Rohingya in Bangladesh: Unrecognized, Unprotected, and Unassisted by Javier Arcenillas

Friday, March 5, 2010 by bg
Medicins Sans Frontieres (Doctors without Borders) posted a set of photos taken by Spanish photojournalist Javier Arcenillas recently on their Facebook page, and the photos were so beautiful I thought them worth sharing.

Javier Arcenillas' website is legit but it seems like he used the cheapest online translator available to translate the passages from Spanish to English. Check out his portfolio here. Ignore the arrogant sections about "what makes a good photographer", etc. If you don't speak Spanish you're better off not seeing this dudes arrogance. All that aside, his pictures are gorgeous and this story in particular is incredible to look at.

I thought placing each picture next to eachother with no line breaks had a cool blending effect, gives a pleasant feeling of continuity of color palette. Really beautiful.














I think that the internet, especially social networking sites like Facebook, and the whole idea of viral distribution of information is a huge tool for spreading awareness. There are 248,243 fans of MSF's Facebook page, meaning that a large portion of that number recieve updates daily via their feed. What that awareness inspires is another story. Hopefully it inspires action. Or at least donation. Or at the very least education. It's hard to "put your ideals into practice", as MSF says.

I'm not one for tyrading about international humanitarian crises to people who don't ask, but it would be beyond retarded to post these pictures without talking about the conflict that they're depicting. This special report from MSF's official website outlines the current situation, the history of the region and conflict, and what MSF is doing there. Excerpt:
Stateless Rohingya people in Bangladesh are currently victims to unprecedented levels of violence and attempts at forced repatriation. Recent weeks have seen thousands of people arrive at Kutupalong makeshift camp as they flee what appears to be a violent crackdown on the Rohingya presence in the country. At its clinic in Kutupalong, in Cox’s Bazar District in the south of the country, Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has treated victims of beatings and harassment by the authorities and members of the community. The victims are people who have been driven from their shelters throughout the district and in some cases forced back into the river which forms the border to neighboring Myanmar.
Since October 2009, the camp has grown by 6,000 people, with 2,000 of these arriving in January 2010 alone. Without official recognition, they are prevented from supporting themselves, and are not permitted to receive official relief. As the numbers swell, nearly 29,000 people find themselves camped on a patch of ground with no infrastructure to support them, posing a serious threat to health. Action is needed now to stop this humanitarian crisis.
MSF has delivered healthcare to the Rohingya and their host communities in Bangladesh since 1992.

The best way to help (unless you're willing to work in the field, obv) is to give cash. When giving to MSF it's nice to know that your money is well spent and appreciated. In my opinion. But what do I know. Brad and Angelina give to them. Need I say more?

I want to do post in future re: the scams that exist within charity organizations, payment structures for upper management, abuse of tax exeptions, etc. Another day.

b.g.

RODARTE in 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010 by bg
SCROLL DOWN AND PAUSE THE SHOWSTUDIO VIDEO BEFORE CONTINUING

Hellooo,

I cannot believe it is still snowing. Incroyable.

Sooooo it's still fashion month, and everyone is in Milan. I didn't get to say anything about the S/S 2010 collections, and its still a little early for digestion of F/W 2010, but I just wanted to share a year's worth of inspiration from one brand, RODARTE.

The line is made by two sisters, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, in Pasadena, CA. I think that their intentions in creating each line are noble, based in a desire to create beautiful things with artistic influence, and they do it because they love it, not ONLY because it is profitable. So far. Ha.

A nice, concise bio from nymag.com:
Sisters Kate and Laura Mulleavy came from Pasadena, California, to New York in the spring of 2005 with nothing more than a few dresses and coats stuffed in their suitcase. A week after arriving, they had shown their collection, tagged Rodarte after their mother's maiden name, to almost every major fashion editor and upscale retail buyer. What got them through the door? Tenacity and talent. The Mulleavys labor over every detail of their meticulous, romantic dresses. They pile on soft flutters of pinked chiffon and intricate hand-stitching as well as other old-world techniques that call to mind couture. Still a relatively new label, Rodarte has scored the Mulleavys the 2008 CFDA Swarovski Emerging Womenswear Designer award, the 2008 Swiss Textiles Award, and quite an industry following, including Old Guard lions like Karl Lagerfeld and Christian Louboutin.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's former fashion blog "blog.mode", had this article about them in 2008. In the interview discussed in that article, they state that they "frequently translate vivid natural landscapes into our designs". Their official website has a couple of little areas where they share pictures from trips they've gone on that inspired collections.

I'm not much for writing runway reviews, they're mainly a bunch of post-rationalization and just make the entire thing crashingly corny and trivial-sounding. However, I'm a big SHOWSTUDIO fan and can stomach their reviews, so the two runway reviews that are sampled in this post are courtesy of showstudio.com.
I wanted to draw EXTRA special attention to the shoes, whose design they always outsource to Nicolas Kirkwood, who is truly, truly an artist.

RODARTE SPRING / SUMMER 2010

SHOWSTUDIO coverage
Excerpt:
For spring, an earthy and tribal, though thoroughly otherworldly, theme took hold. The show opened, black grit underfoot and poisonous yellow lights overhead, with dry ice pouring down onto the catwalk enveloping the warehouse space. Bedraggled models with severe make-up and clumped hair emerged from the ether to a dark, distorted soundtrack, wearing garments constructed through complex looping, draping, knotting and plaiting. As though stepping to the catwalk from some ancient Scottish moor, the models appeared at once menacing and awe-inspiring, draped in earth-toned ensembles featuring shots of fluorescent yellow and unusual tie-dying and dip-dying techniques.

*Just to throw props out where they are due: Rodarte's fabric dying and treatments are done by Edwina Pellikka, of LA's A Dyeing Art, whose website is almost comically modest and plain given the caliber of her work and clientele.



the shoes:







All shoe photos courtesy of Tommy Ton, Jak & Jil



RODARTE FALL / WINTER 2010

SHOWSTUDIO coverage
Excerpt:
For Autumn/Winter 2010, the spark for the Rodarte sisters were the murder of maquiladora workers whilst walking to the factories at night in the bordertown of Juarez, Texas - informing and inflaming their creative fire to concoct a melancholy, haunted story of sleepwalkers dressed in ethereal mixes of colour and texture, shovelled haphazardly onto the body in the dead of night. Dressing in the dark is seldom inspiration behind a fashion collection (at least, one that isn't admitted), but the Rodarte sisters are no ordinary fashion designers. They approach their work more as art than fashion - handcrafting garments that evolve slowly from season to season, collaging fabric into a form of fashion-sculpture.



Video courtesy of SHOWSTUDIO.com


the shoes:





Shoe photos courtesy of Tommy Ton, Jak & Jil


just for shits and giggles, peep Michelle Obama rocking Rodarte:



Props.

b.g.

New York, I Hate You

Saturday, February 20, 2010 by bg
This post started out a simple response to r.s.' most recent post about the film New York, I Love You, and morphed into this sprawling rant on, well, you can read for yourselves. DISCLAIMER: Keep in mind this is written during a particularly dark and dreary time in my life marked by nothing but work day in and day out. I'm not always this cynical. I'm sure once my schedule calms down and the weather gets nicer I'll be singing a different tune.

OK, I followed r.s.' suggestion to watch New York, I Love You. I was excited for this movie since I loved a lot of Paris, Je T'aime. I missed more than one invite to see it before its release, never saw it when it was out, and waited until it was available to watch instantly on Netflix. BON. Here we are. I may have polluted my experience by reading reviews before seeing the film, especially since one of my favorites concluded by saying that the film will "make you want to move." Turns out they were right.

I've really given a lot of thought as to why I so disliked this film. It boils down to the fact that I have come to be repulsed by anything that romanticizes New York. But b.g.! Its the "Cities of Love" series! They have to be love stories! WRONG. New York is not a place you come to fall in love. New York is a place you come to either pursue wealth or waste it. Paris, on the other hand, is a place where you enjoy life. You drink wine, you laugh, you smoke cigarettes, you read existential books, you fall in love and have sex with anything that isn't nailed down. It's a romantic city. I have a hard time finding anything romantic about New York, and I grew up here. Call me a cynic (and yes, I am openly admitting that I am a cynic at this point), but you don't fall in love in New York. At least not in the way that this movie pathetically attempts to capture. Prove me wrong. On second thought, don't.

Let's move on. The reason I'm writing this post is to share an alternate idea with you; one in which instead of watching quasi-artsy vignettes of people who have nothing better to do than swoon and blink cutely in each other's eyes, we could enjoy a film that captures the amazing variety of life and lifestyles that exist in New York that make it the amazing place it is. For me, it is the vast, overwhelming, shocking amount of discrepancy that exists between every one's lives in New York that make it such a stimulating place to live. We share sidewalks with people who have gone through it all, had it all, have it all, have nothing, are dying, were just born, are going through WHATEVER and come from WHERE EVER. A billionaire waits at a stoplight next to an immigrant who slaves doing maintenance for minimum wage. A whore orders coffee after a neurosurgeon. How amazing is that?? And for that reason, I think it was sacrilegious to waste such an amazing chance to show a variety of situations that truly illustrate New York life from different angles.

Obviously, I'm not the first person to have this idea. In 1989, the film New York Stories was released. The premise: three notable filmmakers (Francis Ford Coppola, Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese) create short films that aim to reflect different aspects of New York life. I haven't seen the full film, but I get the jist. It's still a little inaccessible imho. Here's a taste:


All insults aside, I like the way that a vignette-setup film allows for a more "flow of consciousness" style narration of the myriad of angles from which to view that anathema of a term, "New York life". SO, since I know you all REALLY wanna know, I have made my own version of New York, I Love You that I'd like to share with you here. Here's my pitch:


NEW YORK, I HATE YOU
A FILM BY B.G.


VIGNETTE I: Precious.
EXT. SUBWAY PLATFORM - DAY
A young girl and companion waits on a subway platform in the winter. She wears a North Face Steep Tech, skinny jeans, a Puma purse made to look like sneaker, and complicated, colorful Nikes. She holds her Sidekick in one hand, speaking loudly to a woman while gesticulating at key points in her speech with her other. Her French tips catch the dull sunlight.
People are generally ignoring the scene being made, although two young men begin addressing her, at which she rolls her eyes and begins to move painfully slow away from them, narrating to the person on the other end of the phone, in colorful language, how the two young men are accosting her.
She inserts a manicured finger carefully in between two cornrows and scratches gently, following it up with a firm series of pats in to the same area. She bends over laughing at something her companion has said. They board the train.
She walks through the sprawling station at Times Square.
She arrives at her destination, Foot Locker, removing her jacket to reveal a black and white striped polo and a shiny gold name tag. She is almost thirty five minutes late.
She works her day, at her pace. She takes breaks often, usually to use her phone. She receives multiple calls throughout the day from her grandmother, who is at home with the girl's newborn baby. The grandmother complains to the girl that the baby is acting up. The girl offers her special brand of comfort.
The girl's stomach is flat as a board, despite her recent delivery. She gets paid tomorrow, she tweets, because "Divas get money". She makes plans to go shopping the next day with a friend from school for a present for her boyfriend, who is three years her senior. She expresses the desire to spend $150-$250 on this gift, most probably clothing. She thinks of the red Louis Vuitton purse he bought her recently, and how that made her look to her friends. She smiles devilishly.
Her grandmother bounces the baby on her knee.
The girl will be eighteen next week.

VIGNETTE II: Agency.
INT. HALLWAY - DAY
A line of young girls extends along the wall of a hallway. Some of them are engaged in conversation, some slumped, sitting listening to music or texting on their iPhones. They each hold a large binder containing photos. An effeminate male voice booms out, asking that the Supreme and DNA girls move to the front. One girl looks up from her sitting position on the floor. This does not apply to her.
She has long black hair that flows down over her shoulders, though she normally wears it up. Her booker explained to her earlier that they would just ask her to take it down anyway. She wears a black tank top and jeans. She had worn her favorite Hello Kitty tshirt for good luck, but her booker told her not to wear it. He didn't explain why. She is fifteen years old. Next to her is a fake Louis Vuitton bag she had bought while sightseeing with her mother the day before. It is her first time in New York. The bag hangs ajar. In it is a pair of heels (also bought with her mother, at her booker's request), her book, and a workbook for math, which she should be doing, but isn't.
INT. STUDIO - DAY
The girl walks into the room and smiles at a table of strangers. She is 5'11", and feels even more awkward standing in 3 inch heels that put her above 6'2". She thinks of being the butt of jokes in her middle school. She walks, her knees bumping together.
She walks outside and a car waits to bring her to another casting. She talks to her mother on the phone, reading her schedule off of a worn piece of paper that has been folded and refolded nervously a million times. She takes a picture of herself with her phone, sticking her tongue out and crossing her eyes. She is excited and knows she should be. She feels alone.

VIGNETTE III: Orthodox.
INT. DINING ROOM - NIGHT
A young girl is setting a table in a dining room. She looks no older than seventeen, but she is already nineteen. She wears a long black skirt, a cashmere sweater, leather knee boots, pearl earrings, the bezel of her Chanel watch arced with diamonds. On her head is a Valentino scarf from which a thick black wig flows.
She sits on a couch, drinking a bottle of Coca Cola and texting on her Blackberry, which is housed in a pink plastic case. She sets it down next to a small leather prayer book no bigger than an index card. She goes to a computer and shops online, looking at Juicy Couture items on sale on Bluefly.com.
She walks into the kitchen, removes a tray from one of the two ovens under the counter. The appliances shine with showroom gleam. She throws away an empty Starbucks cup sitting next to her Fendi shoulder bag on the counter.
Enter A MAN, shaking cold from his body, smiling at his wife. He wears a big thick jacket emblazoned with the letters EMT. He wears a kippah on his short hair. His beard is long, black, coarse. From his waist dangles a beeper, a walk-talkie, and the strings of his tallith. He is twenty-two years old.
They prey, eat, talk about their day. They have just been married, and moved into this small apartment nearby people from their community, who have known them and their families their whole lives. They met 7 months prior, introduced by a matchmaker, a friend of the family. We watch and listen to their conversation. They get to know eachother more each day, both knowing they are to spend almost every dinner together, like this one, for the rest of their lives. They smile at eachother.

VIGNETTE IV: Undergrad.
INT. EMERGENCY ROOM NURSES STATION, BETH ISRAEL HOSPITAL - NIGHT.
We watch a group of group of Filipino nurses sit scattered at a nurse's station through a piece of plexiglass, the sounds of the the street echoing against it. Two of them are staring intently at computer screens, mice clicking every few seconds, yet they still partake in the conversation. They speak in Tagalog. If you listen hard enough you can hear the English woven throughout. Listen closer still and you hear the Spanish too. A middle-aged black woman wearing a 3/4 length powder blue lab coat, acrylic nails, and designer eyeglasses shuffles up and addresses one of the nurses, who looks up passive-agressively, interrupted mid-sentence. She nods at what the woman has to say, and turns her head back and relays the message to her coworkers, who meet the news with scattered laughter and rolled eyes.
One of the nurses begrudgingly gets up, and motions for a woman sitting at the other end of the station to join her. The woman stands up, and puts the bottle of hand cream she was just using into the pocket of her purple scrubs. She is middle-aged, has two children, and emigrated from Guyana 6 years prior. She is a Nursing Attendant, and does most of the grunt work.
They head into a reception area where two mid-twenties hispanic men are standing and talking, chewing gum. Beside them is a stretcher containing an eighteen year old girl who appears to be sleeping. She is a student at NYU, and has had too much to drink. Her friends called an ambulance when they got scared she might have alcohol poisoning.
The nurse and the attendant transfer her onto a bed, the nurse begins examining her. She moves and groans, opening her eyes. Two college-age girls sit outside, looking nervous. One checks her iPhone, leg jittering, biting her lip.
The situation is nothing new to these nurses, as they often receive drunk students from the nearby university. They wait for the girl to wake up.
When she does, she finds she has been unnecessarily changed into a hospital gown and a diaper. She looks around nervously, her eyes glassy.
The group of Filipino nurses are back at their stations, gossiping.

VIGNETTE V: Punk.
EXT. THOMKINS SQUARE PARK - DAY
A group of homeless young people sit on an enclosed stretch of grass. They are all filthy. Some are drinking. Others are sleeping. Their style is dirty, hard, and punked out; dreadlocks (unintentional and otherwise), studs, ripped Rancid and Black Flag tshirts, holed pants with bandoleer belts. Piercings and tattoos galore. A dog with a black handkerchief tied around its neck lies slumped against a tree. It looks fed amongst its starving owners.
Two members of the group stagger away, hopping the fence surrounding the area, stepping awkwardly close to a young couple sitting on a bench nearby. It is spring, the park is full. The group doesn't seem to realize this. Or they don't care. Or they like the feeling of being on stage.
Two members of the group begin arguing loudly. They are drunk, or high, or both. Some people turn their heads at the noise, then quickly but nonchalantly redirect and focus their gaze in that way you must learn when you live in New York.
Another duo stagger to a tree that is within feet of two people sitting on a bench. One helps the other to pull up her holed denim skirt and urinate on the tree from a near standing position. She is laughing, high and drunk. The two people pretend to have a non-related reason for getting up and leave.
The dog and its owner walk to the nearby pet store to beg for dog food.
Another member lends out his cell phone (paid for by his parents) to call out for drugs.
A mid-twenties Japanese woman in designer clothes walks her three Yorkies.
Children scream and clank around in the playgrounds that bookend the park.

VIGNETTE VI: Equinox.
INT. GYM - DAY
A thirty-six year old woman slowly walks up a ramp leading up to a desk at an overpriced gym on the Upper East Side. Sunlight flashes across the scene in waves as the windows of cars catch the morning sunlight and throw it in all directions, gone as soon is it came.
A young hispanic man looks up from his cell phone to scan her membership card, not moving from his slumped position, not making eye contact with the woman. They ignore each other in a practiced dance of nonchalance and feigned annoyance at the ritual.
She is in full makeup, black leggings that hug and accentuate her saddle bags, a wife beater and a black sports bra. She has an enormous diamond ring on her finger and two oversized studs in her ears, that snag her Japanese straightened hair often. Her face might have been pretty had it not been for the work. Her breasts swell disproportionately on her small frame, she arches her back and sticks them out.
She walks down a flight of stairs, clumsily placing in white iPod ear buds. We yearn to know what she could possibly be listening to.
We watch her over the course of the next half hour. She gently throws her sheared fur coat on a nearby railing and sits on a machine designed to strengthen the thighs. She faces a mirror, pushing out her chest and puckering her lips, and completes under ten repetitions of a movement that is obviously ineffective. Her phone, which she glaces at every few seconds, lights up with a call. She stops what shes doing and gets up, throwing her legs out in front of her with each step so her hips swing, tossing her pin straight hair over her right shoulder as she brings to the phone to her ear. She studies herself in the mirror as she speaks, smiling and laughing at the conversation, turning to look at her ass. After an extended phone call with a friend, discussing vacation options in St Barths, she takes a second call from her nanny. She hurriedly ends the call, obviously frustrated with the interruption.
She continues this dance for the remainder of her workout, thinking of how she'll pass the rest of her day.
Her nanny does not call again.

VIGNETTE VII: Changement.

INT. DANCE STUDIO - DAY
Young people move around a dance studio. Some are seated, some are standing, but few are staying still. They warm their bodies up, talking, venting, some silently studying their reflections in the mirrors that line the walls.
We focus on one girl. Her hair is jet black and pulled into a high, twisted bun. The top of her hair is gelled in place, reflecting light. She wears sweatpants over a leotard, sitting in a half split position in front of a mirror. She meticulously applies waterproof eyeliner. "Its the brand that Cirque du Soleil performers wear, it never comes off," the Sephora salesgirl had told her. The dancer didn't care, as long as it did the job and didn't run. The instructor of the class that is about to begin demands that the girls wear full makeup during class. The dancer is happy to oblige, thinking that Martha Graham would have had her dancers do the same thing. She smiles.
She finishes applying the makeup, and quickly spins her head to look at a clock on the opposite wall. Ten minutes. Perfect. She smoothly extends down and left to her purse, and procures a tightly wrapped parcel of aluminum foil. Her food for the day. She calculates it meticulously;
She has three technique classes that day: Graham, Ballet, and Jazz. There is a two hour gap between Ballet and Jazz, but she has to focus on her homework for the academic class that follows it. She removes half a peanut butter sandwich and eats it. She, like many others in her profession, knowing exactly what her body needs to perform without giving out. She will eat the second half after class. She plans her fifteen minute break: cigarette, sandwich, water, cigarette, bathroom, prep for Ballet. Perfect. She is a machine, and knows what and how much fuel she needs to function. She bends down, stretching her legs. Her back is a sea of bones, rising and falling in peaks and valleys, shifting with her movement.
She stands up and removes her sweatpants, shaking out her legs as she moves to her favorite position at the front of the room. She studies her reflection, wondering if she will ever be able to reduce the circumference of her thighs. But today is a good day, she didn't eat dinner last night.

VIGNETTE VII: Off Peak.
INT. TRAIN - SUNRISE
Close up on a middle aged man's face. His eyes are closed. He looks haggard. Stubble outlines his jaw, his mouth slightly ajar. A worn leather briefcase sits haphazardly in his lap, exaggerating his discomfort in his seat, squashed between the wall and the obese woman sitting next to him, slurping coffee. A leather satchel dangles from his neck, containing his work ID and a monthly train ticket that he purchased earlier in the month. He wears it in plain view so that the ticket collector can see it without waking him up. He wonders if they have come around already. He was asleep before reaching the second stop.
He opens his eyes, blinking in the light that flashes intermittently across his face, and peers at the woman next to him. Close up of her fat, magenta lips extending out into space above the rim of the coffee cup, the slurp that booms out when they meet. The man turns and looks out of the window, grimacing.
He adjusts himself awkwardly, something jabbing at his thigh that presses against the wall of the car. He reaches down at pulls out the offending object: a worn red hardcover book, the dust jacket missing. It is E.B. White's essay "Here is New York". He begins to read. His voice narrates: "There is the New York of the commuter--the city that is devoured by locusts each day and spat out each night." He stops reading. I am one of those locusts, he thinks. He hasn't seen any part of New York beyond his commute since he first started dating his wife, and that was over 15 years ago. He puts the book back where he found it. He has not read a book since high school.
He gets off the train, starting the daily countdown until he has to get back on it to go home. Same as the day before. Same as the day after. And the day after that. And the day...



Clearly I find women much more interesting than men. Only women bleed. I have so many other ideas, but cannot continue laboring on this post tonight. I really enjoyed fleshing those out and getting them out of my head! Most are from personal experience/acquaintance at some point or another. The possibilities are endless!
Other ideas:
an immigrant working tirelessly at shit jobs
hipster(s)
corporate whore(s)
celebs in west village
nannies on UES/everwhere in nyc
ETC AD NAUSEUM

C'MON FILM EXEC, I KNOW YOU'RE OUT THERE, READ THIS AND GIVE ME A SHOT! THIS COULD BE GREAT! ILL SELL FOR CHEAP! ...but I want a role and a producer credit.
Ever thine,
b.g.

To MARC or not to MARC

Friday, February 5, 2010 by bg
Salut!
I hope all is well with everyone. I come bearing gifts!
I've written and rewritten this post several times, and each time it comes out too wordy, so I'm going to break it down into easily digestible pieces, more for myself than for you guys;

The purpose of this post is to share a movie with you.
It's a full-length documentary made for French television about MARC JACOBS.

He turns out three collections each season: MARC JACOBS (his main line, shown in New York), MARC BY MARC JACOBS ("fresher" line aimed at younger demographic, also shown in NYC), and a little brand called LOUIS VUITTON (Paris). [There's also his line for rich children of the West Village, his "political statement T-shirt" line Stinky Rat, and all of the little low-price-point accessories sold at that cute store on Bleecker (great for gifts! avoid during weekend hours). There might be a resort collection in there somewhere as well, not sure. But these are secondary and simply money-flavored icing on the cake.]

He has the fashion celebrity, reputation, and gaudy PR that reign in the wealthy, the people who want to appear wealthy, and the people who have no taste and equate his name with it. At the same time, he represents a certain level of involvement in the arts that he can maintain an image of an ar-teest and own the high-brow art community (read: Sofia Coppola, et al).

He is a huge, pretty, greasy cog the machine that keeps the whole thing turning, and if nothing else, its super interesting to see how the whole thing works.

Enjoy! I did. This movie is so fun and interesting.

MARC JACOBS & LOUIS VUITTON
Dir: Loïc Prigent
Official Info


Part 2 / Part 3 / Part 4 / Part 5
Part 6 / Part 7 / Part 8 / Part 9


la you b.g.

"MATERIAL SYNECDOCHE"

Thursday, February 4, 2010 by bg
Hola, todos.
So a while ago I stumbled across (or Upon, to be fair), this article by Matt Zoller-Seitz on the Museum of the Moving Image's website. In five parts, it outlines various aspects of filmmaker (I use that term to encompass the myriad of roles he fills) Wes Anderson's style that makes him stand out from the rest. I've always been a fan of Anderson's movies; the clear story arcs, the depth of the characters, and that indescribable something that makes you walk away smiling and thinking about it for days to come. This article outlines, in delicious detail, those stylistic nuances that I can't describe myself.
The article, entitled "The Substance of Style", explores the influence of author J.D. Salinger in Anderson's work in Part 4. I figured with Salinger's recent death this was vaguely relevant.
SIDENOTE: read the New York Times' obituary for Salinger here.

One of the things that really resonated with me from this article was their mention of a concept called "MATERIAL SYNECDOCHE", a style which the article describes as
"rooted in the notion that character can be signified, revealed, perhaps even distilled, through observable details ... showcasing objects, locations, or articles of clothing that define whole personalities, relationships, or conflicts."
They go on to provide examples from each man's work(s), i.e. Franny and Zooey's description of Zooey's handkerchief and gold swizzle stick or the extensive use of detail in each character's wardrobe in The Royal Tenenbaums.

Too lazy to read the article? Do you want to have these ideas described to you in a style consistent with the style it is, itself, describing?? I know I sure as hell did. Ask and you shall receive. Watch the accompanying video below:



Synecdoche is defined as "a figure of speech in which a part is made to represent the whole, or vise versa". Seems like a simple enough concept now, do not ask me to describe the intricacies of how it relates to the Charlie Kaufman movie of the same name, which r.s. and myself have long pondered without understanding. (r.s. I beseech you to review that mindfuck of a movie!) I digress... the concept of "material synecdoche" described in the context of Anderson and Kaufman's character studies struck a chord within my own consciousness: I find that I, more often than I'd like to admit, look around me and consider how the objects, pieces of clothing, books, etc somehow define who I am or how I fit into society, or what I love. As I write this, it seems so obvious how we all create our own synecdoche (consciously or not) around us all the time.
What would a stranger gather about YOU from taking a walk through your living space? What story would your material possessions tell about you?
It must be so much fun to be a production designer for films, and have it be your job to create these personal environments that tell a story about the character through their belongings.
What are YOUR thoughts on this?

I think it would be an interesting experiment to post a list of 10 items (be they at home, work, where ever so long as they are a common presence in your life) and have a stranger comment on what they (appear to) say about you. LETS TRY, SHALL WE?

TEN ITEMS: B.G.'S MATERIAL SYNECDOCHE
1. A stack of specialty notebooks with only 5-10 pages written in each
2. Tuberose cologne
3. Spectator shoes
4. Framed children's artwork
5. Labels of Russian words on furniture
6. A tin of Dutch stroopwafels
7. Mario Testino's RIO, full of post-it notes
8. A pile of shells, one turned over as an ashtray
9. A beaten up leather soft briefcase
10. Basil plant in a blue pot



Well?? Who am I??
Post yours!!

b.g

Retrospective: SUPREME SHOW PACKAGES

Wednesday, February 3, 2010 by bg
First post!
Hi everyone!

By everyone I mean myself and r.s., the only people probably reading this blog at this fledgling stage. I'm not going to write any kind of extended "About us" post, I'm just going to jump right into it. What I
will say is that I don't want my topic choice here reflect what is to come on the blog, as our aim was to provide coverage of a breadth of subjects and interests. I'm choosing this because it is relevant to me right now.
SO! Whether you know it or not this week is what I fondly refer to as "Casting Week"; the week before New York Fashion Week where brands holding shows are casting for models. What does this mean to me? This means gorgeous, tall, skeletal girls in black clothes wandering through Soho clutching their iPhones and books (simple laymen would call them portfolios), staring up quizzically at building numbers and street signs. I love this part of the whole fashion-industry-machine-process. If you're in the area, keep an eye out. They are truly beautiful to watch and stick out like sore thumbs.
(photo taken by b.g. on broadway and spring, 2.3.10)
Anyway! My original intent in this post was to draw attention to a less superficial aspect of this casting process: SHOW PACKAGES. A show package is a book of comp cards (individual cards printed for each model to present at castings for a point of reference; displaying their photos, agency info, and their measurements) that each agency makes twice a year for the show seasons. Models.com, digital Mecca for model-aficionados like myself, is so amazing and consistent with posting show packages each season. One agency that I've always loved for their selection of girls is Supreme, sister agency to Women, headed by the honorable Paul Rowland. Every season Mr. Rowland and his team at Supreme put together show package books that read more as art coffee table books than rosters of models. They reflect Supreme's mission statement of representing unique, eclectic beauty. models.com gives great descriptions on each. Here's a retrospective, I'll post actual scans of my favorite shots from each in addition to the link to models.com's full scan:

Fall/Winter 2010
http://models.com/oftheminute/?p=12601



Spring/Summer 2010
http://models.com/oftheminute/?p=8448


Fall/Winter 2009
http://models.com/oftheminute/?p=4610


Spring/Summer 2009
http://models.com/oftheminute/?p=4050


There you have it. Paul Rowland doing his part to infuse fashion with a fresh perspective on beauty.
This is a video documenting the shoot of a 96-page V supplement shot by Paul Rowland. Really great pairing of music and content:



That's all for now. The one thing I'll say about any coverage of fashion that I do, it is with the intention of providing an artistic perspective on the designers, photographers, stylists, and editors that strive to create more than just clothing to be sold to the masses.

b.g.