Tag Archives: idol

{STYLE IDOL} Omar Sharif: A Look into Old Hollywood Glamour as an Outsider.

Living in todays social media obsessed and tabloid fuelled society, often we forget being a star used to mean more than having a rugged beard and blue eyes (Bradley Cooper) or Magic Mike abs (Channing Tatum).

Unfortunately, we live in a modern climate where divisive tactics keep underdogs down as most studios hail the white movie star. We finally see a rise in black driven stories and characters but is it enough to truly change how the major studios cast roles?

Movies with diverse casts (Crazy Rich Asians, Black Panther, Get Out,  and Us etc.) are selling tickets to movies globally, but there is still a lack of true diversity within how the screening system works.  We will be taking time exploring some stars of yesteryear that made a splash being different in a time when being different wasn’t as widely accepted.

A prime example of this is the late, great, Omar Sharif!!!

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I want to live every moment totally intensely.

-Omar Sharif

Here’s the back story on Omar Sharif, who went from a supporting character and evolved into being a icon in his own right.  Born Michel Dimitri Chalhoub in 1932, this Egyptian actor of Lebanese origin began his career in his native country in the 1950s appearing in both English and American productions over the course of his career, landing large parts in such pictures as Lawrence of Arabia (1962), Doctor Zhivago (1965) and Funny Girl (1968).

His break through to the mainstream was 1962.  David Lean casting a lesser known and foreign actor in such a big budget film as Lawrence of Arabia was considered a risky move as the supporting role was ‘one of the most demanding supporting roles in Hollywood’.

This came off as a ‘authentic move’ for the studio, seeing how his ambiguous ethnicity allowed him to lean into playing many backgrounds it couldn’t be better casting. Sharif spoke English, French, Italian, Greek, Spanish and even Arabic.  Admitting this himself, Sharif noted he could ‘play the role of a foreigner without anyone knowing exactly where I came from’.

Landing such a high profile supporting role came with it’s own hangups. Omar had to sign a seven-film contract with Columbia.

Not only did this worked out in Sharifs favour as he was received Best Supporting Actor Oscar nomination, and a Best Supporting Actor Golden Globe nomination; he also shared a Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year proving he was a box office hit and critical sensation, as well as being a part of one of cinema’s most iconic entrances of a character.

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While filming the wildly culturally inappropriate Genghis Khan, Sharif heard about a upcoming project of Doctor Zhivago, an adaptation of Boris Pasternak’s 1957 novel, which was a landmark in his career.

Omar was a fan of the novel and pitched himself for one of the supporting roles, but in a strange twist of fate was casted as the lead, Yuri Zhivago, a poet and physician.

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Like his adopted surname, meaning ‘noble’, it had been remarked that Sharif’s eyes reflected reality, which then became the ‘mirror of reality we ourselves see’.

Undeniably handsome with his dark features he had qualities of the ideal leading man, but also a certain exotic quality which made him sought after for a string of roles throughout his rise to stardom and icon status.

Our readers may know we have a love for a rebel; his looks alone made him suited to pull off an array of high end ornate costumes but in the end always sustained a dark bad-boy image. It is even alleged that he smoked 100 cigarettes a day!

I don’t know what sex appeal is.

-Omar Sharif

Another stand out role for Sharif was his portrayal of Nicky Arnstein in Funny Girl, along side Barbara Streisand in her first film role.  But in true bad boy style,  this decision to take part in this production angered the Egyptian Government as Streisand was Jewish . The country condemned the film.

It also was ‘immediately banned’ in numerous Arab nations.  Streisand herself joked “You think Cairo was upset? You should’ve seen the letter I got from my Aunt Rose”.  Maybe the heightened social tensions added to the chemistry between the two actors as they became romantically involved during filming.

Sharif admitted later that he did not find Streisand attractive at first, but her appeal soon overwhelmed him: “About a week from the moment I met her”, he recalled, “I was madly in love with her. I thought she was the most gorgeous girl I’d ever seen in my life…I found her physically beautiful, and I started lusting after this woman.”.

As the years went on Sharif staked his claim in an otherwise white washed leading man landscape of the industry.  As time would go on, his career veered into television in the 1970s, and even had his own clothing line!!!

This icon is definitely worth the mentioning on The Eye of Faith, as he was a pioneer in the industry at a time when segregation and racial discrimination was very real, and just having dark features alone could alienate you amongst your peers and society.

Plus, like we said, we always have a soft spot for the rebel who marches to the beat of his own drum!

Using the power of diversity for good, and breaking the mould in an otherwise unbreakable industry, we thank you Omar Sharif.

Until next time,

{theEye}

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KYLIE + TRAVIS vs. JANE + SERGE

Since the beginning of time (or at least, the beginning of our blog) we have been saying there is a definitive relationship our collective {PAST} plays into the {PRESENT} – always influencing and helping create what inevitably will be known as the {FUTURE}!

Well here we have a case of {PAST}, {PRESENT}, {FUTURE} featuring the notoriously infamous billionairess Kylie Jenner and her new man, Crown Prince of Rap, Mr. Travis Scott on the latest cover of GQ causing controversy for being a “cheap rip-off” of  a now forty year old photo shoot of iconic French couple of cool Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin shot by Helmut Newton.

It is absolutely undeniable, and I don’t think they were trying to be chill about the inspiration, or rather recreation, but who is to judge her for that. If anything, I find it strange that Paola Kudacki, the photographer, would feel comfortable putting her name on such a mainstream copy of the work of a great artist like Helmut Newton! Now the controversy has flooded the internet, but then again, for the right paycheck these days, a little backlash isn’t the worst if it pays the rent.

Obviously, inspiration from the past is one of the cornerstones of our beliefs, but being 2018, it might be nice to have a fresher interpretation of the past than just a flat out copy. Where’s the fun in that?

Take the past, and turn it on its head. Blend one influence with another. Go on a ride through the past and bring me forward into the future…

And if you take a look at the original photo series shot way back in 1978, the rawness, sexiness, and coolness really shines through! How can you be a rebel if you’re trying….Serge and Jane are just so relaxed, irreverent, and thereby: BAD ASS!

Needless to say, Jane and Serge will always be on top in most versus situations, so….sorry Travis and Kylie- maybe next time. And maybe next time, just be yourself!!!

I know Travis and Kylie have turned a few looks, but Jane and Serge really TURNED LOOKS! Just a few below!

We need more originality these daze . . . be inspired, but make it your own! That’s half the fun of life.

Not the most creative choice, but different strokes for different folks! Definitely appreciate her bringing to a whole new generation the beauty and boldness of Serge & Jane (who are definitely due for a {STYLE IDOL & DIVINITY} post or a {VINTAGE RED CARPET ROMANCES} story) … that is a really cool thing.

We know this story is all over the internet right now, but still wanted to give our E.O.F. P.O.V. on the whole situation.

So, let us know what you think in the comments section below!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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{MUSIC MINUTE} “Devil Woman” by Cliff Richard

We’ve been rocking out to this jam like crazy this summer! Ever since it caught the attention of our ear drums while watching the epic film “I, Tonya”, we just can’t get enough!

Hopefully you won’t be able to either.

Lets help give Sir Cliff Richard the resurgence he deserves!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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{DIVA WARS} Raquel Welch vs. Mae West

 

We’ve been getting thoroughly entertained by these “Diva on Diva” videos by Clippety on YouTube, and this one is a real interesting treat.

Two icons of sex and beauty brought together for 1970s camp classic “Myra Breckinridge” based on the controversial novel by the iconic Gore Vidal.

The film, like the novel, broke many boundaries tackling transexuality and machismo attidues in Hollywood, but was pretty much panned universally, and some consider it the worst film ever made.  But, you have to give Raquel Welch much credit for taking on such a cutting edge role, and it really makes us love her so much more!

Myra Breckenridge is the antithesis of sex symbol. She’s revolutionary; she’s a warrior.
-Raquel Welch

The themes and tone the film exhibit would never fly today, so it really is a treat to watch!

So, take a look at what Raquel Welch had to say about working with Mae West, an icon of sex from the 1930s! 40 years between their stardom, you’re only bound for a little drama!

Divas be divas . . . but they have the right, don’t they?

Until next time,

{theEye}

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{MUSIC MINUTE} “Blood and Honey” by Amanda Lear

So, lately we’ve been obsessed with the decadence and glamour of the 1970s disco scene, especially in Europe! And when we found this video by avant-garde superstar Amanda Lear, we found it to be the perfect combination of vintage awesomeness and spooky elegance!!!

We didn’t know very much about this divinity (don’t worry…we will be working on giving her an honored place on our altar of Style Idols & Divinities), but we have been delving into this marvelous woman’s life like no one’s business!

Here is a woman who hobnobbed with The Beatles, David Bowie, Brian Jones, Bryan Ferry, Andy Warhol…had the model looks of Verushka and the voice of Marlene Dietrich. Not only that, she was a close confidante to THE Salvador Dali, and remained one of his closest friends and muses until his death. She even closed Jean Paul Gaultier’s 1980s pop music muses collection back in 2013!

What is so wonderful about Amanda is her mystery . . . sometimes things are best left to the imagination, and Lear keeps this enigmatic quality to this day (her birth date and nationality is still unclear, as well as other rumors circulating)!

This is what we respect most of this bad ass woman! Just be yourself, and everything else will fall into place.

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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I DON’T NEED YOU TO TELL ME I’M BEAUTIFUL! I KNOW I’M BEAUTIFUL!!!

Fresh off our VMP DRAG FASHION FLAUNT at this year’s Vintage Marketplace, we can’t stop thinking about how incredible drag queens are, especially those of the {PAST} who paved the way for the {PRESENT} culture and creativity and will continue to invoke its {FUTURE}.

We know everyone who is anyone keeps up with RuPaul’s Drag Race, and the past season’s ALL STARS edition featured a wickedly hilarious Snatch Game that had Brooklyn babe AJA take on one of Herstory’s most legendary queens – founder of the House of LaBeija, and star of the cult 1968 documentary “The Queen”, Crystal LaBeija!

 

+GET A TASTE+

And she took her on with gusto and glamour, and also delivered this beautiful spirit back into the forum of the mainstream…much in the way Jinx Monsoon brought us Little Edie of “Grey Gardens”, and Sasha Velour took on Marlene Dietrich; keeping these divinities alive for younger generations is absolutely key!

How sad it is when you hear a young man or woman denote they have no idea who these iconic legends are . . . stay educated, kids!

“The Queen” is a fabulous film directed by Frank Simon, and provides an up close and candid look at the behind of the scenes of the 1967 All-America Camp Beauty Contest in New York City. It is a wonderful portrait of a time gone by. . . New York City is rough and tough, and men from all around America shack up in tiny hotel rooms in anticipation of the pageant discussing the difficulties of being gay in America. They are all fabulous, and its wonderful to see their final transformations from the male versions of them you see in rehearsals. This transformation truly proves the power of style and image to invoke strength from within.

Illustrated herstory by Laurel Lynn-Leake

By far, the most fabulous moment has to be Crystal’s freak out when she is named fourth place storms out and then rips everyone a new one backstage. Absolutely ICONIC…you are going to have to see it to believe it! And if you are a fan of Drag Race, you will really appreciate what Aja brought to the table even more.

We stumbled upon a full version of the film on Youtube, so check it out below and enjoy!

+Look out for Andy Warhol’s cameo (he was a judge in the pageant)+

Did you know Frank Ocean sampled Crystal Labeija ???

We love moments like this in pop culture where the {PAST} races into the {PRESENT} and ultimately shapes our {FUTURE}. . .  rebel queens like Crystal LaBeija will live on far past those who chose not to be the truest, most incredible versions of themselves.

I don’t need you to tell me I’m beautiful! I KNOW I’M BEAUTIFUL!!!

 

And really, we should all fell this way! Screw the haters- you rock!

Listen to that spirit within you, and let it free…

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. SNAPSHOT OF THE DAY {FEBRUARY 1, 2018}

 

+ I HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY+

 

or rather, WINONA does . . .

She’s right, though.

So lets not invoke that shame and guilt in the {future}

Let everyone be who they are meant to be!

Why is that so hard?

Until next time,

{theEye}

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E.O.F. SNAPSHOT OF THE DAY {JANUARY 12, 2018}

I want to be wild, too!

{read BULLET BREASTS & BEATNIK POETRY ft. Phillipa Fallon & Mamie Van Doren}

Isn’t she great, folks?!

We cherish souls like this who soar high and far away from the status quo.

Not your average starlet . . .

Hope you enjoy! Let us know in the comments below!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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{MUSIC MINUTE} Burt Bacharach “Theme from The Blob”

Indescribable… indestructible…      insatiable…                                 It crawls…                                  It creeps…                                  It eats you alive!

The 1958 film “The Blob” might just be the pinnacle of classic 50s B-Movie awesomeness! Check it out for the sci-fi camp, the american nostalgia, and above-all the wicked vintage style inspiration in every moment of the film.

E.O.F. {STYLE IDOL} STEVE MCQUEEN actually made his feature film debut starring in this flick! His brooding blonde badass-ness is still a refreshing sight on the screen. Funny enough, the star was 27 at the time of filming but playing a 17 year old!

We were enraptured recently discovering that Burt Bacharach created the film’s charming happy-go-lucky theme song, and wanted to bring it to the forefront!

B-MOVIE Style is coming to the forefront (GUCCI’s A/W 17 Campaign by Glen Luchford for one thing) so stay on the look-out for more of this essential vintage inspiration!

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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bonus

Steve Mcqueen was offered $2,500 or 10% of profits for his role in “The Blob”.

Tragically he accepted the $2,500; the film would go on to make over $40 million!

You live and you learn.

oops…

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Maila Nurmi: Beat Babe vs. Squares !!!

{MAILA NURMI & ELVIS PRESLEY GOOFING OFF}

When we say the name Maila Nurmi, you might not know who the fuck we are talking about. What if we were to say, Vampira? Of course!

Our current climate is so influenced and inspired by her delightful darkness, gothic glamour, and overall irreverence to almost everything! Oh, and did we mention she was friends with James Dean and Elvis??!

You might have even read our STYLE {DIVINITY} tribute to the goddess of creepy chic. Somehow in the 1950s at the height of conservative moral values, this daring Finnish actress rose to stardom with a status-quo bashing gig as television’s first last night horror show host of The Vampira Show which officially premiered on May 1, 1954!

As Vampira she retold the story of women in the media – not just prim and proper and ready to serve; the only thing Vampira was ready to serve was a bloody head on a platter for brunch. Its still hard for me to wrap my head around how she was able to get away with her gruesome take on House & Home living. All the more reason to worship this divine creature for everything she stood for.

Now, while Maila found popularity playing Vampira, she was an actress in Hollywood playing many roles. This next clip we found, we fell in love with – showcasing her talents in another rebel archetype that was taking hold in America in the 50s: the lousy beatnik.

A precursor to the hipster of today, a gateway to the free love hippie movement of the 60s and 70s. The beatnik was every conservative’s biggest pain in the ass. Like millennials of the atomic era- they were often viewed as aimless, pretentious, and overall whacky.

This clip taken from the iconic Beat-era classic “The Beatnik Generation” features Maila Nurmi pissing off a couple of squares with her off beat poem sporting a short blonde haircut and a rat on the shoulder;  she completely oozes this infamous generation’s vibe to the max! Its very comical…and tell me she doesn’t look a bit like Katya Zamolodchikova ?!

 

{CHECK OUT MORE MAILA NURMI INSPIRATION HERE}

Anyways, we thought is was all too fitting for The Eye of Faith and had to share! Lets keep empowering the brave, and blessing the bold, and letting people be the best they can be inside and out!

Let us all be a bit more like Ms. Nurmi, shall we?

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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