Category Archives: Style

Am I a victim of pop culture?

(First written January 17, 2012) Last week-end was quite busy in the glitter world, wasn’t it? From the Golden Globes in Hollywood to the first runways in Milan, no wonder style columnists had so much on their plates (or rather, their desks) on Monday morning!

I can’t help it: I like celebrities. Although I would not be caught dead in possession of a gossip magazine, I still seem to know that Jay Z has decided he won’t use the word “bitch” in his rap songs anymore and that Agyness Deyn will soon be on stage in the West End

Aside from the compulsory gown analyses of our favourite actresses live from the Red Carpet, I couldn’t help but notice the six glamorous actors who were slipped into the Spring-Summer 2012 Prada collection show on Sunday evening! Look at them, trying to be all model-like! Personal hats off to Tim Roth who wasn’t afraid to show his amusement, Gary Oldman who smoothly represented the Prada male and of course Adrien Brody and his red spectacles! In a show which was meant to portray “Men and Power”, those six and their different personalities were all we needed.

I believe that the mix of fashion and celebrities is very powerful. I noticed this a few years ago when actresses and actors were being chosen as models for Dior, Miu Miu, Chanel etc. To me, even though they represent a dream, they also show a certain closeness to the audience. All actors have a unique personality, which makes them trustworthy and human to those they appeal to. Models represent a different kind of fantasy, but we can cover that later.

In this runway case, all I can do when I see these gentlemen is smile at their immediate acceptance to participate when Miuccia Prada contacted them and at the surprise that they created in the room when they started coming out onto the runway.

I don’t only pay attention when film celebrities appear in fashion. When they announce that they will act in a venue close to me, I jump. Heck, I just bought my ticket to see Juliette Binoche in Mademoiselle Julie which is playing in September 2012! In 2011, I was lucky enough to see Elisabeth Moss, Keira Knightley, Kristin Scott Thomas and Kevin Spacey on London stages. I admit I enjoy comparing them on the screen and on the stage. I also truly appreciate it when I hear that a film star has chosen to work in the theatre for a few months – it shows that they enjoy coming back to the roots of their art.

Perhaps I am a victim of “pop culture”, as I often look out for celebrity names I know, but I also see this as trying to get closer to them, to see their real height, observe their gestures and take in their whole presence in a location where they are not half absorbed by a frame.

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What a difference a day makes…

(First written January 9, 2012) I would like to start by presenting this image. It is one of the many exquisite fashion portraits created by Patrick Demarchelier and which present the entire era of Christian Dior Haute Couture. Now, I must admit that I was never good at recognising decades (40s, 50s, 60s) through clothes, and would probably make a mistake estimating which this one is from, but still stumbled and stopped browsing when I found this one. The geometry present in the picture, the model’s sculptural expression and the miracle through which I can practically feel the fabric of the jacket and the skirt on the tip of my fingers shows a true photographer on one hand, and a sensitive designer who understands the importance of material, colour, contrast. I dedicate this image choice to Ruth who, I am sure, could develop this small paragraph over dozens of pages.

The colours of this very picture brings me to an event which was also mentioned by Gintaré this week – the UK release of The Artist, an elegant, attention grabbing and passionate film by Michel Hazanavicius. I hope I won’t spoil anyone’s fun by mentioning that it is a silent film: a friend told me today that when she went to see it, she hadn’t heard of its characteristic and waited (endlessly!) for someone to utter words! This brings me back to something Gintaré told me a while back about how seeing a film without knowing what it is about beforehand is a very refreshing experience which is quite difficult to encounter these days.

Jean Dujardin, who plays George Valentin in The Artist, is one of my favourite French actors. As a child, he was apparently always “the funny one” at school and amongst family members. Although he has appeared in many comedies, some of them equivalent to Johnny English, his comic roles have never taken away the reality that he is also a serious actor. His range goes from modern and silly to classic and elegant, as we can see in The Artist, and as I once was lucky enough to see at a Paris theatre, when he performed with his wife Alexandra Lamy, also a “seriously comic” French comédienne. His posture, his eyes’ expressions, as well as his portraying of an egocentric Hollywood star whose strongest relationship is with his puppy were so sincere that words proved to be unnecessary.

I would like to end this post by announcing that I will be acting as Myrtle Mae Simmons in “Harvey” by Mary Chase on March 21-24! I feel lucky to have been chosen for this role at the last minute and am looking forward to meeting a new theatre group! This venue is a hop, skip and a jump from the Old Vic; I’d like to see this as a sign!

I have now understood that London is a place to discover and rediscover again and again – otherwise, we tend to forget the beauties that make the city what it is.

 

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