Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Uptown Girls

For a while, I was absolutely crazy about Uptown Girls. It was one of those movies that I jumped at the chance to watch because the trailer promised endless scenes of carefree, hippie, flower-child, Brittany Murphy goodness - and in a sense, it did provide all that (plus as super dispiriting "poor little rich girl" storyline). 
To this day, Uptown Girls fills me with such wardrobe envy. I literally want to wear EVERYTHING that EVERY SINGLE CHARACTER wore in this movie - yep, thats right, I even want to wear Dakota Fanning's school uniform (despite the fact that she is about half my age here). 
I would most definitely credit the film to helping along my clothes obsession during its early stages of development. I was quite taken with the concept of being "girl who never grew up." Brittany Murphy's character Molly was everything I wanted and still hope to be (well maybe, minus a few things..). 
Molly was cool, hip and absolutely an individual. I loved how carefree and bubbly she was and everything found at the core of her personality was also stitched into the fibers of her highly covetable "I'm perpetually stuck in age 9" wardrobe.    

But seriously, can we just take a minute to lust over a few things:

#1) Brittany Murphy's pet PIGGGG!!! Oh god, my heart is melting. Please, someone!! 
- Being that I'm absolutely in love with pigs, the fact that the movie's protagonist Molly Gunn had a pet pig, instantly won me over. It's not like she wasn't cool enough already, but this just did me in! So not only do I have sever wardrobe envy, but in some aspects, life envy.

#2) TUTUS 
- Need I say anymore? I'm sure you'll agree, that girls (well, at least me, yes I am) clearly have a natural disposition toward tulle - in any shape, any form, any color. I took intro to ballet in high school and yawned my way through it all, but Dakota Fanning's unitard is enough to make me reconsider. 

#3) Birthday Suit, Ya'll
- HELLOO Sparkles! Molly's birthday dress is perfection! Even when I'm turning 80 (well maybe a more conservative version then), that is what I want to be wearing to blow out my candles. Heck, I want to be wearing it right now. Oh and who could forget those glitter star shoes too!

#4) Ingrid 
- Lady, you're just that - a true lady - except for maybe when you become a bitch. But honestly, if I weren't such a mess, Ingrid is the type of got-it-together lady I wanna be. 

#5) Huey
- So, hip. So, hip. I mean, just look at those pajamas. C'mmon. 

Now let's get down to business, time for some serious lusting:

In my opinion, the crown jewel of Molly's entire clothes collection was this AMAZINGGG embroidered denim overall jumper. Little hearts, literally light up on the surface of my corneas like a cheap LED display every time I catch a glimpse of this prize. It is most definitely, my DREAM outfit and holds the top position  on my mental list of diy/must find clothing. I had to add a little shot of B-Murphs sitting at Dakota Fanning's tea table, because I'm quite obsessed with this dress and everything that surrounds it. Even the scones.

I know I really haven't made any obvious efforts to disguise my blatant favoritism when it comes to the clothes in this movie. But rest assured, most every character's wardrobe in this movie is to-die-for. 
  • Let me just say, it kills me how Dakota Fanning wears her uniform is like a mini suit for non-adults (this is meant in a good way. Like, "oh god, I love it so much it kills me" kinda way). There's just so much about this that makes me crazy! Strange as it sounds, I've always been really into the whole "private school uniform" look, and ironically enough I went to public school for my entire pre-university academic life. Going to the uniform shop, for me - while a drag for my Catholic School attending cousins - was like introducing a child to sugar for the first time. The advent of Gossip Girl did much in the way of progressing this pseudo-addiction I had to uniforms. Plus, I mean, just look at Dakota Fanning's totally 90s style tiny sunglasses. 
  • A close second on my scale of favorite dresses in this movie is Molly Gunn's white dress with tiny girls? dolls? on it? Oh idk, I just remember: a) seeing her in that dress & losing my breath, b) feeling her pain in that scene - her friend Ingrid forced her to sell all her cool stuff *anguished face*, and c) thinking, oh thank god you're wearing that dress gurl, cuz then you don't have to sell it!!

Embarrassingly enough Uptown Girls  was the movie that really got me started obsessing over clothes. I remember picking up the habit of "designing" outfits by drawing little models in clothes based on Molly Gunn's closet showcase.  To this day, I'm still drawing stupid clothes. Oh well, I'm stuck with this condition. This isn't my favorite movie, in terms of story but I definitely recommend it for the clothes!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dawoud Bey

Back when I was struggling to justify my photographic hobby, I used to research photographers to study their work. Since then, I've let taking photos fall to the wayside. It happened in one of those sad, round-about "I'm a non-conformist" sort of ways - which is also gross because I spend most of my free time telling myself I'm not going to listen to outside opinions on what's cool.

It was around this time that I discovered Dawoud Bey. One of the things I struggled most with in photography was taking pictures of people. I liked to, and still do, use my camera as a crutch to continue doing what I did best - avoiding others. I always admired photographs of people that were so candid, honest and raw but the thing was that I was not bold enough to get these confessions myself. My shots of people would always be from some awkward angle off in the shadows - never with anyone looking directly into my lens.

Most impressive, was Bey's use of Polaroids. Bey would photograph his subject(s) multiple times with the Polaroid camera to capture every angle and would end up with slightly distorted proportions. The crazy thing to me was how much this process was a modern-day, photographic adaption of Cézanne (Particularly his work "Madame Cézanne in a Red Armchair," 1877 which is currently housed in Boston's Museum of Fine Art)! In this painting, like Bey's Polaroid portraits, Cézanne focuses with equal attention on each individual piece of the painting. This process creates a strange flatness, strange proportions, and unaccounted for spaces. Just something to keep in mind next time I pick up my camera and experiment.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oliver Jeffers and the Joys of in-flight Entertainment

Every time I fly on an airplane, I make a point to read the airline's publications. It sounds a little lame, and you would think that the articles would be fairly boring but to be honest airplane magazines are one of my favorite reads.
Not that I am or even have the time to be a voracious reader, but I see in-flight magazines as a less serious version of perhaps National Geographic (don't get me wrong, I LOVE NatGeo). They show you the world, how different people in niche cultures live without the burden of scientific and anthropological prestige.  

As sad as it sounds, I am actually quite the Hemisphere fan - United Airlines' magazine. As is my usual routine, the minute I plop my butt down into one of the plane's smelly, tight seats my hands automatically grab at the kangaroo pouch before me. Turning to that month's Hemisphere was like making a regular and necessary visit to the on-board fortune teller. Whatever the cards held in terms of your flight's fate was printed in the back pages of this magazine. Would my flight be enjoyable (because nowadays, we can just about throw any hope of having a "comfortable" flight out the window) and filled with my favorite television programs? a movie I had on my "must watch" list? Or would I be stuck forcing myself through something like "Real Steal" - full of drama, corny one-liners, and campy shots of rugged, rough-and-tumble men?

It probably wasn't until I started taking an interest in being a well-rounded and seemingly educated person that I began considering the airplane magazine's actual content (outside of the tv and movie listings, I mean). I have never looked back since. I owe several of my imaginary travels to Hemisphere magazine. In the span of one 5-6 hour flight, I slowly, but surely made may way through cross-country BBQs (yumm!), run marathons (to burn off all that BBQ, of course), and met some famous and really cool people (Sup, Donna Karen! How's it, gurl?). But, my most fruitful adventures were my fantasy trips abroad. With the help of my good friend Hemisphere, I have been everywhere from Lisbon to Moscow and everywhere in between.

My favorite part of these overseas excursions were Oliver Jeffers's quirky illustrated prefaces. Their whimsy, playful lines and fragmented notes scrawled along the edges instantly won me over. Looking at these "maps" was like trying to read the supplementary map Fagan made in Oliver & Company to go with his ransom note to Jenny, and to me that just made them all the better (If you don't know what I'm talking about, go watch Disney's animal/musical adaptation of Oliver Twist and get back to me when you're caught up on life!). So here are a few of his works for you to enjoy! Happy travels, courtesy of Oliver Jeffers.  :-)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grizzly Man

The first time I heard anything about Timothy Treadwell. I honestly thought he was crazy. I was sitting in the "New Media/Film" classroom in my high school and heard my classmates talking in sarcastic tones and hushed whispers about his death. Unfortunately for Treadwell, his greatest passion was also the source of his ultimate demise. Something about the fact that his death was captured on film, brought out this morbid and almost comical feeling in my high school friends.
At the time I didn't think it was funny (and I still don't), but I merely dismissed Treadwell's story. I instantly thought of him as some unstable environmentalist who clearly did not know how to respect nature's boundaries.

It wasn't until one night when I was channel surfing and desperate for anything to keep me awake that I came across a tv documentary series about Treadwell. The program provided background on the film on Treadwell, Grizzly Man, and went behind the scenes of the movie interviewing the animal-lover's close family a friends.
I'll admit that I began watching it mostly out of a morbid curiosity that they would show or discuss footage from Treadwell's mauling. I sat through clips of Treadwell in the field, talking in a mock-baby voice to bears largely ignoring him. Treadwell's fanatic behavior and crazed adoration for wildlife, didn't support any case arguing for his sanity.

But, I endured. As each of his video diary entries from the wild flickered before my glazed-over eyes, I realized that Treadwell had something that I actually really needed (and still need) in my life - passion.

What really caught my eye were the photos that Treadwell took. What's most remarkable, is that he didn't use any special lenses - meaning he was actually almost that close to all of his subjects.
I don't really think they need much explanation. As corny and contrived as it sounds they speak for themselves.
My main purpose for creating this post was to show case these photos, but of course I couldn't resist creating a collage with pictures of Treadwell and very (VERY) distantly related subject matter - Alexa Chung's Barbour Jacket and screen shots from Wes Anderson's Fantastic Mr. Fox (an absolute favorite of mine).

It feels a little phony of me to act like I have so much to say about Timothy Treadwell when I haven't even seen Grizzly Man but (I cringe as I type this) he really reminded me about the beauty of nature, silence, isolation and being at peace with yourself having found love.

Timothy Treadwell's haunting photos really speak of his affection for wildlife, and somehow they speak the same language of silence and pure intentions of nature. I love Fantastic Mr. Fox (and Wes Anderson's other films) for their same dialogue of silence and body language. The abrupt lines and fluid use of motion  is calming - to me anyway. As I slip deeper and deeper into this existential crisis, it only makes sense that I tack some Johnny Cash on here. His echoey ghost of a voice just felt right with these pictures..

Monday, March 19, 2012

Obsession: Alexa Chung + Madewell

Could there be any other match better made in heaven? Confession time: I love Alexa Chung, and I love Madewell.
 So naturally, I would be the one to hoard pictures of these Alexa Chung + Madewell slides. Enjoy.