Saturday, June 30, 2007
Un amour à taire (A Love to Hide) (2005) - Compare the French and American covers of the film above. The American cover emphasizes the joyous moments and the awards or festivals or whatever this film has been in. The French cover reveals just how dark and rather depressing this film can be. It's really not a very happy film by a long shot. I think the American cover tends to skit around the fact that this is a film set in the severe Antisemitism of World War II France. Yikes. Anyways, on the the movie. It was pretty respectful, adequate, decent. Jérémie Renier (who will star with Gaspard Ulliel in next year's The Vintner's Luck) and Bruno Todeschini (who was in 2004's Le dernier jour with Gaspard) play Jean and Philippe, lovers of four years who have fallen into a certain pattern of everyday life, keeping their love hidden from society. Jean's older brother, Jacques, is the black sheep of the family who seeks to become the prodigal son after he is released from jail. With Jacques's misbehavior, Jean stands to inherit the family laundry business. Sara, a Jewish girl and childhood love of Jean, escapes the Third Reich and winds up back in Jean's life. As a Jewish refugee, she takes on the identity of Yvonne Brunner and blends into society as best she can. Jacques becomes enamored with Yvonne. Trouble ensues. It's a fairly classical situation in some ways, except set in the heart-wrenching reign of the Third Reich, and while the film tries to encompass messages on homosexual love, familial loyalty, divided affection, war morality, it never quite accomplishes to do any in a real convincing manner. On top of that, they try to portray the role of the non-Jew in the labor and internment camp system. Great attempt, but director Christian Faure just tries to do far too much with too little time. Overly ambitious, somewhat unfocused, but with a few very decent performances from the leads. 6/10
Friday, June 29, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
Who knew the wonderful Washington Post had such wonderfully gorgeous topics to discuss? And to analyze his coverage here, Chris Evans is wearing a shirt in 4 out of 5 pictures, which is 80% of the time. It just felt wrong to show too much, even if the Washington Post thinks it's okay. Maybe some other day...
Alexander McQueen has apparently fallen in love with 1950s surf culture and Americana. That's a far cry from his past collections, which have been inspired by everything from World War II to Lord of the Flies. It's safe to say that this collection is a whole measure brighter and enlivened than many have come to expect from McQueen. On the whole, his concept came off beautifully. Without any ideological theme riding too heavily on the clothes, every look was lighter and more approachable than ever before, without losing that signature McQueen edginess. He continued the season's trend of shorter shorts and cropped pants, paired with lengthier coats and parkas in more assertive colors. Fabrics spanned the range from cotton suiting in shades of white polka-dot, to slicked and soaked black wool Men in Black looks, with hippie cotton "love" shirts, extra-long sock-hop cardigans, and Technicolor neoprene diving pants all in between. While that sounds like a maddening mix, McQueen deft hand and sharp editing kept it all under control. With pieces like shark-print and flower-embroidered t-shirts, down-to-earth plaid shorts, and a few easy trousers and trenches, this collection was also built to sell. It was a bright, wet delight that was filled with easy statement pieces that I'm quite sure men will want to start wearing now. But, alas, we have until 2008 to wait!
Consuelo Castiglione sent out a spectacular collection last season that I absolutely fell in love with. After seeing that collection, as well as finally seeing some pieces in person at Nordstrom Downtown Seattle, I've grown quite fond of what Castiglione has in mind for the Marni man. Her latest collection for Spring did not disappoint. She sent out a stream of wearable clothing in unmistakably Marni length: the shorts were short, the pants were cropped right above the ankle, and the short-sleeved shirts reached down to the elbow. The fabrics were deeply saturated and lightweight, with a slight sheen to some that will bode well in the cloudy summer days of Seattle, like today. It almost felt like this was a cross between Raf Simons for Jil Sander and Band of Outsiders. Which actually turned out to be a very good thing. Now if only I could afford it...
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
Friday, June 22, 2007
Because you haven't had enough of '80s dance music and you miss big, feathery hair.
Because you love James McAvoy but you don't have the heart to watch "Band of Brothers" (or maybe you just never had HBO).
Because British people are lovable but completely insane and Starter for Ten is taking forever to be released in America.
Because you love Louis Garrel's extremely fast French and you know he looks so much better on film than in photographs (like James McAvoy!).
Because Latvian pop makes you incomparably happy.
Wednesday, June 20, 2007
In particular, the location is interesting in how it will reshape shopping in
While surely the buyers have chosen completely unique selections, there aren't many brands names in Seattle that aren't on offer at at least one other store, one that is also likely to be considered more of a Seattle institution than Barneys has been in the past 17 years. Mario's, Butch Blum, and of course Nordstrom have all been here longer and gained very loyal customer bases. Barneys customers include a wide array of decidedly fashion-conscious and experimental shoppers, from the visiting tourist who may not be back very regularly, to the fluttery fashionista who only comes in to buy the things she wants and doesn't feel as much loyalty to any particular store. Barneys may have a stellar shoe selection, but Nordstrom still has more Louboutins and Manolos. Barneys is great, but at this point they’re just another player in the increasingly crowding luxury market. With Neiman Marcus and the Bravern opening in
Just how much will the new Barneys influence downtown shopping? It will certainly help polarize the luxury shopping core to the north and south ends of the shopping district, with luxury department store and jewelry shopping to the north and boutique shopping to the south. It will build some prestige and fight the
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Via Made in Brazil
If you haven't seen Jean-Pierre Jeunet's A Very Long Engagement, you should. I watched it again this weekend and learned a few things about the French language, a few things about World War I, and a few things about how gorgeous Gaspard Ulliel is. These caps are from a deleted scene (merci el_aka...). Netflix it now!
Friday, June 15, 2007
Cross-posted via FabGrind and The Fashion Investor
Thursday, June 14, 2007
- Quais de Seine - written by Paul Mayeda Berges and Gurinder Chadha, directed by Gurinder Chadha - It's the story of a teenage boy who helps a Muslim girl in need, much to the guffaw of his pig-headed friends.
- Le Marais - written and directed by Gus Van Sant - Gorgeous, lovely, incredible Gaspard Ulliel is an artist's assistant, who reveals his heart to a stranger, Elias McConnell, in an incredibly charming monologue.
- Loin du 16ème - written and directed by Walter Salles and Daniela Thomas - Cataline Sandino Moreno is Ana, a mother and housekeeper who sees the parallels between the classes.
- Place des Victoires - written and directed by Nobuhiro Suwa - Juliette Binoche is a mother who deals with the loss of her son in a touching portrait of loss.
- Quartier des Enfants Rouges - written and directed by Olivier Assayas - Maggie Gyllenhaal is an American actor in Paris who feels a connection with her drug dealer.
- Faubourg Saint-Denis - written and directed by Tom Tykwer - Natalie Portman's blind Parisian boyfriend recounts their whirlwind of a relationship in his mind.
- 14ème Arrondissement - written and directed by Alexander Payne - Margo Martindale is a mail deliverer from Denver who recounts her transition to Paris as a woman alone in a foreign land.
Some segments lull, but these seven (and a few others) are charming little slivers of a city that looks as romantic as anything imaginable. Even when romance in Paris goes sour, it has the feel of dreamy wonder, like it was meant to happen in a city as wondrous as the one each director presents. It really made me want to go to Paris, really, really badly. Even the bad looks good, dammit! 8/10
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Monday, June 11, 2007
Waitress (2007) - A delectably wondrous confection, light and airy like a tangy-sweet lemon meringue pie. That's a perfect description for the late Adrienne Shelly's final film, who wrote, directed, and has a supporting role in this warm-spirited comedy about Jenna, a Southern waitress/pie-making genius who's stuck in a terrible marriage to a terribly insecure, controlling man. Jenna comes to life in a revelatory performance from Keri Russell, who makes Jenna shine through all the doldrums of her life with an irresistible charm and a heartbreaking smile. Her husband Earl is played by Jeremy Sisto, who is equally important in making us understand the difficult situation Jenna faces. For as awful and horrid as Earl, he seems like he might genuinely love Jenna on some level. Whether it's driven by insecurity and fear or by pure mental instability isn't known for sure, and this ambiguity is delivered to perfection by Sisto. Jenna's ob-gyn Dr. Pomatter (played by the clean-cut, sweetly handsome Nathan Fillion) is a wonderful, loving, married man, maybe also a little crazy, but purely kind in every way to Jenna. She could leave the man who clings so desperately to her for this man, but who's to say he'd be right to leave his wife? There's a ton of side characters that we all fall for, and while the movie seems to change moods sporadically, music and attitude and all, it's still an effectively delightful time, even if it is rather fluffy overall. 7/10
Sunday, June 10, 2007
No Night Is Too Long (2002) - Lee Williams might be really, really attractive, but this is some of the most amateur bullshit I have ever seen, even by made-for-television movie standards. The script itself wasn't that horrendous, but when you take a mediocre script, add a paltry budget, indifferent directing, and a few painfully awful performances, you get something worth watching only for the eye candy. And even in this case, that only gets it a 4/10.
Photos via BBC
Saturday, June 09, 2007
Grande école (2004) - After watching La Doublure and seeing how absolutely stunning Alice Taglioni looked, I decided to watch some of her other films. I looked at my Netflix queue and realized that Grande école was already in my queue, so I moved it to the top. It was everything I would have suspected it to be: a film that tries to a say a lot about everything. Writer/director Robert Salis attempts to tackle sexual politics, racial and religious inequity, class division as a whole in France, class division within the elite class itself, and even the difference between business and humanities. There was just so much going on that it was difficult to keep it all in order at times, but I was captivated enough to keep watching. Gregori Baquet plays Paul, a student who comes to the top business school from the southwest part of France, a countryman at heart who feels angst at his wealthy parents' choice to keep him away from the blue-collar construction workers they employed. He continues to stand up for the lower-class worker, even as those around him question his choice. He lives in an apartment with nerdy redhead Chouquet and the studly handsome, extremely well-bred, water polo-playing Louis-Arnault (played by Jocelyn Quivrin, who was actually in Syriana). Paul's girlfriend Agnès (Taglioni) notices Paul's increasing fascination with Louis-Arnault and, feeling as though it could end the security within her relationship, decides to make a risky, rather psychotic bet with Paul: whoever can seduce Louis-Arnault first "wins". Bizarre. Very bizarre. At the same time, Paul becomes physically intimate with one of the workers at his school, a Frenchman of Arab descent whom Paul stood up for when he was being chided on the job. The sexual entanglements of all these young, gorgeous French folk is fascinating when their clothes are off, neurotic when their clothes are on, and just a little discomforting to see unfold. The cinematography, which takes into account a strong sense of the scenery's architecture, is often breathtaking, the direction is well-paced and focused, and the characters feel intense, but real, in a way nobody on The WB's wimpy dramas could ever comprehend. Quivrin's entire wardrobe was furnished by Lanvin, which alone makes this film worth watching. I did have a problem with casting Baquet for the role of Paul. He looked almost too old, his hair was distastefully bleached, and he just didn't fit into the vision of gorgeous but misguided country bourgeois that I had in my mind. I think even Gaspard Ulliel would have been a fine choice for the role. But that's just wishful thinking. 8/10
Friday, June 08, 2007
Christopher Kane - Currently the most promising of the crowd, Kane's body-hugging elastic band construction has garnered comparisons to Hervé Léger (whose own vintage creations are popping up on starlets all over Hollywood). For Spring 2007, his look was loud, brash, and party-ready. Think hyperneon pinks and oranges with day-glo yellows and greens, topped off with gigantic Swarovski zipper pulls. His Fall 2007 collection brought about a sense of maturity, evident in the more muted color palette - mostly black, with shots of deep scarlet, amber, and emerald - and mid-thigh hem lengths instead of last season's hyper-micro-mini. Kane's sense of color and detailing has set him apart from the other Gianni Versace-revivalists, so much so that Donatella herself has hired Kane as a part-time consultant. Ikram in Chicago, which bought his entire first collection on exclusive for America, promptly sold out in just a few days. When wider distribution comes about, expect the same massive hysteria from coast to coast.
Marios Schwab - For this 28 year-old designer, flashbacks to the late 1980s and early 1990s aren't about crazy coke-fueled partying - he was still just a young chap back then. Fair enough, but can someone so young bring back an era that many are desperate to forget? Well, Schwab is trying, with mostly promising results. His Fall 2007 collection wasn't his strongest, with Schwab evidently trying to capture the 1980s by mixing Azzedine Alaïa body-hugging silhouettes with an unfortunate Laura Ashley-esque floral print. What worked best were his breezy frocks in a black paisley scarf-print silk chiffon, as well as his wide selection of very sellable sportswear and cocktail dresses in solid black and ecru. While his identity may be based on an Alaïa-revival philosophy, he certainly needs to develop this more commercial range before he can make it in the big leagues of Paris.
Giles Deacon - The oldest of the crowd, Deacon has garnered a lot of attention for his recent S&M/punk-inspired collaboration with Mulberry, purveyor of fine, conservative leather goods. Often featured in Harper's Bazaar, his work takes on exotic, directional visions of something very beautiful in nature. Within every collection, he falls somewhere between timelessly elegant and youthfully irreverent. For Fall 2007, he focused on the most dramatic aspects of creatures that humans tend to overlook. He incorporated the textures and patterns of both bird plumage and sea-creature skins, bold and rich and oh-so-beautiful. With his recent collaboration with British chain New Look and his new position as head designer for the more-upscale British company Daks, Deacon has secured quite a bit of financial success for his future.
Gareth Pugh - Initially criticized for making clothing that was more about theatrics than, well, clothing, Gareth Pugh is still fairly resistant to producing a runway show filled with anything that will hit the sales floor. While his theatrics have earned him comparisons to last decade's big YBD, Alexander McQueen, it still remains to be seen whether Pugh follow in McQueen's footsteps and tone things down to a wearable dimension. There's no doubt that he can make a killer coat - see here - but more often than not his work is drowned in a sea of almost Surrealist insanity. With his various editorial features in W over the past several months, it's hard to deny that he must be doing something right.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
2) Eve wears a fantastic Christopher Kane creation near the end of her equally fantastic new video for "Tambourine"
3) "Shameless" is a pretty darn addictive British television series centered around the struggles of the Gallagher siblings, who have a missing mother and an absent drunk of a father. Good stuff. Look for James McAvoy's recurring role in season one. Hehe.
4) Roland Garros! Watch it! Serbians are taking over on both the men's and women's draws, with Jelena Jankovic, Ana Ivanovic, and Novak Djokovic all in the semis. Djokovic cleans up very nicely, played an exceptionally efficient match against Igor Andreev in the quarters, and was a good enough sport to go crazy (and take his shirt off) singing "I Will Survive" in the laundry/karaoke room at the stadium. Good man! Roger Federer may be the epitome of class, good style, incomparable tennis skills, and all that good stuff, but I just want to give Djokovic a big ole' hug when he tries to speak English.
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
Sunday, June 03, 2007
Available online at barneys.com and shopjake.com.
Named after Jean-Luc Godard’s 1964 classic French Nouvelle Vague film, Band of Outsiders has been seen everywhere lately, from James Franco on the red carpet to Justin Long in the “Get a Mac” ads. Smart shirts and slick skinny ties give off a less severe version of the Dior Homme look, all at a more affordable price. From $170 to $300 for shirts, about $125 to $145 for ties, all prices approximate.
A.P.C. (which stands for Ateliers de production et de Creation) has quietly gained a cult following among guys who love clean looks, free of labels and infused with just the right amount of French preppy cool. Their well-made, straight-leg dark denim has been extremely popular, often seen in GQ and Details, and their entire summer line is selling out online. Jeans from $140, t-shirts from $50, collection from about $125 to $450, all prices approximate.
While Mr. Lang himself parted ways with the label that bears his name in 2005, the brand has recently relaunched under the helm of Michael and Nicole Colovos, the duo behind denim label Habitual. They’ve recreated Lang’s downtown cool, sleek and monochromatic aesthetic, now within the bridge price range (a step above contemporary, a step below designer). Expect modern, texturally intriguing fabrics and cuts, including filmy, bias-cut tees, gauzy, twisted seam sweaters, and well-made city parkas. Collection from $105 to $680, all prices approximate.
Recently acquired by Japanese investors, Theory has long been synonymous with subtle, understated cool. They made their name on their precision-cut trousers in modern fabrics, such as cotton-polyamide-lycra weaves. They’ve expanded their collection to include a variety of shirts, sweaters, and jackets appropriate for any occasion both uptown and downtown, on a business trip or in
New location in
The French Open is in full-swing! Maria Sharapova fought hard to beat Switzerland's Patty Schnyder in three sets: 3-6, 6-4, 9-7. Schnyder had two match points, but Sharapova miraculously kept on slamming forward. Yikes! Serena Williams, the last American in the draw, whooped past Marat Safin's sister Dinara Safina in straight sets: 6-2, 6-3. On the men's side, Roger Federer, much adored by America's magazine editors, swept past Mikhail Youzhny in straight sets. He now faces (the very handsome) Tommy Robredo, who beat (also very handsome) Filippo Volandri in three sets. Very oddly, Robredo and Volandri wore identical outfits on the court: the same headband, shirt, shorts, and shoes. Both were even wearing watches. If not for Robredo's floppy hair, there would be no way to tell them apart. Ah! The wonders of Roland Garros!