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

hedi slimane- saint laurent 2013- grunge and the nineties- fall winter- elegantly wasted- vintage style inspiration- hero

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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Kurt cobain in black and white striples - classics reinvented everyday- vintage style inspiration

kurt cobain in leopard coat- ecclectic king - rock n roll- vintage style inspiraton

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.

kurt cobain- plaid shirt vintage style inspiration- king of cool

kurt cobain black and white plaid shirt photo vintage style inspiration

fundamentals- layers of cool- ripped jeans and cardigan sweaters- dress shirts and tshirts- vintage style inspiration

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.

river phoenix is classic cool- elegant rock n roll- who gives a fuck superstar- vintage style inspiration

river phoenix in plaid too - rock n roll style idol- vintage style inspiration

 

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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DEFYING ‘GRAVITY’ {and our expectations . . .}

Being an astronaut is not as cool as I thought - Gravity (2013)

Alfonso Cuarón is without doubt one of our generations most ambitious and talented directors, whose latest film ‘Gravity’ has solidified him as a premiere auteur of the cinema, that is if his last film “Children of Men” didn’t already have you convinced.

The signs were there from the start.

Cuaron - A little princess - 1994

A Mexican director, Cuarón made his English debut in 1995 with a retelling of the Edwardian classic, “A Little Princess” which reinvigorated new life into the tale of a young girl left at the mercy of a miserable, unforgiving, and demanding headmistress after the sudden death of her father. He turned what could have been a drab child’s tale into an intoxicating rich and exotic affair of the heart and imagination.
Vintage Style- Great Expectations - Ethan Hawke and Gwyneth Paltrow - 1998

Vintage Men Style- Ethan Hawke in Great Expectations - 1998- The Eye of Faith

He followed this up with another adaptation of a classic, “Great Expectations” which starred Ethan Hawke, and featured an immaculate performance by Anne Bancroft, as well as Gwyneth Paltrow at the height of her 90s babe-ness. The film took the Dickensian tale of love lost and greed into a contemporary tale with equal visual splendor.

Sandra Bullock is Scared- Gravity film (2013)
His latest film “Gravity”, however, is a film larger in scope than any of his previous (including “Harry Potter and the Prisoner of the Azkaban”), whilst also being perhaps the most simple in its premise.
Sandra Bullock plays Dr. Ryan Stone, a first time astronaut sent by NASA to install new technologies onto the Hubble Space Telescope before the mission is rudely interrupted by a massive debris storm that wipes out not only her ride home, but what seems to be our entire world built in space. It’s a nail-biter of a film that follows her minute by minute as she quickly comes to grips with her will to survive.
With a little encouragement from a rowdy veteran astronaut (played by George Clooney) she is able to get her wits about her, even as she is hurled through space time and time again.

Gravity trailer -- Pictured: Sandra Bullock(Screengrab)
Bullock plays Dr. Stone with a brilliance never before captured from the Hollywood icon even after winning her Best Actress Oscar for 2009’s The Blind Side. Bullock is able to capture the raw emotion of a woman catapulted into the abyss. She experiences it all: fear, sadness, overwhelming happiness, excitement, delirium, panic, loss, and joy. It’s a spectrum of emotion that very few actresses get to take on, and in turn, can pull of with half as much success.
And damn does she look good. At 49, her body is as fit and toned as ever while her chiseled face is beautifully defined by the stark illumination of space giving us a unique perspective on the star we rarely get to see (she also really suits that short hair).

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What is most exciting about “Gravity” is that while it could easily have been a different movie, Cuarón ensures the universality of its themes, and exhibits an unnerving sensibility to let us wait, and sit, and ponder the moment. After a calamity of events, Bullock makes it into the International Space Station and for a good minute we watch as she retreats into her body like a fetus and floats in space like a unborn baby in a womb. It’s moments like this that bring brilliance to what is undoubtedly Cuarón’s masterpiece.
And while there are plenty of space movies, and good ones at that, this one needs to top the list of those released in the past decade, and comes a close second to the epitome of all movies in space- Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey”, which in itself is a mighty amazing feat.

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Very rarely do films set in space capture the scope of themes and the realism needed to convey the heaviness of life in space. Its no joke, and it’s done without the presence of creepy extra terrestrials or intimidating other-world space craft. When it comes down to it, the most dangerous thing Ryan Stone faces is the presence of an almost non-presence- that of “Gravity” an invisible force that keeps us planted on the ground, and without can turn a single bolt into a deadly weapon that can obliterate even the most expensive and sophisticated technology we have under our belt.

Gravity - Sandra Bullock - Amazing
This film makes you think, and ultimately that’s what movie-going is about. We enjoyed this film thoroughly, and expect to see this film as a strong contender at next year’s Academy Awards ceremony. In fact, I can smell tough competition already between Bullock and Blanchett for the coveted Best Actress win. Can Bullock pull a second win? She sure as hell deserves it. Also expect Cuarón in contention for Director, and his long-time cinematographer Emmanuelle Lubezki (“A Little Princess”, “Sleepy Hollow“, “Children of Men”, “The Tree of Life“) for his very first win.

A rare gem that will go unmatched for decades to come. See this film!!

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Obsessed! Vintage Summer Style Supreme, Straight from Cannes 2013: Alain Delon’s “Purple Noon” (1960)

Vintage alain delon- your destiny is in your hands - purple noon 1960

Every year the Cannes Film Festival whips around, you can guarantee to start feeling the summer start shining on in. Just picture the French Riviera, the movie stars, the palm fronds, and sail boats. Champagne in sandals . . . the works!

It’s like a nostalgia, really. I think everyone, once in their lives will make an appearance on that legendary red carpeted staircase. At least once in our many lives, I guarantee it.

Once again, the line-up of films is quite impressive, and the movie on everybody’s lips has got to be Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring” which brings together Emma Watson, Taissa Farmiga, Katie Chang, Isreal Broussard as the real life clique of celebrity obsessed High Schoolers who made a splash in 2009 for their wild and childlike antics.

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The bling ring gang

The bling ring in court

People want what they can’t have, and these kids just took it to the extreme in a whole new level. Its a lot about insecurity and acceptance, and if you get these things you might get the acceptance you are yearning for. 

Kate Chang for VARIETY

Also known as the “Hollywood Hills Burglars” and the “Burglar Bunch”, Vanity Fair would publish the iconic article entitled “The Suspects Wore Louboutins” by Nancy Jo Sales in March 2010 on the cusp of the newly exposed scandal that was rocking Los Angeles by storm {click here to read the original article}.

How could a bunch of teens possibly have the know-how to break into their most worshipped and idolized celebrities (names like Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, Audrey Patridge, and Orlando Bloom) and steal upwards of $3 million worth of clothes and jewelry ? Easy, really – Google. The film hopes to shed light on the perils of our society, who raise our bright and beautiful youth to become celebrity obsessed criminals. It’s all just a bit of fun, they think, until things get serious. . .

The film is getting a ton of praise for Sofia Copolla’s acute and withdrawn directing sensibilities, as well as its crisp cinematography by the late and legendary Harry Savides. However, this is not the only film to deal with the same startling themes.

Purple Noon Vintage Poster 1960

Cannes Classics brings to light  a much-too-forgotten gem of a film, 1960’s”Le Pleine Soleil” (or “Purple Noon“) directed by Renee Clement and starring original E.O.F. Style Idol himself, Alain Delon, in probably his most provocative and stylish role.

You know the story, already, I’m sure. The story of Tom Ripley – “The Talented Mr. Ripley”. It was only 14 years ago that Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Jude Law starred in the lead roles of this classic thriller. Published in 1955, and written by Patricia Highsmith, the story would be the first in a slew of novels starring the notorious anti-hero, Tom Ripley.

Dapper Devil- Alain Delon- Purple Noon (1960)

What are you trying to say? I don't look as good as you . .

“Purple Noon” would be Delon’s first big starring role, and it is what he brings to the camera that makes his performance the most magical and mesmerizing take on Mr. Ripley’s misguided eccentricities.

The film was released to relatively positive reviews, mostly for Delon’s masterful acting, but disappointed for an abrupt ending caused by studio standards of the time who refused to see a villain get away with his crimes (which is where the 1999 film comes in and wins major points).

Dont Kiss and Tell- Alain Delon- Purple Noon- Class and Identity- 1960

Tom Ripley Diary Entries - classic style seen in Purple Noon

But, nevertheless, “Purple Noon” pays off with its on-point portrayal of the casual life, style, and luxury of the comfortably rich and famous. The menswear is sublime, and almost every shot is a tour-de-force of classic Mediterranean cool.

Summer Whites- Alain Delon in Purple Noon 1960

Check out those Timeless Loafers- Purple Noon 1960- Vintage Style Wise

Alain Delon- Purple Noon - I like your watch it would look better on me

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley - la pleine soleil 1960

Tom Ripley is a chameleon of a man who begins to live the life of another more fabulous, and more wealthy man, and the best part is (for Ripley, least), this other man had a real knack for really great style. The rings, the loafers, the shirts, the jacket, the hair – it’s enough to make Daisy Buchanan break down in tears! How could he not want to take over this guy’s life?

This is the frightening paradox embedded within this maddeningly modern mystery.

Alain Delon is dapper in a cool vintage graphic summer shirt - 1960 Puple Noon

LA PLEINE SOLEIL - Purple Noon- Alain Delon in Tropical Graphic Print Shirt - 1960

When in doubt raid the closet of a discerning and wealthy friend

“He loved possessions, not masses of them, but a select few that he did not part with. They gave a man self-respect. Not ostentation but quality, and the love that cherished the quality. Possessions reminded him that he existed, and made him enjoy his existence. It was as simple as that. And wasn’t that worth something? He existed. Not many people in the world knew how to, even if they had the money. It really didn’t take money, masses of money, it took a certain security.” 

-Patricia Highsmith, “The Talented Mr. Ripley”

Trying on all these clothes was tiring indeed - alain delon- purple noon 1960

Vintage Style Classic - Purple Noon 1960- Alain Delon- Idol Worship-EOF

Alain Delon as Tom Ripley- La Pleine Soleil Vintage

Take a look back and you can spot straight off the bat the timelessness of it all. It’s a film like “Purple Noon” that will stick in your memory forever, and become a staple repertoire of how you want to dress this summer: clean, cool, casual, and elegant. Those are just some keywords to keep in mind when venturing into these cool dark waters.

And even to a certain degree, become someone else if you have to. Moving through the streets with your cool clean shades on, feel the mystery embody you, and take to the streets like you’re about to buy them.

“Anticipation! It occurred to him that his anticipation was more pleasant to him than the experiencing.” 

-Patricia Highsmith, “The Talented Mr. Ripley”

Moocher, Musician, Madman; Tom Ripley is an enigma in many respects, which makes him all the more powerful in his sinister quest. His behaviour can be criticised, but also, he can be completely understood.

Who doesn’t want that easy life? The life of luxury and ease that you read about in the magazines, filled with all those expensive clothes, and beautiful women. Think about if you had the chance to exchange your life for someone else’s. . . would you?

Get your jacquard on

ALAIN DELON- vintage style idol - on the beach as Tom Ripley in Purple Noon (1960)

Vintage style rebellion- shirtless alain delon- Purple Noon 1960

The teens that formed “The Bling Ring” would have to agree, and are a mighty monument to the same themes portrayed in “Purple Noon”.

Isn’t it scary to think that over 50 years later, the same anxieties that were fiction, have now come full circle and are as real as ever. Patricia Highsmith was definitely onto something, so if you want to get a head start on the entire thought process make sure to check out “Purple Noon” this summer, and maybe rock the Ripley edge (minus the murder).

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Vintage Red Carpet Romances: Brad Pitt + Gwyneth.

With the Academy Awards just later tonight, the world is buzzing to see the stars make their red carpet appearances. Jean Dujardin is sure to raise the bar on suaveness with his dapper European sensibilities, and everyone must be asking: WWRMW [What Will Rooney Mara Wear] ?!?!

Unwittingly we are all excited for the arrival of Hollywood’s most notorious couple: “BRANGELINA”. The stars have been together since 2005, after meeting on the set of the action-romantic-comedy “Mr. & Mrs. Smith”. Pitt divorced “Friends” star Jennifer Aniston to be with Jolie, the Academy Award Winning Humanitarian Hollywood Sex Goddess, and we get that.

But, with so much hype over each and every appearance by the undeniably gorgeous couple, we couldn’t help but reminsece the days even before Pitt married the Friends star. We’re tlking pre-1997- when Pitt was a young Bad Boy engaged to a stunning young American ingenue: Gwyneth Paltrow.

Daughter of American director Bruce Paltrow, and famed theatre actress Blythe Danner- Gwyneth is the epitome of true american beauty. Together with Pitt, the couple exude nonchalant American cool, and ultimate Nineties Style. There seems to be a lot of fun happening, too.

Miss those days. It’s like youth on fire with these two. Their energy is obviously contagious between the two, and they really seem symbiotic to eachother . . . . most of the time, at least. All good thing must come to an end, and it’s always best to leave the relationship at a high, we get that.

Today the two seem very happy in their marriages. The couple called off their engagement in 1997, and never looked back. Brad Pitt is nominated this year for his performance in Bennett Miller’s “Moneyball”, and Gwyneth Paltrow…she shows up to stuff.

Keep your eyes open for the fashions of the 84th Annual Academy Awards, and keep your fingers crossed that the stars amp up their style senses (because we’re tired of everyone trying to look so perfect! Shake it up! ) Really wish we could be there!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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