Saturday, January 31, 2009

Indian Textiles.

Indian Textiles by John Gillow

Thursday, January 29, 2009

I am a big fan.

Newport Remembered: Deborah Turbeville.

Deborah Turbeville's photography makes me day-dream.

Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life

Tina in Glendale, by Edward Weston, 1922

Tina Modotti: A Fragile Life

The following is taken from the introduction:

"If there is a public image of Tina Modotti, it is based on gossipy notations of a few chroniclers offering mere notoriety. To certain brief acquaintances, Tina Modotti is known only as the apprentice, model and mistress of the great American photographer Edward Weston. A great and flamboyant beauty, a woman of many loves and numerous escapades, she was proclaimed a great mystery.

This brochure yielded some facts hitherto unknown to me..

Tina was an Italian who had come to the United States in 1913.
Tina had been married to an American.
Tina has been an actress in Hollywood.
Tina had been Weston's apprentice, model and companion and they had lived together in Mexico from 1923 to 1926".
Tina had been the companion of a Cuban, Julio Antonio Mella, who had been assassinated in Mexico.
Tina was expelled from Mexcio in 1930.
Tina had been in the Soviet Union.
Tina had been in Spain - known as Maria - during the Spanish Civil War from 1935 to 1939.
Tina had returned to Mexico in 1939 and died there in 1942."

What an odd introduction. I also read "Tina had been the companion of a Cuban, Julio Antonio Mella, who had been assassinated in Mexico" and interpreted it in my brain, as Tina being the companion of a previously assassinated man, and therefore something of a necrophiliac. And then I realized I hadn't had coffee yet this morning and was being slow-witted. I also don't think she would have been too thrilled at having the word FRAGILE summing up her entire life but I don't suppose she really cares now.

This is a lovely book despite the peculiar introduction style.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

America's Glorious Quilts

While Sharlene was digging and hiding and generally getting up to tomfoolery in the Scarf Department - I poked around and totally scored with a giant second-hand book called "America's Glorious Quilts". The cover appears to have been snacked on by a dinosaur but the interior images are intact and mind-bogglingly beautiful.

Topanga Canyon.

Sharlene and I went to Topanga Canyon yesterday. We visited Hidden Treasures, my favourite vintage store, I think in all of California. Sharlene became a hidden treasure herself. She went completely bonkers in the scarf section and bought 15 of them - although considering how many there were, I suppose she was fairly restrained.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Sheltering Sky.

I love this book cover. I love this book!

"At the table in the darkest corner sat three Americans; two young men and a girl. They conversed quietly, and in the manner of people who have all the time in the world for everything. One of the men, the thin one with a slightly wry, distraught face, was folding up some large multi-coloured maps he had spread out on the table a moment ago. His wife watched the meticulous movements he made with amusement and exasperation; maps bored her, and he was always consulting them. Even during the short periods when their lives were stationary, which had been few enough since their marriage twelve years ago, he had only to see a map to begin studying it passionately, and then, often as not, he would begin to plan some new, impossible trip which sometimes eventually became a reality."

The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles

Friday, January 23, 2009

Fancy Action Now!

Fancy Action Now
The Art of Team Macho

Thursday, January 22, 2009

David Bailey.

"When I was 12, I wanted to be an ornithologist but for a cockney in the East End of London to look at birds through binoculars was very suspect. In my father's eyes, I had to be as queer as a coot. The Walt Disney films started me taking bird pictures that I processed in my mother's cellar, an old air raid shelter from the war. Then I lost interest in photography until I was 16 and started playing the trumpet and dreaming of being Chet Baker. Some fantastic record covers out of California made me want to take pictures again but I didn't have the money to buy a camera.

When I was 18 I was drafted into the Royal Air Force and ended up in Malaya and Singapore, where cameras were cheap. I bought a 2 1/4 x 2 1/4 Rollop that was a copy of Rolleiflex, and a Canon that was copy of a Leica. I used to hock them to process my film. Every two weeks, on payday, I'd get my cameras out of hock, buy film and take pictures for a week."

Fashion: Theory
Lustrum Press

Friday, January 16, 2009

Francoise Hardy.

This week I would like to be Francoise Hardy back in the day.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Obsession Of The Week.

Thea Porter.

I know I'm late in catching on to her designs.

She had a fanastical life. Born in Jerusalem on Christmas Eve, 1927 - she moved to London to study French and Old English at London University and Art at Royal Holloway College. Having completed her education for the time being she popped over to live in Beirut for a bit, taking with her, her child Venetia. Thea then returned to London - opened her own boutique in Soho and took the fashion world by storm - with an international clientele that included Liz Taylor, Charlotte Rampling and Brian Jones...

I wish I was called Venetia Porter. With this as my name I would have been a truly formidable character.

Every now and then something pops up on ebay

Birtwell Beauty.

An Ossie Clark dress and coat with butterfly print - one of Celia's early designs c. 1967.


From Ossie Clark 1965/74 by Judith Watt

"Hockney designed the invitation for a show, with a small audience of 100 people, that was held at Nicky Samuel's house at 28 Mallord Street on 20 November 1972. The small Chelsea townhouse had been built for the artist Augustus John and had one beautiful light room painted in shining dark red, which had been his studio. ...Knowing that it was to be the scene of a Quorum event, Vogue's Catherine Tenant arranged for Norman Parkinson to photograph Nicky at the house, draped across a table covered in a crewel-work cloth, wearing a chiffon
dress with a huge tulip print by Celia....I had all the arrogance of youth, Nicky recalls. When he arrived I was till in my nightdress and I asked him "Have you photographed anyone I know?" He said, with great charm, "The Queen". "Anyone else I know?" I asked."


The top image is a sketch by Ossie's close collaborator and wife Celia Birtwell. Love the vibrancy of her colours.

The second image is a cream, sillk chiffon blouse with a combination of designs; a pussy cat bow at the neck and layered sleeves - circa. 1969. I could see Sharlene stomping around the world in this.


Ossie Clark 1965/74 by Judith Watt

"The youngest of 6 children, Ossie was christened Raymond but was nick-named Oswaldtwistle , the Lancashire village to which the family was evacuated."

Friday, January 9, 2009

Maureen, Dowager Marchioness of Dufferin and Ava.

"Lindy and Sheridan, Marquess and Marchioness of Defferin and Ava, gave lavish parties with an extraordinary mixture of people. They had a beautiful garden behind their house near Holland Park, and at one garden te party (actually white wine), Sheridan's mother, the Dowager Marchioness appeared. Maureen was a great character in London society in the thirties and forites and eccentrically stylish; one fabled dress was made of playing cards."

A Chequered Past by Peter Schlesinger.

Maureen looks like my Great Aunty Betty. Betty would wear ALL her costume jewellery at once. Three to four rings on each and every finger and giant brooches and pins all over her cloches and cardigans. When she was hospitalized at the end of her life even her green standard-issue hospital gown was bedazzled and bejewelled.

The Piscine Deligny.

"The Piscine Deligny, a nineteenth century swimming pool that floated on the Seine and eventually sank, was a popular and cruisy people-watching and sun-bathing spot where as little as legally possible was worn. An odd seasidelike presence in the middle of Paris, it provided an oasis on sizzling summer days and a challenge to the fashion-conscious to come up with new forms of exhibitionism."

A Chequered Past by Peter Schlesinger.


"Paloma Picasso lived in her grandmother's nineteenth century house in Neuilly surrounded by a camellia garden and a bamboo grove on a tiny plot. Once Eric Boman and I stayed there and I was photographing him and Paloma when she stumbled down the front steps in her wedgies and lay giggling on the gravel, not realizing she had broken her foot."

A Chequered Past by Peter Schelsinger.

I once broke my foot and didn't realize it. Paloma and I have so much in common.

Stephen Tennant.

"One weekend Cecil Beaton called his childhood friend, the reclusive poet Stephen Tennant, to see if we could pay him a visit. He hadn't left his bedroom for years, so Cecil was delighted when he said yes. Stephen''s wealthy mother had published his poetry when he was still a precocious schoolboy, and he had been an early influence on Cecil. Wilsford Manor was in a state of poetic dereliction, draped in spider webs. With flowing hennaed locks, Stephen received us in bed, serving champagne and singing campy old music-hall songs with back-up by his butler George."

A Chequered Past by Peter Schlesinger.

Le Nid du Duc

"Le Nid du Duc was an abandoned little village in a quiet valley in the hills above St. Trpoez. The great director Tony Richardson bought it and turned it with enormous flair into a magical compound of houses and guesthouses. It was always filled with friends , whether he was there or not. He could be cruel or incredibly charming, directing the house party as he would one of his plays or movies, and he loved guests who performed well. No extrovert, I failed the audition and he took a great dislike to me."

A Chequered Past by Peter Schlesinger.

A Chequered Past.

A Chequered Past by Peter Schlesinger

I got this book yesterday and have spent the day reading it and guffawing. Yes, guffawing.

Peter Schlesinger was the lover of David Hockney and travelled in some insane social circles in the 60s and 70s - this book is a visual diary of those times and it's priceless. 

I'm going to post some more pictures and commentaries. I think the commentaries are genius.

This is a stellar shot of David Hockney. I want to dress up as him for Halloween but Sharlene has pointed out that people might think I'm a bad Andy Warhol. I don't care. This year I was Vivienne Westwood and most people thought I was "Scottish".

Its only 1.28pm and yet....

I'm already ready for bed....

I am going to get back to posting...I had a little Holiday break.