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Archive for the month “September, 2012”

You gotta have style: comments on Diana Vreeland-The Eye Has To Travel

Confabulating style

You gotta have style!

RUN Do Not Walk to see the fabulous documentary on Diana Vreeland, Empress of Fashion. formidable, brilliant, uncompromising, she made fashion fun.

The documentary chronicles the amazing, adventurous life of an international ORIGINAL  We are treated to interviews with of Manolo Blahnik, Calvin Klein, Diane von Furstenberg, Oscar de la Renta, Yves St. Laurentis, and the inimitable Richard Avedon. similarly we hear from such famous models as Lauren Hutton, Marisa Berenson, Penelope Tree and Veruschka  who attribute their success to Vreeland.

The actress Ali G and British photographer David Bailey weigh in on Vreeland’s persona as perfectionist and slave driver.

We hear from her two sons, her grandsons as to how she was as a mother and grandmother- she certainly was no auntie Mame!

Vreeland championed STYLE. Style is the essence of a person’s individuality. She hated fashion because fashion is conformity. Things go out of fashion and are products of the market place. But style is an expression of you are and who you will be. She found beauty in style no matter how outrageous and transgressive it might be.

When she was the head of the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute she launched an exhibit on eighteenth century fashions that would make Elton John drool. From twelve-foot high wigs to risqué decolletage.  This exhibit showed the world how to have fun with confected beauty.

She was a confabulist and understood our need for the imaginary and the fantastic.  Your style is your story and your story changes as does your style.

We live at a time of extreme conformity because everything is about selling. Vreeland lived in a world wherein the craft of style made your presence  known . You style commands attention because you don’t look like everybody else. Vreeland’s message to us is: Get rid of the labels on your clothing, stop advertising for others–



Art and Integrity

We are fed up with movies that coast along with technological wizardry in lieu of meaningful content.

We recently saw two movies that hit us like a sucker punch.in the gut: the documentary about the Chinese artist, Ai Weiwei Ai Weiwei:Never Sorry and The French film Beloved, Les bien-aimes directed by Christophe Honore.

Both dealt with real life challenges: resistance to conformity and illegitimate authority, the individual and the State, illness, ageing, and the complexities of love and death.

No easy answers, no happy endings.

You are a hero by muddling through and putting one foot in front of the other.

The characters accept their fate–amour fati!
The message–a life of integrity consists of facing the future by integrating the past.

Both films inspire us to embrace what the Greek writer, Kazantzakis (Zorba the Greek, 1964)  called the whole catastrophe known as life.

Or as Ai Weiwei put in contemporary terms Never Retreat; Re-Tweet!


Liberty, Integrity, Art

Citizenship Culture

One of the most exciting aspects of President Obama’s speech at the Democratic Convention was his emphasis on citizenship!The great thing about America is that as citizens we have certain inalienable rights: the main one being the right to vote! All of us who support a vision of the future that has as its foundation the conviction that a democracy can only function with a population that exercises citizenship.

CITIZENSHIP = RESPONSIBILITY and CONCERN for the COMMONWEAL.  Now for a brief lesson in civics: the commonweal means that we care about each other and that as a society we care about and for each other

For far too long we as a Nation have been confusing freedom with license. Freedom is not license. Freedom has responsibilities. America is not the land of do whatever you want and to hell with everyone else.

The November election is crucial to getting us back on track. Success is not measured by dollars alone. As a society we must nurture a culture that is concerned with the Citizenship and the Commonweal.

UNCLE SAM WANTS YOU TO CARE AND PARTICIPATE in making our society a democracy with heart.

Citizenship and the Commonweal


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