Friday, July 17, 2009

Dream a Little Dream

As promised, some additional highlights from the Fall 2009 Couture shows last week in Paris. I love the couture collections – it is all so utterly unattainable that it makes it much easier to simply enjoy the work for its own sake. Click to enlarge for a closer look at some of the jaw-dropping details.

Chanel. Karl Lagerfeld demonstrates why he deserves his crown.


Elie Saab.
So pretty I can't quite bring myself to care whether he bit Karl.

Jean Paul Gaultier

Valentino. I completely disagree with Cathy Horyn on this one
I'd love to stand next to anyone wearing one of these creations.

Christian Lacroix. Very likely the last couture show from Lacroix,
whose house declared bankruptcy this spring,
and a true community effort:
seamstresses, embroiderers and milliners donated their time;
Ines de la Fressange and Bruno Frisoni of Roger Vivier and
Diego della Valle contributed shoes;
and the models walked for 50 euros each.

You Got To Have It

Some cool images from Soul Power, a new documentary about the Zaire '74 music festival pieced together from extensive outtakes that went unused in the making of Rumble in the Jungle.

More info and images: T

You Are Downtown

At Purple Diary, Glenn O'Brien on Dash Snow.
Dash was a beautiful person and a genuine artist. A lot of people didn’t get the genuine part because to them he was a gossip star, all image. But he was the real thing, and sometimes his real was so in your face that people thought it must have been an act. It was an act, of course, but it was a real act. When you live in a world that’s inside a television there are no other options. But Dash and some of his friends were re-inventing what it is to be an artist, because that’s something every generation has to do. They had gotten the lay of the land and were responding accordingly.
Read the whole thing here.

Old Records in My Crib

This seems like a good one for summer –
Casanova (aka Les Baxter) Psyched Out mp3
from the original soundtrack to All the Loving Couples

It's late Saturday afternoon, you've been out in the sun all day, you've got a sweaty highball glass full of something, and stuff starts to go a little sideways.


Original Pirate Material

From The Seattle Times: Gabriel Campanario's sketch of our friend Rusty Harper leading the Seafair Pirates as they storm Alki Beach, kicking off Seattle's 60th Seafair celebration.

I used to go nuts for Seafair when I was a kid (the Torchlight Parade, the Blue Angels, Hydroplane races) and I'm excited to be in Seattle for it again.

Get more info and make a tax deductible donation to the Seafair Pirates here.

Your Weekly Mr. Littlejeans


Thursday, July 16, 2009

Why Don't You Say What's
Really on Your Mind

Louise Wilson, director of the M.A. program
at Central Saint Martins.
Photo by Greg Kessler, courtesy

This post has been up at Cathy Horyn's blog since last week, but it's well worth a read if you haven't already. Cathy reports on her recent conversation about the current and future state of fashion with Louise Wilson, the course director for the Master's program at London's Central Saint Martins (the school responsible for turning out Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Stella McCartney, and numerous other designers).

Among the stinging insights Wilson offers:
There are immensely talented people around but I feel huge vortexes of them are sucked into this mediocre world where nobody criticizes and it’s all terribly politically correct. Even journalists are the same. You now hardly get a bad a review. In their mind the journalists are supporting the industry, so they don’t want to dish it. For me it’s that banality of what is youth. Even the way they put themselves together. Again, today, I was interviewing people for the MA program, and I said, “Why are you dressed like Topman?” Maybe it is a Miu Miu shirt, but essentially it’s Topman. It’s got no individuality at all. You’ve not stretched the neck of the T-shirt. You’ve not denoted your uniform. You’re not even wearing non-fashion. You’re not even saying that. You’re saying nothing....I have come to the viewpoint that nothing is happening. That’s why straight men now look gayer than gay men. I ask the students why that is, and they look at me like I’m mad. It’s that blurring of the lines, the stripping down. They take no risks about anything, not even the way they go up against the industry or show their clothes. It’s all about being professional.
I think the problem is that fashion has become too fashionable. For years, fashion wasn’t fashionable. Today fashion is so fashionable that it’s almost embarrassing to say you’re part of fashion. All the parodies of it. All the dreadful magazines. That has destroyed it as well, because everybody thinks fashion is attainable....It might be very good for fashion if fashion goes out of fashion, and maybe nothing does happen for awhile and a few companies shut down. When the light turns away that’s when the new work will be done.
Read the full post here.

The Third Place

Sarah Stolfa Joanna O'Malley, 2005

Sarah Stolfa's series of photos depicting patrons of McGlinchey's, one of the oldest neighborhood taverns in Philadelphia, was first shown at Gallery 339 in Philly, and have now been collected in a book, The Regulars, with an introduction by Jonathan Franzen.

Sarah Stolfa Ed Taylor, 2005

Sarah Stolfa Arpson Bravos, 2005

To me these photos seem tangentially related to those of Andrew Bush. Stolfa's series shows Americans in that classic respite from work, that home away from home, the third place – the neighborhood bar; Bush's photos show Americans and their uniquely personal relationships with driving in their cars. People driving seem more isolated, though sometimes there are groups of people in the cars. Stolfa's Regulars are also on their own but the context is different in that they are individuals in a room full of people. I'm not sure what to make of all that (or rather, I don't have time to explore it at the moment...) but it's kind of interesting, maybe.

Sarah Stolfa Robert Fleeger, 2005

Sarah Stolfa Sanna Pisano, 2005

If you're in New York, stop by McNally Jackson Books (52 Prince Street between Lafayette and Mulberry) at 6pm tonight to pick up a signed copy of The Regulars and hear Stolfa discuss the series.

More photos and info at Gallery 339 and at Stolfa's NYC home, the venerable Bruce Silverstein. The Regulars is published by Artisan Books.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Our City Dreams

This was in the theater last time I was in New York, but I didn't have time to go – so I'm looking forward to seeing it now that it's available on DVD:

Filmmaker Chiara Clemente, daughter of renowned Italian painter Francesco Clemente, tracks the journeys of five female artists whose stories are tied to New York City in this biographic portrait shot over the course of two years. The documentary spotlights the work of Egyptian artist Ghada Amer, Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic, American artist Kiki Smith, Big Apple street artist Swoon, and American artist and activist Nancy Spero.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Escaping Everything

The New York Times and others are reporting that artist Dash Snow has died of a drug overdose. There has been and will be a lot of bad things said about Dash Snow. He was a friend of friends, but I never actually met him and don't have much of an opinion about him on a personal level. He was mostly known for his polaroids, the photographic evidence of a way of living that in itself could have been some kind of performance piece – but I most identify with and continue to be inspired by his collages and collage-like installations, which to some may seem shallow or purely driven by aesthetics, but which to me display a fascinating singular viewpoint and hint at a spacious inner life. Here's a small selection from the great shows he had at Rivington Arms several years back.

Rest in peace, Dash Snow...we hardly knew yeh.

All artwork courtesy Rivington Arms.

This language of laugh

My old buddy Mike Sacks – a research editor at Vanity Fair who you may also know from such blogs as Photos of TV and other work for The New Yorker, McSweeney's, Vice, GQ, and Esquire...and Women's Health – has done a bunch of interviews with comedy writers over the years and collected them in a new book. And Here's the Kicker… Conversations with Top Humor Writers About Their Craft features in-depth discussions with Buck Henry, Stephen Merchant, Paul Feig, Bob Odenkirk, Robert Smigel, David Sedaris, Al Jaffee, Allison Silverman, Harold Ramis, Mitch Hurwitz, Jack Handey, Dave Barry, Roz Chast and many more, with an introduction by Adam McKay (Anchorman, Talladega Nights, Step Brothers, awesome).

Check out some excerpts and more info here, and then go pick it up at the bookstore that is nearest to your house.
I also recommend Mike's interview with Tim & Eric (pictured at left) for The Believer, and you can explore more of his writing at

Happy Bastille Day!

Bastille Day at the Statue of Liberty on July 14, 1936
[New York Public Library archives]

Monday, July 13, 2009

Perfect Union

We had the great pleasure of attending the most beautiful wedding yesterday in Carnation.

Congratulations to Spencer and Coco!

Photos via Cave Singing (click for more).

Demon Jelly

A small selection of hilarious and creepy
old-time advertisements.

[via Design Observer]

Sunday, July 12, 2009

More evidence that crows are brilliant:


[via SLOG]