Friday, August 27, 2010

Jane & Serge in Cannes

Jane Birkin & Serge Gainsbourg were photographed strolling along the shore in Cannes during the late 60s. What is remarkable from their ensembles is their minamalism & similarities. Serge & Jane are wearing bellbottom jeans paired with a white t-shirt; they are probably barefoot. However Gainsbourg opted for a navy blue jacket with wide lapels to contrast with his wife.

Photo: Flickr

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Happy 80th Birthday Connery...Sean Connery

Sean Connery, one of cinema's icons, celebrates today his 80th birthday. This Scottish actor is famous for playing the role of James Bond from 1962 to 1967, and later once again in 1971 & 1983; as well as appearing in films such as Alfred Hitchcock's "Marnie", "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade", "Murder on the Orient Express", "The Rock", and "The Untouchables" (for which he won an Oscar in 1988 as Best Supporting Actor).

Connery's style while portraying James Bond during the saga's first films has allowed him to be frequently featured in this blog. For some he is the original James Bond, and it can't be denied that films like "Dr. No", "Goldfinger", and "Thunderball" are amongst the best from the saga.

Posing in 1964 for one a publicity photo on the set of "Goldfinger", Sean Connery leaned on an Aston Martin with the Alps on the background. He proved that a gentlemen not only needs a good sense of style, but also attitude to create a long lasting and elegant impression.

Happy Birthday Sir Sean Connery!

Photo: Flickr

Monday, August 23, 2010

John John's Polo Shirt

John F. Kennedy Jr. gave a lesson of style in the late 70s when he was photographed attending an event with his mother, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. "John John" proves that a polo shirt (his is Lacoste) is a basic item in every gentlemen's wardrobe. He completed his ensemble with a pair of khakis and boots. A look that can be both elegant and casual at the same time.

Photo: Flickr

Friday, August 20, 2010

Summer in Marrakech

French singers France Gall & Julien Clerc visited in the Summer of 1967 one of Morroco's most important cities, Marrakech. During their stay at "The Red City" they wore Morrocan ensembles made up of embroided tunics and kaftans.

As in the 60s, this kind of ethnic clothes can still be worn nowadays without any problem (most of these styles have been worn for centuries). It's all a matter of your personal style and ocassion.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Los Angeles & San Francisco are mad for MAD MEN

The last of my posts dedicated to my summer holiday in California will be about how Los Angeles & San Francisco are literally mad for the hit TV Series MAD MEN.

As it is known MAD MEN is set in 1960s New York; focusing on the lifes of Don Draper and his colleagues at Madison Avenue based advertising agency: Sterling Cooper (as of Season 4 it is called Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce).

A series that has not only caught the audience's attention because of its dynamic plot, but also due to the 60s fashions worn by its characters.

While passing by some of Los Angeles famed avenues such as Sunset Boulevard, Melrose Avenue, and Santa Monica Boulevard I saw some billboards like the ones shown below (the first one in Sunset Boulevard & the second one in Melrose Avenue). These billboards, like the rest of the advertising campaign described in the following lines, promoted the show's 4th Season Premiere on Sunday July 25.

MAD MEN not only dominated Los Angeles' skyline, but also its traffic packed streets. Several busses from the Metro Bus System had large stickers on the sides, such as this bus in the crossing of Rodeo Drive & Wilshire Boulevard. Bus stops all over the city, especially in the Sunset Boulevard area had ground level billboards with the same image.

While in San Francisco the lack of MAD MEN advertising surprised me as I had expected to see some of these on city busses or ground level billboards at stops. Yet while strolling around Union Square, to be precise between Sutter St. & Grant Ave., I came across Banana Republic.

Besides the building's impressive architecture what grabbed my attention were the store's windows. All of these had large posters with photographs of Don, Betty, Peggy, Pete, Joan, and Roger next to mannequins dressed with Banana Republic's MAD MEN inspired collection. Inside one could see still photos from the TV show as part of the store's decor.

Banana Republic has teamed up with MAD MEN costume designer, Janie Bryant, to design a collection that captures the elegance and classiness of the early 60s. One can take home one a small catalog that features pieces from this collection. Inside this catalog women and men can find items to wear the office, to lunch, to dinner, or to lounge and relax after work.

And last but not least, Banana Republic is giving its customers the chance to make a special cameo on the show by entering a contest, for details visit your nearest Banana Republic.

Photos: Own

Monday, August 16, 2010

Talitha & John Paul Getty in Rome

When talking about "The Swinging 60s" in London one can't miss Talitha & John Paul Getty. Mostly remembered for their elegant bohemian/hippie styles, the Gettys as they were known got married in late 1966. From London to Rome to Marrakech they caught everyone's attention wherever they went, their carefree attitude and style were the key.

Circa 1968 Talitha & John Paul were photographed on Rome's Via dei Condotti wearing psychedelic floral print ensembles. John Paul wore a shirt whose print was similar to that of Talitha's top; he also wore a metallic hoop belt. Talitha on the other hand opted for beads and a pair of Roman sandals.

In 1969 the Gettys posed for Lord Lichfield on a terrace in Marrakech wearing kaftans, the result was one of the most iconic photographs of the 60s.

Photo: Flickr

Friday, August 13, 2010

Alain Delon's Summer in St. Tropez

Alain Delon spent the Summer of 1966 relaxing in St. Tropez after working on 3 films that year. During one of his days of leisure, Delon was photographed by Jean Marie Perier. Alain wore a basic and simple ensemble, yet bold and elegant at the same time, white pants and a black shirt, barefoot and holding a cigarette in one hand.

Who would have imagined that 43 years later one of these photographs would be used on the advertising campaign of Dior's iconic fragance, Eau Sauvage which was launched in 1966 as well (last year I posted about this campaign). Eau Sauvage is a fresh fragance that combines exquisite citric and wood scents with lavender and mint.

This photoshoot with Alain Delon proves that the more spontaneous a photo is, it's impact will be bigger and long lasting; and that less is more.

Photo: Flickr

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Michael, Janis, Jim, & Jimi at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles

This Summer the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles is honoring 4 musicians and performers whose talent left a huge mark in musical history and helped define music as we know it nowadays. These legends are: Michael Jackson, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, & Jimi Hendrix.

The Grammy Museum has been home for some months of two exhibits that pretend to share and keep their legacy alive. On its fourth floor Michael Jackson has had an exhibit called "Michael Jackson A Musical Legacy" since October 2009; it will be here till the end of this Summer.

Meanwhile Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, & Jimi Hendrix since April 2010 have their own exhibit on the second floor titled "Strange Kosmic Experience - The Doors, Janis Joplin, and Jimi Hendrix: The Art and Artifacts of the Icons Who Defined A Generation"; it will be on display till February 13, 2011.

When entering the museum one has the opportunity to see a 60s art masterpiece, Janis Joplin's 1965 Porsche 356c Cabriolet, which has a unique psychedelic design. Janis bought this car in 1968, and it was painted by Dave Richards who was a roadie for her previous band, Big Brother & The Holding Co.

I recommend you begin your tour on the fourth floor with the Michael Jackson exhibit which features some of the most iconic clothes, items, and memorabilia from the late "King of Pop". Among the most representative items on display are the Hugo Boss white linen suit which was worn by Michael on the cover of his "Thriller" album (below), military inspired Swarovski embroided jackets designed by Bill Whitten (the craftsmanship on these is impressive), Swarovski covered gloves, a pair of gold combat boots, and We Are The World memorabilia (autographed sweatshirt, notes, and letters).

Footage of Jackson at the Grammys from 1974-1993 can be watched on screens, as well as his music videos on a separate room. One highlight of this exhibit is the iluminated dance floor on which you can dance to the beat of "Billie Jean" while the floor tiles light as you move.

On this same floor you can take a trip in musical history through the evolution of the Grammy award, different music genres, and analyze the impact music has had on culture and viceversa during the last decades.

The third floor allows you to witness how music has gone from phonograph to the Ipod, not only by seeing each device but also by comparing how a piece of music sounds on them. An interactive timeline of the Grammy Awards is on this floor next to clothes worn by several performers to the Awards.

Janis, Jim, and Jimi; three icons, who defined the 60s, and coincedentially died at the age of 27 in 1970 and 1971 are honored on the second floor. This exhibit features clothes worn by the three of them (worth watching are Janis' Piet Mondrian inspired shirt designed by herself, and Jimi's psychedelic shirts and bellbottoms), personal items such as IDs, letters written by Janis Joplin, impressive artwork created by Janis, memorabilia from the 1967 Monterrey music festival, psychedelic design 60s concert posters, lyric sheets, photographs from these 3 legends on the walls, including those of Jim Morrison from the "Young Lion Session" by Joel Brodsky, & video footage.

I must say that not only here at the Grammy Museum Janis, Jim, and Jimi are honored; but throughout all of Los Angeles and San Francisco too. From street art to the Hard Rock Cafes and Haight & Ashbury, their legacy is kept alive. The 3 of them consolidated their musical careers in these 2 cities, and were key figures during the Monterrey Festival and "The Summer of Love".

Long live the Kings & Queen!

Photos: Own & Flickr

Monday, August 9, 2010

Chet Baker

Chet Baker, one of the most remarkable trumpeters and Jazz performers in history, was photographed while relaxing on a sailboat's deck in the mid 50s. Wearing dark pants and what appears to be a short sleeve linen shirt, Baker also brought his trumpet.

When looking forward to moments of relaxation and tranquility, the music of Chet Baker is what you should listen to.

Photo: Flickr

Friday, August 6, 2010

Sunset in Santorini

In the mid 60s Richard Avedon photographed Jean Shrimpton and Jeanloup Sieff (another photographer) in Santorini. The result was a series of photographs that not only captured the Mediterranean Summer styles worn by "The Shrimp" & Sieff, but also the impressive settings of Santorini in Greece. Some of these photos have been previously published here on the blog.

Below another photo from this shoot that captures a Summer sunset in Santorini, a photo that is a masterpiece.

Photo: Flickr

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Dennis Hopper's Double Standard at MOCA

This Summer I had the chance of spending a couple of days in California's most important cities: Los Angeles & San Francisco. Epicenters of culture, arts, economy, tourism, and fashion on the West Coast; these two metropolis offered those visiting and living there a couple of extras, which I will be writing about during this month in my blog.

I would like to start with one of the most important events of the Summer of 2010 in Los Angeles, the Dennis Hopper exhibit held at the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA. From July 11 to September 26, 2010 this exhibit titled "Double Standard" displays the artistic genius of the late Dennis Hopper who passed away almost 3 months ago.

Curated by Julian Schnabel in collaboration with Hopper himself (he planned on attending it) the exhibit is an art celebration that goes from Hopper's abstract paintings, to his impressive collection of photographs, graffiti pieces, and assemblages.

For me the central piece of the exhibit was the "Double Standard" photograph which is shown below, taken by Hopper in 1961 at a gas station on the crossing of Santa Monica & Sunset Boulevard.

Yet it must be remembered that Dennis Hopper was an art veteran himself (artist & collector), having been introduced into Los Angeles' art world by his co-star in "Rebel Without A Cause", James Dean. He began collecting and creating a series of abstract-expressionist paintings, most of which were destroyed during a fire in Bel Air in 1961. Only his "Untitled" painting from 1955 survived.

The star of "Easy Rider" decided to focus on a new art form, photography after this event. His photographs capture the essence of the 60s, featuring subjects that range from Martin Luther King Jr., Andy Warhol, Roger Vadim & Jane Fonda (shown below), Jack Nicholson, Paul Newman, Roy Lietchestein, to those who participated in the 1967 Sunset Strip Riots & the Summer of Love in San Francisco.

Warhol and Hopper met after he purchased one of Andy's iconic Campbell's Soup Cans. In 1963 Dennis made an appearance at Warhol's film "Tarzan and Jane Regained...Sort of". Influenced by Andy Warhol & Marcel Duchamp, Hopper began seeking inspiration from common "everyday"objects such as billboards and products; leading to the creation of "La Salsa Man", "Mobil Man", & "Coca-Cola Sign (Found Object). One of his most well known sculptures is the antiwar "Bomb Drop" (1967) which originally was a WWII bomb-dropping device.

Around 1967, Hopper began making some films. Five years later he collaborated with Warhol in one of his Mao silkscreens. From 1972 to 1981 he had an art hiatus in Taos, New Mexico. He resumed his art passion afterwards by creating media-collage paintings.

After a trip to Morocco in 1994 he decided to create a painting series inspired by the walls he saw there. Using prints of stills from his 90s film "Colors" he decided to transfer these to a canvas where he would add graffiti related iconography. As a matter of fact on one of the exhbit's "alleys" one can see some graffiti created by Hopper displayed in such a way that it makes you feel on the streets.

Besides painting, during the last years of his life Hopper continued taking photographs while travelling around New York, Los Angeles, and Sicily.

Worth noticing at the end of the exhibit is a series of photographs taken by a female photographer who was inspired by films such as "Easy Rider" and "Vertigo". This artist decided to recapture the settings from these films with her own camera. The support of these films' directors and producers allowed her to take these photos on the exact spot where these movies had been filmed. Another bonus is the screening of clips from Hopper's films such as: "Easy Rider", "Apocalypse Now", "True Romance" and "Giant".

After visiting "Double Standard" I recommend you head up to the MOCA (The Museum of Contemporary Art) which is several blocks nearby. Your admission ticket covers both museums. At the MOCA you'll have the opportunity to appreciate some of the finest examples of Contemporary Art created by the likes of Mondrian, Miro, Warhol, Pollock, Lietchenstein, Gorky (who currently has an exhbit there), Reinhardt, Johns, Jensen, and Asher.

Below a still from the 1996 Julian Schnabel film "Basquiat", with Dennis Hopper as gallerist Bruno Bischofberger, with Jean Michel Basquiat (Jeffrey Wright), Andy Warhol (David Bowie), and Gary Oldman as fictious character Albert Milo.

Photos: Own, Flickr, LA Times

Monday, August 2, 2010

Blondie's Parallel Style

Blondie is one of the most representative acts in Rock and New Wave from the late 70s and early 80s. Their 1978 album, Parallel Lines, featured band members dressed up in black suits with skinny ties and sneakers. The group's lead singer, Debbie Harry (some people call her Blondie, when in fact it's the group's name) is wearing a simple white dress and black/blonde hair (Blondie's punk roots should not be forgotten).

On this album one can find two of Blondie's best songs: "Heart of Glass" & "One Way or Another".

Photo: Flickr