Posts Tagged ‘Harper’s Bazaar’

Musing: BRPYV

In Fashion, Fashion Heat, Global Musing, history, Icon, style on January 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

When it comes to fashion, for me, it’s not just about the clothes, but the colourful characters apart of it. I wouldn’t strive to be in fashion had it not been for Diana Vreeland’s authorized, and unauthorized biographies. Or her work during her tenure at Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar. Truth be told, if it were based on the strength of fashion alone, I probably wouldn’t really be in it. And I say this because I know has ruthless the fashion world can be.

In contrast to the Anna Wintours and Sarah Mowers of the world, there are the ones that make life – not just fashion – worth living. And finally, thanks to the rise of the Internet, these people are finally becoming forces to be reckoned with.

Anna Wintour has been called the most powerful woman in fashion. So, let’s call Anna Dello Russo its MVP. She has been in fashion for over 20 years, yet, it was not until around 2008 or so, that she came center stage. Never mind Ms. Russo’s 4,000 pairs of shoes, or the apartment she has strictly for her wardrobe. Ms. Russo is a performance artist. Her and fashion are one in the same. Through her inspiration, it is okay to have a passion for fashion in the literal sense. It’s not about impulse buying, it’s about adoring beautiful things, and the escape it can bring. The runway can be like a dream, and to own an item off the runway is but a dream come true.

Ms. Russo is here to fill the void of the late Ms. Blow and all the other people we have lost over the years.

It was a humid day in New York City, and I was having lunch on a patio with a good friend of mine, but I can’t quite remember where. We lamented about our careers, shared ideas, fed off each other, and out of the blue, my friend yelled out “I love you Ms. Yaeger!” I turned around, and this caricature with bright orange hair and long skirt turned around and waved. She was the original Ms. Lynn Yaeger – the fashion reporter with a witty sense of humour. Unfortunately, I didn’t know her as the head fashion journalist at the Village Voice, but I certain feed off her articles in Vogue, T Magazine, and the New York Times. You know, both her and Ms. Russo are quirky, and both take their clothing very seriously -they just have different style.

If I lived in New York City – or London – I’d feel comfortable exploring that whimsical side of my own style. And I say that because cities like Toronto don’t always get it.

According to an article in the Guardian, when it came to trying to pin down Ms. Anna Piaggi’s status in the fashion world, the journalist asked “how did a classically educated girl from a quiet, bookish family become one of fashion’s most outrageous iconoclasts?” Well, because she didn’t want to follow the tradition of her family, of course. The mad hatter who always has something in her hand to match is a fashion force toujour. Her signature blue hair and eye shadow are just thin strokes on such a vast and complex canvas. So much so, that the Victoria and Albert Museum held an exhibition in her honour.

Ms. Piaggi plays by her rules. And for that the fashion world has nothing but respect for her character, both inside, and out.

When I started reading Tatler back in 2007, I had no idea it was a high society British magazine. I only read it after learning Fashion Teleivision, that Isabella Blow was its fashion director. And who was she? A quirky, whimsical character whose over-the-top persona was enough to turn anyone onto the publication That’s all. And since her tragic passing in 2007, admittedly, I have not really read the publication since. She was known as the woman who nurtured careers. For she “found” Philip Treacy and the late, magnificent Alexander McQueen.

Ms. Blow’s life, despite her fame, was tragic. But she paved the way for finding strength in your individual style.

Ms. Diana Vreeland was a polished dresser, but her personality was a colourful as the red sea. And yes, she loved the colour red. She was an unconventional thinker, and unbelievable story teller. And because of her ideas, had a knack for creating something grad out of absolutely nothing. Whether at Vogue or the MET, she was a curator of ideas. Ms. Vreeland turned fashion dreams into reality.

You didn’t understand Ms. Vreeland, you conceptualized her.

Musing: Donyale Luna

In culture, Fashion, Good Look, Hidden Gem, history, Icon, Legend, model, New York, Oddly Unique on March 22, 2010 at 1:07 am

Donyale Luna’s best asset was her body. Endless, lanky and hovering at 5″ 10 1/2 (she was exaggerated to be 6″2) with  looks beyond the small-time Michigan, Detroit, photographer David McCabe caught her leaving an audition and snatched her up. Heading to New York to model,  the Big Apple was the scene to thrust her into supermodeldom, but it also destroyed her  spirit and ultimately took her life.

Adorning blue, green, violet and purple contacts with five different wigs – some of them blond, her groovy attitude towards her ethnicity gave many the impression that she was insecure about her blackness.  It was noted that the freckle-faced beauty was half-mexican. Who knows! But imagine going for a breakfast in a London restaurant  with Mia Farrow at 5Am and being ask to leave for no apparent reason. Let alone being referred to as a “pretty negro model” her whole life. Donyale was a young, black girl in an overzelous modeling world. You know, it’s hard to believe Donyale was trying to break any moulds, though. To me, she was just the embodiment of the glamour-puss she always wanted to be. As Donyale once said, “They saw me as something different but I’m sure it has nothing to do with my colour. I never think of myself as a brown-skin girl.”

In the infamous 1966 article by Time titled  “The Luna Year,” the magazine said that “for she is not really beautiful; but like her namesake, the moon, she is different in every phase, yet always recognizably the same and herself.” But I beg to differ. Salvador Dali referred to her as the “reincarnation of Queen Nefertiti”  and gracing the cover of Vogue,and Britain’s Queen (now Harper’s Bazaar), it was clear cheek bones and elongated neckline – better yet – her whole existence was that of a beautiful creature. I’d like to think of her as the black Twiggy – like a chameleon and immensely versatile. The way she slithered and bended  looked effortless.

Donyale was apart of Warhol’s Factory, she won Vogue’s Model of the Year (`66), she dated – and married – cool artsy guys. But when the pit of New York scene’s started to surface, she fled to the Europe’s safer haven.

At a rate of 60 an hour, she kept a London apartment looking over the Thames, but  professed that ” I make about a thousand dollars a week but often there are a couple of days at the end of the week when I find myself broke again.” And she  landed some bit parts in French films directed by Otto Preminger (Skidoo) and Federico Fellini (Satyricon). Close to the end, she also posed for Playboy (1975). I wonder if it had more to do with needing the money than the glamorous title.
Around 1979, feeling sick, she entered a Rome clinic on a Tuesday and died on a Thursday. Some say it was an accidental drug overdose. Again, who knows. She was 33. “She didn’t like to pay her bills,” claimed a fellow black model. Who does? I don’t think that was the whole of it. It was more like life didn’t like what she had become.