Saturday, 26 July 2008
In the late 1960's, cool jazz trumpet player and crooner Chet Baker lost his teeth in a street fight with junkies. Though his ex-girlfrend, the acerbic singer Ruth Young and him disagree on the details of the scuffle, they agree that his later dental work involved each stub of a tooth being pulled out one at a time. He learned to play with dentures. Bruce Weber's Let's Get Lost, his documentary on the musician, is chocked with uneasy recollections such as these, but the incidents don't interfere with his adoring homage. At its heart, the film is a meditation on the nature of coolness from someone who'd know—Weber is one of the most famous fashion photographers working today.
Weber frames the film so Baker's youthful mystique remains intact. Early concert footage blends into present day shots of him driving around in a Cadillac, surrounded by beautiful women. Spliced with these wistful images are interviews with Chet's ex-wives, girlfriends, colleagues and deserted family, who elaborate on his manipulative behavior, substance abuse (heroin, mostly, though he didn't discriminate), and constant need for sympathy. Oftentimes, despite such behavior or perhaps because of it, they become ensnared in Baker's seductive myth. Young admits, "It took me twenty minutes to get hooked." The intention is super-romantic, though some inconsistencies between Weber's fascination and the interview subjects' bitterness linger throughout the film. It's hard, for example, what to make of the moment when the camera slowly pans across high-contrast close-ups of disappointed family members, as Baker's singing plays in the background. His delicate voice almost triumphs their mixed facial expressions. As New Yorker critic Pauline Kael had pointed out, it is one of the "most suggestive (and unresolved) films ever made."
The film was last shown to the public at Film Forum in 1993. After fourteen years, Weber has restored his 1989 documentary in all of its black and white splendor.
Plays through June 28th.
For info: www.bruceweber.com; www.filmforum.org
Posted by _RBPM at 16:47
Thursday, 17 July 2008
_'Riccardo Tisci is an unassuming anti-hero who makes heroic, powerful looks that still retain an all-encompassing aura of elegance - a concept absolutely central to the house of Givenchy. Let’s not forget, after all the stop-starts with other previous designers, he is making the label pop. Now, in a hugely significant step, he’s brought his talent to Givenchy menswear, meaning he’s one of the few designers responsible for both women’s AND men’s rtw at an iconic brand, as well as haute couture.'
Alls great, but I think Riccardo has been checking out my work a little to much- see any similarities between his runway pieces and a shot from my premier issue of 'TheSquareTriangle'?! - I think its a super RipOff, keep up Riccardo, my models better too. (although, I do wish I had those pink shoes for the shoot)
Posted by _RBPM at 10:21
_Its been a while since I've blogged any of the street Style images I shoot for Nylon Magazine and Streetpeeper.com - so i just wanted to take this opportunity to blog some of the less 'Nylony' images i.e. boys in skirts (even though, Matt you look ace) but you know what i mean - corporate looks sell better, but don't necesserilly inspire as much. So from Comme to Primark, Westwood to Topshop and Helmut Lang to Fred Perry - enjoy.
Posted by _RBPM at 10:10
_Im fully aware that its July and Im posting an image of a contemporary snowy log cabin, but as I write this im wearing a cashmere cardigan, sipping warm camomile and honey tea, while listening to the rain fall outside, so I feel, due to the shiteness of UK summers - Its fully justified.
nice though right?
Posted by _RBPM at 10:03
_So last week I was all poorly, and the only thing that kept me going while I was curled up all sniffly in my bed was the 1990's classica - 'Sweet Valley High'. They're ace, and I was completely unaware that the TV series was originally a book (which I read) and was then turned into the cult TV classic, and books followed that (which I also read)
Next up I'm looking for '90210' books, aswell as 'Moesha' 'Saved by the Bell' and 'Sister Sister' novel series.
Posted by _RBPM at 09:38
Friday, 11 July 2008
_As anyone who knows me can verify - I have a mild addiction to 'Tribal' whether it be the graphics, dress or lifestyle, there's just something I find incredible attractive about it, and these two lovelly shots just confirmed that - so if you find me living in Ghana, dripping in beads and painted red in a few years time, dont say I didnt warn you!
Posted by _RBPM at 10:22
_A few months back i-D magazine did a great fashion section with famous Gay Skin Porn Star Francois Sagat photographed by designer Bernhard Willhelm, Wearing new season Bernhard Willhelm - the results were beautiful, and here are some of the behind the scenes shots from that day.
Posted by _RBPM at 09:55
_Just incase anyone is searching for an incredible and fresh photographer, this is another member of my graduating class - Fletcher is a beautiful and innovative photographer with a great eye for orininal fashion photography.
Contact him through - www.fletcher-fletcher.com
Right, thats all I'm mentioning about the class of 2008 - I dont want to start sounding like another 'up your arse' 'check out our grads' blog (mentioning no names of course).
Posted by _RBPM at 09:46
_I completely forgot to mention this - My strange but beautiful 'Grunge-Interiors' magazine for my final Graduation piece gained me a massive FIRST for my Degree from Central Saint Martins - I was and am a very happy boy.
Oh, and have recieved sponsorship for a second issue to start on production ASAP, but for the second issue, instead of the insaine £150 per issue (of which they have now all sold out) We are working on it being Free! - But I'll keep you posted on here
Posted by _RBPM at 09:18
Thursday, 10 July 2008
_This is one of the many reasons I love Slava Mogutins Blog - it gives you ace behind the scenes shots of everything he's been upto on a daily / weekly basis. This week - His cover shoot for Butt magazine, personally I think these images fit so much better than Butts published shots.
For more info, and imagery, check out: www.buttmagazine.com and www.slavamogutin.blogspot.com
Posted by _RBPM at 11:03
_A great new book, published by the 'Tiny Voices' Collective of Kenneth Capello's skate 'Acid Drop' Photo's, from the early 1980's to now: brilliant stone wash jeans, yellow bleached hair and 35mm cameras, think REM's 'End of the world as we know it', in Photographs - its really hard to find in UK book stores, but WELL WORTH a search.
Posted by _RBPM at 10:53
_I recently found these three images bunched together on ffffound.com, and it made me think of two things - firstly the interesting comment these three images make togther, and secondly, an incredible new room that has opened in the Tate Modern, of 1950's and 1960's South African photography, but i cant remember the name of the photographer who's work it is? its on the top floor though, next to the room of Soviet Propagana.
Check it out.
Posted by _RBPM at 10:35
On the theme, just another great article from my current website of choice, this time, reviewing Romain Kremer's increbible new menswear collections.
Romain Kremer - Fashion Forward.
by Dean Mayo Davies
"Romain Kremer is a menswear designer with bottle. His breathtaking spring 2009 show ranks as not only a high of the season, but of his career so far, though there’s plenty more to come from the man pushing both the industry and his talent to the edge. Here, he chats about techno, neon and ‘Love and Violence’.
Dean Mayo Davies: Your spring/summer 2009 collection felt like the collection you were put on this earth to make. Do you feel at the height of your talent at the moment?
Romain Kremer: Well... I hope it will feel like that even more next time! Yes, I do feel something like what you’ve described, but it also feels like it’s just the beginning and next season is gonna be even better...
DMD: For me, it’s crucial that menswear does push forward and this collection committed entirely to that...
RK: I’m happy, but I think I’ve always pushed in the same direction. Maybe this time there’s more of a singular focus so people could understand what I was talking about. There’s definitely a really strong message.
DMD: I was talking to Nicola [Formichetti, who styles Kremer’s shows] through e-mail about the catwalk. What I loved, apart from the fact the collection is like nothing we’ve ever seen in menswear before is how you could see a mental journey and exploration in the show, a rarified experience these days. You started with these amazing dresses - which were entirely masculine - and it evolved into looks with draped elements and then sort of hyperfuturistic soccer uniforms...
RK: Oh that’s cool, that’s nice of you to say. Thank you.
DMD: It was almost like you’d created an army...
RK: Yeah! You know that was kind of the idea, but above all what excites me so much was that people really got what I wanted to say this time. Speaking with you, I realise that what you’re saying is really what I wanted. It’s the first time I can see a good relationship between me and the journalist! But not only the journalist, I mean the people involved too, the people from the industry. This time, people really took it seriously - before it was fun or kind of a joke.
DMD: You’ve really embraced colour over the past few seasons and it’s reached a crescendo in this collection. What drew you to such vibrancy? You’re earlier collections were more muted...
RK: I’ve always been into neon colours, but when I started I really didn’t want to push it too much because I thought it would be a bit too Cyberdog! After a few seasons I did them but spring 2009 isn’t really about neon as such, it’s about energy through colour. It’s kind of like the pictures that show the colour of your aura: something subliminal and vibrations of colour. I’m really into the subliminal, in the way I was trying to show a dress without it being seen as just a dress on a boy. I was trying to take people were they didn’t expect to go, but without frightening them...
DMD: Is it true you started as a dancer?
RK: I started dancing when I was nine-years-old, really young. I also did a bit of gymnastics - I was really into things that involved the body. I danced for like, ten years, and wanted to go to school but my father wasn’t really having it: it was a like Billy Elliot but without the ending! So I visited London a lot as I had friends here, and that started me drawing which got me into art which got me into fashion. I’m still into performance now.
DMD: I think you can see that in your approach, not only through your spatial awareness but the body, which seems a central theme...
RK: Yes, I’m talking about fashion being a theatre of life. A piece of clothing doesn’t have any meaning until it has a body inside - to me there’s not one good piece of clothing or one good boy or whatever, it’s everything together that interests me. That’s my definition of fashion, or what it should be. And I don’t like my clothes to be easy, I want people to accept that wearing a piece is not only what a designer can give you but what you bring to it too.
DMD: There’s a certain type of Romain Kremer model, that has defined your collections from the start. What does he represent?
RK: A young generation that wants to have fun and not understanding why older people are so bored and pissed off. They models have open minds and are perhaps still a bit confused, like my clothes.
DMD: Is music important?
RK: More than anything else even, because it’s the only real reference I allow myself. I like music because it’s not about image, it’s about brainstorming. For me, it’s even more exciting than a movie or an exhibition.
DMD: It’s completely visceral...
RK: Yeah, exactly. And I’m very open-minded with it, I really can go from one type to another easily - I like to put myself in the condition of what I’m gonna show. When the collection is a bit hardcore I listen to industrial music from the Netherlands, but then sometimes I listen to something more conceptual like Philip Glass or Aphex Twin. I’m very much into electronic music - I love opera, I love jazz, I love classical but electronica is the art, the brief to me: repetition, no beginning, no end, it’s kind of out of space almost.
DMD: It’s close to us as it’s something that’s still being explored too. I mean jazz has had it’s heyday...
RK: I remember a couple of years ago in Berlin I was at a dance performance choreographed by a young American. I really loved it and everyone else there HATED it. I met him afterwards and he said I liked it because we were the same, we were both from the techno generation!
DMD: With s/s 09, you opened with "L'Amour et la Violence" by Sébastian Tellier. Was that a metaphor for the collection?
RK: It was really connected, not only because it was the only music I’d listened to for three months previously! The lyrics when translated are: “Tell me what you think about my life/ About my adolescence/ I also like/ Love and violence.” It’s really talking about me at sixteen-years-old aswell as the collection and the construction: pushing together sport and sexuality.
Posted by _RBPM at 10:23
_This newly luanched website is quickly becoming my favourite 'daily site to check' - such ace articles, parties, and fashion spreads to boot, this is one of thier most recent features with the 'Size Hero' Beth Ditto, enjoy, and Check out the website.
"Beth Ditto is a rare breed. A pop star with an opinion, a brain and good personal style. Bella Freud caught up with the remarkable Miss Ditto and finds her, well, surprisingly grounded...
Beth Ditto: Is that a real diamond ring? It’s so pretty the way it’s side by side. Is that an old one?
Bella Freud: Yes, its a 20's one, my husband gave it to me. Even though he was married twice before me somehow...
BD: You got it. Good!
BF: Its good because you can be a real slob then when people notice the ring, especially in shops and especially in Paris they perk up alot.
BD: Would you like some water, still or sparkling? I remember the first time I came to Europe I discovered sparkling water, I thought, what the hell is going on? Do people drink it because they’re thirsty? I mean do you guzzle it?
BF: You can get a craving for it….I am fascinated by how you manage to be so grounded as well as creative and controversial. It’s rare they go together so well. There is nothing moralizing or critical about it. And you seem like you know your mind. Have you always been like that?
BD: Oh yeah, my mum used to call me a little Triceratops. I’ve always seen things through the same eyes.
BF: When you talk you always say things in a straightforward way. You speak up for people without making a huge thing about it.
BD:You face a lot of scrutiny from the punk scene that you come from. I try to balance the punk side of myself. Sometimes interviewers treat you like a politician, they want to hold you to your word like a politician, instead of treating you like a musician and an artist. I think its because I work that way, sometime I do feel more like a politician, not because I love politics but because I feel really drawn to appealing to people in that kind of way.When I was a kid there used to be these leadership seminars for bullies or people who had a lot of power. I was weirded out at first and took it personally, then I realized they wanted me there because I had a lot of influence and they wanted me to influence people in a certain way. I don’t remember anything from the seminars, just that we got to eat fast food instead of school food, chicken filet and waffle fries.
BF: Was there anything in your childhood that triggered off your sense of your own identity, of who you were going to be?
BD: This is why I know that pop culture is so important and why it’s so sad that we have the pop stars we do now- where is that good sense of awesome pop? Where is our Boy George? Where is he now? When I was a kid, Interview was banned. Same old story, same old song and dance. It puts into context the environment I grew up in. We were so cut off from culture where I grew up. The last thing I saw from the outside world- from that world- was Madonna, Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, Boy George - We Are The World. That was my jam when I was like four year old.
Feminism was such a big deal to me from an early age. Southern Women are such a special breed of human , they are so amazing, very strong, carrying the weight of the family at the same time as loving Jesus, and having babies, and working, and supporting the family. At the same time getting no credit, holding it all together, then believing in God when all these horrible things were happening to every woman I think, like rape, incest, abuse, battering.
BF: Were you really conscious of that as a child? Is that because it was going on a lot?
BD: I don’t know a single person it didn’t happen to- I know one person it didn’t happen to – I mean from everywhere. As a 7, 8 year old I remember thinking, why are women always washing dishes on television? I hate doing dishes, why do they look like they love doing that? Who likes to do that? Just things that simple, and seeing boys getting to do things I didn’t get to do, used to make me so mad. One moment was when I had an undershirt, my grandma used to make me a lot of clothes when I started kindergarten, they were all thin, cotton so you had to wear your undershirt. This boy went to the bathroom and took his top shirt off, so I went to the bathroom and took my top shirt off and I got screamed at by my teacher like I was a little harlot that had dirtied the whole room, like I’d done something so bad. I always think about that, how that really made me go, ‘wait a minute’. The problem was, there was no accountability, like heaven was all there was. That made me start to resent Christianity because there was no accountability in real life, it was all in the after life. People literally got away with murder. It was confusing but I always knew I would get out, I always knew I would do something else. When I was 13, 14 I was really close to my friends, who really saved me, introduced me to punk and Riot Girl. I knew I was going to move to Seattle because grunge was really big there. My friends and me were like ‘we’re gonna move to Seattle’. My best friend who I had made the plans with, and who is now married to my brother, had given me this letter for the plane ride 9 years ago. She said ‘I can’t believe your doing it…your going to Seattle’. I’d forgotten that I’d actually said it. It didn’t dawn on me until that moment , I’d never made it my mission. It was sad because I was leaving her behind, she was already with my brother.
BF: It was great that you had voiced it; said it out loud earlier in your life , but then you followed through.
BD: From one really weird place to another! Utter fucking broke assed poverty. It was amazing. We were bright eyed and friendly. We wanted to say hello to everybody in the street.
BF: So what were you wearing in those days? In fact, what was your earliest style influence?
BD: Patty Duke from the Patty Duke show.
BF: How old were you then?
BD: Six. I loved bouffants. I loved getting dressed up, I was really good at it. I wasn’t extremely popular in the sense that we didn’t have money, people weren’t that kind but when prom time rolls around I was the person that people asked to do their hair and make-up. I used to draw on the Madonna mole with mascara. I wasn’t a huge Madonna fan, I was a bigger Cyndi Lauper fan, but it was a lot easier to do Madonna because you just drew on a mole and put like a lace bow in you hair. You couldn’t just shave half your head. I wanted one of those skirts so bad…I like Mary Tyler Moore, I loved her. I just wanted to live in the 60s so bad. If I saw a Cadillac I would block everything out and pretend I was in the 60s as long as I could.
BF: What did you like about Mary Tyler Moore? I can only remember her as being preppy.
BD: She always had amazing glasses, I loved her hair, it was a black and fucked at the ends.
BF: Like Priscilla Presley.
BD: Yes, but smaller. I loved Courtney Love in the 90’s. She was amazing.
BF: What were you wearing then?
BD: Anything. We were seriously so broke, anything I could get my hands on sometimes, even my aunts bras, people would give us bags of clothes. I would be like 12 and be wearing old nursing bras. I think that’s why I liked hair and make-up so much, you could make anything look amazing with hair and make-up. In the South, people love big hair.
(Tara: Time to wrap it up.)
BD: Oh ok. ..
BF: Can I quickly ask you something?
BD: You can ask me anything.
BF: You are so synonymous with fashion now.
BD: Its really weird isn’t it? (Giggle). It’s because I had to make everything look cool. ? jeans, I had to make them look good. I bought my own sewing machine, the best $100 of my life. I was glued to it. I made all my prom dresses and things like that, I loved prom. Most punks were like, ‘Man, prom’s bullshit’, I was like ‘fuck yeah, this is going to be awesome’."
Bella Freud For Ponystep.com.