Posts tagged muse
Jay-Jay Johanson is one of the most stylish men on the planet. Period. Ever since his debut album, Whiskey (1996) he has sported a perfectly dishevelled shirt on his album covers. Nobody wears a shirt better. I especially like the Grandad shirt he chose for the cover of his new album, Self-Portrait. More on that later. For now, let’s focus on the man himself.
How do you define sex appeal? Is it possible? Some might prefer an immaculately groomed type, not a hair out of place. Personally, I feel that a man is most sexy when he doesn’t really care too much about his looks. A fine line to tread, mind you. The beardy, way-farer urban poet look is quite common these days but it looks so try hard on some. With Mr. Johanson this is a completely natural way of being. Effortless, easy, a little bit crumpled, a little bit unkempt [I love this word] and quite a bit sexy. I wonder if that shirt’s from Cos? The stitching and proportions seem very familiar. Cos do very nice summer shirts by the way. Go with the collarless versions. Or even better, hack off collars that don’t sit right. Just cut along the stand and, VOILA!, a lovely collar-less shirt with edges that fray nicely after a few washes. You can’t skimp on price if you want a well-cut collared shirt. I reccomend Prada, Lanvin or Margiela for one of the those.
You know how it is these days; you hear a great track and check out the album. You’re not convinced and so you pick out the OK ones and download them on iTunes or add the album to your Spotify playlist instead – at least you don’t have to pay for it. It’s rare that you find an album where every song is a vital piece to the puzzle, even the weaker tracks. Somehow even those tracks lend a balance to the album. Without them the narrative is incomplete. Perfection can after all be found in the flawless or the imperfect. The type of albums I mean are for instance: Miles Davis‘ Some Kind of Blue, The Blue Nile‘s eponymous debut, Talk Talk‘s Spirit of Eden, Nina Simone At Town Hall... I could go on forever.
Jay-Jay Johanson’s Self-Portrait is one of those beautifully balanced, sensitively composed records. It focusses on MELODY, something that seems to be increasingly absent in music. Each song is delicately crafted and Johanson’s deeply moving, melancholic timbre is cushioned by lonesome piano riffs, haunting drums and elegant strings. It’s at times optimistic, contemplative and heart-wrenching. This is as personal as music gets. Mr. Johanson literally wears his bleeding heart on his perfectly imperfect sleeve. Go listen_
In my earlier post about the film Kiss Ass I mentioned Barbara Carrera, who starred in 80’s action hero spoof, Condor Man. She’s probably better known for playing Bond girl Fatima Blush in Never Say Never Again. She rocked some super-fierce looks in that one. I just remember her being incredibly beautiful and HOT! Half-American, half-Nicaraguan, she was a precursor to the Brazilian bombshells of the noughties like Giselle Bündchen. Anyway, as summer approaches with its untold promises of hot days by the pool and sultry evenings spent sipping too many margaritas nobody does it half as good as you, Barbara. Baby, you’re the best…
The menswear season has come and gone, and a good one it was. Another show I really liked, apart from Louis Vuitton and Rick Owens, was Lanvin. I liked how they’d shifted focus with a more aggressive slant on the Elbaz/Ossedrijver take on deconstruciton. You can only take pretty so far, especially when rivals are catching up. I loved the Aryan/ albino meets Mad Max spirit that was omnipresent in the show. A menacing gang of left bank warriors. The use of the belts on utility albeit luxe rucksacks to suggest a cummerbund was clever. As was the South Pacific take on an Aran sweater by way of fringing.There were also some new ways with colour, such as bleached out mustard with an odd, faded sienna. Quite 70s. Take apart the styling and all the Lanvin signatures are clear and present. Great coats, suits and shirts.
The Boys From the Bauhaus_ Merging craft and technology with a singular style. Western Industrial versus Eastern Promise. The way to go.
Louis Vuitton, Neil Barrett, Bottega Veneta, Maison Martin Margiela, Raf Simmons
YSL, Givenchy, Rick Owens, Jil Sander, Christian Dior, Raf Simmons (again)
Images: bauhaus archiv, magdalena droste, taschen, 1998
Mad About the Boy
Zach Condon has a band called Beirut. You could quite call Zach a nerd and I’m sure Zach was called all sorts of things prophylactic in high school due to his surname. But we wont go there. Zach’s music is very good. Sort of Eastern Europe Slovenian folk pop. Quite tender. Sometimes tinged with melancholy. Zach plays amongst other things, the ukelele, accordion, glockenspiel, and mandolin but perhaps not the fiddle. I’m sure that he could if he tried. Zach should wear Prada next winter. A lot of the looks seem like they tumbled out of his wardrobe. Zach seems like a very nice guy.
Oh, Charlotte, Je t’aime beaucoup…You’re so cool…
Got a thing for French girls. My muse, if I were to describe her, would read like this: 5′ 9″ , size 10, dark hair [the hair has to be dark], pretty but with a strong nose that throws things off a bit, strong, weathered hands that she moisturises constantly to no avail, really good posture, leggy, quite shapely calves, smokes quite a bit, only wears scarlet lippy when wanting to make an effort, loves a stiletto pump or 87.5 [she mysteriously lost one shoe during a boozy night in Le Baron], can sometimes be a bit slack with “trimming the foliage” down below, wears L’eau de l’eau by Dyptique but isn’t too keen on bras or knickers, for that matter… Kind of a Charlotte Gainsbourg kind of girl, really. Oh, and she detests French manicures [how bourgeois!] and diamonds. Give her a hunk of silver any day…
La Gainsbourg is back with a new album! How long I’ve waited for this. I loved 5:55 [probably the exact time she lost that pesky pump] and now this: IRM. Opening single, Heaven can Wait, threw me a bit at first. It’s a change in direction, more acoustic sounding. A bit like Feist’s turnaround between Let It Die and The Reminder – Leslie Feist is another one of my muses. Similar sort of girls really. Well, looking forward to purchasing the new album – just downloaded the single off iTunes. Have a listen to IRM at www.charlottegaisnbourg.com. Its a grower. Definitely gets the thumbs up from me. Sound of spring?
Will dig out photo credits later and update post. messed around with a few of the images anyway.