La grande vadrouille

by guest writer

La grande vadrouille-1966

La Grande vadrouille  (I won’t use the uninspired English translation of the title) assembles a wonderful comedy cast of great European talents such as Louis de Funès, Bourvil and Terry-Thomas. It bears the signature of Gérard Oury, a French director that started out in business as an actor. He eventually became a director and this 1966 movie is one of his many to come with Louis de Funès. I think La grande vadrouille is the best WWII comedy the European ever produced. Augustin Bouvet (Bourvil) has his small façades painting business until one day when the inevitable happens: an English pilot lands on his scaffold. Stanislas Lefort (Louis de Funès) is always on ‘the edge’ as an orchestra conductor at the local opera house. Bourvil and de Funès form such a comic partnership that you can’t stop laughing throughout the entire film as you follow them on their mad race across occupied France.

The screenplay was written by Oury himself and I must say that the intelligent dialogue doesn’t leave the movie until its very end. Photographed by Jean Renoir’s collaborator and nephew, Claude Renoir, La grande vadrouille recreates a bygone era with such a dynamic and constant movement and vibrant colours. The humour is always sharp even when you’re least expecting it. There are moments when Louis’ performance reminds me of such silent movie stars as Harold Lloyd and Charles Chaplin, through his charismatic and silent ability to stir up laughter without even saying a word.

photo: still from the film | credit: Les Films Corona, The Rank Organisation

Posted by classiq in Film | | 1 Comment

Notebook pages

Here are my latest finds and news from style, fashion, film, photography and beautiful living.

Jacqui Getty-Lonny Magazine

I like everything about the space above, especially the framed photographs leaning against the wall. With a couple of exceptions, that’s the way we display all the art work in our home. And I like Jacqui Getty’s quote too (this is her Los Angeles home featured in the September issue of Lonny Magazine), because it resonates with my own thoughts.

And speaking of photography, in her book, 50 Photographs, Jessica Lange has gathered a beautiful collection of photos she has taken throughout her travels. She clearly has a cinematic eye for black and white photography. Needless to say, I would like a copy of the book for myself.

50photographs by Jessica Lange

50 photographs by Jessica Lange

50 photographs by Jessica Lange 5

50 photographs by Jessica Lange 350 photographs by Jessica Lange 1

• Marc Jacobs interviews the visionary Calvin Klein for Interview Magazine
• An interesting read: Holly Baxter on Vogue UK’s attempt to airbrush its reputation in schools: “These magazines exist purely to dictate to their young audience, for a fee, what is beautiful, fashionable, desirable – and largely unattainable. Trying to tell us that their content shouldn’t change, but the attitudes of their disillusioned and apparently uneducated readership should, is depressing doublethink.”
• To frame: this Jessica Durant illustration
• On the agenda this weekend: Blue Jasmine. Cate Blanchett’s lead role and wardrobe have been creating plenty of buzz and I can not wait to see her in Woody Allen’s film.
• Casa e Bottega: wouldn’t you love to go treasure hunting in this little cafe and homeware boutique in Positano, on the Amalfi Coast?

Have a wonderful weekend!

photos: 1-Lonny Magazine / 2-6: Jessica Lange, from her book, 50 Photographs

Posted by classiq in Crafts & Culture, Notebook pages | | 8 Comments

A bag for Fall

Wilde zip clutch by Mary Jo Matsumoto

There are actually two bags that I would love for autumn, both by Mary Jo Matsumoto. You see, it’s like this: once you’ve owned a Mary Jo Matsumoto bag, you become addicted and can’t help it but wish for more. Yes, she’s this good a designer and her bags are this beautiful.

Fall is the time to immerse yourself in sumptuous textures and solid, rich colours. The upper-class of fashion. The Wilde zip clutch is an essential autumn atout and your ticket to that exclusive world. Dual texture, black calf hair and black grained leather, cobalt blue ultra suede lining, gold hardware. Sleek enough to slip under your arm and roomy enough for your iPad or for your every day essentials. Luxurious, yet subtle. Elegant, yet practical. It’s so sophisticated that it would give your every look a style overhaul. It’s so beautiful that I would hug it like my best friend.

Wilde zip clutch by Mary Jo Matsumoto 2

And now, to a premiere bag: the Myth Hunter backpack (do you love the name just as much as I do?). The type of bag I secretly started to fancy a few months ago, imagining it, of course, designed by my favourite bag designer. Soon after, Mary Jo let me in on a little secret: her fall collection would include a backpack. I’m happy to see how beautiful it turned out, just as I had enviosioned it.

“Inspired by the stories and myths of Fall and Winter’s inward journey, the Myth Hunter Backpack makes the search to restore balance and harmony a little more romantic.” I like its polished and urban-chic look, making it even pencil skirt-turtle neck-high heeled ankle boots-fit, one of my go-to looks for fall. And I like its tartan wool lining that lends an edgy appeal, making me wish for a long autumn with sunny days and feel a little more adventurous than I usually do once summer is over.

Myth Hunter Backpack by Mary Jo MatsumotoMyth Hunter Backpack by Mary Jo Matsumoto 1

photos: Mary Jo Matsumoto

Posted by classiq in Fashion | | 8 Comments

Back to school: taking a look at the Ivy style

Rugby Ralph Lauren Fall 2010

The beginning of September brings along a tad of nostalgia for that back-to-school feeling. And even now I love that atmosphere surrounding the start of a new school year, with everyone, pupils, students and grown-ups alike, returning to their work, with the summer holiday and vacations over. I thought it was a good time to have a look at the Ivy style.

Tommy Hilfiger campaign Fall 2013

Ralph Lauren campaign


It is one of America’s great contributions to global style. What began as a look that emanated from the US’s top colleges, encapsulating the unique academic fashion of the era, the Ivy League style soon gained popularity way beyond the American borders, reaching the wardrobes of men all over the world and casting a long shadow on menswear in the 20th and 21st centuries. Although it was at its peak in the ’50s and ’60s (to which Hollywood actors played their part by elevating the Ivy look to the rang of cool, defining a quintessentially American male dress code for a new generation of movie audiences), the look dates back from the 1920s-1930s.

Brooks Brothers, a leader in the American menswear since the 19th century, helped define the original Ivy fashion, along with Gant. It was in the 1980s that Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger took on the style and started to bring their own contribution to the revival of the look, which continues throughout this day. They started with the origins of tradition, but created a modern day prep.

richard phibbs vanity fair italia january 2011-3

qualcosa di prep - richard phibbs vanity fair italia january 2011-2

Qualcosa di prep-richard phibbs vanity fair italia january 2011Something preppy-richard phibbs vanity fair italia january 2011-1

Rugby Ralph Lauren

But what is it that has ensured the collegiate fashion an enduring appeal over decades? It’s its ease and tradition combined with innovation that has won over generation after generation. It’s smart, perennially stylish and it has a lot of personality. It’s classic. In its heyday, the preppy style reflected the belonging to an elite class, to a select club everybody else dreamed of being part of and that requested a dress-code of a certain formality.

It was the look-book of “the classic American hero: well-rounded and approachable, happy and healthy. If he’s beautiful, he doesn’t know it,” says Michael Bastian, designer of Gant by Michael Bastian. Those days, the Ivy look reflected the aspiration to the young man ideal – intelligent, handsome and athletic – and a way of living: “real men in real environments, wearing things beautifully with individual characters,” according to Patricia Mears, deputy director of the Museum at FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology). It’s that quality that I love so much about American fashion: real clothes for real people. Today, however, I think that the Ivy League style has lost much of its original meaning and that it’s more about fashion.

Ralph Lauren Blue Label campaign Fall 2003 Bruce Weber

Ralph Lauren campaign 1988

Ivy Style - Photo by Stephen Ward

Although I would like to see a different kind of revival of this look as well, I am thankful to fashion for making it democratic and universally approachable. I have a thing for all the timeless elements of this classic style: crisp button-down shirts, tweed blazers, school crests, wool vests, penny loafers, polo shirts, letterman sweaters, varsity jackets, rep ties, chinos, striped jumpers, madras pants, Shetland pullovers. I love to see them on men and I love to see them reinterpreted for women. Take any two pieces of the ones enumerated above and they will give individuality to your personal style. “Inspirational, exuberant and comfortable, clothes that mix formality with casualness, propriety with colour and tradition with utility” (Patricia Mears). I have already dug out my letterman striped cardigan and oxford shoes and I can not wait to start wearing them again this autumn.

Rugby Ralph Lauren Fall 2010-1

Vogue-Paris-Terry-RichardsonJohann Urb by Bruce Weber for Ralph Lauren campaign 1995

I am ending this blog post with a couple of book recommendations I’ve been longing to add to my collection. The first one is Take Ivy, by Teruyoshi Hayashida, an influential study of elite Northeastern American campuses published in 1965 in Japan, and which for years was a cult item among fashion insiders, until it was finally released in English in 2010. The second one is Hollywood and The Ivy Look, by Graham Marsh and J.P. Gaul, which takes a look at how ‘Ivy’ established itself as the epitome of Hollywood style between 1955 and 1965.

photos: 1,13-Rugby Ralph Lauren Fall 2010 campaign / 2-Craig McDean for Tommy Hilfiger Eyewear Fall/Winter 2013 ad campaign / 3,11-Polo Ralph Lauren Fall 1988 ad campaign / 4-Craig McDean for Tommy Hilfiger Fall/Winter 2013 ad campaign / 5-8: Richard Phibbs for Vanity Fair Italia, January 2010, “Qualcosa di prep” editorial styled by Arthur Sales / 9-Rugby Ralph Lauren ad campaign / 10: Bruce Weber for Ralph Lauren Blue Label Fall 2003 ad campaign / 12-Stephen Ward for GQ / 14: Terry Richardson for Vogue Paris / 15: Bruce Weber for Ralph Lauren ad campaign 1995

Posted by classiq in Style, Style notes | 4 Comments

Classiq’s 3rd anniversary

Classiq 3rd anniversary

On September 1st Classiq turned 3. It’s been a good year for my blog and I want to thank you for your support, for every visit, comment and email: they are always one of the highlights of my day. Looking back at my early blog posts, there are a few that I was tempted to delete (I wouldn’t do them at all now or I would do them differently), but I think it is important to leave them there to acknowledge this milestone and to remind me the way Classiq and I have evolved over these last three years. I hope you’ll continue to find it inspiring every time you stop by.

Posted by classiq in Celebration | | 13 Comments