Monthly Archives: June 2010

The Dying Swan

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Isn’t Anna Pavlova lovely? (I tried some magic code to shorten the video so that it would start just when she began to dance, but apparently the code doesn’t like me because it refuses to work. Oh bother)

I was watching a short clip of an interview (long ((enough)) after her death, I believe) with someone who knew who Anna well. The duo ruminated on how she was such a wonderful and unique and captivating dancer, and they touched upon her limited technique and how considering the “dancer’s of today” she might never have made it so big.  It had to be mentioned, and though they went back to remark on her passion, her presence, and how there was something different and ineffable about her performance, I couldn’t help but think, how true.

The thought occurs to me most every time I look at dancers of the past. The bar of technique and athleticism and perfection has risen to such an incredible degree throughout the years. I find it dually wonderful and a little sad. Perfection. Passion. What if you have the passion but not the perfection? What if you have the perfection but not the passion? What if there are scores of Anna Pavlova’s (in any art form or field) held back by a lack of textbook all-around perfection? And, while I’m wielding a double edged sword (being a perfectionist and all), what if we’re missing something really great by only looking for “perfect”. Doesn’t that, after a while, get a little boring?

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Olly Olly Oxen Free!

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When Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland came out in March, there was an absurd amount of Alice in Wonderland themed works in pretty much every medium imaginable. I can’t lie, it got a bit tiresome. A bit overdone. I’ve been getting a bit annoyed about the degree of stuff surrounding films like this one and Where the Wild Things Are. I mean, a lot of it is lovely, but there gets to be that point of over-saturation where you might see something really fabulous and still a part of you is wondering really? more?!

Seriously. I can get a little bit crazy. But I was shuffled off to this lovely poster by one Olly Moss and thought it quite perfect. Maybe it’s just because it’s from one of the favorite bits of the film, with all of the magical shrinking and growing. And then, of course, how it’s anything but overdone. It’s simplicity is refreshing. And when I hunted down his site, that’s what I found in all of his work. Perfectly cheeky and witty and delightful without heaps over thought farce.

Look! My initials! Slipped into a belt and a pair of scissors. (haha, I’m imagining an image of the scissors cutting into the belt, or maybe just tucked into it sort of handy(wo)man style. Maybe there could be an “i” perhaps as a needle tucked in, too, to account for the middle name)

There was a lot of Lost work out there. I like this one because it reminds me of an old movie poster (a bit like Hitchkock’s Vertigo, perhaps). And then, of course, this awesome reaction to the “Keep Calm and Carry On” poster/phrase craze of not-long-ago (even I mentioned them). Granted, I’m usually a bit more likely to panic and freak out. At least before I manage to shut myself up enough to calm down and carry on. I should like to see the two hanging side by side. Because sometimes you just need to freak out a little bit. Even if only for a few minutes.

(Seriously. Like the time almost two years ago when I found out I had about two days to get ready to move, and I was eventually struck with the horrors of oh-my-heavens-when-on-earth-did-i-get-so-much-stuff-and-how-in-the-hell-am-i-supposed-to-move-all-of-this reality and subsequently panicked. I’m pretty sure I sat on my bed and shook and cried as I eyed the catastrophe that was my room, and I tried to make myself shut up but it didn’t work. So. I resolved that I could panic as long as I was being productive at the same time. And I wound up sobbing and packing at the same time. It must have been quite a sight. But I moved!)

Ahem. Moving on.

Get to work! Or not.

Well I just like these. Because, well, maybe you should make something cool everyday. And the lobster is just awesome.

Olly Moss:
site
Flickr
Alice Poster

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Flying Flowers (and the trees in your veins)

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I’ve got to say that I absolutely love this computer chip-ified butterfly “e-Lepidoptera” by Ludo in Paris.

I’ve always had a bit of a thing for butterflies. I adore gadgetry, too – especially when it takes such a beautiful form.

Did you know that recently researchers (Scientist Isao Shimoyama of the University of Tokyo and Hiroto Tanaka of Harvard University) were able to actually create a little mechanical butterfly?

This whole new understanding of how butterflies fly could mean big things for biomimicry in the field of aerodynamics.

But that is not why I’ve always loved butterflies so much. Of course, their natural beauty is astounding and inspiring:

(Each of these pretty critters are from The Evolution Store)((Seriously, you can forget that these colors and these color combinations come in nature))

No, I think what entranced me so much about them growing up was the thought of metamorphosis. How a dear little caterpillar hunkers down into a chrysalis and emerges a colorful flying creature.

Some times people need to do this, too. Not everyone was born with their wings apparent, but rest assured they’re there. Some people are against the cocooning sort of phase, be it in ourselves or in others. I feel like I know a lot of people feeling stuck and lost and unsure what to do with themselves right now, and it’s so easy to get discouraged and/or depressed. But why not think of it as phase where you’re just working out how to find your wings. And then, you’ll fly.

And on a sort of similar note (at least if you’re in my head)..

Do you remember my post in January about Roberto Kusterle’s beautiful photography? And how I talk about imagining myself as a tree, of sort? Well, Andrew Carnie, is a devotee of both science and art, and creates some lovely pieces of work that manage to merge the nature outside (trees) with the nature of our insides (nerves and such). And it’s surprisingly lovely how they can be so similar.

He’s got a show in London through September 10, 2010 if you’re local.

(Also, *ahem*, the term “Flying Flower” comes from a favorite childhood film of mine that began my intrigue, I believe, into butterflies)

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Doppelgänger

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I spotted these two images separately but together this afternoon on GreyHandGang. The dame on the left caught me first, and I thought her so pretty I stared for a moment or two. Her grace and elegance. The way her dress slips to virtually nothing as it careens around her delicate shoulders. The gargantuan sparkling earrings not to be outdone by the broach. And of course, that innocent sort of look and light on her face.

And then  I continued to scroll down and the saw the lass on the right. And I stopped and thought, hmmmmm. And I popped back up to the first. I couldn’t help but notice similarities. The good girl on the left and her naughtier doppelgänger on the right. The high hair that’s come undone. The strap and curve of the overalls mirroring the refined dress but hinting at much more. The large button earrings, and the eyes shut dreamily. And of course, the lollipop. Can’t miss the lollipop.

Oui. They’re one and the same.

(the lamentable fact is that the site from which i nabbed these lovely ladies does not have them attributed, so i don’t really know the true story behind them ((or from where they originate)), but imagining is always fun, indeed)

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Having fun with: Virtual Dress Up

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I don’t remember exactly how, but the other week I somehow stumbled upon Couturious (lady on the left)  and after a bit of fiddling began to really enjoy their virtual dress up set-up. You can pick a model, and then dress them up using a large array of fashions, from a variety of brands on the high to low spectrum. It was just when I was about to write this post, and was trying to look up more on the site that I stumbled upon Looklet (lady on the right), which has a similar idea and looks like it came around first. Looklet has a bit more of a high fashion look, and enables you to give your looks different effects. It looks a bit more true to life, and has a lot more in terms of some avant garde looks. I like Couturious, because a lot of things had options to be worn different ways and it was sometimes a bit easier to layer items then in Looklet (I’m still working out their system).

On the page of a particular look, Couturious  give a picture break down of all the items used from which you can then shop should you so choose.

Looklet breaks it down right on the “looks” page, listing each item used and its designer. It definitely gives of a magazine-y type vibe.

Both sites enable other users to “like” and comment on your looks, and to have follower and friends of your profile. So far, Looklet seems to have a definite social networking aspect to it, with a wall feed reminiscent of Facebook. It looks like its been around longer and has a large cache or user worldwide (from my brief toying with the site thus far, the US seems to be a minority)((which makes for an interesting look at tastes around the world). Couturious has grown and evolved even though I’ve only been playing with it for about a week, so I’m betting more features will continuously be added.

What’s fun about these sites is the idea of playing with a multitude of different styles and seeing how things can be layered and work together. It’s a fun exercise in stretching your style: you can be as safe or as daring as you want and you can easily explore different styles that you may never think of wearing yourself. You may even find it interesting the styles you end up liking, and the pieces you pair together. I know I certainly was.

So go ahead, check them out and let your inner stylist play! :)

My pages on each if you feel like checking out more of my styling adventures:
Looklet
Couturious

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