Posts tagged Vogue
{Series of the Week} Downton Abbey

Well readers, I have decided to start doing some themed blog posts every week. To start, I want to share with you the wonder that is Downton Abbey. Now I'll admit that I am a sucker for great British TV, particularly the classics. Even though this was made recently, it sits up there with the top of the top classics! (NB. This is a collaboration between Carnival Films in the UK and WGBH Boston in the U.S.) This series really stood out to me, after just one episode; with tension, depth, insight into an interesting period in England, and  I watched it night after night until it was finished (too soon for my liking as it's only 2 official seasons with a third, shorter "Christmas Special"). Rumour has it that an actual full Season 3 will be released later this year.

Downton Abbey is set on a large estate going by that name, on which stands the the Yorkshire country house of the Earl and Countess of Grantham, and follows the lives of the Crawley family and their servants. There are 3 daughters in the family, so the issue of heir comes up early on, as well as women's rights. Following the years 1912 through to early 1920, it is an incredibly telling, moving time, with the sinking of the titanic affecting the family, all the way through the 'Great War'. We see how women began to seek more of a stance in society, particularly through the daughters and certain servants, how limiting societies expectations, dos and don'ts were, how classist people were, but also a clear desire for that to change, with the war being a catalyst for this movement.

Of course there is romance, issues in the family, theft, lies and deceit, all adding to the drama. But none of it comes across as cheesy or unoriginal. It captured my attention and held it firmly to the end, my attachment to the characters growing with it. We see some wonderful traits revealed in even the most stoic of characters, and the acting is un-faulted- even for those with the tiniest roles.

I don't want to give anything away so I'll let you get busy purchasing the first season if you haven't seen it yet- Amazon and to end off,  some gorgeous images of the 3 Crawley girls, shot for Vogue:

Vogue

Water For Elephants

Directed by Francis Lawrence, starring Reese Witherspoon and Robert Pattinson, this movie is touching, exciting and absolutely beautiful. The fact that the set is a circus in the 30s, during the depression, meant that the set and costume designers had a lot to work with, but a slight danger of the result being dull or lacking in glamour. Thankfully, this wasn't the case at all! Whilst still real and raw at times, it is visually stunning at every turn. It captures the torment and exhaustion of the animals and circus workers, and yet still maintains so much 'glitz' and beauty. The tension between the two main characters was also expressed so well, with both personalities far from simple... I felt that Reese was particularly strong in her role, reminding me of the success that was Walk the Line a few years ago.

If you are sensitive to animal cruelty, there are a couple of scenes where you will need to avert your eyes, but it is necessary to build the audience's hatred for the circus owner, who you may all remember from Inglorious Basterds. He too encompasses his role perfectly.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6b2XhXkPpg]

Vogue of course captured the movie so perfectly as you can see in the shoot they did with Reese:

If you haven't seen it yet, it's no longer out at the movies... So shame on you... But rent it as soon as you can. Magical.

Girl Crush and Style Envy: {Emma Watson}

You all know her as Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter movies. But since her first appearance at the age of 9 she's come a long way! Not only has she won awards for her acting in the magical movies; she now models for Burberry! Born in Paris and living there till the age of 5, she's technically a bred Brit, based in Oxfordshire. Now she studies at Brown University, Rhode Island, USA and is said to be loving it. I love her creative, down-to-earth, yet openly feminist attitude and think she is definitely the next Keira Knightley. Hollywood doesn't seem to have stolen her innocence as yet and we can all look forward to her role in the final movie, 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.'

Until then, here she is featured in numerous magazine shoots including Italian Vogue, Teen Vogue, VS Magazine and Elle...

“I think when you take away all, like, the premieres and press stuff and all the special effects, then you just come down to the fact that it's all about acting, and I think that has been the best bit for me.”

Over and out readers*

Sources: http://www.fesjon.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/06/emma-watson-chanel.jpg, http://www.mifashionblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/emma-watson-vs-02.jpg, http://www.vspublications.com/, http://emmawatsonupdates.wordpress.com/2009/02/01/new-emma-watson-photo-shoot/, http://gracemagazine.wordpress.com/2008/09/16/, http://www.celebrity-pictures.ca/Celebrities/Emma-Watson/Emma-Watson-1094721-small.jpg, http://www.soifind.com/searchimages.aspx?q=Emma+Watson&page=4, http://img.listal.com/image/530922/600full-emma-watson.jpg, http://www.oceanup.com/legacy/2009/02/26/emma.png, http://www.emmawatson.com/

Appreciation Station { Annie Leibovitz }

This weekend I had the absolute pleasure of watching the biography of an incredible photographer, Annie Leibovitz. It tells her story well, centering around the production of a book of her work(A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005). So, we get to see her comments on the work as she decides what to put in the book and as she looks back on her past, there are interviews with family and friends, as well as film footage and photos of her youth. It does jump a bit, from current work to old, from childhood to the last few years but this method actually made it even more interesting. It was personal and there are some great candid moments and times where she speaks to her daughter that are really touching.

She has become known as a portrait artist, particularly of celebrities. She tells vivid stories with each picture and expresses parts of the subject's personality through the theme, story, fashion, pose and expression.

WARNING: This will be a long post as I cannot decide which photos I like best..

She was born in Waterbury, Connecticut and is the third of 6 children. The family travelled a lot because Annie's father Sam was a lieutenant colonel in the US Air Force. 'Life Behind a Lens' shows how family photographs were very important to her mother, Marilyn, and Annie began taking photos when they were stationed in Vietnam. After studying painting at the San Fransico art institute and some time spent in a kibbutz in Israel, she took night classes in photography and began working for (the new at the time) Rolling Stone Magazine. She became chief photographer and was instrumental in the magazine's style that became iconic. She says in the movie that she captures the moments between the big events, the things that happen behind the scenes, the thoughtful expressions, the real people behind the media haze. Her inventive and wildly creative images still stand out today in a world saturated with imagery. This in itself is testmament to her greatness. Annie Leibovitz was the photographer who took the famous picture of Yoko Ono and John Lennon that made the Rolling Stone cover. Five hours after it was taken he was shot and killed.

Due to her mother's background in dance she was fascinated by movement and how it is captured on camera. Hence she has done work for American Ballet Theatre, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Mark Morris Dance Group, and with Mikhail Baryshnikov. After Rolling Stone she moved on to Vanity Fair and continues to do great work for them as well as private pieces and photography for Vogue.

Annie's love, Susan Sontag, a well known writer, passed away in 2004. In 'Life Through A Lens' we see how she inspired Annie and gave constructive criticism. They went to Sarajevo as Susan wanted her to capture real life, the despair, the pain, the reality of that place. Preparing her book, A Photographer's Life: 1990-2005, and compiling her favourite images of Susan was integral to the grieving process after her death.

To quote Vanity Fair: Leibovitz has been designated a Living Legend by the Library of Congress and is the recipient of many other honors, including the Barnard College Medal of Distinction and the Infinity Award in Applied Photography from the International Center of Photography. She was decorated a Commandeur in the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government. She lives in New York with her three children, Sarah, Susan, and Samuelle.

She is, I agree.. a living legend.

http://www.ppmag.com/web-exclusives/2006/12/american-masters-annie-leibovi.html, http://www.apartmenttherapy.com/uimages/sf/2-29-liebovitz1.jpg, http://www.vogue.com/images/vogue/feature/120505/img01.jpg, http://musie.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/alice-wonderland-1.jpg, http://bohemianeden.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/leibovitz460.jpg, http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/over-exposed-is-annie-leibovitz-worthy-of-a-retrospective-at-the-national-portrait-gallery-849918.html, http://www.zimbio.com/Celebrity+Portal/articles/tlnzCqRLTDO/ANNIE+LEIBOVITZ+COVERS+VANITY+FAIR, http://www.mutanteggplant.com/vitro-nasu/2009/07/27/merce-cunningham-rip/,

Thanks to Vogue, Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair.

VOGUE.com "Today I'm Wearing"

I often look at Vogue.com (truly a fabulous mag) and recently they have been going behind the scenes a lot more with blogs from designers, editors and models: everyone from Savannah Miller to Paul Smith. ANYWHO so I saw one that I really liked where they get someone to post a pic of what they wore today on the site, everyday for an entire month.The current blogger: , Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, Britain's contribution to the stunning Victoria Secret Model Set.

I tried to imagine what my month would look like and ... erm.... well I don't think it would be QUITE as inspiring as Miss. Huntington-Whiteley's. In my defense, I don't have as much 'access' to designer labels as she does :P.

......'Today I'm wearing Mr.Price tank top, vintage skirt and Woolies gladiator shoes' Yeah doesn't have quite the same ring to it.

Soon to Follow: 'What People in My Life Are Wearing' by designer blogger Stacey Burr. *get excited*

(Pics from http://www.vogue.co.uk/photo-blogs/rosie-huntington-whiteley/100301-rosie-huntingtonwhiteley-day-1.aspx#startcontent)

Thakoon & the GAP

Thakoon Panichgul is a fashion designer profiled in The September Issue as an up and coming artist. Anna Wintour was asked to suggest some designers to do some work for GAP in 2007 and she chose this lucky, talented young man. Vogue wanted to give new, young designers with no publicity, a place to shine in the industry. Something in the simplicity of his designs shown in the movie really appealed to me. It was as if he was taking something as classic (but so often made wrong) as a crisp, white shirt, and making it in a completely new way so that it has a totally new effect and feel. He injected femininity yet modern lines into something so previously plain. I also liked his attention to detail and workmanship and the stitching, folds and way the fabric fell were just perfect. This Thai man from Omaha found a gap (excuse the pun) in the ever saturated fashion market and has filled it swimingly.

He graduated from Boston University in 1997 with a business degree went on to New York. He took up fashion writing but decided through this that he was more of a designer and then attended Parsons School of Design 2001 to 2003. When he started producing actual collections he became a firm favourite with many in the fashion industry and celebs such as Sarah Jessica Parker and Demi Moore.

His humble, warm nature on The September Issue made me an instant fan and he showed us his endearing vulnerability in the car on the way to meeting with the feared and admired Anna Wintour where he told viewers how his hand shook persistently when presenting work to her.

His high point was when Michelle Obama wore a dress of his to the night her husband accepted the 2008 Democratic nomination for president.

“For me it's about creating silhouettes that sort of have built-in gesture.” -Thakoon Panichgul, The New York Times

Read more: Thakoon Panichgul - Designer Fashion Label http://nymag.com/fashion/fashionshows/designers/bios/thakoon/#ixzz0gFiF64GY
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thakoon_Panichgul

Photos from www.gap.com, http://www.peopletree.co.uk/, www.teenvogue.com, http://nozama.typepad.com/.a/6a00e54ed05fc2883301156f502079970c-800wi