Tag Archives: river phoenix

+ 90S THROWBACK to HEROINE CHIC +

 

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Photograph by Davide Sorrenti 

There probably isn’t an aesthetic that struck a chord so controversial in fashion as the notorious 90s inclination towards the new look: Heroine Chic. We are starting to see a bit of a return to this vibe in some of the world’s most prestigious runways, not surprising as the 90s is taking the 21st century by storm these days.

According to Wikipedia, heroine chic is defined as:

a look popularized in mid-1990s fashion and characterized by pale skindark circles underneath the eyes and angular bone structure. The look, characterised by emaciated features and androgyny, was a reaction against the “healthy” and vibrant look of models such as Cindy Crawford and Claudia Schiffer

We found this throwback video of a 1997 episode of Fashion Television (I miss you!) on the death of fashion wunderkind Davide Sorrenti who had been one of the industry’s top photographers for this new look.

Taking photos of his friends in New york City inspired by the images of Larry Clarke and Nan Goldin, and coming from a lineage of art/fashion, he quickly became the go-to for this latest look until his untimely death at only 20 years old from . . . you guessed it!

HEROINE! (Not doing very well for the cause . . . )

According to top 90s fashion photographer Corrine Day  (who is often attributed with the rise of Kate Moss to iconic model status and poster child of this new look) in a 1997 interview for Vogue:

“We were poking fun at fashion” – Corinne Day, 1997

Out of the 80s which was all about glam and excess, Corrine Day in particular, stripped down her editorials to the basics, and instead of big butts, red lips, exaggerated bosoms, and endless hair; she chose young nymph-like beauties with a more natural essence and a bit of grit for a more realistic aesthetic that was really a rejection of the then standard of beauty.

It’s hard to get the joke when you use the words ‘Heroine’ and  ‘Chic’ together, and then you think of the deaths of so many talented young people (first supermodel Gia Carangi, actor and E.O.F. Style Idol, River Phoenix, rock star Kurt Cobain, and of course, ‘heroine chic’ proprietor Davide Sorrenti) during this time, making it impossible to reject the realities that this truly was a problem in the industry. However, I think it is a shame to bash the entire industry and pigeon hole this aesthetic and its creators and muses as – EVIL.

After all, in the end – they are images. You take them as you do, and thats that.

“Is Heroine Chic even real?”

That’s a brilliant question Jeanne Beker asks in this clip, and its what I kept asking myself as I watched it. After all, even Bill Clinton had something to say about this trend and its abuse on younger generations who could be susceptible to the cool factor of the fashion industry essentially embracing drugs.

However, it wasn’t the photographers or models or industry people coining the phrase, it was simply a term coined by the media which quickly turned into a frenzy – on the verge of a witch hunt.

There will always be that push against changing times, and interestingly enough today we are seeing the shift realized towards more “full” sized women in the mainstream of the industry. But, in the end, what does that prove?

It is always important to push healthy body image, but honestly, some of these girls (and boys, too) cannot help being that thin, so I always find it unfair this constant scrutiny on body types. Perhaps, the less we made an issue of either end of the scale, there wouldn’t have to be a problem at all.

The truth is we don’t want to accept each other for what we are, which is absolute crime.

In the end, I guess this clip posted initially by Dazed & Confused Magazine really just got me thinking, and would definitely have me thinking for a while.  There’s no denying this controversial era absolutely broke down walls in the realm of fashion imagery, and brought a rebellion to the forefront that continues to this day.

Nobody is perfect, and that’s what I think this era really tried to capitalize on in the simplest way.

Milla Jovovich interviews at Fashion Out Loud circa. 1996 ft. Davide Sorrenti

The elusive world of fashion will probably always have some sort of bad rep, and that’s fine.

But don’t be silly enough to only look at the surface.

Try to dig deeper in all aspects of life.

Until next time,

{theEye}

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+ STYLE IDOL+ A River Phoenix Runs Through It . . .

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Wicked and wild. Gorgeous and full of life.

You can see sometimes in the eyes of this strange boy; a burning fire that piercing your soul. Even past the screen, beneath the surface of every photograph of him, there is a brilliant mystery still waiting to be discovered and the very depth of the man named River Phoenix.

He was the most beautiful child you’ve ever seen, like a little Elvis.

-Iris Burton, River’s manager

 

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It’s more the history of these awards that is so special to me . . .

His acting was top notch, and before the age of …. he found himself nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor with dozens of offers at his feet thereafter.

Fame was of little consequence to him, though, and instead he sought a life of refuge from the hustle and bustle of the business. The industry was not the priority, and from his very core, River was an undeniable artist who not only excelled in the art of acting, but was also an accomplished musician, humanitarian, environmentalist and animal rights activist.

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You’ll never find him fur or leather as he was the original vegan style star- before it was in vogue or a trend. He had a soft and sensitive heart for world issues, the future of our planet, and most especially the well-being of animals.

While we think of the 80s for all its excesses, River appears the total antithesis to this vision of America. Even with his popularity and success, River defied typical Hollywood standards through what he wore; appearing at major red carpet events sometimes in only a graphic T-shirt, or a cool graphic sweater.

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"Batman" Los Angeles Premiere

Plaid shirts, graphic sweaters, denim jackets, patterned shirts, and over-sized blazers were a staple for the young star, whose quirky style seems right in tuned with the vibe of the street today. And yet we probably never even realized that River Phoenix made his mark over twenty years ago in the same garbs we rock today.

Perhaps this was indicative of his adventurous heart, the way he dressed. A co-star in probably his most accomplished and enigmatic acting effort, My Own Private Idaho, Jimmy Reardon described a moment the two shared together shortly after filming the 90s art-house flick about a narcoleptic male hustler decked out in pure grunge glory:

One time we were up in the mountains, and the clouds came right up to the top of the mountain. River grabbed (my) arm and said, “We’re going to run and jump into these clouds and our whole past lives will dissolve, and everything will be new from then on. Hold on.” And we did that…it was incredible, and we landed on this soft iceberg kind of ground covering. But we jumped through clouds, literally.

It’s hard to imagine a star today who could even imagine being as fearless, but that’s just how River really was. Fearless.

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Born River Jude Bottom, River grew up in a religious cult in South America known as the Children of God. He was named River after the river of life in Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, and Jude from the Beatle’s song. When their parents found that they were being embezzled by the cult and its leaders, they uprooted their children and moved to California where River was soon getting noticed for his movie star good looks, even as a boy.

He quickly began to take interest in acting and modelling, and it wasn’t long before his career took off. No one could deny the boy. He had a special edge that he never let go of until the very end.

Edward Lachman, superior director of photography for ‘Dogfight’ said:

 When I first met River, he had very long hair and he struck me- as he came out of an elevator-as an angel, some kind of supernatural being. An angel could be Gabriel, but an angel could be Lucifer too. He could as readily delve in to the deep dark recesses as he would fly up to the lofty, illuminated (places).

Certainly a zest for life was a strength of River, but it would definitely come into play with his tragic demise most mysteriously on Halloween night of 1993 at friend Johnny Depp’s bar – The Viper Room.

There is no doubting his talents, but there’s also no doubting the foolishness of getting involved with people who do not have your best intentions in mind. River was the unfortunate victim to a brainless party mentality that is ever prevalent in our society. Was it really worth it in the end?

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I don’t want to die in a car accident. When I die it’ll be a glorious day. It’ll probably be a waterfall.

-River Phoenix

This year the world was shocked by the death of another young star who kicked the bucket at the expense of his family, friends, fame, and fortune – Cory Monteith, who died of an overdose much the same way River did. Heroine and alcohol. The same toxic cocktail that took the life of many more before them including Amy Winehouse,  Jim Morrison, and Janis Joplin.

It’s sad, so very sad, because these stars possessed such a zest for life and original spirit that didn’t need to compensate with heavy drugs and alcohol to make life interesting. They could have been resigned to just be themselves, and love every second of that.

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This is why our advice at The Eye of Faith has always and will forever be to be yourself. Your truest self, beyond the effects of drugs and alcohol, you can have the most exciting and amazing life. You try to tread the line between reality and dream, and you can do this easily with the power of style and conjuring your idols to give you an extra boost away from the common day to day.

 “You would have thought we was ninety and had died in his sleep. The people who were saying this felt tremendous guilt that they had contributed to his death.

He’s already being made into a martyr. He’s become a metaphor for a fallen angel, a Messiah. But he wasn’t. He was just a boy, a very good hearted boy who was very $%##$% up and had no idea how to implement his good intentions. I don’t want to be comforted by his death. I think it’s right that I’m angry about it, angry at the people who helped him stay sick, and angry at River.”

-Martha Plimpton on River’s death.

We recommend this state of mind for all days and occasions, to keep you safe and elevated beyond the strife of the street.

Most people don’t know, but River was also a talented musician in a band called “Aleka’s Attic”. Here’s one of his songs to send you off with. Hope I gave us all something to think about, and some wicked new vintage inspiration for the road!

Also his long lost last film has been released for the first time. Check out the trailer here.

 

 

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to invoke the spirit of River Phoenix. Above all, don’t forget to be yourself!

A little inspiration never hurts, though . . . 

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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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