All The World Is a Stage

Take a Bow is a midtempo pop ballad with a “Sukiyaki”-like Japanese touch, performed by American singer-songwriter Madonna. It was released as the Bedtime Stories‘ second single on October 28, 1994. The song also appears on her compilation albums Something to Remember (1995), GHV2 (2001) and Celebration (2009).

Following the release Madonna’s first book publication, Sex, the erotic thriller, Body of Evidence, and the album, Erotica, in the early 1990s, the media and public’s backlash against Madonna’s overtly sexual image was at a peak. Released in early March, 1994, her first musical release after Erotica was the tender ballad I’ll Remember from the soundtrack of the film With Honors. When Madonna appeared on the Late Show with David Letterman on March 31, 1994 to promote the single, her coarse language and behavior—which was provocative, seemingly random at times, full of double entendres (at one point asking Letterman to sniff her panties), profanities, and ended with a refusal to leave the set—caused yet another large public controversy. Following this, Madonna decided to tone down her image and move her career into a new direction. Musically, she explored new-jack R&B styles with a generally mainstream, radio-friendly sound. This new R&B sound was reflected in Bedtime Stories. For Take a Bow, Madonna wanted a more “romantic vein” so she worked with Babyface on the track because he had proved himself to be very successful in his previous works with smooth R&B, working with other artists such as Whitney Houston, Boyz II Men, and Toni Braxton.

The chorus expresses the theme of saying goodbye to a lover who had taken her for granted. The title plays upon the verse in the song “all the world is a stage and everyone has their part,” a reference to the line by William Shakespeare in his play As You Like It, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women mere players”. In his book Madonna: An Intimate Biography, J. Randy Taraborrelli describes the song as a “somber, sarcastic, all-the-world’s-a-stage song about unrequited love… [about a subject] whose phoniness might have fooled everyone else, but not her.” He goes on to say that in the song Madonna tells the subject of her unrequited love to take a bow for “rendering a great, transparent performance in life and love.”

The music video for Take a Bow was directed by Michael Haussman, and is a lavish period-style piece filmed from November 3–8, 1994 in Ronda and in the bullring of Antequera, Spain. It was outfitted by famed stylist Lori Goldstein who received the VH1 Fashion and Media award for best styling. The plot, set in the 1940s, depicts Madonna as a neglected lover of a bullfighter, played by real-life Spanish bullfighter Emilio Muñoz. Madonna’s character yearns for the bullfighter’s presence, with erotic heartbreak. A total of three different bulls were used during the production of the music video. It generated controversy with animal rights activists who accused the singer of glorifying bullfighting.

 
 

 
 

In the video Madonna wears fitted, classic suits by British fashion designer John Galliano. In an interview with MTV’s Kurt Loder on the set of the music video, Madonna said that when she was initially writing Take a Bow the inspiration for the song was an actor, but she wanted the male character in the video to be to be a matador instead because she wanted the video to be about an “obsessive, tragic love story that doesn’t work out in the end” and a matador would be more visually effective in expressing the emotion of the song. The style of the music video has been compared to Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar‘s 1986 film Matador, starring Antonio Banderas.  The music video for Madonna’s 1995 single You’ll See is considered a follow up to the Take a Bow music video, as Madonna and Emilio Muñoz reprise their roles. In that video Madonna’s character walks out on Munoz’s (bullfighter) character, leaving him behind in despair. Madonna’s character is then seen on the train and later on a plane, while Munoz’s character tries to catch up with her in vain.

Madonna requested that Haussman give the video a Spanish theme because, at the time, she was lobbying for the role of Eva Perón in the film version of Evita. She subsequently sent a copy of the video to director Alan Parker as a way of “auditioning” for the role. Madonna eventually won the role of Perón.

The music video for Take a Bow inspired Justin Timberlake‘s video for SexyBack (Michael Haussman, 2006) and was later tributed by Britney Spears‘ video for “Radar” (Dave Meyers, 2009). Madonna won Best Female Video honors at the 1995 MTV Video Music Awards for the Take a Bow music video. It was also nominated for Best Art Direction in a Video, but lost to Michael Jackson and Janet Jackson‘s Scream.

To watch Take a Bow music video, please take a gander at The Genealogy of Style’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Genealogy-of-Style/597542157001228?ref=hlt

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Sad Dove

Theatrical poster

 
 

Cucurrucucú paloma is a Mexican Huapango song written by Tomás Méndez in 1954 and introduced by Lola Beltrán in the film Cucurrucucú Paloma (Miguel Delgado, 1965). The song also appeared in other movies, such as Escuela de vagabundos (Rogelio A. González, 1955), considered one of the finest comedies of Mexican cinema, later adapted from the screenplay for the MGM movie Merrily We Live (Norman Z. McLeod, 1938); The Last Sunset (Robert Aldrich, 1961); Happy Together (Wong Kar-wai 1997); Talk to Her (Pedro Almodóvar, 2002);  My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done (Werner Herzog, 2009); and The Five-Year Engagement (Nicholas Stoller, 2012). It has also been recorded by popular singers such as Luis Miguel, Rocío Dúrcal, Pedro Infante, Perry Como, Caetano Veloso, Miguel Aceves Mejía, Harry Belafonte, Nana Mouskouri, Julio Iglesias, Shirley Kwan, Lila Downs, Joan Baez (on her album Gracias a la Vida), Rosemary Clooney, and The Del Rubio Triplets.

It was played as a regular huapango song until Harry Belafonte sang it in Carnegie Hall like an <a title="Art song". Lola Beltrán's original rendering is considered by Mexicans to be the most powerful and faithful to the spirit of the song.

 
 

 
 

Original Spanish Lyrics:

“Dicen que por las noches
no mas se le iba en puro llorar,
dicen que no comía
no mas se le iba en puro tomar;
juran que el mismo cielo
se estremecía al oír su llanto
Cómo sufrió por ella,
que hasta en la muerte la fué llamando:

Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay, cantaba,
ay, ay, ay, ay, gemía,
ay, ay, ay, ay, lloraba,
de pasión mortal moría.

Que una paloma triste
muy de mañana le va a cantar
a la casita sola
con las puertitas de par en par;
juran que esa paloma
no es otra cosa mas que su alma,
que todavía la espera
a que regrese la desdichada.

Cucurrucucú, paloma,
cucurrucucú, no llores.
Las piedras jamás, paloma
qué van a saber de amores.

Cucurrucucú, cucurrucucú,
cucurrucucú, paloma ya no le llores.”

 
 

 
 

English Translation:

They say that every night
he was wholly overtaken by tears;
They say he never ate, but only drank
They swear that even the heavens
trembled to hear his wail,
he suffered for her so,
that even in death, he never stopped calling for her:

“Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay,” he sang,
“Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay,” he howled,
“Ay, ay, ay, ay, ay,” he sang,
from a deadly passion, he died

They say that in early morning a sad dove sings to the little empty house
with its wide open little doors.
They swear that the dove
is none other than his spirit,
hoping still for the return, of the ill-fated woman.

Cucucrrucucu, dove
cucucrrucucu, don´t cry
What will these stones ever know, little dove, about love?

cucurrucucu, cucurrucucu
cucurrucucu, dove don´t cry anymore…)

 
 

Arielle Dombasle performed the song during Jean Paul Gaultier Spring Summer 2010 Haute Couture show. By the way, she descends from French-American immigrants in Mexico under her grandfather’s diplomatic tenure

Shoe-hat

Illustration for hats. Autumn-Winter 1937/1938 collection

The hat was designed by Salvador Dalí who was inspired by a photograph of himself wearing his wife’s shoe on his head.

 
 

Gala wearing the iconic shoe-hat. Photo André Caillet 1938

 
 

The “Almodóvar girl” Rossy de Palma (described by many as a Picasso-come-to-life) and Christian Louboutin. Photo: Mario Chavarría for Harper’s Bazaar Spain, 2010

 
 

Lady Gaga in a Born This Way (2011) promotional photograph by Mariano Vivanco

Some Stylish Mothers

Portrait of Carolina Herrera’s daughters and granchildren by Annie Leibovitz.

 
 

Carolina Herrera surrounded by her daughters. From Left to right: Patricia, Carolina Jr., Ana Luisa and Mercedes

 
 

Colombian fashion designer Silvia Tcherassi and Sofía

 
 

Donna Karan and Gaby Karan de Felice

 
 

Elsa Schiaparelli and her daughter Countess Maria Luisa Yvonne Radha de Wendt de Kerlor (Gogo) in St. Moritz, 1934. Gogo Schiaparelli, married shipping executive Robert L. Berenson. Their children were model Marisa Berenson and photographer Berry Berenson.

 
 

Sonia and Nathalie Rykiel in a photo editorial by Jason Schmidt featured in Harper’s Bazaar. The photograph is inspired by the movie Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown (Pedro Almodóvar, 1988)

 
 

Joseph Corré, son of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, is the founder of lingerie brand Agent Provocateur

 
 

Diane von Fürstenberg and Prince Alexander von Fürstenberg

Whip the Gift

“When God hands you a gift, he also hands you a whip; and the whip is intended for self-flagellation solely.”
 
Truman Capote

 
 

Pedro Almodóvar quoted Capote on a scene of his awarded movie All About My Mother (1999). Photo: Bruce Weber for Vogue Paris, December 2010

 
 

Marcello Mastroianni in  (Federico Fellini, 1963)

 
 

Erotica music video (Fabien Baron, 1992)

 
 

Human Nature music video (Jean-Baptiste Mondino, 1995)

 
 

cess_madonna_07_h

Madonna in a Steve Klein’s photo-shoot for a W Magazine issue. June 2006

 
 

Model Gail Cook and Andy Warhol. Photo: Francesco Scavullo.

 
 

Halston and his collaborators. Photo: Jean-Paul Goude. Esquire magazine. August, 1975.

 
 

Woody Allen’s portrait by Steve Shapiro

 
 

Betty Page

 
 

Drew Barrymore and Ellen Page, who was the leading actress of Whip It (2009), directed by Barrymore