At the Tailor Shop

D&G Autumn-Winter 2010 Ad Campaign

Photos: Steve Klein

Models: Evandro Soldati, Sam Webb, Adam Senn, Arthur Kulkov and Noah Mills

 

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A Bespoke Suit for Steve McQueen

Steve McQueen in his bedroom, 1962

 
 

McQueen in Battaglia men’s store on Fifth Avenue, New York City

 
 

Fitting a bespoke suit for Love With the Proper Stranger (Robert Mulligan, 1963)

 
 

Taking a break and joking in a suite at the Sherry-Netherland Hotel, New York. “During the evening, while we were enjoying the comforts of the hotel, Steve told me that a few years before, he lived about six blocks from it, in an apartment with no hot water that he shared with other three guys,” said Claxton.

 
 
Steve McQueen: Photographs
William Claxton
Taschen

 
 

John Dominis’ snapshot for an unpublished LIFE Magazine archive. Dominis camera followed McQueen over the span of several days as he he was buying clothes in preparation for a movie premier. circa, 1962

Another Turn of the Screw

Or how a script was screwed

 

Paramount Pictures executives commissioned Truman Capote to pen the screenplay for the third filmed version of Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s masterpiece, The Great Gatsby. They offered to pay him $135 for the script.
 
By its structure, like an extensive flashback, by its brevity and, above all, by its elegiac tone, The Great Gatsby has a lot in common with The Grass Harp and Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Basically, Truman was delighted by the commission. “Fitzgerald has a charm”, he said. “It may be a silly word, but I think that is maybe the word that fits. I like The Great Gatsby a lot and that nostalgia, it’s both sad and joyful.” Capturing and portraying Gatsby’s ephemeral features into a screenplay turned out to be a task much harder than what Capote ever thought. It was a nightmare for him.
 
Jack Clayton, the British director who specialized in bringing literary works to the big screen, had previously worked with Capote on The Innocents (1961), a movie based on Henry James’ The Turn of the Screw. By a suggestion of the author of In Cold Blood, Clayton was hired to direct The Great Gatsby.
 
Capote finished the draft in January 1972, and on the whole he felt satisfied with what he had constructed. However, Paramount rejected the script, considering it “unacceptable” and for being too similar to the literary version. A young, UCLA screenwriter named Francis Ford Coppola came in and did a basic transfer of the novel to screenplay form. It was a solid script but perhaps too respectful. On his commentary track for the DVD release of The Godfather, Coppola makes reference to writing the Gatsby script at the time, though he comments: “Not that the director paid any attention to it. The script that I wrote did not get made.”

 
 

Truman Capote portrayed by Irving Penn, 1965

The Flapper And The Philosopher

Flappers and Philosophers was the first collection of short stories written by F. Scott Fitzgerald, published in 1920. It includes eight stories. Illustration by W. E. Hill.

 
 

W. E. (William Ely) Hill (1887-1962) was an enormously popular illustrator during the first half of the twentieth century. He drew for Life and Puck and had his own weekly page of illustrations, titled Among Us Mortals, in the Sunday New York Tribune. He also drew the dust jacket art for the first editions of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s This Side of Paradise (1920)

 
 

Norman Rockwell’s illustration for the Saturday Evening Post containing Bernice Bobs Her Hair. The issue from May, 1920 marked the first time Fitzgerald’s name appeared on the cover.

 
 

As a gesture of gratefulness, in the First Chapter of The Great Gatsby, Fitzgerald mentioned the weekly magazine founded by Benjamin Franklin:

“Tom and Miss Baker sat at either end of the long couch and she read aloud to him from the Saturday Evening Post. — the words, murmurous and uninflected, running together in a soothing tune. The lamp-light, bright on his boots and dull on the autumn-leaf yellow of her hair, glinted along the paper as she turned a page with a flutter of slender muscles in her arms.

When we came in she held us silent for a moment with a lifted hand.

“To be continued,” she said, tossing the magazine on the table, “in our very next issue.”

 
 

The short story Bernice Bobs Her Hair was based on letters Fitzgerald sent to his younger sister, Annabel, advising her on how to be more attractive to young men. The original text was much longer, but Fitzgerald cut nearly 3000 words and changed the ending to make the story more attractive to publishers. The name of the protagonist echoes that of Berenice, whose sacrifice of her golden tresses resulted in the victory of her husband in war, and the honor given to her by the gods. Her tresses were placed into the heavens as the Constellation Coma Berenices.

 
 

Queen Berenice II of Egypt

 
 

During her husband’s absence on an expedition to Syria, she dedicated her hair to Aphrodite for his safe return, and placed it in the temple of the goddess at Zephyrium. The hair having by some unknown means disappeared, Conon of Samos explained the phenomenon in courtly phrase, by saying that it had been carried to the heavens and placed among the stars. This story is parodied in Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock.

An Early Version of The Great Gatsby

Francis Scott Fitzgerald’s letter to his editor, Max Perkins when he set out to write The Great Gatsby. Fitzgerald was ambivalent about the title, making it hard for him to choose. He entertained many choices e.g. Trimalchio in West Egg, before settling on the definitive one. Trimalchio is a character in Satyricon by Gaius Petronius. In the AD Roman work of fiction Trimalchio is a very rich freedman who displays his wealth

 
 

Transcript
July, 1922.

Dear Mr. Perkins:

Glad you liked the addenda to the Table of Contents. I feel quite confident the book will go. How do you think The Love Legend will sell? You’ll be glad to know that nothing has come of the movie idea & I’m rather glad myself. At present working on my play — the same one. Trying to arrange for an Oct. production in New York. Bunny Wilson (Edmund Wilson Jr.) says that it’s without doubt the best American comedy to date (that’s just between you and me.)

Did you see that in that Literary Digest contest I stood 6th among the novelists? Not that it matters. I suspect you of having been one of the voters.

Will you see that the semi-yearly account is mailed to me by the 1st of the month — or before if it is ready? I want to see where I stand. I want to write something new — something extraordinary and beautiful and simple & intricately patterned.

As Usual

(Signed, ‘F Scott Fitzgerald’)

 
 

Cover of the first edition, 1925 illustrated by Francis Cugat. Ernest Hemingway confessed to Fitzgerald he did loathe that book jacket

 
 

Handwritten manuscript of Chapter 1

 

 
 

“Gatsby believed in the green light, the orgasmic future that year by year recedes before us. It eluded us then, but that’s no matter–tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther…and one fine morning–so we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past”?
(Chapter 9)

The Many Faces of Pascal Vilcollet

Born in Paris, 1979, Pascal Vilcollet studied graphic design and taught himself to paint at age 16. “Fortunately, there was not much to do in my suburb. I discovered very early, museum galleries; it is there that I knew I would be painting later”.
 
He paints mostly for his own satisfaction. Portrait is his favorite motif, “it can be my obsession”. He doesn’t look for creating an effect; he said he paints to lighten a weight. He’s not interested in realism, pure figuration or hyper realism, rather than the border between reality and abstraction.
 
Vilcollet claims to have very eclectic tastes. He appreciates enormously Pierre Soulage and respects the artists that, in his opinion, represented their era: Caravaggio, Diego Velázquez, Pablo Picasso, Francis Bacon, Mark Rothko or contemporaries like Lucien Freud, Murakami, Justin Mortimer or Jenny Saville.
 
He spoke about his icons, mostly characters he feels fascination for because he either admires them. Taking advantage of real graphic representations, he fragments them and then reconstructs them, giving us a new insight into a psychological portrait. Pascal Vilcollet’s brush is the dynamic extension of his body while he is in action.

 
 

Pablo Picasso

 
 

Andy Warhol

 
 

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Jean-Michel Basquiat

 
 

Takashi Murakami

 
 

Yves Saint Laurent

 
 

Karl Lagerfeld

 
 

John Lennon

 
 

Mick Jagger

 
 

Bruce Lee

 
 

Al Pacino (as Michael Corleone)

 
 

Woody Allen

 
 

David Lynch

 
 

Steve McQueen

 
 

Grace Kelly

 
 

Elizabeth Taylor

 
 

Jane Birkin

 
 

Nicole Kidman

 
 

Natalie Portman

 
 

Kate Moss

 
 

Angelina Jolie

 
 

Monica Bellucci

Life Becomes Them

In her formative years, Monica Bellucci’s most intimate desire was to follow in the footsteps of Gina Lollobrigida, Silvana Mangano, Anna Magnani and Sophia Loren, four Italian muses that, (as she finally also achieved) became magnificent actresses in their country and abroad. Monica began her modeling career at Elite+ Models Agency working with several important brands like Revlon.

 
 

The Most Unforgettable Women in the World Wear Revlon, Ad Campaign phots by Richard Avedon, 1989

 
 

Legendary filmmaker Dino Risi (who directed movies starring by Monica Vitti, Sophia Loren and Ornella Mutti) offered her a leading role in 1990’s Vita coi Figli. Francis Ford Coppola, after watching photos of her in a portfolio offered her a small but arresting cameo in Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992). Bellucci played one of Dracula’s brides who, in one particularly erotic scene, practically devoured Jonathan Harker, the fictional character performed by Keanu Reeves.

 
 

Producer Franco Rossellini, Isabella’s cousin, also appears in the Ad Campaign

 
 

By that time, Steven Meisel made this Dolce Gabbana’s Spring Summer Collection 1992 Ad Campaign inspired by La Dolce Vita (Federico Fellini, 1960), depicting playful mischief and self-indulgence behaviors along glittery outfits. The collection higlighted the trends of that season: short dresses, embroidered accents, bustiers with lifelike flowers, along with D&G’s stylistic signatures over the years, lingerie, lace and so on.

 
 

Goldie Hawn wearing a costume for the frisky photo shoot by Annie Leibovitz. Vanity Fair, March 1992.

 
 

Isabella Rossellini began her career as a model at 28, photographed by Bruce Weber for British Vogue. From 1982 to 1996, she became the exclusive face of Lancôme. Around October 1992, Rossellini made appearances in two of Madonna’s projects: her outrageous book Sex and the Erotica music video.

 
 

British Vogue cover by Bruce Weber, circa 1982

 
 

Lancôme Ads

 
 

That same year, in Death Becomes Her (Robert Zemeckis, 1992) she played Lisle, a mysterious, wealthy socialite who seems to be in her thirties. However, Lisle discloses her true age as 71, and reveals to Madeline (Meryl Streep) the secret of her beauty: a potion that promises eternal life and an ever-lasting youthful appearance. It has been said that after her appearance in that film, Lancôme was considering not renewing their contract with Rossellini.

 
 

Death Becomes Her Theatrical movie poster

 
 

 
 

The comedic film, Cactus Flower (Gene Saks, 1969) marked the return of Ingrid Bergman (Isabella Rossellini’s mother) to the movies. This, her first role in a comedy, garnered critical praise. Goldie Hawn won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Anything but Boring

Thanks to The Perfumed Dandy for inciting my curiosity about this theme:
 

Zelda Sayre Fitzgerald, who was considered the female embodiment of the Jazz Age.

 
 

“The only horrible thing in the world is ennui, Dorian. That is the one sin for which there is no forgiveness”, advised Lord Henry Wotton, Oscar Wilde’s alter ego from The Portrait of Dorian Gray. “Intelligent people never get bored,” said a character from Ifigenia, the novel by the French-Venezuelan writer Teresa de la Parra. Diana Vreeland suggested “Never fear being vulgar, just boring.” For Sir Cecil Beaton boredom was the world’s second worst crime (the first is being a bore). On the other hand, Leo Tolstoy affirmed that boredom was the desire for desires. And everyone would agree the cure for boredom is curiosity. There is no cure for curiosity. But we all are constantly escaping from ennui and feelings like that.
 
Being Boring is a song composed by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe; the Pet Shop Boys. It is the opening track and second single from Behaviour (1990), an album influenced by Depeche Mode’s Violator, which was released the same year.
 
It’s been said that the title apparently materialized after someone in Japan accused the duo of being boring. The title is also derived from a Zelda Fitzgerald quotation, “she refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn’t boring”. The song is concerned with the idea of growing up and how people’s perceptions and values change as they grow older.
 
Due to various factors (for example, it being hard to sing), it wasn’t initially performed on 1991’s Performance Tour, leading many fans, Axl Rose among them, to complain about its omission. It is considered among the greatest, most beautiful Pet Shop Boys’ songs, despite the track’s moderate commercial success.
 
The Pet Shop Boys first asked photographer and film maker Bruce Weber if he would make a video with them when Domino Dancing was corning out. They met him in New York whilst recording demos with Liza Minnelli. At the time he was keen, but too busy; he was working on his second documentary film, Let’s Get Lost, (a Film about the late jazz trumpeter Chet Baker. His first film was about boxing, Broken Noses).
 
Weber hadn’t done a video before because of “time and circumstance, and I also fell that I really wanted to fall in love with a song. Because I knew I was going to have to listen to it about a million times (laughs). I got the tape and I loved it; I had an immediate reaction to it. I thought it had a lot of musicality and a lot to say, I loved the lyrics and really felt that it was something I wanted to be part of.” he said to Neil and Lowe.
 
The video is shot in black and white. In what is either a coincidence or conscious decision, two previous videos, 1989’s It’s Alright and 1990’s So Hard also lacked color. Apart from these, only 2000’s You Only Tell Me You Love Me When You’re Drunk and partially 1987’s Rent were also recorded in black and white.
 
The video was filmed entirely in one day at the beginning of October 1990 in a house of Long Island. Bruce Weber chose that particular setting, outside New York City, because of its association with Zelda and Francis Scott Fitzgerald. Bruce Weber explained his idea of a wonderful party. He wanted to keep away from the streets after looking at MTV a lot of video clips filmed on roads. He thought it was a corny trend.
 
Weber cast people he was friends with or knew the girlfriends or boyfriends of or had photographed before, including Neneh Cherry’s half-brother, musician Eagle Eye and Drena, Robert de Niro‘s daughter.
 
Weber incorporated a dog because “in certain French films of Renoir there was always a country animal brought as a pet. Like the Bertolucci film where Dominique Sandra comes into the house on a horse.”
 
Originally, the video begun with everyone on the stairs, eyes closed and Neil speaking the Zelda Fitzgerald quote to the camera. This concept turned out to be a bit too complicated so the video eventually began with a handwritten message (written by one of Bruce Weber’s friends) based on Neil’s instructions.
 
In a way, the video is a literal projection of the first video of the song. The video begins with with a nude swimmer and a message: “I came from Newcastle in the North of England. We used to have lots of parties where everyone got dressed up and on one party invitation was the quote ‘she was never bored because she was never boring’. The song is about growing up – the ideals that you have when you’re young and how they turn out”.

 
 

Beware the Wolf

“I love fairy tales because I think that behind fairy tales, there is always a meaning.”

Monica Bellucci

 
 

Italian actress and model Monica Bellucci posing as Little Red Riding Hood

 
 

Red Hot Riding Hood (Tex Avery, 1943). Animated cartoon short subject

 
 

“The magic of Tex Avery’s animation is the sheer extremity of it all. The classic Avery image is of someone’s mouth falling open down to their feet, wham, their eyes whooping out and their tongue unrolling for about half a mile: that is the most wonderfully liberating spectacle. Avery would just stretch the human body and face however he liked, and the result was unbelievably funny. There is no hesitation in his work, no sense that you can go too far. I think that nowadays they should put on Tex Avery festivals as an antidote to political correctness. There is also a childlike sense of immortality and indestructibility in his work; people get squashed, mashed, bashed, bent out of shape, whatever, and they bounce back. In essence, it is like the myth of eternal life.”

Terry Gilliam

The 10 best animated films of all time

The Guardian, Friday 27 April 2001

 
 

The Brothers Grimm (Terry Gilliam, 2005)

 
 

The Brotherhood of the Wolf/ Le Pacte des Loups (Christophe Gans, 2001)

 
 

French director Christophe Gans drew inspiration from manga, comics, and video games as well from filmmakers like Luchino Visconti or John Woo. “I know there is no link between them, but the truth is that the movie is very eclectic and I like to blend cinematographic genres”, he stated.

Fotogramas Magazine, issue number 1896
October 2001

 
 

Little Red Riding Hood Meets the Wolf in the Woods by Walter Crane

 
 

“The better to see you with”, woodcut by Walter Crane

 
 

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

 
 

Karen Elson, Red Cape and Gun. Photo by Tim Walker, 2008

 
 

Dakota Fanning

 
 

 Little Red Riding Hood. Lanvin ad illustrated by Remy Hetreaul, 1945

 
 

Woodcut by Gustave Doré

 
 

The origins of the Little Red Riding Hood story can be traced to versions from various European countries and more than likely preceding the 17th century, of which several exist, some significantly different from the currently known, Grimms-inspired version. It was told by French peasants in the 10th century. In Italy, the Little Red Riding Hood was told by peasants in 14th century, where a number of versions exist, including La finta nonna (The False Grandmother). It has also been called The Story of Grandmother. It is also possible that this early tale has roots in very similar Oriental tales (e.g. Grandaunt Tiger).

The theme of the ravening wolf and of the creature released unharmed from its belly is also reflected in the Russian tale Peter and the Wolf, and the other Brothers Grimm tale The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids, but its general theme of restoration is at least as old as the biblical passage Jonah and the Whale. The theme also appears in the story of the life of Saint Margaret, where the saint emerges unharmed from the belly of a dragon, and in the epic The Red Path by Jim C. Hines.

The earliest known printed version was known as Le Petit Chaperon Rouge and may have had its origins in 17th century French folklore. It was included in the collection Tales and Stories of the Past with Morals. Tales of Mother Goose (Histoires et contes du temps passé, avec des moralités. Contes de ma mère l’Oye), in 1697, by Charles Perrault. As the title implies, this version is both more sinister and more overtly moralized than the later ones. The redness of the hood, which has been given symbolic significance in many interpretations of the tale, was a detail introduced by Perrault.

The story as Rotkäppchen was included in the first edition of their collection Kinder- und Hausmärchen (Children’s and Household Tales (1812)). The earlier parts of the tale agree so closely with Perrault’s variant that it is almost certainly the source of the tale. However, they modified the ending; this version had the little girl and her grandmother saved by a huntsman who was after the wolf’s skin; this ending is identical to that in the tale The Wolf and the Seven Young Kids, which appears to be the source.

Bear Pond on a Gold Day

Bear Pond (Little, Brown and Company, 1990)

 
 

“Toward evening find a silent shuttered room.
Sit or lie; let your eyes slide shut.
Your heart slows; your mind will likely race –
A smear of pictures, leering sideshows, tunes,
Bodies you’ve tasted, geeks, your private crimes –
All ways to bribe you from the dare you take,
this risk of a trek toward home, a healing journey.
But coax your lidless inward eye to find
The place where you knew broad serenity…”

“. . . Around one man, the perfect Earth
Unfolds one final day —
The golden day I find and dream to keep. “

Gold Day
Reynolds Price

 
 

 
 

Bear Pond showcases 100 photographs taken by Bruce Weber. They were shot in upstate New York Adirondack Lakes region and the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. The wilderness landscape, the study of male body in a primal state of grace and Richard Price’s poetry take us back to Walt Whitman and Thomas Eakins ideal of life.

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing

“I got your picture hangin’ on the wall

It can’t see or come to me when I call your name

I realize it’s just a picture in a frame.

I read your letters when you’re not near

But they don’t move me

And they don’t groove me like when I hear

Your sweet voice whispering in my ear …”

Marvin Gaye

 
 

Stills and Making-off

 
 

Ain’t Nothin’ Like the Real Thing is a promotional short directed by Bruce Weber, featuring the YSL Autumn Winter Collection Homme 2010-2011 designed by Stefano Pilati. It was titled after Marvin Gaye’s song. Bunny Yeager, the American pin-up who after leaving modeling found a career as a photographer was an influence on Weber’s concept. “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose” a line from Me and Bobby McGee, the song composed by Kris Kristofferson, is recounted in the spoken lines.
 
In one scene, we see someone ironing a T-shirt with an ancient Tahitian proverb printed on it: “Nehenehe Oe,E Amu Ite Oraraa E Na Te Oraraa E Amu Ia Oe” (“You can eat life or let life eat you”). The same line was quoted by Tarita Teripiia in the fourth motion picture version of Mutiny on the Bounty (Lewis Milestone, 1962). Tarita was the third and last of Marlon Brando’s wives. Tarita and Brando met on the set of the film.