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Tag: fashion

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Fashion Icons

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“We invent nothing,” said Christian Dior, the man who revolutionised fashion in the twentieth century, “we always start from something that has come before.” This refreshing admission seems an appropriate place to begin discussing the round of fashion shows dominating Australia’s art museums this summer. The essential exhibition is Fashion Icons: Masterpieces from the Collection […]

Film Reviews

Yves Saint Laurent

Saturday, June 28th, 2014 Film Reviews,

Behind every great man, as we learn in Jalil Lespert’s Yves Saint Laurent, there’s a great man. More than any designer of the 20th century, Yves Saint Laurent (1936-2008) revolutionised the world of fashion, but his genius for haute couture may never have been fully realised without the business acumen of Pierre Bergé. This conventional, […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Edward Steichen & Art Deco Fashion

Saturday, February 1st, 2014 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

When Edward Steichen (1879-1973) accepted the job as Chief Photographer for Condé Nast publications in 1923 it was taken for granted he would work under a pseudonym. Already known as both a famous art photographer and a painter, his employer realised Steichen would probably not wish to be associated with the purely commercial work he […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Newcastle: After Five, or Five Minutes to Midnight?

Saturday, October 26th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s distressing that every time I’ve written about Newcastle this year the exhibition has had to share column space with some new crisis. The only progress is that these crises keep getting worse, with the latest developments being almost unbelievable. At a meeting on 24 September, the Council voted to adopt a controversial restructure proposed […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Richard Avedon: People

Saturday, September 7th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

“Youth never moves me,” said Richard Avedon (1923-2004). “I seldom see anything very beautiful in a young face.” This may sound strange, coming from one of the most celebrated fashion photographers of the twentieth century, but it pinpoints that quality which sets Avedon apart. He had a ‘hard’ definition of beauty, as opposed to the […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hollywood Costume

Saturday, July 27th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo, a turning point arrives through a change of costume. James Stewart, playing the damaged cop, Scottie, sees a girl who closely resembles the dead woman who haunts his thoughts. That woman, Madeleine, is on Scottie’s conscience and in his heart. In Judy, a shop girl from Kansas, he recognises Madeleine’s double […]

Film Reviews

Skyfall & Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel

Saturday, November 24th, 2012 Film Reviews,

In his James Bond Dossier of 1965, Kingsley Amis wrote: “Not much mind is needed to notice that Bond’s adventures have been getting more fantastic all the time and some critics have actually done it.” After fifty years and some 23 features, it would be an understatement to say Bond’s cinematic adventures are getting more fantastic […]

Film Reviews

Bill Cunningham New York

Saturday, November 12th, 2011 Film Reviews, Other Writing,

There are many occasions in this film when one begins to wonder: “Is Bill Cunningham actually, clinically, mad?” Never in the course of a human life-time has so much energy and enthusiasm been expended on a subject that many would regard as trivial, superficial or blatantly commercial – the fashion industry. After watching this documentary […]

Art Essays

Valentino, Retrospective: Past/Present/Future

Saturday, September 18th, 2010 International Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Philosophers should make a comprehensive study of  Valentino Garavani, because if he isn’t a genuinely happy man this proves human happiness is an unobtainable ideal. The great couturier retired in 2008 at the peak of his fame, adored by the world’s most glamorous and influential people. His life-style, as revealed in Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary, Valentino: […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Hats and James Fardoulys

Saturday, April 24th, 2010 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Lewis Carroll cannot take complete credit for the expression: “as mad as a hatter”. Even before he created the most famous tea party in world literature, hatters had quite a reputation. The mercury compounds used in 19th century hat making induced a range of symptoms including trembling fits and mood swings. It is unlikely that […]