So Haute!

I was so thrilled to see the photos from the last days of the Cannes Film Festival. This year thus far the attendees have been lackluster. The red carpet had been rolled out, but nothing stimulating or exciting passed through.

Maybe my sentiment was shared by the powers that be because all restraint was lifted for amfAR's Cinema Against AIDS benefit.

A kaleidoscope of colors mixed and mashed with the crimson carpet. Madonna struck a pose in a silk salmon secretary sheath by Stella McCartney. Dita Von Teese sizzled in a flowing ultra violet Gaultier. Milla Jovovich and Mary J. Blige rocked the vibrant reds.
On contrast to the brights, there was a slew of black and whites to be seen. Although the palette was more tonal, it was far from boring.

That being said, Natalie Portman receives my vote for having the most daring, and in turn best dress. The sculptural, white Givenchy Haute Couture confection is a sartorial pleasure to look at. It's all at once chic, sexy and edgy—which is no easy feat.

Photos courtesy of Style.com


The Art of Business

My friend and I were discussing my insecurities about blogging. I explained that I feel self-indulgent in broadcasting my opinions. I want to write and enjoy blogging, but feel insecure at the same time. Who am I to think that my opinion counts, or is valid in concern to things that I really may know nothing about? There is an element of not wanting to offend anyone. Or worse, bore them.

We decided that any creative form of expression is essentially self-indulgent. To be an artist of any form, you must be confident that a.) your opinion matters and b.) that other people want or need it. I feel that I have the former, but am having a hard time validating the latter. When you really think about it, it is hard to believe your opinion matters if you don't know whether other people need it. The remedy, I suppose is to write for yourself and hopefully, others will find the validity in what you have to say.

The Marc Jacobs article in the June/July issue of Interview both addressed the insecurities of making the kind of art you want to make--and the forces that push against you when trying to do so, and elicited my anxieties towards commenting on someone that I do not know. In this position, I do not know any more about Marc Jacobs than what he has revealed publicly. Everything else is my interpretations of what he has said or done (or that which has been said about him).

There is a certain enigma surrounding the man that is Marc Jacobs, despite his being actually quite frank about his personal and professional life. I have loosely followed his physical transformation from slightly disheveled, bookish advocate of grunge and downtown aesthetics, to the blinged-out, overtly flamboyant, pectoral muscle-exposing exhibitionist.

For those like me who adored the previous incarnation, it is difficult to look at, and accept, this new persona. There have been a series of articles on him as of late so I think I am not alone in being slightly befuddled by his drastic re-invention. In last month's GQ he explained his new physique was attributed health issues that made him rethink the way he was leading his life and treating his body. He began working out and eating healthfully and became obsessed with the new lifestyle, and one would assume the results of his dedication.

One can understand his desire to be health-conscious. It is good to take better care of yourself. But is is hard to wrap your head around how someone can change so drastically. It may not be fair to judge, but it is a mystery to me how someone can do such a 180 and become something you thought they were themselves previously critical of.


Miami Vice

Karl Lagerfeld can't sit still. Aside from designing more than a gloved handful of collections every season—showing on their native runways from Paris to Milan—he is also a photographer, a videogame DJ and one of Time magazine's 100 Most Influential People in 2008.

One would think that would be enough to keep the 70-something busy. But not our Karl. At the helm of titanic Chanel and Fendi, he has been one of the major proponents in turning the simple concept of a runway show in to a delectable sideshow. Spring and Fall have remained stationary, well, at least geographically speaking (care for a twirl on the Chanel carousel, anyone?). But Resort has become the traveling circus. When given a chance to take the show on the road, Karl has for the last three Resort seasons opted to peddle the goods Stateside. Last year at Chanel it was the aviatrix at the Santa Monica Airport Hanger. Before that New York heeded the call. And lest not forget Fendi's Great Wall extravaganza.

Last Friday Lagerfeld invited his VIPs (Very Important Patrons) to a pool party at Miami's Raleigh Hotel to showcase Chanel's Resort '09 collection. The Art Deco scene seemed to foretell an oncoming legion of models roaring down the runway in 20s-era ensembles. Guests—who spanned from Diane Kruger to Anna Kournikova (among other Annas)—looking for the time-tested Le Smoking or satin floor-length number did not leave the show unsatisfied. There were plenty of references to the decade's flirtation with a more liberal sexuality, sometimes overtly feminine, other times subterfuged with a wink towards androgyny.

However, the collection did not stop with a modern interpretation of the Jazz Age. It also provided a 70s-inspired slant to the equation. Think part Gatsby, part Taxi Driver, with a little Marlene Dietrich stirred in for an added edge of glamor and mischief. Whatever it was, there was definitely a little gangster present—of course, with Old Hollywood sensibility in mind. Even the footwear was trigger happy.

With 74 looks the show meandered a bit from a solid focus (and it wasn't just the wavy runway). There were a few misguided looks. Namely, a series of navel-grazing sweaters with bell sleeves, paired with ultra-flared bell bottoms and a pleated, hyper-short (Hot-pant? Skirt?).

Overall, the collection was a refreshing glimpse in to our fashion future. And of course, the accessories—particularly the strappy metallic or black and white cross-hatch heels—was Chanel doing what it does best.