saint laurent films

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we all knew hedi slimane would rattle the couture-coiffed cage of the yves saint laurent-cum-saint laurent house.

he raised eyebrows, though didn’t disappoint, with his last collection, so it comes as no surprise his debut film for the house marries whimsy with some serious fashion angst.Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 4.52.40 PM

model lida fox lithely moves about a barren warehouse clad in full (well kind of) leather and hedi’s new ballet flats, while an eerily melodic tune adds a graceful underlying narrative.

a very different YSL than we used to know, but with a video like this, it makes it easy to fall in love all over again.

watch it here.

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the dreslyn

Screen Shot 2013-08-25 at 6.20.11 PMcoming from new york and still considering myself very much a new yorker (once a new yorker, always a new yorker, right? don’t answer that.) i adore delivery.

groceries, wine, chinese food, insomnia cookies…and designer duds.

yes, you read correctly – designer clothes that are delivered right to your door. (i mean…let’s talk about dream world.)

what once was reserved for the stylishly elite of manhattan, has finally made its way to la la land in the form of the dreslyn.

brainchild of fashion world veteran brooke taylor-corcia, the dreslyn is a west coast dream featuring a bevy of enviable brands, killer editorial and lust-worthy home goods (why, yes i would like a set of brandished tea lights thank you). i like to think of it as net-a-porter’s younger, spunkier little sister.

and did i mention they do delivery?

i mean, if that doesn’t have you then i just don’t know what will…

go. shop. do delivery.

twenty-seven

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to quote britney spears, “not a girl, not yet a woman.”

never did i think i would use britney spears’ timely lyrics to quote my current state of mind AGAIN (because let’s face it, at 16 she pegged my quasi-sexual teenage angst down to tee), but here she is poignantly coloring my emotion again…

to those that are younger, 27 seems old, mature, ripe with adulthood things like clean apartments, fiancees and a general together-ness. to those older, i am still young, naive in many ways and have oh-so-much to learn.

to me? 27 = freaking the fuck out.

putting the tragically glamorous 27 club aside, googling 27 is a digital, ego-deflating assault on what to expect in the coming year. the year, it apparently all changes.

you can read dollops such as “notice your life turning upside down (around age 27)” which refers to this delicate stage as the mystical saturn return (aka my orbital transition between youth and adulthood – duh).  or “old age begins at 27” which brightly shares that scientists have discovered that 27 is when your mental faculties really start to take a dip. yippee. depends here i come.

and if that wasn’t cheery enough, yet another article “is 27 the best age ever?” highlights the many triumphs others have achieved by this epochal age…hemingway, he wrote the sun also rises, ingrid bergman – well she was starring in casablanca, ben and jerry – yup – ice cream king pins at the age of 27.

and me.

completely, totally, entirely assured and completely, totally, entirely terrified. me. every saturday night planning on having “A NIGHT” and every saturday night, being home by 12am, undoubtedly deciding wine and my couch is far more appealing. my ears burn when i smoke pot. i am engaged (and supposed to be someone’s real-live wife). i am terrified of riding bikes. i hate my job. i love my job. i get overly emotionally during animated films.

and today i am 27. not a girl, not yet a woman.

and in this moment it hits me. 27 is a pregnant pause in one’s twenties – a year filled with expectation and transformation. the last year to be obscene, the last year when you can get away with it. all of it. it is the moment before the moment you really become an adult.

and with that i will go into 27 with wild ambition. a free heart and an open mind (forgive the hippie poetic crap, it IS my birthday).

away we go.

cycling is not good for my soul

Screen Shot 2013-05-21 at 1.29.03 PMi am a rare breed.

i am a los angeles born and raised denizen that HATES working out.

yup, I said it. i HATE it.

the formidable wheezing, the crimson shade of red that inevitably washes over my face, the rah-rah-rahness of instructors, the chants of supposed enthusiasm that ends up just sounding utterly absurd (“come on! i need you right now!” – really? do you need me?).

all of it. nope. no thank you.

it is one of the reasons i loved living in new york so much. no one is (or was) nearly as workout obsessed as they are in l.a. they understood that spinning furiously on a bike for two hours while contemplating if you are going to pass out is not an ideal friday night birthday party.

they were my people….or so i thought.

going back to nyc this past month i was rudely surprised. my beloved anti-gym, people-who-work-out-are-trying-too-hard city had succumbed to spin madness and barre mania.

what’s worse is that it was not just the city, but my best friends. hung over saturdays and bottomless brunches had turned into 9am yoga-spin-pilates class with instructors named arrow and pepper. (neat.)

and their current workout du jour? flywheel.

an overly-energetic spin class that makes you heave in a corner, while also pitting you against fellow riders by putting your stats up on a GIANT board for everyone to see. (double neat.)

so imagine my delight and surprise when my nyc friend came to visit l.a. and told me she signed us up for flywheel’s newest west hollywood studio.

racing anywhere after work is a pain, but racing to a class where you know you are going to suffer and inevitably look like a radish…well that holds a certain irony not to be dismissed.

macklemore and ryan lewis kicked off the class (points for them). the instructor wasn’t totally terribly (even though her arms were bigger than my thighs).  it took me a minute when our light pedal turned into a full tilt speed assault, but after i fell off the bike for the second time i really began to get the swing of things.

as the class continued and the music was pumping, i got wrapped up in pedaling to the track. i even forgot to care that my pathetic attempt at an “uphill climb” was broadcast for the entire class to see or that dropping  your weights mid-class can be viewed as mildly embarrassing.

before the hour was over, i would even venture to say i enjoyed myself (gasp!!).

while i didn’t buy a package, i did seriously contemplate the thought of coming back. and well that pretty much makes me the next jillian michaels in my book.

now if only the red puffiness didn’t come with spinning. then i would REALLY be sold.

flywheel, 8599 santa monica blvd, west Hollywood, ca 90069

 

oh, slim darling

on this cold, blustery morning, i find it absolutely ridiculous to work and entirely acceptable to dive into a slim aarons photograph. his work is truly brilliant, imaginative and oozes luxury from every shadow and flash of light.

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his life work spans from decorated war photographer (purple heart anyone?) to “photographing attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places.” like, let’s just talk about life dream.

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he effortlessly captured the 60s in all its hedonist glory (i suppose it’s not hard when you solely work with attractive people, hedonism and beauty go together like bread and butter…hence why i belong). he made hollywood, seem like hollywood.  palatial pools, never-ending beaches, doe-eyed woman clad in chic bikinis and silk robes. it’s a luxury wanton’s fantasy. and i want a part in all of it.

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even if that means settling for his coffee table book or a print hanging on my bedroom wall.

oh, slim darling…take me away.

fashion as fine art

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annie leibovitz’s “alice in wonderland” – vogue, 2003

art versus fashion. fashion versus art. a question of the ages. an argument as old as david and goliath.

ok, well not quite, but as art and fashion become increasingly more democratic, the two titans of aesthetic industry seem to be crossing paths more than ever.

while schaparelli might have started the conversation and designers such as hussein chalayan have kept it going, it is not until the past decade – with exhibits such as mcqueen at the met and a louis vuitton/marc jacobs retrospective at les arts decoratifs in paris – that art has truly given fashion a much-deserved spotlight. thus angling the designer’s cultural perception far more toward artiste than garmento.

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irving penn’s “harlequin dress” 1950

however now, a whole new medium comes to light. not from stitches and revolutionary draping, but in the form of the fashion photograph.

case and point? a lecture at this weekend’s annual photo la exhibit in santa monica, lead by vogue’s director of photography, ivan shaw. while 40 galleries from around the country showcased snapshots of time, emotion and experience, a panel of the industry’s foremost imageologists (this may or may not be a made up word) waxed poetic about the changes in fashion photography and the commodification of the editorial image.

according to the panel it is not so much that the fashion photograph of yesteryear didn’t meet the standards – just look at any shot from herb ritts, irving penn or lillian bassman – but rather, it seems as if one day the common man (and by common man i mean the overly wealthy, i-dont-know-where-to-spend-my-money collector) woke up, opened his wife’s vogue (most likely annie leibovitz’s alice in wonderland story – because if you are unmoved by that, you probably don’t have a soul) and decided “hey, this looks neat, i will call it art and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on it.”

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steven meisel’s “a walk in paris”

why this notion took so many years for the collecting community to catch on to and the art world to support is beyond me. annie leibovitz, the proverbial moses of the group, has inconspicuously and quite possibly subconsciously, been shepherding this movement since her days of whoopie in a white tub. she might not have said it out loud, but you knew – this is a statement, this is art.

however, the panel gave a more likely and less romanticized reason as to this newfound art-world acceptance – the fashion photographers of today, are not just one-dimensional camera clickers, but aesthetic wunderkinds with a list of never-ending talents – lagerfled, tom ford, hedi slimane, poster boy geniuses of the slasher (i.e. designer/photographer/direct/writer) generation.

that being said, the rise is still a slow one, and while herb ritts and avedon are finally getting their day at getty, the collecting community has only just began to dip their big toes in the editorial pond. just think for the price of $83,000 you can get your own steven meisel’s “a walk in paris” to hang in the foyer. from what i hear that’s a real steal in the art world…

i want to be a chow

arss-michael-chow-empire-02-hi need to be a chow.

they have single-handedly mastered the art of inconspicuous conspicuous consumption.

since the birth of mr.chow’s in the swanky london district of knightsbridge in 1968, michael chow and his growing clan have seamlessly permeated every aspect of popular culture, collecting restaurants, art and films as one would a set of stamps.

papa chow – the industrious ring leader, rich playground purveyor, preeminent art collector, and interior designer savant.

mama chow – aka eva chun – illustrious counterpart, tiger-mom, cfda designer, and muse to some of the best regarded artists in contemporary culture. she is a well-styled, more ebullient version of morticia adams, nimbly floating from industry to industry brokering some of the biggest cultural introductions of the 21st century.

the kids – a formidable trio of well-coifed elegance. clones of their designer-clad parents with agendas and cultural ambitions as thick as an encyclopedia britannica.  (you’re beginning to see why i belong, yes?)

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the chows have managed to carve out a unique space between notoriety and anonymity – surreptitiously adding their midas touch to many a gala, store, restaurant, and foundation without the added paparazzi flashbulbs.

they walk the streets (and by streets i mean rodeo drive) with us, yet don’t be fooled. their matching emerald gucci suits bely the truth – last night they had dinner with jeffery dietch, a night cap with sean penn and the youngest chow played a cello concerto for andre balzas and hockney. (p.s. totally what my tuesday night looks like too.)

they are luxury personified. elegance in caricature form. and i would fit in divinely.

i recognize i may be a bit late on the whole adoption thing, and marrying for culture/money unfortunately still has a negative tinge in society (sigh), so this is my public plea to the chows – take me in. 

i am fully-house trained, occasionally witty, make a mean pork chop, and play the trombone. granted it is not quite as elegant as the cello, but we all must do with what we’ve got.

look forward to your call.

sincerely,

tj

true grit: fritzi dog

photo (4)can i interest you in a porker? really, they are quite delicious.

that’s one of the greetings you may receive at neal fraser’s newest noshery – fritzi dog. nestled in the congested heart of the 3rd street farmer’s market, fritzi dog stands 8ft wide, and packs some serious heat…and im not just talking about their custom “spicy sauce”.

photo (2)while you may want to start with a porker (juicy pork with french spices) you might also be interested in his more original options such as the bird dog (turkey and duck dog), a veggie dog (you get it), a deli dog (kosher beef with mustard), a stadium classic, or their namesake entree – a fritzi dog, which combines beef and pork marinated in spicy merguez and chilean merken (whatever that is).

up your hot dog ante even further by adding one of their savory sides: bacon aioli, beef chili (just in case you want to garnish your beef with some more beef), jalapeno relish and sriracha ketchup (spicy sauce). don’t forget to add a some homemade tater tots (with their own set of sides) as well as pick from one of four delectable bun options (one can never have too many buns ya know).

photo (3)lastly, because neal knows americans like to keep it classy, even while eating hot dogs, he offers “tasting dogs” – all that rich flavor packed into 4 little inches of heaven. sharing encouraged (but may be difficult).

and so because nothing is truly more american than eating ground meat encased in circular tubing, i encourage you to go try fritzi dog. it’s delicious and down-right patriotic.

6333 west 3rd street  los angeles, ca 90036

watching grown ups

this year marks the first thanksgiving i will NOT be spending at home.

not because i am finally doing the relationship thing and spending it at my boyfriend’s family, or because i can’t stand my relatives, or because i am in some exotic locale, i am not spending it there because i no longer have a “home.” (mom, please stop crying.)

this past fall my parents made the big step of moving out of the childhood home into a big city apartment. so long five bedrooms and suburbia, hello condo and neighbors you share a wall with.

post diaper changes, post back-to-school nights, post meeting the rocker boyfriend for the first time…post kids, they embark on a new journey. set free for the first time in over 18 years.

watching them go through this transition, is like being a proud parent, watching them grow up…kind of the reverse of what they watched me go through.

the first steps of getting their own place, curiously opening drawers and questioning the size and space of their new apartment three times as small as what they are used to; the temper tantrums of realization that no closet will ever be as big as the one they had in their suburban palace; the sheer excitement of discovering a  world where life is not confined to the gossip of gated communities and PTA meetings. the teenage giddiness they share when they realize that restaurants are open past 9pm…on a weeknight. the brewing anticipation of a new friendship with the neighbor down the hall who also loves all things formula 1.

i sit on the sidelines, rooting them on, in charge of bringing bite-sized words of encouragement. listening through angst-filled moments – the underground whole foods parking lot is really not that bad and yes, parking enforcement is really a bitch…and enforced.

it’s funny, endearing and awesome to see your parents not just as your parents, but as people, equally beguiled by the world around them and the circumstances they meet.

as i vicariously share in this new life with them, i look forward to hearing about more discoveries, such as being able to WALK to starbucks, hearing their neighbors have sex for the 4th time that night and actually learning about the city’s hottest new restaurant…before it has time to close.

i only hope they don’t forget wrapped christmas presents are always appreciated and i still need a place to do my laundry.

happy thanksgiving.

true grit: the hart and the hunter

welcome the hart and the hunter. no, it’s not a revival play of aesop’s fable (because i am SURE that’s what you were thinking), but rather the clever moniker of brian dunsmoor and kris tominaga’s first permanent eatery.

gaining true acclaim with their venice pop-up sensation wolf in sheep’s clothing (clearly these guys have a real knack for titles), the two decided to take the show off the road and hang up their aprons within the swanky hipsterness of the palihotel.

with a clear southern flair, the space is bright, very turquoise, very tiled, and boasts a 1950’s-style countertop perfect for a slice of pie and some fresh brewed handsome coffee. the equally southern hipster staff mills about in casual conversation, which intended or not, only adds to the space’s incredibly “down-home” aesthetic.

that cozy sensation is equally matched in the food. especially the biscuits.

mmmm, the biscuits.

melted butter, pastry dough and pure magic (yup, magic) come together in fluffy, this-is-my-one-island-food-of-choice awesomeness. while the accompaniments are nice (persimmon jam, honey butter, etc.), the biscuit alone has you at hello (and by hello, i mean scent…that i would like to bottle). the fact that there were only 4 to a serving was perhaps the biggest issue… so we had to order another helping…and then another. gluttony is clearly lost on us.

reading the menu, one quickly comes to imagine the dishes are inspired by a taste-fueled civil war. true southern fare is deliciously muddled with experimental yankee panache – fried green tomatoes with chow chow, collared green marmalade, and fried chicken livers with apple/onion jam and hazelnut.  ya know, just like what the soldiers munched on in 1862.

with our forked bayonets at the ready, my party and i attacked the menu with valor and determination: venison carpaccio with horseradish crème fraiche, chopped steak with bone marrow, melted raclette with butterball potatoes and cornichon, hanger steak with snail and herb butter, cheddar and chive grits, and roasted brussel sprouts to seal the deal. dessert was slightly more humble (for us) in the form of chocolate and peanut crunch cake, apple dumpling with hooks cheddar and a polenta pound cake of sorts.

the fact that we were able to walk out without waddling came as a surprise to not only us, but the watchful staff.

delicious, scrumptious and truly comforting, the hart and the hunter was a perfect treat, and the best news of all? their weekend brunch is coming soon.

(photos by palihotel)