to view it- http://vimeo.com/33599333

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Prada Spring 2012

Ahhh. To be young, pretty, facing forward and free.......Prada. Spring 2012. Heaven!






Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Artist

I went to an Academy screening of this film tonight. "The Artist." Really loved it. It had pieces of every great black & white film, really such a treat to see it.

Charlie Chaplin's granddaughters were there to support for the film. The director said whenever he was feeling doubtful about taking on such a difficult project in terms of selling it, he would go into his room, and watch "City Lights"- a Chaplin classic.

The lead actress and actor were such a joy to watch. Fantastic chemistry. The sets, the humor, the music, THE DOG! Who has ever seen such a love story between a man and his dog like this one? If we had more films and more actors like this in America, there would never be a shortage of audiences.

My friend Michael (who invited me), is the producer of some classic films, many of them favorites of mine: Young Frankenstein, Quest For Fire, My Favorite Year, to name a few. List goes on and on. We went to talk to the director later. Other than Michael, there haven't been many- or any- people making silent (Quest For Fire) or black and white (Young Frankenstein) films for, oh, about 80 years.

The director was a delight. Really smart, super funny, great dry wit, it was a pleasure to watch his face when Michael invited him to lunch with himself and Mel Brooks. This is a tradition Michael and Mel have had every Friday for 20 or 30 years, along with Paul Mazursky, Alan Ladd Jr., Dick Donner, and the occasional  guest. What fun it must have been for this young filmmaker to be invited to that table. Both Mel and Paul are scholars of art and music, and obviously film, so the discussions are something anyone would want to be part of.

We spoke to Harvey Weinstein on the way out. I thanked him for bringing this film to America. Actually, he backed the film, and MADE it in America. Hollywood, to be exact. Thank goodness those brothers have a love of film. They have brought us so many of the great ones.  They invested a tremendous amount of money on the bet that people would appreciate this brilliant offering.

I hope they're right. I'd back this horse. It's a champion. And it'll really make you SMILE.

Please double click on the moving film image to see it widescreen and remove the advertising.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy Bunnyween

I am normally a fan of Patricia Field. Have been from way back when she had her little store in the West Village. (I say normally, because I did write a critique on the unfortunate debacle that was Sex and The City 2.)

Here, again, she makes me smile. A bit of funny bunny.

If you loathe Halloween, as I do, it's not easy to get interested. I live in Los Angeles. There's a guy at the corner of my street dressed as Jesus everyday. Robe, long hair, everything. Odd is the norm here. Personally, I'm not interested in viewing anyone else's inner freak.

This year in West Hollywood, I'm not sure who will be the most seen personality. Each year it tends to be the biggest new story of the moment. I'm pretty sure we won't see too many of these bunnyheads, but it would be really funny to see a lot of them together.

Nothing like cotton candy on your head to bring a smile to your face, courtesy of Ms. Field.

http://www.patriciafield.com/fluffy-rabbit-wig.aspx

While it would be great on top of anything, I might put it on one of these guys...



I figure, if you're going, go large. I think people who wear regular clothes, and just throw on a tiara or some hat and scarf, are lazy and boring.

Here is what we're sure to see a lot of in WeHo on Halloween- every girl's (and boy's) dream..


The fun part is that here they'll all be worn by big, hairy men. Hmm, maybe I will walk down to the parade, after all...

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When I grow up, I want to dress like an organ grinder's monkey.

"Fashion is always a reflection of its own time, but we forget this if it is stupid." Coco Chanel


Stupid fashion. Forgettable fashion. We see so much of it, as people chase fads, and adults continue to want to dress like young girls and/or boys. Arrgghhh!

If you read this blog, you know how I feel about stupid clothes, and the people who wear them. They make me so confused. I always wonder, WHY?

Here's the latest fashion victim look- La Petite Chapeau (the little hat). AKA- the sad little orphan look. Or, as I like to call it, The Organ Grinder's Monkey.

Let's discuss...


for a larger look, go to- http://www.whowhatwear.com/website/full-article/accessory-report-petite-chapeaus/ 

Top left- Katie Holmes. Dressed like an organ grinder's monkey. Enough said.

Top right- Blonde girls on the street. OK, I get it. The British rocker's girlfriend look. Kind of cute, kind of struggling model look, but they get points because they are trying to channel Jane Birkin (Yes, that Birkin, of the iconic Hermes Birkin bag). They might not even know who JB is. So speaks the power of her influence in the 1960's and later. Maybe it's the balance of the baggy jackets, which read both retro 1980's and Charlie Chaplin's Little Tramp, mixed with the skinny pants, but they have pulled it into "a look", with the pale hair, and pale skin. Let's call them the Trying Monkeys. Moving on...

Bottom left- Ashlee Simpson. Oh, dear Lord. This girl is a train wreck. She has lip synched her outfit. This is kind of like a Kelly Osbourne before look. Why can't she find herself?  It's all sad. Boots that make her legs look like cut off stumps. (They aren't). Flowy dress, too light and too short for the  jacket; it says, "I wish I was still a tiny little girl".  It's a wonder she isn't posing pigeon-toed. And the makes-no-sense-jacket?  Meh. The hat- probably plopped on in an attempt to look trendy- the little boy look, you know- but it ends up making her whole body look out of balance.  The shape of a Christmas tree comes to mind. With a tiny little organ monkey bonnet on the top. Yeesh. She's pretty. Why does she fight it so hard? Lost Monkey.

The little girl in the middle? Well, yes, it's the organ grinder's monkey look, again, but she's so young, she can't possibly know that yet. Probably just read and followed TEEN magazine, and wants to meet Zac Epron. Teen Monkey.

Emma Watson- bottom right. Emma Watson is very sweet, really special, and has a beaming light inside her that transcends anything she wears. Plus, she had the good sense to wear a big, soft, lush trench jacket with clean lines, balanced by everything else simple, simple, simple black. So, she gets a pass on this unfortunate subject. Chic monkey.

Jane Birkin style-
  This is how it's done, ladies...
 


Sunday, September 25, 2011

La Dolce Vita!

WAIT! What? Huh? I haven't even found all my Christmas presents yet! Wait, I haven't even figured out how to dodge another geeky Halloween party yet! It's still just the end of summer in Los Angeles!

How can we be talking Spring 2012??? Because someone inspired us! Because there is no stopping fashion dreamers with romantic imaginations.

Dolce and Gabbana have done it again. Fun, fresh, looking forward to spring already...


Think Sophia Loren, and pretty, feminine dresses, and there you are! They are showing a celebration of that easy, breezy time in a young woman's life where nature kisses her, and she gets to shine from the inside, out. That's what these clothes remind me of. You can see her walking- swaying- down a street in  Rome, Venice, or Portofino, stopping for lunch, or a little shopping, maybe a cool drink at an outside cafe. Time does not matter. The senses matter.

This collection is full of juicy, delicious, refreshing prints of lemons, tomatoes, red peppers and eggplant, lots of green, and barely a clunky orthopedic gladiator shoe to be found! (I knew if I waited long enough, someone would do it!)

The hair is soft and pulled back, simply beautiful-

 Photos- Vogue

Some fun accessories-

See the collection- together in thumbnails, or look at the slideshow- click here-

http://www.vogue.com/collections/spring-2012-rtw/mdgabbana/review/#/collection/runway/spring-2012-rtw/mdgabbana/1/


Do some pretty, clean make up-

Photo courtesy Margaret Kimura, MCK Academy

Find yourself some beautiful strappy sandals-


and it's La Dolce Vita!"


p.s.......just because I also love some black....


And...

Pretty is coming back to town. Enjoy!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Bill Cunningham New York

I wrote this a while back. It still holds true, so here we are. The film is Bill Cunningham New York, and like it's subject, it is a treasure.

The film will finally be released for sale on September 13, 2011. Here is the Amazon link-
http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Cunningham-York-Anna-Wintour/dp/B0050I975Q/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1315640219&sr=8-1

For those not in the arts, the subject might seem frivolous. To the artist, it is a joy.

I write my posts about the world and what I see in it, because I have to. I can't help but see it. That is how I absorb things, and that is how I learn. Fashion and art, style and beauty might not be survival like food and shelter, but to many of us, they are oxygen. I wish I had in my abilities what Bill Cunningham has in his pinkie finger.

Photo: GQ magazine

There is art in everything, and I wish everyone could find their platform. I don't care what it is, it matters. That which feeds the heart, matters.

The other day I was making mental lists of who my favorite artists were. I was trying to think of what was the definition of cool. In a previous post, I wrote about where, to me, "hip" derived. Very different, and separate from cool. Who was cool?  Well, Steve McQueen was cool. The Stones. Paul Newman. They represented freedom of one's soul, not yielding to others. They made their mark because they couldn't possibly have stopped themselves. But they all got their style from, amongst other things, street culture. Cool often comes from the street, elevated to look- via better fabrics- elegant, chic and nonchalant, but it often has lesser beginnings. Designers, if they're smart, know this.

The brightest of all in the world of fashion is Bill Cunningham. Riding along on his famous bicycle, or stooping down on 57th & 5th, dressed in his humble French blue workman's jackets, (which he made chic just by wearing them), he understands fashion like no other. Miraculously sensitive, brilliantly alert. Frugal. Focused. Undeterred. For 50 or 60 years, he lived in a tiny little room in Carnegie Hall. His entire being is driven by chronicling fashion in New York through his marvelous eye, his indefinable lens.... of fashion, in particular, high fashion, led and formed by street fashion.

He has been called The Most Important Person in The World. In the fashion world, he might very well be. His knowledge of the history of fashion, fabrics and design is unrivaled. No one escapes his eye.

At 80 years old, he is a treasure, to be sure. He has humbled the likes of Anna Wintour. An impossible feat. She feels like an amateur next to him. She envies his vision. Of course, we all know her as a brilliant editor, a critic, a powerhouse. She the most feared person in fashion, yet she shows humility in her somewhat remarkable quote, "We all dress for Bill".  She admits that while they often sit and look together at the same thing,  he sees that which she does not.

Anyone can get into Vogue these days, it seems, but the hardest and most sought after photo for anyone in fashion is to be shot by Bill, in the street. That is THE definition of making it.

Bill Cunningham started at the New York Times, then worked at night, for free, helping to create the forward thinking Details magazine. He also worked for a while at W magazine, but left when his work was compromised, which he would not allow. In the words of Annette De La Renta, he has never taken a mean photograph. He is not unkind. He does not care one whit about celebrities. He cares about the clothes.

As someone who loves New York, and spent my formative years living in the fashion and photography worlds of London, Paris and New York, this film is a marvel. There is something in that experience that I think can only truly be understood as an insider, in those particular cities, but of course, I am probably wrong. Anyone who respects art will love this film.

Earlier this year I was to New York, walking on Central Park South, and passed the new home of Bill Cunningham, where he was forced to move after he and the other last, longtime tenants were unceremoniously given the boot from their studios in Carnegie Hall. I stopped to peek into the lobby, hoping to get a look at his iconic bicycle, possibly resting in the lobby. No such luck. That would have been a happy moment.

No matter. He would hate the silliness and attention. Another reason to love him. 

Monday, August 29, 2011

Kissed by an Angel....


Lucky me.

I was kissed by an angel, before she got her wings.


It's going to take a while to process it, but I am in those dreaded days...when time stands still. The aftermath of losing a beloved one, in this case my beautiful kitty, Baby.

I am so grateful for my time with her, mostly especially the past six weeks, which I spent only with her. Much unconditional love and fun was had by both of us.


I got to see her out in the garden, scratch at a tree, wonder at butterflies and bees, chase bugs, run after a crow, and rest beautifully in the shade, as many of her admirers came by to give her a pet or tell her how pretty she was. She learned to turn her head away when she heard the camera click on.


Before the news of her illness, she was never allowed outside, much as she sat by that window dreaming of it, everyday. Now, it was our routine. Once, and sometimes twice a day, I would carry her downstairs to the garden, gently put her down and watch her pad around like a little albino lioness, in all her puffy splendor. She was very proud, so she did not like me to pick her up to move her, or tell her when it was enough, that she needed to go inside to rest. Plus, once inside the house, there were the prison walls of the fortress that stopped her from smelling and seeing and dreaming of her freedom and incredible adventures. And maybe spotting a bug.


I took her to the abandoned neighboring house. She went everywhere, curious, curious, curious. Endless bliss, those outings were for her. When it was time to go home,  I'd pick her up and carry her back to our house, behind the gates, where she was safe, and I was never more than 3 feet away.


I knew eventually I would have to say goodbye to her. I swore that it would not be when she was really sick and unable to enjoy anything. I did not want her to suffer. I kept hoping the chemo would hold. She got a blood transfusion, and she became like a kitten again. Happy, so happy. Running, jumping, kissing my face and purring as she nuzzled her little face in my neck. Waking up to find her right next to me, waiting for me to open my eyes and smile at her. It was a magical gift of time.


In the last days, I saw her begin to falter, even as she struggled not to show it. She walked so slowly, but so happily through the garden. She looked in her usual spots, and went to nap under the banana trees, where she watched everything, but could be in the shade. Friday was the last trip to the garden. She cruised and lounged and licked her paws and washed her beautiful angelic face, and hated it when I picked her up to go inside. It was time for her checkup.


They did a blood test and the red cell count came back. It was down to 13. At her most critical, before the transfusion, it had dropped to 10. With it, she got up to 23, but, within 10 days, it can fallen back down to critical. I couldn't fix it for her. Powerless. No amount of money or specialists or interventions were going to change the horrible reality. At that point it became clear that this was as good as she was going to get. Any further and she was going to feel very, very bad, very soon. I broke down when I needed to be strong for her, and did not want her to feel my sadness. I was a mess. Then I pulled it together. It's the point of that hard decision, where they trust you to look after them, and you betray them in an effort to protect them from further harm.

As I held her close, I knew I had to let her go.

Everyone cried at the vet. They truly loved her. She usually had a lot of fun there, making friends with dogs and cats, accepting kisses from all her friends. She was never afraid to go. She liked to walk the counter at reception.  Baby owned the place.


I'm not going to write about what I said to her, because that is between us, but I can say that the love and affection this little creature showed me, taught me, and gave to me, was not what I expected when fate brought us together a little over a year ago. I had no idea the lessons that I needed so badly to learn about myself would come from observing this lovely, gentle little soul.


I miss her terribly, but I view it from a place of gratitude and humility. That is what I know.


I hope she's off in the heavens, chasing butterflies, watching bugs and feeling free, knowing that she was very, very loved and adored by the one who was fortunate enough to become her caretaker.


Rest in peace, my beloved girl. The angels are the lucky ones.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cuba at the Getty

"Cuba's attempt to forge an independent state has been a project under development for more than 100 years and a source of fascination for nations, intellectuals, and artists alike.

A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now looks at three critical periods in the nation's history as witnessed by photographers before, during, and after the country's 1959 Revolution. The exhibition juxtaposes Walker Evans's 1933 images from the end of the Machado dictatorship with views by contemporary foreign photographers Virginia Beahan, Alex Harris, and Alexey Titarenko, who have explored Cuba since the withdrawal of Soviet support in the 1990s. "

Don't miss the opportunity to see this remarkable exhibit. Rare and raw photography from Walker Evans and others.

A Revolutionary Project: Cuba from Walker Evans to Now

May 17–October 2, 2011. The Getty Center, Los Angeles

 http://www.getty.edu/art/exhibitions/walker_evans_cuba/index.html

Crumbling, but beautiful. Architecture from the past...

 http://blogs.getty.edu/iris/walker-evans-havana-through-an-architects-lens/

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Taking It To The Street


A friend of mine just sent me a link to a store in Los Angeles where someone is selling this old REVLON poster ad of me. Seems funny to see it again after all this time. Most of the photographs I kept are in drawers or closets, just a couple are out and around.

I remember once when I was about 25, I was visiting my sister. She had an entire wall of my ads and covers. I used to call it the Shrine. One morning, a repair man came by to look at the dryer. I answered the door. Just woke up. No make up, hair in a ponytail, and a long, dark rose colored velour bathrobe. As he entered the house, I was standing in front of the Shrine, explaining the problem with the dryer. He started to glaze over my words, and I realized he was staring at the wall.  Uh oh, I thought, he's going to start with the questions.

Nope. He stared at the wall, then looked at me and asked, "Wow, do you know her?"

I have to say, I was half amused, and half I don't know what, because there was ME, standing in front of ME, probably at least 20 different magazine covers and ads and shots of ME, and the guy had no idea I was HER.

I just said yes. He stood there talking about HER for a minute, then I cut it short, and headed for the laundry room. A weird feeling, let me tell you.

Anyway, it appears that I am back out on the market. You can buy me for $175.00.

Not sure what to think about that.

http://www.thisisnotikea.com/wordpress/?attachment_id=40946

Friday, August 12, 2011

Wallace and Edward. The Film.

"W.E." (Wallace/Edward), is a look into the relationship between Mrs. Simpson and the King of England. This film is a luxurious and grand; a delicious vacation for the eye and the imagination.

AMAZING costumes by as Cartier, Dior, and Dunhill and the very lucky Arianne Phillips for Madonna's directorial debut. From the new film, W.E. (Wallis/Edward), about the Windsors. Such great personalities to re-create! I can't wait to see it!

In the September issue of Vanity Fair.

Click here to see the slideshow-

Windsor Dressing | Hollywood | Vanity Fair

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Decorating 1.0

I don't normally venture into the realm of decorating.  I love looking at some of it, but it's not my area of expertise. There are enough people out there doing that. I will, occasionally, post reference to someone whose style or artistic viewpoint I appreciate.

I came across something today which I felt was worth passing along. It's a tool for change. It's free for you to use, and will help you plan your space, and make it more yours.

It's pretty great. Click on the link below.



http://www.raymourflanigan.com/Interactive-Room-Planner.aspx

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Where You Start Is With You

        


         
        
                          IMAGINATION IS A                                SUPERPOWER ALL OF US POSSESS







-(Kasey McMahon, artist. http://atypicalart.com)

I love this.

We honor those who have accessed their imaginations and gone on to share great stories, music, art, film, science.We marvel at the freedom of it.

Now, it's your turn. Find your power. Set forth on the wonderful, boundless carpet ride of your own imagination.

Where you start is with you.  

Monday, June 6, 2011

Never Dull Your Shine For Someone Else




 
             NEVER DULL YOUR SHINE  FOR     
                             SOMEONE ELSE.

                                
                           Never. Ever. Ever.





 Tyra Banks said it. Now, there's a girl you wouldn't want to cross the wrong way...because she's right. Say what you want about her shows, but she got them up and running, in spite of her detractors, when a million wannabes did not.

Unless you were incredibly lucky, and had doting, completely focused parents and supporters your entire life, and were born with the glorious gift of not knowing the word NO, then you will probably, like the rest of the world, have to summon up that power from within, and be your own cheerleader. You'll also have to learn how to keep the spears out, while not living with a shield up.

I've written posts about this before. Women who can't bear another person's inner light, so they have to dig away at it... often while smiling and complimenting. Men who simply need to degrade so they feel empowered. Maybe there are destructive people you have to work with, ones you would never, ever invite to your dinner table.

FORGET THEM. They are, truly, the not quite bright.

Try to find a way, each day, to spark some of the simple joy you might not even remember is in there. Create something- no matter how small- outside of your regular responsibilities. It's your right to choose what is creative to you.

The sun shines within. You heart wants to be warm. That's why most people like the simple beauty of babies and animals. They are pure of heart, and their innocent radiance gives us a brief respite from what we do to each other.

Often, we hear, "take a walk".  Even the most Western thinking AMA doctors will tell you that. Nature, the great soul cleanser. Look outside, and it will take you inside, back to your better self.

Enjoy your mini vacation. It'll make you stronger, and keep the vultures at bay.



Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Debbie Reynold's Costume Collection/History for Sale



The most important private collection of motion picture costumes and memorabilia belongs to Debbie Reynolds. It is rivaled only by The Smithsonian Institute in Washington. For the first time in 50 years, she is selling many of the pieces at auction.

If you click on the red title above, you will be directed to the site for the auction. Look at the catalog.

For me, this is the Holy Grail. Getting to get up close some of the most important pieces of historical film, made by skilled hands of spectacularly gifted craftspeople, (the likes of which simply do not exist anymore, except in the tiny, tiny world of couture, premium costume houses, and some boot and hat makers for film), is a luxury. Many of them came here from Europe, escaping Nazis, in the early part of the 20th Century. They turned their crafts into film making, and gave the world magic. Their crafts pretty much died with them. There are a few left around town, and in some parts of Europe; England, and Prague, most notably. We also see the finesse of their nimble fingers and lightening fast needles in the great Japanese and Australian epics, but they are a very rare and specialized handful. I get to see some of these workers of magic and dreams when I go into the backrooms at Western Costume, where they are keeping the dreams alive.

I, for one, am very grateful to Debbie Reynolds for preserving and collecting these pieces of history. Everything form Marie Antoinette to Ben Hur, Little Women to Laurel and Hardy, My Fair Lady to Singing in The Rain, Cleopatra, it goes on and on, remarkable in it scope. These pieces will never again been seen together, and very likely never again in their current condition.

If you love costumes, history, and the art of making film, you will love this!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Please Adopt



I spent a couple of hours today at the Best Friends Animal Society Adoption Drive at the La Brea Tar Pits, in Los Angeles. Hundreds of beautiful and loving dogs, all running around with bright orange neckerchiefs that read ADOPT ME.

Then I went to the cat tent, and there they were, so gorgeous and warm, soft and making motorboat sounds, waiting for a new home with someone to love, who could love them back.

It was heartwarming, and heartbreaking, all at the same time. So much love sitting there, ready to be given a chance. So many good, decent people, volunteering to help them to, literally, get a leg up.

If I regret one thing, it is that I have not yet figured out how to help them all. How to reach people and ask them to wake up. So much innocence and life lost, by the simple refusal of humans to neuter or spay.

I thank all of you who have reached into your hearts and taken one of these lovely beings home with you. I know you feel, as the rest of us do, that in the end it is they who have saved us, and not the reverse.

Petfinder.com has hundreds of thousands of animal available to view online, as there are so many waiting for a home at a shelter near you. Sometimes they have been beaten so down by sadness, so they don't show themselves to be the ones they will become, after they've had a chance to feel safe and welcome. Please give them your patience and a chance to blossom.

You will be repaid for your kindness a million kisses over ^..^~~

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Arnold Schwarzenegger and The Maid Who Polished His Helmet.




I have a funny job in an odd business. We do the equivalent of a small film in a week or two, selling stuff to people who probably don't need it. I am always very, very polite to the talent, and they normally respond in kind.

I've seen more famous people in their underwear than I care to remember. I know more secrets and vulnerabilities than I'll ever tell. But this one I'll let go. Because it's about Arnold. And Arnold may be a very smart businessman, but he's just another dumbass who destroyed his family. I can't imagine how his kids will feel going to school tomorrow.

Here's a peek into the dark side of the business, with the guy the world sees as a happy go lucky guy tossing jokes on late night TV.

Many years ago, I did the above commercial for DIRECTV Japan. At the time, there were a lot of celebrities getting paid tons of money to shoot things that would supposedly never be seen in America. Nobody thought about the internet.

The job was with Arnold playing a bunch of characters; the Terminator, a conductor who looked a bit Leonard Bernstein, a rock star ( I used Axl Rose as a model), a baseball player, a samurai, soccer player, and a cowboy. It was supposed to be one of those fun ones. Except it wasn't.

The Princess had two motorhomes. One for his gym. One for his personal comfort. Part of his deal called for a land line to be put in and connected to his motorhome. So the phone company literally strung a hard line in from a telephone pole. Because he didn't trust cell phones. No wonder. He had things to hide.

Although I was responsible for creating his costumes, he had his own dresser. A bit awkward, but, whatever. It was a night shoot, so we came in at 6pm, got it together and waited for Arnold. And waited. And waited.

About midnight, I got a call that we had a problem. Arnold had shown up with no underwear. I'm not kidding. It was the middle of the night, and he was about to put on a baseball uniform with nothing to hold in the package. Jeezus, people! Really? For millions of dollars, can't you come in panties? Shouldn't your $5000 a day dresser have this information in his notes? Thankfully, I had some in my trunk, leftover from an earlier job, so I put them in a discreet shopping bag and walked over to his trailer. I made the mistake of knocking on the door while he was having his hair washed/dyed... Quel horror! He sat up and snapped at me and I got a look at the unpublic Arnold- the meanest, gnarliest thing you've ever seen BECAUSE I OPENED THE DOOR FOR SIX SECONDS AND HE GOT COLD. Waah. Waah. Yeesh. You're welcome.

Thinking back, I wondered why he wanted me to leave the bag on the stairs. He knew who I was. Normally, I would have been in there. Oh, well. Never mind...

Anyhoo, that was that. I trotted away, back to the seamstress on set who was cutting his size 52 cutaway tuxedo down to a 32 inch waist, remembering that I had a secret, which he'd now never be told...

Earlier in the day, I was running around town, trying to find leather bracelets to make him into the rockstar. Nobody had them big enough. (All those steroids make for a big neck and wrists, don't y'know).  I decided to get some leather ropes or wang, and wrap it around his wrists. In wardrobe, some things come from the strangest places. The best place in LA to get leather wang is from The Pleasure Chest, an emporium of all things sexual, on Santa Monica Blvd. They use them for the whips.

I took a new, green, male P.A. with me in case he needed to try things on his wrist. He was slightly horrified, but such is the life of creating magic. After peering into down into a glass cabinet, I inched my way left, left, left...so much to see. Fascinated, slowly, I continued left, and bumped right into a wall of dildos sticking out. I screamed so loud, the whole shop came running.

Peering down into that glass cabinet we discovered another world... cock rings! Who knew there were such things? For those of you who have never ventured into a porn haven, they are leather straps with snaps on the ends that a man might strap around his meat and potatoes for a (hopefully) extended romp with his partner. The ones I found particularly enchanting were brown leather, covered in pointed studs, big enough for Arnold's wrist. They looked like, (and I imagine, were) all kinds of S+M nasty and danger. Oh, joy, that part was settled, and off I went in search of the samurai...

Cut to 5 am. After the coldfest, I'd resorted to handing everything over to the dresser, lest Mr. Nasty spat at me again, but decided this one was too much fun to stay away. I gave him the Guns n' Roses costume and he fell in love with the "bracelets." He said, (admiring his wrists- I could scarcely contain myself)... "These are really cool. I'm keeping them. I'm going to wear them to dinner tomorrow at Morton's." (Morton's was, at the time, the #1 A list restaurant in Hollywood, and Monday night was when the heaviest hitters all went.)

No argument from me, dickhead. Every waiter and hot chick who looks at you at dinner is gonna know you're wearing cock rings for bracelets, and I am not going to protect you from that one.

Years later, he's proven himself to be the one I saw the night he snarled. He has no grace. No amount of expensive suits or anything he might have learned from rubbing shoulders with the Kennedys can disguise the very unfabulous Mr. Universe.

I've seen him around town a zillion times, long before he became the Gov. He would blithely park one of his many enormous, revolting Hummers anywhere he chose in Beverly Hills and strut away, puffing away on a Cuban cigar. He's always had that arrogance about him.

Cut to now: He will not be brought to his knees over this. He doesn't have the heart for it.

Maria will come out of this alright. She has a steely inner strength in her favor. She's had a rough couple of years within her family. No one would wish this on anyone, but it's hard to believe she knew nothing about his lack of character. She's not a victim. She's a strong woman who was deceived by someone whose deceit she thought she was immune to, because she thought she knew him too well for him to do to her that which he had done to so many other woman. Treated them as objects, toys for his own use. In the end, that what she was. As a young, homely, chubby girl, enamored with this buffoon, she was an easy pawn for his ambitions and enormous ego; she played right into it, certain she was different. Looking back to her speech for his gubernatorial campaign regarding him with other women, it must haunt her to hear the playback of herself, "I know him. You can listen to them (the press and the other women), or you can listen to me."  Read the link below, and you'll see how she enabled him, and took him from clownish bodybuilder to Governor of the fifth largest economy in the world, with serious eyes on the White House.

Fortunately for her,  it's over. Here's where the unpopular class differential comes in. She comes from American royalty. She has dignity, and a history of coming through tragedy well. He will always be a pig in a shiny suit. The perennial wannabe.

Their kids, though, and even that poor little 14 year old illegitimate boy, are caught in the crossfire. How does one protect them? How's he going to PR himself out of this one?

The idea that the servant/mother and the boy were in the house all those years with the family welcoming them into their private space is so, so disturbing. Humiliating and painful, to be sure.
Really, I'm so disgusted by Arnold, the maid and the dirty mess he and his political predecessors (Edwards, Clinton, that idiot Mark Sanford who went chasing went after his "soulmate" in South America) have dumped on everyone. If they don't want us judging them, then stop parading the wife and kids and and painting Norman Rockwell pictures. I preferred Jerry Brown's honesty up there smoking weed and whatever else whatever he and Linda Ronstadt did when he was Governor the first time around. At least they weren't pretending anything. The deal is, if you are determined to sell us your family, then expect there to be a price when you sell them out.
If you haven't had your fill of all things Arnie and the exceedingly plain Maiden Mildred, here's the eerie Vanity Fair article. To put it in perspective, the "love child" would be about eight years old at the time. Arnold had apparently kept his son secret for five years at that point. Maria thinks everyone wants to be just like them. It's all cozy at Conan's.  Click on the link below.

Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver: Mr. and Mrs. California Politics: vanityfair.com

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How To Dress Like A Parisian (It's Kind of Like Dressing Like a New Yorker)


Ines de la Fressange. (New York Times)

Personally, the idea of dressing "like a Parisian" comes across at first as a little out of date to me. The cross pollination of cultures goes way back. To me, modern style dictates that you mix it up. H+M with Hermes. Some little cotton thing with a great jacket or wrap and jeans, and some killer shoes. A simple shirt with amazing jewelry. I like the combination of all cultures and styles. Straight Euro is far too stuffy. In my opinion, great American designers have the freshest looks, the French are the most sophisticated and have the most skill, and the Italians have the most beautiful fabrics and cuts, so there it is...what you really need is balance. Current designers borrow from the same resources that drive anyone in fashion... #1, and the most important- history, followed by the great couturiers, and most definitely, Levi Strauss. (There does not exist a designer of note who does not make, appreciate, or wear blue jeans.)

The French and Italians were influenced greatly by the Asian cultures since back in the early 1700's, when beautiful silks, cuts, and colors were introduced via the the expansion of the shipping trade. I love the casual look which people like India Hicks (www.indiahicks.com) have brought forward in the combination of British upper crust, (which usually shows the ease of things slightly worn in), and the wonderful lightness of the colonial islands- linen, cotton, colors- think India and Africa mixed with Mustique.)

Designers were influenced, primarily via a shift in culture, though film and music, to more earthy influences in the late 50's to late 60's. Americans invented "hip". There is no hip without reference to Elvis Presley's leather, Audrey's capris, the counter culture, hippies, Easy Rider and Woodstock. What was on the street went onto the screen, and to design houses. They are still there.

Back to history: Look at the success of Ralph Lauren. He sells a romanticized idea of what he envisions American upper class should look like. It is a culmination of studying the English and their weekend hunts, African safari (usually intended for the very wealthy), mixed with movie stars of the 20's and 30's in biased cut satin gowns and black tie, the Great Gatsby, and the American cowboy.

Every time I go into a costume house to look for historical costume ideas, there is a rack of clothes on hold for Ralph Lauren or some other designer. They are renting costumes from films made from the early 20's through the 70's, waiting to be knocked off. So, at the end of the day, millions of consumers are wearing a copy of a piece originally designed by an uncredited costume designer from early Hollywood, who had studied world history to create the perfect piece. One of the most influential people on fashion in the past 30 years is someone you have probably never heard of. The brilliant Milena Canonero. She did possibly the most important costumes, in terms of broad public trends, EVER. They were for the beautiful film, Out of Africa. Suddenly, everyone was out there in pale linen, gauzy lace, and fine beige cotton. In reverse, then; to do the film Evita, a large amount of the French designer clothes, (Dior, etc., for Madonna/Eva Peron), were rented or copied from Palace Costume in West Hollywood, a virtual museum of fine historical clothing. You see? It's all a circle.

But, I digress. Back to the Parisian...

Ines de la Fressange understands great style. She knows how to mix it up, she lives it, and she has done a book on it. This is a short video by Ms. Fressange, an ex model who used to be the face of Chanel. I always felt it was because she really looked like Coco Chanel. She also has the look of a someone with a bit of mischief in her. She, like Chanel, is very outspoken. Karl Lagerfeld came along, putting everything in the accessories closet on her all at once. A term I am now coining- Exhalted Vulgarity. He made biker boots. (Breathe, Coco, breathe!) They were actually pretty cool. He made his mark, she became famous, and then he dropped her. Two strong egos, one podium. C'est la vie.

Ines in classic Chanel



After the (unfortunate) gilding of the lily


Ines has more than moved on. She's now in her 50's. Happy and unapologetic about it. She is the embodiment of French style, and was awarded the Legion d"Honneur because of it. The link below shows a bit from her new little red book. Simple classics, but always useful. It is a base for one's imagination. Anybody can do it for any amount of money, but the basics have to be there.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/mpd/permalink/m3LX5DAXFD8N6N/ref=ent_fb_link



Of course, the best piece of advice for great style is to smile and not take any of it too seriously. That is the key to everything.

La Fressange seems to understand that very well.