Men and women alike in black suits, white shirts and elegant watches on. And when Ewan McGregor, Christoph Waltz, Cate Blanchett and Emily Blunt are the actors in the story film-photographed in black and white by Peter Lindbergh in bella Italia, in Portofino, the outcome can be nothing less than classy, timeless and casually sexy. The beautiful campaign is for the IWC Schaffhausen watches company, for their Portofino Midsize Collection. Watch the video (directed by Peter Lindbergh and Stephen Kidd) at the end of the blog post to really feel the story.
This one above was shot during a break between shots.
photos: Peter Lindbergh for IWC Portofino Midsize Collection, shot in Portofino, Italy | featuring Cate Blanchett, Emily Blunt, Zhou Xun, Ewan McGregor and Christoph Waltz
An Oscar de la Renta ball gown and an image that so well evoke the beauty and fantasy the designer’s creations often inspired.
“I’ve lived every day to the fullest, and I’ve had a marvelous time. I’ve tried to be nice to the people I care about, and ignore the ones I don’t. I enjoy what I’ve done.”
“Elegance is a discipline of life”.
“Walk like you have three men walking behind you.”
“Being well dressed hasn’t much to do with having good clothes. It’s a question of good balance and good common sense.”
Oscar de la Renta (1932-2014)
photo: Mario Testino for Vogue US, November 2008 | Natalia Vodianova wearing an Oscar de la Renta dress in the editorial “Field of Dreams”
By Myself was the first version of Lauren Bacall’s autobiography, published in 1979, and By Myself and Then Some brought the story up to date in 2006. I’ll admit that I didn’t enjoy the “and then some” part that much, but that also has its highlights and does not take too much of the book. The autobiography is written with honesty, wit and a sense of humour – Lauren did write it herself and she did it well. You can not but admire Bacall’s openness about her insecurities that stayed with her all her life (who would have thought?), her determination and hard work to become an actress on her own forces and nobody else’s, despite constant setbacks, and then, after having her break with To Have and Have Not, her on-going struggle to find professional gratification, finally becoming a first-rate actress, with a brilliant career in theatre.
I especially liked the first half of the book (which I read as slowly as I could because I didn’t want it to end), where Lauren recounts her childhood and early life in modelling and theater in New York City, and then her way to stardom and her life with Bogie. Those were the times which mostly shaped her character, as she herself admits, with the likes of her mother first of all, whom she was so close to and who always supported and encouraged her in pursuing her dream, her uncles, and then Bogie to thank for that. She doesn’t only tell her story, she relives it. You really get a sense of those times, New York in the 30s, Hollywood during its Golden Age. The Hollywood glory days have a way of swaying my imagination, so you can figure how enwrapped I became in the story. She knew everyone in her day and she tells stories, including ones regarding the questionable Hollywood system, without ever seeming to drop names – that’s part of her class. She doesn’t veneer her famous friends either, but draws a line between their on screen image and their real selves, just as in her case, and puts a human face on them, and that’s where the beauty lies.
I usually wear heels on Mondays, as I want a clear shift from weekend to work-week wear. But more often than not, I like to step out of the routine and try a look stripped off formality. Flats, and better yet sneakers, paired with wide legged trousers have always been a go-to for me. I love the quiet elegance of grey year-round, and for the cold season a classic grey coat is a key piece that looks so fresh and lively when worn with red. This look is a winner from neck to toe.
photo: Paola Kudacki for Lucky Magazine, October 2014 | Karlie Kloss styled by Karen Kaiser | View the entire editorial on Visual Optimism
by guest writer
Lola (1961) was Jacques Demy’s debut film (his Bay of Angels remains one of my all time favourite movies). What stikes at first is the way he chooses to open his movie: Beethoven and Michel Legrand’s are the rhythms introducing a mysterious white American Cadillac, and by filming the waterfront and the highly photogenic balcony streets of Nantes, Demy gives his film an authentic and picturesque touch. I must mention the fact that Lola is a tribute to Max Ophüls and Raoul Coutard goes to the limits to get his shots and angles in a perfect composition. Lola (Anouk Aimée) is a cabaret dancer who raises her child on her own and doesn’t want to take a decision on choosing the proper man for her life even though there are a few admirers. About her character, Anouk Aimée said that she was “devoid of any sort of aggressiveness, or vulgarity, or exhibitionism” and that the poetry of the film made her act so freely. The movie realistically asserts the ephemeral nature of happiness and love with a subtle humanity which is not too often seen in cinema.
photo: movie still | Rome Paris Films
Here are my latest recommendations and news from fashion, film, design and beautiful living.
• Diane von Furstenberg’s new autobiography, The Woman I Wanted to Be, will be released on October 28th. I haven’t yet read any book about the designer and such inspiring woman to look up to, so I think this is going to be a good starting point.
• My film recommendation this week: The Candidate (1972), directed by Michael Ritchie and starring Robert Redford, Peter Boyle and Melvyn Douglas. Robert Redford plays idealistic, high standards-driven Bill McKay, the Democratic candidate for the Senate and the idea behind his campaign is that he can say whatever he wants and what he believes in, because theoretically he can not win the race to the Republican candidate. One of the few political films which bluntly shows the machinations of the political campaigns and media-manipulated political process. The film hasn’t dated one bit.
• Tomas Maier and the future of shopping: no runway, no advertising, no red carpet: “It’s supposed to be done like that. You’re supposed to do this. You’re supposed to do a show. You’re supposed to advertise. No, I’m not supposed to. I’m not supposed to do anything at all. Every success story out there is a personal statement. It always boils down to people and a vision and an idea—an idea that has longevity to it.”
• This is one exhibition I wouldn’t want to miss if I were in Paris: François Truffaut at the Cinémathèque française, running through January 25.
• This rustic weekend cottage, belonging to Frank Muytjens, J.Crew’s menswear director (he also worked at Ralph Lauren for eight years in the past), is just about perfect, the best kind of retreat for this time of year.
Wishing you a wonderful weekend!
photo: The Woman I Wanted to Be, published by Simon & Schuster