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Posts Tagged ‘Mae West

Faux Logo…

 

Luis Gispert was photographing car interiors when he stumbled upon a kitschy white Cadillac Escalade, its seats upholstered in fake material from Takashi Murakami’s 2009 collaboration with Louis Vuitton. While the owner showed off his pimped-out ride, the wheels turned in Gispert’s head. “I figured there had to be so many cars with counterfeit interiors”…

This inspired a two-year “obsessive quest” to document a subculture of people crafting custom designs from counterfeit materials. Gispert attended car shows across the country and captured interiors bedazzled with logos, from a Burberry-upholstered BMW to a Gucci-themed Mercedes. Honing in on the culture itself brought Gispert to more-intimate spaces, like the home of a Florida-based drug dealer, whose bedroom was decorated with Versace’s signature Greek Key motif. Gispert’s photographic journey is the subject of an upcoming solo exhibition, Decepcion, at the Mary Boone Gallery in New York [open now]…

He spent a year capturing cars before turning his lens on the owners themselves—many of whom had closets filled with backpacks, sneakers, and jackets custom-made from fake designer materials. Gispert’s project evolved to incorporate portraits of men and women modeling counterfeit fashion, such as a DJ clad in a pleather MCM jumpsuit…

Designer customization was born in the early 1980s, when a haberdasher named Dapper Dan began selling one-of-a-kind Louis Vuitton boots and $8,000 custom Gucci jackets out of his boutique in Harlem. “He was likely cutting up actual Gucci bags and using the materials to make jackets and luxury car interiors,” said Gispert. Dapper Dan’s clientele consisted of drug dealers—until LL Cool J and Mike Tyson took the street trend mainstream…

Unlike Canal Street vendors, Gispert’s subjects aren’t trying to pass off their creations as authentic. “These people are appropriating the material, the actual logos and fabrics, but they’re not trying to mimic high fashion,” he explained. One photograph from the series features a woman wearing a Louis Vuitton dress that Gispert described as “some kind of nightgown, flamenco hybrid.” It looks nothing like Louis Vuitton couture, yet it’s splattered with the designer’s cult logo. “In a way these people are hijacking signs of wealth, bastardizing logos and turning them into something completely unique.”

Read the entire tale at The Daily Beast, and see a selection of Gispert’s arresting photos on his site.

 

As we reckon with the collision of High and Low, we might wish a fashionable Happy Birthday to Coco Chanel’s greatest rival, Elsa Schiaparelli; she was born in Rome on this date in 1890.  Schiaparelli, who collaborated with artists including Salvador Dali, Jean Cocteau, and Alberto Giacometti to dress socialites (like Daisy Fellowes) and celebrities (like Mae West) was frequently dismissed by Chanel as “that Italian artist who makes clothes.”  While Schiaparelli is not as well remembered as Chanel, Schiaparelli made lasting contributions to fashion:  she created wraparound dresses decades before Diane von Furstenberg and crumpled up rayon 50 years before Issey Miyake’s pleats and crinkles; she created the first evening-dress with a jacket and the first clothes with visible zippers.  But her most fundamental contribution to couture was surely the sense of fun– of playfulness and “anything goes”– that she shared with her Dadaist and Surrealist friends.

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Something so good, transmuted into something so bad…

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Last November Rowan Somerville was awarded the Literary Review‘s 18th annual Bad Sex Award

The prize was awarded for passages from his second novel, The Shape of Her. He was presented with the award by Michael Winner on Monday 29 November at a ceremony in St James’s Square. ‘There is nothing more English than bad sex,’ said Somerville, whose first novel, The End of Sleep, was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize. ‘So on behalf of the nation, I thank you.’ The judges’ minds were made up by sentences such as: ‘Like a lepidopterist mounting a tough-skinned insect with a too blunt pin he screwed himself into her.’

The other nominees were:

Freedom by Jonathan Franzen (4th Estate)
The Slap by Christos Tsiolkas (Atlantic Books)
The Golden Mean by Annabel Lyon (Atlantic Books)
Maya by Alastair Campbell (Hutchinson)
A Life Apart by Neel Mukherjee (Constable & Robinson)
Heartbreak by Craig Raine (Atlantic Books)
Mr Peanut by Adam Ross (Jonathan Cape)

OK, so mainstream novelists sometimes reach embarrassingly as they try to bottle bliss…  But what of those writers who pursue passion as a matter of course?  Now, with the help of Bad Romance Novels (“Bad excerpts from bad Romance Novels”), one can harvest the purple pearls that lurk within bodice-rippers (and also, occasionally, the scribblings of more “traditional” writers like Paulo Coelho or Thomas Pynchon)…  A couple of examples (chosen from those relatively more suitable for work):

He kissed her long and deep, and it was as if someone had just pressed a button marked “sizzle”…
The Billionaire Bodyguard – Sharon Kendrick

Their lips fit together with a perfection he had never known with another woman and she tasted as sweet as a Christmas divinity.
The Greek’s Christmas Baby – Lucy Monroe

UPDATE:  A watchful Twitterer (@jkmyrna, to whom, thanks) has alerted your correspondent to the fact that the “Bad Romance Novels” Tumbler linked above has been shuttered– for plagarizing its content, mostly from Uncle Walter’s Bad Romance Novel Quotes.  Interested readers should hie themselves thither.

As we reaffirm the wisdom of keeping some things to ourselves, we might recall  that it was on this date in 1927 that Mae West was sentenced to 10 days in a workhouse on Roosevelt Island (known then as “Welfare Island”) and fined $500 for obscenity for her play Sex… despite the fact that the play had run over a year before the police raided, and had been seen by 325,000 people– including members of the police department and their wives, judges of the criminal courts, and seven members of the district attorney’s staff.  Still, the resulting publicity did great things for Ms. West’s notoriety nationwide.

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