Sunday, November 2, 2008

Great style of Terence Hill

When they hear his name, most imagine Italian comedy movies, with endless fights with at least 30 bad guys, in which he stared along with his long time co-actor Bud Spencer. There are plenty of great things about those movies. One that is probably widely overlooked is the great style of Terence Hill (Mario Girotti) in almost all the films.
I am sure that it is at least on equal terms merit of the actor himself and the film crew. No other character in those movies is even close in terms of how interesting and stylish there clothing is. Maybe he was supposed to be the "stylish, cool looking" character. But, bad guys are also often supposed to look stylish and cool so that they are more of a challenge for the good guys. And there is not one movie where anyone would be even close to Terence Hill in terms of stylish clothing.
Indeed it is rarely seen in any movie, that a main character would have such a fabulous unique and sophisticated style.
I am posting some pictures (not the best quality, will improve when I get my hands on better) to prove my point:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

80's are not "comming back" get over it!

Urban myths can sometimes be compared to a malicious disease. They spread quickly, harm everyone in their way and take time to get over. One of the most sinister attitudes swirling in the minds of many people regardless of education, job or sex, is that fashion and means of clothing in general constitute mostly of several recurring trends. Some even believe it’s only two (70’s and 80’s). I cannot even tell you how many times I had to listen to the sentence: “Why bother buying new clothes to look stylish when you can simply use your old ones”. Or worse: “Don’t buy that, I have something in the closet that might fit you”. Nothing against vintage!! But the twisted thinking continues: “Fashion is just an artificial concept created by greedy corporations to make people spend always more money more frequently”. In the line of this thinking North Koreans are the most reasonable people on Earth when they sport blue boiler suits for many decades, because… why bother, right?

The fundamental flaw of this thinking can be demonstrated without much difficulty in many ways. But it seems to me that the basic mistake that leads many to be deceived is to mistake certain trend characteristics for fashion itself. I understand, that maybe if contemplation and thinking about fashion, or beauty, style or life itself indeed, is refused and resigned upon, it is possible to come to a delusional conclusion that all there is to fashion is a set of tick boxes that are being checked and unchecked periodically by fashion business’ inner circle of greedy corporate fatheads. I know that those reading this blog do not share this view. However, it may be of purpose to write couple thoughts on this topic.

Among the most prominent “tick boxes” often mentioned is the height of the waistline, the way pants are cut, their length and others. These “categories” are indeed periodically changing their characteristics and are often recurring in the span of one or two decades. This however, is completely irrelevant when observing fashion. There is a grand total of three main possibilities for a waistline: low, high and very high for ladies. That’s it!! Could there not be a reoccurrence? Ever since antiquity the waistline has been rotating in between very low and very high positions. The following model from the Gallo-Roman period in France clearly accents higher positioned waist. Yet it does not have anything in common with fashion in the 80’s. The same applies to this fabulous dress by Valentino which comes from the 2008 S/S RTW collection.

Fashion is about the overall message. It is not about complying with certain sets of rules. You can break all those and still be very contemporary and stylish. It is about invention and creativity, which can but doesn’t need to follow trends. But even those trends are much more than sets of rules. It is the overall feeling and picture that is “in style”, not this or that particular item. This summer is all about subtle femininity, about rich elegance, about the celebration of feminine beauty as the highest esthetic quality. This summer is crazy about untamable poetry, almost chaotic colorful and cheerful state of mind. This is so much in contrast with the rough primal sexuality and blind amazement with artificial regular and geometric appearance of the 80’s.

P.S.: This reasoning is by no means finished. Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The tale of Robinson Crusoe

For many, the story of Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe is just a reading for children. To me it was such as well until recently. About a month ago I got my hands on the original version which was neither edited nor digested or rewritten. It surprised me to a considerable extend. And I wish to share part of it with you in this "off topic" article.

The book doesn't loose its narrative attractiveness nor does it lack the beautiful naivety, so emblematic for such tales, in some parts. However, Daniel Defoe wrote it in a way that the story not only catches your imagination, but also your heart. And this is what many of the newer editions of Robinson's story lack. I dare to rewrite one of my favorite passages and because this is predominantly a visual blog I also attach a picture:

"Wretch! dost thou ask what thou hast done? Look back upon a dreadful misspent life, and ask thyself what thou hast not done? Ask, why is it that thou wert not long ago destroyed? Why wert thou not drowned in Yarmouth Roads; killed in the fight when the ship was taken by the Salle man-of-war; devoured by the wild beasts on the coast of Africa; or drowned here, when all the crew perished but thyself? Dost thou ask, What have I done?"
The conscience of R.C.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

DG S/S 2008 ready to wear

As there are more and more warm days, and we tend to realize that that sweater we befriended so much since Christmas is really a little too much even if it “might” get colder in the evening, it would be nice to look at what some of the top designers prepared for this year's S/S time. The following article is my first fashion related so I beg for a bit more tolerance as to the stylistics and perhaps a certain amount of amateur naivety.

Dolce & Gabbana Spring/Summer 2008 Fashion Show

The artistic duo of Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana proved once again their incredible talent and design mastery, as well as the ability to understand and combine the spirit of current trends with their own ideas and creativity. This makes their models unique and very desirable at the same time. Their collection cannot be said to follow trends in fashion, neither can be said that it is ignoring them. Rather they manage to work with current styles and use them as inspiration while shaping the development of fashion for the future themselves. The presented collection is a perfect evidence of this. They managed to incorporate certain currently returning aspects while avoiding simply replicating their fabulous work from previous years. Quite on the opposite, they refrained from those elements which they thought obsolete, so we didn’t see any shoulder patches, plastics or computer generated rainbow patterns. The collection does move with the recent trend of rather concealing models, but it does not slip into unattractiveness. At the same time Dolce & Gabbana let their full potential and creativity loose and created some distinctive features that make their collection outstanding and fabulous, while giving a great challenge to competitors. By implementing the potential of the changing fashion trends but handling it in an amazingly tasteful and at the same time glamorous manner they throw a very difficult glove to pick up.

Ancient elegance and pure femininity with a cherry on top.

After last year’s synthetic and somewhat murky collection (not that it wasn’t good if you are into those things) this summer seemed like a breath of fresh air. It was filled with optimism and brightness. The change was visible across the set. White was dominating the beginning of the show and what can lift up the mood better than a Steve McQueen t-shirt with rolled up sleeves.

The main theme of the show was rather subtle and mysterious sensuality and seductiveness. That however does not mean it gave a subtle impression. The central part of the collection is showing the Venetian riches and opulence without any shame. Beautifully painted tapestry-like fabrics often featured warm colors and botanical patterns and many models presented paintings that may have been alone considered pieces of art. If someone was wondering whether the split between Stefano and Domenico might affect their creativity and innovation they were proven wrong on the 27th September.

The whole catwalk show was a very pleasant and exciting experience. The collection made a point in that there is really no need to shock the audience at any cost when trying to amaze. Everyone is already expecting several almost-no-clothes models on every catwalk, so it was indeed a little shocking to see that many models revealed little more than shoulders. But the great genius of the designer duo can be demonstrated on the fact that there was still an astonishing doze of sensuality in the models and it was a much more sophisticated kind, than when you randomly rip out couple stripes in a blouse and make sure that the model has no underwear.

The general impression and feeling left after seeing the whole collection was of a woman of your dreams rather than a super-hot one night score. Indeed the grand finale of the show presented enormous ball gowns which emphasized the etheric nature of a female body. Through a rich fray of black netted fabric models’ legs appeared as if just emerging form a late evening mist. Perfectly cut and fitted tops allowed models faces to shine like the brightest stars on the magical night sky created by the gowns. The coloring of fabrics indeed created almost mystical images. Some models appeared as if being just borne out of a blossoming flower while others gave the impression of being conceived by fire of a Chinese dragon. When walking, models seemed rather as if floating on a river passing through greatly diverse places beginning in an autumn Japanese garden going through an early spring Swiss mountain meadow and finally culminating in Rio de Janeiro on a carnival night.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Don't try to imitate

Many people admire and look up to the Italian sense of style and taste. They learn how to make Italian dishes and they buy Italian branded clothing. What they do not realize is that to be Italian you need more than just these obvious attributes. Italians live their style. They do not do it consciously. Even if there are much more pressing affairs to be worried about they keep their style because it is completely natural to them. They wouldn't even thing about being different. I found this picture which completely struck me.It captures a group of resistance (Resistenza) fighters during WWII shooting in the streets of Milan or other Italian city. The reason why I was so amazed was that even in such an extraordinary and fatalistic situation those men have great style. Look at the picture carefully. It is not only that most of the pants and jackets there are probably made to measure, but most unbelievable is how natural and effortless they look even in such a situation.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Merchant with dreams

The answer to the age old question of what it is that women really wish for, might be more elegant than some might imagine. Why devising complicated theories, which in the end might only hold true for very few of them, when the truth might be so near that a child could understand it? There is something which a little girl dressed like a princess and a woman that just spent two moth’s salary on a fabulous dress have in common. They want to live their dreams!

It can be about being a princess with a pink dress, small crown and a pony or about walking the red carpet and being the center of world’s attention. A girl, mademoiselle or lady always dreams. Dressing up in harmony with those dreams might only be the first step of living them, but often this first step is all it takes to feel like a princess, movie star, an icon like Jacqueline Kennedy or perhaps just a pretty girl on a beach with a big hat and everyone’s curiosity. And this sensation, this breeze that feels like living one’s dream is what can entirely make your day.

To create clothes that would let the wearer feel her dreams coming true cannot be an easy task. But if set as the foremost ambition, wonderful garments could be fashioned. In past years, John Galliano did just that. Judging from his own costumes he wears at all his shows he is a very poetic dreamer himself. And he made his concept very clear: “Reality is SO overrated”. Many of those who watched his catwalk shows both at Christian Dior and John Galliano admitted of being kept dreaming for most of the time, whether about wearing the clothes themselves or about seeing them everywhere around.

But this is not only about dreams. His fantasy is completely let loose as well. That not only enhances the visions he creates, but also heavily imprints them to represent his very personal and authentic style and sense of fashion. So often you can tell that a dress is made by Galliano without looking at the label. Especially in John Galliano collections, one can have a hard time looking for a contemporary trend. It only manifests very subtly as otherwise it would be too much of a constraint for imagination.

The imagination of everyone around is provoked at all times during his shows. It is as if he tried to put as much of his inspirations on stage together with the models. Overwhelmingly during John Galliano presentations, the catwalk transforms to be a theatre stage with individual pieces of clothing presented in their very own picture frames. The images are perfected by acting models and many visual effects. As an impressionist, John not only shows the dress but also the way it makes people feel.

Often one has to look diligently for a while before finding the garment that is actually part of the collection. And suddenly you are exactly where John wants you to be: Soaking the entire character of the collection instead of just individual pieces, imagining what it would feel like to wear them.

P.S.: This article was sent to for consideration. Perhaps I was thinking way over my head. I received no response. Therefore all comments as to the content and style will be highly appreciated as I thrive for discussion.

P.P.S.: All models are form John Galliano S/S 2008 collection. They are published purely for illustrative purposes and I do not claim their authorship. Should any copyright claim be made I will remove them immediately.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Curious what to wear this S/S?

I have been contemplating now for some time what my stile for this S/S season will be. I am feeling about something out of ordinary. And not just because I would necessarily need attract attention wherever I walk. But there have been many rather exciting and unexpected developments in my life in the past year and I just feel I want to reflect on that a little. First inspiration came when I was watching this year's DG show. My two favorite looks are these:

These already gave me the idea. Than I was reading The Sartorialist and this image struck my attention. The look is just perfect. So you might be seeing me with bulky foulards. Cannot wait to get my hands on one.