>> From recent releases to much-loved classics, these coffee table tomes promise to make the perfect addition to any fashion fiend's collection. Featuring drop-dead images from legendary photographers like Mario Testino, Patrick Demarchelier, and Richard Avedon; insider info from industry icons Daphne Guinness, Carine Roitfeld, and Valerie Steele; and sublime collections from Christian Dior, Christian Louboutin, and more — these 15 books are some of the chicest to give this holiday season. After all, there's nothing like being well-dressed and well-read.
From now through the end of November, the San Francisco MoMA is featuring nearly 60 years of photography from American photographer and legend Richard Avedon. Avedon, who studied photography under Alexey Brodovitch at the New School For Social Research, rejected stiff portraiture for motion and emotion in his photographs. While I have yet to make it to the exhibit, I'm excited to spend hours poring over Avedon's photos.
This image, "Dovima With Elephants," is perhaps his most famous fashion photo. Before his death, Avedon commented, "The sash isn't right . . . It should have echoed the outside leg of the elephant to Dovima's right." No matter how "imperfect" Avedon deemed this photo to be, it has captivated decades of fashionistas, photographers, and pachyderm lovers. Inspired, I decided to round up a few elephants as well. My first pick was the Eames elephant ($295), which seemed only proper — one icon deserves another! To see my parade of pachyderms, read more
Did you enjoy your Avedon for breakfast? Good, now it's on to Avedon for lunch. After seeing his new exhibit at SFMOMA, I picked up Richard Avedon: Photographs 1946-2004 ($45). It's the first major retrospective — designed by Danish graphic designer Michael Jensen — of Avedon's work since his death in 2004. The title explains it all, but you have to see the photos to feel the impact. Bring Avedon into your home and see 125 reproductions of his greatest work, including fashion and portraits from his early Italian subjects of the '40s to his more recent shots. One of my favorite modern Avedon portraits is the 2004 shot of Bjork, mesmerizing.
Any shopaholic who's been to France knows about the law which mandates that shops be closed on Sundays — unless they are located in tourist areas and sell food or books. President Nicolas Sarkozy is not so happy with this ban. "Is it normal that on a Sunday, when Madame Obama wants to go to the Paris shops with her daughters, I have to make phone calls to have them open?" he recently complained. Lawmakers are currently debating a proposed bill that asks to lift restrictions on Sunday trading. If it passes, the number of tourist areas could increase from the current 500 to 5,000, and all types of retailers can open their doors. Do you think allowing Sunday shopping in France would make a big difference?
Source: The Richard Avedon Foundation
I have always been an Avedon fan, but after viewing his new exhibit at the SFMOMA "Richard Avedon: Photographs: 1946-2004," I look at the iconic photographer in a new light. A raw, intense, emotional spotlight.
New York-born Avedon was an integral part of fashion in the '60s — you probably recognize Twiggy's hair and Dovima with elephants. These were from his decades as the staff photographer at Harpers Bazaar. He then delved into the zeitgeist of the turbulent '60s, shooting portraits of players in the sexual and intellectual counterculture movements; the Beatles, Allen Ginsberg, Bob Dylan, Malcolm X, and Andy Warhol were all present in one room. One photo that had me mesmerized was a glimpse of Warhol's scar-ridden torso; it was provocative yet melancholy, further feeding into the artistic enigma that is Warhol.
One series in particular intrigued: "In the American West" (1980-85). While it was exciting to look into the eyes of famed writers, artists, political figures, and icons, it was the real people of our country — oil workers, a 13-year-old rattlesnake wrestler, drifters, carnies, waitresses — that evoked life, real humanity.
Avedon passed away in 2004 and this is the only US venue for this exhibition — the first major retrospective of his work since his death. If you happen to be in San Francisco July 11 to Nov. 29, be sure to eat some Avedon for breakfast, it is an utterly fulfilling, eye-opening experience. See some selections from the exhibit.
Alexander Wang doesn't have plans to buy ad pages but his look book is a tribute to Avedon's old Versace campaigns.
Vena Cava's Sophie Buhai talked about her love of white chocolate and chicken curry in an interview with a food blog.
Fendi is hosting an event in Milan this week which involves supporting industrial designers and solidifying the notion of craftsmanship.
Burberry reported growth in the past six months thanks, in part, to cost-cutting measures and retail expansion in new regions.
>> Last year, Kate Moss tried to ring in 34 by partying one hour for every year since her birth — she only made it 18, but she did it in starry Chanel, no less. This year it's all about the big 3-5, which marks twenty years since her first modeling job for The Face; Kate's supposed to celebrate all weekend, with the big house party tonight involving a pig on a spit, but we're celebrating with a look back at old-school Kate — think the glorious '90s.
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»Naomi Campbell named a tree at her father's home in Jamaica "Kate Moss," will be debuting a new SoBe Life Water commercial to "Black Magic Woman" nationwide tomorrow [FabSugar UK, Chic Report, CBS News]
»Dolce & Gabbana may have stolen Claudia Schiffer from Chanel for their Resort 2009 campaign [Fashionista]
»Anna Wintour will be speaking to the Conde Nast interns on Wednesday [The Fashioneo]
»Kate Moss cruised through Sardinia over the weekend [PopSugar]
»Malgosia Bela wrote a 100-page thesis on Richard Avedon to earn a graduate degree in Cultural Anthropology [The Imagist]
»Heather Marks goes dark [TFS]
>> If a five foot, five inch woman tried to be a model these days, she'd hardly be taken seriously. Sixty-odd years ago, it was a different story . . . at least for Dorian Leigh, it was.
Ms. Leigh, who passed away earlier this week at 91 after battling Alzheimer's, was widely considered one of the world's first supermodels. In fact, her life was full of firsts: she was one of the first models to be known by name, and after her own modeling career, she opened what is called the first modeling agency in Paris.
Though Dorian started her career late — when she was 27 in 1944, she met with Diana Vreeland, told her she was 19, and landed a Harper's Bazaar cover right then and there — she appeared on seven Vogue covers in the 1940s, and claimed to be earning a whopping $300,000 a year.
She played muse to numerous bold name photographers: Cecil Beaton, Richard Avedon, Louise Dahl-Wolfe, Irving Penn — the last of whom she had an affair with, and may have been the inspiration for Holly Golightly in Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's. But she didn't take her job too seriously, declaring in 1953: "I'd rather have a baby than a mink coat."
*image: source, source, source, source, source, source, source, source