Style: blending an iconic denim brand with Art

Calvin Klein has always been known for attention grabbing advertising campaigns.

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

I mean unless you weren’t born yet, who can forget a young Brooke Shields flaunting her jeans, a skinny Kate Moss and a buff  Marky Mark (Wahlberg) wearing all American classic T shirts & underwear…and nothing else.

Now we have Raf Simons (previous creative director for Christian Dior) blending Art with Denim in a New Calvin Klein Campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

Continuing to drop hints online about his direction for Calvin Klein, Raf Simons has unveiled a spring campaign for underwear and jeans that juxtaposes those iconic items with modern and contemporary art.

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

Just released on Calvin Klein’s web site and its own social channels, the ads showcase archival denim, a cotton tank top and quintessential men’s briefs in playful contrast with works from the second half of the 20th century. The clothes strike up a conversation with the art — much the way designers and artists in New York’s Pop heyday — on the streets of SoHo or on the dance floor of Studio 54, the company said.

Works by Andy Warhol, Dan Flavin, Richard Prince and Sterling Ruby are featured, photographed at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh and the Rubell Family Collection in Miami.

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

Simons, chief creative officer of Calvin Klein, is well known for his passion for art.  “It’s a celebration of Calvin Klein’s iconic underwear and jeans, acknowledging their status as Pop and showing them in the world of art,” he explained.

Pieter Mulier, creative director of Calvin Klein, added, “Looks were specifically chosen from the Calvin Klein archive for the campaign; it’s both a recognition of design firsts and the photographic history of the brand that made these garments famous.”

The eight advertising images were photographed by Willy Vanderperre and styled by Olivier Rizzo, featuring a largely unknown cast.

One ad, for example, features a guy in jeans standing in front of a 2,000 joke painting by Prince. It reads: “A guy goes to a psychiatrist wearing only Saran Wrap. The psychiatrist says to the guy, I can clearly see your nuts you nut.” Another shows a guy in a pair of jeans and taking off his white T-shirt and standing in front of Warhol’s 1976 “Skull” painting.  And a third shows a guy in underwear and a girl in jeans and a white tank top admiring Warhol’s “Elvis 11.”

Images from Calvin Klein's spring 2017 campaign.

Images from Calvin Klein’s spring 2017 campaign.

Each of the ads features a description of the artwork and a snippet about the artist. Ads launch this month on billboards, the Internet and in magazines.

Photos credit: the series of eight distinct advertising images was photographed by Willy Vanderperre.

Source for story: Lisa Lockwood for WWD.com

Website: http://calvinklein.com

Art/Nature: DesertX

Well the thing is, art can be found everywhere, even in the desert.  And it makes perfect sense; beauty with beauty.whitewater3

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Wildlife with Art

Wildlife with Art

I realized that while taking a nature walk with the dogs right after a picnic.  The location being Whitewater Preserve about 20 minutes northwest of Palm Springs.  An absolutely stunning setting of over 2,000 acres of pristine desert with hiking trails and wildlife.  From a distance I came across what looked like a birding roost, and on closer inspection found out it was made from sand bags.  It’s actually an art piece. built to replicate how pigeons in Israel are put to roost. But it’s hard to keep up with everything that’s going on around town especially now, so I had to find out *more.
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*From Feb. 25 through April 30, 2017, the Coachella Valley and its desert landscape will become the canvas for a curated exhibition of site-specific work by established and emerging artists, whose projects will amplify and articulate global and local issues that may range from climate change to starry skies, from tribal culture and immigration to tourism, gaming, and golf.  The artworks, in various indoor and outdoor locations will be available for free and will offer visitors a way to see the valley and reflect on serious and playful issues through the lens of the participating artists’ creativity and work.

You never know what you will encounter while out on a simple walkwhitewater2

CHECK out this short VIDEO:

https://www.desertx.org/about-us/

You never know what you will encounter while out on a simple drive

On the drive to the nature preserve you will come across hundreds on windmills20170224_140637The windmills are there for power generation with renewable energy.  However I hate them for the fact that the valley is infamous for the number of birds that are killed because of them.

Photos: d. king

 

 

blending Art, Culture & Exercise

INspired by ART

Just when you thought the melting pot couldn’t get any narrower some smart person added working out to the mix of blending art with just about everything.workout1

Everything being fashion, music, culture (a given), food with or as an art, now getting FIT with Art which started only last month. might be the next new craze.  And like all big success stories it takes place in NYC at the largest art museum in the United States, “the Met”.

Here’s the lowdown taken from T, the NY Times Style Magazine:

Monica Bill Barnes & Company, the irreverent contemporary dance troupe, started “The Museum Workout”: a 45-minute physical journey that spans two miles of the Metropolitan Museum of Art before opening hours. The workout, commissioned by the MetLiveArts, contains a route curated and narrated by the illustrator Maira Kalman, the author of “The Principles of Uncertainty,” and encapsulates the company’s motto to “bring dance where it does not belong.” “We wanted to honor what exists and build from it,” Barnes, the company’s artistic director, says of the unlikely setting.

By pre-selecting objects to encounter along the way (the Met’s permanent collection houses over two million items) and dictating participants’ movements, Barnes hopes the format’s “physical framework allows each audience member to have a unique emotional experience.” The workout begins promptly at 8:45 AM; at this hour, the museum’s usually clogged steps are clear, shrouded in shadows and bright patches of morning light.

Within the museum, Barnes and the performer Anna Bass serve as our athletic docents. They dance side by side, snaking through the museum, trotting, marching, speed-walking with ease. When objects, like a terracotta monument carved with angels, obstruct their path, they diverge like hand-holding lovers, separated by an oncoming crowd.

Make no mistake: this is a workout. Your body will perspire, your heart rate will rise and you’ll shed any light layers. (That said, my one request would be to increase the cardio incrementally and start with more stretches that early in the morning.) And because our enjoyment of anything increases when it’s otherwise prohibited, the workout’s massive pleasure derives from its illicitness:“trespassing” the Met before re opening hours, writhing to Elton John within the galleries, gently sweating on various marble surfaces. It confers other singular bragging rights as well — like having done jumping jacks before the marble statue of a nude Perseus

WATCH the Museum Workout Video Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art:

Though Kalman isn’t physically present, her presence is pervasive. Her narration proffers personal thoughts about art and unexpected aphorisms on mortality. Barnes admired her work as an acquaintance, and admitted that, like anyone she approaches for projects, “It’s just an excuse to become close to somebody that you think is going to add value and perspective to your own life.” Novelty aside, the building is exceptionally beautiful uncluttered with people. What the workout gives participants is an appreciation of the museum itself: the soaring ceilings, narrow hallways, spacious galleries; how the sunlight rakes and refracts through the windows, then scatters like beads from a broken necklace across the floor.

At the end, there’s coffee, clementines, crusty bread and butter. The assortment, neatly spread in the American Wing cafe, was chosen by Kalman, and her handwritten notes — scribbled with “KEEP MOVING” — lay arranged for participants to pocket. Though thrilling, the experience is ultimately ruinous. Wandering the halls after the museum has opened, your resting heart rate restored, How wonderful, you’ll think, as school children scuttle around, when none of you were here.

Source for Story: ALEXIS CHEUNG for T MAGAZINE – NY Times

What do you think?  Meet me at the Met.  Yes, No?

Humorous Sidenote (which has nothing to do with this post – I was phoning an auto repair shop): Today is Presidents Day in the U.S.  I phoned Saturday to find out about getting an oil change on Monday (today).  Asked if they were open on Monday.  Girl who answered replied “Yes, we’re open.”  To clarify I said “but it’s Presidents Day.”  She replied “yes,  but we’re Mexican!”  How about Sunday?  Are you open then?  No, she replied.  “We’re Mexican!”

Art/Exhibits: Light and Space

This UNUSUAL INSTALLATION by James Turrell is designed to entirely eliminate the viewer depth perception.light1

Perceptual deprivation is something I struggle with at times all the time when trying to park parking my car but this is completely different.  In general his work blends the worlds of art, science, architecture, astronomy, mathematics, archaeology, and spirituality.

James Turrell, Breathing Light

Ongoing at LACMA – Los Angeles County Museum of Artlight2

You don little sock booties and walk through a sloping curved room with a strong light source at one end that continuously changes color.  A little 60’s psychedelic, a little eerie mixed with some unexpected enlightenment.

About the Artist: 

James Turrell was born in Los Angeles in 1943 and attended Pomona College, where he studied art, art history, mathematics, perceptual psychology and astronomy. He took graduate courses at the University of California, Irvine, and received a master’s degree in fine art from Claremont Graduate School. 

www.lacma.org

Interiors + Architectural Design           

There’s an abundance of inspiration in art, design and architecture to be found in and around Palm Springs.chris1I’m always on the lookout for something unique and I found it when I stopped into Christopher Kennedy’s incredible interior design store/studio.

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Christopher Kennedy is a nationally-published interior designer and modern furniture designer based in Palm Springs, California. He was just named Best Interior Designer by Desert Outlook Magazine.

His book: California Modern

His book (as in he wrote it): California Modern

Born in San Francisco and raised on California’s Central Coast, he brings a synthesis of big-city style and relaxed resort living to his work. He combines vintage and contemporary sensibilities to create spaces that are layered, liveable, and inviting. Neither trapped by tradition nor tied to trends, the hallmarks of Christopher’s style is easy elegance and casual sophistication.

His current projects include beach houses in Laguna Beach, Newport Beach, and Malibu; lofts in New York; and numerous desert projects in Palm Springs, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, Indian Wells and La Quinta. Known for his unique brand of luxurious modernism, his work has been featured in Luxe, Dwell, Palm Springs Life Magazine, California chris6Homes, and The Los Angeles Times.chris2

Hockney Swimmer Original

Hockney Swimmer Signed Original

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Photos: d. king

Source: taken from website – christopherkennedy.com

Ginger/Mango Candle

Ginger/Mango Candle

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Manifesto

We believe that design is powerful and transformative.
We believe in wiping the slate clean from time to time and the power of a fresh coat of white paint.
We believe in hand-written thank you notes and old-fashioned telephone calls.
We believe that there is a place for books in our homes and in our lives.
We believe that food tastes better and is more nourishing when the table is set.
We believe in the importance of travel — of the opportunities it presents for learning, growth, and discovery. We also believe in the joy of returning home, after a long day at work or a long journey abroad.

I believe in ALL of the above

Address: 590 South Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs    Phone: 760.325.3214

Art/Film/PSIFF – The Dancer & King of the Dancehall

Fresh from the Palm Springs International Film Festival:danceTwo more movies with two intriguingly distinctive avant-garde dance styles and the ensuing competition that goes along with them. Because I wanted something artistic and upbeat as the festival draws to a close.

The dynamic energetic movies revolving around dance could not be more different from one another.  One resembling poetry in motion and the other raw & sexually charged.  Adversity is the only thing the main characters have in common and a drive to succeed.

I knew THE DANCER would if anything be visually stunning and I was correct.

Soko in

Soko in “The Dancer”

I loved it.  It was based on the true story of Loïe Fuller (perfectly played by French singer, songwriter, musician and actress Stéphanie Sokolinski, better known by her stage name “Soko”) an American dancer who became a sensation in Europe in the early 20th century-only to be swept aside just as quickly when a greater talent emerged on the scene. Don’t you hate when that happens? Said talent was Isadora Duncan whom you may have heard of as she became quite famous (gracefully played by Lily-Rose Depp in her first screen acting debut).  The story relates how Fuller went from living a difficult life with her father in the Midwest to ending up at the prestigious Paris Opera creating a dance that was unlike anything that was seen before. She became the toast of the town and a legend who helped almost by accident to create another living legend. A hauntingly striking film.

King of the Dancehall

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In Jamaica they really do dance to a different beat.  I chose this movie because of the subject but also because I spent a lot of time all over Jamaica and part of that time was spent in Kingston where the film was shot.  It was written, directed and produced by Nick Cannon (host of America’s Got Talent) who was also the main star.  In other words a Nick Cannon production.  Cannon was at the screening and answered some questions at the end.

Shot in actual Jamaican outdoor dancehall venues, Cannon plays Tarzan (they all have nick names), a Brooklyn drug dealer fresh out of prison, whose mother (Whoopi Goldberg) is ill and unable to pay her medical bills. As he contemplates ways to make money he heads to Kingston where he contacts his cousin Toasta (Busta Rhymes) in the hopes of striking up a deal to export the island’s finest ganja (aka weed) back to his hometown.

The movie is in English with English subtitles that I assure you helps with understanding the dialogue because a lot of it is in Patois.  At least it’s authentic.

Toasta introduces Tarzan to the island’s nightclub scene with its vast network of fearsome gangstas, and his wife’s virginal (and sexy gyrating dancer of a sister) Maya whose suspicious bishop father (Lou Gossett Jr.) keeps her under a watchful eye.

Maya teaches Tarzan all the necessary moves so he is able to enter a contest in hopes of winning enough money to help out his mother.

What you need to know is that superstars like Beyoncé and Rihanna have used a lot of the original Jamaican dancehall moves in their shows and music videos.  The North American audience says “that’s a great move” while the Jamaican dance audience say  “she’s doing the (such and such…they all have names) move.”  In Jamaica, the dancers are celebrities in their own right, known all over the island as dance stars.

All my time in Jamaica I never visited a dancehall such as in this film, but I did go to a nightclub and in Negril the locals & others dance to live Reggae music at night on the beach.  This is where I witnessed very similar sexy dance moves as in the film. I had never seen dancing like that before….not here in North America!

PSIFF Documentary: Bright Lights

Mother/Daughter: Hollywood Stylebrightlights2The bittersweet and timely HBO documentary “Bright Lights” about Debbie Reynolds and her extraordinary relationship with daughter Carrie Fisher was screened last night at the Palm Springs International Film Festival to a sold out audience.

Even though HBO decided to air it recently (months ahead of schedule) due to the tragic untimely deaths of both women, I enjoyed watching it on a big screen with director Fisher Stevens there to talk about the film and answer questions at the end.  Debbie Reynolds lived in Palm Springs and had circumstances turned out differently then Carrie Fisher would have been in attendance at the screening.

It’s still shocking that only one day after Carrie died, her mom, the dancer who rose to stardom in Singin’ in the Rain and earned an Oscar nomination for The Unsinkable Molly Brown died at 84 with so much life ahead.

Still, the show must go on

Debbie Reynolds, recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, pose in the press room during the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 25, 2015.(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

Debbie Reynolds, recipient of the Screen Actors Guild Life Achievement Award, and her daughter, actress Carrie Fisher, pose in the press room during the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards on January 25, 2015.(Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

The documentary which was filmed over the course of 2014 and 2015, and ends with Reynolds receiving the 2015 SAG Awards Life Achievement award was touching, funny and very candid.  Even with her frail health towards the end, Reynolds was a real trouper not ready for retirement. The private family film clips from early on are entertaining and you get more than a little glimpse into the world of this legendary talented Hollywood family including Reynolds marriage to singer Eddie Fisher and references to Elizabeth Taylor.  Carrie Fisher and her brother Todd have wonderful singing voices too.

Sometimes you can only find Heaven by slowly backing away from Hell.” ― Wishful Drinking (an autobiographical humor book by Carrie Fisher, published by Simon & Schuster in 2008 based on her one-woman stage show).

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the 13th!

Art/Film/Style – putting your best foot forward

JULIE AND THE SHOE FACTORY (SUR QUEL PIED DANSER)julie2

Another French Film and a partial musical at that, which is very unFrench.

From “New Voices/New Visions” category at PSIFF

But I think there’s no need to explain the only main reason why I chose this film.  It takes place in a luxury shoe factory!  I mean if I were to work in a factory…..It’s fun and it’s whimsical but La La Land it is not.

It centers on Julie (played by Pauline Etienne “The Tokyo Fiancée”), a young woman who is trying hard to make ends meet and ends up taking a trial position in an upscale shoe factory where she works packaging up shoes in the shipping department.  After a short period of time it appears the business will be either substantially downsized, sold or moved offshore for cheaper costs.  Julie’s co-workers will stop at nothing to keep their positions.

Julie joins in a song and dance number with the group of female co-workers responsible for making the shoes in a protest to the proposed change.   They end up raiding the shoe archives to discover a well-designed retro model in RED which they decide to revive to save the renowned brand and keep it from going to China. In doing so they stir up intrigue and interest.

Ahhh, you’ve got to love the French.  This is my third French film in a row and I think mostly I’m drawn to these films because one of my best friends growing up in Montreal was very French from France.  She was daring, beautiful, lots of fun and had an unbelievably bad temper if she didn’t get her way.  I can sympathize.

Some newer red shoes I happen to like
shoes1shoes2And if you go boating (or want to look like you go boating) these from Gucci are pretty nice.shoes3Vive la France!

Art/Film: Souvenir

Sometimes you just need a modern day fairy tale to round out your film festival going.souvenir1

Isabelle Huppert as Isabelle in Souvenir

The US premiere of the Belgium/Luxembourg/France production of “Souvenir” starring French superstar Isabelle Huppert was a welcome departure from the last two movies I saw which were both on the depressing side.  This film was not without a teeny amount of dysfunction but more in the tone of optimist meets pessimist.  According to Bavo Defune, the film’s director “a pessimist is an optimist on a bad day!”  But what appealed to me and why I chose this film 1) Isabelle Huppert is the main star 2) it has a successful comeback component 3) she sings who knew? 4) there’s a hunky young buff guy in it. Judge all you want, I don’t care! 5) it’s more of an art house film.

What I didn’t quite get but decided to dismiss (because it’s best not to question every little detail) is why Liliane (Huppert’s character) was working in a pâté  factory in Belgium.  It wouldn’t matter so much except that in the past (30 years ago to be exact) she was on the brink of stardom.  She was a pop-music sensation who entered a Eurovision song contest and came in second-place….to ABBA.  Losing to ABBA is not the worst thing that can happen in life but nonetheless…..a pâté factory?  I guess it’s indicative of the total opposite of what life can offer and especially after such a long period of time.  And we’ve heard what happens with some actors/singers who were successful in the past.  I still had a hard time believing her day in-day out routine.

The good news is that a young co-worker named Jean (Kevin Azais) realizes who she is (was) and  tries to pursue the very reluctant Liliane to pick up the pieces and re invent herself once again with him as her manager and love interest.  Liliane feels definitely bitter about the past.

There were a few moments that left me wondering about the credibility of the situation but all in all with Huppert at the forefront, it was a very engaging and enjoyable film to watch.  Besides…

She just took home the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a drama for her performance in Elle which I saw at the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF). Other nominees were Amy Adams “Arrival”, Jessica Chastain “Miss Sloane”, Natalie Portman “Jackie”& Ruth Negga “Loving.”

It is definitely a win-win situation for this talented actress.

TRAILER (in French):

Art/Film:  “Breakable You” &  “It’s Only the End of the World”

Two Films, two dysfunctional families involving two playwrights with two very different stories.  These were my first two choices to see at the Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF). They make my world seem a whole lot less complicated and normal.

Image courtesy of Harmoney Productions

Image courtesy of Harmoney Productions

I saw the world premiere of a movie entitled “BREAKABLE YOU” mostly because two actors I really admire are in it.  Holly Hunter (the piano, what women want) & Alfred Molina (Chocolat, Frida).

“We’re all fakes until we have a good idea, and then we’re geniuses” – quote from the film.

This arguably dark comedy revolves around Eleanor, a psychologist (Holly Hunter) following the divorce of her plagiarising playwright husband  Adam (Tony Shalhoub)  who tries desperately to regain a former successful Broadway following.  They have a bi-polar philosophy grad student daughter named Maud (Cristin Miloti) who chases a forlorn uncommunicative man named Samir (Omar Metwally) who is trying to overcome an unbearable loss of his own.

Almost immediately following the divorce Eleanor embarks on an affair with her first love who happens to be her ex-husband’s brother (Alfred Molina).  Sound complicated?  It is. The setting takes place on New York’s upper west side with the Manhattan literary crowd.

If this sounds familiar like something from Woody Allen; trust me, it’s not!

“IT’S ONLY THE END OF THE WORLD”  (Juste la fin du Monde) is gaining awards buzz and for good reason.

Photo: theplaylist.net

Photo: theplaylist.net

I chose this one because of the amazing all French cast: Marion Cotillard, Vincent Cassel, Léa Seydoux, Gaspard Ulliel & Nathalie Baye.  They were all unbelievably brilliant even if at times it was in-your-face hard to watch.

In brief the story is about a young writer returning home after 12 years to try to reconcile and tell his family some terrible news.  The news being that he is dying.  But the whole family is dying in a psychological sense.  This is one of the best (or worst) cases of family dynamic dysfunction I have yet to witness on the big screen.  Let’s just say….

My next selections from hereon in will be more uplifting.

The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF) is from January 2 – 16, 2017.    There is an abundance of fabulous films to choose from.  For more information go to: https://www.psfilmfest.org/