Tuesday, April 28, 2009

“It only looks like the good life”

I recently had a mad yearning to revisit one of my favourite films of the late 80’s, “Less than Zero”.

Featuring the hot young brat packish actors of the time: Robert Downey Junior, Jamie Gertz, Andrew McCarthy and James Spader and with its title taken from the 1985 best seller from Brett Easton Ellis (he of "American Psycho" fame), it extinguishes any fantasy we ever had of the young and rich of LA.

It is somewhat disappointing that Ellis’ books are never translated to screen with quite the same level of darkness that leaves you completely hollowed out – which is exactly the point Ellis is trying to make – societal greed and lack of humanity is pointless. So, we miss out on the snuff movies, abortion, kiddy sex and odd dead body featured in the novel, but then American Psycho hardly reached the heights of its promised translation from page to screen either.

However, all is not lost … not only do we witness the destruction of these smug rich kids’ lives, but we get to see it done stylishly. The interiors are all fashionably lit and in colour tones you could die for: all peaches and greys. Robert Downey Jr descends into the depths of despair yes, but he does it in style – wearing Commes des Garcons sandals and socks and an array of their shirts and jackets and to a soundtrack that will stir the emotions of any kid who lived through the 80's.

A literary sequel is in the works to be titled "Imperial Bedrooms", which, like "Less than Zero" is a title taken from an Elvis Costello song. It will be in our hot little hands in 2010.

Hopefully this time we will get our style with a little more hard core nihilism.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"Be wonderful and be strange"

... says Susie Bick in the latest I-D Magazine to hit our shores.

It is not often you stand at Borders and are moved by a magazine. But yes, I-D managed to conjure up such feelings yesterday.

All fashionistas … be kind to yourself and buy a copy, which has soul stirringly devoted its entire edition to Britain’s top models, both current and historical: from Jourdan Dunn to Twiggy … you get the drift.

I purchased the Susie Bick cover, as I absolutely adore her gothic aesthetic and current come-back status – someone please bring back women like this in fashion on a permanent basis – out with those emotionless Russian skeletors please!

You will be enthralled by all the inside gossip style interviews with Kate Moss, Agyness Deyn and Stella Tennant, not to mention the styling – all molten black and white imagery and spectacularly sculptural clothing selected by uber-stylist Edward Enniful.

Very pervy, delicious stuff indeed.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Astral Travelling

This divine collection first came to my attention last season. It is the mash-up of varying fabric patterns that provides the thrill.

No surprises, it has also come to the attention of the gorgeous Thea from Blonde Venus, Brisbane, Australia who will stock Peter Pilotto this season.

So, who is Peter Pilotto? Peter Pilotto and Christopher De Vos are the designers behind the Peter Pilotto label. Pilotto is half-Austrian, half-Italian and De Vos is half-Belgian, half-Peruvian. They met whilst studying at Antwerp's prestigious Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the year 2000.

Is it my imagination, or is Anouck Lepere their muse? She seems to be constantly swathed in these fabulously trippy clothes.

Big question - are the clothes in store yet?

Down in the Valley

I recently jetted down to Sydney to see the new show “Uncanny Valley” by one of Australia’s most interesting artists, Hany Armanious (showing at Roxlyn Oxley 9 in Paddington throughout the month of April).

As Amanda Rowell writes in the press release, “Everything is not as it seems” and she means it. This show requires a constant visual adjustment as you are repeatedly challenged to believe in what you see – what appears stone, is polystyrene, what appears metal, is gold, wood is resin and so on. It’s a mind fuck of the highest order.

So what does it all mean? Rowell explodes the mystery: “Uncanny Valley is a robotics term that describes the threshold crossed when a robot has become so lifelike in its appearance as to be almost indistinguishable from its human model, precipitating a sudden drop – on the graph – in the hitherto increasing levels of empathy of the human toward the humanoid.

There are constant tricks and turns of order: Lagerfeld is a maker of models, a bare plinth is an object of worship ... it is a spiritual, historical, witty labyrinthical world Armanious conjures up for us to behold.

As Adam Jasper boldly asserts in this month’s “Art World” magazine, Armanious “is the real deal”. But, how do we know? What is he made of? Do androids dream of electric sheep?