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Elegantly Wasted: A Trip to the 90s with Hedi Slimane for Saint-Laurent

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When it was announced that Hedi Slimane was to take the place of Stefano Pilati as creative director of the iconic label Yves Saint-Laurent, the fashion world was left wondering what new innovations the Swiss designer could bring to the brand. Then he dropped the Yves.

That’s right. For over fifty years the brand has existed as YSL,a brand coveted for its luxury, craft, and intuition; and yet within a few moments under Slimane’s guiding eye, the brand switched from Yves Saint-Laurent, to Saint-Laurent Paris. A seemingly small change, but for fashion insiders, it seemed to represent a much grander prophecy.

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It should come as no surprise, however, considering Hedi Slimane is a designer who is known for being a somewhat of a revolutionary when it comes to fashion. He is the man that ushered a tidal wave of change nearly a decade ago when he was appointment menswear designer for Dior; making Dior Homme not only a coveted brand worn by celebrities from Brandon Flowers and Pete Doherty to Cate Blanchett, but seriously revolutionized mens fashion altogether. While most collections stuck to a very standard approach to mens styles, Slimane flipped it on its head exchanging boot cuts for skinny jeans, made suspenders cool, had young guys think hats are cool, wearing skinny ties, and switching their blazer for cropped motorcycle jackets.

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On top of that, he single handedly changed the standard of beauty for male models, exchanging the buff All-American dreamboat for the skinny skater kid you see hanging out in the alleyway with his friends sneaking a joint and giving each other tattoos. What would have been referred to as the ‘Teenage Wasteland’ by our grandparents, has now turned into the standard ideal of luxury by fashion insiders, which you have to admit is pretty damn cool.

And if there’s anyone who knows cool its Hedi Slimane, who took a break from designing and took a dip into the realms of industrial design, exhibition design, curating, and of course his photography which he showcased on his site, the Hedi Slimane Diary.

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Now, Slimane has kicked it off with his debut menswear collection for Saint-Laurent in this latest F/W 2013 runway show, proving that he’s still got it in the bag when it comes to making mens fashion that feels fresh, cool, casual, with all the bad ass luxury of a world class rock star.

There’s plenty of vintage inspiration thrown in there too, with a definite ode to the 90s.

 

It’s a decadent rock n roll roller coaster of goth and grunge (very of the moment) that elevates the styles to a whole new level (being Saint-Laurent, after all). Plaid shirts, cardigans, ripped jeans, leopard print, fur coats, and oversized jackets – these are the new standards. Vive Revolution.

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There’s definitely nods to the great, late, one-of-a-kind, king of sadness, rebel bad boy, Kurt Cobain in the mix. And while, we’ve seen this vintage inspiration dozens of times in the past, somehow Slimane is able to rejuvenate the look with unexpected combinations of texture, colour, pattern, and shape. And what might seem like odd styling choices, at times, only adds to the eclectic decadence.

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You could even say it ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’, as the anthem goes, but its more likely an invitation to  ‘Come as You Are’, when you think about it. No need to fuss or muss. Just throw it on, and march. That’s the best part for us, and the most alluring and beautiful representation of Cobain’s unique style we’ve yet to see.

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I see a little bit of River Phoenix in there, too . . . he was, of course, a forefather to that grunge look, and probably would have come to represent it even more if it weren’t for his untimely death. There’s also a little Jordan Catalano thrown into the mix . . .

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His F/W Women’s Collection is equally full of these rebel notions, and 90’s attitudes. You can spot inspiration everything from Courtney Love, ‘The Craft’, ‘Daria’, ‘My So-Called Life’, ‘Reality Bites’, ‘Poison Ivy’, Gwen Stefani, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Bridget Fonda in ‘Singles’! It’s every fashionista’s dream collection, pretty much. Expect to see even more of this on the streets, and anyone who was doubting this particular breed of style, can suck it because this is Yves Saint-Laurent, baby – sorry, SAINT-LAURENT, baby!

Hats off to you, Slimane. You bring the past to life in a whole new way, and that’s what makes us love you most. You show that fashion is about reinvention as much as invention, and to look to the past and give it a new spin is about as innovative as you can get. You remind everybody that everything old is easily new again with a little bit of imagination.

Your vintage inspiration is out of this world, and you keep reinventing, not just how we dress, but yourself, in many ways, which is both aspirational and incorrigible to all those of us who call ourselves dedicated followers of fashion….

So, Merci Beaucoup. Somehow, you’ve made me feel like we’re definitely doing something right. And remember, it’s not about being perfect; it’s what makes you imperfect that really counts.

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“STOKER” – The Life and Styles of the Rich and Sophisticated . . .

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“Stoker” is one of those films that only come out once in a blue moon; when we’ve all done our chores, and said our blessings to the universe – then we get a film like “Stoker”.

Complex, beautiful, provocative, wonderfully acted, great dialogue, and stylistically beyond are some words you could use to describe it, but its more the indescribable feelings you are left with after leaving the picture, that truly speak to its prestige in the grand scheme of world cinema.

The term world cinema couldn’t be more appropriate in this case, as Korean Director Park (Chang-Wook of “Oldboy” fame) has choreographed this exquisitely sinister plot in a language foreign to most of the cast and crew. Even while working with the film’s biggest stars, a translator was used to communicate between actor and director. And while this is his first English language film, it will definitely not be his last. As any film buff knows, the language of film is universal, and from the film’s opening shots the director’s eye for detail and acute sensibility sing a song harking back to film makers of a time long gone like Bergman, Hitchcock, and Kubrick.

India Stoker- Classic Vintage Inspired Look by Kurt and Bart

Many things spoke to us throughout the film, from Clint Mansell‘s (“Black Swan”) haunting score, the incredibly articulated and imaginative Production Design of Therese De Prez (another “Black Swan” veteran), Wentworth Miller (“Prison Break”) and Erin Wilson’s sophisticated script, as well as the acting chops of Matthew Goode ( playing against type as the mysterious Uncle with a dark past), Nicole Kidman (the lonely and vindictive mother), and most especially Mia Wasikowska, as India Stoker, the film’s protagonist.

This young starlet is always good in everything she is in, but almost expertly does she manage to tackle this role which requires her to be many things, most of the time without many words, making for a most appreciated and most memorable character in the past decade.

Surrounded by Saddle Shoes- India Stoker Style Stunner

But what stood out in particular for us here at The Eye of Faith, had to be the incredible costume design by designer duo Kurt & Bart, who put together the looks to fully realize these strange personalities.

Indeed, they are very rich and very sophisticated, and from the moment India walks onto the screen in her crocodile skinned LaBoutins, flowy skirt and floral silken blouse – you just knew you were in for a style treat with this one.

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In fact, throughout the film, the costumes play a great deal in helping enrich the story being told throughout. The designers point out a green Marni cardigan, worn during the film’s strange piano duet, noting how the colour of the cardigan matches the colours of the walls in her own house, symbolizing India’s captivity.

Also signature to the film’s main theme is a pair of shoes – saddle shoes, to be exact, which represent the more child-like and homely version of India, before she foregoes her inevitable transformation into womanhood.

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While the film displays a nod to the 1950s with the styling of India, the duo point out that no vintage was harmed in the making of this film.

Instead, they studied day dressed and blouses from the era and used them as inspiration in the creation of India’s wardrobe, adding extra details, and unique clasps and fastenings that would indicate India’s obsessively detailed nature, as well as her rejection of the everyday – that’s my girl!

She is not of this world, but of her own, and throughout the film we are by her side in  her own elevated sense of reality.

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I’m gonna bet there’s already been a rise in saddle shoe sales, and I’m hoping to see more girls unafraid to rock a pretty blouse and skirt combination. After all, its all in the attitude – the India Attitude.

She’s definitely a new idol of sorts; Nouveau-Gothic, in a way, with her pastel coloured blouses, and prim and proper way of dress, but grossly morose in her attitude and presentation to the world around her.

She is a representation of that breaking point from teen to adult, and that indefinite feeling of not belonging to the world that surrounds you, and doing everything you can to not fit into it. She’s a strange poster child for our generation, in that way.

There’s no doubting the staying power of this film, and in 25 years from now, we will still be looking back on this one as a great one on the level of psychological horrors like “The Shining” and “Rosemary’s Baby”. Even compared to those great classics, there is something very different here with “Stoker” that cannot be compared. Perhaps it is the contemporary nature of the story, and it taking place today that is very different.

These days American films don’t often delve into the lives of the rich and sophisticated to come out with a vision so twisted and maniacal, so perhaps it is the appropriateness of this action that really helps speak to the “nowness” of it all. There is no denying the conspiracies and secrets of the world’s most affluent families, and as history as shown us, they often hide the most terrible and terrifying secrets . . .

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“Stoker” is a glimpse on what might just be the truth behind the family with the mansion, the housekeeper, the beautifully kept lawn, the designer furniture, valuable antiques, most incredible designer clothing, and carved stone art just laying about in the garden. After all, you never know . . .

From the very beginning it will really keep you guessing, but be warned – its not for the faint of heart. This is a thriller, and while director Park describes his film as a modern fairy tale, don’t be expecting ponies and rainbows from this one. There is a glass slipper at the end of it all – though be them black crocodile LaBoutins at the end of it all, which maybe a few hours afterwards will really strike you as a funny “Happy Ever After” to this very modern Fairy Tale; a fairy tale that, unlike most,  challenges its audiences, and asks you to question the characters motives and uncover their vices to help us question ourselves and our own everyday anxieties.

So if there’s one thing you get up to this week its getting your butt out the door to see this film!

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This is me. Just as a flower does not choose its colour, we are not responsible for what we come to be. Only once you realize this do you become free. And to become adult, is to become free.

-India, “Stoker” {2013}.

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Dying for the look? Stay Tuned to The Eye of Faith for the tools to recreate Stoker’s sensual 1950s reinvention!

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Until we meet again!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. SNAPSHOT OF THE DAY {JULY 26, 2013}

520EPeabody_snakes1_1949{T.G.I.F.!  We’re whippin’ out our Snakes and let’s have a little fun!! Everybody now!}

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Styling Orchards, the Band; Plus BONUS {MUSIC MINUTE} “Oh, Sister” by Orchards

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I learned long ago that when someone asks you to pull looks for a vaudeville circus inspired shoot, you do so!

Granted, I’ve never been asked to in this life, but something just tells you to jump at the opportunity when its right. We didn’t even have to question whether or not we wanted to be a part of this when the beautiful, and lovely (don’t forget talented) Jessica Panetta asked if we’d want to work together, and pull some looks to bring to a shoot for the city’s finest up-and-coming folk band, Orchards.

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Orchards comprises of Anthony William Wallace (violin, banjo), Daniel John Taylor (bass, guitar, ukulele), and Gabrielle Sylvane Charron-Merritt (trumpet, guitar) who are all uber-talented, fun, and highly multi-disciplinary artists who dove right into every scenario with gusto and poise.

Couldn’t have done it without my wardrobe partner, Heather English, who had a great eye for colour and detail (heart!) .

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Their music is haunting and eloquent with captivating melodies that evoke lost memories from deep within our collective consciousness. The songs are classic and utterly timeless bringing a modern twist to classic folk sounds. Needless to say, their music was the perfect inspiration for the shoot.

We played off the softness and decadent dishevelling of men and women seen in vintage photographs for the quieter moments, and looked for bold and intriguing colour and graphic combinations to complete the circus vibe.

All in all, I think the look completed is a nod to the past, but is completely reinvented – just like Orchard’s own music, which ultimately is the element we all hoped to showcase.

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Each shot is so great to look back on, as you remember it all happening – when it was moving, and there were sounds, and laughter, and distraction; not with a photograph. These are magic moments here, captured throughout.

Please enjoy the photographs, and definitely dive into the track below entitled “Oh,Sister” by Orchards for a true escape from the everyday . . .

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[ Click to listen to more Orchards at Bandcamp]

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[I told you the past can come back to life!]

We were so lucky to have such a talented team of individuals who all came together in symbiosis to make this vision come to life! Very proud to have been a part of it, and looking forward to what the future has in store . . .

Don’t forget to LIKE ORCHARDS on FACEBOOK, and share with all your friends!

Glad we could catch up!

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Naomie Harris is a Bad Ass!

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One of this Holiday’s biggest movie attractions to come to theaters is the 23rd installment of the James Bond 007 spy series “Skyfall“, and it’s not just Sam Mendes’ peroxide prescription for the film’s “colourless” villain, played by Javier Bardem, that has people citing the latest installment of the series as revolutionary in the history of the franchise, but rather one of the film’s dazzling dangerous leading ladies.

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The subject in question is 36 year old English actress, Naomie Harris, who comes to play in the film as Eve Moneypenny, a fellow M16 agent who works closely with Bond. On the surface of it all, she seems to join the ranks of dozens of beautiful actresses who have teamed up alongside 007 in one extraordinary mission after another. The coveted ‘Bond Girl’ title will always look good on a resume.

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But, Naomie Harris isn’t just your everyday beautiful actress. Time and time again she has exchanged the female stereotype, and impressed not only with her timeless looks, but more so her undeniable edge. Always willing to stand her grounds, at a casting with Michael Mann she is known for showing who is boss with just a look in her eye.

‘He called me for a meeting in his office and he was sort of embarrassed. He just said, “So how do you feel about this nudity thing?” And I said…’ she drops her voice to a low, menacing tone, ‘“Well, I don’t really want to do it, Michael.”’ She sounds terrifying. ‘And he went, “Yeah. OK.”’ I bet he did.

[Source: The Telegraph]

Naomie has also always made room on her plate for faster, feistier, and darker characters. One of her earlier film roles really stands out as a loud and proud display of this quality she brings to the screen is in Danny Boyle’s art-house zombie flick “28 Days Later“.

Naomie Harris Goes Psycho (28 Days Later)

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As Selena, Naomie tears up the screen with a will for survival matched only by her true grit in getting through post-apocalyptic England with her body and soul intact. This was one of the first, but certainly not the last strong atypical female characters she would conquer on her quest.

Naomie Harris Cuts Like a Knife in 28 Days Later

“She Will Cut You! “

Indeed, she also made an impression as Tia Dalma, Goddess of Calypso in the “Pirates of the Carribean” franchise. She is almost indistinguishable as herself in the film’s fierce makeup, and once again brings her magic to the screen.

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Both elusive and dangerous, Harris brings the seductive powers needed to play the ocean goddess and matches it with her viscious voodoo edge. Not your everyday siren of the sea . . .

Throughout her career, Naomie has displayed her will to be something more than your everyday goddess of the screen. From “Pirates of the Carribean”, to “28 Days Later”, Naomie has shown off her ability to play the strong woman, and in “Skyfall“, this inherent quality comes to a head in a move that is completely revolutionary to the history of the franchise.

Naomie Harris is Dangerous Luxury

For the first time in 50 years, 007 is accompanied by not a Bond Girl, but a ‘Bond Woman’.

It’s official. Publicity materials refer to Harris as the ‘Bond Woman’, which is in itself pretty bad ass, indeed. The franchise’s long time producer, Barbara Broccoli, supports the changes:

“‘It’s outdated,’ she says. It’s been a long time since Bond girls wiggled around in barely there outfits sighing, ‘Oh, James!’ every five minutes. And Eve is another significant evolution away from that. She’s a field agent taking the same risks and making the same sacrifices as 007.”

{Source: The Telegraph}

Naomie had hinted at the change at a BAFTA Awards ceremony where she commented on a statement of her as the newest ‘Bond Girl’ , stating “Well, I’m going to change that to Bond woman.”’

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Seems like Naomie Harris gets it done. Whether it’s fighting pirates, zombies, or giving 007 a much needed hand, Naomie Harris embraces the evolution of popular culture, and where she fits in as a strong, intelligent, bad ass woman. (read more here)

So always remember to bring that edge!

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Thanks for reading!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. Snapshot of the Day {August 10, 2012}

{Late Super Model Gia Carangi poses it up with a gaggle of Models. Circa 1970s.
We could see any one of these looks on a runway today}
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