Tag Archives: Golden Globes

OPRAH’S CRUSADE AGAINST GRUNGE!

{Photo by Steve Granitz/WireImage}

The biggest adventure you can ever take is to live the life of your dreams.

-Oprah Winfrey

 

Since the Golden Globes, Oprah is on everyone’s mind after a poignant acceptance speech for the Cecil B. DeMille Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s ceremony which has gone as far as having people saying “OPRAH FOR PRESIDENT!”

The model for elegant maturity and refinement for most, it has come to our attention that this Queen of the Screen really fought hard against something we totally take for granted – GRUNGE STYLE!!!

That’s right people. I think Oprah hates GRUNGE; that iconic style that emerged from the late 80s which rejected the gloss and polish of mainstream fashion for a more relaxed, tattered and easy vibe and was popularized by designers Marc Jacobs and bands like Nirvana, R.E.M, and Pearl Jam to name a few. . .

from ‘Grunge & Glory’ shot by Steven Meisel {US Vogue / c. December 1992}

Flannel plaid, cardigans, army boots, ripped jeans – you’d have to be living under a rock to not be able to characterize this style, especially considering every mainstream fashion brand from Los Angeles to Seoul are touting the trend . . .

We say it time and time again, but style is absolutely cyclical. That’s why we always promote our mantra of seeking the {past} to influence the {present} and shape the {future}. I really wonder what Oprah would be crusading against these days . . . there would definitely be plenty of material for her to draw from.

Enough said, however, let’s take a look at just how much Oprah hates GRUNGE!

Makes me wonder what she would say about Grunge now? She really seemed to be not into that. Like, when she questions those cool black leather witch boots the teenage daughter gave her Mother in her own 90s Grunge Makeover.

The worst part is – they never look better!!! I totally prefer their personal sense of style over the manufactured cookie cutter that Oprah seems to be tied to, sadly.

Fun, nonetheless! Tell us what you think in the comments below!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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Racism or Reality? Suck it Up, 21st Century!

Django Uncahined- Leo, Samuel L Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Jamie foxx

A slew of scandal has shaken the entertainment industry this year with release of Quentin Tarantino’s much anticipated new film “Django Unchained”, which tells of a newly freed slave and his journey with a bounty hunter to free his wife from the grip of a brutal plantation owner.

Tarantino, who is no stranger to controversy, is receiving criticism for his screenplay which uses the “N-word” (you know the one all the rappers throw out like Mardi-Gras beads from a parade float) over 100 times throughout the film, which is set in 1858, amidst the horrors of slavery in the Antebellum South.

While the film is visually stunning, and has received accolades, including 5 Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, and Sound Editting), and a Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay, many nay-sayers, including high-profile names such as director Spike Lee, are completely opposed to the film, claiming “It’d be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film. That’s the only thing I’m going to say. I can’t disrespect my ancestors”.

And while the film is Tarantino’s most successful to date ( $186.76 million worldwide, topping his last effort, the WWII action flick “Inglourious Basterds”), the film can’t seem to get a break.

eof- django unchained toys deemed offensive and removed from shelves

Most recently, a line of “Django Unchained” action figures were pulled from shelves, due to controversy over the “slave” and “slave owner” characters being depicted. Perhaps it’s not the film itself that has everyone’s emotions going out of whack.

What it comes down to is that the past was a very scary place. One that to this day conjures deep and unsettling emotions.

artist Kara Walker

On a similar note, contemporary American artist Kara Walker (best known for her silhouetted figures of Blacks and Whites living in dystopian disharmony in the romance of the Antebellum South) has also come under fire (once again) for another politically, racially, and sexually charged depiction of the horrors many African Americans faced prior to the Civil War that included a depiction of a black woman performing oral sex on a white man.

The drawing entitled “The moral arc of history ideally bends towards justice but just as soon as not curves back around toward barbarism, sadism, and unrestrained chaos” (2010), features bold and brash figures, in Walker’s signature drawing style, and are hurried across the picture, which has the community of Newark divided, after the drawing was covered by a cloth after its hanging on Thanksgiving in the Newark Public Library.

KARA WALKER- The moral arc of history ideally bends towards justice but just as soon as not curves back around toward barbarism, sadism, and unrestrained chaos (2010

Just days ago, the drawing was reinstated to the walls of the New Jersey library, on the grounds that “The library should be a safe harbor for controversies of all types, and those controversies can be dealt with in the context of what is known about art, about literature, democracy and freedom,” according to Library trustee, and history professor at Rutgers University, Clement A. Price.

Granted, the African American experience is a sensitive issue, but as Price notes “”Should we be depicted sentimentally, romantically?” or “Should some of the grotesque realities be depicted in art or movies?” Kara Walker has also been invited for a presentation at the Library on the topic of artistic freedom and her role as a black artist to society.

karawalkerinstallview1_600_600

kara walker - you do

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Rather than shy from the harsh realities of this atrocious period in history, Walker’s work attacks it head on, and has gained respect worldwide as an artist who is unafraid of the truth of the matter. In fact, it is the “N-word” that started off the young artists’ career, adapting the persona of the “Negress” and exploring the racism, sex, violence, and mythos associated with African Americans throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, when slavery was at its height in both Canada and the US.

Through careful research, imagination, and pure fearlessness, Walker is able to uncover the hidden truths of the society we live in. On her own work, Walker says “I think my work sort of minimcs the past, but it’s all about the present. Oh, some great artist in the past, Courbet or somebody, said there’s no historical art that isn’t about present…” and “The work is two parts research and one part paranoid hysteria.”

Django Uncahined - bloody violence

Much like Walker, Tarantino’s vision of pre-Civil War America is based on a history that has been amplified, as so our 21st Century eyes and ears can hear and see the past in a clear light. In our world today, racism is no way condoned by anybody, but to forget about such a turbulent aspect of our society on the grounds that it is racist is completely naive. This controversy might be a sure sign that our society is in deep denial and conflict over the world we live in.

By shying away from the past, we do ourselves a complete disservice, and deny ourselves the chance to experience the present in its true form. Context is everything, and when dealing with the Antebellum south, the context is not going to be pretty. We should not try to make a romance of the tragedies that have preceded us. To do so could be the most racist thing of all. And we should not try to hide from younger generations the truth, when it has taken so long for us to uncover it.

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Django Unchained- light my candle

2013 has been called a year of forgiveness, where past wounds can heal, and new dreams can be achieved. My dream would be to see a society that can own up to its past, and be OK with it – can that change the past? No. But it can allow for healing and forgiveness to those who are up in arms about it.

As for Tarantino in the matter, he brags to the L.A. times “Even for the movie’s biggest black detractors, I think their children will grow up and love this movie. I think it could become a rite of passage for young, black males.” Not only this, but think of Django as a hero who can represent overcoming the most difficult of challenges, and to give power to anyone in the world who feels they have been under the strains of any sort of oppression.

We can rise above. So, suck it up, 21st Century! It’s time to grow a pair!

Jamie Foxx- Blue Boy Costume- Django Unchained

What are your thoughts? Let us know below!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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Wallis and Edward, “W.E.” . . . Whatever?!

So the reviews have not been so pretty thus far for Madonna’s W.E.

Vogue Italia’s Emanuele Lugli posted a rather scathing review after the film’s premier at the Venice Film Festival in November, and hasn’t garned very much acclaim since (unfortunately) for Madonna as the next great auteur.

This is unfair since Madonna has definitely generated herself as a leader in style, and the art of catching our eye with generations of videos and unique fashions, so it’s easy to see where her interest in the subject lies.

Wallis Simpson was already a divorced American socialite who was subsequently married when the two crossed paths in 1930 at his home, Fort Belvedere in Windsor Great Park, where the Prince often entertained parties and a series of scandalous affairs. It would be almost a year after abdicating his throne before Wallis was officially divorced from her husband, and the two could finally be wed.


Talk about romantic. They quickly became the toast of cafe society around Europe with Wallis gracing the pages of Vogue, with an affinity for French couture including Christian Dior, Hubert de Givenchy, and most especially Madame Vionnet. Equally, Edward VIII had garnered quite a reputation for his outlandish Dandy lifestyle which had quickly fallen out of fashion after the Great War.

Nevertheless, a Dandy must do as a dandy does; with a long lineage of “Dandy-ism” in the family (stemming back to King George IV, legion for the British Regency, and best friends with Numero Uno Dandy Supremo, Beau Brummell) it seemed only natural for the handsome Prince to exploit his God-Given sensibilities.

This he did with thick Windsor knotted neckties, and various combinations of checks, plaids, tweeds, and stripes that would mark Edward VIII as the epitome of manly elegance. He enjoyed his “pants from across the sea”, trousers done in an American high-rise cut, and had matching jackets tailored in London, creating a new hybrid of classic style with an ifusion of American conservatism and British sophistication.

He was J.C. Leyendecker’s Arrow Collar Man personified, and Vogue’s editor-in-chief Diane Vreeland would describe the nonchalant elegance of the Duke as “Chic Fatigue”.All we know is, we’re not getting tired, we haven’t even gotten started!

Also worth mentioning is the Duke and Duchess’ controversial relationship with Hilter, and the Nazi party. Many history books portray the couple as sincere Nazi sympathizers, and this the most would continually taint the pair’s reputation.

And while Wallis recieved much attention for her bold, architectural fashion choices, critics often pointed to how plain a woman she was, and rumors quickly spread of her years in Shandhai and Peking where she recieved extensive training in the erotic arts.

Most recently it has been revealed that the Duke of Windsor had been a patient of psychiatrist Alexander Cannon, known as the “Yogi of Yorkshire”. Cannon was an expert occultist claiming to have levitated a chasm in Nepal, and administered exotic remedies for problems ranging from anxiety, to sex and confidence. Edward VIII was seeing the eccentric doctor for a “drinking problem”, and the two were becoming increasingly close, to the point others described Cannon as the King’s closest confidante (other than Simpson). Most interesting, no?

The tale of Wallis and Edward is full of as much controversy and ridicule as Madonna’s film it seems. Whatever their politics, it’s impossible to discredit the deep love the two obviously share for one another, and to abdicate the throne, be a martyr for love- it’s literally the stuff movies are made of, and I’ll give Madonna that for sinking her claws into such a juicy mother.

My hat goes off to Arianne Phillips and her spot on costume designs for the film. Phillips, who recieved an Academy Award Nomination for “Walk the Line” (2005), and was responsible for the tailored looks of Tom Ford’s “A Single Man” (2009), as well as taking care of Madonna’s costumes for both “The Confessions”, and the “Sticky & Sweet” tours, does an amazing job at recreating the glamour and decadence of the famous couple.

Photographs by Tom Munro for Vanity Fair, Quite Continental has featured a great interview with the designer and her many challenges dressing the film.

Her dynamic work include several recreation of Simpson’s most famous looks, and despite budget restrictions, Phillips’ work comes off as luxe and rich as ever. Most extraordinarily, the sophistication and elegance of Edward is equally imagined and captured, with James D’Arcy doing his best to pull off the Duke’s effortless swag.

The Academy Awards are just around the corner, and though we can safely set Madonna aside for a chance at Best Director, we’re expecting to see another Academy Award Nomination for the film’s exceptional costume designs.

There’s a reason behind the madness people! Madonna knows, she does kaballah…I came across this eloquent quote from Stan Hawkin’s “The British Pop Dandy” for some clarification on perhaps, Edward VIII’s own dandy motto or manifesto he might carry with himself…maybe a certain attitude that could attribute to him, the romantic hero, a true dandy, and Wallis herself, a dandy in her own right. Here goes:

“Someone whose transient tastes never shirk
from excess, protest or rebellion…the dandy
revels in artifice simply for style’s sake as
a mischievous play with masks of calculated
elegance….all the great dandies have been
outsiders…eager to
make themselves publicly visible through a
conceit that is deemed their birthright. Driven
by a desire to draw on a personal style, the
dandy unabashedly states who he is and what he wants
without giving a damn for what anyone cares”

-Stan Hawkins (author, The British Pop Dandy)

Could explain how they always seem to be up to something! Can definitely relate to the “masks of calculated elegance” vibe in regards to the pair. Check out the video below:

Whatever. “W.E.” is making it’s way to a theatre near you January 20. What do you think?
-The Eye


[UPDATE (01/19/2012): Congratulations Arianne Phillips for your Costume Designer Guild nomination for excellence in Period Costuming! ]
The Eye.

[UPDATE: OSCAR GLORY! Congratulations to Arianne Phillips for her 2012 Academy Award Nomination for Excellence in Costume Design!!! (01/24/2012)]

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