Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Introducing Model Citizens: Luisa Bronzo

I ofter wonder what is it about the fashion industry that fascinates people so much. Most of my life is spent around people who work in the industry in one way or another, and whenever I am with people who don't work in fashion I find myself bombarded with tons of questions like "why are haute couture clothes so loony?", "why are fashion designers so loony?" or "why are fashion magazines so weird?". But about 80% of all the questions I'm asked are about models: do they ever eat, are they vain, are they silly, are they really pretty without Photoshop, are they easy-going... I think I sound like an old record when I hear myself giving always the same answers which, to be honest, sound very silly on my lips (especially when I'm dressed and made-up in a loony fashion myself). Anyway, I do understand people's fascination with models, after all, yeah, they're amazing, great, pretty and otherworldly. So I have deicided to start a new project on this blog, in which I'll be interviewing some of my friend models, girls I regularly work with or that I've met at shots. The girls will speak for themselves here.
So meet my first model: Luisa is a cheerful, sparkly girl who often works for YSL. I love her Brazilian accent, her long straight hair and her beautiful energy. She makes me laugh. But Luisa is also a fabulous model...
Where are you from?
I'm from Brazil, Nova Friburgo city, in the state of Rio de Janeiro.
How long have you been modeling for?
I've been modeling for 4 years, but when I started I was at school, so I didn't have much time to dedicate my whole attention to this career. After school, in 2009, I started modeling full-time.
Which have been the highlights in your career so far? Any funny anecdotes you can tell us?
The most important jobs I've made were Elle and GQ magazines, and a Chanel show. I once was shooting whilst wearing a pair of roller-skates and I fell down and hit my head on the floor!
How would you define your style?
I define my style as simple and comfortable, a pair of jeans and a t-shirt or a short dress with some accessories are cool for me.
What's the best way to keep beautiful?
I take good care of my face and my hair in special, because in every job I do I have to use lots of makeup and the hairstyle is always different. So every night I wash my face with good soaps and put the products my dermatologist prescribed for me. For my hair I use a moisturizing mask.

What do you most like about being a model?
The best part of modeling is traveling a lot, and having the opportunity to know many different places and cultures around the world.
What do you dislike?
Being far away from the persons I love, my family and friends.
Can you give us any makeup tips?
I always prefer to use good quality makeup, like Mac blush and a Dior mascara. I used to have allergy because of some foundations I had to wear at work, so now I'm using Armani foundation which I consider really natural and doesn't cause any allergies.
What is your favourite food?
I love Japanese food, but I also like a dish called bife a cavalo which is very famous in Brazil, that combines rice, beans, meat and eggs, tastes really good.

Monday, 26 April 2010


My summer wardrobe is lacking something very important: a good pair of fashionable sunglasses. For some mysterious reason sunglass trends change dramatically every year, and what you so proudly wore last year is bound to get you some not-very-kind comments on the gayest areas of the city. For some even more mysterious reason I happen to live in an area of Paris which is invaded by chic optical boutiques. So lately I've been looking for the perfect pair in each one of them with not much success: there is too much choice to be able to distiguish and I don't want to risk picking a pair and then seeing a better one in the shop which is 5 metres away. Finally I desperately decided to turn to la crème de la crème de la super crème of the sunglasses and I visited Linda Farrow's online shop. And the first thing I saw on the site was this:
GaGatastic, aren't they? These sunglasses were made by Linda Farrow in collaboration with Jeremy Scott and they are a Gaga classic: she wore them in Paparazzi with the sole purpose of killing her boyfriend...
...And a while after she lent them to Beyoncé, who had the intention of killing her own boyfriend in Telephone. The conclusion is an easy one: killer sunglasses! And yeah, you can still buy them on Linda Farrow's website.
But we all know these are not the only glasses Gaga has been seen wearing. She actually seems to be addicted to sunglasses of every style, colour and shape. You name it, she's worn it: aviators, oversized sunglasses, black sunglasses, pink sunglasses, Alexander Wang (also by Linda Farrow) sunglasses, aerodynamic sunglasses, cigarette butt-covered sunglasses... But there is one particular trend which probably wouldn't be so "en vogue" right now if it wasn't for her: round, 1930's-inspired sunglasses. Before Gaga, if you were spotted wearing one of those pairs of glasses, the best remark people could do was something like "are you a hippy, or trying to emulate John Lennon or something?" (the worst being simply "Freaaaak!"). But now, thank God and thank Gaga, they are considered glamurous and contemporary.

But where did Gaga draw her inspiration from? 1930's Hollywood divas, who else? for instance:
Joan Crawford.
Jean Harlow.
Marlene Dietrich.
I thought I had finally found mine when I saw these Dries van Noten by Farrow, but they are not on sale anymore!
However, this season's ones, even if they are not round, are to die for as well. So glamourous yet so exotic.

And speaking of exotic sunglasses, you won't find any funnier, cuter, lovelier glasses than these House of Holland by Linda Farrow ones. They can spice up any look and they are not expensive. Perfect if you want to make a difference this summer!
All in all, I must confess I still haven't quite decided which sunglasses to choose... But Linda Farrow's ones are certainly an option: they are original, chic, one-of-a kind sunglasses that last for a lifetime!

Tuesday, 20 April 2010

It's Oh So Quiet

Lately I've been mysteriously drawn towards Icelandic music. No, seriously. Well, there is no escape: having to hear the word Eyjafjallajökull five thousand times a day it's better to put some Sugarcubes in it! I have realized I hadn't listened to Björk in such a long time... and I actually used to be a huge fan of her for a long time, since her techno years until her Alexander McQueen- Nick Knight- Juelie Verhoeven- Vinoodh Matadin collaboration period; then I started listening to other Icelandic bands, like Sigur Rós, Múm or GusGus and for some reason I stopped listening to her. But now I come to think about it, if you forget all the controversy and the newspapermen-spanking, Björk is really quite something: you just have to take a look at some of her pictures to notice it.

Yeah, she is a bit loony; and yeah, she is really cool. And, mind you, she already was cool in her pre-hype years. The proof? Big Time Sensuality, for instance. I still think Debut is my favourite album by her...

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Get into a taxi and go to Tiffany's

I was sunbathing in my balcony when I remembered this scene. I love Truman Capote's Breakfast at Tiffany's... But I must confess I don't like the movie at all! (except for Hubert de Givenchy's wardrobe of course). I think Blake Edwards's film completely misses the point and turns the mysterious beauty of the book into something obvious and naïve. And as much as I adore Audrey Hepburn, I think the same as Capote himself: she was wrong for the part. Holly Golightly is meant to be wilder and less aristocratic (I mean who could believe Audrey comes from a family of hobos in the deep South?). I simply can't stand George Peppard, who is supposed to play Capote except he's not gay at all. He is even pictured as a gigolo! Oh well. Luckily in the middle of all that there is Moon River; I love that song. It's kind of kitsch but it's Henry Mancini kitsch... And I love Audrey's way of singing it.
Did everyone have a nice weekend?

Friday, 16 April 2010

Love Makes the World go Round

They say true love always finds you when you least expect it: in my case it happened yesterday where I least expected it: Jean-paul Gaultier's headquarters. If you've been following my blog for a bit you certainly know my confused feelings towards Gaultier - sometimes unbelievable genius, sometimes just banal - but yesterday I had the opportunity of viewing his complete A/W 2010 collection and I was simply impressed by every piece! Great finishings, to-die-for fabrics and lovely shapes, flattering for every women. But the True Love moment came when I saw this cape/coat:

Sorry about the not-so great pictures (iPhone and euphoria are responsible). In any case, I guess you can understand my excitement? A silk Manila shawl sewn together with suede and renard! It simply looked otherworldly, a mix between exotic Poiret, Spanish passion and Russian extravaganza! And the great thing is I could picture myself wearing it, but I could also imagine "Maman" in it (my mum has great style, all rich colours and a touch of eccentricity). Conclusion? A truly elegant and timeless piece that looks this good when worn:
In a time when "luxury" means ripped-up jeans that cost 2000 euros, waiting lists of more than 5 years or whatever a certain "fashion icon" called Victoria Beckham might be wearing (for instance ripped-up jeans that cost 2000 euros), Gaultier has delivered a collection that is truly inspiring and truly luxurious. Chapeau!

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

No feelings

So much has been said about Malcolm McLaren since he died 6 days ago I couldn't possibly say anything new (although I will probably end up doing an article about him for 160grams). For now, I will only say with his death punk becomes yet a bit more part of the past, which is sad (even though luckily punk spirit still exists)... However, when it comes to punk icons, I must confess I've always prefered Johnny Rotten. In any case, here they are, complete with controversy, Sid and Seditionaries (that's early Vivienne Westwood) clothes. What do you think of the Sex Pistols?

Monday, 12 April 2010

Eyes Wide Shut

It seems so long now! But it was actually only several months ago that we shot this fashion series featuring haute couture Jean-Paul Gaultier, Louis Vuitton and Spanish designer Josep Font among others.
It was a bright, typically Parisian September day when Sophie stormed into the studio carrying several suitcases filled with some of the most covetable clothes and jewels of the season. I helped her organise the looks. Our girl was being made-up, Pierre was preparing the set and there was coffee and croissants à go-go. Ahhh fashion memories... It's always so much fun shooting with this team!

Photography Pierre Dal Corso
Styling Sophie Clauzel
Hair Franck Nemoz for Bumble & Bumble
Makeup Eva Mbaye @ B4 Agency
Nails Kamel @ B4 Agency
Pierre's assistants David Michels & Djamel Boucly

Thursday, 8 April 2010

How to be a Femme Fatale and not end up in the gutter

I have a confession to make: if lately I've been a very very bad bad blogger it is because... I've been reading Raymond Chandler's complete works. I have to admit I am addicted to the twisted stories featuring cynical detective Philip Marlowe along with a whole cast of seedy characters, many of which are the female category we know as Femme Fatale. All that reminded me of this spring's collections; because, believe me, we are going to see a lot of femmes fatales around very soon. Why? Simply because Mr. Galliano wants it so, and he has expressed it quite clearly with his Dior collection:

Could Karlie Kloss, the model in this summer's Dior adverts, look any more like Lauren Bacall? I think this is a good enough argument for all of us to start working on the trends and attitudes that will make of us the perfect film noir stars...
Now, what is a femme fatale? The woman in noir genre that always means trouble. She chainsmokes and drinks like a sponge and has quite liberal views on love (meaning she will go as far as to marry the first sucker that buys her a drink- as you can see I've learned the noir vocabulary). What makes her extremely appealing, in my opinion, is the fact that (all thanks to Hollywood) she is somewhere between being a truly independent woman and a... well, a woman from the gutter. She is mysterious like a lady should be yet she has some typically masculine gestures (check out her ability to throw and catch matchboxes). She is intriguingly elegant but on the verge of vulgarity. And she indeed shows that in the way she dresses as well. And guess what? The main pieces on a femme fatale's wardrobe are all over the place this spring.

Stefano has understood very well the trends of this season and has included some very cute shorts in his Yves Saint Laurent collection. Shorts are definitely the hottest trend right now, and YSL ones are the best because their cut is typically 40's: high-waisted and slightly "evasé". To wear them like a true femme fatale, get inspired by the divine Rita Hayworth in Tha Lady from Shanghai: she goes for the sailor look, pairing them with bikini tops, dark caps, sailor jackets and chunky golden jewellery.

In The Big Sleep they are interpreted in a very chic way too, made out of light fabrics and worn in a sporty way with espadrilles and a fine knit. Just, however tempting it might seem, don't go around like Carmen Sternwood being all druggy and trying to sit on Humphrey Bogart's lap. That's bound to end you up in that dreaded but nonetheless fascinating commonplace in all noirs: the gutter.

One of the most representative trends spotted in Femmes fatales is showing the belly. Sonia Rykiel has reinterpreted it in the loveliest way, all silk and flower prints:
Of course there are some ways to turn this trend into an almost ladylike one. It can be very interesting yet sexy anyway. Barbara Stanwyck opts for an embroidered look, perfect for a night out.

Rita, here in Gilda, prefers prints, a chunky necklace again and long sleeves. Teamed with a long skirt and metallic sandals, this look is irresistible.

Film noir's sole female director Ida Lupino (a fascinating woman) goes for flowers as well, even wearing one in her hair.

There are, obviously, some no-no's in this trend: for one, the cropped top must never be knitted. Then you would just look like a kind of grungy hobo. Skirts and trousers worn with it should never, ever be too short. And for chrissake never do like this dame below and show your garter; that will get you to the gutter sooner than you think.

True femmes fatales live a lot by night. After all, that's when they can gamble in illegal joints, seduce gangsters of different kinds, steal money and get away... And any other femme fatale activity. For that, they absolutely need to wear stunning dresses: there's always an excess of shiny satin, of legs shown through strategically-placed cuts andof body-con shapes. Again, Mister Galliano has interpreted the trend flawlessly.

So have Domenico Dolce & Stefano Gabbana, creating the perfect skirt for (Mediterranean) femmes fatales.

At night, you can wear your dress like Gilda, being outrageouly sexy all wrapped up in black satin. Never forget to accessorize with long gloves. Also, rehearse on how to take them off as sexily as she does. It's worth the sweat.

A lovely 19 year-old Lauren Bacall chooses black satin as well as showing her tummy. How trendy is she? I highly recommend this style: shortly after wearing it she married Mr. Bogart.

Gene Tierney prefers golden lamé and white chiffon, with a bit of jewellery Hollywoodian excess: if you are a Femme Fatale, diamonds and gold are always OK!

No-no's? You can go for excess and slightly play with bad taste, it's fun and the result will probably be more interesting than plain ladylike, but never make it to obvious! Don't go for in-your-face sexyness, like Dolce & Gabbana have done here: it will make you look more like Irma La Douce than Gilda and the only men you'll be able to seduce will be second-line crooks. Sure passport for the gutter.

Also, attitude-wise, please never stand next to a city light in Joan Bennett's fashion at night, least of all if wearing black satin: the best thing that can happen to you if you do is to get mistaken for a "dame". And we all know what that means in the end... The gutter.

You'll have exactly the same problem if you sit all night long in a bar wearing a lingerie-like dress and downing straight bourbon. I really like Gloria Grahame, I think she was a genius actress, but the whole point of her character is showing to the audience what the fastest way to get to the gutter is.

Something else you must never do? Don't hold your cigarette in your mouth like this other dame. That's strictly for macho men. And please don't show your garter! This lady is clearly gonna end up in jail.

Last but not least: if you are an aspiring femme fatale, lingerie will be as important for you as any other piece of clothing (after all, femmes fatales are constantly showing glimpses of it, aren't they?). Galliano has showed all of us that even more than a glimpse of lingerie is OK, and he has done it in the most clever, fun, cute way.

Here, you can allow yourself some excesses too. Here's Joan Bennett again, wearing a very "de trop" chantilly lace night gown. I somehow like it though.

Showing your bra through a shirt, always with a high-waisted skirt or trouser and accessorized with the right jewellery can not only be sexy, it can make you powerful as well! (Here's Gloria Grahame cleverly wearing pearls with her bra... which is the perfect bourgeois touch that, for once, won't get her to the much-dreaded gutter.)

One thing you should never wear? Ostrich feather-ribbed night dresses. I've always thought ostrich feathers and boas worn in lingerie have an incredibly cheap effect. The dame in the picture below might be enjoying a very nice Lolita-like moment with Edward G. Robinson (who accessorily payed for her horrid night gown), but if my memory doesn't fail me at the end of this film she gets killed in a horrible way. Even worst than ending up in the gutter.