30/04/2012 § 1 Comment
New York is a vertical city, and its skyscrapers are climbing ever higher (case in point, just today my next-door neighbor One World Trade claimed the title of tallest building in New York). All that height, especially in the canyons of the Financial District or parts of Midtown, can feel a bit oppressive at times to someone like me, who grew up in one of the most horizontal cities in the world. For comparison’s sake I could give you some facts and figures about square mileage and population — essentially: LA is larger, while NYC is more populous — but nowhere is this “horizontal-ness” illustrated better than from the observation pavilions of the Getty Center.
Known for its impressive views from the Pacific to Downtown, the Getty Center is one of the best places to take in the urban sprawl that is Los Angeles (if it happens to be a clear day). Designed by Richard Meier, the Center also houses a large portion of the Getty art collection and has been the setting for a marriage proposal or two…thousand.
Familiar vistas aside, I also made the trip to the Center to catch the Herb Ritts retrospective, L.A. Style. Best known for his black and white portraits of celebrities and fashion editorials, equally impressive are Ritts’ nudes and his exploration of the concept of gender. A compact exhibition, complete with large-scale prints, vintage magazines and a screening of his music videos (e.g., Janet Jackson’s Love Will Never Do (Without You), Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game), L.A. Style is an excellent collection of some Ritts’ most iconic images, taken in the 1980s and 90s.
Herb Ritts: L.A. Style at the Getty Center
April 3 – August 26, 2012
The Getty Center
1200 Getty Center Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90049
Open Tuesday – Sunday
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!