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12 December, 2013

a stroll along the danube

This set for me tells tales of air and seduction.
It is lightness incarnated, while being a bit heady at the same time.
There is Sofia Coppola's constant companion, the slim clutch. A trusty throw-on jacket & a shy girls' lipstick.
The scarf and the pearls, for me, set this scene somewhere close to the water. Be that the Seine or the Danube. She would be reading The Hare with Amber Eyes at the café down the road & getting dressed to Emilie Simon.
And all of that, she would do without her very own prince charmant.

03 December, 2013

la dolce vita: fendi & valentino

Growing up in this day & age one keeps reading about all the classics one should read and watch.
Compared to today's movies, however, the classics can seem a bit slow, a bit languid. 

And La Dolce Vita certainly couldn't be classified as a fast paced movie, but it's a joy watching the scenes unfold & following Marcello Mastroianna down the Via Venetomeeting one character more interesting than the other.

The movie is also most certainly a festival for the visually starved eye. As Kate Hudson says in Nine (the musical is based on Frederico Fellini's life): "Every frame is like a postcard!"
And interestingly enough - despite the availability of color film, Fellini opted to shoot the movie in black & white. Kate Hudson's character goes on to say that he "care[s] as much about the suit, as the man wearing it" & Piero Gherardi, the film's costume designer, did actually go on to win an Academy Award for Best Costume Design. The movie as a whole is such a stylish feat, one that is rarely seen in today's world of movies.

Below follow a couple of my notes - especially in regard to how Valentino & Fendi, two of the foremost Italian brands, tie into the movie.

Swimwear for the rooftop pool, back when armpit hair wasn't yet déclassé.

Unusual for movies, Gherardi focused as much on the men's clothing as on the women's.
And unlike its American counterpart, the Italian suit was slim fitting with narrow legs & single breasted. (x)
Sharp & flattering - it was masculine sophistication at its height.

For all of you cool cats who have read Bonjour Tristesse - isn't this exactly how you imagined Anne?
(Let's ignore the movie version of the book, where Anne is blonde and not half as wonderfully affected.)

If your life is a Fellini movie sunglasses are appropriate at every time of the day (& night).

I feel like the idea of Maddalene (Anouk Aimée) is very much what Maria Grazia Chiuri and Pierpaolo Piccioli have partly been trying to achieve over at Maison Valentino. After all, the muse behind the perfume Valentina (the ad is a must-watch) is described as "beautiful, radiant with charms belonging to a modern heiress. She sets home in a classical Roman Palazzo but there is nothing she likes more than feeling the heart beat of the vivid city of Rome. She is the only protagonist of a hypnotic, bewitching story full of references and allusions to legendary figures of Italian fashion and cinema." 

Maddalene, the moody heiress, who is tired of Rome and its charms & has too much money for her own good, could definitely have served as inspiration. Valentina, portrayed by Freja Beha Erichsen in the ads, the heiress of today certainly resembles her a lot in spirit, when skipping out on a lavish ball & instead wandering through the streets of Rome & making out with a beautiful male model.

Valentino Garavani is, in fact, often referred to as the coutierer of Rome's Dolce Vita years. (x)
While Valentino has always drawn heiresses as clientele, Chiuri and Piccioli have been trying to steer the brand in a more modern, cool and sophisticated direction - something Maddalene definitely embodies.
They once also described one of their collections as "very uptown goes downtown", which is what Maddalene quite literally is all about. (x)

The modern woman: driving barefoot & then putting on the heels afterwards.

Marcello Mastroianni being is usual hot self in Persol sunglasses.

“I sleep only in two drops of French perfume. And there are three things I like: love, love and love.”
Marilyn says hello. Clearly Anita Ekberg's character was supposed to be a sort of Marilyn Monroe.

The film is, of course, most famous for Ekberg & Mastroianna's frolicking in the Trevi fountain.

It seems, however, the scene has drawn one or two too many tourists to the sight seeing as in the last couple of years the fountain has been falling apart. Not just the fountain, but Italy as a whole. As such the restoration of an Italian monument isn't exactly a top priority.

Room enough for Fendi to swoop in & save the day: "eager to reposition the company at the heart of the Eternal City" Fendi has pledged €2.2 million for the Trevi fountain's restoration. (x)
While their contribution will only be marked with a small plaque on the side, the company has already benefited from its link to the infamous movie scene.
"But the company’s intervention has already gained it publicity money can’t buy: headlines around the world accompanied by a sultry picture of Anita Ekberg, cavorting in the fountain in full evening dress in a scene from Federico Fellini’s 1960 film La Dolce Vita." (x)

Roger Ebert, the famous movie critic, certainly counted the movie amongst his favorites &
ended his review of the movie with:
"There may be no such thing as the sweet life. But it is necessary to find that out for yourself."

22 November, 2013

valentino acqua floreale

 "Valentina possesses the multifaceted and unconventional allure of a sophisticated modern woman who adores the spotlight, but also loves the sumptuous shadows of her ancestral palazzo and the enveloping, reassuring embrace of ancient frescoed rooms and secret gardens.

Acqua Floreale is like a leisurely stroll in the midst of nature, immersed in the sensual and exciting fragrances of a summer garden.

Limpid summer mornings and sunny Roman gardens are also evoked through the bottle design with its light nuances and transparencies." (x)

"In 1964 a client gave Valentino what he calls “the biggest gift of my life.” Jacqueline Kennedy bought six of his couture dresses, all in black and white, to wear during her year of mourning after J.F.K.’s death."
So Very Valentino, by Matt Tyrnauer

12 November, 2013

the white fairy tale love ball at château de wideville

A snow-dusted fairy tale ball at a real-life château - isn't that just wish-fulfillment and escapism at its best?

"The romantic set, with antique sleighs and conversational sofas and nineteenth-century antler chairs (draped in the patterned wool shawls that would prove useful accessories when chilly night finally fell), evoked the atmosphere of an aristocratic pre-Revolutionary dacha, all seemingly lost in a blizzard of faux snow. Perched on these seats in their frosty finery, Tatiana Santo Domingo (in a pale lace Philip Treacy mask), Eugenie Niarchos (in a diamond coronet), Coco Brandolini and Margherita Missoni (all dressed in current or vintage Valentino) looked like so many Chekhovian sisters."
Hamish Bowles (x)

For a view of the invitation go here & for moments captured on film here.
For the best-dressed attendees go behind the cut.

30 October, 2013

kasia smutniak in valentino


24 October, 2013

laetitia casta + léa seydoux in dolce & gabbana


19 October, 2013

the mad englishman

“I think housework is far more tiring and frightening than hunting is, no comparison, and yet after hunting we had eggs for tea and were made to rest for hours, but after housework people expect one to go on just as if nothing special had happened.”
Love in A Cold Climate, by Nancy Mitford

03 October, 2013

travel is glamorous only in retrospect

While everyone else on the northern hemisphere is getting ready for fall, I am preparing for a bit of a longer trip (two months) traveling around Southeast Asia & Australia. This has meant money spent on vaccinations (extremely expensive!), a special travel towel, a proper backpack etc. etc. 

On the nicer front, I thought the trip called for a new Heid Klein bikini (via mytheresa), which looked marvelous on the model & absolutely kept its promise, as it looks almost as wonderful on me (almost being enough in this case). The U-cut shape of the top has a somewhat '60s kitten-ish look to it, while all in all it's a model of simplicity, which I rather like.

All the beauty product travel sizes assembled over the years are coming in very handy right now, as they aren't as heavy and won't take up as much space as original sizes & should be more than enough for the two months. Plus, I can just chuck them out as I go along.

I have posts scheduled for the two months I will be gone, so this space won't become a complete ghost town.

“Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things – air, sleep, dreams, the sea, the sky – all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.”
Cesare Pavese

01 October, 2013

the modern muse

How dreamy is this Estée Lauder short film providing insight into Arizona Muse's life, who is the star of their current perfume campaign.

A lovelier-than-thou picnic scene with her closest friends dressed in pink and white in London, sitting on the steps of a New York apartment, being chauffeured around in a cab with nice old leather seats, rhapsodizing about childhood holidays spent at her grandparents house picking strawberries, strolling the Massachusetts pastures with her horse and cherubic son Nico in hand, spending tender moments on a white wooden porch with her family.
No, it wouldn't hurt to be the soft-spoken Arizona Grace Muse - a name she didn't like as a child. "It was a big name for a little girl." These days, however, it perfectly encapsulates her work as a modern muse. 

"To see a world in a grain of sand 
And a heaven in a wild flower, 
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand, 
And eternity in an hour."
excerpt from Auguries of Innocence, by William Blake