Tag Archives: Madonna

{STYLE IDOL} Jean-Michel Basquiat


BASQUIAT

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jean michel basquiat

{French pronunciation: ​[ʒɑ̃ miˈʃɛl baskija]; December 22, 1960 – August 12, 1988}

1. artist. style icon. 

2. academic; a little underground; a little street; archaic African; American hip-hop; Classic; Refined; Cultured; Gritty; Nitty; Bad Ass; Post-Punk; Anti-Conservative; Painted. Layered; Tough; Rugged; Tribal; NYC. 

3. timeless. 

4. cool. 

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I don’t listen to what art critics say. I don’t know anybody who needs a critic to find out what art is.

-Jean Michel Basquiat

I thought I was going to be a bum the rest of my life.

-Jean Michel Basquiat

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{theEye}

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Bad Girls Do it Well!!!

Sometimes it pays to be bad. Seems like British recording artist M.I.A. is always flipping someone off.  Her latest cry of bad girl BADNESS at this year’s Super Bowl, where her middle finger made more of a stir than even her performance.

It was no surprise here at E.O.F. when that illicit middle finger jumped to attention at the end of her verse for Madonna’s single, “Give Me All Your Luvin”, that featured her with fellow female hip-hop star, Nicki Minaj.

After all, M.I.A. has been paving the way for “bad girls” everywhere for nearly a decade now. Did nobody listen to her rap during the song: “I’mma say this once, yeah, I don’t give a shit” ?!!

For nearly a decade now she’s been conquering the landscape for bad girls everywhere.

A little swag, a pop of colour- trust M.I.A. to get it done.

It had been a while since she had exploded on the scene with her dynamic sound. A cool mix of afro, indo, elctro, alternative, and hip hop sound- she is definitely one of the true artists of the past ten years, who also  gives a distinct new definition to “World Music”.

More than that, M.I.A. is a constant activist. From genocide in Sri Lanka, to Palestine, and even African Americans in the U.S., M.I.A. is not one to sit idly on the sidelines as the world shatters before her feet. Not just that, but M.I.A. is a warrior of free speech, and an enemy to censorship and oppression. We’re dealing with a woman of power and action, and is that so bad?

With her latest music video “Bad Girls”, M.I.A furthers her frontier as a woman of power and action. The video transforms the rubble and ruin of the desert into a rapper’s paradise.

Rebel women in animal printed silks, vivacious neon, and drag racing desert gangsters. While the song is called “Bad Girls” it’s really about EMPOWERMENT and LIBERTY.

“Bad Girls” are not as much Bad, as they are Free.

All around the world it seems women are taking action into their own hands.

With 55% of the workforce in America being female, and the recent uprisings in the Middle East by women’s rights activists, it seems more and more ladies are grabbing destiny by the balls, and are not afraid to fight for it!

For so long, women’s roles have been dedicated to cleaning the house and caring for the family, and more and more these roles are being switched or lost altogether.


Living in North America it is easy for us to forget the unique advantage we have over our predecessors; things like microwaves, electric irons, food processors, toasters, vacuums, dishwashers, washing machines, television, computers, and cell phones have made our world a much easier place, and have contributed a hundred-fold to the advances in our society towards women’s rights.

However, the concept of “freedom” extends far beyond the idea of voting or going to work. While women have gained so many freedoms, women in nations such as Egypt and Iraq are fighting for their everyday rights and liberties.

Recently Aliaa Magda Elmahdy, a 20 year old media student drop-out from Cairo, posted nude pictures of herself on a personal blog in “screams against a society of violence, racism, sexism, sexual harassment and hypocrisy”- her bold action, in a country that deeply frowns against nudity of any sort, has started an outrage amongst both liberals and conservatives who do not know what to make of her actions. (for more)

Many fundamentalists accused her of being “mentally sick” and urged for her arrest. Others, agree that while her actions sudden, the immediacy of her art and message are powerful and signifying change all over the Middle East.

As Aliaa boldly stated on her blog to all naysayers:

“Hide all art books and smash naked archaeological statues…Then take off your clothes and look at yourselves in the mirror, then burn your body that you so despise to get rid of your sexual complexes forever, before subjecting me to your bigoted insults or denying my freedom of expression.”

Fiesty. Looks like a little M.I.A. has seeped into her.

While M.I.A. surely isn’t the first “Bad Girl” to hit the scene, we have to salute the Rebel Queen for defending the things that should value most: human life, liberty, freedom of expression, and love. Sometimes you have to be ‘bad’ to get your point across.

Living in such a noisy society,  it’s easy to get lost in the chaos.  So take it on yourself to ask what matters most to you, and to a better tomorrow. Then flip the bird, and promise you’ll fight for it! You are Supersonic! Like Uranium!

Enjoy the pictures. They are a collection of things we really thought brought out the best ideas of M.I.A.’s ultra-wicked new music video. Visit her site for more details.

Sincerely,
-The Eye x

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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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