Thursday, January 19, 2012

Silver Vixen

Joyce Bryant doesn't have a Wikipedia page, which is weird because, well, look at her:

Photo by Philippe Halsman

Colour photos by Carl Van Vechten

I mean, how much fabulous does a girl need before earning herself a place in The Free Encyclopedia? An excerpt from Andrew Hamilton's All Music Guide is the only bit of biography I've found on the 20th century American singer. It's not amazing but does include this factoid:

Bryant's hair was naturally black, but not wanting to be upstaged by Josephine Baker at a club, she doused it with silver radiator paint, slithered into a tight silver dress and voila: the Bronze Blond Bombshell and even Baker was impressed.

Given that Bryant began performing in the late 1940s, I think she must have been considerably younger than Baker but I do hope the story is true.

Oh and then there's this from Life magazine's 12 October 1953 issue:

Ha ha, Sterling ya old prude.

Hell Yeah Indochina

I recently returned from a heavenly holiday in South-East Asia during which most of my time was divided between beach-lazing and market-browsing. My main man Michael took all the photos I was too lazy to, and so it's thanks to him that I have some pictorial evidence of the marvelous markets in Luang Prabang, Laos:

Photos by Michael Krasovitsky

As I understand it, the extraordinary metal necklaces are made by the Hmong people in Laos (I remember seeing similar stuff for sale in Vietnam when I went a few years back). Unlike the jewellery sold in the Camodian markets, none of this stuff appeared to be made from precious materials (namely silver) - just the way I like it. I actually didn't end up buying one of the necklaces because I found myself quite overwhelmed by the sheer number, beauty and monumentality of the pieces. No surprises, I have lived to curse my lack of shopping prowess. Note to self: grow a pair.

Won't You Charleston With Me

The Blue Shoes!

Moira Sheara in The Man Who Loved Redheads (1955)

I have a serious, ballet-related thing for satin shoes paired with white stockings. They made an appearance in Christian Lacroix's Spring 2007 Couture show, incidentally one of my favourite Haute Couture collections ever:


Monday, January 16, 2012

bella cipolla

Chanel Iman and Dolce & Gabbana Spring 2012 on the cover of L'Officiel, February 2012:

Just showing everyone how it's done.

long and lean

Remember this moment, friends.

Natalie Portman's Lanvin dress probably won't be the most talked-about one worn to the 2012 Golden Globes but I reckon it might be a bit of a game-changer. At first glance the gown looks like a slightly cheesy nod to the famous pink Travilla gown worn by Marilyn Monroe in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. On closer inspection, however, I think one can detect the influence of some of Christian Dior's Y-Line designs of the mid-1950s:

"Dovima with the Elephants” by Richard Avedon, August 1955. Dress by Christian Dior

For some decades now voluminous skirts and fish-tails have dominated the red carpets. Here's hoping that Portman's dress marks a return to the very sophisticated line of structured and slim full-length skirts. God knows it's time for the fish-tail to take a bow.

p.s. Yes Jonathan Saunders! Yes!
Jonathan Saunders Pre-Fall 2012