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Thursday, October 29, 2009 5 comments

Alexander Olch makes smart ties - and has made one absolutely brilliant film.  The Windmill Movie - his beautiful documentary about his mentor and Harvard film professor, Richard P. Rogers - premiered on HBO last night.  Dick, as he was called, died from metastatic melanoma in 2001 and left behind over 200 hours of film, including hours and hours of footage of his wealthy, preppy family frolicking on Hamptons beaches, drinking by a windmill and playing tennis.  He spent decades trying to tell his family's - and his - story honestly through his own eyes and words, but it took Alex, and the distance he had from it, to finish it.  The first part is told by Dick through journal entries, but those stopped in the '70s, so Alex seamlessly filled in the rest.  In the process, we get into the soul of the man.

It's about WASP dysfunction, WASP guilt for complaining about dysfunction; a film maker's artistic struggle to be honest about his own story, another film maker's struggle to be honest about someone else's; relationships with women, be they mothers or lovers; and how grappling with the concept of immortality can be harder than realizing one's own mortality.  It's really, really good.  Dick would be proud.

(Also -- last night's reception was totally fun with sickeningly good food from BONDST.  Metropolitan/Last Days of Disco/Barcelona Writer-Director Whit Stillman was in the crowd, along with the adorable designer Erin Fetherston and Gosford Park's Bob Balaban among countless others).

Alex said that it will be available on demand for the next month or so and that HBO will be replaying it around the holidays.  You must watch!
Photography Tsar

Tuesday, October 27, 2009 8 comments
Much like French financier Albert Kahn, Tsar Nicholas II was keen on capturing native peoples and places in color.  So, on the eve of the first world war and the Russian Revolution, photographer Sergei Mikhailovich Prokudin-Gorskii talked Nicholas into backing his plan to capture the Russian Empire on digichrome glass plates. Between 1909-1912, and again in 1915, he completed surveys of eleven regions, traveling in a specially equipped railroad car provided by the Ministry of Transportation. The entire survey is available through the Library of Congress.  Above: an interior shot of the Borodino War and History Museum outside Moscow.

For more examples of the Albert Kahn collection, check out the recent posts at Ancient Industries.

And for a taste of modern Russia, check out my cousin Thomas flipping pancakes and speaking Russian in Petrozavodsk during his study abroad break from Oxford last year (the video only works on PCs).  

Austrian POWs

An elderly Tajik man in an area that is modern Uzbekistan today

Russian settlers in the borderlands of Southern Russia near the Caucuses and the Caspian Sea

A guard in traditional Russian garb monitors five inmates stuffed into a zindan, a traditional Central Asian prison

A Dagestani couple in the Caucuses 

A tea weighing station

Camp 1912

A Bashkir switch operator poses by the mainline of the railroad, near the town of Ust' Katav on the Yuryuzan River between Ufa and Cheliabinsk in the Ural Mountain region of European Russia.

Interior of a Uzbekistani textile mill ~1915
School House Rocks

Monday, October 26, 2009 2 comments
P.S.1 opened up its fall exhibitions yesterday, which were quite cool, but regardless of what hangs on the walls, it's always so fun to pop over to Long Island City just go and see, well, the walls...and the old wooden floors and school house lamps and linoleum tiles...

This video installation, part of the 1969 exhibit, flashed over a record-covered floor by Christian Marclay.  (A very, very aggressive guard had yelled at me for iPhone photoing, so I had to attempt more stealthy techniques as we progressed through the museum.  With this one, I tried so hard to sneak the photo that I ran out before actually looking to see who made these films.  Art appreciation at its finest).  

MOS' Afterparty - sort of like running around under a Wild Thing...

Inside Leandro Erlich's totally amazing Swimming Pool...

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Thursday, October 22, 2009 5 comments

One of the great selections from the BFI Archive shot in 1935 using Gasparcolor, a color film system used primarily for animation in the '30s and '40s....and here for making ship yard scenes look like picture postcards.
My Weekend, In a Painting

Monday, October 19, 2009 6 comments
I spent a good part of Sunday sitting on my zebra skin rug, completely bundled, yet frozen to the bone, trying to paint and conceptualize a series of images that would eventually fold into a log cabin. Half way to completion, I became horrified with the realization that the end product would be a whopping 1.5 inches high - and ultimately, a failure. Hernan Bas must have had a blurry vision of this about five years back.

I've added him and a few other completely on-the-radar artists to my Artists to Adore sidebar.

Hernan Bas, Posing With Antlers in 100 Year Old (Haunted) Cabin, 2004, Mixed Media on Board, 79 x 61cm, Saatchi Gallery
Map Quest: Boetti's Planisfero Politico at Sotheby's

Thursday, October 15, 2009 9 comments
Alighiero Boetti’s 1969 work, Planisfero Politico, goes on the block tomorrow as part of Sotheby’s London’s 20th Century Italian Art Sale (Lot 24). The following statements will be like a swift kick to the stomach of modern art lovers – but I wish my grade school art (or geography) teachers would’ve used Boetti as inspiration for a few mapping projects. Countries! Flags! The resulting projects would have made our parents so proud, without the £220,000 to £260,000 investment.

Polo: The Nomadic Tribe

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 4 comments
Assouline is making it very difficult to avoid coffee table book splurges this fall.  Besides the wonderful look into the post-fire Deyrolle, they're taking us on a worldwide tour of Polo love in Polo: The Nomadic Tribe, the beautiful new book from photographer Aline Coquelle.  Here we get a peek of the sport of kings in Morocco.

Polo: The Nomadic Tribe, $120 from Assouline

Boots in Dubai




Snowy polo in the Alps

Legs and spurs in Argentina

Elephant polo in India
Hamilton Shirts, Ready to Wear after 125 Years

Tuesday, October 13, 2009 5 comments
Hamilton, Houston's - and America's - oldest custom shirt maker, launches its first ready-to-wear line today.  To help show off these luxurious, yet slightly more down to earth duds, they enlisted a few accessory (and fine shirt)-lovin' bloggers.  That's me in the corner making Coco "take off one thing before you leave the house" Chanel crazy in my driving gloves, bracelets, ascot AND pith helmet.  ACL's Michael Williams, All Plaid Out's Max Wastler...and fellow Nebraskan Paul Underwood (formerly and now Urban Daddy) are in there, too. So fun!
ShakeIt Street Fashion | Biker Jacket

Monday, October 12, 2009 19 comments
Porter and I have been rabidly searching for appropriate outerwear for our Prague trip.  I was coming up short, so I stole her vintage bomber jacket and we set out to find her something new in the biker/aviator realm.  After ample due diligence across all non-gut-wrenching-price point stores, we found this baby at...(shhhhhh) American Eagle.  The leather, which is soft and supple as can be, actually came much lighter than this, but after a few coats of brown Kiwi shoe polish, it's looking almost Earhart-esque.  The glasses were $10 on the street.

(I realize it's not really street fashion when you take a photo of your sister/roommate sitting in a cafe, but go with it).
A Phoenix Rises: 1000º: Deyrolle

Wednesday, October 07, 2009 7 comments

Photographer Laurent Bochet has extraordinarily captured the terrible aftermath of the February 2008 fire at Paris’ most beloved cabinet de curiosités, Deyrolle.  The resulting book, 1000º: Deyrolle: Deyrolle from Assouline commemorates the official reopening in September.  While worse for wear, these animals and specimens get to be immortal twice.  

 1000º: Deyrolle, $160 at Assouline

All images © Laurent Bouchet and Assouline
ShakeIt Street Fashion | Sweaters, Elbow Pads and Fair Isle

Monday, October 05, 2009 13 comments
A microscopic burst of street photography on Lexington Ave. after downloading the ShakeIt fake polaroid app on my iPhone. 

This guy had excellent elbow pads on his tennis sweater...

And Porter picked this fair isle dress up at the thrift store in our building for $20.
Spring Break!

Monday, October 05, 2009 2 comments
Ethnic perfection from (L to R) Carolina Herrera, Fendi, Paul Smith (who whipped up my favorite show of SS10 with his homage to the Gentleman of the Bakongo, those brilliantly dressed Congolese dandies), Roksanda Illincic, Dries Van Noten and Isaac Misrahi.  It's worth booking your trip to Cape Town (or any number of exotic locales) just so you have an excuse to buy the clothes.

Designers also haven't forgotten those who enjoy traveling to more austere urban locales (ahem, Prague!!): (L to R) Aquilano Rimondi, Balmain, Dennis Basso, Loewe, Balmain, Costume National, Burberry Prorsum

(All images from
HHH Shopping Guide | Posting Pink

Thursday, October 01, 2009 7 comments
{1} La Perla Cocoon Lace Triangle Bra, Net-a-Porter, $255
{2} Carine Gilson Chantilly Lace Bra, Net-a-Porter, $290
{3} Beckham Bra by VPL, La Garçonne, $75
{4} Pintuck Balcony Silk Bra, TopShop, £16
{5} Dolce & Gabbana Leopard-print balconette Bra, on sale at The Out Net, $80

* * *

Some people really enjoy giving 'em a feel, and we ladies NEED to give 'em a feel.  Do you self exams and get your mammograms! Save your boobs and save yourselves - so we can all keep the overly priced (yet wonderfully indulgent) luxury bra industry in business 'til the end of time.  

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Talk to your doctor to make sure you are doing all you can to detect breast cancer as early as possible. Early detection greatly increases your chances of surviving breast cancer. While you are at it, forward this to your best friend or wife or sister to make sure she is doing the same. For more information on screening, treatment and donating please contact the National Cancer Institute and the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

Savile Row on Lexington Ave.

Thursday, October 01, 2009 2 comments

Attention New York men!  (Oh, the things one could say after that exclamation...).  If it's been awhile since you've had a chance to pop to Londontown for Savile Row treats, Savile Row has come to you for the next three days.  Norton & Sons' head cutter David Ward and shirtmaker Stephen Lachter will be seeing clients at the Affinia Hotel at 50th and Lex from Oct. 1-3.  Click here for more info and to make an appointment.  If the shirts are good enough for Old Blue Eyes, they're good enough for you.