Thursday, February 25, 2010

Zdzislaw Beksinski (Feb. 24, 1929 - Feb. 21, 2005)

Last Sunday was the 5th anniversary of tragic death of one of the most remarkable Polish painter. Zdzislaw Beksinski is known for his distressing, fantastic paints. He was also a photographer, scupltor and in 1960s and 1970s worked as stylist of prototype buses. The subjects of his works included death, senility, pain, suffering, deformed skeletons and horrific destroyed landscapes. The contrast to the subject was the soft colour palette. You can feel melancholy or despair while watching his paints. I would compare his creations to HR Giger's. I couldn't believe when I read about his death. A few days before I've read large interview about his job, his life, his plans for the future. He was murdered  in his own flat by a teenager who he knew because he didn't want to borrow some money. I feel sorrow that so big talent, one of my favourite artists finished his life in such circumstances. I made sure a few times that it's really about this Beksinski.

 I recommend The Dmochowski Gallery website with the biggest collection of Beksinski's works. 

Monday, February 22, 2010

Alice in Wonderland Jewellery - update

I'm adding more pictures in relation to this post about Tim Binn's jewellery designed with the co-operation with Disney Co. I have to say I really like all of the pieces.  
I'm just wondering why everyone started to say that something is 'inspired by the Tim Burton's movie'. The book was first though. Why nobody remembers about it and everywhere I look - there's not even one word about the book. I know - they have to make publicity about the movie. But it would be nice if they mentioned that Alice is character created by Lewis Carroll and not some Tim Burton! And I don't promise it's the last post about Alice this week.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Clara Bow and the 1920s Style

Clara Bow (29 July 1905 - 27 September 1965) was a silent films star of the 1920s. Her autobiography is full of ups and downs, successes and failures. She was poor and rich, she was adored and not accepted. She had a lot of temperament and courage. Betty Boop, a Max Fleischer's cartoon character, was inspired by Clara. She became first It Girl after huge success of 1927 movie 'It'. She's perfect example to present a 'roaring twenties' fashion and life style. It was a time when the movie stars became fashion authority and their scandalous outfits were copied by their fans.


Clara had a short bob hairstyle as many women of her time. This hairstyle become a symbol of women's emancipation. It's not visible on the black and white movies but she had red hair. You can see them at the movie posters and the pictures on her website. She was often seen wearing cloche hats and wide silk scarfs. A hats were made from felt as they had to perfectly adhere to the head. They were deep, covering whole forehead and were ending just below the eyebrows. A women had to lift their heads high to see anything. A short bob hairstyle wasn't easily accepted by the older women but at the end of era became standard for all.  


She painted her mouth in a heart shape. She also had her eyebrows plucked and then painted by black eyeliner in a tiny line. Because the actors couldn't show their feelings in a silent movie by the voice, it was all about the face expression so huge Bow's eyes were her trump. Below you can see how to make make-up in Clara Bow style. I tried myself and know that it's not easy to make a perfect heart shape on the lips. At the time when Bow was famous a cosmetic company, Max Factor, was becoming popular. It was firstly known as movie make-up producer and was founded by Polish - Maksymilian Faktorowicz. It was Max Factor who invented a heart-shaped mouth for Bow. At that time it also became popular to amend make-up in the public, especially painting the lips by the red lipstick and tiny mirror. To meet the women's needs a small compact make-up sets were produced.


Bow was one of the best dressed women of her time. She loved expensive furs and elegant outfits. Her curiosity and scandalous lifestyle were often shocking. Her big time was a time of revolution in the fashion and mentality. After First World War the construction of female costume entirely changed. A boyish, slim figure was in fashion.

At war time women had to replace men at work. In 1920s they also became sexually liberated, they started to drive a cars, ride on a bicycles and going to the jazz clubs where they provocatively danced, smoked cigarettes, openly drank alcohol and snort cocaine (it was legal at that time). It's then understandable that the costume had to be comfortable. A huge hats were replaced by a small one, a dresses were simple and loose. It was a time when Coco Chanel became famous. Her designs revolutionized the way of dressing. A simple chemise dress became fashionable, its length was shockingly short - a women showed their legs first time in the history. A corset was replaced with a comfortable silk underwear. Only breasts were flatten by special bra - bandeau. A body had to be slim and athletic.
Below are short films showing everything what's best in that era.

Thanks to simplification of  female dress and use of cheaper fabrics even poorer women could look fashionable. It became popular to make dresses based on patterns attached to the fashion magazines. They used natural fabrics like cotton and wool, and a new way to produce synthetic silk was invented - its first name was 'rayon'. With this invention they started to make nylon stockings. Also T-bar and Mary Jane shoes were the most popular. Because they were more visible under short dresses, women paid more attention to them.
1920s was a time of blending Old with New. A time before First World War with its deep social classification emphasized by the clothes and modern, vivid and joyful post-war years.

And for the end a short film with Clara Bow in the movie 'It'. In the background a song 'She Got It' wrote by Harry Reaser.

Beautiful era...

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Haute Couture Spring/Summer 2010

1. Chanel
Nicely packed candy box. Or Mickey Mouse in a boudoir of XVIII century's elegant woman. Or rococo lady in a spaceship. Pearl's inside and diamond embroidered FabergĂ© egg. These were my first associations. Karl Lagerfeld had joined in his collection  many elements: a childish businesswoman, Greek deity, Indian beauty in sari and Japan geisha in kimono. Everything in a delicate beige and metallic silver. It's first Chanel collection without black colour, and what's follow after that - a little black dress, and golden buttons. It's impossible to describe it in just one word. There's too much mixed elements and eras. And I like everything. The lace mixed with metal, heart shaped hair with large bows, shoes with heels like rococo molding mixed with pearls, hi-tech gloves with sparkling stones. The collection is so fresh and, even with the historic references, very modern.

2. Elie Saab
A real candies for the eyes. A delicate dresses-flowers and ethereal women-nymphs controlled the catwalk. I'd say there are 4 main designs: a short dresses with wide brim which are perfect for younger customers, a long chiffon dresses with delicate print reminding me about lilies or meadow full of flowers, then with an old Hollywood style hips-long cut and long tight lily-shape. A colour palette contain delicate blue, pink, lavender, beige and yellow. The make-up was natural and there was no jewelery. I like the romantic braid around the head and soft waves falling at the arms. It reminds me about fairytale stories about princesses. Each dress is breathtaking. They are sexy, very feminine and sensual. Perfectly made for the red carpet. I fell in love in the first dress at the picture. I'd say you can love them or feel sick. Not everyone will like so much sweetness and
romanticism. But for sure we'll see some of them at the Oscars...


Thursday, February 11, 2010

Alexander McQueen (17 March 1969 - 11 February 2010)

 Alexander McQueen was found dead this morning in his London home.
His designs were often shocking and innovative, inspired by the history and film. Every his collection was unforgettable and widely discussed. His shows were dramatic and bizarre. His death is a huge loss for the fashion world.


Rest in piece.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rabbit Ring

The madness called 'Alice in Wonderland' still goes on. That's good as there's even more items referring to the Lewis Carroll's book. I've found these cuties in ModCloth. You can choose between gold and silver one:

picture - modcloth

I then searched the internet to find more of these rings. As you can see, there's quite a few of them available. Below are my fav ones.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Stenders Melon Bath Bubble Ball

Changing my house was a good idea because I have a bathtub now. After over 2 years of taking only shower I can relax in the bath. I've used to the shower so much that it was difficult to lay flat for a long time in a hot water. For the first time I've chosen Stender's melon ball. I've had it for a while to was unsure if it's still ok to use. The smell wasn't too intensive and I wouldn't guess that it's a melon. I was afraid that the salt will dehydrate my skin, but decided not to use any balm after the bath to check if that's the case and if the smell will stay on the skin. I have sensitive back and almost always after the shower have to use an oil or balm, as it's dehydrated. This time it was different. After the bath my skin was moisturised but without oily layer. I like bath balls but not the one with non-dissolving stuff like flower petals. It's a pain to clean the bath later. This ball has nothing like this. It dissolves fast giving greenish-yellow colour. Stenders products are advertised as handmade from natural ingredients. It's a big pleasure to pick up the product inside a shop looking like a herbalist's country house. The light is dimmed, the shelves are full of beautifully looking and smelling items and there are dried flowers hanging from the ceiling. Who had the pleasure of shopping in Stenders knows what I'm talking about. I've seen only L'Occitane en Provence shop designed in a similar style. The trend for everything what's natural and ecological is more and more popular and such products have a lot of fans already. After I've read the book 'Ecological Intelligence' I don't know what's really ecological so in this case I'll believe in the advertisement. Surely this product didn't cause any side effects, allergy or dehydrating and the skin is moisturised so overall I'm satisfied. I've read once that you should be worry if there are more than 20 ingredients listed on the package of the cosmetic. In this case I counted only 12 on Stenders website and there are just 6 listed on the package. I don't want to give too high note at the beginning so I'll rate the ball as 7/10. I give additional point for the care of the ecological brand image by using recyclable paper, linen and wool package. Even if my ball was packed in a plastic bag...

score - 7/10
extra 1 - for ecological image

picture: Stenders

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Grammy Awards 2010

Grammy Awards is the most important music event of the year. It always gathers the cream of music society and there's always something interesting to look at. As everyone could expect, Lady Gaga made the bigger impression. Has she decided to leave her usual crazy outfits for more elegant look? Well, with her you can't expect just normal dress. She mixed this beautiful Disney-like Armani Prive dress with an outrageous sparkling body-stocking, a two tone - blond and yellow - hair (wig??) in the old Hollywood style, star sculpture in her hand and bejewelled platform heels. She then jumped into...a star costume. She is the biggest star at the moment so why not?
I liked the most newly engaged Katy Perry in her Zac Posen's backless dress in nude with golden flowers. She accessorised the look with a Judith Leiber clutch bag, an Indian jewellery and Betty Page fringe. Zac Posen isn't my favourite designer but I have to admit that this dress looks just gorgeous. 

Perry wasn't the only star who choose nude dress. Beyonce wore floor-length Stephane Rolland piece with a  zip at the front and reportedly so tight that she could barely move. She also wore a huge gold Lorraine Schwartz earrings, a sparkling highlights and Casadei shoes.

Next popular design on the red carpet was a siren dress. It was worn by Rihanna (white Elie Saab Haute Couture high neck dress and 'Lance' sandals by Jimmy Choo), Taylor Swift (Kaufman Franco dress, jewellery by Lorraine Schwartz, Christian Louboutin shoes), Keri Hilson (pink Dolce & Gabbana) and Pink (grey/metallic...) which also had Judith Leiber's bag in her hand. Rihanna's dress clearly looked like bridal and didn't make good impression on me but I liked how Pink showed her soft side.
You can't expect everyone to wear an elegant floor length dresses if it's not an Oscar night so a good few mini dresses were also spotted. There was Miley Cyrus (in Herve Leger by Maz Azria, Balenciaga shoes and guess what - a Judith Leiber bag), Fergie (in blue Emilio Pucci and again Judith Leiber bag) and Heidi Klum (in nude Emilio Pucci and Jimmy Choo 'Quinze' shoes).
While the most popular was pale colour, a good few black dresses could be seen. So Jennifer Hudson wore Victoria Beckham dress, Ciara - Givenchi Haute Couture, Ledisi looked amazing in toga-like short dress and classy as always Nicole Kidman beside husband Keith Urban in sleek Prada.  Hmm... I have to say that the chubby ladies looked better than the bony ones.

The worst dress was the Dolce&Gabbana by Britney Spears and Versace by Jennifer Lopez. I also didn't like Shawn Colvin's shoes and Nadeea's whole outfit. Phoebe Price wore something that looked like octopus. I don't add a pictures of these ladies. If you want to see the disaster - check out the web.
pictures -, justjared

Monday, February 1, 2010

Anne Heche in Psycho

There are movies which I wouldn't watch if I wasn't interested in the costumes. I don't mean a movies about fashion itself because it would be just too simple. I've watched a movie 'Psycho' from 1998 directed by Gus Van Sant only because there wasn't anything else in tv. I don't owe a tv myself but I spent the weekend with my friends and had the chance to see what I'm missing. When I saw Anne Heche as Marion Crane, I couldn't stop staring till the end. Her character wasn't unfortunately shown in a whole movie but I hoped that it will. There were 2 costumes that seduced me - a pink suit and 60s style dress. It was so difficult to find a good pictures showing whole outfits. So if anybody has some and wants to share them with me - I would be very happy. 
Delicate Heche's beauty was perfectly stressed by soft-pink suit with a large flower buttons, round collar embroidered by white ribbon and mini skirt.

Then this beautiful 60s style dress was shown. It has perfectly fitted top and wide bottom. A very interesting fabric and collar cut at the back were joined with a straw handbag, flower earrings, a large buttons looking like crystals and a brown oval glasses. What a pity that I cannot find any picture showing this dress from the back and the front. I would find similar fabric and take it to the dressmaker. I sew myself from time to time but I wouldn't be able to make such dress without a help and good pattern. 
source: pink, 60s