Style: Franca

If you are truly into Style you will have at one point picked up a copy of Italian Vogue.  Either in Italy or elsewhere.

Then you should know that Franca Sozzani, the Editor in Chief of Italian Vogue, has died at 66.  Sadly she now joins musician George Michael, along with witty author/actor/ex-princess Carrie Fisher (what they all have in common is that they pushed the boundaries).  Yves Saint Laurent said “fashion fades, style is eternal” so the heavens now are alive with some serious style spirits.

 Francesco Carrozzini
Photo of Franca: Francesco Carrozzini

Franca, an ageless 66, was born in Mantua. Her father, a classic Italian patriarch, was an industrial engineer who did not approve his daughter’s early ambitions to study physics. She studied literature and philosophy at university in Milan instead, and married soon after, although she knew, as she later admitted, that the marriage was doomed before she walked into the church. (Franca would later confess that romantic relationships were the one weak link in her formidable arsenal of triumphs.) The couple divorced three months later, and the free-spirited Franca went to India to find herself—“I thought it was time to do something good with my life.” Time spent in Swinging London further nurtured her creative spirit.

When she returned from her odyssey, she stumbled into a job at Vogue Bambini(as “assistant to the assistant to the assistant,” as she playfully remembered). By 1980, she landed the editorship of Lei, aimed at young women, with Per Lui, its male counterpart, following in 1982. She transformed both these titles into showcases for the most dynamic trends in international fashion and lifestyle image-making. When Oliviero Toscani, her key photographer, moved on from her magazines, she began nurturing a dazzling talent roster of emerging photographers including Mario Testino, Paolo Roversi, Herb Ritts, Peter Lindbergh, Bruce Weber, and Steven Meisel, all of whom were attracted by the unprecedented editorial freedom that she gave them, and her passion for photography.

Why would anyone buy Italian Vogue?” she once queried, “They wouldn’t—only Italians read Italian.” She knew that she needed to communicate instead through powerful imagery, and by showcasing her photographers’ work in this way, she earned their unswerving loyalty and their willingness to work with her magazines’ negligible budgets. “When I sent all these photos to you, I would write on the package ‘personal,’ ” Weber wrote to her, “I now realize that I took them for you because you would be the only one who would understand.”

At the same time, Franca became an indispensable part of the Italian fashion scene, a shrewd power broker with an unequaled reach to its designers and the manufacturers and industrialists who keep the industry’s wheels turning.

In 1988, she was appointed Editor in Chief of Italian Voguethe same month that Anna Wintour was made the Editor in Chief at American Vogue. (By 1994, she was made Editor in Chief of Italian Condé Nast, enjoying great support from an at times long-suffering Jonathan Newhouse, the chairman of Condé Nast International.) Franca immediately shook up the formulaic title with dynamic covers and content, creating a magazine that, in her words, would be “extravagant, experimental, innovative.”

Franca’s ethereal, otherworldly beauty, with her limpid blue eyes and tumble of pale blonde Pre-Raphaelite waves, belied her indomitable personality. “I listen,” she said, “but I must go my own way.”

A maverick spirit, she turned her Vogue into a magazine that not only celebrated the power of the image, but also used fashion stories as a platform to discuss broader issues, and the obsessions of the fashionable world. Franca had a passion for, and a deep knowledge of, fashion and its history, but an ability to keep an amused distance from its modern day excesses.

She was fearless in her willingness to tackle provocative and controversial social and cultural issues through the medium of fashion shoots. (“Fashion isn’t really about clothes,” she said, “it’s about life.”)

A remarkable woman whose talent was matched by her fierce loyalty and her passion for life.

franca sozzani Photo: Peter Lindbergh
franca sozzani
Photo: Peter Lindbergh

Story (condensed): Hamish Bowles for Vogue Magazine

Franca “Chaos & Creation”

documentary I wrote about at VIFF including link to controversial trailer:  https://girlwhowouldbeking.com/2016/10/13/lifestylefilm-from-franca-to-freightened/

Style: Shoot First – the ART of capturing the MOMENT

Harry Benson: Shoot First harrybenson1

Now here’s a documentary for those who adore art, culture, music, fashion, politics, celebrity & larger than life celebratory,  astonishing and horrendously shocking legendary moments in time.

Saying that Scottish photographer Harry Benson is a Zelig-like character who’s witnessed every major cultural and political event of the last 50 years is not an exaggeration. Here’s just a partial resumé of the man’s astounding life: he arrived in America with the Beatles in 1964 as a photographer for their American tour (he took the famous photo of the Beatles’ hotel room pillow fight); he has photographed every American president from Eisenhower to Obama; he was just a few feet away from Bobby Kennedy on the night Kennedy was assassinated; he was alongside Martin Luther King, Jr. on the Meredith march and attended his funeral; he was in the room when Nixon resigned; he was there when the Berlin Wall went up—and when it came down; and he has taken iconic fashion photos for the likes of Vanity Fair, Paris Match and a half-dozen other magazines.

Benson, now 86 and still working, certainly deserves the wonderful tribute offered here in Matthew Miele and Justin Bare’s fascinating portrait. Featuring testimonials from Sharon Stone, Alec Baldwin, Donald Trump, Piers Morgan, Dan Rather, James L. Brooks, Henry Kissinger, Ralph Lauren and Joe Namath among others, the film reveals that Benson is not only a globetrotting legend of the photography world but that he’s also a nice guy!

TRAILER:

 

Source: VIFF  M/A/D | Style in Film

Feel-good Friday: Seize the Moment

The Blue Heron knows how to stand out in the crowdblueheron1

He stands elegantly and silently in wait and so very patient in the momentblueheron2

Nothing seems to bother him.  He’s so intent and focused that he doesn’t even notice his own reflection

He appears to be in a trancelike stateblueheron3

But he can act quickly when the time is right.  He composes himself again as gracefully as he dips his beak beneath the surface

It’s only when he’s ready to move on that he decides to take flightblueheron4

If only we could be more like him

photos/words: d. king

Creativity is the Blue Heron within us waiting to fly; through her imagination, all things become possible.”― Nadia Janice Brown (unscrambled eggs).

 

 

 

 

Feel-good Friday: FALLing

But then fall comes,

fallbounty

kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favourite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.” ― Stephen King, Salem’s Lot.

And then there’s all the colourful Autumn Bounty – Market Freshfallbounty2fallbounty3fallbounty4fallbounty1“Autumn seemed to arrive suddenly that year. The morning of the first September was crisp and golden as an apple.” – J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallowsfallbounty5

“Know that transformation sometimes begins with a fall. So never curse the fall.”
―  Yasmin Mogahed, Reclaim Your Heart: Personal Insights on Breaking Free from Life’s Shackles

Photos (autumn bounty): Colleen Kohse

Have a good FALL!

Feel-good Friday: Fleeting

The BAD NEWS is time fliesfeelgoodfriday3Wow…we’re almost into the second week of August.  How did that happen? 20160720_144000The GOOD NEWS is you’re the pilot or the driver20160721_202359So don’t conk out too soon.  20160716_113940“Whoa………..let’s take the bull by the horns and get a move on partner! No  time for a bath; we’ll just dust off”20160721_140349Make the most of the rest of your SUMMER

Photos: d. king

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Feel-good Friday: Doggone Rules

Some guys are worth breaking the RULES for…

Some like it hot
Some like it hot

If you obey all the rules you miss all the fun – Katherine Hepburn

He might wear a hat to keep the sun out of his eyes but he hates wearing a seatbelt.
He wears a hat to keep the sun out of his eyes but he won’t wear a seatbelt.

Somebody said “you weren’t put on this earth to simply break even.  You’re here to break rules, break records and break through.”

Some prefer taking chances without wearing a life vest and wonder why there ae no other adventurous dog kayakers.
Some will take chances with no life vest.  All Jack is concentrating on is why there are no other adventurous dog kayakers.

Learn the rules like a pro so that you can break them like an artist – Pablo Picasso

Some like to play in the big leagues – While living in Bangkok Jack says “when my humans told me the next door neighbour had a cat I had no idea the scope.  I didn’t want to be a pussy.

WATCH:  a younger Jack playing with a little kitty:

You have to take risks in life.  You might get hurt but unless you take risks you’ll never know how strong you are – d. king

Better to live one year as a tiger than a hundred like a sheep – Madonna

Jack & Jia Jia on Pinterest:

 

 

Feel-good Friday: when there’s rain…

…there’s Rainbows

Lucky Dog!
Lucky Dog!

Jack, staring out his living room window is thinking one of three things:  Where did my humans disappear to?  What will I eat for dinner? Are there really rabbits, squirrels and mice at the end of the rainbow ? (as told to him by his mother as a young pup).

Why are there so many songs about rainbows
And what’s on the other side
Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

All of us under its spell, we know that it’s probably magic

I’m a big kid at heart.  I love this song performed by John Legend, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy (another style icon), and Queen Latifah.  It is definitely Feel-Good.

On another Feel-good note:  The many faces of Carol Burnett.

carol1carol3I’m so glad we had this time together.  Fond memories of simpler times and fun clean comedy.

Tomorrow I’m really excited to see Carol Burnett at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver.  I have no idea what she’s going to do but that’s okay, she can just stand there for all I care.  I loved watching her Acceptance Speech for a well deserved Life Time Achievement at SAG Awards 2016.  If you haven’t seen it and you’re a fan you should google it.

I vividly remember watching the Carol Burnett show with my family and grandparents. I had the pleasure of meeting Harvey Korman when I was called to work on another popular TV series while living in Tokyo.  He was a regular on Carol Burnett and as suspected he was extremely pleasant.  When doing their live TV skits the cast tried hard not to make each other laugh but always ended up cracking each other up. They didn’t care so much about being overly slick. Show is SOLD OUT!

Photo of Bangkok Jack: by Took

 

 

 

 

An Inspiring morning of  Fun, Fitness, Flowers & Friends.

You can’t ask for much more than raising awareness for a good cause while getting exercise in fresh air in an unbelievably elegant, artful environment.

L-R Kasseda, Cher, Wendy, Me (with candy in both pockets), Hannah, Colleen, Stacy
L-R Casseda, Cher, Wendy, Debbie (both pockets full of candy), Hannah, Colleen, Stacey

That’s what happened yesterday morning when I met up with friends at Vancouver’s magnificent VanDusen Botanical Gardens to support our mutual good friend Colleen Kohse. Colleen is the oldest living person (with the youngest spirit) with CF in all of Canada to have received a transplant.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

Colleen is a miracle and a true inspiration to everyone because she doesn’t take life for granted.  She’s lost too many friends and two young siblings to this fatal genetic disease which primarily affects the lungs and digestive system in mostly young adults and children of which there is no cure.

Come this October it will be 28 years that I first met Colleen, just before she left for London, England to receive a heart/lung transplant.  But we didn’t get to really know each other until after that.  We’ve been friends for years and have travelled together to places like Jamaica, Havana, Florida, Savannah, Ga, Charleston, S.C., New Orleans, California and even a short Caribbean cruise out of Miami.  Always fun. Colleen is lucky to have the most wonderful, supportive family.

The morning started with a breakfast of pancakes & sausages, then dancing to warm up the crowd followed by a very pleasant walk through the most exquisite park to raise money to help find a cure for CF.  There were also fun great silent auction items.  I ended up with 2 out of the 3 items that I placed bids on.

 VanDusen Botanical Gardenvanduesen1

You will be inspired by 22 hectares of well-designed landscapes with plant species representing ecosystems ranging from the Himalayas to the Mediterranean, from Louisiana swamps to the Pacific Northwest.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

Vancouver’s mild climate makes it possible for plants to bloom year-round – so there is always something wonderful to see. Our climate creates a unique environment where plants from varying climates thrive. At VanDusen you will see plants from the southern hemisphere, tropical areas and the high Arctic tundra alongside native species. Seasonal highlights include: Spring — bulbs, cherry trees, azaleas and rhododendrons; Late Spring — Laburnum Walk and roses; Summer — annuals, perennials and water lilies; Late Summer – wild flower meadow and the Heirloom Vegetable Garden; Autumn – brilliant autumn colour, heathers, perennials; Winter — witchhazels, viburnums and hellebores. The Elizabethan Maze is one of only six in North America. In addition to the plant collections, VanDusen’s eco-sphere is home to numerous fauna – small mammals, fish, amphibians, reptiles and insects. During the course of the year 65 species of birds make the Garden their home, either permanently or as a respite on their annual migrations.

Photo: d. king
Photo: d. king

It’s a must-see if you plan to visit Vancouver.

To find out more about CF please visit: www.cysticfibrosis.ca

VanDusen website: http://vandusen.org/

Plant Info: Tourism Vancouver

Travel: Roman Holiday

The New Trevi Fountain, Rome. photo: Colleen Kohse
The Newly Opened Trevi Fountain, Rome. photo: Colleen Kohse

romanholiday2

Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday
Audrey Hepburn & Gregory Peck in Roman Holiday (taken from google images)

I’ve been meaning to do a  travel post since my last holiday but it’s been so crazy lately that I ended up having to hire a friend to go around Italy to capture some nice shots for this post.

Well that’s not exactly true. It’s just that a friend got to go to places in Italy that I’ve not yet been to and took some remarkable photos and of course she had the most amazing time.  Because as she puts it “when you need a ‘spiritual’ lift, there’s no better place than the sights and delights of Italy!”  So much history, so much art, so much fashion, so much food, so much style, so much…….everything.

My new favourite scooter. photo: Colleen Kohse
My new favourite scooter. photo: Colleen Kohse

I agree. Twice I’ve been to Italy but never made it to Rome.  Crazy, right?  I’ve seen Milan, Venice and almost every quaint little corner of Tuscany including Florence.  On my second visit I had to make a choice for a little side trip either to Rome or to Florence. Because of my timing situation I chose Florence.

Sunset in Florence. photo: Colleen Kohse
Sunset in Florence. photo: Colleen Kohse

Florence is smaller, there’s lots of fabulous famous art everywhere and it’s such a beautiful, walkable city.  I need to make a separate trip to Rome.  And then I need to go to Lake Como and Capri.  Sooooooon!

These pictures will whet your appetite for your next viaggio molto bella.

Villa Carlotta, Tremezzo, on Lake Como. photo: Colleen Kohse
Villa Carlotta, Tremezzo, on Lake Como. photo: Colleen Kohse
photo: Colleen Kohse
photo: Colleen Kohse
Outside a perfumery in Montipulsiano. photo: Colleen Kohse
Outside a perfumery in Montipulsiano. photo: Colleen Kohse
Sorrento. photo: Colleen Kohse
Sorrento. photo: Colleen Kohse
Mini mannequins (taken thru window) Rome. photo: Colleen Kohse
Mini mannequins (taken thru window) Rome. photo: Colleen Kohse
photo: Colleen Kohse
photo: Colleen Kohse
Funky Hotel Furniture. photo: Colleen Kohse
Funky Hotel Furniture. photo: Colleen Kohse

 

Colleen’s impressionIt’s all about colour in Italy. From pastels to brights, the shops are springing up in splendid colours.

Market in Como. photo: Colleen Kohse
Market in Como. photo: Colleen Kohse
photo: Colleen Kohse
photo: Colleen Kohse
Holy Cannollis
Holy Cannollis.  photo: Colleen Kohse
Anti Pasta
Anti Pasta in Como Market.  photo: Colleen Kohse

tanti motivi

Ciao Bella!
Ciao Bella!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feel-good Friday: celebrating the joys of colour

Now that summer is around the corner we should embrace all the colours of the rainbow.

photo: Colleen Kohse - Amalfi Coast
photo: Colleen Kohse – Amalfi Coast, Italy
photo: d. king
photo: d. king – Victoria Falls, Zambia

Because life is more than black & white

photo: Colleen Kohse public sculpture, Brittany, France
photo: Colleen Kohse
public sculpture, Brittany, France
photo: Lisa King Zanzibar, Africa
photo: Lisa King – Stone Town, Zanzibar, Africa
photo: d. king taken from a closed window, Salt lake City, Utah.
photo: d. king
taken from a closed car window – Salt Lake City, Utah.

Seize the moment!

My Pinterest Travel Board: