20.000 days on earth: Nick Cave goes monumental with a must-see documentary

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My pick from this year’s premieres at the Berlin International Film Festival is without a doubt 20.000 Days on Earth by artists turn filmmakers duo Ian Forsyth and Jane Pollard. A documentary but not yet what can be safely called a non-fiction film, this innovative journey into australian singer and songwriter Nick Cave‘s creative life it has already been hailed as one of the best music bios ever made.

Dazed and Confused Correspondant Carmen Gray has written a great account on the film which I suggest everyone interested to give a read

here is the trailer, enjoy!

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GREATNESS IN A NUTSHELL: OSCARS NIGHT MEETS BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD

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Oscars Night is about to roll out red carpets and give out golden awards in just a few hours, 6000-something members of the Academy have been watching movies, voting and posting ballots since last November, Studios and Majors have been wheeling and dealing to promote their movies and help their way crossing Los Angeles’ Kodak Theatre‘s aisle on February 24th: a big game for big players, as one might imagine.

But this year, among the big players bringing in their big movies, one “small” title shines as bright as a beautiful lighthouse in the middle of the last surviving sea: Beasts of the Southern Wild.

Hard to sum up with words this delicate tale of myths and survival. Not survival of things, neither of living species, but survival of the bare essence on which life builds upon.

So, I will not go on weaving words on this “small” jewel, which on sunday will stand tall and proud against the “big” film industry players and their marketing & pr almighty machines in 4 Academy Awards categories (best director for Benh Zeitlin, best actress for Quvenzhane Wallis, best adapted screenplay and best film), I will rather urge everyone to see it.

Holding hands with 6 years old Hushpuppy, the movie’s main character, one cannot help but to explore a range of emotions as deep and varied as the effortless complexities of an entire world on the verge of extinction and ultimately discover how, more often than not, true greatness is found in apparent “small-ness”.

According to polls Beasts of the Southern Wild stands very little chance to bring home film-land’s most prestigious Award, nevertheless I cannot help thinking how wonderful it would be if monday morning we could all wake up in a world where the big players and their almighty power machines for once would have had to bow in front of the overwhelming force found in “small” things.

Beast of the Southern Wild, the small film standing against movie giants, deserves Hollywood’s emperors simultaneous bow at its red-carpeted passage in the californian golden mecca of Cinema on sunday, as it will bring the beaming light of greatness amongst the high ranking priests of fame.

Will Oscar’s kiss seal the rarity of such a moment? I certainly hope so.

Beasts of the Southern Wild trailer

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EVERGLADE: KATE MOSS SPEAKS THE LANGUAGE OF BEAUTY FOR BALMAIN

This is how INEZ VAN LAMSWEERDE & VINOODH MATADIN cast another pearl in the glowing star-struck sky of fashion film: In Everglade released today online, they spy on Kate Moss modeling for Balmain‘s 2011 campaign, creating yet again a poetic lexicon of beauty using the grammar of art, images and animation.

Everglade reminds more of the amazing work they did for Bjork in past years (like for instance Hidden Place), than their recent (more fashion-y) film-work for Yves Saint Laurent. (here)

Antony Hegarty‘s song gives the title to the film, but most importantly it gives voice to the notoriously “mute” Kate Moss, while Jo Ratcliffe‘s illustrations create a poetic and eerie landscape around the model, lost in the repetitive action of posing for the Balmain photoshoot, transforming the empty set in a lyrical land beyond the camera.

This is perhaps the first time Kate Moss really ‘speaks’ to her audience, eloquently engaged in the artists’ game of conjuring a spell of beauty around her.

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POWDER ROOM: FROM ZERO TO AMY WINEHOUSE HAIR-STYLE TWIN IN JUST 30 MINUTES!

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Strolling around some of my favorite alleys in east London last november I discovered this iper-pretty little place that looked like a miniature Bugsy Barkley film set from the 30s: The Powder Room. A place of glamour and pamper for girls with a taste for retro-beauty treatments.

As I peeked inside, behind the large glass window, I saw women wrapped in tight pink & black uniforms completed with lovely black pillow-hats trasforming other women from plain looking ladies to classical hollywood goddesses.

It was such a beautiful sight that on a recent lazy sunday I decided to get back to the Columbia Road address to try out the wonder on myself, but what I found out instead was that the prettiest beauty parlor in town was on its last opening day. I bought a gazillion products on sale and walked home with a little disappointment staining the glamour-spot in my little girly heart.

Thank god, even though the beauty parlor closed down, the work of the Powder Room staff did not end: in fact they continue helping beauty spread across the oceans not only as a glamour task force anyone can book for private events and parties, but also in a “pop-up store” kind of fashion, by regularly treating costumers to their magic at the Hoxton Hotel and every saturday at Paper Dress the vintage-shop/bar/live-music-joint on Curtain Road, right next to the London College of Fashion.

As I walked into Paper Dress I immediately noticed that this is definetively a place where I would want to go back to buy a piece or two for my ever-growing vintage dresses & accessories collection, since it is the ONLY vintage shop in London that clearly does not overprizes items. Rare habit in this days and age where even old label-ess crap gets a fat prize-tag, in order to cater the bulimic appetites of the average fashion-monkey.
The fun in vintage garnments’ hunting relies on the power of random discovery, knowledge & recognition of that one truly rare precious piece and, above all, on the power of the impossible bargain, which is that childish feeling of over-excitement of having been so immensively cool and smart to have stolen candies from a child who did not even imagine the value of what he gave away for a small bunch of pennies. Otherwise it’s just another way to throw money into the burning furnace of fashion industry without getting much in return, not even a little fun.
Well, at first sight, I reckon that one could easily walk out of Paper Dress with exactely that inebriating feeling and new dresses (and a taste of good coffie and cakes and live music) on top of it!

Sadly, I did not have enough time to explore the shop in depth. I went to Curtain Road with only half an hour free time and a mission: getting myself be transformed in the fine coiffing hands of the Powder Room lovely girls!

A quick glance at the look book, illustrating styles spanning from the 20s to the 70s, and I left the choice to the pretty girl in pink, also known as the stylist who was about to work a miracle on my thick mediterranean wild long hair. And indeed a miracle is what she worked on me!
I sat on the Powder Room‘s chair an overworked, always in a hurry, wild-haired girl and next thing I know, 30 minutes later, I was transformed into the hair-style-twin of late singing queen Amy Winehouse! Daring one might say. YES! But it came out so good I had to revise all my prejudices about back-combed 60s heavy hairdoes. Only half an hour of pamper and I walked out a good looking happy camper!

Everything about the experience has been pleasant, from the care they took in styling me to the lovely time I had conversating with the Powder Room founder, who told me how she went from being a Film and Tv hair & make-up expert to starting her own business, spreading fun, style and beauty into the world with her posse of great professional stylists, known as the Powderpuff Girls.

I am now convinced that these girls can do it all: from Downton Abbey to Mad Men, all it takes it’s only 30 minutes in their hands!

Being so close to the release of Baz Luhrmann‘s new film “The Great Gatsby” promising to scream roaring 20s’ grandeur in every single detail, there is only one number in town to call to get tuned to the coming style new age of bobs and waves, thin lips and smokey eyes, take note:
Powder Puff Girls +44 844 879 4928 …they’ll deliver the style & glam 100% with a touch of fun!

to get a little inspiration, here’s the trailer for Luhrmann’s “Great Gatsby”

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FASHION MAYHEM: CHANEL ACCORDING LAGERFELD

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Being fashionably late as I am, exactly a week after Paris Fashion Week I started looking into the “new old newness” of every fashion season from up close, and threw myself into scrutinising catwalk empire, where only one man is king and that man goes by the name of Karl Otto Lagerfeldt, otherwise known as simply Karl Lagerfeld, the german designer who ows it all, from Chanel to Fendi, and rocks it steady since his early apprentice days at Balmain & Patou‘s, back in the 20th century.

Aware of his greatness and having loved more than a few of his past collections, the Lagerfeld super-powers were never so blatantly clear to me as in the spectacle of his Chanel Spring/Summer 2013 Haute Couture show at The Grand Palais in Paris, where a forest (as in wild plants and tall ancient trees!) was moved to the venue and re-arranged as backdrop set to the infinite show of display of the richly diverse collection The Keiser (as he is nicknamed in the industry’s corridors) designed for once-upon-a-time divine Mademoiselle Cocos fashion brand.

Moving a forest, that is probably one of the many underlying concepts hidden in Lagerfeld‘s statement to the  New York Times saying that “They let me do anything I want…” referring to the Wertheimer brothers, Chanel’s owners. They give Karl free range, Karl gives back solid revenues (mainly coming from perfumes… yes, because the whole shebang of fashion glits&glam, fine couture and pret-a-porter dreams made of pretty dresses and starstruck liaisons is maintained by and built for the sake of perfumes’ top sales).

But what about the actual collections?

As Lagerfeld became more and more capable to claim full freedom and more and more exploring his creativity in just about every field it can be exploited in (the only artistic field in which King Karl is not involved is music, but I bet he is working on it!), his work grew into a sort of fashion design mayhem where anything goes all at once and in one single collection. The last Paris show in the displaced forest under the Grand Palais gracious roof is no exception: plumage & sequins, lace & flowers, chiffon & leather cuissardes, all in one outfit, time all the exits in the show, makes quite a lot to digest for the strongest of stomachs, even when, as in this case, the manufacturing is finer than fine (but we cannot expect less than hand-made perfection from a true Chanel Couture, can we?). Also the style ranges simultaneously from romantic girl to goth vixen, from countryside edwardian lady to classic Chanel’s tailleur-ed woman …in short: just too much to chew, sorry.

Traditionally Chanel brought to the surface the strong idea of a new woman, one that Mademoiselle Coco could well grasp and understand. A self-made woman, chic with a touch of glamour, feminine and strong, claiming new grounds in society without giving in to the temptation of becoming too masculine or too cold. Trademark of that style was the juxtaposition of pearls and pants, suites and fine tweeds graced by jewel-like buttons. In one word the Chanel touch.

But today what woman the iconic french maison has in mind? I fail to understand.
Instead it resonates loud and clear what man Chanel is talking about: its exceptional demiurge, Karl Lagerfeld himself.

In conclusion:
Dear Chanel, we love Karl, but next seasons please CHERCHEZ LA FEMME!

here is the Chanel Spring/Summer 2013 Haute Couture show

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