Muse- Anna Cleveland

In this day and age I struggle to find inspiration through High Fashion Magazines. Fashion Issues were my number one resource for all my style references. I would go to my local magazine stands and find tons of artistic fashion covers inviting my imagination to be inspired, but now all has changed. High Fashion Magazines lack in bringing creativity to their readers and focus more on the number of followers” that a model gathers through a social media platform. I don’t know how that reads fashion-I can see that perhaps it may be for “popularity” reasons but,  I never tied fashion with popularity. Fashion is firstly a form of art and it is depressing how everything revolves around social media streams, especially when it comes to something so vital like art. It is crucial to not subscribe to everything that you are fed, but do your own research, you know, look a little closer. After finding myself buried in a pile of magazine covers filled with The Hadid’s and Jenners, like a shiny star in the darkest night, there I saw Anna Cleveland, who is daughter of Pat Cleveland. Pat was the first African American model in the 60’s throughout the 70’s needless to say Anna Cleveland not only stems from fashion history but just one look at her fashion spreads and my eyes were struck by her mystery, the deepness in her eyes, the hollow of her cheeks, the melody in her hand movement. Surely I wasn’t looking at another frozen mannequin trying to sell me some product. The way my eyes stared at her image was the same way I stared at an art painting. Anna Cleveland is not just another cover model. Anna models from her finger tips to the last strand of her hair. Anna Cleveland is a true Fashion Rebel.

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Anna and Mother Pat Cleveland

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Quentin Tarantino’s Fashionable & Fierce Women in Film

When I think of Women being portrayed at their fiercest through film, really only one name comes to mind and that name is Quentin Tarantino. Mostly all of Quentin’s work Includes a badass female who refuses to take ‘No’ for an answer. In inclusion to his recent film “The Hateful Eight” which featured actress Jennifer Jason Leigh who’s character name  “Daisy Domergue”  if you seen the film you well know that she is one of the most vicious out of all them’ cowboys. Here I want to shed light on not only strong female characters Quentin has treated our eyes with, but the most fashionable and the most iconic.  In no particular order.

Mia Wallace of Pulp Fiction -Who would’ve thought that a simple white shirt, a pair of black capri pants and a pair of flats would look so cool and chic through film. Of course it helped that Mrs. Wallace had a femme fatale personality that lit up the screen.

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Uma Thurman is Mia Wallace in “Pulp Fiction.”

 

Elle Driver. The moment Elle Driver came into the scene in Kill Bill vol 1 My eyes quickly focused on her impeccable black tailored suit paired with elegant white sleeves peeking out of her black blazer. I didn’t even have to see her eye patch because the way she was dressed, we all knew that she was woman with a mission.

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Daryl Hannah is Elle Driver in “Kill Bill vol 1.

 

O ren  ishii. If you ever watched Japanese movie titled “Lady Blood Snow” then you would know where the character O ren ishii stemmed from. When O ren ishii entered the room even her own men working for her feared her. O ren ishii was dressed in traditional well tailored Japanese kimono making O ren ishii not only the fiercest but the most cultural villain in Kill Bill.

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Lucy Liu is O ren ishii in “Kill Bill vol 1.”

Bridget Von Hammersmark of Inglourious Basterds. Bridget was smart, quick witted and could hang with the german boys at a pub, all while looking glamorous and that was her badass aesthetic.

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Diane Kruger is Bridget Von Hammersmark in “Inglourious Basterds.”

Shosanna Dreyfus in Inglourious Basterds. Now in the first scenes she was pictured as fragile power-less character but as the story  begins to unravel Shosanna gets her revenge and what better color than wearing Red while doing so.

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Mélanie Laurent is Shosanna Dreyfus in “Inglourious Basterds.

There’s truly lots more strong female leads out there in the cinema world but this about concludes Quentin Tarantino’s Fashionable and Fierce women in film which makes going to the movies a lot more worth while.

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Jennifer Jason Leigh is Daisy Domergue in “The Hateful Eight.”

 

Gaga for ‘V’ Magazine

Ever since Lady Gaga published her first column for ‘V’ Magazine in the summer of 2011, I have been a faithful subscriber. It is in her written columns that you get to know the artist in her element. Her choosing of words and subjects are both prolific and heart-felt. Lady Gaga lives and breaths Art & Fashion, She is a true Fashionista. If you adore fashion and you have not read any of her columns for ‘V’ Magazine, please do yourself a favor. In this particular issue (photographed below) was released earlier this year. Lady Gaga gloriously features Daphne Guinness, both dressed in their wonderful and eccentric treasured garments designed by the late and great Alexander McQueen. To be a fly on that wall. This to me was the best fashion spread of 2016.

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Hedy Lamarr and Daphne Guinness

The Fashion Maven Daphne Guinness as  The Incomparable Beauty that is Hedy Lamarr, is a moment that translates so effortless, almost feeling like a study of beauty. One of my favorite moments in the fashion world. Although a lot of my favorite fashion moments do have to do with Daphne. Do you have a favorite fashion moment? do tell! (;

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Hedy Lamarr
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Daphne Guinness as Hedy Lamarr Photographed by Joseph Lally

 

 

Breaking-Up with VOGUE

As a child I couldn’t wait to go grocery shopping with my mother, solely so I can make my way to the fashion magazine aisle and marvel at the glamorous Guess campaign ads as I couldn’t wait to run my fingers through those scented glossy pages. Remembering how fashion models not only represented a designers brand but an emotion-Glamour, Opulence, Etiquette, Edge and sometimes even Desperation, Sorrow, Violence and Romance and just like that, it was no longer just a fashion ad but a representation of the wonderful kaleidoscope of sentiments that make up the everyday fashionable woman.

I am now, or shall I say, was a faithful Vogue/Harper’s Bazaar magazine subscriber as I also collect those covers that have my favorite model/muse of the season, I like to think of it as sort of a telepathic language I have with my fashion issues, but now once a month I receive a monthly subscription and once a month I have been feeling conflicted and quite frankly disappointed in the direction fashion covers and fashion literature of today is heading. A lack luster media friendly cover photo plastered on the cover of vogue. An empty artless void cover that screams “Hi I’m just part of the money train buy me” and in this social media infested world the latest fashion “muses” are now forcefully being shoved down my throat, and Like a thief in the night- stealing away mystery and the illusion in which I can no longer create nor perceive the artistic story in my mind through a magazine ad.

Thank You Vogue Magazine for your past continuous inspiration, but I really don’t think we could see each other anymore, I am hopeful that maybe later in life we can rekindle our love …perhaps.

Diana Vreeland who joined Vogue in 1962 and was the editor-in-chief from the year 1963 until 1971 was a columnist, editor and art director for Vogue, and has always curated the magazine with an artistic eye.

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There’s only one thing in life, and that’s the continual renewal of inspiration.”~Diana Vreeland

 

Then

 

Now

Precious Metals

 

Accessorizing your outfit is like telling a story without saying a word, and at times all it takes is one perfect statement piece that will evoke character to your most beloved garments.

The following accessories are precious metal pieces that hold unique craftsmanship, architecture and border between armor and functional jewelry, all while wonderfully exploring the human body, and of course the muse behind my inspiration who dares to be different by artistically accessorizing herself, in this case the one and only- Michele Lamy.

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Michele Lamy

 

A Sunday with Fashion Icon, Daphne Guinness

 

Sunday July 1st 2012, Summer had filled the air and I was on my way to meet The Honorable Daphne Guinness, at The Beverly Hills Hotel.

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Writing that sentence still sounds like a dream to me. There I was, standing on  the entrance of the hotel. I stopped and stared at the iconic pink walls, those dreamy tall palm trees swaying upon a clear blue sky, It was a perfect day in California. The Beverly Hills hotel is not exactly the most modern of all hotels, but it’s air of Hollywood Glamour, is tuly inevitable. With my Alexander McQueen book on hand, ready for her to sign. I walked up to the front desk and asked for “Daphne Guinness” -“She’s in one of our bungalows at the far end.”the desk clerk replied, I  then walked in to the hotel in search for Daphne’s Bungalow.  At first I walked past a lot of noise, mostly of water splashing and laughter, surely it was Summer. I walked in further and noticed all the noise had slowly diminished, as I was now in bungalow territory. I stopped and saw a room number that matched the description of what the hotel clerk had gave me, I felt my stomach turn, my eyes grew large and my palms became sweaty. I stalled to think back to when I first saw Daphne in my fashion magazines, standing next to her friend the great fashion designer -Alexander McQueen and thinking how she stood out from all the other “cover girls.”She looked Fierce, Care-less, Strong and Beautiful. Undoubtedly Daphne was a different breed and I was about to meet her.

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Photo I took of Daphne Chillin’ in her Beverly Hills Bungalow.

The  front door to her bungalow was wide open, as if she was waiting for someone, I took a peak and both Daphne and my eyes quickly connected she then received me with a kind smile, a hug and offering me a tea or a red bull, as if I were someone she knew for a while. She was a  perfect hostess, that day. Daphne was alone and on a table was a painting she was working on prior my visit, she wore her black and white signature hair casually half up, and held by a paint brush, She had only one silver disco ball earring hanging from her left ear, She wore a black body suit under a gold colored short kimono, and a large golden scorpion hanging from her neck. Even at her most casual, She looked perfect. Daphne offered me a seat and we started conversing about anything and everything; touching on her friend-The talented fashion designer; Alexander McQueen. Daphne walked to her closet and pulled out her Alexander McQueen long military bolero vest. The vest that I saw her wore in pictures, and the same bolero vest that is in my book. I secretly gasped! As she began showing me the inside detail of the vest, pointing out the unfinished seams. It was dreamy.

 Although I didn’t know what to expect when meeting Daphne, She was very pleasant. She has this cool sixties hippie vibe to her, that loves music and loves L.A, and at the same time she is soft spoken with a romantic flare, She is all of this and much more, and all while being un-afraid to connect with me; Me! being just an admirer of hers! Daphne signed my book and two magazines that I had brought with me.

I departed from her bungalow with a smile that lasted me all week, to say the least.

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“To Darling Virginia- One of my first twitter friends. I would have loved to gone to this with you. Lots of Love Daphne x.”

 

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Daphne Guinness by Joe Lally.

 

 

The Platform Revolution.

I have always wondered where the platform shoe stemmed from, and how did the platform actually become a “thing” and what exactly inspired every beautiful and bizarre Alexander McQueen shoe. From the cute, to the eccentric and the avant garde, The platform shoe is not just a trend but a cultural icon.

Opening the pages of fashion history books I came across the 16th century, the time of the chopine. Chopines originating in Eastern Europe but adopted by Spanish Christian woman and to eventually be introduced to the Italian peninsula. Italian and Spanish chopines were not similar. Spanish chopines were made of cork and often had more detail, some chopines even had pearls and made of luxury materials, which explains why Spanish woman wore their skirts at ankle length, displayin their luxurious chopines as a sign of status. Italian chopines were made of wood with not a lot of detail however still incorporating luxurious materials, such as velvet. In my research I found pairs of italian chopines with a lot of Spanish details, suggesting that chopines were indeed introduced from the Spanish to the Italians. The Italians, however were never allowed to display their chopines covering them underneath their wardrobe as an undergarment accessory.

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The Spanish Chopines in full display.
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Italian Chopines worn more as an accessory underneath their wardrobe.


Not only do I find chopines and the story of the platform so fascinating but shoes in general throughout history of time. From the Japanese lotus shoe for bound feet, to men introducing the high heel in the 1590’s. Shoes are not just a fashion staple but a visual of that certain era-how strict, how elaborate and how culturally different the human race was and is. These are periods in time, traces, as well as connections of our past and now present through a simple adornment of the foot.

“Immoral Tales” Fashion & Film.

I recently watched a film on the telling of Countess Elizabeth Bathory. Yes, the most prolific female murderer of the 16th century of the kingdom of Hungary. Countess Elizabeth Bathory was well known for her vampire like tendencies-killing and bathing in the blood of young virgin girls to retain her beauty. In 1974 a French film titled “Contes Immoraux” (Immoral Tales) was released. Immoral Tales features four erotic stories. I did only watched the third installment of this film, which was of The Countess-a story line based on poem written by French surrealist poet Valentine Penrose. Bathory in this film was portrayed by the beautiful Paloma Picasso-The youngest daughter of Painter Pablo Picasso. Paloma truly brings an edge, character, vulnerability and elegance to this film. Although the film is packed with more of an erotic imagery, which reminisces more of a Sandro Botticelli’s -The Birth of Venus” painting. This thirty minute short film features great costume design with minimal dialog, making the film more aesthetically pleasing for the eye, and because I couldn’t find much on the French Costume Designer Piet Bolschon, here I decided to shed light on the wonderful garment details and imagery of this film.

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