Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Robert Polidori

I think Robert Polidori's photography is exceptional. I don't fancy myself a photography buff, so my opinion comes devoid of any expertise on the subject, but sometimes isn't raw, uneducated perception as meaningful? It's certainly as true.

Polidori has extensively photographed Versailles under restoration, New Orleans after the hurricane, Chernobyl and Havana. The juxtaposition he creates in his photography really hit me - for example, the pristine paintings in Versailles set against the worn, tarnished walls of the palace. (At times, the paintings in the photographs are so clear and vibrant it's hard to tell if the entire picture is, in fact, painted.)
I have always been fascinated by the contrast of old and new and, like many a naive traveler, returned from India with visions of a photography show centered around this very contradiction (so pervasive in India).

Here are a few of my favorite photographs. The opulent bed and stairwell against the almost generic, checkered, tile floor really speaks to me.


Congratulations Alexander Wang!! I do very much enjoy Obedient Sons and Daughters; for what they are trying to do they really nail it on the head. They're also an adorable family and always look effortlessly great. But Alexander Wang is a wunderkind designer with talent seeping out of every pore. He's come so far in four years and I look forward to his every future collection!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I love this

"A room full of nerds, mouthbreathers and high school kids..."

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

True Blood

Truly so good! Some characters are better than others - some become exceedingly annoying at times. But the concept of the show is brilliant and the creepy context, the hillbilly accents, the incestuous nature of such a small town; compounded they create a general feel that often leaves your skin crawling. Alan Ball is a genius and creates these kinds of moods so flawlessly. You need only watch the opening credits (long but exceptional) to understand what I mean. Oh to hear Bill the vampire say the name "Sookie" in his deep, steadfast yet slightly drawling voice - deathly serious (literally; he IS a vamp, after all) but slightly funny at the same time. Fans of Six Feet Under have probably already checked out True Blood, though the storyline and characters aren't nearly as relatable as those in Six Feet. Try it on for size, like those plastic fangs you bought at a costume store for your 5th grade halloween just might like it!

My friend Yael made an excellent point - I neglected to mention that the relationship between the humans and vampires in True Blood mirrors and speaks to race relations and discrimination in the United States (and worldwide). Tara, one of few African Americans living in Bon Temps, constantly and antagonistically plays the race card at various points of the season, neglecting to realize the hypocrisy of her own discrimination against vampires. Sam Merlotte also mistreats the vampires despite a very intriguing secret of his own (watch to find out!!)

On a side note, the new South Park speaks to our current interest in vampires (Twilight, True Blood, etc.). It's hilarious, as usual. Check it out!

Morning Sweep

Being unemployed affords you the luxury of fluttering around the web with your morning coffee, looking for interesting things of note. I have a few intriguing (and sometimes oddball) things to share on this one such morning...

1. A Toronto band with an unpronounceable name
Apparently they played a 12-hour show in NYC recently (in the LES Rogan store!) which is extremely odd as they are a hardcore, "non-conformist" freakshow whose name is so vulgar it can't even be printed. They have a song that is pro-pedophilia. The lead singer, "pink eyes", sometimes breaks bottles on his head or cuts himself with razorblades (I'd literally become week in the knees and pass out on the ground, only to be trampled, no question). Moby was there (and covered Blitzkrieg Bop), Ezra from Vampire Weekend was there, and so was some other dude from Dinosaur Jr.
It all comes back to the question of why on earth they were playing where they did, with said guests, and how they got even a semi-positive review in the Times...if anyone has anything to share about this phenomenon, or, better yet, if anyone was there, do tell!

2. Great, witty essay by Joe Queenan lamenting how overly positive reviews can be as detrimental as, if not more detrimental than, their negative counterparts

3. Chanel Spring 2009 RTW
I wonder if Coco (and I don't mean Rocha) could have ever imagined a PVC-esque (I guess Karl would use leather) bandeau at Chanel? Yes, Karl is practically as inherently a part of the double C as Coco - he just gets it - but this is out there. And what is up with the floral, Little House on the Prairie, luminescent disaster?!
Also, I'm not afraid to admit that I love love love the shoes with the pom pom heels!! Overall, though, the collection was fascinating, with inspiration ranging from a decades-old portrait of Coco Chanel to Flamenco dancers and Parisian streetwalkers.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Some of my FART (faux art)...

They're all painted on canvas, with acrylics. If I knew anything about art I might know how to use something other than oils, or that fancy ink stuff, or one of those crazy spatula things. All in good time...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paradise FOUND? More like paradise LOST!

Sitting on the couch tonight, drinking wine and watching new episodes of Californication and Entourage, I became quite complacent and started perusing the October issue of Nylon (yes, I'm a little behind on my reading). I came upon an article on Tamarindo that made me a) wish I had written about Costa Rica first and b) wish a more realistic picture of Tamarindo had been painted.I spent a full month this summer in that ratty little town (save for a few nights in a true yuppy paradise, Nosara) and this image of the city as a found paradise in the midst of Central America can only come from having experienced it on crack. Although I can't vouch for that assumption...I've avoided it, living my life according to the age-old adage that "crack kills". But alas, I digress. Having learned to surf on Tamarindo's reasonably beautiful beaches, I willingly admit that the beginner surf in front of Witch's Rock is surpassed by no other, this being the allure of Tamarindo. And the nachos at Eat@Joes, heralded as being "as big as your ass", are likewise an excellent selling point. However, what paradise can be found ends there. Tamarindo is a little-big town, in the process of being overdeveloped with hotels and luxury condos, where finding a drug dealer (speaking of crack) or a hooker is as easy as finding a surfboard. In a word, the town is seedy. It's also populated for the most part by fratboys and jocks and their ubiquitously midriff-bearing female counterparts. When a surf town has club promoters handing you fliers while you try to enjoy a local casado, you know it's gone to shit. The real reason to go is the surf - where else can you sit on a board five feet away from Robert August? The truth is, there are numerous beautiful resorts outside the cities that provide the opportunity to explore the beach on horseback and watch the sun set on a catamaran, amongst other activities that so excited the author of the Nylon article. The saddest part is that, sitting on the beach at Tamarindo looking towards the increasingly developed terrain of cranes and condos, one gets a sense of what Tamarindo used to be, how lush the hills used to be with palm trees and vibrant flowers, before they were spattered with summer homes... a true paradise. Oh, to have been there 10 years ago!

Please note: Witch's Rock is an amazing surf camp with great food and great people. We've stayed at Witch's a few times and have definitely had great times, spending most of our time around the camp and out in the water. Although the town is ugly, the author gets it right in mentioning the mantra that a true Costa Rican visit includes extending your ticket at least once...I speak from experience.

Monday, November 03, 2008


I may once again be dazedly wandering about, out of the loop and oblivious to what's going on, miles behind fashion's far less flighty virtuosos. However, I am still thrilled to have had my first encounter with London (via India) designer Ashish Gupta, whose debut at London Fashion Week in fall/winter 2004 garnered much praise and was considered "a delightfully bright and cheery catwalk debut".

I was reading a Fader interview with MIA from last month (which was great, by the way - she is such a unique and interesting artist) and she mentioned Ashish as an underrated designer she favors. I immediately went to the Ashish website and checked out a few of his most recent collections. I can't necessarily pull off MIA's horizontally-patterned, tight-as-spandex onesies with bomber jackets, but I would happily wear much of what I saw on the runway at Ashish. His earlier collections are more off-the-wall, more MIA, mixing tye dye tights with printed outfits in seemingly clashing colors.

The way he has used sequins and fringe in recent collections is so unique and playful. He uses sequins to make camouflage prints, plaid and gingham,or punctuates sequin pieces with holes, and the dresses have sexy details like plunging backs. India is one of my favorite countries in the world and yet I'm not familiar with any Indian designers, which definitely added to my excitement about Ashish.

Ashish has also created a collection for Topshop, which isn't able to showcase his true abilities at more reasonable prices, but which definitely earns him props in my books (as does any designer who creates more affordable clothing lines for fans who can't otherwise afford their clothes).

If you're a fan of MIA, you'll understand immediately why she would love these clothes; if you're a fan of fun, original designs, you'll immediately love Ashish.

Check out the website to see more: