24 December 2010

Look of the Weekend #11 - Christmas Special Edition.

FASHILOSOPHY's suggestion about style and weekender outfit!

Click image to enlarge

Just look around to realize that Christmas is a very kitsch celebration, then why not take this feature to turn it into a form of amusement of our clothing?
A touch of red is the right note of enthusiasm to celebrate at the best the eve night.
Dress ourselves as the Santa Claus-ettes (Santa Claus + Voguettes) and let's enjoy the holidays.

Fashilosophy's Christmas Greetings!

© Copyright Marzio Martel, All Rights Reserved.

23 December 2010

Fashion on Film: The Black Swan.

Beyond any form of beauty or fashion, the single most powerful element above all is that of reality, our actual living circumstance. far greater than the world of high end editorial, outside of the pages of vogue; i believe that we all have a greater purpose. we’re all waiting to breakthrough & become our accomplished selves- but what happens beyond that point of breakthrough? does the cycle redirect itself or does it end completely? is it possible to have a series of breakthroughs in one lifetime or are we each granted one true defining moment? who are you now & how does that give way to what you are destined to become? is the world around us blocking us from our destiny or are we standing in the way of ourselves? are these questions we sit & ask ourselves questions that live in the realm of the unknown? black swan, starring natalie portman & directed by darren aronofsky, is a visual journey & exploration of these questions. the film itself hosts an impressive set of acting talent & after watching, i was completely stunned, breathless & intensely inspired. a long time fan of natalie portman since her role in 1994′s léon: the professional, i’ve admired her ability to chose roles of depth & sophistication, especially considering that her film debut happened at the tender age of 12 years old. with costume designs by the mulleavy sisters, who are more widely referred to, in design, as rodarte; my initial fashion interest combined with my love for portman allowed my usual level of excitement for any film to increase. the mystique of the story line, the headlines from new york magazine about stunning designs inspired by swan ballerinas, the dark undertones of the plot through previews- it was all very chic & incredibly intriguing. in the days leading up to the release of the film, i had seen the film referred to as a ‘psychosexual thriller’ & tried to challenge my own perception to understand this contrast of two wildly aggressive & thoughtful genres. the film began with an intimate portrayal & close intersection of ballerinas & the sub-culture of ballet. the bending & contorting of human limbs with elegance & refined movement was combined with scenes of rigorous training, intense discipline, emotional destruction & impossible standards that are often applied to these performers, who are more like athletes than anything else.

the capitalization on the unattainable & impossibility of achieving perfection were focused on both poetically & profoundly throughout the film. i drew great personal attachment to the story, in identifying it’s symbolism & applying elements to my own life. a battle of inner strength versus fragility & hesitation made up most of the plot. resulting, ultimately, in a war of portman against herself; pitting light against dark, modesty against seduction, reality against sanity, control versus letting go & of course, good versus evil. psychologically, the script allowed the audiences’ mind to become shifted from reality over the course of the entire film. stylistically, we became caught up in the sheer simplicity & effortless grace of ballet minimalism. cleanly swept buns & meticulous up-dos were seen throughout as almost an embodiment of the ballerina sub-culture. from simple shrugs to portman’s white gown at her introductory gala event- the costumes were a key element in personifying the transformative elements of the film. with a large focus around the ballet classic, swan lake, the plot aligned with many swan related stories, writings & philosophies quite impressively. in the story of swan lake, we are familiarized with deception, manipulation & seduction by way of white swan versus black swan; which more directly is associated with portman’s character of nina sayers, as the swan queen. outside of the swan lake references, i found relativity to the ugly duckling; which is a widely known childhood story of transformation in itself- something small & unwanted going through a process of self actualization, only to blossom into a beautiful creature who, at the finale, spreads his wings proudly for all to admire. furthermore, i found the films most provocative elements were those found directly aligned to the black swan theory of nassim nicholas taleb.

scientifically, the black swan theory is identified as, ‘the disproportionate role of high-impact, hard to predict, and rare events that are beyond the realm of normal expectations in history, science, finance and technology. the non-computability of the probability of the consequential rare events using scientific methods & the psychological biases that make people individually and collectively blind to uncertainty and unaware of the massive role of the rare event in historical affairs.’ which, in simple terms means, undirected, unplanned events that affect our world more greatly than realized. while the film explores the idea & concept of the swan lake within swan lake, i am further compelled to raise the popular question; does art imitate life or does life imitate art? while the black swan theory is certainly not an art form, as much as it is a scientific theory, more specifically the theory is identified as an event of surprise, to the observer, that has major impact; which through rationalization could have been expected. three forms of criteria are seen: surprise incidents, impact & rationalization leading to explanation. in becoming familiar with taleb’s theory; it is profound to connect this scientific notion through it’s the performance of natalie portman in her black swan role as nina sayers. whether an intention of director darren aronofsky is as yet, unknown.

on a greater level of personalization, i found myself well acquainted with the concept of white swan versus black swan. before any form of branding, writing, image or song- i am an artist. the battle of your inner self & your destiny is one that may never end. at the climax of the film, portman appears in performance as the the swan queen, visually representing a transformative figure intended to be the black swan. in this performance, portman breaks through in dance & also visually, as digital effects allow her to take on a rapid paced suiting of a black swan with elegant wings that are applauded by a roaring ballet audience. i felt as though the black swan represents the fighting spirit, almost your destiny fighting to break free. we all struggle with the good versus bad, internally, whether mentally or emotionally or creativity versus destruction. this battle is very real as i have had the same battles with myself for years. the need to breakthrough, to break free & become what you know you’re capable of & to be recognized for it- that story, that script, that character & that symbolism has been my life.

whether a childhood fable, a golden globe nominee for best film or a ballet about swans in a lake; the reality of the film versus it’s impact of highly improbable & unplanned events is intellectually mind blowing. as the film ended with a white screen, revealing directing credit & traces of black feathers; the entire audience in the theatre sat in silence while remaining seated. the film, as a whole, was psychologically gripping & visually enchanting; as a film & representation of art, fashion, culture & creative expression- every person needs to see this film. upon entering 2011, my white swan has had it’s moment to shine throughout this year & the black swan is now clawing murderously, rupturing psychology to break free to a greater realm of artistry

(via Jeremy danté)

19 December 2010

Le Calendrier 2011. Vogue Paris.

Daria Werbowy photographed by Mikael Jansson for Vogue Paris' calendar 2011.

Carine Roitfeld says au revoir to Vogue.

Carine Roitfeld has announced her decision to leave over the leadership as Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris, the non plus ultra of historical fashion magazines. It seems that she has justified her own decision by saying that after ten years of incessant work she wants to try something else.
Some rumors says that the choice of Roitfeld is not a voluntary entirely but it was the result of the choice of someone to the direction of
Condé Nast.
We do not know what is real and what is not, but good to take the declarations of the Editor.

Mickey Boardman says to Albert de Castro (
Maison Chaplin) by Twitter a great truth: "No other major editor of a fashion mag is also stylist. Fench Vogue under Carine Roitfeld has been very unique and amazing." Yes! That's it!

Good luck Carine! We ♥ you!

17 December 2010

Look of the Weekend #10

FASHILOSOPHY's suggestion about style and weekender outfit!

Click image to enlarge
For this weekend: a touch of pink! 'Cause pink is ever a sure choice!

12 December 2010

Cecil Beaton, a myth of photography tolds by a scrapbook!

As one of the 20th century’s most important photographers, Cecil Beaton helped invent the cult of the celebrity image while pushing the boundaries of his art form with innovative techniques and staging. In the course of his decades-long career as a photographer for Vogue and Vanity Fair, as well as a British war correspondent, Cecil Beaton documented lives both famous and quotidian in dozens of scrapbooks now held by Sotheby’s London.

In these pages, reproduced here for the very first time, the inner vision of the man behind the camera takes center stage. Composed of his own prints and clippings from magazines, newspapers, and playbills, the pages are an instructive record of his creative process.
His famous eye alighted on society figures, royals, dancers, actors, statesmen, and natives in ceremonial garb, picking out visual rhymes and witty juxtapositions. To flip through the pages is to enter a fabulous and surreal party where Tallulah Bankhead rubs shoulders with a bust of Voltaire and a portrait of Stravinsky; where Beaton’s first trip on the Queen Mary coincides with Queen Elizabeth’s coronation. Beaton’s scrapbooks allowed the artist to play with pictures he had taken (and perhaps those he wished he had) in the dreamspace of artifice that was always his favorite setting.

Remembering of the myth of photography through the pages of his work, enriched by the passion and devotion with which this great artist has given us a personal glimpse of his contemporary society.

Cecil Beaton, come uno dei fotografi più importanti del 20 ° secolo, ha contribuito ad inventare il culto dell'immagine-celebrità spingendo la fotografia ai confini della sua stessa arte con tecniche innovative e sperimentali. Nel corso della sua pluridecennale carriera come fotografo per le grandi riviste patinate come Vogue e Vanity Fair, così come corrispondente di guerra inglese, questo straordinario fotografo e "documentarista sociale" ha ritratto la vita quotidiana attraverso celebri scatti e in decine di albums di ritagli ora in possesso di Sotheby's, Londra.

In queste pagine, condivise per la prima volta, si mette in mostra la visione interiore di un uomo che dietro la macchina cattura il centro della scena.
Composto da stampe e ritagli di riviste, giornali, locandine, queste pagine sono un record istruttivo del suo processo creativo. Il suo occhio si è posato su importanti personaggi della celebrità, sui reali, sui danzatori, sugli attori, nativi in abiti da cerimonia, estrapolandone rime visive e giustapposizioni di spirito.
Sfogliando le pagine de "The Art of the Scrapbook" si ha modo di entrare in un party favoloso e surreale dove Tallulah Bankhead fa spalla a spalla con un busto di Voltaire e un ritratto di Stravinskij, dove il primo viaggio di Beaton sulla Queen Mary coincide con l'incoronazione della regina Elisabetta. I suoi albums di appunti e ritagli hanno permesso all'artista di giocare con le foto che ha scelto in un costante dreamspace artificiale che è stato sempre la sua impostazione preferita.

Ricordiamoci di un mito della fotografia, attraverso le pagine della sua opera, arricchite dalla passione e dalla devozione con cui questo fantastico artista ci ha regalato uno spaccato personale della società a lui contemporanea.

03 December 2010

Look of the Weekend #9

FASHILOSOPHY's suggestion about style and weekender outfit!

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For the latest weekend we have proposed an outfit all played on vintage style passion, which even though is successful, it's separate to the real must-have of the moment (to which we have already devoted an entire post): the nude. The nude effect is simply amazing, very elegant but not for everyone! People who decided to wear it should have a natural inclination to the delicacy and refinement to be able to wear without looking ridiculous, and it takes a certain passion to learn to appreciate its stylish-possibilities. However to fashilosophers like us don't care who will wear it or not, what we mean is that the nude effect we really like and then we're proposing for this weekender outfit.
Last but not least this mix is inspired by a friend, Valeria, that she got style and a big attention to the refinements, not to mention that she will a Voguette, surely. We know she will love our choice (especially those fabulous
YSL's shoes).

02 December 2010

Glen Luchford A/W 2010. Not another fashion film!

Glen Luchford and Tabitha Simmons experiment with seductive slow motion in their hypnotic new fashion film.

“I wanted it to be about a girl that starts off conventional and then travels around the world in 80 days, adding to her outfit.”

Embroidered jacket by Dries Van Noten; Cropped jacket from NY Vintage; Lace Blouse and belted Fair Isle waistcoat by Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci; Chiffon harem trousers by Roberto Cavalli; Feather bracelet by Tem; Ankle boots by Tabitha Simmons.

Deep Down Diane Arbus and Ellen Von Unwerth: Photography and feminism!

One Shot #4

"I do not like to arrange things. I arrange myself!"

Everytime I look at the 1968 picture, A family on their lawn on a Sunday in Westchester, I can't help but thinking about Diary of a Mad Housewife (1968), by Sue Kaufman. Contemporary to Diane Arbus, Sue was a writer, one of the most important and revolutionary artists at the time. The way she looked at women, the way the protagonist, Tina, gets real and living in her hands, well, it's far from being common.
Do we really know what happened when women usurped traditional male roles in society? Tales were published in newspapers during the 50's and the 60's, functioning as warnings of what could happen if wife and husband did not perform their duties correctly. Do you want some more?
In 1956 Life magazine told the story of a woman who got dominant and active within the household: this fact drove her husband to drink. She was left to support the whole family, a very "undesirable and unnatural" role. Women like Tina and Diane were considered dangerous because "the independent, active woman is believed to give birth to perverted, homosexuals boys, the so-called "sissies".
The same sissies, transvestites, dwarfs, freaks, out-of-the box subjects Diane was longing to take pictures of. She wanted to focus her attention on how bodily decoration like make-up, jewels, dresses were used by the men to create the socially-culturally-determined image a woman was entitled to look like.
When Diane finally found her subject, she already got bored of fashion photography. Nothing really excites her, nothing impresses her like freaks. Let's go deep down and dirty into freakness, let's climb the way back to beauty. The sexual tension between photographer and model. Yes, this is it. Consider who the photographer is, and who's the model. Freaks. Watch them in Tod Browning's movie Freaks.
I think Arbus is still the one, but there's one girl more nowadays. Ellen Von Unwerth is the only living female photographer who's giving shape to a new kind of woman.
She started after being a model herself, she doesn't look for freaks, she's really sexual in her strength and imagery: so, what do Diane and Ellen have in common? Apparently nothing.
Take a look at this.

Ellen does not hit us with a subversive or violent impression, yet she's looking for a strong sense of surprise and unexpected sense of grotesque.
Genius is a form of beauty, beauty is a form of genius, being surprised or moved by a picture is the key to a new approach on creativity. Our age is way more used to getting shocks and stabs at one's eyes, yet Ellen caused me shivers down my spine more than once.
Get outside of the box.
"A photograph is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know."

Spread the word!

Ellen Von Unwerth

Diane Arbus' freaks (1966-1967)

"Non mi piace fare ordine. Riordino me stessa!"

Quando davanti a me ho A family on their lawn on a Sunday in Westchester (1968), non riesco a non pensare a Diario di una casalinga disperata (1968), di Sue Kaufman. Contemporanea di Diane, Sue fu una delle più importanti e rivoluzionarie scrittrici dell'epoca. Il suo sguardo verso le donne, il modo in cui Tina, la protagonista, prende forma e vita nelle sue mani, beh, è lontano da qualsiasi stereotipo.
Ma sappiamo realmente cosa accadeva quando una donna usurpava i costumi maschili negli anni '50 e '60?
I giornali raccontavano favole moraleggianti, sedicenti cronache di ciò che accade quando l'uomo e la donna non rispettano i propri ruoli in famiglia. Non vi basta?
Life nel 1956 metteva in inserto la storia vera di una donna che aveva "indossato i pantaloni" in casa propria, portando così il povero marito all'alcolismo. Lei rimase quindi l'unica a mantenere la famiglia, un compito "che nessuna donna vorrebbe avere, perché innaturale." Donne come Diane e Tina erano pericolose. Uscire dal ruolo della casalinga perfetta imprimeva maledizioni sulla progenie, si diceva infatti che la donna-uomo avrebbe avuto figli pervertiti, omosessuali, chiamati "sissy".
Gli stessi sissies, travestiti, nani, freaks, outsider che Diane doveva fotografare. Era incuriosita da come questi soggetti indossassero make up e abiti femminili ricreando la perfetta immagine dell'aspetto che la società imponeva a una donna di avere.
Quando infine Diane trovò il suo soggetto, era stufa da tempo della fashion-photography. Nessuna ossessione come loro, nulla la spingeva al limite come i suoi freaks. Si lanciava in profondità nei loro abissi, per scalare al ritorno verso la bellezza e il loro segreto. Guardateli, in Freaks di Tod browning. Diane cercava una connessione con loro, la trovò. La tensione sessuale tra fotografo e modello. Certo, c'era. Consideriamo chi è il fotografo. Diane Arbus. E il modello, i freak.
Ritengo sia ancora la prima e l'unica, ma un'altra donna scava in profondità, di questi tempi. Ellen Von Unwerth sta dando una nuova forma alla donna del XXI secolo.
Ellen ha iniziato come modella, non cerca i freak, è profondamente sexy e allusiva nel suo immaginario. Cos'hanno in comune quindi lei e Diane? Nulla...apparentemente.

Ellen non ci colpisce con violenza sovversiva, ma cerca la sorpresa, l'inaspettato, il grottesco. Ad ogni costo.
La bellezza è una forma di genio e viceversa, farci sorprendere o sconvolgere da una fotografia è certamente un modo sano per risvegliare la creatività. Certo, la nostra epoca è decisamente più abituata a ricevere shock allo sguardo, ma Ellen è riuscita a farmi arrossire e pensare più di una volta.
Usciamo dal recinto.
"Una fotografia è il segreto di un segreto. Più ti comunica, meno sai."

Ditelo in giro!

Tommaso Pollo's "One Shot" for Fashilosophy!

01 December 2010

Style Icon of the month #5

Style Icon of this month: Róisín Murphy.
singer/songwriter/record producer.

Róisín Marie Murphy, 39 years old, is a native of Ireland, but british singer's adoption. She shot to fame as lead singer of artistic duo "
Moloko", which now has emerged as an alternative and experimental music scene. Parallel to her career with Moloko, Róisín carries out her plans working as independent producer and author, but will be meeting with Matthew Herbert to make her an international electropop star.
After the release of three limited edition EP in 2004, following the year after the release of Ruby Blue with the record label
Echo Records.
This album, the first solo, one that will bring his musical talent to the international success as an artist, along with a brilliant study of his image that will come in the firmament of fashion icons. Not many people know that before of the phenomenon Lady Gaga (which is a constant mention of iconic characters in the history of music), Róisín has pioneered an unconventional and eccentric concept of her image and her look, imaginatively making many references borrowed from the world of art, fashion, photography, design and cinematography (in fact she was the muse of Simon Henwood).
What is today may be attributed to Gaga, actually, this is reflected in the artistic career of Murphy that not long time ago she was an futuristic attitude towards the combination of fashion and music.

In 2009 Róisín has updated her role from front-row fixture to catwalk queen when she walks the runway as the guest-of-honor at French designer
Alexandre Vauthier's debut couture show. Vauthier represents the outlier of cutting-edge designs synonymous with Róisín's style legacy. In videos, on stage, and even on London's high street, the singer is a fearless, skilled interpreter of the complicated fashions most only experience through editorials. For example, the "You Know Me Better" musicvideo was inspired by Cindy Sherman 's Centerfolds; in turn, Róisín uses cosmetic and sartorial artifice to manipulate her identity. And like Sherman's characters, Róisín's extreme wardrobe runs the gamut from arch couture to campy nostalgia-whether she's tempering her Maison Margiela statement pieces with Topshop or vintage André Courrèges.

Although Murphy has decided to retire from scene to devote herself fully to her family (by giving us some performances from time to time), Fashilosophy decided to dedicate a post as Style Icon because she will be always a music legend and a constant inspiration for designers, as
Victor & Rolf, for example, that made her the face of their griffe.