Tag Archives: Talent

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

river phoenix

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

 

River Phoenix - Stand By Me- Vintage Style Idol

River Phoenix - Academy Award Nomination Ceremony- Graphic Sweater- Cool Guy- Vintage Style Idol

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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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River Phoenix is Fierce- Vintage Style Idol

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Martha Plimpton and River Phoenix- Hollywood Grunge- Vintage Style Idol

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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?

River Phoenix- This Road Will Never 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.

River Phoenix- Bleach Blonde Cool- Vintage Style

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.

 

 

Don’t forget that XIXIXI gets you 25% Off in the {SHOP}

You can totally GET THE LOOK, as we have dozens of individual time travelled articles that will serve you well 

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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So you don’t miss out.

 

Until next time,

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{E.O.F. Music Minute} Valentine’s Day-The incomparable David Bowie!

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So in case you all didn’t realize already, we’re vintage obsessed.

Naturally, we grew up to anything inspiration with a Rock n’ Roll edge, and a revolutionary flair.  David Bowie was a perfect fit for us to call our Idol.  Looking past his music alone, his gender bending outfits, and diversity in his films – this man is astronomically talented!

We know he has many MANY amazing tracks and stellar looks ahead of him in his career for his fans to look forward to.  With films like Labyrinth and The Prestige, The Batman from Gotham City and The Man Who Fell to Earth, how can you NOT be a huge Bowie fan??

It may seem a bit soon to be posting a song about St. Valentine’s day on any other day than Valentine’s day, but anybody with half a braincell would realize rebels don’t care about dates!

Realizing this, David Bowie would obviously feel inclined to release a song about love and St. Valentine in the middle of summer.  We love him for that, and can relate.

We find it very romantic, and could this be viewed as an homage to the ever so striking love of his life/supermodel Iman? Or just a great song with a fantastic melody to make his fans swoon and melt?  Either way, to be lost in a mood of romance and harmony we are feeling very satisfied.

So check out his latest single, Valentine’s day and let us know what you think!

Can’t wait to hear from you!

Look for more articles to come about the Master of Music, David Bowie.

{The Eye of Faith}
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Styling Orchards, the Band; Plus BONUS {MUSIC MINUTE} “Oh, Sister” by Orchards

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I learned long ago that when someone asks you to pull looks for a vaudeville circus inspired shoot, you do so!

Granted, I’ve never been asked to in this life, but something just tells you to jump at the opportunity when its right. We didn’t even have to question whether or not we wanted to be a part of this when the beautiful, and lovely (don’t forget talented) Jessica Panetta asked if we’d want to work together, and pull some looks to bring to a shoot for the city’s finest up-and-coming folk band, Orchards.

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Orchards comprises of Anthony William Wallace (violin, banjo), Daniel John Taylor (bass, guitar, ukulele), and Gabrielle Sylvane Charron-Merritt (trumpet, guitar) who are all uber-talented, fun, and highly multi-disciplinary artists who dove right into every scenario with gusto and poise.

Couldn’t have done it without my wardrobe partner, Heather English, who had a great eye for colour and detail (heart!) .

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Their music is haunting and eloquent with captivating melodies that evoke lost memories from deep within our collective consciousness. The songs are classic and utterly timeless bringing a modern twist to classic folk sounds. Needless to say, their music was the perfect inspiration for the shoot.

We played off the softness and decadent dishevelling of men and women seen in vintage photographs for the quieter moments, and looked for bold and intriguing colour and graphic combinations to complete the circus vibe.

All in all, I think the look completed is a nod to the past, but is completely reinvented – just like Orchard’s own music, which ultimately is the element we all hoped to showcase.

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Each shot is so great to look back on, as you remember it all happening – when it was moving, and there were sounds, and laughter, and distraction; not with a photograph. These are magic moments here, captured throughout.

Please enjoy the photographs, and definitely dive into the track below entitled “Oh,Sister” by Orchards for a true escape from the everyday . . .

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[ Click to listen to more Orchards at Bandcamp]

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[I told you the past can come back to life!]

We were so lucky to have such a talented team of individuals who all came together in symbiosis to make this vision come to life! Very proud to have been a part of it, and looking forward to what the future has in store . . .

Don’t forget to LIKE ORCHARDS on FACEBOOK, and share with all your friends!

Glad we could catch up!

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Until we meet again,

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rock hudson 1954{We wanted to go into the weekend solid as one of our top Icons, Rock Hudson.}
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E.O.F. Style Divinity – {Nature Girl} Francoise Hardy

eof style idol- francoise hardy

What is it about Francoise Hardy that captivates the world so? It is a question as mysterious and enigmatic as the living icon, herself.

More than just a 1960s French Pop sensation, she is also an immortal idol of beauty, individual style, and tameless adventure. Apart from her legendary music career, the timeless beauty is iconized to this day in film, music, and of course, fashion.

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Whether playing the girl next door, boho hippie chick, tomboy, or the sexy biker, Francoise was able to captivate all of those who laid eyes on her with her striking beauty and fearlessness. Like a siren, her spell is not easily shaken from the captivator.

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A shy girl, Francoise grew up in Paris with her mother and younger sister, while her father lived apart from them with little time spent with his two young girls. However, her father would play a huge part in her life by buying her her first guitar for a birthday, which would nurture her love and talent for music and song.

As fate would have it, after a year studying at the Sorbonne, Francoise spotted an ad in the paper looking for young singers, and in 1961, at the age of 17, she signed her first record contract with VOGUE, and by the next year her first record, “Oh Cheri Cheri” was released, co-writted by Johnny Hallyday – the French Elvis, as he was known.

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It would be her classic song, “Tous les garçons et les filles” (“All the Boys and Girls”) that would become a huge hit, and put the enchanting songstress on the map. With a growing wave of popularity towards French Pop Music, or yé-yé, it wasn’t long before her song was a hit in Quebec, the UK, and soon the world!!!

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Most recently her charming croon has been hitting the screens around the world in Wes Anderson’s “Moonrise Kingdom”(click her to see the iconic dance and kiss from the movie), introducing her to a whole new generation of listeners looking for a break from the monotony of today’s music scene.

Indeed, she provides something classic in her music, which has a modern yet timeless quality to it. And whether you speak French, or not, it seems her music touches a supernatural sensibility in all of us, allowing us to enjoy the pure essence of what she sings without even knowing a word of it.

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Perhaps this can be attributed to her background as an astrologer (told you she wasn’t just your average singing belle!), and her interest in the mystical and esoteric. In fact, she has published an entire series of books under her name that deal with the subject matter, making her an expert in the field. And having trained with legend in the field, Jean-Pierre Nicola, you can trust her ability to finely tune into life’s sensitivities.

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Francoise is a Capricorn, which explains her cool demeanour, unending ambition, and scholarly approach to life, but what still remains a mystery is that certain je na sais quois, and what it is exactly that has beguiled the world so.

After all, she was the quoted muse of Nicholas Ghesquiere, designer of Balenciaga, and you can almost always count on any credible fashion blogger to have a piece on the belle.

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But, as any wise man or woman knows, that is an element that is best left alone, for it is that untouchable, unknowable, strange, and desirable quality that does hold us so, and in so, one has the chance to truly be immortal.

Sometimes, I think her life can be best described using the lyrics to Nat King Cole’s all-time classic – “Nature Boy”. But of course, for the sake of gender, it should be aptly called “Nature Girl” when dealing with the one and only Francoise Hardy.

Perhaps, you can see it too:

There was a girl
A very strange enchanted girl
They say he wandered very far, very far
Over land and sea
A little shy
And sad of eye
But very wise
Was she

And then one day
A magic day she came my way
And while we spoke of many things, fools and kings
This she said to me
“The greatest thing
You’ll ever learn
Is just to love
And be loved
In return”

In 1981, Francoise Hardy married her long time companion, Jacques Dutronc, who she remains married to this day.

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Perhaps that’s her secret; just to love. Start with yourself, of course. But if we could all do the same, perhaps we can all be remembered someday as seductive, enchanting, and down-right stylish as she.

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The one and only Francoise Hardy.

Yours truly,

{theEye}

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Balenciaga: A Man For All Seasons . . .

Portrait of Alexander Wang by Sebastian Kim (styleexaminer)

{Alexander Wang by Sebastien Kim}

It was announced on the 3rd of December that the high fashion label Balenciaga had appointed Alexander Wang as the new creative director of the historical and revolutionary brand.

Chief executive of the brand, Isabelle Guichot cites Wang’s “modernity and his individual and cosmopolitan vision of design” as just some of the reasons for bringing the 28 year old Taiwanese, California bred, New York based designer on board to steer Balenciaga into the future.

Cristobal Balenciaga Portrait Black and White

Born in the town of Basque on January 21, 1895 to a seamstress mother, Cristobal Balenciaga quickly began his fashion career as a tailor’s apprentice, and by his teens was catapulted to Madrid by Marchioness de Casa Torres, a local noblewoman who saw potential in the young Balenciaga to become a great designer.

He is known as one of the only couturiers in history to possess the artistry and talent to design, cut, and sew his creations. He opened his first boutique in 1919 in the city of San Sebastien, and was forced to Paris in 1937 by the out brink of the Spanish Civil War. There on Avenue George V, Balenciaga opened his house of couture.

Balenciaga Evening Gown 1939

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It wouldn’t be until after the war, and into the 1950s that the designer would take his biggest leaps, revolutionizing the shape and form of the woman’s silhouette, and become notable for his unique and modern designs. Often sculptural and completely transformational, Balenciaga’s creations were, and are still, regarded as masterworks in the worlds of haute couture, modern design, and even art.

Balenciaga  Barrel Suit  1951Museo-Cristobal-Balenciaga

cristobal balenciaga - a man for all seasons

Balenciaga would eventually retire from his craft at the age of 74, and in 1968 closed down all houses in Madrid, Barcelona, and Paris. Several designers who had the opportunity to work under the famed auteur of fashion went on to open their own successful and now legendary fashion houses including Hubert De Givenchy, Oscar De La Renta, and Emanuel Ungaro to name a few.

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{Young Hubert De Givenchy (left) & Oscar De La Renta (right)}

Actress Kristen Stewart and designer Nicolas Ghesquiere

{Kristen Stewart and Nicholas Ghesquiere}

[Courtesy of The Guardian]

It wasn’t until 1997, under the hand of Nicholas Ghesquiere, that Balenciaga became again known as one of the highest and most elite of labels in the fashion world. Like Balenciaga himself, Ghesquiere was self-taught and immediately caught the attention of the media and celebrities with fresh reinterpretations of Balenciaga’s already revolutionary classics such as the sack dress, and semi-fitted jackets.

One of our personal favourites from Ghesquiere’s reign at Balenciaga was delivered on the cusp of threats to fire Ghesquiere by the Gucci Group if the line was unsuccessful within the year 2007.

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{Campaign Images for Fall/Winter 2007 by David Sims}

His Fall/Winter 2007 ladies wear collection is an opus to the urban woman. A cultured woman, in the academic sense, as well as the worldly sense. With some careful consideration to tailoring and fit, and the use of eclectic accessories and prints, Ghesquiere breathed new life to the idea of the Preppy female, and blended tailored traditions with the melting pot of our society. Credit Ghesquiere and his F/W 2007 collection for that “World Traveller” look that we have consistently seen on the runway and magazines since.

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Though his run is over with Balenciaga, Ghesquiere has plans to start his very own fashion house under his own name; a long overdue and much deserved step up for the 41 year old Belgian born designer.

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{Fall/Winter 2012-2013 Menswear Campaign}

So, all we have to do now is wait and see what Alexander Wang has to offer. Since the incarnation of his brand upon dropping out of design school, his line has been heralded by both fashion’s elite and a new generation of fashion lovers looking for something fresher, darker, younger, edgier, cooler. . .

Wang has taken many cues from fashion’s past to successfully reinvent them into modern and sexy new looks for today. One of the best examples of this would most definitely have to be Wang’s ode to athleticism in his Spring/Summer 2010 collection that had him reinventing everything from the gym short to the sweat shirt into sexy, sophisticated, and beautifully dangerous new pieces.

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If this is any indication of the type of innovation and ingenuity we might expect from Alexander Wang upon his first presentation for Balenciaga in the coming months, then we can not wait to see what is coming next; next for Wang, and next for Cristobal Balenciaga and the long lineage of raw talent and exquisite artistry that he has established.

Ab imo pectore,

{theEye}

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{Veronica Lake in a publicity still from “I Married A Witch” Circa. 1942}

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{Late Super Model Gia Carangi poses it up with a gaggle of Models. Circa 1970s.
We could see any one of these looks on a runway today}
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{The Eye}


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Music Minute: Patsy Cline – “She’s Got You” (1962)

No secret here, we love to revel in Vintage.  We had the privilege to find this rare performance by the incredible Patsy Cline of her hit “She’s Got You” thanks to  .  This one goes out to anybody who may be stewing over a lost love, missing days of the past.   We sure as heck miss Patsy Cline.  She truly had a voice like no other, with a distinct sadness in her voice that was truly beyond her time.

Take notice of Patsy’s unique flair for fashion.  Playing hard into the cliche’s of Nashville, Patsy wore the Cowgirl style like it were a uniform, yet somehow she stood out during her time and was a true original.  We are particular intrigued by the way she wore her headband.. talk about trend setter!  Imagine running into her ghost…

{The Eye}

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