Tender or Mischievous

Albrecht Durer, Young Hare

 
 

Vincent Van Gogh, Field with Two Rabbits

 
 

Drawing from original manuscript of Alice in Wonderland illustrated by Lewis Carroll

 
 

John Tenniel, White Rabbit

 
 

Illustration by Arthur Rackham

 
 

Salvador Dalí, Down the Rabbit Hole

 
 

Norman Rockwell

 
 

According to Arthur Paul, the designer of the playboy logo, he chose the rabbit because of its “humorous sexual connotation” and also because the representation was “frisky and playful”. The playboy logo is undoubtedly mischievous in its nature.

 
 

Robert Crumb’s drawing

 
 

Andy Warhol

 
 

Boy-By-The-Sea1Terence Koh, Boy by the Sea (2008)

 
 

Jeff Koons

 
 

Illustration by Han Hoogerbrugge

 
 

Chuck Jones and Bugs Bunny

 
 

Rabbits (David Lynch,2002)

 
 

John Updike may have chosen the name Rabbit for his character for its echo of Sinclair Lewis’s Babbitt (1922).  Previously to Rabbit, Run (1961),Updike had written a short story entitled Ace In The Hole, and to a lesser extent a poem, Ex-Basketball Player, with similar themes to this series.

 
 

“It had a bed, a table, and a chair. The table had a lamp on it, a lamp that had never stopped burning in anticipation of her return, and on the lamp perched a butterfly with two large eyes painted on its widespread wings. Tereza knew she was at her goal. She lay down on the bed and pressed the rabbit to her face.”

 
 

Who Framed Roger Rabbit? (Robert Zemeckis, 1989). The Wolf and other characters were based on Tex Avery’s Red Hot Ridding Hood.

 
 

The animation of Cool World (Ralph Bakshi, 1992) was strongly influenced by the house styles of Fleischer Studios and Terrytoons. Bakshi had originally intended to cast Drew Barrymore instead Kim Bassinger  in the film’s leading role.

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Raise a Hare

Bat for Lashes, What’s a Girl to Do (2007) music video

 
 

Robbie Williams’ single cover artwork

 
 

You Know Me (2009) music video directed by Phil and Olly (a.k.a. Diamond Dogs).

 
 

Poster (based on David Bowie’s Aladdine Sane) for Foo Fighters The Joint tour, 2008 by Jermaine Rogers

 
 

Beck Hansen

 
 

This is not for an Easter postcard. Sea Change (2002) promotional photo by Autumn de Wilde

 
 

From Cool World (Ralph Bakshi, 1992) Original Music Soundtrack

 
 

(2003)

 
 

Artwork by Storm Thorgerson (2011)

 
 

Music from The Rabbit-Proof Fence (Philip Noyce, 2002). It was the first release of new music by Peter Gabriel since OVO(2000), also a soundtrack.

Fashionable Bunnies

Dorian Leigh in a hat by Paulette. Harper’s Bazaar, October, 1949

 
 

Halston black velvet dress with mink trim, 1966. Collection Museum of The City of New York

 
 

Alber Elbaz

 
 

Stella Tenant and Charles Guislain, photographed by Tim Walker, Tim Walker

 
 

Candice Bergen at Truman Capote’s Black-and-White Ball. The Plaza Hotel, New York. November 28, 1966

 
 

Liza Minnelli, Truman Capote and Studio 54 owner, Steve Rubell

 
 

Andy Warhol and Eddie Sedgwick

 
 

Elsa Peretti in a Halston-designed Bunny costume, photographed by Helmut Newton in New York City, 1975

 
 

Lauren Hutton

 
 

Playboy-inspired logo bathing suit

 
 

 Yasmin Le Bon for Ralph Lauren Fall 1985 “Rabbit Hole” ad campaign

 
 

Betsey Johnson

 
 

Reese Whiterspoon in a still from Legally Blonde (Robert Luketic, 2001)

 
 

Hilary Swank. Photo: Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, 2007

 
 

Marc Jacobs. Photo: Craig McDean for the CFDA

 
 

Madonna. Louis Vuitton, 2009 Fall-Winter ad campaign photographed by Steven Meisel.

Lady Gaga in the cover of Neo2 Magazine. September 2009 issue. Photo: Olivier Rauh

 
 

Dita Von Teese

 
 

Beth Ditto

 
 

Emma Watson for Elle UK. November 2011. Photo: Rankin

 
 

Ewan McGregor. Photo: Alexi Lubomirski

 
 

Helena Bonham Carter. The Sunday Times, April 2012

 
 

Carolina Herrera’s Bunny Print dress 2013 Resort Collection

Down To a Fine Art

Renée Zellweger was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance as Beatrix Potter, creator of The Tale of Petter Rabbit, The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin, and a score of other children’s classics. I’m posting the pictures of a Vogue USA article written by Kennedy Fraser about the play based on the British illustrator.

 
 

Actress Renée Zellweger with a favorite Beatrix Potter subject. Alexander McQueen mauve woven cropped jacket with embroidered cream tulle cap-sleeved blouse and A-line skirt with sailor-style buttons. Manolo Blahnik spectator lace-up stilettos.

 
 

Zellweger in head-to-toe-jet-black McQueen. Philip Treacy for Alexander McQueen black bowler hat with floral appliqué, silk faille cropped jacket, tulle blouse, and organza ball skirt, all by Alexander McQueen. Badgley Mischka evening bag.

 
 

Zellweger bikes in an Oscar de la Renta silk-cotton-blend navy-and-red floral. print dress.

 
 

In an elegant nod to retro Hollywood high glamour, the actress wears an Alexander McQueen cream corseted bubble-hem dress with black lace overlay. Christian Louboutin champagne satin d’Orsay sandals.

 
 

Alexander McQueen black silk pleated blouse and high-waisted long skirt. Guess Jeans denim jacket.

 
 

Vogue USA, February 2007. Cover look: Michael Kors dolman gray cashmere V-neck minidress.

 
 

Photographer: Mario Testino.

Fashion Editor: Tonne Goodman.

All The Eggs in One Basket

Color of the Nation, Photo: KT Auleta for Vogue Russia, September 2008

 
 

It could be said that when it came to fashion shows, Alexander McQueen put all his eggs in one basket. At no time was this more evident than his 2008-2009 Autumn/Winter collection, when he showcased a selection of the renowned Яйца Фабержé (Fabergé eggs) alongside his garments as if they were accessorizes.

Alexander III (known historically as The Peacemaker) and Nicholas II of Russia (the last Emperor of Russia, nicknamed Bloody Nicholas by his enemies) commissioned the most famous Imperial Eggs as Easter gifts. That’s why the name, Imperial, typically refers to products made by the company before the 1917 Revolution. Through the years, sadly, the use of the Fabergé name has occasionally been disputed, and the trademark has been sold several times since the Fabergé family left Russia after 1917. As a result of this, several companies have subsequently retailed egg-related merchandise using the Fabergé name. The trademark is currently owned by Fabergé Limited, which also makes egg-themed jewelry.

In 1885, to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their betrothal, Tsar Alexander III commissioned famed jeweler, Carl Faberge, to create an egg crafted from gold, with an opaque white enameled shell to give to his wife, the Empress Maria Fedorovna. It is believed that the Tsar’s inspiration for the piece was an egg owned by the Empress’s aunt, Princess Vilhelmine Marie of Denmark, which had captivated Maria’s imagination in her childhood. He commissioned another egg the following year.

After that, Peter Carl Fabergé, who headed the House, was apparently given complete freedom for future Imperial Easter Eggs, and subsequently the intricacy and mechanical genius of the designs became more elaborate. According to the Fabergé family tradition, not even the Tsar knew what form they would take: the only requirement was that each one should contain a surprise. Following the death of Alexander III on November 1, 1894, his son presented a Fabergé egg to both his wife, the Empress Alexandra Fedorovna, and to his mother, the Dowager Empress Maria Fedorovna.

No eggs were made for 1904 and 1905 because of the disastrous Russo-Japanese War which depleted much of the resources of the Russia and which helped pave the way for the eventual revolution. Once an initial design had been approved by Peter Carl Fabergé, the work was carried out by an entire team of craftsmen, among them Michael Perkhin, Henrik Wigström and Erik August Kollin.
The Imperial eggs enjoyed great fame, and Fabergé made some other large eggs for a few select private clients, such as the Duchess of Marlborough, the Nobels, the Rothschilds and the Yusupovs. A series of seven eggs was made for the industrialist Alexander Kelch.

Historically, in many cultures, eggs are employed as symbols of fertility and rebirth, pre-dating Christian and Eastern Orthodox Church traditions. The practice of decorating eggshell is ancient. Ostrich eggs with engraved decoration that are 60,000 years old have been found in Africa. Decorated ostrich eggs, and representations of ostrich eggs in gold and silver, were commonly placed in graves of the ancient Sumerians and Egyptians as early as 5,000 years ago. In particular, the custom of the Easter egg originated among the early Christians of Mesopotamia, who stained eggs red in memory of the blood of Christ, shed at his crucifixion. The Christian Church officially adopted the custom, regarding the eggs as a symbol of the resurrection; in A.D. 1610, Pope Paul V proclaimed the following prayer:

“Bless, O Lord! We beseech thee, this, thy creature of eggs, that it may become a wholesome sustenance to thy faithful servants, eating it in thankfulness to thee on account of the resurrection of the Lord.”

A sacred tradition among followers of Eastern Christianity says that Mary Magdalene was bringing cooked eggs to share with the other women at the tomb of Jesus, and the eggs in her basket miraculously turned brilliant red when she saw the risen Christ. The egg represents the boulder which blocked the entrance to the tomb of Jesus.

 
 

Dieric Bouts, The Last Supper (1464-1467). Bouts did not focus on the biblical narrative itself but instead presented Christ in the role of a priest performing the consecration of the Eucharistic host (a Latin word which means “sacrificial victim”). In this painting the sacramental bread (an ulterior symbol of Christ’s body) has an oval shape.

 
 

Detail from the illuminated manuscript Psalter of Ingeborg, Denmark (c. 1213). The egg-shape is a key-motif in this religious scene.

 
 

Twisting Up Toys Out of Words

Andy Warhol, Male Figure (Leprechaun with Yo-Yo), c. 1953

 
 

“I make stories. I twist up toys out of anything…”

 
 

The Magic Porridge, Andy Warhol, c. 1956

 
 

“…Yet like children we tell each other stories, and to decorate them we make up these ridiculous, flamboyant, beautiful phrases. How tired I am of stories, how tired I am of phrases that come down beautifully with all their feet on the ground!”

 
 

Virginia Woolf

The  Waves

Down By The River Ouse

Patti Smith, The River Ouse.

 
 

The noon of April 28, 1941, after she wrote an emotive suicide letter to her husband Leonard, Virginia Woolf walked some blocks engulfed in depression, filled the pockets of her coat with stones and she threw herself into the Ouse River, in Sussex (England).

This is a transcription of the suicide letter:

“I feel certain I am going mad again. I feel we can’t go through another of those terrible times. And I shan’t recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can’t concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don’t think two people could have been happier till this terrible disease came. I can’t fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can’t even write properly. I can’t read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can’t go on spoiling your life any longer. I don’t think two people could have been happier than we have been.”

Beautiful Kate Wearing Ralph Lauren

Kate Moss, November 1996

 
 

Kate Winslet, January 2003

 
 

Katherine Heigl, June 2010

 
 

Kate Beckinsale, January 2012

 
 

And although her name is stylized with a “C”, Cate Blanchett must be included in this short list of beautiful women wearing Ralph Lauren in a Harper’s Bazaar cover, April 2012

 
 

Kate Hudson (Goldie Hawn’s lovely daughter), October 2012

The Man Who Would Be Gatsby

F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald

 
 

While a teenager, Francis Scott Fitzgerald was collecting ideas about the goings on in West Egg and not just those of the community but those of a specific man: W. Gould Brokaw, a now-forgotten Long Island socialite, playboy and gentleman automobile racer. He literally could not escape his shadow.

 
 

W. Gould Brokaw

 
 

Brokaw was the son of hugely successful New York clothier Vail Brokaw of Brokaw Brothers, and grandson of a railroad tycoon; he inherited a fortune of around $4.5 million and never needed to do anything in particular for work. His circle of friends was the cream of New York society: Astors, Whitneys, Guggenheims, Vanderbilts, Goulds, Morgans, all of them interested in speed, whether horses, greyhounds, yachts or cars. Brokaw was an elder statesman for that set of young millionaires, having been born a decade or more before most, in 1863. In later legal proceedings–of which there were oh so many, he was described as “a rich and fashionable clubman.”
 

According to Some Sort of Grandeur, Matthew Bruccoli’s biography of Francis Scott Fitzgerald, the character Jay Gatsby is based on the bootlegger and earlier World War I officer Max Gerlach. In the 1920s, when Gerlach knew the Fitzgeralds, he operated as a bootlegger and allegedly kept Fitzgerald topped off with booze. Born in Yonkers as Max A. Stark (or possibly Max A. Stork), he claimed direct German ancestry and went by the names of Max Stark Gerlach and Max von Gerlach later in life (his gravestone reads Max Stork Gerlach). Nevertheless, Gatsby is a composite, as are all Fitzgerald’s characters, and there’s a certain amount of Scottie himself in Jay.

 
 

Robert Evans and Ali MacGraw

 
 

About the filming adaption of The Great Gatsby directed by Jack Clayton in 1974, it was originally conceived and developed as a wedding present vehicle for Ali MacGraw (formerly Diana Vreeland’s assistant at Harper’s Bazaar magazine) from her then-husband Robert Evans. The project was derailed from its initial purpose when MacGraw fell in love with her The Getaway (Sam Peckinpah, 1972) co-star Steve McQueen and divorced Evans.

 
 

Evans in his home Woodland, built by architect John Woolf

 
 

The producer with Tatjiana Shoan. Harper’s Bazaar, 2004

 
 

Steve McQueen and Ali MacGraw

 
 

Stills from The Great Gatsby (Jack Clayton, 1974)

 
 

Automobiles are almost treated as a character in the plot of Fitzgerald’s book. Myrtle Wilson was knocked down by a car and this sad event unchains the climax of the story. Plus, Fitzgerald to his editor Maxwell Perkins that the name of Jordan Baker (a character based on the golfer Edith Cumming) is a combination between the two then-popular automobile brands, the Jordan Motor Car Company and the Baker Motor Vehicle, as an allusion to Jordan’s “fast” reputation and the freedom now presented to Americans, especially women of 1920s.

 
 

Ralph Lauren

 
 

Ralph Lauren who (as we know) made the costumes for Jack Clayton’s The Great Gastby, has a penchant for cars. His collection of classic automobiles is another dimension of his own persona. An amazing lineup of 50-plus dream machines that have all been restored to glory, the convoy is a portal to the past, when men like Brokaw drove their race cars home from the track at the end of the day and manufacters were the manifestations of their designers: Jean Bugatti, Enzo Ferrari, Ferdinand Porsche… RL’s gateway drug was a white ’61 Morgan convertible with red leather seats, which he bought in 1963- back when he was a travelling salesman for the Boston-based tie company A. Rivetz & Co.- and was later forced to sell when he couldn’t afford a garage in Manhattan.

 
 

Steve McQueen

 
 

And it’s a little bit curious and probably not coincidental that one of Ralph Lauren’s cottages is adorned with black-and-white photos of Greta Garbo, Johnny Depp and Steve McQueen, a man who also loved engines and made himself just like Jay Gatsby and Lauren did.

Keep Your Pants On

Braces may have been employed since the end of the eighteen century to hold up men’s buckskin breeches but in the 1990s we no longer boast buck on our bums and we no longer use the word braces. Its mere utterance conjures up those pimply days of puberty and all of its embarrassments: corn kernels wedged in tinsel teeth, locked lips on a first kiss, rubber bands that smacked your valentine right between her eyes. The British say “braces”. Americans say “suspenders”.
 
Ok, we have learned what they’re called, so now we should learn what to avoid wearing. Beware of elaborately floral, shocking pink or insignia-imprinted designs. Because suspenders are most often worn with ties, the potential for clashing is high. Solid and subtly patterned suspenders are easier to match. Even for a punk or a hipster.
 
However, because fashion now is about being democratic, if you opt for a patterned pair, make sure the pattern is woven into the fabric and not ironed (or silk-screened) on. It’s classier.
 
Considering wearing a belt with your suspenders? Please, don’t.
 
Once upon a time, before the steamy factory days driven by mass production, a man could have his braces custom-made. Brass levers (as they were never anything but brassy) would rest comfortably in the personal hollow of a man’s chest. If they were set too high (above the bottom half of the chest), the levers’ double layer of material would pad the chest and the buckles would sneak up toward the face. In today’s world suspenders are a one-size-fits-all-deal. And so, as the bias stands, if you are going to brace yourself you’d better be tall. A kind tailor might customize a pair for you. A kind shoe repairman might as well.
 
A word on placement: The front buttons should be sewn securely inside the waistband and aligned with that clean pleat closest to the bone. This prevents our pants from fanning when we stand; it also defines the trouser’s creases and weights their depth. A button set too far to the side of the trousers relaxes the tension on the strap, permitting it to slip, like a woman’s bra might, coquettishly from the shoulder. Not flirty. Not sexy. Not cute.
 
Suspenders date to the French court of Louis XVI, when aristocrats began to use strips of ribbon to support their trousers. Long considered underwear — exposing them was against the law on Long Island as recently as 1938.
 
Here are few more historical facts about suspenders:
 
It’s been said that Benjamin Franklin invented them.
Claude Debussy wore floral ones.
Napoleon Bonaparte flaunted his bee insignia on his.
Victorian sweethearts would woo their suitors with hand-embroidered ones.

 
 

Clark Gable

 
 

Gary Cooper

 
 

Marlon Brando

 
 

Joseph Gordon-Levitt

 
 

Jude Law. Still from Cold Mountain (Anthony Minghella, 2003)

 
 

Leonardo Di Caprio in Titanic (James Cameron, 1997)

 
 

Maxwell

 
 

Raoul Bova accompanied by Monica Belluci

 
 

David Bowie

 
 

Suspenders. Photography by Leon Levinstein, 1955

 
 

Joe Strummer

 
 

Haircut 100

 
 

A Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, 1971)

 
 

Alexander McQueen Menswear

 
 

Diesel ad campaign

 
 

Fun. Carry On music video (Anthony Mandler, 2012)

 
 

Nicole Kidman photographed by Craig Mcdean

 
 

Charlotte Rampling in a promotional picture for Il Portiere di Notte / The Night Porter (Liliana Cavani, 1974)

 
 

Madonna. Erotica music video (Fabien Baron, 1992)

 
 

Jeffrey Costello & Robert Tagliapietra

 
 

Several kind of suspenders had been shown in Ralph Lauren collections whether for women or for men and for children as well

On Her Knees

 
 

A flapper girl from Baltimore posing with her boyfriend’s photograph printed on her pantyhose (tights). Inasmuch as the length of hems was getting shorter, legs became the focal point of the women’s body during the Jazz Age. Embroidered or printed pantyhose was the fashion. Nylon or cotton plaid socks were mainly worn to sporting activities.

In the 60’s when miniskirts arrived, legs were embellished again.

 
 

L’Hiver ( a.k.a. “Winter: Lovers in the Snow”), George Barbier, Twentieth Century France, 1925.

 
 

Ralph Lauren Autumn/Winter 2012-2013