Wednesday, October 31, 2007

that jacket is awesome

Michael Jackson
dir., John Landis

There has never been a dance break sequence that comes close. And yes, I will try my hardest to memorize it in case I'm at a party tonight that wisely plays this song. Happy Halloween.

somewhere in the forest...

Rachel Weisz as Snow White
in the Disney's Year of a Million Dreams campaign.

Could this woman be any more dreamy?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

want you, need you

"I Want You"
dir., Kerry Washington

Young, gifted, and black.

harsh times

I have mixed feelings about Wes Anderson's "The Darjeeling Limited" but it seems New York Observer critic Rex Reed caught this film on a bad day:

"With more style than substance, the story is so thin it evaporates like a puff from a hookah."

"Like Mr. Anderson’s previous duds, 'The Royal Tenenbaums' and 'Rushmore', it wants to be a comedy, shaking its butt at every historic concept that word implies and trying to make you care about its off-the-wall characters at the same time. Nothing wrong with that ambition, except that it is never remotely funny and the characters are as transparent as Saran Wrap. Mr. Anderson’s approach to filmmaking is from the same brain-dead school inhabited by Charlie Kaufman screenplays and the head-scratching direction of Paul Thomas Anderson, Spike Jonze and David O. Russell: Throw incoherent ingredients in the air, talk all of your Hollywood friends into joining the frolic and let the pieces fall all over the place with the camera turning."

"High time Mr. Anderson, 38, grew out of this childish phase and used his word processor to achieve some kind of script indicative of what you might call a maturity of vision."

Ouch. For more hatred click here.

first look: juno

dir., Jason Reitman

Teenage pregnancy comedy/coming of age ensemble? Yes, please!

Monday, October 29, 2007

a shot in the dark

Within the first few frames of Andrew Dominik's "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford" it is certain that this not a generic western, but instead something a little more audacious and poetically of the times. It's an inspired and visually sumptuous meditation on celebrity, compulsion, and identity. The west in this film is not black and white and full of good natured farmers and evil doers that come to pillage and infiltrate the utopian bubble of the range, but a murky world of mythos, troubled and complicated men, and shades of gray where motivations are clear and present and eventually dangerous. This could be the flawed master work of art that everyone forgets this year because of its inventive celebration of cinema and intelligent themes

It's difficult not to wonder if it's master cinematographer Roger Deakins or the inspired direction of Dominik with whom can be credited with the genius and lush camera work in the film. Deakins expertly and effortlessly lights scenes, shoots through unusual looking lenses that blur the edge of the frame, and looks to the abandoned skies for his visual touchstones. The clouds are always moving and the wheat fields constantly bristle against each other in what could very easily be described as Terrence Malick-esque, but where Malick connects spiritually with nature, Dominik/Deakin look at it as a way to mythologize the personage of Jesse James. He's not saintly but there is something about him that separates him from everyone else. The light hits his haggard and worried eyes a little bit differently, the plains are on fire in his very presence, and the fading sun is a little more melancholy than usual as we see our glorious anti-hero stuck in his own iconography and discontent. He is nothing more than a myth, a dime store novella, a caricature that is fleeting but fearsome and famous. Brad Pitt's clever and soulful performance resonates in a way he's never performed before. In some scenes there is the sense that maybe this is a way for Pitt, an icon and fodder for gossip and pop culture intrigue himself, to come to terms with his own bouts with fame and media attention. He is essentially a product to be bought and sold at the cinemas and checkout aisles in the tabloid section of the neighborhood grocery store, but he's also a human being. The line is greatly indistinct to most and that is the downfall of Jesse James. He too is self-aware of his own brand but the film suggests that he didn't resent it or question it but embraced it and knew the only way to truly solidify his mythic status is by dying for his public. Who is the true coward then? The man burdened by fame or the man desperate for it but too confused of his own identity to truly realize it? The film never says it explicitly, nor should it and that's what makes it such a provocative piece of work. The characters, the cinematography, the portrayal of the west, it's all somewhat lonely and elusive, never proclaiming too much but what's there is smart and immensely watchable.

There's quite a bit to feast on throughout the film on a sensory level but one subtextual point that is explored more obviously in some scenes more than others is the ambiguous sexuality of many of the characters. Robert Ford's intense desire for Jesse James could easily be labeled a repressed homosexual love for his hero, but Casey Affleck's dangerous altar boy looks and awkward ticks and gestures imply that Ford was a confused kid wrapped up in pop adulation and ragingly insecure in his own skin. There is one scene in particular that is reminiscent of a very similar moment in Anthony Minghella's "The Talented Mr. Ripley", an equally stirring take on identity and sexually/morally indeterminate denizens, when Tom Ripley (Matt Damon) lovingly and uncomfortably watches Dickie Greenleaf (Jude Law) bathe. Ford cowers behind a corner watching a steaming and dripping wet James bathe in solitude. He utters something schoolgirlish like, "I've never seen Jesse James without his guns." The equation between guns and the phallus immediately come to mind, giving scene in an interesting tension. You think for a minute Ford wants to jump in with James but he would probably go into convulsions at the sight of a naked and unmasked James. It's that naivete that doesn't make him entirely definable in terms of his sexuality but instead an obsessive fan creepily viewing his idol in a time of vulnerability and repose. However, James allows him to watch, implicating himself in the equation. Who wants and or needs the other more?

The phallus in fact is rampant throughout the film in the form of the name of one of James's gang members, the sizing up of Ford's "pecker", and the gleaming beauty of the nickel plated gun/penis substitute James gives Ford in the last act of the film. In this regard the film is a true western. Men are defined by the size of their gun and what they can do with it. Ford's meek appearance may suggest weakness or performance anxiety but he's involved with several murders in the film, exacting his prowess where ever he goes. The men in the film come across as more concerned with their own guns, literally and symbolically, and less about the women in their lives. The women are relegated to set pieces and are never given proper screen time, except Zooey Deschanel who makes the most of her near cameo role. The most egregious error in the film is the woefully underused Mary-Louise Parker as the doting wife of James. Her part feels edited down as if there were some great scene she had but was content with smiling and preparing meals for the rest of the film. Elements of the film such as this almost detract from how contemporary the film feels.

For a film where the ending is known in the title, there is more than enough to chew on and derive infinite pleasure from the 160 minutes the film commands. A train robbery scene at Blue Cut that opens the film is something worth going back to the theater to observe and Mr. Pitt done up like John McCabe in a bulky fur in the winter portion of the film is something to behold as well. There is something very original and daring about this film that makes it so special that you feel the studio dropped the ball with the slow release (it opened in larger markets almost a month ago and it's still only playing in 163 theaters nationwide) and almost non-existent marketing. This is an art film that recognizes its cinematic exuberance and cultural relevance. The old west has never looked so alien and sad and perhaps the same could be said for how we live now.

first look: the diving bell and the butterfly

"The Diving Bell and The Butterfly"
dir., Julian Schnabel

Was that Lenny Kravitz?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

top ten

One of the my favorite parts of subscribing to the monthly Criterion Collection enewsletter is the personal list of top ten favorite films on the collection as decided by someone with envious taste and credibility. This month it's Kate and Laura Mulleavy, the designer sisters behind the couture inspired label Rodarte. Their delicate, whimsical, and dreamy designs have yet to impress me, but I do think they know what they're talking about when it comes to film. Take a look:

1. Beauty and the Beast, dir. Jean Cocteau
2. In the Mood for Love, dir. Wong Kar-Wai
3. Hiroshima mon amour, dir. Alain Resnais
4. Fanny and Alexander, dir. Ingmar Berman
5. Picnic at Hanging Rock, dir. Peter Weir
6. Jules and Jim, dir. Francois Truffaut
7. The Silence of the Lambs, dir. Johnathan Demme
8. Metropolitan, dir. Whit Stillman
9. Amarcord, dir. Federico Fellini
10. La collectionneuse, dir. Eric Rohmer

Click here for a more in depth explaination behind their love for these fine films.

balenciaga: in conclusion

Bitch, Please has made her rebuttal and it's as eloquent and intelligent as I expected it to be, but it made me think of how different men and women view fashion, and in a larger sense the cultural womb we all splish splash in. The best art is the art that divides and conquers thought and it's interesting that a parade of floral print dresses can stir a debate about money, sex, and power. What a perfect paradox that the mind of Nicolas Ghesquiere produced something so uniform and homogenized and yet everyone has a diversely varied reaction to its vivid and almost confrontational aesthetic. I'm curious how this total look will translate to the streets and its overall influence in terms of trends but I guess we'll have to wait until the season is back in bloom.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

in defense: balenciaga spring/summer 2008

Although I declared Alber Elbaz's full on display of weightlessness and comfort for Lanvin the best of Paris, I was thinking in terms of clothes that express the perfect marriage between fantasy and reality. Those clothes can literally transport your way of thinking but also go with you in a literal sense. That's what I want out of clothes for myself as a man and I think women look undeniably sexy in as well. However, fashion, or Fashion with a capital F, wouldn't exist without those rare collections, or more specifically the presentations, that shoot at us like a driving and propulsive dart and dare us to rethink what we thought was possible. Nicolas Ghesquiere's Spring/Summer 08 collection for Balenciaga still stings in my mind and not for why most women can't wear it but the beauty of the execution and the relevant and prescient ideas imbued in each stitch. I think this was the most controversial and divisive collection of the season, more so than Marc Jacobs, because the grand standing theatrics and self-referential nods to celebritydom that Jacobs let hang over his collection are non-existent in Ghesquiere's collection. It's less coquettish and deconstructed in an obvious way where as there's a dangerous attitude in the clothes that seriously considers age, wearability, power, the future, optimism, and femininity in such wildly arresting ways that you can't help be bowled over by its genius.

Shape so it seems is the thread that agitates the most in the collection. The Pom-pom shoulders, the brisk hemlines, the hard-looking contours that make the models look stiff and unable to move, the emphasis on hips and bust, and all of the other fit and construction techniques Ghesquiere employs are not entirely meant to constrict and scream fuck off to any over size two, small breasted woman but it's a celebration of the form and its relationship to power in the modern world. The shoulders that jump off the figure reminded Ghesquiere's audience that women are just in control as their broad shouldered male counterparts. The Coke bottle silhouette is a welcomed respite to the current trend of sack and baby doll this that infantilize or shame women of their gorgeously natural curves. It's also achingly sensual in all of its close to the body, laced up purr. Ghesquiere wants us to keep thinking that shape is perhaps the most important factor of how or why people wear clothes. We want something to flatter or deemphasize or add, but what about a new shape that demands we think a little more into the future when the idea of luxury in relation to what we wear in the streets is no longer subjected to "wearable pieces." That's what I always find so fascinating in his point of view is his ability to look into the future but keep it contemporary and relevant. The notion of pants, top, and dress are arbitrary, so why not give them, and us, a new set of rules? There's more personality in a look that is less homogenized in its shape and form than the trend everyone is following. We'll go along with any new color, print, or material but to ask us to give up our shape is daunting and almost too authoritative. However, it keeps the idea of fashion going in that every season we can only see some variation on the skirt, blouse, pant, so why not give an exact point of view that is confident and unwavering in its proposition and a little thrilling in its exciting curiosity for newness and forward-thinking.

Perhaps Ghesquiere's greatest challenge will be the prints. The bold and beautiful floral prints that to me communicate an optimism about the world are fresh and alive. The world as we know it is full of shit and pigs but in that we can look at the truth and beauty in things and naturally, nature is a great reference point for an artist to expound upon. The world outside the window can be more attractive than some esoteric film reference or some tired homage to an ancient and influential designer. There have been rumblings about ageism attached to the idea of prints in that older women typically wear them, but would they wear a floral mini? This is a youthful and aggressive collection that shouldn't entirely alienate older women but it's hollow to think that older women prints prefer florals. There was a playfulness in those prints juxtaposed with the hard exterior of their couture inspired armor/outerwear. The pom pom accented shoulders or the mini-suits were harmless in their approach. This is a head on collision with florals and it's completely unashamed in its sweetness.

Ghesquiere has never not surprised or intrigued with his odd takes on futurism and luxury. This is the same man that envisioned $10,000 gold leggings that could have easily passed as costume from "Star Wars" (and that's a compliment). I like that he keeps forging forward so effortlessly and without regard for things that are safe and wearable. I'm not suggesting these clothes will look good on every woman, nor should they in their non-conformist shapes and prints, but you cannot deny Ghesquiere of his deft ability to incite and inspire us all.

*Check back for the rebuttal from Bitch, Please. In point/counterpoint style, the lovely scribe at Bitch, Please will reply with why she didn't like the collection. Take my side for now.

i'll take a jennifer connelly spread any day

It's one thing that the new issue of Vogue Paris features a foppish buffoon on the cover, but an entire spread devoted to A&E reality stars? I support the appropriation of subcultures to introduce new ideas to a mainstream audience, but it's such a stretch to suggest that there is anything related to art or fashion in this spread. Are they being mocked or used as a prop?

Daria Werbowy and Duane "Dog" Chapman & co.
photographed by Bruce Weber

For more click here.

the conversation

This guy makes me proud to be from Kentucky. He's articulate, charming, and he plays with the idea of being a movie star and George Clooney in his film choices, which is always a pleasure for us as his enamored audience. His passion for film, politics, and closing down restaurants is especially endearing in this interview with Charlie Rose.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

wash over me

It has been raining for two days straight, which is only nice because it's some semblance of weather patterns effecting the area other than hot and more hot, but it drains the life out of me. I am so lethargic and slovenly when it's raining outside. However, it is prime opportunity to get cozy on ye old futon and watch a plethora of DVDs. Although it hasn't happen yet (I've been kinda busy studying for the GRE and planning a dinner for 12, which will I will write about don't you worry), it does remind me of how much I like the aesthetic of rain in film. The symbolic imagery for water is endless in its interpretations, but to me there is something very sexy, cleansing, unifying, and uncomfortable about watching people kiss, fight, talk, emote, etc. in the rain. Here are some of my favorite moments that are just a little bit better due to the soggy, rain-soaked beauty:

"Pride & Prejudice"
dir. Joe Wright
Joe Wright's contemporary vision of the traditional story of unrequited love and pinning is especially romantic and telling in the rain. What they almost do at the end of the scene is just as explosive as their argument.

Other notable moments:

  • The opening credits of Jacques Demy's "The Umbrellas of Cherbourg"
  • The climactic battle in Akira Kurosawa's "Seven Samurai"
  • Jeanne Moreau declining an offer in a car in Michelangelo Antonioni's "La Notte"
  • Rutger Hauer's death in Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner"
  • Woody Allen and Diane Keaton fleeing an impromptu shower in Allen's "Manhattan"

cheap trick

Roberto Cavalli for H&M

You know that feeling of repulsion you get at H&M when your fingers graze over the truly cheap pieces? Well, yeah, I'm certain this would happen with the Roberto Cavalli collection hitting stores soon. Skinny vests, sheer shirts, bronze scarves???? I imagine these clothes will have a better life in the discount bin six months from now. And surprise surprise he used gold everything and animal print for the womens items. Zzzzzz.

photo courtesy of fashionista

Monday, October 22, 2007

wanted: x-mas

It's never too early to start compiling and dreaming of things to add to your Christmas list. This will be the be the first in a series of posts about all the silly and covetable things I want for the supposed celebration of Jesus's birthday. 'Tis the season.

J Brand "Mick" Straight Leg jeans in Smoke, $180


"Unforgivable Woman"
dir., Sean Combs

This may be kinda late but what do we think of Diddy's feigned sexuality and poured on thick disregard for restraint and subtlety in his commercial for his new Unforgivable Woman fragrance? He's never been one to shy away from his flaunting of sexy wealth and rap mogul machismo, so why stop the show with this attempt to further his omnipotent presence in popular culture. At least he's occupying himself with fluff like this as opposed to further contributing to the music world.

all hallows eve

I have no idea what to be for Halloween this year. My theory is typically have at least two solid costume ideas and a back up third. I want to be something slightly recognizable, kinda cheeky, and wholly original. Last year I was this son of a bitch:

Toga, cowboy hat, and whip in hand, I think it was one of the best and least expensive ideas I've ever had for the holiday. However my toga came relatively undone by the evening as well as the cheap whip, but I had fun nonetheless and I discovered it's the perfect costume to wear when you come home to pass out because you're already wrapped up in a bed sheet. How can I top myself?

Sunday, October 21, 2007

american gangster

Denzel Washington photographed by Norman Jean Roy for the November issue of Men's Vogue

If someone were to ask me who I'd most want to be like when I grow up I would point them to this cover. I can only strive to be such a sophisticated badass.

And because I love it:

photo courtesy of the fashion spot

Saturday, October 20, 2007

i want you all over me

I normally don't have a foot fetish, but I can't resist the fantasy of this Oscar nominated actress walking all over me, literally, in her five inch Jimmy Choo booties. Those shoes are hot sex on a platter.

Click here to find out whose lovely feet I adore.

Friday, October 19, 2007


Jennifer Connelly in Balenciaga at the premiere of "Reservation Road"

Proof positive that the Balenciaga Spring collection is wearable.

photo courtesy of the fashion spot

Thursday, October 18, 2007

ear worm

"Do It"
Nelly Furtado
dir., Nelly Furtado and Aaron A.


first look: charlie wilson's war

"Charlie Wilson's War"
dir., Mike Nichols

Mr. and Mrs. American Pie finally team up on screen. Are we ready?

beauty and the beast

It's been a few weeks since the last long-limbed Russian stomped down a runway and with that distance clarity can be gained when thinking about and looking at the Spring/Summer 2008 shows. With every show there was more potentiality and greater ideas. Some faltered and some fared better than others but it's the ones that really attempted and succeed at pushing fashion forward and saying something about the world in which clothes, or Fashion is a necessity. Alber Elbaz for Lanvin, Raf Simons for Jil Sander, and Marc Jacobs are not only the tastemakers of the textile and garment industry but true thinkers and provacateurs of notions about women, sex, fantasy, reality, and function. Their points of view are unabashedly singular and disparate from their nation's counterparts and that's what gives their clothes, narratives, and the thinking behind them an intelligence and brilliance. When you cut through the froth and frippery of fashion there are men such as these three that are truly engaged in the now and have purged their latest lamentations, fascinations, and compulsions in a way that feels alive and something we should embrace.

Marc Jacobs's presentations have become more conceptual the past few seasons and with his latest collection there was an exclamatory proposition that divided his fervent audience. Underwear as outwear? Puzzling lengths, slashes, and rips on the clothes? Bouffant hair and trippy footwear? Admittedly it was a sensory overload of emotion, philosophy, and a feeling of Jacobs testing his audience in terms of how far they are willing to follow him. The grungey coquettish vamp was there as she normally is in his collections but there something rare and different about the Spring collection. It reminded me of David Lynch's "Inland Empire" in which there is an obvious love for tradition in the respective art form and the industry that feeds it (those bags and shoes are going to sell like hotcakes and thus make his investors and partners very pleased), but there's a rebellious spirit in all of that. Not until recently has Jacobs become such a visible designer from his MySpace romance woes to his tanned and toned physical transformation as well as a stint in rehab, perhaps that lashing out in the face of it all should not come as much of a shock. When all eyes are on you wouldn't you give us something that maybe we don't want to look at? The idea of playing with, and in some regard exploiting, an audience's expectations is a thought-provoking idea that Jacobs made everyone wait almost two hours to reveal in his brash study on the unmentionables. Was he successful? The clothes challenged the notion of wearability, which is big for an American designer where the sportswear sensibility typically informs what Americans want out of fashion, and in that respect the show felt like an Parisian in America where as his Louis Vuitton show had an American in Paris vibe to it. Whatever it is, it seems Jacobs is in an unstoppable position right now. He has us with his inventive take on shape, form, and color. There's no turning back for Jacobs after such a fearless and exhilirating collection.

If Jacobs was the enfant terrible of fashion month, then Elbaz for Lanvin was the golden child. His cool, confident, and pleasing collection of smart and splendid cocktail and evening dresses paired with light as a feather daywear proved to be the best Paris had to offer. While some of his other Parisian cohorts were stuck on silly themes and big Concepts, Elbaz concentrated on fit, construction, and draping. His contemporary take on Madame Gres style draping gave the collection a stunning weightlessness that is dead on for Spring and surely what any woman would want to wear. Each look was easier and more alluring than the next. There was complaint from some that it was too similar to past collections, but what's wrong with being self-referential when you have the genius Elbaz so effortlessly conveys in his flattering and handsome design philosophy. Controlled volume, feathers, and jewel tones like you have never seem them before were stunning and will work well editorially but surely appeal to a confident and unashamedly stunning woman. Sometimes this simplicity is exactly what women should want because they will not look any sexier. And for that I have to say thank you Mr. Elbaz.

Color was essential at Lanvin but was taken to a new height in Simons's collection for Jil Sander. Hot shots of shocking pink and creamy oranges were intensely beautiful to look at but somehow not garish and timid in neutrality when broken up in blocks on the body. I've loved every collection Simons has done for Sander and with each season he keeps growing and moving in such fascinating directions. Until this season a futuristic Bowie figure seemed like the Simons for Jil Sander aesthetic but this collection was looser and expressed a fluidity that straddles the line between fantasy and reality. Simons was smart to use a layered tulle top paired with slim pants. It's a little untamed on top but appropriate and wearable on bottom. The hair was loose and the shapes just as deflated with a judicious sense of control and direction. Simons clearly understands movement with wide legged trousers and breezy caftan inspired dresses that moved with the body revealing something unexpected along the way with the use of sheer paneling and layering of transparent fabrics. The reduction of accoutrements and other frills is indicative of a Jil Sander collection, but Simons asked us to look inside in the area in between the body and the clothes. What a dynamic frame of reference and place for our thoughts to wander.

What can we learn from these shows? It's a classic case of art versus commerce. Fashion is a billion dollar industry that is now part of the global landscape for trade and business. As a designer, especially when you work for a major brand such as Elbaz and Simons, there must be a decision every season to ask more of their consumers or acknowledge exactly what they want and give it to them. Fashion in a sense is commercial art, therefore if it's intended for everybody should it consider or dictate the shapes, colors, and narratives for the season? All three of these designers have varied points of view that very loudly and very clearly speak for us. Jacobs dares us, Elbaz regales us, and Simons offers something recognizable but original. What will that mean for their financial returns? I guess time can only tell but with the globe becoming seasonless, trends becoming trendier, and the other distractions of modern life get in the way, luckily we have such forceful arbiters of beauty and reality. Fashion is essential, especially in the world we live in today. It's not a total escape but for twelve minutes or so the possibility of discourse and fancifulness is there for our keeping. And don't forget there's always next season.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

first look: no country for old men

"No Country for Old Men"
dir., Joel and Ethan Coen

I'm still mesmerized by "Michael Clayton" (more on that later), but a gripping and fearsome looking preview for the new Coen Brothers film played before the film that I'm still thinking about. I'm not a huge fan of their work (although most that are tell me their early work is much more impressive), but this does look really violent and rife with moral complexities. If that and Javier Bardem's pageboy don't get you going there must be something wrong with you.

not so new kid on the block

It came as a bit of a shock to film followers and the industry when Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" debuted as the number one film at the North American box office this past weekend. A tale of four couples and the trials and tribulations of being married may seem like exasperated subject matter but in its traditional approach to moralizing and reinforcing the heterosexual union, particularly in the subculture of Bible toting upper middle class black America, and Perry's built in audience of Madea fans have made him an undeniable force in the entertainment industry and thus the ascension to number one should come as no surprise. Films, television, books, theater, and everything else under the Perry umbrella have established him as one of the most powerful black figures in not only the industry but to black America in general. Film, and more specifically art, can attempt to represent a culture, but inevitably and inherently limits the experience to the reality and specificity of the lone artist's own background. Perry's films give us a consciously positive portrayal of black upwardly mobile America. His characters are lawyers, doctors, professors, etc., but there's a tension between a fantastical idea of what black America should be (see "The Cosby Show") and the effects of those portrayals of black representation in media on black audiences and non-black audiences. I'm not a workaholic professional nor do I have a sassy and matriarchal Jiminy Cricket figure in my life sorting out my love life. And that's the power of art and media is although Perry's message is commendable it can leave an audience with an equally muddled and unfair portrait of what it means to be black in America. However, something must be said for Perry's wild and propulsive success.

Ruth Furla of The New York Times takes a look at Perry's rise to media mogul mania in a revealing new profile. In the article there is mention of Tyler's five homes and justification of desiring and acquiring material possessions in the face of his piety, which contributed to his startling success. It's not that Perry shouldn't be able to enjoy or even indulge in his success but it does seem counter intuitive to his overall mission of sermonizing and cleaning up the faults and complications of black America. Is that to say that you take away the drugs, poverty, violence and other perils of evil that plague current black America and you replace it with God and the equation of religious conviction and success? How silly and sad it is to honestly believe that the stronger the religious convection the more deserving a person can be for the acquisition of nice cars and pricey homes. It's an unconscious reinforcement of a stereotype that black people are materialistic. It could also be a natural fact that America is growing with more and more upper class black people, Perry included, and this influences his work. How many other black filmmakers are making films about black people vacationing at a ski resort or reveling in their bourgeois glory? That's not a demerit or a declaration that his work is not any less significant than his contemporaries but it does make you wonder if his message is truly effective when it's so calculated and imbued with such mixed and competing ideologies.

Perry's success is a great new standard for black people, or anyone for that matter, but it's not so black and white as Perry would like us to believe. Perry is working outside of the industry and that thumbing his nose to the industry is extremely admirable, however I hope he takes that power and privilege and does something a little less polarizing with it. Jesus and Range Rovers are an uncomfortable equation if you ask me.

Monday, October 15, 2007

first look: redacted

dir., Brian DePalma

The trailer is a little hard to crack but it's stirring some controversy and naturally I'm intrigued. If there's any filmmaker whose taste and ethics are questioned it has to be Mr. DePalma.

night moves


"In Rainbows", Radiohead's latest album, may seem like a stunt but don't let the hype, or the conscious lack of, fool you. The album is a little rough and experimental around the edges but there's that great accessibility and pull Radiohead songs so effortlessly convey in their appeal. It's interesting to think about the machine that is self-promotion in the entertainment industry and how one of the biggest and most influential bands of the past two decades completely rejects it. Is it biting the hands that feeds or is it a sly commentary on the strength of music overshadowed by who wears what and how many TRL appearances an act can make? Whatever it is I know I like this album and they are at least making an attempt to confuse and keep us guessing. That's saying more than flashing their genitals to keep their names on the collective consciousness.

black out

"All of the models in the show were white, with hair at a uniform length. You can’t tell women to be individuals in their style and then not show a range of individual faces, hairstyles and ethnic backgrounds."

It seems out of touch."

--Cathy Horyn of The New York Times on the Calvin Klein Spring/Summer 08 collection

The issue of race, or the lack thereof, is becoming increasingly topical in an industry built on standards of beauty and money, two things that are generally equated with whiteness. Mass media's reach and its consumption have long overlooked the power and inclusion of black culture, but it's interesting to think that perhaps models are not only hangers for expensive clothes but possibly symbols of who's buying in the business. With the onslaught of more Asian models there is no shortage of Asian-American designers or the Asian market for high end clothes and the big wave of Eastern European and Russian girls have come to represent their new money establishment of women flaunting their $10,000 Hermes bags. Is there room for black women in that equation? Check out Guy Trebay's article from The Times for some possible answers. The Guardian examines the issue as well.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

do the dance

Live on Jimmy Kimmel Live

This is beyond brilliant.

belle de nuit

Catherine Deneuve
at the Yves Saint Laurent Spring/Summer 08 collection

The mannish shapes and lightness in the clothes were excellent in Stefano Pilati's Spring collection, but the real draw of the Yves Saint Laurent show was Ms. Deneuve seated in the front row looking impossibly chic and dangerously French. Take notice of how the coat (plucked from the Fall YSL 07 collection) falls ever so slighty off her turtleneck covered shoulders. That is sex in a coat.

photo courtesy of

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

alexander mcqueen

Everyone is talking about the Isabella Blow influence, but I see Mildred Pierce. Wouldn't you agree?

Bitch, Please on:
Alexander McQueen
Louis Vuitton

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

a man and a woman

What is so compelling about watching two people bicker? The human drama? The odd thrill of watching a train collide with another? Or is it simply another chance to watch one of the world's greatest actresses purge yet another personal and articulate performance? I'm going to go with the latter after watching the one and only Julie Delpy in her directorial debut, "2 Days in Paris." The set up is minimal and familiar for Delpy and her fans--a man and a woman talk, kiss, and walk around a European city. However, that reduction of her bristling new film doesn't quiet describe what is possible an antidote to the surging presence of the Man-Boy in popular entertainment that has resonated for quite sometime. I'm not sure where to pinpoint where exactly men became so insecure and inferior (Warren Beatty unable to get it up in "Bonnie & Clyde" could be a start), but it has almost because pervasive and offensive in its one dimensional portrayal of the modern man. I don't think it's exclusive to American entertainment but with films like "Knocked Up", "Little Children", and anything starring Will Ferrell, there seems to be something going on in our culture right now that frightens men and their long held power structure and dominance over women. Julie Delpy's Marion is assertive, passionate about what she believes in, and likes to do it on top. Without a doubt, this is all threatening and confusing to her doting American boyfriend, Jack, who tries to clamor on to some preconceived idea of masculinity, specifically in context to a relationship. The results are wildly engaging and a right step in the direction for Delpy's imminent directorial career.

Delpy has received a significant amount of obvious criticism that the film is too Woody Allen or is derivtive of a Woody Allen type film. Yes, there are bespectacled neurotic characters, witty dialogue, and situational comedic moments built around socially inept and paranoid characters, but that's about where the similarities end. And is that so much of a bad thing? Is this another way male criticism can digest and spit out their thoughts on a female filmmaker whose film is an uncompromising look at the nasty friction between two people. For whatever reason, Delpy has a style all of her own. It comes across as more situationally ogranic and devoid of fantasy, unlike most Allen films that find him paired with some goregeous vixen. Delpy and Goldberg make an excellent and accessible couple. Their frustrations and complications are interesting to watch because Delpy plays on the ideas of what it means from the female prospective to be in a relationship with a man who is constantly competing with her for power. She's a photographer, but he took the pictures on their Venice vacation. She wants to have sex on top, but he prefers to be on top. She runs into a handful of ex-boyfriends, but he can't be the Lothario in the bed she appears to be (a running joke about small condoms emphasizes the point). It goes on for much of the film where it reaches its apex in a beautifully shot scene where the couple splits for the better part of their day to realize with distance they may not know each other as well as they thought they did. Delpy very smartly asserts the point that it's not much reveling in their Peter Pan complex life stage, but how disappointing it is that in your mid-30s you can still be uncertain of yourself and how that can greatly effect any relationship, particularly the most intimate ones. One of the best scenes in the film is a moment in which we see Marion in her element as the pensive and observant photographer photographing the ruckus in the crowds during Fete de la Musique. She is swarmed by people unfettered by the taxing displeasure of modern relationships. This utopia of happy looking people allows her to fantasize for a moment of her and her boyfriend in the same place but cavorting in the most thrilled and exultant way, although intercut of her by herself looked depraved and sullen. Little does she know Jack is the in the same crowd, only yards away, and that is what makes this film such a resonate piece of work. With all of their misunderstandings of each other and their relationship, they do gravitate toward one another and something exists there.

The end is one of most sublime and perfect endings to a relationship film that I've seen since "Before Sunset", which ironically enough also stars Delpy. The Linklater films she and Ethan Hawke have been apart of suggest a dream of a relationship. It doesn't have its moments of despair and unrest, and so rather consciously. There are some minor quibbles in "Before Sunset" but nothing compared to the climatic fight between Marion and Jack. They say hurtful things and things they've been waiting to say and it makes you wonder if staying together is even necessary after two days of insecure and hurt feelings. How can they ever move forward if they can't figure themselves out in the now? Who can be in control? Marion's closing voice over monologue perfectly offers a solution that is punctuated with a shot full of ambiguity and dark charm. It's not your average date movie but it never wants to be nor should it. A man and a woman marooned in Paris for two days has never felt so fresh and original.

arcade fire/lcd soundystem

Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem were on the lips of every in the know music lover in Louisville for the past month. The perplexity of their union, the fact they were making a stop in Louisville, and most importantly, the ticket price was over $40. "They're not even that big," shouted all of the naysayers. Why $41 you ask? Aside from the portion of ticket prices going to a charity, the reason was unimportant after their joyous show last Wednesday at the Waterfront, where the money was worth it to see two of the most intelligent and exciting bands that defy contemporary "rock" music but are too dorky and "so three years ago" to be considered cool enough for "indie rock." Louisville rarely brings such acts in town and for all concertgoers who go out of town to see bands like this if the tickets were less expensive the transportation costs to get there and back would probably would be even greater than $41. Arcade Fire's dense anthemic sound matched with LCD Soundsystem's furious love of all things dancey and New York coalesced into an evening of earnest musicianship and convincing pop pleasure.

Unfortunately, I arrived at the tail end of LCD Soundsystem's set, but what I saw I liked. The thumping tome of "Someone Great" and the virtual insanity of "Yeah" stood out most. James Murphy's curiosity of music, people, and the world around him show shades of genius and once again, proves it with his live act. His ease as a performer is fun to watch and it's only matched by his smart and personal lyrics. He's had a very influential hand in dance music of the past decade and you would never know it by his slight paunch, beard, and cheeky t-shirt collection. I've seen LCD Soundsystem before but it was in a smaller club and at times I thought if someone wanted a true LCD Soundsystem experience that is the best way to see them. The boxed in feeling of walls and the immediacy of seeing them up close is more conducive to bodies writhing around each other than an outdoor venue caught between a river and a major expressway. I couldn't blame them, although there was a tiny part of me that wished I could see them again in that context.

Arcade Fire's ascension to pop rock notoriety and prestige has happened very quickly, more so than most of their contemporaries. David Bowie has duetted with them on national TV, their second album, "Neon Bible", debuted in the top three on the Billboard charts, and they have relentlessly toured to sold out venues all over their world. "Neon Bible" is much more emotional and epic than their first album, "Funeral", but it's grandiose sound is backed with lyrics about relationships, what it means to be living in the world right now, and of course, the disappointing farce that is our president. It's a political and powerful album teetering on the verge of concept album territory. Church and orchestral instruments, voices dying to say something urgent and relevant, and all kinds of aural textures fill the album making it quite a visceral experience to listen to, but after seeing them live it's clear they are no slouch on their presentation either. The show opened with hum of an organ that begins "Neon Bible" and from there on out a clear mood was set. Their musical athleticism is beyond impressive with most members of the ten piece band playing multiple instruments and sprinting to and fro through a single song to allow the sound of the album to breathe in a live setting. The stage was starkly lit with panels of light, laser beams framing the stage, and globes projecting images of bible toting evangelists. It's almost a sensory overload to see that many people on stage, the lights, and their almost Amish looking attire. However, it was all done with a contagious glee. The gloom and doom mood of their album is performed with such a genuine optimism that in the face all the shit that keeps the world going there can be a feeling of possibility and positivity. Call it what you will but I liked it and it continued through out "Black Mirror", "Keep the Car Running", "Rebellion (Lies)", and "Neighborhood # 2 (Laika)". The sound was full and ready for a stadium but there was a minor mishap with Win Butler's guitar during "Neighborhood # 3 (Power Out)" that distracted for a brief moment but Butler recovered quickly after stopping the song and apologizing with a laugh. My personal favorite "No Cars Go", which is arguably one of the best songs of the year, made an exuberant appearance but it was palpable that the encore of "Wake Up" touched something in everyone.

When the dust settled and the lights came up I was proud of both bands, but more importantly my little city for putting on such an audacious show that may have seemed costly and a pain, but can hopefully establish Louisville as somewhat of a reliable place for touring bands that exceed the parameters of Kid Rock and what other mindless acts this city typically attracts. Wilco played the other week, Bob Dylan and Elvis Costello are coming this month, Peter Bjorn & John play the weekend after Thanksgiving, and now Arcade Fire and LCD Soundsystem have made quite the impression. Let's hope the city can continue to fully realize its live music self before it slips back into having to being that city that hosts one great show a year and when that happens, who cares if it's $41?

Monday, October 8, 2007

the shawl

Vintage fleece shawl-collar pullover, $69.50

I have been after a shawl-collar sweater for over a year now. There is something very Paul Newman circa 1968 about them that I think fits my aesthetic for Fall. I tried on the pullover pictured above at J. Crew today and I must say it's every bit as comfortable and effortless to wear as it looks. The price is a little steep for what is essentially a sweatshirt, but don't you believe in paying for what you get? When you get something as sharp and cool as what is pictured above you can't complain, right?*

*Don't worry, kids. I am not that financially irresponsible. Sixty-nine dollars is way too much for a sweatshirt. I asked the salesman to put it on hold until the price goes down a bit.

girlz in the hood

There are no words for this.

photo courtesy of dlisted


Alber Elbaz has always been more interested in the relationship between the body and the garment more so than conducting a full on circus for his shows at Lanvin. For spring that ever-inspiring and evolving relationship was beautifully orchestrated on full on display in what was perhaps the best show of Paris. It's everything you want from fashion--fantasy, reality, and most of all, truth and beauty. Elbaz's stunning use of fabric, pleating, color, and aerodynamics was a triumph that didn't seem coolly out of step but in fact, exuded a directional and propulsive edge that his contemporaries cannot match. Inspired by pushing his own creativity and what appeared to be volume and lightness, the Lanvin woman for next Spring is surely to be pleased with the technical ferocity of Elbaz's deft skill and the varitable platter of easy, breezy evening frocks and smart daytime looks.

With their Robert Palmer backup dancers ponytail and dark maquillage, the models looked fiercely powerful but the clothes moved around their bodies in such a comfortable and no frills way. The pleated dresses were the focus of the show and found their place in sexy wrap around the neck day dresses, ruffled minidresses, and commanding Technicolor maxidresses that could easily allow a woman to cut through the fray. The deep cobalt blue, emerald, marigold, tomato red, and royal purple were balanced with sobering and subdued khakis and olives that allowed the palette not to be garish but even and spot-on. Aside from the brilliant use of color, Elbaz was most impressive with the wide range that he proposed for spring. Pencil skirts, tuxedo dressing, billowy dresses given structure with a waist defining belt, shifts, flyaway coats, and asymmetrical pieces were a visual cacophony of design confidence and brio. The mood was all about fluidity, whether it be fluidity in movement or fluidity in sexuality with the masculine/feminine look played out in androgynous tuxedos and suits. All of the looks had a personality and a weightlessness to them that set them apart.

This show was about clothes and not about trying to play up to a polarizing concept or some fleeting trends. Following the beat of his own sartorial drum keeps Elbaz at his most successful and us at our most enraptured. Thank you, Mr. Elbaz.

Bitch, Please on:
Viktor & Rolf

Gold Digger on:
Karl Lagerfeld on Balenciaga's prints
Sonya Rykiel's infectious exuberance

concept with a capital c

"Grey Gardens" at John Galliano
"Pirates of the Caribbean" at Jean Paul Gaultier
Marcel Marceau, Pierrot, and something about violins at Viktor & Rolf

Being referential is one thing but clobbering us over the head with inanely tired and irrelevant references is maddening and plain dumb. Is Jean Paul Gaultier receiving backing from Jerry Bruckheimer in effort to test out new forms of product placement? After his triumphant and marathon anniversary couture show this summer, is John Galliano all dried up of ideas? And there are too many questions for Viktor & Rolf and their conscious effort to present more wearable clothes that actually looked amateur and unflattering. Presenting fresh ideas is a challenge for any artist, but it's that journey to continuously reveal something new and exciting that makes the end product compelling and resonate. Instead some designers choose to force feed us obvious ideas and concepts that make you feel like they're shouting with a large bullhorn that they too are in on the cult genius of Little Edie Beale. Who cares? Reign on in the Big Idea and say something worthwhile.

Friday, October 5, 2007


The expectation must be quite difficult to surpass for Nicolas Ghesquiere. Every season his design philosophy of futurism meets old school Balenciaga couture technology but chewed up and spit out in a modern, visionary, and directional way continues to not only impress and intrigue but keeps our expectations high, if not continuously higher. Balenciaga is typically the show that will be extremely relevant when it comes to trends for the season and what did Ghesquiere have in store this season? Flower, flowers, and more flowers. Floral prints might be too literal of a source of inspiration for spring but it was refreshing and very Balenciaga in its theme of a time that has yet to exist. However, the flowers were able to breathe romanticism and nostalgia into that concept and gave it a particular weight. History is a significant influence on Ghesquiere whether it be where fashion will be or where it has already been and once again managed to incorporate that into his outlook for spring 2008.

Ghesquiere is reliable for his unwavering eye and curious design propositions. Cohesion is something Ghesquiere understands very well and this show was no exception. The hems were blunt and to the point and the curved lines and wild shoulders of the mini-suits were hard and ultra-defined. The hard edge of the construction conjured up imagery of a knight's grand armor, but it was softened with an explosion of optimistic floral prints. There was a hint of equally contained but unrestrained sensuality with a concentration on lace up and corset inspired details. Ghesquiere pushed all of these ideas forward by using unusual looking fabrics and stiff gathering, folding, cocoon volumes and material pressed against each other so hard a bullet couldn't penetrate it. Deriving inspiration from the Balenciaga archives and car design, this was a precise and tough look but oddly ladylike and pure in its construction. Essentially, a Balenciaga woman is strong, empowered, and in step with the contemporary world. She will step over you in her shameless gladiator sandal.

Do we wish there was more range and wearability in this collection? If you're looking something to wear here you may want to switch DNA with Natalia Vodianova because bold shapes and ideas like this are not for your average woman, nor is it supposed to be. Peak into the future and you'll find a woman wearing something reminiscent of Ghesquiere's pretty and vigorous rumination for next season.

A little bit of catch up:
Gold Digger on:
Paul Smith
Julien Macdonald

And presently:
Bitch, Please on:
Jean Paul Gaultier
Vivienne Westwood

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

maison martin margiela

Marc Jacobs's spring boudoir expose was accused for being too literal of a reference from one of his heroes, Martin Margiela. Well, looking at his spring collection that criticism isn't too far off. The deconstruction of traditional ideas, concentration on fit and the body, and posing modern questions about what it means to be a woman, sexy, or all of the above are as present in this collection as they were in what will surely be one of Jacobs's most infamous collections. However, Jacobs seemed more tongue and cheek and romantic where as Margiela for spring is a little harder and severe. Opening a show with a model blindfolded and covered in a nude tube top means you're up to something. What is that something? Bondage and fragmentation, baby.

Theorists and critics have long debated the issue of female fragmentation in art (that is framing the female body in a violent, choppy, male-gaze sort of way), but has that been confronted in fashion. Clothes are who we are and what we are and when they reveal or shield certain body parts there is some form of picking apart the female form. It's interesting to think of it in a contemporary way with the onslaught of train wreck pop stars and the like who are content with leaping out of an expensive sports car pantiless or allowing an occasional nipple slide out of a flimsy top. The vagina and breasts are certainly an area of interest and repulsion in mainstream media, but hands, eyes, lips, legs, feet equally tantalize us in the most fetishistic ways imaginable. Margiela's eye was unrelenting in its sensual covering up or revealing of body parts. His decision to conceal the model's eyes evoked a feeling of S&M and bondage but could it also suggest censorship? Bare the nude torso wherein we forget about the eyes? Wrists were cuffed in black and material clung to the body to divide it up in the most erotic and intelligent ways. The diabolic combination of nude and black has never seemed so poignant than in this collection. Forget color, we're talking about the body here. What an interesting antidote to New York and Milan's inward definition of body conscious where what is underneath the clothes is more important than what is on the body. Margiela didn't aim to victimize his women and did so by giving them Byrne-esque shoulders that emphasized a woman's irrepressible power even when exploited for their body parts. Imagine a naughty Katherine Hepburn and you have the idea. Evening pieces with beading over the black jersey made the women appear as if they were skinny dipping in the Seine late at night. What a great way to begin Paris.

the hipster handbook

Some Random Dude, Cory Kennedy, Kanye West, Jeremy Scott, and Agyness Deyn at Jeremy Scott's After Party during Paris Fashion Week

Naturally, The Cobrasnake caught this gem of a moment that looks like that moment when you and all of your friends are posing for a possible MySpace or Facebook default pic. Celebrities are just like us in a myriad of ways.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

the graduate

Look who has a blog and tends to write about fashion week...

Never one to resist self-aggrandizing, I must say in his defense that it is at least mildly interesting to read what it must like to be at the shows firsthand and at the same time balance that with your own quirky interests in other posts.


I'll let the clothes and the way the women move in them to speak for themselves on this collection. Those are clothes made for sexy motherfuckers.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Love it or hate it, for the past few season Miuccia Prada continues to tackle big themes in what results in presentations that are singular in their voice but abstruse in their aesthetic choices. Last spring it was a 40s pin-up and for fall this year it was hombre dyed burlap sacks and drab colors. There were pieces here and there that were strong in each collection but as a cohesive whole they don't appeal to a mass audience, which is interesting because Prada is a major global brand. Is Prada too prescient for this world or is she simply exposing the absurdity of what it is pretty, flattering, and expected from fashion intended for the masses? Whatever it is, one thing that you can't take away from Prada is her powerful conviction and thinking woman's attitude. There's always a curiosity in her clothes and it spoke once again for spring 2008. Turning to Art Nouveau, London in the late 60s and early 70s, and all things curvilinear and in bloom for inspiration, Prada concocted a show that was brimming with ideas and concepts about what it means to be a smart, powerful, and modern woman, much like herself. The full skirts and gingham prints called to mind a more traditional woman but her coyness is equally sexy in clingy body suits and the flash of skin on the neckline that seemed more revealing than what her Milanese contemporaries blurted out on the runway (See: DSquared). The clash of prints and colors that don't presumably go together creates a graphic and absurd take on our age-old and arbitrary ideas about color matching. The models eyes were rimmed with a sooty and extreme smoky eye look that was another traditional idea of what sexy is but it had a great tension when you looked at the kooky chiffon dresses that were decorated with fairies and nymphs, implying another friction between something more natural as opposed to something so manufactured and established by man. It all seemed a bit fantastical but similar to the Marc Jacobs show, you feel like you're in the mind of Prada and with a collection like this, it's a mind that is attuned to exploration and innovation. This show was a bold proposition on traditionalism, but as she has shown from time and time again, maybe that's Prada not biting the hand that feeds her but offering another extension of traditions and values.

the suit

Have you ever wondered how it must feel to wear a Thom Browne suit? I've often wondered if $4,000 justifies what is essentially a suit perfect for Easter Sundays in elementary school that only ever typically look good on Browne himself. Thankfully those ever so witty and pithy people at Esquire pondered the same question I had. A contributing writer, David Katz, got two Browne suits tailored by the designer himself and followed his specific instructions on how to wear a Thom Browne suit. It's worth a read because in a way it makes this new form of luxury come across as inherently separatist and absurd and yet completely seductive at the same time. Such is the price one pays for a $4,000 suit.

Click here to read.

alberta ferretti

Attention: Vera Wang, this is how you do an appealing and contemporary take on Greco-Roman dressing. It's interesting to look at Wang's Yamamoto-esque take on goddess gowns where once again cocoon shapes and odd draping devour the model and leave you wondering what and why satin cargo shorts factored into the picture. Alberta Ferretti's approach was a little more literal, but the results were more convincing in their ethereal and weightless execution. The more overtly feminine and soft vision doesn't suggest the Ferretti woman is a shrinking violet but an urbane gladiator who at once pitted against the frustrations and complications of the contemporary world but exudes a polished glamor. Something a lot feminine but a little masculine, I guess you could say. The toga draping punctuated with jeweled accents was romantic but with an edge and the color scheme of cucumber and cream with shots of tomato red and goldenrod were unlike the wan neutral and gleaming bold colors that have permeated shows for spring. The power suit as a contrast to the ultra-feminine cocktail dresses was a standout and the pleated gown that looked as if it had been dipped in red wine was stunning in its no frills and adornment free beauty. I suggest Ms. Ferretti give Mrs. Clinton (the modern woman everyone has their eye on at the moment) a call and drum up this kind of wardrobe for what could be her time to lead in the mess and murk.


Boobs, butts, Rihanna. Blah, blah, blah. I always get the sense that Dean and Dan Cain's design aesthetic for DSquared are more filled more with fantasy, but not the fantasy that is rooted or is a response to a reality but more of a wishful, almost childlike fantasy that purports them as gleaming celebrity Barbie dolls. What a dull point of view and it shows, especially in this ridiculous collection that was inspired by the feeling one gets when you have car trouble. Naturally in this fretful circumstance you would be wearing a rhinestone encrusted sheer caftan and dresses short enough that Britney's nether regions would get along with swimmingly. It all looks clunky and cheap. Does that bathing suit really need all of that hardware? Is this what sexy is? Sex, or looking sexy, always comes across as cartoony and overly cheeky in their clothes. It also reminds me of all the tawdry street fashion I saw in Italy last summer. Imagine lots of treated denim in odd cuts and lengths, too tight tops, and uncomfortable exposed flesh. Perhaps if they ever focused on ideas that aren't so empty and non-directional for fashion their fervent passion for one note presentations involving pop stars and tramps would be a little grounded in something desirable and attainable.