I’ve got my eye on you!

Words by Louis

“If only we could pull out our brain and use only our eyes.”

                                                                                            Pablo Picasso

To experience the quintessence of life, unclouded by intellect – this was Picasso’s behest;  recognizing that if eyes are the window to the soul, then they are conversely the tool best served to witness the soul in others.

 All eyes were on Colette last week as the Parisian masters of perpetual haute-cool celebrated their 15th Anniversay, marking the milestone with a Craig Redman collaboration bringing the iconic Darcel Disappoints to life in a series of 150 interpretative drawings of this era’s most creative people.   Redman appeared to have taken Picasso’s note, offering up the likes of Tom Ford, Karl Lagerfeld, Miuccia Prada and Lady Gaga distilled to their very essense; brought to life with nothing more than Darcel’s distinctive eyeball and each icon’s most distinguishing characteristics.  While each Redman piece gave the team at Louis a glimpse into the soul of an icon, the exhibition spoke more to Colette’s undying commitment to bringing us the most exquisitely curated version of the world possible; all served with a playful irreverance that evades most tastemakers.

 While Louis has always been a fan of Darcel Disappoints, our eyes cannot hide the rush of love we feel for the adorable bi-ped oculus now that it is coloured with the shades of soulful chic and whimsical smarts that only Colette can bring.   With the utmost gratitude and starry-eyed appreciation, Louis would like to bid Colette a Happy Anniversary; may its cultural stewardship continue to dislocate our brain from our eyes and, in the brain’s place, entrench our heart.

“There is a road from the eye to the heart that does not go through the intellect”

                                                                                                                    Gilbert K. Chersteron

 


Beautifully confused

Words by Louis

 

I like too many things and get all confused and hung-up running

from one falling star to another till I drop.

This is the night, what it does to you.

I had nothing to offer anybody except my own confusion.

                                                                       On the Road, Jack Kerouac

 

More than any other transformation tale, On the Road depicts life as a series of oscillations at increasing velocity; perpetual motion punctuated only by fabulous interjections of colour, confusion and consciousness.  Having just returned from BASELWORLD 2012, Louis may finally have an appreciation of what it means to stand in the shoes of Sal Paradise and Dean Moriaty.

BASELWORLD holds itself out as the world’s pre-eminent watch and jewellery exhibition, showcasing all the sparkle and splendour of some 1800 companies from the watch, jewellery and precious stone industries.  Swimming in such a milieu of beauty and craftsmanship, Louis was at times dazed and, even more often, (beautifully) confused as we, just like Sal, ran from one brilliant falling star to another; making the requisite wish at every stop.

Amidst Basel’s stardust lay lessons and it was the house of BVLGARI that chose its collection launch party to re-educate us in the finer arts of sophistication, haute elegance and style; all served up with a playful wink (and a personal box of caviar).  The BVLGARI supernova was at times blinding, as the crescendo of lights, colour and seemingly endless Champagne bars served to propel our journey forward, faster; pulsing to the driving beats from the all-too-sexy DJ duo that still dance in our subconscious.

It was with heavy heart that we bid BVLGARI and Basel adieu, consoled only by the prospect of forward momentum and the infinite possibility that lies in the pursuit of beautiful confusion.

 

“Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again;

we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.”

                                                                On the Road, Jack Kerouac

The art of show

Words by Louis

Peacocking:  present participle of verb. peacock (pea·cock/ˈpēˌkäk/)

1. Display oneself ostentatiously; strut like a peacock

- he was peacocking in front of a full-length mirror

 

As we crawl out of bed this morning, it is with bleary eyes yet enlivened heart that Louis can confirm that Fashion just got its swagger back.  Last night Alber Elbaz and Lanvin celebrated the 10th Anniversary of the house and, by so doing, reintroduced the industry to its own joyful, playful, creative pulse; that same pulse that gravitated us all to this game in the first place…that same pulse that all too often gets lost amidst fashion week’s frenetic and at times gruelling pace.   I’d like to take a moment to welcome us all back!

Summoned to the 13th arrondissement, we were cordially funneled into a prodigious warehouse space….and then Lanvin began to strut.   A star-spangled front row including Tilda Swinton, Jessica Alba, Pharell Williams and Dita von Teese served only as a glamourous entrée for the festivities that ensued.  Lanvin orchestrated the scene and its tempo, delaying the show’s start as guests were treated to three-tiered cakes, foie gras lollipops, and champagne by the bucket-load.  With the show underway, Mr Elbaz clinically delivered a steady flow of power-amazons adorned in a kaleidoscope of cuts, colors and textures all set to a driving rock ‘n’ roll riff.  Lanvin’s collection offered up respite from the soft pastels and florals presented by its contemporaries, a promenade celebrating the strength, pride, colour, and unadulterated glamour of the Lanvin woman.

It was with the utmost emotional eloquence that Elbaz then transformed the warehouse space from showroom to nightclub, taking the stage to deliver a rendition of “Que Sera Sera” that would have had Doris Day dancing in her front row seat. An ostentatious strut?  Perhaps.  Fabulous?? Most Definitely!

 

When I was just a little girl

I asked my mother, what will I be

Will I be pretty, will I be rich….

 

(It appears that so long as Mr Elbaz reigns at the house of Lanvin, the answer is a resounding “YES”.)

An impossible conversation

Words by Louis

You are the first woman on the first day of creation. You are mother, sister, lover, friend, angel, devil, earth, home.” (Marcello Mastroiani, La Dolce Vita)”

In just one timeless line, Signor Mastroiani best verbalized the celebration of the divine feminine that continues to form the foundation of Italian culture, style and fashion. Such reverence for the Italian woman (amidst irreverence towards her surrounding social confines), serves as the underlying and yet unspoken theme for an imaginary encounter that will take place this May in New York between Miuccia Prada and Elsa Schiaparelli.

On February 24, 2012, Louis Agency had the honour of attending the historic Palazzo Reale in Milan to herald the upcoming “Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations” Exhibition to be held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York from May 10 through August 19. Inspired by the 1930’s series from Vanity Fair called “Impossible conversations”, the exhibition will create a video discourse between the two designers, blending the recorded words or “Schiap” with questions posed to Ms. Prada by the show’s creative consultant, director Baz Luhrmann. The exhibition will also showcase signature objects from both designers, highlighting different elements of each designers’ unique (though sometimes similar) evocation of beauty, glamour and womanhood, in a series of seven themed galleries: “Waist Up/Waist Down”, “Ugly Chic”, “Hard Chic”, “Naïf Chic”, “The Classical Body”, “The Exotic Body” and “The Surreal Body”.

The Impossible Conversations exhibition ultimately affords us a journey into the realms of the unreal, with the improbable intersection of Schiaparelli and Prada illustrating how diverging paths may often share common, anthemic junctures and, as the show’s curator Harold Koda states, “how the past enlivens the present and how the present enlivens the past”.

It would be remiss of us not to mention that Vogue Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, was also in attendance; her inimitable elegance, style and grace (not to mention her stunning patterned coat and desirous shoes) causing the team here at Louis to channel the very being of Mr Mastroiani and exclaim: “Anna, you are the first woman on the first day of creation”!

Up to no Goude

Words by Louis

Higgins: “Would the world ever have been made if its maker had been afraid of making trouble? Making life means making trouble.” (Pygmalion, George Bernard Shaw)

On Louis’ last trip to Paris we were blessed to experience one of the quintessential elements of French culture…the peoples’ exercise of their constitutional right to strike. With the nationwide stoppage of French security agents bringing airports to a crawl, we decided to extend our stay and take in the Jean-Paul Goude Retrospective at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, “Goudemalion”.

With subversion in the air (and not a single security guard to prevent us taking photos), we afforded ourselves unfettered access to Goude’s retrospective that plays out with all the drama of Greek mythos. Goude’s transformation tale indeed draws many parallels to those in Ovid’s “Metamorphoses”, with Goude a modern day Pygmalion; falling in love with the art carved from his own hands…in his case, Grace Jones.

Illustrator, graphic designer, photographer, director, lover, trouble-maker…this is the Goude that Goudemalion so pointedly unfurls. Goude’s retrospective of controversial and at times confrontational works teach us that only through challenging convention do we evolve perception. If Mr Shaw is correct and making life means making trouble, then Jean-Paul Goude made a whole lot of life!

“Now stands my task accomplished, such a work as not the wrath of Jove nor fire nor sword nor the devouring ages can destroy”. (Book 15 Ovid, Metamorphoses)