Art, Fashion, Swoon

Yohji Yamamoto : The Poet of Black

As I come into my own as a woman with respect for design, style and personal expression, I am beginning to appreciate the masters of fashion and try to have them in mind  when I create. When one devotes themself to the process of creativity (in this case fashion), with respect to; aesthetics, the past, balance and proportion; while meditating on the the time at present, they become an artisan/artist, a craftsperson/creator.

This short film for the V&A Musuem, London, provides an insight into the mind and workshop of a man who has maintained integrity in his craft for over 3 decades and is continually on the precipice of a vision that is both timeless and zeitgeist. A true (zen) master.

#YamamotoIchibanFanGirl

 

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Swoon, Words

Is Poetry is the new Porn?

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Well, perhaps not but I have you attention, non?
I’ve always been a bit of a closet poet (as I suspect many of you are, yes, you know who you are).

I have read many of the classics with great respect and fallen for the rhythm and rhyme of many a dead poet.

Recently, I stumbled upon the words of Derrick C. Brown.
An American. A Texan, in fact. And very much alive.
He was in Sydney recently and presented a workshop at the Sydney Writers Festival. Off the back of that there was a spoken word performance at the Giant Dwarf Theatre in Surry Hills that I heard about a few days prior. Instead of a usual; “that looks interesting”… busy, busy, forget, busy busy – I went.
And I am so glad that I did as it has set off an internal fire of inspiration that I may not have felt had I just experienced the words on paper or via YouTube clip. And my inner poet may have awoken from slumber.

What I was moved by, was not only the words, which painted wonderful visuals in my mindscape, but by a performance that was brave, authentic, funny and wholly engaging.
His words are modern, direct, romantic and honest.
There really is no hiding of skeletons in poetry I find, which make for the writing and performing of ones’ words a terrifying and exhilarating thing, I should imagine.
I have been reading his poems and prose for the past few days, and each time i’m struck by that feeling of satisfaction and space, when words in a strange but natural combination hit you, right in sweet spot.
And what follows is like a tingle, and then some dazzle, and a then sigh.

And that there, is Inspiration.

Cotton In The Air by Derrick C. Brown

Your polished back is arched like Saint Louis

I can see your fingers pushing into the bricks
when I lift your hair
to smell October drain from your neck.

You are cotton caught in the air
I am unfurling laces in your body.

I move on you like a fleet of ships pushing ice.
I want to break it all.

Your tank top slips down the huh-huh-huh of your shoulder
and I will not strain meaning from this.

I am waltzing a wrecking ball.
I am wading in the dark felt Tijuana paintings of your hair.
I am molting my bed clothes, uncoiling toward Sahara.

All I want to do is hot lust you into dead sweat.
To watch your legs, those bent sickles,
to watch them shake
like poisoned wrens.

I am gnashed and dazzled.
Smother me in the exhausted thrust of your yes…
wet as all exploding Laundromats.

May I be the image you turn to
when you are heaving alone,
burning like Halloween in Detroit?

I am breathing up your legsssspitting at the hiding nightingale.

Drift your breasts into my mouth and I will be that doped up, spinning victrola singing:

La la la la la la.

I want to make love to you while you’re wearing figure skates
until the hardwood floors are toothpicks.
I want to kiss your throat in a dressing room with my hands
bound around the slow song in your voice.

I don’t care if your made that dress,
hippie.
I will shred it until you look deserted.

You’re as restless as a New Orleans graveyard in the storm
with the coffins boiling up to the surface.

That’s all this writing is.
You across from me and the soup is cooking.

I sit up all night listening to your dental records.

I will teach you of exorcism and screw the hell out of your limbs.

I carry your steam in my mouth.

Daydreaming of the evening of loud struggle.
Call my name—I will cascade like a suicide.
I will fall upon you like a box of flourescent bulbs
dropped from a five-story building.

I will do anything you ask…
unless I have been drinking; then it is opposite day.

I can’t believe you can sleep through all this.

Chunks of brick in your fingernails.
Mortar on your pillow.
A bomb shelter
sketched on your skirt.

It says Safe.

Valentine's Day books interactive: a postcard of a couple, c 1920s

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Music, Prix de Luxe, Swoon, Women

Analogue girl in a digital world – Prix de Luxe meets Erykah Badu

There aren’t many artists whose influence in my formative years has maintained relevance and artistic integrity over time (in my humble opinion) – but Ms. Erykah Badu is certainly in that club – and probably at the top of that list.

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Her albums : Mama’s Gun, Baduizm and Wordwide Underground, were in a selection of CD’s on high rotation – so much so that they simply became a part of my life and history – this was the 90’s/early 2000’s – simpler times you could say, and an era I still find myself drawn to and inspired by, aesthetically, musically, ideologically too.

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These albums were born in a time where sourcing music required a bit more effort than “search and download” and perhaps this attributed to the value of the music. This was a time before technology closed the gap on the instant gratification we have now between our ears and music. Yes, the good old days.

For me, Badu’s music and lyrics helped define and give a voice to the empowered, sexual and emotionally-in-touch woman of our time. She sings of love, heartache, temptation, disappointment, humanity, soul. The good and the bad – the Universal – turning it all sublime. So, without a hint of irony or false praise she was (is) a hero of mine.

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I saw Ms Badu, the woman/artist/poet/activist live in concert for the first time in Sydney last week (17.04.2014) and I can honestly say that I was blown away by the raw talent, energy, style and beauty of this artist. Her incredible stage presence and performance were as powerful as her voice, her words, her message.

To say I was wowed by her coolness is an understatement. And I’m sure I wasn’t alone.

So, what happens when you actually meet someone whom you have practically idolised for over 15 years discover that they are even more beautiful in the flesh with a super sharp wit, unique and formidable style, disarming humility, ease and grace? Well, you fall in love just a little bit more, obviously.

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After a super cool DJ set at her afterparty at GoodGod as DJ Lo Down Loretta Brown (where she had the crowd eating out of her regal hands), I was able to thank and meet Ms Badu and offer a small token of my gratitude and respect – a piece from my collection – from my neck, literally. You don’t get to meet a real Empress everyday and I just had to offer this Goddess some token of appreciation.

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She very humbly accepted, asked if it was quartz crystal (it was) and if I would do the honour of putting it on her. At this point i’m pretty sure my younger self had just imploded. I was totally floored by how cool and down-to-earth she was – she even asked if she could have my dimple, too. Truly. Swoon.

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So yeah, this post is dedicated to the supreme being that is Ms Erykah Badu. If you haven’t heard her albums in a while, give them another whirl – they’re still as golden as the long-lost analogue era that they sprang from.

Analogue girl in a digital world. Word.

*All but two photos are taken from a series by Riccardo Tisci, Creative Director at Italo fashion house, Givenchy (dah-ling) who have made her the face of their Spring 2014 campaign. Nice move, Givenchy.

And here’s a selfie that Ms. Badu took (on my iPhone), showing Prix de Luxe (La Balençoire necklace) some love. LOVE.

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Art, Beauty, Photos, Women

Macabre beauty: Photographer, Hiroshi Nonami

Stumbled upon some images by Japanese photographer, Hiroshi Nonami (b.1954). How he achieves these lo-fi, painterly images with a camera, a dark room and an imagination (no Photoshop, apparently), I do not know. Regardless, i’m slightly hypnotised.

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“There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion”

-Francis Bacon

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Beauty, Music, Swoon

Jeff Buckley Live @ The Knitting Room, New York April 1997

In terms of fashion and music, the 90’s are rarely far from my mind, and certainly, this guy was and is still an artist that epitomises that era for me. One of the most sublime falsettos I ever did hear. A blend of sad and beautiful that is just impossible not to swoon over.

Yes, Jeff. It’s always been you.

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