23/04/2012 § Leave a comment
Richard Gere adds Armani to the echelon of California style with its debut in American Gigolo (1980), which I recently revisited thanks to Lizzie’s suggestion. A seminal moment in menswear, it marked the introduction of a new Italian aesthetic that became characteristic of the decade.
**Update 5/4/2012 — The blog Clothes on Film did a fantastic rundown of the costuming, which you can find here.
I especially love how the film captures the westside at that moment when the 1970s were turning to the 1980s, and watching a 30 year-old (and let’s face it, beautiful) Gere as he navigates the city as one of its “best boys.” Other high points include the Blondie-infused soundtrack, Lauren Hutton, and the fact that Gere’s character lives in Westwood, which is where I lived before moving to New York.
Portrait by Herb Ritts, 1980.
Part of “L.A. Style: Herb Ritts” at the Getty Center. Details here.
Also: just a quick note to let you know I’m in Los Angeles for a few days! I wanted to surprise my parents, and they read this thing, so I couldn’t mention it beforehand. Happy to report my sneak attack was successful!
28/03/2012 § 6 Comments
Ladies and germs, March has been a terrifically busy, yet rather challenging month, I kid you not. As we close out this first quarter of 2012 — poof! gone! — I wanted to briefly discuss the topic of resolutions, both of the New Year’s and Lenten variety. Ohhhh yes, remember those? As we inch closer to 2013, how have you fared? For me, I’m rating my success a solid C+
As for resolutions: I’ve started three books but I haven’t been able to fight my way to the end of any of them. I have done some running, but nothing near the distances I need to be ready for a half marathon. I haven’t actually cooked anything, but I have started to buy groceries. I haven’t been anywhere near a horse. I have been actively working at identifying what I want, clearly asking for it, and working to make it happen.
As for Lent: I have successfully banished the snooze button and breakfast sandwiches, but dairy, on the other hand, has been harder to shake. (We’ll talk about passive negativity in a moment…)
When I take a step back and see all the goals I made for myself and my uneven progress toward achieving them, I have a natural inclination to focus on what hasn’t been done and freak myself out about that. I’m obviously a failure. Not only will I completely ignore the big wins (my love of the snooze bar is well documented — an epic snoozer, I would sometimes hit it for over an hour before rising), I will cast aside the smaller victories I’ve made in the process of achieving the greater goals (e.g., groceries first, then cooking) as not good enough. And then the fatalism comes shuffling in: Since I’ve already messed it all up, why even keep trying? For me, it can be difficult sometimes to give myself a break and let success come a little slower than my irrational brain — and pride — would like. So here’s where my attempted ban on passive negativity steps in. By honoring what I have already accomplished and by recognizing that achieving these goals will not be a quick as flipping on a light switch, I feel more relaxed and much more open to the change and commitment these resolutions require.
But how to do this? As crazy as it might sound, I simply try to take a moment to reflect on my progress, call out my victories and give myself a mental pat on the back. You could do this in a moment of meditation on the train or in your car, write about it in your journal, or if you’re not shy about expressing it you could give the words even more strength by saying them out loud. By choosing to spend my time thinking, writing or even speaking positively, I give power to these thoughts and my spirits are immediately lifted. It becomes easier to accept the little stumbles on the way to achieving my goals. I am reminded that as long as I pick myself up, dust myself off and start again, everything is fine.
And for a little inspiration, two child affirmation prodigies you may have already met, but should definitely visit with again:
So let’s agree to take a moment and have a bit of celebration for the awesomeness that you are, and commit to making the second quarter even better.
And I would love to hear about your goals and your progress as well!
12/03/2012 § Leave a comment
26/01/2012 § 1 Comment
“Manhattan acts like a heart”
A lovely documentary by Encyclopedia Britannica Films on the myriad of transportation options to and from Manhattan available to the New Yorkers and New Jerseyans of 1941. Great images of commuters, the subway, trains, buses, Grand Central, the New Jersey ferry system and — the very best part — my office building on Fifth Avenue at the 5.27 mark.
As a native Californian, mass transit is still a relatively new development in my life, but come next rush hour I will definitely be thinking of the generations of Manhattan strap hangers that have come before me. I only wish the commuters of today looked just as stylish.