MEANDERINGS THROUGH MIAMI March 26 2018
Miami is warm in February. An eternal summer has pervaded its residents, who embody a relaxed friendliness that only dwellers of the tropics can seem to uphold. Cab drivers converse, baristas crack jokes, strangers make friends in clubs.
Jovial happy hour pedlars line the hotel bars of Ocean Drive. Tourists repose amongst them, nursing giant pina coladas adorned with miniature parasols. An upwards-cast gaze will find itself entranced by the geometric Art Deco facades, awash with hues reminiscent of the sinfully sweet treats synonymous with seaside walks; ice-creams, sticks of rock and cotton candy.
As day makes way for dusk, the pastel effulgence quietens, allowing a resplendent army of neon signs to come to life. Crescent, Netherland, The Tides, Fairwind, Colony, Majestic. Hotel names, that when spoken aloud invoke a longing for a past that doesn’t belong to us. A parade of nostalgia, penetrative in its illumination.
The streets of Wynwood are lined with uniform low-rise buildings of box-like form. Their simplicity acts as a canvas for artists to paint their surfaces with colourful stories, so vibrant they compete with the blinding blue of the skies. One could get lost in these walls and their stories...
THE DEUCE: GET TO KNOW November 26 2017
Indulge in our current televisual crush, the Deuce, and find yourself transported to a darkly compelling 70s Times Square, barely recognisable from the soulless tourist trap it has become.
The show documents the evolution of the porn industry through a spectrum of well-rounded characters. There are dodgy cops, ruthless pimps, thrill-seeking students and troubled sex workers, each with their own set of charms, flaws and struggles. Performances are pristinely soulful, but it’s the aesthetics, the settings, that truly conjure the gritty realism of the situation.
We are repeatedly invited by the lens to sojourn in the diner, where our community gather to refuel, gossip and hash out questionable deals, to a continuous soundtrack of sizzling bacon, which one can almost smell. Later, we take our seat as voyeuristic regulars at Hi Hat, an after-hours that welcomes outsiders to carouse through ‘til dawn. Plumes of smoke dance hypnotically in the low light, as leotard-clad girls swan around delivering hard drinks to mob bosses. These visceral backdrops act as a cover to the storybook.
And then there are the looks. The pimps stop a millimetre short of becoming caracatures of themselves, with theatrical canes and epilepsy-inducing shirts, toned down to a palatable level by impeccable tailoring. Gold-rimmed sunglasses top it off. Maggie Gyllenhaal’s ambitious street worker, Candy, all chaotic blonde curls and husky-voiced come-ons, is an advertisement for going braless in a halter top. Her off-duty look is equally sexy; think high waisted denim teamed with slinky satin, and sunglasses, of epic proportions.
And if the 70s ain’t your thing there are two James Franco’s on which your eyes can feast (the dreamboat plays identical twins).
I'M CLOCKIN' YA, VERSACE SHADES WATCHIN' YA... October 19 2017
...Raps the late great Biggie Smalls on One More Chance, a verbal time capsule transporting us back to the original age of logomania, where the gaudy, gold and outlandish reigned supreme.
For the most celebrated show of SS18, Donatella Versace revived iconic 90s era archive collections, in a jaw-dropping homage to her late brother Gianni on the 20th anniversary of his tragic death. Standout looks included head-to-toe theatrical house prints revised into updated silhouettes. Swoon-inducing reinterpretations of Warhol, Animalia and our champion, Baroque, all featured. A side of feminine body-con with signature slits and slashes, along with dashes of opulent gold completed a recipe for perfection.
A crowd-pleasing finale unleashed Gianni’s original supermodels, draped in goddess-worthy metallic creations, led by Donatella herself.
Minds were blown.
The show, and its accompanying rapturous reaction, served as a reminder of not only Versace’s game-changing influence upon fashion and pop culture, but also its enduring relevance. Considered controversial during the 90s, for his divisive designs (many found the brand-brandishing and flesh-flashing a step too vulgar), it’s interesting how fresh and appealing the Versace aesthetic is two decades on.
“I don’t believe in good taste,” Gianni once provocatively proclaimed. If by ‘good taste’ he meant the sartorial safety net of normcore neutrals - the antithesis of his vision - then nor do we...
EYEWEAR CRUSH: GUCCI SS18 September 28 2017
Designer du jour, Alessandro Michele triggered an uneasy stir amongst his adoring audience at the Gucci SS18 show. His disparate collection was unveiled amidst distracting disco lights and dramatic club sounds, which worked to obscure the audience's perception of the nonchalantly styled 107 looks.
The show was more about the conjuring of a vibe, less about conforming to industry expectations, with reviewers struggling to describe the chimerical mishmash that flashed before them. That is, an anti-thematic exhibition of a mood, where the gloriously flamboyant (prints, sequins, shoulder pads, chinoiserie, logos galore and gaudy jewels) were wittily juxtaposed with 80s mom forgettables (kitsch knits, beige macs, prim skirt suits, and the mother of all faux pas’, The Shell Suit), all with a vague late 70s / early 80s undercurrent.
This difficult-to-define aesthetic extended to eyewear, which heavily featured. With a rebellious middle finger to wearability, there were joke shop proportion Lolita heart sunglasses and bladerunneresque bejewelled flat-tops. There were also 'naff chic' 70s cab driver aviators with vintage-hued lenses, and, our unexpected favourites - discoloured translucent glasses frames in clumsily large silhouettes.
(Images courtesy of Vogue & WMag).
THE CIRCLE: AN ANCIENT SYMBOL OF INFINITY AND COMPLETENESS September 18 2017
Architectural genius Antti Lovag built the iconic Palais Bulles based on his mantra that the straight line is an "aggression against nature".
The first glasses frames to be produced in the late 1800s encased flawlessly round lenses; a practical shape with a simple production process.
The perfection and character in their aesthetic has kept them in style throughout the decades following their modest beginnings. Vintage versions from the 40s, 60s and 90s are notably bewitching.