Showing posts from 2012

Pre-Raphaelites, Victorian Avant-Garde

I'm in London and recently went to see the extensive Pre-Raphaelite exhibition at Tate Britain, entitled Pre-Raphaelites, Victorian Avant-Garde. I’ve been a huge fan of this school since I was a teenager so it was a thrilling experience. 

I saw my favorite John Everett Millais painting, “Ophelia” “in person” for the first time and felt quite overwhelmed by the attention to detail, the vibrant quality of the color and the emotional connection it engenders.

Ophelia, driven out of her mind when her father is murdered by her lover Hamlet, drowns herself in a stream, is such a terribly tragic Shakespearean figure. However, I couldn't help but think about Millais' poor model, Lizzie Siddal, lying in a bath filled with water for so many hours that she caught a bad cold.

The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood was formed in London in 1948 as a way to express the artists’ dissatisfaction with the drawing style being advocated by the Royal Academy Schools.

For them, it was too mechanical. …

Modestly Active - Arab Women in Sport

At the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, as many as 26 countries refrained from sending female athletes. However, by Beijing 2008 that list had shrunk to just three nations; Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Brunei. Four years down the line, London 2012 is set to be the first Olympics in history whereby every participating nation will have at least one female representative. 
And with the inclusion of women’s boxing, it will also be the first Olympics to involve female athletes in every sport. Saudi Arabia, who had opened the doors for women participants last month, were the last one to complete the numbers when they named two female athletes on July 9. 
Middle distance runner, Sarah Attar, 17 and Judoka, Wodjan Ali Seraj Abdulrahman Shahrkhani, 27, are Saudi’s historic first-ever female Olympic selections. Attar, born in California of mixed Saudi and American parentage, is the youngest Arab athlete competing at the Olympics.
From renowned photographer, Brigitte Lacombe, an exhibition and book celebrati…

A Second Senior Moment

American Apparel is well known for their controversial marketing tactics and they've succeeded once again but I for one applaud their innovative photographs of a leggy, grey haired 60 year old, Jacky. 

Thanks Fashionista for a great interview with Jacky. Click here for the original Trend ISpy posting A Senior Moment 

Face Value

As you all know by now, I'm fascinated by any sort of head or face covering. At his season's Couture they were ubiquitous. Whether they alluded to the Middle East both present and past, The Arabian Nights! or the Western mid-century modern ('30s, '40s, '50s) ideals of femininity and beauty, the result was the same, the exotic allure of the part-concealed and part-revealed female face. 

Armani Privé by Sarah Mower on
Towards the finale, he sent out graceful dresses in black velvet and midnight-blue sequin, on models whose heads were veiled in crystal-edged face-coverings—a vaguely Arabian Nights counterpoint to the fifties netting seen in other Paris collections this week.

Christian Dior by Tim Blanks on Past and future met again in an evening ensemble that matched the athletic ease of a citron silk knit to the grandeur of a floor-sweeping silk skirt. And the veils that Stephen Jones contributed to the finale may have been from Paris in the 1930'…

The Young Queen - Photographs Of Queen Elizabeth II By Cecil Beaton

The photographs of the British royal family by Sir Cecil Beaton (1904-1980) were central to shaping the monarchy's public image in the mid-20th century. Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II was still a young princess when she first sat for Beaton in 1942. Over the next three decades he would be invited to photograph the Queen on many significant occasions, including her Coronation Day in 1953. The most memorable of Beaton's images combine the splendour of historic royal portrait painting with an intimacy that only photography and film can convey. His detailed diary accounts reveal the complexities of each sitting, from the intense planning and excitement beforehand to the pressures of achieving the perfect shot. Beaton bequeathed his archive of royal portraits to his devoted secretary Eileen Hose. In 1987 she, in turn, bequeathed the archive to the V&A. Photographs, diaries, personal letters and press cuttings combine to tell the fascinating story of a magnificent collaboration…