Oz: fresh fashion faces from downunder

21 06 2017

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Above, pink-haired Louis Vuitton “it girl” Fernanda Ly, and below, fellow Sydney University student – and instagram-famous photographer, stylist and now fashion world  heavy-hitter – Margaret Zhang.

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Photography straight from the Aussie ‘burbs by Elvis di Fazio, Frank Ocean’s visual collaborator:

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And below, another Elvis di Fazio collaborator, former Sydney club dancer and now top New York model, Daniel Garofali.

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When I grow up, I want to be..

30 05 2017

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Fan Bing Bing at Cannes

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Mommy’s little helpers

17 05 2017

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Bangkok model Cindy Bishop features in an acerbic, and colour-saturated, domestic-themed spread for Thai Harpers Bazaar – just in time for (Western) Mother’s Day!

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Back for the bops

17 05 2017

Thai singer Palmy is set to return with a new single being teased online…from the snippet in the clip above it doesn’t seem quite as catchy as her last album, but lets wait and see.





Tokyo 70s 80s

2 05 2017

 

Listening to records with friends over the weekend, the subject of Kenji Sawada came up. The fresh-faced and well-scrubbed teen idol morphed in the mid–70s into something much more transgressive, a louche Roxy Music-esque man-vamp in the mould of David Bowie, becoming an enduring Japanese music and fashion icon.

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He also starred in two notable movies, the Man Who Stole the Sun, a psychedelic romp about a rogue chemistry teacher who builds his own atomic bomb, and an iconic turn in the sumptuous Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters.

Sawada also appeared in the advertising campaign for PARCO department store, often paired with J-supermodel of the moment and fellow face of the early eighties, Sayoko Yamiguchi. What a time!

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Yamiguchi also flirted with Western rockers like Steely Dan – on the cover of one of their albums, above – and the rolling Stones.

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Modern loneliness

25 04 2017

 

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I saw two films at the International Film Festival which, by coincidence, both explored the theme of loneliness. Oliver Assayas’s “Personal Shopper” stars my new fave Kristen Stewart, as a searcher, a psychic, looking for something more than the unwanted life she has found herself in at the periphery of the fame machine, as a Paris celebrity’s personal shopper. Its a strange, meandering little film, full of moments of stillness but also little revelations, not the least of which is Stewart’s great central performance or her effortless normcore lesbo-chic styling. I saw it on a rainy day, the last day of my holidays, at Kowloon’s eighties-tastic Cultural Centre with the director himself in attendance.

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A few days later, the Monday night of my return to work to be precise – I journeyed out to Kowloon Tong, to see “Corpo Electrico” – the Body Electric. It is the first film from Marcelo Caetano, who previously worked on Neon Bull, and that film’s tone is evident again here: an almost plotless (and some might find, pointless) slice-of-life drama, but filled with beautifully observed scenes of every day life, almost like an anthropological documentary, and human warmth. We watch the handsome main character Elias as he daydreams at work, drinks with friends, smokes and does his laundry. Elias, played beautifully by Kelner Macêdo, works as a pattern maker in a Sao Paulo garment factory, passing his time with semi-flings with friends and ex-boyfriends.  At the time, I was charmed but slightly bored by his life, but now the day after I find the film lingering in my thoughts for its loving and very real portrayal of gay life in the early twenties : its intense and flirty friendships,  camaraderie and cliquishness, non-career job boredom and hedonistic weekends, all floating under an unformed and seemingly ominous future.





Cavemen and Kristen Stewart

27 03 2017

My twin obsessions this week, oddly, were Kristen Stewart in the strangely luminous “Clouds of Sils-Maria” and prehistoric man, courtesy of the surprise hit book “Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind.”

My curiosity for Olivier Assayas’s “Clouds of…” was piqued by the rave reviews for his upcoming “Personal Shopper” (for which I had snagged tickets at the Hong Kong International Film Festival) and which also starred his (rather unlikely) new muse, Kristen Stewart.

The formerly much-derided Twilight star has been amassing accolades. I have seen her variously described as “the greatest actress of her generation” and “a star for our times.” I didn’t get it. What was the buzz about? But halfway through this movie, which I had originally found slight and rather dull before it totally sucked me in, I twigged. Stewart is a naturalistic actress par excellence. She doesn’t look like she is acting. So at first I took her for granted – where were the virtuoso emoting I associated with “great acting”? Where was the transformation?  She looked like she always does, shaggy dark hair, stumbling over her words, willowy frame in clothed in grungy lesbian-chic. But then I realised that despite that, this character isn’t HER. She is a multimillionaire, not Julian Binoche’s ambitious assistant in the Alps, and the fact that I had forgotten that shows what a great performance it was.

“Sapiens” was also something of a revelation. The book, by Israeli historian Yuval Noah Harari, traces humanity from its origins to the present day. Powerfully written, Yuval kicks off with the sensational reminder that although today there is only one human species, used to thinking of itself as the pinnacle of all evolution, we know that once we shared the world with at least six other human “species” – the homo erectus and Cave of the Red Deer people in China, the dwarf-like homo floresiensis of Nusa Tenggara, the Denisovans in Sibeia. the neaderthals in Europe…. The book claims that humanity’s “original sin” was perhaps the genocide of our brothers and sisters, leaving us alone as the sole surviving humans on the planet.